Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Movie Review Madness #26-31

While procrastination is something I enjoy immensely when it comes to uploading my blog, watching movies is something I try not to procrastinate about. Because c'mon, those movies aren't going to watch themselves! So while I have been watching films recently (or in the case of some going all the way back to this summer), I just haven't been writing about these movie experiences. Thus creating a lovely backlog on my blogging. So here's the most recent movie info I can share.

26: Wanderlust
Wanderlust is described as strong desire or impulse to travel somewhere new and exciting. In this case of this film, it is a husband and wife (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) who fall on hard economic times and have to give up their lush life in the city for a commune in the countryside, where free love is eagerly exercised. The movie follows the two as they adjust to this new life and try to maintain their marriage. I give the movie a 7.5. The cast was stand out for me including Alan Alda as the commune's leader, Justin Theroux as a sexual magnet on the women of the commune, and Ken Marino as Paul Rudd's annoying brother. While it brings to mind what a marriage can go through and must try and survive, the title seemed better suited for a different kind of film.

27: What to Expect When You're Expecting
Based on the book women have used for ages when preparing for pregnancy, the movie pulls tons of great actors together for the stories of various couples and their roads to being parents. The movie covers the topic of adoption, miscarriage, and most importantly what a woman goes through making life inside her. Featuring Elizabeth Banks, Dennis Quaid, Anna Kendrick, Chase Crawford, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, and Chris Rock to name some, the cast works well together and doesn't force the film. Star studded movies like Valentine's Day and the follow up New Year's Eve tanked, but What to Expect When You're Expecting was more like Love Actually in the way the stories flowed. I give it an 8 out of 10. The movie had me in stitches at times, and holding back tears at others. A great film for a night with the girls.

28: Safe House
Add together Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, and action? Seems like a concoction for a pretty sweet flick. The movie follows Ryan Reynolds as a CIA safe house operator that gets little (basically no) action. When suddenly Denzel is mixed in as a CIA turncoat who needs to be brought in for questioning. Things go horribly wrong, and Reynolds and Washington are on the run together. I give the movie a 5 out of 10. What could have been an amazing film, instead was lackluster and predictable. The action was acceptable and the only part that was redeeming was the cast. Side characters including Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, and Sam Shepherd. It is a bland version of Enemy of the State.

29: Breaking Dawn 2
The epically awaited end of the Twilight series finally arrived. Bella wakes up as a vampire and gets to live happily for a while, when suddenly mayhem ensues. Someone is mistaken and doesn't bother to check their facts before going to the vampire high counsel. The counsel then seeks out to deal with the issue and the Cullen family has to gather people to their side. As with every other Twilight film, the surrounding cast is what makes the film great. Not to mention, Kristen Stewart's infidelity with her Snow White and the Huntsman director left a tainted cloud around the final film. I give it a 7 out of 10. Mainly because now the series is finally done, so there is no more awkward acting between Rob and Kristen. The music was great and the supporting cast is what made the film. The director's twist on what is a dull finish in the book was a bit extreme in my opinion. It would have flowed better in my opinion if instead of a huge fight scene just having flashes. Because the entire theater was screaming obscenities during that part, and it basically made me wish the book had just ended that way. In my opinion, not the best film of the series but certainly not the worst.

30: The Hobbit
When I heard that the Hobbit was being made into a film, I was ecstatic. Being one of my favorite novels growing up (I have read it over a dozen times) I was intrigued on how Peter Jackson would do justice to the book the way he did with the Lord of the Rings. I was not disappointed. Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo, a hobbit living cozily and without any adventure in his life. Ian McKellen reprises as Gandalf and spurs the young hobbit off on the trip of his life in the company of several dwarves who are attempting to reclaim their home from the claws of Smaug the dragon. I give the movie an 8.5 out of 10. Jackson is intending on spreading the story into three films, and that to me is a bit excessive. Two movies would suffice to tell the story easily. But the action is great, specifically some dealings with a goblin king, and the dwarf cast is amazing (particularly Thorin, Fili, and Kili who are quite attractive). The back story of the white orc was not mentioned in the book, but constituted a decent portion of the film's story. Having not read all of Tolkein's work I don't know if it is featured elsewhere or entirely the creation of Jackson. It didn't detract from the story, but still seemed unnecessary. Overall, I enjoyed the film and cannot wait for the next installment, which I will of course see even if I disapprove.

31: Django Unchained
Since Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite directors, I was quite thrilled that he had something coming out. The story is of a slave Django (Jamie Foxx) who is assisted by a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) in rescuing his wife (Kerry Washington) from the grips of a gruesome slave owner (Leo DiCaprio). I give the film an 8.5 out of 10. As with Tarantino's films, it was incredibly violent, and at times made me cover my eyes. The violence itself was not bad but in context with the story, it was a lot to handle. The cast was phenomenal. Stand out for me was Leo as the slave owner. He just keeps proving his talent again and again. I enjoyed Waltz, but have to say I prefer him as the bad guy (i.e. Inglorious Basterds). Overall, standard Taratino fare with a little extra uncomfortable on the side.

It might be a while before I can see another film, but may your popcorn always be buttery and your slushie unmelted!

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