Sunday, October 6, 2013


Gravity was simply, utterly and indisputably incredible. It has been awhile since I've been to the movies and seen a film so wonderful that my heart raced for 2 hours after. All the hype from critics and fans alike is totally substantiated. If you have not seen this movie yet, you're missing out. If you weren't planning on seeing this movie, change your plans. Immediately. Gravity is breath-takingly amazing.

A seemingly ordinary and simple first space mission for Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) turns into a nightmare scenario when disaster strikes that cuts off communication with Earth rendering the two stranded totally alone.

As you may have heard or seen from the trailer, the cinematography is STUNNING in Gravity. The film transports you to space in a way that hasn't been done before and certainly hasn't been done this beautifully. With all the destruction, chaos, and fear-inducing events in the movie, there is always the magnificent back drop of Earth wonderfully showcasing something that real-life astronauts get to marvel at everyday. 

The visual affects of Gravity were stupendous and the 3D quality was great. My biggest regret is not seeing this film for the first time in Imax 3D because this film is literally perfect for Imax theaters. Director Alfonso Cuarón's vision and camera work make Gravity a true work of cinematic art. As disaster is ensuing, the continuos camera shots give the film a highly realistic feel thus making the situations more horrifying to fathom. After watching the film, Cuarón's talent as a director will become obvious and understanding as to why this film took 3 years to finalize will quickly become evident. 

                                           Attributed from Wikepedia by:                 Attributed from Widepedia by:
                                                          Angela George                                      Eva Rinaldi
Despite the terrifyingly magnificent cinematography and awe-inspiring visuals, what really solidifies Gravity as an instant classic is the acting. Sandra Bullock is absolutely phenomenal in this film. Bullock is amazing in just about every role she takes (If you haven't seen The Heat, yet.. Well.. I'm just going to pretend you did see it because that movie was literally amazing with the Bullock-McCarthy cop combo) and she further proves herself as a herculean force in the industry. I'm making the early prediction now that Bullock will be nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars. If not, I don't know what's wrong with the world. 
While not having nearly as an important role as Bullock, George Clooney was great in this film. He not only provided Gravity with comic relief, but also a reassuring feeling of serenity and calmness desperately needed after the traumatic events unfolded. Without giving away any major spoilers, Clooney gave the film some of the happiest moments as well as one of the saddest. Pure brilliance. 

Before closing, some people told me how stupid Bullock sounded panting and screaming in the early trailers for the movie as destruction rages around her. What sound would you make as you drifted through space alone? Most people would sound like Dakota Fanning screaming through War of the Worlds or me crying when someone eats the last piece of cake.

Gravity is easily one of the best films of 2013. GO SEE IT!
If you have seen it, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Film Rating:


Thursday, October 3, 2013


"Prisoners" was easily one of the best films that I have seen this year. The plot will keep you on the edge of your seat, the acting will render you in awe, the cinematography will be a feast for your eyes,  the suspense will tear into you and every twist & turn of the story will have your heart beating faster and faster straight to the very end.

The film begins with the Dover family going over the Birches' house for a cheerful and average thanksgiving dinner. The families are forever changed when the families' young daughters go out to play and go missing. Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) is assigned to the case. His only piece of evidence: A strange RV that was spotted in the area (and played upon by the girls) before the get together.

I refuse to give away any bit of the story within this review for  those who may have not seen the movie yet. If you haven't seen it yet, DROP EVERYTHING AND GO! I touched upon several of the aspects   in my first paragraph that really make this film spectacular. Obviously, one of the most important pieces of every movie is the plot (Duh). The plot and script for "Prisoners" was incredible and thoroughly planned out. There is foreshadowing all throughout the beginning of the movie to important events that occur toward the end along with backstories that further enrich and reinforce the story.

The acting in Prisoners is impeccable and truly brings this horrific story to life. Each actor brings their character to life, exposes different aspects of the human condition as the abduction of the two innocent girls transforms once seemingly happy people into ravaged, heart-broken, angry and grief-stricken people. The most explosive transformation occurs within Keller Dover played beautifully by the great Hugh Jackman.

Dover's change from a loving and caring father to a cornered animal, who takes out his anger on the RV driver whom suspects for taking the girls, is disturbing and cringe inducing. There is no questioning Hugh Jackman's talent as an actor considering he can do just about everything regarding to acting. From playing Wolverine in an action packed blockbuster to singing as the legendary Jean Valjean in Les Miserables to playing a shattered father here in Prisoners, Hugh Jackman can really do it all.

Another actor worth noting is Jake Gyllenhaal. The role of detective Loki is interesting because of its importance to the story and the emotional journey this character experiences while attempting to solve this case. Gyllenhaal doesn't just bring an experienced investigator to "Prisoners", he brings a character who is interesting, comical (a few one-liners), and passionate with his work. If you are a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, this movie is a must see just to view his acting prowess in full action.

Two other actors who receive honorary mention are Paul Dano and Melissa Leo. After watching the movie, reasons behind their honorary mention will become obvious.

Director DenisVilleneuve's vision and cinematography is spellbinding as well as simply artistic. Screenshots are beautiful and audiences are exposed to endless imagery that reinforces the painful and riveting story that will consistently keep you on the edge of your seat.

The only complaint that I could think of giving this film is length. Certain parts seemed a tad too long but they certainly did not detract from the power of the film.
I highly recommend this movie to a more adult crowd. If you haven't seen it, drop what you're doing and rush to the movies. You will definitely not regret it.

Film Rating:
Intensely Thrilling

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Family

I'm going to be upfront and say that I was actually kinda looking forward to seeing this movie. After watching the trailer, I felt as though the movie seemed kinda cool despite the corniness of the name and plot. I'm glad that I convinced my friends to go with me to see it when it came out. 

In The Family, former mafia boss Giovanni Maznoni (De Niro) and his family are relocated to a small village in France by U.S. Witness Protection overseen by Robert Stansfield (Lee Jones) as the family is being hunted by a mafia kingpin that Giovanni snitched on. Each family slowly assimilates to their new life in the village: wife Maggie (Pfeiffer) blows up a grocery after being offended, eldest daughter Belle (Argon) falls in love with a French graduate student, and son Warren (D'Leo) takes over the black market at his new high school. The Mafia eventually finds information that may lead them straight to the French village where the family (hehe) have finally integrated themselves...Da Da DUN. 

The thing I like most about this movie is the smooth combination of comedy, drama, and action into one entertaining film. The movie is not 100% a comedy, but several parts were funny and a few were even laugh out loud funny. (My favorite LOL moment had to be when the son Warren enlists a grossly obese classmate to help beat up a gang that beat Warren up on his first day. The obese kid literally came running a full speed -2mph- into the ring leader, smashing him into a wall. It was like a tank smashing into a French eclair.. It was glorious. Fat people:1 - Skinny People: 0). While The Family was filled with various comedic moments, the movie had a few touching and sad moments where one could really connect to the characters and their individual struggles. The saddest moment, in my opinion, was when the French graduate student broke up with Belle after they had sex. Her hopes and dreams for a normal future with this man were shattered and you wind up feeling bad for her despite her dramatic reasoning.  While the comedy and drama dominated the majority of the story, with a flicker of violence here and there, the movie ended with an explosion of action when the Mafia finally found Giovanni's family. The Mafia literally kills everybody insight except the family, who take up arms and fight back. (The struggle between Giovanni and corpulent Mafia hit man Bernie was quite the fight..Until Maggie planted a knife in his chest. Fat People:1 Skinny People:1).

The movie was good overall, but of course contained a few major negative points. The acting was pretty average throughout. I think this was the first movie I have seen Michelle Pfeiffer in since Batman Returns.. But Pfeiffer and De Niro both brought their characters' struggles to life and somehow made them relatively connectable. Tommy Lee Jones acting was a tad bit too serious for the film and thus seemed out of place. On a side note, one can see the make up on Tommy Lee Jones's face with every close up which completely distracted me from everything he was saying. Lastly, some aspects of the plot were a total stretch. For example, I find the probability HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a high school newspaper articles from a small French village would make it all the way to New York City right into the hands of the lead Mafia man in jail coincidentally. Screenwriters could have easily come up with another method of giving the Mafia a clue. Also, i'm surprised no one in town started asking questions when the grocery blew up or a plumber was beat to pulp or the director of a factory sustained injuries after being dragged behind a car. 

Despite being far from perfect, The Family was definitely enjoyable overall and I recommend seeing it if you have nothing to do on the weekend. 



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We're The Millers

"Well, I'm awake and I speak English, so yes I know what your saying."

To be honest, I did not have any high expectations when going to see "We're The Millers". I saw the trailer for the movie and a couple commercials which each extensively focused on the fact that Jennifer Anniston strips during the movie (OH we'll get there). The story seemed alright and the jokes used in the trailer were average. I must say that the movie was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. 

"We're The Millers" is a comedy where  low level marijuana dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) hastily assembles a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a runaway girl (Emma Roberts) and a loser boy in his apartment (Will Poutler) to come with him down to Mexico to smuggle Marijuana across the border under the guise of being a family.

The plot for the movie is average and the acting was decent, but the shortcomings are shadowed by the comedic nature of the movie. Some of the one-liners in this movie are gold while others just fall short, but hey.. it's to be expected in a comedy. "We're the Millers" also contained plenty of moments and situations which were SO incredibly awkward that they can make you literally cringe all over (in a good way..) When Aniston and Roberts take turns making out with Poutler, when the Millers have a freaky sexual meeting with the Fitzgerald's,  when Roberts' tries hooking up with the circus imbecile, and almost every scene with Poutler.. LOL.  Despite the movie being comedic by nature,  "We're The Millers" has some memorable moments that are real sentimental and nice to see. None of the "family members" have a real family to go home to and wind up finding support/love from each other. The movie ends with the "Millers" all living together as a family after their hysterical adventure, which I found to be the most suiting ending for the film. 

Lastly, I would like to close by talking about the enormous emphasis this movie placed on Jennifer Aniston as a stripper. 

I feel as though Aniston was perfect for the role in this film. She created a character that was funny, motherly (despite the connotations one might receive from her career choice) and broken as a result of her past relationships. Some critics felt as though Aniston was not the best option for this role. I disagree with them, and I would also like to add that Jennifer Aniston still has an incredible for her age. I just don't feel like the film needed to use it as the main selling point in their advertising and marketing campaign. 

Film Rating:


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Movie/DVD Updates


I can't even contain my excitement right now for the upcoming Hobbit movie The Desolation of Smaug. The first poster for the movie was released just a few days ago and it looks simply amazing! For the unfortunate few who have not seen it yet,

Ugh. Doesn't it look amazing? Bilbo staring right into the front door of the abandoned Dwarven kingdom of Erebor.
 Just when I thought my excitement for the next Hobbit film couldn't get any bigger, THE NEW TRAILER WAS RELEASED TODAY.
If you haven't seen it yet, here it is:

Doesn't it look incredible? Epic? Awesome? Breathtaking?
Needless to reiterate for the hundredth time, I'm excited!
This trailer gives a small glimpse of every major scene to come. From the spiders in Mirkwood, to the imprisonment by the Elves. From the escape in the barrels to the arrival at the lake men settlement and the eventual attack on the Lonely Mountain and Smaug himself. Peter Jackson is continuing his expansion of the series by including pieces of Tolkien's appendixes such as Gandalf's journey to the ruined fortress of Dol Goldur as well adding some of his own touches such as including Leogolas into the film plot. (Fans of the book know very well that Leogolas is not in the story but he really would be present at this point in Tolkien's timeline.) The adventure continues and will hopefully be as good as it's beginning in the first Hobbit movie. I'm already counting down the days until the film's release on December 13th. Mark the date.
(If you still haven't purchased The Hobbit you can find it HERE)



Oz The Great and Powerful came out on DVD today! If you haven't already bought it, you can pick it up HERE
OZ no doubt evokes feelings of nostalgia in all those who grew up watching The Wizard Of Oz when they were little. This movie depicts the Wizard's journey through Oz's as he fights the evil witches in order to protect the land and the people he has come to love.

The new movie added its own new touch onto everything making it fresher and cleaner but it fell short with one character..
Sorry Mila Kunis, Margaret Hamilton does it better.

Film Rating:



Identity Thief came out on DVD last week! A must own if your in love with Melissa McCarthy life I am.. If you haven't bought it yet, you can buy Identity Thief HERE
You can say what you want about this movie as far as plot or goofs, I found it hysterical.. and thats the point of a comedy right?
In this film, Sandy Bigelow Patterson's (Bateman) life is thrown upside-down when a skilled identity thief Diana (McCarthy) steals his identity over the phone. In order to restore his life and bank account to normal, Sandy must travel down to Florida to bring back Diana so that she confesses to her crimes so that Sandy could get his new job back.
A simple plot with ALOT of laughs along the way. Melissa McCarthy is a herculean force in comedy, punching all opposition out of the way.
LOL this happens six more times throughout the film..

Going for a ride?


And just so you know..

Film Rating:


The Purge

Let me just make this clear that I am not a fan of scary movies. They just aren't my cup of tea. Some people love them to death (...)  and feel obligated to see them at all costs. I tend to be in the category that avoid them at all costs. Not because i'm afraid of them (well...), but I just don't like them. The Purge didn't seem like THAT scary of a movie and the concept seemed interesting so I decided to give it a chance. For those of you reading that like horror films, this may be one of the only reviews I do in this genre. 
The movie is basically about a family who is held hostage and attacked after harboring a hunted man during the annual 12 hour period known as the Purge. The Purge was created by the "New Founding Fathers of America" to allow the citizens of the United States to release their inner rage and their "inner savage beasts" in a period where all emergency services are suspended. The father in the family, James Sandin (Ethan Hawking) is a salesman/businessman in charge of selling security systems to people that make homes essentially "Purge-proof". He has recently made a lot of money for his family which has allowed them to  add a large addition onto their already lavish home. His wife Mary Sandin (Lena Headey) appears to be an average wife and mother to her two children: Zoey, a rebellious teenager with a boyfriend of whom her parents do not approve of and Max, a younger teenager who has a big heart and disapproves of the ideologies behind the Purge. 

UM? No..No..Meestaa superman noo home..

The entire idea of the "Purge" itself is so beyond ignorant that I don't even want to address it. Yeah, because creating an annual holiday where all crime is legal is the best thing for the economy and the well-being of the nation. I can go on and on about why the mere notion of such an event would be foolish and idiotic but that would detract from the review. 
While I found the idea of the annual Purge to be stupid (I'm trying so hard not to get into it..), the plot for the film was sturdy but I found the 'scares' to be somewhat predictable and various actions performed by the characters to be predictable. For example: (A FEW SPOILERS)
One is expecting the blond-haired neighbor to be jealous and partake in the purge against the family in someway. (She totally gets what she deserves though...omg)
One is expecting the daughter's boyfriend to try and kill the father. (Which is totally stupid because why would the daughter EVER stay with him after he killed her father? Logic? Reason? No? Alright..)
One is expecting the family not to give up the man that hid in their home after they finally catch him. (Which is good because I honestly wouldn't have given him up either because he would never be in my house. I would have moved to another country the minute the purge began.. what a stupid concept.. ughh)
I feel like scenes such as this happen a little too frequently in movies.. It's always underneath the bed too.. Didn't she watch Taken?

I found some of the scares to be genuinely good but there was WAY too much of an emphasize on the masks being worn by the assailants. It was good when they broke into the house but when the assailants were outside swinging on the swings and jumping around together.. it was just weak. 

The film definitely wasn't perfect, but it did deliver as a decent film considering its surprisingly small $3 million budget. The concept behind the film, although immensely impossible, was interesting to see and provided the basis for an interesting thriller film. I enjoyed Ethan Hawking's performance for the most part throughout the movie. I would definitely have reacted differently if my child disarmed my security system during a national 12 hour crime spree than he did, but to each their own. While the film falls short as a horror flick, it rises as a thriller where the notion of protecting your family comes first despite whatever (or whomever) comes knocking on your front door. 

Film Rating:


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

After Earth

Based off an original story idea by Will Smith, After Earth is not the greatest movie (by far..) nor is it the worst movie in the world. Where certain aspects of this film lack, the sturdy plot and adventure-style make the film relatively enjoyable to watch. 

After Earth takes place around 1000 years into the future in a time where humans have since abandoned earth to live on more stable and suitable planets. Global warming, cataclysmic events and evolution of various animal species has forced humans off Earth making the planet dangerous and inhabitable. As a result of severe damage being inflicted upon their ship, father and son Cypher (Will Smith) and Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) find themselves the sole survivors of a crash landing on Earth. With Cypher being left injured in the main portion of their ship, Kitai must venture out in the dangerous environment to recover the rescue beacon located in the tail end of their ship which broke off as their ship was entering Earth's atmosphere. 
(Looks kinda epic doesn't it? I would have tripped and fell right off that..just saying)

This movie had a good plot idea and presented a rather interesting concept of an adventure on an inhabitable Earth. 
While the idea for After Earth's plot was good, the actual plot itself had many problems: (SPOILERS)
How did EVERY other member of the ship's crew die in the crash except father and son?
Why exactly were they transporting that monster?
Where did the monster come from? (I have may have just missed this but let me know in the comments.) It's impossible to make a fire on Earth if their is insufficient oxygen for breathing. I also found it interesting that the beacon for communication would be in the tail of the ship, not the cockpit or main area of the ship BUT it made for a good story. (I don't want to be that person..)
And these are only a few of the problems...

Unfortunately I found the worst aspect of this movie to be the acting. Jaden Smith is not exactly the best person for this lead role. His facial expressions were comical when he intended to be serious and too serious when he intended to be comical.
(-_- One of those faces..)
 There was obviously good chemistry between Will Smith and his son, but Will's Smith's performance was average at best overall.
(SO much love...)
This film was blown up and attempted to be placed on a grand and epic level. While the film succeeded in some respects, it fell short on others rendering this film like a small foot trying to fill a big shoe. Most of these short-fallings reside on the shoulders of Director M. Night Shyamalan. Just his name alone is enough to make some people cringe in disgust. His last last four movies (The Last Airbender, The Happening, Lady in the Water, and The Village) were all flops and considered immensely unsuccessful. I have not seen ANY of these movies but they all received horrible reviews revolving around Shyamalan's directing style. To each his own, but while promoting After Earth, Shyamalan's name was strategically removed from all marketing material. That's a clear sign. 

Despite the film's failures and shortcomings, After Earth was entertaining until the end. The idea for the plot is good and an interesting concept like I said. You may find yourself not fully loving this movie, but you will not leave the theatre feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment (like you may feel with Now You See Me...)

Film Rating:
Below Average


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