Movies new and old, from the most artistic of films to the campiest of films. They all get reviewed here and not from some stuffed up suit that forgets why people actually go to the theater to see films.
Tired of reading a review only to end up at the theater disappointed? I am here for you because I am just like you. I'm a film collector that enjoys all sorts of films. From Star Wars to Black Swan and from Fight Club to Half Baked with everything in between, I will let you know what films you should go to the theater to see or rent from red box or even check out on netflix.
Movies that deal with perception, specifically the mind always have a way to impact the audience, be it good or bad. Lucy is a unique look into what the mind could be capable of which is helped along by a solid performance from Scarlett Johansson.
The tale of Lucy is a simple one. Lucy places her trust in the wrong person, a mistake that leads her to a place that no one wants to be. Choice is taken away and an accident leads to a life altering event that frees her completely.
Lucy is a well casted, visually pleasing film that takes an interesting concept and adapted it into a unique story that leaves you thinking. We here at MJR liked this film and though the last dozen or so minutes got a bit bizarre it was an enjoyable film that we suggest you check out when it hits DVD.
Ninja Turtles returned to theaters recently and it was everything you would expect being a Michael Bay film. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has seen many incarnations on many platforms over the years and despite some ups and downs has earned its spot in pop culture.
The newest installment for the franchise combines CGI and live action to a fairly successful degree and while it will be debated how the turtles looked, this film was the successful at giving the four turtles a difference in their appearances to go along with their personalities. A slight change in their back story and Splinter and company have their most believable origin story yet for a far out there, never going to happen concept.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was nothing great in the long run. It’s relatable to one of those cheesy, mindless films you have see in the past that easily keep you entertained while shutting your brain off. The acting was standard, but nothing memorable and definitely nothing not worthy. However, where Ninja Turtles does shine is its humor and action scenes. There were quite a few scenes of levity that had the majority of the theater laughing it up and this film by far has the best fight scenes in the franchise and Splinter’s breakout role as a master of the arts.
We honestly can’t recommend that you go see this film at the theaters, but if you are a fan of the franchise then we here at MJR suggest that you check it out on DVD.
Over the last 10 years or so it has appeared that Marvel owns the movie world. You have naysayers who believe that the film industry has been over saturated with super-hero films and that they are all the same and so have lost their appeal. Perhaps we are a tad bit bias here at MJR, but we vehemently disagree and believe that Marvel only gets better with each new film they release.
Guardians of the Galaxy manages to surpass all expectations and the film industry has another successful trilogy on the way. Guardians has it all, from a great cast to an even better story that not only sets up future films for the series, but also gives more insight to insight to the other Marvel films. The soundtrack is second to none and what makes it unique is that Guardians of the Galaxy takes place out in the universe, but the music is from no later than 1988. Great humor along with great action keep this years summer blockbuster moving quickly and before you know it, it is all over and the next 3 years seem like such a long time.
There is a common theme that our main characters have in common that brings them together and that is loss. Unlike the Avengers, more often than not you find the Guardians on the wrong side of the law. An object of immense importance draws them together, but not as a unit. Trouble leads them to prison and a big pay day helps them escape. The truth of what they are carrying and the danger it poses to not only them but to the whole universe is what truly unites this and of misfits.
Humor, action, sexy women, a great soundtrack and even better story make Guardians of the Galaxy must see and we here at MJR will have this one playing over and over in the jukebox.
The next review we have for you is easily in contention for one of our favorite films of the year so far and will be hard to top. Though it is a sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a wonderfully crafted story that utilizes excellent acting from the actors we see on screen and the actors such as Andy Serkis who voice the apes and do a lot of blue screen work that help make these apes look so real and authentic. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has a very original feel and has you hooked in from the start.
10 years have gone by since we last saw Caesar (Andy Serkis) and in that 10 years there is little in the world that looks like it once was. The drug that was tested on apes to help with alzheimers had an adverse reaction to most humans on the planet. Called the simian flu, this deadly virus spread throughout the world quickly and killed off a majority of its population within 5 years and led to a breakdown in civilization the 5 years after that.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a film with many layers. It avoids the stereotypical good and bad and forces the viewer to realize this isn’t going to be a black and white story. The conflict between man and ape is understandable and yet completely avoidable. Years of suffering and cruelty along with love and understanding shape both man and ape in the actions they take and the consequences of those actions.
We here at MJR loved this film. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the complete package as far as story telling goes and leaves the viewer eager for what may come. Definitely go see this film and do it soon, you won’t regret it.
This summer brought us another Transformers film from Michael Bay. It seems that in the movie industry that if something makes you money, then keep doing it even if the story becomes lost in the sound of the kaching of the cash register.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a movie that shouldn’t have been made. Yes, there are explosions and lots of action that draw in a certain category of viewers but even they must admit that the story doesn’t make much sense. 4 years after the previous film, autobots are being hunted down by their former human allies who have made a deal with a former decepticon turned galatic bounty hunter, while having scientist work on the “dead” mind of Megatron. A recipe for disaster and that doesn’t even mention the fact that this film roles in just under the 3 hour mark.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a poorly executed story that introduces a new cast that you quite can’t relate to or really get behind. Once again the autobots face overwhelming odds, just to over come them and leave room for another film to be made. The only really interesting piece of plot that Age of Extinction introduces is the creation of the transformers what truly are their origins.
We here at MJR can’t give this film our approval. If you are looking for a brainless movie with explosions and cgi then check it out, but we say wait for it to be on T.V.
Tatum and Hill are back in what could be this summer’s funniest comedy. The action along with the laughs are bigger and the chemistry of the first film is just as strong.
22 Jump Street picks up where 21 left off and Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are in the thick of it. A drug bust gone wrong leads them back to Jump Street with more money and a new case. Sent back to school but this time it is college but this time all it takes is a slight change to keep the laughs coming. Hill and Tatum end up with a case of role reversals from the first film and that is all it takes to keep this film feeling fresh and not just a rehash.
22 Jump Street has Jenko (Tatum) fitting and getting too deep undercover while Schmidt (Hill) is feeling left out and insecure. Ice Cube as Captain Dickson is given a larger role and his interaction with the two leads only adds to the hilarity. Without giving too much away lets sum up; messing up a case leads back to a jump street with more money and being undercover at college searching for a new mystery drug. A bout of clinginess leads to a forced separation while Jenko (Tatum) bonds with his new frat and Schmidt (Hill) on the outs. Spring break leads to a reunion and chases with gunshots and hilarious scenes of violence that you have to see to believe and maybe someone sleeping with the bosses daughter.
22 Jump Street is one of those movies that it is better to see than read about so I kept my review minimal. Needless to say that we here at MJR urge you to see it and hope you end up in tears of laughter like we were at points.
Edge of Tomorrow features an earth in peril. An alien invasion that has destroyed most of Europe with only China and Russia fighting in the east and the allies once more facing France from England. Tom Cruise stars an American officer that finds himself in a bit of trouble on the eve of an invasion that dwarfs D-day of 1944.
Cage (Cruise) is a man not fit to serve. He didn’t join because he believe in the cause or felt a strong need to save the world but rather to help with a project he worked on. This only starts the worst day in his life. Forced on the fronts lines in his first battle, death is almost guaranteed. Landing on the beaches of Normandy is a nightmare. Death surrounds him as they battle the alien forces and Cage (Cruise) does everything he can to stay alive when an unexpected event happens. While about to die, he blows himself and the enemy up, but in the process he ingests the blood of the alien restarting the worst day in his life.
Day after day he faces the same fate. Wake, fight, die and repeat. Day after day he manages to progress a bit further in the battle before he dies. Unaware of what he is ultimately suppose do until his path crosses the ‘Angel of Verdun’, Rita Vrataski played wonderfully by the extremely talented and gorgeous Emily Blunt. She pieces together what is happening with Cage (Crusie) as it had happened to her. She trains him day after day until he is forged into a weapon strong enough to fight the enemy.
Edge of Tomorrow is an interesting look at a film that is more than just an alien invasion film. The story is carried very well by Blunt and Cruise. The former playing a character with similar experiences to Cruise’s. A large about of focus is on how well Cage knows Rita (Blunt) after spending an infinite number days with her while every day is the first day for her.
We here at MJR enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow. It is a fresh takes on a war film that really isn’t a war film. You don’t need to see it in theaters but we do think you need to see it at some point.