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Furious 6 (2013)
Fans of the series will like this. I found it too ridiculous to get into. The chases were so unbelievable it was almost laughable.
"You wanna catch wolves, you need wolves." After their heist made the gang all rich they have all settled in nicely to normal life but not in the US. When Hobbs (Johnson) needs a way to catch a criminal mastermind there is only one call he makes. Dom (Diesel) and Brian (Walker) get the crew together again but this time they are working with the law. This is a movie that doesn't really need much said about it to convince you to watch or not watch. Since it is the 6th in the series you have either kept up or not. That said...I have seen all of them and only really liked the 5th one because it was more of a heist movie then "I have car, I go fast." I know what your thinking...if you don't like it don't watch, on the other hand I can't really talk about it if I don't watch them. This one was, how do I put this...not good. The plot seemed OK, help catch the bad guy and you can go home. The problem is that this seemed to be that last thing on the movies mind. Five minutes after they agree to catch him they find him, and let him go. Then Dom and Hobbs meet him face to face, and let him go. The only way to catch this guy is only during long car chase after long car chase. The stunts and chases got more and more absurd to the point of being laughable. ***SPOILER*** Taking down a TANK with a smashed up Mustang to taking down a PLANE with a car that looked like a GEO Tracker on a runway that must have been 60 miles long. I mean seriously! ***SPOILER OVER*** There are also so many people jumping onto moving cars I lost count. I will again say I am not a fan of this series...and this movie is an example of why. Overall, fans of the series will like it, I struggle to find anything good to say...even the dialog is bad. I give it a C.
Jayne Mansfield's Car (2012)
A hard movie to explain because nothing really happens but I did think it was OK. Watch it and you will see what I mean
"It's not gonna kill you to talk to your kids pops. You might be surprised what happens." A family that is already at odds with each other is dealt another big blow. Their mother, who they haven't seen in a long time (because she moved to England and remarried) has died and wishes to be buried in Alabama. To make matters worse her new family is coming as well and the old and new meet for the first time. This is a difficult movie to explain. It's not bad but it's not that good either. The acting is great but the story is weak. There doesn't seem to be a flow from one scene to the other but I stayed interested. The movie is really one big contradiction to itself. If you watch it you will see what I mean. I will say that I thought the movie was OK but nothing I would watch again or bring up in the "have you seen this lately" conversation, but on the other hand it is full of some great acting and it's worth seeing for that reason alone. This is nothing more then a family trying to figure itself out and Duvall plays the same part he did in Slingblade...but this time he talks. Overall, a hard movie to explain because nothing really happens but I did think it was OK. Watch it and you will see what I mean, but it's hard to recommend. I give it a B-.
The Lone Ranger (2013)
To long for kids to stay interested in and to boring for adults to stay interested in. Some funny parts but very slow moving.
"There come a time Kemosabe when good man must wear mask." After trying to provide justice to the notorious outlaw Butch Cavendish, ranger John Reid (Hammer) is shot and left for dead. When he is rescued by a Comanche Indian named Tonto (Depp) he is told of his destiny and together they ride again to stop Cavendish, this time as Tonto and The Lone Ranger. Going into this I was not expecting much at all. I was really not excited to see this for a few reasons. One was because I am too young to remember the TV series and I am not a big Johnny Depp fan at all. One other reason is the preview made it look slap-sticky and campy and nothing that I thought looked good. Even with those low expectations this movie wasn't all that good. There were some pretty funny parts and I did laugh throughout but this is really only a one time watch at most. To be fair I did expect it to be worse but the movie could have been an hour shorter and I would have been fine with it. Overall, long and drawn out. To long for kids to stay interested in and to boring for adults to stay interested in. I give it a C+.
The Sound of Music Live! (2013)
All the power and emotion of the original is lost in this version due to the new song placement...NOT the casting.
"The hills are alive..." After failing to really fit in at the Abbey, Maria (Underwood) is sent off to become governess to the children of a widow (Moyer) and his many children. She finds a strict run household and tries to transform the children and their father with the power of song. I'll skip most of what I would normally say because the original is a classic and needs to explanation of the plot and story. On the other hand because this is such a classic it is a hard movie to remake and will no doubt be hit with criticisms. The only problem is all the critiques of this are misplaced. 90% of what people didn't like (most before they saw it) was the casting choice of Carrie Underwood. This blind hatred took away from the real problem with the remake, the fact that the story had no flow, no character development and none of the feeling and excitement of the original. Without trying to give too much away...the songs are moved all around and they don't fit in the new places. To get Maria to feel comfortable about leaving, her and the Reverend Mother sing "My Favorite Things"...the same reverend mother who is against her singing in the original. Because this song is used "The Lonely Goat-herder" is used to calm the children down in the thunderstorm. One final travesty is 5 minutes after she shows up and meets the kids they sing "Do-Re-Mi". This movement of the songs affects the power of the "My Favorite Things" song as it is supposed to finally bond the children to her. Captain Von Trapp is also singing a lot in the movie which is something he forbade. I could go on and on about this because I not only loved but grew up on the original but I will just say the reason why this shouldn't have been remade has nothing to do with the casting. In order to really fully understand the story you have to have seen the original, but by watching that you will again see how bad this version was. Overall, all the power and emotion of the original is lost in this version due to the song placement...not the casting. I give this a C.
A movie that deserves to be seen by a bigger audience then it will get. A little too Hollywood but I really liked it.
"Welcome to limbo Charlie. Don't get too comfortable it's not your final destination." After making a promise to his dead mother Charlie (LaBeouf) packs up and movies to Bulgaria. While on the plane over he talks to a man who tells him all about his daughter and makes him promise to tell her something. When Charlie finds her she isn't too receptive to him or what he said. Little by little she begins to loosen up but her past catches up with both of them. I have to admit, just based off the poster alone I expected this to be a little slow moving and boring. You know the saying you can't judge a book by it's cover...that can also be added to posters. I'm not sure what I was expecting but this was much better then I was thinking it would be. This is another movie though that is hard to say too much a bout without giving something away but this is a movie that deserves to be seen by a bigger audience then it will get. The cast and acting are good but it ended up being a little too Hollywood then it should have been. When you watch it you will know what I mean. That is by no means not a reason to watch it though. Overall, a surprise sleeper that deserves to be seen. I give it a B+.
If you only know the story of Nelson Mandela then you only know half the story. More movies should be made about this woman.
"She spent nearly 500 days in prison, 400 of them alone in solitary. She was exiled, they harassed her, they nearly killed her. Her contribution to the struggle is beyond calculation." This movie follows the life of Winnie (Hudson) from birth to her life with husband Nelson Mandela (Howard) and beyond. It shows her transformation from shy student to activist. I hate to admit it but I knew next to nothing about this woman before I started the movie. For that reason going in my first thought was, why make a movie about her when Nelson is much more interesting. After watching this my thoughts changed to why don't they make more movies about her. I'm not sure how accurate this movie is but I found it to be very interesting and really made me feel for her. Seeing a woman who was shy and had her life ahead of her end up being broken by seeing the way her life was affected by her husbands sentence gives you conflicting emotions. On one hand you want her to do the things she is doing while at the same time you know she should stop. The end of the movie is so bittersweet that it's hard to feel happy about what happened. The only really bad thing I have to say about this is that it really had the feel of a Lifetime movie. Overall, my feelings went from why a movie about her to why aren't there more movies about her. I highly recommend this. I give it an A-.
A sci-fi twist on a standard college party movie. The twist made it very entertaining and enjoyable. I actually liked it.
"I just saw another me downstairs...everything is gonna happen again." When three college friends decide to go to a party they are not prepared for what they experience. David (Wakefield) meets up with is ex-girlfriend who he is still in love with. Teddy (Miller) hooks up with the girl of his dreams and Allison is once again maid fun of. Just when they can't think it can't get any worse it all happens again and again and again. I really had no idea what this movie was about because I don't watch previews before I see the movie. I don't know if that was the reason I liked it so much or not but I really thought this was a neat movie. What started off as just another college party movie became something that isn't really seen in movies anymore...originality. I don't want to give anything away so I can only describe this as the first "let's get drunk and have sex with other college students/sci-fi" movie I have ever seen. I realize how that sounds but give it a chance, you may be surprised like I was. Overall, original and fun, it kept me interested and entertained the entire time. I surprisingly give this a B+.
Blue Caprice (2013)
This is a good movie but very disturbing, not in a horror movie way but in a more realistic way. See it if you can handle it
"It could be anybody. Anybody could have done it and if it could be anybody then we're invisible." Lee (Richmond) is a young boy who is lost in the world with no real direction or family. John (Washington) finds him and begins to talk to him about the problems in his world. After describing the wrongs that have been done to him Lee decides to help by killing an innocent woman. After "getting away with it" John decides to up the stakes in order to cause chaos. The two begin their random killing spree. We know these two as the 2002 Washington D.C. Beltway snipers. This is a good movie but very disturbing. Not disturbing in a horror movie way but in a more realistic way. We see how easy Lee was manipulated by John and how neither of them seemed to show any remorse for their actions. The most disturbing thing to me about this though is that the killings seemed absolutely senseless. Targets were picked based solely on if they could be seen through the hole in the trunk. This is a hard movie to watch because of the subject matter but if you can handle it it is worth seeing. Overall, disturbing character study that doesn't do anything to glorify or make you feel sorry for the murderers, which is a good thing. I give it a B+
Shadow on the Mesa (2013)
Im not sure what happened but somewhere along the way the genre got relegated to made-for-TV movies on the Hallmark channel
"If I get a hint that he had something to do with mom's death I will kill him." After Wes (Brown) returns home he is told of his mother's death. After being told of who may be behind it he rides off for revenge. At this point I could almost just write one blanket review for every western that comes out and just change the movie titles. LONG GONE are the days of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, and even at this point Kevin Costner westerns. I'm not sure what happened but somewhere along the way the genre got relegated to made-for-TV movies on the Hallmark channel. I'm not saying that Hallmark movies are a bad thing but when you want to see a western a little roughness is needed in them. The swagger of John Wayne is replaced by the pretty boy look. The intensity of Eastwood is replaced with soft emotion laden characters that don't seem to fit in the west. If you want to get your wife or girlfriend to watch a western with you then show her the new ones. If you want to show her what a real western should be show her anything by John Wayne. Overall, another dagger in the genre that used to be known as western. Apparently all it takes to be a western now is people in cowboy hats riding horses. I give it a C.
A Single Shot (2013)
I watched this movie for one reason. After watching it I have to say there is really only one reason to watch this, Sam Rockwell
"I'm gonna find you." John Moon (Rockwell) is trying everything he can to reconnect with his wife and child. Spending his time between living in his cabin and trying to fit in in town. When he finds a young woman in the woods his life takes a dangerous turn and now he must not only fight to get back with the woman he loves but also for his life. I watched this movie for really only one reason, Sam Rockwell. After watching it I have to say there is really only one reason to watch this, Sam Rockwell. To me he is one of the most underrated actors alive (Paul Giamatti & Giovanni Ribisi would also be on list) and he again shows why in this movie. If anyone but him was the lead in this it would be unwatchable. The movie itself is so slow moving that I found it hard to stay interested in but he brought a depth to the character that really helped and made you want to see him succeed in everything he was doing. Other then that though this is just really to slow moving to recommend. Overall, a movie to watch to see the brilliance of Sam Rockwell. I give it a C+.