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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2
Animated (Family)
Rated: PG
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Steve Coogan, Ken Jeong, Russell Brand, Benjamin Bratt,
Directed By: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Rating: 8 out of 10

A retired evil genius is recruited to try and track down a weapon that could destroy the world.

Ummm, Was Gru a 50 year old virgin going into this film?

 Gru has retired from the world of evil and is enjoying his new life as a dad. That is all about to change as he is employed by the Anti-Villain league to try and track down a stolen and highly classified weapon.

I can tell you that this will not be one of my more popular reviews. So here goes…Firstly, I think I might be the rare person who liked this movie more than the first one. Secondly, I find the Minions super annoying. They are not funny, they are not cute, and they are over used. I will now direct you to the comments section below for your rebuttals on those two topics. Unlike the first film, Despicable Me 2 starts off great and never really falters. The cantankerous but lovable Gru, settles into his new life as a doting father and respectable community member.  He has retired from the life of crime and loves his 3 adopted daughters as if they were his own. He was great at doing evil but he is simply a master at being a dad. Unfortunately, the world of evil does not stop just because Gru did, and that is where we find ourselves with this film. A top secret weapon has been stolen and the world is in danger from a new master criminal. Gru is recruited by the powers of good to try and find this weapon before it is used against the world’s populace. The first half of the film is chalk full of entertainment and laughs. Gru has to work with a partner (Lucy) to try and track down the classified weapon. They bumble their way through elaborate traps, harrowing situations, and one angry chicken all in the attempt to complete their mission. Space age weapons and special fighting techniques will keep the viewer captivated as their professional partnership possibly grows into something more than just work.

 Steve Carell again supplies the voice for Gru, and he is simply perfect. The accent, tone, and inflection, gets the most from every sentence and every joke. The film would not be as great as it is without the sarcastic and dark presence of this awesome character. Sure there are other noticeable voices (Wiig, Brand, Coogan) but without Gru (Carell,) this movie would not be as great as it was.

As the film carries on it just gets more enjoyable. Minions start to go missing, clues lead to dead ends, and close brushes with death are always around the corner for Gru and Lucy. When Gru isn’t working, he finds himself playing dress up with his daughters, listening to their presentations for school, and going on awkward blind dates. He is as socially awkward as they come as he explores new situations in parenting and with his own love life. But most importantly Gru and Lucy are on the clock to try and save the world from an evil scheme. Will they do it? Watch to find out. In Conclusion, this film hits that perfect balance for both adults and kids. The adults will appreciate the clever humor (bad puns included,) fight scenes, cool gadgets, and awesome animation. The kids will enjoy the funny and cute characters (yes Minions included), the action, and when butts get mentioned. The negatives are mostly stemming from the Minions. I find they are used entirely too much and it detracts from the overall cleverness of this film. I also found the main villain to be a little too cheesy for my tastes.

Directors Chris Coffin and Pierre Renaud team up again for the sequel and knock it out of the park. They humanize Gru and while this easily could have failed, it worked on every level for me. The animation is fantastic as always, and Gru’s struggles to be a dad, to be socially acceptable, and to work for the good guys, is just as fun a watch as when he was evil. The film never drags as there are always high tech gadgets, great one liners, and an atmosphere of fun as the film goes on. It has all the explosiveness of the first film but is more polished.

I give this movie a huge recommendation but especially to people who liked the first film.

T Factor + If you like animated films then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you didn’t like Gru in the first film then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Wall-E, The Incredibles. 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Movie 43

Movie 43
Rated: R
Running Time: 94 minutes
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, Common, Will Sasso, Seth McFarlane, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Live Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Anna Farris, Chris Pratt, J.B. Smoove, Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Jack McBrayer, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Bobby Cannavale, Aasif Mandvi, Kristen Bell, Leslie Bibb, Katrina Bowden, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Grace Moretz, Patrick Warburton, Gerard Butler, Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Halle Berry, Stephan Merchant, Terrence Howard, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel,  
Directed By: Multiple
Rating: 0 out of 10
A movie producer pitches a host of ideas to a big wig executive in a last ditch effort to save his career.

My 97 year old grandmother is slightly racist and has partial dementia, and she says things that I would consider funnier and less awkward than what happens in this film. Movie 43 is the story of a down on his luck Hollywood producer. He is pitching a series of movie ideas to a Hollywood executive in the hopes of resurrecting his stalled career.

I was looking forward to watching this film for a long time. The trailer for this movie is arguably the funniest trailer that I have ever seen. You should just YouTube that trailer now, and save yourself from the self inflicted gunshot wound that is this movie. The film starts out and we are introduced to a disheveled looking producer, peddling his grade 2 movie ideas. He is clearly deranged from the first movie pitch. Seeing Hugh Jackman with a pair of testicles on his throat is all you need to know about the quality of humor. The film is just is an odd assortment of the lowest form of humor ever conceived. Not only is the script trolling the bottom of a dirty toilet for its jokes. It relentlessly beats the viewer over the head with them. A girl gets her period for the first time, so let’s make unfunny jokes about it for the next ten minutes. A guy is strangely home schooled by his overbearing parents, so let’s make awkward incest jokes about it for the next ten minutes. A naked female music player mangles guy’s junks, so let’s make inane sexual jokes about it for the next ten minutes. And so on and so on. It is not the crass humor that bothers me. It is more the lack of subtly in its presentation.

Look at this cast and tell me how this could have gone so wrong? I am not going to fault any of the actors/actresses that show up in this movie. They are clearly attempting to appeal to new audiences by trying a genre that is outside of their normal comfort level. Unfortunately, this movie is so bad they will all look back at this with some modicum of regret. Most actors/actresses lament their earlier work as they are just looking for a paying gig. Anyone involved with project can now look back and say without a shadow of a doubt that this is the worst thing on their resume.

As the film carries on it is obvious that it has no clear direction. It just bounces from one abysmal movie pitch to the next. It is an insult to the viewer that they have to sit through so many terrible scenes. I could talk all day about how bad this film is but I will leave you with this thought. I would rather get another kidney stone. I would rather watch Nicolas Cage do Shakespeare. I would rather watch Lizz Winstead do standup comedy. I would rather my nephew break my favorite Star Wars Figure than have to watch this movie again. Toilet humor can work if done right, but this material clogged the toilet.

 As for the directors, it is like all of them got together, smoked peyote, and then asked Andy Dick to write a film for them. Then they filmed it.

I obviously cannot recommend this movie. It is easily one of the worst of 2013.

T Factor + None

T Factor – None

If you liked this film reel recommendations: Scary Movie 3-5, Date Movie.

The World's End

The World’s End
Comedy (Alien, Action, Sci-Fi)
Rating: R
Running Time: 109 minutes
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Pierce Brosnan, David Bradley, Rosamund Pike
Directed By: Edgar Wright
Rating: 5 out of 10
A group of guy out on a pub crawl must save the world from an unknown invader.

12 pints at 12 pubs…..Kiefer Sutherland and I call that Sunday brunch! The World’s End is the story of 5 college friends that have grown apart. 20 years have passed, and they have reunited to try and finish a legendary pub crawl which they had attempted in their youth. 1 pint at 12 different pubs is the goal, but in the process they become humanities unlikeliest chance at survival.

It is too bad they couldn’t have taken the first half of this movie and then put it together with the end of Hot Fuzz. That would have been a truly funny film. Alas, we have a film that starts off great and then spirals out of control about midway through. The opening scene introduces us to the 5 college friends attempting the epic pub crawl. It is a valiant effort but it just wasn’t meant to be. Fast forward 20 years, and the group has grown up and grown apart, except for Gary King. Gary is a man drifting through life, and is stuck in the memories of his happiest moments (which are at college with his buddies.) He decides to round up his old buddies, and head back to the little college town to retry the epic pub crawl. The only problem is that his friends are career men now, with wives and families. There is humor to be found as Gary gets the old crew together. Gary sweet talks, bribes, intimidates, and ultimately bullies his friends into completing this drinking quest. Seeing these unassuming men, being led by a homeless looking Peter Pan is hilarious. Many laughs are to be had as they travel down memory lane together. Gary has the same car, same music, same stories, and same lack of ambition. He is going to complete this pub crawl at all costs though, and nothing on this Earth is going to stop him….

Gary King is played by the always hilarious Simon Pegg. With his black garb and greasy black hair, Pegg guides this sociopathic character into some truly hilarious situations. I have heard grumblings that people hated Pegg in this role, but I think he was awesome and carried the film almost single handedly at times. He is fast talking and charming in an immature type of way. His friends are played by Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan. These four all add something to the film but are mostly supporting Pegg as he goes off on one of his many epic tirades.

As the film progresses and the 5 friends bounce from pub to pub, something curious starts to happen. The townsfolk’s stares seem to linger a little too long. The townsfolk conversations seem to be just a little too quiet. And the townsfolk seem to pay a little too much attention to what the 5 friends are doing. What should be a night of crazy drinking becomes one of survival instead. You see, the townsfolk are not what they seem and are not going to let the friends leave. For the second half of the film, the 5 friends must brawl their way from pub to pub. They kick and punch, and they run and they drink. They kick and punch, and they run and they drink. They kick and punch, and they run and they drink. They kick and punch, and they run and they drink. It gets so repetitive that it is hard to sit through. The fight scenes are actually pretty great and comical in this, but they rely on it too much for the laughs. As the film comes to an end, it is clear that the writers (Pegg and Wright) had no way to finish it and just said frak it. So not only is the ending intolerable, it is also stupidly unfunny. In conclusion, this film is much like a crazy drinking binge. You are energetic and happy at the beginning. In the middle you are laughing, giddy, and wondering where you will end up next. And the ending is a jumble of half remembered images and regrets that you should have quit while you were on top. This is an entertaining and yet disappointing way to end the Cornetto trilogy. Will the 5 guys survive and save the world from an otherworldly menace? Watch and find out.

Director Edgar Wright knows his audience. Therefore, I really cannot critique him for this movie. His fans will ultimately love this movie as he uses lots of references from his other films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) He also gets top marks for the fight scenes as they are very well done. They are high impact as well as humorous, which is hard to do. Ultimately, I would have liked a more consistent and original finished product from him though.

I cannot give this movie a recommendation. Although The Worlds End is the final destination for this franchise, my heart will always remain in the Winchester!

T Factor + If you like the comedic duo of Frost and Pegg then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you are looking for the earlier comedic magic that is captured in Shaun of the Dead then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Watch, This is the End.