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Showing posts from July, 2013

Review - The Conjuring

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The Conjuring (2013), R, 112 minutes - In the two years that I have been with my fiance, I have become much more open to the horror genre.  I've admittedly always been a bit of a pansy when it comes to the scary stuff and generally avoided them in the past.  I'm still not so hot on the gory scare, but the tense, suspenseful, thrilling scare I'm not just OK with, but generally enjoy.

If you looked at our DVR on any given day, you would most likely find a couple of paranormal investigation-themed shows.  They are something that we are intrigued by.  So between The Conjuring being based on the case files of real life Paranormal Investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Lorraine consulted on the film), and its getting high praise as a really scary film, Alisa and I decided to check it out earlier this week.

In short, The Parren family moves into an old Rhode Island farm house in 1971 and shortly thereafter begin experiencing strange occurrences.  The family members are effected in…

Review - The Lone Ranger

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The Lone Ranger (2013), PG-13, 149 minutes - It has been years since I last saw an episode of the old The Lone Ranger television series starring Clayton Moore.  I used to watch it as a kid with my dad and that old series is part of why I grew up with an affinity for westerns.  Unfortunately, because it has been so long, I can't remember how campy it may or may not have been, but I do feel pretty comfortable in saying that this version of The Lone Ranger is not close to what little I do remember from my childhood.

From the very first trailer I saw for this film, I thought 'why don't they just call it The Legend of Tonto?'  It just seemed odd to me that you would cast one of the world's most well known actors in a supporting role.  I don't mean the kind of supporting role that Captain Jack Sparrow was when the Pirates of the Caribbean films started, but the sidekick type that the role of Tonto has always fallen into.

The film uses Johnny Depp's Tonto to fram…

Review - The Wolverine

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The Wolverine (2013), PG-13, 126 minutes - I've been sort of wishy-washy on this film for a few months now.  The first Wolverine movie, 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in my mind, is easily one of the most underwhelming comic book movies made in recent years (Hugh Jackman's and Liev Schrieber's performances being the only bright spots).  As a result, I almost dreaded the fact that this sequel was even announced.  Then it was supposed to be directed by Darren Aronofsky and based upon Chris Claremont's and Frank Miller's seminal mini-series from 1982, and I got excited.  Aronofsky dropped off the project and doubt crept back in.  Finally James Mangold took over.  He had previously directed Walk the Line and the 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma, both films that I enjoyed.  The project was in capable hands, but there was still a certain level of speculation in my head.  When I went to see The Wolverine yesterday afternoon, my mindset was probably the most neutral it ha…

Review - Pacific Rim (3D)

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Pacific Rim (2013), PG-13, 131 minutes - Giant monsters. Giant Mechs.  Guillermo del Toro's imagination and direction.  For these reasons, Pacific Rim was at the very top of my Most Anticipated Films of 2013 list and I'll tell you right now, it was spectacular.  As far as I'm concerned, it didn't disappoint on any level, which, considering how long I've been looking forward to this film and how excited I was for it, is pretty impressive.

The film takes place in Earth's not-to-distant future (the prologue actually places the initial events in the present).  A rift has opened on the floor of the Pacific Ocean, creating a portal to another universe inhabited by giant monsters called Kaiju (Japanese meaning 'giant beast').  Kaiju begin to periodically make their way through the rift and in order to combat their devastation, the world's nations unite to construct giant humanoid mechs that come to be known as Jaegers (German for hunter).  The Jaegers are …

Review - Monsters University

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Monsters University (2013), G, 104 minutes - Monsters, Inc. continues to be one of my favorite Disney/Pixar films, right up there with The Incredibles, and Toy Story 3.  So revisiting the Monsters world was something that I was looking forward to.  Instead of making a sequel as they did with the Toy Story and Cars franchises, Disney/Pixar decided instead to turn back the clock and show us how Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) came to work at Monsters, Inc.

The film begins with an elementary school-aged, outcast of a monster (Mike) participating in a class field trip to Monsters, Inc. to see learn how the power for the monsters world is generated (by harvesting the scream energy created by scaring children in the human world).  He is completely blown away by the experience and decides then and there that he wants to be a scarer when he grows up.  Cut to a few years later as Mike steps off the bus and onto the campus of Monsters University for the first time.  Mike is the eq…

Review - White House Down

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White House Down (2013), PG-13, 131 minutes - White House Down follows Olympus Has Fallen this year in much the same way that Armageddon followed Deep Impact back in 1998.  Both have a very similar plot: a single government agent tries to protect the President during/after an attack on our capital.  I missed Olympus Has Fallen in theaters so I can't compare and contrast to two films, but I can say that despite being very formulaic and pretty predictable, White House Down gets the job done by being pretty entertaining.

Cale (Channing Tatum) is a capital police officer assigned to Representative Raphelson's (Richard Jenkins) personal protection detail with aspirations of becoming a Secret Service Agent.  The day of his Secret Service interview, he brings his daughter to the White House for a tour.  The interview doesn't go so well.  Former high school acquaintance (and maybe more?) Agent Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal) conducts the interview and is not impressed with Cale's…