Hate movie spoilers? Good! You'll get straight to the point, quick, and spoiler-free movie reviews to help you spend your time and money wisely on movies. I'll give you the Good, the Bad, the Reason, and the Rating about each movie. ***Please disable any popup blockers***
Sunday, August 18, 2013
The Good: The story line is given a variety of injections of "REAL". People get shot, lose limbs, get sick, and die. (That Sick Stick is no joke...well it kinda is.) The action and violence is at an all time high, and just like the previous film, done realistically. The action scenes don't necessarily come off as choreographed, most of the time. There are splashes of comedic moments which balances out nicely with the intense violence. Jim Carrey's character was enjoyable and @Mother Russia... whoa! Well when you see what she's capable of, you'll see why she gets paid $50k a week. (Her part was great!) As you've seen from the trailers, you already know that Hit-Girl's character is going to be a main focus, and of course she has excellent action scenes as well. Until the end of the movie, Kick-Ass himself seems to just be there because most of the movie is about the society he's influenced. Lastly, all of the character match-ups for the action scenes are nicely done because everyone is on equal levels.
The Bad: Not really much to say here. I could probably say that Morris Chestnut was not needed in this film at all. Actually I'll stick with that. He wasn't.
The Reason: The great thing about this movie was that watching the first Kick-Ass movie wasn't really necessary. The first movie gave you more of an origin story, which is always nice to know. This movie has done what many comic and action movies fail to do. Comic book movies either remain too PC for the sake of younger audiences, or action movies get so over the top that they are no longer even realistic. Kick Ass 2 isn't PC, it's gritty, real, violent, and entertaining. I'd definitely say this is a great watch. Do not let the name or comic nature fool you though. This movie is NOT for children at all. (Violence, Adult Language, and mild gore) Go see it and have fun with it. Oh and there's an extra scene at the very end of the credits.
The Rating: 8.5/10
The Bad: While it doesn't necessarily ruin the movie, it would have been a little nicer to have actors who looked like, and acted exactly like the Presidents in the film. (Save for the actor that played Reagan) Presidential impersonators are not hard to find. While the make up team did a great job at aging Forest and Oprah, they failed tremendously at aging people like Lenny Kravitz or Cuba Gooding, Jr.
The Reason: This movie explores the racial divides, not just between white america and black america, but within the black community AND its generations. The Father-Son relationship does a great job at communicating the difficult and challenging racial issues during the pre/post civil rights era. Within that relationship, they were able to show the following African American responses: 1.) To love their enemies. 2.) To fight back. 3.) To have "Two Faces". The theme of the "Two Faces" presented in the movie is a powerful one that should not be missed. Beyond that, this story was an emotional one. From a cotton farm to the White House, all while being an African American when America was literally against you for all the wrong reasons...simply amazing. This is one of those films that should be watched, not for "Black Power", but really for a sense of reflection. For those who have grandparents who may have told stories of "the struggle", this movie does an excellent job at conceptualizing it for us today. If you're not an African American, it's still an important film to watch simply because it'll help remind us of what America used to be and hopefully inspire us to continue making it into what it should be. This movie is a must watch, but just understand that it's a dramatization, inspired by true story. It's a drama that may even have some teary eyed a bit. Go watch it, and take from it what you will.
The Rating: 8/10
The Good: The likenesses of the majority of the characters portrayed in the movie were very good. (Check out the side by side comparisons at the end of the movie) Ashton Kutcher starts off by mimicking Steve Jobs' distinctive walk and posture from beginning to end. (He gets an A for effort for that) The emotional range that is demanded from playing Jobs actually is met by Ashton. He accomplishes tackling Jobs' emotionally teary-eyed moments all the way to his cold, cruel, shark-like manner. The stages when Apple is finally a company all the way to the more recent years are probably portrayed the most accurately. One of the best parts of this film was the fact that you get to experience the unique sense of inspiration that Jobs would share with those around him.
The Bad: The production and direction of the movie really fails to develop the Jobs character for this film. They leave out crucial events in his childhood that is essential to understanding just why Jobs acts the way he does. (Being adopted, parental interactions, abandonment issues, etc) They only do a brief mentioning which just isn't enough. This pretty much leaves the audience just thinking that Jobs is either bi-polar or crazy, which wasn't necessarily the case. The movie was about 2 hours long, so that length of time may bother some people.
The Reason: Unfortunately due to the skipped early moments of Jobs' life, the depiction of Jobs isn't conveyed very well for the average person. You'll be missing out on what made Steve tick, so to speak, especially if you haven't read "Steve Jobs: A Biography" (which I do recommend), or unless you're an Apple enthusiast. I thought this movie would either be a " Jamie Foxx + Ray - The Movie" type of biopic, but instead it's more so just " Will Smith + Muhammad Ali" (That's not a good thing). This is worth the rental, and if you're really dying to see it, I'd suggest a matinee. Don't expect the "cool factor" that is connected with the Apple brand to be reflected in this film.
The Rating: 6.5/10
Monday, August 12, 2013
The Good: Jason Sudeikis does a decent job carrying the movie. His quick banter is humorous and he comes off as the sarcastic wiseguy that you're probably friends with. His back and forth with Jennifer Aniston flows well and the chemistry seems ok. Will Poulter, as Kenny, is actually pretty funny, unintentionally. His TLC waterfalls scene, and the Spider scene were pretty memorable. Though the story line wasn't that deep, it was actually very refreshing to see how this zany group of people, smuggling drugs across the border, were still able to address actual family issues in a comedic way. The ending credit outtakes were really funny, and definitely worth the watch.
The Bad: That chemistry I mentioned between Sudeikis and Aniston kind of gets a little played. After a while it's just a bunch of "F*** you", "No, F*** you!", and it loses it's punch by the middle of the movie. (I mean you get it, they don't like each other) Some of the jokes could be seen coming a mile away. (Kissing lesson) Oh and the touted Jennifer Aniston stripper scene is just what you see in the trailer. Hope you weren't expecting her to do any handstands or splits. (Not that I'd know if strippers did that sort of thing)
The Reason: Comedy is a very difficult thing to critique because obviously everyone has their own preferences and sense of humor. With that in mind, I usually gauge the audience in the theater for my barometer of comedic value. Let's use this scale: Not Funny, Chuckle-Worthy, Funny, Hilarious, and Gut Buster. This movie was funny. There was a consistent stream of funny moments, and maybe 2-3 moments of "in your face" shocking moments. The jokes on screen made people Lol, however once the joke was done, so were the laughs. When a movie has an incredibly funny moment, people usually will laugh so hard, and for so long, that they'll continue laughing even after the joke is complete. That didn't happen in this film. This movie was funny and entertaining, but doesn't meet the criteria of being a "hilarious" nor "classic comedy". Good rental, and if you decide to see this based off the trailer, do so as a matinee.
The Rating: 7/10
Friday, August 9, 2013
The Good: The action scenes were nicely done and Matt Damon does his job. Fight scenes were shot really well and made good use of the slow motion, rotational camera shots. (Something Man of Steel could've benefited from using) Surprisingly enough, this was more graphic than expected. There quite a few body parts flying around and "explosive" scenes that keep you engaged. Also the futuristic weapons were pretty interesting, cool to watch, and believable. Finally, the overall theme of the movie, the rich class vs the poor class, is a very intriguing one since this movie ventures to visually demonstrate a potential glimpse of the future.
The Bad: The character development seems weak. Outside of childhood relationships, the "love interest" just doesn't seem very strong. That weak development causes a good amount of slow parts in the movie. (Luckily the action scenes wake you right back up) Lastly, many characters come from different backgrounds, which means they tend to speak different languages, and have heavier accents. There are a few times when characters get a little too excited and their strong accents make it difficult to understand what they are saying. Granted you'll still get the gist of what they are saying, but I could see that being annoying for some people.
The Reason: The director gives you an authentic, gritty, futuristic atmosphere from beginning to end. This film is like District 9 + Oblivion...just minus the aliens. If you enjoyed either of those movies, then you'll more than likely enjoy Elysium as well. This wasn't regrettable to watch, but this isn't going to really stand out compared to other movies released this year. So-So theater watch, or a good rental.
The Rating: 7.5/10
Monday, August 5, 2013
The Good:The director and Forrest Whitaker, one of the producers, do exactly what they intended to do with this. Their goal was to make you feel for the main character Oscar Grant, and it's very difficult not to empathize with him. The portrayal of the character seems fair and balanced. He wasn't made out to be a purely innocent guy who happened to run into a tragic situation. Instead he had his pros and definite cons. Michael B. Jordan does a stand up job because throughout the entire film, you didn't see Michael playing the character Oscar...you just saw Oscar Grant. The supporting cast also came across as "real" people. From the loving mom, to the girlfriend, to Oscar's friends, to even the aggressive police officer in the station...each of them made you believe in their characters and helped the movie appear authentic.
The Bad: N/A (See "The Why")
The Reason: After leaving the theater, I was pissed, sad, and almost a little teary eyed. The rest of the audience left the theater in a solemn silence, as if it was funeral. It's difficult for me say anything "bad" about this movie because it's based on a true story. I can't say that Michael's portrayal of Oscar was corny or off because, well we don't know who Oscar was as a person. For all we know maybe he was a loving father, and son. We just have to go with what's given to us. Besides that, this movie really hit close to home with me on a personal level. As a black man, with locs, I couldn't help but think that I could have easily been in a similar, and unavoidable, situation just like Oscar. Having a daughter also didn't make it any easier for me either. This film comes out at a possibly convenient time after the Trayvon Martin vs George Zimmerman trial, and definitely brings to light what many would consider a major injustice in our judicial system. Should this be seen in the theaters? I will say that if the trailer seemed even remotely interesting in any way, then yes, go see this. I didn't regret paying a dime for it, and I'm sure this would be a good rental too. Prepare for an emotional ride. This is a movie that will be hard not to talk about without some emotions arising.
The Rating: 8.5/10 (with bias)
Friday, August 2, 2013
The Good: Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington make an excellent duo. Their banter throughout the movie is witty, funny, sarcastic and charming. The best part about their interactions is that they make you (the audience) feel involved in on their own inside jokes. ("Wink") <--- You'll get that when you watch the movie. The action in the film is just enough where it doesn't go overboard. The story line had just enough minor twists to keep you engaged. Oh and fellas... Paula Patton.... Blurred Lines...and I'll leave it at that. ("Wink")
The Bad: Despite Paula Patton's beauty I think she suffers from the same thing Halle Berry does. She's ridiculously beautiful but her acting ability is highly questionable. She makes these faces that seem a bit disturbing because you can't tell if she's depressed or just constipated. But the previous "good" I mentioned before quickly makes up for that. Despite the watered down twists in the plot, it still doesn't keep the movie from being pretty predictable.
The Reason: This is basically an action-comedy. It was actually a bit funnier than expected. It's not a summer blockbuster. It's not the deepest story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's more so just a "sit back and be entertained" type of light-hearted film. Go in with low expectations and I think you'll have fun with this movie. I think this is an enjoyable watch in the theaters, and more than likely a great rental to enjoy at home.
The Rating: 7.5/10