Blog Archives

DVDs for May 27, 2014

endless love

Endless Love

More like creepy, obsessive love. Gabriella Wilde plays a sheltered rich girl who falls in love with a teenage boy who’s ‘below her station,’ played by Alex Pettyfer (yes, the one from the man-stripper movie). Her parents try to keep them apart, so he goes psycho and burns her house down. At least, he does in the book. In the original film and in this remake, it’s a soppy ‘we were meant for each other, they just don’t understand’ teen love story. Like Twilight. So if you like that, you’ll like this.

Buy Endless Love on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

supercollider

Supercollider

This B-level disaster movie is based on the fear that a really really powerful supercollider could tear apart spacetime. A cliched dad-who-is-not-there-for-his-kids working at an Epcot-looking supercollider begins to suspect that the slew of disasters plaguing the world are the result of the collider accidentally shoving time onto a different track, but of course everyone thinks he’s crazy so he’s the only one that can save them. Good idea, bad execution. Read Jack McDevitt’s book Odyssey instead.

Buy Supercollider on DVD.

gambit

Gambit

Sadly, this movie has nothing to do with my favorite character from X-Men. I guess we’ll have to rely on Channing Tatum (I know. What??) to give us that movie in a few years. This one was written (but not directed) by the Cohen brothers and features a Devil Wears Prada-esque abused employee trying to con his boss into buying a fake painting. Colin Firth loses his pants. Alan Rickman is naked, and Cameron Diaz has a ridiculous accent. If you want to see famous people hamming it up and having fun, check it out.

Buy Gambit on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

birders guide

A Birder’s Guide to Everything

In this coming-of-age dramedy, a group of teens lead by Kodi Smit-McPhee trek into the wilderness to earn a place in the bird watching record books by confirming their sighting of an extinct duck. Sort of like Stand By Me, but with a duck instead of a body. And no danger. And one of them is a girl. And the bad teens are replaced by adult birders trying to steal their thunder. The pace is laconic and the kids’ acting is awkward, but some people find that charming/authentic. If you’re one of them (I’m not), check it out.

Buy A Birder’s Guide to Everything on DVD.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

DVDs for May 19, 2014

pompeii

Pompeii

Attention everybody: buy this movie. My brother worked on it. No, his name’s not in the credits. He was just filling in. Behind the camera. But buy it anyway. What? You want to know about the movie? It’s actually pretty good. Kit Harrington plays a pouty Celt not unlike Jon Snow who is taken to Pompeii as a gladiator, falls in love with the mayor’s daughter, and tries to get revenge on the guy who killed his family. Oh, and a mountain explodes. Spectacularly. In very expensive CGI. Check out my review for more.

Buy Pompeii on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

right kind of wrong

The Right Kind of Wrong

While you’ve got your credit card out, you should buy this movie too. Because a) it’s Canadian and b) it’s actually fun to watch and not depressing at all. Jason from True Blood plays a failed writer who decides to break up Aunt Jenna from The Vampire Diaries and her douchey husband on account of he saw her kick a football one time. It’s both romantic and comedic and the scenery is nice too. Check out my review for more.

Buy The Right Kind of Wrong on DVD.

vampire academy

Vampire Academy

If you watched Twilight and wished there was a teen vampire movie that was less dumb and stalkery, let me introduce you to Vampire Academy. Our hero is a sarcastic, ass-kicking, hard-partying teenage vampire bodyguard who unravels a conspiracy involving secret superpowers and princess-napping. It’s about as far away from Twilight as you can get without becoming Underworld, and the book is good too. Check it out.

Buy Vampire Academy on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

monuments men

The Monuments Men

If you watched Saving Private Ryan and wished there were more art critics puttering around in crumbly basements looking for old paintings, then Monuments Men is for you. While their work was important and deserves recognition, you’ll probably get more out of the book version. The movie tries to be glib and serious at the same time by melding wisecracking characters with the serious subject of trying to rescue cultures the Nazis tried to wipe out, but the film failed to resonate with people.

Buy Monuments Men on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Trailer Reviews for February 14, 2014

ROBOCOP



Oh joy. Another unnecessary 80s remake. Seriously, this has got to stop. Studios are obsessed with ‘established properties’ (i.e. not taking any risks) and I feel like if I support it by handing over money for a ticket, it will result in the total death of new big-budget movie ideas. If you think I’m overreacting, scroll down. The other two movies coming out this week are based on books. And so are 4 of the 7 other movies playing this weekend. Of the remaining 3, one is based on a toy franchise and the other is based on a meme, leaving a total of one original film out of 10. And I can’t even watch that movie, because it’s stupid.

WINTER’S TALE



I guess Robocop was a token nod to the existence of single people, because the other two movies coming out this week are (unsurprisingly) romances. This looks like the better of the two. And no, not because it has Colin Farrell (okay, not ONLY because it has Colin Farrell). I’m not sure how much magic comes into play here, because when Russell Crowe orders the death of his rival he makes sure to mention that he wants the guy to stay dead (like people routinely spring back to life in this movie’s world) but then he acts really surprised to find out the guy’s still alive. Also this movie gets the award for most unintentionally hilarious line: “I’ve had no memory ever since I can remember.” What?

ENDLESS LOVE



My friend assures me that this movie (and the book it’s based on) are romantic, but you’ll have to forgive me if my heart doesn’t melt at the thought of a guy who is so obsessed with his girlfriend that he stalks her and burns her house down. That’s the kind of Twilight-styke love we’d all be better off without. How uplifting and Valentines-y. I wouldn’t have seen it anyway, but if you’re also opposed to remakes you should know that this isn’t just a novel adaptation but a remake of a novel adaptation from 1981 (the freaking 80s again… are we trying to reclaim our glory days or something?)

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Trailer Reviews for February 7, 2014

THE LEGO MOVIE



It’s probably just a cynical marketing ploy to sell more toys (I couldn’t help noticing the LEGO Movie themed building sets in the Target flyer) but I MUST see this movie. It’s like one of those Superhero Movie type parodies of The Matrix, but actually funny to actual adults (okay, to ME) and with all the characters played by LEGO minifigures. What more could you want?? Also, if you need me I’ll be at the store buying (more) toys.

VAMPIRE ACADEMY



Dang! I also really want to see this movie. I know it doesn’t look like much in this trailer – kind of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer goes to vampire high school type thing, but I saw a much snarkier and funnier trailer earlier (which I can’t find now). I’ve also read the book and discovered that it has many redeeming features, including the fact that it a) makes sense b) has action and c) features characters that are not cardboard cutouts with holes cut where their faces should be (in other words, not like Twilight). But in a LEGO/Vampires battle, Batman always wins.

THE MONUMENTS MEN



My degree is in history and most of the courses I took were war (specifically World War II) related. And I like war movies. So this movie SHOULD pose a dilemma for me when stacked up against The LEGO Movie and Vampire Academy. But The Monuments Men easily loses out to the other two. Why? One of my reasons is right there in the title. Monuments MEN. I know it’s historically accurate, but if I have to watch one more movie where the only female characters are the real characters’ girlfriends, I’m going to scream. Second and third reasons: Matt Damon and George Clooney. I know they have a fan club, but I am not in it.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

DVDs for Oct 29, 2013

monsters university

Monsters University

Of all the Pixar films, I would probably list Monsters Inc. as my least favorite (yes, below Cars – I love Cars) so when I heard they were making this prequel about the first meeting of kid-scaring monsters Mike and Sully, I whined a lot about how they need to stop cashing in on their old franchises and go back to making original stories. I’d like to say I’ve changed my mind since then, but I haven’t. You’ll probably like it though, if you’re into those college-boy buddy movies a la Old School and Animal House. And your kids will if they’re kids (probably… unless they didn’t like Monsters Inc. either).

Buy Monsters University on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

RIPD

RIPD

Despite the punny acronym, I think this movie had a good premise. Dead cops who police dead people. Unfortunately, in practice it turned out to be a Men in Black clone. Two stereotypically mismatched buddies, Ryan Reynolds as the overachieving straight man and Jeff Bridges as the over-the-top loose cannon, running around shooting at big goofy monsters with science fiction weapons. It would have been better with people-ghosts. As it is, it kind of falls apart under the weight of its special effects, so if you think it sounds cool, just go watch Men in Black again.

Buy RIPD on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

byzantium

Byzantium

Finally, an actual horror movie for Halloween week. This movie has a bit of a Twilight-esque setup. A teenage vampire moves to a small town with her vampire mommy and falls in love with a boy that she shares all her deep dark secrets with, but if you’re going to rent it, don’t expect sparkles. Loose lips sink ships and all that. Because mommy is a vampy hooker and a lot of people get their throats ripped out. At the same time, though, it’s not straight up horror, either. It’s more drama horror, focusing on the characters, so if you’re a slasher fan, heads up.

Buy Byzantium on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

bounty killer

Bounty Killer

If you’re a fan of those goofy, over-the-top Machete Kills style action comedies and you don’t need the movies you watch to make sense or be clever, Bounty Killer ought to keep you occupied for 90 minutes or so. It’s trying to be Mad Max, set in a world where the apocalypse is brought on by corporations and hit men ride around on motorcycles killing people in business suits for the good of the people (but really for the money). It’s a lot muddier (in the making sense sort of way) and siller than Mad Max though. If you’re going to bother with it, just watch it for the violence.

Buy Bounty Killer on DVD on on Blu-Ray.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

City of Bones Review

poster from the Sony Pictures film Mortal Instruments City of Bones

I read the original Mortal Instruments trilogy several years ago and really liked it. Reading it directly after Twilight gave me a special degree of appreciation for its heroine with a personality, complex world, villains who do things, and actual battles that actually happen. I remember thinking that it would make a good movie, and now the first one, City of Bones has arrived.

A teenage artist discovers she comes from a race of secret demon hunters after her mother is kidnapped.

I’ve heard from other people who’ve seen it that it deviates quite a lot from the plot in the book, but it’s been a few years since I read the book and I didn’t notice anything glaringly different except for a few minor things, which is to be expected when you’re cramming 485 pages of story into a 120 page movie script. And apart from a few minor glitches, I liked it.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

DVDs for July 9, 2013

the host

The Host

I hated the Twilight movies and I couldn’t make it past the first few chapters of Stephenie Meyer’s book version of The Host, but I kinda liked the movie. It’s a post-apocalyptic alien invasion sci-fi love story starring Saoirse Ronan as a girl with an alien living in her head trying to discover where the last people are hiding. Girl loves Max Irons, alien loves Jake Abel, and killer alien death squads are after them, which leads to less action than you would think, but it’s still pretty cool. I guess all they needed to do was remove the Meyer factor. Check it out or read my review for more.

Buy The Host on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

.

admission

Admission

I love Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, so anything with BOTH of them in it should be amazing. But Admission is a resounding ‘meh.’ It’s half decently funny, but the story of a college admissions officer trying to get her long lost weirdo son into her university and falling for the teacher at his hippy school just didn’t grab me. I think the problem was that the movie couldn’t decide whether to be a straight up comedy or a romantic comedy so it tried to do both and stretched itself too thin. There are better things out there, so read my review first before you waste your time.

Buy Admission on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
.

dead man down

Dead Man Down

I’m not into movies about organized crime and/or retribution because too often they’re ridiculous and convoluted, trying way too hard to make it the most perfectly perfect revenge scheme ever. Dead Man Down falls into this trap. Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace both want Terrence Howard dead. So what does Colin do? Saves Terrence’s life to ‘get close to him.’ Things go downhill from there, with a lot of ‘I do but I don’t’ tomfoolery. It’s very serious and gritty, but with that plot it probably would have been better as a comedy. Skip it.

Buy Dead Man Down on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

spring breakers

Spring Breakers

This movie is part parody on people’s expectations of spring break and part rampant crime extravaganza. Four teens: Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgins, Rachel Korine, and Ashley Benson, rob a restaurant so they can get to Florida for spring break, whereupon they skip the whole ‘get drunk at the MTV beach house’ scene and take up with a rapper played by James Franco, who turns them all into bikinied mobster hitgirls. The whole thing is bizarre and it’s hard to care about the characters, so you should probably only rent it if you like half naked chicks or movies like Goodfellas.

Buy Spring Breakers on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

DVDs for June 4, 2013

warm bodies

Warm Bodies

The premise for this movie is dumb: zombies cured by the power of love. Twilight with zombies. I almost didn’t see it, but I’m glad I did, because it’s actually a very smart satire on teen paranormal romances and on the whole zombie movie genre. It’s funny, cute, has some action, makes sense in its own context (always a bonus) and it even has a new interpretation of the brain eating thing: that they do it to see people’s memories rather than gain nutrients. Rent it or check out my full review for more, because this one’s worth your time.

Buy Warm Bodies on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

.

good day to die hard

A Good Day to Die Hard

Speaking of movies that are worth your time, this one isn’t unless you’re looking for a big dumb explosionfest. Bruce Willis plays an aging loose cannon cop who travels to Russia to bail out his son, whom he thinks is a screwup but is actually in the middle of a carefully planned CIA op that would have been impressive if the movie had been set in 1985. Bruce Willis’ arrival messes everything up and he has to spend the rest of the movie being chased by tanks and falling off buildings and ‘bonding’ with the son who hates him. Check out my my full review for more on why this movie annoys me.

Buy A Good Day to Die Hard on DVD or on Blu-Ray.
.

identity thief

Identity Thief

Identity Thief has an interesting premise: a mild mannered office worker finds out that a female scam artist has stolen his identity. Almost immediately, though, it starts to get stupid. Instead of letting the police and credit companies handle it, he travels to Florida to reason with her and ends up in a series of increasingly ridiculous disasters, including the ever popular ‘accidental destruction of rental car.’ Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are both underused in this movie, as the writing is formulaic at best. Don’t rent this movie unless you’re really REALLY bored.

Buy Identity Thief on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

escape earth

Escape from Planet Earth

Movies like Escape from Planet Earth prove that great visuals still cannot make up for terrible writing. The story follows a blue alien who goes on a mission to a dangerous planet (Earth) but gets captured and has to rely on his dorky brother to rescue him. Like Planet 51, Escape from Planet Earth misses a great opportunity to create a really interesting, unique, and funny alien culture and instead just carbon copies American culture with a few nominal tweaks (for example, it’s BASA instead of NASA). Don’t reward their laziness by paying to rent this movie.

Buy Escape from Planet Earth on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

DVDs for May 21, 2013

beautiful creatures

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is a movie in the Twilight vein – a teen paranormal romance based on a popular novel. The difference here is that the ‘normal’ main character is the guy and the supernatural creature is the girl – she’s a spellcaster. It takes place in the American South which means Civil War re-enactments and hilarious accents play into it along with the usual teen angst and parent drama. Plus there’s also an interesting choice vs destiny element. I really liked Beautiful Creatures, but my friend the Twilight fan hated it, so take from that what you will and read my full review for more.

Buy Beautiful Creatures on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

.

last stand

The Last Stand

I forget how I ended up seeing this movie in theaters. I think it came out on a week where there was either nothing else or everything was worse. It’s your typical terrible action movie, with a ridiculous, unbelievable plot (an escaped Mexican drug lord steals a fancy car and can only be stopped by the sheriff of a small border town) numerous clear violations of the laws of physics, moronic one-liners, and people who can’t act their way out of a paper bag (hello again, Arnold). If you like that sort of thing, great! Buy it. If you’re actually intelligent, read my full review and laugh at this movie some more.

Buy The Last Stand on DVD or on Blu-ay.
.

parker

Parker

Parker is yet another uninspired action movie, this time starring Jason Statham as a robber/assassin with a code of honor, which is a character he’s played before. When he’s shot and left for dead by his pals after a heist (a plot device used in half of all action movies made in this decade) he decides to get revenge on them (also not original). What follows is a lot of shooting and an alliance with a real estate agent played by Jennifer Lopez who paradoxically turns out NOT to be a love interest. As such this movie is really only going to be appealing to fans of Jason Statham.

Buy Parker on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

side effect

Side Effects

People who read the blurbs for this movie or watch the trailer and think that the idea of a psychiatrist investigating a psychiatric drug that might turn patients into sleepwalking murderers sounds intriguing should remind themselves that this is a Steven Sodgerbergh thriller and Steven Soderbergh was responsible for the disjointed, unthrilling thriller Contagion. Side Effects is the kind of movie that most critics like and most normal people hate. It’s full of plot twists and turns, most of which will feel cheap enough to make you angry. I’d just skip it if I were you.

Buy Side Effects on DVD or on Blu-Ray.

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

The Host Review

poster from the Chockstone Pictures film The Host

I’m not a fan of Stephenie Meyer but I do like science fiction. After the Twilight debacle, my friend assured me that The Host was much better. And it did seem to be at first. Invasion of the Body Snatchers as a romance is at least an interesting (and somewhat original) idea. I read about thirty pages and then got bored – mostly she just sat around talking to herself in her head. So when I heard there was a movie, I had to see it just to find out how they could make it work.

An alien consciousness implanted in a struggling human girl comes to value humans for themselves rather than as vessels.

The surprising thing about The Host for me was that it did mostly work. It’s still a Stephenie Meyer story though, so most of it’s about LURV and how LURV is the answer to everything. But it wasn’t horrible like Twilight thanks to the fact that the actors could act, which saved a lot of otherwise dopey scenes.

Read More

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)
Page 1 of 512345»

SUBSCRIBE TO ZE EMAILS

Subscribe to Ze Feeds

Archives

Links by Google