Movie Review: The Age of Adeline – Harrison Ford’s Talent Not Enough to Overcome the Abysmal Job Done by The Leads

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I’m not really a big fan of Blake Lively. With the exception of the crackhead she played in The Town, I find her kind of stone faced and empty. I’m pretty sure the vast majority of her roles could be recreated by a mannequin. Despite an intriguing premise, I find the Age of Adeline is no real exception.

Blake Lively plays the part of our title character, a 29-year-old who needs to pretend she’s sad that she’ll never turn thirty. Her ‘curse’ starts when she plows her car into a tree on a dark and stormy night. For the most part, she lives a happy, normal life, getting married and having a daughter. Then, when she’s supposed to be 45, and looks 25 (poor thing) she’s forced to go on the run. It goes on like this until she takes a job as a librarian and meets a man who pulls some kind of weird Indecent Proposal thing. Then, she has to decide whether to settle down or flee yet again. Add in the complication that she used to date this dude’s dad, and I would have run so fast I would have left my shadow behind.

The first problem with this film, again, is Blake Lively. She’s supposed to represent some kind of timeless glamour, but instead comes across as dead eyed and empty. She might have made a better vampire. At least then the storyline might have been a bit more plausible.

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The next problem comes in with the love interest Ellis (Michiel Huisman). While he is a bit of a charmer, there was one major problem and that problem was his accent. Huisman is Dutch but he’s playing an American. And he sounds exactly like a Dutch person playing an American. The accent is not well covered.

Speaking of voices, Hugh Ross does the voiceover for this one, but the narrator’s tone doesn’t fit. It sounds a bit like an episode of Frontline. In a fantasy film, it just doesn’t work and tends to pull you out of the picture.

The one high point in this one was Harrison Ford. He gives off some true star power and despite the fact that he’s a secondary character, plays like a first tier one. He stole every scene that he was in with Lively, but that was hardly difficult. I’m pretty sure she was asleep through the majority of the film.

I think the film might have worked better with better acting. On its face, it’s a unique story with an interesting take. The problem comes in with the abysmal job done by the leads. From a dodgy American accent, to Blake Lively’s less than lively performance, the failure comes from the leads themselves.

This one might be one to skip. The effort made by the writers was not matched by the enthusiasm of the actors. Leads who sleepwalked through the movie made this a movie you want to sleep through. It’s a shame because I had high hopes for The Age of Adeline.

WE GAVE IT : 3 STARS!  Watch the Official Trailer and See the Official Movie Poster below

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Movie Review: Interstellar (2014) – Like the Grapes of Wrath in space

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I’m sure the people who made Interstellar are still shaking their heads about how they got their butts handed to them by Big Hero 6 opening weekend. Sitting firmly in the number 2 spot, Interstellar is making money, but I’m sure it was a lot less money than Paramount intended.

Matthew McConaughey takes a break from filming pretentious Lincoln commercials to play Joseph “Coop” Cooper, a widowed engineer with ace piloting skills. For some reason, despite being an ace pilot, he’s farming corn with his father-in-law (John Lithgow) and two kids, 10-year-old Murph (Mackenzie Foy) and teenage Tom (Timothée Chalamet). The planet is dying and schools are teaching farming, while everyone is waiting to suffocate from air filled with gas. Stuffed into the movie are info-dumps where old people talk, documentary style, about how it used to be before we ruined the planet. Now, the people on Earth have two goals. Farm corn and find another planet…probably to farm more corn. So, because the best person to send into space is a corn farmer, Coop is sent along with sexy copilot Amelia (Ann Hathaway), an astrophysicist (David Gyasi), a geographer (Wes Bentley), and some robots to find a new place to live.

The effects in this movie are awesome and it does have it’s moments of gripping the edge of your seat thrills. It’s a thrill ride, while at the same time, just a bit depressing. This is not Star Wars. It’s more like the Grapes of Wrath in space. From Coop’s rural dystopia, to his travels into space, everything has an air of desperation and depression.

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It almost seems like someone tried to stay as close as possible as to what the real apocalypse would look like. Forget old testament stories of lightening coming down from the sky and mass floods, if there is an end to the world, this is what it will look like. People slowly dying off because we can no long make food and the chemicals we put in the atmosphere are coming back to get us. In that, this movie is highly realistic.

This movie is scientifically cutting edge and I wish they’d just focused on that, rather than sticking all this sticky sweet sentimentality and messages of hope into it. That’s where it falls flat for me. I feel like the director is in the audience punching me in the face, screaming “cry, already!” while I’m sitting there saying, “but I want Mathew McConaughey to die!”

Matthew McConaughey was a big problem for me during this movie. His good ole boy “awe shucks’ charm feels like a poor fit for such a desolate, depressing place. He has this air of cockiness that you just can’t shake, whether he’s playing an aging cowboy with Aids or a dude who refuses to move out of his parent’s basement. In those roles, it worked, while in this one, I found it distracting.

Interstellar is a decent movie, but it’s also a bit forgettable, as far as I’m concerned. While it did a great job when it came to the science, I felt that it fell apart when it came to the human connection. Regardless, it’s still a film that’s worth the watch.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

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Movie Review: Draft Day (2014)

drafft day movie posterTense, Intelligent and Fun

Star Ratings

I’m not really a football fan, so I tend to avoid football related movies. If you’re like me, then I should tell you that Draft Day isn’t really about football. Instead, it’s more a behind the scenes look at the wheeling and dealing that makes football, and it is absolutely worth the watch.

In Draft Day, we meet Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner), a general manager who has the opportunity to shape the Cleveland Browns into his dream team. His father, who was also the previous coach, has died and he now has the opportunity to trade up to the number 1 spot with Seattle. Of course, then he has to deal with the repercussions and that includes dealing with team owner Harvey Molina (Frank Langella) coach Vince Penn (Denis Leary) and even his own mother (Ellen Burstyn). There is literally no one who doesn’t have a strong opinion about his pick.

Let me say this again, I don’t like or even understand football, but I could still follow this movie. That’s because Costner plays such a great, self depreciating been-there-done-that character that he makes the movie worth watching.

I did feel that the movie was a bit too PG considering the subject. Let’s be honest, this is the NFL with its image scrubbed squeaky clean. The NFL was heavily involved in the making of this movie, so I doubt they would have approved anything that would have seriously undercut their image. The NFL actually went over the dailies of the movie and made cuts, which explains why they come out looking like utter Boyscouts.

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But this isn’t really a movie about football scandals. Again, it’s a movie about one man dealing with a high pressure job and handling everyone’s opinions on how he does that job. The NFL can be forgiven for trying to keep their image clean.
Costner has great chemistry with Jennifer Garner. Garner plays a fantastic, business savvy, football loving independent woman with a secret relationship with Weaver. The best part is they didn’t make her come across as a ball breaking cliché. Her character is likable and efficient, and she didn’t fall into the stupid ‘woman trying to prove herself in a man’s world’ trap. She is clearly knowledgeable and proves that effortlessly.

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There are some great football moments as well and fans of the game won’t be disappointed. The best part is, for those of us who don’t watch football, we become so emotionally invested in the characters that we actually care about the outcome of the game.
Draft Day isn’t a sports driven movie. It’s a character driven movie, and the characters make the movie. Costner shines like he hasn’t in a long time, and has more than made up for his last train wreck of a movie “3 Days to Kill.”
Draft Day is tense, intelligent and fun. This character driven drama can make even the most die hard non-fan of football care about the game. It was fast paced and filled with great, tense moments. This is a must watch for any football fan, and a fun watch for those who aren’t.
Heck, I might even watch a football game now.  Here is the Draft Day official Trailer:

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