Wednesday, June 18, 2014

PCP on DVD - Yet Another Backlog Clearout

Once again, I found myself facing a giant pile of films that I needed to write reviews for, but not the time to do it justice. So, like my many prior backlog clearouts that I have done, here's a quick burst of 12 mini-reviews for some movies that I've caught on DVD since last fall, in alphabetical order.

42 - The Jackie Robinson biopic was extremely well acted, especially by the star, Chadwick Boseman, who I don't recall seeing in anything before this. He did such a great job here though, and he's been tapped to star as James Brown in that legend's upcoming biopic as well. The film does a great job of showing the challenges that Jackie Robinson had to face in breaking the MLB's color barrier. A fitting film for an American hero. My rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Argo - What can be said that hasn't been said already about the Oscar Winner for best picture from a year ago? The acting was outstanding by the incredible cast. Ben Affleck has really matured into an incredible director, he hasn't had a misstep in a few years now, and has fully redeemed himself for Gigli. My rating: 10 out of 10.

Carrie - It's been too long since I saw the original, so it is hard to compare the remake to this one. Thanks to modern technology though they were able to do some really cool things with her telekinetic powers though. But like many Stephen King adaptations, the film was only meh at best, and this remake was probably not necessary.  My rating: 6 out of 10.

Despicable Me 2 - I liked the first one a whole lot better than this one. The first one was a pleasant surprise, this one was a bit of a repetitive retread. Hopefully the spin-off film starring the minions will be funnier. My rating: 6.5 out of 10.

Django Unchained - Quentin Tarantino is the man. I love his movies, and Django Unchained was probably his best yet. Outstanding film. Everyone involved, but especially Jamie Foxx, Leo DiCaprio, and Christoph Waltz were a blast to watch in this film.  My rating: 10 out of 10.

Monster's University - While not as good as the original, it was still nice to inhabit the universe of these characters again. It wasn't as big of a disappointment as Despicable Me 2 was, but it was still somewhat of a let down. Pixar might be starting to lose some of its magic. My rating: 8 out of 10.

Now You See Me - Visually this film was very striking, and it was entertaining thanks to the charismatic performances of the extremely talented cast, combined with some pretty cool magic tricks. Too bad the film squanders a bit of the goodwill on a "twist" ending that the film doesn't really truly lay any groundwork for, resulting in a somewhat unbelievable ending. My rating: 7 out of 10.

Oz the Great and Powerful - I thought this film was a lot of fun and it was way better than I expected. I especially liked some of the little Sam Raimi touches such as debris flying at James Franco in a way that reminded me of the Evil Dead series. While it could have been better, it was a fun ride that I enjoyed. My rating: 8 out of 10.

R.I.P.D. - This comic book adaptation about a supernatural police force had a lot of potential, as well as two great leads in Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges. Too bad it was really just a weak Men in Black ripoff, just with demons instead of aliens as the opposition. My rating: 4 out of 10.

Silver Linings Playbook - Another film worthy of all of the praise it has received. It was filled with outstanding performances, including a surprisingly great turn from Chris Tucker in a tiny role. I had this reaction upon seeing him in the film as well. Overall, a very entertaining and touching film. My rating: 10 out of 10.

This is 40 - The spin-off from Knocked Up was very funny for me and my wife, as Paul Rudd's and Leslie Mann's relationship on the screen reminded us quite a bit of our own and had us in stitches for much of the film. My rating: 8 out of 10.

World War Z - The book that this was based on was way better. Also, I'm sorry but they aren't zombies if they move fast. Also, this film was extremely unbelievable. Any viral plague that goes to full fatal infection in 12 seconds after exposure, combined with fast-moving zombie carriers, would lead to the total extinction of humanity as a species. Simply based on exponential growth, the population of a city like New York City would be completely overrun in a matter of minutes. So, points off for major unrealism, but otherwise the film was fun and had good scares. My rating: 7 out of 10.

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