Saturday, May 18, 2024

Tag: Jason Clarke

All I See Is You (2016)

Title: All I See Is You
Rating: R
Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Sean Conway, and Marc Forster
Starring: Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, and Ahna O’Reilly
Release Date: Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, and Ahna O’Reilly
Running Time: 110 minutes

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What did you think of this film?
A blind woman’s relationship with her husband changes when she regains her sight and discovers disturbing details about themselves.

Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? No

Everest Review – 2.5 out of 5 Stars

I should start off by mentioning that I set myself up to love the latest, big budget adventure flick Everest. After the great early buzz the film received, I almost immediately bought tickets for the opening day screening at the local Cinerama in Seattle. This 70 mm screen is the ultimate place to go see big movies spectacles so believe me when I say that I was prepared to go along for the ride. So when I finally sat down to watch it, the visual effects were as stunning as I expected them to be. The sound design and the cinematography and the way they recreated the setting all felt breathtaking. But for as spectacular as those things were, everything else about Everest is equally abysmal. There’s no way around it, this movie is a pretty looking mess that contains flat characters and a sloppy story.

The movie focuses on the 1996 disaster on Mount Everest which resulted in multiple fatalities. In particular, the movie focuses on the expedition led by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) to make it up to the peak. Among the people in his crew are mailman Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), Texas native Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) and author Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly). The movie follows them as they train and eventually begin there fateful journey up the mountain.


The sad thing about the awful script for this movie is that in some way I can at least sympathize with what the writers and the director were trying to do. It’s clear that they cared very deeply about this incident and wanted to respectfully present every person affected by this disaster from the victims to the families. In some ways, this is a positive attribute because it leads to them putting as much detail as they can into the accuracy of everything from what the climbers are wearing to the design of the base to the ways in which they prepared. Say what you will, this movie at least seems well informed about its subject. Unfortunately, this is the thing that also kills the movie. The movie wants to cover every single person affected and while there’s a level of integrity to doing so, it makes the movie basically unintelligible.

It’s somewhat manageable at first when everyone is at base camp but once disaster strikes, the movie goes totally off the rails. These moments when they’re getting hit pretty bad by snow storms and avalanches should be thrilling and intense like the flood in The Impossible or the opening space station destruction in Gravity. If you see these scenes as successful because they managed to add clarity and perspective to these moments of pure madness, prepare to be let down by what Everest does.

What we instead get is this big moment of chaos where you’re cutting back and forth really quickly between around ten different perspectives. They take this huge moment of mayhem and they poorly shift between what’s happening to all these different people. What’s going on in the last hour and 30 minutes tries to follow so many different things that these disaster scenes go from heart pounding to disappointingly boring. The storyline becomes so indecipherable that you stop caring about what’s going on because the movie gives you no time to worry about anything that’s happening to anyone. The disaster sequences feel like a confused montage of underdeveloped characters doing things that are weakly explained or too abrupt to receive any form of response from its audience.

There are so many things in this movie that happen so fast and then end up feeling so unresolved by the ending. There are multiple sub-plots that they try to take on and in the process they put quantity over quality. Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a pure example of a character where I can see why they added him but they put him in so poorly that his entire character arc can be summed as frustrating and useless. They set him up as one of the more important characters and by the end of the movie he’s dispatched in way that’s never fully explained and makes no possible sense. In real life there’s probably an explanation for what he did but in the movie they have no room to go into detail with what exactly happened to him. He’s one of several people lost in the need to note the entire event at whatever cost. Everest never seems intelligent or bold. Even the things the movie does well enough in its story have been performed far superior in even more recent adventure movies. I wanted the spectacular visual effects to absorb me like Gravity did but this movie is so choppy that it’s almost as if the directors daring you to not get involved with what’s going on despite how big and epic its story is. By the last act, I was fully able to take him up on that dare.

It’s so upsetting to see the movie end up this bad because there’s so many ways in which this could’ve worked. The movie has a really fascinating story that makes me want to actually seek out the book Into Thin Air by survivor Jon Krakauer. If they had just focused on a few people and done it in a smarter way, I would have no problem praising this movie. As previously mentioned, the film shows off some of the best visual effects I’ve seen all year for a film. At its best moments, Everest captures the sheer scale and the majesty of this natural wonder. This movie is an example of the ways in which visual effects can be used to put you into this strange, unique world that seems absolutely believable. I will give this film that it is pretty much great when you only look at it for its music and its visuals.


When you just see who’s in it, Everest has one of the best casts of the year. Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kiera Knightly, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Robin Wright and Sharlto Copley are a pretty impressive lineup and it’s pathetic when you find out that Josh Brolin and Emily Watson are the only ones who deliver anything beyond sup-par. At best, most of the cast is wasted like Sharlto Copley or John Hawke. At worst, you end up with a poorly casted Robin Wright doing an awkward southern accent as Brolin’s wife in scenes that feel totally out of place in comparison to everything else that’s going on.

The story of Everest is an impressive challenge that nobody came to the occasion for. The storyline ranges from unambitious to lost in adaptation. The characters are one note and forgettable. This movie contains some strong, recommendable visual effects and 3D but there are too many areas of this that feel so unsatisfying and poor that I have to count this one as a strong disappointment. Something so big and compelling shouldn’t equal something that feels so tame and forgettable.


Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 9/25/2015

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kiera Knightly, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Robin Wright and Sharlto Copley

Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur

Screenplay by: William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy

Everest (2015)


Title: Everest (aka. Everest: An IMAX 3D Experience)
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur
Written by: William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy
Starring: Jason Clarke, Ang Phula Sherpa, Thomas M. Wright, Martin Henderson, Tom Goodman-Hill, Charlotte Bøving, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal
Release Date: 9/25/2015
Running Time: 121 minutes

Official Site

A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.

What did you think of this film?

During Credits? No

After Credits? No

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Terminator Genisys Review – 2 out of 5 Stars

Before I get started on reviewing this giant glass of mediocrity, I really want to get something off my chest. Have any of you seen that trailer for Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the supposed finale of the Paranormal Activity series? The fact that movie is going to be in 3D blows my mind in terms of how stupid that concept is. What, so the main characters just so happen to have state of the art 3D cameras that they’re filming all of their stuff with? I remember back when the first film came out and everyone was praising the film as a horror movie classic because it aimed to be realistic and the equivalent of watching you know…found footage. That’s the entire idea behind found footage; it’s supposed to feel as though you’re watching something that actually happened and has been captured on camera. This concept has had a great run but this movie seems so idiotic and gimmicky that I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the film that officially kills this sub-genre’s popularity. With that said, let’s get to a review of a film that won’t feature anything that is nearly that energetic.

Let me make one thing clear, Terminator: Genisys is a pretty bad movie. I wouldn’t recommend it to a lot of people and for the most part a lot of the stuff like the characters and the storyline and the performance of the main protagonist seem in rather poor quality. However, this film manages to do a solid enough job in enough areas as to where I can’t really say that I hated it. Genisys isn’t as awful as the trailers made it look but it’s the definition of sub-par. This is the sort of flick where you forget watching it 10 minutes after you’ve left the cinema. It’s watchable but much like a bag of chips or a chocolate bar, it isn’t that substantial.

Genysis starts off in the same way the original Terminator film started off. The year is 2029 and the world is an apocalyptic wasteland so edgy that they apparently can’t spell the word genesis right. A rebel group led by John Connor (Jason Clarke) is fighting the evil robots that have taken over. In its final attempt to save itself, the robots send another robot back in time to kill the mother of John, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). John sends his friend Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to stop the robot and save his mother. When Reese goes back in time though, things quickly go wrong and separate from the events of the first film. Sarah isn’t a naïve young woman but rather a prepared soldier who has already been properly trained by an older robot (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who was sent back in time to protect her. Sarah and Reese go to the year of 2017 with a time machine and find out that the robots are using Genysis to destroy the world, a thing that will apparently take over all of the technology we use and yadayadayada.

I quite recently watched The Terminator for the first time and found it to be an excellent piece of cinema; it’s a movie that has held up really well. A lot of the greatness of the film for me comes from how complex the story is and how well they were able to make it seem clear and easy to follow. Like the recent Looper, The Terminator has this deep, sci-fi storyline but it chooses to focus on the feelings and the reactions of these two great characters and the way they cope with how this is affecting them. Because of this, the film never seems sloppy and leaves you wanting to learn more about the world without it feeling like it told you were told nothing about the world. It also helps that the chase scenes and the fight scenes are beautifully shot and edited together with some awesome, perfectly 80’s music. The way the story is presented allows for the film to be both a fantastic piece of science fiction and a riveting action film. That gotten across, It’s humorous to now see that the thing the original film accomplished the best is the thing the recent film has failed at most spectacularly.

Genisys (I still can’t believe they spelled it like that) has a huge, massive storyline but it attempts to throw all of it at you rather than centering it on the point of view of interesting characters. When this movie isn’t being inane, convoluted exposition that is so confusing and problematic that even a scientist couldn’t comprehend everything it’s supposedly saying, it’s showing you these characters and these action scenes that are above all else, weak in comparison to the first film. This is one of those movies that thinks that if it throws a lot of stuff at you, it will keep you distracted from how hollow and forgettable everything else is. So many plots happen and so many characters are introduced but when everything is added together, it still manages to equal zero. A lot is going on but it’s not done in a way as to where you can dissect all these different areas and find something that is comprehendible.

Here are just a few of the questions I had with the film. Everyone is acting so excited in the year 2017 about the release of Genisys from children to adults. It’s basically this system that will connect everyone and there technology together. Why would anyone be excited about this? I can maybe understand people of the field getting hyped but why are children freaking out and getting overjoyed about the release of this machine? There’s also this sacrifice near the end of the film that almost makes for a touching and sincere moment. Only minutes later, the film makes this sacrifice meaningless and the character returns with no true explanation as to why they’re back. Additionally, there’s a scene where Kyle meets a version of himself as a young child even though Kyle was originally born during wartime and during the apocalypse. So these two versions of themselves are living together and their timelines both exist and how does that happen and why doesn’t one of these timelines erase the other and AHHHHHH! This is the cinematic equivalent of an unsolvable Rubik’s cube I can give this flick the benefit of the doubt that if I saw some of the other movies it would make more sense but I feel like a lot of this can also be coughed up to the general failure on the part of the writers for this film.

When the film isn’t confusing its audience, you’re following around the unlikable, useless character that is Kyle Reese. I always assumed that Jai Courtney was a good actor who kept getting terrible films like Taylor Kitsch or Nicholas Cage but after watching this movie I can’t definitely say that Jai Courtney is a weak actor. He doesn’t have any charm or personality or charisma or any of the other stuff you need to be an action lead. He has zero chemistry with Emilia Clarke; an actress I can only assume is better than what is shown here due to her experience in Game of Thrones. The scenes where he’s supposed to be funny are dead on arrival and the moments where he’s supposed to be sympathetic and heartfelt end up feeling surprisingly obnoxious. It doesn’t help that the character is also pretty terrible. He spends the film complaining about everything and getting in the way of what Sarah and the robot want to do and it comes to a point where you just want him to leave. Charmless performance with a charmless character, go figure.

On a technical standpoint, the film is both pretty good and pretty bad. The visual effects have certainly improved and they even look impressive here. There’s this one chase scene with a bus involved that reminds you of what this film should at least be, good popcorn entertainment. That aside, this movie doesn’t succeed at a lot of the stuff the first film did so well. The original film has this killer soundtrack that makes the film feel energetic and alive. The motorcycle chase in the original has this moment with this techno score and the scene is so damn cool. This movie on the other hand features the most predictable and disinteresting music that you’ve heard a million times before in the modern action film. The original film also had this vibrant cinematography that made the film visually pleasing. The movie has these action scenes at night that were so fast paced and so beautiful looking in terms of how they presented the city of Los Angeles. Genisys instead features a lot of slow, uninventive action scenes that look dull and lifeless. Partially this is due to the worthless 3D, a gimmick used here that you eventually forget is even there. The Terminator is a classic because of how different and original it was in its technical aspects but Genisys feels less inspired by the original and more inspired by a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of the visuals of a film inspired by the original film.

As I said at the start of this review, this film at least deserves some credit for getting a few things right and making the film at least not unwatchable. First off, as empty as the film ends up being, it never felt boring. I never felt the need to look at my watch and the movie remains at least mildly engaging throughout. As I mentioned, the visual effects are solid and for as stock as some of the actions scenes are, there are a few that mildly work. The movie also features two pretty good smaller parts with the guardian robot and a detective played by J.K. Simmons. Bringing Schwarzenegger back was a good idea that paid off and he definitely has the most likable and entertaining character of the film. He has some really funny moments and the few moments of humanity and heart in this movie are thanks of him. J.K. Simmons also deserves credit for making a character that would’ve made this film way more tolerable if he was the main character. In the 80’s, the character of Simmons was this cop who ends up getting saved by Kyle from getting killed by a robot. In 2017, he’s this detective who helps the leads out and believes in their story when they’re arrested. Simmons as always is good and the small storyline this guy was given was way more interesting that most of the main storyline with Genisys and the robots.

There’s a lot about this movie that is bad and in a summer that appears to have some pretty great films so far, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to check this one out. The leads, the action scenes and the storyline are all forgettable for as “big” as they attempt to be. The best I can say about the film is that it’s harmless. It goes through one ear and out the other and it doesn’t even leave an ugly taste afterwards. Some of the parts are decent enough and Schwarzenegger actually goes a long way in helping this film out but at the end of the day this is still a very mediocre and average movie. This is a mindless summer action flick, nothing more and nothing less.


Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 7/1/2015

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Matt Smith, Byung-Hun Lee and J.K. Simmons

Directed by: Alan Taylor

Screenplay by: Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier

Terminator Genisys (2015)*


Title: Terminator Genisys (aka. Terminator Genisys: An IMAX 3D Experience and Terminator Genisys 3D)
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Written by: Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Matt Smith, Byung-Hun Lee and JK Simmons
Release Date: 7/1/2015
Running Time: 125 minutes

Official Site

John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.

What did you think of this film?

During Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: during the credits


After Credits? No

Is this stinger worth waiting around for? Vote DownVote Up (+68 rating, 128 votes)

Dedication/In Memoriam: Dedicated to Cecilia Ponti. In Loving Memory of Christie and J.T.

Special thanks to David for this submission

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Better Angels, The (2014)


TITLE: The Better Angels

RELEASE DATE: 11/7/2014


The story of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood in the harsh wilderness of Indiana and the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him for ever and the two women who guided him to immortality.

What did you think of this film?



During Credits? No

After Credits? No

Dedication: For Darling, thank you.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review – 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes leaves off many years after the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Most people have been killed off after a deadly virus and the only people still alive are those who were immune. The civilization of the apes on the other hand has taken off and they have been building a new era. Caesar (the main ape from the first movie) is now the leader of the civilization of the apes and must do what best for everyone. After the two groups meet up, crueler members of the apes try to conquer the people and a battle occurs.


Rise of the Planet of the Apes was an entertaining movie as I last remember it. I thought the acting was impressive especially from John Lithgow and I was on board with Andy Serkis receiving an academy award nomination for his CGI work as Caesar. The animal arc was definitely more interesting than the human arc but I still thought it was a fun blockbuster that had more brains than the average action movie.

With the first movie, it had this huge sense of revolution. This isn’t something against it but the film had very little thought for the future of the apes and mainly aimed at giving you the start of something different in our world. By the end of the first movie, the people are about to unleash the virus that will kill them all and the apes are escaping into the forest. Characters are too worried about the present for them to consider any of the problems they could have in creating the politics and rules of their new world.

What I respect about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and what for me brings the film above average is how effectively the apes are presented as the villain of this story. The apes in this movie have gotten over the rush of the first movie and now Caesar has to make decisions that will affect the lives of his citizens. Throughout the movie, you get to see the laws he created fall apart and we watch as the civilization he has created becomes open to corruption and savageness (everything Caesar rebelled against in the first place). Many could see this film as your average Romeo and Juliet story about two opposite learning to get along but this movie goes far beyond that mostly because of what the movie does after the 2nd half. The apes are the clear ones who are evil and violent in this movie; they come dangerously close to killing all of the humans by the end. Caesar must come to terms with his flawed system which he created and it is up to him to accept the consequences for its failure.

The themes of the movie are ultimately rather bleak and there is no happy ending where everyone gets along. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t feature simple answers for evil like other blockbusters where villains create destruction for the sake of needing an antagonist. Evil and corruption is something that exists in all species and it is rarely in black and white. All terrible acts are brought out of good intentions. In this case, the antagonist Koba does the sadistic things that he does because of torture he received from lab experimentation. The apes of the huge army Koba forms to imprison the humans only do what they do out of protection for their family and for themselves. In this way, there are aspects of this that have led to acts of horror throughout all of human history. Mob mentality can kick in for anyone as is seen by the final acts here. The core theme for the movie is that every system is imperfect and can make way for terrible events. Dawn offers audiences the rare chance this summer to understand the motives of the villains all while being horrified by their grotesque actions at the same time.


The buzz of the visual effects from back when they were new and groundbreaking has died off and there seems to be less of a campaign to see Andy Serkis get a nomination for playing Caesar this time around. Nonetheless, the visual effects are still quite ambitious and Andy Serkis continues to give a very emotional performance even if it isn’t as breathtaking and new as when he was playing Caesar in Rise. If there is one actor who deserves credits in this area it is Toby Kebbell who played the villain Koba. The great cgi and the intensity that he used to bring to life the character made for easily one of the most memorable and unnerving villains so far this year. From the facial expressions alone, you got this portrayal of a completely ugly sadist, yet one who you can understand where they come from at the same time. This has little to do with the actor but the shot of Koba with the gun pointed towards the camera makes for an unforgettable image of hate and violence that sums up the storyline. The apocalyptic world itself seems interesting and it’s realistic enough for the setting the movie is trying to create. The great visual effects are made even better from excellent cgi performances.

There is one large error in the film and that is the representation of the people. In the previous movie, it felt like they at least tried to make the human characters interesting even if they were second to the apes. In this movie, they don’t make any effort to make the humans at all compelling. They play to the main point of the story but none of the people featured could carry the film on their own. Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Kodi Smit-McPhee are all capable actors who I’ve seen give great performances but in this movie there stranded because of how bland and two dimensional there characters are. They also tried to throw in a human antagonist with Gary Oldman as the bitter leader of the human community but that storyline felt thrown in and it had no place in the overall concept despite Oldman being really solid throughout. I understand that the apes are the most important area but I think the theme of the movie would’ve been even more successful if they added more depth to humans in this movie and not just made them plot devices.

The humans are really bad in this movie but if you can get beyond that, the areas with the apes makes for a compelling sit. I was impressed with how successfully bleak and gritty this movie was and it was nice to see a summer blockbuster that was focused on heavy ideas rather than brainless action and forced comedic relief. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes genuinely surprised me in what it chose to tackle and how it presented the troubles a new system can face.


Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 4/4/2014

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell and Kodi Smit-McPhee

Directed by: Matt Reeves

Written by: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver

Swerve (2011)


TITLE: Swerve

RELEASE DATE: 12/6/2013


Colin happens upon a road accident where he finds a dead man, a beautiful woman, and a suitcase full of money. After trying to do the right thing he soon finds himself caught up in a dangerous scheme.

What did you think of this film?

Official Site



During Credits? No

After Credits? No

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