The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

wp_ss_20141217_0015[1]Full disclosure, I’ve never been real interested in the original LOTR trilogy. I never saw any of the movies and read none of the books. However, I was kind of pulled into the trilogy and was quite entertained. It was no surprise that a marathon was going on for the final movie and I figured it might be worth it.

wp_ss_20141217_0023[1]Before I really begin I think everyone knows but its still worth mentioning that the movie is heavily CGI. It’s probably more than the previous movies. I personally did not have a problem with it because even though some have issues, I felt it kind of worked especially in this world of monsters and magic and it looked really nice on screen. The movie was apparently shot specifically for 3-D which also worked to its benefit. Along with the other two movies, it was easily the best 3-D experience I have had and one of the only movies have seen it work for in such a way that is beyond a gimmick.


Best… Dragon… Ever… Maybe

Of course everyone should know that the movie begins exactly where the last one left off. It is pretty intense and one of the best parts of the movie… for like the first 15 minutes or so. It honestly didn’t need to be apart of this movie and could have been included in the last movie to put it over the top as a great movie instwp_ss_20141217_0017[1]ead of a great tease. Other than that this movie really is all about the battle of the five armies (I think, I don’t know if it was five armies because no one I talked to counted five, maybe I could get some help with this). The battle really was the majority of the movie and while epic in grand nature, it really played up the suspension of disbelief with some of the spots (don’t worry, no spoilers). There were some standouts during but it’s your usual suspects with guys like Thorin (Richard Armitage), Thranduil (Lee Pace), Bard (Luke Evans) etc. I was perplexed by the shoehorning of Legolas (Orlando Bloom) into the movie as I’m under the impression that he wasn’t necessary for anything but to add depth to an awkward love story that was less than needed and turned me off in a way the movie before didn’t for whatever reason.


Treasure is a hell of a drug

The only thing was that in order for the battle to really mean something you have to have some sort of reason which would have come across better if the circumstances surrounding Thorin were not so… odd. The motions he was going through were a bit forced and coming wp_ss_20141217_0022[1]wp_ss_20141217_0019[1]out of it was just as convenient. Not only that, it doesn’t help that Thranduil was almost as bad and if you blinked you missed the whole reason he was such a tool. Bard seemed to be the best part of the movie from a character standpoint as he was kind of an everyman that became a hero to his people and led them was because those following him weren’t warriors. They were just people (which by the way either speaks highly of his ability as a teacher or the orc’s futility as warriors… or both). Once Thorin and his people joined it really meant something. I needed Thorin to settle his score with Azog in spectacular fashion and for the most part I was satisfied.

Bilbo (Martin Freeman) had somewhat of a smaller role but the moments with him in the film did count as he played the foil to Thorin and did so in this one and their scenes (especially at the end) felt natural and heartfelt. This was his story and it was an extraordinary journey taken on by an ordinary guy to get a small wp_ss_20141217_0020[1]group of people their home back. Also, having Gandalf (Ian McKellen) looking over you and providing his wisdom doesn’t hurt. Which brings me to the only part I didn’t touch on which the film kind of glossed over too. The necromancer seemed to be a bigger issue than even Smaug or the treasure hidden in the mountain. Instead, it got resolved by a couple of overpowered wizards and another mary-sue of a wizard that seemed to be on her death bead at one point before no-selling everything the big bad Sauron could throw at her. I don’t know, just thought it deserved more (but the nine rings thing was pretty cool).

wp_ss_20141216_0016[1]Verdict: For it being the final installment, they sure threw everything at it they could from a visual and action aspect. Some were still left wanting a cleaner battle but it’s fine for me. My time in the theaters (nine hours) was pretty worth it as I think seeing them all consecutively made the movie slightly better than it may have been alone. I don’t claim to know about LOTR or any of the lore surrounding the franchise so I’m sure there were some displeased in one way or another (there always is). I’m just speaking as a person who wanted to see a good ending to a solid trilogy and I guess I got that much. There were clear instances were the movie was more flash over substance but in the end it is a children’s story. The movie (especially some of the lines and characters) actually felt like I was watching GoT for kids to which both stories teach the same lesson… just learn to share.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies gets a 3.5 out of 5

+ Best movie to date to see in 3-D

+ Loved Bard at just about every part of the movie

+ The battle for the most part was quite enjoyable

– Love story was highly unnecessary

– Wished they would have fleshed out some of the characters and plot points instead of taking the easy way out

You can watch The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in theaters worldwide now

The Pyramid

wp_ss_20141217_0014[2]The Pyramid
. A team of archaeologists discovers a unique pyramid that has been buried beneath the Egyptian desert. Searching the pyramid’s depths, they become hopelessly lost in its dark and endless catacombs. Scared and desperate to find a way out, they come to realize they aren’t just trapped, they are being hunted. With a promising preview, I thought this movie would scare me and be pretty good but the movie did not meet my expectations.

This movie is no where near scary, just a few jump scares here and there. From this point on there will be spoilers. So if you plan to see the movie, don’t read this… actually please do. Trust me, I’m helping you save your money.


Movie starts off with the typical group of archaeologists, scientists, and reporters digging up things that would kill them in the end. After opening the pyramid someone dies thus, causing riots in Egypt. They were forced to shut down and go home but no, one of the archaeologists had to keep complaining and crying to go into the cave. Like seriously? Someone died after opening the entrance.

Not allowed to go in because of the toxic fumes (and they were told to leave the premise), they decided to send a NASA robot in to check it out. Now keep in mind the tech guy said that the bot is worth 1 milwp_ss_20141217_0008[1]lion dollars. But guess what? They lost the robot and went in to get it. In my opinion, I would not go in to get that thing, I don’t care how much it cost, its not worth my life. Anyway, they get lost and and try to find a way out only to fall deeper into the pyramid (it’s surprising they survived with no injuries). And let’s not forget the huge rock that fell on a guys leg that looked like it crushed him completely, which I find weird. And another thing that didn’t sit well with me; how does a red flare hurt the creature but a bullet doesn’t?


Really, can you even tell what’s going on here?

Verdict: The movie was not only rushed, it was poorly lit. Even the characters were terrible. They just didn’t catch me at all. I can rant on and on how terrible this movie was but I’m not, I honestly felt that the only good parts were the history, the pyramid, and Anubis. That’s right, Anubis was in the movie and looking scary. If you want to see this movie, I recommend you wait until they show it on TV.

The Pyramid gets a 3 out of 5

+ Anubis was the brightest spots of the movie

+ The history on the pyramid and the pyramid itself was pretty good

– Bad characters with really questionable actions

– Seemingly rushed production with aspects like bad lighting

The Pyramid is in theaters now (but you don’t need to see it)

Interstellar: No It’s Not 2001 A Space Odyssey


I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t coming into this movie anticipating a good and an entertaining experience for a change. Whether a movie is good or bad doesn’t change the fact that I am pretty cynical when I go into any movie. I don’t keep expectations too high or low because I’ve been burned more than enough by movies I thought would be good and turned out not to be the case (Iron Man 3, Sucker Punch, The Matrix: Reloaded and Revolutions just to name a few). However, I am a fan of Christopher Nolan and his track record has been solid enough in my opinion to warrant some sort of optimism going into this film (heck, I even went to the early premiere of the movie). I can honestly say my expectations were met and maybe even exceeded.


Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey (True Detective, Dallas Buyers Club) as Cooper; a former NASA pilot who stumbles upon a hidden NASA compound after looking up coordinates in an attempt to figure out what is wrong with their dying planet. It is there that he learns that the compound is full of scientist working to find a way to save the planet (or at least the people on it). On that compound is his former Professor Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) who’s leading this division on explorations to other potential worlds through the use of a wormhole only recently discovered. Now recruited for the last mission into space, Cooper leaves his family behind to accompany a group of explorers including the professor’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway) in the hopes of discovering a new home for humanity.


Now there is a lot to this movie (and I do mean A LOT) mainly because of how science and how humanity plays a role in pushing the possibility of new discoveries. It can lose a lot of people if you’re not prepared for all the terminology and the dialogue. For many it can seem like you’re sitting through a really good documentary on quantum mechanics (but a documentary nonetheless) and that can be seen as a negative… but not for me. Instead it was quite enlightening and I was amazed at how much I didn’t know and how much I wanted to learn more (I’m kinda a big Sci-Fi fan).

Even if the abundance of exposition may take you out of the movie, the acting, drama, and overall look of the film easily brings you back in. Even I have to admit at this point Matthew McConaughey is just plain good at what he does. His character is savvy, headstrong, and idealistic which all plays into how he handles each stage of the mission. However, he does not lack compassion as some of the most powerful scenes are ones with his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy). As good as he was he definitely did not have to carry the movie as the entire ensemble wp_ss_20141105_0003[1]from Anne Hathaway to Jessica Chastain as an older version of Murphy poured in efforts more than worthy of equal praise.

But lets not forget that a movie such as this has to have some sort of drama and it delivers in spades. From the beginning of the second half of the movie on the drama gets take to another level moving from place to place as you see the group of explorers try to survive while finding some way to finish the mission. Not to be forgotten, the developments and finding back on Earth prove to be just as significant. It all leads to a finale that while feeling a little “detached” is not short on emotion, intrigue, and overall a visual spectacle, which reminds me…


Probably the best shot of the biggest scene in the film

I will say that in my opinion, it’s visually one of the most beautiful movies you will ever get a chance to see. The shots from the wormhole to the different environments on planets and everything in between were nothing short of astonishwp_ss_20141105_0015[1]ing. It’s not something Christopher Nolan is especially known for, but there is praise to be given in this regard.

Verdict: Even with all the good the movie has, it’s got some misgivings. I wasn’t a fan of all the dialogue, run-time is always a bit of an issue with Nolan movies, and while I understand the bigger picture with Matt Damon’s character (yes he’s in it and it’s not a spoiler) I don’t think the execution as a whole sat well with me. By and large I still think this is the best movie I have seen to date this year and Nolan’s best to date. It touches on a multitude of subjects such as the theory of Murphy’s Law (yes the character is named after the actual theory), the importance of the progression of science and engineering is, survival of the fittest, and what humanity exactly is and what limits it may or may not have. Christopher Nolan studied for years to make this movie as realistic as possible and the fruits of his labor are apparent. It’s a tremendous movie and one of my favorites in recent memory and while you can watch the movie however you feel, I’d recommend to watch it in IMAX in any theater you can because the experience is more than worth the price of admission.

Interstellar gets a 4.5 out of 5

+ Great acting performances

+ Superior visual effects

+ Great Sci-Fi elements rooted in reality

+ One of the most thought provoking movies to come in awhile

– Some dialogue was underwhelming

– Not a fan of Matt Damon’s character

Watch Interstellar in select theaters now and nationwide November 7th