Movie Review : Hitchcock


HitchcockGrade: C

Anthony Hopkins does a wonderful job of impersonating Hitchcock. The makeup crew did a great job with the look and he nailed Hitchcock’s mannerisms and especially his quirky speech patterns. But, in my opinion Helen Mirren is the real star of the show. It’s her performance that lifts the movie up from being below average.

It’s clear from the previews and poster that the movie focuses on the partnership between Hitchcock and his wife Alma. I think the movie would have been much better if they had really focused on that instead of spreading out into a few subplots. There wasn’t enough put into any particular part of the movie to make it stand out.

Unless you’re a huge movie history fan or fan of Hitchcock then I’d suggest waiting for this movie on DVD.

Movie review: Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Life of PiGrade: A

*Life of Pi* isn’t just an outstanding movie; it’s an outstanding story. Something we see far too infrequently these days in movies. It’s directed by Ang Lee so if you couldn’t tell from the previews it is visually gorgeous. For that reason alone I’d suggest seeing it in a nice big theater.

If you’ve seen the previews then you have a pretty good impression of what the movie is about. But the story is much richer than the previews let on. It would be like reading the jacket synopsis and chapter titles for a great book and thinking you know what the book is about.

I’m not going to get into any of the deeper threads of the movie. That’s what seeing the movie is for. But I’ll tell you that you might have some things to think about when the movie is over. I know I did.

Movie review: The Watch

Grade: B

Don’t go in expecting an award winning movie with thought provoking dialog. however, *The Watch* is the perfect movie for escaping the summer heat and having more than a few chuckles.

There is a lot of bathroom humor but it’s delivered by three very funny men who know how to make you laugh. Even though Jonah Hill has lost a great deal of weight he certainly hasn’t lost any of his comedic timing. I would go so far as to say that he’s the new John Belushi.

Vince Vaughn along with Ben Stiller are always good for a hearty laugh.

Movie review: The Dark Knight Rises

Grade: B

The Dark Knight Rises is an epic spectacle to end an epic trilogy. But is it good? Yes, it is good. But not great. I think everyone was hoping for a legendary movie that would cement Christopher Nolan’s Batman as one of the great movie trilogies of all time. But, in my estimation the series peaked in the middle with The Dark Knight.

I re-watched the first two Batman movies in the trilogy last night so they are all fresh in my mind. I was hoping that Rises would better its predecessor, which would be quite an accomplishment. But in my estimation it fell just a little short even though it was an entertaining movie.

My biggest gripe about the movie is the soundtrack. I’m a huge fan of Hans Zimmer and he did compose a very good score that resonates with the action. But the music level is played blaringly loud over a lot of the dialogue. The dialogue is still understandable but it took an effort to understand and was very distracting.

The performances were all exactly what you would expect from the cast – exceptional. And the casting of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake were perfect. I was especially impressed with Hathaway’s performance. She carried a lot of the movie and had the only humorous lines in the entire movie.

For me the movie falls short in the story and plot. It just didn’t have the emotional impact that I had hoped for. I can’t really go into details without revealing some spoilers so I’ll just leave it at that.

Not only will *Rises* be compared to the other 2 movies in the Batman trilogy but also to the two other 2012 superhero blockbusters: The Avengers and Spider-Man. In my estimation *Avengers* is far and away the best movie of the three. I would call it a tie between Batman and Spider-Man. The former is more grand and the latter has far more humor.

Movie review: Ice Age: Continental Drift

Grade: B+

This was the typical Ice Age movie. Lots of slipping and sliding on the ice. Bad guys to deal with and Sid making things harder than they should be.

Having said that I still found it entertaining. The animation was pretty to look at and not a waste of my time. The children in the audience laughed a lot and I heard chuckles from the parents as well. The new character to the series was Sid’s grandmother – voiced by Wanda Sykes. She was hysterical.

Movie review: Spider-Man

Grade: B+

I’ve never been a big Spider-Man fan but I do enjoy my super-hero movies. That said I was never a fan of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies. They were okay but nothing to get excited about. So I was excited to see a change of direction to see if a reboot might reinvigorate the series. After seeing “The Amazing Spider-Man” I would say they are off to a good start.

What I liked most:

While Tobey Maguire is talented actor I just don’t think he was the right choice for Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield may not have the same overall acting abilities that Tobey does – only time will tell – but he felt like a better Spider-Man. And I’m sure he will only get better as time goes on.

The supporting cast was outstanding, especially Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. The only knock against Emma is that she’s 24 and doesn’t quite pull off that High School teenager look. She doesn’t look old by any means. But neither does she look 18.

What I enjoyed most is that Spider-Man doesn’t have some spider-silk glands conveniently located on his wrists. If we were being realistic then Spider-Man would have silk coming out of his ass, right? 🙂 This version of Spider-Man uses mechanical silk-shooters. That is a great deal more logical in a comic-book-logic-sorta-way.


There were a few chuckles here and there but nothing like the throw-your-head-back-and-cackle laughs that “The Avengers” provided. Speaking of “Avengers” it’s just a fact of life that the three main super-hero movies of summer 2012 – Avengers, Spider-Man, Batman – are going to be compared to each other. So far I don’t think it’s close. “Avengers” was way, WAY, more enjoyable than “Spider-Man”.

Movie review: Ted

Grade: A

Oh my gosh. I have not laughed that hard at a movie in years. There were side splitting funny scenes. Not just one or two but pretty much the whole movie. Seth MacFarlane did a terrific job. It’s raunchy and dirty but that is what he does best. I wouldn’t let your children go because this isn’t anything for little kids.

Movie Review – Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter

I am a vampire movie lover, and Abe Lincoln is my favorite president. You put the two together and the sparks fly! I love how the movie integrated real history with Vampire lore. It worked really well together for me.

The fight scenes were very well done. Abe can really swing an axe! I would highly recommend seeing it in 3-D. The sounds that accompany the fights are awesome.

The one thing that was troubling me at the beginning of the movie is that the guy didn’t look anything like Abe. But once they aged him, they did a terrific make-up job.

Movie Grade: A-

Movie review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” is a classic Steve Carell movie. He plays much the same character that he did in “40 Year Old Virgin”. Keira Knightley was her usual cute, messy self. And there are a few well placed cameos in the movie. It’s hard to say that the acting was good or great. Just pretty much what you would expect from the cast because they play character types that they’ve done before.

The movie has it’s moments of humor but few, if any, laugh out loud scenes. The story is good and builds nicely. But there wasn’t anything really compelling about the story or characters that made me care about what happened. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was pretty sad after the movie was over so I must have cared a little.

The premise of the story is really interesting and I think there was a lot of untapped potential there. Overall I was just a bit disappointed. If you’re really interested in seeing the movie I would think that it would make a better home viewing than theater viewing.

Movie review: That’s My Boy

Don’t you hate it when the movie companies release a trailer that contains every funny scene in the movie? You get your hopes up that it’s going to be a hilarious movie only to find out that you’ve already seen all of the funny scenes sitting at home on your couch for free. I was fully expecting that from this movie. I begrudgingly went to the theater, bought my ticket, found my seat and got ready to be disappointed. Well, I was wrong. The movie delivered and then some.

The cast worked very well together and, might I say, was a very diversified group. The humor was at a constant level and they didn’t over do it with stupidity. Of course we know how the movie will end up but the ending was such a fun filled ride it’s worth the gas.

The soundtrack was awesome. Of course it was! Vanilla Ice was in it…Ice is back with his brand new invention..rollin in his 5.0 Yeah, I’m a 90’s child.

I read a few bad reviews on this movie and the one negative that I will agree upon is I didn’t care for the voice Adam Sandler used. I didn’t get why he needed to speak that way. The movie made up for it so I won’t harp about that. Overall it gets a B+ in my book. Good job Happy Madison!