Midnight in Paris Review

Comedies for me are very hit or miss. I, like almost everyone, do love the occasional comedy from time to time. There are a lot of comedies out there that, regardless of how much you laugh, are only focused on just that; making you laugh. These comedies don’t really care about the characters and the story their shaping. It’s always refreshing to see a movie that can be considered a comedy and be so so much more. Midnight in Paris is just that kind of movie.

Yes,Woody Allen’s latest film is funny, but Midnight in Paris can best be described as charming and sweet. In a story about a writer who finds out on his vacation to Paris that at Midnight he can travel to and experience the zest and company of the roaring 20s you get a portrait of love and the ability to start over. It’s an interesting tale and one that could’ve fell flat, but instead the concepts were taken seriously and they are fresh, appealing, and it all completely works.

The film is stacked with great performers such as Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen and even the marvelous Marion Cotillard. It was an absolute pleasure to watch Owen Wilson in a more serious role as the lovable, yet wimpish protagonist. Like the actors, practically everything from the camera work to the score just fits. It was a very meaningful, but fun watch.

It’s always nice to watch a shorter film that’s actually very good because most truly good films have to be over 2 hours to tell their stories. Midnight in Paris doesn’t tell too little or too much, it tells just the right amount. There’s only so much you can do with a story about a man who continues to travel back in time to have a good time in the 1920s and Midnight in Paris never feels boring so it obviously did its job and did it admirably. Midnight in Paris isn’t a very challenging movie and it’s not a film that will change you, it is however a well made film that will make you smile.

Grade: A-

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Cars 2 Review

Cars 2 was a film that somehow managed to be disappointing, completely expected and a blast at the same time. I will say this very early on, this is the worst Pixar movie I’ve seen. I’ve loved every Pixar movie I’ve seen except for Cars 2. Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy Cars 2, because I did and rather thoroughly, its just a Pixar film that didn’t reach the quality that every other Pixar film managed to reach.

This as I said before, completely expected. This film simply did not look nearly as amazing as any Pixar movie we’d seen before. It just wasn’t the right decision overall. This would be the sequel to virtually the worst received of all Pixar films, Cars. I loved Cars with a passion, but it can’t be denied that Cars did not get nearly as much reception as films such as The Incredibles or Up. Why make a sequel when we’re all aware you’re capable of creating beautiful originals such as Wall-E. (But don’t get me wrong, if you’re gonna continue a series with a film as flawless as Toy Story 3 then don’t let my words hold you back)

With every Pixar movie, they’ve essentially taken a very general thing (Monters, Rats, Toys, Bugs, Cars, etc.) and created some type of enthralling tale behind it. Cars 2 was essentially Pixar’s take on Spies, they just happened to throw the characters from their story about Cars into this tale and to that idea I say, why not? Just do what you do best and in this case, Pixar has unfortunately not.

That’s where the disappointment comes in. Even though, this was a little bit expected, its just downright disappointing that there actually is a Pixar film in existence now that isn’t amazing. That fact is not only disappointing, but utterly sad. With Cars 2, instead of having sweet morals and storytelling you get a film more heavy on action and attempts at jokes. And the jokes that used to be filled with brilliant wit were now corny and childish. You could certainly recognize some of that originality in its craft that you come to expect from a Pixar film, but this originality overall just wasn’t being used to its full potential. The best way to describe my take on Cars 2 would be to say that it was a pretty great animated film, but only a pretty good Pixar film.

Grade: B-