Friday, June 28, 2013

The Heat (2013): Review

Tonight for my Friday Night Movie Night I went to see The Heat and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Going in, it looked funny and I tend to like Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy but I am not usually one for crude humor.  Like I said it was very enjoyable and funny and I would recommend for anyone who tends to like comedy movies to go and see this one.
The Heat stars Sandra Bullock as FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn, who is disliked by many of her coworkers for her cocky attitude and poor interpersonal skills.  She gets on a case in Boston where she is working with local cop Shannon Mullins, played by Melissa McCarthy, who is OTT abrasive.  Both women do not play well with others and are aggressive in their own way but they have to learn to work together to take down a local drug boss.  Lots of inappropriate and awkward situations ensue as they see if they can come together and rely on each other to get the job done and catch the bad guy.
This movie had lots of moments that were funny but I did not laugh out loud as much as I could have, I think this is due to the movie leaning toward the type of humor that I don't usually prefer, which is putting people in an awkward situations and laughing because of the awkwardness.  Although this movie used some of it, it mainly relied on the ridiculousness of the characters and how they interacted with each other and the people around them, more then the situations there are in.  I overall liked how Bullock and McCarthy played off each other and I think that there were moments where McCarthy was really funny.  The down side of this movie was the pacing and timing was off at times, this seemed more to be about editing then acting, especially when the dialogue keep going while the audience was laugh and therefore some of what was going on was missed.  Also there were not the moments in the trailer that I was hoping to see in the movie, the scenarios were there but the dialogue was not.
Side note- I would be curious to hear from other people around the country if there was some differences in the movie in different geographical locations.  During a moment where Ashburn and Mullins were in the car, over the radio there was commentary about a Detroit Tigers Baseball team.  I am assuming that this was because I was watching the movie in the Metro Detroit area. Anyone who watched it else where, was it changed to your local team?  Please let me know and I will be interested to see what will be in the DVD release.
I recommend this movie to anyone who likes adult comedies that use profanity and ridiculous situations.  This is not for anyone who does not find this type of humor.  Basically if you didn't think the trailers were funny this movie is not for you.

My Rating: 2

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Epic (2013): Review

I have been wanting to see Epic but it was a bit lower on my priorities then some of the bigger movies that have come out recently but today I was able to go see it.  It was a nice kids movie and worth a watch but it wasn't really worth going to see it in theatres.  I think it is a shame that this one probably isn't as high on the list for kids to see as well, with the other bigger deal animated movies coming out about now.
Prior to going to see this movie, and whenever I saw the previews, I would be reminded of the movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992).  I am a child of the nineties so FernGully was a part of that childhood (and college life) so I was hoping that this movie would be good.  Yes, this movie was reminiscent of FernGully but not too similar to annoy me.
The story line, involves M.K. getting shrunk down to the size of the Leafman and evil Boggans.  She is drawn into their battle of the Leafman trying to keep balance of the forest and the Boggans trying to take over and destroy the forest. 
I went and saw it in 3D and it used a lot of falling, flying through things, specifically the forest, and after all of the bigger budget action movies, it was nice to see it done this way instead of lots of things blowing up or being destroyed. The storyline was lacking, but it keeps it movie along.  I felt that the movie was trying to get you attached to the characters but this never really happens and to me the connection between the characters felt a little forced.  Like I said it was a fine family film but nothing that special.

My Rating: 2

Friday, June 21, 2013

World War Z (2013): Review

Tonight I went and saw World War Z and I came out thinking that it was kinda blah.  It wasn't bad, there were no parts that really annoyed or irritated me but it didn't seem like anything special.  World War Z is the movie Adaptation of the 2006 book by Max Brooks. It is set in a world that is battling a Zombie apocalypse.  It follows Gerry, played by Brad Pitt, who is drawn into the search for patient zero of the assumed virus that is turning people into Zombies.  His family is drawn into the fray where the epidemic gets out of control and decimates entire cities.  Gerry is brought in because he used to work for the UN as in investigator.  He is tasked with finding out information about what is going on with the Zombies and how this whole thing started.  To do this, he searches down areas and places that have different pieces of information all the time battling against the onslaught of Zombie and trying not to get bitten himself.
Like I said, for me this movie was kinda blah.  It was not horrible and I am not sorry that I saw it, but unless this is your type of movie, it is not worth watching in the theatres and is more of a rental movie.  Brad Pitt is fine as Gerry but I don't get why everyone just automatically goes along with him, and that he miraculously survives all of the situations he gets himself into.  He is one lucky person in this movie. With the nature of this kind of movie, the other people are there just to be there and are turned in to Zombies and/ or killed with little concern.  This movie tries to bring in the emotional connection with his family and how he is doing this to try and protect them, but I think they went too far, or not enough with this.  It shows his children and how they are struggling with it, but only halfway. For me it needed to be give me more information about them, or have them just be the family entity that people automatically relate to because we all have family that we would care about and fight for in this situation. The only thing that kinda bugged me, besides him surviving a lot of OTT situations, was that although there are a bunch of really smart scientist around, Gerry is the only one who thinks of doing what he is doing, and that he is almost always spot on.
Like I said this movie wasn't that bad, but nothing special.  Worth seeing on rental or if you really like this type of movie.

My Rating: 2-

Monsters University (2013): Review

Since I heard they were making a prequel to Pixar's Monsters, Inc. (2001) I have been super excited to see what the movie would be like and I am happy to say it lived up to my expectations.  I still prefer the original and think that it is hard to get the same magic with another movie but it was a fun ride throughout and ended with me believing that it would continue as it did into the original movie.
Monsters University is set around Mike Wazowski (Billy Chrystal) who has dreamed since he was a little kid to grow up and be a Scarer who graduated from the Scare Program at Monsters University.  He works hard to learn all that he can and get into the program but when he gets to school things don't go as planned. While at school he meets Scarer Legacy and fellow Freshman James P. Sullivan (John Goodman).  They get into a situation where they are competing against each other to make it in the scare program but they end up getting on Dean Hardscrabble's (Helen Mirren) bad side.  To get back on track to graduate from the Scare Program Mike and Sulley as well as a band of misfits compete in the Scare Games.  They have to learn about each other, overcome their shortcomings, and learn to work and support each other to become the monsters they want to be.
I was really excited while watching this movie that it could at least stand on its own but it is focused more on the relationships of the characters, going for your dreams and being who you are, then having the main characters go against a villain like in Monsters, Inc. The plot was pretty predictable but it moved along at a good clip and keep me interested. This is a solid family film and did not seem too scary for little kids.  There were many younger children in the showing with me and they were able to follow the story and did not seem too scared at the scary parts.  One of them even said to their mom that they wanted to see this again tomorrow.
This movie did not pretend to be anything that it wasn't and seemed to sick to what was wanted.  There were lots of references to Monsters, Inc. and cameos from the monsters in the first movie. Although there were lots of references it did not take away from the movie or distract from what was going on.  Basically I liked this movie and think it is worth seeing for anyone with little kids or who love watching Monsters, Inc. like I do.
I went to see it in 3D and to me it neither helped nor hindered the movie.  If it wasn't for the 3D glasses on my face, I really wouldn't have noticed that it was in 3D.  They used some dimension and things falling from the sky but it wasn't too jarring, but not really necessary to enjoy the film.  It is not anything that needs to be seen in 3D.
There is a short bonus seen, that references earlier in the movie, at the end of the credits.  To see this you have to wait through all of the credits which take about eight minutes.

My Rating: 3

Friday, June 14, 2013

Man of Steel (2013): Review

Tonight I went to see the new Superman movie Man of Steel and I am sorry to say that I was quite disappointed in it.  Going in I was a bit apprehensive because I so wanted it to be really good and cap off the spring of pretty good blockbusters, and although this movie is full of actions it also had some things that I would have liked to be much better.
Man of Steel is the latest rebooting of an older franchise, like others of its kind in recent years it goes back to the origin story and mucks around with it to start a new movie story line arc.  I am not as familiar with the superman stories as with some of the other geeky/ superhero movies that are out but I have seen the older movies, and the television shows, with both Lois and Clark as well as Smallville being part of my knowledge.  I was a child of the nineties so Lois and Clark is my main Superman baseline.  Anywho back to the movie synapsis.
Man of Steel starts at the very beginning of Kal-El, played by Henry Cavill being born and his parents making the decision to send him to Earth due to the impeding destruction of their world Krypton. Also introduced was the main villain of the movie Zod, played by Michael Shannon and his group of minions.  I found some of the set up quite confusing especially the reason why Zod is so hell bent on finding Kal-El.  After this, at least for me the movie jumped around a lot and took some figuring it out. It jumps to modern day earth with a grown up Clark Kent, but flashes back to him as a boy and his struggles dealing with being different and controlling his Superman powers. Clark is searching for his legacy and through this search comes across Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams.  When Zod hunts down Kal- El and then wages a war on Earth, Superman has to decided who he is as a man, while he fights to save the world.  This movie also starts; Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Russell Crow as Jor-El, Christopher Meloni as Colonel Hardy, and Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White.
Overall I liked the cast of this movie, although it was over acted across the board (I think this was purposeful), I liked the chemistry and tension between Cavill and Adams and like the moments between the two of them.  I wish we could have seen more of Lara (birth mother) as I think Ayelett Zurer did a great job.  I think there were too many characters and if this was pruned down with more focus on the characters and their interactions, I would have connected more with what was going on and I didn't like how I felt that Clark's parents were just there because they had to be.  I found myself being the most attached to Colonel Hardy as the story went on as he actually had some character development as the movie went on. 
There was a lot of over the top action sequence and I kept thinking "do they really have to destroy everything," I mean come on it was just unnecessary and if this money was more specifically used instead of on the just average special effects, that were usually obvious, I would have liked it more.  I didn't really like how Zod was worked into the story and didn't really care about him at all, he just seemed like an overall jerk.
After watching this movie, and I will see the next on when it is made, I think that this movie should have just committed to the origin story and getting the audience to really connect with Clark's struggle, there was great potential for character development (there was a little) and connecting with the parental relationships which were glossed over in this movie for the action scenes.  Also the premise of the last big action sequence was just ridiculous. 
All that being said, I am glad that I went to see it, and I will probably see it again with my Daddy on Father's day. I have a feeling that this is going to be a polarizing movie with some people really liking it and others being angered by the things I identified above. Basically see this movie if you were excited about it, but if you are on the fence, wait for rental.
I would like to add, that I really liked the resolution of the movie, and the very last screen.  I like how it sets up everything for me and brings it back to what I want the story to be.

My Rating: 2-

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Trailer 1

Yesterday the first official trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was released.
See below:

To me this is more of a teaser trailer because all it does is wet my appetite for this movie to come out. With the ending of the spring blockbusters being released this weekend, I am ready to start gearing up for the movies I am excited for being released this fall.  What are your thoughts, is anyone excited for the second installment of The Hobbit?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Battle of the Movies: The World Is Ending 2013

Recently I have been seeing these two movie trailers a lot and due to the similar names and focuses.  Coming out first on June 12th is This is the End and then on August 23rd is The World's End.

Fist up is This is the End: See trailer below:

This movie seems to just be an excuse for a bunch of friend to get together, make a mockery of everything and make a movie.  It does seem like it might be fun and I think that I will end up seeing this one. I am intrigued to see what all these comedian guys will do now that they are all established but I am not expecting a whole lot.  I at least expect some type of toker moment in all the chaos.
This movie stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson and lots of guest appearances by others.

Next up and what I am more excited for is the new Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movie. Watch The World's End trailer here.

I tend to like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movies so I am excited to see this one.  It seems like this group of old friends is going back to their home town to have a pub crawl ending at the World's End pub, throughout this crawl the discover that the town is being taken over by aliens but they don't want this to stop them making to the end of their crawl.

Is anyone planning to see either of these movies and which one, with similar tittles therefore are linked in min mind, will be better.  Both are comedies with a specific but slightly different target audience.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Now You See Me (2013): Review

Today I went to see Now You See Me and I absolutely loved it. This movie encompassed what I love about movies and the enjoyment of watching a movie just sent to entertain me will touching on things I loved from my childhood (magicians) and although you know there will be twists and turns you spend your time trying to see what directing the story is going to go next.  At times, there were some obvious plot twists (less then I thought there would be) but this did not bother me, I just enjoyed going along for the ride.
Now You See Me follows four magicians who at the beginning are brought together to form the magic group The Four Horsemen.  They are Jesse Eisenberg playing J. Daniel Atlas, Woody Harrelson playing Merrit McKinney, Isla Fisher playing Henley Reeves, and Dave Franco playing Jack Wilder.  Besides being distracted by trying to figure out why Jack looked so familiar (he's a Franco), I like how the movie starts by introducing and bring together the four main magicians.  It demonstrates their talents and how they are working on a street level,  we are introduced to the mystery of the big illusion they will start to work on and the tone of the rest of the movie is set.  We jump forward to the rob a bank magic trick that is shown in the trailer and Morgan Freeman's character is introduced as a man who's job it is to debunk magic tricks.  As The Four Housemen play out their sequence of misdirections and illusions they are pursued by FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes, played by Mark Ruffalo and Interpol Agent Alma Dray, played by Mélanie Laurent.
There are lots of characters in this movie, but I had no problems following who they are and how they fit into the movie, with the misdirections and distractions thrown in, they help to show the who is where and doing what feel of the movie.  With less main characters it would have been difficult to pull this off.  I like how Morgan Freeman is kind of the narrator, but not really of the movie, as he is used to explain how the magic tricks are being pulled off to the agents in the film but to the audience as it goes along. As he plays a character who is doing this in the story it works for me.  I liked how this movie was cast and feel that everyone fits who they are suppose to be and how you are suppose to feel about them.  I love the banter of Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson as well as the moments between the pair of detectives.  The only person who was slightly off was Mark Ruffalo, as he never really embodied the curmudgeon but he gives it a good go. 
I liked how the movie kept going at a good pace and had lots of things thrown in there.  I am sure that I missed a bunch and I am excited to go back and watch it again to see more of these.  It was nice to look at and I think the special effects are worked in wonderfully. They were not distracting at all.
I really liked this movie and thought that it was fun all the way trough.  There was enough story to keep it going, good chemistry to make it interesting, and it was centered around Magic, which has always been a joy of mine.  Basically I recommend that you go and see this movie and support the type of movie it was so more get made. It was fun all the way through!

My Rating: 4-