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MAN OF STEEL REVIEW

With Marvel’s global success of ‘The Avengers,’ Warner Brothers & DC Comics have so much riding on ‘Man of Steel.’  The filmmakers simply must deliver the goods. I feel that they have. You’ve got all the epic fight sequences, action, special effects, science fiction & pyrotechnics. But you’ve also got an origin story from which you can now build.  Let me put it in simpler terms.  If you take one step back, you realize, that “Man of Steel’ is the greatest pro-adoption film since 1959’s “Ben Hur. ”

Finally, the credit is given where it is due, to the Kryptonian & human parents of Kal-el/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill). Jor-El (Russell Crowe) provided a chance for his son to prosper with a life on another world.  The parenting bond was then handed to earthlings Martha Kent (Diane Lane) & Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) & then finally back to Jor-El.  These are the people most responsible for birth of Superman. Flaws are what makes characters more interesting, and it is Clark Kent’s fight within himself that drives this version forward. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) plays the modern day reporter to perfection.  Her character’s actions tied everything together is a way that made perfect sense.

As for me, I believe “Man of Steel” is the reason why we go to see movies.  It’s another world.  It’s OK to fell like a kid again. Give it a shot. I had a complete blast.  You will too. One more thing. This could be really dark for younger children.  FYI, at the very end of the film, there’s no scene of Superman meeting Batman for hero sandwich, there’s nothing. Hey, one could always hope right?  Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones, Lois Lane does!

 



DJANGO UNCHAINED MOVIE REVIEW

Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” takes us back to the year, 1858, two years before the Civil War.  I appreciate any attempt to bring back Westerns. It’s a genre ripe for a resurgence.  The setting works:  A bounty hunter (Christof Waltz) teams up with a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx) to capture criminals & ultimately help find & free Django’s slave wife. (Kerry Washington)

There are excellent scenes within the film. You’ll enjoy textbook Tarantino dialogue exchanges. Leonardo DiCaprio turns in an excellent performance as a savvy & sinister slave owner, the callus Calvin Candie.

As a whole however, this wasn’t one of my favorite Tarantino films.  Going back a few years, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ was utterly brilliant.  The Hans Landa character played by Christof Waltz, in my opinion, should have remained inside the world of ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ Instead, I kept seeing Hans resurface in ‘Django Unchained.’  I know everyone else did too, but won’t admit it.  Let’s compare.  In ‘Basterds’ he was dubbed ‘The Jew Hunter.’ Here he’s The Bounty Hunter. For some reason I can’t explain, he also hails from Germany.  Oh, & he speaks at least (3) languages, just like Hans Landa.

This is just nit-picking now.  Why do certain directors always feel compelled to hurl themselves into their own movie? It stymies me. Why does Quentin do this?  My first thought every time I see him onscreen in one of his own films is: What is Quentin doing?  It catapults me out of the movie! No one in Hollywood will admit this. They all want to work on one of his movies. I’m not an actor. So again I ask Quentin, Why insist? Why?

Final note, “Django Unchained” is still better than 85% of what’s out in theaters.  It’s worth watching. You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones

 

 

 



End of Watch Movie Review

As Mel Gibson’s character Porter grumbled in “Payback,” “Dirty Cops. Do they come any other way?”  Cop movies most always thrive on Bad Cop Syndrome.  They’re either on the take through organized crime or confiscating cash to send their kids to college, ripping off drug dealers or at the very least hiding behind badges as bullies. Those are the reasons why ‘End of Watch’ is such a fresh look at the cop movie genre.  The story’s about two partners in the Los Angeles Police Department.  Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) & Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) get up every day & do the job.  What I loved about the movie is, these guys weren’t looking to score a huge payday & retire. It was quite the opposite.  Their idea of ‘hitting it big’ is always in the form of a big bust.  These LAPD officers are the good guys.

What I also enjoyed was the balance between action on the streets & verbal action between buddies in the squad car.  Spending endless hours on patrol, Brian & Mike talk about virtually anything from sex to Starbucks.  These scenes just tick away until the moment something happens.  When they get the call, it’s on.  NO SPOILERS.  I live in Southern California. What happens in Downtown Los Angeles seems a million miles away.  It is dark, desolate & dangerous.  The actors playing gang members are a constant reminder: Make sure your GPS works, respect their space & stay out of alleys.

On the first night of prep for this film, Jake was on an LAPD ride-along.  It’s there where he witnessed a shoot-out between gang members and one person was murdered right in front of his eyes.  Gyllenhaal did express experiencing intense moments of fear out in the field.  How could you not? The point of exposing yourself to such violence & potential life peril, is to simply funnel all that energy into a performance, which he most certainly did.  When they do go out an those calls, I had to remind myself to breathe.

Finally, a cop movie where you’re rooting for cops. The only problem: The bad guys are just too well-funded, too many in numbers, too armed & way too murderous. “End of Watch’ is rated ‘R.’          You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones

CAUTION: This is the RED BAND Trailer for “End of Watch”

 



VIDEO: Film Freak Box Office Update Week of 7.06.12

Time to talk movies!  This week, you’ll see “The Amazing Spiderman’s” ANDREW GARFIELD talks about the Spidey psychy.  KATY PERRY argues with her parents in a scene from her documentary, “Katy Perry: Part of Me” 3D. Also, BLAKE LIVELY steps out onto the red carpet to talk, “Savages.” Click on the link to watch!

https://vimeo.com/45411007



Film Freak Movie Talk Show Podcast 7.7.12

On today’s Film Freak Movie Talk Show, Leo goes over the Top 10 at the Box Office.  Then Leo chats with the star and director of the tiny little film, “The Amazing Spiderman”, Andrew Garfield and Marc Webb respectfully. Out on DVD & VOD is  “God Bless America” and with that, is a whirlwind interview with the director Bobcat Goldthwait.  Finally Boo Boo Stewart from “Twilight” fame stops in and talks a little about his upcoming ventures on Twitter and on the big screen. Follow Leo @leoquinones just like Spidey does!  Don’t forget to download the Film Freak iPhone App, it’s FREE!



Film Freak Movie Talk Show Podcast 6.23.12

The Film Freak Movie Talk Show brings you stars and creators straight from the GREEN carpet premiere of the new Disney Pixar movie, “Brave”. Visionary director, Brad Bird(“The Incredibles,” “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol)  is in attendance as well as the director and producer of  “Brave” Mark Andrews and Katherine Sarafian.  Enrico Casarosa the filmmaker behind the Oscar nominated animated short “La Luna” stops by and gives over info on the emotional short appearing right before “Brave”.  TV’s Megyn Price, Chris Harrison, and John Ratzenberger are also the GREEN and Leo chats with them all. Finally, Leo talks upcoming DVD’s with Penelope Ann Miller about the Oscar winning film, “The Artist”. Be bold, be strong, be brave…and follow Leo Quinones on Twitter @leoquinones.  The Film Freak iPhone App is available for dowload & it’s FREE.  Just search Film Freak.



Brave Movie Review

Disney Pixar jumps into the summer box office fray with “Brave.”  It’s the story of Princess Merida, a spirited lass from the Highlands of Scotland.  Animators first journeyed to Scotland way back in 2006.  They then returned in 2007 to immerse within Scottish culture.  Their research included taking in stories steeped in the Scots culinary habits, foggy weather, wildlife, trees & rich ancestry.  These steps are what make the animation is as good as what you’d expect from Pixar.

Merida’s journey revolves around a universal theme of most teenagers throughout the ages, ‘Let me live my own life!’  The conflict comes from within the family must be resolved with family.  The story involves witches, potions, ferries & thundering horseback rides.  Young girls all over the world will absolutely love watching ‘Brave.’  The movie is being pushed as 3D, but you can save a few bucks per tickets by watching it in 2D.  It’s just as fun.

I think Brave is a wee bit scary for kids under the age 6.  There’s classic Disney villains & there’s things nightmares are made of.  Hit a bullseye like Merida & Follow Leo on Twitter @leoquinones.  The Film Freak iPhone App is %100 FREE. Just search Film Freak.



Film Freak Movie Talk Show Podcast 6.9.12

The Film Freak Movie Talk Show shines the light on the biggest movies again this week! Still going strong “Marvel’s The Avengers” continues it’s epic run in the Top 10. Mark Ruffalo AKA Bruce Banner gives over awesome info about becoming the big green machine, The Hulk! Leo also forks over awesome audio from the android himself “David”, Michael Fassbender, not found in this weekends’ “Prometheus”. Also stars from Wes Anderson’s awesome movie “Moonrise Kingdom” stop by and have a chat with Leo. Finally, the most rocking out loud movie coming out this summer “Rock of Ages”, gets it’s epic soundtrack dissected by Leo!! Plus, Leo gets the Gotham City Gossip from Bill of BATMAN ON FILM. Follow Leo Quinones on Twitter @leoquinones everyone’s doing it, even the epic rocker Stacee Jaxx!!



Film Freak Movie Talk Show Podcast 5.26.12

The Film Freak Movie Talk Show with Leo Quinones welcomes composer Danny Elfman and actor Jackie Earle Haley talking their new movie “Dark Shadows” . Also in studio director Brad Parker and writer Oren Peli talk about the insanely scary locales they chose for their movie “Chernobly Diaries”. “God Bless America” director Bobcat Goldthwait gives over tons of info on his new movie, and finally Leo goes over everything movies in his weekend movie update. Follow Leo Quinones @leoquinones and as always….Stay Classy!



Movie Review: Battleship **NO SPOILERS**

Battleship is getting torpedoed by movie critics. It’s what they do.  The movie is far from perfect, and is a lot better than I thought.  I’m fully aware the dialogue in the movie had challenges.  But here’s one of my pet peeves: Rudeness in movie theaters.  When a lousy line is uttered, I just kinda roll my eyes & think to myself, “That was so cheesy.”  But again, this is me, thinking to myself.

I can’t stand when someone, who gets to see these movies for FREE has the tenacity to outwardly laugh at bad dialogue. It’s the most selfish thing you can do in a movie.  It serves 2 purposes: (1) You’re attempting to show everyone how smart you are & you know a bad line when you hear it. (2) It pulls anyone out of the film who’s enjoying it.

Regular movie going folks with enjoy Battleship. Based on the 1931 Hasbro game,  it has less to do with real strategic war at sea & more to do with aliens taking over Earth.  I will say the sound design was perfect.  On the other hand, it feels like whole scenes were lifted from other movies like, “Officer & A Gentlemen,” “Independence Day,” and of course, “Transformers.”

Battleship is a long journey from perfection, but I still had fun.  My favorite thing about the movie were the ‘Old Salts,’ World War II vets who actually served on the battleship USS Missouri was very cool.  Rated PG-13.  You can follow me on Twitter @leoquinones