Friday, July 20, 2012

Dark Knight Rises

First off let me say I am so sorry for the families in Colorado. I'm so sorry for them and my prayers go out to those affected. It makes me sad that this horrible tragedy will be attached to this great film. I hope no one feels I am being disrespectful in doing this review. I feel like the plot of this film is to fight against oppression and stand up to injustice. It shows that the human spirit and the will to do what is right and will prevail.

The Dark Knight Rises starts off 8 years after the first film. Harvey Dent and Rachel are gone and Bruce is left to his own demise. Alfred and Fox try to get him to move on in his life but he can not. While Bruce is a shut in, people like Jim Gordon and Officer Blake are left without Batman. The city of Gotham is almost at a moment of peace.

It is the calm before the storm. A new villain named Bane and a woman named Selina Kyle are wondering the streets of Gotham causing problems. So when he is needed Batman will always return to protect his beloved city.

Ok I have to be very careful not to spoil anything. The film brings all kinds of fun toys for Batman to play with. We get our first look at the Bat plane and our favorite Bat Cruiser pops up. Bane also has some fun toys and big explosions. He is a bad guy we love to hate.

All of the actors did a fantastic job and the emotional range was so stellar. I think my favorites are Joseph Gordon Levitt and Michael Caine. Levitt plays Blake an officer on the Gotham police department. He is Gordon's right hand man. Blake believes in the law, what is right, and Batman. Levitt does a great job showing his passion and his range of emotion is so impressive. Levitt has been acting a long time, I remember him in 3rd Rock From The Sun and I feel like he is finally getting the recognition he deserves! Well done Sir, I am very impressed. Another outstanding performance came from Michael Caine, not that it's surprising! Caine taps into the deep pain that Alfred feels for Bruce and how much he loves him. A great performance from a brilliant actor.

Anne Hathaway gives a charming performance as the duel personalities of Selina Kyle and Catwoman. I didn't know if Anne could pull it off but she did a great job. I wanted to see more of her. When she wasn't on screen, I found myself missing her. The chemistry between her and Christian Bale was outstanding. You have to love when Batman finds a girl that can give him a run for his money! Well done both of you.

Christian Bale is haunting as the lost soul of Bruce Wayne. Bale is able to show Wayne's true pain for his past and hope for Gothams future. He is also haunted by the ghosts of his past....literally. Keep your eyes open for characters from the other films because they are there.

Over all the film is a stunning conclusion to the Batman saga. I must say it does leave it open for future projects. I must say that I am very hopeful that we will be seeing more of Mr. Levitt! I should warn the comic fans that this is CLOSE to the comics but a few liberties were taken. One major one that I won't spoil for you. Trust me, if you know anything about the comic series you will catch it in the end.

Action: Yes
Drama: Yes
Amazing Acting: Yep!

Over all grade: A-

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Madagascar 3:Europe's Most Wanted

So another afternoon with the nephew always starts with a cinematic adventure (to quote Dane Cook). This week it was between Brave and Madagascar, I wanted Brave he wanted Madagascar....he won! I must say it was a great movie that was very family friendly! It had a great plot and breath taking animation. The use of colors was so rich and engaging that all the children in the theater were mesmerised by the images on the screen. I found myself wanting to live in this rich pretend film where animals can talk and go on adventures!

Let's get into this, the film starts where the 2nd one ended. The penguins are off to Monte Carlo to win their fortune and our zoo gang is waiting for their return. We have our returning voices and characters. We have Ben Stiller as Alex, Jada Pinket Smith as Gloria, Chris Rock as Marty, David Schwimmer as Melvin, Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien, Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice,and Andy Richtor as Mort. We also have some new comers to the series like Francis McDormand as Captain DuBois, Jessica Chastain as Gia, Bryan Cranston as Vitaly and Martin Short as Stefano.

Alex and the gang decide to go to Monte Carlo to find the penguins and along the way run into trouble with animal control and Captain DuBois. Their only escape is pretend to be circus animals and jump a train with their new friends. Alex tries to remake the circus into a big success while trying to travel across Europe without getting caught.

The movie does a great job of showing kids that change is good and sometimes life is unexpected. It was also very magical and musical which is always fun for an 8 year old. If you have kids you really need to see this. If you have not seen the other films, it's totally ok. It gives you the background but makes it a whole new story. If you need an afternoon with the kids, take them to this...SOOOOO adorable!

The Amazing Spiderman

Alright Amber let's sit down and focus! You must write this blog because if you don't write it, people can't read it. If people can't read it, you can not expand your little universe! Alright readers here we go! I'm sorry it has been weeks between posts, my motivation is at zero! It's been too hot to do anything but sit on my butt melting in the 107 degree heat. So to stay focused I went to the local coffee hut and I'm drinking my Arnold Palmer. Sadly I am sitting in the worlds most uncomfortable chair. I keep eyeing the other tables planning my secret table attack. Move your feet lose your seat! ANYWAYS!

This past week I have been movie watching like CRAZY! I have finally got some time for myself and have been trying to play catch up. This past weekend I went and saw The Amazing Spiderman....not to be confused with Spiderman with Tobey McGuire from a few years back. This is a whole new reboot for Marvel and I must say I was very excited for it. Don't get me wrong, the others were good. They followed the original comic books very well. To us comic people, that is what it is about....follow the story and don't screw it up. So in this version they basically took a few liberties with the comic but not too many where is pisses you off. It's just skewing the timeline just a little.

In this story we have the charming Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. We see his parents leave as a child and we see Peter's confusion and pain over his parent's abandonment. We have Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Both do a great job playing the concerned adult figures in Peter's life. Personally, I liked them but I found Sally to be a bit young to play Aunt May.....I always see her as older. We also have Emma Stone playing Gwen Stacy and she is so charming and fantastic. For you unknown nerds Gwen was in fact involved with Peter at one point during the comic books. We also have Gwen's father Captain Stacy played by Denis Leary. He is the perfect father figure/cop trying to protect the city and take down the Spiderman! We also have a stunning and haunting performance from Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Conners. Basically it is a full power ass kicking cast that any director would drool to work with!

The problem is I can't give away too much about the film because it will literally ruin the film for you. I know the previews give WAY too much away! So let me just explained what I liked and if a spoiler pops up I will warn you!

One of the issues I had with this film is the relationship between Peter, Uncle Ben, and Aunt May. I didn't feel the closeness that I wanted for those characters. That seemed like a minor story in this 2 1/2 hour movie. I wanted more of a connection and more respect from Peter to them. I think part of me was comparing to the other Spiderman film....which is not fair...I know!

I really liked Peter and the way Andrew played him in this film. He wasn't this really nerdy kid that you felt bad for. He was just an average kid trying to get through high school, like most of us did. He was still charming but a little shy. The way he played the flirtation between himself and Gwen was so real and cute. A side note....Andrew and Emma are now dating in real life....maybe there was a Spiderman romance connection even then. I can tell you that I fell for both Peter and Andrew. I really fell for him when I saw that boy kiss....GRRR!

The character of Dr. Conners was probably my favorite. He had so much mystery, secrets, and soul that you wanted to see more of. The performance by Rhys was wanted to see him more on screen. It makes me wonder why he doesn't have a bigger name for himself. Seriously a very underrated actor!

The film did a great job of showing New York City as this city of togetherness. It was a very post 9/11 representation of the City and how they can come together in a time of distress. I just spent a week in NYC and I did see the city in that light. So many different cultures and people that must come together as a city in a time of need. It honestly gave me chills to see in person and then see on screen. A very Pro-America ending that shows what a big heart this country has.

Over all the movie had great special effects and wire work. The stunts were action packed and believable. Andrew looked great in the Spiderman suit and I really hope they make another film....OR Add him to the next Avenger Movie!! For those of you that didn't know, Spiderman was in the Avenger comic books, he was recruited by Tony Stark. Fingers crossed that he can assemble with the other beautiful superheroes...oh yeah and Scarlett Johanssen. ;)

Action: Yes!
Adventure: Yeah
Comic Book Adaptation: Well Done!

Over All:B+/A-

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Men In Black III

I must say that when I heard they were making another film about our favorite agents J and K I was beyond excited. I knew that if they could get Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith to come back, then we would be just fine! So going into Men In Black III I figured it would fit in along with the rest of the francise. I must say that this film did not disappoint. As all good triologies go, this film tied in all the stories and teaches you the truth behind the character's past.

The premise of this film is that a villian, Borris The Animal from Agent K's past breaks out of jail and comes after K. The trick is Borris goes after Agent K in the past using illegal time travel. So to the rest of the world Agent K died back in the 1970's but Agent J remembers the truth. So Agent J must travel back in time and try and save Young Agent K before Borris can reach him.

This film is just plain fun and full of humor given by the whole cast. Tommy Lee Jones always does a great job playing the some what distant Agent K and we get to see why he is the way he is. we also get to see Josh Brolin do an AMAZING....seriously awesome and creepy impression of Young Agent K. I mean you really believe that he is a young Tommy Lee Jones....bravo Josh Bravo! Emma Thompson plays O A british member of The Men In Black, she also gets some great jokes in the film. Will Smith is charming, witty, and adorable. You love to see him on screen and you want more of him. Watching MIB III reminds us how much we have missed Will Smith these past 3 years on screen. He had such a star power, he's a guy you just want to hang out with. He brings alot of fun and emotion to Agent J as he tries to save his best friend and partner.

This film is more for a 13 and over audience. The lanuage is a little out there and there are a few curses in there. Not a movie you should be taking kids to. Just because there are aliens and it's funny does not mean it's for kids. I would say it's fine for the teens....probably nothing they have not heard before. Very funny and made me laugh out loud! Plus is does a great job of tieing in all of the other films. I say if you liked the first two, you will love this.

Magic Mike

Magic Mike is a movie that proves that women are just as nasty as men! We love to watch sexy men strip down and dance like the freaky little beasts they are. I'm still a little flustered from all the grinding and thrusting. I must warn you this is not a film for children and it is rated R for a reason....lots of buns and chests. The film is not for kids or the easily embarrassed because this film was created to make you blush!

Let's get down to it, it is about Channing Tatum playing stripper/furniture maker Magic Mike. He is a man who is good at what he does and is trying to save enough money to get his custom furniture business off the ground. Mike meets Adam, played by Alex Pettyfer who is a down on his luck 19 year old college football drop out. He is attractive and a little shy. When we met him he is sleeping on his sister Brooke's sofa, played by Cody Horn. One night Mike feels bad and takes Adam to the strip club where he works. Mike introduces Adam to Dallas the owner, played by Matthew McConaughey. He allows Adam to start stripping at the club.

The strip club consists of some sexy beautiful muscle men that we really love to watch. We have Ken, Tito, Tarzan, Big Dick Richie, and bouncer Tobias played by Matt Bomer, Adam Rodriquez, Kevin Nash, Joe Manganiello, and Gabriel Ingesias. This crew is the talent of Tampa Bay Florida and the ladies come for the action.

The movie basically consists of strip dances, freaky tricks, and once and for a while a little bit of story. Mike is so charming that you can not help but like him. At the same time the man can dance like no other! The plot and story are pretty simple. We learn about the characters and the way that they grow and change over the corse of a summer.

To be perfectly honest, a friend made the comment that you mess up the movie with too much talking. Most women are there to 'watch the show'. This movie is the reason why so many girls are single....we want Channing Tatum to fall in love with us. He has the whole package in this movie, charm, class, compassion, and a freaky dark side!! LOVE IT!