Posted in Review: Movies

Divergent PG-13

Guest blogger and writer Rafael Morales from Orlando, Florida went to see Divergent and gave his personal review of the movie. I have not seen Divergent yet but have heard the movie was worth seeing.

Free will. Independence. Fight against authority. Individuality. Ever since the dawn of men, those very subjects have been the basis for thousands of thesis and studies, specially seeking its concept and what it means to each person. Divergent will fall in the long list of movies that tackle this very study.

Here are the stats for Divergent:

Directed By: Neil Burger

Movie Time: 139 minutes or 2 hrs 19 minutes

Movie Budget: 85,000,000

Opening Weekend: $54,607,747  March 21, 2014

To Date:  $95,260,000 as of March 28,2014

divergent_movie_poster_by_machiee-d6235rc

Disclose: I have never read the books, nor did I knew about them until a couple of days before the movie.

Screenplay: You won’t find an out of your mind-body experience when it comes to Divergent being thought-provoking. Following the script as it evolves on the screen doesn’t require too much mental power. However, there are portions at the beginning where it does require a bit of fortitude, acceptance of this dystopian future, and lots of rolling your eyes to allow the director and the writers to take you through this story. It doesn’t require a rocket scientist that the lead character Beatrix “Tris” will be a savior of sorts, and that there will be some sort of love/romantic affair between her and her trainer Tobias “Four”.  

Divergent grows on you slowly and you start to care about the characters and their future, which makes the screenplay good. Once the action starts you see the different subjects being the foundation to the storyline, meeting the characters, then the pace of the movie changes, and become as brisk and wonderful to follow. I found myself wanting more of the character Jeanine Matthew,our main baddie. Divergent needed more time meeting each faction of this future and how the government worked to make the story better. Divergent had a good pace and it was thoughtfully done in both the romantic and action scenes of the movie.
 
Production/Special Effects: This is not the Matrix or Star Wars or any of the Star Trek movies, so if you are looking for Divergent to produce special effects then you are in the wrong movie. I love how the producers transformed the entire city of Chicago into a wasteland and it is nice that it was shot in Chicago itself, which adds to the feel of the movie.
 
Acting: Divergent wont win any Oscars for best acting but overall it was decent. It is nice to see Mrs. Ashley Judd again on the big screen as she adds a nice motherly feel to the movie. Kate Winslet is another standout
playing a baddie in the movie even though she had a small part, this actress is great.
Which brings me to our two love birds: Shailene Woodley which has surprise me with the different movies she has tackled. She was in “The Descendants” with George Clooney  in a which I am eager to see, “The Fault in Our Stars”. Shailene Woodley is one to watch and hopefully she will have wonderful nomination in the future. As for this movie, she allows us to believe in her character and her different decisions. One can get lost in her gooey expressive eyes for the pain and the focus needed. 
As far as the other love bird: Theo James, I have never seen him before on the big screen, but he has a tough exterior with a subtle restraint in regards to who he is as a character. The director really brings out the protecting mentor as a man who has a past that has made him who he is, which is good.
 
Divergent is attractive, fun, and well worth the price of admission.  
 
 
Posted in Review: Movies

Review: The Legend of Hercules PG-13

Kell Kell’s Rating: 7/10

Hercules

This past weekend I went with a date to see The Legend of Hercules. This film was a good thrill ride and worth the price of admission. I had wanted to see this movie in 3D as some of the scenes would have been even more awesome in 3D but alas the time frame was not convenient for the 3D version.

Directed By: Renny Harlin

Movie Time: 99 min or 1hr. 39 minutes

Movie Budget: 70,000,000

Opening Weekend: $8,600,000  (January 10, 2014)

To Date: $8,600,000

The Legend of Hercules was a decent film which actually held my interest even through I was on a date with a handsome man. (smiling) I gave this movie a 7 out of 10 rating because The Legend of Hercules could have been better. For instance, this film was based on a mythical Greek demigod but  had a more humanistic approach instead of a mythical one. There was an  expectation to see mythical creatures and more of a background into Zeus which just wasn’t a part of this film.

The actors were decent with Hercules, Kellan Lutz,  being the true hero; Queen Alcmene, Roxanne McKee, as the devoted mom to her son Hercules; and Hebe, Gaia Weiss, who possesses the true love of Hercules. The true love between Hercules and Hebe is believable with Hercules saving her from a prearranged marriage to his older brother Iphicles, Liam Garrigan. King Amphitryon, Scott Adkins, is the typical blood thirsty king who rules with an iron fist but is ultimately defeated by Hercules.

The story line was interesting but as stated in the previous paragraph there was the missing elements of the Greek mythology of the great Hercules. I wanted to see some mythical creatures and more on the god Zeus which just wasn’t present in this film. The only real-time Zeus is introduced is when the queen is being impregnated by an invisible god.

Overall, this is film has the action, romance, the heroic underdog, and great fight scenes. The film is worth seeing even though missing certain Greek mythical elements. The Legend of Hercules is a solid film and worth seeing on the big screen. Just make sure you see it in 3D.

Posted in Review: Movies

Review: Thor: The Dark World-PG13

Thor2

Kell Kell’s Rating: 8/10

Went to see Thor: The Dark World on its opening weekend. I must say this was a decent sequel. Not as good as the first Thor but definitely a must see if you’re a fan of this franchise. Let me start with saying I love Thor. I went to see Thor: The Dark World with a gentleman friend who enjoyed this movie as much as I did.

Directed By: Alan Taylor

Movie Time: 112 minutes or 1 hr and 52 minutes

Movie Budget: 170,000,000

Opening Weekend: $86,109,000 (11/8/13 USA)

To Date: $327,009,000 (As of 11/10/13 WorldWide)

Warning: spoiler alerts with continued reading.

Thor: The Dark World was good with decent graphics and quite a bit of action. However, I have to say this sequel was not as good as the first Thor. Maybe this is because the first Thor was directed by Kenneth Branagh and this one by Alan Taylor? The sequel had a video game feeling in many of the action scenes.

The actors were the same in the first Thor and this is a plus for the sequel. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor and his love interest Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman are decent but the interaction of the two, romantically, left the audience lacking. This is primarily why I gave the movie an 8 out of 10.  I mean come on, Jane only comes back into Thor’s life after two years as a host for a foreign glob of something or other, and there is no real romantic anything going on as was in the first Thor. I believe the movie needed the two to reconnect for more than just Portman being a glob host.

In the first movie you see the bridge broken and Thor cannot get back to Jane. In Thor: The Dark World you see that sparkly bridge all repaired yet, all Thor does is check in on Jane? This is a huge aspect of what is missing in the sequel.

The bad guys are good and believable for the most part. Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, is the perfect villain brother whom when it really matters, takes his brother’s side. This is the redeeming factor in this movie. The audience can sympathize with the brothers rivalry.

Overall, Thor: The Dark World is a decent sequel and well worth seeing. Stay for after the credits to get the bonus scene which lets the audience know there will for sure being a Thor 3.

Enjoy!

Posted in Review: Movies

Review: Carrie 2013-R

carrie-banner-big

Kell Kell’s Rating: 6/10

This past Saturday I went to see the new modern-day Carrie with two good friends of mine. Thank you Rob for purchasing my ticket! Wasn’t the popcorn good even though we both felt guilty afterward? There is nothing like the smell of fresh popped popcorn with the butter layered throughout. YUMMY! When asked by my friend what movie I wanted to see, I instantly chose Carrie. Why? Well, I loved the original as it’s a true horror classic. I was curious how they could remake this classic to be more modern.

Directed By: Kimberly Peirce

Written By: Stephen King (Novel) with Lawrence D. Cohen & Roberto Aguirre Sacasa (Screenplay)

Movie Time: 100 min. or 1hr 40 min.

Movie Budget: N/A

Opening Weekend: $17,000,000

To Date: $17,000,000 (As of 10/18/13)

Warning: spoiler alerts with continued reading.

Ahhhh there is nothing like a classic made into a modern version right? Well, this modern-day version of Carrie does not deliver totally. There were a lot of similarities from the original movie but there were a few definite 2013 twist’s into this remake.

One of these new twists is the anti-bullying aspect. Now while I like the new version twist, it did take away from the classic. In the original Carrie the school kids are mean and obnoxious. I expected that in this modern version. Now, there is some meanness, however, if you see the new version of Carrie you will understand they have “down played” the bullying aspect from the original.

Another twist was both the popular girl and her boyfriend were both really sympathetic to Carrie. In the older version, they are in on the plot to humiliate Carrie. The same is true with the gym teacher. In the modern version you feel bad for these characters because they are really sympathetic to Carrie and her plight. Even her prom date wanted to show Carrie the night of her life and had no evil intentions.

The visuals were very good from the original. The modern-day Carrie delivers on this aspect as the original just didn’t have the technology needed to make the movie “pop”. I really liked that the modern-day version showed why Carrie is how she is from a telekinesis standpoint. The movie even pointed this out with Carrie doing research on her newfound abilities. The graphics of Carrie stopping the car with the evil girl and her boyfriend (the ones responsible for the pig’s blood) are really good with Carrie exacting her revenge to the appropriate individuals.

The actors were believable with Julianne Moore as Carrie’s mother and Chole Grace Moretz as Carrie. In my opinion, Chole Grace Moretz was just too pretty to be the “new” Carrie. I wanted to see more of the awkwardness that was known in the original. I wanted to really feel sorry for Carrie, but with the anti-bullying aspect, I just couldn’t. Julianne Moore was believable as the crazy religious mother who tries to protect her daughter in the only way she knows how.

Bottom Line:

Overall, this was not a bad movie but this Carrie lacked something. Maybe it was because this was a remake that I was expecting it to be a lot more similar to the classic Carrie. Or maybe it was because the modern twists took away from the original. Regardless, this new modern-day Carrie is worth seeing. Especially if you’re a fan of the classic; but see this new Carrie with a fresh set of eyes.

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Posted in Review: Movies

Review: World War Z PG13

World War Z just came out on DVD! Go rent this movie as it’s awesome! See my review for details. Enjoy!

Kelly Garton

WorldWarZ

Kell Kell’s Rating: 8.5/10

Do you like the end of the world type of movies? Being a fan of anything relating to zombies or apocalyptic stories, I had to see this movie. I went to see this movie with a very good friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. We both like the unusual, “end of the world” – “zombies” sci-fi type of movies. This movie had me sitting on the end of my seat at one point.

Directed By: Marc Forster

Original Novel By: Max Brooks

Movie Time: 116 min or 1 hr.  56 min.

Movie Budget: $190,000,000

Opening Weekend: $66,411,834

To Date: $165,831,036  (As of  July 10, 2013)

World War Z is great visually. With stunning graphics and a great story line, this movie “pops” with non-stop, edge of your seat, suspense and action. However, I can understand why not everyone likes this movie. World War Z is not your typical zombie movie…

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Posted in Review: Movies

Despicable Me 2 in 3D/PG (Yep this was really rated PG)

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Kell Kell’s Rating: 8/10

Went to see this movie in 3D with my mom.  Since my mother had not seen any kind of animation in 3D we decided to check out this quirky movie together. There is something great about the Despicable Me chain that hooks one from the get go. One cannot help liking yellow minions and those cute little adopted orphans. Oh and lets not forget the main character, Gru, who is suppose to be really evil but has a heart of gold.

Directed By: Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud

Written By: Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul

Movie Time: 98 min. or 1hr 38 min.

Movie Budget: $76,000,000

Opening Weekend: $83,517,315

To Date: $309,089,500 (As of July 29, 2013)

Despicable Me 2 was a decent sequel, especially in 3D. The only negative is the movie lagged like it was missing something. What? I don’t know. In my opinion this movie was geared toward very young children unlike the first Despicable Me which seemed more for adults. Add to that the PG rating, makes both movies not-so-very-young-friendly. The 3D graphics were awesome and well worth the price of admission.

If you have seen the first one I recommend seeing Despicable Me 2 if for no other reason than to see the quirky minions but see it in 3D.

Posted in Review: Movies

White House Down R

White_House_Down_

Kell Kell’s Rating: 7/10

I went to see White House Down a few weeks ago for a matinée as I did not want to spend a lot of money if this movie turned out to be a flop. The feeling I had while watching White House Down is I could have passed on seeing this movie on the big screen and waited for the DVD on Redbox. White House Down was ok but definitely not a summer blockbuster.

Directed By: Roland Emmerich

Written By: James Vanderbilt

Budget: $150,000,000

Opening Weekend: $24, 852, 258

Gross $68,452,875 (as of July 19, 2013)

Here is the official summary of the movie from Columbia Pictures:

Capitol Policeman John Cale has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer. Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation’s government falling into chaos and time running out, it’s up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country. Written by Columbia Pictures

Everything in this movie screamed “made up”. Grant you movies are made up stories but I guess I was expecting more. The action was good with lots of shootings and blowing up buildings etc.  The main characters were interesting and the writers did a good job of progressing the story line to a grand finish. The good guys win in this movie and that’s a bit different from movies where the bad guys usually come out on top.

Overall this wasn’t a bad movie to spend a Sunday afternoon watching; however, wait for the DVD on Redbox and save some money. 🙂

Posted in Review: Movies

Review: The Conjuring R

conjuring

Kell Kell’s Rating: 10/10

Ohhhhh I could not wait for this movie to come out! I was not disappointed either. A good friend and I went to see this as we both love scary movies. The Conjuring is based on a true story which made this movie all the more scarier.

Directed By: James Wan

Written By: Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes

Movie Time: 112 or 1 hr and 52 min

Movie Budget: $13,000,000

Opening Weekend: $41,530,000

To Date: $41,530,000 (As of  July 21, 2013)

The Conjuring is dated in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and is a true account of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s experience with a family terrorized by a dark presence (demon) after moving into a farmhouse.  The Warren’s are paranormal investigators who help the family to get rid of this presence and they record the entire experience.The movie itself was well done and the actors are believable. The suspense created is almost expected but also surprising. My stomach “flopped” at least 4 times from being surprised (or maybe it was scared?).

If you like scary movies this is the ONE to see! The Conjuring is well worth the price of a movie ticket. Enjoy!

Posted in Review: Movies

Review: World War Z PG13

WorldWarZ

Kell Kell’s Rating: 8.5/10

Do you like the end of the world type of movies? Being a fan of anything relating to zombies or apocalyptic stories, I had to see this movie. I went to see this movie with a very good friend of mine a couple of weeks ago. We both like the unusual, “end of the world” – “zombies” sci-fi type of movies. This movie had me sitting on the end of my seat at one point.

Directed By: Marc Forster

Original Novel By: Max Brooks

Movie Time: 116 min or 1 hr.  56 min.

Movie Budget: $190,000,000

Opening Weekend: $66,411,834

To Date: $165,831,036  (As of  July 10, 2013)

World War Z is great visually. With stunning graphics and a great story line, this movie “pops” with non-stop, edge of your seat, suspense and action. However, I can understand why not everyone likes this movie. World War Z is not your typical zombie movie. The movie has no real blood and guts; and relies more on the story itself to lead. The Jerusalem wall scene is AWESOME with brilliant stunning effects and is visually appealing.

I gave World War Z an 8.5 because there was no blood and guts. I know this may sound strange but when you go to see a zombie movie you are expecting some gore. I also know the story line was different from the book. The main actor, Brad Pitt, is overall great but there was no real emotion at times with his “set” family.  Maybe this is because he is married? Is he married? LOL Who knows!

This is not the summer blockbuster movie, however, World War Z is worth the price of admission.

Posted in Review: Movies

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness PG13

StarTrek Into Darkness

Kell Kell’s Rating: 9/10

I went to see the new Star Trek movie. First let me say I am a Trekky LOL and will remain one for as long as I have breath in my body. There was a nostalgic feeling as I was watching the movie. I seen myself as a child watching the 70’s-80’s version of Star Trek to which my main goal was to grow up and marry Captain Kirk. LOL This movie brought back all those memories and I have to say this movie was indeed a pleasant experience. I loved the original Gene Roddenberry version of Star Trek so these newer Star Trek movies have a lot to bring to table.

Directed By:  JJ Abrams

Written By:  Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman, David Lindelof

Created By: Gene Roddenberry

Movie Time: 132 min or  2hrs 12 min.

Movie Budget: $190,000,000

Opening Weekend: $70,165,559

To Date: $211,086,948 as of June 14, 2013

The story was fitting of the Star Trek Franchise along with the original characters from the first movie in 2009. The story for this sequel was good and fitting for a “second”. This cast does a good job of making you believe this is truly the crew of the Starship Enterprise. The movie parallels with the original TV version right down to the the shape and look of the Enterprise. The characters are also good replicas of the TV version. There was a cameo (as there was in the first one) from Leonard Nemoy and that addition was a nice touch.

The high tech parts are great and would have greatly enhanced the 70’s version had the technology been available. For instance, there was a better version of the “beaming” of the crew on and off the ship; their weapons much more powerful; and the Enterprise itself was a better version. I did not see this movie in 3D.

The first “new” Star Trek was a summer blockbuster and a much anticipated movie of 2009.  This new Star Trek was not as anticipated but expected since the first one left you with a feeling of “is there more”? The sequel is not bad. I rated this movie a 9/10 cause there was something missing…maybe it was the expectation of what I remembered as a child. Who knows, but one thing is for sure, this movie was good and its going to have many more before the Franchise stops.