Tag Archives: Movie Reviews

Dear White People


Dear White People is a satire set in the fictitious ivy, Winchester University with a majority white student body. The main characters of the film are Sam White (Tessa Thompson) – a militant black student with a radio show on campus titled “Dear White People,” Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) – a black, gay student who doesn’t seem to fit in with the gays or the blacks, Troy Fletcher (Brandon P. Bell) – the big man on campus that is seen more as a token and an uncle tom to some black students and Colandrea Conners aka Coco (Teyonah Parris) – the beautiful, darker skinned beauty who tries so hard to get away from her “ghetto” roots and blend in with the other white students. The movie centers on what leads up to the highly inappropriate hip hop, ghetto fabulous themed Halloween party that wants attendees to “unleash your inner negro.” Continue reading Dear White People

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The Perks Of Being A Wallflower Review *Spoilers*


Guest post by Christy Erving.

Heading into the movie theater on a pretty mundane Saturday evening in October, I didn’t have many expectations for Perks. The previous weekend, I attempted to convince a few of my friends to watch the movie with me, but we ended up seeing Taken 2 instead: very disappointing. Luckily, I had the complete opposite experience at Perks, which I ventured to the theater to see soloA coming-of-age novel by Stephen Chbosky adapted into a feature film, The Perks of Being A Wallflower chronicles the freshman year of a somewhat troubled high schooler, Charlie (Logan Lerman; Percy Jackson & The Olympians), as he struggles to develop meaningful friendships and break through some of his social awkwardness. This is the perfect formula for a great movie…well, it is for me. I love “underdog” stories, so I was hooked as soon as I witnessed the first scene of Charlie eating alone in the cafeteria his first day of high school. What began as just another one of those typical high school “geek-to-chic” storylines (I’m thinking Mean Girls or Grease, which actually happen to be movies I adore) developed into a touching story about a young man who makes strides each day to fight the demons of the sexual exploitation his aunt inflicted upon him for years and the guilt of his aunt’s death when she was killed in a sudden car accident.

Charlie is fortunate to meet some awesome friends during his first year of high school including Patrick (Ezra Miller; City Island, Royal Pains), Mary Elizabeth (Mae Whitman; Parenthood), and Sam (Emma Watson; Harry Potter), who later becomes his love interest. Their friendship circle endures a series of highs and lows, and his friends are also dealing with some seriously heavy, albeit realistic, issues, which make this a must-see-movie. There are multiple layers of storytelling, which is what I absolutely loved. Everyone had their own set of issues, but their friends always looked out for them in the long-run. I don’t want to give away too much, so I won’t delve into the other storylines.

The acting all-around was brilliant, but I truly believe that Miller and Lerman deserve Golden Globe and Oscar nods. Miller almost steals the show, delivering a moving performance full of heart-wrenching gusto. Can I just say that I think this might be the best movie I’ve seen all year?!

Other actors and actresses you might recognize from the film include Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Paul Rudd (I Love You Man, Wanderlust), Kate Walsh(Private Practice) (she’s looking fab and aging well!), Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), and Joan Cusack (Shameless).

Not sure if the movie is still playing in theaters, but it was worth my ten bucks. If it’s no longer in theaters, you’ve got to catch it on Redbox. 🙂

Argo


Argo is one the best movies I have seen all year. Bold statement? Yes, but it’s true. Argo is the story loosely based on CIA agent Tony Mendez’s account of the rescue of six U.S. diplomats – with help from Canada – from Tehran, Iran during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, there were six Americans who managed to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, Tony comes up with a risky plan using a fake movie to get them safely out of the country.

The film stars Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, and a million other people (no really, there are literally a million recognizable faces in this movie). This was incredibly tense and caused so much anxiety for me but it was also really funny. Alan Arkin and John Goodman were so great together as Lester Siegel and John Chambers, the Hollywood director and producer who put together the fake movie. The whole cast is wonderful. I mean kudos to the casting director, Lora Kennedy because I loved picking out all the familiar faces.

This is Ben Affleck’s 3rd film as director and he has gotten better and better with every movie. His earlier films were Gone Baby Gone and The Town. I’m proud of him. He has really turned that whole Bennifer debacle around. He has directed and starred  in some good stuff. If you have liked all the other Affleck directing vehicles, then you need to go out and watch this one as well. You definitely won’t regret it. Argo is in theaters now.

 

 

Pitch Perfect


Pitch Perfect is a movie starring Anna Kendrick (Up In The Air, Twilight) about a  girl arriving at her new college, she finds herself not right for any clique but somehow muscled into one that she never would have picked on her own: a cappela singers. When Beca takes this acoustic singing group out of their world of traditional arrangements and perfect harmonies into all-new mash-ups, they fight to climb their way to the top of the college a cappella world.

At first glance, it basically looks like Glee in college and in some instances it is. But they get beyond that with better arrangements and better acting (cough Lea Michele cough* bad acting *cough). The movie is clearly catering to the demographic that watches a show like Glee but I think it can also be enjoyed by anyone that likes a good comedy. Everyone is hilarious in this, especially Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids, Bachelorette) who continues to be a stand out in every role she’s taken. If you just sit back and just go with the college angst and the sappy romance, you will thoroughly enjoy this movie. Pitch Perfect is in theaters now. 

Sparkle Review


Sparkle is a remake of the 1976 film of the same name. The film is set in the 1960’s about three sisters that form a girl group and on their rise to fame, things become challenging  as the close-knit family begins to fall apart. Sparks plays Sparkle, the quiet, good girl who writes the songs for the group, Tiki Sumpter(Gossip Girl, The Game) plays the sister who has other plans and only joins the group to help her sisters and make some money to go to medical school and the beautiful Carmen Ejogo (Sally Hemings: An American Scandal; Lackawanna Blues) plays Sister, the Diana Ross like lead singer of the group. Whitney Houston, in her last role, plays the overbearing single mother who is a recovering addict and doesn’t want will do everything in her power for her girls to not to end up down the path she went.

Many people will say this is a Dreamgirls rip-off. Not quite. The original Sparkle was released before the original Dreamgirls and kind of served as a blueprint on what to do and not do when they made another movie loosely based on the Supremes. It’s not a Dreamgirls copy but since that was the last girl group biopic that came out, it’s going to get the comparisons. It’s not as good as Dreamgirls, but it is a solid movie. Jordin Sparks, in her first acting role, is perfectly fit as Sparkle. Sparks natural innocence and good girl nature are pretty much perfect for this part. I don’t know why she isn’t bigger than she is because her voice is soooo great. Houston is not in the film as much as they made you believe but her parts were pretty well acted. Whitney has always been a better than ok actress so it was kind of nice to see that even after all the years of craziness that she had been through, she still had it in her to give a good slightly melodramatic performance. Carmen Ejogo is so stunning and a great actress. She plays Sister so well.

Sparkle is not perfect but its pretty good and worth seeing at least to watch Whitney tear up a rendition of “His Eyes on A Sparrow.” It just gets to you. So powerful.

Sparkle is in theaters today.

Bourne Legacy Review


The Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment in the Bourne franchise. This time it is missing the star and director of the other three movies, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass. Writer Tony Gilroy takes the reins this time as director, with Jeremy Renner (Avengers, The Hurt Locker) starring as Aaron Cross, the new super spy who the CIA wants to get rid of. The story picks up from where Bourne Ultimatum left off with everyone chasing Jason Bourne and with all the people that were over the program being called in for senate hearings. The CIA panics and thinks that they are going to connect them to Bourne and feel that they need to scratch the entire program.

This story isn’t new at all. It’s very been there done that. That doesn’t mean it was bad. If this was just some stand alone action movie, then it would be fine, but because it is part of the awesome Bourne franchise, it just looks like the step child of the franchise. Renner does a good job with what he is given as the does fellow co-star Rachel Weisz (The Mummy, The Constant Gardener). Renner makes the character his own and plays it very differently than Matt Damon. Then again they aren’t supposed to be the same character so that is a good thing. One of the really bad things I would say about the movie is that if you don’t know about the history from the first 3 Bourne movies then you might be a little lost but all of that really is just filler for all the action that happens throughout the movie. Overall I would say go watch the movie. It’s the worst of the series, but there is still a good time to be had there.

Bourne Legacy is theaters this Friday, August 10,2012.

Ruby Sparks Review


Ruby Sparks is the story of Calvin (Paul Dano; Knight and Day, Little Miss Sunshine), a young novelist who achieved crazy success early in his career. He is struggling right now from severe writer’s block and a lack of a romantic life. The only kind of play that he is getting are from groupies (who knew there were author groupies? I didn’t) and girls in how dreams. When his therapist gives him an assignment, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character named Ruby who inspires him. When Calvin finds Ruby (Zoe Kazan; It’s Complicated, The Private Lies of Pippa Lee), in the flesh, sitting on his couch about a week later, he is completely stunned that his words have turned into a living, breathing person. From there we see the dynamics of a relationship where one person is the perfect person for them and what happens when that perfect person starts to change and come into their own.

I didn’t really know what to expect from this movie. I hadn’t seen a trailer and all I knew was that it was it was done by the director of Little Miss Sunshine. I liked that movie so I figured I’d probably like this one, which I did. Like Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby Sparks is cute, funny, and very quirky. It’s a smart romantic movie without most of the usual clichéd mess that comes with romantic comedies. I liked Kazan. The movie is written by her and I was very surprised because I didn’t know she was so talented. The only thing I had seen her in was It’s Complicated as Meryl Streep’s daughter and she didn’t have a big part in the movie. I would put Ruby Sparks in the realm of recent romantic movies like 500 Days of Summer that also starred another funny, quirky girl, Zooey DesChanel. It starts off pretty fun and funny then it gets kind of dark. I would recommend this movie. The acting is pretty good and the story is pretty well written. Check out Ruby Sparks in theaters now.

Total Recall


Total Recall is a reimagining of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone flick of the same name. This time around it stars Colin Farrell playing the Schwarzenegger character and Kate Beckinsale playing his wife, the Sharon Stone character. It also stars Jessica Biel as a resistance fighter.

The plot is pretty much the same as the original. Farrell is Douglas Quaid, a factory worker with a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who keeps having memories about his earlier life as a spy. When he goes to Rekall to try to retrieve some of these memories, something goes wrong, and Quaid becomes a hunted man. He finds himself on the run from the police, controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston). He ends up teaming up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his real identity, his true love, and his true fate.

I had very little expectations for this movie. I thought it was going to be awful. Turns out it wasn’t good but it wasn’t as terrible as I thought. The action is pretty typical but decent. The best thing about the movie is Kate Beckinsale. How can such a tiny woman kick so much ass? She has really found her niche with the action movies. If you like her in the Underworld Series, then you will like her in this. She’s just really good at the action thing. Farrell is alright. While watching, I just kept focusing on how hot he looked. Jessica Biel’s character, I felt could have been played by anyone. She didn’t really bring much to the movie. short For those of you that want to know about the 3 breasted woman. She makes an appearance but her role is cut severely short. She I would classify this as a matinée movie. Don’t pay evening prices for this. Hell wait for it on the Redbox or Netflix.

Total Recall is in theaters now.

 

Brave Review


Brave is the new Pixar film about Merida (Kelly Macdonald), the impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) who is determined to carve her own path in life. Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the lords of the land, which inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom. She then turns to a crazy old Witch (Julie Walters) for help and is granted an ill-fated wish. The consequences of her wish force Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.

This movie is so cute. I really enjoyed watching it. I have a thing for female red heads. I don’t know what it is from Julianne Moore, and Julia Roberts, to Emma Stone (she’s blond now but she’ll be back to red), I just love them. And so when I saw Merida with that wild mess of red hair, I knew I would love her. I didn’t really know what to expect from the movie. The first half of it is a little misleading. It’s all about Merida and her parents trying to marry her off, but in the second of it gets to the real heart of the movie which is this mother/daughter relationship. It’s just really great to watch. I even shed a little tear towards the end. I think its great for everyone to see. Granted is it the best Pixar movie? No, but it’s still a great story with lovely characters. Check out Brave in theaters now.