Movie Review #334: Game Change

A different take at the Obama-McCain battle

Game Change takes you to the height of the 2008 presidential elections, but instead of focusing on the eventual winner you get to witness the election at the point of view of the McCain campaign. While I’m not sure how accurate the portrayal of the events may be, I was definitely amused by the new perspective.

The film features Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Ed Harris as Senator McCain and Woody Harrelson as Schmidt, McCain’s campaign manager. The three of them brought in great performances and dabbed with make-up they make it seem so believable. It’s a roller-coaster ride of emotions as you feel both the frustration and excitement each character experiences throughout the movie – most notably Palin’s as Moore really got into character and was the best among the three. As for the story, aside from a few emotionally-intense scenes there was nothing out of the ordinary but as a complete whole it was satisfying. It should be worth your while if you give it a try, and it doesn’t really matter what your political view is. It’s more about how Palin changed the game, not how they lost the elections.

GRADE: B

Movie Review #333: Marley and Me

Realistic and emotionally powerful

Life has its up and downs and so does “Marley and Me”. It’s inconsistently interesting and emotionally contrived, but somehow Marley got to me. I’m not exactly a dog-lover but I loved how the movie realistically portrayed the strong relationship of humans and their canine pals. The story isn’t cliché at all and it made me tear at least a couple of times. But like I said with realism comes dull moments as there were about 10 minutes of boring scenes; not really a huge setback but it was noticeable at least. It’s a sweet movie with a sweet cast (Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston and of course, Marley), and I’d recommend that you go see it with your family over a long holiday.

GRADE: B

Movie Review #332: Imagine That

Just an average Eddie Murphy flick

I’ve seen a lot of Eddie Murphy films growing up and Imagine That is far from being one of his greatest works. This one’s smack dab in the middle despite its sincerity due to its hackneyed storyline. What I can say though is that Yara Shahidi, who plays Murphy’s daughter in the film, has potential to be a big star provided that she doesn’t continue her annoying tendencies. Other than that I really don’t have much to say except that it’s watchable, but don’t get your hopes up if you were expecting a truly uplifting movie.

GRADE: C+

Movie Review #331: Dumb and Dumber

A bad film worth watching

I’m not a big fan of low-brow movies, but when I see one I make sure not to criticize its stupidity and just enjoy the laughs I get from it. This one’s a classic example and while I wasn’t laughing out loud all the way it was still mildly entertaining. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are complete idiots here and since that’s what they were actually gunning for I guess you could say they nailed it. Part of the fun is having facepalm moments that the film can pull off very easily. Technically it’s a bad film, but man it’s so bad it’s good.

GRADE: B-

Movie Review #330: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

Cut 30 minutes and this would’ve been an A-movie

Once again the screening time doesn’t give JRR Tolkien’s story justice. With one book separated into three films, it’s only normal for Peter Jackson to be able to add more content into the trilogy. But he overdid it with An Unexpected Journey with an unnecessary lengthy screening time that’s unapologetic. Gollum’s scene was a perfect example of how slow the pace was. Yes I missed him, but I don’t want to wait for 5 minutes just to find out if he could answer a damn riddle! But no matter how many times I complain, the transformation from book to movie was well-executed, the story is excellent and Martin Freeman is one solid Bilbo Baggins. And that’s what matters the most.

Law of diminishing returns aside, the movie boasts beautiful sceneries, lush valleys, over-the-top visual effects and wonderful set pieces. My favorite scene from the film was the one with the stone giants. And at that moment you’d probably forget the film was playing for two hours already. So if you can forgive Jackson for unnecessarily dragging the film, you’ll get to see magic at the big screen once more.

GRADE: B