Archive for June, 2016

Trailer Thursday 6/30

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on June 30, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Looking over all the posts I’ve made, it surprises me that a lesser known film has the most views. Some of you may not have heard of Jason’s Lyric, so here’s your chance to see what it’s about, then maybe you’ll be interested…or not.

Check it out!

Along Came Polly

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Risk-averse Reuben Feffer, whose best-laid plans for life and love careen wildly off-track when his bride dumps him on their honeymoon for a muscle-bound scuba instructor. Stunned, humiliated and in the grip of acute indigestion, Reuben plans to play it safer than ever. But a chance adventure with an adventure-craving childhood friend named Polly, shoots him into a whirlwind of extreme sports, spicy foods, ferrets, salsa dancing and living in the moment.

What people are saying:

“One of Stiller’s weakest efforts. Not really any believable chemistry between these two though of course Jen looked good. And PSH is always solid.” 2 stars

“Along Came Polly is not a comedy that shoots for the stars and is perfectly happy living on the lower rungs of the ladder; but it is an enjoyably, stupid comedy. The story is incredibly played-out and the neurotic character Stiller always plays is growing increasingly more annoying and you know exactly how his character is going to make a fool of himself throughout. Aniston gets a change of pace from her bombshell persona and plays a ditzy, flake who never thinks too hard about the next step; which was refreshing. Hands down the best character is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s, Sandy Lyle who’s a washed-up, former actor still thinking he’s a big deal because he was in one hit movie! Seriously, his scenes are absolute gold and his physical performance is commendable as well. It’s at best a rental and you watch it at home with your family/loved one and you laugh, and then forget all about it; but it is a competent film.” 3 stars

“The plot is weak, even for a rom-com, the characters are as well fleshed out as a 3 panel comic strip and most of the comedy is centred around toilets and perspiration. There is some entertainment to be had in there, and the pacing is pretty swift, but I very much doubt anyone will want to watch this more than once.” 1 1/2 stars

“Honestly, not too bad of a movie. One of the few romantic comedies I enjoyed, and any guy will enjoy. Pretty funny. Ben Stiller slowly becomes a dead weight on the movie and by films end, your glad it’s over. Aniston and Stiller don’t really make a believable couple on screen. But all in all it’s a not too bad of a movie, ” 3 out of 5 stars

“Err…it was tolerable. I dunno, I don’t really care for these generic rom coms. The best parts were Philip Seymour Hoffman and the blind ferret. But movies like these don’t deserve alot of acknowledgement or in-depth reviews…at least not from me. It was a good effort, that failed in terms of originality. No thanks.” 2 stars

Hotel Transylvania 2

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Some time after the first film, Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her new fiancé Johnny (Andy Samberg) are finally married, with the approval of her father Dracula (Adam Sandler), and the world becomes aware of (and unfazed by) the existence of monsters. Mavis later reveals to Drac that she is pregnant and a year later, she gives birth to a baby boy named Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), who later befriends Wayne’s daughter Winnie (Sadie Sandler). Nearing his fifth birthday, Dennis has yet to grow his fangs and Drac worries that his grandson might not gain vampire powers. Noticing the dangers of Transylvania, Mavis starts to consider raising Dennis where Johnny grew up, much to Drac’s disapproval.

Drac tells Johnny (who doesn’t want to leave the hotel either) to bring Mavis to California to visit the in-laws, Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally), but to make sure to keep her distracted so that she will not move, leaving Drac to “babysit” Dennis. Drac enlists his friends, Frank (Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key) and Blobby the Blob (Jonny Solomon) to help train Dennis to become a monster, to no avail. Drac takes Dennis to his childhood summer camp, Camp Winnepacaca, where he learned to hone his vampire abilities, and discovers that the camp is safer than it was when he went there. Drac stubbornly believes Dennis is a “late fanger”, so he hurls Dennis from a tall, unstable tower to pressure the boy’s transformation into a bat. Dennis does not transform, and Drac has to fly and rescue him at the last second. The stunt is filmed by the campers and uploaded to the internet, which eventually reaches Mavis and Johnny. Mavis angrily transforms into a bat to fly her and Johnny back to Transylvania. Drac and his friends reach the hotel a couple of seconds after Mavis. She confronts her father for putting Dennis in grave danger and his inability to accept that he is human. She states she will move out of the hotel after Dennis’ fifth birthday the following Wednesday. Drac hangs his head with deep guilt.

Mavis invites Vlad (Mel Brooks), her grandfather and Drac’s father, to Dennis’ birthday party. As Vlad is much worse than he was when it comes to humans, Drac tells Johnny to have the human party-goers disguise themselves as monsters. Vlad receives the invitation and arrives with his monstrous bat-like servant Bela (Rob Riggle) to meet his great-grandson for the first time. Meeting him, he believes that fear will cause Dennis’ fangs to sprout and possesses a stage performer dressed as Dennis’s favorite television monster, “Kakie the Cake Monster,” to scare Dennis, but Drac shields his grandson at the last moment and exposes the deception to Vlad, who is outraged that Drac has accepted humans as guests in his hotel. Drac confronts his father about how humans are different now.

Mavis becomes upset with her grandfather’s behavior (regretting inviting him to Dennis’s birthday party) and while the family argues, Dennis sadly flees the hotel (followed by Bela) and enters the forest with Winnie in tow, hiding in her treehouse, but they are attacked by Bela, who mistakes Dennis for a human. When Bela injures Winnie and threatens to destroy the hotel, Dennis’ anger causes him to instantly grow his fangs and his vampire abilities manifest. He begins to fight Bela, who calls his giant-bat minions. Drac, Mavis, Dennis, Johnny, the rest of the monsters and (some of) Johnny’s family team up to defeat his minions as Vlad watches. A livid Bela then attempts to kill Johnny himself with a stake, but Vlad appears and shrinks him to a harmless size telling him never to come near him and his family again. This allows the Werewolf Kids to lick him nonstop.

With Dennis having vampire abilities, Mavis and Johnny continue to raise him in Transylvania, and they resume the party with his friends

REVIEW:

Adam Sandler’s movies haven’t been doing very well lately, with the exception of Hotel Transylvania (which he only has a voice acting part in). The first film was somewhat of a surprise hit which, of course, means there has to be Hotel Transylvania 2, right? I’m so sick of sequels, prequels, threequels, etc., but I digress. I’m sure this will be worth my time, right?

What is this about?

In this batty animated sequel, high jinks and hilarity ensue when Vlad, Dracula’s cranky estranged dad, arrives at Hotel Transylvania for an unexpected visit — and promptly creates an uproar.

What did I like?

Hanging with the guys. As with almost all of Adam Sandler’s movies, he makes sure to cast his buddies. This is no exception, but the difference is we get to see them actually act as if they are lifelong friends. The last time we saw that from Sandler and co. may have been Grown Ups.

Vlad. Let’s see, Dracula is Jewish comedic legend (whether we want to admit it or not), so his father would have to be an even bigger Jewish comedic legend. How about Mel Brooks? Yes, they cast Brooks as Vlad and he does not disappoint. First, he shows why he has been in the funny business all these years by having a comedic standoff with Sandler and then, we see the grumpy, human hating, all powerful father of vampires. In the short time he is on screen, we get a nice layering of the character that really pays off the build up they gave him early on in the film.

Parks and Rec. The human parents are total opposite of Dracula. Serious and non-flinching, they make you wonder how they even had their son, who doesn’t seem to fit in with them, either. Nick Offerman and Megan Mullaly reunite (after many episodes avoiding each other on Parks and Recreation) and give us the tranquil ripples in this maelstrom of madness.

What didn’t I like?

Like father, like son. In the first film, I was not a fan of Andy Samberg’s character. This annoying human who somehow stumbled into a monster hotel nearly ruined the entire film for me. His son, while not as annoying, seems to have the same effect in the sequel. This kid is nothing more than a mop of bright orange hair that always needs saving and talk in such a way that we’re supposed to think him cute. I didn’t.

Tentacle monster. With all the monsters at the hotel, you would think we wouldn’t hear/see about any others, right? Well, lo and behold, out of nowhere (and in a normal, human neighborhood, mind you) we come across a tentacle monster that is married to a human woman, but everyone goes about their business as if nothing happened. How is this thing just up and running around town? I just don’t get it!

Worry too much. Mavis is a great character…at least she was in the first film. There was development, depth, and a touch of human to her that we all could relate to. This go around, she has been reduced to having nothing else to do but worry about her kid. I understand that is what mother’s do, but seriously, they could have given her something…anything else besides spending all her undead life doing things for her annoying kid…and don’t get me started on that little freak out over the camp video!

Final verdict on Hotel Transylvania 2? This is a valiant attempt to recreate the magic of the first film. IT actually comes quite close, but the failure here comes when the writers decided to use more kid humor or more adult humor, rather than finding a happy medium that all could enjoy. That being said, this is still a highly enjoyable film and better than most pictures out there. Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.

4 out of 5 stars

Trailer Thursday 6/23

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on June 23, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Let’s go back to 1994 for this week’s trailer. A little film took us all by storm with the simple premise of a bomb on a bus that can’t slow down or else it will blow up. Check out the trailer for Speed

Do Not Disturb

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on June 21, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Doris Day stars as a wife jealous because her businessman husband spends more time with his attractive secretary than with her. Deciding to turn the tables, she invents a secret admirer. But the joke’s on her when her fantasy man comes to life.

What people are saying:

“This is a Doris Day screwball comedy that was a lot of fun to watch. Done a bit later in her career and she still has that winning small and no fail attitude. And you also get to see her love of animals in this film as she adopts all sorts…. There is no singing/dancing, but you do get to see Doris drunk and doing a little bit of the shimmy – good clean fun to watch” 3 stars

“I aDORe Day movies but this one is deservedly obscure. It is flat, airless, strained, and neither romantic nor comic. She and Rod are much more fun in GLASS BOTTOM BOAT” 2 stars

“Everyone likes Doris Day….but not in this clunker of a movie. The acting is strained, the comedy set-ups simply DON’T WORK, and the plot is a hodge podge of really poor ideas. Spare yourself some real pain, and avoid this bomb at all costs.” 1 star

“Talk about “The Secret” coming to like – this film a great, very cute, example of the Law of Attraction at work! Doris doesn;t know what she is in for when she conjures up an illicit lover.” 5 stars

“So glad I ignored the other reviews: a wealthy American couple moves to England and has to settle in and better tune their marriage, as well as well navigate the “looser” European standards for business success. Doris Day is delightful with her physical comedy and beautiful to boot. Rod Taylor plays the successful, handsome husband well. The horny decorator is a great addition; as is the assuming and disapproving real estate lady. Madcap comedy perfect for a light romp, nothing heavy to weigh you down if you want something light, madcap & fluffy. Wardrobe is awesome; Sets and setting divine. This is an adorable movie, like her others.” 4 stars

The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Young bachelors and best friends Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble have recently qualified as crane operators at Slate & Company. Soon to be employed, now they want dates, and little green alien The Great Gazoo, exiled to Earth by his species, offers to help, although only they can see him. Meanwhile, Wilma Slaghoople wants a normal life and activities, like bowling, despite her controlling mother Pearl, who wants her to marry smooth casino-owner Chip Rockefeller. Wilma angrily runs away to Bronto King in Bedrock. Waitress Betty O’Shale mistakes her as “caveless”, and offers to share her apartment, and gets her a job.

Fred and Barney are smitten with the waitresses and invite them to a carnival, with Fred dating Betty and Barney taking Wilma. Fred wins a carnival game and gets a prize of an egg which hatches into a baby dinosaur, whom he names “Dino”. However, he does not really feel a connection with Betty, nor does Barney with Wilma, until both men switch dates. Wilma invites her new friends home to a birthday party for her father, Colonel Slaghoople, where all are shocked by her wealth. Fred intends to propose, but changes his mind after meeting Chip, who berates him for his low-level job at Slate & Company. Pearl dislikes the three new friends, but the Colonel accepts them, glad Wilma is happy, and privately gives her a valuable pearl necklace that once belonged to his great-grandmother. After the boys disgrace themselves at dinner, Wilma nevertheless proclaims her pride and follows them out.

Chip congratulates Fred on attracting Wilma and apologizes for his humiliation of Fred’s job. He invites the four to his Rock Vegas resort as a peace offering. However, this is a plot by Chip to hope Fred gambles so Wilma dumps him, whereas Fred sees it as a chance to win big so he can impress Wilma with money like Chip’s. Chip and his girlfriend Roxie are visited by two gangsters named Big Rocko and Little Rocko to collect a lot of money owed by Chip, who claims his upcoming marriage to Wilma will get him access to the Slaghoople fortune, and the gangsters consider that plan creditable, so they agree to suspend collections until after the wedding. Gazoo witnesses the entire conversation. When Barney tries to keep Fred from high-stakes poker, Chip sends Roxie to seduce Barney for an escort to an All-You-Can Eat buffet.

Chip keeps Fred gambling to miss his dinner date with the others. Betty sees Barney wipe cream from Roxie’s chest and misinterprets the move as a pass. Mick Jagged comforts the weeping girl, and they go on a date. Wilma breaks up with Fred over not spending any time with her. Chip warns her of burglaries and arranges that Fred loses everything before slipping Wilma’s pearls in Fred’s pocket and asking him to empty them. Hotel security arrests Fred for robbery. When Barney protests that Fred would do no such thing, and that Fred wouldn’t even be able to crack his own knuckles without help, Chip accuses Barney of being Fred’s accomplice and has him arrested as well. Angered that the two of them stole from her, Wilma goes back to Chip.

In prison, the men are visited by Gazoo, who earlier spied on Chip. Gazoo reveals that Chip is in severe debt to the mob, and hoped to solve both his problems by framing Fred for the robbery and plans to marry Wilma in order to get the Slaghooples’ money. Barney slips through the bars, steals the keys, and unlocks the cell. Disguised as dancers, they accidentally run into Jagged’s dressing room. Barney tells Betty he loves her, and they get back together.

Fred plans to disguise himself as Jagged in attempt to reconcile with Wilma. Meanwhile, in the audience, Chip proposes to Wilma, but she is unresponsive. Fred then comes on stage disguised as Jagged and briefly sings to Wilma. He apologizes for his behavior earlier before proposing to her. Wilma happily accepts, rejecting Chip, and they marry in the Rock Vegas Chapel of Love, while the gangsters prepare to make Chip pay in their own manner. After the Pastor proclaims them husband and wife, everyone sings “Meet the Flintstones”. When Jagged sings “Viva Rock Vegas” at a party, Betty catches Wilma’s tossed bouquet and kisses Barney. The newlyweds drive away with Dino and Gazoo to goodbye waves from their friends, family, and even Chip and Roxie.

REVIEW:

I think it is safe to say that many of us grew up watching The Flintstones. For those around my age and younger, it was through reruns, but I am sure there are those that were around for the original run. This is the second time they have been brought to the big screen in live action. Considering the cold reception the previous film received, hopefully this will be better.

What is this about?

Yabba-dabba-doo! Digital dinosaurs rule the day when Fred (Mark Addy), Barney (Stephen Baldwin), Betty (Jane Krakowski) and Wilma (Kristen Johnston) take Vegas by storm in this prequel that posits their lives before marriage. A staple of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon series — The Great Gazoo (Alan Cumming) — also makes an appearance.

What did I like?

Cartoon loyalty. It has been awhile since I last saw The Flintstones, but I seem to recall they put a few gags from the cartoon in there, just enough to keep audiences aware that it was a live action version of the popular cartoon. With this prequel, the filmmakers decided to go all the way with it. Everything from the appliances breaking the fourth wall to the sound effects of Fred tiptoeing as he bowls was there and, in this concept, it really works!

First time for everything. The Great Gazoo is far from the best character Hanna-Barbera created. As a matter of fact, I never really bought into what he was there for, other than he had magic powers of some sort. My guess is he was brought in for ratings, much like the young, cute kid on sitcoms that are getting long in the tooth. Gazoo’s appearance in this film has the same effect it did in the cartoon, leaving the audience perplexed, but at least they tried, right?

Meeting. Fred, Barney, Betty, and Wilma seem to have been together forever. There was even that Saturday morning cartoon, The Flintstone Kids that had them as friends as far back as elementary school (apparently Dino was Fred’s pet even back then). I’m not sure that was canon history, though. Admit it, you’re just as curious as I am as to how they all met, right? A random meeting at a fast food restaurant seems to be good enough because the rest, as they say, is history.

What didn’t I like?

Casting. People complained when Rosie O’Donnell was cast as Betty. I thought she did a pretty good job, honestly. Jane Krakowski brought a different tone to the character than I’m not sure I was a fan of, but that’s personal preference. John Goodman was perfect as Fred. Mark Addy…well, this was 2000…give him about 10 yrs to put on some lbs and become Robert Baratheon, then he could be perfect as Fred. Still, he wasn’t bad. Kristen Johnson as Wilma was passable. Joan Collins seemed like she was trying to imitate Elizabeth Taylor, rather than make her own take on Mrs. Slaghopple. That brings us to lovable Barney. First off, Rick Moranis was a solid Barney and fit what we expect him to look like, mostly. Stephen Baldwin is too tall, looks like a stoner, and just doesn’t feel like Barney. What idiot cast him in this role?!?

TV effects. I was about to go on an epic rant about the special effects, but then I remembered that this was made in 2000, and the technology wasn’t there, yet. That said, I still was not impressed with the CG on Dino, Gazoo, and the other creatures. Some look better than others, I will say that. The dinosaurs look as if they were made for an amusement part ride, yet creatures such as the bird in the remote control look like bad puppets. Gazoo is the worst offender of them all, as he is nothing more than Alan Cumming’s head in green pain on a pear shaped CG body that was lazily rendered.

All comes down to money. Money, money, money…it seems that is all people care about these days. Take a look at our current presidential candidates. Most of us are going to vote for the lesser of two evils, whichever that may be, but that won’t matter because the one that has the most money backing them is going to win. In this film, we learn that Wilma, who comes from money, doesn’t care about it, yet her ex-boyfriend, who reminds me a lot of the villain from the last film, is all about money, especially since he owes a debt to the mob. He does any and everything to get Fred out of the picture so he can marry Wilma and not be “sleeping with the fishes”. Yeah, you can guess how that turns out, right? We’ve seen this plot a billion times and it never ends well for the bad guy.

Final verdict on The Flintsones in Viva Rock Vegas? This makes a valiant attempt at correcting the things that were heavily criticized in the previous film, as well as giving us a reason to care that this is another live action Flintstones film. However, some predictable plotlines, horrid casting, and bad timing hurt this film more than anything else. I found it mildly entertaining, at best. Do I recommend it? No, not really. There are better things you can waste 90 minutes on.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

Honeymoon

Posted in Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on June 19, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to a remote lake cottage for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.

What people are saying:

“It will leave you confused for large periods of time and the outside parts of the film have no real relevance but when Leslie and Treadway are on the screen it makes for a very effective slow building horror that you never really get to figure out. A smart horror film that depends on its cast, surroundings and cinematography more than big budget CHI or spats of excessive gore.” 3 stars

“Easily one of, if not the, worst movies of 2015. It’s acted as best as possible by Treadaway and Leslie but Leigh Janiak’s pacing is all over the place, and the script attempts to be metaphorical and human, but its ridiculousness reeks.

In layman’s terms, it’s just ass.” 1/2 star

“Loved it. I did enjoy that not EVERY SINGLE little question was answered- leaves you wondering. Dark imagery was intriguing. Only four characters also very neat angle.” 4 1/2

“Honeymoon is essentially Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, with a cast of two, set largely in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. As a low-budget film, this gets a polite round of applause for competence and for generating some decent atmosphere. As a horror film, it’s underwhelming.” 2 1/2 stars

“I was waiting…. and waiting… and waiting for something to keep my interest. I finally got a little taste of interest then the movie ended… Horribly at that. Sorry but this just didn’t do it for me.” 2 stars