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Lorenzo M. in the Hollywood CA Area "Movie Wathcer Extrodinaire" RSS Feed (North Hollywood, CA USA)
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Transformers: Age of Extinction (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)
DVD ~ Mark Wahlberg
Price: $19.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “Interacting Action & Story Make “Transformers 4” Work Much Better Now”, July 18, 2014
Director Michael Bay (The Rock, The Island) finally made an effort to do two things right this time. 1 – He created more interesting characters with color and depth and; 2 – He involved the audience in a story that was more than just action, shoot outs and robots galore but a real mission with an objective that evokes sympathy. The fourth installment, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” was written by Ehren Kruger (The Brothers Grimm, The Ring), this story tells the tale of the aftermath of an government organization lead by Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, Legend Of Oz) who is commissioned to basically destroy all the Autobots (the good guys) under the ‘smoke screen’ of the destruction that occurred in Chicago in the last film to scrap their parts and use the morphing abilities for the betterment of the US military. Meanwhile, the Decepticons are still around trying to take advantage of whatever they can – a lurking (spoiler) Megatron voiced by Frank Welker (Aladdin, Smurfs).

Enter Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, The Fighter) who plays an invetor/tinkerer father who finds and buys a scrapped junked semi-truck from a church only to discover its actually the de-charged (out of power) Optimus Prime himself (Voiced by the original voice Peter Cullen) and the story launches from there. Mark does a really nice job, although a little over excited and over protective at times, of playing a single father whose priorities are clear. Protect his daughter.

Nicola Peltz (Deck the Halls, The Last Airbender) plays Mark’s daughter who rebels in everything she can and often outwardly opposes her father including hiding the fact that she has a boyfriend – played by Jack Reynor (Delivery Man, Cold) - and the three of them go on a truly wild adventure of survival and trying to get the truth known that the government is killing the wrong robots. Jack and Nicola have some pretty good chemistry with each other.

The Transformers are being housed, in pieces and parts, and tested and tortured by a major company backed by the government. Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games, The Terminal) is in charge of this company and I must say his performance is truly amazing. He goes from arrogant, power-hungry corporate baddie working with Kelsey to undermine the public perception of the Transformers, to a sympathetic and understanding ‘good guy’ with such humor and fun that he’ll keep you laughing till the end. Tucci is just an amazing and versatile actor.

It is a rather long, almost three hours, film and there is a lot to digest, but the characters and story make this film one of the better of the four Transformer films. Other language and a lot of violence but some pretty cool transformations, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me and you should enjoy it too if you don’t mind the length. Tell them Lorenzo from www.Facebook.com/TheGeekAuthority sent you!


CrossWays: The Path to Victory is Not Always a Straight Line
CrossWays: The Path to Victory is Not Always a Straight Line
Price: $22.71
16 used & new from $19.40

5.0 out of 5 stars “Cross Ways” Is Family Fun – It’s Playing Cards And Finding A Straight Line”, July 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Some games are complicated to learn and fun to play. Other games are easy to learn but not-so much fun to play. “Cross Ways” is the kind of game that is easy to learn and very fun to play. It’s the kind of game where once you learn and play once or twice – if you win you will want to keep on winning and if you lose you want to try a new strategy to win again that much more.

The board is colorful and well-constructed and is oversized to accommodate red and black of all the cards in the deck twice each. The game is simple: get your markers to cross the board either diagonally or vertically without a break in your color and not counting diagonals as connections. Sound easy? Well, let’s just say that in the process your opponent can move you to another spot, take you off the board completely or block your way at any time.

Once you pick your color you are on your own! You basically have two full decks of cards that are thoroughly shuffled together and then 5 cards are dealt to each player. From there your cards determine where you can and cannot go and it’s all about thinking ahead and positioning combined with clever (and fun) strategy.

The first game we played of “Cross Ways” took about 30 minutes, everyone after that ran about from 15 to 45 depending on the constant rethinking of the strategies that you use. It really makes your think but often you’re caught off guard because once you think you are covered and safe your opponent finds a loop hole.

“Cross Ways” is an entertainingly fun game to play and I think the whole family (and friends), up to four players, can plan and have a great time. http://www.amazon.com/CrossWays-Path-Victory-Always-Straight/dp/B00BBLCYH4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404413856&sr=8-1&keywords=cross+ways and tell the Lorenzo of the www.Facebook.com/TheGeekAuthority sent you!


Marvel Guardians of The Galaxy Big Blastin' Rocket Raccoon Figure, 10 Inch
Marvel Guardians of The Galaxy Big Blastin' Rocket Raccoon Figure, 10 Inch
Price: $22.49
14 used & new from $19.37

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars “Rocket Raccoon Is A Solid Blast But No Articulation”, July 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Marvel Universe is filled with comic books, graphic novels and superheroes of all kinds, and ‘Guardian of the Galaxy’ – soon to be released – has a few characters that I am sure will stand out in the kids’ minds after they see the film. One in particular, Rocket Raccoon, apparently is a feisty, no-nonsense fighter, wise-cracking raccoon.

This toy is very well built with strong plastic armatures and thick plastic in parts and it looks like it was made for heavy use. The fun parts include a secret button on his thigh and on the top of his gun that activate both the phrases he says and the gun he is holding which spins with dramatic sound effects. There are several choice phrases from the movie and each time the gun spins, the length of the spin, the color of the fire and the phrase he says are all different and activate in different combinations.

The downside for me, once you plug in the tail which is the practical support and acts like his tripod stand, is there is no articulation in the figure. Hands and arms and head are fairly locked into place. So you are basically moving a solid piece of plastic with the same expression and pose no matter what pretend situation you want this figure to me. Oh, and it is heavy. It takes three “AA” batteries and seems like a fun toy, but I even got a little board with it after a while.

Again, the detail is high but the long term play factor will probably wear out for the kids and it might be left behind quite often. If you are a fan of the comic or movie, it is however a nice piece to add to the toy collection because it definitely looks good. Again, it is very well built, nicely painted and colored and very detailed, but I am guessing it was made more for the fans than actually children having more pretend playtime with it. Check it out at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IM8W12M and tell them Lorenzo from the www.Facebook.com/TheGeekAuthority sent you!


How to Train Your Dragon 2
How to Train Your Dragon 2
DVD
Price: $16.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ““Dragon 2” Is Emotionally Riveting With High Powered Action”, June 20, 2014
When most sequels USUSALLY can’t hold a candle to their predecessors, Dreamworks release of “How To Train Your Dragon 2” was exactly the opposite. I found this film far more engaging, interesting and definitely full of emotional ups and down mixed with fun and inventive humor (as an added bonus) than a lot of films I have seen in the recent past!

Director Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch, How To Train Your Dragon) did a wonderfully magical job of taking a screenplay written by himself and turned it into a truly real family-based adventure. The movie is about father and son relationships; It’s about separated parents; It’s about judging people (or Dragons) based on their circumstances and one time actions; It’s about judging people by their appearances and discovering almost everyone around you is more than you ever thought he, she or it (dragons) could ever be.

Everyone is back including Jay Baruchel (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, This Is The End) as Hiccup, America Ferrera (Ugly Betty, End of Watch) as Astrid – the strong and dependable support of Hiccup, Jonah Hill (Superbad, 21 Jumpstreet) as Snotlout – a little on the dense side, Kristin Wiig (Bridesmaids, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) as Ruffnut the Tomboy of the bunch and even Craig Ferguson (Hot In Cleveland, Brave) as Gobber – the not-so-bright side kick of the family.

Making a very warm and heartfelt portrayal of a real father is the return of Gerard Butler (300, Gamer) as Stoik who does a wonderful job of connecting with his son and family in a very touching and tear-jerking way. Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, the Lord of the Rings) is Hiccup’s mother who was long remembered but not forgotten as it was believed she had died in a fight for her tribe.

This whole premise creates a real sense of family growth and sensitivity to the hearts of children who either have separated parents or have seen their parents reunite for whatever the reason for them to have been apart. Yes, there are plenty of new, fun and colorful Dragons throughout and they all have unique abilities and the most charming of personalities. They are so much fun to watch and lots of adventure packed action too.

The villain in the film is a mean and wounded reject of society who learns how to take control of all dragons and to his advantage, take control of all people. This character is called Drago and is artfully voiced by Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond). He too learns a valuable lesson by the end of the film and it all wraps up very nicely too.

This is definitely a ‘three tissue’ movie and I completely understand why it received the PG rating as young kids might enjoy the colorful, fun and funny dragons in the film, the real heart of the story is a true tragedy, with a heartfelt and very meaningful message for families of all sizes and cultures. This was surprisingly enjoyable for a lot of reason. Not only did I laugh and stare in amazement at the beautiful animation, but I never expected to leave the theatre appreciating just a little tiny bit more, all the people I really care about and the people that I love most in my life. “How To Train Your Dragon 2” should definitely should be seen with your family and/or you closest friends….tell them Lorenzo from the [...] told you too!


No Title Available

3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Tom Cruise is Back But With An Over Used Premise in "Edge Of Tomorrow"", June 19, 2014
Director Doug Liman (Jumper, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) did an interesting job of trying to give the characters a center for the story of "Edge of Tomorrow" and the visual effects editor Laura Jennings (Skyfall, Sherlock Holmes) did a very excellent job of slicing this 'Groundhog Day' meets ‘Matrix’ (I'll explain later)-like film, but where it seemed to lack in congruent story it was made up for by interesting visuals and overall concept.

Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Mission Impossible) is a somewhat versatile actor but has not had a lot of successes with the sci-fi genre overall. This movie proves to have a slight more edge on the humor side for him, which makes his character that much more interesting to watch.

Written by seasoned Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, The Tourist), the overall story is fairly simple. A meteor-like body crashes on earth and basically infests the Earth with this alien species that apparently just like to kill human. One the aliens, ‘the alpha’, has the ability to manipulate time. Apparently when their blood splashes on you and then you die – you travel back in time to the last time you were unconscious. Confused? Join the club. Tom plays and officer that is cut in the ranks and thrown into the front line much to his dismay.

Emily Blunt (Looper, The Muppets) plays the public image hero that is used and campaigned and publicized to get people to fight in this human’s verses alien’s war going on all over Europe. She has a coldness about her and although the typical the persona of a military person, she didn’t grab me as being tough enough like in the ‘Sigourney Weaver type’ in the ‘Alien’ franchise. She was too calm for me.

Bill Paxton (Titanic, Apollo 13) plays a much better Master Sargent who adds great charm and humor to his stern and powerful military commanding chops he gives his recruits including Tom Cruise. His scenes with Tom are some of the best in the film.

Brendon Gleeson (Harry Potter, The Smurfs 2) is also in this film and is a cocky general who takes a few liberties and puts Tom Cruise in his place, quite literally. In fact his overly excited personality is the cause and starting point for Cruise’s constant resetting of time.

The rest of the characters are your typical tough guy, military types with lots of brawn and very little brain. Yawn. Where the comedy occurs is Tom’s interpretation of taking every day that is reset and knowing what happens before it happens. Stepping in and out of punches, speaking phrases the person has said yet but says them at the same time. It makes for more than a few very humorous moments.

Now the aliens themselves – except for the Alpha and Omega (surprise) – they all looking like tentacle filled rolling balls with mouths. They were not very far from the subterranean creatures with tentacles seen in the ‘Matrix’ movies. They didn’t impress me too much. Even the blue glob Omega, the center of the power source and time-displacement for the aliens, looked rather docile and non-threatening.

Yes, there’s a lot of action, great visual effects of crashes and aliens blowing up, yes the constant resetting of the movie over and over and over and over…..yawn….again. I would wait for the Blu-Ray or Netflix on this one if I were you. I’m sure it looked much better on paper when they were reading it (not). Tell them Lorenzo at [...]


A Million Ways to Die in the West (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
A Million Ways to Die in the West (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
DVD ~ Seth MacFarlane
Price: $22.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “A Million Way…Old West” Is A Fantastically Funny Romp Of The Western Genre”, June 6, 2014
Director, Writer, Producer and Star – Seth McFarlane (Family Guy, Ted) has done an amazingly hysterical job of recreating, for modern times, a Mel Brooks’ish style film containing ‘farce humor’ in this nonstop adult comedy. I haven’t laughed this hard out loud for a long time and “A Million Ways To Die In The Old West” was literally one laugh, shock or surprise after another.

This is definitely an adult orientated film do to the language, sexual references, ‘poopy’ humor and lots of inferred innuendos that you really need to pay attention because you could miss some very funny stuff. Seth McFarlane does a wonderful job of staging and coordinating both the visual and verbal jokes throughout the film with a wonderful cast playing everything as real and as straight forward as they can. (The outtakes on this film must be amazing!)

It’s the story of a sheep farmer (yes, there are tons of very funny sheep jokes, sight gags and references), who is Seth, who is dating a not-so-nice girl played by Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia, Les Miserable) and then in the process of trying to propose to her, she dumps him.

Enter an unhappy and unfulfilled wife of a villain who happens to be a very kind soul and wonderful sharp shooter herself, Charlize Theron (Monster, Prometheus) who learns who and what Seth’s character is all about. They have a nice genuine friendship that grows into something more by the end of the film and the resulting circumstances are so much fun to watch.

Enter the husband of Charlize who is the territory’s most notorious and deadly killer played by Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Taken). Liam’s humor comes from the real evil nature he portrays as the villain. You really end up disliking who he is with some very funny scenes that he is put in.

Then there is the always funny and quick-witted Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, The Smurfs) who plays the hysterical mustache twirling, cocky attitude wielding, mustache grooming shop owner who wrongfully swoons Amanda’s character over to his whims. Neil plays comedy so well that just his looks, gleam in his eye or a wildly crazy pratfall – because he was just given a super laxative - will figuratively keep you in stitches.

Special note and bow to the wonderful performances of Sarah Silverman (There Something About Mary, Wreck-It Ralph) playing a prostitute who is always ‘working’ and her ‘boyfriend’ played by Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar, Ted) who is a softer, quieter Christian of man about to propose to her too. Now, the both agree not to have sex with each other until after they are married. (Boing!) They have too many funny scenes to describe, but they have some great chemistry on screen and there are always jokes within jokes with these two characters.

With such an amazing score by Joel McNeely (American Dad, Flipper), some very surprising and funny cameos by Patrick Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lloyd and Gilbert Gottfried (all good friends with Seth because of Family Guy) along with some of the cleverest special effects built around some very funny sight gags, “A Million Ways To Die In The Old West” was a very funny movie for adults and older teens – definitely not a kids film. Tell them Lorenzo of [...]sent you!


Maleficent
Maleficent
DVD ~ Angelina Jolie

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars “Angelina Is Amazing as “Maleficent”, But The Movie Is Far Too Slow”, June 5, 2014
This review is from: Maleficent (DVD)
Yes, I am a classic and modern day fan of the Disney Animated films. The concept of a live action version of one the most evil and menacingly drawn characters in history, such as Maleficent, was really something I was looking forward to. Walt Disney’s “Maleficent” fell short in many ways for me – but really shines for Angelina.

Robert Stromberg held the reigns of directorship on this project and coming from a visual effects supervisor background, makes his directorial debut with this film. “Maleficent”, with the screenplay written by Linda Wolverton (Alice In Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast) from the original Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm brothers tales and loosely from the adaption of the original animated film by Erdman Penner (and six others)– is a film takes a very long start to get to the meat of the story and then rides fairly smoothly.

Let me explain what I enjoyed most. Angelina Jolie (Changeling, Salt). Watching her as the innocent and caring fairy in the beginning and then her subtle but powerful glares, smirks and smiles she conveys evil and a heartwarming concern to such perfection that you cannot help but be engaged every moment she is on screen. She is beautiful and dark and inviting and terrifying all at the same time. Her range for the characters is sedate and strong yet so charge with life and energy you will find it very easy to relate to why she became the way she did.

Elle Fanning (Super 8, We Bought A Zoo) plays Aurora with a soft but non-threatening demeanor. Almost as if she is not afraid of anything and unrealistically accepting of everything around her. If fact, the first third of the movie is her as a baby and growing up to be sixteen which overall, was very slow and dull – minus the wonderful visual effects of course.

Sharlto Copley (Elysium, District 9) is playing Stefan. He is the reason Maleficent becomes who she is known as and why she seems to be bitter and angry toward everything. His performance is rather scattered as he fools Maleficent into thinking one thing with the goal of proving himself worthy of his dying fathers throne. Then he snaps and goes crazy apparently for no reason – it was just a strange switch in attitude for me to understand why he eventually does what he does.

I did enjoy the three helpful fairies who were hysterical and played by Lesley Manville (Another Year, Secrets & Lies) as Flittle; Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter, Chicken Run) as Knotgrass and Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises, Atonement) as Thistlewit. They have some Three-Stooges style of humor among them and it is funny and charming.

Another nice performance came from Sam Riley (Control, On The Road) as Diaval who was once a black raven but is used as Maleficent’s eyes and ears when something happens to her. (No spoilers here!) Sam was smart with his reactions and honest with his expressions after having been rescued by her. He surprisingly teaches her a level of tolerance and patience. Sam and Angelina had great chemistry together on screen as well.

Also, sweet, short and full of innocence, Brenton Thwaites (Oculus, The Signal) who plays Prince Phillip and is very heart-warming to watch. He and Elle look great together on screen, but unfortunately the screenplay didn’t give them much time together and when they were, it was rather non interactive and long drawn.

I also enjoyed the amazing visuals. The creatures, both animal and plant were visually stunning and beautiful. Not many of them had a purpose it seemed or a function but they seemed to all live together well. This is a nice large scale movie and has some notable, if not very good, performances, but it just seemed to drag on in several places. “Maleficent” is really Angelina’s movie and I wish she was given more to do, but the finale with a dragon and a few other surprises does make it an interesting film – if you can wait that long to actually get there. Good for the whole family, but I don’t think everyone will come out enjoying it the same way or at the same level. Lorenzo of the [...] says you should go, if you don’t want to see anything else a little bit more. (Wink.)


Blended
Blended
DVD ~ Adam Sandler

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “So Funny – “Blended” Is The Perfect Comedy With A Heart”, June 1, 2014
This review is from: Blended (DVD)
Adam Sandler (Grown Ups, Billy Madison) is back on the big screen and in an honest attempt to make a real funny family film; he succeeded with “Blended”. Directed by Frank Coraci (Click, Zookeeper) and written by Ivan Menchell (Bedtime, The Nanny) and Clare Sera (Doin’ It Yourself) the film pairs up Adam and Drew Barrymore (E.T., Charlie’s Angles) for the fourth time and this time they have a wonderful on screen chemistry and they play very well of each other’s sarcasm.

Drew and Adam play divorced parents of kids that are estranged to them both as separated parents. All the kids, in both their respective families, have issues and none of them seem a cohesive unit in the beginning. The first half of the movie they hate each other, starting with their first date, then by the second act, in a realistic and very funny way, they end up – you guessed it – falling for each other.

Adam has three girls. Two, in the beginning look very much like boys. They are played by Emma Fuhrmann (Are We Listening) and Bella Thorne (Frenemies, Shake It Up!) and their transformations is extremely heartwarming thanks to Drew’s motherly touch. Now for the ‘AWE’ factor of the film, throw in his third and youngest daughter played by Alyvia Alyn Lind (Dark Skies, Fire Twister) and you have a truly realistic divorced dad with a really big heart.

Now Drew’s has two boys who are typically loud, obnoxious at times and a little sneaky whenever they can be played by Braxton Beckham (ICarly, NCSI) and Kyle Red Silverstein (Grey’s Anatomy, Lift) who test the patience of everyone in the movie. Now thanks to Adam, the boys learn some valuable lessons on relationships, sports and a whole lot more. See where this is going?

Now, through a series of circumstances and a little misrepresentation, both Drew and Adam basically lie about a trip that Adam’s boss (who we never see) was going to take with Drew’s best friend, Jen. And a very special note to actress Wendi McLendon-Covey ( Reno 911, Bridesmaids) who plays Drew’s best friend Jen because she always steels the moments with her quick wit, her wry humor and her ever piercing sarcasm. I was in tears with many of her quick whips of verbal abuse she tends to give everyone – no holds barred!

Where is this Trip? A South African resort that is especially for ‘Blended’ and mixed families - both straight and gay - and they’re there to be bonding while supposedly having a good time. You can imagine all the African comical situations you can think of (including animals) and some that will absolutely shock you in a very funny (but in a family style) way. Needless to say both Adam and Drew have no idea their disdain for each other would continue in Africa and in the same suite! The rest is a pure comedy delight!

Equally as funny but in the more negative letch-like way, is Joel McHale (Ted, Community) who plays Drew’s ex-husband as rotten as scummy as could be. He does a nice job at the antagonistic role that really ‘eggs’ everyone in the film on.

Kevin Nealon (SNL, Anger Management) and Jessica Lowe (Living The Dream, Wish It Inc.) play a divorced ‘blended’ couple who can keep their hands (arms, legs, feet, lips) off of each other through most of the film and they do it with some hysterical results. They too have a son with communication issues played by Zack Henri (Teacher of the Year) who later comes out of his shell thanks to Adams ‘transformed’ daughter. (You’ll just have to see how that is done in a very charming way!)

Wonderful character actor Terry Crews (Bridesmaids, Get Smart) plays this wildly funny musical host at the African hotel who seems to literally pop up everywhere you would not expect him too. He too steels some of the scenes with his huge eyes and bright big smile while he sings various altered editions of popular songs.

This is definitely a family film with a lot of crazy and wild humor but at its center it has a real true heart to it. I had so much fun watching all the characters come to life in a hysterical way that “Blended” will literally make you laugh from start to finish with all its characters and exotic situations. Some for the whole family to see and be sure to tell them Lorenzo of the [...] sent you!


X-Men: Days of Future Past (Amazon Exclusive) [Blu-ray]
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Amazon Exclusive) [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Hugh Jackman
Price: $69.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “X-Men-Days Is Story Driven And Character Rich”, June 1, 2014
Director Bryan Singer (Superman Returns, Usual Suspects), now defending his honor which is why he is not at any of the press junkets, has brought more life into the Marvel X-Men franchise and it’s called “X-Men: Days of Future Past”. Muche better than the third installment of the franchise and with the somewhat decent screenplay by Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holms, Jumper) from a story by Jane Goldman (Stardust, Kick Ass), Mathew Vaughn (The Debt, X-Men: First Class) and Kinberg (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, This Means War), the movie is an adventure in time and space as well as an optimistic view of what the war between mutants and humans could or could not be.

Hugh Jackman (Les Miserable, Real Steele) is back as Logan/Wolverine and he is sent on a mission to go back in time and stop the events that Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook), is about to do which cause the humans to practically eliminate the entire Mutant race. Having been the only actor to having been in all the six X-Men movies, Hugh has a lot of heart and soul invested into Wolverine and it truly comes across on screen.

Under the guidance and concern of Charles Xavier who is once again brilliantly performed by Patrick Stewart (Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, Family Guy) and Magneto, again performed masterfully by Ian McKellen (The Hobbit, Doctor Who), who make it clear that Wolverine has to convince their younger selves to make very different and much better choices for everyone’s future. The on screen chemistry of Hugh, Patrick and Ian is very sharp and you can tell they really love these characters and play them with such sharp intelligence and conviction.

The young Charles Xavier is again reprised by James McAvoy (Wanted, Arthur Christmas) and the young Magneto is again reprised by Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Bastards, Prometheus) and the two have an amazing chemistry of hatred that really creates great electricity for angst and adds to the overall adventures. Later it’s play for and against Mystique that makes the movie very interesting.

Ellen Page (Inception, Juno) is back as Kitty Pryde and along with Shawn Ashmore (The Following, Fringe) as Iceman/Bobby they defender what is a very gloomy and dark future for mankind and especially the Mutants who are sought out and destroyed by a sentinel-type machines that can defend against any Mutant power. It’s Kitty’s power that allows Wolverine to time travel back into the past.

Some of the new characters include Evan Peters (Kick Ass, Never Back Down) as Quicksilver who has the amazing ability to move very fast (The Flash-like) but has some very funny and wonderfully executed sequence using his speed ability very well. Now the villain in this movie is Dr. Bolivar Trask who is coyly played by Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones, Death At A Funeral) who is responsible for creating these destructive machines that kill the Mutants.

Yes, you get to see some of our favorite and familiar faces again like Storm, Halle Berry (Cloud Atlas, Extant), Beast, Nicholas Hoult (About A Boy, Jack the Giant Slayer), Bishop, Omar Sy (Mood Indigo, Jurassic World) and even some great witty cameos by Rogue, Anna Paquin (The Piano, True Blood), Daniel Cudmore (Twilight: New Moon, The Killing Machine) as Colossus, Framke Janssen (The Wolverine, A Fighting Man) as Jean Grey/Pheonix, Kelsey Grammer (Fraiser, Boss)as the older Hank/Beast and James Marsden (Hairspray, Enchanted) as Cyclops/Scott Summers.

Overall the movie is rich in character and story, although a little thick in the detailed part, but still very enjoyable to watch the team really fights a practically unbeatable enemy. John Ottman (Superman Returns, Fantastic Four) and his score are right in sync with heroism of the movie and he even tweaked the 20th Century Fox opening fanfare – something the entire audience caught and cheered for. Certainly not a disappointment as far as sequels go, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is thoroughly entertaining and character driven – with a slight story confusion only holding its pace, the whole family should have fun with this. Tell them Lorenzo at the [...] sent you!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 3, 2014 6:06 AM PDT


No Title Available

6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars “Godzilla” Was a Monster Of A Disappointment”, May 30, 2014
Back in 1954, director Hishiro Honda released “Gojira” and then two years later because of its success in 1956, it was re-released as “Godzilla” for American audiences (and world-wide) with subtitles and the insertion of an “American” character to help sell the tickets. It worked and “Godzilla” was born globally and spawned by 29 films since his first appearance in the 50’s. The originals are still great fun to watch and have story’s that hold up.

This “Godzilla” film leaves much to be desired. Let me start with the best part of the film, the design and look of the 2014 ‘Godzilla’ monster is very sleek and almost has an Anime design to it. Also, when the ‘King of Monsters’ gets angry and ‘lights up’, it was an amazing combination of very precise CG and animation. In fact the last 20 minutes of the film make up for the first 90 minutes of the movie somewhat and are very interestingly choreographed between Godzilla and the two other mutant monsters bent on mating and reproducing while destroying San Francisco in the process.

Now where the movie falls short? Story, realism for the suspension-of-disbelief and anyone to actually care about and nothing that screenwriter Max Borenstein could have done would have made it less boring. It’s a good hour and fifteen minutes before even a ‘hint’ of Godzilla is seen in full frame. It wasn’t an exciting build up and it created no anticipation – in fact it was just plain boring.

Even the amazing Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Argo) as the miss-understood scientist and Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Inception) as the scientist studying ‘monsters’ and only person to start understanding and supporting Godzilla’s efforts (surprise) couldn’t save this film.

There are two standout (at least notable) performances however are of note for me. David Strathairm (The Bourne Ultimatum, Lincoln) did a really nice job as the military Admiral doing what American military types do in these types of movies – shoot first – don’t even bother to ask questions at any time. But he seems to present a side and edge that makes you think he’s the first of the military types who eventually ‘gets’ Godzilla and what he/she represents. (I’m never quite clear about the gender of Godzilla.)

Also, Aaron Taylor Johnson (Kick Ass, Savages) plays the older version of Cranston son who joins the military but sees his father’s insanity is really about a true phenomenon and learns that sometimes the unbelievable can be really true. Nice performance and sincerity in his delivery.

Overall this is another good made-for-TV film but certainly lacks the stamina for any return views or long term conversations. Wait for NETFLIX or Blu-Ray on this one – but at least the Godzilla franchise is not dead. Please do yourself a favor and see the first four original films – and although they were cheaply made, they all had story and characters you were cheering and booing for! Something this new “Godzilla” had very little of.


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