Devil’s Knot

A while we rented a new movie called Devil’s Knot, another based on a true story movie.

DirectorAtom Egoyan

StarsDane DeHaanReese Witherspoon, and Colin Firth

Runtime: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMDb) The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a satanic ritual.

Rating: TV

This story in general is a heartbreaking story and parts of it are really hard to watch. I think Reese Witherspoon did a pretty good job depicting a heartbroken mother, but in all, the movie was so-so. There was a lot of jumping back and forth in time that got a little confusing. It’s a shame since this is based on a true story (the West Memphis 3 were released a couple of years ago, after a controversial deal with the prosecutor). I think I need to read the book instead! 

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

The Conjuring

Mike and I just discovered that through our Dish TV service we can rent tons of free movies. I know, we’re a little behind the eight ball on that one. It took forever to download, but we decided to kick off our free movie fest with The Conjuring.

DirectorJames Wan

StarsPatrick WilsonVera Farmiga, and Ron Livingston

Runtime: 1 hour, 52 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMDb) In 1971, Carolyn and Roger Perron move their family into a dilapidated Rhode Island farm house and soon strange things start happening around it with escalating nightmarish terror. In desperation, Carolyn contacts the noted paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, to examine the house. What the Warrens discover is a whole area steeped in a satanic haunting that is now targeting the Perron family wherever they go. To stop this evil, the Warrens will have to call upon all their skills and spiritual strength to defeat this spectral menace at its source that threatens to destroy everyone involved.

Rating: TV.

This movie was just ok. As far as horror movies go, it was a little predictable – you know, the haunted objects, the demonic exorcism, etc. That said, according to the introduction, it is based on a true story. There were some good, make you jump a little kind of scenes, but all in all, it was a little disappointing. I think the ending (I won’t spoil it here) was the most disappointing part.

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

The Wolf of Wall Street

The other night we rented The Wolf of Wall Street. Mike and I were both surprised by this one – surprised in a good way.

The Wolf of Wall Street (from IMDb)

DirectorMartin Scorsese

StarsLeonardo DiCaprioJonah Hill, and Margot Robbie

Runtime: 3 hours

Plot Summary: (from IMDbIn the early 1990s, Jordan Belfort teamed with his partner Donny Azoff and started brokerage firm Stratford-Oakmont. Their company quickly grows from a staff of 20 to a staff of more than 250 and their status in the trading community and Wall Street grows exponentially. So much that companies file their initial public offerings through them. As their status grows, so do the amount of substances they abuse, and so do their lies. They draw attention like no other, throwing lavish parties for their staff when they hit the jackpot on high trades. That ultimately leads to Belfort featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine, being called “The Wolf Of Wall St.”. With the FBI onto Belfort’s trading schemes, he devises new ways to cover his tracks and watch his fortune grow. Belfort ultimately comes up with a scheme to stash their cash in a European bank. But with the FBI watching him like a hawk, how long will Belfort and Azoff be able to maintain their elaborate wealth and luxurious lifestyles?

Rating: On Demand.

I seriously think Leonardo DiCaprio is a very underrated actor… he was really good in this movie as well! The way it was filmed was very engaging – my favorite parts were when he would look at the camera and talk right to the audience. This movie was not what Mike and I were expecting – it was less serious and more about the craziness of Stratford-Oakmont. This is definitely worth seeing!

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

Out Of The Furnace

A couple nights ago Mike and I rented Out of the Furnace. I vaguely remember hearing about it, but didn’t remember the story line. It was actually really good!

Out Of The Furnace

DirectorScott Cooper

StarsChristian BaleCasey AffleckZoe Saldana, and Woody Harrelson

Runtime: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMDb) Russell and his younger brother Rodney live in the economically-depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother becomes involved with one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast – a mistake that will cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother.

Rating: On Demand

This movie was really good… until the ending. I think they ruined the story with the end, but that’s just my humble opinion. I’m curious if anyone else felt that way. I think that Christian Bale is a really great actor – he was awesome in this role. Woody Harrelson was really good as well… I don’t normally see him as a bad guy, but he did well!

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

12 Years A Slave

This is a very special post because it’s both a book review and a movie review of 12 Years A Slave. I read the book by Solomon Northup first (as you always should, in my opinion) and absolutely loved it. Mike and I rented the movie the other night (all of the Oscar movies are now on pay-per-view), and it was good, but as I often find, not as good as the book.

12 Years A Slave Poster (from IMDb)

DirectorSteve McQueen

StarsChiwetel EjioforBenedict CumberbatchLupita Nyong’o, and Brad Pitt

Runtime: 2 hours, 14 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMDb) Based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.

Rating: Theater

Let me start with the story line. People suck. Like a lot. It’s amazing to me how awful we can be to each other, because of the color of our skin, our beliefs, or what God we worship. This is actually based on the true story of Solomon Northup, and what an amazing story it is. Lupita Nyong’o deserved every ounce of praise she got for this role – it was raw, heart-breaking, uncomfortable, and hard to watch. Chiwetel Ejiofor is an amazing actor as well… he was believable in how stunned he was not only by his captivity, but the unspeakable cruelty that was done to him and to those around him.

Here’s why I liked the book so much better – it went into a lot more detail, as books tend to do. I think some of the things in the movie almost didn’t make sense without some of the back story, or at least were made more clear in the book because of it.

This is both a must-read and a must-see!

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

Elysium

This one seriously got lost in the drafts… Mike and I watched it a while back. Not a bad overall movie!

Elysium Poster
Elysium Poster

Director: Neill Blomkamp

Stars: Matt DamonJodie Foster, and  Sharlto Copley

Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMdB) In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Delacourt, a government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. When unlucky Max is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that, if successful, will not only save his life but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

Rating: On Demand

I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan… in fact, you mention the year 2154 and my eyes start to roll back in my head. That said, this was a pretty cool movie. It is futuristic without seeming too unrealistic – ie. the characters face problems that are reasonable (hello, immigration… modern-day problem with a sci-fi twist). Jodie Foster plays a pretty good evil nemesis… she’s not normally my favorite actress, but I liked her in this role!

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.

The Family

Another movie that we rented a few weeks ago was called The Family.

The Family

Director: Luc Besson

Stars: Robert De NiroMichelle Pfeiffer, and  Dianna Agron

Runtime: 1 hour 51 minutes

Plot Summary: (from IMDb) A mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob. Despite the best efforts of CIA Agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones) to keep them in line, Fred Manzoni (Robert De Niro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D’Leo) can’t help but revert to old habits and blow their cover by handling their problems the “family” way, enabling their former mafia cronies to track them down. Chaos ensues as old scores are settled in the unlikeliest of settings.

Rating: On Demand

This was a really cute little movie… I love Tommy Lee Jones and he played his typical character (hello lawman). Dianna Agron was awesome as Belle – she had some serious anger issues and had a great way of “resolving” them. Each character had their little piece of mafia that they just couldn’t give up. If you’re expecting some sort of cinematic masterpiece, this isn’t the movie for you. If you want a funny, entertaining movie for the evening, rent away!

Ratings Explanation:

  • Theater: This means the movie is awesome. Go see this movie in the theater – well worth the $100 you’ll spend for a night out to see it on the big screen!
  • On Demand: Since no one actually rents movies anymore, this category has changed to On Demand. This means it’s a great movie, but it is as good at home as it is in the theater and worth seeing a little sooner.
  • TV: This means the movie is ok. Wait for it to show up on HBO and see it for free.
  • Skip It: Movie sucks, don’t waste your time.