Amazing Spider-man 2 Review

•May 4, 2014 • Comments Off on Amazing Spider-man 2 Review

movie poster Amazing-Spider-Man 2I went into this movie nervous, I didn’t love the first one as it felt too fresh after the other Spider-man movies, and frankly Toby Maguire did a better job at being Peter Parker than Andrew Garfield did, in my opinion. I also had heard some serious mixed reviews on this movie–too many villains, sub plot with parents bloating the movie, etc. But I went in with an open mind and I have to say, all things considered, this was a much better movie than the first one and was a fun time at the movies.

The movie picks up at graduation for Peter and his classmates. The themes from graduation play out through the movie–making big choices, becoming independent and paving your own way. Peter and Gwen are still madly in love and it’s making things complicated because Peter promised Gwen’s father he would stay away from Gwen, a promise he truly can’t keep. The movie does a good job at showing how they can’t stay away from each other.

sm2 electroThe movie introduced and dealt with a lot of different elements, something some people didn’t love. Having seen my fair share of superhero movies, I know how, if you put too many villains or sub plots in a movie, you lose the focus of the movie and it gets confusing. First, we have the parent sub-plot, that runs throughout the movie. Next we have two villains, Electro and Harry Osbourne (aka Green Goblin). I did not feel like all these elements bloated the movie. The parent sub-plot was introduced in the previous movie and it would be annoying to not delve deeper into it, as well this plot is directly related to current events in the movie. It worked. I liked Electro a lot and liked how he tied into Harry Osbourne’s fate. I wish that we had a bit more background on Electro before he was transformed, as his motivation for being evil was flimsy at best. But his powers were wicked cool and I enjoyed every scene he was in. He was awesome. Lastly, we have Harry Osbourne. Dane DeHaan, who plays Osbourne, is creepy and scary. He captures the essence of someone who has come into power too soon and has no respect for the position he has been placed in. His sense of entitlement drives his character to some dark places quite quickly and I felt it worked. Harry Osbourne has never been a sympathetic character, and he continues to be an entitled punk who feels his position in life gives him the ability to do whatever he wants, regardless of the cost.

sm2 gwenThe love story of this film was the heart of the movie. Gwen Stacy is no shrinking violet–she is smart, capable, funny and makes every scene better. Emma Stone is perfect in this role, she makes Gwen quirky and endearing, you can see why Peter can’t stay away from her. Through her, Peter is a better person. I can’t say enough about her, she is the heart and soul of the film. I know that MJ will be introduced in the next film and I have to say, she feels unnecessary. I love Gwen Stacy and don’t want the natural evolution to happen in this story line.

Overall, I had a great time watching the film! I enjoyed the action sequences, I felt the story worked and I liked it better than the first one. I think, if you have an open mind, you should go see this and enjoy it for what it is.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

•April 6, 2014 • 1 Comment

movie poster captain america 2Hello everyone! Long time no review. But let’s be honest, the movies that come out over the winter have been stinkers. And we know I only write reviews about movies that excite me. And finally one has come along!! Summer movies are here, and a month early! Awesome!!

The movie opens up with Rogers showing off his insane conditioning by running circles {literally} around Sam Wilson–a soon-to-be BFF of Rogers. Sadly their bonding time is cut off, when duty calls. The beginning part of the film illustrates that although the Cap was frozen for many years, he still has it. He can run 30 miles in 30 minutes and then take control of a captured ship with ease. He is a force to be reckoned with, and his shield just makes him more intimidating. But Rogers is lost. He visits his darling Peggy, who is in an old-folks home and has no other real friends. He has chemistry with Black Widow, but there is still a lack of trust in their relationship. Enter Sam Wilson, the first guy who treats Rogers like a real person in oh, 60 or so years. They have fun banter, bond over their military background and Wilson can still kick ass. He becomes a perfect side-kick to the Cap.

I liked the overall story in this film. Steve Rogers should feel lost. He is in a totally different time, knowing very few people and trusting half. The world is a different place, the people who should be doing the right thing are shady and the movie does a good job at showing him losing faith in the government. Thankfully, there is a big bad on the horizon–in a mysterious figure dubbed “The Winter Soldier”. He is as strong as Rogers and is lethal to anyone he sets his sights on. His identity is a big mystery, and once revealed, is a huge shock and the audience reaction made the movie better. And questions arise–is this mystery figure working on his own, or is he serving someone else? Who can we trust? Is S.H.E.I.L.D compromised? One of the best parts of the movie is that it is a mystery, and a smart one at that. Considering this is a sequel, the complexity of the story is impressive.

Obviously I loved the action sequences, I am a big sucker for those. I have read some reviews that people felt this movie was uneven. That the beginning was too slow and that the action did mesh well with it. I beg to differ. A good movie has a solid plot, grows its characters and then gets down and dirty, because you have been lead to love specific people and want harm to happen to the people who are trying to hurt them. This is the goal of this movie and it does it well. Sure some of the action was a bit unrealistic {Falcon jumping into a helicopter}, but if we can believe that a man born in 1918 can still be 30 years old, then we can believe that somehow these ordinary men can do these incredible feats.

captain america rrLast, but not least, the casting is what makes the story and action work. There are the regular–Chris Evans as Rogers {the best role for him, he embodies the Cap like no other actor could–you can feel his olde fashioned essence within him}. Samuel L Jackson as Fury, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. They work well together and it’s nice to see some chemistry between Rogers and Widow develop. New faces, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka Falcon and Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce aka head honcho of S.H.E.I.L.D. Loved me some Mackie as Flacon. He is smart, funny and a great person for Rogers to interact with. Their friendship feels natural and you know that he is the best wingman for Rogers {pun intended!}. It is nice to have Redford back on the big screen. He has huge stage presence and every scene he was in echoed with importance, seriously he ate up the screen! You want to believe he is good but also worry he might be shady and he treads the line very well.

This is a great follow-up to the first film and The Avengers. Get your ass off that chair and get into the theatre! You won’t regret seeing this! Summer has come early my friends!!

Catching Fire Movie Review

•November 24, 2013 • Comments Off on Catching Fire Movie Review

catching fire1You know I always preface the movie before I write about it. This time, I am letting you know it’s been a while since I read the book, which I did on purpose because I hate it when books and movies are so different they are unrecognizable. So if you were hoping for a cross-comparison, walk away. Seriously, stop reading and leave. This review is only about the movie.

I loved the movie. It was better than the first one, and that is saying something! The movie upped the stakes in all the right ways. Right off the bat, Katniss knows she is in danger with President Snow and is forced to be compliant to his wishes during her victory tour with Peeta. The movie shows how ready the people in the districts are to rebel and show her how much she has inspired them to tell the Capitol to fuck off. Katniss, worried for the ones she loves, just wants to get through the tour unscathed. Lawrence does a great job embodying Katniss and you, as the audience, are drawn into her fears. You want her family to be safe, but you also want the Capitol to be brought down. So when the announcement that the next Hunger Games will feature only previous victors, you know President Snow is using this as his way to eliminate his threat.

catching fire2This movie did a great job at building suspense and making the audience guess what was happening next. Who are Katniss’ real allies? Who can she trust in the games? Will she really survive a second time? Especially considering she is playing against seasoned killers? The movie does a great job showing the true strength of Haymitch–his ability to network with the previous victors and protect Katniss, even though she fights it.

Let’s get into the actors, because they make the movie what it is, story drives through them. Jennifer Lawrence. This woman is the shit. She dos such a good job portraying the confliction, the fear, the confusion, desperation and fighting spirit of Katniss. She makes me see myself in her. She eats up the screen and owns every moment in the film. Elizabeth Banks. She was excellent in this movie. She gives Effie a soul. Her costumes are still crazy and tacky, but when she has to read her district’s names for the Hunger Games, you can feel her wanting to cry. It’s so well done. You can see in her how what is happening is affecting those in the Capitol. It gives the audience hope that if there is a rebellion, there will be people in power to support it. Jena Malone. Some people know I hate Johanna Mason for reasons unrelated to the book. Malone does a spectacular job as Johanna. She embodies her fierceness, her devil-may-care attitude. The scene in the elevator was one of the best in the movie. I laughed so hard. It was wonderful to see that come to life. At that moment I cheered for Johanna Mason. Sure, as an audience member, you don’t really know if you can trust her, but you love her anyways. Woody Harrelson. He continues to be great as Haymitch. You get a much stronger idea as to how much power he has in the Capitol. He is able to socially navigate the waters to help Peeta and Katniss before they go back into the arena. You get the sense he is trusted and a true ally. Of course he is still funny in his interactions with Katniss, but you get the sense that there is a true bond between the two. Sam Claflin. His portrayal of Finnick was pretty good. I always saw him as more of a ladies man, but the movie chose to focus on him as more well-rounded, especially is love for Mags. I felt that gave the character more depth and you were pulling for him and hoped he was a true ally to Katniss. Josh Hutcherson. Peeta hasn’t really changed much from the first movie, so this portrayal is middle of the road for me. The story centers on Katniss and not really him, so when there are reactions to things, he is always the back-up. But I do love how he interacts within the love triangle. You get the sense that he really does love Katniss and wishes she wasn’t just acting in front of the camera’s. I like that he tries to break down her walls and catching fire3become true friends on their victory tour. It helps that they both have nightmares and can bond over that, sad as it is. Liam Hemsworth. Like Hutcherson, this role as Gale doesn’t give him much to work with. I did like that we got to see him more in the beginning of the film. He speaks for the district in a sense, wanting to fight the Capitol. His defiance and subsequent beating make him a sympathetic character and it makes the audience want to fuck up the Capitol even more. Donald Sutherland. He is perfect casting as President Snow. I find him to be scary and calculated. You can feel the intelligence emanating off of him. He wants to make the right move against Katniss, in a way that will keep him in power, uncontested. He portrays his strength through his eyes and you never want them to fall on you. Overall, the casting for this film was excellent.

This movie had a good balance of story and action. The story is well set up before the next Hunger Games even start. You see who has changed and grown since the last film in District 12. You meet all the contestants, and some of their quirks, before the games start and you go into it rooting for the underdogs. The action is not as intense as the first movie, and I think that’s partially because we don’t see young kids being killed mercilessly, but it works. The arena is still deadly, intricate and frightening, almost like another character in the movie.

Overall, I loved the movie! I want to see again, honestly. I am sure I missed things and the story-telling and characters made the movie what it is. It is better than the first one and a worthy adaptation to the book. I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen it to get their ass to the theatre ASAP.

Summer Re-Cap

•September 2, 2013 • Comments Off on Summer Re-Cap

Saw lots of movies this summer and struggled in getting here to write a review for them. So here it is, mini-reviews on everything that I saw this past summer. Enjoy!

The Butler: The trailer tells you exactly what movie you are going to watch–but I didn’t mind. The movie is a compelling commentary of the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of a man (and essentially his family) from before, during and after the movement. It’s emotional, smart, and you leave feeling sad but triumphant. As you readers know, drama’s are not my main thing, but I enjoyed this movie. On a side note, it was really funny to see Oprah not age through 90% of the movie. As if.

We're the MillersWe’re the Millers: This movie is really funny!! It starts off slow, but I feel it was important to establish all the characters before they started their journey. One it gets rolling though, the laughs just keep coming and I became invested in all the characters. My favourite character was the boy virgin, he had the best moments and the actor has great comedic timing. Aniston was fun in her stripper role, and it was nice to see her portray someone slightly edgier. Overall–go see it. It’s a fun 1.5 hours.

Kick Ass 2: This movie ran the danger of imitating the first one, but thankfully it didn’t. Instead the movie creates further character growth, especially with Hit Girl, which is exactly what I wanted. I found the growth of Dave aka Kick Ass to be kind of boring and unimaginative, but I did like the new characters who were introduced, especially Colonel Stars and Stripes. The movie doesn’t stray too far from the message of the first–which is that violence begets violence, but it also looks at consequences of not being true to yourself and others. It was a good follow up but not as good as the first.

wolverineWolverine: This movie didn’t have to do too much the be better than the last one, but it did try to give it a run for its money. It was an okay movie, but I honestly didn’t care about any of the characters in the film, so all the action and danger didn’t resonate with me. Also, the movie perpetuates the notion that all Asian women are slick kung-fu assassins. It wasn’t as bad as the third film, but the ending was weak and frankly the setting and theme was boring. Meh.

Man of Steel: Everyone is all up in arms over the carnage in this film, but why aren’t they up in arms over the forced intimacy between Superman and Lois Lane?? I wrote a review about this film, so I will just say this–it’s not as bad as what people are saying, but it also didn’t need to be remade. The casting of Clark Kent/Superman is surprisingly great, as was the supporting cast (minus Lois Lane).  Overall, it’s a good movie and I encourage people to give it a chance.

red 2Red 2: Another summer hit for me this summer! All the cast is back, and then-some. The story is fast, the characters continue to develop and it’s just fun to see Bruce Willis and John Malkovich play against each other. PLUS, Helen Mirran continues to kick a$$, which as an older woman, is just fun to watch. I say–go see it! You will not be disappointed!

conjuring1The Conjuring: This movie fucked me up. My husband had to move into the bedroom to be beside me as I fell asleep for a week after I saw it. It’s a creepy story, based on some truth, and it’s scary. You get invested in the family, you don’t want anything to happen to them, but you also know that shit is going to get real here, and it does! I don’t think I can own the film, but I might break it out randomly at Halloween for a good scare.

The Heat: I love buddy cop movies, and I love them even more when they have Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as the buddies! Seriously, this movie is amazingly funny. It’s fresh, ridiculous and wacky. I was worried that Bullock would be re-hashing her role from Miss Congeniality but it wasn’t completely similar, but it feel a bit the same. McCarthy is the best thing in the movie. You can tell she is improving a lot the time and it’s really funny. I encourage you to see this movie ASAP!

Now You See Me: I wrote a review about this so I will just say it again–this movie is smart. It’s subtle. It makes you think and you never see the ending coming! It’s rare that these smart movies get made, so get out there and see it!

Fast & Furious 6: This movie is exactly what you expect it to be–hot cars, hot cast, fast action scenes and limited acting ability required! But you didn’t expect Oscar caliber acting did you? This series continues to get better, like a fine wine, over time. I don’t know how they do it, but I felt entertained and I left the movie feeling happy. It’s a rental, but a fun rental!

Star Trek (2008) Directed by: J.J. AbramsStar Trek into Darkness: I also reviewed this movie, but I need to say it again–this series is awesome. Yes this movie was male-heavy, but that’s the point of Star Trek, no? I mean the TV series focused on Kirk and Spock, so why wouldn’t the movie also focus a lot on that? I loved the relationships in this film, they got deeper, funnier and got me more emotional than I expected when I walked in. I cannot wait to own this movie and watch it again!

Great Gatsby: This movie made me nervous, as I dislike depressing movies, and let’s not mince words, this story is a tragedy. Just is. The casting is fun but the thing that makes the movie great is the music and the visuals, the cinematography. It’s simply visually stunning! This  scenery immerses its audience into the 20’s, it’s excess, madness and beauty. Thus, you become invested in the characters and you pull for them, even though you know nothing good can come from the story. Still, it’s worth seeing.

Iron-Man-3Ironman 3: This movie surprised me–I expected it to be tired at this point, cause it’s the third one. But it takes off from The Avengers and looks at the effect that story had on Stark. He’s still sarcastic and into himself, but he’s also vulnerable and freaked out. He feels like something is coming, a storm, and he doesn’t know from who or where. The villain in this movie is both hilarious and freaky. It worked. And lastly, Pepper’s progression in this film is what made it a winner for me. She rocked my socks!

Overall I didn’t see as many movies as I typically do, but I had a summer filled with more travel and taking care of a home for the first time, and that sadly time consuming!!

The Conjuring – Movie Review

•August 4, 2013 • Comments Off on The Conjuring – Movie Review

IMG_0478.dngMovies like this freak me out, so the fact that I have seen this in the theatre was either really brave of me or foolish. I am leaning towards the latter. This movie knows how to scare its audience as it uses good character development and scary night sequences to build the terror in the home.

The movie starts off innocently enough–a nice family moves into a house to start their new life. They are loving, warm and close. The movie sets this up well. You like the entire family and want nothing bad to happen to it. Well this isn’t why we are watching the movie. The family has bought a house that already has an invisible resident or two and they are kind of delighted to get to play with people. It start off slow, touches at night, things moving but this movie isn’t about subtlety. It’s about scaring the crap out of the audience. Well it does conjuring3a great job! As things progress in the house, the mother goes to get help from “professionals”–Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens bring a unique perspective to what is happening in the house, as Ed is good with demonology and gadgets, while Lorraine is clairvoyant and can see what others can’t. Her experiences in the film are freaky as hell.

This movie works because the the scares start off subtly but are unrelenting as they build. This movie doesn’t coddle the audience and is unrelenting in its scare factor. People are touched, dragged, thrown and infected. Pets don’t last long. You never want to play a game that involves clapping. EVER. The fear is palpable. Being alone in the house at any time is unsafe. The story of the evil presence is better developed than in some movies and it becomes clear that a cleansing of the house might not be enough. The back story of the Warrens is fascinating, especially when you go home and google their history. The movie works because you want the family to be safe. The characters are fleshed out enough that you care for them and the scares will mess you up. It’s perfectly orchestrated and well executed. I dare you not to be scared while watching it!

conjuring1

Catching Fire Trailer Review

•July 30, 2013 • Comments Off on Catching Fire Trailer Review

Holy crap people! I thought the first trailer was pretty great, but this one adds so much depth to the story, that the viewer can’t feel anything other than huge anticipation! You get more meat to the story (you know, if you don’t know it…and if so where have you been??) but you get to see the Hunger Games grounds again! I can feel the emotion pouring from the trailer and I got chills. I am so stoked for this film!!!

Now You See Me Review

•June 2, 2013 • 2 Comments

movie poster now you see me2I love a smart movie. I feel like there are not enough of these movies made and thus, when they are released, the intelligent audience viewer eats it up. I am that person!! Going into this movie I had high expectations, and I knew this was dangerous. Thinker films and high expectations are a bad combination for me, I am usually disappointed. It is with a happy heart that I tell you I was not disappointed! This movie was exactly what I wanted (mostly), and I did not call the ending. Not entirely. I called a lot of stuff, so I still feel smart, but the final trick was pretty fantastic and worth the ride.

The movie starts off with introducing the four magicians that are center stage in the movie. You see their origins, their style, but since this movie is hiding things, you don’t see everything. The cast is all-star. Woody Harrleson, Jessie Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and the lesser known Dave Franco are the “Four Horsemen” magicians pulling off these amazing bank heists. Then we have Mark Ruffalo as the head FBI agent and Mélanie Laurent (aka Inglorious Bastards heroine) as the Interpol agent running after the magicians, always a step or seven behind the mastermind. Rounding out the cast is THE Morgan Freeman as a magician de-bunker and Michael Caine as the “money”. Seriously, a dream cast that interacted exceptionally well together. There was good chemistry, fun dialogue and intelligent sarcasm. It all begged the questions: who is the red herring? Who knows more than what they are letting on? Is someone on the inside working with these robbing magicians? now-you-see-me-05

The movie is meticulous in how it reveals its cards. It doesn’t give you the background on all its characters all at once. It’s almost like a horror movie–you meet the characters, but as the plot unfolds, you peel away the layers of each character, and each one has a reason for orchestrating the over-arching plot. So who has the biggest motivation? What is coincidence and what isn’t? It all becomes clear at the end, and once all the cards are shown, I was satisfied. I was hoping they would not reveal everything, leave a bit of mystery, but it didn’t. Either way, I really enjoyed the film. Is it just me, or are magician-themed movies always interesting??