Little Buddy Review: ‘The Muppets Most Wanted’

muppets most wanted poster

                I made it absolutely clear in my review a few years back that I loathed the first installment of the new Muppets.  It was boring, used the cameo appearances with too much self awareness and overuse and of course had the stupid liberal talking points about who is evil in the world, big oil of course.  Yet it was used in such an over handed way that it made no sense.  Would Los Angeles really let a freaking oil man take over a building in the middle of the city and then let him drill for oil…IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY?  Sometimes the stupidity of the liberal mind just to preach to their audience is staggering.  Regardless of this I decided to go to the sequel because there didn’t look like there was an agenda this time.  So did that make any difference in the new generation of Muppets that is about Judd Apatow humor, sexual innuendo and a built in disdain for a big chunk of their audience or was it more of the same?

                Picking up right where the first one left off, the Muppets find themselves together again and wondering what they should do with their show.  Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) suggests to them a world tour that he would co-manage with Kermit.  Though Kermit is reluctant and would rather polish their acts, he is convinced to do the tour by the rest of the troupe.  Meanwhile, in a gulag in Siberia, the world’s most dangerous frog, Constantine, has escaped and plans on taking Kermit’s place while sending Kermit to jail for his crimes, which should be easy because they look so much alike.  Dominic and Constantine stage the new Muppets show world tour in different countries always next to their target to steal clues that will ultimately help them steal the crown jewels.  Kermit on the other hand is trying to figure out why his friends seem to have forgotten him as he gets used to life in the gulags.

                First off, much better than the first one, but still lacks the heart of the earlier films that I grew up on.  Voice acting and puppetering, while all good, but just don’t really bring anything new to the universe.   I think the use of CGI for some scenes instead of the inventive way Jim Henson would get his Muppets to do the impossible also takes you out of the universe of the Muppets.  The use of cameos again is overused and to little to no effect to the audience.  For example, one celebrity shows up and is very aware they are doing a cameo and points it out to the audience; it’s awful and not funny at all.  The original movies made such good use of the cameos that they were memorable.  Today they are there because that’s what everyone remembers from the originals and they are some of the worst parts of the movie.


                I’m thinking because of the way the first one was received, Disney decided that maybe you don’t want to do a media blitz where Muppet characters make fun of people.  There is absolutely no liberal sucker punches, no stupid liberal message, no media interviews where conservatives are made fun of, just a story that is meant to be fun and entertaining.  And it is, for the most part, especially the first 45 minutes or so.  After that though, it gets boring to an unnecessary extent.  I found myself as anxious to leave as my son did.  There were some really funny parts, especially from a scene with Kermit and Stanley Tucci (the only cameo that works), but the film seems to hit the brakes pretty hard and slowly crawl to the end.  The story wants to bring home the theme of family and being there for each other but it is never fully fledged out properly and is hurried along in the last few minutes.

                I just have to face the fact that the Muppets I knew and loved are really gone.  It will never be the same and I wish this would make them stop.  This one did have its moments, but when you look at the movie as a whole, they are not enough to save it from being something that’s just running through the motions hoping to make a lot of money.  Ah well, at least we still have the first four movies, original television shows and holiday specials to fall back on.

2 stars out of 4

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Terrific Trailer Tuesday: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

x men days of future past poster

             Are we seeing one of the biggest movies of the year or Bryan Singer’s latest flop?  Judge for yourself below.

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Review: ‘Justice League: War’

justice league war poster

                A few years ago, DC Comics decided it was time to do a reboot of their famous comic book superheroes, from Superman to Aquaman and everyone in between in a run called The New 52.  They wanted to make the characters more “accessible” to a new generation and apparently that meant to make all of their characters, save Batman, selfish, egotistical jerks with hardly any redeeming value.  Who wants that in a hero?  Then again, what would you expect in the age of Obama?  When you’re taught by aged hippie parents and grandparents, teachers, television shows, movies, that you are the best thing to ever grace the human race, deserve a trophy for showing up, there are no consequences for your moronic decisions and shouldn’t be held accountable for anything because it is someone else fault…yep…sounds like the times we live in.  So, DC got it right there, but it makes for extremely boring storytelling and gives the “new” generation no one to look up to.  This movie puts all of this front and center for probably the worst DC comics’ animation movie to date.

                In Gotham City, a giant monster is kidnapping people and the City is blaming the Batman (Jason O’Mara).  Green Lantern (Justin Kirk) shows up in the city to help a woman who is not being abducted by Batman but by some alien creature who begins to attack the Green Lantern.  Batman shows up suddenly and saves Green Lantern and the two pursue the creature into the sewers where it explodes and leaves behind an odd alien box.  Another box shows up being delivered by Barry Allen aka The Flash (Christopher Gorham) to a government lab to be studied.  Batman and Green Lantern travel to Metropolis to question Superman (Alan Tudyk) about the alien box only to be attacked by him resulting in a small battle between the three before Superman agrees to help.  Meanwhile, Wonder Woman (Michelle Monaghan) is an ambassador to the United States hoping to meet the President to discuss peace.  They all find themselves being drawn together to fight the alien boxes creator, Darkseid (Steven Blum) who is planning an invasion on earth.

justice league war still

                Let’s talk about the art and voice work here before I begin to tear into this travesty.   The look of the film is fine and has some great action sequences that flow nicely.  Besides the stories horrible nature, it is the voice cast that is one of the worst as well.  Kirk’s Green Lantern has lines that seem like he is trying to make Hal Jordan, once one of the bravest men in the DC comic world, as an arrogant high school junior.  Alan Tudyk is unrecognizable as Superman and thankfully so, because it didn’t make me doubt he is almost always awesome in everything else.  Both Gorham and O’Mara are one note and really don’t flesh out the potential the characters of the Flash and Batman had.  The worst though is Michelle Monaghan, who is a great actor, but reads her lines just like she is reading from a piece of paper.  Whether her character, Wonder Woman, is calmly talking to a crowd, charging an enemy or feigning attraction to Superman, it is all in the same boring tone.  Actually in all cases, I blame it on the director, because these are all good to great actors who got George Lucas type direction.

                What a complete waste of time it was watching this horrible movie.  If anyone was ever introduced to these heroes for the first time through this film or the New 52 run in the comics…I cannot imagine why they would stick around.  These characters again save Batman who stays practically the same, are shallow, pretentious and hard to like.  Superman is horrible to people and seems to think that it’s an alright trait in a hero.  Wonder Woman is a spoiled and entitled brat with no concept of what a true hero is.  Green Lantern is the new wise cracking leap before you look guy and it doesn’t fit him at all.  Cyborg is created because he’s a teenager with daddy issues who throws a fit in a high security lab and thinks that trashing his dads’ project is justified even though it definitely looks like something you don’t want to throw a fit around.  All these heroes have lost what made them great and likeable in the first place, sacrificing, believing the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, humility, honor and integrity…all gone.  This is trash, but what do you expect when liberalism runs rampant?  You get wishy washy trash that’s what.

                Add a nice little sucker punch to the Tea Party and people who might disagree with the current government that added nothing to the story and you have another movie to pass on.  Tell a good story, leave your stupid ignorant liberal agenda out and make a hero or heroes the audience wants to root for, not make fun of.

1 star out of 4

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Little Buddy Review: ‘Despicable Me 2′

despicable-me-2 poster

                Even though Pixar seems to be the reigning champ for all things animation when it comes to family films, there have been some very good ones outside of them.  Dreamworks has given us a lot over the years as well with only a handful of true hits like the Madagascar, Shrek and Kung Fu Panda franchises.  It is Illumination that is bringing up the rear so far with fifty fifty on what they’ve made so far.  Hop and the Lorax had decent reviews but will really not stand the test of time, but it’s one true franchise, Despicable Me, looks like it may be the big winner to come out of this company.  It was an out of nowhere hit when its first film came out.  It had only one true star voicing a character and it was a television star at that named Steve Carell.  In its initial release it made nearly four times its original budget, ensuring that it would get a sequel.  So how was that sequel?

                A mysterious flying magnet arrives over an arctic laboratory out of nowhere.  The machine steals a serum that changes cute cuddly animals into nasty mutated animals with a hunger for anything in their path and disappears without a trace.  Meanwhile, reformed criminal mastermind Gru (Steve Carell) and his adopted three girls are living happily in their neighborhood.   Gru and his minions are trying to start a legitimate business in jam production and the girls continue their bliss as a family, at least the two oldest.  The youngest, Agnes (Elsie Fisher) is struggling with her desire to have a mom in her life.   Agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig) helps in recruiting Gru in the Anti-Villain League to see who is behind the serum theft by using his connections with previous villains to find out who, in a local mall, may be the culprit.  Lucy and Gru investigate a few store owners including a familiar looking Mexican restaurant owner named Eduardo (Benjamin Pratt).  All the while, a mysterious figure is kidnapping numerous minions for unknown reasons.  Will Lucy and Gru find the super villain before they fulfill their plan and maybe fall in love in the process?

                While the first Despicable Me was a huge hit, I thought it was decent but not great.  This sequel however, for me, far surpasses its predecessor.   It looks better, the story is richer and there are a lot more funny bits.  The voice acting, as in the previous movie, is great with Carell and Fisher’s Agnes being the big highlights.  Kristen Wiig, who was in the first movie as the orphanage manager, is here in a new character and she brings the right amount of humor and innocence to her role that compliments Carrel very well.  Benjamin Bratt is a good addition and the minions are as funny as ever.  The look of the film seems brighter than the first one which is a big plus and the animation style continues to improve bringing much more depth to the world its set in.  The story however is the best part of the film.


                Like the first film, this one centers on what should be important in life.  Two of those importance’s are doing the right thing and the importance of relationships, especially familial ones.  Here though it explodes in a non-typical Hollywood way in supporting traditional family values.  What is missing in the girl’s life?  A mother and they know it and Gru begins to feel it as well and the story emphasizes this.  The girls need something more than half of a parental family and though they love their adoptive father, they see that something is missing to make them feel like a whole family.  Better yet, when it wouldn’t have been surprising to see them go another way with this and have a gay agenda to the film, they stress the traditional family as the solution.  Throughout the film family is important and the girls, especially Agnes, sees Lucy as the possible final piece to make their family complete.  Gru begins to see this too and a sweet and funny love story takes place.  It’s not only the family theme that is so great about this but the theme of good being the one that will always overcome evil.  The desire to never give up on that good goal, whatever the cost and or circumstances, is always a strong one.

                This was a great film for the entire family and an even better sequel than we usually get with animation films…I’m looking at you Ice Age.  Give it a shot if you haven’t.

3 stars out of 4

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Little Buddy Review: ‘The Lego Movie’

lego movie poster

Spoilers O Plenty

                I’m not sure there is a man among my generation that does not know the incredible awesomness of Lego.  I was partial to the castle series that had the big grey castles and the Robin Hood forest hideouts.  There was even a time where my brother and I grabbed my parent’s camcorder and tried to make a Lego movie of our own with stop motion that didn’t really look all that great.  After looking online at what one of our favorite sets is going for nowadays, we could be raking in the dough.  I have a giant carton full of Legos from my childhood that I can’t wait to break open when my son is old enough to enjoy them with me.  I’m now wondering why it took so long for there to be a Lego movie, but better late than never.  So how was the product after the long wait?

                Master Builder Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) is being attacked by Lord Business (Will Farrell) and his robots in order to steal the all powerful Kragle.  Lord Business is successful, but Vitruvius tells him about a prophecy that the Special will find the Piece of Resistance that will stop the Kragles power.  Eight years later we meet Emmet (Chris Pratt), an overly ordinary construction worker who soon finds himself stuck, quite literally, with the Piece of Resistance when chasing down a beautiful trespasser named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks).  He soon finds himself being chased by Bad Cop (Liam Neeson) and soon meets Vitruvius who tells Emmet he is the Special.  Emmet and group, joined also by Princess Unikitty (Alison Brie), Benny the Spaceman (Charlie Day) and Batman (Will Arnett) try to stop Lord Business before he destroys the world as they know it.

                Before getting into the meat of my review I wanted to express extreme disappointment in fellow conservative reviews and some Christian ones who have stated that this movie is anti-capitalism, big business is bad, propaganda.  Just like their reaction to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs being “global warming propaganda” which it wasn’t, there was a knee jerk reaction by some to label this film some liberal message film that it wasn’t.  Hollywood may be full of a bunch of intellectually inept people with barely a high school education who love to preach to and look down on those who disagree with them, but when it comes to their preachiness they are not subtle.  They hit you over the head with it, whether it is anti-war tripe like Green Zone or universal healthcare/the rich are evil nonsense like Elysium, they hit the audience over the head ad nauseum for ninety minutes or more.  There was none of that here and if a scene of overpriced coffee is what you consider propaganda then you’re searching for a reason to roll your eyes at Hollywood, an entity that deserves more and more of that each day, but not here.  The film is about something entirely different and it is extremely touching and a wonderful message.

lego movie still

                It is very unusual to have a movie released this early in the year that is a tremendous hit, but here it is in the form of a very family friendly film.  It has a great story, phenomenal look and tight pacing as well as being one of the better voice cast’s for an animated film in quite some time.  Chris Pratt brings his innocent everyman character from Parks and Recreation and gives him even more heart in this film.  Morgan Freeman is also great, no surprise there for voiceover work, but he is also very funny when he needs to be.  Adding more to the fun is Charlie Day who brings the Spaceman Lego character we all remember to life with hilarious effect.  Alison Brie and Elizabeth Banks do a great job here as well.  The casting of Brie as the overly cheerful Unikitty who might have some anger issues was the absolute perfect choice for the character.  The decision to create this world with everything made out of Lego pieces was not only genius but very well fleshed out with every little detail, even water dropping out of a cup, being used to great effect.

                The overall story the film is one that is heartwarming and extremely touching when talking about a father/son relationship.  Here’s where I spoil the ending because I loved it and want to talk about it.  The whole movie is in a young boy’s imagination and the bad guy is how he sees his father.  Lord Business is his father, straight arrow, hard worker, plays by the rules and does not stray, there is a way provided and that’s the way you need to do it.  The father has become so rigid in his adult life that he has forgotten how to truly play with Lego’s, his imagination is gone.  It takes his son to show him what a gift imagination can be.  As the father seeks to put back together, the “proper” way, what his son has changed he finds his lost connection with his son and is sitting in front of a way to grow in their relationship.  It could be seen as the Grinch’s heart growing three times that day and it’s incredible.  He becomes heartbroken in how his son sees him and the way Will Farrell plays it on the screen is great.  You see the pain in his eyes in the way he has affected his sons view of him, which is a man who is a detached and coldly matter of fact father.  His son craves his father’s attention and he realizes he needs to give that to him.  It was a powerful scene.  The story is also about imagination and the fantastic theme that when one has a truly special quality that should be celebrated, you encourage that in them.  It’s a great meaning and a great theme to share.  But still greater is showing how a father needs to connect with their child or vice versa.  That is poignant and welcome in a society that, more and more, seeks to tear down the traditional and right view of what a family is.  It’s a rare and welcome thing in today’s cinema.

                Great film with no presence of anything offensive.  Funny, touching and a great time alone, with a friend or with the family.

3 and ½ stars out of 4

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Review: ‘Lone Survivor’


               It was almost a full decade of films featuring America’s military where practically all had to do with how bad they were during a certain president’s time in office.  Fast forward just a few years after he left office and not only were films a little bit more lenient on the military as bad guys plots, you also started to see glowing articles about our military, their families and their suffering during war times in celebrity magazines and news segments.  You’d think, better late than never, but you’d be wrong, because regardless of the man in office, these people and their families deserve our respect and gratitude.  This is something Hollywood of the last 40 or so years seems to only have when a democrat is in the White House.  The movies that have shown a good light on the military have been more readily available and produced over the last few years…and they’ve been good.  Act of Valor, Battle: Los Angeles, and others given respect to our military and Lone Survivor tries to continue that trend.  Does it succeed?

               A team of SEAL’s in Afghanistan are about to be sent on a mission called “Operation Red Wings” to scout out if an Taliban terrorist leader is in a nearby village.  The team is led by Lt. Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) and includes Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster).  During the reconnaissance, the men are found by a group of sheep herders who they capture and debate amongst themselves whether to let them go or not.  When they let them go, the herder’s younger kid runs to tell the Taliban about the Americans and so begins the fight for the SEAL’s lives as they try their best to protect each other against a small army of enemies chasing them.

               Peter Berg continues to show that he is, or at least should be, the go to man for military movies where the American military is seen as they should be, self sacrificing heroes who care more about others than they do themselves.  Here, he gives us his best film to date and it is a heart wrenching real life story of four men whose bond was strong and faithful to each other during extraordinary circumstances.  The direction of the film is amazing, getting A plus performances out of every actor in the film.  The cinematography for the whole movie, especially the combat scenes, looks incredible and you feel the tension through the screen.  The stand out role comes from Ben Foster, which is no surprise here, who gives a very real and emotional role some genuine gravitas and humanity.

lone-survivor still

               Prepare to watch a difficult film and yet be extremely touched and moved that men like this still exist around a country of men who is lead by a thin skinned bully of a president who takes no responsibility for anything and filled with hipster, wussified whiners with their hands out.  Real men exist and they know the meaning of loyalty, friendship and sacrifice and they embrace them all unflinchingly.  And yet it is sad to read that one of the reasons that decisions were made by Lt. Murphy were because he did not want his brothers in arms derided by the American liberal media and seeing that they were punished.  This film is not for those rich hypocritical elitists, which is most likely why there were no Oscar noms.  This film was made as a love letter to the military that makes hard decisions, risk their lives, even for those who spit on them.  It is a movie that shows that these men are not just numbers to be added to the ticker in the lower right hand corner of CNN.  These men left behind loving families because they had the calling to defend the defenseless and secure the freedom of the grateful and the ingrates alike.  Thank you Peter Berg and everyone involved for making this movie unashamedly and without any political agenda, just to show that stories of courage and true sacrifice deserve to be told even today.

               If you stay through the credits, you will tear up.  It could be hard to watch in some parts for people and is gory in a lot of parts as well. Well worth the watch if you want to help support this type of film.  

3 and ½ stars out of 4

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Quick Reviews

                Here’s a list of a few recent viewings I have gone through lately that I didn’t or didn’t want to review for whatever reason.  Hopefully I can give a short review that may peak your interests to either watch or pass on a film you might have been considering.  There can be a mix of newer/older movies with a few insights.

Young Adult


                Elitist drivel from one of the most overhyped and untalented screenwriters in the last few decades, Diablo Cody.  She has no talent except for…never mind…zero talent.  This film was boring and wasted the talents of practically its entire cast.  Although Patten Oswald seems like a intolerant jerk in real life, he is a talented actor that continues to show he isn’t just the chubby comedian.  The movie is pointless and ends on an even more pointless note with the main character learning nothing and still thinking she is better than everyone else.  Only redeeming thing about the film was making fun of liberals and their idol of pushing homosexuality on the masses.  One character is beaten because he is thought to be gay and gets national media coverage for a hate crime, until it is found out he isn’t gay and everyone drops the story.  Pretty much sums up real life.  Ignore this film like I should have continued to do.  1 and ½ stars out of 4



                Just about everything goes wrong for this film.  The story is bland and has no real depth to it, which I know is asking too much from the minds behind Cars, but at least that film had some gems in it.  Voice acting has to be some of the worst assembled in years for these types of films with no one standing out but all of them boring and unmemorable.  Animation is fine, but characters bring nothing to the story and you could care less about the outcome of any of them.  Kids will love it, parents will wish they didn’t.  1 and ½ stars out of 4


ripd poster

                It wasn’t great, but it definitely didn’t deserve the hate it received last year during its theatrical run.    While a decent concept and two stars that can be entertaining to very entertaining, it was just not executed well.  The story does not have any sort of coherence or the ability to draw the audience in with interesting characters.  Instead it tries to dazzle with odd acting choices and special effects that look like they were done about ten years ago.  The movie I was hoping for when I first heard of this project isn’t even here which is a shame because it had a lot of potential.  See it if you’re a Jeff Bridges fan or just want a movie on in the background while you clean the house, but don’t watch it if you’re expecting stupid fun…it isn’t really even that.  1 and ½ stars out of 4

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Hey Buddy’s 2014 Movies to Get Excited About

                A lot later than I had hoped, but here is the list of movies for you to look forward to this year.  Here we go:

10.          The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21st)

mocking jay poster

                The third book, for me, was a big letdown.  Dragged on in places and didn’t seem as grounded as the first two, but I hold out hope for the last two movies.  As Catching Fire was a vast improvement on the first film, I have hope that this film will continue to be upgraded to the audience’s great pleasure.  It will be odd to watch the first part of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s last role, but as usual for him, I expect greatness and will not be disappointed.  The bad thing?  How glaring it will be that this splitting of the last book will be unneeded.

9.            Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1st)

guardians of the galaxy

                I had never heard of this comic book series before this movie started filming.  Since I have liked practically all of the recent Marvel movies, I really want to see this as a huge fan of Christ Pratt.  Who knows if he is as nice as he seems in his role as Andy in Parks and Rec. but I like to think he is so I want to see him succeed.  I’m sure this will be a fun summer movie where the brain can be checked at the door and that isn’t always bad.

8.            The Expendables 3 (August 15th)

expendables 3

                What self respecting man wouldn’t look forward to what could be the last film in the series that was made specifically for men who loved eighties action films?  The addition of Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes and Kelsey Grammer are all just icing on the cake.  The only bad thing is the group of unneeded younger characters to play the more “tech savvy” roles.  Forget that, should have just added more Chuck Norris and find a way to bring back Van Damme!

7.            Unbroken (December 25th)


                The book is one of the best biographies I have ever read.  Couldn’t put it down!  I hope that my fears of Angelina Jolie doing her first directorial effort to bring the awesome story of Olympic track star turned WWII POW Louis Zamperini are unfounded.  If she messes up what could be one of the best movies of the year…I just…I just can’t imagine.

6.            X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23rd)

days of future past poster

                I am still holding out enough hope that this won’t be a far cry from the awesome reboot that was X-Men: First Class because Singer is back in the director’s chair that it is on this list.  The idea sounds great on paper, but who knows about the execution.  First trailer was good enough and some of the new stills that have come out show promise, but even though it is number six here, who knows what I will think come the end of May.  Here’s to hoping!

5.            Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22nd)

sin city 2

                The first Sin City was in my top ten list for best comic book adaptations because of its creativity and adherence to the source material.  This was even on my list of movies to look forward to last year when it was originally schedueled to be released.  I expect this one to live up to the previous and hold out hope that it could exceed it.  Not much has been released on it except for a still here and there, but I have been waiting for this one for years.

4.            Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11th)

planet of the apes poster

                The first one on this reboot/prequel was one of my favorite films of 2011.  It was one of the better sci-fi films in the last few years not only because of its premise but because the characters and the story drew us in as audience members in a great way.  I am hoping for more of that here and it’s got Gary Oldman in it, huge plus in my book.

3.            The Lego Movie (February 7th)

lego movie poster

                The movie that the original directors of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs left that franchise for.  I love that movie and its humor and it looks like it transferred well here.  Why has it taken so long for this to happen, it seems like it should have happened over a decade ago, but better late than never.  The voice cast sounds great and the previews have shown that there will be a lot of laughs just like Cloudy.

2.            The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7th)

grand budepest poster

                Wes Anderson is awesome and so far can only do one bad movie…that borefest set on a train in India.  2012’s Moonrise Kingdom was awesome as was most of his films and this one seems to keep the new streak going.  A great all star cast and a newbie to the Anderson crew in Ralph Fiennes looks genius.  I am expecting some great quirky humor surrounded by an even quirkier story. 

1.            Interstellar (November 7th)

interstellar poster

                Yes, the first teaser trailer left something to be desired, but that in no way hastened my excitement for this film.  As a hug fan of Christopher Nolan’s, a man who has to date not made a bad film should be set for another big hit.  Add to that that Matthew Mcconaughey and a story that we may not be fully aware of but nonetheless seems intriguing, I am set to enjoy this one to the hilt.  Expect great cinematography, acting and pacing.  November can’t get here fast enough.

Honorable Mentions:  Draft Day (April 11th), The Amazing Spider- Man 2 (May 2nd), The Edge of Tomorrow (June 6th)

                That’s it for this year.  What are you looking forward to?

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Hey Buddy’s Worst of 2013

                All right, last week you got the best, this week you get the worst.  Enjoy!

10.          Anything from Tyler Perry

                Can someone please stop this man from making any more movies or television shows, he is a horrible story teller, director, screenwriter and actor.  No more please.   I’m not going to even waste my time on finding a poster for this one.

9.            Only God Forgives


                I did not hate the movie only because it looks phenomenal, but it is here on this list after being a huge disappointment after Refn’s Drive.  The story is boring and slow paced, which could have been intentional.  The characters are tedious and one note with the exception of Kristen Scott Thomas’s role.  This had the promise of something good but ultimately failed miserably.

Review here

8.            Trance


                Another movie that seemed to have some promise after trailers started popping up.  But in the end it was another tiresome film that tried to think it was being smart but was actually just a practice in mediocrity.  The characters were horrible, not just in the actor’s portrayal but in none of the characters having any redeeming value to the viewer at all.  They are all bad people getting away with bad behavior and in the end learn nothing about their actions and are perfectly fine in continuing in their atrocious behavior. 

Review here

7.            This is the End

this is the end brandon sostre

                Another “Best Comedy of the Year” that really wasn’t.  Wasted talent (with the exception of Robinson who has very little) and most likely millions of dollars to make a subpar “comedy” that is really just dirty joke after dirty joke.  Throw that all together with the usual Hollywood laziness when it comes to the Bible and then twist the Christian message into some man centered just be good and everything will be fine religion.  I say it every year, but I need to stop listening to the hype surrounding comedies that are always huge let downs.  Hopefully I can stick to that desire this year…

Review here

6.            Evil Dead

evil dead poster 2013

                Mind-numbing!  How can you say that about a remake of a horror classic?  Well here is what you do.  Change the story to some insipid drug detox amongst friends, make the detoxy and everyone else completely and utterly unlikeable and then for no reason at all make the detoxy the hero.  Oh…never mind, the reason was feminism and all the nonsense that comes with it.  If you want the character to be a heroine, just do it outright, don’t pull garbage like this.  I didn’t even finish the film because of all of this.  Way to spit on the memory of the original guys.

Review here

5.            Jack the Giant Slayer


                The movie that continued my nervousness at Bryan Singer returning to the Xmen world as a director was this atrocity.  Superman Returns was a huge misfire, Valkyrie was a welcomed return to form and then this one came out.  Generic story, decent to bad CGI, bad acting and yet another tiresome film.  You feel every minute of its runtime and it hurts.  What a waste of time.

Review here

4.            Oz the Great and Powerful

oz great and powerful poster

                Another gigantic snooze fest from a good director.  I love Sam Raimi, he was the original creator of the remade number six on this list, but here…I don’t know what happened.  Maybe it was the overuse of CGI and bright colors that give you a headache or most of the miscasting that seemed to have happened here.  The story was interesting enough as an idea, but the implementation left you wanting.  Outside of being “pretty” people, I have no idea why Kunis or Franco are as big as they are in Hollywood.

Review here

3.            The Great Gatsby


                Finally getting to this film and I am realizing that this column every year makes me angry.  Angry that I wasted time and angry remembering the garbage I’ve watched over the last year.  This one should have been a no brainer for me to skip because I hated the book and the original movie but it was Baz directing.  That means it should have been at least fun to watch.  Nope, it was as dull as everything that has come before.  Even the talents of Joel Edgerton, the only good thing about the film, could save this movie from poorness. 

Review here

2.            The Kings of Summer


                Couldn’t wait to see this film because of the seemingly brilliant way it was marketed.  Then I saw it and the marketing had to be brilliant to have anyone pay to see this garbage.  More youth as adult themes that are absurd and miserable are spewed out of this film.  A turd of a kid acts like a turd throughout the film, changing nothing by the end of it and we are supposed to love him for it.  This movie made me really angry.

Review here

1.                   Gangster Squad

gangster squad poster

                 I had extremely high hopes for this movie when I saw the first trailer.  It seems like it had been awhile since we had a decent old school gangster film and this looked like it could be it.  Looks like we will still be waiting for that.  Story was all over the place and did not gel well.  Acting was very poor, especially from Gosling and Stone.  The movie was already tainted because the producers felt the need to cut out what looked like an incredible scene because a coward opened fire in a crowded Colorado movie theater.  The biggest disappointment for me this year by far.  This had all the marking of being a good movie…alas…

Review here

               There you go, stay as far away as possible.  Next week, the films to look forward to in 2014!

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Hey Buddy’s Best of 2013

                It’s that time of year here at Hey Buddy Movies, where I get to decide what the best movies of the year were.  You, as always can disagree, but you’d be wrong…again.  This year was actually really difficult to decide on a list.  As the year came to a close, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to find a top ten because this really did seem like an anemic year for great movies.  I thought I was going to have to put movies on here that I only gave two stars just to make the list a nice round number.  I even thought of only making this list the five best, but I grew up with top ten lists and I like that tradition.  So without further delay, here we go

10.          The World’s End

worlds end poster

                I still have yet to post a review on this because I saw it during that busy season of gift giving/receiving made me very behind on my reviews.  Nevertheless, while this film may not live up to the sheer greatness of the previous films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, it was yet another success for the Corneto trilogy makers.  It was full of the usual movie geek humor that rocketed the first two to instant classics, but this time with a little darker twist.  While not full of the fun and games as the others, The World’s End not only brought some inspired funny moments but a tighter story more interested in character development than the next gag.  It would be great if they decided to all get together and try another film, a western would be awesome, but this could be the end.  If this is the end of this collaboration, it was a good way to go out.

9.            The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

catching fire poster

                Far surpassing the first installment, this Hunger Games sequel gave us something that was more focused and entertaining.  Not only that, but the special effects were much better as was the acting from the cast, both old and new.  Just like the last film it really showed what the evils of dictatorship is or when the State is in full control.  The oppression, lies, corruption, suppression of the truth, propaganda and murder are an incredibly scary thing in real life let alone a movie from a book written for teenagers.  This was a far superior movie than the first one in practically every way and in the end left us excited for more.

Review here

8.            World War Z

world war z poster

                Plagued by rewrites, reshoots, added filming dates and changing the source material made this film seem like it would be one of the biggest bombs of the year.  Knowing all this I went in expecting not to be overly impressed and honestly had some low expectations which probably helped me enjoy it to a very high degree.  Yes there were plot holes, certain decisions didn’t make sense, but dang it, it was a fun summer popcorn movie.  It didn’t have a completely new way to feature the zombie film, but the way in which they had the zombies interact with the world around them seemed energizing to the viewers.  World War Z was filled with multiple scenes of intense suspense and thrilling action while also supplying interesting commentary on the civilization of man sprinkled here and there with a laugh or two. 

Review here

7.            Wolverine

wolverine poster

                The first stand alone Wolverine wasn’t great.  Most people hated it, I thought it had its good parts, but when a multimillion dollar movie spends two dollars on CGI claws, you don’t get a lot of cheerful viewers.  Fast forward a few years and man did they finally seem to get almost all of it right with The Wolverine.   The story was tighter, acting was way better and we finally got CGI that didn’t look like someone drew on the film stock with a crayon.  Hugh Jackman is Wolverine and will always be no matter who eventually replaces him in future installments/reboots.  He gets the character and has a love for it that many actors don’t experience with their roles.  The addition of newer characters like Yashida, Shingen and Yukio were just as good and the actors that portrayed them were just as entertaining to watch on the screen.  The last battle was something that may not have been the best one yet for the franchise, but the movie as a whole did what the makers promised it would do and that was wow and entertain its audience.

Review here

6.            Iron Man 3

iron man 3 poster

                The first of the Marvel films since the box office behemoth that was The Avengers was this highly anticipated film.  A lot of uproar was made about a certain twist that made a lot of people hate it from then on.  Me?  I loved it!  Not just the twist but the whole movie was everything I expected it to be…fun.  Robert Downey Jr. hit it out of the park again, as did Ben Kingsley.  The story was different and would be a suiting end of a franchise if that was the way they were going to go with it.  Some also hated that Tony Stark spent most of the movie outside of his suit.  I thought it developed the character more than being just a mere man in a suit and that he may not always win.  The character needed this type of development after the last few movies.  While it would have been great to have Jon Favreau finish out the trilogy, Shane Black was still a phenomenal choice as the successor to the franchise.   Though it will happen one day, the thought of anyone but Robert Downey Jr. playing this character was fully cemented in this film.  Here we got another great addition to the Marvel universe as well as comic book movies as a whole.

Review here

5.            Man of Steel

man of steel poster

                This was a huge gamble after the horrendous nature of Superman Returns.  You had a director who is mostly know for slow motion action scenes rather than depth.  A reboot that tells the same origin story that we’ve seen or read before a hundred times and a star that would don the cape that not many people knew of.  Christopher Nolan was involved, but not to an encouraging extent.  Then that first full trailer came out and all bets were off, this could be a good film.  And it was!  Great acting came from everyone involved, especially from Henry Cavill, Kevin Costner and Michael Shannon.  It had touching moments as well as great action scenes.  It showed that the character of Superman can still be refreshing while maintaining its familiarity with the audience in an exceptional way.  A big task was undertaken and a triumph was the outcome.  For those of you that hated it because a certain someone killed a certain someone else…maybe read some of the source material as well as watching previous incarnations with the number 2 after them.

Review here

4.            The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

walter mitty poster

                If a movie makes you think about it several days afterward, you know you just saw something special.  Yes, it did have some acting and story elements that felt out of place, but dang is it some inventive filmmaking that looks extremely good.  Most, if not all, of the scenes of Mitty’s imagination do not slow the story down or even throw the viewer off.  They conform perfectly to the pace of the movie and are in no way a distraction.  It showed that Ben Stiller has got some dramatic acting talent in that Zoolander frame and showcased that Kristen Wiig can keep up with him.  While it did not fully engage in the philosophy of what should make us happy outside of our own needs being met, it was still a good movie to think about after the credits started to roll.  When a movie makes you think about meaning of life, life choices, etc., that’s not a horrible two hours spent in my opinion, whether they got it wrong or right.

Review here

3.            Monsters University

monsters university poster

                I actually liked this one better than the original only because it connected with me more than the first.  Everyone likes the underdog story and here it is done incredibly well with life lessons that ring true scattered throughout.  The most important ones were being there for your friends when they need you, humility and hard work being a good thing.  The comedy was just as solid as the story and the animation was probably one of the better looking Pixar movies in the last few years.  The colors and depth of each scene popped off the screen and was a continuous flurry of candy for the eyes.  It is not only a clean movie for the family but had less scary moments for little ones than the first one did.  Good story, humor, animation and real world themes that connect with everyone make this an incredibly huge winner in my book.

Review here

2.            American Hustle

american hustle poster

                Out of all the movies that I saw this year and enjoyed, it was this one in particular that had me thinking about it for many days afterward.  It may have felt long, but the story was engrossing and the characters were interesting.  The film looked great, but not only that; this was a true character driven movie, where there is lots of dialogue, character development and so much to do in each scene to make them spark.  It showed that Bradley Cooper wasn’t just a guy who can do dumb comedies, but really has some acting talent.  Christian Bale is one of those actors that will most likely win another Oscar and should at least be nominated for this one.  I said it in my review and I’ll say it again here, the moral ambiguity was the only thing that held this film back from true greatness.  I would have preferred some sort of call to a true change for the good instead of just ignoring the past.  Nevertheless, it was masterfully directed, acted and it looked incredible.

Review here

1.            Mud

mud  first poster

                I’m not sure who slapped Matthew Mcconaughey with a severe sense of going back to his dramatic roots, but somebody find that person and thank him for me.  He’s always been a good actor, but just seemed to be doing too many romcoms, most of which I like and seemed to be squandering his talents.  This movie not only showed us how good he can be with a meaty role, it showcased what it looks like to have a film filled with talent from young to old.  Every character here feels real and tortured and you connect to them very easily.  The film itself feels the same way as you sit and watch and get the strong sense of heat and dryness as the beautifully filmed movie unfolds. Its story is touching as well as well paced and is able to connect with its audience in a personal way.   Hands down the best film of 2013!

Review here

                Well, there you have it.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Next week I hope to have the list of the truly awful films that unfortunately made it to a cinema near you.

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