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Into the Woods (2014)
The lucky people fell asleep
This is my second least favorite movie of all time. If I wasn't there with my girlfriend (who has sat through plenty of movies that she didn't enjoy), I would have walked out after the first scene. Instead, I got to witness the entirety of how bad this movie is.
First of all, all of the characters were horrible, selfish, people. I didn't like one character. I wasn't pulling for anyone. There was no plot development. I was not wondering what would happen next and I didn't care. The plot was not interesting and it didn't pull me in. The costumes were done very poorly. Check the wolf's gloves. Speaking of the wolf, Johnny Depp was super-creepy and had even creepier lines toward Red Riding Hood. Yeah Yeah, I know everyone loves Meryl Streep. That's all I ever hear about W.R.T. this movie. OK, I'm sure she's a great actress and she may even have a great voice. Admittedly, I wouldn't know a good voice if it was right in front of me.
The only reason I didn't give this one star, is because I'm sure the singing was great. Personally... whoop-de-do.... I heard so many people snoring during this movie. All I could think, was "Ugh... Lucky!" I wish I could have fallen asleep! Then, my time could have been used productively.
This movie was clearly aimed at lonely house wives who grew up on Disney and are now hooked on Once Upon a Time. I'd rather watch the latter. At least the plot moves.
Even my girlfriend who loves musicals said "Yeah, I can see why you hated it." It was torture!
The Hunger Games (2012)
Not truly accurate to the book, but a great movie
The Hunger Games was done really well. I had been waiting for this movie for as long as it was announced it was coming out. A year? I am a huge fan of the books and I know many others who are as well. This is a brilliant reflection on the human species, our society, and our government.
I can't stand people who try to compare this to other movies, because this isn't trying to be another movie. This is telling Katniss' and Peta's stories. And the stories of the struggles of the districts.
Anyway, the cinematography is great. The make-up and clothes of the capitol are right-on. The differences in the quality of life of the districts and the Capitol are portrayed very well. As far as I can remember, the action at the Games seems about right. I was glad to see that they didn't focus on the gore. That's not really the point. I'm glad there was time spent on Rue and District 11.
Now my gripes. Why did you half-ass the CG of the dogs?!!! WHY!? I wanted to see that SO bad! For those who don't know, the bad-ass dogs are actually supposed to be some kind of man-made mutt, where each dog resembles an individual dead tribute. It royally screws with Katniss' head, and she has trouble killing them. And I wanted to see what a make-up artist imagined them to look like. So boooo! I had a couple minor gripes about little things that happened differently in the book. I imagine that they were changed for the movie because they don't have a major impact on the plot or story, and there really wasn't time to develop another character just to give Katniss the Mockingjay pin. Just little things which weren't a really big deal (that I noticed anyway) What carries this movie is the story. The people are being oppressed and controlled by the Capitol. I'm glad Katniss wasn't made up too much in the movie to be too beautiful (with make-up etc). The mood seemed right. Everything was pretty dark and dreary. Everyone seemed oppressed and depressed. That was right on. There were some quick scenes that reveal Katniss' past and that of her family and District. I'm not sure if someone who hadn't read the books would have noticed what they meant. I don't think it was pointed out that the Mockingjay became the symbol of the previous revolution, and Katniss was wearing it during the Hunger Games.
I went to see this at IMAX with a bunch of friends. Must of them hadn't read the books. They seemed to enjoy this movie the most: probably because they didn't know how it would end. They had wide-open eyes and big smiles after the movie. Then, we all had a great discussion afterward. Unfortunately, my friends are perpetually tardy, so we had to sit so close, I couldn't fit the entire screen in my peripheral. I'll have to go see it again to appreciate it better.
In closing.... Go see this movie. You won't be disappointed.
Act of Valor (2012)
Will be a classic
This movie has everything to be a classic that will be watched for years. The action is incredible, the realism is unrivaled, and the cinematography is on point. I love to see them use the actual phrases that the Seals really use in the field. They pay very close attention to how they really do things. I like that it focuses on the men and their relationships. This is usually forgotten in war movies. The idea of using active-duty Navy Seals was brilliant! They know how move, and why. You can tell these guys are professionals, and it comes out in the film. While anyone can see the ending coming, Act of Valor had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. I can't tell you how many times I said "Bad Ass...." throughout this movie. Go see it, you won't be disappointed. And just in case you have no common sense: there is blood and gore in this movie.
The Grey (2011)
I don't know why I expected this to have a happy ending. Maybe its because the previews made me believe that the protagonist is fighting to get home to his wife.
Since I thought there would be some level of romance, I took a lady friend with me to see this. Bad idea. As it turns out, she hates the sight of blood! Whoops!
(Back to the movie) The Grey does an excellent job of revealing key plot details throughout the movie, at a good rate. It has great character development and I felt like I was there with real guys, and like I was working and running with them.
The wolves were the right amount of terrifying, and mysterious. I particularly enjoyed the Alpha male parallel to the actual pack's alpha male, and our main character. The pack dynamics facts were spot on, and that was great to see.
Some of the wolf special effects were a bit shaky. Some were incredible! However, others were really poor.
I loved the use of the scenery and how the mood was set using the elements.
All-in-all, this is a great movie. I probably won't watch it again, because I don't need to. It loses points for the few occasions where the special effects lacked and just because I was expecting a different ending, and I left the theater feeling a bit depressed. Don't get me wrong, the ending was fantastic, and beautiful in so many ways. It is probably the best/only way to end this movie, as a matter of fact. So many things came together at the end, it really makes sense. But at the time, I wanted to be happy.
The action was great, the group/pack dynamics were superb. I hope the viewers are educated enough and payed close attention to notice the parallels throughout this movie. Both, the Alpha male, and the Omega. The camera work was incredible, as well.
In conclusion, I recommend this movie to people who like good plots, action junkies, people interested in survival, and people with knowledge of wolves. It does NOT have a romantic side-plot (really). If you're a special effects snob, don't bother; because we both know you won't be able to get over those little things, and you'll never enjoy the movie (or any movie for that matter).
When the theater went dark at the end of the movie, I sat there and digested what happened, and felt bad. Just bad in general. Messed up things happen in this story. Necessary, but messed up. The "realism" was really a priority. Then, I was left feeling like all was lost. However, after taking some time and reflecting back, I am able to appreciate the story, characters, and the way this was beautifully woven together.
Jack and Jill (2011)
OK. Yes, I agree that there is no incredible plot twist and you pretty much know what is coming. There is no deeper meaning to this movie. The cast is your typical Adam Sandler "Parade of Friends" cast. Sandler chooses to shove the fact that he is Jewish down the viewer's throat AGAIN.
But honestly, who watches Adam Sandler movies for their depth and originality?
There are some good, funny moments. Having Sandler play both male and female twins is funny. I know it's been done before and arguably better. However, with a smarter and more special effects savvy audience, I get the feeling they're just poking fun at the whole situation. He's just having fun with it. (I hope) They whole movie is stupid, anyway.
Do I think this is a good movie? Absolutely not. Would I pay to see it in theaters knowing what I know now? No. I could see myself watching this at home with friends, or a significant other. You get your chuckles out of Jack and Jill. That's all it's worth. Nothing more and nothing less. I think this is near the bottom of the Sandler Spectrum of movies. (which isn't really that high in comparison to other movies, to be honest) At least he does try to get some basic points across while providing laughs. I give it a 5. I didn't walk out screaming for my money back. I was smiling, but it was the stupid kind of smirky smile where I didn't grow as a person and wasn't really sucked into the plot or anything deep. I think the average rating here is too low, though.
Bad Teacher (2011)
Good for some laughs
I read the reviews for this, and was instantly turned off. However, it was my girlfriend's turn to pick the movie, and she picked Bad Teacher. I wasn't looking forward to the movie after the reviews I read. The theater was quite empty, too. First of all, I agree that there will be no prize for a brilliantly written script. The morals were absolutely horrible, and no one still in grade school should be allowed to watch this movie. It is for adults, and adults who understand that this movie does not depict actual teachers. In fact, a vast majority of teachers are closer to the goody-goody teacher, Miss Squirrel (who annoyed the h&!! out of me by the end of the movie) The real problem with our public school system is with the lack of support at home regarding discipline and backing up the teachers from the parents (but I digress). There may not have been laugh after laugh in this movie, but the funny parts were really funny. I laughed out loud quite a lot. Much more than I thought I would. The gym teacher was my favorite character/actor, by far. Diaz did very well with what she was given. I found myself rooting for this shallow, poor excuse for a human being. I think only Diaz could make me do that. yeah, the moral of the story was horrible and it painted teachers in a bad light. But it was funny, and it isn't meant for people who still need morals to be taught to them. So, while I don't suggest it as your first pick, there's no reason to dread seeing Bad Teacher. I don't know why it is so funny to hear gorgeous blonds and little kids swear, but it is.... and it doesn't hurt to look at Diaz for a couple hours. (thank you, car wash scene!)
Great Action and I enjoyed the stories
I can't believe some of the people trashing this movie. I thought it was great! The action was loads of fun. The mermaids were incredible. The stories and side-stories kept me interested in the characters. It is funny, some people thought there was too much time spent on secondary characters while others wanted more. I thought it was just right. I still feel a little uneasy about how the mermaid romance ended. I would think that a devoted Christian wouldn't dabble in pagan magic, correct? Anyway, all the main characters were incredible, and I didn't miss the actors who didn't come back one bit. I wish the fate of Blackbeard would have had a twist. A man with one leg would kill him. We all knew it would be Barbosa, of course. Wouldn't it have been great if someone else had killed him during the fight who just happened to have one leg? Perhaps lost in that very fight? That would have been sweet. I loved the ending to the movie. I think Sparrow has grown throughout the Pirates series. Some people think he should be more selfish. I think not. I thought it was brilliant, and the only way to end the movie at that point. Allowing her to keep her self-respect and show her willingness to give her own life, while exposing Blackbeards selfishness. Awesome.
I hope we see another Pirates with Commodore Jack Sparrow!
Fast Five (2011)
The action was awesome, the cars were incredible, and it had a great storyline! There was character development. There were twists. There was some predictably, but that is to be expected. However, I don't think anyone saw the awesome twist at the end! I also really liked the falling action after the climax.
Most of the characters from the other movies were in here and played important roles. There was even a new big character.
And of course the ending was awesome, while still leaving an opening for a sequel.
Especially if you are a "car guy", you have to see this movie.
Black Swan (2010)
I'm sitting here reading all of these reviews about people who are blown away by this "masterpiece". Maybe it is a masterpiece, and I just can't see it. Maybe if my master's degree was in theater, instead of engineering I'd "get" this movie. I went out of my way to see this movie after hearing others talk about it, because the previews did nothing for me. But I value what others have to say, so I went for it. Maybe my girlfriend would like it. I was expecting something along the lines of The Usual Suspects, where I'm sitting at the edge of my seat, paying attention to every little detail to see if I can figure out the twist at the end of the movie.
That is exactly what I did. I was wide-eyed, while my girlfriend fell asleep. The first time I realized whatever just happened was just in her head, I was really excited. How much of it was really in her head? How do I figure out what was real and what wasn't? I almost re-started from the beginning right there. Then, I realized if I wasn't expecting a twist, I'd be really bored right now. Ohhh, there better be an awesome twist! Is she being drugged this whole time? Is this girl trying to help her, have sex with her, take her role, or even kill her? Did she kill her mom by accident? Did she kill that girl? I was glad that I stayed awake for the sex scene. Thank you for that.
The end of the movie absolutely crushed me! Oh you mean, she's just a stupid, crazy ballerina, who thinks ballet is real? Come on! I dated one of those! They all take it way too seriously! Sigh..... I wanted some logical explanation for all the crazy stuff that was happening, and maybe tie in her mom's history a bit more. Something that explains WHY all of this stuff was happening. You can't just say "oh, she's crazy" What a cop-out! This had all of the creativity (story-wise) as Trick-r-Treat.
With that said, the cinematography, was some of the best I've ever seen! If not, it was the best! I may re-watch this just for the cinematography. The lighting, camera angles, camera movement, position on the screen! Everything! It just set the right mood and contributed to the story and the feeling. Absolutely epic!
So, the cinematographer saved this movie for me. Other than that... crazy ballerina loses her mind? eh, seen it. With a different ending, this movie could have gone down in history. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I don't have the necessary vision. Maybe the incorrect half of my brain is functional to "get" this movie. Maybe it will go down in history as a great. If it does, someone please explain to me why. I want to understand. Seriously, I don't get it.
It was OK, it wasn't THAT good
I want to start off by saying this is a good movie and I would recommend it to others. I just read all of these glowing reviews and I must have had some really high expectations. I wasn't blown away like all of these other people were. I saw it with my girlfriend. We both laughed and had a great time. After it was over, we moved on though. We weren't quoting the movie or talking about it for hours.
The character development was great. I enjoyed the originality of the jokes and situations the characters were placed in. For the most part, it wasn't stupidly predictable, although there were parts where I knew what would happen later in the movie.
This is a fun, witty comedy. I think it was geared toward the female audience. (I'm male) While I did get some really good laughs, I could tell some jokes were just not meant for me. I just sat there, rolling my eyes, like I was sitting at some sort of girl slumber party that I wasn't invited to. The older, female audience was practically wetting its pants, however. Maybe they're just not used to the crude, in-your-face humor, reminiscent of so many "guy" movies just like this.
There were some scenes that went wayyy too long. OK, I get it, it is an awkward moment, lets move on..... There's no reason to waste 10 minutes of a movie to stress how awkward a moment is. And of course, there HAD to be a musical moment where everyone breaks into song and dance together, as if they all got together the day before and rehearsed. This single moment turned this movie into a "chick-flick" for me, sorry.
On a more positive note, the acting was great! My favorite character/actress was the groom's sister! By far! Kudos! Sorry, I don't know anyone's real name. Seriously, its far too much to keep track of.
If you're a female, go see this movie. If you're a guy who wants to see a movie with a girl, you could do much much worse than Bridesmaids. I did enjoy myself, and left with a smile on my face. The completely packed theater was justified. I just didn't think it was quite as good as the other reviews are saying. I was expecting to see a movie that we'll be watching and re-watching for years, judging by what others said. If my girlfriend gets it on Blue-ray, and its a rainy day outside, I'd gladly watch it with her again. I just won't go out of my way.
All-in-all, I'd recommend this movie. I think most people should see it, and you can judge for yourself what you think of it. I don't want to scare anyone away because it was good. Just not THAT good (in my opinion).