Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Wolverine - movie review

Watching Hugh Jackman play any role is a treat, but being The Wolverine is always spectacular, and this latest outing of our beloved 'iron man with claws' is no exception.  I did not know what to expect when yesterday I went, with my friend Trish to see it. In fact Trish was not sure she wanted to see it, she thought it was going to be too violent and did not want to see violence that day, but she succumbed and off we went together.

What a surprise, the movie, mostly set in Japan was a phenomenal movie, it was an action movie at its best. This movie needs to be seen if you are a Wolverine fan or not. It has a wonderful story line, it has action, it has heart, it has a new X-Man character - Viper, well played by Svetlana Khodchenkover. Tall beautiful and deadly, I found her demeanor quite frightening just sitting in the theatre.

Tao Okamoto plays Logan's romantic interest Mariko, with a fighter ally Yukio played by Rila Fukushima who has the ability to see when and how people are going to die. Hiroyuki Sanada also plays a part in this movie. (He seems to be cropping up in several movies. I first saw him on Lost so recognize him now).  Anyway, back to The Wolverine.  This movie has Logan soul searching, with dream sequences of his lost love Jean Grey, to come to terms with himself.  Then he is requested to go to Japan to say 'goodbye' to an old friend, but instead encounters a proposition to give up his immortality and become normal.

What ensures with him and his two Japanese ladies, Mariko as his love interest, and Yukio as his fighter companion is a great story  with action, softness and interesting Japanese scenery.

Much to my surprise, I enjoyed this movie from beginning to end.  A true action movie with all the components. Action, love, introspection and resolution.  You can't find much better.

On the way to drop Trish off I said I give this movie 4 out of 5, and she says why not 5 (which I have my beloved Star Trek into Darkness) and I said because Star Trek I have gone to see many times and will see it many times again, I do not feel I have to rush back and see this one, but it was great!!!!
4 out 5.

Pacific Rim - Movie Review

Pacific Rim was another one of those movies I was not sure I wanted to see, although I had enjoyed the Transformers series the shorts on this one seemed too outlandish, etc for me. Anyway, I decided I would go and see it and I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I found myself fascinated by the way in which the two people 'drifted' together in order to make the large mechanical man machines work.

It so happened, Friday when I saw this movie, (I caught the afternoon show in 2D because I did not want to see it in 3D) I was going home to do a 'channeling your guide' evening. I realized as I was watching the people 'drift' together it was similar to what I do with channeling, I allow a guide to come in and integrate with my voice, so they are in affect in my mind and voice in order to give their person a message.  This fascinated me, as I watched.

Then as the movie progressed I found myself having a moment of a different perspective. I was beginning to get upset with the constant thought 'the earth is ending' theme, which I have been finding in books, (Dan Brown's Inferno, James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge's Zoo in particular) and how in the movies they seem to destroy towns with no thought, that when they are crushing these buildings that there are people in them (Man of Steel for instance).  Anyway, I had been seeing this as the thought form for the 'killing off a good portion of humanity' being played out. 

But, as I have said in other reviews, sometimes you see a movie for a thought, or a scene well done. In Pacific Rim, I heard once more (it was also in the book Zoo, and World War Z) about how we have messed with the environment, and the petroleum's are doing something on a larger scale to the environment.

As I sat there, enjoying the discovering of the 'drift', watching the fights between the monsters coming out of the drift, and these large mechanical men (which by the way I often could not tell who was who while they were fighting) my realization that these books and movies were more about the environment and the affect on us, rather than just us being killed off. I found that awareness more peaceful. 

I was not familiar with the main actors except Idris Elba (from the English TV show Luther - I happen to like him a lot).  But, Charlie Hunnam (born in England) and Rinko Kikuchi, (born in Japan) I did not recognize from anything I have seen.  Seems like 2008 was when they both had movie releases, in genre I don't watch.

The question always is - is Pacific Rim worth watching.  If you like large mechanical beasts attacking each other, the world needing saving from aliens (that was a surprise) and how we humans win the day with out human stubbornness, then yes this is worth seeing.  Plus watching Idris Elba march around is worth it.
3 out of 5.

Friday, July 26, 2013

R.I.P.D. movie review

I'm not sure if it was the planets were not aligned right, or if it was the mood I was in, but I did not really enjoy R.I.P.D. I have mentioned before I find my humor is situational, not slapstick, not put down, and definitely not embarrassing, and by rights I 'should' have enjoyed this movie.  I attended with a friend, who I noticed did not laugh a lot either, but said at the end she enjoyed it. I laughed twice. When I spoke with my usual movie going friend Trish, she said she laughed all he way through it. Humor is so directed to people's taste.  If you have Trish's taste, you will enjoy this movie, if you have my taste, give it a miss.  Now onto the movie itself.

Ryan Reynolds a recently deceased cop is teamed up with Jeff Bridges an older lawman. In the earth vibration these dead cops, look like a gorgeous blonde female (Bridges) and an older Asian gentlemen (Reynolds). Mary Louise Parker, is there controller, who has some interesting verbal by play with Bridges. The real bad guy of the movie is Kevin Bacon. The plot was unusual, paying penance by being a cop and rounding up escaped dead bad guys.

As you follow them tracking down aliens who look normal, but when shot with a special gun, turn into all sorts of strange, usually large bulging, peoples. As they go on their rounds, looking and tracking down these escaped dead bad guys, they discover a plot, which will basically destroy the world as we know it by reversing the going up into the afterlife, but having all of them coming back onto earth.  Luckily, the heroes of the day succeed in achieving the end result of defeating the bad guys.  And everything turns back to normal.

Obviously by the 1st paragraph I did not particularly like this movie.  To me its a 2 1/2. To my friend Trish is a 3 1/2.  Go see it and see where your humor button is.

PS. Mary Louise Parker had two movies come out at the same time. She is also in Red 2, which I'm going to write about next - now that one I enjoyed.

Red 2 - movie review

I loved this movie.  Being a big fan of R.E.D. so much so I bought the DVD, I was looking forward to seeing RED 2, and I was not disappointed.
Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, were back with Catherine Zeta-Jones joining in.

Once more the team is joined together as they work to track down a missing nuclear device.  Assassins, terrorists and power-crazed officials are all either after them, or standing in their way.
I began laughing almost in the first minute, and continued right to the end. John Malkovich is fabulous. His faces had me in stitches.  He conveyed so much in a look, a face here and eye lift there and I was in the aisle laughing. He was the star of this movie that is for sure.

All the others play there roles superbly. I love Mary-Louise Parker in her role as wanting the excitement, tired of Bruce Willis's character (Moses) protecting her, keeping her safe.  So many scenes were hilarious.  You just need to go see it. If you have seen R.E.D. and enjoyed it, you will love RED 2 even more.
4 out 5.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Lone Ranger movie review

I did not realize that The Lone Ranger was going to be funny until I was sitting there watching. Johnny Depp in a different incarnation as Tonto, but still managing to get the lines delivered with the same facial expression (except his eyes) the whole way through.

I was not over enthusiastic about seeing this movie, but there was no other that I wanted to see last night, so after a lovely Steak and Salad dinner, off my movie friend Trish and go. Within the first five minutes I was glad I was there. Armie Hammer, as the righteous about legalities and justice fits the bill, as he slowly realizes the wild west is still wild and justice is a different thing. The show definitely goes to Johnny Depp though, with his white and black face, although the white horse - Silver - is really good and such a comic.

Johnny Depp as Tonto tells the story of how he and The Lone Ranger meet and what follows as they go from one 'screw up' to another, yet some how in the end - they win!  Heigh Ho Silver.

The cast support with William Fichtner as the bad guy (a really bad guy) Tom Wilkinson as his bad big shot partner, and Helena Bonham Carter doing her usual great work as the 'madam'. 
If you want to laugh (not as much as The Heat) but laugh, and have an enjoyable few hours, except when the Gatling gun comes out against the Comanches. I hate those Gatling guns in movies and seeing how they just mowed everyone down. Other than that, it was funny, cute and oh yes, the good guys win and The Lone Ranger is born.
3 out of 5.

PS.  I recently have seen William Fichtner in a new TV show called Crossing Lines. I have enjoyed it and that's how I recognized him, after only seeing him for two week. Keep you eye out for the TV Show Crossing Lines. If you like adventure, solving crimes (with an international twist) then this is well done. Interesting characters in it.

PPS.  I had to look up Harmie Hammer, his face was not familiar to me. He's done quite a bit of work in both TV and Movies, but, most of the movies I have not seen, and if I did, I did not recognize him.

PPPS.  Johnny Depp surprised me how well he did this role.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

World War Z movie review

After watching the trailers and discovering World War Z was a movie about Zombies, I had decided not to go see this movie. I found the scenes in the trailers disturbing and I'm not interested in Zombies. Therefore, when the weather changed yesterday and I did not quite know what to do with myself, I decided to go see World War Z.  I'm glad I did.

Sometimes, as with After Earth, a statement made during the movie, makes it worth while, and the same with this one. Brad Pitt, was behind this movie, he coproduced and starred in it. Apparently, the love of Zombies by his boys was the motivator. The statement, that came quite early in the movie was about the way Mother Earth shows the way to solve these viruses or whatever else that gets thrown at us. A bright thought, amongst a growing thought form of world dissemination.

Another reason why I did not want to go and see this movie, was that the scenes I had seen in the trailers disturbed me, when seen in context of the movie were not so bad, in fact, explained a lot of what was happening. It was an interesting theme. As I'm not interested in Zombies, I most certainly had not read the book, and not listened or read anything about the movie. I was an open book to the theme. Brad Pitt, a retired UN worker, who had been in many situations is called upon to help find the original source of this 'virus' which was creating these zombies. When a Zombie bit you, you had 13 seconds before you transformed into one.

Brad Pitt's character Gerry Lane leaves his family, wife played by Mireille Enos from the TV show The Killing, and his two daughters plus a boy, who had joined them, on a boat while he goes off to find how to 'cure' this Zombie outbreak. He is running out of time, as countries fall to the Zombie phenomena.

If you want an adrenal rush this is the movie.  Wow, I was aware I was tense, especially when you realize noise is a factor which attracts them. I was also in awe of the large overhead shots of numerous people's running, pushing, shoving. I wondered if it was computer generated or real. They were impressive whichever way they were done.  Also the scenes of the zombies rushing towards the car, plane or high wall, again adrenal pumping.  Well done make up department and director.  World War Z is something Brad Pitt can be proud of. He achieved an action, intense, movie while discovering how to overcome Zombies.

The comments Brad Pitt makes at the end of the movie, were also worth hearing.  Thoughtful comments for us to think about. Unfortunately, I found them not easy to hear, and I wanted to hear them. I'm not prepared to go and see the movie again just to find out exactly how the words went, but those that I caught, were worthwhile hearing.  So when at the movie, listen hard at the end for the thoughtful thoughts.

I also want to make a comment, after reading Dan Brown's Inferno where the thought of wiping out the population by 1/3 at least is prominent, and now this movie about Zombie's taking over and again in essence wiping us out, I cant help but think this 'thought form' of something coming to decimate our population is growing. Aware that books and movies take a number of years of write and make this thought form is growing. Awareness is important, as collective consciousness of thought is what drives a society, and acceptance of a 'virus' taking out many of us to 'cull' us because of over population has been growing. Just be aware, both Dan Brown's book, and this movie are a part of this thought form. 
World War Z  3 1/2  out of 5.

The Heat Movie Review

What a combination of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in The Heat. Sandra Bullock at her best as the uptight FBI agent and Melissa McCathy as the foul-mouthed, hard edged policewoman. If you want to laugh, and can over look the language then this is the movie for you.  I don't think I have laughed so much for a long time. Now, I admit I'm a situational comedy person, and do not like other comedy,  once get used to Melissa McCathy's character, then it is hilarious.

The journey these two individuals take, as they partner on a case, applying The Heat, is what makes this funny. As the uptight Bullock unwinds some, and the hard edged McCarthy becomes more soft is what makes this movie work.  The bar scene is phenomenally funny. Also, the family dinner scene, reminded me of some scenes I experienced myself occasionally with family dinners (everyone talking over each other - no one listening). Mind you we did not use the language or the put downs that go on in this movie.

I also have to give a shout out to the handsome Marlon Wayans. I did not realize how good looking he is. I want to see more of him for sure (my old age fantasies coming out -- but heh, he looked gooood!)

Yes, this is a movie you go to laugh, not for much else except the bad guys get it, some others die on the way and the 'good ones' come out on top.

I have to mention, I had two very young boys sitting beside me. I would say they would have been six and eight thereabouts. The topic, never mind the language, so often sexual in reference I found I was uncomfortable for them. The younger one laughed at the slap stick stuff, the older one I felt was lost trying to figure everything out.  This is an adult movie, not for little kids.  Why don't parents check these things out and just because its a comedy doesn't mean it is for little kids. (Especially when Monsters University was also on in another theatre). 

Therefore, to laugh and enjoy go see The Heat!
4 out of 5.

White House Down Movie Review

I admit I'm a Channing Tatum fan. I also admit I had a lot of criticism on the 'other White House' movie 'Olympus Has Fallen'.  So I was a little bit hesitant going to see Channing Tatum along with Jamie Foxx, and Maggie Gyllenhaal in White House Down. I did not want to have to sit through another take down the White House movie which had me thinking of all sorts of other things.


This movie was about an insider, a close to the president insider, upset and wanting revenge. Its an unlikely theme, but doable, therefore, it made it more real.  I found the acting great, I found the theme acceptable, I found the comic relief wonderful. Some of the lines which Tatum and Fox exchanged were great. When you are tense from the action, there is nothing like a line being delivered which breaks the tension, before adding more.  Maggie Gyllenhaal, did her usual great job. She has become a wonderful character actress and I predict a long career for her as she gets better and better. Jamie Fox carried off his role with his usual ease, but for me Channing Tatum was the 'star', he had the larger role, and he did it wonderfully, I read where he did most of his stunts, good on him, as some of them were difficult.

The only thing....when someone is shooting an automatic at you, why do directors believe that we don't know the hero would be hit. I found in this movie too many times automatic fire was all around our hero, and he was only grazed once.  Come on!!  But, unfortunately, that is a truth of action movies, and it does give the wrong impression to our impressionable youth.  Bullets don't get you if you are fast. Oh yes they do, especially when the person shooting knows how to shoot. Movies are different than real life and flying bullets can hit you.  Oh well, that rant is over. Back to the movie.

Want to see a movie which is entertaining and enjoyable in the action genre, then I think movie holds up well. If you are a Channing Tatum fan like me, then you will love this movie. 
4 out of 5.