This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You Image

One Sentence: The essence of family.

Rated: R

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

This cast had me dying to see this movie from the minute I saw the trailer.  I knew what the movie was, what it would be and almost what would happen in the movie.  I didn’t care though.  Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Rose Byrne and Jane Fonda was enough for me.  Being rated R on top of that just made me all the more excited.

I loved this predictable, perfectly wonderful adult movie about a family being stuck together after a funeral.  An experience I had recently.  I would say that this movie plays out pretty much how you would expect it to.  Even in the first few minutes I felt like I had the pacing down and knew what was going to happen in the next scene, and that is why this movie is so great.  It is a refection of truth in a perfect way.  It is funny, uncomfortable, complicated and perfect.  The stellar acting and way that this cast played together made it feel even more real.  They seemed like a real family, and it rung so true to me.  Rose Byrne I think was my favorite, but I also loved Tina Fey trying something with more weight.  Everyone in the cast did an excellent job.

This Is Where I Leave You is not the best at anything, it doesn’t have an amazing message, it doesn’t do anything exciting or overblown. It is simple, small, and great, and that is what it intended to be.  If it looked like something you would like then it will be something you will love.  If it doesn’t look like your type of movie, the trailer is enough to tell you if you should go see it or not.

This Is Where I Leave You Image

The Drop

The Drop Image

One Sentence: Cold, slow and detached.

Rated: R

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

Maybe I watch too many movies now.  There are certain formats, especially in the “independent” world that have just been done to death and I am so tired of seeing the same format.  The Drop is a perfect example of that.  It is a well written movie with stellar acting by Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini.  It makes sense and I think could of been a good movie, but the direction choice for the movie was cold, distant, robotic, and lifeless.  It is one of those movies where everything is grey all the time, it is cloudy every day, and everyone lives on skid row, and they can’t make it out.  Life is grey, the characters are grey and the world is Grey.  Look at the poster, grey.

I have seen so many better movies that are using this format, so unless it is amazing, this movie just gets lost in the pile of independents that came before it that did this movie already.  So the only thing that makes it stick out from the pile is the acting, and the writing.  The writing was good but not amazing.  The story was small, and easily figured out, without seeing the movie play out on screen.  So without Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini making this movie worth watching, it would of been a total loss.  They are amazing, and they do carry the weight of this grey boat on themselves and they do it exceptionally well.

This is an actors class movie, showing how they can take something like The Drop and turn it into something worth while.  Without Bane and Tony Soprano, I would not recommend this movie at all.  With them in it, I think it is worth a rental when it gets on disk.

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The November Man

The November Man Image

One Sentence: Holy bad dialog.

Rated: R

Nudity: Boobs

After Credits: None

Do you know about The November Man, not the movie, but the character, played by Pierce Brosnan in the movie by the same title?  You don’t?  Are you sure, because the writers sure think you do.  As we are blasted into this very confusing story with a familiarity like James Bond, we are meant to not act like we don’t know what is going on from the very beginning.  The writers think it is easy to figure out, hes a spy or was, and shit went down and it was bad but now hes back because of things, super easy to figure out guys, so lets just move on and forget most of the back story.

We get caught up throughout the movie.  Well, I think that was the idea.  That we were supposed to figure it out.  However with all of the horrible dialog and all this unexplained characters blasting their spy business all over the place, it is really hard to follow for most of the movie.  There are assassins, and pimps, and CIA, and Russia, and guns, and 60 year scotch and Brosnan.  All of this noise does make for a visually appealing experience of guns, fights, boobs, and other spy business.  It just isn’t enough to make any sense.

So we have guns, and cars, and Russia and the CIA with Brosnan.  If that sounds like enough for you then you might like this movie.  However if you want dialog, plot, and to not be confused. This movie might not be for you. If you are going to go see this one I would not pay full price for it.

The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred Foot Journey Image

Rated: PG

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

I love making food.  Working and getting the ingredients together to make something that you love and that tastes amazing is a wonderful experience.  When I saw the trailer for The Hundred-Foot Journey I almost instantly fell in love with it.  It just looked like an amazing visual experience about the other senses that you don’t experience in the movies.

When I was watching the movie, it took about 5 minutes for me to know that I was going to love every minute of this movie.  The beautiful scenery, the shots that expressed the love of food and flavor in a way that made you experience it yourself.  The people who made this movie loved food and wanted to share that love with other people who do and it was done wonderfully well.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is beautiful, sweet, funny, romantic and about family, by blood, and otherwise.  It is a simple story, and tells it perfectly.  It is a great movie in this time of Ninja Turtles and other super heroes to just sit down have an amazing meal with some amazing people.  That is what The Hundred-Foot Journey feels like, and it was very welcome.

5 Stars.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Image

One Sentence: It wasn’t a total crapfest.

Rated: PG-13

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

I know the bar is set low when I am like well, it wasn’t the worst thing I have ever seen.  If I was comparing this to something like the 100 foot journey, which is amazing, then TMNT is an abomination.  However we are really comparing it to other summer movies and other Michael Bay movies, and if you put TMNT next to Transformers 4, the turtles would take home an Oscar.

The plot was all over the place, really really bad.  I am not quite sure what the plot was even now thinking back.  But that doesn’t matter does it.  We only need to know, was it fun, were the turtles bad ass, and how was The Shredder?  The turtles were over done to the extreme and annoying, but I think they always were and as an adult I just see it more now.  I felt like this movie more than most of these PG-13 comic book movies was focused more for kids.   However they were physically awesome.  Amazing CG and stellar fight scenes.  ILM delivered some amazing CG work.

The CG work is what really made this movie.  The fight scenes with the turtles and splinter were amazing.  So clean looking and so visually pleasing.  It is what saved this movie.  That and The Shredder.  He was designed very well.  He was brutal, strong, and very skilled in fighting.  I was really glad to see such a strong, overpowered bad guy.  I think he was my favorite part about the movie.  Without the great fight scenes you really don’t have much here.  There were enough of these scenes that it kept my attention and made me look at the shiny flashing things long enough to forget that the plot was horrible.

So it at least was something nice to look at for a little bit, and you might make it through it when you take your kids.  I don’t think you have to rush to the theater to see this one though.

2-3 Stars.

Into The Storm

Into The Storm Image

One Sentence: Twister 2, the twistiest.

Rated: PG-13

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

I loved Twister, it was horrible, it had Bill Paxton, and fake tornadoes, but it was visually amazing.  It did things they never did before in film.  It was a fun ride and it made for a very fun movie.  I still will watch it if I catch it on TV.  Twister had something that Into The Storm didn’t.  The surprise of amazing tornado special effects.  So Into The Storm had to bring something else, and it did not.  It was almost the same movie as Twister, except I think more people died in Into The Storm.  So I will probably watch it again in 10 years when it is on FX on Sunday, but I will forget about it until then.

Storm Chasers, an F5 tornado, and a family in the middle.  It was your run of the mill tornado movie formula.  It really didn’t surprise me in any way.  Well there was one scene at the end inside the Titan that was amazing (you will see). Even though it followed a Hollywood path, it was just a special effects movie and it didn’t have anything to say, it wasn’t a horrible movie.  It was visually stunning and I was nervous thought a lot of the movie.  It did what it needed to do, and none of it was badly put together.  It didn’t feel rushed, or the dialog wasn’t tragic.  It overall put together a pretty good forgettable movie.  Sadly it is a forgettable movie and just something I will never think about after this review.

I think you can go see it.  If it looks good to you, you won’t be disappointed in paying to see it, but don’t expect anything amazing.  It’s a movie about tornadoes, what do you expect.

3 Stars

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians Of The Galaxy Image

One Sentence: Comic book movies, where everything is a little cleaner.

Rated: PG-13

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

I just read up on Thanos and The Infinity Gauntlet and stones.  There are all these things about him dying and coming back to life and alternate universes and all of these things that make your head spin.  Too many lines, too many books and too much to keep up with.  This is one of the reasons I never read comics.  However that doesn’t mean I am  not a fan.  I love the characters and I think we are in an amazing age of new content for movies that we can just take from these many lines of comics.  Guardians is a perfect example of that.  Guardians was first released in 1969 and then rebooted in 2008.  We are already getting into complexity.  In the comic reboot some lived, some were used again, and some didn’t make the cut.  So let’s just say none of that matters, and let’s just make a movie.

Now that is what I am talking about.  Let’s take some amazing characters, throw away the multiverses and make something awesome.  Guardians Of The Galaxy is awesome.  It has a great opening straight out of 1988 and doesn’t stop until the end.  Comedy, Action, and great writing.  A solid story arc that fits into what else is going on with the Avengers but it can also stand up by itself that you do not, at least right now, need to have seen any other movie.

Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana are really fun.  Bradley Cooper killed it as Rocket.  Rocket, a fully CG raccoon humanoid character really looked amazing, and looked very real to me.  One of the best CG characters I have seen in film.  Groot and Drax round out the team, and it just worked so very well.  Everyone believed in this project, and wanted to deliver an amazing fun movie for everyone.  You do not need to be a comic book lover for this movie.  It was a lot of fun.  Probably the most fun I have had this year at the movies.  It didn’t take itself too seriously and while I thought The Winter Soldier was the better movie as far as film and story, this movie is more fun.

This one is available in 3-D and IMAX and I think you can skip both of those.  I saw it in 3-D and didn’t notice the 3-D at all.  This is a full price, see it with everyone, bring the kids along movie.  It is a touch violent and there is swearing, but it is standing compared to other Marvel Studios movies.  I think you should go see it this weekend.

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