Furry, Ferocious and Fun!

Furry, Ferocious and Fun!

This Memorial Day weekend I watched Kung Fu Panda 2, the sequel to the action packed comedy starring Po (Jack Black) and the fearsome five.  The first movie was a fun kids movie that had a lot of catchy one liner phrases, a few kick butt actions scenes, a lot of situational comedy, and a story that was about working hard and finding your inner strength.  Now three years later, the fellows at Dreamworks have presented a sequel to this animal centered comedy, which follows after the two duds we saw in Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After.  Is this sequel following the same path that the last Shrek films took, or does it shine on its own?  My answer to this question is that it does indeed shine on its own.

The story starts out with a background story about the villain Shen (Gary Oldman) and his lust for power to rule over China, eliminating any forces that try to stand in his way.  Not long after the introduction, Po and the gang come back into the picture before Po is called to Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) to learn about finding inner peace.  However, the peaceful air is soon disturbed by a pack of wolf soldiers and an action fight sequence soon starts that puts most action movies to shame.  As the wolves retreat Po, along with the fearsome five, set out to defeat Shen and find inner peace.

Over the course of the journey, Po provides that classic comedy that made him famous in the first film as he uses phrases like awesome, so hardcore, and freakin in providing that awkward and childish enthusiasm that makes him stand out.  His enthusiasm is still balanced out by his lack of stamina and large girth comedy which is cleverly integrated into both combat and noncombat scenes.  Clumsiness also plays a role in Po’s ability to make us laugh, as what starts out as the stylish moves of a kung fu master quickly turns into a blundering mistake that somehow seems to work for Po.   All of these aspects are brought together by Jack Black’s voice work as he finds a way to bring a juvenile tone to the comedy, while still sounding wise and honorable during the serious scenes.

Perhaps one of the strongest aspects about this movie is the balance of story, action, and detail.  The story, or should I say stories, are detailed enough to provide character development that older audiences will like, but at the same time is catchy, simple, and fun enough to allow younger audience members to get a gist of what’s going on.  The integration of action and chase scenes keeps the pace of the movie going while also keeping the attention of the audience glued to the screen, a plus for those that have a hard time sitting through a movie.

What really brings all of these strengths together though is the camera and musical works that add that finishing touch to the movie.  The camera work is smooth and not really jumpy and allows one to see what’s going in almost every scene.  An exception to this style occurs in some of the fighting seen at the end, but it’s not too bad so most should be able to slide ignore it.  While the camera’s capture the action, the music that plays during every scene has been selected to bring out the emotions of the scene and make you feel it deep in your heart.   Whether it be fast flying punches, sad flashbacks, or the findings of inner peace and the acceptance of the past the music catches all of these emotions in a brilliant combination of strings, percussions, and other orchestra instruments to make you feel like you are in the movie.

Although this movie has a lot, and I mean a lot of good aspects, there are still some weaknesses that one may find.  The comedic styles of Po can get a little stale at times, especially hearing the word hard core about ten times.  A second thing is that Po pulls off a little too much Yoda at some points in the movie, I won’t say too much more to avoid ruining the movie.  Perhaps a third thing one might not like is how long it takes to finish off the final battle.  Although the movie is only an hour and half long, some might find the final battle dragged out a little too long and want it to just end, this was not a problem for me however.

Overall Kung Fu Panda 2 is a sequel that is a must see, especially for kids and fans of the series.  Even if you haven’t seen the first one yet, which was the case with my cousin, one will be able to find some part of this movie to enjoy.  Laughs, actions, drama, story, and heartfelt emotions are all in this movie and the wide appeal to many audiences makes this a great movie for a youth group or friend outing.  Thus my Robbie Rating for this movie is 9.8-10.0.  I hope that you enjoy this movie as much I did.

Recommended audience members:  Kids, Dreamworks fans, Kung Fu Panda lovers, action lovers, comedy lovers, etc.

People who should avoid this movie:  Horror fans and fans looking for a movie with blood, because it doesn’t have any of it.

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Was this as hard of a hangover?

Was it as hard of a hangover?

Memorial Day weekend opened up with a bang yesterday as Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Hangover Part 2 opened up.  It seems that this weekend was destined to be sequel weekend and I’m here to discuss one of the sequels and whether it’s worth your valuable time.

The Hangover Part II fits the formula that its predecessor did two years ago.  Despite the pact that is made early on in the movie by Stu (Ed Helms), Phil (Bradley Cooper), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) , the guys get drunk on alcohol, wake up in a hotel, and start their journey off to find the missing friend, the bride to be’s brother Teddy (Mason Lee) whose finger is currently the only clue they have to the mystery.  One phone call later from Doug (Justin Bartha) and the gang hit the Bangkok streets in search for the answers they so desperately seek.

So the question is, was this movie worth it?  Is the same plot and different location worth $8-$10 of your hard earned money and nearly two hours of your valuable vacation time?  To help you make this decision let’s cover some facts about this movie.  First of all the movie is raunchier than the first installment of the film, especially a particular scene where transvestites and a night club are involved.  The graphic depictions of police rioting, coke snorting, and the male genitalia are constantly thrown into your face throughout the entire movie, which depending on your humor can be a good or a bad thing.  This graphicness even carries on to the credits, which provides a lot of information that the movie itself does not provides, and some of the pictures can be a little extreme, even for this movie.

Constantly interspersed throughout the chaos of this movie, is Stu’s constant whining, Phil’s constant use of the F word and Alan’s random comedy lines.  The first two aspects are funny to a point, but quickly get annoying and predictable.  Alan’s contribution is kind of a 50:50 mix of funny and annoying for me.  There are points in the movie where his one liners and actions are perfectly timed which made me laugh, or at least chuckle, during the movie.  Yet there were times where I felt the movie centered too much on his comedy, and his lines were stale and annoying.  As for the situations they were put in, I wasn’t as surprised, shocked, or entertained as I was in Vegas.  Most of the scenes were incredibly predictable and didn’t seem as dire or extreme as what we saw in Vegas.  With the exception of the nightclub, most of the places they visited were not really that exotic or scary, which left me somewhat bored throughout the movie.  In fact if it were not for the monkey or Mr. Chow, then I believe this movie would have been absolutely dead.

This brings me to my next point, fans of Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) will not be disappointed, as the maniacal, lack of morals, outspoken, Asian gangster is back.  The standup comedian returns in all of his glory as his obnoxious voice fills the screen for probably a good thirty minutes of the movie.  Mr. Chow makes a good portion of the plot and even when he is “chilling” somewhere off screen his actions are driving the plot.  Yes if you thought the comedian was bad news in the first movie, then you have seen nothing compared to this film.

Overall  Hangover Part II is a diluted version of the first movie.  The potential for the experience in Bangkok was just not reached, and it felt like this movie was somewhat rushed in the past two years.  Again the acting is fine, and the comedy feels sort of the same, but it seems to me that this sequel could use a revamp.  Despite some witty comedy and a very adorable and crafty monkey, this movie really did not deliver to the expectations I had for this movie.  Thus my Robbie rating for this movie is about a 7.0 for this sequel.

Intended audiences for this movie will include:  Die Hard fans of the series,  Bradley Cooper or Zach Galifianakis fans, people who like cute monkeys, and fans who like a lot of Oriental Humor.

Avoiding audiences:  People who are taking 8 year olds to the movies, yes I saw a dad bring his son to the movie, people who are easily offended, and those who don’t want to see genitalia on screen

Until next time, this is rgkarim signing off.

Set sail with Captain Jack Once more!

So as you all know, Captain Jack (Johnny Depp)  has returned in his latest adventure titled Pirates of the Caribbean:  On Stranger Tides.  This fourth installment of the famous swashbuckling series focuses on the journey to find the legendary Fountain of Youth, the mythological wonder that is said to keep one young forever.  The question I asked myself when I first saw this trailer was is this movie going to be good, or has Disney taken the series one movie too far?  I mean after all, how many movies do you know have a fourth installment that is worth watching?  I can’t seem to recall too many successful fourth installments that weren’t disasters like Alien Resurrection, the fourth star trek movie, and yes even the fourth Batman series.  However, to my surprise I found Pirates 4 to be quite enjoyable for a fourth movie sequel that digs back into the story telling roots that made the first movie famous.

The movie begins out in the seas where a mysterious, old man is brought to the Spanish kingdom carrying the book of Ponce de Leon, the famous explorer who quested for the Fountain of Youth.  Cut now to England, to an English courtroom where one Mr. Gibbs (Kevin McNally) is being sentenced for being a pirate.  Well as most of you know wherever Gibbs is, Jack is not too far behind and sure enough his old buddy, along with a large wad of cash, manages to get him sentenced to life in prison.  Yet as you all know Jack’s clever mind works in mysterious ways and soon the two are planning their escape out of England.  However, his plan is foiled as he is delivered to the King of England instead, where Sparrow becomes obsessed with a cinnamon desert as he tries to sweet talk his way out of hanging.  The dialog ends with a classic Sparrow escape, which becomes a funny chase scene whose finish involves meeting up with Jack’s father.  A few exchanges of dialog, an exciting swordfight, and the introduction of Angelina (Penelope Cruz) results in Jack being brought aboard Blackbeard’s (Ian McShane) boat.

Once on the boat, the movie is essentially split into two parts.  The first part focuses on explaining the items needed for the Fountain of Youth ritual.  This information is intertwined with some info on the relationship Angelina and Sparrow shared in the past as well as the motives for many of the characters.  Interrupting the main storyline, are scenes centering on Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Gibbs as they exchange comedic blows that help relieve the tension established in the main storyline.  These scenes refresh the audience members and help break away from the classic Sparrow comedy Depp provides the audience.

The second part of the movie takes place on the island and involves finding the items that were mentioned in the first half of the movie.  The island scenes start off with a bang as we meet the deadly, yet beautiful mermaids who wield seaweed weapons and a pair of vampire fangs, and the blood thirst with it.  As Sparrow and company trudge the island searching for the fabled items, more background information is revealed, new relationships are formed, and rivals combine forces to combat the greater threat.  Near the end of the movie, all of the parties seen throughout the movie combine into a fast, and rather lacking battle, that ends with a CGI water spectacular and eventually leads to the end of the movie.

So was this movie worth it?  To answer this let’s do that quick summary that I always do about some observations I made.

What I liked

  • Blackbeard:  Despite him being a horrible man, Ian McShane brought the character of Blackbeard to life for me.   Blackbeard was a character whose goals were selfish, but not as grand as taking over the seven seas, and instead was a character that seemed to be trying to live as long as he could.  This villain also had different sides to him that make him much more dynamic and relatable too.
  • Acting:   Overall the acting was done well by most of the crew.  Penelope Cruz fans will enjoy the fiery Latino as she fights off mutineers and teases Sparrow.  Sparrow is still as awkward as ever, but this time takes most of the screen time to entertain us.
  • Story:  I was impressed by the story and steady revealing about the quest.  This steady revealing opened up more time for character development.
  • Musical Score:  The classic pirate tunes are back and just as exciting as ever.  The music really agreed with the settings and I found myself being pulled further into the scene with each beat of the drum.
  • Mermaids:  Very impressed with how dark the mermaids were and how they were more monstrous than whimsical.  I liked their ability to attack with either seaweed or ramming the boat, but rolled my eyes at the vampire teeth they seemed to have.
  • It was funny!: Need I say more.

What needs work:

  • 3-D: I know it’s the current rage of the movie industry, but there are some scenes that are so cheesy and corny because they were shot in 3-D.  I know it’s an experiment, but surely we could try to avoid such attempts to make the movie pop out at us.
  • Where is the cool crew?:  The zombies in this movie were more ugly than useful.  Instead of having these men fight to protect their captain, they were more slave drivers and luggage carriers that just didn’t seem worth having.
  • Action has been tapered off:  Don’t expect this to be the adrenaline pumping, ship to ship combat, swashbuckling adventure you’ve come to know and love.  Many action scenes have been traded for story.  A few more of those classic sword fights would have been nice.
  • A mermaid love story?:  I’m sorry but it seems like everybody is trying to put an Edward and Bella in their movie.  This movie has a mermaid and a priest fall in love.  What’s up with that?  I can already hear Taylor Swift making her fifteenth love song about a romance in this movie that will make me roll my eyes like I did in this film.
  • Barbosa diluted:  Fans of the classic Barbossa may not be as impressed with his character in this film.  His co-star role has been diluted to more a side story that is used for comic relief, and although Rush plays it brilliantly, it still did not feel like the same Barbosa until the end.

So let’s wrap this up!  Pirates 4 felt more like the original Pirates but still needs some tweaking before we get another first one.  Despite that, Depp and company have begun the next trilogy and I feel that this trilogy will still be worth seeing.  It’s not easy to make a fourth sequel, but Disney has put out a movie that is fun, a little slow, and full of classic pirate adventure, just without the crew.  Overall I give this movie a 7.8.

Recommended audiences:  Pirates of the Caribbean fans, Johnny Depp or Penelope Cruz fans, 3-D poking out at you fans, anyone looking for a fun movie.

People who shouldn’t see it:  Action lovers, Barbosa fans, and anyone not wanting to sit two and half hours in a theatre.

Until next time, continue enjoying the movies!

Bridesmaids is awesome, I DO Agree

So you may have heard a lot of hype about the new movie Bridesmaids starring Kristen Wiig.  Phrases like “Its Fantastic”, “Awesome”, “The Best Comedy of the Year”, and more have filled the headlines of every popular website, journal article, newspaper, and any popular press magazine that the general public reads.  But is this comedy really worth the praise, or is it just some generic comedy that is overdone and overplayed.  My answer is yes, this movie is worth the hype and a comedy that stands above a majority of the others I have seen in the past few years.

The movie starts off steamy as we see Wiig’s character, Annie, having an intense round of sex with a stud for about three minutes before she is asked to leave in the morning.  After leaving the dude’s house, she meets up with her best friend Lillian, (Maya Rudolph), and we get a quick intro into both of their lives and how pathetic their lives are.  Another couple of minutes into Annie’s life pass before Lillian gets engaged and is asked to be the maid of honor.

The next scene then introduces the rest of the bridesmaid party as well as introduces the joke styles that they provide throughout the rest of the movie.  First is Rita(Wendi McLendon-Covey), the blonde, country attitude, bridesmaid who is mother to three boys.  Her jokes typically center on the need for breaking free of her life and the disgusting habits her sons put her through.  Becca (Ellie Kemper)  is the second bridesmaid we meet and is the sweet, innocent redhead that is ignorant to a lot of the dirtier jokes and references, very similar to yours truly.  Her comedy is providing those innocent one liners that will make you laugh at her sweet demeanor and feel sorry.  Another bridesmaid is Helen (Rose Byrne) , the rival of Annie, who is incredibly beautiful, rich, nice, and perhaps Lillian’s new best friend.  Helen’s role is not necessarily funny, but more of fuel for Annie to use as a catalyst for her own comedic lines.  However, perhaps the most enjoyable bridesmaid and, perhaps the zest that makes this movie is Megan, Melissa McHarty, the bridesmaid.  This outspoken, random, tough, and on many levels kind character has so many catchy one liners and out of this world actions will make anybody laugh their heads off.  From the moment you meet Megan, you can’t help but laugh at the comedy she provides this movie.

Okay so after the bridesmaids are introduced, the movie plays out like the trailer shows you as they go to the restaurant, the fitting, a couple of parties, an airplane, a bus, a wedding shower, and finally the wedding.  The comedy in each of these scenes is unique from the next scene, allowing for diversity and continued interest in the movie.  Although most of this unique comedy is due to Megan’s brash and bold nature, Annie does a good job providing laugh, while the rest of the maids are there just to provide some random comedy that is linear.  Regardless the overall combination of these styles really keeps the laughs coming in a consistent manner.

Throughout this movie, scenes involving Annie’s new love interest, a cop named Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd), that starts off rocky and humorous but explodes into a cute, flirting crush, that makes you chuckle at the dialog exchange between them.  Unfortunately these scenes have the same one liners and situations that eventually get boring, annoying, and overdone, but it does provide a little bit of relief from the intense comedy the other scenes provide.  A nice reset to keep you interested in the majority of the movie, and allows a little more character development for Annie.

Before I go into the list of pros and cons, I wanted to also say that there is some drama in this movie that you may or may not like.  The drama mainly falls into either rivalry or fear of a loss of a good friend, issues that many people face over the course of their lifetimes.  I’m happy to say that the drama in this movie was very well done and not overacted, or over dramatized.  I I could actually relate to the issues Annie and the gang were feeling instead of rolling my eyes in disgust or annoyance, like I did in Something Borrowed.  Thus this is yet another strength of this romantic comedy.

Strengths:

  • Meghan’s jokes are funny
  • Comedy is balanced, diverse, clever, and fresh for the most part
  • Dialog is fun and will please most audience members
  • Music is upbeat and fits the setting of the movie well, including the finale song that many will enjoy
  • Not too dramatic, relative issues, and believable acting to pull it off
  • Good pace for a film, doesn’t feel like 2 hours.

Weaknesses:

  • Very crude in some parts, especially from Annie and Rita’s perspectives
  • Rhodes comedy is cute, but very linear and repetitive and gets old quickly
  • Is the F word still the only vocabulary word in America, seems that way in this movie
  • Too silly during some scenes, and seems that the people tried too hard to be funny

Overall Bridesmaids is a movie worth taking a look at.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time, and I have to applaud a movie that can get me to laugh as hard as I did.  So my friends the Robbie Rating for this movie is a 9.3, just short of what I gave the Hangover Part 1. 

Recommended Audience members:

  1. Fans of Knocked up and Superbad
  2. Fans of Clever comedy involving a variety of stuff like sex, vacationing, and other things.
  3. Fans of Wiig or McCarty

People who shouldn’t see it

  1. Action Lovers
  2. People offended by the f word, sex references, and romantic comedies
  3. People who don’t like the actresses mentioned in this review.

Until next time my friends, this is Robbie K signing out.  And remember keep on watching the movies!

Is this movie worth jumping for? Jumping the Broom

About a week ago I saw a triple feature of movies that started with Jumping the Broom.  This movie was an African American comedy that brought together two families from two different social classes and mixed them together in one household.  Although this idea sounds cute, the question to ask is whether or not its worth two hours of your life to see this comedy.  Read below to find out.

The start of this movie starts out with a romantic night out between the two main characters Jason and Sabrina, as we get a rapid intro into their busy lives and how much they love each other.  What turns into a casual walk quickly transforms into a wedding proposal and the amount of time they have for them to get married, which is about a month.  However, my fellow movie goers this movie instead takes place over the course of a weekend, which is packed with so much drama and comedy it makes one wonder how they came up with the dialogue and situations.  A quick walk through of this movie involves the introduction of the two families, of Sabrina and Jason.  Sabrina’s family is a rich and powerful family full of high society, well dressed, and stuck up aristocrats who think lowly of everyone who doesn’t fit into their high society.  The second family is Jason’s who live deep in the heart of the rough city, and have standard working class jobs and the attitude to follow.  The mother, Mrs. Taylor, has an attitude problem with Sabrina who she hasn’t met yet and her family who is taking her baby away.  Despite the disagreements these family already face,  they wind up being forced together on the island home.  Over the course of the next half hour, you get to meet the supporting cast of the movie, which have a variety of traits, and the plot speeds up.

Soon the wedding movie becomes a soap opera with lots of deception, secrets, mistrust, and yes lots of crying.  As one secret build upon another, many hurtful things are said and many lives that seemed together, or in some cases not together, are changed and we are thrown into a state of sorrow.  However, this movie is not all depressing and the directors of the movie have done a good job injecting humor that breaks that tension.  Much of the comedy I found funny came from Mr. Willie Earl, whose comedic timing, funny manner of speaking, and tough but mature attitude brought me to tears a couple of times.  The rest of the cast had some funny moments and a majority of the audience thought the humor was rather clever and enjoyable. Eventually the rest of the drama is revealed, and the predictable plot finally concludes with the ending we all know was coming, which I will not reveal.

So is this worth watching?  Let’s sum up the goods and the bads below:

Goods:

Fast pace:  No slow parts here ladies and gentleman.  The pace of the movie is fast enough to keep most audiences awake, despite the occasional low key moment.

Diverse characters:  Both sides of the family have their unique cast.  The rich side has a stuck up mother, a wacky irresponsible aunt, the quiet debonair mother, the clever maid, the preppy cousin, the cougar friend, the slutty maid of honor, and the enchanting bride.  Jason’ family has the tough love mother, the hard working groom, the mom’s best friend who is like an aunt, and yes the wild Willie Earl who breaks the tension.  I’m sure you will find a character that you will find hilarious in this movie

Comedy balance:  This movie is full of diverse comedy from situational comedy to catchy one liners that will make you giggle.  However, most of the comedy is geared towards a certain audience, it’s not a comedy geared towards everyone. thus, there are some mannerisms that one may not understand.

Fun Music:  Although you may not think about the music when you see a movie, the scenes are complemented well with the music and have you dancing in the scenes.  You may even laugh at a few of the musical selections they have prepared for you.

Bad:

Predictable:  As expected of comedies, the plot is predictable and not very original.  You can see the ending/solutions a mile away and can predict some of the comedic lines that the writers have prepared and weakens the prepared dialog.

Soap Opera:  This comedy has a lot of elements that make it seem like a big budget soap opera.  The secrets in particular make you roll your eyes at the drama that unfolds and you quickly begin asking yourself, “Okay where is the evil twin?”

Those are basically the two big bads of the movie.  However, as you can see I found a lot more positives in this movie that seem to overshadow these two weaknesses.  Heck I still haven’t mentioned the great acting, the beautiful settings, the decent camera work, and yes the ‘unique’ dialogue.  Overall, I think a lot of people will enjoy this romantic comedy and will find a character they can relate to in the first thirty minutes.  If you’re like the audience I saw this movie with, then I have no doubt that most will get over the predictability of the story line and the overdramatic scenes.  The Robbie’s rating for this movie is:  7.5-8.

Intended audience:  Fans of cute comedies, soap opera fans, and people who like fast one liners or quirky comedy

Avoided audience:  People who are not fans of slapstick, people who hate soap operas, and anyone looking for a comedy that has a lot of drug or alcoholic humor.

Till next time enjoy and email me at rgkarim@mail.roanoke.edu to give me insight into my writing and help me improve.

Is the plot borrowed?

So last Saturday I took my weekly trip to the movie theater and caught a double feature.  One of the two flicks was Kate Hudson’s newest movie Something Borrowed, a movie that was all about secrets.

This movie essentially starts out just like the trailers have showed for the past two months with a party celebrating Goodwin’s character Rachel.  Here we see Darcy, Kate Hudson, in her typical role: a spoiled, energetic, silly drunk who is very outspoken.  After a very heartwarming, and by that I mean very cheesy and one liner filled dialog, we fall into a few flashbacks helping set the background story between Rachel and Darcy.  Throw in a few shots of Dex, Colin Egglesfield, and the cast is almost all set up for the movie.

It doesn’t take long for the party to end and the trouble to quickly start as we launch into that famous scene in the trailer where we see Rachel sleeping with Dex.  As soon as this happens, the movie’s plot quickly lays out in about five-ten minutes.  The plot not surprisingly is all about not telling Darcy about the two sleeping together and about Dex and Rachel determining there feelings for one another.

Over the next hour and a half, the movie becomes nothing more then one secret piling onto the others with constant interruptions by one liners and flashbacks.  Add a few predictable outcomes, some drunk scenes, a couple of twists, and some catchy music and bam the movie is over.  So the question is was it worth it?

Goods

  • Music goes well with movie: Do I really have to say more?  The music is very pop culture/mainstream and is adapted to the scenes well.  When a party is currently going on we have fun upbeat dance music, nice walks around the setting gets seasoned with that casual sunshine tone of music, and sad scenes take on a more somber tone with the ivory keys ringing in our ears
  • Camera work: As in most chick flicks, the camera work is very nicely done, though it’s really hard to screw up in these movies.  The sports scene on the beach captures the fun dives, dips, and returns.  Facial features, emotions, and setting are nicely captured and adds some emotional meaning to the scenes.  I would have to really applaud the effects they captured at the end of the movie, though I won’t ruin the scene.
  • Good acting: For the most part the acting was decent if not good.  Goodwin and Krasinski were perhaps the best two of the cast nailing their roles and making the dialog come to life.  The rest of the cast filled their roles okay, but I felt a little bored or disappointed with how they approached their roles with some of them acting a little bland at times.
  • Clever lines: Some of the comedy in this movie, which again there is a lot, had some zing to it.  Unlike Thor, the timing was not as well planned and the jokes that came seemed a little too distant for me to appreciate.  Half the lines had me thinking the writers were trying to be too funny with the dialog, while other times i thought they were trying to be too stupid.  Regardless there was some cleverness to the movie that I found to be fun, however I am rather picky with my comedy.

However this movie has a some serious weaknesses for me that I wish to share with you.

  • Thin storyline: Okay now I know we’re not expecting the best story lines from this movie, but surely you can do better than this.  I know these movies are supposed to be predictable, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely thin out the plot set in the book .  The directors needed to read the novel more and find ways to make the characters come to life and put a little pizazz into the movie, not just fill it with quirky one liners.  Oh well I guess they all can’t be Spielberg.
  • Slow Pace:  Perhaps the story wouldn’t have been as bad if the pace had been faster.  Yes, we know there is a big secret and that both of them have a thing for each other and they both want to act on it.  Does that mean we have to spend the next hour and half talking about it, constantly refreshing the idea that we have the secret, and deciding not to act on it.  NO, this movie could have had just as much comedy in it, delivered the plot, and finished in 1:15 minutes instead of nearly two hours.  There were times where I started to fall asleep because it was the same thing over and over again.
  • Kate’s character:  I love Kate Hudson and think she’s a great actress, but something about this role disappointed me.  Darcy was too much of a drunk, too airheaded, and too immature for Kate Hudson’s talent.  Half the cast from Glee would have been a much better choice to fill the role as they played a similar role not too far back.  If they wanted to use Kate Hudson, then they should have changed Darcy a little to be immature, but not as teenagerish as they had her play.  In this Movie however, I tried to ignore her character as much as possible.
  • Soap opera feel:  This chick flick was also a little too soap opera like for me, with a lot of the characters feeling too immature to be considered real.  There were times when I felt I was watching high schoolers argue about their relationships and I can take a little of that, but not that level no way.

The final judgement for Something Borrowed is… it’s cute but very diluted from what the book was.  The acting needs to be fine tuned for most everyone, the pace needs to be picked up, and the comedy needs to be dialed down a bit.  Keep in mind that there are some very sweet scenes and a few surprise twists that can make anyone’s heart melt.  Keeping everything in mind the Robbie’s Rating for this movie is a 6.0-6.5.

Recommended audiences:  Fans of slapstick, one liner comedy, fans of John Krasinski and Gennifer Goodwin, those looking for a cute comedy, or those looking for a fun date movie to cuddle too.

Until tomorrow my friends keep on watching the movies and let me know how I can improve in my writing.

Is the Hammer mightier than the rest of the crew?

Sorry for the delay but it’s been a busy weekend and I’ve been doing more movies on top of celebrating graduation with friends.  After watching three movies this weekend, I have decided to do my next review on the movie about the mighty Marvel hero Thor!

To star this review off Thor starts with a casual introduction to the star storm chasers Natalie Portman and company.  They race toward a twister cause by an aurora borealis and run into a mysterious man.  Cue Anthony Hopkins smooth voice, which narrates and introduces the two main forces: The Ice Giants and the Asgard forces, and their mighty battle on guess where, Earth.  The first victims of the movie are the vikings, seeing as it’s Nordic mythology this shouldn’t be a surprise, and quickly the mighty god Odin and his forces arrive to save the day.  What looks to be the start of an amazing, heroic, Lord of the Rings like Battle quickly turns into a glitchy, rapid, low key fight that looks more like ants swarming over one another.  We get a few glimpses of the might Odin wielding his spear, a few smashes, screams, and a quick conquering later the war is over.  Although some may be disappointed by this quick battle I assure you there is more to come.

After this battle, jump ahead a few years and we meet two of the main characters in the movie: Thor and Loki.  Time jumps yet again after this scene and now the brothers are mighty warriors and up for ruling the kingdom, with Thor being the favorite of the two.  A small interruption of the ceremony leads to Thor’s hormones reaching sky high levels and we jump into another action scene centering on Thor, and his band of five friends.  Unlike the previous scene, this scene provides a lot of fast paced, mythical weapon wielding action that we can actually follow and see.  Although we see a few moves performed by the other teammates, the action mainly centers on Thor and his ultra powered hammer Mjolnir.  Still no shocker.

Once the fight scene ends, the rest of the story unfolds as we fall back to where the first scene ended.  from here on out the story begins to take a character development role, sprinkled with some comedy and action at certain parts.  Now if you had asked me a while ago if I liked a movie without action, I would have probably gave it low rankings.  However, this movie instead impressed me for the following reasons.

Pros:

  • Character development: Like in the first Iron Man, the character development of Thor is well done.  The movie has done a great job in turning him from his one role into a completely different character that involves fostering deep relationships with Natalie Portman and her crew.
  • Comedy: Just as Rober Downey Jr. did throughout Iron man, the cast of Thor brings out witty jokes and great comedic timing that makes you laugh throughout the movie.
  • Action:  As mentioned before, the action at the beginning is fast and exciting and has some cool moves.  Another scene brings a little more realism to the fighting focusing more on martial arts, then twirling hammers, and the end is more about pretty looking magic.
  • Easy to follow story:  This movie is not like Inception or the Matrix and requires no previous knowledge of comics to understand.  This movie acts like the first twenty issues of Thor and will allow even the coolest person to understand the geek lore.
  • Decent acting:  The acting in this movie is pretty good, with most of the characters diving right into their roles.  Hemsworth has the hearty, arrogant, loud nature down pat.  Natalie Portman shows more of her chameleon talents as she hits the role of a smart astro physicist, with witty sarcastic humor. Hopkins smooth voice and wise eyes bring the head honcho Odin to life.  And Tom Hiddleston has the quiet, mischievous, and witty nature that is famous for the legnedary Loki.  The rest of the cast also lands their roles well and one will not be disappointed or annoyed by the acting.
  • Graphics are beautiful: The magic, mayhem, and lightning are smoothly animated and colorful, providing some exciting elements to the movie.  Combine that with the sound effects that are loud and booming and you’ve got a storm of exciting CGI scenes that will make you wow in awe.

Yet like all movies there are still some weaknesses to this film that bring the score of this movie down

  • Slow at some points:  Unlike Iron Man or Fast Five, Thor is not as fast paced as some of the other Marvel movies.  The pace can be slow at some points and the movie can seem to drag on, a few more action scenes or a chase scene could have made it better
  • Okay Camera work: Their are a few scenes where the camera work is not as smooth as it could have been.  The glitchiness in the camera work can really rob the scene of its true masterpiece.
  • Sidekicks need more screen time: I know the movie is centered on Thor, but a little more teamwork in the action shots could have made for a few more exciting scenes.  Maybe in the next movie this can be accomplished.
  • Bad guys need work: I don’t want to ruin anything, but the bad guys are nowhere near as menacing or scary as we’ve seen in the Dark Knight, Spiderman, or the Fantastic Four.

So let’s wrap this up:  Thor is well designed for a Marvel movie and really focuses on the art of acting, character development, and making a story.  Everyone should be able to find a character, no matter how small their role, to relate to and should enjoy a lot of the well timed jokes.  Although the scenes are not as detailed, the action in Thor is well done and supports the story, but still needs a little more work before we get another Iron Man movie.  A few corrections to the pace, camera work, and bad guys and perhaps Thor 2, if they make it, can be the movie Iron Man was. The Robbie Rating for this movie is:  8.4-8.5

Recommended audience members:  Fans of the Marvel series, Natalie Portman fans, people who like great story and character development roles.

Not recommended for: Action Lovers or people who don’t like loud sounds and bright lightning flashes.

So until tomorrow my friends I leave you to enjoy the movies.  Tomorrow’s review will be Something Borrowed.  Enjoy, oh and like every Marvel movie, you’re going to want to stick around after the credits…. you won’t be disappointed.