Thursday, May 21, 2015

Slightly Single in L.A. (2012)

Number Rolled: 5
Movie Name/Year: Slightly Single in L.A. (2012)
Genre: Romance
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Hellos Productions, Most Films, Imprint Entertainment, Game Face Entertainment
Executive Producer: Jenae Altschwager, Jeff Bozz, Frederick Cipoletti, Shannon Makhanian, Andrew C. Mathews, Mark Morgan, Rodrigo Navarro, David Rusi, Jerry Senatore
Director: Christie Will
Writer: Christie Will
Actors: Lacey Chabert, Kip Pardue, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Carly Schroeder, Jonathan Bennett, Haylie Duff, Chris Kattan, Simon Rex, Charlie Bewley, Mircea Monroe, Alejandro Salomon, John Farley, Mercedes Mason, Jenae Altschwager, Trent Garrett, Joel Michaely

Dale is a sweet girl who just can’t catch a break with men. Everyone she dates seems to cheat on her. Finally, she gives up and decides she might as well move to L.A. where everyone is just as fake as everywhere else, only they don’t hide it.

Slightly Single in L.A. is utterly mind-numbing. At first, I thought my numb mind was the result of being sick and lacking sleep. So I went out with a friend, grabbed a delicious chicken wrap and some tea, then came home and took a nap before moving on to the writing portion of this blog.

Nothing changed.

The thought of this movie re-numbed my brain and it took three tries before I was able to describe it in the first paragraph without just writing “blah blah blah blah.”

As far as I could tell, Christie Will (Baby Bootcamp, Her Infidelity, Twisted Tales of my 9 to 5) was trying to write a more accessible version of Sex and the City. It wasn’t successful. What she managed to create was a step-by-step recipe that never deviated from the norm and featured the shallowest cast of characters. I couldn’t even tell you if the acting was decent because there was so little to the characters, it might as well have been a junior high school play with a bigger budget.

It had a few cute moments, but they were difficult to enjoy because they were surrounded by the rest of the film.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 19%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 1.3/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

P.S. Very soon I will be adding a new contributor to the blog on a trial basis. If it works out, each movie will have two opinions. Stay tuned!

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)

Number Rolled: 89
Movie Name/Year: Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)
Genre: Horror
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Film002, Indomina Group, Indomina Productions
Executive Producer: Jasbinder Singh Mann, Stacey Jade Smart, Francisco Adolfo Valdez
Director: Kaare Andrews
Writer: Jake Wade Wall
Actors: Sean Astin, Currie Graham, Ryan Donowho, Brando Eaton, Jillian Murray, Mitch Ryan, Solly Duran, Lydia Hearst, Claudette Lali

Porter is being held in quarantine as the only member of his infected group that is showing no signs of the terrible flesh-eating virus that’s spreading. Meanwhile, a group of friends get together to celebrate a bachelor party. They boat out to an island that is supposed to be paradise, but things seem a little off.

I have to be honest. I haven’t seen the second movie. Mainly because I thought this was the second movie. It’s not. It’s supposed to be the third movie. I don’t think it matters, though. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero could easily stand alone.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean it’s a good movie. It just means you don’t need any previous information.

Sean Astin (Special Agent Oso, Stay Cool, Lord of the Rings) played his role perfectly. Unfortunately, one good role in a movie full of crap doesn’t really help. If anything, having one amazing actor in a great role serves only to highlight the crap that is the rest of the film.

Every jump-scare I thought would happen, did. Every character had their precise stereotype. That’s fine for a movie making fun of the tropes, not for one using them as a checklist.

Furthermore, I have to mention that although I love extra scenes during, or after, the credits, they need to be optional. Not everyone will sit by and watch it all. For this film, you have to watch the credits because the scenes that play during them are absolutely mandatory to the story. I greatly dislike that.

It’s a shame that I didn’t like this movie. It’s been a long time since I saw the original Cabin Fever, but I remember enjoying it. Not even just because of Rider Strong (Boy Meets World, Fragged, Kim Possible) being a part of it.

Some movies just don’t need two sequels.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 25%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 14%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 1.6/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

The Random Rating: R

P.S. They are remaking the first Cabin Fever in 2015. Rumor has it, they intend to use the exact same script as the first one. Lazy. Lazy.

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Super (2010)

Number Rolled: 87
Movie Name/Year: Super (2010)
Genre: Independent
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: This Is That Productions, Ambush Entertainment, Cold Iron Pictures, Crimson Bolt
Executive Producer: Iddo Lampton Enochs Jr., Matthew Leutwyler, Rainn Wilson
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Actors: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Gregg Henry, Michael Rooker, Andre Royo, Sean Gunn, Stephen Blackehart, Don Mac, Nathan Fillion, Rob Zombie

Frank Darbo is a nobody. His wife is the best thing in his life, and she’s pulling away from him. When he finds out that she’s gone back to her old druggie ways, his world comes crashing down. That’s when he’s given the idea to fight evil as the superhero, “The Crimson Bolt.”

Super reminded me of Kick-Ass… if the writer had been on crack. The plot is the same basic idea with different motivation and a different outcome. It’s a similar dark field trip down the path of the question, “what if someone decided to become a real superhero?”

Yes, I know about the superheroes that go around in costumes calling the police on people and carrying pepper spray to protect themselves. I don’t mean that kind of superhero. I mean the popular kind. The heroes with no power but many weapons: Green Arrow, The Punisher, Batman, Elektra, Catwoman, or Hawkeye. Shit would go pear-shaped pretty quickly. Super explores just how pear-shaped it could get.

I can’t complain about the actors. They were all very into their parts and 100% believable. It was the story line that had me groaning at times. There seemed to be completely unnecessary sex scenes that didn’t even try to be part of the story. Some of the motivation for the main character really didn’t strike me as the best idea. At times, it even got a little preachy.

With all its faults, Super was still memorable and entertaining. Weird and completely random? Sure. However, if you enjoy incredibly dark comedies, it was definitely above average.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 48%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 55%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.3/5
Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014)

Number Rolled: 91
Movie Name/Year: The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (2014)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 83 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: AMIB Productions, Cargo Entertainment, Landscape Entertainment, MICA Entertainment, Prominent Media Group, Vedette Finance
Executive Producer: Gordon Bijelonic, Paull Cho, Marina Grasic, Michael Ilitch Jr., Anthony Jabre, Dale Armin Johnson, Jan Korbelin, Mila Kunis, Jean-Charles Levy, Julie B. May, Glenn Murray, Orin Woinsky
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
Writer: Daniel Taplitz, Assi Dayan
Actors: Robin Williams, Mila Kunis, Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo, Hamish Linklater, Sutton Foster, Richard Kind, James Earl Jones, Daniel Raymont, Chris Gethard, Louis C.K.

Henry Altman is a jerk. He is angry, difficult to deal with and everything else that makes someone a jerk. Dr. Sharon Gill is a tired pill-popping doctor that is having a seriously bad day. When the two meet, words are exchanged that send Henry on a mission to fix his life in 90 minutes.

This movie was trashed by critics and I whole-heartedly disagree.

I absolutely adored The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. I didn’t think it was as funny as it was made-out to be, but that’s a marketing error, not a creative one. It had a funny edge, but it was first and fore-most a drama that took some significant risks with its plot. I don’t think it was a perfect film, but I could definitely sit down and watch it again.

The actors gave everything to their characters, the script was interesting and even the setting caught my attention. I’ve read the reviews for the film and I can’t even speculate what people were thinking when they wrote them.

I’m going to just call this the Patch Adams effect. You have a great movie with some amazing actors that have a knack for comedy in it; Robin Williams (The Crazy Ones, Night at the Museum, Death to Smoochy), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, Knights of Badassdom, Penelope) and Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Black Swan, Ted). Critics go into it expecting the movie to be filled with smart laughs and some physical comedy. Instead, they get an in depth, heartfelt story with a message that was based on something else. They can’t wrap their head around the reality vs. their expectations and the trashing begins.

There’s a reason you let a movie speak for itself, and there’s a reason you sometimes just need to say, “Fuck the critics.”

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 10%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 28%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.6/5
Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Remake of Isreali movie: Mar Baum (1997).

Movie Trailer: 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Rainbow Tribe (2011)

Number Rolled: 65
Movie Name/Year: The Rainbow Tribe (2011)
Genre: Drama
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: International Production Company
Producer: Daniel Frisch, Gary Hellerstein, John Naveira, Sarote Tabcum Jr., Philip Waley, Ryan Westheimer
Director: Christopher R. Watson
Writer: Daniel Frisch
Actors: David James Elliott, Grayson Russell, Ed Quinn, Julie Ann Emery, Rebecca Mader, Noah Munck, Max Burkholder, Gabriel Mann, Renee Taylor, Aidan Gould, Stephen Tobolowsky, Harrison Herron, Dalton O’Dell, Dennis Volochkov, Taylor Boggan, Harvey J. Alperin, Mark Bakunas

Morgan has just received the worst news of his life. He’s absolutely devastated and unable to get passed that hopeless feeling in order to get on the right path. As a way to clear his head, he decides to return to his old camp, as a counselor, for one session.

Netflix claimed it was a drama, which threw me off because most movies for children skip that genre. Although movies get mislabeled pretty often, this wasn’t one of those times. It definitely went the drama route.

To be honest, the story was a bit more interesting than I thought it would be. It had some truly interesting components. Unfortunately, the makers of the film decided not to tie up any of the endings. When the credits roll, you still don’t know the answers to the majority of your questions. I hate that. I mean, it’s fine to have a bit of an open ending, but when NOTHING comes to an end? It’s just annoying.

With my enjoyment of the basic story, you might expect my score for The Rainbow Tribe to be higher. It’s low, because I didn’t find it entertaining. Most of the scenes were severely overacted, even for kid actors. I didn’t believe the parts that the adults were playing and, even worse than that, the movie didn’t tug at my heartstrings. I felt nothing.

Dramas need to make you feel.

In the end, it’s not a bad film for a pre-teen, but parents might have some explaining to do when it's over.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4/5
Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

P.S. There are “Behind the Scenes” extras during the credits.

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Save the Date (2012)

Number Rolled: 90
Movie Name/Year: Save the Date (2012)
Genre: Romance
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Gilbert Films, Instinctive Film, Night and Day Pictures, XYZ Films
Executive Producer: Gary Gilbert
Director: Michael Mohan
Writer: Jeffrey Brown, Michael Mohan, Egan Reich
Actors: Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, Mark Webber, Melonie Diaz, Timothy Busfield, Gigi Bermingham, Grant Harvey

Sarah doesn’t believe in marriage. At all. Somehow, that needs to be balanced with her very committed boyfriend and the sister that is super excited to be getting married in a few months. Sarah knows it won’t be long before things come crashing down.

Lizzy Caplan (The Interview, Bachelorette, Mean Girls) and Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men, The Five-Year Engagement) are very good actresses. They are simply way too good for this movie.

Let me clear, the film wasn’t terrible. It was solid enough, as much as a movie like this can be. I just don’t find this kind of film entertaining. It was a little like being a fly on the wall, spying on someone’s life. That might sound like a good thing, but have you ever read a non-writer’s journal? No plot. None. Its depth is barely pond-worthy when the story would benefit from an ocean.

Regardless of how I feel, I don’t believe I have the right to fully trash Save the Date. The actors were on point and very committed to their characters. The script had some super emotional moments and other significantly hilarious bits. I particularly enjoyed the additions during the opening and closing credits.

The problem is, I think Save the Date might actually be good. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it. It’s simply not my kind of movie.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 46%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 38%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.4/5
Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

P.S. Pictures and an extra scene during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In May (2015)

10 – Time Lapse (May 15)

Director: Bradley King
Writer: Bradley King, BP Cooper
Actors: Danielle Panabaker, John Rhys-Davies, Matt O’Leary, George Finn, Amin Joseph, Jason Spisak
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: Unrated

I’m more interested in this film than I should be. It’s not original, it doesn’t even seem like a new take on something that was once original.

There’s one tiny fact that leads me to interest.

When I was a little girl, I was just as much a book worm as I am now, maybe even more-so. Between being bullied at school and my lonely home-life, I liked the escape of books and movies. I particularly remember bringing a flashlight to bed so I could read the Goosebumps series (by R.L. Stine) after bedtime. Say Cheese and Die! Was one of my favorite books of the series. I even enjoyed it when it became an episode in the TV show (available on Netflix).

Time Lapse looks like a grown up version of that story. It brings me back to the smell of a new book hidden under the covers as the spooky shadows enhanced the experience.

I hope the movie will be able to separate itself from the R.L. Stine version.

9 – Good Kill (May 15)

Director: Andrew Niccol
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Actors: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Jake Abel, Bruce Greenwood
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

I can forgive this film for seeming overly-political because the trailer looks amazing.

Good Kill looks as though it will be thrilling and heart-wrenching. Ethan Hawke (Boyhood, Daybreakers, The Purge) appears to have his part down to a science. It also seems to be a new twist on films that similarly follow military characters that develop PTSD.

8 – Aloha (May 29)

Director: Cameron Crowe
Writer: Cameron Crowe
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, Jay Baruchel, John Krasinski, Bill Murray
Genre: Romance
Rated: PG-13

A film starring Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, Silver Linings Playbook, The A-Team), Emma Stone (The Croods, The Amazing Spider Man, Crazy Stupid Love) and Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Midnight in Paris, The Lucky Ones) that is directed by Cameron Crowe (Vanilla Sky, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous)? What’s not to love?

Cooper and Stone are perfect for comedic parts. I’m thrilled to see them together in another movie, they worked together once before in The Rocker (2008).

The whole cast seems to be well chosen and the plot seems interesting enough.

7 – Maggie (May 8)

Director: Henry Hobson
Writer: John Scott 3
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson, Denise Williamson, J.D. Evermore, Aiden Flowers
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

I have to admit, when I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Expendables, The Terminator, Sabotage) starring in this film, the last thing I expected was zombies. In fact, he’s only been in one other horror film, End of Days (1999). Can you blame me for thinking this would likely be our monthly “old guy in an action flick?”

Not only do we get to see Ahnold in a zombie movie, but it looks insane. I must not be the only one who thinks it either. It was originally supposed to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, but Lionsgate requested the team withdraw it so the company could pick it up.

I have almost no doubt that this film will live up to expectations.

6 – San Andreas (May 29)

Director: Brad Peyton
Writer: Jeremy Passmore, Andre Fabrizio, Carlton Cuse
Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, Ioan Gruffudd, Colton Haynes, Kylie Minogue
Genre: Thriller
Rated: PG-13

I had trouble deciding whether I wanted to see San Andreas or Maggie more. It took a lot of thought and I even polled my husband and some of my friends. In the end, San Andreas just seems more real.

The name of the film comes from the tectonic fault line that seismologists believe will eventually cause a catastrophic earthquake throughout California. So, this film might not be completely scientifically sound, but there’s enough to really tug at reason. That makes the film so much more frightening to me.

Add to that people like Dwayne Johnson (Furious 7, Hercules, Pain & Gain) and Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Burying the Ex), and there’s almost an automatic following.

A lot more could go wrong with this film than Maggie, but I think it’s worth it.

5 – Poltergeist (May 22)

Director: Gil Kenan
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire, Steven Spielberg
Actors: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Nicholas Braun, Jared Harris
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

The first thing I need to stress is that this film is labeled as a reboot, not a remake. That means that facts you remember from the 1982 version might be significantly different. Names, facts, and even some of the plot, may be a little (or drastically) different.

That being said, I must also admit that I’ve never seen the original.

I intend to, it’s on my list of “movies I should have already seen.” I’ll be watching the original before the reboot. In the meantime, the trailer for this film makes me want to watch the original much sooner. It looks terrifying.

4 – Tomorrowland (May 22)

Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird, Jeff Jensen
Actors: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Kathryn Hahn, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Chris Bauer, Keegan-Michael Key, Michael Rowe
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: PG

I’ve been looking forward to Tomorrowland since I saw a 30 second teaser for it several months ago. All it showed was the girl picking up the pin and being transported to that field. It was followed by a saying, but I can’t remember what it was.

So, before I had any idea who else was starring in it, or what it was about, this movie was on my list. Now that I get the general idea of the plot and I see the participating cast, I only want to see it more.

Not to mention that Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Ratatouille, The Incredibles) turning down the opportunity to direct Star Wars: Episode VII in order to direct Tomorrowland. That says one of two things: this movie will be outstanding, historical and completely original or Bird needs to be placed a padded room.

3 – Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)

Director: George Miller
Writer: George Miller, Nick Lathouris, Brendan McCarthy
Actors: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: R

This film represents another black hole in my movie culture knowledge. I’ve never seen the original trilogy. I’ve already gotten my hands on them, though, and I’ll be watching them sometime between going to a weekend-long gathering of my husband’s family and Philadelphia Comic Con.

Even without seeing the other three films, Fury Road looks great. It needs to be said that this movie is part reboot, part sequel. Instead of doing a complete reboot, Miller was interested in jumping a little further into the future of the story, so that’s what he did. It’s kind of a continuation. Kind of.

2 – Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15)

Director: Elizabeth Banks
Writer: Kay Cannon, Mickey Rapkin
Actors: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Banks, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam DeVine, Brittany Snow, Skylar Aslin, Katey Sagal, Alexis Knapp, Anna Camp, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13

I’d say Pitch Perfect is a guilty pleasure for me, but it doesn’t make me feel guilty at all.

The first Pitch Perfect was hilarious and definitely entertaining. Anna Kendrick (Into the Woods, The Last Five Years, Life After Beth), as I’ve said before, is a goddess. I can’t wait to see how Elizabeth Banks (The Lego Movie, The Hunger Games, Zach and Miri Make a Porno) did with directing her first full-length film. Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy, Futurama, Married With Children) is even playing the mother of one of the Bellas.

To be honest, I even enjoy the music.

There’s nothing about Pitch Perfect 2 that I’m not looking forward to.

1 – Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1)

Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, James Spader, Thomas Kretschmann, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard, Stan Lee, Josh Brolin, Hayley Atwell
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: PG-13

If I have to explain to you why this movie is #1, you obviously didn’t see the first one and you’ve got some work to do.