Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 12/24/13

Insidious 2: Merry Christmas Eve everyone. Here is a horror film to get you in the mood. This is the lone film being released today. Skip it and enjoy your family.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 12/17/13

Well, it finally happened. I promised myself I wouldn't get so far behind that I would have films I saw in the theater unreviewed by the time they came out on DVD. But, I could just not find the time to review a couple of them and both are coming out today. I will just have to do them in the near future.

Elysium: This was the first film I have yet to review. I will just say I liked it and to look for the review in the near future.

Lone Ranger: You know what? I am actually looking forward to seeing this. There is absolutely no way it is as bad as people are saying. The lemmings of the world jump right in and follow what everyone else is saying. Looking forward to getting my own thoughts on it.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters: Haven't checked out the first one yet, but I will check it out eventually. So, this one will be watched eventually as well.

Prisoners: This looks like one of those films where you need to watch it and it's good - but have trouble watching it multiple times. It looks so depressing - but it looks like it can be pretty darn good as well.

The Family: Really only want to check this out because Quinn from Glee is in it. Hopefully there are a few laughs in it.

One Direction: This is Us: I really like Morgn Spurlock as a documentary directory - and I have really gotten into his show on CNN. But, this is still One Direction - a band for teenage girls. So, yeah not really looking into this one.

Kick Ass 2: This was my second theater movie I have yet to review. Again, let's just say I enjoyed it - and again check back for the full review in the near future.

Ghost Team One: Two guys are both in love with the same girl and try to trick her into thinking their house is haunted - but as they begin filming they soon find out that it just may actually be haunted. Probably not on my rush out and see list.

Force of Execution: Ving Rhames. Danny Trejo. Steven Seagal. Sounds like a great early '90s flick. But, it's actually from 2013.

Ain't Them Bodies Saints: An outlaw escapes from prison and sets out to find his wife and the child he never met. It's probably great, but doesn't appear to be something I am interested in.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Theater Review: Frozen

What is that in the rearview mirror? Well, it just might be sister company Pixar.

Disney - and I mean original Disney - just might finally be back.

Starting with 2010's Tangled (though Princess & the Frog was actually pretty good) Disney has made an upward climb back into the limelight - and might even caught up to (or surpassed) animation giant Pixar.

Though Tangled had no chance of taking out Toy Story 3 in the Academy Awards, I felt last year that Wreck-It Ralph was far superior to Pixar's Brave that took home the trophy.

Well, I honestly can't see that happening again. As great as Monsters University was - there is no way they can pass up Disney's Frozen.

Frozen follows a pair of princess sisters, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell), who are inseparable in their younger years. Elsa, though, has a bit of a mutation? She has the power to create snow and ice.

Once while playing with her power, she accidentally hit her sister and her parents realize that it is becoming too powerful. So, they get Anna's memory of her sister's power erased and hide Elsa in the castle - keeping out all visitors.

As time passes, Anna becomes more and more crazy because of her cabin fever and her inability to play with her best friend and sister, who stays hidden in her room as much as possible - and wears gloves to keep her powers at bay.

But, when she reaches a certain age - she must take over the thrown as the queen. And, the castle is opened and people come in to see her coronation, including Prince Hans (Santino Fontana). Due to what can only be her cabin fever issue - Anna falls madly in love with Hans in just a few hours and they agree to marry.

This news, however, sets Elsa off and her ability is revealed to the entire castle. So, she flees and leaves the entire kingdom in a state of winter.

Anna now must rescue her sister and get her to reverse the spell that is cast over the kingdom. Along her journey she meets an ice salesman named Kristoff (Jonathan Goff), his reindeer Sven and a snowman made by her sister named Olaf (Josh Gad).

I really cannot wait to go see this movie again. I absolutely loved Wreck-It Ralph last year and I might even enjoy Frozen even more. It was breathtaking.

It looked amazing, had a great voice cast, great humor and the story was amazing. It pretty much had everything a Disney movie used to have. Including unbelievable music.

Do yourself a favor and go see this - probably a few times. It is that good. I loved it.

And this song pretty much has the Oscar wrapped up as well. This version gave me goosebumps in the theater. Very powerful.

My grade for now is this, but I feel it might be bumped up with another viewing. I just can't bring myself to give a top grade after one viewing.


Tuesday's With Movies: 12/10/13

Despicable Me 2: Wasn't really expecting to check this out in the theater, but was able to head out with my son to check it out. My review is here. Again, the Minions make the film - which is definitely why they will eventually have their own film.

Fast & Furious 6: This was one of the lone films on my Top 10 list this summer that I unfortunately wasn't able to see in the theater - but my wife was able to and I am jealous. We recently had a marathon of the first five films, and I cannot wait to see this one. The release date of this film is so strange with Paul Walker's death just about a week ago.

Battle of the Year: Yet another dance movie - this one starring Lost's Josh Holloway. Didn't get great reviews, and I try to avoid these type of movies.

Ultimate Life: A millionaire reexamines is life once he finds hie grandfathers diary. I honestly have no clue what this movie is really about, nor have I ever heard of it.

Hunt: A teacher is struggling over his son's custody. Yet another film I have really no idea about.

Adore: Well, this is a bit odd - 'Mother Lover' anyone? A pair of lifelong friends fall in love with each other's sons.

Man of Tai Chi: Wow, Keanu Reeves has apparently moved to China. Here he stars in what looks to be the Chinese version of Fight Club.

Touchy Feely: A massage therapist suddenly comes down with an aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile her brother apparently gets a healing touch. These movies really look good to me, unfortunately I have yet to watch any of them. But, I think I will at some point.

Sightseers: A guy takes his girlfriend out to see the world, but of course nothing goes as planned.

Some Girls: Before he gets married, a man takes a trip across the country to visit he ex-girlfriends and make amends for some of the problems in their relationship.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 12/3/13

Wolverine: I have heard so many mixed reviews on this, but I don't understand them. I thought this was a great movie - granted I didn't hate the Origins film, but this was still heads and shoulders above that one. Perhaps the reason was because of the great teaser at the end - which just got so many people excited for the next film. Either way, here is my review - I will definitely be watching this one again.

Smurfs 2: I was surprised by the first film, but I still have yet to watch it for a second time. That is usually the barometer for me if I really like a movie. But, I still have a seven-year old in the house, so I will be watching this. Hopefully it's at least as good as the first.

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: I have to be honest, I have no idea what this is. Apparently some people in my family have been reading this book series and it is supposed to be the new Twilight or Harry Potter. I can't, however, believe they will be as big as those two franchises because the first film is about to be on DVD and I have heard pretty much nothing about it.

Drinking Buddies: This looks absolutely amazing and it has four amazing actors in it - including my girl Anna Kendrick. Definitely will be watching this as soon as I can.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane: Well, on imdb it says this movie was made in 2006 - that cannot be a good sign about how good this film is. Either way, looks like a Scream-like film where a ton of classmates begin to drop like flies - and someone needs to figure out who is doing it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/26/13

Red 2: I remember, vaguely, that I sort of liked the first film in this franchise. I can really only remember bits and pieces, which I am not sure bodes well for the overall quality. But, I will definitely check this out at some point.

Jobs: Heard horrible things about this. Still, Steve Jobs was one of the most brilliant innovators in recent times and I look forward to seeing this. There was a tv movie awhile back called Pirates of Silicon Valley and I absolutely loved it. Hopefully this can be a bit like that.

Getaway: Selena Gomez is apparently trying to void her Disney image, much like every other Disney child star. She follows up her Spring Breakers performance with this one starring Ethan Hawk. Not expecting much, but its 90 minutes so I will try it out.

Grandmaster: Story about the man who trained Bruce Lee. It takes a lot to get me to watch foreign films, and this is not one of them.

Canyons: Watch this if you want to see Lindsey Lohan in the nude. Or, spare yourself and use your internet connection. I will be doing neither. Staying away.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Quick Shots 26

Title: Lincoln.

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Tommy Lee Jones, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris.

Brief Synopsis: Abraham Lincoln (Day-Lewis), during the Civil War, tries to push the Emancipation Proclamation through to free the slaves before the end of the war. He feared that it would be tossed out if the war had ended before its approval. 

Opinion: These biopics are always done pretty well, but with Day-Lewis in as Lincoln - he transforms into our 16th president. But, as good as he was in the role, the secondary characters were just as good. To me, Tommy Lee Jones and James Spader particularly stood out in a film with tons of well-known, great actors.


Title: Identity Thief.

Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, T.I., Gensis Rodriguez, John Cho, Morris Chestnut, Eric Stonestreet.

Brief Synopsis: Sandy Patterson (Bateman) becomes a victim of when someone steals his identity. A woman (McCarthy) takes his identity and soon Patterson is wanted in Florida for missing a court date and also apparently is wanted for buying drugs. Detective Reilly (Chestnut) obviously believes Patterson and gives him the opportunity to track down the thief to clear his name. 

Opinion: This wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I guess I don't really understand the fascination with McCarthy. She is ok, but I didn't fall in love with her in Bridesmaids. In fact, I recently came to the fruition that she is my least favorite part of her show, Mike & Molly. But, I like Bateman and McCarthy does have some comedy in her bones - and I actually did have some good laughs in this film. Much more than I thought I was going to.


Title: Pain & Gain.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong, Michael Rispoli.

Brief Synopsis: Daniel Lugo (Wahlberg) is a personal trainer and is hired by Sun Gym's John Mese (Corddry) to drum up more business - which he is able to do. Inspired by a motivational speaker, Johnny Wu (Jeong), Lugo recruits Adrian Doorbal (Mackie) and Paul Doyle (Johnson) to kidnap and ripoff Victor Kershaw (Shalhoub). 

Opinion: This has to be one of the craziest films I have seen in a really long time. And, it somehow worked - a little. I still can't believe how crazy and dumb these characters are. But, even though the characters didn't mean it, their stupidity made the film pretty darn funny - so outrageous it happened to make me laugh.


Title: 42.

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, Lucas Black, Alan Tudk, T.R. Knight, John C. McGinley.

Brief Synopsis: Yet another biopic, this one on the first African-American Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson (Boseman). Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey (Ford) tries to break the color barrier in professional baseball by bringing Robinson on the team. The film follows everything that Robinson went through during that time - all of the racial bigotry he faced from fans, opponents and even his teammates. 

Opinion: I have heard some people didn't really enjoy this - but I really liked it. Most people, even non-sports fans, know the story of Robinson. But, even I didn't know everything that he had to go through. And, seeing this made me respect him even more.


Title: This is the End.

Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Emma Watson.

Brief Synopsis: Jay (Baruchel) arrives in LA to visit his friend Seth (Rogen). Baruchel is not really comfortable with a lot of Rogen's new friends, but begrudgingly accepts an invite to go to a housewarming party for James (Franco). While at the party, the end of the world occurs and most of the world is killed. However, Jay, Seth, James, Jonah (Hill), Danny (McBride) and Craig (Robinson) mange to stay alive and hold up in James' house hoping to ride out the apocalypse. 

Opinion: This was one of the 10 films I wanted to check out in the theater this summer, but it was one of only two (I believe) that I wasn't able to get out to see. That being said, I think the hype on this one ended up ruining the first watch for me - which means I definitely need to look in on it again. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it and thought it was very funny - but I thought it was going to be even funnier due to the response it was getting from everyone.


Title: Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Melanie Lynskey, Nina Dobrev.

Brief Synopsis: Charlie (Lerman) has some issues and he is starting his freshman year of high school. On his first day of school the only friend he makes is his English teacher, Mr. Anderson (Rudd), due to his love of books. Soon, though, he befriends two seniors at a football game, Sam (Watson) and Patrick (Miller). The rest of the film is really the three of them fitting in at high school, with their friends and those that are not their friends. We also get a lot more of Charlie's back story - one thing we know is he lost his best friend to suicide the year before - and we see flashbacks of the death of his Aunt Helen (Lynskey) when he was just seven years old, which has effected the way Charlie has grown up. 

Opinion: Honestly, I think Watson is going to be one of the greatest actresses of our generation when all is said and done. It's strange to say the young Harry Potter actress could do that seeing we have seen her grow up from such a young girl. So, I went into this really because of her. But, the entire film was outstanding. I really enjoyed it, and I thought Miller was also a great actor.


Title: Drive.

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks, Oscar Isaac.

Brief Synopsis: Driver (Gosling) gets odd jobs as a getaway driver for criminals, while also being a part-time stuntman and mechanic at Shannon's (Cranston) garage. Driver is, well, an outstanding driver - he gives the criminals a small window of time, and wants nothing to know about the actual crime. He just drives. Knowing how great he is as a driver, Shannon persuades mobster Bernie (Brooks) and Nino (Perlman) into purchasing a stock car for Driver to race. Driver, though, has befriended his neighbor Irene (Mulligan) and her son Benicio while her husband Standard (Isaac) is in jail. After his release, Standard is beat up because he owes money from protection in prison. So, Driver agrees to help him rob a pawn shop - and soon the shit hits the fan. 

Opinion: First off, Hendricks being in this film was almost a complete waste for her - but so cool that she did it. If you've seen it you'll understand. Pretty darn good movie. A lot of great action scenes and the acting is superb.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 11/19/13

We're the Millers: This one looked to be pretty hilarious. Sort of came out of nowhere from me - until I finally saw a trailer a few weeks before its release. Definitely will be watching it.

Planes: Kasey went to see this with his grandmother when I went to see Elysium and the both said it was pretty enjoyable. Will most likely look into it with him.

2 Guns: Wahlberg and Washington - yeah I was always going to look in on this one. Sometimes, just have to wait until its release on DVD.

The World's End: I have not seen any of Simon Pegg's films besides Star Trek, Mission Impossible and Ice Age. But, that is going to be changing. I will check this one out and have since added Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz to my Netflix queue.

Paranoia: Thor's brother stars in this one with Han Solo and Commissioner Gordon. Looked like it might be pretty good - but wasn't exactly popular with the critics. Won't stop me, though, I will check it out.

To Do List: Not sure what it is, but there is definitely something I enjoy about Aubrey Plaza. And, this looks like a pretty raunchy, teenage comedy. Definitely a watch.

Crystal Fairy: Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffman in search of an elusive hallucinogen in the desert. Dob't know a ton about it, but as of now might be a skip for me.

C.O.G.: A man travels to Oregon and works on an apple farm. Yup, staying away from this one.

All is Bright: A guy out on parole wants to make good with his estranged daughter and buy her a piano - so he joins up with an old friend to sell Christmas trees. Probably wouldn't give it a second thought, except it stars Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti. So, I'm curious.

And While We Were Here: A married woman, while on an island, has an affair with a younger woman. Not for me.

Violet & Daisy: Two female friends become teenage assassins. Again, not much, but the stars have me curious. I might check it out.