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Entries in Movies (12)

Tuesday
Dec092014

2014 Year in Review: Movie Round-Up! Guardians, Babadook, Jump St. and More...

It's that time of year!  What's the album of the year?  Television show?  Film?  Rated Wrong is ready to tell you what to think about everything that assaulted your senses in 2014.  But first, we look at the also rans.  Everything else that we endured in the epic search to find the biggest, bestest, sweetest pieces of entertainment of this year that was.

Up first:  Every movie I saw this year that wasn't my pick for Movie of the Year:

The Rundown

Grand Budapest Hotel - A- = Charming, exciting, and surprisingly vulgar.  Not quite the masterpiece that Moonrise Kingdom was but still among Wes Anderson's very best.

Enough famous faces to fill a clown car.

Lone Survivor - B- = Fantastic action and performances in the lead roles.  The storytelling is emotional puppetry at its finest.  Loses points for its cheesy final act.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier - B- = Not a bad affair as far Marvel movies go, but runs too long (as usual)  and fails to cash in on any big emotional pay off.

Enemy - B =  This twisted indie flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal is a little hard to firmly grasp, but very engaging and will leave you thinking long after it ends.

The Obvious Child – C+ = A little too self aware and nearly devolves into a fantasy, but the unapologetic spirit of the film keeps it afloat.

Godzilla – C-  = Some good moments of action and emotion but ultimately there are too many faces we don’t care about and too much going on we don’t understand.

Not even Heisenberg could save it.

The Raid 2 – B+  = Top notch, martial arts blood fest.  Amazing fights, simple plot, only thing keeping it from perfection is its two hour and forty minute run time.

Neighbors – C+ = I really wanted to like this movie more than I did.  Good chemistry between actors but it doesn’t translate into many laughs.

Edge of Tomorrow – A-  = Fun and expertly crafted sci-fi action stock.  Cruise doing what he does best: getting the job done.

Tom Cruise in a role you can actually believe him as the underdog in.

X-Men: Days of Future Past – B = Fun popcorn movie full of entertaining supporting characters, if only the story was just as entertaining.  Loses luster with repeated viewings

Palo Alto – B+  = If you had told me I was about to watch a movie written by James Franco, starring Val Kilmer's son and directed by a Coppola child about a bunch of spoiled highschoolers I'd probably really want to hate it. Palo Alto has nearly everything going against it, but this loosely told tale of aimless teenagers in California has a lot of heart and rings very true.

No seriously, it is actually really good.

They Came Together – C = Paul Rudd and Amy Pohler keep this nudge-nudge wink-wink comedy afloat best they can.

The Babadook – B- = This movie came with a lot of hype.  Well acted, but highly unscary and the ending got a little silly.

Screaming a lot in a poorly lit house does not = scary.

22 Jump Street – B+ = A riotously clever (almost too clever) sequel to the raunchy 21 Jump Street.  Hard to see where they will go from here, but it can almost be guaranteed they’ll try.  Funniest movie of the year.

Interstellar - B+ = Stunning visuals and incredible sound (an Academy Award in the bank) more than make up for a patchwork plot and predictable story.  McConaughey is fantastic but damn if Anne Hatheway doesn't have the ultimate resting bitch face.

Guardians of the Galaxy – A- = Well paced action movie with a lot of heart and just the right amount of humor.  A comic book movie that you don't need to be a comic book nerd to love.  The second best movie of the year.

Lets see your second place victory dance Guardians!

 
undefined on Disney Video

Wondering what the movie of the year is?  Return Friday afternoon to find out!

Sunday
Aug172014

Random Movie Review: Top Five Robin Williams Films

Hello all, a little bit different spin on Random Movie Review this week.  Now, I know what you're thinking... "this week"?  "different spin"?  That's right folks!  New weekly segment!

I couldn't help but notice in the days that have followed the death of Robin Williams many people have shared their feelings on depression and their collective grief at the passing of a prolific entertainer but not quite as many have taken a moment to celebrate his work.

It is with that in mind that I invite you to realize the five greatest accomplishments of Robin Wiliiams' career, as decided by me: The decider.

#5

Good Morning, Vietnam


Way back in 1987 America got a big screen sized helping of Robin Williams' stand-up style done as a radio play.  Good Morning, Vietnam, loosely based on the experience of actual radio personality Adrian Cronauer, is one of the first memorable performances by Williams' and also one of the funniest.  It loses a little bit of steam when it focuses on the drama aspects of story, but its irreverence and many quotable lines make it a classic.

 

#4

Dead Poets Society


Some might be surprised not to see this even higher on the list.  One of the most well regarded of Williams' dramatic performances is certainly memorable for the right reasons but the story itself is a bit tired and the student characters fail to develop into anything beyond archetypes.  This movie always reminds me of another coming of age film from the same era, Scent of a Woman; a film that might have been quickly forgotten if not for one majestic performance.

#3

The Birdcage


Not only is The Birdcage Robin Williams' funniest live action movie, but it happens to also be one of the best stage to screen adaptations Hollywood has pulled off in the last 30 years.  Williams shares the screen with a fantastic cast and another brilliant comedian in Nathan Lane allowing him to play off others and set up jokes for a change instead of the manic "one-man-show" performances he is more widely known for.

Aladdin


Number 2 on Rated Wrong's definitive list of Robin Williams' movies is what was probably the first exposure anyone under the age of 30 head to the funniest man on earth.  Aladdin was a part of Disney's pre-Pixar animation hot streak of the late 80s early 90s (Little Mermaid - Pocahontas) and Williams' wild man performance is THE reason why.  Williams picks up what very easily could have been a very forgettable animated tale and effortlessly carries it into the cannon of Disney classics.

#1

Good Will Hunting

After Good Will Hunting Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon could all bill themselves as Academy Award winners, but only Williams could boast the title of Academy Award winning actor.  Good Will Hunting is Williams' best movie, a great movie, and it earns that distinction in large part because of his masterfully understated performance.  With Good Will Hunting Robin Williams showed the world he was more than just a clown, he was an artist, and a damn good one.

Monday
Jul282014

I Don't Think "Expendable" Means What The Expendables Think it Means.

 

(Sigh) yep, so another one of these things is coming down explosion boulevard, with little regard for our delicate optic nerves.

Okay, so maybe The Expendables franchise isn't THAT bad.  In truth, I've only ever seen parts of the first one.  Most reviews paint them as benign mindless action flicks and even occaisionally employ adjectives that border on praise.

But here's the thing.  The team of bad asses in these movies are called "The Expendables" as in, we don't need them.  So why don't any of them ever die?  Not only do they not die, they seem to multiply.

Note the first movie poster:

That's a lot of guys to start out with, one would think at least two of them would bite it before all is said and done.  My money would have been on Randy Coture and and Terry Crews, they weren't very famous at the time and both would have been easily replaced if a sequel was done.  By the way, how fake do Willis and Rourke look in that poster?  Did they just completely photoshop their faces into this picture?  Stupid question, of course they did.

So how many of our heroes from this poster ate it?  Zero.  Nil.  Nada. Zilch.  Zip.  Turns out, not very expendable.  Steve Austin dies, but he was a bad guy so he doesn't really count.

Things only got worse in the next installment:

Austin is supplanted by new baddie Jean-Claude Van Damme (who is appropriately named "Vilain").  Rourke is exluded all together.  New additions to the good guys include Arnold, Norris, Liam Hemsworth, and an anonymous Asian lady for a little diversity.  Guess how many die?  Well, actually, one (spoilers).  Hemsworth probably thought of himself too much of a rising star to commit to the franchise so he gets predictably knocked off, but all the rest are still ticking at the conclusion.

This is even more head scratching when you consider half of these guys are only in the movie for about 5 minutes, why not just kill them if they're only making a cameo?

That brings us to the present day, and the advent of Expendables 3:

Oh My God.  That is a lot of people.

And they're all so tiny.  They look like soccer players down there.  If it wasn't for the names I couldn't even identify half of them.  Even with the names who the hell are Ortiz, Powell, Grammer and Lutz?  Kelsey Grammer?  George Luz was the name of one of the Band of Brothers I can't imagine how he would fit in this movie though...

Other recognizable additions include, Harrison Ford (because Bruce Willis wanted more money), Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Ronda Rousey, and Mel Gibson.

Some of them have to die this time around, they just have to, right?

Anyway, we'll see... or maybe you will, I probably won't.