MOVIE REVIEW: THE RAVEN (James McTeigue, 2012)

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Whatever happened to John Cusack?

In this slow-moving and dreary movie, he played the famous author and poet Edgar Allan Poe, who in turn played a detective role similar to Sherlock Holmes. Sadly, Cusack lost all control of his emotions and gave his worst performance straight out of Nicolas Cage’s School of (Over)Acting.

The tedious story further pulled him down until viewers realized that they has been duped into seeing a pretentious thriller not too different from the Saw movies.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 31, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE IMITATION GAME (Morten Tyldum, 2014)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on The Imitation Game:

1. I just have this certain affinity to insufferable genius characters like Dr. Gregory House (House), Sherlock Holmes (Elementary), John Nash (A Beautiful Mind), or even Tony Stark (Iron Man). The more loathsome they get, the more I love them. You can now add Alan Turing to that list.

2. I absolutely abhor Math and any mention of binomials and factorials make my head spin faster than Michelle Kwan on ice. Props to all programmers around the world.

3. If ever they would choose a clip for the Oscars, I hope it’s the job interview of Alan. The excellent writing just sparkled in that scene.

4. To quote one character, “To pull off this irascible genius routine, one has to be a real genius.” The same can be said of Benedict Cumberbatch who was simply brilliant in this movie. He was great in 12 Years a Slave and August: Osage County but this was definitely his best performance to date.

5. I have a new catchphrase that will replace my favorite Miranda Priestley “By all means move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me” bitch quote: “It’s highly technical, you wouldn’t understand.” Boom panes!

6. I think I may be successful in breaking the Enigma code as well since I separate the food on my plate and usually by color. Everything goes together only in my stomach.

7. Did Keira Knightley have her teeth fixed? Her crooked smile was what made her completely adorable. Why?!

8. Must remember to use the word “indecorous” one of these days.

9. “I know it’s not ordinary. But who ever loved ordinary?” Mega feels!

10. Sure you can nitpick about the lack of depth on Turing as a gay character, or how far off the story was from real events, or how it got preachy in the end but it was still a solid and completely engaging film all-throughout.

11. Who run the world? Gays.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published February 10, 2015.)

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Kenneth Branagh, 2017)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

It just wasn’t as fun as guessing if Professor Plum killed Colonel Mustard in the conservatory with a candlestick. Even with a cast of game Academy Award winners and nominees (plus some popular ingenues), this murder-mystery was a drag to watch. The clunky big reveal with the killers taking turns at stabbing the victim while dramatic music played in the background was so ridiculous that it made me laugh out loud in my seat.

Kenneth Branagh spent too much time mugging at the camera as the famously moustached Hercule Poirot. He obviously directed himself to showcase himself in a role that was probably better suited for Johnny Depp. Speaking of, I liked how they pulled off another Scream with the biggest name (and probably most annoying one) in the cast getting killed first (and disappointingly, last).

Why did the movie waste a good fifteen minutes off the train, just to establish the investigative skills of Poirot? (For more mugging, natch.) I also couldn’t understand the choice of overhead shots with the audience looking at several characters’ puyos while they discussed a bloody murder. The twists themselves? Lame and predictable. Forget Sherlock Holmes, even Nancy Drew would have done a much better job in solving this crime.

In one scene, Poirot accidentally stepped on a pile of shit and since he wanted everything to be in order, he stepped on it again with his other foot. Perfectly summed up this entire viewing experience (besides, trainwreck was just too easy).

Rating: ★★☆☆☆