Posts Tagged ‘bryce dallas howard’

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

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My friends say I’m always too critical when I watch movies. I’m the first to point out when something doesn’t make sense or is completely ridiculous. They say I need to just sit back and enjoy the movie. But you know what? The problem isn’t me. It’s the movie. If I’m focusing on what’s wrong with the movie then it’s doing something wrong.

With 50/50 there was nothing to complain about. Except for the fact that I didn’t bring tissues. That was big mistake.

50/50

Starring: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Seth Rogan, Anna Kendrick, Angelica Houston, Bryce Dallas Howard

Premise: Adam visits the doctor after feeling a pain in his back. That pain turns out to be a fast growing tumor giving him the survival odds of 50/50. This movie follows Adam as he copes with the disease through therapy and how it affects his relationships between his friends and family.

My review: Let me just get right to the point. This movie is good. Really, really good.

I’ve never known anyone that has had cancer or been through an illness, but this movie affected me in a way that had me crying through most of the last half of the movie. I found my eyes welling up at subtle moments, at sweet moments and I think that’s what I loved most about this movie. The movie didn’t purposefully tug at the heartstrings or try and manipulate the viewer into crying, you cried because you got attached to Adam. Adam’s response and coping mechanisms were so realistic, I just couldn’t help but feel for the dude.

There’s nothing unlikeable about Adam. He is not perfect. He is definitely flawed, but there was something about the way Joseph Gordon Levitt played him that made him utterly relatable. That being said, Joseph Gordon Levitt is pretty damn amazing. I liked him Inception, I really liked him in 500 Days Of Summer…I LOVED him in 50/50. His performance was genuine and believable, and subtle. He managed to balance out the larger personalities of the movie: his loud and obnoxiously goofy best friend, his spoiled girlfriend, and his neurotic, newbie therapist who wanted so much to do and say the right thing. And each of their respective actors, Seth Rogan, Bryce Dallas Howard, and the lovely Anna Kendrick, managed to make those characters three dimensional adding layers of personality instead of making them cartoon stereotypes.

Warning: See this with a lot of tissues. Don’t try and brave it out like I did, because you will end up with snot everywhere. Too much information? Probably, yes, but you will thank me! Joseph Gordon Levitt has one line in particular nearing the end of the movie that killed me. It’s probably exactly what I would say and do if I were in that situation and it made me bawl like a baby.

Overall, this movie was really fantastic. Thanks to Joseph Gordon Levitt. In the hands of any other actor this movie could have become too Lifetime Movie Of The Week. Watch it. And bring tissues…or at least bring a napkin from the concession stand!

 

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

 

When the credits started rolling, no one in the movie theater moved. It’s as if everyone was in a daze and needed a few moments to collect themselves. They silently wiped tears from their faces and it’s in those moments you realize what an amazing movie you just watched. Certain movies stay with you long after you’ve left the theater and The Help is one of those movies.

The Help

Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain

Premise: Based on a novel by Kathryn Stockett, The Help focuses on Skeeter (Stone) a southern society gal turned journalist who returns to town and decides to tell a story from the point of view of the help – the black women who have spent generations taking care of and serving prominent white families. As a result, she turns everyone’s lives upside down. She exposes the people she once considered friends and forms unlikely friendships with others she had been taught were subordinate.

My Review: This movie was much more about performance rather than story. It’s a story we’ve all heard before – there’s nothing really new about that. But it’s the performances of Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastin, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Octavia Spencer. That truly makes this movie one of the bests of the year.

First, Emma Stone’s, Skeeter – Watching Stone develop her character into a shy southern girl who wants to be a writer, into a girl observing and experience the injustice who is determined to do what’s right is pretty incredible. Stone has a knack for comedy, no one can deny that, but she is as good of a dramatic actor as she is a comedic one. Her scenes in particular with Allison Janney, who plays her mother, were extremely heartbreaking.

Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer who played Abileen and Minny respectfully, were extremely powerful. Davis played the silent brooding type. With just one look you can see in Abileen’s eyes the heartbreak, the struggle, the pain, and the years of suffering her character had to endure. Even a simple sigh tells us all we need to know.

Minny, on the other hand, spoke her mind and tried to rebel in other ways. She showed her strength by the way she always spoke the truth. Spencer’s scenes with Jessica Chastin, in particular, were great to watch.  Celia (Chastin) is fragile, ditzy, and flighty, but with a sweet soul. She has been rejected from the social circles for being considered “white trash.” Her kindness and vulnerability with Minny was truly one of the best parts of the film.

Also notable, the villain of the story, Hilly Holbrook, played by a deliciously evil, Bryce Dallas Howard. This character is heinous in every way: in things she does, like hiding from a person she hates, to practically squeezing people until she gets what she wants. However, Howard manages to make her not completely cartoonish. There are little instances throughout the movie where you see bits of humanity in her, though very wrong they may be.

This movie makes you feel. It will make you laugh, it will make you angry, it will make you think, and it will make you cry. And it also contains ironic lines such as “you better hurry up before this whole civil rights thing blows over” that makes you laugh, angry, think and cry all at the same time. It has haunting moments and images that will stay with you long after the movie ends. It’s a story that gives you someone and something to root for. Solid story, fantastic acting, enjoyable movie all around. What more can you ask for?

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

 

Random Thoughts:

  • One look from Cicely Tyson and your heart breaks.
  • Hey that’s Chris Lowell from Veronica Mars and Private Practice!
  • I appreciated the fact that the movie ended on an emotional yet hopefully note, rather than neat and tidy like a Disney movie.

 

 

 

Clint Eastwood likes to take it slow….Okay, so I’ve had that thought ever since I got out of the movie yesterday and I just had to share that gem of a phrase with you. I saw two movies this weekend. Here’s the first review…

 

 

Title: Hereafter

Players: Matt Damon, Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ceclie de France, and some other people.

Initial Impression Before Watching It: I don’t really know what it’s about, but Matt Damon’s storyline about him being a former psychic seemed intriguing. The Tsunami, dream-like quality, in the trailer, was confusing especially when seeing a dead woman floating in the water, then seeing her walking around after. I was unsure about that plot point, but willing to give it a chance.

What the movie is actually about: It’s actually three different stories lives, on a crash course to merge with each other by the end of the story. I know of reviews that have been describing it as another Babel. Rottentomatoes describes it as: “A supernatural thriller centered on three people — a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy — who are touched by death in different ways.” I don’t know if I’d actually call it a “supernatural thriller”, more like a supernatural drama.

 

My Review: Since the movie is going to break it down in three parts, I’m going to review it in three parts.

First, Matt Damon’s part. George (Matt Damon) is a psychic, stemming from a botched brain surgery when he was little. He can make these “connections” that help him to talk to loved ones deceased. He and his brother used to exploit his “gifts”, by charging money for readings, writing books, and setting up websites. And even after deserting that lifestyle, his brother still finds ways to drag George  (Jay Mohr) back into his his old lifestyle. George just wants to be a regular person. His gift is not a gift, but a curse.

Then there’s a political french reporter, Marie, and her lover who’s also her boss. They are vacationing somewhere, Mexico? Thailand? Brazil, I forget, but all of the sudden out of no where there’s this huge tsunami. I can’t imagine watching an impending Tsunami building and building in the waters as you watch from your Hotel room. While it seems scary, it’s also a pretty damn amazing sight. But as amazing as it is, it’s also destructive, destroying everything in its sight. Cars, people, buildings are now all weapons of mass destruction, knocking people off their feet and probably to their impending deaths. Marie struggles in the chaos, and she’s a fighter. First trying to save a little girl, only to be attacked by a desk that proceedes to drag her down. She however frees herself from the weight and brings herself to the surface only to be hit in the back with a car. Now how she survived this, I’ll never know. That car, in reality, should have broken her in half. But somehow, through CPR, she’s brought back from the brink of death. And the brink of death is apparently a space of a bright light with dark shadows mulling about. The same place George goes to in order to communicate with the dead.

Thirdly we meet two cute twin boys with an alcoholic mother. Now already this story has DOOM all over it seeing as how the two boys are so CLOSE to each other, and their mother is such a mess they have to take care of her. Of course, something awful happens. The older brother, the caretaker brother, is killed and the younger, quieter brother is forced to figure out how to survive without his brother – with essentially nothing. But he can’t, he’s holding onto his brother so tightly. And the only thing that seems to keep him going is his search to find out exactly where his brother went.

At the end these three stories converge, though I feel like it took a really long time for it to get there. Like I said, Clint Eastwood sure likes to take his time. Matt Damon’s story is the most interesting and moves along nicely. But I feel like the other two stories drag on. By the time the three get together everything feels rushed until it’s all over and you go away thinking, “No, you’re not ending like that, Are you? That’s it?” I wanted to know more at that point. That’s where things were starting to pick up, but I guess you can say that about many shows. Sometimes they end just at the brink of where things could get interesting again.

All in all, I feel like this is the kind of movie that would be nice to watch at home, on video, on a rainy day, curled up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. The acting – for the most part was fantastic. Except for Bryce Dallas Howard, who I felt was a little needy, and over dramatic, and frankly I know we were supposed to like her character, but I just didn’t. Or WERE WE? Humph. The Cinematography was pretty, if drab, but that’s usually what you get with Clint.

 

Overall grade: C+