Friday, July 25, 2014

Like CRAPOLA on Facebook!

I've finally gotten around to making my blog have its own Facebook page. It only took me 3 years. So, if you haven't already, go and like the blog on Facebook. You'll get notification of new posts, plus lots more content as I'll be updating that more frequently than the blog here, especially for breaking news. Here's the link:

PCP on DVD - Pompeii

Sometimes when I watch a movie, I realize I've made a horrible mistake. Pompeii was one of those films. So, rather than waste even more time with a real review, I'm going change things up for this one.

Pompeii - 2014, rated PG-13.  My rating: 3.5 out of 10. 

From a visuals standpoint this film was decent, with cool destruction sequences at the end. Otherwise though, it was a pretty bad movie with a plot ripped off from other films I've seen before. Overall, it was pretty much a waste of an hour and forty-five minutes.

Things I'd wish I'd done rather than watch this movie:
  • Listen to Bastille's Pompeii on repeat for 1 hr 45 min. It's a good song, but I'm sure after listening to it that long I'd probably grow sick of it.
  • Watch the parts of Titanic again that this film stole the plot from
  • Watch the parts of Gladiator again that were again stolen by this film
  • Watch star Emily Browning's prior film Sucker Punch again (and I gave that one a 4 when I reviewed it)
  • Get spoilers on star Kit Harington's show Game of Thrones directly from George R.R. Martin
  • Watch star Kiefer Sutherland's 24 series while being waterboarded
  • Spend time with my wife and son
  • Spend time working on other reviews for my blog
  • Do pretty much anything else
Bottom line - don't waste your time on this movie.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

PCP on DVD - Veronica Mars

Whenever people talk about great shows that were cancelled too soon, one of the ones regularly mentioned is Veronica Mars. The series only lasted 3 seasons on TV (2 on UPN, 1 on the CW) from 2004-07, yet it managed to build a very loyal and devoted fan following. Creator Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell had always wanted to do a film, but were unable to convince Warner Brothers to greenlight the movie. Then came the crowd-funding website Kickstarter. Thomas had the idea to use Kickstarter to gain funding for the show, showing the WB that there was indeed an audience wanting to see the movie get made. The film set records on Kickstarter, hitting their goal of $2,000,000 in less than 10 hours and overall receiving over $5,700,000 in donations from over 91,000 fans to get the movie made. So, Thomas and Bell had their film, now the question was, would the fans of the show actually enjoy the movie they had funded?

Veronica Mars - 2014, rated PG-13. My rating: 8 out of 10.

I was a big fan of the show Veronica Mars, unfortunately not discovering it until after it had already completed its run on the air. For those of you unfamiliar with the show or movie, Kristen Bell starred as the titular character, a (then) teenager who moonlights as a private eye in her dad's PI firm, while facing the challenges of high school and college, but never losing her extremely sarcastic outlook on life. The show (and movie) have a ton of great one-liners, both from Mars and her on and off again boyfriend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring). The show was a noir-ish mystery series, and that mood and feel carries over to the movie very well. Even if you haven't seen the show, however, the film is still actually rather well done, and can stand alone as a good way to spend your time, with a nice character-driven mystery. You might not get all of the in-jokes and shout-outs to the series if you haven't seen it, but since the film is set nine years after the final season of the show, it still does a pretty solid job of reminding viewers who is who and introducing all of the important characters in a clear way.

This time around in the movie, the case revolves around Logan being accused of murder, and Veronica, who had gotten out of the PI life and had just passed the bar exam, being pulled back in in order to help save her ex from jail time. The mystery was actually pretty good, and I had fun trying to solve the case along with the characters in the movie.

Overall, it was nice to inhabit the universe of these characters again, and the movie will have a place on my shelf next to the TV series that spawned it. If you're looking for a good mystery film, I do recommend this. And if you never watched the TV series, I strongly encourage you to do so, as it was easily one of the better TV shows of the past decade.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PCP on DVD - About Time

Before my wife had added this to our Netflix queue, I knew nothing about the British film About Time. Upon learning that it was another romantic movie involving time travel and starring Rachel McAdams, who also was in The Time Traveler's Wife, I didn't have high expectations that this film would be any good. It turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.

About Time - 2013, rated R. My rating: 9 out of 10.

As I learned from when I was hunting for the poster image to use in this blog post, About Time is from the writer of a few other great British rom-coms: Love Actually, Notting Hill, and Four Weddings & a Funeral. This movie stars upcoming Star Wars Episode VII star Domnhall Gleeson (real life son of the outstanding actor Brendan Gleeson) as Tim, a young British lawyer, who meets and falls in love with an American, Mary, (Rachel McAdams). But Tim has a secret that he doesn't share with Mary, a secret that is only known to the men of his family. When he turned 21, his father, named in the film only as Dad (Bill Nighy), lets him in on the family secret: the men of the family can time travel, back to any point in time they have personally lived before. Tim uses his powers to correct mistakes he makes in wooing Mary, and to lead a better, more fulfilling life, helping out his friends and family members along the way to also lead better lives.

I liked About Time's use of time travel, as it was a novel way I don't recall ever seeing portrayed in a film or book before. I also liked how Tim's dad explicitly points out that it can't be used to kill Hitler, giving a small shout out to the common joke about what one would do if they could time-travel. The film is also really funny, with Tim having some great one-liners and jokes. The time travel is also used to comedic effect, most notably in one montage where he cycles through possible best men at his wedding, based on their awful speeches.

Overall, between the funny dialogue, great chemistry between Gleeson & McAdams, and great life lessons imparted by the film to the audience, I found About Time to actually be a surprisingly good romantic comedy. I can definitely see this film being added to the rotation of rom-coms my wife and I watch when we are in the mood for a good romantic comedy, and I want to make sure it is a film that doesn't make me want to puke. This one definitely would be on that list. So, if you're looking for a good date movie, check this one out, I doubt you'll be disappointed!