Rebecca's Movie Blog

cub-with-a-k:

Alright I’m gonna talk about this for a second because I think it’s really important. I have heard a lot of people criticize Daisy for being a foolish character; “a bauble of a woman” I think one review called her when the movie came out this summer. And I’ve always felt confused when people say that, because I never thought Daisy was foolish. Vain, selfish, and indecisive, yes, but never foolish, and a lot of my reasoning for that belief came from this line . “I hope she’ll be a fool,” she says, because she is NOT a fool. Daisy sees the world for what it is (which is something Gatsby could never do, by the way) and that’s why everything is so hard for her. She understands what are actually the themes of the novel: that sometimes your dreams die and that those things you value are actually not valuable. That’s what she learned after Gatsby left and she entered a loveless marriage with a horrible man, which is a difficult thing to experience even if you are a fool. But she never wants anyone to have to experience those things the way she’s experienced them, or to learn what she believed was the horrible truth of 1920s America; she’d much rather pretend that everything was okay, so that’s exactly what she does. She just pretends. Daisy is a lot of things, but a fool is not one of them.

YES. This post is fantastic. One of the major elements that makes the novel and film so captivating is the deep characterization of each individual behind their facade.

(Source: rooneymara)

The Fault In Our Stars Review

image

The Fault In Our Stars
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe
Directed by: Josh Boone
Rated: PG-13
I honestly did not think this would be my type of movie. I’ve heard about the book for a long time now and I’ve seen the previews for a few months. I knew the basic premise of the film so I thought I knew what to expect: Two people with cancer meet and fall in love. Despite the majority of acclaim, I thought it would be a clichéd, overly emotionally teenage love story with excessively cheesy dialogue. Well, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong. 

The Story: 
The Fault in Our Stars is the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a smart 16 year old girl, who has lived with cancer since the age of 13. She is sarcastic and rather cynical, but she doesn’t want pity. Hazel meets Augustus Waters, at a local cancer support group. Augustus is an optimistic and outgoing 18 year old who survived a cancer diagnosis and is currently in remission. Things are looking up for him. The two hit it off pretty quickly and bond over their abnormal circumstances in life, unconventional sense of humor, and deep questions about life. The film follows the relationship of Augustus and Hazel and takes us into some pretty emotional territory along the way. 

The Acting: 
I personally have not ever really been a big fan of Shailene Woodley. Her acting hasn’t been super impressive to me in the past and I haven’t understood the hype surrounding her, until now. I completely get it now. Her performance as Hazel is witty, complex, and deeply emotional. This is fantastic acting. Hazel is a teenager that actually made sense. She isn’t a selfish brat or a lame stereotype. Instead of letting people pity her for what she’s going through, she’s intelligent and sarcastic. 
One of the aspects that I found really fascinating about Hazel is her obsession with her favorite book An Imperial Affliction. This particular book ends mid-sentence leaving her with many questions as to what happens to several supporting characters when it’s all over. She and Augustus get into contact with the author of the book and schedule a trip to meet him to ask him these questions. It’s clear Hazel is not really interested in the characters in the book, rather she is interested in what will happen to those around her when she will die. The book becomes ultimately symbolic for Hazel’s life. 
image
Shailene Woodley as Hazel Lancaster
Ansel Elgort plays Augustus Waters. I hadn’t really seen him in much before this, but he does a really great job carrying the male lead in this movie. If the tween girls that squealed excessively throughout our movie screening are any indication, he seems to be pretty popular. What can I say? “Ansel. So hot right now. Ansel.” 
One of my ultimate goals for this blog is to incorporate a Zoolander reference into 1 out of every 3 posts. 
Augustus is an incredibly charming and kind character with a huge personality.  He expresses a profound love of metaphors and a deep fear of oblivion. He strives to lead an important life and to have a substantial impact on the world. His relationship with Hazel helps him realize that he does live an important life and he has a much bigger impact on those around him than he realizes.Watching Hazel and Augustus’ relationship as the film progresses is truly moving. They are actually interested in finding out each other’s hobbies and interests. They connect through similar life experiences and are able to relate to understand one another in a way that no one else can. 
image
Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters
Laura Dern is wonderful as Hazel’s mother, Frannie Lancaster. Side note- There should definitely be more people named Frannie in the world. I have never had a conversation with a person named Frannie and that just makes me sad. Anyway, Frannie wasn’t just a side note parent. In a movie with multiple teenagers, it would be very common for parents to be sidelined. Not here. Frannie refuses to be sidelined. Frannie is always there when her daughter needs her. I appreciated the way the film treated Hazel’s relationship with her parents. They had a loving and positive relationship and they were there for each other no matter the circumstances. 
image
Laura Dern as Frannie
Willem Dafoe plays Van Houten, the mysterious and reclusive author of An Imperial Affliction. I can’t say too much about his character without giving away some minor spoilers, but I can say he has a major affinity for Swedish rap music. Who can blame him though? It’s clearly superior to all other forms of rap music. I wish it was more popular. 

Final Thoughts:
Throughout the film, Hazel and Augustus find that “the world is not a wish granting factory” and that life it is not always fair to us. Despite unfairness, suffering, and trials that seem to be insurmountable, we learn to live with the life we have been given and we love along the way. 
It is really refreshing to see a movie with intelligent teenagers asking deep questions and dealing with issues that are not paper-thin. Cancer, death, and oblivion are all very heavy topics. With the wrong balance, this film could’ve easily become too heavy handed and melodramatic. However, it manages to strike the perfect balance of humor and emotion. It would be a disservice to call the Fault in Our Stars just a “cancer movie”. Instead, it is a reminder to live and love deeply even when life’s circumstances seem unbearable. 
My Rating10/10 

“If we assume man has been corrupted by an artificial civilization, what is the natural state? The state of nature from which he has been removed? Imagine wandering up and down the forest, without industry, without speech and without home.” - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

(Source: fassyy)


Stockholm Syndrome: The Movie….Sorry, I meant:Labor DayStarring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, and Tobey MaguireDirected by: Jason Reitman
I rented this at Redbox so now you don’t have to. 


The Story: 
Adele (Kate Winslet) is a single mom struggling with depression. She is raising her 12 year old son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) in a small town. It is unclear whether or not Adele is Adele Dazeem (the wickedly talented woman that John Travolta introduced at the Oscars) because they never tell us her last name in the movie. I honestly think she is Adele Dazeem.One day, Adele and Henry go to the grocery store where they are met by a strange man named Frank (Josh Brolin). Frank threatens Henry in order to get a ride from Adele. Instead of making a scene in the grocery store where there are lots of people around who could definitely help her, she quietly lets him get in her car and drives him to her house! GREAT IDEA! Then she finds out, Frank is an escaped convict fleeing from prison. In one of the most confusing 10 minute scenes I have ever witnessed in the history of cinema, Frank ties Adele to a chair then goes to the kitchen to make chili. Yes, he just decides he is going to make some chili. He proceeds to kindly feed Adele the chili. I think this scene was meant to be romantic, but honestly it just made me nauseous. After the chili incident, Frank tries to stay hidden from the police and he develops a bond with Adele and Henry. He also teaches them how to make peach pie in a scene that lasts way too long. The film follows their story over the course of one Labor Day weekend.

The Acting:
Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses. She is the main reason I rented this movie. If you want to see some great Kate Winslet acting performances watch Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland or The Holiday. She did well as Adele (Dazeem?), however this character is just not on the same level as most of her previous roles. That’s not due to her acting, that’s just due to the script. Adele has some interesting and emotional moments. Out of everyone in this movie, she’s probably the most complex. However, she does fall in love with Frank after he threatens her son and ties her up. Actually I don’t know if she loves Frank or if it’s Stockholm Syndrome. It kind of seems more like Stockholm Syndrome to me.
Josh Brolin is another good actor and I don’t know why he was in this movie. I’m gonna step out on a limb here and say it was for money and not for the script or acting experience. I think his character, Frank, was meant to be some sort of misunderstood guy who makes peach pies and went to prison for a reason we don’t fully understand, but it just doesn’t work out that way. As the movie unfolds, his characterization fails miserably. His past is supposed to be a big misunderstanding, but it turns out to be extremely disturbing. Frank also controls what Adele says to her neighbors and exhibits violent tendencies at random moments. Neither Adele nor Henry raise questions about these strange and violent reactions, they just see Frank as an awesome houseguest. I think the viewer is supposed to accept his behavior as “necessary as survival” because he’s on the run. I don’t see it as necessary for survival. It’s not ok to go around threatening women and their sons when you need a ride, Frank.
Gattlin Griffith plays Henry, Adele’s 12 year old son. He’s seems like a pretty decent actor. I just couldn’t get over how ridiculous the storyline was and all of the things his character was expected to do for his mother and Frank. Somehow along the way, Frank and Henry start getting along and Henry looks to Frank as a father figure.
That all gets increasingly messed up when Frank decides he needs to get away from his current place of residence and go to Canada with Adele and Henry. Adele is super excited to go to Canada because who isn’t excited to go to Canada with a guy who makes pie? She tells Henry they will be going on the 1st day of school because logic is not needed in this film.This was my favorite part of the movie because they don’t really address the fact that they will be driving from a very well secured town in New Hampshire to Canada chauffeuring the escaped convict that the police are searching for relentlessly. They just let that go. They keep talking about how great life will be in Canada, but it’s kind of ridiculous that they believe they will make it from New Hampshire to Canada without any issues. Yet, the audience is supposed to believe this will happen.Spoiler Alert:The family road trip to Canada never happens. They don’t give up the American dream for the Canadian. How convenient for the plot that they don’t have to address those issues about driving through all of that security!Final Thoughts and My Rating:While watching Labor Day it became increasingly clear that this movie never really found it’s identity. It experimented with several different genres: suspense, coming of age, art house, cooking drama, mystery, and romance: they all failed. It ended up being too convoluted to ever find its footing. It’s being marketed as a romance movie, but it’s not romantic. It’s just really strange. If you want to learn how to make a peach pie though, there is a 10 minute scene on that. Or you could just look up the recipe on the internet.I personally would not recommend Labor Day, it’s not worth the time. It’s a tiresome mess.My Rating:3/10
Stockholm Syndrome: The Movie….Sorry, I meant:
Labor Day
Starring: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, and Tobey Maguire
Directed by: Jason Reitman
I rented this at Redbox so now you don’t have to. 
The Story: 
Adele (Kate Winslet) is a single mom struggling with depression. She is raising her 12 year old son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) in a small town. It is unclear whether or not Adele is Adele Dazeem (the wickedly talented woman that John Travolta introduced at the Oscars) because they never tell us her last name in the movie. I honestly think she is Adele Dazeem.
One day, Adele and Henry go to the grocery store where they are met by a strange man named Frank (Josh Brolin). Frank threatens Henry in order to get a ride from Adele. Instead of making a scene in the grocery store where there are lots of people around who could definitely help her, she quietly lets him get in her car and drives him to her house! GREAT IDEA! Then she finds out, Frank is an escaped convict fleeing from prison. In one of the most confusing 10 minute scenes I have ever witnessed in the history of cinema, Frank ties Adele to a chair then goes to the kitchen to make chili. Yes, he just decides he is going to make some chili. He proceeds to kindly feed Adele the chili. I think this scene was meant to be romantic, but honestly it just made me nauseous. After the chili incident, Frank tries to stay hidden from the police and he develops a bond with Adele and Henry. He also teaches them how to make peach pie in a scene that lasts way too long. The film follows their story over the course of one Labor Day weekend.
The Acting:
Kate Winslet is one of my favorite actresses. She is the main reason I rented this movie. If you want to see some great Kate Winslet acting performances watch Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland or The Holiday. She did well as Adele (Dazeem?), however this character is just not on the same level as most of her previous roles. That’s not due to her acting, that’s just due to the script. Adele has some interesting and emotional moments. Out of everyone in this movie, she’s probably the most complex. However, she does fall in love with Frank after he threatens her son and ties her up. Actually I don’t know if she loves Frank or if it’s Stockholm Syndrome. It kind of seems more like Stockholm Syndrome to me.
image
Josh Brolin is another good actor and I don’t know why he was in this movie. I’m gonna step out on a limb here and say it was for money and not for the script or acting experience. I think his character, Frank, was meant to be some sort of misunderstood guy who makes peach pies and went to prison for a reason we don’t fully understand, but it just doesn’t work out that way. As the movie unfolds, his characterization fails miserably. His past is supposed to be a big misunderstanding, but it turns out to be extremely disturbing. Frank also controls what Adele says to her neighbors and exhibits violent tendencies at random moments. Neither Adele nor Henry raise questions about these strange and violent reactions, they just see Frank as an awesome houseguest. I think the viewer is supposed to accept his behavior as “necessary as survival” because he’s on the run. I don’t see it as necessary for survival. It’s not ok to go around threatening women and their sons when you need a ride, Frank.
image
Gattlin Griffith plays Henry, Adele’s 12 year old son. He’s seems like a pretty decent actor. I just couldn’t get over how ridiculous the storyline was and all of the things his character was expected to do for his mother and Frank. Somehow along the way, Frank and Henry start getting along and Henry looks to Frank as a father figure.
image
That all gets increasingly messed up when Frank decides he needs to get away from his current place of residence and go to Canada with Adele and Henry. Adele is super excited to go to Canada because who isn’t excited to go to Canada with a guy who makes pie? She tells Henry they will be going on the 1st day of school because logic is not needed in this film.
This was my favorite part of the movie because they don’t really address the fact that they will be driving from a very well secured town in New Hampshire to Canada chauffeuring the escaped convict that the police are searching for relentlessly. They just let that go. They keep talking about how great life will be in Canada, but it’s kind of ridiculous that they believe they will make it from New Hampshire to Canada without any issues. Yet, the audience is supposed to believe this will happen.
Spoiler Alert:
The family road trip to Canada never happens. They don’t give up the American dream for the Canadian. How convenient for the plot that they don’t have to address those issues about driving through all of that security!

Final Thoughts and My Rating:
While watching Labor Day it became increasingly clear that this movie never really found it’s identity. It experimented with several different genres: suspense, coming of age, art house, cooking drama, mystery, and romance: they all failed. It ended up being too convoluted to ever find its footing. It’s being marketed as a romance movie, but it’s not romantic. It’s just really strange. If you want to learn how to make a peach pie though, there is a 10 minute scene on that. Or you could just look up the recipe on the internet.
I personally would not recommend Labor Day, it’s not worth the time. It’s a tiresome mess.
My Rating:
3/10

foxsearchlightpictures:

Happy Napoleon Dynamite Day! The cast stopped by today to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the film, and to unveil this flippin’ sweet bronze statue of Napoleon in all of his glory, moonboots and all! Even Tina the llama (that fat lard) made an appearance. #voteforpedro #NappyD10

When I first saw the previews for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I thought that it looked really interesting and even epic at times, yet the film itself has garnered some negative reviews. So I went to see it, hoping for a good movie, but preparing myself in case it was a letdown. 
The Plot: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is all about Walter (Ben Stiller), a man who lives what we would consider an average life. He gets up, goes to work in the photography branch of Life Magazine and comes back home. Then he starts the day all over again. Walter lives vicariously through his imagination. He has vivid daydreams that let him be the person he wants to be and live out the incredible situations he wishes he could. Walter has a crush on a fellow employee of Life magazine, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). However, outside of his daydreams, he can’t really garner the courage to talk to her. Walter works in the photography branch of the magazine. Unfortunately, Life Magazine is leaving behind its magazine roots and exclusively changing to an online only company which means there will be downsizing. This company change brings in a powerful and obnoxious corporate CEO named Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) to decide who will stay with the company and who will go. Before the magazine turns into a website only, it must print out its last issue. A famous photographer named Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) commonly sends him photographs from his expeditions. He sends Walter a special collection of negatives including one that claims to have the “quintessence of life” attached to it. This is the photograph that should be used for the cover. The only problem is, the photo is missing without a trace. Walter is going to have to step out of his daydreams and into the real world. He’s going to have to go on an epic adventure to find the photo. The acting: Ben Stiller is excellent as Walter. This is his first dramatic role in a long time. It’s a far cry from Zoolander. Although, I do love that movie. In the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller possesses layers of shyness, dejection, humor, and bold imagination. He starts out as a man whose life is so average he lives through his imagination. He’s so afraid to talk a coworker that he makes an eHarmony account and decides to attempt to talk to her there. When he signs up, he is confronted with the fact that he’s never really been anywhere or done anything especially substantial in his life. It’s interesting to see him go from the comfortable, but lonely guy who doesn’t change his daily routine to a man willing to jump out of a plane into freezing shark infested waters. I thought Walter’s character development in this film was especially impressive. Ben Stiller did a wonderful job showing that he can do more than just be the typical comedic character. He can be a serious actor as well. 

Kristen Wiig plays Cheryl, a single mother who works at Time Magazine with Walter. Again, much like Ben Stiller, I’m used to seeing Kristen Wiig in strictly comedic roles. It was neat to see her expand her acting horizons and play a character with more depth. That’s not to say she isn’t hilarious because I think she is, it’s just good to see comedic actors take on deeper roles and prove they can do any genre. Cheryl was a great supporting character because she motivated Walter to get out of the fantasy world and live his life, even when she had no idea she was doing it. She’s kind, caring and smart. Kristen Wiig was a breath of fresh air in this movie, she did a fantastic job. 

Adam Scott plays Walter’s extremely rude and obnoxious boss, Ted Hendricks. Ted is the main antagonist of the story. He publicly humiliates Walter on several occasions and acts like a middle school bully in the corporate world. It was quite surprising to see Adam Scott playing a role like this. I’m a big fan of the TV show Parks and Recreation. If you watch Parks and Rec, you know he plays Ben Wyatt, a serious but kind city manager who will do anything for Leslie Knope. That’s why it’s so strange to see him play a bad character in any movie. He’s completely obnoxious to everyone in this movie. Basically, he is the definition of a terrible boss. It was hard for me to watch Parks and Recreation the next day because he was such a jerk in this movie. 

Sean Penn plays free-spirited, bohemian, adventurous photographer, Sean O’Connell. If you took away the photographer aspect of this character, I honestly think Sean Penn might just be portraying himself. There may not have been a ton of acting involved here. His character was a neat addition to the movie because he helped Walter see the importance of day to day life and encouraged him to live in the real world. 

Final thoughts and My Rating:
On Walter’s journey to find Sean O’ Connell and the missing 25th photo, he sees some amazing things. We get to see Greenland and Iceland in this movie. How many movies have footage of Greenland and Iceland? Not many. I can’t think of another one at the moment. It’s great to view these beautiful areas of the world as such a major part of a Hollywood movie. 
You also get to hear about and see Papa John’s several times because who DOESN’T love some good old fashioned product placement? I know I do. Remember the days that we watched movies and a Coke bottle was blatantly placed in front of a character with the logo facing the screen like so: 
2003 Product Placement Techniques. So subtle. 
No longer my friends! That is a thing of the past. Welcome to 2014. We’ve moved on to new techniques. Product Placement is now a part of the character’s story. I was very skeptical when Papa John’s was name dropped the first few times, because I really hate product placement. You see, at the young age of 6, I tried to understand why characters always had the bottles or a product turned in the exact angle that the camera was pointing. It was then that my Mom explained what product placement was to me. I have loathed that concept every since. However, I will say, in this movie, they did a pretty good job of making it a legitimate part of Walter’s story. Granted, I’m probably ok with it because Papa John’s has such great pizza. 

I really loved the way this movie started with Walter living though his elaborate daydreams. Anything that seemed impossible or crazy, he dreamed up in a scenario in his mind. Then, as the film progresses, he starts to live out an actual adventure and finds that real life can be even better than living in your mind. The daydreaming becomes less and less frequent as his journey keeps going because he’s finally enjoying his life. 
The music accompanies this movie wonderfully and fills the scene with Walter’s newly adopted adventurous spirit. 

I would definitely recommend The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s got a gripping adventure, well thought out character development, beautiful cinematography, comedy, drama, and romance. There’s something for everyone in this movie. 
My rating: 9/10
When I first saw the previews for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I thought that it looked really interesting and even epic at times, yet the film itself has garnered some negative reviews. So I went to see it, hoping for a good movie, but preparing myself in case it was a letdown. 


The Plot: 
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is all about Walter (Ben Stiller), a man who lives what we would consider an average life. He gets up, goes to work in the photography branch of Life Magazine and comes back home. Then he starts the day all over again. Walter lives vicariously through his imagination. He has vivid daydreams that let him be the person he wants to be and live out the incredible situations he wishes he could. Walter has a crush on a fellow employee of Life magazine, Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). However, outside of his daydreams, he can’t really garner the courage to talk to her. Walter works in the photography branch of the magazine. Unfortunately, Life Magazine is leaving behind its magazine roots and exclusively changing to an online only company which means there will be downsizing. This company change brings in a powerful and obnoxious corporate CEO named Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) to decide who will stay with the company and who will go. Before the magazine turns into a website only, it must print out its last issue. A famous photographer named Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) commonly sends him photographs from his expeditions. He sends Walter a special collection of negatives including one that claims to have the “quintessence of life” attached to it. This is the photograph that should be used for the cover. The only problem is, the photo is missing without a trace. Walter is going to have to step out of his daydreams and into the real world. He’s going to have to go on an epic adventure to find the photo. 

The acting: 
Ben Stiller is excellent as Walter. This is his first dramatic role in a long time. It’s a far cry from Zoolander. Although, I do love that movie. 
In the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller possesses layers of shyness, dejection, humor, and bold imagination. He starts out as a man whose life is so average he lives through his imagination. He’s so afraid to talk a coworker that he makes an eHarmony account and decides to attempt to talk to her there. When he signs up, he is confronted with the fact that he’s never really been anywhere or done anything especially substantial in his life. It’s interesting to see him go from the comfortable, but lonely guy who doesn’t change his daily routine to a man willing to jump out of a plane into freezing shark infested waters. I thought Walter’s character development in this film was especially impressive. Ben Stiller did a wonderful job showing that he can do more than just be the typical comedic character. He can be a serious actor as well. 

image

Kristen Wiig plays Cheryl, a single mother who works at Time Magazine with Walter. Again, much like Ben Stiller, I’m used to seeing Kristen Wiig in strictly comedic roles. It was neat to see her expand her acting horizons and play a character with more depth. That’s not to say she isn’t hilarious because I think she is, it’s just good to see comedic actors take on deeper roles and prove they can do any genre. Cheryl was a great supporting character because she motivated Walter to get out of the fantasy world and live his life, even when she had no idea she was doing it. She’s kind, caring and smart. Kristen Wiig was a breath of fresh air in this movie, she did a fantastic job. 

image

Adam Scott plays Walter’s extremely rude and obnoxious boss, Ted Hendricks. Ted is the main antagonist of the story. He publicly humiliates Walter on several occasions and acts like a middle school bully in the corporate world. It was quite surprising to see Adam Scott playing a role like this. I’m a big fan of the TV show Parks and Recreation. If you watch Parks and Rec, you know he plays Ben Wyatt, a serious but kind city manager who will do anything for Leslie Knope. That’s why it’s so strange to see him play a bad character in any movie. He’s completely obnoxious to everyone in this movie. Basically, he is the definition of a terrible boss. It was hard for me to watch Parks and Recreation the next day because he was such a jerk in this movie. 

image

Sean Penn plays free-spirited, bohemian, adventurous photographer, Sean O’Connell. If you took away the photographer aspect of this character, I honestly think Sean Penn might just be portraying himself. There may not have been a ton of acting involved here. His character was a neat addition to the movie because he helped Walter see the importance of day to day life and encouraged him to live in the real world. 

image

Final thoughts and My Rating:
On Walter’s journey to find Sean O’ Connell and the missing 25th photo, he sees some amazing things. We get to see Greenland and Iceland in this movie. How many movies have footage of Greenland and Iceland? Not many. I can’t think of another one at the moment. It’s great to view these beautiful areas of the world as such a major part of a Hollywood movie. 
You also get to hear about and see Papa John’s several times because who DOESN’T love some good old fashioned product placement? I know I do. Remember the days that we watched movies and a Coke bottle was blatantly placed in front of a character with the logo facing the screen like so: 

image
2003 Product Placement Techniques. So subtle. 

No longer my friends! That is a thing of the past. Welcome to 2014. We’ve moved on to new techniques. Product Placement is now a part of the character’s story. I was very skeptical when Papa John’s was name dropped the first few times, because I really hate product placement. You see, at the young age of 6, I tried to understand why characters always had the bottles or a product turned in the exact angle that the camera was pointing. It was then that my Mom explained what product placement was to me. I have loathed that concept every since. However, I will say, in this movie, they did a pretty good job of making it a legitimate part of Walter’s story. Granted, I’m probably ok with it because Papa John’s has such great pizza. 
I really loved the way this movie started with Walter living though his elaborate daydreams. Anything that seemed impossible or crazy, he dreamed up in a scenario in his mind. Then, as the film progresses, he starts to live out an actual adventure and finds that real life can be even better than living in your mind. The daydreaming becomes less and less frequent as his journey keeps going because he’s finally enjoying his life. 
The music accompanies this movie wonderfully and fills the scene with Walter’s newly adopted adventurous spirit. 
I would definitely recommend The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It’s got a gripping adventure, well thought out character development, beautiful cinematography, comedy, drama, and romance. There’s something for everyone in this movie. 
My rating: 9/10
Lost In Translation

Lost In Translation

(Source: cinyma)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, and Sally Field
Directed by: Mark Webb
Rated:PG-13

The year is 2002. It is a rainy summer afternoon. A 7 year old girl and her dad decide to go to the movies while her mother is working. They decide to see the Sam Raimi directed, Spider Man.  She brings her blanket with her just in case. The first hour of the movie goes very well. She is totally calm. However, someone awful enters the picture:The Green Goblin. She loses her cool. The blanket is held close. The horror of the green goblin makes it difficult to remember that she is just in a theater watching a Tobey Maguire movie. The girl contemplates leaving, but decides to stay. The remainder of the movie is watched with her blanket partially covering her face. She leaves with the confidence that she conquered an action movie and an extreme fear of the green goblin. Did you enjoy that story? PLOT TWIST: the girl in the story is me. Yes, I watched Spider-Man from behind my blanket because of this crime against humanity: Ok it might not look scary now, but in 2002 this was terrifying. 
It’s still terrifying. I’m not over it. I hate that costume. 
The Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy was my first exposure to Spider-Man. I’ve never read the comics or anything like that. I had heard of the character, but I really didn’t know much. I enjoyed the first two movies. They were well made and entertaining. The third movie was another story. 

When I heard they were rebooting Spider-Man, I was confused. Why did they need to do it so quickly? I ended up seeing the 2012 adaption and I love that movie. I love that they made Peter Parker a bit more complex than the previous trilogy and I actually prefer his relationship with Gwen Stacy to his relationship with Mary Jane. Needless to say, I was very excited for this sequel. 
The Story: 
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker has just graduated from high school and he is struggling with whether or not to stay in his relationship with Gwen Stacy. He loves Gwen, but he promised her father that he would stay away from her to protect her from the enemies he would make as Spider-Man. He’s also dealing with the usual pressures of being Spider-Man: fighting multiple villains, swinging from buildings, saving citizens from near-death situations. Life is stressful for Peter Parker. 
The Actors: 
I love Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. He’s one of my favorite actors. I first saw him in the Social Network. If you haven’t seen that movie, you should check it out ASAP. It is one of my top 3 all time favorite movies. Trust me, it’s worth watching. 
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he continues his refreshing portrayal of Peter Parker. He has elements of emotional depth, humor and relatable awkward moments. It’s nice to see Peter/Spider-Man always trying to do what’s right. He attempts to identify the morality and consequences of every situation and do the best thing for everyone involved. We often see how honorable his character is and it really is amazing. (I am completely aware of how cheesy that sounded due to the title of the movie and the play on words. I had the words there and I had to take them.) 
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker
Emma Stone is wonderful as Gwen Stacy, a young scientist working at Oscorp and Peter’s on-again, off-again girlfriend. One of the elements that truly makes this movie and the 2012 movie is their chemistry together. Director Mark Webb, who previously directed 500 Days of Summer (another great movie I would highly recommend you watch), excels at Peter and Gwen’s relationship development. As I said earlier, I prefer Peter and Gwen to Peter and Mary Jane. The connection between them seems much more human and realistic. Gwen seems to love him for who he really is despite many issues that get in the way of their relationship. Emma Stone did a fantastic job in this movie playing the smart, energetic, and independent Gwen Stacy. You all don’t know how much more I want to write about Gwen, but I cannot because of spoilers. 
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Jaime Foxx plays Max Dillon. He is an electrician at Oscorp who is ignored by everyone. That is until he meets Spider-Man in the city one day and he is actually kind to him. Max becomes intensely obsessed with Spider-Man believing they are best friends after they meet just once. It is clear that Max has some mental/emotional issues that no one recognizes or helps him with at the beginning of the movie. While working in the basement at Oscorp, Max is involved in a freak accident involving some water and electric eels. He survives the accident and becomes one large surge of electricity. At first, he is just scared and does not know what to do with all of this new power. However, after a serious of unfortunate events he becomes extremely angry. His obsession with Spider-Man turns into a deep hatred and battle of good vs. evil takes place between Spider-Man and Electro. 
Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon (left) and Electro (right)
I am going to rant for a minute: WHY IS OSCORP STILL IN BUSINESS? SHUT IT DOWN. How many freak accidents/weird experiments must there be for one company to be shut down completely? Let us count shall we? 

Peter Parker/The Spider. Luckily for Oscorp this turned out positively because he became Spider-Man. I still consider this a freak accident though. 
Max Dillon turns into Electro. This one is a really bad freak accident. Jamie Foxx gets turned into a big electrical power surge by some electric eels and they don’t even care. Then he got really angry and tried to shut off all of the power in New York. Thanks a lot, Oscorp. 
Curt Connors/The Lizard. This was more of a scientific experiment, but it happened at Oscorp and it was really messed up. The man literally turned into a lizard and terrorized everyone in New York City.  
The Green Goblin. No. Not ok. We went over this earlier. 

That is 4 freak accidents/failed science experiments. 3 of these have put the city of New York in extreme danger. Where does it end, Oscorp?Also, what great scientific information are they giving to the world that justifies all of these accidents? I would really love to know. For the sake of New York, it’s time to shut down.  Dane DeHaan plays Harry Osborne, Peter Parker’s childhood best friend. Harry is the son of Norman Osborne, the founder of Oscorp. Norman dies leaving Harry to take over the company. Peter and Harry reconnect over the death of his father and become good friends again. Harry is a little creepy from the first time we see him. He just gives off a creepy vibe. Throughout the movie, the character becomes more and more eerie and by the end he takes a very dark and disturbing turn. 
Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborne
Warning: to anyone who has epilepsy or is sensitive to flashing lights: there is one very intense strobe lighting scene in the movie involving Harry Osborne’s character that lasts about 3 minutes. Without spoiling anything, it happens when he is in a lab of the Oscorp building. If you have epilepsy or you are especially sensitive to strobe lighting you may want to cover your eyes or take a quick bathroom break during this scene. Trust me, it’s not worth risking a migraine or a seizure. 
Final Thoughts and My Rating:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a jam-packed superhero movie. There’s so many different elements in it, pretty much everyone can find something to like about the film. However, there are a few times that it feels overpacked. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but my main complaint would be the amount of villains the movie contains. There are 3 villains, which is a little bit much.  I can’t talk about all of them due to spoilers, but one that I can talk about is the Rhino played by Paul Giamatti. He shows up in the final 2 minutes of the movie. After dealing with some very intense and emotional action sequences from the other villains, it’s just a little much to add another one in the last 2 minutes. Now, I know what they were thinking, “Paul Giamatti is the coolest actor there is, we have to get him in this movie.” They’re not wrong. He’s very cool and he’s also been in every movie that’s been made since 2007. So obviously, they did need him in this movie. Instead of throwing in another villain though, maybe they could have had him play Peter’s cool second cousin or a hip barista working at a local coffee shop who gives Peter life advice. (I think that could be some real script-gold for Paul Giamatti.) I understand what they were trying to do with Spiderman’s narrative, I just was not prepared for another villain after dealing with two. I was suffering from what they call “villain fatigue.” 
Besides the villain fatigue, I thought this was a really well-made sequel. It’s got action, romance, and humor. It even adds some very real and raw emotion at times. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a great way to kick off the Summer movie season! 
My Rating: 8/10
Final Note: 
Has anyone else noticed that the US Postal Service is sponsoring this movie? I’ve seen it on several commercials lately. I even saw it on a mail truck. On the commercials, Spider-Man is delivering mail. Does Spider-Man really have the time to do that? Aren’t the people at the USPS supposed to do that? Isn’t that their job? Anyway, today I went on IMDB and this is what I saw:


That’s right, Spider-Man has mail for the people. What an upstanding citizen. What an incredible use of product placement. Seeing this add has suddenly made me want to use the US Postal Service. I’m so sorry I have to end the review now, but I must go to the post office! 
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, and Sally Field
Directed by: Mark Webb
Rated:PG-13
The year is 2002. It is a rainy summer afternoon. A 7 year old girl and her dad decide to go to the movies while her mother is working. They decide to see the Sam Raimi directed, Spider Man.  She brings her blanket with her just in case. The first hour of the movie goes very well. She is totally calm. However, someone awful enters the picture:The Green Goblin. She loses her cool. The blanket is held close. The horror of the green goblin makes it difficult to remember that she is just in a theater watching a Tobey Maguire movie. The girl contemplates leaving, but decides to stay. The remainder of the movie is watched with her blanket partially covering her face. She leaves with the confidence that she conquered an action movie and an extreme fear of the green goblin. 
Did you enjoy that story? PLOT TWIST: the girl in the story is me. Yes, I watched Spider-Man from behind my blanket because of this crime against humanity: Ok it might not look scary now, but in 2002 this was terrifying. 

imageIt’s still terrifying. I’m not over it. I hate that costume. 

The Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy was my first exposure to Spider-Man. I’ve never read the comics or anything like that. I had heard of the character, but I really didn’t know much. I enjoyed the first two movies. They were well made and entertaining. The third movie was another story. 
When I heard they were rebooting Spider-Man, I was confused. Why did they need to do it so quickly? I ended up seeing the 2012 adaption and I love that movie. I love that they made Peter Parker a bit more complex than the previous trilogy and I actually prefer his relationship with Gwen Stacy to his relationship with Mary Jane. Needless to say, I was very excited for this sequel. 
The Story: 
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker has just graduated from high school and he is struggling with whether or not to stay in his relationship with Gwen Stacy. He loves Gwen, but he promised her father that he would stay away from her to protect her from the enemies he would make as Spider-Man. He’s also dealing with the usual pressures of being Spider-Man: fighting multiple villains, swinging from buildings, saving citizens from near-death situations. Life is stressful for Peter Parker. 
The Actors: 
I love Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. He’s one of my favorite actors. I first saw him in the Social Network. If you haven’t seen that movie, you should check it out ASAP. It is one of my top 3 all time favorite movies. Trust me, it’s worth watching. 
In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he continues his refreshing portrayal of Peter Parker. He has elements of emotional depth, humor and relatable awkward moments. It’s nice to see Peter/Spider-Man always trying to do what’s right. He attempts to identify the morality and consequences of every situation and do the best thing for everyone involved. We often see how honorable his character is and it really is amazing. (I am completely aware of how cheesy that sounded due to the title of the movie and the play on words. I had the words there and I had to take them.) 
imageAndrew Garfield as Peter Parker
Emma Stone is wonderful as Gwen Stacy, a young scientist working at Oscorp and Peter’s on-again, off-again girlfriend. One of the elements that truly makes this movie and the 2012 movie is their chemistry together. Director Mark Webb, who previously directed 500 Days of Summer (another great movie I would highly recommend you watch), excels at Peter and Gwen’s relationship development. As I said earlier, I prefer Peter and Gwen to Peter and Mary Jane. The connection between them seems much more human and realistic. Gwen seems to love him for who he really is despite many issues that get in the way of their relationship. Emma Stone did a fantastic job in this movie playing the smart, energetic, and independent Gwen Stacy. You all don’t know how much more I want to write about Gwen, but I cannot because of spoilers. 
imageEmma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Jaime Foxx plays Max Dillon. He is an electrician at Oscorp who is ignored by everyone. That is until he meets Spider-Man in the city one day and he is actually kind to him. Max becomes intensely obsessed with Spider-Man believing they are best friends after they meet just once. It is clear that Max has some mental/emotional issues that no one recognizes or helps him with at the beginning of the movie. While working in the basement at Oscorp, Max is involved in a freak accident involving some water and electric eels. He survives the accident and becomes one large surge of electricity. At first, he is just scared and does not know what to do with all of this new power. However, after a serious of unfortunate events he becomes extremely angry. His obsession with Spider-Man turns into a deep hatred and battle of good vs. evil takes place between Spider-Man and Electro. 
imageJamie Foxx as Max Dillon (left) and Electro (right)
I am going to rant for a minute: WHY IS OSCORP STILL IN BUSINESS? SHUT IT DOWN. How many freak accidents/weird experiments must there be for one company to be shut down completely? Let us count shall we? 

  • Peter Parker/The Spider. Luckily for Oscorp this turned out positively because he became Spider-Man. I still consider this a freak accident though. 
  • Max Dillon turns into Electro. This one is a really bad freak accident. Jamie Foxx gets turned into a big electrical power surge by some electric eels and they don’t even care. Then he got really angry and tried to shut off all of the power in New York. Thanks a lot, Oscorp. 
  • Curt Connors/The Lizard. This was more of a scientific experiment, but it happened at Oscorp and it was really messed up. The man literally turned into a lizard and terrorized everyone in New York City.  
  • The Green Goblin. No. Not ok. We went over this earlier. 
That is 4 freak accidents/failed science experiments. 3 of these have put the city of New York in extreme danger. Where does it end, Oscorp?
Also, what great scientific information are they giving to the world that justifies all of these accidents? I would really love to know. For the sake of New York, it’s time to shut down. 
 Dane DeHaan plays Harry Osborne, Peter Parker’s childhood best friend. Harry is the son of Norman Osborne, the founder of Oscorp. Norman dies leaving Harry to take over the company. Peter and Harry reconnect over the death of his father and become good friends again. Harry is a little creepy from the first time we see him. He just gives off a creepy vibe. Throughout the movie, the character becomes more and more eerie and by the end he takes a very dark and disturbing turn. 
imageDane DeHaan as Harry Osborne
Warning: to anyone who has epilepsy or is sensitive to flashing lights: there is one very intense strobe lighting scene in the movie involving Harry Osborne’s character that lasts about 3 minutes. Without spoiling anything, it happens when he is in a lab of the Oscorp building. If you have epilepsy or you are especially sensitive to strobe lighting you may want to cover your eyes or take a quick bathroom break during this scene. Trust me, it’s not worth risking a migraine or a seizure. 

Final Thoughts and My Rating:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a jam-packed superhero movie. There’s so many different elements in it, pretty much everyone can find something to like about the film. However, there are a few times that it feels overpacked. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but my main complaint would be the amount of villains the movie contains. There are 3 villains, which is a little bit much.  I can’t talk about all of them due to spoilers, but one that I can talk about is the Rhino played by Paul Giamatti. He shows up in the final 2 minutes of the movie. After dealing with some very intense and emotional action sequences from the other villains, it’s just a little much to add another one in the last 2 minutes. Now, I know what they were thinking, “Paul Giamatti is the coolest actor there is, we have to get him in this movie.” They’re not wrong. He’s very cool and he’s also been in every movie that’s been made since 2007. So obviously, they did need him in this movie. Instead of throwing in another villain though, maybe they could have had him play Peter’s cool second cousin or a hip barista working at a local coffee shop who gives Peter life advice. (I think that could be some real script-gold for Paul Giamatti.) 
I understand what they were trying to do with Spiderman’s narrative, I just was not prepared for another villain after dealing with two. I was suffering from what they call “villain fatigue.” 

Besides the villain fatigue, I thought this was a really well-made sequel. It’s got action, romance, and humor. It even adds some very real and raw emotion at times. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a great way to kick off the Summer movie season! 
My Rating: 8/10
Final Note: 
Has anyone else noticed that the US Postal Service is sponsoring this movie? I’ve seen it on several commercials lately. I even saw it on a mail truck. On the commercials, Spider-Man is delivering mail. Does Spider-Man really have the time to do that? Aren’t the people at the USPS supposed to do that? Isn’t that their job? Anyway, today I went on IMDB and this is what I saw:
image
That’s right, Spider-Man has mail for the people. What an upstanding citizen. What an incredible use of product placement. Seeing this add has suddenly made me want to use the US Postal Service. I’m so sorry I have to end the review now, but I must go to the post office! 

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 

(Source: blondiepoison)

Prepare your light jackets because today is the day.

Prepare your light jackets because today is the day.

(via 50thousand)