Trailer Thursday 1/19

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on January 19, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Keeping with the theme of classis MGM Musicals for this month, let’s have a look at the popular French themed musical, Gigi.

The Intern

Posted in Movie Reviews, Comedy with tags , , , , , , , on January 15, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Agreeing to participate in a community outreach program, e-commerce entrepreneur Jules Ostin hires a 70-year-old intern — who ends up bringing his special brand of business savvy to her fashion enterprise.

What people are saying:

“Interesting premise where the intern is a retired senior citizen. Originality basically stops there. This movie relied on its two stars. Hathaway is worthy, but DeNiro’s brilliance carries an otherwise mediocre film.” 2 stars

“Truly loved this movie! My wife couldn’t stop raving about it. I disagree about what some other reviewers commented on regarding the last “third” of the movie and it’s ending and I’m a hard judge on endings. I believe what happened in the last third added to the reality of the situation and the ending was quite appropriate. This is the “supreme” feel-good movie with some wonderful life-lessons. It was perhaps Anne Hathaway’s best piece of work. You will enjoy it immensely!” 5 stars

“Probably what I liked best from this movie was seeing Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway as the two lead characters here as I really like the both of them. Anne looked especially gorgeous in this one and did a great job as usual. De Niro is very likeable too. The supporting cast is fine enough, not really annoying except for one of the interns named Davis, but it didn’t really do anything to take away from this film. If anything maybe it’s just a tad too long, but overall it’s a good watch.” 3 stars

“I LOVE Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro so I was guessing this was going to be a pretty decent movie. I was wrong. I have no idea why this movie is getting high reviews from people. The story is about a widowed old guy failing at retirement and going back to work at a job. Does that sound appealing to you? He meets a beautiful female boss and has no romance or sexual tension with her. THAT is the story. They try to dress it up. But in the end the take-away message is “Don’t work things out with your spouse.” The worst movie I have seen in a long time.” 1 star

“it’s not the comedy that will make you laugh, it’s the comedy that will make you smile. Nancy Meyers makes movies for women, and this time for senior as well. There is no single story, more like fragments of people’s lives. Senior internship program of an e-commerce start-up founded by a young female already set the scene up for the drama and conflicts. Women can relate to this movie, especially women with a purpose. It was also nice to see the office scenes with a lot of open space, MacBooks, large windows, and the CEO bikes in the office.” 3 stars

Underworld: Blood Wars

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The remaining vampire covens are on the verge of being wiped out by the Lycans. Both species are searching for Selene: the vampires seeking justice for the deaths of Viktor and Marcus, and the Lycans, led by Marius, intending to use her to locate Eve, whose blood holds the key to building an army of vampire-werewolf hybrids.

Semira, a council member of the Eastern Coven, wishes for Selene to be granted clemency so that the latter can train the Eastern Coven’s neophyte Death Dealers. To that end, she enlists Thomas to plead Selene’s case before the full council. Thomas succeeds and Selene arrives at the Eastern Coven with David. Selene is betrayed by Varga, Semira’s ally and lover, who poisons the former and slaughters the Death Dealers at the behest of Semira, who then begins draining Selene of her blood, which Semira intends to drink and gain her power, but is interrupted when Thomas and David come to her rescue. In the ensuing fight, Thomas is killed delaying Semira and Varga so that David can escape with an incapacitated Selene. During the escape, Semira and Varga are shocked to observe that the pair is immune to the effects of sunlight.

The pair seeks refuge with the Nordic Coven. They are pursued by Alexia, an Eastern Coven vampire dispatched by Semira, who consumes the blood from Selene and appears to be strengthened by its ingestion. Selene and David arrive at Vador, the stronghold of the Nordic Coven, where Vidar, the Elder, reveals that David was the son of the High Elder Amelia, making him the legitimate heir to the Eastern Coven.

The Nordic Coven is attacked by Marius and the Lycans, who were alerted by Alexia, Marius’s mole and lover. The Nordic vampires, led by Vidar’s daughter Lena, fight with Selene and David. Selene engages in single combat with Marius, who demands to know Eve’s location; Selene insists she does not know the location, being confirmed by Alexia by tasting some of Selene’s blood. Marius sounds the retreat for his troops and Selene, no longer wishing to live, slides herself under the now-broken ice of the lake.

Upon Alexia’s return to the Eastern Coven’s castle, she informs Semira of the events at the Nordic Coven. Semira kills her, revealing to have always known of Alexia’s treachery, and has been manipulating Alexia for her own ends. David returns to the Eastern Coven and informs the Elite Council of his parentage, presenting himself as the rightful heir to the coven. Semira is arrested by none other than Varga, whose ultimate loyalty is to the rightful leadership of the coven. She is subsequently imprisoned in the dungeons. The coven comes under attack by Marius and his forces. The Lycans blow holes in the castle’s walls, letting in sunlight, killing most of the vampires. David continues fighting, only to find himself face to face with Marius. Selene suddenly reappears, wearing a Nordic appearance and coat over her normal Death Dealer uniform. It is revealed that the Nordic Coven revived her and in doing so enabled her to develop new abilities. She swiftly begins dispatching the Lycans, as the rest of the Nordic Coven, led by Lena, join the fight. While Selene is making her way through the castle, the guards in the dungeons are killed by Semira, who then escapes from her cell. Selene and David find Marius, but David is waylaid by Semira. As Marius and Selene’s fight continues, a drop of Marius’s blood lands on Selene’s lips. She is suddenly flooded by a series of blood memories in which Marius finds Michael. She sees Marius capturing Michael and slitting his throat in order to collect his blood and consume it. Believing that Michael is dead, she bites her own wrist, using her own blood memories of the time she has spent with Michael, Eve, and David to fuel her rage. Although Marius has transformed, Selene rips out his spine, killing him instantly. David manages to kill Semira. He shows Marius’s severed head to the Lycans, who decide to retreat.

In the aftermath, Selene, David, and Lena are chosen as the new Elders. It is revealed that after being resurrected at the Nordic Coven, Selene was reunited with Eve, who has been following her mother.

REVIEW:

Vampires and werewolves aren’t really the popular thing in our culture anymore (thanks, Twilight franchise). They’ve mostly been replaced by zombies. Yet, here we are with a 5th Underworld film, Underworld: Blood Wars. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not exactly jumping up and down with anticipation. Hopefully, after I watch it, I’ll change my mind,

What is this about?

The next installment in the blockbuster franchise, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice

What did I like?

Violent femme. I may be remembering wrong, but I seem to recall the Underworld being a bloody masterpiece when it came to the violence. Yet, the following films in the franchise were much more frugal with the way they showed the killings. As this film begins, we return to the ways of the first film. Kate Beckinsale’s Selene shoots, claws, and bites her way through her army of combatants.

Leather. Let’s be honest about one thing, shall we? A very big reason that this franchise is so popular is because Kate Beckinsale is running in skintight leather. Well, there is plenty of that in this film, though, in the final act, she is covered up with a fur coat. It is cold up there in the Nordic country, after all.

Immortal Kombat. Chances are, if you’re reading this, then you either have played Mortal Kombat, or at least know about it. Well, there is this scene late in the film where Selene and Marius, the primary antagonist and leader of the Lycans, are fighting. Not to spoil anything, but let’s just say someone pulls a fatality on the other.

What didn’t I like?

In the blood. Given the length of time between this and the first couple of films, I can understand a need to refresh the audience’s memory. However, with all the blood flashbacks were forced to endure, we might as well have watched the previous films all over again. On top of that, these flashbacks seems to get longer and longer each time and, after a while, it seemed as if they were nothing but something to fill up time.

Pulver-ize. The secondary antagonist, a scheming vampire called Semira is part of another issue I have with this film. First off, the actress that plays her, Lara Pulver, seems to be doing her best Eva Green impression (at one point I thought that’s who she was). Second, I wasn’t buying into her. Had her little boy toy, played by Bradley James been a secondary antagonist, I could have understood it. He was there to train Death Dealers and now Selene has come in. It makes sense, but with this chick, all I could think of was the cliché lover scorned.

Humans…or lack thereof. On one side we have vampires. On the other, Lycans. In the middle, regular human beings. Wait…I don’t recall seeing any humans in here. The last film, Underworld: Awakening, gave us plenty, perhaps too much human interaction/casualty in the war. The others, have at least shown a few bystanders, people frequenting the local pub, etc. I’m not sure why we don’t see some sort of human this time around. Perhaps they were all wiped out. Who knows? Still, the lack of humans, whether they were interacting with the vampires and lycans, or not leaves one to question.

Final verdict of Underworld: Blood Wars? Putting it bluntly, if you’re not already a fan of the franchise, then I doubt the film will do anything for you. While it was mildly entertaining, at best, I feel that so much more could have been done to keep the audience invested. The time to change anything about this franchise may be too late, though. Do I recommend this flick? I am not saying yes and I am not saying no.

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

Spy

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner (Jude Law) falls off the grid and another top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster

What people are saying:

“On the scale of dumb comedies, this ranks pretty high. Surprisingly high. Maybe it’s the benefit of low expectations, but it had some really funny parts in all the absurdity.” 4 stars

“Smart, action-packed and filled with tons of humour throughout, the third entry in the Feig-McCarthy “saga” manages to provide tons of entertainment with great performances from its cast and Jason Statham stealing the show in every scene he’s in due to his gleefully profane character.” 5 stars

“The first half was amusing, but then it went downhill quick. The only thing that really made me laugh was Jason Statham’s character which was pretty funny, but mostly because it was a caricature of the characters he usually plays. ” 2 stars

“Pretty funny. In fact the best Melissa McCarthy movie since Bridemaids. Too bad they had to put so much language in it and the gratuitous scene. Kids could find these movies very funny also and the movies could do more money if they would tone it down a bit. Other then that very funny. Jason Statham’s character was a little annoying but worth the rental. ” 3 stars

“Spy is everything this year’s Hot Pursuit wished it was: a giant, female-centric, laugh-out-loud action comedy that’s sprawling in its set-pieces, yet shining in its silliness. Through its physical comedy and unexpectedly cool combat scenes, it still manages to feel like a screwball comedy throwback with stellar verbal sparring between the great actors. So it’s not groundbreaking like Mad Max: Fury Road, or mind-boggling like Ex Machina, but those aren’t the goals. Spy will simply make you happy, nothing more, nothing less; and sometimes that’s really enough. Much of that pure joy comes directly from the cast. From top to bottom, these gals and guys propel Spy to higher levels than movies of its kind often get. Everyone just seems to be having an absolute blast and that fun is contagious. Janney and Byrne stand out as solid and strong comedic presences. Hart and Statham steal every scene they are in, each playing with their own Hollywood identities to great effect. At the center of it all, McCarthy and Feig steer the ship swimmingly, often managing heartbreaking honesty and side-splitting hilarity all at once. This mixture can, at times, make the proceedings feel more “cute” than LOL funny, especially as the movie’s somewhat-long runtime feels its length. However, as you settle into the world, you can’t help but love the ways in which it takes the self-righteousness out of spy thrillers by highlighting the hilariously mundane minutiae. Will it change your world or even really challenge you intellectually? Not in the least, but it will undoubtedly make you laugh…a lot.” 4 stars

Trailer Thurday 1/12

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on January 12, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Continuing with my month-long tribute to MGM musicals, this week’s trailer brings us the incomparable Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding. I encourage you to look up the scene where dances on the ceiling. You’ll be blown away!

Ted 2

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Still as uncouth and immorally inclined as ever, Ted the foul-mouthed stuffed bear launches into a rollicking sequel that involves a chaotic road trip with his best buddy, John, who has romantic issues that Ted is determined to make worse.

What people are saying:

“Stupid, clownish, childish, garbage. The downfall of our society and the films they make to fit the norm. If anyone else wrote this POS they would have been chased out of the movie studio.” 1 star

“Ted 2 is not as good as the first one, and that’s saying a lot since the first movie wasn’t a good comedy movie to start with. It still does have some scenes with comedy while the rest of the movie can bore you, just like the first movie but the story feels much more badly written.” 1 star

“It lost that tone that the first Ted managed to have, but I was still laughing my ass off during certain moments that I knew I would be laughing at.” 3 1/2 stars

“I really liked it and was surprised that i did! Sequels usually suck for lack of a better word but it’s TED so, %$#%^ IT! This one made me LOL several times, LOVED the Liam Neeson cameo so much, enjoyed the story , I felt this script was slighty better than the first movie and it IS very funny unless of course you have a stick up yer…” 3 stars

“A very funny remake of a very funny premise. It is basically an excuse for Seth McFarland to riff on just how dumbed-down our popular culture has become, and he does not disappoint. Starts with a bang, drags a bit in the middle, but gets it funny mojo back in the final scenes, Highly recommended if you loved Animal House, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, and other such slapstick, politically incorrect and patently offensive but hilarious comedies.Definitely not recommended for the prudish, for the easily offended, or for those who do not fathom the degree of vapidness and emptiness of today’s celebrity and “reality show” culture.  ” 4 stars

Lucy

Posted in Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , on January 10, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this action-thriller set in Taiwan, a young woman forced to become a drug mule for the mob develops superhuman abilities when the narcotics she’s carrying in her stomach accidentally leak into her system.

What people are saying:

“A sci-fi movie that explores the potential of the other 90% of the human brain. It does get a little overwhelming towards the end but that’s the whole point isn’t it?” 4 stars

“Lucy is a combination of science fiction – i.e. what happens if we can use all our brain’s capacity, and hot chick action hero. While I may not remember the details of the movie in a few years time, it was fun to watch for 90 minutes” 3 stars

“Lucy attempts to captivate it’s audience with a pseudo-intellectual premise, fun action, and playful-to-thoughtprovoking imagery. Unfortunately it comes up short on all fronts. The premise isn’t bad, but the whole movie focuses on it and analyzes it heavily. It would be like X-men spending an hour making mutant powers seem plausible instead of moving onto a more clever story after establishing it’s premise. The action isn’t filmed poorly, but it’s completely devoid of suspense. Also, some creative “wild” imagery starts out by adding some flare to the presentation, but that fades away and we get tedious special effects later that are not nearly as thought provoking as they want to be” 2 stars

“Mary-Sue, anyone? She’s pretty but LOOK OUT!…… she’s deadly as well! Scarlett does a decent job at the start of the movie, portraying a drug runner caught up in events beyond her control. Then, the movie turns into a feminist fantasy about being super smart and strong (without the dong). There’s no nudity, so don’t bother fast-forwarding. The CGI at the end of the movie is so common by now, I’m starting to think it’s the default animation setting when you buy the software.” 2 stars

“Nothing about this movie made any sense: – That is not how the brain works. – That is not how embryonic development works. – That is not how learning works. – The flow and plot was incoherent. – Lucy completely lacked character and became a toneless, emotionless, cold-hearted killer once she became amped up. I was almost completely unable to empathize with her. – That is not how the brain works!! Two starts because the CGI and the action were fun to look at.” 2 stars