Lori M.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Rum Diary
The Rum Diary (2011)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

dvd buzz: The Rum Diary
06/22/2012

Johnny Depp has always been one of my big-screen favorites. Unfortunately his characters as of late have been more interesting than the movies in which they appear - nonetheless Depp always delivers a performance that manages to balance quirky with believable, giving me the illusion I got my money's worth.

I wasn't intrigued enough, however, to see The Rum Diary when it was in the theater. Watching it on Netflix for the first time the other night it took me completely by surprise in the best of ways. Surrounded by an insanely talented cast - Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, and not to mention the drop dead gorgeous Amber Heard - Depp delivers a performance that strikes poignantly like classic movie stars from back in the day. (Think Clark Gable or Gregory Peck.) Because the film was written by Hunter S. Thompson, and takes place in Puerto Rico in the pre Kennedy 1960s, I assumed it would be gonzo just like his portrayal in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Not so. The film, like the book, gives us a peek into the semi-autobiographical life of Thompson pre gonzo, as he weaves his way through corporate corruption and greed, trying to make a name for himself as a journalist while struggling to make a living telling the truth:

The film reeks of modern-day homage to the end of newspapers, and as we move more deeply into the second decade of the 21st century there's just enough distance between us and the early '60s to make the film nostalgic in the loveliest of ways. Overall, The Rum Diary is a savory treat. Make some popcorn, cozy in to your favorite chair and stream it on Netflix - it's a nice film that will quench your thirst on many levels.

This is Lori Martin Gregory for The Voice of Ocala.

Listen to Lori live every Thursday on The Voice of Ocala at www.woca.com.

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Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages (2012)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Movie Review: Rock of Ages
06/18/2012

Oh, Rock of Ages: where to begin...

I suppose I could use the meets metaphor: Glee meets Grease meets Almost Famous. But that would be way too generous.

Unfortunately, Rock of Ages is just plain horrible.

I so wanted to like it. I tried really hard to like it. After all, Tom Cruise puts up another one of his famous character performances - similar to the dark motivational speaker in Magnolia and the over the top Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder. As Stacey Jaxx, however, he just falls flat. The strategically placed tattoos and obvious side view camera angles were not enough to mask his middle age torso, which for me distracted from the entire persona. His slow talking dialogue designed to make him seem intense was so interspersed with Foley effects of leather crunching it resulted in yet another obvious attempt at cheap shenanigans designed to draw us in. The whole package just didn't work, and it ended up being a bad imitation of the 80s rockers we know and love(d).

And Cruise was the highlight.

Before you tune out this review completely, let me just say Rock of Ages - which was written incidentally by Jennifer Anniston's new boyfriend Justin Theroux - comes off as nothing more than a breakout vehicle for Ryan Seacrest's main squeeze Julianne Hough. It delivers nothing more than one cliché after another, in a poorly executed attempt to be so bad it's good. Only it never comes full circle. It's the first movie since Dude, Where's my Car? that I've actually considered walking out on. Audiences seem to agree: Rock of Ages cost $65 million to produce but fell flat with an abysmal performance of $15 million on its opening weekend.

If you want to reminisce about the music of the 80s do yourself a favor and stay home and fire up Pandora. Don't stop believing in those great 80s anthems by witnessing their banal insertion into a cliché context of a story. Are we seriously supposed to find a romance between Alec Baldwin and Russel Brand believable, much less humorous? The only believable component of Rock of Ages is how challenging it is to be one of thousands of homecoming kings and queens that get off the bus every day in L.A. with nothing more than a picture of grandma and a bundle of dreams and pennies. The rest of it is a silly, boring rehash of stories you've heard before, framed by songs you've heard before, and sung by actors who don't really sing.

Stay home and save your cash for some of the better films coming your way this summer.

Listen to Lori live every Thursday on The Voice of Ocala at www.woca.com.

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Click here Rock of Ages to listen to an audio version of this review.

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Snow White and the Huntsman
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

http://lorigregory.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/movie-review-snow-white-and-the-huntsman/

Charlize Theron is having a banner year. Having launched her career into the stratosphere with an academy award win several years ago in Monster, this summer she is reaping the benefits of two hit movies in theaters simultaneously: Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus - the prequel to the Alien franchise.

As a hopeless romantic, Charlize pulled me in with Snow White. As a sci-fi aficionado, (and being easy on the eyes to boot), she pulled my Husband Gary in with Prometheus.

I expected Snow White and the Huntsman to be a dark, dreary, drony drive through a fable that has already been rehashed once this year, albeit through a comedic vein. What I ended up experiencing instead was a smart, well-crafted film that highlights the struggle between deeper meaning of loyalty and character versus the shallowness of beauty and selfishness.

Theron, who takes a turn as the evil queen obsessed by her own aging for which she uses black magic as a way to stave off her fading beauty, does well in the departure from the pretty blonde who is typically more likely to be cast as a good witch than a bad witch. I highly doubt Theron would have been cast in this role without having given us the nastiness of Monster. Kristen Stewart is perfectly cast as the young Snow - dark and brooding, seething with determination to avenge her father's murder and save her people from the dark queen who has taken life itself from the kingdom. A great vehicle for her post-Twilight mania.

I was especially impressed with the script, whose writers wisely resisted the temptations at every turn to clutch at clichés or use blatancy to tell the already familiar story. More importantly, this film - like Salt, Hunger Games and Prometheus -is an example of an emerging trend: The birth of the Heroine. Women are driving box office sales like never before, and the girl hero is a refreshingly inspiring theme.

Snow White and the Huntsman is a new take on an old story - unlike the original, the romance and contents of her heart are revealed, but the love story is told in subtle nods and gestures and has very little to do with Snow's redemption. In the end, she saves her self which is an important message for all of us. After all, isn't the relationship we have with ourselves the most important human relationship of all?