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Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

In this version, Sonny (Dev Patel) has decided he is ready to expand.  He and Mrs. Donnelly (Maggie Smith) travel to San Diego to convince a hotel chain to invest.  They are told that an inspector will make an unannounced visit before a decision will be made. 

Sonny is on pens and needles and becomes at odds with his fiancĂ©, Sunaina who is played by Tina Desae.  It doesn’t help that one of her brother’s friends (who is very good looking) is spending a lot of time with her.  When the inspector arrives, Sonny immediately recognizes his purpose.  However the inspector, who is played by Richard Gere, says he is there to write a book. 

Evelyn (Judi Dench) is offered a job as a fabric buyer and must decide if the amount of travelling that will be required is what she wants at her age.  Douglas (Bill Nighy), who is in love with Evelyn, is afraid he will not have any time with her if she accepts the job. 


All of the characters return and are dealing with different events in their lives including  Madge (Celia Imrie) who is still hunting for a husband and Norman (Ronald Pickup) who has found his love but is afraid he’s losing her.    The acting was quite good and I really enjoyed this movie.  In fact, I enjoyed it as much as the first. 

I gave this movie three out of four stars.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Get Hard

This hilarious movie stars Will Farrell as James, a hedge fund manager who is very rich.   He is engaged to Alissa (Alison Brie) who only wants his money.  Kevin Hart plays Darnell who is James’s car washer.  One night in a parking lot, Darnell accidentally frightens James and is given a big speech about how James got to be a success.

Alissa throws an engagement party which is interrupted when the police storm in and arrest James for fraud and embezzlement.  He is found guilty and sentenced to ten years at San Quentin and given 30 days before the sentence begins. 

James again runs into Darnell in a parking lot and asks him to train him to be able to survive in prison assuming that Darnell has been in prison himself.  Darnell, however, has no idea what life in prison is like but agrees to help toughen James up. 


I have to say that Will Farrell and Kevin Hart are so very funny in this movie.  It’s just one riot after another.  I enjoyed every second.  It’s not going to win any academy awards.  However, if you check your mind at the door and just go in ready to enjoy, you will.  

I gave this movie three out of four stars. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Home

This animated movie stars the hilarious Jim Parsons as Oh, a Boov who is not liked by his people due to his constant mistakes.  The Boov are always on the run from their enemy, the Gorgs, and are in search of a new planet.  They settle on Earth and quickly banish the humans from their homes so they can take over. 

Oh is excited to be in a new home and throws a party inviting all his neighbors.  When no one shows up, he becomes depressed.  He decides to send a mass email to all of the Boov inviting them to the party.  However, the email goes to everyone in the galaxy including the Gorgs.  All the Boov are searching for Oh in hopes of recalling the message.  They just need Oh’s password.  

One teenaged girl named Tip (voiced by Rhianna) has managed to escape capture along with her cat who is named Pig.    While on the run, she meets Oh, who is now also on the run after realizing his mistake.  Oh and Tip soon strike up a friendship and Oh promises to help Tip find her mother who was banished with the other humans. 
The humor in this movie was terrific. What else would you expect from Jim Parsons who was absolutely fantastic?  Rhianna did a great job as well.  The animation was really well done.  3D doesn’t always add a lot but I felt it did here. 

The movie was just a little too long but I still loved it. 

I gave this movie three out of four stars.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Furious 7

Hold on to your hats in this movie because it starts fast and never slows down.  Vin Diesel returns as Dominic Toretto, the leader of the group.  Michelle Rodriguez as Letty Ortiz, Paul Walker as Brian O’Conner,  Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs, Chris Bridges as Tej Parker, and Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce all return.  Jason Statham plays the part of Deckard Shaw who is out to seek revenge for his brother, Owen, who Dom’s team had defeated in the previous movie.

The movie begins by showing how all of the crew are getting on with their lives.  Brian is adjusting as a husband and father while Letty is trying to regain her memories.  A mysterious package is left on the porch at Dom’s home.  While standing outside talking with Brian and his wife, he receives a phone call from Deckard Shaw and then the bomb goes off destroying Dom’s home. 

The crew are recruited by Frank Petty (Kurt Russell) to assist him in preventing a mercenary from acquiring God’s Eye which is a computer program that can track down any person through their digital devices and also to save the program’s creator Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel) at the same time.  In exchange Frank will help them in getting Deckard Shaw.


This movie was a great tribute to the late great Paul Walker and was just fantastic.  The action never stopped.  Everyone who had a part in this movie played their roles to perfection.   The whole movie blew my mind by how enjoyable it was.  I encourage everyone to go watch this movie.  

I gave it movie four out of four stars.  

Insurgent

Shailene Woodley and Theo James return as Tris and Four in the second installment of the Divergent series. In this version, Tris and Four are on the run evading the Erudite faction and Jeanine (Kate Winslet) who has accused them of leading the attacks by the Dauntless.  They hide out with the Amity faction led by Johanna who was played by Octavia Spencer.  Soon, however the Dauntless arrive, forcing Tris and Four to run again. 

The Dauntless faction is ruthlessly searching for a small box that is thought to contain the means to put an end to the Divergents.  However, only a divergent can open the box.  This is the same box that Tris’s mother died to protect. 

Tris and Four travel to Factionless territory where they discover that Four’s mother is the leader. Four wants nothing to do with his mother, and they soon head to Candor where they are forced to take truth serum to prove their innocence in the attacks they have been accused of.  After passing the test, Jeanine plays on Tris’s heart strings by getting people to attempt suicide if Tris does not turn herself in. To avoid more death,
Tris does just that and is now the next person who will attempt to open the box and avoid death in the process.

I thought this movie was better than the first one.  I loved how the characters developed and the comradery between them.  Shailene Woodley was again fantastic and gets better and better as an actress every time I see her.  The chemistry between Shailene Woodley and Theo James was terrific.  The special effects were spectacular as well. 


Four and his mother were building on their relationship and I think that will be a big factor in the next movie.  I enjoyed this buildup and can’t wait to see the next installment.  

I gave this movie four out of four stars.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Blue Rays and DVD’s: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

This is the last of the three Night at the Museum movies and may have been the best.  It was definitely better than the second movie.  It again stars Ben Stiller as Larry Daley who is the security guard at the Museum of Natural History in New York City.  When the museum closes at night, the exhibits come to life.  In this version, all of the characters travel to London to visit the British Museum. 

This movie is loaded with stars.  Besides playing Larry Daley, Ben Stiller also plays Laaa who is a Neanderthal.  Ben Kingsley plays as a powerful pharaoh named Merenkahre.  Dick Van Dyke stars as Cecil, a retired security guard for the museum.  Rebel Wilson plays Tilly, the security guard at the British Museum, and Owen Wilson plays Jedediah, the cowboy.  It also features the late Mickey Rooney as Gus, another retired security guard, and the great Robin Williams as Theodore Roosevelt.  Even Hugh Jackman makes a brief appearance.


Ben Stiller was terrific as was the other cast and I really enjoyed it. 

I gave this movie 2 ½ out of 4 stars.  

Blue Rays and DVD’s: Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I truly loved everything about this movie starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, and Donald Sutherland as President Snow.  This movie in the Hunger Games saga is very good and full of action.  Katniss continues her fight for independence for her people from President Snow.  Peeta, however, is being held by President Snow and used as a pawn to convince Katniss to stop her resistance. 


The acting, the imagery, and everything involved in this movie is spectacular.  Even if you were able to catch this at the theater, I recommend you add this movie to your DVD/Blue Ray collection.  

I gave it four out of four stars.