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Cinderella – movie review

cinderellaGrade: B+

Disney studios along with Kenneth Branagh as director has given a fresh look to an age-old fairy tale.

The original animated movie of Cinderella is a classic and hopefully this is how posterity will view the new Cinderella.

It’s a beautiful movie with an outstanding cast and spot on directing.

Run All Night – movie review

Run-all-nightGrade: C-

The good news is that this movie is immeasurably better than Taken 3.

Liam did a good job with his role, as did Ed Harris. Joel Kinnaman, who played Mike (Liam’s son), didn’t have much to work with. His character was consistently expressionless throughout the movie. My guess is that was due to the script and/or director.

The story was okay. The plot isn’t tricky so it’s easy to follow and understand the character’s motivations. My major beef with the story is the reaction of Ed Harris’ character to the death of his son. That seemed to be manufactured just to make the story work and not authentic at all based on his relationship with Liam’s character.

My favorite thing about the movie is the cinematography. They used a neat trick of pulling away from one scene and in one camera shot flying across the city to another location to transition to the next scene. That provided a great sense of continuity in both time and space.

Chappie – movie review

chappieI really don’t want to review this movie because I have so much respect for Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver. In a way having those two in the movie made it even worse because their talents were so obviously wasted on the roles they had. I wonder if they lost a bet or something and that’s why they ended up in this movie.

I had high hopes for the movie, but low expectations. My low expectations were realized during the first three minutes of heavy handed exposition. For instance the introduction to Hugh Jackman’s character came in a news blurb that basically said, “He’s an ex-military weapons designer who disagrees with the development of artificial intelligence on spiritual grounds.” And that was all the character development Hugh’s character would get.

The story had potential, but fell light-years short of realizing it. The script needed a few more rounds of revisions and some heavy editing.

Sigourey’s character was completely underdeveloped. Fortunately she had what amounted to an extended cameo role so it wasn’t too unpalatable to watch.

One other problem I had was understanding Chappie. It’s hard enough to understand a computerized voice, but a computerized voice with an accent, in this case a South African accent, sometimes sounded like a bunch of random noise.

The DUFF – movie review

the-DUFFGrade: A

The Duff blew me away. It was really well done and had a great message. Mae Whitman was especially good. Just watching her facial expressions made me laugh.

While I was watching this movie I was thinking to myself that you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to high school. The social aspect alone would be enough to drive me crazy. I had forgotten about all the drama that takes place throughout the year. The Duff addressed those issues and hit it out of the park. I think all freshman need to watch this movie and learn the tremendous values that it displays.

I would recommend this movie to anyone. It was a really fun movie that will make you laugh wholeheartedly.

Still Alice – movie review

still-alice

Grade: A

This movie addresses the delicate subject of familial Alzheimer’s and the emotional impact on one family.

Julianne Moore gave an extraordinary performance as Alice and the rest of the cast sort of fell to the back of the plot so that what we see and feel for Alice isn’t diluted by the emotions of the ancillary performers.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Hot-tub-time-machine-2Grade: D+

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 bored me to tears. There were a couple of funny moments, which were in the trailers, but for the most part I didn’t like it. It felt forced. I didn’t even get the sense that the actors had any fun.

I thought the first one was funny but this one should have been skipped. Since I was bored through most of it I was paying attention to the crowd. The theater was half full and fairly quiet. There should have been a lot more laughing but I think they were on the same page as I was. It just didn’t have any spark.

I’d wait for the DVD.

The Lazarus Effect – movie review

lazarus-effectGrade: C+

The Lazarus Effect was slow to start and once it got going it was over before I knew it. I think that was was my only gripe with this movie. I felt the beginning lacked a proper introduction to the characters and the ending was rushed.

The premise had potential — who doesn’t want to see a doggie brought back from the dead? Who wouldn’t want to save the woman they love? This sounds remarkably similar to Pet Sematary doesn’t it? The Lazarus Effect can’t compete with Pet Sematary but it wasn’t horrible.

There were a few creepy scenes that made me jump. The minimal approach they took with makeup worked really well. Olivia Wilde was super spooky. I think her facial expressions were the scariest part of the movie.

If you don’t go in with super high expectations, you’ll be pleased.