Saturday, May 24, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014: Review

Last night for Friday Night Movie Night we went and saw the new X-Men movie Days of Future Past and I am happy to say that although it was quite confusing at time it was a very entertaining and good X-Men movie.  Definitely one of the best of the X-Men movies and it had a lot of Easter eggs (many that I didn't get) and the incorporation between the two different casts was pretty great. My main criticism is that it expected you to really remember what happened in many of the previous X-Men movies so during the film I was trying to remember what had come before (and it has been a while for me since I saw them) and get the reference which was kinda important to what was going on in this movie. I would have like some of it spelled out a bit more as an audience member about background but there was a lot of info that they had to give you for the Sentinel story line so they were giving quiet at bit of the science information of how it is all possible.  When I watch movies I don't really care about the science making actual sense in the real world and how all the working fit together, I much prefer when the focus is on story and character then how all of the super stuff happens.
Days of Future Past links together all of the previews X-Men movies with a sort of time travel.  In the Future after the X Trilogy the Sentinels have destroyed the world and are hunting the remaining mutants. They were created to hunt out and kill mutants by identifying their mutant genes but had evolved to hunt out humans with the possibility of having mutant descendants therefore destroying the whole world.  They have the ability to adapt to mutant powers due to having the ability to change that was added to them based on Mystique's mutant power.  In this future we have the older generation of mutants from the X trilogy which include Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart; Magneto, played by Ian McKellen; Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman; and Kitty Pryde, played by Ellen Page.  Kitty has been able to keep her group of friends safe with her ability to send someones consciousness back into their old bodies but has only been able to do a few days because of the destruction of the mind and body.  Because Wolverine can heal himself it is decided that she will send him back to 1973 during the time where the sentinel program was approved because Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence, killed the creator Dr. Trask, played by Peter Dinklage, demonstrating to the world at large that mutants are dangerous to humans.  Logan must convince 1973 Charles, played by James McAvoy, and Eric, played Michael Fassbender, to work together and prevent this from happening before the world of the future is destroyed. Other important 1973 players are Beast, played by Nicholas Hoult, and Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters.
Like I said I really enjoyed this movie and it was a fun action movie.  It went a little overboard with all of the stuff in it, like what I said before but that was my only real criticism.  I really liked that cast and yes they brought in a lot of stuff and information but it all kinda fit together and the film itself kept movie and didn't get bogged down.  I liked how the two separate time frames of the movie came together.  This movie is definitely worth watching for anyone who has seen all the other X-Men movies but may be hard to understand by people who do not have a basic understanding of what happened in the movies. You didnt need to know everything but a basic understanding of what is going on is needed.
I went an saw this movie in 3D and I am really starting to forget that I am watching movies in 3D while in there because it so common now, I don't think it is necessary to see it in 3D but some of the side scale shots were impressive with their dimension.  Overall the CG was good except for the train ties.

My Rating: 3+

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Other Woman (2014): Review

Tonight I went to see the new Cameron Diaz movie, The Other Woman and it was absolutely hilarious.  I don't remember the last time that I basically laughed from the beginning of the movie till the very end.  This one the humor and laughs just kept coming and it was kept at a level that made it enjoyable to watch but not overwhelming.  There were some points that it went more into the disgusting, over the top humor that I don't like, but this was really only in two spots so it didn't bother me that badly.
The Other Woman's plot is very simple and there isn't a lot going on in basic story but the story is basically there to put the characters into situations where funny interactions can happen. It stars Cameron Diaz as Carly, a high power low emotion lawyer who starts seeing a man that she actually likes.  This man is Mark King, played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who Carly discovers is actually married to Kate, played by Leslie Mann and has been lying to both of them.  Kate doesn't know what to do when she finds out that her husband had been lying to her and seeks support from Carly.  Together they form an unlikely friendship and and discover that Mark is cheating on both of them with Amber, played by Kate Upton.  The three of them decide that they want to get back at Mark for lying to them and do what they can to bring him down.  Supporting characters include Taylor Kinney as Kate's brother Phil; Nicki Minaj as Carly's assistant Lydia; and Don Johnson as Carly's dad Frank.

This movie is basically fluff and doesn't have a lot of overall plot nor any suspense to it but it is a fun ride throughout.  What makes this movie so enjoyable is the great interactions between the three main ladies, especially Diaz and Mann. They play really well off of each other and really embody their characters in a way that I actually care to see what they do. I am glad to say that because these two actresses sometimes have a tendency to go too far for me and make it way too much, their differences seemed to really play well off of each other and you can see them developing affection for each other.  Upton was fine but was more secondary to the main relationship.
 The only casting choice that I didn't particularly care for was the actor who played Mark.  This is probably more about him being the one to do the more over the more over the top crappy humor that I don't care for then him as an actor.  I think that the line was held pretty well for the majority of the movie but it just went too far with him.
Like I said this movie was very funny and I would recommend it for anyone who likes general comedies that are more appropriate then the rated R ones that have become the norm recently and can just go with the scenario and very basic plot.

My Rating: 2+
My Enjoyment Rating: 3+

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Brick Mansions (2014): Review

I just realized that I didn't make a post for when I saw Brick Mansions last weekend.  It seems like that last few weeks have been crazy busy and out of character for my basic life but hopefully everything will be getting more regular and I will be posting on here more like I have in the past.  Anyway back to the post on this movie.  I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I went into watching Brick Mansions.  It stars Paul Walker, who I usually really like in movies, this goes back to thinking he was absolutely fantastic back in high school when I first saw him in movies, but since he has since passed away in a tragic car accident I didn't know how it would work with this being the last movie that he completed before his death.
Brick Mansions was what I tend to like in the crappy action movie category and it was a pretty solid effort.  It was worth seeing for people who like these type of car chase, fight sequence, shoot-um up movies but would not be that much interest to people who do not like this type of movie.  I liked the addition of the parkour element but do not believe for one minuet that Paul Walker was ever able to do those moves like his partner.  Brick Mansions is set in not far future Detroit, Michigan which has deteriorated as a crime center and this criminal area has been walled off and separated from prosperous Detroit.  They do not receive aid and crime has run amok.  Undercover cop Damien Collier, played by Walker, is going into Brick Mansions to de-arm a bomb that is in possession of crime boss Tremaine, played by RZA, who is responsible for the death of Damien's father.  Damien is partnered with criminal Lino, played by David Belle, who has his own beef with Tremaine. Can Damien and Tremaine learn to work together and trust each other to figure out what is going on and prevent the bomb from going off.

First off the parkour in this movie by David Belle is fantastic and since I have discovered that he is a founder of parkour I am even more impressed and believe that he was able to do some of the stunts, maybe not all together an in the ridiculous sequences but it was still pretty amazing. I liked that mix of action sequences in this movie and how they mixed up the type, it went from parkour sequence, to shoot um ups, to car chases, to fist fights allowing me to not get bored as it was not becoming too repetitive.
The story of this movie was kinda weak and pretty easy to identify what was going to happen next, but since I tend to like these kinds of action movies this doesn't really bother me.  The thing that bothered me the most was how clean everything was for it suppose to be in a ghetto with no support where crime runs rampant.  Also the timeline didn't really work but reality isn't something you can focus on in this movie.
This movie does do the thing where the have tight in cinematography which I am slowing just accepting because I cannot change.  But the story also did that things where no matter how much people get the crap kicked out of them they don't go down and no matter how many bullets are shot at them they don't get hit.
Like I said it was a pretty solid action movie and is worth watching if you like these kind of movies but doesn't have anything that will interest people who don't tend to like these kinds of action movies.

My Rating: 2

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Amazing Spider-man 2 (2014): Review

Tonight for Friday night movie night I went and saw the newest Marvel movie The Amazing Spider-man 2, the second installment of the reboot of Spider-man staring Andrew Garfield as the Peter Parker A.K.A Spider-man. I am happy to say that it was a solid movie and a good all around family film.  It had comedy, drama, and action in spades.  I was hoping to enjoy it as I think Andrew Garfield is adorable as Peter and liked The Amazing Spider-man (2012) but as Spider-man is not my favorite all the super heroes I wasn't sure. After watching it, I will have to go back and watch The Amazing Spider-man (2012) because I don't really remember what happened in it and with my crazy work week this week I was unable to watch it before.  Although I didn't really remember what happened in the first movie of this reboot it seemed like just knowing the basic Spider-man stuff from that movie was enough.  That Peter Parker became Spider-man when he was bitten by a Oscorp spider. Oscorp is the evil company of the Spider-man cannon.  He lives with his Aunt May who raided him along with his Uncle Ben, who was killed in the last movie.  He is dating Gwen Stacey who's father was a police officer who died in the previous movie and wanted Peter to stay away from Gwen for her safety.

In The Amazing Spider-man 2, we start with a little more back story about Peter's parents and how they were killed but not before they managed to upload information to "Roosevelt."  We jump to present day where Spider-man is saving the day from bad guys but is called out by his girlfriend Gwen Stacey, played by Emma Stone, because it is their graduation.  Throughout the movie there are ups and downs in their relationship but the undercurrent is that they both love and have strong feelings for each other.  Spider-man saves a man, Max, played by Jamie Foxx, who works for Oscorp and only wants others to notice him.  Max fixates on Spider-man but then gets caught in his own disaster and turns into Elextro, Feeling betrayed by Spider-man he goes on a rage to bring down the city which never appreciated him. The question is can Spider-man prevent this from happening and what will it cost him.  The movie also includes Sally Field as Aunt May and Dane Dehaan as Harry Osborn.

This movie had all that I like for a big budget family action movie, it had action sequences, comedy, heart, and drama while still keeping it on a level that is appropriate for most older children.  There are some scary parts that would be too much for the younger kids but the older boys will definitely love it.  The humor is woven in to the movie, but was focused in the beginning and I found myself laughing out loud at some parts.  Sally Field as Aunt May really brought in the heart and drama of the movie and Sally showed what a great actress she is and I fell in love with Aunt May and believed her struggle with the whole situation she is in.   She helped ground the movie and through caring about her, I cared about Peter. I like Andrew Garfield as Peter mainly because he is just adorable in that I guess I will let you get away with being allusive way and could by why Gwen kept coming back to him.  I through Jamie Foxx was okay as Elextro, but I had trouble with him as this villain.  I thought that the fact that he was the villain was built up in the promotions for the movie, but I had difficulty really having any contempt for him, even after he started killing people and really falling into the baddie role.  Because of all the things he went through, I felt for him as a forgotten troubled man and never had a chance to build up the belief in him as the main villain.  I went through that process more with the Green Goblin then with Elextro.
Overall I liked the story and where it took Peter, but there was something toward the end of the film that I didn't really like.  Apparently it was inline with the Spider-man cannon but I still didn't like it, I know it helps with the emotional arc and troubledness of the story but I still didn't like it.

I did go see this movie in 3D and some of the swing through the city was cool but I kinda forgot about the 3Dness, I think this means that it wouldn't have mattered if I had seen it in 2D.  The main thing that bugged me was during the beginning action sequences it looked more like a video game and that took me out of the movie a little.  I like characters being introduced as the actors and not a CGI sequences of them.

Like I said, I was a solid family action film and I think I will try and go back and watch The Amazing Spider-man (2012) this weekend to refresh myself on that story.

My rating: 3-