Friday, August 26, 2011

Harry Potter 7 Part 2

I've previously mentioned that I never read the Harry Potter books and I wasn't a fan of the series when it first started and featured cute little kids at Hogwarts. Midway through the series I started to enjoy the movies more and I think the last several installments have been great. This is probably due to the fact that they have become more dark and evil so I relate to them better now.

I really liked the quality of the this last movie. The special effects were amazing. Many movies have great special effects and big budgets, but are still totally lacking in substance, but this movie was all around very good. After watching movies, I usually come away with a list of a few things I wished they would have done different or that they could have done better, but I didn't find myself making my usual list this time.

I don't want to give too much away since there are many twists and deaths of certain characters but I will say that Bruce Willis dies in the opening scene and didn't realize he was a ghost until the end of the movie. Actually I would imagine that most people who follow the series have read the books so spilling the beans about the plot is probably no surprise to most viewers since it's already been out over a month.

For those of you who might be criticizing me for reviewing movies so late after they are released, I would encourage you to take me up on my offer on the side bar. I'm still not having any luck with any theaters inviting me to the special early showings for film critics...yet.

I give the final Harry Potter installment 8.5 stars which on my rating scale is pretty darn good.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just Go With It

I think it is appropriate that I review Just Go With It right after my prior post about embarrassing content in movies. My parents were not in the room with me during this movie, but my wife was and there was plenty of crude humor. What's up with Adam Sandler? He can be a very funny guy at times, but so frequently he reverts to the same old potty humor and gags. I'm a guy and can handle some crude humor, but his stuff has become so predictable over the years.

Just Go With It is about a plastic surgeon who is a bachelor and he regularly picks up women by wearing a fake wedding ring and pretending to be in a marriage that has fallen apart. I have no idea why that approach would work. I think the real ringer is when he mentions that he is a plastic surgeon.

Anyway, he finally meets the girl of his dreams and decides to settle down but before they can get married, she wants to meet his ex wife and family. Sandler enlists the help of his office manager played by Jennifer Aniston. She pretends to be his nagging and spoiled wife and they try to put on a show in order to show that their marriage is beyond help in order to convince his new girlfriend that they are ready to move on.

Two words that come to mind are illogical an absurd. What guy is going to go on a vacation to Hawaii with his supposed wife he is divorcing and kids and bring along the new woman he is leaving them for? They all pal around Hawaii together like they are a big happy family. What girl would be excited about marrying a guy who is constantly ripping on his wife in front of her? Sandler spends more money than the Prince of Dubai during this movie in an effort to cover his tracks. His sidekick friend in this movie was pathetic and not funny at all, but at least I didn't have to see the usual Rob Schneider cameo.

There were a couple scenes that made me laugh, but overall I felt this movie was totally fake and very predictable. So I give it 6.2 stars. If you want to see a better Sandler movie, watch the Wedding Singer or Happy Gilmore.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Parental Video Curse

I was recently reminiscing with a friend about watching videos as a kid and I had some funny memories. Many times while watching a video, whenever a part with swearing, sex, or nudity would come on, a parent would always come walking in the room. These were not bad movies we watched either, this would happen regardless of what they were rated. You could rent some rated G Disney movie and Pollyanna would start doing some inappropriate nasty dance as soon as a parent came in the room. (Not that she ever did that and not that I ever watched Pollyanna).

On one occasion I was at a friends house with several others watching a murder mystery which was very entertaining. My friend's Dad came in and sat down and within 15 seconds of that time there was a major shift in the direction and content of the movie and it got extremely uncomfortable. I just remember a minute later the TV was turned off and our video party was over. I walked home in a daze wondering what had happened and where that scene came from. I now know that it was just the parental video curse.

When I was a teenager, my brother in law rented Conan the Barbarian and left it at our house. I didn't even think about the rating and I started watching it with my friend. We didn't get too far into it when my Dad came downstairs and sat down. Conan had just killed some guys in a competition and his slave masters brought a lady wearing a leather bikini to his cage to reward him. My spidey senses kicked in and I knew where this might lead so I said "I just remember I am supposed to draw a basketball for my art class" and I hurried out of the room. I left my friend with my Dad and came back about 10 minutes later. When I returned, my friend was red faced. He was embarrassed and is still angry with me to this day. My Dad suggested we turn the movie off. I never did see how it ended but I'm still glad I took my "homework break" when I did.

Another thing I have noticed over the years is how you forget so much about a movie you saw a long time ago. Many times I have told someone how much I enjoyed a certain movie I saw when I was younger so I recommend it to them or rent it for myself and later find myself saying "I don't ever remember that scene" or "I had no idea they swore so much in this", or "I promise this was rated PG".

So I just want to give a heads up to all the young people out there and let them know next time you are planning a video (DVD) party go to IMDB or Screenit first for content details because it is guaranteed that if there is any questionable content in the video you are watching that your parents will walk in the room at the very most uncomfortable moment.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules

I don't usually get into kids movies, but since my kids have been talking about Roderick Rules for a while, I recently decided to rent it. Actually it was more of a rent to own transaction. I'm on a six month payment plan. Just kidding, I just thought it sounded strange that a famous movie critic like myself would have to rent a movie. I will try to focus and get back on topic now.

Roderick Rules is a sequel to Diary of a Wimpy Kid which is a popular short book series. This movie is about Greg and his mean older brother Roderick and their struggles as they try to get along with each other. All of the characters from the original movie returned for this installment so it is pretty much a clean continuation of the first movie. I think I may have actually enjoyed this movie a little more than the first one.

I had a good time watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 with my kids and despite its shortcomings, I still give it 6.6 stars. It was pretty funny and I actually had some pretty good laughs during it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Eagle

The Eagle is a movie about a young Roman centurion who attempts to find out what happened to the lost legion his Father led to battle 20 years ago. No one in his father's expedition was ever heard from and the emblem of the golden Eagle was also lost which brought dishonor to his family.

Marcus Aquila takes command of a new post in Britain and and after being wounded in battle, he is eventually discharged from duty. He then decides to solve the mystery behind his father's disappearance with only the help of his newly acquired slave.

Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, and Donald Sutherland star in this movie. Their performances were alright, but I was only mildly entertained with this movie so I had a hard time really getting into it.

I'm no history expert, but I thought it was strange that the Celts in Britain looked like Native American Indians complete with Mohawks and war paint. There was also a battle scene early in the movie that reminded me of a classic Cowboys and Indians scene with the Romans defended their fort from a night attack.

I also found it distracting that the actors spoke with American accents and used modern day language. It wouldn't have surprised me to hear words like Dude and awesome coming from some of the Romans.

The Eagle was alright. It 's not bad, it's just no Gladiator. I give it 6.7 stars for being somewhat entertaining.
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