May 30 2014


In a time where magic and man walked the earth, not side by side but as estranged neighbors, it would be the love of one man (Sharlto Copley) and a powerful fairy named Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) that could bring the two kingdoms together; but, slowly falling from balance it would be man’s greed and desire for power that would poison the entire land. Scorned and betrayed by her former love, revenge would drive Maleficent’s rage in return giving insight and meaning to the tale of Sleeping Beauty.maleficent Delightfully dark and visually compelling Director Robert Stromberg has created a strange and mildly malformed beast. That is to say while Jolie’s performance is fantastic and the effects around her are top notch, the overall story development of everything else seems pale in comparison. Elle Fanning’s character, Aurora (sleeping beauty), feels severely uncooked, and, two speed pony, Sharlto Copley’s dive into madness comes across as rushed and disjointed. A few questionable snap-zoom editing choices also shake the viewer from the narrative, strange. Nevertheless, clocking in at 97 minutes of runtime, welcome’s are not overstayed and there’s family entertainment value to be found within. Maleficent is rated PG.

May 30 2014

A Million Ways to Die in the West

1882, Old Stump Arizona, sheep farmer Albert (Seth MacFarlane) has just lost the love of his life, Louise (Amanda Seyfried), to the local mustache merchant Foy (Neil Patrick Harris). In an attempt to pull Albert from his heartsick slump, friends Edward, Ruth, and Anna (Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Charlize Theron), make the attempt to show Louise just what a catch she’s given up. But, there’s a million ways to die in the west, and, if a snake bite or broken heart doesn’t get you first there’s always the outlaw/murderer, Clinch (Liam Neeson). Then again, maybe Albert’s had it all wrong, what will set him on the right path, and will it keep him alive to see next week?millionways Closer to a neurotic Woody Allen character, the bumbling Albert’s slapstick and juvenile humor falls short of what we’ve come to expect from the usually pointed, satirical, and witty MacFarlane. That isn’t to say the whole film is a wash, but all too often laugh out loud moments fall short for gross out humor instead. And, similar to bits that run on too long in MacFarlane’s other work, whole scenes run on unchecked. Still the overall flavor of the good ole western comes alive, if even for only a minute. Keep polishing, keep refining, and keep panning for gold Seth, you can produce better than this. Matinee or rental. A Million Ways to Die in the West is rated R.

May 23 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past

In a possible not so distant future, the war between humans and mutants has escalated to a catastrophic level at the hands of Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). Now, in a last ditch effort to save earth one X-man will need to travel back in time to 1973, reset time, and right so many wrongs. But to reset time Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) will need to re-unite two young and estranged friends with wildly differing philosophies, Magneto (Michael Fassbender/Ian McKellen) and Profesor X (James McAvoy/Patrick Stewart). Even then, perhaps the die is cast and the hand of fate is set, can annihilation actually be prevented?xmen Directed by Bryan Singer, Days of Future Past appears to be the righting of many wrongs in both the X-Men universe as well as previous directorial choices in the real world. Plus, clever crafting of a story worthy of X-Men lore by screenwriters Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman, and Matthew Vaughn goes above the expected and delivers the goods with plenty of action, humor, and believe it or not good ‘ol romance. Solid acting throughout makes for an easy watch, there isn’t a bad egg in the bunch. And, with the exception of some cheese whiz special effects set in the future, from a technical standpoint, there’s little to gripe about. Continuing on 2014’s banner year for superheroes this one tastes like another victory! X-Men: Days of Future Past is rated PG-13.