Everett Johnson's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Wild
Wild(2014)
½

In my quest to see all the Oscar nominated movies, I came across "Wild". A movie about a woman who has essentially lost herself ever since her mothers death. Her life has done nothing but spiral downwards, so she sets off to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, and hopefully find a new beginning. Reese Witherspoon stars as Cheryl(the woman described above) and this is her 2nd best performance("Walk the Line" is still number one to me) and very deserving of her Oscar nod. Heck, if it weren't for Julianne Moore in "Still Alice" I'd say that Reese will win by a landslide. She is fantastic here, and you go on the journey with her, through her eyes. Laura Dern plays her mother and is also nominated, in the supporting category. Dern does great, but she isn't in it very much, and for that reason I think the nod is unwarranted, but what do I know? Very well made movie, and hey, Emily stayed awake for the entire thing. If she does that, then you know it has to be good! Check it out!

The Interview
½

So here is a movie that has been completely blown out of proportion and the controversy surrounding it makes the movie bigger than what it is. This is a silly comedy about a talk show host(Franco) and his producer(Rogan) going to North Korea to interview Kim Jong-un. Only they've been recruited byt eh CIA to kill him as well. If you like Rogan and Franco then you know what to expect, and you will enjoy this. I thought it was ok, but nothing special. Had quite a few funny spots, especially the beginning with Eminem. Is it worthy of all the controversy? Not really, but it got people to see the movie. I had no intention of seeing it in the theater, but when it became available on Christmas Eve, I jumped at the chance to watch it online. Mainly to see what all the fuss was about. Here it is a month later and it'll be on netflix in a day or two. I know some that hated it, and I know some that loved it. I enjoyed it for what it is, and if you're one of their fans, then check it out! Otherwise, just skip it.

The Imitation Game

Alan Turing. There is a name that I had never heard before, but it's a name that everyone in the world should know. Alan Turing(Benedict Cumberbatch) creates a machine that would help the allied forces defeat the Germans in WW2, along with being the blueprint for the modern computer. However, he lived a secret life as a homosexual in a time when it was illegal. This film is fascinating, uplifting, and sad all at the same time. Rarely does a movie end and I go"I need to read the book this was based on!" But that's exactly what I said to myself when it ended. Cumberbatch is absolutely amazing in this. His portrayal of Turing is one of the best performances of the year. I believe Eddie Redmayne will win the Oscar, but if anyone can snatch it away it's Cumberbatch. Is this movie for everyone? Not really. It is a sensitive subject of closeted homosexuality, but it also does drag a little in the middle. It's shorter than most of the award movies, but it does feel longer than what it is. In my opinion, this is a must watch. I liked this a lot more than I originally thought I would. Check it out!

American Sniper

"American Sniper" is the true story of Chris Kyle(Bradley Cooper), the deadliest sniper, in American Military history. Even though this all takes place in the last 10 years or so, I honestly didn't know much of this story. The name was familiar to me, but I didn't know much other than that. Having said that, what a story! This movie has a lot in common with "Hurt Locker". It's about a man addicted in some ways with war, while balancing a normal life here in the states. Cooper gives the best performance of his career to date. I mean, the guy seems to get better with every movie, and this is what his 3 nomination for best actor in 3 years? Clint Eastwood directs this, and just like Cooper he continues to get better and better with each passing movie. This is the type of movie that will stick with you got a while afterwards. Important film that people should see. To see a good portrait of what a true war hero is. Absolutely deserving of any and all award recognition. I don't think it will win any of the major awards, but it's definitely in the race! Check it out!

John Wick
John Wick(2014)

My Dad always says "if your gonna kill a guy, you shoot him in the head, and let the dog live". Well the 3 thugs at the beginning of this movie didn't get that memo. 3 guys still a car and kill the dog of a man known as John Wick(Keanu Reeves). Better known as "the man you send to kill the boogeman". This is a lot like "Equalizer" and "Taken" in that it's basically a badass good guy just running through an endless stream of bad guys. Reeves is awesome here, and it's great seeing him in good action movies again. The guy may be a wooden actor, but he is a star. I would love to see this become a series of movies, but it'll be hard to top this. I bet this has the world record of people getting shot in the head in a movie. If there is anything to complain about, I wish it had more funny one liners. It's a pretty serious movie, where some humor could have gone a long way. But having said that, this is a lot of fun, and just a great jolt of adrenaline. If you like your action movies to be a good, hard R, then this is a must see!

The Equalizer

When I finished this I said "Denzel makes Brian Mills look like a punk!" Now, they may be an overstatement, but this is the best Denzel has been(or at least the most badass) since "Man on Fire". Here he plays McCall, a man with a mysterious past who befriends a prostitute. When she is mistreated he tries to "buy' her freedom, but is rejected. From there, oh man it gets crazy. Cork screws and nail guns, 'nuff said! If you like movies like "Taken"(and who doesn't?!) then this is a MUST see! Absolute blast of a movie that will have you cheering and in sheer awe of Denzel. I truly hope this becomes a series, because I wanna see more of McCall kicking some bad guy booty. Fantastic movie. Definitely a must watch!

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

I enjoy movies like this. Action/comedy/family movies don't come out nearly enough anymore. I thought about that on new years eve when we introduced my 3 year old to "Jumanji". They just don't make em like that very much anymore. But here is a good example of a franchise that gets it right. This is the 3rd installment of the Ben Stiller series about a museum that has an ancient tablet that makes the exhibits come to life. This time the tablet is losing it's power, so they have to go over to England to find a Pherroh(Ben Kingsley) to restore the power before it's too late. For a family movie, it's pretty good and probably my favorite of the series. Grant and my nephews all loved it, and we all agreed Rebel Wilson(or "Fat Amy" as my wife always refers to her as) stills the show. But there is something very special about this movie that I will always remember. First it's Mickey Rooney's last movie, even if he is only in it for about 10 seconds. Second, at the end of the movie Robin Williams does something that gets a very good laugh from the crowd and it made me realize something. This is the last time I will have a new Robin Williams laugh at the theater. Stupid to some, but everyone has been watching him for decades. Knowing he isn't around anymore, when you think about that it'll tug at the old heart strings. For a good time with a movie you can do a lot worse. Worth a watch, especially with the kiddos.

The Drop
The Drop(2014)
½

I knew very little of this movie when I saw a small tv advertisement for the dvd. I thought man, James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy, this HAS to be good. So, I gave it shot. It's about 2 guys that work at a drop bar that gets robbed. One of them may or may not have had something to do with it, and from there a web of lies and deception forms as the police investigate the robbery and a murder of a neighborhood local. I don't want to go too much into it, because I knew very little going in, and that plays to the strength of the movie. This film is pretty slow, and about an hour in you may check your watch and be like "this has to go somewhere!" But I PROMISE you, STICK with it! This movie has a great payoff and unlike a lot of movies nowadays, it finishes strong. Gandolfini gives a great performance, and it's so hard to believe he is gone. Tom Hardy proves once again he is one of the most underrated actors out there. The guy has IT and is just something special when he is in a movie. If you like movies like "The Departed" or "The Town", then you should check it this out. Not as good as those, but it's in the same ballpark.

Into the Woods

I'm not much of a musical fan, but every now and then they are ok. "Into The Woods" is a musical about a couple who want to have a child and make a deal with a witch(Meryl Streep) in order to reverse a curse that has been placed on their home. The story weaves a lot of old fairy tales together. Cinderelle, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the beanstalk, among others come together to form this unique tale. The music is catchy and the effects are good, but the performances are what really stand out. Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep all do fantastic. Johnny Depp is the big bad wolf, and he has like 5 minutes of screen time. But he is great as well. It's just a good, ole fashion musical that the whole family will enjoy. I watched it with my 3 year old and he seemed to enjoy it for the most part. Is one of the best movies of 2014? Naw, not really. But it stands good next to a lot of the musicals that have come out in years past like "Les Mis". Check it out if your in the mood for a neat fantasy filled musical.

The Giver
The Giver(2014)

**. So here is another movie that sat on my Vudu for a while that I just kept pushing back. But, with some free time I was like "Hey! I should watch that". I think I saw 1 trailer for this and really had no idea what was about. Basically, the world is changed and people have no memory of the way things were. Everything is black and white, right and wrong, and as bland as possible. Then a young boy becomes a receiver of memories, so he can see what life used to be. He gets these memories from the Giver(Jeff Bridges) and things will change forever. This really is kind of like a pussy version of "Hunger Games" and "Divergent". There's little violence, and it's one of those "things changed, and someone rises up to free people" movies for young adults. The thing that separates this is Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges. I'm really curious how the filmmakers got them to agree to this as they are both better than this. But, they do good and bring a certain level of credibility to it. The movie is visually pretty good. But the story lacks any real punch. Maybe this was meant as a series of films? I have no idea. But, on its own, it's just "meh" at best. Worth a watch if it's cheap, but nothing that will really be remembered or talked about.

Fury
Fury(2014)

****
"Fury" is one of the better war movies of the last 5 years or so. It shows the humanity and the brutality of war brilliantly. It's basically about tank crew who are on a dangerous mission in Germany during World War 2. Brad Pitt stars as the Sergeant names War Daddy, and he is awesome like always. Pitt is one of my favorite actors, he is always good, even in bad movies. The rest of his crew is perfectly cast. Shia LeBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal play his crew and they are fantastic. Not a bad apple in the bunch at all. Lerman is great and continues to show why he is one of the best young actors today. The movie gets off to a slow start, and honestly half way through I was getting a little bored. But, the 2nd half of this movie is amazing, and has some of the best war scenes I've ever seen in a movie. Certainly the best tank battle as far as I can remember. This film deserves to get award recognition, but I think the beginning and overall young cast will probably detour it from getting the credit it deserves. But, make no mistake; this is a movie that should be seen. Fantastic film, even if it takes a while to get going. Not sure if this will make my year end top 10 or not, but it would be close.

This Is Where I Leave You

Here is a dramedy that is equally effective as a comedy and as a drama. It has the delicate balance and never goes too far into either direction. Bateman plays basically the same character as he does in every movie, and that is fine. Wouldn't want to see him play anything else. Here, he walks in on his wife sleeping with his boss, then finds out his father died. His dad's dying wish was for the family to sit shiva as they were all estranged. Hijinks ensue, and the family is crazy and try to piece back together their messed up lives. The whole cast is good, especially Adam Driver. The guy is a star, and has some of the funniest scenes I've seen all year. The only cast member I felt was under utilized was Tina Fey. She doesn't have a lot to work with here, but does the best with what she has. This movie reminded me a lot of another dramady called "Catch and Release". It's funny, sad, and has a great soundtrack. Don't leave this one behind, because it's very much worth checking out.

Horrible Bosses 2

I loved the first "Horrible Bosses" , and I really liked the 2nd one. The whole cast is back and just as funny. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day are back as inventors of a shower tool. They try to make a big deal with a millionaire(Christoph Waltz), and end up getting screwed over. So they come up with a plan to kidnap his son(Chris Pine) and screw him out of millions of dollars. But, things go wrong and hijinks ensue. The chemistry between the 3 leads is amazing. These 3 are really a modern day 3 stooges. Especially Day and Sudeikis. These 2 just talking are some of the funniest scenes of the movie. Jennifer Aniston has one of the funniest lines of the year(and the outtakes at the end are just as funny). Great comedy, even if doesn't live up to the original. Check it out if you want some good ole fashion R rated humor.

Dracula Untold

I love all the old Universal Monster movies, and whenever a new one comes out I get excited, but usually end up disappointed. I wasn't too amped for this based on the previews. Too much cgi and Luke Evans to me doesn't have the charisma of a Bela Legosi. But, I still wanted to watch it because I believe you can't complain about a movie without seeing it. While it's not a complete waste, it is exactly what I thought it would be. It's an origin story of how he becomes a vampire, and his thirst(see what I did there) for revenge. Just like "Maleficent" and other recent villain origin stories, they turn Dracula into a hero. Which to me, is absolutely horrible. Dracula is one of the most iconic villains ever, why try to make people sympathize with him? I just don't get it. I know they are rebooting all of them(Mummy, Wolfman, etc) and this is the first movie in that "universe" reboot. I'll check em all out because I'm a gluten for punishment. I hope they replace Evans though. He just isn't "Dracula" to me at all. Good actor, but not right for this character.

Lucy
Lucy(2014)

When I first saw previews for this I was like "damn! Scarlett Johansson is a badass! A hot badass at that!" But the previews were kind of misleading. Because, yes she is a badass, but this movie is so absurd that I couldn't take a single second of it serious. She plays a girl who gets a captured and caught in the middle of a drug deal. She has to mule some drugs inside her body, when they leak into her system. The drugs are a powerful drug that helps you unlock parts of your brain that people can't get to. So, most people use 10 percent of their brain, this drug gives you 20 percent and so on up to 100 percent. So what happens when you get to 100 percent? Well, it's pretty bonkers. "Limitless" was a lot like this(with less fighting) and that was believable, and very well made. You really have to suspend belief for this. I'm sure a lot of people do like this for a mindless action flick, and that's fine. But the action was even that great in my own opinion. Johansson is pretty bland throughout, and Morgan Freeman seems like he thinks it's just as absurd as I do. But, I did love seeing Min-Sik Choi as the villain. He's the original Oldboy, and a badass. I would much have rather he been the star of the movie who unlocks his brain. God, that would have been awesome. Worth a one time watch? Sure, but I wouldn't spend more than a couple bucks on it.

Dumb and Dumber To
½

I LOVE the original "Dumb and Dumber". So needless to say, I was pretty excited to watch this. I kept expectations in check, as I didn't think it could live up to the original. Which, it does fall short, but it is great for nostalgia and revisiting Harry and Lloyd. Much like last years "Anchorman 2", this is like reuniting with some old friends and getting some familiar laughs. The story is simple(and dumb), they try to find Harry's daughter because his kidney is failing and he needs a transplant. Same jokes, same routine, and same laughs. There are some great one liners here that I've been quoting for weeks. But, in the end I wasn't as in love with it as I had hoped. But, the copy I watched wasn't the best, so I think once I get a better copy, it could be a different experience. But, it is definitely a movie I will revisit, and probably laugh my butt off at again and again.

No Good Deed
No Good Deed(2014)
½

Here is a very standard home invasion thriller. Only difference is it's a black cast, and a good cast at that. Idris Elba stars as Colin, a man who breaks out of prison. Once out, he murders his ex fiancee, has a car crash, and then takes the home of Taraji P. Henson hostage. Elba and Henson are both great actors and do the best they can. But, when a movie is the same as every other movie in the genre, there isn't much they can do to make it truly stand out. But, having said that, it's not a bad movie, just nothing original. Even it's small twist towards the end is borderline predictable. Best thing about the movie is it's length, it's only 80 minutes long. It's a quick 80 minutes. But it's also a forgettable 80 minutes. Not a movie that will really stick with you. Just filler, to fill your mouth with some popcorn.

Snowpiercer
Snowpiercer(2014)

2014 hasn't really been the most creative year in terms of movies, however "Snowpiercer" is one of the few true original movies. Set in the future, the world is completely frozen over. The last survivors all live on a train that just continually circle the earth. The train is divided by class, poor people in the back and rich in the front. Tired of being suppressed, the poor head to the front and it's on like donkey kong. Chris Evans leads the poor, and he is stellar here. It's amazing how far he has come from his "Not another teen movie days." The whole cast in this is pretty damn good, especially Twilda Swinton, who is just crazy as hell. There's even a couple "holy crap!" moments in this that will get you to sit up straight. The story starts to fall apart a little towards the end, but overall it's very entertaining and not like anything else I've seen. Bong Joon Ho directed this and his Asian influence shows quite a bit, which is a breathe of fresh air in English movies. This is currently on netflix, and everyone has netflix, so you don't have an excuse to check it out. Truly different from any other movie of 2014, and very much worth while.

The Skeleton Twins

I really thought this was going to be one of those quiet dramas where comedians try to show their drama range(I'm looking at you Ben Stiller in "Greenburg". But instead, it's a lively drama that balances the drama with the laughs. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play estranged siblings who reunite after Hader's suicide attempt. From there he tries to piece his life back together, while she is miserable in her marriage and her husband(Luke Wilson) wants to have a baby. Hader is great, and shows he is more than just the funny guy. Wigg is ok, but I don't know what it is about her but she just doesn't do it for me in dramas. But, they have great chemistry together, and can pass for real brother and sister. Also, it's awesome seeing Luke Wilson again, where the hell has he been? The movie is kind of slow, but it's not too long, so it's very watchable. It even has one of my favorite scenes of 2014, where Hader and Wiig lip synch "Nothing's gonna stop us" by Starship. It's just one of those scenes you want to rewind and watch again. Worth a watch if your in the mood for a decent messed up family drama, that never gets too melodramatic.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl(2014)

Let me start by saying this movie is not what I expected at all. I never read the book, and somehow managed to stay away from spoilers, and that made this all the better to watch. If you know nothing about this movie, then that is awesome! Just know this is one of the best movies of the year and has 2 amazing performances. Ben Afflect is phenomenal, and anyone who thinks he isn't a good actor is crazy!! Rosamund Pike is riveting, and probably the best female performance of the year. She will get an Oscar nod for sure, and will hopefully win. I don't want to get into the actual movie, because I don't want to ruin this for anyone who has no clue like I did. Just know, this is a great drama/thriller, and one of David Fincher's best. He is one of my top 5 favorite directors, and I will watch anything he makes. This just reaffirms that notion. Great movie, check it out, and watch with your spouse and just be thankful you don't have this relationship;-)

The Theory of Everything

So going into this I knew very little about Stephen Hawking. All I knew was he was smart and had ALS. No clue about his fascinating story, and life. This shines a light on that. Detailing how he founds out he was sick, and through his first marriage. His relationship with Jane(Felicity Jones) is amazing, and one of the more interesting and complex relationships I've seen in a movie. Eddie Redmayne plays Hawking and if he doesn't clean up all the best actors awards this year that is a crying shame. I've only seen him in three movies, and in all three he has been amazing. He has "IT", and this shows that he is true talented actor. At times you really believe he is Stephen Hawking. The film does drag a little towards the end, but it is so interesting, that you can't turn away. One of the better movies of the year that has the best performance of the year. Check it out!

Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler(2014)

In a career of great performances, Jake Gyllenhall gives his best yet in "Nightcrawler". He played Lou Bloom one of the creepiest guys you will ever see in a film. With the way he talks, acts, and his cold dead stare. Bloom is driven and wants to work and be successful. One night he sees people filming a car crash to sell to news stations. He figures it would be something he would be good at. Gets a camera, a little lackey assistant, and sets off to capture graphic footage for the news. In the process he makes some news of his own. This is a different type of thriller that really reminded me of "Drive". Only not as violent, but just as effective. I fully expect to see Gyllenhall get a ton of nominations, and possibly win. He is that good. Great film, and one of the better movies of 2014.l

Mr. Peabody & Sherman
½

2014 has been an odd year for animated movies. There have been a lot more misses than hits, but this is a surefire hit. Basically it's about a talking dog who has an adopted human son, and they time travel. It's very, looks great, and keeps my 3 year old very entertained. Just adult enough that you won't be bored out of your skull. Not the best animated movie of the year, but far from the worst. I have a high regard for this movie(that's a Peabody joke, I think, unless I misquoted it).

The Purge: Anarchy
½

I enjoyed the first "Purge", but this one takes it a step further and really improves on the premise. Here we get to see the Purge in the streets, and how the rich actually Purge. It's very interesting, and in a lot of ways, exactly how this would go down if it were real(which if you ask Brad Oches, he hopes it becomes a reality). The only real complaint I had about this is the lack of deaths and real horror. Just like the first film, this isn't so much a horror movie as it is an action-thriller. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but the premise can really open up for some good horror, that it hasn't tapped into yet. Having said that, I liked it a lot, especially Frank Grillo's character. Definitely worth a watch.

Wish I Was Here

Been a long time since "Garden State", but Zach Braff can still make a decent movie. This isn't nearly as good or impactful as "State", but still tells a good story with enough laughs to stay entertaining. Braff plays a struggling actor who has to rely on his wife(Kate Hudson) to support the family(they have 2 kids). His father then falls ill with cancer and can no longer afford to pay the bill for this kids private school. So Braff does what any other jobless parent would do, he home schools his kids. Hijinks ensue, and overall it's about being in your 30's and dealing with what you want out of your life. As opposed to what your life really is. Heavy stuff, I know. Good movie that makes me hope Braff doesn't take another 10 years to make a movie(he directed this). If he has to do kickstarter again like this, then so be it. Hell, I'd cough up some money, because he has some real talent. Not just that dumb guy from scrubs:-p

Still Alice
Still Alice(2015)

"Still Alice" is one of those quiet dramas that is eye opening and heartbreaking at the same time. Julianne Moore stars as Alice, a brilliant college professor who is diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer's. From there it's the about the impact of the disease not only on her, but her family. Moore is fantastic and will no doubt get a bunch of award nominations, and could easily win. Alec Baldwin plays her husband, and this is probably his best film performance in a long time. He isn't your typical husband in one of these movies. It's a very real and honest portrayal of a man who is losing his wife and doesn't know what to do. Even Kristen Stewart is good as Alice's daughter. I don't think she does that lip biting thing very much. Good movie with a great performance. But, it can be uncomfortable to watch, especially if you have a loved one battling alzheimer's.

Begin Again
Begin Again(2014)
½

If I were to make a ton 10 list for my favorite movies of 2014 so far, this would definitely be on that list. "Begin Again" is a simple story that has been told time and time again. A guy(Mark Ruffalo) down on his luck finds someone(Keira Knightly) who helps him find success again. But what separates this is great acting and amazing music. Ruffalo and Knightley are both fantastic. Ruffalo is one of my favorite actors. I honestly can't think of a movie where he has disappointed. Knightley on the other hand is hit and miss for me, and this is a big hit. I would say this is her best performance yet, especially when you consider she sings the songs herself. I honestly believes she was lip syncing, but I looking into it, and that is actually her. She has an amazing voice. In a movie that features Adam Levine, it's hard to believe he wouldn't have the best songs in the movie. All the music in this was wrote by the lead singer of the 90's band New Radicals(whom I LOVE). Written and directed by John Carney(who also did "Once), so put them together, and you know you are in for a fantastic blend of movie and music. I already put the soundtrack on my spotify and listened to it about twice in the day since I watched the movie. Watched this around 9 at night and Emily made it all the way through it, and she loved it also. If she stays awake that long through a movie, then you know it's good! Reminded me some of "August Rush". 2 completely different types of stories, but both fuse music with the film perfectly. I have a feeling that come award season this will get a lot of nods for the music(hopefully for the film as well). Don't let this movie fly under your radar, you will regret it if you do.

Draft Day
Draft Day(2014)

"Draft Day" is much the NFL's fictional version of "Moneyball". A general manager wants to put together a team, and everyone is questioning what he is up to. Is he crazy? Will he fail or succeed? Kevin Costner plays the general manager of the Cleveland Browns and has traded away the next 3 years of 1st round draft picks for the 1st overall pick. From there it follows the craziness that is draft day in the NFL. This movie has a lot going for it, but it also has quite a bit going against it. When it deals with football, it's very compelling. When it turns towards the melodrama of Costner's personal life(father's death, girlfriend pregnant) it feels forced and unnecessary. I get why it's in here, but it didn't need to be. Having said that, the movie has a lot of great performances and it never drags or gets boring. I will say though that being a fan of the NFL, the way the draft plays out is so unrealistic. It's like watching one of "Rocky's" boxing fights. It would never ever play out like that. But, it's a movie, what do you expect? Football fans should like it, and non fans should probably watch with a fan, because they may have a question or two about the inner workings of the draft. Decent flick.

Transcendence

Johnny Depp likes to play off beat characters. In "Transcendence" he plays an A.I. researcher who dies, who then has his mind put into an A.I. program and he ultimately wants to play god. This reminded me a lot of "Lawnmower Man", now I can be off with that because it's been forever since I've seen that. But it has a very similar vibe to it. There are flashes here of brilliance, but overall, the movie never works like it should. Can't quite put my finger on it as to why either. Has a good cast with Depp, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, and Rebecca Hall. The story is decent enough, but jump something about the execution of it all had me shrugging my shoulders going "meh". It's not something I'll probably ever feel an urge to revisit, but I can see how some people would enjoy it. Interesting movie, but just didn't work for me.

Chef
Chef(2014)

Jon Fevreau has been making nothing but big movies here lately in his career. So it's nice to see him go back to a smaller drama, especially one where he stars. I feel he is highly underrated as an actor, and anyone who has seen "Made" or "Swingers" should agree. Here he plays a fancy chef who loses everything and buys a food truck. There's more to it than that, but that is the main overall plot. Favreau has assembled an excellent supporting cast with Sophia Vergara, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, and Robert Downey Jr. Very well acted movie. However, the movie runs nearly 2 hours long and by time you get to the end you'll be ready for it to be over. It starts out great, but it does fizzle. But, the acting is good, the food looks amazing, and it has a feel good story with it. Worth a one time watch.

3 Days To Kill

Luc Besson is responsible for one of the best action/thrillers of the last 10 years, "Taken". Here he is just the producer, but you can see his finger prints all over it. Set in Paris, France. Aging CIA operative with an estranged relationship with his daughter. Only thing different is she isn't kidnapped and instead of Neesen we get Kevin Costner. Costner is a spy who gets cancer and only has a short time to live. So he is let go and moves to Paris to mend his relationship with his daughter before he dies. While there a woman with a drug guaranteed to prolong his life makes an agreement to give him the drug if he kills for her. From there bullets fly and the action picks up. It's not a bad movie, but needed some more intrigue than what it has. Costner and Hailee Steinfeld(his daughter in the movie) are great together. Steinfeld is a terrific young actress(she's the girl from "True Grit") and has a good sassy quality about her. The film does drag towards the end, and could have been about 15-20 minutes shorter. Emily enjoyed it, which was surprising because she usually doesn't like movies like this. Had this been R rated and had more of a thriller/mystery with it, it could have been better. But, then it would have been something completely different. Decent movie with checking out.

The Spectacular Now
½

Somehow last year this fell under my radar. I had every intention of watching it, but never found the time and just kept over looking it. When we got a copy of "Divergent" there was a preview for this and Emily had to watch it, which to her surprise we had a copy on vudu. Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller basically play to high school kids with a lot of problems while starting a romance. Take cancer out of "Fault in our Stars" and this is probably what you would get. Both of them have terrific chemistry and do a great job. Teller is one of those young actors where you watch and say "god, I can't wait to see what he does next!" He has a bright future ahead(he's about to be the new Reed Richards). As for the movie as a whole, it's just ok. It drags a lot, and ultimately doesn't really go anywhere. There is even a scene towards the end that is like "WTF!?", but nothing really comes of it. Just another young adult drama, that wants to be more than what it really is. Worth a watch, but not anything you would need to seek out. Just wait for a rainy day when nothing else is on, and there is no paint drying to watch.

Endless Love
Endless Love(2014)

Some movies are so laughably bad that they are entertaining. Here is one of them. First, based on the trailer I thought this was going to be some kind of drama/thriller mix, like the movie "Fear". But, I was way off on that. This is a straight up teenage love story. Very generic, very predictable, and pretty stupid. The acting is bad, I'm sorry but Alex Pettyfer has zero charisma and is as wooden as Keanu Reeves. What makes this a fun movie to watch is making fun of it while you watch it. Emily and I made quite a few jokes during it, and rolled our eyes a lot. I'm sure some teenage girls will love it and think it's so romantic. But adults will just go "oh lord this is dumb".

Sabotage
Sabotage(2014)
½

"Sabotage" is a through back to good R rated cop action/drama movies. A DEA task force led by Schwarzenegger completes a big raid. When they do they try to still 10 million dollars from the cartel. However, the money goes missing and someone begins to take out the team one by one. Sam Worthington, Terrance Howard, and Mireille Enos round out the very eclectic cast. Schwarzenegger is definitely showing his age, but of all the movies he has done since he left office, I think this is his best work. This is a pretty hard R movie, which surprised me. I wasn't really expecting it to be as bloody as it is. But it was a good surprise because this is much better than I had heard or thought. It's at 20 percent on rotten tomatoes, which is insane. David Ayer directed this along with "Training Day" and "End of Watch", both of which are amazing. This isn't as good as those, but it is right up there. Ayer is a fantastic director, and anytime I see him name on something I'll be lining right up to watch. Very entertaining movie, but not for the weak at heart.

Moms' Night Out
½

Here's a breezy, light hearted, faith based comedy that I'm sure all mom's will enjoy. It's about a mom who is overly stressed out from her kids and takes a night out with a couple of her girlfriends. From their hijinks ensue(like all movies!) What separates this from most movies is it really is for the whole family, and never goes too far with the jokes and gags. I think this is rated PG and was screened at several churches throughout the country. It's actually refreshing to have a comedy like this not overboard and remain relatively tame. Was it really for me? I thought it was OK, but the performances weren't that great, and the story was generic and pretty predictable. But, that's fine. There are a few pretty funny parts, but it does start to run out at steam towards the end. My wife thought it was just ok, I would imagine she has the same qualms as I do with it. But, I would say that all moms should check it out, guys you might like some of it.

How to Train Your Dragon 2
½

So, I saw this in the theater back in June, but I've been very behind on my movie reviews. This to me, wasn't as good as the first movie. The visuals are amazing, and the story moves along well. But it lacks the originality and overall heart of the first film. Now, I still liked it(it's better than most sequels!), but I wasn't in love with it. I took Grant to see it, and I got to say this isn't really a movie for a 3 year old. It's long for a kids movie, and I think the dialogue went over his head quite a bit. Towards the end of the movie he was pretty restless. But, he does like the tv shows that are on netflix, so I'm sure once we get a copy at home he'll be more likely to sit all the way through it. My nephews liked it(8 and 5), and I think their age range is probably ideal. Check it out!

Need For Speed

I had some very low expectations for this movie. Actually, when I had blu ray sitting on my tv stand, I debated on just skipping it all together. A "Fast and Furious" knock off starring Aaron Paul(aka Jesse Pinkman) doesn't really scream out awesome movie. But, I'm a big Paul fan so decided to pop it in. I'm so glad I did! This is exactly what it sounds like, a big dumb, fun action movie, and it's entertaining as hell! This movie is a real blast of just mindless entertainment. The story is generic(Paul has to enter a race to avenge his friends death), but the performances are good and the action is fantastic. This has some of the best race/car chase scenes I've seen in movies in a long time. Aaron Paul has some great qualities that should set him up for a good film career. Dominic Cooper is the villain, and he is great. He plays a good slimy butt hole very well. This may not be as good as some of the "Fast and Furious" movies, but it's just as fun and entertaining. Check it out for a good popcorn movie.

Oculus
Oculus(2014)

I love horror movies. But more so, I love horror movies that are original and bring something different to the table. "Oculus" is about a haunted mirror than really messes up a family. Ok, nothing original there. Seen 100's of movies about something being haunted. But, what separates this is how the story is told. It tells the story of the mirror haunting a family, while also showing the kids grown up trying to prove the mirror is truly haunted. It blends them together for a story that jumps back and forth from the past to the present, and towards the end mixes them together. Once the it gets mixed up I started to not care, but I LOVED the ending. In horror movies, the ending is everything. This movie knows that, and does a great job with it. Tired of "found footage" horror movies(that's all that seems to be out there) or other crap, then check this out. This is a good quality horror movie, that is very much worth checking out.

Divergent
Divergent(2014)

When I first saw the trailer for this I rolled my eyes and said "Hunger Games ripoff". Now, it's not a ripoff, but had "Hunger Games" not been a success I doubt this would have been made. I'm not really going to try to describe the story of this movie, but if you don't know it won't make a lick of sense. It's a little complicated and requires your full attention. Now, when I watched it it was one of those "on in the background" situations where I was doing something else and not watching as intently as I should have been. But, I got the jest of it. Shailene Woodley is fantastic and really the biggest reason to watch this. The effects and overall story are just ok, but Woodley is electric. She is a star on the rise for sure. For what it is, it's decent enough. Girls will probably like this a lot more than the guys will, because it doesn't have a whole lot of action. But, it is interesting, and I'll check out the sequels for sure. Just have to make sure I rewatch this as a refresher. Worth a watch.

Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
½

So 9 years ago the first "Sin City" came out and I was in love. It was so fresh and original. The stories, the way it looked, the performances. It was a real blast of a movie. Now finally they've released a prequel(well 1 of the stories is a sequel, but everything else is a prequel), and it feels stale. It still looks stylish as hell, but the energy doesn't seem to be there. Feels like they are going through the motions and trying to make a quick buck(although the movie completely tanked at the box office). One big omission is they changed Dwight from Clive Owen to Josh Brolin. Now I like Brolin, but Owen is the man, and really missed here. The stories aren't nearly as interesting or intricate than the original, and I think that took a lot away from it. It's like this were a television series and this is an episode. It doesn't evolve or build upon the first one, it just stays the course. I really like the Joseph Gordon Levitt here, and I thought Powers Booth was a fantastic villain. But they were the only 2 real bright spots. Well, that and Eva Green, hehehehe. Maybe with a few more watches, or if I put the first one with it(been a while since I've watched it), I will enjoy it more. But for now, it was a let down.

Leprechaun: Origins

I love the slasher/monster genre of horror. It's usually so fun and gory, it's a blast to watch. In the 90's the Leprechaun series was kind of a light hearted take on this genre that got very cheesy really quick(Leprechaun in Space, in Vegas, and even "In the Hood"). But as bad is got, they were all still entertaining. So now they have this reboot out, and I figured "Sweet! should be fun!" Especially with WWE's Hornswoggle cast as the Leprechaun in this origin story. But, unfortunately, this is nothing like the original franchise. Other than deaths and being in Ireland, this has NOTHING in common with Leprechaun the series, or leprechauns in general. The story is so generic it writes itself. 4 young adults(2 guys and 2 girls) stay in a dark cabin while vacationing in Ireland, and are attacked by the Leprechaun. Only instead of an evil Lucky Charms salesman, we get some cheap looking vampire/monster mix that just growls and grunts. This could have been called any generic horror movie name and it wouldn't have mattered. Somehow they figured people would watch by calling it "Leprechaun Origins". But, there is NO actual Leprechauns and this ISN'T an ORIGIN story!! False advertising. Hornswoggle is completely wasted as that role could have been played by anyone or even cgi, since he never speaks and is wearing a cheap looking mask you would buy from Deans Party Mania. Now, there is some really good gore and a couple awesome death scenes. So for that, this is definitely worth a watch if you're a horror fan. But if you're a "Leprechaun" series fan, just forget all about the series and try to enjoy it for what it is, a monster movie.

Frank
Frank(2014)

Here is one of the oddest movies that's based on reality to come out in a long time. "Frank" is a fictional story about the real life british pop/rock start Frank Sidebottom. He's a singer, who sings some messed up and weird songs, while wearing a big fiberglass head 24/7. Michael Fassbender plays Frank, and he is fantastic. That guy is one of the best actors. Even with a mask on the entire movie, he still conveys so much. The story is told through the eyes on Jon(Domhnall Gleeson) who joins Frank's bad and admires Frank for the artist he is, yet wants to make his own music. There are some very funny parts in this movie, but when it shifts to the dramatic side, it's a little flat. Towards the end it almost becomes a completely different movie that I just didn't care about. Whenever Frank is on the screen, it's good. When he isn't, it's just "meh". This will either be a cult classic in a few years, or one of those odd movies that people just forget about completely. Check it out if you want something different, with some music that is insane. Or just youtube Frank Sidebottom, because the reality is even weirder than the fiction,

The Fault In Our Stars
½

"Fault in Our Stars" is the latest romantic tear jerker in the vein of "The Notebook". It's a story about 2 teenagers who fall in love while 1 is a cancer survivor who lost a leg, and the other has terminal lung cancer. While it's not going to be as remembered/loved as movies like the "Notebook", it's still better than 90 percent of the "teenage love movies". Shailene Woodley is fantastic, and one of the best young actresses out there today. I've liked her ever since "The Descendants" and she has just gotten better. Last week we watched "Divergent" and it had to trailers for her movies(this, and "Spectacular Now"), both of which Emily wanted to watch, so we(well she fells asleep during 2 of the 3), watched all 3 of em. Woodley gets better with each role, and it's going to be real interesting to see where her career goes. Ansel Elgort plus her love interest Gus, and he is fantastic also. The kid has some great charisma, and they have excellent chemistry together. The million dollar question for this movie to everyone is, did you cry? I must be pretty heartless because I did not. There was a scene towards the end where I felt a tear coming along, but something happened in the movie that took me out of it, and that was it. I fully expect every female out there that watches this to ball their eyes out(and well most of the guys will too). But, it's not nearly as "sad" as you would expect. It's pretty uplifting as a reminder to live each day to the fullest. Good movie that's definitely worth checking out.

Boyhood
Boyhood(2014)

This is the most interesting movie about nothing that you will ever see. The story is just a look at 12 years in the life of a broken family. But, what makes this stand out is the execution and novelty of how this movie was made. The director filmed this over 12 years with the exact same cast. The director Richard Linklater found a boy named Ellar Coltrane and basically filmed him for 12 years. Filming a few days at a time, capturing the boy from age 6 to 18. It's fascinating to see him age right before you. The whole cast age for that matter. Nothing major happens like people dieing or murders, just life. Simple, everyday life. It's not a documentary at all, it's a scripted drama, but plays out different due to the real time lapse for the actors. The one downside is the length. This movie is nearly 3 hours long, but I was riveted the entire time. It's never dull, even when it drags. When it's over I looked at Emily and said "There will never be another movie like that" and it's true. This is a fantastic experiment in film that will hopefully be recognized come award season. Looking for something genuinely unique and different from any movie out there, check it out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Here's an updated take on the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". The rubber suits are out, and the CGI is in. Basically there isn't much to the movie, the turtles meet April O Neill and then battle Shredder to save New York. They joke around and love their pizza. This was surprisingly better than I anicipated it to be, however, I was hoping for a lot more humor. After seeing something like "Guardians of the Galaxy", it's eye opening as to how funny this could, and should have been. It does have some laughs, but it' too few and far between. For a turtles movie it is too dark at times. The action is phenomenal and the effects are top notch. Overall, it's good and probably the best of all the Turtle movies. Excited to see where the franchise goes from here, just hopefully it gets funnier.

Heaven Is for Real

"Heaven is for Real" is based on a book about a boy who tells his Dad about his experience in heaven while he is being operated on. The movie asks a very interesting question. If you knew heaven was real, like had proof, would it scare you? I think that's fascinating, and unfortunately, a lot more fascinating than the movie. This movie was very flat for me, and borderline boring. I don't mind faith based movies at all, but a movie is meant for entertainment. This just seemed to go nowhere, and probably much better suited as a book than a film. The acting was decent at best. I hate to criticize a child actor, but the boy in this movie is not very good at all. He comes off as really awkward and uncomfortable with zero charisma. Again, I feel bad for saying that, but it's true. Had a different child actor been in that role, this may have been much better. Disappointing for me, however, quite a few Christians that I know, Loved this movie. Good for them, and I'm glad this works for it's target audience. So, if you're into these types of movies, check it out. Otherwise, I'd say just read the book.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I probably shouldn't write a review on this, but I will anyway. I watched this on blu ray, and after about 15 minutes started to lose interest and spent most the moving dealing ultraviolet codes on my phone with people from England. Wes Anderson movies generally don't do anything for me(although I did like "Moonrise Kingdom"). His style is very unique, but it's not really my thing. The parts of the movie I payed attention too, I thought were ok, but as a whole I ended up just shrugging my shoulders and going "meh" to. The cast is terrific, and it's very offbeat, but really, you have to be in the right type of mood for it. This isn't something you'll just throw on at 11 am on a Sunday. If I had to bet I would say it'll get award recognition at the end of the year, and I'll probably go back and rewatch then. Maybe I missed out on a truly great movie. But, I doubt it. Check it out, and let me know what you thought. Maybe I'll revisit earlier. Until then, just not for me.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Here's the latest entry in the Jack Ryan franchise, as a complete reboot. Ryan(Chris Pratt) tries to stop a financial terrorist. Although the movie is decent, it's the same as most spy/espionage movies, and doesn't really bring anything new to the table. The cast is good, although Keira Knightley is completely wasted. Her role could have been played by anyone. Pratt does good, and I'd like to see what else he can do with the character. As a jumping off point for a new franchise, it's OK. But if they make a sequel that doesn't improve a lot, this franchise won't have any legs, and will have to wait to be eventually rebooted. Worth a rental or bootleg, but I wouldn't buy it. Not something I'll be clamoring to watch again anytime soon.

Life Itself
Life Itself(2014)
½

Roger Ebert is probably the most famous film critic of all time. This is a documentary about his life, and the final year of his life. I didn't know much about him, other than he reviewed movies. I knew my parents called him an "idiot" and to never listen to critics(which I still don't). I used to watch his show with Siskel from time to time, but it was never something that I had to watch. It's interesting how those two genuinely didn't like each other. Some of the outtake footage in this movie is hilarious and an eye opening look at their relationship.I think the most fascinating thing about this film is him battling cancer. It's very hard and uncomfortable to watch. I've been around my fair share of people who have had to battle that terrible disease, but some of the footage of Ebert is heartbreaking. It's sad to see what became of him, but it's also amazing to see how well he battle against it. Very interesting film, especially for someone like me who loves movies and love writing/talking about them. I may not have ever been inspired by him, but it's safe to say without someone like him, I probably wouldn't be able to post this right now. Great flick about a very interesting and unique person.

Winter's Tale
½

When I saw the trailer for this I thought this looked pretty good, and very different. While it is different, it didn't really work for me. It's very melodramatic and cheesy. But worse of all, it takes itself way too seriously. Had this movie had a real sense of humor, I think it could have been very good. It's hard to summarize, but it's about angels against demons, and it takes place over a century. The cast is good, but they've all done much better. In time, I can see people growing more fond of it. Hell, maybe another viewing or too and I would change my opinion. But based off my one viewing, I didn't care for it. Emily didn't really like it either, but she usually isn't into the movies with magic and stuff. I'd say the only movie that you could compare to this, in a weird way could be "Legend". But that is much, MUCH better. Good for a one time watch, but most people may not finish it.

The Expendables 3

Long story short on this one. If you enjoy the first 2 of this series, then you will enjoy this. It's basically the same movie(with a couple small twists), but with my actors added. Now they've added Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Kelsey Grammer, Harrison Ford, Kellan Lutz, Antonio Bandaras, and Rhonda Rousey. Same action, same one-liners, and same amount of fun. Here Stallone's group, The Expendables, go up against someone from their past whom they thought to be dead, played by Mel Gibson. Gibson plays an awesome bad guy. Of the new additions, Bandaras is the best. He is hilarious, and genuinely seems to be having a blast(actually all of them do). The only person I didn't care for was boxer Victor Ortiz. I don't really care for him outside the movie(I'm a boxing fan), and he is very wooden. Much rather they got a different boxer or someone with more charisma than him. Luckily, he isn't in it much, and really doesn't do anything. Fans of Arnold will LOVE this, especially if you love his more popular old one liners. Perfect movie for a guys night out.

Guardians of the Galaxy

I've been a big Marvel fan since I was a kid. I read a ton of the comics, watched the cartoons, and now I love all the movies. But even with my extensive history with Marvel, I knew very little of the "Guardians of the Galaxy". I knew the name, and that they were in space, but that was it. Now, they are right up there among my favorite Marvel creations. This movie is an absolute blast and a pure joy of a film. I had more fun with this at the theater, than I did at any other movie this year. I has amazing effects, a terrific cast, awesome action, and it is hilarious! I laughed so hard through this movie. This is by far the funniest of all the Marvel movies. Rocket and Groot are insanely awesome. Bradley Cooper does the voice of Rocket and he is perfect. Chris Pratt is a superstar in the making. What "Iron Man" did for Robert Downey Jr. is the exact same thing that is going to happen for Pratt. This guy is going to be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He's hilarious and has a genuine cool factor about him. Batista's Drax is a million times better than I anticipated. I expected this to be a very good movie(Marvel has set their bar pretty high). But I didn't expect it to be one of the top 2 or 3 movies the studio has put out. Run to the theater to check this out(don't walk!). If I were a kid, this would have blown my mind and been my favorite movie. I'd have to see it 10 times in the theater and buy all the toys. Terrific movie, and probably the best movie of the summer. Very excited to see where the franchise goes from here. I Am Groot!

Hercules
Hercules(2014)

Here is a perfect example of a movie that is much better than it should have been. Based on the trailers I expected this to be cheesy and a real eye roller. Heck, the only reason I saw this in the theater is because my Dad is a big Hercules fan. But, I am so glad he is, because this movie is awesome! The previews make it seem like Hercules is battling all these creatures in a CGI fest. But that is all flashbacks, and this is about the man behind the legend. It's much more grounded than I expected, and it works amazingly well! The film has some great humor, especially from Ian Shane, whom is no comedian at all. The Rock(ain't no one callin him Dwayne Johnson), IS Hercules. He is the perfect choice, and so very believable in everything he does. Of all the summer movies I've seen so far in 2014, this is by far the biggest surprise. There's a big scene that even gave me goosebumps and made me damn near cheer in the theater. Great story, great cast, and phenomenal action. Don't let this movie pass you by because of it's weak trailers. "Hercules" is what Summer movies is all about.

Locke
Locke(2014)
½

Here is a very interesting and unique movie that isn't for everyone. Actually, I'd be willing to be most people will turn it off, hate it, or just be like "This movie sucked". But, those people sometimes get caught up in the "norm" with movies, and can't enjoy a simple, yet challenging movie. This movie is a one man show. Tom Hardy plays Locke, a construction manager who leaves works, and is driving to a destination that will change his life forever. The entire movie takes place in the car, and is just Tom Hardy talking on the phone. But the conflicts between his work and personal life is riveting. I don't want to say too much, because it's a movie that is best to just unfold without any prior knowledge. It's not a movie with car crashes, or shootouts. Just a drama about a man whose life is changing. Hardy is memorizing in this, and I'd say not many actors could have pulled this off. I was glued to the screen for the 85 minutes(it's not a long movie at all). Kind of reminded me of a movie 2 years ago called "Magin Cell". Just a real life drama, that is filled with tension and great dramatic performances. The only thing I didn't like about this was the ending. But even if the destination wasn't the best, the ride was fantastic. Great movie, that deserves a look, even though most won't care for it. I can hear my mom saying it now, "The movie sucked, it didn't have any zombies".

Tammy
Tammy(2014)

Let me start this with saying that I'm a big Melissa McCarthy fan. I really liked "Identity Thief" and "The Heat". But, when I saw the previews for this I just didn't think it looked that funny, and I was right. Now, I imagine there are a lot of people(especially women) that thought this was funny and good. Awesome, I'm glad you liked it. However, to me it just was very uneven and seemed like McCarthy was trying too hard, and missing the mark. Compare this to her performance in "The Heat". She's effortless in that, but here she's basically a caricature of her characters. But, she doesn't have anyone to bounce off of like Sandra Bullock or Jason Bateman, and I think that's where the movie is really lacking. She is the type of comedic actress, that really needs someone strong to bounce off of. Susan Sarandon plays her Grandma(the movie is pretty much a road trip movie), but her character isn't the straight man that McCarthy needs. I got bored with it by the end, and when it starts to dig into the drama, I just zoned out completely. Have I seen worse movies? Oh yeah, a lot of em. But, this could have been better with a lot of tweaks. Hopefully McCarthy's next movie is better, because movies like this will eventually kill her career.

Walk Of Shame

Elizabeth Banks is one of those actresses that is just likeable. She has that quality where you just watch her movies, and like her. Here she is the star as a news anchor who has a one night stand, then her car is towed. She has to travel through the worst parts of town to get to the biggest job opportunity of her life. Are there cliches? Yup, through the whole thing. But it's funny, and one of those good nature comedies that in a few years will be on FOX and you'll chill out to watch because you didn't love it, but liked it. Banks is great, and the rest of the cast do good. It tries to be outrageous, but it's very tame compared to most comedies these days. Really reminded me of "Adventures in Babysitting" only without the kids, or babysitting. If that makes any sense. Anyway, worth a watch!

The Best Man Holiday

So a few months ago I got a copy of this and before I watched it I realized I didn't remember the first movie. So I went back and re-watched and hated it. But me being a big movie whore, still had to go and watch the sequel. What a waste. This movie is boring and a real poor man's Tyler Perry movie. It's not funny at all, and the drama is so melodramatic that I didn't care for anyone in this. Here's a movie that needed Kevin Hart to add some real comedic spice. Instead you get some crap about a bunch of friends spending Christmas together, and one has cancer. Just not a good movie, even Emily was bored to tears with it. If you enjoyed the original, then I'm sure you were all gung ho for this. Good for you, I'm glad someone liked it. But for me, this just wasn't good at all. I'll probably still see a third one(if they make it), but it'll help me sleep more than anything.

That Awkward Moment

I had very low expectations for this movie. All the reviews were bad, and it generally just didn't look that good. As a story, it's a very uneven dramedy about relationships. When it's funny, it's really funny. But when it focuses on the drama, it stutters. Having said that the cast is fantastic. Michael B. Jordan, Zac Efron, and Miles Teller are all 3 actors with very bright futures. Especially Teller, the guy is hilarious in everything. This is one of those movie where in 10 years people will be like "damn! they were in a movie together like that?!" It sure won't be remembered for much else. Emily watched the whole thing and thought it was ok. If she likes it, I'm sure all the women will too. Guys, there's at least 1 scene at a party that makes the whole thing worth it. Check it out sometime.

The Monuments Men

When I saw the trailer for this I had some pretty high hopes. Cool sounds story, war, and an amazing cast. Matt Damon, George Clooney, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Murray. How could it go wrong? Well it does. It's boring, and it doesn't really get you to care about the characters. When something big happens to them it's meet with more of a "meh" than anything. I mean, this could have been a real emotional and fantastic film. However, it's just an ok movie that's good for a one time watch. But, during that watch you'll pay more attention to your phone than the movie because it just doesn't grab you.

Ride Along
Ride Along(2014)
½

2014 may be Kevin Hart's year when it comes to comedy. He has been fantastic. Between "Grudge Match"(which was technically a Dec '13), "About Last Night" and now "Ride Along" the guy is on a tear. He is hilarious, and probably the most consistently funny comedian working today. Even if he plays the same character in all his movies, it's a very funny character. He and Ice Cube play off each other very well, and I'm sure there will be some sequels. Hopefully they will be just as funny, which I'm sure they will be. This is one of the funniest buddy cop movies to come out in a while, that at times is cliched, but Hart makes it work. If you don't like Hart,. then this isn't for you. But if you are a Kevin Hart fan, then I don't know how you can't like this movie. May not be something that will be considered a classic or anything, but definitely still worth a watch for some laughs.

The Other Woman

Even though it's a chick comedy, I thought it looked pretty funny from the previews. Emily and I almost went to the movies to see it if I remember right. However, after watching it at home, I'm glad we saved the money. It's about a woman(Leslie Mann) who finds out her husband is cheating and becomes friends with his mistresses(Kate Upton and Cameron Diaz), and they plot some revenge. The biggest problem, is it doesn't go far enough as it should have. Felt like it was holding back on some of the comedy. Mann is usually fantastic in all her movies, but here she is more annoying than likeable. Diaz is kind of bland and Upton is just "meh". There are a few funny moments, but nothing too great that wasn't shown in the trailer. Even Emily was just like "eh, that was just ok" when it was over(and she loves chick movies!) I'm sure there are a lot of women that will enjoy it, and good for them. But, guys just pass, it's not worth the time/money really. Just watch the trailer and leave it at that.

Let's Be Cops

Got a chance to go see an advance screening of this(I love free advance screenings!), and it's right up there with "22 Jump Street" as the best comedy of 2014(so far). I'm a big fan of "New Girl", and just seeing Daman Wayans Jr and Jake Johnson on the poster made me say "I'm in!" The premise is real simple. A couple of losers go to a party dressed up as cops. Their costumes are authentic so people really think they are real cops. So they decide to pretend to be cops and take it as far as it can go, and hijinks ensue. My wife and I both laughed a lot, and there are a couple quotes that I'll be quoting for a while. Really enjoyed this movie, and hopefully these guys continue to make movies together. This comes out in the middle of August, and if you love to laugh and want a good R comedy, then check it out!

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

This franchise is awesome. It started out so damn campy/cheesy in the 60's and had a bad remake in '01. Now with "Rise" and "Dawn" this is a serious, dark, and absolutely amazing series of films. This picks up 10 years after "Rise" and the human race has pretty much been wiped out by the virus that began to spread in the first film. The apes led by Ceasar(Andy Serkis) has their own little colony in the woods outside of San Francisco, when one day a group of survivors come across them. From there it's a conflict of trust, and human nature rearing it's ugly head. It's a very thought provoking movie, but with apes riding a horse shooting a machine gun. I mean how badass is that?! I read somewhere that this was the best special effects movie ever(all the apes are cgi). Honestly, that's not far off. Those apes are amazing, and everything looks so real that it's crazy. This will definitely win for special effects at the Oscars next year. If not, that's a shame! Fantastic popcorn movie, that continues the rebirth of this terrific franchise, and leaves you excited for the next installment. If you aren't on board with these movies, it's time you jumped(or swung) on, because you're missing out.

22 Jump Street

I loved "21 Jump Street" when it came out a few years ago(even made my yearly Top 10 List). I thought it was hilarious and the chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum was fantastic. Now they are back for the exact same movie, except it's in college instead of High School. The fact that it's the same is a big joke throughout the movie. Ice Cube has a bigger role here, and he is hilarious! Something happens involving his daughter, and Tatum goes crazy over it and I don't think I laughed that hard at a movie this year. The end credits are amazing, so stay for those. Also this was directed by the team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the same duo who directed "The Lego Movie". They are having a hellava year, as both are 2 of the funniest movies this year. Great movie for some big laughs, and one of the rare sequels that doesn't embarrass the original.

Labor Day
Labor Day(2014)
½

The premise of this movie sounds decent. A single mom(Kate Winsley) and her son are being held hostage, sort of, by an escaped convict(Josh Brolin). He hides out at their place and he and Winslet fall in love. It reminded me of a Clint Eastwood movie called "A Perfect World". Only that movie wasn't slow and boring, and it actually went somewhere. This doesn't. A lot of it doesn't make any sense, and it's very melodramatic. It took Emily and I 2 nights to finish it, and when it was over we both just shrugged our shoulders and went "meh". Winslet and Brolin are both good, but the material here just isn't very strong. You don't care what happens to them by the end of the movie. I'm sure there are a lot of women who like this movie, it is ultimately a chick flick. But guys, it's not worth the time for ya.

I, Frankenstein

This movie is downright horrible. I love, LOVE all the original Universal monster movies. Dracula, Mummy, Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and especially Frankenstein. I'm always a big Aaron Eckhart fan("Thank You for, Smoking" is amazing!"), so this was a can't miss, right? Well it misses on everything. It looks cheesy and cheap as hell. Eckhart is very miscast. There is zero humor here, which if they would have added some light touches it could have made all the difference. Instead Eckhart plays Frankenstein's monster as a brooding model with no personality. I watched it on 3D blu ray and the 3D didn't make a lick of difference. This movie is just horrible. It's a notch about a Saturday night movie on SyFy channel, but not nearly as entertaining.

RoboCop
RoboCop(2014)

Most remakes nowdays are complete throwaways. At first you're like "yes! can't wait to see this because the original is awesome". Then when it's over you just go "meh, I'll stick with the original". "Robocop" is kind of the same way. The movie is well made and has some great performances. But once it's over and everything has sunk in, it feels kind of pointless, because the original is stuck with you. Joel Kinneman steps in as the half robot/half cop, and he does fantastic. I'm a huge fan of his from "The Killing", and he does great. As does Michael Keaton, Jackie Earle Haley, and Gary Oldman. This movie has a terrific cast. Samuel L Jackson has a small role as a political talk show host, that could have been bigger and meant more. But it doesn't bring anything new to the franchise or take it to another level. It is exactly what the original was, a B+ action movie with some subtext. Maybe if it was rated R like the original and could have gone harder, it would have been better. I mean, it's not that it's a bad movie, but it isn't. It's just in 5 years when you want to watch "Robocop", you will always choose the original over this, and in 15 years this will be forgotten. Could be wrong, but that seems to be the case for most remakes. Good for a one time watch or rental.

Blended
Blended(2014)

So this, to me, is like the forgotten movie of this Summer. I honestly forgot all about it when it opened. The reviews were horrible and it didn't make any money at all. But, I love Adam Sandler movies so I gave it a shot and I'm so glad I did. Here he re-teams with Drew Barrymore as 2 single parents who have a horrible blind date. Then by crazy circumstances their families take an African vacation together. Hijinks ensue and Sandler gets the girl. Very typical Sandler romantic comedy, which is perfectly fine with me! I LOVED the "Wedding Singer", and this is a lot along those lines(even has the same director). You'll get the normal gags and jokes as you get in all of his comedies. By now you either love his movies or hate them. If you hate them, I'd ask why? It's harmless comedy, that usually has a good message and good music. Oh and Terry Crews is AMAZING! This is no different than any of his other movies. He and Barrymore continue to have great chemistry. Is this his best movie? No where close. BUT, I laughed a lot and my wife stayed awake through the entire thing, and that right there is all you need to know! Check it, not a movie that should fall between the cracks.

Pompeii
Pompeii(2014)

I'll keep this review short. This movie is a stinker. The ending when the volcano erupts is cool, although it looks extremely cheap compared to other big time movies. The acting sucks and some are severely miscast. Keifer Sutherland should never be in a movie like this. He just doesn't fit. The story is weak, it's just not a very good movie. A few notches above a made for tv SyFy Channel, but not by much.

Maleficent
Maleficent(2014)
½

So this is the first movie of the Summer that kind of pissed me off. I snuck into it after watching the great "Edge of Tomorrow", because it's not something I was really wanting to watch. Just matched up when that movie ended, and I had an open afternoon. As a kid I really liked the Disney cartoon of this tale, "Sleeping Beauty". The dragons, the swords, it was just awesome. So a live action version in 2014 should be awesome, right? Well, it could have, but the entire story gets so changed around that it just makes me made. I'm going to have some spoilers(kind of) here, so if you don't want to know anything stop here and know I didn't like it. First Angelina Jolie isn't very good here. She has a fake accent that she changes from time to time, and she is just very bland. Second, I HATE, HATE the fact that they made her the hero of the movie. She puts the spell on Aurora, then watches over her as she grows up and begins to love her. Aurora even calls her, her "fairy god-mother". Towards the end it's Maleficent who kisses Aurora's head and as true loves first kiss, wakes her up. From there they live in the forest with the Prince and wood creatures happily ever after. Give me a MFing break! Maleficent was one of the best, scariest villains ever in cartoons when I was a kid. Now she's a hero?! This is like last year's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" where they made Leatherface the good guy. What next a movie with Cruela DeVille where she has some sad backstory on why she hates dogs, and by the end saves them all? There are heroes and villains, why is Hollywood making all the villains sympathetic and heroic? It just doesn't make sense to me. Wanna give her a sad back story to explain her actions? That's fine with me! But don't make her the hero of the movie, and even at the end say she was a "hero and a villain". She doesn't even turn into the dragon, she turns her shape shifting lacky into the dragon, but he doesn't get slayed. But why would he, he's a good guy here too! It's PG and is absolutely family friendly. But, kids should just stick with the original cartoon, and not this muddled up mess of a story. On the one bright side the movie is gorgeous to look at with some awesome effects. But, other than that, there isn't much to it. Just skip and watch when it's on Redbox. In 50 years, this movie will be forgotten, but the original cartoon will still be played as a classic.

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

This is the first real original, fun, big action movie of the summer. Tom Cruise stars as an Army Major who works in marketing trying to recruit people to fight against Aliens called Mimics that have invaded Earth. He is then thrust against his will into combat and has a freak accident that allows him to relive the same day, in which he dies each day. He teams with a soldier(Emily Blunt) , who had suffered from the same thing, to try to find a way to defeat the aliens. This movie is big, action packed, and a lot of fun. It doesn't take itself too serious and has some real good laughs. The effects are fantastic, although the 3D was subpar. But I saw it in a smaller auditorium, and it seemed dimmer than normal. So I will blame the theater for the poor 3D. Having said that, this is kind of like this years "Pacific Rim". One of the better sci-fi/alien invasion movies I've seen in quite a while. Don't let this one slip under your radar, it's definitely worth a watch!

Rio 2
Rio 2(2014)

I thought the first "Rio" was fresh with some fantastic animation. The sequel however is very bland, and falls into the generic sequel rut. Blu and Jewel(Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway) are back with three kids, and the go on an adventure to the Amazon in sure of fellow blue macaws. From there it's Blu trying to win over Jewel's family while dodging the bad guys. Very generic. The music is good, but the comedy and story are just meh. Even Grant got bored it with. It's okay for a one time watch, but other than that it's pretty forgettable.

Non-Stop
Non-Stop(2014)
½

Liam Neeson is the man, and anytime he is in an action movie, I'm so there! Here he plays an Air Marshall on an international flight. He starts to get texts messages from someone inside the plane threatening to kill someone every 20 minutes if he doesn't get 150 million dollars. It's a very typical "whodunit" type of movie that could have been called "Liam Neeson on A Plane". Had this starred anyone other than Neeson(say Jason Statham), this wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining. But something about Neeson just says badass. The plot is generic, but it will keep you guessing as to who the hijacker is and by the end it will have felt like "been there, done that". However, Neeson makes it watchable and fresh. Good action thriller, especially if you're a fan of Liam Neeson.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
½

So the "Paranormal Activity" franchise has been running out of steam the last few installments. Seems to have been a 1 trick pony, and that trick doesn't work as well. So they decided to go in a new direction with a latino cast, and freshen it up. It does work pretty good, as this is the best installment, other than the first one. The effects are good and the story is well designed. Towards the end it starts to drag and you'll be ready for it to be over. But comparing it to the last 3 movies, it's very good. The acting if decent considering it's all unknowns. I also, really liked how it ties into the rest of the franchise. Through the whole movie it seems to just be associated by name alone, then at the end you'll see where it fits in. Pretty clever how they did it. Is it a great horror movie? Not really. But for this franchise it is. Worth a watch, but not sure how much life this series has left.

Godzilla
Godzilla(2014)
½

The king of monsters is back and better than ever! After the 1998 "Godzilla" movie I was worried we would never get another truly great "Godzilla" flick. But along comes Gareth Edwards, who made the indie movie "Monsters", to breathe new life into the giant lizard. Brief side note, "Monsters" was the 1st movie I ever wrote a review on for rotten tomatoes. It was about 2 sentences long:-p This movie is awesome and succeeds where "Pacific Rim" fails, but where that movie succeeds, is what holds this back. There is a some truly awesome monster fighting here, but I do wish there was more. I liked all the human actors, but I do wish there was more Godzilla. Having said that, what Godzilla there is, it's amazing. He looks phenomenal, and there's more than a couple times during the movie where you will want to cheer. The effects are amazing, and the overall story is pretty good. Heard there is a sequel on the way, and I cannot wait. The more Godzilla, the better! Great Summer movie to just sit down, chow on some popcorn and get lost in the carnage.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Growing up I was addicted to X-Men. I loved the Saturday morning cartoon on FOX, and even more so, I loved the comic books. Of all the superheroes, X-Men are the most near and dear to me. When it was first announced they were making the movies I was super excited, then they came out. The first movie was ok, the 2nd was great, then it all turned to crap. Well, until "First Class", which made me go "ok, there is still hope here!" Well, I'm happy to report that FINALLY there is a not good, but GREAT X-Men movie. More than that, it rights most of the wrongs of the 2 Wolverine movies, and especially "Last Stand". Everyone from the original trilogy is here, and using some clever time travel, so is everyone from "New Class". Basically in the future the Sentinels have laid the world to waste, for mutants and humans. They then send Wolverine back to his old self to try to stop a pivotal moment in the past, thus rewriting history. Everyone in this is excellent, especially James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. They are PERFECT as a young Magento and Professor X. Hugh Jackman continues to BE Wolverine in every way. At this point, it would be very hard to see any other actor play that role. Jennifer Lawrence is great, as is the entire cast. The effects are the best of the series BY far. This isn't cheesy or campy like the series had veered towards before. Instead this is the definitive X-Men movie. As a fan it's awesome that I've finally gotten an X-Men movie that my younger self would be like "WOW! That was awesome!" Also, stay through the credits. Small teaser of what's next for the series, which has me VERY excited. So happy that this franchise is back on track.

Neighbors
Neighbors(2014)

I love Seth Rogan movies. The guy is hilarious and he's good, even in his bad movies. Here he plays a guy who used to party a lot, but now he and his wife have a baby and things have calmed down some. Then a fraternity, led by Zac Efron, buy the house next door and their quiet life gets turned upside down. Rogan is awesome, and Efron does a great job as the douchebag frat boy. These two play off of each other very well. There are the usual sex and drug jokes that make up most of Rogan's movies, and again it works. This isn't better than last years, "This is the End". But, this is a great start for comedies this Summer. Should be a huge hit, and a movie that will be quoted and played over and over for a long time to come.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

So far the best movie in the Spider-Man series to me has been Spider-man 2(the one with Doc Ock). I felt the reboot done a couple years ago left too many things open, but I was very hopeful for the sequel. Boy does it deliver, and has passed every single other Spider-Man on my list. This, to me(for now), is my favorite movie in the entire Spider-Man line of movies. It has amazing action, great acting, and it has some balls that a lot of superhero movies don't have. I was very leary going in that it would be like Spider-Man 3 with the Sandman and Venom, where it would have too much going on with the different villains. But even with the Green Goblin, Electro, and Rhino, this movie is not overstuffed. It all works and all makes sense. I really like where the story goes and where it's heading. Andrew Garfield to me, IS Spider-Man now. His chemistry with Emma Stone is fantastic. Jamie Foxx was great as Electro, BUT, it felt way too cartoony. Reminded me a lot of Jack Nicholson when he turned into the Joker in the original Batman movie. Dane Dehaan is one of my favorite young actors and is a great pick to play the Goblin. He reeks of rich and evil, and does it perfectly. The movie has some flaws, but overall this is a very entertaining and continues the story perfectly. Great way to start the Summer movie season. The future of the franchise is VERY bright.

Bad Words
Bad Words(2014)

Here's the first great R rated comedy of the year. The premise is simple and absurd. A 40 year old man(Jason Bateman, who directs) enters the nation spelling bee for 8th graders. Hence he says and does a lot of bad things to the parents and children who all object to him being in the competition. Bateman is hilarious, and he plays the a**hole to a T here, with some awesome one liners. He starts a friendship with a little Indian kid(Rohan Chand) that provides the best scenes of the movie, just go and watch the trailer for a taste. This movie will obviously offend some people, but if you know what offends you, then don't see a movie called "Bad Words". The title says it all! It lasts around 85 minutes which is absolutely perfect for a movie like this, because it never wears out it's welcome. Great comedy, and hopefully Bateman continues to direct, because this is a great start. Check it out!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Marvel Studios makes by far the best comic book adaptation films today. Each one gets better than the last. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" takes the superhero movie and turns it into a spy/espionage film that improves on the first film by a lot. Other than "Avengers"(and it's REALLY close), this is the best Marvel movie yet. It has some of the best action and one of the best storylines yet. I don't wanna give away too much, but things are fishy within S.H.I.E.L.D and Cap has to deal with the Winter Soldier, who is someone from his past. Chris Evans IS Captain America, much like Downey IS Iron Man. He is complacent in the role like other actors would. He gives Cap some new dimensions. I also LOVED his interaction with Black Widow(Scarlett Johannson). They have some excellent chemistry, and it's great that they didn't turn them into lovers. Anthony Mackie as Falcon is fantastic, and I really hope he finds his way into Avengers 2. The best performance of the movie may be Robert Redford(and I actually think in the 70's he would have made an Awesome Captain America). Between this and "All is Lost" the guy is on a real roll as of late with movies. Exciting, fun, and truly action packed this is the best movie of 2014 so far. Stay through the credits(it's a Marvel movie, so you have to!), and enjoy the ride. Can't wait to see where these movies go next!

Noah
Noah(2014)

This is one of the few movies that has clearly divided people. Friends on facebook, critics, doesn't matter. People have a LOT of strong feelings about this movie. Now, I'm not a religious person at all. I go to church every now and then, but I'm not devote or anything. Having said that I can see why religious people would not like this. It's Darren Aronofsky's interpretation of the Noah story. It's like when I read a book to my son every night. I always do crazy weird voices for the characters. Why? Because it's how I interpret it. I only know the basics of the Noah story. Even read Grant a Noah childrens book a lot. So I have no clue what is or isn't in the Bible, and actually feel compelled to find out, because it's a very interesting and thought provoking movie. Do I believe in rock monsters helping to build the ark? No not really, but it's an interesting idea. In the bible does Noah go a little crazy? No clue, but the way the movie does it, it is very believable as to why he would think the things he does. I thought the effects of the movie were pretty darn good, although the rock monsters did look a little cheesy. It does drag in spots and runs about 20 minutes longer than what it probably should have. All the performances were decent, nothing Earth shattering or award worthy, but very good none the less. Aronofsky is probably the most unique director today. I've seen all of his movies and some I really like, and a couple I just scratch my head and say "huh?", like I did during the "Fountain". He is a dangerous filmmaker who really makes you think and shows you something different. Don't believe me, watch "Requiem for a Dream". This is like him doing a big Hollywood budget movie, and it works some, but I think he works better in smaller movies. This movie is not going to be for everyone, but do yourself a favor and watch it for yourself. I liked it, not as much as I hoped, but it is what it is. I always tell people to watch and judge for yourself. If someone talks about how horrible it is, check it out for yourself. Just like the story of "Noah", everyone will have a different interpretation of it.

Delivery Man
Delivery Man(2013)

Vince Vaughn for a while was my favorite comedy actor. "Old School", "Swingers", and "Wedding Crashers" are all three amazing comedies. But Vaughn has transitioned away from those cutting edge R rated comedies to more family orientated PG-13 movies. Which is fine, if the movies are funny. His act doesn't really translate to tamer comedy as good as say Eddie Murphy. "Internship" was ok, and now here's "Delivery Man" which on paper sounds ok. A guy(Vaughn) finds out there was a mixup with a sperm bank he used to donate to and he fathered 533 children, whom all want to know who their father is. The problem is this is very lighthearted and Vaughn doesn't play to his strengths. The funniest moments in the movie are involving his friend/lawyer played by Chris Pratt. Pratt is awesome and on a real roll lately with movies. Vaughn on the other hand seems to be on the down slope. Hopefully his next movie is R rated and he can go back to doing what he does back. Lot's of fast talking, cussing, and being an egomaniac with charm. Otherwise he'll end up like Eddie Murphy in another version of "Pluto Nash". This movie isn't horrible, it has it's moments. But thinking of how good it COULD have been is a little depressing. Give it a shot, but keep expectations low and afterwards watch some "Old School" for some real Vaughn comedy.

Insidious: Chapter 2
½

Here's a case where the sequel absolutely sucks compared to the original. The first movie was so fresh, original, and creepy that it would be hard to follow-up. I give em props for trying, and actually taking this into a very almost hockey type of horror movie, but it just never really works. It picks up right after the first movie, and all the actors return. It just never settles into the same groove and goes into some weird directions, that eliminates the scares completely. I hope with the 3rd movie(there will be another one) that it goes in a new direction, which I've read is the plan. The would be wise, because this story doesn't have anymore juice at all. I think if they would have just done a different set of characters, and made each movie different(like "American Horror Story") it could really have worked. The other had such a great ending that this kind of taints it a little bit. I'm sure some people enjoyed it, and good for you. I'm just hopeful that the next one is much, much better.

Insidious
Insidious(2011)

A couple months ago I got a copy of part 2. About 30 minutes in I fell sleep because I didn't remember a darn thing about the first movie, and had zero interest. So I waiting til I could get both movies and watch them back to back. This movie holds up extremely well! The sequel pales in comparison and this is one of the 5 best horror movies of the last, probably 10 years. Here's my original review:

Good,old fashion,original scary movie. James Wan,who directed the first" saw" continues to show his knack for a good horror movie. Starts out like any other haunted house movie,but has a few twists that really seperates it. One thing I really liked was it showed the demon doing the haunting,and he looks pretty badass. Right now the only real horror movie options are remakes or bad sequels,which really makes this stand out. Emily already warned me that she is gonna have nightmares, doubt she'd say that about" scream 4".

Muppets Most Wanted
½

If the "Muppets" reboot a few years ago was to show the heart of the characters, this brings it back to the wackiness that everyone knows and loves. The Muppets are persuaded by their tour manager("Badguy"played by Ricky Gervais) to embark on a world tour. Only he is using the Muppets as a cover for the heists he pulls with Constantine, the World's Number One Criminal and a near clone of Kermit. Kermit is framed, and Constantine takes his place as leader of the Muppets. Basically it's an awesome movie. Tons of celebrity cameos, one of the best is Usher playing an usher. The story isn't nearly as heartfelt or sentimental as the previous movie, but that's good because it doesn't need to be. This is just the Muppets being hilarious and crazy. All the kids in our group(my boy, two nieces, and two nephews) all loved it and laughed a lot. Great family movie, and a great addition to this fantastic franchise.

The Best Man
The Best Man(1999)

So last week I got a copy of "Best Man's Holiday". Sat down with my wife to watch it and realized, that I didn't remember anything from the first one. Actually, don't think I had ever seen it. So we stopped the dvd, and found the first one on M-GO and started watching it. First, it's amazing at how all the actors look so young. Second, this is a horrible movie that doesn't stand the test of time. Maybe in 1999 when it came out it was a good movie. But today, after countless other movies just like it, that are much better(looking at you Tyler Perry), this is a waste of time. I was bored, fell asleep and forced myself to finish it(it wasn't easy). I like the entire cast. Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Nia Long, are all great. But in this they are all still very green and hadn't hit their stride yet. Now I know, that's not fair because it's 15 years later, but it's true. Maybe if I had watched this when it came out I would remember it as a classic that launched careers. But watching it now, it's just another bad comedy dominated by an African American cast. Everything about it is generic and unfunny. Emily fell asleep and I laughed maybe one time. Again, if you're a long time fan, cool! But if you're not, then this is a bad movie to revisit. I took back my copy of "Holiday" without watching it, but do plan to eventually. I'm sure it's better, because I doubt it could be more worse.

Ender's Game
Ender's Game(2013)

First and foremost, I'm not a big sci-fi fan. I do enjoy some sci-fi movies, but overall, the genre isn't really my favorite. I like alien invasion movies, but movies that deal more with intergalactic drama, more times than not doesn't work for me. So, I know a lot of people that really like "Ender's Game", so I figured I'd give it a shot on the ole Vudu. While it's not a bad movie, it's not a movie that really stands out for me. It's about a Colonel(Harrison Ford) who enlists a brilliant young boy named Ender(Asa Butterfield) to join his fleet. Humans are at war with aliens and he believes Ender can win the war. It starts off pretty slow, but it does pick up and gets better as it goes. The effects are good(expect the aliens, I thought they looked kinda cheap). I've had more than a few people talk about the ending saying things like "it's crazy!" and "I didn't see that coming!" It's a good ending, but to me got more of a "that was cool" than an "OMG" reaction. Do I hope for sequels? Sure, why not? If this continues into a franchise, I'm sure it could grow into something better. But as a standalone movie, it was about average to me. But, to anyone that really likes it, that is awesome, I'm happy for you. Because I can totally see why people would love it. But for someone who isn't in love with the genre, I wasn't like head over heels. One more quick think, Asa Butterfield is an amazing young actor. Between this and "Hugo" that kid has a bright future! Check it out and let me know what you think of it.

300: Rise of an Empire
½

This is not a sequel, or a prequel. It's a "side-qual". What is that exactly? it's a movie that takes place at the same time of another movie. This whats happening with Greece during the events of "300". The same action, style, just a new set of characters. I thought the movie as a whole was good, but there is one big problem. The actor(Sullivan Stapleton) who plays Themistokles(the hero of the movie) is NO Gerard Butler. He doesn't have nearly enough charisma, but then again I don't know if anyone could carry one of these movies and be as memorable as Butler was as King Leonidas. Other than that, the movie is fine. If you're into ultra-violence, crazy sex scenes, and an old fashion game of Battle Ship. Check it out.

Oldboy
Oldboy(2013)

First, about 5 years ago I watched the original Asian movie and it's one of the most twisted movies you can over watch. So naturally I had to see the American remake. Wanted to see it in the theater pretty bad, but it didn't play anywhere near us so I wasn't able to. I had a lot of concerns about this, because I didn't think Spike Lee(the director) had the balls to do what was done in the original. Well, I'm happy to say other than two scenes(which should have been in this), he does a very good job of remaking it, and has more balls than I previously thought. I'd say the ending is why this wasn't playing around me, because it's pretty controversial, especially for Americans. For those that don't know it's about a guy(Josh Brolin) who gets kidnapped and imprisoned for 20 years, then is let go. He needs to figure out who imprisoned him, why he was imprisoned, and more importantly, why he was let go. Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, and Samuel L. Jackson round out the cast. Copley is absolutely awesome as the villain. He is so damn creepy. Brolin does fantastic, I mean the whole cast is great really. The action is good. It's still pretty violent, and very twisted. This definitely isn't for everyone. Not by a long shot. But, if you want something dark and crazy, then this is your movie! Check it out.

The Counselor
½

So, I really wanted to like this movie because of the cast, but it's really a 3 scene movie. It's a story about a drug deal gone bad with a fantastic cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Cruz. It's directed by Ridley Scott and written by Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy is a great writer who wrote one of maybe 10 books I've read in the last 10 years, The Road(the movie for that wasn't very good by the way). So naturally I thought this is gonna be good. Well, it's not really. It's a lot of monologue type talking with not much going on. Then BAM there are three scenes that really stand out. One is the hottest, and weirdest Cameron Diaz scene ever, and the other two are death scenes. One of which will literally make you said "Holy S***!! that's awesome!" Is it worth watching? Yeah for those three scenes, but other than that, not really. Took me 3 nights to get through because I kept falling asleep. Maybe under different circumstances I would have liked it more, but I dunno if I'll ever go back and rewatch the entire thing or not. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you thought!

About Last Night
½

Here's a remake that is much better than the original. Now, it's been a LONG time since I've seen the 80s version with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. The only thing I really remembered was Demi Moore(if you get what I'm sayin). Here, it's basically the same thing, just with a black cast, headed by Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart is absolutely hysterical, and Regina Hall plays off of him perfectly as his equally crazy girlfriend. Those two make this movie, the two leads are pretty borings. If this were just Hart and Hall, it would still have been a very funny movie. He has some great one liners, and the scene where they are having sex while she wears a chicken mask is awesome. Kevin Hart is on a tear lately and is one of the funniest actors today, and this movie just continues that streak. It may seem like a chick flick, but it's not, it's really just a reason to laugh at Kevin Hart for an hour and a half. If you like him, or his brand of humor, then you will like this. Great date movie.

The LEGO Movie
½

****1/2
Let me start by saying this movie is awesome!(that's a movie reference if you've seen it;-) As for animated films, this is the freshest, animated movie to come out in a long time. At some point the cartoons tend to all look similar. Here, everything being Legos, it looks new and different. Kind of like a new shiny toy. The story is pretty simple, but I don't want to say anything to give anything away. The less you know, the better/funnier it is. The jokes in this movie are hilarious, and the humor is dead on. Plus, the voice cast is amazing! Chris Pratt, Jonah Hill, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks among many others. Plus, it has Batman. So it has to be awesome, right? Anyway, this is a fantastic movie that kids, adults, and childlike adults will all enjoy. Go see it and try not to sing "Everything is Awesome" when it's over(that song will get burned into your head).

Philomena
Philomena(2013)
½

This was the only one of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture that I hadn't seen. I'm glad I was able to catch it and not have to skip on it, because it's a very interesting story. It's based on the true story of a woman named Philomena(Judi Dench),who had her child taken away from her when she was young. Well, she was a teenager and the Irish Catholic community didn't agree with it, so they gave her son up for adoption. Now in her elder age she gets with a journalist(Steve Coogan) to track her son down and see what has become of him. From there, the movie takes some unexpected turns, and shines light on something in our world that I had never heard of being done. While the story is great the movie does drag a bit, but it's very entertaining all the way through. Coogan is fantastic, I don't think I've seen him in a drama before, but he has the chops for sure. Dench is good, not really award worthy good(in my opinion), but she still does better than most. Overall, I don't think this movie is for everyone, but it's something that people should take a chance on. I didn't expect to like it at all and was very surprised. Good movie.

Nebraska
Nebraska(2013)

"Nebraska" is one of two movies("Philomena" the other) that have best picture Oscar nominations this year that I hadn't seen yet. After watching it, I can tell you it absolutely deserves it's nomination. This movie is hilarious, touching, heartbreaking, and has one of my favorite characters in all the movies to come out of 2013(Kate). The movie is pretty simple. An old man named Woody(Bruce Dern) gets some junk mail that says he has won a million dollars. He believes it to be true and sets out on a road trip with his son(Will Forte) to collect, even though everyone says it's a scam. Along the way they stop at Woody's hometown, are joined by his wife and other son, and that's where most the mo vie takes place. People come out of the woodworks at the first sign of money, but Woody is just a simple, old, man who just wants to buy a new truck. Bruce Dern is absolutely phenomenal here. There are so many scenes where he doesn't say a word, but his face and expressions tell the entire story. Towards the end of the movie he has a small conversation with his son about why he wants the money and it's so heartfelt and heartbreaking at the same time. But, the best character is Kate(June Squibb), Woody's loud mouthed, bitchy old wife. She is hysterical! She has some of the best lines I've heard in a long time. Squibb is up for best supporting actress at the Oscars, and god I hope she wins. She really makes this movie. Alexander Payne directed this and chose to have it in black and white, and really that may seem odd, but when you're done watching this, you just can't imagine seeing it in color. It's just perfect, and has a real "classic, old time" feel to it. I loved this movie, and when it comes out on DVD I hope it finds it's audience, because this is one of those movies that I think is gonna live for a long time. Good story, great performances, and just an overall great movie. Check it out!

Last Vegas
Last Vegas(2013)

***
Whenever someone would ask me about this movie(even though I hadn't seen it) I would describe it as "Hangover with old people". That isn't exactly wrong, but it's not right at all. What should be a stupid geriatric comedy with lots of Viagra jokes is actually a very funny, touching comedy. The stars really make this movie better than what it should have been. The premise is simple. 4 old friends(as in been friends for 60 years) reunite in Vegas for a bachelor party/wedding weekend. The friends are played by Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline. These 4 are just awesome, even in their old age. They also have great chemistry. You can really believe that they have been friends all these years. The movie is sometimes silly and has the typical drama, but it works. It really does. Kind of like how I expected "Grudge Match" to be awful, this really goes above expectations. Good flick that I'm sure people of all ages(especially the older crowd) will enjoy. On a side note, I watched this using a new service called M-GO, and I gotta say it worked great! If you haven't tried it out(it's on roku's), give it a shot, gets the Everett seal of approval.

The Fifth Estate

Before this I really didn't know a lot about Wikileaks. I remember it being in the news, but honestly I didn't really care. This is the story(or at least Hollywood's version) of how it got started and essentially changed the way information is leaked to the masses. More than anything it's a portrait of Julian Assange(Benedict Cumberbatch) and how he is arrogant and pretty much an ass. More importantly the movie falls flat. It drags a lot and it's too jumbled up to be effective at anything it sets out to do. Cumberbatch is OK, but I've seen him in much better movies than this. Same with Daniel Bruhl, who was amazing in "Rush". It wants to be a techno thriller like "The Net", but ends up somewhere in the middle. I especially didn't care for the ending. The way it ends is just kind of like well that was stupid. SPOILER!

it's a little interview with Cumberbatch as Assange talking about a wikileaks movie(kind of), and it is just ridiculous. No one narrates the movie so it's not like a "this is my story", which honestly would have been better. But, I will say this, the movie does make me want to learn more about Wikileaks, so in that regard it is a success. I know there is a documentary out called "Wikileaks, we steal secrets", and after seeing this, I don't think I'm gonna put that off much longer. Anyway, I've seen much better and I'm not sure who this would be best suited for. You may like it, or you may hate it. Either way, let me know what you think about it. I thought(and hoped) for a better movie, but they can't all be winners now can they?

Escape Plan
Escape Plan(2013)

By now you know exactly what your going to get in a movie that stars Stallone and Schwarzenegger, set in a high tech prison. If not, then your oblivious and wouldn't check this out anyway. This movie is exactly what you would expect and want from these guys. One liners, lots of action, and a decent enough story. It's a throwback movie to the movies they made in the 80s, and it's still pretty darn good. I enjoy these type of movies for what they are and the charisma that the leads have. The supporting cast all do decent, but Jim Caviezel as the warden is pretty awesome. He should do more villain roles, because he is great at it! Want a good action flick? Then you cannot go wrong with this. It provides great entertainment for a couple of hours. If you want something that is gonna win Oscars or become a timeless classic? This probably isn't for you.

The Act Of Killing

Here is one of the most bizarre, weird, crazy, movies you can ever witness. This is a documentary about Indonesian military/gangsters who overthrew the government in the 1960s and committed mass murders of "communists". Now they are making a movie reenacting the murders and have to face the things they did. I say it's bizarre because the recreations are from their perspective and some of the imagery is just flat out weird(this fat guy is dressed in drag a lot, makes no sense). The detail how the did the murders, and I gotta say it's pretty insane. It'd be like if some Nazi's made a movie where they talk about with pride how they killed Jews. Some of them are haunted by the things they did, others took a lot of joy in it. It's very surreal and will probably win the Oscar for best documentary. It does drag in spots and if it made more sense then I'd probably liked it more. But, I guess no sense is really to be made of the movie or the men it details. If you don't mind subtitles and want to see something truly different about some lesser known world history, then check it out.

Riddick
Riddick(2013)
½

First things first, I really liked "Pitch Black", but hated "Chronicles of Riddick". "Black" was a fantastic, original sci-fi movie that when I saw in the theater, I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. "Chronicles" on the other hand was a bloated sci-fi epic movie that missed the mark in a lot of ways. Here, "Riddick" goes back to it's roots and has much more in common with "Black" than "Chronicles", and that's a good thing. The plot is very basic, Riddick(Vin Diesel) has been left for dead on a weird planet. Bounty hunters show up to capture him, when they have to team up to battle some pretty crazy looking alien monster things. It has good action, and the effects aren't great(they had a low budget), but they aren't the worst I've ever seen either. As for the acting, if you were expecting award worthy performances, then you're at the wrong movie. It is what it is, which is fine. I don't think this is better than "Pitch Black", but a big step in the right direction if this franchise is going to continue. Worth a watch? Sure. It's a perfect rental if your in the mood for a sci-fi action flick.

The Nut Job
The Nut Job(2014)

So in a nutshell(get it!?) this is a cartoon about a squirrel, and his woodland buddies who wants to rob a nut store to stock up for the winter. It's one of the cash grab animated movies that's gonna end up on Netflix before you know it. But, having said that, it's still an amusing way to spend 90 minutes. The voice cast is pretty impressive, especially when you consider this isn't a Disney or DreamWorks movie(it's an Open Road movie). Will Arnett, Kathriene Heigl, Brendan Fraser, and Liam F'n Neeson supply the voices of the main characters. Obviously this is geared towards the little kiddos and the theater we were in, all the kids laughed and laughed(Grant was laughing hysterically a couple times). If the kids are happy, then that's what matters most in a movie like this.

August: Osage County

Everybody probably knows by now I love to watch the movies that get nominated for Oscars. Even if I don't care to see it or have a desire to watch it, I still like to see it so I know if it's any good or not. This is one of those movies that I probably would have completely skipped over had it not been nominated(Best Actress and Supporting Actress). It's a story about a very, VERY, dysfunctional family who get together after the funeral for the patriarch Beverly(Sam Shepard). The mom(Meryl Streep) is basically a B**** with cancer, her daughters hate her(and she seems to hate them). Saying anymore than that would gives away some of the plot twists, and believe me, the less you know the better(well more messed up this movie gets as it goes). It's funny and dramatic, but it never gets melodramatic like a Tyler Perry movie for example. Streep and Roberts are both very deserving of their nominations. Had this come out in another year, they might win, but still, very worthy to be one of the 5 women in each category. The rest of the cast are decent. Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslon, to name a few. It starts a little slow and I really lost interest about 20 minutes in, but it quickly brought me right back into it. Emily watched the whole thing, which is shocking, but shows that women will probably love this. Guys, it's not really for you, but believe me, there are much worse chick flicks out there than this. Give it a shot, even if you don't like the movie, it'll still surprise you(or disturb you).

The To Do List

***
Basically the "To Do List" is a female version of "American Pie". It's about a girl(Aubrey Plaza) who graduates as the top of her class and realizes she has no sexual experience. So she decides to make a To-Do List(includes handjobs, blowjobs, etc.) to accomplish before she goes to college in the fall. I gotta say I didn't expect much from this, but this is very funny. I laughed a lot, and my wife actually stayed awake through the entire thing, which rarely happens. The cast is made up of mostly B and C level actors who do a decent enough job. Plaza does ok, but I think this role could have been handled better. She's not bad, just not great either. The Andy Samberg and Bill Hadar have small roles and both are fantastic. I wish Sandberg had a bigger(and different) role, but he is still awesome. The humor is very sophomoric and sexual(it's rated R), so if that's not your thing then you should skip. But, if you want a good lighthearted, sex comedy, then this is definitely worth checking out!

Inside Llewyn Davis
½

Coen Brother movies are always different and unlike any other movies out there. Some are amazing, "No Country for Old Men", and some don't work, like "A Serious Man". "inside Llewyn Davis" falls in the middle. It's good enough to not bad, but not enough too be great either. The acting is fantastic, the story is interesting and the music is great! I'm gonna try to pick up this soundtrack sometime. But the movie has a couple issues. The biggest issue and this is a semi-spoiler, there is zero closure to just about anything in this movie. The whole premise of the movie is it's one week in the life of a struggling folk singer in 1961. He couch surfs, is broke, and he's a dick. He's not the most loveable character you will ever see in a movie, that's for sure. But everything that happens to him is left completely open ended. From his music career(which is struggling), to what happens to a guy he leaves stranded on the side of the road in a car with no keys. The guy by the way is John Goodman and he absolutely steals this movie. He is in it for like 15 minutes, and it's awesome. That guy gets better with age. Oscar Isaacs stars as Llewyn and he does a terrific job, very worthy of the award recognition he is getting. He was a singer in this movie last year called "Ten Years", and if his acting career doesn't pan out, the guy should concentrate on music. He has an amazing voice. If you like offbeat movies, which if you like the Coen's then you do, check it out. But if your looking for a cut and dry movie, then this isn't for you. I enjoyed it, but which some things were resolved.

Captain Phillips

"Captain Phillips" is the true story of a 2009 pirate hijacking of a U.S. container ship by a group of Somali pirates. Tom Hanks stars as Captain Phillips and gives his best performance since "Forrest Gump". 2013 was Hank's year between this and "Saving Mr. Banks" the man is on a roll! Paul Greengrass continues to be one of the most unique action directors working. He did 2 of the "Bourne" movies and he directs this with the same realistic perspective. The supporting cast all do great, Barkhad Abdi is even getting award nominations for supporting actor. He does terrific, but I think the recognition is a little overrated. This movie is very tense and if you don't know the story(I knew some of it, but not specifics) it's very suspenseful. It does run about 20 minutes too long at 2 hours and 14 minutes long. But its not boring or drags by any stretch. I don't think this would have made my 10 ten of 2013, but it's still a great movie. Check it out! Oh two more things, 1 this has a lot of subtitles and 2, SPOILER ALERT! It's always cool to see something about Terre Haute(where I live) in a movie.

Short Term 12

This is one of those indie movies that sometimes seems like a documentary because it feels so real. Brie Larson stars as Grace, a girl in her twenties who works at a home for at risk teens. She loves the kids, plays with them, and is there for them when no one else is. Then something happens in her personal life than begins to change her while she gets a new teen whom she takes a special interest in because she sees so much of herself in her. This is a pretty solid little movie with a great performance by Larson. Mark my words in the next few years she is gonna be a major actress. She was the daughter on "United States of Tara", a show which few people watched but was amazing. The kids in the home feel like kids that got plucked right out of the streets/bad homes. They all do great. The movie is one of those "quiet" movies with a lot of shakey camera shots and not a lot of background music. It does drag some, but it never gets boring or tedious. One of the better 2013 indie movies for sure. Definitely worth a watch.

Carrie
Carrie(2013)
½

Horror movie remakes are very hit and miss, and more times than not they fall in the "eh, that was ok" category. "Carrie" falls right into the heap as it isn't bad, but it's not great either. It's a remake of the 70's classic "Carrie" with Chloe Grace Moretz playing the title character. If you don't know what it's about then just go watch the remake(or read the book). Well actually, just watch the trailer because it gives 90 percent of this movie away. Now it's been decades since I've sat and watch the original. I remember liking it, but I was never a huge fan of it either. I can't really compare the two since it's been so long since I've seen it, but I think in 10 years when I think of "Carrie", I'll still be thinking of Sissy Spacek. Now, Moretz does good, but Julienne Moore, as her mother, steals the movie. She isn't in it a whole lot, but when she is, WOW. She plays crazy very good. The best thing about the movie for me is one of the death scenes at the end involving a windshield. It's pretty awesome and one of the 5 best kills of 2013 for sure. Is it worth watching? Sure! But don't expect a classic like the original, or a movie that's really gonna stick with you. But believe me there are a lot worse movies out there you can spend 90 minutes watching.

Blue Jasmine
Blue Jasmine(2013)
½

Woody Allen movies have always been hit and miss for me. For every "Match Point", there is a "To Rome With Love". It's pretty inconsistent, but he does make great movies more consistently than most. "Blue Jasmine" isn't so much a great movie as it's a great performance by one of the best actresses today, Cate Blanchett. She plays Jasmine a socialite who loses everything after her husband(Alec Baldwin) goes to prison for money fraud. She moves from New York to San Francisco to live with her sister(Sally Hawkins) and she is a complete fish out of water who is losing her mind. I honestly thought Sandra Bullock in "Gravity" was the best female performance of 2013, then I saw this, and I gotta say, Blanchett is gonna clean up all the awards. She is funny, crazy, snobby, and heartbreaking all at the same time. Just an amazing performance that is the cherry on top of her fantastic career. The supporting cast in this is just awesome as well, with small, effective roles by Louie C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, and Peter Sarsgaard. I love when Woody Allen movies don't feel like Woody Allen movies and this is one of those. Sits nicely with "Match Point" and "Midnight in Paris", his two best of the last 10 years. In the mood for a good dramady then check this out!

Dallas Buyers Club
½

A few years ago Matthew McConaughey starred in a movie called "Lincoln Lawyer" and it really restarted his career. He went from rom-com star to serious actor. 2013 he made some amazing movies and in 2013 he took it to a new level with "Mud" and now "Dallas Buyers Club". He joins Christian Bale in the "OH MY GOD look at how much weight he lost!" club. He is absolutely unrecognizable as a homophobic(more like he just hates gay people) man in Dallas who contracts the AIDS virus in the 1980's. Told he has 30 days left to live he seeks alternative methods in Mexico to extend his life, and then smuggles the drugs into the US teams up with a drag queen(Jared Leto) to start a buyers club to make some money and save some lives. This is a true story and it's a very interesting one. Last year a documentary came out called "How to Survive the Plague" which was about the AIDS virus and I think these two together make a pretty good portrait of that time period. This film hinges on McConaughey and this is his best performance yet. Nothing like anything else he has ever done, it's just so hard to believe that it's him. The same can be said about Leto, who went all in for his role as well. I'd be willing to bet Leto will win a ton of supporting actor awards. I don't think he deserves them as much as others because he isn't in the movie enough, but he maximizes his minutes and still plays a huge role in this story. Any other year I think McConaughey would win, but he has some tough, tough competition. Other than the amazing acting the movie is still pretty solid, but it does move slow about 3/4s the way through, but it picks up enough to get your attention back. Very solid movie that probably won't be for everyone, but people should give it a shot if for nothing else than to see McConaughey's performance, you gotta see it to believe it.

The Place Beyond The Pines

I absolutely love watching a movie that I really have no idea what it is about, and being thrown curveball after curveball. Movies nowadays are very much the same and predictable. Doesn't mean they're bad, just it's usually same ole same ole. So, when you get a movie like "Place Beyond the Pines" it's a real breath of fresh air. Kind of like how "Looper" was in 2012. Ryan Gosling stars as a motorcycle stuntman who finds out he has a year old son that he didn't know existed with Eva Mendes. He realizes he needs to be a father and provide, so he gets involved with a guy who robs banks. From there Gosling robs a couple banks, and he eventually has a run in with a cop(Bradley Cooper) and from there, things completely change. If I say anything else about the plot of this movie, it would ruin it. It's basically 3 different movies within one and it's fantastic. There's some real high thrilling drama in this movie. Gosling and Cooper both give one of their best performances. Ray Liotta is amazing also in the small role he has. He is the best sleazy cop actor alive. But to me the best performance of the movie is Dane Dehann. He's the troubled kid from another great movie called "Chronicle". He is just mezmorizing. Dehann's one of the best young actors today, kind of like a younger Ryan Gosling, weird I know. He's only in a quarter of the movie, and some of his scenes are some of the most effective. If I made a best of 2013 list right now, this would either be 1 or 2(It's that close to "Iron Man 3"). If you love movies, then do not pass this up. Great movies like this come out once or twice a year, if that, so you gotta check em out when they do.

Enough Said
Enough Said(2013)
½

Here is a great example of an adult comedy that doesn't rely on shock value, fart jokes, or being ridiculous. Just a couple great performances with a great script is all you really need. Julia Louis Dreyfus stars as a divorced masseuse who meets a divorced man, Albert(James Gandolfini) at a party and they start a relationship. She also meets a woman in need of a masseuse name Marianne(Catherine Keener). Her and Marianne become very good friends and she also happens to be Albert's ex wife. Dreyfus doesn't know this at first, then she is caught in the dilemma of her relationship and her new friendship. It's a very good little dramady that never goes overboard and doesn't really go where conventional romantic comedies go. The acting in this is very good, no sure if it's really award worthy(both leads are up for Golden Globes), but neither has been this great in a long time. I don't think Gandolfini had been this great since "Sopranos" and it's just a shame to know he's no longer with us. It runs right around 90 minutes and never drags or feels too long. Perfect run time for this type of movie. Very good movie worth a watch!

Rush
Rush(2013)

Now, I know nothing about Formula 1 racing and only know one person who watches it(my brother in law). So when this came out, I wasn't dying to see it and really thought it looked ok and that was it. It received some Golden Globe nominations so it raised my eyebrows and I decided to give it a shot, and I am so glad I did. This movie is fantastic! It's the story of the 1970's rivalry between two racers, James Hunt(Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda(Daniel Bruhl). It shows their early careers to their race for the championship and it's one of the most compelling movies I've seen all year(it was the last movie I watched in 2013). The performances were all great as Hemsworth gave his best performance yet and Bruhl has a real shot at winning Best Supporting Actor for any of the awards he is nominated for. He is absolutely amazing. This is a Ron Howard movie and he continues to knock it out of the park. He is one of the top, I'd say, 5 or 6 filmmakers working today. The fact he takes an obscure(here in America) sport like Formula One and makes it this riveting is a testament to his storytelling abilities. I really enjoyed this movie, and a lot of that is probably because of my lower expectations. But, it's probably the best racing movie I've ever seen and the best sports movie of 2013 by far. Excellent movie, that will hopefully get recognized once it's out on DVD. A movie this good shouldn't be as overlooked as it was. Check it out!

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

I didn't expect much when the first "Percy Jackson" movie came out and was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed it and thought it was much better than other young adult fantasy movies. Did I think it had enough juice for a franchise? Probably not, but for a one off film, it was good. So with the sequel my expectations were lower, and that's a good thing, because this falls in the "not nearly as good as the first movie" category of sequels. Here, Percy(Logan Lerman) and his demi-god friends, and Cyclops half brother, have to recover the golden fleece and save their camp. This feels like a tv episode where it's like "hey guys, let's go on an adventure", but doesn't move the story along at all. All the characters are pretty stagnant, and the Cyclops brother is lame and poorly acted. Last year Lerman was the star of one of my favorite movies of the year, "Perks of a Wallflower". He showed he can be a terrific actor, but this feels like a step back for him. Also, for being 2013, the effects weren't really up to snuff with other similar movies. Now, having said all that, I'm not the target audience. This is for kids/teens, and I can see them enjoying it. Will(my 7 year old nephew) came in with about 30 minutes left and seemed to enjoy it. It leaves it open for a third one, which I don't think it needs, but hopefully it will be better and give this franchise the life it needs to sustain.

All Is Lost
All Is Lost(2013)
½

"All is Lost" is 2013's version of "Cast Away"...kind of. Robert Redford stars as a man who is lost at sea and is fighting for his survival. There's no sharks, pirates, or crazy sea monsters. Just a man on a boat who is facing his mortality, doing whatever he can to overcome the elements and survive. Redford is absolutely amazing here. For a man his age(he's 77!) he gives on of his best performances ever. Now, there is very little dialogue here, some at the beginning and he yells a little towards the end. The rest makes this almost a silent film in spots. But really, it doesn't need dialogue to be captivating. It runs around an hour and 45 minutes and in the middle it drags quite a bit. I think if this had been a leaner 85 minutes, it could have been much more tense. But having said that, it's still a terrific movie, but it's probably not for everyone(with the no dialogue).

Lee Daniels' The Butler

"Lee Daniel's The Butler" tells the story of a White House Butler who served under 8 presidents over 3 decades. He has a unique perspective through the civil rights movement. While serving the Presidents, his son is right in the middle of the movement down south. Forest Whitaker stars as the Butler and Oprah Winfrey as his wife, and both do a great job. I told my wife a couple times that whomever did the makeup for Whitaker is amazing as I don't think I've ever seen him look like this at all. Winfrey too does good, and I'd bet she'll get an Oscar nod for supporting actress. Now, there is one thing about the movie that is both good, yet distracting. Each President is played by a well known actor(Robin Williams, Liev Schriver, Alan Rickman, John Cusack, etc.), and while they each do good, it becomes more of a "oh look who's the President!" type of game. I thought this was a really good, well made movie, but at times(especially towards the end) it began to feel like a made for TV type movie. Still an important movie about Civil Rights. I bet in a few years, teachers will show this one in schools, and they should.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese is one of my top 3 filmmakers, and I will see anything he makes(and usually love). I really have enjoyed his 5 movie run with Leonardo DiCaprio, who is also one of my favorite actors. They have again knocked it right out the park with "Wolf of Wall Street". A story of greed, sex, drugs, going out of control, and midget tossing. It's based on the true story of Jordan Belfort(DiCaprio) a New York Stockbroker in the late 80's through the 90s. He commits several crimes, is drug addict, and loves hookers. This movie made me think of "Pain and Gain" a lot, only without the murders. That would be a great 2013 double feature. All the performances here are awesome, especially Johah Hill and the small role Matthew McConaughey has at the beginning. Hill is that character you will just hate and McConaughey you will wish was in this the full 3 hours. Yup, 3 hours which is this movies only real downfall. While it's a great movie, it is too long by at least a half hour. But, having said that, every minute is maximized perfectly. Great movie that will get a ton of award recognition, and I hope it wins a bunch(although I doubt it will). One more thing, this is a hard R, I've heard it was almost NC-17. So if that's not your thing, then steer clear at all costs. Otherwise, this movie is a blast that will make you wish you were a stockbroker.

Lone Survivor

In a year with a lot of great action movies, this movie ranks in the top 5 for sure. Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, and Taylor Kitsch star as a group of Navy Seals who get get ambushed on a covert mission to get a Taliban operative in Afghanistan. The movie is based on a true story with help from the author(whom the film is based) Marcus Luttrell, who also has a small cameo. I think his involvement with the movie really helps it feel authentic, which some war movies tend to get away from. The action in this movie is fantastic. There are two scenes where the Seals jump from the side of a small mountain and they are the two most violent, cringe-worthy scenes of the year by far. I grabbed my mouth both times and said "oh s***!) The performances are all good, Ben Foster shines the best. He has to be the most underrated actor in Hollywood. If there is an issue with the movie, it's that we don't get a lot of character development before the mission. So don't get as much of an attachment with them as you normally do in movies like this. But still, it's a great movie that everyone should see.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

So here is a movie that has one giant problem, it tries to fit a story that is too big for one movie into 2 and a half hours. This covered Mandela's(Idris Elba) young adult life to his imprisonment, then once he is freed becoming president in South Africa. Just too much to cram into a movie. They do a good job, but it feels too long, yet too rushed at the same time. This could have really benefited from being a miniseries on like HBO or being divided into 2 or even 3 movies. All the performances are fine, and Elba who is always awesome, does a phenomenal job. He's up for a golden globe for his performance, and while he does great, I don't think it was one of the best five of the year. But, then again it's been a great year for movies. Good movie if your interested in Mandela, but if not just skip. I'm sure there will be something again the future that will probably be done better.

Walking With Dinosaurs

If I listed the 10 worst movies of 2013 this would be top 3, maybe even number 1. This is just horrible. It wants to be educational, funny, dramatic, interesting, and it fails miserably at it all. The dinosaurs walk(hence the title) and grunt and roar, while there is very bad voice overs. Kind of like the American Home Video clips where there's like a cat and the hosts does a voice for it. I mean the dinosaurs mouths aren't moving, and it has a horrible Latino bird narrator that doesn't work into the movie at all really. Grant got bored midway through, and I honestly thought about walking out(which I haven't done since High School). But, I don't want Grant to think it's ok to walk out of a movie, so we stuck it out. Afterwards he was talking about the dinosaurs some, but I doubt he'd ever care to watch it again, and if he did I'd make him watch "Land Before Time" instead, which is a REAL animated movie, not this crap. I will say the one good thing about this movie is it gorgeous to look at. The dinosaurs look very real, it just happens to be a very boring and pointless movie. Just skip and hope it falls into extinction like the dinosaurs.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
½

When I saw the trailers for this I shrugged. It looked OK, but nothing great. Then I was reading a top 25 movies of the year list by the Weekend Warrior on a movie website called coming soon.He listed this as number 1 and I immediately became intrigued and figured "Hey, I've got some gift cards and extra time, why not?" So I went and gave it a shot. It's not a bad movie, but it's not a great movie either. Not funny enough to be a comedy, and not serious enough to be a truly though provoking drama. Walter Mitty(Ben Stiller) is a guy who processes photographs for Life magazine, and he's a pretty boring guy who zones out in his own mind all the time. Then when it's announced Life magazine is shutting down he is responsible for a famous photographers picture which is to be the cover, and he loses it. From there he goes on this crazy globe trotting type journey to find the photographer and the missing picture. A lot of this movie is just kind of eye rolling and (I hate when people say this, but it's true here) pretentious. The effects were good, but I think Adam Scott and Kirsten Wiig were both miscast. I love those two, but here they just didn't quite work for me. Still also served as director, and I think he did a great job directing, it just happened to be on a mediocre movie. A couple friends told me they thought this looked horrible, and I'm glad to say it's not horrible, but not worth the 10 bucks to see at the theater either. The one great thing about this, is there really isn't many other movies out like this, so it does stand out where a lot of movies just look similar and are essentially the same thing. Worth a shot if your in the mood for something a little different.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

"Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug" is the second chapter in the Hobbit trilogy and it's an improvement over the first movie. Here Bilbo(Martin Freeman), Gandalf(Ian McKellan) and the Dwaves continue their quest to reclaim the lost kingdom of Erebor. The encounter Elves(with Legolas), a dark forest, and much more until they finally get to Erebor and must battle Smaug, a giant dragon. Smaug is absolutely amazing and probably the best dragon in a movie ever. The action in this movie is non stop, which is awesome for the wow effect, but the storyline does suffer some. It is pretty amazing that this is being dragged out into another movie, but hey, it's more Middle Earth action so I can't complain too much. The first movie was a little slower compared to this, but this keeps a great pace for being 2 hours and 45 minutes long. Can't wait to get this on blu ray and watch in 3D, as I'm sure it's an amazing 3D movie. Next December can't get here quick enough for the finale. Great thrill ride of a movie.

Fruitvale Station
½

Here's a movie that shows the dangers of ignorant people. It's based on a true story on New Years Eve in 2008 of Oscar Grant(Michael B. Jordan). Now, I don't wanna type more about what happens, because if you don't know the it will spoil the movie(even though it says what happens at the beginning of the movie). Just know, this movie is gritty and uncomfortable to watch at times. Where most movies would make Grant out to be sympathetic, this really makes him come off as a flawed, not so good guy. Which he probably was, because that is real life for ya. Jordan does a fantastic job, and I could honestly see him nabbing a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars for this. Octavia Spencer plays his mother and she is just heartbreaking in nearly every scene you see her. Very good movie that deserves to be seen. Don't let this fly under your radar.

Runner Runner
½

If they gave an award for Worst Movie Trailer for the year, I'm sure this would win it. I remember seeing it and just being like "man that is a horrible trailer, the movie can't possible be that bad", and it actually is. Justin Timberlake plays a Princeton student who loves to gamble and plays online poker to pay his tuition. When he is cheated on a big game and loses everything he decides to go to Costa Rica and confront the man behind the website, Ivan Block(Ben Affleck). So he confronts him and Affleck gives him a refund and offers him a 7 figure job right there on the spot. Yup, just like that. Timberlake then finds out the Block is a bad guy to do business with as the F.B.I is after him. First, the performances are horrible! I like Timberlake and Affleck, but they are so miscast here it's laughable. This is the worst Timberlake has been in a movie yet, and Affleck is the most unconvincing mobster I may have ever seen. There were a couple times in this they had a chance to go further and save the movie, but they hold back. Really makes the movie feel like it is lacking the balls needs for a mobster flick. It's dumb, pointless, and a waste of time. Just skip it and watch "Rounders" instead, now there is a good gambling movie.

Saving Mr. Banks

Now, I'm not sure how much of this movie is actually true(I've heard it's not very accurate), but damn it's entertaining. Emma Thompson stars as P.L. Travers, the author of "Mary Poppins". She is having financial troubles so she decides to entertain the idea of selling the movie rights to Walt Disney(Tom Hanks), but doesn't want Poppins to become another Disney animated joke. This gives their journey of getting the movie made with each other, and shows Travers' childhood in flashbacks, explaining why Poppins means so much to her. Thompson is amazing, and this is the best she has ever been(even better than she was in "Love Actually"!). I think I called her a b**** about 5 times, but really she isn't that. She's just protective over what is like family to her(in the same way that Walt says Mickey is family to him). As amazing as she is, Tom Hanks is just as fantastic as Walt Disney. Many times during this I kind of forgot it was Hanks and really bought into it being Walt Disney. He had the charisma, the charm and even looks the part. Very interesting look into how one of Disney's all time classic movies was made. Kind of hope they do more movies like this, as sometimes the story behind the movie is better than the movie. Great movie that should get a ton of award recognition in the next few months.

Don Jon
Don Jon(2013)
½

A comedy starring(also directed by) Joseph Gordon-Levitt about porn addiction sounded awesome to me. First trailer I saw I laughed my butt off and figured this would be one of the funnier films of the year. While it does have some very funny moments, it's really more of a drama. Levitt stars as Jon, a playa who can get any girl he wants, but it's never as good as the girls in the porn he watches. He'll have sex, then immediately go and watch porn. He starts a relationship with Barbara(Scarlett Johansson) a girl who has it in her mind that relationships should be like the movies, and tries to change Jon to fit that model for her. While she is trying to change him, he is befriending a much older woman(Julianne Moore) as a night class he is taking(cause Barbara told him to) and finding that maybe being changed isn't what he wants. The performances are ok, Johansson plays kind of a jersey girl type and is downright annoying in some parts. Levitt has been much better in other movies, but he still does decent. The overall theme of why the guy is addicted to porn is interesting, but I dunno, the movie was just missing something for me. Still a decent first outing for Levitt as a director.

Elysium
Elysium(2013)
½

Neill Blomkamp has directed two movies, this and "District 9", and he is one of those directors that I cannot wait to see what he does next. I didn't really quite know if this would be something that would work for me from the trailers so I passed at the theater. Got the blu ray this past week, and I gotta say, it was much better than I expected. The story is about how Earth is just ravaged and overrun by poverty, while the rich live on their own space station called Elysium. No sickness, no worries, while everyone else suffers. Matt Damon stars as a guy who get sick from a radiation accident at his work, and he must get to Elysium to save his life. There's more to it, but that is the jest. The visuals are fantastic and while the story is good(not great), it features an amazing villain in Kruger played by Sharlto Copley. Copley starred in "District 9" as well, and he is just an awesome, underrated actor. He has a scene where he beats a woman holding a kid that is just un-nerving as hell. Matt Damon does good, but Copley completely steals the movie.For me, this is probably the best sci-fi movie of the year. It's different, and one of the better surprises of the year. Perfect rental.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Some sequels come so late that it just isn't even worth it, and others make the wait that much sweeter. "Anchorman 2" is fantastic and gives everything you want in a sequel. Big laughs, dumb asses, big cameos, and a lot of political incorrectness. The whole cast is back, in New York and in the 80's, what more do you need to know? Ferrell is awesome, Rudd is awesome, Koechner is awesome, Carrell's Brick steals the movie in several scenes. Kind of makes me want a Brick movie. I mean, whats better than a date at a vending machine in a laundry mat? Now, I don't think this will be as memorable/quotable as the first movie, but that's OK. I never thought it would be better, but damn it's awesome. Much better than the "Hangover" sequels. Want a good laugh during the holiday season, then this is your ticket! One a side note, if you watch a movie in the theater SHUT THE F*** UP AND PUT YOUR PHONES AWAY! Had three people talking behind me the entire time and a guy in front of me on twitter the entire movie, drove me nuts. Anyway, end of rant, Go see this awesome comedy!

Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

In the last 10 years there hasn't been a comedy that is more quotable and hilarious on repeat viewings than "Anchorman". I saw this is the theater and immediately fell in love. 9 years later I figured I would revisit it before the big sequel to see how much it holds up, and damn it is still hilarious. Will Ferrell is a comedic genius, and this is his best role ever(well, maybe tied with "Old School"). The rest of the cast is amazing, and looking back this kind of started the big push for Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell. After this they had "40 Year Old Virgin" and just kind of blew up from there. I love this movie and still quote it often, from "I love lamp" to "I have many leather bound books". Amazing comedy that ranks as one of the best of all time, and if you don't agree then I will introduce you to Jack Johnson and Tom O Leary.

American Hustle
½

So going into this I had some high expectations. I've read some reviews comparing this to "Goodfellas", and it's up for "Best Comedy/Musical" at the Golden Globe Awards. Well, sometimes high expectations are bad this, because it just sets you up to be let down. It's a movie about con artists in the 70's who get popped by the F.B.I. and have to help get some politicians for bribery. I'll start with the good, because it's not a bad movie at all. The performances are fantastic and absolutely deserving of the recognition. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper each do some of their best work yet here. Lawrence and Bale were probably my favorite two of the bunch, as they really transform themselves from what we're used to seeing. The movie had two things going against it that I didn't like. One, it's 2 hours long, but it feels like 3 and 1/2 hours. It doesn't necessarily drag, it just doesn't have a good enough pace to make it feel like a quick 2 hours. The second thing, the movie kind of doesn't go anywhere. When I read the comparisons to "Goodfellas" I thought "oh snap! some awesome mob violence!" But there isn't any of that. Had there been, this would have been a lot better. Also, this is not a comedy in any way shape or form. Whomever thought this is one of the top five comedies of the year is seriously on crack. It's a straight up drama. I laughed maybe twice, and my wife didn't so much as chuckle the entire time. Is it worth a watch? Absolutely. It's 94% on rotten tomatoes and it's getting a ton of award nominations, so maybe I'm way off. This is one where people should watch and form their own opinion. Maybe if I re-watch this in a year I'll feel differently, but for now it just didn't work out for me like I hoped it would.

Out of the Furnace
½

Christian Bale may be the absolute best actor today. Between his performance here and in "American Hustle" it's just amazing that he's the same person. "Out of the Furnace" is a story of hard luck, redemption, and revenge. Bale stars as Russell, a steel mill worker who has too much to drink one night and ends up killing two people in an auto accident. Once he gets out of prison he finds that his brother(Casey Affleck) has taken up bare knuckle fighting and he has gotten in with the wrong man, a meth dealer(Woody Harrelson). I don't wanna give anymore, because this movie is fantastic and deserves to not be spoiled. All the performances are fantastic, especially Harrelson and Bale. How this movie is going un-noticed is a travesty. This is a fantastic film, and a much better movie than Bales other film out, "American Hustle". Where that movie feels like it could have gone further, this movie doesn't hold back. On a side note, a song called "Oates in the Water" was played on "Walking Dead" this year, and it would have been PERFECT for this movie. Great movie that will probably end up in my top 10 at the end of the year.

Grudge Match
Grudge Match(2013)
½

So I had very, very little expectations for this movie. I expected a very dumb, not so funny attempt at a boxing comedy. What I got was a hilarious reminder that when the right people make a movie together, it will usually not disappoint. Here Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro play two old former boxers who fought twice each winning once. When they get a chance to do video capture for a new boxing video game their old rivalry comes back and they are booked into a boxing match by the son of their old promoter, played by Kevin Hart. This has all the clichés of an "old man" boxing movie you would expect. They mend old wounds, have many training montages, and lots of old jokes. I gotta say, I laughed throughout the entire thing and it has a lot of heart to it as well. You'll come for Stallone and De Niro, who are both great, but you'll be talking about Kevin Hart and Alan Arkin when it's over. Those two are absolutely fantastic. Hart is hilarious(which he always is) and Arkin hasn't been this awesome since "Little Miss Sunshine". Some of the scenes they share are the funniest of the year. Peter Segal is the director and he took what could have easily been a horrible movie, and made it comedy gold. Now, I'm a die-hard boxing fan, so my biggest complaint about this movie is that it's so far-fetched, and the fight at the end is entirely unrealistic. I have a better time buying into "Pacific Rim" as being real than their fight. But, if you just go with it, it's a lot of fun. We got to see an advance screening of this, so that could have easily swayed my opinion some, but my wife really enjoyed it as well. She's a much harsher critic than I am. Best comedy of the year? No, because this has been a pretty decent year for comedies. Also, having such low expectations really helped it out. This is certainly one of the better surprises of the year, and I hope it doesn't get lost in this upcoming sea of Holiday movies coming out. Check it out!

The Family
The Family(2013)

The first time I saw a trailer for this I literally rolled my eyes and said "this looks like crap". Turns out it's not as crappy as I thought. It's actually a lot of fun. Robert DiNiro stars as a Fred, a mafia boss who takes his family into the witness protection program and hide out in France from the mob. There they try to live normal lives, but being a Mafia family nothing is normal. The kids begin to "run" the school, the mom(Michelle Pfeiffer) blows up a grocery store, and Fred beats up a plumber. Then, the men who are after them find out their location and come after them. I have to admit, I thought it was pretty funny and enjoyed it much more than I thought. This could have been a lot more "slap-sticky" then what it was, and I'm glad it wasn't. It was kind of a straight comedy, where this family wasn't caricatures so much as just characters. A scene where DeNiro watches "Goodfellas" is pretty great. I'm sure a lot of people will think it's dumb and not good, and I can see why. But late on a Friday night, it's exactly what you want, a mindless entertaining comedy. Good for a watch or two.

12 Years a Slave

If I were to bet on the awards this year I would put money on this to win Best Picture and Best Actor at almost all the award ceremonies. It's an amazing movie that is moving, riveting, and at many times hard to watch. It's based on the true story of a free black man named Solomon Northup(Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1800s. It's his 12 year journey as a slave to hopefully freedom and redemption. Ejiofor is absolutely amazing here, and I won't lie at the end of this movie I almost(ALMOST) shed a couple tears. He deserves every award given to him. Michael Fassbender plays one of the slave owners, and he is equally deserving. He's the most intense actor today, and he just validates that completely here. Do I think this is the best movie of the year? Probably not, but it's one of the most important movies of 2013 by far. I'm sure this will eventually be shown in schools, and it should be. This isn't one of those movies you will want to watch again and again, because it is so hard to watch. Where a movie like "Django Unchained" shot for pure entertainment, this shoots to tell a true story. A hard story to bare for sure. Great movie that deserves to be seen.

Drinking Buddies
½

**1/2
Here is one of those relationship indy movies that relies on it's characters and dialogue more than anything. It's about two friends(Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson) who work at a brewery and are "those" friends that have a lot of sexual tension. They're the ones that everyone but them can tell they should hook up. They go on a double-date camping trip and things get a little weird when some stuff happens between their significant others(Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston). I love the cast in this, as the main 4 are all awesome in just about everything they do. But, this movie suffers from a lot of pacing issues, and the fact that when it's over, nothing has really happened. It's 90 minutes of conversations and a lot(and I mean a LOT) of beer drinking. But then again, the movie is called "Drinking Buddies" so why should I expect anything else? It's not a bad movie, and I can see why people would enjoy it. But for me, I think I expected a little more out of it. Still a decent enough rental or Netflix steam. There are a lot worse ways to spend 90 minutes.

Kick-Ass 2
Kick-Ass 2(2013)
½

I loved the first "Kick Ass" and was pretty stoked for the sequel until I read reviews. The reviews were pretty bad, so I decided not to see it in the theater. I'm glad I didn't shell out the 10 bucks(plus another 15 for snacks), but this isn't nearly as bad as a lot of critics claim it to be. If you enjoyed the first one, then this gives you more of what you want and would expect from this franchise. Everyone is back(except Nicolas Cage for obvious reasons), and now Red Mist as become the MotherF***er and is assembling an army to take out Kick Ass(Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Kick Ass joins a group of heroes and tries to recruit Hit Girl(Chloe Grace Moretz), but she wants to leave the life of crime fighting.. It all comes together in one big epic brawl. This has more action, violence, and young girl cussing that the first movie. Also, Jim Carrey has a bit role and is amazing. This is his best work in the last few years by far. He adds a lot to the movie for the 15-20 minutes he is in it. Is this better than number 1? No, but it's still a worthy sequel. I liked it, and I'm sure most true fans will too.

Machete Kills

***
Let me start by saying if you don't like over the top violence, crazy/goofy action, then just don't even bother at all with this. Actually, if you've never seen the first movie "Machete", it's probably because that's not your thing anyway. This is an absolute blast of pure B entertainment. Basically Machete(Danny Trejo) is back and has to get revenge for the death of his partner, and save the world from missile annihilation. Charlie Sheen plays the President of the U.S. if that tells you anything. The cast is insane and awesome, and Mel Gibson hasn't been this crazy in years. This movie is a lot of fun if you're in the mood for it, or if you like these type of flicks. The one thing I absolutely hated was the ending. This is a big spoiler so stop now if you don't want anything ruined.

It ends with a freaking trailer for "Machete Kills Again...In Space" and that is exactly how the movie started. I have no idea if they are actually making that into a real movie or not. If not, it's some crap because this movie has no resolution. Now, does it need it? No not at all, but some would still be nice. Again, if you want a fun night at home laughing at some crazy stuff, then check it out!

Crystal Fairy

*
Sometimes I amaze myself at the movies I will sit through because it gets nominated for awards. This movie was up for some Spirit awards(actress, and a few others), it stars Michael Cera, so I figured Why Not? It's about a group traveling through Chile to get a drug out of a cactus to get high, then they have a bunch of drama amongst themselves on a beach. It has a few funny moments, but overall it's boring, incoherent, and just not very good or entertaining. I like Michael Cera, but this is one of his movies that is just dumb(kind of like how "Paper Heart" was dumb). The hippie girl he picks up played by Gaby Hoffman is good, but nowhere near deserving of any award nomination on any planet. This is weird, and a big time wasting movie(another gem I watched off of Netflix). Of course, I should be surprised that a movie called "Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus" is bad. Don't bother at all with this, unless you're on the drugs they are searching for.

Frances Ha
Frances Ha(2013)

***As I'm sure anyone who reads any of my reviews know, I love to watch movies that get award recognition. It's an OCD type thing for me, and I do it every year. The Independent Spirit Awards came out and I immediately began to search for which movie I could watch immediately. The first was "Frances Ha" which is up for best picture. I knew some of it before I watched, but the thing that stuck out most for me was the director Noah Baumbach. I typically find his movies to be very boring. "Squid and the Whale" and "Greenburg" are two movies that got some recognition and just bored the hell out of me. Had fine performances and premises, but were just too slow. So I figured this would probably continue that trend. It's always good to be wrong, as this is definitely his best movie yet. It's about a dancer named Frances(Greta Gerwig) who is one of those girls who can't get their life together. Her roommate/best friend moves out of their apartment and on with her life. Frances then searches for new friends, while trying to make something of her dream to be a professional dancer. It does a great job of showing a real friendship that goes through the ups and downs of life. Gerwig is fantastic and one of the better female characters I've seen the last few years. The movie is all black and white, which gives it a very unique feel. It does drag in spots, but it's only 90 minutes long and the soundtrack is great(had "Modern Love" by David Bowie stuck in my head since!). Overall, if you're a fan of indy movies, then this is a definite movie to check out(it's available on Netflix streaming!). But if those type of movies aren't your thing, then you should probably steer clear.

Red 2
Red 2(2013)
½

"Red 2" is a sequel that follows the formula of the first movie and doesn't really add anything. It's basically another adventure, and another chance to see these characters. Which for what it is, is perfectly fine. This isn't one of those franchises with long lasting appeal, or something on an epic scale. It's an action comedy meant to entertain for 90 minutes, and that's what it does. The entire cast(except Freeman and Urban) are back for this go around. Frank(Bruce Willis) is living a simple life of trips to Costco with his girlfriend Sarah(Mary-Louis Parker) when he is thrust back into action to help stop the use of a weapon of mass destruction created by Anthony Hopkins. Again, everyone is trying to kill Frank and Marvin(John Malkovich), but no one is a very good shot. Willis seems to be going through motions, but Malkovich is awesome and crazy as ever. Parker is a little annoying here, which she can be in most her roles. The rest of the cast are all good, and the action is pretty good. This is "light" entertainment, meaning the day after you watch it, you'll probably just forget about it. It's not a bad movie, just not something that will stick with you or demand repeat viewings. If you enjoyed the first one, then you should like this.

Getaway
Getaway(2013)
½

*1/2
I really like a good car chase movie. When done right, they can be some of the most exciting action sequences in film. Then you get a movie like "The Getaway" where it is a 90 minute long car chase, and it just doesn't work. It's a big mess actually. Ethan Hawke stars as a driver who has to drive a car around a city doing a lot of crazy stuff that a mysterious voice on the phone(Jon Voight) is telling him to do, since he has kidnapped Hawke's wife. Along the way Hawke picks up Selena Gomez and the 2 try to figure out how to save his wife, and why this is being done to him. This is a bad movie. The directing is horrible. The edit job on this is one of the worst I've ever seen. It goes back and forth from the regular camera to camera set up on the car to make it seem like a found footage type movie. Hawke does good, as he always does, but Voight is completely wasted and Gomez is very miscast. I saw just completely skip this and watch a "fast and furious" movie if you like fast cars. If you want a good thriller involving a car, check out the original "Hitcher" or even "Joy Ride". Otherwise you'll want to get away from "The Getaway"(lol, see how I did that:-p )

Tower Heist
Tower Heist(2011)

Re-watched this last week and I gotta say it holds up very well. Still pretty funny, and definitely a good re-watch around Thanksgiving time.
***

Original review "Tower Heist" is kind of like a comedic version of the "Ocean's 11" movies. Alan Alda plays a millionaire who invests his workers pensions fraudulently, then loses it all. While awaiting his trial the workers, headed by Ben Stiller, decide to plan a heist and steal their money back from his penthouse apartment. The heist is very entertaining and pretty clever(although parts are predictable). The cast is very well rounded with Eddie Murphy, Michael Pena, Casey Affleck, and Gabourey Sidibe all taking part in the heist and providing plenty of laughs and some memorable lines. While the movie probably won't be remembered as long as some of Stiller and Murphy's other notable movies( "Meet the Parents", "Nutty Professor"), it is still worth a watch, and I could see a sequel coming out down the line. Good fall comedy if you need a laugh or just need to kill an hour or so.

Frozen
Frozen(2013)
½

This year has been pretty great for animated movies, and it saved probably the best for last in "Frozen". This is a real throwback Disney movie. One of those "love conquers all" stories with musical numbers and funny, memorable characters. I laughed so hard in this with the snowman and the reindeer, I had literal tears coming out. The songs are great, and it's just a movie that will be re-released overtime by Disney like it's other classics. It sits perfectly next to timeless greats like "Little Mermaid" or "Aladdin". I will say, if there is anything wrong with this, it's the lack of a truly good Disney villain. The villain is OK, but they are no Jabar or Ursalla. The animation is fantastic, especially the short before the movie with Mickey Mouse. We didn't catch this in 3D, but I can tell right now, I will be purchasing this is 3D on blu ray and will probably pop this bad boy in the first night. My wife loved it, my boy loved it, I think everyone had a great time with it. It's the type of movie that if you don't like, then I'd have to question if you have a heart or soul. Just a great movie that parents and kids will absolutely adore. Perfect theater movie for a fantastic time with the family. Also, I will say I hadn't seen very many previews at all for this and didn't really know much about it going in, and I think that is probably the best way to experience this if you can.

Paranoia
Paranoia(2013)

*

"Paranoia" is a technology corporation thriller, that lacks the most important thing in a thriller, thrills. Liam Hemsworth stars as a down on his luck corporate guppie who finds himself in the cross hairs of a war between Tec companies headed by Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman. Now those two are usually awesome, and they each have good moments here. But really, they don't add much, if anything to it. Hemsworth is very wooden, and one of those actors where he is more eye candy for the girls than anything. Is it worth a watch? Eh, if it's a redbox rental or on Netflix, sure. But worth any substantial money? No, not really. This could have been worse, but really it should have been so much better.

2 Guns
2 Guns(2013)

This movie is awesome! One of the most fun movies I've seen all year. Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington star as two undercover agents who rob a bank. After the robbery they learn that each isn't who they think they are, and that they have both been set up. Now, they gotta team up and learn to trust each other to find out the truth. There are a ton of twists and turns in this, some more predictable than others, but it's a very fun ride. Wahlberg and Washington have tremendous chemistry with each other, and Wahlberg hasn't been this good since "Departed". I laughed hard at some of his awesome one liners. The action is good and the supporting cast is decent. Bill Paxton is a great bad guy. This is one of those flicks that you just gotta sit down with a tub of popcorn and just be entertained. It's fun, and I hope they make another one, because this has potential to be like the new "Lethal Weapon" of this generation. Definitely check this one out!

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

9 times out of 10 sequels aren't as good as the original, or they lack the "special" qualities that a first movie had. "Catching Fire" is one of those rare ones that is better than the first. More action, more intrigue, a better plot, and performances that aren't as "wooden". Here Katniss(Jennifer Lawrence) is at odds with the president(Donald Sutherland). She basically lit a fire for revolution with her victory in the games and he wants to stop it. He arranges for her and Peeta(Josh Hutcherson) to return for another game, kind of an "All-Star Hunger Games", can they survive again? Or will the president get his wish and crush this revolution before it gets a chance to really catch fire(get the pun?:-) I thought this was much better at almost every level, and I enjoyed the first movie. Two things I liked a lot more, there was more government involvement and less shaky camera. I really didn't like the way the camera was always moving in the first film, and luckily that isn't back. Sutherland has a much bigger role and he is PERFECT as an evil president. Everyone else does good(Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a great addition). I will say the ending is such a cliffhanger I blurted out "what the F*** kind of ending is that?!" and got several laughs from the high schooler's in front of me. Good movie, and continues the foundation for what will hopefully finish up(2 more movies!) as a terrific franchise.

The East
The East(2013)

**
"The East" is a movie that has a very interesting concept, but fails to live up to the potential it creates. It's about a movement called "The East" that basically terrorizes CEO's of companies that do harm to people and the environment. The don't kill them, but they do make them bathe in toxic water, fill their home with oil, etc. The cast is decent, nothing outstanding, but what you would expect in a lower budget type thriller that this is. Brit Marling, Ellen Page, and Alexander Skarsgard headline. Marling as an undercover agent who infiltrates the group and Page and Skarsgard as the two main members. I really liked the idea of this movie, but I thought it spent too much time of the undercover agent/quasi love story. If it were more about the group and their actions, this could have been very special. But, it's not. In the end it's just another undercover agent who turns movie. It's slow, but does have a few very good moments. Worth a watch? Sure. But it's not something that is going to stand out, at least not for me.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
½

****1/2
When I saw "Hobbit" in the theater is was a family movie night in Paris. I hadn't got much sleep, and was just tired as hell, and not in an ideal mood to watch a 3 hour movie. I think because of this it really soured my opinion of the movie, because I remember not caring a whole lot for it. Felt it was too long, and nowhere near the quality of the previous "Lord of the Rings" movies. So, I have the Extended Editions of the first trilogy on blu-ray(thanks to my amazing wifey!), and just had to make sure I got the extended cuts of this new trilogy(I'm OCD on my movie collection). So I picked up the 3D Blu Ray and figured I'd rewatch before the new one comes out. No matter what I thought of this first one, I knew I was going to watch the rest because I LOVED the original trilogy so much. Well, I'm glad I did, because I was very wrong on my initial feelings. This is a fantastic movie. Is it too long? Yup. As good as the first three? Nope. But it's still an amazing(and Unexpected) Journey of a movie. The effects, especially in 3D, are unbelievable. The action is great, and the music has been stuck in my head all week(luckily the soundtrack is on Spotify). There are still some things I don't like, like the sparrows not just flying them all to the castle at the end. Plus, just like "Fellowship of the Ring", I hate not having an ending, but I expected it this time around. This first installment of Bilbo Baggins journey to helps the dwarves reclaim their home is fantastic and now I cannot wait to see the second one! I'll just make sure it's on a day where I'm wide awake and ready.

Here's my original review, where I wasn't as harsh as I remembered being. Because for the longest time I told people I didn't think it was very good, but my review says otherwise...weird.


Two quick things, I watched this movie while I was pretty tired and had trouble getting into it(but I would have during any movie). Also, I watched this in Paris, IL, which is a cheap theater and doesn't offer the same quality as, say an AMC theater. Having said that, I thought this was a terrific movie, and one that I can't wait to watch in 3D when I'm in a much better movie viewing state of mind. This is a prequel to the amazing "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and it holds up good next to those three masterpieces. I don't think this is good as those three, but it doesn't diminish the legacy in any way, and actually sets up a trilogy that will be pretty awesome when it's all said and done. This is the story of Bilbo Baggins(Martin Freeman) embarking on an adventure with Gandolf(Ian McKellen) and a group of Dwarves to help them reclaim their land from a dragon named Smaug. Freeman is amazing as Bilbo, and probably my favorite Hobbit of all these middle earth movies. He's funny, and a guy you find yourself genuinely rooting for. Peter Jackson returns as the director and I think that is very much a good thing. This matches right up with the first three, even though it is a much lighter movie in tone. This is more kid friendly that the original trilogy, and that's good, as it will introduce a whole new crowd to these movies. Very good movie, that is a must watch this holiday season.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

****
I can only remember 2 times in my life laughing so hard that I was crying. The first was when my brothers introduced me to Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The second, was this past weekend when I was trying to tell Emily about a couple scenes in this. I couldn't speak and I couldn't control it. I'm sure it was quite the sight for her. This is one of the funniest movies of the year, and has numerous scenes that you will laugh uncontrollably at. But, more importantly this is the type of movie where you will talk about it a lot and laugh when doing so. Those type of comedies don't come along too often. I know this is a "Jackass Presents" movie, but it has much more in common with "Borat". Johnny Knoxville is disguised as Irving, basically a Bad Grandpa. He is on a road trip to get his grandson to his father, because Irving's wife recently died and he doesn't wanna be saddled down with a kid. Along the way the prank and do crazy stuff to unsuspecting people and get their real reactions. Mover help move a dead both, pooping on a wall, saggy balls, this movie has it all. I'd say the biggest different between this and "Borat" is, this doesn't mean to be mean spirited or shine a light on things like racism at all. This is just an old guy being ridiculous. It's genuinely hilarious and they need to make more of these. If you want to watch a true gut busting comedy, then check this out.

Thor: The Dark World

****
I gotta say, these Marvel movies are awesome. Or better yet Marvelous? "Thor: The Dark World" is the follow-up to "Thor" and "The Avengers", and it continues Marvel's run of excellent movies. This is much different than all the other movies, in that most of it is not spent on Earth. Here a Dark Elf named Malekith(Christopher Eccleston) long thought to be dead comes back to basically turn the entire universe dark, thus getting revenge on Asgard for defeating his people centuries ago. Who is the one man who stands in his way? Thor of course! There's more to it than that, but that's the basic plot. At this point Chris Hemsworth IS Thor, much like Robert Downey IS Tony Stark. He does a fantastic job, but the best performance here is probably Tom Hiddleston as Loki. We see many different sides of him that didn't quite come out in the last two movies, and his character arc is pretty awesome. Natalie Portman is OK, but I think her chemistry with Hemsworth is lacking a little. I've seen much worse, but they don't gel as good as say Pepper Potts and Stark. But, then again most on screen couples don't. This isn't the best Marvel movie out there, but it's certainly not the worse. It's serves its purpose by giving a lot of action, great humor, and makes you excited for the next Thor movie Definitely worth checking out, especially for fans of Marvel or movies in general.

The Bling Ring

**
If someone came up to me and said "Hey, describe "Bling Ring" to me", and first I would laugh. Then I'd say it's a true story about annoying teenagers, who feel entitled and rob a bunch of annoying celebrities. I remember when this happened a few years ago and just thought it was all stupid, and after watching this I think the same thing. First, the kids are annoying(although the acting is good in this), and the celebrities are stupid for making their homes so easy to break into. The star of the movie is Emma Watson and she does a great job. She nails that girl dead to rights. The movie is kind of interesting, but I think the biggest issue is Sophia Coppola's directing. She tends to make movies "artsy", and she does that here. Reminded me a lot of "Spring Breakers", only without the killings, sex, and James Franco's awesomeness. Is it worth a watch? Sure, a one- time viewing for free or from redbox is fine. But it's not something you'll probably come back to, or want to spend any real money on.

R.I.P.D.
R.I.P.D.(2013)

**

I've heard this compared to "Men in Black" a lot. While the premise is similar, "Men in Black" is a much better movie. Here, Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds star as officers for the R.I.P.D(Rest in Peace Department). They basically fight dead people who shouldn't be on Earth anymore. I'd say in some ways this has more in common with "Ghost" than "Black" because of Reynolds trying to contact his wife. There is some good humor, but the story is weak and the effects aren't up to the standards that most movies have nowadays. Although I will say, the city being torn apart towards the end is pretty impressive. But the dead people look very fake. I'd say kids will probably enjoy this some for its campy nature, but really, it's just not a very good movie. Not unwatchable, but you'll end up wishing it were better.

Jobs
Jobs(2013)
½

***1/2

I've never really been an Apple user, but I've often been fascinated by Steve Jobs. The things he has helped create and revolutionize in today's world, cannot be understated. I honestly believe he was our times Thomas Edison in a lot of ways. But, I don't know a lot about him, just that he started Apple, Pixar and created things like the IPod, IPad, and IPhone. This is a portrait of him from starting apple, to about the time they came out with the IPod. I gotta say, it's pretty interesting and I was very into it. Now, there are a lot of holes in the story, and it doesn't show a lot of stuff about him I'd like to have seen(more of his personal life, relationship with Bill Gates, his death). But, it shows enough to be a pretty solid movie. My biggest concern was Ashton Kutcher as Jobs, and I have to say, he nailed it. Never once was I like "Oh it's that goofy Kutcher crap". He took it serious and did a terrific job, probably his best performance to date. The rest of the cast was very solid as well. If you have no interest in technology or Steve Jobs, then you should probably just skip it. Otherwise, it's a good glimpse at a very important figure in our modern world.

Free Birds
Free Birds(2013)

***

Not all animated movies are as good as Disney or Dreamworks movies. That's ok, because some aren't going to be "classics", just time fillers. "Free Birds" is one of those movies that is enjoyable while you watch, and when it's over it's over. I doubt this will be shown every Thanksgiving like "Grinch" is around Christmas. But that's fine, because it's still a light, funny, decent enough animated movie. Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson voice two Turkeys that go back in time to stop turkeys from becoming the main dish on thanksgiving. The voice cast is good, especially Harrelson. He's like a pothead turkey. Yeah it's wacky and out there, but hey it's for kids, and Grant enjoyed it. There's a lot of little jokes here or there for the adults, so I laughed quite a bit. There are much better cartoons out there, but for an hour and a half, this is solid entertainment that the whole family will like. Besides, there aren't many Thanksgiving cartoons out there, so this time of the year, is perfect to give it a shot.

The Way Way Back
½

***1/2
"Way Way Back" is a coming of age independent movie that is all substance and little flash. It's the story of Duncan(Liam James) a teenager who has to stay the summer with his mom(Toni Collette) and her jerk boyfriend, Trent(Steve Carell). They stay at Trent's summer house, and Duncan hates it until he meets Owen(Sam Rockwell). Think of a dumber, broke version of Tony Stark and you have Owen. He works for a local waterpark and gets Duncan a job, and he helps Duncan by being the friend that he needs. There are a lot of laughs and some heavy dramatic moments. Luckily, it never becomes melodramatic. Kind of like "Little Miss Sunshine", or a lighter version of "Perks of a Wallflower." The acting in this is fantastic, and I can see Rockwell getting some award recognition for supporting actor. James does great as Duncan, and is really a young actor to keep an eye on. If I had any issues with the movie is it's drags just a little in the middle, but it's still not a long movie, and is very entertaining. Just a good dramady that's very enjoyable and worth a watch or two. Also, it's co-written and directed by Jim Rash aka the Dean from "Community", so it immediately has an awesome factor from that alone. Check it out.

The Great Gatsby

***
Baz Luhrmann is one of those directors with a very unique, offbeat way of making movies. He hasn't made very many movies(5 I do believe), but you can definitely tell which ones are his. "Moulin Rouge" is one of my favorite musicals, and I usually hate musicals. Here, he takes a classic story and puts his touch on it. "Great Gatsby" is the story of a reclusive millionaire, Gatsby(Leonardo DiCaprio) in the 20s who uses his money and notoriety so he doesn't seem like a "nobody". In doing this he hopes to win back the love of the one that got away, Daisy(Carey Mulligan). It's told by the view of Nick(Toby Maguire) who is Daisy's cousin and kind of the middle man for them. The cast is fantastic, and they all give very good performances. The movie is paced very good, and looks absolutely amazing. This was shot for 3D and I regret not seeing it in the theater in 3D(tried to get it on blu ray, but only had access the 2D version). It pops like few movies. The soundtrack is very unique in that it takes hip hop(Jay Z helped score it), and fuses it with 20's style music. What you get is very similar to what Baz did with "Moulin". It runs a little on the long side, but it doesn't fall into dull or boring territory. Decent flick that while not anything too great, is certainly not like anything else out right now. Worth a watch.

About Time
About Time(2013)

****
Richard Curtis has only directed three movies, and one of them is my second favorite movie ever, "Love Actually". Whenever I hear/see "from the people that brought you Love Actually" I take notice. "Pirate Radio" was his second movie, another very underrated comedy and now "About Time". "About Time" is a simple love story with time travel as a center device. It stars Domhnall Gleeson as Tim, an awkward guy who wants nothing more than to find a girlfriend. On his 21st birthday his world is thrown for a loop when his father(Bill Nighy) tells him how the men in their family can travel through time. He can't go to the future or anything crazy, just back to his own life, to relive and change if he wants. From there he uses time travel to help him find the love of his life and fix some small wrongs in his life. Rachel McAdams plays his love interest Mary and they have wonderful chemistry. The cast in this is just perfect. Scenes with Nighy and Domhnall are fantastic as you really do buy into their father-son relationship. Being a father has given me new insight to movies like this, and there were a couple moments that nearly brought a tear to my eye. Now this isn't one of those movies with big dramatic scenes, or a lot of melodrama. It's a small love story with a small sci-fi element thrown in. Emily really enjoyed it because of this, that it really isn't what you would expect. It's just a nice, simple movie, that is very funny and charming. I liked it a lot(now it was a free advance screening, so I'm sure that didn't hurt), and would say it's an absolute perfect date movie, that guys will enjoy too.

Blackfish
Blackfish(2013)
½

***1/2
"Black Fish" is one of those documentaries that will change the way you feel about something. This is a very eye opening look into how Sea World has treated it's whales. Well, actually, I guess mainly one whale and it's the story of why that whale attacked it's trainer. After watching this, I don't think I ever want to go to a Sea World again. Not saying they're a bad company or "evil", but just seeing this is pretty eye opening. It's very fascinating and a story that a lot of people don't know, and probably should know. Also, it's not an animal cruelty movie at all, it's told mainly from the trainers perspective. If this were like a PETA ad, I don't think it would be effective at all. But by having trainers tell the story, you get a very unique look inside this subject. Some of the footage of whales attacking their trainers is just amazing, and some of the scariest images you will see in a movie. Runs around 80 minutes, so it never over stays it's welcome. Very good documentary that should be watched, and one that not only entertains, but informs. Those are the best documentaries out there. Should get some award nominations during award season.

Peeples
Peeples(2013)
½

Let me start this out by saying, Craig Robinson is funny as hell. Anytime I see him in a movie I know I'm gonna be laughing. Here is no difference, even though the movie is very generic. This is basically a black version of "Meet the Parents", with Robinson playing the Stiller part, and David Alan Grier as the Di Niro father role. Sure there are a few differences, but it's the same thing. But, that's ok, because it's still pretty funny, even though you know what's coming next throughout the movie. The supporting cast does a good job, but this is Robinson's movie, and he shines. Good for a few good PG-13 laughs, and a perfect rental.

What Maisie Knew

**

"What Maisie Knew" is one of those dramas that takes itself very seriously, and in the end doesn't really know what it what's to be. At least that's what I took away from it. This is pretty much about the absolute worst set of parents ever(Jullianne Moore and Steve Coogan). They fight all the time and neglect their daughter, Maisie. The are always pawning her off to the nanny(and Coogan's new wife) Margo(Joanna Vanderham) and Moore's new boyfriend Lincoln(Alexander Skarsgård ) They pretty much bond with Maisie while her parents are off doing who knows what with who knows who. It's find of a downer of a movie, even though it's not really meant to be that way. It's very slow and the performances are all solid, but nothing spectacular. This is one to just skip and catch on Netflix eventually if your really bored, or need help sleeping.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

***

I must first admit that I own the first installment on blu-ray, but I honestly don't remember if I've watched it. I'm pretty sure I get the jest of it and the beginning of this sequel does a great job explaining the events of the first movie. Having said that, you don't need to see it to enjoy this, because it's pretty good on it's own. It picks up right where it left off, and Flint(Bill Hader) is recruited by an "Apple" type science company. Long story short the food he created has mutated and taken over their city, and he has to help stop/contain them. The movie has some twists and turns, and it's very, very funny. Not to mention the animation in this is awesome. The Tacodile is something to be seen for sure. We took Grant and he enjoyed it, so kids will definitely love it. Good news is, so will the parents. I've seen much worse animated movies out there. Hopefully the make another one, cause this franchise is pretty unique and I'd love to see where it goes next.

The Kings of Summer
½

***1/2
"Kings of Summer" is a kind of "Stand by Me"(there's been quite a few of those this year)type of movie. It's about 3 teenage boys who are fed up with their parents and their lives in general. So they go out in the woods and build a house and just hang out. The movie is very authentic to how friendship really is at that age. It really brought me back to my high school days and how me and my buddies would joke around. It's a very funny movie, actually one of the funnier films I've seen this year. The cast is mainly unknowns, save for Nick Offerman. Offerman plays one of the dads and he is hilarious. Between this and "We're the Millers" the guy is having an awesome year. The film does drag in parts and there are a few times where it tries to be an "artsy" movie. But don't let that keep you away, this is a very entertaining movie. One of those hidden gems that you don't hear about, but is definitely worth a watch. I bet this gets some Spirit Award(independent film) nominations at the end of the year. Good flick.

We're The Millers
½

***1/2
"We're the Millers" is a concept comedy that works great because of it's cast, not the concept. The concept is kind of bland. A drug dealer(Jason Sudeikis) has to go to Mexico to retrieve drugs to make up for the drugs he had stolen. In order to get across the border he hires a "family" to travel in an RV with him. There's the nerdy virgin son, the homeless reckless daughter, and the stripper wife(Jennifer Aniston). Together they all pretend to be the Millers, a wholesome American family. Sudekis is absolutely hilarious, as he usually is. He has some awesome one liners. Aniston is fantastic(that strip tease scene is awesome!), and the kids are great. Especially the boy, when he raps "Waterfalls" by TLC, it is comedy gold! The casting was just dead on perfect for this. This isn't the best comedy of the year, but it's darn near close. I can see there being a sequel, and if the cast remains intact, it could be pretty special. Very funny movie if you're in the mood for some killer R rated laughs.

Gravity
Gravity(2013)

*****

"Gravity" is one of those movies that has to be seen in the theater. A home viewing will still be good, but the theater is where this movie belongs. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock star as astronauts working on a space station that is hit by Russian satellite debris. From there, things go from bad to worse. Bullock gives the best performance of her career and will undoubtedly get a ton of award recognition later this year. She is absolutely amazing. This is kind of a "Cast Away" in space type movie and she carries it so well. If you can, see this in 3D. It makes perfect use of 3D and it enhances the movie much more than most nowadays. Actually, I don't think I can imagine watching this is 2D. Alonso Cauron directed this, and he did an amazing job. This is probably the best theatrical experience I've had this year(or at least very close to "Oz" in Imax 3D). In a month meant for scary movies, this is one that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire 90 minutes. Fantastic film, that will definitely be in my top 5 at the end of the year. A must see for all movie lovers.

The World's End

****

Let me start this out by saying "Shaun of the Dead" to me is a masterpiece. I remember seeing that in the theater with my brother and buddy Scott and just laughing our balls off. I can watch that a 100 times and never get tired of it. "Hot Fuzz" on the other hand is just ok, and probably one if I rewatch I'll like more. Here is the finale of Edgar Wrights' "Cornetto Trilogy"(the three movies he directed starting Nick Frost and Simon Pegg). The less you know about this the better. It's basically a group of old friends who have gotten older and grown apart who come together for a one night epic pub crawl that they didn't finish 20 year earlier. During the crawl crazy stuff happens and this becomes something you wouldn't expect if you didn't know what happens(so I won't ruin it), but it's awesome. The cast is great, and it's hilarious throughout the entire movie. Much better than "Fuzz", not as good as "Shaun", but it's up there. I was very surprised at how good the effects and fight scenes are, but then again Wright did direct "Scott Pilgrim"(another amazing movie). I will say, that I didn't really care for the ending. Just not how I would have ended it, but it doesn't really damper the movie at all. If you're not into British comedies, then you probably won't like this or get some of the humor. But then again it may end up being right up your alley. One of the better comedies of the Summer season. Great watch and great conclusion to their trilogy, although I hope they continue to make movies together, because these three are awesome when teamed up.

The Big Wedding
½

**

Some movies have really good casts and they just don't work out. "Big Wedding" is one of those movies. Robert Di Nero, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace, Amanda Seyfried, Susan Sarandan round out the cast. But even with all that star power, this is a very uneven, unfunny romantic comedy. It's basically about a dysfunctional family coming together for a wedding, and all their problems come to a head. Women will probably enjoy it more than the guys(even though Emily passed out and didn't care for it all). Worth a watch? Maybe a one time on Netflix. But not really worth any money.

The Iceman
The Iceman(2013)
½

***1/2

Michael Shannon is one weird, creepy actor and he is awesome for it. Here, he is at his creepiest as a serial killer hitman nicknamed The Iceman. Based on a true story, he kills over a hundred people. This isn't so much about his murders(although there are a lot of them). It's more about how he balances his home life as a husband and father of two, with his life as a killer. It's interesting and intense. The supporting cast is great with Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, James Franco, and Chris Evans, who is completely disguised. But this is Shannon's movie. If you enjoyed him in "Take Shelter" or on "Boardwalk Empire", then this is a must watch. I can see him getting award recognition for this. The biggest issue with the movie is the pacing. It's kind of slow and tedious in spots, but overall it's still entertaining. Worth a watch.

Prisoners
Prisoners(2013)

****

"Prisoners" is one of those movies that is going to be hard for a lot of people to watch. It's a movie about a child abduction and the lengths that a father will go to to get his daughter back. If you mixed "Mystic River" and "Seven" together, then you would get "Prisoners". There are lots of twists and turns, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat and eyes glued to the screen. The cast in this is absolutely amazing. Spearheaded by Hugh Jackman playing the father, and this is his best role yet. If he doesn't get a best actor nomination at the awards shows this year, then there is something very, very wrong. There were two scenes with him where I nearly had a tear or two come out. It's very powerful stuff. Jake Gyllenhall is also terrific as the lead detective on the case. Paul Dano, Viola Davis, Terrance Howard, and Mellissa Leo round out the ensemble, and each one is terrific. This is one of those movies where it'll end and you will immediately say "I would have done this..." or I agree with this person. It's very easy to put yourself into their shoes, especially if you're a parent. My wife asked if this would have had the same impact 5 years ago, and I don't think it would have. This is an amazing movie, with a truly gripping story. Sure some won't like it or want to watch it, but for everyone else, this is one of the best movies of 2013 right now. I'd be very surprised if this doesn't end up on my top 5 list at the end of the year.

You're Next
You're Next(2013)

"You're Next" is a complete throwback to 80's type horror movies. It's fun, funny, has jump out moments and one of those horror movies that you won't forget. It's basically a home invasion movies. A rich family get together for the 35th anniversary of the parents, and then they get attacked from outside intruders with crossbows, axes, and machetes. From there the movie is what you would expect with a couple twists that most people will see coming, and a bunch of moments that you will either laugh at, jump, or go "Holy Shit". When I was younger, friends and I would get together some Friday nights and watch horror movies. This is perfect for that. It doesn't take itself very serious, and has the best death scene of the year involving a blender.. Horror fans should love this, if your don't like horror or are squeamish, then just know, you're missing out.

Terms And Conditions May Apply
½

Anyone ever read the terms and agreements of say facebook or google? Yeah me either, I just click agree and move on. Well, this is a documentary about what is in those terms and how privacy laws have really changed the last ten years, taking away a lot of our privacy. For people who use the internet a lot(pretty much everyone) this is eye opening and definitely worth a watch. The narrator is a little on the stoic boring side, but the movie is always interesting. One of those docs that will get conversations going.

The Company You Keep

**

"The Company You Keep" is one of those complex thrillers with some twists and turns, that just doesn't work out quite like it could have. I dunno what it was about it, but I didn't think it was as good as it could have been. It stars Shia LeBeouf as a reporter who learns the true identities of fugitives who had committed a murder 30 years prior. It weaves back and forth between him trying to find the truth, and one of fugitives trying to clear his name to remain with his daughter. The fugitive in question is played by Robert Redford(who also directs) and man he is still great after all these years. He has that "movie star" quality that a lot of actors just don't have anymore. The cast is great, even LeBeouf does a good job. Susan Sarandon, Sam Elliot, Terrance Howard, Richard Jenkins, among others round out the stellar cast. But the pacing and subject matter just don't really sustain(at least for me). I think if it focused more on Redford, and less on LeBeouf, it would have been better. But then again, it would have been a completely different movie. I love a good political type thriller(for example, "Ides of March" was pretty good)but this was just "meh". Maybe it was when I watched it(kind of late at night) and just wasn't as interested as I could have been. Maybe on a second viewing I will like it more. I can see why people will like it, because it is a smart movie. But at the same time, I can see how it will be off putting for others. Worth a rental? Sure, judge for yourself. But I'd pick up a spare movie just in case;-)

The Reef
The Reef(2010)

***
Australians sure do seem to make some good horror movies. "Wolf Creek" and "The Loved Ones" are two of the better horror flicks of the last ten years, and "The Reef" is one of the better shark movies since "Jaws". It's about a group of 5 people who capsize while sailing in the Ocean. They have to make the decision to stay on the boat and wait for help while it sinks. Or try to swim the 10 or so miles to land, knowing there are sharks in the water. Let's just say this is pretty tense, and quite scary if you put yourself in their shoes. It's more about the mental aspects of the movie that will get to you, rather than the sharks(although they are awesome too). Could have used more sharks, but I don't know if it would have been as effective as it was. A movie like "Wolf Creek" has a slow build, then had a few moments that were like "HOLY S***!" This is a lot like that in that sense, well and the Australian accents. Reminded me of "Open Water", but not as slow. Runs around 88 minutes and doesn't really ever get boring. Good runtime for a movie like this. I saw it on Netflix, so since everyone and their dog has Netflix these days, you should check it out. Good for a few scares, but you won't wanna go swimming for a while afterwards.

Bullet to the Head

**
"Bullet to the Head" is the latest action movie from Sylvester Stallone who is bring back the "80s" type of action movies. Here he plays a hit man who teams with a cop(Sung Kang) and tries to avenge the death of his partner after a job goes wrong. It's a pretty average plot, but the action is good, and there are lots of bullets to heads(as well as there should be in a movie titled this!) Stallone does good playing, well Stallone. The rest of the cast is what you would expect. Kang is the good cop who has to look past his morals to help the bad guy, who is really the good guy. Jason Momoa plays the big badass bad guy, and he does great snarling and brooding the whole time. He and Stallone have a pretty good axe fight(don't see those much these days). It is what it is. A violent R rated action movie that's entertaining if you like those movies, but nothing that you will remember afterwards. Has some funny moments, and never takes itself too seriously. It's worth a watch, but in a year or so it'll be in the 5 dollar bin at Wal-Mart with a pg version playing on network TV.

The Canyons
The Canyons(2013)

**

I was reading Entertainment Weekly this past weekend when I came across a review for "The Canyons". They gave it a B+ and I had never heard of it. Sunday evening I was looking for something to watch, came across it and figured I'd give it a chance. It stars Lindsay Lohan as a yoga instructor who has a volatile/crazy sexual relationship with a producer played by James Deen. He becomes obsessed when he thinks she is cheating on him and things escalate from there. It's a thriller, that offers no thrills, well except to see Lohan naked through a lot of the movie. This is basically a notch above softcore porn's you see late night on Cinemax. Lot of nudity, some sex, and a whole lot of bad acting. It does have one of the weirdest sex scenes I've ever seen in a movie, as a foursome. Lohan probably is the best thing about the movie here. but even she does horrible. Deen has 2 facial expressions, bored and a smirkish pout. Plus, the way the movie ends is pretty stupid. They probably could have done some cooler stuff with the way Deen's character goes crazier and crazier, but they don't. It's an hour and a half that drags a lot, just feels too slow. I give it 2 stars for Lohan's two best assets, but other than that this is a complete skip. If EW gives this a B+ I'd really hate to see what their version of an A is.

Trance
Trance(2013)

***

Danny Boyle is one of those directors where if you see his name attached, it instantly becomes a must see. His movies are always unique, different, and 9 times out of 10 very good(he's made a couple bad ones). "Trance" is his latest and it doesn't quite measure up to his other movies, but it's still pretty good. It's about an art dealer named Simon(James McAvoy) who falls into a coma during a heist by trying to protect a painting. When he awakens he suffers from amnesia and can't remember anything. Which sucks for him, as the group that was pulling the heist begin to torture him as he had secretly stashed the painting they were after. They then enlists a hypnotist(Rosario Dawson) to help get inside his head to find the painting. Sound a little confusing? It is, but it also isn't. There is so much more to this movie, it's just better to watch it for yourself. The performances are fantastic. Dawson is probably her best here since "Clerks 2", and McAvoy is awesome, as usual. That guy is one of my favorites. He is always a bright spot in his movies. Vincent Cassel plays the leader of the heist group, and he is awesome also. I've seen him in probably 3 or 4 movies(most notably "Oceans Twelve") and he always does amazing work. He's just a guy you hate one second, then the next you think he's awesome. The movie has a lot of twists and turns, and towards the end it gets a little muddled up, but it still works out. One you definitely have to pay attention too, but not one that will lose you altogether. Up for something a little different that will keep your attention for a couple hours, then put the smartphone down and enjoy.

Grown Ups 2
Grown Ups 2(2013)
½

**1/2

The first "Grown Ups" is basically Adam Sandler and his buddies clowning around at a cabin. Here, it's basically him and his buddies, clowning around in a small town. Only this time they all have small problems in their lives and this piss off a fraternity lead by Taylor Lautner(who is hilarious here) and have to contend with them. Kind of the old guys against young guys. This movie doesn't reinvent the wheel, just takes what worked in "Grown Ups" and gives more of it. I think it's about the same in terms of laughs, and it is entertaining just because you can tell these guys are having a blast making this. The cast is all funny, especially cameos by Dan Patrick and Shaq. Actually, they're not all funny, I thought Nick Swardson was bad in this. I used to think he was awesome, but lately, I dunno what it is, but he is just more annoying to me than anything. You either like Adam Sandler movies, or you don't(I think he's awesome!). He's made some bad movies lately("Jack and Jill" was horrible), but this isthe type of movie he does best. If you don't like him, then you'll hate it. If you do, you'll enjoy it for what it is, but it probably won't be anywhere near your favorite.

Turbo
Turbo(2013)
½

**1/2

Turbo is a generic Dreamworks animated movie about a super fast snail that enters the Indy 500. Obviously this movie is a cash grab to get kids to buy toys and see sequels, but it is entertaining. The voice cast is very impressive. Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Giamatti, Snoop Dogg, Michael Pena, among many others, all do a fantastic job. The animation while offering nothing new, is still eye popping. It's kind of a "Cars" meets "Bugs Life" mashup/ripoff, but it is what it is. Could have been a lot worse. Just in a Summer with 2 big, excellent animated movies("Monsters U" and "Despicable Me 2"), this one just falls a little short. But I'm not the target audience. My 2 year old loved it though, so I'm sure we'll have the blu ray on repeat this Winter. If you have kids, especially a little boy, then you gotta check it out. Otherwise, I'd say just pass on it and watch it when it's on Netflix.

The Wolverine
½

***1/2

Growing up I absolutely LOVED the X-Men. I read as many comics as I could, I watched all the cartoons, and I had all the toys. I always wanted a movie so bad, and when it finally came out, I was a little disappointed. It was good, but not really all I hoped it would be. The second was great(at least much better than 1). Then came number 3 and the first Wolverine movies, and it all went downhill. Those 2 movies nearly killed this franchise with how absolute bad, incoherent, and just ridiculous they were. Then "First Class" came out and I saw some light after those two crap movies. Here, is a complete standalone Wolverine movie that tells the story of him going to Japan. Other than flashbacks of Jean Gray, and a small teaser at the end, Wolverine(Hugh Jackman) is the only X-Man in the movie. Which is good, and bad at the same time. It's good, because really, he's the only one needed in this story. Bad, because you'd like to see the others too. The movie starts out with Wolverine in Nagasaki when the a-bomb hits and he saves a Japanese soldier. Jump to present day, after the events of "Last Stand" and Wolverine is alone in Alaska away from everyone. From there he meets a Japanese woman who wants to take him to Japan to say goodbye to the soldier he saved whom is dying. But, the old man doesn't wanted to say goodbye, he wants to get Wolverines healing power to save himself. It a decent story, that's good, but kind of forgettable in the end. The action in this movie is awesome, and honestly this is the best Wolverine I've seen in a movie. He slices, dices, cusses and exudes the badass that Wolverine really is. Jackman is great and I can't think of anyone who would play this role better than him. At this point, he IS Wolverine. Parts of the movie made me wish for an R rating, just so it would go a little further, but I understand the PG-13 need, and really you don't lose anything. Other than Wolverine, I thought the rest of the cast and characters was pretty forgettable. Viper was neat, but she seemed like something out of the "Elektra" movie, rather than an X-Men film. Silver Samurai was kind of just "meh", too cartoony for me, but he could have been worse. Is this perfect? No. Is it the closest Fox has gotten to a real Wolverine/X-Men movie? Probably, well other than New Class. If your a fan, I think you'd be much happier with this, and very excited for the next movie, "Days of Future Past" which comes out next year(stay through the credits!!). Not a fan, or someone who gave up, you should still give it a look. It's a lot more of a Japanese action movie than a Superhero flick that's for sure.

I Declare War
½

***1/2

"I Declare War" is a ballsy movie, that I'm surprised was able to get made in today's world. I'm glad it did, it just surprises me. The movie is basically a game of capture the flag between a group of 12-13 year old kids out in the woods. They use sticks as guns, water balloons as bombs, and real world tactics to win. But, the movie is shown through their eyes as to what they see. Which is machine guns, bazooka's, blood, and death. This is very R rated, which is perfect, because it's exactly how it should be. When I was little and played stuff like this it's exactly how I saw it. When you shot your friend you saw in your mind them get shot, that's why they call it pretend. There is a lot of cussing and violence, but again this is how real teens are when they do this. I can see why a lot of people would be put off by it, or disgusted, especially with all the gun violence in schools today. But, you have to forget that when seeing this. These kids are playing a game, a game that just about every kid plays at some point. I'm glad it wasn't a PG movie where they are nicey nice with each other. Very accurate, and very entertaining. There are some good twists and turns, and the lines between what is real and pretend get blurry. But, at the end it's a fantastic film, that will remind you of what it's like to be a kid. The good, the bad, and the ugly of it all.

Mud
Mud(2013)
½

***1/2

These last couple years Mathew McConaughey has been on a hellava roll with his roles. He seems to be getting better and better, and "Mud" follows that trend. This is a kind of hybrid of coming of age/adventure/love story. It's about 2 boys, Ellis(Tye Sheridan) and Neckbone(Jacob Lofland) who find a boat in a tree on an island. They think it's abandoned, but soon find out a man named Mud(McConaughey) is living there. Mud is on the hideout from bounty hunters who are after him after a he murdered a man in Texas. He's there awaiting his love Juniper(Reese Witherspoon) to join him so they can escape together. From there the boys help him out while dealing with family problems, girls, and the bounty hunters looking for Mud. McConaughey is fantastic, but the 2 boys really shine. Especially Ellis, he has one scene were if he had cried, I probably would have two. You get really invested with him. Witherspoon does good, but I felt she was the weakest part of the movie. She needed to be in it more, and felt like it didn't tell enough about her. I read somewhere that this reminded people of "Stand by Me", and I can kind of see that. It has the same boys in the woods on an adventure type vibe to it. But it's a more complicated story, that leaves some things unresolved. It's a little over 2 hours long and when I watch a movie late at night like I did this(I started at 10 p.m) I usually pass out. But I was riveted the entire time(ended up staying up way too late on a work night). It does drag in a few spots, but overall it's a fantastic story that is very well told. Jeff Nichols("Take Shelter") has made another great film that really makes me curious as to what he is going to make next. If you want a neat little movie that will entertain you for a couple hours and isn't as predictable as you would think, then definitely check this out. Not very many movies made like this anymore

V/H/S/2
V/H/S/2(2013)

****

"V/H/S 2" is the follow-up to "V/H/S" which came out last year. It's an anthology film based around two investigators that find a bunch of vhs tapes, and the stories shown, are what's on those tapes. Here there are 4 stories(along with the investigators story). One is about a guy who get an eye implant and starts to see ghosts. Another is an awesome zombies in the woods story. The third is one of the most brutal, ultra violent, craziest pieces of film of the year(maybe of the last 10 years). It's about an Indonesian cult, that really has to be seen to believe. I wanna type about it, but the less you know about that the better. Finally, a slumber party that encounters an alien invasion. Each story would make a great campfire story to tell and scare people. This is a big improvement of the first movie, which was a decent movie to begin with. It's original, very gory, and has a couple genuine scares. Probably my favorite horror movie of the year(or at least close to the "Evil Dead" remake). No known actors, and a limited budget, but it just shows you don't need all that for an effective horror film. Also, if you haven't seen the first movie, no problem as it has nothing to do with it. Just a new set of tapes found. Horror fans should definitely check it out, and hope for a third movie, because this series is getting better and better.

Spring Breakers

**

"Spring Breakers" is another one of those "weirdest movies of 2013". It's a story about 4 college girls( Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine)who want to get away and go to spring break, but they have no money. So, they rob a restaurant and head down. While they're there, they get involved with a rapper/gangster named Alien(James Franco), and they just go down a road of crime. So, that's the basic plot, but the movie is made kind of like an art film by Harmony Korine(he directed "Kids"). There are weird angles, and a lot of just odd voice-overs. Scenes of girls dancing while Franco just says "Spring break...spring break....spring break, forever". It's bizarre, but still entertaining. Actually, Franco is one of the funniest and most entertaining characters of the year, in any movie. There's a scene where he is showing the girls all of his guns that is just hilarious by the way he plays it, saying stuff like "I got "Scarface" on repeat...On..Repeat"(you just gotta watch it). He's the best thing about the movie, as the girls aren't really that interesting. Just didn't give them enough to make me care about them, and none of them seem to have much personality at all. Also, the ending is ridiculous. That would never, in a million years happen like that. It's worth a watch, if your into the artsy type films, or seeing Franco just play a real off the wall character. If not, you may not like it. But, it's one of those that you just gotta watch for your self.

Only God Forgives
½

**1/2

"Drive" is one of my favorite movies of the last 3/4 years probably. So last year when I heard Ryan Gosling and the director(Nicolas Winding Refn) were reuniting for this I was instantly hooked. I mean a movie called "Only God Forgives"? That sounds awesome! So, when it premiered, I read a lot of reviews and most of them were negative. Calling it very violent, boring, and indulgent. Then a couple that called it brilliant. Reading so much back and forth about it, I just knew I had to watch it as soon as I could. Found a copy and gave it a watch, and it's definitely on the list of most "WTF was that" movies I've ever seen. This is strange and almost hypnotic. There is very little dialogue, just long scenes with no one talking, and when they do it almost doesn't make sense. As for the violence, it's very violent. But a lot of it is off screen. But, what is on screen, is just wow, crazy stuff. Long story short, it's about a guy in Thailand that murders and rapes a 16 year old girl. He is then murdered, and his mother(Kristen Scott Thomas) and brother(Gosling) attempt to avenge his death. But the guy behind his death is a cop called "the Angel of Vengeance"(Vithaya Pansringarm ). This cop is the best psychopath I've seen in a movie since "No Country for Old Men". He does some pretty crazy and brutal stuff with a sword. This film is slow, and it runs around 90 minutes, which is a good length. But, I'm still on the fence and if I like it or not. I couldn't look away from the screen, and I probably won't ever have the urge to watch it again. But, it's just one of those movies that crawls under your skin. Give it a shot if you can handle some crazy violence and movies that are very much not in the norm. Otherwise, just don't even both because you won't like it at all. If your a fan of Gosling, you may wanna stay away, just look up some promo shots of his face in this. I can see in the future looking back and remembering this very fondly, or just a strange trip of a movie.

The Conjuring
½

***1/2

Ghost movies or haunted house movies have never really "scared" me. Dunno what it is, but shows like "Ghost Hunters" or movies like "The Others", just don't really frighten me. Having said that, I still enjoy them, but more as a "super natural thriller" instead of a "horror" movie. "Conjuring" is easily one of the best haunted house type movies I've ever seen. It's very well made, and unique from other films that follow formula. It's a dueling story of 2 different families. One is the Perron family, whom move into a new house. Once there, strange stuff happen. Noises, imaginary friends, possession, you know the usual. The Perrons are a nice, typical family. Mom, Dad, and five daughters(back then it was typical), they just happen to now be living in the wrong place. The other family is the Warrens, Ed(Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine(Vera Farminga). Ed is a Demonologist and Lorraine has a gift of seeing ghosts. They were kind of like the original "Ghost Hunters". They would get calls and then investigate strange happenings. Each family has their own story, but they intersect when Mrs. Perron(Lili Taylor) seeks the Warrens help. From there this becomes the worst case the Warrens have investigated. I love the "old school" type feeling to this movie. Slow build, great acting, and the opening. The opening has a crawl that gives a lil back story leading up to the title of the movie. The music builds and builds, and when it says "The Conjuring" I got some serious Goosebumps. This is not something you'd get watching it from home. Perfect for the theater. It's based off of a true story, and I can see that. Nothing here really screams out fake, and one thing I loved was there wasn't any CGI when showing the ghosts. After watching this it really made me want to find some books about the Warrens and learn more about them, they're fascinating people. I went to the movie alone and told my wife if she had gone she would have shit herself in fear. If ghosts scare you, then you will probably be terrified. If not, it's still a great movie, and I'm sure it'll be a great rental around Halloween. I'm sure in a few years when Grant is older and says "Daddy, I wanna watch a scary movie" this will be on the list. Actually one more quick thing, this is rated R. No language, hardly any blood, just good ole fashion scares. Could have been PG-13 and not missed a thing.

Before Midnight

****
"Before Midnight" is the 3rd movie in the "Before" series("Before Sunset" and "Before Sunrise"). It follows the same formula that has made the other 2 just amazing movies. It's one day in the lives of Jesse(Ethan Hawke) and Celine(Julie Delpy). It picks up nine years after "Sunset" when they are on vacation in Greece. They are still together with twin daughters , and Jesse wants to move back to the U.S. to be closer to his son from a previous marriage. From there the movie is those two walking and talking trying to rekindle their romance, and ultimately things come to a head as the emotions that bubble under the surface rise up. There is a lot of arguing in this movie and at first you are like "nooo!", but by the end you realize that this is a very realistic look at their relationship. This is exactly how couples are, and exactly how these two would be spending their lives with each other. It's a fantastic movie than fans of the previous films will love. Hawke and Delpy have the best chemistry I've ever seen in a series of romantic type movies(although this isn't a very romantic movie). I love how each movie is separated by 9 years. It really helps this franchise stand apart and be something truly unique in a sea of movies that are exactly the same. I sincerely hope in 9 years we get a fourth movie, because I cannot wait to see where these two go next. Great third installment, of a great series of films. Check all three of them out if you haven't.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
½

**1/2

I love stand up comedy. I love going to shows and I love watching specials. But stand up movies sometimes don't work like they probably should, and this is one of those. It's short, about 75 minutes, but it spends too much time getting to the stand up. There's a little skit type segment at the beginning, and from there it follows Kevin Harts journey to perform at Madison Square Garden. It's not really a documentary, but just a big montage before his show. Once his stand up starts, it's pretty funny. Hart is a great stand up, I just wish there was more of his show in this movie. It seems like they cut a lot of his act out. Is he the best out there? I don't think so. But, he's really coming into his own and in a few years he could be something truly, truly special. Good for a few laughs, just wish it showcased more of his act. But if you like stand up, definitely check it out.

Killing Season
½

***

Sometimes when I see a movie like this and it doesn't get a theatrical release I kind of scratch my head. This is a simple movie about a Bosnian(John Travolta, accent included) coming to America to get revenge on an ex-soldier(Robert De Niro). He follows De Niro deep into the woods, and from there is a game of back and forth, with them trying to kill each other. There are a couple of torture scenes that are just brutal! This is not for the squeamish. Both De Niro and Travolta are better than the material this movie gives them, but they do a fantastic job. There is a reason these two are considered to be so great. It's taking something that is mediocre, and making it good. Its not too long, and I'm still kind of up in the air about the ending. On one hand, I don't think they could have ended it any other way. But on the other, I was left like, "that's it?" But it didn't ruin the movie for me. It's very entertaining and worth a watch. Don't let this one fly under your radar. I think it's on VOD right now, and deserves to be watched. Better than a lot of movies that get released at the theaters with hack actors these days.

Movie 43
Movie 43(2013)

**
OK, so I've read a lot of negative things about this movie. One friend said they walked out, one said it was the worst movie they ever saw, and all the critics really hate it...I think on rotten tomatoes, it's at like a 4 percent. So when I put the DVD in, I even said to Emily "from what I've heard this is the worst movie of 2013". She didn't understand why I would then want to watch it, but I always give a movie a chance, even if I doubt I'll like it(I'm nuts like that). So, this movie is bad. It's a series of comedic type skits strung together over a couple different narratives. Kind of like a very, very bad episode of Saturday Night Live, or like "Kentucky Fried Movie", only not as funny. The cast is insane. This is the biggest, star studded cast I've ever seen, and I know the directors had to have something over them all to get them to do this. Real quick I'll list some of the cast: Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, Richard Gere, Halle Berry, Terrance Howard, Sean William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Amanda Banks, Josh Duhamal, Dennis Quiad, and literally probably another 20 notable actors. It's ridiculous. So when I watched it, I was like "this sucks and isn't very funny". Then the next day at work I was discussing it, and found myself and whomever I was telling, laughing hard at the situations of the skits. Its like the idea of some of the skits are awesome, but the way they were strung together or executed wasn't. Like an example, a couple home schools their son and want to give him a "Real high school experience". They do this by basically bullying him, and it's pretty funny. But, I get why people don't like it, and why a lot of people who just say this is stupid. Because it's that type of comedy that may take a while to settle in, especially considering how crazy it is. But if you like dumb, slapstick type humor, some of this movie is pretty funny(some of the skits are just bad, like real bad). Especially after the fact. I think time is going to be better to this movie, and eventually it'll have a cult like following of people who really enjoy it. Give it a chance. Worse thing that could happen is you hate it. Who knows you may kind of like it, even if it's a day or two after you watched it.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

****
"Pacific Rim" was one of the top 5 movies, that I was looking most forward to this Summer. I mean come on, Giant Robots vs. Giant Monsters? Done by Guillermo del Toro? Hells Yes!! I gotta say, this movie does NOT disappoint. Visually, it's one of the most amazing movies. This movie honestly looks like nothing I've ever seen. They have created this world that is just pure eye candy. The Kaiju(the monsters) are cool as hell looking, and are probably the best looking monsters ever in this type of movie. The one draw back, is that 90% of the time you see them is in the dark. Which is cool, but I would love to see more of them in the daylight and see what they really have going on. But still, they look amazing. The Jaegers(the name of the robots we create to fight them) are just badass in every sense of the word. These things are the coolest robots ever, and the fight scenes are just jaw dropping. I wish I were a kid when I saw this, because this would easily be my favorite movie ever, and I'd rush out to buy all the toys. Fan of "Voltron" growing up? Then check it out, because it's like that only much cooler. The cast are all good, not great, but your not gonna watch this for artistic performances. The are all cliché characters, that are effective, but really are just background for the action. Which, is fine by me. Charlie Hunnan stars as Raleigh, and this is a star making movie for him. I can honestly see him being a leading man in Hollywood for a long time. Think how Will Smith came from TV and made it big with "Independence Day", only he's not nearly as charismatic. Actually, this movie has very little humor, and I think it could have used more. It's not really a "dark" movie in tone, but it could have used more lightening up. Now, I made a big mistake when watching this and it kind of ruined what should have been an awesome movie going experience. I planned on seeing this in 3D at IMAX in Indy with my Dad and Brother on Saturday. Well, work kind of messed those plans up, and the only time I would be able to watch it was a late show on a Thursday night by myself. I'm fine with that, I go to the movies by myself a lot(believe me, I don't know anyone who loves to go to the movies as much as me:-p ). This is a movie that needs to be seen at the theater with your friends/family. It's the kind of movie you want to look over at someone and say "DAMN!" and cheer at certain parts(Especially when Idris Elba, who is awesome, yells "Today We are Cancelling the Apocalypse"). Then afterwards in the lobby talk about how kick ass it looked. But, oh well. Little bummed out about it, and it actually makes me wanna go see it a second time, and I haven't seen a movie in the theater twice in almost 10 years. Is this movie for everyone? No. It's for people who want to spend two hours watching some really awesome, visually amazing fight scenes, that will make you feel like a kid again. Just makes sure to see it with people who will be into it as much as you, because this is really not a movie you watch, but a movie you experience.

The Last Exorcism Part II

*
This sequel is a complete waste of time. It picks up with Nell at a safe house in New Orleans, and the demon comes back for her. It isn't in POV like the first movie, and honestly doesn't have any real scary/creepy moments too it. Hell, they don't really address much of anything from the events of the first movie. It as is someone said "make a sequel!" so they rushed it and didn't put any creativity into it. The said "we'll just have Nell movie and forget everyone else." By the end, it isn't shocking or anything, your just ready for it to be over. Kind of boring, and after re-watching the first one, I thought they could have done so much more with it than what they did. They did leave it open for a third, but really, who would want to see it after this? Skip it, and just stick to the first one.

The Last Exorcism

***
The first time I watched this was when it first came out, and I watched it on a bootleg copy. I wasn't really in the mood for a movie, but watched it anyway, and didn't really enjoy it. I think my mood and the copy really had a lot to do with it. I would recommend re-watching movies on dvd/blu ray if you watch it originally on a cam bootleg. You really see two different movies. I hadn't revisited this until I got a copy of the second one and thought "I don't really remember anything from the first one". So, I re-watched it, and found that it is much better than I remember. This movie is very effective and has a unique spin on exorcism movies. It's about a preacher who wants to prove that exorcisms are a scam, so he takes 2 people on a trip with him to perform an exorcism on a girl named Nell. Only, things with Nell are different and his plan doesn't quite work like he thought it would. Shown in POV(like "Blair Witch"), you get a really good sense of being there. It's not nearly as jarring as most of these movies are. Now, is it a great horror movie? Not really. I feel like it could have gone farther with some things, and the ending is still a little weird, but effective. However, it is better than a lot, and definitely worth re-watching.

Downloaded
Downloaded(2013)

***
Here's a documentary by Alex Winter(yeah, Bill from "Bill and Ted) about the rise and fall of Napster. I'll never forget the first time I used Napster, and how it was mind-blowing to have every song you could ever want to listen to a click away. You get a good account from the people that were there, who made it and the battles they fought over it. It's very informative, but it does feel a little rushed at times. I remember seeing all the news footage from when it went on. It covers the whole Metallica thing, and how Napster eventually died off. Very interesting stuff. Also, I had no idea Sean Parker was also involved in Spotify. The guy helped start Napster, Facebook, and Spotify. That's insane. After watching it, it really made me think about how Napster honestly changed the world and the way we consume entertainment. Good movie that everyone who enjoys music on the interest should check out, especially if you don't know anything about Napster or it's impact.

Despicable Me 2

*****
"Despicable Me 2" is awesome. Plain and simple, this movie is great. Good story, action, and it's hilarious. Those minions are some of the funniest characters I've ever seen in animated movies. This is one of those sequels that took the first movie, built off of it, and was actually better. Here Gru(Steve Carell) is recruited to help the AVL(Anti-Villain League) to help stop a villain that could destroy the world. Kristin Wigg voices Lucy, his partner/love interest, and she really does great. The whole cast is fantastic and you can tell this movie was made with a lot of love and fun. If I had any complaint it's that the daughters weren't in it very much. The littlest one is so cute and has a couple hilarious scenes. But, man those minions are awesome. They have a musical number at the end of the movie that had me almost in tears. Also my 2 year old and I say "bottom" to each other and laugh everyday now. I honestly can't see how anyone wouldn't like this movie. It's just so fun and funny, that everyone in the family would enjoy it. "Monsters U" was great, but this is the best animated movie/comedy of the Summer.

White House Down
½

I remember a long time ago when "Deep Impact" came out in the Spring, and "Armageddon" came out in the Summer. Both were disaster movies, and everyone thought "Armageddon" would be better since it came out in the Summer. While both were good movies, "Impact" was the better of the 2(at least I thought that at the time, not sure how they hold up after so long). "White House Down" came out in the same year that "Olympus Has Fallen" and both have the same plot. The White House gets attacked and a lone man is left to save the President and stop the bad guys. Here, Channing Tatum is that lone man name Cale, and Jamie Foxx is the President. The biggest difference between the two is Cale's daughter is trapped in the White House, and he is protecting the President, not trying to get to him and save him. "Fallen" is a lot better, and honestly, if I hadn't watched that recently I may have felt better about this. This isn't a real bad movie, it's just very generic and "been there, done that". There are some big issues in the plot, and Foxx really didn't work for me as the President. Tatum was fine and did his thing, but I dunno what it is, but I just didn't buy into Foxx. The effects are decent, and the fight scenes aren't really anything special. Overall, I left with the feeling that this was just another action movie that will eventually fall into the 5 dollar bins at Wal-Mart and only be seen on cable on Saturday afternoons. Is it worth a watch? Sure. But, it's not something I'll probably ever make time to revisit. One of those flicks you just shrug your shoulders at and say "eh, it was ok".

Red
Red(2010)

Here's my original review(back when I only wrote a sentence or two). I rewatched since the sequel is coming out in a few weeks. I'm glad to say, it holds up very well. This movie is hilarious and has some great action. I'd strongly recommend re-watching this,or checking it out for the first time. Malkovich hasn't been this awesome in a long time and the previews for number 2 looks just as good!Original review: If your into old people kicking ass then watch this instead of the "Expendables." Better action, and it's got some damn funny moments. John Malkovich and Helen Mirren steal the movie, and Bruce Willis hasn't been this good since the last Die Hard movie.

The Lone Ranger
½

I've read a lot of negative things about this movie. Critics seem to hate it, but this is not a movie made for critics. This is for people that want to go on a 2 and 1/2 hour roller coaster ride of an action movie. This is made by all the people, including Johnny Depp, who made the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. If you like those movies, then you will like this as well. They are very similar in tone, humor, and action. Armie Hammer plays the Lone Ranger who teams with Tonto(Johnny Depp) to go after a fugitive named Butch(William Fichtner), who killed the Rangers brother. This is kind of like the "Lone Ranger's" version of "Casino Royale". It's a prequel type story that takes you up to where his adventures will really begin. It's told from Tonto's perspective, his spirit is in a mannequin who tells the story to a small boy. It's an odd narrative choice, but it's ok. I thought the action was great, the performances were good, and I laughed a lot more than I expected to. Depp plays Tonto as an oddball, and at times it's a bit annoying, but for the most part it works. He does a great job, as does Hammer as the Ranger. The biggest issue with the movie is it's length. At 2 and a half hours long, it could have been 2 hours and probably been better. But, even at it's long run time, it's still a good adventure movie. My Dad loved the Lone Ranger back in the day(i remember watching some of them off and on) and he enjoyed it. Not sure what the critics were expecting/wanting out of this, because if you watch this and are too serious with yourself, then no you won't like it. It's a fun, entertaining movie, and that's what you should expect and want out of this. I hope they make more of them and make them just as fun as this was.

Temptation
Temptation(2013)
½

**1/2
Tyler Perry movies are really something else. They are so melodramic that it comes to a point where you just have to roll your eyes and laugh. I've seen all of his movies and I enjoy them, but it's because they really fall in the "so bad, it's good" category. "Temptation" is about a married couple who are in a rut when the wife has an affair with a millionaire who she works with. This movie is so unrealistic, and I'm gonna have to give some spoilers so beware when reading this. First, her husband comes off as a goody two shoe guy who is very nice and won't have sex anywhere but the bed. But, he also forgets her birthday and is the most ripped human being alive. Now, if he is the nicest guy, he would NEVER forget her birthday, let alone two years in a row. I'm sorry, but nice guys don't do that. Second, they both have good jobs and would never live in this rinky dink apartment with a 13 inch TV. Third, there's 2 twists at the end. One, I saw a mile away and it's ridiculous, and the other is about a girl having HIV. The moral of the movie is literally "if you have an affair, you will get beat up and get HIV". It's so outlandish. The only thing that would have made this movie great, would have been at the end if the wife became Madea(make this a prequel). But, Madea is nowhere to be found. Also, Vanessa Williams plays a rich matchmaker with the most unrealistic accent ever, and even drops it for a scene or two towards the end. Just stupid. If you watch this for a serious dramatic movie, then you are gonna be disappointed. The acting is bad(it has Kim Kardashian in it for Christ's sake), it's way too long(at 2 hours), and it's just so unrealistic and goes overboard. Especially when the affair happens, it just spirals downhill. The wife becomes a druggy who is constantly sniffing her nose, after spending the first hour as a nice, sweet, Christian woman. Now, if you watch it as a goofy Tyler Perry movie and laugh and call out his cliches, then you will have fun with it. It has a woman get beat, a montage to gospal music, over the top Christian Black women, and the slow dramatic pop songs. My wife didn't like it because it was too long and she felt she should have been in bed(she actually stayed awake). It's worth a one time watch if you enjoy his movies. Otherwise, just don't bother.

Despicable Me

****
I'll never forget the first time I saw a trailer for this with the Minions. I immediately downloaded their laugh and used it as a ring tone. Those little yellow guys had me hooked and I knew I would love this movie. Took my nephew to see it in 3D(along with his Dad) and we loved it. Rewatching it now with Grant, I still crack up at the Minions as if it's the first time. This is a very funny, charming movie about a super villian named Gru(Steve Carell), who adopts 3 adorable little girls, and tries to use them in his scheme to steal the moon. Along the way he becomes a real father to them and starts to change his evil ways. It's cute, funny, entertaining, and a real animated movie that everyone in the family will enjoy. Can't wait to see the second one, as the previews crack me up everytime the minion says "bottom". Great to rewatch as the laughs continue no matter how many times you've seen it. If you haven't, then pick it up, you won't regret it.

Mama
Mama(2013)
½

Of all movie genre's, horror is probably my favorite. Especially slasher movies. Having said that, ghost movies are generally hit or miss for me. Something about ghosts just doesn't really scare me or have any really effect. So, "Mama" wasn't a movie I was dying to see, because I figured it probably wouldn't really be for me. I thought it was ok, and better than most ghost movies, but nothing great. It's unique in that it offers a different take on children in these types of movies, but other than that, nothing really sets it apart. Its the story of two little girls who are taken into the woods by their father(Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who plans for murder them and commit suicide. Before he can, a ghost appears and kills him, while saving the girls and becoming their Mama. 5 years later his twin brother's search party finally finds the girls and brings them back to civilization. They now live with him and his girlfriend(Jessica Chastain), who is a rocker and doesn't want kids at all. But the girls Mama gets jealous and begins to haunt them. The atmosphere for the movie is pretty good, and Chastain gives an awesome performance. I think this would have worked better if Mama wasn't so CGI. She just looked very fake to me, reminded me of a movie called "Darkness Falls". Decent story, then all suspense is kind of ruined by this fake CGI ghost. I'm sure there's a lot of people that like this, and that's great. It just didn't work for me. Guillermo Del Toro was the producer, and I would recommend another ghost movie he produced called "The Orphanage" over this. Still, if your into ghost movies, give it a shot.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

**
This is one of those comedies that tries hard to be funny with an odd character, but doesn't succeed. Think Mike Myers in "The Love Guru", only not as bad. "Incredible Burt Wonderstone" to me is kind of like Steve Carell's "Guru". It has a couple good moments, is way over the top, but ultimately just doesn't work like it could have. Wonderstone is a Vegas magician who has a nightly show with his partner Anton(Steve Buscemi). They started out very successful, but over time their act has gotten stale and their ego's bigger. Once a new form of magician(Jim Carrey) comes on the scene, their act breaks up, and Wonderstone is left starting from scratch to work his way back up. The supporting cast is excellent, especially Carry as a Chris Angel type character and Alan Arkin as the old magician act from Wonderstone's childhood. Arkin is awesome, and for me, the best of the movie. The problem with the movie, is it's just not that funny. I think I laughed twice maybe, the rest of the time was just waiting for another laugh, that just didn't come. When Carell plays like a normal guy, not an over the top character, he is awesome. But when he does something like this, it's just kind of flat to me. I really liked the premise, and maybe as more of an R rated type comedy it could have worked. It reminded me of another movie I wanted to be great but wasn't called "Death to Smootchy". Other than a moment or two, it just doesn't work. The best thing about the movie is this catchy pop song called "Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons. That sucker is stuck in my head, and it's not even that good, just catchy as hell. I'd say wait for this to be on TV or netflix.

Olympus Has Fallen

****
I love hardcore action movies. "Die Hard" is one of my all time favorite action movies, so anytime I hear "this is Die Hard on/in...." I'm gonna check it out. I read that about this, as it was "Die Hard in the White House", and man is that right. This is a better "Die Hard" movie than the last installment. Here, Gerard Butler plays an ex secret service member who has to save the President(Aaron Eckhart) as he is being held hostage in the White House after a terrorist attack. Along the way Butler fights off a ton of terrorists and while not as charming as John McClane, he definitely as that vibe going. When I started this I honestly thought this was a PG-13 movie, and boy was I wrong. This is a hard R rated movie with a ton of headshots and violence, that at times was pretty shocking. A lot of the newer action movies hold back, but not this bad boy. Is there some plot holes? Yup and it's pretty implausible at times. But damn it's a fun roller coaster ride of a movie. I really enjoyed it and I was very into it. The acting is all great, and anytime you've got Morgan Freeman, you've got gold. Butler has starred in some stinkers the last few years, but man this is the type of movies he should be making. The guy is an awesome action star. Eckhart makes a great President too, and while watching I kept thinking "Nick Naylor is the President!"(If you get that, You are awesome. If not, well, Google it). Check this out if you want a very entertaining, popcorn movie. Otherwise, your really gonna miss out.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

*****
Last week I was picking up some DVDs and figured I would look at the shelf of Blu rays and see what they had. Low and behold I saw this sitting there and immediately thought "I must show this to Grant!" It's been years since I've seen this(I saw it in the theater and we had it on VHS growing up), and I'm happy to say this movie hasn't aged a bit. Especially on Blu-Ray, it still looks fantastic and it's as funny and wacky as ever. For those don't know about this movie, go get a copy at the video store or watch on Netflix(it just got added the other day) as soon as possible. Grant laughed a few times, but he's 2 and doesn't yet understand most of it. Actually, this movie has a lot more curse words than I remember, so just beware before showing to kids. I'm no father of the year, but I still think kids should see this because it's awesome(I was 5 when it came out and I turned out alright). I've had a bunch of debates on who's hotter, Jessica Rabbit or Smurfette(yeah my coworkers and I are sick),and Jessica takes it by a long shot after re-watching this. Also interesting note, this is the only movie that Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse share a scene together. Go back and re-watch this for a laugh and a reminder of how awesome animation used to be and can still be.

Escape From Planet Earth

**
"Escape from Planet Earth" is one of those animated movies that just comes off as a cheap version of a Disney or Dreamworks movie. It's fine for like a straight to dvd movie, but not for a theatrical release(which it got). The animation is ok, nothing great or new, and the voice cast is decent. Brandon Fraser, William Shatner, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rob Corddry, among others do an ok with what they can. But they all honestly seem like their going through the motion, knowing this is going to be subpar at best. Overall, the story is just "meh". It's about a hot shot alien who goes to "the dark planet"(aka, Earth) to impress his fellow aliens. When he gets here he is captured and his dorky alien brother must come an save him. It has a few laughs, but overall it's kind of flat. I took my 2 year old(it was showing as one of the "Free Summer Kids" movies), and e seemed disinterested in it for the most part(he usually likes cartoons). This was originally in 3D, and some of it may have looked cool, but I think it's probably just as bland. Worth a one time watch with the kiddos? Sure. But it's probably not something that will be on repeat viewing.

Monsters University
½

****1/2
First, I love "Monsters Inc.", and pretty much all the other Pixar movies. So, I was pretty stoked to see this prequel. Adding to the fun was taking my 2 year old to his very first movie. I'm proud to say he did awesome. Watched the entire movie, didn't fuss and cry, just laughed and was thoroughly entertained. If he were to write a review it would thumbs up all the way. I also loved it. I actually liked it more than the original, but that's probably because it's geared towards adults more with some of the humor. Prequels usually never exceed expectation, but this is the exception. Here Mike and Sully are in college at Monsters University, working their way towards future jobs with Monsters Inc. Basically, they are in a loser type fraternity and have to compete against the other fraternities on campus for shots back in the scare program(they got kicked out after a fight). It's the exact same premise as "Revenge of the Nerds" or this months "The Internship". Group of misfits overcoming big odds. But, it works like a charm with all the humor and especially the heart of a Pixar/Disney movie. We went with all my in-laws and we all laughed our butts off the entire movie. This is the perfect Summer family movie, if you wanna take kids to the movies.

Maniac
Maniac(2013)
½

**1/2

"Maniac" is a remake of an 80's horror movie about a mannequin shop owner(Elijah Wood) who collects the scalps of women and puts them on his mannequins. I don't think I've ever seen the original, so I can't say if this is better or not. But, it doesn't really make me care to go back and check it out. The gore and violence is pretty good, and Wood does a good job. But the film is a little too slow. I've heard it being compared to "Drive" quite a bit and I can see that. The soundtrack is very similar(80's electronic type pop music) and most of the movie is from Wood's perspective in a car. But it just moves slow, and has some very weird scenes when he is alone. "Drive" has a few great moments with amazing acting. Here it doesn't really have that to fall back on, so it stays in a mediocre area of movies. The ending is pretty head scratching as well(although it looks awesome!). Not the best horror movie of the summer("Aftershock" is my fav so far), but it's worth a watch if you have a strong stomach. Definitely original and different from a lot of other horror movies, and that's something that doesn't happen often in this genre.

Stoker
Stoker(2013)
½

*1/2
I recently read an article on aintitcool, where Harry Knowles said this is probably his favorite movie of 2013 so far. So, Emily and I had nothing else to watch so I figured I would give this a shot. This is Chan Wook Park's first English language movie. He directed the classic "Oldboy", so I was pretty intrigued. Well, I learned that Harry Knowles's taste in movies is a lot different than mine, because I thought this was pretty horrible. Actually one of the worst movies of 2013 so far. It's an artsy type thriller, that is just too slow and dull. Mia Wasikowska stars as India a young woman who just lost her father. Her mysterious uncle(Matthew Goode) then moves in with her and her mother(Nicole Kidman). Odd things begin to happen with the uncle and she finds herself very infatuated with him. There are a few moments of decent suspense, but most of the movie is quiet with shots of intense, yet boring, facial expressions. I was really hoping it would lead to something great, and the ending is pretty good, but it's just not worth the trip. I nodded off quite a bit and had to do a lot of rewinding. Emily passed out and she could care less, once again saying "Ev, you watch some weird ass movies." Maybe it just went over my head, or it's something I need to watch again when I'm more awake. Either way it just didn't work for me. I'm ok with a slow movie, if it has a good payoff or some great scenes throughout. Here, while there is some good, they just don't make up for it. 98 minutes here, feels like 138 minutes. It's just very tedious. Pass unless you need help sleeping.

Admission
Admission(2013)
½

*1/2
Paul Rudd + Tina Fey= Hilarious comedy, correct? Wrong. You see those two together, and instantly you would think, this is going to be awesome. Instead you get a very boring, over long, dramady that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Fey stars as an admissions officer for Princeton. Known to reject a ton of kids, it's hard for kids to stand out of the crowd. Enter Rudd, who is a teacher at a new school and has a unique student whom he thinks should be accepted into the college. The student in question could also be Fey's baby that she gave up for adoption many years ago. Now she is faced with the knowledge that this could be her child and whether or not to help him get admission into one of the most elite colleges in the country. It just sounds boring, but when you add those two actors, you would expect some kind of laughs and chemistry, but nope. It's almost like they made this with the intention of making the two leads as uninteresting as possible. I nodded off a couple times, and Emily stayed awake, but she didn't care for it either. Movies like this are usually her cup of tea, but here she thought the same thing I did. It's just not very good. Reminded me of another Rudd movie called "How Do You Know", where they completely mishandled him. Just forget all about this movie and pass it over for some of their better actual comedies.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

**
"Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters". The title pretty much says all you need to know right there about this. It's campy, cheesy, way over the top, and entertaining enough for a rental for what it is. How in the world they ever got Jeremy Renner(Hansel) to star in this, is way beyond me. The weirdest thing about this movie is the fact that it's rated R. It's kind of odd with all the language. The violence is OK, as it's way over the top and CGI heavy, but there is a lot of language that kind of doesn't fit into the movie. I'm all for R rated movies and some PG-13 movies should have pushed for that rating, and others seem to just use it for shock value. This is one of them. It doesn't ruin the movie, but it's just out of place. Worth a one time watch if it's free or very cheap, but otherwise just skip. How good do you think a movie with this title really is?

World War Z
World War Z(2013)

I've seen a ton of zombie movies. Fast zombie, slow zombies, zombies in love, you name it I've probably seen it before. So bravo to "World War Z" for giving a very original and unique look at a Zombie Apocalypse. Here Brad Pitt stars as a retired U.N. investigator who has to come out of retirement to help find out what caused this plague and how to stop it. For a zombie PG-13 movie, this is pretty intense. It's not a horror movie, but more of an action/adventure/thriller. There isn't much blood or gore, but there is a lot of "what if's?" that go on in your head during the movie that puts you in Pitts shoes. He is great, as is the rest of the supporting cast, even though he is really the main guy and in almost every scene. I really thought going in this was going to be cheesy and the zombies would look like the creatures from "I Am Legend"(which ruined that movie for me). But honestly they look great here. When they are isolated and alone, they are kind of laughable, but when they are in a huge mob, it's actually pretty scary. This isn't a perfect movie by far, as there are plenty of plot holes, and I do prefer more gore in zombie movies. But taking it for what it is, it's great. It's something different, where it puts a zombie attack on a global scale instead of something smaller and more intimate. Great Summer movie, that people who don't normally like zombie flicks should enjoy also.

The Last Stand

***
Schwarzenegger is finally back as the action hero we all know and love(even if he is old as hell) here in "The Last Stand". He plays a small town sheriff that is the last thing standing between a drug lord and the Mexico border which would give him freedom. Arnold and his rag tag group including Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman have to stop them. Generic? Yup. Predictable? Yup. Entertaining and nostalgic as hell? Absolutely! If your a fan of action or Schwarzenegger, then you will love this. It's funny, thrilling, and a lot more violent than I expected, which is a good thing. This isn't one of those action movies that tones it down for the kiddos, no this is a straight up adult action movie. Is it perfect? Not by a long shot, but a movie like this doesn't need to be. All it is, is a vehicle for the return of Schwarzenegger, and it works for the purpose perfectly. Definitely worth a rent. Either sit back and enjoy the roller coaster like a man, or rent a chick flick and cry yourself to sleep.

The Heat
The Heat(2013)

****
First off, my wife and I got to see an advance screening of this in Indianapolis. She has been dying to see this, so when I got a chance to see it for free 2 weeks early, I jumped at the chance. When we got to the theater, we had to turn in our cell phones to security(we just left them in the car) and we had to be scanned over with a metal wand. During the movie security was posted at the exits and watched the crowd to ensure no piracy went on. It made the movie feel important, and that definitely added something as I'd been to advance screenings before, but never like that. Anyway, I thought this movie was hilarious! Basically, Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are complete opposite cops(well Bullock is an FBI agent) who have to work with each other to take down a drug lord in Boston. Not the most original premise, but with McCarthy you can take the most plain movie and make it funny. I loved her in "Identity Thief" and "Bridesmaids", and this is just more of that. If you didn't like her in those, or think she is unfunny, then this is not for you so don't waste your time. I'm not a big Sandra Bullock fan, but I thought she was great here. Some of the things she does is just hilarious and it makes you wonder how they got an Academy Award winner to do them. It runs right at 2 hours, which is a little long, but it's not a long 2 hours. It moves by quick and never really has a section that drags. Could I be biased because of the screening? Maybe. But I did laugh a lot more than I did watching "Hangover 3" or some of the other comedies this year. My wife really enjoyed it, and she's probably the toughest movie critic(well when she watches movies) that I know. When it was over, I looked at her and said "I hope this makes a ton of money so they'll make another one". Leaving the audience wanting more is always a good thing. So far to me, "This is the End" is the best comedy of the year, but this is a close second. Check it out if you wanna spend a couple hour laughing your butt off.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)

There are a lot of remakes/reboots that are terrible and get everything wrong. Then there are reboots like "Man of Steel" that gets it right, and gives a franchise new life. Here, Henry Cavill plays Kal-El, aka Superman, in an origin story much like "Batman Begins" was for Batman. It's dark, realistic(well mostly), and leaves you with excitement for future installments. It tells the story through some flashbacks of the young Clark Kent growing up in Smallville, coming into his powers and how Lois Lane(Amy Adams) discovers who Superman is. Then from there, how Superman has to battle General Zod(Michael Shannon) who threatens Earth. It's all done great, especially the scenes of young Clark. There are two great, great scenes with him and his parents(Diane Lane and Kevin Costner) that are very emotional. Darn near brought a tear to my eye. The scenes with Russell Crowe(Jor-El, Superman's real Dad) are good, but no where near as effective as when he is with the Kent's. I really enjoyed this movie from start to finish. The story is great, the effects are amazing, and the performances are all top notch. Cavill makes a great Superman, and to me really fits the role better than Reeves and Routh. After about a hundred superhero movies, they still find way to make them fresh and interesting. I don't think this is the best comic book adaptation ever( I'd still put "Dark Knight" and "Avengers" ahead of it), but in my opinion, this is the best Superman movie ever. It's very long, but never feels boring or tedious and keeps the action going. There are some plot holes, but nothing too big that it takes away from the enjoyment of the movie. If I were to have any real big complaints, it's that sometimes it's too serious, but it's suppose to be a very serious movie. There's a couple laughs, but I think it could have benefited from a few more. Excellent Summer movie, and an absolute must watch for comic book fans and Superman fans. Very excited to see where this series goes next.

Dead Man Down

**

I love revenge movies. "Man on Wire", "Death Wish", "Kill Bill", just something about seeing someone get their revenge is awesome. "Dead Man Down" is the latest revenge movie to come along, and while it's nowhere near as good as the other movies listed, it's still OK. Colin Farrell stars as a man working for the mob who is really plotting to kill them all for the murder of his wife and daughter. Things go off course when he meets a strange woman(Noomi Rapace) who needs him to assist her with some revenge of her own. The cast in this movie is fantastic. Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper play two of man mob guys, and they play bad, very good. While the cast is great, the material they work with is just "meh", so their performances could have been stronger. The film is very slow, and at a deliberate pace. It clocks at right around 2 hours, but feels more like 2 and a half. Plus, other than the ending, there isn't much action here, it's a lot more story based and atmospheric, which is fine if it were faster. The ending actually is a little unsatisfying. For what it's worth Emily enjoyed it ,and usually she falls asleep during any movie or won't watch these types of movies with me. It's just OK, but not something that will be remembered in the long run.

Superman Returns
½

***1/2
"Superman Returns" is a sequel to "Superman 2" completely forgetting the events of 3 and 4. Here, Superman(Brandon Routh) has been gone for 5 years and returns to Earth. Upon returning he sees that Lois(Kate Bosworth) now has a fiancée and a 5 year old son(hmmm). Also, Lex Luthor(Kevin Spacey) is out of prison and planning something new that will destroy Superman, and half of America. This movie gets a pretty bad rap because it's not as action filled as other comic book movies, and shows a much more emotional side of Superman. I hadn't rewatched this since I saw it in the theaters, and I gotta say, it holds up good. It's not as bad as I remember, and if you don't compare it to other superhero movies like "Iron Man" or "Dark Knight", it's good for what it is. Routh does a very solid job as the Man of Steel, even if he looks like a wuss in some parts of the movie. Actually, the whole cast is great, especially Spacey, who is good in anything. Yes there is too much "angst" for a comic book movie, but it was necessary for this particular story. I wish they would have done another one, because I'm curious where it goes with him and the boy. Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. It is very long and drawn out(2 and a half hours is way too long). But is it as bad as people remember? Absolutely not. When comparing this to the Reeve's movies, I think the only one better is number 2, but not by much. Definitely worth another view, and you'll see it's better than what you thought it was.

Superman II
Superman II(1981)

****

"Superman 2" is one off those sequels that does a lot of the same as the first one, but changes it up enough to actually be better. Here, everyone is back, only the villain is General Zod(Terrance Stamp) along with his 2 sidekicks, who have escaped their exile, and come to Earth to rule. Once here, they meet with Lex Luther(Gene Hackman) and learn that Jor-El's son, Superman(Christopher Reeve) is living on Earth. It then becomes their mission to destroy Superman and make him kneel, while ruling the world. There is a lot more action in this one that the first(and the 3 and 4th), and although the ending is one big rehash, it's very entertaining and keeps at a good pace. The version I watched is the Richard Donner cut released from 2006. I don't remember much from the original theatrical version, so I'd have to rewatch it sometime before I can say what's different, but this version works fine. Reeve was an awesome Superman, and just as awesome as he was, Stamp was amazing as Zod. For a guy dressed like a dominatrix, he was a perfect villain. The film runs a little long, and obviously looks dated, but it holds up better than the other 2 sequels by far. Actually, I would say this is the best of the Reeve's Superman movies. If your gonna revisit any of them before the new one, this is the one to check out. If anything, to compare the Zod performances.

Superman III
Superman III(1983)
½

*1/2

Wow, if you want to see how far comic book adaptation movies have come, just watch this. This is the 3rd Superman movie and it is a real stinker(not as bad as four, but it's bad). Here, Superman basically goes against a rich guy who wants to rule the world by using Richard Pryor(yeah, that Richard Rryor) to create a giant computer. Pryor tries to be funny here, and he is the best thing about the movie, but man he has no place in a Superman movie. Could you imagine Chris Rock as the lead villain in "Iron Man"? Me either. At one point he creates a form of kryptonite that turns Superman bad. By bad I mean his outfit is now maroon, he has stuble and he's a dick. Instead of doing anything real bad, he does things like blow the torch out at the Olympics. This movie was lame as lame can get, and I'm sure it was lame when it came out in the theaters. It doesn't hold up at all, and runs at right around 2 hours, which is way too long. Watch if your a die hard Pryor fan(even though you still won't like it), otherwise just skip this one altogether.

This Is the End

I love Seth Rogan movies. From "40 Year Old Virgin" and everything since, I've been a huge fan. When I first saw the teaser for this I was super pumped. Went to a late night, mid week screening, and I gotta say, I LOVED it. This is by far the funniest movie since "Ted", and it's funnier than that. Here, Rogan(also director and writer), James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, and Jay Baruchel(all playing themselves) encounter the apocalypse. They are all at a party at Franco's house when things go down. People get sucked into the sky, theirs a huge sinkhole, fire every where, it's pretty awesome. Everyone but them dies and they have to fend for themselves. From there they drink pee, jerk off, make a sequel to "Pineapple Express" among many other hilarious things. I laughed the entire time, even at scenes I already saw in the previews. All the performances are great, as they are exactly what you would want/expect from these actors. Seeing these guys all together again in a movie is just fantastic. Also, this has some great cameos that will leave you like "how in the world did they get them to do that?!" Oh and Michael Cera steals the movie for the 5 minutes he is in this. "This is the End" is full of great one liners, and scenes that I'm sure I'll be quoting and joking about for years to come, much like "Superbad". So far this year has had some bad comedies and some that were just ok, this is by far the best. If you want to have a great time at the theater and laugh your butt off for 2 hours then you should head out and watch this.

Superman
Superman(1978)

I've honestly never been a big "Superman" fan. But with "Man of Steel" set to come out next week, I figured I would break open a "Superman" blu ray box set I have and rewatch all of the movies(even though I don't remember seeing any of them except the last one). The version I watched of the original was the extended cut, so I'm not really sure what the differences are with the theatrical version, but it does feel really long at over 2 and a half hours. Also, this was made in 1978, so it's pretty dated, but not unwatchable dated. The effects don't hold up, but the story is great. It's an origin story, turned into Superman trying to stop Lex Luthor from destroying the entire west coast. The cast of this movie is absolutely amazing for the time it was released. Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Margot Kidder, and of course Christopher Reeve. Reeve really was an amazing Superman, and his performance holds up better than anything else in this movie. Also, a small piece of trivia that I didn't know. But this was written by Mario Puzo, aka the man who wrote "The Godfather" trilogy. When compared to modern day comic book movies, this obviously comes up short. But, when you consider the time it was made, and how well it's aged, it's still very good. Also, for how old the movie is, the transfer on Blu Ray is pretty darn good. Great way to get prepared for the new movie, and perfect to introduce kids to "Superman" who haven't seen any of the movies.

The Internship

"Wedding Crashers" is one of the best comedies in the last 10 years. So, when I heard of this I was like "sweet!", but the trailers just looked "meh". Figured I would give it a shot, and I'm really glad I did. This was much better than I expected, even if it is a 2 hour commercial for Google. Long story short Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play salesmen who lose their jobs and take an internship with Google in the hopes of landing a job. From there the movie writes itself. Their old, teach the young guys to live life, and have to overcome kids who are way more qualified than them for the job. As generic as it really is, Vaughn and Wilson make it work out ok. Their chemistry is still great and they make an awesome comedic duo. This is a PG-13 movie, so it's a lot more tame than "Crashers" and much lighter, but it's still a decent comedy. This is actually better than "Hangover 3" in terms of comedies so far this Summer. This is perfect for a one time watch to just relax and enjoy a light comedy. It probably won't have any long term effect, but for a couple hours, it's solid entertainment.

The Purge
The Purge(2013)

When I first saw a trailer to this I immediately thought of "The Strangers". That's one of the best home invasion movies ever, and this looked like it could be just as good. But this isn't really a horror movie like that is. Instead, this is more along the lines of the Bruce Willis movie "Hostage". It has a couple "gotcha" moments, but it's never really a "scary" movie. For those that don't know this is the year 2022 when crime is at 0 percent because of one night a year called The Purge. It's one night where all crime is legal, including murder, so people can purge all their violent needs. Ethan Hawke play a salesman who sells security systems for this one night. On this Purge, his son sees a man in danger and lets him into the house. Once inside the group that is after him, comes to the house, and says to give up the man or they will kill them all. All the performances are done good, especially Rhys Wakefield as the "leader" of the bad guys. He's the most polite crazy guy since "Funny Games". This movie clocks in around 80 minutes, so it's very short, and it breezes by quick. Decent flick, just don't expect another "Stangers".

21 And Over
21 And Over(2013)

I love a good R rated comedy about high schoolers/college kids who do crazy stuff. "21 and Over" doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it offers a very funny and entertaining entrant into the genre. Jeff Chang is a straight A student about to turn 21. His best friends from high school, Casey and Miller, surprise him and take him out for a wild night. Things get wild, crazy, and pretty darn hilarious. At 90 minutes long, the movie never over stays it's welcome and keeps it going at a good pace. Emily actually stayed awake through it, and thats usually a good sign, since she falls asleep or shows no interest in anything:-p If you like movies like "Road Trip" or "Sorority Boys", then this is right in your wheelhouse. If not, then this isn't for you, you'll just end up being offended.

Side Effects
Side Effects(2013)
½

Steven Soderbergh movies have always been hit and miss with me. But with this and his last 2 movies("Behind the Candlabra" and "Magic Mike") he's on a very good run. "Side Effects" is a very good thriller where the less you know the better. Emily and Martin(Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum) are a reuniting couple as Martin gets out of jail. Once out, her anxiety attacks start again and she meets psychiatrist(Jude Law) who wants to start her on a new drug that has some interesting Side Effects. The cast is great, with each giving terrific performances. Law is especially good, doing his best work in years. I will say, this may not be for everyone. It is a little slow, and the story doesn't unfold like most would expect. But it's still very good and very much worth a watch.

The Hangover Part III

Let me start this by saying the first "Hangover" is one of the best comedies of all time. "Hangover Part 2" while a complete rehash, still has quite a few funny moments. Here in part 3, this franchise is over. This movie is more annoying that funny. Annoying because it centers on Chow(Ken Jeong) and Alan(Zach Galifianakis). Those two are both very funny in small doses, but here it's like you just wanna yell "enough!" Stu(Ed Helms) and Phil(Bradley Cooper) are like background characters, when they should be front and center. There are a couple of funny parts, and if you've seen the trailer then you saw almost all of them. A scene with Mellisa McCarthy and a scene after the credits are the best parts. But even those, don't hold a candle to anything in the first movie. By far the worst of the series, just skip this and re-watch the original. This is the type of movie that could change how much you like the original because of how far down the series has gone.

After Earth
After Earth(2013)

This is a odd movie. Not odd like "man that was so different!" But odd in like "what the heck were they thinking?" Will Smith is one of the most charismatic actors alive, but here he is so boring. He is dull, lifeless, and looks like he would rather be asleep the entire movie. The plot is very basic, and could have been good, but I just think they went about it the wrong way. Anyway, this is about a future where all of humanity has left Earth after some cataclysmic events. Kitai(Jaden Smith) wants to be a ranger like his father(Will Smith), but isn't cutting it like he hoped he would. They then go on a ship together that is transporting a dangerous alien that feeds off of peoples fear. The ship crashes and lands on Earth. Cypher is badly hurt and must guide his son from the ship wreckage to a way to signal for help, while avoiding that alien and all the life form on Earth that wants to kill humans. It's a father/son survival movie, but the problem is it's so slow and boring. There isn't a lot of action, and the acting of both Smith's just isn't very good. I dunno what it is, but I think if this were directed by someone other than M. Night Shyamalan, this could have been better. M. Night used to be one of my favorite directors("Unbreakable" is amazing!), but has last 3-4 movies have all been pretty bad, and this continues that trend. This feels like a big opportunity missed. Just skip it til it's available at redbox or netflix.

Now You See Me
½

"Now You See Me" is a movie about a group of magicians who rob from the rich, and give to the poor. Like a modern Robin Hood. The group is called the Four Horsemen and after their first show, they are quickly followed by the F.B.I and Interpol. Also watching them is a mysterious Magic Debunker played by Morgan Freeman. The cast in this movie is amazing. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Michael Caine, and Mark Ruffalo all star and play pivotal roles. Ruffalo is the head F.B.I. agent on their trail, and he is awesome as always. Eisenberg is also fantastic playing against his usually awkward geeky roles. Here, he is cool, calm, and confident as the leader of the Magic act. The effects are all done good(even if some are cheesey) and other than a couples spots towards the end, the movie is very well made. This is a perfectly fun Summer heist movie. It doesn't take itself too seriously, yet remains grounded(most of it anyway). This is a very entertaining watch. Even Emily enjoyed it, so guys take the ladies, and hopefully some magic of your own will happen;-)

Parker
Parker(2013)
½

**1/2
"Parker" is the latest Jason Statham action movie, that is pretty much like the rest of his action movies. It has a simple plot, good fight scenes, and over the top, yet watchable acting. Only this time, it has Jennifer Lopez added to the mix. Statham stars as Parker, a thief who robs the Ohio State Fair with a group of guys he's never dealt with. Things go bad when they refuse to give him his share of the money, and they end up leaving him for dead. But, he isn't dead and tracks them down to Florida for revenge. He meets up with a real estate agent played by Lopez, and gets her to help him out. Lopez does OK, but really her role could have been played by anyone and it wouldn't have mattered. Michael Chiklis is the main bad guy, and he is much better suited for TV. Something about him just doesn't work in movies like it does for his television roles. He tries to be serious, but it ends up coming off like he is "hamming" it up. Statham, well he is the same as he is in all his movie, pretty much a badass. Fans of his or action movies in general will probably like this. But, just know if you've seen one Statham action movie, you've seem 'em all pretty much, so don't expect much different here.

Safe Haven
Safe Haven(2013)
½

*1/2
"Safe Haven" is the latest Nicolas Sparks adaptation, and stars Julliene Hough. She's a woman on the run from her husband, when she comes across a small seaside town and tries to create a new life with a new identity. She starts a relationship with Josh Dehumal, a widower with two kids. Things seem to be going good until her husband catches up with her and her true identity is revealed. This being a Sparks movie means it's predictable and there are boats, rain, drama, and maybe a death or two. It's funny when watching this my wife and I would mention every Sparks cliché we would see. "Oh look, their kissing in the rain!" If you do that, this movie might make a good drinking game. Having said that, I was bored with the movie overall. The acting isn't that good, and the story is "meh, been there done that". There's a little twist at the end, that did nothing for me. I think Emily thought it was OK, but this is definitely one of worse Sparks movies out there. I'm sure a lot of women will like it, but guys don't waste your time, it's not worth it, and I saw it for free.

Dark Skies
Dark Skies(2013)
½

**1/2

When I first saw the trailer for "Dark Skies" I thought it looked interesting, but would end up being a bad movie. While it's not a great movie, it certainly isn't bad either. Keri Russell stars as your average married mother of 2, when Aliens start to do weird, harmful things to her family. First,it's little pranks that don't do any damage, but just mess with their heads. Then 3 different flocks of birds fly into her homes, and soon each member of the family gets their heads messed with in some very inventive ways. There are some very good suspenseful scenes in this, and it's perfect for a watch at home at night. But, towards the end the movie has some big plot holes(like what they're told to do to fight the aliens, makes no sense). Overall it's a lot better than I was expecting. Horror fans, or fans of aliens movies should give it a shot. I'm sure there are a lot of people that won't like it, but if you go with it, it's not too bad. Could have been a lot worse.

Before Sunset

*****

"Before Sunset" is probably my number 2 favorite "romantic" movie of all time("Love Actually" being number 1). This is a sequel to "Before Sunset" and takes place 9 years later(and was actually made 9 years later). Jesse(Ethan Hawke) wrote a book about his one night in Vienna with Celine(Julie Duply) and goes on a book tour to promote it. While doing interviews on the last stop in Paris, he meets up with Celine again and they spend the day walking and talking through Paris before his flight back to the states. This movie doesn't miss a beat from the first one and is just as natural and moving. There are some very funny scenes, and some scenes that will really get your mind to work. I don't know if I've ever watched a movie that makes you see yourself through characters eyes quite as good as this movie. Also, the ending of this movie is perfect. One of my favorite all time endings ever. I remember the only reason I watched this or the first one was because it was nominated for an Oscar for best Screenplay back in 2004, and I just loved it. I don't remember what won it, but this deserved it for sure! There is a third one coming out this summer that I cannot wait to see. If you haven't seen either of the "Before" movies, then you NEED to check them out. They are absolutely fantastic that anyone who has been in a good relationship, or had a brief relationship that left you with "what ifs?" should watch. One of the rare times where the sequel is better than the already amazing original.

Promised Land
½

**1/2

A few years ago I watched a movie called "Gasland" about natural gas fraking(I think I spelled that right) here in the U.S. Basically when companies get naturdal gas from the ground, bad stuff can happen. This is a movie that deals with that and dramatizes it. Matt Damon stars as a Natural Gas salesman whose job is to sell a town on the idea of extracting natural gas from their town. While in the process a school teacher objects and challenges him to a town vote because of the dangers that could come from the process. Enter John Kransinski as an environmentalist who comes to the town to help the teacher and stop Damon and the company. It may sound boring, and some of it is, but overall I thought it was interesting. I liked the scenes with Kransinski and Damon, and I liked the little twist towards the end. It's not a perfect movie, and a lot of people probably won't like it, but I think it's worth a rental.

The Hangover Part II

I watched this again yesterday and I watched it right after the first one. This sequel doesn't hold up well at all. It has a few moments, but really once you've seen it once, it becomes just a shoulder shrug. The first movie still plays fresh and funny, whereas this feels like a rehash. Here's what I wrote when I saw it the first time. Time hasn't been kind to it, and this is one "Hangover" that should be forgotten.
This is basically the exact same movie as the first one, just set in Thailand and it works great. Not as good as the first, which is fine because the bar was set so high. But since the first wasn't broke, they didn't try to fix it. It may not be very original, but it is hilarious. The characters are all back and better than ever. If you like monkeys, dicks, and Zach Galifianakis then this is the movie for you! I hope they make another one and keep this franchise rolling

Behind the Candelabra
½

I usually skip the made for tv movies. But when a movie stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas and it's on HBO, it's worth a watch. "Behind the Candelabra" is the story of Liberace(Douglas) and his relationship with the much younger Scott(Damon). It's about how the Liberace imposes his lavish lifestyle onto Scott. From showering him with money and jewelery, to forcing him into plastic surgery. Then, it plays out how it all crashed down and Scott's attempt to get palimony before Liberace's death in the 80s. Douglas is absolutely amazing, and this is probably the best performance he has ever done. Never once do you go "Man, Douglas does a great Liberace." Instead you really believe you are watching Liberace. Damon does good, but he is overshadowed by Douglas. Rob Lowe plays a plastic surgeon who works on them both and has had too much done himself. Lowe is awesome and should be considered for Supporting nominations when it comes to awards. This is probably the gayest movie I've ever seen, and I've watched and liked "Brokeback Mountain". So if homosexual's make you uncomfortable, or if your homophobic, then you should pass on this. Otherwise, you should check it out for a fascinating look at one of the most polarizing figures in music history.

A Haunted House
½

I like the very first "Scary Movie", but the rest of them suck and just aren't funny. So, when this came out, I just rolled my eyes and expected it to be total crap. But, I gotta admit, I wasn't completely right about that. This movie is dumb, and there are quite a few moments that aren't funny. But, there are more than a few, that are hysterical. I thought this was funnier than I expected by a lot, but my expectations were pretty low. For those that don't know, this is a parody of the "Paranormal Activity" movies starring Marlon Wayans. If you enjoy those or movies like "Scary Movie", then you should find this entertaining. If you don't, then skip it and never look back. Just know, it's better than it should be, but it's still not that great.

Fast & Furious 6

This franchise is the most unique franchise is all of movies. Most movies when they get to 6 get worse or prepare to die off. "Fast and Furious" on the other hand leaves you absolutely ready for number 7. Picking up months after the events of "Fast Five" we find everyone in different parts of the world living out their dreams as millionaires from the Rio heist. Then Hobbs(the Rock) pays Dominic(Vin Diesel) a visit to ask him and his crew help grab a guy named Owen Shaw(Luke Evans) who is pulling massive jobs in Europe. Jobs that could lead to terrorists getting their hands on some dangerous weapons. Why would he ask Dom for help? Because Shaw has Letty(Michelle Rodriguez), whom everyone thought died in number 4. It's an interesting premise and a good way to continue the story. The action in this movie is insane and a couple parts are so over the top you'll just laugh. The entire gang is back, and when they are all together it's one of the best ensembles in all of movies. Also, make sure you stay during or after the credits(had to watch it separately, so I'm not sure where it is), because it is a great cliffhanger for number 7). I think this is right on par with "Five" as the best 2 movies in the series, which is saying a lot because I really like every movie in it so far. This is a great Summer action movie, that fans and non fans should enjoy. This franchise is still great and just keeps getting better and better.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

This is the second movie in all of the "Star Trek" movies, and it's considered the best(I've only seen this and the first one). This is miles better than the first movie, and really showcases a great story, with great characters. A guy I work with recommended I watch an old episode called "Space Seed" first. It's not mandatory, but it's a great thing to do, because it gives a great set up, and you get to see why Khan and Kirk hate each other. The effects are very dated, and the acting is just awesome. Awesome, because it's all overacted, which for a movie like this works well. When Kirk yells Khan, it's just awesome. I like the Abrams movies better, but this makes me want to continue with the old movies to see where it all goes. Good movie that's still good 30 years later.

Star Trek Into Darkness
½

First and foremost, this review will have some spoilers. If you haven't seen this yet, then don't read anymore, just know that I liked it, but had a few hangups. Here the crew of the Enterprise is after a terrorist named John Harrison who assaulted Star Fleet headquarters. The cast is all back, and they are all fantastic. Scotty(Simon Pegg) and Bones(Karl Urban) were both may favorites here, and provided quite a few laughs. Kirk(Chris Pine) and Spock(Zachary Quinto) are both great also, and their friendship is the center of the story. This is really the beginning of how they would grow to become best friends. The effects are fantastic, and Benedict Cumberbatch is awesome as the villain. The way he delivers his lines are just so damn good. Now, my hangups, and I have 2. First, I saw this in 3D and the 3D added zero to the movie. Most of it was flat and had no depth whatsoever, so it was a complete waste to me. The other issue was, I watched "Wrath of Khan" for the first time the other day. I thought it was fine, and this is pretty much a redo of that movie. With a few of the moments the exact same, only Spock and Kirk switch places. It worked for the movie, but I had me rolling my eyes and thinking they just weren't being original. Having said that, I still really enjoyed this. This is a great Summer movie if you like action and adventure. I didn't think this was better than the first one by Abrams, but I thought it was a fine sequel. Most sequels take steps backwards, and this sets things up very nice for future movies. Definitely worth checking out, just skip the 3D and enjoy the ride.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

When this movie came out I had not seen a single "Star Trek" movie or tv episode. All I knew, was the trailers looked cool even though "Trek" had never interested me at all before. From a pure non-trek fan, I found this movie to be awesome. I loved the story, the effects, and the acting was superb. This had enough humor to stay light, but it was never too light to lose sight of the tension and drama. The last 10 years have been big on reboots and remakes, and this is one of, if not, the best of them all. It took something that when I was younger I considered boring, and made it enthralling, interesting, and very entertaining. I know some big trekkies that really liked it, but had a lot of hang ups on some issues. But then again all reboots will have that. If you haven't watched this or any "Trek" movies, IMO, this is a great jumping off point. It made me want to go back and watch some of the older movies, and excited for the future films. Great movie, worth a watch or a revisit.

Aftershock
Aftershock(2013)
½

The last 10 years, Eli Roth has kind of been the main "go to" guy for horror movies. If his name is attached, it usually means it's going to be gorey, borderline realistic, and generally above average. "Cabin Fever" and the first "Hostel" are both terrific horror movies, and now "Aftershock"(he's just the producer and star actor) is probably the best one his name is on yet. I'm not his biggest fan, but there are so many horror movies that are bad these days, that his tend to stand out above the pack. The basic premise is a group of people are down in Chile partying when a massive earthquake strikes. When crap hits the fan, people tend to go crazy, and this group of people end up on the wrong side of Chile. From there you get rape, torture, crazy death scenes, and a fantastic ending(the last shot of this movie is awesome). This isn't for the faint of heart, and only the hardest of hardcore horror fans will probably like this. Some of it goes too far, but I gotta say, it was good seeing a horror movie that has some balls and doesn't hold back for the PG-13 crowd. This isn't the best horror movie I've seen this year(that would go to the "Evil Dead" remake), but it's very much worth watching. If you like Eli Roth, you'll enjoy it. If you don't like Eli Roth, well, you'll still enjoy it by what happens to his character, but you'll have your eyes closed through most of the movie.

Broken City
Broken City(2013)

Ever since I saw the first trailer for this I've thought "man that looks like a damn good movie". "Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, this should be pretty good." Well, my expectations were way too high, and I should have stayed away from the trailer. This is one of those movies where if you've seen the theatrical trailer, then you pretty much know the entire movie, except maybe one or two little twists that aren't anything major. The basic premise is a cop(Wahlberg) gets off for murder and has to leave the force and become a Private Investigator. One day out of the blue the man who got him off, the mayor(Crowe), calls him up for a job. Find out who is sleeping with his wife(Catherine Zeta Jones). But things aren't always so simple, and from there this becomes a just OK political type thriller. All the actors do decent, not their best, but they do ok. But the story is kind of bland, and having seen the trailer, I was left with a feeling of "that's it?" This is an OK rental, at best, just keep expectations low and go in knowing as little as possible. But, even then it's still probably just an alright movie that hovers around average.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
½

I have to admit, I've never really been a "Star Trek" fan. It's always seemed boring to me, and over my head. Heck, most sci-fi is, except the big alien invasion movies. Not sure what it is, the just don't really do much for me. However, when the J.J. Abrams reboot came out a few years back, I gave it a chance and loved it. With the sequel coming up, I figured I would go back and watch some of the old movies to get a grasp on "Star Trek" as a whole and see if I missed something and missed out, or if it's still just not for me. I was told by a true Trekkie to just start with the second movie, and he was probably right. But, my OCD prevailed and I started with number one. This first movie is horrible. If I were a Trek fan when this was released(1979) I would have been furious and may have given up altogether. It's long(just over 2 hours) and very boring. I understand "Trek" is more hardcore sci-fi than other movies/shows, but this is ridiculous. It's pretty much everyone on the enterprise sitting and talking the entire movie. At some point you need action, and this movie fails to deliver it. As for the acting, it's not all bad, because the characters are interesting and Kirk(William Shatner) is pretty funny. Shatner is easily the best thing about the movie, and if not for him and his charisma, this would be a complete waste. Also, this movie is very dated, and time has not been kind to it at all. I plan on watching more because I've heard it gets a lot better, but this is a horrible first movie for any franchise

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)

"Iron Man 3" does what most third entries in movie franchise don't do, turns in a great movie. This holds up very nicely next to the previous 2 installments, and I'd say it's probably better than "Iron Man 2" and about the same as the first movie. Here, Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr.) is haunted by the events of the Avengers and finds himself obsessing over creating and perfecting new suits. He is constantly trying to figure out new way to protect Pepper(Gwyneth Paltrow), and make the suits better and better. Then he placed in the cross hairs of a terrorist called the Mandarin(Ben Kingsley). Going any further than that would be a disservice to anyone who hasn't seen the movie, because there are quite a few surprises and twists, that I didn't see coming at all. Very unconventional super hero movie, which is great because it's a true breathe of fresh air. It's not your typical good guy vs. bad guy movie in a lot of ways. All the performances are great, and it really leaves you with a sense of "how are they gonna do another one?!" Marvel is battling a thousand when it comes to their movies and they continue that streak here. This is the first must see movie of the Summer and a great way to kick off the summer movie season. Also, stay after the credits, it's pretty awesome.

The Lords of Salem
½

I love Rob Zombie's music, but his movies are very hit and miss. Mostly misses, and "Lords of Salem" is another one of those misses. Starring his wife Sheri Moon Zombie as a DJ who receives a strange box at work. In the box is a recording by a group called "The Lords" that has a weird impact on her and the other women of Salem, MA. It triggers flashbacks and gives her visions of Satan. The movie is all over the place, and a few of the "visions" are a lot more funny, because it's just strange/cheesy than scary. Its a low budget movie, and it's one where you can tell. I'm not saying a bigger budget would have made it a better movie, because it couldn't have, but it does look cheap. The characters are all bland, and the acting is the same. There's a reason Sheri Moon Zombie seems to be in only her husbands movies. I've heard that this is probably Rob's last "horror" movie, and that's probably for the best. Some horror fans may like this, but there so many other better movies out there, this should just be skipped over.

Oblivion
Oblivion(2013)

"Obvlivion" is a sci-fi movie that takes things from other movies and shoots for something original. Tom Cruise stars as Jack a security repairman who works with a partner to help extract water from Earth and send to Titan. Titan is a planet that all the people of Earth have migrated to since Aliens came to Earth and fought a war leaving everything radioactive and inhabitable. Saying more than that would be a disservice to anyone who hasn't seen it since there are several twists and plot turns. The movie drags, especially in the middle, but overall it stays fresh and entertaining. Cruise is good, and the rest of the cast does good also. Would like to have seen more of Morgan Freeman, but actually I can see there being a prequel involving his character. If you like Sci-Fi movies, then you should give this an honest shot, it'll be right up your alley and a good way to wet your appetite for the new "Star Trek" movie. Otherwise, you should probably stay away, because this probably won't be for you.

Pain & Gain
Pain & Gain(2013)

"Pain and Gain" as my buddy Billy called it, is "one of the craziest, most f***ed up movies I've ever seen". While it's probably not the craziest movie ever, it's certainly up there, especially when you consider it is a true story. It's the story of three bodybuilders(Mark Wahlberg, The Rock, and Anthony Mackie) who plot to kidnap a rich restaurant owner(Tony Shaloub). They want to take everything from him. From his money to his house to basically his whole life. The torture him and leave him for dead. But things don't go as they had hoped. Drugs, steroids, murder, erectile dysfunction, you name it, this movie has it. The cast all do a fantastic job, and this may be the Rock's best role yet. He is absolutely hilarious, and has the funniest scenes. At just around 2 hours the movie never overstays it's welcome, and when it's done you'll want to know more about the actual events that happened. Michael Bay is the director and his "visual flair" is very much there, but this is by far the most toned down movie he has done with effects and explosions. One of his best by far. If you have a squeamish stomach or just don't like crazy R rated dumb criminal movies, then you should pass. But if you want something insane, funny, and very memorable, then check it out!

The Barrens
The Barrens(2012)

Stephen Moyer(Bill from "True Blood") stars here as a father who wants to go on a family camping trip in New Jersey to spread his fathers ashes, and hopefully get closer to his family as they continue to grow apart. When they arrive at the woods weird things begin to happen, and he becomes distant and psychotic. Is it him? Or is it the New Jersey Devil, a bigfoot like myth that may or may not be true. Part psychological thriller and part monster movie, "The Barrens" is entertaining, yet not a very good movie either. It has it's moments, and I'd say it has more going for it than against, but something about it just didn't click with me. "The Devil" looks neat, but I've seen much better creatures in these type of movies. The acting is just OK, and the gore is good, but it never had me fully engaged like this movie hopes the viewer to be. If your into horror, then give it a chance because it may work more for you than me. Otherwise, I'd say just find something else at Redbox(where I got it), because there is a lot better out there.

Jurassic Park

If I had to rank my top 10-20 favorite movies of all time, "Jurassic Park" would have to be on that list(probably around 10). It has everything. Action, adventure, great acting, a great plot, and 20 years later is holds up amazingly well. If you don't know the story, then run to the theater and see this now, because you will be missing out by not seeing this at least once on the big screen. I saw a teaser in IMAX when I saw the new "Oz" movie, and immediately knew I wanted to see this again. I wanted to see it at IMAX, but due to where I was the day we were gonna go, I could only see it in 3D. The 3D is done well, but it doesn't really add anything to enhance the movie, unless you see it in IMAX. The teaser I saw was the T-Rex scene, and let me tell you that was something special. You felt like you were right there in the car with the kids and wanted to hold your ears shut too at how loud the T-Rex roars. The effects on this movie are still awe inspiring and better than most movies made today. Time has been very kind to "Jurassic Park". I've heard that 2014 will bring part 4, and after rewatching this, it can't come soon enough

Evil Dead
Evil Dead(2013)

More times than not horror movie remakes either suck or are just "meh, that was ok". They usually lack whatever it was that made the original so special. "Evil Dead" is one of the rare remakes that is really, really good. In 20 years this probably won't be as remembered as the original, but it will be remembered as one of those horror movies that has balls. This isn't one of the those PG-13 horror movies for kids, or one of the cash grab remakes like the last "Chainsaw Massacre". This is a movie for fans of the original and fans who like bloody, hardcore horror movies. Hell, this should have been called "Chainsaw Massacre" instead of that crap ass remake that came out in January. Actually, to me this isn't even a remake. Yes, it remakes elements of the original. But if you watch the original, and then this one, you can see this as a sort of sequel that takes place 30 years later. There's no Ash, and no comedy. This is a straight up horror movie that had me cringe a couple times at the gore that was going on. One of, if not the best horror movie to come out in the last 5 years. Horror movie fans should definitely go see this. But if you have a weak stomach, then stay away, because you may lose your lunch.

Army of Darkness

This is the third movie in the "Evil Dead" series, and it's the best. Picks up where the second movie ends as Ash(Bruce Campbell) as been teleported back to 14th Century Medieval times. All he has is his '88 Oldsmobile, the boom stick, and the chainsaw for a right hand. He helps battle the deadites and hopefully return home to his job at S-Mart("Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart"). This isn't a horror movie at all, instead it's an action/adventure/comedy hybrid that is one of the most original movies ever made. It's hysterical, has some great gags, and offers up some of the best one liners that I(along with many others) still quote to this day. Campbell is amazing and gives one of the best comedic performances ever. He has to be the most underrated actor ever. I've only ever seen the original theatrical version. When I rewatched last night I watched the Directors Cut(I have the boom stick edition dvd, and it has both versions). I gotta say, I much prefer the original. The directors cut has a completely different ending, that doesn't work for me at all, along with a couple other differences. Still a great movie, but the original theatrical cut is the one to watch. This is a must watch as it holds up so good after all these year. If you don't like it, then your dumber than f***, and probably don't have good taste in movies. Hail to the King Baby!

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

"Evil Dead 2" is more of a comical remake of the first movie than a sequel. It's the same premise. Ash(Bruce Campbell) goes to a cabin and the book of the dead is read, only this time it's all slap stick humor instead of a horror movie. This works out great as it's a truly original movie. It's over the top and like a three stooges movie with a horror spin(well, one stooge). Campbell is amazing. Hilarious, goofy, and badass. The man has it all. It's been over 20 years since this came out, and it's very dated, but still funny. Fans of horror and comedy movies should enjoy this as it's a much better "horror comedy" than say something like "Scary Movie". Actually, if you don't find it funny, then you just don't get it, at which point I'd say, just stick with whatever boring movies you do enjoy.

The Evil Dead

"Evil Dead" is one of the all time best horror movies. It's bloody, crazy, funny, over the top, and just plain entertaining. Made in 1983 it launched the careers of director Sam Raimi, and Bruce Campbell. Campbell plays the legendary Ash, and if yo didn't know that, or know who Ash is, then stop reading and go watch this and it's two sequels. Ash is the ultimate horror movie hero, but here he is just a teenage kid trying to stop demons from killing him. The premise is simple. 5 college kids go to a cabin, find an evil book(the Book of the Dead!) in the basement which unleashes demons(aka deadites) upon them. The effects are so dated and cheesey, that it adds some serious charm to this movie. It doesn't hold up in the scary department, but it holds up as a throwback to the way horror movies should be made. Interesting note, it's actually an NC-17(there is a crazy vine rape scene, yeh..vines and rape), and I have a feeling that if this movie came out again it would still get that rating(the remake actually did!). I can't wait for the remake, and rewatching this just affirmed my excitement. I'm sure it won't be as good, but just going to a theater to see an "Evil Dead" movie is good enough for me.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

The first time I watched the first G.I. Joe movie I thought "they will never make a sequel to this because it was so bad". Enter the Rock and you instantly turn a franchise around. This sequel ignores a lot of the first movie and moves into a new direction. It continues most of the story that was set up, but forgets things like the blond girl and Marlon Wayans altogether. Here, the new group battles Cobra and threats within our own government. The Rock instantly makes this franchise better, and at one point I literally said to my buddy "The Rock is such a badass". He is what was missing from the first movie. Plus, you through in Bruce Willis and you have a great combination for an action movie. This movie has a lot of humor, the action is great, and while the story isn't the best and there are a lot of "hokey" type moments, it's very entertaining. This was originally supposed to come out last Summer, and I'm glad they moved it. This isn't really up there with the big Summer action movies, but it's a great appetizer for movies to come. Good, enjoyable action movie. Hopefully, if they make more it's like this and not like the first movie. If they do that, this franchise could have some legs in the coming years.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Now growing up, I was never a huge G.I. Joe cartoon fan. I had all the toys, but was never too big on the cartoon. Having watched this movie, I really hope the cartoon was never this bad. This movie is good to look at, but everything else about it really isn't that great. The story is weak, the acting is bad, and the use of Cobra Commander is pretty lame. Channing Tatum stars as Duke, the new head of the G.I. Joe group, and they battle the Cobra group as they try to use a new technology to take over the world. Tatum is probably the best thing about the movie, other than Snake Eyes who is pretty awesome. Marlon Wayans and Dennis Quaid both seem out of place, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so underused it's ridiculous. Not sure if true G.I. Joe would really be fans of this(I know a couple that hated it), but I'm sure kids new to the franchise will like it. I'd say skip it altogether and go straight for the sequel or just about any other action movie.

Bending the Rules
½

With Wrestlemania coming up, I figured I would watch this as it was free and a WWE movie. Well, just like the other WWE movies I've seen, it sucked. The story is lame, the action is pretty bad and the acting is gawd awful. Edge was an amazing wrestler, but he is not a good actor at all. But then again, the material he is working with is horrible. He plays a detective who is on trial for corruption, and then helps out the DA.(Jamie Kennedy) who is against him, from criminals who want him dead. All while trying to find his dads car that was stolen. This is probably the worst buddy cop movie out there, and is just best to stay away from it. Hour and a half you won't get back.

The Collection
½

This movie is strictly geared towards fans of horror movies who love blood and watching people die in crazy awesome ways. Kind of like the "Final Destination" series, only with a real bad guy. This is a sequel to "The Collector" and picks up right after that one. Here The Collector kidnaps a girl and takes her to hotel that he has transformed into a maze of just crazy torture devices and death traps. When the cops, along with his last victim that got away, come to rescue her they have a lot of fun in that building to put it nicely. The death scenes are great, and it even features one of the best mass death scenes in a night club ever. But, there is little plot, and the actors that actually star in this aren't that good. But then again, that's not why you would watch this movie. Better than the original, and leaves it open to a third movie, which I'm sure will get made. Check it out if you like horror movies, but if you don't or are squeamish, then stay away at all costs.

The Croods
The Croods(2013)

"The Croods" is about a family of cavemen who come out of the cave and start living in the world. Grug(Nicolas Cage) is the father and he wants the family to live in fear, to protect them. But his oldest daughter Eep(Emma Stone) longs for a life outside the cave, and one day meets a boy named Guy(Ryan Reynolds) who shows her the light. He talks about how the world is going to change and convinces her to get the family to leave the cave, from there it's about "old ways vs. new ways" as the boy and Grug clash over what to do to protect the family. It's kind of like a Flintstones and Ice Age movie rolled into one. While it doesn't have the Flintstones charm, it's certainly better than most of, if not all, the Ice Age movies. It's got some very funny moments and was actually a lot better than I thought. The voice cast is tremendous, and anytime you got Nicolas Cage, you've got gold. It's a little long for an animated movie, but it doesn't really over stay it's welcome. I didn't get a chance to see this in 3D, but I'm sure I'll buy the 3D blu ray when it's available. There's enough her to make me think the 3D would be outstanding. Perfect family movie, that isn't just for the kiddos.

Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away
½

Ok, for starters this isn't really a movie, as it's a compilation of performances strung together giving you the experience of one of these shows. I've only seen like small sets, and never an actual full performance and I gotta say, what this group does is amazing. Visually, this is one of the best movies for blu ray(can't say for 3D, haven't seen in 3D, but I'm sure it looks awesome). Now, having said that, I have no idea what the hell went on or if there was a story being told at all(which I'm sure there was). Emily made the comment that is absolutely true, "if we ever get high, we have to watch this", because this is the type of thing to watch like that. Its trippy as hell in parts. It's entertaining to watch, but don't expect to comprehend much of it, and if you do you're much smarter than me and please let me know what you got out of it. I got that it's a story about love, but other than that, I got nothing but "Wow, that looks crazy!" Also, anything with Beatles music is great in my book. Worth a watch? Absolutely, but not if you want to watch a "movie", but if you want to watch something different, unique, and more of an "experience".

For a Good Time, Call...

Here's a movie that was an absolute surprise for me. I expected a light comedy chick flick, and what I got was a hilarious, raunchy, chick flick that guys will enjoy. It's about two girls that don't like each other and are complete opposites. One is uptight and the other is wild who works as a sex phone operator. Well, when the uptight one needs work she helps her set up her own line, 1800-mmm-hmmm. From there they balance their new friendship while running this business and living together. I didn't think this would be funny really and only watched it because I wanted to get something that I thought Emily would enjoy, and she fell asleep while I laughed my butt off. Now the movie towards the end goes full chick flick, but up until the last like 15 minutes its very funny. Has a lot of one liners("Oh your a redhead? Do you have freckles on your dick?"), and a couple great surprise cameos that I didn't expect at all. Is this a great movie that in 5 years I'm still gonna wanna watch? No, but it's definitely worth a watch for a few good laughs. Seen a lot of comedies that are a lot worse that this.

Robot & Frank
½

Frank(Frank Langella) is a retired car burglar who is suffering from Alzheimers. he has two grown children who are unable to take care of him, so they buy a robot. The robot does his chores and becomes a friend to Frank after initial resistance. Frank then uses the Robot to help commit more burglaries, and the movie takes off from there. This movie is great. Parts are hilarious, some are heartbreaking, but the movie always feels fresh and different. It has a few parts that are slow, but the lulls never stay too long.The supporting cast is great, but Langella is amazing as Frank. The guy gets better with age. Check this out if your in the mood for a different type of independent dramady.

The Call
The Call(2013)
½

Here's another generic thriller that isn't really anything fresh, but it's still entertaining. Halle Berry stars as a 911 operator who gets a call from a kidnapped girl(Abigail Breslin), and she tries to save her. There's a few good scenes, but it's one of those "seen it all before" type of movies. Berry does good, and Breslin is fine even though she spends most of the movie in a trunk just freaking out. I watched this at home, but I have a feeling this would play better in the theater as a "date movie", full of people. It has a good run time of around 90 minutes, and when it starts to feel long, it wraps it up. I didn't really care for the way the movie ended. The last 15 minutes didn't make a whole lot of sense, and felt like a different movie from the rest of it. Still, it's ok, worth a watch, but not much more than that.

Smashed
Smashed(2012)

"Smashed" is the story of an alcoholic school teacher(Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who realizes her life is going downhill and attempts to get sober. The only problem is her husband(Aaron Paul) continues to drink and plays as an enabler instead of actually helping her. This is a pretty low budget independent movie, which is fine, but it's very slow. Other than the scenes where she is spinning out of control, the movie plays more like a "lifetime tv" movie. Aaron Paul does a good job, but Winstead to me wasn't that good. She seemed more like someone who pretends to be drunk and does it way over the top, rather than someone who actually has a problem. Jeff Bridges in "Crazy Heart" or Denzel Washington in "Flight" played it perfectly, here she plays it the opposite. Now, those are completely different in tone, but still, it's almost like she is a parody. If she had more emotional scenes about her past and what makes her want to drink so much, this could have been a very strong drama. It's ok for a one time watch, but I'd say most likely just skip it.

Sinister
Sinister(2012)
½

Ethan Hawke stars as a crime story novelist, in need of a new hit. He moves his wife and two kids to a newhome, that housed some murders and finds a box of home movies. Doing his research he watches the movies, which reveal some pretty crazy murders. From there the family starts to be haunted by some dead children and a weird looking figure that shows up in each movie. The atmosphere in this movie is awesome. It has the generic "BOO" moments, but the music and suspense is great. There were a few times the where the tension mounted that I got goose bumps. Ethan Hawke does an awesome job, especially as he gets more and more unhinged. The ending isn't the greatest or anything, but it's very well done. The last few years there's been a lot of bad horror movies, but this is one of the exceptions and is very good. Takes the "haunted" type genre and puts a few unique spins on it. I really liked it, and I'm sure there will be a bunch of sequels, which I'll definitely check out. If your a fan of horror movies then you should absolutely watch this.

The Cold Light of Day

Want a good look at actor playing the new "Superman"? Then check this out because he(Henry Cavill) is the star, and hopefully he is better at playing the Man of Steel. Here, he is the son of Bruce Willis, and his family gets kidnapped while on vacation in Spain. From there he finds out his dad isn't who he thought he was, and must recover a briefcase and save his family. Cavill has a great look, but he isn't that great of an actor, at least here. Willis isn't in the movie very much, which having more of him would probably have made this better. It's not a very good movie, has a couple good action scenes, and a few good little twists. But overall it just doesn't stay together enough or have much of an impact whatsoever. If you want a light 90 minute action movie, then check it out, because you can do worse. Otherwise, just find something else.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
½

This is the conclusion of the "Twilight" series(well until they remake or come up with something else. As far as this series goes, this is probably the best of the bunch, but it's still a bad movie. I only say that because a lot of people lose their heads(literally, but there is no blood and it looks bad). I know, I know a lot of people love these movies, but I'm sorry they just aren't that great. The acting is terrible, the plot is weak, the effects are cheap, and they just don't seem to go anywhere. "Breaking Dawn Part 1" was really the only one that advanced anything in the series and "Part 2" is ends it with kind of a whimper. I'm sure that there is a good movie that can be made out of this series, but in my opinion it hasn't happened yet. Kristin Stewart is just as bland as a vampire as she is a human, and the rest of the cast is just as bad. The only real reason to watch this, is if you have watched the rest of the movies, just to see how it ends(and it's a weak ending). Otherwise just ignore it, and wait for the reboot.

Playing for Keeps

Here is another example that a great cast, doesn't make a great movie. Gerard Butler stars as an ex soccer player who returns home to be closer to his son and try to win back his engaged ex-wife played by Jessica Biel. While there he coaches his sons soccer team and all kinds of shenanigans ensue with the fellow parents. Catherine Zeta Jones, Uma Thurman, Dennis Quaid, and Judy Greer all costar, and all of them ham it up and go overt the top. This is a romantic comedy that starts out just OK, then goes off the wheels and doesn't really know what is wants to be or be about. It runs at an hour and 45 minutes, which is way too long, and probably a reason this movie ends up not being good. Butler is probably the best thing here, but even here he isn't at his best. My wife fell asleep, and if she doesn't make is through a chick flick movie, then usually that's a good sign it isn't good at all. Give it a chance if your in the mood for an incoherent comedy with little laughs. Otherwise just skip it .

Silent Hill: Revelation

I've never been much of a fan of the first movie, "Silent Hill", but this sequel makes that look like a masterpiece. This movie is all effects(and some are pretty bad) and pretty much zero story, purpose, and there is absolutely nothing here that will scare anyone. The performances are all pretty bad, even Sean Bean does a half assed job. The only thing about this movie is the 3D. Now I didn't get a chance to watch this in 3D, but I will say if I ever get the chance I will. The effects are all specific for 3d with lots of stuff coming at the screen, which in 2D looks dumb, but in 3D I can imagine will look cool. Otherwise, stay as far away from this as possible. I loaned a copy to my parents who LOVE crazy horror movies(especially movies like "Megashark"), and they wouldn't even watch the entire thing.

Lay the Favorite

"Lay the Favourite" is one of those fluff movies that in 5 years, you'll watch pieces of on USA network. It's mildly entertaining, has good stars, but overall just isn't very good. About a girl who comes to vegas to be a cocktail waitress and she gets involved with a bookie, Dink(Bruce Willis). They work together, and she eventually wants more, but he is married to Tulip(Cathrine Zeta Jones), and then from there the movie goes to into like 3 different directions. Starts out decent, but then just spirals downward. The performances aren't very good as Willis and Jones either overact or look like they don't care. Vince Vaughn has a small role, and really I think he should have been in it a lot more and the movie could have been better. OK for a one time watch if nothing else is on and you don't care if the movie is good or not.

Oz the Great and Powerful

****
"Oz the Great and Powerful" is a prequel to the "Wizard of Oz" and based on the origins in the L. Frank Baum books. It follows Oscar Diggs(James Franco) a struggling con man magician in Kansas that gets swept away to the land of Oz in a tornado. The people of Oz believe he is their savior, and the one to stop the wicked witch, even though he is a fraud. The movie features many of the core elements of the original. From flying monkeys, the good witch(Michelle Williams), munchkins, and the yellow brick road all pop up. Along the way there are new characters that slide into the mythology just perfectly. This is a perfect companion to the original. It has charm, great characters, the performances are good, and it has heart just like the original. You'll laugh, you'll be amazed, and you may even cry. Also, this is by far the best 3D movie I have ever watched(I actually saw it in Imax 3D). You get so immersed in Oz it's insane. I tried to grab snowflakes, jumped a few times, and for the 2 hours I felt like I was in the movie. Sam Raimi has done an amazing job here, and Raimi fans will be very pleased as his special touches are all over the place. Just like the original, there are some elements that kids may be scared by(the flying monkeys are evil), but it's still a perfect family movie. I loved this movie and will definitely be buying this on 3D blu ray the day it comes out. If you haven't been to a 3D film, or have been down on the format, this is the movie to go check out. Fantastic movie that most(I'm sure there are some that won't like it) will enjoy, so go check it out!

The Possession
½

"Possession" is the one of latest possessed/exorcism Horror movie to come out. It follows a simple formula, little girl buys mysterious box, box contains demon, and demon possesses girl. From there her divorced parents argue, and ultimately come together to try to save her. But, this movie uses a Jewish exorcism instead of a Catholic one, so it is different. It's fine for what it is, and not better or worse than any of the other movies like this. I will say that a couple of the effects are done very good(the girls eye, and the fingers in her throat). That alone helps separate this, but it's not enough to really say "man, this rises above the rest!" The cast are hit and miss, and exactly what you would expect in a movie like this. Horror fans like myself will probably like this for a one time watch, but I doubt anyone will really like this above other movies in the genre.

A Late Quartet

Movies about violinists aren't usually my thing, but looking over the cast I figured I would give it a shot. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, and Mike Ivanir star as a string quartet with a lot of drama. 1 is retiring because of Parkinsons, 2 are in a failing marriage, and the other is sleeping with the married couples daughter. It's all made for tv type of stuff, but the performances set it a few steps above. Hoffman shines most, but the rest all do very well. Overall, it is what you would expect. Slow and geared towards a much older audience. It's not a bad movie, but it's not a very entertaining movie either. I liked some parts of it, but was ready for it to be over halfway through. If you like classical music or are much older than 29, then you might like this. Otherwise, wait til your older.

Chasing Mavericks

"Chasing Mavericks" is the true story of surfing prodigy Jay Moriarity(Jonny Weston). It focuses on his relationship with Frosty(Gerard Burler) who takes him under his wing to train him to survive "Mavericks". "Mavericks" are basically giant waves that are talked about but rarely seen. I don't know why but I usually really like surfing movies. I've never surfed, am too out of shape to ever do it, but the movies always seem to work for me. "Chasing Mavericks" is no different. It's a little on the melodramatic side sometimes, but overall it's executed very well, and the performances are all pretty good. This is Weston's first role, and he is a little wooden, but overall he does enough to make the role his and believable. Good for a watch if your in the mood for a sports like drama.

Snitch
Snitch(2013)

I've been a fan of The Rock since his days in the WWE, and watching this movie I just kept thinking "Damn he's come a long way". From "Scorpion King" to now "Snitch", he has really grown into a terrific actor. "Snitch" is based on the true story of a father going undercover to help arrest drug dealers in a deal with the D.A.(Susan Sarandan) to get his son out of prison. His son got popped for accepting a package that contained drugs, but he claims he made a huge mistake and never intended to sell them. His dad(Rock) believes him and the does whatever he can. Rock is very believable as a "working class" owner of a construction company, which I thought going into it would be a stretch. But he pulls it off. You feel for him, and you want to see him help his son. The supporting cast are all decent, and exactly what you would expect in a cheaper action type thriller. Barry Pepper even has a weird(very weird billy goat beard). Not bad, not great, but entertaining and won't put you to sleep.

Jack the Giant Slayer
½

"Jack the Giant Slayer is basically a re imagining of the Jack and the beanstalk fairy tale. Kind of the lIke the recent "Snow White and the Huntsman", in that it takes the story, adds elements, and makes it for adults just as much for children. Nicolas Hoult stars as Jack whom accidentally unleashes the bean stalk and takes the Princess(Isabelle) with it. The King(Ian McShane) has his men along with Jack ascend the stalk to get her back, when they come face to face with an army of Giants. The special effects are fantastic. The giants don't look nearly as bad as I expected considering they are CGI. The performances are all decent and serve the film good. Ewan McGregor has some pretty funny moments, and McShane is awesome as usual(he evens looks like Lord Farquaid from Shrek in a few scenes). Bryan Singer is one of my favorite directors("X-Men" and "Usual Suspects"), and here he takes something that could have been bad and cheesy, and made it entertaining and relevant. Is this a great movie? No, but it is an entertaining film that is perfectly fine for a Saturday afternoon. I'll be showing this to Grant when he gets older, because boys will probably love this with all the action it has. Good flick worth a watch, surpassed my expectations.

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Here's a fresh anti-romantic dramady, that doesn't follow any normal conventions or cliches. "Celeste and Jesse Forever" is the story of best friends(Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg play the titled couple) who are six months into a separation/divorce and struggle with letting each other go. They remain best friends and involved with each other, until it's revealed that Jesse has gotten another girl pregnant and wants to make it work with her. From there the friendship is strained, and Celeste is left looking for direction in her own life as Jesse moves on. It's very interesting with a few very funny moments throughout. Samberg isn't annoying like is in some of his movies, instead he's very likable and relatelable in this. The movie has a good pace at 90 minutes and always feels like something "new". Give it a shot, good watch.

Cosmopolis
Cosmopolis(2012)

I'm a fan of what my wife calls "weird movies". Ones that are very different, and offer something original compared to a lot of the regular Hollywood fare. But every now and then I watch something that just makes me scratch my head and say "damn that sucked". "Cosmopolis" is one of those films. Directed by David Croenberg("History of Violence", which is awesome) and starring Robert Pattinson, comes a movie that makes absolutely no sense. All I can say is it's about a rich asshole(Pattinson) in a limo on the way to get a haircut, and his day goes from bad to worse. He's completely un-relateable, and he speaks in these stupid monologues that are all over the place. At one point in the movie he is rambling about violence, and shoots himself in the hand. Made no sense, was out of nowhere, and didn't really have any impact on the movie whatsoever. Pattinson, to me, is a terrible actor. He's been in a couple decent movies("Remember Me" and "Water for Elephants" were both just ok), but he was bad in those also. He is wooden, has no charisma, and is overall boring. When the movie started I thought maybe, just maybe this would be the movie where I go "Ok, I get it. I see why people like him." But when it was over, I said "nope, he still sucks". Paul Giamatti shows up towards the end in another stupid role, where he just talks to Pattinson about a whole lot of nothing. I usually love Giamatti, but here, he is just as bad and looks like he doesn't wanna be in this movie whatsoever. This is easily one of the worst movies of 2012, and something I wish I could just forget. Don't waste your time on this. But if you do, and you like it, please let me know what you liked about it. Other than one song that is played between scenes, I can't think of anything I liked in this at all.

How to Survive a Plague
½

"How to Survive a Plague" is a sad, yet uplifting look at the coalitions ACT UP and TAG in the battle against AIDS. This documentary uses archival footage from the 80s and 90s to show the devastating effects of AIDS, and the constant struggle to get better medication to victims. Some of the footage is heartbreaking, some will enrage you, and some will show you that with enough support and enough people pushing for a cause, that anything can happen. AIDS is still prevalent in the world today, but it isn't nearly as destructive as it was, and it's because of the people showcased in this movie. It deserved it's nominated for "Best Documentary" at the Oscars, just as much so as the other 4 nominees. The movie drags a little in the middle, but I think it's because it doesn't have much of a narrative, and relies mostly on old footage to tell the story. Fascinating movie, that shines a light on taboo subject in our world. Definitely worth a watch.

Paperman
Paperman(2012)

Up for best animated short at the Oscars, and this is my favorite. Probably the best "romantic" film I've seen in years. It's funny, sweet, and just beautiful to look at. Saw this in the theater with "Wreck it Ralph" and have watched it multiple times at home, it's just a flawless animated short.

The Amazing Spider-Man
½

I rewatched this on Blu-Ray the other day, and it plays much better the second time around, and holds up good. This is my original review, and I feel the same, but found myself liking it more. Probably because I saw it the first time in the Paris Theater, which is awesome cause of the price, but the quality is not that great. Blu Ray really allows this movie to shine, and look forward to eventually checking it out in 3D. "Amazing Spider-Man" is a complete reboot to the "Spider-Man"series. New actors, new director, and a new take on the story. This is actually much closer to the original source material as opposed to the Raimi trilogy. Here Peter Parker is played by Andrew Garfield("Social Network") and I gotta say, he does a pretty good job. I was worried that I would be thinking of Maguire's Parker the whole time, but Garfield did great at helping me forget. Parker isn't exactly a nerd, as he is a skateboarding smart ass here. It's a lot like when a new James Bond comes along, and they put a new spin on the same character. This is an origin story, and it takes a good while before he becomes Spider-Man. I joked the movie should have been called "The Curious Case of Peter Parker". He gets bitten, stuff happens with uncle Ben, he has relationship woes with Gwen Stacy(Emma Stone) this time, and battles a new foe in The Lizard(Rhys Ifans). Familiar stuff, but told in a new fresh way. What this movie did best was set up for future movies. This is good, not great, but honestly, I'm very excited to see where the go with the story. I understand with rebooting, you have to retell the origin, and that's fine(they did a decent job). But they accomplished the main goal by getting people engaged, and curious to see whats next. I liked the story, could have used more action, but I know in the sequels to come so will the action. Good start to what I hope to be a great new series of Spidey films.

The Paperboy
The Paperboy(2012)

John Cusack, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, and Zac Efron headline this very solid, seedy, noir-like crazy movie. Ward(McConaughey) is a reporter who chases a big story by trying to get a killer Hillary(Cusack), who is on death row, off of death row by proving his innocence. Kidman played Charlotte, a "death row groupie" who is engaged to Hilary, and starts a "friendship" type relationship with Ward's little brother Jack(Efron). It's a very intricate movie, and it's hard to explain without ruining the movie. All I knew before watching it was Kidman was up for a Golden Globe, and she pees on Efron(which she does). Kidman is great and probably should have gotten a Supporting Actress nod at the Oscars(she deserves it more than Weaver in "Silver Lining Playbook" I think). But the best performance in this is Cusack. This is nothing like anything he has ever done, and it's amazing to see him like this. He is a total creep, and it may be hard to watch him in his usual nice guys roles again. Efron and McConaughey are both good and when it was over I looked at my wife and said "man, McConaughey had it rough in this movie"(watch it and you'll know why). This movie reminded me a lot like "Killer Joe", in that when you get done you'll want to wash your hands and take a shower. Check it out.

Dredd
Dredd(2012)
½

"Dredd" is more of a re-imagining of the "Judge Dredd" character, than the original Stallone movie than a remake, and a much better film. The plot is pretty simple, Dredd(Karl Urban) and a rookie Judge go to a building to investigate 3 homicides when they are then trapped in a battle with a drug lord and her gang. The action is great, and the story while not original or anything special, is very entertaining. I've read it's a lot like "Raid: The Redemption", and there are a lot of similarities, but it's a very different film. One of the better adult comic book adaptations, as it's rated R, and it puts the rating to good use with the violence. I watched this on 3D Blu Ray and had read that the 3D was amazing. I thought the scenes with the drugs in use were great, but I didn't think the movie demanded it. Searching for a good action movie then give it a chance.

The Master
The Master(2012)

P.T. Anderson movies are a real mixed bag for me. I usually love the performances, but the movies don't work for me overall. "There Will Be Blood"(his last movie) wasn't that great, even though it had it's moments, but Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing. The same can be said for "The Master". The film is slow, and in a lot of ways it doesn't really go anywhere. Joaquin Phoenix stars as a war vet who is a wreck. His life has no direction, he is mentally unhinged, and he meets a charismatic cult like leader played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The film centers on their relationship, Hoffman's group called "The Cause", and Phoenix looking for purpose in his life. It's an odd movie that is slow, fascinating, and just doesn't mesh like I hoped it would. However, Phoenix and Hoffman are bother absolutely amazing. Phoenix is one of my favorite actors and gives one of his top 2 or 3 performances ever. He is mesmerizing and you will genuinely be worried about him as a person when watching because he is so believable. If I had a vote for the Oscars on Sunday, I would probably vote for him for Best Actor, because he is the sole reason to watch this movie. Give it a shot if you want a different type of drama. I'm sure a lot of people will like it, and get more out of it than I did. Maybe on another viewing I will like it more.

The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare
½

Up for best animated short at the Oscars, it's amazing to think that the Simpsons could win an Oscar. This is just a short about Maggie at a daycare trying to save a butterfly from a kid that terrorizes insects and other kids. It's cute, funny, and has that Simpsons charm. Very entertaining.

Bully
Bully(2012)

"Bully" is an amazing documentary about the bullying problem here in the United States. It follows a couple kids who are bullied, a girl who brought a gun on a school bus because she was being bullied, and parents of kids who committed suicide because they were bullied. This is by far one of the saddest and most important movies I've seen in a long time. This should be shown in schools, so kids can see the devastating consequences of picking on other children. I was never really bullied in school, but I remember a couple kids who were, and I wish I could go back and be friends with them or stop some of the bullying. This is a real problem in our schools and this movie really helps shine a light on it. I almost(I said almost, but I didn't) tear up a couple times during this. Some of it is so ridiculous at how bullying is handled by teachers, that it couldn't possibly be real. But it is. I think everyone should watch this, and hopefully it will help to eventually putting a stop to this.

The Raid: Redemption

Last year I read a lot about this movie, but up until last night I just kept pushing it back and looking over it. Finally sat down and watched it, and wow, this is an action movie! Now, this is an Asian foreign movie, so there are subtitles or you can watch with an English dub(which I did, because it's awesome). It's about a group of special forces going into an apartment building that is 15 stories tall to extract a crime lord. But, the apartment is filled with killers, gangsters, thieves, and they all expect them and are ready. Very, very violent, bloody, gory, and exciting action movie I've seen in quite a while. The fight scenes are fantastic and choreographed very good. If you like action movies, then you really need to seek this out and give it a chance, because this is fantastic. A must watch. I hope they don't remake it for America, because I'm sure it won't be nearly as good or effective. But I would love to see sequels, I just hope they kick as much ass as this one.

A Good Day To Die Hard

"Good Day to Die Hard" is the latest installment of the "Die Hard" series, and it's also probably the worst of the five. But being the worst of the series, is still a lot better then most action movies. Here, McClane heads to Russia to help his estranged son Jack(Jai Courtney) who he thinks is in trouble with the law, but turns out he is a CIA spy. Now they have to work together to help out a political prisoner from the Russian mob. The action in this movie is relentless and once it starts never lets up. There's very little plot, and the dialogue isn't nearly as good as other installments, but the action is crazy. Great car chases, gun fights, and a helicopter crash that is one of the most over the top things I've seen in a movie. I will always go see these movies, but I hope they focus more on a great story and bring it back to reality. I really liked Courtney as McClane Jr., and I can see him eventually taking the franchise as his own. Is as good as Willis? Nope, but Willis is a one in a million, but I could see Courtney growing nicely into the character, he just needs more personality. Overall, it's a good movie, but if you watch with the hopes it'll be as excellent as the rest, you'll be let down. Just chill out, get some popcorn, sit back and enjoy.

Live Free or Die Hard
½

Up until the most recent movie("Good Day to Die Hard") this was the most over the top installment of the movie. McClane(Bruce Willis) is visiting his daughter when he gets a call to pick up a hacker(Justin Long) and take him to Washington D.C. When he gets to the hackers apartment they are attacked, and it turns out the hacker didn't know, but he had been working for a terrorist named Gabriel(Timothy Olyphant) to set off a Fire Sail. Using technology they turn off traffic, all the power, all the communication, shut down financial institutions and attempt to put the U.S. back in the dark ages. But they didn't know they would have to contend with John McClane, an "analog man in a digital world". Now he is our best chance to stop them before it's too late. McClane is pretty much indestructible, and jumps onto F-35 jets here, so yes it's crazy and way over the top, but it's still a "Die Hard" movie, and it's still awesome. Not as good as others in the series, but it's still very entertaining for an action flick that holds up decent. Biggest problem is it's rated PG-13 and he only says "Yippy Ka Yah" without the rest of it;) Still, if you haven't watched it, go back and give it a shot.

Die Hard: With a Vengeance
½

"Die Hard with a Vengeance" was the first "Die Hard" I saw in the theater and it's my favorite of the sequels. John McClane is back and this time he's not in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's the right man, being targeted by a terorrist bomber named Simon(Jeremy Irons) who wants to play a game of simon says. If McClane doesn't do as he says, then he will blow up anything from a subway to a school in New York. McClane gets help from Zeus(Samuel L. Jackson) a guy who saves his life in Harlem, and they try to stop Simon and find out why he is doing all this. John McTeirnan was the director of the first movie and this is the only sequel he came back for, probably why it's the best. The action is phenomenal, the story is exciting, and Irons' Simon is the best of all the villains in the series, besides Hans Gruber. There are some scenes that are very over the top, but this is probably the most grounded of the entire series. Great movie, and if your looking for a roller coaster ride of a movie, then pop this bad boy back in.

Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2(1990)
½

"Die Hard 2" is the first of 4 sequels to the amazing "Die Hard". This is pretty much the first movie, only on a plane. Terrorists have taken over an airport in an attempt to get a drug lord who is being transported there free. But, McClane happens to be at the airport because his wife is flying in. She can't land because the terrorist group have made it so planes can't see the runway, so her plane is running out of fuel, and it's a race for McClane to stop them and get Holly(his wife) down safely. This is the one I have seen the least, and when watching at the marathon, it was like a whole new movie because I forgot so much. It's very exciting and has some great action, and begins the series ascend to get crazier and crazier with their action pieces. I mean he fights on the wing of a plane that is about to fly. Insane? Yup. Entertaining? Your damn right! Great sequel and the last appearance of his wife Holly, but a great way to keep the series going.

Die Hard
Die Hard(1988)

"Die Hard" is one of my personal all time favorites and it holds a special place in my heart. When I was little my Dad worked night shift a lot at the water plant, and many nights my mom would let me stay up and watch movies with her. "Stand by Me", "Hitcher", and "Die Hard" were main three, but it never failed that "Die Hard" was always on and always at the same parts. She and I watched this so many times it's crazy. One year for her birthday I bought her a John McClane action figure:-p It's just "our" movie, and anytime a sequel comes out we go see it together. I love all the sequels, but none of them are nearly as awesome as the original. If you haven't seen this, then you don't like movies or are living under a rock(but how would you be on facebook or rotten tomatoes?). Bruce Willis stars as McClane the guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's a New York cop who comes to L.A. to try to win back his wife(she moved out there to advance her career). He goes to her Christmas party, and while there a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber(Alan Rickman) take over and hold everyone hostage while robbing the company. But, McClane is on the loose and begins battling them, trying to save his wife and get out alive. It's awesome and has spawned more knockoffs than I can name, but none compare. This is the perfect action movie. Funny, thrilling, great performances, and great characters. McClane and Gruber are one of the best hero/villain combinations in movie history. Rickman has never been better, and this is the movie that made Willis a superstar. Go back and rewatch this immediately!

I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" is one of my favorite comedies. I love everything about it, and one night I was looking for something to watch and I came across this. It's written/directed by and stars Jeff Garlin. Garlin plays Larry David's manager on "Curb", so I figured this had to be good and figured I'd give it a shot. The movie feels like an episode of "Curb" by the way it looks, the music, and the dialogue, but it lacks the wit and charm. It's about a struggling actor who lives with his mother. He's depressed, cheats on his diet, and wants to find someone to be with. It's slow and not nearly as funny as I hoped for. It's one of those movies that doesn't know if it wants to be sad or funny, and doesn't find a good enough balance between the 2. If your a fan of Garlin's then it is worth a watch, because he is good. But if your hoping for something that measures up to "Curb", then just skip it because you will be disappointed.

Fun Size
Fun Size(2012)

"Fun Size" is a teen comedy about a girl who is on her way to a Halloween party, when she gets stuck with the job of taking her weird brother trick or treating. She loses her brother, and from there spends the night with her friends searching for him, while he gets into all kind of trouble himself. Kind of an "adventures of babysitting" type of movie. It's fun, and has some funny moments, but overall it's just a "meh" movie. It's short at 86 moments, and at times you'll check the time, because your ready for it to end. The funniest moments are with the little boy, Albert, and he steals the movie even though he barely speaks a work. This is worth a redbox rental or a bootleg, but anything more and it's a waste, unless your a teen.

Identity Thief
½

"Identity Thief" is directed by the director of "Horrible Bosses", Seth Gordon, and if you liked that then this is right up your alley. Jason Bateman stars as a family man in Denver who gets his identity stolen by Melissa McCarthy who lives in Florida. He needs to clear his name from all the financial and criminal things she has done with his name, so he heads to Florida to bring her to justice in Denver. Once they meet up the movie becomes a full on road trip movie that is hilarious start to finish. Bateman and McCarthy are exactly how you want them to be, and this sits perfectly with their other comedies. McCarthy is probably the funniest woman in Hollywood right now. She has the personality and the physical comedy that makes her light up the screen. She's the villain of the movie, and you find yourself rooting for her, and liking her just as much as Batemans everyman. This is the first real comedy to come out in 2013(unless I'm forgetting something), and it's a great way to start the year off. Hopefully the rest of 2013's comedies are up to par with this. Good adult R rated comedy, that anyone needing a laugh will enjoy.

The Boys Are Back
½

Clive Owen is one of my favorite actors, and I've wanted to watch this for quite a while, just never had time and just kept passing it up. Finally got around to watching it and it's just ok. It's a drama about a sports journalist whose wife dies and he is left to raise their son, along with a son who decides to live with him from a previous marriage. Now he has to juggle his grief, his songs grief, his career, being a single dad, and life in general. The movie has some very touching scenes and sad situations. However, the movie is slow and the characters aren't developed enough that you really feel for them. I'm a sucker for movies where kids are heartbroken("Finding Neverland" or "Incredibly Loud and Extremely Loud"), but here the scenes where the boys have breakdowns didn't effect me much. Having said that, the acting is all very good, it's just the story and direction just didn't work all that great for me. It's worth a watch if you are in the mood for a decent drama, but otherwise just skip over it.

The Son of No One
½

I've been clearing off my movie jammed dvrs the last couple weeks and finally got around to watching this. I wish I had just deleted it and not wasted the time. Channing Tatum stars as a rookie cop who is assigned to case in the neighborhood where he grew up, while harboring a secret that could destroy his career and family. The secret is given away at the beginning of the movie(well most of it), and by time the movie wraps up it had all been pretty predictable and very boring. With a cast also featuring Al Pacino, Ray Liotta, Tracey Morgan, and Katie Holmes, you would think this would be pretty good. But, it's a huge letdown. The story is very one dimensional and generic, and the acting is all pretty bad. You can tell these actors just showed up and gave little to no effort. It's easy to see why this was pretty much straight to video. There is so much better out there that this should just be skipped altogether. If you watch this for free like I did, you'll end up wanting your time back.

The American Scream

"American Scream" is documentary that has a very unique subject matter, "haunters". Haunters are people who turn their home in a haunted house on Halloween for people to go through as they go around trick or treating. It follows three different households that do this, and it's amazing the passion these people have for Halloween. Their stories are touching, funny, sad, and overall just fun. Really makes me wish I lived near one of them, or was able to do this myself. They aren't rich people(far from it), they are just people that love the holiday, and this allows them to have a name for themselves, and be remembered. Every year on the holidays I see some houses that are just decorated so amazingly, and I always remember them. After watching this, I see why they go through all the trouble, and I can honestly say I've got a new appreciation for it. Each household has trials and tribulations in their lives, but it all comes together on Halloween, and makes everything worth it. If you love Halloween, then you should definitely check this out. Just shows how fun the holiday is. One of the guys said it best that "Christmas is a family holiday, but Halloween is a community holiday when strangers can come together and be friends for one night." Fascinating documentary that should have gotten more recognition this year.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies(2013)

I love zombie movies, and I always love seeing a different take on the genre. "Warm Bodies" in a lot of ways is basically "Twilight" with zombies(only much, much better). Julie(Teresa Palmer) is a human who leaves a walled up city with a group to recover medical supplies when they are attacked by zombies. R(Nicolas Hoult) is one of the zombies and when he eats the brains of Julie's boyfriend, he inherits his memory and feelings and becomes instantly attracted to Julie and saves her from the others. They then form a bond, which is slowly curing R(that's all he remembers from his name) of being a zombie. I'll give the movie points on creativity and doing something different, even though there are a lot of scenes that don't make sense(she wants to leave, he says no because it's not safe, so they drive a car around). The acting is decent, nothing great, but nothing that really ruins the movie. If there was something I really didn't like about the movie, it's that it is one of those movies where the trailer gave all the funny parts away. It's funny, but it's really much more of a romantic movie than a comedy(maybe because I had seen the previews so many times). Having said that, "Walking Dead" comes back next week, and this is a good movie to watch to hold you over for another week. There's enough here to please zombie fans and the girls that get dragged to it who wish they would make another "Twilight".

Teeth
Teeth(2007)

I've seen all kinds of crazy horror movies, and crazy independent movies. Most of the time, they are just stupid and outlandish, but sometimes those movies are good. "Teeth" is one of those flicks, that is ridiculous, but a lot of fun. Basically it's about a girl who has teeth in her vagina. Yup, you can only imagine what happens with that, and it's pretty gory. Not as crazy or disturbing as say "Human Centipede" , but it has just as much effect. Basically, after watching this you won't want to have sex for a while, especially if your a guy. Like most indy movies, it's low budget and slow in spots, but when stuff happens, it's both funny and insane. I had this sitting on my DVR for a while, but then my buddy Combo Cash told me about it, and if he says to watch something, you better watch it. Unless you have a queasy stomach. Want a different, original, and ludacris horror movie, then watch this bad boy.

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People
½

Trying to clear off my DVR, I saw that I had this one there and realized it's one of those movies I've always wanted to watch, but just didn't. So, I finally gave it a shot, and man I wish I would have watched this a few years ago. I love Simon Pegg movies, he is the best geeky/comedy actor out there and I can't think of a real bad movie that he has done. Here he plays Sidney Young, an independent journalist who starts to work for "Sharps", the number one fashion/pop culture magazine. From there he messes everything up, pisses everyone off, and finds out the life he wanted all along, may not be all it's cracked up to be. This has a great supporting cast with Jeff Bridges, Danny Huston, Kirstin Dunst, Megan Fox, and Gillian Anderson. Just wish Nick Frost had popped up somewhere. If your into the "Office" or other Ricky Gervais humor then this is right up your alley. Lot of goofball, uncomfortable situations help make a pretty plain story very funny. Good comedy that flew under the radar that deserves to discovered or rediscovered all over again.

Raging Bull
Raging Bull(1980)
½

Last year I set out to watch the AFI top 100 greatest movies of all time. I've made it through quite a bit of it, but I had skipped this one over for some reason. It's just one of those movies, that I'd always wanted to watch, just never made the effort to watch it. Finally sat down and watched, and as number 4 on the list, I expected an amazing movie. But I gotta be honest, I was very underwhelmed. I generally love De Niro movies, and Martin Scorsese movies, but this just didn't work for me as much as I thought it would. The performances are all great, and De Niro absolutely deserved the Oscar. But the movie is slow, and watching it seems more like an "important" movie than an "entertaining" one. Like, the type of movie you see once and that's all you need. Made more for the "art" of the movie, than the "popcorn" value, I guess. It's the story of Jack La Motta a famous middleweight boxer in the 40's and 50's and chronicles his career from the ring to hosting a night club in retirement, and all the ups and downs of his personal life in between. The boxing scenes are great, and I really loved the Sugar Ray Robinson scenes, but when the movie veered away from the ring, it just stalled for me. I may try to watch this again sometime, and hopefully my opinion changes.

Hesher
Hesher(2011)
½

I hear movies get called a "dark comedy" quite a bit, and usually it's either not funny, or not dark. "Hesher" is exactly what a dark comedy should be. The subject matter is very serious, and in a lot of ways heartbreaking. But there are so many crazy and funny things that happen, that this movie will not bring you down. In a lot of ways this is like the tv show "Shameless". You will root for some of the characters while hating them for what they do. A quick synopsis since most people have probably never heard of this. An anarchist named Hesher(Joseph Gordon Levitt) moves in, uninvited, with a father(Rainn Wilson, who surprisingly is the the complete straight man in this) and his son TJ. TJ's mom has died in a car accident and he and his fathers lives have spiraled downward since, especially since his dad is so grief stricken that he can't even change his clothes. Hesher is rude, perverted, loves heavy metal, and loves to set fire. Basically, the perfect person to bring a family back together. Levitt is outstanding here and just gives one of his best performances. Natalie Portman has a glorified cameo, but she does great also. But the main star and best job of the movie is TJ(Devin Brochu). This kid is amazing. I'm a sucker for movies were kids are damaged and they are constantly battling their emotions. Brochu should have gotten more attention for his performance, because it's fantastic. I heard about this in 2011 and just never got around to watching it. I'm glad I finally did, and would strongly recommend people give it a shot. Not for everyone, it's a true independent movie, but it's very entertaining, and original.

Won't Back Down
½

"Won't Back Down" is a movie about two mothers(Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis) who are fed up with their children's failing school. They decide to risk everything to make a difference by going against the teacher unions and set out to do a school take over with the other parents and change things for the better for the kids. It's an inspirational movie, even though it runs a tad long and some of the background plot doesn't really go anywhere and just bogs the movie down some. Gyllenhaal does ok, but Viola Davis is fantastic. She is one of the best actresses today without a doubt. Whether your for or against unions it doesn't matter, because this movie is about making a difference for children. Emily liked and it made it all the way through, so if that happens I can almost guarantee all women will like it. Guys, probably not, but it's okay for a one time watch.

Here Comes the Boom

"Here Comes the Boom" is a comedy about 42 year old teacher Scott(Kevin James)who decides to raise money by doing MMA fighting to save his school's music program. It's a very typical James comedy, which is fine, cause James is great. He has that everyman quality that works better than most comedy actors. The supporting cast in this is great, filled with all the regular Sandler(he's the producer) movie actors. Henry Winkler, Selma Hayek, and Bas Rutten all help Scott with his MMA quest from fighting in a farm to the UFC. The concept is inspiring, but it's 100 percent completely unrealistic. I'm a HUGE fight fan and the fight scenes are very, very absurd. I get that it's a movie, but they could have made the fights more believable and still told a very good, entertaining story. The movie is predictable and follows a formula that's been done numerous times. But James and a pretty funny script help this stand out some from the pact. Want a lighthearted MMA comedy, that doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, then give this a watch.

Stand Up Guys

Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin are all 3 Oscar winners, and three of the best actors ever. You would think that mob dramady with them would be good, but instead you just get a boring movie with a couple good moments. Val(Pacino) is released from prison after 28 years and reunites with his best friend Doc(Walken) and later Hirsch(Arkin). They were best friends and criminals and now one of them has been assigned a job by a mob boss that they don't want to do. They have til sunrise and then things come to a head. The story could have been better and other than Arkin, all the actors look like they don't care or want to be there. It's not very funny, and the dramatic moments don't care any weight because you just don't really have any reason to care for the characters. Fans of the three actors should give it a watch, but just know it's no where near their best, but not quite their worst.

West of Memphis

"West of Memphis" is the fourth movie(albeit by a different filmmaker) about the West Memphis Three. In the early 90's three young men(basically teenagers) were convicted of brutally raping and murdering three children in Arkansas. But through some outside investigation, celebrity involvement, and new DNA evidence it's proven that the justice system failed and they were wrongly convicted. This is a documentary that covers it pretty much from beginning to end, and it's a very fascinating story. It shows how flawed of a system this country has, and it also shows that when people come together things can change and be set right. The director(Amy Berg) also made a documentary called "Deliver us from Evil" a few years ago that is one of the scariest movies a person can watch. She is a must watch director for me. The movie gets off to a slow start, and it runs at 2 and half hours, which is very long for a documentary. But it's fascinating material that needs to be seen. I haven't seen the other three movies(the "Paradise Lost" trilogy") which revolve around the same case, but this makes me want to go back and revisit them. Great film that everyone should watch.

Parental Guidance

Here's a comedy for families that the kids will enjoy, but the parents will like much more. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star as grandparents who spend a few days watching their grandkids while the parents are on a business trip. Only these kids sheltered, pampered, and spoiled. It's old fashioned meets new wave, and its very funny. Crystal and Midler have great chemistry, and neither are annoying at all like they can be sometimes. Some of the movie is over the top with the situations the kids are in. But, I've been to little league games where the score isn't kept, and it's pretty ridiculous. Shines a good light on the way things are now in our society. Much funnier than I thought it would be, and worth a watch, especially for parents.

Tomorrow Never Dies

I grew up with Pierce Brosnan as Bond, so his Bond will always be one I look back on fondly. Is he my favorite? No, but rewatching this, I think he is right in the middle of the pack. This is a very standard Bond movie. Exotic locales, beautiful women, and he must thwart an evil man's plan of global domination. The movie is very 90's, much like the other Bond movies are easily dated. Jonathan Pryce does an ok job as the villain, but nothing really makes him stand out and stay memorable as other villains. Even mediocre Bond movies are better than most action movies.

House at the End of the Street

Jennifer Lawrence has quickly become one of my favorite young actresses today. She has made some great movies, and just shows crazy potential for the future. But, everyone makes a movie or two that isn't quite up to par, and this is the movie for her. This is a thriller, that tries to be a couple different things, and never really goes far enough, and just settles for PG-13 mediocre. Basic synopsis is a girl(Lawrence) and her mother(Elizabeth Shue) move into a house down the street from a house where a murder took place. The son of the parents who were murdered still lives there, and he quickly becomes friends with Lawrence. From there, secrets are revealed, weird things happen, and people are who they seem to be. Pretty standard movie, that has a couple good moments, but there are so many movies out there like this, and done much better. Fans of thriller should give it a watch, but keep expectations low. Lawrence does good, but she has done so much better. But then again, those movies were all so much better.

The Sessions
The Sessions(2012)

"The Sessions" is a fantastic movie that takes a very serious, taboo topic and makes it humorous and very touching. Based on the life of polio stricken poet Mark O' Brian(John Hawkes), it's the story of how/why at 38 he decided to lose his virginity. He's confined to an iron lung and relies on many people to help with his everyday life as he is stuck laying down on a stretcher/bed 24/7. On day he talks to his priest(William H. Macy) about hiring a sex surrogate to lose his virginity. With the priests blessing he moves forward and hires Cheryl(Helen Hunt) to help him. She's not a prostitute, she's a therapist who specializes in this. From there they have 6 sessions to help him explore his sexuality, and achieve his goal of no longer being a virgin. Hawkes is amazing in this and it's a shame he didn't get an Oscar nod. The last three years the guy has given great performance one after another, all while playing Kenny Power's brother on "Eastbound and Down". He's just an amazing actor. Hunt is equally fantastic and it's a very worthy nominee. Plus, I'm sure Mr. Skin had a field day with Hunts performance(don't act like you don't know what that means). There are a lot of very funny moments, and sweet/sad moments throughout. Easily one of the better movies of 2012, that should be seen, not passed over.

Goon
Goon(2012)
½

Here is a comedy that really, really got overlooked in 2012(hell I didn't see it til 2013, and it came out in March). This is probably one of the best hockey movies ever. Long story short, Sean William Scott stars as Doug Glatt. He's a bar bouncer who is dumber than the average person, but can fight. One night at a hockey game he beats up a player and from there he is instantly sought after to be the Goon(guy who fights during games) for the Halifax Highlanders(it's a minor league team). It all leads up to a final showdown fight with the legend good Ross Rhea played by Liev Schreiber. This is Scott's best performance outside of Stifler. He is funny, charming, and comes across as a guy you'd wanna hang out with it, but never fight. Schreiber is awesome here too, mullet and all. Jay Baruchel(the skinny guy from "She's out of My league") wrote it and co-stars, and the guy is comedic gold. There are a lot of good one liners, and the violence is way over the top, and hilarious(slow shots of a tooth hitting the ice). If you want a good R rated adult, raunchy, sports comedy, then you should definitely watch this.

Seven Psychopaths
½

I usually really like movies like this, but something about this movie just didn't work for me. I'm not exactly sure what it was because there was a lot I liked. But when it was over I just felt on the fence about it as a whole. I watched it kind of late at night and was pretty tired, so that probably had an effect on the way I viewed it. Marty(Colin Farrell) is a writer who wants to finish his screenplay and his unemployed actor friend Billy(Sam Rockwell) wants to help him. Billy and Hans(Christopher Walken) are dog-nappers who kidnap a psycho gangster's(Woody Harrelson) dog. He LOVES that dog and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it back. From there, real life and his his screenplay run together. Everyone in this movie give great performances. Walken and Harrelson are the best and give some of their best work. There's a lot of good one liners, and very funny violent situations. A scene where a guy pulls a gun on Walken is hilarious. It runs kind of long, but it's very entertaining all the way through. I think that maybe this movie will be better the second time around for me, but right now it's just "meh". Definitely worth a watch if you like your comedies violent and very funny. I know I'm gonna watch it again sometime and I'll probably write a different review for it.

Silver Linings Playbook
½

This was the final movie of the 9 nominated for Best Picture at the Oscar that I needed to watch. While not the best of the 9("Django" was the best movie last year, I don't care what anyone says) this is certainly better than most of those movies. The movie is about Pat(Bradley Cooper) a guy who has lost everything and just got out of a mental hospital to live with his parents and hope to rekindle his marriage. One night he gets invited to a dinner party and meets Tiffany(Jennifer Lawrence) another girl who battles mental illness, and they instantly have a crazy chemistry. They make an agreement that he will help her with a dance competition and she will help him with his estranged wife. Their dance practices interfere with his Dad's(Robert DeNiro) gambling superstitions. It all comes together in this smart comedy that really deserves its award recognition, unlike some of the other movies. Jennifer Lawrence is my absolute pick for best actress of the year. There are 2 scenes in particular where she is funny and heartbreaking, this is by far her best performance. Cooper is amazing as well and this is the best he has ever done also. The movie hinges on those two, along with DeNiro who gives the best he has done is a long, long time. The movie runs a little long, and has a couple moments where it drags. But, when the movie is over you will be glad you stuck it out. Especially for their final dance number, probably the best since "Little Miss Sunshine". I'm sure this isn't a movie that everyone will like, but it worked for me. A great watch, especially for Lawrence and Cooper.

10 Years
10 Years(2012)

"10 Years" is a movie that went pretty much straight to DVD, and after watching it I can see why. It's very uneven, kind of a mess, and not sure if it wants to be a comedy or drama, and it doesn't even really make a dramedy. Channing Tatum stars as one of a group of friends who reunite for their 10 year reunion. Some are married with kids, one is ultra successful, one is a big music star, and Tatum's character wants to propose to his girlfriend, but he's not quite over his hs sweetheart. It's pretty formalic, with very predictable outcomes. Some of the cast is good, but most of them just look like they don't want to be there. Tatum looks like he wants to sleep the entire movie, literally. The best thing about the movie is a song sung towards the end. It's a ballad, that is better than 90% of the ballads released today. Good for a one time watch, but this is the weakest of Tatum's films to come out in 2012.

Gangster Squad
½

I love gangster movies. "Goodfellas", "Untouchables", "Casino", and not a movie, but one of my all time favorite shows "The Sopranos". "Gangster Squad" is the latest entry to this genre and it's a very solid entry. It's the story of a group of cops in 1949 who work off the books to take down L.A. mob boss Mickey Cohen(Sean Penn). The cops are led by Josh Brolin and also include Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, and Giovanni Ribisi. The film is a very violent and very over the top, but it works very good. It runs a little less than 2 hours and maintains a great pace. A period movie like this could have easily had lulls where it is becomes borderline boring, but this keeps the action and story moving very nicely. Sean Penn is way over the top and seems like he would be better suited for "Dick Tracy", but he is still very captivating. The rest of the cast all do a great job and Emma Stone looks better than she ever has. Does this fit next to the classics I listed? Not really, but it doesn't really aspire to be an A+ movie, it just wants to be a very entertaining one and it works out great.

The Words
The Words(2012)
½

"Words" is a good drama about a man who finds and story and passes it on as if he wrote it and the consequences of that choice. It has good performances by Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana, but a great performance by Jeremy Irons as the original author(he's just called the Old Man). Irons is one those actors who just has the voice and steel gaze that just makes you take notice. The movie and subject matter are both great, but the ending of this movie is a real dud. I dunno, some people may like it, but I found it to be a letdown. Not sure what I was expecting, or how I would have ended it, but I'm sure something else would have been better. Good for a one time watch, but the ending might leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Hitchcock
Hitchcock(2012)
½

"Hitchcock" is an odd movie that I'm honestly not sure if I liked or not. On one hand it's very interesting as it shows what went on behind the scenes of "Psycho". But on the other hand, the acting is kind of bad(except Helen Mirren), it feels more like a bad comedy than anything, and Alfred Hitchcock really comes off bad. He might have been this weird in real life, I don't know, but sitting around talking to his imaginary Ed Gein is a bit much. Anthony Hopkins plays Hitchcock and it's a very strange performance. It's captivating, over the top, and just overall kind of unsettling. I don't know what it was, but it's very different. Mirren plays his wife Alma, and she does a great job(when doesn't she?). There is one scene where she yells at Hitchcock after being accused of an affair and it's one of the best scenes I've seen from an actress in a while. Also not sure of the actors name who played Anthony Perkins, but he looks exactly like Perkins. That casting director deserves a raise for that one. This is an odd movie and it's hard to tell if most is real or fabricated(I'd bet the latter). I can see how over time I will like this more, or just forget it. Worth a watch, especially if you like to learn about history in cinema or want to see a unique take on Alfred Hitchcock.

Hyde Park on Hudson

First thing is first, as I have mentioned before I try to watch as many movies nominated for awards as possible. I'm a firm believer in you can't complain about what is nominated without seeing the movies nominated. So looking over the Golden Globe nominates I saw Bill Murray up for Best Actor in a Comedy for "Hyde Park on Hudson". One would naturally think "Bill Murray+Comedy=Gold". However, this is not a comedy in any way shape or form and his least funny movie ever. Here he plays Franklin Roosevelt(yes the president) in 1939 and is about to host the King and Queen of England for a week at the Roosevelt home. Amid all this he juggles his wife, his mother, and a woman whom he has a "special" relationship with Daisy(Laura Linney). They don't really have an affair, but they have an affair, and at the heart of the movie is their relationship. How they just drive off and enjoy being alone together away from the world. Sound funny? Yeh, it didn't to me either. This film is pretty boring, although Murray and Linney are both great, just as they are in everything else they do. But this is not a comedy, it's a drama. The only laughs are at the expense of the King Bertie(the King from "King's Speech" with the studdering problem), but there is really only like one scene of his that will get a chuckle. It moves slow, even though the story is intriguing and offers a good glimpse at President Roosevelt that no other movie(that I know of) has offered. Decent for a one time watch, but don't expect a comedy. Expect a drama that drags, and you won't be too disappointed.

Texas Chainsaw
½

Okay this review will contain some spoilers so if you don't want to know anything about the movie, just know it sucks and you should skip watching it. First, I will say the movie has some good gore and a couple of good "jump" scare moments. Oh an the 2 leading girls are hot. Those three things are the only good things about this turd of a horror movie. Okay, now the bad, this is a direct sequel to the original(forget the four sequels, remake, and prequel). Movie starts with a montage of the original, then picks up the day after the original when the people of the town burn down the house that the Sawyers live in. When the fire settles a man finds a Sawyer woman with a baby in the farm, kills the woman and steals the baby. The movie jumps to 2012 and that baby is now a 18-20 year old. Um, the original was set in 1974, so shouldn't she be almost 40?! From there the girl, Heather gets a letter that her grandmother has died and left her stuff. She, and three friends, drive an old beat up VW van to Texas to find that her grandma(that she didn't know about, because she didn't know she was stolen/adopted), was rich and left her a mansion. In the basement of the mansion lives Leatherface(who I guess should be 60 and runs super fast). He then kills her friends(and the hitchhiker they picked up), and she finds out about how her real family was killed, and ultimately Leatherface saves her from the town people. That's right, Leatherface is the hero of the movie. Now I love Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, and Michael Myers, but they aren't heroes. Their sole goal is to kill, that's it. No, Leatherface wants to protect this cousin he never met, and I guess she doesn't care at all that he murdered her boyfriend and friends, because she is buddy buddy with him at the end. It's stupid. I seriously can't believe someone wrote this script and it passed, and they made this a movie. I love horror movies and for the most part the remakes. I really liked the remake with Jessica Biel a couple of years ago, and if this were a sequel to that version, it could have worked better. But this is just a cash grab, because there was no thought to it at all. I saw it in 3D, and the 3D sucks. There are like two or three scenes where the 3D pops out and it doesn't even pop like I've seen in other movies. When you see a horror movie in 3D, you expect blood flying at you, but there isn't any of that. If your a horror movie fan, then you should give it a shot(don't pay for it though), because there are couple good deaths. But just know this is an insult to the legacy of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and will ultimately be forgotten.

Jack Reacher
Jack Reacher(2012)
½

Tom Cruise is a great actor and simply one of the best movie stars out there. Almost all of his movies are good, and "Jack Reacher" is really no different. When a sniper kills five people, the police think they have the man responsible. Upon interrogation, he asks for Jack Reacher(Cruise). Reacher is pretty much a ghost. An ex military investigator who lives off the grid and isn't found, but instead sees the sniper on tv and comes to investigate. Reach immediately knows something is wrong and begins to work with the defense attorney to find out the truth. Just like his "Mission Impossible" movies, Cruise is fantastic, and really comes off as a guy whom you don't wanna mess with. Great action, good story, and some good one liners("I'm going to beat you to death and drink your blood out of a boot") make this a very entertaining movie. Robert Duvall has a small role, and it's great seeing him as his usual bad ass self. At a little over 2 hours long, the movie is a little on the long side, but it never feels slow or boring. Good action thriller that shouldn't be overlooked.

Zero Dark Thirty

"Zero Dark Thirty" is the story of the decade long hunt and elimination of Osama Bin Laden. It's more about the actual search than the actual kill, which makes this a very good suspenseful thriller. Jessica Chastain stars as Maya, the woman who heads up the hunt and it's really her story as no one else has the same belief and devotion to the hunt like she does. At the end when the mission is a success you just want to give her a pat on the back. I'm a big fan of the tv show "Homeland", and this is a lot like it, without all the personal stuff. This is pretty much 100% about the mission. Jason Clarke(who was awesome on the tv show "Brotherhood") is fantastic as Dan, the CIA operative who is willing to go the extra mile to get the information he needs. I've read how this is a "water boarding" movie, there is only one scene with water boarding, and it's not even a big deal. Kathryn Bigelow is a great director and should be strongly considered for Best Director at all the awards. Just like her last movie, "Hurt Locker", this movie builds the tension perfectly. You'll be on the edge of your seat quite a bit during this. Everyone in America was happy when Bin Laden was killed, and this is a great movie that shows what it took to bring him down. Great movie, that all Americans should like.

The Impossible

It's interesting how some movies I view differently now that I have a child as opposed to before I had a kid. "The Impossible" is one of those movies that 2 years ago probably wouldn't have had much of an impact on me. Now, it has some of the scariest moments you will see in a movie as a parent. "The Impossible" is the true story of a family vacationing in Thailand during the winter of 2004 when they are hit with one of the biggest tsunami's in history hits. Maria(Naomi Watts) and Henry(Ewan McGregor) are the parents of three boys and their family is torn apart, and they struggle to find each other through all the carnage. When the storm hits it is honestly one of the scariest scenes in a movie about a natural disaster. The way Watts and her oldest son Lucas(Tom Holland) are thrown around in the water is scary as hell when you put yourself in their shoes. Watts and Holland both do fantastic jobs and deserve many award nominations. From the acting, to the story, to the way the movie was shot, this is just a very, very well made movie. It's scary, sad, touching, and will just put you on a roller coaster of emotions. One of the better movies of 2012 that should receive a best picture nomination at the Oscars. Everybody should check this out, especially if you have kids or a kid in your life that you love dearly.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas(2012)

"Cloud Atlas" is probably the weirdest, most original, messed up movie I've seen that came out in 2012. The only way I know how to describe it is it's a bunch of different stories with the same actors(as different characters), in different time periods, about how people are ultimately connected to each other. This ranks right up there with "Muholland Drive" and "Tree of Life" as movies that just don't make much sense. The only thing with this, is it has a great score and a few days after I watched it, I'm still thinking about some of the things in it and it makes me want to watch it more when I'm able to get a blu ray copy. The acting in this is pretty good with a great cast. Tom Hanks, Helle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, and Jim Broadbent(best of the movie). Other than the constant shifting of stories(scenes go back and forth every couple minutes), some of the make up is great and some was so bad it's laughable. Especially the make up and hair done in some scenes for Tom Hanks. Almost as if he was trying to be comical, even though this is a very serious, and pretentious at times, movie. Right now, I think this was just ok, but I think after another viewing I will either like it a lot more, or just down right hate it. One some columnist's top ten list I've seen this as number 1 as best, and number 1 as worst, so it's definitely a love or hate movie. I'd be willing to bet most people will watch 20 minutes and turn it off. The movie is nearly 3 hours long, so if you watch it, just stick with it and give the entire thing a chance. Not a must see, but if your a fan of movies like I am, you should see it. There literally is nothing else like this out there.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
½

I got a copy of this earlier in the year and didn't watch it because it looked boring and didn't want to make the time. Then the Golden Globe nominations came out and this is up for a lot of Comedy awards, so I figured I would go back and give it a chance. Since it is up for comedy awards, I assumed it would be hilarious, but it is not. This is a romantic drama through and through with an uplifting story about faith. How anyone thinks this is one of the best five comedies of the year, I'll never know. Ewan McGregor plays a fish expert who helps a consultant(Emily Blunt) realize a sheikh's(Amr Waked) dream of bringing fly fishing to the desert. He thinks it is impossible, but finds ways to make it possible while falling for Blunt. It's not a bad movie at all, kind of bland, but it's not bad. McGregor is one of the most underrated actors today and here he does a great job. Blunt is ok, and their chemistry probably could have been better, but it's better than most. If there is one reason to call this a comedy it's because of Kristen Scott Thomas's press secretary. She has some great lines and is the reason for the 2 times I laughed during the movie. If anyone should get any nominations for comedy in this it's her(she got nothing, btw). A lot of people I know will probably never think twice about watching this, but if your ever bored and just wanna watch a "feel good movie", pop this in. Might surprise you.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
½

"Odd Life of Timothy Green" is one of those movies where you just have to go with it, or you won't enjoy it at all. It's about a couple, Cindy(Jennifer Garner) and Jim Green(Joel Edgerton) who cannot have a child. One night in there depression of being unable to conceive, they make a list of everything they would want in a son, put it in a box and bury it in their garden. A storm comes, and boy covered in dirt with leaves on his legs, and he calls Cindy and Jim mom and dad. From their they treat him as their son, and he exudes all the qualities they wanted in a son. He enriches their lives and the lives of everyone else in their lives/town. It's a cute family Disney movie with a pretty crazy premise, and generic execution. It's fine for what it is, and like I said, you either go with it or not. I thought it was ok and worth a watch. I've seen much worse. Emily liked it and actually stayed awake for the entire thing, so I think women will dig it. Give it a shot.

The Invisible War
½

"Invisible War" is an investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. Using the stories of several women and men, it weaves a story of betrayal, cover ups, sadness, and ultimately a country that lets down the very people that swear to protect it. This movie will make you sad and furious at the same time. I've already messaged my brother and said I forbid my nieces to join the military(they wouldn't anyway, but now uncle ev says NO!) Obviously this movie only shows one side to the story, but that side is so strong that it makes you not care what the other side has to say. Is there some instances of where people are "the boy who called wolf" when it comes to rape? Sure. But not thousands of people a year within the military. This movie is one of the more shockingly documentaries I've ever seen, and anyone who has a young female in their life should watch this. It will make you want to protect them even more. This is one of the more "must watch" movies that I've seen in a while. Not for entertaining purposes, but for educational reasons.

Searching for Sugar Man

Some stories are so crazy, that knowing it is real is even crazier. "Searching for Sugar Man" is a documentary about a little known singer named Rodriguez. He's the greatest 70's rock icon that never was. He made 2 albums and both literally sold nothing, and he was assumed dead with several stories about his death. Unbeknownst to the United States, his albums have sold over 500,000 copies in South Africa. In the mid 90's a couple of music journalists set out to find out anything and everything about him. Is he dead? If so, how? These are the questions they need answered, and what they get is something they never expected. It's fascinating and one of the most uplifting movies I've seen all year. I, like everyone else, has never heard of Rodriguez, but now, I'm sure I'll be downloading his songs. His music is very good, and I'm sure if he had the right breaks, he would have been huge here in the U.S. also. This is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen and movie all music fans will enjoy.

Django Unchained

2012 has been a very interesting year of movies, and up until today I believed that "Avengers" was the absolute best movie of the year. Then I sat in a theater and watched "Django Unchained" and now I'm not so sure. "Django" is the story of a bounty hunter(Christoph Waltz) who befriends a slave(Django) and trains him to be a bounty hunter and then takes him to save his slave wife Broomhilda(Kerry Washington). She belongs to Calvin Candy(Leonardo DiCaprio) on his plantation Candy Land. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, this is another one of his masterpieces and fits perfectly with his filmography. Not his best movie, because he has set the bar so high, but probably top 5. It has everything you want from one of his movies. Violence, crazy dialogue, crazy characters, humor, and even a twisted monologue. This time that goes to DiCaprio who gives a speech about dents in human skulls. DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors and gives one of his best performances yet. If he and Waltz don't get nominated for awards that would be a crying shame. They are the best two in the movie, and two of the best performances of the year, period. Ever since Tarantino introduced Waltz in "Inglorious Bastards" he has been one of the most memorizing actors I've seen. When the guy in on screen he just captivates you and makes you pay close attention because you never know what you will get. Tarantino is by far my favorite film director/writer, and I will always like anything he does. This is one of those times where he has made probably the best movie of the year and deserves any and all recognition for it. "Django" is a masterpiece, and a movie that anyone who loves movies should see. There isn't anything else out there like it, but then again there is only one Quentin Tarantino.

Amour
Amour(2012)
½

"Amour" is a french movie about the bond between an elderly couple and how they face their greatest challenge. Georges and Anne are both in their eighties and have a daughter that lives abroad. One day Anna suffers a stroke, then she suffers another stroke which leaves her devastated physically and mentally. She can barely speak or move, and has little to no motor skills. Georges made a promise to her that he wouldn't put her in a home, so he takes care of her in their apartment. The acting in the movie is very good, but the film moves very slow. It's a very quiet movie, with long stretches of silence and no music playing. This reminded me a lot of a movie called "Away from Here" that dealt with an elderly couple battling the effects of Alzheimers. Both movies are sad and have a haunting quality to them. If you want to watch a very depressing movie that will make you not want to grow old, then check it out! If you want to stay happy, or watch something to make you happy, then stay as far away from this as you can.

Killing Them Softly

What happens when three idiots think they are smart and decide to rob a mod protected poker game? Well, it doesn't end well for them. That's the basic premise of "Killing Them Softly". After the morons rob the game, Brad Pitt is brought in to find out who they are and to kill them. Times are hard and the rough economy has had an effect on the mob to, so they need every cent they can get. I thought this would be more of an action/thriller type movie, but it's not. It's really more of a drama about how the economy has effected the mob and the way they do business. It's still good, as Brad Pitt is fantastic. He comes off as cool and scary at the same time. The rest of the cast is good, even though no one really shines as well as Pitt does. I would have liked this to have been a little longer with more action, but it's good for what it is. I especially loved the very end of this movie. Has one of the best finishing lines to a movie of the year. Worth a watch, just expect more of a drama/talking type movie instead of a straight up mob-esque movie.

Frankenweenie

If you have ever had a pet that passed away you know the pain and sadness that comes along with it. But, what if you could bring them back? That is the premise of "Frankenweenie". Victor is a socially awkward kid whose best friend is his dog Sparky. One day while Victor is playing baseball, Sparky runs into the street and is killed by an oncoming car. Victor then uses his love of science to bring Sparky back to life. One his fellow students come to know what he has done, things get really crazy. This is a very heartfelt animated movie that everyone in the family should enjoy. Tim Burton originally made this as a short movie, and then returned as director for this, and his mark is all over. This sits perfectly next to "Nightmare Before Christmas" or "Corpse Bride". I also dug the black and white, as it really sets it apart from other animated movies. My only real complaint is the pacing is a little slow which makes the 90 minutes feel like 120. But it's still entertaining, and a good animated film that holds it's own in a year full of great animated movies.

Les Misérables

"Les Miserables" is a story of broken dreams, love, sacrifice, and redemption. Follows Jean Valjean(Hugh Jackman) a prisoner who is paroled, then breaks parole and spends his life running from a policeman named Javert. Along the way he agrees to take care of a factory worker turned prostitute's(Anne Hathaway) daughter Cosette. His life is forever changed and is eventually thrust into the middle of the French revolution. Hugh Jackman does a great job here and completely deserves to be nominated for all kinds of awards. Anne Hathaway also does great and deserves award recognition too, but she is only in the movie for like 20 minutes. But it's a strong 20 minutes. Big sets, great costumes, and a huge cast really make this a throwback movie to the old epics. Two hours and 38 minutes makes this a very long movie, but it really doesn't feel that long. It's entertaining, and keeps you drawn into the characters throughout the whole movie. I've had a couple friends say to watch with tissues, but I didn't think it was that sad. Depressing? you bet, but I never came close to tears. It is a musical and at times is over bearing with the grandiose type performances, but the music is good. If you can see this in the theater you should. It's a movie that would be nearly as effective on the small screen and really demands the big screen and booming sound. If you don't like musicals then stay away, but otherwise it's definitely worth checking out.

Lincoln
Lincoln(2012)
½

Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors of all time. But, sometimes his movies don't connect like I hope they would. "Lincoln" is a good, well made movie. However, it's very talky, long, drawn out, and more political than I expected. The movie is basically about the final months of his life as he tries to end the war and get the 13th amendment passed. A lot of time is spent with the politicians arguing over whether or not to abolish slavery, and at times I just wanted to say "come on, lets get on with this already.". But the acting is all good, the costumes and look of the movie is fantastic as well. Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln is pretty much a lock to win a ton of awards for this, which he should. He becomes the 16th president in ways that I don't think any other man could do. Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Sally Fields all good great as well. I'm sure this movie will win a bunch of trophies, and I can see why. But for me, there are a lot more movies that were better in 2012.

The Guilt Trip
½

Seth Rogan and Barbara Streisand, sounds like a joke right there doesn't it? Streisand stars as Joyce, Andy's(Seth Rogan) over bearing, loving mother. Andy is trying to sell a new cleaning supply and invites his mother on his cross country sales tour. He hopes to reunite her with an old love, but she drives him crazy the entire way there. It's pretty generic, but there are some good funny scenes spread throughout. Rogan pretty much plays the straight man the entire movie, which is much different than how he usually does in comedies. Streisand is very good, and is very funny and sweet. She may be annoying to her son on screen, but to the audience she is charming and very loveable. I also really liked the ending. It had a small twist to it, that I really liked. This isn't something that is going to stick, or probably even be remembered much. But for a one time watch it's entertaining. Good movie to watch with your mom and let her know how much you love her.

This is 40
This is 40(2012)
½

"This is 40" is the sort of a sequel to "Knocked Up". Basically it's by the same director, and is just about the married couple Ben(Paul Rudd) and Debbi(Leslie Mann) from "Knocked Up". They are turning 40 and are dealing with a ton of problems. Sex life is at a stall, they are losing money hand over feet, their daughters are always fighting, and they themselves are always fighting. It's a very honest and real look at marriage, kids, and life in general. This is a comedy, but it's much more dramatic than I expected, which is fine, because it has a great balance to it. At just over two hours long, it is a bit on the long side, and couple probably have been 20 minutes shorter and been fine. Saying that, it's still a very good movie with enough laughs to not get slow or stall out completely. Judd Apatow is a great director for dramadies, and while this isn't as good as "Up" or "40 Year old virgin", it is much better than his last movie "Funny People". One big complaint I have about this, is it didn't feature a cameo or mention of Seth Rogan or Katherine Heigl's characters. Thought we may find out if they made it or something, but nothing, nada. Also, just a little story, my wife and I sat down when we saw a mother and her little daughter walk into the theater and sit down. "Monsters Inc. 3D" was playing in the next theater, so we knew they were in the wrong auditorium, but we decided on to say anything and see what happens. We're evil, I know. Movie starts, and the very first scene is Pete and Debbie having sex in the shower, and 2 seconds later they ran out of the theater. It was pretty awesome. Good movie, just don't bring your kids.

The Queen of Versailles

There are thousands of stories about the impact of the economic crisis going on in the U.S. "Queen of Versailles" is one of those stories, and it happens to be one of the most interesting ones. This is a documentary about David Seigel, a billionaire who runs Westgate resorts, and his family as they build the biggest house in the U.S. At 90,000 sq. ft it is going to be something unbelievable to behold. 30 bathrooms, 17 kitchens, it's going to have it all. Then in the middle, the documentary becomes something else, as real estate bubble causes the Seigels to lose a fortune, lay off 7,000 employees, and risk losing everything. Their house becomes an unfinished dream, while David searches for a way to fix everything. The Seigels aren't bad people, they actually come off very nice, and seem like genuine good people. But, they are spoiled and filthy rich, so seeing them struggle financially is kind of funny, and you don't feel sorry for them at all really, but you like them. This is very entertaining and interesting, one of the better documentaries of the year. Also, it's a movie that will make you say "wtf?" probably more than any other movie of the year.

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth is basically a "behind the music" style documentary about the Foo Fighters. It chronicles from Dave Grohls days with Nirvana all the way to the Fighter's 7th album, Wasting Light. I am a big fan of theirs, so a lot of their story I knew, but there was quite a few things I had never heard and found fascinating. The band has been through quite a bit, and remain the best current rock band going today. If your not a rock fan, or a fan of Foo Fighters then A) you have bad taste in music, and B) just watch a country music movie. But if your like me, then you should most definitely check this out.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

More times than not movies about high school get it wrong. Whether it's the actors, the stories, or just the overall feeling of inaccuracy,it just rarely feels authentic. "Perks of being a Wallflower" is one of those movies that gets it all right. The story is one that almost everyone can relate to in some way shape or form and the performances are all fantastic. Logan Lerman stars as Charlie a freshman who starts high school with no friends, a messed up past, and he struggles with mental illness. He literally counts down the days to graduation, then things all change when he meets Patrick(Ezra Miller) and Sam(Emma Watson) a couple of sibling seniors who befriend them and welcome him to their group of friends. From there Charlie gets his first kiss, his first girlfriend, great highs, and the lowest lows you can imagine. The film is funny, sweet, smart, sad, and above all else genuine. Lerman and Miller are two young actors to watch, because they are both amazing in this. Watson also shows she isn't just a harry potter one trick pony. In terms of high school movies I would put this right by "Breakfast Club" because it gets the underlining pain of being 16 so perfectly. This is one of the best movies of 2012, and just proves that independent movies are alive and well.

Pitch Perfect
½

Some movies you watch with low expectations, but end up really digging it. "Pitch Perfect" is one of those movies. I have heard a lot of positive things about it, but it's not something that really appeals to me, so I wasn't sure if it would be something I would like. What I got was a very funny and enjoyable movie in the same vein as "Drumline" and "Bring It On". The movie is a group of college girls who compete in an a cappella singing competition with other groups on campus. They are the typical group of misfits who join up and are the dark horses. The performances are all great especially the two leads Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. Wilson is on the verge of being a big comedic star. She has the "it" factor where just about everything she does is funny and over the top. Kendrick is her usually likeable self, and she comes off very believe able as an aspiring DJ. The music is great and the singing is fantastic. I'm really curious as to why this isn't up for best "Comedy or Musical" at the Golden Globes, as it is both a great musical and very funny. One of the best surprises of the year for sure. Give it a shot, and you'll be surprised too.

Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction(1994)

I get asked often what my favorite movie is and the answer is always the same, "Pulp Fiction". The first time I saw this I was 17 years old and asked my parents what "Reservoir Dogs" was about because I heard that the "Du Hast" video by Rammstein was based on that movie. They told me about it, and it sounded amazing. So I went up to broadway video(only Paris people will remember that glorious video store) and rented "Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction" on VHS. I didn't know if I would watch "Fiction" or not, but I saw the same guy directed both, so I figured I would check it out just in case. I watched "Dogs" and was in love and as soon as it ended I popped "Fiction" in. From the opening scene I knew I was watching something special, something amazing, and a movie that I would never forget. I watched it again the next day(something I rarely ever do), and then a few days later I bought them both on DVD(all I had was a PS2 and didn't use it very much). I have watched "Fiction" countless times since and have the entire movie basically memorized. I've boughtt it again on a 2 disc DVD and then last year I bout it on blu ray. Last night was the first time I got around to watching it on Blu Ray, and my god the movie pops and comes to life like I hadn't seen. From the color of Vincent's car to the sweat on Jules head it just make this feel like a new movie. It had been a couple years since I just sat down and watched this all the way through, and the movie still feels insanely fresh, innovative, and special. I was still on the edge when Mia gets her adrenaline shot. I was still shocked when Zed brings out the gimp and I still laughed at how crazy Honey Bunny gets after being so damn sweet. This movie is an extreme movie as you either love it or hate it(I know people that are on both sides), and I absolutely love it. If rotten tomatoes would let me I'd give it 10 stars, because no other movie comes close to giving the amazing experience that "Pulp Fiction" is able to give. I've introduced this movie to quite a few people and it's a movie that when Grant comes of age, I can't wait to show him. If you have never seen this, this I strongly, strongly recommend you rent/download/borrow a copy, set aside 3 hours and just prepare to get your mind blown. If you have seen this, this go back and watch again. This movie gets better with age, better with each showing, and I seriously doubt I will ever find a movie better. "Pulp Fiction" is my all time favorite movie, and if you don't like it then you are a *draws an imaginary square Mia Wallace style*.

GoldenEye
GoldenEye(1995)
½

"Goldeneye" is Pierce Brosnan's first turn as Bond, James Bond and it was also the first Bond movie I saw in the theater. I remember my dad taking me, and just being completely captivated. He and I have gone to each one since, and they just get better and better. Here Bond goes against the Soviet Union as they threaten the world with nuclear weapons. Sean Bean plays 006, and old associate of Bond's who is the mastermind behind war in search for world domination. This is also the first time Judi Dench plays M, and she does great. This really was a breath of fresh air for the franchise and helped keep it relevant.

Arbitrage
Arbitrage(2012)
½

Richard Gere stars as Robert Miller, a hedge fund managers who just turned 60. Along with the birthday he is cooking the books for his company and cheating on his wife(Susan Sarandon). In the midst of selling his company(to cover up his fraud) he drives his mistress drunk one night and wrecks and kills her. From there it all becomes a juggling act to cover up all the lies and mistakes in his life to avoid going to jail and ruining the lives of his family. Gere does a great job as the slime ball that he portraits. The rest of the cast is solid, especially Nate Parker. Parker plays Jimmy, a guy whom Miller calls for a ride when he wrecks his car. The cops come after Jimmy to give up Miller and that serves as the center of the film. The movie has a very real feel to it, especially in our current economic climate. The movie runs a little slow and is kind of wordy at times, but it remains interesting. You want to see Miller go to jail and are willing to finish the movie to see if he does or not. Last year a similar movie called "Margin Cell" came out and that movie is much better, especially with the suspense and tension. But, this is worth a watch if you like suspenseful adult themed dramas.

The Campaign
The Campaign(2012)

I'm a big fan of Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, so it's shocking that it took me this long to watch this. Ferrell plays Cam Brady a long term democratic congressman, and Zach plays Marty Huggins his Republican opponent. Each are weird, over the top, and hilarious. Full of crazy situations, like Brady punching a baby in the face. Along with numerous one liners( "When my boy calls you daddy, I f*** your wife!"). This is a good, goofy hard R comedy, that never really goes too far in a way that would off put some people. Easily one of Ferrell's better comedies of the last few years, that stands up nicely to some of his better works like "Old School" and "Talladega Nights". If you need a good laugh, then definitely check this out. Especially after the crazy election year we've had, this is a perfect movie to make everyone on both sides of the fence to laugh.

Hope Springs
Hope Springs(2012)

"Hope Springs" is the story of an elderly married couple played by Maryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. They are stuck in routines, sleep in separate beds, and don't have a sex life at all. One day Kay(Streep) gets fed up with it and decides she wants her marriage back and sets up a vacation to see a couple's specialist played by Steve Carrell. Arnold(Jones) is stubborn, cheap, and resists change. But he goes along with it. Streep is up for best actress in a comedy at the Golden Globes, but this really is more of a drama than a comedy, as parts are just down right sad. Its a very honest look at marriage, as I'm sure there are thousands of couples who go through this. Carell does a great job as their therapist, and plays it very straight. This is a decent movie that all married couples should watch, especially the older crowd.

Lawless
Lawless(2012)

Based on the true story of the Bondurant Brothers, bootleggers in Prohibition-era Virginia. This is a violent gangster story about family, chasing the dream, and remaining loyal to those you love. It's also about how indestructible Tom Hardy is. Great cast with Jessica Chastain, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Tom Hardy, and Shia LaBeouf. This is probably the best performance I've seen to date by Shia LaBeouf. Tom Hardy does awesome as well, except his character tends to mumble a lot and can be hard to understand at times. The movie drags a bit towards the middle, but once it picks back up, it picks up greatly. When I first saw previews for this I didn't think it looked that good, but I had a couple friend recommend it, and they were right. If you enjoy gangster movies, then this will be right up your alley.

Knocked Up
Knocked Up(2007)

If I were to rank the 10 funniest movies of the last 10 years, this would definitely be in the top 5. "Knocked Up" is the story of Ben(Seth Rogan) who has a one night stand with Allison(Katherine Heigl) and gets her pregnant. She is an aspiring TV personality for E! and he is a man child who lives with friends and loves to smoke pot. Polar opposites, but they try to make it work. The supporting cast is amazing and full of great comedic actors. Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Jay Beruchel, Jason Segal, among others. My favorites are probably Pete(Paul Rudd) and Debbie(Leslie Mann) as a married couple with 2 kids and a lot of problems. Hell, they have a sequel coming out about them. This movie is also full of great one liners, that are still hilarious. Just goes to show that R rated comedies can be raunchy, fun, and smart. This is a modern comedy classic that holds up nicely and remains mandatory viewing for all fans of comedy.

Reservoir Dogs

First thing is first, if you have never seen this movie, then RUN and get a copy NOW. "Reservoir Dogs" is the first movie directed by Quentin Tarantino, and this is just an absolute crime drama masterpiece. It's the story of a jewelry heist gone wrong, and the effects surrounding the heist. The first time I watched this, I watched with my parents and was absolutely amazed at what I saw. As soon as the movie ended I knew Tarantino was my favorite filmmaker off just seeing one of his movies. The way the movie looks, feels, sounds is just so fresh and I guess "cool" would be a perfect word. The music is fantastic and the dialogue is just amazing. I quote this movie all the time, and know quite a few people who do as well. Plus, this has probably the great torture scene ever. It's funny and truly terrifying at the same time. It had bee probably 5 years since I watched this all the way through, and this movie holds up very, very well. Re-watching this is like seeing your best friend from high school and just catching up. Again, I LOVE this movie, and everyone I know that has seen this loves it also. This is a must see, and probably in my top 10 favorite movies of all time.

Trouble with the Curve
½

Clint Eastwood is an actor who seems to have made some of his best movies later on in life. "Gran Torino" and "Million Dollar Baby" are both fantastic films, and before watching this I expected this to be around the same quality as those 2 movies. While it's a decent movie, it's nowhere near as good as I had hoped. Eastwood plays a baseball scout who is losing his eye sight and in trouble of losing his job while scouting one of the best prospects in baseball. He has a damaged relationship with his daughter Mickey(Amy Adams) and they barely get along. Mickey is an aspiring partner at a law firm, when she gets the news of her Dad's impending blindness, she joins him on a scouting trip. From there the movie is pretty generic, borderline sappy in spots, and uneven. It's party drama, comedy, sports movie, which is fine, but none of it works as well as it should. I think there is a great movie here with the material, but instead it's just a "meh, that was ok" movie. The acting is all good, even though I never really bought Amy Adams as a baseball obsessive tomboy. Movie is 2 hours long, but feels like 3, and you'll be ready for it to end after an hour. My wife liked it, but I was just very underwhelmed. Give it a shot, but don't expect another Eastwood classic.

Compliance
Compliance(2012)

A few years ago I was watching 20/20 when they ran a story about a prank phone call at a McDonalds. The manager took a call from someone who said they were a cop, and accusing a teenage girl of stealing money. From there the caller has the manager strip search the girl, and it gets crazier from there. "Compliance" is a movie based on that, and pretty much a complete reenactment. This is 100% true, and that is just insane. The entire movie you will be saying "WTF?! Are you serious? Are you stupid?! No way this is real!" The fact that it really the happened is just baffling and makes the movie that much more entertaining. The acting is pretty bad(except Ann Dowd as the manager, she does good), but the directing is great. The execution of the movie is great, considering this could have easily been a lifetime made for TV movie. Instead it's a movie filled with tension and suspense. This is the kind of Independent movie that shows that a big budget isn't needed to make a good movie. Is this a must watch? No, but it entertaining, and worth a watch.

The Deep Blue Sea

No, this isn't the Samuel Jackson shark movie. I wish it were, but it's not. Each year I try to watch as many award nominated movies as possible, and this is a Golden Globe nominee for Rachel Weisz's performance. She plays a woman who is depressed after leaving her husband after an affair with a Royal Air Force Pilot(Tom Hiddleson) in 1950 England. I had never heard of this movie, so went and read the plot and thought "hmm, that could be interesting!" Well, I was way off. This movie is a pretty big bore, with a lot of artsy silent type shots while classical music plays. Weisz's is good, but to me her performance is lost in movie that is more concerned with being pretentious than entertaining. I can see how some people will like this, and those people usually have a vast difference in movie taste than me. So if you don't agree with my reviews, then check it out I'm sure you'll enjoy it a lot!

True Romance
True Romance(1993)

"True Romance" is one of the most underrated movies of all time, by far. This was the first movie written by Quentin Tarantino(Tony Scott directs), and it ranks right up there with his best(well except "Pulp Fiction", but that's on a whole different level). I love this movie. It's still fresh, original, and exciting after almost 20 years. It's the story of Clarence(Christian Slater) and his roller coaster relationship with Alabama(Patricia Arquette) a call girl. When Clarence kills her pimp(Gary Oldman) he accidentally steals a suitcase full of cocaine. From there he and Alabama head to L.A. while the mafia is after them. This has one of the craziest casts ever. Christopher Walken, Chris Pine, Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini, and Brad Pitt, among many others fill out the terrific roster of A level talent. This movie will make you laugh, cringe at the violence, and probably bring you close to tears towards the end. It's a true experience of a movie that resonates and stays with you. I popped this in the other night at around 11 p.m., and didn't intend to finish it, but couldn't stop watching. It's just riveting, and a movie that makes you glued to the screen. If you have never seen this, you are missing out, and NEED to go get a copy. This is an absolute must watch.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

"Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" is a film that follows a group of British retirees as they take a trip to a renovated hotel in India for a vacation. When they get there, the hotel isn't exactly what they were expecting. But what they get is the trip of a lifetime that changes each one of them. This is a dramedy with an excellent cast. Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkenson, Dev Patel, and Maggie Smith all star and make up a great ensemble. Having said that, this movie isn't aimed towards me or my demographic at all. This is for elderly people, or British people, and I am neither(at least not yet). I thought it was ok, but it drags in spots, and for a movie that is up for Best Comedy at the Golden Globes, not very funny. This is much more of drama, but there are some humorous moments. If you like movies like "Calender Girls", then this is right up your alley. Otherwise, it's worth a watch, but it may or may not be your cup of tea.

The Apparition

"Apparition" is the type of movie that makes you appreciate other movies, that you otherwise take for granted. This is kind of like "Paranormal Activity", only with a budget and zero of the creativity. "Activity" may not be a great horror movie, but when it came out it was inventive and unique. This is a rip off, and a very bad one at that. It's about a couple who are haunted in their home by a presence that was summoned during a college experiment. The acting is horrible, the story is generic, and the execution is poor. There is long stretches of just "spooky" music that doesn't move the story along, or provide any real suspense. All this movie made me want to do was re-watch the first "Paranormal Activity". If your a fan of horror or movies in general, you will probably be disappointed with this.

Licence To Kill

Timothy Dalton's second turn as Bond would also be his last, and I think that's probably a good thing. He does a decent job as Bond, but really makes the character humorless, and a borderline bore. Her he sets out avenge a friend by going after a Latin Drug dealer. The movie has great action, and look closely for a young Benecio Del Tore as a psychotic henchman(has an awesome death scene by the way). It's a more violent take on Bond than the Moore movies, and that's fine, but just keep the humor and womanizing with it. Also, I didn't care that movie ends with a cheezy love song like "If You Ask me To". Not the worst Bond, but probably towards the bottom of them. Still a must watch for all Bond fans.

The Man With the Iron Fists

"Man With the Iron Fists" is a homage to the older 70's Kung Fu movies in the same vein as the "Kill Bill" movies were. It revolves around a blacksmith(Rza) who makes weapons for the different factions in China's Jungle Village during a time of war. He is betrayed and turns himself into a human weapon to use his ancient energy to try to save his people. The movie is pretty uneven, but it's still very entertaining. Russell Crowe is the absolute best character and really comes off like he is having a blast. He plays Jack Knife a westerner who comes to Jungle Village for vacation, or so he says. He has probably the coolest weapon I've seen in a movie in a long time. The action and fight scenes are all good, but the editing towards the end is all over the place. This is RZA's first movie as a director, and you can tell. But, he shows promise that he can do better. He also narrates the movie, and I didn't really care for that. The use of a narrator is great, but just him and the way he speaks didn't really seem necessary to the movie. Also, the movie is only 90 minutes long, and probably could have been another 30 minutes longer and really been much better. Some of the characters weren't really fleshed out very good. Problems aside, I did enjoy it, and think if your a fan of movies like "Kill Bill" or "Lone Wolf", you'll like it too. Just don't expect it to be as good, just a good homage that comes up a little short.

Red Dawn
Red Dawn(2012)
½

First thing first, it's been years since I have seen the original, and don't really remember much at all about it. I have it on my DVR and plan on revisiting it, but I watched this with pretty much nothing else to skew an opinion off of. Having said that, this is a bad movie. It's about the U.S. being invaded by Koreans, and a small group of kids called the Wolverines fight them off in a small Washington town. Chris Hemsworth plays an older brother who has experience serving and helps train the kids. He is the best part of the movie and the most believable(and he is Australian!). The invasion is cheesy and completely implausible, and then the fact that these emo kids would be taking this army out is nuts. I'm all for movies that are fantasy and unreal, but this is just ludicrous. Probably because the performances are pretty bad. These kids can act(well they've done good in other movies), but they just don't do a good job here. Josh Peck and Josh Hutcherson have been been in good movies, and probably thought this would be a movie to elevate them. Well, it's not. Actually this movie could probably hurt them, especially Peck who is just wrong for this movie. There is a little to like here, but overall the bad out weighs the good by a mile. I'd stay away from this if I were you. If you like it, more power to ya, but for me, I doubt I'll ever sit through this again.

Rise of the Guardians

When I first saw previews for this I was pretty underwhelmed and imagined it would be a bad, cheesy kids movie. It's always a good thing to have low expectations and be wrong. This is a smart, touching take on classic characters that all kids know and believe in. The premise is about a group known as the Guardians. They consists of Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman, and they get a new member in Jack Frost. Upon Frost's arrival an evil figure known as Pitch(aka the Boogeyman) who threatens to turn the children of the world's love into fear, and destroy the Guardians. May sound a little odd and cheesy, but it's really not. It's very well made with some of the best animation of the year. I didn't see this in 3D, but I can say I will definitely be getting this in 3D blu ray, because I'm sure the 3D is awesome. I can see this being the beginning of a franchise as the material could easily spawn a couple more flicks. Good movies that will bring out the kid in you.

Chernobyl Diaries

"Chernobyl Diaries" is a movie by Oren Peli, the guy who created the "Paranormal Activity" series. Here, it is a similar concept in some ways. A group of young adults are touring Europe when they hire an "extreme" tour guide. He leads them to the city of Pripyat, the home of workers during the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The groups thinks they are alone in the abandoned city, but they aren't. Shot half as a found footage movie and the other half as your average horror movie, it isn't very effective. I found myself very bored and not really into it. It's very predictable and just a run of the mill story, with a pretty cool ending. I love horror movies, and while I didn't hate this movie, I don't think I really liked it that much either. It's one that I could see myself watching again eventually and having a different opinion. Or, I'll watch again and fall asleep. Watch this with low expectations.

End of Watch
End of Watch(2012)

When I was watching this I kept thinking, "man this is like "Training Day". Afterwards, I find out that each movie had that the same writer, which is not a bad thing. "End of Watch" is a movie chronicling the lives of to cops who stumble upon some bad stuff, making them targets of a drug cartel. The two cops are played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. Both of them are amazing and have tremendous chemistry as best friends. It's great to see a movie about good cops, instead of one good and one bad. Here, they are both good and best friends. It's an interesting and fresh take on cop movies. The action is great, and this movie keeps you glued to the screen. You never really know what is about to happen, and it really keeps you on your toes. There were a couple scenes where I was like "wtf!?" Pena got a nomination for a Spirit Award, and I think he deserves it and probably an Oscar nod as well. Great movie and well worth the watch if your into good action thrillers.

Citadel
Citadel(2012)
½

A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast and one of the hosts mentioned how good this movie was and how he thought it was the best horror movie of 2012. I had never heard of it, but decided to search it out and give it a shot. The premise is pretty good and creepy. It's about an Irish guy who's pregnant wife is murdered in front of him by this group of demonic kids. The baby survives, and he is left alone to raise the baby. He lives in fear of leaving his apartment for his and the baby's safety, because the kids still lurk in the community and are coming for them. There's a couple twists and turns best left for if you watch, but overall this isn't a very good movie. There's a couple really good scenes, but the rest drags and just doesn't seem to go anywhere. It's an Irish movie, so maybe an Americanized version will get made and it will be better, because I think there is a good movie to be made out of this material. This just isn't it. The acting is just "meh", and the movie is sometimes too dark where you can't get a good enough grasp of what is going on. I'm a big horror fan, and this just didn't meet my expectations. Having said that, I can see why people would think this is good, because it has a good creepiness to it. Watch at your own risk.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Every year there is at least one off beat Independent movie that gets a lot of buzz going into award season. This year it's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" a small movie that came out in May and I've read a lot about it's chances to get a lot of nominations. It's a weird and very touching movie about a little girl named Hushpuppy(Quvenzhane Wallis) who lives with her ill father in the Bathtub. The Bathtub is a small community down in the Bayou, that gets ravaged by a storm. She has to struggle with survival, her Dad's illness, and just the crazy circumstances of her life. Wallis gives an amazing performance for such a young girl(she is 9 I believe). I can see her getting all kinds of nominations(I don't know about wins, but definitely some noms). The rest of the cast is good and are very authentic to the environment. The movie is different, and movies slow at times, but it's a good watch. Emily enjoyed it(she rarely stays awake to watch movies), so I think women in general will enjoy it. If your looking for something different, check this out, it'll surprise you.

Welcome to the Rileys
½

There's a lot of drams that are made to be "award bait". Which means, it will get a lot of nominations, which will increase it's visibility and make money. But, there are a lot of movies made for that reason, that don't come out right and end up getting no awards and making no money. "Welcome to the Rileys" is one of those flicks. It stars James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo as a middle aged married couple who have grown apart. Doug(Gandolfini) has a business trip to New Orleans, and while there he meets a 17 year old stripper(Kristen Stewart). He doesn't want a relationship with her or sex, he just wants to help her the way a father would help a daughter. Lois(Leo) is agoraphobic but finds the will to come to New Orleans to be with Doug. From there conflicts with Stewart and some secrets come out. The performances are all just ok. Gandolfini is the best, but he just seems to be going through the motions. Stewart does the exact same thing here as all her movies. Lip biting, playing with her hair, and pouting. She has that all down pat. The movie drags and doesn't really give much of a conclusion. Worth a watch? I a copy for free, and I'd say that would be the only reason to watch it. I'm sure there are some people who like this, but it didn't work for me at all really.

The Living Daylights

"The Living Daylights" is Timothy Dalton's first(of two) turn as Bond, James Bond. He does a decent job, but comes off as too serious for the role. The plot is pretty much in line with the rest of the Bond films, and features some of the better action sequences up to this point in the franchise. The finale on the plane is pretty awesome. I would say this movie is better than most of the Moore movies, but Moore was a better Bond(well, some of the time).

Madea's Witness Protection

I like pretty much all of Tyler Perry's movies. Even when they get too melodramatic, they are still pretty entertaining. "Madea's Witness Protection" is his latest in a long line of movies about Madea(Perry in drag). This time Madea takes in a family from New York who are under an FBI investigation while they and receive death threats from the mob. This is a straight up over the top comedy, with zero drama like all of his other movies. While that's kind of a breathe of fresh air, the comedy falls flat a lot. The cast is pretty weak. Eugene Levy is ok, but he is just playing himself, and he's married to Denise Richards. Yeh, it don't make sense to me either. There's a lot of plot holes, and the movie only really works when Madea is on screen. Even though too much of her(or him), gets to be annoying after a while. This is probably my least favorite of the Madea movies, and hopefully if they make more they get better. Watch if your a fan, but skip otherwise.

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages(2012)
½

I'm not a big fan of musicals. There's really only one musical that I really love and that's "Across the Universe". I liked "Rock of Ages", but it's not something I will probably ever want to watch again. It's about a boy and girl in search of their musical dreams set in L.A. during the 80's. The meet at a famous club called the Bourbon Room which is hosting a big concert by Stacee Jaxx(Tom Cruise) who is your typical 80's rocker all drugged out. Yes the story is plain and cliche, but the main reason to see this is the music and fantastic cast. The music is all 80's hair band and rock music(performed by the actors of course). Journey, Bon Jovi, Poison, Night Ranger, Twisted Sister, all of them get a song or two in, and it's hard not to sing along. Now, the movie is cheesy and all the performances are corny as hell. But this cast is crazy. Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston, Malin Akerman,Mary J. Blige, and a great Tom Cruise. This is a fun flick, that's worth a watch, it's just not something you will need to see more than once, probably.

People Like Us
½

"People Like Us" is a chick flick type movie that doesn't really work. It wants to be a comedy and a drama, but instead of meeting somewhere in the middle, it just kind of turns into a boring mess of a movie. The movie is about Sam(Chris Pine) who is a salesman on the verge of being fired and he is neck high in debt. His dad dies and leaves 100 thousand dollars to a kid named Josh. Josh's mom is Frankie(Elizabeth Banks), the sister that Sam never knew he had. He then befriends Sam while dealing with the dilemma of whether or not to tell her who is is and keep the money, or give her the money. It starts out good and the performances are all good, but it just drags a lot in the middle and the ending is pretty unsatisfying. Worth a one time watch, maybe, but really this is one you should probably just skip. My wife fell asleep so I would say ladies, save the time and get a different movie.

Looper
Looper(2012)

"Looper" is one of those rare Hollywood movies that gives you a story that is familiar, while giving you something completely original at the same time. To give a brief description of the plot, time travel hasn't been invented yet, but it will in 30 years. It's illegal, but the mob uses it when they want to kill someone. They send them back 30 years and have a Looper awaiting for them to kill them. That's the beginning of the movie, then it goes it different directions that are honestly best left unsaid if you haven't seen this. Just know Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a Looper named Joe, and Bruce Willis is Joe 30 years later. Levitt has Willis down pat. The make up job is incredible and he has all the mannerisms down to a T. This is a very good sci-fi type movie that reminded me a lot of "Inception". It obviously has nothing to do with "Inception", but just the way the movie plays and it's originality made me think of that great film. Rian Johnson is the director and of the three movies he has done(the other 2 are "Brick" and "Brothers Bloom") this is the best. He shows a lot of promise and makes me very hopeful of his future as a filmmaker. Great movie that should be watched, and you will probably want to watch again.

Argo
Argo(2012)
½

Ben Affleck has quickly become one of the best directors working today. "Gone Baby Gone", "The Town", and now "Argo" is a fantastic stretch of movies for any director, let alone a filmmakers first 3 movies. "Argo" is the true story of a covert operation to rescue 6 Americans during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Affleck also stars as Tony Mendez, a CIA specialist who devises a plan to get them out of Iran by posing as a fake film maker for a fake movie called "Argo." The supporting cast is amazing. Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, and John Goodman all give performances worthy of a supporting oscar nod. This will no doubt get a ton of Award recognition. Should it win? Probably not, as there are much better movies out this year, but this is right up towards the top. It's funny, has a lot of drama, and towards the end it gets very, very tense. I especially loved out Affleck and Arkin would use the name "Argo" to say "Arrgo F*** yourself". Good flick definitely worth a watch.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)

There are a lot of movies released in 3D that don't really need to be seen in 3D. "Life of PI" isn't one of those. This movie, should absolutely be seen in 3D, because this is a movie to be experienced, not watched. It's the story of young man named Pi who is aboard a ship from India to Canada when a storm hits and he is left stranded on a boat. Also on the boat is a zebra, a monkey, a hyena, and an adult Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. From there the movie is a story of courage, survival, and more than anything faith. It's a fascinating movie that will have you thinking about it long after you leave the theater. Ang Lee is the director and he is very hit and miss. He made the first "Hulk" which wasn't good, and he made "Brokeback Mountain". I know a lot of people give me flack, but that is a great movie. This is his masterpiece, and very worthy of an Oscar win. If this isn't at least nominated for Best Picture, it would be a shame. This may not be the best movie of the year, but it's likely to be one you will think about for years to come. This is one movie that needs to be seen in the theater and in 3D.

Flight
Flight(2012)
½

"Flight"is a movie that could have very easily been a made for TV movie. It's about a pilot named Whip(Denzel Washington) who crash lands a plane in a way that saves 96 of the 102 people on board. He's hailed as a hero, but it's quickly revealed that he was drunk and high when flying the plane. But was it the reason the plane crashed? The movie then deals with Whip being an alcoholic, while also figuring out if it was a faulty plane that caused the crash. The reason this movie works very good for a story about a man battling alcoholism is because of Washington. He gives another fantastic performance that should give him another Oscar nomination. He makes you feel sorry for him and think he's nothing more than a dirt bag all at the same time. John Goodman gives a great supporting performance as well, even though he only has 3 small scenes(each one begins with a Rolling Stones song, so he gets bonus points there). Robert Zemeckis is the director, and it's good that he is back to live action movies. He did "Back to the Future" and "Forrest Gump", but the last decade has been mostly animated movies("Polar Express", "Beowolf"). The scene where the plane crashes is so tense, that it will make you question if you ever wanna fly again, and that's because of the great direction. The movie has some pacing issues in the middle, but overall it's very well done. Good flick that will surely get a few award nominations in the months to come.

A View to a Kill
½

In Roger Moore's final turn as Bond, James Bond, he delivers one of his better movies, which really doesn't say much for his run as Bond. This is basically the same as the rest of his Bond movies with a couple exceptions. This time around he has to stop a technology mogul from destroying Silicon Valley. Only instead of some no namer it's Christopher Walken, actually a blonde Walken at that. He's over the top and gives that awesome Walken performance that only he can do. The movie is cheesy and very outlandish, but it's fun. Well, except for Grace Slick, when she is on screen it is just kind of awkward. The best thing about the movie is the title song. "View to a Kill" by Duran Duran is a total 80s song, but its still awesome. The opening with the black lights is still pretty crazy looking, but it works and helps makes this just a very fun Bond movie.

The Watch
The Watch(2012)
½

I gotta say, you see a movie with Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill you think it would be awesome. Instead, you get "The Watch" a very uneven sci-fi/comedy/action movie that doesn't work. It's about four guys who form a neighborhood watch after a murder in their town. But they quickly find out it wasn't a person who did the murdering, it was an alien. So now they have to fight aliens to save their town. First the good, Vaughn is awesome and plays pretty much the same character he did in "Old School". Mouthy, quick witted, and just comes off as a cool jerk. Also, there is an awesome cameo by R. Lee Emry, which is the absolute highlight of the movie and makes it worth a watch. However, after the Emry scene it goes way downhill, and you will probably fall asleep(took me two nights to get through this). The first half of the movie is good and very funny. Then I don't know what happened but it just gets stupid and incoherent. It may work for some people and that's fine, but it didn't work for me. I was pretty disappointed.

Bernie
Bernie(2012)

"Bernie" is an oddball movie that gives the best performance of Jack Blacks career. This isn't his best movie, but in terms of what he's done as an actor, this is his best work. Black is usually hilarious and over the top, but here he is a little reserved, weird, and a character completely different than Jack Black. He plays the title character Bernie who is an assistant funeral director in a tiny Texas town. Everyone loves him, and he loves everyone else. Bernie befriends a widow(Shirley MacLaine) who everyone in the town hates, but Bernie tries to comfort her and they become best friends, and then things get bad. I don't really want to say much more because it would spoil the movie, but it's based on a true story, and it's a weird story at that. Other than Black, Matthew McConaughey plays the towns District Attorney, and he does a great job also. He is almost unrecognizable. It's amazing to see 2 very well known actors transform in the way they do. This movie isn't going to be for everyone. But, if you like quirky independent dramedies, then you should give this a shot. I think Black will get a Spirit and Golden Globe nomination for this. If he doesn't, that's a shame, because he is great.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
½

Steve Carell usually plays 2 types of characters, the wacky guy or the quiet crying on the inside guy. Here, he is the quiet guy which is fine because he does it perfect. This movie is a lot like "Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind" in it's quirky, funny, and makes you think about a lot of things. Basically the premise is exactly what the title implies. The world is a couple weeks away from being destroyed by an asteroid. Carrel's wife runs off leaving him alone when he then encounters a neighbor he rarely knew at all played by Keira Knightley. She sometimes can be annoying in roles like this, at at times she comes close, but she does a good job. She and Carell have a good chemistry and play well off each other. The film is a very good look at what people would do if they knew the world is about to end. Some riot, some have orgies, and some just sit and watch the news. I found it to be pretty interesting, but a little slow in parts. It starts out good, then midway through kind of slows down and never really picks back up. It's worth a watch because of the subject matter, but might not be a movie to watch again. I thought overall it was ok, could have been better and worse, but it falls somewhere in the middle for me.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Now, I know a movie called "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter" doesn't scream Oscar worthy movie. But, I had some high hopes of a fun, gory, action/horror movie. I know quite a few people that really enjoy this, but for some reason, this just didn't work for me. I love the concept, and I've read about half the book(if you count audiobook), just the thought of Abe Lincoln killing vampires is awesome. The first thing I didn't like about it was how it started, because it's different than the book. I really liked the way the book began, and felt the was something that could have made this movie have a more special feeling to it. But besides that the biggest thing for me is probably the way it looks. It's way too stylized and CGI heavy. I watched it on blu ray(it was made for 3D, and I would love to rewatch it 3D, could be a better experience), and the movie really pops. But saying that it looks very fake. From the vampires to Abe's fake nose, I don't know what it is, but the movie just looked too fake for me to really enjoy. The action is good, and the acting is decent, but there are some scenes that are very over the top. I can see myself watching this again eventually and liking it more. But for now, it just doesn't work for me. But like I said, I know a bunch of guys who have great taste in movies that liked it, but for me, I just didn't care for it like I hoped. Give it a shot and hopefully it works for you.

Skyfall
Skyfall(2012)
½

"Skyfall" is the 23rd Bond movie, and probably one of the top 3 of all time. It's amazing how this franchise just continues to get better, and better with each movie. Daniel Craig returns for the third time as Bond, and just continues to do an amazing job. If you don't like him as Bond(I can see people saying he isn't their favorite, but you have to like him!), then there is something wrong with you. He is fantastic, and you could argue that this is his first movie that feels like a true Bond movie. This is a standalone movie, that builds away from Craigs other two movies, and pays a lot of homage to it's rich 50 year history. Here, Bond has to contend with a cyber terrorist who is taking out MI6. The terrorist,Silva, is played by Javior Bardem, and he is a quintessential Bond villain. Full of charisma, a physical deformity, and pretty darn scary. The best thing about the movie are all the little nods to the older movies and introduction of classic characters like Q. If your a Bond fan, then you will have a blast at all the little inside things. Sam Mendes is one of my favorite directors(he made "American Beauty"), and he adds his personal stamp to this, which helps separate it from past movies. I still will probably put "Casino Royale" as my favorite, but I can see after a few more viewings this could bump it. It's close, which is just awesome. Bond fan or not, you should watch this, it's just a fantastic movie. I cannot wait for the next one to come out and have another guys night out to see Bond in action.

Quantum of Solace
½

"Quantum of Solace" is one of the rare Bond movies that is a direct sequel. Usually each movie is a standalone, but here this picks up right after "Casino Royale". From the beginning of the movie in the car chase to the very end, this is a very solid outing. Daniel Craig reprises the role of Bond, and shows new dimensions to the character that some of the other actors never did. This movie is pretty much a revenge movie as Bond is out to find answers for the betrayal and death of the woman he fell in love with, Vesper. It's weird to see Bond so frazzled, rugged, and not as suave as previous versions, but it works amazingly well. I think the biggest problem with this movie is it followed "Casino Royale". That movie was so good, that nearly any followup would be a letdown. But, it's still a very good Bond movie, that ranks a lot higher after a new viewing. The action in this movie is insane, and I really dig the way the movie ends. Daniel Craig is my favorite Bond, and this movie does a great job of building on his portrayal and overall legacy as Bond, James Bond.

Casino Royale

I remember when it was announced that Daniel Craig was taking on the role as James Bond a lot of people were nervous and/or upset. "A Blond James Bond?" "He doesn't look the part!" "Worst. Choice. Ever." I saw those three sayings a lot in the lead up to "Casino Royale". I'm proud to say I thought Craig was a good choice, and was more hopeful than anything. Then, I went to see the movie with my Dad, and knew that this movie was special. This is my favorite Bond movie(although "Skyfall" is very close now"). Daniel Craig is the perfect Bond, and in my opinion the Best Bond(sorry Connery supporters). He makes the role very realistic and has a real badass persona, mixed with charisma that most actors don't pull off at all. "Casino Royale" is kind of like the James Bond version of "Batman Begins". It's a reboot of the series, and sets it off in a very grounded way. This movie has everything a Bond movie should have. Hot women, crazy action, a weird villain, and one of the best on screen poker games ever. I love this movie and left the theater in absolute joy at where the franchise was heading. I rewatched this the other night(had to skip some Bond movies to watch the Craig movies before "Skyfall".) and it holds up very well, and I'm sure 20 years from now this will still be at the top(or very close to) of the list of Bond movies. If you haven't seen this, then jump on board and check it out. It's an absolute must watch!

Safety Not Guaranteed
½

I'm a big fan of independent movies. They always seem to tell the most unique stories with some of the most offbeat characters. More times than not though the movies are boring, or just aren't as good as they could have been. But then, you'll watch a movie like "Safety not Guaranteed" that gives you everything you want in a smaller budget flick. A magazine reporter takes two interns on a trip to investigate an ad that was in the paper for a story to write. The ad is for a partner to travel back in time, but their safety couldn't be guaranteed. The cast is all perfect, with Mark Duplass giving an amazing performance as Kenneth the man who placed the add. He will definitely be up for a Spirit Award this year. He's kind of like an older Napoleon Dynamite, just not as awkward. There is a lot of funny moments here, and then there are some very sweet quieter moments. Running around 88 minutes, the movie never over stays it's welcome, and keeps you guessing on whether or not Kenneth is crazy up until the end. I really dug this movie, but I am into movies that aren't really like anything else out there, and this fits that bill perfectly. We need more movies like this, and I think people should give it a shot, you won't be disappointed.

Day of the Dead

George Romero is the godfather of everything zombie, and this is his 3rd movie in his ongoing series of zombie movies. "Day of the Dead" takes place in an under ground missile silo. There's two groups of people down there trying to work together. A group of military men, and a group of scientists. They fight and argue a lot, and can't seem to ever get on the same page. One of the scientists, Dr. Logan(Richard Liberty) attempts to domestic the zombies, but eventually the zombies get in and all hell breaks loose. While this is a good movie, it's nowhere near the level of "Night of the Living Dead" or "Dawn of the Dead". Of the three, this is probably the most dated, which is odd considering it's an 80's movie opposed to the other two which were released in the 60's and 70's. The acting is very, very over the top. Especially Caption Rhodes, the leader of the military group who just yells and freaks out all the time. At first it's laughable, then it becomes kind of annoying and you can't wait to see him die. This movie has one of the best zombie kills ever involving a shovel. The best thing about this movie is the way the zombie kill the humans, as it's much more vicious and gory than the previous 2. I love zombie movies, so I love it, but if your not a zombie fan then you will probably not like it, or just stay away all together.

The Raven
The Raven(2012)
½

"The Raven" is a fictional story of the days leading up to the death of Edgar Allen Poe(Played by John Cusack). A mysterious madman is murdering people, and his murders are inspired by the literary works of Poe. A detective(Luke Evans) then enlists the help of Poe to find the killer, when Poe's love interest(Alice Eve) is kidnapped by the killer. The story is decent, even if it is kind of generic. The thing that surprised me most was how gory the movie was, which hey, I love a good gory movie. I just wasn't expecting it with this. Cusack is one of my favorite actors, but here he seemed a little out of place. I don't know what it is, but I just never bought into him as Poe. For a period movie this is good, but it's not something I would probably watch again. I'd say decent for a one time viewing, but other than that it's pretty forgettable.

Wreck-it Ralph

"Wreck it Ralph" is probably the best non-Pixar Disney movie of the last 10 years. It's the story of an arcade video game bad guy named Wreck it Ralph(John C. Reilly) who wants to be a good guy. Since he can't be a hero in his own game he hops games to try to prove he can be good. In the process he meets all kinds of crazy characters, especially one little girl, Vanellope(Sarah Silverman) in a game called Sugar Rush who he befriends and tries to help win an important race. The voice cast is perfect, especially Jack McBrayer as Fix it Felix. He is absolutely hysterical, and the highlight of the movie. This is perfect for boys, girls, and anyone who ever liked the old time arcade games(or any games in general). It's funny, heartwarming, has plenty of action, and is exactly what you would want in a Disney Animated movie. I saw this is 3d, and really the 3D wasn't that impressive, which was surprisingly considering how colorful the film is. Also, there is a short movie at the beginning called "Paperman", which is better than 90% of the romantic movies out there. It's a very well made black and white animated short that should win an Oscar. Definitely take the kiddos to this, or just go for yourself and enjoy!

Octopussy
Octopussy(1983)

In the 13th Bond movie, "Octopussy" continues along the general trend as most of the Moore Bond movies do. It has good action sequences, a cheesy story, and overall a decent mix of humor and drama. Here Bond(Roger Moore) has to stop an international smuggler who runs a circus as a cover up. She plans on using the money from the sales of a Fabreges egg to detonate a nuclear bomb in Europe It's your typical 80s(well, Roger Moore) Bond movie. Moore is a very good Bond, he just happens to be in some not so great movies. "Octopussy" along with his other movies are all good and very entertaining, but they just aren't as good as a lot of the other Bond movies. I think it's more a sign of the times they were made, rather than Roger Moore. In 1983(year I was born) this was probably a great movie, but now it's dated and not nearly as effective as other movies in the franchise. Still, I love the Bond movies, even if some of the other ones are a bit stagnet. Worth a watch and revisit, but not as memorable as most of the other movies. Although it features a woman saying her tatoo is her octopussy, which is just funny in its own perverted way:-p

Paranormal Activity 4

Usually horror franchises are dying off by the fourth movie. While not the best installment(the first still being the best), number 4 proves this franchise still has life and offers up some new tricks. The premise is the same as the others. Found footage film, but this time it's a straight up sequel, not a prequel like 2 and 3. Katie asks neighbors to watch Hunter(the kid she kidnapped in number 2) because she isn't feeling well. This is when things gets weird for the unsuspecting family, and it basically becomes the same movie. There are a few good little scenes(mostly involving the little boys), and it has a good ending. I'm sure these will continue to come out for a couple more years, and it will be interesting to see if these become anything more, or just stay the same for what they are. Saying that, this is still a fun little scary movie that should be taken for what it is. If you don't like these movies, then don't bother because you won't like this. But, if your a fan, then enjoy, you won't be disappointed.

For Your Eyes Only

"For Your Eyes Only" tries to be less campy(couldn't possibly be much worse than "Moonraker") and aim for a more serious tone. But, for me it doesn't work. The action is decent, but it just doesn't work as a whole for me. I found it to be borderline boring in some spots. It starts out kind of like a Wiley E. Coyote/Road Runner bit with Bond thwarting Blofeld, but then it becomes a Bond against the Soviets, with no more Blofeld at all. Just a forgettable Bond movie that doesn't really hold up or remain relevant.

Moonraker
Moonraker(1979)

This is probably the cheesiest, and maybe the worst of all the Bond movies(depends on which day you ask me). Here Roger Moore once again reprises the role of Bond, James Bond, but in a more sci-fi adventure. He has to battle Hugo Drax(Michel Lonsdale) who plans to wipe out the world and replace it with a super race. Its very over the top and features lazer guns(thats right, guns that shoot green lazers). The best thing about the movie is the return of Jaws(Richard Kiel), even though he turns good, he is still an awesome character. I am all for a campy good movie, but not really how I prefer my Bond movies. If your a Bond fan, then you have to watch, or have watched, this just because it's Bond. But just know it's not his finest hour.

The Spy Who Loved Me
½

"Spy Who Loved Me" is Moore's third appearance as Bond, and returns to the familiar plot of Bond thwarting a villains attempt to use nuclear weaponry. Has good action scenes, but the most memorable thing about this is Jaws(Richard Kiel). He's an evil 7 foot tall henchman with steel teeth and strong as an Ox. Other than Jaws, the movie is generic and predictable. Some Bond movies have a tendency to be redundant, but they are still entertaining. This is before the Moore Bond movies become more of a joke, so it still feels like a true Bond film. Not Moore's best, and not Bond's worst.

The Man with the Golden Gun

"Man With the Golden Gun" is Moore's second outing as Bond and is the second movie to spend the majority of time in the far east. It also has my favorite Bond villain up to this point besides Blofeld, Scaramanga(Christopher Lee). He's one of the worlds most dangerous assassins(with his golden gun) who has the coolest henchmen ever, Nick Nack(midget Herve Villechaize). They just add so much as charismatic villains, and it's always good when you have an evil Midget trying to kill people with a knife. Hot women, great action, good score, fantastic villains, are the recipe for a good Bond movie.

Live and Let Die

Here, Roger Moore takes over as Bond...James Bond. This is probably the closest a Bond movie will ever get to being a Horror flick. Here Bond deals with a tarot reading woman(Jane Seymour in her first movie), and taking down a heroin ring involved with VooDoo in Louisiana. There's good action, and Moore does a great job as Bond. He's not as smooth as Connery, but he has this arrogance that is still very enduring. He also smokes the longest cigars a man can smoke. Over the top? Very much so, but it's still enjoyable and not the worse Bond movie by a long shot. I also really like the ending, which some Bond movies have the habit of ending the same, this one has a nice little touch. Good Bond flick and this is the perfect time of year to enjoy it.

Jaws
Jaws(1975)

"Jaws" is considered one of the greatest movies of all time. Number 56 on AFI's top 100, number 2 on their list of Top Thrills, and a few years ago Bravo ran a Top 100 Scary movies of All Time with "Jaws" as number 1. Hell, can you even get in a pool without doing the music when you sneak up on someone? This is a very iconic movie that's perfect as a good Halloween time flick for a few jumps. The movie is about a great white shark that terrorizes a small Ocean side town. Three guys then set out to kill the shark. Chief Brody(Roy Scheider), Hooper(Richard Dreyfuss), and local fisherman Quint(Robert Shaw) lead the way and are all three fantastic characters lead by great performances. This is Spielberg first true Blockbuster(and considered Hollywood's first Summer Blockbuster), and really sets the stage for the great work he would continue to make for the next 30+ years. I recently bought this on Blu Ray as it was completely remastered and restored and had read how this is the absolute best this has ever look. It looks fantastic and like it was made last week, not 37 years ago. Holds up amazingly well, and a movie that should be passed on generation to generation. Can't wait for Grant to be old enough to enjoy this with me and scare him every time we go swimming.

Side by Side
Side by Side(2012)

I am a HUGE, HUGE fan of movies. I will watch all type of movies, I just love movies. "Side By Side" is a documentary about how filmmakers have changed the way they make movies by going from making a movie with film, to making a movie digital. It's very technical, but it has some very insightful views from James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Robert Rodriguez, among many other people who help create movies. It's produced and hosted by Keanu Reeves. Weird, I know right?! But he does a good job interviewing the people, and he seems genuinely interesting in the entire process. Parts of the documentary are a bit tedious if you don't know much of the process(I don't), and other parts are fascinating if your a true fan of films(I am). I think this is an important movie to watch because filmmakers are the ones who tell the stories we all love, and this is a chance to hear from them about their side of the camera. I watched this very late at night and was glued to the screen. It's neat to see how things have changed in the 100 years movies have been made, and hear where some of these people think it's going to evolve to. A must watch documentary of people who genuinely love technology, movies, or hearing from people who make the all the magic happen.

Silent Hill
Silent Hill(2006)

My family and I all love horror movies, so when a movie comes out that looks terrifying we all try to go together. We saw most of the "Saw" movies in the theater together and I remember use going to see this and all of us being "meh, that wasn't that good". I've never played the game, so I can only base my opinion on the movie. With all the previews for the second movie showing I figured this would be the perfect time to re-watch and see if it holds up at all. The movie is about a girl, Sharon(Jodelle Ferland) who sleep walks and talks of this place called Silent Hill. Her mother Rose(Radha Mitchell) wants her to get better so she ignores her husband's pleas and takes Sharon to Silent Hill to try to figure out what is wrong and see if she can help her daughter get better. Once there she realizes that is was a mistake coming and Silent Hill is basically Hell on Earth. The images in this movie are great and twisted, but they are all mostly CG which to me, look really fake and lose some of the "scare"factor. The story is decent, but the effects just take me out of being scared or anything really. I also wish more was done with the main demon Pyramid Head(I guess that's his name). I liked the ending, but overall this just doesn't really stand up as a very good movie. Will I see the 2nd movie? Sure, but it's because I'll watch just about anything. I'm surprised after 6 years they decided to do another movie. If done right, there is a really good horror movie to be made out of this material, just not out of this first movie.

28 Weeks Later...
½

I know a lot of people that think this is inferior to the first film based on the "atmosphere" of the first movie. But, I actually like this one more, because it doesn't have long drawn out scenes of nothing happening, but instead is a true full throttle horror movie. This has probably the scariest opening scene I've ever seen in the theater. Not sure why, but the way the house is attacked, and the guy leaving his wife to die just really got me. I saw this in the theater and after the first five minutes I was like "holy crap this is a lot more intense than the first movie". Re-watching it now, five years later, this remains a very intense and brutal horror movie that exceeds the first movie by a lot. This picks up 28 weeks after the virus breakout and London is basically a ghost town. The U.S. army has helped get it ready for people to movie back in and start to rebuild the city, when an outbreak occurs. There's more to it, but that is the jest of it. Good performances by all the actors(keep an eye out for Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye), and the violence is just insane. This movie holds little back in terms of gore and going the extra step most horror movies(at least nowadays) won't go. I really like this film and I wish they would have made a third movie along to compliment this movie. Horror fans have to watch this, if you have a squeamish stomach then steer clear!

Paranormal Activity 3

I rewatched this the other night, and this is the review I wrote last October, still feel the same way for the most part. But I will say this movie holds up very good for a second viewing. While not my favorite horror movie series, the "Paranormal Activity"movies have been pretty decent. Number 3 is basically the same as the first two, with a couple little twists and turns, and a different type of ending. There are lots of door shutting on there own, things going bump in the night, and good jolting scares. Who knew that a fan that blows side to side could be so scary? But what sets this apart from the first to, is the was the suspense builds. I'd credit that with the directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. They created a movie called "Catfish" that came out last year. That movie really doesn't go anywhere and is a different type of movie, but it's suspenseful as hell. These guys really know how to build tension with a movie, especially with no budget. The final 10/15 minutes of the movie are very good and well done. I miss having a new "Saw" movie this Halloween, but you can do a lot worse than "Paranormal Activity 3". I'm sure this time next year I'll be reviewing number 4.

Paranormal Activity 2
½

In terms of sequels, this does a pretty good job of building the story of the first one by actually being a sequel and a prequel all at the same time. If you didn't like the first one, then you won't like this. All these movies are basically the same and you have to take them for what they are, or just ignore them. This movie follows Katie's sister Kristi and her family as they are being haunted by the same demon. It shows what happened before Katie was haunted, and then shows a little bit of what happens after the 1st movie. I thought the first movie was better, but this one has some very good qualities. One of the death scenes is fantastic, and having a toddler myself, the scenes with the boy in the crib are very unnerving. I liked the direction they went in and it made me want to see other installments, which is what all good sequels should try to accomplish.

Diamonds Are Forever
½

This is probably my favorite of the Connery Bond movies, or at least tied with "Dr. No". Connery returns after taking one film off to play Bond once more(he'll play him one more time 12 years later). This picks up with him chasing Blofeld(this time Charles Gray with no scar,and hair!) trying to get revenge for his fallen wife. From there he is on a mission to get diamonds into the U.S. and keep them out of the hands of the bad guys while dealing with Blofeld and a pair of gay assassins, Wint and Kidd. Wint and Kidd are awesome, two of the better Bond villains out there. Bond even has two fight 2 women in bikinis named Bambi and Thumper, how could that not be awesome? The story goes over the top in spots, but it still holds down as a solid addition to the franchise. Plus the title song of the same name is a damn good opening track. Good Bond movie that is worth revisiting.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service
½

This is the first Bond movie to not feature Sean Connery as Bond. Instead we have George Lazenby as Bond, James Bond in his only turn as the Secret Agent. He does a very good job, and when it was over I actually wished that he did more films. He doesn't have the swagger of Connery, but he has a ruggedness that I don't think the other Bonds except Craig have. Here Bond once again has an adventure that leads him to Blofeld(this time played by Telly Savalas, without the scar). But this movie is separate from the other movies in that Bond meets a woman like no other named Tracy(Diana Rigg) who makes him fall in love and actually give up his womanizing ways for marriage. There are some great action scenes, especially the ski battles, but overall this movie is a bit boring considering it is 2 1/2 hours long. A good story that could have been executed better. Still worth a watch, and not the worst Bond movie, but it could have been better.

Hotel Transylvania
½

I love universal monster movies, and I love Adam Sandler movies. Mix the two together and you have this very funny animated movie. "Hotel Transylvania" is the story of Dracula(Sandler) who owns a hotel for monsters that no human can get to. He is throwing a massive party for his daughters(Selena Gomez) 118 year birthday and all their monster friends are coming. Invisible Man(David Spade), Frankenstein(Kevin James), Wolf Man(Steve Buscemi), Mummy(Ce Lo Green), among many others, when a human, Johnathon, wanders into the hotel. Dracula must then get the human out before the other monsters realize he is there, all the while Jonathon is developing a relationship with Dracula's daughter. I thought this movie was very funny, and a great way to introduce these classic characters to smaller children. Is it the best animated movie? No, but it is very entertaining, and one that adults will find a lot of humor in. All the Sandler regulars are here, and it is perfect for his fans, especially for the ones with kids. I'm sure some people will think this is dumb, and to them I'd say they take themselves way too seriously. Good fun Halloween movie for families with kids that may not be ready for actual scary movies.

You Only Live Twice
½

In this Bond adventure he stages his own death, then goes to Japan undercover(even more undercover for an agent) as a Japanese civilian to find out about a possible UFO crash.. He then finds out that S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is behind it in another attempt to take over the world. The best thing about this Bond movie, and the reason I rate it so high is it fully introduces Ernst Blofeld(Donald Pleasance). Blofeld is the ultimate Bond villain and the inspiration for Dr. Evil in the "Austin Powers" movies. Pleasance, or Dr. Loomis as I know him, is fantastic, and is the eptime of evil, especially with his cat. This is one of those over the top Bond movies that works so well. Hell the movie has crazy piranhas! The action is great, Connery is amazing, the women are hot, and the gadgets are cool as hell. One of my favorite Connery Bond movies, that holds up pretty good.

Paranormal Activity
½

"Paranormal Activity" was made for 15,000 bucks and proves you don't need name actors or a budget to make a good quality horror movie. This relies on doors moving and sounds other than blood and violence to get scares. The story is very simple and very effective. Micah(real name) uses camera to capture the paranormal activity that is going on in his house and to his girlfriend Katie. He films them sleeping, which trust me, after watching this will have you curious what goes on when you sleep. It uses the found footage gimmick better than a lot of movies have. Not the scariest movie ever, but good for a late night watch at home with all the lights off. Number 4 is coming out next week, so now is a good time to get caught up. The sequels aren't nearly as effective, but this first movie stands good on it's own.

Dawn of the Dead

One of, if not, the best sequel of all time and also one of the best zombie movies of all time. "Dawn of the Dead" is a true horror movie classic, that took what made the first movie("Night of the Living Dead") good, and made it great. Story picks up a few months after "Night" and follows a small group of people who get on a helicopter to escape, and then take refuge in an abandoned mall. Zombie's are drawn to the mall, while the group try to live and survive off everything the mall has to offer. Very gory and features one of the greatest zombie kills ever when a zombie walks into a helicopter propeller. The movie does look dated(it was made in 1979), but it holds up a lot better than other horror movies. There is a cheesy quality to it that makes it less scary, but it's still very entertaining, and mandatory viewing for all zombie fans. With "Walking Dead" coming back, now is the perfect time to go back and enjoy this, and the other George Romero classics.

V/H/S
V/H/S(2012)
½

I'm always up for a fresh, new horror movie. Sometimes it is good and other times it's bad. But, most of the time it falls right in the middle. "V/H/S" does exactly that. It has some very good qualities, and others than aren't so good. It's a found footage anthology movie. A group of criminals break into an abandoned house to find a video tape. Upon arrival, they find a man dead in a chair and search for the tape. While searching one of the guys starts going through other tapes and each VHS tape has a different story. There's five stories told here and a couple of them are good and the others are just ok. Each one had a good concept, but some of them ended so abruptly without any conclusion you literally say "what the f?!" Heck, even one of the characters said that at the end of one of the stories. Actually, none of them have any good conclusions to be honest. I don't mind found footage movies, but this is probably the shakiest I've ever seen, and some of the reviews I've read people say they got motion sick. I didn't, but I could easily see that happening to someone. The acting is pretty poor as this is a very low budget movie. That being said, the effects in the last story are very good. Not really a bad movie, but not a very good movie either. Worth a watch, especially this time of year, but keep expectations in check, and maybe a puke bucket near you.

Thunderball
Thunderball(1965)

Here Connery returns for the fourth time as Bond, this time to battle S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and sharks. Thats right, this is the James Bond vs. Sharks movie(although he never actually battles a shark). Here Bond has to stop Emilio Largo aka Evil guy with an eye patch from detonating nuclear bombs in the ocean. The movie has the same charm as the previous three movies, it just doesn't quite meet up to their standards. The action is good, but the movie drags quite a bit. This is also the first Bond movie to go overboard on the gadgets. "Goldfinger" started it, but here they get crazier and crazier. Jet pack anyone? May be cheesey, but it's Bond darnit!Connery is still perfect as Bond, and he gets more tail in this movie than any mere mortal man can handle:-p Also, this has a fantastic theme song sung by Tom Jones. While not the best Bond movie, it certainly isn't the worst.

Safe
Safe(2012)

I love Jason Statham action movies. He's like today's version of what Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis was doing in the 80's/90's. "Safe" sits perfect next to other greats like the "Transporter" and "Crank" series. He plays a circuit MMA fighter with bad luck who blows a rigged fight and gets in trouble with the Russian Mob. Thinking of killing himself he sees a small Asian girl who is being chased onto a subway. He then decides to try to save her. Turns out she is a girl used by the Chinese mafia because she is a child prodigy with numbers, and she is their human computer. As they run from the mob, there are numerous twists and turns, and tons of fantastic action. Statham is a perfect action movie, as they aren't usually just dumb movies. This has a very good story, and good performances. Need a shot of adrenaline? Then watch this, because it will get ya going.

Taken 2
Taken 2(2012)
½

"Taken" is one of the best action/thrillers of the last 10 years, so naturally I'd be stoked for the sequel. I didn't expect this to be better than the first movie, and it's not. However, this is a very good continuation sequel, that just provides more of what you like about the first movie. Liam Neeson returns as the ultimate father hero Bryan Mills. He's on a mini-vacation with his ex wife Lenny(Famke Janssen) and his daughter Kim(Maggie Grace) to Eastern Europe. While there he and Lenny are kidnapped by the family of the men he killed in the first movie, and he has to figure out a way to escape and make sure his daughter doesn't get kidnapped as well. If you liked the first movie, you should like this as well. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, it just gives you more, and a chance to revisit such an amazing character in Mills. The action is fantastic and the fight scenes are very well done. Plus, the comedy of someone dating his daughter is pretty awesome, and should make all fathers smile. Good movie, and hope they make a numero 3.

Goldfinger
Goldfinger(1964)

Here is where the series starts with the jokes, campiness, and amazing gadgets, but it's still Bond, and it's still awesome. Here Bond(Sean Connery) has to contend with a gold smuggler named Goldfinger who has a plan to rob Fort Knox. Goldfinger even has a henchman named Oddjob that kills people with his hat. Not the best Bond movie, but far from the worst. Connery is just amazing, and it's good to go back and see just how fantastic he is. He really is that guy that men wanna be, and women wanna be with. This movie also has deadly lazer, dead women painted in gold, and crazy tricked out pool tables. What more could you possibly want from a Bond movie? I love this franchise, and really enjoy revisiting the movies, which I recommend all Bond fans do before the new movie comes out next month.

Night of the Living Dead
½

"Night of the Living Dead" is the movie that started it all for zombie movies. Almost 50 years ago, and zombies are still as gruesome and overall just awesome as ever. George A. Romero's masterpiece is the first in a series that just got better and turned zombie movies into their own sub genre of horror movies. The premise is easily. A group of people are trapped in farm house as the dead begin to rise up, and come for them to feast on their flesh. The performances are all good, and the movie is way before it's time. This sits right next to "Psycho" the best horror movies of that decade. Shot in black and white, I couldn't imagine this particular movie in color. It just has a great atmosphere to it, that is hard to come by in most modern movies. This is one of those movies I can't wait to share with my son when he gets older.

28 Days Later

"28 Days Later" came out in June 2003 at a time when zombies were considered "old news". They just weren't making good zombie flicks anymore, and then BAM! This came out of no where. Now this isn't so much a zombie movie, as it is an infected people, biting other people movie. This introduced "fast zombies", which seemed awesome, but faded pretty quick, as most people(myself included), like their zombies slow. If you haven't seen this, London has pretty much been destroyed and over run by a virus called Rage, which turns people into fast zombies. Jim(Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a hospital(Walking Dead stole this), alone with no idea what is going on. He then meets a couple people, and they try to get to safety. Along the way they battle priest zombies, a group of soldiers, and more zombies. It's slow, suspenseful, and has a few really great scary moments. Fans of horror/zombie movies should enjoy this even if it is a step below quite a few other classic zombie films.

That's My Boy
½

I've been an Adam Sandler fan since his SNL days, but some of his last few movies have stunk. "Jack and Jill", need I say more? Luckily, he returns to form here and this is right up there with some of his better movies(no quite "Happy Gilmore", but around "Mr. Deeds"). This is a good old fashioned R-Rated comedy, with lots of raunch. Sandler plays Donny, a guy who fathered a kid when he was 14 with his teacher. Todd(Andy Samberg) is his estranged grown son, and he is about to get married. Donny needs 43,000 dollars to pay the IRS or he is going to prison. He devises a plan to reunite with his son, and do a tv interview at the prison where his teacher mother is to get the money. What ensues is a lot crazy outrageous stuff between trashy Donny, and Todd's new rich lifestyle. There will be a lot of people put off by this, or don't really care for it. But if your a degenerate like me, you'll find a lot of humor. The movie runs nearly 2 hours long, which is a bit much, but the laughs keep coming throughout. Sandler and Samberg have great chemistry, and hopefully they continue to do films together. it's great to see that Sandler can still make very funny, adult comedies. Definitely worth a watch or two.

2016: Obama's America

First thing first, I consider myself an Independent, but I have always voted Democrat. I'm always intrigued by political documentaries, and when I heard all the press about this one, I figured I would give it a shot. Long story short, this isn't so much as a documentary, as it is one man interpreting Obama's book, "Dreams from my Father". It's told through narrative, with some interviews and reenactments. When you watch a movie like this, you have to watch it objectively, because this isn't 100% fact, it's just what someone thinks and they made a movie about it. It's like my movie reviews, it's how I see a movie, and it could be very different than how you see it. While I don't agree with a lot of the movie, I found it to be informational and entertaining. Some of the stuff I had never heard of, or thought of it in the way it was presented. Will it change the way I vote in November? No, but it makes the election a little more interesting. The reenactments are kind of cheesy, as is the background music. The filmmaker/narrator, Dinesh D'Souza is sometimes entertaining, and at other times boring. It's kind of like he is reading an essay in parts. Still, it's worth a watch,probably wouldn't spend any money on it which I didn't, no matter your political views.

Marvel's The Avengers

"The Avengers" is pretty much the ultimate superhero movie. Loki(Tom Hiddleston) has joined forces with an alien army to use a cube called the tesseract to basically take over the world. Nick Fury(Sam Jackson) the director of S.H.I.E.L.D then recruits and puts a team together of the worlds mightiest super heroes, to form The Avengers. Hawkeye(Jeremy Renner), Black Widow(Scarlett Johannson), Iron Man(Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America(Chris Evans), Thor(Chris Hemsworth), and the Hulk(Mark Ruffalo) for the team of heroes to battle the aliens and hopefully save the world. What Marvel has done by making all the separate hero movies, then combining them is amazing and surpasses all the hype. This movie has it all! Unbelievable action, amazing effects, comedy, adventure, you name it, it's here. Each hero has a great story and is represented very well throughout the whole movie. The biggest surprise for me was the Hulk. In the Hulk's previous two movies, I thought the character was lackluster. Here, he is probably the star(well him or Iron Man), and provides some of the best moments by far. Joss Whedon has directed a masterpiece, and hopefully returns for the eventual sequel. Also, stay til after the credits, it's insignificant, but a great little scene. This is the best way to start the summer movie season, and if you haven't seen it yet, run to the theater(I actually didn't bootleg this one) and enjoy this thrill ride of a movie.

Katy Perry: Part of Me

First thing first, I'm not a big fan of her type of music, but Katy Perry does have some good songs. You can't deny over the last few years she has probably had more hits(good hits anyway) than anybody. "Part of Me" is a documentary following her on her latest tour. It gives a look at her past, her on and off stage, and you get to see her life through the ups and downs. Not sure how much is genuine and what was a put on, but it's very entertaining and interesting to see her at the beginning when things are great, then at the end when her marriage is falling apart and the tour is coming to an end. I like music documentaries like this, and while not one of my favorite, it is better than most. Perry comes out as a good natured person, and as my wife says "really down to earth". The scenes where she is interacting with fans are great(especially one with a make a wish kid). If your not a Perry fan, you could be after watching this. If your a fan, then this is definitely for you. It was made in 3D, and I didn't get a chance to watch it in 3D but I'm sure the concert footage really popped(especially when her boobs spin, yeah I said it). Good flick that all music fans will probably enjoy.

Moonrise Kingdom

I gotta say first, that I haven't ever really been a fan of Wes Anderson at all. "Life Aquatic" and "Royal Tenenbaums" were just goofy and didn't really connect with me at all. Here, I can say I have finally really liked a Wes Anderson movie. "Moonrise Kingdom" is offbeat and very original, just like the rest of his movies. It's about two twelve year old kids on an island in 1965 that make a pact to run away together. One is an emotionally damaged girl, and the other is a weird boy scout. All the while, her parents and his troop hunt after them while a storm is brewing off the coast. The movie has an amazing cast featuring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, and Bill Murray among many others. Each character is weird, and not like any other character from any other movie. It does drag a bit at times, but at a nice brisk 90 minutes, it isn't too long at all. This isn't for everyone and I'm sure a lot of people will think it is too out there(think "Napoleon Dynamite". I liked it, and definitely think its worth a watch or two.

Resident Evil: Retribution

To me, the "Resident Evil" film series is a big letdown as a whole. Of the five movies, I really only thought 2 of them were decent(Apocalypse and Extinction). However, this latest installment is better than the first one and "Afterlife", so for me it falls right in the middle. There is some things I liked about it, and others I really didn't like or didn't care for. The story is basically the same as the other films, with a few little twists. Alice(Milla Jovovich) fights the Umbrella Corporation, going through fast zombies, evil clones of past friends, and weird mutated monsters. I haven't played the video games at all, but this really feels like a game. Like she is going from level to level, until the end. The action is good, and for the most part the effects are good also(except when the men mutate and have a four part mouth, I think it looks stupid). I didn't watch this in 3D, and I can tell it would probably have looked really good in 3D from some of the effects. To me, the best part was the beginning and the way Alice and the girl were being attacked by zombies in a neighborhood. But, I thought the ending was a little weak, as it sets up another movie that probably shouldn't be made, but will(can't believe there are already 5 of these movies!) If your a fan of the series, then watch and enjoy. If your not, then no reason to start now, just skip it.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Here's an original and very entertaining animated movie that kids and adults will enjoy. It follows a less than successful Pirate Captain and his band of misfits as he plots to become Pirate of the Year. Features a great cast of voices, and the animation is amazing. Its the claymation that was used in "Chicken Run" and "Wallace and Gromit". Not my favorite type of animation, but it is different and a breathe of fresh air. My son Grant sat with me and watched most of it, and he seemed to really like everything going on(he's only 1 so he didn't get any of it, just thought it looked cool). Hugh Grant, Jeremy Piven, Selma Hayak are three of the voice actors and they do great. One thing about this movie to keep in mind, is it's British. Some of it's humor is different than American humor. I got it, and loved it, but I can see it going over some peoples heads. Good little flick worth a watch, with or without the kiddos.

Premium Rush
Premium Rush(2012)

Here's a good chase movie, but instead of car chases it's a bicycle chase movie. A bike messenger(Joseph Gordon-Levitt) picks up a package and has only a few hours to deliver in, but he is being chased by someone who wants that package before it is delivered. Anything else may ruin some of the twists and turns, and there are plenty. The performances are great, especially Michael Shannon, who is always awesome, as the guy after the package. One second you feel sorry for him, then the next you hate him, he really does great. The action is awesome, as it's very unique to see a chase movie like this. The way the bikes navigate through New York is different, and you never know what could happen, and it really adds to the tension of the movie. This really reminded me of a movie called "Cellular". Completely different stories, but the tone is very similar as both are a "race against time" action movie, that isn't too serious, and not too light. "Premium Rush" is a very fun movie to watch, and great rush of a movie to close out the summer season and kick start the fall movie season.

Hit & Run
Hit & Run(2012)

"Hit and Run" is a comedy/action movie about a couple(Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard) that leave a small town to go to L.A. Sounds easy enough, right? Well it would be except Bell's ex boyfriend is obsessed with her, and her new man(Shepard) is actually in the witness protection agency for testifying about a robbery that took place in L.A. Her ex finds out this information and contacts people in L.A. to try to stop them. This is a very uneven movie. There is some funny moments, but the dialogue is all over the place and so are the characters. One second Dax and Bell are talking lovey dovey, then the next arguing over the word Fag, then fighting, it's like their both bi-polar. The best character is played Bradley Cooper, he has the best scene at a grocery store with a guy buying bad dog food. That said, Cooper isn't a very good sell as a ruthless criminal, he just comes off as too nice of a guy, especially with his dread-lock look. The movie also has Tom Arnold in a role that is meant solely for the slapstick type of humor, it's funny, but it really is out of place with the rest of the movie. Worth a watch if it's free, but I don't think it's really worth spending money on.

From Russia With Love

Solid second offering in the Bond series, but not quite as good as "Dr. no". I think that's because this is an incomplete film, more of a setup for what is still to come. The reason I say that is we never see Ernst Stavro Blofeld's face(head of Spectre), so we know he and Bond will have to face off eventually, just not here. Having said that, it is bigger, more action, more women, and just more Bond in general. Connery as Bond is pitch perfect. He's the true definition of "men want to be him, and want want to be with him". Here, Spectre is after a decoding device, and one Bond has it they set out to trap and kill him. There's a fantastic fight scene on a train towards the end between Bond and Red Grant(one of the villains). I also love the introduction of the gadgets, as it doesn't go overboard like other films, but it sets things up pretty nice. Great movie, in a great series.

Dr. No
Dr. No(1962)

With the new Bond movie, "Skyfall" set to come out in November, I've decided to go through and watch/rewatch all the previous Bond movies. Starting with the first movie "Dr. No" and it is hard to believe this movie is 50 years old(older than my Mother!) I watched an HD copy, and it looked great! Like it could have been made this year. My personal favorite bond is Daniel Craig, but Sean Connery is is a close, close(after re-watching may be my personal favorite again) second. He has everything that's required in a movie star, and just commands the screen. Here, Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the murder of a British Agent, when he comes into contact with the evil Dr. No who is set on causing a nuclear attack. There's action, laughs, hot Bond girls(Ursula Andress is smokin!), and a great suspense story. Plus there's just something special about the first time you see Connery as Bond when he delivers one of the greatest lines ever in movies, "The Name is Bond. James Bond." Classic movie, that holds up very good.

2 Days in New York

"2 Days in New York" is the sequel to "2 Days in Paris". This time Marion(Julie Deply) is living with her new boyfriend Mingus(Chris Rock), and raising 2 kids(1 kid from each). Instead of visiting her parents, her Dad and sister, along with Marion's ex Manu come to New York to visit her. Instead of being a conversational movie like the first film, this a pure dysfunctional family movie. Her dad is over sexed, her ex is dating her sister and they get caught with drugs, and the kids have issues dealing with all of it. Deply does good, and Chris Rock is completely different than anything else I've seen him in. He is much more subtle, and not nearly as loud and abrasive as he is in his other movies. It's good to see him do something different. Kind of reminded me of Adam Sandler in "Spanglish". It doesn't always work, but it is nice to see him come out of his element. The movie has a lot of pacing issues, as it does drag, and a lot of times it seems to go of track. My wife didn't really care for it, and it's not something I will probably ever go back to. Good for a one time watch? Sure, if it's free and you want a laugh or two. Otherwise skip, there is much better out there.

2 Days in Paris

Conversational movies can often be either really good or tedious and boring. "2 Days in Paris" falls smack dab in the middle. The characters are interesting, and the situations are humorous, but half way through you just lose interest. My wife stopped carry after about an hour. The movie revolves around Marion(Julie Delpy) and her boyfriend Jack(Adam Goldberg) as they spend 2 days in Paris with her family and friends before heading home to New York. Over the 2 days they learn things about each other they didn't know, and their relationship is tested in ways they never thought imaginable. All the while having deep conversations about politics, racism, sex, and other topics that goes borderline pretentious. It runs at 100 minutes, which is probably 20 minutes too long. It's okay for a watch if you are into these types of movies. But if you need something more to keep your interest, then pass on this.

Judge Dredd
Judge Dredd(1995)

With the remake "Dredd 3D" coming out in a few weeks, I figured I would revisit the original. I remember this being one of those bad Stallone movies that's forgettable. Well, nearly 20 years later it's instead one of those "So bad it's good" Stallone movies. The premise is exactly what you would expect from a Stallone movie. He plays Judge Dredd, a futuristic cop in Mega City who is judge, jury, and executioner. When he's framed for murder, he is banished from the force, and then he comes back to reclaim his badge and uphold the law. Armand Assante is the lead villain, and he is laughably perfect as that over the top bad guy. Hell, the movie features Rob Schneider as a sidekick of sorts. I'm sure the new movie is nothing like this, at least I hope not. If you want a good laugh at something that is dated, yet still entertaining then give this another look.

A Separation
A Separation(2011)

I don't mind foreign language movies at all, and in fact one of my favorite movies of the year so far is a french movie called "Intouchables.". Every year around award season, I try to watch as many nominated movies as possible. I had tried to watch "A Separation" a few times, but the copy wasn't great, so I opted to wait, and it was worth the wait. This is a drama made in Iran, that is very compelling. It revolves around a married couple who are separating because the husband wants to stay with his Alzheimer stricken father and his wife wants to move on. He hires a young pregnant woman to help him out while he works, since his wife has moved out. One day the he comes home early to find his father face down and tied to a bed, but the woman is gone. When she returns they get into a heated argument, and she falls down, and suffers a miscarriage. From there it becomes like a mystery, as to whether or not he caused the miscarriage, and the effects it has on their families. In a lot of the reviews for this I had read it was like a Hitchcock movies, and in some respects I can see that, but at the same time this is a drama, not a thriller/suspense movie. It's well acted, and the way the movie looks is beautiful. It drags a bit in the middle, but stick with it. It's nice to see a movie involving Iran that doesn't involve terrorists, oil, or war. This is a story that could just as easily been told in America. Good movie that if you don't mind subtitles you should check out.

Casa de mi padre
½

When an actor takes risks, it can be very rewarding or cringe worthy. Here, Will Ferrell has taken a big risk by playing a Mexican rancher in an all Spanish movie,and yes he speaks Spanish the entire movie. Watching this on DVD and there isn't a dubbed version, so you have to read subtitles, which don't bother me, but is off putting for some. This is vintage Ferrell, just in Spanish. Over the top, crazy humor, that is just as funny as some of his other American movies. I'm not saying this is "Anchorman" funny, but I'd put it over "Blades of Glory" or "Semi-Pro". He plays a rancher who falls in love with his brothers Fiancee, and tries to save his family home from drug dealers. The dialogue is just ok, but the funniest thing about the movie is how purposely cheap they make it look. The backgrounds are hilarious, as are things like a snow leopard that is clearly a stuffed doll. Or how he is having sex and the woman becomes a mannequin. It's not everyday you see American's translating their brand of entertainment to a foreign language movie, so it's refreshing, and definitely different. Give it a shot, it may surprise you.

What to Expect When You're Expecting

"What to Expect When You're Expecting" is a movie geared towards couples who have/want/or expecting kids. Follows four couples who are expecting, and one who is adopting. There are a few real funny scenes, mostly involving a group of dads who walk in the park. But, a few funny scenes, strung together don't always make a good movie. The cast is big with Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Dennis Quaid among others. The movie runs too long at nearly two hours, and really there is so much filler, that you almost lose interest. It's still a decent watch if you have kids, want kids, or know someone who is expecting. This is one where the guys will be dosing off, and the women will be laughing, getting a lot of the situations the women go through. Not saying guys will not like this movie, but it's definitely a chick flick that has a little for guys, but not enough to hold their interest. Worth a watch? Sure, just know what to expect.

Think Like a Man

Based on the book of the same name by Steve Harvey, this movie plays like a long advertisement for that book. At first it seems like every other "African American" romantic comedy, but this has 2 things that most don't usually have. First, Kevin Hart, who is hilarious. He makes every scene he is in better, and is genuinely funnier than most other actors. The second, is a very smart script/story and way of telling the story. It's about four couples and how the women use the book "Act like a Lady but Think like a man" against the men, and how they turn the tables and use it on them. Throughout, is some great, truthful insight by Steve Harvey that helps the movie move along. Nice to see that Tyler Perry isn't the only one who can make movies like this(there are a few Perry jokes through that are pretty funny). Good movies, that couples will enjoy on the couch together(or one on the love seat, and the other on the couch).

Resident Evil: Afterlife
½

The first movie is not that good, 2 and 3 are decent, and then number four goes back to being bad(same director as number 1, coincidence?) I didn't see this in 3D, which I'm sure looks better in 3D, but it's still a good movie to look at. As for the story, it's the same as the others. Alice(Milla Jovovich) is battling the Umbrella corporation. She'll fight off zombies with a group of survivors, then they'll face some mutated person/zombie hybrid, that looks fake and ridiculous. Here there are even mutated dogs, which looks kinda cool, in a crappy way. I'll watch number 5, because I'll watch anything, but I sure hope it's better than this. If you watch the series, then you've seen this or will watch it eventually. If you don't like the series, or haven't started, don't waste your time, because that's really what this is, a waste of time.

Resident Evil: Extinction
½

The first time I watched this was in the theater, and I fell asleep. I found it to be boring, pretentious, and just overall not a very good movie. Now revisiting the movie, I find this to actually be a much better experience, and along with the second movie the best of the series. I really liked the way the movie looks when it's in the desert(the only thing I like when I saw it the first time), and it really pops off of Blu-Ray. Here, Alice(who has superpowers) is looking for fellow survivors, as the world has basically been overrun by the t virus. She meets up with a group in the Nevada desert, some of whom she had teamed with in the second movie. But the umbrella corporation find them, and they have to make it out alive. When this is a straight up zombie movie, it's awesome. Two words: Crow Zombies. But towards the end when again it's like guys with tentacles coming out of their face, or Alice being super powered, it's dumb and the effects are bad. Is it a great movie? No, but I don't think it's a bad movie either. It has enough good qualities to make it watchable. Some movies get better with age, and surprisingly this is one of them.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse
½

Of the four "Resident Evil" movies this and the third installment rank the best, and the first and fourth aren't nearly as good. "Resident Evil Apocalypse" works best when it is a zombie movie, and then becomes ridiculous when it becomes like a mutation type horror movie(which is a problem for each movie). This picks up right where number 1 leaves off. Alice(Milla Jovovich) has awaken to find Raccoon City completely overrun with people infected with the T Virus(their zombies basically.) The Umbrella corporation isn't allowing people to leave. Alice meets up with a group people and try to escape by helping a scientist find his daughter. From there it becomes an action movie featuring a mutated zombie called Nemesis, which I didn't care for at all, but it's still better than the first film. The effects and action are good, and the story is just "meh". If you like the series, the games, or zombie movies then you should check it out. But, there are still many better movies out there, but there is worse(like the first movie).

Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

I guess the best thing to say about this movie is, if you don't like "Ghostbusters" then you probably hate smiling and cotton candy. Probably, marshmallows too actually. "Ghostbusters" is a true timeless classic, that really stands the test of time. I re-watched this on Blu Ray, and the transfer probably could look better, but the movie is still very fresh and funny. Dan Akroyd, Billy Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson have great chemistry, and you just don't have comedy groups like this anymore. The effects are a tad dated, but that just adds to the charm of it. Plus, where else are you going to get an evil giant Marshmallow Man who threatens to destroy New York? With one of the best movie theme songs ever, this is a movie to be shared with new generations(I watched with my nephews), and to be enjoyed nearly 30 years since it's release.

Wrath of the Titans

The remake "Clash of the Titans" has grown on me a little, as opposed to me disliking it when it first came out. I didn't really think it warranted a sequel, but I was game for it anyways. "Wrath of the Titans" is that sequel, and it's bigger and badder. But, it's not better. Zeus(Liam Neeson) begins to lose his powers, and is captured by Hades(Ralph Fiennes) and Ares(Edgar Ramirez), and it's up to Perseus(Sam Worthington) to save him and fend off the titans led by Kronos, Yeah it sounds ridiculous, and the story is just that. But man of man does this movie look amazing on screen. Watch this in 3D or Blu Ray if you can, the effects are amazing. I just wish the movie were better to match how it looks. I lost interested mid way through, and it took a couple nights to finish it. Maybe it was because I watched it kind of late at night, but I just couldn't get into it. I'm sure I'll re watch it eventually, and maybe it will grow on me. But for now, it's all looks and no substance.

ParaNorman
ParaNorman(2012)
½

"Brave" is probably my favorite animated movie of the 2012 Summer season. But, "Paranorman" is right behind it, and I'm sure will eventually grow on me so much, I put it above that. About a boy named Norman who can see dead people, and he has to stops a witches curse before zombies could destroy their town. All the while he deals with parents that don't understand him, a fat best friend, a snobby sister, and bullies. I took my 6 year old nephew to see this, and this is the perfect way to introduce a child to horror movies(hey I was watching Freddy at that age). It teeters a good line of what is scary, but it doesn't ever go over. My nephew loved it, as did I. I found it hilarious, with good twists, especially one involving the jock character. I didn't see this in 3D, but I imagine it looks amazing in 3D. The animation is also stop motion, which is rare nowadays, and it works great and is very refreshing. So many cartoons look the same these days, it's nice to see one that's a little off kilter. Horror fans, cartoon fans, or just movie fans in general should check this out, with or without a kid present.

The Three Musketeers
½

Old tales updated, more times than not don't really work out well. "The Three Musketeers" is one of those movies. Weak acting, and a generic movie make this a bore, and a big mess. It's the old story of the muskateers and D'Aragnan(Logan Lerman) battling Richlieu(Christoph Waltz), Buckingham(Orlando Bloom), and Milady(Milla Jovovich). Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, this movie is all over the place with action, bad dialogue, and flying ships. I will say this movie has one big thing in it's favor, it is beautiful in high definition. If you can watch this on blu-ray or 3D, then you should watch it just to see all the colors pop. If you get a dvd, or if it's on cable, don't waste your time. There are so many better movies to watch, this is just a real waste.

The Lucky One

Other than "The Notebook", I'm not a big fan of Nicolas Sparks movies. They are usually too melodramatic for me. But, "The Lucky One" is actually a good one. Zac Efron stars as Logan, a Marine whose life is saved when he finds a picture of a girl he doesn't know. The picture becomes a sort of guardian angel for him, and when he leaves the marines he sets out to find the girl. When he finds her, he begins to work with her, and they start a relationship together. Obviously there is more to it, and there are twists and turns, but I don't wanna give away everything. The acting is good, and this is really a good vehicle for Efron to show he can do mature movies. It's good to see a good child actor develop into a good adult actor, and this could certainly lead to bigger and better things. At times the movie is borderline melodramatic, but it never goes overboard. The ladies are going to really dig this, and they will dig it even more if you(if your a guy reading this) watch it with them. You'll probably find yourself pretty entertained and glad you stuck around.

Resident Evil

Ok, first and foremost, I don't play video games(other than some on my phone). I've never really played "Resident Evil", so I don't know how well this stacks up to the games, and I don't really care. I love zombie movies, and will watch just about anything that features them. So, when this came out I had to check it out. It's about a corporation that pretty much runs the world called Umbrella. They have a lab underground called The Hive, and one day a deadly virus is unleashed turning everyone down there into zombies. So a team of special ops, lead by Alice(Milla Jovovich) head down to find out what happened, and see if they can prevent it from spreading. Overall, this is a bad movie. The effects are bad, the acting is worse, and the movie doesn't really have a good pace. It slows down, speeds up, slows down, and speeds up. Just never settles into a good rhythm. There are a few really good scenes(the lazer scene is still awesome), but not enough to make this a classic worthy 4 sequels. It's an interesting concept, with poor execution. Worth a watch? Sure, just keep expectations in check,and maybe a better zombie movie handy in case you get bored.

Dr Seuss' The Lorax
½

Dr. Seuss movies don't really translate to movies as well as they probably could. "Grinch" was ok, and "Cat in the Hat" was down right terrible. Here the "Lorax" is in the middle. The animation is fantastic, and the characters voices are done good. But the story is a bit muddled with kind of an abrupt ending. Actually this could have been called something like "Saving the Trees", because the Lorax is more of a background character. Movie is about a city where all the trees are fake. A girl asks a boy to get her a real tree, and he sets out to find one. On his journey he comes across the Once-Ler who tells him the story of the Lorax, and things go from there. Kids will probably love this, and may even want to plant a tree. But adults will do a lot of eye rolling, and looking at their watches. I've seen much, much worse. But, if you want to enjoy an animated movie with your children, then you can do better. Still worth a watch, and maybe over time it could grow on me. But for now, it just didn't work for me.

Jersey Girl
Jersey Girl(2004)

I'm a huge Kevin Smith fan, and genuinely love most of his movies. "Jersey Girl" was his first movie to really go out of his "comfort" zone of "Jay and Silent Bob" type flicks. This is a genuinely heart warming movie about a single father(Ben Affleck) and his relationship with his daughter Gertie(Raquel Castro). The cast is all great from Affleck's dad George Carlin to even Jennifer Lopez as his late wife. I especially love the talk Ben has wife his daughter and a boy after he walks in on them showing each other their privates. I definitely wouldn't say this is Smith's best movie, but it's certainly not the worse, and it's actually something you can enjoy with your kids. Great movie where if it's a Saturday afternoon, and your lazy and find it, to just chill out and enjoy.

The Expendables 2

Sequels usually aren't as good as the first movie, but sometimes they take what made the original great and improve on it. "Expendables 2" does exactly that. Bigger, badder, and overall a better movie than the first movie. Here, the Expendables take a mission for Church(Bruce Willis) that goes wrong, and turns into a revenge mission. Everyone is back from the first movie, with expanded roles for Schwarzenegger and Willis. Also, this time around Jean Claude Van Damme is villain, with an amazing cameo by Chuck Norris. It's unbelievable to see all these great action stars together, doing what they do best. Things get shot, blown up, and stabbed. Heads roll, butts get kicked, and there are more one liners than Chuck Norris jokes. It's a great nostalgic movie, that reminds you that there are other action stars besides comic book heroes. The Summer movie season started with the group of super heroes coming together in "The Avengers" and ends with all the action heroes coming together. Guys, leave the ladies at home and go have a blast.

The Five-Year Engagement
½

The title of this movie tells you everything you need to know. It's about a couple(Jason Segal and Emily Blunt) and their 5 year trip down the aisle to get married, and everything that goes wrong in between. It's got a lot of very funny moments and the performances are very good. Segal and Blunt have great chemistry, and I'd say this is Blunt's best movie since "Devil Wears Prada". I love Segal in just about anything, the guy has an "it" factor about him that doesn't come along very often. There is one big downfall to this movie, it is way too long. Just over hours long you feel like your with them for the full 5 years. So much could have been cut out, and it would still have been good, maybe even better. It tries to be like "40-Year Old Virgin" or "Wedding Crashers", but this one loses steam midway through. It still has a lot more hits on the comedy side than misses, it just takes forever to get through. Definitely worth a watch, just do your best to stick with it to the end.

Lockout
Lockout(2012)

"Lockout" is a futuristic story where the government sends an ex convict, Snow(Guy Pearce) to a maximum-security prison to save the Presidents Daughter(Maggie Grace). I saw somewhere where this was compared to "Die Hard" and I can see that. The biggest difference is "Die Hard" is a GREAT movie, this is a "meh, just ok" movie. The effects are cheesy, and the dialogue is even cheesier. Snow is a wise cracker, who has a one liner every five minutes, and maybe 2 of them are good. Guy Pearce is good, and he usually is in anything, but he feels out of place. Just something about it makes me think someone else would have been better, but I don't really know who I would choose. The story goes just like you think it would, with a twist you will see coming. If you like futuristic action flicks, you could do worse, but you can find a lot better. Worth a watch if it's free, but I wouldn't pay money to see this.

Magic Mike
Magic Mike(2012)
½

So, I honestly did not think I would like this movie, and no it had nothing to do with male strippers. I generally don't like Steven Soderbergh directed movies. I liked "Ocean Eleven", but everything else(including the sequels) just don't work for me. I find them bland more times than not. Saying that, I was pleasantly surprised to find this more along the line of "Eleven" than his other movies. I really enjoyed it. It's a pretty generic story(but with guys like this,who needs story right?) about a male stripper(Channing Tatum) who wants out, while taking a young guy(Alex Pettyfer) under his wing. Kind of like a "stipper with a heart of gold" type story. It's cheesy, and a lot of it isn't believable(Tatum has a love for furniture? yeah right), but it's very entertaining. No, I'm not gay, I just have a warped sense of humor. Seeing a guy use a penis pump is pretty funny. I'd say my biggest hang up on the movie is Kevin Nash as a stripper. He is so out of place, can barely move, and like I told my WIFE, "the other guys are just way hotter". Yeh she thought that was pretty gay of me to say. She liked the movie as well, which hey, she usually don't like movies. Girls will LOVE this movie, and guys if your not uptight or homophobic then you will get a kick out of it. Give it a chance, it will surprise you.

Taken
Taken(2009)

In the last 5 years, there are probably less than 10 movies that I would consider true classics. "Taken" is definitely on that list. This is one of the best action thrillers ever. Liam Neeson gives probably the best performance of his career,as the ultimate badass. The premise is simple, his daughter gets kidnapped in Europe, and he goes to rescue her. He just so happens to be an ex soldier/"problem preventor". I'd consider this like an updated version of "Commando", but a much better film. The best thing about this movie is it features one of the top 5 scenes ever in a movie. When he is on the phone with the kidnapper towards the beginning, is just chilling. Still gets me going, and I still quote that to this day. I love this movie and cannot wait for the sequel. If you haven't watched this, then your nuts and need to go get a copy immediately! If you have watched it, then you love it, and you should watch it again to prepare for the awesomeness that is surely to come in part 2.

360
360(2012)

To review this movie all I really need to do is quote my beautiful wife. This is word for word exactly what she said when the movie finished "That was stupid! A waste of my time". We usually disagree on movies, as she thinks everything I was is weird and dumb. But here, we agree completely. The concept of this movie has been done many times before, and so much better. Which makes it so disappointing that this just fails to be the good movie it could have been. It's a series of different stories spanning the globe and how they weave together and come to a full 360. Stars Anthony Hopkins, Ben Foster, Rachel Weisz, and Jude Law. Foster is the best and most interesting character in the movie, but he is only on screen for like 10 minutes, which is a shame. The biggest problem for me with the movie is a lack of conclusion. None of the stories have a real finish to them. Open endings are usually fine with me, but wrap something up, don't just cut everything off and give no answers to anything. It really is a waste of time, and a movie that you would better be served to just skip over all together.

The Bourne Ultimatum

When a movie franchise turns to the third installment, usually it takes a big downfall. Take the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies for example, the first 2 are great, then number three is horrible. However, the "Bourne" movies are the complete opposite. The first and second are both fantastic and exactly on par with each other, then the third manages to somehow be the best of the three. I love this movie, it has everything you could want in a "Bourne" movie, a thriller, or an action movie. Matt Damon is perfect, as is the rest of the cast. The addition of David Strathairn as a higher up trying to kill "Bourne" and save the CIA some face is brilliant. He's an awesome actor, and does an amazing job here. Paul Greengrass returns as director, and he really is the perfect director for these movies. His style is very unique, and brings a very real quality to these films that other directors wouldn't bring. I absolutely love the scenes where Bourne is on the phone with Strathairn and Joan Allen, and the looks on their faces after he talks. Makes the movies that much better. I'm excited to see where the new movies go. I don't expect them to be better than this one, as I have a feeling the franchise peaked. But not many movies are better anyway.

Wanderlust
Wanderlust(2012)
½

Paul Rudd(George) and Jennifer Aniston(Linda) star in this very uneven comedy about a couple who have to downsize their lives and move from New York to Atlanta to live with George's brother. Along the way they stumble upon Elysium, which is basically a hippy community. There they find a fresh start, with no need for jobs, money, phones, or anything else to hamper their happiness. But like all good things, it never lasts and is too good to be true. The performances are all fantastic. The supporting cast is great, especially Alan Alda as the founder of Elysium and Ken Marino(George's butthole brother). The problem is the pacing and the tone. The movie tends to drag in spots that really brings it down. It's an hour and 38 minutes which is a good run time, but it feels over 2 hours long. When the jokes hit, they hit good, and when they miss it's bad. More misses than hits here, which is never a good thing. It's still funny and worth a watch, but if you expect "Role Models" or "Knocked Up" quality comedy, you will be disappointed. Just take it for what it is, and keep expectations in check.

Brave
Brave(2012)
½

Pixar makes the best animated movies today, bar none. They consistently deliver fresh, innovative, and creative movies that adults and children will love. "Brave" is absolutely no different. This is such a good twist on the whole princess fairy tale, that I think all little girls should see. Guys, this is a movie you will like, I promise, but as an uncle to 2 nieces I love how this movie will empower them. The story is pretty simple, but like all Pixar movies, it's original. It revolves around a Princess named Merida, who is a complete tomboy. Her mother, The Queen, wants her to be more like a Princess and less like her father, so they are always clashing. When they butt heads over whether or not she should marry one of a group of suitors, Merida turns to a witch to chance her life for what she thinks will be the better. Merida is strong, funny, and scottish. The accents are great and very charming. Her triplet brothers are especially hilarious. The animation is beautiful and by far the best of 2012, actually I'd say this is the best animated movie of the year. Maybe, the last few years. Definitely check this out.

The Bourne Supremacy
½

In the second chapter of the "Bourne Trilogy"(well, of the first three movies), Jason Bourne(Matt Damon) is living off the grid with his love Marie(Franka Potente). He's haunted by memories and a fractured memory of his past. Then one day he is led out of hiding and Marie is murdered. Now Bourne is on a mission to find out who killed her, why, and to reconcile his past and present. This isn't better or worse than the first movie, it is right on par. A perfect companion piece as if features the same great performances and amazing action as the first one, without going off the tracks like most sequels. It's smart, but not overly complicated, so you never get lost within the story. Paul Greengrass takes over as the director and he helps make the action and pacing just as good, if not better, than "Identity". The car chase towards the end is just insane. Great movie, that all action fans will love.

The Bourne Identity
½

I remember when this came in the Summer of 2002, everyone was talking about a Vin Diesel movie called "xXx" and how he was the new action guy. But, no one was talking about "Bourne Identity". I mean, Matt Damon as an action hero? Please, he is just good at math("Good Will Hunting" joke). Then it came out and "xXx" kinda sucked, and "Bourne" was amazing, and everything you could want in an action movie. You have espionage, action, car chases, shoot-outs, and a great story to boot. Damon stars as Jason Bourne, a mane who gets shot twice in the back and dumped into the sea. He awakes on a fishing boat with no memory of who is at all. All he has are his instincts, and his instincts are to be a bad-a** highly trained assassin. As he tries to figure out who he is, he is on the run from the CIA in Europe with the help of a German gypsy named Marie. The performances and the directing are all top notch. This really put Damon back on the map as a true Hollywood star. If you have never seen this, then go get a copy or ask me how to stream it, because you need to watch this! If you have, then do what I'm doing and revisit this before you watch the new. Movie gets better and better with each watching, year after year.

Lilo & Stitch
½

Gave my nephews the choice of a 5 Disney cartoons they hadn't seen and they choice this, which worked out great for me. I love "Lilo and Stitch". Stitch is the funniest and more refreshing Disney character in years(well outside of the Pixar movies). The movie follows Stitch who is an alien who was created for the simple reason to destroy and kill everything. He lands on Earth and is mistaken to be a dog, and adopted by two sisters. Aliens then begin to hunt Stitch, while he forms a bond with his new family. Stitch is hilarious and has some great little one lines("cute and cuddly!" When the movie focuses on the sisters, it's very heartwarming, but you miss Stitch. The action is great, and the music is perfect! Elvis songs still kick butt. I remember seeing this at the Paris theater when it came out and I just laughed and laughed. Still laughing, and it's great seeing my nephews getting as much joy out of it as I did. If you or your kid haven't seen this, then you need to go get a copy, because ya'll are missing out!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" is the third installment in this fantastic series of family movies. This time around the kids are on Summer break before the 8th grade and anything that can go wrong, does. All Greg wants to do is play video games, but his Dad wants him to get out of the house more. So, Greg uses Rowley's country club membership to get to know a girl, while lying to his Dad saying he has a job. That is the jest of it, anymore and it may ruin some of the plot details. This isn't the best of the three, but it's still a great entry. The humor is dead on, and all the performances are great. Steve Zahn has a much bigger role here, which is good because Zahn is always great. Also, this movie features the greatest cover of Justin Beiber's song "Baby", it has to be seen to believe. I wouldn't say this series gets better and better, but it's still entertaining and funny, which matters most. Perfect family movie for kids and adults. My wife and I went on a little date(our kid is too young to go to the movies yet), and we loved it and laughed more than most the kids in the theater. Probably not a must see, but definitely worth a watch or two.

Savages
Savages(2012)

I love gangster movies. Especially ones that are violent, funny, and offer something new to the genre. "Savages" fits the bill nicely. Oliver Stone directs, and this is one of his better movies. I've never been a huge Stone fan, but this is easily one of his better movies. It's the story of two Laguna Beach drug dealers(Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) who get mixed up with the Mexican Baja Cartel, and things go very wrong. Their girlfriend O(Blake Lively) gets kidnapped and they have to get her back. Yes I said their girlfriend, they have a threeway relationship. Selma Hayek plays the head of the cartel Elana, and she is one of the best drug overlords I have ever seen(well except towards the end). Their performances are all good, but the best is Benecio Del Toro in his best/seediest gig since "Usual Suspects". A seen where he gets spit on by O is fantastic! The story is a bit jumbled, and the directing is ok(would have been better in someone else's hands) , but it'sl still a good violent movie. This probably could have been a Great movie, but is instead a good movie, much like other movies like "American Gangster" and "Blow". The pace is good, and honestly, you don't really know where things are going to go, which is always refreshing. Not for the squeamish, but otherwise, you'll dig it.

The Expendables

"Expendables" is pretty much just an excuse to get a bunch of major action stars together, and make a true "Guy" movie. Sylvester Stallone, stars and directs, as the head of a group of mercenaries who are paid to overthrow a trannical South American dictator. Along with Stallone the movie features Steve Austin, Mickey Rouke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture,Terry Crews, and Eric Roberts. Not to mention cameos by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. The action is fantastic, the story is ok, and the acting is exactly what you would expect from a movie like this. Jet Li is by far the funniest character and helps lighten things up. Not many action movies like this are made anymore, and this fills that void nicely. A true throwback to the action movies of the 80's, with great nostalgia. While it's not a perfect movie, it's definitely worth a watch just to see all these guys together. The sequel comes out in a few weeks and I gotta say if you wanna have a guys night out, that is the perfect movie to do it. Guys enjoy, ladies stick to those sissies in "Magic Mike".

Total Recall
Total Recall(2012)

This isn't so much as a remake of the original, as it is a "retelling" or maybe more based on the book(haven't read it, but its a guess). Here, Colin Ferrell plays Douglas Quaid who is haunted by nightmares even though he has a decent job assembling robots and a hot wife(Kate Beckinsale). He decides to try out Total Rekall(yeh, spelled with a K) to get real memories as a super secret agent. But the procedure goes wrong and he goes on the run for the police. He then finds out from the woman in his dreams(Jessica Biel) that he is working with the resistance to go against the government who plan on invading and destroying the colony they live on(the world i separated into 2 places, England and the colony). Is he an agent, or stuck in Rekall) Gotta watch to find out, or will you? Comparing to the original is wrong, because this has the same story but is completely different(no mars, and no heads with eyes popping out). However, this is a decent(at best) futuristic action thriller. The effects are good, the acting is kind of wooden, and the story is decent. It's ok for a watch, but I doubt this is a movie that I will remember. I'd bet in 20 years people still prefer the original for it's campy nature, humor, and weird special effects.

Total Recall
Total Recall(1990)
½

I'm gonna go watch the new "Total Recall" in the theater this weekend, so I decided to revisit the original first. I remember watching this when I was younger, but I really had only remembered two things. Girl with three boobs and peoples eyes popping out when they are outside on Mars. The story is pretty good and very creative. Set in the future a construction worker(Arnold Schwarzenegger) has vivid memories of Mars, even though he has never been there. So one day he decides to take a "mental vacation" at a place called Total Recall. Basically, this gives him two weeks worth of memories of an adventure he had on Mars. Things go wrong, and it's found out he isn't who he says he is, and neither is anyone in his life. Is he a secret agent, or is he still in Recall? Humorous and campy, the movie is dated, but it's still a fun rewatch. Arnold is great as always, but the rest of the cast is just "meh". The effects at the time this was made(1990) were groundbreaking and award winning, their pretty cheesy and laughable. Good retro sci-fi flick, that may not hold up as good as other movies. But, it's still decent. Hopefully the remake will be worthwhile.

Comic-Con: Episode IV - A Fan's Hope

Comic-Con is like the Holy Grail for all of us geeks. I've never been, but I really would LOVE to go one year, but until then I have this. "Comic-Con:Episode IV-A fan's Hope" is a documentary following a few people on their comic con experience, and also a look at the convention itself. Many directors/actors/generally famous people talk about their experiences with "the con". Robert Kirkman has a great line saying he "once tried to follow George Romero into the bathroom"(Kirkman created Walking Dead, Romero is the godfather of zombies for all you non-geeks). Morgan Spurlock directs, and continues his streak as the best documentary filmmaker out there right now. This ranks right up there with "Super Size Me", "30 Days", and "greatest movie ever sold". He has a knack for bring you on a good emotional roller coaster. You'll feel bad for the comic book resellers who find it harder and harder to sell comic books at a comic book convention. You'll laugh, and heck you may even cry at one of the sweetest proposals ever. If your a geek, then this is an absolute must see! If your not a geek, then just stick to being lame.

The Heart Specialist
½

If Tyler Perry decided to make a bad parody of "Grey's Anatomy" meets "Funny People", then you would have "The Heart Specialist". This is a black "dramedy" that I had never heard of, and there is a good reason for that, it isn't good. Wood Harris stars as a Dr. who moonlights as a comedian, trying to bring laughter into people's lives as medicine. Only problem is, he nor the movie, are funny at all. The only laughs come from a female patient who is a little mental. This wants to be something along the line of a Tyler Perry movie, but fails miserably. The characters are all lame and one dimensional, and the story just isn't that good.

Jeff Who Lives at Home

I like independent movies, especially unique/offbeat comedies. But more times than not, they are slow and not very funny. However, "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is the exception, as it has that perfect mix for a good independent comedy. Jason Segal stars as Jeff. He's a pothead who lives at home with his mother(Susan Sarandan). He believes there is a plan for him and he decides to follow the signs that the universe reveal to him to hopefully fulfill his destiny. That's the jest of it, anymore and it may ruin the movie for you. The cast is perfect. Segal and Ed Helms(his brother Pat) have perfect chemistry and play great off each other. The movie is shot and paced like other independent movies like "Greenburg" or "Rachel Getting Married". The camera is kind of shaky, showing different angles, with a very realistic vibe to it. Sometimes it's annoying, but it works pretty good here. I'm sure in the hands of different directors this could have been a true slapstick comedy, but luckily, it's grounded and very heartfelt. Not perfect by any means, but effective and very entertaining.

Hop
Hop(2011)

I haven't had any real desire to ever watch this, as I thought it looked pretty weak. But, I get dvd's for free and had Grant to myself Saturday so I popped it in and found myself with a kid movie I really enjoyed. Long story short the Easter Bunny is about to retire and he wants his son E.B.(Russell Brand) to take over, but he doesn't want the job. E.B. runs away and meets a loser named Fred(James Marsden) who wants the job, and the 2 set out to help one another, all while this evil chicken Carlos(Hank Azaria) threatens to take over Easter. See, total kids movie, but it is very funny. Russell Brand is absolutely perfect as E.B. I always find him either hilarious or annoying, and here he is hilarious. He has some great lines that adults will get, while never crossing the line for kids. The rest of the cast is just ok, but the story/effects/humor really shine and make a very enjoyable movie. Just goes to show, some movies can surprise ya for the better sometimes.

Silent House
Silent House(2012)
½

I am a big horror movie fan, so when I hear things like "fresh" and "new", I'm pretty amped to check it out. However, sometimes fresh and new really mean, "bad" and "not good". "Silent House" is from the directors of "Open Water" about a woman(Elizabeth Olsen") named Sarah who is secluded in her family's lake house with a killer. The big thing about the movie is it was shot in real time, as one long uninterpreted shot(kind of like how the old show "24" was shot). While that gimmick works fine, you still need a good story and a reason to care about the characters to enjoy the movie. The movie is slow, and builds to a very predictable twist(if you don't predict it, then you need to watch more horror/suspense movies). Olsen is fine here, and she does her best to carry the movie, even though it's just not very good. Only 85 minutes long, but it feels a lot longer. I found myself losing interest pretty quick. It's okay for one watch if you really like horror/suspense movies, because there is worse out there. Just have low expectations, and maybe a backup movie handy.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules
½

Not as funny as the first movie, but just as entertaining. These movies are fantastic and remind me a lot of older family comedies. I have 2 little brothers and I treated my middle one, Justin, just like Rodick treats Greg. Brings back fond memories of torture. Each character in the movie is very entertaining and will remind you of someone you knew when you were younger. How can you not like Rowley? Or not known someone just like him? This movie builds off the first one and helps to really move the series along for, future movies. If you haven't checked out either "Wimpy Kid" movies, you should do yourself a favor and watch them.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
½

This movie is a complete throwback for me. It reminds me of movies like "The Sandlot"(without the baseball), in that it shows the world perfectly through the eyes of a kid. Here Grey Heffley(Zachary Gordon) starts middle school, and he wants to be the most popular kid in the school. Well, he's little, has a dorky best friend Rawley(Robert Capron), and an evil older brother Rodrick(Devin Bostick). This is 100% for the entire family, as kids are going to laugh at the gags, and parents will laugh because it's a great trip down memory lane. All the performances are perfect, especially Rawley. The whole Zoo-i-mama bit is fantastic. The parents are awesome also as Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris do a wonderful job at the whole "dorky parents" routine. This is a movie I know my son is going to grow up loving, and will eventually pass on to his kids. If you haven't watched it, you should definitely go pick this up, you won't regret it at all.

Friends With Kids

What starts out like a fresh, funny adult comedy, quickly turns into a cliched romantic comedy with very little heart. Move is about 3 couples who are best friends. Two of the couples are married and have children, while the other two(Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt) are single with no kids. Well one day they decide they are going to have a kid together, and be responsible/loving parents, without all the drama that comes with a marriage. The performances are all decent(not great), but I was very disappointed with the lack of Kristen Wiig. She is hilarious, but here just juts cries and honestly does very little during the movie. A big chuck of the "Bridesmaids" cast is here, but this is nowhere near the greatness that was achieved with that flick. Scott and Westfeldt have good chemistry, but the writing just doesn't do them justice. On the bright side, there are a few very funny scenes, mostly with Chris O'Dowd and Maya Rudolph. Westfeldt wrote and directed, but I think in the hands of a better director, this could have been better and the story maybe fresher. Seen a lot worse, but if you want to watch a good adult dramady, then you can certainly do much better. My wife actually managed to stay awake through the entire thing, but even she said "meh, that was just ok".

The Dark Knight Rises
½

First thing first, this isn't better than "Dark Knight." That is one of the best movies of all time, and if you expect this to be better then your expectations are way too high. If you keep them in check, like I did, then you will be very satisfied . I'm not going to give a summary, as the less you know the better the experience. All you need to know is this is the final installment of Christopher Nolan's interpretation of the Batman saga. Christian Bale is back as Bruce Wayne, along with the rest of the core cast from the previous two movie returning. This time around Batman has his hands full with a jewel thief named Selena Kyle(Anne Hathaway) and a leader of an underground army named Bane(Tom Hardy). Bane isn't as memorable as Heath Ledger's Joker, but he is much more scary. This isn't someone you want to see in a dark alley, that's for sure. The movie is loaded with amazing special effects, scenes of devastation, and a great emotional roller coaster of a story. There are some big plot holes, but if you look past that, you will find this is a fitting and tremendous conclusion. I saw this at an Imax theater, and it is the best way to see it. The effects look that much more amazing on the huge screen, and the audio literally makes the ground rumble below your feet. I'm glad it wasn't in 3D, as the dark tones probably wouldn't translate as well. If they make more Batman flicks, or reload the franchise, I will definitely be there. However, expectations will be much lower, because the bar set by this trilogy is so high. Bravo to Christopher Nolan for making the ultimate comic book adaptation series of movies.

The Dark Knight

"The Dark Knight" is easily one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time. I don't say that lightly either as I watch a lot of movie, but this ranks right at the top. As of right now on 7/20/2012, it's my favorite comic book adaptation ever. Everything about this movie is perfect. The story, the acting, the look, the feel, it all works beautifully. There are twists and turns that keep you on a thrill ride that you just don't want to end. Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne, and is easily the best Batman ever. Here, he is faced with the Joker(Heath Ledger) and trying to help Harvey Dent(Aaron Eckhart)maintain his "white knight" appeal to the city and give them hope that there is still good in the world. First, Eckhart is fantastic as Dent. He makes you believe in Harvey Dent, and wish he were a real life district attorney. As for Heath Ledger's Joker, I truly feel he is the greatest cinematic villain of All Time. The performance is simply amazing and ranks as one of the best of all time. It's truly a shame that Ledger passed away before this movie release, because his role is something that only comes along once in a lifetime. I have yet to see the third installment, "Rises", but it has huge shoes to fill. Christopher Nolan is my favorite director, and this is his masterpiece. This movie, from the first frame to the last credit is brilliant and absolutely a must watch for everyone.

[REC] 3 Genesis

"Quarantine" is an American horror movie that came out a few years ago and it was a remake of a Spanish horror movie called "Rec". I went back and watched "Rec" and "Rec 2" and found them to be amazing, and much better than "Quarantine" was. They were original, better made, and had a much scarier vibe to them. When I heard "Rec 3: Genesis" was coming out, I was pretty amped. When I found out it was coming out in September, but I could watch it now? I was even more jazzed up. On that note, this is a completely different movie style wise than the first 2. It abandons the handheld camera about 20 minutes in, and runs just like a regular horror movie. Which, isn't bad, but I think that is one of things that made the original 2 so great. However, this is also a straight up, over the top, hardcore zombie movie. If you look at the poster, it shows a bloody brid