Tonight The Legend of Korra ended. As a huge fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender growing up I was ecstatic when a sequel series was announced way back in 2012. The series has had its ups and downs, and while it may not have been as smooth as a ride as Last Airbender, Korra’s saga has been engaging, hilarious, and infuriating, but most of all fun. In order to do this series justice, I’m going to review each season. Now, I’m not going to even mention how poorly Nickelodeon has handled this series. The anger it would bring about would ruin the moment. No, that is a topic for another day. This is about the series itself. With that in mind, let us begin at the beginning, when we were first introduced to Republic City and our new Avatar Korra.
The interview is an interesting film in that it is both seriously funny and could possibly start World War III. Now, I had the pleasure of getting invited to see the see an advanced screening of the film about two weeks ago. This was before Sony canned the film. See, this is me drinking a free Guinness courtesy of Sony. Free beer aside, I can honestly say that The Interview is a pretty great comedy. Is it perfect? No, not by a long shot. It has a few missteps along the way, but the journey to getting to [SPOILER] is pretty hilarious. The beginning and the end are very, very funny, however, the middle runs a bit dry. Some of the dialogue doesn’t quite hit right and on occasion a plot point will feel rushed or contrived. The most obvious offender here is the pair’s initial decision to interview Kim. However, what works in this film really works and it is completely because of Seth Rogen and James Franco. They carry a script that is at times, but not always, weak. They really make this film, and I for one am very glad they did. Overall The Interview offers up a lot of great laughs, but falls just sort of greatness.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
With the review out of the way, I’ll say a quick word about Sony’s decision to halt distribution of the film. To be honest, I’m not going to say anything anyone else hasn’t already said. Art is art and should never be, under any circumstances, censored or otherwise tampered with to appease anyone. This goes especially for those who threaten violence. If we cave to threats like this, all it does is set a precedent of weakness. We as a nation should value our freedom of speech more than anything else, and allowing threats to suppress that right is inexcusable. That said, I highly doubt The Interview won’t be getting a release. It’ll either get a VOD release quite soon or Sony will wait a while until this dies down and release it into theaters then. All that matters is that the public get the opportunity to see this film and laugh their asses off for two hours like I did.
Horrible Bosses 2 is a lot like the first one. The jokes are hit or miss and the plot gets kind of lost somewhere in the middle. This is unfortunate because the original, while funny, was only barely above average. This film feels about half an hour too long, and the jokes either really land or really don’t. This isn’t to mention the fact that the whole film feels completely unneeded.
Final Verdict: 2.5/5
The Imposter is a true crime documentary that focuses on the disappearance of Nicholas Barclay from Texas in 1994 and his mysterious reappearance in Spain in 1997. The documentary features drama sequences narrated by the interviews of Barclay’s family as well as, ‘The Imposter.’ I won’t count this as a spoiler since they tell you this in the first five minutes of the film; the person the Barclay’s get back from Spain is not Nicholas. He is an imposter, and interestingly enough, the film is told from his perspective. We get a full run down of exactly how he did things, and why.
The film is expertly done, with the drama sequence being beautifully shot, and perfectly narrated by the interviews. There are twists and turns throughout the narrative, and it only gets more interesting as it goes on. This documentary has received a lot of praise, and it is all well deserved, despite some tricky ways it handles the delivery of information. Overall, The Imposter is a great, thrilling documentary that makes you say ‘What the fuck’ more than a few times.
Final Verdict: 3.5/5
The Theory of Everything follows Hawking’s relationship with his first wife and the onset of the disease that cripples him. The film starts out strong, opening with a young Hawking struggling to find a topic for his dissertation. However, as the film goes on a few problems arise. The biggest problem is that of doing a bio pic of someone still living. Just like Hawking’s real life the film goes and goes not quite finding the right place to end. While the conclusion is ultimately satisfactory it does feel prolonged. This is due to the simple fact that it can not end definitively.There is also a real disconnect between the first half of the film and the latter. This is obviously due to the progression of Hawking’s disease, but nevertheless the film does lose steam because of it.
This is not to mention the problem of having a main character who loses the ability to walk and speak well before the third act. This necessitates the shift in focus from Hawking to Jane, but her development is slow and at times boring. Hawking is where the real fun comes from, and his character is incredibly likable. Eddie Redmayne gives an amazing performance as Hawking, absolutely nailing his mannerisms and comforted appearance. His ability to give character to someone who can barely move is really well done and very moving. Felicity Jones also does a great job as Jane, but the spotlight is ultimately on Hawking. The introduction of the character of Jonathan is oddly handled as well. His motivations are unclear and his commitment is hard to understand, something I’m sure the book covers much better. Overall the Theory of Everything is a very solid film that is ultimately dragged down by the limitations of Hawking’s disease.
Final verdict: 3/5
Tokyo Ghoul is an anime that premiered July of this year. It follows Kaneki Ken, a young man who, after an accident, receives an organ transplant from a y creature known as a Ghoul. Ghouls look just like humans, however they are stronger, more resilient, and can only survive by eating the meat of humans. Upon receiving these organs Kaneki’s body becomes that of a Ghoul, and he must now struggle with his need to consume humans in order to live.
The anime is twelve episodes long with a second season to begin airing in the beginning of 2015. I began watching the show after seeing it appear on a few ‘best of’ lists, and it did not disappoint. The characters are fresh and well thought out, the character development is well done and logical, and the action scenes are brutal. This is a great psychological thriller for any anime fan. The only downfall is that the twelfth episode ends on a massive, and I mean massive, cliffhanger. For me, that meant diving into the manga, which has already ended and has a sequel series called Tokyo Ghoul: Re. I highly suggest picking them both up. Overall this is an amazing series, and I definitely examined it to any anime fan.
Final Verdit: 4.5/5
Big Hero 6 is an interesting film. While it is super fun with a lot of energy and action and fun characters, it is also incredibly generic. The plot is seen through so early on that the only redeemable aspect of the film is the characters. Honestly I had a lot of fun in the theatre. I laughed repeatedly and went along for the ride. As fun as it was during the ride though I can’t forgive the plot. I really enjoyed watching Big Hero 6 but it is such a safe, formulaic movie that it just can’t really stand out. Not to mention that the most interesting part of the movie, the setting, is not even touched upon. How can you have a movie set in a half asian half western city called San Fransokyo and not delve into that? It did provide some great visuals, though. The art in this film is fantastic. If only it had a better story.
Final verdict: 2.5/5.