Thursday, September 26, 2013

Xpress Reviews: Rush, Runner Runner, & Prisoners

Lately I haven't seen many movies and I also haven't been blogging much either. This week I made up for both as I finally found enough free time on my hands. On a side note, I can't believe its almost October. The year has passed-by pretty fast for me and movie-wise I need a lot of catching up to do.

# Rush [2013]

"Men Love Women..... But Even More Than That..... Men.. Love.. Cars!"



Directed by: Ron Howard
Written By: Peter Morgan
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl, Alexandra Maria Lara, Olivia Wilde, Pierfrancesco Favino
The Story: Based on the true story of a long and intense rivalry between two Formula One racing greats, James Hunt (played by Chris Hemsworth), who is flamboyant and cocky while his nemesis Niki Lauda (played by Daniel Bruhl), is a driven, goal-oriented, and an expect on car mechanics.
The Verdict: Is it too early for Oscar predictions? Because I believe Rush [2013] will easily race its way and finish in the final 10, 9, or however much the number will be for the Best Picture award. I'm not familiar with the real-life story that occurred during the 70s, nor am I sure how much of the movie stays true to that, but darn, this is truly one film not to be missed! The story is exciting, dramatic, and suspenseful, while director Ron Howard masterfully makes each race scene pulsating-ly breathtaking! The two main characters are also very compelling for us to follow. We find reasons to hate and root towards each one of them,.Their rivalry on the other hand is one of the most intense and merciless ever. Expect Rush [2013] to accelerate at top speed come award season!
Rating: 9.5 out of 10

# Runner Runner [2013]

"That Little Voice In The Back Of Your Head Right Now, Is Not Your Conscience.... It's Fear!"



Directed By: Brad Furman
Written By: Brian Koppelman, David Lavien
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie
The Story: Richie Furst (played by Justin Timberlake) is a Princton college student who feels he was cheated while playing on an online gambling site. He seeks out the owner of the site, Ivan Block (played by Ben Affleck) in Costa Rica, where he suddenly finds himself receiving an incredible job offer from Block himself.
The Verdict: This year marks exactly two decades of me watching movies at the cinema. After that screening of Jurassic Park [1993], I have watched hundreds of movies, both good and bad on the big screen. But today marks the first time where my friend and me were the only two people in the entire theatre during a movie. We had a completely empty but large cinema all to ourselves. It actually felt weird. Runner Runner [2013] isn't a horrible movie, but it was such a bore. For a movie the revolves around smart people and clever schemes, there was nothing clever or smart about the movie. It was like it was stuck in second gear that it even made the short running time of 91 minutes seem lethargic. That's all I have to say about the film.... just three sentences. Because the only fun we had during this viewing was coming up with crazy ideas to seize advantage of our newly experienced situation. Amongst them were playing our ringtones on at full blast, racing up and down the stairs, talking back to the characters on screen (and make impersonations), watch the movie with our shirts off (oh why did I have to go with a dude today?), popcorn fight, taking pirated clips of the movie, and a few more silly stuff.  We actually did end up performing some of those ideas. It was actually much fun that the movie itself.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10

# Prisoners [2013]

"How Could He Drive An RV If He Has The IQ Of A 10 Year-Old?"



Directed By: Dennis Villeneuve
Written By: Brian Koppelman, David Lavien
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, Violla Davis, Melissa Leo, Maria Bello
The Story: The 6 year-old daughters of Keller (played by Hugh Jackman) and Franklin (played by Terrence Howard) goes missing one day but the lead suspect named Alex (played by Paul Dano) is released because a lack of evidence. While the chief investigator for the case, Detective Loki (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) pursues other possibilities, Keller is convinced that Alex is guilty. He takes matters into his own hands.
The Verdict: Despite a slow pace and a running time of 153 minutes, Prisoners [2013] has you fully engaged in the film. It is one of the most intense, suspenseful, and disturbing movies of the year. The stellar ensemble cast provides implacable performances and we fully feel the pain and suffering of everyone involved. Hugh Jackman and Paul Dano were the standouts but almost everyone involved delivered a worthy job. On a personal level, Jake Gyllenhaal's role here felt a little similar to the one he had in Zodiac [2007], another suspense thriller which is not to be missed.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

16 comments:

  1. Wow, such a high rating for RUSH, I'm curious now. Hmmm, too bad RUNNER RUNNER isn't as good, I'm going to see that next week. Curious how bad ass Ben Affleck can be before playing Batman, ahah.

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    1. I'm not a motor-sports fan but Rush is really more than just mere sports and action. It has complex characters, story, and great score.

      I was thinking of Batman too when I went to see Runner Runner. Unfortunately, the only movie that I've enjoyed with Justin Timberlake in is The Social Network.

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    2. Well, after seeing RUSH this weekend I totally get why you love it. I still like Gravity more and it's not as emotionally-involving as I thought it would be. But still a great film, perhaps one of Ron Howard's best!

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    3. Yeah... those two films are my favourites of the year so far. Before this I always think of Apollo 13 when Ron Howard's name is mentioned. But I think Gravity has surpassed that in terms of space movies. And yes, I do think Rush is Ron's best!

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  2. Hey I'm w/ you on the last sentence. Justin Timberlake was good in The Social Network but his part was small there. He's awful in In Time, he just isn't a compelling protagonist to me.

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    1. True! I have nothing against him, but just doesn't cut it for me.

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  3. I had my experience of being alone in a cinema while watching Les Miserables :-P

    Big hall but I was the only one there. Awesome, wasn't it?

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    1. It was kinda weird at first. Just can't believe it took me so long to experience it. :)

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  4. Whoa, almost perfect score for Rush. It's still playing on midnight here, hopefully I can see it on regular time soon. I'd like to see Dano again, and nice to see Prisoners have a decent score.

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    1. I'm in love with Rush. In fact I'm planning to see it again. If I can make the time!

      Dano really perform here and is at least on par with the more established actors in the film. And there are plenty of them in Prisoners.

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  5. prisoners : yup said and felt the same thing...way too slow at the beginning and then the last hour..woaaah...great payoff

    rush : as someone who doesnt know jack bout f1..i like the movie...but my friend who had to drag me into the cinema for this one..didn't...which is weird..entahlah...dia expect more race stuff kot..

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    1. Prisoners was definitely slow. And long! But somehow I didn't feel it. I was really engaged with the film.

      I'm not a fan of F1 too although I do have basic knowledge about it. Very basic. Pasal kawan tuh.... perhaps he's expecting F1 while we were expecting just a good movie and that's why we enjoyed more than him.

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  6. Have yet to see any of these yet but I am glad to read that both Prisoners and Rush are worth checking out. Your antics during Runner Runner sound like fun. Sort of reminds me of the best part of Rocky 6 being my brother getting up and dancing in front of the screen.

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    1. I really enjoyed those two films.

      Haha... any Rocky films makes me want to get up and exercise after watching it! The Rocky theme song is my most played gym song!

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  7. Glad you liked Rush
    I thought it perfectly captured the atmosphere of the 1970s with its strange haircuts and leather skirts, yet showing the danger of Formula 1 and its hazardous nature.

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    1. Agreed! Ron Howard did a great job. I'm glad that Formula 1 is much safer and has less death nowadays. Well I think so.....

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