Tag Archives: Stub Review

Stub Review: Movie Run Down…

I promise…I swear to god at some point I will return back to my traditional way of doing the stub reviews, but honestly, I’ve just seen so many movies at once, it is much easier for me to summarize my thoughts on the mass, than write out long essays on the few that I think deserve it.

Anyway, last time we left off, the Summer Film season came to an end, so with the exit of blockbusters and tent pole films, comes more ready to be nominated hopefuls and …crap. Yes, just like in January and February, that time between Summertime and Oscar season, is filled with a lot of PG-13 scary films, genre specific movies, and just anything the studios can hopefully roll out without too much prep work.

On to the films…

The Family – 5/10

It’s not as much of a comedic take of the Mafia genre as the commercials kinda let it be played up, but more of a …R-rated version of Analysis This if you base the film on DeNiro’s character from that film too. Luc Besson the man behind the camera of one of my all time favorite films in Leon, kinda disappoints with a average movie, where the likes of DeNiro and Pfeiffer give better performances than the film deserves.

Prisoners – 9/10

I dont know what to say about how strong of a film this is, but only its writing and directing, but the effort and sacrifice you can tell went into the acting from Hugh Jackman, to Paul Dano, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Those three, which is not give least credit to the rest of the actors, but those three all put in career performances. The Hugh Jackman in this film, could make Wolverine in any of the other X-Men films come off as a teenage whiny girl, which how vicious and angry a father can be when his daughter is taken away from him. The plot points are hard to talk about in detail without giving away spoilers, but if you think this is a pain by numbers drama by the trailers, do yourself a favor and pay out that twelve bucks and sit back and watch one of the best films of 2013 at your local theater. Its riveting, heart breaking, and makes you even second guess yourself, thinking at which points would you consider doing…or not doing what the characters in the film resort too in order to gain justice.

Thanks For Sharing – 6/10

All I could think about the first 20 minutes were how pissed of Tony Stark was going to be that Pepper Potts and Bruce Banner were banging behind his back. After that wore off, the film which is more a character study than a film driven by plot, is showing how sex/drug addicts dealing with that itch in every day life and comedic situations mostly. Pink makes what im guessing is her acting debut, which isn’t to bad, the script isn’t really something too dramatic, so I guess it was a safe attempt for her. Tim Robbins is really good as the long time recovering addict that is looked at as a leader to many, but still dealing with his family issues.

Blue Jasmine – 8/10

Woody Allen does not know how to not produce something yearly. I don’t think Blue Jasmine tops the feel or genius that was Midnight Paris, but its right there in quality as some of his better films since the 2000’s. Cate Blanchett is fantastic and award winningly good. Andrew Dice Clay and Louis CK both have semi-small supporting roles and Dice was better than expected. But the film lives and breathes through Blanchett’s amazing performance.

Rush – 8/10

Rush is probably, if not easily the best thing Ron Howard has done since A Beautiful Mind. Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl are both great, while I dont know that much about Formula 1 racing or the historic rivalry that is being told int his film, for anyone like me, the film easily opens you up to the dynamic between both men and the intensity of the races, as well as the danger.

Don Jon – 8/10

Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes/acts/directs this film, but probably the wises choice he did was pick Scarlett as his on-screen love interest. Somewhere in my top five, Jersey guidette Scarlett ranks as one of her hottest versions (do I smell a potential future Top Ten list ??). Besides all of that, the film actually is a good directorial debut for Levitt, he is the sole focus of the film, so there is not that many scenes without him on it, so I’m guess he had a heavy workload for his first time behind the camera. There are some bumps in the road, some easy cuts he could of made to make the film flow a bit better and tighter, but in the end, its a good film that talks about the idea of how overly sexualized woman are in our society for people our age.

The Spectacular Now – 7/10

It is a indie teen romance in the most simplistic of descriptions, but deep down its more about how vulnerable most kids are coming out of high school to not only life, but love. Miles Teller plays Stutter as a functioning soon to be alcoholic teenager with no drive, while Shailnene Woodley greatly portrays the most perfect idea of that “girl next door” high school romance. From the start you can feel that everything around Stutter is planned for destruction, but its an enjoyable and touching ride to see where life takes him. I really dug the film and really starting to enjoy Woodley more and more in more of the films I’m seeing her in.

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.

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. )

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.

Stub Review: Safe House

Safe House

*Gun shot* *Explosion* *Gun shot* *Gun shot*

Those sound effect comprised about 87% of this film. Now according to my girlfriend that was a bad thing, but to me it was a good thing. Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington come together with this Bourne-lite action film that brings together gun play style of Heat and the action packed fisticuffs of a Jason Bourne movie (or should we now call them Aaron Cross films?)

This is the first Stub Review on my blog where I actually enjoyed the film…did not love it, but enjoyed it. Reynolds and Washington really never had a dynamic “Midnight Run” chemistry, that made you want to see them together on screen the whole time…actually, I liked their scenes apart more than anything. Reynolds really felt right in the beginning of the film, when he is portraying a loveable-loser type that can’t break the glass ceiling of his job, where his only duty is to baby-sit a Safe House that never gets used…but when a hurricane of acting known as Denzel Washington gets brought to his facility (and water-boarded to a shockingly realistic degree), Reynolds just plays side-kick for the rest of the film.

I feel bad for Reynolds, cause he has a niche that I don’t think translates to serious action films, but for a non-serious (*cough*Deadpool*cough*), sarcastic (*cough*Deadpool*cough*), 4th wall breaking character (*cough*Deadpool*cough*), Reynolds would shine brighter than the sun; sorry for that coughing fit.

 Back to the film at hand…like I mentioned off handily in the opening, this film doesn’t ooze, but freaking floods of a Jason Bourne like movie. Denzel is the black Bourne, the man that can use a gun, but when in close range can whip your ass with his plain fists. We cut back and forth from the main action of Reynolds/Denzel to the subsiding government story, just like the Bourne films have made famous. We are not set in America, but in South Africa, bringing a life the beautiful-on-screen cinematography that the geography brings…just like the Bourne films did for most of Europe. Don’t even get me started on the fast cutting; shaky camera work this films exploits dramatically. Now I have no problem with the Bourne films spawning off copycats, but the problem of this film is that it just comes off a copycat Bourne style film, that adds nothing of originality that make it more memorable.

That is my major problem with the film, that during the film I get put on a fun action packed ride, but after I leave the theater I give the movie no bigger thought than “It was good.” When I walked out of the Bourne films (sorry to keep using them as my measuring stick), I just had those films stuck in my head for hours after the movie, just re-thinking the great fights, the car chases, the story, the characters…everything. Here though…I can’t even right now think of what Reynolds characters name is off the top of my head.

I give Safe House a SIX out of TEN, on the scale of film merit and overall quality.

But I give it an even bigger ELEVEN out of TEN, on the scale of gun shot sound effect quality.

Stub Review: The Woman In Black

You’re a decent actor, Harry.

This is best to my knowledge the ONLY thing I have ever seen Daniel Radcliffe act in that didn’t involve the words “Harry” or “Potter” in the title. Well…he did have that AMAZING guest spot in Ricky Gervais’ Extras, but he was more mocking himself than acting as another character…so I’m sticking with my original statement.

From what I know about The Woman In Black (aka Wikipedia), this movie is based on a book of the same name and has been previously made as a TV Movie as well a few decades ago. I haven’t read the book, never saw the TV movie, so I will be basing all my thoughts about the story on this film alone, be that a good or bad decision on my part.

I like Daniel Radcliffe, I really do. I think he has a future in Hollywood,  I have heard great things about his Broadway play “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and maybe his future will lay in that sorta area, dominating the stage, but he certainly has a presence on the screen and if you second guess him just because he is “Harry Potter”, than your fooling yourself.

But as you can see, this has all been talk about the lead actor and not the film…and well, that is because I found the film to be a run of the mill horror film that is 8 years to late with its scares. This film is from the infamous British horror studio, Hammer. If you don’t know, Hammer has remade the classic Universal movie monsters in their own style, from Dracula, to Frankenstein, to The Mummy, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

They didn’t just remake it in name only, they gave their own spin to those monsters and added blood, boobs, and carnage. More importantly though…they were all Rated R films and personally that is what this film is lacking, an old fashion Hammer Studio ‘R’ rating. PG-13 and this story don’t mesh into something scary, but something more frustrating. The film touches upon some heavy tones as in the death of children and could play its psychological horror amongst the town people, but really go half ass with both.

Overall, if you’re a Radcliffe fan or a Harry Potter obsessed person, you probably will see this out of feeling of necessity, but if you are a just random moviegoer and decide to see a film this weekend, I warn you that you will gain more laughs from the “scary” moments, then piss your pants frights.

I give it a FIVE out of a TEN, on the merit of film quality and storytelling.

But I also give it a TWO out of TEN, on the scale of not scariness.