movie reviews

Free Birds

Year: 2013
Directed By: Jimmy Hayward
Written By: Scott Mosier, Jimmy Hayward, David I. Stern and John J. Strauss

 

It suddenly dawned on me tonight, on the eve of Thanksgiving, that I haven’t reviewed a movie with a Thanksgiving theme. Over the past couple of years at least I have liked to drop a movie review that correlated with America’s mostly passed over holiday. So suddenly did the realization hit me that I had little to no time to consider an appropriate film. In years past we have reviewed Dutch and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, both excellent movies for the holiday. This year on short notice I had little time to consider before the most practical film of all was suggested by Amber. So, I may have dipped into my children’s fledgling DVD collection for this title that I think works all too well.

There are several films made for my children that I find myself liking just as much as they do. Titles that immediately come to mind are The Croods, Big Hero 6, and of course this film. Pixar makes great films for all ages too but all too often now they are trying to make me cry and it pisses me off. I will never get over that bullshit at the end of Toy Story 3. I’m referencing the scene in which all the toys find themselves in the trash compactor with no hope of escape. Instead of trying to come up with some new escape plan they all hold hands and accept their imminent death in what last for many many seconds before they are saved. Come on Pixar, why don’t you just kick me in the balls and make me cry honestly??? It’s obscene to have this kind of moment in a children’s film and nothing makes me feel sillier than bawling my eyes out in a Toy Story film.

I find that I cry far more often in children films than in adult films these days. I am unashamed of it in most cases but Pixar gets under my skin because they are just laying it on too thick. In The Croods when the dad has to throw his entire family across the gap in the Earth only to be left behind himself I cry like a baby, but that’s different. There’s the father daughter aspect that hits me in the heart and I feel like they earn my tears honestly. Pixar cheats by going too hard for that punch in the gut, and really letting the moment linger.

This movie however does not make me cry at all and in fact it’s quite the opposite as the laughs keep on coming. I think the story about these turkeys time traveling to get themselves off the Thanksgiving menu is hilarious. The two main characters are voiced by Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson making the movie that much cooler. You even have a lot of other great voices filling up other roles like Amy Poehler, Keith David, Colm Meaney, and even George Takei. They all sound fantastic and deliver on a script that will keep you laughing.

It’s easy the older we get to dismiss animated films for being nothing more than babysitters for the youngins but if you sit down and watch some of them with them you might find yourself surprised. I didn’t particularly like Boss Baby, but for every five of those movies there’s a Shrek, Wall-E, an Up and I know I’m starting to contradict myself naming a few Pixar films but those are exceptional films and Pixar has, in the past made some truly exceptional movies.

So if you get bored with parades and football this Thanksgiving day check out this movie with your kids. You will probably be surprised to find out you enjoy it just as much as they do. Whatever you do try to do something to celebrate the family fun day and not move immediately to Christmas. Take some time to eat turkey, congregate with loved ones, sit through at least one ridiculous argument, and honor the memory of a make believe history. If you already have your Christmas lights up shame on you, that’s Friday work. Tomorrow, that’s all about family, fun, some drama and a lot of thankfulness. I hope you all have a happy one and find plenty to be thankful for.

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SE7EN

Year: 1995
Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: Andrew Kevin Walker
Nominated for Best Film Editing


RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie is a perfect starting off point for this blog because in so many ways it is a perfect movie. Film Noir to the core and top of its genre. It was one of the first movies directed by David Fincher, who would go on to do many great movies. An all-star cast including the great, wise, and stoic Morgan Freeman. A younger Brad Pitt showing off some great range and outstanding acting skills. Gwyneth Paltrow, who hasn’t aged a day in 15 years now. Kevin Spacey whose name wasn’t listed in the credits to enhance the element of surprise. The always fantastic R. Lee Ermey, and even Shaft (Richard Roundtree) make an appearance in the movie. This movie was not for the tenderhearted in 1995, or even now for that matter. It is provocative, interesting, and shocking. The ending was more than just surprising it was emotionally compelling. Brad Pitt made me believe in this movie. He made me feel the pain of his character in the end, when he realizes what John Doe has done. Pitt became a star with this movie, I own the two movies he starred in prior to this film as well. He is good in those films but it is this one where you start to see his swagger. He manages to be ultra cool through most of the movie and then vulnerable and angry in the end. As I said before, he shows great range. This film is one that comes to mind when I think of Pitt’s best work, and personally I like to think that Brad Pitt is the actor James Dean would have been had he not died.
Kevin Spacey should not go unmentioned here either, he was just at the beginning of an amazing run that included The Usual Suspects, L.A. Confidential, and American Beauty. His John Doe, who kills to prove a point, is chilling yet mesmerizing at the same time. You know that he is a monster, a truly terrifying foe, but at one point he almost convinces you. He makes a point, you almost relate to him, and think that maybe the world has gotten a little out of control.
This is my first time blogging about a film but in all honesty I don’t think there is much more I really need to say about this film. I feel I should be careful to not give too much away about the plot in case someone reads this who hasn’t seen the film. I want to encourage that person to see it but I don’t think I need to convince them that it is great. I think the film speaks for itself, I am confident that anyone else who takes a chance on this film will enjoy it. Se7en was easily one of the best films of 1995 in my opinion, and owns it respective place as the first film on our movie rack.

AMBER’S REVIEW

Ryan introduced me to so many films that I never even knew existed. He created this movie snob, a monster if you will. This film was one of the first ones. The first, second and even third time that I watched it, I was amazed. I thought Brad Pitt was amazing, but being a woman it is almost a sin to not think so, am I right? I loved the darkness of it. I loved the intensity of it. Why am I using past tense? I feel like I can no longer say I love this film. I feel like sometimes I say I do because I am “supposed” to love it. But, having recently watched it for this blog, I find it too dark, and too intense. Don’t get me wrong, Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and Gwenyth Paltrow all give stellar performances, I felt restless the whole time and not sucked into the film as I used to be many years ago. I can’t give this film a bad review at all, it really is amazing for what it is, but I find myself depressed and sad after watching it, not the same “ah-ha!” after the first few viewings of it. Even still, I am happy it sits on our collection.