Mission: Impossible – Rouge Nation

So, I went to see Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation the other night. I hadn’t actually intended to ever watch it (I mean, the trailer was good and all, but I wasn’t seeking it out), but my friend invited me and I thought, why not?

Firstly, I think it’s important to mention that I have not seen any of the other Mission: Impossible movies.

Secondly, when the heck did Tom Cruise get so old?!

Anyway, the movie.The director of the CIA convinces the Senate that the IMF, Impossible Missions Force, is an outdated organization and has committed to many sketchy acts and must be shut down — just as Ethan Hunt starts making progress on tracking the shadow organization Syndicate. Without support from his friends, Ethan continues tracking the organization on his own, but soon realizes he does need help from his original team…

I enjoyed the movie. It wasn’t the best thing ever, but it was entertaining. I didn’t like the first half of the movie. I know Mission Impossible is notorious for the superbly unrealistic features, like ridiculous face masks or gadgets that are absolutely perfect for a situation and come out of nowhere. That was my problem with the first half of the movie. It was kinda slow to me and boring. Plus the ridiculousness of some of the things that happened just ruined it for me. The second half of the movie, however was very engaging and exciting. The plot of this movie was quite intriguing. As the players within the story were all clever, daring, and deceptive, it was fun to watch them choose their moves and see who was playing who and trying to figure out what team the characters were actually working for. No doubt then the characterization was good. I enjoyed watching them deal with the things that came their way. The action was on point and the stunts were well-choreographed.  The soundtrack was my absolute favorite part of the movie. The music was just so good and appropriate for the scene on the screen.

The mind-games of the characters in the second-half of the movie, the sweet stunts, and that soundtrack were what made this film worthwhile. Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation was a good one-time watch. I don’t regret spending the time, but I would’ve been completely fine had I not gone to see it.

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Tumbling Emotions in Inside Out

So while sitting in the theater today (well when this posts, it will have been yesterday), I realized it’s been a while since I watched a Disney Pixar film. I missed the past three that came out, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to them. But I’m really glad I went to see Inside Out. It is a film that was very well done. The short that played prior to the film (I honestly forgot they did those!) was adorable. It was a story through song about a volcano looking for love—or as pronounced in the short lava. It was quite clever and fun. And then came the logo animations for Disney and Pixar. I always used to love the cute little lamp squashing the “i” in Pixar, and it hasn’t changed. Disney’s animation, however, has become quite sophisticated. Whatever happened to the simple mono-color castle design?

Then came the actual movie about the emotions of an eleven year old girl going through some big changes in her life. And the story was literally about her emotions. In the clever little tale, everyone has five emotions up in their head that control their reactions to the world around them. These emotions, joy, sadness, disgust, fear, and anger, also handle memories, and they must do their job well to keep a human mentally fit. When a mishap causes core memories and sadness and joy to leave headquarters, the young girl faces a new range of only bad emotions straining her relationships and ruining her hapiness. Joy and Sadness must work together to traverse the amazing inner workings of her brain to return her core memories.

Usually when I like an animated film, one of my go-to describers is “cute!” but that is not what I thought after seeing Inside Out. The storyline was surprisingly mature for being a Disney Pixar film. But what a fun storyline it was! The film kept me engaged from the beginning! I loved peppy optimistic Joy and sullen Sadness as well as the other three characters who lived up to their names. It was fun to see them personalized especially because their emotions weren’t limited to the ones they produced.

Following the adventure of Joy and Sadness was following the extremely creative minds of the people that put this story together. It was so clever… actually the idea behind this story was quite brilliant! It brought out many emotions in me. There were some moments fit for laughter, and as they weren’t lame, I did let out some audible chuckles. The story as a whole had a more serious note than other Pixar films though, and it was executed beautifully. Tears found the edge of my eyes more than once and actually jumped down to travel my cheeks once. The film was able to capture the frustrated emotions a young person often feels and the tensions within family that can be caused by big changes like moving as in this movie.

As it was animated, computer graphics were a necessity and as expected, they were impeccable. The voice actors did a great job! Amy Poehler played Joy and was great in presenting an exuberant optimist. The others also catered to their characters’ personalities well.

This movie overall was very good! It is based off such an interesting and creative idea and its execution will bring out the real emotions within you. You can be sure Joy and Sadness will have their fare share of pushing buttons up in your head if you take the time to see it, but after it’s over you won’t mind the tumble of emotions one bit.

Can you guess which emotion is which?
Can you guess which emotion is which?

Those Adorable Minions

So one of my best friends wanted to see The Minions, and I wanted to hang out with her, and the movie did look cute, so we went yesterday evening. It was a bit of a disappointment. It wasn’t an awful movie. It was cute, and it was fun, but it was a little too silly for me.

I realize when going to see an animated kid’s movie, I should expect a cinematic experience with content for the intended audience, and I am a fan of children’s movies. There’s so many out there that are really good. In fact, my favorite movie is a “kid’s movie.” I suppose then, my issue is that I’ve been spoiled by really good kid’s movies with well-developed plots. I really enjoyed Despicable Me (which for anyone who doesn’t know is what The Minions is a spin-off of). Despicable Me was such a fun movie. It was cute, a little silly, but still quite enjoyable. And then of course everyone loved Gru’s henchmen, those adorable yellow bubbly little Minions.

But a whole movie about these creatures who speak some sort of language that’s a mix of gibberish and Spanish turned out to be too much. The Minions didn’t have the same charm as Despicable Me, and it didn’t really have that great of a plot. Like I mentioned earlier, the movie was silly and that was largely due to its shallow plot. The Minions apparently feel lonely and depressed when not serving an evil master so three members of the tribe set off to search for one. They run into the world’s biggest villain who wants them to steal the queen of England’s crown. The beginning of the movie did seem promising. It was fun and looked like it was going somewhere, but it led to not enough happening. Events in the movie got pretty ridiculous. Were I younger, I would’ve loved this movie.I wouldn’t have cared about the plot and the jokes were mostly meant to make kids laugh anyway.

The Minions are still adorable though.
The Minions are still adorable though.

The silliness and cuteness is perfect for young children. If you have children, young siblings, nieces, nephews, etc., this would be a fun movie to take them to. But if you like children’s movies and you’re going to see it for yourself, it might be better to wait for Redbox or something. I don’t regret going, but I do think it’s more of a wait-for-Redbox sort of movie not a spend-your-money-on-an-actual-movie-ticket movie. It’s not the wonderful sort of children’s story you’ll find in such movies as How to Train Your Dragon or Tangled. I think Universal saw how loved the Minions were in Despicable Me and wanted to try to make some money off of them, so they quick created a spin-off story. And they are succeeding in making their money, especially through promotional products. I see Minion stuff everywhere! I do  have to admit, though, that those Minion tic-tacs are so cute!

Lol, genius.
Lol, genius.

The Minions is not a terrible movie, but it’s not that great either. If you were planning on seeing it, go ahead and go through with it. If you weren’t, don’t worry about it; there’s plenty of other movies you can watch. For example, if you have yet to watch Despicable Me, hop to it!

Jurassic World…and Chris Pratt!

Last week, I saw Jurassic World, a movie I’d been dying to see. 

To be perfectly honest, 25% of the reason I was dying to see the movie was because the trailer looked good. The other 75% was derived from the fact that Chris Pratt was playing the main character. I mean, after seeing Guardians of the Galaxy I couldn’t help but notice the man. If you don’t know, I’m a huge Marvel fan, and that movie was fantastic, so naturally Mr. Pratt started jumping up towards the top of my favorite actors list. And then Andy from Parks and Rec. With that loveable quirkiness, the child-like excitement, the crazy ideas, how could I not love a character like that? I want someone with his personality to invite himself into my friend group…Oh dear, it appears my initial review of Jurassic World was interrupted with ramblings of Chris Pratt.

So. The movie. I loved it! I’ve been asked how it compares to the other films, but unfortunately I cannot comment. I saw that original trilogy when I was really young and it scared me to tears — literally. So, were I to compare the movies based on my initial reactions,Jurassic World was epic perfection in comparison to the original three which were diabolical torture devices. But the actual gap probably isn’t that far. I’m sure were I to watch the older movies again, I wouldn’t cry—at least, I hope not. If my reaction to Jurassic World is any indication, then tears of fear and hate for the movies are the furthest emotions from the truth.

To keep attendance and interest in the Jurassic World park (although I think having any breathing dinosaur to show off is interesting enough) the board of directors looks to science to create a new dinosaur to pique interest every few years. The researchers do not fail to impress. They create an incredible dinosaur of their own design, the Indominus Rex, but they didn’t realize just how intelligent it is, so once it escapes, the entire park dissolves into a chaotic frenzy.

The storyline was very engaging and moved at a fast enough pace to maintain my attention. The cast was chosen splendidly (and no, I’m not just talking about Chris Pratt) as all the acting was very well done. Colin Treverroww did a superb job directing this film. And then the CGI was on point. With today’s technology and talented animators, it was awesome to see the scenes and dinosaurs come to life on-screen one I would and probably will spend the time to watch again. Everything looked so amazing and the scenery so pretty that I wanted to visit the park…If it weren’t for that one minor detail of potential death due to roaming ravenous carnivores…

Jurassic World is a film well done, one that I’m definitely willing to spend the time to re-watch. It’s a fun thrill ride into a dangerous world of prehistoric beings and very human antagonists.

I couldn't help myself. Had to post a Pratt pic. Besides, it's offering excellent advice.
I couldn’t help myself. Had to post a Pratt pic. Besides, it’s offering excellent advice.