Category Archives: Louie’s Corner

Annabelle

Last year saw a return of the classic horror film thanks to the creepily nostalgic, “The Conjuring”. Director, James Wan, created a horror movie that was bone-chilling, well-designed, and all around convincing. One of the many reasons why “The Conjuring” was so well-received was because of the many old school scare tactics that were used throughout the picture. The success of “The Conjuring” only means that there will be more opportunities for Hollywood to return to the world that James Wan and company created. The first opportunity is arriving this weekend and is showcasing the story of a possessed doll, Annabelle, which was featured in the opening minutes of “The Conjuring”. Can “Annabelle” continue what “The Conjuring” started, or will it be another example of an unnecessary prequel?

"Annabelle"

“Annabelle”

Annabelle” follows the creepy Annabelle a year before she comes face to face with the Warrens. Before “the Conjuring”, the rare Annabelle was a gift from a husband to his expecting wife, Mia (Annabelle Wallis). Mia falls in love with Annabelle’s beauty; however, the love for the doll soon turns into fear. One night Mia and her husband’s house is invaded by a satanic cult. The cult attacked the couple and summoned up an evil entity that is now possessing Annabelle. Can the couple survive, or will Annabelle be too much for them?

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This is Where I Leave You

“This Is Where I Leave You”, which is based on the novel by Jonathan Tropper, follows four grown siblings returning to their childhood home after learning of their father’s passing. Once there, the family must participate in a Shiva, which will leave the siblings living under the same roof with their overbearing mother for one week. During this week-long grieving tradition, the Altman family begin to confront each other’s past, and ponder the what-ifs and maybes of life.

Tina Fey and Jason Batemen in "This is Where I Leave You"

Tina Fey and Jason Batemen in “This is Where I Leave You”

The film is an efficient dramatic comedy that focuses on the strong bonds and problems a family could possibly have. If you come from a family, which I assume most of you do, you will find something to relate to. That is the best quality this movie has to offer. Even though the Altman family is definitely a unique Jewish family facing unique problems and relationships, there are many universal characteristics that will simply make you think of your own family. Among the occasional funny moments, there are lovely sentimental moments that showcases the tender moments of life. “This Is Where I Leave You” leaves you wanting to spend time with you family, but probably not a week’s worth.

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Hercules (2014)

Just in case you missed out on the first Hercules film of 2014 – you know the one starring Kellan Lutz that was a disastrous flop- you do have another opportunity in seeing the Greek demigod on screen. This time around comes an even bigger and bolder retelling of the Hercules mythology. Based on Radical Comics’ “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” by the late great Steve Moore, the film follows Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) after preserving through his iconic twelve labors. Now, the Greek demigod lives his life by the sword. Becoming a mercenary, he finally meets his first true challenge when the King Cotys of Thrace (John Hurt) and his daughter desperately need his help in trying to defeat a dangerous warlord. Can Hercules be victorious once again, or will the warlord become a legend killer?

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Hercules

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Hercules

“Hercules” finds its director, Brett Ratner, at his most self-indulgent. The film oozes with testosterone and features many elements that will classify this film as a fun, dumb film. It is definitely fast-paced, and has enough plot and personality to keep the movie powering forward. However, the movie mostly only offers simplistic action sequences that is sometimes great fun and other times a little mind-numbing.

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Sex Tape

From the director and stars of the mediocre Bad Teacher” comes a new raunchy comedy that hopes to spice up your summer. “Sex Tape”  follows married couple, Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz), as they are going through a dry patch in their long relationship. When they first got together things were always hot and heavy; however, after ten years and two kids later – things have gotten dull. Life has simply  gotten in their way. But on one night when they are kid free they deice to make a sex tape of themselves to steam up their sex life. What seemed to be a great idea quickly turns into a nightmare as the two discover that their private video has been shared among friends and acquaintances. What pursues next is a chaotic search for every copy of the sex tape before Jay and Annie live in complete shame.

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in Sex Tape

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in Sex Tape

Surprisingly, “Sex Tape” is one comedy that does not push the envelope enough. At the surface, the movie does deal with an interesting topic that broadly covers the potency of social media, privacy, dealing with exposure, and facing embarrassment and consequences.

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Tammy

Since her breakthrough performance in the hilarious Bridesmaids, funny girl Melissa McCarthy has remained a constant comedic force. Between her hit sitcom on CBS and her trio of hosting gigs on Saturday Night Live, McCarthy has had at least one film per year that showcases her comedic chops. Films like the mediocre The Identity Thief and the likable The Heat, has helped propel McCarthy’s successful movie career, and in many ways has also turned her into a viable box office draw. With her newest film, Tammy, McCarthy is taking more ownership and responsibility in a variety of ways. This is McCarthy’s first time headlining a movie by herself. Additionally, she also co-wrote the script with her husband, Ben Falcone, and together they are producing it from their production company, On The Day. It is clear that this is a turning point for her career, and this also provides a great idea of what type of films she wants to make.

Susan Sarandon and Melissa McCarthy in Tammy

Susan Sarandon and Melissa McCarthy in Tammy

Tammy follows the misadventures of Tammy (Melissa McCarthy), who was recently fired from her job at a fast food restaurant. Upon returning home see catches her husband having a romantic dinner with the next-door neighbor. This prompts Tammy to declare her independence from her husband, and to get away from her miserable life. After throwing a fit in front of her mother, Tammy decides to take a road trip, but with no money and no car she has to depend on her diabetic/alcoholic grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), to finance the trip. The two profane ladies then hit the road only causing more troubles along the way, but somehow still finding themselves among the many chaotic moments. 

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Jersey Boys

Since its premiere on Broadway back in 2005, Jersey Boys, has gone on to become one of the most successful musicals of the 2000s. This musical have received countless rave reviews, four Tony Awards, and has also taken its production to different cities around the world. So, it should come at no surprise that this very successful musical has had a film adaptation in the works since 2010. Although the early production hit some minor bumps in the road (there were even some rumors that Warner Bros. dropped the film plans), in 2013 Jersey Boys finally found its footing and was set to recreate the magic of the original production.

John Lloyd Young in Jersey Boys

John Lloyd Young in Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys follows the journey of four young men who were trapped by their surroundings. Growing up in New Jersey, Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza), Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young), and Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) expected their lives to go one or two ways. Men their age either ended up in the Army or ended up in the mafia, but either way most ended up dead. However, these men dreamed of something bigger. They dreamed of becoming famous and making hit songs. After meeting up with songwriter Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), the boys from Jersey were able to fulfill their dreams of becoming a musical act as big as Sinatra. Unfortunately, as soon as success comes there way so does more difficulties and problems. Their friendship and loyalty are tested as the four of them try to endure as a group that went on to become a musical act that defined a generation.

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22 Jump Street

With the critical and commercial success of their first buddy cop film, 21 Jump Street, and their impending sequel, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have now joined the ranks of previous duos who have starred in more than one buddy cop film. This newest duo are, of course, following the likes of the unlikely partnership of Murphy and Nolte, the crazy adventures of Gibson and Glover, the street smart Smith and Lawrence, and the odd pairing that is Chan and Tucker. The only questions that remain unanswered are how long with the bromance last between Tatum and Hill, and how long will it take the pair to outstay their welcome?

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 22 Jump Street

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 22 Jump Street

Following their success at bringing down a synthetic drug ring at a local high school, Officers Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are back at it again. This time, they are going undercover at a local college to crack a case involving a new synthetic drug. Although the duo should be prepared for the same sort of challenge, Schmidt and Jenko fall into different crowds at the college, and they soon begin to question each other’s commitment to the case and their commitment to each other. Can Schmidt and Jenko pull together and work out their differences in time to solve the case, or will their immaturity be what finally breaks them up? 

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Edge of Tomorrow

The month of June is a personal favorite of mine, and is also probably a month that has great significance to a variety of people. June signifies the end of school/the beginning of summer, the heart of the baseball season, the start of the Stanley Cup Finals, and the start of the NBA Finals. Mix that with the fact that June is also the first full month of the Summer Blockbuster season, then you can see why June always seems to be one of my favorite months, and what better way to kick off the month of June than to have another Tom Cruise led sci-fi action thriller that depicts humans engaging in war with an alien species?

Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow

Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow, which is adapted from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s highly successful science fiction (light) novel All You Need Is Kill, has gotten some heat thanks to making several  cosmetic changes. Most notably changing the title and changing some of the characters’ nationalities have gotten many people to question the credibility of the film adaptation. Nonetheless, the film still  honors the concept and narrative of the source material. Edge of Tomorrow follows Cage (Cruise) as he is thrusted into combat against an alien species, Mimics, who have inhabited the Earth. Once engaged in war with the alien race, Cage finds himself in a time loop that sees himself return to the same combat scenario after he is killed. With each battle, Cage becomes more seasoned at war and sees his skills increase drastically. Along the way, Cage forms a partnership with Special Forces warrior, Rita (Emily Blunt), who prepares Cage for combat. Together they form a strong union that gets them closer to defeating the enemy. Can the two be victorious in war, or will their efforts will be repeatedly defeated?

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A Million Ways To Die In The West

In this point of his career, Seth MacFarlane as become a writer, TV series creator, (voice) actor, and even a filmmaker that you either love or hate. With his dry, pop-culture infused sense of humor Seth has definitely found his niche. Moreover, he knows what his fan base expects, and he-most often than not-delivers on those expectations. In 2012 there was a big turning point for Seth’s career when he released his first feature length film, which he not only wrote (with his writing team) but also directed. Ted was such a big hit that there is a sequel already in the works, and it’s success has also allowed Seth to green-light a new project for his second directorial effort. Can his newest film, A Million Ways To Die In The West, be the film that expands Seth’s credibility as a filmmaker and as a strong comedic voice, or will it be an example of MacFarlane out his league?

Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron in A Million Ways To Die In The West

Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron in A Million Ways To Die In The West

A Million Ways To Die In The West comes from the same exact minds that brought you Ted (MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, and Wellesley Wild) and it also happens to be Seth’s first on screen acting role. The film follows a sheep farmer, Albert (MacFarlane), who has recently fallen on hard times. He faces death at every corner, hates the old West, is the town’s coward, and lost his girlfriend, Louise (Amanda Seyfried). However, when a new beautiful woman, Anna (Charlize Theron), comes to town his life gets shaken. While trying to win back Louise, Albert falls in love with Anna, only soon finding out that Anna is married to the most notorious gun-slinger in the country, Clinch (Liam Neeson). Albert now must gather his courage to survive and keep Anna by his side, or Clinch will make sure Albert will become just another victim.

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Godzilla (2014)

Since first appearing in Ishiro Honda’s 1954 film, Godzilla has gone on to become one of popular culture’s most beloved movie monsters. Appearing in 28 films, a television series, novels, comic books, and even video games-Godzilla has arguably become a defining symbol of Japanese popular culture, and along the way the King of Monsters has also made a significant impact on the sci-fi genre. There have been numerous portrayals of this giant monster, and each one of the recreations has had a strong connection with its audience. Whether Godzilla is being an allegory of nuclear weapons, being a destructive force, or a protector of humanity, we have always responded to the character extremely well. So, it is no surprise that nearly after 16 years Godzilla is ready to grace the big screens once again.

Godzilla

Godzilla (2014)

This newest reboot of the Godzilla franchise sees the King of Monsters triumphantly make his return. After the destruction of a Japanese nuclear plant, something massive has risen from deep down below the Earth’s crust. An ancient predator, Muto, has come up for his feeding. By causing destruction in the search of radiation(his food source), Muto has threaten humanity’s safety. However, the presence of this creature has caused another predator to awaken from the deepest part of the ocean. Godzilla arrives and is automatically pitted against Muto. With battles that wipe out entire cities, the race is on for the military to stop these creatures before more devastation lies at their feet. Can Godzilla defeat Muto, or will it simply be too late for humanity to survive.

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