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!