Posts Tagged ‘Judy Greer’

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

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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

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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.

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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…

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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

The Descendants

Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard

Premise: Matt King must reconnect with his estranged daughters after their mother — his wife — is rendered comatose from a boating accident. Upon learning his wife would never wake again from the coma, Alex, his eldest daughter reveals to Matt, she had been having an affair on him.  This movie follows Matt’s journey with his kids as they go around finding friends and family to say goodbye to their mother and his wife, including the man she was having an affair with.

My Review: With any good movie, the most important thing is that you have to care about the characters, no matter how flawed they are. Good actors, good characters, good story. That’s all it takes. Sounds simple right? Not quite, this movie was anything but simple. It was filled with complicated feelings, intricate plot lines, and fantastically complex acting.

The thing about The Descendants that makes it so great is that it’s familiar. At one point or another we’ve all felt about family and life how Matt and his kids feel about family and life. We can relate. Though I’ve never dealt with a dying parent, or a parent that has cheated on another parent, we can all relate to feeling abandoned or betrayed or unloved. And the way the characters deal with the problems, by getting angry, or trying to rise above, or trying to understand by confronting the problem, it all feels real.

George Clooney was great. He played a different character then from how I’ve seen him. He wasn’t the charmer, he wasn’t the attractive mystery playboy man, he was a father, trying to get through the most difficult time in his life. This was a new George Clooney for me. I bought his performance entirely. But the actor that surprised me the most was Shailene Woodley. Best known for her work in Secret Life of the American Teenager, I thought this girl was a horrible actress. When the TV show first started out, I thought she was decent, but due to bad writing, poor plot points, and equally bad acting from her co-stars her acting seemed to get worse and worse. However, her acting in The Descendants was quite remarkable. Her make-up was toned down, her wardrobe was toned down, and all that was left was her performance. It was filled with all the teenage angst yet without the annoying, spoiled, immaturity that TV so desperately loves to bestow on young actors. Her character felt real. She was believable.

This movie is definitely worth checking out. Alexander Payne crafts an intricate and complicated movie, that though simple in concept, it’s extremely complex in execution. And if none of that appeals to you. See it for Clooney.

Rating:  3 1/2 to 4 Stars