Thanks For Sharing

 

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6/10

If Judd Apatow directed a film about sex addiction and the toxic traits that come with it, this would be the film he would make. Thanks for Sharing follows a couple of people in a group (Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Pink and Josh Gad) who struggle with the real disease known as sex addiction. This film does do a lot of good in opening the eyes of the world, and getting the word out there. It does have a lot wrong with it at the same time. For one, Mark Ruffalo just doesn’t feel right in this role. He comes off as a smarter man in all of his films and is quite good at playing the stereotypical genius character. That is why someone like The Hulk is perfect for him, because he is the side of Bruce Banner that is the scientist. In this role though, it just doesn’t work. He shares no on screen chemistry with his girlfriend in the movie (Gwyneth Paltrow) and that really hurts the scenes. Ruffalo is a great actor, but there are just some films that certain actors shouldn’t do. Tim Robbins however, was born to play this role. He plays a father whose own son is a drug addict. He struggles between the responsibility of leading a group and being a positive role model for his own child. Pink is also a breath of fresh air. For this being her first big role in a film, she really nails it. She brings such a deep sense of comfort and paranoia at the same time in her role as Dede. The scenes in this film were shot very well, but don’t take many risks. It’s a pretty safe movie with some real touching moments. There were just a couple of parts in particular that really took me out of the film. You can see some things coming from a mile away, and i think that is truly one of the film’s biggest weaknesses. Overall, the film is just OK, but should probably still be seen by anyone who is into films like these and 28 Days. As for sex addiction, i would stick with 2011’s Shame. It polarizes the disease in a more life altering nature.

Insidious : Chapter Two

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5/10

I am convinced that i may be the only person who didn’t like this movie. I have seen posts over the last week from people saying it was “The best movie ever” and “The best horror film of the year”. It all left me scratching my head after watching it. Insidious 2 does have it’s moments. I particularly enjoyed the storyline about the abused little boy and the spirit of the woman in black. It made complete sense when they were explaining the back story and some of the things that happened in the first film. The one thing i didn’t understand was how the good spirit of Josh could hear the alarm going off in the first film and then be the one ringing the alarm at the same time in the 2nd film. The thing that is real depressing is that i laughed my way through a lot of this film. The fight scenes were anything but suspenseful and the scenes are just utterly pointless. The comedic dialogue was great (especially with the two nerds), but it doesn’t belong in a demonic film this dark. The score is once again phenominal. There is something about hearing violins during jumpy scenes that really heightens the terror. I also enjoyed the work of Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne. They were definitely the right choices for the mother and father of this family. This film really made me sad for the first one because i LOVED that movie. The suspense was great and it didn’t need some cheap comedy laughs or even a backstory for it to be great. Speaking of which, where the hell did the man with the red face go in this sequel? He is nowhere to be found. You would think that he would have a lot to do with this abused child becoming a killer. Overall, i DO recommend this film because i know people are going to like it because some people were not raised on classic horror films. This is a genre that i am a very tough critic with because it’s my favorite kind of films, but i do not give this a passing grade.

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

Riddick

 

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7.5/10

I really enjoyed this sequel to Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick. In my opinion, this film is more similar to the style in Pitch Black. It’s rated R, and the storylines of the two films are very similar. There were of course some very enjoyable differences. This film has the best characters of the three films. The acting is a little dull with a couple of them, but i haven’t cared about characters fate as much as i do in this one. That cast is led by Katie Sackoff, who i think is the best character in the film. She is kind of like a female Riddick without all of the cliche’s. She is definitely the biggest badass female i have seen in cinema this year. I also enjoyed the ending as i felt it gave something different to this trilogy. I was worried that this film’s ending was going to fall in the same category as the other two, but it gave a little twist at the end that made you keep from rolling your eyes. I thought the CGI of the landscape looked great at night, but very fake during the day shots. I think Riddick films work better at night anyway because that is what he is all about. If there is a fourth film in the series, i would like to see a movie completely at night time. The monsters in this movie were very original and packed a lethal punch to give Riddick a hard fight. I recommend this film to fans of the series and action buffs alike. There are parts that will have you rolling your eyes at the believability, but come on, it’s a Vin Diesel movie.

Getaway

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4/10

This unoriginal film was definitely nothing to be amazed with. Ethan Hawke, Selina Gomez and Jon Voight star in this fast paced thriller about a man’s wife being kidnapped for a hefty ransom. In a nutshell, you have seen this premise a million times before, so what makes Getaway so different? Absolutely nothing. I mean sure, there are some amazing camera angles and the action is off the hook, but it has a very week story that doesn’t bring out the best in the characters. Action can only take a film so far without a story line. The Fast and Furious films are a great example of this. They needed a storyline for the last couple of films so it wouldn’t be the same chase and crash scene over and over. Selina Gomez is possibly the most annoying character of the year. She seems like a brat who whines and constantly complains. Voight is good as the bad guy (Big surprise there, huh?), but he doesn’t have a lot to do. We don’t ever see his face, and come to think of it, this film is a lot like 2002’s Phone Booth. We don’t see the villain’s face or (SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER) we are thrown for a huge loop at the end when he isn’t the bad guy caught. It’s the exact same ending. The film is good for it’s action, but i don’t think that is enough to make a believer out of me. I don’t recommend this film unless you see it on HBO or Showtime in a year. It’s nothing to really get excited about.

Empire State

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4/10

I can totally understand why this film which has a great cast went straight to DVD. Liam Hemsworth, The Rock and Emma Roberts star in this film about the biggest heist in American history. Hemsworth stars as a night time security officer who guards the city’s money exchange. When his partner is shot dead, he decides that life is too short and decides to rob the station of it’s 25 million dollars. Right off the bat, the problems i had with the film was the dialogue as well as the characters being some of the dumbest of the 2013 film year. For a robbery that was so much money, it sure seemed pretty easy with the way the security officers told everything to Hemsworth during his first day on the job. I mean, they showed him every possible way to get to the money and get out undetected past the security dog, the cameras and the secured timers. They told him so much, it seemed like everyone was just waiting for him to rob the place. It’s a shame that this film is so weak because it has a good cast and a decent story that could have been told a lot better. The Rock does nothing different in this film, and plays the same character that he does in every action movie. Roberts is probably the biggest waste though, as her character barely has ten total minutes of screen time. What is the purpose of even having a big name actress like her in this film? She doesn’t even seem to have a close friendship to Hemsworth, so i don’t even see the point of her character. I don’t recommend this film when it comes to DVD in 2 weeks. There are certainly much better true crime stories that are coming to DVD soon. Try The Iceman

You’re Next

 

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4.5/10

This film just didn’t do it for me. Maybe i will be wrong about this one and people will enjoy it after they watch it. There is certainly enough to like about this film. It has an amazing female lead who is tough to the core and has no problems defending herself. It has a good setting in a creepy mansion in the countryside. That certainly makes for some eerie scenes. It has an amazing score which at times took you back to an 80’s horror suspense. Finally, it had a great setup. When you find out who the killers are, you realize that it is a great idea for a movie. The problem is that i didn’t really care about the killers when i found out who they were because i haven’t been given enough time to care. The movie starts with two quick murders and then slows down for the better part of 20 minutes. It shows us a fight with a family and then the murders start again. So basically, these characters whine about the dumbest things and seem like rich snobs. Not exactly a stereotype we can all sympathize with. I also felt they were a little sluggish with the death scenes. Some of the murders are shown, but a couple were given the camera-away shot with the violence. The acting and dialogue were awful. These are the dumbest characters in a movie maybe ever. They know that three masked people are shooting arrows at them from outside, but still want to run outside because they feel they have a good chance to get away from them. The ending is kind of abrupt and doesn’t give the greatest answer with what happens. I would really be curious in having other people watch this film and see what they think. My two friends liked the movie, and thought it was good. Maybe i am just a tough judge when it comes to horror because it is my favorite genre, and the genre i grew up on. I certainly could understand if someone liked this film, but it’s just not for me. As a result, i can’t really recommend this film, but i would like to get some opinions from other people who have seen it. Please post if you do

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.

The Frozen Ground

 

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9/10

OUTSTANDING OUTSTANDING OUTSTANDING!!! Before i begin my review, i want to say it is a tragedy that this film will not receive a worldwide release in theaters. It is currently playing on Pay Per View on demand and will be out on DVD soon. This film was one of the best films i have seen this year. The only single problem i had with it was the ending being a little abrupt, but it’s really just nitpicking. The performances were totally out of this world. I am someone who doesn’t like Nicolas Cage after 2001. Outside of Kickass and The Family Man, he hasn’t done anything good in this century (my opinion). This film totally brings Nicolas Cage back to positive status. Definitely one of his five best performances as the police chief hunting a serial killer with almost a decade of kidnapping, rape and murder. John Cusack is my favorite actor and he is totally chilling as Robert Hansen. The best thing about the films of the 50’s and 60’s were seeing Hollywood actors portray roles that you never expected. I never expected Cusack to play a derranged killer, but it is one of his best performances ever. Quiet, plotting and absolutely terrifying. I could go on and on about the cast. Vanessa Hudgens showed some deep acting chops as the only victim of Hansen’s who got away. 50 Cent is amazing as a pimp who makes some bad decisions. Dean Norris, Radha Mitchell, Jodi Lynn o Keefe, Kevin Dunn. The list goes on and on. I did a little studying up on Robert Hansen before watching the film and it seems this story is about 95% true with the telling of the gruesome events. This film and The Iceman were two true stories that were told real well this year, and that is why they are both in my current top 5 for 2013. The scenery is absolutely beautiful as well with a cold, chilling Alaska being the setting. I think it is almost symbolic of Hansen’s cold insides, and the things he did to these poor women. I definitely recommend this film to EVERYONE. If you see five films this year, make sure one of them Is The Frozen Ground. I imagine someone will find something wrong with this film that they will take out on it, but in my opinion it is better than all of that. If you don’t like this film, you don’t know good storytelling.

Paranoia

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5.5/10

If this is a look into the future of cell phone technology, i think i will keep my flip phone. Paranoia tells the story of competing cell phone companies who are looking for the next biggest thing. It just so happens that the next big thing they are selling is a model for a big brother system. This film is so unbelievable that it can’t even spell the word logic. Unbelievable technology mixed with an almost comedic business side of the cell phone world makes this film an easy pass. I am sure cell phone companies are very competitive with one another, but this is a little too extreme. This film turns into a CIA espionage movie midway through and never lets up. The only thing i really found redeemable about this film was the interaction between Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford. They are definitely two seasoned veterans who knows what to bring to two characters who betrayed each other. Liam Hemsworth is the same old same. I am not really a fan of his work because of the bad choices he has made in 2013 with what films to take. The dialogue is something out of a James Bond movie, and that is NOT for the better. Who talks like this? The characters are robotic and very empty through the better part of 93 minutes. I do not recommend this film to anyone. If you like technology, it could be cool. But i can’t see anyone coming out of this film with a positive review. This film was Harrison Ford’s worst opening weekend ever and i think it’s pretty easy to see why.

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