Movie Monday – The Monuments Men, Godzilla

We enjoyed The Monuments Men. It’s a little slow but overall it was an interesting and engaging story. Based on true events in World War II, a group of soldiers are tasked with locating and saving art from Nazi possession and destruction. Reading through some reviews as I write this, I’m disappointed to see so many people missing the point and criticizing the film. It may not seem like a very interesting story at first glance but preserving the history of a culture is so very relevant and meaningful. I had no idea Hitler, among his other atrocities, was collecting art from around the world, destroying some and hoarding others for his own personal museum. Having watched Band of Brothers this year, I also found the film interesting for the fact that it provided a different view of the war. The Monuments Men may not have been on the front lines of battle but they were another critical component to the war effort. I think it’s fascinating and definitely worth a watch in my book.

The new Godzilla was outstanding. Intense. Terrifying. Definitely, recommended.

The arrogance of men is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around. 
~ Dr. Ichiro Serizawa, Godzilla, 2014

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Movie Monday – Homefront and a bunch of others


Images courtesy of IMDb

I’m catching up on two week’s worth of movies today. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of good things to say about any of them.

Homefront with Jason Statham is, like many Statham movies, a little recycled but not terrible. It was the better of the two for us that day, that’s for certain. Personally, I’ll watch anything with Statham and usually enjoy it well enough. 😉 In this story he’s an ex-DEA agent who has lost his wife and relocates to a small town with his young daughter in the hopes of cultivating a quiet, simple life for the two of them. As expected, this doesn’t pan out and he gets caught up in a drug ring that’s operating in the town and must save the day to save himself and his daughter. Not wildly inventive but mildly entertaining. The role has some softer elements than Statham’s usual characters which is a nice change.

The Bag Man (which we watched after Homefront) was NOT, good. I would go so far as to suggest you not bother. It attempts to keep the viewer guessing till the end but it’s just not very well done so it seems like just you don’t know what the hell is going on. It’s kind of irritating. The story follow a man who contracts with a criminal to carry a bag, without opening it, to a remote location, and waiting for a trade at that location. All sorts of weird shit happens. It’s really not that interesting.

I,Frankenstein is ok. Lots of great graphics and action but a little wobbly on story. Frankenstein’s monster out lives his creator into our century and finds himself entangled in a war between demons and angels (disguised at gargoyles) – a war that goes on for centuries under our blind human eyes. Kind of interesting hook, not the best development and follow through. If you like fantasy, it might be worth a watch. Just don’t have high expectations.

The Nut Job is cute but doesn’t have any wow factor. We were looking for some light entertainment and it served the bill. A band of animals living in a city park are desperately trying to hoard food for the winter. One squirrel doesn’t play well with others and is always out for his own personal gain. He learns that working together is better than working alone and helps save the day. There are a lot of stereotypes and clichés throughout that hampered the originality. At the end of the day it’s light and silly, which is all I think it set out to be.

Out of the Furnace is so S L O W. It’s a little gritty at times and the performances are strong in that I felt for the characters but the pace of the story is agonizingly slow. The plot synopsis is billed to be about a man who takes matters into his own hands when his younger brother is caught up in dangerous criminal activity. I’d say that it’s more about life after war service and the difficulties many soldiers face when attempting to re-integrate into society. Either way, it’s drags and the ending was dumb and unsatisfying. Bleh.

The Legend of Hercules gives viewers a new spin on the origin and development of the mythological character of Hercules. It had potential and it was somewhat intriguing but it just wasn’t a solid story or performance by anyone. There are a few moments of greatness, some good graphics, and lots of action and battle scenes (but too much use of slow motion in battle). Fantasy fans might enjoy it just for the sake of something different.

Just because something has yet to be found does not mean it does not exist.
~ Wessex, I, Frankenstein, 2014

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Movie Monday – 47 Ronin, Farscape, Fringe

47roninWe didn’t love 47 Ronin. The story of a band of samurai out to avenge the death of their master was intriguing; the costumes and effects were outstanding. But the overall package just wasn’t awesome. And I felt completely let down by the end, even if it is in keeping with Asian story themes. So, not much to say. It was slightly entertaining but disappointing.

farscapeWe weren’t big sci-fi fans yet when Farscape originally aired on the SyFy channel; I don’t even know if our cable package included SyFy back then! LOL I do recall hearing good things about it though and after seeing that there is a movie in the works for Farscape fans we decided it was time to check it out. The concept is intriguing; an astronaut is flung via wormhole into an unknown part of space and captured by a group of escaped prisoners. I can’t say that I’m very impressed after two episodes. So far the costumes and effects are laughable. Granted it was made in 1999 and resources were different then. I’ve also found that most TV pilots and early seasons of shows are a little sketchy in the beginning. So we’re giving it a chance. It has such a following and such a high rating on IMDb that it makes me curious to see where it goes.

fringeWe’ve also been watching Fringe a lot lately. Despite it’s similarities to LOST (secrets, strange glyphs, even the same musical score at times) we are enjoying the series. Personally, I really like the dynamic between the “mad scientist” and his son, Dr. Walter Bishop and Peter Bishop played by John Noble and Joshua Jackson respectively. I was never a Dawson’s Creek fan but I associate Jackson with soft, sweet characters so I’m really enjoying his somewhat darker character flaws as Peter Bishop. I have no idea if my preconceptions of Jackson are on par or not but it makes for a good reception of his performance in Fringe for me. Each episode there is some strange, paranormal, yet usually scientific, mystery to solve. Sometimes the resolution seems too easy, the pace too formulaic but it’s also just kind of fun. There are overarching themes of strange occurrences that aren’t solved and that carry through the seasons which remind me of LOST. You get only snippets and hints of information from time to time, meant to keep you wrapped up in the show, wondering if you’ll ever find the answers. It’s kind of maddening and interesting at the same time. LOL

 “Please, allow me a moment to entertain my fantasies. They often lead to a truth.”
~ Dr. Walter Bishop, Fringe

Enhanced by Zemanta**Images courtesy of IMDb

Movie Monday – Gravity, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Two OUTSTANDING movies this past week.

Image courtesy of IMDb

Image courtesy of IMDb

I  was skeptical of Gravity. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to watch it. I’m so glad we gave it a chance. It really surprised me. I thought it was going to just be Bullock’s character floating, untethered for the whole movie. There’s definitely a lot more to it than that. However, I can’t really say much more because I’d hate to give anything away for anyone else. Suffice to say, everyone was right, it is an outstanding film. Definitely one for everyone to see.

Image courtesy of IMDb

Image courtesy of IMDb

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was mind-blowingly awesome. There is so much action it’s hard to process everything because it just keeps going, and going, and going. (In a good way.) Don’t ask me why because I LOVE all the Marvel movies but I was a little ho-hum about seeing this installment. Maybe it was because I kept away from the trailers and didn’t build up the usual sense of anticipation. Regardless, the movie was EPIC. So incredibly good, lots of twists, turns, and surprises. We really enjoyed it. And, if you haven’t seen it yet, remember to stay for the teaser clip after the credits. 😉

Matt Kowalski: Half of North America just lost their Facebook.
~ Gravity, 2013

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Movie Monday – Delivery Man, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Hungover Games

Don wasn’t feeling well this past week so we had a movie marathon one day while I policed his need to drink lots of fluids and eat a liquid diet. I was surprised he agreed to the first two movies, which were my picks, and not surprised at his last choice, which I agreed to, since he wasn’t feeling well. 😉

Delivery Man was surprisingly full of heart and more plot content than I expected. It was a little long, which somewhat dragged down Don’s overall opinion, but I really, really liked it. Vince Vaughn plays a man who, in his younger days, made numerous donations to a fertility clinic as a means to get by financially. In a freaky turn of events, the clinic ends up giving out WAY too much of his genetic code and as a result, the character learns 20 years later that he is the biological father of 533 children. As a bit of a deadbeat in life, he’s wholly unprepared to deal with the subsequent fallout and the fact that 142 of his children have filed a joint lawsuit to uncover the identity of their natural father. If you like feel-good movies and comedy, I really recommend this one. It’s definitely worth the watch. (Fun fact: I went to school with Chris Pratt. His older brother was in my class. I didn’t know either of them on a personal level but we tread the same halls for 4 years. Kind of fun to think about. BTW, Chris did a great job as supporting role in the movie.)

Everyone already knows that The Wolf of Wall Street, chronicling the rise and fall of Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort, is outstanding and worth a watch. To add our two cents I would say…crap, it’s LONG. And a bit gratuitous with T&A and drugs. Whoa, the drugs. If this movie doesn’t convince people that drugs are TERRIBLE, I don’t know what would. All in all, we agree, it’s a good movie, despite being a little long and drawn out at times. If you’ve seen the movie – has anyone experienced the “sell me this pentactic in an interview? I have. It wasn’t a pen. It was a mechanical pencil and it was for a sales job. Which I got. And then quit about six weeks later. This movie exemplifies everything about why the sales industry does not appeal to me. I can do it. I get how to do it. But so much about sales is about selling people things they don’t need for your own gain. You’ll see a lot of that in the movie. Sales comes in to play in life in so many shapes and forms, it’s almost inescapable. In fact, Don and I hope to engage in a venture later in life that will include an element of sales if we want to succeed. However, we will be selling a luxury to people who have the means and the desire to experience that luxury, not desperately trying to sell add-ons/services/products to people who don’t have the means to pay their current bills. To me it’s a difference of selling things to people that they truly need or want if they come to me and they have those means. I can sell the benefits of a product or service all day long if I feel good about what I’m doing and I’m not taking advantage of the customer for my benefit. Jobs, and lifestyles, like those in the movie simply don’t appeal to me. But watching a bunch of people destroy their own lives in the pursuit of greed and ambition can be somewhat entertaining.

The Hungover Games was tiring, in the sense that The Hunger Games idea is tired. Quit trying to spoof it or re-make it. It was an interesting, unique story that was GREAT the first time. All these spoofs are a bit ridiculous. In The Hungover Games, the makers merged plot lines from The Hangover and The Hunger Games. I don’t even understand how those two can cross paths. And I’ve SEEN the movie. It was not, very, good. I think we laughed about 3 times out loud. And yet, when the credits rolled, Don declared, “That was good!” *eyeroll*

We also finished Season 4 of Archer on Netflix this past week. O.M.G. I LOVE ARCHER! I hate that we have to wait who knows how long again till we can watch Season 5 now. I could seriously watch Archer all, damn, day, long. It’s so freaking funny I can’t stand it. Of all the fabulous off-color, animated comedies, including American Dad, Family Guy, Futurama, Ugly Americans, even South Park, Archer takes the cake in the categories of debauchery, horribleness, and hilarity. Sometimes I wish I had opportunities to say some of the things they say on that show. But that would just be mean. LOL

Sterling Archer: A black astronaut, Cyril. That’s like killing a unicorn!

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