Thursday, December 12, 2013

Red Dawn

I recently saw the remake of Red Dawn on Amazon streaming and I am so grateful I didn't waste time or money to see it in the theater. This was by far the worst movie I have seen in years. It made the original 1984 version, which was only mediocre, look like a masterpiece.

I felt insulted as I watched this fake, hard to believe, and sloppy movie about North Koreans invading the US. The enemy parachutes into a small town and quickly take over with little resistance except for a handful of teenagers who manage to escape into the woods. They end up fighting against the invaders and eventually defeat them with the help of three marines who show up towards the end of the movie.

I am a proud American and don't mind patriotism, but this movie was just stupid and embarrassing. My intelligence was insulted and I am now even stupider than I was before for sitting through the whole thing.

I give it 4.0 stars just because I was relieved to find out that Subway Sandwiches will be going strong in the event of a communist invasion against our country.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hunger Games Part 2 and Captain Phillips

I recently watched the Hunger Games: Catching Fire and for some reason I keep wanting to call it's suffix "Breaking Bad" instead of "Catching Fire". I actually saw another movie before this one but I can't remember what it was. Dang, it's really bugging me. I think it was good, just not as memorable as the Hunger Games sequel. I remember now! It was Captain Phillips and it was also pretty good so never mind what I just said.

In the tradition of writing lazy reviews which you have probably gotten used to over the last year, I think I will combine these two movies into one review.

If you like teens hunting each other or pirates hunting down giant freighter ships, then either of these movies will do for you.

If you like elite green beret teams using night vision goggles to take out kidnappers, then I recommend Captain Phillips.

If you like movies about unjust governments abusing their citizens and youngsters rising up to stick it to the man then you will probably like Hunger Games more.

If you like Tom Hanks speaking like a Kennedy for the first half of a movie then you will like Captain Phillips.

If you think Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a great actor, but has some crazy long eyebrows (not being critical, mine are starting to do the same thing), then Hunger Games is for you.

If you can't get enough of Stanley Tucci's over the top portrayal of the equivalent of a futuristic Entertainment Tonight Host, then Hunger Games it is.

If you like hearing a scrawny Somali thug repeat himself by saying things like "look at me, look at me.." or : maybe in America, Maybe in America" Then go for Captain Phillips.

If you like WWE when they have a battle royale, then you will probably like Hunger Games since it is kind of the same thing with 24 participants going after each other in the square circle so to speak.

Either way you can't go wrong. Both of these movies were really good. I give Captain Phillips 8.1 and Hunger Games: Breaking Bad 8.0 stars. And yes, I can give stars. I may not be a professional critic but I've been doing this for over 5 years now.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

5th Year of Movie Summaries

This week I am celebrating the 5 year anniversary of this blog and have to admit that my reviews have gotten crappier with time, but as a public service I'd like to give a summary of the movies I saw over the last 12 months. The higher the ranking, the more I enjoyed the movie. You may disagree with me on some of these, but that's alright. Not everyone can have superior taste.

Gravity 8.2
The Hobbit 8.1
Jack Reacher 8.1
Star Trek Into the Darkness 8.0
World War Z 7.9
The Help 7.9
Oblivion 7.8
Man of Steel 7.7
Life of Pi 7.7
Crazy Stupid Love 7.7
The Impossible 7.5
Warm Bodies 7.5
Undefeated 7.5
The Wolverine 7.4
Snitch 7.4
Pacific Rim 7.2
Bernie 7.2
Catfish 7.2
Red 2 7.0
Midnight in Paris 7.0
The Lone Ranger 6.9
Samsara 6.9
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 6.8
Here Comes the Boom 6.6
Jack the Giant Slayer 6.6
Oz the Great and Powerful 6.4
Bully 6.3
Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed 6.2
One for the Money 5.8

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Seven Short Movie Summaries

What the Crap?
Samsara- I saw the trailer for Samsara and it looked like a visual feast so I ordered it on Netflix. I was not prepared for how artsy it was. It was kind of slow at first but still had some cool visuals. About 20 minutes into it, my wife came in the room during a weird scene where a guy starts packing mud on his face. He then begins to claw and cut away at it while there is horror music in the background. This went on way too long and I felt really awkward trying to explain what I was watching. I ended up turning it off since my wife was giving me a look like I was watching some kind of Satanic ritual and for all I know I could have been. Anyway I was looking forward to a visual feast but it was short lived. I give it 6.9 stars.

Oz The Great and Powerful- I'm not a big fan of James Franco or really anyone else in the cast so I wasn't expecting much from this movie. How is that for a negative attitude? At least I'm honest. This movie is geared to a younger audience and my kids really enjoyed it. It is a prequel to the Wizard of Oz and I'll admit there were a few funny moments but I couldn't get over Zach Braff from Scrubs voicing a CG monkey. I really don't have much else to say about this. I give it 6.4 stars.

Jack the Giant Slayer- This movie was a little better than I expected. It is a story about Jack and the bean stock and tells how giants attacked the kingdom by climbing down the bean stalk. Stanley Tucci was the bad guy as usual. It was alright but I can't really even member how it ended. I'm pretty sure they lived happily ever after. I give it 6.6 stars.

The Lone Ranger- This movie had a ton of potential and I wanted to like it more than I did. There are many over the top stunts and cool effects but it still doesn't make up for it's shortcomings. It's kind of like Pirates of the Caribbean in the Desert. I gave it 6.9 stars.

Red 2- This movie was alright but I was wondering if there was really a need for a sequel. The cast was impressive and I like all of the actors but it was a little uneventful and still think I liked the first one more. It came off kind of empty. I give it 7.0 generous stars.

Pacific Rim- This movie was a mix between Transformers, Godzilla, and Rockem Sockem Robots. It is about aliens who attack earth by coming through a portal at the bottom of the ocean. In an attempt to combat these destructive monsters, the government builds giant robots that are operated by two pilots. It's even cooler than watching people ride tandem bikes. There was some cool stuff in this movie and I was impressed with how big the monsters and robots were. I give it 7.2 stars.

Gravity- Finally a movie the rocked! I was mesmerized by the special effects in this movie. It is just a two person show but is not boring like My Dinner With Andre. Gravity is a cool sci fi movie with plenty of suspense. There are several recurring themes of rebirth and renewal that occur as a result of the adversity Bullock goes through during the film. I really liked it. I give it 8.2 stars.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summary of 4 Big Summer Movies

I haven't written a review for a while and have gotten a little back logged so I decided to briefly rate some of the bigger summer movie titles.

The Wolverine- I enjoyed this more than several of the previous X-Men movies. It was nice to have a fresh location in Japan with a different culture and new characters. The atomic bomb flashback scene was pretty cool. Once again Hugh Jackman showed up out of shape for the role-NOT. I give it 7.4 stars.

Man of Steel- It was nice to see a fresh re-boot. Henry Cavill was really good in the role of Superman and also got into great shape for the role. I think Hollywood is setting too high of a bar for what a man's physique should look like. Maybe I need to watch more Woody Allen movies. Any way, I liked this move and I give it 7.7 stars.

World War Z- Finally a zombie movie where they move fast instead of slowly limping around. I have never really gotten into the zombie genre, but I thought this was well done and I really liked it. If you like seeing scenes of civilization being destroyed then you will probably like it. I gave it 7.9 stars.

Star Trek Into Darkness- I have enjoyed what J.J. Abrams has done with the last two Star Trek movies. Benedict Cumberbatch was a good villain. I thought this was one of the better movies of the summer and give it 8.0 stars.

All of these were pretty good and entertaining. Luckily I have not seen After Earth or The Lone Ranger, but if I had, I'll bet you would see some lower ratings.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Iron Man 3

As my life gets more hectic, my movie reviews are starting to resemble Tweets. Maybe some day I will see a movie that I like enough to do a real review for. In the mean time, I'd like to give my take on Iron Man 3. I know it's dumb to pick apart a comic book movie as if it were a historical drama but there were some inconsistencies I had a hard time ignoring.

The Good

Iron Man is not that great of a guy. Tony Stark is arrogant and rude and I'd probably hate him if he were a real life person but it's nice to see a hero who is not perfect and has to deal with his problems.

Ben Kingsly was great and I was not expecting the twist at the end involving his character.

The airplane scene where Iron Man had to rescue the falling crew was pretty cool.

Pepper Potts takes more action than we have seen in the past.

This movie had a great cast so what was bothered me? Here are a list of things.

The Bad

1) A villain that not only cured his acne and posture with genetic engineering, but he is able to turn into the heat miser and breathe fire.

2) There were too many super human soldiers and they would heat up to 3,000 degrees yet it didn't burn their clothes? (I have the same problem with Hulk's clothes returning to normal after he morphs back)

3) The cute little sidekick boy. No thanks.

4) If the Iron Man suit can withstand explosions and aliens, how come a kid can effortlessly break the fingers off like a piece of peanut brittle?

5) Too many Iron Man machines. One or two are cool but a fleet of them is over doing it.

I'm not one of those comic book fans who freaks out when liberties are taken with the Marvel characters so I didn't care about a lot of stuff that may have bothered others. I still give Iron Man 7.2 stars and I felt it was entertaining.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Impossible

I saw The Impossible well over a month ago but have been too busy to write a review until now. Let me just say it was a good movie and I am now even more terrified of tsunamis and water than I thought I was before. The cast, acting, and special effects were all great and the fact that the movie is a true story makes it even more impressive.

I still can't stress how much it would suck to die in a tsunami. I give The Impossible 7.8 stars.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life of Pi

I'm going to keep this short. There are several points I'd like to make about Life of Pi.

1) It is a good movie.
2) I can add it to my list of films that make me scared of the ocean.
3) CG technology has come a long way since Jumanji. I was impressed!
4) If I ever get a pet I might name it Richard Parker.
5) The ending had an interesting twist.
6) I can't tell you if it was better than the book because I never read the books.
7) Apparently Gerard Depardieu is still around.
8) I give it 7.9 stars.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


I recently saw Oblivion and really liked it. As much as many people claim to dislike Tom Cruise, I have yet to see a performance of his I was not impressed with and did not enjoy. The thing that really impressed me most about this movie was the special effects. The visuals in this film are amazing and for me that was enough to overlook other problems with the movie.

This is a science fiction movie about a man who's job is to repair drones that maintain giant water generators on earth after it has essentially been destroyed by aliens. Cruise and a partner live in a cushy futuristic home up in the sky and he drives a cool spaceship around all day in order to make sure the generators on earth that make life support for all the humans who have evacuated to another planet possible.

The story develops as he starts to have strange memories and questions his work. He later ends up saving a woman who he recognizes from dreams he has been having. This movie borrows many ideas and concepts from a bunch of other sci-fi movies, yet it still had an original feel to it. I really liked it and give it 7.9 stars despite what the harsh critics say.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Two Mediocre Movies

Frequently when I see a movie that wasn't so great I tend to put off writing a review for it. It's no fun doing a write up about a movie you didn't really enjoy. Several weeks ago I saw two movies and neither one impressed me. As a result I am going to do two short reviews on the same post. The culprit movies were One For The Money and Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed.

One For the Money was not nearly as bad as the 2% critic approval rating it got on Rotten Tomatoes, but it was still lacking. It felt more like I was watching an episode from a TV show that is soon to be cancelled about a lady bounty hunter more than it did an actual movie. I give it 5.8 stars.

Saints and Soldiers: Airbourne Creed is a sort of sequel. Actually, I'm not sure if it's really a sequel but it is not nearly as good as the original movie that came out 9 years ago. As much as I enjoy war movies and respect "the greatest generation", I could not get into this low budget film. It just felt flat and I could not figure out what point or message the movie was trying to make. I give it 6.2 stars.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Undefeated- My shortest review ever.

Undefeated is a documentary about an inner city high school football team from Tennessee with a prolific history of losing on the football field. This film documents their journey as a coach helps them turn things around and work together as a team and experience success.

I liked this movie because it is not your typical Hollywood sports drama. It is one of the better sports documentaries I have seen. I give it 7.5 stars. Enough said.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Snitch is a movie supposedly based on a true story about a teenager who is arrested for accepting a package full of drugs that his friend mailed to him. He is given a harsh sentence for a first time offender but the authorities are willing to cut him a deal in exchange for ratting out some drug dealers. Since this was his first exposure to the drug trade he doesn't know anyone and that is not a possibility.

His father who is played by  Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) ends up making a deal that if he can help lead them to the arrest of some drug dealers then they will reduce his son's sentence. He then gets an introduction to the local drug trade and begins using his trucking company to smuggle drugs, but he discovers being an informant has more long lasting consequences than he anticipated.

This movie is more drama than action and Johnson give s a convincing performance. Some people may be surprised by that, but they need to remember he is a veteran of WWE so acting should be second nature to him. What really impressed me about his performance was the fact that he was by far the most intimidating specimen in the entire movie, yet he did not rely on his size or strength at any point. He was just a regular guy who got scared and intimidated and was even naive when it came to street smarts. This is unlike the characters we've seen him portray in other movies where he is intimidating, cocky, and in control.

Snitch reminded me that I don't want to get involved using or selling drugs or double crossing those who do. I did't even recognize Benjamin Bratt as the cartel kingpin and was surprised when I saw his name during the ending credits. Susan Sarandon does a good job of conveying a selfish, career driven politician who is hard to like. Barry Pepper and Jon Bernthal also give good performances.

This movie was actually pretty short at only one hour and 35 minutes, but I really liked it. I give Snitch 7.4 stars.

Friday, March 1, 2013


Bernie is a movie based on a true story about an undertaker who is the most liked person in the community. He befriends the widow of a recently deceased business man. He gains her friendship and trust over time, but the more time they spend together, the more possessive and demanding she becomes. She pushes Bernie to his breaking point and he eventually kills her and hides that fact from the town for 9 months before he is caught.

The brief synopsis sounds much more morbid than the movie really is. Bernie is played by Jack Black who I think is a very versatile actor. I really enjoyed his performance and he does a great job portraying Bernie as the nicest man imaginable. Shirley McClain was also great with her portrayal of the old mean and nasty victim. Matthew McConaughey plays the prosecutor, but I didn't really care for him in this movie even though he fit the casting with the Texan accent. I was impressed that he kept his shirt on the whole film.

The extras in this movie were very entertaining. Much of the film is shot in documentary style and the brief interviews with the towns folk are quite funny. I was surprised to later learn that they were not actors but were are actual friends and acquaintances of Bernie.

I give Bernie 7.2 stars, but I really had a hard time trying to define this movie. It's not really a comedy since it is more amusing than funny, but it's not serious enough to be a tragedy either. At any rate, it's worth seeing for Jack Black's performance.

Monday, February 18, 2013

4 Movie Reviews!

Here Comes the Boom- This is a typical Kevin James comedy. It is about a high school biology teacher who gets involved in mixed martial arts as a way to make money to save his school's music program. It is far fetched but I thought there were some really funny parts. I enjoyed the first half more before the movie started to take itself too seriously. I give it 6.6 stars.

Warm Bodies- I saw this movie only knowing it was a zombie comedy. It is basically a remake of Romeo and Juliet but it involves a love story between a zombie and a live young woman he has feelings for. I really liked this movie. I try not to use the word cute, but it was a cute story and was a good combination of romance and comedy. I thought it was clever, entertaining, and had a good message. I give it 7.5 stars.

Bully-This is a documentary about the problem of bullying in schools. It  featured many victims and even some of the bullies. It is a sad problem that affects so many kids and I don't mean any disrespect to those heart breaking incidents that it featured, but I didn't think the documentary was done that well and it was kind of slow. I give it 6.3 stars.

Jack Reacher- This movie was much better than I expected. Tom Cruise is an ex- U.S. Army investigator who gets involved in an investigation for an ex- military sniper accused of going on a shooting rampage in Pennsylvania. Reacher is much like a modern day Sherlock Holmes. There is plenty of suspense and mystery as he pieces together details of the crime, but there is also plenty of action in this movie. I had a hard time taking Rosamund Pike seriously as the female lead but besides that, I really liked this movie which included a surprise acting role by Werner Herzog as a freaky villain. I think I would actually like seeing more episodes of Jack Reacher than I would of future Mission Impossible movies. I'd love to see it turn into a series. I give it 8.1 stars.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I am usually behind the times so it shouldn't surprise you that I am reviewing a movie that came out a couple years ago. When the recent events surrounding Manti Te'o and his mystery girlfriend came up in the news, I heard several people debating if it was possible to deceive someone in an online relationship to that extent. One of the people I heard talking about this simply said "Just rent the movie Catfish and you will see for yourself."

I had not heard of this movie before but those comments piqued my interest and I decided to rent it. Catfish is a documentary style film about a photographer in New York named Nev Schulman who receives a painting of one of his photographs. The gift was created by an 8 year old artist living in Michigan who really liked his work. Over time she continues to send him additional works and he develops a friendship over the phone and via Internet with her and her mother and sister. Over the course of several months Nev starts to develop more of a friendship with the older sister who is an attractive young woman shown to the right according to her Facebook account.


After some time Nev and his roommates begin to suspect something is not right with the relationship when they discover several inconsistencies with the mysterious girl's story. They end up travelling to Michigan while documenting the experience to find out what is going on.

When they arrive, the mother of the young artist is very surprised to see them and eventually introduces them to her 8 year old daughter who they soon determine is not an artist at all. After several hours and multiple excuses of not being able to get them in touch with the daughter Nev has developed a relationship with, they realize that she does not exist.

The mother who is a woman in her 40's pictured to the left was the actual artist and had been sending him her artwork and pretending it was from her young daughter. She also created the imaginary older sister and had developed a relationship with Nev and had set up a string of fake accounts on Facebook to support her complicated story.

This movie was very interesting but I was as suspicious of the film makers as they were of their catfish. What are the odds that they just happened to be filming a documentary about their friend just as this happened? At any rate, it was an interesting show and it makes you think twice about trusting online friends you have never met in person. I give Catfish 7.2 stars.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

I'm going to be honest. I rented Salmon Fishing in the Yemen last week and I have not been able to get myself to watch it. I heard it was pretty good and I like Ewen McGregor and Emily Blunt, but I just didn't have the energy to give it a chance. I think the word "fishing" turned me off. I finally gave up and returned it to Netflix. That is only the second time in my life I have rented a video and not watched it.

Since I wimped out and can't give you a review, I guess I will just share this picture from the movie and tell you it was probably a very nice film...especially this scene which shows the stars of the movie sitting on a dock. Anyway, IMDB gave it 6.8 stars and I imagine it it pretty good but I just don't have the desire to confirm my suspicion.

Yours Truly,

Lazy movie reviewer guy

PS- Check back in later this week and I may review a movie that I actually watched.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Two For One Movie Reviews

This week I saw a couple movies and since I don't have the energy to write lengthy reviews, I am going to combine them into one extra lazy post. Both of these movies were not high on my priority list to watch so I waited for them to come out on DVD fist.

The first movie was Midnight in Paris which was directed by Woody Allen. It's about a writer played by Owen Wilson who is on vacation in Paris with his fiance and her family. During their visit he has some strange encounters each night at Midnight as he is transported back to the 1920's and is able to hang out with artists like Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Elliot, Dali, Picasso, and others.

It was a fun idea but the film sort of lost my attention as time went on. If you are a fan of the 20's and enjoy the concept of  being able to interact with famous historic figures from another era, then you would probably get a kick out of it. Owen Wilson had a good performance in it and was able to avoid the usual surfer dude role he often plays. Rachel McAdams was also in a different role than usual. Her character was so unlikable that it was hard to believe they would ever be engaged to each other . I give Midnight in Paris 7.0 stars for being a pleasant movie.

Crazy Stupid Love was the other movie I saw. It had a great cast of Steve Carell, Julia Moore, Kevin Bacon, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Marissa Tomei. It is about a man (Carrell) who is dumped by his wife for another man. He moves out and meets a womanizer (Gosling) who mentors him and teaches him how to change his image and pick up women. It also featured several side stories about love and various relationships and is woven together so all of the characters end up having inter-related relationships that take place throughout the movie.

I thought this movie was pretty entertaining but due to the subject matter there are plenty of sexual references so I wouldn't classify it as a family film unless your idea of a family film is sitting next to your parents and feeling very uncomfortable during the movie. Crazy Stupid Love addresses the concepts of love, jealousy, rejection, and forgiveness. It has several funny parts that made me laugh and overall had a good message. I give it 7.7 stars.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Help

I recently watched The Help on DVD and really liked it. It takes place during the civil rights movement and is about a young white journalist who decides to write a book which gives an account of the many black women who worked as maids in the South in the 60's.

At first many of these women were reluctant to share their experiences for fear potential backlash if their employers and others in the community found out who they were and what they had said about the families they worked for. Eventually they get to a tipping point where many of them were willing to come forward and have the courage to share their experiences so the book could be published.

I thought all of the performances were good, but Bryce Dallas Howard really did a good job of being an insensitive, racist, and shallow Southern belle. I watched this movie with some of my kids and they were in total disbelief that people treated each other that way and they asked me if segregation was real. I told them it was not only real, but the events in the film took place only 45 years ago.

One thing I liked about this movie is that it didn't paint all white people as being villains, nor did it make one or two good white people saviors to the black community. The film also focuses on a white woman who is not accepted by her upper class peers and shows how she experienced much of the same rejection and belittlement by those who felt they were superior to her.

I give The Help 7.9 stars. Some people might feel it is a sugar coated Disney movie since it is not as dark and gritty as many civil rights movies, but I think it was still quite good. It deals with a serious topic but there are several light hearted moments so it wasn't too intense and it was also less of a chick flick than I expected it to be!
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