Tag Archives: movie review

The Pursuit of “Power” – A Movie Review

Image credit: ignimgs.com

Image credit: ignimgs.com

In “The Amazing Spiderman 2”, the guy who no one pays any attention to, the one who no one considers, is allowed to get his own back.

How many of us wish that we had the power to wreck selective havoc on all those people who piss us off?

If I was to acquire a superpower, it wouldn’t be electrical power like Max, because I’ve been “shocked” before and I didn’t like it. It wouldn’t be flying, scaling or leaping over buildings in single bounds either because I’m afraid of heights.

I’d take invisibility. Now technically I suppose that it’s not a “power’, but the ability to render myself impalpable would afford me the anonymity that would be necessary to achieve that little thing called payback.

Besides, since most superheroes wear some kind of mask to hide their identities anyway, I’m just taking it a step further.

Talk about not being accountable.

That fender bender you got into with that car that seemingly came out of nowhere after you cussed me out a few yards back? Oops, that was me.

And as a clueless cell phone user, you may be wondering just how that device got lassoed right out of your hand. Oh my. That was me.

I’ll say this though. If like me, Max had seen fit to settle his scores individually and on a one-on-one basis he would probably have lived to fight another day.

Why didn’t he go looking for that nasty co-worker who never had anything nice to say? What about finding the worker who abdicated his responsibility, causing him to risk his life and end up in that tank that changed his molecular structure forever – and on his birthday at that?

I’m pretty sure that there were tons of other personal scores he could have settled, but he just had to go and show that he was large and in charge. I was rooting for the underdog that he was, but not for the overachiever that he became.

But that’s what happens when some people get power and don’t know how to handle it.

They get the notoriety and the accompanying benefits, and everybody else gets to pay for it.

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They Did Survive – A Movie Review

Image credit: BlogSpot.com

Image credit: BlogSpot.com

I love me some animation!

 

Sloths that rap, an aria-singing frog and capybara’s shaking what their mommas gave them. Birds that have ipods, GPS’s, fanny packs and other trappings of modern society, juxtaposed with life in the jungle. “Survivor Amazon” anyone?

 

One of the best things about having kids or hanging out with them is going to movies made especially for them. But who am I kidding? Even though the movies are made for their viewing pleasure, there’s a whole lot of stuff thrown in that little Timmy won’t begin to get.

 

And I’m not the only one who thinks so. I ran into a couple getting popcorn and drinks for the movie. I looked around for their little one and didn’t see him anywhere. The mother unashamedly admitted that she had come (sans child) to see how the story continued. I’m sure though, that she would eventually bring her son – that way she would see all the references she would have missed the first time.

 

I’m so glad that “Rio 2” came out when it did, so that it could totally eclipse my children’s desire to see the new Muppets movie, because I couldn’t psyche myself up for that one – I just couldn’t. I think the humans in that movie slow it down, but the animals in “Rio 2” ran away with this movie.

 

Can you get any funnier than realizing what we must look like to them when we do the funky chicken? Can you get any more dramatic than a soliloquy from Hamlet – skull included?

 

So “Rio 2” didn’t disappoint me. Although I enjoyed the opening number in the original movie better, the music throughout was fantastic. The Latin rhythms mixed in with some rap, operatic music and some good old R&B kept me tapping my feet.

 

Other things had me laughing out loud. Like a “Flashdance” movie throwback. Yes, you know the scene. But just imagine it being done by a male cockatoo that can’t fly. It was this bird too, who cleaned up at the Carnivale auditions with his rendition of Gloria Gaynors’ 70’s hit, “I will Survive”.

 

The movie also gave a nod to the upcoming FIFA World Cup that will take place in Brazil this year. However these birds weren’t playing for a title but for food – Brazil nuts to be exact, so their very lives depended on winning this game.

 

Which spoke to the underlying theme of the movie – survival.

 

Blu and his family make the trek to the Amazon when they realize that other blue macaws like them may still exist. His wife Jewel finds her entire family, but their existence is threatened by a logging company personified by a lollipop-sucking magnate who lamented that even with hired goons, he still had to do everything himself.

 

But even after the birds succeed in fighting off the pesky humans, Blu ends up in the fight for his life because some people, or should I say some fowls, can really hold a grudge.

 

There are lots of messages, some irony and tons of good feeling in this movie. Some call it overloaded – like that’s a bad thing. It just means I’ll have to see it a couple more times to really appreciate all the things they stuffed into this movie.

 

Macaw!

Last Night Was…. A Movie Review

Predictable, improbable and annoying.

Image credit: twitchfilm.com

Image credit: twitchfilm.com

I’ve become accustomed to ticking all that apply in the movies that I watch. Particularly the formulaic ones. And the Kevin Hart remake of “About Last Night”, delivers the expected happy ending without too much effort.

The characters played by Joy Bryant and Paula Patton just got on my nerves. Thankfully, the latter’s time on the screen was brief, but I’ve got to say that I appreciated that they didn’t do the usual, and have the homecoming of the live-in girlfriend of Michael Ealy’s character coincide with the ex-wife’s visit to his apartment in her “drunken” state. Because, of course, she would have gotten the wrong idea.

But that would have led to the inevitable break-up and we weren’t yet at the halfway point of the movie. So we see him confessing even though nothing happened, while she continues to make him feel more uncomfortable about the pace of the relationship.

Joy Bryant’s character, Debbie, meanwhile, is busy making the former bachelor pad more suitable to her tastes -annoying even to this female- including adding a dining table suitable not only for Thanksgiving dinner with friends, but also, I imagine, for the occasional tryst when the bedroom is just too far away. But she later realizes what’s up when she asks whether their relationship is one really long one-night stand.

Image credit: parentpreviews.com

Image credit: parentpreviews.com

I actually began to feel a little claustrophobic myself and was beginning to wonder how long it was going to take for the forseeable future to show up. Kevin Hart’s character overcompensates as he always does – so he’s the loudest one in the room. But both he and Regina Hall’s character (who he initially sees as just a friend with benefits for him), provide much needed comic relief.

Fast forward a few months and we see both couples deciding to move on from each other, but not at the same time. So when the longed-for Thanksgiving dinner with company comes around, Hart’s character brings his new partner causing his old one to show her true colours, and her love.

Predictably, Ealy’s character realizes that he really is ready for a committed relationship – after the girlfriend moves out – since he had been using his failed relationship with his ex-wife as his defense. Hart’s character meanwhile used his mouth as his protection.

I was actually rooting for the more unconventional couple because, with their role playing and experimentation, their relationship would certainly be the more interesting one. After Hart and Hall’s characters realize that they can’t live without each other, they decide to help their friends get together again – but one has to wonder whether it’s worth it if they can’t find their way to each other on their own.

So while the movie had a happy ending, I’m not sure that there would have been a happily ever after.

Maternal Instincts – Movie Review

Image credit: hollywoodreporter.com

Image credit: hollywoodreporter.com

I’ve said before that the two occasions on which the main players look their best – at weddings and funerals – are the same occasions when the rest of us can look our worst. I guess there’s something about celebrating the beginning of a new life that a marriage is, or the ending of another through death, that causes some of us to act out.

That’s one of the impressions that I was left with after viewing the movie, “August: Osage County”. Secrets are uncovered, plain speech is discovered, and a daughter takes her mother down as she attempts to find the pills that she’s convinced are the cause of her mother’s mean-spiritedness. So no, it’s not the feel-good movie of the year.

The family members gather to attend the funeral of a man who committed suicide, it seems, because his life had become unbearable. Living with a wife who was suffering from mouth cancer but who still insisted on having her smokes, one wonders if her strong mouth and caustic speech was what drove him to take his life, because something else had already driven him to drink.

The three mothers in this film wouldn’t exactly be called nurturing, but that’s probably because each had her own demons to contend with.

The widow, thought that it was the perfect opportunity to tell her daughter that she broke her father’s heart when she moved away from home. But while she pushed the father out front, it was obvious that the daughter never showing up to give support to her, was only one of many hurts.

The widow’s sister-in-law considered her only son a disappointment to her and all concerned, but it was likely that since she’d been dancing with guilt for years concerning his paternity, she never really saw her son – only her mistake.

And the widow’s daughter, who was herself the mother of a teenaged girl, seemed unwilling to take any of the responsibility for the fact that her child was well on her way to disregarding her own mother, and continuing the cycle of blame.

The end of someone’s life causes most of us to reflect on our own lives, and the characters in this movie probably did this in spades – and none of them was happy with what they were seeing.

Unfortunately, when our lives that generally hold so much promise at the beginning, show no such sign of it at the end, we would probably agree with the main protagonist when she says, “Thank God we can’t tell the future – we’d never get out of bed”.