Monday, December 30, 2013

2 Guns


It seems sometimes that when I write a review about movies that are similar in story – it always ends up sounding the same or cliché.  But, this was a good movie!  The chemistry between Mr. Denzel Washington and Mark Walberg made this movie a hit and very entertaining.  Both actors bring their charm to their roles and you are rooting for them the whole time.  They are undercover agents who are trying to bring down a drug cartel.  Along the way they need to rob a bank to get to the drug lord – but there is more money in the bank than what they thought.  Nothing goes as planned and the two of them are on the run – from each other and the other groups that are out to get them.  They find out who each other are and that’s when the action kicks into high gear and you find out who’s gonna get their butt kicked!  This is an action/buddy movie and I like those kinds.  There are explosions and some crazy twists –but there is humor intertwined in the movie that keeps it from being too heavy.  Rated R for language, nudity and violence – but still an entertaining movie!

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

I wasn’t planning to write about this one, but I did watch it and I keep thinking about it, so figure I should.  I’d never even heard of it until a friend recommended it to me because he thought I’d like it – and he was right.  It’s one of those movies that reminds you that everyone has a “story” to their life and reasons why they are the way they are and how they’ve gotten to the point they are in their lives – even if it’s nothing like you would ever imagine just looking at them.  Which leads us to Pippa.  She’s married to a much older man and they’ve moved to a retirement community, where she seems kind of lost and seems to be reflecting on her life.  Maybe it’s a little mid-life crisis/nervous breakdown/looking for “herself” that she seems to have lost through the years type of thing or maybe has never truly found?  Whatever it is, we get to see a glimpse of her “private lives” from birth all the way to where she is now – all of her struggles with her own mother, her daughter, relationships – you feel like you “know” her and experience every up and down along with her as they get bigger and bigger in her life.  I don’t want to say too much, so I’ll stop there.  I’m just glad I watched this one.

Monday, December 16, 2013

After Earth

Well, the critics said to stay away from this one.  My friends said to stay away from this one.  Did I listen?  No.  Should I have listened to them?  YES!!!  I usually like Will Smith and his movies, but this just felt like it was all made so his son could have a movie where he was the “hero.”  Will Smith hardly ever moved out of his chair because he had 2 broken legs and the whole thing was him directing his kid what to do to survive and retrieve some distress beacon to call for help on a future Earth that had been taken over at some point. I thought I was going to like it when it started and it just felt long and boring and like it didn't go much of anywhere!!!  There were “hints” of other storylines and flashbacks trying to explain some things, but nothing ever seemed to develop for me.  I wish I could “unwatch” it, but I can’t!  Maybe it wasn’t THAT bad, but it just wasn’t that good, either.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fast and Furious 6


If you are a fan of this franchise – this movie won’t disappoint! It’s by far the best of all the movies!  From the humble beginnings of the first F&F movie – this franchise has taken off at jet speed and hasn’t stopped!  Each movie brings more and more fun, crazy action scenes and characters that you come to know.  You can’t go wrong with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Duwayne Johnson, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, and the other supporting cast members.  We know that Vin Diesel’s character, Dom, and Paul Walker’s character, Brian, are the glue for these movies.  They made the movies what they are!  The movie does have a twist in it and it will make you catch your breath – so watch all the way through the credits to find out what it is – and it is quite the twist!!

At the writing of this blog, Paul Walker lost his life in a tragic car accident.  He will be missed by the many fans who enjoyed his work not only in these movies, but also in others such as Joy Ride, Into the Blue and Varsity Blues just to name a few.  It remains unknown at this time what the producers of the Fast and Furious franchise will do with his beloved character, but to all of us who knew him as “Brian O’Conner” he will always be remembered and missed.

(Paul Walker 9/12/1973 – 11/30/2013).

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Red 2


One-liners are the best part of this movie.  If you liked the first Red, you’ll like this one.  The same characters are back and the action scenes are even more over the top.  I like the new character of Han played by Byng-hun Lee, who is a hit man out to kill Frank Moses, played by Bruce Willis.  He adds some fun to this movie as well as  John Malkovich’s character, Marvin, whose one-liners steal the show.  The dialogue between the characters is swifter and right on the money. This is not a Bruce Willis movie because the other actors show up ready to go toe to toe: Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Byng-hun Lee.  Action, fun, and a pretty good second film.

Monday, November 25, 2013

We’re the Millers

I have to admit, I didn't expect to like this movie as much as I did. I’d heard it was funny, so decided to give it a shot.  I wasn’t sure what to think when it’s about a drug dealer who needs to assemble a fake family so he can blend in while he transports a giant shipment of marijuana into the United States from Mexico.  And it sounded like a goofy setup with his “wife” being a stripper and his “kids” being a girl off the street and a geeky neighbor of his.  But I was laughing the whole time!  And for a fairly long movie, the time just flew.  I liked every person in each of their roles, and overall, it was a bunch of scenes and lines that seemed to hit just the right note of being funny and clever instead of stupid and idiotic.  It was nice seeing them all get closer and almost like a real family on their trip when they all started out alone and not really having anyone, too.  There was language and sexual situations and gross things, like a lot of movies, but none of it ever really felt “that” out of place for some reason.  I liked it more than I feel like I should have – but it was really funny!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blackfish

Blackfish is a film trying to shed some light on the lives of killer whales that have been captured and forced to participate in shows at marine parks like SeaWorld.  Most of the story is discussing the actions of a whale named Tilikum that has been involved in three deaths (and is still performing).  It really made me think about the morality of keeping such creatures in the conditions they’re forced to suffer through their entire lives, day in and day out.  Compared to the ocean, no tank would ever be large enough to justify keeping these animals in their pens with little or no stimulation, besides taking them from the lives they were born to live.  These whales are torn from their families, separated from their groups that have their own languages, and either put with whales that have completely different “languages” or kept in isolation until their turn to perform in shows – all for our entertainment and so the businesses can make money!  It doesn’t seem right.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Grown Ups 2

WHAT A HORRIBLE MOVIE!!!  Just a bunch of over the top, gross out humor - not sure if there was even a story or plot!  They were trying WAY too hard!!  I watched this one because I liked the first one and was expecting more of the same with this – boy was I wrong!!!  It didn’t even feel like a movie – just a bunch of scenes put together that were way too long to begin with.  I guess the “story” was Adam Sandler’s character and his family moving back to where he grew up so his kids could experience a childhood like he had, but there wasn’t even much of that – just ridiculous scenes and stupid, unrealistic situations back to back to back!  And Rob Schneider wasn’t in this one – he must have read the script!  You know it’s pretty bad if he turned it down.  It was juvenile!  It was stupid!  IT WAS JUST A ROTTEN MOVIE!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Way Way Back


This is one of those movies that is charmingly quirky.  The feel of movie reminded me of Juno and Dan in Real Life, which I liked.  The opening scene starts off with Duncan, played by Liam James sitting in the back of a station wagon.  You can already tell he’s the type of boy that is not a go getter and that truth is proven when his mom’s boyfriend, Trent, played by Steve Carrell, asks him what number he thinks he is.  Duncan says a “6” and Trent says “no, you’re a 3”.  That line sets up the movie for which way it’s going to go.  Duncan is 14 and forced to spend the summer with his mom and her boyfriend who can’t seem to quit picking on him.  Duncan ends up finding his escape at the local water park and learns what it means to stand up for yourself and find your own voice.  The movie is off the beaten path but it was enjoyable.  There wasn’t any new broken ground here – just a nice story of relationships.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Heat

The Heat is the story of a cocky, tightly wound FBI agent played by Sandra Bullock who partners up with her complete opposite – a foul-mouthed, inner city Boston cop played by Melissa McCarthy – to bring down a drug smuggling ring.  It’s a comedy, so don’t be expecting anything too serious with this one.  Melissa McCarthy was pretty funny and I almost always like Sandra Bullock - I thought they made a good team once they both let their guards down and worked together.  There was a LOT of language - F-bombs almost every other word - literally!  There were also some really funny scenes, though, too.  It was TOTALLY unrealistic and ridiculous in a lot of ways.  Depending on what mood you're in, it was also VERY rude, crude, obnoxious and not a classic movie by any means.  I must have been in the mood for that, because I did enjoy it!  Doesn't really feel like I should have, but you need a movie like that sometimes that isn't just completely all around stupid, and walks the line right on the edge of being that way, but not quite!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 is full of over-the-top explosive action and storylines.  Robert Downey Jr., is back as Tony Stark – and he’s having a little trouble dealing with life.  Last time we saw Tony, he was saving the world from aliens in the Avengers movie.  Since then, he’s been trying to come to terms with his humanity and the ultimate question, does the suit make the man or the man make the suit?  In this movie, we see Tony grappling with who he is in the way of being Iron Man and exactly what is important in his life.  With that being said, Iron Man doesn’t take a back seat to anyone.  Tony’s life is on the line when a terrorist by the name of "The Mandarin," played by Ben Kingsley, goes on a murderous rampage and Tony is in his cross hairs.  But all is not what it seems and the person you expect to be the true villain is there in all this twisted glory.  Some people didn’t like the storyline and to a point, (2 hours and 11 minutes) it was a little much at times but that didn’t take away from the fact that Robert Downey Jr., is a great Iron Man and that he does make the suit.  The ending of the movie leaves you hanging as Tony decides about his future and all I can hope for is that Iron Man returns for many more adventures.

Iron Man 3

I'm not a huge “superhero” guy, but I love Iron Man!  He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s sarcastic, he’s HUMAN – even though he’s Iron Man once he gets one of his suits on – he never loses that human element.  I liked this movie, but I think the main reason is because it was about Iron Man, not because it was a great movie with a wonderful plot.  I know there’s only so much they can do, especially with it being a comic book character, but it almost felt “fake” with their story this time – which was the point, I guess.  The first Iron Man movie just blew me away and this was nowhere near doing that for me, even though it was still entertaining and fun to watch.  If you like Iron Man, you shouldn’t be disappointed, but just don’t be expecting quite the “feel” of the first movies, either.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Olympus Has Fallen

I guess this one just depends on what you’re looking for from the movie.  On one hand, it’s a completely unbelievable, leave all logic at the door, almost over-the-top action movie where one man knows more than pretty much anyone else and can save the day all by himself.  Or it can be a fun ride in the spirit of movies like Die Hard or Under Siege, which is how I took it.  You’re not supposed to notice that the North Koreans that have taken over the White House somehow know more about using our secret weapons than we do, or how little actual security there is, or how easy it was for them to walk in and take the President hostage, or how fast the troops are evacuated once a decision is made, etc, etc, etc…  I liked Gerard Butler in the “hero” role and Aaron Eckhart as the President along with Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House.  It did feel like an 80s or 90s action movie, but I liked that!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Behind the Candelabra

This movie caught my attention because it has two big name stars as lead actors – Michael Douglas who plays Liberace and Matt Damon who plays his lover of five years, Scott Thorson.  I didn’t know anything about Liberace himself except for a few things here and there.  So I read the autobiographical book by Mr. Thorson (the same title as this movie) and the HBO movie stayed true to his perspective of their relationship.  Liberace, who had an amazing talent for the piano, also kept a secret life – he was gay.  This is his story of what it was like to be in Liberace’s life and how it all unraveled for him.  I was impressed by Michael Douglas – he really stepped into Liberace’s skin, the way he walked, talked and his mannerism was spot on and Matt Damon was also outstanding for his portrayal of his lover.  To go behind the mask and into a world of opulence, wealth, and addiction was very enlightening.  This movie may not be for everyone - but just to see the lead actors take on something that wasn’t normal for them and to bring these very real people to life was very entertaining and eye-opening at the same time. (Just recently, this film won 11 Emmy Awards – 1 for outstanding movie made for television and 1 for outstanding actor in a film (which was Douglas) made for television, plus categories for hair, makeup, casting and directing).

Monday, September 23, 2013

World War Z

It’s time to get our zombies on!  This movie takes off like the speed of light and never stops.  Brad Pitt plays a father of two who has the knowledge to possibly stop the spread of the virus that is turning people into flesh eating monsters. In doing so he must fight every obstacle there is as he races to several countries to try to find the cure to save his family as well as everyone else.  I thought it told a story that wasn’t so over the top that you could believe it.  I enjoyed Brad Pitt’s performance as a man and father trying to save his family and the zombies themselves were there just enough to be creepy and give you some chills.  I thought it was a great summer block buster and I enjoyed it even better watching it again.

World War Z

I LOVED THIS MOVIE!  I’m never quite sure what to expect going into a “zombie” movie.  What I liked about this one was that it felt real – like it was an outbreak that could actually happen.  I felt like I was with all of the characters just trying to survive and not knowing exactly what was happening or why.  And I like that Brad Pitt is playing more serious roles with more depth than just “pretty boy” roles as he gets further in his career, too.  I also like movies that I can put myself in their place and wonder how I would handle different situations – and this was totally like that – along with zombies! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

Space – the final frontier- but for a franchise that has hit gold at the box office – I’m sure it won’t be the last sequel for the Star Trek crew.  What I really liked about this movie was the actors (who were in the first movie), and how they have grasped the original characters mannerisms, but yet has breathed new life into their roles.  You can see James Kirk in Chris Pine – you can see Mr. Spock in Zachary Quinto but they have transformed the original feel of the characters into new people for a new generation of fans.  I thought this movie was a lot of fun!  It was long in the story but it was filled with lots of Star Trek “feel”.  There is a throwback to this movie as the villain is one you might remember from the original television series – Khan!  I loved some of the classic lines that were given and the twist at the end where I held my breath thinking – they wouldn’t do that!  Running at 2 hours in length – it keeps your attention with all the action and an intriguing story line. 

Star Trek Into Darkness

I'm a little young to have watched the original Star Trek series and wouldn't call myself a "Trekkie" by any stretch of the imagination, but I am loving these new Star Trek movies!  I do know the characters and their mannerisms and classic quotes and things like that from the series, though - and I can't believe how these actors capture the young versions of Kirk and Spock and Bones and everyone else!  And it was a good story with good acting and lots of action and just a good sequel, too.  That hardly ever happens!  I even found myself joking around with classic lines after watching it – “Damn it Christy, I’m a librarian, not a doctor!”  I feel like there’s a little of me in each character, too – which makes it even more fun to watch.  If you like the original Star Trek, or even if you don’t, these movies are definitely worth giving a chance!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Now You See Me

This movie was about four magicians who get together to perform shows - but not just any shows - they are also robbing banks and stealing fortunes from CEOs as part of their performance.  I liked how fast-paced it felt with people chasing after them trying to catch them in the act as they get more and more bold.  The whole movie kind of felt like you never quite knew if what you were seeing was what was actually happening – and everyone was always one step ahead of whoever was following them (or so they thought).  There were also a lot of big name actors like Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, and Mark Ruffalo.  It was entertaining and the whole movie almost felt like one big magic trick.  There were definitely a lot of "convenient" twists and explanations, but magic can be like that, too.  I have a cousin who’s a magician, so I related to many of the scenes more than I think most people would.  I probably wouldn't need to see it again, but it was fun to watch.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mud

I liked this movie, but felt like it could have been much better.  Two boys out boating on the Mississippi River find an island and start exploring.  After looking around, they realize there’s someone living on the island – who they later find out is a fugitive named Mud.  After hearing all of Mud’s tales, they wonder if he really is a bad guy - or if it was just circumstances and love that got all tangled up and caused a bad situation?  Should they help him hide from authorities and the bounty hunters after him or turn him in?  And should they help him reunite with the love of his life, who is partially the reason he’s in this situation?  For a movie with a murderer and people after the guy, it felt REALLY SLOW and LONG!!! I liked it OK, but it just never totally grabbed me.  Overall, it really was a story about love and can be viewed on many different levels, for sure!  I think people can let it affect them as much as they allow or want it to.  So yeah, I liked it, but didn't think it was the greatest movie ever. I think it's one of those movies I'll like more the more I think about it, though......

Mud

When I read the reviews on this movie I was very excited.  They said it was “emotional,” “heart tugging,” a “thriller.”  All I thought about it was how lllooonnngggg and sssllloooowww it was!  I didn’t come away from the movie with the same feelings Eric had for it.  You know how sometimes a movie can suck you in – hook line and sinker?  Well this one just sunk – to the bottom.  I just didn’t buy the storyline.  As Eric told you about the plot, for me, there were too many little stories in the big story.  There’s the story of why Mud was hiding out, the story of why he killed the man, the story of his love for his girlfriend, the story of the boys and the one main character, Ellis and his parents having martial issues and his 14 year old crushes which he thinks is love. Is it a love story? Is it a thriller? Is it a coming of age story?  What it is – is too much.  Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s Matthew, maybe we just don’t have a love affair with each other.  But whatever it is – all I can really say about his movie is “eh” no biggie.  You got me to sit through it – but it doesn’t really matter to me if I see it again.

 

The Big Wedding

What do you get when you put really big name actors into a movie with a lackluster story line? Junk!  Ok – maybe I’m being a little hard on this movie but it really wasn’t very good – at times it even reminded me of the American Pie movies for the older generation. Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton play a divorced couple with 2 grown kids and an adopted Portuguese son.  Robert De Niro is shacking up with his girlfriend, Bebe played by Susan Sarandon, who also is the best friend of Diane Keaton.  The family is together because their adopted son is getting married.  But, he didn’t tell his very religious biological mom (who speaks no English) that his adoptive parents aren’t married so they have to pretend to be married for the weekend.  On top of this, the other son is a virgin trying to lose his virginity with the adoptive brother’s sister and the real sister is having a marriage crisis which also results in a father daughter crisis. (not to mention the game of who’s sleeping with who and that includes the neighbors!) Did you get all that?  Many of the jokes fell flat, the language and the sex scenes were like “really” and the whole mood of the film felt so junior high.  There were just a few “heart tug” moments but the whole movie was just lame and I’m glad I didn’t pay money at the theaters for it.

Pain & Gain

I actually watched this one twice because I couldn’t believe it was as bad as it seemed – and I did like it better the second time.  This movie is the true story of some “not too bright” bodybuilders that decide they’re tired of their lives and deserve to live the “American dream” – and instead of working hard, getting an education and working their way up the ladder, they decide it would be a lot easier to just kidnap and steal the wealth of somebody who’s already rich!  I know I shouldn’t have expected much when the infomercial wisdom that gets Mark Wahlberg’s character all pumped up to go through with it is “Don’t be a don’t-er, do be a do-er”…  I’m not really sure what to think of this movie.  It was rude, crude, almost obnoxious and makes light of a very serious crime that actually happened.  You almost feel sorry for the very people committing the crime instead of the victims – and that doesn’t seem right!  If you can suspend all belief of what’s right and wrong, aren’t easily offended and just want something that is actually kind of funny at times, you might like it, but I wouldn’t bet on it!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 3

All you zombie fans have no fear – The Walking Dead Season 3 is now out on DVD!  I have watched this AMC series since the first season and each season gets bigger and “badder” than the last!!  All your favorites continue on their quest for survival  but this season also brings some unexpected deaths of favorite characters that you either love to hate or just loved.  I believe this is still one of the most thrilling series on television.  Rick and his crew continue to struggle with life and death situations and none of characters are the same people they were in the first season.  The writers continue to evolve their characters with deeper emotions and situations that they have no control over.  Never fear, there are still lots of zombies for the eye to behold and as for me - I can’t wait for October to continue my journey with the characters.

 

Tyler Perry’s Temptation

I try to like Tyler Perry’s movies because for the most part – the family oriented ones always have a good message in them.  But they always seem to fall flat for me and this one was no exception.  The story is of a husband and wife, Judith and Brice, who have been married since high school.  They have created a home and a life for themselves and everything seems to be in place as it should be.  But Judith finds her life restless and their marriage a little stale.  In her office one day walks a good looking billionaire, who flashes his smile and seduces her with all the charm, attention and words she’s needing to hear.  This is the start of the temptation and seduction of a married woman.  Tyler Perry’s movies come across very strong in his convictions but almost to the point of shoving it down your throat and I hate to say that – because they are generally, stories of morality.  The message of the movie shows how adultery can hurt a marriage and the sad facts of a broken home.  But it also has some really cheesy lines and at times falters in the acting and the emotions it wants you to feel.  It wasn’t a bad movie but it was just too much clichéd lines and acting that I’ve already seen.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summertime

It seems like the summertime always brings a down time for new DVDs that come out.  The producers are pumping up the action at the theatres to peak your interest in the latest blockbusters and there are some great summer movies to go see on the big screen.  We are always looking for new things to watch and sometimes – there isn’t much that fits our interest.  But never fear, new items will be coming out by the handful in August and September.  So until the next DVD comes out for us to blog about – keep enjoying your summer!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard

I was NOT impressed with this movie!  This “felt” like a 5th movie in a series – and one that needs to just hang it up!  The original Die Hard movies are classics and this didn’t compare at all.  John McClane was like some cheesy version of his former self.  And he can somehow survive almost ANYTHING and come up pretty much unscathed – some of what was fun in the originals was how beat up he got.  Who doesn’t remember him going across that broken glass with his bare feet?  There wasn’t even anything worth remembering in this one.  You’d think that being in Russia at Chernobyl and things blowing up all over would be exciting, but you’d be wrong!  Bruce Willis was like some side-kick almost the whole time and finally turned into “John McClane” about the last 15 minutes of the movie – other than that, he was trying to be a dad and connect with his son he’d lost track of over the years and spouting one-liners he was hoping would catch on.  He even throws in his famous "Yippee-ki-yay" toward the end as if that’s going to save this movie!  It didn’t!  This was just horrible!!!

A Good Day to Die Hard

You know – some things aren’t better the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th time around.  Take for example – the latest Bruce Willis movie in the Die Hard series.  It was just a lame movie all the way around and a sad excuse for a Die Hard movie.   Bruce Willis is still a great actor – but this movie didn’t need to be made.  Like Eric said, there wasn’t John McClane in this movie.  It just seemed like Bruce was walking through his role.  It felt like a sad attempt to hold onto something that was great in the 80’s but now just seems old and out of date.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Identity Thief

I want to like this movie better than I did.  It’s not that I didn’t like it, but I’d say it was just alright.  I was expecting it to be a LOT funnier - but it wasn't as dumb as I was thinking it might be, either.  There were definitely some stupid/over the top scenes - and quite a bit of language - but there was also more story to it than I was expecting.  The movie made me feel sorry for Melissa McCarthy’s character, even though she’s the bad person who stole the identity of Jason Bateman’s character.  Even he felt sorry for her after awhile.  It was much more emotional and touching than I thought it would be.  Maybe it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting?  Depends what mood you're in, I guess!