Saturday, May 30, 2015


I was in the mood for a romantic movie this week. Plus it stars Bradley Cooper. What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot apparently. I didn't hate the movie by any means. It was just... weird.

Aloha is about a man named Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper)- a military contractor who returns to Hawaii to oversee the launch of a weapons satellite. While there he reconnects with his ex-wife Tracy (Rachel McAdams) and forms a relationship with Alison Ng (Emma Stone)- a Navy pilot assigned to him.

What the hell happened to Cameron Crowe? This is the same man who directed Jerry Macguire, a movie that I love and will watch whenever it's on TV. I even thought Elizabethtown was a sweet little movie. But Aloha wasn't even close to being as good as those.

The writing he did was horrible as well. I'm sorry but I don't know anyone who would talk the way these characters do. It was almost embarrassing.

Speaking of characters, what really made me mad was they had such a talented cast- Bradley Copper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, etc. and they're all wasted here. To be fair, they did try their best given the material they had to work with. And as much as I like Emma Stone, she was terribly miscast. She and Bradley Cooper had absolutely no chemistry.

The movie was just all over the place. What was Cameron Crowe trying to say here? I feel like in the hands of a different director and screenwriter, this could've been a pretty good movie.

I'll admit though, in the last third of the movie were a few moments that were genuinely sweet. I even laughed a few times. It's because of this that I can't give it any lower of a rating than I already am.

If you're looking for a really good romantic dramedy, I would recommend Silver Linings Playbook instead. Aloha is just okay and very forgettable. If you insist on seeing it, wait until it comes to Netflix. It's not worth the money to see it in theaters.

My Rating: 6/10

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

When I first heard they were making this movie, I kind of had mixed feelings about it. I've only seen the original Mad Max and while I liked it, I only watched it once and that was years ago. Plus I thought great, here we go again with another unnecessary sequel/reboot. But then I heard that it was being directed by George Miller (who directed the original movies) and starring my man Tom Hardy and I knew I had to see it. I'm so glad I did because the movie was amazing and one of the craziest I've seen in a long time.

Fury Road is set in a post apocalyptic world where people have gone crazy just struggling to survive. Max (Tom Hardy) is a loner trying to find peace after the loss of his wife and child. He encounters and eventually ends up aiding Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who wants to make it back to her homeland and escapes the clutches of warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne).

I applaud George Miller for all the hard work he put into creating this fun, crazy, and well made action movie. He really put his heart and soul into it. It's two hours of car chases and explosions and it kept me entertained the whole time. What amazed me the most was that the majority of the effects in here were practical. In an age where CGI is relied on too much this was refreshing to see. How the hell he was able to pull off some of those scenes without CGI I'll never know. I wish more directors would go this route.

Tom Hardy, of course, gives another amazing performance. He doesn't really talk all that much here. But the way he's able to communicate his eyes and his facial expressions... wow!!

Some would say, and they wouldn't be wrong, that the real star of the movie is Charlize Theron. Her performance as Furiosa was badass and she holds her own against all the men in here. For the most part this is her story. At least that's what it felt like anyway.

Nicholas Hoult was the biggest surprise to me. At first I thought his character was just another crazy guy. But as the movie went on and you learned more about him, you really felt for him and could understand why he was the way he was. Nicholas put a lot of heart into it.

Many people have asked if they need to see the original movies in order to see this. The answer is, not really. Fury Road pretty much stands on its own. It might help if you watch the others to get a sense of what this world is about, but you certainly won't be lost if you don't.

I ended up seeing this in 2D mainly because the showtime worked out better for me. But also because the 3D I've seen in most movies lately has been complete shit, and yes the includes Age of Ultron. Anyway, Fury Road looks great in 2D so don't think you're missing out on anything by seeing it in this format.

There is one moment though, which I won't say what it is, that was very uncomfortable for me to watch and forced me to look away from the screen for a minute. Judging by the other people in the theater, I wasn't the only one. It's nothing that should stop you from seeing the movie though. But it's the reason I'm not giving this a perfect rating.

Fury Road is one of the most insane yet well made movies I've seen in a long time. I really hope it does well so that the sequels can get made. Directors take note- this is how you do an action movie!

My Rating: 9.5/10

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (IMAX 3D)

I've waited three long years for this movie. Now that I've finally seen it I just have to say- AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Sorry, I'm still recovering from a massive nerdgasm. Age of Ultron was absolutely amazing!

This time around, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) tries to revive a peacekeeping program but things go horribly wrong. Now the Avengers must once again work together to stop Ultron (James Spader) before he destroys the world.

Director Joss Whedon is back and does another great job handling such a large cast. I don't know of too many directors who could pull this off but somehow he does. Each of the characters is given several moments to shine. There's also of plenty of that Joss Whedon humor that I love. There were several scenes that had me cracking up.

What makes Age of Ultron a little different is that in this one there's a lot more battle scenes. They're a lot of fun to watch and totally bad ass. The only downside is there's very little room to breathe. There was so much action, fighting, and explosions and I just wish they had slowed it down a bit at times. Some of my favorite scenes in the movie were the "quieter" moments that were few and far between.

Of course, I have to talk about Ultron himself. Marvel's villains have always been pretty weak for the most part but here he's done well. It helps that you have a great actor like James Spader playing the role. He has a creepy voice and his performance is just the right amount of scary and humorous. While Loki is still my favorite villain, Ultron is right up there.

I'm not really spoiling anything by telling you this since it is heavily implied in the trailer, but yes there is a romance that happens between Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). I wasn't crazy about it at first but as the story progressed and certain things are revealed, I found their relationship to be kind of sweet. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Okay, it's time for me to nitpick just a little bit. While I absolutely love Age of Ultron, I kind of liked the first Avengers movie just a little bit more. Put away your torches and pitchforks. It has nothing to do with the movie itself. It's more of a personal preference.

STAY DURING THE CREDITS! Do I really have to keep saying this? This time there's only one scene and it's in the middle of the credits. All I'll say about it is it sets things up for Infinity War  and had most of the people in the theater cheering, myself included.

One last thing- I wouldn't even bother watching this in 3D. You can't even notice it. When some of the trailers shown before have better 3D than the movie itself that's a problem. The movie looks great on an IMAX screen but unfortunately it's only showing in IMAX 3D. Save the extra money and see it in 2D instead.

Age of Ultron was so much fun and mostly lived up to the hype. If you're a Marvel fan or just a fan of superhero movies in general, I think you'll love this as much as I did. I'm really looking forward to seeing where they go from here.

My Rating: 9/10