Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

Director: Bradley Parker

Stars: Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski, Olivia Taylor Dudley

A couple of American tourists, Chris, Natalie and Amanda, are in Kiev, Ukraine meeting up with Chris' brother Paul. Chris is looking to visit Moscow, so he can propose to Natalie. Paul meets this man Uri that offers extreme tour guides. Uri offers to take the group to Pripyat, a deserted town outside of Chernobyl. Uri claims that it is safe and the radiation levels are very low, so the group takes the tour. While they are walking through the buildings and grounds taking pictures, they soon discover that they are not alone. Something is in the area stalking them, and now they have to get back alive.

This movie was more like a found footage than all of the others. The cast is just there, nothing good nothing bad about them, except for who in the hell acts like that in real life. Let me think, nobody, except for extreme douchebags. The story was pretty good. It was not overly complex or difficult, but it was at least interesting.
The main problem of the movie was where in the hell were the monsters or ghosts. That is what I really wanted to see, not some noises and a quick camera swing shot. That was just been done way too much, and I am just so over it. The background and setting for the movie was great. For all of the terrible and tragic occurs that happened in Chernobyl, it would make for a great horror movie or ghost story, but oh no they dropped the bomb on that one. They had something that could have made for a good movie, but they decided on the old found footage trendy crap. 

The movie looks really cool and the scenes are spot on. You even feel the isolation and creepiness of being in an area like that alone, but that is where it all stops. The bears and the dog scenes are the most entertaining part of the movie for me, so watch it if you must or if there is nothing else on to watch. Enjoy.

Chernobyl Diaries (2012) Trailer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Hunger Games (2012)

Director: Gary Ross

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson

The totalitarian nation of Panem is divided between 12 districts and the Capitol. Two young people are picked from each district to compete in a mandatory battle for survival. All of the contests are placed in a controlled environment to fight to the death, and only one person can win. From district 12, Prim was chosen, but her older sister Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her sister's place. The male that was chosen was Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), whom has a crush on Katniss, but she is in love with Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). The Hunger Games are televised in all of the districts and the Capital. Katniss and Peeta have to help each other survive during the games.

This is a review of the movie and not the book. I really had no idea or thought to ever watch this movie at all, but friends were telling me that it was good and read the books. I broke down and watch this movie one night, and to my surprise, I really did like the movie a lot. The story line was simple but interesting. You have the formation of a twisted separate society that only the poor working class and the wealthy exist, but they do not have anything to do with one another. In the mix, kids under 18 are picked to fight to the death  for the entertainment of the more wealthy to watch on TV or in a studio audience. While all of this is going on, there is a bit of a love triangle. With all of this going on you still get a well made movie.
The cast was a great mixture of seasoned talent to younger still up and coming actors. The biggest surprise was seeing Stanley Tucci as the host of the show. I think he has always been an under rated actor. He has been in so many movies, and he always puts out a good performance. Donald Sutherland never disappoints when in a movie, so there is no touching him. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson proved in this movie that they can act. Both of their performances were solid. They are not the best, but they were great in this movie. The biggest shock is Lenny Kravitz. I mean who knew that he was a good actor. Like I have said before, he gets it from his mother.

The one scary item about the movie is how close we are to this situation really happening. Look at what is on TV now. TV is almost all reality shows with more starting up every year. People almost worship the "reality" stars on the shows. These idiots are becoming "celebrities" in the American eye. With this obsession, how far will the viewing public want to go for entertainment. Do not look at the people making and producing the shows to make any changes. They do not care and they look to see what people want to see and what will sell. It is scary that it could happen one day, if we do not watch out.

Great movie for almost all ages, well that could understand what the hell is going on in the movie. If you have been staying away from this movie like I was, then stop. It was well worth the watch and a very entertaining movie. Enjoy.

The Hunger Games (2012) Trailer

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, CeeLo Green, Jon Lovitz

Dracula has lost his wife by the hands of humans, so he is raising their daughter alone. He created an intense barrier around his castle to make sure that humans could not find the location of the castle. Every year on his daughter, Mavis' birthday, Dracula invites all of the monsters over for a party and retreat. It is the one time that they all do not have to worry about humans, and they can be themselves. It's Mavis' 116th Birthday, and she wants to go out into the village to finally get to see how humans live. He lets her got, but the village is fake. A human teenager out backpacking follows a group of zombies to the secret passage to Dracula's castle. Jonathan, the teenager, has to be made up as a monster to hide in the crowd, but Mavis has a crush on him.

This was one of the few non-Disney animated movies in the past year that was really well made. I am not an Adam Sandler fan at all, but it seems the older that he gets his movies are better. He has shown that he can do more than stupid voices and act like an idiot adult child. With this movie you have an all star studded cast, just look at all of the big names above. With the movie being animated, you do not have to deal with someone trying to upstage anyone else.

This was a great movie with great characters. It is almost basically a Halloween movie for kids, well kind of. It was a fun movie to watch, and if this would have come out when I was a kid, I would have been completely overjoyed. You have an animated movie with all of the monsters in it, all of them. I was expecting this movie to be really cheesy and stupid, so it took me sometime to watch it. It took the magic of the Halloween season to stop and watch it, and I am so glad I did. From the look and the quality of the animation to the actors and the script, this was a kids movie worth watching. Enjoy.

Hotel Transylvania (2012) Trailer

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Director: Bryan Singer

Stars: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, Evan Peters, Daniel Cudmore, Bingbing Fan, Adan Canto, Booboo Stewart, Famke Janssen, Lucas Till, Evan Jonigkeit, James Marsden, Michael Lerner, Gregg Lowe, Mark Camacho

About 50 or so years in the future, Sentinals were killing not only killing mutants, but they were killing humans as well. With only a few mutants left to fight the Sentinal war, they have to find a way to stop them. The Sentinals are absolutly unstopable. Kitty Pride sends Wolverine back to the early 70's to stop Mystique from trying to kill Boliver Trask, the man whom created the Sentinals. First Wolverine has to track down Charles Xavier and convince him to help find Erik and Mystique. If Mystique is caught then Boliver Trask can use her DNA to make a powerful robot.

Since the third installment of the X-Men movie completely almost destroyed the entire series, they had to come up with a way to redeem themselves with going back in the future to rewrite the story. They killed off some of the main characters in the third, but they are back in this movie to continue the movies, or at least be able to make one more movie.
In this what will probably be the last of the X-Men movies, we finally get to see the Sentinals in a movie. The Sentinals were such a big part in the comic books, cartoons and even the video games. When  the movie started, I hated how the Sentinals looked. They looked like giant horned demons. It was pretty crappy, but as you get into the movie you get to see how they started which was pretty close to how they have appeared in other media formats. The story line worked well for the movie.

The movie mainly spotlighted Wolverine over all of the other characters. It was almost like Wolverine 3 with added X-Men to fill in the gaps. I know Wolverine has become the most sought out character of all of the X-Men so far, there were so many more added to this movie that only got a speck of scene time.
Here goes the list: Wolverine, Charles Xavier, Magneto, Mystique, Beast, Iceman, Storm, Rogue, Kitty Prude, Bishop, Quicksilver, Colossus, Blink, Sunspot, Warpath, Jean Gray, Havok, Toad, Cyclops, and a few other that are just shown for a split sec.
All of these characters in one movie with so little time in the movie. Most of them could have been omitted completely and the story line would not have changed a bit. Most of the movie dealt with the past, so you get a combination of the X-Men from the other movies and characters from First Class. I would have liked it more if some of the other characters would have been featured more, but sadly they were only in the movie for a few minutes.

Don't get me wrong, I really did like the movie. The story was great and the action scenes were top notch. It just should have been longer, and that is saying something. This is a movie to own. Enjoy.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Trailer

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Stars: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Stan Lee

Steve Rogers has been spending his time getting use to the modern world. Director Nick Fury has been killed by the Winter Soldier, a mysterious powerful assassin. Before Nick Fury dies, he tells Steve Rogers that SHIELD has been taken over by enemies and not to trust anyone. Rogers and Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow, have become fugitives of SHIELD, and they are now being tracked down.  Rogers has a new friend, The Falcon, that will help stop the partial destruction of mankind.

For the sequel of Captain America, we finally got a new "superhero". They introduced a mechanical Falcon. They completely changed The Falcon' background story. There is not even a bit of his original story in the movie at all, but the military background well also for people that are not familiar with the character. He looks really cool flying around in the movie The best was bring in the Winter Soldier for this movie. He is the best and most painful enemy for Captain America to have to confront. It was his best friend, whom he thought was dead, but the wonderful military had him to brainwash and to become an incredible killer.
I was really surprised to see Robert Redford as a bad guy in this movie. You never think of Robert Redford as the villain in a movie ever, but it worked so well in this movie and the character. A super rich older white man with power wants to kill people that he feels will never amount to anything. There are so many people just like that living in this country now it's scary. The rest of the cast was spot on. I had not complaints at all. You really did believe in the characters are the performances.
Adding Black Widow to this movie was one of the best choices, I think. She was not put in the movie as a potential love interest or to try and fight him. She was becoming his friend and trying to get him to go on dates. She wants him to fit in to the modern world.  The writing and acting for Black Widow was some of the best in the movie. Scarlett Johansson was not trying to play a heroic superhero or anything close to that. She was a friend to Rogers and someone that can help save his ass. I really do like the combo of the two characters, and I hope that it is carried over to the next Captain America movie.

The movie was packed with action through almost the entire movie with always something happening, but it was not in a bad way at all. The pace of the movie did slow down during the scenes with conversation, but it would really pick up for the action. The action and the stunts sold this movie. They were incredible. This movie blew me away. Buy a copy. You will want to rewatch it. Enjoy.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Trailer

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Director: Alan Taylor

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Zachary Levi, Idris Elba, Rene Russo

A few thousand years ago, the Dark Elves tried to change the universe into complete darkness by using a weapon known as the Aether, a mass of total darkness. Jane and her assistant Darcy find the Aether while in London, but it enters into Jane's body making her ill. Thor comes back two years later to Earth to see Jane. The Aether is inside of Jane, so Thor takes her back to Asgard for his father to help her. The Dark Elves are awoken and come to Asgard to take over and retrieve the Aether. Being overwhelmed by the attack, Thor asked for the help from his brother in prison, Loki. Together they must stop the Dark Elves and restore order.

That is the base for the whole movie. The movie is good, but I do not know if it was as good as the first Thor movie. I really like it. There was not so much going on in that one, than this very busy sequel. The movie had a ton of action scenes in it, but it felt at times that almost all it was. The story line was pretty thin. It seems like the creators were just throwing together a movie just for the sake of having another new Marvel movie.

Like I said, the movie looked really good, and it was very entertaining. The movie just seemed rushed while you were watching it. Enjoy.

Thor: The Dark World (2013) Trailer

Thursday, October 9, 2014

ABBA: The Movie (1977)

Director: Lasse Hallström

Stars: Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Robert Hughes

Ashley Wallace is a disc jockey that is following ABBA on their Australian tour though  to Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. While the concerts are happening, Ashley is interviewing fans about their love for ABBA.

This entire movie is made up of basically two movies edited together. One you have concert footage of the group doing what they do best, and performing their hearts out. The other part is an "actor" playing a disc jockey that is interviewing the fans and making it look like he is interviewing the group. He is not even near them. This movie was a desperate attempt to make a movie including or about ABBA. It was the 70's, and there was not a product that did not have ABBA in the marketing portfolio. A movie was the next step I guess.

The concert footage is great. It is hard to find concert footage from the 70's. If the performer or band was not huge, then it was not necessarily recorded. The songs and performances are well recorded. It is the closes thing you will get to ever seeing them perform together for the rest of time.

This is something fun to watch, if you are an ABBA fan or a fan of the 70's. Enjoy.

ABBA: The Movie (1977) Trailer

House of Wax (1953)

Director: André De Toth

Stars: Vincent Price, Frank Lovejoy, Phyllis Kirk, Carolyn Jones, Charles Bronson

Prof. Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) is an artist that specializes in wax sculptures to display in his wax museum. Jarrod's prize work is his creation of Marie Antoinette and Joan of Arc. His business partner is wanting Jarrod to sell the museum for a large profit, but with Henry Jarrod in the way he decides to burn up the museum leaving Jarrod inside to burn alive. Eighteen months later, Henry Jarrod returns with a new wax museum, after the murder of his old business partner. Jarrod wants to reproduce his beloved Marie Antoinette, and his new assistant has a friend, Sue Allen, that is perfect for the new piece. Jarrod is just not only using wax for his new creations.

This movie started and helped launch many careers. Even though Vincent Price had a dramatic career, this movie started the trend of casting him in horror movies. He is now only known for horror movies, but that is where I believe he shines the brightest of all of the stars in Hollywood. Carolyn Jones is the friend of Sue Allen, the main actress. This role was early in her career, and she is best known for her role as Morticia Adams in The Adams Family. Early in his career, Charles Bronson played Igor, the mute assistant in the wax museum.
The movie is great. It is not scary or even really creepy at all, but there is just an easiness to the movie that is hard to explain. The smoothness in Vincent Price's voice keeps the audience calm not really realizing what his character is capable of doing to create these wax works.

If you are a fan of older horror classics then this is a movie you need to have in your collection. Enjoy.

House of Wax (1953) Trailer

Godzilla (1998)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Michael Lerner, Harry Shearer, Doug Savant, Arabella Field

A Japanese submarine is attacked, leaving one of the men witness the large creature that  caused the damage. Dr. Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick) is studying earthworms when he is approach by the military to help in solving the identity of the creature. Godzilla rises out of the ocean and look for a place to make a nest in New York City. The mayor of New York and the military are looking for a way to stop Godzilla from destroying the city.

This movie got a lot of bad reviews when it came out. People just hated the movie. I could see why, but I thought it was great, for the most part. It is not like the other Godzilla movies from Japan throughout the decades. There is not even much of a wink of the eye in honor of those movies. The filmmakers wanted a movie to stand on its own, and I get that need for an original concept and monster. They should have listened to the fans. They are the ones spending their money.
The movie was entertaining. It included a lot of action scenes. The cast was well played. The main problem that I had with the movie was Godzilla. The monster looked nothing like it has in all of the other movies, not even close. Godzilla looked like a T-Rex than a mutated spiky lizard. It was just not right, but the movie was still good.

I really did like the movie despite the look of Godzilla. It is a movie that is played a lot on cable stations. If you have kept yourself away from watching, you may want to give it a chance to see what you think of it. Enjoy.

Godzilla (1998) Trailer

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mommie Dearest (1981)

Director: Frank Perry

Stars: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest, Rutanya Alda

This is the film version of the bestselling book with the same title written by Christina Crawford. She was the first of four adopted children of the famed actress Joan Crawford. The movie starts not long before she receives Christina as a baby, then shows highlights from the experiences that Christina had to live through during her mother's life.

One thing that does not set well with me is the fact that Faye Dunaway will not talk about this movie at all. The movie supposedly ruined her career, but I think it was one of the best movies that has done. It is also her most famous movie, except for Network, that movie is great. Mommie Dearest is quoted a lot more than anything else she has ever done or will do. Enough about that.

You are an orphan, and you are adopted by one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. What child would not want that kind of life. Oh wait, your adopted mother is a bat shit crazy bitch. Nice. Joan Crawford's fans and the general public would think that Christina would have everything that a child could want. Well, she did to a point, but the toys and gifts would be taken away to be given to other unfortunate children. Joan received good press for these acts of kindness.
The abuse that Christina received from her mother's crazy rants and violet mood swings were out of this world. Being whipped in the back with a wire clothes hanger and hit with a can of Dutch Boy cleaner is normal forms of punishment. That house was nothing but messed up, but it was owned and run by a woman that was obsessed with her career and her looks. Everything and everyone else could just burn in hell, for all she cares.  

This is where we get the phase "No wire hangers!". This movie has burrowed into the hearts and minds of so many people and drag queens. This has been the only movie made about Joan Crawford. I hope no one ever tries to make another one. Joan Crawford help create some of the most famous drag queens with just her presence and career.

Thank God the book was written after her death. Could you even imagine what she would have done to Christina if she read the book or saw the movie. Christina would have been murdered by her mother. Seriously.

If for some reason you have not seen this movie, then I have no idea what you are waiting for. This is a bizarre look into the very private life of Joan Crawford, and how terrible her parenting skills were. Grab a copy and enough. Enjoy.

Mommie Dearest (1981) Trailer

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard

Stars: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell

It has been a year since Michael Myers went on a killing rampage hunting for the last of his family bloodline. Rachael is still at home making plans for Halloween. Jamie is in a children's mental hospital of sorts for trying to kill her adopted mother. Dr. Loomis is back in Haddonfield to make sure that Jamie is safe, and he still wants to see if Michael is coming back for Jamie. Michael Myers has been out of it the past year living in the sewer or whatever it was with a homeless man that nursed him back to "health". Now Michael has his strength back and it is almost Halloween, he is coming back to kill Jamie and anyone else that gets in the way.

This is the second worse movie in the series, and here are my opinion of it. First of all, when did Jamie become Helen Kellerish? The whole half screams and grunts pouring out of her makes me wish he would have killed her in the last movie, and save the audience from all of that noise. Jamie's little boyfriend, Billy, was jealous of the thickness of her mustache. They meet in the hospital, how sweet.
The other strangeness of the movie or bad writing are the "new" friends in the movie. The town is the same, no one moved, but the same friends were not in part four. Tina and Sam act like they have been friends with Rachael and Jamie since they were little. Those two girls must have just moves to town. They become friends with the two girls that were being hunted down by the serial killer Michael Myers, and you would have to know that her friends were killed in the last movie. You people do talk. If that happened in real life, then Rachael and Jamie would have to move out of town. People would be giving them hell, not wanting to hang out and become friends. Bad writing.

This was one of the worse Halloween movies that they have made. The little girl was so annoying that it made the viewing experience so much worse than it should have been. Besides the bad plot, this was my biggest complaint about the movie. I may still watch it if it comes on, and there is nothing else to watch. Enjoy. 

Halloween 5 The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) Trailer

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010)

Director: Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg

Stars: Joan Rivers, Melissa Rivers, Kathy Griffin

This documentary looks at a year in the life of the comedian Joan Rivers. It was made when she turned 75 years old. You get to see how she handles her audience and her personal staff. She talks about the ups and downs in her forty plus year career in entertainment. See her on stage being heckled by a member of the audience to having dinner with her family and friends. In this documentary you are invited behind the curtain into the personal life of Joan Rivers.

The opening to the movie is Joan having her make-up applied. Yes, you get to see her without any make-up on. It is a lot of scares. She was the second female comedian to break into show business. She is funny and bold when talking to and about people, and she is a workaholic.  

If you are a fan of Joan Rivers, then this is something that you need to watch. I do not think you will be disappointed at all with the contents. Enjoy.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) Trailer