Wednesday, September 17, 2014

22 Jump Street movie review


Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Ice Cube, Amber Stevens
Director: Phil Lord Christopher Miller
Running time: 1 hour and 52 minutes

 Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed 21 Jump Street and after hearing great things about the sequel (cleverly named 22 Jump Street) I decided to go and watch it last Saturday night.

  22 Jump Street is the continuation of 21 Jump Street. It stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as two undercover police officers posing as college students . Chaos ensues as Jenko and Schmidt try to infiltrate the dealers of a new drug called WhyPhy and find the supplier. Will they catch the evil drug lord and make the arrest or will they fail miserably and become the joke of the department?

 The main positive attribute that makes both 21 and 22 Jump Street work so well is the incredible chemistry that Hill and Tatum have together. Despite portraying very different characters, the time they spend with each other seems and feels genuine, honest and effortless. I could see this being the way their relationship is in real life.

 Another character I rather enjoyed watching was Ice Cube's daughter's roommate SPOILER ALERT!!!!! (or as I like to call her the villainous mastermind of 22 Jump Street). Her "meanness" and her quippy comments targeted mostly at Jonah Hill's character were funny, very bizarre and very enjoyable and became even better as time passed and we started learning more about SPOILER ALERT!!! her involvement in WhyPhy. All in all a great villain, in my opinion and I would, even, like to have seen more of her.

  Moreover, 22 Jump street is a pretty good crime movie, which is not always the case with movies that are not crime-centered but, still, have a mystery to solve. The solution was not apparent at any point and the red herring was, actually, logical and convincing. It's not the most sophisticated crime film but it is well done, especially for the type of movie that it is.

  And my final thought on the positive points regarding 22 Jump Street is that it kept me interested the whole "ride" through. Even though you will soon find out that I did not love the movie as much as I wanted to (and as much as most people did), I never wanted to leave or regretted buying a ticket. I was, fairly, entertained throughout and I am sure that at some point in the future I will decide to rewatch the film and once again enjoy it (not something I can say about a lot of movies).

  Now, unfortunately, I have to continue with the weaknesses of the movie. The main problem I had with 22 Jump Street is that it wasn't as funny as I though (and heard) it would be. Was it the high expectations I had going into it or was it entirely the film, I don't know but even though I found it quite entertaining I didn't think it was so much laugh-out-loud funny. To be honest, I wish I did.

  And to move on to the second problem I had, I have to talk about the sequel references of the 21 Jump Street sequel. Although I can't say they weren't clever and amusing, I thought that they were more a good idea that didn't translate as well in reality rather than actual jokes. I wish there were more scenes like the poem reading scene (which was awesome and extremely funny) and a little less sequel lines to make the film come together in a funnier and tighter movie.

  In conclusion, I recommend 22 Jump Street but I can't say it's the best sequel I've ever seen. So go in with your expectations in a normal level and you will, definitely, have fun.

Final thought #1: Great cameos. Patton Oswalt is one of my favourites.
Final thought #2: John Abbruzzi is looking good! (a little Prison Break reference for you)

Score: 75%
Tomatometer: 84%

m.


Courtesy of
Columbia Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Under the Skin quick movie review

Cast: Scarlet Johansson
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Running time: 1 hour and 48 minutes

  Movie critics love Under the Skin, the most recent movie of Jonathan Glazer, who has previously directed Birth and Sexy Beast over the period of something like 13 years. The movie, based on a novel by Michel Faber, follows the adventures of our protagonist, Scarlet Johansson, around Scotland.

  So I'll come right out and say it, I HATED THIS MOVIE!!!!!!! I was in agony, i wanted to shoot myself in the face and never ever see that van again in my life.

  But let me explain why i had such a strong reaction to this movie. To do that, i will make this review special and start with my thoughts on the negative aspects of Under the Skin. My main problems were two, the first one being how slow paced it was. I didn't expect anything super fast and adrenalin filled but the degree of the slow-moving pace was unbelievable. Minutes were passing by and nothing was happening. And i mean nothing. After a point it became exhausting, nerve-inducing and all in all a black energy-consuming hole that sucked the life out of my eyes (and yes i know how dramatic i am being). The movie runs 1 hour and 48 minutes long and i felt like it was 4 hours.

  But making things even worse, Under the Skin was incredibly repetitive. Scene after scene following the same path with slight differences. As mentioned before, if i ever see that van or that black lake/floor again i will hit my head on the wall. Subsequently, if i was to remove all the extremely similar scenes, Under the Skin would come down to a half an hour sort film (that i would probably love).

  However, there were some great attributes to Under the Skin that i can recognise and appreciate even though i couldn't stand the movie as i was watching it. The premise of the human-looking alien that comes to earth and experiences for the first time everything that we take for granted in our everyday lives is an interesting idea that i would have liked to see made into the short film i previously mentioned.

  Another idea i was interested in was that in the begging of the film the fact that Scarlet Johansson's character has never eaten chocolate cake or has never felt sadness and empathy or has never had sex and her reaction to all that is so wonderful and pure and by the end, when she is the most happy she has been in the whole movie, the same fact, that she has never experienced life as a human before, turns into the very thing that destroys her is very though-provoking and intriguing.

  In conclusion, this movie got Under my Skin (such a good pun, i know) in a really unique (and not good) way. If you have a low threshold for slow-going and overlong movies stay away, but if you don't mind a more relaxed and unhurried structure in a film you will probably end up loving Under the Skin.
Score: 20% (but if you had asked me my score right after watching the movie it would be more like Score:0%)
Tomatometer: 86% 

m.
Courtesy of A24 Films
StudioCanal
Mongrel Media

Friday, July 18, 2014

Getaway quick movie review

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, Jon Voight
Director: Courtney Solomon
Running time: 1 hour and 34 minutes

  Recently, i decided to start writing quick reviews about movies that i would skip otherwise. My first quick review will be about Getaway.

  Getaway stars Ethan Hawke as a very skilled ex-race driver and Selena Gomez as a very skilled hacker kid. Hawke's character gets into a very bad situation when Jon Voight abducts his wife, threatens that he will kill her and makes him drive all over Bulgaria,  "take hostage", in a sense, Selena Gomez and rob Gomez's dad's bank.

  There is, almost, nothing good about this movie except from the fact that, especially in the begging, Brent Magna (Hawke) treats The kid (Gomez) (and yes that is how Selena Gomez is credited) as the annoying brat that she is. Half of the things he says to her are the words shut up. However, this is not, completely, a positive attribute for the movie. It is a fault of the film that the kid is so annoying and unlikable while still being one of the two main leads.If the audience doesn't like, find interesting or relate to the protagonists there is no reason for them to watch the movie.

 I won't name all of the flaws of the movie (there are too many) but here is the one that stood out to me the most. We, as the viewers, are supposed to believe that Selena Gomez is a brilliant hacker with an interest in cars and we don't, or at least i didn't. She looks like a little girl in over her head talking about hacker and car "stuff" like she is just reading a script that she doesn't understand. If a better actress, who could make us believe she was genius super kid, was cast the movie would be a lot more believable, tolerable and not overall one of the worst movies I've seen this year. And i have to note that i have a particular interest in movies with hackers (that's why i liked the fourth Die Hard film) and i, still, couldn't stand this movie.

   So my overall opinion is that this movie is idiotic and more idiotic than the movie is the Selena Gomez casting. It's pretty boring, it's repetitive as a result of the numerous chase scenes (action movies are not my thing so if you like car and chase movies disregard this point) and it's not worth anyone's time.
Score:15%
Tomatometer:2%

m.

Courtesy of Warner Bros.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Movie Fact of the Day

  Today's movie fact is about a movie that i loved since the first time i saw it as an early teen. The movie i'm talking about is Death at a Funeral (the original one).
  One of the leads is Alan Tudyk (one of my favourites), and in multiple scenes his character, Simon, was under the influence of  hallucinogenics . During his drug haze Simon gets on the roof of the house, gets naked and threatens to jump . According to Tudyk, the inspiration for his performance was an intoxicated teen, who he saw when he was young, on top of a picnic table, naked. He based the  poses he did on the roof on the memories of that naked teen.
  I hope you enjoyed today's fact and go check out my Death at a Funeral review (http://moviereviewsbym94.blogspot.gr/2013/07/death-at-funeral-movie-review.html) if you haven't already. Have a great day.

m.


Courtesy of
Verve Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Friday, May 30, 2014

Movie Fact of the Day

  Today 's fact is another fact about one of the movies James McAvoy has been a part of. This time the movie is "Wanted", a 2008 film also starring Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and Chris Pratt among other.
  There is a very liberating and badass scene in the film where James McAvoy's character, Wesley Gibson, tells off his boss and as he is leaving, hits his best friend Barry (played by Chris Pratt), who is sleeping with his girlfriend, in the head with his keyboard. The letters that come flying off towards the audience spell the words "Fuck You".
  So, that was the movie fact of the day. I hope you enjoyed it and have a great day.

m.
Courtesy of
Universal Pictures

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Movie Fact of the Day

  THIS MOVIE FACT CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT THE MOVIE "TRANCE"

  This post is a spoiler about "Trance", so i suggest if you haven't seen the movie, watch it and then revisit this Movie Fact of the Day.   If you've seen "Trance" then you know about the character secrets that are revealed by the end of the movie. However, there is a sign early on that if you look close enough will give up all the secrets before the third act unveil.
  That sign is in the scene where James McAvoy's character is under hypnosis. His phone rings but before he gets a chance to answer it he gets into a car accident. At the moment where the car hits him the audience can see in the phone screen who called him, and who would later be the solution to all the questions of the movie.
  I hope you enjoyed today's movie fact and feel free to revisit Moviereviewsbym94.blogspot.com for movie reviews, rating and more.
  Have a great day. 

m.
Courtesy of
FOX Searchlight Pictures

That Awkward Moment movie review

Cast: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis
Director: Tom Gormican
Running time: 1 hour and 34 minutes

  Jason (Zac Efron), Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) and Daniel (Miles Teller) are three best friends. When Mikey's wife asks for a divorce his two friends decide to stay single with him and ease him back into the dating pool. But what do you know, both of them end up finding the loves of their lives (shocker!) and start to go back on their pact. What will happen? Will their friendship survive? Will they find happiness and true love?

  One thing that worked about this movie was that the 3 lead characters have a nice chemistry with each other. Even though i thought (and i've heard a lot) that Daniel and Jason were kind of mean and douchy, it was somewhat fun to watch the three of them together. I would mostly contribute that to Miles Teller's charm and personality, which he brings to all of his movies (i'm a big fan as i've mentioned before). 

  Apart from Teller's charming presence there was some humor in his character. He was the link that held the friendship together and made the movie remotely fun. I doubt i would like this movie at all (not that i like it a lot as it is) if he wasn't in it. As far as Michael B. Jordan's character goes i have to say i liked him the best. Daniel is funny, but Mikey is the kindest and nicest of the group. And in a group of douchebags that means a lot. Now, regarding Zac Efron's character. I though Jason was a blank and boring addition to the group. Efron didn't have anything to offer to the film, mainly because the character had no positive attributes. He wasn't funny like Daniel was or nice like Mickey was, so i found it hard to care about him at all.

  Right from the first couple of scenes i had a problem with the movie. We see Teller and Efron's characters pitch a book cover proposal to some clients and i didn't buy it for a second. They look like they are in college and even if we assume they are 26-27, like they are in real life, doesn't that agency have any senior stuff that would meet with the clients and do the important jobs? You don't become a lead book cover artist when you are in your 20s. I would believe it more if they were interns rather than cover art geniuses with huge New York City apartments.

  Speaking of the begging of the movie, the first scene (if i am not mistaken) is when a girl breaks up with Zac Efron even though he hadn't realised they were in a relationship (or the girl hadn't realised they weren't in one). The fact that every girl (there is another one later in the film) Jason hooks up with doesn't understand that they are only having sex, and not starting a relationship, offended me a little bit. The movie doesn't seem to get that not all women are looking for relationships and/or are idiots who mistake casual sex with dating.So, actually, i had problems with the movie right from the start.

  Also, the whole premise of the film (that Daniel and Jason would stay single to help Mikey) didn't sit well with me. How would that help Michael B. Jordan's character? Is it because they didn't want him to see other people in love and feel hurt and jealous that he was no longer with his wife? Like he doesn't have any other friends that are in relationships. The idea struck me as a little childish. And i doubt Mikey would object with his friends meeting girls that they like and actually being happy.

  Like so many other rom-coms That Awkward Moment was very predictable. Friends decide to stay single and they immediately find the perfect girl. The guy sees his girl-best friend play the piano and he realises he loves her. The other guy gives a big romantic speech in front of many people so that he can win back the girl. And finally, the third guy who thought that he couldn't move on from heartbreak ends up getting over his ex and finding someone new. You could make a list with all the cliche romantic-comedy situations that are in this movie. The predictability of the movie kept me from being excited to see how everything would play out and learning what would happen in the end.

  Finally, i can't not comment on the fact that SPOILER! Ellie's dad's death is so clearly just a plot devise for the movie. We meet him in Ellie's birthday party and, literally, the first scene after the party is when we learn about his death.The writers should have, at least, put another scene in between so that it's not that obvious. It felt totally manipulative and not in any way emotional.

  In conclusion, That Awkward Moment is widely predictable with a couple of charming characters (literally,there were 2) that can't save this movie from the drag that it is.
Final thought #1: There is a book reading scene that is very painful.
Final thought #2: Damn Zac Efron's tight pants, tho.

My score: 19%
Tomatometer: 22%

m.
Courtesy of
Focus Pictures