What to stream today?

We did away with cable when we moved to Chicago, and we really have not missed it all that much. Except for a sport event that might be missed here and there (we always have the option to go to see Football games at my Mom’s place) we get pretty much everything via streaming. I figured it would be a good new feature to balance things out to also post about what we are watching or find interesting.

This weekend we streamed 2 movies, and I guess now I know why I did not pay full ticket price to see them at the theaters.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (**)

While this movie was entertaining, it really seemed to be missing something. It was like eating a pie that had flavor, but with mushy crust.

The acting was great. There was really nobody that was too annoying and what was supposed to be dramatic was, what was supposed to be funny also was. The CGI monkeys were mostly believable and did not interrupt the flow of the move for me. Neither did the action. Every character was compelling in some way.

It is a lot to ask for a CGI monkey to be the centerpiece of the movie, but Cesar delivered. He did not seem to want to be a bad monkey, but he was… oh wait, he is not a monkey, he is a chimp! I can already hear the cries all over the ape loving blog-sphere.

It is a little on the violent side to watch with small children, so I would not call it a family movie. It does have potential though, it does make you wonder if there are more ape movies that can be made. I would probably watch another one, but not holding my breath.

I would rent it, but I don’t think I would ever watch it again.


Moneyball (***)

Ah, Brad Pitt. While the dude is still married to a girl I had a crush on when I watched hackers, everything past Billy Bob is damaged goods, I cannot hold that against him. He is a good actor and I seriously did not see him, I saw a very crazy GM trying to run a baseball team with no money to spend. I could relate with a dude trying to accomplish the impossible with no resources… I do work in IT.

The acting was not bad, the baseball seemed like the average movie representation. The movie was more about the man than the game.

While it is kind of a “feel good” movie, it does not make you feel very good. It has flashes of awesome when it tries to make you look at the love for the game, but it reminded me that football seems to be more America’s sport now than baseball.

This one is a kid friendly movie, but maybe nostalgia makes me want to share the older movies from the 80s rather than this one.

I rank it a little better than apes because I think I like baseball better than CGI apes. Overall they are both cheap rentals that should waste a couple of hours of your day.

So what have you been streaming lately?

Boycott Colombiana!

So I guess as a Colombian I am supposed to be pissed about a movie that looks so kick ass I cannot wait to see it.

The name of the film is Colombiana… and here is a snip of the movie plot…

Zoe Saldana plays a young woman who witnessed her parents’ murder as a child in Bogotá and grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. She works for her uncle as a hitman by day, but her personal time is spent engaging in vigilante murders that she hopes will lead her to her ultimate target: the monster responsible for her parents’ death

My Mom, Bea and I discussed the film over dinner on Saturday. We laughed and concluded that it will be cool to see a “Colombiana” portrayed as an all kind of baddass assassin.

I have always tried to be careful when Colombia is portrayed in a public light. I even saw the Colombian coffee growers being sue happy over a cartoon as somewhat of a publicity stunt. Boycotting a movie over the use of the name of the country and location seems ridiculous. As ridiculous as a Mexican saying that they would not see “El Marichi” with Antonion Banderas.

Zoe Saldana is all kinds of cool. You might not recognize her, but she was the main chick in avatar and also played the crap out of Uhura. However, I though she was cool since she played Eva in Center Stage… don’t hate, watch the movie is actually a good movie. I want to see her more as an action Hero than Angelina Jolie… and she was one of my favorite actresses in the past, but I think Zoe will be awesome as an assassin. That she is Colombian is no big deal to me at all.

I have come to expect Hollywood to portray Colombia as a place that you have to ride with chickens and pigs both in the plane and public transportation to get around. Heck, even “Colombian-Americans” think that way the first time they go visit the country if they are going for the first time.

If anyone watches this movie and it cements for them their view of Colombia, well, we are dealing with the same level of intelligence of someone that thinks every Russian is in the KGB and thinks that Meesha was in Argentina simply looking for other secret operatives.

Its a movie people, go see it if you like action. Try to be entertained by it. I am going to see it, I don’t expect anyone with half a brain to ever think of Colombia as a one dimensional place that is all about violence. Isn’t that place Mexico now? I keed I keed!

Kick Ass (***)

Since hating the movie Watchmen I have read the graphic novel thanks to Nuke. I am also patiently awaiting the arrival of Iron Man 2 and looking forward to a Thor movie. With good movies about superheroes come horrible ones, and thankfully Kick Ass is not one of them. I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible because I think you should enjoy go and enjoy this movie. It might not be a full spend 10 bucks to go see it, but I felt like watching it and only paying matinee prices was a complete WIN.

Since I did love the movie, the first thing is to let you know what I did not like. Marketing for this movie was great but can be confusing for parents. Do NOT be fooled into thinking that this is something that kids can watch. The themes and action is very adult in nature. I saw way too many kids in the movie and it made me question parents sanity when they expose their kids to that much blood.

There is a back story to the movie that could have made an excellent movie all on its own and it was beautifully presented. I like the art, style and tone of this movie. I am not into dark comedies, or at least I was not… this movie executes that in a very crafty way. You don’t love the characters or hate them, you just watch them interact and tell a story full of laughs and emotions. Escapism at its best.

There are plenty of surprising moment in the movie and that is what makes it great. I love watching movies where I cannot predict the plot from scene to scene but just simply sit back and wait for the next surprise. This movie was full of that.

The acting was superb and I wish I would not spoil half of the movie by telling you who my favorite character was, I am sure you will figure it out once you see it. The movie is left open for a sequel but I am sure this was just a one movie type of deal. Go watch it before it goes off the theaters… or catch it as soon as it gets to the dollar show! That would probably make it even better.

Gamer (**)

If boobs, butts and blood are not some of your favorite B words, then go back to the Bible and stay far, far away from this movie. Despite the title of the movie, this one is not family friendly and if I ever got around to doing my little icon based movie rating, this one would have a little devil right next to it. There are enough bare bodies on this movie to make it a 5 star on the XBox Netflix rating system.

The story is not a bad one, just poorly executed. The pace of the movie seems to move a different speeds making it almost feel like several different films spliced into one. While I do get that the different “worlds” are supposed to feel different, the movie pace just does not seem to make them all feel part of the same universe even if they are different realities within the same.

I did not hate the movie, it was entertaining and I went into it with lowered expectations. Just like GIJoe, the movie has pretty effects that would make a kid say, cool and awesome; with the big difference that this movie is not for a kid.

The character build lacks flavor making everything almost feel too formulaic. That would not be a problem if the movie was not addressing some issues that are relevant to our times, such as social disconnect due to technology and violence in video games. I don’t think the movie deserve the name gamer, since it was really not about the gamer at all.

Acting was probably what made this movie not a single star, or even a no star. While the dialogue was not the best, all the actor did their best to play roles. Even Luda did a good job with his role. Dexter was good as the villain, even funny at times. The stars earned their paycheck, however there seemed to be no budget for the rest of the actors because everyone bellow the main roles felt like an extra that got to say a line or two.

If you want to get to see some free boobies without actually filling your computer with viruses, this is an ok rental. Just don’t rent it for a family movie night thinking that the dude from 300 is going to be in a cool action movie.

Avatar (****)

I’m not a James Cameron fan boy. What man can be cool with the man that married one of the most bad ass chicks in movie history, remember Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. She should have continued making movies and kicking ass after that. He almost redeemed himself with the series Dark Angel that really catapulted Jessica Alba to stardom, but again she had not done much action since. So while Cameron does have a history of making the women he portrays in films kick ass, they seem to not do much of it in other movies after. I cannot be too mad at him since he also gave us First Blood and Aliens, and it is in the process of bringing the manga Battle Angel Alita to live.

This piece of work is truly movie magic. Sure, the story might be over simplistic, the theme and many movie elements borrowed but as far as direction Avatar will become a masterpiece.

The colors and textures in the movie don’t feel like CGI even if the colors are extremely unnatural. He managed to create a tropical paradise that looks even more spectacular at night.

I had never seen a 3D movie before and since we had the option we decided to pay a little more. It was absolutely worth it. The action sequences are as excellent as the ones in Terminator.

It is not a short movie, but the time went by extremely fast. The movie might have been a little slow at times but you cannot notice since you are drooling at the amazing imagery in front of you.

There is not much I can say about the movie or the story without pretty much giving it away. So I will just tell you to go watch it, enjoy it, and be truly entertained.

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