Archive for April, 2017

Victor Frankenstein

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale. Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences. Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation.

What people are saying:

“Aiming to do for Victor Frankenstein what Guy Richie did for Sherlock Holmes, set in the past but with a playful, postmodern sensibility that zaps new life into Shelley’s 200 year-old Gothic masterpiece” 4 stars

“To avoid the accusation that it’s an unnecessary remake of an oft-told story, screenwriter Max Landis has reduced Mary Shelly’s cautionary tale to a bad comic book, bereft of soul and intelligence.” 1 star

“A different take on the Frankenstein franchise. This is more of a prequel than the typical Frankenstein movie. Like a lightning storm, some flashes of brilliance and a lot of wind and disaster. Radcliffe was pretty good and McAvoy does a good job of portraying the doctors spiral into obsession and madness. The movie is a bit long and has a completely worthless and misplaced love story. Could have been better, but it is imaginative.” 3 stars

“I expected too much I suppose. By the time we get to the monster, which was probably one of the better Frankensteins I’ve seen, he’s only there for a moment or two and then it’s over. I liked how Igor was more than just a bumbling idiot and how this was somewhat of a partnership, but it’s just a jumbled mess from bottom to top.” 3 stars

“Would have been really good if they kept with the buddy-cop-like-comedy instead pushing some of the dramatic elements. This dialogs between Igor und Dr. Frankenstein are hilarious and most times really good fun.” 4 stars

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Thirteen-year-old Lizzie McGuire and her pals Gordo, Kate and Ethan all pack their bags and plan to live la dolce vita while on a class trip to Italy. Once there, Lizzie is mistaken for pop star Isabella and begins to falls for Paolo, Isabella’s handsome, Italian pop star former boyfriend. When Lizzie’s mom, dad and annoying brother Matt get wind of this, they all jet their way to the boot country. In the meantime, Lizzie is transformed from a gawky teen to a beautiful pop star, Gordo struggles to understand his true feelings for her, and a whirlwind of surprising events force Lizzie to find the true meaning of friendship.

What people are saying:

“As driving-around-in-the-car-with-the-top-down, putting-on-your-lip-gloss, loving-life moviemaking, it’s all good.” 3 stars

“I’m sure every Lizzie McGuire fan will enjoy this movie. It’s just practically a Disney Channel Original Movie on the big screen. Parents, you’ll be bored. I also can’t handle Hilary Duff’s painfully unbearable auto-tuned musical performance at the end.” 2 stars

“A light movie to view to raise your spirits. Cute, sweet, and predictable, but in a bearable way. Nothing to remember, maybe not a classic, but nice for a quick watch with friends when boredom strikes.” 3 stars

“Cute, sweet, funny and watchable. We were never big fans of the series but the movie does satisfy. Though tween girls are the film’s demographic, it has humor for guys and adults. Good family film. ” 3 stars

“Let’s face it: Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff) is just too darn polished to be a junior-high underdog, even by the standards of her ‘luxe suburban environs’. But that hasn’t tarnished her comeback-kid cred among the six-and-ups who faithfully follow her Disney Channel show—and it doesn’t make The Lizzie McGuire Movie, a clever, agreeably weightless theatrical outing, any less enjoyable” 3 1/2 stars

Independence Day: Resurgence

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

What people are saying:

“With its flat characters and a bland, retreaded narrative, Independence Day: Resurgence makes for a banal and instantly-forgettable sequel that can’t even live up to the decent spectacle of the original.” 2 1/2 stars

“Ouch. An insult to the original. And to make matters worse, it’s horrifying when a movie feels the need to explain itself so early and so often. It couldn’t be just another Independence Day — that would’ve been bearable — they had to try and be different…and failed. Horribly.” 1 1/2 stars

“A worthy sequel with some over the top special effects. It may not be as well received for fans of the first one, but this is definitely worth a watch.” 3 stars

“Independence Day: Resurgence proves that visual effects cannot hide the script from monotone and stupid characters and a confusing nonsensical plot. Worse, it proves Roland Emmerich has little to no clue what made the original fun in the first place” 1 1/2 stars

“The Resurgence blueprint calls for a scene in which characters have human, allegedly humorous and/or touching moments; a scene in which characters plot strategy against the aliens; and a big action sequence in which it’s often difficult to tell the difference between the good-guy spaceships and the bad-guy spaceships. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat” 1 1/2 stars

The Boss

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The story follows Michelle Darnell, a titan of industry who is sent to prison for insider trading, denounced by her former lover, Renault, who still holds a heavy grudge towards her for their breakup, after getting a promotion a few years ago. After doing her time, Michelle emerges, ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, but not everyone she steamrolled is so quick to forgive and forget. With nowhere to go and no one to scam, Michelle is forced to move in with former assistant Claire and her young daughter, Rachel. Now at her lowest point, Michelle wastes no time in devising a winner-take-all plan to rebuild her empire.

What people are saying:

“Even though The Boss is co-written by McCarthy and her husband, director Ben Falcone (who should know his wife’s strengths better), the film often strands its title character in shrill one-note caricature, mostly unchallenged.” 2 stars

“A very disappointing movie – its cast should be able to pull off a comedy with this premise, but to call the script and/or editing lackluster would be an understatement.” 1 star

“You’ll know what brand of comedy you’re going in for before the movie even starts, but ‘The Boss’ did enough for me to keep me around and entertained.” 3 1/2 stars

“Funny, but not hilarious, flick from McCarthy. Strangely distracting with the turtle necks, scarves and high-neck blouses McCarthy was wearing throughout the film” 2 1/2 stars

“Formulaic comes to mind. Bad person with redemption in the end. Try and true archetypal story. It had it’s entertaining moments, but just did not catch me with the story. Melissa just was not nasty enough in her Martha Stewart’ish role. If the movie started out with her mean at the beginning; then slowly filled in the back-story, it probably would have been better. Kathy Bates had that meaness that was needed. Always happy to see Dinklage on the screen-but it will not go down as one of his finer performances. Kristen Bell did a fine job; for some reason I am slowly warming up to her.” 3 stars

Trailer Thursday 4/27

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on April 27, 2017 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Concluding our jazz month trailers, we have a more recent cinema darling that took the world by storm a few years ago, Whiplash.

Check out the trailer and enjoy!

Paris Blues

Posted in Classics, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , on April 22, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Ram Bowen and Eddie Cook are two expatriate jazz musicians living in Paris where, unlike the US at the time, Jazz musicians are celebrated and racism is a non-issue. When they meet and fall in love with two young American girls, Lillian and Connie, who are vacationing in France, Ram and Eddie must decide whether they should move back to the US with them, or stay in Paris for the freedom it allows them. Ram, who wants to be a serious composer, finds Paris too exciting and is reluctant to give up his music for a relationship, and Eddie wants to stay for the city’s more tolerant racial atmosphere.

What people are saying:

“Despite how square this movie about hepcats seems — if only from the admittedly unfair vantage point of more than five decades on — expressions of raw emotion stir Paris Blues to life.” 4 stars

“An interesting cinematic mis-step, the movie is of note for getting these three great actors in one movie — and for capturing images of a Paris at a transitionary time in its post war history.” 3 stars

“Martin Ritt directs Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier as jazz musician American ex-pats living in Paris. How could a film with that set-up not be great! Newman and Poitier fall for the pretty tourists Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll. Take all that and add in an amazing Duke Ellington score and you’ve got an incredibly cool film.” 4 stars

“You’ve got Newman and Woodward and Poitier and Diahann Carroll, you’ve got a great soundtrack by *the* Duke Ellington–throw in Louis Armstrong as “Mad Man Moore” and you’re pretty much set. It would’ve been nice for Poitier and Carroll to have had more screen time because their story (she wants to return to the US to fight for civil rights, but he likes the fact that Paris doesn’t marginalize him as a black man) is genuinely interesting and they have a great chemistry. But all in all it’s a solid film with solid acting.” 3 1/2 stars

“This films certainly has all the pieces; Newman, Poitier, Woodward in their prime, with a score by Duke Ellington and a Paris setting, the only thing missing is a strong story. It follows budding romance, but doesn’t really go anywhere…that being said, it’s still worth watching to see these fine actors work and hear the excellent score. Give it a try!” 3 1/2 stars

Blow

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Johnny Depp turns in a quietly powerful performance at the heart of this Ted Demme-directed drama as real-life coke smuggler George Jung, who rises from poverty to become one of the biggest drug dealers in America before his eventual downfall.

What people are saying:

“Johnny Depp shines in this amazing film. Depicting the rise and fall of real life coke smuggler George Jung, this film tells an amazing true life tale with the right amount of humor, drama and ultimately sadness. Not too many films can effectively make you root for the bad guy. The fact remains… Depp gives the right amount of sympathy and charisma to the character of Jung that it’s easy to forget his real life crimes and empathize with his decisions. At times inspirational and ultimately tragic, this movie is a winner on all levels. Look for a hysterical cameo by Bobcat Goldthwait. This film is a gem.” 5 stars

“Comes off like a flamboyant cartoon, another film about the deglamorization of glamorous people living it up in the glamorous world of drugs.” 2 stars

“Yes it’s cliche and yes it does appropriate from other movies, however it works. Depp commands the screen and the subtle plot and theme shift from ambition to o a more sentimental lesson – Blow, is still a thoroughly enjoyable ride.” 3 1/2 stars

“Blow is an excellent absorbing crime drama with a good cast. Depp is good, but his smaller bit players like the actress who plays his Mom or Diego or Paul Reubens are very memorable too. The movie paints the crime smuggler in a sympathetic light, which may ring false to some but ultimately its a well acted drama with a talented cast. Cliff Curtis and Emma Roberts were good too.” 4 stars

“Much better than I expected. Rather than over-glamorizing the life of a drug lord, it shows Jung to be just a regular guy. But a regular guy with an exceptional story. “Blow” reminded me not to judge people soley on their actions, because you never know what pushes people to do what they do. It really makes you feel for a man who, as a high-volume drug dealer with multiple arrests, would often be dehumanized. On a less emotional note, don’t let the R rating scare you. It’s mostly for the drug references & a prevalent use of the “f” word. Only one major sexual scene (which can be skipped without losing any of the plot), and little violence (none that’s graphic), especially for a film about drug dealers.” 5 stars