JD ........ (lilshorty69er)

JD's Recent Reviews

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes PG-13
I've said it a few times already, but I'm going to say it again, 2014 is a really good year for movies so far. I'm really looking forward to what Oscar season is going to give us, but at the same time Oscar season might not be better than the summer season. Let's face it this summer brought us excellent movies, like X-Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: Winter Solider, Godzilla, How To Train Your Dragon 2, 22 Jump Street, Chef, Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars and now Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a highly anticipated movie by me and lots of other filmgoers and when the trailer leaked a few months back people were really pumped to see some apes with machine guns kick ass. I'm not going to lie, but I was a little nervous going into this movie because like all movies I'm pumped to see, I still get a little skeptical and think maybe the movie isn't as good as it looks. So far this summer all the movies that looked good turned out to be good, so that was a relief, but was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the first movie of the summer to be overhyped? The answer to that is no, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a fantastic movie. The action was intense, the characters were compelling, the performances were great and the special effects were just stunning. Right from the opening shot, I know that I was going to love this movie. Michael Seresin was the director of photography for this movie and he made this movie all the more better with his brilliant camera angles and beautiful shots. Right when this movie opens you see the eyes of the main ape, Caesar and the camera just stays on him. After that it just slowly pans back and then you see all his fellow apes standing beside him. Now the reason why this shot is so beautifully done is because with this one shot you already know a lot about the movie already. You know Caesar is the leader, you know he has this hatred in him, but at the same time he's a leader and he has to protect his fellow apes. You also know he's got a lot of weight on his shoulders because he's not just responsible for himself and his family, but for every ape. Now for one camera shot to do that and express that much to the audience in the first 30 seconds of the film, then that is just brilliant filmmaking. The closing shot is the same thing, it shows Caesars face and then it just slowly gets closer and you see his eyes and this time it's not hatred in his eyes it's hope. The character Caesar learns a lot in this movie and after all the stuff he goes through I think that last shot in the movie was a perfect way to end the movie. So as everyone can probably tell one of my favorite things about this movie was the cinematography. I love good camera angles and shots in movies, but that's not usually my favorite part in movies, but for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes it was because it was just so captivating and when I was watching this movie I couldn't take my eyes off the brilliant cinematography. If this movie gets any Oscars I think one Oscar should go to the cinematography because it was the best I've seen in a movie this year. Speaking of Oscars, I think a certain person in this movie should get an Oscar nomination and that person is Andy Serkis. I know the Oscars and I know they'll probably never nominate an actor who played as a CG character, but I think the Oscars should make an exception this year because Andy Serkis was amazing. Andy Serkis is a really talented actor and he is at his best in this movie by playing Caesar. Sure there were a lot of human characters in this movie and most of the actors did a good job playing their roles, but Andy Serkis gave the most compelling performance out of everybody. The character Caesar has so much depth to him and he's so darn interesting that it takes a really good actor to play a character like that and Andy Serkis did a great job. He probably won't get an Oscar nomination for his performance, but he should. Now as for the other actors in this movie, they were all great. Jason Clarke was very good in this movie; he played a typical and likeable human character, but he did a good job. Keri Russell also played the typical and likeable human character, but she too did a good job, she wasn't as good as Jason Clarke, but she still held her own. Kodi Smit-McPhee was a pretty surprising performance, I loved him in ParaNorman, but this time he actually did a good live action performance. Now as for Gary Oldman, the actor who's fantastic in almost everything, I thought he was, of course amazing in this movie. I actually liked his character very much because he wasn't really a villain; he was just a man who was doing what he needed to do to protect his people. At times he comes off as a bad guy, but he really isn't, he's more of a stubborn human, who's just lost everything, so it's pretty understandable. Gary Oldman is a great actor and he's great in this movie. So the performances were great, but how was Matt Reeves' direction? Matt Reeves was always a mix bag for me because I enjoyed the movie Let Me In, which he wrote and direct, but I didn't like Cloverfield, which he directed. So when I was about to see this movie, I was thinking is Matt Reeves going to make this movie like Let Me In or like Cloverfield and as it turns out it's neither because Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a way better movie, then both Let Me In and Cloverfield and plus he had a way different style with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. You see in Let Me In he made that movie really dark and kind of gothic and in Cloverfield he made that movie more mysterious and kind of creepy with a lot of shaky cam. However in this movie, Matt Reeves makes the movie more character driven, the movie is all about the characters, which I liked. Some people thought Matt Reeves was going to be a bad choice to direct this film, but as it turns out he was a good choice. I thought he executed the film very well and he made the movie really emotional, powerful and intense all at the same time. I can't think of many problems I had with this movie, so I'm just going to say that this movie was terrific and I recommend it.
Begin Again Begin Again R
From what I saw the movie, Begin Again looked like an okay movie. I thought if I saw this movie I would think it was either a really terrible movie or a pretty damn good movie and now after I saw it my consensus is that this movie is awesome, it's not terrible and it's not just pretty good, it's really good. Now since people may have not heard of this movie I'll give a brief synopsis about it. The movie is about a drunken record-label executive, who just lost his job and has given up on everything, but when he stumbles into a bar and hears a beautiful singer sing an amazing song he right away wants to make her a star. However since he's been fired from his job his old partner offers him a deal and that is if he can make a good record with a low budget, then he might consider helping the singer. So both Dan (The Record-Label Executive) and Gretta (The Singer) round up a team and start making a record by using New York City as their recording studio and each new song they make they pick a famous New York place to record it in. Begin Again is mostly about a group of people trying to make something different and bring something unique to the music industry. The movie is also about the two lead characters and about their pasts and how they both have so much in common. Now one thing that I loved about this movie was that this movie wasn't a romance, it has a bit of romance, but barely and the fact that they could've easily made this a love story between a drunken washed up executive and a singer who wants to make it big and make them both fall in love, but then go through a break-up and then make-up in the end. Well.... This movie doesn't really do that at all because the two lead characters don't even fall in love and they don't even end up with each other in the end and the reason that is, is because this movie is about the music and how their changing the music industry and it's also about a friendship, which is something you don't see very much. The chemistry between the two leads is very strong and it's not in a romantic way, it's in a friendship way. Yes at times this movie kind of hints that there having romantic feelings for each other, but then that just stops because friendships between a man and a woman can start off as attraction, but then end up being just respect for each other, which then grows into a friendship. This movie did that and I think it did that very well and I liked the fact that they didn't want to go too clichéd with it. Sure this movie has a few clichés, like the asshole boyfriend cliché, the washed-up father cliché and the goofy best friend cliché. Now as much as some clichés can be really annoying this movie actually made all of the clichés work. The reason they worked is because of the actors, the actors who played all these characters all did such a good job that you didn't even care about the clichés. Sure, Adam Levine plays the asshole boyfriend, but his performance is so darn good that you kind of let it pass. Sure the asshole boyfriend cliché is annoying, but when the actor plays it so good you just have to give it a pass. Now as for the washed-up father cliché, I thought that was the only problem I had with this movie because that cliché is just so overused and it just doesn't work, especially for this movie. Now the good thing about that cliché is it's only in the beginning of the movie and the other good thing is that Mark Ruffalo gave a really good performance, even though the cliché is stupid and it shouldn't be in this movie, Mark Ruffalo still did a great job. Now as for the person who did the best job in the movie, Keira Knightley. Keira Knightley has done her fair share of good movies and bad movies, so it's a good thing to say that she has another movie to add to the good movie pile. Begin Again was a perfect movie for her to play in and the character Gretta was a perfect character for her to play. She got right into her character and she just blew me away with her performance. Plus I never knew she could sing and sing that good, so that was another huge plus. The songs actually were probably favorite parts in this movie because they were done incredibly well, between its strong lyrics and amazing singing by Keira Knightley. John Carney wrote and directed this film really well, I loved the dialogue in this movie, I enjoyed the characters and I found the story very gripping. Begin Again was a movie that surprised me and it was a movie that I would most definitely recommend. This is another one of those great 2014 movies, it's so far in my top list, it may not be the number one, but it's still on the list. Check this movie out because it's a funny, interesting and deeply written movie about music.

JD's Favorite Movies

Gladiator Gladiator R
Pretty much one of my all time favorite movies. First thing it has Russell Crowe who is my favorite actor, next it has incredible action scenes and finally it has amazing acting performances and not just by Russell Crowe, but also Joaquin Phoenix and Djimon Hounsou.
Gone With the Wind Gone With the Wind G
Probably one of the all time greatest movies ever made! I can't think of a single thing that is wrong with this movie, Gone With The Wind is pretty much a perfect movie. Clark Gable is an amazing actor and his role in Gone With The Wind is just outstanding. So of course Gone With The Wind is a classic, but it's also classified is a masterpiece.

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