Movie Review: A Million Ways to Die in the West **

move a million ways to die in the west

A Million Ways to Die in the West” is a satirical sex-filled wild west shoot-’em-up romantic comedy that tells the story of a ridiculed sheep farmer who hates his life and spends most of his time enumerating the many ways he might die in the west during the late 1800s. His girlfriend dumps him and he tries to win her back by enlisting the help of a beautiful mystery woman. They fall in love, but she fails to tell him that her husband is a notorious gunslinger. A showdown in the presence of the entire town brings about the final resolution.

This is a humorous movie that takes on a lot of familiar western movie cliches and puts a modern spin on them. Lots of sex jokes, some potty humor, a bit of drug use, and a lot of graphic death scenes while telling a love story. A couple of dance numbers were well done. The all-star cast does a good job of portraying the lighter side of western movies while telling a simple love story. Sarah Silverman, Liam Neesom, and Charlize Theron were outstanding in their roles. I thought Seth MacFarlane’s acting was weak. Several recognizable celebrities made cameo appearances that were an unexpected treat. A bonus scene after “The End” and an additional scene following the credits made it worthwhile to stay until the completion of the final reel. I laughed out loud quite a few times, chuckled a lot, and got squeamish on several occasions. I wanted this to be the funniest movie I have seen in a long time. That didn’t work out. I was mildly entertained. Just 2 out of 5 stars from me.


X-Men: Days of Future Past *****

movie x-men days of future past

X-Men: Days of Future Past is a Marvel Comics super hero movie. The mutant X-Men and their supporters have always been outcasts in society. A hard core faction of traditional humans sees them as a threat to the homo sapiens race. Led by a scientist who has a plan to seek and destroy all mutants, the Earth becomes a war zone. Sentinels are created who can identify and destroy mutants. The Sentinels are able to recreate the mutant’s powers to use against them. The last of the mutants are in hiding and develop a plan to go back in time to prevent the Sentinel Program from being funded on a global scale. Only one mutant’s consciousness is able to survive the time travel. Logan/Wolverine is chosen to go back to the 1970’s and seek out the X-Men in their youth to convince them of future horrors and their need to stop the Sentinel program and the event involving Raven/Mystique that fueled its movement.

I have enjoyed the previous X-Men movies and was easily able to follow the story lines and characteristics of the featured mutants. Someone new to the X-Men genre could still follow the story line and enjoy the movie. I liked the way the X-Men were able to go back in time, consciously, and use their future knowledge to prove that they were, in deed, from the future. I liked the younger versions of Professor Xavier and Magneto and their personal relationships and conflicts. The Peter/Quicksilver escape scene was my favorite part of the movie. This is a great movie to kick-start Summer. I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars. There is a bonus scene at the end of the final credits. It is a preview of a new character in the X-Men series.

Published in: on May 27, 2014 at 8:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Million Dollar Arm ****

movie million dollar arm

Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm is the tale of an agent for professional athletes who is having trouble signing new talent in any sport. Without new clients, his lifestyle will change dramatically. He searches the globe for new talent and figures that with over a billion people in India whose favorite sport is cricket–a game similar to baseball–it couldn’t be too hard to convert a cricket bowler into a baseball pitcher. All those potential new fans from an untapped market could mean an enormous new source of income from viewership, marketing, and paraphernalia. He gets inspired while changing channels on his TV to combine cricket players with a talent show to find the next big baseball player from India–the Million Dollar Arm. He finds a sponsor and promises that the winner of the contest will get a major league tryout within a year. After the first day of auditions, it becomes quite evident that finding someone who could potentially fill the role of professional baseball player could become an exercise in futility. Turning an athlete from another culture who has never seen a baseball before into a major league pitcher in a short amount of time is more difficult than anyone had imagined.

The story shows the American being the fish out of water when traveling to India. The tables are turned when the athletes come to America. The changes in language, customs, and scenery are dramatically displayed on both sides of the world. The depiction of the overcrowding and limited opportunities of India versus the modern culture with astronomical wealth potential is displayed very well. The acting was good, the story was well-told, and the side stories were interesting. This is the kind of movie that could be enjoyed by people of any age. I liked it enough to give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on May 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Neighbors **

movie neighbors

Neighbors is a Seth Rogan movie about people who live next-door to each other, but don’t get along. New parents in a quiet subdivision look forward to meeting their new neighbors. A frat house moves in next door and continuously disturbs them with non-stop parties. An attempt is made to be cordial, but a line is crossed and the noise of the parties escalates to an intolerable level. Several attempts are made to sabotage the frat house without success until an ultimate plan comes to fruition. The movie is about friends, enemies, getting even, and trying to get along.

The acting is typical of a Seth Rogan movie. Lots of in-your-face attempts at comedy, lots of obnoxious hollering, lots of casual drug use, lots of lewdness, a few boobies, and a lot of dick jokes. This is a movie that might appeal to college students and recent first-time parents. Not appropriate for high school kids or younger. It did not appeal to me. All of the best scenes are in the commercials, so there are no big surprises.  Our theater was sold out, but only a handful of mild laughs during the 90 minute movie. ‘Keep it down’ will probably become a popular catch-phrase in the short term. It wasn’t very funny, and it wasn’t very good. 2 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on May 11, 2014 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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