Friday, July 31, 2015

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation Movie Review: Spy vs Spy on an Epic Scale

Everyone is loving on MI5 Rogue Nation. There is a reason for this. It’s what a summer blockbuster movie aspires to be. Rogue Nation is fast paced, intriguing, and extremely beautiful.  I wasn’t bored at all through this movie. I was either too focused on the action, or trying to figure out what the villain had planned. One would think after the second Mission Impossible failed, or at least wasn’t good, that the franchise would have died a few films ago. Now I’m left hoping Tom Cruise can continue as Ethan Hunt until he’s 60.
Love or hate Tom Cruise as a person, the man is an incredible actor. He has been on a roll with his last few films. Edge of Tomorrow is fantastic, and if you haven’t seen it yet, go buy the movie because you’ll want to watch it multiple times. He is amazing in MI5, and you don’t doubt for a second that he is still able to do all of the action sequences. Mainly because he does all of his own stunts. I still can’t believe he actually hung outside of an airplane and didn’t use a stunt double. In this movie Ethan has to track down an elite evil spy network setup independent of any nation. He is pitted against the best villain of the series next to Phillip Seymour Hoffman from MI3. It is very spy vs spy. They have to outwit each other to accomplish their goals, and Ethan during the course of the movie wonders if he has finally met his match.
Along for the ride are some familiar faces. Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames all reprise their roles from previous Mission Impossible film. A newcomer however, Rebecca Ferguson, steals the show. She is amazing as the female lead in this movie. She kicked major ass, and I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing a spinoff focused just on her character. Probably won’t happen, but I think it could be fun.  It’s time we had a female spy movie (other than the comedy with Melissa McCarthy that came out this year). She was simply stunning in this film, with both her look and the amount of ass she kicked. I loved it, and it was believable.  They also did a good job masking what side she is actually playing for. I was never quite sure, and it added to the overall intrigue of the movie.  She interacts well with the whole team, but especially Tom Cruise.
The rest of the team is great. Simon Pegg is fantastic as the comedic relief. Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames have good chemistry and I liked their interactions. The fun everyone had making this movie comes across on the screen. It is just an extremely enjoyable time and all the actors give their A game. I was surprised by Alec Baldwin’s performance. He had a nice side role and was believable in it. I feel he can overact at times, but he was perfect as the CIA director.
Sean Harris plays the big bad dude, Lane. He plays a great villain and I loved how calculating he was. He had a great plan, and is extremely believable as the vicious cold blooded villain. The only issue I had with him, and really the movie, was they didn’t really setup why he was doing what he was doing. He was just causing acts of mayhem and didn’t seem to have any overall purpose. This doesn’t take away from the overall film, he’s the bad guy and has to be stopped. Simple, but I would have liked to see just a bit more of the why. The only other issue I had with the movie was the blatant product placements. I don’t mind product placements, but these where just a bit over the top. Let’s just say, Microsoft dumped a ton of money into the film.
There isn’t much else wrong about this movie. I didn’t see any other issues if there where.  I was too busing enjoying myselfJ. The plot has a great espionage feel and the action is insanely intense. The chase scene in the middle of the movie is out of this world good. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It’s a tad unbelievable, but hey it’s an action flick. I can suspend my belief and enjoy a few stunningly well shot action pieces. I can’t tell you enough how intense and enjoyable these scenes are. Each good Mission Impossible has had an intense scene, and this one is no different. I don’t think they equal the Dubai or the Langley sequence from previous films, but they come close.
So obviously, I loved this film. It has everything a good spy movie should. Great action, a twisting plot, and fun gadgets. This is one you must see in the theaters, maybe even multiple times. Go and enjoy this flick. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed when they walk out.
My Rating: MUST OWN
My Top Five Favorite Tom Cruise Movies:
1.      Top Gun
2.      A Few Good Men
3.      Mission Impossible
4.      Minority Report
5.      The Color of Money

What are your top five?? Comment and let me know. Give me a share, like, re-tweet or whatever if you like my review. (I really don’t like asking, but trying to grow the blog)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

True Detective Church in Ruins S2E6 Review (Spoilers!): Well, I’ll Never get that Hour Back

What a freaking mess. Usually I have find something redeeming in each episode. I can’t think of anything good that came out of tonight, other than the fact Frank didn’t piss me off.  Everything they fixed last week, they pissed away tonight. Maybe it’s because they have used different directors this year as to why the show feels so unbalanced. Though most shows use more than one director during a season. I’m glad there are only two episodes left. If there were any more than that I would quit watching.
Ok let’s start with the standoff between Frank and Ray. All of the great tension they built up last episode was just brushed away with the anti-climactic showdown. I’m surprised they didn’t hug when Ray walked out. I’m not sure what I wanted to happen, but at least a little bit of a fight. I was hoping they would end up antagonist for the rest of the season. I did like one thing from this scene. The way one of the shots was framed with them sitting at the table. It’s the only saving grace from the standoff. Hell, Frank even told Ray he was one of his only friends. Great tension and story from the previous episode was completely crapped on.
Then Ray goes on a bender after he meets with the man who raped his wife. Instead of Frank with the crappy lines, Ray joins in on the fun this week. Collin Farrell did everything in his power to sell that scene, but it wasn’t enough. Farrell has carried this show, but he couldn’t even save this crap-fest. Ray had a weird scene with his son, and then went on his bender. The only purpose of his alcoholic and cocaine filled night was to tell his ex-wife he no longer would contest custody. The storyline with his ex-wife and son is good character development for Ray. With so many characters and such a short season this took up valuable episode time to advance the actual plot of the show. They should have used the time more wisely.
We see an ok scene with Ani and her sister about the party. The detectives then meet up and go over the plan. Paul had nothing to do this week. His only purpose was to serve as part of the assault team on the hooker party.  I was looking forward to the party. I figured it would be intense and it would advance the story. It advanced the story, but there was no tension. The scene where Paul just happens to overhear the Russian and the businessman talk about their plans is just freaking ludicrous. I’m all for convenient plot timing, but this was way over the top. He then goes into the study to grab all of the material they need for the investigation. HIP HIP HOORAY! No great police investigation, he was just in the right place at the right time.
Since Paul found all the information in the study, there was no reason for Ani to go into the party. The only reason the show had her do this was for us to learn she was raped as a little girl. She gets drugged and then we see the flashbacks, another great use of plot device! Big eye roll. She also magically discovers her missing person and rescues her. Nothing but convenient timing for everyone! Other than finding out Ani was raped, there was nothing good at the party. Well, we did get to see her use her knife to great effect. We knew she was great with her knife because we saw her practicing with it when her sister came over. What a great coincidence that was huh?
You know this episode was bad when Frank is the high point. Though I’m not sure what the deal with the Mexicans is, or why they got brought back in. We got to see some movement on Frank finding the video hard drive, but now he is going to have to deal with these Mexicans other than the girl who probably had the tape. We find out from her it was a cop who gave her the diamonds. I’m thinking it is the other Vinci detective who was Ray’s boss. My theory of Ray and Frank racing to find the hard drive is out since they kissed and made up. Frank actually was the only person in the episode who did any detective work.  We also saw him have a moral compass. I still don’t like the character, and he did have one laughable line. The scratch that off the bucket list, Mexican standoff with actual Mexicans. It wasn’t as crazy as some of the other winners from this year, still bad though.
Only two episodes left. I know I could just stop watching, but I’ve made it this far, I might as well finish. I’m not sure I’ll watch next year. As good as the first season was, this season has killed all hope I had for it going forward. Maybe, just maybe the last two episodes will save the season, but I highly doubt it. What did you think of tonight’s episode? Am I way off base, or was this week as big a pile of crap as I thought it was?

My Rating: A big fat ugly turd

Armada Book Review: An 80’s Classic for the Current Age

Ernest Cline second book didn’t disappoint me. Could anything live up to the crazy hype which has been generated by his epic first novel Ready Player One? I really don’t think so. Is Armada as good as Ready Player One? No, not quite, but it’s a different type of book and was still immensely enjoyable. The hero is likeable, his sidekicks are interesting, and the story is fast paced and exciting. You can’t ask for much more out of a novel. Armada takes the best aspects of 80’s science fiction movies and brings them together. While reading the book, I felt like I was reading an adaption of a classic 80s movie. If you ever have enjoyed 80’s science fiction action adventure, then you should enjoy Armada.
Armada follows the journey of Zach Lightman, who has always dreamed of being whisked away on a grand adventure. He was instantly relatable to me. I spent countless hours in my youth daydreaming about being taken away and caught up in a galactic struggle. Like in The Last Starfighter or Star Wars. Granted it wasn’t in my high school years, but many of my elementary years where filled with this dream. Lucky for Zach, or so we think at the time, he gets to go on the adventure. Zach sees a starship from his favorite video game outside of his school. At first he thinks he is going crazy, but soon learns the Earth will be under attack.  The video games he has been playing for years are training simulators for everyone on the globe. Zach is quickly transported to a secret global defense base where he learns about the aliens and what is at stake.
Armada is standard classic science fiction adventure. I loved reading the book, and all of Cline’s pop references to the 80s and current day. Nerds get to save the earth! What more can you ask for? Well I’m glad you askedJ. Armada does have a couple of issues. While I loved the quick pace of the book, it didn’t leave much for character development. Zach has good growth and development, but we don’t get to see him develop any meaningful relationships with anyone else in the book.  I also found it a tad predictable, but that’s because it follows classic science fiction adventure tropes. I won’t say cliché, because the book has original thought. I just would have liked one more surprise or twist thrown in at some point, for no other reason because I’m greedy.
I think many could complain about the standard storyline, but if the hero is likeable and the adventure feels fresh you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.  What makes Armada so much fun are the culture references. I even had to look up a few, just because I’m not as immersed in some of the gamer culture as I am in the movie and book genres. They fit perfectly into the book, because they are a part of our hero, and part of us as a culture. I won’t spoil a main plot point, but the theories put forth by Zach’s Father, while crazy, are great to lose yourself in.  While the book is great fun, it does speak on a deeper level about us as a culture.
Ready Player One, I thought had a great message about not living your life completely through technology. Armada is another coming of age story, but its message dealt more with the unity of the human race, and what it would take to unite everyone for a common cause.  I don’t think the main theme is as prevalent as Ready Player One, but it still has a good message.  Maybe the theme will be continued in another Armada novel.
 Armada seems to be setup for a sequel. At least I hope so.  There seems to be more story for Zach Lightman and his friends. Ready Player One could have a sequel, but I feel it is a great standalone novel that doesn’t really need one. Armada seems ripe for a trilogy. I am hopeful, because I want to see Zach and his friends get fleshed out as characters.
Writing such a great novel your first time out is a spectacular thing. I can only imagine how much pressure Mr. Cline felt in trying to write a second novel. He did a great job, and I loved reading his second offering. If you like Science Fiction and are a fan of 80’s cinema read this novel!!
My Rating: Must Read for 80’s or pop culture junkies  
My Top five Favorite 80’s Science Fiction Adventure Movies:
1.      Star Wars (Duh)
2.      The Last Starfighter
3.      Explorers
4.      Flight of the Navigator

5.      Flash Gordon

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Southpaw Movie Review: Boxing Done Right!!

Southpaw was fantastic. I went in expecting an ok movie sports movie, and was treated to a spectacular performance. Jake Gyllenhaal is spectacular. I’m not sure he has acted in a poor movie since Love and Other Drugs.  I became invested in the movie because of Gyllenhaal’s performance of Billy Hope.  The boxing scenes are exquisite. Antoine Fuqua did a masterful job of shooting the boxing matches. It felt like you were watching a true boxing match.  I was on the edge of my seat through each fight. I left the movie having broken out in a sweat. I movie provided that much tension.  If you like boxing or sports movies in general you should experience Southpaw in the theatre.
 The movie follows the story of Billy Hope.  Who during the course of the movie experiences great loss, and has to overcome them to regain his former life. Hmmmm, where I have heard this story before…. Yes the story is very tried and true. I’m not going to call it cliché. Cliché means the story is overused and lacking original thought. This has original thought in how Gyllenhaal portrays Billy Hope and in Fuqua’s overall direction of the movie. Has the story been told before? Yes it has, but this movie doesn’t feel paint by numbers.  I believed Gyllenhaal was a boxer, and bought his emotional turmoil throughout the movie.  You also bought into the love between him, his wife, and daughter. Rachel McAdams was good as Gyllenhaal’s wife, Maureen. Oona Laurence stole the show as his daughter. She showed tremendous range for such a young actress. All of the performances in the movie are great, there isn’t a bad one. Which is why a story told countless times worked so well.
A word of warning though. This movie has some heavy drama. Almost at a time too dramatic. The movie hits Billy Hope so hard with circumstances he almost can’t get back up. This is one of the criticism I had with the film. It’s almost unbelievable he would be able to recover from such devastation. The recovery is done tastefully, and it works somewhat in the framework of the movie.  I just think they could have not beaten him down quite as much, and gotten the same effect.  I also couldn’t predict which way the last fight was going to end. They could have went either way with it and the story would have just as much meaning, which is a credit to the movie on the whole.  One other thing. If you haven’t watched the trailer for this movie, DON’T! It spoils way too much. I watched it, and wished I hadn’t before seeing the movie. 
Don’t be scared away if you don’t like sporting movies. The movie is also extremely touching. For anyone with kids, you will be able to relate to Hope and his family’s relationship. The actors all have a great chemistry together and you buy into their love for one another.  I am really surprised to many critics reaction to Southpaw. Right now it’s sitting at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes.  That seems low to me. I would be certain it would get counted as fresh, or at least above the 60% mark.  Don’t let the score scare you away. If you like Gyllenhaal and you like sports you will get your money’s worth out this movie.
Short blog about Southpaw, but I’m going to risk repeating my main points over and over if I don’t end it nowJ. It’s a great fight movie, with great performances and a touching heartwarming story. Yes it has been done before, but the portrayals are worth seeing. Gyllenhaal puts in an Oscar worthy performance as Billy Hope. He won’t get nominated, but I think his performance is that good.  Anything Gyllenhaal is in now is a must watch at this point.  The story was a tad unbelievable at times, and overly dramatic. It’s the only drawback I saw though, and the boxing scenes more than make up for any shortcomings. I felt like I was watching a live Pay Per View event. 
My Rating: Must see in Theaters/Will stop and watch every time on TV

My Top Five Favorite Boxing Movies:

1.      Rocky
2.      Rocky IV (noticed I didn’t say best boxing movies, I said my favorite)
3.      Million Dollar Baby
4.      The Fighter
5.      Southpaw

Wait you say!! No Raging Bull. Well I actually have never made it through Raging Bull. It would probably make my list, but I have never been in the right mood to sit down and watch it the whole way through.  If you think I’m crazy, kill me in the comments, and tell me your top five. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Batman Arkham Knight Video Game Review: Best of the Series?

I finally finished the main story of Batman Arkham Knight. I’m still trying to clean up all the Riddler riddles, trophies and breakable objects. Two hundred and forty three seems a bit excessive doesn’t it??? O well, it keeps me playing the game. I want to get the final ending. It is one thing I really like about Arkham Knight. I want to finish getting all the Riddler trophies, so I can beat him.  I know Arkham City had something similar, but I wasn’t nearly as invested.  Once I beat City, I went back a few times to try to get 100%, but my heart was never in it.  The main story in City was amazing, but the side missions didn’t seem to integrate as well as Arkham Knights side missions do. All three Rocksteady Batman games have been spectacular, but I really prefer Knight or Asylum as my favorite.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room first. The Batmobile. I loved the addition to the game. I got tired of gliding around Arkham City. It was one of the most tedious aspects of the game to me. It was great to zoom around the streets of Gotham in the mythic car, and the tank fights are extremely fun. I’ll grant they aren’t very Batman, but I enjoyed them all the same. They added the right amount of freshness to the game so it didn’t feel stagnate.  The Batmobile  does have a downside. They relied on the Batmobile to heavily in missions. You are forced to use it in the main quest a few too many times. If they would have just used it for the side missions, or taken out the side missions which required its use, the batmobile would have been more seamlessly integrated into the game. No spoilers, but one side mission in particular screams for hand to hand combat, and all you are left with is a tank fight. I think this is probably the biggest complaint of people who didn’t like using the batmobile. If you weren’t forced to use it as much, it would have been well received. I personally still loved using it, and thought it a much needed aspect in the game. I however can see why some hate its addition. Without the batmobile though, Arkham Knight would have felt like a larger Arkham City with a different story.
Rocksteady isn’t Bioware, but they come damn close in their storytelling. What comes across in all three games is their love of Batman. Before Rocksteady took on developing Batman games, superhero games sucked. The amount of depth and backstory they use to draw on makes you feel like you are playing in an animated comic book. Their slogan is “Be the Bat”, and it's  very  apt. You can lose yourself in the game. The ending in Arkham Knight isn’t as good as City, not sure how you top that ending, but I think it rivals Arkham City story on the whole. From the very beginning you are engaged in wanting to stop Scarecrow and find out who the Arkham Knight is. They also integrate Joker into the story in a genius way. Mark Hamill is always great as the Joker, and he doesn’t disappoint in the game. The main story pits you against the Arkham Knight and his army of mercenaries. They are helping Scarecrow try and distribute his fear toxin to the entire city of Gotham. You have to stop him, and there are quite a few twists and turns throughout the game. They aren’t too hard to decipher, but it is still a very intriguing story. When you take it along with the other side missions it truly becomes a masterpiece.
 One of the downsides to Arkham City where the side missions. They didn’t seem to flow into the main story. This is rectified in Arkham Knight. Most of the side missions add to the overall story. If they don’t deal with the main plot, they don’t pull you out of the main mission the way they did in City.  They are all compelling enough to make you want to finish. I enjoyed every side-quest in this game, especially the murder mystery. Rocksteady has used detective aspects in all of its games, but I especially loved it in Arkham Knight. It was earlier creepy hearing opera music and having to investigate another corpse. The Man-Bat side story was another solid side mission, and made me jump out of my seat a couple of times. There are few moments which made me jump in Arkham Knight. I wasn’t expecting to jump scares, but they worked extremely well.
There isn’t much in Arkham Knight which doesn’t work. The game looks beautiful and runs smoothly on my Xbox One, sorry PC fans. The game has frozen a couple of times, but nothing too annoying. I’m glad they delayed the game a bit to make sure they had a good launch on consoles.  Guess they should have waited for the PC launch though. It seems to be an all too prevalent theme for games to be rushed to release, and then try to recover with patches. I’m not much of a techy when it comes to gameplay. If it plays well, and looks good, that’s all I really need. The story and overall gameplay are critical for me to enjoy a game.
If you enjoyed the first two Batman games, the mechanics haven’t changed. Though they did add a few new wrinkles which I greatly enjoyed. I liked the fear takedowns, and the addition of medic enemies. It forces you to evaluate and prioritize targets in both melee and predator fights. The D-pad is slightly different in this game than others, and it took me a bit to get used to its new configuration. Other than that I enjoyed the changes they made to the gameplay.
Batman Arkham Knight is a must buy and play for anyone who has enjoyed the first two games released by Rocksteady. If you haven’t played the other games, what are you waiting for?? Go out and buy the first two cheap and then plunk down coin for Arkham Knight. It is a must play for any gamer of any degree. The only downside is the replay value. Once you beat it, I’m not sure you will revisit it. Though after a few years I can see myself wanting to go back and play the entire trilogy. I almost want to do that nowJ.

What did you think of my first game review?  I’m not big on asking for likes, shares, and retweets, but….. I’m going to now. So if  you like my ramblings give me a like, share or tweetJ

Sunday, July 19, 2015

True Detective Other Lives S2E5 Review (Spoilers!): I think that was good??

I’m really at a lost now for this show. This episode was probably my favorite of the season so far, but it still had some issues. I actually felt a connection with most of the characters in this episode. Most of the other episodes have been a lost cause in the connection and caring department. If we take Vaughn out of this episode it would have rivaled many of the episodes of last season. This is one of the only times this season, the gunfight excluded, where I have felt true tension watching the show.
I’ll start with the obvious Colin Farrell was great again. Ray has a very tenuous grip on his life right now. He quit the police force after the shooting and his fighting to still be in his son life (One strange thing about the episode is the time frame. We are left guessing about how much time has passed between the shooting and now. It seems like’s weeks, but it could have been months.) This all comes crashing down as he realizes the guy he killed for the rape of his wife wasn’t the person who did it. Frank played him, so he could get Ray in his pocket. The ending tonight was fantastic, with Ray going to Frank’s house and demanding a talk. We also got to see Ray beat on the doctor from a few episodes back. It another brutal beating scene, but very well done. The spittle running out of the doctor’s mouth was disgusting, but added to overall authenticity of the scene. This also adds to the overall investigation of the original crime of Casper. We actually got some movement on the main murder mystery this week. Hey were only 3 episodes away from finishing, guess it is about time.
Ani, Rachel McAdams, was back to being my second favorite this week. Her storyline was more focused, and I liked the interactions she had with everyone this week. The scene for her sexual harassment counseling was not needed for the episode, but it still was funny. I can’t help but feel this episode should have happened last week. If we would have gotten actual movement on the case, and then also got the shootout it would have been masterful. I know, for the overall story, that would not have made sense. However, there would have been tension building up to the gunfight, instead of the convoluted mess of last week. The scene at the cabin in the woods was creepy, and them finding a crime scene was great. I expected another body, but I like adding to the mystery. Paul and Ani’s interaction during the scene was well done, and them together is almost as enjoyable as Ray and Ani.
Paul’s storyline was a bit better this week too. I liked the interaction with his fiancée and her mother. I feel if he doesn’t have to carry a scene he does well, but if he is the main focus the execution goes down a bit. The scene with his mother was unnecessary, and ludicrous storytelling. Could you really expect to keep 20,000 dollars in a bag, in a trailer with a white trash mother? Come on man!! She was spending that money the day he left it. The only reason the scene existed was so his Mom could call him out on being gay. Don’t really get how we are supposed to buy into that storyline. At least it was better than Frank’s.
And then we come to the dark hole of the television show. Frank. Why have him in the show? I am hoping it all ties together, but I think the show would have worked much better without having a gangster with a conscious. Three main characters for an eight episode television show could have worked (maybe). Four is way too many, especially when one is Vince Vaughn playing a pseudo-Trent from Swingers.  The whole episode focused on his relationship with his girlfriend Sondra (Kelly Reilly). Do we care if they have a kid? Should we care if they have a kid or adopt? I don’t, and it took up valuable show time to see them discuss. Maybe it will all come together for Frank’s character in the last three episodes since he is going to be working against Ray and the other detectives to find the missing hard drive.
This is why this episode should have happened sooner. The detectives racing Frank to find the killer.  I assume this is where the season is heading. I still am seeing the Governor’s son having something to do with the murder. There is no other reason to have those characters in the show. This episode was by far my favorite of the season, because you could actually see the story moving forward, not standing still like it nearly did for the first four episodes. Hopefully we are in for a wild ride for the last three and the season is salvageable.

My Rating: Minus Frank the episode was First Season Worthy

Trainwreck Movie Review: I Laughed my Ass Off

Now, seeing that I have a very tiny ass, I probably should clarify. I laughed all the way through the movie. Very few jokes in the movie didn’t have me or the entire theater rolling. One thing is certain, Amy Schumer can write comedy. If you watch her show, or see her standup, you know she is funny. The movie proves she can also act. This is probably Judd Apatow’s best work since Knocked Up. Though to be honest, I never saw Funny People. If you want a great date movie, that both parties can enjoy, pick Trainwreck. It has something for everyone.
The premise is standard romantic comedy fair, except the roles are reversed. Instead of the Male character playing the promiscuous womanizer who drinks and does drugs, that role is reserved for Amy Schumer character, Amy… She is going to have to eventually branch out and give herself a character name other than her real one. The male lead, Aaron (played by Bill Hader) is settled down and doesn’t date all that often. The setup works brilliantly, and Amy pulls off the role with perfection. She is hilarious, and Bill Hader does a spectacular job playing off her. He is an extremely funny guy, but does a great job playing it straight for the movie. After they meet, the movie then falls back on standard romantic comedy tropes, but it feels fresh with the role reversal.
I truly didn’t know how they would end the movie. I wasn’t sure if they would make it a happy ending, or go somewhere different. If you want to find out which way it went, go pony up the dough and see the movie, it is well worth it. Along with Amy and Bill there are some great cameos from a few sports stars. LeBron James plays Dr. Aarons’ buddy who wants him to be happy. LeBron does a great job playing a version of himself. The other cameo/role is from John Cena, who plays Amy’s boyfriend at the start of the show. He is hilarious. I don’t want to spoil anything, but his small role alone is worth the price of admission. He had me cracking up. The other supporting cast members are great, Colin Quin as Amy’s dad is funny as hell.  Brie Larson does a good job as Amy’s somewhat normalized sister. The only one who’s jokes didn’t hit all the time was Tilda Swinton who played Amy’s boss Dianna. I honestly didn’t know it was her who played the boss until I looked it up. She did a good job, but her jokes seemed a little forced. They went for awkward situational laughs from her, and they fell flat a few times.
The only other issue with the movie is its run time, which seems to be a theme with Apatow flicks. They could have cut a few scenes and it would have moved the movie along. A few times the scenes felt thrown in and interrupted the entire flow of the movie. A couple of times it felt like the scenes where part of a skit show. Granted that’s what Amy Schumer usually rights for so that could be expected. One cameo scene in particular could have been left out altogether.  This is really the only issue with the movie, and I still laughed through the parts that could have been cut.
The movie also had a surprisingly amount of heart. I was expecting more raunchy fun, but got some actual drama. I think they did a good job of showing how damaged Amy character was, and trying to justify some of her actions through these issues. It is what drove the movie forward, instead of just being a hodge-podge of different sketch scenes. It shows Amy Schumer has the potential to be a comedy movie star. We will have to see what she does with follow-up movies, but her first one was a roaring success.
I had a great time watching Trainwreck, and would watch it again. Not in theaters, but will definitely watch it again once it comes out on blu-ray. I’m not sure it is one I will pick up the day it comes out.  It is one you can wait for the price to drop and it go to the 7.99 sale bin. Still worth owning, but I usually don’t shell out for comedies on day one blu-ray releases datesJ. It was a great weekend at the movies. Ant-Man and Trainwreck where both stellar. Hopefully the rest of the summer continues the good trend.

My Rating: Own on Blu-Ray

Top Five Favorite Romantic Comedies
1.      The Princess Bride: Not really sure it qualifies as a Rom-Com, but it doesn’t really fit anywhere, which is why it’s so great!!
2.      High Fidelity: This movie is the reason I make all my list five instead of tenJ
3.      The Wedding Singer: My first dance with my wife was to the song Adam Sandler sings to Drew Barrymore on the plane
4.      Chasing Amy:

5.      Clueless: just because I can include it on two top five’s on blogs in a week

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ant-Man Movie Review: Comedians do make good Super-Heroes

Well, Marvel did it again. They took a lesser known super-hero with a strange premise and turned it into a really solid movie. Ant-Man isn’t as strong as Guardians was last year, though that may be my love of space adventures talking. It’s comes close, and I’m wondering if Marvel will ever mess up again. They can; Captain America The First Avenger, Iron Man 3, and both Thor’s, are about it though (down Marvel fan boys, back, back I say). Those are still enjoyable movies, they just aren’t at the level of what Marvel has churned out recently.  Ant-Man takes us on a great ride, and Paul Rudd hits a home run as the title character. The movie works because Rudd is a believable loveable loser. You want him to become the hero and save the day.
We start out with Scott Lang, Paul Rudd, in prison getting ready to be released. He is trying to go straight, but gets roped into helping Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas. What makes Ant-Man work is the comedy interlaced within the movie. Rudd has his handiwork all over the script, and it shows. There are only a few jokes that don’t really work throughout the film. If Ant-Man tried to be serious I don’t think the movie would work. It’s weird to think that a movie like this can exist in the same universe as the Daredevil TV series. They both are great, and really work within the larger framework.
The technology in Ant-Man is great. Pym created the suit and the shrinking technology. The bad guy, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), is trying to reproduce the technology and sell to the highest bidder. It actually has some decent pseudo-science behind the concept. It is at least somewhat believable. You can definitely suspend your belief enough to think a man can shrink down to ant-size and control millions of ants. The ants are something I did not expect. They are my favorite part of the movie. I loved what Lang is able to do with them, and they add to the overall powers of Ant-Man. Ant-Man truly isn’t as strong without the ants to back him up. They play a big part in the movie and help take down Yellowjacket (Darren Cross).
Where the movie misses slightly is in the villain. I really like Corey Stoll as an actor. I loved him in House of Cards, but his villain is just too over the top. It was hard to believe someone as unstable as him running a corporation. I also didn’t really buy the interaction between Cross and Pym. I couldn’t see them every really liking each other. It was hard to think Pym would have every trusted Cross. They try to explain this away, saying Cross has changed because of the Pym-particles affecting his brain. Pym didn’t seem affected, they said he was but didn’t go into how he was affected. However Pym was affected they did a poor job of explaining the risks to Lang. Will Lang have to hang up the suit because of some form of brain damage in several years? The other weird dynamic is Hank and his daughter Hope, played by Evangeline Lilly. I didn’t quite buy into the emotional issues between her and him. They just seemed a little hokey (I really like that word). Lilly and Douglas are really good in their roles, they just didn’t quite have the right chemistry together.
Douglas and Lilly however both have great chemistry with Rudd. He plays off both of them well, and all three of them together are great on the screen. Without a doubt Rudd is the star of the movie, and he carries the load. You want him to succeed and become the hero. The plot is well done, and special effects are spectacular. I didn’t feel like I was watching a something fake when I saw Ant-Man shrink down. There are some intense and funny scenes while he is shrunk, and it is what makes the movie so enjoyable. It feels like Lang becomes the Ant-Man quickly in the movie. It’s a good origin story and didn’t feel cliché.
I had a great time viewing Ant-Man. It was funny, action packed, and has good characters. You can’t go wrong with those three components in a movie. We now have to wait a year for our next Marvel movie. We have a bunch of TV shows to hold the fort until then. I’m looking forward to the next Netflix, show A.K.A Jessica Jones, if it’s on the same level as Daredevil we are in for a treat. Go see Ant-Man, it is well worth your time and moneyJ.

My Rating: Must Own
My top five Favorite Paul Rudd Movies:
1.      Clueless (Yep, I went there)
2.      Knocked Up
3.      I Love you Man
4.      The 40-Year old Virgin

5.      Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Sunday, July 12, 2015

True Detective Down Will Come S2E4 Review (Spoilers!) Well at Least the action was good

Well at the least the action was good. That is the only redeeming aspect of this week’s episode. I feel it was just thrown on so we could have an action sequence. They caught the guy they think might have killed Casper. We know it’s not, and Ray know it isn’t since Frank told him about the other murder. It’s a serial killer on the loose. We are halfway through the season, and on the next episode they are finally going to start hunting for the right suspect. I’m almost done with this season. I’ll keep watching, but I’m not sure I’m going to be tuning in on Sunday nights anymore. I may wait for the final four to be released and binge them. I keep waiting for some payoff, but nothing is happening, besides the action sequence at the end.
The action at the end was gory and brutal. It was well shot, and intense. It had a realistic vibe running through it. Collin Farrell was perfect, hands shaking at the end showing adrenaline wearing off, and realizing the mess all around them.  He continues to be the saving grace of the show. Taylor Kitsch and his character looked at home during the action, which is some of his best acting this season.  Rachael McAdams character was even unbearable this week, spouting weird lines along with Frank. Vince Vaughn was a little more tolerable, or I’m just slowly getting used to his character.
Some of the best sequences continue to be when two detectives are in the car together. They missed the mark slightly this week.. Ray talking to Paul about a bender seemed forced and awkward. Ray and Ani scenes where good this week, but still weren’t the best. I did laugh out loud one time with a crack Ani or Ray made. I don’t remember the line now, but hey a laugh is a good thing.  One of the few good things in the episode.
The ending was respectable, and made the episode worth watching. I still get the feeling the whole episode was just waiting for the ending. Nothing else of importance happened, other than Frank establishing his power base. Nothing was moved forward for the overall case. Ani got suspended, but I don’t get that storyline. Why give her more trouble? I’m ok with struggle for characters, but for stuff that isn’t complete bullshit. I know that’s part of the point, but I don’t see it going anywhere for the overall story. I guess it will with the weird Mayor angle. I still expect him to have more to do with plot. I’m still calling the son or someone in their family having something to do with the murder.
I don’t have any real desire to figure out the mystery. I did last year. I don’t want to compare this year to last, but I’m going to nowJ. It was a good mystery last year, and the tension of the season kept building. You wanted to know what was going happen. I don’t have that feeling this year. I’m not as invested in the murder or the case. Maybe if the detectives actually knew about the second victim we would get some more movement. I don’t know. I’m just not digging this season. I want to get behind it and like it, but the story isn’t giving me anything to like. Again I’m left waiting for next week. Maybe the second half of the season will be redeeming.

My Rating: Blah

Sense8 TV Season 1 Review: Another Home Run for Netflix

Sense8 is excellent. For an extremely complex show’s first season it doesn’t get any simpler than just saying it’s excellent. The Wachowski’s created wonderful characters and the actors brought them to life. As far as casting and directing there are no misses. Each of the main characters are spectacular and I enjoyed every one. They are complex each with failings and strengths, but together they can become unstoppable. The story was intriguing, and I binged the first season in just three days. It helped being on vacation, but I’m not sure I could have resisted tearing through the series during a normal week. I’m going to keep this review spoiler free, because even if just 50 people read this blog post, I want all 50 to watch the show. I want another season, and the more people who watch, the greater a chance for the second season happeningJ. Selfish, you bet your ass.
This is my one stipulation to Sense8 excellence. Get through the first 3 episodes. They are a tad slow. Still intriguing and a good introduction to the world our characters live in, but the pace could have been a bit faster. Once you hit episode six though, buckle your seat belt. I watched the last six episodes in close to one sitting. You know, fatherly duties did come into play a bit during the day. This is one you don’t want to watch with the kiddos. It has some extremely explicit sex scenes. Enough that the show may be classified NC-17 if it were released in theater. They don’t detract from the show, are tastefully done and true to life, and add to the overall story. 
Sense8 follows the lives of our eight main characters. They suddenly have the ability to interact with each other regardless of where they are in the world. They can experience what each other is doing and communicate with each other. They can even take over the other person’s body, giving all eight people their combined experiences. It’s a great concept, and it makes each person in a sense a superhero. Each character brings something unique to the bond. I enjoyed each and every one, the only one I didn’t relate to at first was Lito, played by Miguel Angel Silvestre. He had the biggest story growth of the season, and by the end I liked where they left him. It didn’t seem like he would add much to the overall connection of the others. In fact he probably had the least interaction with any of the other characters.  He, however, proved his worth to the main story, and was integral in the last episode.
Sun Bak, played by Doona Bae, was probably my favorite character. It’s a tossup between her or Capheus, played by Aml Ameen. Sun is a Korean women working for her father’s business. She has a tremendous amount of pent up rage, which she takes out by fighting in what seems to be unsanctioned UFC type fights. She is a very downtrodden character. I wouldn’t say depressed, but just unhappy the hand she has been dealt in life. She’s extremely tough, and it’s her inner strength that I was drawn to.  Yeah I know, how do you see inner strength? It just there ok, watch the dang show.  Capheus is the polar opposite of Sun. He is upbeat and always looking for the positives in life. It is his childlike exuberance and acceptance of his new found abilities that helps cement the believability of everything that happens. I loved the scene where he joins Riley on an airplane and is entranced. He is just ecstatic to have the experience. The same when he comes along to see fireworks with Will. Each time he visits another character or they visit him his joy is infectious. His situation may be the direst of any, but he is able to find positivity in all aspects of life.
I really liked the other characters, but I won’t go into an in-depth analysis of each. (Many, ok the few, who are reading shout for joy).  Regardless if you are a science fiction fan, you can get behind the character drama. Nomi Marks, played by Jamie Clayton, is a great example. Struggling to be accepted by her family as a transgender women. Every character has their flaws and warts that they have to overcome. There was decent growth for each character, some more than others, but each fought through some issue or demon.
Then there is the science fiction element. People are hunting humans with the Sense8 abilities. Once they are found they are lobotomized. The main bad is played by Terrence Mann, who has what every great villain has, a British accent. We don’t see a ton of him, but from what we do he seems uber-dangerous.  I worry he may be too powerful. I’m not sure where they will take the show if we get a second season (PLEASE LET THERE BE A SECOND SEASON). He may become the main focus with the Sense8 on the run from him. This would still make for a good season, but they may have to curtail the personal drama many of the characters dealt with this season.
The action is top notch. There isn’t a ton of action, but when it goes down it is extremely satisfying. A few episodes in particular deliver some spectacular action sequences. It is gritty and intense. Way more gritty than what I have seen previously from the Wachowski’s. It works well for the show and there was a few, O YEAH moments. In fact almost every action sequence was an O YEAH moment. Once you get passed the first few episodes the show is really well paced. One other minor complaint is the cliffhanger each episode seemed to end on. It feeds perfectly into the binge mentality, but each cliffhanger is almost brushed off in the next moments of the show. Not every time, but enough that I wanted them to stop using it as a ploy for me to continue watching. I was hooked without needing the cliffhanger.
One last thing, then I’ll stop. The soundtrack of the show is great. I liked the main theme, but also appreciate the pop and rock songs used throughout the season. I thought they greatly added to the weight of the episodes.  Who doesn’t like a little random 4 Non Blondes thrown into a current show?
Watch Sense8, it is a great show for those who aren’t even science fiction fans. The drama of the characters will suck you in, and you will suspend your disbelief of the impossible. I think the show is worth owning, even with it being streamed on Netflix. The drama and characters are up there with House of Cards, completely different show, but I thought the first season was on par with how good House of Cards is. I know Netflix is churning out their original content, and I haven’t watched all of it, but this is a show everyone should get behind now.

My Rating: Must Bing Watch

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Inside Out Movie Review: You can’t Prove I Cried!

I went with my oldest son and my wife to see Inside Out this week. Everyone who has seen it has given it rave reviews. I really liked it, but I wouldn’t put Inside Out in the great pantheon of Pixar movies like Toy Story 3 or Up. The movie was a good time with my family, and yes it may or may not have made me tear up at the end.  Inside Out was an interesting concept, and I would lay good odds one of the writers or creators of the movie was a fan of the television show Herman’s Head from the 90’s. I was a fan, and the movie reminded me of it. The movie was better than the TV show ever had hopes of becoming.
Inside Out takes us through how moving to the west coast affects a young girl. Riley is moved to San Francisco from Minnesota. It would be a big culture shock for anyone, and Riley has to figure out how to cope with it. The movie takes us inside her head, and we meet her emotions who try to work through the move. Joy is her primary emotion voiced by Amy Poehler. Riley is a happy girl, and Joy runs a tight ship in her head to keep Riley up beat. The emotion Sadness is left to read brain manuals, and told not to leave her chalk circle. An accident happens in which Joy and Sadness are sucked out of the brains main control room into long term memory storage. The rest of the movie is the two of them trying to get back to the main control room.
This means Riley has to function without Sadness and Joy for emotions. She is only left with Fear, Anger, and Disgust. Riley, on the outside, shuts down emotionally. She doesn’t know how to process all the things she is feeling from the move. Anger takes most of the control, with Disgust right behind him. It was a good representation of how any kid handles change. I know my ten year old can be one moody dude. His Anger seems to be in the pilot seat a bunch these days.
Anger couldn’t have been cast better. Lewis Black is perfect for the role, and he didn’t disappoint. Everyone that I have read or watched has talked about Black, but not many people talked have talked about Sadness, voiced by Phyllis Smith. I thought she stole the show. She was perfect, and Sadness was my favorite character. It was a great aspect to the movie, and the overriding theme. It’s ok to be sad. Not all the time, but it does help us process. Doctor and Del Carmen, the directors, are deft enough not to beat us over the head with the theme. It’s subtle and makes the movie touching.
It was a very fitting ending, and I enjoyed it. You can’t prove that I cried though. I’ll deny it, and there is no video evidence to prove if I did. No Senator, I have no recollection of those events. It’s a good movie, great for families. I don’t think it’s perfect for younger kiddos. It’s more for 8 or 9 and up. Just because it deals with ideas and concepts of complex emotions, and younger children will be a little lost since they don’t have those. Though the weird looking imaginary friend, who guides Joy and Sadness through long term memory, may hold them over. My ten year old (eleven in a week) related perfectly.  Hey, now I can say to him, dude your Anger is driving the bus let someone else take over.
My Rating: Must See in Theaters/Will Stop and watch every time on TV.
My Top five favorite Pixar Movies
1.     Up
2.     The Incredibles
3.     Toy Story
4.     Monster’s Inc.
5.     Toy Story 3

Spoiler Below!

Every time I have heard the name of the movie, my long term memory has played the great joke on me of recalling the Phil Collins song Inside Out. Every single freaking time I think of the title I get the song stuck in my head. So I have been walking around with Phil Collins Inside Out stuck in my head for almost two weeks now. I thought this very apt after seeing the movie and seeing Riley get a stupid gum commercial song stuck in her head. Enjoy the video below. Misery loves company and now maybe someone else will associate this song to the movie. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

True Detective Maybe Tomorrow S2E3 Review Spoilers! : Less Vaughn would be a good thing!

Maybe Tomorrow restored some faith in this season for me. I know we are only three episodes in, but last week really was FUBAR. To start with Collin Farrell’s character isn’t dead. For me he is the best aspect of the season. He is carrying the episodes as an actor, and in general his character is the only one you are rooting for. Everyone else is just kind of blah for me. Racheal McAdams is holding her own, but I don’t think they are giving her enough to work with yet. Which is becoming my major gripe for this season. There are too many damn characters and storylines. Let’s stick with our three main detectives and get the case rolling. This weeks was a little more focused than last week, and we did get some advancement on our overall story.
To reiterate, Collin Farrell was great this week. He seems to be the only character who is trying to overcome his issues, or seen trying at least.  The first scene was a little trippy, and we didn’t know if he was alive or dead. I liked the wake up line, “I pissed myself.” It was a good chuckle after going so deep with the near death dream. Much stronger start than last week’s Vaughn monologue. Though WTF was going on with that song to start the episode?? It was good, just trippy. I like that he is struggling with how much he wants to reveal to Ani, and how much he wants to solve the murder. The confrontation with Frank was strong, and it was interesting to see Ray think Frank walked him into getting shot.  I like he is trying to sober up, to not dull his anger. I think an angry Ray is an interesting RayJ.
Ray doesn’t have many interactions with Ani, and I feel Ani didn’t have much of an impact on the episode overall. One thing I didn’t get was the suggestion by the state investigator to push Ray hard. Even suggesting she flirt and tempt him with sex to get him to reveal how dirty he is. Ani’s character was very dubious of this, and well she should be. Just not sure how realistic it would be for a senior official to even make this suggestion. I think they may even make a romantic interlude with Ani and Ray at some point, but they will both be willing if that does happen. Ani has more interactions with Paul, Taylor Kitsch, this week. They seemed play off each other well, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them together. The e-cigarette running joke, probably should have been left on the editing room floor. We now know for sure that Paul is gay. I think they probably should have just stuck with one issue instead of two for this character.  Have him be PTSD or Gay, not both. Though I do think him struggling with his homosexuality is more of an issue for the character than his PTSD. Taylor did do ok this week, it still isn’t the best, and I’m not sure about the character. He was still better than Vince Vaughn.
Can someone off Frank already? The weird existential criminal is getting old and we are only three episodes in. I did like his fight scene and the interaction with Ray.  Though they were both still filled with clunky dialogue. I’m not sure if it is the dialogue or Vaughn’s delivery that is the issue, but something isn’t right. I like Vince Vaughn and I really wanted him to be good in this role, but he isn’t pulling it off. I was very optimistic when I heard he was cast, and thought he would be good. I was dead wrong, or I have been for the first three episodes. Hopefully I am eating crow by the end of the season, but I don’t see it happening. Now, does anyone actually think the killer is trying to mess with Frank? I don’t think so, I think it is a deranged serial killer. Frank messing with this scene of the murder will come back to bite him in the ass.
Okay the last WTF moment of the episode. Why have the scene with the Mayor’s family? It was really pointless, unless the Mayor’s kid is going to play a bigger role. Maybe he’s the killer?? Not sure, but I don’t see another reason for the scene. It was just odd, the same with the scenes with the mayor last week. Not getting those character’s at all.
This week was better than last week. Ray and Ani are good together, and I hope they continue to build their relationship. I’m still going to be tuning in every week, just because the story is interesting, and I am invested. Hoping the storylines get trimmed down and we focus more on our main detectives. PLEASE LESS VAUGHN!

My Rating: Better than last week, good episode overall.

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch Book Review: London’s Harry Dresden

Audible is great. If you like audiobooks, I can’t recommend them enough. They seem to always have sales, and you can pick up good books on the cheap. I was able to pick up Midnight Riot through an Audible editor sale for 4.95. It was well worth the 4.95 price tag, and it would have been worthy of my precious monthly audible credit. Midnight riot is an urban fantasy novel set in London. It has the unique twist of our main character actually being a policeman, instead of an outsider. The higher ups in the government seem to also sanction and approve of the special “sorcerer division” within the metropolitan police department. They may not like it, but they know things that go bump in the night exist, and magic users are needed.
Enter Peter Cline, probationary copper. He’s just about to be placed on assignment, when while guarding a crime scene he is approached by an eye witness to the murder. The only issue is this witness is a ghost. Thus Peter is introduced into the magical world. It isn’t quite as grandiose a reveal as in Harry Potter, nor is he an already seasoned wizard like Harry Dresden, jeez what is it with wizards named Harry? He is just a beat cop who had dreams of being a detective. Instead he gets to train to be a wizardJ.
Aaronovitch does a great job of setting the scene. London comes alive in his story. I have never been to the UK, but I feel like I could find places based on his descriptions in the book. The city is part of the magic. It holds vestigia, or magical radar. Peter can since the vestigia from other magical creatures, along with structures in the city. Stone holds vestigia, and ghost can imprint on locations.  Old historical sites, as in London are rich in magic and vestigia. It’s an interesting twist, and I enjoyed Aaronovitch magical world. It has a more scientific approach. Newton is not only the founder of science, but practical magic as well. Peter, the main character, tries to experiment himself and figure out why magic affects technology, like ruining his new cellphones.
Peter is an interesting main character. We only see from his perspective, which adds to the noir aspect of the novel. Peter is absentminded, easily distracted. During his assignments he will look at the historical plaques on the buildings, and not pay attention to the group of youth who could cause issues. It doesn’t make him a bad cop, just not the best. Honestly, he is extremely relatable, at least to me. I can be absentminded, shocker, and want to investigate the why and how to a problem, rather than just solving it. His magical mentor, Thomas Nightingale, keeps wondering why he wants to find out how technology is affected by magic. He thinks he should just focus on creating the limited spells he has told him to practice. Sensible, but Peter wants to continue to focus on his problems. He is also a nerd, which automatically endears him to me. Making jokes and references to Star Wars and Dr. Who others around him don’t understand. Aaronovitch has created an interesting world with a good main character and supporting cast.
The villain is a little lacking, and because of this the story falls a little flat. The first 2/3 is really good, and I was flying through. The last 1/3 just didn’t quite do it for me. The villain once revealed was an interesting take, but just didn’t suck me in. It was a tad abstract, which pulled away from the story and main plot. There is also a side story that gets integrated towards the end, but it seemed forced. The magic and other aspects are also obscure at this point. We don’t get a ton of explanations on certain aspects of the world, but I assume later novels will expand.  It’s what made the book go from excellent to good. I want to continue the series, just for the character and world. I’m hoping the writing style and plots get a tad better.
I got my money’s worth with Midnight Riot. Can’t beat a new interesting world, with a character who gets to explore the world with new eyes.  Even though the villain is a bit of a letdown, I am looking forward to continuing Peter Brown’s story and finding out how he becomes a wizarding policeman.

My Rating: Solid Start to a series

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Ted 2 Movie Review: Family Guy on the Big Screen

Ted 2 is funny. I laughed out loud multiple times, and it has memorable quotable lines. I can’t ask for much more out of a comedy. It doesn’t quite match the magic of the first movie, but it comes extremely close. If you like Seth McFarlane comedy then you should enjoy Ted 2. If you don’t like Family Guy or the original Ted, not sure why you would think about going to see this, but if you did you wouldn’t like it.  
It is a simple premise, Ted wants to have a baby with his new wife, so they try to adopt. He gets on the governments radar and is declared property and not a person. Ted must fight for his rights and sues the state of Massachusetts. It’s not that interesting of a story, but it’s a least a plot line you can follow. It provides McFarlane the device to ply the audience with random references and funny asides. Where the movie succeeds is the interaction between Ted and John (Mark Wahlberg). It’s funny to think a talking bear and an actor can have great on screen chemistry, but they do.  I don’t think I laughed at a scene without the two of them in it.  I’m not sure why a movie with a foul mouthed teddy bear is believable, but it is and Mark Wahlberg sells it.
Many of the negative things I have read about the movie is Mila Kunis isn’t in the movie, and the first movie was now pointless. Do we now really need the first movie to mean something? They explained why she isn’t in the movie, and I thought it worked well with the framework overall. Without ditching Kunis we don’t get the love interest in the form of Samantha played by Amanda Seyfried. I think her character brought more to the movie than Kunis did. She joined in on the hilarity of the Ted and John and made the duo a trio. She became a part of the gang, instead of trying to change John into something he wasn’t.
The ending storyline is almost identical to the first movie, as far as the Ted kidnapped aspect. Adding to the cliché that all comedy sequels rehash the same plot as the original. I didn’t mind it in this one though. In fact I thought this story arc was better than the first Ted. In the first movie this storyline felt tacked on and wasn’t needed. This time it was more integrated into the movie and made more sense. Again not that the plot of the movie is what we went to see. We got to see a McFarlane make us laugh and that’s exactly what the movie did.
I loved the scenes at New York comic con. Slight Spoiler, Patrick Warburton is in cosplay as The Tick, and it is spectacular. There are a few other cameos, which I enjoyed, and they didn’t feel that forced, they are just random aspects of the movie.
Short review, but there isn’t much to the movie. If you liked Ted you will like Ted 2. It’s not quite as good as the first, but it is a worthy sequel.

My Rating: In-between Rentable and Must see in Theaters/Will stop and watch every time on TV