All posts by meadowsdixon

Neighbors Film Review

Neighbors is the story of a new parents who finds themselves living unexpectedly next door to a fraternity house.  Kelly and Mac played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne think they have settled down in a quiet neighborhood with their newborn baby only to find that frat brothers have moved in right next door.  It’s that conflict with the boys next door that sparks the often very raunchy comedy. The president of the frat is played by Zac Efron his side kick Dave Franco. Also co starring are Efron’s abs. They are shown and talked about so often I expected a separate credit.

The chemistry and comedic timing between Rogen and Byrne is electric but often shocking thanks to the writing of Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien who brought us 40 Year Old Virgin and the direction of Nicholas Stoller known for Get Him to the Geek and Five Year Engagement. But Neighbors pushes the envelope where no envelope has ever gone or thought of going. There are more penis and poop jokes in this 96 minute film to fill several frat houses.

At its heart (That’s one body part I would like to have seen more of in this film.)there is a gleamer of truth as Rogen’s and Byrne”s characters struggle with letting go of their partying past and move into parenthood, but for the most part it’s just one sick joke after the other.  Pot smoking is mentioned so often it becomes a case of product placement. The message is loud and clear, but in all the crap a clever comedy is lost. In this case the grass isn’t greener on either side of the fence. C-

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Its seems fans can’t get enough of Marvel Comic Book’s Spider-Man. Here we have a sequel to another reboot of the comic book hero’s story. The last sequel was in 2004 after Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi brought him to the big screen in 2002. This latest Spider-Man features  Andrew Garfield again as the web slinger and spinning that web appropriately named director Marc Webb. But it is a tangled web he weaves. Emma Stone is back as his girlfriend Gwen Stacey  and the villains well there is one too many. Jamie Fox is great as Electro but then there’s another in Peter’s old friend Harry Osborn aka Green Goblin.

The battles in these action sequences are too long and so is the film running well over two hours. Garfield’s character does a good job struggling between his responsibilities as a crime fighter and a good boyfriend to Emma Stone’s character. Their on-screen chemistry as it is off-screen is good but often the PDA goes way too far. Young fans probably won’t be able to get enough and after all that is the target audience of this comic book hero tale.

Will Spider-Man 2 save the day at the box office this summer. I think he already has bringing in 92 million dollars this week alone and he’s not done yet. I give The Amazing Spider-Man 2  B-

The Other Woman Film Review

The critics including me didn’t buy into The Other Woman starring Cameron Diaz but movie goers did. The comedy dethroned Captain America wth an estimated box office of 24.7 million. Captian America:The WinterSoldier brought in 16 million in its fourth weekend.

The Other woman is the story of Carly played well enough by Cameron Diaz who discovers her boyfriend is actually married. The wife is played by the very funny Leslie  Mann. She is one of the best things about this film. Her physical comedy is laugh out loud funny, too bad the script falls flat. There are, however,some funny moments as this twosome who become fast friends discover the man they both love has still another lover played by Kate Upton. Upton is the weakest link in this film. Her acting is amatuer at best and it becomes obvious very quickly why she is in the film at all.

The Other Woman is directed by Nick Cassavettes the same guy that brought us The Notebook a classic to be sure this one is not, not even close. What it does have is a few good laughs, but it goes on way too long. A predictable romantic comedy you’ll feel as though you’ve seen before and you have the list is endless. I give The Other Woman a C+

NOAH MOVIE REVIEW

If you’re looking for an accurate account of the Bible’s version of Noah you won’t find it in Noah the movie, but what you will find is an entertaining account of director and writer Darren Aronofsky’s vision of the great voyage. While accounts of Noah are sketchy at best in the Bible, Aronofsky takes some liberty with the story of the 500-year-old father and husband who is asked by God to build and fill a boat with two of every kind of animal on the earth.
In Aronofsky’s story Noah is filled with self doubt and struggles with sin. This story is dark as Noah examines his humility and wrestles with the devil himself. Noah played by Russel Crowe is not the Ultimate Godly man I studied in Sunday School. He has his demons and Crowe plays him divinely.
We have learned that director Aronofsky loves to see his characters struggle against good and evil as he did with such films as Pi and Black Swan. He also does so with great special effects and once again the special effects in Noah are filled with images that put the movie goer on board this biblical boat. The film also stars Jennifer Connelly as his wife Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson as his adopted daughter say what? Yes, as a I said this isn’t a film true to the biblical accounts of God’s decision to wipe the earth clean, but it is true to one man’s search for God and allows the rest of us to go along for the ride. B+

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL FILM REVIEW

      Last year when The Bible series on the History channel was watched by a record number of viewers Hollywood took note. Now, we have a several films opening at the box office featuring the Big Man Upstairs most recently Heaven Is For Real.The film is based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book by the same name. It is the true story of a small town father and minister who tries to find the courage to share his son’s experience in Heaven after he nearly dies at the age of 4 years old. It stars Academy Award nominee and Emmy award winning actor Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo and co stars Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo, the real life couple whose son Colton played by newcomer Connor Corum claims to have seen Heaven and even met Jesus.

 

      The film unlike many other faith-based films is well made by pros in Hollywood that know what they are doing and it shows. Greg Kinnear is passionate and believable as Todd Burpo and Connor Corum as his son steals every scene. The film is not heavy handed, but it does make you think. I mean, even if you aren’t religious everyone has at least wondered if there is a Heaven or is this all there is?

 

      The film is directed by Randall Wallace who brought us Braveheart and Pearl Harbor. Both of these films are based on true stories. As a Christian, I believe this little boy has seen Heaven, and this film with its heart and just the right amount of preaching may be just the ticket to get others to believe as well. B

DRAFT DAY FILM REVIEW

Even if you aren’t a football fan you will be cheering for Draft Day starring Kevin Costner. He is Sonny Weaver the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. He has the chance to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one draft pick, but he must decide what he is willing to sacrifice to make his team whole again. There in lies the drama as this film takes you into the inner world of the NFL draft. 

There are times this film feels like the 2011 film Moneyball starring Brad Pitt, while it’s not as good Draft Day holds its own with Costner calling the plays. It also stars Jennifer Garner as his love interest and colleague and Denis Leary as the Cleveland Brown’s coach. They turn in solid performances but it’s Costner that takes us to the final down and into the end zone as he wrestles with self-doubt in this dramedy from director Ivan Reitman. Reitman known for films like the iconic Ghostbusters and No Strings Attached keeps the film moving to its suspenseful climax with quick cuts and digital effects.

As a fan of Costner’s earlier days I am glad to see him finally find his role as he matures on screen. While, he turned in fine performances in the recently released 3 Days to Kill and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit it is Draft Day that not only allows him to carry the ball, but  score.  B-

Movie Mania

Could the price of a movie ticket go down? It cost as much as $10.00 to see a movie in many parts of the country and for a family of four that’s 40 dollars before the popcorn. So some theaters will be running specials all day long one day a week. That’s because Hollywood is feeling the pinch as folks are viewing films on their computer or watching them on demand. When some stars are making 20 million a picture and box office receipts world wide are record breaking its about time the folks who  support the industry finally get a break. Movie goers are speaking with their pocketbooks! Action!!!!