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Do You Believe? (2015)
Plays out like real life...
I went not expecting too much, frankly. I liked "God is Not Dead" and figured this one would be at least as good. Boy! Was I surprised. Talk about REAL life situations...I've lived some of these. This movie is gripping and if one gets beyond the peer pressure out there, they would see something many people have lived.
Plausible scenarios? You bet! Good acting? Yes, good believable character portrayals. My fav is the character "Joe"...because he reminded me of a friend of mine.
I love most movies and see about 3-6 a month so I'm no novice to the big screen. This is not action-adventure although it had the audience (me included) gasping at a couple of scenes. This is not fantasy -- the most real-life movie I've seen in a long time.
I challenge each reader to get beyond whatever keeps them from a movie like this and just go see it. See what many people believe, live and have experienced in their daily lives. Not a "mamby-pamby" movie.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Ah, yes...a good Tom Cruise movie like I knew he could do!
I don't need to be concerned that I'll have any spoilers in this review. I like this movie so much and I would not even think to put a spoiler in my review but encourage everyone to see this on the big screen.
This is the kind of movie that I love to watch and for me, it's been too long since I've seen a good Tom Cruise movie. This is the kind of drama and has the kind of subtle comedy that I love to see in a movie. The action was good and paced nicely with the irony of the storyline. You see Tom Cruise's character change and grow as the movie progresses and that's good.
The supporting cast is spot on. I didn't see actors, I saw characters. Good fun. Enough said for me.
Changing the story for the sake the one of the exec. producers?
I was definitely looking forward to this story and this actress playing the lead. Jolie does not disappoint, imo. She is beautifully sinister looking although they portrayed her character as a bit weak-minded, gullible and victim-like. I fully expected to see a supremely evil, beautiful and awful Maleficent! Not there. I gather this is because Jolie was an exec producer on the film and she has kids and she probably wanted them to see the flick at some point. So evil had to be turned into a victim. And the good king turned into a selfish, cheating, self-absorbed buffoon.
OK, enough of that, now on the to the entertainment value...I loved that part of the movie. The look, the CGI, the costumes, the makeup on Jolie was beautiful. Of course, she's got a good face to work with. I loved that they used that old Sleeping Beauty song that I have loved since I was a kid and saw the animated version.
The fight scenes, especially the last one, was awesome and moving. OK, so maybe it wasn't quite spot on in the storyline, but it was entertaining. And when those wings came back to rest on Maleficent's back, I was very moved. So yes, I enjoyed the movie and have come to realize that I must see movies for what they are...vivid imaginings out of someone's mind that are brought to the big screen for sheer entertainment.
So unless it's a documentary, I expect a lot of creative license to be taken and therefore I am rarely disappointed these days.
Well Seth, you blew it...
I was expecting something at least sorta funny and entertaining. But alas what I got an overly gross, less than childish, stupid movie that hardly had any chuckles and no real laughs to me. The thing that made me chuckle the most was the "runaway slave" shooting gallery because it WAS funny and audacious to put in a movie. (I think we all need to mellow out and laugh at ourselves a bit more because our history can be funny/silly).
Anyway, back to Million...sheesh what a waste of time and money, IMO. I am thinking I will not see the new 22 Jump St. because I am sick and tired of so-called gross humor & from the trailer it is more of the same crappola. It is gross and not humorous. Ugh.
Charlize Theron is always a good actress to me and how Seth got her to play in this gross movie is beyond me. And Liam? Puleeze, he must have made mint to be in this piece of junk. Just writing about it puts a bad taste in my mouth. I gotta go see the other Million movie...Million Dollar Arm!
While I miss Frodo...I am enjoying Bilbo!
The adventure continues and just like the Lord of the Rings, Two Towers, this "middle" movie kinda leaves you unsatisfied. Mostly because you know what is just around the corner! Maybe two movies could have been better, as in LOTR, but if you love these movies you put up with the "middles" and feeling unsatisfied a bit! Martin Freeman (Bilbo) continues to carry this character just fine. I had my doubts at first but when I saw The Hobbit, I was sold. He IS Bilbo Baggins now just as Elijah Wood IS Frodo. The other actors play their parts exceedingly well, too. Will anyone ever be able to re-make these movies with others? I think NO unless they wait a generation or so.
As a reader of the books, I see that many small, rather important details are left out mostly due to necessity of time restraints. And to me this does not take away from the enjoyment of the story. Although, IMO, there are more missing details from the Hobbit tales than from LOTR. Again, this does not take away from my enjoyment of the flicks.
I love that Orlando Bloom (Legolas) is still doing great skateboarding-type moves, too. I cracked up at that. The addition of Evangeline Lilly is perfect as she is as much an Elf-like beauty as Liv Tyler. All the actors including the usual suspects (Ian, Richard, Andy, etc.) do a stellar job in portraying their fantasy characters. An enjoyable ride through Middle Earth...
Grudge Match (2013)
You're still the same...GREAT!
Refreshingly the same...two great actors doing what they do best and NOT apologizing for it. I LOVED this movie. It's got a good, fun storyline that is good for adults AND kids. It's got emotion and funny lines and moves along nicely. Note, it's not fantasy, beat 'em up sci-fi, good vs. evil, action heros, etc. (all of which I love, too). It is a nice movie about two guys who missed something years before due to basically a misunderstanding, a common type of misunderstanding that humans make.
Best of all I was able to see Stallone do a bit of acting, which, to me, is kinda rare. Yes, he is mostly his Rocky persona but with more substance. And Dinero...well, what can you say? This man has moved from strong drama to comedy to casual-type characters with ease. He can be menacing in one movie and really funny in another. I love these guys and their own acting abilities. And oh boy, seeing that beauty, Kim Basinger...she's good, too. I think early on her strong beauty may have kept her out of some roles. But now she can hang with the best of them, IMO. And she is still a beauty. Kevin Hart provides cute comic relief, too. He can be a bit over-the-top, but it works fine here.
Most surprising to me is Jon Bernthal. I remember this guy from the Walking Dead and I was glad when his character was killed off in that series! He's so good, I hated him! But what I see here is that he has a good bit of acting ability. He's believable (which is the main reason I hated him in Walking Dead!).
All-in-all, this is a good movie. Don't listen to the so-called pro critics. Gosh, I dislike how they pan some really good movies (like Depp's Lone Ranger, which was SO funny). What's up with them? I really miss Siskel and Ebert...they were most balanced, IMO.
Well thank goodness for Great Movie Experiences!
I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Walter Mitty. Ben Stiller hit it out of the ballpark with this one. His acting style and expressions were perfect for the odd Mitty character. The comedic timing was very good and caught me off-guard most of the time...you know when you don't expect to laugh and then something so cute or funny causes you to crack up. Out loud. I was not too familiar with Kristen Wiig but her portrayal of Cheryl was spot on. She is interesting to look at and her demeanor really fit with Walter's. I enjoyed watching them interact. Shirley McLaine playing the mom was good, too. Actually I like Ms. McClaine's performances much better as a older woman than I did in her early movies. The CG stuff was not overdone and I did not see too many "oops" moments in this movie. You know the scenes where you can tell it was CG'd. I cannot end without giving kudos to Sean Penn. Another perfect casting choice as he played his character to a tee and was very believable. His ruddy, rough looks fit well with his character's profession.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Just the WOLF...
"Best movie of the year"? Really? If this is the best we can get from a so-called great director, then we're really missing the mark. The story was totally lost in the debauchery, extreme full nudity, foul language rather than good scripting, etc., etc. I don't care about what a director thinks is "art" but for crying out loud, don't give it an "R" rating when it's got so much porn in it. Who paid off whom to get this an "R" rating? I'm angry with those who call this art. Art is taking a probably interesting story and not resorting to an overuse of trashy scenes and language to tell that story in an "R" rated movie. OK, sure, this man's life was excessive and degrading to the human spirit, but the actual story was lost in the crap I saw on screen over and over. I did not read the book so I'm not sure how close the movie stayed to it. But it seems to me that M.S. just wanted to push the envelope without telling anyone how much he pushed it until you bought you ticket and were in your seat expecting to see a good flick with a good actor. Disappointing to me and other than what I've already written, there is nothing about this movie that makes it noteworthy to me. Leonardo needs a great script again to stand up to his acting prowess. He's great...too great for trashy movies. I'm losing it for Martin Scorsese quickly.
The Lone Ranger (2013)
Hi Ho Silver and away!!!
IGNORE any bad reviews of this movie. Here's another great summer comedy (also see The Heat) but without the R rating so it's a good family movie. I laughed and laughed at this movie. I was thinking it was going to be a serious take on the Lone Ranger (yeah, yeah I know...even with Johnny Depp). But very quickly as the movie progressed I was laughing and having a great time watching these two.
Johnny Depp is a master at facial expressions and this type of comedic timing. Sort of like Jack Sparrow but without the flamboyance. I was totally entertained the whole time he was in a scene in this "long" movie which went by very fast. The other actors also did a good supporting job with just enough drama to add to this movie rather than distract.
The scenery is awesome and the action scenes are beautifully photographed or green screened, CGI'd or real...whatever. I have nothing negative to say about this one...funny, no gratuitous sex, violence or language, imo. Just fun. What a nice break...I do believe I'm going to see it again!
The Heat (2013)
Not so serious movie
I loved that I finally got some really good laughs at a movie that was supposed to be a comedy. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a comedy this much. The two stars, Bullock and McCarthy, are very good together (although I am not calling for a sequel because this one was truly funny & to do it 2 times is unlikely).
In some of the reviews I've read, it seems to me that some folks are just taking this movie too seriously. Enjoy it - it's a summer release comedy movie and it's just FUN. The storyline is not the main attraction here - the two ladies are and their expressions (esp. McCarthy's) and the one-liners. I mean, c'mon, "...Puss 'n Boots" ?? I was laughing out loud and wondered how many people "got it" with that line and some of the other lines. For me, this movie is the funniest 2013 release and the funniest comedy in years.
Just get your ticket, some munchies and sit down and enjoy it and let yourself laugh.