Views on pop culture through my eyes

Winter is a good time for entertainment. There are usually a number of Oscar worthy movies in the theaters, new shows on TV, and new music releases too. So what movies, TV shows, DVDs and albums do I recommend, read on:

Movies

Top Five
Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson star in the latest movie written and directed by Chris Rock. Better than a lot of his movies, but that is still not saying much. For a comedy, I still found it lacking. I prefer him as a stand-up comic. Grade: C

Into the Woods
A fun musical mashup of various fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel with an all-star cast. Meryl Streep was great as always… Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick also did a great job. Loved the sexy duet with the 2 hunky guys. Grade: A-

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Peter Jackson’s fitting conclusion to The Hobbit trilogy. Lots of spectacle and cool action sequences. Not as memorable as the LOTR trilogy, but still a good movie. Grade: B+

The Imitation Game
It is an important piece of WWII history and LGBT history too. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley both do a great job. It is about a repressed gay man who helps break the Nazi code during WWII. Grade: A-

Selma
Directed by Ava Duvernary, and starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This movie chronicles an important part of his life in the American Civil Rights Movement organizing a march from Selma, AL to Montgomery, AL. This movie had me in tears and was very moving and excellently made. Grade: A

American Sniper
Directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Bradley Cooper as NAVY Seal sniper Chris Kyle. This is one man’s story of the war in Iraq, and his experience as a sniper with the most kills in US history. It was a well-made movie, and I liked it for what it was. He is no way a hero, and was a bit of a nut to me. Grade: B

The Theory of Everything
This is the story of Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane. Their romance starts with them in college, and he is just starting to get ALS. Despite his physical handicaps, he was very charming and they thrived as a couple. This was a story that I was not familiar with at all… everyone knows the story of the guy in the wheelchair with the voice box. This is the prequel to that story. Grade: B+

Wild
Cheryl Strayed’s book comes to the screen. Shattered by the death of her mother, Cheryl (Reese Witherspoon) heads out for a solo trek on the Pacific Crest Trail. She is dealing with her own personal demons, with anonymous sex and reckless behavior. This journey is her chance to start anew and move on with her life. Grade: A-

Kingsman: The Secret Service
A bit of a mess of a movie. The tone of the movie is all over the place… part Kill Bill, part Austin Powers, part James Bond… Colin Firth and Samuel Jackson’s talents are wasted. Wait for video if you want to see it. Grade: D

Still Alice
Julianne Moore gives a great performance in this story of a college professor battling Alzheimer’s disease. Is it her best movie, no. Parts of it played like a Alzheimer’s PSA for me. But I did like her relationship with her husband and children as the whole family dealt with the mother’s illness. Grade: B

Stay tuned for Part 2 next time. Please sound off on the comments below if you think my reviews hit or missed the mark.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Comments on: "Winter Entertainment Roundup Part 1" (3)

  1. guy.hubbard@att.net said:

    You totally missed the mark with Kingsman!! It was such fun!!! Entertaining, fast moving, expertly choreographed action sequences, witty, referential and respectful of the Bond and other spy movies which preceeded it. Samuel Jackson was excellent at poking fun at his Marvel image. The lisp was a genius touch. I eagerly await the sequels. I’m waiting for American Sniper to get to the cheapie theaters. I’m waiting for Wild to do the same. The Theory of Everythiing was Jane’s perspective as the movie is based on her book. It was an exceptionally well done after-school special. The acting elevated the movie. The Imitation Game was outstanding and deserved an “A”!!! I’ve not seen The Hobbit but hope to alter that situation soon. Thanks for the tip on Top Five. I was wary, for the reasons you cited.

    Guy

    • We saw Kingsman on the first weekend… the crowd was definitely mixed on it when we saw it. I heard other people complain about it too, plus all my Facebook friends hated it too that i talked to about it. But it has done decently at the box office… just not my thing. Wild and American Sniper were worth full price in my opinion.

  2. Marcelo Castilho Rogedo said:

    Hi Daniel. I can’t help with this article now. I used to go a lot to the movies, but since a long time I am not having fun in this way. I haven’t heard about any of those movies. Only of course the names of them…but the plot…I have to admit I am not. But nice article, of course.

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