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Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Internship (2013)


The Internship Poster

The Internship (2013)

 

The Internship pairs Vince Vaughn with Owen Wilson again for the first time since Wedding Crashers (2005).  Why is this relevant?  It is relevant because Wedding Crashers grossed over $285,000,000 worldwide and was a huge success and a hilarious movie.  Filmmakers hoped that Vaughn and Wilson together again in the same film would help them to repeat their previous success.  It has already been 8 years since the release of Wedding Crashers.

I think that a movie like The Internship would have been a much bigger hit if it had been made 5 or 6 years ago when the main characters were still in their prime.  As it turns out, The Internship lost money.

My gut feeling before watching this movie was that it was going to be a big disappointment.  It looked funny, but not very.

The Internship Wilson Vaughn Computer

The film is a comedy about two best friends (Vaughn and Wilson) who lose their jobs as salesman.  They manage to get internship positions at Google, but they are forced to compete against younger, much more qualified computer nerds for a chance at employment.

The movie was written by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern and directed by Shawn Levy.  The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Max Minghella, John Goodman, Josh Gad, Rob Riggle, Will Ferrell, B.J. Novak, Gary Anthony Williams, and Tiya Sircar.

The Intership Wilson Vaughn Hats

Vaughn and Wilson showed a similar comedic chemistry to what they had in Wedding Crashers, except that they were not as funny as they could have been.

I think that the PG-13 rating was what ruined this movie.  Wilson and Vaughn do better in movies where they are allowed to get away with more craziness and crudeness.  Vaughn is fast-talking and witty and he is a lot funnier and thrives when his dialogue is not limited.  Wilson responds to Vaughn’s wittiness with his own charm, but if Vaughn is not allowed to be funny then it makes their banter incomplete.  The filmmakers tried too hard to reach a wider audience with the PG-13 rating, but ultimately this sacrificed too many laughs and the result was bone dry humor.

The movie is very formulaic.  It is very predictable.  It’s funny, but mostly stupid funny.  Some of the dialogue is clever, but some is also pretty cheesy.  Sometimes it’s wholesome and sometimes it’s cheap.  The Internship is entertaining enough as long as your expectations aren’t too high.

The Intership Wilson Vaughn Fist Bump

The film was a cross between Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) and Old School (2003) without the raunchiness and the big laughs.  It’s a good time that you don’t have to think about too much.  For Vaughn and Wilson, this movie is a step down and a step back from the comedies that we are used to seeing them in.

I rate this movie a 6 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)


The Hunger Games Catching Fire Poster

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

As I mentioned in my review of The Hunger Games (2012), I told my friend that I would see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with him, even though I was not very interested in either of the films.  I’m not going to watch a sequel to a film without first watching the original, so I watched The Hunger Games at home before going out to the theatre.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed The Hunger Games, and this made me excited to see the sequel.  I would certainly not recommend watching The Hunger Games: Catching Fire without first watching The Hunger Games.  It is pretty much essential to watch the movies in order.

I would advise against reading the rest of this review if you have not yet seen The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Harrelson Hutcherson Lawrence

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire picks up where the first film left off.  Through an act of defiance, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) were the winners of the 74th annual Hunger Games.  Their public defiance was enough for the government to want to make an example out of them by punishing them in hopes of preventing a revolution.

The film was directed by Francis Lawrence and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Lenny Kravitz, Liam Hemsworth, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer, Jena Malone, and Toby Jones.

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Hutcherson Banks Lawrence

Like most sequels, I expected this movie to be a step down from the first film.  My expectations were wrong once again.  It’s a rare thing that a sequel is better than its predecessor, but this is exactly the case with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  It’s as if the filmmakers ironed out all of the kinks from the first movie in order to make the sequel.

Everything that I liked and disliked about The Hunger Games was improved upon in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  It was another welcomed surprise.  The acting was more passionate, the special effects were sharper, the story was more interesting, and the quality of the film as a whole was just plain better.

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Lawrence Hutcherson

Fans of The Hunger Games will undoubtedly like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire even more.  The film is a higher caliber and therefore delivers a stronger potency.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

The Hunger Games (2012)


The Hunger Games Poster

The Hunger Games (2012)

I’m not usually the type of guy to rush out and see a movie like The Hunger Games in theatres.  I guess that is why I had not seen the film, until now.  I probably would have put off seeing this movie even longer, but since a friend of mine wanted to see the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) in theatres, I thought it best that I see the films in order.

People have raved about this movie, but it just wasn’t a must-see for me, even though, for the most part, it has a very solid cast.  I don’t know if it is the PG-13 rating or what, but it just appeared to me like it would be a teenie-bopper film of sorts.

The Hunger Games Banks Lawrence

The movie takes place in the future where a society is split up into twelve districts.  Once a year a lottery takes place in order to select a young man and a young woman from each of the twelve districts to take part in a televised battle to the death called The Hunger Games.  The latest Hunger Games gets its first volunteer, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence).  Katniss volunteers in order to protect her younger sister from almost certain death.  Now, Katniss is facing the same odds.

The film was directed by Gary Ross and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson, Wes Bentley, Lenny Kravitz, Liam Hemsworth, and Toby Jones.

The Hunger Games Lawrence Bow

I’m not sure that I buy into the concept of a society that would force a few of its residents to battle in a fight to the death.  The idea was a little bit of a stretch.  However, it did remind me a little bit of gladiators being forced to fight in an arena.  It’s a backwards advanced warped society that would be a sick world to live in.  Maybe I just hope that it could never get that bad, but given the world that we live in, maybe I’m just in denial.  After all, if the holocaust can happen, maybe something like this could too.  A movie like this that takes place in the future can get away with a concept like this one, because nobody knows what the future holds.

The film was a cross between The Most Dangerous Game (1932), Death Race (2008), and Gladiator (2000).

The Hunger Games was certainly better than I anticipated it would be. The big name actors in the movie all played their parts well.  However, it was ultimately Jennifer Lawrence’s film.  It was an intensely engaging, heartfelt movie with lots of cool visuals and a good soundtrack.

The Hunger Games Hutcherson

At times, the graphics were a bit overdone and almost too colorful.  Some of the costumes were far out.  The technology in the film seemed a little too advanced for a poor society.  All of these things temporarily took away from the story along with a touch of lower quality acting from the lesser known supporting cast members.

Overall, The Hunger Games was a big surprise to me.  It far exceeded my expectations and I wish I had given it a chance sooner, because I didn’t give it the credit that it deserves.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

Trailer for Sabotage (2014)


Sabotage movie poster

Sabotage (2014)

 

From the writer of Training Day (2001) and the director of End of Watch (2012), comes Sabotage, an action film about a war between a drug cartel and an army of DEA agents.

The movie is written and directed by David Ayer and the noteworthy cast includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terrence Howard, Sam Worthington, Mireille Enos, Olivia Williams, Joe Manganiello, Max Martini, Josh Holloway, Harold Perrineau, Daniel Moncada, Martin Donovan, and Ralf Moeller.

Great cast, great director, and it looks like it will be a great action flick.

The film is set to release on 04/11/14.

Violet & Daisy (2011)


Violet & Daisy Poster

Violet & Daisy (2011)

 

Violet & Daisy is another one of those movies that was made and then thrown on the shelf to collect dust for two years before finally being released in theatres.  When it finally made its debut, it was only in limited release.  The film was completed in 2011 and not unveiled until midway through 2013.

Movies like this are always intriguing to me because I bet that everybody involved in making the film was just beyond angry that it took two years to be released in theatres.  You work so hard to complete something special, and then nothing happens for two years.  Not to mention, movies are made to hopefully turn a profit.  Wouldn’t you want to try to make your money back right away?

Violet & Daisy Bledel Ronan Guns

I have a feeling that this movie may have had trouble making it into theatres because the subject matter is very risky.  It’s a film about a teenage girl duo hit man squad.  With all of the violence going on in our world, it’s probably pretty hard to release a movie about teenage girls who kill people.  Of course, the idea was fascinating and I just had to see what it was all about.

The film is about two contract killer teenage girls (Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel).  The pair make a killer team, but one day things go wrong during what was supposed to be a simple job.

Violet & Daisy teen magazine

The movie was written and directed by Geoffrey Fletcher and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes James Gandolfini, Danny Trejo, John Ventimiglia, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Stu ‘Large’ Riley, and Tatiana Maslany.

Violet & Daisy didn’t deserve to be shelved for two years.  It’s the kind of movie that could have generated a welcomed sequel or two.  But, because it took so long to be released, the teenage girls in the film have already aged too much.  Actually, Bledel was already an adult during filming.  She pulled off playing a teenager even though she was actually 30 years old when the movie was made.  Ronan was closer to half of Bledel’s age.  I was shocked when I found that out.

Violet & Daisy Bledel

The film was exceptionally fresh and original.  It was edgy, cold-blooded and unpredictable.  There was a lot of great action and dialogue.  There was even a bit of dark comedy thrown into the mix.

Ronan, Bledel, and Gandolfini gave exceptional performances.

The movie is about murder, so don’t be surprised at all of the violence, disturbing images, and language.

Violet & Daisy Gandolfini

Because the movie was delayed for so long, it turned out to be one of Gandolfini’s final film releases, may he rest in peace.

I praise Geoffrey Fletcher for getting this risky movie made.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

The Boondock Saints (1999)


The Boondock Saints Poster

The Boondock Saints (1999)

I watched The Boondock Saints for the first time way back in 2000.  I had no idea what the film was about before watching it.  All I knew was that I was a broken teenaged kid who had recently lost his older brother.  I was trying to escape into the world of video games and movies.  The movie was supposed to be a distraction, but I couldn’t help but think of my brother throughout the entire film.

The Boondock Saints Reedus Flanery Guns

The movie is about two Irish twin brothers (Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery) living in the boondocks who band together to deliver their own form of vigilante justice on the scum of Boston.  Along the way, they piss off the Russian mob and the FBI.

The film was written and directed by Troy Duffy and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Willem Dafoe, David Della Rocco, Billy Connolly, Carlo Rota, Ron Jeremy, Brian Mahoney, Bob Marley, and Kevin Chapman.

It’s hard not to enjoy a movie about vigilantes cleaning up their city.  When bad guys die, who cares?  It just makes the world a better place.  This film depicts this all very stylishly.  Of course, there is a lot of killing, cussing, and drinking involved, but it’s all in good fun.

The Boondock Saints Connolly Guns

I have watched the movie maybe a dozen times now, and it gets better each time I watch it.  It has a great soundtrack, it’s funny, and you can tell that they had fun filming it.

The film became a cult classic and eventually a sequel followed.  In my opinion, the sequel would have been much more successful if it had not taken a decade before being made.

The Boondock Saints Dafoe

Willem Dafoe’s character in the film is perhaps, the most memorable of his acting career.

The Boondock Saints boosted Norman Reedus’ popularity and he has gone on to become a pretty solid character actor.  He is most known for The Boondock Saints and the popular television series, The Walking Dead.  However, my favorite film that he is in is Deuces Wild (2002).

Most recently, I enjoyed Sean Patrick Flanery’s performance in the final season of my favorite television series, Dexter.

The closeness between the brothers on screen made me really appreciate the performances of Reedus and Flanery.

Troy Duffy put a very unique spin on the storyline and the way the story unfolds is nothing short of awesome.

The Boondock Saints Reedus Flanery Dafoe

Fans of mafia movies should enjoy The Boondock Saints.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

Trailer for Contracted (2013)


Contracted Poster

Contracted (2013)

 

It’s a horror movie that encourages abstinence.

Contracted is a film about a girl (Najarra Townsend) who contracts what doctors think is an STD, but what turns out to be far worse.

The movie was written and directed by Eric England and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald, Katie Stegeman, Matt Mercer, Charley Koontz, Simon Barrett, and Ruben Pla.

Scary, indeed!

The film is set to release on 11/22/13.

Stuck in Love (2012)


Stuck in Love Poster

Stuck in Love (2012)

 

Occasionally a love story that is not a “chick flick”, but looks like one, will fall through the cracks.  Stuck in Love looked like one of those stories.  The movie falls through the cracks because people assume it is a “chick flick” and they dismiss it immediately.  I almost did the same thing because I’m not a fan of “chick flicks.”  I’m not a fan of
“chick flicks” because well, I’m not a chick.

Chick flicks” are so prevalent in the movie world these days that they are like a cancer that has spread.  They are everywhere and their whole existence is killing the industry that they thrive on.

Stuck in Love Kinnear Connelly

Stuck in Love is a dysfunctional drama about a semi-popular author (Greg Kinnear) who finds himself unable to get over his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly), even after being divorced for more than 2 years.  His son and daughter, who are also writers, are having their own struggles with love.

The film was written and directed by Josh Boone and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Lily Collins, Kristen Bell, Logan Lerman, Nat Wolff, Liana Liberato, Stephen King, and Patrick Schwarzenegger.

I have always enjoyed movies about writers, because I have always wanted to be a writer.

Stuck in Love Lerman Collins

The movie is only slightly formulaic and just a little bit predictable.  It is not like “chick flicks” that are completely predictable because they always follow the same formula.

The film is rated-R for language, drug use, sexual situations, and adult drama.  The movie is as much a teen drama as it is an adult drama.

There is a lot of language in the film, but that has become reality.  You would like to think that people don’t always talk that way, but that is how it really is.  We are a society that has become de-sensitized and the absence of language in the movie would have made it less realistic and less practical.

Stuck in Love Wolff Liberato

I was a little surprised when watching this movie because I thought it was going to be more about the parents in the story, rather than the kids.  When, in fact, the film was just as much about the adults as it was about the kids.

The young actors in the movie did a better job than I anticipated.  However,
the presence of Kinnear and Connelly help to make Stuck in Love a quirky, heart warming drama worth watching.

Once again, my dysfunctional childhood was probably the reason why I was drawn to this movie.  Maybe it is just because I can relate to the craziness that is going on in the movie and that is why I like it.  Growing up as the youngest in a big family, it’s hard to avoid the drama.  Maybe that is why the movie seems more real to me, because dysfunction is more honest than perfection.  Madness is more entertaining than predictability.

I rate this move a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked Stuck in Love, then you may also enjoy The Big Wedding (2013), Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011), and The Way, Way Back (2013).

Trailer for Noah (2014)


Noah Poster

Noah (2014)

 

Russell Crowe stars as Noah in director Darren Aronofsky‘s take on the story of Noah’s Ark.  I shouldn’t have to say anything else to spark your interest.

The rest of the noteworthy cast  includes Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ray Winstone, and Kevin Durand.

The film is set to release on 03/28/13.

 

Trailer for The Truth About Emanuel (2013)


The Truth About Emanuel Poster

The Truth About Emanuel (2013)

 

The Truth About Emanuel is a movie about a girl (Kaya Scodelario) who becomes infatuated with her new neighbor (Jessica Biel) because she strongly resembles the girl’s dead mother.

The film was written and directed by Francesca Gregorini and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Alfred Molina, Aneurin Barnard, Frances O’Connor, Jimmi Simpson, Sam Jaeger, Anne Ramsay, and Spencer Garrett.

The movie looks like it could be delightfully twisted.

The film is set to release on 01/10/14.