Tag Archives: going out

Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Disney’s The Lone Ranger (2013)

Johnny Depp. Jerry Bruckheimer. Hans Zimmer. Disney. $225 Million Budget. 149 minutes.

Pirates of the Caribbean in the Wild West.

None of my movie reviews are the same. I always pick something different to talk about before reaching my closing remarks that summarize what I felt and what I thought. In discussing Pacific Rim, a movie I saw the same day, I spoke very little of the director and nothing of the actors and actresses. I didn’t mention anything about that movie’s huge budget. This review is clearly different.

Pirates of the Caribbean was brilliant, whether you liked it or not. It is loved by people of all ages, it has grossed billions of dollars throughout its four films (fifth coming) and all of Disney’s “merchandise.” It was driven by one of Johnny Depp’s most influential characters. So why has The Lone Ranger received such poor reviews and had such a hard time in the box office? Simply put, it’s not as good as pirates.

The sad thing is that I can’t really tell you what makes The Lone Ranger worse than Pirates aside from the fact that The Curse of the Black Pearl has been followed up by three more movies to strengthen the story set in the first film. I can honestly say I think that it’s impossible for us to see three more Lone Ranger films from Disney, Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Hans Zimmer, and Jerry Bruckheimer. Nevertheless, let’s appreciate this movie for what it is and can be instead of what it’s not.

The highlights are clear to us. Johnny Depp’s performance as Tonto and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack stand out against everything else. The movie discusses strong themes such as the importance of family, the greed of American corporations (funny, eh? I love Disney), the corruption of the government, a sense of true justice, and the ability to forgive individuals for what they’ve done. That last one doesn’t quite make it all the way to the end of the film. I also enjoyed the way the story was told, through the older Tanto talking to the young boy that represented the “American Dream.” Finally, I was laughing a lot and that is a good sign, plain and simple.

Here are the downsides: It was too long! There were a handful of scenes that just didn’t contribute to the plot or character development significantly enough to justify the amount of the time that they took. And I really do try to justify extra scenes going to the point of reaching into my super imaginative part of my brain to do so. The casting was not great. Many of the main performers were convincing but some just didn’t do it for me. It also had a Disney feeling but a few scenes made the movie a little bit too gory for young audiences. I wouldn’t mind but most parents would prefer to not let their child see a man cut out another man’s heart and eat it. Even if they didn’t show it directly, it is easy to see what was going on at that point.

The bottom line: For a prominent series in American pop culture to which I have no personal history or relationship with, the unstoppable team of Disney, Bruckheimer, Depp, and Zimmer brought us a slightly too long Wild West version of Pirates that might not have the magic of their first series, but still portrays important messages in American history while generally entertaining the audience through its sense of hope and outrageous stunts. Even if the movie under-performs and Disney cannot afford a sequel, I would be pleased to see what a second movie could deliver. The Lone Ranger gets a hungry thumbs up!

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World War Z (Hungry’s Movie Reviews)

I have seen so many zombie movies that follow the same typical route to a predictable ending. The zombies win. Zombies being the word that will be used for anything undead or mutated or evil that is causing the end of the world. Shaun of the Dead was the most successful zombie movie because of its humor. 28 Days Later was filmed brilliantly and made a lot out of something simple. 28 Weeks Later… not so much. All the Resident Evils have been completely and utterly disappointing and unable to live up to their video game origin. Silent Hill failed to do the same… although that’s not quite zombies but same idea… somewhat. Geroge Romero has been providing us with zombie films for quite some time but most give me the same feeling. The remake of Dawn of the Dead led to an outcome of total defeat for the human race. I could go on forever about zombie movies I did and did not enjoy. And when I add plain old horror or scary movies into the mix the list of bad gets longer and longer. However, World War Z had a different feeling while I was watching it.

WWZ

There are some spoilerssorry.

Imagine your typical the-world-is-ending movie like Dawn of the Dead. Then take the out sub-par actors and throw people like Brad Pitt into the mix. Then add a budget that could justify good make-up, sets, and effects. Not ridiculous effects… good effects. Effects that make the movie seem more realistic. Finally throw a dash of National Treasure into the mix. That is what this movie feels like for me. I think it is closer to what the Resident Evil movies should have been because throughout this movie I kept saying to Alana… wow, this would make one awesome video game.

Here is a Leon Kennedy or Chris Redfield like character who got dragged into saving the world to protect his family. He’s trying to find the origin of this outbreak instead of just hiding or trying to fight it head on and it works to a certain degree. The best part is that you really want to find out what it came from but you never do! They come up with a temporary solution but you know that they will still need to find patient zero in order to solve this once and for all. Brad Pitt has already signed on to do the sequel so we will get what we want. We will most likely find out how it started because that is what I found was the most interesting part of the movie. The scavenger hunt that is led by a seemingly normal guy with weaknesses and vulnerabilities, namely his family and ability to be impaled.

I want to mention that the movie is loosely based off of the book by Max Brooks, the SON of comedic legend Mel Brooks. I do not like comedy movies in general. It is one of my least favorite genres and stand-up comedians do not make me laugh. However I was raised on Mel Brooks’ work and I appreciate that the talent has stayed in the family. With that being said, this movie gets away with being more than a zombie film. It has some innovations and the star power necessary to be more than a money-making film. It has mixed reviews online and it is hard to keep track with what is going on if you aren’t paying attention, but if you have that attention to detail like I think I do, then you will appreciate this film.

Hungry was happy with the double feature we pulled off this Sunday morning and World War Z gets a thumbs up. HOWEVER, I will note that we saw it in 3D and there was NO 3D. I am not kidding… it was supposed to be immersive and it must have either been the best 3D ever or the worst.

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Eatery Review: Piece, Love, & Chocolate

We came across this adorable Boulder eatery while enjoying a nice warm night (compared to the winter we’ve been getting). We were actually strolling around after a dinner, wanting more food (the name is HUNGRY and Fit, remember?) and we stumbled upon this cute joint. I’ve passed it before and always wanted to step in. So we did.

The outside of this adorable place...hard to see but they have little tables and chairs to sit at

The outside of this adorable place…hard to see but they have little tables and chairs to sit at

As soon as I stepped in, I was reminded of my friend, Mary Kateand her mom who owned a candy shop. Same smell, but instead of being Irish themed, this was allllll about chocolate. They had some chocolate brownie samples out (I am the absolutely sucker for samples of any kind, it’s a problem), which were delectable! I may or may not of had more than one–oops. While Chris looked over the goodies, I looked around the rest of the shop–there was so much going on.

photo (7)They had every kind of chocolate you could imagine (some of it pricey, but probably because it’s all homemade) and the whole theme was centralized around the Southern Americas where cocoa comes from. Really a great experience. Eventually, after exploring the little shop (when you walk in, you can see the kitchen in the back), we decided on a hot chocolate for me and two cookies for Chris.

photo (8)The hot chocolate was a mild flavor, free of any added sugars or nonsense–perfect for keeping me warm on the walk ten blocks home. The cookies were also good, we got a regular and a gluten-free, both tasted homemade. We would love to come there when they bake them fresh!

photo (10)So if you’re in Boulder, and you’re out to town on Pearl St. or Spruce, stop by this adorable candy, chocolate, and goodies shop. I know we will again. I’m eager to try more treats!

Cheers! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Cuddle monsters

Cuddle monsters

Movie Review: Oz The Great and Powerful

It’s Saturday morning and we are thinking about how little we have gone to the movies this year. Luckily, Disney provided us with a new option, Oz The Great and Powerful starring James Franco and a trio of Hollywood’s finest and classiest ladies. We took advantage of a morning showing in 3D at 10:55 a.m.

 
Alana said that she saw The Wizard of Oz (1939)… so have I and everyone else in the world. I have also seen Return to Oz (Creepiest movie ever), The Wiz, and have read a few of the earlier books in the series, before Princess Ozma gets to comfortable on her throne. So, of course we know something about the story. Neither of us has seen Wicked, but I know all the songs thanks to my brother.

Without giving any spoilers, it was two hours that felt just about two hours long. There weren’t any scenes that were a total waste in my opinion. Everything contributed to the development of the story and the characters. It shared many similarities to the stories and changed some details without altering the story too much, with the exception of developing relationships between certain characters that we never really saw before. It has been 113 years since the first book was published so it’s not unreasonable to say that it could use some modernization. Gilbert Godfried might have fit the original Oz’s description more accurately, but James Franco created a solid character by the end of the movie.
The visual effects were sufficient and sometimes awesome, Danny Elfman brought a stellar soundtrack as per usual, and Michelle Williams provided the best performance of anyone in the film (in my opinion) as the witch that she was. There were small details that I appreciated, such as the parallels drawn between Oz’s world in Kansas and his world in Oz.

All in all, I enjoyed this film. It started very slowly but James Franco and the cast turned it around by the end. Alana was not as pleased with the film due to her lack of positive feelings for Franco. I read that Michelle Williams signed on for a sequel so I am excited to see in which direction they take L. Frank Baum’s magical series. Disney rarely fails.
On a side note, we’re looking forward to a strong movie showing in May, with back to back to back weekends of: The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Stay hungry and fit.

Back to The Movies: Double Review of Taken 2 and Pitch Perfect

So, despite being very busy and having more important chores to do… we decided to start going back to the movies on Sunday mornings. AMC has a great deal where any pre-matinee show is only 6 dollars a ticket, unless its 3D or something else fancy. So we decided on these two:

Taken 2: We loved the first one and Liam Neeson is just awesome. While this movie was more or less the same as the first, and any fan would enjoy it for sure, it did have a lot more love and fluff. For a 90 minute movie, at least half felt like fluff so the action was shortened but it was still very entertaining. Not as clever, but still worth seeing if you enjoyed the first. It was somewhat entertaining. 3/10

English: Liam Neeson at the TIFF premiere of T...

Our boy, Liam

Pitch Perfect: Alana convinced me to see this, which wasn’t hard because I actually love acapella. She wanted to see it because of the Australian roommate of the main character from Bridesmaids. Seeing her hilarious acting was well worth our money and while the movie was predictable, it had some great musical arrangements and some decent acting. It was very entertaining. 7/10

Next weekend we plan on doing another double to get into the Halloween spirit, by seeing Frankenweenie and Hotel Transylvania.

I never wanted to see Looper but I do like Bruce Willis and the reviews are top notch so I’ll consider it. As for other future movies, my three most anticipated of the year are obviously, in no particular order because it’d be too hard:

The Hobbit (!!!)

Les Miserables

Skyfall

Otherwise, I plan on seeing Alex Cross with Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox, Silent Hill Revelations 3D, Cloud Atlas, Chasing Mavericks, Wreck it Ralph (Looks great), Man with the Iron Fists, and Rise of the Guardians.

Let me know if anything else coming out this year looks worth seeing! We love movies of all kinds, just no zombies for Alana.

:)