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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

Since I don’t really make money with reviewing movies, I could take up a new profession.

When longtime platonic friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) find themselves in financial hot water, they hit upon the idea of making an adult film with amateur actors — including themselves — to bring in easy money. But when “action” is called, they discover their unspoken feelings for each other might threaten the whole enterprise.

As many people know, Kevin Smith is a favorite of mine and really does knock it out of the park with almost everything he does, despite Cop Out.

This film is exactly what Smith is good with: dirty and jokes about the human body. Smith is basically a little kid when it comes to potty humor but here, it all works so well because he just has a knack for them. This is a gross-out film because there are plenty of boobs, ass, and even dick shots, but there are so many gut-busting laughs here, that you may just totally forget your watching one of the dirtiest films of all-time, even though it is Kevin Smith, and what else would you expect really.

My main problem with this film though is that it’s overall sweetness will actually attract some viewers, but to me, I didn’t like this. There are some good points about friendship and love here, but nothing we haven’t seen before, and I know Smith can do better. Instead, there is just one corny line after another, with the most god-awful predictable romantic lines you could ever think of. I did like how Smith at least made this film sweeter than most would probably expect, but it was just bad romantic writing.

I think Smith thought to himself: “You know who’s making funny comedies? Judd Apatow.”, and thus he took almost every single actor from those films but they all work well with Smith’s trademark juvenile humor. Seth Rogen is always likable, and there is no difference here with his performance as Zack. Elizabeth Banks is also very good as Miri, although we still didn’t get to see her naked, which I probably think half of the audience that went to go see this, was expecting her to show a little ta-ta action. These two in the film are supposed to be best friends, and because their chemistry is so good together, I actually bought it, and worked well for the film in the end. The rest of the supporting cast here is hilarious too such as Craig Robinson, Jason Mewes, Traci Lords, Jeff Anderson, and Katie Morgan. Let’s also not forget the two hilarious cameo’s from Justin Long and Brandon Routh, that will have you laughing way long after their even gone from the film.

Consensus: Zack and Miri Make a Porno is a heavy rated-R film that is rude, crude, and disgusting but genuinely funny thanks to Smith’s always hilarious potty humor, and a likable cast.

8/10=Matinee!!

P.S. I’ll be gone this Memorial Day weekend, cause I’ll be down the beach and there’s no internet down there. So this will be my last review until Tuesday hopefully, but enjoy this and enjoy your weekend everybody!

Peace

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Just Wright (2010)

I should have just watched the playoffs instead.

Good-hearted physical therapist Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) is looking for romance but keeps finding duds until she meets professional basketball player Scott McKnight (Common). When Scott suffers a major injury, it’s up to Leslie to save his career. Leslie and Scott become close as they work together, but Leslie’s beautiful, gold-digging childhood chum — who is also Scott’s estranged girlfriend — threatens their relationship.

Looking right at this film and off the bat you think it’s a Tyler Perry movie somehow. But in a way, I actually kind of wish it was. I never wish that.

The one thing that will attract you to this film is that it is very well-intentioned with the heart in the right place. It’s a story about love and class coming together, and seeing the one who really is right, or in this case, “Wright” for you. I didn’t hate this little element to the film because it does have some nice and sweet moments, but none of it actually does anything amazing.

So the major problem with this film is that this is beyond predictable. Every single little event that happened in this film, I knew was going to happen even before it actually did. This is your basic Cinderella story that goes nowhere that we haven’t already seen before with it’s story. This is what annoyed me because I knew if I gave it a chance I would start to actually enjoy myself and possibly even really like it, but almost every time I would find myself very close to letting that happen, they would do something predictable, and thus my interest went right out the window. It’s also been advertised as a romantic comedy, when in reality, this is a romantic drama with light-hearted moments that are kind of comedy, but a lot of this comedy is unintentional due to this crappy screenplay.

Queen Latifah is super charming in this film, as she is in almost every film that she does, and makes it a lot easier to sit through some of the more blander scenes here. I like how she brought a lot of spunk to her role to actually have us believe that she really could make any guy, hot or not, fall into her arms. Common is a far better musician, than an actor which is a shame because I think he’s a real cool guy. This is his first real starring role, and I couldn’t keep a straight face when I was watching him deliver his lines. He seems very disoriented, generic, and very unemotional like he’s just going through the motions, and has no real idea what’s he’s doing up there. Paula Patton, who everybody knows as the loving teacher from Precious, does a complete 180 as Morgan, the gold-digging woman who sets her sights after Common. The film oddly enough has sympathy for her even though she kind of is this evil person doing terrible things.

Consensus: Just Wright is well-intentioned with some cute moments, and a likable lead, but overall this is just too overlong, predictable beyond belief, and ultimately just too annoying to actually have fun with.

4/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!

The Hangover (2009)

The film that almost every teenager in high school quotes.

When three friends (Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper) finally come to after a raucous night of bachelor-party revelry, they find a baby in the closet and a tiger in the bathroom. But they can’t seem to locate their best friend, Doug (Justin Bartha) — who’s supposed to be tying the knot. Launching a frantic search for Doug, the trio perseveres through a nasty hangover to try to make it to the church on time.

This is a film I have seen numerous times, and each time I have always laughed more and more than the other, but never have I actually had the time to write down a review for this. Finally, I got it all down on paper, or computer.

The film is directed by Todd Phillips, of Old School fame, and I must say he hasn’t lost that comedic touch but here he put’s a spin on premise that has been time and time before, and make it something hilarious but also interesting. This has a sort of Reservoir Dogs feel to it, where you don’t actually see the event that the whole film centers on, until later on, but that makes you apart of actually piecing together what happened, which is really a lot of the fun.

Though, it’s not all about the plot really, it’s more about all the non-stop jokes that go on throughout this whole film, that has had people quoting it for the past 2 years now, and when that will ever stop is something I don’t have the answer to. The best thing about this screenplay is that it knows what it is, it’s not trying to do anything different, or smart,  it’s just raunchy, gross-out, and sometimes smart dude humor that always works. Almost every single line here is instantly quotable, and will have you laughing about it for days.

My only complain for this film is that the whole resolution to this film seemed a little dumb. When the ending happens, this whole sweet little message comes into place, and I didn’t buy it one bit. Maybe it’s just me who actually cared about this, but I don’t know this part just seemed a little forced for me.

The whole cast here is what made this adventure through Vegas the laugh-out-loud riot that it is. This is one of the first films that put Bradley Cooper on the map, and with great reason because he’s awesome here as the slime-ball, sexy man Phil. I like how the film relies on Cooper for his good looks, but he still has that charm that makes his lines so much funnier than they may seem. Ed Helms basically plays the same dude he plays on The Office, but I must say it doesn’t fail here one bit as Stu. He starts off as this totally whipped, nerdy moodle (check it out on Urban Dictionary), but then after the party something changes within him and he’s almost like a bomb for the whole rest of the film. He’s just tick, tick, ticking away until he finally breaks loose and breaks out some of the funniest lines within the whole film. The real showcase in this film is Zach Galifianakis as the strange, and possibly-brain-damaged, Alan. I love all of Galifianakis’ stand-up, and his stuff on Funny Or Die, and watching him here bring out some of the most insane, and possibly funniest lines of the whole movie had me finally understand why he is in almost everything now. I just hope he goes back into that little cage, and stop being so over-exposed appearing in crap all over the place, especially ones like Due Date. I still want my money back by the way Zach! All three of these guys play off each-other so well, and create a realistic bro-mance that actually seems like three opposite individuals like these could actually come together on a crazy trip like this.

There is also a whole bunch of funny side acts/cameos here that will have you laughing even more once you see them. Heather Graham is just so stunning in almost everything she does, and she is very funny here. I also still do not know how she still looks like Rollergirl from Boogie Nights. And that was about 13 years ago people! I was disappointed Justin Bartha didn’t get more screen-time, because he’s always hilarious in everything he does. I laughed my ass off at every time Ken Jeong was on the screen, and is by far the best Asian gangster in film history. Also, who can forget Mike Tyson drumming out to Phil Collins? There are also some nice cameos from the likes of Mike Epps, Jeffrey Tambor, and The Dan Band.

Consensus: The Hangover is exactly what everybody says it is, a laugh-out-loud riot, with instant quotable lines, and crazy situations that will have you laughing for days on end. The perfect guy’s film with an amazing cast, that will keep your interest the whole adventure. Let’s just hope this second one, doesn’t blow as much as I think it will.

9/10=Full Pricee!!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Tales from a time when the toughest of transvestites ruled the seas.

Cunningly clumsy Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) meets his match when mysterious beauty Angelica (Penélope Cruz) forces the pirate to join her in search of the Fountain of Youth. Sparrow tries to determine whether Angelica is friend or foe while the riotous adventure sets him aboard a vessel belonging to the fearsome pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane).

This is the fourth “Pirates” film and features director Rob Marshall replacing Gore Verbinski, and I have to say that I was kind of missing him.

Now for this one, this goes back to the basics and focuses more on Captain Jack Sparrow, rather than 500 other character story-lines. However, although this isn’t as epic as the other ones have been, i actually kind of missed that. The first three featured all these sub-plots, all these kinds of things going on, all these minor characters, all the little jokes, and when they have to get to one place they have to stop at 10 places before it, and what this franchise does not need is a leaner Pirates film. This is the shortest film out of the four, and I have to say it kind of bummed me out considering that this was a lot more simpler than the others, and what made the others so damn enjoyable I thought, were the fact that they had so much going on and kept the energy going.

Despite this I still had a fun time while I was watching this. The script surely isn’t as funny as it would like to think it is, but there are a lot of nice little jokes and puns that we have all come to know and love from this series by now. Marshall also does a great job with giving a lot of great stylized action sequences that work so well, and will have you watching throughout the whole scene. There’s just this type of energy that Marshall keeps going during these sequences that just glue you in, and keep you on hold.

Everybody loves Johnny Depp as the iconic Captain Jack Sparrow, probably because he’s so good at playing him and here is no different. Depp hasn’t lost that comedic timing and that utter strangeness that just makes Sparrow a character to stand behind and laugh at. The writing for him wasn’t that good this time around because there are some escapes that Depp pulls off and plans he executes that are really just nonsensical and would never happen, but I felt that the writers got to lazy and just said to hell with it, because it’s Captain Jack. I wasn’t expecting much from Penélope Cruz here but she actually saves the film from being too much of a sausage-fest, and is spot-on as that funny and quirky, high-voiced, Spaniard. Ian McShane is also amazing as the evil, scary, and soul-congering Blackbeard. He really nails the combination of villianry and comedy that this role requires and he’s also got the voice like something that would come from the depths of hell. Geoffrey Rush is also here as Captain Barabosa, and does a great job of keeping his character funny, but also just a little bit menacing.

My main problem with this film is that it doesn’t feel like this had any real reason to be made at all, other than just a cash-grab at the summer blockbuster audience that this was made for. The first three all had significance and reasons to be made to continue the story, this one was just to see how much money a film could make with Captain Jack as the head-liner. I didn’t mind this but it just didn’t seem like anything fun, or as original as the first three did, and for once I actually have to say that I missed Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley for once. I don’t know why I would ever say that, but I feel that it’s as much as their films, as it is Depp’s. Maybe I’m just ranting like a crazy man, but this just didn’t do too much for me like I would have hoped.

Consensus: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides provides a lot of fun entertainment, and great performances from the cast to make this an enjoyable Summer blockbuster, but it just didn’t feel the same as the first three have, and although it’s a lot shorter than all three, the story felt a little too stretched for it’s own good.

6/10=Rental!!

Pineapple Express (2008)

Basically if you smoke weed, you’re going to have a bangin’ time.

After witnessing a murder involving a corrupt cop (Rosie Perez) and a drug kingpin (Gary Cole), straitlaced pothead Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) must go on the run with his dealer (James Franco) to escape the wrath of vengeance-minded criminals.

Many people have problems with stoner comedies because they say their only funny if your baked. However, that’s not usually the case especially here.

I have seen this film numerous times, and I can easily say that seeing it high, you will be laughing your ass off at almost every single line somebody says. Now, for all you sober bulls out there this will actually be funny to you as well, because not all the comedy is stupid, there is some actual wit to it here, and even though this film is quoted non-stop by every kid/stoner I know, the quotes never get old and really are funny.

The action here is also good, and as the plot moves on, so does more detail and more action which will keep anyone interested. I have to give props to director David Gordon Green who hasn’t done anything close to action at all in his career, but makes these sequences fun to watch and work well for the non-high people watching.

However, the main problem here is that although the idea is solid, it all just does seem a bit too messy. The action is good, and the comedy will keep you laughing, but the problem is that the violence is a little too gory, and in-your-face to actually be funny for the most part. The ending is chaotic and fun, but I couldn’t help but think there is a lot of crazy killing going on here, and a lot of blood too. Where is the funniness in any of that? Maybe, I’m just a bit of a softy sometimes, but this seemed a little bit too much of a stretch for me.

Seth Rogen is playing his usual character he plays in every movie again as here as Dale Denton, but it doesn’t get old. Rogen still has a lot of funny lines here, and gives his character that likability that is almost a signature in Rogen’s performances. James Franco absolutely steals the show as the coolest drug-dealer in the world, Saul Silver. I’m glad that James has so much hype around him now, and isn’t just “Harry from Spider-Man” anymore. He’s very convincing as this total pothead, and just carries this overall coolness about him that works through the whole film. Rogen and Franco play well with each-other on screen, and contribute to a lot more laughs than I actually expected from these two. Danny McBride also pops up as Red, and just keeps the one-liners coming the whole time. The bad guys in this movie are also good such as Gary Cole, Rosie Perez, Kevin Corrigan, and the always funny, Craig Robinson.

Consensus: The combination of a stoner comedy and a action film may not work out the best, but their are enough gags, and good action scenes to keep any viewer, stoned or not stoned, entertained.

8/10=Matinee!!

Bronson (2008)

If you thought you were a tough S.O.B, think again!

Charlie Bronson (Tom Hardy) — who’s been jailed for nearly 35 years — attempts to dissect the real man behind the deranged persona. While Bronson’s primary ambition was to be famous, he became a celebrity of sorts as a criminal who seized myriad opportunities to demonstrate extreme and terrorizing savagery.

There is actually a Charlie Bronson out there, who is still in jail, kicking ass, and not finding a boyfriend. I was so interested on knowing who, and what this guy was really like until, I actually saw this film.

My main problem with this film is that we don’t get any insight into this character at all. We see him beat the shit out of everybody he meets, but why is the real question. That answer never comes, and I could tell that the film just turns up the bad-ass here, in attempt to actually get our minds off the fact that their not actually telling us a real story.

Another problem with this film was that it’s pacing is what takes this down from being a totally gripping piece of work. Even though this theatrical narration was weaved throughout the entire film, it still felt a little disconnected, almost like it had no real flow at all. Once you get over that minimal length of what a movie needs to be, it just feels like it could end with any of the scenes you’re watching.

However, I must say this film does do a good job as well. I liked the whole narration, where he talks to nameless audience inside his head, because it provided a lot of comedy over the real disturbing happenings in this film. There are also plenty of scenes where Bronson is just kicking the total crap out of guys, and I must say they are all pretty entertaining to watch, especially if you love anarchy.

Bronson himself is such a great character because he’s so unabashedly violent and horrifying, but by the same time you can’t help but actually like him and be him. Tom Hardy totally takes this role as Charlie Bronson, and absolutely makes him that total bad-ass that we hear about, as well as look the part of one scary mofo. I don’t know how Hardy did it, but he really got himself in total shape with this to the point of where I was scared of him. It was hard for me to take my eyes off of him because every scene he has, he just demands, and just seems like the guy that will kick your ass in a second. If I honestly had anything bad to say about Tom Hardy, I wouldn’t because I would be too afraid that he may actually come to my house and punch me in the throat.

Consensus: Tom Hardy’s performance is purely amazing, and there are a lot of awesome ass-kicking scenes, but the script fails at actually being a story, or giving any insight into a real-life person I would have loved to know so much more about.

5.5/10=Rental!!

300 (2007)

Had me totally convinced that I was born in the wrong century.

Retelling the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, it depicts the titanic clash in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive Persian army.

300 is the definitive 21st century guy movie. If you tell me that you watched 300, and didn’t automatically get inspired to hit the gym, and possibly a couple of people on the way, well then I will call you a huge liar. Or Persian.

This is adapted from Frank Miller’s graphic novel, which is also based off some actual true history right here. The film itself is directed by Zack Snyder, the guy who’s behind The Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead, and the new Superman film coming up and I must say that having seen this guy’s films he really does know how to make a film, as crazy and hectic as it may be, look beautiful. The visuals are outstanding, and the constant flairs of all these different colors hitting the screen, put you in this world where bloodshed is everywhere and only the strong will survive. This provides some beautiful shots, with some even better cinematography that seemed so hard to pull off, but somehow they did.

The one thing that some people may not actually see about this film is that it is about 40 minutes long, if it were to play in real-time. But instead Zack “Slow-Mo” Snyder makes almost every single action hit, stab, cut, kill, etc. it slow-motion which didn’t bother me at first, until I realized that almost everything is like this, and bothered me because I just felt like it was lazy directing to create a cooler look to the action.

However, despite that, I must say that the action is freakin’ awesome! Since this is a guy’s film you got non-stop shouting, bleeding, beheading, delimbing, swords going all over the place, shields being destroyed, and most of all you have those male-bonding scenes that may seem like a GLAAD parade with all these half-naked dudes in sweat and dirt, but as soon as you see the first action sequence that’s all off your mind, and you just wanna see some more people get thrashed to shreds. If you look away at one scene because this is too graphic for you, you are not a real man, I should know too (site name).

The script is full-on machismo with these one-dimensional caricatures talking like WWE wrestler’s. Honestly though, who cannot forget “THISSSS ISSS SPARTAAAA” or “Give them nothing! But take from them everything!!!!”. The dialogue may seem all a bit laughable, but in the end, the action just holds you over for good, and you will find you and your bros quoting this long after.

Gerard Butler is the freakin’ man as Leonidas, and perfectly captures that look and spirit that we image the Spartan warriors to have been. It’s just a shame that all he does is shit now, but we can always look back at the days when he was actually good. Lena Headey is also good as well as beautiful as his beautiful wife Gorgo. I also liked seeing Dennis Rodman as Xerxes. Oh…that wasn’t him…..could have had me fooled. It was also nice to see other stars in this such as Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, and David Wenham.

Consensus: Not to be taken too seriously, 300 is a more of an orgy of violence and gore, rather than an actual history document, but will entertain the hell out of all dudes, as well as provide plenty and I do mean plenty of beautiful visuals.

8/10=Matinee!!!

Magnolia (1999)

3 hours and 8 minutes that I was fully glued on to.

Through chance, human action, past history and divine intervention, an eclectic cast of characters (including Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy and more) weaves and warps through each other’s lives on a random San Fernando Valley day, building to an unforgettable climax.

This is that one film that almost every critic loves, either because everybody loves the director, or just loves it because it is awesome. I cannot agree anymore with both reasons.

PT Anderson is an amazing director and can almost do no wrong. Here, he takes a page out of Robert Altman‘s book and takes all these stories, with a long running time, and makes each and every one interesting as anything. You would think with all these characters and stories, that you would get lost in between them all, but somehow Anderson creates tension and space within these stories so it’s all easy to follow along with. I still don’t know how Anderson got all of these stories to be so interesting but the dedication he gives to every story, ultimately keeps our minds on every single one.

The script is what really kept me involved because it must have been really hard to actually have all of this mean something in the end, and Anderson does that so well. There’s a lot of themes and points about happiness, forgiveness, and the overall meaning of life. Sometimes the feelings and emotion we have kept all up in inside, need to be let out, and in order for us to be happy we need to let these emotions be free and gain a better understanding of ourselves and the others around us. I loved what PT Anderson does with this script, because he makes it seem like everything is going to play out in the end through chance, but instead he totally pulls the rug out from underneath us and gives us something new and inventive that really works. Each and every story is filled with great dialogue that shows some funny as well as brutally emotional scenes, that will have you understand, that their are people out there like this, and that we all have problems and need love.

Also, when it comes to soundtracking emotional score music, whoever thought that Aimee Mann would be such a good choice? She brings so much to the table here, and actually brings out one of the most memorable scenes of the whole entire film.

A lot of people will talk about how the events that happen in this film are absurd, but I liked that part about it. However, my main problem with this film is that there are too many biblical references and ideas here that just seem to sort of take away from the story as a whole. Lines are actually said that reference the bible, and faith explanations, and this all seemed a little hoaky for me and just showed that maybe PT Anderson really did try too hard to get this film to be about something more than what it really was all about.

This is probably one of the best ensemble casts of all-time, because each and everyone adds so much more to their own story that it’s spell-binding. John C. Reilly is endearing as well as lovable as the nerdy cop Officer Jim Kurring, who brings so much likability to this role, that by the end of the film when you start to see where his character is going, you can’t help but love him. Melora Walters plays the girl he ends up going after, Rose Gator, who has some huge emotional problems but not once did I feel like Dillon was over-acting at all. William H. Macy’s story as Donnie Smith may not have been as interesting, but Macy brings out so much within this character that I couldn’t help but stayed glued to it. Philip Baker Hall is amazing as game show host Jimmy Gator, and gives it his all almost every single scene and just had me attached to his story every time it was on screen. Jason Robards in his last role ever as Earl Partridge, gives one of the perfect good-byes to cinema ever, and gives us more insight into this guy’s life through this whole film, even though he is just in his bed the whole entire film. Philip Seymour Hoffman is always amazing in what he does, and his performance as Phil is no different although he brings so much more to his character than you would expect. Somehow this guy makes crying all the time, really good. Jeremy Blackman gives an amazing youngling performance as the real heart of this film, Stanley, and it’s such a shame that he doesn’t do much anymore, because he does an amazing job here and gives me my most memorable character of the whole film. Julianne Moore plays crazy bitch Linda Partridge so well that I actually did start to believe that any second this chick would just snap and kill anybody who said the next wrong thing to her.

However, the best performance of this whole cast had to be that crazy, scientologist freak that is Tom Cruise. Cruise was perfectly cast as Frank Mackey, because the guy is such an asshole, and so cocky that it works well with Cruise’s own public image, but it also got to show that Cruise really can give off a performance even if he is self-parodying himself. Almost every single chance this guy gets, he absolutely demands your attention and you can help but give it to him, especially when his character’s true emotions come out, and then you see Cruise for what he is. An amazingly dedicated actor. This is one of Cruise’s best performances and that one perfect casting job, that shows a celebrity as more than just a pretty face on the cover of People magazine.

Consensus: Magnolia may suffer from being too pretentious, but Anderson does a creative and original job with his script and direction that it almost takes our minds away from the pitch-perfect performances here given by the amazing ensemble.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

Greenberg (2010)

Makes Woody Allen seem cool.

At a crossroads in his life, New Yorker Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) takes time to figure things out and travels to Los Angeles, where he house-sits for his brother and forges an unlikely bond with his sibling’s assistant, Florence Marr (Greta Gerwig).

This is one of those films that in the early part of last year, was getting a lot of positive reception, and it was weird because it was a film starring Gaylord Focker. However, I can see why now.

The film is from writer/director Noah Baumbach who is one of those now renown, indie directors that people just can’t get enough of, and to be honest I don’t understand why, especially after watching this film. I did laugh every once and awhile, but the problem was I just didn’t get what this film was trying to say. Maybe it’s just because I’m 18 and I haven’t gone through my mid-life crisis or anything yet, but the point they try to convey didn’t come across me once, and I still don’t know what it was.

This guy Roger Greenberg is plain and simply, a dick. He is one of those neurotic dudes who always has something to bitch about, give insight on, and be unpleasant about, but for some reason, I enjoyed that all. I think Greenberg is a fascinating character not only because you wouldn’t want him showing up to your next dinner party but because all this anger and frustration that lies within him, comes out in the oddest ways, mainly because he doesn’t give a crap about his life and what he does with it. This is more of a character study, rather than an actual story, and for the most part it works because this main character, although an asshole, really was fascinating to watch.

I think for the most part, the reason I liked Greenberg so much was because of how Ben Stiller plays him. Jim Carrey did it, Adam Sandler did it, and hell even Will Ferrell did it, so now it’s Stiller’s time to go and shake his dramatic acting chops and does an excellent job. I could actually believe Stiller as this dick of a guy, and there are moments where it just seems like this guy has no idea what to do or say for that matter, and Stiller makes it all work so well. Greta Gerwig is good as the female lead, Florence, and I still don’t understand what all the hype around her is, but I must say I liked her. My main problem with these two in a romance is that the film doesn’t really capture what makes her so attracted to him in the first place, and why she keeps on going at it with him, if he’s constantly bitching and lashing out at random things. I wish the film took a couple more looks at this whole romance, but these two were very good together I must say. It’s always nice to see Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rhys Ifans back playing some major supporting roles as well.

Consensus: Greenberg may not have the most likable main character, and some major themes and elements to it’s story that clicks, however the cast is good, especially Stiller, and there are still enough fascinating things about this film to keep your interest.

5.5/10=Rental!!

We Own the Night (2007)

Marky Mark and Johnny Cash fighting off crime together!

Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) manages a hot New York City nightclub, while his estranged brother, Joseph (Mark Wahlberg), has followed in their policeman father’s footsteps. But the two are reunited by dealings with the Russian mafia, which has a foothold in Bobby’s business. As Joseph puts pressure on the mob, its members turn the screws on Bobby.

I love cop films. Not actual cops, just the film’s that have to do with them. I just love cop films that can give me a good story, some nice acting, and fun action. This film is sort of like that.

This is the third film from writer/director James Gray, and he does a great job of keeping the pace going, as well as the tension within this story. Gray does a great job of going along with this slow pace enough to build up a huge amount of tension, to where when the action starts going down, it’s just insane. I also must add that there are a couple of action scenes here that are so perfectly filmed, that they really had me on the edge of my seat.

The one problem with this film is that the script starts to delve into some predictable places. To be honest, I don’t mind seeing something that isn’t crazy new or original, as long as it keeps me interested, but this film is nothing new from the cop genre film. I didn’t think the writing was as terrible as others felt but I just felt like it could have been better.

Also, the film was going so well for awhile until that last act came up, and they just sort of didn’t know what to do with it. I was having a great time following this story, the action, and the constant tense feeling this film gave me, and then by the end, something just happens where the story starts to lose control of itself and gets very predictable. This had me disappointed because the first couple of acts were good, which had me getting ready for an awesome ending, but instead, it was just pretty anti-climactic and nothing special.

I think Joaquin Phoenix took the role of Bobby Green because he knew he was going to be in every single scene here, and I’m not pissed that he was. Phoenix is awesome here as Green and shows a lot of depth into a character that needed it for us to actually stand behind him, and believe in everything he was doing. This performance sort of makes me forget that dumb shit he did in I’m Still Here. Mark Wahlberg does a good job as Joseph, and although isn’t in this much, still does not refuse to bring depth to his character. Eva Mendes is smoking hot in this film, but also very good and shows just why she is more than just a nice body, she can actually act it all out. Robert Duvall also does a very good job as Bert, and although isn’t in it as much, still does bring that signature cool old guy feel he brings to every role.

Consensus: We Own the Night is well-acted, and very suspenseful with it’s tense direction from James Gray, but starts to fall into predictable territory by the last act, and started to lose me and less as the film went on.

7.5/10=Rental!!

Something Borrowed (2011)

Are romantic comedies getting this bad?

When successful single lawyer Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) learns that her best friend, Darcy (Kate Hudson), is engaged to Dex (Colin Egglesfield) — the same guy she’s pined after for years — she’s determined to maintain her loyalty. But things don’t go quite as planned. Instead, she and Dex wind up in bed on the night of her 30th birthday party. Not surprisingly, the fallout from their romantic “slip” generates awkwardness for all concerned.

After viewing the romantic comedy masterpiece of 2011 that is No Strings Attached, I just couldn’t wait to see a film that had that running for its money. Thankfully, I didn’t pay to see either.

The one thing about this film is that it is so terribly written. First of all this is a melodrama that has some of the worst comedy, and even worse romance. The main reason why the comedy doesn’t work is because there’s not too much here and it just ends up being corny sex jokes, that never ever work.

But the real reason why the romance doesn’t work here is because these characters are so terribly unlikable. Throughout the whole film I kept wondering why anybody would want to be best friends let alone marry this skanky, sleazy, and ignorant chick named Darcy. She is so mean to everyone around her, and it’s pretty obvious that nobody wants to really be with her, other than for a one night stand, so why the hell has she attracted this guy Dex, and why is she best friends with this polar-opposite Rachel. The romance is also just full of terrible romantic cliches that always pop up in these types of films, and there is no new insight into relationships whatsoever in here. This plot just starts to unravel with nothing new, and nothing interesting to say.

The performances are bland as well even though I can tell everyone tries. Kate Hudson is terribly unlikable as Darcy, and she looks really tired in here, since she basically plays the same character in every romantic comedy that has been released in the past decade. The film also seems to think that we will find something entertaining about Darcy just because she is played by Kate Hudson, but that is just so wrong on so many levels. Ginnifer Goodwin is cute but very bland and her character isn’t that smart either since a lot of the situations the film gets put into are all because of her and her stupidity. So much for her being the next “it” girl. Colin Egglesfield aka Tom Cruise is also really lame here as the awesome named Dex, who has got no good qualities about him which is strange since these chicks are both in love with him. John Krasinski is maybe the only reason why I’m actually giving this a 1, because his constant sarcastic and boyish charm never ceases to work on me. Thank you John, you’re still the man even though you chose this shit.

Consensus: Basically in a nutshell: Something Borrowed is boring, unoriginal, cheesy, corny, filled with unlikable characters, and has nothing new to say or even do for that matter. Avoid at all costs, unless you really need a date movie.

1/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!!

Meet the Parents (2000)

Makes my first awkward meeting with my ladies parents seem like a walk in the park.

Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is ready to marry his girlfriend, Pam (Teri Polo), but before he pops the question, he must win over her formidable father, humorless former CIA agent Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro), at the wedding of Pam’s sister. As Greg bends over backward to make a good impression, his visit to the Byrnes home turns into a hilarious series of disasters, and everything that can go wrong does, all under Jack’s critical, hawklike gaze.

The “Meet the…” film series has been going on for about the whole decade with three movies, and probably more coming up. So it’s just really cool to see where it all started off at.

This honestly is a very funny film that uses a lot of these awkward, outrageous, but always hilarious situations where you can’t believe this is actually happening. There are a lot of bad gags, toilet humor, and sometimes painful awkward comedy that will have almost all who watch laughing, and it really works out.

My only gripe with this film is that a lot of the jokes do seem a little too obvious. Something will pop up, and have a bit of significance to the plot, and will pop up later as a joke. I could see all the jokes coming up right before they did them but how they execute them is what had me really laughing in the end.

I think the real extra kick this film get’s is from the cast. Robert De Niro is perfect as Jack Byrnes who is so hard-nosed, and menacing about everything with this poor guy Greg, that you can’t help but laugh at everything he’s doing, or saying for that matter. By just sitting there, De Niro brings out huge laughs and I must say, I’m glad he’s not my girl’s daddy. Ben Stiller is the perfect guy to play Greg. He’s cute enough to be attractive and intelligent enough to be real but has a wonderful airhead quality where you can actually see the smoke rising from his ears when he tries to think. His timing is spot on and his physical stuff is full of energy, which brought me back to his days in There’s Something About Mary. Teri Polo, Blythe Danner, and the always reliable Owen Wilson provide laughs as well here, and add a lot of heart to the whole film.

Consensus: The jokes may be obvious and predictable, but De Niro and Stiller give Meet the Parents the extra kick of comedy that it deserves with hilarious gags, and believable situations that will have anybody laughing.

7/10=Rental!!

The Thing (1982)

Any place with a temperature below 20 degrees is ultimately the scariest place ever.

Scientists working in Antarctica are forced to abandon their research after a helicopter crashes near their camp, bringing a lone dog into their midst. But the plot thickens when the otherworldly canine changes form in the middle of the night. As it turns out, the dog is a shape-shifting alien that can attack animals — and unsuspecting humans.

Ever since I played that video game back in the day, I have always been wanting to see what this whole film was all about, and thankfully I wasn’t let down.

This is from the insane mind of horror legend John Carpenter, who was on a role in the 80’s, and this film shows it. The film combines two elements here to create a lot of horror within this movie and that is the actual story and the jaw-dropping special effects that both work so well hand-in-hand.

There is a great deal of suspense to to this story as it plays well along the lines of a “whodunit”, but actually more of a” whoisit”. You don’t really have an idea s to what’s going on, how it’s happening, and who or what is causing all this until it is too late, and this film keeps that mystery going for a pretty long time, thus kept my interest the whole time. The special effects are also some of the best I’ve seen in a film ever, and they really are some of the most disgusting, freakiest things I have ever seen. It was nice to see just how amazingly scary these special effects can look, and still be creepy about 20 years later and not actually be computer-generated. With these two elements helping this film’s creepiness, some really crazy shit goes down. I can’t go in to what exactly does happen, but to say the least, there’s some crazy batso shit here that will really mess with your mind.

However, my only real complaint with this film was that I felt like the characters weren’t actually written that well. The cast does a pretty good job with what their given but all these dudes really just seem like cliche, and I feel if they actually brought just a little bit more insight to these character’s lives, I would have actually rooted for them more and more. Although, you do have Kurt Russell sporting one of the best beards in film history, and Keith David being that cool, black man.

Consensus: With ultimately terrifying special effects, and an inspired direction from the mind of John Carpenter, The Thing will leave you on the edge of your seat, as well as scaring the crap out of you.

8.5/10=Matinee!!

Rock Star (2001)

Those dudes with more make-up than my mom, sure do know how to rock!

Mark Wahlberg stars as Chris, a lead singer wannabe who gets to live his wildest dream when he’s whisked from anonymity to being front man for Steel Dragon, the enormously popular metal band he worships. Accompanied on tour by his girlfriend, Emily (Jennifer Aniston), Chris soon discovers life in the fast lane is not what he envisioned, and the relationships he holds dear are strained as his star rises.

The 80’s was a pretty silly decade now that people look back at it. The hair, the make-up, the new wave music, but most of all heavy metal music.

One of the biggest problems with this film is that it’s script doesn’t do anything new or original to the whole rock star film genre. There are moments upon moments where the cheesiest lines pop up, and I’m not going to lie, some of it actually had me cringing. Lines like: “I’m leaving and never turning back” and “If you follow your dreams, you can do it”, just had me wondering where they actually serious when they wrote this script.

Another problem with the script is that there’s no actual insight into this film and every character here just seems like another cliche for a film that had so many. By the end of the film there is this life lesson about becoming your own person, and taking a life that is yours just seemed really lame and contrived.

However, this movie is actually somewhat entertaining throughout. I have always liked that 80’s glam metal and there’s a lot of it with bands such as KISS, Mötley Crüe, Ted Nugent, and AC/DC appearing on this soundtrack and it added a lot more of a fun vibe to the film. There is also a good amount of humor within this film that will have you laughing and feel like you’re apart of the ride with these guys, partying, drinking, having sexy time, and most of all just living the life of a rock star.

Mark Wahlberg is one of my favorite actors because he can play that everyday man like no other, and his role as Chris Cole is no different. I like how Wahlberg is this happy-go-lucky, smiley kid that finally gets to live his dream, but slowly starts to see that he doesn’t want all this chaos, and becomes fed up. Wahlberg plays this all so well, and that pure charm that he has, is one of the main reasons why Cole is a guy we like. Jennifer Aniston is actually good in this role as Emily Poule and had me laughing with some of the things she said here. Timothy Spall was basically the man as Mats, and all of his scenes just had me laughing, mainly because of Spall’s delivery that gets me every time. Dominic West, Timothy Olyphant, and plenty others pop up and all do a pretty good job too.

Consensus: Rock Star doesn’t have that much insight into the world of heavy metal music from the 80’s, and not a very good script, but the solid acting jobs and fun pace, keep this film entertaining although predictable.

6/10=Rental!!

Groovers & Mobsters Present: The Buddy Flick

So Fandango Groovers and Movie Mobsters have always been doing this little thing where they present a little type of film genre, and a couple of people choose what films to talk about, and I have just been chosen as one of those people. So here goes nothing.

Trainspotting (1996)

      “1,000 years from now there will be no guys and no girls, just wankers. Sounds great to me.” – Mark “Rent-boy” Renton

We have all heard and said before: “Drugs are bad”. However, being an addict of any drug isn’t always as bleak as it seems. I do not take any drugs, but I can easily say that no matter what, you never forget about the people around you. So when I was told all about this little piece, and how to contribute, I couldn’t think of a better “buddy film” than Danny Boyle’s 1996 trip into the drug world, Trainspotting.

The central premise behind Trainspotting is about an on-again-off-again Scottish heroin junkie named Renton and the eccentric group of on-again-off-again heroin junkies he hangs out with. This plot line may not make it seem as crazy, but I have to tell you, some stuff really gets out-of-hand, and not in a good way either. And yet, it’s not a bleak picture by any stretch, which made this so much more unusual of a film because everybody is so used to the dark and depressing anti-drug film that will more or less put you on drugs, rather than stir you away from it. There is a constant energy throughout this film filled with humor, gags, and of course, heroin. For every silly and fun moment, there is an equally sad and dark moment. Even though all of these people are on drugs, you still want to somehow hang out with them, because their just so darn lovable.

This was a launching pad for almost every one involved. Danny Boyle had only one film before this and now has a Best Director Oscar thanks to Slumdog Millionaire. Ewan McGregor is in so much, but mostly known as Obi-Wan. Ewen Bremner doesn’t really do much but pops up every once and awhile, Johnny Lee Miller was in Dexter, Robert Carlyle shows up in many films, and Kelly Macdonald has made a real career for herself in roles in stuff like No Country for Old Men, Nanny McPhee, and most famously, Boardwalk Empire.

Trainspotting is one of those films that just is so much fun to watch, even though it has some terribly depressing subject matter. Boyle does a great job of not rubbing our noses in all the crappy situations these characters are put in, he just tells us basically everything we need to know in order to figure it out for ourselves. Trainspotting may be dark but I can promise you, you will have a great time, and stay away from heroin forever.

If you all want to check out the other posts from this little piece, go here. Thanks everybody for reading!

No Strings Attached (2011)

Once again, another romantic comedy about people boning without feelings.

Emotionally unencumbered and sexually satisfied, friends with benefits Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) have an open relationship that suits them just fine. That is, until those pesky little things called feelings enter the picture.

So it seems like romantic comedies have started to lose the spice they once had, so Hollywood has decided to bring it back with romantic comedies about casual sex. Love & Other Drugs hit last year, and was OK, now this, and then apparently there is some summer film with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis coming out called Friends With Benefits. Hollywood can’t get enough sex.

I don’t mind chick flicks sometimes, as long as they keep me entertained, and at least give me something to look at. This right here is not one of those chick flicks, mainly because the script is terrible. Right from the get-go, you know how this is all going to turn out and everything but that didn’t bother me as much as the fact that the screenwriters thought by looking up Urban Dictionary sex slang terms, they could bring a lot of humor. They try so hard to be funny, that at times I actually forget what was supposed to be funny and then I got that awkward feeling I rarely ever get while watching films, comedies especially.

There is also problem here because too many times does the film not know where to actually go with its tone. There are times where this film steps into some pretty raunchy stuff, like a “tunnel buddy”, but then will be try to be really cute with it’s little love story, and this just struck me as a little strange since I didn’t know what to think of this comedy as.

The cast is at least alright here. Natalie Portman does a fine job as Emma because she can be cute, sweet, but also very funny, and sort of mean altogether. Portman is a joy to watch and although this is crap compared to Black Swan, she still at least brings that general likability to her character. Ashton Kutcher is OK as Adam, and although I was expecting him to be worse, I still didn’t fully believe his performance here. However, the script really did let him down as it did with almost everyone else in the cast. There are some nice little bits here and there from the likes of Ludacris, Lake Bell, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling, and Olivia Thirlby. The real problem with this cast is Kevin Kline as Adam’s dad, Alvin, who is just so cheesy sometimes, and such a dick that I had no idea what his reason to be in this film was in the first place. Also, a lumber-jack looking Cary Elwes shows up as Emma’s boss, and probably has about 3 lines the whole film, which was pretty unneeded the whole time.

Consensus: The cast tries their best with whatever they can do, but the script brings No Strings Attached down way too many notches, with it’s bad jokes, and very mushy romance that isn’t very appealing. Rent Love & Other Drugs instead.

2.5/10=SomeOleBullShitt!!

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Screw actual history! This is the kind of stuff I want to be taught in history class!

A Jewish cinema owner (Mélanie Laurent) in occupied Paris is forced to host a Nazi movie premiere, where a radical group of American Jewish soldiers called the Basterds, led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), plans to roll out a score-settling scheme. The face-off is about to go down — that’s if Col. Hans Landa aka “The Jew Hunter” (Christoph Waltz, in an Oscar-winning role) doesn’t get in the way.

I watched, and reviewed this last year but something just came back inside of me that I had the total need to see this. It also still lives up to the first time.

One of my favorites of all-time, writer/director Quentin Tarantino is an absolute genius with his work here. Whether it’s on the keyboard, or behind the camera, this crazy son-of-a-bitch knows how to make great movies, and this no different. Now if there’s one thing I know that this film will do, and that’s cause a lot of high school history teachers heart-attacks over the historical inaccuracies here. The way that this film was so historically inaccurate was actually pretty inspiring and awesome to see actually come out on screen, because I’m sort of sick and tired of seeing the Oscar-bait WWII/Holocaust films that Hollywood turns out every year, and I feel like Tarantino is just sticking his middle finger out to that whole machine.

Honestly though, who cares about those inaccuracies because this movie is down-right amazing. The script is just near-perfect with the usual twists and turns you would expect, the film references are there but not so annoying this go-around, and you are constantly on the edge of your seat being entertained, and also wondering what’s just going to happen next. There are many scenes here where I had no idea what was just going to occur next, and the suspense keeps on building up, and up until the final conclusion which is usually just so crazy. Also, let’s not forget that there is plenty of awesome, bloody violence here but nothing that Tarantino fans, have already come to enjoy and understand.

My only problem with this film is that it does drag on too long for some scenes. A lot of this signature talkiness that I have come to know and love from Tarantino, happens and works here, but there are just times where I felt myself wondering just why the hell are they keeping this going for so long. If you also look at the title too, it says Inglorious Basterds. These guys are probably the best parts of the film, but aren’t in it as much since there are about 3 other subplots. However, I still enjoyed these subplots and loved each and every time these Basterds were on screen.

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine was a freakin’ riot here! He does this cracker-jack shtick that masterfully brings out his comedic charm for this character, and brings out all the well-deserved laughs in between the violence and suspense. In the end, he plays Tarantino’s cartoon character brilliantly, and that’s all we ask for. The whole film was promoted on Pitt, but the real center-piece here is Christoph Waltz in the Oscar-winning role as German S.S. Colonel Hans Landa. I honestly don’t know how this guy could be so good at playing someone so evil? He is probably one of the best good bad guys ever on film, and I know it’s hard to understand but it’s one of those things you have to see to believe. His character is just one of those evil, smart, witty, and manipulative villains that you want to hate so much, but can’t help but commend him for actually being so smart and actually amusing. Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna is also amazing in this role, and really brings out some powerful emotions within her character just by using her facial expressions and it works so well with her character. There is a huge cast here that are also very good such as Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Daniel Brühl, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, B.J. Novak, and also a surprisingly very good little cameo from Mike Myers. This guy needs to come back it’s been too long.

Consensus: Though some viewers will be thrown off by a lot of the talking, Quentin Tarantino still has that masterful mind to have viewers thoroughly enjoyed by his amazing script, non-stop suspense, and great acting from the cast that looks like their all just having a great time.

9/10=Full Pricee!!

Casualties of War (1989)

A poor man’s Platoon. But that ain’t so bad.

In director Brian De Palma’s Vietnam-era war drama, a young soldier (Michael J. Fox) suffers a crisis of conscience when the men on his patrol callously rape and murder a Vietnamese girl and then try to cover up the crime.

This late 80’s gem is actually based off a horrific event where 4 soldiers actually raped and then murdered a Vietnamese girl, but the 5th one chose not to.

Director Brian De Palma is most known for taking his style over substance in most films, but here he actually stays on track and goes for a bigger understanding. I expected this to be a huge, big-scale, Vietnam war epic, but instead it’s a small, singular story that’s more about the themes instead of the glitz and glamor of most war films.

The bitter lesson of this film is that its not always enough to have morality on your side, you also have the power to back up your beliefs and what you stand for. The film is about this small group of sliders where they have become so angry, and so vicious, that they don’t even consider any Vietnamese person, human beings. The film shows the harsh effects of what all this hardened violence can do to a person, and sometimes make them turn for the worst. You also have to wonder how you would act if you were put in the same situation, as I still do not know what I would exactly do.

My main problem with this film that really took away from my overall experience was the beginning and end of this film. It starts off with Fox on a subway, visibly alive, and having a flash-back as to what happened during his time in the war. This already has us know that Fox is alive throughout the whole story, and ultimately takes away from the film’s tension that it tries so hard to go for. The conclusion is also so up-lifting, gentle, and unconvincing that it really does seem tacked on to this film and took my self away from the harsh reality of war that this film gives off.

It must have been hard for some people to actually believe Michael J. Fox here as Pfc. Eriksson, even though he’s always known as Marty McFly. As the film goes on, you understand how courageous he is in standing up for what he knows is right, and doesn’t once back down from any of these guys, as intimidated as he may be. Sean Penn is amazing in this role as Sgt. Meserve, the vindictive squad leader who is filled up with so much venom and hatred from all these months in the jungle, that he is able to absolutely oppose his will on the others, and he convinces us that he can do that. We also get some very early roles from the likes of John Leguizamo, John C. Reilly, Ving Rhames, and the evil Don Harvey.

Consensus: Casualties of War has a poor opening and beginning that may take away from the film, but it soon becomes a morality tale, heightened by great performances from the cast, and themes about war that will stay in your mind.

6/10=Rental!!

The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)

Really makes me wanna get it on! Any takers?

Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) has a pleasant life with a nice apartment and a job stamping invoices at an electronics store. But at age 40, there’s one thing Andy hasn’t done, and it’s really bothering his sex-obsessed male co-workers: Andy is still a virgin. Determined to help Andy get laid, the guys make it their mission to de-virginize him. But it all seems hopeless until Andy meets small business owner Trish (Catherine Keener), a single mom.

This was the directorial debut for the man we now call, Judd Apatow. The guy went on to direct Knocked Up and Funny People. Even though this isn’t as good as them both, it still is frickin’ hilarious.

My favorite aspect to this film is that it’s script is basically just one running gag for about two hours, but somehow Apatow and company make it work. The humor here is gross-out, disgusting, sexxed up, but sometimes insightful, and always hilarious. There are plenty of one-liners that you’ll find here, as well as some funny little hits on Michael McDonald, horse shows, hood rats, and the movie Gandhi that are all funny as hell, and although they may not always hit the mark you still find yourself cracking up at everything these people say. This could have easily gone the wrong way, and just have been one bad sex joke, after another, but it never seems to get old.

However, there’s more to this film than just a bunch of dick and sex jokes. There’s actually more of a sweet tone to this film that works out for this film because in between all the raunchiness, there is actually a caring, little love story here. It’s not just about this dude trying to bag a bitch, but more about him actually having a meaningful relationship with somebody and falling in love. It all sounds pretty corny, but just to watch how Apatow pulls all this off is something great to see.

My only problem with this film is that it does run on for a bit too long. The version I watched was 2 hours and 13 minutes, which made some conversations run on longer than others, and by the end you feel like this runs on about 10 minutes too long. Speaking of the end, what the hell was up with that ending? I didn’t really get the whole “Age of Aquarius” song number at the end, and to be truly honest, I don’t think anybody else watching this did either.

Not only did Apatow become a star after this so did the whole cast. Steve Carell makes his first star turn as the geeky, but lovable Andy Stitzer, and makes all the scenes with him hilarious. Nowadays, it’s almost hard to see him as anything other than Michael Scott, but no matter what he is in, he is an absolute riot to have up there, and this first big role for him proves it. Catherine Keener is good as the main romantic interest, Trish, but my only problem with her is that I feel that her character was a little too sweet for this type of movie, but despite that Keener is always a delight to have. This film also put so many other talents on the map such as Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Romany Malco, Jane Lynch, Kat Dennings, Leslie Mann, Elizabeth Banks, and a little cameo from a very young Jonah Hill. All do great jobs with the material their given, and thanks to this film, are all getting big-time paychecks from so many other films.

Consensus: Some of it may run on too long, but The 40-Year-Old Virgin has a great combo of a hilarious script filled with raunch and vulgarity, and a sweet story at the bottom of it all, with plenty of great moments with this funny cast.

8.5/10=Matinee!!

MacGruber (2010)

I really need to find me some copies of MacGyver.

When he’s called back into action to deactivate archenemy Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer), MacGruber (Will Forte) is on the case. Now, he must thwart Von Cunth’s plans to destroy Washington, D.C., with a nuclear warhead.

I must say when I found out that this SNL skit, which was pretty damn hilarious in the first place, was going to adapted, I automatically wondered just how bad this will be. Somehow, that doesn’t happen.

Sometimes, I get annoyed by how certain comedies just do raunchy and dirty things to bring out laughter, but this film didn’t bother me that much even though the whole film is basically just one crude joke after another. There’s no real story here, but the film makes up for that with having many funny situations, and jokes that hit right below the belt, but hit very hard and very well. My ribs weren’t hurting by the end of this, but I can easily say, I sure was laughing a whole lot, more than I actually expected really.

The whole film basically parodies a 1980’s action film, with the corny one-liners, cliche explosions, and 80’s music montages, but it never really satisfied me on that action level that I would have liked. The action just seemed pretty lame and didn’t do all that much to actually keep me fully entertained when there wasn’t any dirty jokes going on. I don’t really think that this is what the film was aiming for, but if it could have really went all the way to fully entertain everybody with some actually good action.

Will Forte, has never been my favorite SNL member, but he really is a goddamn riot as MacGruber. His intense and over-dramatic delivery took awhile to get used to, but somehow it got to me and I couldn’t stop but help to laugh at his character and all these crazy antics he does just had me cracking up. My only problem with this character is that MacGruber is kind of a dick, and you may find him funny, but that doesn’t make him all that likable. Some of the shit he does here is mean, and throughout the whole film I didn’t know whether or not I should have liked him, or liked his crazy antics. Ryan Phillipe is a really strange choice here as Lt. Piper, but he does a good job with it. But it actually does speak about his career and how he’s not all that of a serious dude, and will choose films where it can all be kind of moronic. Kristen Wiig plays Vickie St. Elmo, MacGruber’s love interest, and she seems to have stepped in the 70’s but she can definitely pull it off. She owns that sweet, subtle neurotic charm that she has about her, and really brings out some amazing laughs here. Val Kilmer is funny when does funny, but here he’s not really doing anything funny as the evil Dieter Von Cunth. Say that about 10 times and you’ll get the joke.

Consensus: Some elements here and there may not be as enjoyable, but the non-stop crude, raunchy, dirty, and dumb humor keeps MacGruber from being another bad SNL adaptation.

7/10=Rental!!

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