This is the rare time when you actually see a drug dealer that cares.
This comedy follows the exploits of Charlie Bartlett (Anton Yelchin), a miserable high school student who finds a novel way to fit in with his classmates: by pretending to be the school psychiatrist, dispensing advice and the occasional prescription medicine. Charlie’s sympathetic ear and ready access to drugs make him popular with the students, but his activities soon attract the unwelcome attention of the school principal (Robert Downey Jr.).
Here we have the 21st century answer to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where basically this one kid, can practically run the whole school without any teachers even being found. However, the comparison is a little weak.
The screenplay for this film actually had some very good writing to it once the film got past all the annoying high-school movie cliches. I liked that in this comedy they had some teenage angst that actually was clever and very real. A lot of people don’t take time to actually listen to a lot of these kids, let alone teenagers, and if only one person can listen with his/her two ears, it can honestly make a whole hell of a difference.
With a lot of comedies that I see, I always see when a film gets sympathetic by the end and it’s usually terribly cheesy. However, in this film the sympathy in the film actually worked because it was thrown in at moments that it needed it the most as opposed to just throwing it in there in order to get some hearts warming up by the end of the film. You also will really start to care for these characters as the film goes on to the point as to where you don’t know who to like and who to dislike.
The problem with this screenplay is that this film actually being a satire on high-school, it should have bitten harder. I mean you have all of these kids, taking drugs, being total assholes towards authority, and an R-rating, so why wouldn’t you push the envelope just a bit. It was a real shame when I saw the roads this film could have actually went down because there are times when it can be a bit edgy but nothing ever too shocking to the point of where you haven’t seen anything like it in a high-school film before, which with the material this film had, could have easily been.
Another problem I had with this film was the non-stop homages and elements that actually seemed like they were borrowed from countless other high-school films such as Rushmore, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and of course the John Hughes films of the 80′s. Probably the most unneeded homage was to Harold and Maude where the film uses the song, “If You Want to Sing Out” by Cat Stevens, for no reason other than just to basically reference that film in a way that seemed kind of dumb actually.
Anton Yelchin does a very good job at Charlie Bartlett who goes from this total geek, to being the most popular and lovable kid in school. Bartlett has the smarts to make you actually believe he’s capable of doing all of this, he has the charms to where you could actually believe that he would be able to actually talk to all of these people he does talk to, and he’s a also a little bit goofy to show that he’s just like you or me, nothing more, nothing less.
Robert Downey Jr. is very good as Principal Gardner, who is basically always drunk but still has a lot of good lines to himself and as usual, Downey plays him to perfection; Hope Davis is also good as Bartlett’s ditzy mom, Marilyn; and Kat Dennings has great scenes when it’s just her and Yelchin together, which makes her an even better fit as Susan Gardner. All of these characters are fleshed out well and we all care about them so that when something bad happens, we actually feel a little bit of it too.
Consensus: Charlie Bartlett has some clever themes about teenagers and the angst they go through, as well some great performances from the cast but the film never goes anywhere beyond it’s R-rating and plays it safe way too much, which is a bummer because this could have really been some nasty and wild stuff since we are talking about high-school taking pills.
Really makes me wanna get it on! Any takers?
Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) has a pleasant life with a nice apartment and a job stamping invoices at an electronics store. But at age 40, there’s one thing Andy hasn’t done, and it’s really bothering his sex-obsessed male co-workers: Andy is still a virgin. Determined to help Andy get laid, the guys make it their mission to de-virginize him. But it all seems hopeless until Andy meets small business owner Trish (Catherine Keener), a single mom.
This was the directorial debut for the man we now call, Judd Apatow. The guy went on to direct Knocked Up and Funny People. Even though this isn’t as good as them both, it still is frickin’ hilarious.
My favorite aspect to this film is that it’s script is basically just one running gag for about two hours, but somehow Apatow and company make it work. The humor here is gross-out, disgusting, sexxed up, but sometimes insightful, and always hilarious. There are plenty of one-liners that you’ll find here, as well as some funny little hits on Michael McDonald, horse shows, hood rats, and the movie Gandhi that are all funny as hell, and although they may not always hit the mark you still find yourself cracking up at everything these people say. This could have easily gone the wrong way, and just have been one bad sex joke, after another, but it never seems to get old.
However, there’s more to this film than just a bunch of dick and sex jokes. There’s actually more of a sweet tone to this film that works out for this film because in between all the raunchiness, there is actually a caring, little love story here. It’s not just about this dude trying to bag a bitch, but more about him actually having a meaningful relationship with somebody and falling in love. It all sounds pretty corny, but just to watch how Apatow pulls all this off is something great to see.
My only problem with this film is that it does run on for a bit too long. The version I watched was 2 hours and 13 minutes, which made some conversations run on longer than others, and by the end you feel like this runs on about 10 minutes too long. Speaking of the end, what the hell was up with that ending? I didn’t really get the whole “Age of Aquarius” song number at the end, and to be truly honest, I don’t think anybody else watching this did either.
Not only did Apatow become a star after this so did the whole cast. Steve Carell makes his first star turn as the geeky, but lovable Andy Stitzer, and makes all the scenes with him hilarious. Nowadays, it’s almost hard to see him as anything other than Michael Scott, but no matter what he is in, he is an absolute riot to have up there, and this first big role for him proves it. Catherine Keener is good as the main romantic interest, Trish, but my only problem with her is that I feel that her character was a little too sweet for this type of movie, but despite that Keener is always a delight to have. This film also put so many other talents on the map such as Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Romany Malco, Jane Lynch, Kat Dennings, Leslie Mann, Elizabeth Banks, and a little cameo from a very young Jonah Hill. All do great jobs with the material their given, and thanks to this film, are all getting big-time paychecks from so many other films.
Consensus: Some of it may run on too long, but The 40-Year-Old Virgin has a great combo of a hilarious script filled with raunch and vulgarity, and a sweet story at the bottom of it all, with plenty of great moments with this funny cast.
If this is the beginning of Summer, then this is gonna be a bangin’ Summer!
This Marvel Comics-inspired action flick about the thunder god Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful warrior whose father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) — the king of Asgard — forces him to live among humans on Earth and learn humility. Once there, he finds a friend (Natalie Portman), along with unexpected enemies sent from his world.
Way back when the trailer for this film came out, everybody had basically had their mind-set on this that it was going to suck. But after seeing it, I think they will all start to change their minds.
Director Kenneth Branagh is a real odd choice for this film, since he’s basically only directed Shakespearean period pieces, which none have any action what so ever but somehow Branagh is good with action. The action is really cool because the things that Thor does with his hammer is absolutely insane, and looks so cool especially when the camera is moving all-over-the-place. They also slowed down when necessary, sped up when it was right, and just worked out so well because never will you feel that a scene is running on too long.
The script is also well done too because all the characters in this film are well drawn-out. There is a human story underneath all this God talk and fighting, which really actually won my sympathy for this film in the long run. The tone here is just a lot more brighter and funnier tone than what you would expect from the source material here, and you’ll definitely remember everyone here in this film. These aren’t amazingly memorable characters, but I have to say that I enjoyed my time with them, and if they were to make a Thor 2, I wouldn’t mind seeing these peeps again.
My main only problem with this film was that I felt like when Thor was on Earth they could have used some more interesting things for him to be introduced to, since I mean he is a dude from a whole other Galaxy, there is probably something he would need to know. Also, that town that this movie takes place in looks less of an actual town, and more of one of those bomb shelter neighborhoods that the U.S. would blow up for practice in the 1950′s. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go and watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, then you’ll know what I’m blabbering on about. Actually don’t check out that whole film, but just check that scene out, because that film sucks.
I’m also very glad that we got Chris Hemsworth as Thor because here he is so cool, so charming, and just so likable that even though he may sound like a spartan from 300, you can’t help but cheer this guy on in the end. Also, he may look like a total bad-ass, but Hemsworth actually reveals a little bit of a soft spot from within Thor, and it’s actually very cool to see. Anthony Hopkins is also very good as Odin, Thor’s father, and takes away all that trash he’s been getting talked on lately about how he’s some crazy, old loony. But Hopkins brings back that flavor we all know and love him for. Natalie Portman is good here bringing a lot of wit and humor to her character as Jane Foster. Tom Hiddleston is also good as the bad-guy Loki, who brings that evil British charm that we always despise in our “hero vs. villain” movies. Everybody else does a good job here such as Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Clark Gregg, Ray Stevenson, and a very likable Stellan Skarsgård. There’s also a cameo from a certain someone that I can’t say, but when you see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
There’s also a little zinger at the end that is actually pretty interesting at the end, and not just the same old Avengers propaganda shit that shows another new character or something. Stay after the credits, because anything with Samuel L. Jackson is the shit.
Consensus: Thor is Hollywood summer blockbuster entertainment at its finest: well-acted, great to look at, easy to follow along with, briskly paced, and just a fun film that won’t have you in much need of a brain to enjoy.
Music can connect two people, even if the music does kind of blow.
Norah (Kat Dennings) wants to prove to her friend Tris (Alexis Dziena) that she’s capable of having a boyfriend. So at a concert, she grabs the first guy she sees, Nick (Michael Cera),and asks him to pretend they’re dating — but it turns out that Nick is Tris’s ex. Despite the fact that they started off as a fauxmance, Nick and Norah’s relationship turns real as they traipse through Manhattan, sharing their love of music and all things weird.
Imagine one night where you meet the love of your dreams but things seem to go too wrong. This is the movie for that. This is one of those films where teens seem to be bigger than life itself, where there are no rules and the night is theirs for the taking, and to be truly honest I like films like that, however this isn’t one of them.
The film sort of reminds me of 80′s teenage romance films like Say Anything… or Pretty In Pink and although I really liked them I just think this one tries too hard to standout. It’s ultimately its own worst enemy, and I would’ve loved the film more if it didn’t spend so much time loving itself.
The film is not as funny as it may seem. It has a lot of cheap running gags but is not as crude as you would expect from a film of this nature. I felt that the jokes were sort of dry and just put in to agree with the moment. Also many of the times the film felt very predictable when it came to those very cheap romantic touching scenes and didn’t really have me shocked by what happened next.
The one thing I mostly enjoyed was the excitement of how the night looked. The situations that occurred were actually very funny and looked enjoyable and many of the characters were very likable. I felt like I wanted to be there with those same people in the same situations and be along for the ride.
I enjoyed the music and thought it was actually good but there is a huge problem with the music in this film that took me away from the film. We see these characters going to clubs and exchanging music Cd’s but we never really get what really makes this music special to them. I felt that that authenticity of the film was lost and when you have a film with the words “Infinite Playlist”, I think they’re should be a lot of talk about music between these characters.
Michael Cera and Kat Dennings also have a very charming chemistry that runs throughout the movie and saves it in the end. Though Cera is playing the one character that has made him a star and basically every film he still has the charm to win your heart over. Also, the supporting stars of the film are equally as good and make this film better than what it is.
Consensus: Infinite Playlist is fun, charming, has a good look at the backdrop of New York, and is pretty funny. Though very flawed the film will likely go down as a classic for teens in the Facebook generation.