Monday, August 3, 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation [2015] review

I liked it. The opera scene was fun, the water sequence was a stretch, the knife fight wasn't needed, and of course the movie wouldn't be complete without the obligatory car chase. I would say that I liked Ant-man slightly more as it had more humor and less predictability. I do have to praise Cruise. He doesn't phone it in and he continues to be a pleasure to watch, at least in this franchise.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Taken 3 [2015] review

This movie was a huge improvement from its predecessor, attempting to capture the magic of the first film, but it doesn't quite get there. The first movie was definitely lightning in a bottle; it's a shame that corporate greed led to two unnecessary sequels. I do enjoy Forest Whitaker as an actor, but unfortunately he's mostly sidelined throughout the film. The director was probably going for a Fugitive-Harrison Ford-Tommy Lee Jones dynamic with Neeson and Whitaker, or maybe not, but again, it doesn't quite get there. The final scene with the two of them summarizing the plot is a testament that the plot itself wasn't that great in the first place. It is nice to have this trilogy complete; we can all hope they leave it alone. Final thoughts: The overall point of this franchise is that someone is taken and rescued while watching Neeson be bad ass and detective at the same time. No one was taken to be rescued in the final installment so in the end we get one dead character and everything else was pointless.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chasing Amy [1997] review

After recently watching Clerks and Mallrats, and being older than I was upon my first viewing of Chasing Amy, I found this movie to still hold up and really speak volumes about the gay and lesbian community without being too preachy like I felt Dogma was (a movie I plan to re-watch soon as well), and not being too demeaning. I really found myself rooting for the main actors and really being supportive of Joey Lauren Adams' character's views as it made sense to me now that I'm 18 years older and I could synopsize and relate based on my own personal experiences with my LGBT friends and with ex-girlfriends who have had wild pasts compared to my own. Kevin Smith really hit a high note with this movie; it really stands out compared to his other films, films that I still enjoy, but this one is special.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Wedding Ringer [2015] review

Surprisingly not as horrible as I thought it would be. While not incredibly funny, there were a lot of chuckle worthy moments. I was also happy to find that the movie had some heart. Kevin Hart was pretty good and thankfully not annoying after five minutes so I was happy about that as well. Is Josh Gad supposed to be the new Jonah Hill? He didn't add much humor, but I can see how some viewers might have loved his high singing voice and overall dopiness. Kaley Cuoco pretty much plays her character on Big Bang (from the little of the show that I've seen). If you like the show/character (I don't), then you'll like her performance. Supporting cast was also lack luster. With the proper cast and maybe some more jokes, this may have been more successful. Final thought: I always smile when I see Jorge Garcia in a movie and his final line was great!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Exodus: Gods and Kings [2014] review

In a word: snoozefest. This movie had no heart. The characters were one dimensional. The plot was very matter of fact and treated as such. Christian Bale yells at a kid representing God or God's messenger or something, then eventually he kind of parts the sea, and then all of sudden he's as old as Bilbo Baggins and it's over. Oh, Aaron Paul is in it. Neat! His character feels no pain. Unfortunately I don't have that ability and suffered through this movie, hoping it would get better and never does. At one point, I was really hoping for the rock monsters from Aronofsky's Noah to show up and destroy Egypt as one of the plagues.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Most Violent Year [2014] review

This movie takes place in NYC 1981 and assumes you know the history ahead of time, which I did not, but I read the statistics afterwards and it sounds pretty bad. This movie focuses on one business owner trying to make it in the world as his oil trucks are stolen and his drivers are car jacked / beat up. No one is killed, but I guess it's pretty violent for that business owner. You see a couple of guns and some of those guns get fired, but I think the only people that die suffer from self inflicted wounds. The only thing I remember getting shot is a deer. Actually, someone might get shot with a shotgun, but the character isn't developed so you only slightly care and the movie does little to address it. Oscar Isaacs is good, but I liked him better in "Inside Llewyn Davis". Jessica Chastain did not impress me in this film especially since she was trying to be half a gangster herself. I try not to put high expectations on a film as I end up disappointed, but if you're going to title your film a certain way, it should at least live up to the title.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Legend of Korra Series Review

I loved the first season probably because it felt like a continuation of "Avatar: The Last Airbender". After all, in Aang's adventure we did get all the elements except Air, so it was really great to see Korra learning to master that element and grow as a person. I know there was complaints about "the ghost in the machine" finale, but I didn't mind it and I felt that there was something spiritual going on that we, the audience, did not yet understand.

Therefore, the logical next step, after the avatar is a master all four elements, would be a spiritual journey. I remember little teases of the spirit world during A:TLA and really craving more of that. It was really awesome seeing Wan and getting an understanding from the very beginning, but then all that interesting potential storyline was torn away never to return. I remember being very confused at the end of the second season, but still being interested on what changed in the world.

Four new anagonists are introduced and random people seem to gain the power to bend, but only air. Why only air? I don't remember it ever being discussed. There is an existence of a group, opposite of the White Lotus, called the Red Lotus. What was their plan? I'm not really sure. Are there still members of their group in the universe. ::Shrug.:: It feels like we got more questions than answers in the third season, and the Avatar, who doesn't really know what to do with her life, is almost killed. It definitely feels like things are way out of balance.

So, what will our avatar do to bring the world back into balance? Nothing. Not for a while it seems. She's still messed up after 2 years, I believe. There was a random soldier who took it upon herself to fix what was broken, and became power hungry in the process. Where the Fire nation took over after avatar Aang disappeared, it felt like the beginnings of that, but instead with the Earth nation, and I could appreciate that logic. At the end of the day, I guess it's ironic or may be fitting that Korra destroyed the city that Aang built.