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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?

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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

HOP

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.