Archive for June, 2013

To answer the question that’s been keeping you all awake at night, I shed no tears during Man Of Steel. There were some heart warming moments but none that had me wiping away tears from underneath my 3D glasses. Speaking of 3D, let’s jump in.

If you haven’t watched this film yet and are considering watching it in 3D, allow me to attempt to save you a couple of bucks. I honestly didn’t feel that the 3D brought anything to the film that couldn’t have been enjoyed just as much in 2D. To the good stuff.

Going to try my best to keep this as spoiler free as possible friends.

In the beginning, Kal-El was born. It’s an origin story we all know and the writers handle it well. A child is born, a world is dying, let’s send him to earth and hope that a kind, loving couple will find him and raise him as their own. With the childhood years told in flashbacks the story never gets bogged down by character development, which so many comic book adaptations tend to do. But not here friends, no, here the story is quick paced and entertaining, filled with action packed battles and even a laugh or two. Now to the actors.

I won’t waste your time or bore you here by giving you a play by play review of every actors performance. Let me hit the high points: Henry Cavill was an excellent choice for the Man Of Steel, as he was able to convince me that a man with god-like powers could still be a humble Kansas farm boy at heart. Watching Russell Crowe embody Jor-El had me at one point wanting to shout “Are you not entertained?”. This is the part where I have to glance up and remind myself that I wasn’t going to review every performance and force myself to move on. I enjoyed everyones performance and felt the casting choices were spot on. Michael Shannon as General Zod brought a bit of humanity to the Kryptonian villain…damn it there I go again…

And heres the wrap up. Man Of Steel kept me entertained for the near two and a half hour running time it clocked in at. I think it was a great way to reboot the Superman franchise and hopefully the first lead in to The Justice League movie we’ve been promised and anxiously awaiting for years. For those of you like me that sit through the end credits of every movie I’ll save you some time and let you know there is nothing after the credits, stand up and leave with the rest.

Man Of Steel gets a strong: Catch it in theaters(but in 2D). Hope you enjoy it friends.

-D

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The Wizard of Oz is one of my top 10, if not top 5, favorite films of all time. It is a wonderfully made, enjoyable film for the entire family that has a certain addictive quality. In addition, the special effects are incredible for the 1930’s. Needless to say, I went into Oz: the Great and Powerful very hopefully but also with great skepticism. I mean lets be honest here, it’s a prequel to one of the best loved films of all time made nearly a century later. Is it possible for the filmmakers to recapture the magic that made the original so well loved? To even connect with the audience the way that the original did? The answer is…most of the time, yes.

Oz is very interesting film. It has a slightly more fantastical element than the original but overall maintains the family friendly fantasy vibe that the original executed so well. The basic story consists of a young Oz, a traveling fair magician, being transported via tornado to the Merry Old Land of Oz. Oz encounters Munchkins, Winkies, and a few Witches of both good and Wicked varieties. He also encounters all manner of magical beings and mystical creatures all the while trying to save the land from evil.

A solid cast backed by a pretty good script make this film an overall good experience. Surprisingly good (just because of the genre) direction from Sam Raimi brings a whole different element to the vibe of the movie. If you’re a fan of the original, or even if you aren’t, it’s a film well worth watching. This one is worth your money. 3/4 stars.

-Heath

When I first watched the trailer for this movie I was intrigued but gave it a pass in theaters. After watching it today, I’m glad I did.

Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a horrible film. There were some laughs, decent special effects and even some brief nudity. The story is one we all know: kids left in forest stumble upon house made of candy and begin to nibble, witch throws them in a cage and tries to fatten them up so she can cook and eat them, kids push witch in oven committing first step towards becoming sociopaths…or something like that.

Don’t go into this film expecting anything more than what it is, a fairy tale stretched to almost ninety minutes. The actors turn in decent performances, Peter Stormare does his asshole routine and Jeremy Renner stops by in between Avengers and Mission: Impossible sequels. Gemma Arterton as Hansel’s ass-kicking, foul mouthed sister Gretel, is the other half of the witch killing duo who’s five year mission is to seek out new life and…no wait, thats another movie, their mission is just to kill witches.

Entertaining but nothing to go out of your way to see, all in all I’d give Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters a : wait for it on Netflix Instant.

-D

I was very anxious to see this movie from the time I heard about it going into pre production. The concept alone was enough to pique my interest but the fact that the Wachowskis were involved as well as some of the most talented names in Hollywood cemented my desire to see it. Unfortunately, I missed it during its theatrical run and the skeptic in me wouldn’t allow me to spend my hard earned money on the Blu-Ray. I was finally able to sit down and watch a rental last night.

For those unfamiliar, the basic concept is that a soul can be reborn multiple times as different sexes, nationalities, and across hundreds of years. The basic storyline is 6 stories set in different times and places, that somehow all tie together, that tell the story of one soul. This film has the potential to be an impressively disorganized sloppy mess, fortunately though it’s not.

Spread across hundreds of years, and telling the six stories all at the same time miraculously avoiding being muddled and impossible to comprehend. The stories are even told in different genres with drama, action, comedy, Sci-Fi, and mystery all being represented very successfully. The actors all do a tremendous job at playing very different multiple roles still managing to avoid a train wreck. Tom Hanks in particular does a fantastic job in this movie, would you really expect any less?

I cannot stress enough how amazed I am that this film is coherent and avoids being messy. This film can be visually stunning at times and heartbreaking or even funny at others. Clocking in at just under 3 hours, it never gets boring. If anything, I would’ve been fine watching another hour or maybe even more. Also it not just a “watch once and ignore for the rest of your life” good film, it’s a multiple viewings type film.

In summary, I really, truly loved this film. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. It made me laugh at times and cry at others. It always left me wondering what would happen next and how the stories would eventually tie in. It’s obvious to me now that this film will take multiple viewings to truly understand and be able to explain in depth, but that’s just fine with me. This film is definitely worth buying and gets a 5/4(yes you read that right). Enjoy.

-Heath

I went into this film thinking there was no way it could live up to the hype. Thankfully I was wrong. If you’ve seen the trailers then you know the plot. Actors playing versions of themselves get together for a party, the rapture happens, people die and the main characters try to survive the apocalypse.

I was concerned that as funny as the trailers were they may have given away all the laughs, again I was wrong. This film hits the ground running and keeps the laughs coming for the nearly two hour race to the end. I warn you friends, if you don’t enjoy low brow humor, this is not the film for you. If you enjoy movies about drug use, masturbatory discussions and demons, then I strongly suggest you go see this film. To any of you potheads out there, this is the film to get baked and go see.

I thought the actors did a great job of poking fun at themselves and each other. I never felt that any of them were trying to one up the others and the movie really felt as if a group of friends were dealing with the end of the world in the best way they knew how. There are a lot of actors with cameos in this film but Michael Cera steals every scene he is in.

This is one of the funniest films I have watched in a while. The entire audience was laughing for the entire film and I can honestly say I have never been in a theater where that has happened. I watched this film at a free screening but would happily go back to pay and watch it again when it opens. That’s how much I enjoyed it.

I hope I’ve given you enough opinion without giving anything away. This Is The End was extremely funny and even had some “what the hell” moments. So to wrap this up, I give This Is The End a very strong: Watch It In Theaters

-D

I had extremely high hopes when I first sat down to watch Avatar. What with all the box office records it broke and people committing suicide, how could this film not keep me entertained, it is the worlds highest grossing film after all. Director James Cameron already held that title with his previous blockbuster Titanic, which I really enjoyed. So, Mr. Cameron releases two films in the span of about twelve years, holds the number one and two spots for highest grossing films of all time and again I ask, how could this film not keep me entertained? Well…let’s dive in.

“But…it’s beautiful.” That’s usually the first thing I hear when I disclose the fact that I never finished watching Avatar. I have no argument with that, it is a visually astounding film. The Na’vi home world is breathtaking, the vibrant colors and brilliant landscapes are usually only found in dreams. I find no fault in the cinematography. Lets move on.

“Dude…it made billions of dollars.” The second thing I hear. Again I can offer no argument to this fact. Box office records were shattered by the second coming of Camerons Blockbuster touch. This film broke and holds too many records for me to list here. Well I could list them here but we’ve both got better things to do so I’ll move on.

“What do you mean you nearly fell asleep?!!!” The third thing I hear when discussing this film. Alas it’s true. As I sat in my home, popcorn and soda near at hand, my eyelids began to droop as my head lolled to the side. I admit I too was shocked by this development. How could I be about to fall asleep when the big blue kitty had just jumped onto the dragon things back? My friends the simple truth is…I was bored. For all its bright colors and wondrous landscapes, the CGI and special effects, for all the strange creatures and plant life found on this beautiful alien world and yes even for all its obvious references to the treatment of the Native Americans by the white man, I still found the storyline boring. I tried again, giving it a second chance and a few more minutes but when the second head loll came, I reached for the remote and for possibly the third or fourth time in my life I stopped watching a movie only partway through.

“You should have went to the theater to see it.” This is the closing argument of my cinephile friends and perhaps they are right. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more in IMAX 3D with thunderous sound systems and over priced concessions, surrounded by people as opposed to the comfort of my home. Perhaps the fault lies in me. There’s always the chance that I wouldn’t know a good movie if it walked up and bit me on the ass, as I’ve been told on occasion.

If you’ve hung in there with me this far down then I promise it’s almost over.

Maybe one day I’ll go back and give Avatar another shot and maybe I’ll even make it all the way to the end after all I’ve been told I missed out on a freaky blue kitty tree sex scene or something like that.

That’s my opinion friends and you know what they say about those.

-D

Being a fan of a good thriller/psychological horror film, I couldn’t miss The Purge. Very strong previews piqued my curiosity. The film starts with the pretty standard introduction to the whole concept, crime and unemployment at an all time low in 2022 America due to the Annual Purge. The Annual Purge is a yearly event in which all laws are suspended for 12 hours so that citizens can cleanse their minds and souls of all the anger and frustration they build up throughout the year.

After the introduction of the premise with some “Purge Feed” footage over the credits we finally get around to character introductions. A pretty standard introduction to all of the key characters ensues showing the main family’s ritual for protection from the night’s events. After the idealistic, if not foolish, anti-purge youngest child lets in a potential Purge victim the trouble begins. The people who were hunting him are none too happy that he’s been given shelter but if you’ve seen the preview this is nothing new.

Throughout the course of the film, we get some great scares and some well done action sequences. There are also some vaguely predictable last second lives saved. The film is also full of the standard thriller twists and turns, but they never seem to get boring. The film wraps with a great final sequence and a fairly unpredictable ending.

A good script executed by a solid cast makes for a truly entertaining experience. Though slightly predictable at times, it’s easily forgivable considering just how entertaining the film is. If you are looking for some good scares and thrills, look no further, the Purge is worth your money. This one gets a fully erect.

-Heath