Blog Archives

The Interview (movie review)

Honestly, I’m not sure why The Interview is at 52% on the Tomatometer. It’s well performed, beautifully photographed, has a message (on some level) and most importantly, it’s a comedy and it’s funny. Read the rest of this entry

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.

Spider-Man 3 (movie review)
I know, I know; Spider-man 3 is the one everybody hates: the Hobgoblin’s snowboard, Peter Parker’s emo hair and dancing, the lackluster portrayal of Venom…  And you’re not wrong, these are generally bad things, but they’re not what’s killing the movie.  (These things are more akin to covering a pile of crap with crap sprinkles. ) Read the rest of this entry

Spider-Man 2 (movie review)

So, Spider-man 2 is, uhm, I dunno. It’s fine, I guess. Spider-Man’s in it, that’s good. There’s some cool fight scenes. The story… is… uhm… OK. It’s OK. It’s a little on the telenovela side for my taste, but there are worse super hero movies, that’s for sure. Read the rest of this entry

5 things to love/hate about Spider-Man (movie review)

This movie is everything that The Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t; it’s full of charm, drama, and characters you care about. It’s not perfect, but 2002’s Spider-man is certainly good enough. Here’s five things to love and five things to hate about Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s take on ol’ web head.
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This is the End (movie review)

this-is-the-endIf you were singing any of the lyrics from The Doors classic, “The End,” which simply begins, “This is the end,” the title of today’s film, you may want to center on one particular line, “Can you picture what will be?” If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you can try to imagine what imagery you’ll see in this flick, but don’t bother – just go see it.

This is the End features tons of laughs, a bang or two that made the audience jump and just a fun time at the movies over all. It’s raunchy, raw and in many ways, a by the numbers story from a premise I don’t think I’ve ever seen in any medium, but it’s truly a flick that is worth the price of admission..

This now ends the spoiler free portion of the review. I’ll give you the score now: This is the End receives an 8 out of 10 for reasons I won’t explain in the spoiler free review. Read on for additional discussion! Read the rest of this entry

Oz The Great And Powerful [movie review]

Oz_-_The_Great_and_Powerful_PosterOz the Great and Powerful is a prequel to the Wizard of Oz story we all grew up with, and that be more pressure than any movie deserves to have heaped upon it, but there it is.  It’s fair to say it doesn’t live up to the hype, and I don’t think it ever could as that’s an unfair expectation, but even more so, the movie just has fundamental problems that distract the viewer. Read the rest of this entry

Oz the Great and Powerful movie trailer

Did you ever wonder how Oz came to become the undisputed ruler of the Emerald City? Neither did I! Perhaps Oz the Great and Powerful will come to do for the Oz movies (yes, I am referring to both The Wizard of Oz and the scary as fuck Return to Oz) what the prequels did for the original Star Wars movies – that is, proving that the beginning of a character’s story isn’t necessarily the most interesting place to start from.

I’m sure that either watching the movie or reading the reviews for films like Snow White and the Huntsmen, John Carter or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory make you shake in terror at the prospect of Oz the Great and Powerful, and after watching the trailer, I’m not sure you’re wrong. Still, it’s colorful, and James Franco is a great actor, as is Mila Kunis. However, I don’t love Sam Raimi or his Spider-Man films (I don’t hate them either… well, the third one has psychophrenia… oh and also features James Franco… it’s probably not a coincidence that Raimi is directing and Franco is the star), but the movie does look good… and yet, some of it’s visuals are so digital that they look crappy. I do, however, like the traditional entrance of the Wicked Witch of the West at the end of the trailer.

Also, why does every pre existing property have to morph into a hardcore action movie when it makes it’s return to theaters? This happened when Star Trek: The Next Generation moved from TV to the movies, when Snow White came back, when Planet of the Apes came back… I’m frankly shocked that the new(ish) Willy Wonka movie didn’t end with a big battle scene – which I predict this movie will end with. It’ll look something like the end of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. You saw that shot of Oz trying to inspire people, raising his fist above his head? He’d just finished saying something like, "Sons of Munchkin Land! Of Emerald City! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of flying monkeys and shattered broom sticks, when the age of Men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good land, I bid you stand, Men of Oz!"

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