Archive for March, 2014

72 Productions, Rincon Entertainment,

Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Jane Lynch, Annie Mumolo, Jessica St. Clair, Michaela Watkins, Suzy Nakamura, John Kapelos, Keegan Michael Key

Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) is a bored middle aged housewife. She’s looking for some meaning in life when she by chance meets a young stripper named McKenna (Juno Temple). She is oddly attracted to her and the exciting life she leads, so she invites her to stay with their family. As she gets more and more seduced by the wild life, it appears her whole family may be at jeopardy. While tension builds between each of the parties, McKenna tries to teach Rachel to simply be true to herself.

This was not a very good film. It sounded like a decent proposition, but it was badly played. I think McKenna, the carefree and helpless stripper girl is probably the most likeable person in the film. Rachel is a spoiled whiny and annoying pain, and her husband is a goofball. Everyone is out for themselves, and there isn’t really a redeeming quality to the story in the least. Be true to yourself is another way of saying, don’t worry about anything else, but do what feels good to you. Life isn’t like that. We make commitments, have responsibilities, and there is a lot more to life than just playing and having fun. Rachel needs a good crack in the head and some advice to grow up and act like an adult. We don’t ever get to see that here. Characters that aren’t likeable, a story that seems to meander along from place to place without a point, and some really mediocre acting make for a rather dull story. I just didn’t get this movie, and it’s not one I would highly recommend. I feel it was a missed opportunity.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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AR Films, Aldamisa Entertainment, 1821 Pictures,

Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Mel Gibson, Amber Heard, Sofía Vergara, Demián Bichir, Jessica Alba, Charlie Sheen, Antonio Banderas, Zoe Saldana, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alexa PenaVega, Lady Gaga, William Sadler

Machete (Danny Trejo) and Sartana try to bring down a Mexican cartel but are interrupted when a group of bad guys show up, kill Sartana, and Machete is arrested for the murder. But the U.S. government breaks him out on the promise that he will take down a crazy billionaire revolutionary. This guy is trying to launch a weapon into space to gain control of the power and take down the U.S.

When the original Machete was made, they knew they had a fun movie on their hands, but they needed a bit more to the length, so they filmed a trailer and did a “Machete returns in:” and previewed the upcoming sequel “Machete Kills”. They didn’t really expect to make a sequel, but they really had to when they saw what happened to the first film. Machete is the baddest of bad guys, and a real hero. Much the the Bud Spencer/Terrence Hill “Trinity” films of the 70’s this is a nod to the Spaghetti Westerns of the 70’s which launched Clint Eastwood into superstardom. Machete is certainly a throwback to those days, but it’s got all the technique and special effects of the day and are really modern looking. Much like other parody movies, this one is a parody of many other films, but unlike most, it’s not only humor. Yes, everything is much larger than life, and there are some really funny moments, but it’s a good adventure story certainly comparable to the first. Machete is just plain fun. There’s a gaggle of stars here, and that is mostly because everybody wanted to be in it. It wasn’t hard to get stars to do cameos in this movie, as it had to be a lot of fun.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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SBS Productions, Integral Film, France 2 Cinéma

Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Karoline Herfurth, Paul Anderson, Dominic Raacke, Rainer Bock, Benjamin Sadler, Michael Rotschopf, Max Urlacher, Jörg Pintsch

Isabelle (Noomi Rapace) is a gentle hardworking secretary to boss Christine (Rachel McAdams) who is ruthless. When Christine takes full credit for one of Isabelle’s brilliant ideas, it sets off a passion in Isabelle for revenge on her boss. But she takes it slow, and as her rage escalates the two do battle with one another no holds barred.

This is nothing more than a mediocre film. But since I watched it streaming via NetFlix, the only investment I had was my time. It’s really kind of like one of the old film noir type of films. It’s relatively slow, trying to build tension bit by bit, but it takes so long to get there it’s kind of boring, a bit. I really didn’t like either of these girls, and kind of hoped they’d wipe each other out. It’s not a horrible story if you’re a find of the old fashioned mystery and revenge type of films, but the story wasn’t sharp enough, and truthfully the acting wasn’t all that good. I managed to stick it out, and was able to get the story down, but I just wasn’t invested it enough to make it enjoyable enough to recommend this. It plays a lot like a Lifetime movie, and that kind of story isn’t for everyone, but it will hit the mark for those who just like these kind of stories. It didn’t resonate with me, but then again, who am I but an old movie fan with a review blog. So make your own decision, but don’t blame me if you get bored with it.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Reel FX Creative Studios, Relativity Media,

Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Dan Fogler, Jimmy Hayward, Kaitlyn Maher, Carlos Alazraqui

For years and years Reggie (Owen Wilson) has warned his fellow turkeys of the doom and destruction that comes every Thanksgiving, but this year he is chosen, but then pardoned. But Jake (Woody Harrelson) keeps tempting Reggie with the crazy idea of traveling back in time and changing history and getting the Turkey’s off the Thanksgiving menu forever. Jack and Reggie and some friends travel back to 1621 to the original Thanksgiving just in time to fall into a troubling struggle for survival for the entire Turkey clan.

This is a relatively solid family animated film. No, this isn’t Pixar. No, it’s not even close to a spectacular script. But it is a fun story that the younger folks will enjoy. There’s not a lot of Thanksgiving movies out there, and this is certainly a great family movie night, now that it’s on DVD. It’s bound to be a crowd pleaser for the kids, and one the adults won’t mind sitting though. The voices are a bit distracting, in a way, and certainly Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, and George Takei (as S.T.E.V.E., the time machine) are highly recognizable voices, so you’ll be sure that you recognize them. I find this distracting and off putting. But at the same time, having excellent actors portraying the roles means that they give a great reading, and the kids aren’t going to recognize them anyway, even if they know who they are. So they take the mediocre script and put their full experience and talent into doing it as good as possible, so it’s not a bad experience watching this turkey film that isn’t a turkey. Enjoy this one with the younger folks.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Summit Entertainment, Red Wagon Entertainment,

Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, Mekhi Phifer

In the future, society has broken the population down into five factions based upon their nature. When a child comes of age, in an elaborate, they are given an aptitude test to recommend to them which of the factions they will be best suited for. But based upon their own heart, they have the right to choose which faction they wish to be a part of, but once the choice is made, they cannot change their mind. Of course, those that fail or who are unable to choose are condemned to be “the factorless” and must live in poverty. When Beatrice (Shailene Woodley) takes the test, she fails as the results are inconclusive. She is “divergent” or one who has the characteristics of all the factions and is able to choose her own future. This is very dangerous to the government so even though she joins the rough and tumble warrior factor, she has to keep her secret before the government can find her and eliminate her.

I must first say I haven’t read the books. I think often fans of a book, or series of books is very disappointed when they come out on film. I’ve always had a theory for myself. If I am looking at a series that I’m already familiar with, such as Star Wars or Star Trek, or something along those lines, I would love to read the book first. But if I go see a movie that is really good, or strikes me as a very interesting subject, I love to read the book afterward. That way, I get the story and understand what’s going on, then go into much more depth and I already have a picture in my head (from the movie) of what the world looks like and what the characters look like, so reading about them I can picture it the same way in my mind. But if I read the book first, I end up having a completely different idea of what a person looks like, sounds like, or what their environment looks like. This is good if you’re simply a book reader, but if you love movies, like I do, it’s very jarring to find out the director’s vision is so very different from yours. This is what I think happened to the people who love the book and hate the movie.

Coming into this with no knowledge of the story, I was really blown away. I really enjoyed this film, and it’s been a long time since I’ve had a 5 star review. But I loved this story. Now I will agree, there is certainly a similarity to other works. It’s obviously got elements of The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter in it. And just when I was certain the film was going to go and turn all Blade Runner/Logan’s Run on me, it totally didn’t. It is a unique enough story that has to steal some from other similar types of stories. There’s no way to avoid that. But this was very colorful, suspenseful. a very innocent love story, extreme action and excitement, tension till the last, comedy, tragedy, and it tugs the heart strings. Basically it’s everything a big budget Hollywood blockbuster would have. And it’s obviously ripe for a series.

I can understand those who were disappointed, but this is certainly the best film I’ve seen in 2014, and really think they have the makings of a great series here. See it in the theater if you have a chance.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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