Quick Flick Reviews – The Rev, H8, SW, Crd

I want to introduce a new segment to my blog. My cousin and movie partner in crime, Andrew, is going to be helping me out by doing some quick reviews of movies he has seen recently. He sees a lot of movies that I just never end up watching, so it’s great to be able to post some different opinions on my site. He’s the person I sit and talk with about movies and TV shows and I love hearing his thoughts. Please welcome him into our movie world and throw him some comments and feedback. I am sure he will love it!

Here are his first set of quick flick reviews. Hope you guys enjoy them! Ensue courageous and copious clapping.

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The Revenant is a grueling, magical, cinematic masterpiece. Leonardo DiCaprio is excellent and Tom Hardy is possibly just as special, if not maybe even a slight step above, with his performance as a real sadistic “bad guy” in the film. Alejandro González Iñárritu may have struck gold once again with this enthralling film that sucks you in from the very first scene by making you realize that you are in for a wild ride that’s coupled alongside some magnificent cinematography. The movie runs close to two and a half hours; however I never became disengaged. The Revenant never felt dull or dry because we were continuously fed one great scene after another. Great movie, a must watch, and definitely has some Oscar potential. Quite possibly one of the best movies I have seen since 12 Years a Slave. A+

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The Hateful Eight was a very well made Quentin Tarantino movie. I make a point to say “Tarantino movie” because I feel that if you are a fan of his work, then you will like this one. However, if you are a casual fan of the movies and maybe are not too familiar with his previous flicks, than you might just come away feeling slightly disappointed. Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern are unquestionably standouts in this film, while the rest of the supporting cast are not too shabby themselves. But with the extensive running time of 3 hours or so and the ultra-lengthy moments of dialogue, I think it could leave some movie-goers feeling slightly anxious for the end. Good movie, a lot of dialogue with a sprinkling of some very “Tarantino” R-rated scenes that push the envelope as only he would know how to do best. B

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens was just so much fun! You go in expecting to be thrown into the world of Star Wars with the anticipation of a thrill ride and this film surely delivers. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that so many kids and teenagers who maybe are not necessarily familiar with the original 6 films, will instantly become transformed into Star Wars junkies after watching this one. I sat there with my 3D glasses, my popcorn and soda, and was entertained from start to finish. The new characters Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, Poe, and BB-8, bring an enthusiasm to the film that Episodes 1-3 lacked. J.J. Abrams did a magnificent job of giving us a high quality stepping stone into the future of the franchise. This new rendition pays homage to the former episodes all while remaining fresh and unique. I cannot wait for what is to come! Someone should let George Lucas know that his darling baby is in good hands. A

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CREED.  Allow me to begin by saying that Sylvester Stallone is pretty darn good in this spinoff of the Rocky franchise. Michael B. Jordan stars as the young up and coming aspiring boxer Adonis “Donnie” Johnson, his father was the infamous Apollo Creed. Donnie hooks up with his father’s old rival Rocky Balboa, now aging, but fully intact with his boxing capabilities. Jordan looks the part and some of the boxing fight scenes are as realistic as I have ever seen. I went in expecting a corny and predictable remake of Rocky, but Creed did and will stand on its own as one of the better (if not the best) films in the series. I am a diehard boxing fan, so this movie was right up my alley. If you like action movies with grit than you will enjoy it, and even if you want to just sit down and turn your brain off, than this movie will not disappoint. Let’s just say even my fiancée and sister enjoyed watching it (that says a lot). B

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}}Andrew

Movie Review: Star Wars (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt

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To say that the world has been patiently waiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to come to life is an understatement. Gladly enough the wait is over and the film is worth every year, minute, and second that fans have waited for because it delivers on all aspects. The film takes places 30 years after where Star Wars: Return of the Jedi left off. Director J.J. Abrams was only 17 years old when that film was released in 1983 and it is evident that he carried his teenage nostalgia and sentiment and brought it to life in the new one.

The film is centered on two unlikely heroes who meet for the first time in a dusty planet far, far away. This sounds so much like the originals, yet not one moment felt forced or contrite, instead it felt like every scene was paying homage to the original films without making the new one feel, what’s the word I am looking for, lame. To have walked out of the theater feeling duped and unsatisfied (cough, cough think Star Wars: Phantom Menace) would have been a travesty to all the fans, but this film did just the opposite. I left feeling giddy and happy like a little kid reliving the first time I saw the original films. My smile beaming from ear to ear, all I needed was a cherry lollipop and some Star Wars stickers to make me feel complete again.

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The story takes place years after Darth Vader’s death and the culmination of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) realizing that he was related to Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and subsequently her marriage to Han Solo (Harrison Ford). The First Order has risen to power led by both Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) who are being commanded by Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), a figure head that knows all and sees all and wants the Resistance to be destroyed.

The Resistance is led by Leia Organa who seeks to find her long lost brother Luke. She sends X-wing pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) to the planet of Jakku to find a mysterious map that will uncover his whereabouts. Poe hides the map in his droid BB-8, a little ball-like robot that is loyal to a fault and what happens from here is the First Order’s chase to find both.

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Stormtroopers have always been known to be the hench men that carry out the bad guys’ evil orders, never retreating back or disobeying orders, but there is one FN-2187 who seems to have a conscious. Unable to shoot people anymore and carry out the First Order’s malicious plans he defects and ends up as Finn (John Boyega). He joins the Resistance, almost unknowingly and ends up meeting Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from Jakku who is handy with electronics and smart as a whip. The two form a friendship that will be remain as timeless in movie history as Leia and Luke (yet these two aren’t related, at least I don’t think so) and create legions of new Star Wars fans. Along their journey to keep BB-8 safe, they face bad guys like Kylo Ren and meet the legendary characters of Han Solo, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C3-PO.

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One of my favorite aspects of the film was how it kept much of the editing and camera work similar to the originals. There were many wipe transitions, that classic editing style where one side of the frame is replaced by another, this was used in old Sci-Fi and 80’s flicks and one George Lucas commonly employed. Many of the camera shots were low angle, where the camera is angled to look up at the actor causing them to look bigger in the frame (think Darth Vader in the originals) this was used many times whenever General Hux or Kylo Ren entered the picture. Abrams was deliberate and smart for using these techniques because it helped to not make the movie look to overly modern and if one was to sit and watch all the movies in a row it wouldn’t feel so disjointed and odd.

I loved the addition and the highlighting of a strong female character in Rey. I always wanted Leia to have a little more oomph and Rey gives us just that and more. Ridley brought strength and warmness to the character and was able to play off of heavy-hitter Ford with no problem and only helped to further enhance his scenes. Boyega brought a lot of personality to his character and the film and interjected with some of my favorite lines. Together the two newcomers worked well off each other and brought a ton of chemistry and likeability to the film.

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Driver gave Kylo Ren that mixture of vulnerability and evilness and it worked just right, hats off to him for scoring the role of a lifetime. Another one of my favorites was Isaac, who in my eyes always delivers as an actor. He made Poe seem fun and exciting, yet heroic and loyal and I loved seeing him interact with Leia. Who wouldn’t want to join the resistance after meeting him? And who cannot forget BB-8, the little ball of fun that stole the show, I think he was my favorite aspect of the whole film.

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I encourage every lover of cinema to go see this movie; whether or not they are die-hard Star Wars geeks (I mean fans). Viewers need not go in to the film knowing every bit of Star Wars history to enjoy it, I know that can seem intimidating to some who are not that invested, so if that is you don’t let that stop you from seeing it. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a fun, thrill-ride of a movie and not one minute of it is time wasted. Do yourself a favor, use the force and score yourself some popcorn and tickets and go see this movie.

}}Melissa

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Also posted on Pink Egg Media

Top 12 Best, Most Interesting and Worst Moments of the Golden Globes

Last night Ricky Gervais hosted the 73rd annual Golden Globes and I have to say he did a great job. Despite all the hate he got for hosting before, they still decided to bring him back and it was obvious why they did. He’s funny. Plain and simple he is able to poke fun at Hollywood actors like no one else. Along with his British crass, you can tell he does not give one bloody flying f*%$@! about pissing anyone off. He did it all in good fun and brought hilarity to what is usually an overall boring night.

Let’s talk about some of the best, most interesting and worst moments of the night.

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1. The Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum bear bit. I don’t know I just didn’t care for it and thought it was kinda lame. And seriously what was up with Tatum’s hair?

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2. Streaming services showed network stations what’s up. Amazon Video won many awards with its’ wins for Mozart in the Jungle. It won for both Best Comedy/Musical TV series and Best Actor for Gael Garcia Bernal in the same category. Take that Netflix and Hulu.

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2. Oscar Issac for the Best Actor win for Show Me a Hero. I love that the world is finally starting to realize what a powerhouse of an actor he is and he truly deserved it. Honestly though he should have won for best dancing with his moves in Ex Machina.

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3. Best Joke of the night had to be when Ricky Gervais welcomed Matt Damon onto the stage by saying, “He’s been the only person Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to.” LOL.

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4. The numerous explicative words that had to be edited out kind of ruined the night for me. It got to the point that whole sentences were bleeped out and as someone watching it made me go okay what the hell just happened. NBC should have lightened up and not left audiences in the dark.

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5. When Eva Longoria and America Ferrara poked fun at how Latin actresses are all confused as one. They mentioned that no they are not Eva Mendes, Charo or Rosario Dawson. They were obviously jabbing at the slip-up that occurred at the Golden Globes nominations ceremony when one presenter confused Ferrara with Gina Rodriguez.

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6.  Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt on the same stage. They did a goofy bit that was kind of stupid, but who really cares because they are both gorgeous. I think women all around the world were falling off their seats. Can someone tell me how Brad Pitt is not aging?

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7. Stallone got a standing ovation for his win with Creed, but he forgot to thank director Ryan Coogler and co-star Michael B. Jordan. WTF. But he did thank his imaginary friend Rocky Balboa.

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8. When Lady Gaga bumped Leonardo DiCaprio on the way to accept her award. The look on his face was priceless and the Twitter world went crazy with their reactions to the moment. I think it was funny because we rarely see Leo seem so real, he usually stays out of the media and does so few interviews that he is rather elusive. Seeing him act like a normal person with a funny reaction was great.

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9. The weirdness between Ricky Gervais and Mel Gibson. Gervais said, “I want to say something nice about Mel before he comes out. So: I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than with Bill Cosby.” Then there were more pauses filled with bleeps where we had no idea what they were saying. The bit between them was somewhat funny, but also felt awkward and weird and Gibson is still an oddball.

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10. Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor for The Revenant and it was awesome to see him get recognized for his work. I have loved him ever since he was on Growing Pains (haha), so I was super happy to see him win.

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11. Seeing Leo and Kate hugging and chatting off camera. What a moment for my inner teenage self to see Jack and Rose reunited once again. And now there are a million memes floating off of this moment.

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12. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s win for Best Director for The Revenant. So excited to see him win this year, he lost out last year to Boyhood. I am sure this is only a sign of things to come for the Oscars. Also, what a win for Latino directors and actors, I love it!

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What moments did you love or hate this year? I am also curious, do you guys even bother watching why or why not?

 

December Favorites

I feel like I have not been on here in what feels like ages. I am trying to get back into the swing of things and start posting more regularly and catching up on everyone’s blogs that I love reading. I have missed our little blogging world and feel happy to be back.

With December came the end of many great shows. Homeland was great, The Affair was one of the best, but I decided to include some other shows I loved instead. In case anyone else is going through their January wondering what the hell else to watch because everything has ended, here are some of my recommendations that I enjoyed last month.

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Master of None (Netflix)

I just finished Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix show Master of None and I have to say it is probably one of the best shows I saw in 2015. Ansari stars as Dev, an up and coming struggling Indian actor in New York City, who lives like a typical 20-something. He hangs out with his friends a lot and they talk about all kinds of random stuff from dating in a text driven world to sex to trying to figure out with your friends what to eat for lunch (we all know that the struggle is real with that one).

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One of my favorite aspects of the show is how he discusses his relationship with his parents (played by his actual real parents) and how he tries to find that balance living as a first generation Indian in America. I really love that he explored that dynamic because it has not been seen at all almost never on TV, but it is totally relatable for anyone who has a family from another country. Also his dad is probably one of my favorite characters on the show, he’s seriously funny.

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I wish someone would do the same for Mexican-Americans or Latin-Americans. I would love to see that play out similar to Ansari’s show versus some corny mocked up version of what someone else believes to be true for our culture. Regardless, this is a great show, if you are in the mood for something fun and light-hearted to watch on Netflix, than check this one out.

 

 

 Broadchurch: Season 2 (Netflix)

OMG I have been waiting on pins and needles for Season 2 of Broadchurch for what has felt like ever. Finally I saw that Netflix put it up and I watched it in two days. I think I am now having pangs that Season 3 is not here yet. This is definitely not a happy go lucky, fun show to watch, not the type of thing you watch with friends and have a jolly old time. It’s pretty dang depressing, but it’s one of the best shows on television. The acting is phenomenal and the writing is fantastic.

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Season 1 left us with the catching of Danny Latimer’s killer by DI’s Alex Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and Season 2 brings us to the trial of the killer and a new case for the detectives. Both Tennant and Colman are phenomenal actors and deserve awards for this show. The small coastal town where the murder takes place is beautiful and lends itself to the characters losing themselves in the grassy fields and staring off into the horizon. If you are a fan of murder mysteries and enjoy British dramas, then you should definitely take some time to watch this because it will not disappoint.

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}}Melissa

Movie Review: Sisters (2015)

Sisters (2015)
Directed by Jason Moore
Written by Paula Pell

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The movie genre of forty something women coming of age has hardly been touched in Hollywood. Wait… that’s because older women should have their lives figured out while living in their white-picked fenced homes along with their beautiful Christmas card worthy family. Therefore the movies that could fall into that category are almost absolute. Sisters takes that notion and flips it on its’ head, giving viewers a funny, authentic and fresh look at women trying to find themselves while having a blast on top of it.

The premise of the film is simple, sisters Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate Ellis (Tina Fey); go back to their hometown of Florida when they learn that their parents Bucky (James Brolin) and Deana (Dianne Wiest) have sold their childhood home. Although they are upset about their parent’s ability to just sell their home and all their memories without consulting them, they must go back to their old rooms and get rid of all their junk. I mean all their priceless 80’s items, such as their Care Bear pajamas, fuzzy slippers and pink dial-tone phone and boom box.

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Maura is the more responsible one of the two sisters and walks around with inspiration note cards as a way to lift herself up from her divorce. On the other hand Kate, an aesthetician and hairdresser, can barely hold down a job and her own college-aged daughter Haley (Madison Davenport) can barely trust her to be a dependable mother.

In their childhood rooms, they drink copious amounts of wine out of teacups (naturally) and in reading out loud their old diary entries realize that the two sisters had the exact opposite experience in high school. Maura worried way too much about other people, she was the girl who held people’s hair while they puked at parties, while Kate was the life of the party, the girl who once scaled her parents’ fireplace in a drunken night. In that moment, they realize what they have to do; they need to throw one last Ellis Island epic party at their home.

Maura gathers up the nerve and invites over her cute neighbor James (Ike Barinholtz) and decides she will try to flirt with him and have a wild night for once. She also appoints Kate as the “party mom,” meaning she will have to make sure the house stays clean, no fires, no running through walls and of course will have to hold people’s hair while they puke, just like she did when they were teenagers.

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Poehler and Fey are our generations Laurel and Hardy, they work so funnily against each other, that having one without the other would seem unfathomable. Their comedic timing is right on the mark and I found myself literally laughing out loud through so many scenes from beginning to end. The jokes worked well, they weren’t too crude nor were they too safe, they were just right for this type of movie. Had it gone either way, it would have felt either awkward or boring.

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The cameos were excellent from Maya Rudolph, the high school mean girl, to John Leguizamo, the ex-hot cool guy who now just hangs out by the liquor store and John Cena, the stone faced drug dealer. Bobby Moynihan stole many of the best scenes, as the guy who tries so hard to be funny and liked, but can’t seem to get it right. I can see him transitioning from Saturday Night Live to film anytime soon.

What I liked about the film was that these two women never needed to find a man to complete their lives, all they needed was the love and support of their sister. They were also never dumb-downed; instead they were smart, funny and witty.

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This is not an Oscar-worthy movie of course, but it is the kind of movie that whenever it is on TV I am sure I will watch. Sometimes those are the best kinds of movies because they withstand the test of time and can always make us laugh. If you are not in the mood to wait in a huge line for Star Wars this weekend, then go see Sisters, you won’t regret it.

}}Melissa

Also posted on Pink Egg Media