Trainwreck review

john-cena-trainwreckThanks to John Cena nearly completely exposing himself  and Lebron James being himself, the new Judd Apatow comedy movie, Trainwreck has a few good hilarious moments.

Unfortunately, Cena and James have small roles, the film mainly features the difficult relationship between Amy (Amy Schumer) and Aaron (Bill Hader). Amy has commitment issues because her dad (Colin Quinn) did not believe in monogamy. As a result, Amy has many sexual encounters causing her relationship with Steven (Cena) to end when he finds guys sending their penises to her cell.

Amy’s job as a writer is how she meets Aaron, a sports doctor for NBA, NFL, MLB and pro tennis stars. Amy has no knowledge of sports and resents the fact athletes are looked up to. Aaron’s goodwill and passion towards his profession and clients warms up Amy to him. Eventually a night of drinking leads to a night of sex between the two. Trying to make it work starts a series of dramatic awkward events.

The flick is 125 minutes and it felt like 300. Too many scenes dragged, were not funny, and the lack of a villain showdown at the end hurt the enjoyment for the finale. Cena blowing his load after thinking Amy was a dude and threatening to rape a man in the theatre was shocking to see a positive role model for kids act in such a crude manner. Great for fans though that crave for a different John Cena. James dominating at basketball, being overprotective of Aaron, forgetting his money when the check comes, it is a shame James was just a supporting character.

Cena and James fans will love their scenes. The rest is a struggle to watch.

 

AFTER THE BALL DVD review

image002A tale of Cinderella meets the fashion world first as a lady and later as a man, mixed in with emotional father/daughter issues sums up After The Ball, the latest TVA Films release.

Portia Doubleday stars as Kate, a young woman struggling in the fashion industry, who decides to come back to Montreal to work for her dad (Chris Noth). Instead of reconnecting with her father, she mainly interacts with her step-mom Elise (Lauren Holly) a person who only cares about herself and her daughters. As in Cinderella, the three of them make life hard for Kate. Despite their best attempts to make Kate quit, she thrives in her challenges and starts to make waves in the company.

Until Kate gets blackmailed and fired.

This fairy tale takes a different route as Kate disguises herself as a designer named Nate. It is incredible how well Kate looks like a man and acts like a completely different character. As Nate she also thrives in the company, but now she faces not only the wicked trio, but her dad opening up to Nate and her love interest (Marc-Andre Grondin).

The twist from the original story added many different elements in terms of emotion and did not make the ending too predictable. The use of established actors with lesser known ones brings up the acting quality. Chris Noth’s commanding presence is a great example. There is a lot of fun watching this movie progress. DVD extra is the explanation of how this flick came together and the crew praising each other.

 

After The Ball

TVA Films

90 minutes

In stores now

 

 

Furious 7 review

MV5BMTQxOTA2NDUzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzY2MTMxMzE@._V1_SX214_AL_Insane unreal action scenes will make you want to watch the seventh Fast & Furious movie over and over because it’s incredible how the action is more spectacular than ever before.

Furious 7 starts off with Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) vowing revenge to his brother Owen (Luke Evans) and setting off to eliminate Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family. Shaw starts with a brutal battle on Hobbs (The Rock) that leaves Hobbs laying in a hospital bed for most of the film. Shaw then blows up Toretto’s house and kills one of his crew.

Shaw tracks down Dom and nearly kills him, but a secret agent known as Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell) saves him and offers him and his team a mission to save a hacker, Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel). Doing so Toretto and his team will gain access to God’s Eye, a device that can track anyone on the planet. They find Shaw quickly but he turns it around and ambushes them and gains God’s Eye.

Outmaneuvered, outgunned, Toretto and the gang must rely on their driving abilities to survive almost certain death.

The last flick had action moments that were hard to believe, but this one blows them all away with many car crashes that do not result in deaths, cars breaking through several buildings, and tons of explosions that are just damaging. As long as you do not have a problem forgetting about reality there’s a lot of awesome entertainment.

Fans of Paul Walker will enjoy the sad tribute.

Seventh Son review

MV5BMjAxNTg2MDkyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzA3NzY1MjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_An evil witch has returned and threatens to turn the world into absolute darkness unless a drunken old knight can train the Seventh Son in about a week in the new Universal Studios theatrical release.

Jeff Bridges stars as Master Gregory, a knight that hunts down dark creatures and who imprisoned the witch Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) for years. Yet, now she has broken free and is not just looking for revenge, she reassembles her entire crew of henchmen.

Gregory’s only chance to stop her is to recruit the seventh son of a seventh son, who is a young farmer by the name of Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes). Ward does not offer much at first, but there is a power inside of him waiting to be released.

Spectacular special effects with cool action scenes are the best parts of the movie. Barnes is a weak lead actor in a film that has the potential to be a blockbuster success. Awesome adventure that loses the audience at the points where Barnes has to get his character across and he fails to do so in a way that you care about him. This does not ruin the flick as Bridges is what you expect and Moore is a solid villain.

If action and violence in cool 3D is what you want you will not be disappointed. Not the best in storytelling, but still worth watching.

 

Seventh Son

Rated PG-13

Universal Studios

102 mins

In theatres now

Blackhat review

MV5BMTg1NDUyMzk5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTk1NzUxMzE@._V1_SX214_AL_Difficulty in staying awake through Michael Mann’s suspense drama, Blackhat, until the explosive action picks up is the main reason to pass on this disappointing film.

Chris Hemsworth stars as Nick Hathaway, a hacker serving more an decade sentence in prison until an old friend (Leehorn Wang) and his sister Lien (Wei Tang) need him in order to figure out who is behind putting an old code into a virus. A virus that caused a terrorist attack in China. A code Nick created.

The main villain is a mystery until the end of the movie. The good guys are distracted by their own issues of trust, but random attacks against them bring the team together. Problem is it takes so long to get to the action scenes you lose interest in the story. The dark gritty scenes trying to explain the story and add some emotion to the characters are not compelling. If the action was evenly spaced it would have been bearable and not so exhausting just to take in the plot.

Fans of Hemsworth will enjoy his performance as he showcased his range as an actor, taking a role not typically suited for him and making it unique and special. Somewhat wasted since he will make much more money and be remembered more as Thor than a person who actually lives in the real world.

 

Blackhat

Directed by Michael Mann

Universal Pictures

133 mins

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey Blu-ray review


Two restaurants, Indian and French, go to extreme lengths competing against each while their chefs-in-training create a romantic bond in a film produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, The Hundred-Foot Journey.

A political riot caused the Kadam family to flee to London. Due to the horrible housing area and poor vegetables for cooking they move again to France. There they discover the perfect place to bring Indian cuisine to the French, problem is they got a snobby holier than thou proprietress Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) with a Michelin-starred French restaurant across the street trying to crush their dream.

Somewhat of a culture clash except they keep the majority of the language in English. Except for one moment in the French restaurant where Mallory asked for an English translation when it is clear everyone there was French. Appeasing the majority audience but destroying the veil of realism.

Complaints are filed, buying out all the fish and mushrooms, and a bit of violence goes down between the two sides. Meanwhile, Hassan (Manish Dayal) the star cook of the Kadam becomes infatuated with the sous-chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). They share their love of cooking with each other until eventually giving into biological urges. A new conflict arises as Hassan wants to work for Mallory.

Blu-ray extras feature a sit-down conversation with Spielberg and Winfrey talking about their first time working together in 30 years and a detailed segment on how to make coconut chicken.

Odd story with good acting, great landscapes, the cultural differences are entertaining and educational. This movie can make you hungry with all the food made and devoured.

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom

122 minutes

Available today

 

 

Big Hero 6 review


A young genius teams with a healthcare robot to battle a mysterious force blamed for deaths and robbery of a powerful invention in the new Disney animated movie, Big Hero 6.

Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) has graduated high school at the age of 13 and now spends his time in shady places where illegal gambling on robot battles goes down. His older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) tells Hiro to stop wasting his gifted intelligence and brings him to his lab at university to get Hiro interested in applying for registering.

After meeting Tadashi’s friends and their inventions, Hiro meets Tadashi’s invention Baymax (Scott Adsit). Baymax is a robotic nurse that has the ability to scan the illness or physical ailments on a person. His calm bland personality causes some awkward and funny moments with Hiro. They start to bond when Tadashi dies in an explosion along with Hiro’s invention. Baymax downloads information on emotional pain and embarks on a journey to help cure Hiro’s sadness.

Both Hiro and Baymax find a masked man using Hiro’s invention as a weapon against them. They survive the first encounter and the rematch. Tadashi’s friends eventually come to Hiro’s aid and form a super team.

Exciting action with a dash of humour keeps the evolving story enjoyable. Baymax’s dry mannerisms and shift to superhero are the best parts of this film. This continues Disney producing more realistic emotional moments instead of characters that only exist in fairytale worlds. Human loss, the craving for vengeance, and the desire to help when help is needed, Hiro is not a perfect hero, he is only human.

Fun family experience that is the best animated watch for 2014 in theatres.

 

 

Planes: Fire & Rescue Blu-ray combo pack review

With his ability to race in jeopardy, Dusty Crophopper attempts to become an aerial firefighter despite causing more trouble than helping in, Planes: Fire & Rescue, available in blu-ray combo pack.

The cast of Planes returns in this all-new feature film, but instead of focusing on Dusty (Dane Cook) trying to win another race, something inside of Dusty stops working on him while in the air. Dusty survives a near fatal crash, but is informed his gearbox needs to be replaced. Problem is that it is obsolete and there is no way to fix him. He can never race again.

Frustrated and in an effort to prove he can still race, Dusty makes an unexpected night takeoff to show he can still do it. Instead he nearly crashes and causes a fire to break out. A safety truck informs everyone if fire regulations are not satisfied the hangar will be shut down. Due to the guilt he feels Dusty attempts to become a certified firefighting plane to appease the safety requirements.

Dusty has trouble learning the techniques taught to him by Blade (Ed Harris). Following orders, procedures and the importance on safety are heavily pushed. Not surprising as the film starts off with a dedication message to firefighters that have and currently risk their lives to save lives. Better than the original in many ways. A story that does not feel like Cars and despite Dusty being an accomplished hero he can still make mistakes. It is a different adventure but more enjoyable as the issues are a bit more serious allowing the comedy to ease the drama.

Filled with special features keeping you entertained for a bit of time as they are all short. Unfortunately no director’s commentary in this release.

Planes: Fire & Rescue

DisneyToon & Walt Disney Animation Studios

84 minutes

 

 

Maleficent Blu-ray combo pack review

One of the greatest Disney villains becomes the only one who can defeat true evil in, Maleficent, a different twist from the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy this Tuesday.

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, stole her wings and broke 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 the 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.

Special features include a lot of behind the scenes discussions on creating the special effects and how the wardrobe for Jolie came together. Fanning talks about how she loved the animated original and getting the opportunity to play as Sleeping Beauty.

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 visually.

Maleficent

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

97 minutes

 

Ouija review


A board game, believed to be a way to communicate with the dead, has put a group of teens in a supernatural fight for their lives in the new movie, Ouija.

Laine (Olivia Cooke) and Debbie (Shelley Hennig) played when they were kids. However, as young adults Debbie is found dead one night after unsuccessfully trying to burn Ouija. At first everyone believes it was suicide, but Laine finds video footage of Debbie rediscovering their former adventure before her untimely demise. Rounding up her boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff), her sister Sarah (Ana Coto). Debbie’s ex Pete (Douglas Smith), and her friend Isabelle (Bianca Santos), Laine tries to play Ouija to try and speak to Debbie.

Unfortunately, they end up contacting Debbie’s killer causing all their lives to be terrorized no matter where they go.

At times the music and the dark backgrounds can create suspenseful moments and jolt you from your seat. The death scenes are arguably the best moments due to how sudden and violent they are. Not heavy on blood or body parts flying all over the place. Focuses more on terror then a quick death.

A lot of attention is put on the characters coping with Debbie’s death. The film would have felt more realistic if there was more on the school dealing with the increase of apparent suicides. The teens seem to be able to do whatever they want with no authority watching over them.

Worth a few chills, nothing groundbreaking from the usual scary movie, scarier for those that have played Ouija.