Wow I am terrible, it has been almost three months since the last post! Wow, where did the time go? Well I actually was very busy for the past couple of months but my attention is now to you whatever few and faithful readers I may still have. One of the reasons I had a busy schedule was due to traveling as my family went to India for almost three weeks. Now anyone who has been on those cross the globe flights knows that the only real way to pass the insufferable hours is to watch movies and that is exactly what I did! So similar to last year’s catch up post after my trip to Barcelona, here are some short reviews of the movies I watched on the plane to and back.

Cinderella (2015: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter)

I loved Cinderella! It is a great movie for anyone to watch, classic Disney. Sure there were times when Cinderella’s goodness was almost sickeningly sweet but it was all made up for by the glorious Richard Madden as Prince Charming. He was fantastic and charming, (haha funny joke). However, I thought the best performance was hands down Cate Blanchett, who played the evil stepmother perfectly. Helena Bonham Carter was also a nice little pop of fun as the fairy godmother. Cinderella was very enjoyable.


Into the Woods (2014: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp)

This was a very different turn after the traditional Cinderella as both films included the same character but in different lights. I thought the acting in Into the Woods was spot on, including of course Meryl Streep and also Chris Pine who was pretty hilarious at times. The movie itself was just eh to me. I realize the story is based upon the Broadway musical of the same name but the pacing felt off at times. This also is not exactly a movie for children which I think the marketing failed to highlight. Into the Woods was not really my favorite.


Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine)

I have actually been meaning to watch Kingsman for a while so imagine my delight when seeing it among the plane films. It was a fun movie to watch and I loved the style and tone of it. I am a big James Bond fan so it had that kind of vibe going on at times. I was surprised by the actual reason behind Samuel L. Jackson’s master plan: the environment and population size (shout out to AP environmental students!). The film was definitely goofy at times and the violence/gore actually caught me off guard but only added to the fun in the end. Kingsman was chock full of spy action which I enjoyed!



American Sniper (2014: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller)

American Sniper is not really a film that one enjoys. It is more of a film that one just has to sit down and get through. I can say though that it was very well done though so props to Clint Eastwood for his direction and an impressive performance by Bradley Cooper.



Focus (2015: Will Smith, Margot Robbie)

Focus was more stylish than solid to me. It is a pretty movie on the surface but closer examination just leads to a very confusing and at times messy plot. The chemistry between Will Smith and Margot Robbie was very believable though. I think the movie just tried to be too smart and slick.



Cake (2014: Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Adriana Barraza)

I was  deciding between Cake and Still Alice (which has Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winning performance) but I found myself to be more curious about Jennifer Aniston in Cake. I thought she did a fantastic job! The film definitely acted as a vehicle to show off her skills but for good reason since it seems she has not had this type of opportunity before. However the plot of Cake was very underdeveloped and was more about Jennifer Aniston overall.

The other two movies I watched on the plane were Mili (a Malayalam movie) and Happy New Year ( a Hindi movie), both of which were pretty good in my opinion, but this post is getting long and my fingers are tired of typing so we will save those for another time. Perhaps a foreign film post is needed to also cover the many movies I watched in India as well! Let’s get into the summer blockbusters now in the meantime!



The Kings of Summer

Hard to believe it, but August has arrived, signaling the coming end to summer. So far, I actually haven’t watched many new movies this summer. Now that I am faced with the short reality of my time left though, I am going to try to once again catch up. Yesterday I watched Skyfall for the second time, but I decided to not to do a post on that because it would be way too long and up to the brim with praise (Yes I loved it that much). So I wanted to do a lesser-known film and chose instead to do The Kings of Summer (fitting, don’t you think?).

The Kings of Summer follows the summer of three teenage boys (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias) who in the ultimate act of independence, decide to build and live in their own house in the woods.

The film is a good watch. Sort of like a good book that you can read to pass the time. The different sequences in the film that showed the boys building the house and living in the woods were shot beautifully and had some great images. Overall it might have been montage heavy, but I enjoyed that. The story itself did feel a bit weak at times and that is probably why this is not the kind of movie that you think about for hours after watching. Again it’s a nice short watch.

The performances were all solid, but there is one boy who needs recognition. Moises Arias. Yes the little guy who played Rico in Hannah Montana. I gotta say, this movie would not have been the same without Moises, who played the hilarious and unpredictable Biaggio. His scenes and lines had me laughing out loud, making him the best part of the movie. Gabriel Basso’s parents in the film (Marc Evan Jackson and Megan Mullally) were also pretty relateable and funny when it comes to movie parents.

At times, The Kings of Summer tries to cross too many genres and themes at once. Dysfunctional families, coming of age, adventure, comedy, etc.  However it’s enjoyable and recommended for, I’d say, teenagers and young adults since some might roll their eyes a bit at the trio’s shenanigans. It really does though make you want to venture out into the woods and escape your life.

ALL IN ALL: The Kings of Summer is a quirky film that packs a few laughs and great montages over a story that still comes up a bit short.

2013, Rated R (language), 95 minutes