Now I know why I’m single, but steady. Ladies?
Alejandro Griffin (Ben Barnes) and Missy O’Connor (Amanda Seyfried) are getting married. There seems to be no problem with two, young lovers wanting to get hitched, except for the fact that Alejandro’s family is anything but functional. His dad (Robert De Niro) and mom (Diane Keaton) have been divorced for over 20 years, while he lives with (Susan Sarandon); his sister (Katherine Heigl) pukes at the sight of kids; and his bro (Topher Grace) has yet to settle down and lose that V-card of his. Oh, and if that didn’t suck already, his “real mom” is flying up for the wedding but is extremely catholic so Alejandro has to make sure that his real mom and dad act as if they are still married. Hilarious hi-jinx ensue, as you could imagine.
Since it is ripely considered “wedding season”, it’s more than obvious that Hollywood would take advantage of this time and start popping-out all of the wacky and nutty wedding movies, that were meant for those older-peeps who don’t care much for weddings, or those single peeps who are lonely and in need of some reassurance that they will find that special someone and have a beautiful like this one day. Maybe. I’m in the latter and I still feel no reassurance. Nor do I really need it. I’m flying solo forever, baby!
Going into this movie, I knew it was going to be terrible but here’s the thing about me: I like weddings, I like movies about weddings, and I like to watch a dysfunctional family act like asses around one another. I don’t know what it is about me but the idea of being around a bunch of family members that are as fucked-up as mine, really puts a smile to my face and a pen in my hand so that I can finally get to writing that note for Santa’s wish-list of a better life (it will happen one day). But this movie just isn’t what I wanted. Not at all.
As usual, movies like these try so damn hard to be funny, that they almost sprain themselves on the way down. This is one of those movies, but it isn’t as painful as I may make it sound. Granted, it is a pretty bad movie that isn’t really funny and totally has problems with it’s editing (more on that ish later), but it can be pleasureful if you are really, really lonely. And I mean: REALLY LONELY. Like, not a single member of your family is alive to remember your face or who you are. You may have an Uncle, Aunt, or Grandfather that may be going a tad crazy and lose sight of whether or not you’re the grandson or the dog, and that counts. But seriously, this movie is meant for those people who can’t enjoy and celebrate a wedding with friends or family. The only way you can is by watching actors and actresses (aka, really good-looking people), act as if they are all family, love each other, but also love to fight even more. Yep, THAT LONELY.
Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s not. That’s usually either hit-or-miss depending on the type of person. But what no person can deny is that this movie is terribly-filmed and edited. Now, I don’t know about anybody else, but I remember this flick was supposed to come out around some time last year, because the trailer hit, and so did the poster, but no release date. But considering it was so early, everybody assumed it was going to come out in 2012. Whether or not it’s all true, doesn’t matter because this flick has definitely caught some fire and wind in the editing-room. Woo-wee!
The problem with this movie and it’s editing is that it feels as if somebody didn’t quite know what movie they wanted to make. So, instead of keeping the comedy and drama elements splish-splashed together for evenness, they just go straight for the comedy, all in a row, without any drama or anything. I wouldn’t have minded that so much if it was funny; but it wasn’t. By the end, the problems start to become even more apparent once people start revealing stuff that would change one person’s life in a heartbeat, but somehow has no effect whatsoever on that person. I don’t want to drop down to spoiler-territory, but it’s really random, stupid, and odd how kosher this flick seems to be with certain things like adoption and not knowing who your real parents are. Not saying adoption is weird, but something about this movie makes it seem weird. Oh, who the hell! Just watch it if you want to see what I mean!
If there is any saving grace to this movie, anywhere at all: it’s the cast. After turning out an Oscar-nominated role in Silver Linings Playbook, you’d automatically assume that it meant Bobby De Niro was with a new agent and back in full-force. But I was so, so, so, so, so wrong. De Niro isn’t bad here, it’s just that his character of being a womanizing-perv doesn’t quite work for the guy as well as it might have about a decade ago. Now, it’s just over-played, stupid, and a bit creepy considering all this dude wants to do is bang someone or something. Diane Keaton plays his estranged ex-wife, and is fine for what she needs to do but is simply phoning it in as if she just wants the lovin’ from Warren Beatty or Woody Allen back. No matter who she chooses to have back, she’s going to get some lovin’.
As for the kiddies, they are all fine, but feel as if they are just phoning it in like most supporting-acts in rom-coms do. Topher Grace is still trying to make us forget about Eric Forman and it’s still not working; Katherine Heigl is still trying to make us forget that she bitched-out Judd Apatow (aka, her best role EVER), and once again, it’s still not working; Amanda Seyfried has barely any scenes to herself, but when she does, it’s just blank the whole time; and Ben Barnes is charming and does what he can with that Spanish-tongue of his, but still can’t over-come the fact that he’s just there, stuck in the middle of all of this havoc. Poor guy. Get a new manager.
The only peeps in this cast who really seem ready to play are Robin Williams and Susan Sarandon. Williams seems like he’s having fun playing the same role he basically played in that god-awful movie where he played a priest where two younglings were getting married. Not going to call it by it’s name, and just leave it at that. Susan Sarandon is probably the best out of the bunch because of the way she plays her character, and the way they make her character. Since Bebe, the character she plays, swung-around with De Niro when he was still married to Keaton, you would think that she’d be perceived as a bottomless whore that can’t get a man her own, so she goes for one that’s already got dibs called on. You would think, but the movie actually makes a smart-decision in not taking that low road and giving her more to be sympathetic about and show us why she isn’t such a bad lady. In ways, she was even a better mommy than Keaton’s character was. But that’s bad because the Catholic Church thinks divorce is evil and breaths fire and brimstone. Okay, I’m done attacking anything right now. Let’s just get this thing over with.
Consensus: For anybody who wants to get away from their porno-infested computer screens for an hour or two, The Big Wedding may be the right fit for them, but for the other people that are married, in a relationship, or just don’t really care to waste their time in general; then it won’t fit. At all.
3 / 10 = Crapola!!
Don’t ever invite the one person that may stop the marriage, to your actual wedding.
A mother named Margot (Nicole Kidman) and her son named Claude (Zane Pais) live together and are constantly angry at the things around them. They go to visit a relative (Jennifer Jason Leigh) over the weekend, for that person’s wedding but the problem is that the soon-to-be husband (Jack Black) of that husband, isn’t exactly Mr. Charming. But in Margot’s eyes: almost no one is.
Writer/director Noah Baumbach doesn’t seem like the right kind of guy for me. His films are filled with characters that are so damn unlikable, that you would much rather shoot them than be in the same family as them, and the dialogue has that natural feel to it, but also gets very weird and quirky for no reason at all. He always seems to base his movies in reality, but a type of reality that is pessimistic, miserable, and downright uneven. Maybe that’s how life is, but for me; it doesn’t seem so. That’s why Baumbach never seems to deliver the goods and this flick is no different.
The biggest problem I hit with this flick was that barely anybody here drew me in, nor did they even have me compelled by what they were going to do next with their lives. Quite frankly, I couldn’t give a shit about them. Sounds harsh but the film is just dedicated to each one of these characters either constantly fighting with one another, acting strange just for the sake of it, saying how they really feel at random and sometimes, unnecessary moments, and getting into arguments where it gets so heated, they’re about to kill each other the next second. I mean I know family can be a bitch at times, but never as bad as they are displayed here. Almost every single scene that goes by, nobody ever seems to enjoy each other’s company and it never changes. Whether or not Baumbach meant for us to share the same misery these characters were feeling, is totally beyond me.
I mean, I get it. Not everybody in the world we live in is going to be as sweet as pumpkin pie but this film takes that a little too far to where it’s just an annoyance. Watching people practically beat the ever, loving shit out of the other in a verbal, and sometimes physical war. What makes it even worse is that this film is one hell of a sloppy piece-of-work because Baumbach never seems to be able to make a cohesive story here, and resorts to just snipping together random, short shots of these characters either reacting with each other, or just standing there looking mad/angry/sad. It’s cool what Baumbach can handle his characters without ever having any real plot to work with, but he doesn’t succeed at that here and I think it’s mainly because he trusted too much in his writing to win everybody over. Qurkiness can only go so far, and it went a bit far for our man, Noah, here.
This was even more of a shame to see in this flick is because of the movie that came before this, The Squid and the Whale. It’s probably my favorite Baumbach flick and shows that the guy can handle quirkiness, but also throw in some real, honest emotions to-spare where we feel for the characters involved, no matter how self-centered or despicable they may be. It seems as if Baumbach tried to do some of that here, but it doesn’t have as much steam as that indie-gem had. The characters from that movie were pretty damn unlikeable, but at least they had some sort of sympathetic side to them, deep-down inside. You had to look far for it, but when you found it all out, it worked wonders for the flick and it seemed like Baumbach tried to do the same thing here, just without any likeable-traits whatsoever. I can’t lie, there were some parts of this film that had me interested and made me laugh, but they were also very few and far my dear. Very few and far.
Even though the characters and story-line sort of blow, the cast still owns and show exactly why they deserve roles like these, no matter how detestable they can be. Nicole Kidman is great as the confused, bitchy, and often terrible mother that can’t seem to get her head around whatever it is that she wants in life. Kidman has always been a powerhouse in every performance she’s given, but she’s allowed to play a more mean character than we usually see from her and I think she handles it well. Since every scene consists of her bitching everybody-out that’s around her at that time, it’s not very hard to see exactly why a gal like this would own at playing such a evil mother. Yes, she even bitches out her own son. Damn woman!
Jennifer Jason Leigh always has had a knack for coming off as very sunny, bright-eyed, and likable and her role as Pauline really worked for her in that aspect. The fact that she’s so happy with life and her sister is such a huge bitch, really seemed strange to me, but then again, I guess that’s what happens in life. Life can take you down different paths of life, and I guess that’s what this flick was trying to show us with these two sissies that just so happen to be blood-related, but yet have completely, different out-looks on life. Still don’t know how a hot momma like Leigh ended-up with Jack Black, but hey, that’s what movies are made for, right? Speaking of the one and the only, Jack Black, he’s actually very good as Malcolm, Pauline’s soon-to-be-husband and brings a lot of that comedic-timing to this movie (that is so rightfully needed) and also has some nice dramatic touches as well. Malcolm is probably the most realistic and chill character of the whole film, and it’s never fully explained why the hell Margot hated him so much to begin with. He was the only guy in this film that made me want to continue watching and actually give it more of a shot than it deserved. Never thought I’d say this about any movie, but Jack Black was the best part of it. God, now that I think about it: this movie really must have sucked.
Consensus: Noah Baumbach at least deserves some sort of credit for making a story for Margot at the Wedding, solely out of random snippets of character emotions and happenings, but that’s not much when you consider how loathsome and mean these characters can be, without any sense of love or kindness in their hearts.
3 / 10 = Indie Crapola!!
In Tom Cruise, we trust.
Three separate stories somehow find their ways of connecting to one-another the way you wouldn’t expect (or maybe you’re a movie dick, and do expect it). Robert Redford plays a college professor talking to one of his most-promising students (Andrew Garfield) about what he possibly could and could not do for his future; Meryl Streep plays a reporter interviewing a Senator (Tom Cruise) about a new war-plan in the making; and two soldiers (Michael Pena and Derek Luke) get caught behind enemy lines without a hope or prayer in the world.
If a regular, everyday person gets pissed-off about the war and doesn’t agree with the intentions; then most likely, that person goes on throughout their day, keeping their thoughts and ideas to themselves, and occasionally blasting-out all of those thoughts and ideas whenever they get to shot to, either around a group of co-workers, friends, family, or total and complete strangers. Either way, this is the story of the everyday man who has a voice and that’s it. Hollywood stars are like us in the ways that they too have a voice, but they also have money, powerful friends, and in Robert Redford’s case; a camera, a crew, and a script as well. First problem right there.
Regardless as to whether or not you agree with the war, why we are over there, and whether or not it’s a waste of time and lives, you will find something to take out of this movie. There’s plenty of important ideas the movie is willing to spout-out at you that makes you feel like it knows what it’s talking about, and even better, has the best intentions at-hand. However, like with most movies along the same lines of this one, best intentions don’t mean jack-shit if you can’t give me a compelling story, compelling characters, and just an overall, compelling and entertaining piece of cinema for an hour and a half. That’s all I ask, that’s all I want, and that’s all I need to enjoy myself and if I get that, then hell, go to freakin’ town on the idea-spouting! But, if you can’t give me anything that’s the least-bit compelling, nor can you even give me an hour and a half movie time-limit (this runs a cheap-o 88 minutes), then buzz off!
That’s what I felt like saying to Robert Redford by the end of this movie because everything he tells us and lectures us on throughout this whole movie, is nothing more than that: just lectures. If I wanted to be lectured on how the war is bad, how it’s waste of time for our people to be over there, and how politicians continue to make mistakes about it, then I would have either taken a Political Science course, gone to a student-rally, or just went online, and typed in “Why the war is bad”, and thus, there would have been over 6,000,000 results and all for the price of $0. However, when you ask me to go out of my way, drive to the nearest theater-complex, and actually throw out about $9 or $10 for one of these lectures, then you can just forget it. Thank the high heavens I never payed a dime to see this movie, and according to the box-office results for this thing: apparently nobody else did either. Just goes to show you that the typical, American movie-goer wasn’t as dumb as we all thought they were. Then again, they probably went out to see Transformers that weekend so I guess that statement doesn’t hold much truth.
Also, it’s not even like everything this movie is trying to say is anything new, revolutionary, mind-boggling, or original that we haven’t already heard or seen said before. Watching Fahrenheit 9/11 will probably tell you the same exact stuff that this movie is, but instead, with more insight, more humor, more personality, more entertainment, and just more of a “movie-aspect” to the whole product that will actually have you feel like you really made the right decision to see it. This movie, which is not a documentary, just tells you stuff that you have already heard before and doesn’t necessarily break any new-ground. It’s almost like Redford had this movie in his head ever since the war started, and then had to wait an extra 6 years until it was almost too late to where everything he said was relevant.
Though he shows signs of getting older as a director, Robert Redford still has the knack and talent to make himself work as an actor, and I guess that’s worth complimenting when you take the whole movie into place. Redford has a natural charisma to him, that still lies within himself, no matter how old or wrinkly his luscious face gets. The guy’s got charm to him, and it only gets better with age. However, the one who steals the spot-light away from him is Andrew Garfield, in a very early-role of his career as a student that has promise and has the brain to make a difference in this world, but just won’t take the bait on everything that he’s being taught. The kid’s a bit cocky and over-his-head with certain ideas, but Garfield makes it work and shows that it doesn’t matter if you’re up against a veteran actor like Redford, you can still do a helluva job and get your name out there for the whole world to see. I don’t know if that worked with this movie or not, but hey, at least he’s Spider-Man now, so that’s got to account for something.
The other story in this movie is with Streep and Cruise, who show that they have good banter between each other, but still feels like some of their weaker-attempts at making a crappy-script work. Cruise is charming as the manipulative, but well-intentioned Senator that has a tough job and knows it, and shows you that he can play slimy, but still make you like him and feel like he’s a good guy, underneath the whole charade of being way too cool for school. On the opposite-end, Streep is okay as the reporter, but it really feels like a role that should have been played by somebody else, like somebody younger, or somebody that isn’t as amazing as an actress as Streep, mainly because we expect more from her. Apparently her character is a little cuckoo for Coco Puff’s, even though it rarely shows when she’s able to keep her cool with the Senator, but that was probably just another attempt at trying to give us character-development from Redford, that just so happened to not work.
The last story is probably the least-interesting out of all of them, and that’s a real shame too because I like Derek Luke and Michael Pena and I feel like they can be really good in certain movies, when they’re given good scripts to assist them. This is not one of those scripts. Basically, all of the scenes we get with them are either they’re talking to a class about their political-beliefs, or they are stranded in a field, injured, and trying to not get killed. We’re supposed to feel bad for them and get a sense that this is like every poor solider that decides to sign-up for the war: but we don’t. It feels manipulative and shallow, as if Redford tried his hardest to take a jab at the military and also humanize it at the same time, but just comes off as forced.
Consensus: Redford’s intentions obviously mean well and aren’t to make everybody out there that he disagree’s with, look like total and complete a-holes, but Lions for Lambs features nothing else other than a bunch of ideas, lectures, and opinions that aren’t new, aren’t special, and don’t really serve any meaning, other than to show you that A-listers really know what’s up with the world. I call bullshit.
3 / 10 = Crapola!!
In the future, everybody has weird-looking eyes.
In the distant future, humans are taken-over by alien forces that attack the minds, brainwash them, and put them all against figuring out who the final humans left alive are, and where they reside. Problems arise once a young lady named Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), is having a problem where her “human-self” is coming back to fight her, and making her do what she would do as a human. This means, she goes back to her old home-land, where humans live and survive in perfect harmony, but the problem is that she’s still an alien and people have no clue as to trust her or just kill her on the spot.
Last November, teenage girls and out-of-the-closet males all wept, teared-up, shouted, and said by to their beloved Twilight franchise as they witnessed the end of the Taylor, Jacob, and Bella saga that most people, myself included, didn’t give two shits about. But the biggest question on people’s minds was not whether they would make more sequels or re-boot the franchise, but whether there would be another, Twilight-like movie in the works. Well, the answer to that is yes, and sadly: this is it.
Apparently, the messiah of young adult readers right now, Stephenie Myer figured out that it’s time to due away with the werewolves and vampires, and in with the aliens. Because honestly, let’s face it, everybody loves aliens, even the weepie girls under the age of 18 who will most likely be venturing out to see this. It sounds like it’d be a relatively cool premise to have a face-off between aliens and humans, but that premise is nowhere near to being fulfilled, let alone even coming close. And that’s really a sad thing because this is coming from the same writer and director who gave us such sci-fi classics as Gattaca, The Truman Show (to an extent), and even last year’s In Time. Wouldn’t call that last one “a classic” per se, but compared to this shite; it’s the nearest thing to 2001 right about now.
Here’s the problem with this movie: it’s painfully boring. Nothing really entertaining happens here, and despite a couple of eye-candy to be viewed in the background, you may be very tempted to just pass-out and think about how great that Easter dinner was. I saw this on Easter, and could not stop myself from thinking about all of that glorious ham, corn, and mashed potatoes that I was going to chow-down on very, very soon. The problem with that was I had to kill 2 hours of my life to get there, watching this junk.
What makes the movie so damn boring is that there is nothing going on here, other than a bunch of people talking about why they don’t like aliens, who they are, where they are, and the world they live in. Can’t sound all that terrible if you have a smart, insightful script, but this movie does not have that. There are so many moments where people just start moping around as if the fact that they cannot be with their loved one is the most terrible thing in this godforsaken world. Uhm, hello! You people live in a world where aliens are constantly hunting you down, trying to erase your memory, and worse of all, most likely going to wipe-out your whole race of humans. Then again, that’s just me. Take your time with the hanky-panky I guess.
And that’s another problem, aside from the terrible script where people use sayings that would get them nowhere close to bed if they saw a chick in a bar (or vice versa), the premise never makes any sense nor does it’s happening that follow it. The premise is based around the fact that these humans and aliens just do not like each other and can’t live with one another in peaceful, perfect harmony, but yet; it’s never explained as to why. One character says because they are evil, always getting in fights, killing nature, and not taking care of the grateful word, but is that really it? Why do you feel the need to take over the whole world and get rid of the lasting-race while you’re at it. Never made sense to me, and it only gets worse once the romantic-aspect of this movie kicks in, big time, and we’re supposed to believe that these three people would get caught in a love-triangle, and even go to the extremes of kissing the same girl, seconds after the other person kissed her. It gets incredibly dumb by the end, but it was that way even before it.
The only element coming even close to saving this movie has to be the cast, although, once I begin to say more, you’ll realize that it doesn’t mean much. At age 18, Saoirse Ronan has really grown into a very credible-actress, as well as a very attractive young woman (1 year younger than me, holla!), but she’s got to watch herself when it comes to taking crappy flicks like this. Ronan’s good at making Melanie a sympathetic character, and one you can always trust, but her character is the one that has the most problems. Since Melanie is an alien, with the human-mind on the inside, whenever we hear her alien-self speak, it’s through Ronan in-person, but when it’s the human-side of Melanie speaking, it’s an over-the-top narration that is always loud, always annoying, and never, ever funny, no matter how hard the movie makes her try to sound. Even when we feel like Melanie is finally winning us over and allowing us to make sense of this all, the narration has to come in out of nowhere and ruin everything.
Jake Abel and Max Irons play her possible love-interests and are okay for the most part, but look both similar in terms of appearance and personality, it’s hard to understand just what the hell Melanie sees in them, and even worse, how she doesn’t accidentally kiss one, when she really meant to kiss the other. If I was her, I’d just take full-advantage of this matter and get it on with both, at the same time, and let the future come a rollin’. That’s just my take, anyway. Probably wouldn’t garner the same type of audience, anyway. William Hurt is here as the cooky uncle of Melanie and is pretty good, but isn’t enough to carry this flick on his own, broad shoulders. And lastly, Diane Kruger is as sexy and gorgeous as they come, but she literally has nothing else to do in this flick other than look angry, determined, and pissed the whole time as the one alien that’s on Melanie’s trail and constantly trying to make a name for herself. Just show your boobs, and then you’ll win us all over. That’s all I gots to say about that.
Consensus: Even if it is a tad better than those wretched Twilight movies, that still isn’t saying much at all when The Host is that movie you speak of. It’s dumb, contrived, dull, and just plain boring, without ever bringing anything new or cool to the table, despite the promising premise may have implied from the start.
3 / 10 = Crapola!!
Randle McMurphy would have taught these ladies what being crazy was all about.
Set during the sixties, Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and sent to a renowned New England psychiatric hospital where she spent the next two years in a ward for teenage girls. There, she finds out more about herself through others, especially Lisa (Angelina Jolie), a charming sociopath who really messes with Susanna’s, as well as everybody else’s, minds.
Any movie that has ever been and ever will be made about psychiatric hospitals, will always be compared to the greatest of all-time: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. To some movies, this may not seem like a very fair-comparison but still it can’t be escaped as that film is not only the finest about psychiatric hospitals, but one of the finest films of all time. Period. That’s why it’s so damn hard for films like these to get past that detour, and be it’s own film. Sadly, the idea and thought of One Flew only made this flick all the more boring in hind-sight.
I’ve never read Susanna Kaysen’s autobiographical-take on her 18-month stay at the nut house, but from what I hear, people that loved that book absolutely loathed this movie and I can totally see why. From the first-shot, I expected this movie to be one of those downright depressing tales of a bunch of wacked-up people that can’t seem to get by in life no matter how hard they try to be normal, and that’s what sort of had me excited here. I thought I, dare I say it, was in-store for a female-version of One Flew, but somehow, just ended-up with a total chick-flick disguised as a One Flew-ripoff. Very, very disappointing.
After I got used to the tone and realized that maybe this movie was going to shine more light in the bottle then I expected, I decided to still give it a chance and see where my opinions and minds swayed. However, I soon find myself caring less and less about the material as it went along. Mainly most of the blame has to be put on director James Mangold who treats this material as if it was another soapy, melodramatic TV-movie-of-the-week that you’d probably catch right after school is letting-out and the kids are just getting on the buses.
With an R-rating, this film definitely has it’s fair shares of curses, nudity, drug-use, and some disturbing images to spice some things up, but you take away all of that, and then you just got a film that’s trying way, way too hard to inspire us to be the best in our lives and instead, ends up just being way too melodramatic and serious with itself. You don’t feel like you just watched something that will stay in your mind forever, nor have you change anything you already do throughout your day; it’s just there to be there. That’s just about it and that sucks because from what I hear, the source material is very, very rich in it’s context and what it has to say. Somehow, someway, Mangold lost his way.
Obviously a movie about a bunch of crazy girls (half of which have all tried to kill themselves) isn’t going to go down the dark comedy-route, but at least give me something that’s more than just a bunch of sad, lonely girls that can’t make sense of anything. Seriously, I’ve seen it all before, heard it all before, and 9 times out of 10, know that it’s an idea that’s been used a lot better before. Watching crazy girls cry, rant, rave, curse, yell, and be sad all the time, doesn’t give me much pleasure, nor does it really inspire me to move-on with my life and be the best that I can be. I don’t know what Kaysen’s original source-material’s point was about life and how you live it, but something tells me it got a bit skewered in the process of making this movie. Also, as inspiring as it may be to see a bunch of crazy girls change their lives around, wake up, and smell the cauliflower, it’s a theme/idea that isn’t anything new, refreshing, or powerful in the least-bit, especially when it’s done in such a dry way like this. It’s just boring to hear, boring to watch, and most of all, boring to wait for 2 hours, just so it will get to it’s damn point.
The only aspect of this movie that nearly saves the day is the performances from everybody involved, especially it’s two leads. Winona Ryder does a great-job at giving this Susanna girl some life, that may seem a bit phony at-first, but soon becomes more and more believable as the story rolls on and we see how she reacts to what life has thrown at her. Obviously Ryder isn’t the best actress out there, but the girl still can give a solid performance when she wants to and that’s exactly what she does here. However, I do think that this Susanna girl was a lot more complex and diverse in the book, which is why it’s sort of a shame to see how she rarely smiles, rarely makes people laugh, and rarely ever does anything we don’t expect from her. She’s sort of plain and dull, which is something that Ryder tries to distract us from, but in the end, sort of fails to do so. Yet, it isn’t her fault and it’s more of Mangold’s than anybody else’s, really.
The best out of this whole cast is obviously Angelina Jolie, who won an Oscar here for her role as the trouble-maker and fire-starter inmate known as Lisa. There’s always a certain spark and edge to Jolie that makes her light-up on-screen and here, she uses that to her advantage, but in a different way than we are used to seeing from her. Lisa is nasty, brutally honest, hurtful, but also very unapologetic in the way she handles herself, tells everybody how she feels, and goes about her day as if nobody else is around her. Lisa reminds me of a lot of girls I know (even guys, too) and definitely seems like a more complex person than Susanna is and that shows. Whenever she’s not around, the movie drags and drags and drags, until she finally shows-up once again to liven things up. If you feel as if Jolie isn’t a good actress and isn’t really worth-watching, other than wondering how she got her lips to be so freakin’ big in the first-place, then check out her role here and realize that the girl has a lot more going on for her than Ryder does, that’s for damn sure. Probably has a lot more money too, that she uses to buy her clothes with. Hayooo! Don’t worry, I’ll be here till Thursday!
Consensus: The cast makes up for some of the script’s misfortunes, but there’s way too many in Girl, Interrupted to turn your head-away from as it just ends up being another, melodramatic and soapy chick-flick about a bunch of gals that have problems, need to get over them, and simply can’t. Just watch for Jolie and some of Ryder, and be done with it.
3.5 / 10 = Crapola!!
It’s like Amour, but with more guns and boners.
A couple of aged con men (Alan Arkin, Al Pacino, Christopher Walken) are back to their old ways by getting the gang back together, having fun, and causing a bunch of havoc like they all used to. However, one has a new assignment another and bears some not-so good news for that person, as well as the gang. If this sounds vague, just watch the damn trailer. You’ll know what I’m talking about.
Even though you may not know this because you’ve been so distracted by the work they’ve been putting-out over the years, but Alan Arkin, Al Pacino, and Christopher Walken are all getting older and the days where big, money-making roles coming their way, are getting dimmer and dimmer. It’s a sad thought to have in your head when you think about the material these guys have given over the years and why you think vets like these will automatically, always be around no matter what life brings them. However, the fact still remains: these guys are getting older, and their choices for roles are starting to get lousier.
I remember when I first heard about this movie, who it had, and what the central-premise was, my mind went straight to comedy, but after the trailer: I realized that it was far from that. The trailer gave-off a darker-vibe, that did have a comedic-elements to it, but wasn’t all about a bunch of old dudes having a crazy old time, like the golden days, and never letting-up for a second. That intrigued me about this flick but sadly: that was the trailer, and THIS, is the movie.
Director Fisher Stevens gives this flick the look and feel of it’s main characters: slower and worn-out. Instead of making this flick all about the bang-bang, the action, and the wildness of the night, the film is more relaxed and calm in how it shows these guys going about their one, glorious day, talking about their lives, where it’s taken them, and how much they miss the old days of just being wild and free. It’s alright to see a movie about a bunch of old men reminiscing on the golden years, but here, Stevens plays it out in a way that’s so obvious and so conventional, that it almost doesn’t feel genuine. Instead, it feels like these guys are just sapping on-and-on about their lives, because the script needs them to and there’s no real emotion to it. That’s a shocker of a statement, considering you have Oscar-winners in the lead roles!
Speaking of the Oscar-winners, all of them are fine, except that the script that they are working with just blows. Al Pacino is playing his usual, fun-loving spirit of an old man that can’t get enough of life because he’s out of the clink, and as fun as it may be to see Pacino rolling around the screen, having a fun-time, it does get a bit old by about, I don’t know, say the fourth or fifth boner joke. Oh yeah, need I forget to tell you, this is one of those flicks that’s less concerned about what these guys have been up to over the past years, and more concerned with the pills they take to get their boners up-and-running, and just how much a fire-ball they can be in the sack. That seems like material that’s meant strictly for a Farrelly Brothers movie, not one that features Oscar-winners of this nature. Pacino can be okay in this movie, but just like the film’s nature and characters: he feels worn-out.
I can’t say the same thing about Christopher Walken, but yet, I can’t totally back the guy up all that much, either. Walken has that quirky look in his eyes and deliver in his voice, but there’s nothing much here that really has you rooting for the guy, hoping that he ends-up going the good way, as opposed to the bad way. There is this small, but over-bearing subplot about him and his “possible” granddaughter that’s as obvious as a gay man in a strip-club. What I mean by that is, is that you can point it out, right away, and as soon as it shows up, so it only gets worse when the film constantly continues to shove it down our throats by saying, “BTW!! THAT’S HIS GRANDDAUGHTER!!!”. It didn’t make me feel anything more for the guy, nor did it give me anymore sympathy or care for these characters; it was just there to give these guys material to work with.
However, what I said about Pacino and Walken, could not be said about Alan Arkin who seems to really be having the most fun out of three as the fella they break-out of the old person’s home. Arkin always has that wacky deliver that makes his character stand-out the most and it’s no surprise that he not only gets the best-lines, but is also allowed to stretch-out more of his dramatic-lungs as well. I don’t know where those dramatic-lungs where at in his Oscar-nominated role in Argo (still “wtfing” about that), but regardless, the guy is still fun and brings a lot of much needed excitement and joy to the screen when it seems like Walken and Pacino may be taking naps, here and there.
You would think that with these three dudes in roles where they just practically play themselves, that almost nothing can go wrong, but that’s where the movie comes in and shows you otherwise. Instead of making their one, glorious night one chock-full of spills, thrills, bangs (there are some of them, but not coming from the barrel of a gun like I wanted), booms, fun, and excitement, it’s more of a night where they just slowly move around, from one spot to another, without any real moments of delight to keep us awake. Even at an hour-and-a-half time-limit, the film does still feel stretched beyond it’s limits and as each and every situation goes by with a total and complete whimper, you’re pretty much expecting the film to end (or probably die) at any second.
Thankfully, when it does end, it ends to the tune of Gary Clark Jr.’s “Bright Lights”, which is pretty cool because it’s the only type of energy the film has had up until that point, but stops being cool, once you realize how damn anti-climactic and silly it’s ending actually is. I don’t want to give anything away to you peeps out there who may be clamoring the trip to go out and see this piece of old-geezer’s sap-fest, but trust me, the ending is stupid and will probably have you feel more pissed-off that you bothered even seeing this, let alone remembering these three stars for all that they used to be. Now, they are just old guys, who’s best days are probably behind them. I think I’m tearing up now just thinking about it.
Consensus: Walken, Pacino, and especially Arkin, all seem like they are having fun in Stand Up Guys, but it’s not enough to save this terrible-material from being nothing more than just a lame-excuse to get a bunch of Oscar-winners, to sit-around, chit-chat about the old days, do “old people”-like things, and suffer excruciatingly long boners. Hey, what do you think the “Stand Up” stood for?
3.5 / 10 = Crapola!!
Glad we all died this year!
With the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, a large group of people must deal with natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, typhoons and glaciers.
Director Roland Emmerich stated that this was going to be his last “disaster flick” and since he already did ones like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, you can tell he needed to go out with a total bang. So you know what that means: more people dying, more destruction, more shit blowing-up, more corny one-liners, and more special effects to eat-up, and shit-out like an all-you-can-eat, Chinese buffet.
Everything I just described up there may make this seem like another piss-poor attempt at trying to just throw a bunch of dollhairs at the screen, in hopes that it will actually make most of it back, and then some, but it actually makes this film a lot of fun because Emmerich knows he isn’t trying to make some piece of “art”. It’s not one of those flicks that makes you think twice about the world we live in, what could happen, how it could happen, and nor is he trying to make a film that’s going to make a run for Best Picture. He’s just trying to make a movie where the Earth, the beautiful world we all love and live in, goes, “BOOM! CRASH! BANG! SPLAT!”, and everybody else suffers because of it. It’s pretty fun, and sometimes exciting to see what Emmerich puts into this type of destruction and the special effects look pretty good, for the most part. Other times, they look like something that came straight out of GTA: Apocalypse but you have to give this movie the benefit of the doubt: showing the world blow up in every which way possible, is a pretty hard thing to pull off. And it’s definitely something that Emmerich shows total joy and glee in doing-so.
Still, whenever the destruction wasn’t going down, this film tried it’s hardest to give us some melodrama that just didn’t work and made me laugh more than anything else. The screenplay is obviously terrible and of course, we get all the same old melodramatic speeches and corny-ass catch-phrases that show up here but what bothered me more about this writing was that it was way too predictable for my taste. The whole story about Cusack saving his family from every line of death imaginable is all good and fun to watch, but there’s so many coincidences here, that I wondered just how this guy didn’t break a leg, a hand, an wrist, a shoulder, a tibia, a collar-bone, or any type of bone in his body, for that matter. Hell, the guy actually drives a limo through a volcanic eruption and he barely even gets a scratch on his cheek, let alone, a scratch on the fine set of wheels he’s been trucking around this hell-whole full of destruction. I don’t want it to seem like I wanted to see the guy perish in the first earthquake, but I thought him, as well as plenty others, just got by without anything really bad happening to them whatsoever and it was a little too unrealistic and too obvious for me to really just let slide-by and act as if it’s not really happening in-front of my eyes. I know, I’m hating on a Roland Emmerich film for not being realistic, but I just couldn’t get my head past it.
Watching places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Yellowstone National Park get blown up into tiny little pieces and get sucked into the ocean is pretty cool to watch, but I could only imagine how a person would feel had they actually lived there. There was no mention or scenes showing Philadelphia being destroyed, but I would think that if they had, I would feel pretty sad about it because that’s my home and just the thought of everything around me, anything I ever knew, and every person I ever met, being killed instantly would put me in a total bummer of a mood. It also started to hurt me once Emmerich started showing all of Vatican City being thrashed up and made me think: why would you want to kill the Pope in a movie like this? I get it, it’s realistic that him and plenty of other holy people would die in catastrophic events like this, but really!?! Of all people to show being killed in the Apocalypse you’re going to show the Pope and all of his followers? Did you even need to show that, or could it just have been implied? Just bad taste, that’s all and a bit too extreme for a popcorn flick.
Also, why the hell did this film need to go on for 2 hours and 40 minutes. I like disaster movies, but not when they can take up about 3 hours of my life and have me practically wasting my day, wondering just what the hell I’m going to do with the rest of it. And if that was the case, I would just watch a double feature of Emmerich’s last two disaster flicks and find more enjoyment out of them both than this junk. It actually got to a point of where I started dozing off by the end when this film decided to go all The Poseidon Adventure on us and it just goes to show you, that once you run-out of ideas about destroying the whole world, just go back, and try stealing from other movies, because nobody’s going to notice. They’re already wasting their times to see your dumb-ass movie, so screw em! Not my thoughts, they’re Emmerich’s and the other Hollywood producers who help him put-out this crap.
The film has a pretty huge cast that works fine with what they are given, but are pretty much wasted on such a shit script like this one here. John Cusack is pretty freakin’ awesome as our central hero, Jackson Curtis, mainly because he doesn’t over-do it one bit. He doesn’t take this role too serious, nor does he ever really freak-out whenever it seems like he and his family are going to perish just like the 95% rest of the world already has. He plays it cool and still has that great comedic timing that we all know and love him for, back from his Peter Gabriel listening days. And also, it’s about freakin’ time that we gave more, heroic-roles like these to Cusack because the dude’s got that, every-day-kind-of-guy look to him, that makes you want to stand-up, pat him on the back, and just cheer him on until he can’t go on no more. Thanks Roland Emmerich! Even if the rest of your movie sucks, at least you have Cusack the shot he so rightfully deserves!
Danny Glover plays the President (as you would assume) and does a pretty good job bringing out some emotions in a guy that I feel like I would blame all of this bad shit on in the first place (don’t know why, but I would probably just be mad); Woody Harrelson has a nice cameo as Charlie Frost, the bearded and dirty hippy that knows all about the end of the world and loves spreading it all out on the airwaves; Chiwetel Ejiofor is fine as the scientist with a heart, Adrian Helmsley, but he also seems a little too good for this ass-like material; Oliver Platt plays his usual “dickhead” role as top government official, Carl Anheuser, and just oozes the corruption; and Amanda Peet and Thandie Newton just stand there and look scared the whole time. Pretty fine bit of casting as everybody here have proven in other flicks, that they are some heavy-hitters. However, when Roland Emmerich gets ahold of them, they have nothing to do other than ham it up like it’s nobody’s business. That’s exactly what they do here and although it may have made their banking-accounts a bit more filled, it made me a bit more ashamed to see them all stoop this low. Oh well, each and every one of them have done something better since then, so I can’t complain too much.
Consensus: 2012 may remind you how much the end of the world is going to suck with its constant explosions, endless use of special effects, and cheesy-ass writing, but also isn’t as thrilling as you would expect from the dude who did Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. And yes, despite them not either of them being, written-down masterpieces, this one still should have been as fun as them.
Bodhi is swimming in his grave right about now.
The movie centers on the real life relationship between the late surfing phenom Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston) and his legendary mentor Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) as they embark on a quest to surf five-story tall waves known as “Mavericks”.
As far as surfing moves go, 1) there hasn’t been many, and 2), the best of them all is probably Point Break. Say what you will in the comments and talk about how Point Break isn’t really a surfing movie, as much as it is a crime-thriller with the surfing element but seriously, try and not associate surfing with that movie when you think of it. If you’re not sure about that statement, well then be sure about this statement: you sure as hell won’t associate THIS movie with surfing, I can promise ya that.
Coming from director Curtis Hanson (aka, the guy who directed most of it, only to be replaced with two weeks left of shooting due to health issues), you’d expect something very inspirational, full of energy, and able to hit you in the heart and make you weep like a little bitch. The reason I say this is because the guy’s given us many great flicks like L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys, and the one I think this one compares to the most, 8 Mile. No matter what you may say about that last film I mentioned, it’s inspirational, has a good story, and had a nice lead character, something that this movie seemed like it could have been but just ended up dropping the ball on big-time.
It’s obvious that the promise of the tale of surfing legend Jay Moriarty was there, but it just never comes full-circle and seems like a long, dull drag until you’ve had enough with these damn kids, surfing, and the ocean. Maybe the fact that I’m not part of the surf culture is the reason that I don’t get what’s so special about this kid, but there was just nothing here to really grab me and have me involved one-bit with this story. The surfing scenes were sometimes cool to look-at, but that’s about it, and I was surprised that there was barely any type of energy thrown into this flick at all. The only times I really felt like this film was moving at a solid-pace was when they would throw some nice-ass 90′s tune in for easy-listening, and even they felt a little misplaced since half of the scenes consisted of guys paddling out into the sea. It’s a pretty boring experience that definitely does not give you the rush or energy that goes into surfing, or the surf culture itself. Seriously man, this movie needed Bodhi, and big-time, too.
Aside from the cheap surfing scenes, the story here is pretty uninvolving and just comes off like a normal, day-of-the-week TV special. The main story of Moriarty could be pretty inspirational and exciting, but they never show the kid as a human-being and make him out to be this sunny-eyed kid, with beautiful, blond hair, beautiful aspirations for life, and not a single problem going on for him. Hell, I think the only problem the kid had was a note from his father that he didn’t read for 5 years or so and if that was his only problem, jeesh, he should have considered himself one, lucky mother ‘effer. Now, I never knew the real Moriarty and I’ve never read anything on him, to know if he was a bad kid or not, but there had to be at least a little something wrong with him. Maybe he liked little boys? Maybe he robbed banks in his down-time? Maybe he had a secret fetish for feet? Who knows?!?!? All I do know is, that he definitely was not the latter-day saint this movie had portrayed him as and it just got to bother me after awhile.
The main part of the reason why I was so annoyed by this kid was mainly because of Jonny Weston‘s cardboard performance as him. I’ve never seen Weston before, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to have a bright-future ahead of him with a body and good-looks like that, but he cannot act for crap and this movie just proves that. The kid is painfully bland, rarely ever shows any type of emotions, and is not easy to connect with, just because he’s the same-old, underdog we have seen time, and time again. Except, this time, he has no problems in life and can still get by the fact that this big wave he wants to take, may be the last one he ever takes, ever. And when I mean “ever”, I mean that his life will be over. That’s why it will be his last one.
Even though this is Jay’s story, Gerard Butler somehow gets top-billing over him as the guy’s mentor, Frosty Hesson and is fine, but also dull, even though it’s not as painful to watch as it was for Weston. There’s something about Butler that makes it seem like he has a crap-load of charm to throw-out all over us from the screen, but never gets the chance to because he gets put in crap like this, The Ugly Truth, and that one coming-up, Playing for Keeps. Butler does what he can here with a role that’s thinly-written, but all of the subplots that come along with his character just weighs everything down (if that was even possible), and never really felt fully-developed for me, either. And seriously dude, drop the fuckin’ Scottish accent. You’re a gnarly, surfing-dude from Santa Cruz and you sound like William Wallace.
Perhaps the most interesting character of the whole cast was the gal who played his wifey, Abigail Spencer, who seems like she has a lot of problems with his love and dedication to surfing, and not his love and dedication to their kids. She’s got a nice role and does what she can with it, but once again, she never feels fully-developed and her story ends up getting little or no focus. And since we’re talking about a mommy that’s in this film, let me just get right down to talking about Elisabeth Shue and what the hell her career has been bringing her nowadays. Shue is a beautiful woman, who is still pushing a surprising 49-years of age, and definitely has great talent that could still get some Oscar-looks, but yet, she still finds herself as the beaten, battered, and dysfunctional, single-mommy in films like Mysterious Skin, House at the End of the Street, and Piranha 3-D. Seriously, there is so much more to this gal than Hollywood is giving her credit for and I think it’s time for her to go back and see what she can do as an older, more accomplished hooker now. Leaving Las Vegas 2 anyone?
Consensus: Though the surf culture will probably eat this movie up from start-to-finish (if they can remember it), Chasing Mavericks is still not a film that’s worth seeing by others because of it’s thinly-written characters, lack of energy, and nothing to really grab-on to and take ahold of you. It’s just there, and that’s pretty much it.
Come back to America Woody! Spare all of these other countries of your quirkiness!
The film is made up of four distinct vignettes of people in Italy —some American, some Italian, some residents, some visitors—and the romantic adventures they get into.
After last year’s sleeper-hit, Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen seemed like he was destined for a real comeback and people would start taking him seriously again. Sadly, he sort of knocks that reputation back down in the ground.
This whole film is played off as a bunch of skits, that just take place over one movie without any real connection to one another, other than the fact that they all take place in the same city. This would have totally worked perfectly if any of these skits were as interesting as they seemed to be. Allen’s writing is usually funny and witty, but here, a lot of it feels forced and a lot of the skits get drawn-out a little too much to the point of where it’s over-kill and you just want him to move onto the next story. Problem with that, is the next story is probably more lame than the one that preceded. Therefore, you just have a bunch of skits that don’t work and you can’t really look forward to.
I usually get Allen’s sense of humor, which in some cases, I did here as well, but I don’t think there was a single serious moment in this film. All of the drama here, is downplayed and made to be like it doesn’t exist just because these characters and these stories are too zany and wild for it. To me, I thought there could have been some more emotional honesty to this product, especially when you have stories about couples that are sleeping around on one another. Now I wasn’t asking for Allen to get down and dirty with his dramatic self, but I was just asking for a bit more drama here than I actually got.
Although, as lame as this film may be, most of it is made better because of the cast, some of which are great, and some of which that just don’t hit the right notes. Woody Allen‘s long-awaited return to the front of the screen, is probably the highlight of this movie, not only because he knows how to sell his own material perfectly, but because it seems like his character will never grow old or get annoying. He’s just Woody Allen being Woody Allen, and that’s all I asked for. Well, that’s all I asked for when it come to the acting department. Penelope Cruz brings a lot of flair to her role as a sexy call-girl, in one of the stories that actually is a lot more interesting and could have been played out in it’s own film alone.
Another good performance from this cast is from Alec Baldwin, even though it was very unsure what the hell his character actually was in this movie. He comes off as a narrator for this one story involving Eisenberg, then everybody else sees him and can communicate with him, but then he just sort of shows up out of nowhere, like a ghost who just won’t go away. I really didn’t get this character and what made it even worse was that the story he was in, totally sucked. Honestly, when you have two talents like Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page together in a Woody Allen movie, you would expect them to be hilarious, passion-driven, and believable, but sadly, none of that happens for either of them. Eisenberg’s shtick doesn’t do much and Page comes off as an annoying pretentious actress that just wants to hear herself talk and I get that is what the film is trying to convey about her, but that doesn’t make me like her anymore than I already did. Also, no passion between them whatsoever and I would have much rather seeing Eisenberg and Gerwig in a film together, all by their lonesome selves.
Oh, and I must not forget about Roberto Benigni, who I haven’t seen in quite some time and probably has one of the dumbest skits in the whole movie, which is really saying something. His plot is basically all about him being this random celebrity that people want to know more about, girls want to sleep with, and little kids want autographs from, but it’s never made clear exactly why that is and exactly what’s so extraordinary about this guy in the first place. Benigni’s a lot more tied-down in this role and doesn’t let himself get too crazy with this role, but when he does, it’s annoying and it just made me wish he stayed away from this film with the remains of Pinocchio. Don’t worry, this movie is better than that one.
Consensus: It’s obvious that Woody Allen loves Rome and all of its beauties, but he never shows that through his writing or direction here. Instead, everything comes off as forced, contrived, lame, boring, and nothing all that exciting to stay around for and watch again. It’s just a lazy Woody Allen. Boooo!
Just stay where you are British people. Nobody else needs your wit!
This tells the story of a group of misfit British pensioners who are enticed to retire to a fabulous hotel in Jaipur, India, where they are promised to live a life of luxury for a bargain price. Upon their arrival, they are dismayed to find that restoration of the once elegant Marigold Hotel has stalled.
With ‘The Avengers’ coming out this weekend, it seems like all of the giddy youngsters, action-happy teens, and die-hard nerds will all be flocking to the theaters, so what about the older peeps out there? Well, they get junk like this.
Director John Madden obviously knows what he’s doing with any given material (hell, the guy won an Oscar for it) but for some reason, he kind of loses his touch here. The whole script is pretty much one big message of showing how old people can be young again, and that’s not so bad but the film tries to show that in so many cheesy and obvious ways that it starts to become really eye-rolling after awhile. There are a couple of moments where the film shows some warmth between these characters as they partake in everyday, shoot the shit conversations, but when this film starts to get emotional and trying to have us cry, then it just gets schmaltzy.
There are barely any surprises here whatsoever, and even though I don’t need to see something new or original in every movie I check out, I would still like to see some surprises with this story. However, I barely got any of that and plenty of it just feels like a bunch of bad TV-movie clichés Actually, that’s what bothered me the most about this flick because even though they definitely do have genuinely funny moments here, they are all out-numbered by all of the other times that this movie wants to show us how funny and goofy old people can be. Better yet, how funny and goofy old, BRITISH people can be. Doesn’t work and rather than actually doing something new with its source material, the film just throws us down over-used jokes like old people using Viagra. Really!??! Come on!
Even though the source material itself may fail, it definitely does look pretty. It’s pretty much expected that whenever you film in India, your film is going to look 10 times better than if you were to film in say, Wisconsin. Everything is so bright, everything is so colorful, and everything is always so hectic, where everybody is constantly moving in and around that it almost feels like people are all running away from Udaipur, to survive the fore-coming apocalypse. This film definitely has a lot of beauty to it and may even inspire you to go out there and check everything out for yourself, even though I don’t really think that they would have retirement homes as good as the one they have here.
However, all of those beautiful images are pretty much put to waste once again, when Madden decides to get really, really corny with us. Madden plants a lot of the obvious images like children playing and being happy, or a bird flying in the sky, or even the trees’ leaves, flowing in the wind. It’s all so damn obvious and gets worse and worse just as this film continues to constantly hit us over-the-head with everything here. Dammit Madden! I mean ‘The Debt’ was no classic by any means, but at least it was a lot better than this crappola.
Of course, everybody who wants to see this film, is mainly attracted because of the cast on display here and even as good as some of these all-stars may be, they still can’t seem to get by a shitty script such as this. Judi Dench is lovely as Evelyn, but all of her problems in life are as boring as watching paint dry; Bill Nighy brings a lot of his usual, dry wit to his role here as Douglas, but can’t seem to bring too much character to somebody as dull as this dude; Ronald Pickup is charming as the old, horny dude named Norman, even though he is very under-used; Maggie Smith is pretty much a bitch to everybody around her about 90% of the movie, and the other 10% is some cheesy, emotional arc to her that seems to have come out of nowhere; Celia Imrie plays Jean, and seems like she was totally misplaced in a movie about a bunch of boring, old people; and Penelope Wilton is the most annoying character here as Jean.
The only two performances that I think actually brought something here were the ones given by Tom Wilkinson and Dev Patel. Wilkinson gives this very sweet, charming, and mysterious performance as a dude that always seems up to something but it’s not quite known and he plays that up perfectly. Patel is also very spirited in a role that sees him bringing out a lot of comedic energy in his performance, as well as always bringing me a smile to my face even if his romance seems to get very stupid and non-meaningful. Two good performances still don’t make up for a whole bunch of lousy other ones though.
Consensus: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel looks pretty, but is still one of the cheesiest and schmaltziest stories I have seen in quite some time, with a very talented cast that is pretty much wasted, and a bunch of sappy moments that show us how you can always live young and have fun. Yeah I know how! Go see The Avengers!
Look what you missed out on Jim Carrey, Sean Penn, and Benicio Del Toro.
While trying to save their childhood orphanage, Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes), and Curly (Will Sasso) inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and wind up starring in a reality TV show.
This has been considered The Farrelly Brother‘s passion project ever since they first broke-out onto the comedy scene with ‘Dumb and Dumber’. And as much as I want to stick up for these guys here as I’ve done in the past, I have to say that I think it’s time for them to choose another hobby if this is their passion.
I’m just going to say it now, I loved The Stooges growing up. I always would sit down on the couch late at night, turn on TV Land or whatever station was playing them and just sit back and laugh my ass off. That said, I was not a huge fan of this movie. Where I think this film hit its problems with even before it was made, was that the film sets these guys in the 21st century, when all of their material was made around the 20′s, 30′s, and 40′s. This means a lot of the comedy that was so fresh, hilarious, and ground-breaking back in those days, may come off as a bit dated and too slap-sticky for some people’s tastes, which is exactly what happens. The Three Stooges have had their own time in comedy history where you can watch any episode of theirs, and you can find something new to laugh at even if it just Moe hitting Larry over the head with a hammer. However, placing them in a time where stuff like this is usually a lame way of getting laughs, definitely makes it a big stretch.
You would also think that since this project has been in development for so damn long that everybody involved would actually come up with some new stuff that would still be loyal to The Stooges but also make us laugh, right? However, that’s not the case and instead we get a bunch of material we have seen used from them time and time before such as these guys hitting each other in the head, somehow tied together by a plot of saving an orphanage and having these guys realize that they all love each other. It’s definitely weak in plot terms, but I wasn’t going to see this movie for an Oscar-winning plot, I just wanted to see some funny stuff happen and I barely got that.
I’m over here trashing this film like no other but I honestly can’t say that I didn’t laugh at this because believe it or not, there were a couple of real chuckles that come out of me during this one. I knew what to expect from The Stooges right beforehand so all of the hitting and biting was a little annoying for me, but the moments when Larry is dropping puns out the wah-zoo all had me laughing and even a couple of other wise-cracks throughout the film had me cracking up too. Probably my favorite part of this whole movie that may be worth the price of admission (that is, if you go to see this) is when Moe gets to go on “Jersey Shore” and he practically beats the crap out of every cast member, Stooges style. It was very funny to see not only because I would love to see these bastards actually get beat up like this in real-life, but because it showed a pop-culture reference that actually worked here even though having the cast on is pretty much a pop-culture reference in and of itself.
As much as people may be bitching and complaining about how two comedic legends like Del Toro, Penn, and grand thespian Carrey didn’t get into this after all, you can’t really complain with the actual cast of guys they have playing the famous Stooges. Sean Hayes does a great job as Larry with a pitch-perfect Philly accent (trust me, I should know); Will Sasso does a very tolerable job as Curly and not only looks, but sounds exactly like him the whole time; and Chris Diamantopoulos may not be as impressive here as Moe, but he still has plenty of moments where he gets to strut his comedic stuff as well. All three guys do great impersonations of The Stooges and even though I won’t go so far as to say that they evolve into these roles, they do nice jobs of not ruining their legacies either.
The supporting cast is kind of lame but I think that’s why The Stooges were basically front and center just about the whole time. Jane Lynch does absolutely nothing funny here as Mother Superior, and I don’t know if that was on purpose or that she just didn’t feel like being funny; Larry David started to get really annoying with his raspy/transgender-like voice as the appropriately named Sister Mary-Mengele; Jennifer Hudson is only here to stretch some of her vocal chords for one scene where she breaks out into song and that’s pretty much it; and Sofía Vergara is definitely a great sight to look at and also knows how to make herself look like a goof, but maybe it’s time I saw something new from her. Lame supporting cast but that’s basically why it’s called ‘The Three Stooges’ in the first place.
Consensus: The Three Stooges is not as bad as I (along with plenty, plenty others) was expecting it to be, but it still features tired jokes and a supporting cast that isn’t very funny either. However, if you loved The Three Stooges, and grew up watching them, then this is the film for you because anything that you could ever want from a Three Stooges movie is here, with the extra hit to the head with Moe’s hammer. Even though I did used to watch them and love them, the film is a little stretched out a bit too far.
Being controversial does not make a good flick.
The film follows teens over the course of two days during the mid-1990′s where the HIV/AIDS epidemic started to run rampant. Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) is on a mission to deflower as many virgins as possible with an addle-brained theory that boffing first-timers will protect him from contracting HIV. Trouble is, he already has it.
As everybody knows director Larry Clark is a dude that loves to shock people with his constant showings of teens shirtless, doing drugs, banging a lot, and just doing evil things that parents don’t think they would normally do. In ways, this works for me, but in others, it just doesn’t even seem like it matters.
Yes, this film is an eye-opener for parents if not one of the first flicks to do that, so I will give Clark that. There’s a lot of dirty stuff that goes on here that is very shocking, but it’s also somewhat true considering I see a lot of this now that I am in my last year of high-school. Now I don’t know any kids that go around deflowering chicks like Telly here but I can say that the weed smoking, the drinking, and the constant partying with sex everywhere is definitely what goes down in high-schools in real-life. It’s not as effed up as this flick makes it out to be but in reality, this stuff does happen and I think that’s where the film at least had me at.
However, despite this realistic view, the film still had its major flaws that took me out of this film completley. Within the first 10 minutes we realize that the two main character, Telly and Casper, are not only the biggest assholes in the world but two kids that have no redeeming quality about them whatsoever. It’s not like they didn’t seem realistic, because I may actually know some kids that are just like this, but it’s the fact that they are so unlikable makes you just wanna beat the crap out of them the whole film and actually pray that they do. These are the types of kids you see messing with old people on the boardwalk and get themselves bootie-raped in jail because they weren’t wise enough to watch the eff they say in the clink. It sucks because we spend the whole film watching them to do stupid shit considering they are terribly unlikable but then again, not every main character in films have to be likable.
Another problem with this flick is that even though there is so much damn shock-value, everything still feels rather dull. There are moments here that are totally devoid of plot and just have these characters talking frankly about their sexual experiences, smoke weed, and drink beer for long-ass periods of time. I’m not saying that this sort of stuff isn’t done amongst teenagers, but after about the 3rd time in the first 30 minutes you see these kids getting high and talking about boning, then it just gets old real quick. I also couldn’t help but think that I highly doubt kids talk about how they are going to find every virgin and have sex them and then talk about how they did it and whatnot. I don’t really think actual kids talk about this kind of stuff but writer Harmony Korine apparently does.
Clark was pretty smart in choosing actual young, teenage actors for these roles because it actually makes us feel like were watching real kids up on-screen rather than some 30-year old who’s trying to play a sophomore in high-school. Chloe Sevigny is good here as Jenny, and her story is not only the only actual sight of any heart in this flick but it’s also one of the more realistic; Rosario Dawson also shows up in one of her first ever appearances and that’s pretty cool too; and Justin Pierce is actually pretty good as Casper, but it’s a shame that the kid died 5 years later because he seems like he could have actually done something with his career.
Most of you probably noticed that I didn’t even mention the main character, Telly. One of the main reasons for that is because the actor who’s playing Telly, Leo Fitzpatrick, can’t act for shit. Telly is a character that is supposed to be a total stud because of his sly moves, sexy look, and just overall cool act but Fitzpatrick is neither of them. Instead he says every word as if he was reading notes he wrote on his hands before filming, he’s skinny as Kate Moss, and the things he says is laughably bad and I don’t know if that was actually intentional or not but I caught myself laughing a whole lot at what this dick-head was saying to these girls just to get them in bed. Hell, they should have called me up for this role even though I was probably 2 at the time but still, I got more game than this joke for a kid.
Consensus: Kids has shock value and rings true in certain elements, but feels rather dull mainly because the script features moments that have no actual development of plot, or even its awfully flawed characters for that matter and the lead actor, Leo Fitzpatrick, can’t act one bit and we have to watch him struggle the whole 90 minutes.
Being on Adult Swim does not mean that making a film is the next step. Just stay on TV.
Two guys (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim) get a billion dollars to make a movie, only to watch their dream run off course. In order to make the money back, they then attempt to revitalize a failing shopping mall.
I will say that on occasion, I have found myself watching the 15-minute, Adult Swim TV series that this flick is made from. However, as funny as that show may be at times, I can’t help but think that maybe they should have just stayed doing what it was that they were doing rather than just really stretching it all out.
Where my problem with this film lied was in its overall pacing. Even though there is an occasional spark of humor found, the film starts off terribly slow and doesn’t really build-up anything all that interesting or compelling about it other than that these dudes are trying to re-build a mall so they can pay off debts. I definitely would have not minded this as much if it was consistently funny but it just felt like Tim and Eric didn’t really have any idea where to take this film other than just try and tie all of these funny sketches they had in their heads with some story that was just about every bit as lame. In fact, even this film just feels like one whole sketch being stretched out a little too far even if it is only about an hour and a half time-limit.
This film first gained a whole bunch of controversy at Sundance because the gross-out stuff they have going on in this flick was apparently a little too much for the crowd, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I mean you got a while scene of diarrhea, a scene of Eric jizzing, and a whole simulated sex scene where Tim and this chick are basically rolling around with one another, giving each other some fun dildo action in the you know where spots. These guys definitely know how to push the boundaries which is always something I like but here it didn’t really do much other than gross me out just a bit.
Where my compliments of this film lie is actually that some parts of this flick really had me laughing, despite the other parts where I felt like they just ran every skit/joke they had into the ground and stomped on their face while they were done. Yeah, I know it sounds brutal but after awhile you may start to think that too. The film isn’t hilarious but there are a couple of times where it seems like Tim & Eric are obviously having a lot of fun with all of the money they’ve been given to make this flick so they choose this as an opportunity to poke fun at some major Hollywood happenings as well as just poke fun at certain type of plot conventions. The bright moments here in this flick had me remembering exactly why the show is so cult followed today but there just wasn’t enough of it to fully have me hitting up the Netflix account looking all over for their show.
Tim and Eric are both good here as themselves but since they are on-screen the whole time, it doesn’t much matter because this is all about who these two dudes actually know well enough to get them to show up in their movie. Will Ferrell plays the mall’s original member and his one early scene with Tim and Eric really shows all three of their great chemistry together; Zach Galifianakis plays a hippie friend of these dudes named Jim Joe Kelly and it’s great to see him being sort of funny again; and it was also pretty funny to see John C. Reilly play Taquito, the janitor of the mall, and basically looks like he always does in every flick but has this strange, Mexican-like accent going on that doesn’t really work but then again, maybe that’s just the point that Tim and Eric are at least trying to get through.
Consensus: When it comes to pushing the boundaries of how far a flick can go with its gross-out humor, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie definitely succeed, but when it comes to making a full-length feature flick and actually making it seem funny without stretching their sketch comedy skills a little too far, they don’t do so well. Still, fans of the show will definitely love this a lot more than myself.
Main reason why Neeson should have just taken that Abraham Lincoln role.
Liam Neeson stars as a man who regains consciousness after an auto accident only to discover that another man is impersonating him, and that no one — not even his wife (January Jones) — recognizes his identity as the real Dr. Martin Harris. Finding himself with an unexpected ally (Diane Kruger), Harris struggles to solve the mystery and hang onto his own wits, while also being stalked by anonymous killers.
When you have a mixture of ‘Taken’ and ‘The Bourne Identity’ for a plot, Qui-Gon Jinn as the lead, and a whole bunch of Nazis as your villains, it seems very hard for a film like this to not be entertaining but there is only so much I can take.
The whole premise itself tries to be like a thriller that is meant for adults but could have even targeted at teenagers due to how silly it is. The whole first hour builds up on this premise and actually does a great job with it. I felt a lot of tension during this first hour as I didn’t quite know what was going to happen next nor did I know where this film was going to end up, which is always a nice recipe for a good popcorn thriller. However, things just started getting way out-of-hand real quick.
Probably one of the main problems with this flick was the fact that there was too much starting-and-stopping going on here where they would focus on the plot and build it, then they would add in a random car chase or one-on-one brawl to spice things up a little bit. This to me was OK the first 2 times they did it, but then they just kept on doing it the whole damn time and I honestly just couldn’t stay attached to this plot because right when I would, they would throw in an action sequence just so I wouldn’t have been bored even though I wasn’t in the first place.
Another department where this film doesn’t quite work is the fact that I knew where this plot was going because usually when you have one like this, that usually means that you’re going to get a lot of silliness that eventually leads to an utterly ridiculous plot twist. The plot twist itself wasn’t too bad and I actually think it kind of worked in a way but once it is revealed then everything starts to turn into the ridiculous action-thriller cliches that we are so used to seeing nowadays. It seems like director Jaume Collet-Sera just likes putting in plot twists that somehow work and make sense but then likes to knock them down with being predictable. He did it with ‘Orphan’ and I guess he hasn’t learned much.
Liam Neeson always tries his hardest with everything he ever appears in and his performance as Dr. Martin Harris, is no different. There are plenty of ridiculous and overboard things that he does but Neeson makes it seem believable just by being the way he is. Still, at age 59, doesn’t seem a little unbelievable that this guy could still be considered an action star that can do half of the things that he does in all of his films. Maybe it’s time for him to start trying for Oscars again.
The way the rest of the cast looks, makes this film seem like we were going to get a real treat but nobody really adds anything to this flick either. Diane Kruger plays a non-German for a film that is set entirely in Berlin, which is a big problem especially when her Bosnian accent isn’t very good as she struggles through a lot of her lines; January Jones is very bad as Elizabeth Harris and REALLY struggles through her lines; and Frank Langella and Bruno Ganz are the only two that actually show some real talent and give off one of the best scenes of the film, even though that’s not saying much in the first place.
Consensus: Liam Neeson is good as usual and there are some good moments that work, but Unknown is just another silly, predictable, and uninteresting thriller that doesn’t do much with its intriguing premise and feels like it’s trying to hard to be an action flick that still tries to rely on the plot for more thrills, but instead offers up barely any.
Jails not that bad after all, you can still do all of the things you want to do even if that is just getting revenge. Sweet sweet revenge.
Inventive master-mind, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler), wreaks havoc on prosecutor Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) after one of the men who killed his family goes free. Basically, Shelton is out to screw everybody else who went out and screwed him, and I promise you that this is not a porno.
The whole legal system, regardless of who or where you are, is very flawed. I mean just by taking a look at this flick I have to say I kind of agree a bit with Butler’s character a bit. You got DNA evidence, an eye-witness, and even a confession from the killer themselves and you can’t make that stick? The criminal justice system is one that people have learned to trust less and less as the year’s go by and to be brutally honest, it may start to bring more rebellion to this country in the future. However, this is the only type of smart thoughts that went through this film.
Having the “whole legal system is flawed” aspect would have been a nice template for this film to fall back on but somehow it just starts to get more problematic as it goes on. The film tries to balance out the idea of us not knowing what’s going to happen next, even though we pretty much do and gives us these very gory and bloody death sequences of Butler just ripping a guy into 25 pieces. I did not understand what this film was trying to convey by showing this and I think that it was just director F. Gary Gray‘s way of trying to be hip and cool with the 21st century crowd by giving them some cool scenes that they would see in ‘Saw’. Let’s also not forget to mention that none of them are particularly original or new in any way.
I like the whole idea of this one dude getting even with the people that screwed him over in the first place and for the first 30-40 minutes, this film had me pretty entertained considering that this was practically Butler killing people left-and-right from the comfort of his own cell. Although, this all started to change as I soon realized how totally illogical and unbelievable these killings really are so that I started to have a feeling as to just where this flick was going.
The one thing about this film that really pissed me off is that I feel like the film wanted to have its cake but also eat it too. I already mentioned how the film brings up good points about the flawed legal system we have in today’s world but the film also feels like it needs to exploit it’s violence by having these savage killings. It doesn’t work both ways so by the end of the film, when everything starts to come full-circle after all of the blood-shed has been drawn, the film tries to go back to the points it made before and I just felt it was terribly phony right away. This film tried to cheat me but instead just failed miserably at trying to give me murdering with reason, and that’s the main reason why this flick made me mad.
Probably my favorite part of this whole film was probably the fact that I remembered when it was first getting filmed, that it all took place in Philadelphia and even a jail that is about 1 minute away from me. It was definitely cool to see my state and mainly my mayor in a film that gives it a bad name. However, if anybody who is reading this watches football, I highly doubt that this film is the only thing that gives Philly a bad name.
Jamie Foxx is a guy who is usually always a charmer in everything he does, so when he has to play an asshole lawyer (if that’s not a tautology) he seems very lifeless. The whole performance here that Foxx gives just seems lazy and the same emotion on his face the whole time. It also didn’t help that this flick tried to get us behind his character’s back considering that he made an asshole decision in the first place knowing the consequences going in as well. He definitely had more life in his eyes when he was playing Ray Charles. Getttt itt!??!
Gerard Butler struts his stuff and there’s nothing really with that here, however, his character just seems a bit one-note the whole time. Yeah, he’s mad and angry but does he always have to be? Can’t the guy at least show a little remorse and sadness over the things that have happened to him and the things that he does to others? I guess when you’re speaking of King Leonidas, who the hell cares! The film is also held accountable for the only time I have ever seen a bad performance from Viola Davis who plays the governor. Shame on you F. Gary Gray.
Consensus: Law Abiding Citizen is slightly entertaining in some spots and features a somewhat smart critique on today’s legal system, but it gets more and more implausible, unoriginal, and sillier as the film goes on and all of that critiquing goes away as soon as Butler blows up a 3rd car.
A woman playing a man = really trying for an Oscar.
Glenn Close plays a woman passing as a man named Albert Nobbs in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland. Some thirty years after donning men’s clothing, she finds herself trapped in a prison of her own making.
It seems like one way for your leading role to get an Oscar is play somebody who is sexually confused. I’m not saying that they will always get it but they will definitely get the nomination, even if the rest of your film blows. This is the case with this flick.
Director Rodrigo Garcia really does try his hardest with this flick. He keeps it small, brings out any type of emotions that he can, and lets humor take over as well but beneath it all, there’s nothing really there other than a boring flick that we have all seen done before. I never felt any real emotions with this film because it was just so damn slow and tedious. If it weren’t for the two main leads, I probably would have dozed off plenty of times because there was nothing here that really kept me over as shocking, new, or even entertaining. Just the same old, same old period piece that feels too much like a play on-screen.
The film also keeps on panning back towards the dumb romance between Wasikowska and Johnson, which doesn’t provide anything else other than just a bunch of corny love-lines that take you away from the whole fact that you got this person who obviously should be the fore-front of the story. But instead Garcia just wants to provide some detail into a relationship that doesn’t work on many levels. I mean they are both good here don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I felt like the flick never did them justice considering they were put in here as the romantic sub-plot that was supposed to mean something, except you never really catch as to why until the final act.
The main reason why this film comes even close to working well is because of the two great performances given here by the two ladies dressed up like dudes. It’s sad to see Glenn Close in a film that is boring because she is so good here as Nobbs. Instead of playing up the fact that she is a chick dressed as a guy, she gives us this subtle and quiet performance and she displays a lot of emotions just on her face with even the twitch of an eye or lip. She’s shy, scared, and keeps to herself but when she’s happy being in her own skin and having these little fantasies, it feels real even if the fantasy scenes are really hoky. Close has really been trying her damn hardest getting this flick off the ground after appearing in the play, and it’s sort of a shame that her performance is stuck in a film that doesn’t really help out her Oscar chances. However, I think she’ll probably get the nomination.
The one performance that I think elevated this film beyond belief was the one given by Janet McTeer as Hubert, a fellow woman in men’s clothing. As soon as she shows up on the screen you know she’s going to be the best part of the flick and she owns just about every single scene. She’s funny, dramatic, honest, and actually feels like a real person. Her act is the exact opposite of Close’s performance but that provides her with a lot of great lines and just by the way McTeer delivers them all with her sneering and cartoonish-like act where you can tell that this is almost her impersonation of a man. McTeer is probably the most memorable performance in the whole film and I can easily say that if I was a woman dressing up like a man, I’d feel a whole lot better knowing that I wasn’t alone with Janet McTeer. Definitely deserves the nomination.
You have so many other great stars in this film such as Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brenda Fricker, Brendan Gleeson, and Pauline Collins among others but they are never really given much to do and they all come off as just a bunch of one-dimensional characters that don’t do much for the story. There’s also this terribly random scene in which Gleeson is doing some “licking” if you know what I mean, and the scene is completley irrelevant to the whole entire film that it made me wonder just why the hell was it in here in the first damn place.
Consensus: Glenn Close and Janet McTeer make Albert Nobbs better but with its slow pace, muddled script, and nothing else that really stands apart from anything that I’ve seen before, makes this period piece just feel like another stage play on screen.
Always check the attic.
Terror reigns inside a sorority house a few days before Christmas break as a series of menacing phone calls — and the discovery of a dead girl’s body — transform yuletide cheer into fear. Soon the killer is on the loose and the girls get more and more scared, but then the cops show up and it’s all business from there baby.
It is often disputed as to what film really started the trend in slasher flicks: either this one, or ‘Halloween’. It’s been up for debate for a long time but if I had to say who I think started it all was the latter, probably because it was actually good, or at least compared to this.
Where the problem with this film lies is the fact that it’s way too slow. It starts off with some tension being built but then it turns into this flick that shows about one kill every 30 minutes, which may seem like a dumb complaint but while there aren’t any killings going on, nothing else is really happening either.
No character here seems to actually be a real person other than a bunch of cliches such as the foul-mouthed girl, the smart girl, the always scared girl, and then there’s the house-maid who is all sweet and nice but then also a foul-mouthed drinker. She’s the only one who actually has any real personality here and I think that she was also the best performance as well. Let’s not also forget to mention that the bone-headed cops are here as well who seem like total dumb-asses in the way that they are actually handling this problem that these girls are having.
I can’t lie and say that there weren’t parts that entertained me because there actually were. I did feel some tension and suspense throughout a lot of the moments where you don’t know what’s going to happen next and I think that they were handled well because they didn’t really push much of the gore and blood factor like so many horror films do nowadays. I have to give Bob Clark (a guy who would go on to do ‘A Christmas Story’) some credit because he does try here with the small-budget he’s given, but really fails when it comes to actually making an interesting story get better.
There were also some other elements I didn’t understand like how this killer was able to do all of these crazy and wild voices on the phone even though it’s pretty obvious that these voices he couldn’t just make. I know a girl voice when I hear one and I can barely even do an impersonation of one so if this guy can do as good of a one as this film made it seem he could, then he should just stop killing teens and start doing some stand-up. Hey, look at Frank Caliendo. Also, what the hell was up with that whole abortion subtext? Actually the bigger question was did anybody even care? Hell knows I didn’t.
Another problem that comes into mind when I think of this film is that it hasn’t aged well probably because there are so many other copy-cats just like it. Everybody knows how these films all play out so why should this one be any different? Of course it’s one of the first and it has its cool moments where it shows the point-of-view from the killer, but there’s nothing here that makes me feel like I just saw a master-piece. It feels more like I just saw a film that was all big, controversial, and frightening way back in its day but is just total rubbish right now in a generation where we have basically seen anything and everything when it comes to horror flicks. I know this review may have me lose some fans but to be honest, I just could not enjoy myself all that much.
Consensus: Black Christmas has some tense moments, but is overall a dated horror flick with a cheesy screenplay, predictability, and characters that don’t seem real and don’t do anything, except for the house-maid. She’s actually cool.
Are people that liked to be spanked this weird? I mean I don’t mind a nice little spanking every once and awhile.
Recently released from a mental hospital after treatment for self-mutilating tendencies, a young woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal) gets a job working as a secretary for a successful attorney (James Spader) with a tendency toward angry disapproval. The mix of self-loathing (her) and egomania (him) leads them into a unique relationship charged with sadomasochism.
I’ve been hearing a lot about this movie, and just how racy it really is. And to be honest, being a very racy film doesn’t mean you have a good one either.
The problem with this film is that I really didn’t care about what this film was trying to get across or say for that matter. I found it hard to connect to these characters right from the get-go, but the film made it seem like I should once they started getting a little kinkalicious. I mean everybody likes to get a little freaky-deeky sometimes, why should I care if these two do also? But that’s only when their playing around at first, until they start to develop feelings for each other and then it starts to turn into an annoying, dumb, and downright predictable romance dramedy.
Director Steven Shainberg basically says that we shouldn’t look at these people as oddly as they may seem. Just because they like to sexually show themselves off in a different, non-conventional way doesn’t mean they should be made fun. This is a good point and I think Shainberg handles a lot of the material well but too much of this is bogged down from cheesy lines that seem like they came off of All My Children, a score that wants to be all quirky and weird when it’s just annoying because it pops up every five seconds, and these characters just weren’t people I really cared about in the end.
The real saving grace to this film, and probably the only memorable part of this film is Maggie Gyllenhaal as Lee Holloway. Gyllenhaal is very good in this role that’s pretty weird, a little sexy, but altogether, real. No matter how much of the rest of the film seemed dumb or predictable, Maggie always seemed to be living up beyond the material and gives her character a whole great deal of emotional as well as sexual depth. She goes full-on nude in this film and as much as I want to say that it should have been for a better film, I think her performance and her rockin’ body was the only really memorable thing about this film.
The rest of the cast is kind of just there and not really doing much else. James Spader plays the lawyer, Mr. E. Edward Grey, and is totally freakin’ weird. He was also very eccentric but kind of a dick that didn’t really do anything nice except for be a little dirty-bird, which I guess we were supposed to care about. Jeremy Davies plays Maggie’s sort of boyfriend here and does what he does in almost every film so there’s nothing really new either.
Consensus: Secretary has a great central performance from Maggie Gyllenhaal but the rest of the film doesn’t do much other than just be a racy, sex dramedy that we don’t care what happens with these characters, and personally don’t really wanna know either.
A guy who doesn’t know who he is. Original.
Daniel Craig plays Will Atenton, a successful businessman who forsakes New York City for the rural pleasures of New England, only to discover that the tranquil abode he’s moved into was the scene of an as-yet-unsolved multiple homicide. Drawn reluctantly into the mystery surrounding the tragic events, Will and his wife (Rachel Weisz) soon begin finding plenty of reasons to worry about their own safety.
For the last three months I’ve been going to the movies, the trailer for this has been everywhere and let’s just say that if you have seen it too, you know this film already.
See the problem with the trailer is that it shows everything that we weren’t supposed to know already. It shows us the major “plot-twist”, what’s going to happen, and why so when these moments of strangeness pop-up, we don’t feel confused by it as more as we know why it’s there because of the trailer. Many times the film had a creepy atmosphere and maybe could have actually worked better if it weren’t for this dumb trailer that shows all that happens, and takes almost every sort of momentum this film had going for itself.
Another part of the problem with this film too is that the direction from Jim Sheridan and screenplay from writer David Loucka. The direction from Sheridan (who seems like he needs to pay somebody back with all of the crap he’s done in the past 6 years) doesn’t really bring anything new to this material with a slow-pace that seems like it really wants to go somewhere, but never fully does. Sheridan also seems very lazy with certain explanations of things that are supposed to make sense by the end of the film, but have no logic in what it’s trying to show. Sheridan really doesn’t know what he’s doing here with this film and the whole time, I kind of felt like this could have been directed by anybody and I would have not even cared. But then again, I guess that’s why this guy didn’t even want his name attached to the film in the first place anyway.
The generic screenplay from Loucka just makes everything worse too. The film begins with the usual noises, shadows, and creepy things in the woods, which is only the first hour of the film. Then we go into this totally amateurish last act where we get all of the explanations that made no sense in the first place, flashbacks that were as obvious as Craig’s British accent, and some really laughable effects that seemed like they were just tacked on when the film was in post-production. Loucka doesn’t bring anything new to this material, and it just blows even worse with the “direction” from Sheridan.
There’s only a couple of positives to this film which don’t run very far in the first place. I thought the plot was at least a little bit interesting when it first started off. Although I knew what was going to happen thanks to that son-of-a-bitch trailer, I was still a tad interested with this premise and felt like it could not be as bad as I originally thought it was. However, I was wrong. Another positive to this film was the cast, which was OK to say the least.
Daniel Craig is likable and very believable as Will Atenton, and brings a lot of charm to the more predictable and silly lines that this film has its characters spout out; Rachel Weisz is good in this role because she’s both fragile and beautiful, which works in her advantage; and Naomi Watts doesn’t really have any reason to be here, other than the fact that she’s the chick who lives across the street.
I don’t really think that this is a terrible film, and not the worst of 2011 already (trust me, I still need to see Bucky Larson and Jack & Jill). The problem is that as time goes on, trailers for more and more movies start to give major plot points and twists away without really caring about the people who want to be surprised when they see it. This is a biggest problem here because I feel like I would have been a bit interested by all of the mystery that surrounded this film, but I didn’t care because I knew what was going to happen thanks to the marketing. Bastards.
Consensus: Dream House has a good premise, but is just terribly slow, predictable, and featured a trailer that gave away all of the major plot twists that took any type of mystery or suspense away from the film and makes director Jim Sheridan, look more and more like a slacker as his films keep coming out.
I thought black weddings were a lot more fun.
It’s a comedic clash of African American cultures when the hoity-toity clan of bride Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton) and the proudly blue-collar family of groom Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso) gather on Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate the couple’s nuptials.
A couple of weeks ago I got these chicken fingers from ACME and inside of them there was this one free coupon for a One-Night DVD Rental from Redbox. Sadly, I used it with this.
What I liked about this film is that there are the occasional little laughs here and there and this film does have a nice heart in the right place. We also see the culture-barrier between high class African-Americans and low class African-Americans, which I haven’t really seen brought up in many films let alone black rom-coms.
However, all of this was taken away once the actual script started to come in play and by God, did it really ruin things. None of this here really seemed real at all and just seemed very tacked on for humor. There’s this character named Amy, played by Julie Bowen, and she has never really been around black people. So she starts to mutter her curiosities about chicken, sunscreen, race, and so many other things that I guess were supposed to be funny but instead just felt forced.
But when the comedy isn’t working so isn’t the drama, and this is even worse. Everything here is a bunch of soap-opera melodrama cliches where everybody talks like their about to cry one minute or start making out the next. There’s all of these little sub-plots that I could keep up with but the problem with this film is that these two big climactic moments within the script come and they just feel like total cliches in and of itself. I guess this film really wanted to bring out some tear-drops from the audience that went to go and see this but here it just made me laugh at what everybody here was saying.
There’s also this big theme about how God is big in all of these people’s lives and to me, it seemed stupid and a bit preachy because all of these people are acting like assholes but when something bad or horrible goes wrong, they started holding the bible praying to “God”. Give me a damn break! There is just some religious themes I can, and then there are others that just make me laugh at the utter stupidity that lies within them.
Although the script blows, I actually did have some fun with this cast. Paula Patton is endearing and sweet as Sabrina; Laz Alonso is pretty charming and believable as Jason; Angela Bassett is pretty good as the stuck-up mother of Sabrina; and Loretta Devine is funny but a little annoying as Jason’s mom, which is probably because her character is such a bitch about the whole wedding cause they want to jump over a broom. Come on! The real revelation of this whole cast is Mike Epps as Uncle Willie who pops up every once and awhile with his hilarious one-liners and brings so much energy to this film every chance he gets.
Consensus: Jumping the Broom has moments of sweetness, much ado to the good cast, but the script here is filled with melodrama cliches, shallow writing, and religious themes that just all forced upon the viewer for no reason.
PS Everybody I will be gone for the next three days until Saturday because I’am going to this retreat for my school. So, I won’t have anything new until then but feel free to check any review you want, comment, and even send me some e-mail love for when I get back. I don’t know, just surprise meee! Hope everything is all good when I’m gone and if you need me, you know where to reach me. I think that was a pretty good line right there.