Saturday, February 22, 2014


Damn you Kit Harington! Making me sit through this piece of shit movie. The things I'm forced to do because I'm a big Game of Thrones fan.

Seriously though, Pompeii was bad. But it's so bad that it's hilariously good.

There really is no point in explaining the plot since there isn't much of one. But just so you're not completely lost- Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones) stars as Milo, a slave turned gladiator who falls in love with Cassia (Emily Browning), the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Cassia is being forced to marry the evil Roman Senator Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland). Milo is in a race against time to save Cassia as Pompeii is being destroyed around them.

That's pretty much it other than some long, drawn out action sequences complete with slow mo. I mean, I knew what I was getting myself into but still. And I'm not surprised that this movie was so bad given that it's directed by Paul WS Anderson (who also directed those shitty Resident Evil movies). He wouldn't know how to tell a story if his life depended on it. I like dumb, silly action movies as much as the next person. I'm a huge fan of the Fast & the Furious franchise. But the difference between those movies and Pompeii is that in Fast & the Furious, I actually cared about the characters. Dammit, would it have killed Paul WS Anderson to at least try? It's like he didn't give a shit. And whoever did the editing should be shot. The movie went from scene to scene so quickly that I didn't know what the hell was going on half the time. They certainly didn't bother explaining anything.

Thank god I saw this in 2D. A lot of the scenes were so dark you could barely see anything. I can only imagine how dark it would be in 3D.

I feel kind of bad for knocking the movie so much. I'm trying to think of some positive things to say. Umm... Kit Harington looks really hot as always. Despite how bad this was, he at least tried. I think he did the best he could with what he had to work with. The music score was okay, even if it did sound like every other score for this type of movie. Oh, and I had enough points on my Regal card for a free movie pass so I didn't have to pay to see this. That's always a plus. And despite everything I've said, I had a great time sitting there and making fun of it all. There's people getting burned alive and having their throats cut and I couldn't stop laughing at how cheesy it was.

Obviously I can't really recommend Pompeii to anyone other than Game of Thrones fans who are curious to see how Kit does (he's much better off sticking to the show). Even then, wait until it comes to the Redbox. Everyone else, save your money and watch the epicness that is Gladiator. It's a million times better.

I'm going to be VERY generous with my rating. If it weren't for Kit I would have rated it much lower.

My Rating: 5/10

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Lego Movie

When they first announced that they were going to make a Lego movie I thought, "Great. Yet another part of my childhood is being destroyed by Hollywood." But then the first trailer came out and when I saw it I was impressed. So what's my final verdict? I'm happy to say that The Lego Movie is really cute and actually a damn good movie.

The basic plot is this- Lego World is being ruled by the evil Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell). He has the world divided into separate groups and does not want anyone to mix with a different kind of Lego. Nor does he want anyone thinking outside the box. Along comes an ordinary Lego named Emmett (Chris Pratt) who is mistakenly believed to be the Special, someone in the prophecy who's destined to defeat Lord Business and stop him from destroying all of Lego World.

I just love all the talented actors that directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (21 Jump Street) brought together. Not only do you have the ones I just mentioned, but the cast also includes- Morgan Freeman, Will Forte, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, etc. Even the great Liam Neeson voices the character of Bad Cop/Good Cop. Everyone did a fantastic job.

The movie was filmed using a combination of CGI and stop motion to make it look like the whole movie was made out of Legos. It looked so real. I ended up seeing it in 2D since I wasn't sure if I wanted to pay the extra money for 3D. Everything looked fine, except for a few moments in the beginning when the images looked a bit off, maybe even blurry.

The jokes in here were really funny and done well. I swear us adults were laughing more than the kids. There were a number of jokes that went right over kids heads.

The soundtrack fit really well here. Just to warn you though, there's a song in here called Everything is Awesome. While it's very good and catchy, it's one of those songs that once you hear it, you'll never be able to get it out of your head.

Now it's time for me to nitpick. The movie did drag for me a little bit at first. Not that it was bad, it just started out okay. Luckily I was won over as the story went on. Mainly due to all the really cool characters they introduced. All of your favorite ones are here from franchises including- Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Batman, Superman, and many more.

The Lego Movie is a very cute and clever movie that can be enjoyed not only by kids, but adults as well. There's something for everyone.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Labor Day

Hollywood seems to love to romanticize the whole "bad boy" thing. We've had vampires, werewolves, even zombies. I wonder if the all got together and were like "We're running out of ideas! What can we do now? I know... how about escaped prisoners?"

To be fair though, Labor Day actually wasn't that bad. I was surprised by how much I liked it.

The movie takes place mostly in 1987 over the course of Labor day weekend. It tells the story of a 12 year old boy named Henry (played by the very talented Gattlin Griffith. He's definitely one to watch in the future.) and his mother Adele (Kate Winslet, who's amazing as always). Due to some very tragic events, Adele rarely leaves the house, only going out once a month to get groceries and other necessary items. One day when she and Henry are in the movie equivalent of a Wal Mart, Henry comes across Frank (Josh Brolin), an injured escaped prisoner who asks them for a ride to their house so that he can rest for a few hours and then be on his way. Adele is initially hesitant, but eventually agrees. Of course, he ends up staying for the whole weekend. During the course of those three days, Frank and Adele, two very lonely people, fall in love and Frank even becomes something of a father figure to Henry. I know it sounds absurd and indeed it is. But more on that later.

Labor Day is directed by Jason Reitman. If I didn't know that ahead of time I never would've guessed it was him. It's an odd choice for Jason given that he's directed movies such as Juno and Up in the Air, both of which I enjoyed. From what I understand, he was a big fan of the book this movie is based on. I give him a lot of credit for wanting to do something different. While I wouldn't call this his best movie, I think it's pretty good. For one thing it's beautifully shot and he really pays attention to details. Everything from the food logos in the grocery store to the news broadcasts makes you feel like you were in the 80's. I also loved how he did a good job of showing rather than telling. Throughout the movie you get these brief, well placed flashbacks that explain Frank's back-story. Another director might have had Frank go into this big, long speech. I'm glad they decided not to go that route. The way Jason did it was much more effective.

I also loved the cast that Jason put together. That was honestly my favorite part about the whole movie. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin were amazing. They both had great chemistry. I couldn't imagine anyone else playing these roles. It was also nice to see Josh Brolin step out of his comfort zone and play the romantic leading man role. Hopefully we'll see more of that from him. As I said before, Gattlin Griffith was wonderful as Henry and really held his own against Josh and Kate. The rest of the cast mostly has smaller roles since the main focus is on Frank, Adele, and Henry. Even Dawson himself (aka James Van Der Beek) has a role as a police officer. Tobey Maguire appears in this too, for all of maybe five minutes.

My biggest problem with Labor Day is that it's way too sappy and unrealistic. I'm all for a good fantasy, but this was too much. It almost felt like I was watching a Nicholas Sparks movie, although I admit Labor Day was done way better than the more recent Nicholas Sparks movies. For one thing, Frank is made out to be too perfect, aside from the whole escaped prisoner thing. He helps Adele bring in the groceries, fixes her car, and repairs things around the house. He accomplishes more in three days than most people do in a year. Not only that but as an added bonus Frank can cook, make a great peach pie, and teaches Henry how to play baseball. Then he says all these romantic things to Adele and while I admit it made me go "Aww!" more than once, that dialog was super cheesy. I'm sorry but I don't know any man that talks like that. If I did, I sure as hell wouldn't be sitting here typing this right now.

Overall though, I did enjoy this movie. While I can't see it doing well at the box office, I still think it's worth checking out if you're into sappy romance movies. Or if you're a big fan of Josh Brolin or Kate Winslet.

My Rating: 7/10