Friday, November 8, 2013

Cherry Tree Lane (2010)

Number Rolled: 78
Movie Name/Year: Cherry Tree Lane (2010)
Genre: Horror
Length: 77 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Writer: Paul Andrew Williams
Actors: Rachael Blake, Tom Butcher, Jumayn Hunter, Ashley Chin, Sonny Muslim, Jennie Jacques, Corinne Douglas, Kieran Dooner, Tom Kane

Christine and Michael are having a calm dinner at home alone, watching television and talking. When the doorbell rings, they think nothing of it, until the gang of teens burst in and take them hostage.

I have never seen anything like this. It wasn’t the plot that made the movie so different. I mean, it was your basic home invasion, but the way the story was told and acted was insane. There was very little spectacle. Actually, it seemed to be in real-time, as if the audience weren’t just watching retelling, but actually present; a fly on the wall, so to speak.

At first, “Cherry Tree Lane” came off a bit boring. The first ten minutes or so, we’re just watching a couple talk about stuff we don’t get to really learn about. It’s just typical couple stuff, nothing interesting. Once the movie gets going, though, it turns into something creepy and terrifying.

What made it so scary was the realism that went into it. There was a reason for the gang to be intruding on that household. There was a reason they were after someone, and the story went into the mentality of revenge and the violent lifestyle of gang members – the altered theory of morality shown by the different characters. I was thoroughly consumed after a while and desperately in need of cuddles from my dog.

It’s different and out there, but it still hits very close to home with a, “this could happen to anyone,” quality. I absolutely adored the ending, too.

Also, there was a bit of an issue with the sound. I don’t believe it was my TV, but I did have to turn it up to max in order to hear correctly. I’ve reported this issue to Netflix.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.2/5
Overall Opinion – 4/5

The Random Rating: R - for implied sex, strong violence and explicit drug use.

Movie Trailer: 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998)

Number Rolled: 90
Movie Name/Year: Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998)
Genre: Children & Family
Length: 73 minutes
Rating: G
Director: Tom Ellery, Bradley Raymond
Writer: Allen Estrin, Cindy Marcus, Flip Kobler, Carl Binder, Mike Gabriel, Susannah Grant, Philip LaZabnik
Actors: Irene Bedard, Jim Cummings, Donal Gibson, Linda Hunt, Russell Means, David Ogden Stiers, Jean Stapleton, Billy Zane, Tim Weske, John Kassir, Colin McCabe, Michelle St. John, Frank Welker

Pocahontas is trying to get by after hearing rumors of John Smith’s death. Along the way she learns that England is planning to launch an attack against her people. When the opportunity arises to sail to London and speak directly to the king, Pocahontas boards a ship with her escort, John Rolfe, and heads to the land of the white man.

Before I begin, let me say that I am not going to judge this movie on historical accuracy. I think the people who do are ridiculous. It’s a child’s movie. It’s not meant to be accurate, it’s meant to be entertaining and to share a lesson with children. I’ve never met a single six year old who’s snubbed a movie because of historical inaccuracy. Besides, if you judge it by that, you might as well look for scientific accuracy as well, otherwise, just suspend disbelief and move on.

Despite my defending the “accuracy” issues of “Pocahontas II,” I have to admit the movie was almost unbearable. Where the first “Pocahontas” became one of Disney’s classics, exhibiting amazing music and moral undertone; “Pocahontas II” was very near the opposite, it kept the moral tone but exhibited complete mediocrity in everything else. The songs were lifeless; the script seemed forced and lacking creativity. There’s no doubt as to why this movie went straight to video.

The shining point of the entire movie was the animals, which were focused on a bit more than in the original. It’s those animals that would keep any child occupied while watching, but it leaves very little for their parents to become enthralled with. It’s cute, but not nearly enough.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.9/5
Overall Opinion – 2/5

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, November 4, 2013

13 Going on 30 (2004)

Number Rolled: 9
Movie Name/Year: 13 Going on 30 (2004)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Gary Winick
Writer: Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa
Actors: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy Serkis, Kathy Baker, Phil Reeves, Sam Ball, Marcia DeBonis, Christa B. Allen, Sean Marquette, Kiersten Warren, Joe Grifasi, Mary Pat Gleason, Susan Egan, Lynn Collins, Renee Olstead, Alexandra Kyle, Alex Black

At Jenna’s thirteenth birthday party, something goes severely wrong. Although things are seemingly looking up when the popular kids agree to join her, it turns out to be a prank. When she figures it out, she wishes to be thirty, and her wish is granted.

There’s not really much original about the base plot. It’s been done more times than I can count. As a singular point of view of a “Freaky Friday” situation, the story goes exactly the way you think it would. Within five minutes of the movie, you’ll have the entire thing mapped out in your brain. However, even knowing that, I found I really enjoyed this movie. I think it may be one of my favorite versions of this recipe.

I think Garner did a wonderful job and Ruffalo is just plain adorable. Also, the casting was fantastic, the actresses they got to play the younger and older Tom-Toms looked incredibly similar. I had no problem discerning who the older actress was supposed to be, even before the movie told me.

There’s not really much else to add. It was a hilarious, cringe-worthy, telling of a tale told a thousand times. No one reinvented the wheel here, but it rolls along just fine anyway.

There was one slight hole in the story, though. I’ll explain why it’s a hole, but you won’t fully get the picture unless you watch it: I don’t know any parents who would allow their thirteen year old daughters sleep over at a 30 year old woman house – especially when that woman doesn’t have any kids. That’s just weird.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.9/5
Overall Opinion – 4/5

Movie Trailer: