Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015 Movie List

The Movies:
Jurassic World
The Avengers:  Age of Ultron
Inside Out
Cinderella
San Andreas
It Follows
Area 51
Always Watching:  A Marble Hornets Story

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gleewind: Pilot

So, Glee is ending its run after 6 seasons (2 of those abbreviated).  I, at one time, loved this series unashamedly, but somewhere along the way (specifically midway through the 3rd season) I started to hate the show.  Reading that it was ending made me revisit the pilot to see if the show always had problems, and no:  this show was so very promising at the start.  And I think I am going to marathon it on Netflix (powering through that exceptionally rough patch in season 3) to kind of honor the series for what it was and what it did.

So, the pilot episode:  As far as these things go, it is one hell of a start to the series.  Great character intros all around, excellent song choices, and the show really managed to grasp that outsider feel so many feel in high school.

The Main Players:
Will Schuester:  For the first part of the series, it really felt like this was going to be Will's story.  You lose it a bit later on in the series, but he really was a good teacher at the start of it all.  The episode focuses on his desire restart the Glee club that he was once the star of, and you really feel his passion for it.  Matthew Morrison wasn't always given the best material, but this groundwork that the character was built on is solid, and it is somewhat a shame that he wasn't able to pick up an Emmy for at least this first season's work.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Faves of the Year: 5-1

My favorites of the year, the top 5 (see my selections for Best Actress, Actor, Supporting Actress, and Supporting Actor at the Movie List page)

I should also note that this list is subject to change once I see the slew of movies waiting on deck (Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, etc.)  So enjoy the time capsule that will most likely change throughout the year.

5)  Captain America:  The Winter Soldier

4)  Godzilla

3)  Nightcrawler

2)  Blue Ruin

1)  The Babadook

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Faves of the Year: 10-6

My favorite movies from 2014, from number 10 through number 6.


10)  Under the Skin

9)  X-Men:  Days of Future Past

8)  The Lego Movie

7)  The Rover

6)  Selma

Friday, December 5, 2014

Reviews: Horror Edition

The Babadook
Man, I have found horror to be disappointing for the most part this year, but what a gem this turned out to be.  Filled with great atmosphere and a truly unique creature, this is the horror film I wanted with Oculus.

Following Amelia (Essie Davis) and her son Samuel (Noah Wisemen) as they are haunted by a mysterious creature called the Babadook, the film explores depression, loss, and family with a deft hand and a great screenplay from first-time director Jennifer Kent.  Light on jump scares, and heavy on atmosphere and tone, the movie slowly builds, giving horror fans something they don't get very often:  Likeable, if flawed, characters to root for.  Special mention to Essie Davis for giving one of the best performances of the year in any genre.

The trailer is slightly misleading:  The Babadook itself appears very little in the movie, and it leans more toward a character study/psychological thriller than a creature feature.  Still, this is a great movie that I highly recommend to any horror fan.  9.0 out of 10.

Willow Creek
A found footage movie that follows a couple trying to prove that Bigfoot exists, this effort from writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait is a solid, if unspectacular.

One thing I appreciate is the slow build up:  You get to know the couple (Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson) and see a bit of their travels before getting to the meat of the movie.  Again, by creating characters that we care about, the stakes are raised in the latter part of the movie when the actual scares occur.

While both Gilmore and Johnson have onscreen chemistry and charisma, the film does drag in a few spots, most notably when interviewing locals and during the initial backpacking into the woods.  However, an extended sequence involving the couple waking up in the middle of the night is a great moment that the movie could have used more of.

Not the greatest horror film, but there are worse ways to spend your evening,  7.0 out of 10.

Annabelle
This was just a quick cash grab of a movie, and it shows quite a bit.  Following the creepy doll from The Conjuring, the movie could have been worse, but it definitely could have been better.

To give credit where it is due, the lead performance from Annabelle Wallis (yes, the main actress is the film also has the name Annabelle) is fairly strong, and there are two sequences that are exceptionally well done, but this is by-the-numbers horror cranked out to make a quick buck off the prior movie's great reception.

It's competent, but nothing extraordinary, which is a shame, because there was some good stuff to build off of.  6.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2 Sentence Reviews (continued)

Maleficent
Great star turn from Angelina Jolie, though I wish they hadn't de-clawed the character so much.  There are worse ways to spend 2 hours though.  7.0 out of 10.

That Awkward Moment
I didn't hate this movie.  It's not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but I didn't hate it.  6.0 out of 10.

The Maze Runner
Better than the first Hunger Games, but not quite as good as the second one.  Great work on the claustrophobia of the maze and the sanctuary.  6.5 out of 10.

Transformers:  Age of Extinction
Why did I see another Transformers film?  Currently questioning life choices.  3.0 out of 10.

Tusk
Fuck this movie.  Fuck everything about it.  1.0 out of 10.

Under the Skin
Weird, off-putting, and not quite sure what I was watching.  But it sticks with you, and I would readily watch it again.  7.0 (?) out of 10.

X-Men:  Days of Future Past
Superhero movies have been pretty solid this year.  Wish they hadn't all but cut out the female characters though.  8.0 out of 10.

Catching Up: 2 Sentence Reviews

Let's get to it:

All Cheerleaders Die
This isn't great cinema, but it is entertaining cinema.  Horror comedy done right.  7.0 out of 10.

A Million Ways to Die in the West
More of a loving mockery of Old West films than anything else.  Has its moments, but underwhelming overall.  6.0 out of 10.

Bad Words
Entertaining, with a neat premise.  Ultimately forgettable though.  6.0 out of 10.

Big Bad Wolves
Well made, well acted, solid film with a very dark plot.  Didn't care for it, even if I did appreciate the craftsmanship.  7.5 out of 10

Blue Ruin
I wish more revenge movies were done like this.  The pain is real and the consequences more so.  9.0 out of 10.

Gone Girl
Why would anyone call this a 'perfect date movie' is beyond me.  Well made, with great performances from Rosamund Pike and Carrie Coon.  8.0 out of 10.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Relentlessly entertaining.  Looking forward to the sequel.  8.5 out of 10.