It’s the 1920s. Nick Carraway (Toby Maguire) has moved to Long Island to try his hand as a trader in the booming Wall Street game. He rents a modest house next to the legendary Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Across the bay lives his cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) and her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton).
Gatsby is an elusive figure. Few have actually met him, despite all of New York attending his lavish parties every weekend. His mansion is the epitome of excess. The alcohol flows freely, and there is always music playing. Little is known about Gatsby, but rumors abound concerning how he amassed his fortune, anything from a relative of the Kaiser, a war hero/Oxford man, to a murderer. Only at the end of the summer does Gatsby share the real story with Nick.
Nick is sucked in by Gatsby’s lifestyle. The two quickly become friends. Throughout the summer, Nick finds himself in the middle of everyone’s affairs. He soon learns that Gatsby has created his life just to win the love of his life. And he needs Nick’s help to make that happen.
An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, which we all read in high school. Well, most of us. I don’t think I actually read the book. But through discussions from so many years ago, I remember more than I realized. Although I recalled the ending a bit different from what happens in the movie. We’ll call this a fault of my memory rather than trying to create a more dramatic ending.
Leo is a period piece actor. It seems most of his roles are set some time in the past. Naturally, he fits well into this movie. Most of the cast, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, even Isla Fisher, seem to mesh well with the setting. Personally, I have a problem seeing Toby Maguire as anything other than the whiny Peter Parker. Aside from this minor distraction, the cast does a fine enough job.
Before the movie started, I questioned the decision to shoot the film in 3D. It seemed gratuitous. I was right. There really is no point to it. It seemed to just be a gimmick to show fake snow and Carraway’s words floating across the screen as he typed up his story for his therapist. This aside, there were several scenes where everything in frame was out of focus. I’m not sure what director Baz Luhrmann was trying to accomplish here. Maybe it was an attempt to be artsy. The only effect it had on me was to lean over to discuss whether it was just me who was having problems with it. And a headache. If you’re going to sit through the 2 1/2 hour “epic,” I would almost recommend seeing it in 2D. Do your eyes a favor.
A lot of the visuals, especially Gatsby and crew racing their cars through the city, looked cartoony. Perhaps it was an attempt to give the film the same feeling of excess and overindulgence that Gatsby’s life entailed. I found it distracting.
I was curious about the heavy inclusion of Jay-Z in the soundtrack. While the swing versions of some of his songs were mildly entertaining, it didn’t seem to fit. Then the credits rolled. Executive Producer: Shawn “Jay Z” Carter. Now it makes sense.
I struggled to find anything of value in seeing this interpretation of a literary classic. It feels like the film is trying too hard to be a summer blockbuster. Reaching for the sky and failing seems to be a fitting description, given the story behind The Great Gatsby. If you’re set on seeing Gatsby, I might recommend the 1974 interpretation with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is still shaken by the events in New York. He doesn’t sleep. Instead, he tinkers. He spends his time coming up with new Iron Man suits. He must protect that which he loves most. Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). Ironically, while trying to protect her, he is pushing her away.
We travel back to New Year’s Eve 1999. Where Tony unknowingly makes some enemies. While seducing Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), a genetic researcher working on a way to help organisms regenerate when they have been damaged, Tony tells Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a less than attractive man who walks with a cane, that he is interested in Aldrich’s research and to meet him on the roof in 10 minutes. Of course, Tony never shows.
Back to present day. Aldrich show up at Stark Enterprises, now handsome and without a cane, to present his ideas to Pepper. He has worked for the past 14 years to perfect Maya’s research.
Meanwhile, a terrorist, named the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) has been broadcasting messages after each of his attacks, throwing the world into panic. When his bodyguard, Happy (Jon Favreau) is severely injured, Tony calls out the Mandarin. Tony vows revenge. The Mandarin, teaching the world a lesson, does not back down from the Iron Man’s challenge. Tony’s whole life is torn apart. Pepper goes into hiding with Maya. And their home, along with all the Iron Man suits are destroyed. Left with nothing but his latest prototype, and the help of Colonel James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Tony must find a way to stop the Mandarin and put his life back together.
Finally, we have the conclusion to the Iron Man trilogy. One of the few trilogies in which I have deeply invested myself. The first two were great films, if you are a fan of the graphic novel (comic book) genre. I am. But will this final installment live up to the standards set by its predecessors as well as The Avengers, and all the films that go along with it?
Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow don’t disappoint. This type of film suits them well. And Downey’s comedic timing is better than ever. I have to say, this is probably the funniest of the series. I know it’s an action film, but it has plenty of comedy thrown in, just to keep things light. Ty Simpkins, as a young boy who helps Tony rebuild his suit, almost steals every scene he is in.
I appreciate that the films writers don’t ignore the events in The Avengers. While never directly mentioning the élite team, they definitely incorporate what transpired during the film into Tony’s character. He is deeply troubled by what has and could potentially happen.
The action is what you expect from Iron Man. It is intense. I’m torn, however. There is a battle scene where Tony goes from one suit to another. While it is great to see what Tony can do given some free time, I almost feel that we don’t get to see the potential of each suit and its unique capabilities. I would have enjoyed a little more here, but I feel it would have taken too much to give each suit the time it deserves. Overall, it’s pretty well done.
While probably not the best of the series, it is definitely worth seeing. Aside from it being a highly entertaining film, you get the conclusion to Iron Man’s story. I’m anxious for the next Avengers film to see what they do with Tony and the crew. I would definitely recommend seeing this in the theater, giving it the proper viewing it deserves. I would say to go for the 3D, as well. But if you see it in 2D, I still think you won’t be disappointed.
Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a former dentist turned bounty hunter, buys a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), from his less than willing to sell new owners. Schultz gives Django his freedom in exchange for Django helping him hunt down some fugitives. He even agrees to split the earnings for his bounties with Django.
Schultz takes Django under his wing and turns him into “The fastest gun in the south.” After all, these bounties are wanted dead or alive. Their captures usually fall into the first category.
Django only has one request. He wants to free his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). The two were split up and sold at auction to different owners. Broomhilda went to the vicious Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), owner of the “Candie Land” plantation.
With help from his new friend, Django will stop at nothing to free his wife and, whenever possible, exact his revenge for the way she has been treated.
First off, I have to say, I have never and will never understand this period of our history. How people can treat other human beings this way is just unfathomable.
That being said, I enjoyed this film much more than I expected. With all the controversy surrounding the film, including its “gratuitous” use of the N-word, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to see it at all. I’m glad I got past that and watched it.
Writer/director Quentin Tarantino spins a tale in a way that only he can. He uses every aspect of the film, from its genius soundtrack, the comedic timing, and the over the top gore that I can only describe as Tarantino-esque, to make an absolute beauty of a movie. It’s no wonder that it was nominated, and won, so many awards.
This has to be, hands down, one of my favorite performances by Christoph Waltz. He is absolutely hysterical in this film. Not so much, though, that it’s overdone. Jamie Foxx has a dry wit and timing to him, with enough badass mixed in that plays well again Waltz. Leo is, well Leo. He is who he is. And usually, that is a very good actor. Period pieces seem to fit him for some reason. He slips his role as a relentless slave owner well. And what would a Tarantino movie be without a little Samuel L. Jackson?
To address the controversy regarding the use of the N-word, I have to say that Tarantino doesn’t go overboard or use it gratuitously. As odd as that sounds, one must realize this is set just prior to the Civil War. And it is a movie about slaves. This is simply how they spoke during this time. Again, this is part of our history as a country. He is just telling a story as it would have been told.
If you can get past the profanity and gore that accompanies all Tarantino-esque movies, then I have to highly recommend Django Unchained. It is one of the best films I have seen in a while. Even with a running time of just under 3 hours, I never once found it lacking in any way. Solid entertainment for the entire movie.
I can’t say enough good things about this movie. You will definitely want to pick this one up. You won’t regret it. Just make sure the kids aren’t around when you’re watching it.
Debbie (Leslie Mann) and Pete (Paul Rudd) are both turning 40 during the same week. Debbie isn’t dealing with it quite as well as her husband. Pete is a typical guy. He bikes for exercise, but isn’t about eating cupcakes. Out of the sink. After he’s run water on them.
Debbie, on the other hand, is refusing to admit she’s 40. She is having a real midlife crisis. She decides that she and Pete need to change their ways if they’re going to make it out of their 40s. This means no more junk food for Pete and no more smoking for Debbie, among many other changes.
Dealing with this milestone puts a serious strain on their relationship, as they struggle to face the problems all married couples with kids deal with.
This is 40 is a sequel of sorts to Knocked Up, which is a sequel of sorts to The 40 Year Old Virgin. It’s a sequel in that the same actors play the same characters. That’s about where the ties end.
I love Paul Rudd. There haven’t been movies he’s been in that I haven’t enjoyed. His comedic timing is great. Leslie Mann is another favorite. Writer/director Judd Apatow is capable of producing top-tier comedies. Pineapple Express. Superbad. Anchorman. I even enjoyed Drillbit Taylor. There’s just something about this movie that left me empty. Not even Jason Segel or Megan Fox could save this movie.
The premise is fine enough. Even if it is a little played out. The whole undertone of This is 40 is just, well, uncomfortable. It reminds me of The Breakup. Both are movies with actors who have proven they can make hilarious movies. But the comedy just isn’t there. I found myself squirming in my seat watching it all play out on-screen. And it’s not in an “I can’t believe they just did that” way that some over the top comedies do it. It was more of an “I don’t want to sit through this.”
While it’s not a terrible movie, it is definitely one I would not sit through again. I don’t mind romantic comedies. Or dramatic films. Or even comedramas (comedies that mix in a fair share of drama). I just don’t like when a film is billed as a comedy when there is very little comedy in it.
Those of you who enjoyed The Breakup as a comedy will probably like This is 40. Personally, this is just a sub-genre that I don’t enjoy. My recommendation is to pass on this one. And hope there are no more “sequels” to the super funny 40 Year Old Virgin.
After being sent to retrieve some nuclear warheads, the Joes, including Duke (Channing Tatum), Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), realize they have been set up by the very people who rely on them. Most of the force is taken out in an ambush, leaving only a handful of the elite team. (So as to not give anything away, I’m refraining from getting into too much detail here. My apologies.)
Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) and Destro are being held in an impenetrable underground prison. Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) execute their plan to break them out. What good would a G.I. Joe movie be without Cobra Commander?
Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), the master of disguises, has already positioned himself in a place of power to help Cobra Commander’s never-ending quest for world domination. He holds all the world’s leaders hostage in a game of chess, of sorts.
Can the Joes, who are now outlaws, clear their names and save the world from the evil clutches of Cobra? With the help of Joe founder General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis), they just may have a shot.
My first reaction at the beginning of the movie, as they are listing the roster of enemies was, “Zartan! Ha!” Zartan had to be one of my favorite action figures as a kid. Not only did he come with a mask to change his face, he turned blue, BLUE! when you put him in direct sunlight! I mean, how awesome is that? In the last 30 years, Zartan’s disguises have gone a little more high-tech, now using nanotechnology to help him conceal his true identity.
This is exactly what G.I. Joe: Retaliation is meant to be. It’s a little bit action and a whole lot of nostalgia. I have to say that I am most definitely the exact demographic writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and director John Chu were targeting with this film: Kids who grew up in the 80s, playing with G.I. Joe action figures in their heyday.
It’s a G.I. Joe film. So don’t expect any Oscar-worthy stuff here. What you should expect is passable dialogue and acting along with 2 hours of, “I had that! I remember him!” The action is decent enough. About what you would expect from this type of movie. Thanks to Channing Tatum and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you’ll even be able to convince your wife to tag along.
I saw the film in 3D, but there is nothing ground-breaking here, and I don’t remember it adding much to the experience. I think you would do just as well to save the extra money and see it in good, old-fashioned 2D. You’ll be too distracted watching your childhood play out on the screen to even remember whether you saw it in 3D.
It’s a fun film, if you grew up like I did. It isn’t like so many films these days which take something from your childhood and turn it into something unrecognizable. (I’m looking at you, “Ninja Turtles.”) Just sit back and enjoy it for what it is.
Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.
“Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
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IRON MAN 3 releases in theaters on May 3, 2013!
Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are the hottest act in Las Vegas. A “magical friendship” that started when they were kids. Neither were popular. Both bullied. Burt won Anton’s friendship by doing magic tricks he learned from the Rance Holloway (Alan Arkin) magic kit he received as a birthday present while his mom was at work. The show would sell out every night.
They had been doing the same show every night for 10 years. Burt had lost his love of magic. It was now a means to get women. After losing countless assistants, Jane (Olivia Wilde) is made to fill in. She had been working backstage at the show, so she knew all the tricks. As an aspiring magician herself, Burt had been her idol for a long time now.
When Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), a Criss Angel type magician, comes to town, things start to go south for the magical duo. Magic had evolved. Burt and Anton had not. Steve’s extreme acts were depleting Burt and Anton’s audience. Doug Munny (James Gandolfini) warned the duo that if they didn’t change their act, they wouldn’t be performing at his hotel anymore.
During a less than spectacular event, the “Hot Box,” Burt decides, and announces in front of a large audience that he doesn’t need Anton or Jane anymore. He can do the “Magical Friendship” act on his own. It doesn’t go so well. After his act is canceled and he is kicked out of the hotel, Burt is taking any and every magic gig he can to make ends meet.
He ends up “entertaining” the folks at a retirement home where he learns he must rekindle his love for magic. This is his only hope for winning back his place as the top act in Vegas against Steve.
It’s the often told story of self-redemption. A superstar’s ego getting the best of him, alienating his friends, hitting rock bottom, then crawling his way back up. It plays to the same formula you see in every movie of its ilk.
With a cast like this, it has the potential to be hilarious. Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi, and Jim Carrey could do such great things. Throw in Olivia Wilde, and it’s sure to be great. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to its potential. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely has its moments. The “Hot Box” being one, and the scene just before the ending credits being, by far, the funniest scene. But there were many times where I felt unsatisfied.
There is a scene with Burt and Anton that attempts to recreate the spontaneous hilarity of Bruce Almighty, where Bruce forces Evan Baxter to babble incoherently during a news broadcast. I remember laughing out loud, uncontrollably, in the theater during this scene. There was amazing chemistry between Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell in Bruce Almighty. A chemistry that is lacking in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s not a bad movie. It’s just not as good as it could have been. It does a great job of capturing the cheesiness and quality of showmanship that I can only imagine goes into a Vegas magic act. Like I said, it does have its moments. Jim and the Steves are funny. The just feel disconnected. And Olivia Wilde, well, she’s Olivia Wilde. Nothing to complain about there. I have to give a nod to Jay Mohr who steals the first scene he’s in. The movie could have benefited from giving him more screen time.
If you’re looking for a movie to see this weekend, this isn’t the worst choice you could make. I would just recommend waiting for it to come to your local RedBox.