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3 Days To Kill (2014)
3 Days To Kill (2014)
2014 | Mystery
6
5.8 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Contains spoilers, click to show
Story: 3 Days to Kill starts as we meet CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) who along with his team is about to take down one of the biggest threats in the world The Wolf (Sammel) by eliminating his closest associate The Albino (Lemarquis) only the mission gets compromised when Ethan’s health catches up with him as he learns he only has 3 months to live.

Released by the CIA Ethan sets out on cleaning up his own personal affairs wanting to build a relationship with daughter Zooey (Steinfeld) through his ex-wife Christine (Nielsen) after years of times apart working. With everything going badly Ethan knows that it will become difficult but when fellow agent Vivi Delay (Heard) offers him a chance to live longer Ethan comes out of retirement for one last assignment.

 

Thoughts on 3 Days to Kill

 

Story – The story for this film tries to balance a dying man’s final months with his family and his CIA life that he has meant to have walked away from. The CIA story does feel very generic of this modern day slick hitman style which is all fine. The dying man’s wish story ends up feeling like an awkward comedy in places. The story also feels very long and doesn’t seem to end up deciding if it wants to be serious or not.

Action/Thriller – The action is all very good and entertaining with the opening sequence looking like it set the tone but in the end if just turns into another slick hitman film.

Characters/Performance – I can’t find anything wrong with Costner’s performance as well as Steinfeld or Neilsen, it is the Heard performance that doesn’t make sense because she doesn’t suit the character and the character doesn’t suit the movie. The movie tries to make all the characters fit into everyday experiences but for some reason Vivi character is wildly over the top for no apparent reason.

Settings – The settings are mostly all in Paris which all works for the film which is trying to make us have a location we want to visit but showing that crime can happen there I guess.

Special Effects – The Special effects are mostly used for the action sequences and they all come off to the level you need them too.

Final Thoughts –This is an overlong action thriller that ends up getting caught up in the middle of comedy too often for its own good.

 

 

Overall: Solid action film that starts too strong for its own benefits.
  
Three O'Clock High (1987)
Three O'Clock High (1987)
1987 | Comedy
9
9.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Solid 80's Film
I've seen a lot of 80's films this year alone. I have to say, I had just as much fun watching Three O'Clock High as I did any of the other more familiar 80's titles, in some cases moreso. The comedy is about a nerd who gets on a bully's bad side and gets challenged to a fight after school. Jerry (nerd in question) spends his entire day doing whatever he can to try and get out of the fight and the antics that ensue are hilarious.

Acting: 10

Beginning: 4
Definitely the weakest part of the film. The beginning of the day drags out as they follow every single facet of Jerry's routine. I understand that they are trying to show the audience how boring Jerry was, but I don't think it needed to take that long.

Characters: 10

Cinematography/Visuals: 7
So many great memorable shots. The scene in the library. Jerry's poetry reading in class where he's hitting on the teacher. The big climax. Director Phil Joanou does an excellent job of capturing the intensity and emotion from each moment.

Conflict: 10
Jerry doesn't want to get beat up so he's willing to do any and everything to get out of the proposed fight. Things never seem to get old as Jerry's efforts lead him down a rabbit hole of trouble. It only gets funnier as the story progresses.

Genre: 7

Memorability: 8
The film is captured and progresses in such a way that you can't help but remember a number of scenes that played out. I don't want to spoil the fun, but it's definitely a film you will want to again once you're done. I think that has a lot to do with Jerry's crazy character development over the course of the story.

Pace: 10
A less than stellar beginning is quickly corrected with nonstop comedy and action-driven moments. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next as Jerry pushes the envelope from one scene to the next. Among other things, I appreciated the film's consistency.

Plot: 10

Resolution: 9
Not perfect, but gets the job done. Not to mention, it's light years better than the beginning. Kind of cheesy, but in a good way.

Overall: 85
If you're looking for a fun movie night or a way to expand your 80's film palate, Three O'Clock High is definitely worth your time. Solid film.
  
A Jolly Good Fellow
A Jolly Good Fellow
Stephen V. Masse | 2007 | Thriller
8
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
A Jolly Good Fellow by Stephen V. Masse
Genre: Fiction, Comedy, sort of Crime Fiction but not really
Rating: 3.75/5

Summary: Duncan is driving to the kids house. He has a plan—he’s going to kidnap him. But then he sees the kid hitchhiking in the snow. What better way to kidnap someone that to pick him up off the road and offer him a ride? Duncan dresses up as Santa Clause and sits on the street ringing a bell all day. The funds go to the needy—needy as in him. Duncan wants revenge, and he wants the ransom money. But Duncan isn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer… he has no idea how to do a proper kidnapping.

Thoughts: A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW was really cute. It made me laugh, it made me smile, it had its nerve-wracking moments. It’s right in between a 3/5 and a 4 on the scale for me. The reason why is this—the plot was awesome, very unique, original, and very cute, the characters were hilarious and enchanting, but it was a little slow through the first three quarters of the book. Not that it dragged, just that it felt like the last section was fast paced, and the rest was slower and more relaxed, and those two things didn’t go well together and didn’t transition well.

I laughed a lot while I read A JOLLY GOOD FELLOW. If I had to pick a category, I’d choose comedy. It was cute and funny and a little silly, but silly in a good fun-to-read way.

The characters’ dialogue was written so that you could hear their voices in your head when they spoke. I loved hearing their accents while I read, it gave a lot of life to them. Duncan and Gabriel were very animated. Gabriel (the kid) was so full of life and energy. He was also very real. He acted the way a normal kid his age would act, he wasn’t a “perfect” child, an unrealistic character.

Content: There were a few bad words scattered throughout the book, but not much. Duncan went to the triple-X rated movie one night, but nothing was described. All in all, this was a very clean book.
Recommendation: Ages 14+ to anyone who wants a good holiday laugh. I stayed up pretty late reading this one because I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for more from Stephen Masse.

*This book won the INDEPENDEND PUBLISHING BOOK AWARD*
**Thanks to Pump Up Your Book for my review copy!**
  
Duck Soup (1933)
Duck Soup (1933)
1933 | Classics, Comedy, War
9
9.0 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
“You’re a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you’re out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we’ll be in be in here thinking what a sucker you are” Rufus T. Firefly
And the one liners just keep on coming…

Here we have before you one of the most famous entries form The Marx Brothers as they made their indelible mark on Hollywood(land) and the silver screen back in the 1930’s, moving away from their Vaudeville roots to new level of immortally on celluloid.

The fifth film to credit the “The Marx Brothers”, Duck Soup in on one hand a sharply written satire on the weakness of mob mentality to willingly promote unwelcome change to their society and their willingness to follow just about any lunatic as long as they like what they hear; as well as a straight forward slapstick comedy of the time, in keeping with its music hall roots.

It is the music hall aspect of this classic which can be harder for a modern audience to take to, unless you are already disposed to this sort of rather dated humour. But as a satire, it is brilliant and still very funny over seventy years on.

Groucho Marx steals the show as Rufus T. Firefly as he leads his unwitting and possibly dimwitted fictional country of Fredonia (geddit?) to war and ultimate destruction. He is a character, whilst not in any way taking off Adolf Hitler, who was of course rising to power in Germany at this very moment, was clearly a reflection on this type of reckless and charismatic leader and as the hilarious final act demonstrates, is all too common in history and even in our present.

And the fact that Fredonia is ultimately doomed, was a coincidental foreshadowing of Nazi Germany’s fate a decade later, as well as a clear demonstration of the savvy writing.

Witty, whether it is the physical trademark Marx Brothers comedy or the sharp screenplay by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, based on the stage version of the same name, this a classic satire; whilst not being as hard hitting a s Chaplin’s works of the period, with The Great Dictator (1940) springing to mind, it still holds up and makes its point without hammering you over the head it.

So, you can just enjoy the show and/or take away the message, it is really up to you.
  
Scooby Doo: Return to Zombie Island (2019)
Scooby Doo: Return to Zombie Island (2019)
2019 |
6
6.0 (1 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Characters – Scooby-Doo and Shaggy have both become tired of solving mysteries, they want the team to stop and get their way, they win the holiday for the gang which sees them going to an old location needing to decide whether to let the group solve the mystery on the island. Fred has sold the Mystery Machine, he is having daytime dreams of it returning to him, where he judges most other vehicles for not being on the same level as his beloved. Daphne is here, though we don’t see anything we haven’t seen before from her, while Velma has a blog showing us just how the character has evolved for the time, which does show the frustration here character has when she can’t solve the mysteries anymore. Most of the new characters are left to feel just here with only Alan the hotel manager and Seaver being properly introduced.

Story – The story here follows the mystery inc gang who get invited back to an old location to solve the mystery from their past, only to find themselves needing to fight cat people once again. The story tries to be self-aware of many of the previous films, which has worked before, but for some reason doesn’t quite click this time. The fact we have seen the evolution of Velma and not the rest of the characters disappoints, which also seems to play along the idea of being a film within a film, that just again puts too much wink, wink, nudge, nudge to the audience. If you are a Scooby Doo fan, this story is everything you need, even if it does have a couple of flaws along the way.

Adventure/Comedy – The adventure does see the gang return to one of their most famous locations, which is different to much of what we have seen before, while the comedy does land in a couple of places very well.

Settings – The film does take the gang back to Moonscar island to face a new host of enemies in one of the most famous locations.

Animation – This does have the typical animation you are used to seeing for the Scooby Doo movies, it never lets down and works for the slapstick side of things.


Scene of the Movie – The big jump.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Daphne is almost just painted background character.

Final Thoughts – This isn’t the best Scooby Doo animated movie, it disappoints in a lot of places with how it handles certain decisions in the story and too many wink wink nudge nudge moments.

Overall: Basic Scooby Doo.
  
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Gareth von Kallenbach (216 KP) rated Bad Moms (2016) in Movies

Aug 6, 2019 (Updated Aug 6, 2019)  
Bad Moms (2016)
Bad Moms (2016)
2016 | Comedy
When moms get tired of being perfect, not being appreciated and decide to give their spoiled children a lesson and just enjoy every minute of their day instead – that’s when the movie Bad Moms happens.

Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) is a 32-year-old modern mom, who has a seemingly perfect life: a great marriage, over-achieving kids, a beautiful home and a career. However, she is over-worked and so exhausted that she’s reached the point where she is about to snap. Her life has been reduced to spending a lot of time driving her kids to their extracurricular activities and trying to be just in time for everything. Her perfect life is just a smoke screen, her husband Mike (David Walton) has been unemployed for a while, doesn’t care about helping with anything house- or kids-related, and enjoys a little bit too much online entertainment. In addition to being spoiled, her daughter Jane (Oona Laurence) has some anxiety issues and her son Dylan (Emjay Anthony) has never done his own homework. To make it even more interesting, Amy has to deal with the judgement of PTA Queen, Bee Gwendolyn, (Christina Applegate) and her minions Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo).

After one hectic day, all Amy can do is stop at a bar and grab a glass of whiskey. There she meets two other underappreciated moms, Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn). Over drinks they vent and declare that they’re tired of living up to expectations and not being appreciated for all their hard work. So they decide to be bad moms.

I love seeing Christina Applegate as the villain; she is smart, evil and pulls all the strings, driving everyone to the edge but nobody can say anything because they’re terrified of her. But the one that dominates the comedy is Kathryn Hann. You would think you might be tired of seeing her in just about every movie released in the last 10 years, but oh boy is this woman hilarious! She plays the divorced working mother whose every line, good or bad, makes the audience ask again and again “Did she just say that?”

I really enjoyed this movie. It is the perfect summer comedy that all audiences can enjoy, especially moms who can really relate. This is The Hangover for moms. I assure you will laugh nonstop because it has a wild drunk trip to the grocery store, a memorable show-and-tell demonstration and a really funny lecture about unflattering bras. I promise you will leave the theater with a smile.
  
Peter Rabbit (2018)
Peter Rabbit (2018)
2018 | Animation
Verdict: Poor Film

Story: Peter Rabbit starts as we see how Peter Rabbit and his family and friends had a battle with old Mr McGregor (Neill) after they continued to steal from his garden, until he passes away. The next-door neighbour Bea (Byrne) does try to keep them safe the best she can.
When Thomas McGregor (Gleeson) moves into the house with plans to sell it, which sees the war coming back for Peter and his family, this time it might become deadlier.

Thoughts on Peter Rabbit

Characters – Peter Rabbit is the mischievous little rabbit that always gets his siblings into trouble as they always seem to terrorise the McGregor family, that does seem to be the only thing he does each day, making him out to be a horrible little rabbit. Thomas McGregor is a completely by the book toy store employee wanting to get to management, when he loses his job, he ends up following in his uncle footsteps, getting into a battle with the rabbits. Bea is the nice neighbour that has always tried to look after the animals, loves nature and is an artist.
Performances – Domhnall Gleeson is great along with Rose Byrne are the two main live action stars that both work well with how they act towards the animals. Most of the voice acting is mixed, with the three sisters working well, but James Corden not suiting the character.
Story – The story follows the adventures of Peter Rabbit against the McGregor’s, which just seems to keep escalating. The story is strange because it doesn’t make Peter likeable at all, he just seems to annoy McGregor and never do anything else, surely there would have been another food supply for him. Most of the story revolves around pop culture jokes, which have dated quickly, but by the end the story just becomes boring more than anything else.
Adventure/Comedy – The adventure is just the troubles Peter gets himself in, we don’t seem to go any further, while the comedy is a miss already.
Settings – The film keeps the action in the country, which does seem to have only show how close the war between the two was.
Animation – The animated animals looks solid for the most part, but some of the moments seem weird.

Scene of the Movie – Harrods break down.
That Moment That Annoyed Me – Peter Rabbit.
Final Thoughts – This is a big disappointment because the characters used are loveable for the most part, while this movie just makes them horrible.

Overall: Boring.
  
Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters (1984)
1984 | Comedy, Sci-Fi
A witty and hilarious classic
With excellent performances by the sarcastic Bill Murray, the eccentric Dan Aykroyd, and the deadpan Harold Ramis, the original "Ghostbusters" is a comedy classic filled with clever, quotable lines of dialogue. Backed by a strong supporting cast of Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, and Annie Potts, the film is structured around a brilliantly written script laced with great visual effects. Some of the effects, including shots of "terror dogs" in motion, are dated, but the core of the movie isn't effects, however, but rather the idea of starting your own business. The business started by our three protagonists, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Egon Spengler, with Winston Zeddemore joining later on (which might be why Ernie Hudson was oddly left out of the marketing, unless it's because he's black), just happens to be ghost-catching. The chemistry is impeccable, with scientific jargon being spewed by the overeager Ray and the deadpan Egon, clashing with the sarcastic apathy of Venkman. Showcasing great chemistry, spectacular humour ranging from goofy to subtle, and topped off with Ray Parker Jr.'s instantly recognisable theme song, "Ghostbusters" is a pure example of cinematic lightning in a bottle, and it's one of the best movies ever made.
  
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
1994 | Crime
Understandably considered one of Tarantino's best
The strengths of director Quentin Tarantino lie mostly in his writing, recognisable through his use of eclectic and engaging dialogue, and his depictions of violence. "Pulp Fiction" is no exception. It's told in a non-linear style with a cast of various characters, played by the talented likes of Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Bruce Willis. I'm not a fan of Vincent Vega (Travolta) or Butch's girlfriend, but Jackson as Jules Winnfield is possibly the actor's best role in his career. The main thing to praise in "Pulp Fiction", in my view, is the dialogue. The way characters talk back and forth to one another is riveting, and sprinkled with enough curse words, dark comedy, and pop culture references to maintain realism. The nonlinear narrative doesn't make the story particularly deep, but it at least makes you think about the film's structure. The screenplay is quotable, and the soundtrack of surf rock and soul music fits the film's style. While it's difficult for me to choose the film that is Tarantino's definitive best, "Pulp Fiction" is one of the worthy contenders, although it took me multiple viewings to appreciate it. I probably shouldn't have first watched it when I was like 12, though.
  
The Ancient Magus' Bride (2017)
The Ancient Magus' Bride (2017)
2017 | Animation, Fantasy, Romance
10
5.0 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Beautiful Animation (5 more)
Beautiful soundtrack
Well chosen cast
Emotional storyline
Fantasy/horror/action/comedy/drama
Excellent adaptation from the manga
Dubbed voices are awful (0 more)
What makes us....us?
I've never been a religious follower of anime in the past. I've delved into it, mostly Studio Ghibli's work and a few others but I never really found a reason to regularly want to tune in and watch an Anime every week. Until Magus' Bride.

From the time of writing this, there have been 14 episodes and every single one has retained consistent high quality of voice acting, storyline and musical score. Not once can I ever say I have been bored or impatient with an episode. Each one will have you questioning your own humanity as you question theirs. You can't help but become attached emotionally to all the characters as they each progress through their own heartbreaking lifelines and each episode brings new and riveting challenges. All the while you're accompanied by amazing scores and haunting singing which strays from the usual cringe-worthy singing in a lot of anime, and stunningly drawn animation.

I could not recommend this any higher. It deserves a 10 and I have no shame giving it that.