Thursday, June 27, 2013

This Is the End review

Demons, earthquakes, and one crazy party. What'd you do last weekend?
This Is the End is a new comedy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and it is hilarious. The movie stars Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride,   and Emma Watson, with cameos from everyone like Micheal Cera, Rihanna, Paul Rudd, Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel, Kevin Hart, and Channing Tatum. Yeah, it has a lot of famous people in it. Everyone in the movie plays a version of themselves. This actually makes the movie quite a lot funnier because it gives them all a chance to poke fun at their movies and just make fun of everyone. The plot of the This Is the End is that there's a huge party at James Franco's house then the rapture starts and the world starts to end. The whole movie is kind of ridiculous but the dialogue and the actors make it a very funny and enjoyable movie. The CGI demons and landscapes look really cheesy, but that sort of adds to the fun. This Is the End is really a breath of fresh air for the movie industry. 2013 hasn't had one good comedy movie until now. Instead of having to see crap like The Hangover Part III, now you can see comedy gold like this! The movie was so entertaining that even after the credits rolled I still wanted more! It's probably not gonna happen but I wouldn't mind a sequel. Although that's unlikely considering the name of the movie is This Is the End. The actors deliver the hilarious dialogue to a professional degree. I really got to give Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg credit for their funny script. Not only does it have great back and forth and quick witted conversations but just hilariously ridiculous situations for the characters to be in. Even if you took out the apocalypse scenario and the movie was just these guys chilling in James Franco's house it would still be very funny. This Is The End is funny, original, and sometimes weird. I'd certainly recommend it and I think it's a great enjoyable summer film. I certainly hope it's not the end. I give This Is the End 4 out of 5 stars! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at! Happy Viewing!

#tbt Magnolia review

P.T. Anderson knows how to make a movie.
Magnolia is Paul Thomas Anderson's 1999 film about a nurse trying to help a dying man meet his long-lost son, the dying man's depressed wife, a boy genius and his abusive father, a once famous adult who wants to tell a man he loves him, a cocky entrepreneur with a secret, and a straight arrow cop who just wants to help out. All of whom have their lives changed and intertwined over one day in the San Fernando Valley in California. So, there is a lot I have to say about this movie. First off, the acting here is great. Regardless of what you think about the film itself, pretty much everyone here does a terrific acting job. Philip Seymour Hoffman was absolutely amazing in this movie. Watching him play his character, a nurse named Phil Parma, is like watching a skilled veteran at work. His performance here is so full of emotion and so genuine that I honestly think he deserved an Oscar nomination. Tom Cruise gives a really great performance here also. He plays a cocky and famous jerk who gives seminars about how to get women. Even though recently Cruise has been doing the same role and giving sub-par performances, he is fantastic here. He got an Oscar nod for it, but I still think Philip Seymour Hoffman did a slightly better job. John C. Reilly is an awesome actor. He may be one of the most ranged actors of our time. He's been in comedies like Step Brothers and Cedar Rapids yet he's been in acclaimed dramas like The Aviator and Gangs of New York. He even got an Oscar nomination for his role in Chicago! He's just as great in Magnolia. He plays an honest cop who falls in love with a cocaine addict he meets while on a call. He really plays the character well. Everyone is great in this movie! From Julianne Moore to William H. Macy, I honestly think they all deserved Oscars. P.T. Anderson is truly a master of his craft. Not only does he do an incredible job of directing here but his screenplay is so original and just plain extraordinary. He did get an Oscar nod for Best Original Screenplay. Not only is his film great, but Anderson is able to create a gripping, emotional, and never boring three hour movie! Most movies this long succumb to over-extended and talky scenes, or unnecessary subplots, but Magnolia has none of those things! Every second of the film is important and every scene has so much depth to it. At one point in the end of the film it rains frogs. This seems weird and nonsensical at first glance. If you look at it further, you see it has deeper meaning. The frogs bring the characters together and show that strange things happen every day. It's just one of those things. I can't review this movie as well as I would like to. Magnolia is just so deep and beautiful that it's to hard to express everything in one review. Two things is for sure after watching Magnolia: Paul Thomas Anderson is an incredible movie maker and 1999 was a great year for movies. Happy Throwback Thursday and Happy Viewing! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

World War Z review

Zombies are no match for a guy who successfully robs casinos, arrests a murderous Kevin Spacey, kills Nazis, and started Fight Club. Brad Pitt is a boss.
World War Z is one of those movies that looked like it was going to absolutely suck and make no money. First off it had a lot of problems with filming and a lot of problems with money. The release date kept being pushed back and after a while it looked like it may not even come out. It's also another zombie movie, and god knows we have a surplus of zombie films, books, TV shows, and comics. After The Walking Dead, did America really need another dumb zombie movie? The answer is surprisingly yes. I thought that World War Z was going to be a stupid zombie movie that did nothing for the genre. The film was kind of awesome, and believe it or not, did something new for the zombie film genre. Most undead apocalypse movies are just gory survival horror movies really. World War Z was much more of an intense globe spanning thriller. Sure it had it's flaws, but World War Z did a lot of things right. The plot of the film is there is some form of human rabies that is spreading throughout Earth. This disease turns you into a crazed "zombie" whose only need seems to be to attack the uninfected. Brad Pitt's character, Gerry Lane, is an ex-United Nations worker who is called back into duty to assist some army dudes and a doctor to find Patient Zero and develop some kind of cure. Oh yeah, and kick some serious zombie-ass along the way. The obvious strength of World War Z is the directing. Marc Forster has directed a couple decent films but his directing alone has never truly amazed me. His direction in World War Z on the other hand is fast-paced and really helps keep you interested in the story while also keeping you informed. The acting here is pretty good but not amazing. Brad Pitt is an amazing and Oscar nominated actor who almost always picks good movies to be in. This isn't really an exception but his acting isn't really that groundbreaking here. He plays his part and he plays it quite well but he doesn't go outside the acting box. He does look really cool the whole time though. Mireille Enos does an okay job playing Brad Pitt's wife, but she mostly just sits around looking sad the whole movie. That's not completely her fault because the script doesn't give her a ton to do. Even though the acting is just okay, the awesome direction and plot make this movie incredibly intense and suspenseful. I have to say I wasn't bored once the whole movie. Seriously, World War Z may be one of the most intense movies I've seen since Aliens. I'm saying it's as good as Aliens, but it sure is suspenseful. Although it sometimes delves into dumb action, World War Z is still an exciting and intense thriller that actually might be worthy of your time and money. I give World War Z 3.8 out of 5 stars. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Happy Viewing!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

#tbt Apocalypse Now review

Marlon Brando at his finest (and fattest).
Apocalypse Now is a film many consider to be a true classic. Yet regretfully, I hadn't seen it until about last Saturday. I sure was missing out. Apocalypse Now, like many films such as The Godfather and Raging Bull, deserved and earned it's status as a classic. It has a great director, a terrific cast, some very cool and very trippy camerawork, and a great script based on a (supposedly great) epic poem. The reason I'm saying Heart of Darkness, which Apocalypse Now is based on, is supposedly good is because I haven't read it, yet. The plot of the movie is an army captain named Benjamin Willard is asked to take on a mission to journey up a river in Cambodia and terminate the insane Col. Walter Kurtz with extreme prejudice. Even though this film has a fairly straight forward plot, it has a lot of deep meaning and acid-trip like direction. Francis Ford Coppola does a really great job directing here. He really captures the horror of Vietnam through the eyes of a scared army Captain. But he also added a hallucinatory layer to it, which really gave it an eerie and interesting feel. This film is proof Coppola was one of America's best directors. although his work has dropped off a bit recently. When I started watching the film, I honestly was a little bored. I was worried this was going to be one of those long, boring, and pretentious films that are hailed as great yet, are close to impossible to get through (I'm looking at you, Lincoln). Apocalypse Now was anything but that. It was incredibly interesting and deep, visually mind-blowing, with some ass-kicking performances. The whole movie effectively shows Willard's pride and confidence turn to doubt and fear. As it does show Kurtz pure madness and his followers blind worship. Another awesome thing about this film is how impossibly hard it was to get made, and how it was done so well with so many problems. Coppola's problems with Apocalypse Now are so famous a whole documentary was made about it. The poor guy had to deal with money problems, fires, and Marlon Brando. Along with all the crap that happened, Brando showed up to the movie set completely overweight and unhelpful. Mr.Coppola only made about a million bucks originally from the film! Luckily, it was well received and showered with award recognition. Robert Duvall is a great actor. He's been in some great flicks like The Godfather and Sling Blade. Yet, even though he got an Oscar nomination for his role here, I thought his performance was just okay and he was only in a little bit of the film! Marlon Brando is also a terrific actor. His performance as Col. Kurtz in this film is absolutely fantastic, but he's also only in the movie for a short time. Martin Sheen is a decent actor most of the time. Watching his performance here I can safely say that it is his best. He really missed out on an Oscar nod for his portrayal of Capt. Willard. Overall, Apocalypse Now is a great film with some of the best directing I've ever seen. i truly do recommend it. Happy Throwback Thursday, and as always, Happy Viewing. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at

Friday, June 14, 2013

Man of Steel review

Super powers, Russel Crowe, and the American Way.
Man of Steel is the latest adaptation of the Superman comics and possibly one of the best. It's certainly better then Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Man of Steel starts out with Superman (or Kal-El or Clark Kent, whatever floats your boat) being born on his home world of Krypton. Even though this is simply the heroes birth, I believe it also symbolizes the birth, or rebirth, of the Superman franchise. A fresh start, a chance to be reborn from the ashes of crap like Superman Returns and Superman III and create a cooler, newer, and grittier Superman that we all know we wanted. It's pure movie magic. The first half of the movie shows us Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El's origin story, one we've heard many times although it really can't be avoided. Then the movie picks up and the real plot begins. General Zod, played by Micheal Shannon, is a bad guy who was imprisoned by Kal-El's father, Jor-El, back when Kal was a baby and Krypton was imploding. While Krypton died, Zod survived and him and his pissed off army made their way to Earth. Their mission? Destroy all human life to make way for a new Krypton. But he needs the mighty Superman for his plan. We'll see what Mr.Clark Kent has to say about that (or Kal-El or Superman, whatever.) Soon we meet Lois Lane. Lane, played here nicely by Amy Adams, is less of a damsel in distress and more of a field journalist badass who is quite interested in the mysteriously powerful alien known as Kal-El. She has her own role in the saving as Earth and is almost as important to the plot as  Superman himself! (Key word, almost.) Amy Adams does a pretty good job in the part, and I personally like her better than Margot Kidder. Henry Cavill makes a nice Superman and his on-screen chemistry with Adams is nice, and although is acting is just so-so, he still serves his purpose just fine. Micheal Shannon is actually a pretty great actor. Though in this movie, he really just yells a lot and looks mad. He has his good scenes, but he could have done better. Russel Crowe has one of the better performances of the film as Supes' real father, Jor-El. He worked his character nicely and did a way better acting job then he did in Les Miserables. Zach Synder is one of those directors who show potential, but has never really gone anywhere. Watchmen was decent and he did some cool things, Dawn of the Dead was alright, 300 was mediocre, (yes, I didn't love 300) and Sucker Punch was downright awful. Yet, his direction was always interesting. Man of Steel is his best film yet. He makes awesome shots of the crumbling city and Superman in flight, really a some cool shots here. The script is written by (the amazing) Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, both worked on the awesome Dark Knight movies. Nolan adds his expertise, political commentary, and use of archetypes  that only help the film. With all of the elements, it flourishes. Sure, Man of Steel isn't a perfect film. Hell, it's not even close to The Dark Knight. Yet, it entertains and also gives Superman a certain depth to him. This is the Superman we needed and the one we deserved. I give Man of Steel 4 out of 5 stars. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at! Happy Viewing!  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

#tbt Casino review

Joe Pesci is not to be trusted.
Happy Throwback Thursday! Today I'll be reviewing the 1995 Martin Scorsese mobster film, Casino. The movie is about Sam "Ace" Rothstein, a smart casino manager with ties to the mafia, and the troubles he had in his life and the things that happened to him while he was on top of the business. Casino has been majorly overshadowed by Scorsese's better and more well-known, GoodFellas. Yet, Casino deserves a bit more fame than it received. Martin Scorsese's direction here is terrific as always. Using his famous signature continuous shots and his beautiful way with camera work really makes this movie even better then it already is. There is one particular shot of the inside of a flashing camera that he also used in The Aviator. He uses that particularly awesome shot here just as well and uses it to show feeling in the film. Robert De Niro returns for another great performance in a Scorsese movie. He plays Rothstein and does it well. Although, not his best performance, he doesn't disappoint. The film is narrated alternately by Robert De Niro's character and Joe Pesci's character, Nicky Santoro. The alternate character narration is a technique used also in GoodFellas, Scorsese  uses it well here. Joe Pesci's acting here is fine, but he's pretty much playing the same character he plays in every movie but angrier. His character is just a more violent and more evil version of Tommy DeVito in GoodFellas. He plays his part okay, but it's really nothing special. The one truly superb acting job here is Sharon Stone (who got an Oscar nod for her role in Casino). She is a troubled and cocaine addicted prostitute, whom Rothstein falls in love with and marries. Her portrayal of vulnerability, restlessness, and anger is really award worthy. Casino fells like less of a true mobster film, and more like a drama about friends and family with bits of mafia-esque and violent elements thrown in. And that mobster/family drama mixture works so damn well. It gets off to a slow start, and I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy Casino. Yet, I really did enjoy it. Scorsese actually wrote Casino, which is unusual for him. Martin Scorsese usually just directs his films and leaves the writing to others, here he does it all. Although Scorsese always does an ass-kicking job directing, he does a just as good job writing. He's written some of his best films like Mean Streets and GoodFellas. His writing in Casino is truly fantastic. He's able to turn a regular true story about a mobster, and create a rich story with really in depth characters. I honestly think Martin Scorsese should start writing more of his movies (or just keep teaming up with Paul Schrader, am I right?) Anyway, Casino is a highly underrated Scorsese classic that will go down as one of his best. Please, watch this film! Happy Viewing! Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Hangover Part III review

The End. Finally.
The first Hangover movie was a surprisingly hilarious, original, and quotable movie that almost everyone loved.  The second Hangover movie was a boring, predictable, rehash of the first movie that barely anyone loved. The third Hangover movie is slightly better and funnier than the second one, which isn't saying much. The plot is the Wolfpack gets kidnapped by a pissed off mobster, played by John Goodman, because he is mad at Chow (Ken Jeong) for stealing his gold bars and wants Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galafianakis) to find him and the gold or else he'll kill their buddy, Doug (Justin Bartha). Where do I even start? First off, the writers in this movie must really be running out of ideas. After the incredibly unoriginal Part II, they must have been trying to crank out something slightly better, but they didn't do a good job. It's the same as all the other films under the guise of a new one. It's the same Wolfpack going to "crazy" places like Tijuana and Las Vegas (again), and of course Doug isn't with them. Poor Justin Bartha barely gets to be in any of The Hangover movies! Ed Helms is a funny comedy actor. He was great in the first Hangover film and hilarious in Cedar Rapids. He's great in The Office and in SNL but this weak script doesn't give him anything to work with. Bradley Cooper is turning into a great actor. He has an Oscar nomination for the terrific Silver Linings Playbook and he was absolutely incredible in The Place Beyond the Pines. His talent is wasted here! Zach Galafianakis is sort of playing the same character he always plays here, but he does it well. Even though the script sucks, he makes his lines bearable, even funny! Ken Jeong plays Chow. That's all he does. The same bad accent and dumb stunts as all the other movies. I usually like Jeong, but again, this movie gives him nothing to work with. Director Todd Philips is a mediocre, even bad, director. The only good movies he's done are the first Hangover and Old School. But the rest of his resume is full of crap like Project X and The Hangover Part II. This movie is pretty much part of the crap section and it's no surprise. If someone else had directed this film, it could have been fresh and really funny, instead of stale and mildly funny. It isn't all bad though. Part III has its moments. There was the occasional joke or scene that made me laugh out loud. And the great cast did what they could to make it bearable. Other then the few funny parts, it's mostly recycled jokes and dumb humor. I did come into the theater with incredibly low expectations, so I managed to have some fun, but that didn't stop the fact of it being a crappy film. The promo posters promise this movie to be "The End". I hope they're right. I give The Hangover Part III 2.4 out of 5 stars. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Happy Viewing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

#tbt Deliverance review

Squeal like a pig! 
Deliverance is a 1972 film about a group of guys that go on a canoe trip in the Cahulawassee River. And that canoe trip goes fucking nuts. This movie got a Best Picture Oscar nomination back in 1972. It was competing with The Godfather so of course it didn't have a chance. It is still a great movie, although even if it wasn't going against The Godfather I don't think it would have won. As good as it is, Deliverance may be a bit too much for the general public. It has rape scenes, is fairly violent, and the character's morals are questionable. I loved it, but others may think it's revolting. But hey, let's not talk about morality and violence, let's talk about this kick-ass movie! Deliverance stars Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Burt Reynolds, and Ronny Cox all of whom are great in their roles. Jon Voight plays the calm, cool, and collected Ed, who really holds everything together. Ned Beatty plays Bobby, who seems like he's just there for comic relief or something but then...well, things get bad for him. Burt Reynolds plays the awesome outdoors man Lewis, who finds out he doesn't know survival like he thought he did. and Ronny Cox plays Drew, who's kind of the law-abiding scaredy cat  of the group. Out of all of them, Jon Voight did the best job acting. He really played his part well and portrayed his emotions very realistically. Ned Beatty did an alright job, but I felt he was a little too emotionless and stoic. Burt Reynolds also did a great job. His character went from top man to crippled and helpless in only a few scenes and his transformation was flawless. Ronny Cox surprised me. I've only seen him in a few other movies and he never stuck out to me. He did a really good job here. Another superb aspect of the film is it's direction. John Boorman directed, and got an Oscar nod for his effort. I haven't seen any of his other stuff, so I can't compare, but he really captured the mood and setting of the film incredibly. The beautiful prolonged shots of the Cahulawassee, the camerawork during the action sequences, and the shots of the actors faces as they watched the horrors that were about to unfold were all examples of Boorman's great direction in this movie. When I've heard people talk about this movie, they always talk about the Dueling Banjos scene. This particular banjo tune has become an almost iconic theme in movies. After seeing this movie, I certainly won't forget it. It may not be as good as The Godfather, but it's still pretty awesome. Deliverance is a disturbingly great movie that will make you think twice before going camping. Happy Viewing! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at!    

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Now You See Me review

I wish I didn't see it.
Now You See Me looked great on paper. It had so much potential. It had Academy Award nominated and winning actors like Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, Micheal Caine, and Jesse Eisenberg to name a few. The plot sounded intriguing. A group of cool magicians pull off heists for the greater good? Who doesn't like heist movies? Ocean's 11, The Usual Suspects, and Snatch are all highly entertaining and awesome heist films. Everything about this movie sounded incredibly cool and exciting, I couldn't wait to see it. Then I did. And it was very disappointing. The movie turned out to be bloated and annoying. It wasn't even very fun to watch. The whole thing was filled with plot holes and loose ends. There was also a lot of random and unnecessary information just thrown in there. The movie is predictable and just plain badly written. It starts out with a very cliche technique of introducing the character's personalities and then bringing them together through some "unforeseen" event. The whole entire movie is predictable like that. The twists and "shocking reveals" are nothing more than very predictable plot devices to trick the audience into thinking it's a good film. One of the worst parts of this movie is the waste of talent. There are so many talented actors and actresses here but none of them are used to their full potential. Melanie Laurent, who was awesome in Inglorious Basterds, is completely wasted here as the female partner and love interest of Mark Ruffalo's character. Speaking of Mark Ruffalo, he is almost always good! The guy's been nominated for an Oscar and yet he is also wasted here. His acting is really just sub-par but that's because the script gives him nothing to work with. Same thing with the other greats here. Acting legends Morgan Freeman and Micheal Caine seem to be nothing more than just attractions here. Just big names to draw a crowd. It's a shame because they are usually so great! Together in The Dark Knight Trilogy they did amazing! I suppose in a way this whole movie is an illusion. Just a barrage of colors, twists, and famous people to make you believe it's a good movie when truly it is not. Now You See Me? I wish I didn't. I give Now You See Me 2 out of 5 stars. You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Happy Viewing!