Dec 20, 2013

Movie Reviews

Ender’s Game – This movie was pretty cool. I’m not sure I can imagine them doing the book much better. Which still means it’s not near as good as the book, but I don’t feel like a movie was going to be able to do much better. It is much shorter, of course, it’s been long enough since I read it that I don’t really remember, but it felt very rushed. Especially the training, especially Ender winning battles up toward the end. I feel like the ending suffers for that story not playing out in more detail. The performances are mostly good. Surprisingly most of the kids are fine. Ender is solid throughout, and then falls apart when it’s most important that he deliver, which was a bummer. Visually the movie is fantastic, and at the end of the day, that was the whole point. They could have borked the entire thing, we all just went to see the battle room and the space battles. Both of those they did extremely well, and made the movie worth it. Odd that they are setting up for the 2nd book. The second book is so different from the first, it’s not even the same category of movie, but it might be cool to see anyway.

Cabaret – Had to go see this because we saw the stage version. It was good, but not great. I actually liked the story of the stage version much better, which was a surprise. The stage version had acting/singing problems, but the way they handled the story was much better. I’ve never seen a Liza Minelli movie, I don’t think I like her voice very much, but that’s just a preference. I really like the music, but that’s a surprisingly small portion of the movie.

The Hangover 3 – Yeah, I know, why did I bother. Like everyone else, I thought the first one was fantastic. I went in ready to hate it and I loved it. The second one was a disaster. This one is also a disaster. There’s some funny stuff, I’m not saying I never laughed. But it’s just so over wrought attempting to shoehorn this ridiculous stuff in, it’s just kind of a bummer.

Oz: The Great and Powerful – Also not good. I like the idea, I like the story, but the execution is pretty bad. The acting isn’t great, the writing is borderline horrible. The visuals are sometimes really beautiful and sometimes trying way too hard and looking super fake. I mean, it’s a fantasy land, it’s not going to look realistic, but it just looks crappy. I liked it more toward the end, mostly because I kind of like the story. But jeez.

World War Z – I was actually pretty impressed with this movie. I’ve never read the book, so I have no source of disappointment there. And everyone bitched so much about how bad it was, I went in not expecting much. So then I kind of liked it. It feels super rushed, and things happen in an awful convenient order. But I enjoyed the ride and the 28 days style zombies are pretty cool.

White House Down – Wow, this is so much like Olympus Has Fallen. I mean, I get it, they are both die hard in the white house. But god damn there was one scene where I convinced myself for about 2 minutes that I had already seen this die hard white house movie because I’ve definitely definitely seen this scene. I was wrong, but jesus.

The Master – I wanted to like this movie, but it was a snoozer. Like all Paul Anderson movies, it’s effing weird. But I figured I’d see a couple of amazing performances from Phoenix and Hoffman and it’d all be worth it. Nope. They do put in some pretty great performances, but the movie is too long by half, and completely absent of compelling story. I know people liked this movie, so I guess it’s just me, but I did not.

Starlet – This is a weird one. It’s about some young chick in LA (I assume, I don’t remember). Doesn’t have much of a life, I think she’s a porn actress. She buys something at a garage sale and then finds a ton of money in it. Not sure what to do, she tries to befriend the old lady who sold it to her, who is a nasty old woman, to judge whether she should give the money back I guess. It sounds pretty horrible, it’s not that bad. It’s a different story, I’m pretty sure no other movie has that plot. It’s nothing great, but it was kind of worth a random Netflix watch.

Arbitrage – This is a strange movie, but it’s decent. A pretty shady business dude makes some spectacularly bad choices and spends the next 2 hours trying to fix them. It’s a little bit unrealistic, like many of these movies where everything has to fall into place in a certain way. But it actually is done decently well. Not super unique or anything, but done well enough.

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