This remake of the 1981 deranged love story is anything but a remake. The 2014 version of Endless Love takes us on a completely different road than the original or it’s literature origins. Infact, the only thing similar to those two things is the title and two very small scenes. Everything else is a Dawson’s Creek style re-imagining of what is supposed to be a crazy story. Jade and David are two teenagers who meet during graduation, and David reveals that he has always had a crush on Jade. The two characters are about as emotionless as possible for a story of this magnitude. Jade is the most spoiled and defiant teenager towards her parents that i have ever seen. So much so that it makes it hard to believe this girl is going to school to become a doctor. David has no personality at all. He seems to be stuck between this blank face and a 360 turn in emotions which i will get to later. Every other character though, feels like a model of who they are supposed to represent. There is the snob father of Jade (Played by Bruce Greenwood), the rugged and rough father of David (Played by Robert Patrick) and even the rich mayflower setting. Don’t get me wrong, the setting is one of the only things i liked about this film. The background mixes with a nice folk rock score that perfectly sets the mood for the tale it is telling. Kudos also to the camera people in this film for beautiful shots and shading to represent the moods the characters are going through. The lighting alone is enough to raise the review up one point. The only problem with this setting is that we don’t relate well to the characters. Even David doesn’t seem like one of us. They have different morals and living than the typical viewer seeing this film. So it ends up giving us an anatomy of a stranger. One of the biggest things i look for in a film is my ability to relate to the characters. After seeing the trailer, i was very surprised with the kind of movie i got. I figured it was a remake of the 81 original, so we would get a story similar to 1994’s “Fear”. Instead, this story is a mushy bore that follows into the genre without ever giving us anything new. Midway through the story, the characters change without any warning. The father of Jade becomes a psychopath, and David becomes an emotionally damaged soul based on a frightening past. This happens without any warning what so ever. A couple of things happen towards the end of the film that turn it into an ABC Family movie of the week. The setups and outcomes are predictable and that is the most annoying part of the ending. You feel like you could have predicted what happened in this film just by watching the trailer. The women will probably want to see this movie, and that is fine. What i tell the female readers is that this film doesn’t add anything special. If you have seen one of these films, you have seen them all. I can’t recommend this film as a whole. It’s a book with a lot daring new ground turned into a Nicolas Sparks film. Thank God this love isn’t endless, and only goes 105 minutes.
Is it better to have a conscience when being a police officer, or is a blank slate the best way to go? This question is the focus of the newest Hollywood remake, Robocop. First of all, there isn’t going to be a lot of critique with this review. The Robocop franchise is ridiculous and possibly the furthest thing from realistic. It’s like reviewing The Fast and Furious films for realism. There are a couple of things i didn’t like about this film, but i will get to that later. Joel Kinnaman stars as Alex Murphy, a Detroit police officer who is left with damage to 95% of his body in a set up explosion. A corporate big shot (Michael Keaton) and a scientist (Gary Oldman) come up with an idea to put Murphy back on the streets with a robot suit that controls his actions. Kinnaman is decent as Murphy, but he isn’t given the proper development that Peter Weller had in the 1987 original. Kinnaman is a good enough actor to make us care what happens to Murphy, but it would be better if we learned more about who he is and what his actions are as a cop for arguably the most dangerous city in the country. The filming of Detroit is one of my biggest problems with the film. I understand that 90% of movies aren’t filmed in the cities they are portrayed in, but Detroit is one that is hard to fake. Everyone knows what you are in for when you travel there, so to see it as a beautiful lighted up town is almost comical. The movie was filmed mostly in Vancouver and that is understandable as it is one of the cheaper places to film a movie. Two amazing performances come in the hands of Keaton and Oldman. Keaton’s character change is the biggest one of the movie as we learn what his true priorities are. There is a calm storm to his actions on the exterior, but you know it’s all just waiting to blow. Gary Oldman is the best part of the movie for me. He is such a veteran of film that he can do roles like this in his sleep. The role he plays as Dr. Dennett Norton is written very one dimensional, but Gary puts a caring sense of Dr. Frankenstein in the object he has created. He cares for Murphy’s health, and that gives him more definition than the characters he is surrounded by.Samuel L Jackson cameos as a talk show host who comes close to stealing the spotlight at times. He knows more than the viewers he talks to, but relates to them as he only wants the best for America. The action in this film is top notch. There are a lot of fast pace chase scenes with vibrating camera shots to replicate machine gun fire. The new black suit is really cool, but i hope they revert to the old school silver if they make a sequel. The black is supposed to represent the modernization of the Robocop character itself. Overall, i would definitely recommend this film to Robocop fans and action lovers alike. I think it is only passed by the original Robocop (barely), but it far exceeds parts 2 and 3 by a mile. It’s a fun, action packed extravaganza that takes the best parts of 80’s action and 2014 cinematography and creates a hybrid worthy of the Robocop name. Well done Director Jose Padihla.
3.5/10 – Combine “Clueless” with your typical Vampire genre entry and you will have Vampire Academy. The problem with that comparison is that it doesn’t have the memorable lines of Clueless, or the creativity of a 1960’s vampire film. What you are left with is a hip and sexy look at one of the oldest genres in cinema history. This film to me tries to even cash in on some of what made the Harry Potter franchise a success. It creates a cool school where the kids are vampires and carry magical powers. It just doesn’t work when you are talking about something as dark as vampires. I get what producer Don Murphy was trying to do here. He was taking six books in this genre and picking apart the best parts to grab the teen audience into coming along for a ride the same way Twilight did. I think that is my biggest problem with this film; it lacks originality. Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry star as two vampire teenagers who run away from their high school only to be dragged back after a year on the road. Deutch and Fry are two actresses who i feel could do a lot better in a straight comedy flick. They are too unbelievable to be in this role. They dress sexy, they say the cool lines and they never once seem like they are in danger. I did appreciate the attempt at classifying multiple vampire groups like the Strigori. I wish they would have explored the different families in that respect more and left the teenage lingo out of it. These girls are teenagers and so are their target audience, but it’s just so BORING for anyone outside of that group. The film clocks in at around 100 minutes, and you feel every single minute of it. It’s easy to get lost in the explanation of the families and what powers they possess because the stories carry on and on. There was a nice twist near the end of the movie which i thought was by far the best part of the movie. Other than that, the dialogue is laughable, the CGI is terrible and the fight scenes lack dedication. This film currently holds an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s easy to see why. I call out directors in children’s movies who treat kids like idiots, so i am calling out the same in teenage genres. I can totally get behind those of you enjoying these books. After skimming through their premises, i can clearly say that they sound like a decent read. But the film dumbs everything that you liked about the books and says sometimes books should just be left alone. I recommend this to the Twilight crowd, but no one else. To those people, i would still wait for DVD.
George Clooney stars and directs in this film about the real life story of the men who rescued and returned millions of stolen art pieces by the Nazi regime. Clooney might not be much of a factor in this film, but he sort of passes the torch to a dynamite cast that brings out the best in every kind of emotion. When i say that, i mean that i was surprised at how much i laughed through this movie. The film does have Bill Murray, John Goodman and Bob Balaban, but i didn’t expect that comedy would be at such a forefront in a film set during World War II. Murray is incredible. He isn’t given a lot of screen time, but he makes the most of a character that makes us laugh and cry as he feels the pain of being away from his grandchildren. Goodman, Matt Damon and Jean Dujardin are victims of a script that is jam packed with characters. They don’t receive enough time to shine, and are kind of backgrounds to the two best characters in the movie, Balaban and the always elegant Cate Blanchett. Blanchett is a victim of the Nazi’s when her brother is murdered in cold blood for discovering a couple of the locations where they store the stolen art. This puts Blanchett in a tight spot because she is the secretary (Forcefully) of one of the Nazi generals. Bob Balaban is by far the best thing about the movie. He is bright, bothered and above all else, charming. He brings a nerd quality that makes him stand out above other characters who are either quiet or the typical good looking Hollywood leading man. His sarcasm really brings out the best in scenes with Murray. The two are stationed on their own route together, and it’s during these times that you will get the best scenes of the movie. The problem with the characters that fall into the background is the fact that they don’t receive character build at the beginning of the screen. They are recruited by Clooney and just thrown into the fray. It would have been nice to know a little more about these people in their home lives. The movie is 1 hour and 50 minutes, but some of that time should be used to make us care more. Which brings me to my other problem with the film; it’s riddled in a slow movement. The first 80 minutes of the film move so slow that it will be hard to believe that it redeems itself in the final 30. Believe me, it all works out. The final few scenes will give you goosebumps at the depths that these monsters went to. The Monuments Men isn’t an amazing movie, and it doesn’t give you the intense warfare of Lone Survivor. The film does however give you an amazing historical insight (Pictures of the actual sights are present) mixed with actors we have known and loved for decades. What might surprise you is that i only recommend it to two types of people; historical buffs or fans of art. I think that anyone outside of these bubbles might get overwhelmed with the slow pacing. If this film sounds like your piece of art, give The Monuments Men a chance.
The most creative movie i have seen in a few years deserves all of the critical praise it has received. The Lego Movie is something out of a childhood dream. It combines incredible animation with comedic humor that is totally unlike anything ever seen in the animation world. I loved the hell out of this movie for so many reasons. The first, it has an amazing cast. Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks,Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell and the always great Charlie Day bring so much heart to the voices they deliver. Freeman especially brings us so much dry humor as God. It’s a role that he has gotten so amazing at playing (Bruce+Evan Almighty) that people start to question if this man actually is God. As i said before, the animation is incredible. I give the designers of this film an Oscar based on how they brought the Lego world to life. I kind of want to watch this film again based on what i missed. The designs go on for miles and miles and it truly is incredible. The comedic timing has something for everyone. The kids will laugh because this is after all a movie for them, but the adults will love it too because it’s that kind of humor you can look devilishly at your husband/wife and appreciate. It’s also very creative how they tie the movie together at the end. There is a surprise ending that will really melt your heart for those of us who always played with our toys. A love letter to the child in all of us, if you will. I haven’t felt this good about leaving a theater in a while. Sure, there have been better movies in the last few years, but The Lego Movie makes you feel something that you thought was buried away with adulthood. It makes us feel like we are looking down on the world we create with our minds. A couple of the cameos are also very cool in the movie. I am not going to spoil them all, but only the couple that have already been seen in commercials (Batman, Superman, Spaceman). The only negative critique i have for this film is so little that it doesn’t hurt the movie at all. The 3D is kind of useless. Sure it adds to the coloring and the motion of the animation, but no real big tricks with stuff flying at your face. I think you can see this film without paying extra for 3D and still be amazed. There is also a song in the film titled “Everything is Awesome” that will surely be stuck in my head till the end of time, and that isn’t a good thing. The Lego Movie is a film that shouldn’t be missed by anyone. Moviegoers of all ages will be struck with the magic that Village Roadshow Pictures have created.
I really enjoyed this film about Jake Gyllenhaal playing a school teacher who discovers that he has a twin in the film business. Gyllenhaal once again teams up with Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve to bring a colorless and claustrophobic look at a man who is figuratively being pulled from the inside. I get the feeling that a lot of people who watched Prisoners will feel alienated by this film because it doesn’t lay the answers out as easy as Prisoners. This… is a film that will slowly present you piece by piece of the puzzle, and they won’t all come together until the very last shot of the movie. This clearly isn’t a film for everyone, but i think everyone should give it a look because there is a lot of praise to be done in this 88 minute feature.I say that this film isn’t for everyone because it does have it’s moments that have to be left up to interpretation. The tone and soundtrack to this film are not only eerie and intense, but very unique. The twin storyline is something that has been done before, but in Enemy it is done differently. In past films of this genre, the two characters are made to be so different that they’re clearly obvious which one is which when on camera. In Enemy, Gyllenhaal plays two characters that are very much one and the same with the exception of their careers. The shooting of the face to face scenes is done well because it never shows both of their faces at the same time. I think if it did this, it would look hokey and the audience would have a tougher time taking it seriously.I also enjoyed the very bleak California setting. The colors to represent the backgrounds in each shot are given a kind of foggy feel to go with the moods of each doppelganger. It feels very much like a late 90’s David Cronenberg film based on it’s colorful textures alone. I do have a theory for how this whole story pieces together, but i won’t ruin it for those of you who want to check it out. I ordered it on Directv Pay Per View and that certainly helped with the theories i was gathering myself while watching the movie. It presents us with a 10 minute interview with Gylenhaal and Villeneuve after the feature is over. If you are going to check it out, i recommend this as the only way to go. It isn’t currently playing in any theaters, and i don’t know if the DVD will give you the kinds of clues and hints that the DirecTv version will. Enemy brought out everything i liked about independent features. Solid performances, heart pounding situations, and the option to always make you think.
Who says you can’t grow up to be a child? Zac Efron sure doesn’t. Efron plays the biggest jerk i have seen in a film in a long time. This is seriously the best they had as a main character? This is the guy we are supposed to root for? Three friends (Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan) make a pact to stay single when Jordan finds out his wife has cheated on him. What follows is a fast talking waste of 94 minutes. The first problem comes in the form of the fast talking itself. The film tries to be a hip indie dialogue driven film, but the problem is that NO ADULT TALKS LIKE THIS. These are like grown babies who dress up in adult clothes. The only character that is worth anything is Jordan’s. His character is given plenty of time (Unlike Teller) and isn’t a complete jerk to every female he meets (Unlike Efron). You actually feel for this character, so you get invested into his rises and falls when he gets back with his wife. For those of you wondering, NO!!! The women do not add anything to the film. The have low self esteem insides which pushes them to be with guys like this in the first place. Efron calls his girl a hooker FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!! Other than the Jordan storyline, i didn’t find a lot else to enjoy. The film is lost between trying to be a comedy and an emotional drama. It tells us to laugh at one crude joke after another, and then forces us to try to feel bad when a character gets drunk at Thanksgiving in front of all of their families.It literally adds nothing to the romantic comedy genre. Don’t waste your time on a film this bad. Even for DVD, this is asking too much. The Efron fans will fall for every word he spews, hook line and sinker. I am sure Labor Day isn’t going to be amazing, but i will be glad to get this terrible taste out of my mouth that Director Tom Gormican has left me
I was very surprised in this film starring Kate Winslet as a mother who has her home invaded by a convict murderer (Josh Brolin) and the adaptations they face during this unpredictable event. Brolin is powerful in a role like this because he can show so much emotion without yelling. I really enjoyed the chemistry between him and Winslet. They are two people who long for each other after years of different loneliness. Director Jason Reitman shoots some beautiful hands-on shots when showing what is going through each character’s mind. I think a film like this could even work as a silent picture because Reitman is great at communicating with his audience. The film also takes place in a beautifully transformed 1987 Boston suburb. The film remains very truthful to the kinds of technology and food labels that were around in 1987, and no one appreciates that more than me. A movie can lose it’s focus for me if it has a cola can in the 1980’s when it wasn’t invented until 1995. Labor Day clocks in at 1 Hour and 50 minutes which might seem long to someone who knows the basic story, but it’s needed to show the advancement of relationships between Brolin and Winslet, but also Brolin and the little boy. Some problems i had with the film were few and far between. For one, there is tension in the final 15 minutes just because. From police officers getting a little too nosey for no reason to bank tellers asking Winslet what she is planning on doing with money she is taking out. It just makes the audience roll their eyes because there is no reason given for these things to happen. I also found it hard to believe that the police wouldn’t look at the cameras from the grocery store. On a news report, they say they knew Brolin was in the store, so why do they not look at the camera tapes to see who he left with? Wouldn’t the police watch those tapes and then find Winslet’s address? I also found it very far fetched that this movie and the relationships formed in 4 days. Loneliness is a frightening thing, but for a murderer who kidnaps Winslet and her son, this just doesn’t seem feasible to me. This may sound like i am complaining a lot about the film, but i promise that it’s better than 90% of the cliche romance pictures i normally watch. The ladies will love Labor Day, but i think even the guys will appreciate the powerful story being told here. Give Labor Day a shot. At the least, it’s a good date movie based on the relationship to root for in the film.
This movie had the ability to be so much better than it was. Aaron Eckhart’s latest role puts him as the creature himself from the famous legend. First of all, i had no idea Eckhart was actually playing the creature. I was led to believe he was Dr. Frankenstein. It is this casting alone that has a lot to do with what is wrong in I,Frankenstein. From anyone who has read the Frankenstein novels to anyone who has seen the countless number of films, they know what the creature is supposed to represent. He’s a tall, slow and practically brain dead science experiment that returns from the grave. The character that Eckhart plays is the EXACT opposite of those things. He’s quick, intelligent and even a master swordsman. This Frankenstein can do it all, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t get me wrong, i love Aaron Eckhart but the man clearly doesn’t belong in this role. For those of you who say this is a new take on an old tale, you would be wrong. They even talk about the events of the past films/books at the beginning of this movie.This film just picks what it liked about the Frankenstein story and leaves out the rest. Besides this, the film has cheesy CGI and laughable death scenes that haven’t been seen since Van Helsing. Frankenstein is in the middle of a modern day war between gargoyles and demons. When a demon dies, they float to hell on a fire streak. Ya know, because fire represent bad. When a gargoyle dies, they float to heaven on a beautiful blue streak. Because blue equal good guy. I hope i came off sounding like a moron in those last sentences, it was intended. That’s not to say that this film doesn’t have good ideas. The story of the creature in the middle of this war had the ability to be a great after story, but because it never feels like Frankenstein we are never fully invested. The scenery is something straight out of an Underworld movie. There is nothing wrong with that, as i always felt Underworld had some beautiful landscapes with great shading. The fighting choreography is also beautiful in sync. They definitely had great intensity with every fight from countless amounts of gargoyle and demon armies. The ending is laughable (Unintended) and takes away from any creative buildup that the movie gains in the first 80 minutes. Coming into this film, i wasn’t expecting much from it. I was a little wrong in that regards. I, Frankenstein is a film that isn’t quite the monster that critics have dismissed it to be. There is a little something there behind the dead eyes of a nonsensical script. With the right casting and a little less overbearing CGI, this film could have been near the top of the list for January releases. I would recommend this film to a very small audience, and that is the people who have seen and loved every Underworld movie. I think you will get a kick out of this movie. If it’s your intention to see I,Frankenstein, wait until the dollar theaters.
A gritty and disturbing look into the American food distribution system and the negative results that follow in a descensitized society. Fed Up is a documentary that looks into the FDA and slides aside the curtain to corruption involving bribery from major snack companies, surgery for overweight children who haven’t even hit their teenage years yet, and the things hidden in these junk foods that aren’t always revealed on the label. To me, Fed Up opened my eyes to the horrors of processed foods like Super Size Me did for the fast food industry. It was really impactful to see the kinds of stacked decks that we as people have of living healthy. Director Stephanie Soetchtig and narrator Katie Couric state the facts on sugars and salts that hurt our body through each individual portion, and what they do over a ten year span. I enjoyed Fed Up for how feeble minded they made our food government administration look. The same group who characterized pizza as a vegetable are clearly guilty for not having done enough to give us better choices in the real world, and safer choices for our children in schools across the country. I do believe that Fed Up is one of those films that needs to be shown in schools to act as a backlash against the brainwashing that TV does to young minds who see colorful characters like Ronald Mcdonald or Captain Crunch and don’t have anything to oppose this with because these big name corporations have so much money and time invested in the products they present. The narration by Couric was outstanding and reflects decades upon decades that she has studied on this particular issue. The facts are presented with graphic animations that are made easily enough for anyone to understand and receive an education to the horrors that we are putting into our bodies everyday. I also thoroughly enjoyed the dancing around the issue approaches to these administration executives who were asked questions on what they have done to eliminate sugars from their products. They come across as big wigs who have absolutely zero involvement of presenting a healthy option to their customers and are only interested in loading their wallets even fatter. One thing that did surprise me about this film that i never really took the time to think about was the effects this will have on our military soldiers over the next fifty years. One out of every three children now face obesity and where will that leave the men and women fighting for our country who don’t have the right genes to combat a disease as powerful as obesity? The lone problem i had with Fed Up is that it gives some decent minor arguments on what we can do to combat these processed foods as to bringing them into our own homes, but it never really has a bigger picture plan. The documentary profiles how popular cigarettes were in the 60’s and 70’s and how countries came together and took a stand against what they called “Cancer Sticks”. Instead of offering a commentary for how we can fight this juggernaut, Couric rather states that it’s impossible to take down something so huge. Sure, there are dietary suggestions that the closing credits offer, but i left this documentary feeling like it’s a losing battle that will only get greater as 60% of our country now suffers from diabetes. That is a bigger figure than ever before. Even with that in mind, Fed Up is the single greatest look at the single greatest terror driving up our death rates. Obesity is greater than cancer now, and it’s time we woke to treat these corporations the same way we do the alcohol and tobacco corporations. I absolutely recommend Fed Up to every one. I guarantee you that everyone will learn at least one thing in this documentary that they didn’t know before. After you watch this film, you will fear the many colorful aisles of a grocery store in the same way you fear looking at your own tombstone before you ever die.
The latest film in the buddy cop genre pits the rough and tough exterior of Ice Cube with the comedic bumbling of Kevin Hart. Those things mix together pretty well, as both men have great chemistry with one another. It is however the lack of material that wastes away two decent performances with a flawed script. Ice Cube is a cop in Atlanta when he hears news that Kevin Hart has just got accepted to the academy. Cube’s biggest problem with Hart is that he plans on marrying his sister. The film has moments where it goes through an identity crisis, and doesn’t know if it wants to be a bad to the bone action film or a corny comedy. The parts that really feel the most natural to Ride Along are the parts that make it feel like it is a borderline rated R. When i found out this film was PG-13, i could only scratch my head and ask why. You have the biggest comedian currently in the world mixed with a guy who has some pretty good comedic turns in films like Friday, Barbershop and 21 Jump Street. Let these two loose on a script that neuters both of their performances. There were some excellent supporting roles in the work of John Leguizamo and Lawrence Fishbourne. They both seem like they are too big to be in a film like this with supporting roles, but they give it their all. A big twist happens midway through the film that is pretty obvious to anyone who is paying attention. I am happy to say that i totally saw it coming because i have seen enough of these buddy cop movies to know what to expect. Ride Along is a movie that is recommended because people love Kevin Hart regardless of what he does. It’s those fans that are going to make this movie #1 this weekend. It’s not personally the funniest thing i have ever seen him in, but it’s ok. You get about 70% of his funniest things in the trailer that most of you have already seen. I would catch a daily screening of this film. It’s just not worth the full price
This is the angriest i have been at a film in a long time. The continuing trend of Hollywood studios treating children like they’re idiots, continues with The Nut Job. This film is the equivalent to a cheesy joke told at a party with friends. It’s an unfunny and uninteresting mess.The film stars a couple squirrels (Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl) who are literally fighting over nuts to feed a park of other animals. The biggest pain in the film is how many times they use the “Nut pun” OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. I think the audience understood the first time that nuts is a dirty pun that you can use as a sexual innuendo. It’s childish the first time and mind numbing by time 1,456. The voice acting is what gives this film as high of a rating as it is. Liam Neeson is outstanding once again. This time he is a villain who is the park’s leader as he is harboring a secret plan to starve them all out. Neeson is one of those actors who doesn’t need a face to truly grasp the emotion that he is delivering. Even in a script this stupid, he finds a way to make his character menacing. The 3D is totally useless. There is absolutely no reason that this film had to be in 3D except to make Pixar own even more of your wallet. There is one part in the film that didn’t make sense to me, but by the film’s end it was put in there just so the bad guy could be defeated. Another villain who is a human is blessed with the ability to hear dog whistles. This talent hurts him as he holds his ears in agony every time it’s blown. It’s never explained why or how he has this ability but it sure enough shows you why it was put in the film at the end of the movie. If it wasn’t for the voice work and Pixar’s excellent animation, this film would have been worse than the latest Paranormal Activity. It was THAT bad. I will recommend this film for kids, but even the ten or so kids in the theater i was in were getting bored with it. I caught several glances of them kicking the chairs in front of them. One even played games on his mother’s cell phone. The kids will like it, but only the hardest of die hard Pixar adults will like this film. I have yet to even explain the worst part. That is saved in the closing credits of the film. The film’s theme is Gagnam Style by Psy, and sure enough he makes an animated appearance dancing on the side of the credits. If 80 minutes of torture won’t make you roll your eyes, Psy’s 2 year old dance on the side of the screen will. It’s great to have a song in a children’s movie (yelling) THAT THE CHILDREN CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE!!!!! Save your money and go see Frozen if you haven’t seen that. If you have, see it again. See it 400 times before this