Un week-end à Paris DVD review

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Married 30 years and on the verge of separating, a couple return to their honeymoon location, Paris, and embark on a variety of misadventures in the TVA Films DVD release, Un week-end à Paris.

Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg (Lindsay Duncan) attempt to reinvigorate their marriage but end up coming to terms with the issues that push them towards divorce. Both realizing they are getting older, they question why they are even together through a series of conversations which is the main feature of the film. About halfway through the movie they meet up with one of Nick’s long-time friends, Morgan (Jeff Goldblum) whom invites to a party that tests their ability to remain together or not.

Money, children, accusations of infidelity, it feels like almost every standard issue a common married couple has to deal with is touched upon. The quality of the film lies in how real the characters talk to each other. Funny at times at how random Meg can be with her actions and her moods. Nick comes off very whiny and insecure creating awkward and dramatic moments.

While Morgan is featured little, his role helps create some of the best moments in the flick. By the time the dinner table scene arrives there is a growing tension between Nick and Meg that explodes in a public and shocking way. It feels like a journey uncovering their marriage filled with bickering, bargaining, and romance.

English and French are the two versions available in the feature menu. Unfortunately no extras are included. Director’s commentary or a behind the scenes featurette on how the thought process came together would have been intriguing.

 

Un week-end à Paris

TVA Films

93 minutes

Available on iTunes

Maleficent review

MV5BMjAwMzAzMzExOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTcwMDA5MTE@._V1_SX214_AL_Evil is born with a broken heart and a lust for revenge in, Maleficent, a different twist from the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty featuring glorious 3D fight scenes and landscapes.

Angelina Jolie stars as the legendary villain who in this version of the story was the true hero. King Stefan (Sharlto Copley) was the villain that betrayed her and stole her heart. Stefan gave her companionship as a child and her first kiss. Greed kept Stefan away for a time. Greed brought him back and turned Maleficent’s heart cold.

The curse scene stays true to the original, powerful acting by Jolie and Copley during it.

Afterwards lots of revisions. Maleficent is one taking care of Aurora (Elle Fanning) while her protectors argue. She changes her mind on the curse but cannot break it. All the while Stefan grows in paranoia and insomnia.

Disregard how the original played out and enjoy the adventure presented. Lord of the Rings grand-style fight scenes, dazzling lively backgrounds and magical creatures galore. Despite a PG rating there is some dark and violent moments. The torture the twisted king and demented fairy put each other through is accompanied with chilling music and hateful intentions.

Disney usually delivers when it comes to bringing back classic characters with a fresh look. Worked for the wizard of Oz with evil also created with a broken heart and human greed. The special effects are so good the story does not have to be filled with character depth. 97 minutes goes so by so quick because the movie is highly enjoyable just to look at.

Children not easily tormented by nightmares can watch this. Teens and adults can definitely enjoy the action, fantasy, and the intrigue on how this revised tale ends up. Disney is going in the right direction with films like this.

 

 

Million Dollar Arm review

ddWith his career as a sports agent on the brink of collapse, JB Bernstein pitches a radical new idea for a reality show called Million Dollar Arm to find MLB pitchers in India.

The movie starts off with Bernstein (Jon Hamm) losing his top client to competition and begins to create doubt in his staff and himself that his agency can stay float. While watching a game of cricket and switching channels to see the rise of Susan Boyle, Bernstein gets the idea of how he can save his business. Bernstein starts a talent search for TV giving two kids in India a chance at playing in MLB. The search is aimed at finding cricket players and trying to convert them into baseball players after the two throw the fastest and most accurate pitches.

However, Rinku (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) the eventual winners of the competition do not play cricket and do not even like the sport. A minor detail that Bernstein hides from the media.

The transition for the players to the North America lifestyle  and Bernstein having a relationship with his tenant Brenda (Lake Bell) are the focal points for the rest of the film. Bernstein is use to dating models while Brenda finds a random hunk at the hospital she works at. They have their differences in terms of values, but they clearly have a lot of similarities. The language, understanding baseball, and getting the attention of Bernstein are the main issues for Rinku and Dinesh.

Jon Hamm is the main selling point of this movie. His struggles, failures, mistakes, take up the most of the run time. He’s no Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise that can deliver a performance everyone will remember, but he still delivers a solid character that can make you feel for him.

 

Neighbors review

Neighbors_(2013)_PosterMilking tits, clay penises, shooting fireworks at a police car, baby playing with a condom, there is a lot of sexy violence as a family and fraternity go to war in the new flick, Neighbors.

Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne) have just bought their new house and are trying to have sex all over it without their baby Stella (Elise & Zoey Vargas) watching. Their dream life hits a detour when a fraternity led by Ted (Zack Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco) move in next door.

At first there is peace as Mac gives the boys some of his weed. His wife awkwardly tells them to keep it down at night, and of course they don’t. After calling the cops and breaking the trust they tried to establish, the Radners are on the receiving end of some nasty pranks.

Juvenile in their own way, the Radners plot to get the fraternity kicked out of their residence by destroying their place, making them turn on each other, and eventually invading the house with explosive results.

From start to finish this is a bunch of silly skits put together to make a long movie. Rogen and Byrne have the best and most skits together with Efron and Franco having a few memorable ones. There’s a bit of drama involved, but overall it’s too silly to take seriously for any long stretches. This was the best way to go with the film’s direction as the outrageous parts are what make this so enjoyable.

You’re always wondering how funny this can get it and it delivers spectacularly. It’s hard not to laugh. Best comedy so far this year and one of best featuring Seth Rogen in the lead role. Neighbors might be too edgy and offensive to some. Yet, if you’re watching a Rogen movie you should expect absolute chaos.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier review

captain_america__the_winter_soldier___poster_ii_by_mrsteiners-d6fb15tA Soviet killing maniac known as ‘The Winter Soldier’ and the uncertainly of who is friend or foe are the main challenges for Captain America in the new Marvel film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Cap (Chris Evans) is joined this time around with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and reunited with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) on missions with S.H.I.E.L.D. Cap immediately clashes with Widow due to their different attitudes and her having a secret agenda led by Fury. Cap begins to question his purpose in this new world when he cannot trust Fury to tell him what’s really going on.

Cue in The Winter Soldier and absolute chaos breaks out.

In the confusion and anarchy caused, Cap ends up getting attacked by his own teammates in S.H.I.E.L.D. Cap is hunted down like a wanted criminal. In order to survive and try to figure out who has compromised the powerful agency, Cap puts his differences aside with Widow and enlists Falcon (Sam Wilson) to his crew.

The action scenes look spectacular in 3D. Breathtaking at times and so good you wish they would never end. While the story of The Avengers is not too important to this one, the first Captain America is. The past comes back to haunt Cap whether he likes it or not. The banter between Cap and Widow helps lighten the darker parts of this movie.

Georges St-Pierre playing Georges Batroc, a French villain, is a small but entertaining role. Fans of GSP will be demanding more as his screen time is limited. Intense fight scene with Cap though.

This continues the trend of fantastic superhero movies released by Marvel recently. Decent character development, funny moments and the best action adventure in Hollywood today. Chris Evans is not as charming and over-the-top like his rival IronMan. However, despite Cap’s dull personality, there’s more than enough excitement in this flick. Easily the best watch in theatres today.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

PG-13

Marvel Studios

136 minutes

In theatres now

 

 

The Pirate Fairy Blu-ray combo pack review

51RkeZU9wRLCaptain Hook and his crew for the first time have invaded the Fairies series of movies turning one of Tinkerbell’s friends against her in the fifth DisneyToon Studios installment, The Pirate Fairy [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Bilingual)
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Before he became Hook (voiced by James Hiddleton) he was James the cabin boy taking orders from Zarina (voiced by Christina Hendricks). Zarina started out as a dust keeper fairy, but her questions and experiments with pixie dust ended up getting her fired from her job. For one year she left Pixie Hollow behind.

She came back the following year and put everyone except Tinkerbell and her friends under a deep sleep. Zarina was able to steal the blue dust allowing her pirate crew to create their own pixie dust and allow them to fly with their ship out of Neverland and into many heists undetected. Tinkerbell and her friends try to stop Zarina, but have to deal with the Zarina changing all their special abilities.

This is the most enjoyable entry in the Fairy series as it is closest they have gotten to the original story of Peter Pan. Along with the pirates is the birth of the Croc and a visit to Skull Rock. Hiddleton’s Hook is arguably the most intriguing character. Watching Hook before he became a captain is different at first, but eventually you start to see the Hook we all know come into play.

Blu-ray extras include a featurette on the creative process behind this adventure, a quirky documentary on actual crocodiles, deleted scenes, Hiddleton describing his experience on set, and sing-alongs to the main songs in the film.

Surprised that it took this long for pirates to be introduced to this prequel series. Stretching the boundaries of the Peter Pan universe and paying homage to the classic makes this even more enjoyable. There will be another Tinkerbell movie made and hopefully they continue in this direction.

The Pirate Fairy

 

Walt Disney Studios

Run time of 90 minutes

Available now

WWE 50 book review

9781465419231Jam-packed with powerful, funny, emotional, and sexy photography on nearly every page best describes WWE 50, the new read from DK Books chronicling the vast history of the sports entertainment empire.

Written by Kevin Sullivan (not the wrestler) with large photos and quotes from WWE staff and Superstars from all the eras to tell the tale. Sullivan does a considerable amount of storytelling when introducing key moments in WWE history. The Early Years, National Expansion, Hulkamania, Wrestlemania, The New Generation, and so on. The pictures are visually stunned with over 1,000 Superstars. All WWE Pay-Per-View posters until Extreme Rules 2013 are shown on the first and last pages.

Special graphics are featured in certain sections. There is a ratings timeline graphic for the entire Monday Night Wars. Cards of the 1960s with results to the shows included. A tribute page is given for Owen Hart. Chris Benoit and the tragedy with his family is also surprisingly mentioned with Pat Patterson commenting on it. Each WrestleMania is retold with all the results given with at least one quote from someone involved with that particular show.

This is not your usual WWE history book as there is a lot of Thence moments addressed. The steroid scandal where Linda McMahon was scared for her husband’s safety. “Vince said, ‘If I go to prison, I’ll never come out alive. They’ll kill me when I’m in there.’” A-Team star Mr. T getting an employee fired from WWE. “In my opinion, and I’ve told him this to his face, Mr. T was the most unprofessional piece of work I have ever had the displeasure of being associated with,” says Mean Gene Okerlund. This is only just a taste of shocking comments you will discover.

A great backlog of WWE memories for long-time fans and educational for newer fans. If you have watched the WWE 50 Blu-ray or DVD you will find a lot of the same material covered, but there’s a different feeling watching and reading about WWE. Personally find this a great way to rekindle interest in WWE matches or segments before trying to find them and relive it again on the WWE Network, when that finally comes to Canada.

Disappointed there was not a section for Superstars of the early 2000s and Superstars of today. I, like many, wish certain Superstars and certain aspects were highlighted, however, the amount of quality and quantity is so great it is difficult to complain. In the end this is a great buy for any wrestling fan, casual or smart.

WWE 50

DK Books

Written by Kevin Sullivan

226 pp.

$26.00

Find it here

 

 

 

 

Delivery Man Blu-ray review

DeliveryManBoxArt_zps98e2e2edFather of 533 children, owes $80,000 to people that want to drown him, and an angry pregnant cop girlfriend, sums up the mess Vince Vaughn finds himself in the new DreamWorks Pictures Blu-ray release, Delivery Man.

Vaughn plays an incompetent meat truck driver named David who tries to do the right thing, but always ends up creating a bigger mess. Hence, the huge debt, his girlfriend upset with him about being reliable, and deciding to get a lot of money quick by donating 693 times to a sperm bank.

His best friend and lawyer, Brett (Chris Pratt) advises him to keep quiet as the majority of his children want to know his true identity. However, with an envelope filled with profiles, David decides to check in on a few of his kids. Acting as a guardian angel, David does his best to get to know his own blood and help them with their life problems. Meanwhile, David tries to juggle his normal life and the approaching doom awaiting him.

If you have ever watched a Vince Vaughn movie recently, you know the type of character he plays and the kind of comedy he delivers. What makes this film stand out is his serious attempt at trying to be a father. Watching his kids struggling, trying to commit suicide, or being confined to a wheelchair, brings out an emotional side of Vaughn that makes you feel for him in a different way than usual. The story feels a little too surreal to take it completely seriously, but the difficulty of fatherhood David goes through are emotions that feel very real.

Blu-ray extras include a making-of-documentary, Vince Vaughn going off script and shooting out extra lines, bloopers and one deleted scene that would have complicated the story even further. Watching the bloopers it seems like there were more deleted scenes that will probably be in a future release.

Recommended for fans of Vaughn and parents interested in a unique funny dramatic tale of raising kids. The demands of hundreds ends up being a fun trip through different lives pulling Vaughn into different scenarios, one’s that would be difficult for a parent once in a lifetime. Vaughn & Pratt bouncing off each other are the best parts.

Delivery Man

DreamWorks Pictures

Run time of 105 minutes

In stores today

Muppets Most Wanted review

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A evil Kermit the Frog look-alike and Ricky Gervais are taking the Muppets on a world tour of shows and secret burglary while real Kermit is in a Russian jail in the new movie, Muppets Most Wanted.

Gervais plays Dominic Badguy, an international manager that is getting the Muppets booked in better places than Kermit (Steve Whitmire) and getting them sold out quite easily. Kermit, feeling useless and ignored, decides to take Dominic on his offer for a nightly stroll.

On the walk, Kermit confronts his double a wanted criminal, Constantine, and is easily defeated. Constantine disguises his mole and puts one on Kermit to completely throw everyone off on their identities. Kermit is thrown into a Siberian prison controlled by Nadya (Tina Fey) with inmates Danny Trejo, WWE’s Hornswoggle, Josh Groban, and others.

Meanwhile the Muppets are having a lot of success with the fake Kermit, who is stealing from important buildings during the performances to find an ultimate treasure.

There’s some funny typical Muppets back-and-forth dialogue, lots of songs, an insane amount of cameos, this eight Muppets movie delivers what you’d expect. The story is not best one as it feels so ridiculous the emotional heartfelt scenes are not as compelling.

A good family watch that kids will enjoy as there’s enough action, mischief and silly moments to keep a young audience entertained. Fey, Trejo and even Hornswoggle deliver hilarious musical performances, some of which are arguably the best moments in the film.

Far from the best Muppets adventure, but if you’re looking for more of the same you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Saving Mr. Banks Blu-ray review

51+Yf976LZL._SL500_AA300_The story behind Mary Poppins had no songs, no colorful penguins, no happy ending, the battle to obtain the happiness Walt Disney envisioned is a costly depressing trip in Disney’s latest Blu-ray release, Saving Mr. Banks.

Emma Thompson stars as P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. Travers is a protective, anti-social, argumentative person who does not want Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to ruin her life’s work. Due to financial difficulties, she is forced to at least give Disney a try at making the story of Poppins.

She doesn’t want it to be a musical, under no circumstances can it be animated, and there cannot be the colour red in it at all. Just a few of the issues Travers give Disney and his working staff. Expect for his tough childhood, Walt Disney’s past is not looked into, nor is his personal views.

During Travers’ dealings with Disney, she is remembering her childhood, specifically her father (Colin Farrell) who got a new bank job and had to move their family. Her father loved her very much, but he was a drunk and it’s only a matter of time before that destroys everything around him.

Thompson is the main star and focus of the picture, as her interactions with Disney and her driver Ralph (Paul Giamatti) are the main conversation points. A fair amount of time is spent in the past, but it’s Thompson’s believable reactions and attitude that brings meaning to each scene.

Disappointed in the lack of extras when there should be many. No audio commentaries, no sit-down interviews with the actors and composer Richard Sherman, but you get Sherman singing “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” with the crew. You also get a look at how Walt Disney Studios has evolved from the 1960s and three deleted scenes.

A strong cast with powerful emotional scenes makes this story highly enjoyable. It feels questionable that this was completely true, but when it comes to the type of person Travers was, it feels like certain Disney staff members can never forget her. Be prepared to feel sad because as well as Disney can make you smile and laugh, they can make you cry waterfalls for hours.

Saving Mr. Banks

Rated PG-13

Walt Disney Studios

Run time of 125 minutes

In stores now