How to Train Your Dragon 2 [2014] – Review

download

How to Train Your Dragon 2  [2014] – Review

It’s been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

How to Train Your Dragon 2 soars to new visual heights in this second film, but it’s mature subject matter can be downright frightful for kids. Right from the start, the visuals are outstanding and highly recommended for 3D. You feel like your on your own dragon flying through the sky. Although not as charming or funny as the first film, the characters are just as lively and some good laughs coming from Kristen Wiig’s Ruffnut who is just boy crazy throughout the movie. The dragons lead by toothless are all unique and come in different sizes. Some as massive as a huge skyscraper called Alphas.  In the story, Hiccup is faced with many challenges including war, death, betrayal, and responsibility. These subject matters are difficult and maybe too mature for younger kids to watch. At times, the main antagonist Drago can be frightening with his motivation to conquer the world using dragons.  Overall, How to Train Your Dragon 2 takes you from the kiddie ride of the original film and puts you right in the center of a massive roller-coaster.

7 out of 10 Stars  “And with Vikings on the backs of Dragons, the world just got a whole lot bigger” 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 8.01.28 AM

(some spoilers ahead)

Highlights –

Free Falling – The areo sequences  in this film were stunning. You feel like your on board a dragon for most of the movie especially during the opening movie sequence and the final battle. Was that Quidditch they were playing?

Ruffnut – Kristen Wiig’s character gets most of the laughs in this film as she struggles to figure out who to choose between her love triangle

Toothless – As cute as ever and always the heart of the film

Problems –

Avatar Much – With all the dragons flying around and all the bright visual colors, I couldn’t help to think that I was watching another dose of Avatar

The Laughs – With such a mature subject level in this film, I found the laughs were more for the kids than the adults. In our theater, I found most people had smiles on their faces, but didn’t hear any large outburst of laughs

Mature – With a major death 3/4 into the movie, this movie gets really dark and was

22 Jump Street [2014] – Review

22-jump-street-funny-film-clip-and-poster

22 Jump Street [2014] – Review

After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

22 Jump Street jumps right back into the bromance comedy that you loved in 21 Jump Street. It’s pretty obvious that the story does not take itself seriously and it’s main goal is to put the stars in ridiculous situations.  This time they go undercover at a local college to stop the spread of a new drug called “Wiphy” (Wi-Fi). The ying and yang buddy-cop tandem of Channing and Jonah have wonderful chemistry reprising their roles as Schmidt and Jenko. Tensions arise between the duo when they decide to split to investigating different social groups within the college. Most of the movie is nonstop jokes involving race, sexuality, and even ageism.  The movie does slow from boring frat and football plots you’ve seen in many college movies, but there were at least 2 to 3 hilarious scenes that had the audience rolling. 22 Jump Street also lack the wit and originality of the first film, but the duo of Channing and Jonah is just to fun to not watch. 22 Jump Street sticks with the same successful formula and delivers on the laughs. Can’t wait to see if the next year of schooling pays off.

7 out of 10 Stars  “Jenko: uh oh, co-ed bathrooms. Schmidt: Fuck. I’m not gonna take a dump the entire time we’re here..” 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

22 jump street

(major spoilers ahead) (you’ve been warned)

Highlights –

Channing and Jonah – Probably one of the great duos. Channing plays the muscle and Jonah plays the mouth. Together they play well off one another and could be better than the teams of lethal weapon, rush hour, and Beverly Hills Cop

Dating the daughter – Probably one of the funniest scenes in the movie is the realization of who Schmidt is dating. It was a shocking moment that the audience did not see coming. Few scenes later, Jenko finds out the news and more hilarious fun ensues.

Final Fight – The final fight with Schmidt and the final reveal really saved the movie for me. It’s one of the most hilarious fight scenes I’ve seen in a long time and I didn’t want it to end.

23 Jump Street – Medical School? That would be interesting if they ever do it.

Cameos – There are at least 3 cameos that got good laughs

Problems –

Football and Fraternity – Found most of the football scenes and fraternity scenes a bore.

Lack Originality – One of the main reasons of the success of the first 21 Jump Street was the shocking amount of use of profanity and use of blood and violence. This movie loses the shock factor from the 1st film.

 

A Million Ways to Die In The West [2014] – Review

MV5BMTQ0NDcyNjg0MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzk4NTA4MTE@._V1_SX214_AL_

 

A Million Ways to Die in the West – Review

As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Saddles Blazing and Hell Raising, A Million Ways to Die in the West is a slug-fest of jokes that know no limits, but crude humor may limit it’s appeal to viewers looking for a smart comedy. Seth MacFarlane’s movie is the first western with dirty humor, sexual themes, and a few amazing cameos. The story revolves around Albert who is the charming good guy looking to rekindle his romance with his ex girlfriend, but ends up falling for Anna, his relationship coach.  Just like his hit show Family Guy, the jokes are non stop and their is no stone left unturned. Race, sex, toilet humor, and even a musical number make up many comedic moments. The movie cinematic’s were quite impressive and the landscapes will pull you right into the movie.  Where the movie lacks is an actual good story or any amazing action scenes which makes sections of the movie a little slow. Sarah Silverman has the perfect role as the neighborhood prostitute and Neil Patrick Harris does what he does best as the new evil boyfriend. Overall, A Million Ways to Die in the West isn’t for everyone, but if you like poop, piss, and penis jokes, it’s a great time in the ole west.

7 out of 10 Stars  “Please don’t shoot us on sex night” 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

maxresdefault (1)

(some spoilers ahead)

Highlights –

Cameos – The cameos were amazing in this movie. Without spoiling too much, it revolves around getting shot, jumping to the future, and a slave.

Soundtrack – You really feel like your watching an old western with the great musical numbers.

Sarah Silverman – Sarah as the town prostitute was so funny. She does not have sex with her fiance, but goes balls out literally with all the johns in town.

Problems –

Story – Very predictable story with no surprises other than the cameos. You know right from the start where the story is headed without any twist and turns.

Action – At times the movie does get slow. The movie lacks a memorable chase scene or a nice gun battle that may have made up for some of the dull moments in the movie.

Edge of Tomorrow [2014] – Review

edge of tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow  [2014] – Review

A soldier fighting in a war with aliens finds himself caught in a time loop of his last day in the battle, though he becomes better skilled along the way.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Edge of Tomorrow takes the best of every action movie and creates a fresh innovative mash-up that is quite a surprise.  It has some of the best action scenes this summer and also infuses humor quite well. The story starts Tom Cruise as Cage in a very different role from the start. He isn’t this war hero you’ve seen him in countless movies, but a coward trying to save himself from combat. Eventually he is enlisted to fight and that’s where the fun begins. An alien invasion threatens to end mankind, but through a loophole which is well explained, Cage is able to repeat the same day over and over everyday he dies. Cage learns and plays out the scenario everyday till he becomes the only hope for survival. Tom Cruise does another superb job carrying the movie and Emily Blunt does a fine job playing a grunt bad ass. The rest of the cast are also a bunch of characters that have strong personalities. The aliens are also some of the best on screen. They are quick, deadly, and come in large numbers making it feel like their is no hope for humanity.  Edge of Tomorrow is my first surprise of the summer and definitely requires repeat viewings!

8 out of 10 Stars  “Live, Die, Repeat.” 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

edge-of-tomorrow-tom-cruise-540x304

(some spoilers ahead)

Highlights –

Transformation of Cruise – This is a very different Tom Cruise early in the movie. It’s nice to see Tom Cruise in a cowardly role and then each repeat day he gains more confidence in his abilities.

Similar Themes – This movie takes the best of the Matrix, Aliens, Ground Hog Day, Starship Trooper and many more movies and creates an action packed 2 hour film.

Alien Bad Ass – These aliens are bad ass and wow they move fast. It’s hard to describe these aliens, but when they are not moving they look like Kaijus, but when they are in motion, its like a complete blur ready to slice and dice your body.

Groundhog Day – It’s amazingly fun to see how Tom Cruise dies and even with a PG-13 rating, you don’t really miss the blood.

Humor – The humor is really needed in this film to break up the tense action. It’s funny to always see Tom Cruise a step ahead of everyone each day.

Problems –

Repeat – Eventually, near the late part of the movie, the repeating does get a little tiresome

 

Godzilla [2014] – Review

godzilla

Godzilla [2014] – Review

The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threate.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Godzilla is still the King of Monsters, unfortunately in this latest reboot, he is more of a side story than the star. Gareth Edward’s story focuses way too much on humans and on Godzilla’s rival monsters. The movie begins with heart and a great performance by Bryan Cranston. Ken Watanabe also adds some much needed back story to explain where the monsters came from. It isn’t till the second act is when Godzilla appears and it was amazing seeing his enormous size and how he compares to previous iterations. Aaron Taylor-Johnson soon becomes the focus of the film, but adds absolutely nothing to the story. One large problem with the movie is it’s sense of urgency. We see monsters destroying cities on the newscast, but most of the humans are going about the day with no care.  The final act is just monster bashing monsters and as much as I can see people enjoying it, I felt Del Toro’s film Pacific Rim was way more advance. It felt as if Godzilla was fighting only class 1 Kaijus and never really pose a threat. Godzilla promises being the ultimate monster movie, in the end, the monster fight is getting more crowded and it’s still wide open.

5 out of 10 Stars  “Let them Fight!” 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

godzilla-attacks-golden-gate

(some spoilers ahead)

Highlights –

Godzilla – The look of Godzilla is amazing. You really felt like he was Godzilla when he walks and screams. His fire breath was also a nice touch. I wanted more of his story, but it just seems as if he magically appears just to fight the monsters.

Problems –

Focus – The biggest problem of the film is the focus. Godzilla needs to be the star of the movie and he was just the creature on the side who comes in to help the humans and leaves at the end. The villainous monsters also had way too much story time.

Bryan Cranston – He was the heart and the best actor in the whole movie and yet he dies in the 1st act of the movie.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson – I found his performance boring, lackluster, and pointless. Jumping out of an airplane was a nice scene, but also pointless. Trying to recover a nuke was nonsense.

Monster Fight – Godzilla’s fight might be mediocre at best. I found many times they cut away from the fight at the most important moments to bring in the human element. If your going to make a monster movie, make it about the monsters. And did anyone notice the monsters look like the same monster in Cloverfield?

Neighbors [2014] – Review

Neighbors_(2013)_Poster

Neighbors  [2014] – Review

A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Neighbors is a block party gone wild!!!   It’s filled with drug, sex and vulgarity that brings back memories of wild college life. It’s not fine storytelling, but it’s a revenge film built on mindless slapstick that is here to give you a couple of hours of laughter. If your a huge Seth Rogen fan, then this is the film fits perfectly. Zach Effron plays the straight face fraternity president that is bent on making a legacy to last all time and does a great job as Seth’s rival. Rose Byrne is an absolute star and was quite refreshing seeing her in a really raunchy comedy. Dave Franco also is starting to emerge from the shadow of his brother James. This movie is not made for everyone, older viewers may find this movie immature, but young adults will gobble this movie up! Neighbors might be this years party of the year, but it might also have you calling the cops.

6 out of 10 Stars  “Keep it DOWN!” 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Neighbors-Movie-Review-Image-6

(some spoilers ahead)

Highlights –

Rose Byrne – It was really refreshing to see Rose Byrne in a role like this. She is raunchy, funny, and a total surprise in this role. She’s also amazingly beautiful. You even get to see some boobs even tho it was probably just prosthetics.

Kissing Game – Rose Byrne’s elaborate plan to turn frat brothers against each other is one of the best scenes and had the crowd cheering. It’s a very sexy and steamy scene that left me wanting more

Meet the fookers – Dave Franco’s impression of Robert De Niro is one of the big highlights of the film for me. He was dead on with the voice, the face, and mannerisms.

Baby – Possibly one of the cuttest babies on the screen and had the audience saying “awwww” so many times

Problems –

Story – It’s probably one of the most immature movies I’ve seen in awhile. Basically neighbors pranking each other till one gives up.

 

 

The Amazing Spiderman [2014] – Review

The_Amazing_Spider-Man_2_(film)_poster_001

The Amazing Spiderman 2  [2014] – Review

Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

The Amazing Spiderman 2 is an electrifying addition to the Spiderman Saga. It’s a compelling mystery storyline with an amazing cast of characters. You learn more about Peter’s parents, it builds on the relationship with Gwen Stacy, and introduces some real bad ass villains. Jamie Foxx’s Max Dillon is a little too comic book for my taste, but when he becomes Electro, he becomes a menacing scary foe. The Green Goblin origin story was also pretty surprising with it’s motivations and ties in to this overall story well. The heart of the story is still with the Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy’s relationship. Spiderman is in constant battle with keeping his loved ones safe while also trying to give hope to a city that needs him. Although this Spiderman does nothing too amazing, the potential of a Spiderman Universe is bright as ever!

7 out of 10 Stars  “Soon, everyone in the city will know how it feels to live in a world without power, without mercy, without Spider-Man!” 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

amazing-spider-man-2-electro-fight

(some spoilers ahead)

Highlights –

Electro – I thought Jamie Foxx does a wonderful job with what he had to work with. Max Dillion is a total loner, but by the end his transformation to Electro is scary. What I particularly loved about Electro was his voice. Whenever he talks you can hear the sizzling bass in his voice. Also the dub step soundtrack was a nice touch. I wasn’t too found of the way he was easily dispatched at the end thoough.

Gwen Stacy – She steals every scene that she was in. She has a radiant personality and very believable as Peter Parker’s love. She is a very strong character compared to the screaming damsel in distress you see in many movies. When she’s falling from the sky, she’s not a screamer, but is still thinking of ways to help Spiderman.

Green Goblin – I loved the Green Goblin’s origin story. His selfish motivations to save himself rather than revenge his fathers death is a welcoming surprise. He is young, not experienced in the art of war yet, and immature. With the help of some friends, Spiderman is going to be in some serious trouble in the future. I especially loved when he drops one of those Green Goblin bombs and it did get me pretty excited.

Problems –

Action Scenes – Some of the action felt a little too fake and a little too overboard. Spiderman’s cockiness is similar to how he is in the comic books, but it made the movie feel not as real.

Too Many Villains – With too many villains, I really felt as if Electro’s fall was anticlimactic and wished there was more with his storyline. Rhino popping in at the end also felt a little disjointed and felt like we were starting another movie. It’s really gonna see how the director is going to juggle Villains in future films as there are many more coming after Spiderman.