Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2012

It’s that time of the year again! 2012 was a year full of good movies and a few not so good ones. Here’s my list of my favorite movies from this year. Some may agree with me while others may not. We’re all entitled to our own opinions. Anyway, here we go…


10. Breaking Dawn Part 2

·         The final film in the Twilight saga is easily the best of the five, not that that’s saying much. Yes, the visual effects are bad at times (especially the cgi baby Renesmee, which is so bad it’s creepy) and yes the dialog is still terrible. But the kick ass battle scene at the end more than makes up for it. Plus, Kristen Stewart actually shows some emotion as Vampire Bella. As I said in my review, Edward should have changed her into a vampire much sooner.

 9. The Hunger Games

·         Aside from the god awful shaky cam, this movie was very good. Jennifer Lawrence was perfectly cast as Katniss. Plenty of action and drama. Hell, I even shed a few tears. Wasn’t crazy about Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, but hopefully I’ll get used to it. Can’t wait til Catching Fire comes out next year.

8. Skyfall

·         By far the best Bond movie in recent years. Daniel Craig was amazing as always. The action scenes were very well choreographed and looked incredible on an IMAX screen. Supporting cast was really good too, especially Javier Bardem as the villain (even if his performance was a little over the top at times).

7. Man on a Ledge

·         C’mon, you guys know I had to include some Sam Worthington movies on this list ;) I saw this one back in January. Had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Sam was very believable as an ex-cop trying to prove his innocence.

6. Wrath of the Titans

·         As much as I loved the first movie, I actually thought this one was better in some ways. The focused more on the characters and the 3D was really good this time around. I know it got panned by most critics, but I loved it. It’s Sam running around in a skirt killing monsters for an hour and a half. Plus Liam Neeson is Zeus for crying out loud! What more could you want?

5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

·         Peter Jackson has done it again! He really brings Middle Earth to life in this. Beautiful cinematography. Martin Freeman was amazing as Bilbo. My favorite scene was the riddles in the dark one with Gollum. Major props to Andy Serkis and the visual effects team, Gollum looked incredible! The 48 fps took some getting used to, but it shouldn’t keep you from seeing this wonderful movie.

4. The Avengers

·         The amazing superhero movie we’ve waited years for and Joss Whedon delivered. It had something for everyone. I didn’t think it could work having so many characters in one movie, but they did it. My favorite scene was the Hulk/Loki one towards the end. It was epic and had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt.

3. Lawless

·         Based on the true story of three brothers who were moonshiners in the 30’s. Very well acted, especially by Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain, who had amazing chemistry. Hell even Shia LaBeouf was pretty good. This shows you how good the director was if he can make you tolerate Shia.

2. Silver Linings Playbook

·         Had a chance to see this back in October at the local film festival and it was by far my favorite movie I saw there. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert DeNiro give Oscar worthy performances. The rest of the cast was great too. What I loved the most was that it had the perfect amount of comedy, drama and romance. There’s something for everyone in this movie. I think it’s going to do well this awards season.


1. The Dark Knight Rises
  • Christopher Nolan is a genius! He created an epic movie to conclude his Dark Knight trilogy. I’ve always been a huge Batman fan and this movie is one of my favorites. Yes, you do see more of Bruce Wayne than you do Batman, but it didn’t bother me at all. Christian Bale gave a great performance as always. And Tom Hardy… wow! He was the perfect choice to play Bane.  Truly terrifying and also unrecognizable. Honestly if I hadn’t known ahead of time I never would have guessed it was him. I loved all the scenes between him and Christian. You really felt like Batman might not make it. I could go on for hours about how perfect this movie is. Everything from the action to the musical score was well done. It’s sad that this is all over L In a way I feel sorry for whoever directs the eventual reboot. There’s no way they’ll come close to the amazing movies Christopher Nolan created.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (IMAX 3D)

Peter Jackson has done it again! I’ve been waiting for this movie for years and he sure didn’t disappoint. The Hobbit will always have a special spot in my heart since it was one of the first books I remember reading on my own.

The movie takes place 60 years before the events of LOTR. Gandalf (played by the always amazing Sir Ian McKellen) recruits Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) to aid a group of dwarves, led by Thorin (Richard Armitage, who gives an incredible performance) to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug. The dwarves are skeptical, mainly Thorin, that Bilbo can help them. Even Bilbo questions himself. But eventually Bilbo says yes and off they go on their amazing adventure.

First of all, let’s talk about the whole 48 fps issue. There aren’t too many theaters playing it this way, but I happened to be at one of the ones that had it. What did I think? Well I must admit it did look a little strange at first. But after a while I got use to it. I certainly don’t think it’s as bad as some are making it out to be.

The cinematography was gorgeous as I knew it would be. You can tell Peter Jackson loves this world and does everything he can to bring it to life. I highly recommend watching this on an IMAX screen if you can. That along with the 3D (which was pretty good overall) makes you really feel like you’re in Middle Earth. I was completely geeing out the whole time I was watching this.

The visual effects were good. My only issue was the use of cgi in certain instances, mainly the Orcs. I preferred some of the practical effects they used in the LOTR movies. Don’t get me wrong, the cgi looked just fine. It’s more of a personal preference. Some may feel differently.

The acting was incredible! I think Martin Freeman was the perfect choice to play Bilbo. He’s just how I imagined Bilbo in the books. I was surprised how much I liked Thorin. I found his backstory really interesting. I know his character has changed a bit in this movie compared to the book, but I didn’t mind at all. Of course, the character I most looked forward to seeing was Gollum. It really is a crime that Andy Serkis doesn’t have an Oscar yet. The whole scene with him and Bilbo was my favorite part of the movie as well as the book.  

Speaking of the book, it’s only 300+ pages long. When they first said they were splitting it up into two movies, I wasn’t crazy about it but I thought maybe they just want to take the time to really develop the characters. Then they announced The Hobbit would be a trilogy. My first thought was, really? There’s no way they can stretch it out that far. But I guess they’re including additional material that Tolkien wrote as well as sort of bridging the gap between this and LOTR. I know in this movie, which is nearly three hours long but didn’t feel that long to me, there was this whole subplot that wasn’t in the book at all. But I found it really interesting and look forward to seeing where they go with it. I’m still not crazy about the idea of this being a trilogy, but Peter Jackson is an incredible director so if he thinks he can do it, then so be it.

Howard Shore is back composing the musical score, which was really beautiful. A must have on your iPod. I especially enjoyed the Song of the Lonely Mountain. I got goose bumps went the dwarves sang it. It was better than I ever imagined.

So was The Hobbit better then LOTR? Well, there are still two movies to go so I can’t say for sure. But I will say it’s just as good. And honestly, I’m really loving Bilbo a lot more than Frodo at the moment.

I think if you enjoyed the LOTR trilogy, then you’ll love this as well. And even if you didn’t, give The Hobbit a chance. It’s a lot of fun. Certainly one of my favorite movies this year.

My Rating: 9/10

Monday, December 10, 2012

My 2013 Oscar Predictions

Since I won't have any new reviews for you until I see The Hobbit this weekend (yay!!!) I thought I'd post my list of Oscar predictions. Because there's so many categories, I only did the main ones. Of course, these are just who I think will get nominated, based on the movies I've seen this year and who I think the Academy will go for. These are just my opinions. I have no say in who gets nominated. Beleive me if I did, Sam Worthington and Tom Hardy would get nominated for just about everything lol. Anyway, here it goes. I'd love to hear what you guys think. Feel free to leave me a comment about who you think will get nominated. Once the actual nominations are out (in early January I beleive) and it gets closer to the actual ceremony, I'll post my list of who I think is going to win.

Best Picture:

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty


Life Of Pi

The Master

The Sessions

Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Django Unchained

Les Miserables


Best Actor:

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Denzel Washington, Flight

Joaquin Pheonix, The Master

Best Actress:

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Helen Mirren, Hitchcock

Best Director:

Ben Affleck, Argo

David O Russel, Silver Linings Playbook

Tom Hooper, Les Miserables

Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

Stephen Spielberg, Lincoln


Best Supporting Actor:

Robert DeNiro, Silver Linings Playbook

William H. Macy, The Sessions

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

Jason Clarke, Zero Dark Thirty

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln


Best Supporting Actress:

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Judi Dench, Skyfall

Sally Field, Lincoln

Amy Adams, The Master


Best Animated Feature:


Wreck It Ralph



Rise of the Guardians


Best Original Score:

Howard Shore, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Alexandre Desplat, Argo

Reinhold Hell, Johnny Kilmek, & Tom Tyker, Cloud Atlas

Thomas Newman, Skyfall

John Williams, Lincoln

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Breaking Dawn part 2

Well, here we are. After four books, and five movies, the Twilight saga has officially come to an end. So how was this last movie? Really good :) Infact I'd say it's the best out of all of them.

So part 2 starts off right where part 2 ended. Bella (Kristen Stewart) wakes up as a vampire and begins her happily ever after with Edward (Robert Pattinson) and their 1/2 human/1/2 vampire daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). Everything couldn't be better. That is, until someone makes a false allegation to the Volturi that Renesmee is an immortal child (A human child that was bitten by a vampire. Which is apparently a big no no in the vampire world). The Volturi decide to come and destroy Renesmee and anyone who protects her. In order to try and prevent this, the Cullens gather their vampire friends from all over the world to convince the Volturi to listen to the truth.

This movie feels a lot different than the previous films. There's more humor and action. I give a lot of credit to director Bill Condon for taking that mess of a book and turning it into something really enjoyable.

Kristen Stewart even showed emotion in this one. It's a miracle! She does a great job as a vampire. Edward should have changed Bella long ago lol.

The rest of the cast was really good too. I thought Mackenzie Foy was perfect as Renesmee. Really adorable. If Rob and Kristen ever have a daughter I swear this is what she would look like.

What I really enjoyed was seeing the vampires they brought in from all over the world. Especially Garrett (Lee Pace). He's always been a favorite of mine since I first read Breaking Dawn. I would love for Stephenie Meyer to write a book just about him.

I wish they had made the movie a bit longer in order to develop the new vampires more.

Then there's the Volturi, Despite the hideous hair styles, it's always fun seeing them on screen. Especially Aro. I can't imagine anyone other than Michael Sheen playing him. He just went all out and looked like he was having a blast filming this. At one point though, he lets out this crazy laugh (those who have seen the movie already know what I'm talking about) and I swear, half the people in the theater, myself included, were like "What the hell?"

The cinematography was well done overall. I especially enjoyed the opening title sequence. Very creative.

The musical score was once again done by Carter Burwell. I knew he'd be great at the romantic stuff, but I was worried about how he would score the action sequences. I'm happy to say that it came out well. During those action moments, my heart was pounding and I was on the edge of my seat. My favorite though was Renesmee's Lullaby. What a beautiful piece of music. What makes it even better is there's a small scene where Edward is playing the song for Renesmee on the piano. So sweet :)

People have been asking about the big twist ending. All I can say is I almost had a heart attack. Wow!

Of course, the movie is not flaw free. I'm still not crazy about the whole Jacob/Renesmee thing. No matter how many times Stephenie tried to explain it, I still find it creepy. Thankfully Bill Condon plays this down a lot.

Yes, the dialog is still pretty terrible at times. But I've gotten use to that. As I've said before, you can't take these movies too seriously. Just enjoy them for what they are.

My biggest complaint would definitely have to be the CGI they used on Renesmee. Boy was it bad! As in, laughably bad. You see, Renesmee is suppose to age at this crazy rate. So what they did for most of the movie is they used babies and younger actresses and super imposed Mackenzie's face on them. It was really creepy and that's putting it mildly. Luckily Mackenzie appears as herself toward the end with no special effects.

I can't believe the Twilight Saga is officially over. I'm really sad but at the same time, I'm thrilled I won't have to deal with those screaming teenage girls anymore. At least not until the next Hunger Games movie comes out lol.

I probably can't recommend this to anyone other than Twilight fans. Still, even if you didn't like the other movies, you should give this one a chance. It's certainly not going to win any Oscars (especially in the special effects department) but so what. Breaking Dawn part 2 has something for everyone- action, romance, and even comedy.

Thank you Bill Condon for creating a fitting end to this great franchise. When I first read Breaking Dawn four years ago, I didn't think it would be possible. But you did it :)

My Rating: 9/10

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skyfall (IMAX)

I've never really been a big James Bond fan, but the reviews for this have been really good. Plus Daniel Craig is in it so I had to check it out. Well I'm happy to say that this movie is incredible. Easily one of the best Bond films yet.

In Skyfall, Bond (Daniel Craig) investigates an attack on MI6 and comes to find out that it also involves someone going after M (Judi Dench). That someone is Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), who has a connection to her past.

Sam Mendes is the director. His previous films include American Beauty and Road to Perdition. He does a great job all around, especially with the action sequences. The opening scene especially blew me away.

Major props go out to the cinematographers. The whole movie looked amazing.

The acting was top notch. I've always been a big fan of Daniel Craig. He makes such a great James Bond. Javier Bardem was really good as well. I think he's at his best when he's playing a villain. Even if this time around his character comes off as a little over the top. And his hair cut and color was hideous. Some people should never go blond.

There were a few other complaints that I had, which I can't really talk about without spoiling things. But they're very minor complaints.

The movie is almost two and a half hours long but it doesn't feel like it at all. I was completely entertained the whole time. It also looks great on an IMAX screen so if you can definitely see it in that format.

Loved the soundtrack as well. Especially the title theme song by Adele. She has such an amazing well.

I highly recommend Skyfall to anyone who's a James Bond fan or if you enjoy a good action/spy movie. I can't wait to see what happens in the next one :)

My Rating: 9/10

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I hadn't really heard of this movie until seeing a trailer for it before Argo last week. (Yes, I know I still haven't posted my review of Argo. Last week was just crazy. I'll try to have it up by tomorrow) I thought I'd give it a chance since I'll watch almost anything with Denzel Washington in it.

Denzel plays Whip Whitaker, an airline pilot who's a severe alcoholic (and that's putting it mildly). During some rough weather, the plane he's piloting begins to crash, but because of some quick maneuvering, he's able to land the plane with very few casualties. Everyone is calling him a hero. However, during an investigation, which determines the crash was cause by mechanical issues with the plane, they discover that Whip was drunk and had cocaine in his system while he was flying. He could be facing some serious jail time.

Despite the movie dragging at times, overall I thought it was good. Denzel gives another Oscar worthy performance. Although I doubt he'll get nominated, only because there's just so many great performances in the Actor category this year that the Academy will overlook him. Which is a shame. Anyway, I can't imagine anyone else playing this character. I don't think the movie would have worked. He was very convincing as an alcoholic who's world is crumbling all around him.

Just a bit of a warning, the plane crash scene was super intense. It made many people in the theater I was in cringe and jump in their seats, myself included. Makes you never want to get on a plane again.

The supporting cast was good as well. Especially John Goodman. He plays Whip's friend/drug dealer, who provides some much needed comic relief. His scenes with Denzel were just priceless.

The ending was okay, but felt a little too preachy.

I would say definitely go see Flight if you're a fan of Denzel Washington or if you're into these types of movies.

My Rating: 8/10

Monday, October 22, 2012

Film Columbia 2012

Just as I did last year, since most of these movies haven't been released yet, I'm just going to give a brief review and my rating for each.

Excellent performances by Maggie Smith, Michael Gamdon, and the rest of the cast. Cinematography was gorgeous. Editing could've been a little tighter though. And I wish the ending had been a few minutes longer. But overall I enjoyed the film. This is Dustin Hoffman's first time directing (well, directing a complete movie anyway) and I think he did a good job.
My Rating: 7.5/10

Mea Maxima Culpa/Silence in the House of God-
Very powerful documentar about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, mainly focusing on the case of Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused several deaf boys at the school he worked at over the course of many years. There's several interviews with the survivors and seeing them tell their story, my heart went out to them. Their gestures and facial expressions were absolutely heartbreaking. The only issue I really had was the use of voiceovers during the interviews. I just didn't think it was necessary. But very good movie. I think everyone should see this.
My Rating: 8.5/10

17 Girls-
One of my least favorite films of the festival. A French film based on a true story that occured in Massachucets. 17 very naive girls from one high school end up getting pregnant around the same time. The acting was pretty bad. There were a few scenes that were okay, but that's about it.
My Rating: 4.5/10

Hyde Park On Hudson-
Bill Murray as FDR? Sounds crazy, but I think he did an amazing job. As did the other actors. There were a few moments I wasn't crazy about, but I had a great time watching this. I can see Bill Murray getting an Oscar nomination for his performance.
My Rating: 8.5/10

Rust & Bone-
Wow! I didn't expect to like this movie as much as I did. The amazing Marion Cotillard plays Stephanie, a killer whale trainer who loses part of her legs in an accident. She meets Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts, who's brilliant in this. He'll be one to watch in the coming years.) a single dad who was once a kickboxer. What I loved about this movie was it's portrayl of Stephanie & Ali's relationship. Very realistic.
My Rating: 9/10

This was the Saturday Night Sneak movie. Another French film. Boy was this depressing! It's the story of an elderly couple. The wife has a stroke and makes her husband promise that he won't take her to the hospital again. You see her slowly deteriorate and he loves her so much and does his best to take care of her. Honestly, I can't recommend this movie. It's such a downer and I was in a lousy mood for the rest of the night. If you do end up seeing it, it's one of those movies that you'll only watch once. The only positive thing I have to say is that it was well acted. I'm not even sure I want to give it a rating. But, I guess I will. This is based pretty much on the acting.
My Rating: 7/10

The Sessions-
One of the most talked about movies. Based on a true story. John Hakes plays Mark O'Brien, a man stricken with polio who wants to experience sex. So he hires a sex surrogate named Cheryl (Helen Hunt). Very funny and touching movie. Amazing performances all around. I think John Hawkes has a good chance at winning an Oscar this year. William H Macy plays a priest in this. He was one of my favorite parts.
My Rating: 9/10

Silver Linings Playbook-
This was without a doubt my favorite movie of the festival! Perfect mix of comedy, drama, and romance. Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a bipolar former teacher who was just released after spending 8 months in a mental hospital. He moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro & Jacki Weaver) and is also determined to get back together with his ex wife Nikki. But then he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence, giving another Oscar worthy performance), a young widow with plenty of issues of her own. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll cheer. I think this movie will win all sorts of awards. I strongly suggest you see it when it's released. I loved it and I think you will too.
My Rating: 10/10

Cloud Atlas-
I hadn't planned on seeing this, but I decided to give it a chance. I'm not even going to bother explaining the plot since I'm not even sure what to make of it. It's based on a book many deemed unfilmable. Most of the actors (the cast includes Ton Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Surandon, and many more) play multiple roles. It's visually stunning and the musical score was very well done. Just to warn you though, the movie is nearly three hours long and you really have to pay attention the whole time. But it's well worth the effort.
My Rating: 8.5/10

Many thanks to the Crandell theater, Chatham Film Club, and everyone else who made this festival possible. I had such a great time. Can't wait til next year :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Over the last several years, I've been extremely disappointed in horror movies. Most of them haven't been well made nor are they really scary. Well, I'm happy to say that's not the case with Sinister. It scared the crap out me. Finally! When I go to a horror movie, I want to be scared. As in, walking out into the parking lot afterward, looking over my shoulder constantly and not being able to sleep for days kind of scared.

Anyway, Sinister tells the story of a guy named Ellison (Ethan Hawke). He's a true crime writer who had a lot of success 10 years ago with one of his books but since then he hasn't been so lucky. He decides to move, along with his wife and two kids, into a house where a family had been murdered (dumbass!) and investigate and write a book about what he finds. One day he goes up into the attic and finds an old Super 8 camera and films that are labled as if they were typical family home movies (which I promise are anything but that). So he watches them and is shocked at what he finds. As Ellison investigates these murders further, strange things begin to happen. I'd love to tell you more about the plot but I can't without spoiling the whole movie for you.

Sinister isn't your typical found footage movie that Hollywood seems to turn out by the dozen lately. It's a regular movie about the guy who finds the found footage and you get to see what he sees.

What I love about this movie is that it doesn't rely on jump scares (although there are some in here. Nearly had a heart attack.). A lot of it is stuff that messes with your head. Scott Derrikson (the director, whose previous films include The Exorcism of Emily Rose and the recent remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still) does an amazing job setting the tone. The movie also had a really low budget from what I here, but you can't even tell. I thought he made it look great.

The writer of Sinister is C Robert Cargill, whom I've been a huge fan of for awhile now. He use to be a film critic on my favorite movie review site I think the writing is one of the best parts of the movie. Unlike many writers of horror films he made these characters likeable. Even though Ellison is a selfish jerk at times, you still like him and understand the reasoning behind what he does.

The acting was really good too, especially Ethan Hawke. He's such an amazing actor. I couldn't imagine anyone else playing this part. Loved seeing Fred Thompson as the sheriff too. There's even some funny moments between Ethan's character and I can't remember the actor's name but in the movie his character is Deputy So & So (I kid you not, this is what he's called which I think is awesome).

The music is especially creepy as it should be. Might have to pick up the soundtrack at some point :)

The only thing that kept this movie from being perfect to me was the ending. Wasn't too crazy about it for reasons I can't say without giving away things. But they were very minor complaints. Nothing that should stop you from seeing it.

If you're looking for a great horror movie to watch this time of year, definitely go see Sinister. You won't be disappointed. Well done to all those involved :)

My Rating: 9/10

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Taken 2

When I first heard they were going to make a sequel to Taken (which was such an amazing movie) I said to myself, really? It's not necessary. But I knew I had to see it anyway. I'm glad I did :)

Taken 2 takes place not long after the events of the first movie. I'm guessing maybe a year. They never really say. Anyway, CIA operative Bryan Mills (played by the always amazing Liam Neeson) is working on an assignment in Istanbel, which oddly enough is right near where the first movie takes place. Not very smart if you ask me. Once he's done working, his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and ex wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) join him. What starts out as a nice little family vacation soon turns into a nightmare as Bryan and Lenore are kidnapped by a group of men led by the father of one of the men Bryan killed while trying to rescue his daughter in the first movie. He doesn't care that his son was an evil bastard who kidnapped young girls and sold them into slavery, he wants revenge. The guy is a complete moron. People should know by now- you DO NOT mess with Liam Neeson or his family.

That's pretty much it as far as the plot goes. The rest is just Liam Neeson kicking ass for an hour and a half. Not that I'm complaining of course ;)

I know Taken 2 is been getting a lot of negative reviews, but I really liked it. Is it as good as Taken? No, but I don't think it's as bad as they're saying.

This is pretty much your standard action movie. It's not one of those movies you go in expecting a great plot. But it's fun.

Obviously the best part of this movie is Liam Neeson. You can't get any more bad ass than him. It's hard to beleive he's 60 years old. I've seen actors half his age who can't do all the action sequences he does. And I don't care if he's old enough to be my father, I think he's gorgeous and would defenietly hook up with him if given the chance ;)

Obviously the movie isn't perfect. Aside from Liam the acting isn't great. Although Maggie Grace did improve some since the first movie which was good to see. The director (Oliver Megaton) used that god awful shaky cam technique which was a little nauseating at times. Although it wasn't as bad as other movies I've seen.

Bottom line, if you loved the first movie then you'll like this one. Just don't go in with high expectations. Even though I liked Taken 2, I hope they don't make anymore. I've seen way too many movie franchises ruined when they drag it out. Let this one end on a good note :)

My Rating: 8/10

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Won't Back Down

I'm going to make this review very short. Was in the hospital on Wenesday and I'm still not feeling too good. But I still wanted to post this. Sorry :( Hopefully the next review will be longer.

Won't Back Down is about two women- Jamie (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a hard working single mother who's daughter is dyslexic, and Nona (Viola Davis) a teacher in Jamie's daughter's school and also a mother. The school is failing to say the least. The two of them decide to try and take over the school and provide a better future for the children.

This movie wasn't all that great to be honest. It's heart was in the right place but it wasn't well put together. It felt rushed at times and other times it just seemed to drag. The only thing that's preventing me from giving it a lower rating is the strong performances by Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

I think this movie might've done better had it been on Lifetime rather than a theatrical release.

My Rating: 6/10

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Trouble With The Curve

It's always interesting going to a Clint Eastwood movie. At the showing I went to Friday night there were several older women fangirling over him. It was pretty amusing. I mean, I'm a big fan of his work and while I have a thing for older men even I have a limit. Moving on.

In Trouble With The Curve, Clint Eastwood plays Gus, an aging baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves who's losing his eyesight. And while he keeps this a secret from everyone, the people around him can tell something is wrong. A friend of his named Pete (John Goodman), who also works in the organization, is worried and convinces Gus' estranged daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) to go with her father on one last trip to scout a promising young player. Of course, Gus isn't to thrilled about this. He and Mickey obviously have issues. Along the way they run into Johnny, a young former player whom Gus had scouted but due to an injury no longer plays and now is a baseball scout himself. Johnny really respects and admires Gus and eventually is attracted to Mickey (of course).

While I enjoyed this film for the most part, this is not Clint's best role. Don't get me wrong, his performance was good, it's just he's such an accomplished actor and I've seen him do better. The best part of the movie for me was his scenes with Amy Adams (whom I've been a fan of since I saw her in Enchanted). They had such great chemistry and I enjoyed seeing them interact with each other. You really felt like they were father and daughter.

I even enjoyed Amy's scenes with Justin Timberlake. Very sweet. Honestly I think I like him more as an actor than I do a singer.

I assumed for the longest time that Clint directed this (since lately he's only appeared in movies that he dircted) but as it turns out it was dircted by Robert Lorenz. He's worked on many movies with Clint over the years, but this is his first time directing. And considering this, I think he did an okay job.

There are some flaws with the movie however. The dialog at times was absolutely terrible. The plot was pretty predictable. And I wish they had gone and developed certain storylines better. I won't spoil anything, but towards the end there's this kind of big reveal that just comes out of nowhere. Well, maybe not nowhere but they never really gave much indication earlier in the film.

Overall though, I had a good time watching this. I think if you're a fan of baseball and/or Clint Eastwood you'll like this. Everyone else, maybe not. I'd still give it a chance though.

My Rating: 7/10

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Well, I'm definitely going to be having nice Tom Hardy dreams tonight! Lawless was amazing!

And no, I'm not just saying that because Tom is in it. Honestly :p

Lawless takes place in Franklin, Virginia in the early 1930's and is based on the true story (although, I'm not sure how much is actually true and how much they made up for the movie) of the Bondurant brothers- Forrest (Tom Hardy), Howard (Jason Clarke), and the youngest Jack (Shia LaBeouf), who run a pretty successful moonshining buisness. Of course, in comes a deputy from Chicago by the name of Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce, who is a good looking guy but boy does he go ugly for this role) who, as he says in the movie, makes their life a living hell. There's plenty of awesome shoot outs of course. But also in the movie two relationships develop- one between Forrest and Maggie(Jessica Chastain, her character is a former dancer who you can tell has a rough past) and the other between Jack and a quiet preacher's daughter named Bertha (Mia Wasikowska).

The director of Lawless is John Hillcoat (who also directed The Road). He, along with the rest of the crew, did a great job of getting the look of the period right. You really felt like you were in the 1930's. The soundtrack (consisting of some really good country music. I highly recommend it.) fit perfectly. I also have to give major credit to John Hillcoat for makinga Shia LaBeouf performance tolerable for me.

Speaking of performances, I'd have to say that was the best part of the movie. Of course I have to start with Tom Hardy :) I'm so happy he's finally getting the recognition he deserves. What a truly talented actor. His performance as Forrest was unbelievable. Forrest is this tough character that you wouldn't want to mess with, but at the same time you can tell he truly cares about his brothers and Maggie and would do anything to protect them. I also thought he and Jessica had amazing chemistry. If Tom wasn't already engaged, I'd say he and Jessica would make a great couple. The relationship between Forrest and Maggie was very well developed, even though it starts out slow. At one point I felt like shouting at the screen "Just hookup already!". There were these little moments between their two characters that just made my hear melt :)

Guy Pearce is very convincing as the villain. His character is so sleazy and evil. You know things are going to turn ugly whenever he appears on the screen.

The great Gary Oldman is also in this. He plays a gangster named Floyd Banner. Just to warn you, the trailers are a little misleading. Gary is only in this for maybe 10 minutes total.

Another thing I should probably warn you about- this movie is extremely violent. It didn't really bother me too much, although I must admit I had to look away from the screen more than once.

For the longest time tonight, I debated giving Lawless a 9.5. Simply because Shia the douchebag is in it and I can't stand him. Especially after all the crap he pulled on the set of this movie. I don't feel like getting into the details right now, but if you're interested I'm sure you can google it. Anyway, the more I thought about what an overall great movie this was and the fact that I'm a huge Tom Hardy fan, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

My Rating: 10/10

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

The main reason I wanted to see this was because of Joel Edgerton. I've been a big fan of his every since I saw him in Warrior last year. Plus I saw the trailer for this awhile back and it looked cute. Certainly a lot better than the crap Disney seems to put out lately.

This movie is about a married couple named Jim (Joel Edgerton) & Cindy (Jennifer Garner) Green. They live in a beautiful small town (can't remeber the name of it but apparently it's the pencil capital of the world) and seem to have a perfect life except for one thing- they're unable to have a child of their own. One night over a bottle of wine, they write down what they hope their child would have been like and bury these notes in the backyard in their garden. A few hours later, a 10 year old boy shows up in their house covered in dirt. His name is Timothy and right away he starts calling them Mom & Dad. Timothy seems to have literally grown from the garden. He even has leaves on his legs. Is it silly & ridiculous? Yes, but this is fantasy & a Disney movie kind of just have to go with it. Timothy is basically the perfect child and almost everyone seems to accept him as Jim & Cindy's son. He makes an impression on anyone he meets.

I found the whole story to be very sweet & charming. It's clearly aimed at kids (I'd say maybe older ones) but adults can enjoy it as well. Infact, at the showing I went to there seemed to be more adults than kids.

The characters overall were likeable. Joel was great as usual and it was nice to see him in a family movie like this. Even Jennifer Garner was good (I'm not realy the biggest fan of her as an actress) and seemed to have decent chemistry with Joel. Of course the big scene stealer was the little boy playing Timothy (CJ Adams). He was just adorable and really looked like he could be Joel & Jennifer's kid. My only big complaint was that I wish they had developed some of the characters better (specifically the minor ones). I found them really interesting and would haved liked to known more about them.

The musical score was absoluetly beautiful and really seemed to fit with the movie. I'll definetly be putting it on my iPod at some point.

While far from perfect, The Odd Life of Timothy Green is an enjoyable movie that's very sweet and something the whole family can enjoy. Just be sure to bring plenty of tissues because it's also quite the tearjerker at times. I haven't cried like that at a movie in awhile. Still, I highly recommend it :)

My Rating: 8/10

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (IMAX)

First, I’d like to take a moment to send my thoughts & prayers out to the people of Aurora, Colorado affected by this horrific tragedy. It’s sad that you can’t even go to a movie anymore without worrying whether or not you’ll make it home alive.
SPOILER ALERT: There may be some slight spoilers in my review. While I don’t consider them to be spoilers (everything I’ll talk about as far as the plot goes appears in the trailers) some people might. There is however a MAJOR spoiler if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight. But that movie has been out for 4 years and if you haven’t seen it by now… what the hell is wrong with you? :p You’ve been warned.
It’s finally here!!! I’ve been looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises for a long time. I remember seeing the first trailer for it back last summer when I went to the midnight screening of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 2. I jumped in my seat and couldn’t contain my excitement. Now that I’ve seen the movie in its entirety, what’s the verdict? Well, it sucked…..
Just kidding! The Dark Knight Rises was AMAZING!! Everything I hoped it would be and then some. A fitting conclusion to an epic trilogy.
The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight. Batman had taken the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes and the city of Gotham now seems peaceful. Of course this is all based on a lie. Jim Gordon (played by the brilliant Gary Oldman) is sort of the facilitator of this. He’s one of the few people who know what really happened. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has been living as a recluse, a shadow of his former self. But he’s forced to come out of retirement when a new threat, the villainous Bane (Tom Hardy) comes into the picture hell bent on destroying Gotham. Bruce/Batman is aided by the ever loyal Alfred (Michael Caine), Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman), Jim Gordon, as well as rookie cop John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard).
Christopher Nolan is truly one of the greatest directors out there. While his films may not always be perfect, he puts his heart and soul into them. I’ve loved his approach to Batman throughout this trilogy. This last one in particular is very dark (probably the darkest of the three) and emotional. I found myself tearing up several times. But I enjoyed every minute of it. The movie is nearly 3 hours long, but it sure didn’t feel like it. I was never bored nor did I feel like it dragged. Especially in the last third of the movie with one of the most amazing, breathtaking action/showdown sequences I’ve seen in years. My jaw dropped.

The acting was stellar. It goes without saying that Christian Bale is excellent and in my opinion is the best Batman. What I loved the most besides him kicking ass as the caped crusader is his quieter moments as Bruce Wayne. You can really feel his pain and see the affect all of this has had on his characters’ life.

 Of course, I was most looking forward to seeing Tom Hardy (whom I’m a HUGE fan of) as Bane and I wasn’t disappointed. I never doubted for a minute that he could play Bane. He blew me away with his performance. It was chilling, terrifying, and powerful at the same time. That’s definitely not a bad thing. He’s virtually unrecognizable (which shows you how great an actor he is that he can transform himself like that), wearing this Hannibal Lector type mask for pretty much the entire film. Tom Hardy shows more emotion with just his eyes than most actors do whose face isn’t covered by a mask. I’m so happy his career is taking off. He’s definitely going to be around for years to come. Getting back to his character, I liked how Bane is Batman’s equal both physically and mentally. As the two of them battled it out, it scared the crap out of me. It’s the first time you feel like this might not end well for Batman. On a side note, I know some people have complained about Bane’s voice over the last several months, specifically when the prologue was released. The fixed it some in post-production. And while I may have missed a few words here and there, overall I understood him just fine. One more thing, even though Bane is this truly evil character, I found myself strangely attracted to him. He’s got a body like you wouldn’t believe, but I think it’s mostly because I know behind that mask there’s a really good looking guy. Okay, enough of me gushing over Tom Hardy. Moving on…

I know many were skeptical about Anne Hathaway (who I like as an actress overall) when she was cast Selina Kyle/Catwoman, but I trust Christopher Nolan and knew he wouldn’t have chosen her unless he knew she was right for it. And I think she does a good job.

The action sequences (especially at the end) were spectacular. Batman’s gadgets/vehicles were kick ass as well. Especially his new flying vehicle called The Bat. Wow :o

This movie was meant to be seen in IMAX (if you’re lucky enough to live near an IMAX theater I highly recommend going to see it this way). A good portion of the movie was shot with those special IMAX cameras and it looks stunning.

Hans Zimmer is back with another beautiful musical score that sends chills through me every time I listen to it. I’ve already added it to my iPod and have listened to it repeatedly over the last few days.

I could go on for days about how good The Dark Knight Rises is. It’s pretty flawless as far as I’m concerned. I know there’s still 5 months left to go in the year, but this is my absolute favorite movie of 2012 (and one of my favorites of all time). I seriously doubt anything will be able to top it when I make my top ten list at the end of the year.

Thank you Christopher Nolan for creating such an epic trilogy. There aren’t too many truly well made films anymore and you’ve managed to create such masterpieces that will be remembered for years to come. I look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

I feel sorry for the person who directs the eventual Batman reboot. There’s no way in hell they will ever be able to top what Christopher Nolan has done.

My Rating: 10/10  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman

I hadn't really planned on seeing this movie. I've never been a big Spiderman fan (as some of you know, I'm more of a Batman girl) and I wasn't impressed with the first trailer I saw. But after seeing the more recent trailers I thought I'd give it a chance. I'm glad I did :)

Like many people, I wasn't crazy about the Spiderman franchise beeing rebooted so soon. It's only been I think five years since the last Spiderman movie. What's the point?

Having said that, I did enjoy the story even though there are many similarities between this and the Toby McGuire version.

I'm not even going to bother explaining the plot since most people are familiar with the story behind how Peter Parker became Spiderman (and if not you can Google it).

What impressed me the most about this movie was the acting. Overall everyone gave amazing performances and I really enjoyed watching the characters. I think Andrew Garield was a good choice to play Peter Parker/Spiderman. I've been a fan of his since I saw him in The Social Network (a movie I highly recommend if you haven't already seen it). I actually like his version of the character better than Toby's. He and Emma Stone (who I'm a fan of as well. She plays Peter's love interest Gwen Stacy.) had amazing chemistry. Their scenes together were probably my favorite part of the whole movie. Even if the dialog was a bit cheesy, even cringeworthy at times. But that's to be expected in a movie like this. Rhys Ifans plays Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard. He's a great actor and I always enjoy seeing him onscreen.

My only major complaint was the visual effects for The Lizard. Boy were they bad! This movie had a $200 million plus budget and this was the best they could do? I've seen movies with a tenth of that budget that looked better. That was the only part of the visuals that was lacking though. The movie overall looked gorgeous. I saw it in regualar 2D (I wasn't sure if I wanted to pay the extra money this time around) so I can't comment if the 3D was any good. But I can tell you the 2D version looked just fine.

While I still don't think a reboot was necessary, I enjoyed The Amazing Spiderman for what it was- a fun, entertaining summer movie. It's good but not great. The acting is what really sold me on it. If you're into these types of movies definitely check it out. Oh and be sure to stay during the credits. There's a small scene that kind of sets up the eventual sequel.

My Rating: 8/10

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Magic Mike

Damn!! :o :o There really are no other words to describe how much fun I had watching this.

Everyone has been talking about Magic Mike lately. A movie about hot male strippers? Sign me up!

Honestly, there isn't much of a plot. It's not one of those movies. Apparently it's loosely based on Channing's real life experiences when he was 19.

 It's hot guys dancing on stage for almost two hours. I'm not complaining of course hehe. That's what I paid to see. But basically the movie revolves around a guy named Mike (Channing Tatum), a 30 year old who by day is a construction worker and by night works as a male stripper in a popular Tampa club. Of course, this is only temporary (even though he's been stripping for about 6 years) while he saves up to start his own furniture buisness. One day on a construction job he meets a messed up 19 year old named Adam (Alex Pettyfer, who was in that god awful Beastly movie but in this he's somewhat tolerable). Mike introduces him into the stripper world, taking him under his wing. Adam quickly becomes a sucess. Tossed into the mix is Adam's caring, protective sister Brooke (Cody Horn, who couldn't act if her life depended on it and seemed to have only one facial expression throughout the whole movie) who's really only there to be Channing's love intrest.

The director of Magic Mike is Stephen Soderbergh. He's good at getting amazing performances out of any actor, even if the actor isn't necessarily that great. I'll admit I'm not really a big Channing Tatum fan (don't get me wrong, he's nice to look at and I would totally sleep with him if given the chance) but I really liked his character. Matthew McConaughey plays Dallas, the owner of the strip club where Mike works. I was surprised at how good he was (McConaughey's perormances are usually hit or miss for me). It's one of his best performances in recent memory. He looked like he was having a blast filming this.

The best part about this, of course, was the dance sequences. I give a lot of credit to whoever choreographed this movie. I kept watching it thinking "Damn, how the hell can those guys move like THAT?". I thought I was going to have a heart attack at times right there in the theater. The performances were that hot.

The movie does seemed to drag a bit in the last half though. It was like, this story is interesting and all, but when are you going to get back to the guys stripping on stage?

My one complaint about Stephen Soderbergh as a director is he always seems to use this ugly yellow tint in his movies. Luckily in Magic Mike he only uses it in certain scenes but still... it's distracting.

If it wasn't for all the eye candy, my rating would be slightly lower. But I really did have a good time.

It's obviously geared towards women and gay men. I just can't picture a straight guy going to see this unless he's being dragged there by his wife/girlfriend.

If you're looking for something fun to do on a girls night out, go see Magic Mike. You won't be dissapointed ;)

My Rating: 7.5/10 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Snow White & The Huntsman

Finally! A good retelling of a classic fairytale. After a shitfest of other movies that aren't even worth mentioning, I'm happy to say that Snow White & The Huntsman is really good.

We all know the story, but we've never seen it like this. In this version, Snow White (Kristen Stewart) has been imprisoned for years, since her father King Magnus died. Her stepmother Ravenna (Charlize Theron) has taken the once happy, prosperous kingdom and, using her dark magic, has turned it into a very bleak, depressing place. In order to stay young and powerful, Ravenna literally sucks the youth out of various women. But still, her power is growing weaker. In order to live forever, she basically has to consume Snow White's heart. But Snow White manages to escape and ends up in the Dark Forest. The scariest, creepiest place you could imagine. Ravenna sends the drunken, widowed Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), who's one of the few who's been there before, to capture Snow White and bring her back. Eventually he does find her, but he has a change of heart and ends up protecting her and training her to kick some serious ass. Eventually Snow White will lead an army against the Queen and take back the kingdom which is rightfully hers.

The first thing you'll notice about the film is how beautiful it looks. Major props to the visual effects crew for making this amazing world. From the Dark Forest to the various creatures, I just sat there in awe of how beautiful everything looked. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets nominated come Oscar season, as far as visuals go anyway.

Of course, I have to talk about the acting, which was good overall. Yes people, Kristen Stewart CAN act. I think this film proves that. Although I already knew she was a good actress when I saw her in Speak. She gives a powerful performance in that as a rape victim. You really  can't judge her acting abilities based on Twilight. As much as I like the Twilight movies, I know they're far from her best work.

Chris Hemsworth, who seems to be all over the place lately, gave an interesting performance as the Huntsman. I don't think they ever refer to him in the movie by an actual name, but from what I've read his name is suppose to be Eric. Anyway I really enjoyed seeing his story play out. He kicked ass when he needed to, but there were several moments between him and Kristen (I thought the two of them had good chemistry) that were very sweet.

Then there's Charlize Theron playing the evil Queen Ravenna. Wow. She gave a very convincing performance. I think she was the perfect choice for the role. You really hate her character, as you should, but Charlize plays her so well that you kind of understand why Ravenna is the way she is.

The Seven Dwarfs (there's actually eight in this movie), whom Snow White and the Huntsman encounter along the way, are played by various British actors and they were terrific. They provided some much needed comic relief. I just wish they had had more screen time and had appeared a bit earlier in the film.

The director is a guy named Rupert Sanders. This is his first feature film. His first time directing anything really. I couldn't find anything else on his imdb page as far as directing goes. You never would've guessed he hadn't done this before. He does a fantastic job setting the tone and I look forward to seeing more of his work.

The film does have a few flaws. As I mentioned before, the visuals are amazing, but at times it felt like one big acid trip. I don't really have a problem with that (I enjoy a good acid trip type movie once in awhile) but in this one it felt a little too much at times.

Another thing is the character of William. He's suppose to be the "prince" character (in this version he's the son of a Duke and a childhood friend of Snow White's). Not that the guy playing him is a bad actor, but I just felt he had no chemistry with Kristen. And to be honest, his character really isn't needed in this version of the story.

Then there's Ravenna's relationship with her brother Finn. It was just... creepy! Bordering on incestious even. At least that's the feeling I got anyway.

One more thing, and this isn't a big complaint, is Chris Hemsworth's accent for his character. I think the Huntsman is suppose to be Scottish. It just seemed a little weird to me and I couldn't help but laugh at times. But I give him credit for trying. And I've heard much worse attempts when it comes to accents.

I also want to bring up the love triangle between Snow White, the Huntsman, and William. Yes, it's there in a way but it's not in your face which is a good thing. They really don't develop it at all in this movie. Maybe they will in the rumored sequel. Who knows. I really hope they make a sequel regardless since there wasn't a clear ending and I'd love to see the characters developed more.

Action. Amazing visuals. Hot guys. And a kick ass princess. There's something for everyone in SNow White & The Huntsman. Definitely check it out.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Avengers (IMAX 3D)

My fellow nerds, this the moment we've all been waiting for! After all these years and several individual movies, The Avengers is finally here. I've so been looking forward to this, but in the back of my mind, I worried how they were going to fit all those superheroes into one movie. Turns out, there was no need to worry. They somehow found a way to make it work and created an amazing movie.

I'll only give a bried summary of the plot since I'll spoil things if I say too much. By the way, you don't necessarily have to have seen Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, etc. in order to see The Avengers, but it certainly helps and I highly recommend that you do anyway. So basically, Loki (Thor's adopted brother) has made a deal with some sort of powerful alien race- if they give him an army to help take over Earth then he will give them the Tesseract, a cube shaped object with an unlimited energy source. In other words, all hell is about to break loose. So Nick Fury (played by the amazing and badass Samuel L. Jackson), the director of S.H.I.E.L.D, brings together all the heroes we've seen in the individual movies over the last few years- Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo, who replaces Edward Norton), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johanson, whom I'm normally not really a fan of but I think she does a great job in this). They'll need all of them in order to stop Loki and his army.

The director of The Avengers is Joss Whedon, probably best known for being the creator/writer of one of my all time favorite tv shows, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (a rare case where the tv show is better than the movie it's based on). I knew if anyone could pull this movie off, he would. And boy does he.

The budget was over $200 million which is insane, but they definitely put it to good use. The special effects were some of the best I've seen in a long time. I especially liked what they did with The Hulk. They used the same type of performance capture technology that was in Avatar. So Mark Ruffalo was actually able to perform in those scenes and not just do the voice later on in a recording studio as I beleive was the case in the previous versions of The Hulk.

This movie is nonstop action that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the moment it starts until the credits roll. Never for one second was I bored.

As far as the characters go... well, what can I say that hasn't already been said a million times? Outstanding work by everyone involved. Joss Whedon made sure each one of them had enough screen time (which was my main concern about this movie) and a chance to shine. I still don't know how he managed to do it. My favorite moments were when the team was first being assembled. Grouping all those heroes together, personalities will clash. There's an awesome fight sequence between Iron Man and Thor in the woods.

There were several funny moments throughout, many of them involving Samuel L. Jackson who was one of my favorite parts about this movie. I found myself laughing til my stomach hurt.

The 3D was really good overall. Worth the extra money. Definitely see this in IMAX too if you can. This is the kind of movie IMAX was made for. Good luck getting tickets this weekend though. Most of the showings at the theater I went to last night were sold out. The people at the showing I was at were nice though. Had a chance to talk to some of them while we waited in a VERY long line to get in. It was a lot of fun and I felt comfortable, like I belonged lol. During the movie we were all very energetic, but no one was obnoxious from what I could tell.

Be sure to arrive early, not only to get a good seat, but they show the latest trailer for The Dark Knight Rises (which I've watched several times on my iPhone since it came out a few days ago, but seeing it on an IMAX screen I was like :o :o ). It was incredible. Everyone in the crowd sat there in silence as it played. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. And then when it was over, everyone cheered and applauded. I've seen that happen after a movie (as everyone did again after The Avengers was over), but this was the first time I've seen it happen for a trailer. It was great! Moving on...

If you're at all familiar with the Marvel movies (and even if you're not I'm just letting you know) then you know what I'm about to say- make sure you stay through the credits!! And I mean until the end of the credits. There's actually two scenes that they play, one in the middle (which seems to set up a sequel. I really hope they make one) and one at the very end which is priceless :)

Brilliant. Amazing. Jaw dropping. These are the words that come to mind when I think of The Avengers. I really have nothing bad to say about it. It's easily one of my favorite movies this year so far.

Thank you Joss Whedon! Fir creating an Avengers movie that was way more than I could've ever hoped for.

My Rating: 10/10

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wrath Of The Titans (IMAX 3D)


Come on guys, you knew I was going to do that. I'm just so excited that Wrath Of The Titans has finally been released. Walking out of the theater tonight, I had a big smile on my face and seriously felt like doing a happy dance in the middle of the lobby. But I kept it together. Somehow I don't think everyone else there would care to see that. Nor would they understand my enthusiasm for Sam the way you guys do. Anyway, Wrath Of The Titans was AMAZING! Did you think I would say anything different? lol

The movie takes place about 10 years after the events of Clash Of The Titans (you don't have to have seen Clash in order to see this. They do a cool little recap at the beginning. But you should still see Clash anyway). Perseus (Sam Worthington) is now living a quiet life in a little fishing village with his young son Helius. The gods are losing their strength. Zeus (Liam Neeson) is captured in the underworld by his brother Hades and other son Ares (Edgar Ramirez). They plan on releasing one of the Titans- Kronos, the father of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon. Of course if this happens, it'll be the end of the world.

Perseus must travel to the underworld to rescue Zeus and prevent Kronos from destroying everything. He needs the help of Agenor, Poseidon's demigod son, and fallen god Hephastus (Bill Nighy). Also aiding Perseus is Queen Andromeda (the role was recast and played by Rosmand Pike this time. She did a decent enough job.)

And that's basically the plot. Other than that it's pretty much like Clash- Sam runs around in a skirt killing monsters for an hour and a half. Is it crazy? Yes. Is the dialog a little cheesy at times? Yes. But so what? I thought the movie was fun.

I think Wrath is even better than Clash in some ways. There's a lot more monster/fighting scenes. Take all the cool monsters from the first movie and times it by a thousand and this is the result. There's never a dull moment. Jonathan Liebesman the director did a fantastic job creating this world and improving upon its predecesor. Much credit should also go to the visual effects team for their stunning work creating all those awesome monsters that scared the crap out of me and everyone in the audience.

You all knew it was coming- I have to talk about Sam ;) What can I say that I haven't said a million times already? The man is an incredibly talented actor who just keeps getting better with each role. He's great at being able to carry a big blockbuster franchise. He's great in dramas or small indy movies. He's great period :D :D :D I can't wait to see what roles he takes on next. Whatever it is, you know I'll be there opening night.

Liam Neeson was badass as always. I mean, it's Liam Neeson! The man can do know wrong. Sadly, he doesn't really have an epic line like he does in Clash (Gotta love "Release the Kraken!"). Ralph Fiennes was good to. He's at his best when he plays a villian. I mean come on, the man is Voldermort for crying out loud!

As much as I loved the epic action scenes, probably my favorite scenes in the whole movie were the ones with Sam and the little boy who plays his son. Very sweet :) 

The only thing I wish they had done in Wrath is spent a little more time developing a few of the characters. Specifically Agenor and Hephaestus. I found them both really interesting. Bill Nighy, who I'm a big fan of, is terrific for the small amount of screen time that he has and his character provides some much needed comic relief.

Go and see this in 3D if you can (and in IMAX as well if there's an IMAX theater near you). The 3D was surprisingly good. I'm not sure if the movie was shot in 3D or wether it was converted in post production. Either way it looks great and you really feel like you're in this world and being chased after by all those monsters. While it's not Avatar quality 3D it's MUCH better than the 3D in the first movie. I love Clash don't get me wrong, but the 3D in that was AWFUL. The worst I've seen to date.

I'm sure there will be some people who don't like Wrath, but I don't care. As I've said before, if you go into this kind of movie expecting an Oscar worthy experience then you're a moron. But if you're looking for a fun, entertaining, action movie then go see this :) You won't regret it.

My Rating: 10/10

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

Please note, I've only just begun reading the first book.

When I first saw the trailer for this awhile back, I wasn't that impressed. It was basically just a minute of Jennifer Lawrence running around in the woods. The second trailer was much better and the whole idea of the story was interesting. Pretty soon everyone was talking about it. So did it live up to the hype? I would say yes for the most part.

The Hunger Games takes place in a sort of post apocolyptic future. What was once North America is now known as Panem, a nation divided into 12 Districts (at one point there was 13) and run by a wealthy area known as the Capitol. Every year each District holds a reaping (raffle) to choose one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in The Hunger Games, where the 24 contestants (tributes) fight to the death on live tv until only one remains. It's the ultimate reality show.

In the poor, coal mining District 12 where everyone is starving, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers as tribute in the place of her younger sister Prim. The boy tribute is Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a baker's son who was once very kind to Katniss. Liam Hemsworth plays Gale, Katniss' friend who hunts with her in order to provide food for their families.

The director of The Hunger Games is Gary Ross (Pleasentville, Seabiscuit). I think he does an amazing job showing the bleakness of the Districts. You really get a feel for what it's like for these people who are starving and just struggling to survive. I must admit, I found myself tearing up on more than one occasion.

The best part of the movie for me was Jennifer Lawrence's performance. She was the perfect choice to play Katniss. She really captures the character's strengthy and determination. I can't even begin to tell you how nice it is to see a strong female character who kicks ass and doesn't need a man to take care of her.

My other favorite character was Haymitch, played by the brilliant Woody Harrelson. Haymitch serves as the drunken (but well meaning) mentor of Katniss and Peeta. From what I understand, he's the only surviving winner of The Hunger Games from District 12. He's quite the scene stealer. As is Elizabeth Banks who plays Effie. With those crazy outfits and makeup, she's nearly unrecognizable. Infact some of the outfits for all the characters throughout the movie were... interesting. During some of the scenes it felt like I was watching a Marilyn Manson video. That's not a bad thing though.

The only performance I wasn't too crazy about was Josh Hutcherson's. Don't get me wrong, I really like the character and Josh is a decent enough actor, but aside from a few moments I felt like he had little chemistry with Jennifer.

Liam Hemsworth was okay. But I can't really say much about him yet since, except for the beginning, he has very little screen time. I know his character plays a bigger part in the next two books so we shall see.

The only really negative thing I have to say is the director's use of shaky cam in a few scenes. It's something in movies, while it can be done right at times, I hate. It gives me a headache.

The movie does run a bit long (it's almost two and a half hours) and that might bother some people. It did seem to drag at times, but I was fine with it overall. I like long movies.

I would defenietly reccommend The Hunger Games to everyone. From what I've heard, it's pretty faithful to the book. The author Suzanne Collins was one of the writers on the script. While I'm sure it helps, you don't really have to read the book in order to understand the movie.

The second movie, Catching Fire, I beleive starts filming in the fall and will be released November 2013. I can't wait to see it :)

My Rating: 8/10

Friday, March 9, 2012

John Carter (3D)

First of all, I've never read the books (which first began being published 100 years ago!) that this movie is based on. I apologize in advance if I mess up any of the details.

Being such a huge sci fi fan, I went into John Carter a little excited but didn't get my hopes up. It seems to me Disney is in desperate need of a new, blockbuster franchise. They want the next Avatar. Speaking of that, from what I understand, James Cameron was partly inspired by these books when he created Avatar. I can defenietly see that. When I first saw the trailer for John Carter a few months ago, the first thing thought that popped into my head was "This looks like it's going to be Star Wars meets Avatar." And it was. It also reminded me a bit of Prince of Persia and surprisingly Cowboys & Aliens.

So what's the verdict? I thought the movie was pretty good. Wasn't the best movie ever, but I enjoyed it.

I'm not even going to bother to talk about the plot too much. If you've seen Star Wars and/or Avatar then it's pretty much the same. But basically you've got the main character named John Carter (Taylor Kitsch). He's a former Cival War soldier who somehow gets transported to Mars, which is known to the natives as Barsoom. Along the way he discovers that because of Barsoom's gravity, he has superhuman strength and can jump long distances. This attracts the attention of some of the natives known as Tharks (12 feet tall green alien people). There are also other races on the planet including humanoids (which look like regular humans with red Henna tattoos on their bodies) from an area called Helium. John ends up meeting the Princess of Helium, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). For various reasons, Dejah is about to be forced into a political marriage. She's obviously not happy about it and runs away. She ends up meeting John Carter and.... well, you can pretty much guess what's going to happen.

The movie had a budget of $250 million. With that kind of money and if you want any chance of making profit, you better have the name James Cameron or Peter Jackson. But the director of John Carter is a guy named Andrew Stanton (this is his first "live action" movie I beleive. His previous works include Finding Nemo & Wall-e). Not that he's a bad director, I'm just not sure he was the right person for this. The special effects were really good for the most part (except for a few moments where it was obvious the two main actors were acting infront of a green screen). But the movie didn't have that spark that other good blockbusters have. It's hard to explain.

The acting was decent enough. Taylor Kitsch played the part well, although I'm not sure if he's the kind of actor who can carry a franchise. I enjoyed seeing Lynn Collins play Dejah. Her character was your typical damsil in distress who needs a man to save her, but there were times when she could be bad ass.

And as far as the 3D, it was okay. It looked amazing in a few scenes but overall isn't really worth the extra money. I'm sure it looks just as good in 2D.

I think if you loved Star Wars or Avatar, then you'll like this. Other than that, I'm not sure. It's good, but it had the potential to be great. I have a bad feeling this is going to flop. Hopefully I'm wrong because I would really like to see where they go with this series. I had fun watching this.

My Rating: 7.5/10