Friday, March 28, 2014

Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger (2012)

Number Rolled: 51
Movie Name/Year: Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger (2012)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 109 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Director: Debbie Isitt
Writer: Debbie Isitt
Actors: David Tennant, Marc Wootton, Jason Watkins, Joanna Page, Ian McNeice, Jessica Hynes, Pam Ferris, Rosie Cavaliero

Mr. Poppy is an incompetent classroom assistant; he spends a good amount of time scaring off teachers that attempt to work in his class. When a Christmas singing contest comes along, he’s forced to include the newest teacher, Mr. Peterson, in on his plans. Mr. Peterson isn’t really given much of a choice in the matter.

This movie killed me. I have the horrible duty of writing out that this David Tennant movie sucked. It was so bad. If you took the worst episode of “Glee” and tied it to a horrible 90’s comedy (likely one starring Jonathon Taylor Thomas or Tim Allen) you would still wind up with a better film.

I can’t even say anymore. It’s too tragic.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 33%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 54%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.3/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

P.S. Fun fact for Whovians: Catherine Tate plans to be in the sequel set to come out in 2014.

Movie Trailer: 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Croods (2013)

Number Rolled: 86
Movie Name/Year: The Croods (2013)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Writer: Chris Sanders, Kirk De Micco, John Cleese
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Chris Sanders, Randy Thom

Eep is the eldest daughter of one of the only surviving caveman families. As a result of her father’s overprotective nature, however, she feels suffocated. One night she shirks the rules in order to follow her curiosity and leads her family into a trip for survival.

Incredible. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen. “The Croods” was smart, funny, very entertaining and it was the product of really good writing. I thought the characters were in depth and believable – despite being a cartoon for younger children. I thought the imaginative landscaping and animation were wonderfully portrayed. And, even though the story was mostly for kids, there was plenty of good in the movie to keep an adult entertained. In my opinion, that makes this a perfect family film – something for everyone.

I wish I could have given it a perfect score, but there were a couple of minor continuity errors. I didn’t really notice them until I thought back; it’s not like they were huge gaping plot holes.

Only after I had watched did I realize that John Cleese had a hand in writing the story. To me, that explains everything.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 70%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 78%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.2/5
Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. There’s a small scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Center Stage (2000)

Number Rolled: 47
Movie Name/Year: Center Stage (2000)
Genre: Drama
Length: 115 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Carol Heikkinen
Actors: Amanda Schull, Zoe Saldana, Ethan Stiefel, Susan May Pratt, Shakiem Evens, Ilia Kulik, Sascha Radetsky, Peter Gallagher, Donna Murphy, Megan Pepin, Victoria Born, Julie Kent, Debra Monk, Elizabeth Hubbard, Eion Bailey

Jody has wanted to be a perfect dancer for the American Ballet Company since she was a little girl. She’s trained tirelessly and snubbed a traditional college career in order to make it. When she’s finally accepted into their academy, she learns that her poor feet and healthier body tone might cause trouble for her dancing dreams.

I’m excited to get to write about this movie today. “Center Stage” is my all-time favorite dance-plot movie. Knowing that, you might wonder why it scored as low as it has. Let me explain.

The plot and script for this movie are out of this world, and the dancing is some of the best I’ve seen. That’s saying something because I love dance-based shows and movies. I’ve never missed an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” and my favorite movie (as far back as ten years old) was “A Chorus Line” (1985), which was based on a Broadway play. The majority of the actors were great as well, but would you expect less from people like Zoe Saldana?

The problem is that not all of the actors followed in the footsteps of the (then future) Lieutenant Ohura. For instance, Susan May Pratt is less believable than creationism. Every word out of that actress’s mouth sounds like it’s being read off a cue card in the most obnoxiously over-the-top manner possible. Several of the other smaller actors in the movie make the same unforgivable error.

Aside from that, there’s the feeling that not all the storylines are utilized to the greatest potential. True, though this movie shows a little from several of the characters stories, it’s not meant to be an anthology in any sense of the word. Still, if you’re going to peek into the back-story of a character at the opening of a movie, I expect to learn more about them than I would any of the other supporting characters.

With all its issues, I still consider “Center Stage” one of my favorites.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 43%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 83%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.6/5
Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer: