It is no surprise to anyone that the new, all female cast of, “Ghostbusters” has caused a great deal of talk and controversy. Before filming even began on the remake of the classic film it has been criticized by a large portion of the population, myself included. I was terrified that they were remaking one of my all time favorite films. Even though I like the four leading ladies they chose to fill the iconic roles, remakes are usually terrible. With all of this in mind, I had no intention of seeing the new film. But I was too curious, I had to know what these four funny ladies brought to the table. Continue reading Ghostbusters: Fun From Top to Bottom
This weekend I made it my goal to actually go out and do something. And since I was far too lazy to do anything substantial, or that involved movement, I decided to go see a movie. So I packed up a giant bag of War-Heads and headed off to the ghetto movie theater near my house in the hopes that there would be less people there. —I know this is completely not relevant to what I am writing about, but during the movie I ate way too many of the War-Heads and it tore the shit out of the top of my mouth. Adult problems are a real thing.
-First and foremost I would like to preface this movie review by stating that I have never read the book that this movie is based on so I do not know if it stays fully true to the original story. With that said, I almost preferred not knowing the story line with this film so that I could be fully surprised with the twists and turns along the way. This film is based on a young adult novel like the wildly popular book turned movie projects that have already come out, such as Divergent and the Hunger Games, but I found this one to be one of the more innovative, as far as the story has progressed through this first movie.
The Maze Runner – No Spoilers
The movie starts out fast, there is zero set up or explanation, this film just throws you right into the thick of the action. The movie follows the main character, Thomas, who is thrown into a completely alien environment with no knowledge or memory of who he is, other than his name.
It is explained to Thomas that every month a new boy is sent up through a box elevator (through which Thomas came) along with the essentials that they need to survive. Other than that they are all stuck in a giant forested area in the middle of a giant maze. Each boy has his assigned job in the community, including those who inspect the maze in the daytime in an attempt to find a way out. Each night the doors to the maze close while the maze reconfigures itself and deadly creatures roam the maze. Because of the danger involved, no one is allowed in the maze unless you are a chosen “Runner.” Getting stuck inside the maze when the doors close is a guaranteed death sentence. However, when Thomas arrives, everything begins to change.
— Though the film ends on a cliffhanger, I quite enjoyed it. I found this movie to be a refreshingly darker take on the dystopian society. The acting was strong from its young cast and there is barely a moment to catch your breath at the breakneck pace the movie takes, keeping you engaged throughout the entire film. Even just watching the actors in the movie do all that running, it made me tired to watch them. Though that could be because I hit record breaking levels of lazy. — A word to the wise. For those of you who may have a bit of a motion sickness issue with hand held cameras, there are a number of scenes where the camera-man is apparently suffering from the shakes. There aren’t so many to deter you from seeing it. Just be aware.
Even though there are a couple generic and cliched elements in the movie, it is an extremely fun and intense ride with several big twists and surprises that will have you hooked the entire time.
When you have been really bored have you and your friends ever sat around and talked about, of any Disney character ever made, which one would you be? No…? Just me and my weird friends? This was a thing my friends and I would do, as adults mind, and if you are thinking “this chick seems like the epitome of cool” then you’d be right. I bring this up because as the friends we would assign the characters to each other, the ones we thought fit best. It could be any Disney character, whether princess, role player or some of the non-animated ones. Though this is a silly thing, we did try and make an accurate comparison to the person with a Disney character. And whom did my loving friends assign to me? Maleficent. My friends are gems aren’t they? So when this live action film came out, I had to go see it.
The critics aren’t loving this film but the audiences are and I can see why.
A few professional critics said that the movie was only “o.k.” because there wasn’t much to the film other than Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. …seriously? The movie is called Maleficent, it is HER story this time, not anyone else’s, so yeah, there isn’t going to be a ton of story other than Angelina Jolie as Maleficent.
For my part, I am not a big Angelina fan, but in this movie I thought she was the perfect fit. Not only is she an eerily striking visual match, but I was very impressed by her acting in this film. I think it would have been very easy to mess up this type of character by being a touch too dramatic with it, but Jolie did not fall into that mistake. As I said, since the movie is 95% Maleficent, if Jolie had been the least bit weak in this role, the movie would have failed.
Maleficent is one of the most remarkable spectacles of the CGI age, and one of the few recent 3-D movies where it’s probably worth paying extra for those damn glasses. There is definitely a quality of too-much-ness about Maleficent. Like eating all your Halloween candy in one go. But at least it’s delicious candy. But by far the biggest and most effective special effect in Maleficent is the queenly and sarcastic Angelina Jolie in the title role, as a betrayed and vengeful fairy princess who will wow tween girls by the zillions. The regal posture, the internalized pain and the injured pride all spoken through the now necessary villainous British accent – are all Jolie.
I can see why a lot of journalist don’t love it, it is somewhat of a stylized mishmash resembling many of the numerous fantasy movies, television shows or plays that have come out in the last 15 years. But Disney’s target audience is not these middle aged men. But truth be told, this movie is just a ton of fun and a lot of the brothers, boyfriends and dads who claim they don’t want to come along will enjoy it a lot too.
When it comes to me and Lego’s there are two things I could do with them when I was a kid. 1. Build a bunch of tiny little houses (because that is all I had the creativity and ability to build). 2. I would set all the little homes I made spaced around the living room… then trample through them, throwing Lego’s and screeching in my best Godzilla/ giant monster- impression.
With that said, when I heard about the Lego movie I scoffed and thought the premise sounded absolutely ridiculous and put it out of my mind as a stupid child movie on par with “Barbie’s Great Adventure.” Eventually I saw a preview for this movie and thought that possibly it might not be a bust after all, there seemed to be a few funny moments and a lot of famous names, but again, I quickly forgot about it. As soon as the movie came out however, I couldn’t get people to shut up about it so I went last week with family to see why everyone is loosing their shit about it.
The Lego Movie–
In regards to this movie, I have a little bit of mixed feelings about it. Everyone was just raving about the film so I went into the theater with very high expectations. The Lego Movie is about a very structured society, who go about their business as they are told to do, but there are a small group of Lego resistors who are trying to stop the president from freezing the world as they know it.
This movie is fairly clever and funny with lots of humor at every turn. The humor in this movie is for the adults, they are jokes that, for the most part, kids will not understand- so the humor is for the adults, the animation and silliness is for the kids. My only commentary on the humor is that, at times, it almost felt a little forced- like they were trying a little too hard to make it super funny. The animation in this movie is very impressive, everything is animated Lego’s, so when a character jumps in the ocean, little blue Lego’s come flying up, like the back-splash. As impressed as I was with this, because it is fairly amazing, it made me a little bit headache-y from time to time. Because it is animated, and the Lego’s move so fast, the fast dashing colors gave me an acid-trip headache. Overall, however, this movie is cute, funny and had a decently unexpected surprise ending that gave the film more depth than I expected.
The Academy Awards-
“The Big Show” also known as the Oscars took place last night in Hollywood California. If you missed them than you missed out on one of the best Oscar shows that has taken place in years. I might be biased because I do love the silliness of Ellen, but that lady can host one hell of a funny show! She had a great mix of scripted, improvisation and down right ridiculous.
During the show she tweeted out a selfie of herself and some of the biggest celebrities in the world resulting in the temporary breakdown of Twitter, she had pizza ordered and delivered to the theater having Brad Pitt pass out plates while she handed out pizza and she dressed up as Galinda the good witch from Wizard of Oz. — A quick recap of the winners. The Great Gatsby won the costume and set design awards. Gravity won all of the other technical, visual and cinematography awards. 12 Years A Slave won for best supporting actress- Lupita Nyong’o and Best Picture. Dallas Buyers Club won for best supporting actor- Jared Leto and best actor- Matthew McConaughey. Cate Blanchett won best actress for Blue Jasmine.
Saving Mr. Banks: –
This movie tells two stories simultaneously about events that occurred in Pamela Travers’ life. The first, as is shown in the movie trailers, is about Walt Disney’s attempt to convince Mrs. Travers to sign over the movie rights to him, while the other, unanticipated story-line, is about a young Pamela Travers’ and her trials as a young child that inspired her novel “Mary Poppins.”
The story of the young Pamela is far more important than the story with Disney. “IMPOSSIBLE” you say, “the story with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson has to be the more important story. Those are big name actors and they always produce a top notch performance.” If this is what you are thinking, then you would be right, of course. But we know already that she does eventually sign over the rights to Walt Disney to make the movie, what we don’t know is why she was so difficult about every single specific detail. This is the story that Emma Thompsons’ (Pamela Travers’) flashbacks to when she was a little girl tells the audience. Mary Poppins was a real person, yes, we see this from the preview. But the story “Mary Poppins” isn’t about what the real life Mary Poppins did, it is what she promised young Pamela she would do, and failed. Therefore the story that Mrs. Travers writes is an (albeit fantasized version) of how she wished things could have happened.
This movie is far more substantive than the audience is led to believe initially. The film is very funny, charming, clever, with plenty of snark and at moments hits close to home about the realities in every fairy story. Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Ferrell, Paul Giamatti and the little girl that plays young Pamlea Travers (Annie Buckley) reminds us yet again what great actors like them can do. In delivering pitch perfect characters, they make us forget that what we are watching, isn’t actually real (and Annie Buckley reminds us that not all child actors suck these days). If you have a moment, I would definitely recommend this movie! It is worth your time.
—- Side note: If you wait into the credits at the end of the movie they will show the actual pictures of these people, which is kinda cool. Also they will play a legit recording of Pamela Travers listing her demands for the film. (The recording comes after the old photographs.)
I drank so much caffeine today in my preparation for the midnight premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, that it is now 4:40 in the morning after the movie and I am still wired. So I figured that while I am still up and have the movie fresh in my mind, I might as well write about it.
I would like to take a second to voice a quick warning. These movies are based on a very short book, meant for children, written by J.R.R Tolkien as somewhat of a prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Because of the brevity of the actual book, Peter Jackson has added material into these movies that are not found in the book itself, The Hobbit. So if you are a Hobbit purist, brace yourself.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:
As most of you know this movie is part 2 of a three part movie series which covers (the very short book) The Hobbit. The first movie ended with the company of dwarves, a hobbit and a wizard getting near their end destination which is the Lonely Mountain where King Thorin hopes to take back his homeland from the dragon Smaug. It is at this point that the film picks up to start part 2. The movie begins fast, and keeps that same quick storytelling pace, pretty much, throughout the entire thing.
The Second installment of Peter Jackson’s the Hobbit is long, over 2 1/2 hours, so if you are going to go see this movie, make sure you carve out the proper half day needed to do it. Though, as I mentioned earlier, there are changes in the movie, even the seemingly sacrilegious addition of the elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom) – a character from “The Lord of the Rings” – feels sinfully good. So does the outright invention of a female elf character named Tauriel. Though some may be upset with these additions, they certainly do not hurt and are actually pretty damn cool in the movie. I appreciate the She-Elf character addition by Peter Jackson, as a strong female character in this story was badly needed. Someone needed to break up this sausage fest a little!
This movie starts right off the bat with a pulse-pounding — and yes, always photogenic — chase scene. Mere seconds in, we watch a pack of bloodthirsty orcs pursue our hobbit hero and his dwarf companions over the Misty Mountains — where, as you will recall, we last left them. After that rousing curtain-raiser, the movie follows the protagonists through a number of obstacles standing between them and their assault on the Lonely Mountain, the dwarves’ ancestral home. First, the company must pass through the enchanted forest of Mirkwood, where they tussle with giant CGI spiders. Next, they’re imprisoned in the stronghold of the woodland elves before reaching the Lonely Mountain containing a surprisingly intelligent dragon. (Who know dragons were smart?) The voice (performed by Benedict Cumberbatch) and appearance of Smaug is very impressive. He looks and sounds pretty damn creepy, they did a great job on the dragon. Everyone prepare yourselves through, this movie ends on a MASSIVE cliffhanger.
SO WHAT?! — This film is far and away better than the first one, it is action packed, a little creepy at times, but also containing plenty of humor. The visual effects of this movie were very impressive and the actors in the film did an amazing job! If you like action movies (and you have seen the first installment of this series) I would definitely recommend this film as a must see!!
This time of year is not only glorious because of the many fantastic holidays that happen right in a row, but also because of all the big movies that start coming out all at once. As I posted earlier, around a week ago, I went and saw Catching Fire (one of these aforementioned big films), but the very next day I was blackmailed, and emotionally manipulated, into going to go see Frozen (I have the greatest friends). Now you might be thinking to yourself “self, why is she so against going to see this delightful children’s movie?” My response to that inquiry would be that I have nothing against Disney movies, but that I have not been overly impressed by them lately. I think they serve their purpose to entertain children, and give enough story so that the parents taking them don’t gouge their own eyes out when they have to watch that same movie 30 times, but as a non-parent, single, young adult I saw no merit in spending my few remaining cents on such a film. But, as I said earlier, my friends know how to make me do the things they want, and I went to see this movie.
Frozen is the story of two young princesses. One has the power to create snow and ice, but she has yet to learn how to control her ability. At a young age she accidentally harmed her sister and after that her parents put her (a scared 8-ish year old girl) on lock-down, she wasn’t even allowed to play with her little sister anymore. Parenting at its finest, scare the shit out of an 8 year old, well done! Her parents die, she is crowned queen, but has a freak out and runs away. Her younger sister follows her in an attempt to calm her down, bring her back to the castle, and end the winter storm that she created, which froze the entire kingdom.
This film is still a typical Disney movie, it is light and fun for kids with the good guy winning in the end and the evil villain being vanquished. However, it did contain a few surprising elements regarding how these results came to pass, which I quite enjoyed. This film blatantly broke a few traditional Disney stereotypes and outright made fun of them in the process, which took me by surprise, and was accomplished in a clever and funny fashion. Also, Frozen was actually pretty funny all the way through, keeping all its funny moments and best scenes out of the movie trailer so that it would be a surprise for the audience. Overall Frozen is still your stereotypical Disney movie. Any audience member is going to know what they are in for, but I was pleasantly surprised with the humor of it, and the slight changes to the typical formula.
So I figured I would be a negligent entertainment blogger if I did not cover the huge releases, which at the moment is the new “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” movie. My history with these movies/ books is important to detail as it carries some weight with how I review the movie. I read the first book and watched the first movie around two years ago. I thought they were both pretty entertaining, but I was not freaking out about them. So in fact, I think I am fairly qualified to review this movie without having a bias either way.
I went to go see this film last night, having not read the second book, so I was completely unaware of how the story would unfold.
To not ruin anything for those who have not seen it I will give a brief (non-spoiler) assessment of the basic plot. Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Katniss, has survived the games and has returned home to district 12 where she and Peeta have moved into nice housing set aside for the victors and their families. They are about to embark on a victory tour of all the districts and are told that a rebellion has begun that was inspired by Katniss and if she wants to not be killed by the Capital, then she will play the doting girlfriend of Peeta, and stick to the script written for her, while they are touring the different districts. The president of the Capital cannot stop the rebellion so he decides to kill off as many of the “Hunger Games” victors as he can in an “acceptable” way. He decides that for the upcoming “Hunger Games” the competitors will be chosen within each district from the previous victors. In this way he can try and assure Katniss’ demise and squash the symbol and hope of the rebellion. So Katniss and Peeta again are chosen and sent to the Capital to participate in the 75 “Hunger Games.” What ensues is mayhem and a few surprises.
– So What?
This movie has a pretty good balance of action and dialogue. Catching Fire is better balanced than the first film and has more of a story line, rather than mostly just senseless violence. I also thought this movie did a better job at not rushing the storyline. Though things did move quickly and there was not a boring moment, it did not feel like it was at such a break-neck speed as the first film. I appreciated the somewhat slower pace as it allowed me to actually understand and pick up everything that was going on. Another improvement on this film is the acting of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. I thought they did a fine job in the first film, but they really stepped up their game, and showed off their matured ability, in the second. Overall, in the end, I thought it was a well done film that I was entertained by. There was enough humor to keep moments light, enough dialogue to keep me paying attention, and enough action to keep me entertained.
The only thing that people need to remember is that if you haven’t read the first book, or seen the first movie, do not go and see this one! I know this seems like common knowledge but I have already talked to people who saw the second one without seeing the first. Morons. In this second movie, they do not waste any time doing a recap of the previous film, so don’t see it if you haven’t seen or read the first, do that before seeing the second. This is not a stand alone movie. Also, a heads-up to all the viewers out there, expect a cliffhanger ending.