Monday, April 21, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I don’t know that I can even do this movie justice with my words.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the previews I’d seen – maybe a little goofy and quirky and different than a normal movie.  And it was!  For such a simple story, it just felt like such a breathtaking, powerful work of art.  Ben Stiller plays an anonymous photo negative archiver at LIFE Magazine and is always finding himself zoning out and daydreaming about things instead of actually doing them.  When his job is threatened, he finally takes a chance in the real world when he needs to travel to Greenland to try to track down a legendary photographer, played by Sean Penn.  After being there and following the trail to Iceland (in any manner he can) and climbing the Himalayas, he finally realizes how much of “life” he has been missing out on.  It was like some “magical” transformation, but in reality, he just started actually doing things instead of daydreaming and wishing he had.  It seems so simple.  It's funny, it’s thought provoking, it’s touching, and dare I say “life-changing." 

Delivery Man

Wow – this movie was NOT what I expected!  With Vince Vaughn, I was thinking I’d just get a bunch of one-liners and crude humor and not much story.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  It was funny in parts, but actually felt more like a serious movie or drama than a comedy.  The story is that David Wozniak learns he’s the biological father of 533 children through sperm donations he made twenty years earlier and now 142 of them are suing to find out his identity.  He’s also just found out that his girlfriend is pregnant and doesn’t think he has what it takes to be a father.  This could have gone a number of different ways, but it became a very emotional, heartwarming movie where he cared about EVERY single one of his children.  He wanted to know them and help them – to be the dad he’s never been to them, even though he wasn't sure if he could tell them who he really was.  It also wasn’t full of unnecessary swearing, sex, and shock humor, which was a nice change from most movies these days.  Vince Vaughn gives a very heartfelt performance and I’m glad I watched it!

Ride Along

I wanted to like this movie.  I really did.  Watching it, I just felt like I’d already seen all of the funny parts in previews I’d seen.  There were only a couple parts that even seemed halfway humorous that were new to me.  Ice Cube plays a cop that takes a security guard, played by Kevin Hart, on a ride along to prove he has what it takes to be with his sister.  Ice Cube is trying to seem “tough” and Kevin Hart is just a scaredy-cat that would rather escape into the world of video games than be a man and face life – and neither really worked for me!  Hart is usually so funny, I was pretty disappointed with him in this one.  It was OK and passed the time, but it just wasn’t that funny.  It could and should have been MUCH better!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Grudge Match

I liked this movie, even though it wasn’t really what I was expecting.  Grudge Match is the story of two old boxing rivals (played by Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro) who haven’t been in the ring for 30 years and come out of retirement for one final fight.  At their age, most people view it as more of a joke than a serious rematch, but to them it means everything!  I was expecting a lot more comedy, but it went more into them trying to get over their past and resolving family and relationship issues and things like that.  I’m not saying it wasn’t funny – it was – and I loved Alan Arkin in his role as the old trainer – it just wasn’t as funny as I was expecting from all of the previews I’d seen.  Even with as old as they are, their fighting was still better than a lot of real fights are anymore.  They definitely showed that after all these years, they’ve still got it in the ring!  Overall, I’d say it was just alright – it had humor and was entertaining, but not a classic, either

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

I mainly watched this movie because I wanted to see what all the “hype” was about.  Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a young stockbroker who gets caught up in the excesses of the new life he’s created for himself in New York City.  There’s a LOT of greed, corruption, sex, drugs, and money!  And too much is NEVER enough – of any of them!  His life just snowballs into a never-ending cycle of trying to get more of them all.  The movie definitely pushed the envelope on everything as far as all of the language and sex and nudity and drug use over and over, but I just felt like it was really wanting to drive home that lifestyle and how out of control it was getting for him.  It did seem a little long at almost 3 hours, and I’m not sure why it wasn’t NC-17, but I still felt like it was worth watching.  It was definitely a controversial film when it was released, and looking at mine and Christy’s posts, you can see why.

The Wolf of Wall Street

So, against my better judgment, I watched about an hour or so of this movie.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, “How can I possibly give a review about a movie that I didn’t watch all the way through?” Because I think within the first 5 minutes of the movie you’ve seen everything they are going to show you!  There was lots of Hollywood hype surrounding this movie! Without the hype – I wonder if it would’ve lasted at the theatres!  The movie is based on a true event – on a Long Island Penny stockbroker by the name of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who made millions of dollars and defrauded his clients along the way.  During his ride to the top he was heavily involved in drinking, drugs, and sex.  It didn’t matter how much of anything he had – it wasn’t enough – and everything in his life was insanely over the top! What got me though about this movie, (besides the 506 usage of the “f” word and the almost NC17 rating it should’ve received because of all the nudity and soft porn acts) and being 3 hours in length – is why? Why 3 hours of full blown all out orgies and every usage of a slang word imaginable – for 3 hours?  I get it – this guy was rich and he wanted to show it in every twisted way he could – but as I was watching the movie they forgot to pull me in with the deeper story of how he defrauded so many people and was eventually jailed for 36 months. Admittedly, I’m not one to watch shows with this much language and nudity but I really do feel that I experienced the total "feel" of this movie.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Hunger Games – Catching Fire

The biggest thing I have to say about the 2nd movie in The Hunger Games trilogy is that Jennifer Lawrence has become a big star since the first once came out in 2012.  It seemed odd to watch her in this type of film after she’s been in more critically acclaimed movies. But that aside – the movie was exactly what it should be –the next in the series   Katniss continues her struggle with the government as she and Peeta travel the districts as the reigning victors from the reaping games.  President Snow is enraged as to how the people have chosen to make her the symbol of rebellion and he wants her dead.  Another hunger game is forced upon the contestants that have won and once again – Peeta and Katniss find themselves fighting for their survival.  This time the survival is more than their lives – it’s about the lives of the very people who are counting on her to lead them to a rebellion.  This film sets up the final installment of the trilogy.  The story only gets darker from here as lives hang in the balance and not all will live.