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Blue Jasmine (2013)
Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine is interesting but if you know his work, you probably realize his output is not meant for commercial tastes
The main reason I decided to watch this movie on Netflix disc with my mom: it won Cate Blanchett the Oscar for Best Actress and also was nominated for the award for Best Supporting Actress-Sally Hawkins-and Best Original Screenplay-Woody Allen. Maybe the fact Allen was, as always, the director as well had something to do with it. I like Mr. Allen. Well, I like his early film work when he was more the comedian and making me laugh with Take the Money and Run and Bananas and Sleeper. The stuff he's been doing lately is interesting but part of me wish he'd do something funny again. Still, I wasn't bored watching this drama that goes back and forth timewise and, yes, both Ms. Blanchett and Ms. Hawkins give fine performances here as most of the cast does. Still, unless you're a die-hard Allen fan, I'd recommend Blue Jasmine with reservations.
Rio 2 (2014)
Rio 2 is pretty enjoyable, just not as much as the previous one
Having enjoyed the first Rio so much a few years ago, I was very stoked to see this sequel which I just did with my movie theatre-working friend. There were plenty of funny stuff for the first 30 minutes but then I noticed some plot threads that initially seemed unrelated that threatened to slow things down. Also, the serious one about the possible destruction of rain forests also threatened to make it less fun than previously. Still, like I said, there were still plenty of funny scenes and lines that still can entertain at the beginning and end. I especially liked the addition of Kristin Chenoweth as a frog in love with...oh, just watch the movie, if you're curious enough. So on that note, Rio 2 is worth a look.
Almost Home (2014)
This Almost Home computer-animated short seemed pointless to me. Maybe the longer version will be much better...
I've seen this DreamWorks computer-animated short twice now, first, before the Mr. Peabody and Sherman feature and, just now, before Rio 2. It seems these creatures, the leader of which is voiced by Steve Martin, are looking for a planet which is completely safe. As in, no danger to them whatsoever. No dice. With that mentioned, I'll just say that while I was a little amused by the premise, it felt too short and rushed. So no, this wasn't very enjoyable. Now finding out on this site that it's a preparation for a feature version, maybe that version will be a whole lot better. We'll see. Really, maybe they shouldn't have put such a partly pointless short version out since a longer version is supposed to come out soon. I think that's all I'll comment on...
Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a great awesome time at the movies!
Marvel at the return of Captain America (Chris Evans) along with that of The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)! And dig his new co-hort in heroics, The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) at his side! Samuel L. Jackson is also back as Nick Fury and he's opposite Robert Redford for the first time in film history! Oh, and the reveal of the Winter Soldier will either surprise you or not, depending on your familiarity with those Marvel Comics. This was such a slam-bang awesome action pic that I loved seeing this in IMAX 3-D with my movie theatre-working friend as he did as well. Not a dull spot anywhere, that's for sure! So I highly recommend Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Oh, and as always, expect to see Marvel's Stan Lee somewhere in there as well...
"The Friendship Turbulence" was another funny enough ep of "The Big Bang Theory"
In this ep of "The Big Bang Theory": Penny & Leonard have a fight about Penny's turning down a role she thinks is beneath her (It involves getting gorilla hands), Sheldon explains why he constantly insults Howard (10 years ago, Howard said he was a cross between C3PO and Pee Wee Herman), and Raj has Amy reply to a girl he likes online. This was another funny ep of "TBBT" that mostly hit on all cylinders. Most of the really good stuff involves Sheldon and Howard. I also liked some of the sarcastic stuff Amy says to Raj. And then seeing Leonard then do something nice to Penny so she wouldn't have to go back to waitressing was also nice to view. So on that note, I liked "Friendship Turbulence" ep of "The Big Bang Theory".
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
I loved feeling like a child again when watching Muppets Most Wanted
So three years after Jim Henson's creations were revived in The Muppets, they're back in Muppets Most Wanted which I found quite funny and charming and nostalgia-induced with recognizable scenes that recall earlier Muppet movies like The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan. In this one, Kermit and the gang are guided by new manager Ricky Gervais to tour the world. But Gervais is really a bad guy (whose last name is spelled that way but pronounced differently) who's in cahoots with Constantine, the most dangerous frog who resembles Kermit but with a mole. I'll stop there and just say that Tina Fey and Ty Burrell also star with many celeb cameos to keep one amused throughout. Really, me and my movie theatre-working friend truly enjoyed this so on that note, I recommend Muppets Most Wanted.
Party Central (2014)
Party Central was a pretty funny short sequel to Monsters University
This Pixar short, which takes place not long after Monster University, concerns a frat party that Mike and Sully organize for their friends. The 5 minutes that this runs for has a nice premise for such length and provides a funny enough ending. Nice to hear the entire cast for MU here especially Billy Crystal and John Goodman as those characters I mentioned at the beginning of this review. Since I need 10 lines for this to be submitted on this site, I'll also mention when I watched this with my movie theatre-working friend, the auditorium lights were on for a few minutes which marred the experience a bit but by the time of the climax, it was dark enough and made the final gag such a great surprise! So on that note, me and my friend very much liked Party Central.
The Busy Body (1967)
Seeing the recently departed Sid Caesar in The Busy Body was pretty amusing, if not hilarious
With Sid Caesar recently departed and this movie finally available to order from Netflix, I finally got this a few days ago. I watched it with Mom just now and she wasn't too crazy for it. I wasn't either though I was highly amused by Caesar much of the time I was watching whenever he had scenes with Dom DeLuise, Ben Blue, or Richard Pryor whose movie debut this was. His highlights, however, was when he took a dummy (don't ask) to a bus bench where he spoke Russian gibberish to a woman from there and when he encountered Arlene Golonka when she was in her stripper costume and he reacts to her moves. Director William Castle, who usually made gimmicky horror movies, doesn't seem to have much of a comedy flair but the players do the best with what's given them. So on that note, The Busy Body is worth a look. P.S. It was a nice surprise to see the Chicago landmarks since it was made at the time my parents were living there and when I was the first-born of the family. And to find out Ms. Golonka was also born there.
Son of God (2014)
Son of God was another touching filmed story of Jesus Christ
As a Catholic, I'm familiar with the story of Jesus' death and resurrection and I had previously seen it depicted on film in Jesus Christ, Superstar and The Passion of the Christ. As familiar as I am with it, though, whenever I see a new version, I still have a sense of awe in viewing it and still have some emotional feeling when watching it. So it was also with my mom and my movie theatre-working friend, as well (and he was watching this for the second time). To tell the truth, part of me was a little bored and fell asleep in the beginning scenes until Jesus knocked down some tables containing riches. Then I was alert until the very touching finale. Kudos to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (who played Jesus' mother, Mary) for making this and making this season of Lent have a bit more meaning this year. So, yes, that's a recommendation.
"The Thanksgiving Decoupling" was a really hilarious holiday ep of "The Big Bang Theory"
I had originally submitted this Thanksgiving ep review of "The Big Bang Theory" last year but someone had it deleted. I'll just say that this was another hilarious ep with Howard inviting everyone to his mother's house with not only Bernadette, Penny, Amy, Raj, Sheldon, and Leonard in tow but also Bern's dad who just wants to watch a football game. Oh, and how Sheldon changes personality when drunk! Of course, Howard's mom is still only heard, not seen. She's also not well so Raj ends up cooking the dinner. Oh, and Penny and ex Zack also have to do something that she regretted when they were in Vegas...Yeah, I remember really enjoying "The Thanksgiving Decoupling" ep of "The Big Bang Theory" when it originally aired.