Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)


The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM) was never meant to be a horror movie. Director Tobe Hooper was actually aiming for it to be a dark comedy movie with very little elements of horror, as I stated in my review of the original. Keen eyes will spot humor in the original, albeit very dark, but still humor. Now, I've been known to give TCM's sequels a lot of slack, but I always maintained the fact that part 2 is very watchable. Released in 1986 under the direction of original director Tobe Hooper and starring Dennis Hopper (I know), as well Jim Siedow, who's the only returning character from the original; he reprised his role as Drayton Sawyer. Siedow excelled in this movie.

Anyway
Reviewing this movie is an absolute nightmare, because its status changes depending on the perspective I approach it with. If I look at it as a sequel to the original, it's absolutely horrible, a true shitshow. But, if I look at it as a standalone movie, it's actually pretty fun to watch, but not worthy of the TCM title. So we're at a crossroad here, how would I approach it? Both ways, this is gonna be a first for this blog, I'll approach it first as a sequel, then as standalone film. 

AS A SEQUEL TO THE ORIGINAL:

If I could do a seven word review of this film, it'll look something like this: TOTAL PIECE OF SHIT DON'T WATCH IT. But I don't roll like that, we're not fucking animals, we live in a society. It's sad to think that Tobe Hooper's vision of the original looked something like what we got in this film, thank god for budget cuts. The silent, gritty, morbid feeling of the original is completely destroyed and replaced with dancing corpses, an actual soundtrack, and a total butchery of Leatherface's character. 

What were they thinking? TCM is not supposed to be bright lights and music, it's not supposed to be Leatherface doing that stupid dance of his and dry humping a disk jockey. Whatever happened to the seriousness of the previous film? They could've done so much with a budget of $5 million, but for some reason Hooper wanted to build up on his original concept of a dark comedy. Haven't you heard of happy accidents? Not the ones that come after 9 months, but like vulcanized rubber? Seriously, this guy had a powerhouse in his hands. It would've been nice to have seen a direct sequel to the movie, as the ending of the original was kinda vague. That would've been cool, only that came to us 39 years later in the form of Texas Chainsaw 3D. Serendipity dude, serendipity. 

D...Uh?
The fact of the matter is, Hooper wanted to expanded on subtleties found in the first movie. Leatherface, who's mentally impaired in the first movie, went full retard in this one, and everyone knows you can never go full retard. The dark humor and uncomfortable setting were still present in part 2, but they were super evident and felt kinda forced down the viewers throat. Like "HEY YOU MISSED THIS IN THE FIRST FILM? WELL LET ME MAKE IT SUPER OBVIOUS FOR YOU BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I WAS AIMING FOR!". Subtlety was not so high on Hooper's list in this movie, it seemed like he was trying to change the idea that the viewers had of the original. A child can watch this movie, really, a child.

Finally, what was Dennis Hopper thinking? YOU WERE IN EASY RIDER, MAN, COME ON!!! 

In case you couldn't figure out that he was an
absolute idiot, we gave him a funny looking
face to help you.

AS A STAND ALONE MOVIE: 

I really appreciate dark comedy. It's bold, ballsy, and doesn't give a crap about anyone or anything. TCM 2 does not lack that, it is one of the best comedies I've ever seen. Once you get over the fact that it's categorized as a horror flick, and start accepting it for its comedic value, you'll be in for a treat. I used to loathe it, I was ashamed of owning it, but that all changed. It is hard to to have multiple mindsets when watching a movie, and usually first impression is the best impression, but of course that's not always the case. For a long time I've hated many movies (and bands), but in time I started appreciating them, a good example being Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. 

This film is somewhat a parody film, like scary movie. It was released in 1986, and it obviously parodies the excess that was associated with the 80's. The original poster of the film hilariously mocks The Breakfast Club's poster. The whole movie was the definition of excess, with over the top characters, stunts, music, and gore. I really enjoyed that because who doesn't love a good parody film.


The man who stole the show, without a doubt, was Bill Moseley as Leatherface's brother, Chop Top. That guy is one of my all time favorite characters in any movie, he did a great job carrying the film. A severely wounded Vietnam War veteran turned major hippie. We first see Chop Top at the radio station talking to Stretch, putting in a request for a song and talking about how he is a "far out fan". Moseley perfected the role, Chop Top (in this film) was more of an icon in that film than Leatherface. A maniac who gleefully murders his victims and listens to Iron Butterfly, far out man!


The final battle scene between Lefty and Leatherface was nothing short of epic. Two guys battling it out with chainsaws and grenades, how can anyone hate that? TCM 2 is a pure gore-fest, and although I've been known to have my reservations on gorey movies, it's good to appreciate a good gore-fest from time to time. I only hate gore-fests when they're used in a context to scare people, because it's really not creative and quite boring, but that wasn't the case with this movie.

To conclude, from whatever perspective you chose to watch this movie with, you will find a way to appreciate it. TCM 2 is a really good movie in it's own right, just don't put it side by side with the original. It is a classic midnight popcorn flick that's worth watching and won't really ruin your night, so long as you ignore Leatherface's stupid dance. But beware, I was a lenient on this film because it started to grow on me, the movies that came after it though, total fucking horseshit. I will not even attempt to review the atrocities that came after it, because they're exactly what I said they were, atrocities.


"Can you play Inna Gadda Da Vida?"

Ahmed J, Almatrook 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)


Let's talk horror shall we, or rather, let's discuss the declining history of horror movies in general. Back in the 1910's and 20's, the first horror flicks came from Germany. German expressionist films they were called and produced classics like F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu and Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari. Not to mention The Phantom of the Opera, the silent classic. Then came the 30's and 40's, dominated by the Universal Studios monster films such as Dracula and Frankenstein. The 50's saw Christopher Lee command the screens in with his portrayal of Dracula in the Hammer Horror Films. Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was synonymous with the 60's horror scene and it's often considered to be one of the first movies in the slasher genre. Let's not forget to mention Romero's Night of The Living Dead, the grandaddy of modern zombie movies.

The 70's was the best time for horror movies, the world saw a slew of fresh and frightening releases like The Exorcist, The Omen, Audrey Rose, and The Sentinel. Movies that dealt with the supernatural were a big hit in the 70's, which also seems to be the trend nowadays. The 80's of course produced some of the greatest slasher flicks out there like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare On Elm Street. This renewed interest in the slasher genre seeped into the 90's with sequels to the aforementioned movies. But they were nowhere near as good as the originals, the 90's and 2000's were dark days for horror genre. With the exception of Silence of the Lambs and The Blair Witch Project, every horror movie made in the last 20 years was pure butchery of the genre.

Horror movies have been reduced to nothing but gore fests, jump scares, and paranormal entities. The charm that classics like The Shining and Rosemary's Baby faded away. Horror movies aren't as well thought out as they used to be, and the biggest evidence of this is the amount of remakes and reboots being released. Horror movies are like Heavy Metal, not given nearly as much respect as they deserve, thrived in the 70's and 80's, but became a parody of what they used to be in recent days.

Anyway
More often than not, whenever I mention The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM) to anyone, they always say they've watched the 2003 version, no one ever mentions the 1974 one, That's very sad, because to me, that movie is the quintessential horror flick, the movie that revitalized the slasher genre and never looked back. Released in 1974 and directed by Tobe Hooper, TCM is about a group of young adults travelling through Texas, when their van runs out of gas, they venture into the desert, not knowing what awaits them inside the lonesome house in the distance.

It's quite ironic that despite the name, the movie isn't a gore fest whatsoever, in fact there isn't much blood at all. Come to think of it, there isn't any music either, nothing to extenuate the fright factor in the movie. Nor was it as complex as other horror films at the time, quite hilariously, director Tobe Hooper was hoping to get a PG-13 rating because he approached it as a black comedy rather than a horror flick. But what really made TCM stand out were its shortcomings. The budget, the grainy camera work, and the difficulty during production all contributed to the charm this movie possessed. I mean how can you argue with a movie that starts off like this...


What makes TCM so special is the fact that it deals with the evil that dwells within the human mind, like Psycho, it is based on the story of the real life serial killer Ed Gein. It's frightening to know that the events in the movie could happen in real life, and they have happened. This is real, real life, not some Paranormal Activity moving chairs bullshit, people like this exist. Shot primarily in Texas, location played a huge role adding depth to the movie. Think about it, this arid landscape in the middle of Texas, with no one to help you and, dare I say, no one to hear you scream. The landscape adds a dryness to the whole experience, sort of like an itchy throat.  The location had me feeling uneasy and uncomfortable, not in a "oh this is disturbing" way, but rather like being in a sauna and wearing heavy winter gear. Location, location, location people.

The whole dryness of the movie is made more obvious by the raw and gritty camera work and use of very bright lights. The farmhouse in which the Sawyer family lived in was "decorated" with real animal bones and REAL blood. The chainsaw that Leatherface uses is real, and no special effects were applied when he moved it terrifyingly close to the face of one of the actors, it was all real. In the scene where Sally was "feeding" grandpa, they had to cut the actresses' index finger with a razor blade to get the blood flowing. The modest budget of the movie forced the production team to go to these extremes, and when production ended, most of the actors were physically injured.

Without an ounce of doubt, the star of TCM was, and always will be, Leatherface. The big baby, the retarded butcher, the pseudo cross-dresser. Leatherface, the man with a thousand faces (literally), is not only physically terrifying, but also an ambassador of sadism. He peels the skin off of his victims and uses it to make masks to cover his face with, if he only pursued a career in plastic surgery. His primary objective is to kill stranded victims who stumble into his house and slaughter them in order to feed his cannibalistic family. Leatherface is a true icon of horror, although he has appeared in all the sequels and remakes, none of the portrayals are anywhere near as good as Gunnar Hansen's "original" Leatherface.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre exploded into a huge franchise, with comics, action figures, remakes, and sequels. None of the later films were even close to possessing the charm of the original. In Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Leatherface has an entirely new family who's involved with aliens and the Illuminati, and they eat pizza instead of humans, WHAT THE FUCK. The original was raw, macabre, and bizarre, but the movies that followed were and absolute joke. It is a well known fact that horror movie sequels are almost never as good as the originals, but I have never seen a franchise so scarred by its sequels as much as TCM. The original is a masterpiece and a groundbreaking addition to the genre, it is my all time favorite horror movie, and for good reason. It took the low budget feel of B-Movies at the time and added some dark (very dark) humor, gritty realism, fucked up characters, and combined it all into one movie; a pure powerhouse combo.


To finish off, TCM is just fantastic, whether you're a horror movie fan or have a real fucked up sense of humor, this one's for you. To enhance your experience, try watching it in the hours of 1PM to 4PM, yeah it's not really a midnight movie in my opinion. Dark room in the afternoon is optimal. As for its sequels, the only "worthy" one would be TCM 2, although it was horrible by every meaning of the word, it did introduce us to one of the best characters ever shown in a movie, We will take an in depth look at TCM 2 soon enough, stick around for that.

"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

Ahmed J. Almatrook 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Schindler's List (1993)

I have seen them all, the best and the worst. From Citizen Kane to Interstellar and from that god awful movie The Notebook to Batman and Robin, I've seen movies in their most alluring and most hideous forms. There's no denying how much of a role movies play in our everyday lives, like music, they appeal to our emotions and continue to dazzle us with visual (auditory in music's case) and artistic creativity. There's a certain rank of movies, a certain echelon, that will instill themselves into your mind forever. Sometimes, one movie can change the way you look at motion pictures as a whole, in my case, that movie was Schindler's List.

It was 12 AM, I was wide awake (as usual), bored out of my head. I looked over to my DVD shelf and started scanning for a movie to watch. I had already watched Apocalypse Now (again) the night before, so the standard had already been set. Would you really wanna follow up Apocalypse Now with 500 Days of Summer? I don't think so. So I looked into the third row of my shelf, there, to the far right (ironic?) I saw it, Schindler's List. I picked it up and looked at the run time, 197 minutes! But I said "What the hell, I'll watch half now and half later", boy was I wrong.

Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Liam Neeson (Oskar Schindler), Ralph Fiennes (Amon Goth), and Ben Kingsley (Itzhak Stern), the story is set in World War II Nazi Poland, it tells us about a time in the life of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi spy turned Businessman. He builds an enamelware factory in the recently invaded city of Krakow in Poland, hiring mainly Polish Jews in his factory, because they cost less, which meant more profit for him. However, it becomes increasingly difficult for Schindler to keep his workers due to the fact that the Nazis were getting murdering more and more Jews in their concentration camps.

Schindler's List was shot in black and white, along with Spielberg's documentary-esque style of shooting, it really gave an accurate and grim feeling of WWII Nazi controlled Poland. It gives you a real sense of how life was like back then, morbid and terrifying, no color whatsoever. The girl in the red coat was the only color that the viewer and Schindler could see, which, although minor, was a very significant element in the movie. At first she is seen by Schindler running during the liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto by the Nazis, she's then seen dead by Schindler again during the mass burning of the victims of the concentration camps (later in the movie). Let's explore that shall we? Everyone's interpretation of the color red is different, but here's mine. Red is the color of extremes, when Schindler first sees the girl, it shows that he's in awe, yet he doesn't comment and is unfazed by it. It is only when he sees her for the second time, dead in a wheelbarrow, he realizes that he should rethink his motives and his ideology.

Liam Neeson was nothing short of brilliant in his portrayal of Oskar Schindler. It might've been one of the best portrayals I've ever seen in a movie. We see Schindler grow from a party loving womanizer to a sympathetic soul in such great detail it blew me to next week. A charismatic man who influenced and charmed everyone around him, including the most ruthless of Nazi officers. At first, I saw a leech, motivated by profit. Little did I know that he would gradually develop into an exceptional individual who would go out of his way to save those less fortunate than him, a humanitarian by every meaning of the word.

Ralph Fiennes' portrayal of Untersturmfuhrer Amon Goth was also quite exceptional. Fiennes did a really good job in helping the viewer explore the character of Goth, the ruthless Nazi officer in charge of the Plaszow concentration camp. A sadistic killer with no regard for human life. Goth, in my opinion, provided some form of comedic relief for me, I don't know whether it was because of the accent or the fact that he wanted to grow old with his domestic helper. For me, Goth personified the savage nature of human beings, he broke every boundary without any remorse. Goth was Nazi Germany.


Itzhak Stern was another admirable character, although at first he seems quite unpleased about working with Schindler, he becomes more and more determined to employ Jews into the factory. As the film progresses, Schindler starts to really care for Stern, and although Stern was cold at first, they eventually become friends. The on screen chemistry between Neeson and Kingsley was fantastic. The complex character development was a distinguishing factor, so many characters were well developed, and none of them felt insignificant. I greatly appreciated that.


The film was shot on location is Krakow, Poland and sets were built to depict the Plaszow and Auschwitz concentration camps. Again, Spielberg's documentary style filming contributed enormously to bringing the sets to life. The 15 minute sequence of the liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto has to be one of the most terrifying and brutal action sequences ever seen on film. It felt real, almost like I was there, witnessing the whole event, it's like someone dug up some found footage and put it in the movie. The music was composed by John Williams and the main theme features violinist Itzhak Perlman, who did a great job in capturing the film's depressing undertone. One piece of music which I particularly appreciated in the film was Gloomy Sunday a.k.a The Hungarian Suicide Song, which is as murky as crows resting on a telephone pole, it really added depth to the atmosphere of the whole film.

Schindler's List is a film that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. Once you start watching you cannot stop, it sucks you in and doesn't let go until the credits start rolling. I genuinely have nothing negative to say about it, it's as close to perfection as it gets. A modern masterpiece that reminded me why I loved movies in the first place. Culturally and historically significant, it not only taps into the horrors and atrocities of WWII, it shows us that determination, strength, and honor are all but lost. I wept at the end, it was that emotional for me. It was the most complete, most well directed and acted movie I've seen in a long time. I'm not even gonna complain about the run time (197 mins) because I was so absorbed into the movie that I forgot about time itself, it's that fucking good. Definitely one of the movies you have to watch right now, drop everything and watch it, I promise you nothing but severe emotions and warmth on the inside.

"Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."

Ahmed J. Almatrook

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Metropolis Revisited


I'm baaaack! Yeah I know it's been a while, what can I say? College life is merciless. Anyways, I've been holding off this review for a while now, and although I haven't (re)watched Metropolis in over a year now ( I make it a point to watch it a several times a year), I can remember every detail of it. Because apparently, learning about Turbines and Aerofoils didn't override memory of this masterpiece.

Now, let's get a few things out of the way. First, I've been absent from the movie reviewing scene for a while mainly because of college, so sorry for not being as active as I used to be ( I was on my gap year back then, of course I'd be active). Second, I know that I've reviewed Metropolis already, about two years ago (damn.), all you old school fans know this. So why am I reviewing it again? Because the version I reviewed was the Giorgio Moroder version, which had a few nice colors added in as well as a modern soundtrack. At that time, I haven't seen the "complete" version of Metropolis along with the original soundtrack. I believe it is time to review the "real" thing. Lastly, do look forward to more movie reviews, I've got a pretty long break from college and I believe that now's the time to do what I do best. Just felt like I owed you fans that explanation.

Anyway
Ah Metropolis, what can I say? It has a soft spot in my heart (not many movies earn that privilege), a masterpiece that sparked a cinematic revolution. Every Sci-Fi movie ever made is indebted to Metropolis. Had it not been for Fritz Lang, Sci- Fi wouldn't be the way it is today, or maybe, just maybe; not have existed at all (total exaggeration, because Murphy's Law). Set in the futuristic dystopian city of Metropolis, it tells the story of Freder (Gustav Frohlich), the son of the city's ruler, in his attempt to uncover the secrets of the city after seeing Maria (Brigitte Helm) giving a tour to a bunch of children showing them the lifestyle of the rich and wealthy who live above. Freder of course oblivious to the fact that the city is kept "alive" by workers who dwell in the bowels.

Talk about an "orderly fashion"
For me, the story is pretty basic, strip it off of it's futuristic look and effects, and you got yourself a pretty standard romantic movie (which as you may or may not know, I loathe). BUT, Metropolis' selling point is definitely not it's story. First and foremost, let's talk acting. One of the main reasons why I really take interest in silent movies is because the cast have a very tough job conveying emotions using expressions and body language. It is well known that if you wanna judge the performance of an actor/actress, try checking if they've done any silent movies. And the cast here weren't short of spectacular. Brigitte Helm gave an exceptional performance doubling as Maria and the Maschinenmensch (I totally did not copy and paste that), in fact her performance was so good, I had a hard time convincing myself that that wasn't done by two different actresses.

Breaking the fourth wall with that wink? 

Another factor that sets Metropolis apart is its set design. Bearing in mind that this movie was released in 1927, the set design is just phenomenal, attention to detail was overwhelming, and the sets really gave the movie a futuristic edge. From the Son's club to the Tower of Babel to Yoshiwara, right down to the worker's city, it is all bloody fantastic. The special effects were fucking brilliant, for a movie made in 1927, I must say that the special effects can compete with any modern movie out there. Everything was so convincing, and the fact that they accomplished this in 1927! Just watch out for the scene when the Maschinenmensch  transforms into evil Maria (One of my personal favorite scenes).

Let's take a second to talk about the Maschinenmensch, which by the way is the first robot ever shown on the big screen (where do you think C-3PO takes it's inspiration from?). With it's tantalizing splendor and beautifully scary expressionless face, the robot was definitely the star player in Metropolis, but it came to be with a bit of hardship. Apparently, the robot isn't made of metal, but rather of plastic wood, a new material at the time. it was molded to fit Brigitte Helm's body, but the mold was taken whilst she was standing up (very...clever), so it was very difficult for her to shoot whilst sitting down; this resulted in Helm getting cuts and bruises from wearing the robot suit. Moreover, the scene where Rotwang the Inventor introduces the robot to Joh Fredersen took 9 DAYS to shoot! But, was it worth it? Fuck yes.

I believe Rotwang was a Satanist
The score of the movie is played by an orchestra and they did a fantastic job highlighting the highs and the lows of the film, although a bit repetitive, the score was definitely the movie's backbone. A modern soundtrack was featured in the Moroder version of Metropolis, although I'm not a huge fan, it does put the film in a bit of a different perspective. What more can I say, a masterpiece in any way you look at it, Metropolis is the grandaddy of Sci-Fi, and fans all around world should be thankful to Fritz Lang for bringing us this magnum opus. Every time I watch it I notice something new, and I've watched it many times...many..times. But each time it inspires me and teaches me more about film making. For me, Metropolis is a "comfort movie", I can spend all day talking about it and its references, but I've yet to find someone to discuss it with, probably because everyone else lost interest. And that's a huge problem, moviegoers in Bahrain do not want to delve into the world of classic masterpieces, all they want is an action packed superhero movie (what has changed, eh?). But then again, I can't change the trend alone, so help me...please (ambitious as fuck).

It's a silent movie there are no quotes...

Ahmed J. Almatrook 

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Straight Outta Compton (2015)


I've never once expected that Straight Outta Compton (let's call it SOC) would be the movie that I would go out of my way to watch. I mean to be honest, I wasn't really anticipating it, I didn't even know about it until I watched the trailer on YouTube. All of a sudden I find myself getting so excited about this flick, I couldn't wait for it to be released in Bahrain...oh wait. Of course Cineco will not release the movie, what was I thinking, they just stick to releasing shitty, generic, boring, piece of shit hour and a half movies. It's not a "explicit" movie you know, in fact it's not as explicit as I thought it would be, it's certainly not as explicit as The Wolf Of Wall Street, which Cineco gladly released (even though they cut a whole HOUR from the film). But nooo, SOC is apparently two scenes away from being a porno in their eyes (sarcasm), so they're not gonna release the cut version, they're not gonna release the movie at all...get your shit together Cineco.

Alright, now that we've got that out of the way, let's shift our focus to the movie. What can I say, I'm blown away, I mean the movie was near flawless. The acting was spot on man, the chemistry that they had was so strong and so real, my monitor almost corroded (hahaha...anyone...anyone?). It was like they were born for these roles, they were just so convincing, you'd forget that they were actors. And that's the beauty of this movie, the dialogue is natural, it's free flowing, and the whole vibe of the film just seemed so real. But the man that shined, the man that took it one step above the others, the man that was like a reincarnation of his character.....JASON MITCHELL. Yep that's the guy who played Eazy-E, don't get me wrong, all the actors did a brilliant job, but this guy took it to another level. He was so into his character, just driven to make his performance as real as possible, and he hit it out of the park. Oh and O'Shea Jackson Jr. (that's Ice Cube's son) resembles his dad in his younger years so much, it would've been taboo to bring in another actor.


The movie is a thrill ride man, like I was really enjoying it, and that does not happen to me with a lot of movies. I was immersed, that's the beauty of it, that's when you know that you got a good film in your hands. Oh and the concert scenes, damn those were really good, I was just singing along with every song (oh that rhymed). There's one thing that I really appreciate about this movie, that it sort of rekindled the fire in me. I wasn't always all heavy metal, I used to listen to rap believe it or not, yeah then came heavy metal and that changed everything. But I always had respect for rap music because in a way, it's similar to heavy metal, very similar in fact. All this excitement with the movie and stuff, I went back to listening to rap (of course I didn't abandon Heavy Metal...no way in hell), and it's just been really good. Old school rap, really angry, straightforward, social commentary. Like Ice Cube said "Our art is a reflection of our reality". And just like how it rekindled the fire in me, I hope the next the generation will start listening to old school rap, and abandon this mainstream bullshit that everyone else is listening to.

The resemblance is scary 
There's so little movies nowadays that really send a message. SOC is a biopic no doubt, but it does have a relevancy to today's events. That's what I liked about it, it could've been just some biopic, but it didn't, It showed that life in some communities now is not so different from back then. It really captures the impact that N.W.A had back when they released their first album. It showcased their bravery for releasing that album, with the boldest track ever, in times when African Americans were (quite honestly) being hunted down. This was not a group motivated by money, or luxury or whatever, they just wanted to express things like they were, no sugarcoating. SOC brings a whole new perspective on N.W.A's music, which was thought to have been nothing but a bunch of tracks glorifying gang violence and what not. Also, a lot of people say that their "beef" wasn't highlighted in the movie, now I'm not gonna go around and explain the beef to you guys, look it up, its pretty interesting. But let me say this, the beef seemed personal, but at it's core it was all business, and the main reason N.W.A were planning a reunion was because they realized that. One thing though, I loved how they made Suge Knight look bad, because that man is horrible, I really believe that he was behind the murder of Eazy, Biggie, and Pac. Speaking of Pac, yeah he has a cameo and it's pretty cool as well. There are a lot of cameos in this film, I really liked Snoop's cameo, especially when he started singing the lyrics to "Nuthin But a G thang", thought that was pretty cool.

*SPOILERS*So obviously at the end, Eazy dies (technically that's not a spoiler) and oh my god towards the end the movie got really emotional. It really highlighted the beauty of the bond that these guys had, they were brothers. It was really sad to see that just when things were getting better, Eazy finds out that he's dying.*SPOILERS END HERE* I won't lie, it brought a tear to my eye (another rhyme...hmm), perfect ending to a perfect movie, what more could you ask for?

Legend
So overall, definitely worth watching, in a cinema if you could. I didn't have that privilege because....ugh don't even get me started, so I had to watched a cheap filmed version, meh it was okay I guess. Definitely my favorite movie so far this year, I say that cause we still got Star Wars, and definitely an Oscar contender. I would be really pissed off if it didn't win anything, because it deserves to win. So go ahead and watch it, you know my recommendations are good.

" Crusin' down the street in ma Six Fo' "

Ahmed J. Almatrook 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Watchmen (2009)


 With the amount of superhero movies being released these days, I'm noticing a certain dilution of the charm that the superhero genre has. And to be honest, superhero movies nowadays seem very repetitive. I've heard about Watchmen since the day it came out, but I never paid much attention to it because I wasn't really a movie nut back in those days and to be very honest, my taste in movies wasn't so refined. So when I came by it in Virgin Megastore Dubai, I finally realized that it's about time I checked it out. Plus the price was unbelievable, so that's a win-win right there. Once I got back from Dubai, I popped that sucker into the DVD and watched the hell out of it.

You know something, it's always a pleasure when you watch a movie and then it suddenly becomes one of your all time favorites, that is actually a great feeling. I think it's the shock that got to me, you have to understand that I had no interest in this movie at all, but once I watched, holy shit; it was all that I was talking about. So the story is about the "Watchmen", a group of superheroes who come out of a retirement to uncover a plot that can not only kill them, but humanity as a whole. The movie is set in an alternate 1985 at the height of the Cold War.

I think a very strong point that Watchmen has is the fact that a lot of people like it because it is not your conventional superhero film. I honestly haven't heard anyone say anything bad about it, because truth be told, people are bored of the same old "I will start strong, then have a weakness in the middle, yet i'll still finish off on a very high note" typical superhero bullshit, they wanna see something different. And that's exactly what Watchmen gives them, something different.

I have honestly never seen such brilliant character development in a superhero flick like I've seen in Watchmen. You get to know each superhero, they don't miss out on the details, and believe me it's not an easy job to develop a one character in a movie, let alone six! Let's talk about the characters now, I think that we can all agree that Jackie Earl Haley's performance as Rorschach was captivating as hell. So captivating in fact that he's now my second favorite superhero (behind Batman), I mean he stole the show, he was just born to play Rorschach. Although Rorschach was a fucking star, In my opinion, the character that I really appreciated was The Comedian. *SPOILER ALERT* Although he dies in the beginning, The Comedian made as much of an impact (if not more) to the movie as the others did.*SPOILERS END HERE* To me, The Comedian was very symbolic in a sense that he was a character that represented mankind's primal and savage nature. He was, in all honesty, one of the most sincere characters I've ever seen in any movie. He doesn't sugarcoat it, he gives it you straight.



The soundtrack of the movie was just too good, I mean you know you're in for a treat when the opening credits play "The Times They Are A' Changin'" by Bob Dylan. Let me get one thing straight, Watchmen is not a kid's movie, got that? Nope, it's not Iron man, not Thor, not the Incredible fucking Hulk; you do not wanna show this movie to children. Because the movie is very gory (no problem with me), which is also something you don't see in many hero flicks. Also, the ending of the movie made me weep, I don't wanna spoil it for you but you gotta watch it to understand why it did that, especially towards the last 20 minutes or so. And I mean any movie that fucks with your emotions tends to be a very good movie (unless you go full on rage on that shit, then that's a different case). I think the only complaint that I have is the fact that the lighting isn't very good, I found the movie to be quite dark at times, and sometimes I couldn't even see anything. and I'm a perfect 20/20!

In conclusion, Watchmen is a blast from start to finish. I highly recommend it if you're a superhero movie fan or if you just appreciate good movies. It's really unique and I haven't seen anything like it. All in all, it's just a real treat and I would pop that sucker into the DVD any day.

Legend

"Never compromise, not even in the face of Armageddon."

Ahmed J. Almatrook 

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Interstellar (2014)


Being the moviegoer that I am, I was quite disappointed that I didn't catch Interstellar when it first came out. But alas, I caught it today, just before our oh so perfect cinema company (Cineco) removed it from its theaters. And let me tell you, I was mentally prepared to wait three months until it's released on Blu-Ray so I could get the chance to watch it, but today's plan was delightfully spontaneous. The story is about a team of astronauts who discover a wormhole in space (obviously) that connects them to potentially inhabitable planets in another galaxy, they have to make the journey because planet earth is basically dead. It sounds cliche, but trust me it's not, the movie is incredible.

I just wanna say that one thing before I get into the review. Watching the movie in theater was amazing, but I swear to god I had half a mind to go and choke the shit out of four 13 year olds that were sitting in the row in front of me. If any of you dumbasses are reading this, know that you were a nuisance to everyone in the cinema, and not every movie that has a picture of an astronaut is necessarily gonna be some Call of Duty type of bullshit that you guys worship. And the fact that you left the theater halfway through the movie was a sigh of relief. So please, you're kids, go watch a cartoon or something.

Aaaaaanyways, back to the movie. I've noticed that in space themed movies are actually booming these days, like Gravity and Interstellar. I mean if the quality of these movies are an indication of things to come, sign me up, cause its already looking very promising. There is no doubt that Mathew McConaughey was a goddamn star in this film, I mean he's always been one of my favorites, he caught my attention in A Time to Kill, won my heart in Dallas Buyers Club, and engraved his name on my top actors list with his performance in Interstellar. In fact, all the actors were brilliant, it's actually fascinating to see so much talent in one movie...like even Anne Hathaway was good. It's like they gave their best performances in Interstellar and my god it was brilliant.

Bravo man, Bravo.

A visual masterpiece with a spine tingling soundtrack to go along with it. The soundtrack, composed by Hans Zimmer, was in my opinion, the backbone of the movie. I'm never one to pay attention to the soundtrack of films, but this was just perfection, it extenuated the highs and the lows and complemented the visuals beautifully. Now about the visuals, they were bloody beautiful man, my expectations were high, and let me tell you they ended up soaring in the heavens. Wow, all I kept saying to myself was WOW.

The film's plot is very smart. I mean different planets, yeah we have seen that before, but to go in depth with black holes and relativity? Now I personally have not seen that. And because I spend a lot of time watching shows about space and reading about it (Yes, I am a nerd), It was pleasant to understand all that scientific jargon that was being thrown around about black holes and trajectories and Einstein's theory of Relativity and what not. The plot has a lot of twists, expected and unexpected, I mean you'd expect that in a movie like this.

Moreover, the film is an emotional roller coaster man, and I'm not talking about no kiddie coaster, I'm talking heart attack inducing shit right here (just a tad exaggerated). I mean you get so attached to the characters because the character development in the film is just out of this world, you start to develop a bond with them, I know it seems bizarre but I speak the truth. I remember this one scene where Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) was crying cause he was watching video messages of his children and oh my god man I swear I was cracking up, goddamn!

GARGANTULA! 

Now the ending, I honestly didn't have trouble understanding what happened at the end, and to be honest most people won't have a problem IF they focus from the beginning, cause in the end everything will start to make sense. And the run time, now I'm a veteran when it comes to long run times (I watched the extended Lord of The Rings Trilogy in one sitting), and I was so immersed in the film that I didn't even feel like 2 hours and 50 minutes passed, that's how engaging it is.

All in all, Interstellar is a blast from start to finish. Christopher Nolan just proves time and time again that he's one of the top directors out there. A beautiful plot, with the most jaw dropping visuals and soundtrack, very decent character developments, and an ending that will get you thinking. Is it worth watching, fuck yes. You have to watch it, in fact if I could recommend any movie from the last five years it would be Interstellar, no joke.


Side note: I love how the movie showcased the four elements of nature: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. You will know what I'm talking about when you watch it.


"Mankind was born on earth, It was not meant to die here"

Ahmed Almatrook