Tag Archives: going to the movies

The World’s End (Hungry’s Movie Reviews)

Shaun of the Dead. Hot Fuzz. Run, Fatboy, Run.  (Star Trek).

Alana added that last one while we were talking about the movie while driving to Denver yesterday. I was comparing this film to the other Simon Pegg movies when she mentioned that series about which she is obsessed. I think it’s funny, but yes, Pegg was good in that too. (Editor’s note: ^_^)

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Obviously The World’s End is the third movie that the combo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have brought us. All three movies are very similar but have slight differences in setting, plot, and characters while taking on a different issue. This film was about nostalgia and using the past as a means of living in the present. It talks about maturity and changes at a very small and VERY large level. It discusses how one human’s stubborn nature can be more meaningful to that person then the fate of the whole world. This is achieved by looking at friendship in the past and the present. This is achieved through the ridiculous means that only this troupe can bring us.

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It was raunchy. It was not politically correct. It was full of sex, violence, bad language, drugs and alcohol. It was brilliant though. The acting was spot on by a group of tremendously talented people. Bilbo came along for the ride. And once again, they use a well-known and loved actor to play the role of that smooth villain. (I thought saying smooth criminal would have been too much) Coincidentally, it was another Bond. Pierce Brosnan picked up what Timothy Dalton started in Hot Fuzz.

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It was enjoyable and moved quickly. It had twists at every corner, some predictable and witty, some random and witless. It spoke about problems we have with ourselves, with others, and with the world. It showed how society has changed and how we can’t allow that globalization to change who we are. It might have been crude but it was as intelligent as all of their other work.

I can’t say where it stands with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. I want to say as of right now that it’s not quite at their level but I’m not even sure. I’ve seen the other two many more times but would need to watch all three again to be sure.

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With outstanding reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and how much we enjoyed it, I have to recommend The World’s End. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost remain flawless in their major motion picture releases. Keep up the good work as we wait for the next one! (This movie is about more than drinking 12 pints at 12 bars with 5 guys over the course of a mile, by the way) And although I can’t say that doing that same journey will keep you hungry and fit, friendship and laughs can certainly help.

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BONUS KITTY PIC

No one can resist the power of the head scratch

No one can resist the power of the head scratch

 

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.

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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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Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Pain & Gain (A Michael Bay Film)

This was one of my most anticipated films of the year and although I didn’t expect it to be in the same league as Oz, Gatsby, Star Trek, Iron Man, or anything else that might actually be a “good movie” I figured that I would enjoy it. I thought it would be one of those stupid funny movies making fun of bodybuilding with some slapstick comedy antics thrown into the mix. The trailer made me think it was about a bunch of stupid bodybuilders that wanted to get rich so they decide to kidnap someone or rob a bank to get a big pay day. I never expected it to be based of real events or to just be so dark in its comedy. Do I have a problem with darker comedy? No, not generally… but I think (and so did everyone else in our theater) that the advertising was misleading. Here’s how it went, play by play.

Alana and I were planning on seeing it Saturday morning until we found out how nice the weather would be, so at that point we made a last minute decision to see it opening night at a theater farther away at premium ticket pricing. What a mistake. We got there early and were the first ones in the theater. I’d like to add that AMC Flatirons Crossing is a beautiful and clean place where I recommend families and individuals to see their movies at that location. As we took our normal seats (the last row of the bottom section) despite having full freedom for choice, we saw a diverse selection of groups and individuals walk in and sit down.

AMC first look was boring enough (talked about some new shows called The Dome and Longmire, etc.) and the previews were so-so. It was mostly movies we already decided to see or not see so there was little excitement value. And then there was the movie.

Michael Bay provided us with lots of pain and almost no gain. The cast was excellent but it did not work. Ed Harris, Tony Shaloub and Rebel Wilson delivered and kept smiles on our faces. The Rock is always one of my favorites and maintained great balance in his role but I wanted something simpler and with less darkness. There was some controversy over the film because it felt like it was made to make you sympathize with the criminals, while family of the victims expressed that they do not want people to feel that way. It was not what we expected and it felt like it was four hours long… not two. That is a bad sign for me when it comes to movies. The Lord of the Rings extended cuts feel like a TV show because they’re so good.

I wanted a stupid version of Pumping Iron with some highway slapstick robbery thrown into it. It felt like a total waste of time and money and failed in finding its niche as a blockbuster cast not-quite-mockumentary.  The fake Sun Gym Gang and Michael Bay do not deliver and I do not recommend this movie to anyone. His attempt to satirically provoke thought in achieving goals and the American dream are lost in the puddles of blood he creates.