A Whole Bunch of Reviews

I’ve been slacking lately with the review writing. Sorry about that. I’ll blame the holidays but it’s really laziness at fault. So instead of trying to write out full reviews for all the movies I saw, I figured I’d give you a little blurb about each one and the overall rating.

P.S. The podcast should be up again soon. We’ve been slacking on that lately, too. Sorry…

12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave Poster

A contender for the best picture of the year. Lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor will be the front runner for the Best Actor Oscar and, in my opinion, deserves the award.

I give it an A+

After the jump you’ll find my super-mini-reviews like this one for seventeen other films.

 

 Carrie

CarrieA remake that doesn’t quite live up to the Brian DePalma directed original. It doesn’t add much other than the use of visual effects and, unfortunately, Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie falls short.

I give it a C-

Escape Plan

Escape PlanSylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up to break out of the most escape-proof prison ever built (designed by Stallone’s character, of course). Is it stupid? Yes. Is it fun? Yes.

I give it a B-

The Counselor

The CounselorI really wanted to like this movie. On a cinematography level it’s stellar. However, Cormac McCarthy’s words don’t translate well to the screen and I found it wordy and hard to follow. I’ll have to give it a second chance but I’m not sure it’s worth it.

I give it a C-

Ender’s Game

Ender's Game posterBased on the beloved book by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game has tried to make it’s way to the big screen for years. Writer/Director Gavin Hood finally made it happen. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book and while the film might not have the same emotional impact the novel does, I thought it did a pretty good job. It’s entertaining and fun.

I give it a B+

All is Lost

All is LostThe plot of this movie sounds boring. Robert Redford is on a boat and struggles to survive. He’s the only actor in the film and he has very little dialogue. Practically none. And yet, this movie is one of the best films I’ve seen all year. Redford’s performance is amazing and I was not bored once during the whole thing. It’s an incredible film.

I give it an A

Blue is the Warmest Color

Blue is the Warmest ColorThis movie is getting a lot of attention. It won the Palm D’or at the Cannes Film Festival in France and will most likely be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. It shouldn’t be. It’s a long, boring chore of a movie to sit through with long, explicit sex scenes peppered through out. It’s the story of a high school girl who discovers she’s a lesbian after meeting Lea Seydoux’s character. The film then follows their relationship as it goes through its ups and downs. For three hours. Maybe if an hour was cut out of it, there might be something worth watching but as it is, I don’t see what the critics see.

I give it a D

About Time

About TimeI’m not sure how successful About Time was. The film seemed to disappear from theaters rather quickly and if it’s considered a failure I would point the finger at the marketing. Every preview I saw for this movie made it look like a romantic comedy with a gimmick (the main character can travel through time) but it’s so much more than that. It’s really a story about fathers and sons and it really moved me. I hope it finds a following on DVD and gets the recognition it deserves.

I give it an A

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Bad GrandpaLet me save you some time and money and just tell you right now: Don’t bother. A string of Jackass pranks (none of which are funny) with a “story” strung together about a grandfather who must deliver his grandson to his father in North Carolina. It’s a terrible, terrible film.

I give it an F

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Catching FireJennifer Lawrence is back as everyone’s favorite archer in The Hunger Games sequel: Catching Fire. Better than the first one with less shaky camera work and a more exciting story, although it’s basically all a big set up for part 3.

I give it a B+

Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers ClubThis one is worth seeing for the performances alone. Matthew McConaughey is amazing as Ron Woodruff, who  has been infected with HIV, and Jared Leto steals the show as a cross dressing HIV patient who becomes Ron’s business partner and friend.

I give it a B

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit 2Chapter 2 of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy is better than the first but still too long. Like Catching Fire, it’s all a big set up for part 3 as well. The final half hour is incredibly entertaining and Smaug is mesmerizing to watch.

I give it a B

American Hustle

american_hustle_ver6Probably my favorite movie of the year. Amazing performances by the whole cast, incredibly funny, and solid direction from David O. Russell. This is going to be 12 Years a Slave’s biggest contender for the Best Picture Oscar.

I give it an A+

Frozen

FrozenDisney’s latest tale, based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen, is a home run. It’s funny, it’s got heart, and it’s got songs that’ll get stuck in your head for days.

I give it an A-

Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr BanksTom Hanks and Emma Thompson shine as Walt Disney and Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers. The film follows the journey of attempting to secure the film rights from Travers for her Mary Poppins character and the struggles that ensued. Full of humor and warmth.

I give it an A-

Her

HerJoaquin Phoenix does a great job as a loner who falls in love with his operating system, named Samantha. It’s an interesting commentary on where we are headed in our iPhone, social media-infused world and also a tragic, heart-breaking love story as well.

I give it an A-

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Anchorman 2Nine years after the original Anchorman film we finally get the sequel. It’s goofy. It’s ridiculous. It’s funny.

I give it a B+

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn DavisThe latest film from the Coen Bros is set in Greenwich Village New York in the early 60s, while folk singer/songwriter Llewyn Davis drifts from couch to couch trying to make a buck and get his music out to the world. It’s an excellent film with a great performance from Oscar Isaac and one of the best soundtracks since Once.

I give it an A

 

All right… I’ll try to keep up with the reviews in the future. Who knows, though. Maybe you’ll see more articles like these. Let me know what you think.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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2 thoughts on “A Whole Bunch of Reviews

  1. Nicely done. I actually like the shotgun review approach. Maybe not to completely replace single reviews but it’s nice to get a broad update of some movies out there and for me, someone who doesn’t see every single movie anymore, it’s nice to know which ones to focus my attention on. Maybe you could do both in blog and podcast form and shotgun mini reviews but then for movies you think deserve it or you have more to say about, you could to a more lengthy review. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

    Like

  2. I agree with Brodie. It’s kind of nice to have a roundup of movies and what you thought of them. I think the appeal of Blue is the Warmest Color is that it’s about lesbians, so of course, they’re going to say it’s great…I certainly never heard of About Time, but it sounds good. I’ll look for it on DVD or Netflix. I haven’t been wanting to see Frozen, but after reading what you had to say, maybe I will. And I’ll look for the soundtrack of Inside Llewyn Davis. I have fond memories of seeing Once with you & of the music.

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