Charlize Theron

Frozen: The Dark World

Let me start by saying I really hated Snow White and The Huntsman. It was a boring mess of a film. If you can even call it a film. It was more of a series of images pasted together without a legit story or even a real reason to propel you toward the next image. That said I went to The Huntsman: Winter’s War with a bit of low expectations. Figured what the hey, let’s go check out three insanely hot girls, and Thor in the live version of Frozen Meets The Dark World. However, not only did I find myself laughing at the one liners, and smiling throughout the film, I found myself invested in the characters! Could it be? Was this actually a good movie?

Actually, no, it is not a good movie, but it is not bad. It can be entertaining, and dare I say, worth the money. I had fun in it. The story is not complex or deep by any means, and there are enormous plot holes, but it did what a film should do, and that is being entertaining.  I never found myself bored, or wanting to check my watch. While it is not something I feel I need to own or see again, it was definitely a good time at the theater.

The number one thing about this The Huntsman is obviously the cast. It stars Emily Blunt, Thor, Charlize Theron, and Jessica Chastain. While Blunt is mailing in her performance a little bit, even when she does that she is incredible. Years ago when I first started my movie awards blog, I created an award for Charlize Theron called “Crazy Chick of the Year” and I gave it to her for Snow White and The Huntsman. And I’m not going to lie; I think she deserves it again. She gives this witch such a complete edge of crazy is awesomely fun to watch. Other stars include Nick Frost reprising his role as one of the seven dwarfs. He and his brother, played by Rob Brydon, are responsible for the most of the laughs with their quick witted one liners

The other major positive is the great chemistry between Thor and Jessica Chastain. These two are great together. While Thor is a compelling ad fun actor, his near trademarked smirk helps drive the belief in these two. I would really like to see these two in another project together. Light Bulb! Chastain needs to join the Marvel Universe. As an Asgardian of some sorts. Either way, they need to be put in another project together, one where they can really shine. Another positive is an uncredited role of narration done by Liam Neeson. Don’t let it bug you as it did me, it is Liam Neeson!

Now it is not all good. There are major story holes. And if you have seen too many of the trailers, the writers, and probably director, made a few mistakes. While the trailers gave away many of the plot points, they continue to try and hide these storylines as the film goes on. Like we were not going to notice. As well the reveal for the return of the Theron’s dead character is a pretty weak plot device. As if they couldn’t come up with a reason to bring her back, but had to have her back because they had her under contract. And if you have Charlize Theron, you find a way! Even if it is as bad as this.

The cinematography and CGI were pretty lackluster too. CGI especially. While the ice scenes are pretty cool, there is a scene in the middle of the film, that didn’t need to be there, but involves Goblins. These Goblins have terrible CGI and are completely too cartoony. The action scenes shift back and forth from being shot acceptable, to being done with extreme close-ups that make them hard to understand who is fighting who.

Most of these issues I feel steam from new comer in the director’s chair, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. His storytelling is all over the place, and his action sequences are weak. Not to mention the fact that he has Emily Blunt who is noticeably mailing it in. Hopefully this guy will take a step back and work with a few smaller films before trying to tackle another big budget film.

This will feel weird to say, but the film also missed Kristin Stewart’s Snow White. Mainly because there is a body double for one seen, that was obviously not her, and the many mentions of her character, without actually having her there hindered the film more then helped it.

All in all I actually enjoyed watching this film, despite its many flaws. It has made me really want another film or project involving the Mighty Thor and Jessica Chastain. As well it was fun to see Charlize Theron step back into this crazy witch of a role. And Even if Emily Blunt is sleeping walking through it, her sleep walking is better than most when they are fully awake.  Maybe it was my low expectations, maybe it was the company I was with, but I had a good time. Maybe not good enough to give it a great score though. I am scoring Huntsman: Winter’s War and 1.8, with a Jeebus bonus of .3 for the chemistry between Thor and Chastain. That gives us a Jeebus Score of 2.1

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

 

May be found at the following website: http://www.impawards.com/intl/australia/2015/posters/mad_max_fury_road_ver13_xlg.jpg

Mad Max: Fury Road

One of the most hyped films of the last two years has been the sequel to a franchise we haven’t seen an installment for in about 30 years. From the stories of set problems, to the film getting push backed nearly a year. Not always a good thing. However, when it came to this, Mad Max Fury Road, whatever they did during that time of pushing this film back and getting it to us, they did a freaking badass job! This film is epic upon epic, upon action, upon badassdom! It is an adrenalin rush, nonstop thrill ride. I don’t know what other clichés I can through at you to describe this movie. I’m actually having a really hard time concentrating on getting my thoughts out to this film. A matter of fact, I don’t think I can, I am way too wrapped up in what I just saw to coherently tell you about this film. I’m going to have to sleep this off and come back to you tomorrow.

Ok, let’s try this again. Mad Max Fury Road stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoe Kravitz, Abbey Lee and Courtney Eaton. It is written and directed by the series original writer/director George Miller. And guess what, Miller is 70 years old. You would never expect that. Mad Max Fury Road tells the tale of Furiosa (Theron) as she attempts to flee War Boys cult leader King Joe, along with his five wives. As she sneaks them out of their land The Citadel, her journey becomes intertwined with that of Max (Hardy). Realizing that they are out for freedom and not more war, Max makes the decision to help them attempt to survive the journey to Furiosa’s homeland that she taken from so many years before.

No joke. This thing is literally a 2 hour action thrill ride. There is very little downtime. When there is, the story is pushed and the characters are flushed out. Miller does an incredible job giving you reasons to relate and root for these characters in the very short scenes in between intense action sequences. The action drives this film. Like the Mad Max films of the past this one is right on par. If not more. Every now and then a film comes along that is so special, and so unique that it advances the action film genre. This will be one of those films. Fury Road will be regarded as one of the greatest action films of all time.

 It is shot beautifully. Every scene is crisp and clear, and the CGI is mixed with the practical effects seamlessly. There is not an ounce of shaky cam during the action, you see and feel every single explosion and shot with such detail that you almost in these vehicles with these characters. The designs are very reminiscent of the original trilogy, yet add a new day feel to them. Now I didn’t see this in IMAX, or even X D or 3D. I went to my regular 2D screen and saw a normal digital screening. But will say, that after watching it, I plan to go see it again in an AMC Prime or IMAX screen, this is one of those films that needs to be witnessed in that high definition, with superior sound quality.

I don’t get why people are calling it Charlize Theron’s film. Yes she is a top billed actress in it, and a star, but I never got the feeling that this wasn’t a story about Max. It’s not really told from her point of view, I felt more that I was following Max around, but I get why I could be construed that way. There are also complaints that Theron’s character is too badass in the film, and to that I say you are crazy. If anything, I would’ve liked her to be even more badass. She is incredible. I was kind of taken out of the film for a while, while trying to figure out who one of the wives was, then it hit me, oh that’s the Rosie chick from Transformers 3. Good to see her again. Hoults character is very intriguing, it’s kind of the first time we see one of the craziest with some actual heart, and you get to know him some and feel for him.

Minor problems with the film, no film that isn’t The Godfather or Empire Strikes Back is perfect. If you are not a fan of the Mad Max films, you are not going to like this one. In 2 hours, it is probably an hour and a half of car chase action. So if you to this film not know that it is indeed a Mad Max film of old, yea you might walk out not liking it. But that’s really it. It is made to be an adrenaline rush. And that’s what it is. So I am scoring it a 5.0 with a .4 bonus for its insane action sequences that keep you heart pounding all movies long, bringing us to a 5.4 on the Jeebus scale. SO what say you Jackass Nation? Are you a fan of the Mad Max franchise? Are you looking forward to this one, or have you already seen it? Sound off in the comments below!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

A Million Ways to Ruin a Movie

I had pretty high hopes up for this one. Family Guy is probably one of my favorite shows on television. Literally. The entire 23 minute laugh constantly. Like non stop. My friends kind of hate me for it. Not to mention, Ted is one of my favorite films. So with Seth MacFarlane set out to follow-up Ted, I was pretty excited. MacFarlane wrote, directed, produced, and stars in A million ways to die in the west. The film also stars Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, and Liam Neeson. And as my title to this review suggest, it’s not what I was hoping for.

Now don’t get me wrong, that is sounding a little bit harsh. It’s not a terrible film. A million ways to die in the west tells the story of Albert Stark(MacFarlane) as he deals with his girlfriend(Seyfried) breaking up with him, and the million of ways that there are to die in the west. He pretty much hates living in his time. He meets Anna(Theron) whosets up to teach him to be a man and win back his girlfriend. Little does he know Anna is married to the evilest gunslinger in the west, Clinch Leatherwood(Neeson).

What works about the film are the little cameos, with exception of the greatest of them being ruined by the trailers. Which if you haven’t seen, you are lucky. There a lot of jokes that a throw backs to Family Guy, which I found hilarious, no matter how minor they were. As well with Barney Stinson in the film, there are a few ribs to How I Met Your Mother that are definitely going to hit if you are a fan of the show. The rest of the jokes are hit or miss. When they are on they really make you laugh. Charlize Theron is a gem in the film. She stands out like she does in most films, and has a lot of fun with the role. Barney as well is hilarious. It is kind of small roll, but it was still very funny. Giovanni Ribisi and Sarah Silverman are funny together, pointless characters, but still funny.

The rest of the cast is rather weak. Seth MacFarlane is not horrible as the lead, but he doesn’t mak you see the character. All you see is Seth MacFarlane, in the west. All you hear, is Brian Griffin. As well, the film has Liam Neeson. Liam Neeson! And yet the character is a waste of his talents. You could have put anyone in the roll, and it wouldn’t have been missing anything. If you have Liam Neeson, use him! He is one of the biggest badasses of all time, why would stick him in such a watered down role? There are also a lot of rehashed jokes. Like I get it, laxative, guy has poo. Ok. But how many more times are comedies going to rely on this joke? Dumb & Dumber hit it strong, let it go now! Also there would be a great set of jokes, then dick joke, then fart joke, then dick joke, then fart joke. It is almost like MacFarlane was feeling lazy, like when he wrote the Cleveland Show. The film also could have benefitted from the magic of the cutting room. If they would have cut out about 30 minutes it would have ran a lot smother. It definitely dragged a bit toward the end.

All in all, A Million Ways to Die in the West is a decent film. It rehashes jokes you’ve seen and heard before, but carries on Family Guy references strong. Seth MacFarlane isn’t horrible, but comes off as a guy wanting to put himself in the starring role of a film and make out with Charlize Theron. I gave the film a Jeebus score of 3. Check out the Matinee. Barely.