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Category Archives: movie reviews

reviews of movies

The Iron Giant (quick movie review)

This is one of those movies that everybody loved but nobody went to see in the theater. The Iron Giant is the feature film directorial debut of Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles - both great movies you should see, by the way) based on the book The Iron Man by Ted Hughes. The movie has stunning visuals, fluid animation, tons of laughs, an excellent story… everything is great and I will hear nothing negative about this film. Voice actors include Eli Marienthal (yeah, I don’t know who he is either, although I did sit through Mystery of the Batwoman, which was… OK, I guess…), Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick, Jr., Vin Diesel (who has very little dialogue, but does a fine job at pushing humanity through the voice effects), Christopher McDonald and John Mahoney. The screenplay is witty and tight – I believe this is the sort of movie that actually has something for everyone: heart, comedy, action, drama… you name it.

Stop reading this and go watch The Iron Giant!

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Baffling Movie Trailers: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Mad Max: Fury Road, Tusk

Today on Baffling Movie Trailers: it’s the first teaser for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Kevin Smith’s new jam, Tusk. Let the snarking begin!

So… what does that guy think Katniss is doing there, dressed in a field uniform and armed with weapons? Does he think she’s there to give hair cuts? Maybe teach an archery class? And I guess the final chapter in all series has to be split into two movies now? I thought you were better than that, Hunger Games. Also… I’m kinda thinking there’s not gonna be a Hunger Games in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 so… there’s that.
Read the rest of this entry

Her (movie review)

We finally got around to seeing Best Picture Nominee Her and shockingly enough, I have a lot to say about the flick. The core of Spike Jonze, Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix are favorites of mine, so I’ll do my best to adjust my expectations accordingly. Read the rest of this entry

Superman Unbound (quick movie review)

I can’t help but compare Superman Unbound to its vastly superior counterpart, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. The plot of the two movies are so similar that I feel Superman Unbound doesn’t really need to exist. At the very least, we didn’t need these two movies just three or so years apart. Granted, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse has a lot more going on, but you can’t escape the fact that Superman Unbound follows the recent trend of boring DC Animated Universe movies, including Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox and Justice League: War. Read the rest of this entry

All of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies reviewed!

Well, that which I have been dreading is nearly upon us:  The Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is just days away.  As if you haven’t already guessed, I’m setting my expectations to low (especially after I saw the toys).  Then again, I tried that with Transformers, and look how that turned out.  Anyway, in the interest in getting caught up with all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from a movie standpoint, here are my scores and links to the reviews for all six TMNT movies.

I love the first one.  1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is awesome and I will hear nothing else on the subject.  9 out of 10.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II:  The Secret of the Ooze  is a baffling, disappointing follow-up, but  it’s watchable.  “Go ninja, go ninja, go!”  3 out of 10.

The third one… it’s not bad, but it feels like nobody gave a shiz.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III is bad, but it could be much worse and they ditched the campy tone of the second, which was much appreciated.  5 out of 10.

2007’s TMNT is fine – it starts off strongly but falters.  3.5 out of 10.

I have to admit, I haven’t finished watching Turtles Forever.  For all its bold premise promises, I was shocked at how board I was while watching the flick – I’ll try to give it another chance ASAP.

That’s all for now…  boy, this new movie sure does look like shiz.  Oh well.  It’s got to be better than the Transformers movies… right?

all-teenage-mutant-ninja-turles-movie-posters

Disney subtly suggests that Fur is Murder in 101 Dalmatians

In my lifetime, Disney has been very “be a pirate even though they’re the bad guys” and “sell your soul for a man, little girls!” but in the past, Disney sung songs in my tune.

101 Dalmatians has a super subtle message regarding the fur industry. It’s subtle, right? And it was only 1961, too! Disney was so progressive back then… Now all we get is a rehashing of Hamlet over and over again. Well, probably only the two times, but I’m sure you see my point. Disney isn’t exactly out there tackling income equality, but I suppose they deserve credit for distributing Wall-E.

Gambit (quick movie review)

How the hell did somebody screw up a movie starring Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci and Alan Rickman and featuring a Cohen Brothers screenplay? OK, Cameron Diaz’s atrocious southern accent isn’t helping, but it’s not the reason Gambit is terrible. Seriously, it’s in so bad it’s good/worst movies ever territory – I’m going to have to give it more thought to see if it gets anointed to such status. It’s that bad.

The pacing and story is shockingly loathsome! Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz insanely miscast! It’s a comedy/face that forgets to include actual comedy and farce! The one farcel scene is completely out of place (and suffers from some of the worst timing ever in a movie) in a by the numbers comedy that desperately wants to be an outside of the box/cutting edge caper movie!

This movie couldn’t be more awkward is Gambit from the X-Men made a cameo! These people thought they were making the farce version of Oceans Eleven, which may well be the worst idea for a movie EVER! Even people who think Colin Firth poops platinum will hate this movie.

Its. That. BAD!

Anyway, I didn’t like it and I don’t recommend that anyone else ever watches Gambit ever for the rest of human history.

Dirty Harry (quick movie review)

You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but in case you’re not familiar with Clint Eastwood as San Francisco detective Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry movies… well, the first one is the best of the series, but it’s just a great movie unto itself. The pace is a bit slow, but the directing and camera work keep you engaged and somehow, all these years later the period soundtrack doesn’t stick out. At times, the look can be a bit dark, maybe even hard to see, but you’re so enraptured by this point in the flick, you’ll just peer all the harder at the screen. Dirty Harry is a crime drama classic that everyone should see; it’s one of those movies I watch over again every few years, like reminiscing over the past with an old friend.

Check it out – Dirty Harry is perfection!

Cinema Sins is not film criticism (and I mean that in the nicest possible way)

The Cinema Sins YouTube channel has over two and half million subscribers, of which I myself can be counted as a member. Over the years, I’ve seen people chatting/tweeting/blogging about Cinema Sins (CinemaSins? One word? I have no idea.) and it’s influence on Film Criticism. I’m aware of at least two articles on the topic, both specifically stating that their brand of criticism is ‘the very worst’ and things to that effect. (Here’s one from 2013 and another one from this year.) As a prolific (though incomplete) watcher of these videos, I can tell you for certain that Cinema Sins is not film criticism. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Read the rest of this entry

New Ninja Turtles action figures makes the horror hit home

We’ve all seen the trailer, we’ve all felt sad, but it wasn’t really until I saw the action figures in the store that it felt real to me: Ninja Turtles is probably going to be an awful movie. Just look at what the did to Michelangelo! Just LOOK! They’ve bastardized my beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! He’s got pants and a sweater and… bling?!? I just… I don’t see this working.

Disney’s Tower of Terror (movie review)

Disneys-Tower-of-Terror-movie-reviewI betcha didn’t know there was a Tower of Terror movie based off the Disney’s Hollywood Studios/California Adventure attraction of nearly the same name.  (That’s The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for the uninitiated.)  The attraction itself takes a simple idea and makes it great, but basing a movie off a Disney Attraction has never worked out as far as I can recall.  (I mean artistically, not financially!)    The only thing more shocking than the fact that this movie stars Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst (other than it exists, I guess) is my overall impression of the movie.   Read the rest of this entry

Lone Survivor (movie review)

As you may already be aware, Lone Survivor is an adaptation of Marcus Luttrell’s book regarding his experiences during a SEAL Team operation in Afghanistan. Given this, I don’t have any intent on analyzing the plot because to do so feels disrespectful, but instead, I’ll take a look at how the movie itself functions. Read the rest of this entry

Dracula Untold (movie trailer)

Let’s all let out a collective sigh and watch the Dracula Untold trailer.

Me thinks the movie trailer doth say too much! Read the rest of this entry

Justice League: War (quick movie review)

Justice League: War is based on the first few issues from Justice League’s New 52 reboot in the comics a few years back. I thought it sucked back then, and it sucks now.

And by sucks, I mean this movie is boring.

Seriously, it’s really boring. I’ve seen this movie within the last month and I couldn’t remember the plot. At all. I had to look it up and then it came back to me. That is not a good sign. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox wasn’t great, but at least I remembered what it was about. This… I didn’t care. The movie totally failed at getting me to care about how the Justice League gets together, if anything bad happens to the people of earth, the heroes… I don’t care. The only really memorable moment in the movie is when Batman tells The Flash "You do clean, efficient work."

Justice League: War is a snoozefest – I give it a 2 out of 10. How do you screw up a movie where the Justice League fights Darkseid for the fate of earth. Like this.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (quick movie review)

I gotta tell yah, these DC Animated Universe Justice League movies have gone way downhill.

I love the idea of time traveling to the past creating a mishap in the future, but frankly, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox just doesn’t work. Nobody gives a rats butt about The Flash’s mom. I did like what they did with Batman here, but ultimately, this movie is a few bagels short of a dozen… or something something metaphor.

The characters in this movie… Oy, The Reverse Flash… he looks like The Zoid’s evil brother or something. This guy gives Wario a lot of credibility… you know what I’m saying? I guess I’m saying that the movie’s antagonist sucks and I’m not even sure how he’s aware of the paradox or why The Flash himself can’t figure it out. It’s just… well, this movie is ass is what it is.

It’s not boring, but I can’t recommend Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. I’m giving it a 4 out of 10. There’s no rewatchability here and it’s barely worth a look for even hardcore fans.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (quick movie review)

Everything else got rebooted, and in 2011, it was Planet of the Apes turn. I did like this movie, but it contains absolutely no surprises. Did you watch the trailer? That’s as good a summary as any.

I liked the allusions to the original: Caesar, Bright Eyes, “Get Your Paws Off Me, You Damn Dirty Ape,” all that stuff was fun. I have no idea where Andy Serkis ends and digital animators begin, but the performance is excellent. James Franco… you know, it’s James Franco. He’s a fine actor, but he’s just very James Franco. It was fun to see John Lithgow do his thing, particularly doing something I’d never seen him do before.

The pacing is a little slow… I thought for sure this movie was over two hours, but it actually clocks in at 1:46. The bad guys are all super flat an uninteresting, especially the jerk and the ape reserve… it does help the audience cheer for Caesar, because you do want him to triumph over the bad guys, but then, it seems like you’re supposed to cheer for James Franco, and there’s really not much to cheer about as the movie goes on.

Not only does this movie not doing anything super risky (although I did appreciate the strong animal rights message) or surprising, it’s very clear exactly how the next sequel will go. You can tell exactly how humanity will fall and the apes will take their place as the dominate species on the planet, so we can’t expect any surprises in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, either.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is what it promises – no more, no less. I liked it, but I certainly didn’t love it: I’m giving it a 7 out of 10. It does a lot of things right, but it’s kinda plodding and takes no risks.

Daily Gif: My @Nellachronism’s request

I guess I need 20 bucks in Internet high fives because here we are:

Nellachronism-nostalgia-chick-freddy-got-fingered-hot-dogs

Over the last few months, I’ve become a fan of the Nostalgia Chick show and Twitter, so now, I find myself following show stars @thelindsayellis and @Nellachronism on Twitter, came upon the above request and… yeah.  It’s Saturday morning and I’m editing together a woman getting hit in the face with hot dogs.  Life is most unusual.

(In case you’re wondering, the clips are from the freddy got fingered episode.)

 

 

The Bourne Legacy (quick movie review)

I recently wrote that the Robocop reboot wasn’t great, but it wasn’t boring, either. Today I come down from the mountaintop to tell you that The Bourne Legacy is Bourning as hell. (See what I did there?)

I was wondering how they’d make a Bourne movie without Bourne and the answer is this isn’t really a movie. It just this thing that exists for 135 minutes.

Or in other words, it’s not good.

There’s not much to tell, really… what a waste of Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton. Renner’s character isn’t interesting – at all – so there’s nothing to latch onto. The movie feels like it’s five hours long… the word "plodding" comes to mind. The fact that the events of this film are happening parallel to The Bourne Ultimatum is just a distraction. (They must refer to this at least five times – the movie bludgeons the audience to death with this concept. Or, in my case, to sleep. I actually dozed off for a few minutes. That never happens to me. I didn’t fall asleep during Armageddon, for Christ’s sake.)

This is the worst movie I’ve seen in a while – further analysis if futile. I’m giving The Bourne Legacy a 3 out of 10 and I’ll leave it at that.

Robocop (2014 – quick movie review)

The Robocop reboot wasn’t boring and I didn’t hate it, but it just didn’t work very well. It had some interesting ideas but didn’t convey them in a passionate way. The biggest issue is probably that Robocop himself is boring. I didn’t care about him when he was Alex, I didn’t care about him or his family once he became Robocop. I liked that they didn’t just rehash the original and the callbacks were clever, but they don’t work. While the commercials and news programs in the original felt like organic parts of this universe, the Samuel L. Jackson stuff almost feels like it’s from a different movie. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton all turn in their usual, high quality performance, but it’s not enough. One area this movie falls super short in (especially in comparison to the original) is in the antagonist area. These guys just don’t scare me… and the other cops treat Alex as if he was out on vacation when he comes back to work as Robocop… it’s kinda bizarre.
The original is outstanding – I recommend watching that instead. This is a movie that just didn’t need a remake. I give it a 5 out of 10 and I’m going back to the watch original maybe as soon as this evening.

Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue (It Came From YouTube)

"This one’s straight off my DIEtunes playlist!"

Holy hell. (Literally.) Why does this exist? This new live stage show, Beetlejuice Graveyard Revue, debuted on February 8 of 2014, so it’s not for Halloween, and a second Beetlejuice movie is still a pipe dream, so.. what is the deal here? What were they thinking?!? Read the rest of this entry

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