Movie Monday: Mini Reviews

I’ve been busy with Life so I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like.  I’ve seen 3 new movies lately: “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”, “The Hangover Part II”, and “X-Men: First Class.” I’m not going to give super long reviews on them but just some of my thoughts.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strangers Tides:  There is just something so irresistible about Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow – must be the whole “Good” Bad Guy thing. Geoffrey Rush is great as Barbosa. These two were the best characters – maybe because they were from the previous ones? Ian McShane as BlackBeard was ok. Penelope Cruz’s character, Angelica, was kinda forced but she provided eye candy for the guys. The only thing I really didn’t like was how long it was. There were some really slow parts that could have been cut out.  All in all it was entertaining.

The Hangover Part II: Ok… no it was not better than the first, BUT it was still pretty damn funny.  It pretty much follows the same story line as the first, just in a different setting – Thailand.  We all pretty much guessed that Zach Galifianakis’ character (Alan) drugs them again, but you don’t find out How until much later. I think this one had kind of a hidden message about standing up for yourself. Ed Helms’ character , Stu, has an over critical father in law that demeans him quite a bit. His crazy adventure in Bangkok gives him the back bone to stand up to his father in law in the end. Lots of laughs and craziness.

X-Men: First Class – I really liked the younger actors playing Magneto and Professor X (Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy). Definitely gives you lots of background. I’m not sure how closely it follows the comics. I liked seeing the different mutants like Havoc (Lucas Til), Mystic (Jennifer Lawrence), Azazel (Jason Flemyng), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and Emma Frost (January Jones). All the young actors did a good job with their characters.  Wonder where they will go next with the X-Men series?

Movie Monday: “Thor” Movie Review

We wanted to go see Thor closer to when it came out but couldn’t fit it into our busy schedule until last Friday. We took the boys after Gio got out of school. They had been waiting to see it as soon as they saw the first previews.

It wasn’t bad, but there was just something missing that could have made it great… I don’t know what it is though. Maybe because I watch too many Marvel comic cartoons and movies with the boys and expected more. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. I did. It was cute and funny – not really what I was expecting though. The boys liked it but not as much as I thought they would.  There was just some parts they could care less about.

Cast: Chris Hemsworth (Thor) – I had no problem with this guy playing Thor. Definitely awesome eye candy for us ladies, but I did have a problem with the facial hair.  Again, because of my boys, I’ve watched a lot of Marvel movies with Thor and I don’t remember him having facial hair.

Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) – Not her best role in my opinion. Didn’t find her all that believable.

Anthony Hopkins (Odin) – He’s a great actor and he did a good job.

Tom Hiddleston (Loki) – Another good casting choice. Did a good job of being the bad guy. He just had that “You can’t trust me” look. Idris Elba (Heimdall) – also great.

I also liked how Thor’s friends were cast: Josh Dallas (Fandral), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun) and Ray Stevenson (Volstagg). Did not like Jaimie Alexander (Sif’s) character. Don’t think it was the actress, just how they portrayed her.

I felt like the story telling was a little forced. But it was entertaining enough.

Movie Monday: “Fast Five” Movie Review

It’s Movie Monday!  And Yes! I wanted to see Fast Five as soon as I saw the previews. I am a HUGE Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson fan. How could I possible pass up a movie with Both of them in it??

We went opening weekend.( Tip: Get there early for good seats). We saw it in IMax and it was definitely an experience. It was awesome to have all that action on such a big screen. And there was a lot of action.

Besides my favorites (Vin and Dwayne), it had people from the previous 4 Fast and the Furios movies: Paul Walker, Jordan Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Matt Shulze, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, and Don Omar. Jaquim de Almeida plays the villain.

The plot is pretty much the same as the previous Fast and the Furious movies.  The “bad” guys are on the run from Federal agents and get caught up with an evil drug lord in Brazil. They have to put their skills and driving to the test for “one last job” that will free the people from the drug lord, and give them their freedom to escape to place where they no longer have to run. Dom and his crew are the “good” bad guys and even the federal agent hunting them (Dwayne Johnson) winds up joining the team (just for a short time). There is no black or white when it comes to “good” and bad. Definitely many shades of gray. No oscar winning acting, but still very entertaining. Lots of car chases and some very comical characters. This movie is 2 hrs and 10 min long. I was worried that it would drag on, but it did not feel like a two-hour movie.  The last chase scene was a bit long and you should know by now that there is always a twist in the end. Definitely stay until the credits are over because there is more to see. If you like action movies, fast cars, and eye candy – you’ll like this movie.

“Rio” Movie Review

There have been some great Kids movies this year, and Rio is definitely one of them! My boys wanted to see this when they first saw the previews for it last year. It’s a great family movie. We all enjoyed it and Daddy even stayed awake the whole time :)

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg (as Blu), Anne Hathaway (as Jewel), Jamie Fox (as Nico), Will I Am (as Pedro), George Lopez (as Rafael), Tracy Morgan (as Luis), Leslie Mann (as Linda), and Rodrigo Santoro (as Tulio).

The movie revolves around a domesticated blue Macaw named Blu. He lives with his owner Linda in a small town in Minnesota. It turns out that he is one of the two only surviving blue macaws left in the world.  He is smart but sheltered. Tulio is a bird scientist from Rio de Janeiro who comes to Minnesota and convinces Linda to bring Blu to Rio in hopes of mating him with the last female blue macaw, Jewel.  Both Blu and Linda set off on an adventure. Blu meets some very entertaining characters.  Jewel is a very spirited bird who wants nothing more than to be free. Nico and Pedro are two colorful birds that help Blu and Jewel escape poachers. Rafael helps with their romance and Luis is the hilarious dog who drools all over the birds. Luis and Pedro are my boys’ favorite characters. The music was great. It had my youngest dancing in his seat :-) My oldest laughed the entire time.

So if you have kids, go take them to see Rio. You will all enjoy it!

“Hop” Movie Review


We went to see this on it’s opening weekend – not my favorite time to go but it wasn’t as hectic as I thought it was going to be. This movie is a really cute and funny family movie to watch.   It has James Marsden, Russel Brand, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Hugh Laurie, Chelsea Handler, and David Haddelhoff.  I thought it was a creative story line.

E.B. (Russel Brand) is the teenage son of the Easter Bunny who is overwhelmed by the expectations of becoming the next Easter Bunny and would rather be a drummer. He runs away to Hollywood to pursue his dream and gets hit by Fred O’Hare (James Marsden). Fred is also under pressure from his family’s expectations for him to do something with his life. These two peas in a pod wind up together and through some very funny circumstances wind up succeeding with their dreams.  Besides their inner turmoils, they also battle Carlos (Hank Azaria) – an over ambitious chick who wants to take over Easter. They change some rules about Easter Bunny traditions and well, you can guess that it has a happy ending. There was some adult humor in there but nothing too over the top. My five year old was able to understand and enjoy it. Both of my boys loved it. My 4 year old loved the music. All around a great family movie.

“Rango” Movie Review

I have mixed feelings on this one. I am big Johnny Depp fan and this was a funny movie. I guess I figured it was a kids movie. And it is, but there was a lot of adult humor that my 5 and 4-year-old couldn’t appreciate. At the same time it was silly enough for kids to enjoy. I think they were trying to reach out to all ages.

Basic storyline: A lizard (Johnny Depp) – whose name is not mentioned in the beginning – winds up in the Mojave desert after his “home” (typical terrarium) shatters because it was thrown out of a car who hit a possum crossing the highway. The possum is somehow still alive and is on some spiritual journey to the “other side” (of the highway) where the “Spirit of the West” is. The lizard winds up in a town named Dirt and decides to invent a tough hero character named Rango for him to play.  By sheer luck and his awkwardness he kills a hawk and convinces the townspeople that he’s not to be messed with.  The mayor makes him the sheriff because he knows Rango is a phony. All Rango wants is some water but it turns out that Dirt is all out and he gets pulled into the mystery of finding the town’s missing water. First they think it’s a band of thieves, but it turns out it’s the mayor.  The mayor calls on a rattle snake outlaw to take care of Rango and tell everyone that he was lying to them.  Rango gets kicked out of Dirt and he heads back to the highway. Somehow he gets across without getting run over and sees the  “Spirit of the West.” He gets some enlightening advice and finds how the water was being stopped.  He calls on the thieve’s family (a band of prairie dogs) and goes back to Dirt to save the town.

There was plenty that my boys enjoyed.  Gio loved the silly Rango character. Actually the Rango character reminded me a lot of Gio. Same skinny slightly awkward movements :-) I enjoyed the adult humor. Seppe did not appreciate me laughing when he didn’t understand what was so funny – again he’s only 4. I think it’s a good family movie to go to – especially if you have kids that are 8 and up. It’s a movie about self-realization that is just a little too mature for younger kids to grasp. It is a what I would expect an animated film with Johnny Depp would be – a little strange with some deep meaning. But like I said, there is plenty for kids to laugh at and has a happy ending. All in all a 4 out 5.

“Burlesque” Movie Review

I watch a lot of movies so yes, I will have a bunch of movie reviews :-)

I know that Cher and Christina Aguilera’s “Burlesque” movie was not an Oscar winning movie, but I enjoyed it. I guess it’s mostly because I didn’t expect much from it.  The acting was believable – not great but believable.  Christina was a little over the top with her singing at times, but I love her voice. I think she’s a great singer that gets overshadowed by a lot of drama and hype. She’s a way better singer than Britney and this movie was lot better than Britney’s “Cross Roads.” Yes, the plot was all too predictable, but I still found myself rooting for Ali (Christina Aguilera) to get her dream job of being the star of the Burlesque show. Cher does a good job of being the tough but loving Burlesque Lounge owner (Tess). I was never a big fan of her voice but for those who are, she has a nice solo. Stanley Tucci (Sean) as Tess’s gay best friend is funny and lovable. I almost didn’t recognize Julianne Hough with red hair as Ginger. I know she probably had a hand in some of the choreography and she didn’t do a bad job with her role. I enjoyed watching the dances – that kind of stuff entertains me. The costumes, hair, and makeup were fantastic. There was plenty of eye candy for both guys and girls. The dancers always had super sexy outfits and Ali even has a number where feathers are what’s only covering her. Cam Gigandet (Jack) even strips down and uses a box of Famous Amos cookies as cover. Cheesy scene, but I thought it was funny and sweet at the same time. No big surprise on what happens next  between Ali and Jack.

All in all it is entertaining if you enjoy watching dancing movies like all those “Step Up” films. The music is great. Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.

“Red” Movie Review

I’m going to make this one short and sweet. This movie surprised me. It was actually really good. It’s about a retired CIA operative who is on a hit list along with other former CIA operatives he use to work with. It had a great cast: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Mary Louise Parker and Karl Urban. Bruce Willis plays Frank Moses who is trying to live a normal life.  He has a crush on Sarah (Mary LouiseParker) who he talks to only on the phone.  He gets pulled back into his life as an operative when men are sent to kill him one night. He uses his skill and experience to avoid getting killed and goes on a mission to find out why he is being hunted by the CIA.  Sarah becomes a target as well because Frank has been talking to her so he goes to save her.  Even though she is attracted to Frank, she is at first unwilling to believe his story. She soon realizes he is telling the truth and although it is scary for her at first, she finds it all exciting and is happy to leave her boring life behind her and help Frank on his mission.  Frank goes to his old team mates for help bringing Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren’s characters into the picture. There is a lot of action and stealthy moves by these old timers. They are being hunted by a young and ambitious CIA agent Karl Urban’s character.  Even though he is very talented agent, he is soon schooled by the older agents. They were able to sneak into the CIA headquarters and get into the super secret depository and get out.  They find out they are being set up by someone who is helping the Vice President run for office using less than moral methods. In the end, the good guys win with only one sad loss of Freeman’s character who was dying of liver cancer anyways.  The movie was very entertaining and along with some good action, it had unexpected humor.  Malkovich’s character is paranoid and somewhat crazy but was always right.  Helen Mirren’s character would make any feminist proud.  It definitely turned out to be better than I thought it would be. I’d recommend going to see this movie with a group of friends.

“Splice” Movie Review

I’m going to do a recap – so if you don’t want to know what happens – don’t read. This movie stood out – and not in a good way.  We watched it last night. I was actually really looking forward to seeing it. From the previews it looked like an interesting sci-fi movie. I really didn’t know what to expect – and most of the time that’s a good thing.  Sometimes when you have expectations going into a movie, it tends to be disappointing.  I hadn’t seen the previews for a while but from what I remembered, it looked like someone creates a creature by “splicing” dna from different species. That’s what happens in the beginning of the movie, but it didn’t take long for it to get strange.

Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley are the two main actors and characters for this movie.  They are two scientist (and also a couple) who are working on some ground breaking research for some big company.  They create new creatures by splicing dna from several species and they wind up having some medical benefits. Clive (Adrain Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are very enthusiastic about their work and are very excited that things are going so well.  Elsa wants to take their research to the next level by adding human dna, but the company orders them to stop their research and focus on isolating the gene that has medical benefits from the two previous creatures they created (Fred & Ginger). First of all – Fred and Ginger look like some giant slug/worm creatures. Kinda makes me wonder what they were “splicing” together (the movie doesnt get into details about what species are being used).

Ok so Elsa is the one who starts all the chaos.  You can tell right away that she controls the relationship between her and Clive.  She wants to continue with the research anyways even though Clive has major doubts. For some reason she is obsessed with successfully splicing human dna with other species.  She tells Clive that the dna donor for the human species is a Jane Doe – in truth it’s her dna.  After pulling an all nighter, they are successful.  Clive wants to just store it away, but Elsa decides to put it in some lab created uterus. Clive really doesn’t want to do it, but doesn’t stop the process in time.  It doesnt take long for things to go wrong. They have to deliver the fetus early and Elsa gets attacked by the fetus.  Clive wants to kill it, but Elsa starts stops him.  The “baby” looks like a rat/hamster. It has a tail with a poisonous spike.  Elsa starts treating it like her own child and spends a lot of time teaching it. There is something going on genetically that makes the creature grow and age fast.  In no time it looks like a 5 year old – then a teenager, then a young adult.

Meanwhile, their first two creatures are debuted at some big conference. They were so busy with Dren that they didn’t realize that something had happened to Ginger.  Instead of showing the audience, a new species mating, the creatures attack each other and have a bloody brawl inside their glass enclosure which happens to crash and shatter splashing blood on the people in the front row. Disgusting!! Apparently, Ginger turned into a male and that’s what happens when two males get caged together. Now there is even more pressure for them to find the special gene.

As the movie goes on, it just got weirder and just plain twisted.  They have to take the creature, which Elsa has named Dren (Nerd backwards), to a farm that Elsa’s mother use to own.  You kinda get an idea that Elsa’s childhood wasn’t peaches and rainbows. Clive starts to warm up to Dren.  By this time, Dren is pretty much full grown, but has a mind of a teenager.  She is smart, even though she can’t speak. They kinda give you an idea that she has some sort of telepathic ability. She has a crush on Clive and gets aggressive towards Elsa. After killing a cat and attacking Elsa, she gets her tail cut off (by Elsa). It grows back somehow. Clive feels sorry for her and for some reason has sex with her. The sex scene is just ridiculous with Dren’s wings opening up like butterfly wings. Elsa walks in on them.  She runs off and Clive finds her back at their apartment.  They realize they’ve made a mistake and I guess Elsa gets over what Clive did. The return to the farm to find Dren is dying. They bury her. Elsa is heartbroken. Clive looks a little relieved. His brother shows up with their boss – their secret is blown. Elsa used Dren’s dna to discover the gene containing the protein they had been looking for. It was obvious that human dna was involved. In fact, it had produced an even stronger chemical. While they are getting yelled at, something grabs their boss and throws him in a tree. It’s Dren. She didn’t actually die, she just turned into a male. It attacks Clive’s brother and chases Elsa and Clive around the farm. After pulling Clive into freezing water, it pins down Elsa and rapes her. Clive comes from behind and stabs it but it winds up stinging him and kills him.  Elsa winds up crushing it’s head with a rock.  She winds up pregnant, and the company is paying her to keep the baby to continue the research.

All I have to say is – WTF? I seriously hope they don’t make another one. I think it was just a little too weird and out there. I didn’t like it at all. Who comes up with this stuff? It seriously bothered me.  I really hope that we are not doing this kind of stuff for real. I am not a super religious person, but there are just some things you leave alone. It’s like they’re playing God by creating those creatures. Obviously they weren’t doing it right. It’s one of those movies that make no sense at all to me. If you’re looking for a mind bending, dark sci-fi, and completely different kind of movie – then you should watch this. It just wasn’t my kind of sci-fi movie.