Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pain & Gain review

I kind of enjoyed this movie. It felt stupid, bloated, and annoying at parts but mostly, I sort of enjoyed it. Yet, with every enjoyment Pain & Gain had to offer, it also offered an annoyance. So, the movie is about three dumb guys who pull off a stranger-than-fiction kidnapping/robbery that goes horribly wrong. It stars Mark Wahlberg as the fitness nut "mastermind", Daniel Lugo; Dwayne Johnson as reformed bodybuilder Paul Doyle, and Anthony Mackie as the funny sidekick, Adrian Doorbal. What I liked about this movie was it didn't take itself too seriously. It knew it was a comedy and didn't try to hide under the guise of a serious action movie. What I didn't like about this movie was that it was kind of obnoxious and way over used slo-mo. Seriously, every single thing that could maybe be shot in slow motion, was shot in slow motion. After a while it got tiring. The story painted the three criminal bodybuilders as sort of heroes. It was believable for a while. I really was rooting for Marky Mark and his steroid gang to pull through, but only for about the first half off the movie. Then, things got all murder-y and i started to lose respect for the characters. In a film, you need to at least semi-like the characters. Even in movies where the heroes are more anti-heroes you still have sympathy. In films like The Godfather or Pulp Fiction, you know what the characters are doing is wrong, but you still are on their side! Unfortunately, Pain & Gain couldn't pull that off. Hey, the movie wasn't all bad. I have to say, as much as I hated his character, Mark Wahlberg was fun to watch. He played bad pretty well. Dwayne Johnson on the other hand, I may just never love. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of those actors who I just never really liked in any of his movies. I mean he always comes off as just another sweaty "all muscle" action star. I'm sorry, but I will just never like him as an actor. Now Anthony Mackie on the other hand,  I happen to like. He's one of those actors who gets small roles in big movies Why can"t he have a breakout role? The world may never know. Micheal Bay, who directed the movie, did a half way decent job considering the disaster that was Transformers 3. Even though this movie is just okay, for Micheal Bay it's terrific. So, that's that. Pain & Gain was somewhat enjoyable but I just didn't love it. I give Pain & Gain 3 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

#tbt Mean Streets review

"You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bull shit and you know it." Those words are spoken by director Martin Scorsese in the very beginning of the 1973 film Mean Streets. I think that quote can sum up the movie in a way. Mean Streets is about Charlie, played by Harvey Keitel, a young man trying to make in it in the local mob all while trying to keep some of his morals and struggling with his religion. The film is all about his struggle with everything in his life from his girlfriend to her crazy cousin, Johnny Boy (Played by Robert De Niro). So, when I started watching this film, I expected a classic mob shoot em' up flick. I was perfectly fine with that and was looking forward to it. What I got was more of a character study of Charlie, with hints and dashes of mob violence. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Mean Streets was emotional with great acting, terrific dialogue, and an awesome soundtrack! Before about a year ago, I didn't know who Harvey Keitel really was. He was just "that guy who was in Reservoir Dogs". After watching some more movies, I really appreciate Harvey Keitel's acting talent. He was fantastic in this film. Watching him deliver Scorsese's dialogue while giving an ass-kicking performance was like watching a master at work. Now, Robert De Niro on the other hand, I've always known as a great actor and to no one's surprise did a great job. I really have to say something about the soundtrack to Mean Streets. Martin Scorsese went all out when choosing the music to his film. Every song has a meaning to the scene and really adds to the movie as a whole. Scorsese's direction is great, the acting is award-worthy, and the whole film is just damn terrific. I loved Mean Streets and I highly recommend it. Happy Viewing! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Place Beyond The Pines review

It's so much more than Drive on a bike.
The Place Beyond The Pines stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes. It's directed by Derek Cianfrance. So first off I have to say, I absolutely loved this movie. Everything about it was just terrific. It was well written and the story was great. The acting was incredible. It's a shame this was released in April because I don't think it will get the awards attention it deserves. The film is about a motorcyclist for a traveling carnival named Luke Glanton (Gosling) and his struggle to support his newborn son by robbing banks, after a tragic accident the film transitions to hero cop Avery Cross (Cooper) and his story. Cross starts out as a rookie with a wife and a newborn son. He is trying to be a good father but is drawn into corruption and greed by his more undesirable friends. Avery's story is more about him trying to be a good cop and do the right thing. Then the movie goes ahead 15 years and shows Avery's and Luke's sons and their struggle with drugs, alcohol, and family. I really loved this film. It touched me on an emotional level and portrayed vulnerability, love, and hate in people in such a great way. Derek Cianfrance really has a way with film. Ryan Gosling has been known as a good actor. Yet, Bradley Cooper has only recently gotten critical attention and an Oscar nod. He was amazing in this movie. I think he really nailed his performance. Eva Mendes is known mostly for comedies like Stuck on You and The Other Guys. She really went out of her comfort zone for an awe inspiring performance in the movie. I was truly amazed at her. Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, and everyone did a terrific acting job in this movie. The Place Beyond the Pines is packed with emotion and is what cinema should be. Just because of how great I thought this movie was, I'm giving The Place Beyond The Pines 4.5 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

#tbt The Last King of Scotland review

Happy Throwback Thursday! This week I'm reviewing the 2006 drama The Last King of Scotland, starring James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, and Kerry Washington. So, I have mixed feelings about this movie. It had some great acting (Forest Whitaker won an Oscar for his performance) and an interesting story, but I just didn't love it. So basically, the movie's about Nicholas Garrigan (McAvoy), a man just out of medical school in the 1970's, who wants to do something with his life and actually make a difference in the world. He decides to put his doctor skills to use in Uganda. After being there for a few days he goes to see the new "president" of Uganda, Idi Amin (Whitaker), give a speech. He ends up having to help out Amin with his doctor skills (doctor skills really come in handy), an Amin likes him so much he asks him to be his personal physician. Then, a bunch of stuff happens and Nicholas realizes that Idi Amin is actually a brutal dictator who just kills people he doesn't like. I would have liked this movie a lot more if the camera work had been done differently. It's filmed in a documentary "shaky" camera style that really annoyed me. I mean it annoyed me so much that during the movie I sometimes couldn't pay attention because of the irritating camera work. I suppose this technique was used to give the film an "edgy" feel, but it just plain annoyed me. Other than that it was a pretty good movie. Forest Whitaker is fantastic as Idi Amin and James McAvoy did a pretty decent job also. Kerry Washington did a terrific (and underrated) job as one of the many wives of Amin, who just wanted her child to be safe. Overall, the movie was fine. I would recommend it but it's not on the top of my list. Happy Viewing! You can send me a tweet or follow me @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Evil Dead review

Remakes almost always suck. With the exception of the Dark Knight Trilogy, remakes are terrible most of the time. Yet, I was surprised with Evil Dead. I enjoyed the original movies and I liked this remake also. I had not expected this. It was suspenseful with clever nods to the original, with it's own twists and additions. But I warn you, Evil Dead is not for the weak stomached. It is filled with guts, gore, and just some serious gross-out scenes. The blood is to such excess that it becomes a tad unrealistic so it lessens the gross factor because you know it couldn't happen. Now this is a horror movie about the devil and demon possessions so don't expect realism. Some parts were a bit much even I had to look away. Yet, in the end it pays off. With a very satisfying ending with a twist I didn't come close to expecting! The acting in it is not great, but I suppose it could be worse. Also, you're not going to see Evil Dead for award winning acting. If you have seen the original, which I urge you to do, you have to pay attention to the subtle nudge-and-wink moments that reference the original. That will certainly heighten your enjoyment of the movie. Now I know it won't win awards but it's enjoyable for fans of the original and it has an awesome ending. I say give it a try and you may be surprised. WARNING: As I said before, Evil Dead is NOT for the weak stomached! I give Evil Dead 3.8 out of 5 stars. Happy Viewing. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

#tbt What's Eating Gilbert Grape review

So before I start my review I just want to say that if you have any movies you want me to do for Throwback Thursday reviews, just send me a tweet or email me at
So, I recently watched Lasse Hallstrom's 1993 drama, What's Eating Gilbert Grape. It was emotional, beautifully shot, and had some great performances by Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio (who got a much deserved Oscar nod for his role). The film is about young Gilbert Grape (Depp), who lives in a rural and boring town ,called Endora, but wants more from life. Gilbert has to take care of his obese mother and his mentally challenged brother, Arnie (DiCaprio). Gilbert works as at a grocery store and in his little free time talks to his friend and has an affair with the neighbor's wife. One day while trying to stop Arnie from climbing a water tower, he sees a girl who he soon falls in love with. The girl, named Becky (Juliette Lewis), is worldly and fun. She is the anti-Endora. Gilbert feels trapped in not only Endora but in life. He doesn't want to end up like his mother, stuck in the same place for years. When Arnie screams "You're not going anywhere!", it was symbolic of Gilbert's situation. I don't wanna ruin it for you, but Gilbert doesn't stay stuck. The end of the movie is mostly happy with a nice full circle conclusion that leaves you smiling. Not only is the story good, but the cinematography is pretty awesome. A lot of the movie is shot in soft focus and shows the character's feelings well. My point is, the whole movie is pretty great. Happy Viewing and Happy Throwback Thursday! Again, if you have any recommendations for #tbt reviews just email me! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Jurassic Park 3D review

Holy crap that freaking dinosaur is gonna eat me!!! Oh wait, that's just the 3D. 
So I just saw the 1993 Spielberg classic, Jurassic Park, in 3D. So one thing to say, I remember it a lot differently and I was pleasantly surprised to remember Samuel L. Jackson was in this movie.Now I haven't seen this movie in a number of years so It was almost like looking at it with fresh eyes. And now I see the holes. The plot holes that is. This movie has a lot of plot holes and some just plain ridiculous moments. (Velociraptors can open doors? Seriously?) But I was also pleasantly surprised in a number of other ways. For example, the 3D actually added to the movie and made it a seriously enjoyable thrill ride! Even if you despise the movie, there are some really cool effects that the 3D makes a hell of a lot cooler. Also, seeing it in a theater was fun and pretty damn cool. Although I kinda wish I could have seen Evil Dead instead, I'm certainly glad I did go see Jurassic Park. Even though this movie is old and cheesy, it was great to look at this colorful film with a sense of childlike wonder.So even if the cheesy robotic dinosaurs and plot holes annoy you, you'll still have a really fun time looking at the visuals and getting a jump out of the 3D dinos. Happy Viewing. I give Jurassic Park 3D 4 out of 5 stars because although it's just an alright movie, it still manages to amaze me. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

#tbt Glengarry Glen Ross review

Great dialogue, good acting, and Al Pacino. What more could you want from a movie. Not that much. For today's Throwback Thursday review I have decided to do the 1992 drama Glengarry Glen Ross, based on  the play by David Mamet with a screenplay by him too. The film is about a bunch of salesmen at a real estate office having a tough time selling pieces of land, because the leads they are getting are very bad. Everyone seems to have an impossible time of selling except for Ricky Roma, (Al Pacino) the top salesman. Soon some workers get the idea to rob the office and steal the "good" leads. Panic and great acting ensues. So, this movie is pretty star studded. It has such big names as Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, and an awesome, but very small, part by Alec Baldwin. So if you want a movie like that, choose this one. Al Pacino got an Oscar nomination for his role as the salesman and he certainly deserved it. Now I haven't ever seen the play so I really can't compare but if it was anything like the film, it was great. Happy Throwback Thursday and as always, Happy Viewing. Don't forget to Follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!