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Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

the odd life of timothy greenA childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears. (IMDb)

It’s no secret I like family movies. I cried watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 like three days ago. So I was willing to give this one a shot…wah wah. I don’t really know what Disney was thinking. The script and the story came off like a first or second draft, rather than a completed story. The basis is cute and heart-warming, it’s the execution that doesn’t work. There are a few touching moments, but for every one of those, there’s like three where I rolled my eyes. Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner give it a valiant effort, but everything about this is just so sappy and Hallmark card-esque that it could never come off as genuine. Skip this one.

2.5/10

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Awakening

the awakeningA haunted boarding school calls on Florence Cathcart, who disproves hoaxes for a living. But the strange place leads Cathcart to question rationality. (Netflix)

Here’s the thing. I don’t like scary movies. Just not a fan of things jumping out at me. But I was willing to give this one a shot because of the actors in it. Basically, I saw Imelda Staunton’s name and thought it had to be more than a normal horror movie if she signed on to do it. I also have liked Rebecca Hall and Dominic West in the past, and it was on Netflix so I decided to suck it up. And I actually enjoyed it. It was more of a psychological thriller than a “things jump out at you” horror movie. It does get muddy in the middle and I had no idea what everything was adding up to. But, the big reveal was actually kind of impressive. It came out of left field, but it did make everything add up. The mini plot twist after it wasn’t really needed/could have been done a little better though. I wasn’t disappointed by the acting, which I suspected. Rebecca Hall carried this well. Florence is a really interesting. A modern woman born in the wrong time, but there’s something dark and twisty about her too. I really liked her. Imelda Staunton was of course great as the matron of the boarding school. Also turning in a nice performance was Isaac Hempstead Wright (also known as Bran for you GoT fans) as one of the boys at the school. There’s also some great cinematography stuff happening. Really liked the color tone shift between the present and the flashback. So yeah, the middle is rough, but if you can make it to the end of this, you won’t be disappointed.

7/10

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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How to Train Your Dragon 2

MV5BMzMwMTAwODczN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDk2NDA4MTE@__V1_SX214_AL_When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. (IMDb)

The first one was such a pleasant surprise, I had to see the second one. And it didn’t disappoint. It’s every bit as fun, adorable, and a little heart wrenching as the first one, maybe even more so. I really liked that it took place a couple of years (five I think) after the first one. You got to see how these characters have grown and also how the whole world has changed since we last saw them, The animation is absolutely gorgeous, and extremely detailed. Especially with the dragons. They don’t speak, but they are every much a character as the humans. They’re so expressive, which is why we like them so much. They also provide some of the funnier moments of the movie. What this one did well was balance that light-heartedness with some more emotional moments. I teared up, I’ll admit it. And I’m pretty sure some of the friends I saw it with did too. Overall, I thought this was great, and if the rumors of a trilogy are true, I would totally be in on seeing it.

8/10

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Celeste & Jesse Forever

celeste and jesse foreverA divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people. (IMDb)

This was actually pretty solid. It tries to do something a little different with the rom-com genre and succeeds for the most part. That’s helped mostly by the leads, Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg. They both turned in some really nice performances and had an easy chemistry. You could see why these two fell in love, and also why they fell apart. I also liked the acting because it was something different out of these two. Jones can do more than sweet Ann Perkins and Samberg can do more than goofy SNL skits, and this was a perfect example of this. The writing is smart and also quite funny at the same, there are some really great moments. Chris Messina’s character seemed a little extra to me. Like they wanted Jones’ character to have a subplot, so they threw him in. I didn’t dislike him, I just either wanted more, or none at all. This movie is nothing revolutionary, but the writing and acting kept me engaged the entire time.

8/10

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Take This Waltz

take this waltzA happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street. (IMDb)

So, the best word to describe how I feel about this movie is distant. I was watching it, and I was thinking to myself. “Michelle Williams is a great actress” “Oh, that was a cool shot” “Seth Rogen is doing a really nice job”. etc. I thought these things, but what I was missing was really caring about the story. I just kind of passively sat through this, only being really intrigued by a couple of really interesting scenes/moments. The acting is really good, it was nice seeing a softer side of Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman was also really good, and Michelle Williiams never turns in a bad performance. But I will say, I didn’t quite get the character. She is very naive and immature, which I found vaguely annoying. So, kudos to Williams for portraying that character well, I just didn’t care for her though. All that being said, there is some interesting stuff going on here, from a writing perspective and a camera perspective, so I would be interested to see what else writer/director Sarah Polley has. But for me, this was just ok.

5/10

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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People Like Us

people like usWhile settling his recently deceased father’s estate, a salesman discovers he has a sister whom he never knew about, leading both siblings to re-examine their perceptions about family and life choices. (IMDb)

The thing that impressed me about this one was how a-typical the story was. It was refreshing to watch a movie dealing with family first, and romance as a subplot, almost an afterthought. The problem though is that this is way too long and slowly paced. There were multiple things that could have been cut. However, what kept me watching was the acting. I think it’s some of the best work I’ve seen Elizabeth Banks do. Michelle Pfeiffer was also a powerhouse as the widow. Throw in Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde throwing in strong performances as well (even with Wilde only being in a fraction of the movie) and it kept me watching all the way until the end. Which speaking of the ending, was so gratifying I actually teared up. So, even though it takes a bit to get through, I thought it was worth it.

6/10

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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22 Jump Street

22 jump streetAfter making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college. (IMDb)

I enjoy a good bro-comedy. Especially Apatow. But I will admit, when the first one came out, I was skeptical. But when I finally watched it, I was pleasantly surprised with how funny it was. But when I heard about the sequel, I was again skeptical. But, turns out I was laughing my ass off for almost the entire movie. Exactly like the first time. But here’s the thing. It was a really funny script on its own, but what really set it apart was how self-aware it was. The whole scene in Nick Offerman’s office is absolute genius. Along with other fun one-liners like “look at the Captain’s office, it looks like a cube of ice” (about Ice Cube’s character’s office). These are two of my favorite roles I’ve seen Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in, and it was fun to see them in them again. It does take a good 20 minutes to really get into the plot, and not every single joke is a winner, but I was laughing solidly throughout, an accomplishment for any sequel.

7.5/10

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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