A revenge mission doesn’t play well when you don’t care about who’s avenging what and why.
Christian Bale and Casey Affleck lead as the Baze brothers. Bale’s Russell is the older of the two and does his best to sustain a standup lifestyle, dedicated to his job at the local steel mill, his girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana), and his family. Affleck’s Rodney, on the other hand, opts to enlist in the army in hopes of finding something to live for outside of Braddock, Pennsylvania. However, after four tours in Iraq and only mental and physical scars to show for it, Rodney winds up back home competing as a bare-knuckle boxer to payoff his debts. When Rodney doesn’t return from a fight in Harlan DeGroat’s (Woody Harrelson) territory, Russell takes it upon himself to head up into the notorious Ramapo Mountains and bring his brother home.
Rather than kick things off by strolling through everyday life in Braddock, “Out of the Furnace” runs with a bleaker introduction, showing off the wrath of its antagonist. The choice to screen “Midnight Meat Train” is a little distracting, but the drive-in movie location is a novel and dynamic setting, that adds an extra layer to Harlan’s tantrum via bystanders’ reactions. Harlan’s behavior is vicious to the point of being disconcerting, but it does function as a highly effective opening hook.
Click here to read more.
“Star Trek Into Darkness” isn’t as effective as the first film overall, but there are so many exceptional set pieces within the whole that it packs more than enough momentum to pull through and deliver a riveting experience.
The film begins mid-mission with the crew of the Enterprise trying to keep a volcano from exploding, destroying an alien planet, and killing its inhabitants. When things go awry, Kirk (Chris Pine) makes some brash decisions and even though he gets his ship and crew out in one piece, Starfleet isn’t pleased that he disobeyed orders and Kirk is demoted. However, when a bomb is detonated in London and the Starfleet headquarters are attacked, Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) opts to reinstate Kirk so he can eradicate the enemy – John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch).
The film kicks off exceptionally well. The chase scene on Planet Nibiru is downright mesmerizing courtesy of the planet’s lush red plant life and eerily fascinating looking natives, and also because it involves an engaging and clear-cut mission. While there are loads more easy-to-follow, gorgeously shot mini tasks to come, there’s just so long the cycle can continue before you’ve had enough.
Click here to read more.
Avatar opened in midnight screenings early Friday, and fans leaving those screenings generally seemed to agree that the movie was worth the wait, the epic runtime and the massive budget.
One fan raved to MTV News after catching a midnight screening in New York City, saying, “The imagination that James Cameron brought about was well worth the 15 years that he put into it.”
Click here to read more and watch the interviews.