Sunday, May 27, 2018

Movie review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

OK let me begin by saying I flat out loved the new Han Solo movie. Alden Ehrenreich did not try to be like Harrison Ford. Instead he delivered his own unique performance, more aptly described as an INTERPRETATION of the character, and he pulled it off with flying colors. The movie was very different from other Star Wars movies, and I found that refreshing. It was very unpretentious, and sincere. They brought some new characters to life in the form of Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke playing Han Solo's love interest), and Beckett (Woody Harrelson, playing Han Solo's partner in crime). Nobody was trying to upstage or mimic Harrison Ford, they simply made a great movie with a dynamic character who just happened to be the younger incarnation of Han Solo. They start with Han's beginnings as an ordinary street criminal working for a mob boss in exchange for protection, and how he became a pilot, and then the movie focuses on Han's first big-time heist. But the best part of this movie by far was when L3-37 and Chewbacca decide to liberate all the slave droids and slave wookies in the base they are stealing from, it is a triumphant moment for the droids and wookies, and this scene is just incredibly inspiring and joyful. I don't want to give too much of the movie away, but I will say, there is plenty of action, but no over-reliance on special effects though the effects are good. I feel this movie does the Star Wars name justice while carving out its own path.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Top 20 Albums & Top 20 Songs of 2017

Top 20 Albums
#20 Jennifer Paige - Starflower
#19 Bush - Black & White Rainbows
#18 Sass Jordan - Racine Revisited
#17 John Mellencamp & Carlene Carter - Sad Clowns & Hillbillies
#16 Howling Sludge - Howling Sludge
#15 The Hoosiers - Acoustic Songs In A Church
$14 Galantis - The Aviary
#13 Roddy Woomble - The Deluder
#12 Depeche Mode - Spirit
#11 Sting - 57th & 9th
#10 Jake Bugg - Hearts That Strain
#9 Ted Leo - The Hanged Man
#8 The Hoosiers - Live In London
#7 The Dreaming - From The Ashes
#6 The Anix - Ephemeral
#5 Josh Ritter - Gathering
#4 The Cribs - 24/7 Rock Star Shit
#3 Liam Gallagher - As You Were
#2 Idlewild - Live in 2015
#1 Old 97's - Graveyard Whistling

Top 20 Songs
#20 Blondie - Fun
#19 Kristine W - Stars
#18 The Dreaming - Empty Promises (Remix)
#17 Pauline Henry - Heaven 2017
#16 Old 97's - Good With God
#15 Depeche Mode - Where's The Revolution
#14 Galantis - Hunter
#13 Galantis - Love On Me
#12 Liam Gallagher - For What It's Worth
#11 Old 97's - Nobody
#10 Idlewild - You Held The World In Your Arms (Live)
#9 The Anix - Sideways
#8 The Cribs - In Your Palace
#7 Enrique Iglesias - Subeme La Radio
#6 The Hoosiers - Make Or Break (Live)
#5 Nicki French - Teardrops On The Disco Floor
#4 Rozalla - Shadows Of The Moon
#3 Idlewild - Roseability (Live)
#2 Old 97's - Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls
#1 Kym Sims - Turn It Up

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Out now on DVD: Two Lovers And A Bear

This movie is already one of my favourite movies of all time. "Two Lovers And A Bear" stars Dane Dehaan as Roman, and Tatiana Maslany as Lucy. After the death of her abusive father, Lucy begins to see visions of her father wherever she goes, so she decides she wants to leave town. Her boyfriend, Roman reluctantly agrees to leave with her and the two embark on an adventurous and romantic snowmobile journey from Canada to the United States. One thing to note about Roman: He can talk to bears. Along their journey, Roman and Lucy encounter all sorts of obstacles such as snow collapsing beneath Roman's vehicle, a major storm that forces them to seek shelter, and Roman must also help Lucy recover from her continued hallucinations of her dead father. There is some humor mixed into this film, most notably when Roman starts talking to the bear her befriended back home. The movie has a great balance between the romantic element, action, and humor, and there is ample attention paid to character development so you find yourself immersed in the film and caring about the characters. I don't want to give away too much about the movie but to sum it all up... this is movie about two lovers who are essentially rescuing each other, in different ways. If you like high-quality indie films with top notch talent, you will love this movie. It is now out on digital and DVD. You can get the DVD on Amazon or Best Buy's website, and most online movie places including Amazon have the digital version of the film as well.

Monday, January 2, 2017

My Top 20 Albums & Top 20 Songs of 2016

Top 20 Albums
#20 Placebo - Life's What You Make It EP
#19 Skunk Anansie - Anarchytecture
#18 Sting - 57th & 9th
#17 Dolly Parton - Pure & Simple
#16 Justin Bieber - Purpose
#15 The Corrs - White Light
#14 Marcella Detroit - Gray Matterz
#13 Andy Lawrence - Kings March EP
#12 Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman
#11 Sia - This Is Acting
#10 Skin & Nicole Moudaber - Breed
#9 Izzy Bizu - A Moment Of Madness
#8 Nathan Sykes - Unfinished Business
#7 The Used - Live & Acoustic At The Palace
#6 Walk The Moon - You Are Not Alone (Like At The Greek)
#5 Placebo - MTV Unplugged
#4 Rick Astley - 50
#3 Galantis - Pharmacy
#2 Tiffany - A Million Miles
#1 Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor

Top 20 Songs
#20 Panic! At The Disco - Victorious
#19 Sting - I Can't Stop Thinking About You
#18 Florence & The Machine - Stand By Me
#17 Panic! At The Disco - The Good The Bad & The Dirty
#16 Skin & Nicole Moudaber - Don't Talk To Me I'm Dancin
#15 Rick Astley - Keep Singing
#14 Andy Lawrence - Kings March
#13 Izzy Bizu & Honne - Someone That Loves You
#12 Nathan Sykes - Over And Over Again
#11 Justin Timberlake - Can't Stop The Feeling
#10 The Chainsmokers with Daya - Don't Let Me Down
#9 Ariana Grande - Into You
#8 Sia - Cheap Thrills
#7 Galantis - Runaway (U & I)
#6 Tiffany - Right Here
#5 Panic! At The Disco - Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time
#4 Galantis with Cathy Dennis - Louder Harder Better
#3 Tiffany - Fall Again
#2 Panic! At The Disco - House Of Memories
#1 Panic! At The Disco - Crazy = Genius

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Movie Review: "Indignation"

Recently I saw an amazing movie called "Indignation" starring Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts. The movie was directed by James Schamus and based on the novel of the same name by Philip Roth. The movie is about a boy named Marcus (played by Logan Lerman), the son of a butcher, who enrolls in college to avoid being drafted into the Korean War. Much of the movie centers around Marcus' relationship with a fellow student, a girl named Olivia (played by Sarah Gadon), a relationship in which Marcus begins to explore his sexuality while also discovering all the complex feelings and emotions that come along with meeting your first love. Along with this, Marcus must also wrestle with the demands of meeting his parent's expectations and maintaining his relationships with them as well, which becomes even more difficult when Marcus is faced with the task of holding his family together. But the most compelling part of the movie is the point in the film when the Dean of the college, Dean Caudwell (played by Tracy Letts) summons Marcus into his office and begins to question Marcus' social life and sense of morality, primarily on account of Marcus' atheism, and Marcus must defend himself and his goodness as a human being as well as his right to believe what he wants to believe. This provides the most dramatic scene in the entire movie, but the movie as a whole is filled with engaging drama, along with some very sexual scenes as well. I don't want to give too much of the movie away, so I will at this point merely say this is definitely the must-see movie of the year. The movie was incredibly well written and well directed, it makes some very powerful moral statements, and the acting was impeccable.

Here is the trailer:

And here is the movie poster:

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Movie review: "Being Charlie"

"Being Charlie" is an amazing new movie starring Nick Robinson, Devon Bostick, and Morgan Saylor. The film was directed by Rob Reiner, and co-written by Rob Reiner's brother Nick Reiner, along with Matt Elisofon. The movie is about a guy named Charlie (Robinson) who struggles with drug addiction while his dad runs for governor of California. After running away from one rehab, his family forces him to go to another rehab or face jail time for destroying a church window at his last rehab. While in rehab he meets a girl named Eva (Saylor) with whom he shares a romance. But things don't go as planned and he ends up learning that his parents haven't been honest with him as he leaves rehab for an uncertain future, aided by his best friend (Bostick). What makes this movie unique is that although the topic of the film is very serious and the film takes you on an emotional roller-coaster as it deals with life and death issues as well as heartbreak and loss, the film is also a comedy, and Nick Robinson's character Charlie happens to be extremely witty and funny as well as highly intelligent. So the film has no shortage of funny moments, while still remaining a powerful commentary on the struggles faced by drug addicts from all walks of life, and the consequences of drug abuse. I felt this movie was incredible and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Movie review: The 5th Wave

"The 5th Wave" is an awesome sci-fi movie about the survivors of an alien invasion. The aliens first disable all the world's technology with a global electro magnetic pulse. Then they unleash a deadly disease to wipe out as many people as possible. The third wave was a series of worldwide earthquakes followed by tsunamis. The fourth wave is when they start to possess human bodies so that they can walk secretly amongst humans and begin to wipe out the remaining survivors. But the movie has appeal even beyond the typical disaster movie because it also tells the tales of Cassie Sullivan (played by Chloƫ Grace Moretz) and Ben Parish (played by Nick Robinson), who went to school together. Cassie is separated from her younger brother Sammy (played by Zackary Arthur) when the military shows up at one of the refugee camps. Cassie decides to walk to the military base where she was told her brother would be taken to. On the way, she meets Evan (played by Alex Roe), who helps her make the journey to the military base. As this drama unfolds, the movie also tells the story of Ben Parish, who was recruited by the military to be the leader of a platoon whose job is to be one of the first platoons deployed to fight the enemy, armed with special helmets which will help them determine which people are possessed by aliens and which people are human. But the mission isn't what it seems to be, and Ben is set on a path which will reunite him with Cassie. I don't want to spoil the movie, so I will leave the rest out. All I will say is that this is one of the best science fiction movies I've seen, and I really hope they will be making a sequel, especially since the ending of the movie leaves open the possibility of a sequel. My advice, is go see this movie! It's really exciting, suspense filled, and definitely worthwhile!

Friday, January 15, 2016

My Top 20 Albums & Top 20 Songs Of 2015

Top 20 Albums
#20 Heather Nova - The Way It Feels
#19 Chris Cornell - Higher Truth
#18 Orgy - Talk Sick
#17 Alien Ant Farm - Always & Forever
#16 Collective Soul - See What You Started By Continuing
#15 Third Eye Blind - Dopamine
#14 Kate Pierson - Guitars & Microphones
#13 Adam Lambert - The Original High
#12 Ricky Martin - A Quien Quiera Escuchar
#11 Meja - Stroboscope Sky
#10 Death Cab For Cutie - Kintsugi
#9 Josh Ritter - Sermon On The Rocks
#8 Maroon 5 - V
#7 Ace Of Base - Hidden Gems
#6 Carly Rae Jepsen - EMOTION
#5 Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
#4 Hunter Hayes - The 21 Project
#3 Lisa Stansfield - Live In Manchester
#2 Fall Out Boy - American Beauty/American Psycho
#1 Nicki French - One Step Further

Top 20 Songs
#20 Nicki French - Don't Play That Song Again
#19 Adam Lambert - Ghost Town
#18 Conor Maynard - Talking About
#17 Hunter Hayes - 21
#16 Kate Pierson - Bring Your Arms
#15 Kacey Musgraves - High Time
#14 Nathan Sykes - Kiss Me Quick
#13 Fall Out Boy - Immortals
#12 Madonna - Ghost Town
#11 Maroon 5 - Sugar
#10 Fall Out Boy - Irresistible
#9 Hunter Hayes - Someday Girl
#8 Enrique Iglesias - El Perdon (Forgiveness)
#7 Nicki French - The Boss
#6 Carly Rae Jepsen - I Really Like You
#5 Fall Out Boy - Uma Thurman
#4 Nicki French - This Love
#3 Ce Ce Peniston - Love Don't Take Over
#2 Deborah Gibson - Promises
#1 Rozalla - If You Say It Again

Friday, October 30, 2015

My Thoughts On The Spider Man Franchise

I feel bad that there won't be a third Amazing Spider Man movie with Andrew Garfield. My problem with The Amazing Spider Man 2 was not the actors. It was the writers and whoever did the editing. I didn't like the fact that Gwen Stacey died and they deleted half the scenes from the trailer that people were excited to see. And I thought the Electro character was a bit too creepy and a bit pathetic. But Andrew Garfield, as always, did an INCREDIBLE job and so did Emma Stone and Dane Dehaan. And Jamie Foxx is a great actor and did the best with the role he was given, they just wrote the character in a way that it just felt like the character didn't belong in the Marvel Universe or the movie. Also, they hyped up the fact that Spider Man was battling three villians and it was supposed to be epic. But in the movie Spider Man barely spent any time fighting Green Goblin and barely less than one minute fighting the Rhino. So it was a disappointment. This is the fault of the writers, not the actors. So I really think they should have made an Amazing Spider Man 3 but had better writers do a better job and make it the kind of movie that people would enjoy. Recasting Spider Man and rebooting it just seems unnecessary. I wish the new cast of the new movies well and hope that they are successful in making the series into a bunch of great films and that they do well at the box office. I just felt all this needed to be said.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Top 20 Albums & Top 20 Songs Of 2014

Top 20 Albums
#20 Glen Phillips - The Coyote Sessions
#19 Better Than Ezra - All Together Now
#18 Erasure - The Violet Flame
#17 Chrissie Hynde- Stockholm
#16 Leann Rimes - Dance Like You Don't Give A F*** (Greatest Remixes)
#15 Martina McBride- Evolution
#14 Tori Amos- Unrepentant Geraldines
#13 Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once
#12 Jars Of Clay - 20
#11 Shakira- Shakira
#10 Dolly Parton- Blue Smoke
#9 Cash Cash- Overtime EP
#8 Amy Grant - In Motion (The Remixes)
#7 Green Day - Demolicious
#6 Phillip Phillips - Behind The Light
#5 Calvin Goldspink - The Lemon Tree EP
#4 The Used - Imaginary Enemy
#3 Zero Times Zero - Equals Zero
#2 Hunter Hayes - Storyline
#1 Enrique Iglesias - Sex + Love

Top 20 Songs
#20 Enrique Iglesias- Heart Attack
#19 Hunter Hayes- Wild Card
#18 Chrissie Hynde- Like In The Movies
#17 Shakira & Rihanna- Can't Remember To Forget You
#16 Zero Times Zero - Not Forgiven
#15 The Used- Cry
#14 Cash Cash- Take Me Home (with Bebe Rexha)
#13 Phillip Phillips - Raging Fire
#12 Enrique Iglesias- There Goes My Baby
#11 Zero Times Zero - Bored
#10 Hunter Hayes -Tattoo
1 #9 Kylie Minogue - Into The Blue
#8 Dolly Parton - Try
#7 Calvin Goldspink - Superman
#6 Enrique Iglesias- Bailando
#5 The Used- A Song To Stifle Imperial Progression
#4 Enrique Iglesias- I'm A Freak (with Pitbull)
#3 Iameve- To Feel Alive (From Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters)
#2 Enrique Iglesias- Let Me Be Your Lover (with Pitbull)
#1 Hunter Hayes - Invisible

Friday, October 17, 2014

Movie review: "Fury"

Last night I went to see the new movie "Fury" which stars Logan Lerman, Brad Pitt, and Shia Labeouf as a bunch of young army recruits who operate a tank. The tank is sent to do battle inside Germany, where they are outgunned and overwhelmed by more advanced German tanks. Brad Pitt plays Don, who is in charge of the tank and crew. Logan Lerman plays a rookie named Norman who has never fought in battle before, who is reluctant to even pull the trigger because he doesn't want to be responsible for ending another person's life. Together the crew takes the tank on a dangerous journey to a Nazi-controlled town to liberate the people of the town. There, Norman falls in love with a local girl, and makes the rest of the crew jealous. Unfortunately for Norman, they do not get to stay in the town for very long and he must leave the girl. I don't want to give too much away, so I won't get into the details of that situation, but instead I'll skip to the next battle- the final battle. Norman is sent to do lookout while the crew takes on important repairs to the tank which broke to the point it cannot move. Norman spots a gigantic parade of Nazi soldiers on their way down the road headed in the direction of the crew and their broken tank. In the final battle, the five soldiers must fight hundreds of Nazi soldiers from inside the tank which doesn't move, using what is left of their grenades and ammunition. I found the movie to be very compelling. There were great action scenes and the movie does a good job of communicating the kind of horrors that soldiers face when they are sent to war. There was very good character development and you got to see many different sides of the characters' personalities. Logan Lerman does a terrific job of being the reluctant war hero, and Brad Pitt does a great job of playing the war-weary captain of the tank. My only complaint is that Shia Labeouf didn't get more screen time to showcase his amazing talent. Overall, this is a must-see movie, even if you normally don't like war movies.


Movie Facebook page:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Percy Jackson "Double Feature" DVD Release

Today (Tues Oct 7th) is the release date for the new "Double Feature" Percy Jackson DVD (Yes it's also available on BluRay), featuring both hit movies "Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief" and "Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters". These are two of the best movies I've ever seen in my life! If you like action/adventure movies you will love both Percy Jackson films!

You can order it now on Amazon:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Movie review: The Amazing Spider Man 2

Okay, I saw The Amazing Spider Man 2 last night, and it was awesome! I loved the movie but I have a few criticisms. First off, there were several scenes from the Trailers i've seen which didn't make it into the actual movie. Because of that, the movie left me wondering what the scenes from the Trailers would have been like, so it created unanswered questions. Also, Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker kept breaking up and getting back together throughout the whole movie. I would've preferred to see them stay together the whole time and explore their relationship. It would've given the movie more depth and added some romance to it. My last criticism is that there was not much time spent on character development. The movie overall felt rushed. That said, it was still an excellent movie that I would recommend highly. The action scenes and special effects were excellent and there were some great humorous moments thrown in. The trailers make the movie out to be a giant battle with 3 different enemies, kind of like how Tobey Maguire's Spider Man fought both Sandman and Venom at the same time, but in The Amazing Spider Man 2, Spider Man fights the three enemies subsequently, not all at once. What really carries the movie is the action. The addition of Dane Dehaan to the cast was a smart move, he does a great job of playing a classic "bad boy" character who turns evil and his transition to The Green Goblin is believable. However, his Green Goblin character only appears close to the end of the movie and doesn't get much screen time. The Rhino character appears at the very end of the movie and gets even less screen time. This would have been a much better movie if it had been longer. Spider Man's story is an epic one and it would be better off if it was told the way the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies were... in 3 hour installments. This movie was too short for the story it was telling. That said, every movie boils down to one question... was it entertaining enough to be worth spending money to see it in a theatre? And with this movie the answer is yes. It doesn't fail to entertain but it leaves diehard fans wanting more. It doesn't live up to its predecessor, but it was very entertaining and it makes me want to see the next one. There is talk of a spinoff "Sinister Six" movie featuring six of Spider Man's classic enemies. I can only guess that since Harry Osborn doesn't die in the film, he will be one of the characters in the Sinister Six movie. It's also revealed that all of Spider Man's enemies originate at Oscorp, and I'd expect in the Sinister Six movie we will learn more about that. What I don't know is if they will release The Amazing Spider Man 3 or Sinister Six first. I've read there are plans for two more Spider Man movies, plus the Sinister Six movie. I just hope the future movies have enough character development. There is more I could say but I don't want to give too much away about the movie for those who haven't seen it yet. On a scale of 1-5 stars I'd give it 3 and a half stars, but I would give the first Amazing Spider Man movie five stars.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Movie review: Pompeii

Yesterday I went to an advance screening of the new film "Pompeii" starring Emily Browning (who co-starred with Thomas Dekker in "Plush"), and Kit Harrington ("Game Of Thrones"). Kit Harrington plays Milo, whose family was killed by Romans when he was a child, leaving him without parents and eventually sold into slavery. As a slave, Milo eventually becomes a gladiator. While being transported to Pompeii for a fight, Milo meets Cassia (Emily Browning), the daughter of a wealthy family in Pompeii who is returning from a trip to Rome. One of the horses collapses and Milo meets Cassia while tending to the horse. When he gets to Pompeii, Milo befriends another gladiator, Atticus (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (also known for "Thor: The Dark World" and GI Joe: Rise Of The Cobra). It isn't long after Milo arrives in Pompeii that earthquakes begin, which nobody knows is due to the looming eruption of Mount Vesuvius. One of the earthquakes sends Cassia's horses into an uncontrollable frenzy, and Cassia sends for Milo to calm the horse down. Milo runs off with Cassia on the horse and they share a romantic moment before the slave drivers catch them both and bring Milo back to Pompeii to be executed. Cassia then convinces the slave drivers not to execute Milo, who is scheduled to fight in the Arena the next day. The following day, however, the fight turns out to be a setup and Roman soldiers are sent into the Arena to kill ALL of the gladiators. While the gladiators fight the Roman Soldiers, a corrupt and evil Roman Senator blackmails Cassia into granting him her hand in marriage. The Senator threatens to have Cassia's family executed if she doesn't marry him. The gladiators eventually defeat the Roman soldiers, but then the Senator orders more troops to kill the remaining gladiators. Cassia steps in and stops the soldiers from killing the gladiators and for that the Senator sends Cassia away to be locked in a holding cell. The earthquakes suddenly start again, causing the arena to begin to collapse. At this point the gladiators are able to escape from the arena, and Milo sets out on a quest to find and free Cassia, hoping to escape from Pompeei with her as Mount Vesuvius erupts and begins to destroy the city. I don't want to give away the ending but what I will say is that this movie is full of action from beginning to end. The special effects are amazing. This movie is similar in some ways to the movie Titanic (Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet), particularly in the way the scenes where the volcano is erutping and destroying everything were coordinated. Another similar movie would be Deep Impact (Tea Leoni, Elijah Wood). I definitely reccomend this movie to anyone who likes action or suspense movies. The trailer is below along with a link to the movie's official site.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Top 20 Albums & Top 20 Songs Of 2013

Top 20 Albums:
#20 Lady Gaga- Artpop
#19 Cher- Closer To The Truth
#18 Josh Ritter- The Beast In Its Tracks
#17 The Used- Vulnerable II
#16 Kristine W - New & Number Ones/The Remixes Vol 1 & 2
#15 Beady Eye - BE
#14 Placebo - B3
#13 Jars Of Clay - Inland + Inlandia The Remixes
#12 Fall Out Boy- Save Rock N Roll
#11 30 Seconds To Mars- Love Lust Faith + Dreams
#10 Phillip Phillips -The World From The Bright Side Of The Moon
#9 Sheryl Crow- Feels Like Home
#8 Carly Rae Jepsen- Kiss
#7 Conor Maynard - Contrast
#6 Belinda Carlisle- Live From Metropolis Studios
#5 The Wanted - Word Of Mouth
#4 Placebo - Loud Like Love
#3 Green Day - Uno...Dos...Tre
#2 Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer, Different Park
#1 Hunter Hayes- Encore

Top 20 Songs:
#20 Kacey Musgraves - See You Again
#19 Celine Dion- Loved Me Back To Life
#18 Hunter Hayes -Storm Warning
#17 Placebo - Rob The Bank
#16 Fall Out Boy - The Phoenix
#15 Enrique Iglesias - Turn The Night Up
#14 30 Seconds To Mars - Up In The Air
#13 The Wanted - I Found You
#12 Sheryl Crow- Easy
#11 Placebo - Loud Like Love
#10 The Used- Hands & Faces
#9 Carly Rae Jepsen- This Kiss
#8 Cher- Woman's World
#7 Conor Maynard- Can't Say No
#6 Kacey Musgraves- Blowin Smoke
#5 Mariah Carey- Almost Home
#4 The Wanted - We Own The Night
#3 Hunter Hayes- I Want Crazy
#2 Jody Watley- Nightlife
#1 Belinda Carlisle- Sun

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters

Last night I went to see Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters and it lived up to my high expectations that it would be one of the best movies of the year. The movie stars Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth, Brandon T. Jackson as Grover, and Douglas Smith as Tyson who is Percy Jackson's long lost half-brother. Additionally, Leven Rambin guest stars in the movie as Clarisse. Leven Rambin is perhaps best known for playing John Connor's girlfriend in the TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which was one of the best TV shows ever made in the history of television. Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario are two of the best actors I've ever seen in movies. This was the second Percy Jackson movie made based on the best selling series of Percy Jackson books, which were written by Rick Riordan. In the first Percy Jackson movie, Percy, who never knew his father, finds out that he is the half-blood son of the god named Poseidon. He is brought to a camp called camp half blood which is a camp for demigods, the half-human/half-god children of the gods. Percy is accused of stealing Zeus' lightnight bolt, and the confusion leads to the Hades kidnapping Percy's mother and holding her hostage until Percy gives him the lightning bolt so that Hades can use the bolt against Zeus and take control of Olympus and the world. Percy goes on a quest with Annabeth and Grover to convince Hades that he does not have the lightning bolt so that Hades releases Percy's mother from captivity in the underworld (otherwise known as Hell). After meeting with Hades and recovering the lightning bolt in the process, Percy finds out that Luke, son of Hermes, was the lightning thief and Percy and Luke battle it out in the end, with Percy winning the fight and returning the lightning bolt to Zeus to avert a world wide war of the gods that could destroy humanity and the world at large. In the second movie, Luke re-emerges to poison the tree at camp half-blood that generates the protective shield that keeps mortals as well as mythical beasts from being able to enter camp half blood. Clarisse is asked by the elders to go on a quest to recover the Golden Fleece, a powerful fleece bestowed with healing powers which could be used to revive the tree and restore the protective shield that protects camp half blood. Without the tree, all sorts of mythical beasts could attack the camp and kill everyone who lives there. So Clarisse is chosen to go on the quest to recover the golden fleece, but when Percy finds out about it, he is eager to be the one who recovers the fleece, so he and Annabeth and Grover and Tyson, all embark on the quest themselves, independently of Clarisse. Eventually, they do run into Clarisse and their team expands to five. Unfortunately, Luke is also after the fleece because he wants to revive the evil father of Zeus who used to rule the world, who Zeus and his brothers killed because he was the most evil creature that ever lived. So Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Tyson and Clarisse all set out to stop Luke from reviving this evil monster and destoying both Olympus and the entire world in the process. Luke proves to be more evil than he was thought to be in the first movie. He was prepared to destroy the whole world just because it would end Zues' rule of Olympus. I don't want to give away the ending, so I will just say that the ending of this movie sets the stage for another sequel. I hope the next Percy Jackson movie doesn't take a long time to produce, because this new Percy Jackson film is coming out 3 years after the first one which was released in 2010. Let me just finish by saying this was the most exciting action/adventure film I've seen all year. Though three years was a long time to wait for it, the movie was worth the wait and everyone absolutely must see it.

And here is the website for the film:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: "The Kings Of Summer"

I went to an advance screening yesterday of a new movie called "The Kings Of Summer" and I am happy to say it was the best movie I've seen all year! First of all, the cast was incredible. The lead roles were played by Nick Robinson (a very talented rising young star who I recognized from another really good movie "Frenemies" which was released in 2012 and is currently on Netflix for instant streaming), Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias. Nick Robinson plays Joe Toy, a high school student who is sick of his dad's constant criticism and nagging. His best friend Patrick Keenan (played by Gabriel Basso) is also having a difficult time coping with his parents and their bizarre personalities (his mother is played by Megan Mullally of Will & Grace fame and her performance is absolutely hysterical!). The third best friend is Biaggio (played by Moises Arias) and he is the most eccentric member of the bunch. Joe has a crush on a girl named Kelly, (played by Erin Moriarty). She invites him to an outdoor party at a local park and his father won't let him go, so he sneaks out of the house in the middle of the night and meets her there. The party is broken up by a resident of the area who fires a gun in the air to scare all the partying teenagers away. Along the way home, Joe and Biaggio stumble upon a beautiful clearing in the woods which he declared was "a place where nobody can find us". In the days that follow, Joe and Patrick gradually get more and more fed up with their bizarre and over-controlling parents, and Joe brings Patrick to the clearing in the woods and tells him he wants to build a house there where the two of them along with Biaggio could live independently and free of their parents as an alternative to the maddening experience of living with their folks. At first Patrick thinks it's a bad idea but after a few more days of his parents annoying behavior, he decides to go through with it. Joe, Patrick and Biaggio steal supplies and money from their parents and proceed to build a house all by themselves and learn to live off the land (with the help of take out food from Boston Market). Together, the three boys have the most incredible summer of their lives, at least, at first they do. Things get complicated when Joe decides to find Kelly and bring her to his new home as a guest. She spends the night but doesn't sleep with Joe. Instead she wakes up Patrick and asks him to go for a walk with her, and Joe hears the whole thing. The competition for Kelly's heart inevitably comes between Joe and Patrick's friendship and creates a messy situation. I don't want to give out the entire movie's ending so I'll leave it at that part. The movie is inspiring and funny, and the quality of this film, along with the actors who were in it, is first rate. I'd recommend this movie very highly.

The website for the movie is here:

The trailer for the movie is here:

Here is the poster for the movie:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Review: "The Call"

Last night I went to an advance screening of "The Call" starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Halle Berry plays a 911 operator who gets a chilling call from a girl while her house is being broken into by a kidnapper. The kidnapper kills the girl and Halle Berry blames herself. She retires from being a phone operator and becomes a trainer for 911 operators. Then one day, while she is training new operators, a call comes in from a girl who is calling from the trunk of a car. It turns out the same kidnapper has kidnapped this girl, who Halle Berry tries to help. She asks the girl (Abigail Breslin) to do various things to help them locate the car being used as the kidnapping vehicle. Along the way, the kidnapper kills two people who were trying to help the girl, but Halle Berry perseveres and eventually goes looking for the girl herself. This movie was a very thrilling movie, at several points where it looked like the girl might be found, the audience cheered and clapped. It's the kind of movie that draws you in with the hope that the girl will be found and survive the ordeal. It was very exciting, and the acting was superb. Also it keeps you on the edge of your seat as the plot is very unpredictable. I had a good time at the screening and from the sound of things, so did the rest of the audience. Below is the trailer for "The Call".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Hansel & Gretel Get Baked (Spoiler Alert! My Review Gives Away The Ending!)

Tonight I saw the new movie, Hansel & Gretel Get Baked, a marijuana laced adaptation of the classic children's story Hansel & Gretel. It starred Michael Welch (of Twilight) as Hansel, Molly C. Quinn as Gretel, and Lara Flynn Boyle as the witch. The movie begins with Gretel's boyfriend Ashton (played by Andrew James Allen) bringing Gretel some weed called Black Forest which he got from the local drug dealer. Ashton and Gretel smoke the weed until they run out, and Ashton decides to go find more. Ashton calls the local drug dealer who texts him the address of the supposedly sweet old lady who gave him the Black Forest weed. When Ashton visits the old lady, she turns out to be a witch and captures him and proceeds to begin to cannibalize him. The weed turns out to be a trap to lure unsuspecting teenagers to her house so she can suck the lift out of them to become young again. When Ashton doesn't return home, Gretel and Hansel go to the witch's house looking for him, but she pretends he never came to her house. So Hansel & Gretel try asking the police for help, and the police provide no help or sympathy. In the meantime, the local drug dealer, Manny gets in trouble with his prior supplier for selling someone else's weed on turf that was spoken for. The supplier holds Manny at gunpoint and tells him to pass a message to the old lady that she would have to pay to sell drugs on his turf. Manny goes to the old lady's house to pass on the message and the witch uses his cell phone to text a threatening message to Manny's former supplier. She then chops of Manny's head. The supplier tries to go to the witch's house with two armed bodyguards, and she kills the supplier and one of the body guards and chases the other one into a cage and then she locks him in. Gretel meets up with Manny's girlfriend Bianca and the two decide to pay the old lady a visit. Bianca distracts the witch while Gretel breaks into the house and searches the basement for Ashton, who by now is clearly dead. Manny then surfaces as a zombie and tries to kill Gretel and the noise is heard by the witch, but Bianca tries to stop the witch and thinks she killed her by snapping her neck. Unfortunately this doesn't kill the witch it just slows her down. The witch ends up locking Gretel and Bianca up in the cage with the drug dealer's bodyguard and then sucks the life out of the bodyguard. In the meantime, Hansel finally reads Gretel's email message that she is going to the house to talk to the old lady. Hansel goes to the house and the witch captures him too and prepares to cannibalize him. Gretel and Bianca manage to escape the cage during this time, and they hear Hansel screaming. So they run to where Hansel is ties up and just like in the fairy tale, Gretel throws the evil witch into the oven to kill her. This was a very entertaining movie with a lot of black comedy, it was certainly a unique and very modern spin on the classic children's story. This is the first time I've seen Michael Welch in a movie other than the Twilight series and his performance was excellent. Below is the trailer for the movie and a link to their facebook page.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: Warm Bodies

Tonight I went to an advance screening of the new movie "Warm Bodies" which stars Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer. The movie is about a future world where half the population was killed and turned into zombies. In addition to the zombies an additional portion of the population turned into animal-like "skeletons". The "skeletons" essentially used to be zombies but they are much more savage and ruthless and don't possess the capacity to speak at all. Both the zombies and the skeletons eat human brains to survive. One of the zombies, who goes by the name "R", saves Teresa Palmer's character Julie from being eaten alive by other zombies. He takes her to his home to keep her safe from the zombies and the skeletons. While she is staying with him, he realized he is falling in love with her. He tells her to wait and stay with him until it is safe for "R" to bring her back to the wall that separates the human world from the zombie world. A couple of times she tries leaving on her own but she is almost attacked by zombies. The first time, "R" finds her and tells her to pretend to be a zombie so the zombies don't attack her. The second time the zombies detect that Julie is human, but "R" shows them that he loves her by holding her hand and when the zombies see this, they back off. Rob Corddry of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart plays "R"'s best friend who at this point decides to help "R" and Julie escape some skeletons. The story gets complicated when "R" confesses to Julie that he killed her ex-boyfriend. Julie then decides to go back to the human world, and leaves "R" while he is having his first dream since becoming a zombie. "R" has all the memories of her ex-boyfriend in his brain because he ate her ex-boyfriend's brain, so he uses those memories to find his way to Julie's house in the human world. When they reunite, Julie confesses that she missed "R", and she and a friend go to tell her father, a military leader, that the zombies can change their ways and find humanity just like "R" did. In fact while "R" was finding Julie, all the zombies who had seen "R" and Julie together had begun to have a heartbeat and recover their humanity. The skeletons sense this change and don't like it, so the zombies have to prepare for a fight with the skeletons and end up enlisting the human army to help in their fight. Some of the skeletons noticed "R" and Julie and try to attack them but in the end "R" and Julie manage to escape them. At the end of the movie, the zombies are welcomed into the human world and given help in re-integrating with society. I loved this movie, and recommend it highly. It was funny, romantic, and there was also a healthy dose of action. Below is the trailer for Warm Bodies.

The official website for the movie is:

Nicholas Hoult also has another upcoming movie "Jack The Giant Slayer" which is a new spin on the classic tale of Jack And The Beanstalk. The movie comes out March 1st, and the trailer is below:

The official website is: