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Strange Magic (2015)
Felt like a lazy production.
I am not a fan of this movie. The characters are embarrassing heroes. They're too clumsy, vain and have extremely flawed personalities. They're just not likable. On this occasion the dark side creatures were far more endearing. And I could see things from their perspective.
Even when you get to the love is blind message it was hollow and meaningless. They bonded over hatred and negativity. The whole thing felt super forced as they tried too hard to prove love is blind.
Also what is with all the songs. Even musicals don't break out into song as much. There was barely any unique dialogue instead they stole their words from popular music. It was quite distracting and pretty lazy on their part.
The one thing I was impressed with was the detail that had gone into the animation. All the characters and scenes were marvelous excluding the fairies. They just looked like middle age women with bad haircuts.
I see where they were going with this but they lost me before it really began.
Imaginative and vibrant.
Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 is even more exciting than the first. The gangs all back together again and are up against a slew of mutant food creatures created by Flint's infamous food generating machine.
The movie picks up immediately after the first and as you can imagine Swallow Falls is no longer inhabitable due to all the leftovers. After leaving their home for a few months to take on new lives they return to what has become an overgrown food jungle. Expectedly adventure ensues.
The whole thing was filled with corny food jokes and wildly creative edible creatures. They really let their imaginations run wild when they thought this stuff up. I was so impressed with the final presentation and really thought it took the series to the next level. A really entertaining great movie.
A fun edible ride.
It's such a fun and creative concept, who wouldn't want to see delicious food falling from the sky. Seems nice in theory but I'm sure it would be pretty sticky and smell quite bad.
Because it's so imaginative it makes up for the one-dimensional characters. They may not have a lot of personality but they certainly have a lot of heart. It's just one aspect but they don't make the movie for me.
It's the animation that makes it a memorable classic family film. It's beautifully colourful and has a nice amount of intricate details. They have really made the effort to create a wonderful world that enchants you.
The Lion Guard (2016)
A fun adventure.
The Lion Guard TV show is definitely more entertaining than the introductory movie. Now that they've introduced the lead characters and explained the backstory they're able to move onto mini fun adventures. Each week you get introduced to a new African species with all their quirks and issues which keeps it fresh.
I do find it somewhat hard to believe that all the animals are dumber than five young members of the lion guard though. So it's not a super realistic show. I also wish they put a little more thought into the musical numbers. They're pretty obvious and not particularly catchy.
Overall it's a nice fun show.
The Babadook (2014)
They took it too far just to be shocking.
This movie is eerily creepy and suspenseful. It progressively gets better as you get through the movie but the beginning was extremely slow and boring.
I have also found it hard to move past the following things. 1. The heavy Australian accent was too bogan for my liking. 2. The characters were annoying as hell. I don't know how the mother put up with a kid like him for as long as she did and she's just an all-round bad parent herself. 3. Never bring a dog into it. So not cool.
Putting aside the above issues it did manage to create a certain level of terror. It was slightly erratic in parts and became quite sadistic and violent.
I can see how some people may enjoy it but it's not my cup of tea.
The Returned (2015)
Ends abruptly with no explanation.
I personally found The Returned to be quite tedious. It was slow to evolve into something interesting and came across as quite predictable.
Everybody seems to be annoyed at how it isn't as great as the french version but forget about the french version hasn't anyone ever seen the show The 4400. They can change it up all they like but it's too similar, even down to the creepy "special kid".
I thought it might be interesting but I don't want to see another remake of this concept. The cast are all mediocre, not technically bad actors but just boring and missing that star presence.
Give it a miss as it ends before it really got a chance to start. You'll be left with many questions and an unsatisfied feeling.
Light and a bit of silly fun.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is your typical feel-good family comedy that hopes to teach you a few life lessons along the way.
The plot is simple but sufficient enough to entertain. It wasn't a great movie but it has it's funny moments as well as the touching ones. It doesn't go too deep but if you watch it with the family you may just walk away with something.
It slightly verges on too unrealistic in parts; how can you have five important events all in one day, but you can tell it's not mean't to be taken too seriously. Keep your expectations reasonable and you might just enjoy the movie.
It sent a shiver through my spine.
Poltergeist (2015) thankfully doesn't feel like your traditional reenactment of a classic horror film. It has the same concept but it had a different 21st century feel to it.
Initially I found it hard to watch and some of the scenes were so terrible that they were comical but as the film progressed it began to actually get scary. The little girl was the one who sold it for me, she's terrifyingly sweet. It's just unfortunate that the rest of the cast were a bit lame in comparison.
For a horror film...not bad. It had everything I was looking for and the special effects were actually pretty good. They were gruesome and quite different. It's not the best thing to come from the genre but it was scarier than some I've seen recently.
Get Hard (2015)
Funny at times.
I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this movie. There were moments when I could not stop laughing but there were also times when the whole thing felt too forced. Will Ferrell tried to shock and gross you out too many times. Kevin Hart on the other hand was hilariously sweet as the family man. He gave energy to the film and stopped it from becoming totally low-brow.
The overall story was fairly predicable but there were some nice surprises as well. Maybe if it hadn't been so awkward in places then I could have rated it higher. Also if I see Will Ferrell's butt one more time I will need to gouge out my eyeballs. Not cool.
Not a bad movie but not great.
Freaks and Geeks (1999)
It deserves the cult hit status.
I'm so glad I stumbled across this cult classic. It stars the who's who of the celebrity stoner crowd and honestly I never knew they had this in them. This is one of the best adolescent coming of age shows I have ever seen. Some may see it as hollow and moronic but that's the point. Kids are moronic and repeatedly make mistakes. I can definitely see the comparison between my high school and the characters of the show.
Seems like someone else thought it was pretty great as 10 Things I Hate About You...another brilliant adolescent tale, appears to have adapted it into a film version. This point alone gives it even more credit in my eyes.
It deserves some serious recognition for launching so many stars careers and I can assure you that you won't regret watching it.
Melissa McCarthy please no, just no. What made you ever think making this movie was a good idea. I wanted to be sick throughout the entire thing. On the upside the ending was really heartwarming and and I was rooting for Tammy's success. Unfortunately you subjected me to some pretty awful and traumatic things up until that point.
With a cast so talented I expected better. The jokes were weak and nothing new and only gave me a few laughs. You used shock tactics to assault my eyes and ears while repeatedly demoralising yourself. Thank you for the attempt but you can do better. Please refrain from going down this pathway ever again.
Very funny but not what I was expecting.
I genuinely enjoyed What to Expect When You're Expecting and found it to be quite hilarious. The jokes were well timed and it seemed to be outrageously truthful in places and bullsh!t in others. They tried to depict multiple experiences with pregnancy from the very difficult to the "oh it was a breeze". Nobody's perfect yet everyone feels the need to have the perfect experience.
I only wish they had explored each character in more detail. They all seemed very shallow below the surface as there were too many individual story lines. You didn't get to see the whole journey for anyone so it left me wanting more.
By far the best part of the whole movie was seeing the dad's group hang out. Why does this not happen more often in real life. It's not only a brilliant support system but I'm sure it would be hilarious. Chris Rock stole the scenes for me. The man knows how to be funny.
I will definitely give this one a second viewing and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an inappropriate laugh.
Hot Pursuit (2015)
When I saw the rating on Netflix I thought for sure people are being too harsh...unfortunately they weren't. Hot Pursuit is one of those movies that in theory should be hilarious but in execution it's a real turkey. Some parts were so terrible that they actually were funny but the majority was fairly cringeworthy.
They went for the cheap stereotypical shots and came across as fools. It was too slapstick and too far-fetched. By the end I had had a few laughs but never again would I watch it. I'm so disappointed as it should have been much better but they just didn't put in enough effort or consideration.
Now You See Me (2013)
Brilliant magic tricks but lacking in plot points
It has the ability to draw you in and keeps you entertained and engaged for the entire film but it's lacking substance. Once the show's all over you move on with your life and then don't give the movie a second thought. It's a decent movie but there's nothing really more to it than trickery.
Each magic trick they perform provides the beginning, middle and end of the movie. A clumsy cat and mouse chase and a stand up for the little man angle has also been thrown in but it could have been better thought out.
I would recommend you watch it for the magic and nothing more. The tricks really are very clever.
Hemlock Grove (2013)
Gruesome and suspenseful.
It's nothing like I was expecting but overall it's a pretty decent show. The first few episodes of season one were probably the worst as it took a bit to find it's flow. Once it did season one became the best and most exciting season. I have never seen so much gore and the concept while nothing really new was constructed in a way that I couldn't see what was coming next.
Season two similarly started out slow but then evolved well towards the end. I only have season three to go and cannot wait to see how they finalise the show. There are so many directions they can take it.
One of my only criticisms is the acting. The cast are talented enough but thank god they got rid of Olivia Godfrey's terrible accent. It was hard to tolerate and gave the show an amateur feel. As the show progressed it became less noticeable and you could just enjoy.
It's not for everyone but if you're a supernatural fan then it might just be that "something new" you've been craving.
A marvelous journey through an exotic land.
As I'm under the age of 70 I was not expecting to enjoy this movie as much as I did. In fact it was actually very brilliant. The main characters lives became intertwined seamlessly and each had their own individual perspective on life. A greater more talented British cast I have not seen. When they were all thrust together through circumstance they morphed into one well-rounded personality with the ability to develop into content adults. Maggie Smith and Judi Dench were particularly fantastic.
While the cast of characters carry the movie the absolutely stunning backdrop of India sends it over the top. The vibrancy of the setting creates a fun and lively adventure for the viewer. It also seems like a perfect place to find oneself, which leaves you feeling motivated and inspired.
Has potential but I haven't been able to move past the development flaws.
I took a little while to warm up to Gotham. I didn't really feel that the casting was right and the episodes were so-so. Once some of the regular evil villains start to come into their own it got a little better. It's exciting to see how they become who they are today and what drove them to insanity. As for little Bruce Wayne...well I'm still waiting to see his potential.
My least favourite characters are Barbara, Fish and Ben Mackenzie's portrayal of James Gordon. It's bad annoying acting all round. And a quick shoutout to Selina Kyle's hair...it drives me insane.
It's not all bad though. It gets better with time.
The Goldbergs (2013)
Holy crap this show is hilarious.
I just cannot even. The Goldbergs is comedy gold and it's made all the more hilarious since it's actually based on a real family. I love watching each episode and then seeing the real life clip which inspired the episode. The family is nutso crazy but in a good for TV way.
I'm sure most families aren't as bad as this but everybody can relate to the show. Some scenes are absolutely cringe worthy but it's never not funny.
It's got an incredibly talented and funny cast who really have immersed themselves into their characters. They make the show brilliant and really feel like a family.
If you aren't watching The Goldbergs then you better start. You're missing out.
Fuller House (2016)
I loved it and cannot wait until season two.
I'm not even going to bother selling you on this show as you will either love it or hate it. If you like me were a massive fan of the Tanner family back in the day and you haven't grown up into a "I only enjoy intellectual programs" tool then you will pretty much love the show. If you never liked it, well you still will probably hate it.
It's a massive walk down memory lane and they really play up the nostalgia feel. I loved reminiscing with the cast and honestly their characters really haven't changed that much. In saying that, the show did verge on being a little too sickly sweet and then oddly too inappropriate.
All in all though I really enjoyed watching it. It's the first revival that seems to have gotten it right.
It gives you a few laughs but no real substance.
The show's funny but at times feels totes inappropriate. After the first episode it seems to calm down a little bit but every now and then my jaw drops. I mean the stereotypes are funny to a degree but after a while it's too over the top. For the most part it feels relatable though.
The one thing that really bugs me is the way they have tried to turn Cristela into some moral goddess whose oozing substance. Reading books and not liking material things does not make you a better person. In fact she progressively judges everyone for not being as great as herself. I don't really need to be preached at in a 20min comedy each week.
It's by no means a terrible show but it's nothing new and the episodes are hit and miss. It's really a Sunday afternoon comedy and they did the right thing by only having one season. Fine while it lasted, but not a necessary show.
August: Osage County (2013)
Story was meh, performances were stellar.
This film has a brilliantly talented cast with interesting characters. There are no words to describe Meryl Streep's performance. She is beyond fantastic and in a league all her own. And what a transformation.
It's actually a very gritty film and quite crude. The whole thing just showcases one families pitiful dysfunctional dramas and proves some people just shouldn't reproduce as they continue in their warped unhealthy cycle.
The story never was not sad and pathetic. I know deep down they all seem to care but they are horrible and awkward. The whole thing came off like a two hour intervention.
Aside from the mess that was their lives there is no real concept or storyline. The whole movie stayed at a messily high climax instead of following a traditional beginning, middle, end format. It made it hard to watch and desensitised some of the outrageous moments. Only the performances saved this movie.
Legends of Tomorrow (2016)
Underdeveloped and amateurish.
Out of all the DC shows on TV at the moment, this is by far the weakest. The characters all have weak back stories and are good at only one thing...playing a sidekick. Even the show goes on to say they're not heroes. If they're not heroes then why would I want to watch a show about them. Don't get me wrong, they have their purpose and in the occasional cameo episode they can even be brilliant but taking the lead is not working for them.
It could be worse and it's entertaining enough but it's missing that human edge. They seem to have lost themselves and are now just characters of their former selves. They have no depth and no passion. It has action but the characters seem too hollow to keep me engaged. The acting is also so-so and pretty amateur. It feels too over the top and clichéd.
Pretty weak and forced.
I am a massive Disney fan and can be pretty forgiving towards everything they do. For the most part Disney makes some of the best movies I have ever seen but unfortunately this is not one of them. It has all the same characters from the original movie and a few new ones but everything seems a little forced. For example "Stop trying to make Zuka Zama happen! It's not going to happen!" The Lion King was an organic process that just happened to work and The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar does not come close to it's potential.
It feels overall pretty childish and slightly lame. I'm sure kids will love it but everyone else will miss that special charismatic charm. So while I don't hate the movie if you're not a big Disney fan then you probably won't enjoy it. I will still stay tuned for the new series but I'm not hugely optimistic just yet.
The Railway Man (2013)
Interesting but not exceptional.
All I can say is that it's a nice historical representation of a time not so long ago. Some of the torture scenes were very well done and quite graphic but the majority of the movie was more timid. My biggest problem with the movie though was that it didn't tear at my heart. My grandma initially told me about this movie and the story surrounding the young men but when she told it I felt the emotion coming from her words. This movie didn't give me the same reaction. Colin Firth and young Eric seemed to be the only ones putting their soul into the performances.
Maybe the story was too proper. Or perhaps it needed a little more edge. Unfortunately there are so many sad stories in our history that it's hard not to feel like I've seen this story or at least something like it. A sad story is not enough anymore and personally I wanted and was expecting more.
Pacific Rim (2013)
High energy with an exciting plot.
I thought it was actually a pretty cool movie. Robots fighting sea monsters may seem like a stupid concept but if you keep an open mind and use your imagination then you might just enjoy it too. I wouldn't personally classify it as a blockbuster as it needs more than just a big budget to grant that title but it's a good sci-fi action movie.
The character development seems a little weak though. And some of the characters are just plain annoying. Also what's the point of the two pilots. It seems like an odd plot point. But that's probably my biggest issue with the movie.
Don't go in with high expectations and you won't be disappointed.