Young Adult should have be matured more in production.

 

 

Over the past two weeks I’ve heard a lot about the movie Young Adult and how it may be one of the best movies of the year.  When I read the plot synopsis of the movie though, I was a little skeptical about seeing the film.  However, I decided to give it a try and report it to you.  So read on if you wish to find out about Diablo Cody’s latest piece of work and find out if the creator of Juno still has her game going.

 

For those of you who don’t know, Young Adult is the tale of Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) a successful writer of a teen book series who is currently hitting a wall.  As a result, she has hit a slump in her life and is searching for motivation to write her next book.  An unexpected invitation conveniently arrives one day from an old flame and Mavis packs up her things and head back to her hometown.  The mission when she arrives is to rekindle the magic she had with her ex-boyfriend even if it means taking him from his wife and new daughter.

 

I know sounds horrible right?  Well I’m here to say that this movie is just as weak as the plot synopsis and may be one my least favorite movies I have seen in months.  The first problem I had with the movie was the horrible plot centering on breaking up a successful marriage just to rekindle an old high school relationship.  It was pathetic watching Mavis’ pathetic attempts fail over and over again and watching her fall further down the rabbit hole of denial.  The audience can clearly see what is going to happen a mile a way, yet it takes forever for the movie to get there.  This slow pace made it hard to keep paying attention and I found myself wondering when the film was going to end.  Their particular choice of filter they used on the camera also gave everything that grayish/sad tone which further sucked my energy away as the cast continued to just ramble on and on about the same things.  The dialog was just fine for the movie, but there was nothing spectacular about it and some of the “comedy” failed to impress me as I found it more insulting than funny.  I guess the final thing to mention that was a big weakness is that those looking for a romantic movie are going to be disappointed, as there was really no romance whatsoever between any of the main characters.  No this is not a rom com in disguise, or a romance drama, this is something different.

 

Was there anything that I liked about this movie?  Well amidst this sea of despair and depression there were some small glimpses of light to help lighten the mood.  For one thing the character Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt) managed to keep Mavis grounded to reality and keep the pace of the story moving.  Of all the characters, Freehauf seemed to be the only character with brains, as he was the only one able to see the situation for what it was.  Although Matt was also able to uncover many secrets, most of which were predictable, he was unable to uncover the big secret that I didn’t see coming, which ironically explained a lot of things.  When Matt wasn’t on screen, the other thing keeping my attention was Mavis’ developing book.  I found it very creative and fun to try and figure out which things she would use in her book and how she would transcribe her experiences into words. 

Perhaps the only other positive thing I have to say about this movie is despite the lousy plot line there were some morals built in to the movie.  I wish not to tell you these morals for fear of spoiling, but rest assured there are some deeper lessons buried within the story line.  By the end of the movie I was able to learn a few things that I challenge you to look for should you see this movie.  Perhaps that is the most brilliant thing Diablo Cody does in her work is find ways to teach people lessons in the subtlest ways.

Young Adult is indeed one of the most unique movies of the holiday season, but for me this movie was just not up to the par of what the hype promised.  The ridiculous plot, insulting comedy, and the ridiculously slow pace were too much for me to take.  Despite Oswalt’s best attempts to keep the story going and the valuable lessons, this movie really is best left to being watched in the comfort of your own home.  Save your money on this film and go see another movie coming out soon, unless you just really need to see a depressing movie for your holiday season.  Overall my scores are as follows:

 

Comedy Drama:  4.5

Overall Movie:  4.0

 

So until Wednesday this is Robbie K signing off and telling you to enjoy the movies.

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Holmes For The Holidays

 

              His name is Holmes, Sherlock Holmes, and he is back for the holidays to partake in another case.  This adventure however does not center on the magical tricks of Lord Blackwell, but instead on uncovering the plot of Professor James Moriarty’s schemes.  As many fans of the series know, the professor is the main rival of Holmes and has given the detective quite a challenge over the series.  So when I saw that this sequel was being made this past summer, I admit that I was worried about what Guy Ritchie’s vision for bringing the intense rivalry alive and whether he could captivate the fan base like the books.  Did the movie accomplish its goal?  Read on to find out.

 

I’ll start by giving my praises to Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as this dynamic duo once again play their roles quite well.  Downey’s ability to play the eccentric, uncontrollable, and resourceful Holmes is quite impressive finding just the right amount of emotion to deliver his well-written lines.  Law as well does a great job portraying Watson once more, using his British charm to be serious and proper as Watson usually is.  However, Law still found a way to add some comedy to lighten up some of the serious situations without trying too hard.  Joining the dynamic duo on their adventures is Stephen Fry and Noomi Rapace who play Mycroft Holmes and Madame Simza respectively.  Fry’s ability to act as a pompous and stuffy politician seems almost natural, and manages to add another level of depth to this movie.  Rapace, who is a replacement for McAdams, does nice work too, though her character was not nearly as involved as I would have liked to see.  Perhaps the biggest applause should go to Jared Harris who played the part of Moriarty amazingly.  I was impressed to see Harris had managed to play the devious professor without going overboard and playing into the stereotypical mad doctor role, which essentially brought the character to life for me.

 

Aside from the acting what else did this movie have to offer?  Well for one thing the comedy is still just as fun.  The combination of the dialog, the costumes, and situations had me laughing at various parts of the movie.  When I wasn’t laughing however, my attention was focused on trying to figure out Holmes’ next moves.  Fans of the series I believe will be impressed with the direction they took to the detective’s strategy on solving the problem.  Moriarty’s counter moves were also nicely executed, the counter strategies keeping you wondering who will win the battle of the wits.  Now some may be worried that this battle of wits could be boring, I’m happy to say that this is not the case in this sequel as there is plenty of action to help keep the pace exciting.  A majority of the action is mainly gunplay, but the occasional close combat scenes are well coordinated.  Those looking for those looks into Holmes’ mind will be happy to hear that they re back in full force and much better done.  Unlike the first movie, a majority of these scenes are timed very well taking place before the action instead of during it, which made it more believable for me.

 

Unfortunately these scenes, as well as many of the action scenes are not filmed to the best extentGlitchy camera work took away some of the detail from the movie and made them hard to follow.  When it came to the gunplay, the camera decided to focus more on Holmes and Watson than the battle over all, which opened up for some comedic dialog, but took away from some of the excitement.  A few other details were lost in the cinematography as well, robbing the audience of some vital information.  Fans of Rachel McAdams will also be disappointed to find out she plays a very small in this film, only appearing in the first ten minutes or so.  Finally the cliffhanger at the end of the movie is cleverly done, but annoying, as I always like a definite finish.  The way this film ends leaves Ritchie open to making a sequel, or finishing the film series as it stands; the uncertainty it presents is very annoying.

 

Sherlock Holmes A Game Of Shadows is a movie that has definite replay potential and is an entertaining treat for the holidays.  With it’s great cast, exciting twists, and balance of comedy, story, and action, it may in fact be one of the better movies this holiday season.  However, the cinematography needs some tweaking for the next installment so I can better follow the film.  My final analysis for this film is as follows:

 

Action/Adventure Movie:  8.0

Movie overall:  8.0

 

As a result I say this film is definitely worth a trip to the theater and you will enjoy the latest addition to the Holmes’ library.  So until next time my friends, this is Robbie K signing off until his next movie.  Enjoy!

Should you be singing for joy for the Third Chipmunks?

 

 

It seems like just yesterday we were jamming with Alvin and the Chipmunks when the Squeakquel came out.  However, two years later we the third movie of the Chipmunks series has reared its squeaky head.  Now when I saw the teaser for this film earlier this summer I admit I was excited especially after hearing their version of Vacation, however as more trailers came out I grew skeptical at what this movie had to offer, especially after hearing I whip my tail back and forth.  To find out whether this movie lives up to its predecessors keep reading on, but for those who hate the Chipmunks turn away now and read another review.

 

For those who have missed the countless commercials adverse is the summary of the trailer.  Alvin and the gang, including the Chipettes, embark on a cruise for a little relaxation and fun.  After the crew has some partying fun, a freak accident sends them overboard, eventually winding up on a deserted island.  Here the Chipmunks must dig into their inner strength and skills to survive the challenges the island has to offer, or lose their minds in the process.

 

The third adventure of the Chipmunks is like its predecessors a good feeling movie that is sure to entertain most of the younger ages, mainly 3-9 years old.  The animated chipmunks are still just as squeaky, rambunctious, and accident prone as we have seen time and time again.  Playing backup to the little fuzz balls is Jason Lee as Dave Seville who again seems to have trouble performing the classic Alvin yell and playing only a slightly bigger role than in the previous installment.  Backing up Lee is David Cross playing Ian who has been demoted from a corrupt manager to a vengeful chicken mascot that is essentially attempting to make Dave’s life miserable.  The two stars are complements to one another setting each other up for their limited jokes in the scenes that don’t involve Chipmunks.  Also joining the cast is Jenny Slate playing Zoe a crazed explorer who has spent one too many years on the island. Slate’s acting in this movie is not the greatest with many of her attempts at showing emotion coming up short.  Her comedy is also quite annoying, and grows stale within the first couple of minutes.

 

Despite the mediocre acting, this movie did have some features that I quite enjoyed.  Fans of the Chipmunks song style will be happy to hear that this is one of the best soundtracks they’ve had to offer.  Many of the numbers are upbeat and fun, which will have your feet dancing to the beat.  My favorite songs in particular include The Gogo’s Vacation and the final number mash up.  These numbers also had some impressive dance moves that were well animated and smoothly executed.   When they weren’t singing, the gang had a few jokes that were humorous and made me giggle; however most of the comedy is geared for younger audience members.  This movie was also cute and had some heartwarming emotions that centered on a few morals such as the importance of family, the need for balance, and learning to place trust in the people you love.

 

This movie is also loaded with weaknesses, as I’m sure many expected, that could make this movie less enjoyable.  One big weakness is that the plot is much thinner than expected, really being nothing more than a glorified island adventure.  A majority of the “surprises” were predictable and one can easily figure out the whole movie within about 25 minutes at most.  Many times I wondered what the point of some of the scenes were, especially a few of the Dave/Ian scenes.  Although some of the humor was funny, this movie does not have too many jokes geared to the older audiences, which can be boring.  Most of the comedy also grows stale over time, which further adds to the boredom of this movie.   A couple of the songs were also more annoying than fun, especially “I Whip My Tail Back and Forth”, which let’s face won’t win song of the year.

 

Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is perhaps the weakest of the three Chipmunk movies.  Despite the catchy musical numbers and smooth animation, the plethora of weaknesses in this movie really makes it difficult to watch in theaters.  However, the cute and family friendly theme in this movie will surely entertain the kids in your family with ease.  I suggest you wait for the movie to come to Netflix or Redbox though and have them watch this film in the comfort of your home.  After reviewing this movie, I will give this movie the following score:

 

Kids movie scale: 7.5-8.0

Movie overall:  4.5-5.0

 

So until then my friends keep enjoying the movies and let me know how I can improve.