Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Trailer: Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay

Directed by: Paul McGuigan

Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins

Genre(s):  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Review by:  John Dixon

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

A re-imagining of the classic horror filled tale of Doctor Frankenstein and his assistant? Yes, his assistant (Daniel Radcliffe) takes center stage here not to upstage the obvious side character that actually is the main character. I’m talking about Doctor Frankenstein folks! There are many tales of Frankenstein, this is one of the many lower on the list. Now, if you’re really wanting a movie on Igor, then I think you’ve found your movie!

 

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

Before I get started, I felt that I needed to give you a brief back story of the Igor character. Did you know that his first appearance in Media was not a movie at all? Not even a book. It was the song “Monster Mash”. You know you’ve heard it. Unless you sleep the entire month of October. The first Frankenstein movie did not contain Igor. The Bride of Frankenstein didn’t either. He had an assistant but his name wasn’t Igor. I will get more into his name later. Lets talk about another name real quick. Victor Frankenstein wasn’t in the first film’s either. In those movies his name was Henry. Just so we are straight here, Victor was the original name for the good doctor. It was a total Bruce Banner / David Banner moment. Which is why I’m guessing they threw in the easter egg of Victor’s “older” brother Henry. The best part of this movie came from its originality and the particular path it took as a story.

You can’t get any better than James McAvoy as Doctor Frankenstein. There were times that he took it to a 10 when it should have been a 9 but he melded the Mad Scientist character with the tortured soul character. Brilliant. Daniel Radcliffe was fine as well as anybody else in the movie. I didn’t have any “acting” complaints from him. Now his character? We will touch on that in a bit. The character of Lorelei I had felt was going to be a damsel in distress character. I thought she would mirror the Elizabeth character that was fiance to Henry Frankenstein in ’31 but this time around possibly fiance to Igor since he was getting a major overhaul. The Barnaby character played by Daniel Mays was convincing but again, the writing didn’t help his cause.

The plot was something that I thought was promising. I remember hearing about this movie before it even filmed. I was excited to see what could happen when they took the story from the point of view of Igor, Frankenstein’s trusty assistant. By the time it made it to theaters though the name had changed most likely because Igor wouldn’t pull in audiences like a trustworthy Movie title such as Frankenstein. Maybe it was named that the whole time, I’m not sure but from the way Radcliffe had described the story, you would think the same thing. Igor taking the name of another man? Maybe this was another Easter egg to the fact that Igor really wasn’t Igor in the earlier classic movies. The Name of this movie should not have been Victor Frankenstein yet it was and they tried to throw the brother connection in there to make this movie tilt more towards his salvation. It was more so Igor’s film and rightfully so, since it was his come up. It made more since to have Igor be a savant when it came to medicine. Why else would Frankenstein choose to have him aid? To get dead bodies John. Oh yeah. There’s always that. They may want to reconsider re-classifying this movie. This isn’t a horror film in any sort of way.

I think Doctor Victor Frankenstein… wait. He never graduated. He wasn’t a Doctor. Did they call him doctor? Anyway, maybe he could have become a great chiropractor. Seriously he fixed a 18-year-old back disorder in the matter of minutes. With only a slam to a pillar and a back brace he had lying around. Oh, and he totally could start-up his own YouTube channel siphoning (by mouth) Cyst’s from People’s backs that are so large that they think they are hunchbacked. So much ridiculous writing. The Hunchback gets the Pretty girl to fall in love with him how? How about how young Igor scaled the side of a mountain after being in bed for like a week and he did it all with no problem! Igor the 1st body encased in Ice? What was the purpose of that? Why did he steal the eyes? Was this to make Igor not trust him. I just don’t know. The crazy Religious Police detective was a one note pony. Would he really gather a bunch of Officers and try to break down this guy’s door when he didn’t have a warrant? Nobody thought to check that out? He was more focused on the fact that he felt he was doing god’s job in this thing. I get that, but c’mon give him some proper reasoning. He was not smart. Can we talk about the “Monster”? My, my that thing was hideous. Not hideous as in scary. But hideous as in this is what they put their best foot forward with. Listen, if you make any form of a Frankenstein movie. Your “Monster” has to be good. This thing was a joke. Lasted about 4 minutes of screen time too. Boo! The monkey abomination was cooler than the actual Frankenstein monster. There! I said it!

I didn’t like this movie. James McAvoy carried my torch, but I carried the pitchfork. Mainly because it could have been so much more than what it turned out to be. I went in thinking that it was going to be the Frankenstein story told through the eyes of Igor. Instead it started that way but got confused halfway through and didn’t have enough steam to make up its mind by the end of the film.

 

1.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection James McAvoy (Wanted, X-Men: Origins, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Dark Phoenix)
Nudity Bonus That could have helped this movie out a bit.
Favorite Moment Watching Victor work in the castle (lab).  It reminded me of the classic movie.
Most Hated Moment Sucking crap out of Igor’s back.  Disgusting.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded me of a subpar Sherlock Holmes movie for some reason.  Not as good.  Not even close.
What did my wife think of this movie? She liked it.  She thought it was good.
Box Office Budget $40,000,000.00
How much it made Domestically $5,775,076.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Failure
Did you notice? 1.  Igor does actually say “Yes, Master” in the film.  Monkey showcase at the school.
2.  The movie made Worldwide:  $34,227,298.  Which didn’t even make its budget back.
3.  Max Landis wrote this movie.  He wrote movies like Chronicle, American Ultra, and that’s the decent stuff.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 24%
Audience 35%
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To The Bone (2017)

 

Trailer: To The Bone (2017)

Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Leslie Bibb

Directed by: Marti Noxon

Runtime: 1 hr 47 mins

Genre(s):  Comedy, Drama

Review by:  John Dixon

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

To the bone is a dreadful glimpse into a young girls struggle with anorexia. Not only how it affects her as a person but everyone that is in her life past, present and future. Will she accept the help that she needs or will she continue walking around in the sack of bones that is her life. I would pass on this romp in depression if you had the chance to. If you’re forced to watch it then, I would just sit back, relax, and appreciate the acting.

 

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

 

This movie in no way will make you understand what it is like to fight anorexia (I’m assuming) but it will make you feel the desolation and hopelessness one would associate with such a disease. The Doctor gave an unconventional view of looking at things. Some would say that the view is a fresh and much-needed approach to most people living in America in 2017. Grow a pair. Find a way through it.

Lily Collins did a fantastic job. I’m most curious though if she actually dropped the immense amount of weight to star in this movie. She was Skinny yo! She provided a dark Queen vibe to her character that in fact dealt with her problems in dry sarcastic way. I related in a way, but couldn’t fully relate because I’ve never had an eating disorder. I do have a weight problem. I can’t weight to eat! OK, that was tasteless. Moving on. The supporting cast was acceptable. Keanu Reeves played a small part but believable while there. Leslie Bibb even smaller and was quick to exit (She lost weight too). Carrie Preston gets my “most annoying” award. I had a feeling that someone would get it, I didn’t think it would be the True Blood alumni but it was. Her stuffy self obsessed with image character drove me nut-balls. I’m just glad that she was the only character to make my blood temp go up.

The plot was probably more deep than I’m giving it credit for. If you are reading this spoiler section I shouldn’t have to warn you again that spoilers do occur in this part of the review. The movie was lacking direction. Throughout the movie we are watching this girl go through pain and suffering. Constantly saying that she’s sorry but never showing it. Never really turning any corners. There was a period of her “getting better” but it was written so obviously I could see a mile away that her and Luke’s relationship would go downhill and in turn the 3rd act would begin. I was truly on board waiting for that turning point or maybe like her doctor had said “that rock bottom point that was necessary for her” to happen but before that happened I fell off the bus when Ellen/Eli’s mom broke out the Rice milk bah bah. It was hard to go forward from that. Having Ellen/Eli then pass out like I’m sure she’d done many a times suddenly realize that she wasn’t dead this time was what made her want to live? I just didn’t buy it.

My first review for a Netflix Original movie! That is a first. I just hoped that it would have lived up to the Netflix quality standard. The side characters were in and out. I would have liked to have seen more from each one. Maybe how they were affected by Ellen/Eli’s life would have been narrative-ly in place. But we didn’t really see that. They were supporting characters to watch this character drown further and further, and did little to actually support.

Once she hit rock bottom, the movie was basically over. She went home and hugged an awful person, said hi to her sister and went and stood in the doorway to the “Threshold”. Did she stay? Did she go back? Did she see Luke? She said that she would be alright but I just sat through an hour and a half can I get some more closure? Nope. I just have to assume that everything worked out for young Eli.

2.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, Iron Man 2), Keanu Reeves (Constantine),
Nudity Bonus Ok, yeah I think it was Lily Collins but it was sad seeing her naked body so skinny.  During her fall to rock bottom.
Favorite Moment When Ellen was able to eat a goo goo chocolate nutcluster.  It was monumental for her.
Most Hated Moment Anything 1 second after Susan (Carrie Preston) said anything.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded of many movies that depresses the shit out of you and then doesn’t give you a strong positive feeling before it ends.  Not saying all movies need to do this but this movie put the character through the ringer with little to no pay off in the end.
What did my wife think of this movie? “It was good.  I thought it was a touching and realistic expression of what people who deal with this go through.”
Box Office Budget This may not count as budget but, Netflix bought the film for 8 million dollars.
How much it made Domestically Netflix doesn’t release these numbers
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success?  Who knows.
Did you notice? 1.  Lobo was played by “Retta” from Parks and Recreation.  What day is it?  “Treat yo self day!”
2.  Keanu reeves didn’t say “whoa” one time during the entire hour and 47 minutes.  Old joke.  I’m retiring it.
3.  When close-ups of Ellen’s body was shown showing her “skinniness” her head is not shown.  Body double??
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 73%
Audience 71%

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

 

Trailer:  The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Starring: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive

Directed by:  James Whale

Runtime:  1 hr & 15 min

Genre(s): Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Review by: John Dixon

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

4 years following the original “Frankenstein” movie we get a direct sequel that starts by having Mary Shelley describe that her characters were not actually killed off in the movie. From there we discover that Frankenstein’s monster had much more living to do, finding friends, more enemies, and a potential mate.

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

The Bride of Frankenstein is a movie that you must see if you are a fan of old monster movies. Much more character building for Frankenstein’s monster and I love that it connects to the 1931 Frankenstein movie seamlessly. We are introduced to a new menacing “mad scientist” in Dr. Pretorius. More evil than his college Dr. Henry Frankenstein and he steals the scenes he is in with his mere presence. If you are worried about being scared though, you have nothing to worry about. There is no fright in this movie.

The over acting is a staple for the 1930’s Hollywood picture. They had to over act like this in silent films so, the acting had carried over well after they started including audio. During the beginning of the film I’m assuming they were going for levity and the inclusion of some comedic elements to make the scarier more horrifying. Instead they made the sillier almost unwatchable. I’m pointing my Frankenstein finger at one character exclusively. Minnie was a distraction. For instance when she is running from the monster it takes away from everything Frankenstein is supposed to be. Several times I expected to hear the Munsters theme music, which made me sad. Because like many, I’m sure I’ve built these classic monster movies up in my head to scarier than they actually are. There isn’t an Igor character here but we do have a “Karl”. Karl is an idiot, Don’t be like Karl. Unless he made it out of there at the end, then I suspect that Karl is smarter than his eyebrows make him look.

 

Frankenstein is a living creature that is made from the bodies of dead people. He just wants to be human and help others. His appearance keeps people from reacting anything close to civil. You attack the monster, you get thrown to the ground. Frankenstein comes across an old blind man to reiterate the fact that if you can’t see him you won’t be afraid of him. They become friends and in a short period of time (I assume) the old man teaches his friend to speak. Good, Bad, Friend, ya know, the basics in everyday speech. Phil Hartman’s portrayal of Frankenstein in SNL came to mind when Frankenstein’s Monster had uttered the words “Fire, Bad!!”. We even saw ole frankie puffin’ away on a stogie! That’s a sight of disappointment let me tell you. Its like walking in on Superman as he is taking his hairpiece off. The friendship of the old man allowed Frankenstein’s monster to open up and be controlled by Dr. Pretorius. Which after some strong arming by the evil doctor he got Dr. Frankenstein to agree to make the monster a mate. Only to realize that this woman saw him as everyone else did. A monster.

The story is lacking in payoff in my opinion. I went into the movie assuming that I would see The Bride of Frankenstein for at least half of the movie. I mean, its her movie! No, that is not the case here folks. The final 4 minutes of the movie is when Frankenstein’s mate is revealed to the world. I really liked her mannerisms and there was so much there to build on. 2 seconds later it was over. It was easy to take note of the famous line spoken by Dr. Frankenstein. “She’s Alive!” which is foreshadowed earlier in the scene. (look for it) As for Dr. Pretorius’ introduction I felt the “tiny” people were over the top unnecessary to the movie and we could have established his crazy mad scientist background another way that had a closer tie to Dr. Frankenstein. Cinematography was pretty cool especially when they would try to make Dr. Pretorious look menacing and mad. Tilting the camera with electricity in the background is always a win.

I felt they could have put so much more into the ending. We were just introduced to the Title character and 4 minutes later the movie ends leaving our characters (minus one Dr. Frankenstein) dead. Frankenstein assuredly dead just as in the first film. The story was put together well, but I must say that the title of the film was completely off. I’m renaming this one to Frankenstein 2: The Blind Friend. Reason being it was the old blind man that moved the Frankenstein’s monster character along to allow him to side with the evil doctor and in turn die again. There was two alternative titles that were used in the USA release. Frankenstein Lives Again! & The Return of Frankenstein which fits the story so much better than what it ended up being known for.

3.5

STARS

 

Comic Book Connection n/a
Nudity Bonus n/a
Favorite Moment When we get to see The Bride of Frankenstein unveiled to the world.  Very cool.
Most Hated Moment Frankenstein smokin’ a stogie while bouncing with joy listening to his friend play the violin.
THIS Movie reminded me of THAT Movie This movie reminded me of the original but with more Frankenstein talking.
What did my wife think of this movie? She didn’t watch this movie.  Could I blame her?
Box Office Budget $397,024.00
How much it made Domestically $2,000,000.00
Was it a Box office Success? Or Failure? Success
Did you notice? 1.  Christian imagery is seen throughout the film.  Ie. Monster on a crucifix?
2.  Dr. Henry Frankenstein is seen in the castle while the building is collapsing, yet he escapes in the end.
3.  When the bride see’s the Monster for the first time she actually smiles.
Rotten Tomatoes Score
Critics 100%
Audience 87%

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

Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged 1

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9ajwSBuozVs

Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen   – Directed By: Richard Donner

Running Time: 1hr 41min   – Genre: Comedy, Drama, Holiday, Fantasy


Ran-Dizzle (Host)

Synopsis:

Frank Cross President of a Broadcast Company has over time developed a very narrow path, as he creates a live Scrooge show on Christmas Eve he is visited by his old boss and 3 spirits living the true tale of Scrooge.

Movie Relevance:

Well tis’ the season to enjoy Christmas movies, but as I found out from friends and family I was becoming a bit of a Scrooge myself, Hesitated about putting up my tree and lights, and when Christmas music played I would change the station. So even though I believe in the holiday just didn’t really feel like living the moment this year I got tired of being called a Scrooge. So since I hadn’t seen this version of the Charles Dicken’s Tale I thought it would be fun to watch.

Now for the Review

Review:

This being the first time I’ve ever seen this movie I thought it was done rather well as a modern day (well in the 80’s) tale of Scrooge and how people lose their way in the holidays and everyday life in order to get where they want on their path, only to be lost down the wrong path and lose focus of the things that are really important like love, family, and faith.BCG1

Seeing Bill Murray playing Frank Cross was probably the best role for him next to the Groundskeeper in Caddy Shack. I loved and was very much able to relate to Frank Cross’s character. Billy Murray’s incredible over the top but keeps it just enough where it’s not too over the top acting and funny man, he has the ability to mesh well with other characters, like Bobcat Goldthwait. The whole scene towards the end and just watching them struggle through the whole movie very similar situations was pretty interesting.

KABM1Karen Allen, the true love to Indiana Jones playing the love interest to Frank Cross in this film was amazing, I’d never seen her in anything else other the Indiana Jones and her acting skills (except for Crystal Skull to which we do not mention) have gotten better.

The writing was pretty true to the story of Scrooge, with a little flair from the 80’s little bits of modern day things… I love how they even had a bag phone in the film. I actually enjoyed the person doing the censoring getting hurt and also ironically cussing as she was inflicted into painful circumstances. (Made me chuckle a little)

Overall the movie was done well I would recommend this if you’ve never seen it (like me)

4.5‘s

Kimmay!

It is the season of giving and sharing. This is something many of us forget to do the rest of the year but manage the few weeks around Christmas. In Scrooged, Frank Cross, played by Bill Murray, is the type of man who doesn’t do it at all. Christmas to him is a sham and just another way to get the ratings for his T.V. station. But the one thing he forgot is Christmas is about miracles whether you want them of not.scrooged_01

In this adaptation of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, the story is brought to life in the means of Cross changing. He sees what he used to be and what he has become. Also how his actions effect other people.

The acting in this movie was done rather well. Murray portrayed a man who thinks he is going crazy fabulously. His facial expressions and antics were great.  Alfre Woodward, his secretary Grace, did a great job of showing how the working class puts up with the quirks of the upper management.

The music was typical for a Christmas movie but still done well. But I have nothing really special to say about it.

The make-up team was rather creative with the various ghosts of the Christmas. I liked Christmas yet to be and his little gremlin type beings in his chest. Plus Christmas Present was a hoot with her rough love.

I don’t know if this is one I would watch with little kids but it is still an enjoyable  family movie.

So I give this film a…

3.5 ‘s

 

BIG JD

Bill Murray has had ups and downs in his career.  He’s gone years without making movies at times.  This movie just so happens jump started his career again for his most memorable movie run in his career.  This movie is of course a current (late 80’s) rendition of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.  We all have seen many of the versions.  Heck we reviewed the Muppet version last year.  Do I smell tradition?  So, obviously the story isn’t something that’s going to pull you in because you already know what’s going to happen.  No surprises are made and the movie still stands on its own.  Maybe not recognized as one of the best versions of the Humbug Tale but to me, one of the most memorable.

scrooged 3It’s the cast that holds this boat together.  It’s almost a who’s who in 80’s movies.  Bill Murray – Duh, Karen Allen – Indiana Jones, John Glover –
Glover maybe wasn’t as big in the 80’s as he was later in life when he played Lex Luthor’s father in Smallville.  I guess you can cite Gremlins 2?, Bobcat Goldwait – Police Academy series, Jamie Farr – MASH, Robert Goulet – singer and stuff, Buddy Hackett – They got Buddy Hackett!, Lee MF’in Majors – 6 million dollar man, ALL 3 OF BILL MURRAY’S BROTHERS – Joel, Brian, John Murray!!!  That’s nice isn’t it?  Mary Lou-Retton – Gymnist, and finally as a street musician Miles Davis – Best trumpet player next to Dizzy Gilespie.  With a cast like that, you can’t lose.

You see Scrooged and you can say that it is a Christmas film.  It is, kinda.  Ok, I guess it explores the good will to all men aspect but other than that I guess it misses out.  The dialogue can seem a bit forced at times like they are all timid to speak in waiting for Bill Murray to go off with his loud whining and carrying on fits.  The Old Boss, The cabbie, and the fairy were nice touches to make this movie original enough to set it apart from others with the same story.  Although, it’s not much of stretch of the imagination when I’m predicting what’s gonna happen.scrooged-movie-image

With all that said I enjoy watching this movie every other Christmas or so.  I love Bill Murray back when he was confident.  The voiceless child in the end had that classic line and it was the only thing they got perfect in this movie.  Why?  Because they didn’t change anything and it will surprise you that he speaks and it makes you genuinely happy for him.  In many ways I think that this can beat out the original Christmas Carol incarnations just based on making the audience feel something instead of just watching Ebenezer be a dick and then start being nice all of a sudden.  This version builds up to the “nice” part and it’s more believable.  So, if you haven’t seen this movie, go watch it now.  Quick before Christmas is over because nobody watches Christmas films AFTER Christmas.

My favorite scene has to be the ending credits.  Not because it is the end ot the movie but I think that it is a fun way to end a movie.  Just as the guys who made “There’s something about Mary”.  Oh, and yes Richard Donner starts this movie like a Tim Burton film but I would say that this falls into his best jobs.  He has a lot.  Ie.  Superman!

Merry Christmas ALL!!!

Comic book Connection: N/A

Nudity Bonus:  just a ltitle bit of nipples but you can’t really see anything “and these guys are really looking!”

3.50‘s

Rock of Ages (2012)

MV5BMTg2NDQyODAzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTg5MDA3Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USxhXb5VC5E

Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise     – Directed By: Adam Shankman

Running Time: 2hr 5min  – Genre: Musical, Comedy, Drama

 

Ran-Dizzle (Host)

Synopsis:  in 1987 A girl comes from a small country town to Hollywood to become a singer of rock music she meets a boy they fall in love, when fame and situations occur their path has been split and fate steps in and brings everything to light and all wrongs are made right.

Review:

I kind of choose this film because alot of people have come up to me, “Man you really need to watch Rock of Ages…you’ll love it.” I hate to admit it but they were right I had a blast through the whole movie and every song they sang is on my computer, phone, and external hard drive. Anyways back to the movie.

This was a cheesy, campy musical movie for me. The star power was amazing, Brian Cranston, Cathrine Zeta Jones, Tom Cruise, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, and Russell Brand. But even with the star power it did ok, I mean don’t get me wrong I loved how it was done, but the cheesy goodness of their acting skills came out. I do think Cathrine Zeta Jones played the antagonist very well, “Hit me with your best shot” was done well couldn’t get over the horrible 80’s outfits but it was the 80’s so there ya go.

Alec Baldwin can’t sing very well…I am sorry to say that…not really actually I am not. He didn’t really impress me. However I thought with current events after him “Gay Bashing” and his role he played in the film I thought was kind of Ironic, however he really didn’t stand out to me.

Paul Giamatti plays a slicked back manager very well kind of makes you feel like he’s going to slither his way out like the snake he is so he did a fairly good job.

Russell Brand didn’t have a major part in the movie, but seeing his hairdo and when he sings I could see him playing a young Freddie Mercury like the 70’s Queen Freddie. But as for his role in this part not really major but did a good job none the less.

Rock-of-Ages-600-4001Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta the upcoming stars in this movie do amazing the well with acting and singing, impressed me quite a bit, and Julianne Hough her voice was amazing with the songs she sang.

The story was pretty much cookie cutter though, small town girl coming to big city to make it big, gets lost along her way, travels a dark path to find light at the end of the tunnel, but even the side characters had similar stories. So to me I wouldn’t say it’s original but using the music the way the did and the mash-ups was pretty ingenious.

Overall I loved the movie, however scoring the way we do it doesn’t reflect that but it to me is a must see for family fun, and or musical lovers.

3.5‘s

Kimmay!

Incase you did not know this about me already but I love musicals. Doesn’t really matter what type just as long as the music is good. And the music in Rock of Ages is of course awesome. You can’t really go wrong with the classics.

As for the script, well I can’t say it was all that original. It starts with the girl full of hope going to the big city to pursue her dream of becoming a star, only to wind up a stripper all because the city boy she fell in love with broke her heart. The city boy does get signed to make an album but the agent is so weasley he ends up being a pop-star and not a rock-star. Let us not forget about the Rock God, Stacee Jaxx. He has become so jaded in the world of rock that he has lost sight of what true rock and roll is.

1

The acting was ok. Nothing really stood out to me as spectacular or award winning. But the singing was pretty good and I was impressed with Tom Cruise, I didn’t know he could sing at all. The two main actors, Sherrie Christian and Diego Boneta, both did a fabulous job showing emotions while singing their songs and I did like that. There is nothing worse than dead faces when singing a sad, sad song.  5

The costumes were amazing. Catherine Zeta-Jones outfits are conservatively awful and just make me giggle in delight. But I think they really captured the perceived rock scene of the 80’s.

So the fact that I really love the songs and the acting was at most a lil cheesy I would give this movie a…

3.0 ‘s

 

BIG JD

Should you ever find  yourself in need of watching a 2 hour episode of Glee then pull this movie out of the future 5 dollar bin and give it a go, because what else do you have to do?  Besides pouring sugar all over yourself.

I am obviously not impressed with this movie.  The gimmick just wasn’t enough to pull me in.  The gimmick I speak of is the fact that this is a Rock Ballad musical.  Just like many rock ballad musical’s that came before it ie Rocky Horror Picture Show and others this musical is chalk filled full of covers.  (I find it funny that once Drew got his break Dennis says “3 original songs & no covers!”)  The covers are probably the movies saving grace.  I won’t deny that after I watched this movie I jumped on my Songza app and started listening to 80’s rock playlists.  Then I’m reminded after about 20 minutes that yes, I come from that era but this was not my music of choice. So, needless to say the Soundtrack is decent with a couple skip able musical numbers.

The writing and plot of the entire thing is simplistic to say the least.  I figure that you will watch the movie to hear the songs vs. wanting to see a good story.  There were 4 story lines in the movie.  2 major & 2 minor.  We could have done without both of the minor storylines.  In fact Catherine Zeta-Jones owns the worst musical performance in the movie for me.  Awful.  We get to witness Dennis & Lonny find out who they 2truly are.  That wouldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t get so cheesy with it.  It almost felt insulting or stereotypical during the reveal song of theirs.  Of the two Major story lines the Drew/Sherry yarn was very thin and …well…  ridiculous.  “I saw you pulling your shirt sleeve up and I saw him zipping up his pants.! I ban you from my life!  Now!”  So, passive aggressive it makes me wanna smack Justin Thereoux.  Which is very disappointing because I remember that Justin wrote the Iron Man 2 screenplay and… wait that’s not a good example.  He wrote Tropic Thunder?  Ok, I don’t like him for his writing skill I just think he would make a killer Doctor Strange.  You heard it here first!  As for the other major storyline…

The acting is hard to gauge on this movie.  Only because you can’t really tell if they are trying to be a serious movie or take them selves to the corny side of the camp.  For example Malin Akerman destroy’s any seriousness that the Rock God in love storyline even presents to us.  With 3the facial expressions, tongue in the ear, and Blow up doll face in the end of the movie says it all.  This takes the storyline that I feel holds water in this movie and pisses down its drunken leg.  So, if you want to watch Tom Cruise try to sing or maybe two unknown’s that would do better being in Glee then this is your movie.  Me, I like glee but I usually have to be persuaded to watch it.  This movie will fall into THAT category.

Comic book Connection: Alec Baldwin – The Shadow, Paul Giamatti – Amazing Spider-Man 2

Nudity Bonus:  Nope.

2.0‘s

Les Miserables (2012)

Trailer: Les Miserables (2012)

Starring: Hugh Jackman,  Russell CroweAnne Hathaway   – Directed By:  Tom Hooper

Running Time: 2 hr & 38 mins – Genre: Drama, Musical, Romance

 

Kimmay! (Host)

To say that I love musicals is a slight understatement. I can watch them over and over again and then also listen to the soundtracks in my free time. Les Miserables is one of my absolute favorites. In fact a few years ago I made my sister sit in the rain for over two hours just to watch the live show. But enough about that and on to the movie.

I was mightily impressed with the choice of actors in this movie. I will admit that I was a little hesitant of Hugh Jackman and not because of his acting style I just didn’t know he could sing. Russell Crowe was also amazing. He played the part of a super zealous mega cop very well. And Anne Hathaway, all I can say is that I had tears running down my face when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream.” Her portrayal of a woman who had her dreams and hopes dashed away by the one careless act was breath taking.

Now for the music because this is after all a musical with very little dialog added in. I do not think there is a song in this musical that I do not like. From the songs that are supposed to add humor like “Master of the House” to songs of lost love, hope, and faith. It is hard for me to choose a favorite, But right now I think “On my Own” is way up there.

The costumes, make-up and set really impressed. The “Miserables” looked rough with their tattered clothing and sores oozing.Begging for a chance to live another day. Then when the Resistance is about to start the revolt the running through the streets of Paris and making the blockades seemed very realistic. I did some research when the movie first came out and the director complained that it was hard to get the carpenters to build of kilter like it was back in the day to get the real 19th century feel.

So I do recommend this movie or maybe a better way to say it this 2 and half hour song to most anyone. So if you know you can’t handle that amount of singing you might want to pass on this but if the thought doesn’t scare you, enjoy. I have watched this movie over and over again and will watch it probably a hundred more. So i give this film….

5‘s

Ran-Dizzle

So this movie was a Culture shock to me and probably a big clue that I am not going to like “Musicals” I mean I love Grease, and The Classics because they had speaking lines on top of just singing. *Spoiler Alert* If you cannot handle people singing their dialog do not watch this movie.

With that being said several people have impressed me in this movie. First of all I must say the cast was very talented with their singing voice. The most surprising was Sacha Baron Cohen and Helen Bonham Carter they impressed me very much and was a surprise to see them in this movie. The Top billed actors were great. Even Russell Crowe, the Chemistry between Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman was done very well, however you can’t really take them seriously when they are singing at each other.

Anne Hathaway who’s role didn’t play long stuck out the most to me, she played the character very well and was able to pull off the singing dialog very well.  He character who’s role seemed to be a small role to me ended up being a vital role especially with Jean Valjean.

The Cinematics was done well and the sound effects were about normal to me. The Soundtrack (Also the dialog I guess) is good I remember singing some of these songs in Choir in high school. But honestly it was distracting and hard for me to watch due to the constant singing dialog. Especially when there are 3-4 people singing at each other it’s hard for me to keep a grasp on what’s going on.

The Dialog “Lyrics” is fair, the story plays out well especially between Jean Valjean and Javier, the good guy/ bad guy epic story but sung out loud.

Overall it was very difficult to keep my focus due to no dialog just singing at each other, on the flip side of that the acting is done well due to singing at each other, However for me it’s hard to take a story seriously if I am being sang at, I mean think of it like this if your grandma died would you send a singing tell-a-gram to tell your other loved ones? And would they take it seriously?  But then again this is a “MUSICAL” but my defending point it Grease, Wizard of Oz, Music Man, Willy Wonka were all musicals too….

3.5‘s

 

Big JD

Look Down! Look Down!  Keep your attention from the screen!

Look Down! Look Down!  We sing the script in every scene

I have to apologize for the lateness of this week’s post for I am solely responsible.  I just had a really hard time getting through this movie.  After an hour in it just got to be a chore to watch any more.  However I did get through it and now I have a supreme accomplishment under my belt.  Needless to say I didn’t enjoy this movie.  I am quite disappointed that I loathe this movie because there are thousands of people that have enjoyed the play on Broadway for many years.  That makes me feel like I’m not cultured enough.  Am I missing something?  Well, lets get into my feelings more in depth and then you can tell me what I failed to see (hear).  Spoilers ahead.

First I would like to open this box by giving you the positive aspects of “The Miserable”.  I thought the cast was great.  Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter.  Usually a star studded cast like this will help sway my “like”.  Not today folks.  Out of all of them Sacha was my favorite as he amused me with his money hungry grubby ways.  His song that he sang was probably my favorite of the movie.  Song?  Yes, If you didn’t already know this is a musical and it is all song.  Every single bit of it.  There are a few spoken words but mostly constant singing.  The final thing that I actually thought was well done was the CGI.  It was well placed and well done.  Although I think they hit their budget on the opening scene.  Ha!  No, the lighting and overall tone of the film was good and properly done as you feel like it is the 19th century.

My overall gripe with the movie is that the plot of the entire movie is driven by the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.  The main character (Jean Valjean) played by Jackman does 19 years of “time” for stealing a piece of bread.  After that he is on parole (for life) for stealing this small piece of bread.  He obviously breaks his parole and the entire movie he is chased by a Prefect (Russell Crowe).  The Prefect dedicates his “existence” to bringing him to justice.  Justice!  Seriously!?  Justice.  For stealing a piece of bread.  Ok, I understand that they did some messed up things way back then but c’mon.  Let’s get serious.  This was not motivation enough to drive this individual so crazy that he spends his entire adult life chasing this guy.  See, we all do things based on motivation.  With the proper motivation it would seem plausible.  Let me give you an example.  A young boy at the age of 9 let’s say his name is Javert (psst!  The Prefect dude) and let’s say that he witnesses a criminal break into his house and rape his mother.  Followed by tying Javert to a chair and makes him watch as he stuff’s bread into her mouth.  So much bread that it suffocates her in front of his eyes.  Now THIS is something to drive this person with the proper motivation to bring this so called “criminal” to justice.  But alas we don’t get that.  We are just supposed to go with the flow because this is based on a play that has been in circulation since 1862.  I’m not one to “go with the flow”.  I also can’t understand why Javert killed himself.  I understand he was obsessed and that Jean Valjean had made him question his life for sparing that same life.  So, just move on Man!  C’mon!  Also, why did Fantine & Valjean both die.  Neither was explained but again, here we go.  Let’s go with the flow because it’s an institution.  The revolution played very subtle.  Many deaths yet people still had time to sing till their last breath.  “Hey, I just took a bullet for you.  It hurts.  But I’m still going to sing about lovin’ you”.  Speaking of the girl that dies for the A-hole that could give a shi*.  He tells her that he wished that he could heal her with words of “love”.  Implying that he loves her.  Great, that’s nice lets tell a dying woman some lies before she heads for the great beyond.  Great suitor for Collette.  I mean Cosette.

The music was … music.  There were some catchy songs in there that may have you singing long after you sit through it.  Like, “Look Down”, “Master of the House”, or nope I got nothing.  Much of the music I wanted to fast forward through.  I didn’t.  But still had me waiting for something story related to happen.  Because as they start singing they will just hem-haw back and forth for 3-4 minutes while you bathe in the common sound of their song.  By the way, I disliked Russell Crowe singing very much.  His character just made no sense so, his songs were a waste of time for me.  They all had good singing voices.  Nobody was “bad” or anything.  In fact, I was impressed by how high Amanda Seyfried could get.  It was very reminiscent to like a Snow White or early Disney Princess voice.  Even if you had taken the music out there was still the bad plot devices.  So, “at the end of the day”…

Look Down! Look Down! I just stole a tiny bite of some pie!

Look Down! Look Down! For doing that I just might die!

for “who am I” to keep on writing this…  re——–view!

Comic book Connection:  Hugh Jackman: x-men collection, Wolverine collection – Anne Hathaway: Batman-Dark Knight Rises – Russell Crowe: Man of Steel.

Nudity Bonus:  Cleavage don’t count.

2.0‘s

Fight Club (1999)

fight-club-1

Starring: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter     – Directed By: David Fincher

 

Ran-dizzle-(Host)

I first saw this movie after the hype had died and everyone went on to the next movie, as do I do a lot of stuff…Harry Potter movies (like me or hate me the first 2 suck.) but I digress back to this movie… So I am sitting there thinking when is the fighting going to start…and who cares about his Ikea Collection.

Then like magic I started to get involved in this movie, why am I getting intrigued by this character to which we don’t even know his frickin’ name…I’ll tell you why. DAMN GOOD Writing.  I cannot name another movie to where it brings you to a level where you want to know what is going on with this everyday drone of life and not know his name?!…

“In Project Mayhem we have no names, Sir.” – The Mechanic.

I’d seen other movies with this actors/resses except one… Helena Bonham Carter I’d never seen her acting and she astounded me she played what I Helena-Bonham-Carter-and-Edward-Norton-in-Fight-Club-1099-1 thought was a crazy woman…but was she?, Brad Pitt I’d seen a few of his movies and knew he was good. I’d seen Italian Job Re-make and knew that Ed Norton was a good villainous character but this character is such and Anti-Hero it makes me so happy to see this movie.

Holt McCallany played in several movies I’ve never noticed him in…one of my personal favorites is The Loser’s which is a movie we maybe reviewing in the future (So stay tuned.) He was also in a TV series “Lights Out” he plays a very good Anti-hero himself in those roles.  In this movie he was a character that had some speaking lines towards the end but his character is known as “The Mechanic”

The writing astounded me as well, it was well written, and great one liners. It’s a dark drama with loads of sarcasm and malicious intent. Which really brings out the crazy in me like it does Tyler Durden.

How else can you go 2/3 of the way through the movie and never learn the characters name but can connect and understand a little bit about him enough to latch on to this character and wanting to know his crazy story. The writers were genius. I love how towards the end the movie everyone ends up flashing back in their own mind going all that makes sense now…once you have learned Tyler Durden’s Dirty little secret.

The soundtrack is amazing, Every song, Every Score, Every movement that goes on fits to the last moment of the movie, Even my favorite The Pixie’s song “Where is my mind?” Which plays at the ending credits of the movie.

All and All if you have never watched this movie, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR…and when you get done watching it you will thank us for it later.

” God Damn! We just had a near-life experience, fellas.” – Tyler Durden

5.0‘s

KIMMAY!-

I LOVE THIS MOVIE!! And not just for Brad Pitt’s V-cut and I’m not talking about a shirt.  BPFC

The first time I watched this movie, I felt like a rebel. It was edgy, dark and exciting.

The main settings that are used in this movie show a darker side of life. The house that Tyler and Jack end up turning in to a base is all but falling down upon them, the bar that is first used for Fight Club is dingy and pretty much owned by the mob, and Marla’s apartment is shady at best. Also before we meet Tyler, Jack is going to different support group meetings so he can sleep. These are all held in dark gyms, and grungy meeting halls, with all the coffee you can drink.

The story line was pretty amazing. You have a man that is broken mentally but is still able to gain enough power over other men to start his own military cell with the purpose to create chaos in the US. His life views are intoxicating to those who feel like they are nothing in a world that can’t really function without them. When two men are in the fight, he is king for a while.

edward-in-fight-club-edward-norton-562473_1600_900Now for the acting. WOW! Edward Norton was phenomenal. He played his character so flawlessly. Helena Bonham Carter has enough crazy flair with looks and persona to pull Marla off, and of course there’s Brad Pitt. This is one of his “dirtier” roles and not his clean cut self. They interact in a way that the big surprise at the end is still a big surprise.

On a girly note the blood and some of the hits were hard to watch. But that’s why we have hands to cover our faces and fingers to peek through.

So take the time and watch the complex story of a man who loses and finds himself all for the thrill of a near-life experience.

5‘s

BIG JD-

Fight Club is one of those movies that you need to see before you leave this earth.  For me it was a late bloomer movie.  I passed on it for acouple years just because at the time I wasn’t “into Brad Pitt”.  I just figured that women liked him so, I didn’t need to.  Basically he was a Channing Tatum to me.  Until I saw this movie.  It was great, because it opened me up to the wonderful actor that Brad Pitt is.  I hadn’t really heard of Edward Norton before this movie either.  But, I will say that I became a fan of him as well. Fightclub, nicehed

A near perfect movie for me in all aspects.  The Score/Soundtrack was done mainly by The Dust Brothers and takes you in out and around the mind of Tyler Durden.  I will say though on the DVD Menu music I am thoroughly tired of that jingle.  For I use to go out drinking with a buddy of mine (Colby) and we use to come back and watch this movie while we chomped on some late night food.  I would eventually pass out with this DVD Menu song playing for hours.  Yeah, I almost have an intense hatred for that song now, but I believe I’m over it.  The casting and acting ability of that cast was top notch.  You won’t find anything better than what you get here.  Even Meatloaf is a joy to watch as Bob BT. Fight-Club-meatloaf-873496_852_480

His name is Robert Paulson…  Well, his name has no matter here.  It’s Tyler Durden everyone wants to be like.  With his words of wisdom that work as a dark social commentary or the fact that he is this guy that does everything you are afraid to do.  Either way you will love this character.

*Spoiler Alert Start*

Although you come to know this character it is quite the shock when you find out that he is a figment of your imagination.  Well, I am Jack’s imagination, I go crazy.  I almost kill Jack.  By Jack I’m referring to Edward Norton’s character since you will never know his true name.

*Spoiler Alert End*

Did you know that the names that Jack (Edward Norton) used in his “therapy” sessions were all characters from the Planet of the Apes series?  Yeah, along time ago I watched the Commentary for that tidbit of glory.  Anyway, The Script was written well.  I cannot compare it to the Book as I have not read it.  But I will say that there are so many “one liners” in this movie it will haunt you.  My only fault is that this movie lists itself as a Drama.  There are some dramatic moments but, I feel that it fits better into the Thriller, Mystery genre’s better.  That is just a sense of a movie trying to be something its not.  The end result works better for everyone anyway.

Let me end by informing you that you need to see this.  It is not ALL about fighting.  Sometimes Tyler speaks for me.  *Watch the damn movie!-Tyler* Watch the damn movie!

4.50‘s

 FC1