Archive for the ‘movie reviews’ Category

Judd Apatow isn’t for everyone. Amy Schumer isn’t for everyone. This “romantic comedy” is longer than 2 hours. Put all these things together and this movie could have been a disaster. So once the movie was over I was utterly surprised that my first thought was, “Wow, this might be the first and ONLY movie I’ve ever like of Judd Apatow’s.”

Trainwreck
Directed by: Judd Apatow
Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, John Cena, Vanessa Bayer, Tilda Swinton, Randall Park, Ezra Miller

Amy Schumer isn’t for everyone, but apparently she is for me. She has this great way of putting into words everything I’ve ever felt or thought and experienced but without any filter. No one’s life is perfect, but sometimes I can’t help but feel my life is just one really, really, REALLY long sitcom. And somehow Amy knows just how to put those feelings into hilarious, over-the-top, yet somehow relatable words.

To make a LOOONNG story short. Trainwreck is about a carefree and independent a woman named Amy. She has a successful job, an endless string of one night stands and no desire to change her ways according to the mantra her father instilled in her at a young age, “monogamy isn’t realistic.” Then one day Amy meets a guy, possibly THEE guy. He’s the guy who makes her want to change her ways even if it goes against everything instinct she had engrained in her.

Trainwreck is goofy, surprisingly touching, frustrating, endearing and funny. While it is in no way perfect, and emotionally it’s all over the place, any inconsistencies and odd moments are made up for in a fantastic sweet and satisfying ending. Good romantic comedies with great endings are really hard to find, but despite the fact that this is an Apatow movie, Trainwreck is the best I’ve seen in a while thanks to Amy Schumer (who also wrote the script.)

Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars

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I like Marvel movies, I do, but they tend to stick to a certain formula when making its origin movies, or really making any movies for that matter. That being said there’s this undeniable force behind the movies that keep bringing me back time and time again: The movies have the ability to seamlessly blend humor, wit, charm, action, and amazing special effects. And they are always impeccable with the casting.

Marvel’s
ANT MAN

Directed By: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Bobby Cannavale,
Judy Greer, Patrick Wilson, David Dastmalchian, Anthony Mackie

ant-man-poster-1

So okay, the plot is a little iffy, the whole “rag-tag, Ocean’s 11, steal an important relic but not before a big training montage” has been done to death. And there are many looming plot problems that put the entire story line into question (but I won’t spoil it, lest it be like that time on Big Bang Theory when Amy ruined the entire plot of Indiana Jones for Sheldon). Plus there’s a complete lack of a big female presence thing, except for Evangeline Lily who is awesome, but could really use another woman to talk to.

However, despite all these things there is one big thing in Ant Man that makes the movie worth watching even if none of the rest interests you. No, it’s not Paul Rudd’s undeniable self-deprecating charm, it’s not the incredible attention to detail in the “shrinking” special effects (that bathtub scene is so awesome), nor is it the awesome action sequences such as Hawkeye and Ant-Man battling it out. The thing, or rather person that makes Ant-Man worth watching is Michael Peña.

Michael Peña plays Luis, Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) partner-in-crime friend. But Peña manages to take the terms “goofy sidekick” to a whole other level. Luis is full of joy, even if things are going absolutely terrible in his life. Perpetually stoned, everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious. But the thing that works is that you don’t write Luis off as just a goof-ball, you genuinely like the dude. And that is the genius of Michael Peña. Luis is not just comic relief, he’s much more.

AAAGGHHH! The Latino actor reacts pretty much how everyone reacts when they see a bug on their shoulder

We have to remember Ant-Man is the origin movie. It’s the TV equivalent to a pilot meaning there is room to grow. Now that we know the characters, now that we know his backstory, we can be launched into some exciting adventures. I can’t wait to see Paul Rudd and Ant-Man integrated into the MCU, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers. Because we all know that the Marvel movies work best when all their characters are together.

Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

INSIDE OUT

Directed By: Pete Docter
Starring: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Richard Kind, Katlin Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle Maclachlan

Inside Out

Inside Out is the kind of movie that you only dream about creating. It’s the stuff that you think about and dream about and imagine even if you can’t figure out how to put it into words or describe it to anyone else. It is the inside story about the emotions inside a person and how they effect and control their day to day life…inside.

Inside Out is the epitome of creativity. That being said, I wanted MORE.  The movie was beautiful, funny, and emotional, yes, but I just wished the emotional parts of the movie hit with even more of a punch. The movie was missing something. I wanted that feeling I felt when Carl lost his wife in Up, or when Andy played with his toys for one last time in Toy Story. I wanted to care about everyone just as much as I cared about Nemo finding his father, Mr. Incredible saving his family, or Wall-e saving Eva.

Inside Out was a great movie and I was blown away by its creativity. But it’s not a movie I would choose to see again and again and again.

Rating: 7/10 Stars


MAX

Directed By: Boaz Yakin
Starring: Josh Wiggins, Thomas Haden Church, Jay Hernandez, Lauren Graham, Luke Kleintank, Robbie Amell

MaxPoster

As tear-jerky as Max was, it is depressing to say I wish it contained more tear inducing moments. For a movie about a war dog who’s suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after his owner is killed in war there were less heart felt moments and more unbelievable moments to amp up the drama. I love the part of the story dealing with the psychological ramnifications war can have on a dog. And I enjoyed watching Max and Justin bond especially over the loss of his brother. However, the B-story felt forced and way over the top. I just couldn’t get invested in the whole wasn’t completely terrible I was much gun smuggling/trading storyline that ending in a kidnapping/gun/dog fight. It was just all too much. Talk about drama, I want tears!

Rating: 4/10 stars

When I first saw the original Jurassic Park, I remember being overcome with this magical feeling. What I was watching was so freakin’ cool. It didn’t need glitz, it didn’t need glamour; all it needed was its massive, majestic and beautiful stars – the dinosaurs. And to this day, every time Grant sees those dinosaurs for the first time, I still get that tingly feeling, that OMG feeling.
Jurassic-World-Poster

JURASSIC WORLD
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Judy Greer, Omar Sky, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Jake M. Johnson

Jurassic World was supposed to be the movie that brought back those nostalgic feelings – that returned the franchisee back to a magical time where Lost World and Jurassic Park 3 didn’t exist. And while this movie was an improvement, it could have and should have been much better.

WHAT IT GOT RIGHT.

The Theme Park: Jurassic World was fully thought out down to the Margaritaville and Pandora that exist in every Caribbean port. I couldn’t help thinking that even without the dinosaurs this would be a place I’d really want to visi. I’d love to canoe down a river as stegosaurus’ graze nearby or ride a baby triceratops even though I’m 30 years old. It just looked like a fun place to be, no gimmicks necessary. Then again I’ve always been a suckers for zoos and aquariums.

JW_ThemePark

WHAT IT GOT WRONG: Basically everything else.

The Magic: There was no magic! Or pretty much none. What happened to those long panning shots where we can admire the dinosaurs? Or the wide-eyed awe of young children as they view their favorite dinosaur. Instead we got quick shots of dinosaurs running and bored children being bratty. I know that was the point, that people were becoming bored with the dinosaurs wanting something bigger and better, but I just wanted the camera to spend more than 3 seconds on a dinosaur at any given point. (And I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen elephants many times and each time I do I look at them with wonder and awe and feel like a child every time.) But this lack of magic could be forgiven if I could care about…

The Characters: They were terrible and under developed. All of them. Chris Pratt was the most developed but what about his backstory? How did he become a velociraptor trainer? How is he still alive? Are there other places that have dinosaurs that taught him how to be a trainer? Does he have a family? Why does he live in a rinky dink trailer? And HE was the only character in the movie that really felt like he belonged there. Dallas Bryce Howard started off as an unpleasant, workaholic who had no time for family or friends or pleasantries by the end of the movie she kind of turned into a badass. Only no one acknowledged it, or cared, not as long as Pratt was on screen gently stroking his raptor (the dirtiness of that statement is just a happy coincidence). Then you have minor characters that serve no purpose but to further the story, a villain who is just plain stupid and two kids one of who is so bratty and annoying you don’t really care if he gets eaten by the dinosaur or not. And finally, how do you cast someone like Judy Greer and not use her? Bringing the kids parents and sister to one of our main characters along could have would have given the movie an actual opportunity to have a story. But instead she and her husband and their possible divorce was just another point that disappeared into…

jurassic-world-movie-cast

The (Practically Non-Existent) Plot: There was no plot, no story, nothing to care about, just a dinosaur rampaging on people and things we don’t really care about. Except for those baby triceratops, that was sad. I want story, I want people to care about, I want a plot to care about. As big of a star power Chris Pratt is, he can’t and shouldn’t have to carry a movie like this all by himself.

Overall, while the movie was entertaining, the special effects and CGI fantastic, and the dinosaurs are always a thing to Marvel at, but this reboot of the franchise would really help itself out by getting a plot and people we care about, just as long as it includes Chris Pratt.

Rating: 6.5/10 Stars

It was really hard compiling a list of Top 10 movies. Not that the movies this year weren’t good, some were really good, great in fact. But there were very few extraordinary ones. Ones that got me excited. Ones I can’t stop talking about. Or thinking about. I was able to put a list together, but let’s be honest there’s a big difference in my excitement level between my top 5, and 6-10. So here it is people, the list you’ve all been waiting for…

Movies thisclose to making the cut:
Big Hero 6, American Sniper and This is Where I Leave You. TIWILY was hilarious with a great cast and a sentimental story line. I loved it. American Sniper was more on the serious side. While Bradley Cooper carried this entire movie, it’s easy to say the movie wouldn’t have been as great or as memorable without his incredible performance. Big Hero 6 was funny, emotional, and touching. It was a really great movie and would have made it into the Top 10 if I hadn’t seen…

10. Selma

9. The Grand Budapest Hotel

8. Unbroken

7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

6. Still Alice

5. Gone Girl

4. Snowpiercer

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

2. Birdman

And my #1 movie of the year is…..

 

 

1. Whiplash
I don’t understand it when people say this movie was just “good”. This movie was greater than great. It was nearly perfection! This movie pumps me up with just how good it was. The performances are on point, the story line is intense and the drumming is effin’ fantastic. It gives me chills just thinking about it. J.K. Simmons is on top of his game and that cockiness Miles Teller exudes in his roles really worked for this character. And as amazing at the movie was, words cannot express just how much I loved the ending. I could watch it over and over again for the rest of my life. It was THAT good.

 

These are my Top 10 Movies. Do you agree with some of my choices? All my choices? Did I get anything wrong or forget about anything?

There’s a lot to talk about regarding this years Oscar Nominations, but lets just get the “elephant” in the room out of the way. There’s been a lot of talk about how this year’s Oscar nominations are very white washed and how Selma deserved an Oscar nomination. As an Asian woman and someone who’s never seen Selma, I have my own thoughts on this as well as the other nominations.

The problem isn’t that the voting is “white washed” or racist. The problem is that save for one movie there weren’t many roles for actors of color to choose from in the voting process. It’s not like everyone in Selma was nominated for an Oscar but David Oyelowo. I’m not saying his performance wasn’t Oscar worthy, I’m not saying the movie was a dud, I’m not saying he SHOULDNT have been nominated. What I am saying is this year’s Best Male Actor Category was TOUGH and David Oyelowo wasn’t the only snub.

The Best Male Actor Nominees: I thought Bradley Cooper was so great in American Sniper, and while I haven’t see Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne won a Golden Globe so he was a shue-in for a nomination. In the words of Zoolander, Benedict Cumberbatch is so hot right now and Michael Keaton was fantastically Oscar-worthy in Birdman, and my vote to take Oscar home.

However, one of these things is not like the other and that thing…or person is Steve Carrell. We all know the Academy is a sucker for appearance changes. They like their nominees slimmed down or prosthetic heavy so of course he would get a nomination for Foxcatcher, but in my opinion Channing Tatum’s performance affected me more than Carrell’s. That being said, that last slot belonged to Jake Gyllenhaal. Arguably, Nightcrawler as a whole isn’t very Oscar noteworthy, but Gyllenhaal’s performance. It still gives me the creeps even though I saw the movie months ago. In my opinion, Gyllenhaal was robbed.

The rest of the nominations were pretty expected after the Globes. I know many people felt The Lego Movie was snubbed, but honestly, except for the ending the movie was pretty annoying. It definitely was not awesome. So I’m okay with the “Snub” though the technological/stop motion animation aspect of the movie is something to be recognized. Compare that to the deeply rich and emotional Big Hero 6 or the claymation Box Trolls however…Plot will always win the day in my book.

This year’s Oscars will be a mish-mash of winners. Though Boyhood may win Best Picture, Michael Keaton should (better) win for Birdman and Julianne Moore deserves to win for Still Alice. Link later could win for best director even though I really want Inarritu to win. Lubezki will most likely win for Birdman, but you never know. The days are over with one picture sweeps the Oscars in the 5 main categories.

For a complete list of the nominations, click here.

 

 

While Life After Beth had a cool premise, a spectacular cast and some great moments in it, the movie was ultimately a letdown. I really wanted to like this movie, but when you’re left pointing out all the ways the movie could have been better you know there’s a problem.

 

 

Life After Beth
Directed By: Jeff Baena

What I liked:
1) The Premise – A guys girlfriend comes back from the dead only she doesn’t know what happened to her. And slowly but surely she turns into a zombie. This premise is unique. It’s a nice juxtaposition from all the other vampire movies out there. First she metaphorically breaks his heart, and then she literally tries to eat his brains. And how her family deals with it is particularly interesting. They are all just so happy to have her back, they are unwilling to accept what he’s turning into. The plot twists, the reveals, how big things happen were all really clever. Plus the other great thing was…
2) The Cast – Dane DeHaan, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser, the cast is a phenomenal list of actors/comedians. I just wish…

 

 

What I Didn’t Like

1) I wish the characters were funnier – And more likeable. Dane Dehaan as the boyfriend, Zach, was frankly…annoying! No wonder why Beth was going to break up with him. He was clingy, needy, whiny and well just a lot of work. And he was stupid, like classic horror movie, “damsel-in-distress” kind of stupid. In fact, the smartest character was Beth (Aubrey Plaza) and she was turning into a zombie! The rest of the characters especially the “grown-ups” seemed to be equally as frustratingly idiotic. A movie can be funny without making all of the characters stupid. Which brings me to…
2) The Tone – I felt like Life After Beth didn’t know what kind of movie it wanted to be. Did it want to be a drama? A comedy? A dark comedy? A dramedy? A horror movie? A simple focus or shift in tone would have done wonders for this movie.

 

This movie had a lot of issues and there are a lot of things I wish could have been different about it. That being said, support indie movies! And the zombies were killer…get it? Killer?

 

Rating:  2 out of 5 Stars

 

 

 

Fall movies are a time when some franchise YA movies release their next movie, when darker indie films emerge, and Oscar hopefuls reign supreme. The following is a compilation of the movies I’m most excited about through the end of the year.

 

13 MOVIES I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS FALL/WINTER 
(in no particular order)

 

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Release Date: Sept 12
Premise: The story revolves around a crumbling marriage between Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) and Conor (James McAvoy). But they each lived a different version to their own story.
My Thoughts: The hook is exciting, the trailer is exciting, and I am intrigued by seeing two sides to the same story.  I would love to see the both versions of the story in its entirety, but I don’t know if I can sit through a 200 minute movie (that version is released in October). The version released this September should suffice.

Maze Runner
Release Date: September 19
Premise: They make their own food, set their own rules, and live each day not knowing what’s going to happen next. Sounds great right? Unfortunately their make-shift world is surrounded by a Maze that doesn’t seem to have a way out during the day, and traps them in at night. If are trapped inside the Maze after dark they die. Thomas presence seems to change the game, especially when the next person dropped into the Maze is a girl.
My Thoughts: I loved the James Dashner book and I am excited to see this movie come to life. Though adaptations of young adult movies can be sketchy, I love the casting of Dylan O’Brien as Thomas and I hope that director Wes Ball can bring the rest of the movie to life. On the plus side, the trailer makes the movie look gritty, which is how these post-apocalyptic movies should be. Less pretty, more gritty.

 

Gone Girl
Release Date: October 3
Premise: On the outside, Nick and Amy seem like a loving couple, but when Amy disappears and Nick’s life is thrown into the spotlight. Under the scrutiny of the media and the community, Nicks involvement in his wife’s disappearance may not be completely innocent.
My Thoughts: I’m in the process of reading the book right now and with the duel narratives, I hope director David Fincher manages to bring this movie together in a cohesive way. The trailers look perfectly creepy and while I don’t really like Ben Affleck as an actor (love him as a director) this role seems perfect for him. I also love Rosamund Pike.

 

Whiplash
Release Date: October 10
Premise: Miles Teller stars as Andrew Neiman as a drumming prodigy who has been accepted into the country’s most elite music conservatory. Haunted by the failures of his father Andrew is taken under the wing of a passionate teacher at the school. Slowly Andrew’s drive to excel and succeed turns into an obsession as his mentor morphs into a domineering tyrant who will push him to his limits no matter what the cost.
My Thoughts: I’ve already hear great things about this film and I’m a big fan of J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. Plus it’s just indie enough to be absolutely fantastic.

 

Birdman
Release Date: October 17
Premise: A washed up, former A-list actor who used to play the famous super hero Birdman, decides to write a play in order to reclaim some of his former glory. In the process, he suffers a complete mental breakdown.
My Thoughts: The trailer looks dark and hilarious and it has a great cast.

 

St. Vincent
Release Date: October 24
Premise: A cranky, washed up, alcholoic man unexpectedly bonds with his new neighbors, single mother Maggie and her 12 year old son, Oliver.
My Thoughts: Is it weird that my main reason for wanting to see this is not Bill Murry, the bittersweet and funny trailer, but the fact that for the first time since Gilmore Girls, Melissa McCarthy is playing a role that’s not just a bunch of fat jokes, or her acting crazy, or people laughing at her? (Ok, maybe she did that in Mike and Molly as well, but I didn’t watch that.)

 

Interstellar
Release Date: November 7
Premise: If you’re a movie fanatic, lover, watcher, then most likely you’re going to be watching Christopher Nolan’s new movie. Earth is becoming uninhabitable. Cooper, a widowed father and engineer is tasked with being sent into space, along with a group of scientists, to search for an alternate, habitable planet in order for mankind to survive.
My Thoughts: The trailers for this movie are very existential, in fact, it reminds me a lot of Terrence Malick’s, TheTree of Life. That being said, it’s a great cast, the premise is fantastic, and Christopher Nolan always delivers. I’m excited for this movie, I really am. I just hope it explores the actual plot and isn’t just a lot of existential bullcrap.

 

Hero Big 6
Release Date: November 7
Premise: When a masked villain attacks the city of San Fransokyo, Hiro, a robotics prodigy,  tries to find a way to turn his robot, which is designed to heal into a warrior that can save the city.
My Thoughts: Just watch this trailer, and then tell me you don’t want to see it.

 

Dumb and Dumber To
Release Date: November 14
Premise: To best friends Lloyd and Harry are reunited and set out on a search to find Harry’s long lost daughter. Oh, and someone needs a kidney.
My Thoughts: The first Dumb and Dumber can definitely go on the list as one of the greatest comedies of all time, yeah, I said it. And after waiting so long to do a sequel, a REAL sequel, I am excited to see Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniel’s back together again. I look forward to turning off my brain and having a laugh.

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Release Date: November 21
Premise: With Peeta captured by the capitol, and Katniss now relegated to District 13. Haymitch and Plutarch devise a plan to use Katniss status as a beacon of hope and turn her into “The Mockingjay” in hopes the other districts will rebel against the capitol and overthrow Snow and his vicious reign of terror.
My Thoughts: Catching Fire was a big step up from the first installment of The Hunger Games. Keeping true to the book while adapting the movie in ways that made it even better, I have high high hopes for Mockingjay. Quite possibly the darkest and most violent of all the books, I hope that the movie can stick to being dark and gritty, while hopefully changing the depressing ending to the original book.

 

Wild
Release Date: December 5
Premise: After the death of her mother, rebellious, drug addicted, sexually promiscuous, Cheryl Strayed sets out on a solo trek across the America Northwest.
My Thoughts: Reese Witherspoon. The Wild. One ticket please, thanks.

 

Night At The Museum: The Secret Of The Tomb
Release Date: December 19
Premise: Museum security guard, Larry, takes his son with him to London in order to repair the broken stone tablet in London’s British Museum that’s been bring the exhibits to life.
My Thoughts: I was a fan of the first Night At The Museum and now with the death of Robin Williams I somehow want to see this movie even more. It’s just a good holiday movie with a fun premise

 

Into The Woods
Release Date: December 25
Premise: Into the Woods weaves the darker sides of the fairy tale stories such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Bean Stalk, and Little Red Riding Hood.
My Thoughts: When I first saw the original Broadway production of Into the Woods (on video, not live unfortunately) I thought it was the best thing ever. Bernadette Peters was deliciously evil and sympathetic as an evil witch and the stories of the classic fairytales I loved were twisted, dark, gory, and just plain bizarre. The music was incredible; “Giants in the Sky” is probably my favorite Broadway Musical song ever. Despite the fantastic cast, I’m still skeptical that Disney will…well Disney it up, make it more family friendly. We’ve seen family friendly versions of fairytales, we know them well. Into the Woods offers a different take, but the studio can’t really market a gory, gritty, fairytale movie as a family holiday flick. (Note: If anyone could bring justice to the amazing performance Bernadette Peters gave in her role of the witch, it’s Meryl Streep.)

 

What movies are you looking forward to for the end of this year?

 

 

 

 

I never thought I’d say it, but my favorite movie of the year, so far, involves a raccoon with a rage problem and a tree that only says 3 words over and over and over again. I went into Guardians of the Galaxy with high, but skeptical expectations and the movie manage to exceed them. It’s a fun and unpredictable fantasy, comic book movie that anyone who’s a nerd at heart would love. Plus it’s frakkin’ hilarious.

Guardians Of The Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, David Bautista, Lee Pace, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, John C. Reilly, Glen Close, Djimon Hounsou

Guardians of the Galaxy is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It feels retro, current, and futuristic at the same time. It’s smart, funny, silly, cheesy, action-packed and full of unexplainable depth. The main characters are developed perfectly which is a big feat because I knew nothing about any of the characters beforehand. The movie did a great job about making you care about these new and unknown characters. Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax are a group of criminal misfits brought together by happenstance. They’re strange, quirky, and quick to anger, each with a tragic backstory of their own. And it’s their faults that bring them together to prevent their common enemy from destroying the world.

While the plot itself may not be the most original plot (in fact a lot of other reviews compare it to Avengers, saying it lacks originality and has overlapping themes.) the thing people often forget is that these movies are comic book movies. They’re about good vs. evil. Misfits banding together. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It’s why most people read comic books. It’s relatable but also fantasy driven at the same time. It’s rooted in the impossibly possible. Anything can happen. And it does happen. Can you REALLY call a movie involving a CGI tree and raccoon, lacking originality?

There is a lot going on in Guardians of the Galaxy. Stunning visuals, fantastic and colorful set design, and just the cooky craziness “galaxy itself.” At times it can all be sensation overload. But I loved the blending of time and genres and I loved that the movie had a lot of heart. There were moments that made me laugh out loud and other moments that made me tear up. This movie is definitely pushing Chris Pratt into Action Star/Heartthrob/Chris Pine territory. It’s the ultimate summertime popcorn movie but with a lot of substance. And it’s unlike any other movie (Marvel or not) out there.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

Random Thoughts (**mini spoilers**)

  • There were so many hilarious and quotable lines in the movie. “Nothing goes over my head. I have great reflexes, I will catch them.
  • I absolutely loved the soundtrack.
  • Interesting articles about Rocket the raccoon. Kirk from Gilmore Girls is amazing!
  • Loved the ending teaser was just that, a teaser. You don’t always need a WOW moment.
  • Got lingering questions? This article probably has the answers.
  • I’d like a Groot of my very own, thank you.

dancing groot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Million Dollar Arm is your typical “from rags to riches” uplifting sports movie. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before: The Blindside, 42, Remember The Titans, Trouble With The Curve, I could go on…But just because we know how a story is going to end, doesn’t mean the journey can’t be enjoyable.

Million Dollar Arm
Directed By: Craig Gillespie
Starring: Jon Hamm, Aasif Mandvi, Bill Paxton, Madhur Mattal, Suraji Sharma, Pitobash, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin

Million-Dollar-Arm

 

5 Things You Need To Know

 

1. The movie is about J.B. Bernstein rather than Dinesh and Rinku, the athletes from India who become drafted in pro-baseball. J.B. Bernstein is an arrogant and ignorant, “Hollywood” sports agent. He’s used to luxury: big houses, flashy cars and expensive dinners. And to make matters worse, he’s desperate. He needs a win. And some people will do anything for a win. But even when he’s at his worst, he’s watchable because of the charismatic, Jon Hamm. Jon Hamm makes him someone to root for. We want him to be redeemed and when it happens it’ll be great.

2. Lake Bell takes on a more serious role as J.B’s “love” interest, Brenda…and I like it. Lake Bell has this funny awkward, rambly thing about her but sometimes she can be too over the top. In this movie, she was majorly toned down. She seemed down to earth, stable, and reasonable with her funny, nerdy personality still intact. This is the Lake Bell I like to see.

3. The movie could have benefited more from showing us more of Dinesh and Rinku’s culture. It touched upon it briefly, but I felt as if those moments were used more as comic relief as opposed to dramatic impact. Here’s this guy who’s pulling these two kids from the only small town life they’ve ever known and dropping them, by themselves into an unknown foreign country. I wish we could have seen more of Dinesh and Rinku’s home life or have seen J.B. be in uncomfortable situations as opposed to him bullying everyone. Yes, the turnaround came, but it almost came too late.

MILLION DOLLAR ARM

4.Pitobash does a hell of an acting job. Amit is by far one of my characters in this film. Pitobash plays him with such humility; you can’t help but love the guy and want him to succeed. And essentially he becomes the heart of the film. He does what J.B. cannot do. J.B. gave the guys the opportunity, Bill Paxton’s, Tom House gave them the skills, and Amit gave them the heart and the courage to go for the dreams. That is the story right there folks.

5. Dinesh and Rinku don’t have much character development. This movie is about J.B. Bernstein, the movie is Jon Hamm’s movie, but with taking this direction, the filmmakers do a great disservice to the triumphs of Dinesh and Rinku. I believe this story is just as much there’s as it is J.B.’s. What they did is just as important of a story as J.B.’s is. They uprooted their entire life, moved to a foreign country with no support system, were treated like crap by the guy they put all their faith in, and were put under immense pressure by being tasked with achieving something nearly impossible. They were scared, they were defeated, they were broken, but we never actually heard those things come from their mouth. They were always told to us by a third party. I wish this movie could have focused more on the tougher subjects.

 

Overall, this movie was an uplifting, compelling, heartfelt story. Though it could have taken bigger risks, we all knew how the story was going to end. It’s definitely a great movie to watch, but to shell out a lot of money to see it is unnecessary. It’ll be just as impactful spending less money and watching it on your couch with a pizza.

 

Rating: B-

 

 

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