Archive for the ‘movies’ 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

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?

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything on my site. Time just seemed to get away from me, but to make up for it, it’s time for….

photo (1)

 

Yes, the 4th Annual ROCP Award Nominations!!

When reading these nominations, keep in mind there are some movies I have yet to see: Theory of Everything, Still Alice, Unbroken, and Big Eyes are still on my list. Also keep in mind, this was a very weird year for movies. There are only a few movies that are deemed worthy of STAND OUTS for me. I don’t even know if I can fully make a Top 10 list. There were good movies, perhaps even great movies, but only a 2 or 3 made me feel all those tingly, excited, have-to-tell-everyone-you-know-to-watch-it feels, you know, those feelings you have when you know you’ve seen greatness. But I digress…

This year I’ve decided to switch things up to keep things fresh, totally not because I’m lazy or because I can’t get my act together (*cough* yes it is *cough*), but because it makes sense to present my nominations for the best of the best or worst of the worst of 2014…at the end of 2014 (instead of my usual revealing the winner on New Years). I will reveal the winners sometime in the first two weeks of January to also give me a few more weeks to see the movies I’ve missed in case I wan’t to make any changes. Feel free to tell me what I’ve missed or what I got wrong.

 

The 4th ANNUAL ROCP Award Nominations are…

 

Best Movie of The Year
Snowpiercer
Birdman
Whiplash
Gone Girl
Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Biggest Surprise Of The Year
(Meaning I didn’t know how much I’d LOVE it)
The Guardians of the Galaxy
This is Where I Leave You
Edge of Tomorrow
Birdman
Whiplash

 

Worst Movie of The Year
The Best of Me
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Transcendence
Men, Women and Children

 

Biggest Let Down of The Year
(the movie I had been looking forward too only for it to flop)
Maleficent
Divergent
The Maze Runner
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Life After Beth

 

Best Actor
Matthew McConaughey, Interstellar
Jake Gyllenhaal, Interstellar
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher
Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

 

Best Actress
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods
Emily Blunt, Into The Woods
Emma Stone, Birdman
Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

 

Worst Actor/Actress
Surprisingly, no nominations. There’s no performance that sticks out as being so terrible.

 

Best Visual Effects
Interstellar
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Maze Runner
Guardians of the Galaxy
Mockingjay

 

Best Cinematography
Birdman
Interstellar
Into The Woods
Mockingjay
Gone Girl

Best Romantic Movie or Rom-Com Of The Year
The Other Woman
That Awkward Moment
This is Where I Leave You
The Fault In Our Stars
Walk of Shame
Best Action/Thriller Movie Of The Year
Edge of Tomorrow
Snowpiercer
Mockingjay
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Godzilla

 

Best Cheesy, Campy, Goodness Film
This is Where I Leave You
The Other Woman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Big Hero 6
Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Most Depressing Movie
Foxcatcher
The Judge
American Sniper
Life After Beth
Snowpiercer

 

Best Tearjearker
There’s really only one winner…to be revealed. No other movies I saw can I consider “tear jerkers” worthy to be in this category.

 

Best Indie Movie
No Nominations. There were some good ones, but none worthy of the “BEST” title.

The Movie That Had All The Makings To Be Great, But Wasn’t
Divergent
The Maze Runner
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Best of Me

 

Miscast Actors
James Cordon as the Baker in Into The Woods
Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collins, in Gone Girl
Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia, If I Stay
Jamie Blacklet as Adam, If I Stay
Ed Harris as Wilford in  Snowpiercer

 

Performance That Made Me a Fan (when I was otherwise neutral)
Miles Teller, Whiplash
Bill Hader, Skeleton Twins
Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

 

Breakout Performance
Ansel Egort, The Fault In Our Stars
Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy
Brenton Thwaites, The Giver
Lilla Crawford, Into The Woods

 

Most Memorable Performance (*new category)
Alison Pill’s crazy, demented, pregnant school teacher, in Snowpiercer
Jake Gyllenhaal’s psycho, twisted, creepy paparazzi, in Nightcrawler
Anna Kendrick neurotic, beautifully voiced Cinderella, in Into The Woods
BAYMAX! The lovable adorable inflatable medical robot, in Big Hero 6
Groot, because did Vin Diesel really do anything?, in Guardian’s of the Galaxy

 

Performance that Saved an Otherwise Luke Warm Movie (*new category)
Jake Gyllenhaal, Night Crawler
Angelina Jolie, Maleficient
Bill Hader, Skeleton Twins
Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner

 

Most Overrated (Why are people raving about this movie) Movie (*new category*)
The LEGO Movie
St. Vincent
The Judge
Boyhood

 



 

SPOILER ALERT AWARDS

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**warning do not read if you don’t want to know what happens in a certain movie!!**

SPOILER ALERT AWARDS!!

 

 


 

Most Disturbing Image, I’ll Never Get Out Of My Head

  • Pretty much the entire Nightcrawler movie.
  • Amy (Rosamund Pike) killing Desi Collings, oh, the blood! Gone Girl
  • Biggles (the handsome Jake McDorman) getting shot in the face, American Sniper
  • Those alien, human looking, monstrous, ugly turtles, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • The passengers at the back of the train eating each other/babies in order to survive, Snowpiercer
  • Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) whispering “Hail Hyrdra” into Agent Sitwell’s ear, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

The Moment That Ruined An Otherwise Good Movie

  • The weird, toned down, out-of-place ending scene to, Snowpiercer
  • Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) crashing through the glass window after escaping his meeting with his wife (Leslie Mann), girlfriend (Cameron Diaz), and mistress (Kate Upton), in The Other Woman
  • (Though there were other things wrong with it, I could get past everything but) Daniel Huttlestone’s accent as Jack. Giants in the Sky is probably my favorite song from any musical and his accent didn’t do the song justice!, in Into The Woods.
  • The trippy existential, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) made it happen not the aliens or some other worldly being, plot line from Interstellar, can’t it just be Aliens?

 

The Moment That Saved An Otherwise Bad Movie

No Nominations

 

The Best Laugh-Out-Loud moment

  • Jenko (Channing Tatum) realizing Schmidt (Jonah Hill) has been dating the bosses (Ice Cube’s) daughter, complete with the timer going off and him running around the squad room in pure glee, 22 Jump Street
  • Chris Pine and Bill Magnussen ripping their shirts open, Into The Woods
  • Hiro showing Baymax how to fist bump, Big Hero 6.
  • Groot’s smile after knocking out all those bad guys, Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

Most Tearful Moment

  • When Augustus (Ansel Egort) dies, but also pretty much the entire movie of The Fault In Our Stars.
  • Chris Kyle calling his wife amidst all the chaos telling her he’s ready to come home, American Sniper.
  • The “Monuments Men” listening to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” especially Bill Murray bursting into tears, The Monuments Men.
  • Baymax sacrificing himself to save Hiro, Big Hero 6.
  • Adian (Zach Braff) saying goodbye to his estranged father (Mandy Patinkin), Wish I Was Here

 

Best Movie Moment

  • The last 10 minutes when Andrew (Miles Teller) finally stands up to his domineering drum instructor (J.K. Simmons), Whiplash
  • Meryl Streep singing “Last Midnight”, I mean come on! Into the Woods
  • Anna Kendrick singing, “On The Steps of the Palace”, Into The Woods
  • All the “Guardian’s” coming together in a big emotional moment, standing next to each other in a circle and Rocket saying, “Well now I’m standing. Happy? We’re all standing now. Bunch of jackasses, standing in a circle,” Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • The entire Nick Fury car chase ending with the reveal of The Winter Soldier, badass! Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

 

What are you thoughts on my nominations? Did I miss anything? Check back in a couple of weeks for the winners!

 

 

 

 

The Maze Runner movie, while vastly different from the book it’s based on, is almost a “really great movie”. Unfortunately due to the lack of character development, a fantastic maze that is severely underused and a messy anticlimactic ending, I can only call this movie “pretty good”.

 

The Maze Runner
Directed By: Wes Ball
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster , Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Ki Hong Lee, Aml Ameen, Blake Cooper, Patricia Clarkson

 

>>THE BREAKDOWN<<
*WARNING, this review contains some spoilers*

 

The Visuals:  The Look of the Movie, the Production Design, the Maze, the Grievers
The Good:  The Glade looked handmade, it was simple, rustic, and messy. The walls of the Maze keeping them in were huge and looming and definitely gave you the trapped feeling. The Maze in general was amazing: massive, looming, and intimidating and the way it moved in new and different ways from the book was intriguing.
The Bad:  Unfortunately the Maze, as amazing as it was, was SEVERLY underused. There were so many ways the movie could have explored the intricacies of the Maze, but instead it settled on the cliché, or finding ways to keep the kids in The Glade. For a movie called The Maze Runner, they weren’t really in the Maze at all.
The Ugly:  A big change the movie made from the book was the “Griever’s Hole” *spoiler alert, book and movie* Instead of jumping off a cliff into seemingly nothing, a bunch of doors opened up revealing…well a hole that leads to…a door. BORING. And instead of a huge, bloody, Griever fight upon making their way into the Griever hole. We get a lot of exposition…in the form of a video. SNOOZE ALERT!

The Cast:  The Actors, The Characters, the Performances
The Good:  Dylan O’Brien is a GREAT, leading man. He had great presence and he commanded the screen. As for the rest of the actors, I can never have enough of Thomas Brodie-Sangster (who will always be the kid from Love Actually to me). And Will Poulter is a joy to watch, even if he is playing a bad-ish guy. The cast gelled together. Especially the male Gladers. They’re performances were strong and the main characters were memorable.
The Bad:  Kaya Scoderlario as Teresa. She’s a good actress, I’ll give you that. But in this movie her character was almost unnecessary. The filmmakers took away Teresa and Thomas’ bond, making her just a girl who happened to land in the Maze. Bad form, making a character that’s really important completely unnecessary.
The Ugly:  Beyond Thomas (O’Brien) we were never really given any time to know any of the characters. We knew that Newt, Minho, Chuck, Alby, and Gally were important, but we weren’t really given any backstory. We weren’t given a real chance to get to know them. I know that’s always a danger given movie vs. book (The first Hunger Games Movie had that problem too). But while some of the characters will be given a sequel for us to get to know them, at least let us get to know the secondary characters better so when you inevitably kill them off, we still care about them.

 

maze-runner-pictures-5

 

The Story: The Story, The Plot, The What The Heck Is This Movie About?
The Good:  The story is a good one. It’s intriguing. It’s different from other dystopian, YA books with its kids killing kids, aliens invading, earth crumbling. It’s about getting out of this place they’ve been dropped into. It’s about finding freedom. The first book of The Maze Runner series is stellar because you don’t know what’s going to happen.
The Bad:  Unfortunately this movie a lot of the more difficult plot lines, that made this story so special and so intriguing. Why do some of the characters hate Thomas so much, even when he first arrives? Why did they try to save Alby but immediately banish Ben? Why wasn’t Teresa in a coma and why weren’t the other Gladers more suspicious of her? A lot of the little things the book do come into play in a big way in the later installments in the series. Did the filmmakers even READ the other books?
The Ugly:  On the bright side, as drastically different from the book (in almost a disastrous way) this movie was, it actually brings me hope for the rest of the sequels. Because The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure as books were a mess. Maybe Hollywood can make it better? This movie needs to take note from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The changes in the movie should be in order to make the story better, not because a storyline was too complicated. And even if that wasn’t the case, you don’t want the audience to come out of a movie thinking that.

 

Overall, while this movie was good. It wasn’t great. And it could have been really great.

 

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

The newest full trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 movie premiered on Monday and I have to tell you, while it wasn’t as spectacular as some of the other trailers for the previous installments of the movie, it still made me very very excited. Here are…

 

 

8 Things I LOVED About The Trailer.

 

1. This shot of Effie. Even without the elaborate costume and fanciful make-up and hair, Effie still looks fabulous. Kudos to those eyebrows.

1_Effie

 

 

2. Katniss’ Mockingjay Suit. It’s stellar! While it has been compared to Batman’s suit (which I find a good thing), I absolutely love the hardcore style. Can you imagine a Ready to Wear version of this sold in stores, Like a jacket maybe? (I watch a lot of Project Runway, someone make this happen).

2_Katniss Outfit

 

3. This defiant look on Katniss’ face when she says…”Or find another Mockingjay.” This just proves we will be getting another fantastic and heartbreaking performance from Jennifer Lawrence. I also LOVE the fact that her hair is down and not in her signature braid.

3_This look

 

4. This look from Finnick. No Explanation necessary.

4_And This look

 

 

5. This amazing shot. The camera work in this trailer is truly fantastic. There are some great “money shots” in the trailer, and this still is powerful even on it’s own. So. Much. Emotion.

5_This Goregous Shot

 

6. The shot of Messalla or Pollux’s camera “insect shell.” Spot on intepretation from the books.

6_The Shells of the Cameramen

 

7. Haymitch’s hug. The way he and Katniss grasp each other makes me think I will probably be crying when I see this scene in the movie. You can really see how much Haymitch cares for her.

7_This Hug

 

 

8. The amazing final shot in the trailer. When Katniss and Gale shoot down one of the hovercrafts. So intense (and great camerawork to boot!)

8_Amazing Shot

 

 

Why is November so far away? What did you think of the trailer?

 

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

 

 

 

 

Snowpiercer is dark and it’s hilarious, it’s subtle and it’s over the top, it’s violent and it’s gentle. It’s all these things without being too much. It’s movie making at its best: creative, smart, thrilling, original, and a movie that makes you excited. Everything about this movie is just right.

Snowpiercer
Directed By: Boon Joon-ho
Starring: Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, Ed Harris, Alison Pill, Ah-sung Ko

Premise: A failed global experiment dispenses a frozen tundra across Earth killing off most of the planet. The remaining survivors are collected onto a massive train called the Snowpiercer that has been circling the Earth in a perpetual state of motion for the past 17 years. The lower class passengers are relegated to the back of the train forced to eat disgusting food (if they even get to eat at all) while the upper class passengers sit at the front of the train living in luxury. Hoping to change their circumstances, Curtis reluctantly finds himself leader of a strange band of renegades who strive to fight for better living conditions by killing Wilfred, the pusedo-god all the upper citizens worship for being responsible for the train and their survival.

 

 

4 Things I Liked About Snowpiercer

 

1)  Tilda Swinton Wins The Movie: Snowpiercer is filled with eccentric and diverse performances from its quirky characters.   Kang-ho Song and Ah-sung Ko are funny as the drug addicted father-daughter duo with special skills to help Curtis (Chris Evans) on his mission. Alison Pill is brilliant as the overly perky, obviously brainwashed, definitely disturbed pregnant grade school teacher. But it’s Tilda Swinton’s performance as Mason, the person enforcing all the rules, keeping everyone in line, that definitely wins the movie. She completely immerses herself in this delusional character and is able to bring strange and creepy quirks to the role without going overboard with her performance. She really is just a marvel to watch, buck teeth and all.

2)  The Production Design and Set Dressing was Visually Striking:  Each room of the train was different, but still dynamic. It was set up in the perfect way for a fresh and new adventure to happen within a small, contained space.  While watching this movie my friend actually said, the production designer must have had so much fun making the movie.

3)  The Movie was a Fresh Take on an Old Story: Snowpiercer was a blend of many different genres. It was Tarantino-esque, with Asian movie themes, all taking place in a dystopian world. But somehow, even with these blending of genres, the movie managed to feel fresh and original. The fight things were creative (especially fighting in the dark), and yes, there was brutal violence, but it wasn’t overtly bloody. It wasn’t gratuitous. You know no limbs falling off or blood squirting out. Just the normal amount of gore, you know, when you’re shooting and slicing your way through a passenger train.

4)  Chris Evans was a Great Leading Man: As important as the story, the production design, the directing, and the other actors were, Chris Evans as the lead was just as important. He had this spark in him throughout the entire movie. You could tell he really loved what he was doing. He showed his “superhero” strength in the intense action sequences, and he also showed his vulnerable side in the more emotional scenes. He was believable and he was more than just a pretty face.

Snowpiercer is one of those movies you always remember. There is something in this movie for everyone. It is a movie that brings a sledgehammer to your imagination bubble and cracks it wide open letting all its contents spill out and into your soul. And if you’re a creator after watching this movie, you’re going to want to create. Snowpiercer is a movie for movie lovers. So go watch it already.

Rating: 4 ½ stars (out of 5)

 

 

 

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?

 

 

 

 

Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was even more terrible than I ever imagined it could be. I didn’t realize it was possible, but I feel like all the technological advances did this movie reboot more harm than good. I went into the movie expecting to hate-watch it, and I came out of it with longing to see the movie I grew up with. Give me foam, animatronic, Jim Henson puppeteered Turtles over dark, over stuffed, creepy CGI Turtles with Angelina Jolie lips any day!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Directed By: Jonathan Liebesman
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Alan Ritchson, Johnny Knoxville, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Polszek, Tony Shalhoub, William Fichtner, Danny Woodburn

 

 

My review for this movie will be in the form of a list. I’m pretty sure you can get the point:

 

Things I Thought While Hate-Watching Teenage Ninja Turtles
**WARNING **
**There are some SPOILERS ahead, but really, I’m doing you a favor**

 

  • Why do the Turtles have lips? (And they kinda look like Shrek…)
  • Splinter looks terrible. He has a nose like a dog and not enough fur.
  • Why is Shredder a Transformer?
  • She’s been in snow, rain, and sewage, how is Megan Fox’s hair so perfectly dry?
  • Why is the Donatello (the smart Turtle) so cliché nerdy? With the gadgets, glasses with tape on it, smart speak etc.
  • Why is there so much exposition? Like, the entire movie is exposition.
  • Why do the characters tell us what’s happening before it happens, while it’s happening, then what happened after it happens? (aka, man, this writing is terrible)
  • Why didn’t April show the pictures of the Turtles to her Editor to make her believe her?
  • Megan Fox cannot carry this entire movie by herself.
  • Megan Fox should have a stronger side-kick then Will Arnett who only provides comic relief lines.
  • Speaking of comedians, this movie had a lot of them, too bad none of them did or said anything funny: Taran Killam, Abby Elliott, Whoopi Goldberg  were all severely underused.
  • The actors did a lot of screaming each other’s names in this movie. Just in case we didn’t know who was who.
  • Contrary to popular believe, people don’t want to sit in movies hearing about how hot the lead character is every other sentence. Megan Fox is hot, we get it. You don’t need to beat us over the head with it. At least there wasn’t an obligatory bikini, wet shirt, or e-fan/windblown shot to emphasize it even more.
  • The Turtles were her pets? Seriously?
  • Thank GOD, there wasn’t a love story.
  • For a movie not being directed by Michael Bay (it was only produced by Bay) Jonathan Liebesman sure used a lot of Michael Bay staples (same shots, noises, actors…)
  • Liebesman missed the perfect moment for the Turtles to say “Cowabunga” and instead when they did say it, it was cut off and well anti-climactic because the Turtles told us it was coming.
  • More pizza!
  • The movie was at its strongest when the Turtles worked together. And by far the greatest sequence was the snow sequence. I have to say the dark looking Turtles look amazing against the white snow. It was a beautiful palette.
  • Why did the entire reporter plot disappear and not circle back at the end?

I watched this movie purely out of curiosity. I knew I wasn’t going to like it. I knew it was going to be terrible. But I’m a movie buff and I had to watch it. While this movie got the dynamics between the Turtle brothers right, it pretty much got everything else wrong. I know Hollywood likes to remake, reboot, reinterpret, and mess with things in the hopes of making them more modern. But modern doesn’t have to mean louder and flashier. Sometimes I think big action filmmakers forget that…

 

Rating: 1 1/2 Stars

 

“Cowabunga!”