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.
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.
A future in ruin, a past in turmoil and an ever changing present. X-Men: Days of Future Past brings us into a battered world. The sentinel program that was created to help protect the people against the mutants has turned on them all setting up a future where most are dead and the last of the mutants are being hunted. Only a small groups remain and they use the powers they do have to the best of their abilities so they can stay one step ahead of the sentinels who have grown to be able battle any mutant with any ability.
There is only one chance to save the future and it is by saving the past for both mutants and humans. Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) has not only the ability to phase through objects but also the ability to send someone’s mind back in time, usually just short jumps. Combined with the power of Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) she uses her power to send back Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) who happens to be the only one to have the ability to withstand such a trip and live. Sent back to 1973 his mission to is set Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and a young Xavier (James MacAvoy) on the right path and prevent the murder of Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the maker of the sentinel program.
Wolverine’s (Jackman) task seems an impossible one. First he must convince them of his mission and of where he came from. He must help lead two men on very different paths while searching for Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) a mutant that can appear as anyone she wishes. Lawrence stepped up her performance from the first film and does a great job of portraying a woman angry with the world and feeling alone and afraid. Her and MacAvoy have good chemistry onscreen and the emotional turmoil experience by both characters add nice depth to the film.
Aside from some continuity errors that either make other films in the series or contradict others in a few points, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the best installment to date of the X-men series. A story that changes the past and sets up an open ended future with lots of room to play is a good thing in our book. A great cast with multiple good performances and a lack of extraneous characters that have detracted from films in the past have us buzzing here at MJR and we definitely think you should check this film out on the big screen.
Divergent is another movie in a long line of franchises that has been adapted from page to the screen. Like the Hunger Games, Divergent also stars a strong female character in the leading role. Shailene Woodley stars as Tris in this dystopian America set in the future. A faction based society in what is left of Chicago that forces children to choose one of the 5 factions when they come of age with the motto being faction before family.
As always there is more going on than it seems. A long held peace is being challenged with the introduction of political scandal. All is not perfect in this future when Tris (Woodley) is thrust into the middle of it due to her family and because of her test results that help lead the person to choose a faction.
Divergent is an interesting look at a future where the people are grouped to be one thing for their whole life and work in unison with the other factions who also have different purposes. The rare few who do not fit into any category are called Divergent and are considered a threat to society and the way it is run. Most hide in a faction pretending to be one thing when they could be many. Divergent is a story of a character finding their path in life and choosing who they want to be. One faction deciding they know what is best makes a play for power and eliminating any and all they consider a threat.
A decent movie with an interesting story and a fresh cast. Nothing great and a storyline that has been done before but with the future setting and a cast of fresh faces keeps it interesting. We here at MJR enjoyed it, but definitely think it is more a rental and saving yourself money kind of film.
Godzilla returned to theaters this past week with a lot of anticipation behind it. Take an old idea with todays effects, throw in the writers of today and you have the potential to be making something old feel brand new. Godzilla doesn’t quite live up to that idea but does manage to entertain and have some badass special effects.
Underneath the story of Godzilla there is a personal story taking place as well that deals with a family and how the larger story effects them. The stories run parallel to one another with the larger story arc effecting the personal one causing the characters to deal with the devastation and fear caused by what is happening. They storytellers don’t quite draw you in to connect with the characters and that isn’t helped by the story jumping around too much and that is only a part of the problem. Lack on screen time and a late appearance by Godzilla don’t help grab your attention either.
Was Godzilla an enjoyable film? It had several amazing scenes and action sequences, but it isn’t anything you haven’t already seen. If you are a fan of previous entries then go see it but in the end we here at MJR think your money can be better spent elsewhere.
Seth Rogen is as likely to win an award for acting as I am, but with that being said he has always managed to entertain and amuse us here at MJR. Neighbors is his latest foray into comedy and this time he is teamed up with the sexy and hilarious Rose Byrne.
The story of Neighbors is pretty simple. A married couple with their newest addition to the family move into their dream house. They live happily ever after right? Not even close and this is where the hilarity ensues. The house next door is for sale and they are disheartened when they realize that a frat led by Zach Efron and Dave Franco move in. First impressions are good on both sides, Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) come off as the older couple that can party and keep up with the boys of the frat and Teddy (Efron) and Mac (Rogen) appear like they could be good friends who only argue over who the better batman was.
The peace and the good times are not meant to last however. The constant partying starts to interfere with not only Kelly (Byrne) and Mac’s (Rogen) sleep but their babies as well. A call to the cops is all it takes for the trouble to start and the fun to begin. Thus begins a journey of payback, pranks, espionage and ultimate victory.
Aside for a slow first 10 minutes, Neighbors keeps you laughing from nearly the get go and my mom can attest to that. Not a movie that will win any awards but it is a movie to put a smile on your face and Rogen fans will be happy. We here at MJR recommend checking out this film but you won’t miss out if you wait for it to be on DVD.
Sequels to films for the most part have been hit or miss. There are the rare few that surpass the original such as the Empire Strikes Back and the Godfather II and then you have those that just don’t even come close to the original such as Iron Man 2 or Transformers 2. The Amazing Spider-man 2 doesn’t fall into the first category and fortunately avoids the second category as well.
The Amazing Spider-man 2 is a tale of a young man in conflict. Not just from outside sources, but from within as well. A broken promise ways heavily on Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and it effects not only him but Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and their relationship as well. On top of this, Peter (Garfield) is dealing with the issue of what made his parents abandon him at his aunt and uncle’s. The Amazing Spider-man 2 is heavy on the emotional side and how our characters actions have a cause and effect into relation with other characters. Strained relationships and hidden secrets that shed light on mysteries better left unknown cause chaos for the world of Spider-man.
A lonely man (Jamie Fox) who just wants someone to care and a dying man that will do anything to live (Dane Dehaan) only add to the reality of the danger that Peter Parker (Garfield) will constantly face. Dealing with issues of his past and battling his conflicting feelings over keeping Gwen (Stone) safe over his love for her with make The Amazing Spider-man 2 a story with layers upon layers.
We here at MJR enjoyed this film but we admit it does have its flaws. A lack of time spent on developing certain new characters and an unneeded ending leave a few things to be desired, but we feel that overall that the Amazing Spider-man 2 is a film worth checking out.
In a battle between nature and technology who would win? Is it possible for a balance or would the extremist on both sides leave us all in the dark? Transcendence takes a look at these issues and the threat of an all knowing AI.
The narrative of this film starts us at the end. We get a sense of the world as it has become and the hard times that have come to the people. Paul Bettany plays Max and narrates the opening for us. He gives us a sense of what has happened without revealing too much and he leads us to a house that he seems familiar with and the garden in the backyard seems to trigger a memory for him which takes the viewer back 5 years with him.
Will Caster (Johnny Depp) and Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall) are a married couple who happen to be two of the most if not the most intelligent people on the earth. Along with Max (Bettany) they face the question if they should go ahead and create an AI that encompasses all the world’s knowledge while also having human emotions. In opposition to them and others studying the same field is an anti-technology group of extremist that fear what the results could be and this leads them to take some drastic measures.
Their actions lead to Will (Depp) being poisoned and thus leading him, his wife (Hall) and Max (Bettany) to attempt his own Transcendence. Everyone’s worse fears are realized but Evelyn (Hall) is the only one too blind to see it and helps the AI version of Caster setup shop. Clashes between the two sides ensue and eventually even the government has to join the extremist to battle this AI that only seems to want more power. Eventually one side will have to win but as we learn, it isn’t the destination but the journey that matters.
Transcendence is an interesting film that takes a look at the possibility of what may come of artificial intelligence. While not the first film to do so it is a fairly fresh attempt and an enjoyable film. We here at MJR recommend the film, but advise you to wait to rent it.