Jack Reacher

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6.5/10

Tom Cruise is back as a special forces soldier who is called upon to investigate an army soldier who he kept dibs on in Iraq. Reacher (Cruise) is basically a ghost to the world. No credit, no identification and no set location. He is a man who travels the world and prefers to stay a mystery. The Reacher character is certainly one of the brightest points of this film. He’s smart, cool and most of all, dangerous. This film starts off great in the first hour as it creates a different kind of film for Tom Cruise. Yes, some of his dialogue is annoying, and he plays the character too cool to ever take a bad guy seriously. But it’s the investigation into the Iraq soldier that makes this film really smart and clever. One of the things it does is look into five shooting victims that happens in the opening scene of the film. Through flashbacks, it shows us the events that led to the victims being in the crime scene area that day. That is something that rarely ever happens in murder mysteries like this. The characters stories usually don’t matter because they are dead at this point, and that is where this film is different. We learn that it was no odd coincidence that anyone was in front of the gun that day. The problem with Jack Reacher is that it peters out in the final 70 minutes of the film. 130 minutes is FAR too long for a film like this. Some scenes drag out way too long with dialogue that is represented just to make for funny scenes. Robert Duvall makes a cameo as a gun store owner who strikes up a friendship with Cruise. Is this friendship needed? Not really. Duvall is wasted here playing the same old man character that he always plays. The ending falls back into that cliche world of Tom Cruise films that some either love or hate. Jack Reacher is the best effort from Tom Cruise in a long time. With that said, it’s safe to give this film a chance by renting it through Redbox. It’s a long film, but i am willing to bet that everyone will find something they like about it. Cruise fans will love that Tom is back to his hip and cool style.

Django Unchained

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7/10

I had to watch it a 2nd time to decide how i truly felt about this movie. The positives for it are the performances of Leonardo Dicaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L Jackson. It also has a lot of Tarrantino dialogue. The negative for me was the running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. I could’ve easily shaved a good hour of this movie and had it still be just as entertaining. My overall opinion is good, but far from Tarrantino’s best.

Parental Guidance

 

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5.5/10

Not a bad little movie for the family. Billy Crystal brings his status quo of wit and charm to a slapstick movie that is a little different for him. I did only give this film a 5.5 because it does have some problems. This just doesn’t seem like the kind of film Crystal is normally in. It does have it’s wits and charms, but the film seems more along the lines of a Kevin James or Adam Sandler film. I understand Crystal was cast because of the age of the character, but his kind of humor almost seems outdated in a film like this. The casting is also a bit of an issue with Marisa Tomei playing Crystal’s daughter. Billy is 16 years older than Marisa in real life and Tomei looks almost to old to play the daughter in this film. It’s a shame that Thomas Everitt Scott is left with nothing to do in this film. He is someone who i have come to admire a lot in the last 15 years as an actor, but he almost never stars in a film. Parental Guidance had a couple parts that put more of a smile on my face than a laugh. Not sure if that is what the director was going for, but i look at this as more of a cute film than a funny one. The kids were a perfect fit for the movie. Bailee Madison is slowly taking over as one of the better child stars, today. If you have a family night, i recommend giving this a shot. I think it’s a film that the adults and the kids will get a kick out of.

Les Miserables

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8/10

One amazingly beautiful picture with the best cinematography of the year. The sets really created a dark world in which every one of these characters sang of their breakthroughs. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances of Jackman and Hathaway, and had it not been for Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln), i would automatically assume that Jackman would take the Oscar. I also fell head over heels for the girl who played Eponine (Samantha Barks). When she sang ‘On my own’, it actually brought a tear to my eyes. I was also very surprised at how good Amanda Seyfried was as Cozette. I really thought that was going to be one of the weaker parts of the movie, but i was wrong. Now for the weaknesses, Russell Crowe did great as Javert, but that man cannot sing to save his life. It’s just my opinion, but his voice carries no rhythm what so ever and i find it hard that this man can inspire any kind of army. Another weakness was the screen time of 2 Hours and 37 Minutes. This movie is good, but it’s not great enough to carry a time like that without lagging in some spots. Luckily, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter kept showing up to give it the little spike it needed. There were also a couple of camera errors and inconsistencies i noticed, but i wont get into those as i feel they aren’t important with a review. Overall, i would recommend this movie to musical fans, but it might lag to anyone who doesn’t have patience to watch a 2 and 1/2 hour movie.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

 

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8.5/10

The thing that i found the most charming about this movie was that it didn’t go weak on it’s views of teenage life. We have all gone through the same things that these kids go through in this movie and that makes it relatable. A movie on Catcher and the Rye will never be made, but this is the closest that you can get to it. Great performance from Emma Watson. Showing that she has deep acting chops after the Potter franchise has ended.