The Reel Opinion; July 2013 Archives - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

The Reel Opinion; July 2013 Archives

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July 31st, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The To Do List


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

*A bit of Adult Content ahead!

     I wasn't sure what I was going to get when I went to see this.  I had seen a preview for a long time ago, but had forgotten about it.  The preview reminded me a bit of Superbad, American Pie or any other similar teen comedy about sex.  What I got out of this one was some odd reminders of my high school days in the 90's.

     Brandy Klark (Aubrey Plaza) is the high school know it all.  She is the valedictorian of her graduating class, has perfect grades and is getting a full ride to Georgetown.  Also, she is not very liked by pretty much everybody.  Her only two friends trick her into going to a keg party where she experiences drinking for the first time.  This is also where she discovers her sex drive when she sees Rusty Waters (Scott Porter) for the first time.  When Rusty accidentally makes out with Brandy in a dark room and has a talk about sex with her friends, Brandy decides that she needs to be more sexually experienced before she goes off to college.  She makes a list of different things she is going to try before she loses her virginity to Rusty.

     First things first, this movie is really dirty.  While you don't really see anything, the language and content of the movie is pretty sexual in nature.  I would highly advise strong parental guidance for this one.

     Though I did find a lot of the sex jokes to be kind of funny, the real humor comes from the era this movie takes place in.  The movie takes place in 1993, so a lot of the humor comes from making fun of that era.  It makes fun of the 90's in the same kind of way that The Wedding Singer, which came out in 1998, made fun of the 80's.  A lot of the jokes and the soundtrack reminded me of being a high schooler in the 90's.

     There wasn't any real standout performances in this movie, but that is because the entire ensemble performance was great.  There was one character that I really did like, though.  That was Brandy's conservative judge father played by Clarke Gregg.  Many of you know his as Agent Coulson from The Avengers.  I would have called it a standout performance if he was in the movie more.  Any time he was on screen he was hilarious.

     As I said before, this is a very funny movie, but take strong precaution before letting younger viewers see it.  The whole movie is about having sex and I would say other than not showing as much, it is probably comparable to the content of the original American Pie or Superbad.  I found the 90's humor to be funnier than the sexual stuff, but that stuff was pretty funny too.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 



 

July 30th, 2013

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Geno Reviews Fruitvale Station


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I wanted to see this movie ever since I saw the trailer for it when I went to St. Louis to see The Kings of Summer.  I was not aware of this story being based on true events until I saw another trailer for it.  As I do with a lot of movies that are based on true events that I don't know about, I try not to research them too much or at all.  I like not knowing what the outcome is going to be.

     This movie follows a little more than one day out of the life of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan).  It is New Year's Eve 2008, which is also the birthday of Oscar's mom.  It is on this day that some of the things in Oscar's life will come back to haunt him.  We follow Oscar as he prepares for his mother's birthday party, meets up with old friends and makes a new one.  We learn that he has been dishonest in more ways than one to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz).  We watch as he struggles on whether or not to get back into selling drugs to pay the bills because he was fired.  We see all of the events that led up to what could be the last day of Oscar's life.

     The strongest thing this movie had going for it was that it just felt like the day in the life of a regular guy.  Other than one flashback, that helps to explain something that happens later in the movie, all we do is follow Oscar around as he lives out a day.  That may sound a little boring, but it isn't.  If this movie does one thing well, it gets you invested in Oscar.  We get to know him.  We get to see his struggles and his triumphs.  While we may not have gotten to know some of the other characters more than we would have wanted to, we do get to know Oscar.  I think that was the point of only following him around.  The film wants us to know him intimately.  The way that the story is told does a great job of this.

     The biggest downfall of the movie was that the ending was a bit abrupt and left you wanting more information.  There were three or four text screens at the end of the movie that told you the main facts of what happened at the end of the movie, but I think they could have at least showed some of it to help to strengthen the message of the film.  I didn't know the story behind the movie, so I was left feeling a bit left out of things at the end.

     Michael B. Jordan is quickly becoming an actor I look forward to seeing on film.  First, he was the voice of Jace Stratton for the XBOX 360 game Gears of War 3.  Though a bit overshadowed by Dane DeHaan in Chronicle, he still was really great in it.  This is definitely a breakout performance for Jordan and I look forward to seeing him in other things.  If you watch this movie for anything, watch it to see him as Oscar.  I would be surprised if he wasn't nominated for some awards for this performance.

     Though the ending was a bit abrupt, this was still a really good movie.  I like a film that takes its time and lets you get invested in a character.  They want you to feel something for Oscar, good or bad.  This is one to check out.  The closest this movie is to here right now is Springfield, Savoy and Bloomington.  I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up in Decatur before the end of its run.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


July 29th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Wolverine

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Oh Hugh Jackman.  How we as comic book fans loved your portrayal of Wolverine in X-Men and X-Men 2, but thought you (As well as the rest of the movies) were pretty bad in X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  I had about given up on you…until you showed up in X-Men: First Class ever so briefly.  You uttered those three magical words ("Go f*** yourself.) and we welcomed you back.  Now you get to take another stab at a solo movie.  Did we welcome you back too soon?  I'll answer that in a bit.

     Keep in mind that The Wolverine takes place sometime after the events of X-Men 3.  Yes, THAT movie still exists, but at least there is NO mention of X-Men Origins.  We begin with a flashback that takes place during World War 2 in Nagasaki just before the war ending bomb is about to drop.  There , a POW Logan (Hugh Jackman) saves a young Japanese soldier from the nuclear blast.  After Logan wakes up from a double dream, we learn that he has retreated to somewhere in Canada and has been living in the wild.  After a run in with some hunters about the death of a grizzly bear, Logan is approached by a young woman named Yukio.  She tells him that she is to take him to Japan by orders of her boss.  He wants to thank Logan for saving his life in World War 2.  Logan reluctantly goes and finds himself on a mission of life, love and redemption.

     This is the closest we have gotten to getting a great Wolverine movie since Jackman's portrayal in X-Men 2.  While this movie wasn't everything I wanted, it was pretty close.  I would have to say the first two-thirds of the movie were stronger than the last third.  I just felt that the whole tone of the movie shifted too much right before the climax.  That is not to say that the movie didn't finish strong with a few surprises.  Shame on you that didn't stay for the credits.  Though it felt tacked on, it was still pretty awesome.

     One thing that I really liked about the first two third was the lack of CG used.  There was a time or two that something looked fake, but most of the time, practical effects were used to keep things grounded.  The final third of the movie used a bit too much CG that it almost took me out of the movie.  From Viper's tongue to The Silver Samurai, the effects used were kind of bad.

     With the setting taking place mostly in Japan, the movie definitely had a modern day martial arts film feel to it.  I liked that Logan always felt out of place the whole time he was in Japan.  He didn't know the customs or traditions, which truly made him feel like an outsider.  I only wished that movie would have taken place with a time span of a few years, not just days.  Some of the plot, such as his relationship with Mariko, felt a bit rushed.

     While I may have hated the CG behind The Silver Samurai, I thought that the change in the character worked for the plot of the movie.  I have a feeling that the same people that got mad about Iron Man 3's Mandarin might feel the same way about this movie take on The Silver Samurai.

     So, to you Mr. Jackman, I say "Welcome home".  While this movie was not perfect, it still was a pretty good Wolverine story and a decent way to bring the character back into the X-Men fold.  So Mr. Jackman, you are forgiven for X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins.  And now to FOX.  I think it is time to begin the healing process with Deadpool now, right?

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


,

July 26th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Only God Forgives


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Have you ever seen a movie and was really excited to see that the creator of that movie would come up with next?  I loved the movie Drive, so naturally I was excited to see what Nicholas Winding Refn would come up with next.  What he came up with next is Only God Forgives.  A fair warning, some of this review may be a very adult in content.

     Julian (Ryan Gosling) is a dealer of cocaine and heroin, but runs a kickboxing club in Thailand as a front.  Julian's partner is his brother Billy.  Billy goes to a brothel, but is turned away because he wants to be with an underage girl.  After assaulting the owner and one of the girls, he leaves and comes across a teenage prostitute down the street.  We are then introduced to Lt. Chang as he enters an apartment where Billy has brutally murdered the girl.  Chang talks to the girl's father, and then shuts the door so the father can do what he wants to Billy.  The father then kills Billy.  Crystal (Kristen Scott Thomas), Julian and Billy's mother/boss, comes to Thailand and demands that Julian take revenge on the people responsible for Billy's death.

     I have to say that I found this movie to be an incredible letdown.  I found the plot to be very uninteresting and slow.  The way just about every scene played out, the movie would have these long shots of the actors just being still.  It tried to use their silence and sometimes added music to convey a message.  This actually worked in another movie.  That movie was Drive.  In Drive these silent scenes told an incredible story.  Here they were just boring and uninteresting.

     I think the reason I lost interest was because I didn't like any of the characters.  I could not really identify with any of them, even Ryan Gosling's Julian.  I think you were supposed to feel sorry for him for many reasons that the movie either gave or hinted to, but I just didn't.  You couldn't feel bad for his brother because of what he did.  You couldn't even feel sorry for their mother because of how she is and some of the things the movie hinted she had done to her boys in the past.

     For those that have seen the trailer know that this movie keeps teasing this big fight scene between Julian and Lt. Chang.  For as much as it was teased, even that scene was a big letdown.

     There are two things that this movie did get right: The overall look of the film and of the violence.  I think that this is the most beautiful bad film I have ever seen.  Every set, costume and color used was incredible.  I am not going to condone violence, but I will say that Refn knows how to make it look great on film.  Too bad these things didn't do anything to improve the movie's story or plot.

     I felt that this film's creator only had about 30 to 40 minutes of story to tell, but stretched it to fill an hour and a half.  The movie felt long and boring the entire way through.  I would recommend just watching Drive again before ever recommending this movie.  I have to credit my friend Jeff for this last thing:  Only God would Forgive this movie being made.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook.,  Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


July 25th, 2013

 

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     It still hasn't really sunken in yet, but The Reel Opinion, as a blog anyway, turns two years old or is having its second anniversary (however you want to look at it).  At times, I still can't believe that it has been going this long.  A lot has changed with the product of The Reel Opinion and with me over the last two years.

     I can't remember if I have told the story already about why I started this project, so I will give a short recap.  One day in 2011, I was kind of down on myself and felt like I wasn't going anywhere here at WAND professionally.  The only promotion I could get was one that I didn't want and the one I wanted disappeared.  I don't know why the idea came into my head really, but I remember skimming through the blogs on our website and realized that we had a lot of not-on-air people doing them.  I thought that I could do a blog, so I thought about what I could be good at.  Movies were my first choice.  I e-mailed then General Manager Ron Pulera and pitched my idea.  He told me to write him a review, so I wrote a Green Lantern one since that was the last movie I had seen.  He liked it and told me to get a copy to News Director Tai Takahashi.  He liked it too, so we picked a start date and the rest is continuing history.

     I never imagined that I would become an on-air person at all.  Sure it sounded good, but I really never thought it would happen.  Our morning producer at the time, Mary Davies, told me she wanted to put me on air to do some reviews.  I was scared but excited also.  Before the idea could be pitched, she left for Channel 3.  The new morning producer, Kyle Jeisy, thought it was a good idea as well, so he ended up pitching the idea.  In late 2011, I did my first on camera segment.  Since I was pretty uncomfortable about EVERYTHING, I asked Greg Trumbold to interview me, which he did.  We talked about the blog mostly.  Then in December of 2011, I did my first real on-air segment.  We kept the interview format, but this time with Mark Rivera.  It was my preview of Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.

     In the beginning I was only reviewing one movie a week even though I was seeing more than that.  My preview of that movie would be on Friday and my review on Tuesday of the next week.  It went this way for a while until the ne, w General Manager Ricky Joseph watched the segment and wondered why it wasn't a review.  At that time it was decided that all of the segments would be reviews, which I ended up liking better because I liked not talking about the same movie twice.

     This year a big change was made.  I started doing the reviews on my own.  After doing the interview format for so long, I wanted to change things up a bit.  I wasn't sure when or how to make the switch, but I finally just made the decision one day to do it.  Not that I didn't like the interview format, but doing things on my own and in the way that I wanted really helped me to find parts of my imagination that I had buried deep down.  I got to be more creative and get everything out that I wanted to say about a film.  I am glad that I finally had the courage to take control and try it.

     Also at the beginning of the year, I decided that the blog needed a bit of an overhaul.  The format, to me anyway, was getting a little stale.  I decided that I was going to see as many new movies as I could this year (and hopefully for years to come) so that I could give my best perspective on the world of film in general.  In 2012 I was asked a lot about certain movies that I had not seen which made me feel like I wasn't doing my job to the fullest.  I wanted to be able to answer as many questions as I could for you guys and gals out there, so I planned on watching things I wanted to see and didn't want to see.  In a way, I look at this big change in 2013 as me growing a bit as a reviewer which I have you all to thank for it.

     I also feel that in the last two years I have become a better writer and reviewer.  This is not me tooting my own horn here.  I feel that the way that I write has gotten more thoughtful and less "black and white".  I really look at every movie and try to see the good AND bad in them.  I never used to think like this.  The funniest thing to me is that now I find myself liking movies I thought I would never like and not liking movies that I probably would have given a free pass to just two years ago.

     Just ten weeks ago I began a journey to get healthier.  Project E was born because, well, I didn't want to die early.  I want to be around to see my two boys, Andy and Ryan, become awesome men.  I wanted to look better in TV.  I wanted to gain some confidence in the way I look.  There are lots of reasons for me to do this project, some personal and some private.  I have to thank my co-worker and friend Karen Barding for the idea of doing Physician's Choice Wellness to accomplish this goal.

     So here's to two great and interesting years of my life.  I have a lot more in store for this project, so stay tuned.  I have been working on an idea for a while that I wanted to start a long time ago, but have just now found the way to do it right.  I'll let you all know about that later.

     I am happy that I started this journey two years ago.  While it has not always been smooth sailing, it has been one heck of a ride.  I want to do this for a long time to come.  For all that I have been able to do, from celebrity interviews to con and film festival coverage, I have to say that it has been totally worth it.

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 

 


July 24th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Conjuring


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I have to admit that the first time I saw the trailer for this movie, I laughed my head off.  The first trailer is the one where the mom and kid are playing "hide and clap" and the gray hands come out of the wardrobe and freak the mom out.  Then she goes to the cellar and the hands come out and clap again.  I just couldn't help myself from laughing.  Then I saw another trailer and I saw a little more promise in this movie.

     This movie tells the story of two families: Paranormal Investigators The Warrens and regular family The Parrons.  Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson & Vera Farmiga) are semi-famous for their work.  The story begins with them telling one of their more horrifying stories during a lecture.  The Parrons have just moved into a new house, but shortly after, strange things begin to happen.  At first they think it is nothing, but the occurrences keep getting more frequent and even stranger.  After a Warren lecture, Carolyn Parron approaches The Warrens and asks them to investigate their house, which they finally agree to.  What both families don't realize is that they have d, isturbed something that will have an effect on both families.

     I am glad that I didn't write this one off right away because in a sea of horrible horror movies, this one is one of the best in a while.  The last real horror movie that I liked I believed was Sinister.  While this one was not as good, I still really enjoyed it.  There is a lot to like here, but it is the subtle things that make this movie stand out.  With all of these horror films that come out and try to entertain you with ridiculous scares and bloodbaths, this movie works using the simplest things.

     I think that the movie's strongest aspect is its use of sound.  I really can't explain why the sound really worked well in the movie, it just did.  From voices to music boxes to doors creaking, this movie just had the right sound for exactly the right time.

     Another thing is that the scares were not totally obvious.  There were a lot of fake outs that made you start to get comfortable, and then they would get you.  Sure not all of them worked, but most of the time it did.  The movie did use some of the tried and true possession stuff, but it did not overuse them.

     Normally, other that The A-Team, I do not like Patrick Wilson, but in this he was really sympathetic and likeable.  That is a pretty big accomplishment in itself.

     I think that fans of a more physiological horror movie will like this one more that someone that digs the gorier stuff.  The scares are good, the characters likeable and the story is decent.  While not a trip to the theater for everybody, most horror fans would not be too disappointed in the trip.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 


July 23rd, 2013

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Geno Reviews RIPD


Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers, Ahead!!!

&nb, sp;    When I firs, t heard about this movie, I thought the premise sounded pretty cool.  I thought that if taken seriously, something like this could work.  I had not, and still have not, read the comic book it is based off of, so I had no preconceptions of what this movie should be like.  I have to say that if the comic is as goofy as this movie is, I don't really want to read the comic either.

     Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) is a police officer that has gotten into something illegal.  He and his partner, Bobby Hayes (Kevin Bacon) have "confiscated" some gold for themselves that they found during a drug bust.  Walker is having second thoughts about it and decides to turn the gold in, which his partner says is okay.  During a raid on a warehouse, Nick is betrayed, shot and killed by his partner, who tells him, before shooting him; he couldn't allow him to give the gold back.  As Nick ascends to heaven, he is transported to a special division right outside of the pearly gates called the RIPD, or Rest In Peace Department.  In exchange for 100 years of service, he will get a little cleanup on his "eternal record" and have a better chance of getting into heaven.  Nick is partnered up with Old West lawman Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges) to hunt down and capture bad souls that have evaded judgment.

     This movie is pretty much a direct rip-off of Men In Black.  There isn't a nicer way to say it.  The whole time I thought I was watching some spin off of MIB.  It is not only the plot that made me feel this way either.  The characters, lousy effects and all around atmosphere of the movie all reminded me of watching MIB for the first time.

     About the only thing I really liked about the movie was Jeff Bridges.  He did remind me of an alternate version of Tommy Lee Jones's Agent K, which is my favorite part of MIB.  He was the character with all of the snarky remarks, best action and just the most fun to watch.

     Men In Black came out in 1997, so if the effects aren't that great, it can be excused.  This movie just came out.  Effects such as the ones you will have to sit though watching this is inexcusable.  There is no nicer way to say it.  The effects are lousy.

     The movie has a few decent laughs, but not enough to save it.  Most of the laughs come from either Bridges or with the plot device of the people on Earth seeing the RIPD officers not as they appeared when they were alive, but as totally different people.  This was a fun plot device, but not THAT fun.

     I did find this movie mildly entertaining, like MIB, but for the most part this one is a pass.  It might make a goofy rental if you are bored, but I really have no desire to see another one of these.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


July 22nd, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews RED 2


Rated PG-13

     The first RED was a pretty big surprise hit for me.  I mean, all of the elements for what could be a good movie were there, but I still wasn't sure going in what I wa, s about to see.  What I got to see was a very fun and funny action comedy with great characters and a decent plot.  I love RED, so I was excited when it came out that they would be getting a sequel.

     Retired CIA Black Ops Agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) are living a pretty boring, everyday life after the events of the first movie…that is until the eccentric Marvin (John Malkovich) shows up, while they are shopping at Costco, and begs Frank to go on a mission with him because, well, because he hasn't killed anybody in months.  Frank declines much to the disappointment of Sarah, who is getting rather bored with their normal lifestyle.  As they leave the store, Marvin's vehicle is blown up right in front of them.  After Marvin's funeral, Frank is arrested by federal agents for being a terrorist behind a project called "Nightshade", which Frank has never heard of.  He escapes to find out who is behind setting him up and put a stop to it.  All the while he is being hunted by an old enemy, master assassin Han Jo-Bae (Lee Byung-hun), and an old friend, master assassin Victoria Winters (Helen Mirren).

     This is one of those movies that could have really gone wrong with the sequel, but I am happy to say that they got pretty much everything right.  I did have a few minor disappointments, but this is the fanboy in me talking.  First one was that Marvin didn't bring The Pig.  Fans of the first one will understand that one.  Second thing is that Brian Cox (Ivan Simonov) wasn't in the movie very much.  He was really fun in the first one, but was only in this one maybe twenty minutes.  That being said, they were a pretty funny, yet oddly charming twenty minutes.  The last thing is that you had Brian Cox AND Anthony Hopkins in a movie together, the two most recognizable Hannibal Lecters, and did nothing with that?  They were barely in one scene together.  Criminal.

     Okay, my complaints are out of the way.  This movie is a very fun and funny action comedy with great characters and a decent plot.  Wait a minute.  Have I said that already?  Oh yeah, that is what I said about the first one.  Basically, what we have here is a case of "Second verse, same as the first."  You know what?  I don't have a problem with that.

     All of the returning players did their part and were as entertaining as before, but I do want to give special recognition to Helen Mirren and John Malkovich.  They play the two characters that really push the pace and make sure it is in the right place all of the time.  Those two play their characters brilliantly.  I also thought that Anthony Hopkins and Lee Byung-hun were great as newcomers to the series.  Though I really liked Lee Byung-hun, I kind of missed Karl Urban this time around.  Maybe we could have both of them for the inevitable RED 3…here's hoping.

     This movie is a world hopping, action filled, fun and funny sequel to a great movie.  I don't think fans of the first one will be let down by this one.  I would suggest watching the first one before seeing this one, just so you can understand the relationships and motivations behind the characters.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also n, ow have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

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July 19th, 2013

 

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Geno and the Power Ranger

     If you know who Jason David Frank is, you are probably a fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  JDF is arguably the most popular Power Ranger out of the 20 years all the different incarnations of the show has been going on.  He has always been my personal favorite.  The character of Tommy Oliver has appeared countless times in different Power Ranger shows and has played at least five different Rangers.  I really only followed the original show, so I could be wrong on this.  I have always liked the character, but it wasn't until I met Jason that I really appreciated him as a person.

     I got a chance to interview him earlier this year at St. Louis Comic Con, WHICH YOU CAN SEE HERE, and got to see the real side of this actor.  He is great with his fans and unlike some celebrities; you can tell he is not faking his emotions towards them.  He loves meeting and talking with his fans.  He truly appreciates that they appreciate him and his work.  I like that about the guy.  Also, he shared our interview with his fans, which has helped to make it THE most watched video on my YouTube Channel.  It has over 6,200 views.  The next video, MY INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER LANGENKAMP, has just about 2,000.  He did me a solid in sharing it.

     A little while back on the blog, I talked about him approaching me at C2E2 in Chicago.  Just go to the May 2nd entry HERE near the bottom of the page for that story.

     I am going to get a chance to interview him again when I go to Chicago Comic Con in August.  I am going to talk to him about his return to the Power Rangers as the Green and White Rangers in Power Rangers Mega Force among other things.  He is just a real interesting guy to talk to and there is more to him than just being the Green Ranger.  I plan to talk to him about more than just Power Rangers.

     If you were a fan of the show, he is someone that you will want to meet.  I guarantee you that you will have one of the best geek experiences of your life.  He is, to this day, one of my favorite interviews I have done so far.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

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July 18th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Turbo

Rated PG

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     When I go to see a kids' movie, I try to think like my kids.  Would Andy and Ryan like this?  Would they find it funny?  Would they sit through this or get up and want to run around or go play toys?  Not that this movie is terrible, but I don't think kids are going to find it that entertaining.

     Theo, or Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) as he likes to be called, is a snail that has always wanted a little more speed out of life.  When he is not at work in the tomato garden, he is in a garage (somehow) watching videotapes of old Indycar races featuring his favorite driver Guy Gagne (Bill Hader).  Guy is always talking about big dreams being accomplished by little people, which inspires Turbo.  After a bad day at work, Turbo goes to the highway to watch the cars, but ends up having a sort of Spider-Man moment involving two illegal street racing cars and some nitrous oxide.  He discovers that he has developed some new abilities with speed being one of them.  After a mishap at work causes Turbo and his brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) their jobs, they end up on an adventure that will change their lives, as well as the lives of many others.

     While this movie has a decent premise of following your dreams and never let being an underdog stop you, the execution of the story is what really drags this one down.  That is not to say it is a bad movie, but I found that the pacing and humor is what really hurt this one.  For a movie about a racing snail, the movie moves a little slow.  The movie also tries to be funny, but the jokes just don't work.  A lot of the jokes are based on who is playing a character.  Snoop Dogg's…I mean Snoop Lion's (Smooth Move) character is mellow.  Samuel L. Jackson's (Whiplash) character is loud and commanding.  I did think Maya Rudolph's (Burn) character was kind of funny, but once again, not really anything different or out of character.  That being said, having Luis Guzman and Michael Pena (Angelo and Tito) play the taco selling brothers with big dreams wasn't a bad idea.  With those two, it never is.

     I liked the message of the movie, but there are better kids' movies out right now.  Though I think that with it being summertime and a kids' movie, it will do pretty good at the box office.  If I am thinking like my kids and try, ing to decide if I wanted to see this, I think I would rather go see Monsters University or even Despicable Me 2 again instead and watch this one when it comes out on video.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or, disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


July 16th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews 6 Souls

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     It is time to check out another limited release movie that just showed up on NetFlix.  6 Souls, or Shelter, is a physiological/horror movie that was released in March to a short amount of screens, but showed up on iTunes a short time later.  A week or two ago it showed up on NetFlix, and I needed something to watch for a review.

     Cara (Julianne Moore) is a widowed psychiatrist that has made a career out of disproving multiple personality disorder.  She is called upon by her father (Jeffrey DeMunn), who is also a psychiatrist, to look at one of his patients, David (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who he says is "interesting".  She interviews David, who is in a wheelchair, and asks him some strange questions.  Her father asks her to interview him again, but first he calls the phone in the room and asks to talk to Adam.  The man begins to violently convulse and then calms down.  She asks him the same questions, but this time he has way different answers.  "Adam" is even colorblind to red.  As Cara goes to leave, she turns to talk to Adam but he is out of his wheelchair and right behind her.  Adam can walk, while David cannot.  Cara decides to investigate this man, but finds out there may be more behind him than just split personalities.

     Though I thought that the ending was kind of lame and predictable, this is not a bad thriller.  Even though the movie shows you something early on that ends up partially giving up the "big reveal", it will still keep you guessing what is real and what is not.  I have to admit I was pretty invested until near the end of the movie.

     I usually like Julianne Moore, and she does a pretty good job in this one.  I wouldn't say her performance in this movie is award winning or anything, but she puts on a pretty reliable "Julianne Moore" performance.  I think my favorite character in this movie was Jonathan Rhys Meyers's Adam.  He had to technically play multiple characters in this movie and did a pretty decent job in doing it.  If his performance was weak in this movie, the movie would not have worked.  I think that Rhys Meyers is a pretty underrated actor and really should be getting to more mainstream stuff.  He is going to play the title character in the upcoming NBC series Dracula, which begins October 25th.

     There is a lot that happens in this movie that I can't reveal in the review, unless I just wanted to spoil everything about it.  I am not going to do that because I think this is a decent thriller that fans of the genre might enjoy.  This is not a great film, but I was pretty entertained…even though I felt it ended kind of weak.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 

 


July 16th, 2013

 

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Geno (kind of) reviews Grown Ups 2...(sort of)

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I want to like Adam Sandler and the boys, I really do.  I loved a lot of those guys on SNL, which their time there was arguably one of the best casts that show has ever had.  The first Grown Ups was alright, but nothing really special.  It was fine as a one shot movie, but since it made $162 million, it was no surprise that a sequel was coming.

     Lenny (Adam Sandler) and his family have moved back to his hometown.  They are adjusting to life in the suburbs while the three other guys, Rob Schneider did not return, from the first movie deal with their own family problems.  Eric (Kevin James) is sneaking off to his mom's house for food and his wife can't tell their kid that he is doing ANYTHING wrong.  Kurt (Chris Rock) remembers his anniversary, but his wife doesn't.  Marcus (David Spade) finds out he has an illegitimate son…that wants to kill him.  We also get to meet Nick (Nick Swardson) the bus driver, who may or may not be a relative of Rob Schneider's character from the first movie…they have VERY similar hair.

     I am not going to waste a lot of time on this movie.  It is terrible.  It is not funny.  It is not entertaining.  A lot of the characters are not very likeable.  Most of the jokes are juvenile and for this aging bunch, who I know can do WAY better, it just doesn't fly anymore.  It is pretty sad when the only interesting thing I find in a movie is that the wardrobe department shopped at Walmart for one of the kid's shirts.

Yep, my son Ryan is Captain Awesome too.

     Look, I could analyze this movie more, but in how many ways can I say this movie was horrible.  Hopefully after the first weekend, people will just stop going to it and Adam Sandler won't be encouraged to make Grown Ups 3.  The movie did leave on a cliffhanger, so I am sure we will get another one of these whether we like it or not.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 

 


July 15th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Pacific Rim

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Growing up, I was a fan of cartoons and shows involving giant robots or giant robots vs. monsters.  Transformers, Voltron, Power Rangers, etc.  I would watch anything with that stuff in it and that is why I was excited for this movie.  So let's see.  This thing has giant monsters.  Check.  This thing has giant robots.  Check.  The giant monsters FIGHT the giant robots.  Check.  It has incredible effects.  Check.  To me this sounded like a pretty good setup for a decent sci-fi movie.  The only concern I had with this movie is that the story would be weak.  Well, story wasn't anything too mind blowing or totally original, but it is very entertaining and at times a bit diffe, rent than I thought it was going to be.

     The movie begins in the present day.  A portal opens up in the Pacific Ocean and a giant alien, or Kaiju, comes through.  Our military was able to take it down, but it took hours and cost thousands of lives.  Over the next few months, more monsters come and more lives are lost.  The world's countries put their petty differences aside to come up with a new kind of defense.  We created monsters of our own.  The Jaeger program is created.  These giant, two pilot robots help up to turn the tide.  For seven years, we are winning the war.  Jaeger pilot become celebrities.  Kaiju become toys.  We keep up the winning…until something changes.  The Kaiju start to get bigger…and smarter.  They begin to win.  For five years, they are tearing this world apart.  We are down to our last Jaegers.

     For a fan of sci-fi, this movie is a lot of fun.  It is one of those movies that made me feel like a kid watching Voltron growing up.  While not a perfect film, all of my fears about it were dashed pretty after the opening scenes before the credits.  I was happy that there was a lot more going on than just "Giant robots vs. giant monsters".  There is a decent, although not all original, story here.  I liked that the monster attacks had been happening for a long time and that it didn't just happen.

     The story was pretty decent, but not all original.  There were some original elements, such as the "mental handshake" that it takes to get the two pilots to be able to pilot the Jaegers.  That being said, I didn't really expect total originality here.  This movie was written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, so if it wasn't going to be a totally original story, I knew it would be an interesting take on a certain style…and it was.  del Toro is behind some of my favorite movies: The Hellboy films and Pan's Labyrinth, so if the idea isn't totally original, like Pan's Labyrinth, it would at least be a good adaptation, like Hellboy.  I'm just happy that they didn't get Michael Bay to make this.

     The biggest and coolest thing about the movie, of course, is the giant battles as well as the designs of both the robots and the monsters.  That is where my faith in del Toro came in.  Both the battles and the designs of everything are outstanding.  The fights are big and hard hitting.  Watching a Jaeger smash in the face of a Kaiju is pretty incredible.  I also loved the way that the Jaegers moved.  This wasn't like Transformers, where they could do anything they wanted as fast, or in as slow motion, as they wanted.  The Jaegers were big and powerful, but they had their limitations.  Also, a lot of the movie took place in Japan, so there is a very Anime feel to the film, which I really liked.

     For any fan of sci-fi, this is a no brainer to go see.  It has really cool action scenes, creature and robot designs, a decent story and an interesting look and feel to it.  I really want to see it again…but maybe this time at an IMAX theater.

     Make sure to LIKE The Reel Geno, the new home for The Reel Opinion on Facebook, and @TheReelGeno on Twitter.  There you can get The Reel First Impression, which is my first impression of the movie I just watched, sometimes days before my written and TV reviews.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me&, nbsp;@TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 

 


July 12th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I am a big fan of stand-up comedy.  I have been watching it for many, many years.  From Bill Cosby, Gallagher, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and Denis Leary to Chris Rock, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Burr, Tom Wilson, Jeff Dunham and Louis CK.  I have enjoyed a great deal of them.  I will give every comedian's stand-up special a chance.

     My experience with Kevin Hart is limited, so I was interested in his film Let Me Explain, which is about one of his sold out performances at Madison Square Garden.  From what I understood, this was going to be a documentary about him being on the road, traveling and doing comedy.  I thought that if it was anything like The Comedians of Comedy documentary, I might enjoy it.  Instead, all this movie has to offer is about a 15-20 montage of mostly the end of Hart's shows while traveling the world, followed by a very unfunny stand-up special, which I had to fight to stay awake through.

     If I could just use one word to describe this movie, it would have to be "boring".  I was bored out of my mind watching this.  I might have been a little tired while watching this, but if it were funnier or more entertaining, it would have snapped me out of it.  I have been more tired watching better movies and afterwards, I wasn't tire anymore.

     It was pretty sad that there was only one bit in Hart's routine that I found even the slightest bit funny.  Now I am not saying that I didn't understand his material or I may have been offended by it.  I just didn't find his jokes or his delivery funny for most of the special.  He did a bit about his kid's imagination that I genuinely found funny, but that was about it.

     There were two other people in the theater watching the movie with me, so I gauged their reactions as well.  Through the film, I could tell that some of their laughter seemed like they wanted to think it was funny, but they weren't sure.  After it was over, the first thing I heard from across the theater was, "We should have waited for video."  Oh, and about being tired during the movie?  The next thing I heard the guy say was, "Man, I kept falling asleep through that thing."  See, it wasn't just me.

     Trust me; there are way too many better comedians with way too many specials that are better than this one.  For me, this one is a snoozer and a pass.

Remember, it's only just one, guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is TheReelGeno@yaho, o.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 

 


July 11th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Redemption

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I have mentioned before that I am kind of a Jason Statham fanboy.  Though I sometimes get tired of him just playing the tough guy, I still enjoy most of his films.  I do enjoy it when he plays the less invincible roles, though.  A lot of those movies don't get released in the theaters, however.  This is one of those movies.

     "Crazy" Joe (Jason Statham" is an ex-special forces soldier that is , now homeless on the streets of London and on the run for a court martial for something we find out about later in the film.  After defending a fellow homeless friend and being beaten up badly, he is chased down by the assailants.  He winds up hiding in the apartment of a man with wealth.  He finds out the man will not be back for months, so he decides to live there and get his life back together.  While working and honest job at a restaurant, a mobster sees Joe "escorts" some unruly customers and offers him a job as a mob enforcer, which he accepts.  Joe ends up using a lot of the money he is making from the mob to help feed his fellow homeless friends to try to make up for some of the bad things he has done.

     Along with what is described above, there is also a love story and a revenge story attached.  Shockingly, all of the stories go together pretty well, given all that is going on.  Statham does eventually do a little butt-kicking in the movie, but for the first half of the movie, he is out of shape, homeless and an alcoholic.  You get to see him change back to what he describes as a "normal human being" over the course of a few months.

     "Crazy" Joe kind of tiptoes the line of morality when it comes to his actions.  While on one hand he is giving most of his proceeds to help people, he is doing some pretty bad things to get that money.  That is what this movie is about.  It asks you think it is okay what he is doing because he is not doing it for himself.

     It may sound like I am giving this movie countless praise, but really it is just a good Statham movie.  He has much better ones in the non-theatrical release category.  I think my favorites would have to be Chaos and The Bank Job.  This one would not be a bad rental, but just don't expect the usual Statham action movie when you watch it…because you know the guy CAN actually act.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGen, o

 

 

 

 

 

 


July 10th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Way, Way Back

Rated PG-13

     Do you like Steve Carell?  Do you find him funny or has his comedy act gotten a little stale for you?  I like the guy, but I am getting tired of seeing him play similar goofy roles in, movies.  Even though I am the minority here, my favorite performance from him was in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.  I think he is a better actor than his typecasting lets on.  In The Way, Way Back, he gets to shove over the limits of his likeability.  I say, "It's about time."

     14 Year old Duncan (Liam James) is a unique kid with lots of problems.  His mother is divorced and is dating Trent (Steve Carell), who is not the nicest guy.  He is trying to play dad to Duncan, but comes off as an overbearing jerk.  The group is heading to Trent's summer house for a vacation so Duncan's mother Pam (Toni Collette) can meet all of his friends.  Duncan, who just mopes around a lot of the time, meets Owen (Sam Rockwell) who works at the local water park.  Owen gives Duncan a job, which helps him to open up a little and gain some confidence in himself.  The problem is that Duncan uses the water park as a crutch and avoids his problems all together.  We also find out that Trent may have some "summertime secrets" going on at his summer home.

     While not the best "coming of age" story I have seen this year, it is still a pretty good one.  I did have a couple issues with the movie, so I will cover them first.  My first problem is that I don't think the movie went far enough with the issues that Duncan is up against.  Though he has a couple of confrontations with Trent, I would have liked to see them butt heads more.  Also, some of the characters didn't really get fleshed out enough.  The movie tried to do a side story with Trent's daughter Stephanie (Zoe Levin), but it never really went anywhere.  There were other characters that shared the same fate as well, but it really didn't affect the main story too much.

     A lot of people are claiming that this could be Sam Rockwell's breakout performance.  I say to those people, "Have you never seen Seven Psychopaths, Moon, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind...Galaxy Quest, The Green Mile, etc., etc, etc.  Heck, he was even really good the ten seconds he was in 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as the 'Head Thug'."  So I guess I am really saying to those people, "Where have 'YOU' been?"

     My two main reasons for wanting to see this movie is for Sam Rockwell and the idea of Steve Carell playing the bad guy.  I am conflicted about Steve Carell's performance because if he played the part the way I really wanted him to, it would have changed the brilliant ending of this movie.  I think he could have taken the jerk angle of the character and stretched it just a bit more, just so I can dislike his character more.  What I am saying is that he did a really good job, but I thought more could have been done to escalate the despicable nature of Trent.  I really do understand why they did what they did with the character, though.  I do think it is time that Carell took on a more sinister role, which I think he would be really good at.

     Other than the ending, there is one scene that really worked for me.  I won't spoil all the details of it, but it is when Duncan finally stands up Trent for himself and his mother.  This is one of the scenes I wish would have went a bit further, but it was still really good.

     Unlike me, you probably don't need to drive to Chicago to go see this one, but I could see it showing up somewhere around here at one of the few theaters that get limited releases.  If you want to see a pretty good coming of age story with a really different performance by Steve Carell, you m, ight like this one.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


July 9th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Lone Ranger

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     When it comes to certain actors playing certain parts, it is hard to argue not putting Johnny Depp in your movie.  It is h, ard to argue not putting Depp in your movie if you are the team that made the Pirates' movies.  I am here to argue, that after seeing The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp should not have been in this movie.  I'll get to that in a bit.

     The story begins in 1933.  A young boy is visiting a Wild West exhibition.  As he is looking at the "Honorable Savage" exhibit, the mannequin turns out to be an elderly Tonto (Johnny Depp).  He mistakes the boy for his "Kimosabe" because the boy is wearing a mask.  He then begins to tell the boy about John Reid, the man who would become The Lone Ranger.

     This is not a terrible movie, but it is not a great one either.  One of the main problems with it is that it tries way too hard to be epic, like the Pirates movies, but it falls way short.  It also can't decide whether or not it is a serious movie or a campy one.  If it could have found an interesting and happy medium, both types could have worked, but it just felt like they crammed the two types of movies together.

     Yes, they did address what "kimosabe" means, but I don't know if their definition of the word is really right or not.

     Though I have been accused of just not liking Johnny Depp before, I can tell you that I like him in lots of movies.  The man is a very talented actor and has tons of range, but there are times he has been miscast for roles.  There was Barnabas Collins, Willy Wonka and now Tonto.  I think he was trying to act funny and campy, but he just came off as the distant relative of Captain Jack Sparrow.  I kept noticing way too similar facial mannerisms between the two characters.  Plus, he just came off way too goofy for a character that was bent on getting revenge for the death of an entire tribe.  Plus, did Native Americans back then call themselves Indians?

     Now, I am glad that they fit in the Lone Ranger theme music, but did it need to play for the entire final action sequence…which I didn't time officially, but went on for a while.

     While not a bad movie, it was more average than epic.  I think that Disney's plan for this was for it to be a new franchise like Pirates is.  I honestly think that they only have a one shot movie here.  For a movie that had an estimated budget of $250 million, I don't think it is going to make it back.  I think they have another John Carter on their hands.  The only difference is John Carter deserves a sequel.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


July 8th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews Despicable Me 2

Rated PG

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     You would probably be surprised to hear that the first time I ever watched the first Despicable Me was about a month ago.  Not that I did it on purpose, but it was just one of those movies that passed me by when it came out.  Back then I wasn't going to as many movies as I do now.  I watched it and thought it was decent.  I liked the characters, but had a few problems such as the lack of superheroes to battle all of these supervillains.  I expected about the same thing from the sequel…with added Minions.  I pretty much got what I expected.

     After retiring from being a supervillain, Gru (Steve Carell) has been trying to start a legitimate business creating jams and jellies.  However, things are not going so well for him businesswise and personally.  He is getting a bit depressed not "Being in the game" anymore, Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) has decided to take a job with another supervillain, plus the jams that are being created really don't taste good.  Later, a group called the Anti-Villain League (AVL) captures Gru and tells him that a supervillain has used his gigantic magnet ship to steal an entire secret laboratory.  They want to hire Gru to help them because he thinks like a supervillain.  Gru decides that this could be what he needs to "Get back in the game".  All the while, Gru's Minions are being kidnapped for an unknown purpose.

     You get what you want when you go to see this movie.  This is one of those sequels that if you enjoyed the first one, you will enjoy this one.  If the first one wasn't for you, then this one is not going to change your mind.

     I liked the addition of the AVL because, as I mentioned earlier, the lack of a superhero in the first movie hurt it a bit.  Having the AVL adds a sort of group such as Marvel's SHIELD to the mix, which is a good thing.  I liked how they described themselves to Gru.  They said something along the lines of, "You steal or murder someone, and we don't pay attention.  But if you are going to kill millions, then we take notice.

     I think it was an obvious step in giving Gru a love interest.  He became a father in the first one, so I think it is only natural that his girls would want to set him up in this one.  Lucy (Kristin Wiig) did a pretty decent job of being what I could only describe to you as a "Gru Fangirl".  It was pretty obvious she liked him from the start…at least after she hit him with her lipstick taser.

     Benjamin Bratt played the villain of this movie, El Macho.  He did a pretty good job, but I am a bit disappointed that the original voice actor Al Pacino dropped out for "creative differences".  You could tell in the script and the animation that the role was written for Pacino, and apparently he had done ALL of his voicework already before he split from the film.

     If you really liked the first one, you will probably want to go see it in the theater.  I liked this one pretty much the same as the first one, so I wasn't disappointed in seeing this movie on the big screen.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is&n, bsp;the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 


July 5th, 2013

 

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Geno Pits Olympus Has Fallen vs. White House Down


Major Spoilers Ahead!!!  (You have been warned!!!)

     Two movies came out this year about an invasion on the White House: Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down.  Both of them had their strengths and weaknesses (Some more than the other).  What I am going to do is put five things from these movies against each other to decide which one is better.

The Heroes:  Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) vs. John Cale (Channing Tatum):

     The heroes of these are somewhat similar, but in many ways different as well.  Both of them served in the military, but Olympus's Banning is ex-special forces.  Also, given the circumstances at the beginning of Olympus, Banning is already a former member of the Secret Service.  Cale is trying to become a member of the Secret Service to impress his daughter.  Banning being at the White House when the invasion happens makes sense.  He works nearby at the Department of Treasury.  Cale being at the White House for the invasion is blind luck.  Banning has traces of John McClane from Die Hard with a touch of Jack Bauer from 24.  Cale is just a poor knockoff of John McClane.  Banning's snarkiness and sarcasm is pretty funny.  Cale is not that funny.  Point goes to Olympus Has Fallen.

Olympus Has Fallen is up 1-0

The Presidents: President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) vs. President Sawyer (Jamie Foxx):

     President Asher spent the majority of the movie tied up and really didn't get to do much, but President Sawyer was a bit ridiculous as the "If President Obama was an action star" character.  Asher is trying to get over the death of his wife.  Sawyer is trying to quit smoking and collects Air Jordan Shoes.  The main question is "Who was more presidential?"  Asher was trying to calm down the rising tensions in Korea.  Sawyer was going to bring complete and total peace to The Middle East…and had no problem doing so.  To me Asher just felt like a real president, not a knockoff of a real one.  Point goes to Olympus Has Fallen.

Olympus Has Fallen is up 2-0

The Villains: Kang Yeonsak (Rick Yune) vs. Martin Walker (James Woods):

     Kang's ultimate mission is to blow up America's nuclear missiles in their silos, laying waste to America.  Walker's plan is to launch the nukes at The Middle East, which would definitely stop any and all peace talks.  K, ang's group is unified under him and never questions orders.  Walker keeps tons of secrets from his group, which causes some interesting tension between all of them.  Kang is the boss.  Walker has a boss and his plan is more complicated that just ultimate destruction.  Though I loved both villains, point goes to White House Down.

Olympus Has Fallen is up 2-1

The Invasion of the White House:

     This one is easy.  Kang is invited along with the South Korea Prime Minister and practically walks into the President's Bunker.  He uses distractions from the land and air to take the White House in 13 minutes.  Walker's group dress as repair men and janitors and somehow sneak in explosives and weapons past EVERY Secret Service agent and guard there.  Granted, Walker is the head of the Secret Service, but he is the only one of them in on this.  Point goes to Olympus Has Fallen.

Olympus Has Fallen is up 3-1

The Action:

     This is an action movie, so the action really has to be awesome for the movie to be awesome, right?  White House Down's action for the most part was okay, but a lot of what happens in the movie has happened in much better movies before, especially Die Hard.  Also, some of the "Buddy" action scenes between Tatum and Foxx just came off a little too goofy.  Olympus Has Fallen's action is intense, brutal, unforgiving, hard hitting and bloody.  I have not seen action like this in a movie for a long time.  I don't think I have seen head shots and stabbings in a movie like that, in an action movie, in any recent memory.  It really takes advantage of its R Rating.  Point goes to Olympus Has Fallen.

Olympus Has Fallen wins 4-1

     Olympus Has Fallen is by far the more dominant of the two movies.  I want to see more of Butler's character.  I liked the surrounding characters a lot as well.  White House Down just didn't have a lot going for it.  Though White House Down got the one point, it could have gone either way.  I really could do without seeing White House Down again.  I just watched Olympus Has Fallen for the second time and I already want to see it again.

Game…Set…Match…

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


July 4th, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Bling Ring

Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     This movie is based on a true story about fame obsessed teens in California that broke into a bunch of celebrities' houses and stole a bunch of their expensive things.  If this movie is anything, it should be a cautionary tale for a few different reasons.  There is a cautionary tale to parents about keeping tabs on your children.  There is a cautionary tale to kids about being celebrity obsessed.  And there is a caution, ary tale to would be criminals about how dumb you are if you brag about your crimes on Facebook.

     This movie follows five teens that become involved in robbing celebrities.  The crimes start off small with two of the teens, Rebecca (Katie Chang) and Marc (Israel Broussard).  They start off looking for open cars and things like that, but it quickly escalates into them going to Paris Hilton's house and finding the keys under the welcome mat.  They get three other friends of Rebecca's involved as they begin to check out when celebrities will be out of town then go to their places.

     What comes of these crimes is that we get to find out who these kids really are and how they really feel about each other.  We find out that some of them are just using the other ones and they some just want a little fame for themselves at the expense of the celebrities that they rob.

     My biggest problem with the movie is the repetitiveness.  Here is how about half of the movie goes.  Minor spoiler here.  Rebecca asks Marc to find a certain celebrity house.  They go and get in easily.  After being there a short time, Marc starts to get a little freaked out and says they need to go.  After they leave, they go to some club and show off some of their stuff, take pictures and party.  This happens multiple times in the movie.  I would not doubt that this is the way it really happened, but that doesn't make it more interesting.

     What I did find interesting was the way that the relationships between the four teens deteriorated when the crap hit the fan and they were on the verge of getting caught.  The way that the different characters re, acted to the heat being turned on them was fun to watch.  Too bad this only came for a bit in the middle of the movie and at the end.

     Not that this is a huge problem, but I think that the trailers for this movie are a bit misleading.  Yes Emma Watson (Nicki) is a main character in the movie; it is more about the two characters of Marc and Rebecca.  This isn't a problem because all of the characters are at least somewhat interesting to watch.

     Wait for this one to come out on video.  While it is a decent movie, it is not worth going to the theater for.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 


July 3rd, 2013

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Geno Reviews Much Ado About Nothing

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     I have never really been a huge fan of William Shakespeare, but I get the appeal.  When I heard that joss Whedon was going to adapt a Shakespeare play into a modern day setting, I kind of liked the idea.  The idea has worked pretty well before with Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet.  In fact, as I type this, I am listening to the soundtrack to that movie.  After watching Much Ado About Nothing, I have to say that the idea worked yet again.

     As with Shakespeare's writing, , sometimes I have trouble figuring out what the characters are trying to say.  This is a movie that you really have to pay attention to if you really want to understand what is going on.  If you are like me, who had not read or seen this story in any way, you might be a bit lost.  The movie does do a good job of at least giving you're the basics so that even if you didn't understand every word, you can still enjoy the story.

     I give any movie credit for pulling off the black and white style in this day and age.

     This mov, ie was like one big Joss W, hedon show reunion.  The majority of the cast has been involved with at least one Joss Whedon project.  Go with who you know and you know what you are going to get must be Whedon's philosophy in filmmaking.

     I have to say that there is a little bit of everything in this movie, which is to say there is something for everyone.  There is romance, comedy, intrigue, betrayal, etc.  I found that my favorite moments of the movie where when both Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) were doing physical comedy as well as anytime Dogberry (Nathan Fillion) and Verges (Tom Lenk) were on screen.

     This movie is pretty cute most of the time and can entertain just about anybody.  The cast is really good, the story keeps your interest, plus it challenges you to listen to everything the people are saying.  I really enjoyed this one.  I am not sure what people who really like the play will think of it, but I have heard nothing but positive reviews from what I could find.  I wouldn't say travel to St. Louis to go see this one like I did, but it at the very least would make an excellent rental.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 

 


July 2nd, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews The Heat


Rated R

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     Typecasting.  I used to be okay with it, but ever since I have started this job I have found myself wanting more out of my actors.  I am not talking about an actor playing the same character, but rather an actor playing the exact TYPE of character in just about every movie.  I think that was my major problem with The Heat.

     FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is about as straight laced as they come.  She is an excellent agent, but is too smart for her own good.  She is disliked by pretty much everybody in her office and see really doesn't have any friends.  Detective Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) is a tough as nails, get your man however you can, type of cop.  When these two ladies cross paths, they have to put their differences aside to solve the big case.

     My main problem with this movie is that I have seen these two do these parts before.  Bullock pretty much played this role in Miss Congeniality.  Melissa McCarthy has played this role in everything I have seen her in, .  I have seen bits and pi, eces of Mike and Molly, but it really didn't impress me much.  People keep telling me she is funny, but I have yet to really see it.  If the extent of her comedic chops is that she is the awkward, loud, foul mouthed and obnoxious lady that really has a heart of gold beyond that rough exterior, then I just don't get it.  McCarthy's use of the F-Bomb every sentence was pretty much the extent of her "humor" in this one.

     The story is alright, but nothing unexpected happened.  It wasn't boring or anything, but when pretty much everything you think is going to happen does, it just gets a little stale in time.

     The main characters' bickerin, g just got a little on my nerves after a while.  It just goes back and forth, back and forth, until they find that common ground of course.

     I kind of liked the soundtrack and the look of the movie, especially at first.  The look and music of the movie at first made the film feel like a 70's cops show, which would have been pretty cool.  The movie modernized itself pretty quickly, but still kept a decent soundtrack that fit the feel of the movie well.

     There was some decent support for the main characters in the form of some pretty good comedians, but the only problem is that not all of them were given enough to do.  Tom Wilson (Captain Woods), who played Biff in Back to the Future, is a genius comedian but he was kind of wasted here.  Wanna know why I think he is hilarious?  Check out this clip from his stand up special, BIGGER THAN YOU.  Great song!  Bill Burr (Mark Mullins) is kind of wasted as well.  Former MAD TV alum Michael McDonald (Julian) gets a pretty good role as one of the bad guys, though.  I think he was my favorite character in the movie.

     Rent this one if you really want to see it.  The movie didn't suck, but it could have been a lot better.  There are some good jokes, but not enough to make it worth your time in the theater or your money.  That being said, it made its budget back its first weekend, so I am sure this will not be the last we will see of these two ladies.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno

 

 

 

 


July 1st, 2013

 

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Geno Reviews White House Down

First things first.  I have to say Happy Birthday to my little guy Ryan.  He turns four today.

Happy Birthday, Ryno!!!

Okay, now on to business!

Rated PG-13

Minor Spoilers Ahead!!!

     When I saw the preview for this movie, I was afraid that it was going to just be a copy of one of the most fun movies this year, Olympus Has Fallen.  What I didn't expect is that this movie was going to copy another franchise completely, the Die Hard series.

     John Cale (Channing Tatum) is a US Capitol police officer assigned to protect The Speaker of the House.  To help patch up his relationship with his daug, hter, he gets passes to go into the White House.  As they are there, a group of terrorists sneak in and take control.  Cale gets free and finds President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx) and frees him from the terrorists.  It is up to the two of them to stop the terrorists from the inside and save the other hostages.

 , ;    This movie really on, ly came off as an ave, rage action movie.  The action is decent, but the plot was really nothing original.  Almost the entire plot was from other movies that did it way better.  Die hard was the movie this movie "borrowed" from the most.  Instead of giving a full detailed review of the movie, I decided to give you ten ways this movie tried to be Die Hard.

1. Our hero is divorced with a daughter that hates him.

2. Our hero is a police officer that is in the wrong place at the wrong time...oh and his name is John.

3. The villain structure is the same:  You have the brains behind the operation, the hot headed second in command, the eccentric tech guy and most of the rest are unnamed machine gun fodder.

4. Our hero rocks a white tank top.

5. Someone gets injured because of shattered glass.

6. There is a battle on the roof in which a government helicopter fires upon our hero.

7. There is a jurisdictional battle about, "Who's running the show."

8. The villains have an important hostage they don't know about…until the news gives them the information accidentally.

9. The main character's daughter can antagonize the villains over and over…without getting shot.

10. Our hero warns not to let anybody try to come and bust in, but the other good guys don't listen…and get shot up with missiles for their mistake.

 

     There is a lot more, but I will leave some for you to find if you decide to watch this one.  The jokes are not funny, the characters not that interesting and the plot isn't anything you haven't already seen before.  The action is okay, but nothing special.  The movie is very unbelievable because of the way the villains get into the White House.  There is no way they could have gotten that stuff in the way they did.  You know what; I will cover more of this on Friday when I compare this movie with Olympus Has Fallen, even though it is pretty obvious which one I thought was better.

     If you want to watch a movie about an invasion on the White House, watch Olympus Has Fallen.  Unlike this movie, it didn't try to be Die Hard.  It just felt like one.

Remember, it's only just one guy's opinion.

Geno

     Questions, comments or disagreements? Contact me on Facebook. Hit this link and like it. I also now have an e-mail address you can contact me at. It is the_reel_opinion@yahoo.com. I am also on Twitter. You can follow me @TheReelGeno


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