John and I went to the movies a couple of weeks ago, but I had several other posts of more importance that had to come first. The movies we saw were: It Follows, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Unfriended, Get Hard, The Longest Ride, and Furious Seven. So…here are a few thoughts on the films:
It Follows – A horror film that wasn’t very horrifying. It was rated R, so we expected a mix of language, nudity, and some pretty gruesome death scenes. We got none of it. People did die, of course, but none of the deaths would have produced so much as a blip on the radar of horror movie death scenes. Aside from that, the plot wasn’t too bad, and the acting was surprisingly good. Because of that, I’ll give it 3*.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 – The plot here was much better than we expected, and the acting was top-notch. To me, the standout of this film was Raini Rodriguez, playing Paul Blart’s daughter, Maya. Having seen the first one, we expected that there would be a fair amount of silliness, but this film took it waaay over the top into stupidity on several occasions. Both of us were repeatedly rolling our eyes and, at times, questioning our decision to see the film. A lot of the humor seemed forced and there was one scene involving a melting ice cream cone that I felt was obscenely out of place. I’d like to think that the scene’s inclusion was an accidental oversight but I refuse to believe that NO ONE involved with the making of the film saw any resemblance between that scene and a sexual act. Good plot, great acting, too much stupidity, and ice cream. All in all, we decided it was worth 3*.
Unfriended – Oh my goodness! Unfriended was a complete waste of time for this blind woman to spend money on! The concept was an oldie but goodie: a high school girl is driven to suicide, and then comes back to take revenge on the teens who pushed her over the edge. I’ve seen this movie countless times before, always low budget, high gore. Ya know ’em, ya love ’em, and Unfriended seemed like it would be a perfect candidate to take its place among the ‘classics’. Or…maybe not. It turns out that Unfriended is viewed by the audience completely on the computer screens of the characters involved. The movie begins with a chat session between a group of friends that is crashed by a person who is unknown to them. As the film progresses, the mysterious person begins to kill the teens one by one, while forcing the others to admit dark secrets of betrayal. I’m sure that kids will love Unfriended, since they seem to live their social lives online. But as an adult, I was bored with the lack of things like location changes and people talking face to face. Heck, I would have been thrilled just to see these people get out of their chairs! Also, a great deal of the conversation was viewed as text, so it we had to focus on what was being said, as well as what needed to be read. I could tell from the whispers around me that several people were having a hard time keeping up, but for someone like me, it was pretty much impossible. John tried to read me the text that was appearing on the computer screens, but we both ended up more lost than not. Even the deaths were viewed mostly on the computer screens, so the gorefest that we were anticipating never happened. Had this been filmed in a more mainstream manner, I would have gladly given it a 4.5* rating, but it is what it is, and this is the best that I can do. 3*
Get Hard – This movie was a lot of fun! Typical Will Ferrell fare, it was pure entertainment from beginning to end. Kevin Hart was perfect as the “ex con” hired to butch up Ferrell’s candy-ass millionaire patsy who is facing a long prison term for a crime he didn’t commit. There was a lot of pretty raw humor, such as when Hart’s character decides that the job can’t be done, and sends Ferrell off to cruise a gay brunch in hopes that learning how to be someone’s “girlfriend” will save him once the prison gates have closed behind him. There was also a lot of racial humor and stereotyping, on both sides of the black/white fence, so if you find these things offensive, don’t see this movie. But if you can enjoy something that’s funny without reading to much into it, Get Hard will keep you laughing all the way through. 4*
The Longest Ride – I loved this film! A sweet love story between a bull rider who’s chasing a championship time and a college student preparing to take her dream job in New York City‘s prestigious art world. The plot is predictable, but the acting is wonderful and believable. Alan Alda captivates as Ira Levinson, an older man who enters the young couple’s life following a car accident, and Oona Chaplin is fantastic as his deceased wife, Ruth. Scott Eastwood (yes, Clint’s kid) is a pretty good actor, and looks great with his shirt off. Britt Robertson plays his art loving girlfriend and both bring a great deal of depth and likeability to their roles. It’s a good film, and will leave you teary-eyed and nostalgic for whatever great love you did or didn’t have in your own life. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending, and only because I did not find it believable that Ira would have done what he did with the portrait of his wife, painted by one of her students. I just don’t buy it. But other than that, it’s an easy 5*, and definitely a movie worth seeing.
Furious Seven – It’s the latest in the “Fast and Furious” franchise, and was only partially completed when star Paul Walker ironically died in a car accident. I’ve seen all of the movies in the series save Tokyo Drift, and I make no apologies for that. In my opinion, Furious Seven is by far the best of the set. Vin Diesel dominates the screen as Dominic Toretto, and the film reunites several series favorites such as Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordanna Brewster, Ludacris, and Dwayne Johnson. This is a high-octane, pedal to the metal thrill ride that is guaranteed to get your heart pounding and shoot your adrenaline level into the stratosphere. It does stretch the imagination, at times far beyond the realm of believability, but the movie is so freaking fun you won’t care in the least! The plot is pretty basic, and seems designed to showcase the cars and the awesome driving sequences, but again – the movie is so much fun that it just doesn’t matter. Because of Walker‘s death, the strong bond of brotherhood between the two main characters that has been a factor since the original film is achingly poignant, as is Dom’s statement that he doesn’t have friends, he has family. It’s impossible to look away from the screen, from the beginning until the inevitable ending where Dom, his team, and all of us say goodbye to Walker‘s character, Brian O’Conner, accompanied by the hauntingly beautiful See You Again. (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth) Furious Seven is an easy 5* rating, but I’m adding a bonus of 25* for the sheer, unadulterated fun of it, plus 20* for the audience tear factor by the time the credits began to roll. This gives Furious Seven a well deserved total of 50*
I hope you enjoy my reviews. John is coming back up next weekend, so I’m sure I’ll have more for you then. Thank you all so much for following my blog and reading my stuff.