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

Monday, June 16, 2014

22 Jump Street: More of the same and that's a good thing

The Hit

After their first undercover drug bust at a high school, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are off to college to crack another case. Practically the same case as before, but it works.

The movie begins with a death at a nearby college from a drug called "WHYPHY"(Work hard, yes. Play hard, yes) and it's the job of Schmidt and Jenko to solve it. As before, the pair of cops separate into different cliques. Instead of being in the "popular" group this time around, Schmidt ends up following the case with an art major name Maya. Jenko, on the other hand, joins with the jocks. 

Throughout the movie, Jenko and Schmidt begin question their relationship, paralleling a couple in an actual romantic relationship. Trust me, it's funnier that it sounds.

Schmidt befriends Maya and later they begin to date. We soon find out, however, that Maya plays a bigger role in the case. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but you'll be fighting tears of laughter. 

Meanwhile, Jenko joins the school's football team and begins to feel conflicted. Being a college football player is something he always dreamed of and, as a result, he begins to lose focus on the case. In turn, Jenko and Schmidt's relationship crumbles.

This movie is crammed with comedy. Some scenes are pretty cheesy, but if you loved 21 Jump street, you'll definitely love 22. Jonah hill and Channing Tatum are a comedy duo worth witnessing. Don't forget to stick around after the credits for this one — there are scenes spoofing 23 Jump Street...and beyond.

The Verdict:
  • SEE IT (If you liked the first one)
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dual Hit: Edge of Tomorrow

The Brick

How nice would it be to go back in time and correct a mistake or recover from an embarrassing moment? In Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise does just that. Over, and over...and over again.

By reliving the same battle repeatedly, Cruise's character learns to make himself better and smarter with the help of a former time traveler (Emily Blunt's character). Dying at every turn, the pair work together through different scenarios to eradicate an alien invasion during the last stand of the human race. After awhile, the repetition became an annoying but necessary plot device to give the humans an edge in the war. Cruise begins the film as a weak coward but returns to his old, familiar form as the hero in the film's climax.

This movie was recommended to me by friends and customers at work. Unsure at first, I thought why not give it a shot and decided to go. In turn, I would say the same thing. Go give Edge of Tomorrow a chance. Sci fi and Cruise fans alike will leave the theater satisfied.


After Oblivion, I was ready to boycott future Tom Cruise movies. I ended up at Edge of Tomorrow because the drive-in we went to wasn't playing The Fault in Our Stars. I'm glad I was forced to give it a chance. I was far from sold on the premise of an alien-fighting, time traveling Cruise in a mechanical combat suit, but Edge of Tomorrow turned out to be an intriguing plot with strong acting and a dash of comedy.

Cruise's uncharacteristic cowardice at the start of the film captured my attention. He's a major in the world army, a man who has risen through the ranks through business, not brawn. When he attempts to desert, he's conscripted to a base camp preparing to go all in to remove the alien enemy from earth...the next morning. The assault is launched and Cruise's unfortunate character (Cage) runs around clueless. He can't even get the safety off of his weapon. Lucky for our less than combat-ready hero, each time he's killed, Cage wakes up the morning previous, back at base camp.

I got the feeling with each "reset" that I was witnessing some noob respawning on a multiplayer game of Halo. And it was entertaining. The urgency and comedy in each of Cruise's do-overs resulted in a bizarre cross of Groundhog Day and Independence Day. The audience is even treated to a taste of 50 First Dates as Cruise uses his uncanny ability to hit on costar Emily Blunt.

In the end, Edge of Tomorrow, brought a fresh spin to both the time travel genre and put Cruise back on track.

The Verdict

The Brick: SEE IT
D_Sidd: SEE IT

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Maleficent: Angelina Jolie propels a revitalized Disney classic

The Hit
Maleficent, a live Disney adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, tells the backstory of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, the wicked sorcerer from the classic Disney movie. Unlike the original, after Maleficent curses the new born Aurora, the movie goes through a timeline showing the audience Aurora's childhood through Maleficent's point of view. In the end, we learn that the jilted lover who put a curse on the Aurora has a heart and has been a fairy godmother to Aurora.
    The movie itself contains stunning visual effects, various traditional fantasy themes, music for every mood and a sprinkling of comedy. In the end, you root for Maleficent and actually take her side. The only real downside to this movie are the moments of overly cheesy acting, especially from the three good fairies. 
     Maleficent is another Disney home run, backed by solid casting and a strong plot. In the end you fall in love with Maleficent and learn that, just like in "Frozen," not all kisses have to be from a prince for a spell to be broken. See this movie with friends or family alike.
The Verdict
  • SEE IT
  • Don't see it
  • Rent it

Welcome to Flick Hit!

Flick Hit is a new kind of movie review blog dedicated to writing short and sweet movie reviews. Instead of a long summary, we're going to give you review blurbs or "hits" about what we think of the latest flicks to hit the big screen. Stay tuned, our first reviews will be up soon!