July 4, 2014

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION -- A Movie Review

So, I saw 'Transformers: Age of Extinction'. The only showing I could make when I was out was the Imax 3D.

WARNING: my reviews contain spoilers-don't read if you don't wanna know!

First, I have to say it. This movie is LONG. Like, 165 minutes long. & this is AFTER a zillion previews.
I understand action/adventure movies can be long, & if they're fun, get away with it. But even 'The Avengers' was only 143mins! Personally, I think that's about as long as ya can get away with--because it's hard to get a movie to be more stellar than 'The Avengers'!
But yeah...this movies almost 3 hours, & it's really not a good length. They could've easily cut out at least 40 mins.

Secondly, there are way too many human interest issues, & not enough Transformers (at least for my liking!). Like, you go to see Optimus Prime & his buddies kick some serious butt--let's be honest--& change from awesome looking vehicles into even-more-awesome-giant-robots, & fight other giant-robots!

But this movie has a lot of stuff that didn't really go with the theme you THINK it's going to be about when you watched the trailer--family,
father/daughter/guy-who-is-secret-boyfriend-who-just-happens-to-be-a-car-driver/racer-but-who-the-country-single-father-doesn't-like triangle,
bitter humans (although Kelsey Grammer does a great job as a tough, bad guy), vacant humans (type-cast daughter) etc.

The aged Prime shows up as this dusty, old, huge flat-front rig (I didn't even know they could change color/design like that!)
 Like...yeah. I mean, we all know the Transformers are HUGE, & alwaze bigger than their car/truck etc counterparts, but still...

Anyway. Moving on.
I liked this movie, I did. It's fun, & there is a lot of Transformer action.
Galvatron

There's a Galvatron-who is initially Stanley Tucci's bright idea that spins (of course) out of control (using Megatron's DNA was probably not a good idea...).
There's a bunch of random other Transformer copies that come alive en masse & give our few good guys something to battle (there are like, 4 or 5 Autobots left, I believe).

The story is weak. The writing is just, not interesting enough to care about, thereby making the human characters not interesting enough to care about & not very deep. The movie tries to jump into a story you care about, some time after the LAST Transformer movie, but you don't really connect the dots too well, I don't think, so you're like, uh..ok--I'll just go with it, cause I like Transformers :-)

There is a random Bounty Hunter character chasing Optimus Prime, named Lockdown, I believe. But I'm not entirely sure what the reason was he was in the movie. I guess for coolness factor?
Lockdown
And, of course, there ARE the Dinobot things...4 of them (I think?). They're like....HUGE. Optimus gets them from Lockdown's ship. They are resistant at first to Prime leading them, but he kicks their @$$es (of course), with his sword, & so they suddenly follow him into battle against the bad Transformers & bad humans.
The major disappointment is that the awesome Dinosaur Transformers, that you were waiting all this time--and ALL this movie to see--are only in the end, like...yeah. Not cool!
Awesome, though not enough screen time!

 Overall? This movie is too long. It's fun, though, there ARE Transformers, Dinobots, is fighting, & as usual in classic Michael Bay fashion, explosions & larger than life moments.
The writing is sub par, though, and the humans--even with the good acting of Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci & Kelsey Grammer behind them--are not very dimensional or interesting (Stanley's character is by far the most fun, though :-) ).

As far as the Imax/3D factor...It was ok. They could've utilized the 3D a lot more, though, I think. Especially with the Transformers! Of course the Dinobot shooting fire w/the 3D glasses was great :-) Once, anyway...got old quick, though, as the only big gimmick.

So, yes. I liked the movie. Would I watch it again? Not at the price of an Imax 3D. Also, even at regular 2D pricing, it's a lonnnng movie to sit through, & I got bored before all the good stuff started.

Did you see this movie? What did you think?!










June 17, 2014

MALEFICENT--A Movie Review

This movie is my newest movie-crush (ok, that's probably NOT a thing lol :-P )! I've seen it twice (once alone, once w/hubby), & would probably see it 5 more times if I could afford it!

CONTAINS SPOILERS! Sorry, I just talk a lot :-) 


Um. Here's the imdb page for it, for stats & such: MALEFICENT!
This is one of the coolest pictures of her I've found :-)!


Where to start....Well, I loved how the previews before it started actually showing showed you just enough to make you be like 'whoa, this looks awesome, I wonder...', but not enough to reveal anything of the story.

Of course, I stupidly made the mistake of reading a few articles online as I saw them, so I knew SOME things before I saw it, but because this movie is great, & I love/d it, the articles didn't take away from the movie, they added.

THIS ARTICLE from yahoo.com compares some of the differences between the movie "Maleficent" & the Disney classic cartoon, "Sleeping Beauty". Read ONLY if you don't care about spoilers, or have seen the movie!

Some thoughts...
1. They couldn't have made this movie without Angelina Jolie. Like, she IS Maleficent. Much like Robert Downy Jr IS Iron Man.
She does a great job portraying her character as far as acting, but also as a persona. She hits the attitude, voice, feelings right on the head.
The movie Maleficent isn't quite as dark/hateful/bitter/mean as the cartoon version, but--as the back story shows--there is a reason for this.
Besides, she has the mouth/voice/cheekbones :-P!

2. The score (James Newton Howard), is really good. Haunting when it needs to be, dramatic when called for, & funny/sweet at some points, even. I like the music a lot.
& of COURSE, the release of Lana Del Ray's "Once Upon A Dream" with the preview before the movie came out, set the tone. Actually, before I saw it, I figured the movie would be a lot darker, because of her rendition. It is so beautiful, though, & so very unlike the way Aurora sang it in the classic Disney movie, "Sleeping Beauty."
Lana's version is very ethereal. Love it :-) Angelina Jolie actually picked Lana Del Ray for the singing (or at least had a hand in it). Nifty.


I LOVE her wings.
& they're awesome :-)


3. Apparently the (SPOILER!) cutting off of Maleficent's wings is an allusion to rape. Something I didn't even think of till I read the boards/reviews, & they said that even Angelina commented on it. NOW I see it (she's given a drug to fall asleep, she's violated, wakes up bleeding/crying in pain). But it's a thing, I guess raising awareness in some way?

4. The movie had the largest budget for a 1st time director, I believe (180 mil.), & made a good use of the money, I think. The graphics are great fun, & the movie has lots of different settings & moods.
It hasn't seemed to make NEARLY as much as it cost, but I don't know why. I guess it's cause so many movies are coming out, it couldn't hold the top spot for long enough. But it's done pretty well.

5. Diaval, played by Sam Riley, is a fun character. He's a raven Maleficent rescues from being killed, so he becomes her servant. Then I think he becomes her friend as well :-) He also transforms into various animals by her hand (including the awesome dragon!), & so that's a fun skill he picked up from his benefactor! I wasn't familiar with Sam Riley, but he's a pretty neat character.


6. The beautiful girl who plays young Maleficent does a good job. She's uber cute :-)


7. Elle Fanning doesn't quite live up to her older Sister's (Dakota Fanning) skill as an actress, at least not yet, but I guess since she's playing opposite Angelina Jolie--she had a hard act to match :-) She's not the main character in this version of the story, so she plays ok as a secondary character.
And the guy who plays King Stephan does well as an aspiring youth turned madman paranoid king! I'm glad they didn't pick Jude Law to play him (as they were looking into). Jude wouldn't have been as easy to hate, I don't think :-) 

Overall, this movie is really good. At least I think so.
It was cool to hear the tale told differently than we had been told/seen before, & to hear Maleficent's back story :-)
I also really liked this ending/version of the story better!
It's got drama, lots of beautiful imagery, good music, a really interesting cast of characters, good acting (for the most part!), it doesn't have too many things you wouldn't let your kids watch (unless you're not a fan of magic in fairy tales, which there is lots of-as expected)
No Power...Can Change It!

...It has a bit of a scare for them, maybe, but not enough that it isn't right later on :-)

If you haven't seen 'Maleficent' yet--you should!
Did you? What did you think?! Let me know!

P.S.
As a random added thing, I'm including a pic of the awesome shoes that were custom made for Angelina to wear at the premiere of the movie all over! Love them!
Maleficent shoes! Love :-)