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Movie review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Grade: A-

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 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!

Movie review: Hysteria

It’s a fun and enjoyable movie that is probably best left as a rental.

Tanya Wexler, the director of “Hysteria”, gracefully walked a fine line between humor and obscenity.

I’m a big fan of historical period-pieces. As such vI’d give this movie a passing grade only because, from what I’ve learned, they did a good job of capturing the essence of the period which is the most important thing. Yes, there really was a Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville who was instrumental in the development of the vibrator. And yes doctors did regularly massage women’s genitalia to achieve “hysterical paroxysms” as a treatment for many general maladies. Besides that I’m not sure if any of the specifics in this story are true. But that can generally be over looked.

Maggie Gyllenhaal was perfectly cast to play the role of the progressive English lady. I thought the rest of the cast was just so-so.

Movie review: Prometheus

You should know that I’m a HUGE fan of the Aliens universe and have been looking forward to this movie since I first heard about its production. I didn’t think the movie was OMG fantastic but I wasn’t disappointed. And I’m looking forward to watching it a few more times. I have the feeling that I’m going to like it more and more as time goes on.

A few miscellaneous thoughts:

– I know it looks like the previews gave away everything important. They didn’t. There’s still lots of important plot lines to discover.

– I saw it in 2D because it’s painful trying to watch a 3D movie and do peetimes. But from what I saw it looks like there would be some amazing scenes for the 3D version.

– I think if anyone other than Ridley Scott had directed this then fans may have been infuriated by many of the revelations in this movie. But fortunately it was directed by Ridley Scott so pretty much whatever he says is Alien Cannon to me.

– The movie is rated R for a reason and it isn’t because of any nudity. ( Personal note: I don’t know why they wasted the opportunity to have at least one nude scene with Charlize Theron. It isn’t like the rating was going to get worse. )

I could review the acting, cinematography, story, etc. but all I really need to do is remind you that it’s a Ridley Scott movie. It was an extremely well made movie on all points. That said I’m giving the movie a B because I didn’t love any of the characters. I didn’t care who lived or died. I think if that aspect could have been improved then the overall enjoyment of the movie would have gone up dramatically. Ultimately I think the movie needed another 20-30 minutes of character development to really let us get to know the crew as individuals.

Note: In the scene when David – Michael Fassbender – looks at his fingertip and says, “Big things have small beginnings.” Keep an eye on his finger prints. Really cool.

Movie review: Lincoln

Grade: A+

Spielberg has given us a three dimensional  insight into the last few months of our most beloved leader. In *Lincoln* we see him not only as the President during the most difficult time in our nations history but also in an equally demanding role as husband and father.

Make no mistake, this is not a movie about the Civil War per se but, just as important to our country’s future, the passing of the 13th amendment. It’s more of a court room drama than an early version of Saving Private Ryan.

In the opening scene we see 30 seconds of  battle field action followed by two hours of a battle fought by lobbyists, politicians other nefarious characters.

Along the way there are brief detours into the private life of Lincoln and his family. Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Fields and Tommy Lee Jones are definite Oscar contenders, but they were not the only stellar contributors to the movie. James Spader provided much needed comic relief in this intense film. The bar has been set very high for presidential biographies.

Movie review: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

Grade: A

Epic ending to an epic saga! I enjoyed the other movies but I loved this one. Luckily I got to see the midnight showing. Personally I love these crowds. When something crazy goes down on the screen the midnighters have something to say about it. The theater was roaring during the final twenty minutes of the movie. Even those guys that I could tell were dragged by their girlfriends were stomping the floor. It was Twilight mayhem!
My biggest complaint throughout the series has been Kristen Stewart’s acting. She constantly looked like she was in pain. Not emotional pain but more like, “Oh my gosh my stomach hurts kind of pain.” I don’t know if that was because Kristen was a fairly inexperienced actress or if she was directed to act that way so when this movie came out and she kicks major vampire butt you would think, “Wow man, Bella got her groove on now!” Once Bella died, Kristen Stewart came alive. I have forgiven her past behavior/acting.

Mackenzie Foy really stole my heart. Just looking at that little girl made me feel peaceful. I’m not sure if she is just an amazing little actress or if she is just naturally captivating. She was perfect for the role.

Another aspect I really liked is the relationship that Edward and Jacob developed. They had quite a few scenes that made me laugh out loud. There is also a scene between Jacob and Charlie (Bella’s Dad) that had me rolling on the floor in laughter. This movie just oozed chemistry between the characters.

In the final action scenes I was literally on the edge of my seat. I did not read the books so I didn’t know how the story unfolded. I was actually an emotional wreck. I will not give away any spoilers here so I will leave it at that.

Movie review: Skyfall

Grade: A

*Skyfall* is in my estimation the best of the Daniel Craig Bond movies and that’s saying a lot because *Casino Royal* was fabulous. *Skyfall* has all of the ingredients you expect in a Bond film: action, one line quips, flirtation and sex, and lets not forget the evil genius antagonist. In fact the evil genius antagonist is, in my opinion, the most forgettable part of the movie but the quality of the other ingredients more than make up for it.

What pushes *Skyfall* above *Casino Royal* is a well written drama that leans heavily on Judi Dench’s performance as M. She has created a memorable version of M over the past seven Bond movies but her roll has always been scaled back. The Bond movies aren’t about her so she only has a few well placed scenes that are used to punch up the tension. Fortunately for everyone her role in *Skyfall* is expanded.

If you’ve seen enough Bond movies, i.e. all of them, you’ll notice there are a few *minor Bond girls* introduced to early on and then we meet the *primary Bond girl* who becomes Bond’s focal point throughout the rest of the movie. At first I thought they had a pretty weak cast of Bond girls for *Skyfall*. There were the minor roles but not the focal Bond girl until I realized that M is the Bond girl in *Skyfall*. No, there is NOT a sex scene between Bond and M. I hope you’ll forgive me for spoiling that for you just in case you were getting your hopes up. 🙂

Movie review: Flight

Grade: A+

*Flight* is one of the most thought provoking movies I have seen in a long time. The journey the writers, directors, and cast take you on will leave you breathless.

Denzel has once again proven himself to be one of the greatest actors of our time. The darkness that was within his character was perfectly portrayed.

The supporting cast will blow you away. Kelly Reilly added another level of emotion that sent the movie into overdrive. Her character was so perfectly woven into the storyline that it sizzled on screen. The fit between her and Denzel was seamless.

Bruce Greenwood, John Goodman and Don Cheadle’s roles could not have been cast any better. These three guys were tremendous. This movie is a prime example of a shining supporting cast. Denzel did a top not job but the placement of the supporting actors made him shine brighter than a super nova.

Exceptional writing, perfect ensemble, splendid acting, amazing soundtrack and the best of direction made this movie phenomenal.

Movie review: The Man with the Iron Fists

Grade: D+

I thought *The Man with the Iron Fists* was horrible. However, if you’re looking forward to this film then you can take my review with a grain of salt because this isn’t a genre that I’m overly fond of. Not to say that I don’t enjoy any martial arts movies. I thought *Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon* was fantastic.

*The Man with the Iron Fists* mixed comic book and old style Kung Fu influences along with modern hip-hop and pup culture. That is to say it’s an amalgamation of styles. The story was heavy handed and relied on narration throughout. There’s nothing wrong with that approach. All these elements could have been used to create an entertaining movie. But I just didn’t see it. I sat in the theater rather bored  and didn’t care how it ended.

What bothered me the most was that in many of the fight scenes, not all for sure, the choreography seemed clumsy and even awkward at times. I don’t know if it was strictly the choreography or the execution. But most of the fight scenes just didn’t thrill me. They did however provide most of the humor or at least gasps from the audience as we saw something completely over the top. For instance an insane amount of blood gushing from a wound in a hyper-unrealistic way.

The good news is that it wasn’t wretched, like a few movies I’ve seen lately. RZA – director and co-writer – definitely has talent and shows some promise. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the films he has coming out in a few years to see how he grows.