Tag Archives: Gerard Butler

Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

How_to_Train_Your_Dragon_2_Poster“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is kind of like going to a pet store and being swarmed by puppies; you won’t want to leave and when you have to, you’ll want to take them all home with you.

It’s been five years since Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) met Toothless and changed the way the people of Berk viewed dragons. Now, just about everyone has one, even Hiccup’s father, Stoick (Gerard Butler). When a notorious dragon hunter named Drago (Djimon Hounsou) threatens to steal Berk’s dragons, Stoick insists there’s nothing they can do about it, but lay low and keep out of his way. Hiccup, on the other hand, is convinced that reasoning with him could make a difference, so he flies out to do what he thinks is best in an effort to keep the dragons and his village safe.

It’s been over four years since the first “How to Train Your Dragon,” but it’s effortless to fall right back in step with Hiccup, Toothless and the rest of the gang. Any pet owner could relate to Hiccup and Toothless’ connection in the first film and this time around we’ve got an entire village full of people with man’s best friend-type relationships with dragons. There’s dragon racing, a cat lady-like character covered in baby dragons and an abundance of unconditional love all over the place. Within minutes, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” sells Berk as a village well worth saving, almost instantly making you invested in the mission to protect it from Drago and his crew.

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Review: Movie 43

Movie_43_PosterStar power is no match for tasteless, offensive and unfunny comedy.

The “Movie 43” wraparound features Dennis Quaid as a lunatic with an abysmal script who forces Greg Kinnear’s movie producer to buy the piece at gunpoint. Coincidence? Probably not, as almost each and every sketch of this comedy anthology is so silly, nauseating and degrading it seems like the only plausible way the producers could manage to recruit so much top-notch talent.

Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet make it through better than most. Jackman will likely never live down having a pair of testicles dangle from his neck for the sake of this movie, but between the giggle-worthy visual and the duo’s charm, “The Catch” is easily “Movie 43’s” finest few minutes. Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber’s “Homeschooled” is another portion that at least respects its leads, but breaks down entirely when the scenario drivels on and right into a strange and unsatisfying conclusion.

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Review: Coriolanus

Back in high school, I always knew I should appreciate Shakespeare, but getting through his work was so tedious, it often took away from the narrative. Then, once I finally understood the text and perhaps should have gone back for a second go-around to appreciate it as a story, it was onto the next book of the semester, forever branding his work a mere school assignment rather than something that was meant to be enjoyed. Thanks to Ralph Fiennes, if Coriolanus ever comes up in a school curriculum, teens might actually be able to enjoy the material when passing on the text for the movie. (But, of course, I never did that.)

The story now takes place in a more modern Rome, but still focuses of Caius Martius (Fiennes), a solider who deplores the common folk. When war erupts between Rome and the Volscians, Martius comes face to face with his adversary, Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler). Ultimately, Martius prevails and he’s bestowed the name Coriolanus. When his deeds lead the Senate to make him consul, Martius has no choice but to appease the citizens, as he needs their vote to officially assume the position.

Well, actually he has a choice and when Martius chooses to defy the common folk rather than embrace them for their blessing, they banish him from Rome, sending him right into the arms of his utmost enemy, Aufidius. Together, they seek vengeance by taking Rome.

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