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Reviews

Piché: entre ciel et terre
(2010)

Piché: A hero with a past. A great example of storytelling.
Impeccably scripted, beautifully directed, with amazing scenery and filled with fine performances, Piché: The Landing of a Man is a wonderful example of modern filmmaking at its finest and truly a great example of storytelling.

Directed by Sylvain Archambault Written by Ian Lauzon Starring Michel Côté, Maxime LeFlaguais, Norman D'Amour, Sophie Prégent and Isabelle Guérard

The story of an angel with clay wings, Piché: The Landing of a Man is based on the life of Robert Piché, a Montreal pilot who in 2001 guided a coughing, out-of-fuel Quebec jet over 100 miles of ocean, gliding the aircraft to a safe, screeching landing in the Portuguese Azores. In summary, Piche is a hero with a huge past. A past full of trauma and grief combined with alcohol, drugs and smoking. Piché – The Landing Of A Man was reckoned to be on of Santa Barbara International FIlm Festival's favorite films. I went in to the theatre with ratter big expectations and got very disappointed when it all started of like a student film and the feeling that I'd seen this exact scene about a billion times before. But I learned not to judge a book by it's cover because things were about to change. The director Sylvain Archambault and his writer Ian Lauzon made this story, based on true events, to something out of the ordinary. Piché is about a pilot named Robert Piché who lives in Toronto with his family. We start of with getting to know the impact media has on him after he becomes a hero and how he is trying to hurdle the attention. But his heroism is tainted and short lived. His family are suffering from being in the spotlight and at the same time having to deal with Piché's returned drinking habits. We go back and forward between his traumatic past and his sad present. We see how he was treating his earlier wife like nothing, how he is neglecting his daughter, his disturbing time in jail and at last the thoughts he has while spending time in rehab. It is August 23d 2001 and Piché is flying a plane with 306 people to Lisbon. When a gas leak occurs and the engines stop, Piché has to skillfully try to land the plane. Chaos erupts on board of the plane and it is very emotional to watch. He is successful and becomes a nation wide hero. All this in terrifying, white-knuckle silence, while 293 passengers and 12 crew members held their breath.

Piché, who could teach Clint Eastwood a thing or two about flinty stoicism, brushed off any suggestion that he was a hero. Just doing my job, he told everyone afterwards. Weeks later, it is was revealed Piché spent time in a Georgia jail for drug smuggling. And that pilot error may have necessitated his heroic air show. Piché responded to all the praise and skepticism (maybe the adulation was harder to endure) by seeking refuge behind a forest of green beer bottles.

The film Piché has the grabby feel of a potent TV miniseries. That's not entirely a compliment. The (English-subtitled) Quebec movie suffers from some of the weaknesses of the genre. An overemphatic script lands too hard on the pilot's early troubles: Surely, not every woman was lolling about naked in post coital bliss, a plume of ganja smoke curling above their shoulder, at the precise moment the young pilot entered a Jamaican drug tycoon's palace.

And the harrowing Georgia prison sequence, which finds Piché chased by 400-pound would-be rapists, looks to be crudely lifted from the old HBO series Oz.

Nevertheless, Piché remains effective melodrama. The film benefits enormously from filmmaker Sylvain Archambault's ( Pour toujours, les Canadians) brilliant casting stroke: having veteran Quebec actor Michel Côté and his son, Maxime LeFlaguais play the old and young Robert Piché. Cote, who English audiences may remember for his lead role in C.R.A.Z.Y., has the necessary confidence and authority to underplay his role, making the viewer come to him. He gives a mesmerizing performance that is made more interesting by LeFlaguais's more extroverted playing as the young, foolishly reckless Robert Piché.

And screenwriter Ian Lauzon has wisely tinkered with what, in Quebec anyway, is a familiar story, shuffling the chronology of Piché's life. (The pilot became a Quebec hero in the autumn of 2001, when the rest of the continent was immersed in 9/11.) The film is told in haphazard flashbacks, with the young and old Piché confronting each other - a duel that allows us to better understand the pilot's torment.

Another dividend of the filmmakers' time shifting is that the movie gets to revisit Piché's heroic flight for what is a tense, involving climax. The last 20 minutes is devoted to Piché's flight into danger. And history.

Piché: The Landing of a Man is often overwrought, but seldom dull. For any national cinema to survive, it has to produce its share of popular, rousing melodramas. Piché raked in more than $3-million at the box office in Quebec inside a month earlier this summer. Alas, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is audience apathy, this kind of success has always largely eluded the English-Canadian film industry.

Up until the plane scene the film is not really all that interesting. The prison scenes, filled with profanity are quite disturbing and the scene set in Jamaica (which was actually filmed in Cuba) I also thought was strange and unexpected. The cinematography is not very winningly and acting is mediocre. This is a perfect example of how important the story telling in a film is. If it wasn't for how great the story is portrayed in that end scene this film would have been something I looked at and then forgot. Now, I am definitely going to think about this every time I am on a plane.

Lazer Team
(2015)

terrific popcorn thriller, Lazer Team is tense, taut, energetic and surprisingly hilarious with excellent performances from Michael, Gavin, Colton and Burnie.
Lazer Team is the best Fantastic Four movie of the year and one of the best action movies in the history of action cinema. Where the big comic book movie failed, this comedy actually has teamwork, cool action and it's fun. It's a terrific popcorn thriller and the best full feature- length film Rooster Teeth has ever created.

When the king Antareans warn us of an impending alien attack, Earth trains Adam (Alan Ritchson) his entire life to be our defender. The Antareans send down a power suit Adam is supposed to wear to fight the Worg, but the suit doesn't make it to Adam. Instead, inept cop Hagan (Burnie Burns), cocky jock Zach (Michael Jones), stoner Woody (Gavin Free) and has-been athlete Herman (Colton Dunn) get the suit in four parts, and they're literally stuck on them. So Adam has only a few days to train these losers to be the Lazer Team.

The plot is mysterious and suspenseful to get the audience's attention. The 3D visual effects and computer generated imagery are spectacular, realistic, it's like you're IN the movie (literally) and it;'s one of the best visuals and CG ever made in movies. It's even better than the animation of Yogi Bean and the Alvin and the Chipmunks film series. The 3D VFX is amazing as the 3D visuals of The Spongebob SquarePants Movie: Sponge Out Of Water and Ang Lee's 2012 adventure survival film Life of Pi. The visuals, however are not the only factor that make this film shine like a shiny laser.

The cast's performances were all well done, thanks to Matt Hullam's amazing direction. It includes two members from Rooster Teeth's Achievement Hunter, Michael Jones and Gavin Free. The main cast consisting of Colton Dunn and Burnie Burns along with Michael Jones and Gavin Free truly make this team the brightest team to face the wrath of mankind's darkest hour. They truly stand out in their roles and undoubtedly make one of the best Fantastic Four protagonists to ever exist and expressively prove that their triumph was no fluke but amazing and excellent performances. The supporting cast is also very good. The director chose an excellent cast and the wisecracks aren't too reliant on cringe or slapstick, enough to make the audience laugh and also feel tense during the climax.

The character development is also quite interesting as director Matt Hullam has these four dolts/idiots substantially rise in rank from losers to famous worldwide heroes. Although they make an amazing and excellent team of heroes in science fiction, the plot however seems to be somewhat based from the 1996 film Independence Day as in that film and this film has the human heroes defeat the alien invasion. Nonetheless, it still deliverers the audience with a dazzling and entertaining popcorn thriller.

They manage to get some real heart-touching moments in there too, especially with a father/daughter story between Hagan and his daughter Mindy (Alexandria DeBerry). The four members of Lazer Team don't get along for some real reasons and the film allows them to have their moments too where they try to bond and be best friends. Adam has some understandable animosity towards the Lazer Team stealing his suit as well, so he gets to have real character growth.

A few of the early jokes really don't land, and even go so far as to explain the joke to the audience (the difference between a drunk tank and dunk tank is explicit). When Zachary gets tazed and falls in the pool, I thought it would be funny if the whole pool ended up zapped, but that's not the joke. I thought he would get electrocuted. I also wondered what happened to Gavin's British accent as he sounds American without his helmet.

The mood starts when the training begins. Lazer Team is one of the most critically, commercially and financially successful films of Rooster Teeth, having funded over $2.4 million in a month through the Indiegogo campaign. It has made it's first world release on September 24, 2015 at Fantastic Fest, USA and it's second Canadian premiere in Toronto, Canada on October 16, 2015 at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and has received largely acclaim from critics, which has truly amazed me. It will soon have it's European premiere at Film4 FrightFest on October 24, 2015 a week before Halloween 2015.

Overall, The Rooster Teeth team has no problem expanding from Red Vs. Blue to a full length feature. The story does everything it's supposed to: establish the characters, build them up through training montages, and escalate the threat. Everything looks right. The military and football scenes in particular look legit. Director Matt Hullum and cinematographer Philip Roy use really elegant camera moves to make it look epic, except for a few shots that are intentionally shaky. The visual effects are supposed to be a tad cheesy, but they're plentiful and really spectacular as they blast aliens, run with super boots and go invisible with stealth.

In conclusion, this film is slightly flawed at a few parts but overall quite fascinating. It's a job well done to Director Matt Hullam, the rest of the Rooster Teeth team and the visual effects team and this film deserves a five out of five stars. Terrific camera movements, spectacular and realistic visual effects and computer generated imagery and excellent performances from the lead cast: Michael, Gavin, Colton and Burnie make this film a terrific popcorn filled entertainer. It truly deserves a sequel. I wonder what Lazer Team 2's lot will include but whatever it is, it should live up to it's prequel and become a faithful and entertaining sequel like Rio 2 and Sponge out of Water. Colton, Michael, Gavin and Burnie should reprise their roles and I hope Matt Hullam will return as director.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Flight World War II
(2015)

Stop hating this movie and just be positive, despite the flaws.
Flawed at some places but overall quite fascinating, entertaining popcorn thriller. I watched Flight World War II at outness and I really liked it. The plot storyline is quite interesting. International Airways Flight 42 from Washington Dulles to London Heathrow travels through a storm and is transported to the skies over France in June 1940. Although the crew tampered with history and all of this is history fiction and science fiction, this was a perfect, dazzling popcorn thriller. Terrific performances from the cast, spectacular and realistic visual effects and uncertainties/mystery and suspense after the plane flies through the storm makes this film truly one of my favorite popcorn filled thrillers. Have you ever heard of Summer Fun? Well, this is one of the films. It's tense, taut and energetic and was TRULY one hell of a ride. The CGI visuals of the planes, war zone bombings and gunfire was so spectacular, realistic and amazing. This is a really good animation effort to bring history to life.

Overall, 10/10. Stop hating the film and just be positive even though it has flaws. Bring your popcorn and enjoy the show!

Jurassic World
(2015)

Graceful, popcorn filled thrilling and tense, taught and energetic. This trilogy gets much better as it goes on.
Successfully expands from park to world. Truly, it's a Jurassic world after all. Even though Steven Spielberg didn't direct it, he's still the executive producer. The visuals were thrilling and spectacular and so was the plot line. As the time passes on, the visuals get more artistic and realistic. This trilogy series never wears out it's welcome, I wonder what they will think of next… Jurassic Space? I hope this film continues to receive critical acclaim as it's a dazzling popcorn thriller and it's emotionally and visually exciting.

I think in the fifth film, there should be dinosaurs in space or the dinosaurs are attacking aliens. The CGI gets better as the years go on and it successfully replicates and in some ways improves the behaviours of the dinosaurs when they react with humans with the dinosaurs violent behaviours sure to thrill the entire audience!

Speed 2: Cruise Control
(1997)

What a horrible, shitty sequel to an awesome film! Disgraceful! A good example of a horrible sequel.
You can tell EXACTLY why Keanu turned it down and rejected Speed 2 even though he was offered a $12 million paycheck. Just watch the entire film and you'll see why: it's flat out boring and lame. Unnecessary sequel. For me, that was a very wise move, Keanu! I would totally give him the props (bro fist) and five thumbs up, not for ditching Jan and Sandra but for criticizing the film's plot, setting and script. He knows what a horrible, shitty sequel is when he sees it. Even if Keanu returned as Jack, he would truly shine as Jack but that's not enough to save this movie. You're better off watching the first film. Great decision Keanu! You truly deserve a raise! Jason Patrick, although he does do his best to shine as Annie's new policeman fiancé, let's face it: NOBODY, not even Jason can replace Keanu's role (no offence). Jack has just the right facial appearance and the right amount of mischief in his eyes to be a born heroic cop. He's the MAN! Although Sandra, Willem and director Jan try to prevent this already waterlogged sequel from sinking to the bottom of the ocean by inserting some twists and turns, a few action sequences and some laughable dialogue, the biggest flop of this sequel is the lack of thrill with a slow-moving cruise ship rather than a fast, wired-for-explosive-destruction bomb laden city bus zooming above 50 MPH through the streets of Los Angeles and ending up at the airport. Even when the ship crashes into a beach town of Saint Martin bringing it to a halt, look at how slow the ship is, even at full speed. It BARELY damaged the area. I mean, look at the substantial amount of deceleration in this film. It was slower and poorer, like a garbage truck or by watching paint dry. As soon as Kenau declined to reprise his role as Jack, Sandra (as Annie) should have followed. The director Jan could have done a better job at the plot line and setting like have Daniel Payne (Howard's son) avenge his father's death by rigging a huge C4 in the cargo area of a Boeing 737 that Jack, his wife Annie and their two sons are flying on vacation to Hawaii activate if it accelerates above 185 knots and ascends above 2300 feet (the captain or first officer gets injured leaving the other pilot to fly the plane with Jack and Annie assisting him. After ALL the hostages parachute to safety from the moving plane, the out of fuel Boeing 737 nosedives into the ground. Jack, Mac and Annie continue to defeat Daniel using a slightly different scam than from the first film. After Jack, Mac and Annie kill Daniel, they all head home into the sunset or eat pizza in a restaurant. That's more like what the plot should have been; on a fast moving vehicle, with Keanu and Sandra's characters married (they make such an adorable couple) and a few newcomer child actors for the two sons. This flopped sequel just killed the speed film franchise. I doubt there will ever be a Speed 3 (Keanu declined the possibility of a third film) and if there is and reunites Keanu and Sandy, I just hope they can still maintain their young looks from the '90s. Annie's character is significantly reduced here. Also, Glenn Plummer, Joe Morton and Sandra Bullock are the only ones to reprise. Jan should have abandoned the project for a sequel when Reeves quit.

Double Dhamaal
(2011)

Double Dhamaal is fast and brightly coloured but ultimately too exhausting and too frantically silly to impress the whole family
I really hoped this would tickle my funny bone, thanks to the critical and commercial success of the 1st film Dhamaal (2007) which truly deserved a sequel, however, this falls a bit short of even a decent sequel. Rather than double comedy it was barely more than half entertaining. Like most film sequels, Double Dhamaal ("Dhamaal 2") takes it's predecessor 2007 Bollywood comedy film Dhamaal's basic story frame/template and tries to expand on it and tries to make it bigger by adding new ideas for con-acts, new places like in Macau and Homg Kong, China (overseas) and new supporting characters. Although it is fast and brightly colored (more colorful as seen on the release poster and comedic) to impress and entertain the Dhamaal fans, it is too frantically silly to entertain the whole family. It is low on freshly squeezed comedic energy and also reliant on slapstick humour. Several of the comedy acts and jokes and lines are recycled from the first film. The film should also elaborate on how exactly the four friends found the disguise costumes and how they switch in and out. (Did they buy them from a clothing story with the money they had or dd they ambush someone in an alley and strip them of their clothes, kill the person and put on their clothing or did they shoplift?) Overall, Double Dhamaal isn't really Dhamaal 2. The plot seems to be thin at times and gets boring and tedious and confusing. It's Double Trouble. Arshad, Aashish, Ritesh and Javed are good as the four friends as well as Sanjay as Kabir. However, I felt that Kamini, Kiya and Mohisn Bhai's roles were unnecessary. But Bata Bhai rocks as a part time illegal don/gangster. The beginning of the film where it takes off right after Dhamaal ends as well as the Devil's Bar comedy scene is funny but that's not enough to save this movie. You're better off watching the 1st 2007 film. My review: 2.5/5. I just hope Total Dhamaal is way better.

Dhamaal
(2007)

Very interesting and funny, one of the best comedy films in Bollywood
Dhamaal is an amazing and very funny story of four ordinary university dropouts and unemployed men formed their own group of con artists, carrying out theft and other illegal activities to get money. It's truly crazy and a laughing riot. With Director Indra Kumar weaving in new characters, unexpected plots and twists and turns, making it truly come ducal and putting a smile on the faces of the audience although some parts including the plot of the film are based on Rat Race, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and Mr. Bean (the British TV Series and it's feature film in 1997). However, the ending of the film where the 6 men arrive at a Help Orphan Children Organization charity, the comedy is drained out but Director Kumar manages to refill the gaps with comedy when Kabir is interrogated by his boss again and the end song and dance as the credits roll. Watch this if you are feeling lonely, bored or down. As the name suggests, the film does do it's best to make you laugh. It did truly tickle my funny bone and drew a smile on me several times. Basically, this is what a comedy/drama film is meant to be! Arshad, Aashish, Ritesh and Javed truly shine as these four lovable and funny idiots with Sanjay Dutt and Asrani doing a spectacular performance, playing tough and strict but still funny men.

Everest
(2015)

An incredible, dramatic, truthful and adventurous movie based on an incredible, "unfilmable" true story
Everest hits the heights quite well, thanks to successful acting performances and spectacular visual effects making the film an exciting, tense and suspenseful history drama popcorn thriller. This movie is based on a true story of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster and dramatizes it very well. It's also partially based on the book "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer, a journalist and one of the survivors. It's so intense, adventurous, thrilling and powerful thanks to brilliant direction and 3D special effects which makes this one of the best films of 2015 on my list after Jurassic World, Inside Out, Mall Cop 2 and Lazer Team. Michael Kelly does a great job portraying Jon. I think "Into Thin Air" is a long, tedious and a non film able book, similar to Yann Martel's 2001 Adventure fantasy novel "Life of Pi", yet it was transformed into a theatrical film by Director Mr. Lee, and with the help of an excellent cast, narration, changing between perspectives (haphazard flashbacks) as well as spectacular 3D visual effects, realistic green screen and computer generated imagery which made Ang's film a visual masterpiece and a faithful and delightful adaptation of Yann's book with pi's 227 day journey sure to impress the audience. Even if the movie ending is not as ambiguous as the book's, it's emotionally and spiritually insightful, beautifully coloured which amazingly portrays the book's imagery and so it overall sticks very well to the book. Same thing applies to this film. It's exciting to watch for the audience, thanks to great acting and spectacular visual effects. It's dizzying cinematography and CGI slam the heights perfectly. 10/10!!!!!

Penguins of Madagascar
(2014)

Penguins of Madagascar is a faithful and delightful film adaptation the Nickelodeon TV show of the same name.
Actually, this film was quite interesting, adventurous and fun! The movie contains the same Thea of suspense, action, adventure and laughable comedy from the previous Madagascar films as well as the TV series of the same name. Stop hating these four adorable little guys and be positive! To me, I was really waiting for a movie solemnly focusing on the four penguins and this film does a successful job bringing their charm and wit to the big screen in 92-4 minutes rather than 25-30 minutes. This is also a very good animation effort! Well done Tom, Chris, Conrad and Christopher! I also wanted to know more about the history of these lovable four spy birds and exactly how they came to New York City and had been living in Central Park Zoo, forming the Nickelodeon TV series ever since. This film is a story of friendship, finding family, teamwork, action and adventure, betrayal and all coated with cartoon comedy! Well done Eric and Simon!!

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
(2009)

A great, fantastic sequel
I really like how the surprise introduction of the Chipettes saves this film from being too boring as the beginning just shows the chipmunks wrecking havoc and causing trouble, this time, Toby (unlike Dave) rarely cares about their mischief but later on he does become protective and caring and starts taking on some responsibility. The Locker Reveal scene in the film was probably the most heartwarming and romantic part, when the Chipmunks and Chipettes meet each other in the school hallway for the first time, they both are love struck upon seeing each other (look at their faces, they flash toothy smiles at each other) but it is ruined when Ian manipulates the Chipettes into making them not trust the Chipmunks and make them think they are evil. Ian's role is quite evil ad I think this will terrify the kids. Jason Lee's role was reduced significantly here, he barely appears but I'm glad Mike Mitchell expanded his role in the third film.

Overall, this film may be flawed but it's freshly squeezed comedic energy and great family fun.

Rio 2
(2014)

An awesome, great, well deserved sequel
Rio 2 is the perfect sequel. it does a fantastic job taking off from where the previous film ends and literally soars to great heights introducing new ideas and with an interesting plot. it's so romantic that Blu and Jewel are a married couple with children. i only thought they were boyfriend/girlfriend. The film also has a great environmental message: SAVE THE RAINFOREST!!!!! It's powerfully moving, an awesome computer animation, brightly colored, has a lot of twists and turns, and a truly happy ending. I also like how the red and blue macaws team up and defeat the illegal loggers. Also, when Big Boss is eaten by a boa constrictor is quite an unexpected twist. I wonder what they are gonna come up with next, Rio 3 in Space? Whatever Carlos decides, I hope he does include a third film in the trilogy.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
(2011)

amazing, powerfully moving, great family fun!
Stop hating these 6 chipmunks and be positive! This is a really good CGI animation effort, bringing the chipmunks to life and making them look more closely to real life chipmunks. This trilogy really gets funny, crazy and more interesting as it goes on. Although it may be flawed (Ian's role is reduced significantly here due to him being in a pelican suit for the entire film and i also felt that Zoe's role is unnecessary) it really does have an important message: about growing up. Most of these reviews are way too serious, just soften a little and stop hating them. They are cutely animated to look as real as possible. Justin, Matthew and Jesse, Christina, Anna and Amy as well as Jason lee shine as the main characters. I like how the chipmunks rocked the boat (LITERALLY!!) and ended p as castaways. Though much of this film's plot was recycled from Cast Away, Lord of the Flies (1990) and the ocean survival of Life of Pi (2012) it's overall great family fun and freshly squeezed comedy!!!!

Mogadischu
(2008)

An Excellent history drama film with awesome vfx and excellent acting
Great acting and excellent visual effects, particularly the computer generated imagery of the hijacked plane, D-ABCE "Landshut" City Jet 737 looks really amazing, taking off, flying and landing. Of course, parking scenes and refueling scenes were done with the real aircraft on green screen. The aircraft looks so realistic and beautiful blue and yellow colored, thanks to the director and painting crew for adjusting and repainting the 1970s Lufthansa livery on CN-RMI resembling D- ABCE (Royal Air Maroc), literally! Portrays the 1977 hijacking beautifully colored and realistic. This closely follows the true plot. Great job to the researchers, producers and vfx team! Acting and performances, GREAT! The director chose an excellent German cast to play the roles, the hijackers/terrorists and including those who played the Arabs in Dubai and Yemen and the African actors playing the Somali dictator Siad Barre and the rest of the Somali forces communicating in Arabic, German and English. The hijackers swearing emphasizes their cruelty and anger and the props (guns, grenades, Che Guevara shirts etc) are also great. However, some scenes including the the Landshut landing, refueling and takeoff from Bahrain were missing. Other than that part, the filming scenes were so awesome, despite being shot in Germany and morocco, they looked like the actual places in 1977. Overall, i'd give this a 8.7 to 8.9 out of 10 as a few parts from the actual story were not included but other than that, it's great! This is WAY better than the 1997 docudrama film Todesspiel! WATCH THIS if you're interested.

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