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Major Movie Review: Tusk
I'm a huge KEVIN SMITH fan. I've always found ways to enjoy his movies, even the ones that have divided audiences and fans like RED STATE. TUSK might just be his most divisive movie yet, it's seriously unlike anything I've seen from the creator of CLERKS and MALL RATS or any filmmaker out there and MAN, it's quite the disturb fest!
Wallace Bryton (JUSTIN LONG where have you been) is a pod caster, who, with his buddy Teddy (HALEY JOEL OSMENT), host a radio show called the Not-See Party. They look up videos on the internet of people humiliating themselves and laugh about it. Sounds like my kind of career. After watching a particular video featuring the Kill Bill Kid, Wallace decides to travel to Manitoba, Canada to meet this internet sensation. However, circumstances come up and Wallace is forced to find a new story to cover and finds it in a public bathroom post by a man named, Howard Howe. Mr. Howe writes that he has many grand stories to tell which is what our main protagonist is looking for, so Wallace finds this man in hopes of hearing a decent, replacement story for his show. Well Wallace goes missing shortly after meeting with Mr. Howe and it's up to "best bro" Teddy and Wallace's girlfriend (GENESIS RODRIGUEZ) to find him in the backwoods of Canada. That's the best I can do without spoiling anything!
For my full review of TUSK, head over to my InstaBio and click on the link my Tumblr. While you're there, if you haven't already, please click FOLLOW for more movie obsession.
So have you guys seen TUSK? Do you wanna see it? Have you even heard of this movie? What's your favorite KEVIN SMITH movie? Drop a comment and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Major Movie Review: Apocalypse Now
I love reviewing older, classic films. When I watch a really great movie that was made in the 70's or some bygone decade, I get that tingle in my cinephilic being that I just gotta discuss it or bring it up to a friend of mine who may have never even heard of the movie! APOCALYPSE NOW, is a film like THE GODFATHER, CASABLANCA or LAWRENCE OF ARABIA; it's highly acclaimed by nearly every movie lover out there. So it'd be blasphemous for me NOT to talk about this movie and perhaps even introduce the movie to younger cinephiles that haven't seen anything beyond what's been released during their recent lifetime. So is APOCALYPSE NOW, really a great piece of art or a long, boring war movie?
MARTIN SHEEN is Special Operations Vet., Captain Ben Willard, a troubled American soldier who is called back to duty during the Vietnam War. His mission is to track down and kill a renegade, Col. Walter E. Kurtz (the great MARLON BRANDO), who has made himself something of a god deep, in the jungles of Cambodia and now controls a small army of natives that obey his every attack and command. To get there, Captain Willard, travels by riverboat up the Nung River which is crawling with Viet Cong and we, as an audience, take this journey with him and meet a plethora of characters that include an extremely young LAURENCE FISHBURNE, ROBERT DUVALL as the darkly comical Kilgore, and DENNIS HOPPER as a tripped out photo journalist who has just been in a war torn jungle too long.
For my full, in depth review of APOCALYPSE NOW, please head over to my Tumblr. Link to that is in my InstaBio and let me know what you thought.
Have any of you seen APOCALYPSE NOW? Is it too old school for you? Have you seen the REDUX version? Drop a comment and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Jupiter Ascending (2015)
Major Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending
Jupiter Ascending, was my first big anticipated movie to come out this year and for good reason! Like I said, the Wachowskis are responsible for one of my favorite movies of all time in The Matrix and even their more recent movies, Cloud Atlas and even Speed Racer, were movies that I enjoyed, I even own the 2 on Blu-ray. I've also become quite the Channing Tatum supporter over the past few years and with starring roles in blockbusters like Jupiter Ascending and garnering award worthy praise for his performance in 2015 Best Picture nominee Foxcatcher, it seems like the man knows what he's doing. I was genuinely excited for this movie to come out, however this movie fell victim to delays in its release which is always a cause for alarm. But hey, this is the Wachowskis we're talking about! Maybe they needed more time to perfect their mind blowing epic story and perhaps give us movie buffs another classic. Well, I can tell you one thing for certain and that's that the visual effects artists did everything they can to make this one of the most visually appealing films of the year!
I saw this movie in 3D. I'm a guy that can really enjoy watching an entire movie in 3D, so I can really tell when a movie's 3D is worth the extra dollars at the theater and folks, this is some of the best use of 3D that I've seen since Big Hero 6. The special effects were superb and the action scenes were breathtaking, there is this chase scene in the first half hour that has Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis flying through downtown Chicago with all sorts of destruction that melted my face off and that's gotta be my favorite thing about this movie. The Wachowskis have always made some very visually appealing looking action films, there's no doubt there, and what I loved in Jupiter Ascending was how well directed these action scenes were. Oh and on a side note, Channing Tatum's character rocks THE coolest movie shoes ever!
Now while I did have a fun time watching the effects and seeing Channing Tatum crush little Grey men with his shield that looked the ones the Gungans used in Phantom Menace, this was a horribly underwhelming story that I thought almost killed this movie entirely. It's weird because the story of Jupiter Ascending, which has Mila Kunis' character discover her intergalactic royalty, is just like in The Matrix, except with Neo becoming "The One", so you'd think that the Wachowskis should be capable of creating this immerse movie world with a hugely epic story. But what I didn't like was how average the film's plot actually played out, with it's abundance of boring character conversations involving land ownership, I actually noticed myself getting impatient waiting for any and all dialog scenes to end and for the next action scene to come on. The dialog was almost cringe worthy to hear, especially whenever the forced romance came into play. I don't see why they had to turn to the Hollywood cliché of having a romance between the main characters, I think the story would have benefited from having Tatum's Caine just be a solo bad ass and have Jupiter completely focus on her newly discovered royalty.
The only character to care about here I thought was Tatum's character. You learn how he's a modified hunter that has had his genes spliced with that of a wolf which leads to this guy growling like a wolf which made me laugh but, in a weird way, made him even more of an awesome character, as if all his awesome weapons and gadgets don't do that already. The always mighty, Sean Bean plays space hunter and acquaintance to Cain, Stinger and I really liked the back and forth that those two characters shared. It's just a damn shame that there isn't enough of their shared screen time together in the whole movie.
Of course, a staple of any great sci-fi epic is to have an intimidating villain that you want to get taken down by the end and while I couldn't wait for this movie's villain to get his, I gotta say that Eddie Redmayne COMPLETELY misses the mark here. I could not contain my laughter every time this man spoke, I swear he sounded like Dumbledore from the first 2 Harry Potter movies! But other than Redmayne's surprisingly weak performance, his character didn't come off as a true threat at all, just incredibly whiny.
There's a lot of things that didn't work for Jupiter Ascending and kept if from being another Wachowski classic. Mila Kunis could have made for a capable lead, but unfortunately she was just this chick that kept getting separated from Tatum, only for him to burst in like the Kool-Aid Man to the rescue her, it kind of reminded me of classic Mario. In the end though, as much as I wanted to adore this movie, I was pretty disappointed with the finished product. I haven't lost my faith in the Wachowskis but this is one that could have been something special.
Jupiter Ascending, gets 5/10!
What about you guys? What are your thoughts and opinions on Jupiter Ascending? What is your favorite Wachowski movie? PLEASE like and share this review if you enjoyed it, drop a comment, and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Palo Alto (2013)
Major Movie Review: Palo Alto
I first discovered this movie while scrolling on my Instagram. I follow James Franco and he would heavily promote this new,indie flick directed by GIA COPPOLA and starring EMMA ROBERTS.The big hook,or at least the only thing I heard people say about this movie was that it involved a story about a teacher getting intimately involved with a high school student.I shrugged thinking "Meh,whatevs,just another indie teen flick that revolves around some kind of touchy issue".PALO ALTO is actually a stand out and pretty real coming-of-age movie.
There are three main characters in this movie; Teddy,Fred,and April.Teddy(JACK KILMER) is a teenage stoner who spends his days with his promiscuous friend Fred(NAT WOLFF) partying hard and hooking up with girls.You know...high school.April is on the soccer team and has a lot going on in her head and in her personal life,most notably a too close for comfort relationship with her soccer coach(JAMES FRANCO).We see these kids go through many highs(literally😃) and lows and deal with the always rocky transition into adulthood. PLEASE,check out my full review for PALO ALTO on my Tumblr,link to that is in my InstaBio, and let me know what you think.How about you guys? Have you seen or even heard of PALO ALTO?What did you think?What's your favorite JAMES FRANCO movie? Drop a comment and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Major Movie Review: Oldboy (2013)
For anyone that has seen the original South Korean film Oldboy and if you know what kinds of movies I dig and love to delve into,than you know that I'm into some twisted, violent, sometimes completely blasphemous stuff. With that I wanna add the 2003 version of Oldboy is one of my favorite foreign films of all time; it's brutal, disturbing, and had great direction but I can go on! Let's save that for a future review. Now, the question here is not why I was let go (😃eh?) but how did I like this 2013 American remake directed by the great Spike Lee? Well... JOSH BROLIN'S in it.
Joe Doucett (BROLIN) is a struggling advertising exec. with quite the drinking problem, he gets drunk in public, is extremely inappropriate and unprofessional with his clients, and seems to be neglectful of his 3 year old daughter, who's in the care of Joe's ex-wife. During a rough night of drinking, Joe comes across a mysterious woman with a. yellow umbrella, blacks out, and wakes up in a sealed off hotel room with no recollection of how he got there and who exactly is responsible. He spends the next 20 years in his mysterious prison, witnessing world events and his framed murdering of his wife until on the day of his planned escape he wakes up out in the world and sets out for revenge on who ruined his life.
Please, check out my full review for OLDBOY (2013) on my Tumblr, link to that is in my InstaBio. Let me know what you guys think. I wanna start a new, more organized rating system similar to how I rated movies in my September movie preview. Ratings will go as ordered: "WATCH THIS MOVIE!" "CHECK IT OUT" "MEH, WHATEVS" "SKIP IT" and "KILL IT WITH FIRE!". I'm hoping you all take nicely to the change. Let me know what you guys think! How about this movie? Have you seen it or the original? What's your favorite remake of a foreign movie?Drop a comment and LETS TALK MOVIES!
Major Video Game Review: Destiny (PS4)
What do you get when you mix the makers of the HALO series with the guys responsible for making CALL OF DUTY the cash printing blockbuster it is today? You get DESTINY, a frankensteins monster of the gaming world literally. It's a mouthful describing just what genre of game this is, but is it any good?
DESTINY takes place in the very distant and post apocalyptic future which sees Earth and it's human population in quite the pickle. With the help of a mysterious planet like rock called The Traveler, mankind survives an event called the Collapse, which saw the destruction of human space-colonies across the galaxy and near human extinction! Well that strange new moon gives Earth's protectors, the Guardians, special abilities called the Light and with that power they keep Earth and it's regrowing population safe from hostile alien invaders that are looking for space domination.
Like with my movie reviews, I'm gonna use a similar rating system as I did with my September Game Preview. "MIDNIGHT RELEASER" "FOR A GOOD PRICE" "IT'S PLAYABLE" "EH, TRADE IT TO GAMESTOP" "DON'T EVEN BOTHER" are the ratings and in that order. Let me know what you guys think!
Please check out my full review for DESTINY on my Tumblr, link to that is in my InstaBio and let me know what you think. Have you guys played DESTINY? What do you think? What's your favorite genre mixing game? Drop a comment and LET'S PLAY VIDEOGAMES!
Major Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)
I have this mental list that I'm pretty proud of, it's a list that I like to call the "HOLY TITS LIST".What kind of list is that?It's a list of movie scenes that blew my mind and made ME squeal in my seat, like a pig being speared in the ribs, because it was pure, awesome, movie magic. That happened while watching this movie and to my embarrassment, my girlfriend knows what that sounds like now. Damn.
In GODZILLA, we meet Joe Brody (BRYAN CRANSTON), a supervisor at a nuclear plant in Japan. An earthquake of sorts causes travesty at this plant and it triggers events that brings us to present day. Over the years Joe has become dedicated to find out what the hell really caused that seismic activity and ruined his life. Meanwhile, "natural disasters" have been happening all over the place and soon enough it's obvious that some giant, menacing monster could be walking around and that's no good for humanity. Dr. Serizawa (KEN WATANABE) is the scientist also trying to find these things to study, then you have Ford Brody (AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON) as a soldier with skills in bomb handling and we follow his character a lot and MAN is it quite the ride! That's the overall plot but believe me guys, the less you know going into this movie the better!
Please check out my full review on my Tumblr and let me know what you think, link to that in my InstaBio.
What about you guys? Have you seen the newest GODZILLA? Were you blown away or did you leave disappointed? Drop a comment and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
Major Movie Review: The Fault in our Stars
Aww look at that! Aside from movies about graphic sex addiction and brutal R-rated revenge tales involving hammering FOOLS through the crown of their skulls, I make room for the softer side. The ones that might just make you feel all fuzzy inside and perhaps call for a box of tissues. I love me a good tear jerker is what I'm saying, and there wasn't a bigger waterworks show this year than the ones that happened at theatres showing THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Did I crack and cry glorious man tears?
Hazel Grace Lancaster (SHAILENE WOODLEY) is a young woman who has terminal lung cancer. She carries a oxygen tank around with her EVERYWHERE she goes. Yet, there's so much more to her: she's really sophisticated, she has a wit to her, plus she's really pretty. Despite this fatal "journey" she finds ways to get the most out of the life she has left. After much insistence from her mother (LAURA DERN) Hazel Grace goes to a cancer support group meeting. There she meets, Augustus Waters (ANSEL ELGORT or as I now call him "the guy your girlfriend now wants), he is also an ex-cancer patient who unfortunately lost his leg to his sickness. There meeting sparks a romance that we the audience watch and grow on and I'll leave it at that because I want first time viewers to really soak in how this romance is told.
Please check out my full review of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS on my Tumblr, link to that is in my InstaBio and let me know what you think.
What about you guys? Have you seen FAULT? Have you read the novel it's based off of? What's your favorite SHAILENE WOODLEY movie? Drop a comment and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013)
Major Movie Review: Nymphomaniac: Vol. II
If you read my review for Vol.1 of LARS VON TRIER'S epic film series of one woman's sex addiction(well first off you're awesome and THANK YOU)then you know I really enjoyed that film.I thought it was a really insightful and at times a kinda lighthearted,character study if you can look past the graphic sexual content.Now I couldn't wait to see this conclusion and my god! I've never felt more betrayed by an ending before but NYMPHOMANIAC VOL.II has succeeded so.
VOL.II picks up right where we left off with Joe's story.Now I'll try to avoid spoilers as much as possible in case you haven't seen the first part,so to summarize the plot of part 2 I'll just say that this time around we delve into darker,grimmer and incredibly disturbing moments into the main character's (Joe) life.Now that she's grown older,her sex life has become boring so Joe starts to turn to techniques that make the FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY trailer look like a promo for an ABC FAMILY sitcom.Meanwhile we still get the moments of conversation between Joe and Seligman that continue to the end of the movie and thus brings the biggest BITCH SLAP of an ending I've ever seen.
Please check out my full review for NYMPHOMANIAC VOL.2 on my Tumblr, link to that is in my InstaBio. Have you guys seen the NYMPHOMANIAC movies?What are your thoughts?Drop a comment and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Major Movie Review: Captain America: The First Avenger
Marvel has come a long way since they released the first Iron Man movie back in the summer of 2008 thus kicking off the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Today we got an awesome Avengers team with great heroes, all of which also have their own awesome film franchises.CAPTAIN America:THE WINTER SOLDIER comes out on Blu-ray today,and I thought it'd appropriate to review the movie that introduced CHRIS EVANS to the world as the "Star Spangled Man with a Plan". Steve Rogers,is a skinny, short, weakling living in WWII era New York but this walking skeleton has the heart and courage of a LION!When his best pal,Bucky takes him to the Stark Expo,he grabs the attention of Dr. Erskine (STANLEY TUCCI) who notices Rogers' passion to serve his country in battle.Steve agrees to take part in the doctor's secret tests involving the army that then turns him into a super soldier,we know him as CAPTAIN America.Meanwhile,the evil Red Skull has his sights and interests set on the mysterious and powerful Tesseract to take over the world for himself with his own army,Hydra. Check out my full review for CAPTAIN America: THE FIRST AVENGER on my Tumblr,link to that is in my InstaBio. How about you guys?Did you or did you not like the first Captain America movie?Who's your favorite Avenger?Drop a comment and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013)
Major Movie Review: Nymphomaniac Vol. I
LARS VON TRIER,is a director that really intrigues me,I might be in the minority there,as a number of his films cause a LOT of controversy concerning their themes and just what this man puts to screen.Some are MELANCHOLIA and my favorite of his the extremely risqué and graphic ANTI-Christ That being said,I just watched the first half of his 2 part epic,NYMPHOMANIAC VOL.1 and while many people are brushing this off as "another artsy film with sex thrown in for the sake of shock" I want to be the one to let you intellectually mature followers of mine know,that NYMPHOMANIAC is actually a deep,character study that at times can be quite funny but ALWAYS entertaining and REALLY insightful.
CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG,plays Joe,she's a woman laying out on the middle of a cold and wet street bruised and bloodied.A gentle man named,Seligman(STELLEN SKARSGARD)finds Joe and takes her in for some warmth and tea.Upon waking up the two begin talking about how she came upon looking nearly dead in an alley.Joe says to understand why she was there,she'd have to tell her whole story.So her starts at the beginning.Literally all the way back to her childhood and how this woman grew up with an extreme case of sex addiction.What we see are jumps to different points in time of her life.
So if you're familiar with VON TRIER'S work,than you know the man doesn't have a mainstream eye for how he crafts his films,so for casual movie goers you'd probably get turned off with just the first 5 minutes which I don't blame you,heavy metal beginning credits anyone? However,when the story telling kicks in,the movie absolutely shines!The story is told through flashbacks showing Young Joe played by STACY MARTIN(more on her later) and between moments of flashbacks we get these very intriguing monologues between Adult Joe and Seligman that consist of conversations of fishing and how it parallels with how people look for a sexual partner.Some of my favorite scenes actually take place with just the two main characters talking.Also other than the great script you get a really uniquely directed film with interesting use of text and stock footage that emphasizes important story points and themes.
There's a really impressive cast put together and everyone really brings very good performances,even SHIA LABEOUF has a decent acting role here other than screaming for Optimus all the time.CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG and STELLEN SKARSGARD are terrific in their roles,I really got to like their characters and their back and forth conversation. UMA THURMAN,who I didn't even know was in this movie ALMOST steals this movie though.I loved her in the KILL BILL movies, she was a perfect mix of feminine power and a held in pain.She has ONE scene in this movie.Just one.And it might be the most uncomforting scene I've seen all year and there's no graphic sex or even a kiss shown at all and that's saying something!She nailed her scene so well.
NOW, I wanna talk about the star of this movie, STACY MARTIN.This is a movie of one woman's sex addiction and how she goes from having exciting discoveries with her sexuality as a young girl to the really dark and disturbing parts where she uses sex as a coping technique to deal with personal pain.There is so much more to this movie than I think it's being credited for! The way the movie is filmed I legitimately could not tell whether the sex scenes in this movie were real or not,and Ms.MARTIN goes through ..quite a bit of scenes.Whether she's having sex for pleasure or pain you believe her emotions she goes through each time.There are some heart wrenching moments that show the personal and light hearted side of Joe and STACY MARTIN is an actress that can really pull off an emotional scene so genuinely.Her scenes with a surprisingly great Christian SLATER,as her father,were very touching and almost brought me tears at some points.After watching the movie it disgusted me with how much negativity I read surrounding the young actress after this movie's release concerning her strongly sexual character.I think she should be applauded!She loses herself in this role and brings humanity to an other wise taboo maybe even disgusting human being. Her performance is award worthy and I would love to see her acting chops in more movies in the future.
This is a gorgeously shot movie,which is no surprise for a VON TRIER joint.Cinematography and shots are expertly thought through, but it's the music that was inconsistent for me.It lacked a strong score that would've complimented the rest of the film's technical glow.
I really enjoyed NYMPHO VOL.1 as a film lover.Is it for everyone?PPFFHA hell no, do NOT watch this with mom and pop yall!But for mature folk that love character studies, film making, story telling,or even the unfortunately taboo subject of sex you'll hopefully enjoy it as much as I did.For the right audience I GIVE MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!BUY THIS MOVIE! 9/10
Million Dollar Arm (2014)
Major Movie Review: Million Dollar Arm
Has anyone seen Miracle? I'm not a hockey fan but that movie is so stuffed with fluffy, Disney inspiration and spirit that after watching it even I wanna throw on a couple of skates and ice-tackle some giant Russian dude. It was a great sports movie from The Mickey Mouse guys, MILLION DOLLAR ARM is the latest baseball movie from Disney starring Jon Hamm. Did this movie make me wanna pick up a glove and throw a no hitter or was it another clone off the Moneyball success train?
Sports agent, J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) has a struggling agency that is hungry for some talent to represent. Their best prospect was an up-coming linebacker that jumped ship to a flashier agency. So in an act of desperation he takes on a job for a business investor looking to recruit some Asian talent for some Major League play. So, Bernstein decides to scout around "the next great untapped market" for young baseball talent, India. In order to dig out the next Jeter, J.B. and his associates plan this talent competition, where the best hometown athlete would win $1 million and a chance to try out for a major league contract. It's during one of these stops that the crew discover these two young guys, Rinku (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) who both have quite the pitching arm! Rinku has this weird, Swan Kick like pitch that had me ROLLIN'! So after seeing these kids' talent and picking up this hilarious little translator dude, the squad flies back to the states and it's up to J.B. to both get these kids to perfect their pitch for the pros and maybe improve his own personal way of living.
Disney has always been pretty good when it comes to their live-action sports movies. The previously mentioned Miracle is a sports classic, even Invincible with Mark Wahlberg was a pretty good football movie. Million Dollar Arm is a welcomed addition to that fine group of movies, not the best but certainly entertaining. It plays everything pretty close to the formula that a majority of similar sports films follow, so don't be surprised if you can see where this story if going from the start. Thankfully, the strong familiarity of it all isn't too much of a burden as it's a very ewell acted and good looking movie.
Jon Hamm is at his suave, best as J.B. Bernstein. His character has a lot of Jerry McGuire in him; he's a model dating, smooth talker that is on the edge when it comes to his career. But what makes his performance a plus here was how Jon Hamm brought out the likability and humanity of his character, which I didn't think I was gonna see. He wasn't Don Draper here. The two young actors who played the baseball hopefulls were also very good in their roles. Like with Jon Hamm's character, I was surprised with how the movie actually took the time to show some of the smaller, more tender character moments. Moments that made you care for the people on screen. Especially with the young Indian players! Alan Arkin is as enjoyable a screen presence as always, I didn't even know he was in the movie. Bill Paxton and Aasif Mandvi, who I always loved on The Daily Show, also had very good supporting roles. By the way, that's BACK-TO-BACK awesome Paxton flicks with this and my previous review of Edge of Tomorrow! It's great to see him in some good movies again.
Disney is never one to spare any expense with their movies. The production and cinematography are top notch! The 2nd act that takes place across India, when they're recruiting guys, is awesome and authentic, taking us to multiple cities across the country. The film's soundtrack is also a pleasure to the senses. It's this awesome culture and genre blend just like the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. There is no shortage of feel good vibes in this movie, or as I like to call it fluff or cheese. The script is soft and standard enough that it won't be as memorable or as sharp as Moneyball but it's got all the heart and baseball smarts to make for a sports movie that's never boring and actually, pretty touching.
Sports fans and non-sports fans alike will find enough to enjoy this movie. It's an easy, feel-good watch with a great cast and some terrific production. Another win for the Disney Sports library. I say, "IT'S WORTH A WATCH".
What about you guys? Have you seen Million Dollar Arm? What did you think? What's your favorite sports movie ever? Drop a comment and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Under the Skin (2013)
Major Movie Review: Under the Skin
So hey, we finally get a movie where Scarlett Johansson goes full nude on camera! That's all fine and dandy when you hear it at first but, ladies and germs, UNDER THE SKIN is much more. It's quite possibly the creepiest and most thought provoking sci-fi movie I've seen all year. WARNING! For those who have not seen the film, I'll try my best to avoid spoilers but there are certain things that I HAVE to say in order for me to properly sum up this flick.
Scarlett Johansson is our lead here and the only major character in this entire 1 hour and 40 minute movie and she has no name so I will refer to her as Scarlett. Scarlett, is a mysterious and beautiful woman who drives around the streets of Scottland in a white van and picks up random men to take and... collect them. She lures them back to a dark place somewhere and, from what the trailers show, harvests their meaty organs. Got your attention yet? It's during her horrific tasks that she begins to "find herself" and see that life and humanity is capable of so much more than the perverse, self-centerdness she seems to run into in the beginning of the movie. Well kind of.
Well, that was a tricky synopsis! I will start by saying UNDER THE SKIN, is not a typical, narrative driven film. This is a really slow burn of a sci-fi/horror with some serious themes and messages being tackled. Now, we've all heard the saying, "beauty is only skin deep" and this entire movie portrays that in a way that shocked, entranced, and deeply disturbed me in a way that I did not expect, it was almost like watching a Kubrick film. Can I say that?
There are two parts of this movie to me. The first part is Scarlett luring men around Scottland where this creepy, horror vibe takes center. The dark and murky streets give the setting an other worldly look and when Scarlett is "hunting" it just fits so perfectly. There's some seriously unsettling and disturbing scenes in this film! I watched this movie with my girlfriend, and she can normally put up with this sort of stuff and watch it with me, but she actually walked out midway. I can't say I blame her. The beach scene in this movie was one of the hardest scenes I've ever had to see, and it isn't filled with blood or gore or violence but the way director Jonathan Glazer uses no dialog and just imagery and the natural sound of the waves made for an extremely powerful and stomach turning scene.
The second half of the movie has Scarlett's character moving off the beaten path. She doesn't want to do this "mission" that has her harvesting men. She starts to see more of human nature and tries things that she isn't accustomed to doing and it's here that we get our first real character development. As I said, this isn't a typical story driven movie and that will put A LOT of people off which I completely understand.
Scarlett Johansson is absolutely terrific in this movie. She doesn't have much dialog, which fits for the role she's playing, but her face and subtle body motions does the acting for her and that is really impressive, almost like Ryan Goslin in Drive. I love her as Black Widow, I thought she showed some great and real acting chops in Don Jon and here she cements her talents as a great actress.... plus she's really nice to look at. I HAD TO! 😆
However, Scarlett isn't the only eye candy here because the movie itself is gorgeous! The scenery and settings look great on Bluray especially towards the end when Scarlett's walking through this dense woods area. The scenes where she lures her prey into darkness are also very memorable because of the creepiness but also the disgusting imagery that's used. Jonathan Glazer is known for making a beautiful looking film with a sprinkle of nasty and it's shows here. The musical score by Mica Levo, I fell in love with! It's so alien and creepy which fits so perfectly and I love how the music is used to build suspense when it's really needed.
The themes and messages are strong but unfortunately the way the movie paces along and portrayal those messages won't mesh with the majority of movie goers. It's a slow moving horror flick with minimal star dialog and will leave the more casual movie goers overflowing with questions that they want served to them on a platter and up front by the ending. This is a cinephile's kind of flick with a fantastic lead performance and looks breathtakingly haunting at the same time. For casual watchers I give it a "SKIP IT". For my fellow film aficionadoes I give it a confident "GOTTA F*CKING WATCH IT!"
Summer 2014 has come and gone and with it we got stories of superheroes,dragons,and of course apes on horses!However with the end of the scorcher season comes Autumn,a darker time where darker movies come out and to send of thr summer I end it with a review of a film that tackles adultery,self-conflict,totalitarianism and other much darker themes.The film is called Enemy,and it might be the most compelling film I have seen in 2014.
Enemy is the story of history teacher,Adam Bell (JAKE GYLLENHAAL) who,one day out of the blue,gets a movie recommendation EH😃 from a coworker.So he finds the movie at a local rental store and upon a rewatch,discovers that a certain actor in the movie looks exactly like him,minus an awesome beard.So Adam discovers the man is Anthony Claire(ALSO played by GYLLENHAAL),who's a small time actor,who actually happens to live in the same neighborhood himself,and the two look alikes to unravel just what the hell is going on and as a person who really supports going into these kinds of movies as oblivious as possible that's really all I wanna say about the plot.It's a pretty...riveting film to say the least.
That being said,this is NOT by any means a movie for everyone!Not just because of the unconventional way the film or the story are crafted,but just because of the touchy subject matter that the movie portrays.The simple story of JAKE GYLLENHAAL'S twin characters may sound like a Lindsay Lohan style,quircky time but let me tell you guys that the story of Enemy,when really looked into,is really a well written and acted story of a man who's trying to overcome his inner demons and personal problems that are wrecking his life and loved ones.It's a hard movie to review and more of a movie for discussion.And THAT ladies and gentlemen is why I like this movie WAY more than most people might!The symbology and images used to tell the story like the use of spiders is great.I love when a movie can tell a story by mere images and scenes that contain very little dialog,it's credit to director,DENIS VILLENEUVE'S excellent vision and the strong cast performances.
Which brings me to Mr.JAKE GYLLENHAAL,his performance in this movie is terrific.May I remind you that he plays two roles,which means two different characters,both with their own unique physical trademarks,ways of speaking,even walking posture and that's why I was so blown away by how good,JAKE pulled of his roles.His career has really blossomed as of late and with NIGHTCRAWLER releasing in a few months I've got this guy on my top actors to watch list.There is a supporting cast as well,with MELANIE LAURENT and SARAH GADON both who are really great opposite the two Jakes.I really enjoyed their characters and the raw emotion that they showcase.
The movie is technically flawless to me,some people might get turned off by the simple color palette but it really gave the movie the right look and tone.The musical score is also fantastic,you can tell a lot of it may have been inspired by the movies of ALFRED HITCHCOCK like VERTIGO'S classic score.Actually a lot of this entire movie really feels influenced by HITCHCOCK'S work.
ENEMY is my favorite kind of movie,one that promotes thought,discussion,and really shows that movies can be SOOO much more than MEGAN FOX running in slo-mo or constant reboots and sequels.There are unique stories that can be told by talented story tellers in ways that may not be told in a traditional,movie way.ENEMY is a movie that sucks you in with it's characters,performances,and sheer mystery at what might happen in the next scene.It's a powerful character study,a really suspenseful psychological thriller and I GIVE IT MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! BUY THIS MOVIE!Unless you can't stand art films,just don't bother. 8/10
What about you guys? Have you seen or even heard of ENEMY? Are you interested? Let me know what you think,drop a comment,and LET'S TALK MOVIES!
Rio 2 (2014)
I can finally add a new film to my "Sequels Nobody Really Asked For" list,so congratulations RIO 2!You've joined the class of works like a G.I. JOE:RETALIATION and CARS 2.
RIO 2 is the sequel to the surprise hit RIO that opened back in '11 and meets up again with the last Blu Macaws on the planet;Blu,Jewel,and their three kids.They're enjoying life in a wildlife protective center located in beautifully animated Rio De Janeiro.When their caretakers are exploring the Amazon rain forest,they come across evidence that there might just be an entire flock of Blu Macaws still alive in the wild in the forest.Blu and the gang of fowl fools hear of this and decide to go find answers for themselves and bump into no good humans,old enemies,and maybe some long lost family.And there's music.Lots of music.And a Nicki Minaj sloth. I enjoyed the original RIO,it was a fun,beautiful animated family movie with enjoyable musical scenes and some pretty impressive animation.In hindsight it's no surprise that movie was gonna make bank but this sequel honestly passed me by quick.You don't get a completely gripping story as you would with Pixar or a good Dreamworks movie.The story is pretty basic and linear,which obviously makes sense being this is a movie clearly aimed to a young demographic.Three acts,happy ending,with plenty of fluff thrown in.If I'm coming off as completely crapping on this flick,let me say it's not a bad movie at all.It's just so easy.The song sequences can range from being Bluray beautiful to being just a pop music insert. The animation is strong with this one though,the big shots of the city of Rio and green forests of the Amazon really please the eyes and the characters are all colorful,likable and cute as they should.My favorite character was actually the most developed and had this interesting hook to her character,it's the painfully adorable poison dart frog.Loved her. There'a plenty of star voice talent and they all bring real life to each of their characters,JEMAINE CLEMENT is awesome in his return as the evil Nigel.ANDY GARCIA is in this movie but kinda just cashes it in IMO.BRUNO MARS is a new voice and he was decent.He didn't annoy me as much as I thought. RIO 2 is a movie meant and made for kids.Maybe around 12 and younger,but THERE ARE those moments for adults to chuckle at.The music and animation are also more than enough to warrant that I RECOMMEND A RENTAL!The Bluray would be a good family movie night rental but it doesn't really reach the caliber of the big boys like Disney or Miyazaki.
Normally,when I hear nothing but bad and negative talk about a movie it does either two things;let the movie completely fly over my head or I bring myself to watch and see for myself just what the unanimous hatred is for.Well,me and my girlfriend bravely sat and watched what many a movie goer have dubbed one of the "worst" movies of the year and I wanna give my two cents on this latest sci-fi bomb.
JOHNNY DEPP,plays Dr.Will Caster,a scientist who's made it his goal to create a sentient computer with A.I. far superior than anything in the world.Of course there are groups out there who see nothing but evil and blasphemy in his dreams,such as R.I.F.T. and this terrorist group carry out an attack on Dr.Caster by sending out a shooter with a poison laced bullet.Now facing death,Evelyn Caster,played decently by REBECCA HALL,decides the best way to keep her husband alive would be to upload his consciousness into the quantam computer that Will and his team had worked on.Now an incredibly smart super computer,Dr.Caster faces dangerous complications that can bring an inevitable destruction of mankind.
The plot for the movie can go both ways,there were some moments where this movie could've had shots at greatness with the whole artificial intelligence part,the idea is THERE!It's just executed pretty poorly unfortanately.This isn't so much a horrible film as it is a boring one and a horribly paced one.This is,at it's core,a sci-fi movie and I like some thrills in my sci-fi.TRANSCENDENCE tries to give us an intense movie,but there's barely any action.So does the movie make up for that in good character interaction?Again,not really.The two main characters played by DEPP and HALL are a husband and wife couple in this movie,yet there was no real connection between the two to make you care for some of the more dramatic moments their characters go through.The same can be said for ANY of the characters in this movie.
Now there is a really impressive cast in this movie:JOHNNY DEPP,REBECCA HALL,MORGAN FREEMAN,CILLIAN MURPHY.There's no shortage of talent on screen,but with such a weak script these stars really have nothing to work with.Which is really disappointing since I'm a big JOHNNY DEPP fan and to see him in a role where he isn't covered in 20 layers of make up is actually welcomed!In here though,he feels...absent.I mean you seen DEPP on screen but at the same time it feels like he just stopped by between PIRATES movies.MORGAN FREEMAN,even feels like he may have just done phoned in his spot.
With a budget of $100 million,you're bound to get some production value,with an awesome soundtrack,and some big names.You're not always gonna get a hit though and as much as I admire director PFISTER's cinematography work on the DARK KNIGHT movies,this is a bad rookie showing.Weak characters,sorry pacing that would bore a snail and a story that may have been a bigger bite to chew bring this one down despite the impressive cast,intriguing story idea,and some nice shot set ups. I RECOMMEND A RENTAL!
It saddened me when I noticed that when a majority of people see that a movie takes place in once location the entire time it's looked at as being boring and dumb. LOCKE, starring TOM HARDY, is one of those one location movies and if my word actually matters to anyone, this movie is neither boring or dumb. In fact,it might just be the most thrilling movie I've seen all year.
TOM "Bane" HARDY,plays Ivan Locke, a very successful construction manager who is about to supervise of a new,historic construction project.On the night before that project he gets a alarming phone call from a woman who's having his child.Ivan then drops everything,from his work deadline to meeting up with his wife and kids to watch a football game,gets in his car and drives for an entire movie length to be there for this stranger woman's birth.A lot of you may be seeing this movie the wrong way already but BELIEVE ME,there's soo much more to this movie and the tital character of Ivan Locke that I don't wanna spoil for you guys.
YES,this entire movie takes place in Locke's car and his only ways of communication with other characters are through phone calls via the car phone in the dashboard.You gotta respect the technicle work that has to be put into making an entire movie like this,sure it's nothing but shots of TOM HARDY'S face and some shots of London's late night highways but it really adds to the power the movie's storytelling.Again, without giving too much away,this man goes through A lot of difficult and somewhat hopeless,personal obstacles in such a short amount of time.The fact that the movie takes place in a man's car really brings a claustrophobic choke when the movie's drama really picks up.The script also makes me forget the whole one location thing,as the dialog between characters feels so genuine and real,you get sucked into the situation going on in each phone call it's really impressive.
TOM HARDY is the only face in this movie and,DUDE,talk about screen presence!Mr.Hardy,goes from he who broke Batman's spine to giving award worthy stuff here.His performance goes through so many ranges of emotion,and he pulls it off so well.Especially when you see just what his character has to go through.One minute,Ivan can be the chillest dude ever,THERAPEUTIC EVEN!However,it IS awesome to see how he transitions from calm demeanor to having intense arguments with people who may or may not be present with him.It's really an amazing one man show.
The movie seems simply made on the surface,but it's a really smooth looking technical achievement.The use of street lights continuously glowing over every shot are beautiful,the music also fills every scene perfectly to fit each tone.If you have any sort of appreciation for innovative film making or really great acting I don't see why LOCKE wouldn't appeal to you.It's beautifully shot and expertly acted, I GIVE IT MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION! BUY THIS MOVIE! 9/10
So after what I consider a good start to my anime review series, I thought a good follow up to my review of ATTACK ON TITAN, which is probably one of the most popular new animes out today, would be a review for AKIRA, probably the most popular and acclaimed anime of ALL TIME! AKIRA is set in the dystopian future of Tokyo, Japan in the year 2019. Tetsuo and Kaneda are the characters we start with and they're these young, motorcycle riding hoodlums that drive around the neon lit streets just living their young, motorcycle riding hoodlum lives. During a seemingly everyday gang fight, Tetsuo gets in a crash involving a mysterious, wrinkled child. The government comes flying in on choppers and scoop up the kid and Tetsuo and take them away.After the abduction, Kaneda decides it's up to him to get back his friend with the help of Kei, a kick ass anti-government chick that is also involved with the mysterious kid, however government cover ups and secrets are discovered along the way and leads to a mind blowing amount of chaos and destruction. The plot of Akira is one that demands your full attention and patience.By that, I don't mean it doesn't make sense or is boring.If anything, the script and story have a surprising amount of depth and covers many themes,which honestly threw me off guard.Themes like religion,politics,even the theme of having power.HOWEVER, as much as I was engrossed and in love with the movie's story, I can't see where non casual anime watchers can get into something this...ALL OVER THE PLACE, for lack of better words.If I showed my mom Akira, she'd be scared off as soon as a she saw a grey child witnessing a German shepard dog getting face shot.That doesn't mean the story telling is all that perfect though, there were some certain characters that take forever to really get behind.A big majority of the first half,I DID have trouble figuring each character out and their motives and purpose.Thankfully the story DOES get into each character further into the run time, but it takes a while for certain characters to flush out.That problem isn't there for the two main characters of Tetsuo and Kaneda.The two have this real bond and brotherhood and it really carries the story along.A thing I did find odd and never really thought of was how a lot of the movies promotional art and DVD covers, heavily show the character of Kaneda.While he IS a major character in the movie, there are so many other people like Ryu,The Colonel(personal fav),and of course Tetsuo that are just as important. The beauty of the film's animation is damn mear perfect!Pixar and Dreamworks have given us pretty films of recently but this was made back in 1988.That means HAND DRAWN ANIMATION!There is not one moment that doesn't look absolutely gorgeous.Backgrounds and settings with constant ruins and destruction are beautifully detailed and character models are some of the best I've seen in any anime.Usually in anime, no matter how good it is, the animation can get pretty stiff and jittery at times.Akira has constantly fluid and crisp animation that keeps you glued to EVERY frame.It still blows my mind when I think of just how much care the artists behind the scenes put into this movie. The influence of this movie, like its animation, is also very strong.If I told you this anime influenced today's blockbusters like The Matrix and Chronicle, you'd probably can see why with the highly stylized action and effects it uses.You can also see where Akira was influenced by other classic sci-fi movies like Blade Runner with the bright, hypnotic city skylines. Akira is an animation lover's anime; it's shockingly nice to look at, even at it's more twisted and trippy moments.The story is both epic and deep while also giving us likable lead characters to get behind. If you're not into Anime I highly suggest A RENTAL AT LEAST. It's just a beautifully made anime that deserves a watch but for fans and true animation/film lovers I GIVE IT MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. BUT IT!
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy Review
Comic Con is still fresh in a lot of folks minds with SOO much huge news.So much so I was worried that everyone was kind of pushing the upcoming Guardians release to the side.Thankfully this past weekend showed that Guardians is here to stay.We start on Earth with a young Peter Quill aka Star-Lord who just tragically lost his mother. Fast forward to adulthood and Star-Lord is a Pop loving,one lining,likable space scavenger.After picking up a mysterious orb and getting the attention of our other Guardians and some space Hun named Ronan the Accusor,we set off on what I can only describe is a action packed,space roller coaster with never before seen worlds,strange alien life,and Merle Dixon looking like a hillbilly version of Night Crawler in X2(Hes really awesome in this movie by the way).If you're a fan of anything sci-fi you're gonna have at least a minuscule attraction to this latest Marvel beast.Chris Pratt is great as Star-Lord.Zoe Saldana is another addition to this years amazing roster of awesome female characters.Rocket Raccoon is the big money here and STEALS THE SHOW!The villain of Ronan was decent I thought but felt like filler for Thanos.This is why i was all for Disney taking over Marvel Stud.No expense is spared here with GORGEOUS effects and action sequences.There were a lot of good use of makeup and practical effects which always reminds me of Star Wars and thats always a good thing.There were a lot of decently filmed fight sequences that really looked good.The story isn't the most original however.The whole McGuffin driven plot is used over and over again in super hero movies but thankfully the writing,the great character development and the direction really make this a unique and refreshing experience for me considering how many superhero movies I watch.While it gets all the superhero movie standards no problem,again its the humor and lets not forget the incredible soundtrack that reserves this movie a spot in my top movies of the year list.This is everything I wanted it to be.Fun,hilarious,breathtakingly sharp and I GIVE IT MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. BUY THIS MOVIE! 9/10
So 2014 has really been the year for strong woman characters in movies.Scarlet brought us Black Widow and Lucy,Emily Blunt kicks ass in Edge of Tomorrow,Maleficent freakin dominated the theatres!That brings me to Divergent.The latest teen novel to movie adaption that is thankfully more Hunger Games than Twilight.Shailene Woodley plays Tris.A young woman living in some sort of futuristic ruin of Chicago that has these virtue based groups of people.When Tris finds out shes been titled Divergent she also stumbles upon an evil plot to take out all Divergents.Chaos and rebellion ensue and we get what is a total set up to a saga.Ill explain in a bit.Ms.Woodley really owns her role.I admit it took me a minute to really get behind her character at first but as she gets stronger and progresses so does you connection with her.Like Katniss is Hunger Games,Tris is another great big screen,female badass.Theo James does alright as Four.He's advertised as a love interest but in the end his relationship with Tris I ended up really liking their chemistry.Sure there's a smidge of romance but the film focuses more on the character of Tris and the adventure that the movie tells.The story by the way is OK.It had a bit of a slow build for me but once I learned more about how civilization is run in this universe and why certain events were happening I got more into the story.Some of the dialog was pretty weak though and you can definitely tell its a movie working on a smaller budget than say The Hunger Games movies.There are still some really good parts in this movie.Some of the action was shot rather well and good character development leads to some pretty intense moments like when two well liked characters are hurting each other.This movie is definitely setting up a sequel and future films which kinda drags the movie down but also leaves me interested in where this series goes.It lacks the sheer suspense and scope of Hunger Games but thankfully puts character and story before a suffocating love story and countless shirt ripping scenes.If you're a fan I RECOMMEND A PURCHASE. For casual movie watchers ITS WORTH A RENTAL! 7/10
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Good Will Hunting Review
Every now and then I like to step away from reviewing a new theatrical or Blu-ray release and talk about movies that have already been out for some time now.I,as I'm sure the rest of the world,am still deeply hurt to hear about the tragic death of Robin Williams.So I wanna share my opinions on one of his most celebrated movies and movie roles in Good Will Hunting. William Hunting is a young,South Boston raised punk who works as a janitor at M.I.T.Ironically,despite being "just a janitor",Will can solve math equations that baffle even the school's top professors.After anonymously solving a nearly impossible math problem posted in the school halls,he gets the attention of one of the school math professors. With the teachings of Prof. Lamdeau,played by Skarsgard,and regular therapy visits with a community college psychology professor,Will gets the opportunity to really show just what his young brain is capable of while also finding a person he can open up and connect to in, Dr. Sean Macguire played flawlessly by the late,Robin Williams. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck both won Oscars for their screenplay of this movie back when it released and believe me when I say that this movie's script is one of the best in film in my opinion.I know that's a stretch but every character conversation,no matter what the mood of the scene,is filled with interesting and important dialog.I literally won't watch this movie with out subtitles just because I don't wanna risk missing an important piece of info or some character development.There are scenes in this movie that can bring me tears with either sadness or hilarity,this is definitely a layered movie.All this makes the story that much more believable and that of course makes for extremely likable and developed characters.Seriously even minor characters have their moments throughout. With these great characters,you definitely get great performances.Matt Damon is as good as I've ever seen him,he has these one takes where he goes on and on spewing out all this mind numbing but intriguing dialog.Ben Affleck is in this one,however he really plays the secondary character here.That doesn't mean he doesn't get a few good scenes here and there,I actually liked his character as well.Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgard both give really good supporting performances as well.As for Mr.Williams,I really don't have to say anything.What more need be said by now,you know? His performance in this movie puts you through so many different emotions as does his character and it works SO effectively,he's perfect! The music by Danny Elfman is subtle but really kicks when it has to and the cinematography is also actually very good after I rewatched this on Blu-ray.Gus Van Sant may not be a houshold name but he really has this way of making the movie seem almost like a documentary sometimes,he brings realism to his films and a lot of welcomed depth to his characters. With this review I'd like to say one last goodbye to my childhood hero,Robin Williams and praise his performance as well as this film that still gets me Every time!You can call it a sympathy rating but I cant help but give this movie a perfect 10/10 because its MY review and despite the circumstances,this is really a GREAT film and I love it.Of course I give GOOD WILL HUNTING MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION. BUY THIS MOVIE!
Let's Be Cops (2014)
Let's Be Cops Review
So with the success of movies like last summer's THE HEAT, the JUMP STREET movies,and this year's KEVIN HART hit RIDE ALONG,I think the Hollywood beast is gonna sense that the we the people LOOVE paying money to watch buddy cop movie.So this is the latest of the bunch. Justin is a video game designer who gets overlooked at his work and Ryan is a once-famed college QB who today is kind of loser.One day,after misunderstanding the terms of a masquerade party,the two show up in legit looking cop uniforms and after,they start to pick up on little perks of debauchery and awesomness they can have fun with.Of course good fun comes with consequences as the boys get mixed up in a real,dangerous criminal empire and see of maybe they CAN be real cops and be heroes. As I said,there are a lot of cop comedies out there,so distinguish themselves from the rest of the crop,the premise for this movie SCREAMS a fun time!Like how CHRONICLE really put a comedic and fun spin on the superhero and found footage genre,LBC definitely has fun with its story.Two everday dudes put on some cop outfits and troll the streets of LA,what's not to have a blast with?Well when you look past what else the movies script has it ended up being kinda been there done that for me.What gives the JUMP STREET movies that rewatchable factor for me are those movies' heart and chemistry between the characters.You don't get those meaningful moments between laughs that make you care for the characters.However what the movie misses in heart it makes up for in insanity points.This is one of those comedies that is most fun with a group of friends.The R rating is certainly earned! Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr are the stars of this movie and handle the screen pretty well.Jake Johnson is great on NEW GIRL and SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED,here he's OK.He's definitely someone I can see in more lead roles.It's the other other Wayans brother though that steals the movie for me actually!I though he put on the best show in the movie,the scene in a gun armory was a stand out.He put on a really funny show throughout. Nina Dobrev is in this movie and SWEET Jesus does she make a scene just nice to look at!Seriously I feel like there's times when they really fixed the lighting on her to make her really look screen goddess like...other than that unfortunately that's really all her role was good for in this movie.Rob Riggle also has a minor role but I thought he was actually pretty good and rather reserved in his role. This is not a award winning movie and I'm sure that the makers weren't set out to make that but this is definitely just a easy watch of a movie.It's kind of made for a quick buck but still has enough laughs in it to make it worth watching.If you need a good movie to end your summer with your friends than you can't find a more suitable movie. I RECOMMEND A RENTAL! IT'S WORTH A WATCH! 6/10
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Muppets Most Wanted Review
MUPPETS MOST WANTED is a sequel to the 2011 film THE MUPPETS,which was a reboot to the Muppet movie series that started with THE MUPPET MOVIE back in 1979,and THAT was based off the comedy sketch series THE MUPPET SHOW from 1976.Yes guys...I'm a nerd.
In this new Muppet flick,our favorite goup of puppet pals are enjoying their newly refound fame and reuniting of their show.One day,Kermit is approached by a shady manager in Dominic Badguy and they come with the idea for a Muppet world tour to capitalize on their rebirthed relevance.However,around the globe,the world's most evil frog,Constantine (who looks just like Kermit just with an EVIL mole) escapes from prison and plot with Mr.Badguy to frame the Muppets for their heist of the crown jewels in England.
I absolutely adored THE MUPPETS,released in 2011.It was written by both NICHOLAS STOLLER and JASON SEGAL and you really got the sense that care,love,and a real appreciation for The Muppets was in the making of that movie.The whole movie was a love letter to the Muppets and their history and I loved that.This time around,we get a movie that can still satisfy long time Muppet fans but IMO won't be bringing in new followers like last time.There's a lot more of a goofy,adventurous globe trotting feel as opposed to the emotional,comeback story we got with the last movie.Now taking a new direction is good for sequels,but if I'm being honest,it kinda hurts the movie for me a little bit.What made the original so good was how it could appeal new and older fans at the same time,while also being very touching and at times hilarious.That's really a minor flaw for me,as the story DOES feel much more expanded as a sequel should.
One of the things that makes the Muppets so enjoyable for me,be it on TV or the big screen,are the musical pieces,and we do get a good amount of toe tappers!My favorites have gotta be the Muppet interrogation scene and the fantastic opening song,which ironically makes fun of sequels and their being,it's really funny and well done.
The whole Muppet gang is back for the sequel,unfortanately when the plot demands for Kermit the Frog to be separated from the group for nearly the whole movie,you don't get as much balanced Muppet time like in other movies.The Swedish Chef,Gonzo,and new member Walter are there but their characters aren't utilized enough which I understand could be rather difficult to fit everybody a shining moment without being too long,but the last film I think pulled it off perfectly.TINA FEY, TY BURRELL,and RICKY GERVAIS are the main human stars here and they can be pretty hit and miss.TY BURRELL's character can get a bit annoying sometimes but his back and forth with Sam the Eagle,as they team up to prevent the crown jewel heist,was very funny and they brought a good pairing to the movie.Celebrity cameos are another Muppet movie must but this crop of cameos were all hit and miss as well;James McAvoy and Tom Hiddleson are my two favorites. Muppets Most Wanted is a sequel that starts off huge but in the end is a bit of a step back from the triumph that was when we had JASON SEGAL and AMY ADAMS singing with KERMIT and PIGGY but we still get a good Muppet fix complete with plenty of great music,a bigger story and we finally get an idea of just what the hell Kermit and Piggy's kids would possibly look (ADORABLE).If you love the Muppets,this is RECOMMENDED! BUY THIS MOVIE,especially the blu-ray which has two different,fun cuts of the movie.Others,I RECOMMEND A RENTAL! 7/10
Need for Speed (2014)
Need for Speed Review
I promised myself I wouldn't make any Breaking Bad references in this review so here goes nothing.Need for Speed is a new movie sort of based off the popular video game series of the same name.Aaron Paul plays Tobey Marshall a mechanic by day and street racer by night.Tobey gets wrongfully framed for a horrible crime involving his twisted pretty boy business partner played by Dominic Cooper.So after Tobey gets released from prison he sets off towards a race that can clear his name and get revenge on those who put him through hell.It sounds unoriginal and cheesy and for the most part it kind of is.Need for Speed is not gonna overtake Vin Diesel and his familia for best Racing movie franchise anytime soon.BUT there are some things this movie showcases rather well.Aaron Paul was my favorite part of the movie.Coming off one of the most iconic roles as Jess Pinkman it was really cool to me to see him in a leading role in a movie.His performance was really good and so was Imogen Poots(thats a real name trolol) as his love interest.I thought those two had good chemistry.Michael Keaton is also in this movie but sadly felt too underused to me.The script was also a weak point as some of the dialog and conversations between characters felt bleh.Maybe thats just me craving more Breaking Bad level writing.How bout the REAL reason you wanna watch this movie?The racing and action sequences are actually the saving grace of this movie.The stunt work and camera techniques really brought real adrenaline to me as cars were being flipped and thrown everywhere.However there were some moments where I had to suspend my whole "that would never really happen" complains.The soundtrack is a bit dull and overall the rest of the cast besides Paul kinda fizzle and fade.Its a fun movie that maybe goes a bit too big for its own good but I still RECOMMEND A RENTAL. ITS WORTH A WATCH! 6/10
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review
There's The Godfather Part II.There's Empire Strikes Back.There's The Dark Knight.And NOW APES ON HORSES!Dawn picks up "10 winters" after the events of 2011's Rise.Cesar,and his colony of advanced apes have found their paradise and have built a strong community complete with a school,doctors and a hunting squad.Caeser himself has a family.His wife just gave birth and his eldest son is learning the ways of becoming a man..ape..Man-Ape.One day these pesky humans come and disturb the peace as we humans tend to do and then conflict between man and ape bubble and boil over to the point where we get the mind blowing, awesome stuff you've seen in the previews. This sequel is fantastic.Easily my favorite movie of the year,and let me tell you pretty people why.This is more than just a summer blockbuster with probably the best special effects I've ever seen and intensity to the max in it's action.It's a movie that has a LOT to say about stuff going on in our real world.There's heart wrenching drama,beautiful cinematography,and the best motion capture acting ever put on film. Andy Serkis plays Caeser who is probably a new favorite movie character of mine.He plays Caeser to perfection whether it be a touching scene or a scene where he's beating the snot out of someone. He oozes screen presence.Toby Kebbel plays Koba the scarred up scary ape from Rise and his performance was JUST as good as Serkis.The humans in the movie don't bring down the greatness of this movie.I thought Jason Clarke did really good as the lead human but it's the great Gary Oldman who plays my favorite human character.His performance when he's looking through tablet choked me up.The storytelling also makes this movie shine.This movie had me second guessing where it was gonna take things so for people saying this is gonna be like Avatar or Dances with Wolves WRONG! Matt Reeves' direction is superb, my favorite scene in the movie involves Koba and a tank.There's some incredible shots throughout.It almost reminded me of a big budget Walking Dead episode.The musical score is also very good.This is just a perfect all around Summer movie.I give this movie my highest recommendation. 10/10