Tag: Julianne Moore

Dear Evan Hansen

Have you ever wanted a musical to come to film?
Have you waited for a casting and a release date to announce?
Have you ever jumped so much you could shout?
Like you could sing, and everyone would hear?

Okay, to leave the lyric land. Maybe you also found yourself super pumped because Dear Evan Hansen was being directed by Stephen Chbosky, who also directed Rent, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and more. And you were excited that Ben Platt was reprising the role!

And then you saw the trailer and were like, wait, what, no.

That is a big thing going on for this musical. People really hated the trailer because of how much Ben Platt stuck out in it. He looked so old and uncomfortable. He played a high school senior just two years ago in The Politician and it didn’t look that terrible. Why is it so uncomfortable?

Ehhh, most people would probably blame it on the hair. The very awkward curls to make him seem, I don’t know, younger? But in reality, well, it is definitely the hair and it does not work. But something else seemed amiss too, and it was hard to tell, I had to see it to believe it.

I already planned on being uncomfortable the whole time

For those who don’t know why this musical, is really awkward, then hold on to your butts. Evan Hansen (Ben Platt), he has a lot of anxiety and depression issues. It is hard for him to talk to anyone. His mom (Julianne Moore) is a nurse working extra hard so they can live an okay life, still kind of poor, and his dad is away and out of the life. His therapist wants him to start writing letters to himself, from himself, about his life so they can help with strategies during sessions.

Well, Evan prints it out in the library and is waiting to get it, when another student, Connor (Colton Ryan) who is addicted to drugs and a little off, signs his cast as an apology for yelling at him earlier. But when Connor sees the letter, and it mentions Zoe (Kaitlyn Dever), Connor’s sister and a girl Evan likes, he takes the note and storms out, assuming Evan was just another student trying to mess with him.

Evan’s big worry is that the note will be posted on the social medias and he will be made fun of. But Connor doesn’t come back to school. Later, Evan is brought to the principal to talk to Connor’s parents (Amy Adams, Danny Pino), where they tell him that Connor killed himself. And the only note he seemed to leave behind was a note to Evan, since it began Dear Evan Hansen and was signed by “Me”.

He originally tries to deny it, but they also see CONNOR written on his cast, and its big and the only name. They must have been friends. He is uncomfortable, but doesn’t want to disappoint these nice people, so he tells some lies about their friendship to help their grieving. But these lies also make Evan feel like he is gaining a family in their grief. And these lies begin to snowball, until eventually, the truth has to come out.

Also starring Amandla Stenberg and Nik Dodani.

Signing casts are bigger deals than promposals I have heard.

Will you be found enjoying this musical? Maybe. It might depend on your experiences and love of the Broadway version. At least five songs are cut from the musical and reprises of others. And if you ever listened to the musical, you will find it feeling a bit sparse on music already. Or maybe it is just me, since it came out the year after Hamilton which is to the brim with music so it is hard to really compare it. But this movie at 2 hours and 17 minutes feels musical-lite. Most of the songs are slow and sad ones too.

We open with a famous song (different than Broadway) and then it takes almost another 20 minutes before we get another song. Musicals not having enough songs is a big issue. Its the sort of issue some Disney musicals have where they have only like five or six songs and most of them are in the first half. If you are a musical, commit to it, and give more songs, you know? Two of the songs in here are also original, trying to get that Oscar nomination. I appreciate them actually including them instead of just stamping them on the credits at least. But neither might secure a nom either, unfortunately.

Did I cry? Surprisingly only once. It was with Moore singing So Big / So Small, and I honestly figured that would be cut too, since they cut her other song that would have been a duet with Amy Adams.

I knew going into this movie that the plot was all sorts of fucked up, and just like I thought with the musical (Which I hadn’t seen, just heard the songs from and read outlines), I don’t think it really dealt with the consequences enough. It just filters out near the end. Life moves on, that is fair point, but this is a movie and I would like some better closure.

I appreciate the movie/story dealing with some really awkward and uncomfortable circumstances. Usually if things are uncomfortable, there is a clear solution and way to handle it all, but after the ball was rolling it was hard to find both what should be done and what should happen when it starts to fix. And complications in life and film can be a good thing.

Ben Platt was a good idea to still be the lead, but I don’t know why short haired one from the musical and The Politician wouldn’t have seemed to fit in better. Or maybe just casting a lot of other older high schoolers, confuse us that way you know? Halfway through it, I did forget the weirdness of the look, I will say and let the story better consume me. I think it gets better.

And on that note, a better Dear Evan Hansen musical should have existed, and now won’t.

2 out of 4.

Gloria Bell

Many years ago, I saw a trailer for a movie called Gloria. It was a Spanish movie, but it had a lot of buzz and it looked fun. I decided I would put an effort into watching it. I thought about it for a few weeks, then I forgot about it, and went on with my life.

A couple of years ago, a different film came out called A Fantastic Woman. You may have heard of it, it won some awards. I definitely made sure to see it, given its nomination, and I saw it was by the director of Gloria. “Oh yeah! Gloria!” That movie I meant to see and forgot about. I should get on that and see it eventually. And then I forgot about it.

And then, finally, I got an invite to see Gloria Bell. That sounds familiar. And sure enough the trailer brings back the memories of the Gloria trailer, song and all. Oh no, an American remake? Sort of.

Does it count as an American remake if the remake is done by the same director and in his vision? Does it automatically make it inferior still?

Well, in this case, probably. 
Gloria Bell (Julianne Moore) is in her upper middle ages, basically old, without being, you know, old. She has kids, they are adults and starting their families. She is divorced, she works, she likes disco, and she wants to have a fun life.

But something keeps getting in the way. You know, herself. She sees so many faults in others, and her anxieties get in the way of finding happiness.

Despite this, she finds Arnold (John Tuturro), a man who likes disco and is also divorced. This feels like true love, in her later live, but there are issues. Issues with Arnold’s family and their dependence on him. It gets in the way of their happiness. And no matter what, he can’t abandon his kids and ex just for happiness.

So what’s a girl to dance? I dunno. Dance, dance, dance the night away.

Also starring Michael Cera, Holland Taylor, Brad Garrett, and Caren Pistorius.

Ah yes, Vegas, city of love, city by the bay./em>

Okay, technically, I don’t know if Gloria Bell is worse than Gloria, since I haven’t seen Gloria. And unfortunately, now that I have seen Gloria Bell, I probably won’t see Gloria ever. It might be better. It might be the same. I don’t know and won’t know because Gloria Bell has turned me so far off from this story, that the last thing I want to see is the story again, but this time with subtitles.

Basically, this is a film that is inspired by the song Gloria. It is a nice song, very catchy, and they use it in the film. And that is the whole story. There isn’t much else of depth. It is not only frustrating to watch this character act that way, but it is boring. I never feel any reason to hope better for her, given her ability to dig her own holes.

Sure being lonely sucks, but she probably just has to be lonely it looks like.

Gloria Bell is forgettable, and bad. I don’t know if it is actually as bad as my rating, but I did feel like hours of my life were wasted at the end.

0 out of 4.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Secret Service was a strange breath of fresh air in 2014. A strange mix of Bond parody while maintaining its own serious qualities of a film. It wasn’t outright joke-y, but it did have plenty of jokes and extremes when comparing itself to Bond films.

I mean, outside of its very stupid ending (Which again, was just going to extremes), it almost felt like a perfect film. So many people were excited about Kingsman: The Golden Circle, heck, I was too. I just…didn’t see it.

So again, we find ourselves with a perfect film for “Things I should have watched and reviewed last year,” a theme title too long to tag, especially since I keep changing the wording. All of that is part of the theme title. It came out during a stronger time for movies, so the makers were certainly confident in their own work, that’s a good thing.

Just like they are confident enough to feature a lot of people wearing glasses.

A lot has changed for The Kingsman group since Galahad (Colin Firth) died and the whole world ending stuff from the first film. For example, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is now in a committed relationship with the Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström). Merlin (Mark Strong) is getting in more of the action now too, and we learn he loves John Denver, how quaint! John Denver was featured heavily in Free Fire and Logan Lucky as well, so 2017 was like a love song to him, but you know, with movies.

Either way, they are going to have to deal with The Golden Circle, the world’s biggest drug organization. Why do they have to deal with them? Because they are planning something big soon to take out most of the world’s inhabitants. You know, like the last movie had a similar thing going on. But also because the organization took out basically all of the Kingsmen, except for Eggsy and Merlin, including their headquarters. That is totally not cool.

Following some clues, they head to America, to find The Statesmen, the American version of their organization. They are disguised as a brewing company in Kentucky. Well, disguised, and also do make the alcohol. In fact they have cute code names that are alcohol based. We get Tequila (Channing Tatum), Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), Champ/Champagne (Jeff Bridges), and Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). The two sides agree to work together, after some shenanigans and reveals to help bring The Golden Circle down, before calamity and stuff.

Also starring Julianne Moore and Elton John.

America has more cowboys and cowboy accessories.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is 141 minutes long. 141 minutes long. The last one cracked two hours as well, but at no point did it crack 2 hours like this film. Sure, both run times include the credits, so we can subtract about 8 from each and still wonder what the hell was so important in this film for it to be so goddamn long.

And one of the biggest issues with this film is that it certainly drags and just has too much extra information that really doesn’t add a lot extra to the plot. It is in desperate need of some editing.

The characters still maintain some of their charm. I think too much of the film is spent trying to bring back some memories of a character. The action is okay, the overall plot isn’t. It feels way too similar to the plot of the first film, given the goals associated with it.

Overall, this is an average movie and not really worth the time it was given. Outside of Merlin, the other characters really don’t have much growth that you would expect in a sequel. It didn’t feel as funny or unique as the first film either. Basically, it is a lamer and longer version of the first film, pure and simple.

2 out of 4.


Hooray the Coen brothers! Their last picture was Hail, Cesar! Which I have a 4 out of 4 to, but in retrospect it was a weak 4. It was just so bizarre and atypical for films that I couldn’t hate it.

So I had pretty high hopes with Suburbicon. It is set in the past, it has quirky characters and a murder plot so fowl. It is probably going to be similar to Fargo just with worse accents.

I really wanted to see it but I was surprised at the lack of, well, anything about the movie. Advertising was basically nonexistent for this film, like it was meant to be buried before it even premiered. And damn it, George Clooney is the director, his name used to mean something.

Falling Down
Maybe some elements will also bring us back to Falling Down.

Welcome to Suburbicon! A community set in the 1960’s or early 70’s. Life is perfect here. There are jobs, there are families with husbands and wives, there are kids who play baseball in the lots. There are no big fences between their houses, there is no crime, and everyone is happy, happy, happy.

And then a new family moves in, the Mayers (Leith M. Burke, Karimah Westbrook, Tony Espinosa). They are black. This sort of thing really shakes up their community, as apparently most of the families left their homes to move here just because of how white it is. They think this family will ruin their community and will go out of there way to make their stay miserable until they decide to leave.

But that is only one small part of the movie. The other part deals with the Lodge family. Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) is running his own business, living with his wife Rose (Julianne Moore), who is in a wheelchair, and son Nicky (Noah Jupe). Sometimes her twin, Margaret (Moore), also stays with them. After Nicky ends up playing baseball with the new neighbor’s son, the Lodge family are woken up by two goons (Glenn Fleshler, Alex Hassell) who are threatening and mean.

This leads to a death in the family, which is only the first of a series of weird things to occur after their new neighbors arrive. It turns out that this area might not have been as happy as everyone had imagined.

Also featuring Oscar Isaac as an insurance man.

I’d let him give me an insurance adjustment anytime.

There is something odd about Suburbicon, in its core, that makes it really hard to get into for a really long time. With wonderful dark comedy writers at the helm, you would think it would be a surefire hit, or at lease a cult classic. But this will not be either of these things and it will be promptly forgotten in the annals of cinema.

Is it like Fargo? Yeah, a bit, but Fargo had charming characters that you could invest in on both sides. This movie basically has a little kid and a neighbor family that is a distracting subplot.

And maybe that is a bigger problem with the film. As the intro goes, it is clear that the ideal utopia place to live is super white. It is clear that there will probably be a black family to move into the neighborhood and force some issues. And these things do happen, but only to provide a rather large and awkward distraction of the main plot.

I’m an America as racially divided and tense as it is right now, how could they decide to treat a real issue facing people now as some sort of fluff piece? It shows real anger and scary situations, but every time it heads back to the main family with their insane plot it reminds the viewer that “no, they are not important. This white family is really the important one.”

The reason for all the chaos makes sense. By having it in the background, we are able to give a reason why all of the film’s plot can take place without too much notice. But even if it makes sense, it is still an incredibly insensitive and poor choice for the creators to make.

The acting is fine. Some of the twists are fine. Oscar Isaac was great in his two scenes. Top notch. It slightly saved it from a 0.

1 out of 4.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Hooray another franchise is over! After Harry Potter, I am grateful book series are still afraid to break from the trilogy format. Or else we’d get these yearly movies that drive up the box office and everyone freaks out about and so on.

You know, like Marvel movies. Or the upcoming Star Wars films. One a year. Fuck.

Of course, this time it is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. The studios will say over and over again it is because the last story needs all that time to tell the story, but it is just for money grabbing purposes. It is putting a pause in the plot, usually meaning neither half are a complete film and overdrawn.

Part 1 was the worst film of the franchise. It had about 30 minutes of plot spread out over two hours. And because of that, Part 2 is almost definitely going to suffer for similar reasons. Even if Part 2 is great, the fact that Part 1 exists and is bad, instead of one coherent picture, means both are weaker than they should be. Happened with the final two Twilights, happened with the final two Harry Potters, and will probably happen again here.

You know, Katniss, this is the last time I might get to dress you.” – Creepy Effie

Katniss Katniss Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence). Katniss found herself choked up over the fact that they saved Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from the Capital, her emotions all over the place. She knows one thing now. She will help Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and the rebels in any way she knows how. The Capital and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) must fall! And die!

Got it? Good. I’m done with that point of view. Lets change it up.

My man, Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) is still a bad ass mother fucker, cool spear trident weapon thing. No one can take him one on one. Except one girl. That’s right, Finnick is getting married. They will have ginger babies. Apparently they are all Irish, and Irish is a thing in this world, because their wedding has Irish violin music and jigs and shit. But that won’t stop him from putting his life on the line to take down the bad guys, YEAH!

Okay okay one more. Caesar Flickerman (StanleY Tucci) is the best host in all of the districts. He has flair, hair, and style. Unfortunately in this movie, he only has one scene as a shitty news anchor person. We don’t delve more into his life. Sad news.

Alright, everyone else in this movie are played by the same people you have seen before. Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Willow Shields, Elizabeth Banks, Mahershala Ali, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, Patina Miller, and of course, Elden Henson as the best video camera man in the world. Formally best at shooting the puck really hard.

“What are you going to do, just walk up to the door stop and kill him?”

I felt a bit silly typing up the plot outline for this film, as you may have guessed. They are finally doing that fight thing. No longer is this about the hunger games, it is about a revolution, damn it. They should really assume the viewers are smarter and just call it Mockingjay without THG.

Part 2 ended up being a lot better than Part 1, but not as good as the first movie or Catching Fire. The ending wasn’t full of epic moments, but just a slow fuse that slowly ran out of steam. And then a couple more scenes, and an epilogue. Hell, the ending was very confusing just in terms of time. I can’t be more specific without bigger spoilers, but the events being shown and that were talked shouldn’t have overlapped as such.

There were some decent action scenes in the middle though. The best was the sewer scene, although it was also confusing. Dark places means they don’t have to make coherent action, which might just be an allusion to the first film where they just changed the camera angles a lot and shook the camera. They threw in zombies out of no where, which is I guess the cool thing to do in a teen book franchises (see Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials). I am sure technically they are not zombies, but they came out of no where and never were really explained, so that is all I can really call them.

When I think back on the Hunger Games franchise in the future, I will just think about the first two movies. As long as you accept that Catching Fire ends with a crappy cliff hanger and doesn’t resolve anything, it will save you from the extremely mediocre two film filler after the fact. With only a handful amount of Finnick scenes to get you by.

2 out of 4.

Seventh Son

The release of Seventh Son was overshadowed because it came out the same day as Jupiter Ascending, which is interesting. The later is a sci-fi/fantasy epic that was faced with delays and the release was moved back. The former? A fantasy epic that was faced with even more delays and production issues.

Production on this movie began in early 2012. The visual effects of the film was being done with Rhythm and Hues Studio, famous for getting best Visual Effects in the Oscars for Life Of Pi, while also filing for bankruptcy. Not a good time for that studio, tons of layoffs despite their impressive work.

So in 2013, Seventh Son was still in production and the company got a loan to help finish the movie. It was pushed back to October 2013 release. Then it was pushed back to January 2014 thanks to Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. breaking apart.

However, once Universal got the distribution rights end of 2013, they said nah, let’s wait til February 6, 2015. They didn’t give any fucks about the movie and figured they’d have no competition. Which again, is amusing that Jupiter Ascending came in and fucked up any chance of them actually making money.

Well, costume wise it looks like a nerds wet dream!

Seventh Son is a story about a witch and a witch hunter. Clearly star crossed lovers. The witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), is being all evil, and Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges), the Spook, wants to stop her. During a routine snatch and grab, they almost succeed too! But no, she escapes, and she kills his apprentice (Kit Harington).

So instead we get Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), who is the seventh son of a seventh son. That means something. It means a lot of fucking and babies. When the Spook showed up, he knew already he was leaving thanks to dreams, so he kissed his mom, Mam (Olivia Williams) good bye and went on his merry way.

Things get a bit more hairy when Tom also sees a girl about to be mobbed for being a witch. He had visions of her and him, so he saves her too. Her name is Alice (Alicia Vikander). That is nice.

What is not nice when she goes back home to her witch mom (Antje Traue) who is involved with Mother Malkin. Ah interesting.

Then some witch magic stuff happens and people get hurt, lies get said, and of course, even more magic stuff. Also with a John DeSantis and a Djimon Hounsou!

On the other hand, this image looks so uncool, Outkast wouldn’t even touch it.

First of all, I apologize for that last caption joke, it is terrible.

Second of all, I feel really really bad for Rhythm and Hues studio. They did amazing work with Life Of Pi, then they got shit on, then they had to make this piece of crap. I want to assume that the reason this movie is not visually pleasing to look at is because the studio had to lay off all of their workers and work on a very small budget. I hope so. Because the CGI and effects were anything but quality.

You know what it reminded me of? Dungeons and Dragons, the movie. That is a really mean comparison, technically. That movie was terribad. But they are both pricey fantasy films that wanted to reach for something greater, but instead fell down into Mediocre Valley, looking ugly to boot.

But good looks aren’t the only important thing to a film. Acting and plot! So dang important! This one has two people who have won Best Actor and Best Actress at the Oscars! Hot damn! They can’t save this story though. They don’t even attempt to save it.

Jeff Bridges is basically transforming into Nick Nolte. The last few movies with Bridges have been hard to understand. This movie was the worst, with the movie almost demanding you watch it in subtitles to understand a damn thing he says. Moore plays a caricature and a non-interesting villain, and so she too is completely forgettable.

The plot itself would be easier to follow if there was anything remotely exciting about this movie. A yawn fest, beginning to end. It is a shame Sci-Fi is getting such a revitalization in the film industry and fantasy films seem left to die in its wake. We had a good thing going on with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the disappointing Hobbit films and absolutely nothing else going on seems to mean it has to wait for the eventual Harry Potter reboot to be good again.

0 out of 4.

Still Alice

Still Alice is another one of those movies that got leaked from Sony ahead of time. But no one cared about Still Alice. They only cared about Fury and Annie.

Personally, I hadn’t heard of the movie at all. It sounds creepy I guess.

But then I heard about buzz for best actress and maybe supporting actress, so I figured I’d watch it earlier than planned. I need all the help I can get in the potential Best Actress category. For whatever reason (sexism?), the movies that get nominated for Best Actress don’t often get nominated for a lot of other rewards. Last year is a poor example, and I might be talking out of my ass, but I think it is true.

At the very least, when I look back on the nominations for Best Actress in the past, I notice that I have seen significantly less of them than others. That sucks. Maybe I am just not as interested in super great female acting performances? Hard to say.

Either way, I am ready to be wowed, way more than I was ready for Mr. Turner.

And more than I am ready for a walk on a beach. I am never ready for a walk on the beach.

This is a story about Alzheimer’s Disease. Some people argue it is the saddest of the diseases. It is sadder than Cancer, AIDS, and definitely sadder than Alcoholism. It definitely worked for Barney’s Version, which was a lot better than the cover gave it credit for.

Dr. Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is some sort of Psychologist at some sort of university. She is big in career. She is married to Dr. John (Alec Baldwin), also a smart person, who also has some sort of university/scientist based job. They have a nice family too.

Three whole kids! None of them are half. A daughter (Kate Bosworth) who is infertile, sure, but married and going to get one of those science babies with her husband (Shane McRae). A boy (Hunter Parrish) who also is successful with college and all. And a third child. Ugh. A younger daughter (Kristen Stewart), who doesn’t want to do college and wants to be an actress. Gross gross gross.

Either way. Alice starts to forget shit. Sometimes blurry vision. She talks to a neurologist (Stephen Kunken), and yep. She has an early form of Alzheimer’s, rare genetic version. Which has its own complications.

And you know. Other sad things!

Like Vests, the saddest articles of clothing I could imagine.

Ah shit. Sadness. Like man. I cried a couple times. Damn empathy. I used to not feel sad over getting older type stories. But here we go. Getting older. Having a family. Genetics. Diseases. Losing and forgetting memories.

I already mentioned that I liked Barney’s Version, for whatever reason the only Alzheimer’s based movie I could thing of. It was great for Paul Giamatti in the titular role, but it is not something I have ever tried to watch over the last three years. Maybe in another five I will watch it again. But man, Still Alice was really really damn good. The story itself shows the decay in a natural and fantastic way. Also a bit scary. Not a thriller, but man, losing the memories that you are trying so hard to maintain. Being such a smart individual and losing what made you feel unique and special? That is scary. I don’t want to get old and have that happen to me. I don’t want my parents to forget I exist.

Also, Julianne Fucking Moore. Before this movie, I could only guess that maybe Rosamund Pike might win it from Gone Girl. Despite how great she is in that role, Moore is so much better. I haven’t seen Wild. I haven’t seen Cake. But I can’t imagine any performance as good as hers (and I was equally vocal about Cate Blanchette eventually winning last year).

Kristen Stewart was in this movie, and I didn’t think she will win any awards, but she wasn’t terrible or anything. Some of you might be thinking that you are surprised she was in a 4 out of 4 movie before Robert Pattinson. But you’d be wrong, because I really really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

4 out of 4.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Ugh. So here we go.

Brief recap of the series from my POV. Hunger Games – Too much training, not enough games. Too much shaky cam, not enough actual action. It is okay. 2 out of 4. Catching Fire – Figured the plot would be contrived and forced to be similar, but it wasn’t. A much better movie, less shaky cam, better acting. 3 out of 4.

So that is some of my biases coming in to this movie. Or should I call it half a movie? After all, The Hunger Games Mockingjay, the final book, was split in half for movie sake. Oh joy. Just like Twilight. Just like Harry Potter. I am sure Divergent will split the final book into three parts. Hell, this is becoming so annoying, The Maze Runner got praise for saying it wouldn’t split up any of the books! Yay!

It should be noted, I really really really fucking hate this. It is just a franchise milking more money before it becomes irrelevant. If they can fit the other X books into one movie, they can do it for the final one too. And the first of the two always ends up being weaker. It was the worst Twilight film, and a more boring Harry Potter. That is because it is all set up for the final more exciting part, and usually bullshit.

But at least Harry Potter had the decency to release the films within a year of each other, about 7 months apart. Part 2 of Mockingjay won’t come out until next November, a whole year later, making it seem like another complete movie and not a continuation.

I guess I am mostly mad because for a movie, I want a complete story and not just crappy tv show cliffhangers. Catching Fire ended on a crappy TV show cliff hanger, and this one will give me only part of a story and make me wait a whole year to see the second half. That is abusing the part 1 and part 2 system and is malarkey. The only reason to wait that amount of time is to make more money, and unfortunately it will make it too.

Rough plans for their new conference center to discuss ways to make money once this franchise is done.

For those that aren’t in the know, Catching Fire ended with The 75th Hunger Games ending prematurely. Shit broke, lot of chaos and anarchy, people got left behind, and Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself in the once thought destroyed District 13. Looks like they have had a rebel group in here for some time. And so many people are a part of it!

Like, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman)! And Gale (Liam Hemsworth)! And Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) and Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks)! Although their involvement may have been less than voluntary.

Katniss has been brought here for one main reason. To help lead a revolution to take down the capital, to unite the districts as one, and to be the face of PR and propaganda. However, when they rescued her, they notably left a few people behind, including Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a couple other tributes. She doesn’t want to get involved in this war, she just wants to save Peeta. But she gets sucked into it anyway once she finds out that all of District 12 was basically destroyed.

And that’s that! Let the PR campaign begin! Yay warring governments,even if the District 13 President (Julianne Moore) is kind of boring.

Also featuring a whole lot of other people of course. Most returning. Like Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright and Willow Shields. But there is also Mahershala Ali and Natalie Dormer guys. Don’t. Forget. About. Them.

They asked the extras who wants to be Jennifer’s BFF.

I don’t want to sound like a self fulfilling prophesier, but…

I think Mockingjay Part 1 is easily the worst film in the series. And the good news is I gave the recap on top of the other two, so I don’t have to explain their advantages, just talk about this film! The good news is that this film is only 2 hours long, not 140 minutes like the last two. It makes sense, as it is only half of a book anyways. And another good aspect of this movie is that it actually tells a complete story, more or less. We have goals at the beginning of the movie, and by the end, those goals are accomplished in a few ways. They just create a couple more issues and lead up to a bigger and more intense thing.

My issues with the film still relate to the parts though, I guess. Despite its shorter run time, this felt like 30-45 minutes of plot spread out over 2 hours. Everything felt slow, much slower than normal. I can only watch so much angst.

In additional, I cringed quite a few times at lines and actions of characters. They felt so unbelievable or unrealistic given the circumstances that I had to roll my eyes. I found it had at times to really get lost in the movie and allow time to go by easily.

It is still not a terrible film or anything, I just think it didn’t get anywhere close to its full potential. Oh well, we will see how I feel a year from now when I can finally get the end to the story.

2 out of 4.


Oooh, Non-Stop, a Liam Neeson action movie where he uses his wit and tactical efficiency to solve a crisis!

I don’t promise a lot about this review of Non-Stop I just promise to make zero Taken jokes. Even if the vague outline I just made sounds like it could easily be used for that movie. It is becoming old-hat to do Taken jokes for just because the movie stars Neeson, so I will let Zach Braff take care of that for me.

Neeson is texting here, to show us he still is up with the times.

Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is a Federal Air Marshal. He is a quiet man who has had some problems in his life recently, including alcoholism! But that is okay, it is not like he ever has to do anything on his job.

Just kidding! On a flight to London, someone wants to hijack the plane. They have hacked into the local network and are sending text messages to Bill, threatening that someone will die every twenty minutes on the plane unless they get $150 million sent to a bank account. Even more troubling news is that bank account is in Bill’s name, so the TSA and other governmental agencies have assumed that Bill has gone rogue and is hijacking the plane until he gets paid.

Oh no!

Bill will have to use the people he can trust on the plane. Nancy (Michelle Dockerty), a flight attendant who he has worked with before. Jack Hammond (Anson Mount), an off duty Air Marshal also on the flight. And of course, Jen Summers (Julianne Moore), the woman he just met who was sitting next to him in first class.

So, who is the terrorist?! Well here is a list of actors also on the plane to take a pick from, assuming it actually isn’t an inside job and isn’t one of the people already listed in the review: Corey StollNate ParkerScoot McNairyLupita Nyong’oOmar Metwally (who has a turban!), Corey Hawkins, and Frank Deal.

Their hands are in the air, yes, but I assure you right now they all care.

I know I might have made the plot of Non-Stop seem cliche/not exciting, but it turned out to be the opposite of that. First off, it wasn’t a mindless action movie. The only big action sequence happens near the end, which you could tell from the trailers. Everything else is based on suspense and tiny clues along the way.

Outside of the first 8 or so minutes, I found myself watching Non-Stop on the edge of my seat. The parts of the movie before boarding the plane were a bit slow, but that can be expected in a movie like this.

Was it believable? No, not really. There are a lot of coincidences and lucky breaks that make the entire evil mastermind plan work. Kind of annoying, but I can get over it.

Somehow, despite the coincidences and questionable plot, I was just really entertained by this movie. It wasn’t obvious who the bad guy was, plenty of red herrings thrown our way throughout the film. In fact, I think knowing “who did it” wouldn’t even ruin future viewings for me, which is a rarity for these types of movies.

Neeson might have actually been the perfect pick for this role as well. He has that aged scruffiness, perfect for a guy who has “seen some shit” in his days.

Check out Non-Stop, which ended up being (surprisingly) one of the better movies for the month of February.


3 out of 4.


This may not be a popular opinion, but I am willing to say it: The original Carrie is not that scary of a movie. Or at least it isn’t scary anymore.

When it first came out it was probably shocking, sure. Part of the reason it would have been terrifying is not knowing the bloodbath that would occur at the end of the film. There was no internet, spoilers didn’t run rampant, people could watch it and actually see something new.

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know how the original Carrie ends. They might not know the finite details or how it occurs, but they know blood gets dumped on a poor girl, who then takes out a school who bullied her.

So why bother with a Carrie remake in 2013? The only real reason is to either change the story so that audiences won’t see the ending coming or ramp up the creepy details to a new notch in order to make it more of a horror film. You know, give us a different reason to remember her name.

“How do we make Julie look crazy?” “I don’t know…frazzle her hair a little bit!”

Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) came from humble beginnings. She used to be home-schooled, but the state of Maine intervened and forced her to go to public school. Not sure why. Her mom (Julianne Moore) was a perfectly adept teacher. She taught Carrie about Jesus, God, and she even gave her a nice tiny prayer closet under the stairs to “study” in.

Despite the fact that she is a senior in high school, she gets her period for the first time in gym class. Must be Satan at work in her loins. The other girls find her fear amusing, make fun of her, and promptly get in trouble by the gym teacher (Judy Greer). They have two options, put up with a week of grueling physical activity, or get suspended and miss prom. Clearly neither option is ideal, and it must be Carrie’s fault putting these girls in that situation.

Which is why the mean girl (Portia Doubleday) and her boyfriend (Alex Russell) do the whole dump pigs blood on her head at prom thing. That’ll show her.

That’ll show everyone.

Gabriella Wilde plays the nice “mean girl,” and Ansel Elgort her boyfriend.

Huh, she looks cute in red.
Really, the reason anyone came to see this movie was to watch the prom scene and see the path of destruction that Carrie would lay in her wake. The rest of the film could be boring, but as long as the prom scene is excellent, the director will have delivered. The prom scene is longer in this version, there are more creative deaths with less hoses, and there is more destruction outside of the school, but miraculously a lower overall body count. Huh.

Basically, this film is identical to the 70’s version in terms of…well most things. Even the dialogue is basically the same, minus the upgrades in time/technology.

The few things that are changed are who lives and dies at the end, one other “twist”, and making the mother a bit of a masochist. Okay, a huge masochist, she loves that self infliction stuff. Basically their attempt at making the film a bit more creepy throughout.

Overall, I would say that this film was a bit disappointing in that it was made so similar to the first film (and maybe the book, no idea on their closeness). It really doesn’t add anything new to the mythology, and was made to upgrade a film literally everyone already knows the plot about. I hated most of the no name actors, but surprisingly I enjoyed Ansel Elgort as the nice boyfriend. He was so good at being kind to a weird red headed girl.

If you are looking for scary movies in theater for Halloween, unfortunately Carrie is your only hope. Somehow, this is the only horror movie the entire month.

2 out of 4.