07.31.13

Well, this movie was bad. I thought the premise sounded decent enough;"Told over one horrifying night, Deviation will take you on a white-knuckle journey into the mind of Frank Norton" OK Frank (Danny Dyer) is an escaped murderer. Good start, and he takes Amber (Anna Walton)hostage. So far, you have a movie brewing. WRONG. After this, it is boredom of silence in between Frank killing people in boring ways for no apparent reason. The film is basically kill scene followed by 15minutes of silence, repeat, etc. This could be OK if a few things happened like quality kills, or down time of speaking about the "why"thing in his head or some form of humor. NOPE. The acting is so plain it is frightening, and the camera work is subpar for a young child. I must say it is entirely possible the plot was written on a napkin at a bar the night before. Do yourself a favor, avoid. 3.2/10

07.01.13

Submission, err, Red Canvas or Art of Submission released in 2009, or 2012, or, oh, forget it, all the same movie. This is a MMA action/drama movie centering around the plight of a young adult who wants to train to be a mixed martial arts star. Of course, he is in troubled times and the movie attempts to juggle the action with the drama but falls short on it. The tempo switching in this movie is often too random to hold the audiences attention, while debating if this is a tear-jerker, or just a beat 'em up flick. The fighting sequences at times are very well done, and other times, just plain silly. Ernie Reyes Jr. does a decent job acting as the main character, often being forced to shift gears from a apprehensive heavy to a sentimental person of the film quite quickly. Ving Rhames (big fan of) plodded through this movie, seemingly unconvinced of why he was there. I may have been a bit more sold on this movie had it not been the length of it. By the films finale, I just felt more or less like "get it over already" so I will. 3.9/10

06.15.13

Movie review:The twisted twins, Sylvia and Jen Soska, are back with their second full length feature. Now that people are taking notice to their talent, this time they have a budget (although they did need to take out a second mortgage to get the project off the ground). Anyway, this movie is about Mary, a brilliant med student studying to be a surgeon. Of course, money issues arise, as seems to always happen to college kids, so she decides stripping may be the way to go. While "interviewing" for the job, a strange occurrence puts here in the helm of a situation where she is needed to perform surgery at the club for quick cash. She soon realizes that maybe under the table surgical procedures may become a way to make money, so when a woman tracks her down after finding her resume at the club, she takes on a second patient. Mary finds herself juggling the task of student and surgeon on the side. Well, the life of being a student is crossed when she is invited to a "party" where she is the guest of honor, so to speak, and the world of the actual surgeons take a toll on her as she is drugged and raped. This incident pushes Mary over the edge and she takes matters into her own hands. This movie does a wonderful job weaving the tale of a woman that is forced into a life she wasn't prepared for, that of BME and revenge. It follows her downward spiral balancing reality with the virtually psychotic road she has chosen. The movie is much more polished than it's predecessor and it shows in the quality of camerawork and editing. The acting is very well done by Katherine Isabelle as Mary, and the other actors hold their own in their respective roles. Of course, the blood and gore is there, but not as extensive as their previous effort. It really wasn't needed for the story the twins wrote. American Mary had a limited theater release so you may or may not have had the chance to see it. If not, I again highly suggest that you see this movie. It is good to see new talent emerging with entertaining movies that don't follow the cookie cutter mold Hollywood has been giving us. 6.6/10 IMDB 6.0 . I very much anticipate the next release from these two. My review is here under the archives (click the "files" tab on top) but now after seeing it in the theater, I appreciate even more just how original this movie was and just how well it was written to show the descent of Mary down such a strange path. Also, Heathers comment about "not being what she expected" was perfect. Since she (and many of you) know about me, unheard of movies tend to be chaotic gorefests, but this is nothing like that. i said 6.6, and i should stick to my original rating, but i think I would tip it above 7 the second time

05.28.13

Movie review:When I saw the first Fast and Furious, I very much enjoyed it for what it was. Racing action. That was it, no plot needed, although they put a cop in, blah blah. Well, the evolution of the Fast and Furious universe has changed dramatically.If you haven't seen the previous 5, it's ok, you will only miss out on some inside jokes, and character traits. The change it took was going from street racing to pro street racers performing high end heists (this occurred in the fifth installment) and now in 6 we have the culmination of all the characters that have appeared in the 5 others back for one last (?) big job. So, the crew is re-assembled by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, this time not for cash, but to stop a terrorist attack. This includes (not limited to) O'Connor (Paul Walker) and Toretto(Vin Diesel) who are the main players ever since the first one, O'Connor the ex-fbi agent now rogue, Toretto, the street criminal turned hero. Ok, can't sum up the whole backstory so now the "family" has been reunited to stop the bad guy from stealing the final piece to creating a weapon capable of disabling the entire military infrastructure (they don't delve far into what/how exactly, just knocking out all communications). The mastermind behind this, Shaw (played very well by Luke Evans), is the one-step-ahead of everyone else criminal. Well, ultimately, Toretto wants nothing to do with it but there is a catch, a photo of Letty (thought to be dead Michelle Rodriguez) who was Torettos love and part of the family. So with this information, they decide with two goals in mind,save Letty and stop the attack, to take on this mission. One problem that occurrs is Letty is now working for Shaw due to her memory loss after her attack as shown in flashbacks. Ok, enough blabbering about plot, which there is more of it, and I dare you not to act surprised when several plot twists are revealed. Let's talk about action which there is plenty of. Keep in mind, checking things like physics and reality at the door are a must for these types of movies. The director (Justin Lin) does a superb job in choreography of the racing/car chase scenes which must be seen to be believed. Even though these scenes are impossible to fathom being possible, Lin films these scenes so precisely with every bit of attention to detail possible, edited together perfectly to inspire jaw dropping moments that may lead to disbelief and even clapping when you see them. No, really, it looks that good. Lin doesn't just stop there, he also utilizes his expertise in other action sequences including gun fights and also a very well filmed hand to hand fight. It plays out as a "how to" manual for making an action flick, especially a summer blockbuster (Domestic Total as of May. 27, 2013:$117,036,995 + $197,000,000 foreign). But a movie being strictly eye candy wouldn't be enough. A major step up that is present is the incredible on screen chemistry of the "family."  Tyrese Gibson and Ludicrous play off one another so well, giving us some of the biggest laughs and one liners of the movie. All the characters are played so well, you will be surprised at how you actually are drawn in to the depth they provide in between explosions. Not what you would expect to be another major selling point of this type of movie. The evolution of this franchise now has taken the old die hard fans of the straight up racing from the earlier movies and brought in a whole new group of fans by introducing more of the action elements and complex (for action) stories that are not just fluff. At the end of the 2 hours, I believe you will leave this movie experience extremely satisfied with all aspects of this film, and also do to a major cliffhanger (don't stand up the second the credits start, trust me) that will leave you anxiously awaiting Fast and Furious 7, which I believe will be the final one (do not hold me to that unless I am right). Do yourself a favor and see this one in the theater. 8.0/10 IMDB 7.8 Ok, I can't stop there without saying one thing that Heather and I could not hold back laughing about, no spoiler but the "check reality" thing is so in focus in one scene it is really stupid, luckily it is surrounded by tons of action, but the runway a plane takes off from has to be somewhere around 500-700 miles long to accommodate the scene. That is all I will say, you will know what we mean when you see it. Thanks for going to the movie with me, Heather, those who read this (including you) know I 99% of the time watch movies at home, so it was a nice change of pace. "Ride or Die"

05.17.13

Movie review:Ok, slightly behind (I kind of forgot to watch this) but excuses aside, I enjoyed this movie. Yes, I am a comic geek, so may be a tad biased, although admittedly I did not read "Thor" so the rating is on movie merits alone. The movie follows the life of a "G-d" in the form of Thor(Chris Hemsworth), who is the god of thunder. He is raised in Asgard to become the heir of the throne to a pseudo-greek mythological type world of people with extraordinary powers. When Thors arrogance to unleash a war upon a race of frost giants that has been ensuing for many years breaks the code of a treaty of peace, Thor is banished from Asgard without his powers and his mighty hammer to the end of the worlds, or as we know it, Earth. Yes there is a side story to all this, but it is weaved between events on Asgard and Earth to tell the hows and whys of the occurences leading to Thors punishment. Well, now on Earth, without any power and no sense of what being mortal actually is which leads to some humorous scenes, he meets his new friends by being hit by a car containing astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her associates Professor Selvig (Stellan Skarsgaard) and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). These lucky folks decide that he isn't some wandering drunk and help him on his plight to retrieve his magical hammer. During the relationship with Jane and back in Asgard, Thors brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is able to seize the throne of king as Odin (Anthony Hopkins) falls ill, but does Loki have some ulterior motives here? The movie moves on with a steady hand of extremely well done character development that being helmed by Kenneth Branagh did not surprise me at all. A master of making you believe in the characters is something no one does much better, and in the unbelievable story material he was given, he scores an A+. The scenes in Asgard look absolutely breathtaking, the scenes in the frost kingdom look so dismal you can almost feel the chill, and earth, well, that is just New Mexico, nothing exciting (but some very good camerawork helps here). Of course, there is going to be some exciting action sequences to tide you over, but this movie is really about the acting and chemistry of the cast which is something to appreciate greatly. I only wish they would've given a bit more time to the romance between Thor and Jane (yes, I did just type that). Their love story seemed to be an afterthought swept under the rug to keep the comic book story going. Ultimately this movie, and Marvel studios, again bring out a quality picture about a superhero, but doesn't just use eye candy action to wow the viewer, but uses real emotions to draw the audience into the trials and turmoils that occur. 6.8/10 IMDB 7.0. Oh, after the credits, there is a bit of more info about the SHEILD that unfolds which is part of the ongoing story of the Avengers. Enjoy.

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