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Due to an overdue and long vacation of seeing friends, family and celebrating the 4th, I am terribly behind on movie reviews. Therefore, this post shall be condensed and shortened like the microwaved version of your favorite dish.

Film: Iron Man 3 Director: Shane Black Viewed: 5.16.13

ironman3 via google

Not bad. I watched an action film! Why am I shouting this you ask? Because I typically loathe action films especially ones chock full with superhero one-liners, dainty damsels in distress and cliche plots. It’s sort of complicated. My childhood urges brings me to the ticket counter, and my adulthood skepticism drags me through until the credits roll out. Nonetheless, it would be a lie if I didn’t state that Iron Man 3 was fun and entertaining through its’ entirety. Robert Downey Jr.’s acting chops along with the cute kid yanked some giggles out of memore than once. However, in my opinion, the most enjoyable character was the false villain portrayed by Ben Kingsley as “The Mandarin.” As for the plot, well… you know what happens. All in all for a superhero action film, it wasn’t bad. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Film: The Great Gatsby Director: Baz Luhrman Viewed: 5.18.13

greatgatsby viagoogle

Meehhh. This is the sound I made right after watching Great Gatsby. The expectations were high due to word from several sources (some credible) and perhaps, too high to be fulfilled even by Leo’s illustrious baby blues. Point is, I wanted to enjoy this movie but instead was distracted by the constant glitz & glam, Vietnam flashbacks of Romeo & Juliet, clashing music and a consistent lack of emotion for any of the characters. I kept asking myself, “Why don’t I give a damn about any of these people?” Oh that’s right, Baz does not allow for things like elusiveness, suspense, multi-faceted characters or God forbid, a relatable story to happen. Rather, he gets Tobey Maguire to tell you how you’re supposed to feel. And what a let down of a narrating voice that was. As for acting, DiCaprio is wonderful in his role as Gatsby (even though the Tobes told me to say that). I can clearly recall feeling honest moments in the film twice. The first came in the form of a chuckle when Gatsby was nervous about reuniting with Daisy and clumsily knocks over Nick’s clock on the mantle and secondly, when Daisy’s arrogant husband Tom confronts Gatsby about his scheming ways. That’s it. Deserving-ly so, this film racks up a mere 6 out of 10.

Film: Monsters University Director: Dan Scanlon Viewed: 7.6.13

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY viagoogle

Seriously fun. If could bet on Pixar like a 9 on a roulette board, odds are I’d be filthy rich. The people at Pixar know exactly what to do and how to do it well. Speaking as an adult in a kid filled theater, I can, without hesitation, confirm that I enjoyed the movie and laughed at the same parts as much as any snotty nosed 8 year old did. Though the concept is the same as Monsters Inc., it was really fun to transition to MIke’s and Sulley’s earlier years as students yearning to become potential “scarers” at the prestigious Monsters University. While attending they end up joining a fraternity compiled of a band of misfits, one of them voice acted by Charlie Day (who is hilarious on his line deliveries)! Each of them learn to accept their flaws and turn them into advantages. With lessons to be learned and cuteness to be awed at, Monsters University is a hit. That being said, it was a continuum of it’s sequel and fresh material/ premises were undeniably lacking. I give it a cheerful 8 out of 10.

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Film: MUD Director: Jeff Nichols Viewed: 5.3.13

Jeff Nichols has directed impressive films such as “Take Shelter” (a personal fave)  and “Shotgun Stories.” Nichols did not disappoint with his newest feature, “Mud.” The film is set in his home state of Arkansas and captures the true Midwestern culture. As a Midwest guy himself, Nichols is one of the few directors that truly understands rural America and is fully capable of expressing this through film. The movie stars Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland as the two adventurous young boys, Ellis and Neckbone. In addition, Matthew McConaughey stars as Mud, the elusive man stuck out on an island, and Reese Witherspoon as Juniper, the down and out love interest.

 “A lot of junk comes down the river. Some of it can be worth of a lot of money after you clean it up, but a lot of it is just junk. You need to know what things aren’t worth keeping.”

mud via Google images

The Stuffing: The two boys, Ellis and Neckbone, venture out on the river to an island in which they have discovered an old boat wedged in a tree. The boys claim the boat and decide to find a way to lower and fix it. They soon realize they are not alone on the island when Mud appears, ragged and dirty. He confesses to the boys that he is wanted for murdering an man who abused his love, Juniper. He later proposes to them that if they help him fix up the boat, he would in return give them his .45 pistol. In the midst of bringing supplies and food for Mud, Ellis is struggling to define and interrupt love when he observes his parents going through a potential divorce, his upper grade girlfriend rejects him, and he witnesses contradictions between Mud’s and Juniper’s stories. Tensions rise as a collective amount of actions progress: bounty hunters are on Mud’s heels, the boat moves closer to functionality, Juniper’s hesitance to commit heightens and Ellis’ continual unstable home life all drive the viewer to the edge of their seat.

Mud, via Google images

The Overall: There is so much more to the movie than I can explain in a single paragraph. This film was well paced and full of impact. Jeff Nichols takes you on a sweet journey, one of which you would hear from your grandfather with an impressive resume. The story is one of adventures and romanticism and one that can only be best seen through a child’s view. Overall, I give the movie a 9 out of 10.

Band: MGMT Viewed: 4.30.13

I started listening to MGMT unwillingly in 2007/ 2008 when synth music was really coming back. I had made a secret promise to myself back then that Radiohead was the only acceptable band to use synth so heavily. I think this was a struggle for my old heart to never let the Beatles die out, which they won’t regardless. I thought MGMT sounded like senseless dance music, a fad of sorts. Because let’s face it, Electric Feel could have easily been foreshadowing to a disaster, e.g. Cobra Star Ship.

Cover of "Oracular Spectacular"

It wasn’t until 2010 when I started to realize and embrace their psychedelic musicality. I purchased Oracular Spectacular, and it did not disappoint. Not only are they inventive with moving melodies and lyrics, there is still an old rock ‘n roll soul in their music. If you listen to “Pieces of What” and don’t immediately think Mick Jagger, you need to seriously evaluate what you know about rock ‘n roll. They even reference The Rolling Stones in their second album Congratulations, Flash Delirium: “The hot dog’s getting cold, And you’ll never be as good as the Rolling Stones.”

mgmt via Google search

This is why when we heard they were touring through Portland, ME, tickets were purchased IMMEDIATELY. The show was amazing. The sound was great and the momentum felt natural. With every familiar tune, my heart was a flutter anticipating memorized solos and riffs. They even premiered a few new tracks from their upcoming album. The only shock was that they didn’t play Kids! I’m pretty sure everyone was expecting it, especially during the encore. Still, not a deal breaker for me.

What I didn’t realize until being at the show is how old I’m becoming. Practically all the show goers were under 21. I know this because none of them wore wristbands. For some reason, this bothered me to know that more young adults weren’t in attendance. But I did remind myself, on more than one occasion, that the band members of MGMT are 30-ish and that I’m not crazy old for being there and enjoying myself immensely. All in all, I would highly recommend seeing them live! Also, here is a mediocre photo I took of them:

http://instagram.com/p/YwL2RdsF7b/

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