Movies in Review: “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

The_Hobbit_-_The_Battle_of_the_Five_ArmiesThe last and final installment of The Hobbit franchise. Although I was looking forward to this movie, the second installment left such a bad taste in my mouth my expectations for this last movie were kinda low. Besides far too often the finale only leaves you empty, pissed, or without closure. I was hoping this would not be the case for this movie.

This movie started out with a bang, and everything about it was far better than the first 2 movies, although the first film was more endearing for me. This finale had all the right components in it, and the title does it justice, because it was definitely a battle. The battle scenes were beautifully executed and entertaining to look at. The energy is high in this movie, so unlike the other films, a dull moment will be hard to find. The scene with Orlando Bloom’s character defying that toppling brigde…Amazing! The Elf and Dwarf armies were spectacular. I could go one and on because my eyes were definitely in awe.

I watched this movie in IMAX 3D, and enjoyed my movie experience. If you can see it in IMAX I would suggest spending the extra few dollars. I don’t say this about a lot of movies, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this one again…A-

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Movies in Review: “Annie”

Annie2014PosterSoooooo…the long awaited Annie remake was released this weekend and kinda bombed at the box office…smh. There was so much hype around this movie that it probably killed a lot of the interest in this remake. I was hyped when news broke that Willow Smith would be starring as the new Annie, how ever by the time the movie went into production and marketing started for it, I was kinda over it. Not to mention, I wasn’t that impressed by the trailer. I think I was the only person who wasn’t as hype about Quvenzhane take on this role. My biggest motivation for going was that Will and Jada Smith had a hand in producing it.

I was hoping that I would have walked out of the theater with a more positive view of this remake, but….smh. The opening scene totally threw me off. I definitely forgot that this movie was a musical, so when the music started, my skin began to crawl, and it’s not that I don’t like musicals ~shrugs. The first 30 min were way too slow, Quvenzhane performance was way over the top that it killed the cuteness found in the original Annie. I wish they would have done a better job with the girls they cast in the orphanage, their performances were dry and so was the choreography for their musical performances…smh. I was expecting so much more in the musical performance area. Now let’s talk about Cameron Diaz who tried to imitate Carol Burnett’s character, but failed miserably. There was nothing funny or genuine about her. I heard Sandra Bullock was originally cast, but unfortunately declined, and that’s too bad. I did enjoy the performances from the rest of the cast, especially the minor characters like the Child Service Counselor, and the store shop owner. The scenes that involved the rest of the cast made for a more entertaining movie. Jamie Foxx was enjoyable and funny as Will Stacks.

This movie failed in so many areas for me, but this is just my adult view-point. I do think the kids will find some enjoyment in it. However if you don’t have kids, I wouldn’t bother, just wait for it to be released on TV…C-

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Movies in Review: “Top Five”

Top_Five_posterI love how Chris Rock’s career has blossomed. I think he can do no wrong, so when I saw the trailer for his new movie Top Five, there was no way I was gonna miss this. I appreciate the way Chris Rock shows love and casts his fellow comedians, giving everyone some shine. I thought the trailer was cute, but not hilarious. My expectations for the comedy was low, but I knew I would still walk out of the theater pleased…and I was.

I enjoyed this movie from beginning to end. Chris Rock knows how to tell a story in a way that reaches his audience with a little humor as an added bonus. The movie had some hysterical moments, but the best part about this movie was the overall feel. It was filled with light dark humor, and interesting situations that may be familiar to some people. Everyone in the film looked absolutely beautiful, and Chris gave everyone their fair chance to shine. He should have taken some screen time from Cedric the Entertainer, but that would probably be my only complaint…lol. I was totally crushing on Rosario Dawson’s hair. She looked absolutely beautiful. I wish they didn’t show all of Kevin Harts scene in the trailer, making it less funny in the movie…Shrugs…

All in all another good one from Chris. It was cute, entertaining, and fun to see some of your favorite comedians, actors/actresses ,ix it up on the big screen. This would be one I would add to the dvd and keep to watch again…B+

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Movies in Review: “Exodus: Gods and Kings”

Exodus2014PosterWell this film has been met with a lot of controversy, but I’m not the least bit surprised. I think it’s always tough to make a biblically inspired movie without displeasing someone…right? But most people were outraged by the all-white cast portraying characters in an African tale…smh. I was a little taken aback when I watched the trailer for this movie. No one seemed to fit in the role that they were playing. I wasn’t excited about this movie, and I didn’t get hemmed up in all the backlash it was receiving either, so I went to see it…

Shame shame shame on you Ridley Scott for this one. I honestly thought I would enjoy this movie, thinking maybe my feelings for the trailer were farse…but they weren’t. You know a movie is bad when everyone seems miscast, like blatantly miscast. John Turturro as Seti…Really!? Are you kidding me right now? No No No…oh so wrong, along with Joel Edgerton as Ramesses, and the icing on the cake was Sigourney Weaver as Tuya…GTFOH! I don’t really bandwagon all the race complaints for films, but this movie had me feeling some kind of way. All the colored people cast in the film were servants…really!? This movie felt so outdated and left a bad taste in my mouth. Why would you hire an all white cast then spray then down with orange tanner just to give them color? Especially when there are plenty of colored actors/actresses who would have fit these roles perfectly. This movie had so much potential, but was put in the hands of the wrong person. It was hard to enjoy the story when I kept wondering why orange make-up was used a stronger option than casting the right people for this story…smh. I could go on and on, but is it worth it.

It was hard to stay focused on the film as a whole because it was wrong in so many ways. The acting wasn’t great, and some of those scenes were atrociously directed (the rubber baby scene…come on!…horrible) It earned a few points for visuals. It wasn’t a horrible movie, but being a woman of color, it felt like I was knocked back to the 1960’s…C-

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Movies in Review: “Horrible Bosses 2″

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Well I found this sequel to be totally unexpected. Not that I’m mad about a sequel for Horrible Bosses at all, because I loved the first movie to pieces. To this day, Horrible Bosses is one of my favorite comedies. When I saw the theatrical poster for this film, I immediately started laughing, that’s how funny I found the first one to be. Although I didn’t think the second movie would add up to the first, there was no way I was going to miss this.

Ok…so I watched this movie yesterday afternoon, and found myself still laughing about some of the scenes this morning…yeah that’s how funny this movie was. Now don’t get me wrong, not a great movie, but the nonsense happening in the film had me pissing in my pants. I can’t with Day, Bateman, and Sudeikis. These men are fools, but have some of the best comedic chemistry I have seen in a while. That payphone scene still has me cracking up in tears even as I write this review. That scene with Bateman and Aniston…smh…wth…hilarious. The only character that was dry in my opinion was Jamie Foxx, who tried to force a laugh, and fell flat. Everything else about the movie I enjoyed.

When a comedy has you laughing out loud, and tearing up in the theater, then it has done its job in my opinion. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while. Yes it was nonsense, but sometimes a little nonsense is what you need, especially if it’s delivered the way Horrible Bosses 2 delivered it…B+

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Movies in Review: “Penguins of Madagascar”

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Is there anyone else with me when I say “About Time!”?. It has been almost 10 yrs since the Madagascar movies started and it has taken this long to give those penguins their own movie…smh. It’s clear I was looking forward to this movie more than any of the original Madagascar films, although I enjoyed them as well, but my enjoyment came mostly from those penguins…lol.

Ok so giving these penguins shine turned the entertainment value way up. This movie was on high voltage compared to the Madagascar franchise. These penguins are hysterical, and there is never a dull moment with their crazy antics. The kids will have fun watching Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private getting in and out of trouble. I know I enjoyed myself, and my son and nephew also seemed pleased. Just like the Minions for Despicable Me, the Penguins are all anyone wanted to see from Madagascar, and now the day has finally arrived.

I left the theater with a smile on my face, feeling like my entertainment void had been filled. Critics are saying it’s more for the kids, lacking full family fun, but I disagree. I think not only the kids, but the family will enjoy it together…B

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Movies in Review: “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1″

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I have a love/dislike relationship with this Hunger games trilogy. I absolutely loved the first installment, and greatly anticipated the sequel, only to leave the theater very disappointed :/. So when the marketing started for this last 2 part installment, I was a little less than thrilled. I mean the second one left me extremely vexed with the killing of Cinna, played by Lenny Kravitz…smh. The rest of the movie also left little to be desired, but although I could have been more excited about this 3rd movie, I figured it couldn’t be as bad as the 2nd…Right!?

O.M.G…I was pleasantly pleased by the Mockingjay. Totally different from the first 2 movies. The storyline really gets moving in this film, and tackles the political side of whats going on. Jennifer Lawrence is better than ever as our Mockingjay, Katniss. This movie doesn’t have as much action as the first 2 installments, but the actions scenes in the film seem to take on a more relevant and powerful meaning. President Snow is nothing to mess with and his “toying” with Katniss kept me on the edge of my seat. This movie is also a lot darker than the other 2 movies. There is very little color in any scenes, mostly greys, black, and white. I looked forward to Effie’s fun and colorful outfits, but you will see none of that here. They kept her character within the limits of the revolution that was happening. But her “make it work” outfits were still fun, and what you would expect from her character…lol.

This one had me more interested in the characters and the districts more than the first 2. Now we are getting somewhere. I was left on the edge of my seat, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this story will finally end…A-

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