Friday, August 16, 2013

Kick-Ass 2

My ViewKick-Ass 2 (2013) R   Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) are back, this time they are joined by fellow crime-fighting costumed do-gooders on the streets. Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) vows to avenge his father’s death and will do anything he can to defeat Kick-Ass, including threatening the people he loves the most.  As with the first Kick-Ass film, this film is very violent and bloody, with some of the action sequences played for comedy. I like that Moretz’s Hit Girl character is more featured as I think she is the best thing in the first film. There are several things I don't like about this film. One is the use of the “shaky camera” during the action sequences. The great thing about the first Kick Ass movie was the choreography of the fight sequences, but in this film, the fight scenes feel choppy and unimaginative. I also don't like the way women are depicted.  Many of the female characters are treated as just sex objects (one “hero” is called Night Bitch), or as stereotypical woman, such as the head cheerleader who is stuck up and petty. There are some funny scenes in this film, thought it doesn’t match the wit and humor of the first film. I don't like Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes, as his performance is too restrained for my taste.  I wanted his character to be much more over the top. There is a bonus scene at the end of the credits that, if you are a fan of the series, you will want to see.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Kick-Ass 2 Website
My ViewLee Daniels’ The Butler  (2013) PG-13  Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) goes from the cotton fields of Georgia to work as a butler in the White House. Cecil serves for more than three decades and deals with eight American Presidents during a time of great change in the country, including the Civil Rights Movement, Watergate and the Vietnam War.  This is an interesting film that shows the Civil Rights movement through the political world of the White House and Cecil’s job but also through the eyes of the butler's son, Louis (David Oyelowo), who participates in the movement as a Freedom Rider. The film is powerful at times, especially in scenes from the civil rights protests and the reaction to the assassination of Dr. King.  The film, though, drags when it deals with Cecil’s home life and his early years with his wife Gloria(Oprah Winfrey), where she feels neglected due to his devotion to his job. The casting in this film is interesting with some good choices such as John Cusack as Richard Nixon or Live Schreiber as LBJ and some bad choices, such as Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower. While the film’s subject matter is compelling, I feel the film tries to cover too much ground which makes it seem longer than it really is.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Lee Daniels' The Butler
My ViewJobs  (2013) PG-13  The story of Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) who went from college dropout to running Apple, making it one of the most powerful companies in the world.  The film focuses on the early years of Apple, starting when Jobs and a few others founded the company in his parent’s garage. The film ends at the time that Jobs comes back to Apple in 1996, after being kicked out of the company a few years earlier. This film is way too long and makes one of the most interesting men of the twentieth century a one dimensional jerk with no depth. Kutcher doesn’t have the charisma on-screen to play Jobs properly, and we never understand why anyone would want to work for the man, much less be inspired by him. I did enjoy Josh Gad who is brilliant as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, a man more concerned about how to make a computer better than about the politics going on inside the company. The film has the look and feel of a TV movie, and it seems as though we miss some key parts to the story as the film tends to jump timelines quite a bit. This isn’t a bad film, but Kutcher fails to bring the legend of Steve Jobs to the screen.  My Rating:  Cable   Jobs Website
IndiefestThe Spectacular Now  (2013) R  Sutter (Miles Teller) is a high school senior who is just happy living in the present. He seems to have everything you would want – he’s popular, has a good job, and his girlfriend is the prettiest girl in high school. Suddenly, everything comes crashing down around Sutter when his girlfriend dumps him and leaves his once promising world now in tatters. Sutter then meets Aimee (Shailene Woodley) who isn’t like anyone he has ever met before and just might be the person to get him back on track.  Woodley and Teller are the reason to see this film as they have great chemistry together. The dialogue in the film is witty and real. The film can be a little grim, at times, but overall, its message of love and the importance of friendship, make this film worth watching.  My Rating:  I Would Pay to See it Again  The Spectacular Now Website
Forgotten FilmThe Grifters  (1990) R  Roy (John Cusack) is a small time con artist who lands in the hospital after an unsuccessful scam. His mom, Lilly (Anjelica Huston), works for a bookie. Roy’s girlfriend, Myra (Annette Bening), is a beautiful woman who knows how to play men and get what she wants. Roy is now torn between the two women in his life who have taken an instant disliking to each other. This is a dark, fascinating film, reminiscent of the film noir crime films of the 1940’s with a lot of twists and turns, some you never see coming. All three principle actors are outstanding in this film, especially Annette Bening as the grifter girlfriend.  My Rating:  Full Price  The Grifters Info
In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD)Olympus Has Fallen (2013)  R I I liked this film about a Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler) who finds himself trapped in the White House just as it is invaded by terrorists.  I thought Butler was impressive and believable as the Secret Service agent and enjoyed this film’s action sequences.  The film was also helped by its excellent supporting cast: Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo and Angela Bassett.   My Rating:  Bargain Matinee  Olympus Has Fallen Website

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Jobs:  Custom Hair Extensions

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)  An office worker (Ben Stiller) fantasizes about leading an adventurous life. When his job and the job of the woman he is secretly in love with (Kristen Wiig) is threaten, he sets off on a journey around the world to save their jobs. The film is directed by Ben Stiller, and the trailer is one of the best I’ve seen in years.  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Info
Until Next Time!

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