Archive for December, 2013


The Secrete Life of Walter Mitty Movie Review

Plot: A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

I’m a big Ben Stiller fan. I’ve always liked his work. Ben Stiller stars in my favorite comedy of all time; Dodgeball. Other Ben Stiller films I love are Zoolander and Tropic Thunder.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The previews lead you to believe a boring daydreamer Walter who works for Life magazine has no life, but then goes on an adventure to find one.

This does happen to a certain degree as Mitty travels to Greenland and Iceland (Iceland served as both country shooting locations ) to find a legendary Life photographer played by Sean Penn. The location shots were great. But I found myself a little disappointed the direction of the plot the movie took.

I can’t put my finger on it, but I felt something was missing, and an opportunity wasn’t taken with the ending of the movie. The movie left me a bit disappointed and wanting more. I’m not sure how I would fix this movie. But in the meantime, I would say its worth a see, but wait for video.



The Wolf of Wall Street Movie Review

Plot: Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. In The Wolf of Wall Street DiCaprio plays Belfort, a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 20 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scheme that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden.

The past few Leo DiCaprio movies have been very frustrating for me. With the exception of Django Unchained, his recent movie roles have kinda pissed me off cause he has taken himself so seriously cause he’s this “serious actor” that commands respect. I know he can act. We all know it. But these angst ridden characters he plays are getting boring for me, and kinda pissing me off. I’ve been saying, Leo, if you want to impress me, do some comedy or a non drama and stretch your skill.

In The Wolf of Wall Street I get a some of what I’m asking for. This movie gives me some comedy out of this true story drama and I’m thankful for this. Because this movie is not only a Martin Scorsese picture that usually doesn’t deliver laughs, which it does I’m happy to say, but probably gives Leo his best acting part of his career.

Leo was great! And I’m happy to say I was very impressed with his portrayal of his take on this true tale of stock broker Jordan Belfort. Leo sold it for me in a hilarious scene where he brought tears to my eyes by laughing out loud when his character tried to get in his car after taking too many quaaludes. It was fracking funny!

The cast was great. Jonah Hill was a big time scene stealer, and was great with Leonardo DiCaprio on screen. The movie is rated R for lots of foul language, sex and nudity. Booby alert! If you like that sort of thing:-) See it!



Anchorman 2: the legend Continues Movie Review

Plot: With the 70s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.

This was one of my most anticipated sequels this year. And I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. It was very funny and I liked the new cast additions and the direction the movie took with the old cast members.

I think it’s safe to say that Will Farrell is one if the funniest actors in my lifetime. He’s a comedy genius. I also like the movie promotion that the Anchorman 2 cast did for this movie. Will Farrell did a lot of guest appearances as Rob Burgundy to promote the film.

One of my favorite scenes in the original Anchorman movie was the gang fight between the rival news anchor teams. This sequel didn’t disappoint, and went bigger with great cameos. See it!!!



American Hustle Movie Review. Skip It!!!!

Plot: A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

Boy, I tell ya. The trailers really draw you into seeing this movie. They show the Oscar caliber cast, great costumes and makeup, the music and late 70,s era setting.

Well, the trailer does a great job making you think this movie is gonna be fast paced with a great drama. This so far from the truth. This movie was sooooooo booooooring. The story took way to long to develop. The movie was over 2 hours long. It should of been a half hour shorter.

I have a confession to make. I felt my life slipping away and started to nod off cause of how un inthralling and boring this film was, I left about 5 to 10 minutes before the ending. I so wanted this movie to end I didn’t care how it ended. So I ended my relationship with it before I went insane.

I think the movie tried to hard to go for the Oscar gold, and they felt the actors should talk as much as they could to stretch their acting abilities. After a awhile I just wanted them to shut up and have a gangster come into the scene and shoot them all. Harsh I know, but that’s how I felt.

The Hobbit 2 ran for almost 3 hours and was much better paced than American Hustle. What a disappointment. Save yourself, and skip this movie.



Throw Back Theater: Spies Like Us (1985)

I’m adding a new segment to my Spartan Phoenix Movie Blog. It’s called Throw Back Theater. For these segments I will highlight older movies because they deserve recognition, or we have forgot about or that need that I need to talk about them again cause of how awesome they are!

The first one I wanna bring to your attention is the 1985 comedy classic Spies Like Us starring Chevy Chase & Dan Akroyd. It’s directed by film legend John Landis.
Plot : Two totally incompetent applicants, Emmett Fitzhume and Austin Millbarge, are chosen from a CIA recruitment program. They are parachuted into Pakistan and eventually end up in Afghanistan, chased by the Russians, where they learn they are being used as decoys to draw out the Sovet defenses. Two real spies are sent in. Their mission is to Hijack a soviet Missile launcher, launch the Soviet missile and test the new US orbital defence laser.

This movie is a comedy classic with great gags. There is a cameo by comic legend Bob Hope and Frank Oz (Muppet legend and puppeteer and voice of Yoda!) Dan Akroyd co wrote the story. Both Dan and Chevy are great together in this gem.



The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

Up front, gotta day I love the new additions and direction that Peter Jackson has added to the Hobbit (& Rings) films that weren’t in the Tolkien books. I’m not a Tolkien Nazi and won’t nitpick and bitch at the stuff Jackson added that weren’t in the books. I just love it! I really enjoyed this second chapter of the Hobbit Trilogy. It was great to see in 3D.

I loved the battles with the Orcs and the creative deaths by the hand of the elves better known as Legolas and new hottie elven addition of Tauriel played by Evangeline Lilly (of Lost). I liked the hint at some elven and dwarf romance. Why not? It could work.

I also loved the special effects especially when you get to see the dragon Smaug. Great effects and sound. See it!!! By the way, I saw this movie in a brand new AMC theater that had assigned seats and reclining chairs with extra wide armchairs. If you get a chance to try one of these new theaters with this option, please don’t pass it up !



Out Of The Furnace

Plot: When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement fails to follow through, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice.

This movie has a great cast. Most of which have an Oscar or were nominated for one. The cast includes Christian Bale, Casey Affect, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whittaker, Willem Dafoe and Zoe Saldana. Great cast right? Then why were they put into this long boring and depressing film that revolves around a town that no one in there right mind would want to be part of.

Here’s the problem with movies like this one. It takes itself way too seriously. I’m sure the producers, director and distributors were hoping a film like this one would get Oscar buzz with the cast and the serious script at hand.

There was nothing about this movie that I rooted for, except for the ending. What a depressing setting, script and feel of dread all the way through. Skip it please.