A Dozen Films Reviewed (quickly)

I used to do a short review of all the films I would go see, but somewhere along the way I stopped doing that, and then stopped blogging almost all together. So, I realized they were probably related, my movie review posts would typically lead to my other posts. So I’m bringing it back – here are a dozen brief reviews of films I have seen recently:

Finding Nemo


What a great flick – I love when good movies come back to the theater, and no not for the 3D. In fact, the whole family went and we opted for the 2D version, since none of us like wearing the glasses. When Finding Nemo first came out in 2003, Erin and I actually saw it on a date – back when we didnt have kids, so we could go to the movies any time we wanted! So seeing it again 9 years later with the girls was fun times indeed! (Note: I think I broke a record for food purchased at one movie: Large popcorn, Large mellow-yellow, Chicken nuggets, box of airheads, small sprite, small pink lemonade and a hot dog!

Premium Rush


I just needed to get out of the house the other night, and the only two movies that sounded decent were this one and Lawless. I was a little worried that I would get sick of bike chase action, and I will admit they could have cut out about 20 minutes of it, but overall it was a nice ride. There was nothing really new here, except the mode of transit in this chase movie, but what made it so engaging was the bad guy – a dirty cop played by Michael Shannon, who is just fascinating onscreen, he just oozes desperation and bad attitude in this role, but with an odd giggle that made the movie for me. (Note, if you haven’t seen Bug and Take Shelter – do so asap.)

Total Recall


If this movie was not a remake of a classic, it probably would have been better received. For a sci-fi fan, it was a lot of eye candy as it blatantly ripped off paid homage to some of the recent greats – this reviewer said it best: “But did it have to look like the machines from I, Robot hitch a ride on the magma train from The Core to invade the world of Blade Runner for the benefit of the citizens living in The Fifth Element?”

Bourne Legacy


Matt Damon who? I’m surprised so many critics and fans said they missed him in this edition of the Bourne series. I think this new character has way more depth than the amnesia-like Bourne, and Jeremy Renner shows way more vulnerability in the role. I look forward to them unleashing him in the sure to come net installment. Interestingly, Bourne Legacy is not a sequel and not a prequel really either, it actually takes place at the same time as the first trilogy, in fact viewers are kept apprised of key events unfolding with Jason Bourne as this films protagonist’s fate unravels as a direct result of the CIA covering their butts from the fallout caused by Bourne. (If you haven’t seen Renner in The Hurt Locker, do it now)

Expendables 2


I think I remember liking the first one, but this one was soooo bad. While it added even more action hero classics to the mix such as Chuck and Jean Claude, it completely lacked the intriguing dialogue of the first one. And again Sly made himself the leading man that beats the baddie and gets the girl, except again, not really because he is too hold for her. So unless this movie was meant to be a comedic parody of the late 80s, early 90s action films they all starred in, then it was a total failure. I mean the unnecessary body count was just crazy.

Moonrise Kingdom


I love Wes Anderson movies – he makes every frame picture perfect and every moment surreal and common at the same time. This film was even more relatable then some of his others and his two child stars turn in great performances. Some will wish he gave the all-star supporting actors more screen time rather than these unknown kids, but it almost makes a point that these unknown kids are the focus and not the adults that all take their lives for granted in comparison.

ParaNorman


A horror movie for kids, brilliant. I was a little nervous about it being too scary, but Ella ate it up. Very enjoyable. The stop-action animation was stellar – it was the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces (Coraline pioneered the technique, but was black and white).

Dark Knight Rises


Meh. It did not live up the hype at all. So many logic flaws and unnecessary exposition made this movie a bit irritating, and I couldn’t help but be thinking about the real-life tragedy from its opening night as phony violence was displayed in the film. Hopefully, Nolan can now go back to making more thought-provoking movies like his earlier works, particularly Inception and Memento.

Ice Age 3


Basically the same movie as the first three. That’s why I opted to see at the dinner theater, so I could at least gorge on buffalo wings and fries while watching it.

Avengers


Totally enjoyed this movie! And I would have never guess the big green guy was going to stole the show. I really thought the Hulk being in it was going to ruin it, but he was by far the highlights – the top three moments in the film come to mind.

Men in Black 3


What a solid trilogy. All three are fun and inventive in their stories – this time adding a time-travel twist that lets James Brolin play Tommy Lee’s role for most the film. I think Ella is going to dig these films in a couple years.

Madagascar 3


See Ice Age review above. Except the girls and I were singing this ditty all the way home: “Afro circus. Afro Circus. Polka dot, polka dot, polka dot.”

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