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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: Pacific Rim (2013)

Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite directors. Blade II, Hellboy, Hellboy II, and Pan’s Labyrinth are four of my favorite movies of all time. They all crack the top 100 list and Pan’s Labyrinth is no doubt in my top 10 for what I consider to be the best movies of all time. Now, I am not a critic with a degree in theatre and cinema or anything along those lines, but I love movies and I have a huge imagination. Everyone is free to enjoy a movie and Guillermo del Toro has provided me with many movies that I enjoy a lot! Pacific Rim might not make it higher on the list then the four movies already mentioned but it was enjoyable. Let’s talk about what made the movie only enjoyable, what could have made it better, and where it faltered.

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The movie was simply too long. Alana and I agreed that it could have achieved the same effect without a few scenes that seemed to add nothing to very little to the movie’s overall feeling. Cut out some of those scenes and the movie would have moved a bit quicker, keeping you engaged. The movie had some character and plot development, but nowhere near as much as some of his other work so I banked on huge fight scenes to make up for that. Unfortunately, there was a lot less robots vs. monsters (jaeger vs kaiju) than I anticipated. I should have known better because Blade and the two Hellboys also had some serious downtime. It just seemed as if the fight scenes in those movies were longer. You might be disappointed by some of the fights because they simply end too quickly, before we get to see what the jaegers or kaiju are truly capable of in combat. On top of that, many of the kaiju are just too similar. One of the monsters had a bunch of abilities, but the other four or five were all the same. That was a bummer.

The movie did have some powerful scenes, mainly involving human lives being taken. They were my favorite scenes because I would not expect a movie like this to have the effect on me so I appreciate what del Toro did there. He did a very good job taking what would seem like a rock-em sock-em Godzilla vs Ultraman and turn it into something with plot twists and complications that kept you on your toes. Many events and outcomes were predictable but I didn’t see everything coming. The actors all did a fair enough job, the special effects were exciting and well done, the editing and cutting were clean enough to make large-scale fights easy to follow. A lot of things were done properly.

I could see room for a potential sequel that takes a completely different path and continues to highlight the world’s reaction to and actions taken in order to deal with the disaster. We appreciated the anti-government, pro-freedom, anti-greed, pro-environmental stances that were taken, no matter how subtle. It’s refreshing but now not uncommon to see directors and writers go in that direction. The movie definitely was not too gory for young audiences despite some mature themes and large-scale deaths.

All in all, it was an enjoyable del Toro movie that might not have taken this genre out of the realm of its specific fan base, but it was successful in captivating multiple audiences and developing some advanced themes. We were in our seats a bit longer than we wanted to as the movie dragged on at times but it still gets a hungry thumbs up! (Fellow Gundam fans, don’t expect this to be anything like the series we all love. The jaegers were nowhere near “badass” enough to achieve Gundam status)

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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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Sunday Movie Review: Epic

This movie was part of our double-feature last Sunday, paired with World War Z. Quite different movies, I know, but we enjoyed both! I’m not sure whether the order we saw them in was right or not. On one hand, World War Z left us a lot to think about (seeing it second). On the other hand, maybe if we finished with Epic, I wouldn’t see zombies in every dark spot of the room. Anyways, onto the movie!

Epic was a surprisingly star-studded cast with names like Beyonce, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, and Pitbull (even though I strongly detest Pitbull). The voices and emotion from the voice-actors fit the film perfectly and I’ll say that they chose right…well, maybe except Pitbull.

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It opens up in the middle of a sad moment—a late-teen’s mother’s death so she visits her father, tucked away in the middle of the woods. And he definitely belongs there. He’s as bizarre as they come—a true oddball. He’s obsessed with tracking the so-called existence of tiny people in the forest. And well, turns out he’s right (not really spoiling it, you’ve seen the trailers).

This is more than just a story of little people fighting bug people (although, on the surface, it’s perfect for kids in this way). There are many intertwining themes and I’ll start with one: protecting the earth. The “leaf people”–the protectors of the forest– as they’re called are constantly on guard against the bad bugs—the “decay.” They fight to the death to protect what matters, nature and the future of nature. This dedication of protection reveals to the audience how important protecting the earth really is (and brings it home). Besides, their battles are wicked fun, using hummingbirds and other fun parts of nature to defend what matters most.

Another strong theme in this movie is the rekindling of the father-daughter relationship. MK (the heroine who gets turned from human to a little person to help the forest) feels abandoned by her father because he tucked himself into the work of finding these people and thus, his family took the second shelf. It was fun to see the development of connection from bewilderment and disappointment (from MK’s point of view) to understanding and love.

Epic is a truly fun movie with plenty of themes for adults to enjoy. It also has a great soundtrack with beautiful visuals. Fit gives it a thumbs up! Go leaf people! Enjoy this movie to help the earth stay hungry and fit!

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