Friday, May 16, 2014
I haven’t reviewed very many movies outside of the action or sci-fi genres, so I wanted to get some more practice writing reviews for the different types, so I went to see this. The odd thing is that I went in to this movie more judging than I normally do because I knew I was mostly doing it for the review and I think it skewed the way I watched the movie, because everything about the movie fell apart to me.
If you’ve seen a trailer for the movie you know the plot to this movie. A frat house moves in to the house next to a 30 something couple, that are new parents. In a hope to set some ground rules the 30 somethings try to be friendly, but after several parties a secret war breaks out between the neighbors to decide who will keep the neighborhood.
The story wasn’t fully developed, it’s like they took the boring parts of old school and the boring parts of a knocked up sequel and put them together. I didn’t feel the motivation from either side, you are supposed to feel for this young family but they don’t spend any time showing you the struggle they are going through, they just skip straight to the battle and retaliation segments of the story. I felt more for the frat than I did for the family most of the time, and that’s the wrong way to feel about the situations they presented.
Now don’t get me wrong, they did show a couple of setup scenes to some of the fighting, but that didn’t help any, I still didn’t care about either side. It felt like the story of the movie was just to get to the jokes and pranks, which some where funny, but this isn’t a Jackass movie so it doesn’t work.
I don’t think I would recommend anyone to see this movie in theaters, and I am appalled that it made number one at the box office last weekend, probably because it looked better in the trailer than it ended up being, thankfully it will be unseated by Godzilla this weekend. If you want to see this movie wait until it makes it to Netflix or HBO, if you have either of those, don’t waste your money seeing it in theaters.
In closing, this movie is made for the type of person in the movie, really dumb frat guys that are afraid of the real world after college where they are kings.
I give this a 2 out of 5
Written by Jeff Potts
Thursday, May 8, 2014
‘THWIP THWIP’ … I bet you make the ‘GO, Web. GO.’ hand motions when you think about that sound, just like most of the non essential characters in this movie. Being a pedestrian in a Spider-Man movie would suck so much, compared to being a hostage. Most times Spider-Man is swinging away as he’s fighting crime, so you would never get a chance to see how awesome he is, it would be like ‘Sweet it’s Spider-Ma… bye Spider-Man… ’ so be the victim, but only if it's safe.
So now I will super summarize the movie in 3 lines or less.
Peter Parker struggles to keep the promise he made to Capt. Stacey, as he died, to leave Gwen out of his life if he continues to be Spider-Man. When out of the blue Pete’s old friend Harry comes back to town, after being away for a long time, and they try to rekindle their friendship. But things never stay happy for long in New York, when a super fan of Spider-Man has a horrible accident, his love for the webhead turns to hate.
Something that I think you will hear be universal praise for this movie is the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, there wasn’t much in the first movie, but whenever they were on screen together I couldn’t help but smile at how good they were together. It sounds silly, but my favorite moment with them is when they are backing away from someone and they start doing this synchronize bounce as they walk and talk, such a small thing but it gave me the giggles. Speaking of giggles, Andrew Garfield is amazing with the comedy in this movie, every line delivered superbly… except for you, dumb joke after roll down your window.
But all this is not to say there’s nothing wrong with the movie, it had its faults and it had plenty of them. The fact that they went straight to “3” villains instead of slowly upping to 2 was a problem because there wasn’t enough screen time for all of them so they under sold or got rid of things that shouldn’t have been messed with, and making the movie longer would have been a mistake too, it was pretty long, but bearable to a point. Another thing to pick at is that they reused certain story mechanics from the first movie that didn’t need to be there and if they do it again in the 3rd movie there will be harsh criticism from a lot of people saying they’re ‘beating a dead horse when it’s down.’
I highly recommend you see this movie if you haven’t already, I don’t know what else to say about it. IMAX 3D seems to be the best way to go, I mean if you’re going to see it, it might as well be in the best format of it you can go to.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5
Written by Jeff Potts
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Between the almost perfect story, acting, and action set pieces, this movie was honestly amazing. There are things that lessened the experience of the movie but that is mainly because of the source material, I have things to say about that, which I will place at the bottom of this article since they contain a few spoilers, as that is something that I can’t stand as you will see.
After being reintroduced to the world after 70 years and fighting a bunch of aliens, Steve Rogers tries to gain some normality in his life, by joining S.H.I.E.L.D. and serving his country, like any good super soldier ripped out of his own time would. Leading his own strike team, Rogers takes care of high value missions. The Lemurian Star, a S.H.I.E.L.D. cruiser capable of launching satellites into orbit, is high jacked by pirates, and Steve and his crew must take it back. During the rescue operation Natasha Romanoff splits off from the team to secure any sensitive data that could be on board, by secret orders from Nick Fury.
After the events in the Avengers, the world security council decided that the only way that they could guarantee that the world could be protected was if they had several state of the art helicarriers in the air at all times ready to fight at a moment’s notice. On the eve of their unveiling and launch, Fury fears that the mission might be compromised and requests that the launch be delayed till he has adequate time to investigate and make sure everything is clear. And that is when all hell breaks loose…
I would love to carry on further but that isn’t an option for it would be spoilers galore from here on out. It’s interesting too, watching this movie after the first and the Avengers, and if you want the episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that aired the week the movie came out, then after you see the movie watch the next episode of Agents, or just watch both episodes after the movie, it will make sense.
I am saying it now, this movie is worth the 6 dollar sir charge on top of the ticket price to see it in IMAX 3D, a bit ridiculous but I can’t stress enough how much the movie looks amazing in IMAX. You don’t have to be crazy like me though, any way you see this movie is fine, just go see it in theaters please. You will lose so much by not going to see it on the big screen.
One last thing I will say before I leave you, the comedy in this movie is really good for the most part, but a few jokes fall flat. Oh and there are 2 credit sequences… thanks Joss Whedon for starting that trend, even though it is nice having a credit break instead of sitting all the way to the end, with only long credits in-between.
I give it a 4 out of 5
Written by Jeff Potts
For those of you that read the comics and knew the truth about the Winter Soldier, that is fine, but seriously wtf is it with the world today that something that is supposed to be a bombshell moment in a movie, is ruined by anyone that wants to be an a-hole and not let it be a bombshell. I went in trying to keep my parents from knowing the truth about the Winter Soldier until they saw the movie, I knew they were safe from the internet spoiling it, because they either don’t use a computer or never situate themselves to be in a position to see spoilers, but despite my best efforts it was spoiled for them both by the stupidest reasons. My dad read it in the newspaper, another reason to get rid of print media, and Marvel themselves ruined it for my mom by giving it away in their one hour special, Assembling a Universe, which I did tell them not to watch till after the movie because I saw it first and saw the spoiler, but she couldn’t wait that long to see it. To me, if I didn’t know who the character was already from reading the comics, that would have pissed me off so bad. It was a moment in the movie that felt like it was supposed to be big, the way they hid him and shot the reveal, but if you knew, then you’re like who cares why are you failing at making this suspenseful. I mean see even this spoiler doesn’t have spoilers, just eluding to them, but now all the jackasses of the world have to be the first to tell you about Bruce Willis.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Before I say this I would like to mention that as you grow up your tastes change, or you understand things differently. I used to work at a movie theater, and at that time the first of Wes Andersons movies where coming out, and whenever I would check in on the theater I wasn’t too impressed with what I saw. Now 12 years later, I haven’t caught up on all of his movies, but I love the handful that I have seen.
I will summarize this a little differently than normal because it loses a lot of flavor if I try to explain it in detail.
The following is a review of a girl reading a book, about the second hand stories a writer wrote, from a man that lived the events…. See how weird this could get if I wanted it too.
The Grand Budapest Hotel was once an exquisite establishment, under the care of the best concierge ever to serve, Monsieur Gustave H., who also has a fondness for bedding older women. On this day he must evict one of the tenants, Madame D, one of his elderly lovers. One month later he is informed of the death of Madame D and rushes to be there at her side. After the funeral, Gustave returns to the hotel, where shortly after the police arrive and accuse Gustave of killing Madame D, and subsequently arrest him.
With the help of the Lobby Boy, Zero, Gustave makes a plan to escape prison, and clear his name.
There is something really funny about dry humor mixed with visual gags that Wes Anderson simply dominates. That’s where I think I’ve been pulled in at, because I respond to it so much more than the junk I liked when I was younger, and I noticed it too, that comedy didn’t cut it like this comedy does now.
A great comparison to make is, if you liked the movie Clue then you will probably like this movie too. It wasn’t the same story or anything, it’s just a good barometer for similar styles. That being said, you should definitely see this movie any way you can, try for the theater, but if you don’t like going out then seriously go pick it up when it hits home video.
I give this a 4.5 out of 5
Written by Jeff Potts
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Well I feel like I should say welcome to the decade of the young adult series turned into a movie franchise, but really I should have said that before the first hunger games… wait I forgot about the dreadfully awful twilight movies, so I guess we are nearing the end of that decade then, unless any of you know of a series that is being converted that I’m not aware of.
Welcome to the dystopic future of Chicago, where we think we might be the only living humans left on earth, unlikely, just like the fact you can’t rebuild basic com systems to check, but you can make all this crazy new tech… I will let this one slide, this time. Society has been divided into 5 different groups that manage govern and protect the people of the city, and when their children reach the age of mid-teens they are tested and have to decide where they want to proceed to their future.
Our story follows that of Beatrice Prior, a young woman going for her pre-selection test, but when her test comes back inconclusive, more commonly known as Divergent, she doesn’t know what to do. Normally those raised in their faction tend to continue on in their faction, but the point of the selection is to give you the ability to choose where you want to continue, posed with this problem Beatrice wants to make a difference in her life and thinks the best way of doing that is by joining Dauntless, the warrior faction. In choosing Dauntless she has to leave her family and friends back in Abnegation.
Beatrice, now going by Tris, has to work harder than ever to meet the expectations of Dauntless, and to keep her secret hidden from everyone, because as Tris finds out, one of the main things that Dauntless does to protect the city is to hunt down and remove Divergents with the help of the Erudites, the intelligence seekers and lawmakers.
In comparison to Hunger Games I thought this was a better story, and movie. I definitely want to read the books now that I have a taste for it. I have stated before, I think in a Nothing Presents podcast, that dystopic is one of my two favorite movie genres, the other being time travel. I really didn’t have too many problems with this movie, other than small things like the not knowing if they were the only humans left.
It is a great movie to see in theaters, but it isn’t a have to see, unless you go IMAX, then definitely go see it in theaters.
I give it a 4 out of 5
Written by Jeff Potts
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
I have always thought that video game movies should be easier to make than comic book movies, but they fail at recreating the experience all the time. Look at the main selection of video game movies out; first there’s Resident Evil, a movie where all they did was take a concept and messed it up severely by adding a whole team of people instead of keeping it a single player experience. Then there is Hitman , a game about a lone assassin, but a movie about an assassin that becomes a knight in shining armor. I could go on about Max Payne and Doom but you get the idea, I will say that Doom had that one sequence that was very game like, when they went into first person shooter mode, that was fun but very unnecessary. I am not even going to touch on the atrocities of Uwe Boll.
These types of games (racing) should be the easiest to make into a movie, and let me tell you it was. Now I haven’t played the newest Need for Speed games, but this was very reminiscent of Hot Pursuit, one of my favorite versions of the Need for Speed series. From the cars they used, to the locations they picked, even down to the police radio talk to the checkpoints in the race, the last half hour of this movie was Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.
Toby Marshall, son of a late great racing legend, makes a deal with a very old rival, Dino, to build a car for him to sell, so that Toby can save his father’s garage. But where egos and cars are involved there is always a race. Dino challenges Toby to either win Dino's share of the profit or lose his, Toby accepts, but his friend also talks his way into the race, against Toby’s warnings. A heart pounding race ensues where Dino is in the lead until they almost cause a huge accident on the freeway where Toby takes the lead, in the last stretch of the race in fear of losing going over 200mph, Dino taps Pete’s bumper and causes Pete’s car to flip and turn in to a big ball of flame hurtling down the highway and off a bridge. Stopping to go back and try to save his friend from a fully engulfed car Toby gets arrested and accused of Pete’s death, while Dino runs and creates an alibi.
2 years later Toby gets out of jail, looking for vengeance only the way a racer can, calls in a favor and starts a cross country sprint to get from New York to California in less than 48 hours, to make it to the De Leon, a special race where its winner takes all. Upon learning of this development Dino places a bounty on Toby to keep him from the race, but you can’t stop vengeance.
Now on the other side, comparing this movie to the Fast and Furious series. FF has a more developed story, not just because they’ve had 6 movies to do it, but each movie has more story to it than this did, but I am not saying that is a bad thing. For being a video game movie this movie did exactly what was necessary, it came up with the plot of a game and had you watch it instead of play it, it would be so easy to go into the game and recreate every scene, minus the cut scene character development segments. This movie has also delivered in a way that the FF series hasn’t, this movie married the racing aspect to the acting segment almost flawlessly. The other thing that was great about this movie was you learned all about the back story in about the first 5 minutes so it could spend most of the movie moving forward instead of dragging its feet in the past.
I highly recommend that you see this in theaters, the only downside I have with the movie is that it wasn’t presented in IMAX. I would also like to thank the script writer and director for not going heavy handed on the little love story that was going on in the movie, they gave it as much as was needed and didn’t make it the center point of the story when it started.
I give this a 4 out of 5
Written by Jeff Potts
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
So at the beginning of this movie when they said the protagonists name, I was like he sounds like the name of a street drug, Themistokles. If that street drug made you a bad ass warrior then you get to keep the name.
Set as a companion piece to the original movie, Rise covers the naval battle that happened in the north of Greece to protect Athens from the Persians. It also covers the story of why Xerxes hates the Greeks and how he became the God King. I will say in a not too spoilerish way that the end of this movie teased an awesome battle just like at the end of 300, that we also didn’t get to see, but it also takes place 6 months before the end battle in the first movie, which happened a year after the fall of Leonidas.
10 years before the events of 300, King Darius and his Persian army tried to invade Greece, but the Athenians, led by Themistokles, attacked before they had completely disembarked from their ships. In the heat of battle Themistokles witnessed Darius on a boat and took his chance to end the battle, by loosing an arrow upon him. Seeing the fate about to befall his father Xerxes tried to save him, but it was too late Themistokles’ arrow found its mark and the Persians retreated.
Darius warned Xerxes not to take revenge on the Greeks, but his hate blinded him as well as the counsel of the Kings greatest general, Artemisia, who convinced Xerxes that he could become a God and wipe the Greeks from existence.
Artemisia, is said to be unrivaled at naval combat, but Themistokles puts that to the test.
I did the best thing ever which was to watch 300 right before seeing this movie, and let me tell you, that was a great experience. There were a few things that happened at the end of this that made me want to see how they happen so I could see how they tied into the army vs. army battle at the end of the first movie. There were some fun cameos in the movie, but with the fact that the only way we saw Leonidas in the movie was the way we saw him, I doubt Gerard came back, I think they CG overlaid characters interacting with him from the original movie. The thing that bothered me in the movie was that they replayed the second in command father son story from 300, the only difference was the father didn’t want the son there in this movie, the son snuck in to the war camp.
The movie was a little bit better than the original, but it also didn’t feel like the same movie (I know it was different directors), maybe because they used a blue tint, to mirror the sea, whereas the first used a brown tint, for the land. There was a bigger story at play in this one as well, where I felt the first movie could have used some of it. My hope is that someone will do a master cut and make one movie in chronological order, I think that would be amazing.
In conclusion, if you are in to these kinds of movies see it in theaters, the 3D IMAX made the naval battle really interesting, but it isn’t necessary for enjoying the movie.
I give it a 4 out of 5
Written by Jeff Potts