Posts Tagged ‘Now You See Me’

Internet!! It’s that magical time of year once more, that time of year when we can finally answer that most important question: “what on earth will I blog about this week?” without having to sit around and think about it for twenty minutes! This is the time of year when the blogs practically write themselves and all I have to do is sit around and mess up the punctuation! So let’s start off the festivities with a nice bit of nostalgia! A look back at the things that we liked in theaters in 2013 before we look back at the things that we hated!

Micah’s Top Ten Movies of 2013 

In full disclosure: I have still not watched “Frozen” “Saving Mr. Banks” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” “The Wolf of Wall Street” or “American Hustle.” Yeah, remember how I’ve been dead most of this month? Trust me when I say that I spent a good week and a half of December with my eyes tightly closed while tiny ninjas slapped my retinas with fish covered in acid. Movies weren’t a priority. But regardless of that here are the top ten movies of the month that I did watch. It’s also worth noting here that these are just the movies I have seen this year. I know “Twelve Years a Slave” was supposedly awesome but it played in like four theaters so I didn’t watch it. Sorry sports fans.  

10. Monster University

Squeeking in at number 10 is Monster University with the HUGE asterisk next to it that I did not watch Frozen and that Frozen is probably a better movie. I liked Monster University but I didn’t think it was anything awesome nor did I think it was a ton better than the first one. In fact the primary result of me watching this movie was that I wanted to go back and watch the first movie again. That may not sound like super high praise and honestly, it isn’t. I feel like the bottom four on this list are a good ways below the top 5 as far as sweet sweet goodness goes.

9. World War Z

Hey a Zombie movie!! See, I’m not completely closed minded. A surprisingly heartfelt affair, World War Z starred Brad Pitt and Zombies that sounded like hungry squirrels and moved as fast as teenage girls racing for the last Taylor Swift CD. It was a pretty good movie and did some interesting stuff with an old old idea and I am thusly awarding it number 9 on this not at all renowned list.

8. Oblivion

Yup… Tom Cruise made this list. I don’t know what I stand for anymore. Can you imagine if I’d really liked Saving Mr. Banks so Tom Cruise AND Tom Hanks were on this list? I’d have to ritually light this website on fire. That would be the worst thing ever. Anyway, I really liked Oblivion and thought that Cruise and Morgan Freeman and whoever that lady who played Tom Cruise’s wife was did a really good job with it. It was a movie that surprised me, and I do love surprises. Speaking of which…

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Never mow your lawn again!! Buy a skyhouse (and stay the hay away from the railings)

7. Now You See Me

Definitely my surprise movie of the year right here. It certainly had potential to be good but it also had the potential to be forgettable and predictable two things it definitely wasn’t. I thought the cast was great and the story (while taking a strong left turn at bizarre junction at the end) held up very well throughout. It was exactly what you want out of an old school magician movie and well worth a number seven ranking!

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If the sequel to this isn’t called “Now You Don’t” I’m not watching it.

6. Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 was so close to being awesome but a few little things here and there along with one giant Gwennyth Paltrow ruining the end dropped it down to number 6. It was still a really good movie though and featured another stellar outing for Robert Downey Jr, so it really was well worth the watching and definitely an upgrade from the second movie which seemed to forget midway through the film that it was an Iron Man movie, in favor of being the story of an uninteresting Russian person and his parrot.  

5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Okay so that was like movie Tier 1 back there. 10-6 were all pretty close goodness-wise then there is a huge gap, followed by 5-3 which were all pretty close and then another slightly smaller gap before 2-1. Not that any of you wanted to know that or that it matters at all but I figured I would throw it out there. Back to the movie at hand though, Catching Fire is the rare example of a sequel that actually outdid the original. It builds very nicely on the groundwork of the previous movie both with its characters and with its storylines and it also definitely moves along much smoother than the last movie which helps a lot. Some people complained that the ending was too much of a cliffhanger but you kinda knew that going in right? I mean there are three books out there guys, and any time you have a trilogy you have a terrible cliffhanger at the end of book 2. It’s like a rule or something.

4. Thor: The Dark World

Ah, Thor 2. I don’t know if it was better than the first one or not but it was definitely awesome so who am I to complain? Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston continue to have some of the best back and forth on screen of any duo this year and while Hemsworth and Portman continue not to have awesome chemistry the world around them is so well built and the action is so stirring that your willing to forgive them a bit of on screen fakery. It’s a great movie with a genuinely entertaining lead and nemesis along with a well-established world and a great supporting cast. If you’re not on board the Thor train (not to be confused with the soul-train… trust me on this one) at this point I suppose this won’t convince you otherwise but seriously: watch this.

3. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

My issues with last year’s film are very well documented (on this website in fact) but I genuinely felt like this movie improved a lot over last years. It was still a different tone then the first trilogy but that was never really my issue with the first one anyway. This movie is a lot better crafted overall and while the middle is still a bit draggy it’s nothing compared to the miry, wet-concrete filled, middle of the first movie. The action is more actiony, the adventure is more adventury and the fact that Smaug is both in this movie and voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch does nothing but launch this film into the much coveted top 3.   

2. Star Trek Into Darkness

My most anticipated movie of 2013 WAY back in January actually did very well for itself. Great performances by the big three of Spock, Kirk, and angry Sherlock Holmes delivered carried a brilliant cast and the story was sweeping and epic and exactly as big as it needed to be. It got VERY slightly nudged out by the number one film but was about as close a second as you could get and should hold its head proudly as it boldy goes where no Star Trek film has gone before.

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Yeah I’ll admit I kept waiting for Kahn to suddenly turn around and yell “the game is afoot.” I’m not proud of it.

1. Gravity

As surprising to you as it is to me, here’s Gravity sitting at the top spot. No… for real. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in a tight, well made, brilliantly visualized film about some people trapped in space, trying to get home. More than anything else I just love how well put together this movie was, it built itself up into a fast paced yet surprisingly introspective adventure and didn’t waste a single instant of its screen time. It would have been so easy to pad this movie out with flashbacks and other characters, but Gravity stayed small and intimate and made you pay attention to everything it did. From start to finish, from stop to start, from space to… other space. Gravity makes you watch, makes you care, and makes you love the whole experience. As great as some of the other films on this list were there was never any doubt in my mind as to what was going in this spot.

Well guys thanks for reading! Another year another top ten, and now (as is my wont) I shall start prepping for Thursdays column this year’s bottom ten movies! Come on back, it’ll be a party!

Well hey Internet, and here we go again! I could blither and blather and blonder on at this point about stuff and things and how my badgers are sharper then your badgers but what say that upon this day, in this place, and with this face we simply move on to that blessed bolded font?

Micah Reviews: Now You See Me

Now You See Me was one of my more sleepery of Summer movies. It wasn’t as big or as well advertised as Superman or Star Trek but after watching the trailer (and looking at the cast list) I was in. I love a good heist movie (Oceans 11 and 13 are favorites. Oceans 12 is there weird, unattractive cousin who only speak Polish) and I love a good magic movie (The Prestige) so this was (I thought anyway) a great great idea! But is this movie for real or is it all just (brace yourself) smoke and mirrors?

Was THIS your card? No for real though, I'm pretty sure this is your card. You dropped it back there?

Was THIS your card? No for real though, I’m pretty sure this is your card. You dropped it back there.

The Plot:

Now You See Me opens with four magicians pedaling their wares… Which now that I think about it is probably not the right word at all. These magicians (wearing there wares warily) each has their own gig and their own “specialty” as it were and each receives a calling card of sorts inviting them to a seemingly abandoned apartment in the greasy, partially uncovered backside of New York City.

Jump forward a year and the same four magicians are now working together, performing huge tricks in front of large audiences, and none of those tricks are bigger then they’re grand finally in which (they claim) they rob an actual bank. Not only do they make good on their promise but they also just give the money away, showering their audience members in cold hard cash… which when you think about doesn’t make any sense. Cold hard? Unless we’re talking coins cash is not that at all…. hmm… So they shower their audience in room temperature, soft cash (yeah that didn’t work at all.)

It's a little known fact that Morgan Freeman can actually summon fireballs. The universe allows it just cause of his awesomeness.

It’s a little known fact that Morgan Freeman can actually summon fireballs. The universe allows it just cause of his awesomeness.

Enter inspector Harvey Whatsit (Editor’s note: I just want to make sure you all know that under no circumstances is that the actual name of this guy. Micah watched this movie the same night he submitted this blog and he put the name “Harvey Whatsit” in place of one of the main characters. I’ve known lettuce heads with better memories.) Harvey is a hardboiled cop dipped in ranch dressing and… wo. Sorry, now I want an egg. Hang on.

*Various egg making/chicken thefting sounds*

Okay. I’m back. Where were we? Oh yeah, so Harvey Whatsit has no time for magic, mysteries, or mangoes but he finds himself sucked into a world he doesn’t understand, being forced to ask questions he never thought he’d have to.

Are these four magicians for real? Will Harvey Whatsit manage to catch them in the act? And whose pulling the real strings behind the scenes of all of this skullduggery? Only time (and the actual movie) will tell.

I'm totally installing some dry ice in my living room.

I’m totally installing some dry ice in my living room.

The Positrons:

A really, really great cast of actors comes together and delivers stellar performances all around. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are great as magicians, Mark Ruffalo turns in a brilliant performance as Harvey, and Michael Caine and Morgan  Freeman are there usual awesome selves. It’s just a very well acted movie where each character and line are handled with conviction and belief that keep you thoroughly and wholly involved with the movie.

Great pacing and movement keep you right in the action throughout the film. The dialogue itself never really hits any huge plateau but what it lacks in style it  makes up for in raw force as trick after trick and moment after moment pull you forward with the movie.

The tricks and heists are well thought out and very entertaining. It’s a movie that plays its proverbial cards close to its chest but that’s what you want with this sort of film anyway. As the tricks and turns of the movie are revealed it’s more then satisfactory enough for you to forgive the movie for keeping you in the dark.

The Negatrons:

Not really much to say in this one for Now You See Me. I felt like the ending act was probably the weakest but that’s less a negative on it and more of a positive for the first two thirds of the movie. It’s like eating a delicious ice cream cone and finishing most of it but finding that last little bite to be mostly cone and not all that much ice cream. It’s not that it’s a bad bit of delicious, it’s just that after so much awesome it leaves you wishing it could have ended as well as it began.

In Conclusion:

I thought Now You See Me was a great ride. The characters were fun, the acting was solid, and the story had some brilliant action and drive to it. The ending was a bit of a stutter and occasionally I caught the “big reveals”  before they were revealed but none of that takes away from the fact that Now You See Me is a great movie! You should see Now You See Me, before it (dun dun DUN) disappears.

I give it 4 Harvey Whatsit’s out of 5.

Internet!! How in the world are you? What’s the shizzle? How’s the drizzle? Where’s Miss Frizzle? Oh good. Glad to hear it. No really, I am. I mean I was worried for a sec there.

All right, well, now that our formalities are out of the way I (at long loving last) am gonna talk about the movies of the summer!!! I’ve been really trying to hold off on going crazy with the blogging about movies that weren’t coming out for a few months but bear in the mind the entire months of January, February, and April featured roughly two movies that were even vaguely sort of kind of, but not really at all, even a little bit interesting. But now summer is coming and here I stand laptop in hand ready to kick some movie-butt!!! Starting with:

Micah’s Annual Summer Questions blog 2013 ed. Part 1:

Questions of May

Man I have got to work on writing shorter titles. I mean pyramids were built in the time it took me to write out the TITLE of this article. Sheesh.

Question Number 1: Will Iron Man 3 (being released on May 2nd) help us rinse out the stale growthy taste of Iron Man 2?

Let me say that I didn’t think Iron Man 2 was a bad movie per se. It just wasn’t even close to being up to par with some of the other more recent Marvel movies. Iron Man 2 was the little ADD kid running around class chewing on crayons and bragging that he could count to “bear” backwards. Meanwhile the other honors students like Thor, Iron Man 1 and Avengers just sort of tried to pretend he wasn’t around. Iron Man 2 lacked any sort of narrative focus, it got caught up in it’s own weird sense of humor and decided it wanted to tell about four hundred stories too many.

What I wouldn't give to have a glowy death hand. Also, this poster makes me feel a lot better about this movie.

What I wouldn’t give to have a glowy death hand. Also, this poster makes me feel a lot better about this movie.

Iron Man 3 seems to be taking itself a little bit more seriously so that (while still featuring the awesome hilarity of Robert Downey Jr.) it’s story will be more focused and it’s narrative a bit more impact-full  Also, Mandarin (as played by the ever awesome Ben Kingsley) looks to be a much MUCH better villain then Whiplash who never really did much then pointlessly eat up screen time, playing with a bird. Let me type that sentence again: the primary villain spent large portions of his screen time playing with a BIRD. Yeah, Iron Man 2 was that sort of movie.

Question Number 2: Will The Great Gatsby (release date May 10th) be as much of a pretentious waste of time as its trailers make it look like?

Have you seen the trailers for this movie? I mean… I got bored and annoyed at the characters and it was only like three minutes. I like Leanardo Decaprio but is it just me or does all the dialogue in this movie seemed to be delivered with the facial expressions of someone with a severe stomach cramp? I’ve read the Great Gatsby and it’s a little pretentious and overly dramatic anyway but it seems like the director of this movie decided that rather then try and ground his characters in something vaguely resembling reality he would feed them all grey poupon and make them watch the first twilight movie over and over again before shooting. I could be wrong with this one but this movie looks about as entertaining as a copy of war and peace soaked in oatmeal.

Question Number 3: Will Star Trek Into Darkness (May 15th release) break my geeky little heart?

I was as surprised as anyone when Into Darkness was named as my most anticipated movie of the year, and as time has gone by and trailers have come out I’ve actually gotten more excited about it. If this movie isn’t good I might just stop watching movies all together and become a Chinchilla farmer in rural Baghdad. That said, my hopes are still super high on this and I think the cast and story and visual style are gonna be well worth the price of admission. I’m not saying we’ve got another Dark Knight on our hands here but I’m more then ready to find out if all the hypeing I’ve been doing has been worth the hypage.

Also: Evil Sherlock!

Also: Evil Sherlock!

Question Number 4: Will After Earth (coming May 31st) be completely ruined by M. Night Shyamalan?

I really like the idea of After Earth. I like that Will Smith and Wee Will Smith (Will’s son whose name is in no way actually Wee Will Smith) are probably the only two humans in the entire movie. I do NOT like that M. Night Shyamalan has gotten his dirty little mitts on it. I mean let’s take a look at the last two big budget movies old M has given us shall we? The Happening was a horribly pointless somehow boring movie that featured pollen that for reasons that we’re never entirely clear, made people kill themselves. And Avatar: The Last Airbender was a movie that somehow ruined an amazingly popular cartoon series, and may have been the worst movie (non-Adam Sandler division) ever released. After Earth sounds like it could be really good but let’s bear in mind that all Shyamalan has done in the last decade or so has been take good ideas and make REALLY bad movies out of them. Shyamalan directing this movie is like letting blind Aunt Bertrilda back you a cake, sure there’s a chance she makes it, and yeah it’s a great recipe but… you’re letting someone else try that cake first aren’t you?

Question Number 5: Will Now You See Me (Also coming May 31st) be as awesome as it could be?

Not a lot of people have heard about this movie but it’s one of my sleeper picks for best movie of the summer. I mean it looks like someone took Ocean’s 11 and threw it really hard at a copy of the Prestige and took thay Hybrid of sweetness and stuck a great cast in it. Morgan Freeman, Jesse Eisenbergh, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo and Woodie Harrelson all in the same movie?? Umm… yes please! I’m super excited about this movie and would much rather watch it then risk watching M. Night single handedly stomp all over the Father-son combo of the Smiths.

Though granted, stealing Ocean's 11 poster may have been taking things a little too far.

Though granted, stealing Ocean’s 11 poster may have been taking things a little too far.

So there you have it friends! The Summer Questions of May!! Come back Thursday and check out Part 2 as I continue to work my way through what looks to be a summer full of awesome!!