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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

San Andreas (3D)

The boys at Cal Tech think they predict earthquakes. From Hoover Dam to L.A. to S.F., look out, here comes the big one. But have no fears, it's the Rock to the rescue. Dwayne Johnson is a helicopter rescue pilot who diverts from his job for personal reasons desperately trying to save his family by any means necessary. If you like over the top disaster movies, this special effects spectacular will show some of your favorite landmarks utterly destroyed in grand fashion. For a good time, just go with the flow, watch in awe, and don't sweat the film flaws. It's just fun to see the world crumble before you eyes & get washed away. With the Samoan superman at the scene, you know all will end well as he finds that needle in the haystack and solve his personal problems all in one epic event. 

Alien gives it 3 "no fault can crack this Rock" stars out of 4.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fishing Naked

A couple of fly fishing buddies who like to prank tourists team up with two living-off-the-grid girls who like to tease. Toss in Big Foot, alien orbs, and dear old grandma for some idiotic fun. It's a catchy title with a stupid premise, bad acting, and dumb dialogue. Film makers must have been high on dope when dreamt up this goofy idea for a movie and thought it would be watchable. It's probably best to be high on drugs or drunk to enjoy this amateurish attempt at making a movie. But maybe it will be a cult classic bad movie for young adults.

Alien gives it ½ "Sasquatch" star out of 4.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Poltergeist

 A family of five get an eerie welcome to the suburbs in this remake of the 1982 classic horror flick of the same name. It's poor Maddy when the youngest of the Bowen clan gets taken and must be rescued a la Twilight Zone episode "Little Girl Lost". Who are you gonna call? Poltergeist Busters... no parapsychologists & a reality TV celebrity. The dialogue is a bit cheesy and the reaction to this strange situation seems almost nonchalant at times. If you never have seen the original, you might think this is a decent scare. Many scenes track from the original but have been high tech updated. It is not a scary as one would hope.

Alien gives it 2 ½ "weird clown toy with odder pull string device" stars out of 4.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

A Pittsburgh student spends his high school years trying to be invisible & not fitting into any one clique but his interfering mother (Connie Britton) nags him into spending time with a classmate recently diagnosed with leukemia. Along with his childhood friend/bad movie parody creator Earl, the three share a unique bonding experience in this quirky indie film with tremendous artistic appeal. It is a funny bittersweet & touching film.

Alien gives it 3 "paper art" stars out of 4.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tomorrowland

A gifted young girl is mysteriously given a pin that unlocks the hidden world of Tomorrowland, a secret place of another time & place. There she meets Athena & a former boy genius (George Clooney) and is propelled on a wild mission to save this special place from its ultimate destruction. Alien liked bits of this movie but not the sum of its parts. Disney fails to capture the park magic of its namesake. It is a mere hollow futuristic chase adventure story. Although one may never look at a certain iconic Disney ride the same again. It's too young for adults and too old for the little kiddies.

Alien gives it 2 ½ "artificial intelligence" stars out of 4.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

War Room

When an ambitious pharmaceutical rep husband and a real estate agent wife with a double dutch jump roping daughter begin having issues that could destroy their family, a potential solution comes from an unlikely source. The wife learns how to fight for her marriage & family from her closet through the power of prayer. Of course the films of this genre always feel preachy but give it a chance. It's an entertaining family film with good acting, a positive message, and a sense of humor. This movie isn't scheduled to be released until August 28, 2015.

Alien gives it 3 "doing what's right" stars out of 4.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

It's "Prison Break" meets "Death Race" meets "Monster Truck Demolition Derby" with a little "Cirque du Soleil" as producer/writer/director George Miller retreads his "Mad Max" trilogy of a post-apocalyptic outlaw-infested wasteland where water, gasoline, & people are the most precious commodities. A one-armed war rig driver (Charlize Theron) tries to smuggle 5 young maidens out of the citadel with scavengers, an evil warlord dictator & his army giving chase. With the help of a man (Tom Hardy) labelled as "blood bank" and haunted by images of people he couldn't save, these escapees head west seeking hope & redemption. Nonstop action fueled by thrilling stunts, creepy tribal gangs, explosions & girl power drive this heart pounding adrenalin rush that is basically the longest old fashion Western stage coach/covered wagon chase scene. Once again Miller has created a unique society with stunning visuals and well-choreographed action sequences.

Alien gives it 3 ½ "all shiny and chrome, ready for the gates of Valhalla" stars out of 4.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2

It's "Glee" without the instruments & "Step Up" with singers. The Barden Bellas are back for more harmony and hilarity. Disgraced at a Lincoln Center command performance, the girls must redeem themselves at the World A Capella Championship in Denmark. It's more mash ups & face offs with great songs & choreography. All your favorites return like Anna Kendrick & Britney Snow. Rebel Wilson does the heavy comedy lifting. Those politically incorrect announcers are back but Elizabeth Banks takes a back seat because she steps up as producer & director. Hailee Steinfeld is added to the cast as a legacy. Look for some cameos from a political couple, a rapper, and some NFL players. The now famous "Cups" theme from the original makes it into a turning point moment as well as a group patty cake upgrade. This clever sequel is a fun-fun-fun must-see and hysterically awesome. 

Alien gives it 3 ½ "you're my flashlight" stars out of 4.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Hot Pursuit

It's "Thelma & Louise" meets "The Odd Couple" on a road trip when an inexperienced by-the-book uptight cop (Reese Witherspoon) must get her witness (Sophia Vergara) to Dallas safely with crooked cops and hired gunman giving chase. Hilarious hijinks ensue as these two reluctant traveling companions are constantly at odds with each other. The movie follows a cookie cutter formula but Witherspoon & Vergara keep it fresh with their crazy antics. At times, it was hard to follow conversations with Vergara's thick accent against Witherspoon's Southern drawl. Understanding Spanish may be a plus during certain un-subtitled portions. Funny outtakes play during the credits.

Alien gives it 3 "all jacked up on baking powder" stars out of 4.

Monday, May 04, 2015

While We're Young

This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.

It's generation gap envy when a childless forty-something couple (Ben Stiller & Naomi Watts) ditch their married-with-children friends after meeting a twenty-something couple (Adam Driver & Amanda Seyfried). Predictable comedy laugh situations are created as this older pair abandon their normal values and try to emulate their new found friends. However, the storyline becomes more serious when Stiller's character suspects an ulterior motive is involved from the younger couple. Alien enjoyed the old versus new school contrasts and surprised by the comedy to drama twist.

Alien gives it 2 ½ "hip hop & hats" stars out of 4.

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