Movie Reviews From Regular Guys in the Remodeling Industry

The Design Build Planners, brothers Jason Parsons and Neil Parsons, actually do have personal lives…sometimes. One of their hobbies is movie watching. While their tastes are similar, there are personal lifestyle differences and demographics that influence the movies they watch and like. Neil is 15 years older than Jason and has one son in college. Jason has three young sons very close in age.


Haywire 2011

Watching Haywire left me disappointed with the movie, but wanting more Gina Carano. This action movie features

Gina Carano, of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fame, in the lead role. She plays a mercenary that gets set up and double-crossed on a mission and then seeks revenge and vindication.

The movie was directed by Steven Soderbergh and had a pretty good cast with Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Ewen McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Bill Paxton as her dad which made me feel very old. I can only assume that Michael Douglas did not read the script. The intentions of the movie were good and you could see where they tried, but just fell short of the mark. I sensed some direction similarities to Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven series.

However, I am a big fan of chicks with guns and fighting skills that kick butt! As a newcomer, Carano made me a fan and I will definitely watch her next next action vehicle, In The Blood 2013. She is currently filming The Fast and Furious 6, which I probably will not watch. Reading the IMDB trivia after watching the movie, I learned that her voice was altered for the entire movie to give her a deeper, gruffer voice which added to my disappointment. ~ reviewed by Neil Parsons on 2012-09-23


Contraband 2012

The review in a word – “Predictable”. Contraband, starring Mark Wahlberg, is a retelling of an old action plot—Bad guy turned good comes out of “retirement” for one last run to help out a family member. The plot feels like it is copied from Gone in Sixty Seconds , much like The Fast and the Furious felt copied from Point Break. In Contraband, they even called on Gone in 60 Seconds actor Giovanni Ribisi, although his character gets upgraded from the “brother” role to the gangster role, looking to get payback for money he lost in a blown smuggle.

This one has some good action scenes, and is watchable, but overall nothing special. There was a twist at one point that I thought would make the movie different, but the writers decided to twist back to the tried and true action movie formula. If given the choice, watch Gone in 60 Seconds. Although Contraband had Kate Beckinsale as the wife and mom, Gone in 60 has Angelina Jolie as, well, Angelina Jolie. ~ reviewed by Jason Parsons on 2012-09-14

30 Minutes or Less (2011)

My wife and I found ourselves this weekend with the rare combination of our children asleep early and us with enough energy to sit down and watch a movie. We settled on 30 Minutes or Less, mainly because it was free ON DEMAND.

The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg, who plays an underachieving pizza delivery kid (the complete opposite of his role the year before in The Social Network). He is drugged during a delivery run, strapped with a bomb, and forced to rob $100,000 from a bank. The duo that abducted him planned to use the money in a master plan to get $1,000,000. If you are a fan of Eastbound & Down, you will enjoy Danny McBride’s character as one of the abductors. If you have no interest in a deep plot, are a fan of the comedians in the movie, and are looking to get a few sporadic laughs, check this one out…after all other options are exhausted. However, as a bonus, I was introduced to the actress Dilshad Vadsaria, most notably from the TV series Greek, and a small role from Fred Ward. ~ Reviewed by Jason Parsons on 2012-09-10

Black Swan (2010)

I will admit that I discounted this film while it was in theaters, and after, as a “chick flick” even with the critical praise, Oscar Award (Natalie Portman for Best Actress), and the recommendation of friends. So, in search of a free movie, I watched the trailer and realized I may have been very wrong in my pre-judgement.

Black Swan is intense and suspenseful. Portman was excellent and the story line was very good. Portman, the queen swan, is tormented by her inner self as well as the many antagonistic characters, real or perceived. The movie offers twists and look-away, cringing moments in a well done script and acting. It reminded me a bit of the lesser Single White Female (1992).

Who knew there was so much blood, violence, and sex in the world of ballet? I am now a fan of the ballet…as long as Mila Kunis is in it! Come on, you must have expected me to reference her role in movie and the audience draw that she, and the actions of her character, created. ~ Reviewed by Neil Parsons 2012-09-10

The Next Three Days (2010)

I do not go to the movie theater often these days, so I find myself watching films well after the commercials and hype. The Next Three Days is a film that caught my attention was it was in theaters, but over time fell off my radar. While searching for a free, on-demand movie, I re-discovered this Russell Crowe – Elizabeth Banks film. The story line is somewhat different: the wife is arrested for murder and the husband is convinced she is innocent and tries several ways to get her out of jail. No spoilers, but there is a car chase scene that will have you gripping the side of your chair!

I know Elizabeth Banks from Invincible and The 40 Year Old Virgin, but as I watched the movie I could not think of what I have seen her in recently. It wasn’t until after and I looked it up I realized that she has been in several episodes over the last two years of 30 Rock as Alec Baldwin’s wife. ~ reviewed by Neil Parsons on 2012-08-26

Payback (1999)

I was asked recently if I could recommend a good mob movie. Far from being recent, but one of my all-time favorites is Payback with Mel Gibson and Maria Bello. While I am not a huge Mel Gibson fan, the movie is about his dealings with the Chicago “syndicate.” The story is very enjoyable the secondary characters are fabulous ~ William Devane, Lucy Lui, Kris Kristofferson, and James Coburn. I will admit that each time I find this movie on cable I will watch some or all of it. ~ reviewed by Neil Parsons on 2012-09-01


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