Tag Archives: entertainment

Stub Review: Summer Movie Rundown!~

Sorry for not really being the most active with my latest reviews, just a mixture of personal stuff and lack of time, but I’ve been keeping up with my ever so many adventuring trips to the movie theaters to see an array of films that is closing out this Summer of 2013.

You really can tell it’s the end of the summer not just by the box office (but it’s a helping sign when the likes of 15 million dollars can win you the weekend), but also the quality of film stops being that of a tent pole film and gets more  low budget and closer to quality as the award season is around the corner.

So I am calling this my “Summer Run Down” of review list, I am leaving out one film specifically though that I will do a full on “Stub Review” for, because it just really was a impactful film after viewing it.

But lets get it started!

We’re The Millers – 7/10

Pretty funny movie, its not an all time classic, but has enough laughs and funny moments to make something like Hangover III look like utter trash. Sudeikis and Anniston actually work well together and Emma Roberts is pretty good, I forget the other kids name but he has some great moments too.

2 Guns – 7/10

I really dug this movie. It just shows how much of a star Denzel is, he just has the star power to take this from just some forgettable action film, to something that feels fun to watch. Whalberg is great too, he and Denzel work off each other very well and has his typical Whalberg style humor. The action is good, not to much shaky cam work, the plot is a bit thin, but you don’t really care so much cause the scenes of Denzel and Marky-Mark working off each other is enough to entertain.

Elysium – 8/10

It is an amazing film. Damon is Damon to say, he does what he does in making you instantly care about his character and those around him and the situation he is in. You at no point second guess the state of the world the film is in, and even though its a “sci-fi” film, it is not anything like a typical Sci-Fi movie, it feels grounded and futuristic at the same time. Like a live action Wall-E.

Kick-Ass 2 – 7/10

Just as fun as the first film, but I wouldn’t rank it above it. I think taking Mathew Vaughn out of the directors chair kind of took something away from the film, but it was still violent, foul mouth and over the top fun. But as someone that read the comic it was based on, the film took out some of the three most fucked up moments of the book, they make sly mention of said moments, but never go there. So the book is still more fucked up than the actual movie, but if they are going to come back for a third film, id go, Hit-Girl still the most fun to watch.

At Worlds End – 8/10

A great and fitting end to the Cornetto trilogy by Edgar Wright. In the ranking of the three, I don’t really know how to put them, cause right now, Hot Fuzz still stays as my favorite of the films, but AWE was just so much fun to watch and the ending was great. The fight scenes are really well shot and probably some of the best, because everyone now goes with the quick cutting style where you can’t see anyone land a blow, but Wright takes his time to show off the practice these guys put in to make it look grand.

The Getaway – 2/10

God this was awful. Its the most toned down version of Taken meets Drive there could ever be. The only good thing to say about this film was the car stunt work, since the crashes looked good…but that’s it. Selena Gomez is horrid as a gutter-punk/teen/hacker/car girl/whatever… Ethan Hawke pretty much sleeps his way through the role too.

Jobs – 5/10

I don’t know what to think, the movie wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t that good. Its somewhere in the middle, where after you leave the theater the film instantly leaves your mind. Kutcher looked like he tried hard to capture Jobs’ quirky nature, but sometimes just didn’t work and felt comical than dramatic. Played more like a made-for-TV movie than something that is a big screen adaptation of one of the most important figures in technology of the last few decades.

You’re Next – 6/10

Its a low budget, small ensemble horror film that tries to earn its R with gruesome kills, but also bring in the laughs when it can. The lead heroine, “Erin” leads the pack against woodland creature mask wearing psychopaths that ambush a rich and WASPY family. As the events of the film play out, it becomes pretty predictable of how it will end, but he ride from start to finish is fun. Its not scary, but more jumpy. There is more than enough laughs though too to keep you going between each kill.

… so there you go, the rest of my summer movie viewing. This Summer went by very quickly in some ways and very slowly in other, one of the most important summers of my personal life and I am eternally grateful for film, because it was a very rough summer for me and watching movies, escaping to a movie theater when I really needed it, truly helped me escape my life for a few hours. Be it good or bad films, that hour and half in the dark with strangers all watching a flick projected on a big screen …. It is still something that seems simple, but means a lot.

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Lightining Speed Stub Review: Round II

I’m a little behind on my usual weekend Stub-Reviews, but this is for good reason, I’ve been eyes glued to both the internet watching the constant updating coverage of the San Diego Comic-Con , which trust me will get it’s own post on this sight with all my thoughts on all the big things, but also getting hooked on the long finished, but just making my radar The West Wing.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been watching everything that has come out and here are my thoughts on them, besides a few films that came out this weekend that I haven’t’ seen yet, which will be in my next lightning round session. You can tell when the summer spectacular of the film season is coming to the end, because you have box office bombs like Red 2 and R.I.P.D extinguishing the box office charts; not lightening them up.

Pacific Rim – 7.5/10

Awesome. Its a leave your mind at the door type of movie, its a simple concept of monsters vs. mechanical robots and throw in some Charlie Day and Ron Perlman awesomeness to keep you through all the technical stuff. I was completely thinking about Power Ranger fights when the buildings were getting destroyed too. I’ve heard they want to make this into a franchise, but seeing how the film ending, I’m curious how they would tackle a sequel.

The Lone Ranger – 7/10

I have to be honest, I enjoyed this movie much more than I thought I would. It’s easily better than any of the Pirate sequels that have been turned out over the last few years, it does run a bit long and gets tedious here and there, but Depp and Hammer both work well together and the final act is a really fun and well done action piece. Its budget probably was bloated way more than needed, but still thought it was a good summer popcorn flick.\

Grown Ups 2 – 3/10

It is sooo bad. Not as bad as Jack and Jill or some of Sander’s latest, but its still so bad. If you look back at all the films that Sander has made in the past ten year, everything that hasn’t been associated with his Happy Madison company has been pretty good, but his “typical” comedies have all just been getting worse and worse. I just wish Sandler took some time and just got into a Robin Williams groove and just accept drama’s for his next few films.

Despicable Me 2 – 7.5/10

I actually think the first movie is just really boring. But I dug the second film a little bit more, the plot is really paper thin in terms of importance to the film, but Steve Carell and Kristen Wig do a great job with their characters and the minions actually serve a reasonable role in this film. Better jokes and moves quickly.

The Heat – 5/10

I’m one of the rare people that didn’t like Bridesmaids or didn’t find it to be crazy hilarious, so I wasn’t going into this with high expectations at all. And that was pretty well suited since the movie wasn’t that funny. There are good jokes, some really hilarious gags…but they feel so far separated from each other, mixed in with Melissa McCarthy just using her wicked Boston accent and Bullocks typical straight lace character. I’d like the film more if they switch characters, maybe seeing Bullock play the messy, foul mouth detective instead.

White House Down – 6/10

The movie is a easy leave your brain at the door film. White House is taken over and Jamie Foxx’s president and Channing Tatum’s John McClane have to defend it. Its a film so easy to make for Roland Emmerich by now he could of done it with his eyes closed. Its a bit longer than it has to be, but still if you just want to see a modern day Die Hard in the White House film, it’s probably better than the last actual Die Hard in Russia film.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain – 8/10

I find it really hard to properly do a Stand Up comedy film, there are only a few that I think are amazing, Delirious and Raw by Eddie Murphy and ‘The Original Kings of Comedy’ which managed to put focus both on the comedy itself and its stand up. Kevin Hart is easily becoming one of the best stand up in the country and has a string of successful stand up specials to back up that claim. Let Me Explain is just the financially and critically success that could push him to the next level.

Red 2 – 4/10

I really didn’t like the first movie, the trailer for the sequel I thought did a good job of displaying a sequel that I would enjoy…and that was so not the result. This movie was just a jumble of scenes and no real plot, and a lot of explosion. Hellen Mirren and John Malkovich are as good as it gets, same goes with the first film too.

….My last Lightning Round session of these reviews averaged to a above average rating for all the films, sadly not so much this time around. Like I said before, when we get to the end of the summer, you really see some big named, small scripted ideas coming out the tunnel. How the hell did Grown Ups not only get a sequel, but made MORE money than Pacific Rim at the domestic box office?

In a day’s time or so, I will post my big time Comic-Con extravaganza post, last years (Right Here) saw the introduction of Guardians of the Galaxy, official titles to Captain America 2 and Thor 2, and a clear road for the Second Phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This years has gone above that to not only help SHOW us what that second phase will look like visually, but give us the most crystal clear idea of how it will finish with Avengers 2: …

Oh, you have to wait for my next post to see what the subtitle will be (…or just Google it, whatever is your choice. )

Why Do You Watch Movies?

Is it because you liked a certain book, so you have an urge to go out and see the film adaptation? Is it because some actor or actress just catches your attention so you try to support them by seeing their latest flicks? Is it because you can use film as an escape from the real world?

I don’t know why anyone goes to the movies or why they enjoy them, but for me it’s the ‘escape’ option. I can read a book or a comic book and be very into it, but also know there is a world going on around me. I tend to read in open places like a beach or a pool, so there is always activities happening, reasons to put that book down, do something, and then pick it back up and continue on.

When I play videogames, time flies by, but I’m never really feel like I AM in that level of Mortal Kombat fighting Sub-Zero. I never feel like I AM driving along side Luigi and Donkey Kong in Mario Kart. I play because its fun, it feels exciting. But I am very conscious that I am sitting on my bed, floor, couch, or chair for hours upon end with a controller in my hand.

But when I go to a movie theater, be it opening day with a packed crowd or an early showing weeks in with maybe a hand full of people in attendance, when those lights go down, I’m not in a theater anymore.

I can feel entrapped by these characters, I can feel like I’m in a world far-far away, and I can forgot about the world around me for the next two hours easily.

Over the past two weekends I’ve needed that escape. So instead of a bunch of Stub-Reviews as I typically do, I’m going to do a simple “Review Express” on the SEVEN movies I’ve seen in the last few weekends.

  • Fast & Furious 6: More fastness, more furiousness, and more, more, more action. The team behind Fast Five come back bigger and better with the follow up that in reality SHOULDN’T work, but does. The dialogue is not the best, but you come for the Justin Lin directed action and car races. The finale is good, but the mid-credit scene that sets up Fast & Furious 7 is probably on the level of being the most epic thing to happen on a movie screen for the entire year.
  • Mud: Matthew McConaughey does an absolutely fantastic job and Oscar worthy acting performance in this film. He is almost out shined by the two kids, but this is entirely McConaughey’s film. A very deep rooted story and interesting characters from top to bottom that you grow and care about, even some of the smaller roles that are in and out of the film. One of the best films of 2013 so far for me.
  • The Hangover Part III: There was no reason for this film to be made. All the leads look like they are sleep walking their way through another script that doesn’t pack the laughs or shocks like the original. We get a few throwback to things that worked very well in the first movie, but just seem tired this time around. Who would ever thought that Mike Tyson would be the smart one to turn down a movie?
  • Star Trek into Darkness: Another blockbuster sequel that doesn’t disappoint, thankfully. While I don’t think it is better than the first film, I think JJ Abrams puts together another fun trip to space with everyone’s (???) favorite crew. Karl Urban really shines as Bones in this film, while they give you all the great shout outs from Wrath of Kahn, but with a JJ Abrams lens-flared twist.
  • After Earth: It’s not as bad as Battlefield Earth, maybe if Will had some dreads like Travolta rocked in that film, but its no where as good as … any good sci-fi movie. Will Smith just further proves he doesn’t age as he looks like he stepped off the Fresh Prince set for this film, and his son Jayden just proves he can’t hang with his dad even in the most M. Night Shamalamaianiest film.
  • Now You See Me: A fun and breezy film that really is more into keeping the audience guessing and on their toes than telling a solid story, but the fun fast cut editing and over acting helps the time go by quick until you get to an ending that literally makes no sense what so ever after all the different twists and turns the film puts you through.
  • Epic: SOOOOoooooOOOooooOOOoooooOOOOoooooo boring.

So yeah, a real mix bag in those films, some really good movies, some ok, one meh, and one that was extremely boring. With all that said, all those films still did the job of trying to help me escape my everyday life for a few hours and forget my problems or stress or … loneliness, and just concentrate on something new, or something familiar, but still fun.

So if your reading this please share reasons why you enjoy heading out to the theater? What does sitting back and taking in a film mean to you?

Stub Review: Jurassic Park 3D

photo 1Jurassic Park 3D

The most phenomenal film of our short past… becomes the greatest adventure of all time in 3D!

Released originally in 1993, Jurassic Park was not Steven Spielberg’s first blockbuster, far from it, but in some way is maybe one of his most influential blockbusters. I say because I know right after Jurassic Park first come out in the theaters, EVERYONE was talking about dinosaurs at school and on the playground. EVERY kid had a T-Rex lunch box or a t-shirt and when those tie-in Jurassic Park video-games or toys came out, they were very sought after by kids my age.

I know people today who are still very much into dinosaurs and their first reasoning of why they enjoy learning about the extinct creatures in the first place…because of a summer box office film back in the early 90’s.

Jurassic_Park3I think there was no real reason for this to be adapted to 3D at all, just re-release the film to celebrate its 20th anniversary, because I have to be completely honest and say this film holds up SO well. The plot while still is wildly unlikely to ever happen still gets you excited to think that a Jurassic Park could ACTUALLY happen one day. The dinosaurs, both practical and CGI, are amazing. When you first get a glimpse of that T-Rex in the rain, it is both chilling in a scary and awesome way.

I never read the book that the film is based off, but many talk how amazing it is and even more how bad the follow up sequel to JP, The Lost World is compared to the book. I don’t like the sequels to the Jurassic Park franchise, but the first oen is a classic film that both teaches you a little bit, scares you a little bit, and puts you on a grand adventure that is impossible to double in your real life. Maybe that’s why its looked back upon so fondly, the idea of a amusement park surrounded by dinosaurs is not just something that seems interesting and fun to today’s generation, but an idea that is still in process in our mind set.

Jurrasic_Park1Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Universal, Islands of Adventure, and Six Flags are all amusement parks in this country that are always adding to their parks, looking for the new attraction that will bring in millions of people, and give them A LOT of money. That is the main core of this film, one man taking something that hasn’t been seen in billions of years and using it as a money grab. The character of John Hammond is more horrible than the killer dinos, at least the T-Rex had a reason to kill…its in his nature, not his fault he was suddenly birthed in a world that couldn’t handle his sharp jaws and small arms.

I feel like Jurassic Park is one of the few films that deserves to have its life revisited every “anniversary” period. Its both a great silver screen adventure and nostalgic look back to a time where the idea of a fully CGI dinosaur was something to be thought about.

I give it an NINE out of a TEN, on the scale of film merit and overall quality.

But I also give it a RAAAAAAAAAAAWR out of TEN, on the scale of how deservedly so that damn lawyer deserved to be eaten after deserting the kids when the T-Rex showed up.

Stub Review – Evil Dead (2013)

eviul deadEvil Dead

 The horror classic…remade for a new generation.

I saw Evil Dead when it first came out a few weeks ago and per usual, it takes me a little bit to sit down and write my review just cause I put stuff off. But this time, it was a mixture of reality and health. I spent the last few days in the hospital for some long standing medical issues and the news has been full of images of real life horror and terror in the constant updates of the Boston Marathon Bombings and the manhunt for the suspects.

So in these times, who really wants to write about horror film? Well I thought it be a good idea to just get lost back into the idea of FICTIONAL horror instead of keeping my eyes glued on the REAL horror that is outside our doors.Evil Dead 3

The original Evil Dead film is classic, not for its production skills, but for its practical style. It was made on a shoestring budget and helped launch the careers of director Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell. The lore of the original Evil Dead trilogy turn from “serious” horror into more slapstick comedy-horror by the time of the third film, The Army of Darkness. This remake though took the idea behind the original film, just a independent style, gore, practical effect style horror film.

Typically I hate horror films. There are only a select few that I like, mainly being something like Evil Dead, Scream, or any time of 90’s slasher film. It is because when I watch something like Saw it bugs me to no end to see the torture style murdering, but when it’s done in the universe of Evil Dead, it just is a good time, cause there is always an underlining sense of humor to it all.

Evil Dead1This Evil Dead film not only takes the heart of the original into mind, but keeps with the unsettling horror of today’s genre. The prosthetic work is amazing, the make up on the Mia character after she becomes possessed is both perfectly done and horrifying to look at. The film doesn’t blink an eye at in your face gory stuff (the now infamous tongue cut comes into mind) and uses some of those uncomfortable moments to gain some natural laughs.

All in all, it’s a worthy successor of the original Evil Dead trilogy and while I still hope to see Bruce Campbell come back to the big screen as Ash one day, I also hope to see this new hero in Mia blaze her own trail in future films.

I give it an EIGHT out of a TEN, on the scale of film merit and overall quality.

But I also give it a GROOVY out of TEN, on the scale of how awesome THIS AFTER CREDIT SCENE would have been if they kept it in.

The Jersey Critic: Season 2!~

season2copy

As you could tell, my last post coming days after Hurricane Sandy back in October of 2012, it has been FIVE months since I have updated this blog.

Now that isn’t for a lack of ideas, I always have ideas to keep this place busy and speak about, plenty of top ten lists I want to do and I have seen LOADS of films since Paranormal Activity 4.

But it was more of a personal break than professional one. But this isn’t a blog about my life, it is a blog about films, television, comics…and prostitution. At least that’s what the original tag line was to the blog.

So consider this the Season 2 return of The Jersey Critic, more features, more posts, maybe even some surprises. But don’t hold me to that. I aint no magician, I can’t even user proper grammar. Did you see that use of “aint” before, less surprises from me, the better.

Oh and if you are reading this somehow and AREN’T subscribed to this blog, shame on you. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

Next Blog Post: G.I Joe Retaliation or How I lived Through The Oscar Season and Now Can’t Wait for the Summer Blockbusters!~

Iron Man 3 Teaser Trailer

Today is the beginning of a new look, not just for the Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but of Iron Man himself.

In his last solo outing, Iron Man faced off against Whiplash (Mickey Rouke), Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), and had the added assistance of War Machine (now played by Don Cheadle).  Iron Man 2 was a film that more or less a pretty disappointing follow up to the ground breaking and awesome first Iron Man film.

Since the second film though there has been not only big changes in the characters life (…uhhh THE AVENGERS HAPPENED!!!) but also behind the camera as Jon Favreau has stepped down as director and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang writer/director Shane Black has stepped up. From this trailer alone you can see a new visual style take over Tony Stark’s life, its a little bit more drearier.

This is the official start of Phase 2. Iron Man 3 will see Iron Man finally face off against the Joker to his Batman; the Green Goblin to his Spidey; the Lex Luthor to his Superman. Iron Man is finally going to meet…

….The Mandarin!

Traditionally an East Asian character, The Mandarin this time around is going to be played by the Indian born Ben Kingsley. And just after being fresh off the presses no longer than a few hours, the trailer is already starting up rumors and speculation of its own, especially…one key frame that shows that The Mandarin has a tattoo of Captain America’s shield on the back of his neck.

Whatever the use of the symbol can not be good especially when it comes to The Mandarin. Iron Man 3 hits theaters May of next year and after this one lil ol’ teaser trailer, I know me and millions of other fan boys can’t wait.