Movie Review: ‘Sex Tape’ Starring Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz
Jul 2014 18

sex-tapeSex Tape is yet another film that is destined to be panned by critics, but reasonably enjoyed by audiences. Most moviegoers will head to their local cinema, enjoy a popcorn, and have a few laughs and wonder why critics hated this movie so much. At the time this review is being written, the film sits at a score of 16% on the movie review aggregator Many will find this score low for a movie that entertained them for a bit of their free time. Sure, a few will share the derision of the critics, but most people will be able to find enough to enjoy. There are a number of laughs, a couple outlandishly funny characters, and enough racy humor for most adult moviegoers. So, why do critics hate it so much?

Let’s start at the beginning. Sex Tape follows Annie (Cameron Diaz) and Jay (Jason Segel), a couple fast approaching middle age, who like many people with children, find their sex life almost non-existent. This is in stark contrast to the early portions of their relationship where sex was a driving force in their love for each other.  Annie’s thoughtful narration takes us through this early portion of their relationship, where she describes every scary detail of their sex life, including items like Jay’s constant erections. Their current situation of parenthood has robbed them of the time and energy, and most importantly the sex life they thought they would always have. This situation leads to an inspiration by Annie. A night away from the kids to rekindle the romance.  Despite many false starts, the couple finally spices up their life by creating a sex tape using their iPad.  Unfortunately for them, the video is uploaded to the cloud, and to numerous devices they’ve given people over the years.   The couple must quickly track down all their devices, and erase the video before their closest family and friends see their special moment.

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Movie Review: ‘Dawn of The Planet of The Apes’ Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman
Jul 2014 11

Dawn Planet of the Apes Poster LargeAs far as reboots of well established franchises go, Rise of the Planet of the Apes certainly ranked among the ones that was (or is, if you still haven’t seen it) very well worth your time. I certainly wish more sequels would turn out like this one.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes leads off with the leader of the apes, Caesar (Andy Serkeis), clad in battle paint alongside the rest of his crew out on a hunt. It’s immediately apparent that Dawn of the Planet of The Apes takes place several years after the events of Rise. There’s not only a progression of Caesar and his civilization, but there was a massive breakout of a simian virus that came about as a result of the genetic manipulation of the apes. The virus exhibited such severity in that a massive portion of humanity had been wiped out, and for a time it seems the apes are running the planet.

Naturally, there are still some humans left in the midst of the madness. Enter Malcolm (Jason Clarke), who serves as a leader of sorts among the human characters, and can be deemed the most level-headed of them. Alongside Malcolm is his wife, Ellie (Keri Russell), his son Alexander (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Okay, I previously stated that Malcolm is the leader of the humans, but that role would technically go to Dreyfus, played by none other than Commissioner G….. Gary Oldman. Dreyfus has an increasing distrust of the apes and their overall intentions, and is determined to do whatever it takes to protect the remnants of humanity. Associate of Dreyfus, Carver (Kirk Acevedo), serves as the archetype discriminatory, anger ridden douchebag. You know there’s always a quota to fill for that role in any type of apocalypse movie, right?

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Movie Review: ‘Tammy’ Starring Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney
Jul 2014 02

tammy movieIt seems like you either love or hate Melissa McCarthy. Her latest film, Tammy, will do nothing to change that. Tammy is a movie that looks like it is nothing special, just more of McCarthy’s raunchy act that she has been cashing in on since Bridesmaids. In reality, Tammy is a heartfelt, feel good comedy, mixed with some raunchiness.

Tammy is directed by McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone. Falcone and McCarthy co-wrote the film together. Falcone has a lot to learn about directing, as the films pacing leave a lot to be desired, but this film is all about girl power. We get McCarthy doing her usual schtick, as well as Susan Sarandon playing her alcoholic, free-spirited grandmother. Throw in Kathy Bates playing a lesbian, and what you get is a almost charming film when it’s all said and done.

The film picks up with Tammy, played by Mccarthy, having a rough day. First she hits a deer, then gets fired, and finally, returns home to her husband having dinner with another woman. After having her fill of the misfortunes of the day, she embarks upon a road with her grandmother to Niagra Falls.

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Movie Review: ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction” Starring Marky Mark
Jun 2014 27

transformers-age-of-extinction-posterMichael Bay is a bit of a conundrum. His films are consumed greedily by audiences, and near universally panned by critics. Even the critics who give his films a pass do so begrudgingly.  Transformers: Age of Extinction could get a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and it will still likely be one of the biggest releases of the year, if not the biggest.  Audiences are enthralled with Bay’s explosion filled visions, and are happy to ignore many of the lesser sins of storytelling to get their action fix.  Bay’s films are pure escapist fantasy and aren’t meant to be films for the artistic elite. Despite the overall silliness, I loved the first Transformers film. It had a lot of heart, and numerous thrilling action set pieces which appeared to my inner child that lives a bit too close to the surface.  I found myself bored by the second film, and saw a slight bit of redemption with the third film in the series.  My hope was that the series could reach the heights of the first film, and ditch some of the baggage brought on in the first trilogy. As I quickly found out, it was the hope of a fool.

Transformers: Age of Extinction takes place 5 years after the events Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It’s a bleak time that sees government operatives hunting both Decepticons and Autobots alike.  After the destruction of Chicago at the hands of Megatron, shady government figures have found an excuse to target Transformers and hijack their tech.  The unlikely intervention of a failed inventor, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), and his discovery of the injured Optimus Prime set in motion a series of events that finds our heroes facing new foes.

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Movie Review: ‘Jersey Boys’ Directed by Clint Eastwood
Jun 2014 20

It was only a matter of time before the 4-time Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys became a motion picture. The Broadway show, which also received the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical, still runs after 3,564 performances and tours around the world. And now Clint Eastwood has directed a film which is strikingly close to the source material, and has tremendous talent in front of the camera.

John Lloyd Young opened the Broadway production as Frankie Valli in 2005, and returns as the star of the film. It also stars Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio, Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi, and Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito. The story starts with a 16-year-old Frankie getting roped into petty crimes by Tommy, and eventually joining Tommy’s band “The Lovers.” As times change, trios are out and the people want to see 4 members in the band. Frankie, Tommy and Nick make an agreement with singer/songwriter Bob Gaudio to become the fourth member of the band, which would eventually become The Four Seasons. The film shows the entire journey of the group and it’s member, from creation until present day – the good, and the bad.

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