Date Night Review: The Upside

Welcome to another edition of the Date Night Review, where I give you my review of the movie, my wife gives her thoughts and we collectively help you decide if this movie is worthy of a Date Night.

I will dive right in, give you the Good, the Bad and my overall thoughts

The Good

Kevin Hart/Bryan Cranston: This pairing just works for all the reasons you think it would work. You have Cranston who can be very witty but at the same time he can bring a very dry sense of humor as well, mix that up with probably the funniest man in the planet in Kevin Hart, you have a solid on-screen duo.

Hart: He plays a struggling Dad who has paid for his mistakes by losing out on the raising of his son. He really embodies the role well, I think he shows a little of his acting chops you don’t get to see in some of his over the top funny roles. He makes you feel all the things you need to feel, whether he makes laugh, whether he pulls at the heart strings in the moments he realizes the mistakes he’s made.

Cranston: These roles are not the easiest to play, to play a role in which you have no body movement really, where you just basically can move your face. I have really wanted to see Cranston break out of some sort after how amazing he was in Breaking Bad, while these might not have been that groundbreaking, I do think it’s a step in the right direction.

Nicole Kidman: You know I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Kidman in this, I didn’t get the vibe she would be in this a whole lot and honestly thought she was really good in this. She fit in well with the duo (not acting wise, she’s a rockstar) and really brought some good stuff to the film.

The Funny: I won’t spoil anything but the “Penis Scene” is one of those just hilarious moments in movies that you will be talking about for hours after the movie is over.

The Bad: Predictability? Maybe?

Overall Thoughts


*** 1/2 out of *****

It won’t go down as one of the best movies of the year but it certainly will go down as one of the most heartfelt movies of the year.

The directing, the pacing, a fun redemption/overcoming story to fire along a solid on-screen combo makes the movie really enjoyable.

The Wife’s Thought’s: Great movie! I knew it would be a feel good movie but didn’t anticipate the true friendship that was formed. They forced each other to self-evaluate and their banter kept me laughing the entire movie. Thumbs up!!!

Date Night Worthy: Absolutely, a fun, warm, heartfelt movie? It’s the key to the perfect Date Night movie.

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Date Night Review: Glass

I’d like to thank you for joining me for the inaugural edition of the Date Night Review. My wife came up with the idea, so I am running with it. Weekly, we watch a movie, whether we RedBox it or we go catch a movie in theaters.

So collectively decided to help you couples out with being able to pick a movie together based on whether we think it’s a good Date Night movie or not. (Means you only have to fight about what you are going to eat)

So let’s dive right into the movie review, I’ll give you the Good, the Bad and my overall thoughts of the film.

The Good

James McAvoy– He was born to play this role, it isn’t an easy one either. He is portraying characters from a 8-year-old little kid to an older lady to a “monster”. He picked up right where he left off of from Split (which I thought was amazing), he is believable, he is raw and he is very real. To have to change characters the way he does within scenes isn’t an easy task and he does so with such ease and every time he is on the screen, you are captivated by him.

Willis & Clark – I enjoyed the relationship between these two, I thought they had good chemistry and the sympathetic figure Clark played was really solid towards the end.

Paulson – I love her, she’s a fantastic actress, and she plays a great role in this. She has a niche and she rocks it. She was one of the few things in this movie that was great.

The Bad

M. Night Shyamalan – The Story was just mediocre, I was so excited coming off Split and this movie really just disappointed. He was all over the place, he tried to fit pieces into spots that didn’t need too.

Samuel L. Jackson – I didn’t care for his character, he had some funny moments which made you chuckle but outside of that I don’t feel like he really brought anything to the table

Overall Thoughts:

** stars out of *****

I was extremely disappointed in this film, this was one of my most anticipated movies of 2019 and it’s the first swing and miss of the year. The movie starts pretty good but somewhere between Act I and Act II it gets lost and never recovers. The ending was drawn out, and I never thought it would end. McAvoy & Paulson are really only great things about this movie, McAvoy was made for this role and I would love to see another Split.

The Wife’s thoughts: I loved James McAvoy, loved Sarah Paulson, loved that key players in Split and Unbreakable were in it. It definitely pulls at the heart strings at times but a very drawn out movie. Momentum was good at first then it kind of fizzled out. The ending was better than expected. Thumbs Down

Date night worthy: Absolutely not, I would not recommend seeing this in theaters, I would maybe wait until it hits RedBox but I don’t think it would be a Date Night worthy.

My 10 Takeaways From See Fifty Shades of Grey

So I went and saw Fifty Shades of Grey over the weekend. All the hype from the movie was hard to resist taking myself to the theaters and seeing it for myself. I do warn all my readers that I have not read the book, so don’t shoot me for liking or not liking something in the movie that was or wasn’t in the book. But after all that here are my 10 takeaways from seeing Fifty Shades of Grey.

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Synopsis: Literature student Anastasia Steele’s life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

This review Contain Spoilers

1 – I really feel they missed the boat on the casting of Christian. While I had never read the books I have heard a lot about them and heard a bunch about this “Christian” guy. He is this hot-shot rich guy that just woman go crazy over, well this guy didn’t do that for me.

2 – I was fond of the Dakota Johnson casting though. While she wasn’t overly drop dead gorgeous, she fit the role of innocent girl Anastasia. I looked at her IMDB page and really didn’t know she was in as many movies as it stated but this was her first “big time” role in a movie. I would also like to applaud her for having the “balls” to be naked for like 75% of the film.

3 – Seattle is a beautiful city.

4 – The rest of the cast really didn’t matter. It was all about Christian and Anastasia. This was a key to me in making this movie enjoyable. I didn’t have to buy into the other characters, they were selling me on the vocal point of the story and I enjoyed that.

5 – You can’t help but laugh at certain parts of the movie. Certain things about the movie were funny to me. I had no problem with the contract of confidentially but the sex contract really made me laugh.

6 – The scene where Anastasia dissects Christians contract in this very low lite room, HOW COULD THEY SEE WHAT WAS ON THE PAPER? It was way too dark in that room to see any lighting at all. (Side note: I do love how Anastasia worked up Christian in this scene, just to walk out on him.

7 – Chemistry between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan was pretty good. You felt it from there first scene and throughout the movie. They worked well together. This is very vital in a movie based on the two main characters.

8 – Placement of the music/the score was fantastic. They used the songs at the perfect time, I loved the change they brought to Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love mix they had in the film. It was a harder version of the song that really fit perfect in the film.

9 – A lot less sex in the movie than I thought which really shocked me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I thought for sure there would be more than what happened in the movie.

10 – The movie for me was all about building the background story for Christian and Anastasia. It was a decent build and my first thought walking out of the theater was they set this whole thing up to make the 2nd one. I know there are 3 books and that’s the purpose but as a person never have read the books I knew as soon as it ended, another was to follow.

Overall Review

3 out of 5 Stars 

This will never go down as a great movie but it was very enjoyable. While at times I couldn’t help but chuckle at certain things, I couldn’t help but find myself invested in the main characters. It was a well-directed, well shot and the score was fantastic. I bought into the movie and that to me is a big reason I liked it.

Fifty Shades of Grey is Rated-R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.

In theaters now

Hercules Review

So I went to the movies and saw Hercules starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I had some high expectations because I thought the trailer was rather well done. So here is my review of the film.

Follow me over on Twitter @rickygangster

Life Itself Review

I checked out the Documentary “Life Itself” – The story of one of the biggest fixtures in movies Roger Ebert.

Check out my review and my comments below.

This was Directed by Steve James and he just took us on an amazing venture from the beginning of Ebert’s life to the very last days of his life.

Hearing stories from his wife Chaz Ebert, his battles with Gene Siskel, listening to how Martin Scoresese talk about how Ebert reviewed his films or just watching him as he was so inspirational during his final months and still beating on like nothing was wrong.

This is a must see documentary by not only film junkies like myself but for those who just even heard the name Roger Ebert.

Edge of Tomorrow Review

So I took the time to go see Edge of Tomorrow last night. I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when I saw the trailer; I just was really intrigued in seeing it and thought it had some real potential. Tom Cruise has been solid in his last few films Oblivion, Jack Reacher (fantastic movie) and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. After seeing it, I will give you the Good and the Bad of the movie.

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An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a ware with an alien race. His skills increase as he face the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.

Spoilers may follow, so be cautious.

The Good –

Tom Cruise – Cruise plays Bill Cage a PR executive with a witty tongue and kind of arrogant guy. He stays in the spotlight but far away from the front line as possible. I enjoyed how the introduction of Cruise’s character transformed throughout the film. Starting as a scared and clueless guy on the front line, which after time he learned progressed and just started kicking some serious ass.

The movie started off with some classic things with Cage (Cruise) as he was slowly trying to figure out what the hell was going on, he of course would “die” and come back to life. One of my favorites was near the beginning he would roll out of PT and goes under a Jeep, well in his first attempt at said venture he rolled under and got run over by the car. I literally couldn’t stop laughing, it was just hilarious.

Another thing I enjoyed is the repetitive (on purpose of course) banter between Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) and Cage (Cruise). As each time would go back and have to replay the scene, Cage would increasingly become a little more obnoxious and just pick at Farell (Paxton). It really made for some great humor, which was never over the top like it can be in films these days. It didn’t “try” too hard to shove the comedy down your throat, they just let it play its course and it happened when it did.

Emily Blunt – She plays Special Forces legend Rita Vratski, a just kick ass chick in a robot suit. First I want to throw it out there, I never realized how hot she was until I saw this film. Perfect fit for this role, believable bad ass with some sure-fire good looks. But off that and onto her character, only one thing I didn’t like about her character early on and I’ll hit on that in the Bad section but Blunt was fantastic and the chemistry between her and Cruise was there.

Supporting Cast – Paxton obviously brought some funny scenes to the movie, Brendan Gleeson is still killing on the screen so many years later. The group of people who played the characters that help lead to the final take down were well casted and all provided a good little punch to the film.

Doug Liman – Has an impressive list of movies he has directed, From Swingers to Bourne Identity to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which I enjoyed all 3 movies. So knowing he has done such a great job, I knew we could be in for a real treat here and he did not disappoint. Very well-directed film from start to finish, taking two characters and with this script having to watch them be repetitive and keep the interest of a movie goer was a hard task and I feel he did a great job of pulling it off. While Cage (Cruise) kept going back and repeating after every death, he made sure to keep it interesting every time he went back, whether it was with some great witty humor or when it came down to Cages character getting pissed off and acting like a man on a mission, it worked for me.

The Cinematography in the film was fantastic, some great visuals throughout the film and another thing that really stood out to me was the films Score. That was absolutely fantastic and to me a very important key to an action flick. I have to feel the Score to really dig into a good action flick and they did a great job of incorporating it in this movie.

The Bad –

While I understood when they introduced Rita Vratski they made her look somewhat like a bad ass and then they killed her. Obviously done for perfect reasoning, but you kind of built her character as the bad ass super robot Legend and her first appearance she was only a little impressive and died. I wish she would’ve kicked a little more ass at the beginning before we had to kill her off would’ve made a little more sense to me.

Not nitpicking the film at all but I would say around the 45-50 minute part of the film it was a little slow, while only for about 10 minutes, it was kind of on cruise control.

The Final Verdict

*** ½ out of 5 stars

Look I really don’t care what anyone says about Tom Cruise; dude is a star and shows it in this film. People knock this guy down so many times and he fires back with good film after good film. He and Blunt made the perfect pair in this film and did a great job in both their roles. Doug Liman brought us a fun action packed film that I think is going to get lost in the summer shuffle and that’s quite disappointing as this film is fantastic.

Edge of Tomorrow is in theaters now

Neighbors Movie Review

So I had the opportunity to see a Screener of Neighbors, which is something I was very pleased to get ahold of as I have wanted to see the film ever since I saw the first trailer. I had high hopes going in and was really hoping that we had our first big time funny comedy to kick off the summer season. So after seeing the movie, I will give you the Good, The Bad and the Ugly of the film.

Again thank you to @Cinemit for the passes.

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A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.

The Good

Hilarious – The movie was just funny from start to finish. Some classic one-liners that will be spoken about a ton after you see the movie. From what you see in the trailer is exactly what you get in the movie. Just raunchy R rated comedy. The air bag scenes I watched 50 times in the trailer and laughed and when I saw it in the movie I laughed even harder. The whole entire cast was great.

The pairing of Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne – They play Mac & Kelly Radner a middle age couple with a new-born baby. The instant you saw these two on the screen you knew they had something special going on. You could see the chemistry and instant laughter that will ensue when the movie started. The baby in the picture of course brought another element to the picture that would really bring another funny element to the movie. These two killed it as a pair.

Seth Rogen – Lets just throw it out there that this guy is on another planet of funny during his last two films now. Last year’s This is the End was one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. So following that up was going to be a bit hard to be honest and well he brought his A game to this movie as well. He is just laugh out loud funny in this. You couldn’t help but slide down into your chair in laughter after certain scenes (Including a scene where he and Efron are fighting and he bounces on a trampoline to throw an elbow and he hits a ceiling fan). The chemistry he and Rose Byrne showed in this film was killer. They were the perfect pair for this movie.

Rogen is just so good at what he does, the little things just add up.

Speaking of Rose Byrne (Kelly) she was fantastic. She has previously played in a few movies that I have really enjoyed (The Internship, Get Him to the Greek and Place Beyond the Pines) but I wasn’t sure how she and Rogen would do together in this film. But she was in there with the big boys and she knocked it out of the park and held her own. She was just funny. Nothing else that really can be said about it.

Zac Efron – Let me go ahead and put it out there that this is one of the future mega stars in the movie industry. He is good and after watching That Awkward Moment the other day and now this, he is going to be money for years to come.

He played Teddy Sanders the president of the fraternity that moves in next door to Mac & Kelly. They couldn’t have casted a better person for the role. His exchanges with Rogen were some great stuff. There is one scene that really stuck out for me and that’s based around the scene when Rogen called the cops on Teddy and the fraternity. You’ll understand when you see it.

Dave Franco – Franco played Pete opposite of Teddy Sanders (Efron) as the VP of the fraternity. Look this guy is one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. He like Efron has a bright future in front of me. Franco wasn’t actually in this as long as I would’ve hoped but when he was in it, he was on. His De Niro impression as Jack Byrnes from Meet the Parents/Fockers was amazing.

Supporting Cast was fantastic as well. Anywhere from Christopher Mintz-Plasse to Lisa Kudrow to Craig Roberts as Assjuice they all brought some good stuff to this movie.

The Bad

One thing about Seth Rogen his go to is “smoking pot” in his comedies. While I don’t hate it at all just the act is going to start wearing thin soon.

Andrew Cohen & Brendan O’Brien – This is definitely not a big complaint as they wrote a really funny film but there were some serious plot questions throughout the film. Again I understand that this is a comedy and sometimes the plot can fly off the handle, which is okay. I just think they could’ve tidy up the film a little better.

The Ugly

Nothing

Overall Thoughts

4 out of 5 stars

This really would’ve been the perfect comedy without the plot holes but that didn’t damage the overall movie for me too much. It had so many funny moments in it that it made up for the holes. It is really nice to see Rogen back to his old ways of being funny, Bryne really was the star of the show and Efron really showed up for this. The supporting cast as well was amazing. Very fun time at the movies and would recommend a theater visit for this.

Neighbors is in theaters Friday