Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Other Woman

I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoy a good chick flick every once in awhile. The key word here is good. Lets face it, most movies in this genre have been complete shit the last few years. The only reason I wanted to see The Other Woman was because Jamie Lannister (I guess I should call him by his real name- Nikolaj Coster-Walau) is in it. So after leaving the theater I was surprised that I actually liked it.

The plot is pretty simple and predictable. Infact, if you do go see this, be prepared for every cliche in the book. Carly (Cameron Diaz) seems to have found the perfect guy in Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Walau). He's charming, successful, and romantic. Then she discovers that he's married. She accidently meets his wife Kate (Leslie Mann) and the two oddly enough become friends. They also find out that he's been cheating on both of them with the much younger Amber (Kate Upton). All three of them team up to plot revenge.

The movie is directed by Nick Cassavetes. He also directed one of my favorite romantic movies- The Notebook. Here he does a decent enough job. A lot of the comedic moments were pretty funny. Maybe not laugh so much your stomach hurts funny, but I still had a good time. I could have done without some of the gross out humor though. I'm not against it. Hell, I like The Hangover. It just wasn't needed here.

Also, the cinematography seemed a little... off. I'm not sure how else to describe it. Some scenes looked good while others not so much.

What I really enjoyed were most of the performances. Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton looked like they were having a lot of fun together. Nikolaj was great as always. He really seems to have the whole charming asshole role down pat. The only actress, and I use that term VERY loosely in this case, was Nicki Minaj. Why was she even in this? Her voice was so annoying that I practically cringed in my seat every time she spoke. Luckily her role is very small and she only has about five minutes worth of screen time.

Lets face it, The Other Woman isn't going to be winning any awards. But as far as chick flicks go, it isn't that bad. I had fun watching it. Ladies, if you're looking for something fun to do on a girls night out, by all means go see this.

My Rating: 7/10

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I first saw a trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel several months ago. It actually looked really funny and a bit odd (but that isn't always a bad thing). Plus it stars Ralph Fiennes whom I've always been a huge fan of. So now I've finally had a chance to see this. For once the trailer didn't lie- this movie was really enjoyable.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is directed by Wes Anderson. Some of of his previous movies include Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. It tells the story of a legendary concierge named M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), who runs a famous European hotel, and Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori)- a lobby boy who becomes his most trusted confidant.

One of the things I noticed right away is how clever the dialog is. Major credit to the writing team- We Anderson and Hugo Guinness. I wish I could write dialog half as good as this.

They managed to put together an amazing cast. Ralph Fiennes hits it out of the park once again. I can't imagine anyone else playing the role. He's charming and funny. His comedic timing is just perfect. I especially loved his scenes with Tony Revolori. The two of them played off each other really well. You could tell they had a blast filming this.

The rest of the cast includes F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, and many more. According to IMDB this movie had a cast of 100. There are a few actors who make cameo appearances that I would love to talk about but I don't want to ruin the surprise.

My only issue with the casting is they got F. Murray Abraham to play an older Zero. Don't get me wrong he played the part very well, but he doesn't look much like Tony Revolori. It's a bit distracting at first.

I did laugh a lot throughout the movie (although Wes Anderson's humor may not be for everyone) but there's also a few dark moments which may take people by surprise. I like how Wes Anderson was able to blend the two together.

The movie isn't exactly flawless. Even though it's run time is only an hour and forty minutes, it really seemed to drag at times. I was surprised when I walked out of the theater and checked the time on my phone that it was still fairly early. It seemed a lot later.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a well acted movie that I think many can enjoy if given a chance. Especially those who are fans of any of the actors in this or if you're really into quirky, indy British comedies/dramas.

My Rating: 8/10

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (IMAX 3D)

Holy shit this movie was amazing!! That pretty much sums up my experience watching The Winter Soldier. It was one of the best movies Marvel has put out to date, and that's saying a lot. It's certainly a million times better than the first Captain America movie. Not that I didn't like that one. I didn't hate it or anything, it was just okay in my opinion.

Anyway, The Winter Soldier takes place after the events of The Avengers. Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) is still struggling to adjust to the modern world. Now there's a new threat that he must deal with- a mysterious Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Captain America is joined by Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) and Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie). Of course, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is in this as well.

The movie is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo. Their previous work up until this point has mainly been in TV. They do an amazing job here. The action/fight scenes were well shot and choreographed. I love how this movie is pretty much non stop action the whole time. It really kept me on the edge of my seat. There's also a lot of funny moments throughout which was nice to see. There's something for everyone here.

It was announced that Anthony & Joe Russo would be back to direct Captain America 3. I think that's a smart move since Winter Soldier was so good. I'm really looking forward to seeing where they go with this franchise.

I'll admit, Chris Evans wouldn't have been my first choice to play Captain America. But now after seeing both Captain America movies plus The Avengers, I can't imagine anyone else playing the role.

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury... what can I already say that hasn't already been said a million times? The guy is a total badass.

I thought Anthony Mackie gave a good performance as Falcon. I loved the look of his costume. Can't wait to see where the go with his character in Captain America 3.

Someone who really surprised me was Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier. His character has very few lines, but that doesn't matter. The way he was able to act mostly with his eyes was incredible. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction for Marvel in terms of their villains. Lets face it, with the exception of Loki, Marvel villains have always been pretty weak.

I think Winter Soldier is a flawless movie with the exception of one tiny thing- the 3D isn't that noticeable except for a few scenes. It's not completely terrible nor does it take away from the movie itself, but it's not great either. Which is sad because the movie looks amazing in IMAX. Unfortunately the only way you can see it in IMAX is in 3D. I still think it's worth the extra money though. But no matter which format you see it in, you'll have a great time.

I really shouldn't have to say this anymore but I will- stay through the credits! There's two scenes- one in the middle of the credits and one at the very end. All I'll say is that they were both great and set things up nicely for future Marvel movies.

Winter Soldier is hands down the best movie I've seen in 2014 so far (I'm not counting Frozen since even though I just saw it a few weeks ago, it was still technically released in 2013). I never even noticed the well over two hour run time. I could have easily sat there for another two hours. It's so well made and action packed and fun that I might just have to go see it again next week.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a massive nerdgasm I need to recover from :)

My Rating: 9.5/10