The Connoisseur's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

How to Train Your Dragon 2

For starters, "How to Train Your Dragon 2" has a very mature and rich story that is filled with emotional and dramatic depth. It grows our characters from the first film and really feels like a continuation of the series and not just some cash grab. We see how Berk has changed and how the lives of everyone on the island has become better, I really love how the film tackles darker subject matter like remorse, forgiveness, and redemption, while at the same time touching on themes of love and loss. The screenplay is filled with moments of pure heart and we really see the bond between Hiccup and Toothless expanded upon. Not only is this a great screenplay, but also Dreamworks' best since the original "Shrek."

The characters and voice actors are perfect. I love how the characters have grown and their personalities have been enhanced. Hiccup takes a more proactive role in this film and we really see that he's matured a lot from the first film. His and Toothless' relationship is expanded on and it really is still the core emotional center of the film. The side characters like Astrid and Snotlout get more screen time this time around and they actually do more with the film. They aid with the comic relief to keep the movie a little lighter than the extremely dark tone that it's going for. There are a few new characters introduced into the universe like Valka, Eret, and Drago Bludvist. Valka is a great character and she's another great female addition to the roster. She has a great emotional ark and not only that, she is a strong character and a better dragon master than Hiccup that really holds her own. Eret is a nice addition to the cast as he is also comic relief, but also a interest side villain character. Drago is a fantastic villain and is really a cold hearted murderer. His method of mastering dragons really differs from Hiccups and its a great contrast that shows the different types of people that are in this world. I love how they build him up before actually revealing him.

The animation and visuals are probably amongst the best I've seen from any CGI film to date. It is just breathtakingly gorgeous. The character's movements are so fluid and each character has their own way of moving. What I found really impressive is the facial animation. There are so many intimate moments in this film that require no dialogue and we can sense exactly what the characters are thinking from their expressions. There is always something happening in the foreground as well as the background and it's unlike anything that I've seen before in the medium. Characters could be taking in front of the camera, but in the background there could be an epic battle taking place. There is a lot to take in, but the director, Dean DeBlois, knows how to balance the visuals with well paced story. The layout and environment are also quite impressive. Every blade of grass, powder of snow, and water particles are just amazing to look at.

The score from John Powell impresses again and really enhances the already great score of the series. It's bombastic, epic, touching, and moving. There is something about the score that really makes the film so much better than it already is. I was literally left in tears because of the score and how beautiful it is.

I'm gonna come out and say it. "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is a MASTERPIECE amongst modern films and a revolution in animation. It is a film that is going to push animation further and allow the medium to be taken more seriously. For a major studio production, it goes to places that the medium has only thought of, but couldn't really pull it off because of limitations set by studios and audiences alike. It is almost a near perfect film and I award it the highest 5/5 that I can.

The LEGO Movie
½

"The Lego Movie" is one of the most frantic movies I have ever seen, but also one of the most creative and funny. It is filled with charm, intelligent humor, and more importantly heart.

The writing is incredibly strong. There are a lot if play on words and unpredictable moments that really surprise the viewers. I love the themes about conformity and being special. It's quit unique as it says that anyone can be special regardless of their creativity or need to be different.

The characters Vitruvious, Lucy, Batman, and Lord Business are all great. Their voice actors do a great job and they deliver their jokes perfectly. Emmet is the main character and probably the best because he is so relatable and a very atypical hero. There isn't anything really special about him, but he's a great every man and Chris Pratt brings the right amount of humanity and charm to the role.

The animation is beautiful and incredibly creative. There are a lot of great sight gags and visual effects. I really lije the stop motion look the movie achieves even though the first few minutes are jarring.

Overall, "Everything is Awesome" and this a beautifully crafted and intelligently written film that packs the right amount of humor and heart. The animation is great and incredibly creative. I really like this film and I highly recommend it. I give is 4.5/5

The Fault In Our Stars

"The Fault In Our Stars" is an incredible ride of emotion from start to finish. It's a touching love story that really pulls on the heartstrings and manages to make prolific statements on life and what we as humans should do with such an amazing gift. That we are not bound by the life we are given and we can do whatever we want so as long as we don't let our circumstances bind us.

I am really impressed by this films script and how thought provoking and heartfelt it is. The relationship and the genuine emotions are so well written that not for a second I don't believe what they are saying or feeling towards one another. I also enjoy how it doesn't take a strong sentimental or sappy approach on the subject matter, as these characters are really sick and it could have come off as trying way too hard or manipulative. The script instead focuses on celebrating life as apposed to the darker side of death.

The director, Josh Boone, does a good job with handling everything that is going on and directs the cast well, as they are the strongest parts of the film. I really enjoy some of the stylistic approaches in the film, such as how they show the text messages. One small fault in his directing is that the film gets a bit conventional near the end and it manages to lose some of its magic. The soundtrack is well used and really drives the movie home. It's filled with upbeat and fun songs that really makes the film feel like a celebration of life.

The cast is top class and they truly give some wonderful performances. Shailene Woodley gives a magical performance that conveys genuine happiness and heartbreaking sadness. She easily portrays so many emotions realistically and convincingly. Ansel Elgort plays Woodley's love interest and if not done by such a good actor, he could have come off as annoying and in your face. His character is a bit loud and egotistic, but he is a nice guy and really loves everyone, who he encounters. Woodley's and Elgort's onscreen chemistry is incredibly good. I really bought their relationship and felt every pain that they felt. The actors are a true highlight of the film.

Overall, "The Fault In Our Stars" is a really good movie that is a fresh of breath air in this summer blockbuster season filled with high octane action and ridiculous special effect. It's a emotional ride that does not force it's message or manipulates its audience. It is a genuine movie that shows a brighter side of life and death. While the film does get conventional in it's third act, it still ends on a high note. I give it an incredibly high 4/5

Rio 2
Rio 2(2014)
½

I'm not a huge fan of the first "Rio," as I think it is a very straight forward movie with little to offer. It's fun and all, but lacking emotional punches.

"Rio 2" on the other hand is a far stronger movie than the original. It's cast is superior and well balanced, the story has a few nicely done emotional sequences, and the animation is gorgeous. While I find the songs weaker than the highs of the first film, they are more consistent in terms of quality. The real highlight of the film is its script, which I think is amongst Blue Sky's top 3 scripts to date. It is well balanced with a fish out of water story, a well handled environmental message that isn't being shoved down our throats, and well rounded humor.

Overall, it's a fun experience with gorgeous animation. The first third of the film is a bit conventional and rather boring, but the second they get into the Amazon, the film really takes flight and gets better as it progresses. 3.5/5

X-Men: Days of Future Past
½

From the very beginning, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" had me hooked. It tells an endearing story of the struggles of survival for these mutants as they are picked off one by one by the monstrous and vicious Sentinels. The X-Men have to work together with their past selves, in order to secure their future. It is a fun and highly well told story that pays of not only in the action, but also emotionally.

Bryan Singer is at his best as he directs a large cast of mutants through an emotionally endearing story that will leave viewers in awe of what is happening and what is to come for the franchise. I really appreciated a lot of the stylized directing, it really made the film that much more fun. The visuals are used impressively and the action sequences are directed incredibly well. I was literally at the edge of my seat every time the characters were in combat as I literally felt that they might lose their lives. The script is packed with great character moments and we get to learn a lot more about our favorite mutants. The time traveling is handled incredibly well and as long as you don't try to break it down, it is satisfyingly well handled.

The cast is great and they really own their characters. Fassbender and McAvoy are great replacements as Magneto and Professor Xavier, respectively. They provide great emotional performances as well give us some great character moments. Jennifer Lawrence has come a long way from her first performance as the blue shape shifting femme fetal, Mystique. She finally fits the role perfectly as she is sleek, sexy, and highly unpredictable. And as always, Hugh Jackman is just spot on as Wolverine.

Overall, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" is a the quintessential summer blockbuster this year. It has everything from amazing action, thought provoking and emotionally satisfying story that delivers on all cylinders, and a great cast of talented actors. This not only is the best movie of the year so far, it is also the best X-Men movie yet and personally it's in my top 3 favorite comic book movies of all time list. I give it a incredibly high 4.5/5.

Neighbors
Neighbors(2014)

"Neighbors" is a funny, entertaining and surprisingly thoughtful film. It's about old vs. new generations going at it, but at its core, it's a film that's about learning when to grow up and take responsibility. The script is infused with hilarious jokes, ridiculous pranks and situations, and intelligent pop-culture references that bridge generations. The story itself is quite enjoyable, even though at times the movie can feel a bit unfocused.

The characters are colorful and likeable and the actors give some great comedic performances. Seth Rogan is hilarious and provides most of the laughs. His shameless attitude really allows for some awesome and gut wrenchingly funny moments. Zac Effron proves yet again that he is a born star, who will be one of the biggest stars in the near future. His comedic timing is impeccable and he is just so great to watch. Dave Franco is also no short of awesome as well as the rest of the cast.

Overall, "Neighbors" is a really hilarious film that is not short on laughs and also some valuable life lessons. It has a fun soundtrack and the direction, especially for the party scene are well done. Probably the best comedy of the year and really worth checking out. I give it 4/5

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

"Captain America:The Winter Soldier" is a really good movie that is leagues better than the initial first film, which I was not a fan of. This new story of The Cap is brought into the modern world and it's fun seeing him deal with how much the world has changed, but at the same time how much it has stayed the same. The script is well written. It is filled with great relevant social commentary about our government and major organizations and how they preserve freedom by reistricting it. However, while the script is fairly heavy, it does manage to have enough fun Marvel humor that we've all come to love.

One thing in particular that I love about this movie is that it gives a lot of respect to its characters. The Captain himself is show to be more than just a leader. He can hold his own, but is also a great human being. Chris Evans has finally owned the character and it's hard seeing anyone else play him. We also get more backstory to Natasha a.k.a Black Widow. It allows the audience to connect with her on an emotional level. Same goes for Nick Fury. The Winter Soldier is a pretty awesome villain, who I believe to be the best villain from the Marvel Cinematic universe only behind Loki.

Overall, "Captain America:The Winter Soldier" is a fairly entertaining and surprisingly thought provoking movie that is stepping up the quality of the modern superhero movie genre. It has everything from great characters, to an engaging and honest story, to some of the best action we'll get this year. My only gripe with the film would be the heavy use of shaky cam during the action sequences. Other than that, it is a a movie that you go and see in theaters today. Also, stay after the credits there is a big reveal that will surely get everyone excited for The Avengers 2. I give 4/5

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a celebration of life. It's a feel good movie that not only inspires, but motivates its viewers to go out and live life to the fullest. Don't let anyone, especially yourself, stop you from seeking adventure and making the best of this precious gift of being alive. It is a fun and heartwarming tale that is worth watching.

The story and screenplay don't necessarily excel or surprise in the narrative department, but they provide a emotionally satisfying experience nonetheless. However, this film really shines from a directorial stand point. Ben Stiller does an excellent job of balancing the fantasy and real world moments in the film. I really felt like I was watching a person's daydreams when Walter would zone out. It's exciting and beautifully executed and when the character snaps back into reality, it is very much like me when I daydream.

The cast does a solid job, but nothing really stands out performance wise. Having said that, I find Walter to be an incredibly likeable character. He's odd and a bit awkward, but he never feels hopeless so we can always root for him when things don't go as planned. And Ben Stiller's natural charisma adds to the character's likability.

Overall "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is an enjoyable feel good movie that will warm your heart and make you appreciate life. The film doesn't excel in any one particular area of film making, but it does hit you were it counts. Accompanied by a great soundtrack/score, this is a movie that is worth watching and you'll come out of it with a new found appreciation for life. I give it 4/5

The Wolf of Wall Street
½

"The Wolf of Wall Street" is infectiously entertaining. It is probably the funniest movie I have seen all year with witty dialogue, over the top characters, and filled with energy that bleeds off the screen. Between all the fun however, there is also a story about addiction and how it can cause a downward spiral in your life whether it be drugs, money, or power.

Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese does a wonderful job keeping this movie at a high at all times. Never once does this movie lose it's energy or sense of humor much like the drug induced characters. There are a lot of quick cuts and edits to keep the movie feeling as If you are on drugs as well as playing high energy music in some of the more serious situations.

The cast brings their "A" game. The stand out is obviously Leonardo DiCaprio, who pretty much owns and excels any scene he is in. This film really showcases his diverse range.

Overall "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a full on adrenaline ride that never loses momentum. It's directed with a lot of flair and energy and has an incredibly well written script that gives it depth and a ton of laughs. The cast is fantastic and DiCaprio gives his best and most fun filled performance to date. I really enjoyed this movie and think it's the funniest movie of the year 4.5/5

Saving Mr. Banks

"Saving Mr. Banks" is easily one of the best movies to come out this year. It tells the tale behind the making of Disney's beloved classic "Mary Poppins," but it is so much more than just a typical 'making of a movie' movie. While many of these types of films aren't as good as the movie they are about, this one is different. It feels like a companion piece to the beloved classic. It allows us to appreciate the trials and tribulations Disney had to go through to make his magnum opus. However, it is also more about P.L. Traverse and why she loves her character so much and why Mary Poppins holds such a special place in her heart.

Director John Lee Hancock does a great job of making this film something truly special. He balances witty humor with emotional depth, but does so without being too sappy or melodramatic. The film is also well written by being more personal than just being a movie about making a movie. The themes of letting and moving on are handled well and really becomes relatable to anyone watching.

The performances are top-notch. Tom Hanks makes a pretty good Disney and he isn't sugar coated either. The real standouts are Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell. They give strong dimensional performances that makes us truly care and sympathies with the characters.

Overall "Saving Mr. Banks" is a truly great and beautifully told film. Its individual parts may not be the years best, but as a complete film it is the whole package. It's a movie that exemplifies why we go to the movies and what Disney stands for as an entertainment corporation. It is a movie that is equal parts heartfelt, witty, charming, entertaining, and emotionally satisfying. I give it 5/5

American Hustle
½

"American Hustle" is a pretty darn good, entertaining, and fun film. While I don't think it's director David O' Russell's best film, I still think it is his best directed. It is directed with a flashy style that really fits with the era of the movie. There are many over the top moments and exaggerated camera sweeps that really brings a lot of excitement on screen. The script is layered with hilarious dialogue and deeper meaning of living the "American Dream" than what is actually being presented on screen. However, I wish it did have more focus and a tighter story as it did feel like it was all over the place. The journey is also more satisfying than the actual conclusion.

The cast is great and the director really gets some amazing performances from the cast. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Bradley Cooper are great in their roles and play very dimensional characters. They make them come alive and their on-screen chemistry is great. However, the real stand-out in this star studded cast is Jennifer Lawrence, who doesn't have as much depth or screen time, but commands total attention on-screen. She embodies everything that the movie is going for by being over the top, zany, and full on entertaining. Everytime she was off-screen, I kept on begging for more.

Overall, "American Hustle" is a really good movie that is equal parts entertaining and thought provoking. It never reaches any emotional highs and needs some focus, but David O' Russell's stylish direction, use of high energy music, and committed cast makes this movie something special. I give it 4.5/5

Frozen
Frozen(2013)
½

"Frozen" is a fantastic story about two sisters and the power of the love between them. It is about letting go, being yourself, and having faith in someone even though they don't have faith in themselves. All great messages for people to live by. The themes and moral are handled well through the film and not once does it become preachy or grating.

The film is superbly directed with great attention to the script and character development. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee keep us on our toes by slipping in some smart humor and just as intelligently placed moments of true emotions. The film is paced pretty well, but in certain key moments, particularly the ending, it tends to rush through it. However, it's not rushed in a jarring way, but I did wish the film would slow down at certain points. A sharp script gives us well rounded characters and themes that we can all learn from. The two leads are given equal attention to and their relationship is handled incredibly well, especially in the intro of the film. The beginning of the film does a great job of introducing the characters and setting up their relationship. I was literally tearing up because of how real and honest the bond between the sisters were in the beginning and throughout the rest of the movie.

Characters are great in this film. Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, is one of the two leads. She's probably the most awkward and quirky Disney princess we've ever had. She's a bit of a spazz, always tripping or bumping into things and fumbling over her words when she's nervous. It's quite cute and a joy to watch such an honest and real character. A lot of her flightiness comes from her being sheltered in a castle for such a long time with little interaction with other people. However, she's also determined and very open to meeting new people and helping her friends. Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, the other lead is the complete opposite of Anna. She's more reserved and her actions are always calculated to a tee. She has magical powers, but due to an incident that happened when she was younger, she fears that people will loath her for her gift. She doesn't talk as much and usually prefers to be alone. The relationship between the two is really the highlight and it is heart breaking to see them rift away. One last character that I want to mention is Olaf. This character is probably the most worrisome part about the film for most people as Disney can sometimes be hit or miss with their side characters. However, here we have a huge hit with Olaf. He's a bit oblivious, but he's also incredibly likable and sweet. He gets some of the best lines in the movie and he's just a joy to watch because he doesn't try to steal the spot light from what's actually important. The rest of the characters are great and defined very well.

The animation in the film is gorgeous. The characters move fluidly and the expressions on their faces are where some of the most intense emotions of the film come from. Elsa's magical powers are used well and there is both beauty and danger to it. The colors are vibrant and the use of blues and other colder colors really makes us feel the chills of the eternal winter.

Like many classic Disney movies, this one is also a musical and a great one at that. The musical numbers are some of the best since the 90s films. Robert and Kristen Lopez did an amazing job with the soundtrack. The songs range from ballads to showstoppers to sincere to fun, but not one song feels out of place or stops the movies progression. My two favorite songs are "For the First Time In Forever" and "Let It Go," both are powerful ballads that really give us a sense of what the characters are like and what they want. "For the First Time In Forever" is a duet between Anna and Elsa. I enjoy the contrasting lyrics as Anna is excited and Elsa is more afraid of her inauguration. "Let It Go" is the big showstopping ballad about Elsa, finally liberating herself from her frustrations. Idina Menzels's voice is so powerful that I had goosebumps by the end of it. The rest of the songs are great as well and quite memorable with strong lyrics and powerful accompanying music. I bet you'll be humming and singing the songs long after watching the film.

Overall, "Frozen" is a magnificent film filled with gorgeous animation, relatable and well-defined characters, toe tapping music, and a story that will melt even the coldest of hearts. Some people might be upset that their isn't a strong central villain in this film, but I think it is a plus because then we can focus on the struggles and strains between Anna and Elsa. It is easily the best animated film of 2013 and a future classic that we'll all watch over and over again. I give it 4.5/5, beautiful movie from start to finish.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
½

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" picks up exactly where the last film left off, continuing the sparks of rebellion. This film takes everything that was great about the first film and makes it significantly better. The characters are more defined, the special effects are better, the score is more bombastic, writing is stronger, and the overall feel is grander. The themes of hope that lurks in the series are exemplified even further as the stakes are higher and the amount of freedom is slowly withering away.

Directing is really the main highlight of this film. The new director, Francis Lawrence, keeps the overall feel of the series, but brings greater control and precise attention to detail to the onscreen action and drama. The action is easier to see and choreographed really well. Interesting shots are used to cover up the grotesque level of violence, but they are no less impactful than actually seeing it. The use of a much steadier camera really makes taking in everything easier. The level of emotion is effectively presented on screen and the use of music excels everything to a more heart touching level. Even though the film is more emotional, it still manages to have some moments of humor spread throughout. The script is tight and really develops these characters that we've grown to love. While the social commentary on reality television is on the lacking side, the themes of hope, freedom, trust, and unity are far more assessed.

While many of the older characters return, there are many new ones introduced. First things first, Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen is still one of my favorite characters of all time and I love her here as much as I did before. However, she doesn't grow as a character as much this time around. She's more struggling with her inner demons as she tries to find herself at the helms of this new revolution that is around the corner. Peeta on the other hand, grows a lot. He's more confident and less dependent on Katniss. He can hold his own and even takes the initiative a few times. Effie even goes through some character growth as we see her love for her tributes. Woody Harrelson as Haymitch is still the wise cracking drunk, but has become more generous and caring. While our returning characters are great, the newer additions are just as awesome. The two standouts for me are Finnick and Johanna. Finnick is not only a great looking guy, but has a heart of gold. He seems vain with ulterior motives, but he proves himself to be caring and protective. Johanna is a total bad girl. She's really in your face, a bit psychotic, and a powerful warrior. However, she can even manage to be funny. All the characters are great including the additions of the new ones. They all get good screen time and development and we can really care for them, unlike the first film where the side characters took a seat to the more interesting Katniss.

Overall "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is a great follow up to "The Hunger Games." Everything is better from directing to writing to the use of music. It really expands on the universe and sets itself up for the next two films. The stakes are higher and there are a lot more to care about. I give it 4.5/5, a great sequel that builds up on the original to deliver a really great cinematic experience.

Gravity
Gravity(2013)

"Gravity" is a directors film though and through. Alfonso Cuaron does a magnificent job of creating the feeling of being in space. When I was watching this movie, I really felt like I was drifting through space much like the characters as they tumbled and twirled around in the vast emptiness of the unknown. There's a lot of quiet and somber moments in this film, mostly with the characters floating around and just talking about their life. However, it's always absorbing. As you're drawn into the experience, you feel as if you are there with the characters witnessing everything first hand. The cinematography is quit brilliant and is a major factor in giving the sense of being in space. The camera masterfully spins and turns weightlessly in a way that it would in space without giving a dizzying feeling. My breath was also taken away a few times from the sheer beauty of some of the shots and how they were composed.

The script on the other hand is quit good as well. The story of letting go and moving on is handled well with a lot of attention to visual story telling. It gives us a real sense of the terrors and loneliness of space, a place were our screams can't be heard. The themes of letting go are handled very well as we see the characters learn and grow. My gripe with the script would have to do with the dialogue. Some of the things the characters say either take me out of the film at times or make me feel like its unnecessary. The dialogue also sometimes felt like a crutch as it sometimes stated the obvious.

The cast is incredibly small, but it is no short of big names. George Clooney as Matt Kowalski gives a solid performance. Kowalski is a typical quick talking charmer that Clooney is so accustomed to playing, but the character does provide some of the lighter moments in the film. The real standout is Sandra Bullock as Ryan Stone. Ryan has a hard time letting go of the past as she had a terrible tragedy befall her. Bullock plays the character well with little quirks of uncertainty and gives us a very likable character that we can all cheer for.

Visually, this film is stunning and a treat for the eyes. From one jaw-dropping shot composition to the next, I was almost always in awe of what I was seeing. Space looked incredibly real and Cuaron and crew made everything look so seamless. The score isn't bad either. It's usually quiet, but when something goes down, it really aids in the terror and urgency of the situation. Not only that, but it can also be powerfully moving and uplift as well.

Overall, from a technical stand point, "Gravity" is a masterpiece. I was almost always in awe of what I was seeing and a lot of the credit goes to Alfonso Cuaron. He really gave us an experience that heightened our senses. From masterful cinematography to stunning visual effects, it is a treat for the eyes. Wonderful and unique shots are spread throughout this film and I really fell like I've never seen anything like this before. The only complain I have for this film is the dialogue. While interesting, I felt it didn't fit well all the time with what we were watching. This movie was at its best when it was quiet. I give it an incredibly high 4/5, an experience.

Rush
Rush(2013)
½

"Rush" is one of the best films of the year. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of depth and emotional story telling this film possess. From its brilliant script that infuses humor, drama, and a story about a fascinating rivalry to its impeccable and detailed oriented direction, this film succeeds on every level.

Ron Howard's direction is extremely noteworthy as I felt like a part of the journey and involved with the characters as I cheered them on. In the beginning, I was rooting for James, but as the movie progresses and things unravel, I was cheering for Niki. However, as the movie moves forward, I couldn't choose one over the other. This is the type of engagement that I love in movies, it keeps the audience involved and contently thinking about every situation and the characters as a whole.

This film is well edited and shot as well. I couldn't find a useless or uninteresting moment in this film. Everything flowed very well and the film moved at a brisk pace. It felt as every shot or sequence is catered to moving and developing the characters and their story forward. The racing sequences are well shot and make you feel a part of the race. My heart rushed when characters successfully made narrow life endangering turns. It is a really good film to look at as the scenery and environment crafted feels inviting and absorbing.

The cast in this film is superb. Chris Hemsworth gives his finest performance to date as a carefree playboy. Even though his character James Hunt doesn't appear serious, he struggles with his inner demons trying to be taken a bit more seriously. Daniel Bruhl also gives and equally impressive, if not better, performance as Niki Lauda an arrogant self-absorbent racer. It's interesting to see his character go from caring only about himself and racing to something more important. The greatest aspect of the characters are their interactions. I really enjoy how they can't stand each other, but can't be successful without each other either. While they hate one another, they find a mutual respect for the other. It's quite endearing to see how they have each others back off the tracks.

Overall, "Rush" is an amazing movie and totally worth your time. It's a movie that has everything, from drama to humor to love. The greatest aspect of the film is its truly brilliant and masterful score by Hans Zimmer. His score gives the right amount of emotional punch along with improving everything we see and giving the film a greater amount of importance. I give this film an extremely high 4.5/5, a well oiled film that has no wasted parts.

Fruitvale Station

"Fruitvale Station" is a tremendously great movie about a tragic, but very true event. While it is based on true events, it manages to tell a compelling story about a young man, who is trying to get his life back in order. From deciding to change his life and actually earning an honest living to supporting his family and protecting them at any cost, the script packs a lot into a short period of time. However, nothing feels contrived, rushed, or preachy. Everything feels natural and we can see the change in the characters and can root for them along the way.

Director, Ryan Coogler, does a fantastic job of making us feel apart of this story. We feel as if, we are there every step of the way. Anything that the characters feel or go through we experience it as well. We feel involved in everything that is happening. There are also some very creative shots and intimate moments. When the characters just sit and talk, are some of the most engaging and heartfelt moments of the film. We discover the characters and get great back story as well as where they stand in relation with each other. The great part about this film is that it weaves in and out of instances of sheer joy and moments of true emotional pain. I was literally feeling happy when the characters do something positive and getting watery eyed when something truly awful happens. It's a very involving film.

The acting in this film is phenomenal. From small minor characters to the main ones, the cast is committed and they give a 125%. Michael B. Jordan is superb in this film. He's vulnerable, caring, protective, fighting his inner demons, and everything in between. He gives such a powerful performance and brings so much likability into his character that it makes it even more tragic, when the film ultimately concludes. Octavia Spencer is also incredibly noteworthy as she plays a mom that is conflicted between her son's love and the fear that he might be headed down the wrong path. She shows incredible depth and versatility when she fights with herself to preserve the relationship she has with her son. The rest of the cast as I have said are fantastic and really elevate the film with their impeccable performances.

Overall "Fruitvale Station" so far is the best film of the year. It's a film that not only tells a provocative and honest story about a tragic incident, but also that of a man and his will to change for the better for his family. It's directed well and absorbs the audience into events that are touching and truly one to think about, "when is far, too far?" Everything from writing, directing, and performances are top-notch and escalate this film into something special. I give it 5/5, a compelling and honest retelling of truly horrific events that is enhanced by its committed and talented cast, a script of great depth, and direction.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

"Pacific Rim" is a spectacle for the eyes and ears. I mean this movie is a visual treat from well detailed robot and monster designs to high over the top, but well choreographed action sequences and massive collateral damage. The world that Guillermo del Toro creates is imaginative and his character designs are mesmerizing and complex. The sound design and the sheer force of the films score captivates you into a ride of sight and sound that pleases all your senses. From the metal grinding noise of the robots to the fleshy and almost beast like cry the monsters make, this film has you feeling like you are right there in the middle of the action.

While the movie is mostly is a visual treat, it doesn't forget about its characters and there humanity. The film isn't all bells and whistles, it really does have some really nice character moments in its script, which are about overcoming fear, moving on and trust. These moments make us care for the events that are unfolding. However, the script isn't all serious business, it knows when to have fun. Some of these moments can be a bit too campy though and some of the emotional moments feel forced. The film sometimes even becomes contrived, mainly towards the end. However, director Guillermo del Toro balances things pretty well.

The actors in this film do a pretty good job, but the only real standout is Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost.This character is sort of the leader of the resistance and Elba commands attention every second on screen. Charlie Hunnam is pretty good as Raleigh Becket, a Jaeger pilot, who left the resistance after a traumatic incident. I wish they showed more of his inner battle, it would have invested us into the story more. Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori is really hit or miss. The scenes where she is more reserved are good, but when she tries to emote, it can be awkward at times. The rest of the cast is pretty solid and the supporting cast is pretty good, especially Charlie Day, who brings some of the lighter moments to the film.

Overall "Pacific Rim" as a giant robot versus giant monster movie is pretty awesome. The visuals, sound, and well directed action are all top-notch. They provide a treat for the eyes like never before. Even the 3D is spectacular, the best I've seen since "Avatar," it really absorbs you into del Toro's imaginative world. The story, mainly the human element, is a bit weaker as it can feel contrived at times. It keeps us involved, but never takes us to the next level of emotional satisfaction. I give it 4/5, a blockbuster with some of the coolest and most imaginative action that I have seen this year.

The Heat
The Heat(2013)

"The Heat" is a formulaic movie. It's about two female officers who don't see eye to eye that have to overcome their differences in order to take down a drug lord. Along the way, they have some misadventures as they discover more about themselves as well as each other. However, the formulaic structure is not an issue as the movie really delivers on the laughs. This movie had me smiling, grinning, giggling, and laughing out loud from beginning to end. There are so many variations of humor from slapstick and situational to awkward and raunchy. The film isn't short on heart either, but instead of being sappy and melodramatic, a lot of these moments are done brilliantly with some great humor.

The film stars America's sweetheart Sandra Bullock and comedic gold Melissa McCarthy. Bullock plays Ashburn, a awkward straight faced FBI agent, who puts her job above everything else. She isn't really funny at first, but when she meets McCarthy's character her social ineptitude really brings the laughs. McCarthy plays Mullins, a in your face, but passionate Boston officer. From the get go, she really brings the laughs and really sets the movie into motion. These two women have great chemistry together and play off each other very well. McCarthy's loud character is a great juxtapose to Bullock's more toned down and awkward character. They have a lot of fun on screen and they make us believe that they had some really great fun making the film as well.

Overall "The Heat" is an incredibly funny film and my personal favorite comedy of the year. The humor is so funny that you don't mind the formulaic structure of the plot. It'll have you laughing from beginning to end. The chemistry between Bullock and McCarthy is just pure gold and they bring a lot of life and energy to the movie. Even though this movie focuses mainly on the laughs, it has heart and some really sweet moments between the two leads. I give this film a strong 4/5, a movie where the journey is more important and fun than the destination.

This Is the End

"This is the End" is a highly original meta-comedy that puts well known actors into an apocalyptic world. It's self-referential and the actors essentially play an exaggerated version of themselves. The film is filled with strong creative writing with a lot of laughs. The themes are about being a good person and sacrificing yourself for something greater. The punches keep rolling, only slowing down in a few spots. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's direction is pretty good. They handle spectacle and slow moments very well. I really enjoy how this film manages to throw curve balls once in a while and have the audience on their toes as the movie gets bigger.

The actors play an exaggerated version of themselves. Jay Baruchel is the main character and fights for his friendship with Seth Rogen over James Franco and has a rivalry between Jonah Hill, who is the funniest amongst the whole crew. The cast has great chemistry together as they play off each other very well and you can get a pretty good vibe that these guys are actually friends in real life. They're all jerks and have to deal with judgment day as they attempt to survive and become better human beings. There are some great cameos from other actors in the film. The best would have to be Emma Watson as she plays a version of herself that we aren't really used to. The only person that I didn't like is Danny McBride. He's annoying and aside from his introduction isn't all too funny. The cast as a whole is pretty strong and work well together to bring us the laughs.

Overall "This is the End" is an excellent and highly original comedy. It's extremely funny and smart filled with slapstick, situational, and self-referential humor. The laughs keep coming and only slows down a few times in the beginning and some parts in the middle. The special effects are handled well and the soundtrack supports the film very well. The actors have a fun time playing tabloid versions of themselves and play off each other very effectively. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's script is top-notch and they greatly handle the ever growing scale of the film. I give it 4/5, original and great premise accompanied by a committed cast and laugh out loud humor.

World War Z
World War Z(2013)
½

"World War Z" is a post apocalyptic zombie film, but unlike other zombie based shows/movies/games, these zombies are super fast, super strong, and super dangerous. The film tackles themes of survival and the camaraderie of others in troubled times. It's a movie that feels very much like a big budget summer blockbuster, but it doesn't lack any depth. The director, Marc Forster, does a great job of creating tension and an ambiance where danger is lurking in every corner. There are some really nice slow points in the film, where we can feel for the characters and sympathize with their situation, that build towards a heart pounding action sequence. I really enjoy how this film sort of throws us into the fray instead of slowly building up to the threat. It really shows how fast this disease and threat is really spreading. This bumps up the tension and the stakes.

The actors do a good job of bringing to life these interesting characters. Brad Pitt, while not his best performance, really makes Gerry into a relatable character. He's a family man that is well equipped with survival knowledge and tenderness to make others feel safe. Daniella Kertesz is a real standout as Segen. She plays a Israeli soldier that helps Gerry through his journey. She's strong, confident, and able to hold her own, while keeping Gerry safe. The rest of the cast is in the film for a short amount of time, but serve their roles well. Some characters can be unintentionally annoying, mainly Gerry's youngest daughter, but luckily they're not in it for very long. The zombies are extremely scary and dangerous. There make-up is well done and they're not like any other zombies that I've seen.

Overall "World War Z" is an extremely entertaining and well made film. It is both fun, action packed, and well worth your time. The score is one of the best I've heard all year. It is epic, quiet when needed, and really puts us on the edge of our seats. It has interesting characters and a great story about survival with a goal that doesn't become some aimless expedition. I give it 4.5/5, a big budget summer movie that not only delivers on thrills, but also is packed with depth.

The Bling Ring
½

"The Bling Ring" is an interesting film. It delves into our internet celebrity obsessed culture. How we pay more attention to the hottest gossip as apposed to what really matter. The social commentary part of the script is actually quite intelligent. However, there is one downside, the dialogue is kinda "meh." It's either unnatural or kind of forced.

Sofia Coppola's direction is pretty good. She gets some interesting shots and really cool slow pans that let us absorb the ambiance. However, at times there is a home movie feel. The soundtrack is filled with energy and enhances the movie to a good enjoyable time. There's a lot of modern music and it adds a nice effect to the tone that the film is trying to set.

The characters are interesting and have depth behind them, but the film never delves into the psyche of the characters. Acting on the other hand is really hit or miss. Emma Watson as Nikki, an up and coming bimbo actress, is probably the best acted. Her character really shows how even with a great upbringing, stupidity and surrounding yourself with not so great people can bring you down. Israel Broussard is also pretty good in this film as he becomes the relatable character. He is just as bad as everyone else, but he realizes what he's doing is bad. Katie Chang is not that great. She usually talks really soft and some of her line delivery is unconvincing. The other actors are okay as some of the lines are cringe worthy, but as the movie progresses they do get better though.

Overall, "The Bling Ring" is a solid movie that is entertaining. The high energy really keeps your interest and their is some intelligence to the script. The dialogue is pretty lame and some of the acting can be cringe-worthy. I give it a high 3.5/5, entertaining with high energy and interesting premise, but stronger performances and better dialogue could have made it something special.

Monsters University
½

"Monsters University" has a simple and quite predictable story, as we already know that Mike and Sully will end up as friends at the end. However, the journey is more important than the destination and along the way we tackle themes of defying expectation. While the story is predictable, the writers and directors manage to throw a little surprise here and there. From some interesting character moments to laugh out loud situations. It's sort of light on heart, but the film is engaging enough and the movie gets better as it progresses.

The main characters, Mike and Sully, retain much of their charm in this prequel. Mike takes the lead in this recent outing. He's sweet, optimistic, and crazily dedicated. Sully is laid back, a slacker, and a bit insecure. However, it's great to see him develop into the master scarer he is in the original film. It's really fun to see how their relationship develops. Their constant bantering and butting of heads is fun to watch and the sweeter moments are endearing. There are some newer characters in the film as well and they add a lot of charm and humor to the film. My personal favorites are Art, a purple hairy monster with long legs, and Squishy, a awkwardly round monster, who gets some of the best laughs in the movie.

Aside from story, Pixar's greatest strength is animation and this film has some of their best. The colors are vibrant and the hair effects are fluid. The one down side are the character designs. The main cast is fine, but some of the background characters just aren't unique and look similar to one another. Randy Newman's score is effective for the movie, but lacks a memorable spark. The score is just filled with generic college music, but it still weaves in some interesting emotional bits.

Overall, "Monsters University" is a fun and enjoyable film. While it doesn't reach any emotional highs and the beginning is rocky, it has some really great laughs. The animation is top class even though some of the character designs are "meh" and the score is effective, but leaves more to be desired. It's a great way for Pixar to get back on track. I give it 3.5/5, great fun and an extremely enjoyable time.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)
½

"Man of Steel" is a new interpretation of Superman for the modern post "Dark Knight" age of superhero films. The story is more serious and asks the question of "will I be accepted into this world or be feared?" While I like the new take on the Superman origin story and how uniquely it's told, I found the script to be rather weak. The character moments are scarce, everything feels a bit rushed, and the dialogue comes off as super cheesy almost to the point where I was cringing. However, I am a huge fan of how this film is directed. Zack Snyder does an awesome job with what he has. The action sequences are choreographed amazingly, quit possibly the best action all year. Camera work in this film is really well done and the editing is spot on. There are some really inventive shots and the final fight sequence with Zod is riveting.

The actors do a fine job with their characters. However, no one really stands out aside from Henry Cavill as Superman. While he's no Christopher Reeve, I really like his take on the character. Amy Adams as Lois Lane is decent, but the way the character is written is kind of weak as I never really cared for her and she came off as a bit forced. Michael Shannon is pretty good as Zod, but the character could have used more screen time. Russell Crowe and the rest of the cast is solid and play their roles well.

Visual effects in this film are top-notch. From Kypton to Earth, everything from a visual standpoint is breathtaking. I've always been a fan of Zack Snyder's visual style in film and here he's put them to great use. The score on the other hand is okay. While it's great in the film, it's rather loud and forgettable.

Overall, "Man of Steel" is a solid piece of cinema and it has me pumped for more Superman movies as well as a potential Justice League film. However, it does fall short in the story department. I felt like I was going from one ride to the next without having a chance to breath. The film has some interesting things to say, but only on a few occasions does it take the time to say it and even then not very clearly. On the bright side though, we get the most action packed Superman movie and quit possibly superhero movie of all time. There's a lot of fun to be had, but if you're looking for something deeper and thought provoking this isn't the place. I give it 3.5/5, weak story that is made better with great action, stunning visual effects, and fantastic direction.

Now You See Me
½

"Now You See Me" is a enjoyable popcorn flick. However, it tends to be more flash than actual substance.The concept of the film is intriguing, but it isn't done in an all too interesting way. It's just a fast paced film that throws a lot of stuff at you, but never truly lets you absorb what is happening. The magic show scenes are one of the highlights of the movie as it's full of energy and the right amount of flash. My personal favorite moment is a fight/chase scene in the third act of the movie with Dave Franco. It's shot well and has some really nice fight choreography.

My biggest gripe with the film is the cinematography and editing. The camera is always moving, either rotating around actors as they talk or around the scenery. It's hard to focus and at times I became nauseated. Editing in the film is incredibly quick, which takes away from taking in some of these elaborate shots. On a positive note, it does get more tamed as the movie progresses mainly in the third act.

The cast is fine, but only two characters really stand out. Not that everyone else is giving a bad performance, but the characters they play lack substance or any really good one liners. The best characters are Woody Harrelson's and Mark Ruffalo's. Harrelson's character has the best lines and the best moments. He's funny, charismatic, and at the same time wise. Ruffalo's character is the most developed and intriguing. He's an FBI agent, who seems to have luck always against him and we can't help, but cheer for him. The rest of the cast is either throw away, like Isla Fisher and Dave Franco, or interesting, but underdeveloped, like Jesse Eisenberg and Morgan Freeman.

Overall, "Now You See Me" is an enjoyable film that chooses flash over substance. Characters are mainly paper thin as they're underdeveloped or pushed to the side aside from Ruffalo and Harrelson. The film has a nice soundtrack that gives it the right amount of energy. However, the dizzying camera work and rapid editing make it really hard to be absorbed into the story. I give it 2.5/5, an enjoyable film that doesn't always engage with it's high concept and original story.

After Earth
After Earth(2013)
½

"After Earth" is a step in the right direction for director M. Night Shyamalan. While the film doesn't reach the highs of his earlier work, it is worlds better than any of his recent blunders. This film showcases the careful eye for detail that Shyamalan poses as each scene is crafted and shot very carefully. There are legitimate scares and awe inspiring scenery. The visual effects are good for the most part, but sometimes don't mesh very well with the rest of the world. The action sequences really have us at the edge of our seats as they are filled with adrenaline and moments of surprise. On the other hand, the writing in the film is rather questionable. The message is very on the nose and the dialogue is a bit awkward. Don't get me wrong, there are some decent lines in the film, but most of them are on the dull side.

Acting is okay for the most part. Will Smith gives a completely different performance from his usual. He's very reserved in his emotions and the few times he does emote, are really touching. Jaden on the other hand, is very hit or miss. He's usually good, but doesn't really show a lot of range.

Overall, "After Earth" is a fairly decent flick that with better writing could have been a great film. It's emotions, message, and story are kind of straight forward, but the direction by Shyamalan is truly what makes this movie worth watching. The characters are one dimensional and the acting is okay, but they get the job done. James Newton Howards score in the film is another highlight that takes the experience to another level. His score is exciting, mysterious, and bombastic with a layer of danger. I give it a low 3.5/5, not the best movie out there, but a solid experience that's worth checking out.

Fast & Furious 6
½

Let's get it out of the way, "Furious 6" is an insanely stupid movie. The acting is horrendous, the writing is worse, and the plot is thinner than a playing card. However, despite all of these flaws, this film is immensely entertaining. It's fast, full of energy, and one liners that will have you rolling on the floor. It's a film that knows exactly what it is and what it wants to achieve. It isn't afraid to mix over the top action with sappy melodrama. The film has its own unique style and is filled with what young people today refer to as "swag."

Justin Lin has done wonders with this franchise. The racing/car chase sequences are well shot and edited. The audience really feels apart of the experience. Along with the fast and adrenaline infused car sequences, this film has the best hand to hand combat so far this year. The fights are well choreographed, shot, and edited to a point were I almost feel every punch and kick being thrown. There are some ridiculous set pieces in this film, but they are exciting and entertaining as heck. I was literally at the edge of my seat even when my brain was telling me that what is happening is totally idiotic.

I feel that I don't really have to talk about the actors or characters at this point. Mainly due to the fact that they've been around for so long and also because they're not the main reason for why we go see these films. I know they have a special place in our hearts now, but they aren't all too interesting or filled with enough depth to go into detail. However, I do love how we feel apart of their family.

Overall, "Furious 6" is a very entertaining and fun film. The plot, writing, and characters may be dumb, but hey, this series is like family and no matter how stupid or dumb it can be, we love it no matter what. Especially when we have physics defying stunts, a great soundtrack, and The Rock. I give it 3.5/5, a popcorn flick that knows exactly what the audience wants.

Star Trek Into Darkness
½

"Star Trek Into Darkness" is a more personal story than the first film. It really delves into the relationship of Kirk and Spock as well as Kirk finally becoming a leader that the enterprise needs and deserves.

J.J. Abrams again does a fantastic job at directing. His camera work and set pieces are well composed. He manages to balance great humor with a lot of emotional and dramatic depth. I, in particular, really like how every character is showcased well. They don't just take the back seat to Kirk and Spock. Action sequences are well choreographed and really gets the blood pumping. There are so many moments where I am legitimately worried about the faith of a character.

The characters are great and retain a lot of what we love about them from the first movie. Kirk, Chris Pine, in particular shows a lot of growth. He slowly turns from an arrogant captain to an actual leader. Spock's dedication to Kirk is commendable and he has some really great moments near the end of the film. Zachery Quinto is amazing as this character to a point where he matches even surpasses the original. Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan is great. His portrayal is menacing and he even has moments where we feel sorry for him.

Overall "Star Trek Into Darkness" is a really great movie with lots of great action, a compelling story, and characters that are incredibly likable. Michael Giacchino's score is fantastic and comes in at the right time to where everything just becomes better. His score has a layer of mystery and adventure in it that just absorbs the audience into the film. The one problem I had with this film is towards the end. It had me scratching my head, but it has to do something with Khan and his blood. However, that's just a minor nitpick in a fantastic movie. I give it 4.5/5, entertaining, compelling, and a lot of fun.

The Great Gatsby
½

Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," is fairly accurate to the classic novel and keeps most of its themes intact. However, Luhrmann's own flair adds a new dimension to the story. Visually this film is incredibly stunning. From grand sets to the detailed period dresses, this film is a treat for the eyes. Never once does it not take your breath away from its impressive scenery. Many people might be worried about the updated music, but there is nothing to fear. Jay-Z's track works incredible well with the film and complements the era in which it is set.

The direction in this film is impeccable. The cinematography is marvelous and really lets the viewer absorb the sheer artistry that has gone into making this film. Luhrmann keeps a high level of energy throughout the film and the party sequences are choreographed and edited in a way that it makes you feel envious of not being apart of it. Editing in the film is seamless and really keeps the viewer engaged. A common criticism the film receives is that it is more style than substance, however, I must disagree. This modern interpretation doesn't forget its themes and morals from the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald tale.

Performances are phenomenal by the entire cast. Carey Mulligan's Daisy is every bit as careless as one would expect, but she also manages to show some complexity in her role. Tobey Maguire is a great avatar for us to take on as we enter this film. He is very much the viewer as he sees everything happening, but is ultimately helpless to change anything. The true standouts in the film are Joel Edgerton and Leonardo DiCaprio. Edgerton as Tom Buchanan brings a lot of personality to his character that I thought was absent in the book. He's a bit more tender and more vulnerable, especially when he finds out his wife's secret. The true award recognition worthy performance comes from DiCaprio's Gatsby. He hones on being a respectable, but idealistically insane man. His performance is not only compelling, but also charming and quit hopeful. He truly deserves some recognition come Oscar season.

Overall, "The Great Gatsby" is a fantastically entertaining and enthralling film. It is horribly underrated as it is filled with awards worthy visuals, sets, costumes, direction, and performances. It is a great time at the movies for anyone that enjoys the classic novel or who haven't even heard of it. Not only is this film dramatically satisfying, but also quite humorous and a spectacle like no other. I give it 4.5/5, a great adaptation of one of the greatest novels ever written.

42
42(2013)
½

"42" like Spielberg's "Lincoln," is more about a specific moment in a person's life than his entire life. In this case, this movie is about how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. The story is about persistence and keeping a cool head through all the torment and backlash of fighting for what you believe in. At the end of the day, it is a movie about overcoming adversity. A type of movie that I tend to favor and for some reason really attracted to and this film is no exception. It is fairly inspiring and a story worth telling.

The writing in the film is strong and inspiring, but fairly on the surface. The script rarely goes deeper into the issue of racism, but the parts that do transcends the movie to another level. Inspiring speeches are filled in the script and really make you believe in the character and what they fought for. While the script can be a bit "iffy," the direction is spot on. Director Brian Helgeland, who also wrote the script, put a lot of attention to capturing the era and highlighting the importance of what Jackie Robinson did. Baseball games are well shot and really gives a feel of being their and watching the game live. Even though we know how things play out, we are always guessing and hoping for things to come. The film is well shot and it also has a really nice look that really captures the era in which the movie is set.

Actors do a great job of playing their respective historical character. Everyone one brings their "A" game. From the previews, I thought this would have been the movie that would have gotten Harrison Ford his second Oscar nomination, but sadly his performance doesn't reach greatness. However, he is still incredibly good and gives his best performance in years. The true star of this film is Jackie Robinson and just like him his actor is who really shines. Chadwick Boseman gives a great and reserved performance. We see his anger build in his eyes, but he never shows it on his face or body. It takes incredible skill to give such a compelling performance.

Overall, "42" is a really good movie and the best film I've seen all year. The story, while a bit on the surface, is well told and inspiring. Directing, camera work, and look are all top notch and really capture the spirit, both good and bad, of an era. However, the true highlights of the film are the performances by the cast. They portray their characters well, but the star of the film is Chadwick, who owns every scene he is in. I give it 4.5/5, a crowd pleaser that has depth and important story to tell.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)

To start things off, let me say this, "Iron Man 3" is not only the best Iron Man movie to date, but also the best Avengers build up movie. This film has it all from its great sense of humor to the amazing action set pieces. The story here is more personal than any of the other film in the series as it focuses more on Tony Stark than his suit of armor. We get a sense of depth to the character and the psychological problems he has since putting on the suit. Iron Man becomes more like a cocoon rather than something that actually enhances the man. Throughout the movie we see his over dependency on the suit and how much weight it puts on is shoulder, which is well elucidated by Tony pulling the suit through the snow.

The pacing of the film in certain areas felt off mainly do to how fast they were jumping from topic to topic. However, the action sequences are always spot on and really gets the audience involved. Tony's house exploding is a great highlight of the film and my personal favorite set piece as it tell a lot of story of the relationship of Tony and Pepper through stuff blowing up. Another thing to note in the film is its humor. It is funny and timed well. Some of it can be off putting in certain scenes or moments, but for the most part these particular segments are few and between.

The characters are great and the actors do a fine job. Robert Downey Jr. has finally found the perfect balance of arrogance and likability in Tony Stark. He's great as the character and we finally get to see other side of him that we've never seen before. Pepper Potts, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, is finally a useful character. She holds her own and it's great seeing this character grow and given attention to. Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin is great. I particularly like how they introduce him with some great edited shots that highlight the amount of power and terror he poses. Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce are great in their roles as well, but the standouts are easily Downey, Paltrow, and Kingsley.

Overall, "Iron Man 3" is a really good popcorn flick that is not only entertaining, but engaging. It's great seeing these characters develop and also seeing these actors hone on their personalities. The action and humor, for the most part, are spot on and give the movie the right amount of energy. There is a twist towards the last third of the film that can be jarring, but if you go with it, you'll enjoy the film a lot more. I give it 4/5, incredibly entertaining and the best Iron Man movie yet.

Safety Not Guaranteed

"Safety Not Guaranteed" is a fairly quiet and genuine film about taking chances. That life should be taken advantage to its full potential, whether it be with an idea or loved one. There is also an underlying message about regret and how we should cope with it. We could either live with it, forget it or try to fix it.

Writing in the film is fairly strong as it tries to juggle three different stories...well more like two and a half into one fully realized experience. The lines of dialogue are genuine and usually pretty funny. However, the film has a layer of heart. It makes you feel for the characters as you learn more and more about them. The main story about a girl who meets a wacky guy is sweet, but the most compelling story of the film is about one of the side characters who tries to rekindle a old romance. That story works in so many ways where we see the pain and joy of the characters and it doesn't feel tacked on.

Characters are generally pretty great as they are relateable and the actors do a fine job of bringing them to life. Darius, Aubrey Plaza, is awkward at first, but slowly turns into a more lovable character. Her dead pan humor is hilarious and she says most of the best lines. Plus, Aubrey Plaza manages to bring a lot of emotion to the character. Jeff, Jake Johnson, begins as a sex obsessed jerk, but turns into a very sympathizing character. Jake bring the right amount of cockiness and and emotional depth to the character. He even becomes helpful and really helps develop another character in the film. Mark Duplass does a good job as the on edge Kenneth. The rest of the cast is fairly good as well.

Overall, "Safety Not Guaranteed" is a really enjoyable film that is not only entertaining, but brisks by. The characters are compelling and offer up more than what they initially promise. However, it doesn't reach a level of greatness, but it still is one heck of a film. It had me laughing, feeling, and drawn into the story. I give it 4/5, funny, genuine, and filled with great performances and characters.

The Croods
The Croods(2013)

"The Croods" has a simple story about old vs. new and family. The family must move when disaster strikes and learn to adapt to new ways of doing things. Resistant at first, they meet a boy named Guy, who helps them rediscover the ever changing world. The film tells us to embrace new things with open arms and enjoy all the wonders life has to offer. Not everything new is evil or makes you any less of a person than your ancestors. Family is a pretty central part of the film as we can see them bonding and doing a lot of things together.

The film is a little light on heart and emotions, but more than makes up for it with its unique sense of humor. The punches keep rolling with slap stick, sight gags and jokes about cavemen and their primitive ways. I was literally laughing from beginning to end. The sheer amount of creativity in the film is commendable and I was constantly thinking where do they come up with some of these ideas.

Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco do a pretty good job of directing the film. They give a good amount of attention to the family and each individual character. I really like how certain things introduced earlier in the film serve a purpose later on. If any animated movie ever deserved to get nominated at The Oscars for Cinematography, it would be this one. The shots and angles are so unique and filled with so much energy. The sweeping shots of the landscape and the skies are beautiful to the eyes. The hunting scene early in the film is really where most of this is apparent.

The characters are good, especially Grug. He's funny and a really devoted father, but incredibly stubborn. Nicolas Cage brings the right amount of crazy caveman and caring father to his character. Emma Stone as Eep is also a solid character. She's curious and her design is way better than what the trailers make it out to be. I like how she isn't the typical perfect figured woman. She has messed up teeth, she has a full figure, and overall is not bounded by gender roles. The rest of the cast is okay as they don't do much. The mom is kinda bland, Thunk and Gran provide some of the comic relief, and Guy is just the cool kid that has the crazy new ideas that shake up the family.

The animation is quite gorgeous especially the hand-drawn opening sequence. The desert scenes are desolate and feel very isolated. A great juxtapose to it are the lush and vibrant forest locations. The directors do a lot visually with the film and make everything the characters see feel new to us as well. When they see stars for the first time, it really feels like you're really seeing stars for the first time. The character designs are unique and highly creative. Every creature is completely new and never before seen. Score for this film is actually quite good. It feels very prehistoric, but with a modern flare. It gets really exciting and emotional when the film takes a slight dramatic turn.

Overall "The Croods" is a pretty good film. It has probably the best cinematography I've ever seen in an animated feature. It's highly creative, and the animation is quite beautiful. The main characters are well rounded and the side characters serve their purpose. The story is a little simple and lacks an emotional punch, well at least until the end, but it is effective. Humor is top notch and will keep you laughing all the way through. I give it 4/5, creative, hilarious, and a fun time for families of all ages.

Oz the Great and Powerful
½

"Oz the Great and Powerful" deals with the themes of believing and how powerful faith can be. The story handles the theme very well with clever writing and homages to the older film (keep in mind that this is a prequel to the actual story and not the 1939 classic film by MGM). Sam Raimi does a good job of directing the film. He mixes humor with the more semi-serious moments. There are moments of excitement that gets the blood going and legitimately scary moments that make you jump out your seat. However, the story mainly in the middle gets a bit confused on what it is about and what's happening. Along with that, certain things feel a bit rushed particularly when Oz arrives in Oz.

The acting and characters for the most part are decent. Oz, James Franco, is pretty much the scene stealer as one would hope from a movie titled "Oz." Franco brings a lot of charisma and charm to the character along with being relatable. He sometime goes a bit over the top, but when he puts on his big cheesy smile almost everything is forgiven. Mila Kunis is okay in the movie at best, but half way through she become not so good. Her character feels forced and any emotion she tries to convey comes off as trying too hard. There's a flying monkey and little porcelain girl that bring a lot of the heart to the film. They're incredibly likable and help show off some of the humanity in Oz.

I particularly like the visual effects. The backgrounds are well detailed and immerses the viewer into the world. There are some moments were you can tell it's CGI and the character don't blend well with the background, but they don't appear very often. The musical score by Danny Elfman is effective, but not too memorable until the third act.

Overall, "Oz the Great and Powerful" isn't great, but it is still pretty good. The special effects are great, but have some spotty moments, the score my Elfman is solid, and James Franco's performance steals the show. However, there are some minor story issues in the first two acts and the acting by the rest of the cast, especially Mila Kunis, leaves more to be desired. The final act of the film is spectacular though and sums up everything great about the film incredibly well. I give it an incredibly high 3.5/5, acting could use some work, but Franco and the third act make this a really good experience.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" is a film about living life and not letting fear bind you. There also so many more underlining themes and messages within the film, such as lying, being more involved, loyalty, and so much more. It also deals with the complications of high school and the needing to fit in. It felt a lot of these themes are handled well, but the film tends to gloss over some of it. While not a big problem, it would just allow more depth to the story.

The writing in the film is fairly strong. Like I said it handles a lot of themes, but again the film tends to gloss over some tiny things that could have made it better. For example, early on in the film the character talks about a friend he recently lost, which causes him to become so introverted, but we don't get any real back story. On the other hand the three main characters are fairly well developed and they truly make the film. The directing is good and I like the ambiance that is created. We get a good sense of high school and the life of a teenager. A really great thing the director manages to accomplish is making us feel what the main character is feeling. When he's shy, we're shy, when he's awkward, we feel awkward, and when he's happy, we feel his happiness.

The characters and acting are what makes this movie so good. Logan Lerman as Charlie is the awkward teenager with a troubled past. Logan does a good job of capturing the insecurities the character feels, He has little twitches and subtle body language that speaks volumes about the character. I really like how we see this character gradually changes and opens up. Emma Watson as Sam is the girl with the bad rep that's trying to reinvent herself. She's kind of loud at first, but when we pull away her facade we get a girl that really cares and needs some guidance. Ezra Miller as Patrick is the loud gay friend at least on the surface. As we pull back his carefree attitude we see just how much trouble he has as well. The thing about the characters in this movie is that they all have more depth to them. We learn more about them and fall in love with them.

Overall "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," is a pretty good film with a positive message. The writing is fairly strong, but I just wish that they would have gone more in depth with certain issues. However, the characters are likable and well performed. I give it a very high 4/5, good story with strong characters, but it just needed to go deeper into its themes.

Barfi!
Barfi!(2012)

"Barfi!," from directing to cinematography to editing, is well put together, especially for an Indian movie. I really enjoy how the film tends to focus on the positive as opposed to all the melodrama. Yes, it does get melodramatic, but not for too long. We get some beautiful shots of the scenery, but what would a technically sound film be without a script? This film has top notch writing with interesting characters and a sweet story that will melt the coldest of hearts. The story is pretty simple, but it is done in a unique way. There is minimal dialogue and most of it is conveyed through action, sort of like classic movies of the past. It's cute and adds to the overall charm of the film. However, the story is over complicated by some contrived plot points. One in particular happens towards the end of the film, but for the most part it doesn't take away much from the film. Another issue would be with how the story is told, at times it gets confusing because it jumps from brief moments of three different time periods. Even with some of these issues the film manages to come through with a sweet, touching, and charming story.

Acting is top tier for the most part. Ranbir Kapoor proves yet again that he is the new leading man in Indian cinema. His performance of Barfi is touching yet subtle. He has a sense of charm and charisma that bleeds onto the screen. No matter what the character is doing, you can't help, but love him. Priyanka Chopra gives a career transforming performance. She's usually known as the beauty queen, but here she shows a lot of depth and understanding for her autistic character. I couldn't believe that this is the same person. The rest of the cast is good, but the one to look out for is Ileana D'Cruz, who made her Bollywood debut. Her character is emotionally disturbed and indecisive. She's likable and we can root for her.

The score and songs for this film are great as well. The score has a upbeat style to it that at the same time feels whimsical. It brings you back to an era of your own youth. The songs are equally as good. They are fun and super catchy. They drive their respective scene along and it helps glide over some of the melodramatic moments.

Overall "Barfi!" is a fun and entertaining flick with a lot of heart. The story is well told and fairly original. The cast of characters are colorful and their respective actors do justice to their complex roles. Music is a driving force for this film and aids in each scene. While the movie can get confusing and the third act feels a bit contrived, the film's charm and sweetness more than makes up for it. I give it 4/5, There's enough entertainment and lovable moments to overlook any missteps.

Lost In Translation
½

"Lost In Translation" is a fine movie. The writing is pretty good and the film has a lot to say. There is a lot of underlying themes and dialogue that make you think and reevaluate your own life. However, the film falls short because of its execution. There are scenes and moments that are just beautiful and thought provoking, but we have to sit through a lot of dare I say it boring moments just to get to one of these "good parts." The cinematography is elegant, but the urge to be artistic detracts from the sweet story that is being told. On the other hand when we do get these so called "good parts" they are well worth it and make us realize why we're sitting through this movie.

Characters and acting are good. The characters are deeply layered and enhance the film. They're characters that we want to know more about and wish them the better in life. Bill Murray plays a man going through a mid life crisis where he feels like there is a sudden void in his life. Scarlett Johansson is a young girl who is in the infant stages f her marriage and recently graduated, but doesn't know what to do with her life. They both balance each other out and fill in the wholes the other lacks. Their on screen chemistry is sweet, however the romantic aspect often becomes a bit weird.

Overall, "Lost In Translation" is a solid film. Its writing is top class, but the overall story is missing that extra "umph" to take it to another place. The movie also teeters on boring, but the good parts and the depth are worth the slower pace. I give it 3.5/5, a solid romantic tale.

Pitch Perfect

While "Pitch Perfect" isn't perfect, its pitch is just right. All bad puns aside, this is a enjoyable film. It starts off a bit disjointed and weird for the sack of being weird. However, when the film gets rolling, it becomes a ride of non stop laughter. The direction is solid, but the choreography is extravagant and well done. Songs are well integrated into the story, but I just wish they had used less tired songs. The writing is solid, but if not for the characters the jokes wouldn't be as funny as they are.

Speaking of characters, this film has a cast of some colorful characters. Some of the characters aren't very likable at first, but 5-10mins with them you'll fall in love. They're funny and warming especially Fat Amy and a few of the side characters. The physical comedy they provide is top notch and they're always doing something in the background. One character I wasn't particularly fond of was Beca, Anna Kendrick. She was the typical too cool for school kid and a very unlikable one at that. However, through my struggle to liking her, I found a mutual ground towards the end.

Overall, "Pitch Perfect" is a good movie and very entertaining. The jokes are solid, but the delivery is what truly makes it worth while and hilarious. The music and soundtrack is great and I'm a sucker for any movie that uses "Party in the U.S.A." There is a lot of fun to be had with this film, from its characters to its physical humor. Definitely the best musical I've seen all year and in a while. I give it a solid 4/5, doesn't quit hit those high notes, but still manages to be fully entertaining and a fun watch.

"Muy Caliente"

Side Effects
Side Effects(2013)
½

"Side Effects" is a movie, well, about side effects to prescription drugs. However, that's just on the surface. When you delve deeper into this psychological thriller, it becomes more about the side effects to different choices we make, whether it be positive or negative. The effects it has on us and the ones around us. It is a fairly thought provoking film that let's us take a look into corruption.

Steven Soderbergh is a great director, but his biggest complaint maybe that he takes a while to get his movies going. He takes his time to set stuff up, but rewards you at the end with a psychological mind *beep. The attention to detail is commendable, but at times certain things feel a bit contrived. However, when everything starts coming together, it all starts making sense and you can't help but wonder why you didn't see it before. The writing is top notch, but the dialogue is all to memorable. The shots are inventive, but feel classic Soderbergh, who always has unusual artsy camera angles. At the end of the day, it is a thought provoking and engaging story.

Acting from the entire cast is fantastic. Rooney Mara gives a stunning performance. She has little quirks that make her character enthralling to watch. However, the biggest scene stealer for me is Judd Law, who gives a remarkable performance. He delivers his lines eloquently and with a British flair where you're captivated by what he says. The whole cast is great and together they make the unmemorable dialogue sensational with their delivery.

Overall, "Side Effects" is a engrossing movie that keeps you guessing till the very end. With Soderbergh's fantastic direction and performances by a dedicated cast this film is a winner by all means. While it may feel disjointed and confusing in the beginning, it becomes entrancing when things start coming together leaving the viewers with a satisfying conclusion. This a great send off for Soderbergh and he will be remembered as a great director for years to come. I give it 4.5/5, well directed and performed film that is riveting.

"Fetch Status"

500 Days of Summer
½

"(500) Days of Summer" is a simple story about destiny and true love. However, this little romantic-comedy takes it a little further. It becomes a more real and honest story about taking chances and moving on with life. One relationship isn't the end all be all. The film manages to be simple while having a complex script. It tackles the ups and downs, the glorification of certain moments in a relationship, and its aftermath.

The film is quit complex, but the humor is funny with the right amount of quirkiness. Director Marc Webb manages to balance everything from the humor to the heart break with great subtlety. It is a very grounded film, but the direction takes everything to a more wonderful place. The way the story jumps back and forth between time periods is handled well. I really enjoy the original shots the movie has, especially the reality vs. expectation one. The script is incredibly smart. There are so many great laughs placed throughout the film, but nothing becomes over the top and unnatural. I really enjoy this film for it's quirkiness and incredibly smart writing.

The actors do a fine job in their roles. Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings a lot of subtlety and warmth to his character. He's incredibly likable and we root for him till the very end. He's dorky, but relateable. Zooey Deschanel is the every girl. She's quirky, fun, and almost perfect in every way. However, she's hard and blunt. When she does something wrong, it's hard for the audience to be upset with her for too long because she manages to be so sweet. From the main characters to the side characters, the cast gives true and honest performances.

Overall "(500) Days of Summer" is a genuinely great film. It's touching, cheesy, funny, and oh so very creative in its execution. There are some really nice moments and the script is inventive. The main cast only brings more delight on screen. The film has a great soundtrack that only elevates every sequence. Marc Webb's direction brings everything together in a quirky, fun, and enjoyable way that feels refreshing. Couple everything with a dance number and you got yourself a real winner. I give it 4.5/5, honest and fun story telling at its finest.

"Fetch Status"

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino is a great director, he can make the most meaningless scene in a movie interesting and memorable, which is sort of how the film starts off. "Django Unchained" takes a while to get off its feet, but when it starts it is one heck of a ride. The dialogue is funny and witty. Given to the wrong writer and director some of the things the characters say could have been considered offensive, but Tarantino gives a sense of the time and also how wrong they're dialect was back in the 1800s. The film is edited well and keeps your focus. Whenever a scene is about to lose energy the camera cuts or does a stylized pan to keep your interest. The action is over the top and very satisfying, especially when Django takes out the slave owners.

One thing Tarantino does best above all else is create characters and Django is no different. It's great watching him grow from this timid soul to a bombastic outlaw and Jamie Foxx does a good job of portraying the character. The movie really gets going when Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Calvin Candie, comes on screen. He's quick talking and has some really nice line of dialogue. Plus it was incredible to watch Leo having fun for a change in his films. While the other characters are great, the 2 stand outs for me were Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson. When Waltz's characters first comes on screen, I was really annoyed with him, but he quickly became the most likable and relateable character in the whole film. Samuel L. Jackson character is despicable, but funny as heck and he almost steals every scene he's in.

Overall "Django Unchained" is one entertaining flick with amazing dialogue and over the top action. The film is a bit long and takes a while to get rolling, but it is oh so satisfying. From the incredible use of music to the the colorful cast of characters, this film excels in being a fun time at the movies. I give it a really really high 4/5, just entertainment at its finest.

Les MisÚrables
½

"Les Miserables" is a beautiful movie to look at. The shots of France are great and Tom Hooper does a good job of us getting a sense of the time. He also directs a enormous cast of characters well and there are truly some memorable moments. However, I feel as if the film is devoid of any real emotion, which is ironic because that is what he so whole heartily tried to do. The actors try so hard to bring emotion to the screen, but it is a wasted effort. I couldn't care for the characters our their story. Never have I ever felt like walking out of film so much like I did in this one.

The characters are interesting and layered, but that is credit to the source material. Anne Hathaway is the only one that made me feel an ounce of emotion throughout the film. Her version of "I Dreamed a Dream" is impeccable. Hugh Jackman, I believe gives a career performance. While I didn't feel his emotions all the time, he did show a lot of range. Russell Crowe is good as well, but his singing is not very good. All the characters have their moments, but most of their emotions don't get through.

The musical numbers are good, but the infuriating decision to make the characters sing everything did not pay off. I think a more traditional musical would have sufficed. The main musical numbers are good, but the overall choice did not work for me.

Overall "Les Miserables" is a fundamentally well made film and I bet most people will enjoy it. However, for me this was a miserable experience. I appreciate the actors, director, and the sheer technical level of the film, but I could not get myself to care for anything happening on screen and the sing talking made me want to tear my own ears out (this is coming from someone who enjoys Ke$ha's music). I give it 2.5/5, a technically well made film that is devoid of a satisfyingly emotional experience.

Rise of the Guardians
½

The best thing in "Rise of the Guardians" is it's animation. It's beautiful with vibrant colors and an amazing art direction. This style is usually reserved for indie animation studios, but it is great to see a main stream studio like Dreamworks embracing such a look. The character models are great and they move fluidly. It gives way for some very fantastic set pieces. I adore the look of this film and rank it as probably the best looking CGI movie of all time and up there with the best looking animated films in general. It truly is breathless and a sight for sore eyes.

The directors handle the characters and action sequences with great detail. They keep it exciting and don't over do it with the special effects. In general the film isn't funny, but that's not what it is going for. I mean there are some funny moments, but for the most part there is a darker tone. Which again, is commendable for a major studio to do. Writing is good and the story is kept fairly simple, it's about good versus evil and the power of believing. All at the same time being nostalgic.

Characters are great. I really like how the directors didn't take the normal root for these characters, they managed to add a new sense of wonder and mystery to them. Santa is like a giant Russian teddy bear. Jack Frost is the cool guy, but manages to have a sense of "warmth" to his character. Easter Bunny is funny, tough, and it's fun to see him and Frost butt heads. Tooth Fairy, while her design is gorgeous, she sort of falls into the background after the first act. Pitch is a menacing villain and satisfies the role of one. The surprise character amongst the cast is Sandman, I was not expecting to like him that much do to his bag design. However, I fell in love with the character and the things the directors do with his powers are just breath taking.

Overall, "Rise of the Guardians" rises above and beyond expectations. The characters are fun and interesting, while managing to have heart. Story, while simple, is effective and has a layer of nostalgia. The musical score backs up the nostalgia as well and is probably one of the better scores of the year. But the film truly shines in it's animation, which I just can't complement enough. I give the film 4.5/5, beautiful animation, accompanied by a just as extravagant score, colorful characters, and a story that will touch the child in all of us.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
½

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is a good movie, nothing more and nothing less. Compared to it predecessor (or successor, however you wanna see it), this movie has a lighter tone. There are a lot of jokes, but some of which are juvenile. It has moments that are brilliant such as the dinner scene and the last third of the film especially a scene with Gollum, but the pacing is a bit off. The movie doesn't engage the viewer as much as it wants them to. From the very beginning the film feels like it is rushing through events just to get the characters to their destination. They find some peril, but usually it doesn't connect with the overall story. Peter Jackson does a good job of creating some great set pieces, but ultimately they don't fair as well in terms of execution.

Acting is perfect to a "T." Everyone seems to have brought their "A-game." However, not all the characters are very interesting or relatable, aside from Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin. Gandalf is as good as ever and the same wizard from the first "Lord of the Rings." However, he has a witter side to him and bit of a selfish side. Thorin is a good leader and the only one of the dwarves that seems to be able to hold his own. Bilbo, by far is the most interesting character in the whole movie. He's relatable, funny, and unlike most of the other hobbits he can to some extent fend for himself. A true standout in the film though is Andy Serkis as Gollum, truly a mesmerizing performance.

The overall score by Howard Shore gets the job done and the main theme beautiful. Though most of the music doesn't truly standout. The visual effects are dazzling, but they don't seem to fit in the world all the time. It can sometimes cause a disconnect.

Overall, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is a good film. There are moments of greatness and some very memorable scenes. However, the visual effects and the pacing don't usually work all to well and the side characters aren't memorable. Third act however, picks up most of what is lacking and packages it into a nice conclusion that makes us excited for the future of this franchise. I give it 3.5/5, moments of greatness with a satisfying conclusion, but not everything works well together.

Get the Gringo

"Get the Gringo" is written, produced, and acted by Mel Gibson and directed by Adrian Grunberg, who was also assistant director on the fantastic "Apocalypto." The film may be direct-to-video, but it has full production values. The look is gritty, well stylized and gives you an exaggerated look into the Mexican prison system. The film is well directed showing of the scenery as well as the main actors. Action scenes are timed perfectly and choreographed very well. It's over the top, but heart pounding with a Tarantino-esque flair to it. Same thing goes for the writing which is funny and timed well. Yes, the movie does get cheesy, but that adds to its bold over the top unique style.

Acting is also very good from the whole cast. Some side characters don't have the best acting chops, but they don't bring any scene down. Mel Gibson is great in the film. His character is smart, cool, and rude, but has a tender side to him. He doesn't have a name, but that adds to the mystery of the character. Young actor, Kevin Hernandez as 'Kid,' does a good job. His character is brash, but very likable and has a good back story to keep you invested. His relationship with Gibson's character is heart touching. Javi, played by Daniel Cacho, is a decent villain. He doesn't do any of the dirty work, but you can sense how scared the rest of the characters are when he appears on screen. The rest of the cast is good and the characters are interesting and have their moments.

Overall, "Get the Gringo" is a pretty good movie. It has solid acting with well realized characters, sure some of the acting could have been better, but the main cast makes up for it. The style of the movie is cool and gritty with a Mexican flair. The music adds to the overall style and enhances it. Writing and directing are exceptional good. Smart, funny dialogue with well paced action sequences make this movie thoroughly entertaining. I give it, 4/5, solid acting, great script, and entertaining action.

Wreck-it Ralph

"Wreck-It Ralph" is a movie with a lot of underlying messages and themes. From accepting oneself to trying to reach for a better life, it has it all. There is even an underlying message of the blue collar worker becoming jaded with his life and wanting something more. Tired of being treated horribly just because his job isn't as glamorous as the next guys. It also builds on the theory that everyone has their place in the world regardless of how badly you maybe treated right now. It's all about dusting yourself off and trying to change the way the world sees you.

The film is directed incredibly well. Every side story is handled with care and the same amount of detail as the main story so it doesn't feel tacked on. Characters are well highlighted and developed, showing their strengths and weaknesses. The visual gags are funny and it's incredibly fun trying to find your favorite classic video game characters. Writing is what makes this movie so enjoyable. It has smart and funny humor that caters to both adults and children. Never once talking down to it's audience. The film even uses pop-culture references in a smart and classy way to a point where it's funny. However, the movie doesn't rely just on the jokes to get by, there is a lot of heart in the story. The relationship between Ralph and Venellope is touching. There is a lot of emotional depth to the movie as well as many light-hearted funny moments and they're blended very well together.

If you're looking for a bunch of classic video game characters strolling through the screen, well look no further, "Wreck-It Ralph" has them. They aren't as integral to the story as many would hope, but it's fun trying to find your favorites. Even though your favorite game characters aren't important to the main story, they help create a very fun and interesting world and they even get some funny moments.And there are plenty of references please the gamers.

The real stars of the movie are Ralph, Vanellope, Fix-It Felix Jr, Sgt. Calhoun, and King Candy. All characters are great and they have their own time to shine. Ralph is a 9ft and 600+ lbs goliath with a quick temper, but a heart of gold. He is the every man and it's really easy to root for him. John C. Riley does a fantastic job of voicing the character and he knows how to balance the humor with the heart. Vanellope is a glitch in the game "Sugar Rush," a Mario Kart-esque game, She is very sweet and cute. Some people might be annoyed by her voice, but the moment the character appeared on screen, I fell in love with her. Sarah Silverman does a fantastic job of voicing her and making an annoying voice incredibly likable. Jack McBrayer voices Fix-It Felix Jr, a goody to shoe. He's likable and some very cute moment with Sgt. Calhoun, voiced by Jane Lynch. Calhoun is a tough military leader and she has this incredibly tragic back story that is actually pretty hilarious. King Candy, voiced by Alan Tudyk, is king of "Sugar Rush." He's very reminiscent of the Mad Hatter in the way he speaks. He's a fun character to watch on screen.

Animation is beautiful in this movie, some of Disney's best. The colors are bright and vivid, the different locations look unique and lush. It feels very much like a living breathing world. Each character also movies in a manor to their own game. And the use of music is excellent too. From the score by Henry Jackman to the music by various artists, they are all used incredibly well and only elevate every scene and moment. I love how each world had it's own sound.

Overall, "Wreck-It Ralph" is an awesome movie that excels on every level. It has gorgeous animation with a great score to back up everything happening on screen. The characters are likable and the cameos are fun and entertaining. The jokes all hit along with the pop-culture references. Incredible direction and script elevate the movie to the stratosphere. Above all else it has heart. "Wreck-It Ralph" is the best animated movie this year and not only just that, but also one of the best films period of the year. Anyone can watch it and enjoy, it's not just for gamers. I give it 5/5, smart, witty, and fun with a lot of heart.

Awesomeness

ParaNorman
ParaNorman(2012)
½

The movie is about finding yourself and being more tolerant towards people that are different in opinion or appearance than you. Great messages that have been done a dozen time before, but there is nothing wrong with that. The film is also an homage and parody to classic horror movies. From making fun of their structure to embracing it for laughs, the movie does a great job of being original while not forgetting its roots.

"Paranorman" is very well directed. It is a stable for stop-motion films and what is possible with the medium. From impressive camera angles and shots to the fluidity of motion on the character, I almost thought I was watching a CGI film. The directors also do a great job of throwing you a curve ball. Right when you think were the movie is headed something happens and it is a pleasant surprise keeping you on your toes. The film starts off slow, but gradually gets better and it concludes with an epic ending, filled with great animation, effects, and music Writing is fairly strong, some of the jokes don't work, but they are far and in between.

Characters are mostly archetypes of characters that have been done before. However, they are still funny and charming throughout the film. Norman is the main character, who has a hard time fitting in. However we can relate to him, but he has this annoying character trait about him that can me grating. He seems isolate himself so much that even when someone wants to be his friend, he pushes them away. Neil is Norman's friend and the comic relief of the films, however he does bring some heart to the table. Courtney is Normans sister and the typical valley girl, who only thinks about being popular and guys. She's good, but not one of the more memorable characters. Alvin is the bully, he has his moments. Mitch is Neil's brother and probably the most hilarious part of the movie. The zombies are funny too, but don't have a unique personality. Overall the characters are good and fill in their archetypes well, while still bringing some original personality.

Animation is gorgeous in this film. Each character moves so fluidly, it felt as if I was watching a CGI film. The overall look of the film is charming and brings back some nostalgia. The musical score is great. Starts of very subtle, but is amazing near the end with the visual effects. This film is a stable in terms of its animation for stop-motion films.

Overall "Paranorman" is a fantastic movie, the best animated movie of the year and in my opinion the best stop-motion movie I've ever seen. Sure the characters and the story are sort of generic, but the directors know how to through a curve ball into the mix and keep the audience on their toes. The conclusion is brilliant and I love how they throw in something new for a character in the end. I give it a 4.5/5, fantastic animation, surprising twists, and great musical score.

"Fetch Status"

Rope
Rope(1948)
½

Alfred Hitchcock's, "Rope," is one of the more interesting films I have seen. It deals with the theory of the superhuman. Meaning "what if" people had the right to eliminate beings they believe to be inferior to them. How we could become a super species if these weaker strings no longer existed. Another theme the film deals with is the value of the human life. Who really has the power to judge, who lives and who doesn't. The film handles these themes with great care and real opens up discussion.

Directing is really where the film shines. Alfred Hitchcock gives away exactly what happens and who does it, but creates tension with characters and the fear of being discovered. He created a very real environment with real characters. The film progresses naturally and the editing is the highlight of the directing. There are only so many edits and the ones that are there are incredibly hard to notice. A lot of the shots are done in one take and it is credit to the director and actors to be patient and not losing character or flow because one mess up could have caused them to start over again. One scene flows into the other so seamlessly and adds to the feeling of actually being in the apartment with the characters.

Acting is fantastic and the characters are great with a lot of depth. The main characters are Rupert (Stewart), Philip (Granger), and Brandon (Dall). Rupert is the suspicious former teacher of Philip and Brandon. He suspects something is wrong and begins to snoop around. Stewart plays the character with class and a level of sophistication. Philip is the nervous wreck, who fears of being discovered for their crime. Granger is good as the character, he's nervous and his body language only adds to the character. The highlight of the film is Brandon, very smooth and intellectual, who believes he is a genius beyond compare. Dall is the character, he fast talking and sly. A lot of double play in what he says and knowing he is a murderer, he's very likable. The rest of the cast is great at what they do.

Overall, "Rope" is a great movie with fleshed out characters and wonderful writing. The characters are interesting and the acting is superb. The director adds the right amount of drama and tension to each scene and the editing immerses the audience into the event that is unfolding. The film also has incredible depth opening up discussion for future viewing. I give the film a very strong 4.5/5, strong characters enhanced with great direction, acting, and script.

"Fetch Status"

Chronicle
Chronicle(2012)

"Chronicle" is shot in found footage format meaning they pieced together a bunch of random footage that they "supposedly" found. For the most part it is effective, but I couldn't help, but think that a more traditional take would have been as if not more effective. Sometimes I questioned why they were carrying around a camera, mostly during some of the more elaborate and dramatic moments. However, what they did was effective and gave a good style to the film.

The film deals with the theme of being an outcast. The main character is abused throughout the early parts of the film and he holds back a lot of his temper, which blows out of proportion as the movie progresses. When he gets his powers he can't take it anymore. The movie is not only about not treating people that way, but also about controlling your temper. Also it deals with evolution and how certain people feel that they are superior when they have certain talents or abilities that no one else has.

The acting and characters are all really good. Characters are very real, they don't put on tights and go fight crime when they get their powers. The guys mess around and see what is capable with their new found powers. They pull pranks and use it for their own benefit, much like most of us if we had powers. The acting is great and each lead has adds a level sophistication to their performance. A lot of emotions are present on their face and we can feel their humanity. I wish we had gotten more of their faces because that is were the heart and emotional connection is in the film.

Overall, "Chronicle" is a really good movie. It shows us what one would really do if they had came across some super powers. There is a level of emotion present and the story builds up to a satisfying confrontation and conclusion. The found footage format doesn't always work, but the strong writing transcends the story to another level. I give it a solid 4/5, a faulty directing choice doesn't hold back the great writing and acting.


"Muy Caliente"

The Dark Knight Rises

"The Dark Knight" is the final story of Nolan's Batman and with the series there is a lot of lose ends to tie up and to my pleasure Nolan succeeds. He really brings the series full circle, reaching as far as the first movie. Even though the film doesn't mention the Joker, you can feel his presence through the earlier parts of the film. It feels complete and doesn't leave any loose ends, well non that I noticed.

The film is about fear and how we must overcome it. Even if we aren't afraid fear is what keeps us going. We need to not be afraid, but we embrace it to push forward. Another theme of the film is the symbol of heroism. It can come from anywhere, but it takes one icon to carry it forward. The last major theme of the film is Moving on. There is only so much one can do and they have to know when enough is enough. A lot of heavy themes, but handle with great care.

The film is very well written and directed. We get a lot of nice sweep through the city and some really heart pounding moments. The fight scenes are well choreographed and feel as if it too is telling a story. I really like how the movie weave in the cities inner politics with the action. Even the movie is near 3hrs long, it is packed with a lot of meat. There never seems to be a dull moment. It feels like you're getting your 3hr worth of entertainment. From a dialogue point it is great too. However, at time it can feel sort of cheese mainly towards the end when Wayne has to escape from somewhere.

The characters and acting are all great. I feel like Christian Bale has finally refined his role as Batman. I felt his emotions and his body language spoke volumes. The new entries are great from Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Marion Cotillard and the older characters are just as great. My two favorite stand outs are Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway. Caine, as Alfred, really gave a powerful performance, one I think is worthy of an Oscar nomination. One scene in particular is the confrontation between Albert and Wayne, some really powerful stuff. Hathaway, as Selina, is sly, sleek, and sexy. She stole almost every scene she was in. She's a strong character with a lot of depth. She's funny, emotional, and very smart. The only disappointment is Tom Hardy as Bane. Nothing wrong with his acting, he actually gave a great performance. My only problem is that Bane is such a intimidating character with a lot of layers, but his voice ruins his impact. The voice is so over the top and cartoony that it doesn't fit in the very grim and real world Nolan created. Almost every time he spoke I was slightly detracted from the film.

Overall "The Dark Knight" is a really good film with a lot of depth and fully realized characters. However, the final confrontation between Bane and Batman is incredibly lack luster and the plot twist is incredibly stupid and contrived. It not only ruins the credibility of Bane, but also makes certain motivations unclear. Fortunately the very last scenes make up for most of the fall that the plot twist brought. I give is a very very very high 4/5, a satisfying conclusion to one of the biggest trilogies of the past decade.

"Muy Caliente"

The Grey
The Grey(2012)
½

"The Grey" is about a group of explorers on their way to an expedition when their plane crashes and they have to fight for survival. The movie deals with several themes, one of which is about survival, to what lengths would one go to survive. The desperation, the fearfulness, all coupled with the unknown makes for one interesting survival thriller. Another theme the film tackles is a little less barbaric, it is more philosophical. The main characters question religion and their own beliefs. For some it is useless, but for others it is the only thing keeping them going.

The film is shot and directed fairly well. We get some really nice views of the surrounding. I really like the ambiance the director creates. It's very cold and I felt it. The unknown is frightening and there is a lot of shock value, but it doesn't use it cheaply to get a reaction. I have a problem with the beginning, it just didn't capture my interest. It is slow and poorly paced and the monologue is cheesy with nothing truly interesting to say. It comes off as deep, but in actuality it is fairly shallow. The movie is also paced very awkwardly, just when things are getting interesting it slows down, mostly in the middle where they have a philosophical chat.

The characters are good and the acting is decent. However, this is Liam Neeson's show. He is wonderful to watch and his character is a total "badass." He's strong and smart, but isn't totally fearless, he just makes it seem that way. The thing I like about the characters are that they start off as nobodies, but as they open up we beginning to care for them. I really got attached to the characters and it was unfortunate when they some of them meet their ends.

Overall, "The Grey" is a good movie. It isn't a great one, but it is time well spent. The story maybe a bit choppy and oddly paced, but the characters and the sheer ambiance make up for it. I wish there had been more action though because the film does build to a big confrontation or some serious action sequences, but it doesn't become fully realized. And another let down is the end, which is abrupt and could have been one hell of a final confrontation. I give it a solid 3.5/5, great ambiance, with characters I care for, but a choppy story.

"Caliente"

Brave
Brave(2012)
½

"Brave" is the story a mother and daughter who don't seem to see eye to eye. There is a constant struggle between tradition and choosing ones own path, but both fail to see the middle ground. Merida wants to be free and see the world, but Elinor, her mother, wants her to be a proper princess. The story tells us that we might have our own thoughts and ways of doing things, but we also have to be careful of what might be the outcome. The message is pretty good, but I feel it loses sight in its second act, were they focus on humor more so than telling a compelling story.

The film is directed well and there are so many powerful moments. One in particular is the fight between Merida and Elinor and after the fight is over Elinors reaction put a lump in my throat. However, I felt the story wasn't paced very well. The beginning is marvelous and feels like the story is going to be very grand, but the second half bogs everything down. Emotions are left for humor. The humor in the film is hit or miss and more misses than hits. They are childish, but what's worse about is that it pulls you out of some really heart wrenching moments. There isn't a balance between the heart and humor, which is rather disappointing.

Characters are fine, my personal favorite is the dad, King Fergus. He's like a big likable bear. Merida is good, but she could have used more polish, aside from archery she doesn't have an identity of her own. Elinor is good too, but in the second act she loses herself much like the film. The relationship between Merida and Elinor is something to marvel at because it is so real and genuine. We feel the love they have for one another, but we also see why they can't stand each other. I really felt this story would delve more into their relationship, but in the second act it feels more like a buddy comedy only towards the end does the film realize that the story is about a mother and daughter.

It's Pixar and one thing you can guarantee is that the animation is going to push the envelop and "Brave" is no exception. The scenery is grand and lavishing, it feels so alive. The character animations are so good and you'll know what I mean when you watch it, just look at the way Merida moves. Everything is refined and I really felt as if this was a mystical area some where in Scotland.

Overall "Brave" is a decent flick. The animation is gorgeous and the songs and score are good as well. The beginning of the film is fantastic and really pulls you into the story and hypes you up for where it might go. However, the second act bogs everything down, the humor becomes juvenile, interest in characters are lost, and the story doesn't know what it wants to do. It goes from and endearing story about a mother daugher relationships to a buddy comedy focused and cheap laughs. I really did want to like this film, but it left me disappointed with only frustration when I look back on it now. I give a low 3.5/5, great animation, even better opening, but the rest of the film leaves more to be desired.

"Caliente"

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" is essentially about a lot of things. First of all it's about finding your way home. The main theme of all the films as the animals try to make it back home. I felt there was more at stake this time around and you can feel the depression the animals have to want to go home. One of the sub-plots is about finding yourself. And the last major thing about the film is staying together as a family. These animals have been together for a long time and their bond is inseparable. There is a twist near the end that challenges there bond and I think they handled it well. However, the overall story is sort of predictable and cliched.

From a story perspective, the film is separated into two halves, the time consuming comedic part and the actual story. The first part of the film is just the animals getting from point A to point B. Not a whole lot at stack, but some funny situations. It just felt like a long cartoon that doesn't really add to the over arching story like in Family Guy when the episode starts one way, but finishes with something totally different. The second half is where all the meat is for the film. We see the character's situation and desperation to get home, the other side plots are introduced. In this part of the film the relationships are tested. The franchise thrives on its humor, but in this iteration I felt as if the jokes are hit or miss.

The characters are all the same from the previous films, you get Marty, Alex, Gloria, and Melman. They are basically the same and go through very little if any character development. However, the film introduces some new characters who are cool and keep the film fresh. Gia is the love interest for Alex, Stefano is the likable odd ball that adds a lot of humor, but by far the best character is Vitaly. Vitaly is the hardened circus leader. After an incident he loses his confidence and the circus falls down with him. The story focuses on him the most and we get a good feel for him. I think the worst inclusion to the cast is the villain, Captain Chantel DuBois. She isn't a bad character, but she just comes off as annoying. Her motivation is fairly weak and she appears in the most random points through the film. She has her moments, but it's like a six year old, who looks cute at first, but after spending an hour with him you want to go drop him off in a ditch somewhere. The Penguins and King Julien have some funny moments, but are down played in this film. They were some of the funniest parts of the previous movies, but they really lacked in this one, which is a shame.

It seems to me that with every new animated film coming out they seem to push the envelope in some way, however the "Madagascar" series has always strutted to its own groove. While most animated films go for realism and accurate character animation, this one lives in a very cartoony world in the vain of the Looney Tunes. Characters seem to be capable of almost anything from falling great distance to defying gravity. The animation is just more refined now from previous movies, but one scene in particular is worth the ticket price. That scene is the circus act in the middle of the film and towards the end. The music and colors are so pleasing and it is just so surreal.

Overall "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" is a fun watch. The animation doesn't push the envelope and some of the jokes are weak, but they still manage to put in some heart. The new characters are interesting and they pull the slack of the main cast, who took a back seat in this one. And the soundtrack is really good, it uses popular songs, but to add to the feel of the situations. I don't think it will resonate with people after a couple weeks, but for what it's worth it's a good time. I give it 3/5, predictable story, but you'll have a good time.

"Alrightness"

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

"Prometheus" is essential about asking the big questions, like where did we come from? What is life's purpose? Is there a greater being? and the drive of knowing. It tackles a lot of heavy subject matter, but doesn't quit reach the level of thought provokingness that I think the film was trying to reach. It asks the questions, but doesn't take a strong stance on anything, leaving it very ambiguous. The film actually fails to answer a lot of necessary information whether present or brought up. It seems to beat around the bush more than convey a strong message or stance on anything. I wouldn't normally be bothered by it, but some of the information is sort of important to feeling for the character or getting a general though of the overall world.

From a directing stand point "Prometheus" is great. Eerie shots and disturbing imagery fill the screen and we do get a sense of threat lurking in the air. We feel as if these characters are isolated and anything can pop out of anywhere at any moment. Score is also fairly good only adding to the overall atmosphere of the film. However, from a story point of view, it is lacking in some parts. Everything feels a little too convenient. Moving the characters from point a to b and so forth. Also many things are brought up like certain character's intentions, but they never develop.

Acting is actually really good ranking from good to Fassbender. Yes everyone gives a good performance, but the stand out is Michael Fassbender as David. While I personally didn't like the character of David because while interesting he comes off as a jerk, but Fassbender added so much to the character. Great emotional depth with a subtle touch of the human essence. My favorite character is Elizabeth, Noomi Rapace, she's interesting to watch and is also a strong female character. She's not overly tough, but when it comes down to it she can hold her own. Though the characters are good, they are super dumb. These guys are scientists and yet when something obviously dangerous happens they go towards it. It becomes frustrating.

Overall "Prometheous" is a movie that I really wanted to like, but I only ended up with a lukewarm feel towards it. The directing is good as well as the characters and score, but it feels to convenient and it bring up so many themes that it shys away from. The world is interesting, but not enough attention payed to setting it up. The movie starts off slow, but picks up towards the end where the film makers atleast attempted to seem like they were trying to answer its own questions. The action is super and the special effects are great as well. However, I wish it had more to offer. I give it a strong 3.5/5, great directing and acting brought down by the films own plot.

"Caliente"

The Descendants

"The Descendants" is about re-connecting with your loved ones. In the film the main character has no clue of what his family is up to and when he does find out he doesn't know how to react because he was never there. Another element of the film is family and how we need them to get through our tough times. We might be annoyed with them or we even might hate them, but when it truly comes down to it, they will be the first to stand up. The last major theme the film targets is forgiveness. We need to learn to forgive and move on with out lives. If we linger in the past we can never move forward and we'll constantly beating ourselves up over it.

The directing is pretty solid in the film. The director, Alexander Payne, captures the feel of Hawaii, the setting of the film. He doesn't make it look like some tropical island that is isolated from the mayhem of the real world. It gives us the viewer a real take of this island so many of us think is untouched by man. The cinematography only adds to the experience. While the director is portraying the realness of the island, it never forgets that this place still is very beautiful. Writing is top notch. The things the characters say are real and in the situation they are in would be very normal. They use some profane language, which usually turns me off certain movies, but they use it effectively and with viable reason and not just for shock. The overall film is wholesome and sweet. It doesn't get cynical or tries to copy what is popular, it is just pure wholesome bliss of pure storytelling.

The acting is really good as well. George Clooney give a marvelous performance and probably the best of last year (haven't seem "The Artist"). His wife is about to die in the film, but he finds out that she was cheating on him. You can see that he really loves her and wanted things to work out and he regrets not giving her enough attention. However, you can also see his frustration and helplessness on the whole situation. Another stand out is Shailene Woodley, who is also frustrated with her mother, but upon hearing of her situation she too becomes frustrated and helpless. She goes toe to toe with Clooney and their chemistry is really good. They feel like a real father and daughter, they joke, tease, and feel each other's pain. I really like how their relationship develops throughout the film.

Overall, "The Descendants" is a really good film. It is storytelling at its highest order. The relationships are genuine and the way the director manages to capture the overall bliss of Hawaii is great. I love how they don't linger on melo-drama and play off the mother's situation to get a reaction from its viewers. It is funny, heart warming, and a fun ride of enough emotional depth. Another noteworthy part of the film is its score, which is fantastic. Very subtle and gives the right amount of feel for Hawaii. I give it 5/5, great storytelling accompanied by fantastic performances, and enough wholesome entertainment.

"Awesomeness"

Adaptation
Adaptation(2002)
½

"Adaptation" at its core is a movie about adapting (figure that). Life may be tough at times, but we have to learn to move on and just like nature change to the situation at hand. It's also about being confident and persevering even when your mind is constantly telling you "no" or "you can't." However, within its deep message the film is also funny, thrilling, and filled with a lot of wit and charm.

The film is directed fairly well. Two stories are being told and both are given equal attention and the way the meet up is interesting and intense. The way the film cuts back and forth between two time periods feels natural and won't confuse the audience even if their attention slips away, which shouldn't occur. While directing is good, the film is carried by its magnificently intelligent script. The film is essentially an exaggerated story of the actual screen writer of the film, who was having difficulty adapting a book. He didn't want to make a cliched film with drug, sex, or violence, but instead something fresh and new. The writer also sets up other rules for himself to not use, like split-personalities are cliched as well as multiple genres. However, each and every rule is humorously and intelligently broken to tell a fun and engaging story. It pokes fun at all of these cliches yet falls for them. The writing is just superb.

Acting is incredible with fun, interesting, and lovable characters. Nicolas Cage has a double role playing both Charlie and Donald Kaufman.Charlie is a depressed fat pessimist and Donald is a confident optimist. They both play off the multipe personality cliche that the writng pokes fun at and Nicolas Cage does a wonderful job portraying both characters. From the way he presents each character to the way they talk, he captures their essence. Meryl Streep is good as alsways, but she only truly stands out in the third act. And Chris Cooper is just fantastic. He plays a hick that has been through a lot and is also quit intelligent. His performance is touching and he provides most of the humor.

Overall "Adaptation" is an incredible film with magnificent writing and good direction. The film pokes fun at itself and other cliches in films in general, but at the same time it doesn't degrade anything or anyone. The script is smart and treats its audience as so. I love how the fim weaves into other genres as it progresses, it doesn't seem out of place or sudden, but fairly natural. I give it a very strong 4.5/5, Intelligent script supported by strong direction and even stronger cast.

"Fetch Status"

Dreamgirls
Dreamgirls(2006)

"Dreamgirls," is a musical drama about three young ladies and their journey to stardom. I have to say this is a fantastic film, it has everything from amazing music to beautiful visuals to heart. The movie is about going for your dreams and the sacrifices one has to make to achieve those dreams. And what happens when the rug is pulled from right beneath you.

The story starts off light hearted and slowly weaves into the more dramatic aspects. From start to finish we as the audience feel and experience everything the characters feel. It's as if we are following them through this journey every step of the way. However, the movie cuts abruptly in certain scenes and it kind of weakens the overall impact. Certain characters are paid less attention to and when something happens to them we are supposed to care.

The acting in this movie is great, every actor portrayed their character well. I just wish some some of them were more fleshed out and given proper attention to, for instance, Eddie Murphy's character. He does a good job, but he something happens to him in the film and I couldn't bring myself to care. However, Jennifer Hudson steals every scene she is in. She plays Effie, the lead singer of the group, but is quickly replaced by her friend Deena, played by Beyonce. She is pretty much a diva in the movie. She wants all of the spot light on her and refuses to see the bigger picture for the group. Years pass and she finally realizes what she had. Hudson played the character so well, giving her power and she handled the emotional scenes well. In my opinion the star of the film was Effie as she was the real heart of the film. And instead I think Hudson should have been nominated for a lead actor award instead of a supporting one.

The songs are probably the most important part of any musical. The songs are all great and sung to perfection by the cast. "Dreamgirls," the title song is beautifully song and harmonized. It feels like a song that only can be sung by angels. "Patients" and "One Night Only"(Effie version) are both great songs that made me really emotional. My favorite number are the ones at the end of Act 1, "It's Over" and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," both of which are very dramatic and show the shift in the tone of the film.

Overall I think "Dreamgirls" is a fantastic musical and should have been nominated for Best Picture. It hit all the right notes. The songs are great and the acting is good. The story could have been tweaked a bit more to make it flow better. I give it a high 4/5, good acting, memorable and amazingly well sung songs, with strong characters, but some minor problems in the whole execution.

"Muy Caliente"

Sucker Punch
Sucker Punch(2011)

"Sucker Punch" tries to tell a story about freedom and the power of ones imagination. How in order to escape our problems we can retreat to our minds to face it. However, the film is a complete mess. The setting changes sporadically, one moment you're in a mental institution the next you are in a brothel. The narrative tries to be incredibly deep, but comes off as laughable because of the coherentism of the plot. However, I do like how when the main girl dances she goes into a fantasy realm, where her and her comrades try to retrieve a certain object that relates to their freedom.

Direction is actually very good. Zack Snyder does know how to visually tell a story. Incredibly well choreographed action sequences are breath taking. It's fast paced and adrenaline rushing. Nice camera work only enhances the action, giving us some really nice shots and camera angles. However, it becomes disappointing. The film has a lot of potential, but the actual story is such a mess that it becomes frustrating and confusing. It also comes off as a really long music video.

The characters aren't all too memorable. They are mostly one dimensional and really lack any personality. They have a goal, but it never feels important enough to them or to us. Acting is hit or miss. Most of the time they are all decent, but certain times they lose their believability, especially when they cry. However, the main girls are all pretty to look at and when they fight it is impressive.

Visually and technically the film is amazing. Great art direction gives the movie it's identity, it feels very much like a dream. The movie relies on several different art styles., from stylized reality to a fantasy land filled with dragons, to a steam punk war zone. The special effects are impressive too. The dragons and ancient samurai robots look incredibly real, down to the most subtle movement. Use of music only enhances the worlds and raises your adrenaline. The music is awesome and well placed adding to the overall style of the movie and what it is trying to visually tell with every scene.

Overall "Sucker Punch" is an entertaining film. From a visual and technical level it is brilliantly amazing. The film is filled with a lot of potential from great directing and camera work to well choreographed action.However, the story is a a jumbled mess and the characters are one dimensional and their acting isn't the greatest. I give it a very strong, 3/5, Amazing visuals, awesome music, and entertaining action, but bogged down by a messy story.

"Alrightness"

The Hurt Locker
½

The story of "The Hurt Locker" is about soldiers, bomb specialists to be exact, and their journey on the field of battle. It's about the power of a team and how they should work together. Personal vendettas are not worth it in war because not only are you putting yourself, but your whole team in danger. It is also about how war can be like a drug, how even if you hate it, it pulls you back because it becomes hard to adjust to normal life. It is a story that is very important to our generation. It helps us get a feel for what it is like for soldiers out there and the constant threat they face each and everyday.

"The Hurt Locker" is a very well directed movie. The environment Kathryn Bigelow creates is both gritty and very real. There is always a sense of tension in the film, it really does feel like we as the audience are in a real war zone. Danger feels like it's lurking in every corner and we don't know if the characters will be able to get out of the situations that they are in. Nice camera work helps escalate the vibe and feel of a war zone. From deserted landscapes to cramped spaces, the camera aids in what the story is trying tell. Writing is also really well done. Dialogue between characters is engaging and edifying. Humor helps ease some of the tension that is present throughout the film. It isn't laugh out loud funny, but manages to make it easier to cope with some of the harsher and tense moments.

Acting is top notch with compelling and characters that very much feel real. Jeremy Renner does a great job of portraying a cocky soldier. His emotions are raw and his character is a likable douche-bag. But I feel his character is a little to over the top, which clashes with the real environment that they set up. Anthony Mackie is superb in the film. He is the more realistic character that only wants to get out alive. We sense his experience and knowledge of the war zone, but also we can feel his fear and worries. Another great performance is by Brian Geraghty, who plays a worrying soldier, who is in constant fear of dying.

The sound of the film is very raw. It sounds as if we are on the battlefield with planes/choppers flying overhead, gunshots being fired, and bombs exploding in the distance. The score weaves you through the intense and more subtle scenes; It is perfectly orchestrated.

Overall "The Hurt Locker" is an incredible work of cinema. The story feels true and subtle things can make you emotional especially during a sniper sequence. Well balanced action with subtle humor and drama make the film very impactful. However, the film does get a little slow in the third act and some the believability seems to stray away, I give it 4.5/5, incredible performances and smart script bundled with intelligent direction.

"The Hurt Locker" is a must watch, at least once. It is significant to our generation and truly does give us a sense of what war is like.

"Fetch Status"

Friends With Benefits
½

"Friends With Benefits" is a well made film with a hilarious script. The movie has a high level of energy throughout and the jokes and gags keep pouring in. One funny line or moment after another. It also pokes fun at the cliche of the genre that it is apart of, while at the same time embracing it. Most of the jokes hit the mark and don't ruin the pace of the film. The director handles the humor with care and often brings a twist to the formula.It does drag in certain places and does tend to fall into cliches, which makes it lose its identity in certain places.

The actors are great, they bring a lot of their charm and charisma to the screen. Mila Kunis plays an emotionally damaged head hunter. She feels that she can't uphold a relationship because there is something wrong with her. Justin Timberlake plays a guy who works with an ad company who has a hard time expressing himself emotionally. He also has to deal with his father, who suffers from alzheimer's. Both leads have great comedic timing and bring life to thier roles with a new flare.

Overall "Friends With Benefits" is a charming and fun movie. It adds a new twist on the romantic comedy genre, while staying true its root. It does drag in the third act because it falls into cliches. The writing is smart and fresh. I give it 3.5/5, funny and charming, adds a new twist, but still filed with cliches.

"Caliente"

No Strings Attached

"No Strings Attached" is a competently made film. The director tried to do something new and modern. A comedy about two people who have sex with no relationship bounding them, It helps them relieve stress and find the pleasure they need in their hectic life. While being a comedy the jokes and gags only hit the target a few times. It is slowly paced so the high level of energy required in a comedy is missing. The jokes either fall flat or just come out really awkward. So you're basically sitting through a fairly boring movie that drags on a lot. Only throwing in jokes from time to time to wake you up.

The actors are good for what is given, but don't bring a whole lot of charisma or charm. The characters are one not and don't develop much beyond that. Natalie Portman is a doctor, who has a hard time expressing herself emotionally. But the character is kinda boring. She only brings life towards the third act. Ashton Kutcher plays a guy who has had really rough relationships. He's kinda emotionally damaged and when he meets Portsman character, he thinks he's found the one. However, he's also a bore and hardily brings life to the lifeless script.

Overall, "No Strings Attached" is a alright movie that doesn't bring anything new to the genre a rom-coms. It fills in archytypes, but doesn't flare it up to make it fresh or entertaining. It only picks up in the third act, but overall it is kinda boring and drags. They tried doing something risky and raunchy, but it just came out awkward and unfunny. I give it 2/5, nothing special or new, but can help pass the time.

"I Sat Through That"

Marvel's The Avengers

To put it simply, YES! I would have sat through five more movies like "Captain America: The First Avenger" if it meant to get something as awesome as "The Avengers." Story wise it is simple, they don't try to make it deeper or more meaningful. It's about good vs. evil and that's all we really need. It isn't Oscar bait or trying to take the superhero genre into a new light. It's fun and entertaining. However, the film still invests you emotionally. There are parts that you feel inspired and you might even get a lump in your throat, but you are going to have one hell of a time.

The film is very well directed. With some really exciting shots and moments. You'll be holding your breathe during the action sequences and laughing your pants off during the more funny moments. The director balances the serious moments with the more comic moments so well. It feels naturally and doesn't take you out of the film. The writing is top-notch. Hilarious one liners and witty banter between the characters.

Characters are all great and I think this film showcases them all at there very best. One would think that so many egos in one place would get overwhelming or that one character would out shine the other, but no they all have a chance to shine and balance each other very well. Chris Hemsworth as Thor is great as always and his character is fairly similar to the one in "Thor," which is great. Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man is great too and a little less intolerable. He is still about himself, but doesn't get to the point of becoming annoying, like in his other films. He is funny and the right amount to make him really enjoyable. The biggest improvement is with Chris Evans as Captain America, this is the Captain America that we've wanted. He's funny, sort of a lost puppy, but his leadership and moral shines. He is so much more entertaining in this one. But the best character is by far Marc Ruffalo as The Hulk, this dude is just amazing. He is definitely the best Hulk (and I really liked Ed Nortans) and Bruce Banner. As Bruce we see him jitter as he tries to hold back the Hulk. He's funny, but when he turns to Hulk...Oh my word, it is worth it. They tease you so much that when he finally transformers, you're cheering for him and he steals every scene and moment. Hawk Eye and Black Widow also stand their own along with this superhero frenzy. Loki is a great villain and I don't think I need to explain his awesomeness, and the fact that out of all the avenger movies, he is the best.

The best part of the characters are how they are intact with their personalities and non of them lost any of in the transition to "The Avengers" in fact they became more refined. Most enjoyable is the butting of heads and banter between the characters. They play off each other so well. It is a joy to watch, especially when they fight with each other, but it as exciting when they fight the enemy.

Special effects are superb. Everything looks amazing and only adds to the entertainment. They don't let the effects take over, which many movies tend to do. It is integrated so well. It adds to the thrills, the excitements of watching the film. And the last battle is just breath taking.

Overall "The Avengers" is a really entertaining movie and the reason why we go to theaters. You will have an incredibly fun time with this film. It is officially my favorite superhero film ever. It has everything from great humor, great special effects, to exciting battles and really enjoyable characters. There is a saying that only 3 things that work in movies and that is entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment and this movie is entertainment. I give it 5/5, this movie is the epitome of entertainment.

This is the most fun you're going to have all year int the theaters, highly recommend that you go watch it right now.

"Awesomeness"

FernGully - The Last Rainforest

To answer my question, NO, IT DOES NOT. "FernGully: The Last Rainforest" is poorly directed and very poorly written. The movie feels like the director tried to put effort in the film, but it doesn't show at all. The dialogue is very weak, blatantly telling us what is going on. There is no real emotion behind anything that is happening or being said.

The movie tries to tell a good message about being kind to nature and preserving it. That everything out there has feeling and life. Preserving the forests and our natural world should be a priority, that this is what makes our world so beautiful. However the movie tells this message and its story in such a boring and uninspired way, that not even 30mins into the film, I couldn't wait for it to end. It's probably one of the worst experiences I have ever had. I was feeling as if I had done something bad and was being tortured for it. The only part that is worth a look is the beginning, but after that it is all down hill, until the credits roll and you realized that the film is over.

Characters are very annoying and very bland. Yeah, they were trying to make Crysta feminist, but boy is she dull. She's constantly preaching and when something goes wrong she crays, as if that's going to solve anything. The other characters are just as bad as her. They fill in generic archetypes, but without any real personality. Even Robin Williams as Batty couldn't add anything to the film, it actually takes away more. He is just annoying.

Just like any Disney rip-off, you have to have the music. Well, just like everything else the songs are really bad. They barely movie the plot forward and the lyrics and music are just ear cringing. The songs are so uninspired. The only song tolerable is "Toxic Love," the villain song. And I just have to mention this, it really bothered me. There is a song that is so randomly thrown in that it makes no sense to the already nonsensical narrative. It happens right after a character is shrunk down.

Have you ever seen a Satuday morning cartoon from the late 80's early 90's, well that's exactly what the film looks like. The movie isn't even worth admiring for its animation. I can't fathom that this movie had theatrical release from a major studio. The animation isn't charming and it is very unimaginative.

Overall, "Ferngully: The Last Rainforest" is a horrible film. I can't recommend anyone to watch even with its short run time. It has horrible music coupled with uninspired animation and a very thing plot. It isn't engaging in anyway. The characters are cringe worthy and the overall experience is dreadful. I give it a very low 1/5, just a horrible movie experience.

"WTA"

*Sorry if this review sounds like a rant, but there really isn't anything good about this film.

X-Men: First Class

The movie is a compelling story about society and trying to fit in. It is a story many of us can relate too. We change or hide ourselves to fit into the world or better yet, the world's interpretation of normal. And when we don't we try to create our own society, where we can create our own perspective of reality. Not only is it a strong societal story, but also a story of friendship and working together to fit in somewhere. The funny thing about the film is, it never feels black and white, the movie is covered with grey areas. We sympathize with both sides neither is right or wrong, however some of the extents they go to prove their side is right is a bit extreme.

The performances weren't outstanding, but James McAvoy, Professor X, and Micheal Fassbender, Magneto, did give some really strong performances, especially there relationship was really compelling. Every scene both of these guys were in they took complete control of and when they shared the scene neither out weighed the other.

The balance between action and emotional scenes are blended and paced very well. The action scenes never feel mindless, but they add to the story. The credit really goes to the director for being able to tell the story through the more intense action scenes. The tension that the director creates with Magneto are impressive. You never know what really is going on in his head even when Professor X reads him like a book.

Even with the amount of praise I'm giving this movie, it did have some flaws. The movie fails in some places to tell what the powers of these characters are. I understand that we can interpret what most of the powers are, but for instance the diamond girl and the villains powers aren't very clear. Another problem was some of the motives of the characters. It's hard to understand what they're trying to do and why they change.

Overall though, "X-Men: First Class" is a fantastic movie and one of the better comic book/superhero movies. It manages to have heart while at the same time have great action sequences. The special effects are used well and don't feel cheesy or distracting. Only problems I can find are minor character explanation and motives. I give it a strong 4/5, strong story, great sequences, but minor character problems.

"Muy Caliente"

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)
½

The story is great, it's about finding your one true place, whether it be with the one you love or a family that loves you. It is handled with finesse and the good old Muppet charm. Throughout the movie there is the presence of an emotional connection with these characters. They are fun, entertaining, and most of all their love. The story does dip a bit in the middle, but the end really makes up for it.

The characters are all here and just as lovable as ever, with the inclusion if a few new ones. The new characters are great especially the new Muppet, Walter. He is a character that is very likable that inspires others to do the best they can. He is a great edition to the Muppet family. Jason Segel, Gary, is great even though his acting could use some work. Amy Adams, Mary, is just as gorgeous and amazing as ever. I could not picture anyone else besides her doing the role and she was a joy to watch. And the villain, Tex Richman , is great. He is underhanded and the threat, while at the same time being really funny, going toe to toe with the Muppets.

Jason Segel gets some more credit for actually writing an amazing and funny script for "The Muppets." The writing is fantastic and we get a sense that he really loves these characters and what they have to offer. The script is intelligent with smart witty humor, classic Muppet charm, mixed in with a lot of heart. I had a smile on my face the whole time watching.

The musical numbers are great too. The songs are catchy, fun, entertaining, and at times very funny. I am a huge fan of the songs in this movie especially Life's a Happy Song. The melody, the lyrics are perfect. Party of One and Man or Muppet are great too. Hopefully they get Oscar noms or even a win.

Overall "The Muppets" is a great movie. The humor is smart and witty. The movie is written so well with lovable characters and great performances it escalates it to a whole other level. The songs are fantastic and the movie has a lot of heart and charm. I give it a strong 4.5/5, smart, funny, well written, and overall great entertainment.

I highly recommend people go see "The Muppets." It will satisfy long term fans and captivate new ones. It is just pure entertainment and one of the best movies you can go see during the holiday season. There only very few moments when I didn't have smile or wasn't laughing. Possible Oscars include song and hopefully a writing nom.

"Fetch Status"

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)
½

I grew up with Toy Story and it's kinda funny that when Andy was ready to go to college so was I. I can relate with him as he has to let go of his closest friends and seek new adventures. I to had to lose my close friends in school and let them take there own journey the way I must too. The movie had the same likable cast that I grew up with only one I was missing was Bo Peep and her relationship with Woody. The best new character to the movie was Ken. Ken is really funny and a very likable guy. It's funny how he keeps saying he's not a girls toy, but yet he has a dream home filled with clothes. As for the Villain Lotso, well he's alright. he loos like a likable guy, but man is he mean and very manipulative. As for his motive it seems worn out. He's not as good as some of the other Pixar villains like Hopper or Auto. The movie was a roller coaster rid of emotion it went from me feeling nostalgic to me feeling sad, to happy. I was going back and forth on these emotions. The ending was heartfelt, but highly predictable. Overall it is a must see for everyone.

Hugo
Hugo(2011)
½

"Hugo" is a story about finding your place in the world. That everyone has a purpose whether to inspire or to do something wonderful and without you the world might not function properly. It is also about the love of movies. How a film can inspire someone or how it can help them escape the harsh realities of life.

The film is wonderfully directed by Scorsese. It feels very smooth and that he put a lot of love into this film. The camera work is also amazing with a lot of good shots of the scenery and it really made the film look like out of a child fantasy. The only thing I found wrong was that the story never connects on an emotional level, but it does manage to inspire. I don't know if that makes sense, but it gives us a sense of purpose. Writing is very strong too, but I think a lot of the dialogue will go over children's heads and even some parents. They use so many large words that sometimes you have to take a few seconds to find out what they mean.

Acting is done fairly well. Asa Butterfield, Hugo, does a good job of portraying his character of an orphan that's longing for a purpose. The kid has a strong future. Chloe Grace Moretz, Isabelle, is as good as always. She's funny and incredibly smart. But the scene stealer is Sir Ben Kingsley, who portrays a jaded man that feels he has lost his purpose in the world and that no one cares for him. He portrays emotions so well. He puts on a happy smile, but you can tell by his eyes that he really is a tortured soul.

"Hugo" isn't just good on a story and character level, but also on the technical level as well. The special effects are gorgeous and really add to the whole "out of a child's dream vibe." It's whimsical and just plan beautiful to watch. Art direction is also fairly good as so are the costumes, which all add to the whole feel of the film. Giving it such a classic look and vibe.

Overall "Hugo" is a really good film. It is directed very well and the incorparation of special effects only adds to the whole feel of the film. It doesn't connect on an emotional level that it should, but what it does do is inspire. It is a film mostly for film buff, but there is a lot to enjoy for the average viewer because of how strong the story and characters are. I give it 4.5/5, strong story accompanied by a strong cast, great special effects, and very inspirational.

"Fetch Status

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
½

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" is about being yourself. Don't let fame and glory get in the way of who you are. And it's about not losing sight of your real friends who have been there from thick and thin. It is a decently funny film, but I feel that most of the funny stuff was ruined because of the trailers.

The film is directed well, after all it is stop-motion, which takes a lot of time and dedication to do. While your watching it feels effortless. I really like the camera shots and angles they managed to get especially during a chase sequence in the middle of the film. Writing is also fairly good with a lot of inside humor, but like I said most of the humor falls flat. Either it was already overdone in the trailers or they weren't funny enough. The slapstick however, is good, which makes up for much of the humor that the writing lacks.

Characters are as colorful and as quirky as you would think in an Aardman project. They are funny and their names are funnier, playing off of what they wear or look like. Pirate Captain, is funny enough, especially with his name. He's sort of like Wallace from Wallace and Gromit, where he thinks he is smart and can be capable of doing more and is sort of a likable idiot. His Gromit is Number 2 or Pirate with a Scarf. He balances out the over the top Captain by being realistic and the emotional core of the film (My favorite character). The other characters are good too. They're funny and quirky and have their own little side jokes, (there's a running joke with a character with a beard that is pretty funny). But one that's really worth mentioning is Mr BoBo the Monkey. He has probably the strongest gags in the film.

Animation is really top-notch. The stop-motion is super fluid and one of the best I've seen in a while, but still manages to keep the choppiness that comes with the medium. It's charming, while at the same time mind blowing because they manage to pull of some really amazing things. Some of the things they manage to pull of takes a lot of dedication and commitment. Aardman is the best at what they do.

Overall "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" is a fun movie. The story isn't mind blowing or overly funny, but still manages to be charming. The writing is good with some intelligent in jokes, but most of it doesn't blow us away. Animation is top-notch and really pulls you in. I give it 3.5/5 , charming story with fun characters and really great animation, but it isn't as funny as one would think.

"Caliente"

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
½

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is about good vs. evil and that good will always win. It says that if you are good, bad things may happen, but in the end you will be rewarded. Same can be said if you are bad, good things may happen, but in the end you will suffer. The film is directed well. It is well paced and never feels to drag and the humor is still funny today, where most of the humor is more cynical. Lots of imagery tells the story and forces viewers to think outside the box and everything isn't blatantly being told to us.

Characters are fun and likable. Snow White, while she isn't an example of feminism, she is still likable. Many people might find her voice annoying and her character dumb, but she is supposed to be incredibly pure and only around age 14 or something. She is supposed to be naive and a bit ditsy. She does get annoying at times and isn't a proactive heroine, she still manages to be likable. The dwarfs are the star of the film, sort of. They all have their own unique personalities corresponding to their name. The add a lot of humor with their slapstick antics, but at the same time add a level of heart, especially near the end. The Queen, is actually very well animated, keeping a very straight face and limit movement. She's not the very best villain ever, but she can be intimidating and scary when she needs to be. The only thing bad about the characters are that they are one note, they never grow or have any more layers beyond what's presented except for Grumpy, who does show love and some character development.

The animation is beautiful and still holds up today. It isn't the best animated humans, but what they do with them is still very believable. Colors are bright and backgrounds are lushes. And the animation is the star of the film as well because most of the story is being told through imagery.

Music is fantastic. The score is very memorable and heartfelt, you'll be humming it well after watching the film. The songs are great too. Some people might be turned off by Snow's singing voice, but I myself like it. My favorite songs are "One Song" a duet between Snow and the personality less Prince. And "Someday My Prince Will Come" is also very uplifting and the music that goes with is great and of course "Hi Ho" is also fairly fun.

Overall "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is a timeless movie. It isn't the greatest animated film ever or even during Walt's time, but it is solid. Some really nice imagery and fun characters make this something really fun for the whole family. No wonder it has withstood the test of time, it's just pure wholesome fun. I give it, 3.5/5, good animation coupled with great music and fun characters, but characters have little to no development and some might even find them annoying.

"Caliente"

Ponyo
Ponyo(2009)
½

"Ponyo" is a love story at its core and about what extent you are willing to go for the ones you love. Not just the average boy and girl love story, but also one between a mother and her son and a father and his daughter. The film is well directed with a keen eye for detail. Simple things like making noodles feel nostalgic and whimsical. The film is written well enough, but dialogue between the boy and girl feel too weird (I'll explain later).

Characters are just as colorful as any Miyazaki production. Lisa, mom, is the most fun character in the film. She's spontaneous and crazy, but you know she cares for everyone. She also provides some really great laughs especially when she's driving, which is also frightening. The older women in the rest home are also funny and add some good laughs. Ponyo, princess of the sea, is interesting, she's rebellious and stubborn, but it's really hard to connect with her. Sosuke is more relatable. He starts off shy and timid and soon has the courage to stand up to anyone for his love.

The relationships. Let's start off with the good ones Sosuke and his mother. They have a really good bond and you know that they care for one another. His mother is often very strong, but when she's down Sosuke can pull her right back up and vice versa. The relationship between Ponyo and her father is significantly weaker. They have a good bond, but they don't really play off each other very well and it's hard to feel the love between them. Sosuke and Ponyo's relationship is a bit of a mix bag. On one hand it is sweet, but on the other it is really unbelievable. They are only like 5yrs old and they are totally devoted to one another. It becomes hard to take serious and sort of disconnects its viewer.

Animation is gorgeous. Beautiful backgrounds with so many intricate things going on. Vibrant colors fill the screen with explosive special effects. The characters movie fluidly and there is a whimsical aura to the whole film.

Overall "Ponyo" is a good film. It is a breeze to watch, but as a viewer it's hard to connect on an emotional level. The characters are fun, but their relationships with one another could have been handled better aside from Lisa and Sosuke. I give it 3.5/5, well animated with an easy to follow story, but is brought down with an unbelievable relationship.

"Caliente"

Anastasia
Anastasia(1997)

"Anastasia" is more of a "what if" story taking on a fantasy aspect of true life events. Kinda like Disney, where they take stories and twist it into their own adventures, this movie does the same thing. The film is about finding yourself and being who you are, overused messages, but there's nothing wrong with that. It is directed fairly well, some really nice shots and camera work. Capturing the whole country of Russia with a magical vibe and the depression of its people at the time. It is also fairly well written with some strong dialogue, but at times it tends to point out the obvious.

Characters in the film range from good to great. They have the funny side characters, the villain, and the two leads. The side characters are funny when there supposed to be and add some heart to the film, but mostly they're forgettable. Rasputin, the villain, is actually are pretty cool character. He's vicious and threatening when he's supposed to be and at the same time he can be funny when he's doing his own thing. However, I felt some of his jokes kill his overall persona just a little bit. Dimitri, the hero, is interesting and likable. He is a con man and at first he is sort of a jerk, but grows into someone we can care about. Anastasia, title character, is strong and independent. She has a strong wit and much like the princess during her time she actually has a personality.The romance between her and Dimitri is real and it has a chance to develop.

And of course this is a musical so we have to talk about the music. The overall score is fairly beautiful. It has something familiar to it, but at the same time it feels fairly new. It's haunting and magical just like the movie. The songs are great too and fairly memorable. "Once Upon December" is my favorite song in the movie. It has a haunting score while mixing it with mysterious lyrics. "Journey to the Past" is also a good song with haunting and magical lyrics and score, it was nominated for an Academy Award.

The Animation in the film is gorgeous, blending hand-drawn animation with CGI beautifully. The characters movie fluidly and realistically, while keeping it in the tradition of animation of over exaggeration. Bright beautiful colors fill the screen with magical special effects. The best is during the sequence of "Journey to the Past," where everything just pops and there is just a sense of beauty.

Overall "Anastasia" is a really good movie Don Bluth's 2nd best only behind "Secret of NIMH." It has likable and strong willed character with gorgeous animation and some beautiful songs. However the side characters aren't that interesting or memorable and the movie does tend to talk down to you while pointing out the obvious. As well some of the humor, mainly the slapstick doesn't work well with the movie and its town, becoming a little kiddish. I give it a low, 4/5. good story with likable and interesting leads, gorgeous animation and music, but bogged down a bit by its writing and issues with tone.

"Muy Caliente"

Sleeping Beauty
½

"Sleeping Beauty" is a simple movie much like most of Disney's classics. It is about good vs. evil and that the righteous of hearts will always defeat the shadows of evil. However, the movie is enormous in scope, with an epic climax, a lot of special effects, but slow pacing and characters that could use more screen time drag down the experience. While the film has amazing direction it is paced incredibly slow. It picks up steam as the movie goes on, but never enough to command your total attention.

The characters are good enough, but Aurora and Prince Philip could have used a little more development. Aurora is a joy to watch when she's on screen, most of the credit goes to how she is animated, but she never really develops a strong personality and not to mention she's asleep for most of the movie. Prince Philip is likable enough, but he too doesn't develop a strong enough personality or grows as a character. He is better than all the princes that proceeded him. Regardless of this movie being called "Sleeping Beauty" the story is about the 3 good fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, and the evil Maleficent. The fairies are fun characters and add a lot of laughs to the film, but also have motherly qualities that make 'em more interesting. They have their internal problems, but care very much for Aurora and represent the good. Maleficent is a total badass, while her motives are a bit weak, she manages to be a fearful threat. Her subtle movements and straight face make her incredibly intimidating and her final transformation is pretty scary. She represent all that is evil.

In any Disney movie the songs are very important and this movie does not lack. Inspired and borrowed by Tchaikovsky's original ballet of the same name, the music and songs work beautifully. They are very different from any Disney movie before and after it. The singing voice is operatic and adds so many levels of class and beauty to the songs. My favorite song from the movie is "Once Upon A Dream." The musical score is also fantastic and captures the epicness Walt set out to do.

And last but not least, the true star of the film, the animation. Oh my god, the film is completely beautiful to look at. The animation and style are so unique and fluid. Every frame truly does look like a renaissance painting. The backgrounds are so beautiful, filled with so many intricate details and vibrant colors. In my opinion this is the most beautiful animated film ever made from an aesthetic perspective. No matter what the story problems are, this is the best, not the best film that's animated, but the best "animated" film ever in terms of animation and aesthetic bliss.

Overall "Sleeping Beauty" is a good movie, but suffers from pacing and minor character issues. It is extremely well animated, just beautiful to look at, and the music is incorporated well. The story is a little all over the place and I did notice my attention slipping, but it is a good watch. I give it a very strong 3.5/5, messy story, fairly slow paced, and good characters that could have used more development, but is carried with gorgeous animation and music, plus the climax is worth it.

"Caliente"

Enchanted
Enchanted(2007)
½

"Enchanted" is a fun movie about finding yourself, not losing site with reality, but also at the same time following your dreams. It is fairly well directed especially the choreography of the musical numbers. Use of special effect and to make it feel like an enchanted Disney fairy tale are quite mind blowing. Writing is top-notch and incredibly funny. It's really fun trying to pick out all the Disney references in the movie, which are very intelligently implemented.

The characters are amazing and fun in "Enchanted," and the actors do a great job of portraying them. Giselle, wonderfully acted by Amy Adams, is the typical Disney princess, she's sweet, kind, and has an amazing singing voice. Amy Adams does a great job of bringing this character to life and adding so much likability to a pretty much Snow White like character in this day and age. She truly did and Oscar worthy performance and should have been nominated. Patrick Dempsey does a good job playing Robert. However his character is a little dull and more realistic to the other colorful cast. James Marsden, Edward, was another amazing performance. He really captured the clueless prince aspect of the character so well. As always he did a great job playing the deal third wheel we wish the main character will fall for. Narissa played by Susan Sarandon, is one of the wickedest villains in a Disney movie. She's mean, nasty, and quite funny. Susan's performance is great and the ending is battle is just amazing.

The most important part of any musical, the songs. The songs are done by the legendary Alan Menken and the amazing lyricist Stephen Schwartz. The music and songs in "Enchanted" are just amazing, some of the finest songs in a musical in a long time. "How Do You Know" is the great Broadway spectacular in this film. It's such an amazing toe tapping sing along song that jsut captures the imagination. "Happy Working Song" is another fun song. It has so many fun and intelligent lyrics that are funny for kids and even funnier for adults. It's a tune you will not forget easily and might even hum when doing your own house work. The other songs are fantastic too, but my favorite by far is "True Love's Kiss" the most magical song in the movie. It takes me back to classic Disney love songs and makes you want to fall in love (again).

There are some segments of classical hand drawn animation which are beautiful. Fluid motion and vivid colors make it very appealing to the eye. Also some very moments are thrown in here.

Overall "Enchanted" is a fantastic musical and movie. It has lovable characters, amazing music, and a engaging story. You can really tell because of this movie Disney went on to do "The Princess and the Frog" and "Tangled" both of which are fairy tales with a twist. I personally think the movie should have won for Best Original Song at the Oscars. I also think Amy Adams should have been nominated for Best Actress and the movie Should have been nominated for Best Picture. It is that good. To me the film is the modern day "Mary Poppins" and Amy Adam is the modern day Julie Andrews. I give it a 4.5/5, engaging, fun, and a true classic.

"Fetch Status"

Thumbelina
Thumbelina(1994)

The movie is about a girl who is the size of a thumb, she longs to find people her own size because she feels left out. She comes across a fairy prince and they fall in love immediately. Fairly quickly their love for one another is challenged when Thumbelina is kidnapped and the prince has to rescue her. It is a fairly simple story, just like the Disney movies coming out at the time. However, the movie lacks any sort of imagination or charm. I don't mind love at first site encounters, but this movie takes it to the next level. The characters meet and fall in love almost immediately. They plan to get married after a few minutes. I know Disney movies are notorious for this, but they give the characters some time before they decide to get married or at least make it interesting.

"Thumbelina" is so generic. The directing isn't anything special and the writing is fairly weak. Characters pop in and out without much build up, it ends up feeling kinda unusual. The movie also loses itself in all the action that going on. So there isn't enough time for romance or even a funny joke. I only laughed a few times. I didn't feel engaged to the story and felt as if the director was talking down to me.

The characters are bland. Thumbelina is your typical damsel in distress, but she has no real personality. As the audience we can't connect with her. The prince, Cornelious, is alright, but he falls into the same category as Thumbelina and so do most of the characters. They have so many characters popping in and out of the film that it becomes overwhelming. And also hurts the movie for not being able to give each character a personality or any depth.

The animation is alright, but I've seen better from Don Bluth. However, I do like some of the special effects they manage to achieve especially in the "Let Me Be Your Wings," sequence. And that brings us to the songs, again so very generic and forgettable. They have the typical love songs, the "I Want Song," the inspirational song, and villain song. They are all oh so weak. The only song that I kinda like was the love song "Let Me Be Your Wings," but everything else is forgettable.

Overall "Thumbelina," is a generic movie that tried to copy Disney's success and failed. The movie is geared towards very young children, which is okay, but it makes it hard for a family to sit together and enjoy it. Nothing is spectacular in the film, but you can still enjoy it to some minimal extent. I give it 2/5, Bland characters mixed in with a weak story.

"I Sat Through That"

The Princess Diaries

"The Princess Diaries" is a very simple movie about being true to yourself. Not letting societies rules bend who you are and want to become. It's also about not being afraid and standing up for what you believe in. Simple and overused messages, but done in an entertaining and very fun way.

Directing is effective and fairly fun. There are some nice shot and scene compositions. There is an upbeat energy throughout the film and for the most part that level of energy never falls. From start to finish it is a fun ride. The movie never feels melodramatic or anything and most of the humor flows naturally put of situations. Credit goes to the director for keeping it wholesome. One scene in particular gets me teary eyed, not a very long scene, but something about the situation just tugs at my heart. The scene is towards the end of the film where Mia is in her car, it's raining, and she's singing "catch a falling star."

The characters are also very fun. From a no it all goth friend to a stern driver, you get all sorts of characters. Anne Hathaway as Mia is likable, she's funny, and always has a high level of charisma. She handles each scene very well as a awkward high school girl. Julie Andrew as the queen fits her as perfect as a glove. This lady has class and a very smart wit. The other character good too and add a lot of humor to the film.

Overall "The Princess Diaries" is a entertaining flick. It isn't a cinema masterpiece and there are part of the film that could have been better, but it just provide some very fun laughs. It is a breezy watch and helps pass the time in a fun way. I give it a 3/5, nothing new, but a fun way to pass the time with some wholesome laughs,

"Alrightness"

Titan A.E.
Titan A.E.(2000)

"Titan A.E. (After Earth)" is a pretty basic movie in terms of story. It is an action adventure sci-fi pic about the human condition and finding where you belong. The characters set out on an adventure to find a space ship that would ultimately transform into a planet for the human race, who are become extinct. However the film never reaches the level of emotional involvement that is required for a film about the end of the human race. As the audience I can't sense the desperation for their cause. Another thing is that the movie is pretty cliched, I have nothing against cliches, but man can you see almost everything coming. You know who the bad guy is, the twists barely catch you off guard, and there isn't enough in the story to care about it.

Another low part of the movie is its characters. It's your typical character archetypes, the jaded hero, the love interest, the funny side character that have little to do with the plot, and a threat. While the side characters aren't all that great, the hero is fairly interesting, love interest, and threat are decent to good enough. Cale is a decent enough hero, but their isn't anything that takes him to the next level as the hero. He is likable, but fairly bland. The love interest Akima is pretty cool. She's smart and can be a fend for herself. The threat, the drej, are interesting, but are probably the best characters. They pose such a threat that at time I feel like the characters are screwed.

Where the movie lacks in story and character, it makes up for it with its animation. This movie is Don Bluth's magnum-opus in terms of animation. The visuals are stunning and the character animations are fluid and beautiful. I was constantly amazed by the visuals even though they are over a decade old. The way cgi and hand-drawn animation blended together was something "aw" at. I really like the steam punk look of the film. The visuals are magnificent and it was the one thing keeping my attention.

The music is used well to enhance the overall movie. It adds the right amount of emotion to keep you invested, which is lacking in the characters and story. Songs are quite good for the movie, but forgettable.

Overall, "Titan A.E." is a decent movie that you can have a good enough time with. While the story and characters are weak, the animation and music make up for it. I give it a 3/5, gorgeous animation and good soundtrack that are dragged down by sub-par story and characters.

"Alrightness"

Titanic
Titanic(1997)

"Titanic" is a simple movie in terms of story and what many of us call "Oscar bate." There is a cliched love story about a boy and girl from two separate worlds, despite societies rules, fall in love with each other . They share a majestic love story and just when things are going well tragedy strikes and they are tested. Beautiful set pieces accompanied by amazing costumes that truly capture the time period.

Director, James Cameron, does a good job. The environments he creates is real and believable. And when tragedy strikes our hearts start pounding. He beautifully sets up some amazing moments, while cheesy at times even exploitative. The great thing he does is that he really creates a bond for the audience with the main characters. He doesn't focus on everything and everyone so we get a more personal feel and attachment. Cameron manages to put something into the staggering long run time even though the film does get extremely long.

The acting is top-notch, excellent performances all around. Especially Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. Their onscreen chemistry is pleasing to watch and feels very much true. However, they tend to over due their romance from time to time and it just becomes really unrealistic and super cheesy.

I think the best thing about the movie is its musical score. Which is fantastic and really tugs at the heart strings. The music captures everything and gives a feeling of nostalgia and romance. I can bet one hundred percent that after listening to it, you'll be humming it for a couple of days. It is the type of music that will resonate with you for years to come.

The visuals are amazing not just for its time, but for what is possible when you put in hard work. Recreating a ship that was destroyed almost a hundred years ago is no small feet. One could never have guessed whether this is real or that computers had created it. The final scenes are really where the visuals shine.

Overall, "Titanic" is a really good filled with romance, excitement, and amazing visuals. The movie at times is cheesy, extremely exploitative putting the characters into situations just to pull at the heart strings and get a reaction from the audience and criminally long. However at the end of the day it is still well directed and acted filled with moments of "aw." I give it a very strong 4/5, well directed and acted, stunning visuals, a fantastic score, but super cheesy, long, and exploitative.

"Muy Caliente"

The Hunger Games

"The Hunger Games" is essentially a story about hope and how powerful it can be. It just takes one person to challenge the status quo to start something. It is also a movie about how the rich treat the poor, but without them the poor can suffer even more. However, it does challenge how the rich take care of business. It might be helpful, but is it humane/righteous.

The first part of "The Hunger Games", during the reaping, is incredibly lackluster. None of the drama ever builds up, we as the audience don't connect with the characters, and it doesn't do a job of explain how the games work. If I hadn't read what I did, I would have no idea how the system works, what determines your chances at being part of the game. The second part picks up a bit more, before the games, after they reach The Capital, but not by much. The characters are more defined and the drama seems to build up more, but it's predictable and sort of been there done that kinda vibe. However, some of the moments catch you off guard and there is enough to keep your interest. The third part, The Games, is what the movie should have been the whole movie. It captures everything in this section from humor to heart to emotion to fear to everything in between. It is well worth the first two parts and significantly picks up the slack.

The director does a good job of setting up the universe like the whole look and vibe of desperation. Like I said the movie struggles in the beginning and slow pick up steam. However, once The Games start, the film is on a different level. The tension and drama created during The Games is unbelievable, there were moments when I literally jumped out of my seat. The relationships are more fleshed out and we really care for the characters. I really like how they didn't show anything when characters died, it left more for the imagination.

Acting in the film is top notch. Well played by everyone, but the star is definitely Jennifer Lawrence, Katniss. She took every scene to another level. We can feel her pain, her stong opinion towards The Games, and her desperation. She inhabits so many different emotions at once and at no point did I not feel every ounce of what she felt. The relationships are handled well, especially with Rue and Katniss.

Overall "The Hunger Games" is pretty good. powerful performances backed by some really good action and directing, especially during The Games. While the ending is sort of lackluster and uneventful it doesn't harm the movie too badly. And The Games really for the most part make up for the beginning and some parts of the middle. I give it, 4/5, really good movie with strong characters only harmed by a weak middle and an even weaker beginning.

I recommend people go watch "The Hunger Games," is a really fun and exciting movie. The character of Katniss is such a powerful character and someone that girls can look up to as a strong female role model.

"Muy Caliente"

Beginners
Beginners(2011)

I tell you what "Beginners" is incredibly charming. It has a wit and is immensely clever. This film tries to tell a very sincere story about life and how we can't keep waiting for the perfect people/situation to enjoy it. We should go out and live. If we wait and over analyze everything we'd miss out the sheer joy of being alive. It's the little things that are important and it's the little things that make this film charming.

The directing and edit is really clever. With some really nice shots. I really like how they compare and contrast our modern world to that of the 50's. The director intelligently composes everything with a lot of wit and adds charming elements to make us intrigued and we begin to question the status quo. I liked how cleverly the movie jumps between different periods in time and shows how the past has an effect in how we react to things later on in life.

I really liked the actors in this movie, they epitomize the charm and wit this film has. Ewan McGregor is fantastic and it shows how much of an under appreciated gem of an actor he is. He has a gravitating personality that just absorbs you into his character. He's genuine and very charming. The show stealer is definitely Christopher Plummer, this guy is just amazing. Every scene he presented with class and a very clever wit. He was charming and incredibly likable. He was funny and just very pleasant to watch on screen. Now the girl on the other hand, Melanie Laurent, she wasn't bad, but her accent was really hard to understand in many crucial points of the movie. However her chemistry with Ewan McGregors character was just pure bliss. They were real and felt very much like a true relationship. Unfortunately this feeling was lost towards the end of the film. But another show stealer is the dog, who is just great and very well casted. He's cute and adds to the whole charm of the movie.

The script is very smart, but I feel the film begins losing itself towards the end. It becomes to artsy and some characters aren't defined well enough, like the mom. It felt towards the third act the movie began losing some of its charm and was just going through emotions. I became very slow and felt like it was going on longer than it actually was. The romance began to feel more forced and unnatural and the only part of the movie that was consistent was the scenes with Christopher Plummer.

Overall, I think I like "Beginners". While the actors are incredible and the movie is witty and incredibly charming, it begins to lose itself towards the end. Losing some of the genuineness that it established early on. I give it a very high 3/5, witty and charming, well performed, but it loses itself near the end that it leaves you sort of unsatisfied.

I recommend people check out 'Beginners." It is a fun and can be really enlightening, but be warned the last act drags on. Film enthusiasts will love it and most average movie goers will be fairly mixed.

"Alrightness"

50/50
50/50(2011)

First things first, "50/50" does a great job of handling the subject matter. It's never offensive or disrespectful to anyone dealing with the disease. The directors and actors and writer do a great job of being classy and not cynical to get some really cheap laughs. It is genuine with true heart and emotions. We get a quote 50/50 unquote balance of drama and laughs.

The movie is basically about a guy who finds out that he has cancer. He begins to push his loved ones away and anyone trying to help him. Being a cautious person he begins losing hope. The film tells us that it is important to have family by our side and that they are the only ones that will truly help you in your time of need. It also takes about how complex it is for a person dealing with cancer to go about their lives. That they forget about the light at the end of the tunnel and that we as friends and family members should help boost that hopefulness.

Director Jonathan Levine does a great job. He knows exactly what to do in each situation without it as coming of as offensive or mean spirited. While his directing is good, I have to say the Screenplay is fantastic. Carried with a lot of wit, heart, and charm. It is hilarious when it has to be. The jokes are classy situational punches. Even in the more dramatic moments there is a sense of hope that uplifts its viewers.

Performances in this movie are top notch with Joseph Gordon-Levitt taking center stage. He shows us the complexity of this diseases, we see his desire to live and he has such a onscreen charm it's hard not to get captivated by his performance. Another noteworthy performance is the moms, Anjelica Houston. She's great just like a real worried mother. But what I really like was the relationship between Joseph and Anjelica, it is so genuine. Like how he tries pushing her away, she still comes back because no matter how old a mother love is never weakened.

Overall, "50/50" is a great film. It tackles touchy subject matter with class and the screenplay is just phenomenal. Even the score is charming and uplifting just like the rest of the movie and cast. One thing did bother me though, I guess it's my fault, but I felt really uncomfortable in certain scenes. I think it's because of the subject matter. While it's quit not a 4.5, I give it a very strong 4/5, well written and acted, fun, and a very enjoyable movie.

I highly recommend people check this one out. It is a light watch and never becomes preachy or over dramatic. It is a perfect balance of uplifting drama and humor with charming and likable cast. I think you'll have a great time watching.

"Muy Caliente"

The Last Airbender

"The Last Airbender" is a atrocity to film making and it's original source material. There is hardly anything good about the film. No emotional involvement from the audience, not enthusiasm from the cast, not even the special effects are good. It is just a terrible movie from start to end. It is laughable at how bad it is, but being a fan of the original series, I was more angry than anything.

I can understand taking creative liberties with the world, you know trying to make it your own, but then don't try to stay so close to the original story. It will upset fans and confuse new viewers. Director, M. Night Shyamalan, should be revoked of his film making privileges. There is nothing that makes sense, not to fans and most definitely not to viewers watching the story for the first time. There is nothing that flows, we don't know when something starts and another thing begins. We never feel close to the characters or even care for their cause. And there is no logic to any of the events. Why can't the earth benders fight back at the camp? Why do they need a speech? They have earth all around them, why are they powerless? It all never makes sense.

Acting is terrible in the film. All the actors feel uninspired and very wooden. Aang, is annoying and never feels like he is the one that is going to save the world. Katara, in the show is a very strong and caring character, but in this movie she is a weak cliched damsel in distress. Sokka and Prince Zuko, were always my favorite in the series, but in here they are boring and uninteresting. Sokka has no charm and isn't even a good comic relief. Zuko is whiny and we don't care about his tragic back story. We don't ever feel that he NEEDS to find the Avatar.

Writing is worse. With dialogue that a elementary school student would write in a short story. Everything they say is obvious to what's happening on screen.

You would think that they could at least make the fight scenes entertaining or just Michael Bay it up, but they fall flat. The action scenes are laughable at best and really pathetic. The bending which is the center of the combat is horrendous. It is supposed to be an extension of ones combat, but instead it breaks up the whole the flow of the movie. There is a laughably terrible scene where it takes like 20 guys to pick up one small rock and another to send it flying.

Overall "The Last Airbender" is a terrible and very shallow movie. Uninspired script, directing, and acting. It falls flat at everything that it set out to do, the only bearable part of the movie is its score. I believe this movie will be shown in film classes to show students how not to make a movie. I give it a, 1/5, nothing except maybe the score is good about this film, its very shallow, and just overall a terrible movie.

I highly recommend that no one watch this film, it is an atrocity. Only pick this movie up if you're an aspiring filmmaker and want to know how not to make a film. However, I highly recommend the animated series, which is just amazing. You get a better insight on the characters and the world itself. It is more entertaining, involving and beautiful to watch. And coming soon check out a spin-off of the series "Avatar: The Legend of Korra."

"WTA"

Source Code
Source Code(2011)
½

The overall premise of a person being able to relive a persons last eight minutes may sound ludicrous, but the movie does a good and believable job of explaining how it is done. While the movie is science-fiction there is a level of believability to what is happening and "if this possible in real life..."

Most movies when they try to handle too many themes and story lines usually fail. "Source Code" also attempts to tell multiple stories, one about love, the other about a soldier, another about the value of human life, another about regret, and another about destiny and being able to change it. However, this movie does a great job of handling everything, nothing feels as if it were half-baked or was thrown in to make the movie longer.

However many side stories there are in the movie, the main one is about the value of human life. Throughout the movie Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is told to just stay focused on his mission to finding the bomber. He is constantly being told that these people are already dead and there is noway of saving them. However, he questions what "if I could save them, what would happen..." So he makes it his mission to save the people and find the bomber.

The actors do a good job portraying their characters. They are believable and almost like real people in real life. They aren't over the top or too Hollywood where they exaggerate the ability and the way certain characters act. I expecailly liked the relationship between Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Colter Stevens, and Captain Goodwin. And how they grow throughout the movie and learn more about each character. They even start communicating without even talking to each other.

The movie is directed well and it never feels repetitive on account the characters relive the same 8mins for about 1hr 30mins. The director does a excellent job of keeping up the suspension and making sure we as the audience keep guessing until the end. Also the emotional scenes are perfectly intertwined with the more serious and action oriented scenes while at the same time being humorous.

"Source Code," is a fantastic movie that tries to do a lot and succeeded at everything it set out to do. It also creates a world outside of the movie, opening up discussion about parallel universes and causing us to think of how we do things an who or what it might effect. I loved everything about the movie, however, I think the movie would have had a more poetic ending if it ended a little earlier. I won't spoil it, but I will say it should have ended with an explosive kiss. Though I still very much liked the way it ended. The movie itself is very original and I wish it had done better at the box-office. I give the movie a 4.5/5, original, done well, a perfect film.

I personally think it is the best film of the year so far and I like it more than "Inception." Hopefully it gets some Oscar recognition, aside from technical awards, maybe a Best Picture nom. I highly recommend people to see "Source Code."

"Fetch Status"

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids(2011)
½

I'm not going to say the movie is bad, but it isn't brilliant either. It is just pure fun. A simple story done right. The movie never really surprises its viewers with anything new or something that hasn't been done before in a male dominated comedy like this. Instead the surprise is that females are are actually doing a raunchy comedy like this, which explains the movies high praises.

The themes of the movie are that if at first you don't succeed try again and don't let life's low points keep you down. It's a good message that everyone can learn from and it quite intelligently blended into to the humor.

The directing isn't anything special, it is the standard stuff we see in all of these rom-com and chick flicks.

The acting is slightly above average from the standard norm, but nothing outstanding or remarkable. It's something we don't see a lot of in the genre though.

However the humor is quite ballsy for a film like this and it pays of most of the time. Yes the movie as a whole isn't comedy gold, but what they offer especially with a particular husky character is hilarious. There is one thing the movie does well with its humor is that it never overstays its welcome.

The movie is well paced, but at times it feels episodic. Like your watching a marathon of a tv show.

"Bridesmaids" is a fun movie that I can assure most people will enjoy, however it is not very original. The message is good and is better than most movies in its genre. I give it a low 3.5/5, fun, funny, but could have been more.

"Caliente"

Fast Five
Fast Five(2011)
½

"Fast Five" isn't a film masterpiece, but it is quite entertaining. The movie never tries to be anything more than what it is and that is perfectly fine. What it tries to be though is a fast, fun, action packed heist film. It succeeds on all cylinders at everything it set out to do. I felt the movie was a recall to the great action movies of the 80's and 90's. Where all that matters is telling a fun story with well choreographed action sequences and over the top situations.

The acting in the movie isn't that great, but what the actors offer is a lot of charisma and funny one liners. The action scenes are amazing and mind blowing, they are choreographed well into the story. It's over the top, but doesn't feel cheesy or to the point it becomes laughable. "Fast Five" does a good job of being really funny. Either from witty one liners or the unusual situations the characters get themselves into.

I felt that "Fast Five" had its own sense of style and swagger. Everything it tried to do just felt different and fresh. It had a mind of being over the top and just blowing viewer expectation and it accomplished all of it with its own identity. The movie also managed to do something I've never seen before and the was with its captions. I've never seen captions come out like that, it just tied into the movies style.


Overall "Fast Five" is a really fun and entertaining movie. It has its own identity and style, but at the same time has a feeling of great action movies of the past. The acting maybe uninspired, but the actors still manage to keep a certain amount of charisma. I give the film, 3.5/5, fun, entertaining, and knows exactly what it is trying to do. Also the movie stands on its own without the need to see the other 4 movies in the series.

"Caliente"

The Lion King

When Simba is young he is naive to the world. Like any child he easily believes almost anything someone tells him and he is eager to discover new things. When his father tells him that one day he will to be king, Simba immediately gets that sparkle of astonishment in his eyes. However being the naive child he is, he thinks being king is all about having power and just doing what he wants. This can symbolize the way kids think when they are little, they think growing up means you can boss around anyone you want and you have no responsibility. As he goes into exile he develops a more carefree attitude and thinks he has found what it means to be an adult. Like many of us when we were teens, we didn't care for a lot of things and we would kind of push away our family members and have this rebellious phase. But it isn't until we become older that we have to realize it is time to grow up. That is when we really learn what we have to do and step up. Which Simba does when he gets a message from his father. What makes Simba such a powerful character is that no matter who we are we can relate to him because some of the situations and behaviors he has most of us did too.

The movie is filled with great spiritual and deeper messages. One powerful scene I can think of is when Simba's paw falls into Mufasa's paw print. It tells Simba that he has to fill in the footsteps of this great lion. We can see the fear in Simba's eyes he wonder, "will I be able to do this?" Another theme the movie deals with is death. The movie is very blunt on death. On screen we see Mufasa die and a baby cub trying wake up the carcass. "The Lion King" tells us that death is inevitable and we have to deal with it. We can't just stop living our lives. But it also says that the person we lost always lives within us through their wisdom our how they helped develop you into the person you are.

The characters in "The Lion King" are great. We can relate to them and we also have someone like them in our own lives. Mufasa, father of Simba, is probably one of the most memorable characters in this movie even though he is only on screen for a short amount of time. He is powerful and intimidating, while at the same time lovable and protective. His wisdom guides Simba through the film and develops him into the man he has to be. Scar, Simba's uncle, is a great villain character. He is funny, frightening, and very intelligent. He behaves as the person in our lives that want nothing more than to see us get harmed. He doesn't show his true intentions and at times feels as if he wants to help, but in reality he just wants to see failure. Timon and Pumba are the comic relief, but we all have people like this in our lives. They teach Simba how to move on and don't let the past hold you back. Even though they bestow a carefree lifestyle on Simba, they wish nothing, but the best for him. When he needs help these two are always ready back him up, like any friend. All the characters are great and very relate able.

The music is beautiful in this movie and I can promise that you will be humming along during and after the movie is over. It capture the spiritual and epic vibe of the movie to a point of pure magic.

"The Lion King" is a fantastic movie that entices you into the story, never once leaving the epic feel. From probably one of the greatest movie intros to the climactic battle to the triumphant pose at the end, the movie comes full circle. In my opinion I believe it to be the best animated film and one of the best movies ever made. It is epic, deep, funny, and very emotional. Epic in scope and Shakespearean in tone. Kids will have fun, adult will reflect back on their own lives, and it's just a perfect film. I give "The Lion King" 5/5, beautifully animated, catchy songs, a story anyone can relate too, and just a great epic.
"Awesomeness"

Captain America: The First Avenger

To call "Captain America: The First Avenger" a bad movie wouldn't be correct instead it is more frustrating than anything. It had potential, but because of some poor choices it became really frustrating to watch. However, it did manage to have a decent story about being the best person you can possibly be.

The movie made a lot of poor choices with its visuals. The overall 40's look was a good idea, but for some reason the colors seemed to mesh together and look really distracting. Even the use of special effects was distracting and annoyingly noticeable. It felt as if nothing fit into the world that was created. Also the effect to make Chris Evans look scrawny fell into the category of the uncanny valley. At times it did work, but most of the time it looked really unnatural. The action scenes were also hefty on wow factor, but there was nothing there to engage the audience.

Another problem with the film was its acting and character relationships. Captain America, Chris Evans, was not very charismatic and felt like a very uninspired Captain America. Also there are a few deaths in the film, but the build up is not very dramatic and we get very little time to get to know the characters. The love story is very generic and sort of just happens. We don't get any sense of why they fall for each other, but they just do. And Red Skull must be the worst villain to come out of these new superhero movies. He has no screen presence, or intimidation factor, and to top it all off he had no real motive for his actions. Actually, non of the characters had a good enough motive for what they were doing.

The movie itself was very confused. It didn't know if it wanted to be very serious or more lighthearted like the other Marvel movies. One moment it was trying to be a hardcore drama trying to pass itself off as being very deep and the next moment it was trying to be funny.

Overall, "Captain America: The First Avenger" isn't a bad movie, but it is very generic. Non of the characters are defined, the special effects are distracting, and the movie itself has an identity crisis. However, at times it can be fun and entertaining and there are some good scenes and even the music is pretty good, it's just that there aren't enough. I give it a very low 3/5, distracting visuals, undefined characters, doesn't know what it wants to be, but the story is decent and at times the movie can be fun.

"Alrightness"

The Help
The Help(2011)
½

The big surprise was that this movie was a lot more than what the trailers were offering. It is a movie with a lot of heart and fantastic acting. The pacing feels perfect and the emotion comes out so naturally, nothing ever feels forced. The humor is well balanced with the more heavier scenes. It is just a perfect film.

The movies main point is about bringing change. That if you see any unrighteousness you have to stand up for it. Don't idly sit there and ignore what is happening even if it seems like the norm. Wrong is wrong and we should stand up and expose any indecent behavior. The movie also covers elements about trust and that not all people are bad no matter how much abuse you have received from a specific group of people.

The movie is well directed and the writing is really good. The dialogue is interesting and while the movie has a hefty message it never feels preachy. The film captures the feel of the time period the movie is set in. You can feel the racial tension between the characters. Also the suspense of what might happen to the characters is built so well.

The music, while subtle, is very good. It portrays the emotions that are conveyed on screen without the use of dialogue.

Where the movie shines is the performances by the star studded cast. Viola Davis, Abby, probably gives one of the best performances this year. Her character is strong and so much is just said through her eyes and body language. Octavia Spencer, Minnie, also gives a really strong performance too. She was amazing and really funny at times. Emma Stone gave a career changing performance, that will launch her into star status. If you haven't noticed her yet, this movie will change your perspective her. Jessica Chastaine, while not as prominent as the rest of the cast, shows what she has to offer. She was one of my favorite characters in the movie. Even the character you don't like like Hilly, Bryce Dallas Howard, is acted out very well. She's mean and you hate her, but the performance just makes you fall in love with her.

'The Help" is a fantastic movie, that has well timed humor, a great message, and a very enticing story. It has something for everyone and I assure you that you will cry at least once throughout the film. Not only is it a great movie, but it also is filled with some of the best performances this year. The writing is great and the directing is solid,all combined with a great musical score. I give the movie a 4.5/5, fantastic acting, great story, and overall great entertainment.

Come Oscar season, "The Help" will be the movie to watch out for, it has so many great things going for it, especially in the acting category. Viola Davis will be a heard person to beat for a Lead Acting award, she is just amazing in the film. In the supporting category, Octavia Spencer, will also be a challenge for others to compete with. I can go on with the Oscars this movie will be worthy of, but watch the movie and judge it for yourself. "Fetch Status"

Rango
Rango(2011)
½

Rango is the most unusual animated movie out this year, it is an original title from a studio that has never produced a film like this. Also it marks the first western in animation. While the story is like a typical western, it is still quite interesting. It tells the tale of big business taking advantage of the little guys. And how the little guys are just as important as the big leaders.

Another note worthy achievement is in the animation. The textures are so real and the movement is so fluid especially with the villain, a giant rattle snake. It goes for photo realism and achieves in creating realistic looking creatures. However, certain characters fall into the uncanny valley. Characters tend to look unappealing and quite disturbing.

The musical score is also good. It captures the western vibe.

The movie has a lot going for it, except the humor. The humor to me feels forced and it tries too hard. It becomes pandering and quite ridiculous. The film and characters try really hard to be funny and weird for the sake of some cheap laughs. The movie also takes a while to start up and I mean a while. The movie doesn't pick up or make any sense until the last 15-20mins.

Overall "Rango," is movie that has a interesting premise and animation that is worth a look. The execution is lackluster with weak humor and some unappealing characters. The ending is worth sitting through 1hr 20mins of filler. I give a 3.5/5, interesting premise, gorgeous animation, humor that is to weird for its own good, and execution that leaves more to be desired.

"Caliente"

Cars 2
Cars 2(2011)
½

Lets start of with the good things. The action sequences are well done and there are a lot of them. And the visuals are top notch. It really does feel like you're watching a big summer spy blockbuster. There were more explosions in "Cars 2" than there are in Micheal Bay films. Another good aspect of the film was the first race sequence. It felt very authentic and exhilarating as if I was there on the race track cheering on Lightning McQueen to win the race. The beginning was also done very well which parodied a James Bond flick, making the film feel like it would be a very exciting and well crafted. Finn McMissile, Holly Shiftwell, and Francesco Bernoulli are all very good characters. They are fun, witty, and steal the spot light at time from the lead Mater.

Yes Mater is the lead in this film, which is one of the negatives of this film. In the first he felt like a powerful sidekick, but in this film he feels like a lost puppy mixed with Jar Jar Binks. He is way to over the top at times and is as confused throughout the movie as the audience. He does have some touchy moments, but nothing compared to the Mater that helped out good old Lightning from the first "Cars." Ah, Lightning McQueen, the character that started the series is very underused in this movie and sort of reverts back to his big shot self in "Cars 2." However, he quickly changes. Now where the movie really lacks is in the story, which is ironic because Pixar has always said that story is king. The story is very thin and everything just sort of happens. It's way to situational. Somethings happen out of sheer coincidence, such as the scene towards the end with Mater and McQueen or the scene involving the race in Italy. The ending is very cliched and to an extent predictable.

Overall "Cars 2" is a very entertaining and enjoyable film, but that's all that it is. The story is very thin and the film feels like "a Ferrari without a engine." Pretty and beautiful, you can have a good time with it, but overall it's useless and you can't fathom why you have it if you can't interact with it. This is Pixar's first sub-par film and not just by their standards, but as a movie. I give "Cars 2" a 2.5/5, a entertaining movie that is nothing beyond that.

"Time Pass"

Kung Fu Panda 2

"Kung Fu Panda 2" is a great movie and probably the strongest animated film to be released this year. The characters are very fun and I think they get more dialogue than they did in the first film, especially Monkey, who gives some pretty good one liners. Tigress stands out in this film. Her strong role as a supporting character is expanded upon and we get to know more about her. She develops from a hardcore Kung Fu master to a sympathetic and beloved character. It's a good thing because now she has more depth and we have a reason to care about her. The other characters are good and add a lot to this movie.

Lord Shen is probably one of the best villains Dreamworks has put out in a while. He is intimidating, has real motives for what he does, and he very intelligent. He some of the best scenes in the movie and it is a treat to watch him do Kung Fu. It's as if we are watching a moving piece of art and very beautiful to watch his feathers move.

Po, the main character, is as likable as ever and we have more to love in this film. We get to see a side of him that we've never seen and we can sympathies with him much more in this film than in the first. The relationship between Po and his father, Mr. Ping, is very touching and a joy to watch on screen.

The action sequences in this movie are over the top, in a good way. They don't just make the movie exciting, but they also movie the story along. The animation is top notch and are done very well, especially the hand drawn scenes. They add a lot of depth and are done well to connect Po to his past, as his memory becomes clearer, the hand drawn sequences become computer generated. The darker elements are handled well too and make Panda work on a different level than other Dreamwork efforts.

There are only a few problems with this film. First it's the comedy, no the jokes and gags are good (free of pop culture references and toilet humor is minimal), but it's the timing. Some of the comedic moments are done in very random places throughout the film. Sometimes during more serious moments, the jokes ruin the heart felt and edge of the seat moments. Another problem with this film is the pacing, sometimes. In certain scenes it feels as if the director wants the characters to go to the next point. It doesn't ruin the film, but hurts some moments in it.

Overall this film is wonderful and rivals the first. I personally like it more than the first. The characters are great, the animation is beautiful, and the jokes are funny. It is a very well developed film and a shoe in for a Best Animated Picture nomination. This movie shows what Dreamworks can do and I am excited to see where they go next. The film was also directed solely by a female director, a first for the industry.I give "Kung Fu Panda 2" a 4/5, gorgeous animation, amazing sequences, and a stellar story. A excellent score for one of the best films of this year.

"Muy Caliente"

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
½

The visuals and battle scenes are done well, like you would expect from a Harry Potter film or a grand epic. The movie itself felt like an epic, where battles were going on left and right, body counts were more than expected. However, I wish they had spent more time with some of the more major characters that lost their lives for Harry. They kind of just moved on after mourning for about 2 seconds. But don't get me wrong I was tearing up on some of these scenes non the less.

The movie unravels some of the burning questions we've had for the series such as Harry's past or what's the deal with Snape. It ties up everything well and throughout the film they pay homage to some of the older films.

The character are all the same Harry and the gang are just as likable as ever. The stand out actors in this film are Nevel and Voldemort. Nevel has changed a lot since the first movie and it shows. He gets some good screen time and he was a joy to watch. Voldemort was played very well and he was sinister. You could feel the danger this man posses. He is cold and evil. I wish the other villains were given some more screen time.

The movie is a lot darker than the other Potter films, but still manages to put that good old Harry Potter humor in. However this movie is very heavy on emotions mainly because we know the film and journey is coming to an end.

Overall this film is great, one of the best films I've seen this year. The acting is spot on, jokes are handled well, and the visuals and battles are handle extremely well. I have no doubt that this film will get an Oscar nom for Best Picture. I give "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" a 4.5/5, an amazing end to an amazing franchise.

"Fetch Status"

Thor
Thor(2011)
½

The basic message of "Thor'," is that no matter how good you are at something, don't be arrogant. It can get you into trouble and cause problems among your group of friends or colleagues. And that being humble will always get you far. Also there is seriously a strong story of two brothers and their relationship to their father. We see hoe they have been competing for years for their father affection.

The movie itself is split into two locations Asgard and Earth. The scenes on Asgard are probably the most interesting and dramatic throughout the movie. They handle the world so well. The drama they create gives you a sense that these gods are vulnerable. They all have problems like us, granted it is on a much grander scale. The scenes on Earth are good too and most of the lighthearted moments are here as well. However, the story on Earth isn't as interesting compared to what's happening on Asgard. There is also a small love story in the mix, but it is your standard rom-com affair. And the movie manages to uphold the marvel superhero movie humor.

The characters are all interesting especially Loki, who is a really good villain. He is very layered and we see why he is so troubled, while at the same time dislike some of his decisions. And to be honest his acting was also the best out of the whole movie. Thor was also good, but not relateable until he becomes human.

The special effects in the movie are also handled quit well, all though they do get cheesy and a bit distracting at times. However, the world of Asgard and most of the god realm is created so beautifully. The world feel real and alive.

The action scenes are quit good, but at times very predictable and melodramatic. The action scenes enhance the characters and adds a level of depth to the story. They aren't mindless. My personal favorite fight scene was a classic fist fight in the rain. There was a level of drama and we see Thor the most vulnerable.

Overall the movie is great entertainment. They manage to get a level of heart while still keeping the movie exciting and fun. The acting isn't too great, but passable. Certain scenes and use of special effects are cheesy or unsatisfying. I give the movie a 3.5/5, great entertainment with slight problems here and there.

"Caliente"

The Beaver
The Beaver(2011)

The movie has an interesting message, something that is not seen very often. It copes with depression and the struggles that a family goes through. It shows that depression isn't easily recognized and most people underplay it. Telling us that we should be more considerate instead of getting frustrated with these people. It also says that if we have problems we should try to make changes to get over them. We shouldn't let something hold us back from our potential.

The movie is directed very well, credit goes to Jodie Foster. It feels as if the viewer is part of the family and we aren't just watching the events, but instead we feel the need to help the main character, Walter, deal with his depression. The mood and tone is set just right and it blends the high point of his life with the low points.

The acting decent to good by most of the cast, but phenomenal by Mel Gibson. He gives probably his best performance to date. He is compelling and gets the emotions correctly most of which are just through his facial expression. His interaction with the beaver is amazing and he breathes life into a lifeless puppet, it's something that I have never seen before. I think he should be in serious consideration for a "Best Actor" at the Oscars, definitely one of the best performances this year.

Overall "The Beaver" is a fantastic movie that gives you a new perspective on people dealing with depression. Sure the story is a little choppy when we're getting closer to the climax, but Mel Gibson"s performance mixed with an original idea and pretty good score makes it worth watching. I give it 4/5, amazing performance by Mel Gibson, original story, and very emotional. I put it among the top ten movies I've seen this year, it is a thought provoking movie, but watch it just for Gibson's performance.

"Muy Caliente"

Winnie the Pooh
½

The plot is about Pooh trying to get some honey and all the adventures he has along the way with the rest of the cast. The movie starts like the old film with Christopher Robins room, all done in live action. The animation is a delight, it feels very much like an old Pooh cartoon. There sre some interesting things with it as well such as a scene where Pooh is in a Honey wonderland or my favorite sequence The Backson Song which is done all in chalk. And also how they interact with the words in the book.

Voice, probably the biggest concern for fans. Well to eliminate that concern, the voices were spot on. They sounded like the characters we grew up with, occasionally though when Rabbit talked you could get hints of Rabbit.

Another important part of the Pooh films are the songs. Zoey Deschanel does a good job singing the title song. It still gives me the feel of the older film when it played at the start of the film. Another great song is the Backson song, probably my favorite, it felt like the mob song from Beauty and the Beast, but with more subtle and innocent lyrics. It was a fun number and scene. The other songs are good too, like the Winning song.

The best part of a Pooh film is the characters. The characters matter more than the plot. All the characters are back and as lovable as ever. There charm and innocence are still intact. Pooh's as goofy as ever and Tiggers still hyper active. They are all the same and a joy to watch.

The comedy is top notch. This has to be the funniest movie I have seen all year. The jokes are character and situational based. The humor shines because the cast is so great. It does not utilize potty or humor that goes over the kids heads. The jokes are all funny and both adult and children can enjoy them.

The first film was a tad episodic, but this one packed in a tight package that feels like a whole film.

Overall "Winnie the Pooh" is a delight and joy to see back on the big screen. The run time is a tad short, but they pack so much enjoyment and fun that it is well worth you money. Pooh is enjoyable by all ages and the characters are timeless. I give this "Silly old Bear" a very strong 3.5/5, for a great film that is enjoyable and entertaining. Stay all the way through the credits, there is a surprise. Hopefully it gets noms at the Oscars.

"Caliente"

The Tree of Life

The movie is basically about questioning the world, why do certain things take place? Questioning religion and why god does the things he does? What is the overall purpose of life? Conceptually and aesthetically this movie is beautiful giving lushes imagery. Explaining to us that with destruction comes great creation and that this is the circle of life.

However, where the movie falls flat is in its story. I felt as if the characters were not defined. I could relate to them, but I couldn't care what was happening to them. Their interactions while interesting never really develops beyond those interactions. I felt the movie was also being fluffed with way to much imagery. It felt as if the director though by putting a bunch of random and beautiful pictures together the film could have much more deeper meaning. The film tries to hard to appeal to critics and look like a serious Oscar contender. Dare I say it the movie is too artsy. The movie was laughably trying too hard.

The acting on the other hand is good. Nothing stood out, but it is solid. We can sort of get a sense of what the characters are feeling through body language. They create some great tension, but because of some poor choices nothing truly develops.

However the movie is accompanied by a very beautiful score that picks up the slack in the story. It enhances the movie to a new level. At times I felt choked up by the music playing with some beautiful images. It really did express the message of what the movie was trying to tell.

Overall "The Tree of Life" is very thought provoking, but only because it brings up some interesting topics. However, I could have experienced that through a blog or talking to some religious crazed person. The story is flat of any true emotions or depth. The score is fantastic, just beautiful and it carries the slack of the story. And you can't experience the impact of it without some the beautiful images in the movie. I give it a 3/5, beautiful score accompanied by thought provoking images and concept, however a lackluster story fluffed to look more meaningful.

Like I said I am very mixed about the movie. I recommend people watch it for its sheer aesthetic beauty, however if you are looking for more you will be disappointed. Most people will be turned off by the long beginning that drags on forever. Some will love it for it beautiful imagery and score. I for one like what it tried to do, but wish it had more to offer. Oscar predictions for this one would be mostly technical, like in editing. However the Score is a serious contender.

"Alrightness"

Horrible Bosses

The premise of the movie is an interesting and funny one. It takes the wishes of many of us and puts it on the big screen. The story is ridiculous, but to an extent well crafted. Each character has a legit reason to kill their boss, some more than others. However the movie is kind of slow to start off. The stylized introduction of each boss is cool and even funny. I felt the ending was bit of a cop out for how much they build it up. The movie is predictable, but manages to take some left turns to spice up the formula.

The characters are were the movie shines. The actors do a good job portraying their characters. However, I felt they could have been a bit more extreme with the bosses. They could have made them more unbearable to the point where you would illegitimately want to kill them. Jamie Foxx's character is pretty funny and offers some of the left turns I was talking about. However, my favorite character is Dale, Charlie Day, he is a joy to watch and most of the laughs come from him.

The humor in this movie I felt was a little flat. I was expecting it to be a lot funnier than what was offered. The jokes aren't very smart often relying on dirty humor, which only work for Jennifer Aniston"s character, and language to get laughs. However, there are some good character and situation based humor, while been done before, still manage bring in a bunch of laughs. And the ludicrous concept earns is it a few bonus points.

Overall, "Horrible Bosses" is a fun entertainment movie. The story isn't executed to the max, but the characters pick up the slack. A hilarious concept that manages to be funnier than the actual movie. I give it a 3/5, awesome concept, could have been funnier, with great characters, but poor writing.

"Alrightness"

The Adjustment Bureau

The movie asks the question, "what if life is predetermined for us?" and "can we change our destiny?" Great philosophical questions asked before the dawn of time. It kinda gives you that "big brother is watching you" vibe. However, the center of it is "what you would do for love?"

Paced very well only becoming slow in the beginning and somewhere around the middle. It is a great thriller with lots of great twists and turns keeping us guessing till the very end. I really like how they make angels more like secret agents it adds a cool science fiction element to the stories we've been told. Everything is beautifully blended with a romantic love story. The onscreen chemistry between the two leads is very compelling and probably the best relationship we've seen all year.

The acting and characters are great. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt like I said give a really beautiful onscreen romance and their performances are great. John Slattery gives the most eye catching performance in the whole movie. He plays an angel who goes out of his way to assure that people are following the path set for them. He's intimidating, smart, and very vicious.

The music is pretty good in the movie. Not fantastic, but it does give you the sense of what is going on. In the thrilling scenes it get your heart racing and in the romantic scenes it melt your heart.

Directing and writing are top-notch. Some great shots and cuts are done to make the chases feel more exciting. The dialogue feels almost natural and not too cheesy for the more romantic scenes.

Overall "The Adjustment Bureau" is a great movie that blends many different genres into a exciting and romantic film. While there are some small pacing issues, the onscreen chemistry is so realistic and natural. I give it 4/5, beautiful chemistry, great story, and overall a very good movie with some minor pacing issues.

"Muy Caliente"

Rio
Rio(2011)

The story in "Rio" is very generic. Two birds who don't like each have to breed to save their population. It has been done countless time before and well "Rio" doesn't really offer a new take on it. The movie is very predictable you can guess exactly what is going to happen in any particular scene. The love story between the lead characters Jewel and Blu is also very generic. It's alright, but there isn't a sense of realism in it. However, the movie is funny and at times heartfelt.

The rest of the characters are fun and interesting, but they still fall into the generic sidekick. However, Luiz, voiced by Tracy Morgan, earned a few laughs from me. The villain, Nigel, was intimidating, but again fell into the generic category.

Will i Am provided the music for the movie, all original songs. They were all fine for what is worth, but again generic. A generic timed love song, villain rap (interesting though), and a big crowd pleaser. However one song did stand out for me and it was the first song in the movie, Real in Rio, is just fantastic. Fun lyrics accompanied by some really good music that captures the vibe of Rio. The musical score is also great.

Animation is what really makes this movie stand out. Really bright and vibrant colors. Fluid character movement. The way they captured Rio, just amazing. The parade scene is just gorgeous from the floats to the dresses the humans wear. Animation is what makes this movie really pop and worth a look.

Overall, "Rio" is fun and entertaining, but very generic. It has good music and fantastic animation. However it does becoming really kiddie at times. I give it 3/5, gorgeous animation, fun catchy number, but very generic.
"Alrightness"

Green Lantern

Story and plot wise the movie is pretty darn bland and very random. Events sort of just happen without any reasonable explanation or emotional connection. For instance in the beginning a Green Lantern dies, who is supposedly a great comrade to another Lantern, we no nothing about him and the other Lantern with a straight face is grieving for the lose. The event is also very confusing because we really don?t know what is happening. The movie also continuously takes a left turn and not for the better. Near the end Green Lantern is asking for help and gives this big speech about not letting fear control you, but at the end of it he?s like I?ll prove to you that I am worthy of your help by defeating the threat. It makes no sense and doesn?t justify his reason to be on the Green Lantern home planet. It hard for me to fathom most of the choices the characters take.

The characters are very bland. They have no charisma on screen and they serve no purpose to the overall story. Hal Jordan on the other hand is fun to watch in the movie only because of Ryan Reynolds? charisma. He adds a dimension to the character that is non-existent in the writing. Hal starts off as a a**hole and magically his whole personality changes with the ring. Only the two villains, Hector and Parallax, were interesting to watch. However, Hector?s story arc really goes nowhere.

The special effects were decent for what it was worth. The entire time I knew I was watching motion capture so it became funny.

Overall, ?Green Lantern? as a movie isn?t very good. The writing has a lot of plot holes, the characters are very bland and uninteresting, and the movie becomes really cheesy. However, it is very entertaining. I give it a 2/5, bland characters, poor writing, and very cheesy, but still manages to be entertaining.
?I Sat Through That?

Super 8
Super 8(2011)
½

The films basic message is to let things go and move on regardless of how bad your past events were. While at the same time it is about adventure and helping each other out.

"Super 8" is actually directed fairly well, paying close attention to its characters. J.J. Abrams guides his viewers from exciting action scenes to heart felt scenes without it feeling forced or sudden. However, he never creates a sense of adventure or mystery/threat. While his camera work is great it, I never get involved emotionally with the story. I am never frightened by the unknown or whimsical of what might happen next.

The characters are great in the movie. The kids do a really good job of creating believable characters. The movie itself is very character driven. The characters evolve and we as the audience begin to care for them more. Unfortunately, I wish we had more time with the characters. Their focus becomes less as the movie progresses into its sci-fi realm and it starts focusing on a threat that we don't get enough time to learn anything about.

Overall, "Super 8" is a good movie. The film itself is reminiscent of "The Goonies,"(I know not Spielberg) "E.T," and some other Spielberg films, but without the charm and most of the emotional investment. The movie is great when it focuses on the kids, but loses its identity when it tries focusing on the sci-fi aspect. Most scenes move the plot forward and are great, but there is a war zone scene that makes no sense and is put in for show. The ending is horribly built up and lack luster, which is a shame because the movie could have been much more with a better ending. I give it 3.5/5, good movie, but it loses itself near the end and the ending is not very good.

"Caliente"

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

To start things off, I thought the movie was going in the right direction when it started, but after the first 30mins or so, it took a turn for the worst. The plot stopped making sense, the characters are as dull as ever, special effects are used poorly, and overall the movie doesn't know what it wants to do.

The characters are just not very good in the movie, a couple stand out though, and the acting is very uninspired. It feels as if the actors themselves have grown tired of their one dimensional roles. Sam, is just as whinny as ever. I find it hard to relate to him. The new girl, Rosie, is good to look at, but her character is the typical damsel in distress. Shes not very proactive and does little to move things along. All the other characters including the robots monotone everything they say and half the time I can't differentiate them from one another. However, John Turturro and Patrick Dempsey bring some life into the movie.

While the special effects are amazing , they aren't used properly to tell the story. Everything meshes together and it becomes hard to know what really is happening. I don't know which robot I should be cheering for and which one I want to die. Especially in the last 45mins of the movie, story takes a back seat to the special effect, but I really don't know what is happening, all I hear is noise.

The movie itself is very confused. At times it wants to be a story about the humans, others about the robots, a love story, story about humanity, it's all just a jumbled mess. I don't become emotionally invested into what is happening and I could care less about what happens to the characters. The movie jumps tone very often and it becomes really confusing.

Overall, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is not a very good movie. The humor is juvenile, the story is weak, and the characters are uninteresting. Better than the previous movie, but not by much. I will say there are some cool scenes. The movie is criminally long especially the last 45mins. Also, apparently Michael Bay thinks that when a human explodes they spew out green and robots bleed, who'd a thunk? I give it a 2/5, lousy use of special effects, long, and uninteresting.

"I Sat Through That"

Crazy, Stupid, Love.
½

The movie is basically about overcoming a problem in your life, fixing your mistakes, and about true love. It tells us that even if at times we feel like crap we should pick ourselves up and just move forward and become the best person we can be. And that the only way to move on is to fix our mistakes or accept them as something other than a mistake. Also that true love is real and we all have a special one for us.

Casting was down to a T, the movie got the right actors to portray its characters. It is also wonderfully acted and every character/actor has a level of charisma that shoots the enjoyment level to another high. Julianne Moore plays a cheating spouse, Steve Carell the sympathetic loser, Emma Stone the know it all, hopeful, skeptic, and Ryan Gosling the calm, cool, stud. I couldn't picture anyone other than these guys to play the characters that they layed.

The movie is pretty funny, but only a few scenes had me laughing out loud, however, it did manage to get me to smile often. It is more heartfelt than funny. There are more of these scenes present, but the humor comes most of the time naturally.

Overall, "Crazy, Stupid, Love," is a delight, this is how Romantic-Comedies should be made. However, it does become slow in certain parts and falls into the cliche of other Romantic-Comedies. I give it a 3.5/5, delightful, well acted, cliched, but fun.

"Caliente"

Warrior
Warrior(2011)

"Warrior" maybe be about MMA fighters, but at its core it is a family drama. The story about regret for past actions and having to live with it for years to finally get a chance to prove yourself. Another theme it tackles is the importance of family and how powerful a bond it can be. What are you willing to sacrifice for your families well being? Are questions the movie asks. But overall, the movie is about forgiveness. We need to forgive those, regardless of how much they hurt us, who truly regret their actions. It is a short life and we can't carry our pain and grudges on forever, we have to move forward and the only way to do so is to forgive.

While the movie is fairly deep it is predictable, but director, Gavin O' Conner, does a incredible job of creating tension and drama on scene. We already know that the two brothers are set to face off against each other towards the end, but both sides are given equal attention. No one side feels as if they have more to lose than the other. The screenplay is fairly strong and filled with raw family emotion. The movie starts off with two separate stories, but intertwines and fits perfectly together near the end. The film maker doesn't find it interesting to tell us everything in the past of this family aside from a few implications, but that's alright it gives us the audience a chance to fill in the blank. Which works well with the overall film, about forgiveness, and that sometimes are memories are vague of what actually happened. While it is a family drama, the MMA stuff takes center stage. The fights are brutal and electrifying. At the same time it is used to expand the drama and story of the film. I was literally holding on to my seat during every fight.

Characters and acting are great. Tom Hardy's jaded war veteran character has probably the most layer and emotion. His life hasn't always been good and even though he is considered a hero, he knows the real tragedy of war. He has always been fighting for his mother, country, and now his past. Joel Edgerton plays a physics teacher, who is in danger of having his home foreclosed and having to leave his life behind. Not wanting to disappoint his daughters, he moonlights as a MMA fighter, putting his body and lively hood on the line just to make ends meat. Nick Nolte plays the father of the two leads. He was a alcoholic and he basically ostracized himself from his family. All he has is regret and when he has a chance to make things right again, he leaps at the opportunity. In my opinion the cast was all Oscar worthy, they portrayed dimensional characters to a tee to were my brother thought this was a true story.

Music is incredibly well used, adding to the tension and drama. It electrifies, chokes you up, and creates great drama and at the end it is very inspirational. The movie is well edited and they do a pretty cool montage in the middle of the film that could go toe to toe with "Rocky."

Overall "Warrior" is an incredibly deep story about real life issues we deal with and an under appreciated gem of a classic. It may be predictable, but the director and and actors create such a drama that you can't help, but get absorbed into the story. In my opinion this is the best movie from last year and will become a classic and is our modern day "Rocky." I give it, 5/5, impressive directing, well acted, and just a really good movie.

I am disappointed that this movie didn't get more recognition, it is a fantastic movie. I wish it had been nominated for Best Picture and maybe even a few other awards, like editing or screenplay. I highly recommend people check this movie out. Not only is it a great family drama, but also a great sports movie about two underdogs.

"Awesomeness"

Beauty and the Beast

"Beauty and the Beast" is a beautiful movie about love, sacrifice, redemption, and beauty only being skin deep. The writing is smart in that it manages to tackle all of these heavy themes with humor and a certain charm. Nothing feels out of place with the overall story whether it be with the comedic battle or the heart wrenching ending. The movie starts off small and quickly builds to a more epic vibe towards the end.

Animation is gorgeous, usually considered Disney's best. Character animation is not only fluid, but a realisticness to them. For instance Mrs. Pots has to jump onto something soft in order to go to the ground. Or how Belle pushes her hair back, its these little touches that make it so breathtaking. And the transformation scene, just sheer brilliance, it has everything that you would want in see.

Alan Menken and the late great Howard Ashman, bless his soul, created the score and songs for this movie. The music is so brilliant capturing every emotion from joyfulness to sorrow to an epic vibe. As for the songs they are equally brilliant to the music that accompany it. Lyrics are smart, catchy and have so much more meaning than what is actually being said. To pick one song as the best would be criminal, all the songs are just fantastic and they really amp up the story. These songs will last forever.

Now the characters, they are fantastic. The side characters playboy Lumiere, wind up Cogsworth, and motherly Mrs. Pots are all charming and lovable. They all have there moment to shine and actually move the story forward and never become annoying. The Beast is fantastic and has so many layers. He is mean and vicious, but at the same time through his eyes we see that he is a tortured soul. Even when he is being completely unbearable, he immediately realizes his mistakes, much credit to Glen Keane. Belle is probably considered the most feminist of all the Disney princess and I totally agree. She's smart, has a wit, stubborn, curious, and at the same time very attractive. She is very realistic because she represents a strong female role model for girls everywhere. And the last character is Gaston, the movies villain, he's great. He may be good looking, but he's arrogant, self loving, and very blunt. He feels as if he can get whatever he want. It's great seeing Gaston become more beast like and the Beast more human like as the movie progresses.

Overall, "Beauty and the Beast," is a terrific movie and truly deserving of every accolade it receive(d)(s). While still not in my top 5, I can see why it is revered as the greatest animated movie of all time. From a enticing story, to gorgeous animation, to beautiful music, it is all top notch. I can see why it is considered the best animated film of all time. I give it 5/5, everything is just immaculate and I don't have enough words to describe how great it is.

"Awesomeness"

Apocalypto
Apocalypto(2006)

First things first, the movie is a chase movie without any cheesy special effects, CGI, or flashy cars. It is the bare bones of survival, a man running for his life. The movie tackles messages about the price for being free and how much we cherish our lives and the lives of the ones we love. It also tells of how a great civilization, that is very smart and advanced can turn to such inhumane and animal like practices in times of great depression.

The first thing I noticed while watching the movie is the cinematography, which is so beautiful. Giving us great shots of the forest and ancient cities. It is especially good in the chase sequences where I felt like I was the character and running for my life. Mel Gibson, one of my favorite directors, directs this movie so well. He has a knack for creating drama and very brutal scenes. My heart was constantly pounding even in slow scenes where nothing was happening. I'm glad I wasn't eating anything or had eaten before I started watching because it would have all come out, but in a good way. The last half hour is just adrenaline filled and there is a fantastic scene near the end that does a amazing camera sweep to some boats.

I was surprised and impressed by the cast. Impressed because the cast consisted of almost entirely of Mayans and Native Americans, so we can get the authenticity of the characters. Surprised by the lead, Rudy Youngblood, who does a great job. His character, Jaguar Paw, has great motivation for rescuing his wife and kid(s) and he's also very likable. He has great screen presence and charisma. The rest of the cast is good too, either hit or miss with most of the background characters. However, the villain was a real stand out, he made the hair on your arm raise and his performance sent chills down my spine, Middle Eye.

The music is good in Apocalypto. It is well timed music that makes you feel sad here, happy there, and whatever other emotion you're supposed to feel at that point. The movie is very well written. Great dialogue at right times and it is almost very natural.

Overall, Apocalypto, is a very good movie that is packed with action, drama, and heart. One negative thing about the movie is that it is hard to understand at time, not because it is in another language. I just felt some of the characters weren't fleshed out enough and I couldn't feel anything for them when they died except for the last guy that dies. And there were moments where I didn't quite understand what was going on and why they put it in the movie aside for shock value or to creep us out. Regardless, it is still very enjoyable and your heart will constantly be beating. I give it, a very strong 4/5. Directed and shot wonderfully, heart pounding, great script, and just pure adrenaline.

"Muy Caliente"

Heathers
Heathers(1988)

The movie starts simple enough, a bunch of high school girls in the cafeteria playing horrible pranks on innocent girls, just for laughs. However, it takes a quick dark turn, someone pulls a gun out and shoots two guys (luckily blanks) and quickly someone else gets killed. When it started off I thought maybe this was all in the head of the heroine, but boy am I wrong. As the movie progresses it becomes darker, but it retains it humor even in the more gruesome scenes. It becomes a movie about how society has one general leader and no matter how many times you kill this leader a new one grows in its place like a hydra. The film takes about the seriousness of suicide and pokes fun at how people react to it. It is a bold movie and the payoffs are well worth it. The film becomes a satire for our society in a high school setting.

In the beginning I was a little disturbed when the movie took its dark turn, but when I caught on to what it was about, I was enjoying it very much. The director does a great job of creating the tension, but not forgetting the humor. The script is incredibly smart and it never feels as though as the movie is preachy or talking down to its audience. While it loses what its trying to in the middle and right before the climax, it rounds itself up fairly well near the end. I was creeped out by the movie towards the end and well after it was over.

The characters are all lively and they poke fun at figures n society. From hippies, to rebels, to people who think they are better than everyone, to the average man, "Heathers" is filled relateable and colorful characters. Christian Slater steals the show though, JD, a psychotic rebel that only desires love. Fairly layered and his performance sent chills down my spine, even after the film was over. Winona Ryder does a good, job trying to match Slater.

Overall, "Heathers" is a great societal satire. With colorful character and spine tingling moments. The director does a great job of creating eerie feel and the script is just fantastic. Music is well used and adds to the whole creepy vibe. I give it, a very strong 4/5, great script, well acted, and really deep.

I highly recommend people check this movie out. It is a very good movie and it has so many layers that you wouldn't expect. I was surprised by the twists and turns the movie took and that rarely happens for me where I don't see something coming. Also if your a fan of "Fight Club" I couldn't help, but notice the similarities in tone and theme. It felt as "Fight Club" borrowed a lot from "Heather." Another movie that resembles and feels like it borrowed things from "Heathers" is "World's Greatest Dad."

"Muy Caliente"

Puss in Boots

"Puss In Boots" is a movie about the title character's adventures before he met up with Shrek and the gang, but it never feels like it's in the same universe. It is a simple revenge story with wild chase sequence, suave dialogue, and great escapes. At the center of it all it is a movie about trust and loyalty.

The movie is gorgeously animated, From background to the smallest textures of fur, it is beautiful to look at. With vibrant and colorful colors. The characters movie fluidly especially in the fighting scenes and this very well choreographed dance numbers. The humans in the Shrek universe were never really pretty, but they've stepped it up on this one and gave us some really good looking human models.

Chris Miller is the director of this movie and one of the reasons why I was skeptical of the movie because he directed the worst Shrek entry, "Shrek: The Third." However, he stepped it up on this one, while still there were tone issues here and there he made this film come alive. It shows what he is capable of and that he can be a could director with a good script. The writing in "Puss In Boots" is incredibly funny never playing off of the pop-culture and toilet humor which it's predecessors are notorious for.

The characters are great and a nice addition to the universe. Puss is the same lovable smooth talking kitty we've come to love. However, he becomes more layered as a character when we learn of his past. Kitty Soft Paws, who is the female lead is also fun and the best new character. Humpty Dumpty, is a decent character, but his motives are very convoluted and his redemption feels like a cop out. Jack and Jill are fun too and provide a few good laughs as well.

The score of the movie is also good. Adding a fusion of Western and Latin styles to the movie. It is as cool as the character itself.

Overall, "Puss In Boots," is a fun movie with some great laughs. It's great how the movie took a more serious turn, but it suffers from some minor tone issue. About 65% of the jokes are blended well with the rest of the movie, the other 35% sort of takes you out of the action. Characters are great and the movie is written and director very well. I give it, a low 4/5. Great characters, fun and adventurous overall, but suffers from tone issues.

"Muy Caliente"

Midnight in Paris

"Midnight In Paris" intrigued me when it released earlier last year. I had no idea what it was about aside from the fact that it's about a writer who travels back in time to the golden era of Paris, France. What did I think of this romantic fantasy dramedy?...well let's find out.

The basic plot summary: "A family travel to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple who are forced to confront their differing views of a perfect life."

The movie is about knowing who is right for you. We may think the person we love is in front of us, but in reality we have nothing in common with them. The other thing the movie tackles is nostalgia, something that a lot of us can relate too. Owen Wilson's character, Gil, longs to live in the glory days of Paris and almost hates his own time period. He feels there are too many problems and complications that are stopping him from fully being able to let out his creativity.

The movie is very well written with witty dialogue. It's not laugh out loud funny, but I was snickering throughout. However, there were a few scenes where I was laughing pretty hard. The director Woody Allen does a great job of getting the feel of Paris. Not having ever been there I could could feel the magic and romance others have described what it is like. The shots are beautiful of the city and the Art Direction is just beautiful giving a true nostalgic vibe with a romantic mix.

The actors do a good job and bring charisma and charm to the characters they are portraying. I really like Owen Wilson in the movie because he became a relatable character. He was funny and we could cheer for him till the very end.

The movie has a a very lovely score that captures not only the essence of Paris, but the nostalgia that we all feel. The music sounds familiar, but that is the point of the movie.

Overall, "Midnight In Paris" is a charming and witty movie. It captures our nostalgia and gives us the classic romantic take of the city. The movie doesn't find it necessary to explain the time travel and the characters don't question how, but that isn't important. Woody Allen leaves room for the imagination and I am perfectly fine with it. However, the movie starts off very slow and takes a while to pick up. From the incredibly long, but beautiful opening of the city of Paris to the moment he actually travels back is pretty slow and I did notice my attention slipping. Also not necessarily the movies fault, but my own, there was a certain disconnect with the movie because my knowledge of some of these historical figures is weak and it made it feel like I was missing something. But I could relate to being able to meet some of your heroes of the past. I give it a solid 4/5, charming, witty, fun, but slow sometimes.

Oscar predictions for this movie would be definitely a Best Original Screenplay award and maybe Art direction.

"Muy Caliente"

Moneyball
Moneyball(2011)

So, I finally got around to watching the Oscar nominated "Moneyball." I'm not a big baseball guy, but I am a fan of movies and this one has been getting a lot of buzz. Well, did it live up to expectations? Let's see.

The basic plot summary: "Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players."

The basic movie is about how winning isn't everything. The head GM of the Oakland A's thinks exactly the opposite. He believes, if he and his team don't win they are nothing. They come up with an unorthodox way of playing the game that shakes up the whole industry and they hope everyone else will follow suit. The movie isn't so much about baseball, but instead about the guys behind the scene. And how they struggle to fight for what they believe in.

The story and writing are very good. With smart witty dialogue and inspirational moments. The director does a great job of creating drama, tension, and suspense. We become the fans and cheer for this team that we so badly want to win and show the naysayers that they were wrong. I don't know a lot about baseball, but I do know drama sells and this is no exception.

Acting is really good all around especially, Brad Pitt, who gives a really good performance. I believe it to be his best. Frustration is captured so well by him making us feel the faith he has for his team is there, but it angers him when they don't live up to expectations. Not only that he has his touchy moments with his daughter and other team members, especially Jonah Hill. Both Pitt and Hill are nominated for Oscars, but I think Pitt is the only one truly deserving. Jonah Hill gave the same performance that he's given throughout his career. Sure he was likable and this was a drama, but his character was the same as ever.

Overall "Moneyball" is a good movie about not so much about the game, but the players off the field. Writing is good and acting is great while all being directed with a keen eye for drama. If I could find one fault, it would be with the supporting characters mainly the players, I couldn't make out who was who at points. I give the movie a very strong 4/5, good all around.

Oscar predictions, I think it may win screenplay and acting, but the other nominees are very strong as well. As for picture and supporting actor, I think it is an honor just to be nominated because the competition is tough in these categories.

"Muy Caliente"

Drive
Drive(2011)
½

So I finally, after days of wanting to see this movie, but never getting to it, dusted "Drive" off and watched it for the first time. A lot of people were bummed when the Oscars completely ignored this movie. Do I feel the same way after watching it, let's find out.

Basic plot summary: "A mysterious Hollywood stuntman, mechanic and getaway driver lands himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor."

"Drive" is a noir style thriller. There's a lot of action, chase sequences, suspense, and gruesome decapitations. The movie is basic about Driver who by day is a stunt driver and by night is a get away driver. His life changes when he meets a girl and her son. They bring joy into his life, but everything changes when her husband is released from prison. It is a movie about what extent would you go to protect the ones you love.

For starters the movie starts off very slow, personally I didn't like the beginning and was expecting to have mixed feelings for the movie. There was no emotional grip or enough going on to make me feel much. However, this movie is like a fine wine the longer you wait the better the pay off. So I sat through about half an hour or so of much nothing, but by the second act the movie finally starts finding itself and commands complete attention. I was hooked and emotionally attached to characters and their relationships in a matter of moments.

The director, Nicolas Winding Refn, does a fantastic job of directing the film. He creates suspense very well and I was surprised by the outcomes. There are a lot of great shot compositions and they helped movie the story along without needing to explain every in between scene. It is a work of art.

The movie has a very good style. The way things are done, while annoying at times for instance there are scenes that go on too long, but it is made up later on. It has its own sense of humor that is refreshing. And I have to give credit to the soundtrack which is very good. It supports each scene so well. And adds a new layer of style to the already stylized movie. I got a retros 80's vibe even the movie was set in modern time.

As far as acting goes, the cast did a really good job. The portrayed their characters well, but the standout was Ryan Gosling. Most people say it is Albert Brooks and say he was snubbed, but I feel Ryan Gosling was far better. And one of the few occasions where the main character is more interesting than the villain.

Overall, "Drive" is a fantastic movie. With great acting and interesting characters. The directing is fantastic and I very much loved the style and 80's vibe. I give it,4.5/5, Well directed and acted, interesting and fun, a bit slow, but the pay off is worth the laggy beginning.

As for all the talk about the movie getting snubbed at the Oscars go, I totally agree, it deserved more praise. However, I would have not nominated it for overall Best Picture or for Albert Brooks. Albert was good, but his character didn't stand out for me and I think he was snubbed for a reason. On the other hand though I think the movie should have been nominated for directing and Best Actor for Gosling. And I really wish the Oscars had a category for Best Use of Music because the soundtrack fit the film so well.

"Fetch Status"

Tangled
Tangled(2010)
½

I'm Tangled, what can I say? 50th is the number that comes to mind when I think of this movie a landmark that very few companies can match. Disney has had some low points, but a lot of high points. Just when you think the company is down and out and ready to pass the torch they release something amazing. Tangled is Disney's 50th animated feature and what a movie it is to say the least. I'm not going to tell you the story, but it is told so well. It has so much more depth than one would think and the pacing is amazing. It is a simply told story about great escapes, action and adventure, betrayal, and love. The comedic moments of this movie are great. They manage to make a funny movie with the use of pop-culture or toilet humor which is rare for comedies these days. Most of the comedy is slapstick, witty one liners, and situational. Nothing over stays its welcome. The comedy is timed well and doesn't over do it. Not only is the movie very funny it is the funniest movie I have seen in a long time. The characters are great too and you'll be cheering for the leads throughout the entire movie. The voice acting is done well too. Rapunzel is not your typical princess she one of the few rebellious one and she one of the few that don't want a whole lot and are content with their lives. Flynn Ryder is a funny and really well made character unlike some of other Disney princes. He is sort of like Aladdin, but he isn't that sympathetic in the beginning, but as soon as the duo meet he transforms into a character that you'll care about. Mother Gothel is the villain in this movie. she isn't the greatest Disney villain, but she can be really mean and nasty. Imagine Frollo, but a little nicer and a female. There are two characters in particular that maybe some of the best sidekicks in cinema. They are funny too and full of emotion. The interesting part is that they don't talk at all. all their emotions are conveyed through their gestures. The two character are a horse named Maximus and a chameleon named Pascal, who are amazing. The movie also uses a lot of gestures and facial expressions two convey emotion which in book is really good. I love movies that can explain something with the least amount of dialogue. Next is the musical numbers, which are actually good. They aren't the best songs ever, but they have their moments and I can bet people will be humming the tunes of this movie for a long time. They might not be singing it, but they will be humming the music which were all great. People say that the animation in this movie is amazing and I have to say that they are right. The scenery is so beautiful that if we had a pause button in the theater people would pause the movie to just look at the magnificent background of this movie. Now where at the romance which Disney is famous for in their movies. In this movie I would have to say that the romance was much more real and sincere than any other Disney movie. You could actually tell that these characters Flynn and Rapunzel really care for each other besides their flaws. The romance especially shines at the end of the movie, which I won't spoil. This movie is a roller coaster ride of emotion, but it never over does it, which is good because it doesn't become cheesy or to corny. Overall this is a magnificent movie and a strong contender for the Oscars and I hope that it takes home a few statues. This movie I can honestly say is one of the best Disney movies ever made it can go toe to toe with some of the stuff that they released in the late 80's and most of the 90's. This I believe is the next Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. Also lets hope for another 50 films from this amazing studio.