Friday, January 25, 2013

Cars 2 - (2011)

Superstar race car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater head overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix race. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.

Our Review:

I have to say I was actually disappointed with the second film in this series. It was a decent film but I did not get the same feeling I got when I watched the first one or other Pixar films. It felt as if Cars 2 had very little character development. Most of it lies with Mater whom is too much of a simple character. Everything about him is on the surface for all to see. He's the same character in movie one and the same in movie two. He is however a terrific side character, just lacking complexity for a full story.

The whole spies and cars thing seems to go well together, this brings a bit of Bond to mind. My favorite was the opening scene on the drilling platform with the fast chase and cool gadgets.

While the first Cars movie paraded and embraced its side characters, this movie almost abandons them. The movie had its silly moments and I did catch myself laughing from time to time but that was about it. I did notice there was quite a bit of cartoonish violence in this movie versus the first one. This also caught me off guard, part of me is wondering what the moms and dads thought about this one. Feel free to weigh in on this one in the comments section if you're a parent.

Our Rating:

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mama - (2013)


Mama starts off as your average horror story. It is produced by Guillermo del Toro, whom I am a big fan of. The trailer was what originally got me interested in that it was a pretty good one, so I came into this with some pretty high expectations. I won't say that I was completely dissapointed but... Eh.

There are substantial stunning visuals and the film does deliver quite a few scares. Its one of those few horror movies that you can actually enjoy as there is a good balance of jumps and suspense. The weird figure that moves at unnatural speed is creepy but fresh in the sense that its different and creates that supernatural stage. It works.

Remember this is a film that was originally born and stretched out from a short movie. Many of the extra additions work well with the existing bits of film, and there are some that didn't really work well, Maybe you won't notice it? I think that a few of the flashbacks didn't make much sense at all coupled with the inconsistencies.

I guess the challenge of building on the original ideas of the movie and changing into a full length feature distorts and detracts from the story line and visuals of the movie. 

In the end I would say wait for the streaming version instead of heading to the theaters to watch this. I shant spoil the ending for you!

Our Review:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

So you took a class you say?

Taking a break from the usual today, found this today and thought it was funny.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - (2013)


A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on an "unexpected journey" to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug.

Our Review:

Waited for this for quite sometime. I truly enjoyed watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and there were no doubts in my mind at the time about the quality and entertainment value of The Hobbit.

The tone and feel of the Hobbit appears much brighter than the trilogy. The scenery is, of course, gorgeous. The acting is light-weight, fun, frolicky all while managing to remain faithful to the original story. Even nearing its exhausting two and a half hours, I was hoping the credits would not roll. It is a fascinating, exhilarating, and humorous  ride from start to end. Sure as hell not the same film as Lord of the Rings, however still epic in its title.

The acting was pitch-perfect, particularly from Martin freeman as Bilbo and Richard Armitage as Thorin. The battles were exciting and fast- paced. To my own surprise and relief, the 3D and 48fps played out quite nicely and failed to take away from the footage.

Bilbo's riddle battle with Gollum was presumably the most delightfully intense scene within the film. Now, please bear in mind that, just like the Lord of the Rings movies, this is simply the first of three films. the complete hobbit story is not told, Which means we spend more time in certain areas than we would have if the book had been filmed in one shot.

This one is worth checking out in the theater, you can always stream it if you prefer that route.

Our Rating:

Fast Five - (2011)


Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew of street racers plan a massive heist to secure their freedom while caught in between a Brazilian drug lord and a dangerous federal agent.

Our Review:

This is another one of those movies that I came into not knowing what to expect. Deep deep deep down inside I wanted something fresh and something that would hold my attention. The Fast and The Furious series  has always been known for its high octane race scenes and tricked out tuner cars. The first film had the perfect mix of drama, action and race scenes, appealing to street racing fans everywhere. It was also the film that boldly went where none have.

Unfortunately the sequels that followed failed to deliver that perfect mix we originally saw within the first movie. No more adrenaline rush, just  poor writing and acting all around. With all that said, Fast Five rocked the joint.

After making a U-Turn with Tokyo Drift, and botching Fast & Furious, director Justin Lin has re-ignited the franchise with exciting set pieces some well placed humor. He struggles a bit to effectively handle intelligent dialogue but shines when shooting the various fast-paced action scenes. We can see this during the heist of luxury cars aboard a train, during a chase along roof tops and hand to hand melee between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Vin Diesel himself.

Dwayne Johnson arguably had the toughest role, making Toretto look like an absolute sissy, no easy feat if you ask me. Fast Five side steps much of the street racing action we're used to. The film picks up where it last left off, where Dom is busted out of the prison bus and they take off for Rio. Now we also get to backtrack just a bit and see some familiar faces. Our friends Vince, Roman, Tej from 2 Fast 2 Furious, Han and Gisele all make their return. Don't worry,  there are subplots which build on earlier story lines to help us along.

Morgan does a good job of not wasting any time, keeping serious moments to a minimum while keeping action front and center. Fast Five is bigger, louder, and more exciting than any of predecessors. Yes this is still a F&F film and yes  the script has its laughable moments.

If your a fan, you will without a doubt enjoy the film. Morgan's decent script coupled with Lin's firm grasp on the action and the familiar cast make this latest addition to the franchise a winner.

Our Rating:

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