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Minions (2015)

 

Trailer:  Minions (2015)

Starring:  Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton

Directed by:  Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

Runtime:  1 Hr 31 min

Genre(s):  Animation, Comedy

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

 

You’ve seen the Despicable Me movies right?  Well, have you ever wondered where the Minions come from and how they long to serve the most evil of villains?  This movie points you in the right direction.  Seriously, there is one goal here and it is to find out that one thing that happened to the minions to bring them to where we know them today.  The kids will love it and you will like it.  How does this movie rank against the Despicable Me movies?  It comes in 3rd.  Lacking that specific touch that Gru has.  Unfortunately, the Minions cannot carry an entire movie by themselves.  Although it made a TON of money in the box office so, millions of people can’t be all wrong… right?

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

 

I’ve always thought the Minions were the highlights to the Despicable Me movies.  Like everyone else it made you wonder why they just don’t have their own movie.  I’m glad we get a taste of what that would be like.  Can we go back now?  Even though you singled out 3 Minions and made them stand out as individuals.  It doesn’t help me feel like there are hundreds of minions that could do the same job.  Ok, they aren’t singled out as much but there are some changes made to them to make them more unique.  For example, Bob’s eyes & hair, & Kevin is a different Kevin from the first film.

With Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm leading the charge you would figure that the acting is top notch.  …and it is.  I have no problems with the acting but I do have to say why use these actors/actress if you’re going to make them so different than what we can expect.  I don’t really find Sandra Bullock to be a great villain-ess, but she hardly sounded like Sandra and I knew Jon Hamm was in this movie but couldn’t peg him until I IMDB’d it.  So, in this case why not pay some cheaper actors for the job that they did anyway?  Why?  because Sandra and Jon put little denim butts in the seats that’s why.  The only casting I was happy with was Steve Carrell as young Gru.  Michael Keaton was in this movie!?  He played Walter somebody?  I didn’t even know that!

How was that plot?  It was interesting to see what the Minions did pre-Gru.  I wished they would have spent more time on the days before Villain-Con.  I thought the evolution of the Minions was super interesting but it went by way too fast.  We basically jumped right into 1968 and they just so happen to meet the Villain just before they meet Gru.  If it were me, I would be looking at this as a series of movies.  Take them way back and track their adventures.  Don’t introduce a young Gru until the final 3rd movie!  Winner!  No, it’s like they felt this movie had no legs.  The minion characters were written pretty plain even though each one of the 3 stood out on purpose.  Nothing new here, same old antics, same old banana.  Scarlett Overkill was a little bit over kill.  She was nice then she was bad, then nice then crazy.  What did she do to earn the spot of top villain?  Nobody knows, its just a title as easily won as grabbing them red gem out of my hand…  I did like Herb.  He was funny.

I want to tell the directors that they forgot something.  If they weren’t planning on making another Minions movie then why didn’t they throw in Dr. Nefario.  He could have been younger and awesome to see what he was doing in the 60’s.  The reason I bring him up is because he has been instrumental in the movies and to not even give him a shout out I think is a missed opportunity.  This movie flows fairly well until the ending.  Its just a flippity floppity here’s the ending because we didn’t know how else to end it type ending.  Although the very ending…

…was my favorite part.  Gru completes these characters.  I think we all know that now.  I was interested in finding the true Hollywood story of the Minions and I get one anecdote about this chick claiming to be all evil tricking them to steal the Queen’s crown.  Weird sloppy story and the end.  We meet Gru.  Don’t get me wrong, My Kids loved this movie!  My son is all about the Minions and he loved it especially.

 

 

3.0

STARS

Comic Book Connection Michael Keaton – Batman, Batman Returns
Nudity Bonus Minion Butt.
Favorite Moment The introduction to Gru
Most Hated Moment I thought the giant Kevin was a bit too much on the side of “ok, lets go big or go home” type movie making.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie Reminded me of Puss In Boots, or Penguins of Madagascar where the spin-off wasn’t as good as the main movie.
What did my wife think of this movie?
Box Office Budget $74,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $324,755,670.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1. That Michael Keaton played Walter Nelson in this movie.  Yeah, I had no clue (as I mentioned above)
2. Geoffrey Rush was the Narrator.  Wow they needed to exentuate their voice talent here.
3. This movie ranks #2, just below Despicable Me 2 in terms of Box Office haul in the 3 film series.
Rotten Tomatoes Score  Did not watch the entire movie.  Fell asleep…
Critics 54%
Audience 52%

Trainwreck (2015)

Trailer:  Trainwreck (2015)

Starring:  Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson

Directed by:  Judd Apatow

Runtime:  2 hrs & 5 min

Genre(s):  Comedy Romance

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

Growing up with a father that didn’t believe in monogamy is what sisters Amy & Kim did.  After their mother was out of the picture there was nobody left to raise them but their father.  This spells trouble for Amy (Amy Schumer) when her future shows up right in her face and she doesn’t know how to handle it.  That means she doesn’t date well.  With an all star cast to help out Amy’s first theatrical release written and starring her you will love the relationships, cringe at the self destruction, and then wonder how it all stays together.  If this is considered her freshman effort man, I can’t wait to see what she does next.  Standard practice for Judd Apatow, as his comedies are always good.

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

 

I bet you figured that Amy Schumer was funny.  Yeah, you got that from the trailers.  Really, she is a talent.  She is more daring in her comedy than most females and Bill Hader was the perfect combination to make this thing hit.  I’m also glad that Hader finally was substantial this time around.  Most of the time he’s playing a side character that is funny as hell but has no real purpose.  He plays the boyfriend that almost gets away and even though there wasn’t an airport scene with Amy running through it dodging people, bags & babies he played the girl getting on the plane.  …so to speak.  I did enjoy the many appearances from a lot of stars.  Amy really called in the favors for this one.  Check this out:  Colin Quinn, John Cena, Dave Attell, Tilda Swinton, Randall Park, Ezra Miller, Mike Birbiglia, LeBron James, Daniel Radcliffe, Marisa Tomei, Method Man (nice accent), Tim Meadows, Amare Stoudemire, Matthew Broderick, Marv Albert, Chris Evert just to name the ones I recognized.

Which brings me to my next part.  Casting.  Who wasn’t cast in this movie?  I wasn’t.  I thought Colin had a perfect role as well as Amy Schumer & Bill Hader.  Perfect roles.  Mike Birbiglia nailed the “playin it safe” hubby perfectly.  So, I liked the casting a lot.  Brie Larson (sister Kim) could have been played by anyone I feel, but maybe I just missed her “nailed it” part of the movie.  Not only bringing the perfect role selections but acting was on Par for your typical Comedy/Romance film.  Although LeBron is not your typical actor on a scale from Kazamm to He Got Game LeBron scored a slightly better than MJ in Space Jam.  I make it sound like Amy made the movie but I got to give credit to the director Judd Apatow.  With movies like This is 40, Knocked Up, The 40 year-old virgin, this movie falls right in there.

I’m impressed that Amy Schumer wrote and starred in this movie.  But that’s not going to stop me from picking it apart.  My first problem was the non-information about her dad.  If it was briefly mentioned and I didn’t catch it I’m sorry, but I had no idea what was wrong with him.  I wanted to understand why he was the only “Younger” guy in a assisted living facility.  He just didn’t look aged enough to warrant that.  So, my wife had guessed stroke.  Most stroke victims have it affect one side of their body.  He was facially all there.  Expressions all over the place.  So, that wasn’t it.  Then he dies of what?  alcoholism?  I don’t know, I can’t tell ya.  I wished there was some explanation on that.  I could have felt that loss a bit more if I wasn’t spending that time trying to figure out why he died.  Second problem, LeBron James is besties with a doctor (surgeon)?  I didn’t buy it.  It felt more like a conversation was made “wouldn’t it be cool if you were best friends with King James?  Yeah!  Let’s make THAT happen!  Oh, and Amy next time you write a movie… give your characters last names.  No biggie just a small thing that makes people human.  Aaron got a last name and the “guest” stars got to keep their names.  My final gripe would be the fact that they were apart for several months before she tried to “win” him back.  I’m sorry but after a girl/guy self destructs a relationship if it isn’t resolved in that week then its over buddy.  Sorry but thats the truth.  The longer you go without that person that bad taste that was left in your mouth grows into a horrible fungus and you learn to not want to be with them.  So, other than that piece being totally fictional once in a lifetime type stuff, I did enjoy how she won him back.  It was very fitting of the character.  The plot was overused and it could have been found in any romantic comedy out there in your local Netflix queue.  That’s why I think everyone did great with a overused plot.  They made it feel new.

It’s not everyday you get a 2 hour comedy.  Most are scheduled for 1 hr and a half.  So, with that being said I didn’t notice the time and they made it as long as it needed to be to tell a great story.  Her destructive bomb towards the end felt forced and annoying because we were all expecting it to happen but the movie recovered fast and kept it going.  The soundtrack was a party soundtrack at times which I enjoyed.  Other than that nothing to write home about.  Actually, it did make me think when is the “y’all ready for this!” anthem at basketball games is going to go away.  Its been around since forever ago and I’m ready to say goodbye.  Anyone else?

Like I said above, it didn’t seem very believable but lets pretend this is a movie and say that this is make believe.  I liked the ending.  Very fitting and well deserved.

4.0

STARS

Comic Book Connection Tilda Swinton (future role) – Doctor Strange, Ezra Miller (future role) – The Flash, Marisa Tomei (future role) – Untitled Spider-Man (2017)
Nudity Bonus Oh, and all the Man Ass in this movie doesn’t get a Nudity bonus.  Sorry.  Not today!
Favorite Moment Cheerleader Win Back dance with a double flip not-quite-dunk!
Most Hated Moment LeBron James asking Amy what her intentions are.  It was bad yall.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie Most Rom Coms but with a role reversal.
What did my wife think of this movie? Trainwreck was pretty funny, some of it might have made me a little nostalgic for my younger years.  And no, I will not be more specific on which parts reminded me of my younger self.  Amy Schumer is absolutely hilarious and Bill Hader was amazing as usual.  I am like most other chicks and love the Rom-Coms all day long!  This one was no different, but it was a nice reminder of what would have happened if I hadn’t met my husband at the age of twenty. 🙂
Box Office Budget $35,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $102,384,000.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  Method Man was using an African Accent.  I think it was African?
2.  How much Chris Evert looks like an older Cheri O’Teri.  I was lookin for Will Ferrell to pop out.
3.  Six SNL Alum was in this film:   Bill Hader, Vanessa Bayer, Pete Davidson, Leslie Jones, Tim Meadows and Colin Quinn
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 85%
Audience 75%

 

Ex Machina (2015)

Trailer: Ex Machina

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

Directed by:  Alex Garland

Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi, Drama

Spoiler Free Review: (read if you have NOT seen this movie)

Caleb is a programmer (Gleeson) that works for a Search Engine company and is chosen to be a tester of sorts to assist in a project to verify Artificial Intelligence.  Nathan (Isaac) needs a person to come in fresh and go through specialized testing to find out if his created A.I. can be considered 100% believable.  Is anything really alive without flesh and bones?  Is Nathan just using Caleb in his own testing?  Your questions will be answered don’t worry.  Although I wasn’t a fan of the ending, this movie engaged me and wouldn’t let go.  I was thinking on many different levels as this movie was going to try and figure out the end game.  I loved the plot and it did seem predictable at times.  Either that or I got real lucky calling some things.  Oscar Isaac & Domhnall Gleeson prove that they are going to be forces to be reckoned with in the coming years.  Alicia Vikander makes a breakout performance (can I say that with 19 acting credits under her belt prior to this movie already?) as the AI and comes off not robotic and quite human.  Very old school Sci-Fi driven and one heck of a watch!

 

Spoiler Filled Review: (read only if you HAVE seen it and don’t care about spoilers)

I was blown away by this movie.  I love when movies make me think and this movie did no less.  What happens when you create the perfect A.I.?  Do you just move over and let it evolve or do you try to control it and make it better?  Questions are answered here but still leaves you with the question that you pose to yourself.  What would you do? Theoretical Ethics class begins now!  If I could build an AI I would.  But I would definitely put into place Asimov’s 3 Laws of robotics.  1.  A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.  2.  A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except when it conflicts with the first law.  3.  A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.  These laws would have resolved any problems Nathan & Caleb had regarding uprising.

Let’s start with the setting.  We start at Isla Nublar aka the Island from “LOST”, aka I’m only kidding.  Really, the location and setting play a huge part in what you end up feeling throughout the movie.  Alone.  You are alone here.  The locking features on the doors and the extreme nature hike you would need to take will make you feel anxious to get out.  One of the many things added to this movie to make you feel anxious in a non-thrilling movie.  Okay, there was some thriller-y parts but it’s not committed to them.  The score added to the intense anxious feeling you get while watching.  A lot of loud crashing sounds in the score.  Reminiscent of 70’s-80’s sci-fi.

The plot itself is written pretty simply.  It is a step up though in terms of what Alex Garland has written thus far in his career.  28 Days Later, Sunshine, Dredd are some of the credits to make your own judgement.  This plot and story line was pretty predictable.  My wife called the “who’s causing the power outages”.  I called the “He is testing the tester” theory.  I also called the “Kyoko is a android” thing way before it was revealed.  I really hope you saw my spoilers declaration above.  I did not call the ending of the movie.  That was one twist I was not expecting.  I like how Nathan explained in detail the level of in depth programming he did while standing in front of the Pollack painting.  In lay-mans terms he said that if he programmed “Love” then it would be a simple emotion.  1 dimensional.  What he did instead was to program everything that surrounded the emotion so that Love would come naturally.  It seems that he got that wrong in the end.  I also like how Garland threw in there the Heterosexuality as not being a choice.  

The overall feel to this movie has a creepy overtone.  The immediate friendship of Nathan is comforting and yet off-putting at the same time.  The special effects were very simplistic and I like the “cost cutting” idea of throwing clothes on the models.  The bodies felt real enough so they did their job there.  Also, I wasn’t 100% on how that skin worked.  I would like to have had a brief discussion on that.

I will probably watch Ex Machina a few more times in the coming years to see what I missed before.  The ending is my beef.  I don’t like that Nathan was murdered by his own creation.  Seemed plausible enough though.  Didn’t Ultron (from Avengers) once say that “Everyone creates the thing they dread”.  I will continue.  I don’t like how Caleb was just left to die.  When did Ava have time to reverse his programming (when the power goes off the doors open).  Shouldn’t they have shown that?  I wanted some closure on him but didn’t get it.  Are we getting a sequel?  Who knows.  Outstanding movie.  Not so outstanding ending.

4.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection Oscar Isaac – X-men: Apocalypse
Nudity Bonus Alicia Vikander – Full, Sonoya Mizuno – Full, Gana Bayarsaikhan – Full, Claire Selby – Full
Favorite Moment Any of the sessions.  Each one is good in its own.  I can’t pick one.
Most Hated Moment When Ava leaves Caleb.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.  More-so the score and overall creepiness to the film.
What did my wife (Tiffany) think of this movie? I really liked this movie. It was really easy to follow without being over your head smart but still has you thinking what’s going to happen next. And who doesn’t love a movie with a robot?! In all seriousness I would recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting keeps you on your toes drama with a touch of sci-fi.
Box Office Budget $15,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $25,423,377.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  That Gleeson & Isaac are going to be in Star Wars: The Force Awakens together.
2.  Nathan’s Estate is mostly real.  As seen in a Vanity Affair article Here.
3.  Go watch “About Time” for another good movie with Domhnall Gleeson and for Oscar Isaac go watch “Inside Llewyn Davis“.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 92%
Audience 86%

Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Trailer: Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day

Directed by:  Sean Anders

Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins

Genre(s):  Comedy, Crime

Spoiler Free Review:

The sequel to the very funny Horrible Bosses movie does more of the same but with a different formula.  Dean, Kurt, and Nick want to live life without having a boss in their life.  They want to be the boss.  So, they come up with an idea that can make them millions.  Just because they have an idea though doesn’t mean that they know how to run a business.  This sequel does not fall into the pitfall of the first formula which is nice but doesn’t have a lot of the laugh out loud moments the first had and it really is less funny all together.  Chris Pine is a welcome but seems to be out of his element here.

Spoiler Filled Review:

Horrible Bosses 2 was supposed to be just as funny if not funnier than the original movie.  It’s hard to have a movie were they try to kill another boss so, they are now the Bosses (in a way) and instead they kidnap Rex (Chris Pine).  There wasn’t much room to move with this movie.  Once the idea was layed out it played out the rest of the movie with 1 twist that I could have done without.  As a comedy it felt it may have been better as a Crime flick.  Because the funny was too forced at times.

I love Charlie Day (plays Dale) normally.  But in this movie he annoyed the heck out of me.  But so did Jason Sudeikis’ (Kurt) character too.  They seemed very shallow as characters and were there only for jokes.  Jokes that didn’t come off as that funny.  I would say 30% of everything they said made me chuckle.  The other 70% had me like Jason Bateman’s character (Nick).  “See, prime illustration that you two are idiots!”.  Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx’s characters felt forced a bit but they were additions that helped make it feel like it was a true sequel instead of just another movie with these 3 guys from Horrible Bosses.  Finally, with the addition of Chris Pine & Christoph Waltz it seemed like this movie just got a shot of class.  I said “seemed” like.  Waltz (Bert) had very short scenes but was great and Pine seemed very much out of his element.  I would rather him be in an action flick even though I do believe he got his start in rom coms.  I found his character to be campy and annoying.

The idea that they had in this movie was very nice.  Obviously most of the plotting came from the Rex character because these idiots couldn’t do something that complicated.  I thought it added a nice touch to a new feel of the movie.  The Score/Soundtrack helped freshen this movie up by throwing in some Katie Perry, NWA, Cali Swag District to name a few.

It felt the 3 main actors had a lot of control in this movie.  I felt they used a lot of ad-lib throughout giving the director something to edit in the final process.  I thought the movie followed a very cohesive track until we hit the twist.  After that it felt the movie tried to hurry up and end.  Maybe that’s just me but I wasn’t a fan of the twist.  I wanted to see these guys have it all and beat the “bad” guy in the process.  It was very formulaic until that point and I get thrown a curveball.  It’s fine I guess, just wasn’t my favorite.  As for the director?  Sometimes if everything goes without problems it’s because the director handled everything pretty well and did a fine job editing the final product.

I liked it.  It wasn’t the funniest movie of the year but definitely earns a spot right behind the first film.

3.5

STARS

Comic Book Connection Jamie Foxx – The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Christoph Waltz – The Green Hornet
Nudity Bonus None.
Favorite Moment Riding in the getaway car with MF’r Jones
Most Hated Moment When Rex is trying to convince Nick to not give up and the other 2 guys are over talking him.  It really annoyed me.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie The Hangover 2 – Not following the exact same formula like this movie but still…
Box Office Budget $42,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $54,445,357.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  That beginning weather guy was the guy from the old Playstation Commercials.  Glad to see him get some work.
2.  Keeley Hazell was Rex’s Assistant in the movie  (Woah!!  Here is a link to show you what I’m talking about)
3.  That the outtakes at the end of the movie were not funny at all.  Most outtakes are hilarious.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 35%
Audience 49%

Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade (1989)

Indy LC1

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=A7TaY8HWYd8

Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery    – Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Running Time: 2hr 11 min   – Genre: Action Adventure

Ran-Dizzle (Host)

Synopsis:

Movie Relevance:
Since this is going to be my official last post, I decided to end it with this movie as it is the “Last Crusade” that Kimmay! and I shall be a part of. That being said I wish Big JD a long and prosperous ride with his blogs and hope that it continues to blossom for him.

Review:

This is my favorite of the Trilogy (yes Trilogy I don’t count that other movie that claims to be part of Indy’s world) You get to see the connection between Indy’s past and how and why he does what he does, and his relationship with his father and his father’s passion for finding the Holy Grail.

What I felt went right with the story was giving it some background, going back and showing us how Indy became Indy, and how he progressed so far. What I didn’t like about the story is that it does kind of beat a dead horse when Indy is always getting involved withThe-Last-Crusade-Screencap-indiana-jones-18999827-1024-440 Nazi’s and end of the world situations cause because the Nazi’s are wanting to find a supernatural way of ending the world.

Sean Connery playing Henry Jones Sr. make worth watching this movie to me, he plays a role that is passive yet firm especially with Indy.

Harrison ford always plays Indiana so well, I think my favorite part is when he threw the Nazi Soldier out and says “No Ticket” and then everyone starts producing their tickets …classic Indy humor.indiana_jones

It was good to see Julian Glover added as the bad guy as he tends to play those kind of roles as he was in Empire Strikes back as General Veers he plays the greedy entrepreneur that wants to use the cup for personal gain as well as to sell to the Nazi’s.

There are quite a bit of holes in the movie and areas were not completely thought through like, for example…if you heard a loud CLANG in your library and it happened every time you stamped the book, yeah that’s funny to us but wouldn’t you think as a librarian you would go check that out?

Overall this to me is the best Indiana Jones movie and it is a must watch for all Indiana Jones fans.

P.S I am very glad that we finally got to finish a trilogy while being part of the Movie Review Crew. I’ve had fun and hope that you all continue to read as BIG JD kicks it old school and still pumps out the reviews for you guys. I’ve had a blast and hope you all enjoyed the movies we’ve review and will continue to review.

4.0‘s

Kimmay!

Now this is my favorite Indy movie. I remember the first time I watched it with my cousins they tried to force me to watch the part were thy guy turns to dust but I was a wimp and refused…I knew nothing good was gonna come from drinking out of the wrong goblet. They made fun of me the rest of the time I was in Oklahoma but the funny parts totally out weighed the one.indiana-image

I didn’t realize how much of this movie I had forgotten until I watched it last night. I was giggling through most of, especially when Dr. Henry Jones entered the scene. The relationship between father and son was hilarious. I loved it whenever Indy removed a few of the bad guys and would look to his dad for a “way to be son” look and would get a “are you serious” look instead. But the touching moments were when at one time or another they thought the other was dead or dying. The-Last-Crusade-Screencap-indiana-jones-19000585-1024-440

When it came to the script, I liked the idea of finding the Holy Grail. I also thought it was fun that the writers mentions the Arc of the Covenant. But the script was witty and kept you engaged in the film.

If you haven’t watched the Indy series I totally recommend it. Might skip the last one though. Wasn’t what it could have been for an Indiana Jones film, but it did have a few shining moments.

So I give this movie…

4.5‘s

 

BIG JD

Warning:  This review is full of spoilers.

I won’t lie… the first 40 seconds of this movie could totally be a Man-Thing sequel.  Ha!  Lots of laughin’.  Just a jk’n you and stuff.  The beginning of this film spawned The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles Television series that ran for oh about a year.  It starred Patrick Flanery as the young Indiana Jones (a far cry from River Phoenix) but, without Patrick we wouldn’t have had the Boondock Saints Duo.  I will proceed now.

indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade-river-phoenixRiver Phoenix plays a wonderful Indiana Jones.  Facial expressions, body mannerisms, voice inflections the whole yard.  We lost someone special when we lost River Phoenix.  Well, it looks as if Leonardo DiCaprio filled in just fine right?  He just stepped right in there didn’t he.  Anyway this beginning we get to see what inspires him the rest of his life.

In this movie we get to go back to the original formula.  Using the college as the Base of operations and his sanctuary.  And a pleasant addition of Indy’s father.  BTW When they found his fathers house in shambles how did Marcus know that it was “today’s” mail he was looking at?  Something to think about.  A lot of the same was used to make it an Indiana Jones movie such as the fake punch sounds, overacted action sequences, Nazi’s, A huge map that has a red line showing their travelling distance and the most important.  An ancient artifact that has to be found.  In this case it is the Holy Grail.  BTW can you open your eyes in petroleum?  Looks like that would burn.  Even if it is mixed with water it would have to be concentrated enough to actually set a flame.  The girl (Elsa) is pretty lackluster and forgettable in this movie.  Another blonde, what are ya gonna do?  You find out later why she doesn’t fit that role well.  Greed kills.  I loved Harrison Ford’s Irish or is that Scottish accent.  Either one whatever, it was amusing.  It is the first time we see Indy wearing a long tie with his classic brown shirt.

A complaint I have though is that halfway through this movie the bantering between father and son get old quick.  The movie at times just lastcrusadeseems to be regurgitated bits and pieces from the previous two films.  Although getting Hitler’s autograph was pretty original.  Maybe because it has a lack of leading lady.  Maybe Sean Connery takes the place of the leading lady?  One thing I’ve figured out is that Indiana fights best when he’s on the move.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s a motorcycle or a tank he fights all over the place.  Junior!

Just a little bit more “fantasy” then the other two movies but not too much.  This still ranks as third for me in the trilogy.  Mainly because I found most of this movie to be slightly boring.  Boring for an Indiana Jones movie anyway.  But it’s a must see for any fan.

I would like to end this review by saying that this will be the final review with our other 2 members of the Movie Crew.  Ran-Dizzle and Kimmay! Are moving on to greener pastures.  Mainly pastures that don’t make them write a movie review every week.  It’s ok.  It can be daunting at times but I’m here for YOU.  I will  remain here.  The Movie Crew will be a crew of ONE.  I will though take a few weeks off in February.  And you will see posts again late Feb. or first week of March.  I want these reviews to stay original in content so, things may change or things may stay somewhat similar.  Thank you to all of our followers.  You reading is what keeps me doing this.

3.50‘s

Man-Thing (2005)

Trailer: Man-Thing (2005)

Starring:  Jack Thompson, Matthew Le Nevez, Steve Bastoni  – Directed By:  Brett Leonard

Running Time: 1hr & 37 mins – Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi

 

Big JD (Host)

Movie Selection Relevance

This movie is a Marvel comics based character movie.  That’s all I need to say.  But additionally this will be my last chance to pick a bad movie for the crew.  More on that in the coming weeks.

Synopsis:

Murders and citizens gone lost are a major problem in this Louisana swamp town.  Not to mention the local businessman is hard at work pumping oil out of the earth into his pockets and destroying the Swamp environment while doing it.  Enter: New sheriff in town to get down to business.  In this movie Man-Thing doesn’t appreciate people that desecrate his land.  For he is guardian and protector of the Nexus of All Realities.  They all are responsible.  They all must pay.

Review:

Man-Thing had so much potential to be a very interesting and good movie.  You can figure out right away that this movie wasn’t released in theatres in the US but internationally was instead.  Direct to DVD was its purpose here but not before airing on the Sci-Fi network first.   Like any movie though if there is boobs present then I will definitely give it at least a half star rating.  Boob-tacular!  And this movie starts off like an 80’s slasher flick with the two kids running off into the forest (replace with Swamp) to bake some cookies.  Along with his bad hick accent.  And as to be expected you get the boob scene.  It lasts for a couple seconds but has to be the best part of the movie sad enough.  It wouldn’t be so bad but we don’t get a full clear shot of the Title character until 1 hour and 13 minutes into the movie.  He is hinted and teased the whole movie.  Did I mention that this movie runs 1 hour and 37 minutes.  If you are going to have a movie based on a character then have the character in the movie at least 50% of the time.  5% screen time does not work fella’s.

Speaking of the main character lets touch on some points of Source Material.  Man-Thing is from the Florida Everglades and that is where the Nexus of all Realities is located.  For what reason did this need to be changed?  Ted Sallis was not of Indian origin.  He was not an Elder Shaman he was a scientist.  I guess it really doesn’t matter since we never see him.  But that brings in all the Indian lore that I’ll touch on shortly.  Man-Thing did not go on killing sprees.  He is empathetic.  Very much to the point that someone that is expressing Fear disturbs him greatly and freaks out.  Also, Man-thing does not have these Tendrils of destruction that seem to go anywhere in the swamp.  The moving tendrils really bothered me because it takes away from the look of Man-Thing.  Although they did do a good job bringing him to life.  Even though it wasn’t correct.  Quick question to the writer’s.  Where did Man-Thing get the Oil that he made pour out of Schist?  That doesn’t make sense.  The Seminole Reservation was near the fictitious town of Citrusville in the comics.  So it doesn’t seem cliché if source material is kept right?  We don’t know what city this movie takes place in actually.  So, having this “green”, “let’s save the planet” type of feel to this movie you almost expect to see a crying Indian walking across the screen at some point.    Don’t litter or Man-Thing will rip you in half.

The acting at times is over acted and at others under acted.  Over and Under this seems to be bad.  It may be the writing.  Because as an example the teacher Teri Richards in the beginning is protesting and she shoves the Sheriff into the mud.  I don’t care what “reality” you are living in but that is assaulting a police officer which is not excusable.  Even though he takes her to the pokey he lets her go for other reasons so that maybe possibly one day he can…. Pokey.  “I want to see my lawyer!  I have rights!”  Right.  After you assault a sheriff you lose all those rights lady.  There are other times that her acting is good but for the wrong movie.  Way too dramatic when it doesn’t fit the scene.  Like the goodbye save our lives scene for instance.  It just seemed like the perfect time to give the audience a screen kiss because the first one was interrupted.  One comment I would like to clear up for the good Sherriff.  He mentioned that Life magazine went out of business.  Well, maybe when the script was Written but Life magazine started back up in 2004 and went to 2007.  This movie was released in 2005 so at that time He was telling a lie.  Just thought you should know.

If you don’t have anything to do for an hour and a half and you don’t mind wasting your life then check this movie out.  If you are a Marvel Comics fan then you need to check this movie out simply because you’re a fan.  It’s fun to see what they change for no good reason.  For example Ted Sallis wa s the only character kept from the comic books.  Here is a Easter egg for ya.  Ted Sallis’ wife Ellen Brandt is a character in Iron Man 3.  It’s the lady that attacks Tony in the Bar.  Interesting?  Yes, because originally Ted Sallis was working on recreating Erskin’s Super Soldier Serum along with the infamous Curt Conners (The Lizard).  To adapt to the story she is still an agent of AIM and after Man-Thing burns her face off (after she attempts to steal the formula) she goes into the special testing led by Killian.  Ok, Ok… that is a different movie.  Go watch this one now.  …or not.

Comic book Connection:  None.

Nudity Bonus:  Imogen Bailey (T)(4:28, 5:14)

 

2.0‘s

Ran-Dizzle

Well where do I begin…. First of all I didn’t think any Marvel movie could be worse then Elektra…and then I watched this. What fresh hell had Lionsgate Films brought to me this time. Oh they killed a not so popular 70’s-80’s Marvel Character….Man-Thing.

At first it kept my attention, then it kind of faded off…especially when the Sherif Kyle Williams was getting no where in his investigation other then someone or something was in the swamp killing people…the real part where I almost shut this movie off was right after he investigates the girl in the Psyche ward who sits there calm and then screams for no reason…had no real importance other than she witnessed the boy who she was rocking the boat with die. And they didn’t persue anymore…or ask the doctors any questions it was scream in my face move along…I thought WHAT?! nothing?

If I remember right Man-Thing’s role was Ted Sallis was a Scientist that injected a serum into his body and then later during a crash that landed into the swamp where mystical powers take over with the serum and turns him into Man Thing…where in this movie he’s a spiritual being that is ANGRY….and we all know Green Angry things are not good. So I am glad they kept Ted Sallis and the Nexus of All Realities in this movie but seriously I didn’t like how they made Man-Thing more of a avenged killer instead of the “Hero” he’s supposed to be, let alone an angry spiritual defender with a bloodlust.

The story was ok, I think after half way it kind of dragged along as you see people randomly die. I think it had a solid idea but that was all it was, an idea. I kind of half thought this was a thought in the head of the director and fed the actors the lines from his head before the camera.  Like it was all being written while it was in process. I think had the story been more detailed and given a little more depth this could have been better than Ghost Rider. (Of course it wouldn’t have Nicolas Cage but who would stop him from trying?)

For actors I’ve never heard of playing the roles they didn’t do bad but I really don’t see them getting much of a career after this…

Sadly this movie made Elektra worth watching again. Thanks Lionsgate

2.5‘s

 

Kimmay!

So I can’t say that I LOVED this movie but it was rather enjoyable for what it was. In the opening scene all I could think was this is a total B-rated horror film. With boobies and blood galore.

The special effects were, well, rather special. The Man-Thing was scary in it’s own right and if I were ever to meet him in the dark of the swamp, he wouldn’t have to stab me to death with his branches of doom, I would just die of fright. His ruby red eyes from the pits of hell were rather fun to look at whenever they did a close up of the face.

I have to say this movie did not go by the rules I thought Marvel played by. I was sure the creature in the swamp was evil and not just trying to protect all the universes and that the new sheriff was going to become some crazy super hero and save the day. Well that did not happen. The sheriff stayed human and the Man-Thing was just doing what it was meant to do, even if it was a lil extreme.

I have no recollection of the music at all so it couldn’t have been that great.

So for all of its glory I give this movie…

 

2.5‘s

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Trailer: 

Starring: Harrison Ford,  Kate CapshawJonathan Ke Quan    – Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Running Time: 1hr 58 min   – Genre: Action/Advent

Kimmay! (Host)

Synopsis:
Indy continues on new adventures and just can’t stay out of trouble. Picking up a couple of sidekicks on the way, he helps save a village by finding and returning a sacred stone. He just needs to keep an eye out for his heart.

Movie Relevance:

Well once you watch one Indiana Jones you have to watch them all!

Review:

I believe I stated in the last Indy review that I had not watched these films in a while. So I am glad that we decided to watch them again. While

this is not my favorite Jones movie it is still a great one.

Short Round was my favorite addition to the movie. He brought out a side of Indy that is rarely seen. In the Lost Arc film he was kind of that way with Marion but only a few times. He was caring and Short Round had enough pull on him to break him out of the zombie trance. The thing I loved most about Short Round was the fact he was just like his character in the Goonies. Most would say that was bad but I think he was a fun character and it saddens me that he really only did the two movies.

Willie annoyed me to no end. She was super needy and only did ok as a love interest in the movie. But I do have to say her reactions to the dinner was fabulous and I would have probably reacted the same way.

Again the music was great in this film as it was in the first and the script was very original.

So I give this film…

4.0‘s

Ran-Dizzle

No time for love Dr. Jones….

The best thing about this movie especially following Raiders is you get to see more of Indy and his many adventures. This one isn’t bad actually the only one in the collection that I think was bad was Crystal Skull for personal reasons. I think Last Crusade is the best of them all but let’s review this one.

Short Round stole the show for me. He is a loveable character and always backing up Dr. Henry Jones “Indy” and also causing trouble. Seeing him belt the little voo doo bastard in the mouth while Indy was beating the burly guy was quite entertaining, or seeing him drive the car with the wedge pedal shoes.

Willie Scott, not my favorite Indy girl. (Always have been a fan of Marion.) plays her role well. She portrays the ditzy blonde vaudeville show style girl who is just trying to find her fortune but lands in Indy’s lap.

There is several things wrong with this movie that even for the time sticks out like a sore thumb. Special effects when the plane explodes it obviously was green screened very similar to Star Wars effects however for some reason in the Indy films they seem a little cheesier now. Also I noticed this in both Raiders and this movie…If you count bullets when guns are fired…when you have a six shooter and you fire 14 shots and no reload?! or better yet using musket rifles that involve powder and muskets…and your firing multiple times. Also when they are escaping the tunnels to get away from the water you can tell it’s also green screened…granted back in the day this was top of the line…but to me it’s pretty cheesy now yet I still love these movies.

As any “Good” Indiana Jones this is a must see just for retro sake, or if you’ve never seen it before it’s a must see for any Indiana Jones fan.

3.5‘s

 

BIG JD

This is my favorite Indiana Jones movie of all time.  Out of 4 movies this one comes out on top.  I betcha wonderin’ why this is the case?  Well, it’s kinda why I’m writing this review.  Walk with me for a second…

So, you know how some of the most horrible movies may stick in your heads as good experiences?  Most of that is caused by nostalgia.  It was a movie that you watched when you were young and it always stuck with you.  Getting older you’ve seen how bad that it may be but for some reason watching it brings back those nostalgic feelings of being young and without care.  This movie sort of wins but Indiana Jones film to me mostly because of this reason.  This was the movie that I discovered how cool Harrison Ford can be if he played another character.  In the “Raiders” review I spoke about how I was strictly a Star Wars fan and didn’t give that movie a chance.  But this is the movie I did give a chance and I’m glad I did.  Now, that I think about it I do that a lot…  Shun the first outing of something and then become a fan on the second outing…  Eminem comes to mind.  I digress.

I think the biggest “like” of this movie for me is that there isn’t a clear setup of story for Indy.  In the beginning he is concluding another adventure and he winds up stuck in a situation were he feels compelled to go on yet another adventure when it really didn’t call for it.  So, it kinda feels like we the audience are getting something for free.  Bonus mission!  There are many likes I have in this film like the dinner scene, the bugs scene, the heart scene (definitely), and finally the mine car chase.  So epic they made it a ride at Universal Studios.  And the punch sounds.  Many may think “corny” but even my daughter while watching the movie noticed the outright ridiculousness of the fake punch sounds.  It’s Indiana Jones Gold.

Now with all this love, I can’t let go some of the bad writing that we the audience was just supposed to accept.  Examples being, 1.  Indiana Jones drinks poison yet, he is able to run around (for quite some time) and fight and everything before getting the antidote.  Even after the bad guy says “it works fast!”.  2.  If you jump out of a plane on a life raft and hit the ground they hit you would most likely break some legs.  As soon as it was “aired up” and went over the cliff, I’m sorry but it would have flipped over many times its just physics.  What was the point in having all these guests show up at the palace if they didn’t do anything to contribute to story?  Ok, the british guy sort of told the story of them being overseen and watched by Britain.  But other than that?  That close to lava and Willie didn’t burn up?  Not even a red shade of rosey?  Just alittle sweat is what we got.  If that stuff is hot enough to melt bone from its cage then being that close would have made her skin bubble.  Just sayin’.  Things like that come up and I’m like what?!  How the heck does Indiana get his whip to latch on to things so that he can swing on it?  That doesn’t make any sense at all.  And most likely many more points to make if I were to be nitpicky.

The relationship between Willie & Indie was annoying to say the least.  It reminded me more of Romancing the Stone than Indiana Jones.  Come to think of it Romancing the Stone came out the same year as this movie so, I might be on to something.  I liked the inclusion of short round.  He was great.  I wish he would have been included in more movies.  It was a side of Dr. Jones that we haven’t seen yet.  The ending was very satisfying and yet this movie doesn’t explore many of the formulas the first one had it still has its own piece of history.  Indiana Jones on an adventure.  That’s all you need.  …with a slight flare for the “unbelievable”.

4.0‘s

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Indy

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=YYew0P9wvhY

Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen   – Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Running Time: 1hr 55 min   – Genre: Action/Adventure


Ran-Dizzle (Host)

Synopsis:
Indiana Jones Archeologist / Professor of Archeology has been asked to find the Ark of the Covenent before the Nazi’s do, now it’s a race between Indy and Belloq who is helping the Nazi find the Arc.

Movie Relevance:

This is one of my favorite films of all time so I picked it.

Review:

You can never go wrong with a classic, even when I was a little boy and I heard the theme to Indiana Jones I would stop what I was doing and go running in to watch it, Something about Raiders of the Lost Ark that is just so amazing I can watch it multiple times. I grew up wanting to be like Indy. That being said here is the review.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a classic for Speilberg and Lucas it introduces us to this brilliant, daring professor/archeologist that we all know and love. Indiana Jones, Harrison ford who while making the Indy films portrayed a scruffy looking nerf herder Han Solo, so we see him in his bold, sarcastic, brilliance as a rouge pirate basically in Star Wars…alot of Han is shown in Indy, but since it’s in a Galaxy far far away…. you can’t really compare the two, But Harrison Ford has created a staple for many to attempt and follow as the loveable, charismatic character Indiana Jones.*May 01 - 00:00*05_Flatbed_WEB

Karen Allen playing to me the ONLY love interest that Indy has ever had and that would be Marion a Spit-Fire brunette that can hold her own but is madly in love with Indy but keeps her guard up. I cannot see anyone else playing this character because she at the time this was created had a decent career and was very beautiful for the tom-boy next door look. If anything I could have seen her easily replace Margot Kidder as Lois Lane but that’s neither here nor there.

John Rhys- Davies also played very well as Indy’s friend that was a “Digger” for the archeologists in Cairo. He speaks english very well and honestly hearing him talk I can trace a hint of UK English in his voice which can sometimes be annoying but since some people in Cairo do go to Oxford for studying I am not really out ruling on that.

As for the plot, it’s original at its time but it felt like a chess game between Belloq and Indy, I got your prize, now I got you prize, no I got your prize, nope sorry I got your prize, HAHA neither of us get it. Kind of situation which keeps the movie rolling, but I mean the last time the Nazi’s take it from Indy…seriously enough is enough. indiana-jones-and-the-swordsman-in-raiders-of-the-lost-ark_7-best-movie-fight-scenes

I did have a few quirks about the movie that annoyed me, When he’s a professor he has his glasses on, when he’s Indy he doesn’t need them… Does he think he’s Superman/Clark Kent… Daily Professor and then Treasure Hunting, Adventure seeking Archeologist by night?

Face Melt 1The graphics were pretty cheesy but at the time they were top of the line, the stop animation of the face melt is a classic. Or when Alfred Molina gets skewered and see the fake face still jiggling with the spikes like a rubber mask it is.

Overall though for the special effects and wardrobe it all seemed to be ok for the time, looking back though as we are spoiled moving forward it’s kind of cheesy but I still love it. This is a classic you must see, you can’t miss this.

4.0‘s

Kimmay!

To start this review it has been many, many years since I watched this movie. It amazes me what the film industry used to consider PG in the 1980’s. If I had to rate this movie I would give it a rating of PG-13. It’s got faces melting off and heads blowing up but I guess it is a bit cheesy by today’s standards.

Indy GlassesI must say that Harrison Ford was quite the stud muffin in his younger days and he aged rather well at that. I don’t think anybody else could have played Indiana Jones the way he did. He was quirky and when he gave his “sexy” look…the female heart just sighs. Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood was a good choice. She can drink most men under the table and isn’t above trying to save herself when Indy won’t. I have to say my favorite scene was when she climbed up Indy to get away from all of the snakes. It made me giggle because I would have done the same thing.

Now the theme song is known everywhere. I have to say it is one of the best written out there. It plays and the since of adventure fills the year.  I have to say it is one of my favorites.

The script was original and super fun to watch. The dialog was easy to follow and fun to listen to.

After watching this one I’m gonna have to go back and watch the others. Maybe not the last one, but that’s a different review.

So I give this one…

4.5‘s

 

BIG JD

Harrison Ford before he was a legend but you can tell that he was well on his way.  The first installment of the Indiana Jones series still proves to be my second favorite of them all (4).  What makes it come in runner up?  I can tell ya!

First of all I would like to state that I was a Star Wars fan way before I was a suedo fan of Indiana Jones.  As a kid I had always looked at Harrison Ford playing this boring teacher guy as something I wasn’t at all interested in.  So, needless to say I had passed up Raiders of the Lost Arc the first time around.  I saw bits and pieces but like I said I had no interest because Harrison was NOT Indiana he was Han.  Period.  Fast forward to 2014 and I’m watching Raiders not for the first time but, still it feels new in places.  Karen Allen plays a formidable partner for Indy and helps drive along the story very well.  Minus the fact that we never know much about their past.  I guess that’s how Kasdan likes to write.  He always puts that stuff in his movies (Star Wars) that reference the characters past to give them depth.  Too bad he didn’t have a hand in the prequels.  Ok, I know… off topic.

The flow of the movie seems to go pretty well, until the Nazi’s steal the arc after Indy had stole it back from them after they stole it from him initially which happens to be the 2nd time that we know of as an audience that Belloq steals something from Indy after he went to the trouble of getting it.  Phew!  It just becomes a bit “done” and honestly it gets old after awhile.  Hey look kids he fighting Nazi’s for like an hour.  Maybe not that long but at times it feels like it.

Alfred MolinaThe movie starts off with an actor that we all know pretty well nowadays especially if you’ve seen Spider-Man 2.  Alfred Molina had his big movie break here and what seems confusing to me is that he gets opening credits fanfare.  I’m confused only because (spoiler) he doesn’t make it too far into the movie before he gets “stuck”.

Storywise the movie follows a pretty straightforward story.  Find arc – bring it back.  Don’t trust anyone because it’s going to be dangerous.  Simple enough right?  Well, one of the things that bothers me the most is that after Indiana Jones goes off on these dangerous artifact finds he runs into opposition that end up shooting guns, arrows and swinging swords at his face.  After he makes it out alive he comes back to his teaching job and nobody ever thinks to follow him and continue their fight.  It’s like he’s in a “safe” zone and I’m wondering to myself “now, why didn’t I ever notice that before?”  If I were Belloq why wouldn’t I just follow Mr. Jones back to his teaching job and take him out while he is going through his lecture?  Some might say “well, Belloq needs Indy to get the artifacts for him so that he can steal them from him.”  To that I say, then why does Belloq try to kill Indiana every time they run into each other?  Yeah, thought so.  Magically delicious safe zone.

Indy BelloqClassic soundtrack by Williams and you can feel a Star Wars influence in this movie.  Directly after Empire so, it still feels thematic.  Very good though.  I liked it, but only second best to me.  Stay tuned until next week and you might find out what comes in at number one.

Comic book Connection: Alfred Molina- Spider-Man 2

Nudity Bonus: n/a  (there is a whip though…)

3.50‘s

127 Hours (2010)

Trailer:  127 Hours (2010)

Starring:  James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara  – Directed By:  Danny Boyle

Running Time: 1hr & 34 mins – Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama

 

Big JD (Host)

Movie Selection Relevance

I’ve been really wanting to select this movie for quite awhile.  I’ve told Ran-Dizzle to watch it in the past but did he?  No, so here ya go!  Now you have to.  🙂  More importantly I’ve been on a James Franco kick lately.  He’s been popping up in a bunch of movies I’ve been watching lately.  The Iceman, Lovelace, This is the End and a movie trailer of a movie called As I lay Dying that seems like another winner from Mr. Franco.  It really helps that he’s been working his ass off.  Just in 2013 he was in 11 movies. and 9 movies in 2012.  For 2014 he has on dock 10 movies.  I should call him “James (Brown) Franco: the hardest working-est man in Hollywood”.

Synopsis:

Aron loves his X-treme sports, especially his rock climbing.  One normal day he sets out on some rock climbing excercises when he gets stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Then his survival skills come into question as he awaits rescue.  Will he make it out alive?  He has 127 hours to live so you can find out for yourself.

Review:

James Franco is spectacular in this movie!  He is the only one onscreen for most of the movie.  Sure there are others that appear in this movie but it is Franco that carries the torch.  And he sets the place ablaze!

His (James’) acting ability was never in question.  Kate Mara and the other hitchhiker Amber Tamblyn were recognized right away from TV and another movie I like.  Amber had a reoccurring role in House, M.D. and Kate was in Entourage and played the Subpoena Issuer in Iron Man 2.  Both had short roles in this movie but they did have a point and they did well.  It made you feel like after he got caught you then feel the anxiety of leaving someone waiting.  Your missing a good time.  The anxiety of him hitting it off with a girl.  Instead you then have to stick it through with him to survive.  …and drink some urine.  I just threw up a little.

The soundtrack is pretty melodramatic with exception to the beginning.  Love the intro.  It shows his intensity and his love for everything outdoors.  It basically throws you into his X-treme world immediately and doesn’t let up.  The intro song helps with that.  The directing and editing was done very well.  When this could have been a disaster of a movie Danny Boyle is great.  With so many one on one moments with Franco it had the chance to become boring.  This never happened for me.  It’s all in the editing of scenes and keeping the internal story moving along to NOT make you think about what’s going on in other places.  And when you watch this movie without spoiling it I will say that I enjoyed the ending.

Before I was a married with kids man, I could have really related with Aron’s motivation to stay alive.  He wanted to see his future son.  Who knows when that could be its just the thought that you may die without ever being able to pass on knowledge to your offspring.  That hit home with me, because there were times in my “single” life that I had doubts that I would ever find that special someone and that made me push through it in hopes of one day meeting my kids.  Yeah, I just compared being single to being stuck in crevasse with a boulder on your hand.

My only issue with this movie is that it leaves very little to be desired when talking about re-watch ability.  You can watch it once a year and be fine but, it’s really not a sit down and watch on a Wednesday afternoon just after you watched two Monday’s ago.  Not really the movie’s fault but I cannot give a movie a 5 Star rating unless I can watch it over and over again.

Comic Book Connection:  James Franco – Spider-Man 1-3, Kate Mara – Iron Man 2, Lizzy Caplan – Item 47 (Marvel One-shot), Smallville

Nudity:  No.

 

4.50‘s

Ran-Dizzle

This is one of those movies that brings reality to light, as it is a true event it shows you lots of things to do to survive when the worst happens as well as bring those fears among what could happen when one does something like this. Not many movies especially over rock climbing or any really outdoor activity catches my attention I even procrastinated watching it, and Big JD tells me “Your going to love it.” I wouldn’t say I loved it but I did think it was a good movie.

First of all James Franco did a great job playing Aron Ralston being stuck between a rock and survival for 127 hours. I mean to play that part where you can’t move and all the stuff that Aron had to do even down to *Spoiler* urinating in the Camel Pak to which he had to drink later. The best part besides it’s a true story, is that you see the rock as a symbol of something taking a hold of him and saying LOOK, look at what your choices in life are causing, He hallucinated that he wasn’t going to make it to his sister’s wedding, how if he answered his mom’s call he wouldn’t have been where he was, he could have went and partied with those girls and the inflatable Scooby-Doo. ..but instead he was stuck between the rock and his survival.

The writing was done very well but when you only have basically one scene and quite a few flashbacks you really don’t have to be Shakespeare to make this movie quite dramatic.

The Soundtrack was quite unusual but I liked it, kind of like a burned cd or playlist on an Ipod to Aron’s everyday journey into rock climbing, biking, hiking…

As a movie and a story I think this movie was amazing and tells Aron’s tale well and I think it’s a must see for any wanna-be hikers,rock climbers, or anyone who wants a challenge you should definitely watch this.

And just as important as the message at the end of the movie, if your going to tempt fate by doing things on your own make sure people know where you are because sometimes things don’t always work out like we want them.

4.5‘s

 

Kimmay!

WOW!! That is about all I can say about this movie. It was amazing to watch. I don’t think I could be as calm or collected as Aron if I was in any kind of situation as this. The movie itself was moving and full of hope in a very hopeless situation. There were times when you wanted to yell at the fates for Aron and you kept cheering him on. Halfway through the movie, I had to keep looking away from the screen because it was just to much to take in. 

James Franco did an amazing job in a basically one man show. There were hints of other characters to help keep Aron going but other than the feel good fun scene at the beginning of the film it is him and his own mind.

I remember hearing this was based on a true story when it first came out. If Franco’s portrayal of Aron is anywhere accurate to how Aron really responded then more power to him. He was so calm from beginning to end. He just kept going and doing what he thought needed to be done. I don’t want to tell you how he kept himself going but I will say the mind is a powerful thing.

I would not recommend watching this with small children but older ones yes. Use this as an example of what can happen when no one knows where you are going or when you’ll be back.

It does get a little graphic but the music helped me get through the rougher scenes. it blended well with the movie and kept me going.

So yes, watch this movie! It has a total WOW factor and is super amazing.

4.0‘s

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Trailer: Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, John Carroll Lynch, Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon

Directed By:  Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

Running Time:1hr and 58min – Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama

 

Kimmay! (Host)

Ohhh, how I love Crazy, Stupid, Love. With the all-star cast of Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, this movie could hardly go wrong. I thought they all interacted well and played off each other.

The scenes between Emma and Ryan were great. She’s quirky and he was charming. Their banter is fun to listen to and was just fun to watch. Plus, could she be the one to change him from his wicked womanizing ways? That could be drama later in the movie.

When a couple that had been married for over 20 years find themselves at a crossroads in their marriage, growth is inevitable. When Cal is found nursing his watered down vodka and cranberry by Jacob, he couldn’t know how his life was going to change. After a few smacks to the face, Cal learned how to dress and how to become a ladies man. I’m not gonna say much more about the plot because I don’t want to ruin it. Though one of my favorite scenes in this whole movie is when all the grown men get into a fight and one of them doesn’t even know why. It was comical and entertaining to watch. The women are just kind of standing there staring at them, “trying” to get them to stop.

Since I always say something about the music in the movies I watch, this one won’t be any different. Just like most other films the music fit. Wasn’t too great but wasn’t awful either.

The script seemed mostly original to me.  Well as original as a transformation story can be but it was never a drag to watch.

But ladies, you will be happy to know you get to see Ryan shirtless a couple times and plus a lil more. 😉

So all in all I give this movie a…

4.0‘s

Ran-Dizzle

What tangled webs we weave…I never would have probably picked this movie up if it wasn’t for Kimmay! picking it. I’ve heard a bunch of things about it, so I was very leery in watching it. But now I was actually kind of blown away, even a little bit of a surprise that caught me off guard (not going to spoil it for you)

So the cast was amazing, but general at the same time for a drama rom/com it felt like they’ve been in these roles before but to me Emma Stone is still beautiful (has a soft spot for that fiery red head) and you know they picked Ryan Gosling because they asked like 90% of women who would be a good attractive star that you would like to see shirtless and they said Channing Tatum, but he can’t act so they got Ryan Gosling #2 pick…(just kidding…or am I ?!?!)  what I loved is how the stories mesh into each other. Each character had an interesting story that kept getting weird to me, but then you get that feeling that you know there is going to be a happy ending…but your not sure…but you have that feeling.

That being said I would think it was difficult to write having so many plot lines, about love as someone who is working on a personal project much similar but not quite I can understand so I give them kudo’s on that. But how it all wrapped up I thought was done rather well even if it wasn’t the perfect ending.

Overall I had my doubts I was going to enjoy this movie, but after seeing it, I actually enjoyed it. But then again I tend to be the Rom/Com- Drama guy. I will say it did have a bit of Wes Anderson feel to the film but maybe that’s me.

Definitely check this out.

 4.0 ‘s

 

Big JD

The Crazy, the Stupid-o and the Lovely is all showcased in this movie of the drama-dy collection.  You can’t ask for more when you have a cast of this stature.  The casting is definitely a strong point of this movie.  Although it is a problem.

The cast is great, I feel that the decisions are pretty much “easy picks”.  Steve Carrell plays a character that isn’t sure of himself and gets “made over” by a more confident person.  Sound familiar?  40 year old virgin?  Julianne Moore plays the wife that struggles with the fact that she doesn’t know if she’s “happy” in that marriage or not.  The same role we’ve seen her in during the last 5-10 years.  Emma Stone confident daughter… most of her movies but Easy A comes to mind.  Ryan Gosling a good looking strong and confident guy that “knows” everything about being cool?  I can’t think of any movies that he’s done this before but it should be a reoccurring role for him.  He did great.  I could go on but the examples really stand on their own.  So, this is really a type cast movie.  No stretching of talents, No concerns, and no real breakthroughs in performance just continual advancements.

I was never bored throughout this movie.  I felt engaged the entire time.  Although, at times it seemed like a real downer at times I was able to get through that and enjoy the movie.  I felt the growth of Steve Carrells character was done well, with the help of Ryan Gosling’s character and Marisa Tomei.  Having the couples come together without the knowledge of each other was a nice touch by the writer.  It was like a nice little bow on the present of family.  The happy happy good good feeling you get when everybody’s together at the end of the movie and everything’s gonna be ok.  Likely to say I enjoyed the ending as well.

The drama-dy genre really bothers me.  I understand to have true drama you must have some comedy to make you feel for the characters to pull you in to make you feel the drama for when it occurs.  Kinda like without good you will never have evil type deal.  BUT, when they go to extremes it feels like the movie doesn’t know which direction to go.  The exteme drama mixed with the extreme comedy doesn’t mix well.  When I say “extreme” comedy I may be stretching it a bit.  But when you are extremely dramatic at one moment any time you try to be slightly funnier thereafter it may seem extreme because it’s the opposite reaction.  When you have the simple plot of this movie doesn’t help you pull off the drama-dy either.  Cool guy gets the uncool guy back to reality all the while he dates his daughter and finds love himself.  Blah blah generic generic.  And as I say that I will say that I blindly liked it.  Without thinking about it I still enjoyed this movie and wouldn’t mind watching it again with my wife…  Not too soon but let’s say in about a month… or two.

3.50‘s