Top 5 Tuesday: Favorite Childhood Movies

Hey everyone, today marks the start up of college once again. I’ve sort of been falling behind in preparation for classes, but I will not fall behind on Top 5 Tuesdays. So here is the list of my favorite movies from when I was a child, note that these are not necessarily child friendly movies.

5. Batman Forever

I’ve always loved superhero movies, and while Batman Forever still holds a special spot in my heart, it’s not a good movie. It’s great compared to Batman & Robin, but still no where near the Keaton Batman. I personally like that Batman more than Forever, but this is me trying to think in my childhood mindset. I loved the zany Riddler and the more comedic Two-face, but they didn’t age too well.

4. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Easily one of the best Jim Carrey performances. He’s funny, quotable and did I say funny? This isn’t one of my favorites anymore, but I still love it more than most modern comedy films. The sequel doesn’t hold a candle, but Ace Ventura is definitely a must see film for comedy lovers. Laces Out!

3. The Matrix

It’s hard to believe that I quite young when this movie came out. It was a revolutionary film that blew my small mind as a child. I pretty much watched it once a week on VHS when I was a child. It was probably the best movie from my childhood, but oddly it wasn’t my favorite.

2. Mystery Men

Mystery_Men_film_posterI loved superhero films growing up (I still do, but who doesn’t). Mystery Men is sort of a superhero film, but it is crazy and hilarious. Ben Stiller, Paul Ruebens and William H. Macy made my younger self laugh like a never before. I watched the movie pretty much every day and could quote the movie like an expert. It had flashy effects for the time, flashier than what I had seen at least. It had everything my little brain could ever want.

1. The Mask

Jim Carrey, man, he gets me every time. I loved this movie just a slight bit more than Mystery Men and I literally watched this movie daily as a kid. Now looking back, there were a lot of jokes that went straight over my head, but that just makes rewatching it now even more fun. Who would have thought my favorite childhood movie had condom jokes.

The Equalizer Film Review (2014)

The_Equalizer_posterWhen this movie came out, it looked quite promising. Denzel Washington and action seem to go hand in hand, which is strange since Washington is nothing like the run of the mill action star. The man has been nominated for six Academy Awards with a wide range of performances and he is convincing in each and every one. Now, I knew getting into this that it wouldn’t be an Oscar worthy film, but it sounded promising. So to sum things up, I was quite excited when this came in the mail the other day.

The film starts slowly, showing Washington and his relationships with his co-worker and a young girl prostitute. These part set Washington apart from the average action star as he’s able to convince the viewer that he truly cares for the people around him, which makes his jump to action seem reasonable. Once the movie’s violence starts, it never really stops. The action sequences are well done, the shots are beautifully done and the tone is definitely strong in this.

The most surprising thing is that a movie dealing with prostitution and many other sex crimes has no nudity. It helps that the main characters friend is an underage girl (Chloƫ Grace Moretz) and all the other prostitutes are very limited in screen time. It just feels like every R-rated action movie nowadays has gratuitous nudity, so it was welcome that this one did not when they could have found 100 opportunities to do so.

At a glance, this is a near perfect action movie. It has creative deaths, a strong tone and Denzel Washington in front of the camera. It’s biggest issue is that when the action picks up, the substance of the characters drops in quality. Washington is still great, but not as great. The bad guys start feeling like caricatures and while the beginning did a great job establishing the lead, the supporting cast didn’t get enough time to establish themselves. The question of if and when they’ll be put in danger doesn’t matter so much because they’re not that important to the viewer.

Despite that issue, the film is still incredibly fun and action packed. It’s hard to deny that Denzel Washington is an incredibly talented actor and is able to submerge in a wide range of roles. This is definitely one of the best action movies in recent memory and worth a watch if action is your forte.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014 Film Review)

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_posterThis film has been reviewed by the best of them, so I’ll try to keep mine short. The film has a pretty generic story, involving the turtles coming past their issues with one another, working alongside April O’Neil and company to fight a common foe that changed all their lives. It’s a tale of revenge, but mostly of tale of sub par CGI. The story is pretty generic, but Summer blockbusters are known for light storylines and heavy action.

While the film does have a heaping helping of action, it often times is just a blur of CGI. Compared to the older Ninja Turtles movies, the fighting is arguably better. It’s not a great sight, but better than dudes fighting in turtles costumes. The acting isn’t fantastic either, it’s not terrible, but it felt like people just acting for a pay check. The turtle voices and personalities weren’t terrible, but Johnny Knoxville seems a little old to be voicing a teenage turtle. I love Knoxville, but they probably could have done some better casting.

Like I said, I’ll keep this review short. It wasn’t as bad as some people have said, but it has nothing amazing to set it apart from all the other CGI filled movies.

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Nymphomaniac Volume I (Director’s Cut Review)

Nymphomaniac_posterWow. What a movie. I’ve never seen a Lars von Trier film before and I’m not sure if this was the best or worst movie to start with. Nymphomaniac has pretty much a story in a story, where a woman tells a man who found her beaten and bloody in the streets about her life story, mostly involving sex. The stories range from innocent self exploration all the way too her engaging in sexual acts with different men in a short period of time. She has other tales to tell, involving her loving father and shrewish mother, but the majority of the film follows sex.

The cast in the film is pretty phenomenal, with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, Stacy Martin and Stellan Skarsgard having the strongest roles. The biggest surprise, performance wise was Christian Slater’s role as the lead character’s father. I’ve only ever been impressed by Slater in True Romance, but he offered up an amazing role that was complex. Gainsbourg and Martin play the same character, Joe, and spend most of the film in differing stages of undress. Their performances were both great, but Martin probably shined a little brighter since most of the stories involved Joe at Martin’s age. Shia LaBeouf was good, he was played a character with quite a bit of depth, but was mostly a jerk the whole way through. Skarsgard was also phenomenal and his defense of Gainsborg’s actions through the course of the film is at times comical. Despite his age, he seems to act with a boyish wonder to his eyes, it’s truly captivating.

The subject matter should probably be discussed, yes, there is a lot of nudity in this film, especially the uncut version. There are graphic shots of genitals, breasts, most sex acts and a whole lot of moaning. The film is not a porno, it’s nudity is closely tied with the story and it’s not shown as some sort of gratification. The subject matter is far too intense, despite its occasionally casual and comedic tone. It deals with death, pain and an absence of love. This being the director’s cut, it is filled with potentially more sex scenes, more nudity and more story. I’m not quite sure since I haven’t seen the theatrical cut yet. It’s quite a long watch, but at the end of the film I felt like it was worth it.

Overall, I can’t recommend this to everyone, but it was a great enough watch in my opinion.

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Camp Takota (Film Review)

Camp_Takota_Official_Movie_PosterI should probably preface this by saying that had this not been on Netflix streaming, I probably would not have watched this. I have nothing against Grace Helbig, I find her hilarious but her plugs for the film seemed like I wouldn’t like it. After watching the first minute or two, I felt like my first impression was a correct one. Anyways, here the review.

So within the first minute or two of the film, I feared this would be one that I would turn off before the midway point. Grace Helbig is very stiff in her performance, especially in the beginning and the guy playing her fiance was just as stiff. When they were on-screen together, it felt very much like a student film. Once the Hart ladies get on-screen, it all gets a bit better. They seem to elevate one another when they’re together. There are still scenes between them that feel very amateur, but it’s leaps and bounds better than the beginning. The movie’s performance never fully escapes the student film feel, but it more often has glimpses of a good independent film. The three leads, while staples on Youtube, could all have a future in film with just a little improvement.

Mamrie_Hart_and_Grace_Helbig_at_No_Filter_in_December_2013The story is pretty interesting. The film follows Helbig’s character, Elise. Elise has a great life, she’s engaged and working a great job until her life takes a turn for the worse. She resorts to going to her childhood camp, Camp Takota to get away. The script has good jokes and an interesting enough plot. It’s not a slice of perfection, but it’s solid enough. It’s also great to see a movie with female protagonists written by women. Not only is Mamrie Hart the best performer in the movie, she is one of the reasons why the script and the dialogue was so strong. Sure, boiled down this is a story about relationships, but it’s also about moving on and being happy being yourself, which is an important message not always preached. Sure, there’s wrenches in the mix, but that’s a common trait in any film. One could argue that it wraps itself into a little bow a little too cleanly, but I’ll admit, I was a sucker for that ending.

Some of the biggest issues were with the visuals and the sound. Some shots had audio not lined up, mostly which reaction shots, which isn’t a bad thing normally but the angle of the shots they do made it very apparent. Other times the audio quality was sub par, ruining any sort of pretty visuals. There’s an over use of dissolves, which are often unneeded in between shots, also there are some scenes that end with a fade to black and no audio whatsoever. The loss of visuals is fine, but having some sort of music or natural sounds or room tones prevents the oddness from coming through. Without it, it feels like a really strange mistake.

It should be known that this film is more adult-oriented, which can be confusing by the title and the basic plot description. Dialogue doesn’t pull punches and the main subject matter is more for late teens to young adults. I’d say it’s more for young women, but men can also enjoy it since most of the humor isn’t gender-specific. It’s a fun watch, has good laughs and glimpses of some really good performances.

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22 Jump Street (Quick Review)

Sorry for the quick review, but it took me a while to write a review for this. I still know the score, but I can’t go as in depth as I’d like to.

22_Jump_Street_PosterPros

Great chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. They play off one another so well, it makes every scene they are in such a treat. The jokes made about it being the same thing were spot on and hilarious. The relationship between Hill and Cube’s characters are amazing in this installment, a definite step up from the previous movie. Also, the post credits sequence is a must watch. Despite how you feel about the movie as a whole, the post-credits will make you cry like a baby.

Cons

Since it is too much of the same, it might drive some people crazy. At first watch, I thought the movie was perfect, but as time went on I don’t know if I can watch it again and laugh at all the same points. I’ve seen 21 Jump Street 3 times and cried from laughing too damn hard.

Overall

A great movie, I’m not sure if it will live as long as 21 Jump Street, but it was a great movie and an amazing sequel nonetheless.

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InAPPropriate Comedy Review

This review contains strong language.

Why did this movie win? Why did I have to watch it? I don’t know, but it was fucking torture. Because it’s so painful to write about it, this review will be very short and not so sweet. The acting was terrible. Having already seen The Amazing Racist on YouTube, what was arguably the most funny part of the movie was spoiled for me. While it’s not hilarious, this part of the movie is the most laugh worthy. Flirty Harry was decent, but like everything else in the movie, it needed better writing for it to be more than sub par. Pretty much all the skits felt like they were written prior to 2007. Blackass? Seriously a Jackass joke is the dumbest thing to have in a recent movie. Fuck, this was terrible. If I have to give this a score, it’s a .5 out of 5. So bad, avoid at all costs.