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Magic in the Moonlight (2014)
Pleasantly delightful... or delightfully pleasant
I find all of woody allen flicks interesting. Always an interesting subject no matter how good bad ugly great the movie is. This new one is no exception.
MITM is a totally pleasant whimsical delight... the actors are charming especially Emma Stone and Eileen Atkins as Colin Firth's aunt.
The humor is very light... whimsy is a good term... is it funny? For me NO... but it's also not unfunny. It's just this one long smile.
The scenery is gorgeous.
The story is smart hidden in a cute jacket.
The age difference between the two is maybe a tad much but the rom in this romcom is not the leading factor... at least for most of it. Maybe a Colin Firth from 15 years ago would have been a better lead but unless Woody has access to that time travel device in Midnight In Paris that was not an option.
As with some other Allen films there is a turn in direction at some point. Won't give anything away. Your enjoyment of the movie might hinge on how you feel after it goes after this point.
For me it may have lingered around too long towards the end.
Firth is good and likable but I did find some of his character's decisions to be too abrupt. But maybe that's just me. And some of his duologue felt a bit rushed and acted.
I wouldn't personally rank this as one of his recent greats like Paris, Jasmine, Match Point or VCB... but it's a fun summery concoction of scenery, whimsy and costumes.
Wanted to like it but didn't. An interesting inconsistent misfire
This review comes from someone who likes Famnily Guy and really enjoyed TED... but this new one... was... ouch... I went in expecting a few laughs but there were fewer than even my low expectations predicted. Other than the script everything is top notch. Actors are great. Charlize and Liam and Sarah Silverman etc are terrific. It's too bad they didn't have something better to work with.
Liam in fact seems like he's in a different movie. He's 100 percent serious. That might be Seth's point in making a guy (himself) who is caught in the middle of a serious horrible deadly world that the west really was.
It looks very good visually. Great score. But very inconsistent. Not hit and miss. More like hit and miss miss miss groan miss semi-hit miss. And the joke style kept changing. Silly to sweet to over the top and serious at times. and some of the jokes were so disgusting I don't know what they were thinking. (and i like disgusting)
Plus the anachronistic style gets tired fast.
And Seth as predicted should not have made himself the lead. He's not awful but would have benefited greatly with a pro. His persona is not fit for leading man status. And his voice and style is so in step with Brian's on family guy its a bit distracting.
Basically the tone of this film keeps changing. The joke styles keep changing. it doesn't know what it is. Is is a sweet western romcom? Is it a satire? Is it a serious comedy?
With all the success from Ted I'm guessing Seth had carte blanche with this one and probably needed someone to question him more.
Might be more fun if your stoned. Really really stoned. And/or maybe just see Blazing Saddles instead.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
a roller-coaster of disturbing
when the movie was over the audience sat there somewhat stunned and completely silent... was crazy... crazy is the literal word to use.
the main character is so vivid and sad and real.
the film is a roller coaster ride of drama and comedy... of awkward humor and goofy then disturbing.
the use of flashbacks are done seamlessly and works well to tell the back story of this amazing character.
there are a few things that maybe don't work here and there but 80 percent of this film is cate blanchette and she really is perfect.
at times it's woodyy allen-ish and at other times you forget and are sucked in by blanchette.
rest of cast is great... andrew dice clay is awesome in a very toned down role, louie ck is great is a small part... sally hawkins is awesome in her own way and very different from her sister jasmine... bobby carnivale chews some scenery.
if this movie sucks you in you will have a hard time forgetting it for a while... it hangs with you.
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
it's OK... funny but a bit boring
i wanted to love it... i really did... i love the first one... told many about it... clearly lots of people saw it after it's theatrical run and are excited for part 2... but i saw it last night and it is a little dull... story is weak... predictable...
spoilers the main plot is that gru has to find a villain so gru's a good guy now... that's about it... not a bad idea but most of the movie is him stuck in a mall looking for this villain who is one of the shop owners... just not that interesting... and obvious and it just doesn't feel like a lot is at stake.
he points to the actual bad guy immediately... we all know this is the dude but the movie keeps going... the bad guy is kind of boring and not much is done... he's pretty generic... the villain (beyond gru) in the first one was so much better.
the oldest daughters thing for boys is cute... kristen wiig's character is fun and while their romance is obvious it's still OK the minions save the day... i mean the film.
not a bad sequel at all... still funny... carell and wiig are great... movie's just a little dull
Monsters University (2013)
totally terrific funny lovable sweet comedy
i loved this movie. at first i was a little out of it because it's unusual seeing characters you know so well in a prequel with characters you don't know. you know where mike and sully are gonna end up but the newbies you have no idea. after about 15 minutes though i was totally loving the new guys and by time the whole thing was over i really found myself loving everything about this movie.
what's also great is also this is not the same as the first one... it's not an adventure flick but instead it's (obviously) a college comedy and follows the same rules and format as a live action one... making friends, frats, parties, pranks etc... with the great pixar emotional touch to put it over the top.
stick around till the very end for a small little extra
To Rome with Love (2012)
Fun delightful comedy
i had so much fun watching this flick... i really enjoyed how the stories jumped around... didn't mind the subtitles... loved seeing woody on screen... it's not hysterical but it's totally fun
the actors all were terrific... the stories all were very different from one another
i really liked the fantasy element... and all the stories had a fantasy absurd level to them... especially the alec baldwin (he's there he's not there commenting thing)
it was a pleasant movie that i smiled through the whole way laughing out loud a bunch of times and was a perfect summer treat
i know not everyone agrees... but this ranks for me as one of my favorite woody film in the last ten years behind the amazing Paris and match point... mostly because i was totally in the mood for some light comedy and the cast is really wonderful
acting was great
directing was solid
the humor was very sweet and cute
the Rome sights were beautiful
Devil's Den (2006)
Don't, Bad, Boring
I know what it takes to make a low budget horror film... you need one location and lots of talking... but do not create a story that requires more.
This thing is so boring. Sounds great but trust me... it's not.
It all takes place in one location... a strip club... a bad set on top of that... with some sort of bad hardy boys cave attached to it. They stand around having fights trying to make it look bigger than it is... but they failed.
If you see it... this is what you are in for... talk talk talk about stuff that has nothing to do with the plot (spanish fly, assassins) then ghoulish vampire chicks attack... then talk talk talk about nothing important for 15 minutes then the same thing happens with a fight... then talk then same fight...
it's like a 20 minute movie repeated over and over again.
My friend and I (who adore bad movies) both nearly fell asleep... the worst dialogue moment is when Hu and Sawa have a long drawn out discussion of what an assassin does and who an assassin kills... they just stop the movie to have this talk. they obviously choose this because it's filler but oh my God so boring.
The best part I guess is the make-up. Not bad for such a cheesy bad low budget flick...
Actors are zipping through this... but they had nothing to work with. Oh it must have been painful to shoot this thing for them knowing they were on much bigger and better productions a few years earlier.