Movie Review: The Night Before

She “Home Alone’d” me!

 

The-Night-Before-Joseph-Gordon-Levitt-Seth-Rogen-Anthony-Mackie-e1444876606309

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (left) Seth Rogen (center) Anthony Mackie (right)

So its that time of year when we eat lots of food, hang out with close friends and family, open presents (if you are into that) and watch holiday themed movies. One of the recent ones of 2015 is The Night Before. Writer/Director by Jonathan Levine (50/50, All the Boys love Mandy Lane, Warm Bodies) reunites with both Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Seth Rogen from 50/50 with added bonus Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The first Avenger, Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron) for the latest raunchy comedy to hit the screen.

In it you find 3 best friends from a younger age who have been together every Christmas since Ethan’s (Joseph’s character) parents both died. Now in their 30’s both Isaac & Chris Roberts (Seth and Anthony respectively) have their own lives and responsibilities going on have decided to make this the last Christmas with Ethan and cutting the tradition. So to make it the best Xmas ever, they finally score tickets to the best Xmas party that secretly happens every year, The Nutcracka Ball but unable to attend until now. Hijinks ensues.

download (2)

The boys doing some Karaoke.

This is definitely a buddy comedy with over the top physical comedy that is for the adults and kid at hearts. A lot of the jokes are sex and drug related. Of course what comedy nowadays doesn’t have the minimum of gay jokes and innuendos in them. This movie does have a moment of “getting real” and have a couple of serious moments as its time for the child to become a man.

download (1)

Seth Rogen imitating Jesus on the cross.

If you plan on seeing this movie, please please PLEASE! be a fan of Seth Rogen. I don’t agree with this but apparently you either love him or hate him when it comes to his sense of humor and acting. I will say that he brings most of the laughs from the movie. I also think he delivers quite well in this film. I had a lot of laugh out loud moments watching him. You get the “Neighbors and This is the End” vibe but those movies I think were a lot smarter in the script and plot. Think of this movie along the realm of Half baked or Harold and Kumar movies.

The cast is solid in its supporting cast. You will see a lot of people who have become more seen or popular in the last couple of years in movie and tv. There are definitely a good amount of cameos as well. Jonathan Levine does a great job in creating a good holiday movie. This will definitely go under the great list of other anti-holiday films. What I mean by that is a Christmas themed movie while being the complete opposite of a family film.

+1 Engaged and alert with laughter
+1 acting was great. Seth Rogen brings it
+1/2 for good story but predictable and over the top antics but has heart.
+1/2 recommendation. I officially recommend watching this if you like raunchy adult comedies. No rush in seeing it at the movies vs. waiting for Blu-ray or Netflix.
+1 replay value. I would watch this again. Maybe next year.

Total – 4 points out of 5

The trailers at the beginning: The Boss YES, Deadpool HELL YES, How to be single EH LOOKS OKAY, Dirty Grandpa COULD BE GOOD, Pride + Prejudice + Zombie NOPE.

Once again, thanks for reading my review. I hope it helped. I’d like to hear from you and what you thought of the movie. Please comment below.

Movie Review: Circle 2015

“What is his name?”

I’ve had this movie on my queue for a while. I remember hearing about this movie from SIFF. I really enjoy movies like these. Circle was directed by Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione. They were inspired by the movie 12 angry men. Which explains the pace and tone of the movie. Circle is a psychological thriller involving 50 people who wake up in a room unable to move and have no idea how they got there. They find out there is a device in the middle of the room after a certain amount of time kills them one by one. So their time is limited and they have to figure out what is happening, why they are there, and how they can escape the circle.

Circle

I really enjoy movies like these. You will notice in some of my reviews, I think movies that take place in real time or in a matter of one or two days in the plot are some of the greats. One reason for that is that they don’t waste time. They get started right from the get go. Some people like for the point to just hit you in the face from the jump and others don’t. Part of the downside in filming in this format is that you don’t get too much back story. This is one of them. The story and anything that is needed to know is explained through dialogue. So keep that in mind when watching this film.

Continue reading

Movie Review: Secret in their Eyes

Coming Attractions before the show:

Midnight Special. Drama and Fantasy. Starring Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, and Adam Driver. Click here for the trailer.

The Big Short. Comedy. Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Click here for the trailer.

The H8teful Eight. Comedy and Action. Starring Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson and more from the Quentin T. family. Click here for the trailer.

The Boy. Horror. Starring Lauren Cohan. Click here for the trailer. ” THIS LOOKS GOOD”



 

“My daughter was the thing that made me, me.”

So I usually don’t go to movies like these at the movies because Dramas usually are just as good watching at home especially if they are quite dramas. You don’t want other people around you making lots of noise while you are watching people talk for almost 2 hours. However, here I am watching this at the movies because it looks good. I enjoyed the trailer and I want to see how it plays out.

What I learned is that this movie is actually a remake of a 2010 Argentine Film, which apparently won an Oscar, called El Secreto De Sus Ojos.  In the center of it all is Chiwetel Ejiofor. He plays an FBI investigator who develops a little bit of an obsession in solving a murder case that hits real close to home. Along for the ride is Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman.

secret-in-their-eyes-set-photoSo as I mentioned earlier, this film deals with what is considered justice and how obsession can consume you and make you do things you never saw yourself doing. The movie runs as a 1h and 41 min movie but felt a lot longer than that. I think there were a couple of scenes that could have been condense or taken out. The movie also plays off the flashback format by revealing a past leading up to the current central plot of the movie.

However, the way that they jump back and forth between the past and present is a little sloppy and possibly hard to follow. Towards the middle of the movie I manage to keep up with where they were in the timeline by their hair. The characters will either have more hair in the past vs the present with the exception of Chiwetel’s character who just has some grey in his hair. So make sure to pay attention. There is some great drama in this movie and delivers a different on a typical story with the pace of the movie.

maxresdefault

Julia Roberts (left) Nicole Kidman (center) Chiwetel Ejiofor (right) 

The acting is solid and what an amazing cast of actors too. Although I thought Julia Roberts was the main star of this film she kind of takes a back seat to this movie but her scenes are still pretty good. Nicole Kidman had a scene where she had me snapping my fingers in excellence.

Overall, I think the movie was okay. I wasn’t bored throughout it was just a little slow. It does have a solid ending which I think makes the movie worth your money but do you need to pay to see this at the movies right away…the answer is no. I would see this movie, if you want something different than the holiday cheer type of movies you get around this time.

+1 for staying awake and paying attention
+1/2 for the slow pace and okay story. Solid ending though
+1 for great acting. No cheesy one liners
0 for recommendation. If this sounds like your cup of tea but not a must see. I recommend seeing The Gift instead.
0 for replay value. No need to watch it again.

Total: 2 1/2 points out of 5

I hope this review helped your decision on this movie. Anyone who has seen it, I’d love to hear what you thought. Comment below and have a good day moviegeeks.

Movie Review: The Hunger Games: MockingJay Part 2

“Real or Not Real”

So the time has come. The final movie to the successful franchise regarding a war between Good&Evil, Rich&Poor Katniss Everdeen & President Snow. The movie was a good mix of action and drama. More on the latter as we learn the outcome of 12 districts and also a conclusion of that love triangle you all have been following from the beginning. At least for me and those of you who only watched the movies and not the books.

Yes, this review is based on what I saw from the movies and not from what happened in the books. So there is no comparison or influence in my score for the movie. Overall, I liked the movie. Was it the best? Ehhhh.. I wouldn’t say that. I have no doubt that this last installment will be successful financially but I do prefer one or two of the previous films over this one.

katniss

We start the story where MockingJay Pt 1 left off. As 2 movies broken into 2 tend to do. Peeta just finished proving to Katniss and those watching that size doesn’t matter and to watch out for the little guys. After dealing with that bit of drama the story moves forward with a plan to continue to recruit from the remaining districts to fight against The Capitol. Part of their strategy is to continue the propaganda and sort of manipulative ways to encourage those to fight with Katniss. It is all or nothing at this point, in many different ways and the movie doesn’t waste time getting started.

The action is brought in with President Snow turning his district into an updated Labyrinth with him as The Goblin King in the center with traps, creatures, and peacekeepers there to stop her.

I thought this movie was entertaining but a little slow in the beginning. I heard rumors of this third book being very slow and a little depressing. I would say the movie carried that same theme but definitely gave us something to watch as far as the excitement we received from the previous movies. I thought the writing for the second half was good. They definitely needed to break these two movies apart to tell this full story. They brought back a lot of familiar faces and closed a lot of loose ends but then opened up more. The action is brought in with President Snow turning his district into an updated “Labyrinth” with him as The Goblin King in the center with traps, creatures, and peacekeepers there to stop her. Let me say that they don’t disappoint in that delivery.

hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-katniss-gale

Liam Hemsworth (Gale) Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) heading through the capitol.

I thought the acting was solid as well. The cast has always been great in this movie. Jennifer doesn’t disappoint giving us a leader, a hero, a women who is struggling with the responsibility of being a face of a revolution. She is a strong actress that definitely brings the confidence while hiding fear in the back of her mind through this movie. You also believe the love she has for her family and friends. Even the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman is back in this film. Which you can tell they had to CGI him into some scenes. We miss you Phil. I have to give it to Josh Hutcherson who gave a good performance as well as a damaged Peeta who is struggling with what is real and not real since his time in captivity.

Overall, this movie was about trust and hope for me. I found myself questioning the ties she has with her alliance and also what is and what isn’t acceptable when going to war. At the end of the day, is Katniss’s mission worth all that has happened since The first Hunger Games movie. It is slow in some parts and has a very weird abrupt close towards the end but I think it is worth seeing if you have been watching up till now. If anything, seeing this at the movies benefits you with the jumps and scares that comes from the action of the film. They deliver on more suspenseful action than just your “kill kill explosion kill kill” kind of action.

+1 Didn’t fall asleep
+1/2 Writing
+1 Acting
+1 recommendation
0 Replay value No need to see it but once.

Total: 3 1/2 points out of 5

What did you all think of the movie? Comment below moviegeeks. I want to hear what you thought as well. Also click here for the trailers you could see at your screening.

Coming Attractions on MockingJay2

These set of trailers definitely got me amped up for Mockingjay2. Here is what was on my showing:

The Divergent Series: Allegiant. Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Octavia Spencer, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Daniel Dae Kim and Naomi Watts.

I definitely look forward to this movie. Great action and the full cast is back. Click here for the trailer.


Zoolander 2. Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Kristin Wiig, and Will Ferrell.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the first one but to those who are will look forward to this movie. I sense tons of cameos and some laughs. I’m still on the fence about this one. I’d go for Will Ferrell. Click here for the trailer.

 


The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, and Jessica Chastain.

I can’t wait for this movie. The song on this trailer made this trailer for me. The EVIL QUEEN IS BACK!!! Click here for the trailer.


Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Gal Gadot, and Holly Hunter.

Of course I will be there first weekend if not first showing when this is released. This trailer has some new images. Click here for the trailer.

Any of you moviegeeks looking forward to any of these movies? Comment below.

 

Movie Review: Spectre

“You’re a kite flying in a hurricane Mr. Bond.”

Spectre

Spectre, the Sam Mendes(director) follow to the highly successful if not one of the best Bond films out there Skyfall, was released into theatres Nov. 11th worldwide. So I’ll start off by saying that I enjoyed the movie. Overall, I do think the movie could have been better as it wasn’t as thrilling as its predecessors.

I’ll start the review with the tradition of the James Bond films with the action sequence to still show that Bond has still got it and their theme song for the movie. Starting off in Mexico during Día de Muertos (English: Day of the dead) festival we find Bond doing what he does best which is playing assassin to another poor sap about to meet his maker while still wooing a woman in the process. The opening scene was a little comedic and kind of ridiculous for an opening.  It gave off this tone of humor which can be appreciated by those who enjoy a little chuckle while he blows up half of a building or while endangering an entire area full of people trying to take down his target in an uncontrollable helicopter. The scene kind of reminded me to the intro of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with Indy and that damn refrigerator. That is a different subject. Let’s get back to Spectre.

james-bond-spectre_3251384k

Next is the opening credits, which visually are always stunning to look at. The movie opens up with Sam Smith’s Writing on the wall. Which is currently playing in the background as I write this article. It’s catchy. I like it. That is all I’ll say about that.

Spectre gives us the story of this secret organization that has been under the radar for quite some time. Think Hydra in a way for you Marvel fans. As Bond (Daniel Craig) digs deeper into what this organization is, he finds that he is more connected to it than he had anticipated. The secret group is led by Christopher Waltz, who of course is an amazing actor and definitely had me in chills with his shadow intro from the trailer as well as in the film. Of course your usual characters are back to help and not help along the way. The Boss M (Voldemort Ralph Fiennes), Eve MoneyPenny (Naomie Harris), and trusty tech enthusiast Q (Ben Whishaw).

SPECTRE-FinalTrailer

For fans of the Bond films will get a taste of nostalgic in the score, the gadgets, the cars, the women, and the action. If you have been following the Bond films since Daniel Craig’s entrance to the franchise you will definitely get a treat for paying attention to his previous movies. This movie delivers on the locations they shot this film. Every shot was beautiful showing some great structures and views. The explosions and destruction of property whether it’s a wall to a secret room to an entire building were fun and stimulating to look at. It’s funny though, when I watch the film you think you are looking at moving pictures to a GQ or Details magazine with it all being done in the finest menswear out there today.

Okay, lets breakdown this movie.

I managed to stay up through the whole movie with its action, wit, and little humor. The acting in this movie is great. I like all the actors they have chosen for the film. Ben Whishaw’s Q even got to shine by leaving the lab and having some fun out in the field. I will say that Christopher Waltz’s character Oberhauser was wasted in this movie. His character I didn’t think lived up to the anticipation of what the trailer gave us. His acting ability was definitely not utilized for this role and that’s too bad because he has proven to be a great actor to play a good villain. BUMMER!  I do want to give a BIG SHOUT OUT to David Bautista who played the top henchmen Mr. Hinx of the film. You may remember him all covered in colored paint flying in space in Guardians of the Galaxy as Drax. Which gave me a surprise when I saw him because without the makeup and the facial hair he has in the film I didn’t recognize him at first. You know the henchmen in Bond films always get a signature way of attack and his delivers. While speaking only about 2 words in the film minus the grunts and moans he delivered the best performance for me. With his stature and fighting skills, my eyes were glued to the movie with anticipation to his next scene. He definitely gave James Bond a run for his money.

The story to me was a bit predictable and cliché’. As the third act and closing scenes played out it reminded me a lot of a certain horror trilogy, I shall not name, to not give away a possible spoiler. I didn’t find it that interesting. I will say though that the film is worth watching for a good action movie and for any fan that have been watching these movies since day 1.

1pt stayed awake
1pt acting
0pt writing
1pt recommendation
0pt replay value.

3pt score

So what did you think of the movie? I want to hear your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree with my opinion? Was this review helpful? Leave a comment and be sure to follow me for more reviews on movies and thoughts on movie news.

To learn more about how my point system works click here.

Thanks for reading moviegeeks.

Coming Attractions on Spectre

“Best part of going to the movies…the trailers.”

A movie experience at the theatre is not complete without trailers. So I want to give you a highlight of the trailers I saw while watching Spectre.

Continue reading