Ant-Man

 

Ant-Man

I’ll admitt, I didn’t even know they were making an Ant-Man movie until about last week. I don’t ever recall seeing a trailer for it or hearing anything about it. I know very little about the character, but I do remember seeing him in some old Avengers comics. I honestly probably would have never gone to see Ant-Man on my own, but this evening some people from work wanted to see it so I tagged along.

galaxy cannery Vegas

We went to the Galaxy theater at the Cannery in North Las Vegas, and the theater itself was pretty darn nice! I loved the reclining seats, and although the only seats left were in the first three rows it wasn’t too bad once fully reclined. Heck, I’m not sure I can go back to a normal movie theater after watching a movie in these chairs, it was awesome!

Overall I enjoyed Ant-Man, however I feel that the set up was a little drawn out and overly boring. I guess most origin stories are a little drawn out, but I just wasn’t getting into the movie at all in the beginning. That said, once the character is established things start to move along at a quicker and more exciting pace. The scenes in which Ant-Man is insect sized are wonderfully pleasing to watch and they do some truly unique things with the concept. As enjoyable as Ant-Man is visually, the Marvel movie formula makes much of the film predictable and causes some of the comedy to fall flat.

In the end I enjoyed Ant-Man more than I enjoyed the last Avengers movie, however I want Marvel to step outside of the Marvel movie box a bit more, if that makes sense. I’d recommend Ant-Man to anyone both those who enjoy Marvel films in particular and even those who are just action comedy fans. There’s plenty for everyone to enjoy.

 

Recently Watched: The Gambler

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I’m here in Las Vegas this month for work, so what better time to watch The Gambler! I had wanted to see it for awhile, but never got around to it, so I finally picked it up from Redbox this weekend.

Mark Wahlberg plays the character Jim Bennett wonderfully, and it was both agonizing and enjoyable to watch his journey to and out of rock bottom throughout the film. John Goodman and Brie Larson are also incredibly enjoyable to watch, and both play their characters well.

The transition scenes that count down the days until Bennett’s deadline to repay his debts, and the beginning of his romance with Larson’s character are some of my favorite parts of the movie, but the thrilling conclusion and the runup to it is just as good. I definitely recommend checking out The Gambler if you haven’t already.

Recently watched: Ted 2

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Yesterday afternoon we made it out to see Seth MacFarlane’s Ted 2. The original Ted was a movie that had me laughing from beginning to end, however it was hard to convince people it was worth seeing as most just thought the concept was silly.

So far Ted 2 hasn’t really made much of a splash at the box office which had me doubting whether it’d be worth seeing, but I’m happy to report it was an enjoyable experience. The theater was rather empty, however it was a 1:30 showtime on the Fourth of July, so that wasn’t unexpected. I’m a little bummed we didn’t make it out to see it on opening weekend since it’s always a blast seeing comedies in a packed theater, but it was still enjoyable.

Ted 2

The movie had us laughing pretty hard quite often, however it’s not as outrageously funny as the first for sure. A lot of the jokes are quite predictable for anyone who’s seen the first film or has watched a lot of Family Guy, yet they still were able to produce laughs. Some of the more unpredictable moments really hit their marks, unfortunately a lot of these moments come from the supporting cast.

There are a few things that I didn’t like at all about Ted 2, one of which being the opening credits. They were well produced, but it seemed like they just dragged on which was a bit of a bore. The movie is also a bit slow moving at times, mostly while trying to set up the plot which is a bummer. Sometimes I wish comedies didn’t even bother trying to set up a coherent narrative, and I think the narrative is Ted’s weakest point. It’s the moments in-between pivotal story moments that really shine, and luckily they’re able to produce enough laughs to make the rest of the movie bearable.

If you enjoyed Ted, or love Seth MacFarlane’s sense of humor you’ll probably enjoy Ted 2. Is it spectacular? No, but it’s still an enjoyable ride.

Worth Watching: The DUFF

The DUFF

Last night we rented The DUFF on Xbox Video. I have a tendency to enjoy these types of movies (Easy A is one of my favorite movies) so I figured this would be enjoyable. It turns out my hunch was right. A lot of people have seen trailers for this movie and laughed it off as a silly premise and assumed the movie would be terrible. I’m here to assure you that that is not the case with this movie.

Mae Whitman plays the socially awkward character Bianca perfectly and is enjoyable to watch (just as she was in The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Her chemistry with Robbie Amell’s character, Wes, is great throughout and even as their unlikely romance is predictable it’s still great to watch it unfold.

THE DUFF cyberbullying

The DUFF deals with many issues that plague high school life, but one of the primary issues it addresses is cyberbullying. A video taken of Bianca as she loosens up and enjoys herself for once is edited by her peers who attempt to humiliate her and the video goes viral over the course of a single day. The damage that can be done by this type of cyberbullying is briefly addressed, however the way that Bianca overcomes this bullying is heartwarming to watch, even if the entire situation isn’t entirely realistic.

Overall I enjoyed The DUFF from beginning to end, and am not ashamed to admit it. I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you’ve enjoyed other films such as Easy A.

Finally saw Mad Max and it was amazing!

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I had been wanting to see Mad Max: Fury Road since it came out, but never got around to actually doing it. This evening we finally made it out to see the movie and I’m kicking myself for not seeing it sooner! Fury Road is probably the most explosive, action packed, edge of the seat thrilling action movie I’ve ever seen!

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I absolutely love the atmosphere of the movie and the dark and gritty wasteland is amazing. The characters are awesome and the action sequences throughout are absolutely brilliant! I was blown away again and again!

The soundtrack is awesome and the way it is represented in the movie is stunningly awesome!

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Mad Max: Fury Road is easily the best movie I’ve seen in 2015, and easily the most exciting action movie I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see it again and again! I’m just sad I missed out on the IMAX experience. If you haven’t yet seen Mad Max you need to drop everything and see it now! You won’t regret it!

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Saw ‘5 to 7’ this weekend and it was wonderful!

5 to 7 movie poster

 

This weekend I wanted to do something different. Although I really wanted to see Mad Max and Pitch Perfect 2, I instead decided we would go to The Flicks in Boise, which is a theater that specializes in “independent, foreign and art films” (as described on their website).

I watched trailers for the movies that were showing this weekend and immediately fell in love with the trailer for 5 to 7 .

The film lived up to the trailer wonderfully. It was a beautifully told story in which just about every scene is shot wonderfully. I was particularly wowed by a scene in which the two main characters walk through as the camera zooms very slowly in on them. It almost appears as if they aren’t moving at all, but the ever so slight movement of the camera captivated my attention and it was a beautiful scene. I also truly loved the use of color in the film. It’s as beautiful to look at and helps to set the mood throughout.

5 to 7 central park

Anton Yelchin (whom you may recognize as Star Trek’s [2009/2013] Chekov) plays his character incredibly well, and has wonderful chemistry with his co-star Bérénice Marlohe. The film provided plenty of laughs and was heartwarming overall, though it was at times melancholy as any great love story is.

5 to 7 is love story while also not being a love story, much in the way (500) Days of Summer was. I absolutely loved the journey 5 to 7 took me on and loved the uplifting ending as well. I highly recommend checking out 5 to 7 if you can see it in a theater near you. It’s also available to rent via DirecTV according to gowatchit.com, however I can’t seem to find it available anywhere else (I have DISH, or I’d definitely be watching it again!).

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Watch <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/5to7?src=hash”>#5to7</a&gt; now anywhere! <a href=”http://t.co/M7Gvqlrsr5″>http://t.co/M7Gvqlrsr5</a></p>&mdash; 5 to 7 (@5to7film) <a href=”https://twitter.com/5to7film/status/598970257118601216″>May 14, 2015</a></blockquote>
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I fell asleep during Avengers: Age of Ultron

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I generally enjoy superhero movies. The Marvel movies have been some of the most enjoyable movie experiences I’ve had. However, with time I feel like I’m enjoying the subsequent movies less and less. The first Iron Man, Captain America and Thor movies were an absolute blast, but their sequels didn’t quite entertain me as much. The Avengers brought everything together and worked wonderfully, especially with its humor which in some way outdid the over the top action sequences.

All week I had been excitedly awaiting Age of Ultron’s release and had been planning to see it in IMAX. We had dinner plans last night so ended up making the 10:30PM IMAX showing, and after a long day of work and a few beers that probably wasn’t the best idea to start with.

The movie started with an action packed sequence already in progress and right out of the gate the typical Marvel movie humor was on point as the Avengers bantered nonchalantly as they battled their way into a seemingly impenetrable fortress. I have to admit, I was a little put off right from the start. The sequence was enjoyable, but I think I would’ve enjoyed a slower start and maybe some more setup.

Before long I felt completely lost and overwhelmed and couldn’t quite follow what was going on. Maybe it was because I was dead tired after a week in which I gave up energy drinks and soda, but I think part of it is that I’m beginning to tire of the Marvel movie formula.

I dozed off for about twenty or thirty minutes in the middle of the movie and wasn’t surprised when I awoke to a movie that was more over the top than ever. I don’t feel that the “twins” really fit into the team. I’m sure they’re from the comics or something, but I was already annoyed with the Hawkeye and Black Widow characters from the first movie. I just don’t feel like they’re necessary, or maybe it’s just that I can’t bring myself to care about them.

I’m sure Age of Ultron will please most Marvel movie fans, and I’m not trying to say it’s a bad movie, I just think I’m a little too tired of Marvel movies.

Recently watched: Get Hard

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This past weekend we decided to ignore the negative Rotten Tomatoes score and see Get Hard. Now let me say upfront, I generally don’t find Will Ferrell to be very funny. Sure he can make me laugh every so often, but I find most of his movies to be too cheesy to sit through. That said, I absolutely love Kevin Hart and was excited to see how well they worked together.

The movie starts off a little slow, but once it manages to get the set up out of the way things start to get good. Kevin Hart is hilarious and Ferrell’s character’s profound stupidity and ignorance make for some outrageously funny situations. Sure most of the laughs are downright simple and immature, but everything is done just right and it’s hard not to enjoy it. At some points the comedy may be borderline offensive or tasteless, but the majority of it is done well and certainly made me laugh more than I have during any other Will Ferrell routine.

Kevin Hart is the star of the movie and I can’t wait to see what he does next! I highly recommend Get Hard to anyone who wants something lighthearted, occassionaly outrageous and an all round good time. If you enjoyed the Hangover movies you’ll certainly find something to enjoy with Get Hard.

Fifty Shades of Grey

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Last night we saw Fifty Shades of Grey, but before we made our way to the theater we stopped at the Yard House to make sure I was fully prepared to see this “chick flick” (of sorts).

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A couple Sam Adam’s led to the dark, yet drinkable Odin’s Gift (an amber ale from Odin Brewing of Seattle). After the drinks we walked over to the theater and took our seats. We chose the VIP section so that we could have dinner as well (and more importantly a few more beers).

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So, what did I think of the movie? Well it wasn’t terrible. Both Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson play their roles well and great chemistry. I hadn’t read the book, so I can’t really comment on how well the movie treats its source material, but on its own it told a pretty coherent and enjoyable story.

It’s worth nothing that there’s quite a bit of nudity in the film, but it’s tasteful. Probably due to the R rating (as opposed to NC-17), almost all of the sex scenes only show the female upper body. Anastasia’s facial expressions do a pretty good job of telling the rest of the story, however I imagine hardcore fans of the books probably are left wanting.

I really enjoyed the way scenes are shot throughout the film and the soundtrack is superb. I also enjoyed the growth of the character’s throughout the film. I expected them to be pretty black and white, however they’re a lot more human and the way Mr. Grey starts to change is interesting. Overall Fifty Shades of Grey was more enjoyable than I expected it to be.

 

Watch on Netflix: Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot

iliza schlesinger freezing hot

Last weekend we watched Iliza Shlesinger’s Netflix exclusive comedy special, Freezing Hot. I loved her War Paint special and Freezing Hot is just as great. Iliza is smart, clever, original and outrageously funny! There isn’t a dull moment, and I was left wanting more.

Luckily there’s a great way to get more Iliza Shlesinger in the way of her weekly podcast, Truth and Iliza. There are currently 24 episodes on iTunes featuring guests such as Joe Rogan, Bob Saget, Diablo Cody and Jay Leno. I’m looking forward to adding it to my podcast feed and going back and listening.

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I highly recommend watching Freezing Hot if you’re in the mood for some great stand up comedy.

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