Thursday, January 8, 2015

Day Zero (2008)

Number Rolled: 60
Movie Name/Year: Day Zero (2008)
Genre: Independent
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: Indalo Productions
Executive Producer: Robert Malkani
Director: Bryan Gunnar Cole
Writer: Robert Malkani
Actors: Elijah Wood, Chris Klein, Jon Bernthal, Ginnifer Goodwin, Elisabeth Moss, Ally Sheedy, Sofia Vassilieva, John Rothman, Daniel Oreskes, Robert Hogan, Adam LeFevre, Alexandra Rose

Feller, Rifkin and Dixon have been friends since high school. Although they’re very different, they’ve not only kept in touch, they’ve remained close friends. When the draft is reinstated in the U.S., all three men get a notice asking them to report in 30 days.

I’ll start with the good parts.

The ending of Day Zero was incredible. I can’t imagine there possibly being a better finale for this film. The three leading men, Elijah Wood (Wilfred, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), Chris Klein (American Pie, Wilfred, Authors Anonymous) and Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street, Fury), dove into their characters head first and made several of the scenes in the movie, including the ending, very powerful.

The problem is that I’m conflicted about rest of the movie. Despite the phenomenal acting and concept, I felt everything crept along so slowly that it took away from the overall experience.

The writing wasn’t exceptionally bad. In fact, nothing about the film was terrible. None-the-less, when I look back at the last 92 minutes, I not only don’t feel entertained, I don’t feel anything.

Normally, when I finish watching a good, powerful, drama I’m left with a slight ache in my chest. Sometimes I’ll have wetness in my eyes that no one believes is from allergies, though I always try to explain it away. Other times there will be a sense of satisfaction, especially in movies where the main characters were able to achieve their goals for a happy ending. For Day Zero, although the ending was amazing, I feel nothing.

It’s not a terrible movie if you’re interested in a political discussion about the draft, or if you just have an hour and a half to kill, but it’s nothing to write home about.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 24%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 45%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.9/5
Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Nut Job (2014)

Number Rolled: 44
Movie Name/Year: The Nut Job (2014)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: PG
Affiliated Companies: Gulfstream Pictures, Red Rover International, ToonBox Entertainment
Executive Producer: Hongjoo Ahn, William Bindley, Hoe Jin Ha, Mike Karz, Hong Kim, Hyungkon Kim, Daniel Woo, Tom Yoon
Director: Peter Lepeniotis
Writer: Lorne Cameron, Peter Lepeniotis, Robert  Reece, Daniel Woo
Actors: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Stephen Lang, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham, Gabriel Iglesias, Sarah Gadon, Robert Tinkler

Surly Squirrel and his friend, Buddy the rat, are outcasts in the park. Surly insists that he only looks out for himself and no one else. On the day a nut cart shows up on the edge of the territory, he has to find a way to beat the other animals to the huge score.

I found The Nut Job mildly entertaining. The story was a basic heist-like story, but it was thinned out for kids. The characters left a lot to be desired. Even as a child, I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have been able to relate to Surly Squirrel and, as the main character, that’s kind of important.

The film made it to my Netflix list because it has two of my favorite comedians in it: Jeff Dunham (Dinner for Schmucks, Delta Farce) and Gabriel Iglesias (Magic Mike, Planes). Of course, I wasn’t sad to see Brendan Fraser (Hair Brained, Escape from Planet Earth) and Liam Neeson (Taken, A Million Ways to Die in the West) on the list of credits either. As far as the voice acting goes, it wasn’t overdone and did as much for the movie as possible, but couldn’t really elevate The Nut Job to the next level.

Truthfully, the credits were the best part.

I’m not being snarky and saying that to mean that I looked forward to the ending. I mean, what they did with the credits was hilarious and I enjoyed watching it more than I enjoyed the movie.

Although The Nut Job might not be the best choice for adults, it’s definitely strong enough and entertaining enough for the little ones.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 10%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 45%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.9/5
Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

P.S. There are 2 parts to the credits and there is a scene after each part.

Movie Trailer: