movie review

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Movie Review: ‘Oz: The Great And Powerful’

In: Movies, Tommy D

What the heck happened before Dorothy landed in Oz? Wait…that’s the tagline for the musical WICKED isn’t it? Well hoenstly what DID happen? And how did some old man from Kansas become the WIZARD of OZ? That’s the question answered in Oz: The Great And Powerful. It is a a good answer? Before I divulge we should go to the beginning.

So Oz (James Franco) is actually not a wizard, but a travelling circus con man magician, and he’s also a big womanizer which is what gets him into Oz (The land) in the first place. See while part of the travelling circus one of the other acts ( a strong man or something) find out Oz has been flirting with his lover, so Oz jumps in his hot air balloon and travels to OZ. It seems to me that the only way to get to Oz is by tornado.

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Movie Review: A Good Day To Die Hard

In: Donovan, Movies

My bad. This movie review was supposed to go live on Thursday, February 14, but scheduled it for Friday by mistake. To be fair, most movies hit theaters that day. Who releases a movie on a Thursday (unless it’s Thanksgiving)??? To boot, what genius had the bright idea of picking Valentines Day? A romantic comedy this is not. That horrible decision perfectly represents all that is wrong with A Good Day To Die Hard.

Before I begin, I want to disclose that I love the Die Hard franchise. So much so, I love playing the original during Christmas. Definitely an out-of-box holiday flick, but for me, it’s a yuletide must. It’s a shame that it took six years for the studio to give moviegoers this hot mess. Especially given the fact the fourth installment Live Free or Die Hard was arguably the best in the franchise. What a fall from grace. This latest chapter, hands down, is by far, the worst in the series. I thought for sure Die Hard 2: Die Harder would hold that title forever.

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Movie Review: Parental Guidance

In: Matt, Movies

Billy Crystal and Bette Midler do their absolute best to squeeze what they can out of the well-worn material that is Parental Guidance, a decent, if unoriginal, family film that hit theaters Christmas Day.

Crystal and Midler are “the other grandparents” who are given the chance to take care of their grandchildren with whom they have little to no relationship. Both actors do what they can to turn the painfully unoriginal plotting into something mildly entertaining, which alone is a testament to their skill. The end result is a film that may entertain a younger audience, and cause an older generation to wax nostalgic on days gone by, but left me yawning and looking at my watch a few dozen times.

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Movie Review: The Impossible

In: Donovan, Movies

When I first heard the premise of this film, I thought it was going to be a typical Hollywood disaster movie. You know what I’m talking about- a glamorization of the tragic events from that dreadful day in 2004. Can you believe it’s been eight years since then?

Thankfully, The Impossible is more than an action movie. It’s a powerful story about the strength of the human spirit. The film tells the real-life harrowing tale of a family’s experience surviving the tsunami while on Christmas vacation. Though it’s based on a Spanish family’s story, the film switched things up and transformed them into a British one. There’s the Hollywood twist ;)

I first saw the film a couple of weeks ago at an early screening, but since reviews are embargoed til opening day, I’ve been chomping at the bit to write my article. Mere words can’t even begin to describe how fantastic this film is and don’t even get me started about the performances. I’m so glad the film is getting some recognition during the awards season. Truly well-deserved.

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Movie Review: Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

In: Matt, Movies

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away pairs your favorite Cirque acts with director Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia) and producer James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) in a stunningly beautiful motion picture that was an intense pleasure to look at but left me a bit puzzled in terms of storyline.

I’m not a very big Cirque aficionado but from what I’ve read, as the main character travels from circus tent to circus tent it’s sort of a best of the best of some of Cirque’s biggest shows including O, Mystere, KA, Love, Viva Elvis and Zumanity. While in each tent the plot line follows a similar plotline to each of the previously mentioned shows, which is perhaps why I was a bit perplexed at the end. The plot seemed disjointed and a tad confusing. If you’re a huge Cirque fan you might be able to follow it better than I did.

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Movie Review: The Guilt Trip

In: Matt, Movies

The latest Seth Rogen comedy hits theaters this week, and I am pleased to say that I was totally surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. The film pairs Rogen and Barbara Streisand in a oddball mother/son road trip that is full of the goofy scenarios that you would expect from such a pair.

Andrew Brewster (Rogen) is an organic chemist trying to sell his newly invented cleaning product to stores and companies across the country without much success. After visiting his mother, he decides to invite her along for the ride as he travels across the country so that he can surprise her at the end by introducing her to her long lost love. The movie’s plot line is predictable, the funny situations are expected but honestly, it doesn’t matter. This movie is such a lighthearted fun film that I had fun from start to end.

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Adam’s Low-Budget Thriller Pick: ‘Dread’

In: Adam, Movies

Well, I’m starting to have to get really inventive in titling these articles as I attempt to not just simply become the “horror movie recommendation guy” from H-Razzi. I’ve said it a dozen times that I much prefer a smart and simple production to anything CGI and explosive where bombs make up for lack of dialogue, and yet finding a clever barely funded film is harder than it seems. Too often are “low budget” designations awarded to student films that border on directorial masturbation as they attempt to out-reference and ply layer upon layer of indecipherable meaning to their pieces. So, when smart men and women combine to create a pretty decent and damn scary production like Dread I will stop to give credit where credit is due.

Based on the short story by horror-expert Clive Barker (author of the stories that inspired Candyman and Hellraiser), “Dread” follows the story of a group of university students (a go-to for low-$ productions) seeking to understand their fears. But, as the film elaborates, it’s not just simply fear they’re looking to examine: it’s pure and all-consuming dread. A type of fright that takes over your entire mind and body. While some of the fears border on the typical (clowns wielding axes) there’s more simple phobias like eating meat that are included to round off the kids’ worries. That said- as you’ve probably guessed- all the dreads are confronted in such a forceful and unavoidable matter that the viewer is witness to some horrific and terrified responses that have you leaving the movie scared to death of the same threats.

Click through to read the rest of my review and see the trailer

Movie Review: The Hobbit

In: Matt, Movies

11 years after the release of the first film in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres today. As a HUGE fan of both Tolkien’s books and Jackson’s trilogy I find it very difficult to review this film from an objective point of view

First of all, the film was incredible. I absolutely loved it. After all of the drama over the years surrounding who was going to direct the film, I couldn’t have been happier to hear that Peter Jackson would be returning. From the first frame, we are taken back into the same Middle Earth that we left 8 years ago at the end of Return of the King.

To review the film’s plot would be like reviewing a play after only the first act. Fans who were left with a “That’s it?” feeling at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring will feel the same feeling at the end of this film.

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