Tag Archives: movie

A Brief Review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Separate Spoiler-Free and Spoiler Sections)

[THIS IS MOSTLY SPOILER-FREE UNTIL I SAY SPOILERS AHEAD]

The movie many of us have been anticipating has arrived–Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s already made a considerable amount at the box office (past 20 million before even the opening day) and people are lining up, waiting. Sure, it won’t make as much as Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, but it’s surely going to still make a dent. In fact, I think some people will like Rogue One more than Force Awakens. Rogue One is many things Force Awakens is not. Rogue One is a gritty war movienot a character arc like Force Awakens. It doesn’t follow the same story mechanics and motions of the typical episodic Star Wars movies. Some people will love that and some people will just be okay with it. I liked this movie a good deal, but I didn’t emotionally connect as strongly as I did in Force Awakens.

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Warcraft: Movie Review

A Blizzard swept across the dry landscape of gaming in 1994 as a group of orcs from the land of Draenor entered the realm of Azeroth and went to war against the humans living there. While many won’t remember the plot of one of the first real-time strategy games (before the boom of the RTS launches in the 90s), it would be hard to forget the iconic birds-eye view. Nostalgic flashes come and go throughout the 123 minute, $160 million dollar pre-Summer blockbuster to capture the attention of fans to the series, but how does the movie fare without its relationship to the video game it’s based off of? Let’s discuss it all.

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Creed Sequel in 2016

*Spoilers about Creed coming up*

Creed was extremely predictable, as it followed the patterns set forth in the original Rocky movie. By doing so, it was a successful film and almost unarguably the best since the first two. (I know some of you, myself included, have a certain love for the fourth.) Before the final match even began, we all knew that Pretty Ricky was going to secure a victory by decision, but Adonis would earn his respect and give him the fight of his life in the process. Rocky himself foreshadowed it by saying that Apollo was the better boxer during his lone victory over the GOAT, but his heart pulled him through. 

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Big Hero 6 Review

Today, for Veteran’s Day, I was lucky enough to have off. Plus, today was Chris’ late day which meant we had the entire first half of the day together which was nice. After a fun, sleepy arms workout, we went to a morning showing of Big Hero 6, a movie we’ve been eagerly looking forward to. The movie is based on of a Marvel comic of a team of superheroes. Although the movie diverts quite a bit from the comic, it still has its roots in the comic. I had never read the comic, so that didn’t affect my movie experience. Overall, we really enjoyed Big Hero 6 and would encourage anyone to see it! 

The movie starts out with a young teenager, Hiro (our leading character), his brother, and their aunt. The parents died when Hiro was three and we don’t learn much more than that. Hiro graduated high school when he was 13 (he’s a genius) and has done nothing since “bot-fighting” since then. Bot-fighting is an illegal gambling sport where two people put their small bots to fight each other for money, but Hiro is very good at it. His brother wants him to do more with his brains and takes him to his “nerd lab” where his brother and his colleagues are inventing amazing things. Hiro is inspired by all that he sees (from super-lasers to super-magnets to super-carbon and beyond), but especially so by his brother’s invention, Baymax. Baymax is an adorable health care robot trying to serve those who need help. Hiro wants to join the school so in order to be accepted, he needs to showcase something incredible. He creates an absolutely amazing invention (Chris and I don’t think people appreciated enough how epic and awesome it is) and skipping  a handful of scenes, his invention lands in the wrong hands. This leads to the necessity of gathering the Big Hero 6 team together and making things right.

I won’t spoil any more of the plot than that, but–trust me–it’s good. The cast is fantastic. Some big names include Alan Tudyk and Maya Rudolf (personal favorites) and everyone played their character so very well. I wasn’t expecting how “emotional” it was going to be. Not that I was tearing up every other minute, but that despite being a kid’s movie and a Marvel movie, it really told a true story of human attachment and loss. That was probably my favorite part of the movie and why I liked it so much. It made you understand and feel for the characters. That was a really great part of it and I’m glad they took the time to craft that delicately. The characters themselves are great (my favorite is the Aunt played by Maya Rudolf and Baymax played by Scott Adsit). Baymax is just the best–you want to squeeze him to death. The humor is spot on and you will find yourself grinning and laughing on the regular with this one. 

Another great component (though not necessarily major component) of the movie is the lesson it teaches. While I was watching the movie, I kept thinking “these people are so incredibly themselves.” I believe this movie teaches kids (and adults, for that matter) to be yourself whoever that may be and thrive doing so. If you’re a crazy-about-pink-talks-miles-a-second kind of person, be that person. If you love everyone around you and are not afraid to show what you love, do that. It really encouraged everyone to just be them and not hide the brilliant fact that they are them. 

The animation and effects were wonderful, but who would suspect anything less from Disney and Pixar. Everything was beautiful and crisp. You really felt as if you were with Hiro, running and flying around to save the day. It was interesting and fascinating that they combined San Francisco and Tokyo–made for a unique setting. The sounds were spot on and kept you reeled in as the adventure unfolded. There was a plot hole that bothered us, but in the end, it didn’t really matter. Hungry and Fit give a big thumbs up on this one. Never quit being yourself and put that brain to use! As always, stay hungry and fit!

*Question of the Day: What did you think of Big Hero 6?

BONUS PUPPY PIC

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Movie Monday: Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a book I can read over and over again. I think the first time I read it I was either in middle school or high school. The last time I read it was about four years ago, so it wasn’t too fresh in my head but also I still remembered all the main plot points. I was very excited for this movie to come out, and it seemed to take forever for it to actually release! But that’s my anticipation talking. Let’s get to the review.

This movie had a solid amount of great actors: Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield (boy from Hugo, who was brilliant in that as well), and a grown-up Abigail Breslin. If a movie has Harrison Ford in it, I’m going to get excited. Leave me alone, I’m a Star Wars nerd. However, I was slightly anxious that they would botch it up when it is such a great and captivating book. It also made me nervous that by the time we saw it, it had only 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. Still Fresh, but not as high as I would’ve hoped. However, I was not disappointed. 

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I really thought I would be, honestly. However, the movie kept me engaged the entire time. The acting was superb by all involved and they were able to show the depth of Ender’s emotions. That’s what I was worried about. A lot of the book is in Ender’s head. Of course, the same complexity isn’t there, but I wasn’t expecting it to that degree. However, it surprised me with showing all the steps that led him to the end. I think it helped that Orson Scott Card (the author) was one of the producers. 

For those who haven’t read the book, the basic premise is that the International Military is recruiting children to become the next great commander to defeat the alien race that previously invaded Earth. The story centers around one boy, Ender, a “third” (third-born), who has been chosen and pushed towards what the military wants from him. However, like many action flicks, it isn’t a straight-shooter. Ender is deeply conflicted at many levels, and the movie actually depicted that. Perhaps not as well as in the book, but it certainly came across. Ender is the world’s hope.

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Surprisingly enough, they hit all the major plot points I hoped for. Sure they skipped a few too many battle room scenes, but I understand. They kept it under two hours, impressively. The movie built up properly, from the beginning, until the very end. I am not one for giving spoilers, but the one of the most powerful scenes (the end battle), I feel, really captured the intensity and emotion from the book. That was what I was most concerned with.

Overall, I suggest to Ender’s Game fans to see this movie. It’s not going to be exactly as you imagined. It never is with book to movie adaptations, but this production gets close, at least for me. It gets a hearty thumbs up from me and I will most likely get it on DVD/Blu-Ray. The plot is captivating, the acting is believable, and you feel for Ender the whole way through. Use impending-doom-movies to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Belly out!

Belly out!

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

 

Elysium (Hungry’s Movie Reviews)

This will be a short one because I don’t have a whole lot to say about this movie. There’s just something about it that leaves me short on words. It was a very good movie but there was something missing that made it fall short of exceptional and it had all the tools in place. So what was missing?

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The most intriguing bit of information pertaining to this movie is the fact that the writer (or someone up there) wanted Eminem (Yes, Marshall Mathers/Slim Shady, the rapper) to play the lead. When they approached him with the role he said that he would take it if they shot the movie in Detroit. Em wanted to help his city’s economy and give it some attention. When they declined, he declined and as a result we watched Matt Damon in another lead role. Nothing special.

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This movie shared some similarities to District 9 (in terms of casting, setting, and feeling) and that could have been avoided if the movie was shot in Detroit. Still, its use of a future Los Angeles had little impact on the movie’s grand picture, which highlighted the inequalities between the upper class and everyone else. The upper class was symbolized by the “heavenly” Elysium (city in the sky) while Earth was the diseased and destroyed land for all of us who are not worth hundreds of millions or more.

The message is simple and I love it. Do not allow those in the upper class to create further disparity between the rich and poor. Fight to save the lives of the majority of the population because everyone has a life worth living. Make it the last thing you do before you die to give it your all and help as many as you can no matter what impact that has on your own life.

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Matt Damon did a fine job but a different and new face might have been refreshing. The villain was amazing and outperformed everyone else. Although the performances were not amazing. The sets were mostly clean and beautiful, the editing and clarity in the action scenes were relatively crisp, and the writing was solid.

The movie was very good but was missing that element to make it great. Maybe a new lead could have put it over the edge. Maybe an extra 10 minutes of character building could have led to that attachment for the audience to love the lead. In the end, SPOILER, Max dies and I didn’t really feel bad or sad about it. That is where they fell short in my book. Make us love Max, make us love the movie. It was short, which I liked, because every movie is over two hours nowadays. However, at just over 90 minutes long, take another ten minutes to build the character up so we feel for the loss a little more.

Villain

Villain

But as I said, it was good and I have no major complaints. With some added content on the DVD this movie really could become amazing. All in all, it’s a short movie that entertains enough and promotes positive messages to earn a thumbs up and a seal of approval, courtesy of Hungry. Helping the greater good and making sacrifices is one great way to stay hungry and fit.

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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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