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)