Movie Review: Jersey Boys ****

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Jersey Boys is a biography of the singing group know as the Four Seasons. An Italian New Jersey youth joins his hoodlum friends to form a band. Frankie gets backed by a mob boss who sees a potential superstar and helps him stay out of trouble. An outside song writer joins the band and writes hits that propel the group to national stardom. Women and money cause problems that bring tension to the quartet. Death inspires a comeback.

I had forgotten how many great songs were done by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The music was outstanding, and the performances by the actors was respective of the classics. The inspiration for some of the lyrics was very entertaining. The personal dynamics went pretty deep and were necessary to depict the relationships. The side stories showed the lifestyle, hardships and camaraderie of a traveling band. Teenagers and adults will enjoy this movie even though a few F-bombs are the sole reason for the R rating. I did not find the limited profanity to be offending. The first half of the movie moved very slowly. the second half picked up the pace and went more smoothly. I teared-up twice. The acting and singing was very good. The music montage during the credits was outstanding. I was entertained. 4 out of 5 stars from me. My wife liked it even more and gave it a full 5 stars.

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Published in: on June 22, 2014 at 7:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: 22 Jump Street *****

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22 Jump Street is an undercover cop movie starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as misfit partners. The sequel to 21 Jump Street has the agents going to college to stop the proliferation of a new designer drug. The undercover police task force has moved to a new building across the street, so their new address is 22 Jump Street. The guys are immediately spotted as narcs in the classroom and move to other areas to find the drug distributors. Hill joins up with the arts crowd while Tatum tries out for the football team. Just as they are getting close to finding the source, their funding gets cut and results need to be found sooner using fewer resources. Complications with friends and lovers break up the team, but they reunite to crack the case.

This is a very good sequel to a movie that was originally a TV show. It is not necessary to know much about the TV show or the first movie to enjoy this flick–it stands alone as an easy to follow, good story about relationships and police work. There’s some romance and a bro-mance to go along with the action and investigation while solving the mystery. It’s predictable, but it’s fun. Hill and Tatum are very good in their roles. Ice Cube is outstanding in a support role. The parents weekend scene had me crying with sustained laughter. Cameo appearances by popular celebrities was unexpectedly nice. There are extra scenes during the credits that tell about the potential future of this team that is worth sticking around to watch. Additionally, there is a bonus scene at the end of the credits that is good fun. I laughed a lot, and I was entertained. 5 out of 5 stars.

Spoiler alert for the ladies: Channing Tatum wears a tank top during much of the movie, but his shirt does not come off–sorry.

Published in: on June 16, 2014 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow *****

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Edge of Tomorrow is a Science Fiction war movie about aliens attacking the Earth. Tom Cruise plays Major Cage who goes to England as a journalist. His insubordination lands him in the European Army as a grunt about to attack the aliens on a D-Day suicide assault to recapture Continental Europe. Thousands of soldiers have really cool exoskeleton armor that protects them, gives them advanced strength, and allows them to carry extra weaponry and supplies. However, he has had no training in how to work the protective suit and becomes a liability to the squad. They all die. However, something happens on the battlefield that allows him to do-over each day (like in Groundhog Day). He learns a little more every day and becomes a proficient killing machine over time. He dies every day, and each day that he reboots gets a little longer, and is filled with more knowledge of a new scenario that might have different results–as long as he does everything exactly the same way as the day before. A plan is devised to find other soldiers who will believe he has already seen the results of the day and to help him get to where he believes the alien leader is located. All they have to do is get there and destroy it in one take.

I liked the story. It was well-told and easy to comprehend. Tom Cruise was great in the lead role. Emily Blunt was equally good in her supporting role. The minute changes in the daily repeats were loaded with good humor. The soldiers, their weapons and armory were very cool. The aliens were fast and brutal. There were a lot of war scenes, but not much blood, guts, or graphic violence. Just lots of shooting and exploding. I do not recall any profanity. There was even time for a love story. The ending took me by surprise. PG-13 is an accurate rating. I saw this with my wife. We both loved it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Published in: on June 7, 2014 at 2:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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