Thursday, February 26, 2015

Focus

Rated R / 1 hr 44 min / Comedy - Crime - Drama

What is it about?

Will Smith plays a con man that meets a beautiful woman that is also trying to con men out of money. She tries to con him and he goes along with it out of curiosity. He ends up recruiting her for his organization of con artists. She shows talent in the many jobs they pull off in a short amount of time. The two become lovers in the misdt of all the jobs they pull off. Then one day after pulling off the biggest con yet, he leaves her without any apology or explanation. Three years later while he is trying to pull off another con, their paths cross again. Now he has to pull off a dangerous con for millions of dollars, but the the only thing he can seem to think about is her.

You will like it if...

You like clever drama movies about con artists. The movie is listed as a comedy, but aside from a few clever twists of words it's not very funny. It is more of a drama that focuses mostly on the relationship between the two main characters. Will Smith and Margot Robbie have chemistry that is entertaining to watch even if Smith seems a bit old for the younger actress. The cons and explanations of how they are done are some of the most enjoyable scenes of the movie. The film does have it's flaws as well. The point where the two main characters split makes no sense at all, and they make no attempt to explain it. I kept waiting for some sort of mention or explanation as to what happened and it never came. This is a major flaw in the plot but one that is necessary to set up the remainder of the film. If you can get past that then the other minor flaws in the story are easier to stomach. It is an enjoyable movie, but parts of it may be too unbelievable for some to get past.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Rated R / 1 hr 33 min / Comedy - SciFi

What is it about?

When we left our heroes last time Lou had made everything right by using his knowledge of the future to become a millionaire. We all know it couldn't last because Lou is great at messing things up. At a party someone shoots Lou in the penis. Now Lou, Nick, and Jacob must use the Hot Tub Time Machine to go back into the past to stop Lou from being killed. The issue is that the time machine takes them to the future. Jacob has taken over the family business, Lou is a bum and drug addict, and Nick has compromised himself to keep his diminishing music career going. Now they have to find Lou's killer in the future so they can prevent the murder in the past.

You will like it if...

You like silly comedies with convoluted storylines. The first Hot Tub Time Machine will have better reviews because of the way the writers handled time travel. This version takes a lazier route by using convoluted explanations to break down any paradoxes into nonsense. This version doesn't take itself as seriously as the original and as a result packs in a few more laughs. With a title like Hot Tub Time Machine you would think that there wouldn't be a message or any serious moments, but just like the original the sequel does have a message to share. If you enjoyed the first one then you should enjoy this sequel. It makes a little less sense but I laughed a little more than I did watching the original.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fifty Shades Of Grey


Rated R / 2 hr 5 min / Drama - Romance

What is it about?

The book that all of the women I know were passing around early last year is now a movie. College student Anastasia Steele is asked by her roommate to interview billionaire Christian Grey. He shows an interest in her, but then pushes her away when she begins to reciprocate. He finds that he is incapable of leaving her alone. The problem is that he doesn't date or engage in romantic relationships. He offers her a contract. He agrees to offer himself and all the perks of being with a billionaire in exchange for her being submissive to his sexual needs. He shows her his "play room" which has a wide variety of hancuffs, rope, and whips.

You will like it if...

You like romance movies that are short on the romance but have many sex scenes. The main character Anastasia is naked for the majority of the movie. I'm not complaining as she has a nice body, but for the women they almost exclusively show Mr. Grey with his shirt off. I think the director was thinking of all the men that were going to be dragged by significant others to go see this movie. The chemistry between the two main characters feels real, but Mr. Grey comes off as a bit creepy. The dialogue is all over the place. Some parts you can see the two flirting in a natural way, but in other parts it is bad to the point of being campy. For all of the bluster about the shocking sex scenes in the book, the movie seems pretty tame in comparison to what I've heard. I haven't read the books myself, so I can't make a true comparison. Fifty Shades of Grey ends up being an average romance movie with lots of nudity and sex.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Jupiter Ascending


Rated PG-13 / 2 hr 7 min / Action - Adventure - Fantasy

What is it about?

Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones who works as a cleaning lady with her mother. Her cousin gets her to agree to sell her eggs for money so she can buy a telescope. Her father used to be an astronomer, but he died before she was born. When she goes to have her eggs harvested the doctors turn out to be aliens that want to kill her. She then finds out that she is the reincarnation of alien royalty. Once she claims her inheritance, she will then own the Earth. In her previous life she had a daughter and two sons. All of which want to use and manipulate her for power.

You will like it if...

You like pretty special effects with convoluted stories. Jupiter Ascending is one of the most beautiful movies you can see. With the exception of a few action scenes, the special effects are fantastic. There are a few action scenes that are shown zoomed in too close to tell what is going on, or there is so much on the screen that it blocks out everything else. The story is a mixed bag as this they try to have a bit of everything. There are so many parts that make no sense. For instance, they know that Jupiter Jones is royalty because bees. I'm not kidding. It's not all bad as I did enjoy the political manipulation. I thought Eddie Redmayne's performance as the antagonist Balem Abrasax was particularly interesting, but it was the only noteworthy performance. The romance between Tatum and Kunis felt painfully forced at every turn. As much as I like Mila Kunis, she looks like she is lost in this role. The character ends up being the naive damsel in distress in the pretty dress over and over, while Channing Tatum does.. Channing Tatum things. The Wachowskis spent too much time making Jupiter Ascending beautiful down to the pixel, but not enough time on the script to make anyone care about what is going on.