Friday, July 10, 2015

Film Fridays! -- July 10, 2015

*movie titles link to IMDB pages*


I know last week I said that I probably wouldn't be watching any movies. But it turns out, I lied! I actually watched three movies this week, so let's get into my mini-reviews! (Also from now on, I'll be rating movies on an A-F scale rather than stars. Books will still be given a star rating!)

Title: Teen Beach 2
Starring: Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Grace Phipps

Thoughts: Even up until just a couple of years ago, I used to watch the Disney Channel all the time, especially when there was just nothing on. Nowadays I turn to things like Food Network or HGTV, or even just some movie that I've seen a million times. I rarely watch the Disney Channel anymore.

The exceptions are Girl Meets World (a must for Boy Meets World fans), and occasionally a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM).

Teen Beach Movie was one of those exceptions and I loved it so much more than I expected. So when the sequel was released, of course I had to watch it! Our two leads, Ross and Maia, are just adorable together. The movie is just a ton of fun; song and dance numbers, fun riffs on 60's beach movies, and a lovely beachy setting. In the original, Brody and Mack got sucked into the world of their favorite 60's beach movie, Wet Side Story. (Har har.) In this sequel, the two leads from the movie have been changed by their interactions with Brody and Mack and find their way into the real world, which could have disastrous results for the movie!

I loved the journey our characters take. It's way deeper than you would expect from a DCOM these days. And oddly enough, I cried near the end. Yeah. I'm a huge softie. Overall, if you enjoy fun, fluffy DCOMs, and especially if you loved the first movie, I recommend you see this sequel!

Rating: A-

Title: Project Almanac

Starring: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Sam Lerner

Thoughts: I wanted to like this movie much more than I did.

Our protagonist David has just been accepted into MIT, but has not received the full scholarship he needs to make it work financially. In his endeavors to find another scholarship, he stumbles upon an old camcorder of his Dad's that inexplicably shows him, 18-year-old David, at his own 7th birthday. This leads him to find the plans and makings of a time machine in his basement, so he and his scientifically-minded friends put themselves to work in building it.

There were definitely parts of the movie I enjoyed immensely. Once they've got the time machine up and running, they (David, his friends, his sister, and his crush) immediately jump into using it for their own benefits. One guy redoes his pop quiz presentation over and over again until he aces it; they learn the winning lotto numbers and use them to win a huge sum of money; they attend Lollapalooza with backstage passes that were sold on ebay after the fact for $5. It's so much fun, and there are plenty of laughs. And the development of the romance between David and Jessie makes you root for them the whole way. Unfortunately, that's also where things start to go haywire.

Without giving too many spoilers, it was the conflict of the movie that started to screw things up for me. Time travel movies are often confusing in their logic, and Project Almanac definitely fell prey to that flaw. Once things start to show their inconsistencies, the movie loses its momentum for me. I still enjoyed the movie, especially the first half, but the second half seemed to spiral out of control a bit. There were really interesting concepts that weren't fully explored, and other concepts seemed to contradict themselves.

Also, I just really don't understand what happened to David's dad. Watch the movie for yourself and tell me if you figured it out.

Rating: C

Title: Need for Speed
Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots

Thoughts: This movie got terrible ratings when it was released. And so, I put off watching it for a long time. That was a mistake.

This is an adaptation of the popular racing video game franchise of the same title. The plot and characters, however, are entirely original, so I'm not exactly sure how it can be based on the games, when the only things they share are car races and police chases. Then again, I've never played the games, so who am I to say it doesn't compute?

Barring the adaptation talk, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Yes, it draws comparisons to the Fast & Furious franchise (which I LOVE with a passion), but the main thing the two share is fast cars. So I'm comfortable saying that I don't see why you can't enjoy both.

We follow our main character Tobey on a quest for revenge against the rival racer who caused the death of his friend. The movie is full of awesome driving sequences, fun banter between friends, and even a nice bit of romance. I was hooked from the beginning, and never bored.

And I must say that after watching this movie, I need more Aaron Paul in my life. His voice is so not what I expected from that face, but I definitely swoon a little when he talks. And when he gets that serious look in his blue, blue eyes. My mom and I recently decided to binge-watch Breaking Bad after we finish this season of OITNB. I am ten times more excited about it now.

Would this movie ever win any awards? No. In general, it's pretty over-the-top and the acting isn't always on point. But if you're looking for a fun, action-filled racing movie with a dash of heart, you should definitely check it out.

Rating: B+


This was a really slow week for DVD releases. On Tuesday, July 7th, the following movie came out on DVD and Blu-ray: 

 Woman in Gold
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Helen Mirren

And three movies are releasing to theaters! 

Title: Minions
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm

Title: The Gallows
Starring: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown

Title: Self/less
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley

What am I most excited for out of all this week's releases? MINIONS. I mean, come on. Who doesn't love those adorable little yellow guys? I swear they only speak in either foreign languages ("Mi bellas") or fruits ("Banana! Papaya!"). They're the best.

What I'll Be Watching

Honestly, we still haven't started Orange is the New Black, but that will be happening this week. I may see if my mom wants to see The Gallows this weekend, because we're huge horror movie buffs and we love seeing them in theaters, even if my dad doesn't come with us. I'll probably watch Kingsman sometime this week, as well. My parents have seen it, but I haven't yet, and I've heard such great things about it.  

On the new trailer front, the trailer for the Goosebumps movie was just dropped yesterday! I read a lot of Goosebumps when I was younger, so it's fun to see it come to life. It does look like it's going to be pretty family friendly; they're definitely playing up the laughs in the trailer to make it less scary for younger kids. It definitely looks fun. Does it look like it's living up to my childhood? Maybe not. But I'm interested to see what the full, finished product looks like! 

Tell me: what movies have YOU seen lately? What are you planning on seeing very soon? And what trailers are you the most excited about? Let me know in the comments below!

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