Sunday, June 28, 2015

2015 Kid's Movie Trailer Reviews: What looks worth it!

I just went to the movies with the family last night and saw the incredible film Inside Out by Pixar.

My review of Inside Out is on my Disney Blog

Of course before the movie we were bombarded by numerous Kid's movies that will soon be flooding the multiplex.  I wasn't impressed.   It cost $47 to take the family to see Inside Out (without snacks)  so figuring out what kid movies to see in the theater is a serious task.  Your children will turn to you after each trailer and say " That looks good"  or  "Do you want to see that?"  
Heck they even wanted to see Paul Blart Mall Cop 2.

Here are my thoughts on the batch of kid's movies that are coming out soon.   

Shaun the Sheep :  The Movie:
This movie trailer got a yawn from me and a "That looks awful"  from my wife.   I was not impressed with Chicken Run and have never even had an interest in the Wallace and Gromit movies --so Shaun the Sheep isn't making any must see lists.    The trailer was  dull.   

Trailer Grade  C-

Hotel Transylvania 2:
I wasn't expecting much when the first one came out but was surprised by it and really enjoyed  it's sense of humor.  The voice cast is like an old SNL reunion and it works really well.  Knowing how much I liked the first one --this is the only trailer that actually makes my in the movie theater list so far.  The kids loved it as well.

Trailer Grade  A

The Good Dinosaur
This is basically a teaser Trailer for The Good Dinosaur.
The Good Dinosaur could be Pixar's first movie that will not be a hit.  The production of this movie has been complex at best with numerous changes.  The trailer isn't very impressive.  I would rather watch Disney's Dinosaur again or one of the Ice Age movies...So I would currently give this troubled film a low grade on the most see list.

Trailer Grade C

The kids love it and really want to see this film.  It looks okay from the trailer --but I really don't see how the Minions can carry an entire movie.  They are okay as comic relief -but as main characters I'm just not all in.  I thought the Despicable Me films were okay--but Steve Carrell as Gru was the best part for me.  So taking away the best character and having a bunch of mumbling banana creatures as the stars --makes this one a Netflix rental and not a $50 at the movie theater flick.

Trailer Grade B-


All Teaser Trailer here.  Zootopia doesn't show you much in this teaser...The teaser was okay --but I really have no idea how this movie will be from the teaser.  I seriously doubt that this Disney movie from the Creators of Frozen and Big Hero 6 will be as good as either of those movies from this limited Teaser Trailer....But I will hold out judgement until a full Trailer comes out.

Trailer Grade  C+

The Peanuts Movie:
I personally real that the world has passed the Peanuts by.  Maybe I'm just bitter because as I get older my hair is looking more and more like Charlie Brown.  The Peanuts just feel old and I'd rather they just stay that way.  I'll watch The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown near Halloween  (which doesn't hold up that well) then see Charlie Brown on the big Screen.

Trailer Grade  C+

Our Movie Podcast can be found here

My Movie page on Facebook is here  

Nerd Block

40% off everything 728x90

Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Top 5 movies to see for the rest of the Summer Movie Season

The two biggest Summer movies as far as I'm concerned have already come out.  That is Jurassic World and Avengers 2.  I loved both films.  The one big movie that I missed was Tomorrowland (so did everyone else apparently).  I wanted to see Tomorrowland- but by the time it came out Jurassic World was in theaters so it will have to wait until DVD.   I did see a really cool sneak peek of it at Disneyland which was amazing  (Here is my Disney blog about that)

So now that these big movies have come out already what is left?

5.   Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.  

This franchise has been a mixed bag.  
Mission Impossible 1996  was a 8 out of 10
Mission Impossible 2 2000  was my least  favorite big budget action sequel ever (I totally hated it) 4 out of 10
Mission Impossible 3  2006   8 out of 10  was excellent my favorite in the series.
Mission Impossible 4 2011 was okay --but not great  6 out of 10

When the trailer for this one came out I thought it looked as good as if not better than the upcoming James Bond.  

4.   Masterminds:

My stepson asked if I wanted to see this movie and honestly I hadn't even heard of it yet.  I looked it up online and without even seeing a trailer I put it on my list based on the cast alone. Zach Galigianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Owen Wilson and Kristen Wigg I'm in.

3.   Vacation

One of my favorite franchises growing up.  Both the original Vacation and Christmas Vacation are in my top comedies of all-time.  Ed Helms is getting a shot at carrying the franchise forward as a grown up Rusty taking his family on a Vacation like the kind he took as a kid.   The Trailers look good and  with Christina Applegate as his wife and Chevy Chase guesting --I'm looking forward to seeing if they can get it right.

2. Antman
I'm hoping to see the sneak peek at Disneyland in the next week which will probably jump start my excitement for this Marvel film.  It may be the Marvel movie I've been the least excited for--but Marvel has been hitting it out of the park lately and it does star Paul Rudd

1. Inside Out

I'll probably be seeing this movie this week and reviewing it on my Disney blog.   Pixar just really makes great movies and from the buzz this is no different.  A high concept film that looks like it could be a lot of fun,

What are the 5   remaining Summer movies you are looking forward to? 

Terminator would have made my list:   The first 2 by Cameron were classic.   T3 and Terminator Salvation were disappointments so now I have no idea how to feel about this franchise. 
My Movie page on Facebook is here  

Nerd Block

40% off everything 728x90

Sunday, June 14, 2015

I am Number 4 2011 8 out of 10 (spoilers included)

I Am Number 4 2011   8 out of 10

This movie basically takes the concept of Superman and mixes it with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Nine teens that were the hope of their dying planet Lorien have been sent to Earth with protectors to keep them safe until their special abilities reveal themselves.  They are being hunted down by an alien race called the Mogadore and are being killed off in order.  This movie follows Number 4 as he struggles to survive after numbers 1-3 have already been killed over the years.

Number 4 has just moved from Australia (where he was starting to get noticied) to a small town in Cleveland called Paradise with his guardian Henri.  Henri is played excellently by the always entertaining Timothy Olyphant who is basically the Obi Wan character to  Number 4's Luke Skywalker.    While in this small town Number 4 befriends a nerdy character that is being bullied at school and falls in love with a girl --just as his powers start to reveal themselves.  Meanwhile the Mogadore, which look like some cheesy villains from an episode of Buffy or Angel are tracking him down.  The villains were laughable --but it all made sense after I watched the movie because it was co-written by ex-Buffy Producer Marti Noxon.    Despite the silly villains and the lame bully storyline the movie gets good as the Alien hunters finally track him down and some cool and interesting battles take place.  Number 6 played by some cute Australian girl shows up just in time to help save him and they are able to fight off the evil aliens and by the end of the film set off to find the others of their kind. The remaining Loriens are going to need to band together in order to protect Earth.

This movie was based on a series of books that deal with these Super beings written by authors James Frey and Jobie Hughes. Like several book series recently it was meant to be a series like the Harry Potter's,   Hunger Games and Twilight's of the world.  Hollywood wants franchises and if the first movie doesn't make enough money --many of these potential franchises don't make it past the first movie --which is a shame.   I'll blog about theses franchises that didn't get off the ground in my next blog.   I Am Number 4 was obviously meant to be one of these big money making franchise --but it didn't quite happen.   So instead we are left with this cool movie and interesting story that is obviously meant to continue and never does.    Maybe this series could and should come back as a TV series the same way the original Buffy movie eventually came to the small screen.   I liked the movie and the direction it was going --but maybe it was better suited to the small screen instead of being expected to be the next Twilight at the box office.

My Movie page on Facebook is here  

Nerd Block

The Easiest Way to Create a Website.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Horrible Bosses 2 2014 7 out of 10 (Can Unnecessary sequels still be good ?)

Horrible Bosses 2  2014  7 out of 10

A lot of sequels are made just because the first movie made a lot of money.  Hollywood doesn't care whether a sequel is necessary or not just whether it could make money.  As a result of a bunch of movies that really don't lend themselves to sequels get them anyway --whether there is a story to tell of not.   The worst example of this was Miss Congeniality.  Arguably the first one was actually pretty good --but the second one was absolutely uncalled for and unnecessary and was actually quite terrible and unforgettable as a result.  Horrible Bosses 2 was an unnecessary film --but it was still actually pretty good.
Horrible Bosses was a solid sequel despite a less interesting plot than the first one.    It proved that an unnecessary sequel can still be good when the level of the talent is good.  The cast chemistry of Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekias and Charlie Day make this movie enjoyable.  
 The original movie featured three friends that all worked for terrible bosses that decide over drinks that if they killed off each other’s bosses their lives could be better.   A crazy and implausible plot that goes horribly wrong.   Think Strangers on a Train meets the Three Stooges.  In the sequel they have gone into business for themselves and get screwed over in a ruthless business deal that causes them to lose everything.    So of course they decide to kidnap the guy's son to get their money back.   Again a very misguided and unbelievable decision that once again goes terrible wrong.
 The best part of the movie is the chemistry of the three main characters.  They work so good and compliment each other so well.   A perfect example of this chemistry is in the scene where two characters are breaking into the dentist office to get laughing gas for their upcoming kidnapping attempt and are communicating with Jason Bateman’s character via Dora walkie talkies and keep mentioning his real name.  This scene has some great dialogue as the characters try to come up with code names mid crime.
 If you liked the first Horrible Bosses then you will most likely enjoy the sequel as well.

My Movie page on Facebook is here  
Nerd Block

The Easiest Way to Create a Website. 40% off everything 728x90

Revisiting the original Jurassic Park- 1993 10 out of 10

“Welcome to Jurassic Park”  Those words thrilled back in 1993 and still thrill today.

I’ve had Jurassic fever lately as the new film was set to roll into theaters.
I absolutely loved the original Jurassic Park directed by Steven Spielberg.   So this weekend I made time to watch the original all over again for the first time in years.   It was a groundbreaking special effect movie when it came out and for me completely holds up as one of my favorites.   It was vintage Spielberg  (one of a few directors that I will see a movie from just because they directed it).  It still has that sense of wonder.  It still has those classic Spielberg zoom ins and reaction shots.  It still has the T Rex scene is still one of the coolest scenes I’ve ever seen.
Jurassic Park is based on the amazing book by Michael Crichton. 
I read the book as well when the original came out it was also great.    In most cases people  will say the “the book is better”   --well Jurassic Park is one of those rare cases where both were equally incredible.   Jurassic Park is basically a remake of a previous Crichton film  Westworld.   It is the same exact concept just replacing Robots with Dinosaurs and –I’m glad he rehashed his own work.---because he got it so much better the second time around.   

A theme park with Dinosaurs brought back to life using their DNA.  What an amazing concept!  and what a great movie.  Of course it doesn't go as planned.  The movie can pretty much be summed up by this one memorable qoute:

John Hammond: All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked!
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but, John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists.

Steven Spielberg and ILM brought dinosaurs to life for the first time ever on screen.  Dinosaurs that weren’t stop motion puppets.  The leap in special effects this film made –made many other films possible that weren’t possible before.  It is a landmark film so I was very excited to see  the franchise coming back to the big screen this summer.  Enjoy the new film and if for some reason you haven’t seen the original and the Spielberg directed sequel  Lost World catch those as well and go back and read  the Crichton books. 

Our Movie Podcast can be found here

My Movie page on Facebook is here  
Nerd Block

The Easiest Way to Create a Website. 40% off everything 728x90

Friday, June 12, 2015

Top 5 Reasons Jurassic World was a blast despite its flaws.

      1.  “Welcome to Jurassic World”  : The Park itself

This was the biggest draw for seeing the movie in the first place.    The had me at the trailer saying the park is open.  In the previous Jurassic Park’s we only got a glimpse of what the park could be.  It wasn’t open yet when the Dinosaurs went crazy so even though it was exciting the stakes were never as high as when you have 20,000 visitors in the park.  I loved what we got to see of this theme park in the movie.   My only complaint was I wanted to see more.   The theme park looks amazing…..Who wouldn’t want to go to this theme park (if it was safe that is).   Unfortunately what happens in the movie assures the park will definitely never be open to the public again.
  2.  Chris Pratt:  
A few years ago he was just the shoe shine guy on Parks and Recreation. Guardians of the Galaxy and now Jurassic World have turned–Chris Pratt into an A-list badass.  His sense of humor and badassary are on display the entire time he is on screen.  I could totally see him playing a young Indiana Jones now.   He is a movie rock star and the movie is better because he is in it.  

      3. Bryce Dallas Howard is a total hottie in this film.
 Before Jurassic World she wasn’t even on my radar—but every second that she was on screen in Jurassic World –you can’t take your eyes off of her.  They did a good job of casting the movie as her and Chris Pratt complement each other very well.

 4. Jake Johnson (from the  New Girl and Let’s be Cops).  

He is hilarious.  I love him in pretty much everything he is in.   His character in the control center with his toy dinos and e-bay purchased Jurassic Park T-shirt is an absolute blast.

      5.  The ending was epic……Not to give away anything specific …..(possible spoilers if you didn’t watch the trailers)   Despite the extremely flawed nonsensical idea of sending the “trained” Raptors after the genetically engineered Dino.  “Yeah that is a good idea” The battle and final conclusion that results (although predictable) were very enjoyable.  It was a visual treat and exactly what the movie needed.

There are definitely points in the film where I can see people complaining about.  Parts of the plot ----  like the use of the raptors were absolutely silly….yet it still worked for me.   It was still extremely exciting despite its  many flawed and predictable plot devices.   I’d have to say that I would still rank it behind the 2 Spielberg directed movies  which were 10 out of 10's ---but ahead of Jurassic Park 3.     Just throw logic out the window and enjoy the ride that Jurassic World is.

Nerd Block

The Easiest Way to Create a Website. 40% off everything 728x90

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Now You See Me 2013 9 out of 10

Now You See Me  2013  9 out of 10

Slight of hand and misdirection.  The plot of the movie follows 4 magicians that show up to a meeting after receiving a mysterious invitation.   Cut to four years later the group is now a big act performing in Las Vegas.  As a part of this act they pull off a bank heist in Paris while on stage.   This stunt gets them under investigation with by the FBI agent played by Mark Ruffalo --is in intent on catching them in the act. 

This movie does a great job of mixing the world of Magic with a heist movie.  The movie was interesting and entertaining and had you guessing the whole time trying to figure it out. Like a Magic act it was full of red herrings and misdirection.   It also had a mysterious element of a secret society as a part of the plot which gave it additional depth.    I don’t feel like I can really go on to discuss the plot for fear of spoiling it.  The film wasn’t spoiled for me so I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else.     I’ll just say that I really enjoyed the film and I’m looking forward to the sequel, which I hear is in the works.
The cast was excellent:  Morgan Freeman, Michael Cane, Woody Harrelson,  Isla Fisher,  Jess Eisnberg  and Mark Rufallo.  The magic acts were cool and the action scenes were exciting.
I actually enjoyed the heist aspects of this film more than all of the Ocean’s eleven sequels –only the original from that series did it better in my opinion.
I can see how some people will be upset at the end of the film and complain about the twists and turns the film takes and how they don't buy it.  I choose not to overthink it and just enjoy it for what it was --a fun and magical heist movie  - but I can definitely see how the films resolution will leave many cold and unhappy with how it concludes.

My Movie page on Facebook is here

Nerd BlockThe Easiest Way to Create a Website. 40% off everything 728x90

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Monsters 2010 7 out of 10 (The Star Wars Connection Rogue One

 Monsters  2010   7 out of 10

I watched this movie on Netflix because of  its Star Wars Connection.   At Star Wars Celebration I went to a panel for one of the upcoming Star Wars Anthology films which featured director Gareth Edwards.    I wanted to see the movie that got him his start and lead him to direct Godzilla and now a Star Wars movie.
Monsters from 2010 is a low budget giant monster movie. 

The movie follows the story of a photojournalist that is tasked with getting the bosses daughter back to the U.S from out of the infected zone in Mexico.    Mexico has been infected with giant extraterrestrial life forms that have made it to the planet as a result of a NASA space probe that has crashed.   Gareth Edwards makes great use of his limited budget in this film while still building a sense of dread as the 2 main characters bond during their difficult journey through the infected sections of Mexico.   The movie has great use of sound and the monster you barely see technique of film making that worked so well in classics like Jaws.   When you do get to see the giant monsters it is truly menacing.   I liked the film and saw the potential that they saw in Gareth's directing ability that lead him to get the Godzilla gig and now Rogue One.    The movie itself though was just a 7 out of 10 because the obvious limits of the movies budget kept it from being as exciting as it could of been had it not been limited.  I guess I can see what it would have looked like by watching what he did with Godzilla.

The Star Wars Connection:   

After seeing Monsters and hearing Gareth Edwards talk at Star Wars Celebration --I'm even more excited for Rogue One.    The movie sounds like it will be a kick ass war movie.  The people Gareth is working with have worked on such war movies as Black Hawk Down and Zero Dark Thirty so the film is going to have a gritty feel.   I'm even more anxious to see it after watching Monsters.  I can see the potential now in this tale of a band of rebels stealing the Death Star Plans.   

(Picture above from Celebrations --Josh Trank was sick that day----yeah right sick huh???  Well we all know how that turned out)

Here is the Monsters trailer

My Movie page on Facebook is here

Nerd BlockThe Easiest Way to Create a Website. 40% off everything 728x90

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Parallels 2015 7 out of 10

Parallels 2015 7 out of 10

Parallels is an alternate universe movie that features a brother and sister that reunite after getting a strange message from their father to meet at an old building downtown.  They arrive at this strange building with neighborhood friend and find no one there.  Then the building transports them to a parallel universe.   It is like a giant parallel world traveling Tardis.

When I read the description of the film while flipping through Netflix on the Roku --Immediately I thought that this sounded a lot like the old cheesy fun TV show Sliders.  That first impression was pretty much dead on --this movie was very much an updated and more gritty version of Sliders.   They travel from parallel universe to parallel universe as they search for their dad and a way back home.

The first world that they land on is a world that has been devastated by nuclear war -they meet a mysterious girl that is familiar with the building and what it does as she has been traveling on it for awhile. They are taken prisoner by some survivors on that world and must escape and return to the building in order to move on to the next world.  After barely escaping this world and end up on a technically advanced world where they continue to look for answers to what happened to their dad.   At this point the movie I kept thinking that they aren't going to visit many worlds in this movie and that this concept works much better as a weekly tv show.  As the movie goes on you realize that obviously that is what this was meant to be. 

We get to the end of the movie that has a couple of cool reveals yet leaves many questions unanswered and asks new questions.  At this point it is 100% clear that this was a pilot episode for a TV Series.  It sets up perfectly for a series of adventures on numerous worlds which the concept of this updated Sliders lends itself to perfectly.

Parallels is an interesting sci fi movie that I would recommend to anyone that was a fan of Sliders or that finds the parallel universes concept.    I would just warn you that if you want a conclusion --you will probably never get one since this TV show pilot turned movie isn't likely to have a series.

My Movie page on Facebook is here

Nerd Block

The Easiest Way to Create a Website. 40% off everything 728x90