Johnny Tang (johnnytangster)

Melbourne

Johnny's Recent Reviews


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 PG-13
This is an energetic and thoroughly enjoyable sequel that continues to justify Sony's decision to reboot the franchise in the first place. Amazing in places, overcooked at others, Marc Webb's sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man is a generally crowd-pleasing affair that thrives on the ability of leading man Andrew Garfield. The fact that he's indestructible works against the normal dramatic tension of the hero's journey. Whether consciously or not, the screenplay compensates for this by putting the hero at risk of something else: a broken heart. Garfield is impressively lithe in the suit, plausibly vulnerable out of it, and it's hard to imagine a better Spidey. High-energy entertainment; Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker has rangy charm and there is a genuine romantic spark between him and Emma Stone, as sharp as ever playing Gwen Stacy. Thanks to Marc Webb's confident directing and talented cast, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 entertains in spite of its crowded canvas and occasionally stilted narrative. Webb's film is bold and bright and possesses charm in abundance. It swings into the future and carries the audience with it. The plot gets itself tangled up in multiple villain strands, but in the main this installment is emotionally weightier and more satisfying than its predecessor. Inherently good fun and a more than worthy trip to the cinema! VERDICT: "High-Quality Stuff" - [Positive Reaction] This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent. (Films that are rated 3.5 or 4 stars)
The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel R
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mr. Anderson's eighth feature, will delight his fans, but even those inclined to grumble that it's just more of the same patented whimsy might want to look again. As a sometime grumbler and longtime fan, I found myself not only charmed and touched but also moved to a new level of respect. While it has many familiar ingredients - from the atmosphere to the ensemble of Anderson regulars in nearly every role - in its allegiance to Anderson's vision, everything about The Grand Budapest Hotel is a welcome dose of originality. Wes Anderson's latest cinematic styling is The Grand Budapest Hotel, an exquisitely calibrated, deadpan-comic miniature that expands in the mind and becomes richer and more tragic. The Grand Budapest Hotel is nothing short of an enchantment. The movie is a flume ride through the imagination of one of the most creative minds making movies today, and the pleasure curls your toes. Also, be ready to crave some macaroons. There are moments of depth there as well, as Anderson touches on themes of friendship and loyalty. More than anything else, though, The Grand Budapest Hotel is just a fun ride -- a wild, wonderful ride seemingly plucked out of Anderson's dream journal. The Grand Budapest Hotel is as artistically manicured as any of his seven previous movies, and richer comically and emotionally than most. VERDICT: "Instant Classic" - [Positively Acclaimed Reaction] Usually I give this rating to a movie that I believe is absolutely outstanding and has little to no flaws in it. Audiences, who haven't seen this film, must see it right now! (Films that are rated 4.5 or 5 stars)

Johnny's Favorite Movies


The Tree of Life The Tree of Life PG-13
There is simply nothing like it out there: profound, idiosyncratic, complex, sincere and magical; a confirmation that cinema can aspire to art. This film is undoubtedly a piece of art, as much so as a Picasso painting, one that invites viewers to immerse themselves, scratch their heads and consider it. The Tree of Life is a religious experience. Overtly. Audaciously. Unashamedly. No film has ever reached as high toward the face of God and, in our commodified future, few are likely to try. At times trying and perplexing, but it also contains some of the most psychologically insightful and ecstatic filmmaking imaginable. The only other film I've seen with this boldness of vision is Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," and it lacked Malick's fierce evocation of human feeling. A sense of reconciliation is Malick's great accomplishment in The Tree of Life, affording us equal wonder at grace and nature alike.? The film is gorgeous and abstract, leaping around in time and space, structured in movements and more like a symphony than a conventional narrative. Better than a masterpiece - whatever that is - The Tree of Life is an eruption of a movie, something to live with, think, and talk about afterward. VERDICT: "Instant Classic" - [Positively Acclaimed Reaction] Usually I give this rating to a movie that I believe is absolutely outstanding and has little to no flaws in it. Audiences, who haven't seen this film, must see it right now! (Films that are rated 4.5 or 5 stars)
Chinatown Chinatown R
A wonderfully brooding, suspenseful revisitation of the land of film noir, Chinatown is not only one of the greatest detective films, but one of the most perfectly constructed of all films. [Nicholson's] performance is key in keeping Chinatown from becoming just a genre crime picture--that, and a Robert Towne screenplay that evokes an older Los Angeles, a small city in a large desert. A nearly flawless example of movie composition, with close examination revealing how carefully it was put together. For those who take a less studious and more visceral approach to movie viewing, it's also worth noting that Chinatown is a superior thriller - one that will keep viewers involved and "in the moment" until the final, mournful scene has come to a conclusion. But the greatness of Chinatown, unappreciated by my adolescent self, lies not in its cynical view of the California dream (that's too easy) but in its fatalistic, even tragic conception of America and indeed of human nature. VERDICT: "Instant Classic" - [Positively Acclaimed Reaction] Usually I give this rating to a movie that I believe is absolutely outstanding and has little to no flaws in it. Audiences, who haven't seen this film, must see it right now! (Films that are rated 4.5 or 5 stars)

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