Unbroken is rated PG-13 but really should have gotten an R rating. It's very difficult to watch because it is quite brutal.
Although all the publicity is about the main character, Louis Samperino, the story is actually about both him and his fellow soldier Phil spending six weeks stranded in the ocean and then two years in a Japanese prison camp. You watch the men get thinner and thinner as they drift, and then get horribly treated in the prison camp. The movie is slow, but I guess that was the point, that their days were endless and hopeless.
You might like Unbroken but my sister and I did not care for it.
The only time Big Eyes will remind you that it's a Tim Burton film is during the fantasy sequences when Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) keeps seeing humans with huge creepy staring eyes. Big Eyes is the story of Margaret and Walter Keane, who created and sold the sad-eyed children paintings popular in the 1960s. (Admit it, you've all owned at least one of these or had one on your wall as a child.) I've learned that the movie is not entirely factual, but it is very pretty and very entertaining and the ending is quite funny. I quite enjoyed the movie.
Exodus: Gods and Kings is much better than its predecessor Noah, both plot-wise and acting-wise, not to mention the special effects. There are references to both The Ten Commandments and Prince of Egypt. I liked how the various first sets of plagues were linked to one another. I've read that in this version, the parting of the Red Sea was caused by a tsunami, but it's really not obvious. I kept expecting an earthquake but there was none.
There are also references to The Day After Tomorrow, and, of all things, Lost Horizon (the entrance marker).
I recommend this movie for at least one viewing!
I really liked Mortdecai, starring Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor. Its humor is very, very deadpan and there are a lot of sight gags. A few of the sexual jokes got annoying after awhile. The movie is a very mild R.
The movie is about a broke art collector hired by the British police to locate a stolen painting. Since there were several copies of this painting that kept appearing and disappearing, the plot reminded me What's Up, Doc? and its umpteen suitcases.
Black or White is a gentle, wonderful movie about the custody battle of a little orphaned girl between her maternal grandfather (Kevin Costner) and her paternal grandmother (Octavia Butler). There are some laugh-out-loud jokes in the beginning of the movie, but the film turns more serious in the second half during the court scenes.
I highly recommend this movie. Even though it's a little more than 2 hours long, I didn't notice the time passing at all.
The Duff is a teen version of Bridget Jones's Diary, Muriel's Wedding or My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It stars Mae Whitman, who you'll remember played the very mixed up young woman Amber on Parenthood. Her character, Bianca, is a little confused in this as well. It's the story of a plain Jane trying to get (or not get) a boy's attention. The second half is more entertaining than the first half.
McFarland, USA joins other movies about a high school teacher coming into a poor school and inspiring his students (think To Sir with Love, Dangerous Minds, Take the Lead). McFarland most closely resembles Stand and Deliver, since both are about Hispanic students in California. The only difference is that, rather than Edward James Olmos teaching calculus, we have Kevin Costner coaching cross country. McFarland is a very attractive movie filmed in the town in which the story originally took place. It's a little slow in spots, though.
I wish Jupiter Ascending had moved more quickly than it does. The two main characters just aren't very likeable, and I am not fond of the actors themselves (Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum). There are subplots at the beginning that make no sense and the large family does nothing to help.
The aliens are much more interesting.
The cinematography and special effects are stunning.
By the way, the movie has nothing to do with the planet Jupiter. It's Mila Kunis's character's given name!
Normally I avoid sequels, remakes, movies based on comic books and movies based on TV series. But I love The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and so decided to see its follow-up, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
I was disappointed. First of all, if you haven't seen the original movie, you're not going to be able to keep all of the characters straight. You want to kick Sunny (Dev Patel) in the head a number of times. He's just not the dreamer he was in the first movie.
Even though the first movie was released in 2011, the new movie seems to take place about six months after the first one.
The scenes with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith together were wonderful, but there are far too few of them. If someone would make a movie of just the two of them bickering with each other and insulting everybody else, I would be happy!
Can Nicholas Sparks only write novels which have an older person telling his life story to a younger person?
That's the premise, again, with The Longest Ride. And as in The Notebook and The Best of Me, the older scenes taking place in the past are far more interesting than the current ones. Maybe that's the point?
This time, an art student meets a professional bull rider. She also meets an older dying man who wasn't interested in art himself, but his wife was. The bull riding scenes are pretty much pointless.
The movie improves in the second half, though, and I realized when the movie was over that I had enjoyed it more than I should have.