Friday, June 13, 2014

A Ton of Movie Reviews, Because I Got Behind...

I keep a running list of films I see and my ratings of them so eventually I can write a quick bit for my blog. And, um...I got a little backed up.  Oops.  So enjoy around 20 reviews.  Seriously.

#49: The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit is one of my favorite books of all time.  So when I heard Peter Jackson was doing it, I was excited…and worried.  Just as any reader is when they find out one of their favorite books is being adapted.  Lots can go wrong.  I really enjoyed the first portion of the movie, but was beginning to question why it was being spread out, why, why, why. It was amazing, just fucking amazing.  I give the movie 9.5 out of 10.  The way that he did Smaug was brilliant, and voiced by my future husband (yeah) Benedict Cumberbatch, it was the scene stealer.  Do I think the movie needed to be split in a franchise? No. But I think Jackson’s doing a decent job so far so we’ll see.

#50: Mystery Men   

This movie was on my Netflix list for ages, so one day I finally decided to sit and watch it.  The movie centers on some weird superheroes that are just trying to make the world a better place and getting no support for it.  The film is quirky and strange, but ultimately amusing.  I give it 7 out of 10.  The most standout aspect for me was the cast.  William H. Macy as a superhero is pretty adorable.

#51: Brick   

This was another movie on my Netflix list, and when I was catching up on stuff before it got deleted, this made the cut.  The film is intensely cerebral and features a complicated web of high school fuckery.  Drugs, sex, lies, deceit. So basically high school, am I right? (this was not my high school experience in case you’re wondering) I give the film 7 out of 10. There is beautiful cinematography and the film leaves you asking a big question: is she lying or isn’t she?  But sometimes I got tripped up in the story. However, baby Joseph Gordon Levitt is precious.

#52: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind  

This was getting taken of Netflix so I knew I needed to watch it.  Which I did right before I ended up getting dumped…yeah.  The story has an Inception like quality that I found amazing and was supplemented with great cinematography.  I give it 8 out of 10.  It was a weirdly cathartic moment that ended up actually being cathartic because I wanted to erase someone.  It really makes you wonder: Would you erase anyone if you had the chance?

#53: Blackfish  

I was obsessed with the Free Willy movies when I was younger.  My best friend growing up and I used to watch them and pretend we were baby whales.  We were so badass.  I was interested in seeing this documentary because of that fascination, and because I had heard people’s thoughts on it.  The film is definitely one sided in stating the horrible state these animals are kept in captivity, so why are we surprised when they lash out?  Opposing views were minimal and at times blame was placed on trainers.
In reality it is an animal, it can’t communicate with us so how do we really know what it is thinking?  I give it 8 out 10.  While the film was one sided, it was a very interesting concept to consider.  Is it worth having aquariums and zoos if the animals aren’t always properly taken care of and could they lash out eventually?

#54: Movie 43  

I don’t have much to say about this film.  It’s a compiled list of movie ideas from a washed up actor and all these ideas play out as different parts of the film.  It is full of A-listers but not a lot of good jokes.  I give it 3 out of 10.  The only redeeming part for me was Patrick Warburton trying to handle guys reacting to a girl’s period.  Which was still a cheap laugh, but I can’t deny how funny he is.  Overall, don’t waste your time.  Seriously.

#55: Stuck in Love  

This one popped up on my interest list and I couldn’t help watching because not only is about writers but Greg Kinnear is not in enough movies!  The story follows a family of writers navigating life.  Dad is stuck on his ex-wife, son is trying to woo the popular girl who has issues, and the daughter trying to push away real emotional attachment.  It’s genius.  I give it 8 out 10.  I really enjoyed the story and the cast was fantastic.  Also I crushed hardcore on Logan Lerman which is probably a bad idea because he’s a bit younger than me, but whatever.  He’s adorable in this movie.

#56: Butter  

I really didn’t know what to expect from this movie.  All I knew about it was that it featured butter carving.  So…yeah.  What?  Jennifer Garner does crazy exceptionally well as a housewife losing her status and trying to stay “on top” of the butter carving game.  Although she is quickly undermined by a little girl, who becomes obsessed with the practice of carving butter.  I give it 7 out of 10.  This movie is ridiculous in its concept, but actually almost made me cry with the sentimentality it gets to at the end.  The cast is pretty good too.  Like I said earlier, Jen Garner does crazy.  Really well.

#57: Bo Burnham’s What.  

I’ve been following this kid since his YouTube days, so I knew I had to check this comedy show out.  It had an absolutely hilarious songy intro.  It was far more interactive than just a normal comedy show in my opinion.  But then again, I haven’t seen many comedy shows.  I give it 7 out of 10.  The crass material can rub someone the wrong way at times, but I think it’s important to remember it’s an act.  Overall, it would have been a better show to see live but he’s still hilarious.

#58: God Bless America   

I really wasn’t sure what to do about this movie at first.  A dad finds out he’s terminally ill so what to do?  Spend time with people? Nope, go on a killing rampage!  There wasn’t a ton of well known names in this film.  However at the very base of the film is a pretty emotionally resonant concept: don’t be a vacuous idiot.  I give it 9 out of 10.  It was an interest concept that was done well cinematographically well.  It also makes you wonder if you’re a vacuous idiot…

#59: Jeff Who Lives At Home   

Another Netflix pop-about, this film focuses on a small family and in particular Jeff (played by Jason Segel) who just can’t seem to get his shit together.  His mother is played by Susan Sarandon and his brother is played by Ed Helms.  I was pretty tired during the movie so unfortunately I don’t remember a lot of it except Jeff trying to make sense of his life and helping his family do the same.  I give it 7 out of 10.  It’s good for some family feels time.

#60: Black Dynamite   

My friend had asked if I had seen this and I hadn’t, so one night a bunch of us watched it.  I don’t even know how else to talk about this movie except how freaking hysterical it is.  A parody of 70s films, especially those focused on African American actors and themes, it is quite hilarious.  I give it 8 out of 10.  It’s good for a lot of laughs and some hilarious catch phrases to throw around later.

#61: Our Idiot Brother   

Stacked with a really outstanding cast, this family movie seemed to miss a cord with me.  The main character is a dopey but well meaning guy who is just wants to make a difference.  Paul Rudd is adorable as the main character, and the cast of his sisters is well done.  Unfortunately, I give it 6 out 10.  It got predictable and overplayed as characters continued to rag on the main character.  It had moments, but overall disappointed me.

#62: Camp Takota  

I am a nerdfighter.  You may not know what that means, if you do DFTBA.  If you don’t, Google it.  Anyway, nerdfighteria is how I learned about this film, made by and starring YouTube talent.  It’s the story of a girl down on her luck trying to change.  She heads back to camp for respite and finds her life pleasantly turned about.  The story is predictable, but amazing.  I give it 9.5 out of 10.  The film is amazing from a cast stand point as well as cinematography.  It makes me sad to say I never went to camp.

#63: Night Watch

An interesting take on vampires and evil, the Russian books and films that represent them were supposed to be a trilogy.  However, only two were made.  I’ve yet to see the second one.  But this first film was very amusing.  I got tripped up occasionally by the progress of the story.  I give it 7 out of 10 because it was an enjoyable film but difficult at times to understand.

#64: Divergent

I’m a fan of young adult literature, but I always balk when transformed into film.  While the new series made its debut, it had many people comparing it to the Hunger Games and which is better.  While the stories have many similarities, there are parts I liked better in each.  The film version of Divergent stayed relatively true to the book, as most adaptations do.  I give it 8.5 out of 10.  The main cast was well placed and did justice to their characters.  I found Kate Winslet to be an interesting casting choice, because I didn’t picture her character anything like how she was portrayed, but I’m excited for the next installment.

#65: The Red Violin  

This is the story of a violin.  A red one.  And the film follows how the beautiful musical instrument changes hands through the years.  From the maker to a monastery in Germany to a French man, and on and on and on.  I give the movie 7 out of 10.  At times, I found the movie exaggerating, but overall a very interesting story, though at times incredibly sad.

#66: The Brass Teapot  

What would you do if you found a magic teapot that dispenses money when you cause pain?  Tempting to use it at first, but it comes with a price.  You end up losing some sanity or your soul or your goodness.  Whatever you want to call it.  The cast was very pleasant.  I find Juno Temple absolutely adorable.  I give it 7 out of 10.  Sometimes it dragged or seemed disconnected, but overall was a cute film with an ultimately good message.

#67: Go  

This movie is a classic 90s film, featuring several names that were big in the decade.  The film follows a single drug deal from three different points of view.  The varying stories were woven together into a rich tapestry of crazy.  I give the film 7 out of 10.  It was an interesting concept, and so wonderfully 90s.  I think my favorite character was Taye Diggs.  He was so cute.

#68: Violet & Daisy  

Two adorable girls who are hired killers go about their lives.  They get an order for a hit, but things aren’t quite what they seem.  Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan star as the young killers and James Gandolfini is their target.  I give the film 7 out of 10.  It was a good film though sometimes plot points seemed out of place.

#69: Spirited Away

I was pretty tired the night I saw this so I unfortunately don’t remember some of it.  From what I do remember, a little girl and her parents get swept up into the spirit world where some weird stuff happens and she tries to save her parents and also this boy who is also a dragon. Yeah, like I said, I was really tired. I remember enjoying it for the most part though was confused for some of it.  I give it 7.5 out of 10.  I’ll definitely need to watch it again for some of the finer points of the film, but it was cute.

#70: X-Men: Days of Future Past

I am a huge fan of the X-Men so obviously I was thrilled for another movie (especially one that wasn’t only about Wolverine).  Oh hey wait, this one kind of was.  Okay moving on.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s my favorite character but he’s not the only X-Men.  So anyway, I was incredibly excited to see Peter Dinklage in the film because that guy is insanely awesome.  I give the film 7.5 out of 10.  The idea of the story was very interesting, but I wished more time could have been spent on the lesser mutants that made the film.  While I know a bit about Blink and Bishop and Warpath and others previously seen in films, other viewers might not know anything. The highlight of the film was Quicksilver.  I would be incredibly excited if they gave him a stand alone film.

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