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I Belong

Movie: The Duff

November 24th, 2014 Bridget Posted in Movies Comments Off

The Duff Movie Poster

I don’t know how many of you are excited to see The Duff hit theaters in April 2015, but I know that I am. This looks like my kind of chick flick! Personally, I feel like there haven’t really been any great chick flicks since the 90’s when Never Been Kissed and She’s All That came out. I loved those movies and this one looks like it might be just as good, which has me super pumped! Not only does it look totally hilarious, but it looks like one of those movies that will make you sigh and be all giddy with your friends. A romantic comedy done right!

The Duff Pic 1The Duff Pic 2

To be perfectly honest, I had not read the book The Duff by Kody Keplinger until very recently. I actually saw the trailer for the movie and thought it looked adorable. I remembered that I had an unread copy of the book sitting on my selves, so I decided to pick it up. Personally, I really enjoyed the book and thought it was hilarious and delivered a good message (a full review is to come). But I’m not going to lie, there was a lot sex in the book and I just didn’t see how they were going to turn this into a movie with a PG-13 rating. Luckily after watching the trailer again it looks as if they did decide to change the storyline and I think it will be for the better. It will still deliver the same great message the book gave us, but in a slightly different way. I know that this will probably be a disappointment to avid fans of the book, but I think it will actually be an improvement to the story.

The Duff Pic 3

I am totally planning on getting a group of girlfriends together and going to see it this opening weekend. What about you? Are you excited for the movie? If you have read the book, do you think it will portray what you loved about the book? CBS Films has released a trailer that we have featured below. Let us know what you think and if you want to see the movie or not!

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Movie: Fifty Shades of Grey

August 10th, 2014 Angela Posted in Movies 1 Comment »

Fifty Shades PosterI’m sure many of you are eagerly (more like breathlessly) awaiting the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, currently scheduled to hit theaters on Valentine’s Day in 2015.  I fear that I too will be sucked into the Shades madness by my gaggle of co-workers demanding that we all see the film together, and to make sure that we have all read the books in advance.  Against my better judgment, I gave into the peer pressure and finally purchased Fifty Shades of Grey.  I just don’t see the fascination with this story. There is really nothing original about it.  I wasn’t blown away by the synopsis of this story.  Many of my trusted book buddies hated these books.  My mom read the series with her work book club and thought it was drivel and poorly written.  A lot of my favorite book blogs destroyed this series in their reviews.  To top it all off, my co-worker told me that E.L. James originally crafted this story as Twilight fan-fiction. Uh, okay.  With so much hype surrounding this series, I can see how it would be hard to live up to everyone’s expectations.  Look, I’m not going to lie, when it comes to “erotic” fiction it’s easy to distinguish between rubbish and masters of the genre.  It’s a shame that this genre gets such a bad rap. Nobody wants to read a creepy or poorly written sex scene.  Nobody wants to read weird language use or even weirder descriptive phrases.  The reality is that this can translate over into any genre.  I like well-written stories, well crafted sex scenes, well developed characters, a killer plotline, etc.  I never think twice about reading stories from Jaci Burton, Sylvia Day, Karin Tabke, Lora Leigh, or Shayla Black.  These ladies deliver, time and time again.  I’m only 40% into Fifty Shades of Grey on my Kindle and it’s just an okay read thus far.  This book doesn’t seem all that risque or erotic to me. Riveted?  Not really.  Will I be able to stick with this series?  I just don’t know.  It’s likely that I won’t.  Will I see Fifty Shades of Grey with my co-workers?  Probably, but only if they buy me a ticket! :-)

Will the movie be a success?  That too is also unclear, at least critically acclaimed anyway.  The series is a bestselling phenomenon selling more than 90 million copies. That doesn’t necessarily translate into obscene millions at the box office (word of mouth could kill momentum).  The role of the iconic billionaire Christian Grey is being played by Jamie Dornan.  Anastasia Steele will be played by Dakota Johnson.  I’m still on the fence about the casting in this movie.  I do think that Dornan is the better choice to play Christian, but as for Dakota Johnson — not so much.  Even after watching the movie trailer it’s not clear to me that main characters share an all consuming connection.  Does Johnson have the acting chops to pull a role like this off?

Fifty Shades 2Fifty Shades 1

I have my doubts that this type of source material can translate well on the big screen. Mostly because I don’t feel like these characters are romantic in the slightest and the reality is that a lot of these sex scenes will NEVER get past the MPAA.  So what are we left with?  I hear fans of the series talk about the romance element and the connection that Christian and Ana share and thus far, I have not felt it or seen it in the portion of the story that I have read.  It feels pretty soulless to me.  Many of these sex scenes will fade to black.  The studio wants an R rating to get people in the theater.  NC-17 is off the table since most theater chains will not carry the rating, and that will then limit the sales and earning capacity of the film.  With many of the sex scenes being cut or dumbed down for the audience, I don’t see the point in making a film that is supposed to highlight Christian’s sexual predilections (his very “singular erotic tastes”) and Ana’s willingness to be “enlightened” if in fact this isn’t tastefully and artfully shown to the audience.  I get that NC-17 can be a disaster.  Just think about that dreadful movie called “Showgirls”.  Just awful in every way possible.  But honestly, with most of the base of this series being driven by females, the studio has to know that women aren’t interested in seeing Ana objectified and exploited sexually because the MPAA is willing to show only tits and ass, while the driving force of the story is really Christian and the world that he exposes Ana to.  You can bet though that the studio will not bare all of Jamie Dornan.  The only real networks with the guts to be honest about male sexuality and exposure are Starz and HBO.  I just don’t think these scenes will have a very real or authentic feel to them.

Fifty Shades 4Fifty Shades of Gray

Universal Pictures has launched a very interesting marketing campaign for the movie. Fans can sign-up to become interns for Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. and complete assignments/tasks.  Recently, Universal Pictures also released an official movie trailer. What do you guys think?

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Man of Steel Movie Trailer

December 14th, 2012 Angela Posted in Movies Comments Off

Christopher Nolan is simply brilliant. He’s taking control of another superhero franchise and I couldn’t have hoped for someone better. After what he did for the Batman reboot, his talent or vision can’t be denied. I would love for him to take the helm on a Justice League movie. Marvel has basically cornered the market on kick-ass superhero flicks and ensemble casts. No question The Avengers movie will be hard to beat. That movie blew my mind. I have a feeling that my senses will be taken to the brink again. When the official trailer for Man of Steel went viral a few days ago, I was beyond thrilled. Quite simply — this trailer is stunning! It clearly tells a fantastic story. Taking viewers on that familiar journey with “Clark” — The Last Son of Krypton. His origin story never gets old. Superman is an iconic superhero, bringing so much to the American culture. I really love the casting in this film. Henry Cavill as Supes, Michael Shannon as General Zod, and Russell Crowe as Jor-El. The list goes on and on. With Zack Snyder (Watchmen and 300) directing and the screenplay/story by the equally brilliant David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Crow, Blade), this movie is poised to vault this franchise into movie history. The summer of 2013 can’t come fast enough! Watch the trailer below:

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Movie Review: Fright Night

September 1st, 2011 Angela Posted in Movies, Review 4 Comments »

Title: Fright Night

Director: Craig Gillespie

Producer: Michael De Luca

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Distributor: DreamWorks

Series: Fright Night

Release Date: August 19, 2011

Format: 3D

Runtime: 120 Minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Starring: Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Toni Collette, and David Tennant

Synopsis (Product Description):

Senior Charlie Brewster finally has it all–he’s running with the popular crowd and dating the hottest girl in high school. In fact, he’s so cool he’s even dissing his best friend Ed. But trouble arrives when an intriguing stranger Jerry moves in next door. He seems like a great guy at first, but there’s something not quite right–and everyone, including Charlie’s mom, doesn’t notice. After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charlie comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighborhood. Unable to convince anyone that he’s telling the truth, Charlie has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself in this revamp of the comedy-horror classic.

The Review:

Hollywood is recycling movies, cranking out remakes, reboots and prequels so fast that Fright Night is just one of TWO remakes released in the same week in August. But unlike the Conan reboot, Fright Night hits it out of the park. I confess to never having seen the original Fright Night, so I’m a tabula rasa so far as preconceptions of what Fright Night should be. I can’t tell you how well the new Fright Night stands up to the original. What I can tell you is that this new Fright Night alternates perfectly between funny and thrilling. Starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Imogen Poots, David Tennant and Toni Collette, Fright Night is long on talent and short on filler. It moves at a brisk pace until it turns on pacing afterburners (in a good way!) about halfway through.

Anton Yelchin plays Charley Brewster. He and his single mom, Jane, played by Toni Collette live in Las Vegas and in a nod to the real world the economy is weak resulting in dozens of foreclosed, empty houses. So when whole families disappear from the neighborhood, it’s only natural to think that the former occupants fell on hard economic times and lost the family home. But Charley’s best friend, Ed, knows better. Ed knows that all the missing kids at school and empty houses in town are the work of Vampires. Queue Jerry, played by Colin Farrell. He’s Charley and Jane’s new next door neighbor. Y’know, a guy who works nights and sleeps during the day. A lot of people work nights at Vegas casinos. Besides, a vampire named Jerry? That’s like naming a vampire Bill, Erik or Pam ;)

Well just like Erik Northman, Jerry is of the species homo vampiricus badassicus. He will not be throwing pebbles at your window and sharing chaste kisses with you in the woods. He will however, be flipping your car over and trying to disembowel you. Colin may be the scariest character named Jerry in all film history. At the start of the movie it’s a quite, subtle menace, but it isn’t long before Jerry cuts loose and the movie shifts gears from fun comedy to all out thrill ride. Fright Night, like 30 Days of Night reminds us that vampires need not be angst ridden and insecure. They EAT PEOPLE! And it’s awesome.

I don’t know whether Fright Night is a good remake, but it is a great movie. It is full of laughs but has fantastic thrills too. After seeing what vampires named Jerry are capable of, let’s all of us hope what happens in Vegas truly stays in Vegas.

FTC Advisory: We purchased our own tickets.

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Movie Review: Conan The Barbarian

August 31st, 2011 Angela Posted in Movies, Review 4 Comments »

Title: Conan The Barbarian

Director: Marcus Nispel

Producer: Fredrik Malmberg

Genre: Action, Fantasy

Distributor: Lionsgate

Series: Conan The Barbarian

Release Date: August 19, 2011

Format: 3D

Runtime: 112 Minutes

MPAA Rating: R

Starring: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, and Saïd Taghmaoui

Synopsis (Product Description):

The most legendary Barbarian of all time is back this Summer. Having thrived and evolved for eight consecutive decades in the public imagination- in prose and graphics, on the big screen and small, in games and properties of all kinds- Conan’s exploits in the Hyborian Age now come alive like never before in a colossal 3D action-adventure film.

A quest that begins as a personal vendetta for the fierce Cimmerian warrior soon turns into an epic battle against hulking rivals, horrific monsters, and impossible odds, as Conan realizes he is the only hope of saving the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil.

The Review:

“Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of.  And unto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow.  It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga.  Let me tell you of the days of high adventure.”

So begins the awesome prologue of Conan The Barbarian released in 1982.  The original Conan helped catapult Arnold Schwarzenegger to super stardom.  This summer’s reboot stars Jason Mamoa, who plays Khal Drogo in the HBO series, A Game of Thrones.  While Jason Mamoa is perfectly cast as Conan, the Conan reboot is no match for the original film.  Though this reboot of Conan is better than 1984’s Conan The Destroyer.

Reboots necessarily invite comparison to the original movie.  Unfortunately for this reboot, the original Conan The Barbarian is a cult classic because it is actually a really good movie.  This may be hard to believe if you have not seen the original 1982 film because of the governator’s reputation for making brain dead action movies, but here are a few fun facts about the 1982 film.  The original Conan The Barbarian was directed and co-written by John Milius (writer of Apocalypse Now) with writing help from Oliver Stone.   Arnold played the title role, but the movie wouldn’t have been the classic it was without James Earl Jones’ portrayal of the villainous Thulsa Doom.  To top it off, the music was composed by Basil Poledouris.  You may not know the name but you know his music — Robocop, Starship Troopers and Red Dawn to name a few.

Now comes the 2011 Conan reboot, which is in all fairness, a respectable action movie directed by Marcus Nispel, starring the aforementioned Jason Mamoa.  Ron Perlman does a great job playing Conan’s father and Leo Howard almost steals the show as the young Conan.  The makers of the Conan reboot wisely opted for an R rating.  There is sufficient bloodletting to do justice to the Conan mythos. Where Conan begins to go off track is with its one dimensional characters and underutilized fantasy elements.  Chief among the weak characters is the villain, Khalar Zym, played by the extremely talented Stephen Lang.  Khalar Zym is a poor shadow of the villainous Thulsa Doom.

Zym is introduced as an all conquering bad ass on the quest for a fabled mask that is supposed to bestow great power upon whoever wears it.  Despite all the buildup of this mystical super weapon, it turns out to have about as much power as a flashlight.  Epic super weapon fail.  Without a strong villain to provide a suitable challenge for Conan, the movie doesn’t ever pick up steam.  Most of the elements for a good movie are in place — great cast, good action scenes and strong production values, but Zym and his cadre of bad guys just don’t carry their weight as fantasy villains.  In the pantheon of villains, Zym is a forgettable b-lister.

Hopefully, the writers can remedy the lack of a strong villain in a sequel.  There’s a lot of potential for a franchise and Jason Mamoa is the ideal Conan, but this Conan fan is still waiting for the days of high adventure.

FTC Advisory: We purchased our own tickets.

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