Archive for the ‘movie reviews 2015’ 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