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The Conjuring (2013)


The Conjuring Poster 2

The Conjuring (2013)

For those of you that you know me, you know that I am a horror movie skeptic.  I get fed up with the endless slasher films and b-rated crap out there, so I usually only watch a horror movie if I think that it has potential.  With that said, I showed up to watch The Conjuring on opening night in theatres.

The Conjuring group

The film is supposedly based on a true story.  It follows Ed and Lorraine Warren who are known as demonologists, or paranormal investigators.  The couple is called upon for help from a family who are experiencing horrific unexplained events in their new house.  The movie tells the story of the case that turned out to be the most disturbing during their entire career as investigators.

The movie was directed by James Wan and the noteworthy cast includes Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver, Shannon Kook, and John Brotherton.

The Conjuring Wilson hanging leg

The Conjuring was spooky.  The film does a wonderful job of gradually building the tension until the creepy climax of the story where horror is all over the screen.  You’ll be able to feel the tingling down your spine from the chilling images scattered throughout the movie.

I think that I expected the film to be scarier.  However, it did have a good amount of horror throughout.  It was very tastefully made.  It definitely didn’t feel like it tried too hard.  It turned out to be just the right amount of freaky.  Any more might have made it less believable.

The Conjuring Taylor King Bedroom

For a horror movie, the acting was pretty decent, especially from Farmiga and Taylor.  This was a major contributing factor to the quality of the film because more often than not, scary movies have poor actors.

The movie was slow at times, but that didn’t really take away from it.  It just took its’ time building the tension.

The Conjuring Farmiga music box

The special effects were spooktastic and very haunting.  It’s amazing what they can do these days.

Overall, if you are looking for a good creepshow, then look no further than The Conjuring.  It could quite possibly be the best horror movie of the year.

The Conjuring hallway hang

I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

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White House Down (2013)


White House Down Poster 2

White House Down (2013)

I expected White House Down to be basically the same movie as Olympus Has Fallen (2013).  Besides the actors, almost everything about each film looked very similar.  It is very weird to me that two movies that are so much alike would be released the same year and so close to one another.  For some reason I got it in my mind that White House Down was going to be the ugly cousin of Olympus Has Fallen.

White House Down Tatum Bloody nose

White House Down follows a former military man (Channing Tatum) who brings his daughter with him to the White House where he managed to get a job interview to try to become a Secret Service Agent.  He brings his daughter along with him to the White House because she is a huge fan of the President (Jamie Foxx).  While there, they decide to take a tour.  During the tour the White House is attacked and the man does what he can to protect his daughter and the President.

1183878 - WHITE HOUSE DOWN

The film was directed by Roland Emmerich and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, Nicolas Wright, Jimmi Simpson, Michael Murphy, Rachelle Lefevre, Lance Reddick, Matt Craven, and Kevin Rankin.

This movie surprised me.  It exceeded my expectations.  I liked it a little bit better than Olympus Has Fallen.  It was not quite as predictable as Olympus Has Fallen and I felt that the actors did a better job.  Also, it seemed like White House Down had fewer flaws than Olympus Has Fallen.

White House Down on fire

The film was intense and exciting.  The attack on the White House was eerily realistic.  There was a lot of good action.  As with most action movies, some of the action was a bit unbelievable at times.  But, for the most part, this didn’t take away from the film.

Tatum was likable as he usually is.  Foxx was better than I thought he would be as the President.  When the two teamed up together, they were both pretty entertaining and even funny at times.

White House Down - trailer video

The rest of the actors played their parts well.  Besides Tatum and Foxx, Woods and Jenkins stood out above the rest.

Overall, White House Down is a fun ride worth taking.

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

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked White House Down (2013), then you will probably enjoy the following movies:

Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)


Crazy, Stupid, Love. Poster

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is one of the better “dramadies” that I have seen in a while.

Sweet-talking ladies man Jacob (Ryan Gosling) takes newly, almost single Cal (Steve Carell) under his wing and tries to help him get back out into the dating scene.  This sets off a dysfunctional chain reaction in both of their lives and hilarity ensues along with craziness, stupidity, and love.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. Gosling Carell

The film has just the right blend of laughs and drama.  It may go a little overboard in one direction or the other at times, but that just helps to capitalize on the subject matter and keep the film exciting.

Carell does better when more comedy is involved and Gosling is more of a serious actor.  Both actors’ styles complemented each other very well and I think that working together enabled them each to go a little bit out of their comfort zones as to what is usually the norm for them.  Gosling pulled off being funny and Carell managed to get serious.  Carell has proved that serious doesn’t usually work for him (i.e.  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)), but it did in Crazy, Stupid, Love.  Gosling didn’t become a comedian by any means.  He has always managed to be pretty witty and clever, but he added funny to the mix.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. Gosling funny Carell Serious

The movie also has strong female characters played by Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, and Marisa Tomei.  Each woman was able to bring a level of wholesomeness to their roles with a touch of quirkiness.  This complemented the film quite well and helped to make it a bit unpredictable.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. Moore Stone

Other supporting cast includes Kevin Bacon, Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, Joey King, Beth Littleford, John Carroll Lynch, Josh Groban, and Liza Lapira.

Josh Groban proved that he should stick to singing and leave the acting to the actors.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. Groban Stone

The film was directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

If you are looking for a good date movie (whether you are married or not), look no further than Crazy, Stupid, Love.  It is humorous and touching at the same time.  It is not a “chick flick.”  It is a film that both men and women will enjoy.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. Gym

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

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked Crazy, Stupid, Love., then you will probably enjoy:

The Big Wedding (2013)

The Way, Way Back (2013)

Stuck in Love (2012)

Trailer for White House Down (2013)


White House Down Poster

White House Down (2013) (click on the title for my full review)

It never ceases to amaze me how often very similar movies release in theatres just a few months apart from each other.  White House Down appears to be basically the same story as Olympus Has Fallen (2013).  Is it a coincidence how both movies have titles that are so alike?

White House Down is directed by Roland Emmerich who is known for directing The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Patriot (2000), and Independence Day (1996).

White House Down stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Jason Clarke, Joey King, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins, Rachelle Lefevre, Jimmi Simpson, Lance Reddick, Garcelle Beauvais, Peter Jacobson, and Matt Craven.

The movie does look good.  I will probably have to check it out in the theatre.

The film is set to release on 6/28/13.