Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Angry Birds - Review

     Okay, I'll start by saying this.... I took my kid to the movies so I could take a nap therefore I apologize and must say that this isn't a fair review (you know since I missed a good 20 minutes of it in the middle and we were late so the first 10 minutes as well). Heck, I probably shouldn't even review this one but I'm going to anyway cause that's what I do write film reviews. 

     Alright, 'Angry Birds' - is about a bird named Red (the red bird) that has anger issues. Red keeps to himself in a home he built away from all the other birds in his community. He is sent to anger management and meets three other birds with their own issues. These other birds are not really angry with one being a troublemaker, one that explodes spontaneously, and the other one is grumpy.  It's as if Red is the only real "Angry Bird" most of the film, until a group of green Pigs visit their Island and make them react but still they don't really get angry. 
          They made sure they put a slingshot in the film so we could watch birds fly into stuff just like the game. They also seemed to feature all the various birds from the game and their special weapons. I've played the game a couple of times (years ago like when it first came out) so I don't remember all of the birds.  My son did enjoy it but I mean we haven't been in a kid flick yet that he said he didn't like. Compared to other kid's films this year,  this film was trying too hard to be funny or even interesting. Although, Chuck (the yellow bird) is pretty funny throughout the film.
              Spoiler: I actually liked the Mighty Eagle character/storyline and wish it would have been used better to convey the message that seemed so random at the end. In the end, Mighty Eagle tries to get Red to understand that he wanted him to believe in himself before he came to save the day.           Instead, of giving Red a true champion moment they gave him acceptance into the community. What do we have here folks? Red is a bird with pain from the past that has made him the angry bird he is today. Making this a movie about a bird ridiculed for being angry who later uses his anger for good and then later controls his anger welcoming others into his life. Meh! 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Zootopia- review

Instead, of writing a review I'm going to send you over to a great blog and a great review of the film

SN: I didn't think the film was that deep lol. I mean I get the analysis of it and it is all true. The film didn't move me or make me cry. I really enjoyed the opening scenes though with the little kids at the school play and Judy's trip to Zootopia for the first time. The rest was a little boring to me but I give them this it was one of the better written and more thoughtful kids stories in some time.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Streaming- Last Love and Let Go- reviews

I just got back from RogerEbert.com reading their review of the film (while looking for an image to use).  The reviewer didn't like this film so much. I watched it because on Netflix it has a really high rating.

'Last Love'- tells the story of Matthew Morgan (played by Michael Caine) who while living in Paris meets a young woman (Clemence Poesy) who makes him happy to live again. Overall, I enjoyed it and I cried a little at the end. I did think it was super cheesy and staged though. For example, when Matthew meets this young woman it is so forced and their chemistry is forced. People that have romantic hopes might meet like this but for both him and her to want to get to know each other is just so odd. There are other parts of the film that are pretty unbelievable and annoying like.... Matthew's son comes to visit later in the story and falls for the young woman while he just so happens to be getting a divorce. It all plays out with no natural feel for how people really interact or act even. It's a movie what should I expect? I do like the thought though that two people that really need each other meet and change each other. It is a winning premise but I can't act as if the film has no flaws. This would be great for a quiet night at home.

Also streaming 'Let Go' starring David Denman, Edward AsnerKevin Hart, Gillian Jacobs and many others. This is my first time seeing Kevin Hart in a serious role (he is the reason why I watched the movie). Denman plays a parole officer checking in on his three clients that all have personal issues (the other actors listed above) as he deals with his own personal demons.

Well, first none of the characters look like their stereotypical roles. This was one of those movies where I tuned in and out of, paused and went back a few minutes to see what I missed,  and did something else while I watched it. I guess you can guess it was boring. Sad people, people with problems, dialogue heavy, boring, boring boring. Not to say that the story wasn't a good idea or that the acting wasn't good, I just didn't enjoy watching it. This one might be worth a second watch to appreciate it more. I thought this would be more like 'Mumford' which is similar but a better film. I'll give it one star.

Streaming: Chi-raq- review

Simply put, this film was far from a masterpiece. I get the message of the film but it got lost in this bad movie and the bad reviews surrounding it. The film didn't spark the conversations it needed to and like the film 'Concussion' focus shifted from the political issues to regular old societal judgmental bs. Spike did a great interview on the subject of violence and specifically the tragic state of Chicago, in the interview his point was made. I don't see why he chose to make a fictional narrative on the subject.

About the movie..... a group of females decide to stop having sex with men in their neighborhood to help cure the violence in their city. The dialogue rhymes as they use hip hop to speak to each other. Some viewers hated that so much it made it hard for them to watch the film. My problem with the film was basic movie reasons like a bad plot, a premise that should have been a book,  crazy editing, things like that. The acting wasn't bad though and the lead Teyonah Parris is pretty. I don't have much else to say.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Jungle Book- review

'The Jungle Book' - can't say I was a big fan of the original film. This one unlike most other Disney films wasn't a love story and being a little girl wishing to be a princess I had little interest in a story about a half-naked boy.

    Back to the review.....This film is for kids so I guess my opinion doesn't matter. I was bored most of the film until Mowgli met Baloo. Baloo played by Bill Murray was the highlight if the film.  Also, I really enjoyed the high intensity last 25 minutes or so of the film. I was concerned after reading reviews that this film isn't for kids that my little one would not enjoy it. I can say that this movie is totally for kids and that yeah a really sensitive kid might get emotional during it but other than that I wouldn't worry. Great voice over work and amazing CGI along with animatronics. I would think this would have been better in 3-d I just prefer to not watch 3-d movies. You def. want to see this on the big screen. Oh yea, why was I bored? The pace was really slow and it was like I was just waiting for some action.  I think kids will love it so for that I will give it 4 stars.

One last thing, not to make this racial but it's great to see a huge box office success with a non-white kid lead and for that much a kids film that can be hugely successful without having a lead character that's an animal either. 

The Age of Adaline-review

'The Age of Adaline'- is a romance film that is sort of a fantasy as well. Starring the lovely Blake Lively who should be hotter than maybe some other blonde actresses at the moment but I guess only one can be hot at a time. The film is about a woman named Adaline who in a freak accident loses the ability to age. As a result she has limited relationships with people and when she meets then falls for a guy for the first time in years her life becomes even more complicated. I'm not going to spoil the film and this review will be short.

   I thought this film was cute and although the fantasy pill is a little hard to swallow I enjoyed the ride. Blake Lively does a great job playing the character of Adaline giving her a very sophisticated presence. Harrison Ford is also in the film another actor I've been a long time fan of. He also does a great job in the film. This would be a great date night movie. I got this as a loan from the library but I'm pretty sure it's on Netflix. So, maybe Netflix and Chill for those of you that do that.  3 stars

Miles Ahead - review

'Miles Ahead' is a new film directed by Don Cheadle and starring Don Cheadle who plays the lead role of Miles Davis in this biopic.  Without a doubt Don Cheadle is great in the role like everyone else is saying. The story and the film overall though hit highs and lows making it a good film but not perfect. I really wish they would have just covered his whole life instead of the story taking place during his time away from music. My critic blogger friend pretty much said that the character Francis Taylor who was Miles' wife played by Emayatzy Corinealdi was underdeveloped for the most part. Likewise, I'd say that the character of Miles Davis was also underdeveloped. To me the film felt like an episode of a TV show where by now you know this character well and you should want them to return to music. The film did little to welcome someone who knows nothing about Miles Davis into his life/career or expose them to his musical repertoire. Exposure to the music is usually the best part of these biopics about musicians, so this was a huge flaw to me. Not since the film 'Ray' has a non-documentary film got the job done. This was more like a biofiction film or there's a term for it that I can't think of at the moment, but with Ewan Mcgregor's character being fictitious I really don't get the point of the film. I hope that it could be possible to do a series of these films using album titles to highlight other periods of Miles' life. I think there could be a serious following for this even with a Netflix show instead. I kind of feel like I'm bashing the film but I'm not. I finished reading the autobiography of Miles Davis not too long ago and I am a huge Don Cheadle fan (like if he is in it I'm very likely to watch it).  It's unfortunate that you have to change your story to get it made or that sometimes as artist we don't get to say what we really want to say because of production pitfalls. Anyway, I did enjoy the film for Don and Ewan's performances and I'd likely watch it again. The editing and directing choices are stylish and give it a nice pace. I think that 'Get on Up' (yea I'm talking about this movie again) made similar editing choices that made that film confusing while in this film it kind of just gave the film a tempo. All that being said I'll give it 3 and half stars.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trailer - Queen of Katwe

Found this googling David Oyelowo's name to spell it correctly. 

Nina- review

Hello Blogger world.....
I caught this film one afternoon at the local AMC. I was joined by 3 males in the audience and that was it. I actually didn't even know the film was playing until I saw it on the board while purchasing my 'Miles Ahead' ticket, because it didn't show up when I googled showtimes.  Anyway, so there's the scene now let me talk about the film.... 'Nina' is a biopic that concentrates on Nina Simone's later years in Paris, as she prepares to make a comeback with the help of her nurse turned manager.
There was a bug fuss made about the casting of Zoe Saldana in the lead role with most of the concerns being that they dressed Saldana up with exaggerated features to make her look more like Nina. Watching the film and witnessing the many close-ups that seem to say hey look at the make-up and hair job we did here makes me cringe because it's like they felt we couldn't believe she was Nina unless she looked like her.  In other biopics, like say 'Get on Up' and 'Miles Ahead' a lot less work is done to make the actors look the part throughout the film and the actors do the work.
         I'm not a huge Z. Saldana fan but she didn't do a bad job at all. The unfortunate piece is they masked her acting with wigs and darker powder. It is also unfortunate that they didn't cast someone who may or may not have made more people go see it. It's also unfortunate that they did not use Nina Simone's voice in scenes where some of her most memorable songs are performed. This is probably what I disliked the most and where they lost me. It's bad enough they made her look like a lunatic (which many people say she was) but then to give me these subpar musical covers and heavy costuming just made it feel like a bad play.  One last remark, this one is about 'David Oyelowo' I see some raw unpolished talent there that hasn't found it's niche yet and in that sense the roles he has played to date just aren't making him shine.

I'm not sure if I reviewed the Nina documentary (What Happened, Miss Simone?) but I watched that one as well. I feel both films did little to highlight her in a positive light although her musical genius was evident (more so in the documentary) but so much focus is given to her downfalls that you can easily lose track of how good the music was.  Let us not do this....If you're at all interested I suggest renting it but you aren't missing much.

Done. One Star...