Friday, July 31, 2015

Movie Review: Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation

Its only a movie? Isn't that a true statement? I think that its correct that a movie is really just a movie and not worth the life of any human being, but in the past while making movies people have died because of a fluke that went wrong or some mistake or some other reason where someone was not doing their job. The worst tragedy in movie history was probably the movie Twilight Zone with Vic Morrow and 2 Vietnamese children he was carrying into a lake were killed by the blades of a falling helicopter. The point of all this is, "Its only a movie", why would anyone want to risk their life to make a movie? Well for whatever the reason, Tom Cruise is definitely one of those people and at the rate he is going by taking these kinds of risks in these Mission Impossible movies; there is a very good chance that he will be killed one day just going a little too far.

On 4 occasions in this movie, Cruise could have been killed. The first was by hanging from a large Airbus plane and I hear there were 8 takes for this one scene. During this first scene, Cruse ran close to the large propellers of this airplane and he could have been if he was blown into them. Tom Cruise mentioned on a talk show that he held his breath for 6 minutes and he trained for this for a long time, but this is also extremely dangerous. Obviously this is completely unnecessary and insane to take risks like this for a movie. There is also a scene of great danger riding a high powered motorcycle on a highway that was very dangerous with other cars and trucks that had to be avoided. Its clear that Tom Cruise should leave dangerous stunts like this to the stunt men, but for some reason he insists on taking severe life threatening risks that one day will cost him his life.

As far as the movie I thought that the story was a good one and it was easy to follow, which is not true of previous Mission Impossible movies, especially the first one. The main female lead in this movie was very believable in her role and her fight scenes were very well done and she is very attractive as well. Other actors from previous Mission Impossible movies also returned even though Ving Rhames had a very small role in the last Mission Impossible movie "Ghost Protocol" where Tom Cruise took many risks on the worlds tallest building in Dubai. The ending of this movie was very satisfying but not believable based on how they were able to trap the lead villain in a giant Plexiglas box.

Overall I thought this movie was well done and I do recommend it.

Writing Action Movies

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Movie Review: Mr. Holmes

This movie was massively boring and i walked out after over an hour. The entire movie was disjointed, the scenes jumped around to one timeline and location to another with no explanation. There was no interesting or fun Sherlock Holmes mystery or crime to solve, just a series of boring scenes involving bees, following someone's wife, a Japanese friend story that made no sense and overall I just could not sit through this very bad movie for the whole 2 hours.

Do yourself a favor and miss this movie, even if you are a huge Sherlock Holmes fan.

Sitting through a very bad movie

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Movie Review: Paper Towns

According to this movie, a "Paper Town" is a town listed on a map that doesn't really exist so that if someone else copies this map then having a fictional town on a map would make it more obvious that this map was illegally copied. I guess this makes sense, but for this movie its an unusual bit of information that nobody really knows that makes the movie more interesting.

The teen movies of the 80's and 90's were all the same; definitely not artsy or cerebral but mostly about teen problems and sex, but this year there have been two movies about teenagers that have been completely different and unusual and unlike anything I have ever seen. The previous movie, also reviewed on this blog was "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" and now this movie "Paper Towns". "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" was highly unusual and different but for the most part too unusual and weird to be considered by this reviewer as a good movie. Its one thing to try to be different that anything done before, but its another level to make a movie that is unusual and is of a high quality and keeps your attention, but most importantly in the end has a satisfying conclusion. Of these two movies, "Paper Towns" is the better one mainly because it has a better story and is not trying to be so different than other movies that it forgets what makes a movie enjoyable to watch in the first place. In other words, its not a good idea to make a movie just because its so unusual and different, it also has to be good too.

The story of "Paper Towns" is about a girl who takes a different direction in life because when she was a very young girl she discovers, along with a young male friend of hers, a 36 year old man who had committed suicide over his depression over his divorce. After this horrible discovery at a very young age, the girl is so deeply affected that she is not interested in living a normal boring life like everybody else. After this scene in the beginning of the movie, the story goes into different directions, defining the friendship of the young mans two friends and their lives in high school which are very boring and average but does not focus on the high school life of the girl at all, which I consider to be an obvious flaw in this movie.

The conclusion of this movie is about the girl, who is now in her late teens and about to graduate high school, deciding to leave home before graduating but leaving some clues so her friend can somehow figure out where she went to, which is ultimately a paper town in New York State. The attempts of her friend and his friends to try and locate this girl involve a long road trip from Orlando Florida to New York State and this trip was funny and enjoyable for the most part. During this trip were times when some scenes were boring and went into unexpected directions, but ultimately the ending and ultimate conclusion was satisfying and believable, which was not the case with "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and considering the main story of this movie was also very depressing in the end.

I do recommend this movie.

Writing a different kind of Screenplay

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Movie Review: Pixels

Everybody goes to see an Adam Sandler movie mainly to see how bad or how stupid or ridiculous the movie is. Sandler will go down into movie history as the person who has made more money making more bad movies than anyone in the history of movies. This movie was exactly what you expected from the previews. A stupid ridiculous idea where aliens have seen video games from the year 1982, thought they were threatening and now they attack the earth. Now the hero's of this story are the 1982 video champions who were the best at Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids and Centipede. The special effects for this were rather bad and I can certainly understand this movie trying to be a comedy, but nobody laughed during the entire 2 hours. This movie might be entertaining for kids under 12 years old, but for everybody else, it was all a rather boring and inane waste of almost 2 hours.

I do not recommend this movie.

Screenwriting Tricks

Friday, July 24, 2015

Movie Review: Southpaw

This movie was very well acted and even though have all seen this story many times in so many previous boxing movies it is a movie worth spending 2 hours to see.

You just have to admire Jake Gyllenhaal and all the work he did for 5 months to get into boxing shape for this movie because considering the shape he was in for this movie he must have worked very hard. In the past, when an actor goes through so much to act in a movie they normally have a great shot at winning an academy award. That is probably true in this case, but considering the story and the fact that the movie has come out in the summer there is a good chance that Gyllenhaal will not be nominated for best actor. The boxing scenes were very believable and well done and the acting of everybody involved, including the young daughter of the main character in this movie Billy Hope (played by Oona Laurence) was very well done. Billy's wife was also very well played by Rachel McAdams.

Movies like this remind us all what a very brutal and life threatening profession boxing is. At any point in time you can get hit with an unexpected shot to the head that could cost you your life or give you brain damage. The lesson with a sport like boxing always is, make your money and THEN get out before its too late. Unfortunately athletes like the one portrayed in this movie all too often lose everything and do not get out of the profession before its too late and spend money like there is no tomorrow. This was also the case as portrayed in this movie.

I definitely recommend this movie.

Best boxing movies

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Movie Review: Ant Man

Of all the Marvel movies that have come out in the last 10 years I thought that this latest entry was the weakest by far. The movie plays like it was made for TV and even though some of the special effects were good, they were not nearly as good as you would expect from a Marvel comics movie. Overall, I thought the story was rather boring in a number of scenes and dragged on too long in others. Paul Rudd is good in his role but despite that I doubt that this movie will become a franchise with many sequels like Spiderman, The Hulk, Ironman and the Avengers.

I cannot recommend this movie.

Screenwriting for Hollywood

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Movie Review: TrainWreck

What I did expect was that this movie would be funny and it was, but not nearly enough and I expected more laughs. What I did not expect was to find out that this movie is very dramatic and emotional and well acted in a number of scenes. I also did not expect that Amy Schumer who is an excellent stand-up comedian to be as good an actor as she was in this movie in a number of highly emotional scenes. Lebron James, in his first acting role was also excellent and funny at times during this movie. Bill Hader, who plays Any Schumer's love interest is also very good in this movie as well.

Its too bad that this movie was not more funny than it was because if that were the case the movie would rank as one of the best romantic comedies of all time. As it stands now, "Trainwreck" is a very good movie and definitely worth seeing. As I was watching it, I was thinking of many areas where it could have been much funnier and overall I did not notice too many people laughing that much during the two hours. However that missing home run of an extremely funny movie is offset by the surprising good acting and outstanding dramatic scenes. The premise of this movie, about a woman who is afraid of getting seriously involved with anyone for fear of being hurt again is very understandable and in this world a very common problem. The resolution of this problem is very well done at the end of this movie which was a pretty satisfying conclusion.

I highly recommend this movie.

Outstanding Comedy Movies

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Movie Review: Selfless

The premise of this movie; which is transferring the memories, personality and essentially the brain of another human who is dying to another body has always been an interesting one and there have been other movies in the past that have tried to address this idea. The way to make this interesting is to add the criminal mind and money and the lie that the bodies that there are using to transfer are manufactured and not real people. The idea that real people are being used makes the whole idea a caper and chase movie and creates many scenes of action and violence. The part of this movie that tries to create more action makes the whole idea more run of the mill and we have seen all of this before. Some parts of this movie were hard to follow and made no logical sense, especially much of the ending.

Due to these problems I cannot recommend this movie, despite the overall good idea behind it.

Screenwriting Ideas

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Movie Review: Magic Mike XXL

This movie was about as stupid a movie as I expected. What I didn't expect was the dialog which was all over the place, the meaningless scenes and the tedious boredom throughout most of this idiotic waste of 2 hours. Some of the conversations between members of this crew of men who drive around to different locations stripping and performing hardly made sense in a number of instances.  What did stand out for me is that there are some real people in this world who really do something this stupid for a living.   How ridiculous a life is this anyway to drive around to seedy clubs to have dollar bills thrown at you by drunk women bars?  The other thing that stands out for me was how badly some of these actors wanted to be an actor in a movie and are willing to embarrass and humiliate themselves in front of millions of movie goers. On numerous different occasions there were men dancing around crowd of women and the floor was loaded with dollar bills and I wondered how do they figure out who gets all this movie? How do they divide the hundreds of dollar bills fairly. For me this was the only mystery of this movie. Who gets all this money? How do they divide it all up?

The bottom line is that some of the actors in this movie will never work again after this disaster and others, including Channing Tatum will work again.  I was very happy to see this movie end but unfortunately it was almost a full 2 hours of just one ridiculous stupid road trip to bars a beach and some houses.

Do yourself a favor and miss this very stupid movie.

Screenwriting Tips

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Movie Review: Terminator Genisys

Convoluted and very stupid. This is how I would summarize one of the most ridiculous plot lines ever created for any movie in movie history. Once again the emphasis was not to create a great script with great dialog and a coherent story, but forego all of the quality in place of special effects.

Of course the original movie made in 1984 had a ridiculous plot idea about time travel and sending back a man who would be his father? What? Your kidding right? How could he exist in the first place if in the future he had to send a man back in time to be his father? Even if time travel were possible, none of this would make any sense. I can understand a person going back in time, but not to create himself in the first place with a father who had not even been born yet? This is insane, but the action scenes and the idea of robots and the end of the world were compelling enough to enjoy the first movie.

This latest Terminator movie "Terminator Genisys" had some great action sequences but a story and logic that completely made no sense. This movie revisited some ideas and scenes from the first movie, but then we are made to believe that a whole new time line was created when Kyle Reese goes back in time like he did in the original movie and now they had to go into the future to the year 2017 to stop the second or new attempt by Skynet to destroy the world and kill off all mankind? If time travel were to ever exist, of course it would never make any sense to go into the future that has yet to be created. I could understand going back to 1984 and then back to where you were or some years earlier, but this idea of going into a yet to be created future is ridiculous. All I would ask from a movie like this that is so full if ideas and science is to make a story that can be followed, has some logic to it and most importantly makes sense. There is another story line where the Terminator Robot played once again by Arnold Schwarzenegger was sent back in time to protect a 9 year old Sarah Conner, who she now calls "Pops". This is another overly complicated and additional story line about time travel that was not necessary and made no sense. I thought the actress who plays Sarah Conner, Emilia Clarke was not only excellent in the role, but has one of the most attractive faces I have ever seen. She will have a huge future in the movie business due to her acting ability and exceptional presence on screen.

As far as all of the other Terminator movies, the second Terminator movie was much better than the first. This movie had everything, great special effects, a great script and great dialog. Terminator 2 is one of the very rate sequels that was better than the first movie. Terminator 3 was a good movie, not as good as the first 2 with some great action sequences. The 4th Terminator called "Terminator Salvation" was just a very bad movie.

Now one has to wonder based on the ending of this 5th Terminator movie where this franchise could go next? How can a new idea be written considering how this one ended? Hopefully whatever new idea is created, its much better than this one, which was completely ridiculous and made no sense on about 5 different levels.

Overall, I do recommend this movie but only for the action scenes and special effects. The story and plot are just plain ridiculous throughout.

The problem with Hollywood