Specializing in short, honest movie reviews.

February 19, 2014

Winter's Tale

I had just gotten done listening to a bit on the radio about how the worst movies of the year come out in February, and then I went to this movie. The radio does not lie. This movie is really bad. It's not even fun bad, it's just "I feel embarrassed for these people" bad. You know you are in trouble when the magic flying horse is one of the more believable plot contrivances. The completely unnecessary narrator was gratingly annoying, trying to ascribe depth or meaning or something to this poorly planned pile of film vomit. Do yourself a favor and go see Frozen again instead.

January 31, 2014


The Riverside has been showing a weekly "classic" film, which is how I can justify reviewing a movie that came out in 1987. I have seen The Princess Bride approximately one bazillion times, and it continues to be awesome. However, I always forget how utterly irritating and useless Buttercup is until I have to watch her standing around twiddling her thumbs while Westley faces near-constant death trying to save her dumb ass.

It was fun seeing this movie in a theater full of other people who have also seen it one bazillion times. Nobody was too bad about reciting the lines along with the characters, but people did start giggling before all the punch lines. And, at the very end, when Grandpa says "As you wish" to the kid, the old woman in front of me let out a really loud but obviously sincere "Aww!" and everybody laughed (but in a nice way).

I somehow managed to be dating the only person on earth who had not seen this movie, so I made him go with me even though he didn't really want to. "We're going to see an old movie? In a theater? And paying full price? Why?" But by the end of the movie, he was totally into it, and when it was over, he turned to me and said, "That was a good movie!" Yep. It's a good movie.

January 11, 2014

Hunger Games Part II: Hungrier and Gamier!

I hate when people make a movie whose sole purpose is to be an advertisement for the sequel. I call bullshit! That being said, if you want to sit through a two-and-a-half hour long advertisement for the Hunger Games Part III, you should definitely see this movie.

January 3, 2014

Thor 2, Frozen, The Croods (DVD)

We bloggers were informed that we are horrible human beings for not updating this blog regularly, especially when some of us have actually seen movies.  SORRY.

So, without further ado, Thor 2!

I really enjoyed this.  It has the same pleasant mixture of humor, sci-fi awesomeness, and action that the first Thor did.  Also, Tom Hiddleston has somehow weaseled his way into my affections by being a bad guy.  I don't even know.  My only complaint is that somewhere between the first film and this one Odin turned into a giant asshole.  The hell?

I enjoyed Olaf, the snowman, way more than I anticipated.  This movie was pretty cute, and has a nice little love story of the family kind (though, since its Disney, they did throw in a little romantic love too).  Not my favorite of the animated films I've seen this year, but it was fun. I have mixed feelings on Idina Menzel's singing...part of me adores her, but part of me wishes she didn't belt out everything ALL the time.  I actually like single/Demi Lovato version of "Let it Go" better than the one in the movie, which is probably sacrilege.  Kristen Bell was amazing, though (I had no idea she could sing--you go, girl!)

The Croods:
I rented this on a whim over New Years Eve because my father and I are both 12 and still love animated features.  A friend (with kids) had been forced to see this at some point and had been pleasantly surprised by it, so I decided to give it a chance.

You guys.  It is gorgeous.  The animation is amazeballs, its funny, and I was highly pleased.  Dreamworks has completely cemented itself into my heart (How To Train Your Dragon gets most of the credit for that, though).  Blog favorite Nicolas Cage is the voice of the father, which is both amazing and hilarious. Nicolas Cage is kind of cartoon anyway, so it works.

October 27, 2013

Instructions Not Included

I only saw this movie by accident. Like most lazy Americans, I would never intentionally subject myself to a subtitled movie (or, you know, bother to learn a second language). But I ended up at a theater where I had to pick a movie based solely on the requirement that it must start within 15 minutes, and this was it. I admit that I entertained the idea of sneaking into Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs Part 2 when the subtitling thing became apparent, but I'm glad I stayed.

This movie is about an immature man-whore in Mexico who gets left with an unexpected reminder of his playboy ways - a baby. The mother leaves the baby and takes off, and the rest of the movie is a cute, sweet story about dad and daughter. The characters are generally one-dimensional but amusing, and the movie manages to be funny despite ranging from a little silly to over-the-top ridiculous. I won't say anything else so I don't give anything away, because you really should go see this movie. It's a good reminder about how you should be careful about judging other people because you really don't know the whole story.

I recommend Cinemarella not see this movie without a full box of tissues, because the end is pretty rough. Seriously. You're going to need to bear down.

August 28, 2013


Obviously, The World's End is a very good movie, DUH.

August 11, 2013

The Way, Way Back

I adored this.  Sam Rockwell is awesome-sauce.  The kid who plays the awkward teen was either a really good actor, or actually super awkward (I suspect the latter). Either way, it works.  Steve Carrell is awesome because I hated his total douche-lord of a character. 

I also appreciated that the end wasn't totally predictable/a happy ending.  Thumbs up, movie!

July 21, 2013

The Last 20 Movies I Saw!


I'm sorry, I haven't reviewed a movie in about six months because I was starting a new job and teaching a class and being suuuuuuper pregnant. Now I'm going to have a baby any minute and I promised my co-bloggers I'd catch up. So I made a list and it turns out I've seen 20 movies since my last review (first run only--this doesn't count the probably 20 more movies I've seen at the New Beverly and Cinefamily and the Egyptian and the Autry Museum and ohhhhhh I see a lot of movies). Time to review all 20 in one post!

The Hobbit: Don't remember. Think it was just okay.

Zero Dark Thirty: Liked it.

Gangster Squad: Ha ha ha this one was a total mess. It was like Gangster Muppet Babies. At one point the gangster squad gets together in a bar and everyone yells "TO THE GANGSTER SQUAD!" and they all cheer and clink their beers together. Also Sean Penn is very silly in this movie.

Django Unchained: Loved it, especially the first half when Django and the German guy are bounty hunting. Not as interested in the plantation parts until shit starts blowing up. Christoph Waltz is the best. Also the scene where they ride out of town to a Jim Croce song is now one of my favorite movie scenes of all time.

Mama: Good and scary, but would have been gooder and scarier if they showed the scary ghost less.

Parker: We were the only people in the theater for this one (this is the Jason Statham-Jennifer Lopez movie you've forgotten existed) so when John went to the bathroom the rest of us scattered throughout the whole theater and hid from him. It was more fun than the movie.

Side Effects: Liked it but don't remember too much about it.

Oblivion: Liked this one more than I thought I would but it's not that great. I really liked the set design of his little secret cabin by a lake.

Pain and Gain: Some very funny parts, but overall it was too mean for me to really like it all the way.

The Great Gatsby: This cartoon was stupid. It also reminded me that I don't like the book.

Star Trek Whichever Chapter: Not as good as the last one, but still very good. I got into a fight with a lady who wouldn't turn off her cell phone because she was constantly "checking on her kids." She did NOT like it when I suggested she check on her kids in the lobby like a decent human being. But she couldn't punch me because I was pregnant. POINT: RINGHOFF.

The Fast and the Furious 6: YAY I LOVE FAST AND FURIOUS MOVIES!!!!!

This Is the End: Pretty entertaining, actually, if you can ignore the dumber gross-out "jokes". Michael Cera was good.

Only God Forgives: This was the new Ryan Gosling one by the guy who did Drive. It sucked and Kristin Scott Thomas was fucking terrible.

World War Z: Yay this one was great! I am sick to death of zombie movies and TV shows where it's all about a bunch of survivors who spend the whole time arguing and being drama queens. In this one, everyone works together to battle the zombies, and it's done really well, and you actually get a sense of the global scale of the thing. Highly recommended!

White House Down: This is exactly what you would expect it to be.

A Band Called Death: The current documentary style of interesting setup-sad downturn-belated redemption is getting old, but the people in this movie are so likeable that it doesn't really matter.

Pacific Rim: GIANT ROBOTS PUNCHING GODZILLAS? YES PLEASE! This is actually really entertaining all the way through because Guillermo del Toro doesn't take himself too seriously (like Michael Bay or some other horrible action director would).

The Heat: This one is formulaic and I could not be less interested in Sandra Bullock playing another "uptight neurotic career lady" role, but Melissa McCarthy is fucking incredible. She totally commits to her character being a monster all the way through, and is hilarious. Worth renting.

RIPD: Ridiculous and derivative plot, but who cares when Jeff Bridges is being so Jeff Bridgesy and the movie's only 90 minutes long and is completely entertaining? If you're going to make a shitty summer movie, it should be like this one.

THERE I DID IT! Tonight I'm going to see Slapshot at the New Beverly as my last movie before I have a baby. After that I'm only going to like MOMMY MOVIES so FUUUUUUUUUCK YOU!

July 4, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

I'll come right out and admit that I'm totally a Joss Whedon fangirl.  Despite this, however, I was a little wary about this film.  I don't often care for Shakespeare mashed into modern times.

Somehow, though, this film worked for me.  It's not my most favorite thing ever, but I did love several things about it.  That fact it's in black and white really helps, I think, give it a sort of old timey feel despite the fact the actors are in modern dress.  There are several great/random shots (i.e. the poster of the gentleman in the scuba mask with the martini glass) that make it kind of artsy and fun.

I loved Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker as Benedick and Beatrice, though this might be due to residual Fred/Wesley feels (Angel reference! Nerd alert!), but my favorite performances are those of Nathan Fillion and Tom Lenk, who play the ridiculous leaders of the night watch/police.  HILARIOUS.

So, if you like Shakespeare and you like Joss Whedon, you'll probably like this film.  I went with two people who knew nothing about Joss Whedon, but like Shakespeare, and they both really enjoyed it.  If you don't like Joss/Shakespeare, you should probably skip this one.

May 22, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness


I am pleased to report that the second new Star Trek film is very good.  I was a little worried it would be a plot repeat in the beginning, but it worked out.  I also now understand the fascination with Benedict Cumberbatch's voice--he shall make an excellent Smaug, for sure.

My only minor complaint is that I'm worried they're starting to get a little *too* silly with McCoy, which is a shame because I love Karl Urban's portrayal--dial it back, J.J.

I loved a lot of the effects in the film (especially the warp "trail') and I actually (gasp) enjoyed and noticed the 3D in this movie.  This is new for me...I'm  not sure how to feel about it.