Movie – How to Train Your Dragon 2: A-

how to train your dragon 2A-
The animation was fantastic, the new dragons fun, and the story well-plotted, but none of it felt nearly as funny or clever as the first film. It also had some odd pacing, with the slower dramatic family moments clashing with the central conflict’s foreboding urgency. If I wasn’t so distracted with comparing it to its predecessor, I’m sure I would’ve been enthralled, especially by the dragon battles, but it just couldn’t surpass that strong precedent.

Advertisements

Movie – The LEGO Movie: A+

lego movieA+
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kids movie so consistently funny and purely entertaining. Every character was distinct and I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite. I was pleasantly surprised by how many LEGO franchises made cameos. And the animation blew me away. The dedication to keeping everything 100% LEGO produced astounding cohesion and immersion. A definite candidate for best film of 2014.

Movie – The Wolf of Wall Street: A-

wolf of wall streetA-
Like Scarface, this film is destined to be adored by dudebros who miss the point. It has been described as “three hours of debauchery” and while that description is not wrong per se, there is a message about his downfall in there somewhere. Jonah Hill gave another confusingly good performance alongside DiCaprio’s predictably solid one (though the more memorable aspect of his performance mostly involved spasming around drunk and/or in a drug-enduced epilepsy).

Movie – This Is The End: A-

this is the endA-
I had major doubts, but This Is The End really surprised me. Especially the special effects. They were better than a lot of big-budget affairs. The actors found beautiful caricatures of themselves and drained every drop of humor that could come from that, to fairly funny results. There were a few scenes where the obvious improving lingered a little too long, but an easy premise and simple character arcs made for a breezy, light viewing.

Movie – Moneyball: B-


B-
All sports movies should be underdog stories, and most are. They make the films easier to watch for those not incredibly interested in the sport. Additionally, if they’re using the sport as a backdrop for a more important issue, it’s even more poignant. (Especially racism a la Remember the Titans and Invictus.) Moneyball was a baseball movie about stats and economics. Baseball, stats, and economics are each far from exciting. The screenwriter and actors put up a valiant effort to make these subjects interesting. They didn’t quite succeed.