Posts Tagged ‘DVD’

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#11: 17 Again

January 30, 2011

So what’s it about?: A grown man gets a second chance at high school and all the chaos that ensues there when he wakes up to realize he’s 17 Again!

The Good: Okay, so this may be 13 Going on 30 reversed (which is really just Big with different genders…) but it’s still a fun, funny film and an entertaining 90 minutes.  And Zac Efron does a good job breaking out from the musical genre and stepping into this comedy.  Now if only he could stay away from those soapy teen dramas…. –cough- Charlie St. Cloud –cough-.

The Bad: So, yes, this does get a bit over-the-top, cheesy and predictable, but, hey, sometimes that’s exactly what you want in a film!

The Verdict: If you want some a nice, fluffy comedy than this is a respectable pick.

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#10: Stardust

January 18, 2011

So what’s it about?: A boy goes into the magical land across the wall on a quest to bring a falling star to his dream girl.  Chaos ensues… with witches, pirates and princes!

The Good: It’s really refreshing to see a kid’s live action adventure flick that has heart and a story rather than a bunch of immature jokes and incredibly painful overacting.

The Bad: There’s A LOT going on in this film.  Our main hero, on his journey, meets so many characters with their own sub-plot lines that after a while it can be a little much to take in.  On the other hand, this film jumps around a lot, so it’s perfect if you have a short attention span!

The Verdict: While not nearly as great as the family films of the 80s (Gotta love some Princess Bride, Neverending Story, etc.) it’s still a great live action adventure fun for the whole family, and definitely one of the best of the last decade!  Worth a view for sure.

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#9: Magnolia

January 14, 2011

So I pretty much spent a good part of my later childhood listening to this soundtrack, so I figured I may as well watch the movie.

So what’s it about?: That’s a good question… but I do know some chaos ensues!

The Good: The acting is great.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is up with this cast?  Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy and Tom Cruise at the best I’ve seen him (and considering this is 1 of about 3 films I can even stand him in, that’s saying a lot!)  The list goes on, but they are all great!  And the soundtrack… well, it’s what drew me to the movie, and it is probably one of the greatest.  And any movie that does a character sing a-long (which isn’t many… this and the Skins season 1 final?) is good in my book.  And being a huge fan of coincidental urban legends and whatnot, I loved the opening.  Granted, I’ve heard all three stories, but it was cool to see them again… and with reenactments!  And I love, love, LOVED the last shot of the film.

The Bad: Okay, so this film didn’t quite make sense.  Usually frame stories have a common theme.  Like Crash is very clearly about racial stereotypes and The Breakfast Club is very clearly about high school stereotypes… but this?  No clue.  For a movie that appeared to be about coincidences, it didn’t really have a lot amongst it’s eclectic conglomerate of characters (I mean, I hear about better coincidences and “It’s A Small World…” moments all the time that actually have happened).  And then there’s the thing with the frogs…

The Verdict: This movie will hands down make you think, and think, and scratch your head and go WTF?  But if someone could please explain to me what the hell it was about, that would be greatly appreciated!

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#8: Saw

January 14, 2011

Yeah, so somehow I managed to see the third one, but never saw the movie that started it all!

So what’s it about?: Two strangers wake up on opposite sides a room, padlocked to pipes, and a dead guy in the middle of the floor.   As the two set out to play the game they’ve been forced into by an unknown outside party known only as the Jigsaw killer, chaos ensues.

The Good: Okay, so this film is actually not horrible.  The idea of such a creative serial killer who gives his victims a chance to fight for an escape is actually kind of cool.

The Bad: Well, sure, the acting is over-the-top, but that’s to be expected.  My biggest qualm was that the coolest things about this franchise are the traps, and there really aren’t many in this film!  Though that does give the movie a plot instead, which is definitely better in the long run.  Ah well, the price we pay for a story.

The Verdict: As far as slasher films go, this is actually okay.  It’s not scary, it won’t stick with you, but it will entertain you with enough blood and gore and thrills for a whole 90 minutes without you groaning over how intensely bad the production is.

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#5: Hairspray

January 13, 2011

This is the musical, not the horrendously boring original John Waters film.

So what’s it about?: It’s 60’s in Baltimore and a girl dreams of being on a TV variety show and hooking up with it’s hot male lead (because what else is there to do in the 60’s?).  Only problem is she’s chubby, he’s taken, and she’s all for integration so naturally some shimmy and shaking chaos ensues!

The Good: Oh, the music!  So much fun and part of what made this show a hit on The Great White Way.  Even the new songs fit right on in with the old and make you want to get up and dance!  And Christopher Walken and Jonathan Travolta managed to turn my least favorite song into a hilarious song.

The Bad: Another sad case of a musical cast with people who can’t actually sing.  I mean, really?  Trying to hear poor Amanda Bynes and Brittney Snow try to match the great Kerry Butler and Laura Belle Bundy?  It’s kind of sad.  Especially when there’s so much good talent out there!  And honestly, this could have gone bigger and campier.  It just seemed so tame!  Sometimes attempting to go mainstream just isn’t the correct route for a movie.

The Verdict: A perfectly acceptable movie-to-musical-to-movie-musical, but definitely nothing to run and tell your friends about!

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#2: Full Metal Jacket

January 2, 2011

Realized recently that I’ve seen a total of maybe 2 war films in my entire life, so been trying to catch up recently (finally saw the superb Saving Private Ryan blu-ray this past Christmas, which sadly will not appear on this blog.  I know, you’re crushed).

So what’s it about?: Broken up in to two parts, Full Metal Jacket shows the mental and physical chaos that ensues as men are molded into full-fledged killing machines.

The Good: This film is intense and thankfully breaking it up in to two parts helps the brain to have a mental refresh between each section.  And, yes, this is one of the most realistic war movies I’ve ever seen.  There are no heroes in this film, no over-the-top acts of courage, and even though it has the typical quality of being almost surreal as all Kubrick films tend to be, you still feel as though this really happened.

The Bad: So, not going to lie, upon first viewing this film, after the almost heartbreaking and yet terrifying first half climactic ending, the second part seemed like a huge let down.  Let’s face it, with the exception of Joker, none of the characters are actually likeable, and the ending shootout is just kind of ridiculous.

The Verdict: Frankly, this film is a must see, just be prepared because it will keep you thinking (if you just don’t get it, watch the special features on the DVD, they’re amazing).  And, yes, if you are looking for a war film with an obvious plot and an epic, emotional victory at the end, then go watch Saving Private Ryan instead.

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#1: Mulan

January 1, 2011

First movie of the year, so why not make it a guaranteed winner?

So what’s it about?: A not so typical Disney princess, who has dishonored her family, grows a pair and goes off to war in place of her father.  With a little help from her animal sidekicks, chaos ensues.

The Good: What’s not to love about Mulan?  You have catchy song numbers, the most badass Disney princess of them all, and the perfectly magical Disney blend of humor, action, romance and universal lessons.

The Bad: Animation wise, it’s definitely not the fairest of them all.  It just doesn’t have the beauty of, well, Beauty, but really, what does?

The Verdict: Hands down a great Disney film.  It’s sad to see that this is not considered part of the elite “Disney Plantinum Series”, but on the bright side, that means it won’t be locked up in the vault!  Yay!