Clever Execution and Magical Fun

Now You see Me

                Abra Kadabra my friends, and like magic another weekend is upon us and another round of movies.  This week I start my reviews off with a Crime/Thriller that chooses to use stage performance, illusion, and trickery to pull of the heist.  That’s right I’m reviewing Now You See Me, a movie that promises to be magical, just not Lord of the Lings Magic.  So put away your wands and spell books, and get out your deck of cards as I give my two cents on this movie.

Let’s get right into some of my likes for this movie.  First off has to be the clever plot/execution of this movie.  Now we have seen plenty of crime movies over the last decade that use the same stale plot of a highly skilled team pulling of an impossible task of bringing a corrupt man to justice.   Now you see me takes that stale plot and reconstructs into something that seems fresh and new.  Instead of an elite band of mercenaries, we have four misfits who practice different tricks of the magic trade.  They are pulled together by some mastermind who opens the door with a rather shady invite and a year later the adventure starts as the Four Horsemen are forged.  Cue the Vegas scene, made famous in the trailer, where the audience, both fiction and real, are dazzled by an elaborate show where the eyes are fooled by the sleight of hand.  Only rather than making a simple toy appear, the result is money robbed from a bank from a city miles away.  This allows me to transition into another aspect of the movie, the design of the tricks.  In this film, the tricks were planned out, every detail intricately laced into a heist that is both intense and impressive.  While there are some classic magic tricks done, pick a card and making rabbits disappear, there are some rather unique tricks that, although are a bit fake and farfetched, are creative enough to wow me.  Even more impressive to this reviewer, was the fact that the tricks somehow were linked to the overall plan, which again deserves a round of applause for how much planning, went into this movie.

Another trend you might notice in other crime movies, is that nine times out of ten the police force are either ignorant or idiots.  Well good news, they still are, but this time there is a little more ingenuity to some of their force.  Led by Mark Ruffalo, the police actually have their wits about them and attempt to learn from their mistakes as they fall into a few traps laid out by the Four Horsemen.  Ruffalo and company not only bring on the opposing force to the Horsemen, but also provide an opening for other characters to enter into the movie, often to explain how the tricks work.  You heard me right, the magicians’ secrets are revealed in this movie, but done so to help tie together the loose ends left behind after an exciting chase scene/ fight scene.  How could this explanation get any better?  Simple bring on Morgan Freeman whose voice not only mesmerized me but also allowed a great character to enter into the fray and add more diversity and story into this film.  With this in mind, if you don’t want to find out how the connections fit you need to either leave the theater at points in the movie, or avoid seeing it altogether.  Bottom line the movie is connected and all the characters are involved in some form or manner.

So with a bunch of characters you may wonder how the acting is in this movie.  In a nutshell most of the actors are playing the same roles we’ve seen in other filmsJesse Eisenberg still plays the arrogant jerk, who is incredibly clever and gifted, and insults everyone else.  For some reason though I do like his character in this movie, as the attitude does a great job for pulling off some tricks.  Isla Fisher is still bubbly, but this time she isn’t some shallow air head who only cares about sex and shopping.  Freeman is still as calm and collected, and provides plenty of laughs and facts to keep the movie entertaining and interesting.  Ruffalo has a good balanced character, providing laughs, action, and some driving points to the story as well; he just doesn’t turn green this time.  My favorite actor of the night though is Woody Harrelson, who has plenty of laughs, lots of tricks, and a great source of entertainment.  Overall there are really no surprises when it comes to acting, I enjoyed all of them and I am sure you will find someone to latch onto in this movie.

This movie is definitely a fun summer movie with creativity bursting at every seam.  Yes the plot is fairly predictable, and I do agree the plot is a bit old.  Yet this movie has many good things about it that makes it worthy of taking a trip to the theater.  It is exciting, with a plethora of chase scenes and fight scenes to keep the pace going.  Although some of the mystery is ruined by Freeman’s deductive reasoning, there are still some underlying secrets that keep you intrigued into the movie, like who the mastermind is and what are the motives for pulling off the pranks.  Yes there is a bit of cheesiness in the plot, and some of the stunts they pull are again a bit farfetched that some people may roll their eyes, but for those who like a lot of imagination and clever execution, this movie is for you.

So what do I give this movie?  My scores are

Crime/Thriller 8.0

Movie Overall: 8.0-8.5


A Beautiful World That Kids Will Enjoy



My third film for this Memorial Day weekend takes me out of the rated R woods and into one that is more magical and kid friendly.  No I’m not on drugs, I’m talking about the movie Epic, DreamWorks latest animated installment.  I’ll admit that seeing the trailers last summer got me stoked at the potential for comedy, action, and a heartwarming tale.  Yet like many movies I feared that I would be disappointed by the final product.  What was the verdict?  Read on to find out.

As the trailers promised, the world of Epic is a beautiful creation of art, computer graphics, and attention to detail.  The animators at DreamWorks do their homework when it comes to creating their worlds/characters, managing to capture the natural grooves, curves, and texture of nature’s beauty.  From the lines in the various leaves to the warped and horrific dimensions of rot, Epic’s visuals are indeed some of the finest I’ve seen in a while.  They don’t stop there however, as the team took another step up to develop their creatures of fantasy.  The denizens of the hidden world in the forest impressed me, as a beautiful blend of human anatomy and environment melded into a combination that I could only dream of.  Of course like many movies, there was plenty of cookie cutting going on, especially in scenes where there were mass congregations or when the enemy swarmed the scene.  Despite this minor flaw though, Epic’s world is clever, bold, and magical.

Yet visuals probably isn’t the main reason most will be seeing this movie is it?  Many people may be going to take a young family member/friend to see a fun adventure.  If that is the case, Epic is your movie of choice as the children in my theater were dazzled by what the movie had to offer.  The comedy styles of Mub (Aziz Ansari) and Grub (Chris O’Dowd) might have been the most entertaining factor for the audience.  Both Ansari and O’Dowd throw their two cents into the fray, one thinking he is a player, while the other wants to be a knight.  Yet both are goofballs doing odd tricks, making silly faces, and performing mannerisms that the young and young at heart will love.  Their voices matched the characters incredibly well for me, both giving the lines the perfect punch to leave me in stitches.  Of course the other characters have some one hit wonders when it comes to making people laugh.  A three legged dog, a clumsy professor and even Nod (Josh Hutcherson) have a few moments that are quite amusing.

Aside from two wisecracking slugs what else might grab the audience’s attention?  I would have to say the action/adventure of the movie was the next big factor.  I can’t lie it didn’t meet my expectations, but then again it is a kids movie.  Instead of the Lord of the Rings like battles, most of the fighting was limited to well-placed arrow shots, a few punches, and a couple of sword slashes.  Again the younger audience will mostly think it was awesome, but don’t get your hopes too high.  When Nod or Ronin (Colin Farrell) fly birds is where the real excitement comes into play.  Like a mad roller coaster ride, the audience gets to watch the majestic dance unfold as the airborne steeds navigate through nature’s obstacles whilst their riders flip acrobatically to avoid danger.  Overall the violence has been brought to a bare minimum, and parents won’t have to worry about their kids acting out a beheading scene.              Amidst the excitement though is a bit of sadness as well.  For me I foresaw many things coming, but younger audience members might get a little upset at some of the sadder scenes in this movie.  Some scenes even scared a few of the younger audience members, particularly those that involved the loud roars and creature popping out of the ground, so again be cautious when taking them.

Despite how much of this is geared towards kids though, there are still a few thing DreamWorks did to entertain the adult audience.  Mub’s jokes have some adult humor in it, which will surely get some laughs, though not as many as Donkey from Shrek.  Unlike most kid movies, Epic does a good job avoiding the annoying characters and keeping things in balance to avoid making parents want to slam their heads into the seat.  However, it is inevitable for some lines to get ingrained into the minds of the kids, so expect some endless quotes to follow you home.  The thing I found most adults will mainly love is some of the heartwarming moments in this movie.  I’m not talking about a budding romance that we saw in Ferngully, but instead is more about reuniting and self-discovery amidst a chaotic world.  Now you might find it cheesy, but for me I found it to be well done, and something I could experience in the real world, minus the fairies and small creatures.  Yeah some of the dialog was a bit too forced, but not bad overall.

As for the voice acting, I think that it was a great cast to pick and that the characters represented a lot of images their actors portray in other media.  Hutchinson is naïve, youthful, and rebellious, Pit-bull has the persona of a big boss toad who likes to run the show, and Beyoncé has a side that is caring and nurturing.  Regardless, Epic has a lot of positives that I think will wow and amaze kids.  The “exciting” battles, the lovable characters, and the cute comedy are certain to entertain a lot of people, but Epic still needed some fine tuning before coming out.  My scores are below:

Animation/Adventure/Family:  8.0

Movie Overall:  6.5-7.0

Add Some More NOS for this Sixth Ride

fast and the furious 6

               What has beautiful women, fast cars, comedy, and action?  No I’m not talking about a college spring break in Miami, Florida; I’m talking about the latest installment in the Fast and Furious Franchise.  Last night two of my buddies and I had the privilege of seeing an early showing of Furious 6, and like always I have plenty to say.  Let’s get started.

For those who saw Fast Five, you know that Brian (Paul Walker) and Mia (Jordana Brewster) were expecting their first child, Dom (Vin Diesel) and his crew were all millionaires and Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) was “searching” for them.  Number six picks up pretty much two months later, showing how the heist crew, minus the two demolition experts, are enjoying their well-earned rewards.  In F&F world though, nothing every remains quiet for long as a ghost from the past, Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) stirs the embers of intrigue and revenge in Dom resulting in the team coming together to find her.  Now let’s start the review.

The opening of this movie is a bit slow at the beginning, but provides enough laughs and information to refresh old fans memory of the plot, while making a small foundation for those new to the series.  After a ridiculous interrogation scene, a rushed planning scenes, and some more jokes later, bam we get to our first action scene.  Now you might be thinking, oh great another loud sequence of cars rushing through the road sending pedestrians and bystanders dodging to the sides.  For the most part you are right, but this time they are chasing after a band of mercenaries led by
Luke Evans
attempting to steal some government secret weapon component.  While this goal is not the most unique, it’s at least a slight change up to the typical motives behind the adrenaline pumping, engine roaring speed fest that we’ve seen for the last thirteen years.  The stunts are still impressive, the cars so sleek and beautiful it hurts, and the music so aggressive that it blends into an exciting ride.  Of course this wouldn’t be worthy of being an F&F movie if there was only one chase scene right  Don’t worry number six has a few more car scenes that continue to show off the world of stunt driving, CGI and mediocre plots centered around finding ways to make cars go fast.

One should note though that the action isn’t just limited to cars.  Nope F&F6 opens has taken the liberty to add more diversity in their butt kicking arsenal.  With the Rock taking more screen time, fans get to see a few more fist fights and body slamming that allows you to see what the Rock is cooking.  When Johnson isn’t putting the hurt on someone, the rest of the gang takes their shots at either putting a cap in someone, or pulling out some martial arts skills to defeat their opponents.  Some of these fights rock, while others are merely meant to have you laughing as the heroes throw out witty banter.  Despite some of the ridiculousness and over the top stunts, the action will still have action fans on the edge of their seats, hooting for their favorite characters.

Putting the action aside though, the movie does have other qualities that help balance things out.  For one thing the comedy in this movie is still strong, especially when Roman (Tyrese Gibson) takes the stage.  The feisty, self-involved, ladies’ man is the center of the comedic pillar pulling all the other characters in to a friendly rivalry that symbolizes the brotherhood between the team.  From my standpoint, I think Gibson must make these jokes daily, as the acting made it seem that it was just an ordinary day, especially when going toe to toe with Tej (Ludacris).

For me the comedy also helped make up for some of the plot holes this movie had.  The lack of reasoning behind Evans attacks left me feeling as this guy was just crazy.  The plot revolving around Dom and Letty though was the better developed of the story, with much of the movie focusing on the internal struggles occurring between the two.  While the romance is not my favorite part, the movie does a good job not rubbing love in my face, and actually uses the plot to bring in other ghosts from the pasts to strengthen the movie.  Laughs and love aside, the movie also does a nice job keeping you on your toes as to who will survive the ordeal.  Many times there are close calls where you are not sure if someone will live, and yes there are even some deaths that upset my friends, despite how predictable it was.  All in all though, the plot isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen, it just was lacking in some areas that I felt failed where the fifth one succeeded.

Luckily we still have a nice balance of characters/actors in the movie, with the exception of a few who took a major back seat to Dom and Letty, (i.e. Mia, Tej, and Elena).  While the action was impressive, the camera work still had a few spastic moments that were either a bit dizzying or a bit annoying.  As for the villain, again the guy had skills and a lethal team, but they failed to really build him up or give him some pizazz to make him stand out as a great bad guy.

Regardless F&F6 is a good movie and keeps the series alive for at least one more movie to come, watch the credits.  Acting is just like before, the action is still rip roaring fun, and the comedy is golden to keep you laughing the whole time.  Yet some weaknesses in plot and centering on Letty/Dom hindered this movie to make it less enjoyable for me.  My scores are below:

Action/Crime/Thriller: 7.5

Movie: 7.0

Chowdown on The Wolf Pack’s “Final” Adventure

                Hangover Part III


The wolf pack returned to my town tonight, and thus comes another opportunity to adventure with the heroes of wild, crazy, and drunken stupor comedy.  That’s right folks; The Hangover Part III is the movie up for review this weekend.  I don’t know about you guys, but for this reviewer I wasn’t a big fan of the second movie, Alan of course being an exception.  For me seeing the first movie rehashed in a different country just didn’t amount to the first one or as a movie on its own.  That and the fact of seeing half and half people is enough to end chills down my spine.  So when the third movie reared its bearded face, I didn’t know what to think.  What was my verdict?  Please read on to find out.

Unlike its predecessors, the third installment starts off with a bit more spice to it, as the infamous Mr. Chow escapes his imprisonment from Bangkok’s maximum security prison in a manner mirroring the Fugitive only with more course language.  Oblivious to his escape is our favorite fat man himself Alan, who is still as childish as ever buying things with his dad’s money without care of the consequences.  After an unfortunate accident with a giraffe and a highway, the adventure starts and a “new” tale begins.  This brings me to my first thumbs up of the movie, the different approach to wolf pack’s adventure.  While I enjoyed putting the puzzle together of what happened to the trio in their drug induced night, it was getting stale.  Part III moved forward in time though, and we got to watch the antics unfold as they attempt to stop Mr. Chows drug induced journey.   Does this mean the ridiculous of the movies have gone down?  Not at all, we just get to see the ridiculous unfold in present time instead of through a series of flashbacks.  Instead we got to see a little more of the trio’s inner characters come to fruit and in a sense mature from what we saw a few years back.  The new pace also allowed some old faces to reappear to not only drive the plot forward, but also tie up some loose ends that I didn’t think existed.  Overall I found the crew for this movie did a nice job breaking their traditional style and applaud their cleverness in this film.

Just because we aren’t uncovering the events of the drunken night before though doesn’t mean this film doesn’t have comedy.  All the characters are still the same in this movie, just a little older, a little gutsier and surprisingly a little more mature.  Mr. Chow is still as annoying as ever with his voice, taking any opportunity to drop an F bomb or call someone a bitch.  Yet the feisty man now has a bigger part in the film instead of just making well-timed appearances to provide some information.  Alan is still as childlike and stupid, delivering his classic, one liner filled lines with the same emotion to make you laugh your head off.  Combine that with Galifianakis’s face and you get a combo that has continued to make the man entertaining to watch.  As for Phil and Stu, well they have their moments, but the new pace didn’t give them as many opportunities to be their classic selves.  Stu is still pathetic, but there was no horrific event that happened the night before for us to laugh at, well at least through most of the movie.  Phil on the other hand just curses a lot, and remains the pillar of the group while also being eye candy for the ladies in the audience.  Even though the characters are getting old, the combination of these three is still entertaining.  The way they bounce insults off of each other, work to screw up things, and react to one of the others stupidity is so well done I feel as if they are actually this group.

Despite the cleverness and new approach, this movie is still another comedy that falls within the mass sea that has flooded the market.  While I liked this movie better than 2, this film is still just a rehash of the first movie with the same tired plot elements.  Some of the jokes are either the same as those of the predecessors, or so similar that they are not as funny, minus a few lines that shine that shine through.  The movie also relies a little too much on Alan and Chow, focusing not only the comedy but the story on these two.  While entertaining, there is only so much of chow I can take in the course of two hours before I’m ready for someone to take the arrogant fool out.  Finally, I didn’t enjoy some of the animal cruelty the movie showed.  A decapitated Giraffe is one thing, but some of the other references I didn’t enjoy with my soft spot for animals.

The Hangover Part III was a step in the right direction for the series, but I hope they will end it here, though with the ending that doesn’t look to be the case.  It is still fun, crude, and a wild ride that many will enjoy.  I encourage fans of the series, especially Chow and Alan, to go see it in theaters and enjoy the cleverness this movie has.  Those who are just casual fans of the series though, I would say hold off for some of the other comedies down the line.  However, you looking to get out of the house and just have a casual laugh, then please go and see this movie.

My scores for this film are:


Comedy: 7.0

Movie:  6.0

Cast of Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness



Space the final frontier.  It seems that no matter how many movies we make about the black void, we still continue to push the limits as to what lurks out there.   While numerous movies have failed in their challenge, there are some movies that shine brighter than the stars that decorate the screens.  One of these treasures is the Star Trek series, both show and movies, which deliver the science fiction adventure to other words and sticking to the physics pretty well.  Although I was a little shocked at Abrams reset of the series, I still enjoyed the modernization of the series and the update in graphic/action.  Now four years later, Abrams has come back with another sequel in an attempt to keep the interest alive.  How was this movie?  Please read on to hear my opinions.

Just like the last movie, Abrams pulls out the stops to get the tale going with a rush out the gate.  Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and his crew are out on a mission trying to save everyone from everything.  Amidst the beautiful world and rather impressive CGI landscapes, the action gets the audience’s attention quickly, perhaps even bringing you to the edge of your seat.  Of course this is only the beginning, and throughout the movie the action just continues to vamp up bringing in more lasers, highly choreographed moves, and ship on ship action.  All of this is brilliantly captured with cinematography that keeps up with the fast pace, only going into shake down mode when necessary (i.e. the ship gets hit).  Now don’t get too upset and worried that Abrams has turned this franchise into a kung fu movie with flashing lights, no instead the action is integrated with the story and drives the plot to help avoid any slow parts.  Is it the best balance?  No, but for this reviewer I like a faster pace so long as character development isn’t sacrificed.  Unfortunately the developing team did get a little carried away at points where a few chase scenes or an epic crash felt a little dragged out, or maybe it was just the fatigue I felt at two in the morning.

Now let’s turn our attention to the plot of Into Darkness.  In a nutshell it’s good, it’s fun, and it has a lot of character development to keep people interested in the story.  The relationship between Kirk and Spock (Zachary Quinto) in particular was rather well done, blending in a variety of comedy, anger, and a variety of other emotions that made it feel like I was watching two brothers fight.  Yet just like last time, these two are only a segment of the character pillar and not the whole thing.  Abrams and his staff did a great job integrating the entire crew into this film, getting all of them involved in some major way.  Sulu (John Cho), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Bones (Karl Urban), and many more provide lots of laughs, plot elements, and a variety of other qualities that keep the movie just as fun as the first, yet with more drive behind it.  In this film, the audience gets to see new sides to these classic characters as they are pushed by the darkness that surrounds them.  Most of this darkness is due to the new villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch.  The casting crew did their homework or got lucky when they got Cumberbatch onset.  This man had the look, the tone, and moves that a good villain needs.  I don’t know if it was his acting or the character design that impressed me more, but this dude kept the story exciting and diverse as he threw new challenges into the fray.  Of course tactics wasn’t the only thing this dude had going for him, awesome moves, skills with weapons, and other qualities that I wish not to mention at the moment.  Yet despite the sheer awesomeness of Cumberbatch’s character, they still made him a little too strong, giving him the qualities of an unbeatable God that was a little too stretched for me.

Abrams success with the characters and action are just the tip of the iceberg of success with this movie.  The man managed to integrate a lot of movie aspects in a balanced manner that again kept the audience into the movie.  There was plenty of comedy in the film, whether it is a well delivered line or a Star Trek reference that fans will absolutely love.  When the audience wasn’t laughing they were captivated by the “twists” and “turns” of this predictable story line.  Parts of the movie even had people crying, or at least silent, as they awaited the fate of their favorite character.  As I already said, the action was very well spread, constantly building upon itself to an exciting end game battle.  All of this was a formula for success for me, and I wish that other movies could take the hint and incorporate this style into their movies, *cough Transformer, cough Newest Iron Man, cough a lot of other movies cough.  However, I don’t know everything about the art of making movies so I’m sure I’m missing some pieces to the puzzle.

Star Trek into Darkness is a great science fiction action movie to get the summer started off.  Great acting, beautiful CGI work, and balance left me clapping at the end of the movie.  Sure the story was predictable for me, and yes some of the intensity was lost on me with their obvious foreshadowing, but still it was a tale worth getting into.  As for the 3D, I can’t give you much on that since I saw it in the cheaper 2D version.  However the scenes I pictured popping out at me could be cool and not too cheesy.  My score for this film is:

Action/Adventure/Sci-fi: 9.0

Movie Overall: 8.5-9.0

Gatsby I Presume


                Hello all, it’s me Robbie K finally returning after a three month dry spell.  I apologize for my absence but I return once more to attempt to inform you about the latest releases at the theaters.  My first review back is on the book made movie/remake of a literary classic:  The Great Gatsby.  I’m sure if you are like me; you might have big expectations for this movie, or at least were hoping that Hollywood didn’t screw it up.  Well if you’ve got a few minutes keep reading to hear my opinions on this film, if not well hope to catch you next week.

Instead of giving you a summary of the trailer, I’ll jump straight to what I thought about this movie.  Let’s start with my favorite thing about the movie, the soundtrack.  Rather than falling into cliché of using the music of the era, this rendition of Fitzgerald’s literary classic chose the path of blending modern, orchestra, and jazz into their music mix.  Modern rap and hip hop opened up the party often showing the masses conglomerating into the house.  Once inside the party zone, the music transitioned into the jazz to provide the ideal beat to support the various dances the extras performed.  Of course the movie isn’t just about partying, but also has a lot of emotion tied into the film as well.  While jazz and other current hits, the orchestra track provided the extra kick needed to bring out the emotion embedded into the various scenes.  Sure I may be too obsessed with the musical score, but the truth is an epic soundtrack can add an extra edge to make a scene more memorable.

Of course what is a movie without stunning visuals?  Usually not a very good movie, but luckily Gatsby has got some pep in its step.  The parties in particular were what impressed me the most.  All the partygoers were dressed in the 1920’s fab, filling the screen with both chic fat cat swingers, and stunning women in gorgeous dresses.  The setting of Mr. Gatsby’s house was also detailed and dazzling filled to the brim with elegant artwork, beautifully crafted outdoor porches, and of course enough room to provide plenty of angles to capture the party goer’s adventure into wild, alcohol infused fun.  For this reviewer, I applaud the balanced mix of close up dance moves and wide angled shots that showed the masses interacting with Gatsby’s house, especially for those that chose to dance and mingle around the pool.  Now the rest of the movie was pretty well designed as well, but to my eyes it looked like the editing crew had a fair share of input in this movie.  Often many of the car scenes looked fake, with many of the trees, buildings and coal piles looking a little too smooth and polished.  My guess is this artificial environment was created for the 3-D version of the movie.  Unfortunately there also seemed to be a rather fast, glitchy, movement to the actors in certain scenes that was a little odd to see.  It could just be my old eyes, but past this minor glitch and over polished world, the world was well crafted.

By now you might be saying, “You idiot what about the acting?  Did the acting do the characters justice?”  I say yes, especially for that debonair man himself Leonardo DiCaprio who was a shoe in to play Mr. Gatsby himself.  Leo’s charming smile fit perfectly in the billionaire, containing a combination of confidence and arrogance that was offset by the kindness in his eyes.  Over the course of the movie Leo not only added the stereotypical snooty tone of a rich playboy, but evolved to deliver his poetic lines with the emotion of someone who actually wrote those very words.  And when the time finally came to display the last parts of Gatsby’s emotional spectrum, he transitioned flawlessly into the anger and sadness that followed.  Of course Leo isn’t the only actor in this movie is he?  Tobey Maguire, formerly Spiderman, surprised me with his performance in this movie.  The role of Nick Caraway was perfect for him, playing the odd, scared, and rather immature stock boy that tell the audience the story.  I must say I enjoyed this role a lot more than the last few roles I’ve seen, despite his insane rants and depressed writing.  Carey Mulligan was a vision of loveliness as well, her looks dazzling and a pleasure to look at.  As for her acting, I think she did a good job, though I don’t remember the character of Daisy being so annoying.  I don’t know if it was the directing or what, but somehow Ms. Buchanan was a little too clingy, desperate, and annoying to really get attached to her.  Then again I never was able to relate to soap opera drama queens who are stuck on love.  As for the rest of the cast well they did fine too, but I don’t have time, nor do you want to hear me describe every single character.

I did enjoy this remake of Gatsby very much, and thought it was a good movie to continue drawing people back to the movies.  The settings and music went hand and hand, and the acting for most of the cast I think did a nice job bringing the characters to life in the modern age.  How well did it stick to the book?  I can’t answer that question as it has been 5 years since I last turned the pages, though I intend to read it again.  My final comment on the movie is that the pace needed a little tuning up and probably shortened a bit to help keep my attention.  My scores for this film are the following:

Drama/Romance:  8.0

Movie overall: 7.0-7.5