The Monuments Men-A Movie Review

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Jun 042014
 
The Monuments Men (2014)
The Monuments Men poster Rating: 6.1/10 (106,463 votes)
Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney (screenplay), Grant Heslov (screenplay), Robert M. Edsel (book), Bret Witter (book)
Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett
Runtime: 118 min
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Drama, War
Released: 07 Feb 2014
Plot: An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

We watched this from Redbox on May 24.

Yet another movie I was really looking forward to seeing, but was disappointed. It wasn’t terrible, but it was like an attempt at a noble documentary. I think it would have been better as a documentary.

As far as the storyline, I had no idea that Hitler amassed such a monumental collection of the world’s masterpieces while conquering Europe. When I initially saw the trailer for the movie, I thought it would be an interesting flick of war intrigue. To my horror, about half way through I kept fiddling with the stop button on my TV wanting to escape.

I cannot put my finger on any one thing as to why this movie doesn’t work. Since George Clooney and Matt Damon star in the film, maybe I was hoping for a WWII version of Oceans 11 where the gang steals back valuable artwork from the bad guys. All the actors are people who’s work I enjoy. These are great actors, but mediocre performances, likely because the screenplay just didn’t give anyone any great scenes. But that could be cause the work itself, while vitally important, just wasn’t that exciting. Continue reading »

Inside Llewyn Davis-A Movie Review

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Jun 022014
 
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Inside Llewyn Davis poster Rating: 7.4/10 (103,246 votes)
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips
Runtime: 104 min
Rated: R
Genre: Drama, Music
Released: 10 Jan 2014
Plot: A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.

We watched this from Redbox on March 30.

Wow, not sure what to say about this one. I really expected I would enjoy this movie, as did Lay. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it at all. Lay would rate a little higher, but we were both disappointed.

The reason I saw this film is that it’s a Coen Brothers film–and I nearly always love their films–whether they are comedies or dramas. However, “Inside Llewyn Davis” was, for me, a completely boring film with very little to recommend it. If I hadn’t known it was a Coen film, I never would have guessed it aside from having John Goodman in an odd little role and a reference to Ulysses. It has received many good reviews, so if you’re a fan of the Coen brothers, or like their style, by all means, see it. Continue reading »

The Hangover Part III-A Movie Review

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Jun 012013
 

Click to view the trailerIn the aftermath of the death of Alan’s father, the wolfpack decide to take Alan to get treated for his mental issues. But things start to go wrong on the way to the hospital as the wolfpack is assaulted and Doug is kidnapped. Now they must find Mr. Chow again to surrender him to the gangster who kidnapped Doug in order to save him.

In Theaters: May 23, 2013; MPAA Rating: R (for pervasive language including sexual references, some violence and drug content, and brief graphic nudity); Genres: Comedy, Sequel; Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes; Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures

Director: Todd Phillips

Writers: Todd Phillips, Craig Mazin

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong, Mike Epps, Heather Graham, Justin Bartha, John Goodman

Lay was off Tuesday this week, so we went to see Hangover Part III. It was a worthy successor to the franchise. It was a great follow-on to the previous movies, but would also stand on its own.

The original Hangover film is a classic and introduced the world to the genius that is Zach Galifianakis. It was fresh, original, shocking and hilarious fun. The Hangover II was not only one of the weakest sequels ever made but also one of the saddest excuses for a comedy. It lacked any originality and came off more as a bad remake than a sequel. For instance, instead of Las Vegas it was Bangkok. Instead of a baby, they had a monkey. Instead of a rooftop, it was an out-of-order elevator. The only bits that weren’t the same as the original were more low-brow shocks. Continue reading »

Argo – A Movie Review

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Oct 282012
 

ARGO Movie PosterThe true story of the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis–the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. In 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans are taken hostage. However, six manage to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA is eventually ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devises a daring plan: to create a phony Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some trusted Hollywood contacts, Mendez creates the ruse and proceeds to Iran as its associate producer. However, time is running out with the Iranian security forces closing in on the truth while both his charges and the White House have grave doubts about the operation themselves.

Release Date: October 12, 2012; MPAA Rating: R (for language and some violent images); Genres: Action/Adventure, Adaptation, Comedy, Drama; Run Time: 2 hours.

Director: Ben Affleck

Cast: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Taylor Schilling, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina,     Zeljko Ivanek, Titus Welliver.

Lay and me saw this movie last weekend. Continue reading »

Mar 232009
 

speedracer_smallfinal.jpgBorn to race cars, Speed Racer is aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolized – the legendary Rex Racer, whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill. Speed is loyal to the family racing business, led by his father, Pops Racer, the designer of Speed’s thundering Mach 5. When Speed turns down a lucrative and tempting offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company’s maniacal owner but uncovers a terrible secret – some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless moguls who manipulate the top drivers to boost profits. If Speed won’t drive for Royalton, Royalton will see to it that the Mach 5 never crosses another finish line. The only way for Speed to save his family’s business and the sport he loves is to beat Royalton at his own game. With the support of his family and his loyal girlfriend, Trixie, Speed teams with his one-time rival – the mysterious Racer X – to win the race that had taken his brother’s life: the death-defying, cross-country rally known as The Crucible.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Adaptation; Running Time: 2 hr. 15 min.; Release Date: May 9th, 2008 (wide); MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of action, some violence, language and brief smoking.

Cast: Emile Hirsch, Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox, Kick Gurry, Benno Furmann, Rain, Paulie Litt, Scott Porter, Richard Roundtree, Christian Oliver, Nayo K. Wallace, Hiroyuki Sanada, Roger Allam, Yu Nan, Nicholas Elia, Ariel Winter

Director: Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski

Despite liking John Goodman and Susan Sarandon, I really had no interest in seeing this film. We had downloaded it via the Tivo from Amazon Unboxed for Lay’s nephews to watch this weekend when they were over. I do remember watching this cartoon as a kid. This was quite a challenge to try to satisfy people used to the anime version of the show.

The boys liked it OK, and I thought the film did a nice job of capturing an eye-poppingly colorful cartoon aesthetic, but I think too much of the film was a cartoon. The racing scenes were all pretty much CGI, and I can certainly see that a lot of the work is already done for the video game producer.

I wasn’t the worst movie, but it was not great.

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