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Jurassic World – movie review

jurrasic-worldGrade: B+

I have mixed feelings about the movie. The story, and most of the characters, drag the movie down. I’d give that part of the movie a C-, at best.

Chris Pratt is definitely a bright spot. He’s perfectly cast for the roll of Owen — the raptor wrangler. He can be funny when he’s serious and likable when he wants to be.

Claire, played by Bryce Howard (Ron Howard’s daughter), was surprisingly good. I don’t want to give away anything so I’ll just say that I like what they did with her character.

I thought the least likable part of the movie was the two young brothers. Clearly the writers were trying to echo the characters of Timmy and Lex from the original Jurassic Park, but they came up way, way, short. Their entire story arc was useless.

The dinosaur action, which is what everyone is going to see, I’d give an A+. (Or should that be a Yay+?) It started awesome and got better as the movie went on. In my theater the audience applauded after two separate action scenes and again at the end of the movie.

What was lacking was good tension. Too often the story leaps into action without sufficient buildup. Thinking back to Jurassic Park, the tension was palpable because of the pauses between the action, not the action itself. They didn’t really capture that in this version.

I saw it in 2D, but the rest of the RunPee family saw it in IMAX 3D and thought it was worth every cent. After opening night there are 53 votes from RunPee users who saw the movie in 3D. 83% recommend seeing it in 3D.

If the story was better this could easily have been better than the original, but it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Entourage – movie review

EntourageI had absolutely no idea what Entourage was about. When I went to go see this movie I had just learned that there was a show of Entourage on television. What I’m getting at is I was a Entourage virgin and now I’m a fanatic. This movie was incredible. Today I will be working at getting every episode made and doing a marathon this weekend.

The point to my ramblings above is that even a person that hasn’t watched the show can enjoy the movie.

All of the characters had a depth that movies haven’t been giving us lately. One guy in particular stole the show. Jeremy Piven as Ari Gold was mesmerizing. When he was on screen, I was drooling. The presence that he has is the best I’ve ever seen in a movie. I might just become obsessed with this guy.

Spy – movie review

spyOnce again Melissa McCarthy has shown herself to be one of the best comedic actors if not the best, on screen screen today. I think Paul Figg took Melissa’s character in Heat, fleshed her out, made her funnier and more interesting .

And if you’re wondering, yes, Jason Stratham can be funny, very funny.

Spy will be the big comedy of the summer and maybe even the year.

Insidious: Chapter 3 – movie review

insidious-3Insidious: Chapter 3 was ahhh-mazing. I’m a horror movie fanatic, and this trilogy (so far?) is by far my favorite. It’s the only series, or even stand alone movie, that has something happening non-stop. There’s no dead spots, no pun intended, and you’re essentially on the edge of your seat the whole time. I jumped multiple times, one time in particular I might have uttered a few dirty words.

All of the actors in this movie I think were spot on. Lin Shaye was great, as always. Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott played a great father daughter team as well, accentuating each other nicely. This Insidious was the only one of the three to not feature James Wan’s directing skills. I was a little worried about that, however Leigh Whannell did an outstanding job. He had some pretty big shoes to fill and I’d say he stepped up pretty nicely.

I highly recommend this series of movies, or just this movie, to anyone who loves a good horror flick. And I mean a genuinely good horror flick. You’ll leave the theater wanting more for sure and may even be left with a few spooky dreams. I honestly hope they continue making these movies, as they’re just too good to not keep going. Good job guys, A+!

Aloha – movie review

alohaGrade: C-

I love Bill Murray. That being said, I must believe that he took the roll of Carson Welsh because his little buddy from St. Vincent, Jaeden Lieberher, was also in Aloha.

As for the other big names, Bradley Cooper, Emma Watson and Rachel McAdams: they showed up, and spoke their lines, but I didn’t feel emotionally invested in any of them except for maybe John Karsinski who spoke no lines whatsoever. His character, Woody delivered the best scenes of the entire movie especially the scene between he and Bradly Cooper.

The other problem is the plot, which is convoluted and even a little silly at times. It was nice that the movie attempted to introduce some Hawaiian myths and customs, but viewed within the context of this movie, it was swallowed up by talks of spies, illegitimate children, villains out the destroy the world and of course relationships.

San Andreas – movie review

san-andreasGrade: B-

I’m a firm believer that movies should be judged based on their genre. It makes no sense to compare a movie like San Andreas with something like Pitch Perfect 2, right?

The action/disaster genre, or disaster porn as I like to call it, isn’t exactly known for its riveting plots, or soulful acting. They should deliver spectacle, in 3D, with seat shaking sound effects. Bonus if the actors can just deliver their lines loud enough to be heard over the destruction in the background. Am I right?

With that said I thought San Andreas delivered a decent punch. All too often disaster movies make an effort to develop characters and a secondary plot before getting to the good stuff, not so with San Andreas, which jumped into the action early, then paused to build the characters a little before another action scene.

The acting was perfectly adequate for this genre, perhaps even better than adequate. Dwayne Johnson isn’t going to win an Oscar but he deserves more credit than he gets. Personally I think there’s a bias toward good looking, larger than life men, like Dwayne Johnson, but let’s not get into that here.

Paul Giamatti was a good choice for the lead scientist. He brought the right amount of exposition and gravitas to the movie.

The one thing that could have been better is the humor. There was a little, but a few more laughs would have gone a long way to make the movie more enjoyable.

I saw it in IMAX, because it’s hard writing notes about peetimes while wearing those 3D glasses, but I’m going back today to watch it again, just for enjoyment, in 3D. RunPee Sis saw it last night in 3D and raved about it. She wasn’t very impressed with the acting or story, but loved the 3D effects. (I’ll update this review after I’ve seen it in 3D.)

In case you were unaware users can vote to recommend seeing a movie in 3D, or not, in the RunPee app — scroll to the bottom of the Peetime Screen and look for the 3D User Poll button. With only 10 votes cast thus far 9 of them recommend seeing it in 3D.

I didn’t love everything about the movie. I know I’m being nitpicky here but there were tiny little things that really distracted me. Like near the end, there’s a scene with characters in a skyscraper that is leaning on the building across the street. This building has already been through two gigantic earthquakes, and yet there’s an apple sitting on a table. All the while the characters are going on about blah, blah, blah all I could think is, “How on earth could an apple be sitting on that table after all this?” I know what you’re thinking: this guy needs therapy. Maybe you’re right, but I swear they put that apple there just to annoy me. 🙂

Oh, and FYI, that is NOT how you do CPR. Just saying, they should have had a paramedic around to advise them.

Poltergeist – movie review

poltergeistGrade: D+

They let me down. I had high hopes for Poltergeist. I figured this one would step away from the original enough to not cause us to compare them. I was wrong. Some of the same lines were used and they didn’t come out strong enough.

The acting fell flat. I almost got the feeling that Sam Rockwell didn’t want to be in the movie. He seemed like he was really forcing his lines out, which really sucks because I love him.

I don’t know, but maybe I’m being too critical because I was raised fearing the original Poltergeist. This one hasn’t got anything on the original.

I watched this in 3D and wasn’t impressed with the effects at all. I absolutely think it wasn’t worth the extra ticket price.

Tomorrowland – movie review

tomorrowlandGrade: C+

I found Tomorrowland visually stunning, however the plot was convoluted especially for the younger set and was about 45 minutes longer than it needed to be.

Parents can be comfortable in taking the children to see this movie. There are several good role models and the violence is kept to a minimum.

Tomorrowland does attempt to send a message to the audience about our earth and the need to care for it now, but the message became a bit verbose. I wondered how Disney was able to land George Cloony for the lead role. After seeing the movie I believe George found Tomorrowland the perfect platform for doing the thing he does best — trying to save the world.

D-Train – movie review

d-traine Grade: B

The D Train was not at all what I was expecting. When I saw Jack Black was starring, I assumed it was going to be a raw comedy. There was comedy but there is also a darker side that showcases the downward spiral of one man’s obsession.

There is one scene in particular that my jaw dropped to the floor. I didn’t see where the movie was going and when it went there, it went! I can honestly say they had my attention at that point.

Jack Black did a great job. His character went through some major development. It is his story and he told it really well.

James Marsden was awesome to look at as usual. The character he played was a perfect fit for him.

All in all, the movie impressed me and made me respect Jack Black just a little bit more. If you’re looking for a dark comedy, look no further than The D Train.