Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
I would love to know what I seem to be missing so please, help me out. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.
Honorable "8" mentions: The Dictator, Borat, 21 Jump Street, 500 Days of Summer, Drive, Ides of March and Adventureland.
Inherent Vice (2014)
Ridiculous amounts of praise for a train wreck of a film
There is nothing insightful about this film. This is not Taxi Driver, this is not Good Will Hunting, this is not any sort of intelligent.
The knock on this film is the confusing, too many character, twisty turn plot. I would disagree. The movie has a heavy amount of hard-to-follow dialogue, yes. The film has a ridiculous amount of characters that contribute to the plot, sure. There is an infinitely confusing story ache that takes on a new rising action seemingly every 5 minutes. There are resolutions, more problems, conflicts, climaxes, and more conflicts all happening at once.
The movie is, indeed jumbled up and a complete mess. Absolute train wreck. BUT, one film that I can remember being an absolute mess as well is The Usual Suspects. I'm sure pretty much everyone who ever watched that film was lost at one point, but the beauty of that film is how everything gets drawn together for a fitting ending.
Inherent Vice had a mediocre blend of comedy and suspenseful mystery, that lead to an ultimately disappointing ending. Having sat through The Usual Suspects and been rewarded with a great ending, I endured the ever too lengthy runtime of Inherent Vice in hopes of a mind-blowing ending...and nothing.
For a film that gets so jumbled, messy and twisty, there seems to be no over-arching resolution with a very weak ending. There was just too much going on and it seemed like the writers just needed to wrap it up after a couple hours. The "artistic" parts of this film are just lost within its exhaustive characters and erroneous plot structure. I hate to say it, but perhaps Paul Anderson jumped the shark with this one. Hopefully he comes back with something much better.
About Last Night (2014)
Expect it to be average and you'll like it.
Kevin Hart's level of comedy is one you either get or you don't get. If you don't get it, then you'll still like this film because he isn't really the central character. This movie is written as a romantic comedy, but I saw much more romantic than comedy, but was funny enough nonetheless.
Let's talk about what I liked. I liked Michael Ealy's effortless charm and his chemistry with actress Joy Bryant. I liked Regina Hall and Kevin Hart in their ridiculously dysfunctional relationship. I liked the directing, because in some scenes, the seemingly "awkward" or "different" camera angles that my girlfriend was complaining about were actually very artistic and well done. I liked the soundtrack as well.
The only off-putting feature of this movie is that Kevin Hart's acting seems almost nonexistent. The guy is just playing himself in every film. I seriously think the guy doesn't even know he's an actor.
If you watch his stand up specials, and then a few of his very early film appearances, he seems to incorporate a level of acting. Up until his film breakout in Think Like A Man, not too many people knew of him. Now, a household name, he reaps in the benefits of being a funny man.
Throughout the film, it actually just felt like Kevin Hart was just talking to a bunch of actors. Not often did I feel like I was watching a movie. Over time, through multiple viewings of Kevin Hart's works, it seems to get repetitive and unfunny.
A good movie for the romantic yet predictable story between Michael Ealy's character and Joy Bryant's.
That Awkward Moment (2014)
Puzzlingly low success for a surprisingly good film.
Did I laugh til I cried? No. Was I touched to the heart? No. Was it an early front runner for the Best Picture of 2014? No.
Was it a good movie? Yes, and you should go see it. The film started out with a charming tone and was pretty steadily enjoyable all the way through. There was a very nice blend of witty comedy with some more predictable yet successful humor.
As a mid-January release, this movie wasn't really made to amaze, just to entertain, and yeah, it did just that.
The three young leading men are on a very good track. It's good to have a film with these three men early on in their careers, because one day they will all be in the elite. Miles Teller's performances in The Spectacular Now was one that made me interested in seeing this one. Also, Zac Efron, who very quickly grew out of the Disney Boy shtick has a very bright future ahead of him. Michael B. Jordan, who gave a breakout performance in Fruitvale Station also had enough of the charm to bring in some emotionally driven plot material and make it funny.
The three men in the lead for this film carried it's somewhat average storyline all the way through, with an exceptionally surprising level of enjoyment provide for my theater full of at least 100+.
I can see why people hated it, but I loved it.
If you disliked this film, I totally see why. It was a bit slow at parts, yes. It was somewhat weak in acting here and there, yes. The violence might've been so prolonged that it was boring at times...yes.
But I liked this film very much. If you've seen the original, then you know the power of truly good character development and you know how difficult it was to see the ending of this film play out the way it does.
Spike Lee takes his version to a bit of a different level, while keeping very many of the same scenes and subject matter as the old one. One thing I do like to commend is the character developments. I really felt into the film, and the over-the-top violence didn't draw me out of the film as usual.
In all, the story is one that obviously has been done before, ergo the definition of a remake. But, I do think the way this one was done was a pleasant surprise. Many people who are huge fans of the original film will be divided by this remake, but I know I was very pleased with the end result.
We're the Millers (2013)
Will probably be regarded as a "so dumb but so funny" comedy.
There's nothing to it, if all you're looking for witty/clever/subtle/deep humor, and you hate sexual/stupid/slapsticky type humor...you will probably still like We're The Millers.
It's not a gold mine of comedy by any means, but it did the job it told us it would do: Make us laugh and give us a fun ride. They really brought together a dysfunctional family and did it in a way that allowed for some suspension of disbelief. A lot of comedies nowadays have those hit or miss scenes where you either laugh, or you just can't suspend your disbelief and you're sitting there like "Really? Really? She's gonna poop in the sink?" (guess the reference). We're The Millers is pretty much a compilation of those kinds of scenes that hit just the right tone to pull it off as funny, clever and it just kinda grows on you.
The "family" we see on screen for most of the surprisingly high 109 minute runtime is in a lot of ways funny, in some ways disgusting, and in a few ways charming. The film just works with the pairing of Sudeikis and Aniston, as we saw for a tiny bit in Horrible Bosses, which to me is one of the funniest movies in a long while. If you liked Wedding Crashers, or Hot Tub Time Machine, chances are you'll like this one, which was written by the 4 screenwriters who worked on those films. The 2 pairs of writers who have a history with comedy throw some subtle humor in the dialog which you probably won't get if you're not paying enough attention, which allows for every comedy lovers dream: To be laughing out loud, then hearing an ever so subtle joke causing you to laugh harder, then hearing another one and another and another. The film was consistently funny in a sense that when it got me, it REEALLLY got me.
Overall, the film is just a slight bit lovable, with characters you actually kinda like...not too common for a modern comedy. More so than the story, the laughs came interspersed well enough to where I can't complain because I did way more laughing than I expected. It wasn't "rolling on the floor" funny, but I did have some hearty laughs out loud.
Recommended to anyone who enjoyed the previous works by the screenwriters.
EDIT: I ended up seeing it a second time and tried to pay attention to all of the funny subtlety of one-liners and witty remarks by characters throughout, and I laughed very hard at quite a few things I didn't catch the first time. I liked it more the second time and raise my rating to an 8/10. Is truly a very funny film.
2 Guns (2013)
Not an average buddy cop type of film, but nothing too special
I had heard about this movie back before the main cast was attached and once I heard Marky Mark and Denzel were on board, I had to see it as soon as it came out. Lucky enough, my local theater had it 4 hours earlier than most so I caught an 8 p.m. showing with a heavily packed crowd who I laughed along with much more than I thought I would, but more about that later.
The movie had a little bit of The Departed in it in terms of plot and characters, and had little hints of comedic buddy cop films like Rush Hour. The plot itself was pretty well thought out with a few minor lazy elements but overall it made for an entertaining and very quick 109 minutes. Despite having somewhat predictable twists and turns, the way they play out in terms of result/consequence keep you guessing if only at least for a little bit, and it's those minor sequences of suspense or confusion that kept the movie interesting for me.
In terms of acting, of course Mark and Denzel bring it on and make for a believable pair of righteous men on a track they can't quite figure out. The introduction of so many different crews of people after our two main protagonists reminded me of Midnight Run. To the some of you who remember that film, if you liked that, I can tell you that many of it's elements are brought to surface in 2 Guns.
One thing to be noted is definitely the very pleasantly surprising amount of genuinely funny content throughout the movie. There are very frequent scenes of dialog that are written ever so smoothly, and along with the perfect delivery of our two seasoned veterans, they make for very realistic dialogs and conversations throughout.
Overall, the film was very well written with very immersing dialog, had great acting across the board, but fell somewhat flat with seemingly predictable twists and turns, and some scenes where suspending your disbelief is just too hard. But hey, it was great for what it was trying to be: A fun, entertaining, lightly suspenseful ride!
Fruitvale Station (2013)
Some of the most powerful character development I have ever seen.
This review will be short and to the point. This film is 90 minutes of what seems to be just the boring last day of 2008 in the life of a struggling Bay Area black man with financial issues, a daughter, and a girlfriend. Throughout the last day of the year, we see a man who on the outside is just a another guy, but I don't think he was.
We follow this man for about 75 minutes. 75 minutes of real, raw insight as to who this guy is. As we all know, the tragedy that took place those few years ago resulted in Oscar being wrongfully shot and killed. Now I don't know just how accurate these last day's events are, but I did a bit of reading and it turns out that the main plot points of the film are actually true, but you have to see it to understand just how much the movie makes you care about him. I wanted to know him, I wanted to lend him some money, I wanted to help him out and maybe babysit his daughter, I wanted to see him succeed. Just the way Oscar was portrayed, it was just so hard to see him come to his inevitable conclusion.
I am a 17 year old male, and I see at least 2 or 3 movies a week. I love movies, love them...and this one was the first time in a long time that brought me to tears. And it's even more bizarre because I *knew* he was gonna die, because...well Oscar Grant died! The director/writer Ryan Coogler is deserving of some very hefty credit for this film, because Oscar Grant is painted in such a bright light. The way he interacts with all the people in the film make you want to find him in real life and just be his friend! The way the film was written was so right. So perfectly written. I feel that not a single sentence was superfluous to the film. Every action, every word just added onto the tug on the viewers heartstrings to wish Oscar Grant was alive and well today. The movie just had some of the best character development I had ever seen.
You could be a complete racist, have hatred for any black people out there, or just not care about people in general, but if you see this movie, I can just about guarantee you that the heart and soul of Oscar Grant being portrayed on the big screen will make you care about him to a point where you will shatter at the climactic yet mysteriously shocking ending.
Even though I knew exactly how it happened, and had seen the footage of the shooting many times, I was just as broken as if I didn't know the ending. VERY fine filmmaking here.
Rest In Peace Oscar.
The To Do List (2013)
Never seen so many people walk out of a theater.
In short, this film was just ridiculously stupid and ever so stiffly written.
It is the first film I have ever walked out of. There were at least 7 or 8 couples who left the theater, along with a group of probably 10 people, and an immeasurable amount of people who started playing on their phones. I'm sure I was followed by a few more people as well.
Before you discard my review because I didn't watch the end, I did stay for about 80 out of the 105 minutes and just didn't care enough to stay.
The film has a highly overdone premise, yet I hoped it would take a somewhat original take on it with this "to-do list" idea. Wrong. The movie had the most stiff dialog that was just so full of overly crude and unrealistic give and take between characters that it made me feel like I was watching some sort of amateur movie made by a sex-crazed film student.
Before you write me off as a prude who just picked the wrong film, I'll tell you that I'm not. I watch and enjoy many modern comedies but this one was just so bland and stupid. The depiction of the main character was confused and poor. The main character didn't allow for as much humor to pervade the film as it could have and that is the fault of the writer. It's almost like Mrs. Bill Hader (writer and director) didn't know what to do to add in humor so she threw in her husband for a little bit of weak and lame slapstick/stupidity humor.
An obvious comparison of this film would be the American Pie films, which share in the same sort of over-the-top sexual content/humor. I enjoyed those way more than this film simply because they were funny and had characters you actually liked. The stiffness of the characters in this movie were at the fault of the writer, no one else. Rachel Bilson and Clark Gregg, in the little screen time they had, made a legit effort to bring realism into their characters and allowed for a couple short chuckles.
It seems that this film is getting some good reviews here on IMDb, and that's okay, I'm not trying to ruin Maggie Carey's career or anything. I'm just telling it like I saw it, and I respect the positive reviews, but for me I just didn't catch the funny parts in such an awkwardly progressing story about a girl who completes sexual actions with others as part of a to-do list.
Overall, the film was an unsophisticated, unrealistic, overly explicit and awkward dramatization of teenage sexuality. The only reason I gave this 2 stars instead of 1 is because of some of the supporting characters who had somewhat attractive performances and saved some of the more awkward scenes.
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (2013)
Kevin Hart delivers as usual with a little extra
Unlike my other favorite comedian, Louis C.K., Kevin Hart is somewhat of a formulaic comedian. While that is absolutely not a bad thing at all, it is to be noted that a bulk of his material comes from 3 main topics, all of which he expands on so amazingly well:
1. He will dissect common relationship problems that most everyone can relate to
2. He will state a certain trait of his character and tell a story as to why he became that way
3. He will state a somewhat uncommon fear of his and tell a story about the origin of that fear
After watching all of his previous stand ups, it did begin to get somewhat predictable because of it's overly unbelievable nature. This is not to say that I wasn't laughing like crazy throughout all of them.
When I heard about this special being theatrically released I knew I was going to see on opening night. Not much is to be said about anything other than the fact that the whole theater was roaring with laughter for 90% of the time.
Now back to the formula; Kevin did adhere to it here and there, but I think the reason everyone enjoyed this so much was because he threw in a mix of tiny little 2-3 minute segments that had really nothing to do with anything and it just worked. He veered off a bit from talking about himself or about relationships and he just started talking about people in general and the way we are with one another.
In general, I think this was his best one yet. I think his formula is one of the more advanced and genuinely true ways to intrigue people. Even though it is a comedy special, and you don't quite know exactly how much of it is true or false, Kevin Hart has a great way of connecting through to the audience on a more personal level through the way he talks about himself and his relationships.
He is comedic genius and will one day be legendary.
The Heat (2013)
Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy's apology for "Bridesmaids"
I didn't like Bridesmaids very much at all. I thought it was lame, unfunny, tasteless and one of the most over-hyped films ever.
The Heat, however, delivered me twice the amount of laughs that Bridesmaids wished it had. The pairing of Bullock and McCarthy was something I really wasn't sure would work until I took note of just how much time the writers took making sure you know exactly who these characters are. They were made so believable by the performances given by Bullock and McCarthy, to a point where I really think Melissa McCarthy is THAT foul-mouthed and crude.
The dialog at times was gratuitously profane, resulting in infrequent disinterest in the actual dialog spoken, which I'm sure drew me away from a couple jokes that I might've missed. Other than that, like very many adult comedies, some of the jokes are somewhat shallow, with some explicit crude humor that is almost universally funny, and then some jokes that are funny because of what we know about the people on screen.
One certain look, or a head shake, or a shoulder shrug made me laugh a few times simply because I was so into the characters I was watching, which is something I can't say for any comedies in recent history other than Horrible Bosses.
The plot, of course, was going to have it's twists and turns, and ended up being just as entertaining as a real cop/thriller film.
There was very much about this film that wasn't perfect, of course. There were a multitude of jokes that fell flat throughout my crowded theater, and some that created such a roar that I'm sure I missed some other joke.
Overall, I liked it, and with the sequel The Heat 2 having been announced, I'll admit that I wouldn't mind seeing these two characters on screen again. Even though we all know the past history with comedy sequels, this is one I won't be too skeptical about.