Wednesday Movie Night: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

One of the most talked about movies from 2013 was Dallas Buyers Club. I think I even heard more about it than Best Picture winner, 12 Years a Slave. Perhaps it was because of the dedication of the lead actors though who took their roles to extreme levels by physically preparing themselves for the people they were portraying. Jean – Marc Vallee directs this movie that shows why it was a strong contender in this year awards ceremonies.

Summary: Ron Woodruff is told he has AIDS, and from there his world is changed. With being given only 30 days left to live, Ron isn’t just going to die though. The only drugs on the market aren’t available for the public yet through doctors, so he begins looking across the globe on a way to obtain drugs to help his health. It isn’t so easy though when nothing else is FDA approved, and the only doctor who will help has been banished to work in Mexico. Ron not only will get drugs to help himself though, but other patients who have lost hope finding help as well.

Acting:   There will be two actors you’ll notice, and maybe because they also got the most attention for their acting in the movie. One will be Matthew McConaughey who is giving his career new life with roles like this one. In this he plays the lead, Ron, and he makes the guy oddly likable despite his flaws. He changes your perception of the rough guy to one that seems to have a new perspective of everyone by the end. Plus, you can’t deny he went through a dramatic change for this role. There is also Jared Leto who gives the movie some humor and heart as well as he portrays the transvetite, Rayon. Leto shows he is an actor you want to see more of, yet only gives something to talk about every few years acting wise. Jennifer Garner is one I think deserved a little more attention yet didn’t get get as much as Eve. There are many in this movie to dislike though as doctors, government agencies, and friends set out to hurt Ron and his notion to help those with AIDS.

Filming: The movie isn’t anything special, or at least I think, in the way it’s shot. It brings the character to life, and it does tell the story well, and that is about what I would hope from a movie myself. You get attached to many of these characters. The movie gives us flashbacks and insight, and moments as well that help you feel closer to the characters involved in the movie.

Plot: Well if you’re aware of any of the details of the story of Ron, then you know a good bit has been changed as can be expected. Ron though never wrote a book or anything about himself outside of any interviews he conducted. The main elimination will be his daughter, ex-wife, and sister who are absent fom the movie. There is even a line in the movie where Ron mentions mentions the sadness of never having children to Eve when they have a heart to heart. His sister though did voice her opinion on the approval of McConaughey who was cast as her brother. Besides the changes I believe the director does what he aims for in making a movie that is more directed on a character story, and if it had included more characters well there would have been the need for a bigger movie.

Dallas Buyers Club is an offering from last year that has a lot more heart than many of the other movies available for 2013 at least in the Oscar circuit. There is some sadness but for some reason I found this movie to try to be reaching to the brighter side of humanity if it could. What makes this movie special though are the performances that were rightly recognized.

Rating 8 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: About Time (2013)

I oddly saw the preview for this movie at The World’s End last year, and took an interest in seeing it. The good news is that even if you’re a fan of a movie that seems so the opposite this will be appealing too. I was a bit hesitant about how I might like the movie though considering I haven’t seen Richard Curtis’ other movies, and I had only seen Love Actually, which I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought. The good news is that About Time was way better, and a really sweet story. It’s one of the better written and more touching stories I’ve seen in a while. And thank goodness, there is no Hugh Grant cameo.

Summary: Tim finds out from his father at the age of 21 that the men in his family are capable of time travel. Tim instantly puts his new discovery to the test to find that it’s true, and his world is instantly complicated. After the loss of what he thought was his true love he meets Mary, but he wants to perfect so many moments with her that he risks losing her. As his life grows more complicated though Tim finds his losses becoming huger, and it puts him in a tough spot knowing he can change time.

Acting:  So the only thing I could clearly remember Domhnall Gleeson from was the Weasley sibling in Harry Potter that didn’t get enough attention. The guy though is a really good actor, and hopefully finally having a lead part in a movie that is directed by a notable director will give him some more attention. He had a lot of chemistry with Rachel McAdams as well, who you would think at this point had overstayed her world in the romantic movie world. McAdams proves though she is still right at home there though. She uses her usual techniques of being cute, but she has chemistry with a great lead so it works. I do like how while the movie does revolve around romance it doesn’t ever feel forced to be the primary driving reason of every moment of the movie. There is also the relationship that Tim has with his father, who is portrayed by Bill Nighy. Nighy brings his usual humor and charming persona to the character, and makes him just as interesting to watch as anyone else. The only other face that really appears and is memorable is Lydia Wilson as Kit Kat. Her character provides some interesting plot twists as well.

Filming: There is something magical about Curtis’ film. They revolve around romance, but they seem more accessible to a wide range of people than just women. Even my husband was enjoying this movie a lot, and talking about it for a couple days after we had watched it. The colors are warm, but not too bold, and Curtis proves you don’t need a bunch of CGI to still make the exploration of time travel something to have to compete in a CGI driven world. The act of Tim just getting in the closest to travel time was more magical than anything.

Plot: I like how the plot grows as Tim finds further complications with the huge decisions that come with changing time. Such as when you have to choose the death of a loved one to be timed now versus perhaps the birth of your child. I felt the quotes were witty, and the actions of the characters seemed real as well. It flows effortlessly for a two hour span, which is really difficult to do. By the end the movie does achieve moving you emotionally, but being real enough to not ever get too cheesy.

If you’re looking for a movie that isn’t just for romantic couples then I do suggest this. Curtis has gotten me interested in his other movies that aren’t Love Actually. At some point I even plan on going back to by this movie to have it sitting on my shelf as it is definitely getting a rewatch. The message ultimately is a beautiful thing.

Rating 9.5 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: Bachelorette (2012)

It’s true, I’m getting married this weekend. After a rough day I figured I would get into the mood of being married soon by watching Bachelorette. I can’t say this movie would have been as funny as it was had I not had that glass of wine though. A lot of the jokes feel very strained, and overall I felt like I walked away from a movie trying very hard to be the female version of The Hangover. There are drugs and sex along with plenty of drinking, plus crazy antics all in the night before the wedding. Instead of the bachelor party going wrong, the bachelorette one does.

Summary: Becky has a skewed view of what her so called friends think of her. While they all seem close their ties seem to be based on partying. Becky though has calmed down, especially since becoming engaged. Regan though is bitter because she thought she would be the one marrying first, and Gena and Katie are living their lives in party mode without any regrets. After the girls decide to get out Becky’s dress to look at and rip it they find their night in one big rush to fix it before the morning.

Acting: Well this cast does boast some notable names, yet the writing makes everyone fall flat. Kirsten Dunst personally has never really stood out to me. I hate to say it but her characters are never likable, and Regan in this movie is no different. Some of the things meant as jokes seem so mean and unfeeling I couldn’t laugh. Dunst shows some minor positive growth for her, but overall I was not feeling connected. Rebel Wilson is Becky, the Bride to be, and while Wilson is funny in some things with her awkward self she at times just seems out of place in the movie. Some of the funny moments still come from her though. Isla Fisher is Katie, and well to be honest I found Fisher to be the most entertaining of everyone in the movie. I really hated when the movie tried to get serious with stuff like Gena played by Lizzy Caplan. Why of all the characters she was the one they wanted to center in for a serious moment? I have no idea. It’s just so out of place, and I didn’t care for it. Fisher though is just insane throughout and much more consistent. It’s more entertaining.

Filming: Nothing is wrong with the way the movie is shot. It’s very warm, the atmosphere looks like a lot of fun, but I couldn’t help but feel this dark undertone the entire time that was never really touched upon. This movie is full of shady characters. While the atmosphere of the movie catches the deeper problem the outer layers and story writing never fully do.

Plot: As said the story never seems to fully reach into what seems to be some really dark issues these characters have. In an hour and half it’s hard to do a whole study on these characters. I figured some light problems might haunt these characters, but what we get are dangerous and very serious things that these people deal with. Regan has the least serious issue going on which seems to be a relationship she is in that she isn’t happy with. Becky has issues with her body and doesn’t feel worthy of the man she is marrying, but that is never even hit upon. Gena had an abortion, is having difficulty with seeing the man who got her pregnant, and also seems to love cocaine. Actually they all love cocaine. Then there is Katie, who’s situation just seems downright scary! Yet it’s handled in this laughing way. Why was Gena’s issue so serious yet Katie ODing, was handled with a laugh? Gena seems to find a breath of fresh air by the end to move on, while Katie’s incident was just a huge joke. I hate if I spoiled it for someone, but the way they handled a serious drug problem just didn’t seem to feel with equal weight of all the other issues going on. Like near the end when Regan takes Becky aside and tells her to not care what anyone thinks of her weight and just to accept that she is marrying a man that loves her as is….now let’s all go snort cocaine! Yeah! I didn’t get the weird handling of a deadly drug at all.

Anyways, perhaps if the director hadn’t decided to also write the movie she would have had a much stronger movie to work with with a seasoned writer. The acting is good, but there were some characters who came off better than others. With the uneven patchwork of how they handle issues though I was baffled by what it was I just watched.

Rating 5.5 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: The Losers (2010)

I remember when I first saw previews of this when it came out in 2010, I didn’t think much of it. My fiance recommended it though, so I checked it out. While the plot is decent the visuals are where the strengths of the movie truly lie. There are many memorable scenes in the movie, and the movie is just going for cool. Sylvain White seemed to be aiming to make a very cool movie and he got that, but he may have lost some other things to focus on along the way.

Summary: Clay, Jensen, Roque, Pooch, and Cougar are apart of a CIA special forces team. When they disobey commands from their superiors though they are left for dead, and now left to fend on their own. The betrayal was instigated by a man named, Max. Now they are planning their own offensive, but when a mysterious woman becomes apart of their team she could hurt or help the offense they are building again him. Not only are they trying to plan a way to get back, but also make it out of the jungle they were left in as well.

Acting: Jeffery Dean Morgan is Clay, and I thought his character had a lot of potential. The actor portrays him great, and leaves room for a lot of mystery and even hurt at the beginning of the movie. I felt like the writing didn’t do him enough justice. Chris Evans shows his range as Jensen, and adds the comedic moments to the movie as well as adding a bit of a geeky vibe to the persona he is playing. Idris Elba is becoming a bigger name, and one his roles he did before his more popular one in Thor is as Roque. I like the complexity he brought to him, and felt he keeps him hard to predict. Columbus Short I haven’t seen anything, but he might have been the least memorable as Pooch. Oscar Jaenada was also good, but definitely not one that had a lot of attention as Cougar. Not to forget there is one female who is the main one in the cast and that Zoe Saldana as Aisha. She works for the role, and she has a lot of chemistry with Morgan. Jason Patric plays the bad guy Max, and works nicely for a bad guy you wouldn’t expect.

Filming: The most impressive part, or at least from what I found was the way the movie was shot. There are scenes in the movie that catch your interest, and you can’t turn away from. For example, there is a fire scene between Clay and Aisha. The music and the colors work together, and the actors have chemistry to contribute to it working. It’s well put together, and you can tell that there was a lot of attention put into certain scenes like that. It’s got a lot of personality and character to the craft of it.

Plot: The plot doesn’t get too complicated, which is great because the movie doesn’t give itself a huge running time to really develop everything in the magnitude of a complex plot. It’s more just a fun movie for entertainment, perhaps a few laughs. I felt the start of the movie was a way serious start to what would be a lighter rest of the movie though. Not to really say I was blew away though. While it’s entertaining by the end the movie has spun itself out, and in a way you wish you could see more from the development of the characters. Again it’s for the entertainment aspect.

The Losers is a good movie. Nothing too over the top, but you have some cool scenes and good acting that weaves it together. In the end it might be a little too typical to stand out from what might have been released at that time as well. Plus, the beginning was a difficult start to what would become almost the completely opposite movie in tone.

Rating 7 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America seems like he would be a tough comic character to pull off. You don’t want him to be too perfect, especially with a name like Captain America, but you know he has to represent certain attributes perhaps placed with that name. Chris Evans brings to life the character perfectly though making him human and likable, but also what seems to be a nicely intended guy at heart. It’s much different from other heroes like Thor or Iron Man in the series. Plus, they made the outfit a lot cooler. The movie does a lot more character development in the first hour than you would think, and then slips into an action fest for the last hour or so.

Summary: Set during World War II in 1942, Steve Rogers is looking to sign up for the military, but he is told he is not fit enough to join. He volunteers instead for research, and after proving to be worthy for that he is transformed into a human that can utilize his body to the maximize human strength. His first task will be a huge one though, and that is to stop Schmidt and Nazi’s top secret department, HYDRA.

Acting: Chris Evans is the lead as Captain America, and it appears that Evans has finally found a comic book character that he is perfectly suited for. While he was great in the Losers, which is based on a comic, and maybe not bad in the Fantastic Four (I actually haven’t seen it), and he was also in Push, which I believe was based on a comic, Evans seems to finally have landed in one suiting for him that is one worth continuing on in the future, especially since audiences received it well too. Evans balances the all-American boy vibe well though with a human who also sees the flaws of his surrounding. Haley Atwell is intriguing as the love interest as Peggy Carter, and it leaves us wondering because we do feel the chemistry between them. Sebastian Stan is the friend of Steve Rogers in the movie, but isn’t quite as stand out as the rest, but he’s good, and makes for a good way to develop the character of Rogers. Tommy Lee Jones plays a suiting Colonel in the movie, and Stanley Tucci is Dr. Erskine, and Tucci showcases his ability to still play many roles. You can’t forget that Samuel L. Jackson is in this as well with an appearance as Fury. Hugo Weaving might be most recognizable as the elf from Lord of the Rings, or perhaps if you’re me you just confuse him with Sam Neill the entire time, but he makes a good villain as Schmidt or Red Skull, and yeah, I know Neill is a good bit older!

Filming: Perhaps most spectacular at all is the CGI. It could be any scene and they have perfected the surroundings that Rogers is put in during the 40’s. It captures the charm of the era, but also the scary moments as well of what he is put in. I also like the American ideal idea woven into the movie, and how it contrasts with how people during the time, particularly soldiers, might have felt who were fighting there. Anyways, the CGI doesn’t really lack, it has a few weak moments, but it’s overall very strong, and they perfected the outfit he wears to not look tacky.

Plot: I do love the first hour of the movie. The development of Steve Rogers was well done to do something that feels impossible for someone who’s hero name is Captain America, and that is make him feel human. You can feel a lot of the pain and the more happier moments he might feel in the movie. While Thor might be more comparable to Superman as far as The Avengers vs Justice League, my complaint about Superman is that he always felt too much like the good boy. Even with the new revamp, which was great, he still lacked the quality that makes him easy to access. I would have thought Captain America might have that same quality. He’s a good guy, and he’s just looking to do all he can to save the world, even if that means sacrificing himself, but they bring out a lot more about him personality wise, but that could just be Evans himself. Anyways, the last hour turns into an action fest, which is great, but I do sort of lose my own grounding in watching as it grows more technical, and over drawn to carry toward a very intense ending, which is what you were wanting to see quicker than anything else.

With the Captain America: The First Avenger being a strong start to the series, it will be interesting to see how the following movie, which arrives April 4th, carries on the movie. Sometimes the 2nd movie will  do better even if it’s just a smidge, as in Thor’s case, or it will fail slightly in some eyes’ as Iron Man did when they came out with the sequels.

Rating 8 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: Redemption (2013)

I’ll admit I haven’t enjoyed many Jason Statham movies. I’ve only seen a few though including Parker. Redemption was another one of his movies from last year, and it seems that many people missed out on it, perhaps because by this point Statham only sales to a certain crowd. Redemption was a whole lot different than I expected though. While Statham still kicks butt, he also takes his role a lot more seriously in this one, making for a powerful character, but sadly the plot doesn’t do him or anyone else justice.

Summary: Joseph Smith is a special forces veteran who has went AWOL. Now he is homeless and a drunk who is tortured about the horrific things he has witnessed. After running from thugs him and his girlfriend are separated, and now he is out to find her. He begins living a life as another man and working for Mr. Choy who has Joseph as an enforcer, and he also befriends a nun who is trying to help him find his girlfriend, Isabelle, but when a girl’s body turns up his search now turns into a search for her murderer to extract vengeance.

Acting: Jason Statham really puts his all into this role. He even went out to interview people who had served in the military and how it affected them to better grasp the mental ways that his character was affected. His acting is a whole step up from other roles I’d seen him in in this movie. Agata Buzek is Sister Cristina, the nun. Buzek also does a wonderful job with her role, and making the role of someone in her position very easy to relate to. Plus, her and Statham had the right amount of chemistry to give this movie a touch of romance. Now after these two all the other characters seem underdeveloped. I almost felt the whole plot of Jospeh trying to avenge his girlfriend was a waste as well. So much is going on with the characters that the murder is just a face who appears here and there, and the role as enforcer for a crime boss is just a passing story line.

Filming: This movie was primarily filmed at night. So being filmed at night it captures the wonderful night lights of London. It does make the movie very visually appealing. Outside of that I can’t say there was anything too special about how the movie was captured. The filming looks sleek and cool with colors that pop, but otherwise not too stylized. Steven Knight does have a great eye for color though.

Plot: I do like aspects of the plot a lot. Really though the parts that are most compelling for me is anytime that Cristina and Joseph are on screen together. They have a lot of chemistry, but I like how gracefully the relationship is handled. Unlike a lot other movies that Statham has been in this one doesn’t rely on showing women unclothed or sex scenes to give us chemistry between the characters. Instead the experiences they share and their needs to feel redeemed from their past is driving their future. A lot of the plot though seems so thrown in, and the run time doesn’t allow for everything to have the depth that those two do. The aspects like the revenge of Isabelle, the killer, and the crime boss, Mr. Choy seem like passing moments for a more compelling story.

Redemption is one to check out, and at least Statham is finding roles still that show him as a better actor than just the fast paced actions that showcase his martial art skills. This was a lot less action and a lot more story than I was expecting, and it’s handled with a lot of heart felt performances, that is only created by good acting, and not good writing development.

Rating 6.5 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: Prince Avalanche (2013)

Prince Avalanche was one of those movies from 2013 I had been anticipating seeing, and I finally took the chance to see it. To be honest it’s just as I expected. It’s a good story, but nothing memorable, and in a world where a lot of movies like this are released it doesn’t have anything that quite pops outside the acting. Emile Hirsch brings one of his better roles to life since Into the Wild though, and Paul Rudd just gives us another slice of what he is capable of.

Summary: Alvin is a highway road worker, and in the summer of 1988 he has agreed to help out his girlfriend’s brother, and bring him along for some work as well. While Alvin finds himself trying to be responsible and enjoying the outdoors he works in, Lance is quite the opposite. He’s more focused on where the nearest town is so he can get laid, and if he can turn up his radio loud so he can hear his rock music. The two though are going to have some life changing experiences while they are away from the world, and it will be the only other person they can probably confide in.

Acting: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch are basically the only two you will see in the movie, but the way they interact works and creates an interesting story for the movie. Rudd is a bit of an odd guy as Alvin, and honestly I feel Rudd is an underestimated actor. The guy has range, and for some reason his personas always feel very down to earth. Emile Hirsch also stars as Lance, and while Hirsch doesn’t shine as much as Rudd I felt he was likable, and I liked the character growth that the movie did give him, because it does have a nice little message. Outside of these two there isn’t much of a cast except some minor appearances, but Rudd and Hirsch work very well together.

Filming: The movie is very typical indie. Very acoustic driven music, odd characters, and lots of pretty shots. This doesn’t take away from the fact that David Gordon Green does a beautiful job with directing. The shots that he takes do bring out the beauty of their surroundings despite the fact the area has just suffered a fire. I felt though that nothing stood out either, and after a while some shots seem through in to just be artsy for the sake of it.

Plot: The plot does make leaps and growth though thankfully without getting too lost in the direction of the appearance. I think the characters become more likable as the story grows as well, especially one as questionable as Lance who you have no idea what to think about. The friendship that grows is well done as well. At the end of it I do think a very male message is woven in about some male ideals. I do like the subtle twists as well that were unexpected.

Prince Avalanche is a sweet and good indie movie. It isn’t a knock out from 2013, but for viewers it has some nice themes to think over. The ending may end a little obscurely though to feel as if you’ve had an adequate ending to such character build up though. There are also plenty of character connections, like with the old man, who keeps driving by their site that just seems abandon by the end.

Rating 7.5 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: Tommy Boy (1995)

This movie came out in 1995 when I was 6, and not allowed to watch adult movies. It’s understandable though. Even though I do believe I would have laughed more then than I did as an adult, as slapstick humor has become less appealing with age. What works though is the friendship between David Spade and Chris Farley who don’t ever have to force the humor. For some reason Farley’s character seems like a poor schmuck you just feel for.

Summary: Tommy is not too smart, he’s immature, and isn’t aspiring to much. He’s also a heir to an auto part company, but after his father dies he’s left having to battle out his relatives who are married into the family. His father has married a woman who’s only goal is basically to earn more money from the empire, whether that means selling it and losing it from the family, she doesn’t care. Tommy is determined to keep his dad’s name alive through the business though, and sets out to keep it alive with the help of the man also working for his dad, Richard.

Acting: I think the real life friendship of David Spade and Chris Farley helps the movie a lot. It is straight up silly humor, but the fact that the guys seem to genuinely care about each other makes the movie a lot stronger, and the responses to the humor work to get laughs. Now everyone else is sort of forgettable though like Bo Derek, who is Beverly, the woman who marries Tommy’s father, and is a risk to the business along with her supposed son, Paul, who is portrayed by Rob Lowe. Brian Dennehy doesn’t last long as the father, but his few moments as Big Tom add something to the movie. For David Spade though this is one of his better movies as he is Richard, the right hand man of Big Tom before he dies. I honestly haven’t seen Spade do much work that is good, but it was nice to see a time before he started wearing the bad shoulder length hair, and could portray another type of character that was a smart aleck, but not a jerk or complete joke.

Filming: The movie has some hit and misses with how the comedy comes off for me. For those into the slapstick style though you might find a lot more that is funny. Personally, the funniest scene was that of the deer thought dead waking up in the car. In the way it shows the stupidity of both. What helps the movie though is the story trying to keep heart because that is rare for a comedy even one like this which can be really dumb in nature.

Plot: I like how the movie gets rolling straight out of the gate by showing how the persona of Tommy is. He isn’t serious about anything, and it takes the death of his father to finally open his eyes to what could happen to the company his father left to carry on his name, and well to give to his son. If there was nothing else that mattered to Tommy it was at least his dad, and thankfully he has a person that he can rely on who was close to his dad in the management of the business. I like the balance of seriousness and comedy even if the comedy didn’t always fly with me.

Tommy Boy is one of the 90’s comedy classics, but mainly because it’s the best from a comedian who was at the peak of his comedy career in the 90’s when he went. It was the best he had to offer in his career thus far to hardcore fans of his type of comedy. While the movie gets a little dirty here and there the comedy still relies on just being funny because it is, and not trying to cheap out. Then again, this is the guy who brought us 50 First Dates, which I loved the heart and comedy of, so it’s not shocking this one turned out well.

Rating 7 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: Riddick (2013)

I haven’t saw the other Riddick movies, but I was told I didn’t need to see the other ones to potentially follow this one, so I jumped in to watch. Now it may be true you can keep up with the basic story just by tuning in with this one, but you maybe lacking some ties to the characters, and how the world or Riddick works if you aren’t familiar with the past ones. Obviously it isn’t earth, and it’s on a foreign planet with different creatures and other threats.

Summary: Riddick is left for dead, and pursued by predators as he tries to survives. His only hope to alert a beacon that brings some trouble with it. Two ships arrive, one that is of mercenaries, and the other that contains the enemy of Riddick. Though he doesn’t want to be caught with either teaming up with each other may be their only way of survival as a storm of demons is on the horizon, and looking to prove a threat to anyone no matter who they are. Bad blood though may stand in their way of uniting.

Acting: Vin Diesel is the lead as Riddick, and for the most part it seems to be a typical Diesel part. If you’re a fan of him then you might enjoy him in this role, and I did felt he brought some mystery and intrigue to it. I felt perhaps it was other characters that harmed the overall vibe of the movie. Jordi Molla is the first of what continues to be an unlikable cast of side characters as Santana. Molla stays in the movie way too long for someone you just don’t like from the get go. Matt Nable is one of the old enemies as Boss Johns. Katee Sackhoff might be one of the most unlikable characters as Dahl. She is trying to be some sort of hot, stereotypical, lesbian. It’s just something trying to portray a strong woman, but ends up being more sexist with how she is placed in a man movie. There are many other faces in the movie but you will also recognize the wrestler, Bautista. He doesn’t do much, just stands there, be tough, ad kicks some butt. Whatever.

Filming: The movie has a very sleek, cool, and well comic like appearance. It’s definitely intended to appeal to the fan boys. I think the look is very cool though, and memorable, and the CGI is usually well blended i the movie as well. It captures the action once it picks up well and helps at least maintain some interest in the movie.

Plot: Well as far as the plot for the first hour the movie is just really slow. It’s Riddick roaming, and teasing the new arrivals. It feels like the movie is trying to waste time till it decides to go somewhere. When the action kicks in though it does get good, especially as you debate whether these people will finally team up or continue to be torn apart by their past. For the most part I always felt I was ready for the movie to go off. My interest just never picked up.

Riddick will be for those following the previous movies, but even if you have see the others. It sounds like this one is missing whatever made the past ones strong as well. It does have entertainment value though, and if you can get past some annoying characters you’ll make it through the whole movie. It’s a visually strong movie though.

Rating 5.5 of 10.

Wednesday Movie Night: Carrie (2013)

So most when they heard a remake of Carrie was being made cringed. The 1976 version is a classic, and even has more notoriety than the book from Stephen King, and well if there was a version to pick between all three it would be the original with Stephen King! Carrie though looks to modernize much of the antics in the 1976 movie. Now there is Youtube to torture Carrie, and a very preppy pretty school. You don’t need to be plain like Sissy Spacek’s Carrie to be bullied, just less ranking in a pretty school.

Summary: Carrie White is now in school after years of being homeschooled by her strictly, religious mother. Carrie is very sheltered as a teenager, and after embarrassingly getting the arrival of her period at school she finds herself even under more bullies than ever. Something else arrives as well though with womanhood, telekinetic abilities! Carrie though only hopes to fit in though, and break out from under her mom’s tight rule. When a boy invites her to senior prom, Carrie thinks this maybe her chance, but instead the full extent of her powers will be revealed in a bloodbath.

Acting: Chloe Grace Moretz had a very fast rising career, and probably still does, but honestly who thought about casting her for this, and thinking it would be a good idea? She’s a good actress, and she is even good in this, but whether you’ve read the book, or you watched the 1976 movie you know that her appearance embodies nothing that Carrie does. You can make her face look blank without makeup, or you can even mess up her hair to look unkempt, but there is nothing convincing to say that she is unattractive even on her worst day. There is one person though I liked better than in the original, and that is Julianne Moore as Margaret who is Carrie’s mother. I felt she was convincing, and didn’t have as laughable a performance. It was just much more serious and felt more like the mother in the book. There is also a lot of performances that are good, but don’t necessarily shine. Like Gabrielle Wilde as Sue or Portia Doubleday as Chris. Then there are some like Ansel Elgort is Tommy, and Judy Greer as Ms. Desjardin. I think they are good in the roles, but they don’t justify a whole remake for the acting!

Filming: Now my biggest problem was the vibe of the movie. I never felt scared or even like the movie was eerie. I think the inclusion of Youtube also killed it for me. I would have much preferred to put the setting in the 70’s, and film it there. It would have gave the movie a lot more personality. The agai, Moretz isn’t really scary either, so that may have contributed to it. The only chilling part of the movie is when Chris’ face is slammed into a car window, and her face is shoved into the glass. That was horrific, but about it.

Plot: Now the plot runs about like you expect if you’re familiar with the general idea. Girl is bullied. Girl is an outcast. Girl tries to fit. Girl has blood dumped on her head. Girl loses it on everyone. That is the gist of basically the plot of Carrie, and this one involves all that. Now does it play out exactly the same? No. I think the director was most aiming to make this a teen accessible movie because it’s modernized in a lot of ways, and today we live in a world where the media is afraid to show anyone younger and not the idea of beauty on television. The biggest buzz kill is that Carrie is just way too pretty. that is about it, and well that Moretz looks really stiff and odd at the end of the movie. She just begins moving like a snake and hanging her mouth open. She is trying to look crazy! Hire someone like Spacek and they don’t have to do that!

If you’re going to do a remake then at least try to do the book justice in the attempt. I’ve read the book, and I know a lot of people don’t agree with comparing the stories, but it’s beyond me why directors don’t think the story isn’t good enough to uproot as is. What is it that needs changing so much they even remake the movie just to keep it changed? I was hoping for a more climatic ending as well, and even that didn’t happen. The movie though looks sleek, has good acting, and will appeal to the audience it’s aiming. I just haven’t quite found the Carrie movie I’m looking for.

Rating 7 of 10