22 Jump Street: A Quick Review

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I admit, the first time I watched 21 Jump Street I wasn’t a fan. To me, it was one of those movies that you have to watch a couple of times to really appreciate its humor. I recently viewed its counterpart, 22 Jump Street. I have to say as far as sequels are concerned, the writing of this film was genius! There is an exchange between Nick Offerman and the boys that was so tongue in cheek. Offerman’s Captain character basically gives the perfect formula for writing reboots. You take what worked in the original film and amp it up for the next chapter. It’s that simple! The jokes were fresh and there were enough call backs to 21 for fans to feel connected with the characters. Ice Cube reprised his role as the tough talking leader of the Jump Street division. Hiss larger role in this film had lots of hilarious payoffs. This movie was very entertaining and, I dare say, better than the original.

-Ashley

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The List: Reunion Films

I recently met up with my former classmates to celebrate our 10 year high school reunion. I’d be lying if I said that I had been super pumped about heading back to my alma mater, but like most things we dread, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I actually enjoyed seeing everyone and talking about what has happened in the last decade. Our reunion got me thinking about films with a similar theme. Thus, a list of my favorites was born.

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1. American Pie 2: Yes, they made an American Reunion but I preferred the sequel. It was fun to see Jim and the gang meet up after a year of maturing in college. The thematic thread throughout the American Pie franchise is friendship. I especially liked American Pie 2 because it was about growing up and taking the next step.

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The Good Wife: Good Just Got Better

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*****THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*****

I’ve been a Good Wife fan for about three years now. Thanks to The Hallmark Channel and a week long blizzard, I was able to catch up on the lost seasons and get reacquainted with the characters. About a month later, our male lead, Josh Charles’s character, Will Garner, was Continue reading

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HitRecordTV: A Quick Review

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If I have not shared my love of the extremely talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt before, allow me to gush now. I’m a huge fan of regular Joe and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying his new variety show, HitRecord TV, on Pivot. HitRecord TV is a collaborative project started by Joe and his brother, Dan (1974-2010), in 2005. It began as an online spring board for artists around the world to get inspired and share their work in a community forum. With Joe’s writing, directing, and production skills, the site has developed into the creative work that it is today. The best part of this show is not just the all-star guests (which range from John Waters to John Krasinski) but that it is a work of art put together using contributions of… just average Joes! Below I’ve listed the highlights of this season’s episodes: Continue reading

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That Awkward Moment: A Quick Review

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I recently screened the comedy “That Awkward Moment” starring Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan. Was it funny? Yes. Was it as funny as I wanted it to be? Sadly, no. Although it was very entertaining, most all of the laughs were previously viewed in the trailer. In fact, I was sort of surprised at how seriously dramatic the film was at parts. I do think the writers did a great job of capturing the authentic world of dating in your late 20s. The acting was completely believable. Overall, I liked it and will probably watch it again when it airs on HBO in a year.

-Ashley

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The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain: A Quick Review

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So, it’s a new year and I’ve joined a book club.  I’m excited, but also a little nervous because I’m finally reading “adult” stuff.  It’s my goal to share with you what I’m reading each month, and maybe you’ll want to give it a shot, too.  So with that being said…  My first book of 2014 is The Paris Wife, a novel by Paula Mclain. Continue reading

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Ashley’s Least Favorite Flicks

We all know that life is short. Time should be invested instead of wasted. So if I could go back in time and un-see some films (especially those below), I would. To save you time, I have listed five movies that I believe robbed me of a fraction of my life (if one of your guilty pleasure films ends up on this list, I’m sorry).

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1. Surfer Dude
I know Matthew McConaughey wanted to show his range but I can’t even give you a plot description for this gem. I love seeing Mr. McConaughey shirtless as much as the next girl but after about forty-five minutes, I was wiped out. Continue reading

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Andrew’s Top Ten Films, Favorite Performances, And Other Bests of 2013

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Although in the past couple of years it’s taken me a few more weeks to see every film I’ve needed to from the year prior, 2013 was such an excellent year that I simply couldn’t wait for every film to come to me. And so I made my annual journeys up to Boston to see many of the films I was anticipating, even with the knowledge that they would be released where I live just a week or two later. What can I say? I’m an addict, and with my addiction comes the yearly, painstaking process of chopping my favorite films list down to ten. Doing so after a year that was particularly strong like 2013, especially in terms of independent film, has honestly never been more difficult. For 2013, a top twenty may have been more reflective, but I have to fit in and thus, only ten will do.

In addition to compiling my top ten, I’ve also singled out my favorite performances of the year, while also calling attention to those directors, writers, cinematographers and editors who I personally feel did the best work of the year. I’ve also decided to single out those movie scenes and shots that left an indelible mark on me when I left the theater. Also, while nine of the films in my top ten will not be ranked in any particular order, I will single out my favorite film of the year.

With 2014 now upon us and many new big-screen experiences to look forward to in the coming months, it’s always important to reflect on the year that has just past. Here’s hoping the year in film that was 2013 will stand the test of time as a great example of the eclectic tastes of the various members of both the Hollywood and independent film communities. Away we go.

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Andrew’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014

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With the year in film that was 2013 now a thing of the past (my top ten and year-end awards are coming soon), it’s now time to look ahead to those films set for release over the course of the next twelve months. While a few of my most anticipated films from 2013 will show up here after being pushed back, there will also be many other films to highly anticipate, which include new efforts from some of Hollywood’s most sought-after auteurs. Although it’s safe to say the process of getting down to just ten films was difficult, these are without question the films I am most anticipating in the coming months. Here’s hoping, when all is said and done, that 2014 is even half as good as 2013 was to us film enthusiasts.

Note: I have not included those 2014 releases I was fortunate enough to catch early at this past year’s Toronto International Film Festival. So no JoeUnder the Skin or The Sacrament to be found here.

Honorable Mentions: Ryan Gosling’s How to Catch a Monster, Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, David Ayer’s Fury, Phil Lord & Chris Miller’s 22 Jump Street, Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-man 2, Richard Ayoade’s The Double, Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn 

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel

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If shown a single frame from any one of his films, you’d probably instantly recognize the signature of its author, Wes Anderson. The Grand Budapest Hotel, his follow-up to 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom, is Anderson’s eighth feature-length outing as a director and once again sports an incredible ensemble cast featuring many of the usual suspects. Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman are all there, supported by Anderson newcomers that include Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan and Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes plays Gustave H, a hotel concierge who becomes friends with a lobby boy, albeit while the theft of a priceless Renaissance painting sets chaotic events into motion. Using various aspect ratios and a truly Andersonian color palette, here’s hoping the overt quirkiness of the concept leaves enough room for the characters to breathe. I’ve been impressed with Anderson’s ability to really bring some really powerful human emotion to his last few films, so here’s hoping he brings more to The Grand Budapest Hotel. It hits theaters March 7th.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk

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Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013

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In April, I decided to take on the Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge and listed my chosen adaptations to review here. Thus, my countdown of adaptations from loathe to love and “tolerable, I suppose” in between…

 

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