Friday, August 30, 2013

Jobs (2013): Review

This afternoon I went and saw Jobs, a movie that focuses on the life and work of Steven Jobs, one of the founding fathers of Apple Computers.  This movie starts Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and starts with him introducing the ipod to his employees and then jumps back to when he was in college in the seventies.  It shows him as a person not that easy to get along with and who wanted to forge his own path. It shows the relationship he had with Steve Wozniak, when Jobs was working at Atari and how these two men came together with the idea to form Apple.  It shows them working in Job's parents garage and how they got an investor to actually turn their start up into company. It jumps to different points in Job's career, to him working on LISA, the Macintosh computer, his booting out of the company, and eventually how he was sought out to save Apple. It ends with him once again gaining control of the company.  During this time, it did show how he was not the best father, or friend.
This movie seemed very slow paced and I hate to say rather boring.  It had an uphill battle to begin with, as movies that span over large amounts of time are hard to keep movie and make sense through the jumps in time.  After the time of sitting through the whole things, I was disappointed that it didn't even close the full circle with the development of the ipod. It stops when he gets control back of the company.  It felt very anti-climatic and unfinished. 
To me, it seemed like this movie tried really hard but it just didn't reach the mark. There was nothing really horrible about it, I liked the sets and it had a realness to the sets and cinematography that worked for the type of drama it is, but like I said earlier it was basically boring.  I think that Ashton Kutcher tried really hard to embody Jobs and although he did an alright job, I could see him acting, he didn't just blend into the character, it was him acting the character. This also may have been due to the underwhelming script as well.
Basically this movie is hard to get through because it does nothing to grab you and doesn't really feel like you got anywhere at the end.  Not worth the money to watch which is disappointing because the history of it is quite interesting and effects our lives today with the technology produced.

My Rating: 1

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Battle of the Movies: What to watch on Labor Day Weekend

With Labor Day weekend coming up there will be lots of time to fit in a movie, especially around the Detroit area, if the weather thunder storms like the forecast predicts. Although there are limited movies that come out this week (nation wide one of Wednesday and one of Friday) there are a lot of movies that come out in August and gives lots of choices across the board. I have been surprised that many of the ones I have seen have been enjoyable as for me August tends to not be the best month for movies, after the summary blockbusters and before the big holiday/ award season push.  See below for different movies that are available to be seen, what I think about the ones I have seen and the ones that I am planning to see over the weekend.
Family Fun/ Children

Disney's Planes: This seems to be very similar to the Cars movie but is set from the perspective of planes.  It focuses on Dusty, a plan who wants to be a big shot air racer.  I have not seen this one but it is definitely geared for the younger children.

Percy Jackson an the Sea of Monsters: In this movie, we meet back up with Percy and his friends at Camp Half Blood.  When the camp is under treat, Percy, his friends and newly discovered Cyclops brother go on a quest to get the Golden Fleece.  All the time trying to prevent Luke from his own devious plans. I really liked this movie as a family film and would recommend it for families that have younger children.  To read my full review click the link here

Turbo: Turbo is another animated movie, this time about a snail who just wants to be fast and compete in car races.  After he gain the power of super-speed he tries to make it as a racer and along the way he meets some friend and shenanigans ensue.  I have not seen this one, as there were other movies higher on my list, but if I had to pick a animated film right now it would be this one.  Let me know if it is any good let me know.


Kick Ass 2: This movie follow up where the first one ends with the Red Mist wanting to get revenge for his father's death and sets out to get Kick Ass and Hit Girl.  Also included in the mix is a plethora of other costumed vigilantes.  I have not seen this movie, but I am planning to see it as I want to see what they made of it, but am not really expecting that much from it.  Although it is heavy of the action, I still think of it as more of a dark-satire.

We're the Millers: In his movie a man recruits a fake family to help him smuggle drugs across the boarder into the united states.  He choses a stripper as his wife, a runaway as his daughter, and a virgin as his son.  I am uncertain if I want to see this one and will probably wait until it comes out on television.

The World's End: This is part three of the Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright Cornetto trilogy. It is about five friends that come back together and go back to their hometown to try and make complete the epic local pub crawl.  While there are there they discover that the town is being taken over by aliens.  I liked this movie and enjoy the entire trilogy.  See my full review here

Horror/ Fantasy/ Thriller/ Action

Closed Circuit: Relapsed on Wednesday, August 28th, this movie follows the set up of lies and secrets after an explosion in a busy London Market.  Two lawyers, with a history, are against each other and drawn into a potential cover up and dangerous situation.  This one sees interesting and if anyone sees it before me, let me know if it is worth a watch.

Elysium: This one was pretty bad and unless you really want to see it, I would recommend one of the others.  This one is about a man who lives on poverty ridden earth who is trying to find a way to break into the space station Elysium where the rich live and where they have the medical technology to save his life.  See my full review here

Get Away: This movie comes out on Friday, August 30th, and is about a man who is blackmailed and has to race against time to get her safely back.  Also involved is a young women who gets drawn into this danger and trouble to see if he can get things done and save his wife.  This one I am planning to see with my father and brother but as there has not been a whole lot of promotion so I am not certain how good it will be.

Grandmaster: This movie is about martial arts and the grandmaster who trained Bruce Lee. I expect a lot of great cinematography and martial arts sequences in this movie.  I am looking forward to seeing it.

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: I enjoyed this movie and this is the latest paranormal teen flick.  It is definitely for the teenage girl and anyone who likes these types of movies should go see it.  It follows Clary as she discovers her mother is a Shadow hunter who has been on the run and trying to protect her from evil that is coming for her.  See my full review here

Paranoia: This movie was pretty cookie cutter but not super horrible.  It is about a young man who is put in a situation where he has to lie and sleuth to try and get out of a spot that he has been blackmailed into.  He goes undercover at a rival technology firm to try and steal their new designs for his old employer.  See my full review here

You're Next: This is the horror movie that is out right now.  It seems to be basically what the title states.  It is a home invasion horror movie that I have no intention of seeing for two reasons. 1) I don't really like horror movies and 2) I don't like horror movies that just try to outdo each other in the gore/shock value plus I don't really need nightmares about people coming into my house and killing me.


Lee Daniels' The Butler: This movie follows a back butler who went from living on a cotton farm in the south, where a white man could kill a black man with no consequences to become a long standing butler in the White House.  It follows his challenges to better himself, take care of his family, and struggle with his son who has a different viewpoint on life.  I really liked this movie and recommend it to be seen, but understand that it may be difficulty with some with the language and discrimination.  See my full review here

Jobs: This is a movie about the life and career of Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple Computers.  It follows him through the initial launch and building of the company, how he was boxed out, and then bought back to revitalize the company.  I am looking forward to seeing this movie and hope that it is good. My review should be up this weekend.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013): Review

Today I went and saw Lee Daniel's The Butler and it was a fantastic movie, one of the best ones I have seen in a while.  It is one that I would recommend to almost anyone especially people who live drama's and person driven stories.
Lee Daniel's The Butler follows the life of Cecil Gaines, played by Forrest Whitaker, and is very loosely based on the story of a real butler who worked in the White House for thirty four years and eight presidents.  This movie starts with Cecil as a black boy who was born on a cotton farm in the 1920s.  As a young boy he witness his father being killed by their employer and nobody care.  He is taken into the house to learn how to be a household domestic by the old white women who also lives on the cotton farm.  He leaves this cotton farm as a teenager because of the discrimination and fear for his own life.  He is able to get a job at a hotel and mentored on how to be a good server.  He gets a job in Washington DC working at a hotel, where he makes a life for himself, his  wife Gloria, played by Oprah Winfrey, and their two sons Louis, played by David Oyelowo, and Charlie.  Due to skills he is able to get a job at the White House as a butler.  The bulk of the movie, follows Cecil, as he works for the different presidents as is around while history is progress, his relationship with his wife and how there relationship ebbs and flows, and their son Louis, who becomes a Freedom Writer, follower of Martin Luther King Jr, a Black Panther, and a protester of apartheid in South Africa.  They younger son is around but not as significantly focused on.  There is a lot a strain between Cecil and Louis as their different perspectives, life experiences, and stubbornness effect how they are able to connect. Like I stated this is a movie that follows Cecil's life and occurs over a long period of time.
I really liked this movie and through that it was fantastic all around.  It has a great script, a fantastic cast, and was well paced.  It hit a lot of history points but didn't focus too much of them to take away from the character interactions and development.  It mainly focused on Cecil but juxtaposed him against his son Louis. This movie could be hard for some people because it does focus on injustice and racism, which means that the language used is in accordance with these, and some scenes may be difficult for people as it does show mistreatment during the civil rights movement, and killing of blacks with no remorse by those who did it.
I think Forrest Whitaker, Oprah, and Davis Oyelowo were fantastic in this movie and that is was very well acted.  The supporting cast was fantastic and I do not think that anyone was a weak link.
I would recommend this movie for everyone but you need to understand that some people will have difficulty with the violence and abuse that is shown and alluded to. This is definitely one of my Oscar Contender for this year, both the movie and the actors.

My Rating: 4

Friday, August 23, 2013

The World's End (2013): Review

Today I went and saw The World's End, which is the third part of the Cornetto Trilogy.  The Cornetto Trilogy is a series of movies written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright and staring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  This one is represented by the mint chocolate chip Vornetto, with the green representing the aliens.
I was expecting a lot from this movie, as I am a fan of both Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007) and I wanted to see what they would do with this one.  I think that this movie met my expectations in many ways but there were also parts that I didn't particulate like.  This movie was still fun and worth watching (if you are a fan of the other cornetto movies) but it is probably my least favorite of the three. I will tell you why alter on.
In The World's End, Simon Pegg plays Gary King, who is a bit of a screw up and feels like his life has never been as good as his last day of school, where he and his four friends attempted to do the Golden Mile but never made it to the last pub, The World's End.  He convinces his four friend's from high school, who haven't spoken in a while to accompany him back to their home town, Newtown Haven, to make this pub crawl that they failed at back in school.  Along the way you discover that there is a lot of Tension with Gary and his friends Andy, played by Nick Frost, Peter played by Eddie Marsen, Oliver played by Martin Freeman, and Steven played by Patty Considine.  Also in the mix is Oliver's sister Sam, played by Rosamund Pike, who Gary hooked up with during the previous pub crawl attempt.  Along the way they discover that the town has been taken over by aliens in robot bodies that are filled with blue ink.  The question is will Gary and the crew survive the night, be able to save the town from the alien invasion, and finish the pub crawl by making it to The World's end.
This movie had the humor that I was expecting and there were a lot of jokes that I liked.  I think that it took a while to get going in the story and I feel like the set up was spoon fed a little too much.  It was told a few times and just one of these times would have been sufficient.  Once the pub crawl gets going is when the movie picks up for me.  I think that taking a lot of the backstory of the characters out would have been better, as it really isn't needed in the main story of the movie, I think without some of this stuff it would have flown better and really who needs a in depth set up for these movies.  Telling us about the conflict throughout the movie would have been enough.  I really liked Nick Frost in this movie, and for me he really stuck out. Usually I prefer Simon Pegg as I really like him as a comedian and actor, but in this movie it was really Frost who stood out.  This might be because there wasn't anything that I really liked about Gary as a character and Frost was more of the character you rooted for, instead of being the daft side kick.  Going in I was expecting it to be more focused on the alien factor but the movie was more about the people being replaced by robots by the aliens then about the aliens taking over.  I would have also liked it better if they were full of green liquid instead of blue, as green is more symbolic of aliens then blue, this also would have linked better to the Cornetto flavor.  I didn't really like how they incorporated the Cornetto into the movie, and would have like it better if it was incorporated similarly to the other movies, it seemed more just thrown in just because it needed to be.
Overall, I liked this movie and it definitely worth seeing if you are a fan of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright films.  I would recommend watching all of the trilogy.

My Rating: 3-

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hot Fuzz (2007): Review

Tonight I watched the second installment of the Cornetto Trilogy, 2007s Hot Fuzz.  My sister decided to join me and we watched it in preparation of the release of part three, The World's End this weekend. Hot Fuzz is represented by the blue original Cornetto and in this one you see both Nick Frost and Simon Pegg eat one.
Like I said when reviewing Shaun of the Dead, if you don't know, Cornettos are a packaged ice cream cone sold in the united kingdom that come in different flavors.  For my fellow Americans it is similar to the drumstick ice cream treat.  Hot Fuzz's blue original is in reference to the police element of the film.
In Hot Fuzz,  Simon Pegg plays Police Sargent Nickolas Angel, a by the books police officer who is shipped from London to Sandford, a rural town in Gloucestershire, because his arrest record and no nonsense ways are making the other officers look bad.  While in Sandford, he discovers that things are not like they are in London and the police force is full of different characters. There he meets PC Danny Butterman, played by Nick Frost, and reluctantly becomes friends with him.  While settling in he comes across an alarmingly number of accidents resulting in peoples death and discovers a conspiracy that is much bigger then he originally thought.  Can he pull the force together and rely on Danny to help him out.
I like Hot Fuzz and watching it back again, I noticed many things that I has forgotten about the film, many of the positive, some of them not so much.  I like that this movie is full of references to other shoot um up movies and has a lot of action in it. The violence is over the top and out of place with the movie, but that is the point.  I really like the banter between Pegg and Frost and of course there chemistry comes through once again.  There are a lot of jokes and one liners that I very much enjoy.  There is also quite a bit of vulgar language.  Upon this re-watching, I discovered that there is a lot of the tight shot action sequences that annoy me so much, and that have become the stable in recent years, and I didn't really remember this from before, but that could be due to not discovering my great annoyance at the time.
Basically I like this movie and think anyone who likes Simon Pegg, or the other parts of the Cornetto Trilogy should see this movie.  I don't think it is as much of a cultural significance of Shawn of the Dead, but I think that it falls into the more general category of action movie, as oppose to Zombie film that Shaun is.

My Rating: 3

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013): Review

Tonight I decide to stay up past my bedtime and go see Mortal Instruments: City of Bones with my sister.  This movie was released today and I was excited to see it, but I didn't know really what to expect because it was being released in August and August is not always the best time of year for good movies.  Anyway it was not as good as I was hoping for but lately I feel like I have been spoiled with pretty good teen paranormal novel movies.
Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a movie based on the first book of the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare.  It follows Clary, played by Lily Collins, as she discovers she is a shadow hunter, a half human/ half angle, who work to kill demons and try and keep balance in the world.  Clary starts to think she is crazy when she starts drawing the angle rune on everything and sees things that other people can see.  Everything gets worse when her house is broken into and her mother disappears.  She meets fellow shadow hunter, Jace, played by Jamie Campbell Bower, and is dragged along as they try and find out what happened to Clary's mother and try and find the Mortal Cup which her mother had hidden.  Dragged along is Clary's mundane friend Simon and fellow shadow hunter siblings Isabella and Alec.  Along the way Clary discovers that the world is not what she thought it was and people are not who she thought they were.
For the type of movie this was it was okay and for people who tend to like these teen paranormal novel movies it is worth watching, but this specific one had some things that I struggled with.  I will start with the positive. I like Lily Collins as an actress and I think she does a good job as the heroine of the story, she is someone who the audience can connect with and hope that she works it out, even though she is totally daft where boys are concerned.  It was interesting how the magic was incorporated into the story.  I like the use of runes for stuff but thought it was weird that they had powers to create things by writing rune but not by just doing them.  I thought that overall there was a good pace throughout and lots of action to keep it exciting.  There is some of the close it, choppy sequences but it was keep to a minimum.  Some of the tension between the characters was goo and kept it interesting until one point where it just became, no they didn't do that to me and I am uncertain how I feel about it (you will know what I mean when you watch it).
Overall the negatives were normal for this type of movie, there was some awkward acting and cheaper prosthetics used.  I am mainly talking about the vampires and transitioning werewolf's. The main thing that was difficult for me was the main male actor Bower, as he is not the type of guy that I have any interest in what so ever and he was suppose to do the mysterious guy who all the girls crush on.  I know that some people find that type of dressing and looks attractive but it is not for me and I just don't get it.  This wouldn't have been such a big deal if there wasn't so much focus on him and references to his appeal, I would have preferred more of the archetypical "bad boy." 
Overall it is basically what it was advertised to be and was pretty run of the mill for this type of teen paranormal novel movie. For anyone who doesn't like and cant handle these type of movies stay clear.

My Rating: 2-

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shaun of the Dead (2004): Review

I am very excited for The World's End movie to come out this weekend so to gear up for it I have decided to re-watch the first two parts of the Cornetto Trilogy. The Cornetto Trilogy are three films written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, Directed by Simon Pegg, and staring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  The first installment of this trilogy is 2004 Shaun of the Dead, which represents the Strawberry Cornetto.  The strawberry represents the blood and the red that is referenced throughout the movie.
For those of you who do not know what Cornettos are, they are pre-packaged ice cream cone desserts which originated in the United Kingdom (for my fellow American's they are similar to the drumstick ice cream cone). 
Thus far Shaun of the Dead is my favorite of the Cornetto movies but I am very excited to see The World's End and I usually prefer alien movies over Zombie movies.  That being said, I think everyone should see Shaun of the Dead because it is a fun and shows the fabulousness that is Simon Pegg.
Shaun of the Dead is about Shaun, played by Simon Pegg, who's best friend but general screw up Ed, played by Nick Frost.  Shaun works as sales associate for a electronic company, is in a relationship with Liz, played by Kate Ashfield, and who ends most days at the local pub, The Winchester.  Shaun is in a rut but has to pull it together in order to stay alive and try to save his mother and friends from a Zombie infestation.  As Shaun is going about his day, he eventually discovers that there are Zombies about and that they are trying to kill people. He decides that he needs to go and get his mother, his girlfriend and go bunker down at the Winchester, with Ed along from the ride, to try and wait out this Zombie thing.  Along the way there is a long of nonsense and fun that occurs.
This movie is a British comedy first and foremost and has the general British humor throughout.  If you like Simon Pegg, which I do, this is a must see movie as it really was the big launching point for his success today. As with all the Cornetto movies, it puts the main characters, specifically Pegg and Frost in ridiculous situations (aliens, conspiracies, zombies) and watching them in their daftness and OTTness as they have to deal with these situations and come to some type of conclusions.
Yes this movie is quite stupid, yes there are some juvenile jokes, yes there is some vulgar language, and yes it contains a lot of British humor, but for me it combines all of this in a way that is a lot of fun and that I enjoy watching.
It has been a few years since I watched this movie, and upon re-watching I noticed some of the supporting cast.  There is a moment where you see Martin Freeman who plays a bigger role in The World's End and other British actors who mirror Shaun and his troupe.
Like I said I really enjoy this movie and would recommend it to be seen just for the cultural significant and fun. For those of you who don't like British humor it probably is not for you.  It might also take some concentration for those of you who are less familiar or less used to listening to British accents as it can be difficult to understand at times.  I have been told by people that at times these accents can be hard to understand.

My Rating: 3

My Nostalgia Rating: This film has a lot of nostalgia for me as it came out during the time that I lived in London and I loved it.  I really like the British humor and was aware of the references and cameos of a lot of people in it.  Watching it back now, they look familiar but I cannot identify all of their names like I could have back then.  Also I like the warm fuzzies that the pub atmosphere was and getting together with your mates for a drink.

My Hold Up Rating: As this movie was released in 2004 it has been about a decade and there is some obvious older technologies.  Mainly within the electronic store that Shaun works in, the fact that everyone does not have a mobile phone, that there is still an actually answering machine on the land line, and that Ed has a filp phone.  At this point it wasn't that big of a deal but still slightly noticeable.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief (2010): Review

After watching Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters (2013) for the second time because a few of my friends wanted to see it, I wanted to go back and watch the Lightning Thief because I couldn't really remember anything about it. I even forgot some of the main actors who were in it, but when re-watching it I went oh yeah, that happened.
Well Sea of Monsters is better then the Lightning Thief but both are family movies that I wouldn't mind watching if they were being shown on television.  I have a tendency to like family films and don't mind if they are simplistic and cheesy as long as they are entertaining and fun.  It was nice getting a refresher for how Percy found out he was a demi-god and the relationships between him Annabeth, who is brunette in this movie, and Grover.  I forgot how much of a non villain Luke is and how the scene with the flying shoes is really stupid.
The Lightning Thief starts with Zeus confronting Poseidon about his lightning bolt being stolen and that he believes that Poseidon's son stole it, he threatens that if the bolt isn't returned their will be war in Olympus. We then meet Percy Jackson who is having trouble at school because of his "dyslexia" (later discovered to be because he is hard wired to read Greek, and this is referenced in Sea of Monsters) and that his mother is with a horrible man of a step father.  He discovers that he is a demi-god when a harpy tries to attack him and his best friend Grover takes him, along with his mother to the Camp Half- Blood.  While on the way his mother is kidnaped and later it is discovered that she is being held by Hades in the underworld.  Hades wants Percy to bring him the lightning bold in exchange for his mother.  At camp he meets Annabeth, daughter of Athena, and discovers that Grover is a satyr and his protector.  These three are given stuff by Luke, son of Hermes, to help them hunt down three pearls that will allow them to get out of the underworld after they rescue Percy's mom.  As these three seek these pearls they meet Medusa, Hydra, and the Temple of the Lotus Eaters.  They work to save Percy's mother, find the Lightning Bolt, and return it to Zeus while along the way making friends. 
Like I said this is totally a family film but its niche is that it is about the Greek Gods and has references to mythology in it.  It is fun an worth a watch if its on television but is not a must see.  Just knowing how the four main characters if enough of a background to watch Sea of Monsters. There are more references to mythology and Homer in Sea of Monsters.

My Rating: 1

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paranoia (2013): Review

This morning I went to see Paranoia and although it seemed to try to get to the psychological, it didn't really grasp a feeling of paranoia, either for the audience or the actors in the movie. Paranoia starts Liam Hemsworth as Adam Cassidy, a young man who wants to make it big in the technology field but he get pulled into a game of corporate espionage by Nicolas Wyatt, played by Gary Oldman, who bribes Adam into working for the competition Jack Goodard, played by Harrison Ford.  The basis for this movie is pretty flimsy and seemed to be a movie that I have seen before.  Nothing seemed original or that interesting, nothing was particularly horrible but this type of movie has been done before and done better.
As I was watching this movie, it seemed like it never really picked up steam or did anything exciting or suspenseful.  I think that it was suppose to have you get into the head of Adam and all that he is doing, but it doesn't really do this, there are a few moments where it hits on the you are always being monitored or tracked through technology but this seems to be more of an afterthought. 
I found that the focus of the movie was weird and at times it seemed like it was doing things just to show off the attractiveness of Liam Hemsworth.  I don't get why there were multiple scenes toward the beginning of the movie where he was scantily clad (shirtless, in the shower, with just a towel) as to me this movie is not one that was aimed for the female population.  Sure he is good looking and might want to try and get the heartthrob tittle that his brother holds, but a movie with a limited, mostly male demographic isn't really the movie to do it in.  To be honest it seemed like the moments where the superfluous female would normally be the scantily clad one.  I just didn't get it, but it could also be that he just isn't my favorite actor of the moment.
Basically there was nothing special, innovative, or original about this movie, it seemed like it was just a rehash of other movies I have watched, and I am getting tired of all these movies that are just slightly different but basically inter-changeable.

My Rating: 1

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Don Jon (2013): Official Trailer #2

The second official (short) trailer for Don Jon was released today
Watch below:
This doesn't really give any new information about the movie, but it does focus on the relationship between the two main characters.  If you don't know already Don Jon is the full length directorial and writer debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  In this movie he plays a Jersey boy who is addicted to porn and meets the girl of his dreams, played by Scarlet Johansson, who is addicted to romance movies.  This trailer just gives more of the premise and shows the other main cast.  I am looking forward to seeing this movie and have been since I learned about it last year when my little sister was an daily extra on it.
I am hoping this is as good as I hear it is.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ender's Game Official Trailer #2

Today when I was at the movies I saw the new trailer for Ender's Game and it just increases my excitement for this movie.
Watch Below

I have just read the book Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and now I don't want to have to wait until November 1st to see the movie.  When I saw the first trailer it seemed like the type of movie that I really would like.  Now when I see this trailer it just adds to my excitement as it looks to be a stunning film with great cinematography and wide scope when watching the space battles.  I love Harrison Ford as an actors and am looking forward to seeing him play Colonel Graff and although Asa Butterfield is older then Ender in the book, I think he will be able to get me emotionally attached to his character.  This movie has a supporting cast with Hailey Steinfeld as Petra, Abigail Breslin as Valentine, Ben Kinsley as Mazer Rackham, and Viola Davis as Major Anderson.  I hope that this movie is able to meet my expectations and will be a great kick off to the holiday movie season. 

Elysium (2013): Review

This morning I went and saw Elysium with my brother and father and it was not a very good movie.  It was nothing horrific but nothing special and there is really no reason to watch it unless you don't mind bad movies and have a few hours to kill.
Elysium starts Matt Damon as Max a parole who lives on earth that is dying due to being exposed to radiation.  He decides that he wants to try and get into Elysium, a habitat above earth where the rich live and where they have a machine that can cure anything bad that happens to you.  While trying to do this he encounters Frey, a girl from his childhood, who's daughter is dying of leukemia. Along the way the Defense Secretary of Elysium, played by Jodi Foster, sends an agent on Earth to try and stop Max.  Lot of action sequences and stuff happen, non of which is originally or that interesting.
The good thing about this movie is that it didn't do anything that really annoyed me or made it a bad movie per se but there didn't seem to be anything original or interesting about it.  There was a lot of tight shot fight sequences, which I am not a fan of, as well as a lot of shaky camera work.
Like I said it is nothing that horrible but nothing special.  Really only a time filler with lots of grit and no emotional attachment.  On a side not all the different accents/ languages seemed a bit much and unnecessary.

My Rating: 1

Friday, August 9, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013): Review

Tonight I went and saw Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and it was an fair family film.  It was completely a family fair and looks to be for the tween market.  It is probably a little too much for young, young children, but a bit lame for teenagers (unless they were like I was/am and love a good lame-ish family adventure file).
Sea of Monsters continues after the events of Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief (2010). I don't really remember what happened in the first movie but besides the general idea and knowing the backstory of the characters I don't think it really effects being able to figure out what it happening.  For me the story was pretty straight forward and there was not really mystery or surprise.  Anyway you need to know the Percy Jackson, played by Logan Lerman, is a half human son of Poseidon who is living at a camp for children of gods (Olympian) he is there with his friend a satyr Grover, played by Brandon T. Jackson, and daughter of Athena Annabeth, played by Alexandra Daddario. During the events of The Lightning Thief these three go against Luke, played by Jake Able, son of Hermes when he is trying to steal Zeus' Lightning Bolt.
Sea of Monsters starts with the story of Thalia, the daughter of Zeus who sacrifices herself to protect the camp and save her friends.  We then go to modern day where the rival between Percy and the daughter of  Aires Clarisse, played by Leven Rambin, and how she is always beating Percy and likes to be the best.  After it is discovered that Luke is alive and that he is trying to destroy the camp Clarisse is sent on a quest to get the golden fleece from the Sea of Monsters.  Percy, his friends, and his newly discovered Cyclops brother go off on their own because of the prophecy that puts Percy in the middle of this drama. Along the way they have to overcome challenges and try and come together to be successful. 
One of my favorite parts is the Cameo of Nathan Fillion, who plays Hermes (Luke's father) and during this he gets to be his wonderful self and also make a fantastic reverence to how Firefly was canceled in it prime.  I was not expecting this nugget and I think that I was the first one to get it during the movie because I laughed out loud and then a few of the teenagers mad a comment.
I saw this movie in 3D and although how it was incorporate it didn't bug or distract me from the movie, I don't think it really added anything. Yes there were moments when things came from the screen but most of the time I just forgot it was in 3D.  The CGI was not the best but again it wasn't jarring or distracting from the movie.
This is very much a family movie and is set for that, so some of the simplicities of how things came about could have been more complete and clever but all of it seemed congruent with the type of movie it was.  I think one of the main problems would be trying to incorporate so much lore, references and characters into it.  I think if some of the characters were pruned it would have given a chance to see who each of them were.  Knowing about Greek god lore and also the story of Homer's the Odyssey will make it easier to identify the characters and references and I am sure that I missed a lot of this and just glossed over it because the story kept going. 
Overall this was a fair family film but probably worth seeing on TV unless the kids really want to see it now.

My Rating: 2-

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thor 2: The Dark World: Trailer

The new Thor: The Dark World Trailer has been released
Watch it below:

This trailer seems to expand a bit on the previous trailer and show a little more about the snippets that were previously released.  Besides this slight expansion it seems to really focus on the peril of the characters and the need for Thor to not only save earth but the Asgard from being taken over presumably by evil.  It also focused more on Loki and how everyone is watching him and expecting him to betray his brother.
Who's excited for the continuation of Marvel's phase 2 with Thor 2: The Dark World

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Official Trailer #2

I know that this trailer came out last month but I am still really excited for this movie...
Watch below

This second trailer continues to be a teaser but it bring in the focus on the Elves.  I am not sure how I fell about Legolas being a focus as he wasn't in the books but I can except that with the father being mentioned the son is likely to be there as well.  I hope that the movie is good and as I am starting to gear up for the holiday releases, now that the summer releases have gone by, I am starting to get really excited for the second installment of The Hobbit. 
Anyone else excited?

Elysium: Trailer

This week the new Matt Damon future world movie comes out, watch the trailer below

This movie being released in august (which in my opinion is a bit of a dump month for movies) and coming after a very action movie/ blockbuster saturated spring and early summer I am hoping that this movie it a bit different from the others.  It seems a bit sci-fi-ish because of the technology and mechanical thing that gets attached to Matt Damon in order for him to be able to get to Elysium and using brains as storage devices for information which a lot of the recent movies have been (robots, spaceships, etc).  I like that this one looks a bit gritty and more dark but this might just be that it doesn't want to give away too much of what happens once the metal thing is attached to Matt Damon.  I like the juxtaposition of the destroyed dirty earth and Elysium but besides the basic concepts I do not really know much else about the movie.
Is anyone planning or excited to see this movie?

Soul Surfer (2011): Review

Today I wanted to watch a movie that I hadn't seen before but that I wanted to see when it came out.  I decided on Soul Surfer because I was in the mood for an uplifting story with some sap.  Soul Surfer is based on the true story of Professional Surfer Bethany Hamilton, played by AnnaSophia Robb in the movie, who as a young teenager had her left arm bitten off by a shark.  She overcome this injury and didn't let it prevent her from achieving her dream of becoming a professional surfer.  This movie follows her from before the attack until her first armature national surf completion after.  It follows her struggles to adapt and those of her family and fiends who supported her journey.
This is definitely a family film and is focused on overcoming your challenges even when you doubt yourself.  It really focuses on the personal interactions and the struggles many of the characters go through as they support Bethany.  The movie also stars Dennis Quaid as Bethany's father and Helen Hunt as her mother.
This movie is quite sappy and as it is an inspirational story it focuses on the positives of overcoming challenges and not giving up when things get hard.  It shows how Bethany used her faith and missionary spirit to keep her going and that he did this to bring positivity into others lives.
It was alright of a story and I bought into the emotional journey of the characters.  It spends enough time of each character and what they were going through while keeping the story going. The CGI was inexpensive and a lot of the surfing scenes where obviously green screened but it is worth watching on an afternoon on TV.

My Rating: 2

Saturday, August 3, 2013

2 Guns (2013): Review

Earlier today I went and Saw 2 Guns with the family and it was a pretty good action movie.  I think this was the first movie in a while that all of us agreed on being pretty good and that includes my mom actually liking an action movie.  Although I enjoyed this movie I do not think that it was the best I have ever scene but I have decided that Mark Wahlberg has grown on me as an actor.
2 Guns is the story of Bobby, played by Denzel Washington, and Stig, played by Mark Wahlberg, who get caught up in a plot that they are not expecting.  Bobby is an undercover DEA agent and he helps Stig, who turns out to be an undercover Navy marksmen who get manipulated into stealing over 43 million dollars from a CIA slush fund that they think is a 2 million cash stash from a Mexican Drug Lord.  They discover that they have been set up and have to work together to try and get out of the mess they are in.
Like I stated before, Mark Wahlberg has grown on me as an actor in the type of role he played in this movie.  Where he is a slightly OTT comic character that is basically a caricature and it seems like he is just having fun playing this character.  This type of OTT acting I like, where it is done over the top but slightly held back with a wink and nod to the audience that they know they are being ridiculous but are doing it for the fun of it and the fun of playing that character. Denzel Washington was fine but he is on of those actors that I have difficulty seeing blend into the character instead of seeing it as Denzel Washington.  I liked the supporting cast as well and especially Bill Paxton as the CIA agent.
The plot kept the movie going and as my mother stated "I didn't get bored" throughout it, but for me it seemed a bit too much thrown into it but with it still being pretty simplistic.  It seemed like there were things that they were trying to keep in suspense but either through the trailers or through what happened in the movie it wasn't that big of a deal.  It could have worked better at either trying to keep things as suspenseful or giving up the suspense and just going with having it be a fun ride.  I think with Mark Wahlberg's character it was a fun ride and I liked how he interacted with all of the other characters.
This movie is worth seeing if you like action movies that keep the pace up and have a pretty ridiculous plot as well as lots of stuff being blown up and people being shot with no real regards for characters being killed off.

My Rating: 2+

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Way Way Back (2013): Review

Tonight I went and saw The Way Way Back with my mom and I really enjoyed the movie.  The beginning takes a little while to get going but once it does, it really is good. 
The Way Way Back is centered around fourteen year old Duncan, played by Liam James who is going to his mother boyfriend's Trent, played by Steve Carell, beach house for the summer.  With his is his mother Pam, played by Toni Collette, and Trent's daughter.  Duncan has a poor relationship with Trent and this is identified at the beginning of the movie when Trent asks Duncan to rate his life on a scale of 1-10 and then rates him a 3. Trent is controlling and a huge A-hole to Duncan but due to being there with his mom Duncan has to put up with it. During this summer he meets the owner of a local waterpark Owen, played by Sam Rockwell, and start to grow as a person and discover who he is.  It is basically the beginning of a coming of age story for Duncan with him trying to deal with situations that he did not choose to put himself in while trying to make it work.
For me, this movie takes a while to get going and some of the story line seems a bit over awkward. I know that awkward was the point of this, as it has the indie drama feel to it but for me Steve Carell had difficulty with the A-hole feel.  This may be because he always tends to play things more comedy or dark comedy and this character didn't really have any lovable parts to it and I had difficulty seeing him embody the character.  I also thought the chemistry between him and Toni Collette could have been better as they are suppose to be boyfriend and girlfriend and I would have liked it if there was a bit more between them. That being said, I think the rest of the cast was fantastic and great in their roles.
The best part of the entire movie for me was Sam Rockwell as Owen.  I think he had the right mix of fun, sass, and supporter to Duncan.  Whenever he was on screen, especially when interacting with Duncan it was great.  The movie really picked up with my interest and enjoyment when he was truly introduced into the story.  There was a great supporting cast with Allison Janney as Betty, the drunk next door neighbor; AnnaSophia Robb as Suzanna, the teenage girl next door who is also struggling with being a teenager and her relationship with her family; Maya Rudolph, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash as other waterpark employees; Rob Corddry, who I just love in basically everything he does, as Kip.
This movie is very much the Indie Drama and is just showing a snapshot of this boys life and the people he meet. There is some growth that he goes through but as with movie of this sort, it is just about this specific time and place in life and how it is for them to be there.  I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes or sometimes enjoys this type of movie, because this was a very good version.  

My Rating: 3+