The Way Way Back

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9.5/10

Every year there will be a couple of films that get delayed a few months because i wasn’t able to catch the films while they were in theaters. Luckily, The Way Way Back announced that it was going back into theaters for a limited engagement. This was a film that i wanted to see since May, and it didn’t disappoint. This film was a lot better than i thought it was going to be. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash write and direct a tribute to all of our adolescent memories. The Way Way Back is about a family who takes a vacation to the father’s (Steve Carrell) beach house. First of all, the characters are the best i have seen in a film all year. Carrell plays an amazing douche bag who tries to rough up his step son by dragging him out of his shell. Liam James plays that kid we all once were who longs to belong to someone or something. That feeling of loneliness that drifts into all of us when we enter our teenage years. He also plays it very well. Toni Collette was great as his mother, Amanda Peet, Rob Coddry, and Maya Rudolph turn in decent performances as well. My only gripe is that Coddry doesn’t have much to do and is kind of wasted, but his character isn’t a main one so it didn’t bother me that much. The two people who really steal this film are Alison Janney and Sam Rockwell. Janney is brilliant as an alcoholic mother who is a humiliation to her kids and friends. She has some of the most awkwardly funny moment that can’t help but drag a smile out of you. Sam Rockwell plays my favorite character of the year, by far. His character works as kind of a father figure to James and he sees the child that he used to be with loneliness. He gets James a job at the Swim park he works at, and it turns into the best summer of James life. Rockwell’s dialogue is something that deserves to be seen by everyone. He has a sarcasm that reminded me a lot of Randall Mcmurphy (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). The script is amazing and really gets across the dramatic points that this story has to tell. It’s with those dramatic tones that this film is hard to judge if it is a comedy or drama. I personally saw it as more of a comedy. The drama shows that there are more problems with this family that meets the eye. Steve Carrell is not the best adult figure to these teens going through growing up. The only things i didn’t like about this film was slight nitpicking. I feel that the beginning 15 minutes start off slow and might make some people lose interest. Some people don’t have patience at the beginning of a film, but i am telling you to give it a chance. Those fifteen minutes just build the story before it plays out the problems in front of our eyes. I also didn’t like the last two minutes of the film. The film technically has two endings. The first one is amazing. It sends you going home with a smile. Then there is the 2nd one that leaves you with kind of a bad taste. I can’t give away too much because i really want people to see this film. It’s just not the way i would’ve ended it, but i think the directors were going for a realistic tone that happens in the everyday world. Overall, i definitely recommend this film. I don’t want to give away where i have it ranked currently, but it’s definitely one of the best films i have seen this year. Plus, i was alone in the theater and that always makes for a more enjoyable experience.

Despicable Me 2

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7.5/10

This film was really entertaining and almost comes as close as the laughs it had in the first film. Gru and his minions are back in this sequel to find Gru a wife. It’s obvious at about 20 minutes into the film that this is going to be Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wig). While i normally love Kristen Wig, i found her role to be the only thing about the movie i didn’t like. Her character is annoying at times and doesn’t have a lot to do. The Minions are better than they were in the first film with such bits as singing ‘I Swear’, and rowing boats with their funny sounds. I enjoy the Dispicable Me franchise, and it seems like a spinoff with the minions is right around the corner. One of the better things with franchises like this is that the whole family can see it. There are enough grown up jokes involved in this film that Mom and Dad can take the kids and not worry about being bored for 90 minutes. Side note – I am strongly debating being Gru for Halloween. I guess i will just have to see what i can do about it. Overall, a really good film that i recommend everyone sees in a theater. Really, there isn’t much better out in theaters right now. Probably Man of Steel is the only thing i would see above this.

White House Down

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6/10

Channing Tatum saves the world from terrorists in this film that is similar to this year’s Olympus Has Fallen. My opinion is that Olympus Has Fallen is the better film, but White House Down has the better cast. I am not someone who hates on Channing Tatum because i am a guy, but he wasn’t very good in this film. He was very cliche as the hero of the day, but his acting was bad at best. I think he should stick to comedies like 21 Jump Street. This film is saved by performances from Richard Jenkins, Jimmi Simpson and Jamie Foxx (Who i am normally not a fan of). One thing that this film did better was the action sequences. We see the White House being torn to shreds with no redeeming quality left of it what so ever. The bad guys are decent in this film, and have a pretty good motive for doing what they do. One thing i would change about this film is the 2 hour and 5 minute run time. It simply runs out of steam by the 90 minute point, and requires a couple of big swerves to keep it going. The swerves work, but not enough to pick this film back up. Overall, i recommend waiting for the dollar theater or Redbox for this movie. The women will give it a 10/10 because Channing Tatum is in it

The Heat

 

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6/10

This film was a lot better than i thought it was going to be. With that said, it is nowhere near a great film though. It has a great first hour and then goes on to fizzle out towards the end of the film. Melissa Mccarthy plays the same character that she does in every film, but it works a lot better for an R rated comedy like this. Even though i enjoyed Identity Thief more than this film, i enjoyed Melissa more in this movie. I think one of the biggest things with this film is that it will reflect more on the female audience. i don’t know if the male crowd will like it unless they are die hard Melissa Mccarthy fans. This movie had some great laughs mixed in with some amazing supporting actors. Michael Mcdonald (Mad Tv), Marlon Wayans, Taran Killiam (SNL) and Michael Rappaport just to name a few, really help Melissa with a script that has a lot of holes. Sandra Bullock didn’t really do anything to add to the film. It seemed like she was on sleep mode for a lot of the film. Overall, i did enjoy this film and laughed as much as i would expect to for a free film. I definitely recommend it to the female readers of this page. If you are male, give it a look and let me know what you think. I am curious to hear the male’s perspective a little more on this one.

The Bling Ring

 

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5/10

This chronicles the story of the celebs whose houses were robbed in 2009 by a group of out of control teenagers. The film is ok, but it is pushed further because of the great cast it is. The movie played out like a made for TV film, and maybe that would’ve been a better medium for it. Emma Watson and Katie Chang were amazing. They really made the most out of these spoiled girls that broke into people’s houses for no reason except to live their lifestyle. I compared this film a lot to this year’s Spring Breakers. I think The Bling Ring is a better movie, but the comparisons are very striking. The camera shots were also done very well with many of the break ins being recorded like a security camera. One of the biggest things for me to believe is that no security or anyone close to the celebs were in the house while these people were out of town. This is based on a true story, so i know the break-ins were a real part of the story, but how do you not have someone watching your house? The story just doesn’t have enough meat to carry a film through 90 minutes, so it’s injected with a lot of club shots where we see the kids enjoying their victories. We could care less about those moments, and just wait for when they are caught. One final thing i will say that worked in the film’s benefit was that it showed how easy it is to learn the things we need to from celebrity addresses to actual views of their houses. All of this is supplied by the internet, and that is a scary thing. The Bling Ring is something i would recommend to people who follow celebrity tabloids, but it’s hard for this film to keep you entertained for 90 minutes.

This is the End

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7/10

A very fun movie that i would recommend to groups of friends who are out to have a good time. This film added a comedic touch to the end of the world genre and i think in that aspect it succeeds. There are very funny comedic performances by Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Danny Mcbride and Jonah Hill, to name a few. Where it fails is in the running time of 106 minutes which makes it feel like 2 hours. The movie does have slow spots in between where it almost runs out of ways to make Armageddon funny. I did think the effects were pretty cool, and the damage done to LA was an absolutely amazing scene that would make Michael Bay crap his pants. I recommend this film if you just want to have a good time and not see anything too serious. It definitely has an ending that has to be seen to be believed.

The Internship

 

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5/10

This film bored me to the point of stopping four times to pause along the way. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson return to try to catch that lightning in a bottle that they did with Wedding Crashers. The problem with this film is that even though it is classified as a comedy, it simply isn’t. I laughed twice during the whole film, and even that was generous. The storyline of two 40 year old’s trying to get into Google is simply too dull to warrant a near 2 hour film. Vince and Owen play two of the biggest douchebag characters that are so hard to like and understand. These are supposed to be the two guys we cheer for, but they continue to cost and hurt the people around them because they try to always say the cool thing. I enjoyed the decent inside look at the Google campus, and thought that this could’ve been a pretty cool educational film. But the atmosphere just doesn’t work for comedy. I recommend this film as a Redbox rental, but nothing more. Don’t waste your time in theaters.

Rapture Palooza

 

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7/10

A straight to DVD release that is definitely one of the funniest films of the year. Craig Robinson stars as Satan. He inherits the earth after the rapture takes care of 3/4 of the population. The film reminded me of a mixture of Dogma and Idiocracy because it could easily be written by Kevin Smith or Trey Parker/Matt Stone. This is definitely the role of a lifetime for Robinson who is responsible for most of the laughs and great lines. That leaves two problems that aren’t a big deal, but clearly obvious. The first, No other character even comes close to having the meaning that Robinson does. God even makes an appearance (I won’t spoil who it is), and it’s just not as big of a deal because this film totally focuses on Craig. The other problem is that some scenes step on some real good laughs by lasting a little too long. It’s like the cameraman forgot to stop the camera from rolling just to see if he could get another laugh out of his actors. Overall, Rapture Palooza might be the funniest film i have seen this year. It’s these kind of films that make me always take a 2nd look at straight to DVD releases. Sometimes, they are better than 80% of the stuff that is in theaters. There are way too many stars to name, but Anna Kendrick, Rob Coddry, Ana Gaestyer, Paul Scheer and John Michael Higgins to name a few. I definitely recommend you give Rapture Palooza a shot. It’s only 84 minutes, so it’s definitely an easy sit. I can also imagine that there are some amazing improv deleted scenes on the DVD.

Now You See Me

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7/10

This is the best example of cast carrying a script. The first hour of this movie is really well done, and then it takes a turn for the unbelievable. It’s funny that this film is about magic because it is every bit as unbelievable as the sport it exploits. The difference between this being a good movie though is the cast. It was great to see Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson back together (Zombieland) and Michael Caine with Morgan Freeman (Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy). Freeman is excellent as a former magician who reveals all of four horseman’s secrets. You really have to suspend disbelief for some of the craziest magic illusions you have ever seen. The ending is kind of satisfying, but has a twist that is very easy to see coming. While the film is good, it suffers from a weak script that keeps it from becoming as good as The Prestige. It is however better than the other magic film of this year, Burt Wonderstone……..WAY BETTER. I recommend this film to anyone if you can go watch a movie and suspend a lot of disbelief. Basically, if you appreciated the logic of The Fast and Furious series, then you will love this.

The Hangover 3

 

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5/10

If there is one major problem that plagues this film it is boring.Compared to the other two films, nothing major happens in this one. This will make it easily forgettable in 15 years when people look back on the series. The movie genre is a comedy, but it never gives you more than a light chuckle or two. To me, this seems more like a drama because of the touching aspects like the death of Alan’s father and the loss of friendship. Zach Galafanakis has gotten to the point where every role is the same. I loved him more in movies like The original Hangover and Due Date, but this role is old and played out. It’s the same for Ken Jeong who plays Leslie Chow. Positive aspects of this movie is the performance of John Goodman. He really rocked it as the villain in this film and usually any more he is in. I only recommend this film if you have seen the other two so you can finish out the series. By recommended, i mean to just wait until DVD. It’s definitely not worth the $10 movie ticket.

Iron Man 3

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6/10

Before i begin my review i would like to point out the reviewers who will give a lot of movies a 10/10. This is especially the case when they see a superhero movie. Just because they left the movie with a good feeling they will give it a perfect score. To me, there has only been between 10 and 15 perfect score movies ever. The less you give out perfect scores, the more it will mean to a movie when you do give it a 10/10. With that said, a lot of people will give this a 10/10, but this movie certainly has it’s flaws. I won’t get into too many spoilers but The Mandarin character was TOTALLY ruined by this movie. The Mandarin is supposed to be every bit as smart as Tony Stark and the biggest menace that he faces in the comics and they totally bitched this character out. It’s a shame because Ben Kingsley is easily the best actor on the set of this movie and he is nothing more than a joke. Don Cheadle is also on sleeping mode in this movie and doesn’t find a lot to do. This movie also didn’t do a lot with the 3D effects. I don’t really see a big reason to pay 13 dollars for a 3D experience. On the positive side, Guy Pearce was amazing as a ruthless businessman who proposes a dangerous experiment to Tony Stark. I really felt that he was the best part of this movie. The action was also the best of the three Iron Man films that included an incredible scene with the destruction of Tony Stark’s house. It was also pretty cool to see William Sadler and Miguel Ferrer as the president and vice president, respectively. Overall, i would recommend this film in theaters but not in 3D. It’s not something that is needed at all. I would rank this as the 2nd best Iron Man film behind the original.

Pain and Gain

 

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8/10

This honestly has to be the surprise of the year so far. This movie tells a story of how it all went wrong for three bodybuilders who just wanted the American dream. This movie stars heavy hitters like Mark Wahlberg and The Rock, but it’s Ed Harris and Tony Shaloub who really steal the movie with incredible performances that differ from the roles they are normally cast in. This is easily the best Michael Bay film in existence because simply put; i am not a Michael Bay fan. Some of the scenes in this movie border on the horror genre because of the excessive use of gore. Overall, a good movie that i would definitely recommend. This movie will probably be overshadowed by films like The Great Gatsby or The Hangover part 3, but i think this one is definitely worth a look.