The Kings of Summer – Movie Review

Pleasant, but a bit bland, just like vanilla ice cream. It is quite simply a Coming of Age story which is competently told, however it falls a little short of earlier similar efforts, like Stand By Me. Quite frankly, I saw this movie a little over a week ago and have been struggling to write a review because once I left the movie theatre, I forgot all about it. It’s not an unpleasant way to spend 90+ minutes, but I can’t say it moved or even resonated with me; and I spent many a summer day in my teen years escaping parental control to build forts in the wilderness, catching fish for sustenance and ultimately camping overnight in our new fort because, dammit, we were just having too much fun. Maybe that’s the problem. It just doesn’t invoke any kind of nostalgia in me, despite having done some of this, and therefore I’m unable to connect with the material. That being said, the acting is solid with Nick Offerman leading the charge, and if you enjoy dry, sarcastic humour then there is plenty of that present in this film including some legitimate laugh out loud moments. The bottom line: meh, so what.

 

6 out of 10

 

 

Man of Steel – Movie Review

I was afraid that this movie would be crushed by the weight of the marketing effort from Warner Brothers and the resultant raised expectations. I mean 3 trailers and 9 TV spots which contained approximately 15 minutes of the film, plus the Gillette, Twizzler and Mr Clean commercials, and OKAY I get it Warner Brothers! You want us to see your movie!!

Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint. The marriage between David Goyer’s character driven storytelling and Zach Snyder’s signature visual style works perfectly, as I hoped it would. I thought Snyder in particular out did himself with rich visuals that carried through the muted tones and darker colour palette of the film. Goyer’s story can almost be described as ‘Superman Begins’ as it uses the same approach and story structure as Batman Begins, but ultimately finds its own voice and tone which prevents it from feeling too much like the first Nolan Batman film. As a result, a lot of time is spent exploring the journey of Clark/Kal-el with the supporting characters present only to inform the audience of the protagonist, which also means they are not fully developed and therefore come across as one dimensional. This is not meant as criticism, and I’m not surprised that other reviewers found character development to be lacking because of this. The story is not designed to have rich supporting characters, it’s about Clark’s character, his journey and growth, and that’s it. The exception to this is Lois Lane who is present enough in the film to give us a good feel for the character, which is a true reflection of the comic book, and I’m really looking forward to her being developed even further in future installments.

The acting itself is solid which is what you would expect from a cast of this caliber, yet no one performance outshines the other and there was never a moment for me where I thought the actor cast for a particular role was the wrong choice. Henry Cavill, in particular, IS Superman. This film, however, is not perfect. There are a few head-scratching and perhaps WTF moments, BUT the good parts in the movie far, far outweigh the bad, so I’m willing to turn a blind eye to these bad moments and embrace this film in aggregate as a brilliant, outstanding effort. My nipples stiffen just thinking about it.

All that being said, if you are of the opinion that the Christopher Reeve films, and Bryan Singer’s love letter to Donner, is the true version of Superman, then you’ll likely have a hard time embracing this version. Also, if you are one of those who habitually “multi-task” and split your attention between a psychoactive mobile device and what’s happening on the big screen (and unfortunately there were many of you in the theatre last night), I’m afraid you aren’t going to enjoy it very much either. This film has just enough story that if you miss a bit while held hostage to your devices’ virtual delights, you’ll become lost and all that will remain are the film’s action sequences. But, maybe that’s all you want.

 

10 out of 10

 

 

Sam Westphalen – Pantera’s Mouth for War Cover

This is easily one of the most brilliant artistic interpretations of a popular song I have ever come across, and the talent of the performer is absolutely undeniable. Enjoy!!

 

 

More of Sam’s work can be found in the links below:

Sam’s other Guitar Percussion videos on AIM’s YouTube channel  http://www.youtube.com/user/AimTVSydney
Sam’s own channel http://www.youtube.com/user/SamboRayJr
Sams Website http://www.samborayjr.com
Sams Playlist on AIMtv https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list

 

This Is The End – Movie Review

I didn’t need to see this in a theatre, and I suspect I would have enjoyed it a little more in a 420 friendly environment. It is very simply a Seth Rogen joint, so if you are a fan of his work, you’ll love this movie. For me, I have mixed feelings about it. Rogen includes a lot of his signature brand of comedy in this film which made it seem a little derivative of his earlier work at times. However, he does take many comedic chances and while some work to great effect, others come across as being a little self-indulgent. The cameos, for example, are brilliantly done, the Micheal Cera and Channing Tatum appearances in particular. As far as apocalyptic comedies go, it’s just about okay and ultimately falls short of the mark set by Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead.

 

7 out of 10