Movie Mania: What’s Hot, What’s Not and What’s in Theaters and on DVD/Blu-ray! Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Vacations & Family Time!

Oblivion:starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Melissa Leo (virtually unrecognizable as herself), Andrea Riseborough (*plays Vika) and Zoe Bell along with a much larger cast.
Plot
The majority of mankind has been evacuated, leaving just a few solitary drone repairmen remaining on the planet’s surface. Their job is simple — stand guard over the ruins of a once-great empire by patrolling the skies, and ensuring the drones continue to function. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is nearing the end of his mission to extract resources essential to the survival of the human race when he witnesses a spacecraft fall from the sky. Upon investigating, Jack discovers the capsule contains a mysterious woman. With mission control watching his every move from high up above the clouds, Jack embarks on a spectacular adventure that will not only challenge everything he’s been taught about mankind’s most defining battle, but perhaps alter the entire course of human history as well.

Saw this and paid good money to see it. The trailers are the best part of the movie and while there are some fun special fx, the store gets lame and limp towards the last half of the movie and it takes a while for them to build up to that point where things start to make sense — that is if you haven’t figured it out in the first 20-30 minutes. It’s got as much substance as a doughnut– and leaves you with the same feeling as a day-old one too.

Iron Man 3 just dropped over the weekend and not a moment too soon! While reviews are mixed, if you are a sci-fi/Marvel/ action flick junkie, what’s not to love? What I like about this “episode” is that there’s a lot more juice than #1 or #2. When I say juice I don’t mean whiz bang special effects and action- I mean depth in the story. It almost looks like the previous 2 versions (skip the Avengers for a few here), were just set-ups for this movie. Tony Stark has serious issues with anxiety and all that happened in the Avengers. That “gods” and aliens came to earth and other “super heroes” appeared out of thin air, he feels like the only “real human” in the bunch and doesn’t quite know what to do about it. Talk about panic attacks– this guy needs serious meds but his drug of choice is work and his ego– except at this point he has almost no ego.

If you don’t like Thor, The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man 1 or 2, Wolverine, X-Men or even Superman (which has no relevance to any of the above), then you won’t like this. However now that Gwenyth has some juice in her role and Robert Downey Jr. shows off some of the humanity of the character (and one wonders if part of this isn’t just a bit of exorcism from his own history)– there’s some real relationships and paired up with the action, kept ME in my seat and with only one bag of popcorn without a refill. Yes it’s loud; tons of effects here; lots of threads to follow and tie up. Guy Pearce who we don’t see in major roles often enough definitely sizzles in his role. (He’d make a great birthday or Christmas gift- in case anyone is wondering.) Don Cheadle is terrific and very much at ease in his role and Sir Ben Kingsley is “spot on” with his performance as a terrorist setting off bombs and killing people left and right. It’s AMAZING how relevant this feels to today. If for nothing else to see how this movie resolves, I like it. I did spend some $$ to see the Real 3D version and it was worth it. It amped up the wow factor of it. Would I recommend it for everyone? No. (The couple next to us were complaining about how loud everything was. My question to them would be “what did you expect this to be- -Shakespeare? While there is drama and some real thoughtful situations, this is essentially an action flick. It’s like asking James Bond not to shoot his gun or not have a martini- “shaken not stirred”.

Compared to “Oblivion”, this one is a winner– plus trailers indicate that Thor #2, Wolverine, Star Trek Into Darkness and lots more are coming. Could be a good box office if you curate your movies carefully and make sure you put certain things on your DVD list.

Current movies out on DVD that were in theaters: this is a quick list with trailers of movies I think you should see in case you didn’t have a chance. I didn’t see everything but I saw a LOT in fall 2012. However I won’t feature trailers for movies I think you should take a skip on- because why waste the space?

Zero Dark Thirty— now in stores on DVD. Not everyone had a chance to see this and even if you have seen it, it’s worth seeing again.
It’s dark, difficult to watch at times, but Jessica Chastain and the cast along with Bigelow’s direction.. took Hurt Locker to an entirely different perspective and level. I just wish Jeremy Renner had been in this movie– I think his depth in Hurt Locker would have added something to this cast- because he’s evolved incredibly since that movie. But he’s not and the cast is still stellar.

Lincoln– an incredible cast of actors and brilliant acting within this movie and by every cast member outside of this movie. It’s a stunning cast and nothing less could be expected from Spielberg — because he’s smart enough to work at getting the best cast possible.

Les Miserables
When was the last time you saw a movie where everything – all dialogue, all conversations were done in song? I hadn’t ever seen it and despite not everyone having the most fabulous voice, there is some real challenges that everyone stood up to in order to pull this movie off– which was being able to sing and act at the same time, take after take after take.

Argo
My favorite movie from the awards season. I saw this in the theater immediately and I saw it again on Blu-ray and it was equally as powerful– but the nuances of the supporting cast– the glances the other people I might not have paid so much attention to were captured in that second viewing . Despite the knowing how it all ended.. there was still the anxiety would they make it out of Iran in one piece– the powerful acting sustained that feeling. It’s a great flick- it’s missed a few things that if you were looking for a documentary type film would have — but this is acting, not a documentary.

Skyfall
I LOVE James Bond/007 films. I have seen every single one at least 3 times. That said, I can honestly tell you this was the best one as it showed a different side of Bond, of M and MI-6 that shows a serious change based on the plot-lines. New characters, new ideas, a different face of Bond (that doesn’t mean it’s not Daniel Craig but Daniel Craig with a harder edge). It’s a thriller and the ending is fabulous. MUST SEE in my book

Silver Linings Playbook
What’s not to like about this film? Great performances– that it’s so much about gambling disturbs me but otherwise this is a film about REAL people and real families and screwy experiences that are so authentic.

Life of Pi

So many people I know didn’t see this and yet I found it probably the most potent — and affecting– movie of the season. It was great! The special effects, the acting, the actual way it was edited was fascinating. It was as personally meaningful in teaching one something as the Matrix Triology (though primarily in #1 & 2 of that series). Life must be looked at from a far different perspective than is seen via the Starbucks vision. Life is a potent force and what you take and what you give back and how you translate that into what it means to you should be meaningful in a very visceral sort of way. It’s not easy; it’s not always fun; it’s definitely painful– but it’s there to teach you something. Whether you grasp it, apply it or not is entirely up to you. Life of Pi can be a “pretty” movie to watch or it can be a movie that can change your perspective on life and those around you.

Django Unchained
The most unusual cast and the longest movie I ever sat through and couldn’t leave because I didn’t want to miss a single minute- that’s Django Unchained. Unfiltered, wry, modern, with a distinctive Southern style that’s authentic. Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington who were amazing in all their roles– as they depicted their characters in a very authentic manner. It’s a really unusual story and the ending is very very different. Quentin Tarantino does make a great appearance in the course of the movie– and it’s longer than most.

The Impossible

An amazing movie with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as a family on vacation in Indonesia and get caught up in a Tsunami. They have children and struggle to keep the children with them and find each other. Based on a true story, not an easy tale to watch but do it when you are ready for a story/movie with depth!

Pitch Perfect
The PERFECT chick flick– a combo of many themes here but it’s GREAT.

For those who are Trekkies– for the upcoming STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS
Hang on tight and buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Currently out on DVD (Today!!), Private Practice’s Season 6– the last season is now out and you get to see the wrap-up of all the different threads of the various plot lines. Granted, some of it is easily figured out and that Pete is “dead” and no longer part of the cast, makes a lot of this harder because the happy ending isn’t always happy ending.

private practice box

Sheldon still has cancer and his new love has cancer too and she’s dying. It’a all hard. Amnelia Shepherd (*Derek’s sister/Grey’s Anatomy) is amazing though her relationship is a bit too easy but parts of it made me wish it would have moved faster. If you liked the series, this would make a great gift for the Mom in the house. There is so much more than you realize on this last of the Private Practice DVD Collections. Lots of extras and LOTS of great acting!

Yet to release but worth a look for Father’s Day!
12 ROUNDS 2: RELOADED

Hot new movie — not really everyone’s tastes but for those who like action movies (that includes me) then this is one to see.
WWE® SUPERSTAR RANDY ORTON® arrives just in time for Father’s Day, graduation and vacay trips so don’t miss this one! Available on Digital HD™ May 21 and Blu-ray and DVD June 4
PLOT:
Twisted genius and a good man are going head-to-head in the ultimate game of cat and mouse! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and WWE Studios unveil a brand new chapter in its thrilling action franchise with 12 ROUNDS 2: RELOADED. As paramedic Nick Malloy, Orton jumps into overdrive in this pulse-pounding, thrill ride filled with gripping suspense! Malloy receives a terrifying call from a vengeful psychopath connected to his past, and the maniac (Brian Markinson) threatens to unleash a murder spree unless Nick can complete a series of 12 challenges without involving the cops or missing a single deadline. With no time to spare — and his own wife’s life on the line — Nick must piece together cryptic clues and hunt down the killer before it’s too late!

The 12 ROUNDS 2: RELOADED Blu-ray and DVD is loaded with extra features including three making-of featurettes, audio commentary and more.

12 ROUNDS 2: RELOADED Blu-ray/ DVD/Ultraviolet/Digital Copy Combo Pack Special Features
● Randy Orton Reloaded
● The Action of 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded
● Locations: From Heller’s Lair to the Sugar Factory
● Audio Commentary

Stevie Wilson,
LA-Story.com

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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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