The Family

 

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6/10

I enjoyed this dark comedy about a mobster family who tries to start their lives over after their father is exposed. The thing that i had a problem with in this film is that it sometimes has problems identifying itself with the kind of film it wants to be. There are points that make you think this is a kickass action comedy along the lines of Red and Red 2, but then there are points that make you think this is a dark mafia film to the likes of Goodfellas. The first third of the film is the weakest part of the movie for me. It’s slow in transition and doesn’t tell you the things we need to know about the characters for the struggles they will face later on. The other 2/3 of the film is very strong when we start to see these characters settle into their environment. I really enjoyed the work of everyone in the family. Michelle Pfeiffer is starting to be similar with all of her movie roles, but she’s not terrible. Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones have amazing on screen chemistry that really lights it up during the arguments that they have. They are best friends who really hate each other and it’s gold. I really enjoyed the final ten minutes of the film, but i wish they would’ve cut out some other stuff earlier and made this sequence about ten minutes longer. Overall, a decent film that i think warrants a dollar theater checkout. I don’t think i would pay the full price at a theater to see the film

All The Boys Love Mandy Lane

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3/10

What a horrible piece of mess. This 2006 shelved film just came out this year and stars Amber Heard as a teenage girl who goes on a weekend getaway with the popular crowd. I can only imagine that the reason this film was on the shelf for 7 years is because it is a complete failure. I appreciate the original idea they were going for with this film, and some of the deaths are cool, but this film has a lot of problems. First of all the acting is terrible. Even for a straight to DVD horror film, the acting is some of the worst of the year. With that acting comes awful dialogue. Even for stupid teenagers, i can’t picture them saying some of the conversations that are said in this film. Not one character you give a single bit about. They are all expendable and a waste in the truest form. The film is a whodunnit? which takes us back to the horror films of the 90’s, but you realize who the killer is within the first 25 minutes. It is during the 40th minute when the killer reveals themselves, and 50 minutes still to spare. The thing that the director didn’t realize is that there is nothing left after you give the big reveal, so it struggles for the rest of the movie. The remainder does include a swerve that i can say i did see coming, but it does work. It’s just too late by this point. The close of the movie shows possibly the worst 10 minute fight scene i have ever seen. Neither person work well in a fighting angle, and it looks like a teenage girl slap fight. This is dead and useless film here people. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one when you see it on the movie store shelf. You will be glad you read this review first

The World’s End

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7/10

The final film in the flavors trilogy ends us on a positive note. There was a lot i really enjoyed about this film. About 35 minutes in, it becomes a totally different film that is all about learning from our mistakes and that the good times we had when we were young don’t have to be the best times of our life. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are back (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul) for another dose of comedic genius and great characters that are sometimes hard to find in today’s films. The character of Pegg’s was a little hard to like at first, but you realize that he is a man who doesn’t have much to live for. I thought the action and effects from the violence were done very well. The comedy is the right tone for a film that has a bit of a serious tone on alcoholism. The only things i didn’t like was what happened at the end of the pub crawl, and the ending of the film itself is a little drawn out. It’s cool that the film had balls to go through with an ending that some people might not be satisfied with when they head home. I definitely recommend the film to everyone, and especially to those of you who have seen Shaun and Fuzz and enjoyed them. I would say this is the 2nd best film of the trilogy behind Shaun of the Dead, but that is just my opinion.

Kick Ass 2

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6/10

I have to say, i was expecting much worse after reading the critics reviews. First of all lets get it out of the way, this film is nowhere near as good as the original. I consider the original Kick Ass the child of the series. Kick Ass 2 would be the teenage version as there are a lot of hormones and teenage problems in this one. More on that later. If there is a Kick Ass 3, it would be the full evolution of these characters as they have now taken on the adult superhero role. My biggest problems with this film were the dialogue which isn’t funny at all. I laughed a couple of times, but they were more about the situation. I was a little disappointed that the best character in the film (Hit Girl) is nothing more than a “Mean Girls” storyline for 3/4 of the film. Chloe Moretz is great again as the purple haired warrior. Christopher Mintz Plasse also does a great job as the super villain Motherfucker. He provided the only laughs of the film for me. I also didn’t like the setting of this film. I know that seems like something stupid to complain about, but the first Kick – Ass had such beautiful coloring and cinematography that just isn’t present here. It still maintains that comic book feel which is nice, but the whole aura isn’t there. John Leguizamo and Jim Carrey were great in their roles for the 10 minutes each of screen time they received, but they were mostly wasted in this film. Nicolas Cage didn’t have much more screen time in the first film, and still made the most of it. I definitely think some fans will be disappointed with this film because it doesn’t pack the punch that the first one did. I am part of the crowd that thinks it is good but not great. I would recommend this film when it comes to dollar theaters. I think it definitely warrants a silver screen showing from some of the action scenes, and the Hit Girl Vs Mother Russia fight scene is definitely not to be missed

Planes

 

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6/10

This movie had a lot of similarities to Dreamworks Turbo. Both films take place in a race where the little athlete that couldn’t has to overcome the big bad villain to win the race. Along the way, both films have side characters that tell the lead that they can’t win. This all leads me to wonder how many more times they can pull off the same premise. Cars was kind of similar as well, but Cars is my favorite of the three films by far. Planes isn’t a bad little movie, but it isn’t very original. As i said before, this premise has been done so many times that it’s completely predictable by this point. With that said, i did enjoy this film that had some great voice over work by Brad Garrett, Stacy Keach and Sinbad. Dane Cook wasn’t terrible as Dusty Crophopper, but his storyline wasn’t very exciting to me. The film is already planning for a sequel in 2014 and i hope it brings a little more with it. The animated world has been very blessed the last couple of years with Despicable Me (1 and 2), Wreck it Ralph, 9, Paranorman and many others. So it’s easy for a film like Planes to fall into the forgettable category. Clocking in at 82 minutes, it is a very short film. I think they could have taken more time to develop the story and make it a little different. I recommend this film to kids because they will love it, but i would pass for adults. It’s not a film that warrants more than a Redbox rental.

We’re the Millers

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7.5/10

Definitely the funniest movie of the year. This was probably the first film in a couple of years that really tugged at my gut as far as laughs go. This film has an outstanding cast led by Jennifer Anniston, Emma Roberts and Ed Helms, but it’s Jason Sudeikis and Nick Offerman who totally steal the show. Sudeikis has been in some great comedies, but he is never really the centerpiece of the story. This film totally changes that and shows that he should be the lead in more roles. There is something about the way he says his lines in a straight toned manner that really only he can do. Nick Offerman kicks total ass as a DEA agent. For the people who love Parks and Recreation, he turns in another great performance in this film. The story and situations are a little far fetched, but i have seen a lot worse from better films this year. Millers succeeds because you care about these characters and the family they become by the end of the film. The scenes with Anniston stripping are a little much and not really needed, but the men will like it. There is a point after she strips where Sudeikis looks at the camera and shrugs like he is saying “What the hell?” I definitely recommend this film for people who want to go to the movies and have a fun time. This film will leave you with some lines you will be quoting for the next couple of years. Be sure to stay for the credits as there is a great gag reel. It includes what i think is the greatest gag reel prank i have ever seen. You will know what it is when you see it

The Lone Ranger

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7/10

I am wrong about a film every once in a while, and this was definitely one of those times. The Lone Ranger clocks in at 2 hours and 20 minutes long which will detract a lot of it’s viewers. I am not foolish enough to believe that everyone will feel the same way about this film that i did. With that said, it is a lot of fun and thrills with very colorful characters. The chemistry between Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp is incredible, and i can see why they were both chosen for this role. Johnny Depp can be a little stereotypical of the indian culture as Tonto, but does not overdo it. The cast also includes excellent turns from Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter and the always amazing William Fichtner. This was also surprisingly dark for a Disney film. I was definitely surprised as they showed an eating of the heart by the villain of the movie. Things i would’ve done differently aside from cutting the film to 2 hours even, i would’ve included more about the backstory of Tonto. We do learn that he is responsible for a lot of the bad things in the film, but i found that story very intriguing and would’ve liked to learn more about it. Overall, i definitely recommend this film to everyone, but be prepared for a long one. I am also not guaranteeing you will like it. But hell, it made a believer out of me, and i am certainly not an easy one to please when it comes to cinema.

Red 2

 

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8/10

Best action film of the year by far. The group returns in this sequel that is better than the original (in my opinion), and brings in several new characters that are awesome. Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich (Best part of these films) return with Neal Mcdonough, Anthony Hopkins and Byung Hun-Lee. Hopkins is the best actor on the screen as usual, but it’s Lee who steals the show as the #1 assassin in the world, Han. Han is one of those bad guys who just kicks total ass and doesn’t worry about consequences. He is smarter, quicker and stronger than everyone in this group which makes you wonder how they will take this guy down. The result is one of few things i don’t like about this film. I don’t want to give it away, but he is jobbed out in this film like he was GI Joe 2. I also thought the last ten minutes were a little far fetched, but the difference between this film and say Fast and Furious is that these are trained agents, so them pulling this stuff off is a little more believable. Not completely, but a little bit. On top of it all, there are great explosions and awesome fight scenes. The scene with Han taking on a dozen cops in a convenience store personally sealed this film as an 8/10 for me. I definitely recommend this film for everyone. The guys will love the action and the women will love the comedy and the two awesome female heroes that carry the group completely

Drinking Buddies

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6/10

Not a bad little film, but i felt like the ending left something to be desired. Drinking Buddies is a film about two couples who go on vacation together and cheat on each other. The results are one relationship ends while the other continues until the truth is revealed. When i saw the trailer for this film, it screamed comedy. That is a very wrong representation. This film reminded me of a Kevin Smith Chasing Amy kind of drama. It stars a great cast of Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston, Jake Johnson (Nick from Tv’s New Girl), Anna Kendrick and Jason Sudeikas. It’s funny that this film has Johnson in it because this film plays off as an episode of New Girl. It waits and waits and waits for Johnson and Wilde to hook up, and even dragging it out for the better part of the 90 minute run time. That was probably my biggest problem with the film; it was just incomplete. It drags in the middle while trying to bring these two together, and then the ending doesn’t even give you a definitive closure on all of the characters. I really think they could’ve invested more time in the dialogue and made these characters more presentable to the audience, but what you get is a film that seems like dragging even in only 90 minutes. One thing i liked about the film was the representation of alcoholism as Wilde and Johnson work at a brewing factory. Wilde’s character can definitely be described as an alcoholic and we see her life spiral down in shambles because of bad decisions. I recommend this film now that it’s out on DVD because you will only be spending a buck or two. I definitely feel it’s worth those dollars, but you will finish the movie wondering why you wasted 90 minutes on this film instead of something much better. There are definitely MUCH better dramadies that have come out in recent years

House Party 5 : Tonight’s the Night

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2/10

What a complete pile of crap. It’s sad to think of how great the first three movies were of the franchise and see what it’s become. Even the 4th film (Ferris Bueller rip-off) entertained me more than this. I am going to get out of the way the one thing i liked about this film and that is Kid N Play returning to cameo in the roles that made them famous. My problem with it however is that they are in the last 2 minutes of the movie. They make us wait 88 damn minutes for a 2 minute cameo that isn’t that good. This film made me miss Grown Ups 2 with it’s horrible dialogue and acting. It looks like they pulled a bunch of kids off of a high school acting class and let them do their thing. If that doesn’t do it for you then maybe insulting fat people by making them break the floor during a sex scene. Yeah, that’s sure to get a laugh out of everyone, because fat people should only be used for trashing. There is also pedophilia with a 50 something neighbor coming to the party to hit on the 17 year old main character. She is about as trashy as your worst nightmare while lifting her skirt and mentioning how wet the main character has made her. This film is so bad and it knows it that it references other films and TV shows (Twilight, True Blood). One thing i always find funny about these films are the fact that everyone can dance. Now, i’m not talking about a dance movie like You Got Served or Step Up, because those people are supposed to be trained dancers. This is a high school movie with kids who can dance better than an Usher video. Another funny part is when the token bad guy shows up and punches out the main character, and actually walks out to boo’s. WHO DOES THAT? If this isn’t enough, they even insult and poke fun at the first House Party by naming the main character Chris and then insulting the Kid N Play dance move by calling it whack. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The ending is left with the biggest form of unbelievable as Chris’s best friend fixes the mess by selling his car. That’s fine and dandy, but how did he fix the huge hole in the floor in less than 8 hours? Better yet, how did he sell his car between the hours of 3 AM and 9 AM? I don’t recommend this film to anyone, and you can definitely look for it on the bottom five of my end of the year countdown.

Escape From Tomorrow

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.5/10

WOW!!! What the hell did i just watch? Disney World is put under a dark side in this film that resembles Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. For those of you who don’t know this film was shot entirely guerilla style at Disney World without Disney’s permission. Because the film changes the music in the background, it does qualify as legal use. Disney have distanced themselves from this film and i totally understand why. First of all, the good things. It does have a decent premise that would have been much better under a different and more experienced director. They were going for the whole secret side of Disney thing here, and i can get behind that. It’s execution is done so weird and pointless that you wonder what the hell you just watched. The acting (Even for amateurs) is pathetic. I am going to go on a limb and say anyone associated with this film will probably never work in cinema again. I also liked the music in the background of the film. I think that some of the music mixed with the beautiful noir black and white shots makes for some enjoyable moments. The problem is that those moments are few and far between. This is one of those movies so bad that it has to be seen to be believed. I find it amazing how they filmed this whole movie on Canon cameras and Iphones because some of the shots leave you wondering how the hell they did that. I just wish more effort would have been put to the actual script itself. I never thought i would see one of the best films i have ever seen and one of the worst in the same week, but i am far past surprised in this business, anymore

R.I.P.D

 

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6/10

This film really surprised me a lot by how much i liked it. First of all, Jeff Bridges is phenominal in this movie. Had it not been for him, i probably would’ve knocked this film down to a 6. That is how important he is to this film. Aside from Bridges, you can just tell that everyone had fun making this picture. It radiates from some of the cheesiest dialogue of the year as they do it with a smile. This film did remind me A LOT of Men In Black. Infact, i could probably write a paper describing the similarities, but i would rather not. I also enjoyed the great action and some of the ugliest monsters i have ever seen. Some of the things i didn’t like were just two big questions i had. 1. If Ryan Reynolds isn’t allowed to say his name, then why doesn’t he just say the name of the killer? There is no rule what so ever about that, and even if his wife doesn’t know it’s Ryan Reynolds telling her, she at least knows who is responsible for his death. 2. Why don’t the mirrors reflect their avatar identities? It would be impossible for the mirrors in the car or in the bathrooms to show Jeff Bridges or Ryan Reynolds unless they were dead too. Last time i checked, mirrors don’t have lives, so it will always be a mystery. This film got a lot of criticism and is considered the biggest box office bomb of the summer. To be completely honest, i don’t understand it. With films like Grown Ups 2 and The Smurfs 2, i can’t imagine how this film does worse. I don’t feel that it is for everyone, and only 50% of the audience (maybe less) will like it, but i recommend it for having a good time at the movies. Above all else, Jeff Bridges kicks total ass AGAIN.