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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Friday, January 18, 2013

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - (2011)


Harry, Ron and Hermione hunt for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord.

Our Review:

I've followed each of these films from beginning to end, read the books and listened to the audio books. You can say I'm a Harry Potter nerd or an enormous fan of the Harry Potter books? Well they are all pretty good with all the magic and what not

When I first heard these films were coming out I was certain they would suck. However I was proven wrong. Just as with the rest The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 blew me and my expectations away.

David Yates sure-foot direction has carried these young actors in the last 4 films and they have grown into expert actors who become their characters with a natural ease with no overacting. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter carried more of this movie than any other and has done so brilliantly!

The whole film all the way through looked spectacular! The cinematography very well done, the art direction was unbelievable. The film was stunning to look at, the visuals just like the other movies were spectacular. The set designers did an amazing job as well.

The cast of the film were top notch. Emma Watson, as usual is and stunning. Rupert Grint is just as comical. Daniel Radcliffe did an incredible job and was terribly unforgettable as Harry Potter. Ralph Fiennes as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, star of the film, was incredibly evil as could be.

We all grew up overtime with the series, Its going to be weird that there'll be no additional Harry Potter films to look forward too. i will miss the franchise terribly much! but i'm happy the series had that tremendous ending. The Deathly Hallows: part II isn't the simplest film within the series, however it'll in all probability be one of the best films of 2011. Everybody ought to see this film, even if they do not like past Harry Potter films.

Our Rating:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 DVD:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Blu-Ray:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Blu-Ray

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sinister - (2012)


A true-crime writer finds a cache of 8mm "snuff" films that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose career dates back to the 1960s.

Our Review:

I went to see this movie with my sister, her boyfriend and my wife. I must say I had a good laugh watching them jump every few minutes. I also enjoyed the part where my sisters boyfriend said he couldn't sleep. Anyway, This original paranormal movie was directed and scripted by Scott Derrickson ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose," 2008's "The Day the Earth Stood Still")

Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a true crime author anxiously awaiting his next blockbuster book. His wife Tracy played by Juliet Rylance and children Ashley and Trevor are tired of constantly jumping from town to town. Oswalt is more interested in planting temporary roots close to the subjects of his  novels. As the film opens, the Oswalts are moving into yet another new house, but Ellison swears this is the last time, and informs his family of his intentions.

While unpacking, Ellison discovers a box of the previous owner's old home movies in the attic. Thus begins the sinister odyssey into the unknown. Please note that this is not one of those "just another found footage film." In reversing the role of viewer and protagonist, to some extent, it's Hawke's character who discovers the reels while we see his story played out on screen. We don't spend two hours watching shaky 8MM footage. They are integral to the narrative but aren't the sum of its parts.

If i'm not mistaken this is Ethan Hawkes first performance in this type of genre and I'll say it was brilliant. As for visual effects, they were on point to say the least. I guess going into the movie I didn't really know what to expect since it has been a long while since I've seen a good scary movie. I will say that it was worth the watch and won't severely disappoint you especially if you like these types of movies.

Our Rating:

Sinister DVD:
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Resident Evil: Retribution - (2012)


Alice fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead.

Our Review:

I did a sort of double take when I did hear this was coming out and I said to myself... Oh boy another one. ^_^ So without a doubt the first resident evil movie was pretty good. But I have to question what was going on when they decided to keep on making these movies. They have gotten progressively worse. Not sure if this movie is only for the gamers out there, but I really can't see anyone else caring to sit through it.I have been stringing along with them, but this is the end of the line for me.

This movie was a total waste of time and money. There isn't any sort of plot just some situation that Alice has to fight her way out of. The stunt work is your general run of the mill stuff. Most of the action is just ridiculous...bad guys that don't die, guns that don't run out of ammo... It just takes all of the fun out of a movie when there is absolutely no sense of danger to the heroes. 

The characters seemed as if they were interchangeably good or evil at the whim of the scriptwriter. The actors are so wooden, and look so plastic that I honestly couldn't tell if they were CGI creations or actual human beings.

Our Rating:

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Marvel's The Avengers - (2012)


Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.

Our Review:

I've gotta say I was actually pretty hyped and excited to see this movie. Funny part was my wife had to remind me to go see it the day it came out. Anyway on to the review.

The work put into this movie was just amazing, it was all I hoped for and a little more. It had just the right amount of everything I wanted to see in there. My favorites had to be all the one-liners and conflicts between the team members. It's not your typical "ZOMG team superduper that bands together to fight evil"

In the beginning most of them didn't even like each other. That I find great because so many of these characters are larger than life. They have egos and the big guns aren't used to working with other people or even playing by the rules. Tony, Thor and Banner all work "the other side of the fence" so to speak. Then there's the Widow, Hawkeye and Captain America who are used to following orders and playing within a command structure. They are all thrown together in a wonderful and, best of all, believable fashion. 

The entire cast really delivered. You needed more than just action actors or stunt doubles to play all these parts. The pathos is there but so are the timing and true deep performances. Three was the lucky number for movie Banners. Every other actor in Avengers that we've seen before is BETTER than their previous incarnation (EVERY single one) with the possible exception of RDJ as Stark. He's great but it's hard to top his take on the character from the original Iron Man in an ensemble movie. I think now is a good time to say that I'm insanely attracted to Scarlett Johansson. The character arcs that run there course during this film will surprise a lot of general audiences expecting nothing more than a Transformers type popcorn scarfdown.

Experience the awesomeness for yourself and get the DVD, Blu-ray or digital copy or all three! Avengers as a movie and as a team on screen is an unstoppable force. All I can say is Iron Man, The Hulk, Hawk Eye, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America  and Nick Fury all on one screen??!?!?!? This movie defines MUST SEE!!

Our Rating:

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The Dark Knight Rises - (2012)


Bane, a brutally ruthless terrorist leader, executes a sinister plan to tear apart Gotham and Batman's legacy piece by piece. Physically and spiritually pushed to the edge, Bruce Wayne must rediscover himself to 'Rise' and save his city.

Our Review:

So yes the little kid in me is why I love these super hero movies... I originally had very high expectations for "Batman Begins" and of course was not let down. "The Dark Knight Rises" blew me away. What a film!

The talented cast... Christian Bale makes his return as the great Batman. Michael Cain gives a powerful performance, can somebody nominate this guy for an Oscar?  Anne Hathaway as Cat-woman steals the show for me... The actors /actresses are just great, the dynamic dialogue between the actors are so well done, and very well written. The Dark Knight Rises is riveting.

The run time was about 3 hours, during which time the film does not bore you at all. The movie's action sequences were executed flawlessly and did not disappoint. The dialogue between the character's are intelligent and highly believable. The movie's soundtrack is terrific and really exemplify's many of the movie's scenes. Extremely well editing and sound use really develop many of the movie's action scenes, so it's not just explosions and visuals like in many other movies. Nolan again creates a grand, dirty, engrossing world, and his action sequences just run like a well oiled machine.

This film is a reminder to us all that great writing and direction can enhance any movie-going experience, even superhero movies, which are usually thought of as mindless entertainment. I am wholly satisfied with Christopher Nolan's vision and thank all who worked on this film for bringing such an intricate interpretation of its very famous literary source. An absolute must see! With that all said...

Our Rating:

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