Tag Archive: movie

Godzilla (2014) Review

Rating: PG-13

Godzilla was released in May 2014 and was directed by Gareth Edwards. It’s a science fiction monster movie for obvious reasons. The movie stars Ken Watanabe, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, and Bryan Cranston. I have to say that I was incredibly excited to watch this movie, and even though my only experience with Godzilla leading up to this was the 1998 version, I was still optimistic about this new installment.

Two scientists Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) discover unusual objects within a strip mine. Meanwhile, a nuclear plant supervisor Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) are at work when a disastrous event occurs, destroying the plant and rendering the surrounding area under quarantine. Years after these events, Joe Brody believes the disaster was not natural and that the government is covering it up. When Joe finds evidence, his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) becomes involved as well. Ishiro Serizawa is still researching the objects that were found years before. All of their stories intertwine when disaster strikes yet again.

I went into this expecting to see giant monsters fight, and I got that and much more. There’s a great plot with intriguing characters, and there’s plenty of action to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The tone of this movie is much more realistic and serious than previous versions. Godzilla is set up in a way that makes it seem plausible. Instead of a mindless beast destroying the city, it’s much deeper and far more complex. The creatures in this movie are more animal like than monster. They are driven by instinct, and they’re trying to live in a world populated by humans. It’s interesting to see them with animal instincts rather than just destroying everything around them just because they can.

There are many engaging characters in Godzilla. Joe Brody’s character is by far the most interesting and well-rounded. He’s believable as a person and reacts in ways that are expected, and as a result, he is my favorite character. The only complaint I have is that I wish he had more screen time. Ishiro Serizawa is also well-developed. He’s the voice of caution, and he wants nature to take it’s course without human intervention. Even the secondary characters are enjoyable to watch, and they contribute to the plot in interesting ways. Ford, on the other hand, is the weakest character and comes off a bit flat. He’s likable and it’s easy to root for him, but he lacks charisma.

Godzilla is a great summer movie. If you were worried about seeing this because of previous versions, don’t be because Godzilla has been redeemed in this movie. It’s the perfect blend of action and suspense and contains great acting and special effects. Of course, I wanted to see more Godzilla, but it makes it more enjoyable when he is onscreen. I’ve read that there’s a possibility of this becoming a trilogy. I’m excited for future installments and hope to see Godzilla in all his glory.

My Rating: ★★★★½

So much for my book buying ban. In my defense, my mom needed something ordered from Amazon, so of course I needed to add some books to my cart too. Plus, it’s only 3 books this time, so it’s okay, right? Right? On another note, I did get some movies last weekend as well. I can’t seem to pass up $5 or less movies. To stop buying books and movies, I’ll just need to stay out of stores and stay offline… I think that’s possible. Who am I kidding? I’ll probably buy something right after I post this. Anyway, on to the book and movie haul!

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb.

Pivot Point – Kasie West
Genre – Young Adult

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre – Young Adult

*I finally bought myself a copy of this book. Now, I can add it to the rest of my favorite books on my shelf.

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins
Genre – Young Adult

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion…she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit–more sparkly, more fun, more wild–the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket–a gifted inventor–steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Rating – PG

The most delicious event since macaroni met cheese. Inspired by the beloved children’s book, the film focuses on a town where food falls from the sky like rain.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Writers: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Stars: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell

Titans Double Feature
(Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans)
Rating – PG-13

(Clash of the Titans) Perseus, mortal son of Zeus, battles the minions of the underworld to stop them from conquering heaven and earth.

Director: Louis Leterrier

Writers: Travis Beacham (screenplay), Phil Hay (screenplay)

Stars: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

Rating – PG-13

A Duke’s son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father’s evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor’s rule.

Director: David Lynch

Writers: Frank Herbert (novel), David Lynch (screenplay)

Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Francesca Annis

The Mummy Trilogy
(The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor)
Rating – PG-13

(The Mummy) An American serving in the French Foreign Legion on an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra accidentally awakens a Mummy.

Director: Stephen Sommers

Writers: Stephen Sommers (screen story), Lloyd Fonvielle (screen story)

Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah

To-Be-Watched Movies/TV Series

Unlike my To-Be-Read Books, I have less movies that I need to watch. I also have some TV series that I need to watch, so I decided to combine the two.  I still have not located a jar, so this will be my TBW Box. I’m a bit reluctant to call it that because I googled TBW and ended up finding some funny definitions. Just go ahead. I know you want to.

20131221_221306TBW Movies

I just find it so adorable!

The Rules of the TBW Box:

This will be similar to how I pick from my TBR Container. I’ll pick two slips of paper out and choose which movie or TV series I want to watch. There are around 50 slips of paper inside. I’m excited to see how this will work for movies. Hopefully, I don’t just continue to watch movies I’ve already seen a hundred times (I’m probably not exaggerating about that number either). I tend to watch movies over and over. I’m surprised my DVD Player hasn’t spit out the discs and been like “Enough, woman! Pick something else.” So, to avoid my DVD Player coming to life, I will enforce the TBW Box as soon as possible. I’m sure the box is too adorable to abandon, anyway. I mean, look at that little face.

Rampage Review

Rating: R

Rampage was released in 2009. It’s a mass murder thriller and lives up to the name. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I first began watching the film, but I’m glad I stayed to finish it. Rampage stars Brendan Fletcher, Michael Paré, Shaun Sipos, Lynda Boyd, and Robert Clarke. The plot is pretty easy to follow and understand.

It takes place in a fictional town in Oregon called Tenderville and follows Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) who is a 23 year old man that still lives with his parents (Lynda Boyd and Robert Clarke). He works as a mechanic where he is victimized by his boss. His parents want him to move out of their house and start his own life while he has other ideas in mind. Added onto the issues with his job and his parents, Bill is constantly being exposed to the problems of the world through television, radio, and his friend Evan Drince (Shaun Sipos) who is highly critical of the human species. After talking with Evan, Bill goes home to assemble a suit of body armor and arms himself with two submachine guns. He drives to the center of town and all hell breaks loose.

The characters in Rampage are slightly underdeveloped and most are just there to move the plot along. Bill’s character seems to be the only character that has more development than the others. When he goes “crazy,” he does have a reason for doing so. The movie points out that the news reports are a main reason he goes on a rampage killing innocent people. Of course, he could have had a better reason but this is what makes the movie so interesting. It’s ambiguous in the sense that it makes the viewer decide why Bill decided to kill people in his town. Was it truly because he was disgusted at what the people in the world are capable of or was it due to the fact that he finally snapped? The interpretation is left up to the viewer to figure out for himself/herself.

At times, the fast paced movements of the camera makes it difficult to fully see what’s going on, but it adds to the hostility and panic that the film is trying to show the audience. In a situation as this film demonstrates, the environment wouldn’t be calm and steady but full of terror and chaos.

I was surprised by the ending of the film. While watching, I was coming up with ways that it could end, but I never came up with what actually happened. It was clever, and I wasn’t expecting it at all. It even added more depth to Bill’s character.

This movie does live up to its genre by showing a devastating mass murder of innocent lives. As a disclaimer, this movie is not for the faint of heart and could really upset some people. It’s a disturbing film, and the ending will not satisfy some viewers. Even though it’s quite a dark movie, I think that it’s worth watching.

My Rating: ★★★★

Tower Heist Review

Rating: PG-13

Tower Heist was released in theaters on November 4, 2011. As previews for this movie showed up on television, I knew that I wanted to see what it was all about, and I liked the main actors and actresses that were starring in it, as well. A few of the stars in this movie are Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe, Alan Alda, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, and Téa Leoni. It’s a crime, comedy film, and even though it might not display the logic within crime movies, it does live up to its genre of comedy. Tower Heist takes place in November close to Thanksgiving Day. The plot is set up so that it’s easy to follow and understand.

The film starts out following Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller) who is the building manager of The Tower. The Tower is a luxury apartment complex that houses wealthy individuals such as Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) who is a financer. Kovacs continues his normal daily duties unaware of the impending arrest of Shaw. Special Agent Claire Denham (Téa Leoni) puts Shaw under house arrest until more evidence can be found to put him in prison. At first, Kovacs does not believe Shaw committed fraud, but Kovacs later finds out that an employee attempted suicide because he invested all his money with Shaw and lost it all. Infuriated, Kovacs confronts Shaw about the issue, and after an incident he loses his job along with Charlie Gibbs (Casey Affleck) and Enrique Dev’Reaux (Michael Peña) who were at the scene and allowed the incident to happen. Denham tells Kovacs that Shaw probably has money hidden somewhere inside his apartment in case he needed to escape quickly. Kovacs, Gibbs, and Dev’Reaux decide that they want to steal their money back, and they coerce Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick), who used to live in The Tower, to join their gang. The group realizes that they need to include an actual thief and that’s when Leo “Slide” Dalphael (Eddie Murphy), a sketchy character from Kovacs past, joins them. After running into a problem with their plan, they understand that they need a specialist and ask Odessa Montero (Gabourey Sidibe), a maid that works at The Tower, to help them get the money back. Once the gang is finally all together, the robbery and danger really begins.

The characters in this movie are realistic and tend to be quite comical. They’re not necessarily seeking revenge, but merely want the money that was taken from them. Each actor and actress brings their own qualities to the characters he/she is playing. When Kovacs finds out about the employee and Shaw, the viewer can relate to how Kovacs feels and might even act the way that he did. Viewers will most likely be rooting for the gang to succeed throughout the movie.

At a few points near the end of the movie, it becomes clear to the viewer that he/she is watching a movie because the physics within these scenes were impossible. I found myself giggling at these unintentional funny moments. However, the scenes were small and did not take away from the movie as a whole. Also, I felt that the ending was appropriate for the way the movie was set up. In a sense, it made it feel more realistic because it would most likely happen in that way rather than the typical cliché movie ending. I would recommend this movie for anyone wanting a light movie with good laughs. Tower Heist is definitely worth watching.

My Rating: ★★★★

In Time Review

Rating: PG-13

In Time arrived in theaters on October 28, 2011. Once I saw previews for this movie, I knew that I had to see it. It’s a science fiction, thriller film, and even though it may not be the best in its genre, it still gives the viewers an enjoyable ride. A few of the stars in this film are Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, Matt Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Cillian Murphy, Amanda Seyfried, and Vincent Kartheiser. In Time is set in the future where time is life; each person has a clock on their left arms that reveals the amount of time they have left to live. After 25 years of life, a person’s clock starts, and he/she gets one year to either gain more time or “time out.” Time can be obtained by working, stealing, or being given it. Since time is currency, there is a huge gap between classes; those who have more time on their clocks are richer and live “better” lives, and those who do not have much time struggle to get through each day.

The viewer is introduced to the main character Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) who lives with his 50 year old mother, Rachel Salas (Olivia Wilde), in the ghettos. The most time he has ever had on his clock is about a day, so he lives his life day by day. He meets Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) who is being harassed by Fortis (Alex Pettyfer) in a bar. Fortis is the boss of a gang named the Minutemen, who are known for taking time from people by force; Will and Henry escape with their time. After a bit of talking, Henry explains the way the system works for the rich and poor, and eventually, Will is able to gain extra time from Henry. Once an unfortunate event occurs in Will’s life, he seeks revenge on the system that keeps the classes separated. Timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) begins to track Will after believing he committed a murder in order to get the additional time. Will travels to a better district in order to stop the unfair treatment of classes; Will encounters Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried) who is the daughter of a very rich and powerful man named Phillipe Weis (Vincent Kartheiser). Shortly after Will and Vincent meet, the fight between the classes officially begins.

The characters in this film seem to be well developed, and each actor brings their character to life. In a way, Will and Sylvia are relatable because who hasn’t wanted to change the way the system works or been a bit rebellious. Fortis is the man most people love to hate; he is a perfect bad guy. Raymond is the typical cop trying to make sure everyone obeys the laws and the way of life; he sticks to the rules no matter what and expects the same from the citizens, as well. Phillipe is the man opposing the protagonist, so the viewer, of course, wants to see him defeated. The characters’ motives are able to maintain the attention of the viewer and keep a person from looking at their own watch during the movie.

Even though, In Time might not be the very best in its genre, it sure does an excellent job keeping the audience entertained. Not only is there action, but a deep plot that makes a person think of their own life. This movie is definitely worth watching.

My Rating: ★★★★

Step Up 3 Review

Rating: PG-13

This film was released on August 6, 2010. Even though I was thrilled about Step Up and Step Up 2: The Streets, I wasn’t impressed with this new addition. The story-line,  basically, was the same as the previous movie; it felt like the same plot but with different people. Yes, of course, the House of Pirates’ place was going to be repossessed, and the crew had to win a dance battle in order to keep their “home.” The Pirates have an opposing crew called House of Samurai against them that will do anything to defeat the gang. This sounds exactly like the last plot but with the Pirates needing money and not about honor and reputation as in Step Up 2: The Streets.

It was difficult to make any connection with the characters in this movie as I did in the other movies. Most of the characters were underdeveloped, and the viewer didn’t get a chance to see the personalities besides generalized traits. Of course, I love Adam Sevani who plays Moose in Step Up 2: The Streets, but I have had two movies to enjoy him and watch him grow as a character. Moose and Luke Katcher, played by Rick Malambri, are the only characters that I felt had any personality. Luke, at times, did feel flat as a character, but he was more developed than most in the movie. Natalie, who is played by Sharni Vinson, didn’t have time to grow within the movie. It seems as though they rushed her development. I enjoyed her at the beginning and was cheering for her to be with Luke, but she was never able to redeem herself after the plot twist. I will not give too much away about the movie, even though, the plot is predictable, and most viewers will be able to figure out what happens next way before the middle of the movie.

The movie does stick to its dancing genre and does not slack on the dancing. In fact, there seems to be quite a lot more dance scenes than in the previous two movies; the dance moves were incredible, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the different styles. The dancing was full of energy, making me wish that I could pull off the moves shown. The final dance battle where the Pirates and the Samurai dance against each other for the prize money was quite amazing to say the least, however, Natalie and Luke’s dance was not needed and felt as though it was only kept to help advance the plot. When they stopped the dance sequences, I found myself wishing it would just focus on the dancing, so I wouldn’t have to watch anymore of the regurgitated plot.

There were a few scenes that were just not needed or actually took away from the main plot. In the final scene, I found myself watching the man and woman talk with the police officer behind Luke and Natalie. I don’t believe that is something a director wants his audience to focus on, but I was more interested in what unimportant characters were talking about than the main characters. If a person is looking for a dance movie with a decent plot, I would recommend Step Up or Step Up 2: The Streets. Step Up 3 is definitely worth skipping.

My Rating: ★★