Friday, October 22, 2010

Paranormal Activity 2

So whether you liked the first Paranormal Activity or hated it, clearly a sequel was in the works from the moment the first movie was pulling in cash.

The second movie actually starts out about three months before the first movie takes place and this time, we're following the sister of Katie (the girl who went nuts in the first movie). Christie is her name and she's living with her boyfriend/husband (it's never made that clear) and his daughter from a previous marriage. They have just had a baby, named Hunter, and well... From here on in it's clear that only one thing is going to happen. This "entity" is on a mission for Hunter and for whatever reason, this thing likes to scare the shit out of it's target before it finally tries to take the baby.

This movie was a lot better than the first one for one simple fact, it keeps you on the edge of your seat every single time the shots switch to night. Though some of the freakiest stuff happens during the day, the night shots are where this movie shines. Impressively, the actors in this one are much more believable and I honestly felt anxious the whole time.

Interestingly enough, we see Katie and Micah (since it is her sister) and you are treated to the before Katie freak out moments where her personality shines. The camera shots are a lot more balanced as they are taken strictly from the houses security cameras.

The haunts from the first film are actually not repeated in this film. The director, Tod Williams, keeps things extremely fresh and don't go for the cheap scares but rather builds up the tension and terror until the last 25 minuetes of the film and then really lets things fly off the handle. Without a doubt, this movie is much better than the first and though it's been the first horror film of the season for me, I give this a 7 out of 10.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Social Network

A movie about Facebook. That's the story of The Social Network, simply put and it was amazing. David Fincher puts together the amazing history of Mark Zuckerberg and what's know known as one of the biggest social sites ever to hit the internet.

As the story kicks off the whole story is set to the narration of Mark getting sued by two different parties. The movie itself times in at about two hours and with the pacing of Zuckerberg's talking speed never seems to stop for a moment. If you're like me and don't really understand computer coding and those technical terms, some of the stuff will be lost, but it doesn't effect the storyline at all.

What's really interesting about this movie is that it combines the story of a documentary but at the same time, has the drama of a brilliant movie. Almost to the point where you question what actually happened in real life and what was added as artistic integrity. Many of the scenes were inspired by (from what I know) true events. Such as Zuckerberg showing up to a big business meeting in pajamas, or Sean Parker, the creator of Napster, (played by Justin Timberlake) joining in on the whole Facebook website explosion.

Certain scenes in this movie are brilliantly filmed and make this movie absolutely amazing. As the story progresses, we really see the aloof-ness that Zuckerberg shows everyone. Whether it's the lawyers or his friends, Eisenberg makes Zuckerberg appear to always be on his own plane of existence and rarely shows any respect to his friends or peers.

Now I'm not sure how much of this was actually true or what has been works of fiction. But this movie did not feel anywhere near two hours. I could have actually sat there for another half hour or so just to see how things play out. In the end, this movie simply makes me want to learn more about coding and facebook and all the "stuff" that goes into making a 25 billion dollar website that just wanted to connect everyone's peers.

Easily, this movie gets a 8 out of 10


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Easy A

Easy A. There really isn’t much to be said on this movie. Initially, walking out of the theater, I was first disappointed in it. Going in I was honestly hoping that it was going to be a funny movie with a lot of sexual undertones. But honestly, it left me wanting more.

Emma Stone plays Olive, a girl going through high school, who wouldn’t show up on your radar if you were looking for her. That is until one day when her best friend finds out that rather than going camping with her, she went on a “date” for the whole weekend. Thus leading her friend to think she lost her virginity. Marianne (played by Amanda Bynes) over hears this and being the Jesus freak that she is, spreads the rumor. And anyone who has been to any high school knows, those kinds of rumors spread fast as all hell.

So Olive slowly gets noticed for the simple fact that she is no longer a virgin. One of her friends, Brandon, who is extremely gay, asks her to pretend they slept together in order to help him not get ridiculed by the school jocks. Thus leading the lie even deeper and creating this image of her that she’s a slut.

The movie moves along at a decent pace and I never once thought that the movie drug on too long. But I did think that the jokes just didn’t connect. Lisa Kudrow plays Mrs. Griffith, a guidance counselor at the school, and where she was once a great actress, her performance just falls short. One scene where she’s suppose to be upset and frazzled, just comes off as terrible acting and made me want to just shut my ears off.

There are plenty of decent names in this movie ranging from Lisa Kudrow to Thomas Haden Church and Malcolm McDowell, but none seem to really get this movie and understand the parts like Emma Stone does. She just shines through and through. Her narration in the movie is both witty and comical without being over the top.

Although some of the jokes just fall flat on their face, there are a good amount of these jokes that just get you off guard and are brilliantly written. The family of Olive is easily one of the best moments in the movie. The father and mother both have some great lines such and their comedic uses are one of the few reasons I would even think about giving this movie another run through.

But as far as a final score, this one left me wanting too much, and I just didn’t seem satisfied by what was given. So thanks to Emma Stone, this movie earns a 5 out of 10.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

If you have to see one movie this summer, for me it's a tough call between Inception and Scott Pilgrim. If you're looking for the most all-encompassing movie, Scott Pilgrim would win out hands down. This movie is unclassifiable for the simple reason that it has something for everyone, and I do mean everyone. Fight scenes, comedy, romance, Nerdy/geeky stuff; and that's just to name a few.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World is a comic/manga that is meandering through life. His band, the Sex Bob-ombs are good, he's dating a high school girl (though he's 22), and he just ran into the girl of his dreams. Seriously, he has a dream about her and then there she appears. Scott (Michael Cera) eventually finds this girls name is Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and starts his journey to win her heart. Little does he know, in order to do this he needs to defeat her seven evil ex's.

Simple enough plot right? Well, this movie is anything but simple and ordinary. Throw in the old school 80's Batman "Kapow" and "Thud" along with video game elements like extra lives, and an 8-bit Universal intro and any fanboy of movies or video games will be pleased with this movie.

There literally was one moment where I thought to myself "There has not been a bad scene yet" and true enough, every single scene is brilliant and ripped right from the books. The music was amazing, from the high energy fight songs to the smallest sound effect, or even using Universal's theme in the movi, was placed at the appropriate time. Lights and acting were easily the best part, namely the acting.

Michael Cera still plays the same character he plays in every movie, but it seems that all the other movies were put there to build Scott Pilgrim into a great full flesh and blood character. Though the characters obviously know their in a movie/comic (in the book they reference it a few times) they don't take the acting to seriously, but they are able to pull the aloof-ness of the book into the movie.

I wish that I could say that I have enough to talk about this movie but the truth is I could pick out brilliant moment after brilliant moment throughout this film. Not once did I feel this movie drug in any way. Actually the opposite, with a run time of around two hours, I almost could have sat through more. This movie left such a great feeling in me that I wanted to walk right back in and sit through another showing. That's why I give Scott Pilgrim vs The World a 9.5, wait... make that 9.75 out of 10

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Despicable Me

Despicable Me, initially a movie that had nothing at all about it in the trailer but a bunch of celebrity names. Second trailer comes in and we find a little more about the movie. So, in case you didn't really pay attention, the best way to describe this movie is a heart felt spy vs spy.

With an A-list cast, and great animation behind it, you really love these characters from beginning to end. Steve Carell plays Gru, the over the hill villain who is determined to get back on top once he finds out that some new villain has stepped in and stolen a Pyramid from Egypt and replaced it with an inflatable copy. Jason Segel joins the cast as Gru's villainous enemy, Vector, who is just starting his carrer as the owner to the Pyramid.

Initially, this movie plays to the children who drug their parents to see it with cutesy humour and child like humor. But then it brings in the adults with a deeper humor (think Shrek movies, but not as obvious). Gru eventually adopts three little orphan girls in order to steal Vector's shrink ray. While at first he puts them off as nuisances but eventually he learns to love them. Gru's mastermind plan once stealing the shrink ray, is to steal the moon, but without funding from the Bank of Evil, he's forced to make changes.

The minions easily became a favorite of mine, even though you can't understand what they are saying with out the Best Buy Minion translator (plugging away at my day job). Though they are much like Kenny from South Park, you can't understand them fully, but still get the gist of what's trying to be past along. While they bring most of the humor, it's really once the kids are introduced to the minions (or cousins as Gru refers to them around the kids) is when the humor really kicks into high gear.

Very few movies this summer has caught my attention enough to come home and write a review, but this movie so far makes my top five without fail. This movie kept me entertained and laughing for the majority of the film and really touches your heart once you start connecting to the character. No animation movie has caught me like this since my first time watching Toy Story. And I'm proud enough to easily give this film an 8 out of 10.