Friday, August 7, 2015

Film Fridays! -- August 7, 2015

*movie titles link to IMDB pages*


WOW. I've missed a lot of blogging in the last couple of weeks, and I've watched quite a few movies, so today's Film Fridays is going to be ALL reviews!

Title: Black or White
Starring: Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer

Thoughts: This movie was much better than I was expecting. Let me tell you, the trailers make this movie seem like a completely different movie than it is. The trailers really played up the racism aspect, but that wasn't the main focus of the movie. In fact, it was only brought up a few times, most importantly at the end. But it's not what the movie is about.

The movie follows a man who, along with his wife, has been taking care of his granddaugher since her mother died in childbirth. When his wife dies, the girl's paternal family wants a bigger involvement in her life, and it spirals from there. I really enjoyed the characters in this movie. They're all deeply flawed, but they all want the same thing: what's best for the little girl. The journey they take is emotional and difficult, but it plays out very realistically. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it!

Rating: B

Title: Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast
Starring: Mae Whitman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Rosario Dawson

Thoughts: If you haven't watched the Tinker Bell movies yet,  you really need to, no matter what age you are. The first one is very cute, but the rest of them are devastatingly wonderful. I've cried multiple times during this series, and this one may be my favorite yet. Even my mom cried watching this one.

This particular movie focuses more on one of Tinker Bell's friends, Fawn, who is an animal fairy with a penchant for finding and bonding with more dangerous creatures than the other fairies. Just when she is determined to follow the rules and not risk any more damage to Pixie Hollow, she discovers a new creature: the Neverbeast.

Really, you don't need to know more than that. But if you're a movie-crier like me, keep a box of tissues handy. You're going to need them.

Rating: A+

Title: When the Game Stands Tall
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Alexander Ludwig, Matthew Daddario

Thoughts: This is the true story of the high school football team who hold the longest winning streak in high school football history, winning 151 games in a row. The first game the movie shows is the game that broke that streak.

I love inspirational sports movies. We Are Marshall, Remember the Titans, A League of their Own...I cry every time I watch those movies, so I was excited to watch this movie. Then, as the previews on the DVD played, I got a little worried. This was produced, or at least distributed, by Affirm, a Christian company that also distributed the Kirk Cameron movie Fireproof. Because of a difference in opinions and beliefs, I cannot stand Kirk Cameron or his movies, so I was a little worried that this movie would be a little too Christian intensive for me.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. It is not nearly as preachy as I was afraid it would be; in fact, it veers into that territory early on, but quickly moves on to the actual football-playing. So I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I expected to.

The young actors in the cast really shine here. We have Alexander Ludwig of Hunger Games fame, whom I love. And Matthew Daddario, who will be playing Alec Lightwood on the Shadowhunters TV show next year! (Sidenote: he really IS attractive. Good casting.) And Jessie Usher will be playing Will Smith's son in Independence Day: Resurgence next year.

If you enjoy emotional sports movies like I do, I definitely recommend this one!

Rating: B+

Title: Ant-Man
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll

Thoughts: YAASS. You should know by now that I am a HUGE Marvel fangirl. So of course I was going to see Ant-Man in theaters.

Paul Rudd was a brilliant casting choice for Scott Lang. As usual, he's hilarious, but he can also pull off the drama and action when he needs to. Really, I have absolutely no complaints for any part of the cast. They are all perfect for their roles.

I think some people are/were apprehensive about this movie. But let me just say this: if you've liked the other Marvel movies, you will love this one, as well. It's paced well, the comic timing is on point (especially Michael Pena, MAN that guy has good timing), and it's got a lot of heart. I almost cried at one point.

I will also say that this is a fairly self-contained installment, but it does have significant implications on the larger MCU as a whole. And on that note, make very sure that you stick around for both the mid-credits and post-credits scene, because they are both important to the universe as we move forward!

Rating: A+

Title: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson

Thoughts: My parents saw this a long time ago, so I was so excited to finally see it when it came out on DVD. And I LOVED it just as much as I thought I would.

I knew that Twitter had gone gaga for it earlier this year, but I hadn't experienced the hype for myself. But it's so great! The plot is fun, the action is fantastic, and who wouldn't love Colin Farrell as a gentleman/secret agent? And Taron Egerton? That boy needs to score more movie roles, because he is fine.

What is really great about Kingsman is the way it plays off of old spy movies, especially James Bond. There's a moment near the end that seems to directly parody the James Bond movies, and it is so fun.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this movie. Is it perfect? Probably not, but I couldn't name a single flaw. If you enjoy comic books, violent action and spy flicks, you would love this movie.

Rating: A

Title: Descendants
Starring: Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce,  Booboo Stewart, Kristin Chenoweth

Thoughts: This is one Disney Channel movie that I've been anticipating for a long time. The prequel novel, The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz, was released earlier this year. I haven't read it, but I might have to pick it up now.

It was just really fun. The premise follows a group of villain's children who are invited to the school for hero's kids in order to grant them a second chance, an opportunity to not follow in their parents' footsteps. We meet Mal (daughter of Maleficent), Evie (daughter of Evil Queen), Carlos (son of Cruella), and Jay (son of Jafar). But when they're invited to leave the Isle of the Lost, Maleficent orders them to seize the Fairy Godmother's wand for her purposes, so the villains can take over the kingdom again. But do the villains' kids really want to be bad?

It's just so cute. I love these actors. Most of the kids are Disney Channel kids from other shows: Dove stars on Liv & Maddie, and Cameron is a star on Jessie. But Booboo Stewart is Seth from the Twilight Saga, and he is just adorable. And Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent? It's so perfect for the Disney Channel. She is just the right mixture of malice and hammy showtunes.

The characters are fun, and there are so many side characters and references from other Disney movies. And while the movie wraps up the story nicely, there is plenty of room for a sequel. I know that Melissa de la Cruz is planning a second Descendants novel for next year, and there is an animated series starting soon. So I think it'll be fun to follow these characters in the year to come and see where the story goes from here! 

Rating: B+

Title: Home
Starring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin

Thoughts: Ever since JLo sang her Home song on American Idol this spring, I've been dying to see this. Her performance of the song alone made me cry, so I had high hopes for the movie.

IT'S SO CUTE. Jim Parsons is hilarious as Oh, the Boov. And Rihanna is surprisingly adorable as Gratuity "Tip" Tucci, the young girl trying to find her mom. There's plenty of humor and a lot of emotion. I manage to keep it together until almost the end, and then the floodgates opened.

The music was perfect for the movie, and I loved the Boov so much. Not much to say here; just go watch it. You won't regret it.

Rating: A

Title: Midnight Madness
Starring: David Naughton, Stephen Furst, Michael J. Fox

Thoughts: This is a movie I'd never heard of, but one of my mom's coworkers loaned it to us because she thought we'd like it. And dude, if you've never heard of this movie either, go check it out. Right now. I'll wait.

This is the story of an elaborate game that five teams of college students are playing overnight. The idea is that the teams are given a clue that they have to solve which will lead to a location, and there they will find another clue, until they reach the finish line.

This is Michael J. Fox's first movie role, and he is so young and adorable! The other actors are great, too. This was released in 1980, but don't be put off by the '70's feel. It's especially bad at the beginning, but it's not as apparent throughout the rest of the movie. And man, it is just FUN. There's a cameo by Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman), and it's fun to try to solve the clues along with the teams. And the race to the finish line is so epic and awesome. So go watch this movie if you're looking for a good time!

Rating: A-

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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