The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

hobbit3_w300GRADE: A

RATED: PG-13 (extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images)



The Hobbit: The Battle of the five armies (directed by Peter Jackson) was one my highest anticipated films of the year, and it met its expectations. Once again, the performances are stellar from Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Aidan Turner (Kili), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), and everyone else in the massive cast. The film follows Bilbo and the thirteen dwarves’ adventure to kill Smaug and make Thorin the leader of Erebor, but a little corruption and a lot of greed make the film burst into all out war. The special effects are stellar (as always) and Peter Jackson’s direction is masterful. The cinematography is genius, making sure to show as much as it can in each shot without making the audience dizzy. The battles are on an epic scale and deliver in every way. The film is its most impressive when thousands of soldiers are battling on the screen, every CGI texture looking as brilliant as the next. The film’s only flaw was that the first ten or so minutes really could have been in the end of the second Hobbit film. It was a bit confusing, I had to give myself a minute to remember the characters and where we were left since it had been a year since I saw The Desolation of Smaug. It would have been nice to have a little “previously on the Hobbit” in the intro. This film is also worth seeing in HFR, HFR doubles the frame rate of a standard film (24 fps to 48 fps), it looks amazing during scenes where a lot is going on. In the beginning, the HFR was tough to get used to, but once I got used to it, I loved it. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a must see for fans of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series, and one of the best films of the year.

Exodus: Gods and Kings Review

Exodus_w300GRADE: B

RATED: PG-13 ( violence including battle sequences and intense images)



I’ve been looking forward to Exodus ever since it was “Ridley Scott Biblical project starring Christian Bale as Moses”, my thoughts were that this would be like Gladiator, but in a different setting. The film has a massive scope that is fully satisfied, the special effects were amazing, especially the plagues, and Christian Bale’s performance was outstanding. The battle scenes were very well done and were backed by excellent cinematography. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Ben Kingsley in a supporting role. The film, however did have it’s issues. My main issue was that I couldn’t stand Joel Edgerton’s Ramses, his performance was unconvincing at best. The film also had very sluggish pacing, at points it seemed like it was speeding up, and then it suddenly started moving slow once again. The film was also terribly predictable, although this is an extremely well known story, the film used obvious and weak foreshadowing that made the film feel too predictable and at times cliched, but all is forgiven because of that amazing plagues scene. Overall, Exodus is a film worth seeing this holiday season.

Mockingjay Part One Review

MJ1_300GRADE: B+

RATED: PG-13 ( intense sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images and thematic material)




Mockingjay part one is the series’ best film yet in my book. When I went home after The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I liked them less and less the more that I thought about them, but my opinion on Mockingjay stayed the same. Mockingjay boasts outstanding performances and the best special effects the series has seen (although that isn’t saying much since the first two had awful special effects). The film, while not delivering in the action department, absolutely nailed the political element of the plot. The film was intriguing, and had I not read the book, I’d be dying to know what happens next. The all star cast delivered with all of their performances, some of the cast consisted of Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, and Stanley Tucci. There’s a few more well known actors as well. The film follows Katniss in District 13 and her political war with the Capitol. The only negatives were that the film kind of slowed down towards the middle, but picked itself up again, the cinematography was awful at parts, and Julianne Moore’s Coin is an extremely static character. The issue with the cinematography was at it’s worst in the scene when Katniss visits a makeshift hospital, the camera goes to shakey cam for about three seconds and then stops, it’s as if the director said “Let’s do some shakey cam… wait, no stop, shakey cam is bad.” Coin, along with the rest of District 13 were all very one sided characters that were nearly impossible to sympathise with. Overall, Mockingjay is worth watching for fans of the book (it’s very accurate) and fans of political thrillers.