The Place Beyond the Pines




Absolutely the most powerful film of 2013 so far. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper deserve Oscars for performances that are definitely the best thing that either one of them have ever done. I will try to review this without spoiling anything. This movie is awesome because it has so much balls to do something ultra shocking in the first 1/3 of the film. After that it turns into a story that crosses the characters interactions so well that it becomes that kind of film on the likes of ‘Crash’. This movie had beautiful cinematography in the way it was shot and edited. It takes a yuppie town and really makes something beautiful out of it. The woods itself was a character in this movie. The score is also not disappointing as it compliments a jump in the story 15 years ahead and gives music for that time. The only problem i really had with this film was the running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. While i totally understand why the film was this long as they had to build up the big payoffs they were giving by the end, i do think that an average movie fan will be bored by the 2 hour mark. It kept me pretty well entertained, but i can see both sides of the ball on that one. The biggest thing i got from this movie was the fact that it may be better if we don’t know everything about our pasts. Sometimes they will come back to haunt. I recommend this film to anyone who digs powerful performances and deep impacting situations.

The Spectacular Now




Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley give a good performance to an otherwise empty script. I did like this film for the things it did do right. It represents teens from the way they talk and act to a perfect tee. Some of the conversations in this film are some of the same ones i see on Facebook today. It’s because of the two leads that this film receives a passing grade from me. Teller stars as an alcoholic teenager on the verge of graduation when he takes a chance on an unpopular girl at school (Woodley). The two surprise each other and share such a connection to one another that takes them through the rest of the school year. This film represents alcoholism in the light that it needs to be shown. It’s a real life problem with teenagers, and this film has the guts to make it a focal point for most of the film. The problem i have with it is that it’s predictable where it’s going and what is going to happen for the last half hour of this film. I actually accurately predicted the horrible event that would shake up their relationship by the end of the film. Another weird thing is that this film has some extreme fast forward scenes. We don’t hear much talk or see much preparation for Prom and then BOOM, it cuts to prom out of nowhere. We find out Teller needs a C to pass a class or he doesn’t graduate and then BOOM, it cuts to graduation. These are big events that need more screen time. The ending left me with good and bad feelings. Good because he confronts the problems within himself that have hurt his chances at a bright future. Bad because there are so many questions left unanswered. The Spectacular Now is a decent film that should be seen for it’s examples of the decisions we make having severe consequences. I just think for the most part that the audience who will enjoy this film the most is ages 16-21

Olympus Has Fallen




A really good action movie that reminds me a lot of the 80’s action flicks we have come to love. Infact, this movie was more Die Hard than the newest Die Hard sequel that came out last month. Gerard Butler was incredibly badass as a former Secret Service agent who returns to the White House to take down a Korean terrorist threat. This movie had so much more than just action, it also had comedy, decent acting and an incredible cast that included Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman. The weaknesses for me was the way they made it look completely easy to break into the safest building in the world. Other than that, it’s a fun time at the movies. I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have to watch the greatest movie in the world, but just a good old school action flick.





A pretty good film about a woman (Tina Fey) who works in the Princeton admissions office and finds out that her son who she gave up for adoption is a prodigy who will be applying there. Going into this film i expected it to be a comedy with people like Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, but i was very surprised to see that this is every bit the romantic drama films of the 90’s. One thing i really liked about this film was the way it taught you about how hard it really is to get into these Ivy league schools. I also think this is a film that those schools don’t want you to see, as the snob “we’re better than you” reputation is presented in a crystal clear light. I also enjoyed Rudd as he has shown the ability to pull of comedies and romantic films. At this point in his career, i am a big fan and will usually watch anything he is in. The only thing i didn’t like about this film was it’s dragging at parts. It does take this film a good 30 minutes to finally get you into it, but once you get there it does present a very original story. If you know me, you know originality gets extra points in my book, and that is why i recommend giving Admission a shot. The ladies will love it.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone




This film is by far one of the worst of the year. It’s not funny even in the least and has problems deciding if it is a comedy or a drama. I personally think it works better as a drama, but it’s still a very poor written film. It’s a shame to see how far Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey have fallen in their careers. The only slight saving graces in this film were the performances of Alan Arkin and James Gandolfini. Other than that, it’s a complete waste of anybody’s time. The ending is so unbelievable even for a comedy that it left me completely speechless. The biggest tragedy about this movie is the fact that Steve Carrell’s character is the most unlikeable guy and rude to Olivia Wilde’s character, but we are supposed to believe that she falls for him?? TRASH

The Call




Actually a lot better than i thought it was going to be. I really enjoyed all of the things the movie taught me about Emergency Operators. It’s crazy to think of all the things they go through in a typical day. This movie had a lot of action and decent dialogue, but the acting could have been better. I hated Abigail Breslin and found myself actually rooting for the killer because she was a beyond annoying teenager. The ending is kind of an anti-climax and cost this film a point in my review. I felt the movie would’ve been a lot better if Halle Berry stayed at the call center instead of going after the killer. I recommend it from a $1 Redbox, but i wouldn’t waste time on seeing it in theaters. Nothing special.

Spring Breakers




WOW!!! This movie was awful. I will go ahead and get the good things out of the way first. James Franco gives an amazing performance as a rapper/drug dealer who serves as the main ally of the girls. There were times that i even forgot that Mr. Franco was even in the movie. Other than that, there is not one single redeeming quality to this shitfest. The dialogue is completely awful between the characters, so much so that at times they repeat the same lines twice. The camera angles mix into conversations so badly that it looks like they came out of the Spike Lee school of cinematography. But at least Spike Lee has a purpose for some of the meaningless shots that he includes in his films. This movie treats you like you are a five year old who doesn’t know the extreme dangers of Spring Break. Apparently this is the message they are trying to convey as all four girls (Selena Gomez most of all) are the dumbest airheads i have probably ever come across in cinema. So wait a minute, there are bad guys who do drugs and only want to have sex with innocent girls at Spring Break? GET THE HELL OUT OF TOWN!!! This movie at times did remind me of Alpha Dog as it becomes apparent that these girls might not have a happy ending, but what Alpha Dog did different was make us care about their characters by developing them better. I didn’t care for one second what happened to these spoiled brats who rob a bank just to pay for Spring Break. I only recommend this film on Red Box and that is only if you don’t have high standards when it comes to film. If you really want a crime movie about four strong females, i recommend Set it Off. It’s a little high strung on the dramatic at times, but it’s message is a hell of a lot better than Spring Breakers.

Oz : The Great and Powerful




The best 3D movie i have ever seen. Such beautiful cinematography that added to the amazing 3D effects of things like falling snow, shooting arrows and a white water thrill ride. I didn’t really have a problem with Mila Kunis like everyone else has who has seen this flick. However, i thought it was Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz who really stole this movie. I had a couple of very small continuity issues with how it translates to The Wizard of Oz, but they are very small gripes. With that said, i will now say something that will definitely get me shot – I thought this film was better than The Wizard of Oz. Trust me when i say that Wizard of Oz is a classic and deserves all of the recognition it has gotten, but it also drags in parts. This movie is one that always kept my eyes on the screen and fully entertained at all times. I recommend this film to everyone, but you MUST see it in theaters. If you don’t see this movie in 3D, you are doing a disservice to yourself and the movie in general.

Dead Man Down




Tons of thrills in this crime drama starring Colin Ferrell and Noomi Rapice. This film really amazed me considering it is produced by WWE films. It’s easily the best thing that company has ever produced. The best thing about this movie is the fact that it is a completely different film than what it represents in the trailer. Colin Ferrell’s family is murdered by a crime group led by Terrance Howard. He lives on to join their group in order to get back at them and what follows is a great story. This film does have a lot of action, but i think it’s the story and the wonderful characters that really brings it together. Some of the weaknesses was the ending. I didn’t feel that it was the right kind of justice for the bad guys, but that is nitpicking. I also felt some of the scenes were a little comical at times. Like the scene where Noomi Rapice has rocks thrown at her by small children. That’s a little extreme for kids picking on her. Overall, a great film that i recommend to everyone. Not a lot of money went into this film and sometimes it is better that way. Dead Man Down proves that good action mixed with a great story is always a winner.

Jack the Giant Slayer




This one was probably the biggest surprise of the year for me so far. I really loved the set pieces and the backgrounds for being as dreamy as the fairytale itself. I loved that they added little bits of story to make the fairytale transform into a 100 minute movie. Even Nicholas Hoult (Jack) gave a wayyyy better performance in this film than he did in Warm Bodies. Stanley Tucci was also amazing (as usual) playing the bad guy. The Giants were also amazing looking and not too overdone by the CGI like most films can do. Some of the things i didn’t like was the dragging at times in between the bigger parts of the films. I know it’s customary for most films to do this, but i just wish they would cut those parts all together. I am ok with an 80 minute movie as long as it’s mostly entertaining. I also didn’t like the way the giants had to respect who ever carried the throne. THEY ARE GIANTS!!! They’re stronger, bigger and they follow no rules. Other than that though, it was a great film. I definitely recommend it if you liked stories like this growing up.

21 and Over




The biggest problem with this movie is it’s unoriginality. It’s a movie that tries to take parts from The Hangover, Sex Drive and Eurotrip, but never quite succeeds at it. There were a couple of good laughs in the film and the dialogue definitely sets a precedent for the future of profane comedy, but overall it is just too inconsistent to carry the comedy torch with the movies it tries to take from. The two main characters aren’t even original. One is a mixture of Vince Vaughn, Shia Lebouf and Stiffler from American Pie. The other one has to be Justin Long’s brother because he mocks him to a tee. If you do see this movie, one part in particular made me cross my legs in pain. The main guy gets a teddy bear……..well you know what? Figure it out for yourself.





Stoker may be the most deranged coming of age tale i have ever seen. I really enjoyed this film as a whole, and there is a lot to enjoy. However, i am not foolish enough to believe for a second that people will enjoy this like i did. This is a very unusual suspense/horror film about an uncle who comes to live with a mother and daughter after his brother dies. This film is very slow during the first half hour of the movie, but if you can outlast all of that it definitely rewards you with amazing performances by Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman. The best performance however was Mia Wiakowski. Long gone are the days of her performance in Alice In Wonderland. She is now a woman, and has the ability to tell so much emotion in one look at the camera. I was very surprised at the dark turns that this film took, but it was done in such a tasteful way. The music is absolutely breathtaking because it doesn’t appear too often. The color of the scene tones mixed with excellent camera work makes this a definite top ten nominee at my end of the year list. I recommend this film to anyone who doesn’t mind a slow paced dark film. I think you will appreciate the things it does above all of that.