Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wrath Of The Titans

I have to say that I have been so excited to see Wrath of the Titans! I have a big....ok huge crush on Sam Worthington. I think he is a stellar actor and the accent doesn't hurt! I know I tend to have a crush on every leading man....well I'm a great judge of men by acting talent ;)

Moving on....again I had to see this movie in 3D which was a total waste of money! Do not bother spending your money on 3d if you do not have to. It honestly did not bring anything extra to the film. I only noticed the 3D twice because rubble came flying at my face.

So to the movie I love Sam as Perseus, he brings this inner conflict between being half man half God. In this film he has accepted he is the son of Zeus, played by the fabulous Liam Neeson. He has a son and he is in contact with Zeus from time to time. IO is not in the movie but you really wont miss her. We also have Ralph Fiennes returning as the clever yet confusing Hades. The only casting that really bummed me out is there is a different Andromeda, played by Rosamund Pike. She is a talented actress but I hate when casting is changed from one film to the other.

This film is a story all it's own. It does not follow the old Greek tales of Perseus but takes a new spin on the story. It follows the end of the Gods and what happens to the world around them. The special effects are very impressive, it is hard ot tell what is real and what is not. Well except for the cyclops, you can tell they are CGI.

This film does not have as deep of a story as the first film did. This is more about the action and searching for a common goal. It was too short, I could have sat through another 25 minutes easily. I also would have loved to see more Gods in the film. I mean where was Athena or Hera all of the powerful Gods were gone. I guess the story was suppose to be more about humans and their will to live.

Over all the film was pretty good, I wouldn't say I liked it as much as the first one. This one stands alone as it's own film. It was very entertaining and Sam Worthington shows that he is a force to be reckoned with.

I say see it if you like the first one but do not waste your money on 3D.

Action: Yep
Adventure: yes

Over All: B

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dorian Gray

A classic story with a classic British cast....what else could anyone want? Ok maybe a slightly bigger budget but I suppose beggars can not be choosers. As some of you know, I have been on a little Colin Firth kick...I can't help it really....the man is just so darn talented!

For those of you that don't have a taste for CLASSIC pieces of literature, let me give you a little back story. Dorian Gray is based on the novel The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Dorian is a young beautiful man that gets mixed up in the Lust and corruption of London. Dorian is played by Ben Barnes, you might know him as Prince Caspian in the Narnia movies. He inherits a lovely home and a small fortune from a corrupt and abusive uncle.

Once in London he meets Lord Henry Wotten played by Colin Firth. This is not a typical Colin Firth role, he is not funny or charming but lustful and sinful. He helps lead Dorian astray from his pure life of innocents and introduces him to all the lust the city can provide.

Dorian is painted by Basil Hallward, played by Ben Chaplin. Dorian's spirit becomes tied with that painting. All of the ugly and sinful things that Dorian does shows on this painting. It shows his true self. Dorian himself becomes ageless and forever beautiful.

The sets in this film are dark but classical. The spaces are so large and make the characters seem so small and out of control in their own world. The costumes reflect the mental state of the characters. The ladies in lush red and blues while the men keep to the simple black and white. Well all the men except for Basil who adds a touch of flare to his attire. That becomes very important halfway in the film but I will not spoil the surprise. Color is a big part of emotion in the film. Reds are vivid and stand out so much in the world of grays, blacks, and blues.

The acting is top notch with some of the finest Britain can offer! Colin Firth is fantastic as such a horrible mean spirited lost man. He loves to manipulate the people around him like they were pieces in his game. Once Dorian becomes the lead player, Henry fights back. Firth does a stellar job trying to seek the truth that Barnes has so charmingly hidden.

Barnes has grown so much as an actor and it is fun to watch him evolve. Not only is he beautiful but he shows his emotional range and depth. He makes Dorian a confused and lost soul not a selfish player. His emotional turmoil shines all over the screen.

This movie is very much rated R. There are several scenes where Dorian goes on sexual escapades. They are very shocking and show his corruption. The painting itself is so grotesque it is hard to watch. Like a said it is a bit disturbing....but still a good film.

Over All- B

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games

Happy Hunger Games! Yes I went and stood in line to see the 12:01am showing of The Hunger Games. I may or may not have dressed up....ok I totally did! I was Katniss, my friend Amy was Peeta, and her friends were Effie and Haymitch! I must say I had a blast running around the movie theater shooting my suction cup bow and arrows! I was the only person that brought a Bow and Arrow, I felt dedicated! You should also know that it's 3:15 am and I have been up since 7:45......basically I'm really tired and a little crazy! You have been warned!

Anyways lets get right to the movie! I did read all of The Hunger Games series before I saw the movie. I purposely didn't re-read the book right before because all you can think about are the things they left out of the movie. The basic story is this, the setting is in the future and the capitol is Panem. There was once a rebellion and after it was crushed the 12 districts must have a boy and a girl between the ages of 12-18 to fight to the death in The Hunger Games. It's the governments way of still having control over the 12 districts. These children are sacrificed for a live television audience for entertainment.

The movie was a little slow in the middle but that might have been because I knew what was coming, so I was ready for the next scene. There is a bunch of hand held camera scenes that are suppose to make the audience feel connected to the character. I did not mind most of it except at the end when it was hard to see the final fight.

The casting was perfect! We have the Oscar Nominee Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. She is our leading lady, she is skilled with a bow and is willing to sacrifice her own life for her little sisters. Jennifer is so true and real to the emotions of the character that you forget you are watching a movie. One of the best actresses of our time. We also have the charming and charismatic Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark our fellow district 12 tribute with Katniss. He is such a sincere character and Josh plays him so naturally. It's seems like Josh and the Character are one in the same. Woody Harrelson play Haymitch, a former district 12 winner of The Hunger Games. His character is dirty, low, and willing to do anything to block out his thoughts. At the same time Woody brings this real pain and understanding but it is done so suttelly that it feels so true. He brings an honesty to the character that we don't see in the book. There is also a stunning cast of Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, and Donald Sutherland.

The movie follows the book pretty well. ok here are some spoilers below. This is where I am going to talk about the differences between the book and the have been warned!


Ok so number one in the book the cave scene is a little different. In the film it is done much quicker but there is so much heart in it. There isn't any of that making out pretending to be in love crap. There is one breath taking kiss that had everyone SWOON in the theater. It's almost like you could tell Peeta was in love with Katniss but you are not really sure what she feels. In the book it is a little clearer that she has some confusing feelings about him. You really don't see that in the movie.

Also a few little things, we see alot more of what was going on behind the scenes. In the book it was only from her perspective but the movie we see Haymitch trying to get sponsors, we have President Snow talking to Seneca, we see the upraising in District 11 after the death of Rue, and we see what is going a on a bit with District 12.

Oh also the ending is a little different. Katniss never has damage to her ear and Peeta does not lose his leg. We see him get the leg bit but as far as we know he still has it. Also it doesn't end with Peeta so angry like it did in the book. The movie ends with Peeta understanding that things should go back to normal and they should just forget. Peeta tells Katniss that he doesn't want to forget any of it. That's the moment you can tell he is in love with her and she is taking it for granted. The movie leaves you on the edge of your seat. We will all be ready for Catching Fire.

Over all a really good movie with out of this world costume and set designs. The acting is some of the best I have seen in a long time. All of the actors bring so much heart and life into their characters. The movie does have a bit of blood but nothing you can't handle! May the odds be ever in your favor!

Action: DUH
Romance: Not really
Blood: Some

Over all: A-

Monday, March 12, 2012

John Carter

I am so sorry that I have not been as up to date with my reviews as I should be. I have been very busy and honestly sleep has won me over. Whenever I get a spare few hours to myself, all I want to do is crash. To paraphrase Ron Weasley....I need to sort out my priorities. Not to worry I am still watching as many movies as ever, so let's get right into it. I love the Disney action films, I think they are epic and adventurous. I knew I would see John Carter from the first preview. To be totally honest, I went into the film with very low expectations. I knew the special effects would be awesome but I had little faith the the quality of the script. I must say I was proven wrong.

The movie is about John Carter, a soldier who is trying to find his place in the world. He is disturbed by the memories of his past and tries to change his fate by seeking out treasure and riches. One day he ends up in a cave where he finds and item that whisks him to a new world. In this world he can not walk or run like his normal self. His steps are him and he can leap from place to place.

Come to find out, he is actually on Mars. He is put into this land of adventure and danger as he tries to find his way home. While on Mars he finds aliens and humans alike trying to survive as their world falls apart. John must decide if he will fight with these new found beings or just try and get home to the world he knows.

The movie is a little hard to follow at times. It is hard to understand the different lands and people they are talking about. The film uses alot of made up martian names that all sound the same. I found myself trying to figure out who they were talking about because I didn't recall the name.

The special effects were believable and grand. The green aliens were lovely and creepy with their tusks and four arms. Even watching John, you believed he was really leaping from structure to structure. The colors used in the movie were haunting with the dry yellows and browns to the lush blues and reds. The colors were vivid while the costumes were simple and showed lots of skin. The story was about the land, environment, and history of Mars.

The actors were not bad either. John Carter is played by Taylor Kitsch and he is not only sexy with his body like karate but his emotional range shows so much potential. Yes part of me kept thinking about Gambit from X-Men Origins but that's ok! Lynn Collins played Dejah Thoris a Martian princess that travels along with John. She is beautiful with stunning blue eyes. Her fake accent made me cringe just a little but you almost over look it because she kicks alot of butt!

Over all a fun and entertaining movie that the kids can enjoy.

Action: Yes
Adventure: Yes
Thrill: Some
Over all: B-

THe Hunger Games Mall Tour!!

Gas Money.....$40.00
Road Trip Snacks.......$8.00
Standing in a crowd......3 hours
Standing 3 feet away from Josh Hutcherson, Isabelle Fuhrman, and Jacqueline Emerson....PRICELESS!!!

Yes I did it! I joined the thousands of Teeny-bopper girls and went to the Live Q&A with the cast of The Hunger Games in Chicago. The event was set up by Lionsgate and what they did was start off in LA with the 3 Lead stars of the film, Jennifer Lawerence, Liam Hensworth, and Josh Hutcherson. Once the tour started they spilt the 3 leads to one city each and then added a few smaller role actors on the tour. At my tour we saw the characters Peeta, Clove, and Foxface.

The day started with driving from Michigan to Chicago/Aurora IL. A fun trip that went by so fast because I had amazing company. We got to the mall about 3 hours early and got really lucky and found a spot next to the sound area with a clear view to the stage and 3 chairs. There were some people that had been there since 8am we got there around 2:30ish. Then we played the waiting game, standing, sitting, standing, jumping. I will give it to Westfield Fox Valley Mall, they did provide entertainment. We had a mall wide Sing a long to Journey and Adele. Nothing says a great time like hundreds of people belting out Someone Like You.

Finally when the time came to see the actors, the fans broke out into pushers and screamers. Thankfully I was right next to their entrance and the stage. I was able to slide in and stand with no one in front of me. The security was insane, tons of big burly guys trying to maintain order with thousands of screaming girls. Finally I saw the cast standing next to me. Not even 3 feet away! I stayed as cool as a cucumber and didn't scream or yell.

Once they took the stage it was a haze of screams, laughs, and microphone interference. Josh Hutcherson answers questions about why he took the role and what it has done to his life. His answers proved that he is still a small town sweet guy that has not let fame get to his head. All 3 actors looked stunning and comfortable at the same time. I can not imagine going from city to city to city in just a weeks time. They were amazing and had tons of energy. They really brought that passion to the crowds and managed to make us all feel special and apart of this film historical moment. I will always be able to say that I was at the live Q&A for The Hunger Games. It was honestly a great moment! Let's hope that by the time Mockingjay comes out I will be able to be in LA doing the Interviews instead of being in the crowd.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

I must say I was not very impressed by the movies out this past weekend. That is probably because I am in desperate need of some summer action blockbusters. I have been watching trailers for The Bourne Legacy, The Avengers, The Hunger Games, The Amazing Spiderman, The Dark Knight Rises, and Snow White and the Huntsman. This summer is going to be amazing with films but until that time I am stuck watching Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

Once again the only times that worked with this movie were in 3D. I hardly even noticed that it was in 3D which tells me they did not use it to the full potential. It didn't need to be in 3D and It didn't bring that extra soemthing to the film. Again I will get off of my 3D soapbox and jump back into my review of this movie.

I was not a big fan of the first film. I thought that it was a little slow and it took a while for the film to really get going. I also never understood the end of the film and why Johnny Blaze decided to make a new enemy. That being said, I did like this film so much more than the first one. This one was very simple and started off quickly. There was none of this crazy build up, the movie just jumped into the story. It also had an amazing nod to the comic books by using the comic art to tell the back story of the Ghost Rider. Throughout the movie the direct uses this and I felt it added so much more to the film. It changed the style and allowed it to be different.

The whole premise of the story is that the Devil, played by Ciaran Hinds is looking for a way to be on Earth fully powered. He can not do that in human form. There is a connection between the Devil, Nadye, and her son Danny. Nadye is played by Violante Pacido and Danny is played by Fergus Riordan. With the help of Moreau, played by Idris Elba, and Johnny Blaze Aka Ghost Rider, played by Nicolas Cage, they all team up to fight the Devil.

Along the way there is fighting, adventure, and violence. I really enjoyed Danny as a character because he is a young boy put into this battle of Heaven and Earth. He reacts the way any normal child would act. I really enjoyed Idris character and I wished he was in the film a little bit more. The action scenes were very cool and the special effects were very intense. I even enjoyed the inner turmoil that Johnny was going through trying to be both himself and the Ghost Rider. In this movie we actually find out how the Ghost Rider came into existence in the first place. A very interesting story that is also told through the eyes of the comic book.

Action: Yes
Adventure: Yep
Drama: Not really

Over all: B-

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Alright, I admit it.....I went and saw Journey 2: The Mysterious Island just because Josh Hutcherson was in it! I am in serious need of a Hunger Games fix and after I watched The Kids Are All Right and The Last Song, this was my other option. I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this movie and the fun entertainment it had. Keep in mind this is a family film for a younger group of kids. The story is very simple and it moves along quick. It will hold the attention of the little 6 and 7 year olds but still be funny for the older tween group of kids.

This is a sequel to the first Journey To The Center of The Earth, sadly Brendan Fraser is not in this one. In this story Sean and his mom have moved away to a new town. The story starts off with Sean, played by the charming Josh Hutcherson, breaking into a military office. He found a code hidden in a satellite message that he believes is from his missing grandfather played by Michael Cane. With the help of Hank Sean's stepfather, played by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, they go on a search for The Mysterious Island. They must hire a plane to get there, piloted by Gabato and his daughter Kailani, played by Luis Guzman and Vanessa Hudgens. Once they arrive at the Island they are exposed to all the magic it has to offer. You will notice characters from classic stories and it's fun to see huge lizards and bees.

The movie is quick witted and very funny. Michael Cane has some moments to pure gold with Dwayne Johnson, they play so well off of each other. Josh Hutcherson is so charming and sweet, you can not help but like him. Luis is so funny, he had me in tears from laughing so hard. He has this sort of pure innocence that makes you smile. He is the perfect character for a children's movie. Vanessa Hudgens.....what can I say about her? She looked amazing and she was very pretty but how in the world does this girl still get work!? She is so sweet but her acting is terrible in this movie. It's cheesy and you can tell she is reading lines, it doesn't feel real. Thank goodness she has Josh to play off of because he makes up for her lack of skill. The thing is, you really REALLY want to like Vanessa, you can tell she is a nice girl. I'm sure in person is she fantastic but that acting was so bad. I could have done better and I've never done a film in my life.

Over all it is a great film for the family. Keep that in mind that the audience is younger children to tween because you will see it as charming and adorable. If you go into the film expecting it to be this epic film you will be disappointed. I really liked the film and I know that my 7 year old nephew will love this movie. I can already see him bouncing up and down in his seat. Oh I wanted to add that I did see this movie in 3D. If you have read my reviews before, you know I have a big disdain for 3D. This movie uses the 3D to make it more fun for the kids. You see bees and berries flying at you. It was fun and added a little something extra to the film, that is what 3D is suppose to do. It will still be just as amazing of a film without the 3D.

Action: Yep
Adventure: Heck Yeah
Drama: Not really
Funny: Very
Eye Candy: YEPPERS!!!!

Over All: A-