Archive | May, 2014

Movie Round-up!

30 May

It’s time for round-up. Imagine all these movies I see are little sheep running around the vast pasture that is my mind. Sometimes it’s so hard to capture them and shave them of their precious wool. They flit around and bahh and sometimes they’re so annoying but they however long you leave them you still need to harvest that wool. I realize this is kind of an abstract metaphor but picturing sheep is pretty great. Here, I got one for you Image

 

Haha, man that is great. Those sunglasses are just perfection. Some people say that 90’s style isn’t retro chic yet but what does this glorious sheep care? We should all aspire to be more like him. I guess you want some of those sweet sheep movie thoughts. Can I just say for a second how cumbersome it is for me to explain the plot of a movie here? Just watch the trailer and you’ll get it. You’ll also probably know if it’s a good movie for you to see. I’m going to do a streamlined plot because you need to take some responsibility yo. (I’M KIDDING PLEASE DON’T GO I’LL EXPLAIN IT ALL. WHATEVER YOU WANT.)

Noah

Image

I liked this movie because it was ambitious and epic, while being grounded in an interesting family drama. It has elements of fantasy which I really enjoyed (you really think Noah built that ark without some supernatural help?) but the real power comes from Noah’s family; his wife, three sons and adopted daughter. This movie recounts the incredible pressure put on Noah to make choices that will determine the fate of humanity and Crowe does a great job at expressing the strength and vulnerability that kind of stress puts on a person. Though it feels quite long at times, overall I have to recommend this movie because its great on so many levels. We see a fascinating tale of the downfall of humanity, the small moments between people that can redeem us, and our effect on this planet we share with so many other lifeforms. Beautifully shot and wonderfully acted I highly recommend this film.  

 

Neighbors

Image

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are new parents who have the misfortune of living next to a frat house. Initially they start out on the right foot with Dave Franco and Zack Efron’s party boys but a miscommunication leads to an all out war between the sleep deprived couple and the whippersnappers who don’t give a shit. This film touches on some really interesting themes about growing up, becoming parents, learning to let go of the nights of partying, and feeling that strange lack of familiarity with people who don’t seem that much younger than you, but who you are worlds away from after having a child. Some great laughs here as well but a bit of a dissatisfying ending, especially for Efron’s character. 

 

The Other Woman

Image

Diaz stars as a successful woman who finds out the man she’s dating is married and ends up bonding with the wife of the married man. This role really couldn’t work with anyone less charming than Leslie Mann as the wife. As soon as Diaz learns her boyfriend is married, she calls it quits but aloof Diaz doesn’t know how to deal with Mann’s character, who is whinny and needy but incredibly sweet, friendly and kind.There are some great gross out gags, slapstick bits and amusing situational comedy but the movie starts to stumble with Kate Upton’s presence as a third woman who is a victim of the cheating husband. I would say the strength of the first half of this movie is enough to recommend it on, but the second half really could have been a lot better. Like many romantic comedies, it’s very nice to look at but becomes a bit unbelievable when you have someone like Diaz wishing she had a body like Upton. I suppose the message is supposed to be that all women feel insecure to some extent but that feels a little unrealistic and pandering in this case. Someone who looks as great as Diaz knows how hard it is to maintain so I call bullshit.  It’s so rare to get a good romantic comedy; I’d say there’s about one a year. Two of my recent favorites are Crazy, Stupid Love and 500 Days of Summer. Movies of that quality are so hard to come by for some reason. 

 

Godzilla

Image

I wasn’t sure I’d like Godzilla, but there was something so exhilarating about this film. The movie is grounded in a family drama about a husband losing his wife, and his obsessive pursuit to find the truth about what happened to her. Really though, this movie was about giant monsters fighting and the rest was just built around to support the showdown. I’m not going to elaborate but my favorite line in the movie is “let them fight.” Such wise words. Just a great summer popcorn movie. 

X-Men: Days of Future Past 

Image

I’m not going to tell you the details of the plot of Days of Future Past are easy to understand because they aren’t. Any occasion where a movie starts playing with time travel there are bound to be a ton of plot holes. The gist is that many years in the future mutants and humans have been obliterated by these cyborg machine things and this chain of events was set off by Mystique killing a man named Trask in 1973. Logan is one of the few survivors and is sent back in time to prevent this execution from happening. There are many great scenes in the movie, and it’s fantastic to see so many characters together in one film. Personally I was a big fan of this new mutant that can send people through worm holes. Keep an eye out for my favorite scene in the movie with a new mutant called Quick silver. My biggest problem with this movie is that the villain, Trask, the reason everything terrible has happened, doesn’t get a back story. Why does this guy want to destroy mutants so badly? We are told that though Trask respects them he sees them as a threat that needs to be eliminated. So he makes unstoppable machines that can kill anything. In what universe does that seem like a good idea?? I need more of a reason than that as to why the world is in utter shambles. Perhaps others do not but part of the reason I found The Avengers and Thor movies so compelling is because Loki is a first rate villain. Overall this film had the humor to keep us laughing, and the visuals to dazzle with the characters that we love but the story is a bit flawed. It’s up to you to decide how much the bothers you or if you’ll let it fly because Hugh Jackman’s muscles are so damn defined. 

Some movies that you may be interested in: opening this week we have Maleficient and A Million Ways to Die in the West. I have intentions to see both of these though I did not care for MacFarlene’s last movie Ted. Later this summer we’ve got 22 Jump Street, Guardians of the Galaxy, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Lucy (though I think it looks like a bad off shoot of Limitless, I can’t resist an ass kicking Scarlett Johansson), and especially The Fault In Our Stars which is coming out June 6th. 

I beg of you to comment even if it’s to tell me this is worst trash you’ve ever read. No one want to shout into a void. 

Advertisements

The Amazing Spiderman 2

9 May

Image

NO. JUST NO.

If you wanted to hear a little more detail; there are too many villains, the plot is dumb, I don’t like Andrew Garfield as a leading man and this movie is insanely long and feels it. They tried to cram too much story, too many characters and not enough charm into this film. I am sorry because I really really wanted to like it. I did. 

Divergent intrigues with great story and decent cast

8 May

Image

I read Divergent by Veronica Roth a while ago, a few months before the movie came out. It is in the same vein as the Hunger Games, but not in the same league. While the premise is almost just as fascinating, unfortunately Roth isn’t the same caliber writer as Collins and therefore her characters aren’t as well rounded. I was extremely frustrated by the end of the book because Roth appeared to be knocking off characters right and left for the sake of her unquenchable blood lust apparently. Uhh spoilers I guess, but you don’t know who soooo….

Divergent takes place in a dystopian future where people live in one of five factions which emphasize one characteristic over all others. The five factions are split into groups which value kindness, honesty, selflessness, knowledge, or fearlessness. Each of these factions working together should create an ideal society, if only human nature could be denied (spoiler: it can’t.) Beatrice is the hero of our story and she is anxious for the day she has to choose which faction she will live with and dedicate the rest of her life to. Luckily there is a test which will guide her decision through hallucinated scenarios in which Beatrice will find which quality she embodies most. The test does not go normally and her results are inconclusive, making her a danger to the authorities which value simplifying people and creating a strict order above all else. Beatrice is forced to make a choice without much guidance and her decision takes her down a dangerous path that challenges and frees her. 

I really enjoyed this movie, which I was a little surprised about because I was not fond of the book. I actually didn’t even read the last couple pages and had no interest in pursuing the two other books in the series. However such an interesting premise, with decent screenwriters, good actors and decent production design was quite satisfying to watch. I’m not overly fond of the new “it” girl Shailene Woodley but she is a competent actress and brings as much to Beatrice as the script will allow. One of the things I liked about this movie is that after Beatrice chooses her faction, she encounters a lot of hardship. She isn’t some genius savant that is immediately good at everything, impressing her new community. She’s actually pretty terrible at her new life but this really made me root for her. Of course she had to be a special little snow flake in some way but at least we get to see her butt kicked around a bit first. 

Some people may say this is the poor man’s Hunger Games, what with the Hunger Games boosting a cast of Oscar winners/nominees, grossing millions and being first to draw mainstream attention in the now wildly popular YA dystopian genre. However Divergent has some great moments and an interesting enough plot for this critic to recommend. I might also add the Ken was excited to note that this book/movie does not have a love triangle. Personally I can never get enough of a good love triangle but it was nice to see that archetype absent for this tale.