Category Archives: Movie Review

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending

2.5 Jupiter Ascending (2015)

I went to see Jupiter Ascending in theaters today and I have mixed feelings about the movie. For those that don’t know Jupiter Ascending was originally supposed to be released on July of last year but was delayed until February of this year. My expectations for this film were already pretty low. I knew the movie had gotten bad reviews, and honestly I didn’t really know what to make of the films trailer.

I’ll start off by mentioning what I didn’t like about the movie. For one the plot is very hard to follow and extremely convoluted. The film deals a lot with “space politics” and bureaucracy which don’t usually tend to be in these type of large scale films. The dialogue is pretty bad, and even though I like the cast (Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean) I have to say that most of the actor’s performances were too cheesy even for a movie like this. To me the romance between Kunis & Tatum’s characters felt forced, and most of their dialogue felt empty and unnatural. There is a ton of action sequences in the movie, but really for the most part it felt like the filmmakers just wanted action for actions sake. Most of the action sequences didn’t do anything to move the plot along and just served as bright and loud distractions in between plot points.

With that being said, I wouldn’t necessarily say that Jupiter Ascending was a bad movie. Sure there is plenty wrong with it, but there are a few things that I actually liked about the film. For one I really liked some of the theories and ideas presented by the movie, particularly the ones dealing with the origins of humanity and our role in the universe. There are some pretty cool concepts (which is to be expected from the creators of the Matrix trilogy) but in the end the film lacks heart. There was a lot of unnecessary action in my opinion, but I have to say that the film had excellent visuals, and was beautifully shot. It seems to me that the Wachowskis are great at shooting films, and coming up with interesting and unique movie ideas, but they lack a certain something in their movies, they lack that human element that makes characters relateable or appealing. I would really like to see them collaborate with other filmmakers because I do think that they are talented but their last few films have definitely left me expecting more from them.

In the end, Jupiter Ascending looks great, but has no real depth to it. It has bad dialogue, cheesy acting, and a convoluted plot. A part of me still liked it so I would recommend seeing it if you’re a fan of sci-fi, the Wachowskis or are just curious to see what the movie is all about. 2.5/5

Movie Review: Birdman

4.5 Birdman (2014)

I finally got around to watching Birdman, and I can see what all the hype was about. For those that don’t know Birdman is nominated for 9 Academy Awards (which are tomorrow night by the way) and is widely considered to be one of the best movies from 2014.

Right away I was captivated by the films unique and beautiful cinematography. The entire film is shot to look like one long continuous scene (something rarely if ever seen in movies). This is impressive for many reasons, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to shoot some of the longer scenes. One mistake by a single actor or extra and they would have had to re-shoot entire segments of the film. My respects to Alejandro G. Iñárritu and everyone else involved in making the movie.

Cinematography aside, Birdman is an excellent movie for many other reasons. The film deals with a lot of themes including acting (or the process of acting), relationships, the theater, and family. In a way the movie is about a play so it can get a little Meta watching an actor act in a play during a movie. The discussions between some of the characters on acting can be a little dense, but I find that it’s an interesting look inside an actor’s mind. In the film you see that different actors have different methods and motivations for doing what they do.

The cast was fantastic, Emma Stone, Ed Norton and Michael Keaton all delivered excellent performances. I can see why all three of them were nominated for Academy Awards, their nominations are well deserved to say the least. The supporting cast is great as well, with solid performances by Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts and Amy Ryan.

There were a few things I disliked about the movie, but honestly they were so small and trivial that they’re not worth mentioning. Overall, Birdman is a fascinating, unique and expertly made film with unbelievable performances by a fantastic cast. If you haven’t seen it already I highly recommend it. 4.5/5

Movie Review: The Interview

3.5  The Interview

I finally got around to watching The Interview (it’s now on Netflix btw), and it was pretty much what I expected. It’s a pretty funny movie, but it’s nothing extraordinary. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the film’s release, and honestly I think it was all blown out of proportion. This is a comedy after all, the political issues definitely take a back seat to the silly jokes and gags in the film.

The movie was funny, but I wouldn’t put it in the same category as Superbad or the Pineapple Express. The film had its moments, and I did laugh multiple times, but overall the jokes were nothing special. Basically, it made me laugh, but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before.

Seth Rogen and James Franco as always have fabulous chemistry on screen. These weren’t necessarily the best or the funniest characters that they’ve portrayed together, but their friendship in the movie is actually pretty heartwarming.

The movie’s plot was pretty straightforward, there were no real surprises or plot twists, I already knew what was going to happen, I just wanted to actually see it take place.

I wish they could have gotten more out of the supporting characters, but I really did enjoy the celebrity cameos early on in the film.

Overall, The Interview is a funny movie that is good, but not great in any single area. If you’re a fan of Seth Rogen & James Franco’s previous work then I’d definitely recommend it, but I know this isn’t the type of movie that will appeal to a broad audience. (3.5/5)

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

5 How to Train Your Dragon 2

I watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 at home this week and I loved it. I really can’t remember why I didn’t get around to watching in theaters last year, but I’m glad I finally caught it. I really enjoyed the first film, it is one of the best non-Pixar animated movies that I have ever seen. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is even better than the first one, it keeps all the good things from the first film and improves many aspects as well. The film has some of the best visuals I have ever seen in an animated film, the animators really did a fantastic job creating all the environments and landscapes. There are more than a handful of beautiful scenes of dragons flying in the sky in front of beautiful backgrounds.

The voice-acting is excellent with huge start like Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler and Cate Blanchett doing excellent jobs in bringing their characters to life. The film explores many themes, one of them being family. There were a couple of key moments that made me tear up, I’m a sucker for family drama what can I say.

In the end, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a fantastic film, with a refreshingly creative story that never ceases to have truly hilarious moments, as well as heartwarming dramatic moments, and pulse pounding action sequences. This movie truly has it all, and I can’t think of anything that I didn’t like about it. Even if you haven’t seen the first film, I can’t recommend this one enough. 5/5

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12/23/14)

3.5 The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

This is about a week late, but here is my review for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. I’ll start by saying that I am a big fan of both the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the previous 2 Hobbit movies. With that begin said I’m a little conflicted about this movie. Yes, it is the conclusion of the Hobbit Saga so it’s satisfying to finally see a resolution to the story that started with the first Hobbit movie. However there is something about the movie that just rubs me the wrong way. On one hand it has amazing action and battle sequences, however the actual plot of the movie leaves me wanting more. The drama seems at times a little too forced, the characters behave in ways that don’t really make sense and there are certain scenes that I felt were completely unnecessary. Honestly I would have much rather the first 15 to 20 minutes of this movie just been a part of the ending of the last Hobbit movie. I never liked how in the Desolation of Smaug the film ended on such a big cliffhanger. The battle with the dragon didn’t really seem to fit in with this movie and it bothers me that Peter Jackson just split the story like that just so more people would want to watch this latest movie. The rest of the film deals pretty much with just a single battle which is one of the reasons why I feel like the drama felt a little forced, there are so many parts of the movie that are just unnecessary in my opinion. I know it sounds like I’m being too harsh, but maybes it’s just because I had higher expectations after watching the previous 5 movies in the LOTR franchise. At the end of the day I feel like the film could have been much better but that doesn’t mean that I think it’s a bad movie, I was still very entertained, and I’ll probably watch it again (I really recommend watching the 2nd movie again before going to see this one, I personally didn’t remember a lot of the things that had happened and felt a little lost while watching this one, especially with all the lingo). It may not be a perfect movie but it is still worth it if you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies and have watched the previous 2 Hobbit films. To sum it up in one sentence, the film was good, but it could have been much better. 3.5/5

Big Hero 6 (12/17/14)

5 Big Hero 6

I watched Big Hero 6 today and I loved it. It is a fun, exciting, & very well made movie. The film has an excellent cast, all the actors bring their characters to life with excellent voice acting. The story is pretty straight forward, it has a few plot twists but nothing I didn’t see coming. The film has great characters and a very heartwarming story, it’s filled with a ton of dramatic moments and it has its fair share of really hilarious scenes. Big Hero 6 is without a doubt one of my favorite films of 2014, I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about it, I can’t recommend it enough 5/5

Dumb and Dumber To

3.5 Dumb and Dumber To

This is a little late but better late than never. I watched Dumb & Dumber To the other day and I laughed my ass off, the humor is without a doubt very silly/stupid but I still enjoyed it. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels have excellent chemistry together, they are without a doubt one of the best pair of friends in movie history. The film’s story is nothing to write home about and some of the supporting cast is underused but at the end of the day the stars of the movie are the two loveable idiots that can’t help but screw up and make me laugh. It’s surprising that it took 20 years for them to make a sequel to the first Dumb and Dumber. You don’t necessarily need to watch the first one to enjoy this one, but if you’re a fan of the stupid humor in the first movie you’ll like this one. If you’re just looking for a good laugh I recommend checking out Dumb and Dumber To 3.5/5

Horrible Bosses 2 (11/29/14)

4 Horrible Bosses 2

The second movie I saw today was Horrible Bosses 2, and as expected it was hilarious. I laughed from the first scene all the way to the blooper reel during the credits. It is just as good as the first movie if not better. It’s similar in a lot of ways to the first film but what’s great about it is that the filmmakers didn’t change what was good from the first movie and definitely improves on the parts that weren’t. The cast is amazing, and the three main characters have great chemistry, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that they’re all friends in real life. Charlie Day was especially hilarious, he had me laughing the entire time. Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston are great as well, they steal every scene that they’re in. The movie had a couple of good twists, although nothing I didn’t really see coming. I can’t really think of anything major that I didn’t like about the movie, it was frustrating to see the main characters fuck up so often, but I guess that’s part of their charm. This movie is probably not going to win any awards but it does exactly what you expect from a comedy, it makes you laugh. My only real criticism is that I felt that Christoph Waltz’s character was criminally underutilized. Walz is a great actor, and he’s really funny too, but the writers didn’t really give him anything to work with or any memorable lines. Other than that the film was great, I found it very entertaining and laugh out loud funny. If you were a fan of the first one or just like a good R-rated comedy then I highly recommend watching this one. 4/5

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (11/29/14)

4 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (11/29/14)

Just got back from watching Nightcrawler, and I have to say it is a very well made movie. It has a very unique plot, it’s beautifully shot, and it’s thoroughly entertaining. The director did a great job at shinning a light on the dark side of TV news, and of the blurred line between news and entertainment. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a movie like this one, its unique in so many ways. The film is very suspenseful, you really don’t know what is going to happen next, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The supporting cast did a good job, but in the end it’s Jake Gyllenhaal that steals the show. He does an excellent job portraying his character, who is about as creepy as they come. He does such an amazing job, you really do believe that he is a sociopath. The one thing I didn’t like about the movie was how it ended, but I loved everything up until that point. Overall, Nightcrawler is a very well made movie that keeps you guessing at every turn and leaves you entertained. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be in theaters, but if you get a chance I recommend watching it, it’s worth it just for Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance alone. 4/5

Nightcrawler (11/28/14)

4 Nightcrawler

Just got back from watching Nightcrawler, and I have to say it is a very well made movie. It has a very unique plot, it’s beautifully shot, and it’s thoroughly entertaining. The director did a great job at shinning a light on the dark side of TV news, and of the blurred line between news and entertainment. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a movie like this one, its unique in so many ways. The film is very suspenseful, you really don’t know what is going to happen next, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The supporting cast did a good job, but in the end it’s Jake Gyllenhaal that steals the show. He does an excellent job portraying his character, who is about as creepy as they come. He does such an amazing job, you really do believe that he is a sociopath. The one thing I didn’t like about the movie was how it ended, but I loved everything up until that point. Overall, Nightcrawler is a very well made movie that keeps you guessing at every turn and leaves you entertained. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be in theaters, but if you get a chance I recommend watching it, it’s worth it just for Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance alone. 4/5