+++REVIEW OF THE HEAD-POUNDING – “TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION”

Standard

Image

 

If you are like me, you probably have seen a Transformers movie..maybe even 2, and then promptly forgot about them once the ringing in your ears went away. I saw the first one, just called “Transformers” ~ don’t really remember much of it..I can’t even remember if I saw the 2nd one, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and I DEFINITELY know I did not see the 3rd one, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” so just in case you missed some of them also..here is a handy dandy little 3min recap courtesy of Vulture.com  http://www.vulture.com/2014/06/transformers-recap-three-minutes-explanation-video.html

Image

That will catch you right up.  Unless of course you’re looking for Shia LeBouf’s character “Sam Witwicky” or Megan Fox’s character “Mikaela Banes” though i think she was gone after #2 ..or well basically if you’re looking for any other character other than the Transformers themselves..because they aren’t here.. nor are they even MENTIONED ..or do we even know they once existed.  This to me is more of a re-boot than anything else with new characters “Cade Yeager” (Mark Walhberg) (aka Marky Mark always and forever!), his perpetually tan daughter, “Tessa Yeager” (Nicole Peltz), his surfer bestie, “Lucas Flannery” (T.J. Miller), the oh so adorable Irish boyfriend in the middle of nowhere Texas, “Shane Dyson” (Jack Reynor)…and of course the villains, “Harold Attinger” (Kelsey Grammer), “James Savoy” (Titus Welliver), and of course the bad man who turns ‘good’ (ZZZZzzzzzz) “Joshua Joyce” (Stanley Tucci).

I’m not even sure there is really a plot to this movie.. or maybe there is too much of one trying to be an actual plot as the majority of it makes no sense…because this is a LOOONGG, LOOUUDD..movie.. Went to the restroom for a few moments and absolute heaven,..as in quietness. To be truthful, the first 30min of this movie were not awful.. Basically, Cade buys an old truck, which as he is repairing it, turns out to be the long missing Optimus and once it’s figured out by Harold Attinger, they end up being hunted by a top-secret team of Transformer Destroyers. We are supposed to be on the side of the Transformers but Attinger, who is with a special secret CIA group & his hitman, Savoy have a huge money deal with Joyce to get all the metal the Transformers are made of to then make their own and do what else..control the world..Lo and behold, they also have a piece of alien technology called ‘the Seed,’ which, it turns out, is what REALLY wiped out the dinosaurs.Yep..there was no ice age people.. this is the truth!!! 😀

What all this is really leading up to is SEQUEL!!! It’s CLEARLY noted in so many different ways in so many different sentences you can’t stop laughing..and that is what I did through most of the movie.. LAUGH!! I can’t help myself during bad movies.. at least it makes them fun.  It jumps from one bad CGI action sequence to another.. I mean you see them crash into a bridge and it blows up..yet 2 scenes later you see said bridge perfectly fine in the background. Come on Michael Bay.. check your CGI dude. While most of it is that bad, some of the chase scenes were decent including one at the end where they have a fun one scrambling down the sides & ledges of those cramped Hong Kong apartment buildings. I also kept laughing as they try to have silly, dumb, trying to hard to be witty, banter between characters at times that makes you just want to pound your head and scream WHYYYY!! WHYYYY!!!  it doesn’t work nor fit.  And the end we get a what is supposed to be a heartfelt speech from Optimus.. which is basically telling you what the next movie is going to be all about. Oh and there is dino bots..which are okay..

Image

The best part of this whole experience for me..These pic below..#bumblebeebot #Paramountscreeningwithfriends Jason, Cody, Jon

Image

Image

Grade:D

#peggyatthemovies

GRADING SCALE: A = OSCARWORTHY; B = ABOVE AVERAGE~MUST SEE; C= AVERAGE~SHOULD SEE; D = DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY; F = YEAH..NO DON’T SEE THE MOVIE.. ( + OR – ) GIVES IT A BIT UP OR DOWN

Advertisements

+++ BEGIN AGAIN – REVIEW BY #peggyatthemovies +++

Standard

Image

Huh.. Keira Knightly, an actress, trying to be a musician and Adam Levine, a musician, trying to be an actor.. Throw in a super cliche’ script  and Mark Ruffalo in well.. a typical Mark Ruffalo part, and you’ve got the plot of this this sappy movie wrapped up to a tee.

“Greta” (Kiera Knightly) comes on a visit to NYC with her up and coming rock-star boyfriend, “Dave Koch” (Adam Levine), with I might add a horrible 70’s porn~stache which turns into an even less attractive, hideous full beard! Blech..I guess I just don’t get the ‘Adam Levine’ thing..but back to the oh – so – every – cliche – in the book, storyline.  Dave, of course cheats on Greta, which she figures it out by listening to a song he wrote while on a quick trip to LA, but of course, so she goes to find her quirky, unemployed, street guitar playing to no one, but hey, I have an expensive NYC apt. with all sorts of musical recording studio equipment, also British friend, “Steve” (James Corden). Steve takes Greta out to a open-musician night at a bar and makes her sing (cringe-worthy I might add – (ex-b/f Rupert Friend, I hope you don’t hear this as you can actually sing) and lo and behold washed up, drunken music exec. “Dan” (Mark Ruffalo) is drunkenly in the audience after being ousted by his label partner “Saul” (Mos Def as Yassin Bey here) because he is deemed ‘out of touch’. He ‘hears’ the tepid song in an orchestrial manoeuvres kind of way and of course the rest is well..right there in front of your face to see.. Every step of the way.. plodding along with every cliche in the book of “Hey let’s make an album and you a star” story, they set out to record all over the streets of NYC..cuz you know..Punk Rock NEVER did that in the 70’s!! 

This part of the movie is actually not so bad and there are some endearing characters that help pull this off including a small group of kids playing in the back alleys..who viola’ become back up singers.. but okay.. really..it has a few sweet moments and these are them. Also, joining in the revelee now in probably my favourite character of the movie, Dan’s daughter, “Violet” played well by Hailee Steinfeld. She is joined by her mom & Dan’s wife “Miriam” (Catherine Keener), from whom he is heartbreakingly separated from to add of course, misery to mayhem and leave us oh so hoping for that ‘you can see it coming a mile away’ reconciliation of the two. There are also some nice music scenes with Steve Wonder playing during a bit of an homage to running around the streets of New York while listening together to music. But all in all, you see everything coming but not in a way that makes it anything special or different. Of course Dave wants to get back together when he realizes his mistakes, of course Greta wants to be a rebel musician and try to dictate to the label what she wants done with her now, oh so catchy tunes album, of course she rolls with it on her own terms!! And sorry, Keira, but you are not a singer and wearing oh so many stripes & checks bohemian look with your flats, riding a bike with a little straw basket, being almost emaciated looking with your pout or snaggly over-done smiling, all the while having a bit to much posh-Brit for the role, well..does not work. 

I don’t really even need to explain the end of the story..because you know what it is from the beginning. My only 2 standouts are Hailee Steinfeld and James Corden.  I almost feel bad for writer/director John Carney as ‘Once’ was a really good movie.. Twice is not. 

Grade: C –  because some people will just love the sappy overdone story and they deserve to spend money on this movie. For the rest of us, D+

 GRADING SCALE: A = OSCARWORTHY; B = ABOVE AVERAGE~MUST SEE; C= AVERAGE~SHOULD SEE; D = DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY; F = YEAH..NO DON’T SEE THE MOVIE.. ( + OR – ) GIVES IT A BIT UP OR DOWN

+++READ READ READ ~~ REVIEW OF “BOYHOOD” #peggyatthemovies

Standard

Image

OKAY, okay, okay.. So I actually saw a screening of this movie this past Sunday, 6/15. but at 166 minutes long, my tail bone was still aching from sitting in old school theatre seats!! and the crick in my neck from craning my neck around the gentleman in front of me is still there…Hence the late review!! 🙂   Oh how we quickly forget how theaters used to be set up and how spoiled we are now!! ha!

I should also note that this movie has a release date of July 18, 2014 but has been released in Europe and is generating word of mouth/reviews from there, most especially from Germany.  It also was a last minute entry in this years Sundance Film Festival where you would think the lengthy movie time would deter moviegoers, especially the film festival ones, but it’s done good box office and generated a positive response from Sundance. But let me tell you upfront, this movie requires a big commitment to see it. I went in eyes closed. after only viewing the trailer, which is usually what I do..that and the promise of a Q & A afterwards with Richard Linklater made it all the more enticing. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I will ALWAYS check the running time now as I was not prepared for it.

But if I think the audience has to prepare..it’s nothing in comparison to what an undertaking this movie truly was.  It’s the story of “Mason” (Ellar Coltrane) who we meet first at the age of 7 and watch him grow up before our eyes till the age of 18. Literally..it’s played by the same actor throughout the entire movie..as a matter of fact, every single person in this movie from his sister, “Samantha” (Lorelei Linklater) his mom, “Olivia” (Patricia Arquette) Dad, “Mason Sr” (Ethan Hawke) is played from day one and throughout the whole movie..that’s right..the WHOLE 12 YEARS, by the same people. And to watch this and realize what a huge, mind-boggling undertaking this movie was, sitting there watching it, realizing that this was the completely over the top, never been done before, ambitious plan from the beginning..Well, it’s pretty amazing.  Each year, over a 12yr. period, the cast made time to shoot this movie. Think about it for a second..they had to not only get acclaimed actors to commit to this, but CHILDREN!! and of course their parents consent, as it would span pretty much the rest of their childhood lives once a year. That could be considered a bit insane or brilliant, whichever way you choose. It was a commitment they all had to make from the very beginning and usually when you hear a director talk about the long process in a Q & A, you shake your head, nod. agree..think wow..6mos..yeah that is long..When you hear Richard Linklater talk about a 12 YEAR process..you realize what ‘long process’ and ‘labour of love’ really means.. Plus to find investors willing to be part of such a venture knowing upfront they will not see a dime for TWELVE YEARS!  I know I am repeating myself here, but I can’t help it. As I watched the movie, and I realized the jist of what I was watching, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and being kinda blown away by it.

As for the movie itself, I liked both “Mason” and “Samantha” at the beginning.. They were good kid actors. As time rolled on though, you saw them both roll into the ‘angsty’ teen actor roles and while there were big ups and downs in the movie, you realize how many people come in and out of your lives during childhood, it’s pretty fascinating to think about really. There were so many times that the screen goes dark for a moment and you think it’s over..yet there they are..back again. Sadly, during some of these moments I actually wanted it to end as it seemed fitting and to make it continue didn’t seem right or worth it and made it drag for long points of time. There are some heavy, relevant doses of pop culture that make you identify more with the characters and the movie most of the time, though a lot of will go right over most people’s heads with little references to things like ‘Bright Eyes’ or ‘Dragonball Z’.

For the most part, “Boyhood” almost seems like a documentary more than an actual movie. It connects, but  I do think males will definitely identify more with the character as it’s about a boy growing up into a young man and I’m sure most guys have gone through many of the same situations with parents, relationships and situations.

The idea of this movie was simply brilliant to me…the movie itself, much too long and a bit contrived at points.  Again, be prepared for a very long stay at the theatre for this one.

Grade: C+

GRADING SCALE: A = OSCARWORTHY; B = ABOVE AVERAGE~MUST SEE; C= AVERAGE~SHOULD SEE; D = DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY; F = YEAH..NO DON’T SEE THE MOVIE.. ( + OR – ) GIVES IT A BIT UP OR DOWN

+++#peggyatthemovies.com ~ REVIEW OF “HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2″+++

Standard

Image

There are times when I love going to see a good animated movie, and sometimes not.  I didn’t have that ‘not’ problem here with “How to Train Your Dragon 2” because I had taken my nephew 5 years ago to see the first one and had enjoyed it.  As with a lot of animated movies..they say they are for kids, and this one definitely is, but they always have a bit of an adult element to them also. And most of the time also a message.. again. also done here. 

This second chapter of the trilogy of the “HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON” franchise, take us back to the mystical world of “Hiccup” (v/o Jay Baruchel) and his now faithful dragon “Toothless”.  It’s a much different place now as their is peace, love and harmony between the dragons and the villagers.  This time around all that is at stake with threats from a new, and very powerful enemy, “Drago” (v/o Dijiman Hounsou).  During a flight of fancy, dragon-racing game Hiccup and his friends, “Snotlout” (v/o Jonah Hill), “Fishlegs” (v/o Christopher Mintz-Plasse), “Tuffnutt” (v/o T.J. Miller) twin sister “Ruffnut” (v/o Kristen Wiig), who as always, give us some of the best laughs of the movie, when she goes after the handsome “Eret” (v/o Kit Harrington) and with Hiccup’s now also grown up, girlfriend, “Astrid” (v/o America Ferrera), they discover a fortress made of ice in which they find a ‘mysterious’ woman, “Valka” (v/o Cate Blanchett) whom has spent the past 20 yrs ~ which turns out to be how old “Hiccup” is ~ freeing captured dragons and caring for the injured ones. 

Turns out that “Stoic” (v/o Gerard Butler) and “Valka” know each other..quite well as a matter of fact as she is “Hiccups” long lost, presumed dead, mother.  Cue the violins (and adult part of the movie) here as it’s the emotional scene coming up where they all get back together as a family immediately, of course and fall back in love on sight.  “Drago” in the meantime feels that all dragons should be captured and enslaved and “Stoic” and his ever-present sidekick, “Gobber” (v/o Craig Ferguson) immediately want to go to battle, whereas the naive “Hiccup” feels that if he can only meet to speak with “Drago”, he will see his reason and change his mind. But as expected. difficult consequences occur ~ note to parents, younger children will probably not understand this part well, and it leads into what could be an emotionally upsetting outcome, but you will soon see the outcome of this and it ultimately leads to the age-old ramification (and message within the movie) good overcome bad and the weak can defeat the strong with all the right attitude. 

This is certainly a fun movie, for both adults and kids alike as it’s pretty visually dazzling and I was able to see it in 3D so the action sequences were definitely made fun with that!!  

Grade: C+

GRADING SCALE: A = OSCARWORTHY; B = ABOVE AVERAGE~MUST SEE; C= AVERAGE~SHOULD SEE; D = SEE AT YOUR OWN RISK; F = YEAH..DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY.. ( + OR – ) GIVES IT A BIT UP OR DOWN

#PEGGYATTHEMOVIES REVIEW OF ~ “EDGE OF TOMORROW”

Standard

edge

Like most people who saw this trailer I did an *eyeroll* and thought, “Oh looky ~ a Sci-Fi ‘Groundhog Day” but as I started reading some reviews that made it sound not half-bad, I decided to go see it for myself, and I was pleasantly surprised.  “Edge of Tomorrow” is quite a fast-paced, engaging Sci-Fi movie.which I always like, as if they would have slowed the pace any, it definitely wouldn’t work. A few times it actually kept me on the ‘Edge of’ my seat. 😀   

Premise of this movie being that “Major William Cage” (Tom Cruise) is an Army PR man who is sent out to essentially make war look good and has not one iota of actual combat experience. “Cage” is ‘drafted’ into combat in a rather humourous way showing up some of his supporting cast in “Master Sargent Farrell” (Bill Paxton), “Skinner” (Jonas Armstrong”, “Nance” (Charlotte Riley), to name but just some of this platoon of mis-fits.  In this war, Earth is being quickly taken over by “Mimics”, which are odd, very crafty & quick metallic-like creatures who are amazingly quick and seem to know what we are doing before we do it, attack & battle wise.  And that’s because they do. Which is the story behind the story here.  As “Cage” begins to realize that every time he is killed he wakes up and starts the day over again..and again..and again, at the same spot in time, he slowly begins to realize what is happening to him as does “Rita Vrataski” (Emily Blunt), a veteran Special Forces fighter, who ends up training “Cage”. This whole ‘time warp’ deal is something she knows well because she too, has dealt with it being that it has previously happened to her. Every time they get into a spot of trouble, she knows she is just able to kill him and start all over again from step one and change the scenario to make the outcome work. Sometimes this can be funny, and others not so much, but done in a serious tone that doesn’t overtake the whole show and stop it from moving forward..

“Edge of Tomorrow” totally ‘borrows’ from such movies as “Groundhog Day”, “Independence Day” and even “Starship Troopers”, all the while keeping itself completely entertaining all on it’s own.  Yeah. Tom Cruise loves to play the hero..and the action star..we all know this..and at 50 years of age, he still pulls it off here with perfect charm. Emily Blunt, who for me has not always been a favourite of mine, really comes off here as a great strong, female character that I liked a lot. The action sequences are great, the visual effects even better, this movie completely succeeds at what I like to call ‘Peggy’s requirements for a good movie” and definitely again, the bang is worth your buck!!

Grade: B-

#peggyatthemovies

Grading scale: 

 A = OSCARWORTHY; B = ABOVE AVERAGE~MUST SEE; C= AVERAGE~ AND WATCHABLE; D = DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY; F = YEAH..NO DON’T SEE THE MOVIE.. ( + OR – ) GIVES IT A BIT UP OR DOWN

#peggyatthemovies ~ “REVIEW OF “MALEFICENT”

Standard

Image

As far as fantasy movies go, I gotta say I pretty much liked this one minus of course, one or two little things..”Maleficent” is basically the modern day ‘prequel’ of the age old fairy tale ~ ‘Sleeping Beauty’  The villainess (or is she??) “Maleficent” played well by the beautiful Angelina Jolie, who lived a wonderful happy life as a fairy child with wings in a beautiful land where nothing bad ever happened.. Until…of course it does.  She faces the ultimate betrayal as a young woman, by “Stefan” (Sharlto Copely) who not only breaks her heart, but steals from her the one thing that makes her who she is, all in the name of greed and to obtain power and control over kingdom and win the princess.  Which he succeeds at, but of course there is a price to pay hence the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ The King & Queen have a beautiful child together,” Aurora” (Elle Fanning), and “Maleficent” being whom she is now, a bitter fairy with unbridled powers, puts a curse on the newborn child that on her 16th birthday she will prick her finger on a wooden spindle and fall into a coma and only can be awakened by ‘true love’, which of course she no longer believes exists. 

The plot thickens as the years go by as it seems that “Maleficent” has a heart after all as she spies on the child who is growing up over the years in the care of 3 bizarre & irresponsible fairy’s, and realizes that the key to peace and possibly her own personal happiness, is after all, “Aurora”. She tries to break the spell which is now unbreakable..During all this time, the now “King Stefan” has made it his mission to destroy “Maleficent” and ensure his daughters safety.  Throughout these years “Maleficent” is accompanied by her ‘wings’ “Diaval” played by Sam Riley, who is so under-utilized here as an actor.  If you want to see what this guy is truly capable of, I suggest you watch “Brighton Rock”, “On the Road” or his stunning portrayal of Ian Curtis of Joy Division fame in “Control” and you will see what I am talking about.

Angelina Jolie is as good as you can be in bringing an animated character to life, and though most of the second act of this movie goes off half-baked somewhat with plot points that go nowhere and sorely lags a bit, but have no fear as it does pick up again in the finale portion of the movie. Still, it’s quite predictable in what the ending will be. The imagery of the fantasy land they live in is truly beautiful and stunning at times..it was probably my favourite thing of the whole movie.  Noteworthy ~ in a small but sweet part is Brenton Thwaites as “Prince Phillip”, I predict we will see much more to come of this young cutie pie, yes I just said cutie pie..:D  

Grade: C+

#peggyatthemovies