Category Archives: Review

Movie Roundup: Are you Excited that Pixar is Focusing on Making More Sequels?

Pixar’s line up of sequels includes the summer blockbuster Finding Dory and will carry through 2019 with Cars 3, Toy Story 4 and the long-anticipated The Incredibles 2. From 2020, there are no further sequels planned. Pixar president Jim Morris recently shared some thoughts about why certain sequels don’t happen. “Most studios jump on doing a sequel as soon as they have a successful film, but our business model is a filmmaker model, and we don’t make a sequel unless the director of the original film has an idea that they like and are willing to go forward on,” Morris explains. “A sequel in some regards is even harder [than the original] because you’ve got this defined world which, on the one hand, is a leg up, and on the other hand has expectations that you can’t disappoint on.”

What do you think about Pixar’s approach to making sequels? Which Pixar movie would you love to see a sequel?

Movie Roundup is a feature where I give quick impressions on some films I recently watched and/or on movie related topics.

Read the rest of this entry

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows “Heroes in a Half Shell Ain’t Half Bad”

teenage mutant ninja turtles out of the shadows poster

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) (Non-Spoilers)
Director: Dave Green
Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney, Brian Tee, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Gary Anthony Williams, Stephen Farrelly

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’ kid-friendly action and cheesy, slap-stick humor is aimed at a younger target audience. If you no longer wake up early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons or the phrases “Cowabunga” and “Turtle Power” don’t illicit nostalgia, it could be a tough movie to sit through.

Read the rest of this entry

Genre Grandeur: How does Fast Five hold up five years later?

fast-five-poster

This post is originally written for MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur on Heist Movies. For all the reviews in this feature, check out Movie Rob’s site.

Fast Five is the very first film in The Fast and The Furious franchise I ever watched. I’m not a snobby movie watcher. I love superhero films and summer blockbusters like a lot of other people. But I overlooked this franchise thinking it would be a hollow, soul less action flick. Okay, this franchise is never going to win an Oscar for best picture. It is a fun, testosterone fueled ride and I can see why it’s one of the biggest, most popular action movie franchises around.

The fifth installment surprisingly makes for a good entry point into the franchise for me. It’s arguably the best in the franchise to date. The action sequences are exciting and well directed. There’s enough character beats to give the story some heart. With so much going on and so many characters, this could have been a hot mess. Director Justin Lin has a firm hand on the steering wheel, never letting the story go off track. He’s also got a strong eye for the visuals, knowing how to frame scenes for maximum suspense and bringing an energetic flair to daring, insane stunts.

Read the rest of this entry

Love & Mercy (2015) Movie Review: Pickin’ Up Good Vibrations

love and mercy poster

Love & Mercy (2015)
Director: Bill Pohlad
Cast: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti

Each year there’s a bunch of biopics vying for your attention. Some like Straight Outta Compton and Steve Jobs generated quite a bit of buzz. Love & Mercy about the Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson was also very well received, though the movie’s release was quieter.

The most striking choice director Bill Pohlad makes is in casting two very different actors to respectively play the young and older Brian Wilson. Surprisingly it’s not as jarring as I would have imagined. This choice helped to immediately differentiate between the two eras as the film cut back and forth in time. Love & Mercy is factual based but it’s more concerned with what’s going on inside Wilson’s head than what his facial features look like.  

Read the rest of this entry

How the Walkway Scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens could have been better (even if you love the movie)

star-wars-7-force-awakens-kylo-ren-vader-mask

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Spoilers Discussion Ahead!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is breaking all kinds of records at the box office. It’s not just die-hard Star Wars fans who are giddy about Episode VII, critics love the movie too. The critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes is currently above 90% and The Force Awakens received a Best Picture nomination from the Critics Choice Awards.

This is all not to say that The Force Awakens is immune to criticism. It’s possible to be a fan of a film and at the same time be critical of parts of the movie which aren’t working as well as it could have.

Some believe that there are way too many similarities between The Force Awakens and A New Hope. On the other hand, some appreciate how Episode VII mirrored the original and reenergized the Star Wars universe for a new generation. While others draw the line at the Starkiller base being an unneeded retread of the Death Star.

Personally, The Force Awakens is deserving of a lot of praises yet there is one scene in particular, among a few, that took me out of the movie watching experience. This is the scene towards the end of the movie where Kylo Ren confronts a certain rebel on an open bridge. (Spoilers ahead, final warning)

Read the rest of this entry

The 20 Best Movie Posters of 2015

What Do Your Favorite 2015 Movie Posters Say About You? 

A great movie poster can grab your attention and get you hyped for an upcoming film. Some are provocative, some are funny and some are plain weird. Some tell a story with a simple image. Some evoke a particular mood. Love or hate a film, you can’t deny an eye catching movie poster when you see it. What are your personal picks? Without further ado, check out these cool posters:

Read the rest of this entry

Movie Roundup: What’s Your Favorite Jake Gyllenhaal Performance?

Movie Roundup is where I give quick impressions on a bunch of films. You might find a movie that catches your curiosity. Or maybe there’ll be a film to avoid, which means I watched a terrible movie so you wouldn’t have to!:)

I’m really liking Jake Gyllenhaal’s movie choices lately, especially over the last five years. Even though I generally like commercial movies, I’m glad he’s not doing stuff like the disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow or the video game based movie Prince of Persia anymore (I had little interest in watching those). In his more recent stuff, you can see he’s shifted to this whole other gear as an actor. What’s your favorite Jake Gyllenhaal performance or movie?

Read the rest of this entry

10 Things I Like About “Say Anything”

Say Anything John Cusack Boombox

This post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – High School/Teen Romance Movies. Don’t forget to check out all the great posts in this feature.

John Cusack holding a boombox outside his girlfriend’s bedroom window. It’s an iconic cinematic moment that, if you’re like me, are familiar with even if you haven’t watched 1989’s “Say Anything“. It’s been referenced and parodied so much, it’s about time I check out what the fuss is all about. Funny thing is watching that scene in context played out differently than what I expected. I’ll talk about that down below.

Say Anything reminds me a little bit of the more recent teen movie “The Spectacular Now“. The characters and their relationship feel instantly genuine. You see, Lloyd (John Cusack) doesn’t have big plans after high school. The only thing on his mind is getting a date with Diane (Ione Skye), the brainy girl who’s totally out of his league.

While Diane is the envy of other girls, her highly focused mind-set keeps her sheltered from many typical high school experiences.  We can see how Lloyd and Diane influence each other in ways that they would have never experienced if they never met. Their romance is not overly sappy and the humor comes across naturally. And also like The Spectacular Now, the father figure plays a role in this coming of age story.

Without further ado, here are 10 random things I like about Say Anything. A heads up, some of these will contain spoilers. You may want to watch Say Anything first before reading further.

Read the rest of this entry

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) Movie Review

The-Tale-of-the-Princess-Kaguya-600x450

This post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – Sci-fi/Fantasy Animated Movies (non Disney/Pixar). For all the great reviews in this feature, head on over to the wonderful MovieRob.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)
Director: Isao Takahata
English Voice Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Darren Criss

Director Isao Takahata may not be as well known outside of Japan as his fellow Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki but he’s a masterful filmmaker in is his own right. Takahata’s first movie in 14 years is a wonderful animated fantasy drama that pulls on the heart strings.

The story is based on the oldest Japanese folklore The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. In the beginning, an old man sees a glowing bamboo shoot in a forest. Now the bamboo is not empty or barren. The bamboo blossoms like a lotus flower revealing a tiny baby princess inside. The old man takes the princess back to his home and together with his wife raise the baby as if she were their own.

Read the rest of this entry

5 Reasons Why Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior Totally Rocks!

The-Road-Warrior1

This post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – Dystopian Movies. Be sure to check out all the reviews in this feature by heading over to MovieRob.

Before the days of smearing blue paint over his face and going commando in a kilt (hey, let’s not judge), Mel Gibson roamed the barren, post apocalyptic wasteland in a Ford Falcon.  Of course, this is a reference to Gibson’s breakout role in the Mad Max movies which launched the actor into stardom. Let’s put on the breaks for a minute and take a rear view mirror look at the most popular movie in the Mad Max franchise. Here’s why 1981’s Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is totally awesome.

Read the rest of this entry

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 59 other followers

%d bloggers like this: