Category Archives: Reviews

Review: The Way Way Back

THE WAY, WAY BACK

I LOVED this film, I loved the simplicity of the storyline, I loved the exquisite acting, I loved the amazing actors, I loved the music, and I loved the underlying message of self respect and learning who you truly are. The story line was simple, a semi formed family travels to a small town for the summer in hopes of becoming a closer family while also trying to have a fun time. Steve Carell plays the new boyfriend, Trent, trying to get close to his pseudo step son, he is a horrible character and Steve plays him so well. The son Duncan played by Liam James is a 14 year old who is going through his parents divorce while also trying to figure out how he fits into this new family role while also being subjected to Trent’s constant negative comments towards his looks and attitude. Duncan is quiet, shy and awkward in the beginning but as the film goes on and he befriends some older guys at the local water park he learns that he is stronger than he thinks and by the end of the film is able to finally stand up to Trent (Steve Carell) and his mom. This film has some great heartwarming moments when Duncan finally accepts who he is and becomes confident of himself. Duncan has a slight crush on the girl next door (AnnaSophia Robb) but the story doesn’t focus too much on it which actually helps the film with its importance of family first.

THE WAY, WAY BACK

Another reason I loved this film so much is quite simply the awesome cast. Allison Janney is hysterical as always, Maya Rudolph is spectacular, Nat Faxon who wrote and directed this film is quirky and lovable, but my all time favorite actor in this one is hands down Sam Rockwell. He helps young Duncan realize that he is confident, strong, funny and worth everything he deserves, but at the same time Duncan helps Owen (Sam Rockwell) grow up. Owen is an important figure in Duncan’s life at this point in his life and the end result is awesome. Sam Rockwell performs his heart out as the water park worker who doesn’t really work but cares about his job and co workers. There is a part where he does a Footloose speech to a bunch of teenagers which is just priceless and hilarious. Please please please watch this film if you want to be entertained, laugh, maybe tear up a bit and learn a little about self respect and family.
-Molli

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42: Movie Review

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First off I am a huge Dodgers fan it is in my blood, my dad has always been an avid Dodgers fan, he remembers holding my twin and I, one in each arm, only a couple weeks old while he rooted for the Dodgers as they won the World Series in 1988. So with that being said I was very excited to watch this film and it did not disappoint in the slightest. This one was able to delve into all of Jackie Robinson’s life some in small detail and others in explicit detail which really worked for this 2 hour film. It showed the love between him and his wife Rachel and their profound bond of being together while also trying to stay strong in the face of constant prejudice. It also did a great job of highlighting his strength of having to be the bigger man when constantly being heckled by the worst person in the film and baseball at the time Ben Chapman who disgustingly degrades Jackie on the field with the most derogatory and racist insults it’s almost too hard to watch. However, this scene though hard to watch showcases Jackie’s character as someone who must be strong mentally and physically.

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Chadwick Boseman the newcomer who plays this legend does an amazing job of portraying Jackie as a gentleman with his wife as well as a great ball player who never wanted to make waves with anyone but someone who just wanted a shot at playing the game he loved. He was not able to verbally stick up for himself against the many people who disagreed with his right to play ball but that was ok because his skills on the field did the talking and man did they speak volumes. Not only was this man a great legend because of his status as the first African American Baseball Player but he was a legend because of his ball playing and his role as a great human being. The other actors complement the story very well and they include Harrison Ford (who always is amazing), Lucas Black (the fellow Dodger who sincerely befriended Jackie), T.R. Knight and Nicole Beharie who plays his amazing and supportive wife. This was a great sports movie that was heartfelt and had a great message one that still lives on today with every MLB player sporting the number “42” on April 15 (the first day Jackie took the professional field) in honor of Jackie’s legacy and barriers he broke. Rent and/or buy this film.
-Molli

2 Guns: Movie Review

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If you want to see a film that is full of action, a little bit of laughs and a slight twist in plot then this is the one to watch at the moment. Though I thought it was a bit of a B movie for both the leading men, they did play their respective roles very well. Denzel as always does no wrong and is quite comical as the semi straight guy who tries to go by the book. He is forced to work with Mark Wahlberg who this time plays the wild card guy trying to just get the job done no matter the rules. They have great chemistry and play off of each other very well. It has it’s obvious violent moments of gun play and sabotage between players of who is actually getting all the drug money (the plot line was a bit hazy for me). Nonetheless it had some great actors including James Marsden, Bill Paxton (he is ruthless) and Paula Patton (who I think could’ve been excluded).

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I was thoroughly entertained with this film and though it may not have been the best of the summer or the year it did have a great cast, funny conversations between Mark and Denzel and loads of action and adventure. If you are looking for something that is somewhat light and not have to think about what you’re watching for a couple of hours feel free to pop this one in. I’d say it was a definite rent.
-Molli

Review: Mortal Instruments City of Bones

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Should See

I will let you all know I am trying to finish the book, need about 1/3 more Togo. So with this in mind this is what I thought of the movie. I loved the characters and the actors who played them, would not change any of them. However, I felt that this film could have incorporated a lot more of the book details that they didn’t. It felt like a usual fantasy movie with small elements of the book put in, which really disappointed me. I was hoping to walk out of there saying “this is the best movie ever” but unfortunately I did not. I will also say that I hope they get a new director for the next one, one who might have actually read the book. I feel a little snobby writing a less than good review which is why I am going to see it again to hopefully appreciate it as just a movie rather than a book portrayal.

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I will say that the action was fun to watch and the love story was enticing, however not knowing some parts of the story I was shocked to see they were siblings. In fact it ruined the rest of the movie for me, I want not only the kick ass scenes but the love story that usually tags along. I know now (because I begged my sister to tell me) that this changes in the books but for me I was discombobulated when I saw that. I hope to give a nicer review after the second viewing,I will keep you posted. I do hope all who read the book go to see the movie to hopefully get your own review or opinion on how they did.

-Suzi

Review: The Worlds End

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Must See

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have written yet again a ridiculous yet hilarious movie. This film feels like a well done parody yet has its own unique and original elements. The story starts at the boys adolescent adventure of the pub crawl in their hometown and with enough weird and crazy events in between land in the same spot they once were. Their slapstick humor, witty remarks , and friendly bashing all add up to make the audience laugh and smile till their cheeks hurt. These guys not only get to make a comedy about the world ending but also creates a kick ass action film at the same time.

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Each character gets their own time to shine in either kicking ass or giving a funny line. These writers know how to make a movie outrageous yet humbling at the same time. Although this movie is really meant for laughter it also has a sensitive and darker theme behind it. Wright and Pegg know how to combine and transition from comedic scenes to serious situations with ease. I can’t wait for this to come out to buy, I wish it would be in a combo pack that included Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. By the way if you liked This is the End then you will love this movie.

-Suzi

Review: This is The End

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This movie was ridiculous, over the top, raunchy and one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time. I was laughing throughout the entire film. When I first saw the trailers I thought it looked a little dumb but typical of Seth Rogen and his gang, however I went into the theater with an open mind and man I was pleasantly surprised. I loved that all the actors played themselves because I think it made them feel a little more comfortable on set and be able to improvise with each other which I’m sure almost half of that film was improvised. I’ll just give a few details to paint a little picture, Jay Baruchel meets up with his longtime friend Seth Rogen hoping to just hang out but to his dismay Seth says that James Franco is hosting a kick ass party and though Jay doesn’t want to go he agrees to please his friend. The party is littered with celebrity cameos including Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, an obnoxious Michael Cera and of course the main stars Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, James Franco and Danny McBride along with Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. For me personally Danny McBride stole the show on this one he is foul, two faced and a complete comedic genius in this one.

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Yes there are some insane moments of absolute ridiculousness but fans are used to this type of humor with these films. They go because they know it will be outlandish and completely obscure but man this one takes the cake, as this film deals with the topic of the Apocalypse. Ok I won’t give any more details away but trust me this one is a definite must see and buy because it is fucking hilarious. Its just what you would expect from these guys. There is a hilarious conversation about a Milky Way as well as these guys especially Seth and Jay trying to patch up there somewhat rocky friendship. I thought this film though outrageous had a simple message, that doing good for others is what life is all about as well as staying true to your friends no matter how much things change. There are great cameos, moments that will make you chuckle especially towards the end and the last scene is wonderful especially if you’re a boy band lover! Go see this movie, you’ll be glad you did.
-Molli

Review: Monsters University

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Once again Pixar is able to create a wonderful story along with a happy ending that is enjoyable for children and adults. I must say that being a 24 year old with no kids I was quite excited to see this film as I still find children’s films to be almost more entertaining that more adult content. This film did not disappoint, it had all the original cast members who took on their parts like Billy Crystal and John Goodman while incorporating some new lovable characters like Sean Hayes and Dave Foley. Though this is the sequel/prequel to Monsters, Inc. and its been 12 years since the original film this one was still able to stay current with todays audience as well as reminding people of the charm the original had. I loved the characters and the developing story of how Sully and Mike first met and how they eventually made it to Monsters, Inc. working as a team.

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The animation was colorful and vibrant, the storyline was compelling and heartwarming and the jokes were funny and on point. Pixar has a way of creating a children’s story while putting in an underlying message. This films message was that hard work and determination though cheesy at times really does pay off. Mike started out as the underdog by being so small and people constantly telling him that he will never be a scarer and though it chipped away at his confidence a little, he still knew that he would make his dreams come true no matter what. This was a great message to little kids as well as adults that your dreams are never too far away if you just work hard at it and never let anyone bring you down. This one is definitely a must see, if you have kids or not!
-Molli

Review: This Is The End

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MUST SEE and BUY

Although this might not be the funniest movie I have ever seen, it might be the most enjoyable I have seen. This Is the End encompasses what a male movie should look like. It has all the crude humor and random penis jokes that accompany male friendships. Watching this film you almost feel like you are one of the guys. I can without a doubt say that all of the cast enjoyed filming this movie. You can see it in their faces and demeanor that they not only enjoyed each other as fellow characters but also had a lot of laughter in between. This literally is like a sleep over for all the famous emma-watson-this-is-the-end
friends Seth Rogen has made in his life. I love that they use their real names and talk about situations past and present that are relevant to each actors real lives. Some of the humor is lost on me because I am girl and don’t get the fascination with jokes about “cuming”. However, I was either smiling or laughing through out the whole film which is what I expect Seth Rogen wanted. He had such an original idea that seems so easy and simple it became a great comedy.
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Knowing how much fun the cast had also made this more enjoyable, because you had just as much fun watching as they did acting. Not only can you tell they had a blast but you can also tell most of the movie was ad libbed. The way they speak to each other and the randomness of their responses and reactions are so real and odd that they had to be improvised, which is what ultimately made this movie great.

-Suzi

Review: Monsters University

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MUST SEE and BUY!

Monsters University was a huge hit in my book. The animation is still wonderful and the vibrant colors of the scenery and monsters make this such a great film to watch. I am so happy to see/hear Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their roles as Mike and Sully. No one can make those characters come to life like their charismatic and charming voices. Seeing the journey Mike takes from a child to University student is so amazingly adorable that you cant help but watch. Waiting to hear familiar voices is why watching this movie is so exciting. Not only does it have the same memorable voices as in the previous Monsters movie but also introduces many great actors/actresses as well. Most of the voices that you hear are easily identifiable but some might be harder than others. I love hearing the energetic voices of John Ratzenberger, Nathan Fillion, and Sean Hayes, which are just a few that grace this movie with their voices.

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This movie could not have shown a better representation of the theme , going after your dreams, in a better way. This should speak to all kids in that growing up is hard and reaching your dreams is always a journey, which might not end up to what you imagined. Like usual there is a silver lining to their story and a happy ending. Mike and Sully decide on a path toward their goal of working at Monsters Inc. and will do every job with perfection to get there. The motto “with hard work and determination anything is possible” rings true till the end of this film.

-Suzi

Review: Identity Thief

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Now I must first point out that when I saw this trailer I thought it looked pretty dumb especially for Melissa McCarthy, however after my friend said that it was worth watching and lent it to me I finally saw that it has more meat to it than an offbeat story. The plot is a little far fetched but what story nowadays isn’t. At first glance this film may seem like a shallow story of a greedy woman who never plays by the rules and does whatever she wants to people she’s never met, but she is actually a very lonely woman who was an orphan and never had a reason to truly care about anyone else because no one ever cared about her. This all changes when her latest victim Sandy (Jason Bateman) realizes his identity has been stolen and decides to take matters into his own hands, find this criminal and take her down. What he isn’t expecting is this woman is a well versed identity thief she has been doing it all her life and knows how to get out of any situation and though these two have their drawn out brawls Jason finally gets her under control and actually learns a little bit about her story as well as her learning about his struggles of taking care of his growing family. Granted this film has some very silly moments but with these two lead actors its not uncommon because this is what they do best.

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I found this film entertaining, a little over the top and hilarious. I must say that one of the best elements of this film was the heartwarming nature of the relationship between Melissa and Jason by the end of the film and how she finally had people who cared about her and a family. Another aspect that was great about this film was the hysterical cameos in Eric Stonestreet, Melissa’s real husband Ben Falcone, Bridesmaids co-star Ellie Kemper, Jon Favreau, T.I., Morris Chestnut, John Cho, Amanda Peet and Robert Patrick (from Terminator for goodness sake). All these wonderful actors did such an amazing job assisting the two leads in all the shenanigans they got themselves into. This film also had a great plot by putting these two people who hate each other into a tiny car and having to drive for thousands of miles, of course hilarity is going to ensue and it does. Jason Bateman is the perfect straight man to Melissa’s zany character. This film was fun, heartwarming and very funny. If anything watch it because Jason and Melissa are great together. Definitely a renter.
-Molli