Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review

The Hit
I cannot believe I saw the last movie in the franchise of hobbits, elves, dwarves, wizards and men. A fantasy world brought to us by Peter Jackson is over  movies that sucked us in and provided an escape to Middle Earth.

The Battle of Five Armies picked up right where The Desolation of Smaug ended. The mighty dragon Smaug is set loose on Lake Town and starts to destroy it without hesitation. The opening scene here is quite quick and, without any spoilers, a character meets his end. They should of just placed this scene at the end of the second movie and it would of worked out fine.

If you've read the book, the last part is the great war, hence the title "The Battle of the Five Armies". To me it felt like  the battle itself was dragged out. It was still good though. The one thing I liked from The Hobbit trilogy is that scenes not mentioned in the book were added in the movies.

Gandalf in the book and the rest of the wizard crew don't have a lot of spotlight, but the way Peter Jackson wrapped things up was awesome. Everything fit in with the Lord of the Rings trilogy: all the side stories and side quests that Gandalf and other characters did. Legolas' storyline was a big plus that ties it all together. His last scene in the movie sees the elf headed north to meet someone special from the Lord of the Rings.

The Battle of the Five Armies was awesome and I was sad to see it end. There was a lot of great special effects but one negative thing I have got to say is that one thing the original Lord of the Rings franchise did that the hobbit franchise didn't was use real extras in costumes. There was too much CGI throughout The Hobbit series. It was still great, but I wish Peter Jackson would have followed his same roots from the first trilogy.

If you're a true fan, try not to cry and if you're into fantasy I recommend it as well. A good family movie and end to an era. 

The Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Exodus Gods and Kings Review

The Hit

Chances are, you've probably heard some version of the Old Testament story of Moses and his quest to free the Hebrew Nation's thousands of slaves from the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses. In this Ridley Scott film (Director of Gladiator and Prometheus), Exodus: Gods and Kings is an expansion of the original Bible story with visual effects galore. 

Even with the special effects, however, what hit home most for me was the plague. It was portrayed not as magic, but as an act of nature or God and very realistic and powerful.

Christian Bale plays the iconic character of Moses. It was good seeing him without a deep voice and a bat suit and he did a good job. Joel Edgerton plays the pharoah Ramses, who doesn't really come off as the bad guy, which is what he's supposed to be. Other actors who I didn't notice from the trailers (Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley) made appearances as well. Although Exodus was about two and a half hours long, it cycled through the story rather quick. I think it should have been longer and added scenes to get to know more of those other important characters.

Unlike Noah, which was a flop and shouldn't be watched or spoken of again, Exodus hits the mark pretty well and is mostly true to the Bible. You know what you're getting going into when you go to see it and won't be surprised by anything else (which isn't necessarily a bad thing).

The Verdict
Yellow LIght (Proceed with Caution)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Horrible Bosses 2 Review: No better or worse than the first

The Hit:


The trio of Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day come back together again in a sequel just as funny as the first. Horrible Bosses 2 has its laughs and it was quite enjoyable. Because of the R rating I also suggest you don't take any kids -- it has a lot of things for adult eyes and ears only. You've been warned.

If you've seen the first Horrible Bosses you know the story: three employees at the bottom of the totem pole are sick of their bosses and hatch a scheme to kill them. Its funnier than it sounds but you'll have to see the first to understand.

In Horrible Bosses 2, the same employees start their own business and a top money making corporation invests in their idea. When their product is ready to be shipped, however, the investor backs out and creates his own brand by tweaking the name and leaving the three with nothing but a whole lot of debt.

The three employees think of ways to get their money back and the idea they come up with is to abduct the investor's son played by Chris Pine and hold him for ransom. Things go according to plan, but then when they have second thoughts it's too late to turn back.

Horrible Bosses 2 is a fun ride and I got a lot of good laughs. Those other cast members who make an appearance are Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Christoper Waltz, Jonathan Banks and more. You follow three friends trying to make it big and live their own American Dream against the top 1% power houses.

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mockingjay Part 1 will make you love the book even more

The Hit

If you've seen the past two Hunger Games, you won't want to miss this one! Some may wonder “why drag it out for two parts?”, but the movie included a lot of extra scenes not in the book that made it necessary to split it in half. Mockingjay follows the book pretty good, but the added scenes from other districts during the rebellion and the sacrifices those people for the Mockingjay, aka Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) make it even better.

If you ask anyone which book is their favorite, most would say the first and I agree. After watching the way director Francis Lawrence portrays Mockingjay, however, you'll probably like the third book better as well.

Rebellion is the theme of Mockingjay. Part 1 shows what the capitol is capable of and what it does to its citizens, no matter if they're woman, child, or elderly. If you're against the capitol, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) will eliminate you.

Mockingjay begins with Katniss in District 13, the base for the rebels and their leader President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore). Combined with Katniss and crew, they're a force to be reckoned with. Everyone makes an appearance, including Peeta, Gale, Primrose, Haymitch, Finnick, Effie, Johanna, Beetee, Plutarch, and the host of the Hunger Games himself, Caesar Flickerman. You'll also meet lots of new characters too.

While in District 13, Katniss finds out Peeta is still alive and makes it her goal to get him out. She agrees to be the symbol of the rebellion in exchange for their help, but soon realizes she has to think beyond herself when the war escalates.

Because Mockingjay is a two part installment, the way it ends will surprise and shock you. You'll probably have a good idea if you've read the book. Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 was incredible and I see myself going to watch it again. Twilight has nothing on Hunger Games and Jennifer lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson and the others continue to surprise me with great acting that bring the characters from the books to life.

The Verdict
Green Light (Go see it)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Marvel Phase 3 graphic

Hey all! No review today, but we wanted to share this awesome Marvel Phase 3 graphic that just came out. Comment below and tell us what flick you're most excited for!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gone Girl Review: Don't put off seeing this mind-bender any longer

The Hit
Gone Girl, is she really gone? Did the husband really murder her as seen from the trailers? Does she come back? Just what does gone mean? Turns out, it means a lot of things. This movie practically sidelined me, hit me in the blind spot and whiplashed me so hard I was speechless. My only regret is not seeing Gone Girl sooner.

The cast did an amazing job. Ben Affleck was surprisingly well and gave a terrific performance. The same goes to fellow crew mates like, the beautiful, deceiving Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris and Carrie Coon. 

Affleck’s character is named Nick Dunne. He’s married to a trust-fund, Ivy League genius named Amy (Rosamund Pike), but when she goes missing from their Missouri home on the couple’ fifth anniversary, everything starts to unravel. Gone Girl simultaneously follows the complicated path of their relationship and the search for the missing Amy. By the end, you’ll be left wondering to yourself, what just happened?

Like Nick, you’ll go through each twist and turn, following Amy’s ingenious clues concerning her disappearance. I’ll leave you to decide who the real villain is. With each passing minute, the tension raises until you’re literally on the edge of your seat. Gone Girl is one of those movies that follows you home from the theater and keeps you up, questioning the relationships in your own life. If you’ve been putting off seeing it, don’t wait any longer.

The Verdict
Green Light (Go see it)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Interstellar Review: Mind-blowing Christopher Nolan at his finest

The Hit:

Wow. Christopher Nolan does it yet again. Interstellar was a roller coaster ride and an adrenaline rush that leaves you wanting more. Although it was almost three hours long and I wished Interstellar was longer because it goes by so quick. When the credits start rolling you won't want to be done. Christopher Nolan's visual effects will blow your mind and I can't forget about the musical score, either. It's an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride and without the music to build up intensity, scenes would not be as good.

Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, an old NASA space ship driver, now retired and working on his family farm. In the near future, Earth is dying and all of its crops with it. There are no more wars because nations are working together to find new ways to feed people.

As the movie progresses, Cooper finds himself at a secret NASA facility where they're secretly planning on sending a team to space to find a new planet to live on. Along with Amelia (Anne Hatheway), Cooper leaves his family, including daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) behind to begin their search. She's also played as a  middle adult by Jessica Chastain and older adult by Ellen Burstyn. While Cooper is gone, time passes faster on Earth, which is the reason for three different Murphs.

Interstellar is a movie for any science geek, sci-fi lover and Christopher Nolan fan. The ending has a mind boggling twist that makes you think through the entire film. It's still rattling my mind. Actors such as Matt Damon, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, and Topher Grace make an appearance as well and do a great job. I recommend watching Interstellar on IMAX because it is worth seeing on the biggest screen with the best sound. 

Verdict:
Green Light (Go see it)

Nightcrawler Review: A movie that breaks the mold of genre films

The Hit:

Nightcrawler was not your typical movie. Unlike action, drama, superhero, horror and other popular genres, this was a new flavor and I was glad I gave it a try.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a poor young man named Louis Bloom who goes by Lou. He has no job and gets by from stealing metal off of fences and other scraps to sell. Lou soon realizes he needs more money and happens upon an accident int time to see a camera crew video tape it for the news.

Lou sees a way to improve his life and asks for a "nightcrawler" job at a new station but is denied. A nightcrawler is a person who stays up throughout the night to catch accidents, murders, robberies and other crimes on tape. Undeterred, however, Lou acquires the money to buy his own camera. (I wouldn't recommend the way he gets the money unless you don't have any morals or a conscience. You'll understand if you see it.) 

Camera in hand, Lou hires an almost-homeless kid named Rick (Riz Ahmed) to be his navigator. Lou begins to make a name for himself and gets the really spicy news and best shots, helping one station raise its ratings. Eventually, he come across a scene the cops haven't reached yet and gets the best story and footage which pays him big. To extend the story, Lou cuts out a piece of the footage for later. Rick thinks it's not right and wants out, but Lou is loving what he's doing and if it grows to a bigger story, they'll both get a good chunk of money.

The ending has a little twist and involving Rick, the news station, and two detectives who are wondering what else Lou might be hiding from the footage. Again, this movie was different and I was glad I watched it. If you're in the mood for a change go see it, if not, it's still worth a rent.

The Verdict:
Yellow Light (Proceed with caution or rent it later)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Big Hero 6 Review: A new kind of superhero film that's got it all

The Hit
From the creators of Wreck It Ralph and Frozen comes Big Hero 6 and it doesn’t disappoint. A treat for kids and adults alike, Big Hero teaches important life lessons such as forgiveness while providing top notch entertainment.

Big Hero 6 follows Hiro (Ryan Potter), an orphaned child prodigy who graduated high school at the age of thirteen and now wastes his potential competing in illegal robot fighting/gambling. His older brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), encourages him to use his brains at the San Fransokyo (you read that right) tech university, the school that Tadashi is currently enrolled at.

Tadashi takes Hiro to the “nerd room” at the university where he meets Tadashi’s friends — a collection of college geniuses with an array of personalities and unique inventions. Tadashi’s focus of the visit, however, is to show Hiro his own project: Baymax (Scott Adsit), that cuddly, white marshmallow robot from the previews. Tadashi created Baymax to be a personal health care assistant — when a person is in pain, Baymax is alerted and comes to their aid.

After the visit, Hiro decides to apply to attend the university by creating these cool mind-controlled, magnetic “mini bots” that join together to build anything your mind thinks of (think of super advanced KNEX toys) But just when he’s accepted, tragedy strikes. Hiro’s creation falls into the wrong hands and the prodigy sinks into depression after a devastating loss.

Driven by vengeance, Hiro reprograms Baymax into a reluctant superhero and seeks to take down the villain who has stolen his invention. Hiro and Tadashi’s friends from school invent super hero suits based on the technology they were developing at college and join together to become “Big Hero 6.” Along the way, Baymax helps Hiro cope with his loss.

Big Hero 6 has it all: action, comedy (there’s a hilarious scene where Baymax’s battery gets low) and great teaching moments. I would definitely recommend taking the family to see this movie — adults will love it too. In the end, you’ll see that heroes come in all shapes, sizes and personalities.

P.S. There’s a pretty awesome cameo after the credits you won’t want to miss!

The Verdict
Green Light (Go see it) 

Monday, October 27, 2014

John Wick: a no nonsense shoot 'em up thriller


The Hit

Who remembers Keanu Reeves? If you don't, he's the bad ass character from The Matrix series and he's back at it again in a action flick worth watching. This time, he plays a character names John Wick  a retired hit man they call the boogeyman.

John’s wife passes away from natural causes and he has a hard time recovering from her passing. Just when he’s about give up on life, he receives a dog  a last parting gift from his wife. Soon after, however, some thugs break into his house and kill the dog his wife left from him. The action unfolds when he finds out who the thugs are and goes after them.

John Wick isn't simply a pro at killing people, he just doesn't give a crap who he kills and how many times he shoots his gun. He brings fear into those that find out he's back while other hit men are excited he's back in business. Everyone in the underground and in the local police agencies know him and stay away. Rule number one is you don't screw around with John Wick. Rule number two: just relay back to rule number one. This time, however John’s only back at it for personal reasons and for a short time.

You'll enjoy this flick if you like action and guns and the mafia because it includes a lot of that. There is literally one scene where for 20 to 30 minutes, there is nothing but shooting and killing and if that's your style you'll enjoy it. The storyline doesn't wander and the acting is solid. 

The Verdict
  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fury: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and cast carry a weak storyline

The Hit 

Brad Pitt does it again as U.S. staff sergeant Don "War Daddy" Collier commanding the Sherman Tank called Fury. It is April 1945 and that the Allies have entered Germany. The Nazis have reached a level of desperation and are making every man, woman, and child join the military.

Pitt's team consists of Boyd "Bible" Swan (Shia LaBeouf) who, as his name suggests, is a spiritual fellow. I wouldn't have expected him in the role but he was astounding. Trini "Gordo" Garcia (Michael Pena) plays a Mexican American and is the driver of the tank. Last but not least, Grady "Coon-Ass" Travis (Jon Bernthal, also Shane in the Walking Dead) is a crazy psycho whose job is to load and maintain the tank. 

The story begins when the fifth man, a rookie named Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) replaces one of Fury's fallen soldiers. At first, Norman has a hard time dealing with the war. Fury leads its audience on a roller coaster of emotions and we learn that happy moments are fleeting in war. Our heroes are outgunned and out manned and have nothing left but each other and the beliefs they fight for.

Each character in Fury did a terrific job but the individual performances were drug down by a weak storyline. Their only objective is to conquer town after town in the heart of Germany. The language, blood and gore and raw emotion was very realistic and Fury does a great job showing that war isn't pretty. If you're a war junkie you'll enjoy this show, but if you're bothered by violence and realism you might want to pass.

The Verdict
  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it 
  • Rent it

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dracula Untold: a solid flick, but not enough origin story

The Hit


Dracula Untold is not your typical vampire movie and by that I mean you don't get to see a lot of vampire action the whole time. What you do get to see is Vlad (Luke Evans) being pushed so far that he'll resort to just about anything to protect his family and kingdom. He finds his answer in a "master vampire" (Charles Dance) and takes the name of Dracula in order to protect his home from a Turk warlord with an immense army coming their way. Of course, there's a catch: the master vampire only gives Vlad a limited number of days with the supernatural powers at his disposal. If he gives into the thirst for human blood before those set days are up, he will becomes the Dracula vampire for eternity. Does Vlad have enough time to stop a whole army and save his own kingdom before his time is up? Or will he surrender to his thirst?

Dracula Untold had a good story and great acting, but I would have liked more origin story from the master vampire and how they first came to be. As far as good fun, the movie was still great and I would watch it again when it is released on Blu Ray and DVD. Luke Evans does a great job playing Dracula and you wish you could become his version of a vampire rather than those lame ones from Twilight that glow rather than burn in the sun. If you're a fan of the Underworld franchise, or if you just like action, fantasy, horror, drama, and war films then go watch this movie. If you're not a fan of vampire movies, you'll probably be fine waiting to rent Dracula Untold.  

The Verdict

  • SEE IT (if you're a vampire fan)
  • Don't see it
  • RENT IT (hold off if you're just looking for a movie this weekend)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Equalizer: Hardcore action meets a fantastic plot


The Hit

I'd originally planned to see The Equalizer as soon as it came out, but ended up putting it off until a few people recommended I watch it ASAP. After watching, I'm telling you the same thing: this is a flick you won't want to miss.

Denzel Washington plays Robert McCall a worker at a hardware store. He has a stable job and a seemingly normal life but underneath it all he has a hidden dark side he's promised a special person he won't bring out. Something happens and he meets with Alina (Chloe Grace Moretz) at a local diner, a place Robert regularly goes to late at night to read books. Her job isn't so nice and normal and when she doesn't do as she's told, she gets made an example of. This leads to her ending up in a pretty bad predicament.

Robert can't sit and watch anymore and then the action begins to unfold. He is a man of justice and when others aren't there to help, he takes matters into his own hands. His hidden side comes out to kick some trash.

The Equalizer has one of the greatest actors of all time playing a kick ass character and if you liked any of the Bourne series you'll love it. You root for him scene to scene and at its climax you wish there was more and more. I was seriously in awe. There is action, violence, and language, but without it, The Equalizer wouldn't be such a massive hit. 

Unlike The Expendables, which is just action and not really any acting or plot, The Equalizer is a movie worth watching more than once. A great storyline fits a great cast. Take your bros and, even though it's not chick flick, take your significant other as well because I bet they will love it too! It's Denzel freaking Washington at his action best what more do I need to say?

The Verdict
  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Annabelle is October's frightful flick


The Hit

October is meant for flicks that scare the crap out of you, and Annabelle is right up that road. My all time scariest movie (that I refuse to watch again) is The Conjuring. Even as a grown adult, the first couple of nights after watching it were sleepless. Annabelle has a slight part in the movie The Conjuring, so it makes it a prequel of some sorts. If you haven't seen The Conjuring, it follows two paranormal investigators who help those with supernatural problems. There's a scene in the movie that described Annabelle, hence the prequel.. 

Annabelle is a possessed doll and in the movie you get to see how the doll becomes possessed in the first place. The story follows a couple who is expecting a baby, Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and her husband John (Ward Horton) who at first live a happy life. Mia collects dolls so her husband gets her the Annabelle doll as a gift. Next thing the audience knows, the doll is possessed. Around the same time, John gets a promotion at his job and they end up moving away. Mia believes that the house was haunted but what she carries with her is the real problem. 

She gives birth to a beautiful little girl and all is happy for a bit but things get worse and worse. When you see the scary figure you will piss your pants. 

This movie is quite a horror spectacle. You fall in love with the family and see them fight off an evil you'll hope never finds you. To kick off October, I'd recommend seeing this movie with a date or friends. You'l jump out of your seats in a few scenes. If you're still in doubt, here's a quote from The Conjuring to change your mind: “Diabolical forces are formidable. These forces are eternal, and they exist today. The fairy tale is true. The Devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges upon which one we elect to follow.” 

The Verdict
  • SEE IT
  • Dont see it
  • Rent it 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

You'll want a sequel right after you see The Maze Runner

The Hit


The Maze Runner is an action/mystery/sci-fi/thriller all rolled into one. The movie is based on a series by author James Dashner. It involves a boy named Thomas (Dylan O'Brian) who is ascending in an elevator with no memory of getting there or who he is. As soon as he reaches the top, he sees a bunch of other boys staring down at him. One of them welcomes him in and explains the situation and that in time he will remember only his name. 

What would anyone do in a situation like that? I would freak out. But Thomas adjusts in just a few days and starts to take it all in. 

The community of boys have set up a system in the maze where everyone does their part to live in harmony. They are located in the middle of the maze where they can plant, live under trees and are surrounded by agriculture to survive. No one knows why they were put there, but once a month another boy and supplies to either live appear. Each boy is the same and the only memory they can remember is their name and nothing more.

Thomas is curious and asks what exactly is out in the maze, but only special groups called "runners" know. He befriends their leader, Alby (Ami Ameen), Minho, another "runner" (Ki Hong Lee), Chuck (Blake Cooper), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), and somehow makes an enemy with Gally (Will Poulter). 

Things begin to change when, a few days after Thomas's arrival, the elevator rises again. This is weird because that never happen outside of its monthly schedule. In the elevator is a girl. To everyone's surprise, she's the first and only girl to ever come through. Before she passes out, she calls out Thomas's name and in her hand is a note saying "she's the last one ever." Her name is later revealed to be Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). 

After taking a few trips into the maze before her arrival, Thomas is now determined to find a way out and save everyone from the Grievers, a deadly creature in the maze. There is more than just the Maze and Thomas and Teresa have a hand in all of it. This movie is full of surprises and fun adventure in a thriller/action sort of way. If it does good, which I know you'll want it to, it could have some great sequels as well.

The Verdict

  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Giver caps off summer with a smash


The Hit


The Giver is based on the Lois Lowry book of the same name. Although I haven't read the book myself, a friend who saw the movie with me said The Giver follows the book pretty well. Both of us quite enjoyed it.

The Giver follows a boy turning 18 named Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) and his two friends, Fiona (Odeya Rush) and Asher (Cameron Monaghan). The movie is set in a futuristic world from today where everything is perfect and there are no flaws. Things like race, color, feelings, and choice are erased. At the age of 18, young adults graduate and are assigned a specific job for the rest of their lives. Jonas Job is unlike any of his other classmates and has to learn past memories from The Giver (Jeff Bridges).

Jonas soon realizes that the world he lives in is just an act. He discovers feelings such as pain, suffering, sadness, happiness and love. When Jonas tries to share these things and other old memories  like a sled going down a snow-capped mountain and dancing  the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) notices what he's doing and takes action to stop the sharing of emotions.

Things go awry and Jonas can't take the lies anymore. Together, Jonas and The Giver come up with a plan to share what they've learned with the community and the adventure begins. Even though Fiona and Asher don't really know what's going on, they support and help Jonas with his plan. Everything is at stake and the only way to release those memories to everybody is for Jonas to travel down a long tough path.

All in all, The Giver was another great book adaptation that offers something for everyone.

The Verdict

  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it

No Good Deed is good enough for a rent

The Hit


No Good Deed follows a mother of two (Taraji P. Henson) who is just too good for her husband. By that I mean he doesn't know how good he has it with a woman like her. You'll know what I mean when you see it. The movie genre is a thriller with a few jumpy scares and a few moments of anticipation and predictable moments.

The storyline for No Good Deed begins with a convict (Idris Elba) on the verge of being released. Due to his unstable emotions, however, he has to wait longer for a unanimous decision and it's clear that it might not be a possibility for a long time. He is sent back to the prison and on his way there he somehow escapes and goes to find an old flame. Because he is an unstable psychopath , he goes mad and follows a predictable plotline. After his escape, he meets a mother of two who does a "good deed" but soon realizes it was a mistake.

The story has a decent plot with a slight twist at the ending. No Good Deed is a scary flick good for a date night.

The Verdict

  • See it
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it

Friday, September 5, 2014

When the Game Stands Tall joins the ranks of Remember the Titans and Friday Night Lights

The Hit

Some are saying When the Game Stands Talls is as good or better than Remember the Titans. After seeing it, I can say that it hits you in the feel goods as much as iconic football movies like Remember the Titans and Friday Night Lights. Not only does it accurately represent the game of football, When the Game Stans tall teaches values and morals to a greater extent.

When the Game Stands Tall is based on a high school football team, the De La Salle High School Spartans, achieving the unthinkable and unimaginable: a winning streak of 151 games and 0 losses. After a little research, I found out it is currently the longest winning streak held by a football team, including the NFL and college levels. That being said, all good things must come to an end. After so many undefeated seasons, the movie shows us the school's record-ending loss and the senior class involved with the defeat. 

Anyone who has played a sport knows how a loss hurts. In When the Game Stands Tall, that feeling is multiplied many times over. After their record is broken, the team (including runningback Chris Ryan, played by Alexander Ludwig) is down and the only person to lift them back up is their coach, the same man started and saw the end of their streak. Coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel) delivers a motivating pep talk, and states that the winning streak was never the goal. He stresses that the team is family, a brotherhood to be depended on. He states that the love of family means that you can count on me in good times as in bad.

This movie was amazing. When the Game Stands Tall shows a team high in the clouds and as low as dirt and how they find redemption. I urge any football fan to go see this movie. You will fall in love with the players, the coaches, and be touched by the values shown that carry on through life, not just football.

The Verdict

  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Let's Be Cops a surprise laugh

The Hit
Let's Be Cops is similar to 21 Jump Street, but with enough differences to let it stand on its own two feet. Although the two main characters Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) don't go to the academy to become official officers, one has a couple of uniforms on hand. They test them out at a costume party, which turns into a masquerade the whole movie long.

After leaving their shindig, they head home they walk the streets of L.A. and realize civilians treat them like the real deal. After seeing the effects, they become intrigued and take their antics to a whole new level. It's a different approach but the comedy is great!

Let's Be Cops has it's own take on the law. One of the characters gets so serious it becomes his persona. I went in with low expectations but came out with a happy grin. It was funny and while I had never really heard of the two main actors, Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. did a great job as a new comedy duo. The lead female role, Nina Dobrev, added a little romance to spice things up as well.

Two nobodies become somebodies and get entangled in a mess they can't get out. Ryan and Justin have to correct their mistakes and, for the most part, have fun doing it. For a good laugh, go see this movie. Maybe a career in law could be your thing too?

The Verdict

  • See It
  • Don't See It
  • Rent It

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles great for old fans and families...but that's about it

The Hit
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Runtime: 101 minutes

Those who have seen the classic Ninja Turtles and have been fans since childhood will probably have a love/hate relationship with this movie. To clear things up, the CGI of the new TMNT was better and more realistic than that of the 2007 movie but still just too freaky. This movie was geared towards lifetime fans who grew up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so cheesy lines were filled throughout the adaptation. If you have kids, I highly recommend taking them to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It will be a good family treat.

I'm not saying its not worth seeing for adults either. It was good to get my kid side out and brought a couple of smirks and laughs which usually only come from crude comedies, not clean ones. The action was great. The ninja turtles lived up to their names and kicked butt with each of their different styles of martial arts and weapons which made it fun to watch.

The story line was good and I felt that it didn't falter in any way. Megan Fox plays April O'Neil, a dedicated reporter searching for a big story but never lucky enough to get the scoop. Everything changes when she meets up with the turtles after an attack. Later she finds out she has a bigger role in the creation of the turtles that only Master Splinter  the mutated rat/sensei/ father to Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo  knew about.

 Each of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are true to their original personalities: a nerd, a serious and responsible leader, a practical joker/class clown and a steadfast and strong-minded loner. They face the iconic villain Shredder and his followers and, with April at their side, must battle it out for their city.

The Verdict


  • See it
  • Don't see it
  • RENT IT

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Why Guardians of the Galaxy may be the best Marvel movie yet

The Hit
Why does Marvel outrank, outscore, and out film DC? Because Marvel knows how to plan things out years in advance to produce killer, interwoven plots.

Guardians of the Galaxy seemed like a mediocre film from the trailers, but trust me when I say this movie can stand proud on its own in the Marvel Universe. If you’ve kept up with all the after-credit scenes from past Marvel movies, you’ll know that Guardians IS in the same universe as the Avengers. Soon they will have to come together to beat a threat certain enough to give both parties a fight.

That threat is Thanos, the big boss man seen after the credits in The Avengers. He makes an appearance in Guardians and, if he gets his way, it could spell trouble for the entire Universe. Finally, we’ll get a greater glimpse at the connection between the Aether and the Tesseract and why Thanos is looking to collect them (and the rest of the Infinity Gems).

Guardians of the Galaxy follows Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a human abducted from earth who’s a rogue and a lady’s man, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), an assassin with moves to rival Jackie Chan, Drax (Dave Bautista), a juggernaut alien out to do some avenging of his own, Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a loudmouthed lab experiment, says what's on his mind raccoon, and Groot (Vin Diesel), a tree-like, self-regenerating mini-Ent. Put them together and you’ve got the Guardians of the Galaxy, a ragtag team of misfits and anti-heroes struggling to get along long enough to save their galaxy. The threat? A renegade alien named Ronan (Lee Pace) who wants to reduce everything to ashes with a power we’re all too familiar with.

Guardians of the Galaxy is full of action, extra doses of comedy, sarcasm and plenty of 70's and 80's references. The soundtrack was a home run! I’d recommend this movie to anyone, Marvel fan or not.

The Verdict
  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hercules: Dwayne Johnson is more than meathead in a traditional hero role

The Hit
Hercules, the great demigod from ancient myth, is played by none other than the juggernaut, Dwayne Johnson. According to news and interviews, Dwayne packed on a lot of muscle for this role and it clearly shows on the big screen. If you thought he looked big in the most recent Fast and Furious, well, I'd say double that size. Aside from the guns, Dwayne Johnson did an awesome job as Hercules.

The story begins with Hercules working as mercenary for gold and riches. It’s revealed later that he’s suffered a traumatic experience. Hercules' twelve great labors are mentioned throughout the adaptation but only certain ones crucial to the film are shown. He’s followed by a group of trusted friends who have all had tough pasts as well and Hercules has taken them under his wing. They are bonded by battle and never question where they need to travel, nor fight, as long as they are paid.

As the story progresses, our hero is hired by a king in need of help. To defeat a tyrant, the king needs Hercules to train his army to be the best of all time. Hercules makes this happen with the help of his company, but in the end, a twist of fate reveals that Hercules helped the wrong person and must fix his mistake.


The storyline had its ups and downs, but was still quite entertaining. Leadership, strength, friendship, family and more themes made Hercules an all-around feel good film.

The Verdict
  • See it
  • Don't see it
  • RENT IT

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy — Round two takes the purging to new heights

The Hit
For those who haven’t seen the first Purge, it's about a future America where the new leaders devised a plan to remove crime. Instead, people wait to "cleanse" themselves. For twelve hours, one day out of the whole year, crime is legal. Everyone waits for this particular moment because they are free to do whatever. Of course the question is raised, what would YOU do if all crime is legal? Steal? Take drugs? Beat a person senseless? Even kill?

If you watched the first movie in the series, it follows a family that goes through this “purge” and it gets crazy. Let me tell you now that Anarchy shows a lot more purging and a lot more gruesome crimes. It starts with a community in Los Angeles. A few hours away from the commencement of the purge, people are preparing to participate or boarding up their houses for protection — if protection can be achieved. The usual participants buy massive machine guns and all sorts of weapons and those with lots of money can buy the best security systems.

The story follows a couple of characters: a mother trying to support her daughter, a young couple whose car breaks down and a sergeant looking for revenge. The only one purging is the sergeant, but with a twist. He meets up with the mother and daughter and the couple and it's up to him to keep them safe. At the same time, he still hopes to achieve his goal before the end of the night. The movie shows a totally vengeful America. You can’t trust your friends, or even family because, if you piss someone off, who knows if they’ll come after you and take you out during those 12 hours of free reign of no laws.

The Verdict
  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it

Friday, July 11, 2014

Those "Damn, Dirty Apes" do it again in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The Hit

Caesar, aka Andy Serkis, aka Gollum does yet another great job behind the motion-cap suit as the leader of the apes in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I’ll tell you right off the bat: this sequel is worthy of watching twice!

The first installment, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, left off with the virus spreading across the world and Caesar escaping into the woods with his fellow apes. Dawn begins nearly a decade later. Most of the human race has died off, but those immune to the virus have begun to restore power. A few humans go into ape territory and Caesar allows the refugees to regain electricity to the city. But another ape from the first movie still hates humankind and starts the war Caesar hoped to avoid. In the end, it’s a clash of human vs. ape and also ape vs. ape. 

The whole movie I rooted for the apes. Yes, I did feel bad for the humans and the suffering they had to go through from the virus, but I was so set on watching Andy Serkis play Caesar that my pity for the humans was stolen away. I was captivated watching him raise a family in the woods, build hundreds of followers and learn that not all humans are evil and not all apes can be trusted.

I highly recommend seeing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on the big screen for its great story, plot and characters. Plus, what more could you want than talking apes riding horses and shooting guns?

The Verdict

  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Deliver Us From Evil

The Hit

Instead of going to a blockbuster I decided to check out a horror film. I usually save them for October but decided it was a good change from the big movies out right now.

Deliver Us From Evil begins in Iraq with three American soldiers shooting at some enemies. After a brief moment they start seeing crazy things happening around them. They eventually follow the enemy down a cave and that's when it all goes down. They are filming during all of this and then everything goes blank and screaming is heard in the background. There were a couple of moments that will make the unsuspecting moviegoer jump.

A few months later, back home in New York, the main character, Officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), is fighting crime, until he feels a presence only a chosen few have. Basically it’s a way to sense spiritual things around him, both good and evil.

Sarchie joins forces with a priest (Edgar Ramirez) to fight the three possessed soldiers and take the demon possessing them out. The movie supposed to be on true events but I’ll let you be the judge of that. It shows what police officers go through with the evil in the world today and even when there is evil, there is always good to stop it.

Those who are not particularly into horror flicks with a mixture of God vs. Devil/good vs. evil shouldn't see this movie. It just might be too much for you to handle when the exorcism begins.

The Verdict:

  • See It
  • Don't See It
  • RENT IT

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Stunning visuals save an awful script

The Hit

If Michael Bay, a poor storyline and an extreme amount of explosions and action come to mind when you think Transformers, you’ll know just what to expect with Age of Extinction. Optimus Prime has a new paint job and Bumblebee is back as a sick new Camaro, but there’s still a lot of the same we've come to expect from the franchise.

The only flaw I found was the storyline. It was all over the place and had no clear motive. Just like the second installment, Revenge of the Fallen, the plot was, to put it in a single word was, crap. Age of Extinction ended with a hint of another movie, and I’ve heard that Michael Bay won’t be directing the next time around. Hopefully the new guy can create a better plot.

The thing that saved the movie for me was the visuals. The Transformers were shown in greater detail and wider shots made them enormous compared to the humans. When compared with even more action than its predecessors, Age of Extinction was quite breathtaking.

Those who loved the Transformers will love Age of Extinction as well. The entire original cast isn’t present, but a bunch of newbies take the spotlight, including Mark Wahlberg. There are also three new Autobots, but you’ll have to see the movie to find out what they transform into. Both Wahlberg and the new transformers grow on you throughout the movie.

The Verdict
  • See it
  • Don't see it
  • RENT IT (Unless You're a diehard Transformers fan)


Saturday, June 21, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Yet another summer sequel smash

The Hit
Watching a children's movie brings out the inner kid. Sometimes taking a break from those big blockbuster movies is a good thing. How to Train Your Dragon 2 does just that.

The whole crew is back and better than ever. Vikings and dragons of all shapes and colors are fun combination for all ages to see. The story begins on the island of Berk, five years after Hiccup and Toothless unite the dragons and Vikings to live in peace. Everything is changed, and dragons live among the Vikings peacefully. There's even a crazy "dragon lady" (think cat lady) who is pretty funny.

After all sorts of high-flying moves and crazy aerial stunts, Hiccup and Toothless confront a new enemy who is capturing dragons to take control of the world! Hiccup and friends are set on preventing world domination, and along the way he meets his mother, who supposedly passed away when he was a child. The scene of mother and son and husband and wife reuniting is a touching moment that'll make you smile from ear to ear. 

Although the family is together again, war breaks out. As in the first installment, we learn that, oftentimes, tragedy is mixed in with happily ever after — but I won’t spoil that here. Friendships are forged and, for a time, some are broken and enemies made, but in the end Hiccup and Toothless find each other again to conquer the threat.

Overall, How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a great watch and just as good as the first.

The Verdict

  • SEE IT
  • Don't See It
  • Rent It