Sunday, August 24, 2014

Her - review

I imagined myself writing this review several times.

Her- is the story of a man that falls in love with his operating system. The operating system has a sexy voice and their love affair is pure bliss for this recently detached man. However, jealous becomes an issue for the two of them and eventually the operating system moves on. I guess I would feel like an ultimate loser to be dumped by my computer.

I caught this film at my local libraries film night. I was joined by three older women that made the experience all the more enjoyable. Their commentary was perfect. One lady said "they're all crazy in this movie" another said "if thats how they have sex in the future they can keep it". As great as the cinematography was and the script was original it was still a nutty lonely person movie. I think the old ladies saw it for what it really was beyond the art.

Giving it two and a half stars....

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Note to self

Review Her, Amour, 42, life of pi, and Hereafter, philomena

Get on Up- review

Here we go
Get up
Get on up
Get up pppp
Get on up

I'm trying to get my review out while it's still a hot topic.

Get on up- is a film made by the same director that brought us the timeless piece The Help (ha). The film tells the story of the funk musician and legend James Brown's introduction into music and his rise to fame.

Now, when I saw Chadwick Boseman the actor that plays James many years ago on a show I looked him up. I thought he was good looking but also very talented. Next thing you know he's getting leading roles. I can't remember if I reviewed 42 but I saw it.

Anyway, the film Get on Up takes us on a musical journey. I have heard many James Brown songs but none are songs that I love so let's say this review isn't coming from a fan's viewpoint. The acting is great from Chadwick, Viola Davis, Lennie James, Dan
Dan Aykroyd and Nelson Ellis. While other actors that are pretty good were hit with bit roles and one liners. I enjoyed the film for the most part. There were musical numbers that just didn't seem to have the spark they needed to get you into it.  I love a good musical too even brand new music to my ears can move me but these performances were bland. I thought I would want to dance in my seat. However, there are a few good musical moments such as Caledonia and Try me that are also some of the best scenes. The biggest complaint that most of us have is that it is all over the place never staying on one path to sum up the man's life. It's like a visual collage with a funky soundtrack hinting at bits and pieces of the more highlighted parts of his life. I don't think I know anything more about James Brown now after setting the movie. Maybe it wasn't meant to be a bio. I think they missed an opportunity to tell us who he really was and make a tribute to him.  A friend of mine stated there were too many film styles going on far from the normal feel of The Help. The film features Chadwick breaking the third wall, flashbacks, and many many stylized shots. I understand my friends point. Here's the last thing with such a great portrayel you can overlook much of it's flaws and just take the ride. 

Three Stars for the acting

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mr. Peabody and Sherman- review

Historic cliches and puns.

Mr. Peabody and Sherman tells us the story of a little boy Sherman adopted by a dog named Mr. Peabody. At this time in their life Sherman is getting older and more rebellious. He has a fight at school that causes Mr Peabody to be investigated about his parenting. This also causes a struggle between the two as Mr. Peabody doesn't know how to handle this stage of adolescence.

Of course they go back in time......
There are a lot of adult jokes and in the end Mr. Peabody learns Sherman isn't a baby anymore.
The soundtrack is different than most kids movies. We actually got a promo bag with the soundtrack. It's mostly classical music. I think there is only one song that has lyrics and my son likes it. I'm not downplaying the music at all and actually the music is well composed it's just far from the norm.

It was cute! It wasn't amazing though. We saw it at the dollar show. It looked good on the big screen but I'm sure it would be just as good on dvd,

  • 2 stars

Monday, July 07, 2014

Think Like a Man Too- review

Think Like a Man Too-  the couples are back and trying to keep the love alive. In the first film two of the couples begin and the other couples try to stay together. The first film based on the best selling book is loaded with advice and voiceovers. It was a good film and a nice start to this franchise they are building with Kevin Hart. Now, in the sequel the couples venture to Las Vegas to attend a wedding and to have bachelor/ batchelorette parties. 

It's a wild time in Vegas. 
By the time the credits rolled I thought it was a cute film that would be good for a date night. The pacing is pretty smooth at first but it starts to fall off around the second act. There is a music video in the middle of the film that is long and kind of annoying. I would think it would have been cut down in a final cut. 

There are also times when they are trying to not be predictable but they deprive us of things we would like. 
1)Kevin's character loses money but never makes it back
2)They sign up for a stripping contest and not one of the lead guys strips. 

So to sum it up this would make a great rental. It wasn't as good as the first but it didn't drop the ball. 

Three stars

Earth to Echo- review

Oh boy I liked a movie.
Earth to Echo-is about a town being forced to relocate due to the building of a new freeway.  Three kids that live there get a weird map on their phones and decide to follow the map as a last adventure before they all move away. On this adventure they are joined by a girl they all have a crush on and they discover a cute little alien that they name Echo.

The film is being compared to the major childhood films like ET, The Goonies, and the Lost Boys. For me my favorites were The Flight of the Navigator, Monster Squad,  and The Never-ending Story but maybe I just have different taste.  Although the Goonies was great too. Since I don't remember much about ET except that he wanted to get home the comparison to Echo makes sense because he also wants to get home. Earth to Echo is like the Goonies because the kids are all moving away soon (I think I remember something like that in the Goonies I know they needed money to stay).

Earth to Echo is cute. The characters are cute and the little alien is cute. The theme about friendship is sweet and I got a little emotional at the end remembering my childhood of having to move.  What it doesn't have is really memorable kids like The Goonies does. It still wins.  It's a simple story that utilized the basics well without needing a whole heap of special effects to you know make it special. I think it can stand alone without all the comparisons. I'm also happy to see a movie about real kids with no special powers and nobody dies.

 I'm going to give it four stars because I can.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Million Dollar Arm- review

Random I watched Life of Pi after seeing this because of the lead Suraj Sharma.
Million Dollar Arm- follows J.B. Bernstein a sports agent near losing it all. He goes to India to recruit the first Indian baseball player by holding a pitching contest with a grand prize of a million dollars.

Very heartfelt film based on a true story. It has it's corny moments but it's Disney. This film was fun to watch on the big screen but I think it would be great for families to watch together at home.

The Book Thief - review

This story follows a little girl "Liesel" given up for adoption during the start of the Holocaust and the Germanies desire to burn books considered outside propoganda. Her adopted family takes in a Jew who they've known for many years hiding him in their home. The little girl bonds with him and steals books to read to him. There are many story lines in the film but that kind of sums it up. Narrated by death we wonder the whole time will she die or will she live. I like that it wasn't a Holocaust movie. Not that I dislike Holocaust movies I just thought it was another one. It is more about the little girl "Liesel" and her relationships with the other characters in the story. She effects all of them in different ways and overcomes such a sad beginning. It didn't get a lot of press in my eyes but it was a good film. It's a sad film and if you are in the mood for something more dramatic it's worth the rent.

3 1/2 stars

The Nut Job -Review

Is it a candy or a nut? This is my short review....
The Nut Job just really missed the mark. My kid along with the kids next to me couldn't keep still. The storyline is cool. The movie follows the outcasted squirrel Surly who is only out to find food for himself. He later realizes how wrong he was and helps feed the other creatures of the park. Out on dvd now it has a great soundtrack.
Here's the trailer.

Monday, May 12, 2014

12 Years a Slave-review

Out on dvd at Redbox and perhaps your local library...
I really don't like to watch movies months after they have been hyped and won awards. I chose this image because I was on set that day working as an extra and made friendships and associations with many of the men in the picture. So proud of their screen time.

12 Years a Slave- is based on the book by Solomon Northup a free man kidnapped into slavery.

I don't know it's like I'm supposed to have sympathy the whole film for this man that was free that got kidnapped into slavery but not feel sorry for all the people that were also kidnapped into slavery but were never free before in America. That's where it loses me. Then Chiwetel Ejiofor's accent just bugs me for most of the film. Moving past those things. There are great cinematic moments in the film like the image above where many shots would make a great still shot. Michael Fassbender should have gotten more recognition. I like to judge movies based on would I like to watch them again. For this film that would be a no but you know I still give points for the craft, the execution, and the emotional impact.   That gives this film 3 1/2 stars

The Amazing Spiderman 2- review

Electro in the house....
I haven't watched the first one or any of the prior films but I thought this might be a fun family movie after watching a few clips. I know I lack a little logic in there. The best part of the film was that song Gone, Gone, Gone. I don't know where to begin. I know a brief synopsis courtesy of imdb.

"Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life." -imdb

Hmm that's not so great. Here's mine Spiderman graduates high school with his love Gwen. They break-up because he is afraid he will get her hurt one day. He fights villains and reconnects with his friend that is now dying.

The acting was so-so. I just wasn't into the script. It was a love story when all I wanted to see was a good action film. I liked Jamie  Fox as Electro once he became Electro before that his acting is over the top.  I just wasn't invested in the characters(having not watched the earlier film or reading the comic). I totally couldn't invest in the action and battle scene that was all of 15 minutes after I sat through 2 hours of not really build up but references to the villain that exists. It just wasn't that great.
Two stars from me....


Blackfish- is a documentary film covering the the cover-ups by Sea World and exposing the animal cruelty at the parks.

I feel bad for the animals but more for the trainers that were misled and harmed by the greed of those who facilitate the parks. After watching the film I felt like the life was sucked out of me. It was a really depressing film to me. I'm glad the film was made because I have certainly felt some sort of way about zoos going now as an adult.  Why the spectacle why the need to make money off of these animals? I sincerely hope there is at least 50% motivation of animal conservation to these places.
We went to the L.A. Zoo a month ago and it felt like some run down zoo where the animals had been for a rather long time. I wasn't impressed. I'm more excited to see rare animals that the average zoo wouldn't have. Okay back to Blackfish is it worth it to check out? For sure...I think it does a great job of getting the point across and exposing a hidden truth.

4 1/2 Stars 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

The Lego movie - review

"An ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied 'Special', is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis."-imdb

I swore I wrote a review for this. I
can't say there was much awesomeness to this film except for Batmans cameo and cool voice. Spoiler: I  really wanted a deeper story  about how legos live instead of a sappy father son disconnect. There are funny moments to the film. I certainly think it's for kids over 7 concerning the plot. My toddler did like the reoccurring song. I'll give it two starts for the cameos and because it was action packed keeping me engaged.

After Earth- remarks

Warning this isn't a review. Okay I checked out After Earth from the library being the Will Smith junkie that I am. I've discovered the libraries here seem to have inherited the collections of closed blockbusters and Hollywood videos. Thus, becoming my go to alternative to Redbox. I tried to watch this film but I have to admit it was a struggle getting into it.  I constantly have distractions but I just kept thinking I need to give this too much attention and I don't want to. Anywho, I brought it back so I wouldn't be charged for it.  The fine for late dvds is a dollar. After, checking out 7 dvds and returning them two days late then convincing a wonderful amazing maybe I should by them a gift librarian to clear my fines I'm done with late fees. All of that being said I would like to revisit the film at some point. I can't say I've watched all of his films except this one.