Tag Archives: 2014 movie review

Annie (2014) movie review

This movie provided exactly what the trailer promised. If you watch the trailer and like it, then you’ll probably enjoy the movie. The acting: great, cinematography: great, story & plot: great. My favorite part were some fantastic one-liners.

A few things to keep in mind though. It is two hours long. And that’s pretty long for a musical. Yup, there is lots of singing. It is done well and in an entertaining manner but if you don’t like musicals, skip it. (it reminded me of Disney movies, but slightly more broadway-ish)

If you like Jamie Foxx, you’ll be delighted with the movie. He gives what I’d call, “his smoldering look” quite often in the movie.

Second, yes, it is very G rated, and appropriate for kids of all ages, in the fact that there is no inappropriate material in it. But again, weigh in the two hours (plus trailers) before you drag your kids to it. There were A LOT of parents having to get up and take their kids to the bathroom during the movie.

I imagine this movie doing great once its out on DVD. Your kids can watch it, sing along with the songs, and take all the breaks they need.

So my advice, skip it in the theaters and buy it on DVD.

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The Judge, movie review

I was on the fence with this movie and then I overheard some coworkers saying it was good, like really laying on the “you should see it”. And then another person told me they were anxious to see it. So I was like, eh, it looks like a nice heartwarming film. Maybe something like “Nebraska” or “God is for Real.” (Both were excellent)

When I walked into the theater, I already knew something was awry. The people present were all Robert Downey Jr age or older. I mean, there were people with oxygen masks and wheelchairs. Already, I knew I was not the target audience. But eh, that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy it, right?

Try as I might, I could not connect to a single character. The plot does throw a few “surprises at you” but they are all clique, been done, seen it in other movies. An example, and spoiler, (sorry but it must be done to get my point across). Main character makes out with a cute chick in a bar. Later we find out she’s the daughter of his high school girlfriend. (shocker, but been done, right?) Then they draw it out for the whole movie, not saying if it’s his kid or not. When they finally tell us the answer, it’s another clique, that’s all I’m gonna say.

Another clique example, brother of the main character (Downey) had a future ahead of him as a pro athlete. Drunk driving accident ruins his career, guess who was driving? Downey. The third brother had down syndrome and it never played a role in the plot. I think they put him in there just to add some more emotion. It could have worked, if they’d given him more of a purpose.

The actors tried. But none of the actors were a good fit for the movie. I seriously think the movie would have been better with lessor known actors. The all-star cast just made it worse. Cause you knew—you just knew—they could do better.

This movie, I say, avoid at all costs. Unless you are just a huge fan of Robert Downey Jr or Robert Duvall. Cause they do get plenty of screen time and you’ll get to stare at them a lot. There is a nude scene with Duvall, if that rocks your boat. And Downey flashes his “too-perfect for this role” abs.

Nah, I digress, this movie could be good. But I’d suggest it only if you are Downey’s age or older. You will then be able to relate to the characters more. If you are thirty or younger… wait a few decades.


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, movie review

I hadn’t seen a good comedy in a while, so figured I’d give this movie a go. The trailers made it look decent.

It delivers what the trailer promises. There are more jokes involved than what are shown in the trailers. So that’s good news. There is a plot, a simple one, but its there. And it will actually leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling.

It’s a good flick to take the kids too. There are a lot of hidden messages and morals, hidden in the story. And well, they aren’t hidden that well, so your kids are bound to “get the message” and enjoy quite a few laughs at the same time.

The acting is kind of lacking… but eh, it’s a comedy. Take the kids and go get a laugh. If you’re an adult… you may not enjoy it as much. I alter my expectations depending on the genre of movie, so for what this was sold to me as, it met. I enjoyed it.


Maze Runner, movie review

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. I remember some classic movies where people are abducted and put into a maze or puzzle and they must figure out how to escape. You know, like the Saw movies but with a real plot and not all the gore. That’s what I was expecting when I went to see Maze Runner.

As I started watching it, I realized it was more “Lord of the Flies” than it was a cool maze. The idea is these kids are being put there and they were supposed to be trying to leave, but instead one kid got it in his head that they should stay. So they all stayed. For three years they stayed. So then a kid who helped design the maze is put in, to help them get out. I’m thinking, that makes sense, I would get upset too if the people weren’t playing the game.

It only takes the new arrival three days and he gets the kids out. Yup, that’s right, they get out of the maze. Now here is where this goes from a good movie, to a bad. All in the last fifteen minutes.

All they needed to do was END it. Give me the bad guy, give me a nice simple reason as for why they were being put in the maze. And I would be happy.

But no. The movie twists, warps and decides it wants to be like Divergent and Hunger Games. Let’s go all geo-political and draw this plot out for three books and four movies. The kids get out, only to find that that was only step one in the massive puzzle of “tests” they must endure.

I’m like, WTF? It took those kids THREE YEARS to get out of the maze. Is this like a competition to win a 401K retirement plan? Cause the rate this is going, that’s what these kids will want by the time they finish.

Maybe I’m just sick and tired of dystopian movies involving putting kids in harm’s way. This was too much like Hunger Games, Divergent and the Giver. See it if you want, but be forewarned, the ending is crummy–in more ways than I already told you.


If I stay, movie review

When I saw the movie trailer for “If I stay” it was a must see. I was thinking more, ghost trapped unable to go back in her body, and less, flash blacks. But it still turned out okay. So yes, the movie is one giant puzzle of flashbacks.

You have an emotional event –boom– car crash. Then flashback, then emotional event in the present, flashback, and so forth. And each flashback is usually a heavy hitter on the emotions too. So basically, you will be crying the entire movie. Happy stuff, sad stuff, triumphs, tragedy, for some reason it all makes you want to cry.

The acting is what really makes this movie. The actors are all very relatable. If they are happy, you feel happy, if they are sad, you are sad. It’s amazing. And from what my amateur eye could tell, they found real musicians to play the roles. To me, that’s even more impressive: great actors who can do more than just act.

The ending of the movie is a bit, abrupt. And from what little I read, the book is much the same. If you are looking for good tearjerker of a movie, then this is the one for you.


The Giver, movie review

The trailer for this movie left me guessing as to what it’s about. But I took a gamble and saw it. It was a good gamble.

The movie had a very strong meaning behind it. A society has removed all emotions from its occupants in an effort to keep the peace. One person is allowed to remember the past, basically how life is for all of us, so that the current society can draw on that experience. Well, as with any society, there is a rebellion.

My only problem with this movie is… I was given several facts that I just had to accept as fact. I wasn’t given the explanation as to how it worked. Like there’s this dome force field thing, and when “the giver” walks through it, suddenly everyone inherits his memories. I think, that’s how I interpreted it at least. I really felt like I needed to go read the book in order to fully grasp the concept. Too much was left out in the adaptation. At least, I hope the book explains everything better.

So the movie is okay, but if you haven’t read the book, expect to be a bit confused at the ending. And again, I’m assuming the book will explain everything, I haven’t read it.


Lucy (2014) movie review

The trailer for Lucy made it look like the action packed hit movie for the summer! With an all-star cast, Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, I had high expectations.

The beginning of the movie did not disappoint. The scene cut from current events, Lucy getting tangled up in a drug deal, to videos of a cheetah hunting, effectively showing us in a graphic manner the emotions Lucy was likely feeling. I liked the concept behind the story telling. This visual manner of displaying emotions continued throughout the movie, but to a lesser degree than in the beginning.

I liked how everything was set up. But as they kept piling the powers on, and giving Lucy more and more. Well the story writers encountered a problem. Where do we go from here? We weren’t given a clear explanation as to the limits of her gifts. So it became unbelievable that this little gang of drug lords was really a threat to her.

And once I conflicted with the logic of the movie. The writers lost my interest completely. Lucy appeared fully capable of handling any situation. Yet, she would tell her human allies to go deal with gun fights for her. Really? And what would happen, they would all die. She did this repeatedly. Maybe at that point she was so advanced that she had no regard for human life. In which case, good job writers, you made me hate the main character. I don’t think that was their point, but that’s what they did.

Want an example? In a car chase, the cop riding with her said, “I’m going to tell them to stop following us.” (It was his fellow cops chasing them.) And Lucy told him don’t bother. Why? Cause she did some fancy driving, and got a good portion of them killed in car accidents. Oh, okay, you’re right, it’s easier to just kill all my cop friends, rather than me give them a call.

The movie isn’t bad. Go see it if you like. But the ending is a mess. So, er, feel free to leave early or take a nap after the first forty minutes.