The Brass Teapot (2012) Review

So it’s basically like this teapot thing that kinda like gives you money and stuff for basically “entertaining” it…something like that anyway.

still-of-juno-temple-in-the-brass-teapot-(2012)

Alice (Juno Temple) and John (Michael Angarano) are a couple struggling to make ends meet in terms of money. Alice is not having any luck finding a job and John is losing his. When they are involved in a car accident (that brings them no harm thankfully), Alice notices a woman across the street who is suspiciously carrying a brass teapot back inside her antique store. Alice, in something of a daze, goes over to the store to check it out. When the store owner steps away for a phone call, Alice grabs the teapot and runs out of the store with it. Some time later Alice makes an odd discovery about the teapot…It produces money when she hurts herself…and a lot of it! For a while things are fantastic as the couple beat each other senseless to earn big bucks, but in time the teapot pays less and less for the same repetitive inflicted pain. How far can these two possibly go to keep earning money?

This wasn’t a film I’d ever heard of prior to viewing it. I actually discovered it on Netflix. That’s one of the biggest “pros” to the movie streaming service, that you can discover all kinds of movies you’d have otherwise never viewed. But the reason Netflix suggested it to me is because I had just watched a different movie starring Juno Temple titled “Dirty Girl”. This gives me a good starting point for this review…Juno Temple. I remembered her from “Mr. Nobody” on my own account, but through research I was able to discover and recall her in plenty of other movies such as “Year One”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, and “Horns”. After viewing this film and the one before it, both on Netflix, I really gained a lot of respect for her as an actress. Here is a girl, who’s name I never knew before now, but would not only know it beyond this point, but speak highly of it in regards to her talent. I can’t leave all the credit to her though. Michael Angarano’s personality really fit this movie. He is actor that I’m not familiar with, even after my research, but I do know this…If I were to see him in another film one day I would remember him as the guy from “The Brass Teapot”, and that’s a start.

The plot: Now even though the plot wasn’t the main reason I opted to view this, I certainly wouldn’t have though twice about seeing this if the description hadn’t intrigued me. It sounded almost like one of those classic children’s book plots. The concept just seems to fit that type of profile among the classics like “The Three Little Pigs” or “Humpty Dumpty” or something. Maybe that’s just me…but either way it got my attention.

brass_teapot

The story was depicted with what I like to call “the apple approach”. We all know that the iPhone’s possess the simplest, most user friendly operating system on the market. A complete idiot could operate one. This movie had a similar feel from a viewer standpoint. It was straightforward, never misleading, and easy to follow. From a certain perspective I can understand where some critics would call that dull and unexciting, but I thought the plot was still carried out in an entertaining manner.

Once again I’ve found a movie that puts my mind in the movie itself. I’m a person who likes to live a more extravagant lifestyle at times, so having a teapot that pays me, even for the darkest of activities, would be kick ass! Personally, I have no doubt that I would get sucked in to the point of no return if I discovered such an item. The fantasy associated with this film really connects with me and could be why I liked it so much. So apologies if I’m a little biased with this review!

I honestly don’t have anything bad to say about this one, but that’s not to say it was perfect by any means. Critic reviews aren’t so hot, but then again it has a good rating on Netflix currently. So once again it’s mixed and you’ll ultimately have to decide for yourself what you think of it. For me though, I was just in a movie watching mood and wanted to try something new as opposed to re-watching an old favorite. I had an open mind, no expectations, and was in a really good mood and state of mind, so you could say that the conditions were favorable. Give me a soda, some snacks, and a good movie on a Saturday night and I’m perfectly content. In my opinion this makes a good film for your weekend viewing pleasure.

Abstract Breakdown.

Humor: N/A

Realism: 8/10

Emotion: N/A

Cast: 10/10

Music: N/A

Setting: 8/10

Quality: 7/10

Originality: 8/10

Entertainment: 10/10

Total Abstract Rating: 85% A touch of fantasy mixed in with a creative plot made this film enjoyable. Let’s face it, this film could have been much worse, while at the same time it could have been better too…but I’m good with it the way it is.

Thanks for reading.

Ouija (2014) Review

 Ouija boards are one of the best known tools for communication with “the other side” and have been featured in hundreds of films over the years. So naturally this movie has a lot it needs to accomplish…

o board

Having played with a ouija board since she was a kid, Debbie Galardi (Shelley Hennig) is still using one in present day as a late teenager. When she tries to destroy the board by burning it, she is shocked to find it back in her room in perfect condition. Having been acting strange the past few days, ever since her interaction with the board, Debbie isn’t letting her friends come over, and is showing signs of suspicious behavior. Her best friend, Laine Morris (Olivia Cooke) gets a text from her father to come home one day, only to find that Debbie has apparently killed herself. Having used the Ouija board with Debbie as kids, Laine wants to use the board to say good bye to Debbie. She talks some friends in to going over to Debbie’s house and using the board to communicate. At first they believe that they are talking to Debbie but soon learn that it’s not Debbie who’s communicating with them at all…

If you’ve even just googled this movie you would instantly see that it’s received some terrible feedback. Despite this, the film actually brought in over $100 million box office, and from what I hear there will be a second one in 2016. This is one of the few instances where I actually support a second film. In most cases a sequel is never as good as the original. In this case though, I see a lot of potential for a sequel. This is not to say that it WILL be good, but it COULD be great. And this also isn’t to say that this first film was a masterpiece…because it wasn’t. All I am saying is that this first film was a bit dry and didn’t have enough razzle dazzle to it like it should have. Therefore, I think that in trying too hard to beat this film (like all sequels try to do) they may actually (and accidentally) pull it off in a pleasing way. But we will see.

ouijaa

When we get down to it I’m torn as to how I feel about this film. I watched this a while back after a class mate recommended it. She went on and on about how creepy it was and how much she enjoyed it. I googled it right there in class and watched the trailer. I think I was excited to see it just because Olivia Cooke was starring in it (I admire her role in Bates Motel…a favorite tv show of mine). Either way, I quickly decided that I wanted to see it, and a couple of nights later I did just that. My initial reaction was “not bad, but not clever either”.

The problem with this movie rests in the lack of imagination that went into the development of the plot. If this amount of passion and creativity went into designing cars, we would all be driving around in grey painted refrigerator boxes. The lack of effort is once again saddening, because here is yet another film with a good idea, but bad implementation…at least for the most part that is…

Where the first half of the movie does just enough (if that) to keep you from picking a different movie, the last third or so of the movie spices things up. But don’t get too excited…think about the Dodge Neon…a very boring and dull car that is driven by teens for the most part because they are cheap. What do a lot of teens do with these cars? They “spice” them up with some new exhausts and some “chrome” pieces on the body work. They are essentially spicing up a turd (apologies if you drive a Neon). So how did the movie accomplish it’s spice? With a twist! Just when we thought we had it figured out, the movie throws us for a loop. I’ll be honest and say that when I was watching this I did not see the twist coming. But at the same time I had already lowered my expectations and wasn’t anticipating such a move from the film by the time this was revealed. All I can say is that even though the twist didn’t completely revive the movie, I did actually like it. It was my favorite part about the movie if I’m honest. After slouching in the couch with heavy eyes, I regained some of my attention span when the twist finally hit.

ouija-movie-poster-4

This was not a terrible movie in reality. In a different world this movie would have been straight up scary and thrilling. The terribleness associated with this movie is the cut off point where the potential was just thrown away. They essentially took a seed for beautiful maple tree, let it grow to be about 5 feet high, and then cut it down to make paper.

My conclusion is that I will probably end up watching this again in the future. I didn’t hate it, I was merely disappointed with it. I now own the film so I know I’ll watch it again. However I can already tell that this is one of those movies that gets less interesting the more you watch it. I could watch “Kick-Ass” every day, or “The Office” every day, but I would be begging for this one to end if I had to watch it every day. Some people say movies have a “magic” to them like nothing else, and I agree with that. But when you break it down, that “magic” is simply the creativity and effort put forth. There just isn’t any magic here with this one.

Abstract Breakdown.

Humor: N/A

Realism: 6/10

Emotion: N/A

Cast: 9/10

Music: N/A

Setting: 8/10

Quality: 6/10

Originality: 4/10

Entertainment: 6/10

Total Abstract Rating: 65% I’m not going to say to avoid this movie, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend to anyone I know either. This ones up to you.

Thanks for reading.

Into the Storm (2014) Review

If you drive a Tesla S Model or perhaps a Prius, then the earth thanks you…If you prefer gas guzzlers though, then you are playing a part in the earths global climate change and weather pattern shifts…YAY!

into3

Pete Moore is a storm chaser who makes documentaries on the very storms he tracks. Lately he’s been experiencing some tough luck in his storm discoveries. With a new storm on the brink and a team ready to go, this could be his last chance of the season to film some valuable footage. Meanwhile in Silverton, Oklahoma, a high school graduation is about to take place. The graduation is of high importance to Vice Principle Fuller, and he is putting continued pressure on his two sons who are assigned the task of filming the ceremony. One of his sons however, sneaks away to assist a pretty girl with a project she is working on. With only one son manning the cameras, the ceremony begins. Taking place outside, the weather is sunny and gorgeous…at least until the wind starts to pick up and precipitation sets in. With the sound of the tornado sirens the graduation is cut short and everyone is brought inside the school to take cover. With the students taking cover, Pete and his team are moving into the area to capture some of the greatest footage they have ever had the pleasure of filming. This is an experience of lifetime…good for Pete’s team…bad for just about anyone else.

There are only two tornado based movies I’ve ever cared for…”Twister” and “Night of the Twisters”. Both are classics in my opinion with “Twister” being the all time favorite. “Twister” has been immortalized as one of the most known disaster films of all time. I had the misfortune of viewing “Sharknado” a while back. The film murdered my overall desire to even watch a disaster based film. Yet here I am, and here is one that I gave a chance. I didn’t have much hope for it and I had no expectations whatsoever.

INTRO_WB_IntotheStorm

My first observations…

1. Lori from “The Walking Dead” is in it! (Sarah Wayne Callies) She may be only 3 years shy of 40, but I find her quite appealing. She made a hot mom in the zombie television series, even if she was annoying and practically pointless as a character. 2. The medical doctor from “The Hangover” is in it! (Matt Walsh) He actually played Pete the storm chaser. He has always reminded me of Louis C.K. in his appearance. 3. With some recognized actors already in place, I came to like the cast very quickly, especially Richard Armitage as Mr. Fuller. I thought his performance was excellent, and I believe the role was right for him.

With these more immediate observations set out, I found the overall film to be of entertainment quality. This is not to say I was blown away…get it? Haha. The quality of the film and computer graphics exceeded my expectations in a  very pleasing manner. Though I was expecting the same level of quality as a Syfy channel movie to be honest. This was a fine work of art compared to a SyFy movie. Compare it to other “real” films in it’s genre though, and things start looking less impressive.

into-the-storm-15

Though I enjoyed watching the movie, it’s not like it gave me an experience that similar disaster movies couldn’t provide. How many times can we watch fake tornados tear through shit and watch people run around like chickens with their heads cut off? I think that for any future disaster films of similar nature to be successful, they will need to take a different approach. Come at the viewer from a different angle and create a storyline that in itself would make a good movie even without all of the destruction. Will we see such a movie? Probably not. But if the day does come, I’ll be tickled pink to review it.

Abstract Breakdown.

Humor: N/A

Realism: 9/10

Emotion: 7/10

Cast: 9/10

Music: N/A

Setting: 9/10

Quality: 6/10

Originality: 5/10

Entertainment: 8/10

Abstract Rating: 75% For a one-time viewing it makes for some fun. Beyond that, it’s just another disaster movie to add to the stack.

Thanks for reading!

Attention Movie Viewers! Finance Matters!

I love blogging about movies, but my newest addition to the abstracticality network is a finance based website offering all kinds of financial information!

http://abstracticalityfinance.com

wordpress-pic

I have a passion for finance, and have been playing the stock market for nearly four years now. I take pride in being able to say that I’ve never sold a stock at a loss, no matter how long it took to earn my desired return. This doesn’t mean all my choices were good though, and I’ve definitely learned a lot in the past four years. With this new blog I can finally share some of these lessons I’ve learned, as well as publicly maintain an accurate record of my investments.

But this isn’t even the coolest part about my new blog…at least not in my opinion. In an effort to differentiate myself from other finance based blogs/news sites, I actually list my entire net worth right on the website! Anyone in the world can see my financial standing at any given time! It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, most people choose to be private about their finances. And my sharing this with the world is certainly not to brag (which as poor as I am it couldn’t be called that anyway), or to make everyone feel sorry for me (because I still do alright for myself), but rather it’s about helping people see the impact that saving, spending, and of course investing money has on your financial status and life overall.

finance

As a 24 year old I consider myself very fortunate to have the extra money to invest with. Sure, I’ve had to give up certain things to do this. I’m single by choice, and that’s a huge factor. The only person I have to spend my money on is me. But rather than simply spending it away or stashing it in a (pointless) bank account, I like to dabble in various investments and at least try to earn a good return. I have the money, so why not use that to my advantage? And if your saying to yourself “I haven’t the slightest idea of how to invest my money”, then you’re not alone, and my blog could help you.

I’ll be posting personal spending reports that track my spending for a certain time period, investment suggestions and advice, as well as general market news that I find interesting or relevant to my own investments. The world of finance is an ever-evolving one, and there is always more to learn. So I ask you to tag along with me so that we can broaden our knowledge of finance together.

Check it out for yourself at http://abstracticalityfinance.com

Thanks for reading!

Sharknado 2 (2014) Review

A while back I reviewed the biggest train wreck in cinema history, and today I’m burdened by the the misfortune of presenting the blogging community with a review of it’s sequel!

ian-ziering-1-600

After “laughably” fighting off the sharknados from the first movie, Fin Shepard and his ex-wife April are on a plane to New York, for a book signing to promote their recent book on surviving sharknados (yeah….). Rather than sticking to traditions of a fairly normal movie opening, this one jumps right into the “action”, if that’s what you call it. Fin notices Sharks flying around just outside the plane window. He first thinks it’s his mind playing games, but soon begins to panic, drawing the attention of the air marshall. After being asked to calm down, he closes the window shade, and tries to take his mind off of what he has seen. Moments later, the an engine is blown on the plan after a shark flies into it. From this point forth, all hell breaks loose on that plane. Despite every unnatural force trying to shit on Fin’s flight, he manages to land the plane himself, but is left with the task of fighting time and all odds to defeat yet another massive shark ridden storm.

Let me start with this…Though I despised everything about the first movie, I couldn’t keep myself from watching this one. It truly is a car crash that you just can’t keep your eyes away from. I simply had to see what atrocities had been cooked up in the sequel when I found out their was one. This is the ONLY pro for these movies. They are like the last two pieces of chocolate in a world of starving people. The only catch is that they are poisoned. And even though we know this to be true, we still want the damn chocolate!

sharknado-2

Everything Else…

This is a jigsaw puzzle of shit that I just don’t know how to begin to describe. Let’s go back to the plane ride. Eventually the plane suffers a considerable amount of damage, seeing as there is a hole in the side of it. We movie goers know a few things that should happen from this point. If you are standing, your probably doomed. The force will suck you right out of the plane without warning. Secondly, passengers are to put on their oxygen masks, otherwise they would not be able to breathe. Now how was it that this film went about it? Ah, yes…The flight attendant was walking the isle, and no oxygen masks were in sight anywhere. Guess it wasn’t a big deal. It was more important to make sure Jared from Subway made it pointlessly into the film.

Get this. During the shark attack on the plane, April’s hand gets bitten off after she tries shooting sharks with a handgun from the air marshall. She is later told at the hospital that she is “in good hands”. Hahahaha! Not very comforting words. I can’t tell if this movie is really trying to be serious, or intentionally taking attempts at comedy too. But I don’t suppose that really matters either.

Let’s consider the Statue of Liberty. A piece of history that inevitably will be destroyed in any disaster movie depicting the Big Apple. Did the movie “man up” and choose it’s own path, avoiding the cliche of destroying the poor statue? That would be a big fat no. In fact, the destruction was drawn out as long it possibly could be, and then even more…unrealistically and ridiculously more. The head of statue traveled freak’n everywhere with momentum that the film makers obviously just pulled out of their asses. Something that big and heavy could not have possibly rolled anywhere near the distance it did. And of course, the nimrods running from it ran in a STRAIGHT LINE! A batshit crazy lune who just fell out a three story window would know to simply pick running to the left or to the right. But not in Sharknado!

sharknado2a

The funniest part of the movie though were the meteorologists who treated the entire event as if it were everyday weather. Saying it would be raining sharks at approximately 2 inches per hour, and that some serious shark wind would be moving into the area. WHAT? I’m sorry, but in real life the meteorologists would be freaking out just like anyone else. It’s sharks in a tornado. SHARKS inside of a TORNADO! SHARKS….TORNADO….INSANITY.

Add it all up and you have a comical film that might just work if you are wasted off your ass. Wait…nope. I almost forgot about the worst part. The acting is just so off balance from the plot. Ian Ziering plays Fin, and Tara Reid plays April. Tara’s performance in the first film was sad and career harming if you ask me. She was (needless to say) unable to redeem herself in this one. As for Ian, there are moments when I think, “wow he really has potential as an actor”, and other moments that I just can’t stand to look at him. I felt this way about several members of the cast. I suspect a big part of this is brought on by a terrible story and a god awful script to accompany it. Therefore it’s difficult to truly pinpoint the real talent in this movie.

Tell me…How can you kill a shark with a chainsaw or buzzsaw and not get any blood on you or the saw? Well you can in Sharknado! The entire thing is a concept that could have only originally existed in the minds of stoners who were tripping balls. But now it’s readily available for you the movie viewers to watch from the comfort of your own living room!

Abstract Breakdown.

Humor: N/A

Realism: 2/10

Emotion: N/A

Cast: 5/10

Music: N/A

Setting: 7/10

Quality: 5/10

Originality: 6/10

Entertainment: 5/10

Total Abstract Rating: 50% Remember the last product you ordered online only to find that the quality was absolute shit because it was a few pieces of plastic taped together? That’s Sharknado. Only this is a bit funnier in the wrong way.

Thanks for reading!

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Review

With the future of mutants at stake, changing the past remains the last hope for those who wish to live. Yup, we’re talking about time travel!

20823568_x-men-days-of-future-past-wallpaper-1280

Wiping out the mutant race, human designed “sentinels” are kicking some serious butt. Composed from mutant DNA, sentinels are practically indestructible at the hands of the mutants. In an attempt to prevent the present day war and save the mutants from the terrible fate that awaits them, they decide to send one of their strongest minded (Wolverine) back to the 70’s to prevent the occurrence that caused it all.

When we are accustomed to receiving real bang for our buck, we simply say “excellent job as usual”. But how can those four words alone describe such a profound film? I’ll let ya in on a secret…they can’t. The newest addition to the Marvel classic brings forth an intensity that can’t be matched by any of the others. With the mutant’s biggest threat to date now facing them head on, the time for action has never been more clear.

Hugh-Jackman-X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past

Ellen Page joins the cast and aids in the traveling of time for the great Wolverine (Hugh Jackman). I was also pleased to see Evan Peters tag along as well, playing Quicksilver, a young man who can move faster than speed itself. My favorite scene of the movie was when he helped escape the Pentagon by practically stopping time. He seemed so content and in his comfort zone as he readjusted the armed guards positions and moved the already fired bullets out of the way of harm. He made it look so easy, and the accompanying music (that he was listening to via headphones) made the scene all the more likable.

My favorite character is still the younger Eric, or “Magneto”, played by Michael Fassbender. On screen he is one with the character, and his powers seem to be as real to him as death by a guillotine. I adore his ability to move metal, and his unearthly strength that comes along with it. His weakness comes when there is no metal for him to “grab hold of”. Using what seemed to be plastic or fiber glass based guns, and a purely concrete environment, he was able to be held prisoner after being accused of killing the president. His biggest weakness though, is his rebellious nature to do things his own way, against the norms of others.

x-men-days-of-future-past-DF-20700Rv2_rgb

Even with everything that this movie has to offer, I still stand firm in saying that my favorite X-Men movie is “X-Men First Class”. It took us back in time to see the characters as they were in their younger days, and how they came to meet in the first place. It was a perfect way to set the franchise up for this current film. And damn was Kevin Bacon an awesome villain or what? I certainly thought so.

So let me lay it out for everyone. If you haven’t seen this movie yet then go see it! If you are a fan of these movies then I’m sure you’ve already seen it, unless your like me and just hadn’t got around to it. If you are like me, then put it off no more. Don’t question anything about it, just see it. It’s just not made for disappointment, and you can trust me on that. When the inner kid in you is shouting “cool!”, then you know it’s good. And this movie does just that.

Abstract Breakdown.

Humor: N/A

Realism: 9/10

Emotion: N/A

Cast: 10/10

Music: 8/10

Setting: 9/10

Quality: 10/10

Originality: 9/10

Entertainment: 10/10

Total Abstract Rating: 90% Don’t miss the opportunity to see an incredible action packed Marvel masterpiece!

Thanks for reading!

Lucy (2014) Review

Brace yourself for a film that takes the concept from “Limitless” and turns it into an extravagantly portrayed science fiction work of cinema brilliance!

2014-08-02-mATHSHOT

Lucy is young American woman living in Taiwan who encounters a day of high misfortune and bad luck. She is kidnapped after delivering a briefcase of drugs to a very powerful and wealthy drug lord. The drug (CPH4) is new and extremely valuable. A bag of the drug is surgically inserted inside of Lucy so that she can transport it without raising any eye brows. Her and a group of others in the same situation are delivering the drug to several different areas. Before her release she is beat up, taking some kicks to her abdomen where the drug was implanted. The bag breaks, releasing it into her system in a high dosage. Her life from that point on is forever changed. Her mind is awake as her brain calculates everything around her, helping her cleverly escape and get to a hospital to have the drug bag removed. She also speed reads all the information she can about the drug, and about the nature of her situation. She contacts Professor Samuel Norman to speak with him about his extensive research on such a condition. She plans to meet with him in a few hours, but she has some business to take care of first. All the while, the access to her brain is increasing, making her more and more powerful.

lucy

“Limitless” was a middle school student’s really cool homework project that amazed even the adults, whereas “Lucy” stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun in front of the world. The film has scientific explanations backing up a large portion of the plot. “Limitless” took a concept and made it into a good movie. “Lucy” took the same concept, thought our nearly every angle of the concept, and made it into an even better movie.

Once again we are looking at a movie with a plot so strong that it would not have mattered whether or not Scarlett Johansson or Morgan Freeman had been in it. Any good actor or actress could have pulled it off, and this film could have made stars out of unearthed talent in the Hollywood world. This isn’t to say that I was disappointed in the cast…not in the least. In fact I was astonished at the admirable work of the two famous actors. They killed in their performances and made the film all the more enjoyable.

lucy-movie-still-13

The extent to which they pushed the boundaries of the concept of full usage of our brains functionality was truly staggering. Rather than simply having an out of this world knowledge of anything and everything, the brain can control the body like never before, and with only 20% (as opposed to our typical 10%) it can already take control of things around us. Looking into other peoples minds, controlling objects and people all together, and knowing every critical move against foes, is only a portion of what can be done as we gain additional access to the most powerful tool in the world. Now I know nothing about the brain, or the theories of what could happen if we really could access more of it, so I can’t speak to the validity of the theories expressed in the film. What I can say though, is that these theories were convincing, and provided a more knowledge-backed film in comparison to “Limitless”. The concept is simple, and the effects can easily be portrayed, but the background and supporting theories play a massive role in making a proper science fiction movie. Kudos to “Lucy”.

Abstract Breakdown.

Humor: N/A

Realism: 8/10

Emotion: N/A

Cast: 10/10

Music: N/A

Setting: 9/10

Quality: 9/10

Originality: 9/10

Entertainment: 10/10

Total Abstract Rating: 90% If you liked “Limitless” then I highly recommend this movie. In fact, I recommend it either way.

Thanks for reading.

Life doesn't always make sense, it's merely an abstracticality!