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Unfinished Business (2015)
I laughed because I've been there!
In my work and travels, I've experienced some variation of all of the goofball characters and difficult situations portrayed in Unfinished Business - it speaks to the business life well. For this reason, I'm giving it a higher score than I might have otherwise. Still, it has a 5.5 right now, and that is not accurate. This is actually a very entertaining movie with a good mix of comedy and mild drama.
Vince Vaughn character reminded me of myself. Trying balance work, family, and getting emotionally connected with individuals from both sides. The interesting part is the flaws that are so obvious in the people he supports, yet he believes in them and refuses to give up. I like that kind of message.
I found it funny, touching, and maybe just a little inspirational. Give it a chance - you can do a lot worse out there.
The Magic of 1977 Star Wars Returns
If you are a fan of Star Wars, and particularly if you grew up with it, this movie is just what you're looking for. It lives up to the hype. It is the movie we hoped for with the devastatingly disappointing "prequels".
Prior to seeing it, I read some negative reviews focused on the lack of originality, and how it's just a rehash of the old story - nonsense. My guess is these people are either not fans of the series or simply trying to be "opposite guy" to get attention. There is a nostalgic appeal in the film, but your not hit over the head with it.
It is very entertaining, visually stunning, funny, and even touching at times. Most of all, it is very "Star Wars". Yes, J.J. Abrams has successfully recaptured the magic of 1977. Not a small accomplishment in today's world. Don't miss out!
Killing Jesus (2015)
Excellent if you want to see the different perspectives
After seeing this had a 4.5 rating after a few reviews, I felt compelled to even things up a bit. The negative reviews focus on the religious aspects of the story, and I don't think that's the point of this presentation. A 4.5 is not accurate - it is better than that by any measure.
I for one enjoyed the different perspectives; Jesus, the Romans, the Jewish leaders, and the Jewish Rabbis. National Geographic has an interactive tie in on their website that gives details.
If you're interested in the motivations of the different players outside of the religious, then I recommend. I found it somewhat inspiring, but I don't think this the focus of the film.
The Interview (2014)
Dopey comedy - not the best, not the worst, but definitely the most hyped
I give this move a charitable six. If you like mindless, crude comedy, you should check it out. You'll find some parts of it very funny. If you're looking for a really good movie that lives up to the hype, look elsewhere - this isn't it.
James Franco is awful for the most part, especially when he doesn't have Seth to play off of in a scene. This just isn't in his wheelhouse. Seth does what he does and will make you laugh. Without him, this would have been unwatchable.
Overall it is really stupid, but I recommend it if you don't mind shutting off your brain for ninety minutes to enjoy some pure silliness.
Want to learn about the 13th amendment instead of Lincoln? Then this is for you
Obviously this is a huge movie event, but I was disappointed. Here are my thoughts.
1. Daniel Day Lewis really looks like Lincoln, and from what I've read, acts somewhat like Lincoln. His performance is outstanding.
2. The production value is impressive - sets, costumes, etc.
3. I believe it gives an accurate portrayal of the legislative process. All of the negotiations and back room dealings are fascinating.
The not so good.
1. It is not really about Lincoln, but about the push for the 13th amendment. In this movie, Lincoln is more of a character in the story of this legislation. This is fine I guess, but not what I expected. I would have felt the same way if "Jaws" turned out to be an expose on shark cage construction.
2. It is difficult to follow. There are so many characters (mostly congressman) that appear nameless. The dialog seems accurate for the period, but there is a lot of it. At times, it seems to erode into random conversations. I sensed some ad libbing.
3. It is boring. Sure, Lewis looks a lot like Lincoln, and the set is nice, but there are long periods between any significant or powerful scenes.
As with most Spielberg efforts, this is an impressive production. Just don't plan to go away knowing any more about "Lincoln"
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Very creative kids movie - but probably a bit "out there" for some
Wreck-It Ralph is definitely appropriate for children and lovers of video games. It is exciting, colorful, and easy to follow. They even left out some of the usual adult oriented innuendo.
Parents may enjoy the nostalgia of the video arcades. It reminded me of when video games were simple, and my imagination ran wild with possible story lines and personalities of the characters.
The story is built around a parallel universe where video game characters exist and interact with one another - sorta Tron like. It is very creative, and overall I was very impressed. If you are looking for an entertaining movie for the family, you can't go wrong with this one.
Red Dawn (2012)
Not as memorable as the original, but fun (possible spoilers)
I suspect the new version will not be remembered by this generation in the way the original is today.
The 1984 version was a better reflection of the times. The US and USSR were deep into the cold war, and both were focused on the eventual showdown. A lot of Americans were pretty sure a shooting war was coming, but didn't know what it would look like. Red Dawn (1984) gave us a scenario to ponder, and it was very intriguing. If you are too young to remember this it is difficult to explain, but it was a genuine concern.
The new version is the same story without the relevance. They tried, but the idea of North Korea invading the US seems absurd compared to the 1984 scenario. I heard the original plot had China as the aggressor. If they would have stuck with that, it may have come closer.
The new is an entertaining action movie, but it fails to reflect any true fears of our time. The original did both.
Very entertaining if you have a weird sense of humor
This movie could have been billed as a comedy. Part of the appeal for me is it wasn't!
I remember it being sold as a serious, but ultra-violent movie aimed at making a statement. I think they even advertised it with the exotic sounding pronunciation of "Machete" to attract the "sophisticated movies" crowd. Well, the jokes on them! I have no doubt this was the intent.
What you'll experience is one hilarious, over the top scene after another. It gets more ridiculous as the movie progresses, and the final scene is priceless.
It is violent, but only in silly ways to show creative uses for stage blood.
Right before the end credits, there is a crazy advertisement for the sequels. I believe this was thrown in as a final joke, and to put an exclamation point on the spoof. It's perfect, and leaves you smiling.
People who liked "Airplane" or "Maniac Cop" will enjoy, people who didn't will probably hate it.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
After I rented Extinction and watched it, I realized I had never seen Apocalypse OR Resident Evil. I bought them rather than renting them, and I was very pleased. The actors have truly outdone themselves, and the extras are really good. If you have played the games, this movie can help you to enjoy it more. I was just as equally shocked as my friends when we saw the THREE lickers rather than the one. And that Milla did all of her own stunts.......wow. BUT I thought Nemesis, and I thought it was a little cheesy, a little over done. His make up was very fake, and the lighting on him just wasn't sinister enough. other than that, he was fine. When the zombie guys came out from the ground, I was shocked. Yet again that is how the virus works. But still, imagine being in the only "safe" place, and having (classic) zombies coming up from the ground. Amazing
Dated, but a true classic
The first time I saw this film was about 1985, and back then, I would have given it a 10. Today, war films have advanced to the point that Patton seems dated to me. Nonetheless, this is a must see for anyone with an interest in WWII. Patton was the right man at the right time, but cool thing about this picture is how it honors Patton's accomplishments without completely glorifying him. He isn't portrayed as perfect by any means. Although he was a brilliant commander, his flaws are displayed throughout the picture in interactions with Omar Bradley. These two men had totally different views on war and there position as commanders. I believe the screenplay is based on a book by Omar Bradley, which makes it even more intriguing. If for nothing else, watch the opening sequence in which Patton addresses the graduates of West Point - it is one of the most memorable speeches in movie history.