Thursday, April 30, 2015

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In May (2015)


10 – Time Lapse (May 15)


Director: Bradley King
Writer: Bradley King, BP Cooper
Actors: Danielle Panabaker, John Rhys-Davies, Matt O’Leary, George Finn, Amin Joseph, Jason Spisak
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: Unrated

I’m more interested in this film than I should be. It’s not original, it doesn’t even seem like a new take on something that was once original.

There’s one tiny fact that leads me to interest.

When I was a little girl, I was just as much a book worm as I am now, maybe even more-so. Between being bullied at school and my lonely home-life, I liked the escape of books and movies. I particularly remember bringing a flashlight to bed so I could read the Goosebumps series (by R.L. Stine) after bedtime. Say Cheese and Die! Was one of my favorite books of the series. I even enjoyed it when it became an episode in the TV show (available on Netflix).

Time Lapse looks like a grown up version of that story. It brings me back to the smell of a new book hidden under the covers as the spooky shadows enhanced the experience.

I hope the movie will be able to separate itself from the R.L. Stine version.

9 – Good Kill (May 15)


Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Actors: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Jake Abel, Bruce Greenwood
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

I can forgive this film for seeming overly-political because the trailer looks amazing.

Good Kill looks as though it will be thrilling and heart-wrenching. Ethan Hawke (Boyhood, Daybreakers, The Purge) appears to have his part down to a science. It also seems to be a new twist on films that similarly follow military characters that develop PTSD.

8 – Aloha (May 29)


Director: Cameron Crowe
Writer: Cameron Crowe
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, Jay Baruchel, John Krasinski, Bill Murray
Genre: Romance
Rated: PG-13

A film starring Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, Silver Linings Playbook, The A-Team), Emma Stone (The Croods, The Amazing Spider Man, Crazy Stupid Love) and Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Midnight in Paris, The Lucky Ones) that is directed by Cameron Crowe (Vanilla Sky, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous)? What’s not to love?

Cooper and Stone are perfect for comedic parts. I’m thrilled to see them together in another movie, they worked together once before in The Rocker (2008).

The whole cast seems to be well chosen and the plot seems interesting enough.

7 – Maggie (May 8)


Director: Henry Hobson
Writer: John Scott 3
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Denise Williamson, J.D. Evermore, Aiden Flowers
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

I have to admit, when I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Expendables, The Terminator, Sabotage) starring in this film, the last thing I expected was zombies. In fact, he’s only been in one other horror film, End of Days (1999). Can you blame me for thinking this would likely be our monthly “old guy in an action flick?”

Not only do we get to see Ahnold in a zombie movie, but it looks insane. I must not be the only one who thinks it either. It was originally supposed to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, but Lionsgate requested the team withdraw it so the company could pick it up.

I have almost no doubt that this film will live up to expectations.

6 – San Andreas (May 29)


Director: Brad Peyton
Writer: Jeremy Passmore, Andre Fabrizio, Carlton Cuse
Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, Ioan Gruffudd, Colton Haynes, Kylie Minogue
Genre: Thriller
Rated: PG-13

I had trouble deciding whether I wanted to see San Andreas or Maggie more. It took a lot of thought and I even polled my husband and some of my friends. In the end, San Andreas just seems more real.

The name of the film comes from the tectonic fault line that seismologists believe will eventually cause a catastrophic earthquake throughout California. So, this film might not be completely scientifically sound, but there’s enough to really tug at reason. That makes the film so much more frightening to me.

Add to that people like Dwayne Johnson (Furious 7, Hercules, Pain & Gain) and Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Burying the Ex), and there’s almost an automatic following.

A lot more could go wrong with this film than Maggie, but I think it’s worth it.

5 – Poltergeist (May 22)


Director: Gil Kenan
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire, Steven Spielberg
Actors: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Nicholas Braun, Jared Harris
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

The first thing I need to stress is that this film is labeled as a reboot, not a remake. That means that facts you remember from the 1982 version might be significantly different. Names, facts, and even some of the plot, may be a little (or drastically) different.

That being said, I must also admit that I’ve never seen the original.

I intend to, it’s on my list of “movies I should have already seen.” I’ll be watching the original before the reboot. In the meantime, the trailer for this film makes me want to watch the original much sooner. It looks terrifying.

4 – Tomorrowland (May 22)


Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird, Jeff Jensen
Actors: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Kathryn Hahn, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Chris Bauer, Keegan-Michael Key, Michael Rowe
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: PG

I’ve been looking forward to Tomorrowland since I saw a 30 second teaser for it several months ago. All it showed was the girl picking up the pin and being transported to that field. It was followed by a saying, but I can’t remember what it was.

So, before I had any idea who else was starring in it, or what it was about, this movie was on my list. Now that I get the general idea of the plot and I see the participating cast, I only want to see it more.

Not to mention that Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Ratatouille, The Incredibles) turning down the opportunity to direct Star Wars: Episode VII in order to direct Tomorrowland. That says one of two things: this movie will be outstanding, historical and completely original or Bird needs to be placed a padded room.

3 – Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)


Director: George Miller
Writer: George Miller, Nick Lathouris, Brendan McCarthy
Actors: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: R

This film represents another black hole in my movie culture knowledge. I’ve never seen the original trilogy. I’ve already gotten my hands on them, though, and I’ll be watching them sometime between going to a weekend-long gathering of my husband’s family and Philadelphia Comic Con.

Even without seeing the other three films, Fury Road looks great. It needs to be said that this movie is part reboot, part sequel. Instead of doing a complete reboot, Miller was interested in jumping a little further into the future of the story, so that’s what he did. It’s kind of a continuation. Kind of.

2 – Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15)


Director: Elizabeth Banks
Writer: Kay Cannon, Mickey Rapkin
Actors: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Banks, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam DeVine, Brittany Snow, Skylar Aslin, Katey Sagal, Alexis Knapp, Anna Camp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13

I’d say Pitch Perfect is a guilty pleasure for me, but it doesn’t make me feel guilty at all.

The first Pitch Perfect was hilarious and definitely entertaining. Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods, The Last Five Years, Life After Beth), as I’ve said before, is a goddess. I can’t wait to see how Elizabeth Banks (The Lego Movie, The Hunger Games, Zach and Miri Make a Porno) did with directing her first full-length film. Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy, Futurama, Married With Children) is even playing the mother of one of the Bellas.

To be honest, I even enjoy the music.

There’s nothing about Pitch Perfect 2 that I’m not looking forward to.

1 – Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)


Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, James Spader, Thomas Kretschmann, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard, Stan Lee, Josh Brolin, Hayley Atwell
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: PG-13


If I have to explain to you why this movie is #1, you obviously didn’t see the first one and you’ve got some work to do.

Monday, April 27, 2015

I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011)


Number Rolled: 84
Movie Name/Year: I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: The Weinstein Company
Executive Producer: Aline Brosh McKenna, Scott Ferguson, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
Director: Douglas McGrath
Writer: Aline Brush McKenna, Allison Pearson
Actors: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Meyers, Olivia Munn, Jane Curtin, Mark Blum, Busy Philipps, Sarah Shahi, Jessica Szohr, Emma Rayne Lyle, Julius Goldberg, Theodore Goldberg, James Murtaugh

Kate is a working mother of two children. She must find a balance between her professional and personal lives before everything falls apart.

This movie was one long exhibit on working moms vs. stay-at-home moms. It paints women who don’t want to have kids as na├»ve in what they’re looking for and stay-at-home moms as lazy, trophy wives.

I could separate myself from the opinionated stance of this movie easily enough. There are some very good films out there with messages I disagree with. In fact, if this movie had any merit at all outside of a couple of clever lines, I could even pretend the message didn’t exist.

The only reason I Don’t Know How She Does It scored as high as it did, is because of those few clever parts. I have also considered the possibility that there might have been hidden jokes and references that I didn’t get because I’m not a mom.

My official recommendation is: if you are a stay-at-home mom or do not plan to have children – possibly even if you just don’t have kids yet – this movie will come off preachy enough that you don’t need it in your life.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 17%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 32%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.4/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Movie Trailer: