Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Captain America: The Avengers Savior
The Marvel Cinematic universe prides itself on the fact that none of the movies in the cannon are 'bad' movies. I have liked quite a few, but the only ones I would put above OK are The Avengers, Iron Man 1, and Captain America 1. The Winter Solider is the first sequel in the cannon that does what a sequel should do: Do not make the same movie again, but up the stakes and the ante.
The movie uses its new characters and plot ideas in great different places. The Winter Solider is an amazing new addition to the series and he gets just as much screen time as he needs to not be overbearing. This is not to say that the old characters are not used to the fullest. Captain America is still amazingly acted by Chris Evans who just fits and Black Widow is still an awesome character. Sam Jackson is Sam Jackson you feel cool just watching him. Robert Redford is a new addition here and he just plays Robert Redford, which is not a bad thing. Still good.
That's pretty much all I can say without giving away any spoilers, so there you go. If you liked the other films in the cannon, you'll love this. One of the better ones in the cannon.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
Fun action, but that's it
I went into this film knowing absolutely nothing about Jack Ryan or any of the Tom Clancy books except that this was a reboot, so I had very little expectations going in. I like Chris Pine as an actor and he has proved in the Star Trek reboots that he can be an action lead so I really didn't know how to feel. Walking out, I was entertained. It certainly was not the Bourne movie I was expecting, instead it was just an average action film. Jack Ryan has just enough to keep you watching, but not enough where you will want to watch it over and over.
The acting, as I said, is fine. Chris Pine is OK here. He doesn't play it any different from any other role he has played in any other movie. Kenneth Branagh was great as the hammy Russian villain and he really carries most of the film. Everyone else is completely forgettable and their performances are OK.
The film's action is directed greatly. The camera is not as shaky as it could be and the direction is perfect. The story is written fine but it really does not matter for a film like this. That being said, The film is not as intellectual as it could be and it is pretty by the numbers. If you want a great spy thriller that has great stakes and a great story, see The Bourne Ultimatum.
Overall, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is perfectly average. I don't see it making my top 10 of the year, but I also don't see it making my worst of the year either. If you are really interested, rent it. You'll enjoy it when it is on, but you won't remember a lot of it by next week.
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Muppets Less Wanted
OK, I'm probably in a bad position to be reviewing this one because there is no way I am going to review this movie fairly. I am a HUGE Muppets fan and love to watch the stuff they shell out. I love everything about them and most of their work is comedy gold. Also, the 2011 movie (the one Most Wanted is a direct sequel to) was one of my top 10 of that year, so I went into this with high expectations anyway. What I got from Muppets Most Wanted was a film that on paper could be viewed as disappointing, but since it is the Muppets, I feel very slanted towards it. Muppets are known for having a hilarious sense of humor and a ton of heart, unfortunately this is not shown to its full extent in Muppets Most Wanted.
While 2011 Muppets had a ton of jokes for both adults and kids to laugh at, Most Wanted is full of more childish jokes, and not the good kind. I recall one joke about touring places in Germany and making fun of the town names to include a fart and poop joke. Muppets rarely use scatological humor, and THAT's what made it so great. Some jokes hit fairly well, especially from Ty Burrell and Sam the Eagle, who are a great comedic duo. The new character, Constantine, has a few funny lines as well, but overall the film does not hit well.
The heart in this film is also missing. I left Muppets Most Wanted not feeling any happier or full of laughter then I did entering the theater, and coming from the Muppets it is a grave disappointment. And oh GOD does it drag. For a film about Muppets for some odd reason this whole films feels like it goes on forever and has plenty of points where the film could end but it has to continue to make the two hour time limit.
That being said, it is still the Muppets. Seeing them on screen again is great and is always fun to watch. The cameos, another thing that makes the Muppets great, are used to the fullest here. Keeping your eye out for anyone famous in the smallest rolls is cool and watching this story unfold is fun. While it may just be a modern-day remake of The Great Muppet Caper, it is still fun to watch because it is the Muppets. If you like the Muppets, chances are you will look past the huge errors and like it. If not, stay away at all costs.
The LEGO Movie (2014)
Assembled with care
I've always said the best kind of animated films are films that can only be done with animation. Toy Story, for example, is a film that would not work in anything but animation, while a film like Shrek could be done with live actors and makeup. The Lego Movie is more of the former. This film is just filled to the brim with interesting characters, great visuals, and a hilarious script.
Emmett, the Lego mini-figure this film follows, is one of the most interesting and deep "chosen ones" since Harry Potter, and you really do root for him throughout the film. Liam Neeson's Bad Cop is another interesting character, mostly because of how conflicted and deep his character is for a film about Legos.
The film, being CGI but using Legos for everything, looks amazing. The best visual scenes is where the characters are in the ocean and the blocks move around like waves, and the end where you really see how much effort went into making this film.
However, the film would really only be OK if it was not for the script. The Lego Movie could be the best comedy I have seen in a long time, and it almost all thanks to one character. Batman. Batman literally has some of the greatest lines of any comedic character since Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack, he is that good.
Besides the great script, the film is just a huge love letter to being a kid at heart and playing with your toys. At the end, the film began to hit home for me and I really began to feel for the main character and the villain as well. The way our generation views Toy Story will be how this generation views The Lego Movie. One of the best animated films in a long time.
A journey through Middle Earth
Before I begin this review I would like to say I am a HUGE fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King are, in my eyes, one complete movie and that one movie is my fourth favorite movie of all time. I seriously cannot sum up how I feel about these movies I love them so much. That being said, I was super hyped for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This movie had very big shoes to fill and it probably was my most hyped movie of the years with maybe an exception for The Dark Knight Rises. I was so excited for this my which explains my reactions when I read the reviews basically destroying The Hobbit. With a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes currently, this was quite a punch to the gut for fans of the movies and the books. A 65% is about average for a movie, but with the original trilogy receiving an average of 94%, this was very shocking. After I saw the disappointingly low score, my hype for the movie plummeted. I was so disappointed I decided against seeing the movie at the midnight release or opening day. I finally decided to see the movie on Sunday night at a 3D showing and went into it with no expectations. I was amazed by what I saw.
The story is very interesting. A young and reluctant Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is drafted by Gandalf, his wizard friend, to join a ragtag team of Dwarfs to take back the Dwarfs' home mountain, Erebor. Bilbo sets out on a "unexpected journey" to the Lonely Mountain with the spirited group of Dwarfs to reclaim a their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug. I cannot really get into the story until the whole trilogy is finished but I would like to say that it does a great job of getting the trilogy started.
Unexpected Journey had many things in it that I really enjoyed. Martin Freeman did an amazing job as Bilbo Baggins. Freeman has become one of my favorite actors for his role in the BBC TV show Sherlock and it was very nice to see him play such a fantastic character as Bilbo Baggins. Ian McKellen also does a wonderful job as the wizard Gandalf. One of the main things that worried me about The Hobbit was having to switch back to Gandalf the Gray after we got Gandalf the White in The Two Towers and Return of the King. Fortunately, McKellen reprises his role so well, that you really do not remember Gandalf the Gray ever leaving. My new favorite character has to be Thorin, the Dwarf leader. Thorin is just so awesome that it actually made me wish that was in the original books so he could be included in the movies. I also really enjoyed the music, I know that this may sound like a lame thing to be excited about but The Lord of the Rings has some fantastic music and I would almost argue The Hobbit has even better music with the "misty mountains cold" theme. The Hobbit also has a lot of great scenes. I do not want to give away every good scene in the movie but let me just say that my two favorites are the scene with the Trolls, and the Orc fight. The Hobbit had solid acting all around, great CGI, and was actually very well written.
That being said, I had a few problems with this movie. My main problem being that the movie was obviously supposed to be only two parts. There are many scenes that you could tell were only added to pad the movie and make it a trilogy. There is a scene close to the beginning with Frodo and Bilbo and it could have been removed from the film all together. Another problem with the film is Bilbo kind of takes a backseat to the Dwarfs. I know that this is mostly a problem with the book, but if they could have added ANYTHING they should have added more scenes with Bilbo. The biggest problem I have with the Hobbit is the group of Dwarfs. The whole team is made up of about thirteen Dwarfs and none of them are really that memorable. I can see most people messing up which Dwarf is which and even worse some don't have speaking lines which makes the ones that do even easier to mix up. Those are the few nitpicky problems I have with the movie. Now I thought I should share some quick thoughts on the added scenes. Radagast the Brown was the new character that I could actually tolerate and the scene in Rivendell was OK even if it did stretch on too long.
I feel I should give two closing thoughts on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. For a newcomer to the trilogy I think you will be a little harsher on the movie, giving it about a 7. I would say that the critics are wrong on this movie and I hope everyone goes to see it. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was, in my opinion, a great movie that though was disappointing, was still very good.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
Move over Rankin Bass, Aardman is the new Christmas king
I knew at some point I was going to have to tackle one of the films from the pile of Christmas movies. Christmas has a way of being able to take anything and giving it a Christmas feel. Movies, TV, music, your house, cartoon characters, things will just turn into a Christmas related object if you leave them around for to long. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas and it's movies, it's just annoying having to decide what movie it should be. Arthur Christmas came out on November 23 2011. I state this as to tell whoever it was who assigned it to this date should be immediately fired from their job. Arthur Christmas opened against Hugo and The Muppets both of which were fantastic family film, Hugo being one of my favorite movies ever made. This movie had to compete with two other big family films and there was no way it was making it's money back or nearly as much as Muppets or Hugo. Anyway let's talk about Arthur Christmas.
The story is very cute. On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa's youngest son, Arthur, looks to use his father's high-tech operation for an urgent mission, to deliver a Christmas present to a child that Santa missed. Arthur instead tags along with his grandpa, the old Santa, and a rouge elf to deliver the present, even if they have no idea where they are going. I really enjoyed the story and it actually was fairly original. I am surprised no one has done this story before.
There are many good things in this film. I really enjoined the animation. The film is just a blast to look at. I also really liked Grand Santa as a character. He honestly was fun to watch and seeing him run around trying to relive the glory days was cool to watch. The best thing though has to be the comedy. Arthur Christmas is one of the most enjoyable movies I have seen in a long time. The comedy has to be some of the best in animation since Megamind. Almost every joke hits very well and leaves you with a smile on your face. I have to think hard about the problems I had with this film. The only thing I can think of is that the film does tend to drag by the end. You know how the movie is going to wrap up and the story takes some unnecessary twists and has a unnecessary bike race that really has you just waiting for the movie to wrap up.
Besides that, I loved Arthur Christmas. The movie is hilarious, tells a great story, doesn't ever have a miss joke, and the film leaves you with a lot of Christmas spirit. Arthur Christmas is one of the most enjoyable films I have seen in quite a long time and I am happy to say the movie is now becoming a Christmas tradition for me.
Mean Girls (2004)
Sit down, turn your brain off, and enjoy it
Mean Girls was (and still is) a phenomenon with girls 13-18. In High School, the movie was simply the most quoted movie with the girls at my school. Yes, Mean Girls was a huge hit when it was released and continues to be a cult classic to this day. I was at the mall a few days ago and heard a group of girls quoting it and wondered if the movie still hold up to all the way back when I saw it on the big screen with a date. I got home, turned it on, and decided to push the phenomenon, the current state of Lindsy Lohan, and the fact that most of these people have never worked again, aside and watch it as a movie.
The story is an interesting tale and twist on the "new kid moving to town" story. Cady Heron, played by Lindsy Lohan, is a hit with The Plastics, the A-list girl clique at her new school, until she makes the mistake of falling for Aaron Samuels, played by Jonathan Bennett, the ex-boyfriend of alpha Plastic Regina George, played by Rachel McAdams. Throughout the movie there are constant references to the assassination of Ceaser, which is interesting because the movie somewhat retells this story in a modernly (I don't want to give anything away). Anyway, the story is by far the best part of Mean Girls. The movie more builds the story around the characters, making them fit and stay relevant in the world around them, that is hard for a movie about high school. I really like this story and I would like to see it done again in other movies.
Mean Girls has a lot of good things in it. Rachel McAdams is a great character. You just hate her even more and more as the movie goes on, like Cady. Mean Girls also has a great set of side characters. The movie is made by the characters as I said, the movie isn't based on action. Ms. Norbury, Mr. Duvall, Mrs. George, Jason, and Kevin are just a few great characters in the movie. I also, think the movie is very well written. There are a few jokes that fall flat, sure but most jokes are well written and offer quite a few laughs. Lastly, I just want to mention the character Damian. He actually delivers more laughs then any other character in the movie so I had to separate him into a different category.
That being said, the movie does have a few flaws. The movie did not have a great pay off to what happens to Regina. You see what happens, but it isn't very realistic or funny. I also had problems with the ending overall for the same endings. I hate to say it, but the ending brings down the movie by about a whole star. I did not like the idea of the Burn Book. The payoff, again isn't funny or heartfelt or even interesting. I also felt the movie got very predictable by the end. I remember sitting in the theater and being able to tell where the movie was going to go at about the halfway point. Overall, Mean Girls has surprisingly stood the test of time after all. I may not enjoy it as much as I did back in 2004, but I still think it is a very good comedy. Mean Girls is a very fun and enjoyable comedy and I recommend you see it, even if you are not a fan of Chick Flicks of Lindsy Lohan.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Thanksgiving in a nutshell: funny, heartfelt, and a great time
Have you hear of a man named John Hughes? He is basically responsible for almost every great movie of the 1980s. Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles are just a few of his masterpieces. Hughes made many great teenage films through his career, but my favorite of his is the buddy travel comedy Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Everything about this movie works and works better then in any comedy I have ever seen. Planes, Trains & Automobiles is Hughes' best film and a Thanksgiving tradition.
The story is now a cliché, but only because of this movie. Neil Page, a white collar yuppie, must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with Del Griffith, an obnoxious slob of a shower ring salesman his only companion. The idea of this story has so many possibilities, which is why it has been so often imitated. The most recent example I can think of is Due Date, which basically proves that the idea doesn't work well outside of Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
There are so many good things in this movie that it would take forever to write down every one. Steve Martin and John Candy have great chemistry. You could actually believe that they were not acting and were actually people who just met for the first time and don't really enjoy each others company. The movie is also very heartfelt. You could almost call Planes, Trains & Automobiles a dramady for how many struggles there are. Throughout the movie there is something happening to Del's wife and the pay off is very good that even you can't help but be moved by a movie where Steve Martin washes his face with John Candy's underwear. But the number one thing about Planes, Trains & Automobiles that makes it one of my favorite films of all time is the comedy. Planes, Trains & Automobiles has to be the funniest movie I have ever seen, followed by Anchorman, Hangover, and Caddyshack. Every few seconds another joke pops up that just brings me to tears. The airplane scene, the hotel room scene, the car rental scene, the wrong way up the freeway scene, almost every joke in this movie make me laugh every time I watch it. I cannot imagine a movie even close to being as funny as this one. Though being the film critic I am, I am forced to nitpick to find a problem with this movie. There is only one thing that kind of irked me. Three or four times the movie cuts to Neil's wife alone in bed, waiting for him. Once or twice it is nice to watch, but as it goes on it tend to make you roll your eyes.
Other then that, I cannot think of a single thing wrong. Planes, Trains & Automobiles is one of my favorite movies of the 1980s, only behind Back to the Future and Raiders of the Lost Ark. The movie plays to almost every emotion you have that you love to watch it to see what happens to these characters. The movie is a Thanksgiving tradition around my house and I hope it becomes one of yours. Planes, Trains & Automobiles is not only my favorite comedy, but also my sixteenth favorite movie of all time
Like The Ghost Rider himself: Soul Sucking
In 2007 we were given Ghost Rider, a superhero that has been widely considered to be one of the worst movies in the genre. I have not seen it mostly because I have not found it anywhere that I don't have to pay money for and if a superhero movie released in 2007 is considered worse then Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer then I don't think I could have the glimpse touch my eyes without opening my eyes out with tacks. I went into Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance with just about as little hype as I possibly could. I heard from many friends that this movie was bad so I decided to not see it in the movie theater, I watched on demand for free and hoped for a movie like Transformers where I could tell it was bad but I would enjoy it anyway. No, Ghost Rider 2 was nothing like that. I watched in awe at just how awful Ghost Rider 2 got. I cannot believe this movie was put out at all. The story is just silly. Johnny Blaze is hiding out in Eastern Europe and is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form. The form is that of a little kid, who just so happens to be his son. I do not understand how the devil could get any work done in transferring from a grown man to a bratty ten year old kid. Spirit of vengeance has exactly one good thing to it, Idris Elba. He actually looks like he is having fun but is obviously there just for a paycheck. Other then that the movie is just full of garbage. Not a SINGLE character is likable. The mother is annoying, the villains are some of the dumbest characters in film history, and the kid is quite possibly the worst kid in media since Carl from The Walking Dead. The camera shakes constantly almost as if they placed the camera on a paint mixer before rolling. Nicholas Cage overacts his lines to the nth degree. SOMEONE must have known that he was awful, I cannot imagine that anyone could possibly green light a performance like that. He is so bad I would almost recommend to watch it just to see him, but you can find the best parts on YouTube so there is no point. The editing is so bad as well. random scenes will just be cut into dialogue scenes especially one of Ghost Rider pissing fire. Also, they honestly expect you to buy the chemistry between this kid and Johnny Blaze. It could be the most awkward scene sharing in film history. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is the worst movie I have seen since Jack & Jill. NOTHING in this movie works except Elba and that is only because he is always fun. I cannot believe this movie was not stopped by production because it is honestly a top contender with Transformers 2 as worst action movie ever. I cannot recommend this movie to anyone even if you are in the mood for a bad movie. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is a worst superhero movie then Batman & Robin and is, without a doubt, the worst movie of 2012 so far.
Dark Shadows (2012)
Dull, Vapid, and the least Burton of Burton's movies.
Burton and Depp have been powers together for years. Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands have to be two of of Depp's best performances. In Alice in Wonderland Depp was honestly one of the only things I really enjoy about that movie. I bring this up because the number one problem with Dark Shadows IS Depp. This movie has a very weak story, terrible acting, and AWFUL characters. Dark Shadows is the worst Burton movie ever and is definitely one of the worst movies of 2012. The story is a cliché. Barnabas Collins, an imprisoned vampire, is set free and returns to his home, where his descendants are in need of his protection from the same witch that cursed Barnabas. This movie is based off the T.V. show of the same name. If you name a T.V. show that had a movie come out in the last decade, they all have had this story line of characters from old times trying to interact with the current world (Smurfs, Yogi Bear, Scooby Doo, etc.). It is depressing that a horror-comedy made for ADULTS has the same story as the Smurfs. The good things in this movie are minimal. I liked the music as I am an Alice Cooper fan. As always I enjoyed Chloë Grace Moretz. I think she is the best child actress for the past couple years (Hugo, Kick-Ass, etc) and she alone gives the movie some extra spirit. Michelle Pfeiffer was OK as well. Another thing I would like to point out is the grounds keeper has the only funny lines throughout the whole movie. The movie has TONS of problems. The movie is very unsure what it exactly it wants to be. The tone will take a 180 at random points and the plot defiantly suffers. An example is one scene where Barnabas Collins is sitting, talking to a bunch or hippies smoking pot. They are all having a great time and Barnabas even smokes a joint. Immediately after Barnabas say he has to kill them and does. An audience cannot get behind a movie that has no clue what it wants to be. The villain is also very terrible and many scenes and characters go no where. The number one problem that ruins the entire movie is Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. He gets my award for worst actor of the year and I honestly think he made this movie go from a 5 to a 4. I honestly find him to be intolerable and I really think Depp phoned in this performance. Overall, I really do not like this movie. The story is lame, the acting is terrible (for the most part), and the tone is all over the place. Dark Shadows is a very lazy and unfunny movie that so far is at number 5 for the worst movie of 2012.