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‘Furious 7’: As cliche as it gets

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Courtesy photo
Long and slow. Those words summarize Furious 7 well.  While watching, it might make one furious; the pace is anything but fast. Clocking in at more than two hours, it is astounding how little actually happens in that amount of time. The bare bones of the plot are as follows: Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the brother of the team’s enemy from the sixth installment of the series, has vowed revenge against them all. A group of terrorists has stolen a surveillance program called “God’s Eye” and kidnapped Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel), its creator. A mysterious government man (Kurt Russell), with plenty of troops at his disposal, promises to help Dom (Vin Diesel) get Deckard if Dom’s crew will save Ramsey and recover the program. Most of the action scenes are overdone, drawn-out and ridiculous to the point of being dull. A small amount of the imaginative and engaging action the series is famous for is present in a few scenes, but it mostly is absent.  Aside from those few moments, most of the movie just trudges on without any soul or vivacity. The dialogue is beyond shallow and downright corny, especially in the scenes with Shaw. The entire movie is riddled with one-liners such as, “Let’s do this,” and lame taunts such as, “You thought this was a street fight?” Rarely is anything of significance said, which is understandable considering that the characters hardly ever say more than one sentence (if that) at a time. Statham’s gimpy lines are perhaps due to the cliché nature of the villain he portrays. The family member out for vengeance is a pretty damn prosaic concept for an antagonist. It may be a good idea to cut the crew some slack considering that a member of the main cast died early in production. Paul Walker, who portrayed Brian O’Conner, ironically was killed in a fiery car crash on Nov. 30, 2013. He was a key character in the series and in the seventh movie in particular. With the use of Walker’s brothers as doubles and impressive Read more [...]

‘Chappie’ chips at society’s shortcomings

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‘Chappie’ chips at society’s shortcomings
"By the end, the moral seemed to be that humans are awful, and it’s best to just take them out completely." Read more [...]

Dysfunction functions

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This is Where I Leave You is both a comedy and a drama. I found myself laughing and crying throughout the movie. The Altmans, a dysfunctional family, are mourning the loss of their father, whose untimely death has brought four siblings together to their hometown. The reunion of the family is anything but normal. Their father’s so-called “last wish” was for the family to sit shiva, a Jewish week-long ritual when the immediate family sits together on short chairs while visitors come to their home. The main character of the film, Judd (Jason Bateman), is trying to hide his nasty divorce. His sister, Wendy (Tina Fey) is unhappy in her marriage and still in love with a former boyfriend, who suffers from brain damage from a car accident. The oldest sibling, Paul (Cory Stoll), stayed in their hometown to run the family business and is uptight and frustrated because he can’t get his wife pregnant. The youngest sibling and the most immature is Philip (Adam Driver). Phillip is insecure and trying to fill that void by dating his therapist (Connie Britton), who is much older and wealthy. The mother, Hillary (Jane Fonda) has issues of her own and is nervous to tell her children about the love interest she has been hiding for some time. The movie has strong language and sexual content. If either of those offends you, I do not suggest going to see it. If you are in the mood for a good laugh and want to watch someone else’s family (rather than your own) deal with the drama of all being back under the same roof, then this is the movie for you. I rate this movie an eight out of 10. Read more [...]

Let’s be mildly entertaining

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Courtesy Photo: Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. play struggling pals dressed as police officers for a costume party who continue the charade after the bash is over.
Let’s Be Cops, a movie about two buddies pretending to be cops, had the misfortune of coming out the same weekend as the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting. when eyes across the nation were focused on police brutality and misconduct. Still... Read more [...]

Third movie does not disappoint

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Image courtesy of aceshowbiz.com

By Nikki Larkan

Paranormal Activity 3 hit theaters Oct. 21 with a midnight premiere.

Although I did not go to the first showing, I was eager to see this movie.

It follows the same format of the previous films and documents the lives of two sisters, Katie and Kristi, in fall 1988. It showcases the typical eerie occurrences that surround their ill-fated lives.

I expected to see lower-quality video since it is the portrayal of footage taken in the ’80s, but luckily, the movie features a crystal-clear image.

This prequel is done in the same “mockumentary” style as its previous installments. It fills in a few of the holes in the plot from the other films but still leaves you wanting and needing more.

While watching this film, scan over the entire screen to see the slight glimpse of “evil” that always is around and watching.

This film offers suspense and a few mo­ments where you jump out of your seat.

It is not as intense as the first installments but still offers a violent kill by the same evil force.

If you are a follower of the franchise, this is a definite must-see. If you never have seen any of the films, watch this one first. It sets up the back story for the previous two films.

If you can make it through this film and enjoy the format, you should check out the rest of the story.

 

Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2011

Robots bring ‘Real Steel’ to life

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BY KATHRYN STRONG When getting ready to go see Real Steel at the IMAX theater, I was excited. All I could think about was the Mattel Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots game. I needed to see how they brought them to life. I fell in love with the main character – surprisingly not Hugh Jackman, but the robot named Atom. Just like in the game, I found myself cheering for the blue robot throughout the movie. Atom made the movie for me. He seems to have more heart than any of the human characters. He is so tough and loyal, you have to love him. I can honestly say this is the first movie where I didn’t adore Hugh Jackman. His character, Charlie Kenton, is pretty much a loser. He is a deadbeat dad, boyfriend and businessman. This character is arrogant and not very sharp. That’s the only part of the PG-13 film I didn’t like. Dakota Goyo, who plays Charlie’s estranged son Max, does a great job portraying a stubborn pre-teen with an attitude. My favorite scene is when he makes Atom dance. It is by far the cutest. The film has a good mixture of humor, emotion and action. The story is heartwarming. A father and son reconnect. A man finds himself again. A woman gets the man she loves back. The story also is cool because robots tear each other apart and smash each other’s heads in. This movie has some of the best fight scenes I have ever seen. The special effects are awesome. Watching the huge machines having every movement, every punch controlled by a joystick brought the Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots to life for me.   Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2011   Read more [...]
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