There were a few films that came out today (Feb. 12, 2013), but which ones do you think you will be in the mood to watch? Two in particular made waves in theater, which were “The Master” and the latest and final installment of the “Twilight” series, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2“, but which ones of the four are the best? The movies released today can be found below:
- Chasing Mavericks
- Girls Against Boys
- The Master
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Look at the list for reviews on each of these films to help you decide on which movies you should check out…if any.
Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Surfer Dudes Surfin’
Whenever a movie has something to do with athleticism, it is typically hit or miss. There have been some really great movies on a wide range of sports, while others could only hope to be great. Typically, these films usually revolve around the use of a ball in the sport, especially football or baseball. Once in a while, there are other sport movies such as boxing or as in “Chasing Mavericks”, surfing. Does this film have what it takes to have audience members crawling back for more? Only if those audience members are also huge fans of surfing.
Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston) always found the sea and waves to be fascinating. When he nearly drowned as a young boy, Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) was surfing and saved Jay’s life. Ever since then, Jay got into the world of surfing and loved it. Seven years later, he watched as Frosty rode a huge wave known as a maverick, which was previously regarded as a myth. From that point on, Jay wanted nothing more than to ride one, so he had Frosty teach him the ins and outs of riding and surviving the deadly maverick.
Let’s get something straight. The basis for the entire premise of the film is a surfer dude wanting to ride a big wave. That’s it. Sure, they threw in some important messages as to people will be their own person, and that any sport can be a dangerous one, but beyond that? There is no real plot, nothing that sustains any connectivity with the audience. This is because this film was based on a true story. It does follow the true story particularly closely, but the problem arises when you ask if the movie was really that necessary to make? The answer to that question is an emphatic no.
To a degree, the movie was quite inspirational, but how many movies can you count that have the underlining message of never give up on your hopes and dreams even when it seems impossible to accomplish? Too many films have the same message, yet have a more concrete plot, which acts as the films glue, to hold that message of inspiration. “Chasing Mavericks” clearly tries to be its own, unique film, but it lacks in apparent effort. Through all of the character development and overall well-done acting, there was nothing particular that connects with its audience, and in return, we don’t care much about what happens to its characters.
Now, the movie actually has some stunning shots of waves crashing, which does convey the fact that surfing can be dangerous. So, the look of the movie was actually gorgeous, and you understand what they are going for. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough to stop the movie from being unsuccessful at maintaining a level of entertainment for its viewers. For many, you may find the film to be quite boring.
The true story behind the movie is actually a very interesting one, and you may be more interested to read the story than to watch the film. Yes, the movie touched on all of the important information, but it wasn’t as important of a movie to make. The people that will enjoy this film the most are fellow surfers and those who were close to the real Jay Moriarty and his family. After all, if you could watch a movie based on your life, who wouldn’t want to?
Is it watchable? Yes. Is it the best movie in the world? Not by a long shot. Even though we have seen it numerous times before, it is nice to see the inspirational message that movie respectfully had to offer. Will you be seeing it more than once? Most likely not. Don’t take my word for it, check “Chasing Mavericks” out for yourself when it is released on Blu-Ray and DVD on Feb. 26!
‘Girls Against Boys’
Dave’s 8-Word Review:
Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, while boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dog tails. These quotes and thousands of others like it enforce the idea of feminism. The idea of female power is not unknown in the world of media, but rarely do we ever get a movie that sweats and bleeds girl power. “Girls Against Boys” is one of those movies that a number of girls can appreciate, but if there was ever a sexist film, it would be this one.
Danielle Panabaker plays Shae, a girl that just…is having some bad luck in the love department. First she begins seeing a man that she later finds out is married with a family, and then she parties with a couple of guys, one of which ends up raping her. Needless to say, she has had a bad couple of days. Her new friend, Lu (Nicole LaLiberte), decides that because the police clearly can do nothing, justice is in their hands, so off they go to kill a bunch of guys.
First of all, let’s talk about the title of the movie. “Girls Against Boys” seems to imply certain equality between both female and male counterparts; as if the film contained an adversarial process. Instead, there are only defenseless men being killed at the hands of scorned women. So, the movie automatically holds a message of superiority in women, which is surprising when you learn that it was written and directed by a man. It’s not the idea of women getting even against men that have wronged them that is so bad, it is the apparent lack of energy in the movie.
Any movie that goes to the extreme, as this film does, needs to have some soul. It needs soul, mixed in with a story that is more developed than this, and believable performances. Only then can the movie be considered epic. There is just too much that feels as if it escapes the initial plan. In short, it feels incomplete…for a number of reasons.
The acting isn’t necessarily terrible, but it is far from award-winning material. This is because the performances were lacking any real connection. There wasn’t enough character development for the audience to connect with, and there was no real chemistry between the main actresses. This was probably their main flaw throughout the movie. Any movie can have a terrible plot, but as with any movie, it is important to have a great execution.
The movie itself needed more emotion from both the actors and the scenes. Another flaw that the film had was the fact that it felt like a production. There is no real factor that pulls you in and subconsciously makes you feel as if this is real. It feels fake.
This is a film for the ladies if ever there was one. The fact that the film feels like a production will make no difference to several women who decide to watch this film, because to them it will just be good fun. If I may make one suggestion, it would be to watch the movie and realize that it is just a movie. Don’t let it control your thoughts, because you may not understand this now, but men are not always evil. You may have a bad match now and then, but that does not mean you should generalize. Men, stay away from this film. It may not be a typical chick flick, but it is a chick flick nonetheless.
“Girls Against Boys” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Feb. 26!
Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Yeaaaahhh that’s scientology
Scientology has been the butt of many jokes throughout the years. Accused of being a criminal organization and cult, this religion has fascinated many. It was only a short amount of time before they made a movie about it. Academy Award Nominee, “The Master”, has been accused rather repetitively of being about the early history of Scientology foundation and exposing the harsh reality of the things that typically go on within those secretive walls. However, is this just an accusation based on coincidence, or was it more founded on known truth?
Joaquin Phoenix stars in this film as Freddy Quell, a recent war veteran that has an abundance of issues. These issues are interfering in not only his life, but those around him, effecting his role in whatever job he tried to maintain. Things don’t really get too terribly interesting until a half hour passes, and we are introduced to Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Lancaster was the leader of an organization known only as “The Cause”, which believed in such things as past lives, reverse-hypnotization, and time travel. It starts off as a smaller organization, but as we watch the film progress, the organization obviously reaches new heights and popularity.
Without question, the acting performances as a whole were astonishing. You won’t believe the level of professionalism that these actors must have went to when preparing for their roles. The standouts were obviously Phoenix and Hoffman. Both of these lead male actors have been proven to stand out above the rest in their level of acting, but in “The Master”, the reach new levels when you almost forget you are even watching them. You have seen them so many other times before, but for some reason, they seem incredibly different now.
This film is incredibly cryptic, which would match well with the secrecy of Scientology if it were indeed based on that. It will end up making you think afterward, and maybe even return for a double viewing, just to make sure you understood everything. There is a lot of information in this film, so make sure you pay close attention. Yes, it can feel slow and yes, the movie is over two hours long, so just stay with it. Whether or not you liked the movie, you will be able to appreciate it for what it was.
So was this movie about Scientology It is abundantly clear that it is indeed. If you are unfamiliar with the history of Scientology and how it really came about, do some researching before watching this film. You may be surprised. Also, make sure to study up on the founder of Scientology L. Ron Hubbard, who I believe Hoffman’s character, Lancaster, was modeled after. There are some theories also floating around that Phoenix’s character has some history that ties into Hubbard’s life, but it is clear that Lancaster was the main inspiration.
One major issue with this film, apart from the slow vibe, is that it has no real plot. At first, you may want to claim it is coming-of-age, but that’s not it either. If anything, it is the opposite of coming-of-age, as the organization is destructive. There are no real goals of the character, as even the film stated “He’s making it up as he goes along”. If you don’t like to watch a movie that feels as if the filmmakers were “winging it”, than however good or bad the film was, you’re just not going to enjoy it and should stay away.
Artistically speaking, the movie looked beautiful. The cinematography, the shots, the lighting, all with the well-written dialogue really made for a beautiful-looking movie. So all-in-all, the movie looks great, sounds great, had amazing performances, and no real solid plot. Depending on who you are, that may be the breaking point. So ask yourself how important plot really is, and check out “The Master” when it comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Feb. 26!
‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’
Dave’s 3-Word Review:
When you think about “Twilight“, you typically think of two things. Usually might love the franchise and want every movie to win every award ever made, those people are called Twihards. If you don’t love it, then generally speaking you hate it, there is not often a happy medium. However, those people who hate the series have a very firm reason on hating them, which is sometimes a good reason, sometimes not so much, but whatever the reason haters could very well be transformed to “Twilight” fandom with “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2“.
In part one, we were left with Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) red eyes, teasing her return in the next film as a vampire. Along with that reveal, she also had her daughter with Edward (Robert Pattison) named Renesmee (Machenzie Foy), which Jacob (Taylor Lautner) imprinted on. All of these things building up to the beginning of the next film. The first half of the film dealt a lot with Bella’s transformation into a vampire, and dealing with the urges that vampires deal with on a daily basis. We also already knew that vampires powers don’t work on her as they would anyone else, well that ability transferred into her vamp life, and more, as she learned to control the ability and push it onto the people around them as a form of protection. The first half also deals with everyone worrying about the ever growing Renesmee, and their focus on stopping, or at least slow down the rapid growth.
The second half of the film dealt more with the Volturi showing their evil faces once more. This time around, they found out about Bella and Edward’s daughter and misunderstood the situation as an immortal child, which is worse than any newborn vampire on the loose, they are so dangerous that they must be killed immediately. Renesmee, however, isn’t immortal, she is half mortal, half vampire. That, of course, is of little concern to the Volturi, as they are out for blood. The Cullens must gather friends and family everywhere to join in the fight, vampires with new abilities and wolves gathering to help the vampires once more in the series. What follows is the best of the “Twilight” series hands down.
It doesn’t take long for anyone to realize that there was a ton of more character development for Bella and Jacob. The most obvious development was for Bella as she is learning everything she needs to know about being a vampire and controlling her urges. Jacob’s personality changed when we learned that he imprinted on Bella’s daughter, doing anything to protect her. The acting was so much better for everyone involved. Kristen Stewart was able to shine and show that maybe she does have an acting range. The acting all ties in with story as well when so many more people joined in on the fight.
Yes, in this film, so many more people joined in on the film. Recognizable faces like Joe Anderson, last seen on ABC’s “The River” or even Lee Pace, made famous from his role on “Pushing Daisies“, but it isn’t just the actors added to this film that made it great. This film took everything that was good from the other films and pushed them all into this movie, ignoring everything that made the others bad. There were brand new title and end credits, the title credits did not have a narration by Bella like all the others had. There was also a lot more focus on visual effects then all the others had, making this the best movie in the series visually as well.
It all leads up to the end being the most epic thing the entire series has ever seen. It also wraps everything up perfectly that no member in the audience will leave dissatisfied. There are things in this film that both “Twilight” fans and haters alike will love it for, maybe for different reasons, but if you are a hater of “Twilight” and your girlfriend wants you to go see it with her, do it. You may be surprised. There is one thing in the movie that could be seen as the smartest decision they have ever made
In the end, if you saw this film in the theater, which you should have, people would have cheered, people would have gasped, people would have cried, and people will most certainly would have given this film a standing ovation. It is energetic, it is exciting, it is satisfying, and it will blow your mind. Haters and lovers alike will be pulled right in and will be rooting for the main characters. This film is definitely not one to miss. Check out “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 2!