Category: Movie Review

Movie Review: Chronicle

I have been wanting to see Chronicle for some time now and finally had a chance to watch it.  I ended up liking it a lot.

The movie revolves around 3 teens:  Andrew, Matt and Steve who discover a cavernous hole in the woods while they are at a party one night.  After an encounter with whatever was down there, the boys acquire telekinetic powers.  As their powers grow their friendship also becomes stronger.  However, Andrew has a troubled home life, with an alcoholic father and terminally ill mother.  Unfortunately, as his home life gets worse, his emotions get the best of him and his powers are harder to control.

The movie is shot in a first person point of view, where the camera is being held by one of the boys during the course of the movie (supposedly this is called found-footage).  And it gives it the B-Movie type feel, or at least a semi-realistic point of view.  It definitely reminds me of Cloverfield, where it tries to put the viewer in the scenes with the characters.

The effects are pretty cheesy, I have to say.  When the boys learn to float and fly around, you can tell they are wearing harnesses and swinging on wires.  Either way the movie is still fun to watch.  It has its dark moments and it takes place in Washington state. Because of that, the skies are always gray and cloudy giving the movie even more atmosphere.  Lastly, I think I liked it because it reminded me a lot of Akira.  If you have ever seen Akira, you know that Tetsuo cannot control his immense powers and causes havoc.  Well, same thing goes for Andrew in Chronicle.

Despite the lack of originality, the movie was still entertaining and sorta creepy to watch.  You may like it. So, go ahead and check it out.  [I should really start some sort of rating system for movies.]

Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Don Jon

So I read a few reviews on Don Jon and some of them make good points, but I still sorta liked the movie.

Don Jon is that typical Jersey shore type character we have been introduced to by MTV.  Gelled up hair, works out on the regular, goes clubbing to pick up chicks and ‘smash’, loves his family, goes to church and repeats his routine.  Except this guy has an particularly strong addiction to porn.  He likes it so much he is more satisfied by the experience of masturbating to porn than to having real sex.

So this movie actually does make some interesting points about sex and the expectations that porn maybe putting out to society.  His views on blow jobs, the way condoms feel, the issues with different positions, it all actually made some sense to me.  Obviously the view points are one sided.  You don’t hear the girls argument to these points other than his expectations are not realistic and that his porn addiction is disgusting…etc.  I believe a review on RogerEbert.com made a point that if this character gets laid all the time, how has he not run into a girl that wouldn’t mind doing more than just missionary style.  Either way it made me wonder how most one night stands go.

‘Don Jon’ as proclaimed by his friends eventually gets tired of his routine of one night stands and decides to start a serious relationship with Charlotte Johansson’s character, Barbara.  Unfortunately, she is a demanding, high maintenance type girl and he is forced to hide his addiction from her.

Barbara slowly tries to mold him into the boyfriend she wants him to be. Eventually getting him to go back to school where he meets a older classmate played by Julia Moore.  As much as Julia’s character Esther is made out to be a cougar (well she is a total cougar), she builds a type of friendship that Jon was missing.  Love without friendship is not love.

This movie ends up being a different type of love story. In the end we learn a lesson about love, friendship and intimacy.  Despite the raunchy porn scenes cut into the movie, the over acting and simplistic characters the movie was pretty funny, entertaining and thought provoking.

I would actually recommend reading more reviews on this movie.  They are almost as entertaining as the movie itself.  I am also surprised how offended people are by the porn clips and it’s jab at the Catholic church.  This movie didn’t strike me as very offensive, but it sure did upset some people.  Anyways, check out the movie on Netflix.  As always, I would love people to comment and leave their take on things.

Thanks for reading!

Movie Review: Dallas Buyers Club

I have been trying to catch up with all the Oscar winning movies that I missed out on.  I finally saw Dallas Buyers Club this weekend.  I expected a good movie and was not disappointed.

Matthew McConaughey plays the role of Ron Woodroof; a hustler, gambler, and homophobic drug user.  After an accident at work lands him in the hospital, he is informed that he is HIV+.  As the movie takes us through his denial and finally acceptance of his situation he goes on a mission to get the medicine he needs to possibly get healthier.  During this time period AZT was one of the promising drugs being tested for treatment of AIDS patients. Unfortunately, it was not yet available to the public.  This leads Ron to seek help from a doctor in Mexico who offers medicines that are more natural and with less harmful side affects.  Ron decides to start selling these medications to other patients through the Dallas Buyers Club.  He partners up with a transvestite named Rayon played by Jared Leto, who helps him get more clients.
The entire cast does a great job. Although the movie revolved around very serious matters, the movie was still enjoyable because of the characters. Ron’s evolution from a self destructive homophobe, to a concerned friend and advocate was great to watch. Matthew McConaughey transformation for the movie to an extremely thin, sickly looking man was astonishing as well.  His friendship/partnership with the very sassy and sweet Rayon was great to watch.  Jared Leto clearly deserved his Oscar.  His mannerisms, voice, walk and makeup completely converted him into his character.  Of course the other cast members help the story along as well, for example Dr.Vass and Eve.   And who would have thought the FDA would be the bad guy in the movie, with the drug companies pushing their medicines when safer alternatives are available?
Overall the movie was bitter sweet, but I highly recommend it.

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie came out this weekend and it is great!  This movie can be appreciated by adults and kids alike.

The movie is funny, full of adventure and nostalgia. It pulls all the LEGO sets in a cute story line where an ordinary construction worker is accidentally mistaken as ‘The Special’ who is prophesied to defeat President Business and his evil plot.

The voice cast for this movie was impeccable. Stars such as Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Charlie Day, Will Arnett, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Banks bring all the characters to life.  (I’m sure after seeing the film everyone will have their favorite character.  Mine was Batman)

This film stays very true to the LEGO brand as well.  The characters move and look just like the figures.  And if you have ever played the video games, some of the building scenes remind me of the game play.

Overall it was tons of fun to watch and well made. I highly recommend anyone see it.

Movie Review: Documentary: Hot Coffee

I meant to write this earlier, but I’m always a slacker when it comes to blogging.  I recently watched Hot Coffee.  I love documentaries, and I especially like documentaries that are well done.  This one completely changed my view on some of the suits you may have heard about. Although it came out in 2011, it is still very relevant.

It starts off by examining the McDonald’s hot coffee suit but goes even deeper to discuss how corporations and their lobbyist have managed to manipulate the legal system to their benefit.  This doesn’t necessarily mean frivolous lawsuits do not exist (I can attest to this with my years of experience in customer service), but sometimes there is more to a story than the media portrays.
This leads the film to discuss caps on punitive damage.  This may seem like a good idea, but the film explores the affect it may have on legitimate cases.
Another topic the film hits on is the popularity of arbitration and the common practice of including this agreement in the fine print of many contracts such as your credit card or terms and conditions of anything you purchase now a days.  Just go to any web retailer and I’m sure you will see it in their terms and conditions. This process takes the dispute out of the court system and puts it in the hand of a third party which may not be completely fair to the claimant.
Whether you agree with the film or not, I believe the subject matter is fascinating.  The film does an excellent job of discussing the relevant issues and providing persuasive arguments with real life examples.  Check it out and leave comments!!!

Thor: The Dark World

Sexy man Thor is back for a third time.  This time he is battling Dark Elves who are trying to engulf the world into darkness.  He is reunited with Jane Foster and her gang under unfortunate circumstances when she accidentally becomes the host for the powerful weapon the Aether.  Thor must protect Asgard and Jane from Malekith  the leader of the Dark Elves, but at what costs?

Although I have a huge bias for Thor, I have to admit Loki steals the show in this movie.  His playful and snarky humor begs for more scenes next to the God of Thunder.  He is a complex character that seems to be teetering between good and evil at all times.

Besides the humor, drama, and cast, the movie looks great.  The graphics were well done, Asgard and the other realms look as believable as they can be for a super hero flick.  Let’s not forget all the action sequences and fighting that happens.

Overall the movie is very entertaining.  This movie definitely gets a “go see it!” recommendation.  It has everything you may want in a super hero movie.  Hunky super heroes, cool villains, action, drama, romance and humor.  Do you need anything else?  Go see it!

Movie Review: Escape From Tomorrow

Okay okay, so I bought into all the hoopla about this movie being filmed in secret at Disneyland and went to see it.  Unfortunately, I should have read more about it before I paid to see it.  What I had imagined was going to be some sort of strange scary movie, ended up being a strange comedy?

The movie does do one thing right, and that’s keeping you wondering what’s going to happen next.  The movie starts off with a typical family going to Disneyland. However, the Dad is mesmerized by these sexy Parisian girls.  They are like the white rabbit that lead him to have an odd and trippy day in Disneyland.

If you ever watch National Lampoons Vacation, Chevy Chases character bares resemblance.  It seems that this horny dad just keeps getting into trouble.  He has run ins with strange people and delusions, all while keeping a poor eye on his kids.

The acting went from okay to terrible at some points. But I can’t blame the actors if they are given poor dialogue to act with.  I actually liked the performance of Roy Abramsohm as the horny and delusional father. The nagging wife played by Elena Schuber was also not so bad.

Since the movie was supposedly filmed in secret, the cinematography is not that great.  But, it’s pretty well edited and comes together well as a feature film.

I have to give credit to this movie for keeping my curiosity throughout the film, and making me giggle several times.  However, the plot is so thin it loses its purpose in the end and you’re left wondering…’what the hell did I just pay for?’.  So ultimately, I have to recommend you pass on this movie.  Or if you do want to watch it, save it for when it comes out on DVD, Netflix or torrents.

By the way, I saw this movie at O-Cinema in Wynwood.  It’s a cute little theater and features those hard to find independent movies.  The pricing and seating was pretty comfortable, so check it out one day 🙂

 

Movie Fun and Movie Review: 21 Jump Street

Hey kiddos!  Ever get pissed off at the ending for Titanic?  Well here is a funny pic my friend told me about that is floating around in the Internet.  Get it …floating? Oh no I just made a pun >:)

Well we all knew Leo could have fit on the plank of wood, but now we have proof:

On a totally unrelated note.  Just saw this commercial for Argo.  Ben Affleck actually looks like he might do a good job in this movie.  And look who else is in it, my favorite meth cooker, Bryan Cranston.  I am now curious to see this movie.

Oh and look what else is coming out next week.  Taken 2!  Okay, normally I would not promote a second part to an action flick, but its Taken 2!  Taken has got to be one of the best action movies I have seen.  I have talked and compared many action films to this movie and it’s hard to beat.  I hope I am not disappointed.  I have already started seeing bad things about this movie on twitter and other forums so I will have to see it for myself.  I admit the previews are pretty lame.  Cause overall you don’t really care about his family.  You just want to see the action sequences (which are great in part one).  Anyways, do check out part one of Taken.  You will not regret it.  And if you get a chance, see part 2 and let me know what you think.
Finally, I wanted to talk about 21 Jump Street.  I finally saw it, and it was hilarious.  This movie had many memorable lines you can joke around with your friends.  I was pleasantly pleased with Channing Tatum’s performance.  For a guy I thought was just a meat head, he was pretty darn funny in the movie…playing a meat head 🙂  Also, I have yet to watch a movie with Jonah Hill that I didn’t like.  So rent it now!
P.S.  do not keep your Red Box rental after you watch it.  You will dearly pay for every day you didn’t return it 🙁  Lesson learned.

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

I finally saw The Hunger Games.  I’m not sure how to rate this movie.  I can’t say I didn’t like it, but I can’t say it’s a great movie either.

Apparently the movie is based on a book.  That gives me hope it might actually be more interesting in a book format.

The movie is set in the future.  The world was divided by a war that is now over.  However, there is an oppressive tradition of “The Hunger Games” that is still on going.  A boy and girl is selected from 12 districts to compete in The Hunger Games and everyone else is forced to watch.  The last person standing at the end of the games wins and I believe their was a quick mention about them winning extra rations for their district.

I was extremely surprised there were so many familiar actors in this film.  Woody Harrelson , Donald Sutherland and even Lenny Kravitz are in the movie.  They all play their parts well, but the characters themselves are a bit eccentric since they are from or live in the Capital.

The movie took it’s time to develop some of the main characters and gets you to sympathize with their situation.  However, I thought it might have taken too long to actually start the game and get to the action.  Once the game started I thought the movie got much more interesting.

I can also see why girls may like this book/movie.  The main character Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence is a strong yet very feminine character.  In addition there are a couple of cute boys and a possible love triangle going on.

If you like sci-fi type movies or maybe interested in Ayn Rand novels (because it did remind me of some of her books) you might like The Hunger Games.  I might even check out the book myself.

One last note, there is a very similar Japanese movie and book called Battle Royale.  I think this was the main reason I didn’t want to see the movie.  I had watched Battle Royale a while back and didn’t really like it.  I had heard The Hunger Games was just the American version.  The Hunger Games is a much better made movie, with regards to the budget and development of characters.  However, the story line is very similar when it comes to the actual game.  If your curious about it, check out that movie as well.

Movie Review: Paranorman

Paranorman was a pretty darn good movie.  The movie is disguised as a children’s movie but in reality it has some pretty dark humor.  Norman is the young outcast in a small town that can see and speak to ghosts.   Norman is tasked with the job of suppressing the town curse and all sorts of trouble follows.There are references to pop culture and horror movies that might fly over a child’s head, but are great for adults.  It has many moments that make you giggle and some moments that are pretty serious as well.  It was well written and animated.

This movie has great style and artistry.  All the characters and everything around them is just a little asymmetrical and funky.  The amount of detail is great.  It adds even more interest to the movie. Just look at the graphics for this poster:

The voice acting was great as well.  You may even recognize someone, McLovin 😉 All and all, it is definitely worth a watch.  Especially if you like stop motion animation or digitally animated movies.