Monthly Archives: March 2013
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) (click on the title for my full review)
The film looks like a cross between Drive (2011)(good) and Killing Them Softly (2012)(bad). In Drive Ryan Gosling is a stunt driver turned driver for hire. In The Place Beyond the Pines it appears like he is a stunt motorcycle driver turned bank robber. It seems that Eva Mendes plays a very similar character in The Place Beyond the Pines that Carey Mulligan plays in Drive.
Overall the movie looks pretty dark in a similar way to that of Killing Them Softly. Also, Ray Liotta and Ben Mendelsohn are in both of those movies. Both actors played very scuzzy characters in Killing Them Softly and I think they have continued that trend in The Place Beyond the Pines.
The wildcard in The Place Beyond the Pines is going to be Bradley Cooper. In recent years Cooper has proved that not only is he a supremely capable and extraordinary actor, but he has also chosen his movies very wisely. Gosling is great and Liotta has that ability as well, but we have seen them in this type of movie before. Cooper, I think, will be the deciding factor as to whether or not this movie is any good.
On paper, a movie with this cast should be a slam dunk. It does look good enough to see in the theatre, but I’m going to be a little skeptical.
The movie directed by Derek Cianfrance and it is set to release on 3/29/13.
World War Z (2013) (click on the title for my full review)
A Brad Pitt zombie movie to the extreme. This movie looks like it will be loaded with insanely spectacular special effects. The question that I have is: is it all a little too much? Just look at the poster. Could that ever happen even if there was a zombie outbreak that threatened mankind as we know it?
I’m sure that I will see it. Pitt in a zombie movie in an interesting concept in itself. But, I’m thinking it’s all going to be way over the top. Not that zombies aren’t over the top already…
It is directed by Marc Forster.
World War Z is set to release on 6/21/13.
Due Date (2010)
Due Date engulfed me in laughter. It was one hysterical moment after another. Just when I thought I could not laugh any longer, I giggled and then laughed harder and longer than before.
The film is a sort of new-age Planes, Trains, & Automobiles (1987). Peter (Robert Downey Jr.) is leaving Atlanta and trying to return to his nearly birthing wife (Michelle Monaghan) in Los Angeles. Everything is going smoothly until Peter bumps into Ethan (Zach Galifianakis). Peter ends up stuck traveling across the country with Ethan desperately trying to be in the delivery room when his baby arrives.
The chemistry and timing between Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis is hysterical. The way that their personalities play off of each other is brilliant. Robert Downey Jr. brings a slick, suave, seriousness to his character and Galifianakis is everything but. The duo was a perfect casting match. I think that this movie is easily my favorite Robert Downey Jr. movie and could be the best movie that Zach Galifianakis is in.
The humor is clever and raunchy and about everything else in between. But, it is all mostly just well-crafted. The writers: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedman, Adam Sztykiel, and Todd Phillips, took a very basic idea for a story and screenplay and let their imaginations run wild.
Due Date is directed by Todd Phillips. He continues his trend of directing and being a part of hilarious movies. I didn’t realize that he also directed The Hangover (2009), The Hangover Part II (2011), The Hangover Part III (2013), School for Scoundrels (2006), Starsky and Hutch (2004), Old School (2003), and Road Trip (2000) among others. That is a heck of a comedy resume! If you liked any of those movies, than you will definitely like Due Date.
If you have not seen this movie, I implore you to do so. It is available to rent on Netflix, or just go out and buy it. It is not currently available at the Redbox. I have probably seen it 5 times now and it was highly amusing every time. You will not be disappointed.
I rate this movie a 9.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? BUY!
If you liked Due Date (2010), then you might enjoy Identity Thief (2013).
Note: I did you a favor by only posting the teaser trailer for this movie. The full-length preview shows way too much.
Henry (Rick Gomez) is a very successful author who becomes haunted by the same nightmare every night. The nightmares started after he endured a shocking experience. He begins to write a new book, but his writing all reverts back to his nightmare. Paranoia ensues as he tries to figure out what the nightmare means.
I did not have very high expectations for this movie. I figured it would be a hit or miss. It was not outstanding by any means, but it was a nice change from the norm and it held my attention throughout. The film will transport you into a world of uncertainty. What is truth and what is fiction? It will keep you guessing all the way to the end.
I did expect Bryan Cranston to have a much larger part. The cover of the movie is very deceiving because he is on it. His role was a cameo at best. He was in the movie for maybe a minute and a half. The cast is a bunch of well known character-actors. I think that Cranston is all over the advertising because he is the most well-known actor in the whole movie. I think that it was a waste that he was not in more of the film. I guess the advertising technique was successful because having not seen the trailer for the movie; I only had the cover to go by. Thinking that it was a Bryan Cranston movie is what got me to watch it. It is not a Bryan Cranston movie, but I’m glad that I watched it.
If you enjoy puzzles and mindbenders, then this movie is for you. There are many twists and turns and all sorts of clues in this mystery. Can you figure it out?
I rate this movie a 7.5 out of 10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
If you liked Leave, then you will most likely enjoy the following films:
End of Watch (2012)
End of Watch (2012) is the ultimate buddy-cop drama done in the style of Training Day (2001), Harsh Times (2005), and Street Kings (2008). All of those films share the same type of gritty, blunt, in-your-face intensity and show just how unpleasant rundown areas of Los Angeles can be. Those movies share similarities in style because they were all written and or directed by David Ayer.
In End of Watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are young, up-and-coming brothers in blue patrolling the hellish streets of Los Angeles, California. They are pitted together against pure evil. They take a bite out of crime and crime bites back
A lot of the movie is filmed with smaller handheld cameras which I think helps to make the film seem a little bit more realistic. If the person is shaky then the camera is shaky.
The film takes many of the horrible things that we pretend don’t happen and throws them in our faces so that we cannot deny their existence any longer. It takes dark subject matter and forces you to have an opinion about it. When your eyes are opened to the world that exists in the movie, you begin to wonder if there is some truth to that world in the real world. Does that sort of thing actually happen in real life? Are people really like that? The answers to those questions are what make the movie so chilling.
Gyllenhaal and Pena are both tremendous in the movie. Their characters play off of each other so well that it really makes the film enjoyable to watch.
The language and violence in the film is very potent. Much of the movie is exceptionally rough and harsh. There is some humor thrown in to weaken the blow, but End of Watch is a powerful movie to watch. This type of show is not for everyone.
I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
The Internship (2013) (Click on the title for my full review.)
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are teamed up again for the first time since Wedding Crashers (2005). If The Internship is anything like Wedding Crashers, then we are definitely in for a show. I think that the filmmakers are counting on audiences to think the same thing.
The movie looks like it might be good for a few laughs, but I just have a gut feeling that audiences are going to be disappointed. It looks funny, but not very.
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn play two friends who lose their jobs and manage to get internship positions at Google in hopes of eventually getting a job with Google.
I’m a big fan of the comedy duo, but they probably should have tried to make a movie like this together 5 or 6 years ago when they were still more in their prime.
Either way, the film is basically guaranteed to make a lot of money, at least in the first few weeks after it is released.
Yeah, I’ll probably see it and hopefully I’m wrong about my gut feeling. What are your thoughts?
The movie is set to release on 6/7/13.