Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Better Director, Better Experience

I'm not going to lie. I am a teenager so of course I love the concept of the Hunger Games. Also I love the idea of dystopias turned into havoc.

Anyway, the Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Normally, I would say that sequels are the worst idea that mankind has ever created(generally). However, this movie is an exception.

In my opinion, the Hunger Games movie did not depict the true nature of what the Hunger Games was about. There was not any true violence or believable acting going on in the first Hunger Games.You see a darker view of the Hunger Games, much more than the previous movie provided.

However, I love the passion between Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, and Peeta Melark, played by Josh Hutcherson. I love the deviousness of President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, and Plutarch Heavensbee, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Now that I mention Phillip Seymour Hoffman, what is going to happen for Hunger Games: Mockingjay? Plutarch Heavensbee is essential for the final movie(s). It will be hard to find a replacement for such a good actor.

All in all, I didn't see too many problems with this movie compared to the first movie. Just hope that Hunger Games: Mockingjay is portrayed just as well as Hunger Games: Catching Fire was.

I give this movie a 4/5.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Runner Runner - Get A Job Without A Holistic View of Things

Nowadays, getting a job has its own kind of process. You have to create a résumé detailing everything significant you've done since you've been on Earth. You have to show up to the job for an interview so that they get a good look at you face to face. Even behind the scenes, the company may want to perform an entire background check on who you are and what you've actually done.

However, in Runner Runner, getting a job is as easy to talking to a guy in a nice suit. Or at least that's how it seems.

Runner Runner is the story of Richie Furst, played by Justin Timberlake, a poor yet intelligent student of Princeton involved in online gambling. Once he loses his money on the site due to cheating, he embarks on a journey to Costa Rica only to find that paradise is found in the strangest of places.

I have a couple of problems with this film off the top of my head.

For one, if Richie is so smart, then why does he not analyze the actual offer before him given by Ivan Block, played by Ben Affleck. After all, if a stranger in a far off land gives you a job and you're desperate: one must analyze every aspect of that situation before giving an answer.

Sure, Richie needed money to pay off his tuition, but all he saw was the money and the paradise behind the original offer.

Anyway, the humor is on key. The big business turned rouge plot is also on key. All decent actors.

I would say more, but I would reference the ending in some way. All I have to say about the ending is that it's a nice twist but not really what I wanted.

I give this film a 3/5.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Moneyball - Statistics Will/Will NOT Pull Through

To start off, I knew nothing about this movie other than that Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt were featured in it. I admire Jonah Hill because of his comedic element and Brad Pitt is always a thrill to watch.

Post actually watching the film, I have a couple of words to get across.

So the story of Moneyball goes that scout Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, wishes to turn the Oakland A's inside out to feature the best of baseball even without major players that the team just lost. Beane recruits a man by the name of Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, to be his assistant general manager and crunch some numbers to create the perfect team out of the little money the Oakland A's have.

For one, watching the first ten minutes of the movie made me think about hope. Well, actually that's a lie. The first ten minutes of the movie had me thinking, "Why on Earth would I be watching a baseball movie?" I mean, I didn't like those Sandlot stories that I always saw on VHS growing up. I didn't like baseball movies that Disney had to offer. So what made me think that there would be some sort of baseball movie that would not gouge my eyes out?

However, this story does not even begin to take on the Sandlot stories that I saw that bored me to death. No. This story takes the soul of anyone watching the film and leads it on through the entire movie. Never was I bored; every scene had its purpose and made sense as a whole.

Now about hope. Brad Pitt does an amazing job getting across the character of Billy Beane, always showing the mix of both distraught and aggression. From the beginning, we see that he has this element of hope that he holds dear to himself. Even the younger actor who played young Beane got across that same element of hope that you could see on Brad Pitt's face.

Peter Brand at first seems like an awkward character, only there to give Billy Beane statistical advice. However, throughout the story, Peter Brand becomes a necessary feature of the film as a whole. The reason behind the character of Peter Brand is to give the friendly reminder that Billy Beane could have been at a higher intellectual level, almost as that of Peter Brand himself.

This film gave me a more particular view about the world behind baseball. Slugging a bat around was all I saw; now I see the more executive views on baseball and the causes and effects about everything that happens behind the scenes.

I give this film a 5/5

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The LEGO Movie - Communism 101 For Kids

Beforehand, all I knew about this movie is that the entire movie is done by stop motion through LEGO pieces. Also, that the plot of the movie surrounds a supposed nobody chosen to be the savior of the LEGO movie world. No hero as valiant as Batman or Superman has the powers that this nobody possesses, and an evil villain plans to stop this hero.

I was already beginning to feel the cheesiness of the entire thing, but given the ratings that I saw, I did feel like I was underestimating the movie.

Post actually watching the movie, I have a bit more interesting views that I must discuss.

Within the first ten minutes of the movie, I had this vibe that this movie was going to be swell. A toss-up between wise Master Builder Virtruvius, voiced by Morgan Freeman, and the evil villainous Lord Business, voiced by Will Ferrell.  

Everything went smooth up until the LEGO figurines danced to the tune of "Everything Is Awesome". That's when my mind went, COMMUNISM. COMMUNISM. COMMUNISM.

Everything that Emmet Brickowski, voiced by Chris Pratt, described about where he comes from has to do with some aspect of communism. The president, taking over nearly all aspects of life, gives out instructions for each construction worker to live by. Emmet lists out each rule out to the audience in order to give the sense that everything in his daily life has a felt purpose and he is just a drone of the many construction workers who live around him. 

It's not until Wyldstyle, voiced by Elizabeth Banks, drops into Emmet's life that Emmet takes a turn for the worst, becoming a number one suspect of the LEGO community under the watchful eyes of Bad Cop/Good Cop, voiced by Liam Neeson. 

The message of the film comes from a variety of sources. One could argue that the overall vision of the film was to give the essence that one should have the creative freedom to do as they please with the pieces given to them in life, which is the argument I'm sticking to. 

I felt the cheesiness of the ending, which I shalt not spoil, but I felt like everything in that movie makes sense as a whole. No matter the anti-communist ideals that co-inside with the film, I agree with the truth that is imbued in this piece. 

Kudos to the animator. Must have taken many a time to form the film into where it needed to be. Loved all the references to other works and loved the entire work as a whole.

I rate this film a 5/5.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Family - A Family of Assassins

I have a complete list of movies that I'd like to write reviews about. Before I begin, I would just like to say that this is a teenager speaking. Just a reminder.

Robert De Niro, an amazing actor no matter the age he turns, has been in a fair share of actions movies for his time. It's funny because the one movie that I saw before this movie on complete coincidence was Goodfellas, a 90s film where Robert De Niro plays the role of a New York gangster.

This time, however, Robert De Niro plays a different role in this action flick: the rat. Opening up the film, Robert De Niro's character, Giovanni Manzoni, seems like your average ordinary dad until he pulls a dead body out of the back of his family's SUV. Clearly, this shows that Giovanni involved himself in dirty work of some sorts. To clarify a point stated earlier, Giovanni is the rat mainly because he ratted out on his close companions in the line of work that he was in (something that those of you who saw Goodfellas would laugh about).

The one thing that I admire about this film is the idea of small details staying consistent throughout the entire movie.

There is this one scene where Belle Manzoni and Warren Manzoni, played by Dianna Agron and John D'Leo respectively, are walking home from school when Warren makes a conversation about his father's use of the "f" word (yes, Internet, we're trying to keep it PG-13 on this blog). Warren goes on about his father using this word in various contexts, making the word appropriate for any situation whatsoever: a constant motif found in the film that promotes hilarity.

However, a down side to the film was that everyone had to have the characteristics of an assassin (see the title above). Sure, as a ex-gangster, Giovanni would only want to ensure that his offspring would learn how to defend themselves. However, it seems ludicrous that the children would know how to handle guns so well, treat school as if it were a drug business, and do anything they want (allusion to the mini-sex scene).

So why haven't I mentioned the fair Maggie Manzoni, played by Michelle Pfeiffer? Well why should I? Her performance wasn't much of a performance, per say. There were small things about this character that added short bursts of humor to the film, but overall, I'd say that she wasn't a necessary character to have.

All in all, director Tonino Benacquista crafted a humorous work of art while maintaining a great show of suspense.

I rate this film a 3/5.

Intro - Working Out The Kinks and Starting Out

Hello, Internet. Welcome to a page dedicated to a bunch load of crap that a teenage writer has to say about movies that he's seen.

Normally, I would formally introduce myself, giving you my name and possibly my social security info? How about no.

The reason I have decided to create a blog is because I have seen all these movies as of late, and I feel as if I have to tell this to a group of anonymous people tied to their computer desk chairs all day in their underpants.

And while I sometimes am a part of those group of people, I want to take the time out of my day to tell you about my thoughts about certain movies.

I hope you do enjoy my sarcasm and hilarity. Enjoy.