Friday, March 29, 2013

The Host (2013): Review

Tonight for Friday Movie Night I went and saw The Host. The movie adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's book, which was her follow up to The Twilight Saga.  Although this movie is about Aliens and not Vampires/Werewolf's it falls into the same teen paranormal fiction as the Twilight Sage.  There were some things that I liked in this movie and some that were annoying but overall it was what I was expecting for what it is.  I would only recommend this movie for people who like these types of storylines and movies as it will have little to drawn in those who do not like the melodrama which calls to my internal sixteen year old girl.  For those who like Twilight, Beautiful Creatures, etc. this is a movie for you.
The Host is set in a future time where earth has been colonised by an unnamed alien race who occupies the bodies of the species, in this case humans.  There are pockets of humans who have not been possessed by these alien souls who are fighting to remain in control of themselves and their lives.  Melanie, played by Saoirse Ronan, is a member of the resistance who attempts to sacrifice herself to save her little brother, Jamie and boyfriend Jared.  After being captured and healed by the aliens, she becomes the host of Wanda (Wanderer).  Wanda connects with Melanie, who resists her implantation and the two of them journey to learn about each other and save the people that Melanie cares about, all while being pursued by A Seeker, played by Diane Kruger, who is intent on possessing all the remaining resistance.
It took a while for me to get into this movie, as it really throws you into what is happening without giving you a chance to have any emotional connection to the main character of Melanie.  I actually felt more for Wanda then Melanie.  This movie, does what a lot of other movies right now do and I am starting to get tired of, this is the explanation monologue over the opening sequence to explain what is going on.  I would connect to the story faster is there was a way to explain this without a talk over.  About a third of the way into the movie, once all of the extended set up was through, I was able to settle into and enjoy the movie for what it was.  I also struggled with how the voice of Melanie inside of Wanda was portrayed.  Ronan has difficulty sticking to a specific accent, sometimes it was southern while at others it had more of the Wanda lilt.  It was also very disruptive to what was going on.  I think this was done because it was suppose to represent the strength of Melanie within Wanda's head but because the focus wasn't so much inside of Wanda's head by following her story from above her it didn't really jell for me.  I wanted to feel more inside of Wanda's head and struggle with Melanie during this internal discussion moments.
Besides the things mentioned above, I liked this movie, but as indicated it is what it is.  This is not an award winner but it satisfied my internal teenage girl and once it got into the meat of the story I liked it but didn't love it. 
I didn't read the book, so I cannot say how true to form of the book, but there were some standard Stephanie Meyer stuff, such as the love triangle (rectangle if you split up Melanie and Wanda) and the focus on the melodrama of intense emotional responses from many characters.

My Rating: 2

Thursday, March 28, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013): Review

With G.I. Joe: Retaliation coming out today, I didn't want to wait until Friday movie night to see it so I dragged myself to it after work today.  Going into this movie I wasn't expecting a lot of depth of story but was hoping for some exciting action scenes with lots of excitement and that is basically what I got.
About 15 minutes into this film there was something that happened that seriously pissed me off and it wasn't until I got over this (and I am not certain that I did completely) that I was able to settle into the overall actions.  With this event I felt like I experienced a bait and switch and not in a good way that some films pull off.  Anyway back to the synopsis.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a quasi reboot of G.I. Joe:  The Rise of the Cobra (2009) as it is set in the same G.I. Joe universe by it doesn't follow the previous set up but has some returning actors.  In this movie, the G.I. Joes are set up as people to betrayed their country and the world and are destroyed.  The person setting this up has taken over the U.S. Presidency by doing some type of face cover up thingy that isn't really explained as it isn't really important. He works to bring the Cobra Commander back into power and a position to take over the world.  Several G.I. Joes that come out alive after the destruction of their company come together with retired General Joe Colton, played by Bruce Willis, to save the county and world from being destroyed by the Cobra Commander and his cronies.
Overall this was a solid action movie, its plot was extremely simplistic and included stuff just to set up action sequences, I'm talking to you side of mountain sword fight, and reasons for the Joes and Cobra soldiers to fight and shoot at each other.  Bruce Willis is fun as his gruffy old soldier, a role that he has played a lot recently and in this one he fits the bill.  I have to say that I tend to like him in these type of roles.  The action sequences changed up and were not too drawn out. I like that they switched up between gun fight, sword fight, car fight, motorcycle fight so that the action wasn't to repeatedly. I will once again complain that there were several points where the action was too close up, but it was nice that there was the mountain fight scene/ sword fighting that made it harder for the cinematography to get in too close for long periods of time.
I went and saw this movie in 3D and I do not really think that it did anything. I am getting tired of movies in 3D that seem to only use it to have stuff be thrown, shot, exploded out at me.  It does not really utilize the art form to just have me closing my eyes because something is being projected out at me.  This is no longer the cool thing that excited me as a child.  I want the use of 3D to really focus on depth and being drawn into the world of the movie, instead of things coming out at me.  Anyway rant over.
Like I mentioned above the plot was very simplistic and slapped things together with little development or explanation for the story to move along, but as it is a OTT action movie the plot isn't really want I am going for.
I recommend this movie for anyone who likes actions movies, but who doesn't mind a week story line.  the acting was a little forced but again it is an action movie. 

My Rating: 2-

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Battle of the Movies: Easter Weekend

This upcoming weekend is Easter Weekend and with it comes several movie releases and none of them seem to be related to this holiday at all.  The first movie being released on Thursday, March 28th and is the new attempt at a kinda reboot, G.I Joe: Retaliation.  Being released on Friday, March is Tyler Perry's Temptation, The Host, and The Place Beyond the Pines.  To me these movies seem to be going for the more serious feel (as well as some action) and there isn't the wide spectrum of releases that have been seen in the past.  I expect there to be lower opening with these movies, as those interested in more family fun or comedies will be going for movies that have already been released and when I think of Easter movies, I tend to want something a bit more fun.  Anyway here of the trailers for the movies being released this weekend, I wonder which one will be the best.

Opening Thursday, March 28th
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Genre: Action/ Adventure)

G.I Joe: Retaliation is a semi- reboot of G.I Joe: Rise of the Cobra but it keeps some of the same characters.  Channing Tatum returns as the Duke and is paired with Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock.  The preview shows that Joe's being attacked and destroyed with just a few of them surviving, those mentioned above included and they conclude that something is not alright in River City so they recruit retired General Joe Colton, played by Bruce Willis to take on the evil force of the Cobra Commander who has taken hold of the white house. There does not seem to be any connection or fallow through from the first movie and the trailer focuses on the action that will probably be a large focal point of the plot.  I am looking forward to this movie, as I like a OTT action movie and I didn't mind Rise of the Cobra as much as others.

Opening Friday, March 29
The Host (Genre: Thriller)


The Host is a movie adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's novel of the same name.  Which was her follow up book to The Twilight Saga.  This story is set in an Earth that has been taken over by aliens which use human beings as hosts to their consciousness.  They are a parasitic entity that take over worlds.  There are groups of humans who are resisting this take over and this story focuses on one of these resistance individuals who is captured, becomes a host and then is used to try and track down the remaining group of resistance. This alien tries to control this host but struggles with the memories, specifically of love this human has for another.  It is a struggle for earth and humanity.

Tyler Perry's Temptation (Genre: Drama, Thriller?)


Tyler Perry's Temptation is a Tyler Perry movie that does not star Tyler Perry, and in my opinion these tend to be better then those that do.  This one focuses on a young women who is tempted from her long term marriage by a billionaire who has set his sights on her.  The trailer suggests that due to this temptation, which I assume actually leads to cheating, completely disrupts her life and she struggles to find her way again.  It hints are intrigue and based on the trailer seems a little like a thriller.  I withhold judgement as Tyler Perry movies are extremely hit or miss.

The Place Beyond the Pines (Genre: Drama)


The Place Beyond The Pines, is the most recent Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper movie.  To me the title seems strange and does not really seem to have anything to do with what the trailer is portraying but it seems like it is trying to push an art house feel.  In this movie, Ryan Gosling stars as Luke, a young motorcycle ride who turns to robbing banks after he discovers that he is father to a son, while Bradley Cooper stars as Avery, a young police offer who gets caught up in the pursuit of Luke and the corruption of his fellow police officer. Based on the trailer, I think that the movie will be taking a very person centered approach to the story telling and there are a lot of places the story could go.  I want to see where this movie will go, but I do not thing there is enough information about what I should expect or plan for going in.  I know when I watch movies, I like to know what mind frame I need to be in to enjoy the experience.  I will see and let you know what I think.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Croods (2013): Review

Today I went to see The Croods, the new DreamWorks animated movie and it was an extremely enjoyable 98 minuets.  The Croods follows a caveman family consisting of the a stuck in the past father Grug (Nicolas Cage), a mother Ugga (Catherine Keener) who tries to bridge the gap between father and daughter, a daughter Eep (Emma Stone) who just wants to be able to spread her wings and explore the world, a wise cracking Gran (Cloris Leachman), a dunce of a son Thunk (Clark Duck), and a wild little toddler.  They like their lives by the rules of Grug, which is to stay away from everything new and stay in the cave.  He tells stories to his family about how new situations lead to death.  Eep wanting to explore things that are new, follows what she discovers to be fire and meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds) that shacked up the Croods' family by informing them that the world is collapsing and they have to move to survive.  During their journey to stay alive by leaving the old behind, there is lots of family drama and resistance from Grug to change his ways.  It is a struggle for the family to come together and discover what life is truly about.
I enjoyed this movie and think that it is good for the entire family, it is PG enough for children, with just hits of scary, but there are moment that are humours and fun for adults.  I found myself laughing out lout at some of the moments, and thinking it was fun how they constantly using physicality.
I went and saw this movie in 3D but do not think that it was necessary, as I didn't find that it added to the experience.  Yes there were moments where things floated out in the air (glowing ash) but it really wasn't that big of a deal and I thought that it has been better executed in other movies. There was some nice use of dimension but again it wasn't sweeping enough for me to think it is worth the movie.  I recommend this to families to go and see together.

My Rating: 2+

Friday, March 22, 2013

Olympus Has Fallen (2013): Review

Tonight I went and see Olympus has fallen and there were parts that I really enjoyed and others that were slightly distracting.  Overall I thought I was a quality action movie, except for the poorly done special effects.
Olympus Has Fallen stars Gerald Butler as Mike Banning, a secret service agent who is responsible for protecting the president.  Withing the first minutes of the movie (as shown in the trailer) Banning makes the decision to save the President Asher, played by Aaran Eckhart, in a car accident that kills the First Lady.  Because of this he is reassigned but finds himself put into the situation of having to save the day after the White House is taken over and President Archer is taken hostage by Kang, played by Rick Yune, who is hell bent on destroying the United States.  With Banning as the only contact within the White House, Speaker Trumbill, played by Morgan Freeman, and Secret Service Director Lynn Jacobs, played by Angela Bassett, work to save the president and prevent world destruction.
While watching this movie I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I enjoyed the main action and plot elements.  I found that the story kept movie and that it had enough suspect and pace to keep me interested.  Yes, there were moments that I could see coming, but for they type of action movie this was, I did not mind this.  The action level was kept high and at times I was on the edge of my seat exciting watching the fight scenes.  There was some emotional connection to the film and what happens, especially with Conner the president's son.  I think that this movie was very well cast and I think there were strong performances all around, and I am surprised to say that because I generally do not like Aaron Eckhart. I really like Gerald Butler as an action hero, and I liked how the characters interacted with each other.
There were two main negatives for me whit this movie, the most significant being the poorly done special effects. They were so past their sell by date that I found it distracting and wishing that they did not spend the time with them, I think it would have been better if they tried to shorten them and spend more money on each one.  This problem dropped my score of the movie and if it was better, or not there at all it would be a solid action movie.  The other negative, is something that I continue to complain about, which is the close up, jerky action fight scenes. This was used quite a bit in this movie, but again if the CG was better it would not have been too bad.
Overall I liked this movie, but be warned that it is very violent and gory.  It seemed like all of the deaths, and there are a lot of deaths, were there for shock value and they show a lot of splatter and people being shot and stabbed through.  Be prepared for this if you chose to go see it. I do recommend this movie for people who like R rated action movies. 

My Rating: 2-

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness- International Trailer Released

Today the new International Star Trek: Into Darkness Trailer was released and all it does is continue to fuel my excitement for the new movie.  This trailer puts the villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the foreground and really pumps up his desire to destroy Star Fleet.
Watch below:
             
 

 
Like I stated above, all this trailer does is get me super pumped for Into Darkness to come out and I don't want to wait just under two more months to watch it.  Along with my excitement, this trailer hits at some plot points within the movie universe, but nothing too much to go, why did you release that.  At this point, I have little hope that Benedict Cumberbatch plays Khan, as it is stated that he is Star Fleet top agent.  This trailer indicates that this movie will be juxtaposing this villain and Captain Kirk, played by Chris Pine, against each other, with both men seeking to destroy the others.  The trailer indicates that Kirk is on a vendetta against the villain (I will be calling him the villain because I don't know who he will be yet), who has destroyed London as well as killed many innocent people. It also indicates that while Kirk's course is to take down the villain, the villain does not think that Kirk has a change as he indicates that he is better then Kirk in every facet. 
This trailer has me hoping for lots of twists and turns as the villain's plot to destroy, as well as have lot of explosions, action sequence, dry wit (by Spock, played by Zachary Quinto), and some type of Kirk love interest.
Star Trek: Into Darkness is released in theatres on May 16, 2013


Friday, March 15, 2013

Willow (1988): Happy 25th

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the release of the fantasy film Willow (1988) and because there was no have to see movies being released this week, I decided to spend my Friday night movie night re-watching Willow.  This week the 25th anniversary Blu Ray edition of Willow was released and I am very excited to get it and watch the new special features. I am one of the consumers who likes to watch the movie, the special features and the commentaries, so I am always excited where there are new behind the scenes to watch with new releases, but that also means that I have to purchase the new release of the movie.  This might be why I have multiple copies of the same movie.
Willow is the first feature which stars Warwick Davis as the title character.  Willow is set in the fantasy would where the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda is in charged. It has been prophetesses that a baby will be born who will destroy her, so she sets about finding this baby in order to destroy her soul forever. The baby finds her way into the care of Willow, who is a Nelwyns (dwarf-like people), and he is chosen by his village to take the baby out of the village and deliver her to the first Daikini (large person). The first Daikini he meets is Madmartigan, played by Val Kilmer, who has been locked in a hanging cage.  As the others of his group abandon the quest, Willow questions Madmartigan's ability to take over the charge of the baby and stays.  After Madmartigan convinces Willow to let him out and take the baby, Willow heads home.  On the way home he is attached by a group of brownies (several inches high) two of which are Franjean and Rool, who had kidnapped the baby.  Willow discovers that this baby is special baby who is destined to defeat Bavmorda and she has chosen Willow as her guardian.  As Willow goes on his quest to get the baby safely to proper caretakers, he get thrown back together with Madmartigan, who reluctantly helps Willow.  Through this quest they are being pursued by Bavmorda's daughter Sorsha, who becomes a love interest for Madmartigan.  As Madmartigan and Sorsha struggle with their allegiance and Willow along with the guidance of Sorceress Fin Raziel, they work to destroy Bavmorda and protect the baby.

Growing up, Willow was a movie that I liked to watch, but was usually resisted by the rest of my family, you could ask my mother, but it has been over ten years since I last watched it. I am happy to discover that I still like this movie, and enjoy it even more because I have discovered my overall love of sci-fi and fantasy films since my younger childhood.  While watching this movie, I was surprised to see that it still holds up twenty five years later and that overall the special effects are not that bad.  Yes they are obviously from the eighties and today's special effects are much better, but this adds to the nostalgic charm of Willow.  The part that was the worse was the trolls, which are just men in monkey like suits and this was quite laughable, but overall it was just older style effects.

I believe that Willow, which story was created by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, should be seen by any Fantasy Movie fan and falls into the category of must see for these genre. It is a classic of the 80's fantasy film but I do not think that it is clumped together with the other 80's films of this genre.

If you are a fan like me or if you have never watched it let me know what you think and if this movie should be talked about more when talking about the fantasy films of the 80's.

My Rating: 2+
My Nostalgic Rating: 3

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kick-Ass 2: Official Trailer Released

Today the Kick-Ass 2 offical trailer was released,
Watch Below:


Today the Kiss-Ass 2 trailer came out and it hints at its desire to once again capture the greatness that that Kiss Ass (2010) was.  The trailer shows ChloĆ« Grace Moretz reprising her most out spoken role as Hit Girl, who is working to continue her father's legacy of being ah human superhero, while motivating Kick Ass, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson to continue his quest started in the first movie.  These two are placed against the Red Mist, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who is hell bent on getting revenge against Kick Ass for killing his father.  Joining the mix are a gang of other ordinary citizens, the most notable one being played by Jim Carey.
I am interested to see if this will be anywhere near as successful as the original and I hope that too much is not given away in future trailer releases.  Anyone excited to see this?

Kick-Ass 2 is released in theatres on June 28, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Iron Man 3: Trailer


A new Iron Man 3 Trailer has been released: Watch Below:
Iron Man 3 has a release date of May 3 (USA) and April 26 (UK)
 


This trailer dives deeper into the set up for the new Iron Man movie and starts a sequence of Marvel movies that will be coming out in the next few years as the suspected build up to a second Avengers movie.  This trailer has Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr. struggling after the events which occur in the Avengers and his desire for revenge after being the target of The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley, attacks.  He sets out to find out as stated in the official synopsis "does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?" Tony Stark struggles with this after his world is torn apart and as shown in the trailer his home any bask up suits are distorted and Pepper is placed is extreme peril if not death.  It also shows a team of solders in Iron Suits lead by Col. James Rhodes. 

This movie looks to be a great way to start the blockbuster action releases of the summer.

Star Trek: Into Darkness New Trailer

Yesterday when I went to see Oz: The Great and Powerful I was excited to find out that there was a new Star Trek Trailer being shown before the movie.  I would have posted it yesterday, but it was not yet up on YouTube but here it is.


This new, short trailer does not give any new information about the movie, but it does continue to wet my appetite and I want May 17th to come fast.  I am very excited for this movie and based on what I am being shown I am expecting exciting and thrilling action sequences as well as witty banter between characters.  Who else is super excited for this movie to come out?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Tonight I went and saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory being shown on the big screen at the Old Redford Theatre.  This is a refurbished Detroit Theatre with a working pipe organ that shows older movies.  This weekend they had a Willy Wonka Event where they showed the movie as well as had personal appearances with Peter Ostram (Charlie Bucket) and Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee), they did an intro before the film as well as gave some behind the scenes moments during the intermission.  Like every other showing I have seen at the Old Redford it was a lot of fun.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is the 1971 movie adaptation of the Roald Daul book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder plays Willy Wonka, a chocolate maker recluse that puts out a contest where there are five Golden Tickets being released within his chocolate bars, the five lucky children who find these golden tickets get to spend the day visiting and touring his chocolate factor with the winner getting a life time supply of chocolate.  I am going under the impression that everyone has scene this movie or at least knows the general plot because if you haven't i am assuming you have been living under a rock since it became a hit after it was first shown on television. 
Roald Daul was my favorite childhood writer and it is always great to see his books made into movies. These stories are always twisted with ugly people getting into unpleasant situations and good people coming out on top.  I hope that anyone who hasn't seen this movie in a while go back and watch it and relive a hopefully good part (and a little bit frightening) part of their childhood.
This showing was fun and I got to hear some fun little stories, such as the actor who played Mike Teevee's dad had a horrible time actually saying his one line "not until your twelve son" and that Denise Nickerson who played Violate Beauregaurd turned blued a week after filming the blueberry scene because the makeup had sunk into her pours and resurfaced.  It was fun to watch this movie with a large crowd of fans who were clapping and excited to just be having this experience together.

My rating: 3
Nostalgic Rating: 4

Friday, March 8, 2013

Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013): Review

Tonight I went and saw Oz: The Great and Powerful and I wasn't sure what to expect.  Lately the movies with a more mystical, otherly world tale have been disappointing, so going into this one I didn't want to get my hopes up, just to have them dashed when the movie didn't live up to what I was expecting.  Add onto that, the higher expectations automatically added to this movie because it is the prequel of the classic The Wizard of Oz (1939) which is part of society and a movie that is consistently referenced and expected to be know.  It is even referenced in The Avengers and as the Captain states "I get that reference." With all of the advertising of this movie, I was hoping that the best parts were not being shown in the previews and that it would be able to be more then just a brightly colored, beautifully shot movie.
As stated above, I was quite apprehensive going into this movie, and I discovered upon viewing that there were parts that I really liked but others that were not good at all. Put these parts together and it was an average movie, good enough but probably not worth the amount of money and hype put into it.
Oz: The Great and Powerful is the story of how the Wizard of Oz finds himself to be in the Land of Oz and thrust into the role as the Wizard.  It starts in black and white with a narrower screen frame (reminiscent of the original) and sets up Oscar, played by James Franco, a side show magitian at the World's Fair.  It shows that he is an allusionist and sets him up as a man who just wants to be famous.  It introduces actors that will be in the Land of Oz, once he is transported through the tornado in his hot air balloon.  Once he ends up in Oz he meets Theadora, played by Mila Kunis, who believes that his is the Great Wizard that they have been waiting for to avenge her father's death from the Wicked Witch.  Through his interactions with Evanora, played by Rachel Weisz, Glinda, played by Michelle Williams, and the people of the Land of Oz, he has to figure out who is good, who is evil, and discover if he has it within himself to become the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz.
I think that this movie was successful in certain parts. I liked how it was able to get to a place, at the end of the movie, where I could picture the story continuing and the people of Oz truly being in the farce of the Wizard.  The action scenes, specifically the finial battle were fun, with a bit of excitement and a lot of flash.  I really liked the supporting cast of Glinda and specifically Finley, voiced by Zack Braff, as Oscar's dedicated servant and sidekick, flying monkey.  The interactions between the two were great, even though Finley was computer generated.  Overall the movie was beautiful to look at and it embraced the rich colors that are used to make the Land of Oz.  It was nice that in the different locations they took on different color schemes and the locations referenced the general moods of the origianl film.
Of the negatives, I believe that the worse was Mila Kunis.  She was casted as Theadora who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West, and I do not think that she was the right choice.  When she was on screen she seemed very disconnected from what was happening and it just didn't work. I could not see how she would become the Wicked Witch of the original movie and I just wanted her to get off screen when she was there.  It may have been this story arc but I think it might have worked if it had a different person there. 
I went to see this movie in IMAX 3D and although the IMAX was fine and at times was beneficial especially with the beautiful coloring of the movie the 3D was distracting.  It felt like that majority of the 3D was for things coming at you, jump factor and this is not what I like when seeing 3D.  I would have preferred it if it focused more on the dimension in the movie instead of things being thrown out at me.  There were also times were there was too much CG which I found distracting and obviously CG.
Although I focused on some big negative, Overall I thought the move was good and the good parts outweigh the negatives and bring my scoring back into a recommendation range. This film is set for families but is a little scary for younger audiences.

My Rating: 2

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Quartet (2013): Review

Today I went and saw Quartet and I absolutely loved it.  Quartet is set in an English retirement home for musicians and specifically follows the lives of Reginald, played by Tom Courtnay, Wilf, played by Billy Connolly, Cissy, played by Pauline Collins, and new resident Jean, played by Maggie Smith. This is basically a situational drama and follows the relationship of the main characterise as the navigate their relationships with each other while in their golden years.  These four singers had sung a Quartet in their hay day and are coming back together to sing it again for a gala to raise money to keep the retirement home funded for the next year.  While doing this there is the tension from the failed marriage of Reginald and Jean, Wilf's overly sexual language due to losing part of his filter with a previous heart attack, and Cissy's progressing dementia.  Throughout this happening, there are snippets of performance by the supporting cast, mainly played by past working musicians all with amazing talent.
Like I said I loved this movie and it was absolutely fantastic, it had moments of laughter, pulled at my heartstrings and I really felt for all of the characters and the journey they were going through.  It had one of the best performances in a movie I have seen by Pauline Collins and how she plays Cissy and her dementia is absolutely amazing.  The fact that she was not nominated for any awards is a travesty as she was by far the best actor in a sea of amazing performances.  Billy Connolly was fantastic as an elderly man focus on sex and his inappropriate comments are said with such a twinkle in his eye that it is impossible not to love him.
The music in this movie was fantastic and I am tempted to by the soundtrack just to hear it again.  I liked how they linked opera with music of today but having Reginald give a talk to high school kids.  This helps to bridge the gap between the music in this movie and today by touching on the emotion being expressed by both.
There could have been a little more resolution at the end and it was a bit obvious what was going to happen, but I do not think that is the point of the movie.  It is to see the struggles of these people and how they have a rich life and ultimate friendship with each other.

My Rating: 4

Friday, March 1, 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013): Review

Tonight I went and saw Jack the Giant Slayer and I really enjoyed it.  Going in I was not expecting much because recently I have been disappointed in the fairy tale adapted into movies especially the ones I was looking forward to.  With this one, I was keeping an open mind but like I said I was prepared to be disappointed.  I was not.  I really liked this story.
Jack the Giant Slayer is a movie adaptation of the English folk story Jack and the Beanstalk.  The story follows Jack and Princess Isabelle relationship as they are thrust into a world a giants and legend.  The movie starts out with giving the basic lead up of the giants and how the land of the giants was found, attacked and then exiled in this land in the sky.  I am happy to say that they used the Fe Fi Fo Fum I was hoping for when talking about the giants. Jack and Isabella get thrown together through a series of happenstance and Isabella gets lost in the land of the giants after Jack gets some magic beans while trying to sell his house.  Jack must drawn upon his courage and desire for the princess to save her and try and save the world from the giants, who are controlled by a magic crown.
There were many things that I liked about this movie, the first being that it went for a family audience and therefore it was able to be campy without trying to making it too racy.  It was a enjoyable film that used the childhood fantasy of getting lost in a magical world with princess, giants, and good men to save the day.  Second, I liked the Jack and the Beanstalk nuggets that were put in the movie, which include the Fe Fi Fo Fum of the original tale, a golden egg and harp, Jack getting the beans by trying to sell the family horse, etc.).  Thirdly, I think there was a great chemistry between the two main characters Jack, played by Nicolas Hoult, and Isabelle, played by Eleanor Tomlinson. It seemed to work how they played off each other and the understated attracted even though neither of them thought they could ever be together.  Lastly, there was Ewan McGregor, Stanly Tucci, and Ian McShawn as main supporting cast and there were able to bring a fun and twinkle in their eye quality to the film.  They prodded the story alone at a good pace.
The main failing was that there was no really scary villain or true sense of peril for the characters.  Although a good portion of the supporting cast were killed off, and as I think about it there was a lot of death it wasn't really focused on nor showed.  I saw this movie in IMAX 3D but this did not add anything to the experience and is not worth seeing in IMAX or 3D.  The 3D was unobtrusive and wasn't annoying like it has a tendency to be but like I said I do not really think it added anything to the movie and at many points I didn't realize it was in 3D.
Overall, this was a great family movie, but it is that a family movie, it is not scary and there is a basic story line.  It is exactly what you would expect form this type of movie and what others of the like should strive for. 

My Rating: 3