Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

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

Monthly Archives: August 2010

Never Back Down (2008)

If Ralph Macchio went to Fight Club, and if Pat Morita, was black.

When a quick-tempered teenager (Sean Faris) moves to a new town and faces the challenges of attending a new high school, he seeks solace in an underground fight club, where he’s taken under the wing of a mixed martial arts expert. Djimon Hounsou, Amber Heard, and Cam Gigandet also star.

Right away, you can already tell how this story is going to begin, linger on, and end. Every single thing here is cliched. The script is just how should I say, down right laughable at times, even when it’s not trying to be.

But who cares about that, let’s just see some fighting. And that is what we get, guys beating the shit out of each other. That is probably my only favorite part about this movie, the action is in your face, and fun. I wasn’t bored when watching these guys beat each other, and it’s all filmed with all these camera angles, but I still didn’t mind. Also, the soundtrack is bangin’, which is why most of the fight sequences are great, they add a lot more spunk to the actual fighting itself.

The acting here is pretty hammy about I guess it doesn’t really matter, since it’s really the action that is the star here. I believe the only reason they casted Sean Faris, and Amber Heard because they both look like Tom Cruise and Scarlett Johansson. I mean just look at them, and don’t tell me that they don’t look like those two. Djimon Hounsou brings some life to this film, and he is alright here, although at times, we can’t understand what he says, but who cares he can kick my ass just by raising his eyebrow.

This film really is just hilarious to watch mainly because its so dumb. There are times between the fighting where they’ll say fighting is not the answer, and then they’ll be kicking the crap out of some random dude the next minute. But all these movies have me asking one question: Where in the hell are the parents?? I mean these kids are getting their asses kicked on a regular basis somebody’s mommy has had to call an end to it sooner or later. And when these kids aren’t training, do they actually go to school?? I guess I’m thinking too much for a movie that’s about fighting.

Consensus: It’s hammy, cliched beyond belief, and dumb, but it’s fun. It provides plenty of good action, with an awesome soundtrack, and plenty of unintentional laughs that will keep you entertained.



Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

British people are just so funny!

London teacher Poppy Cross (Sally Hawkins, in a Golden Globe-winning role) is eternally cheerful, but when someone steals her beloved bike, she takes up driving and gets paired with Scott (Eddie Marsan), an instructor who’s her polar opposite. The relationship is strained till Poppy’s bright personality attracts a co-worker, making Scott unexpectedly jealous.

Director Mike Leigh is always known for making true tales, that feature dark drama, but also a great deal of comedy in between. With his he does that so, but not without providing us one of the most lovely, and amusing female characters in quite some time.

The main source of praise here is Sally Hawkins, in a total tour-de-force performance here as Poppy. Poppy is a very likable and memorable character because she is easily the most joyful, playful, and pleasant movie character that has graced the screen in a while. A lot of crazy things happen to Poppy in this movie: she gets her bike stolen, she has to take driving lessons from the most uptight, toxic person one could ever meet, and she talks to a deranged hobo, among other things. Yet even throughout all that, she still smiles, cracks jokes, and keeps her head high. This movie is basically a showcase of Poppy’s unwavering optimism, even when times are at their toughest. But its not just Hawkins that shines, Eddie Marsan does a great job as well. They play these two completley different people, who somehow find ways to argue, as well as entertain the audience with their perfect comedic timing. By the end, there’s one scene by Marsan that is just perfect, and makes you feel so much more with this character.

The screenplay is great as well. It’s funny, with constant jokes just flying out the wahzoo, but there is still a great deal of seriousness to it. The movie shows how we should laugh at every moment in life, dark or funny, but we should also not to forget to take some things seriously in life. That idea is brought up in many points, but not as well as I would have liked it. The ending could have been a lot better, and I wish there was a bit more to it, than just what I got.

There were also some scenes I didn’t quite get and I don’t know why they were put in their other than to just show Poppy, being funny. There’s a scene where she talks to a hobo, so random, and made no sense, as well as another scene, with this bad kid, who is beat at home, that could have been really powerful too, but it didn’t end on anything, and felt like a waste.

Consensus: Happy-Go-Lucky may have some problems with its overall message, and story, but is funny, swiftly written, and features incredible performances from Hawkins, and Marsan, who feed up the screen every time their on it.


Liberty Heights (1999)

Baltimore doesn’t really seem all that fun of a place after all.

“No Jews, dogs or coloreds,” reads the sign outside a public swimming pool in 1954 Baltimore. High school freshman Ben Kurtzman (Ben Foster) and friends find themselves confronted with anti-Semitism, racism and coming of age in a fast-changing world.

I like a lot of Barry Levinson’s films. I had a great time with Diner, Rain Man, and You Don’t Know Jack, among others. He’s always able to bring that sentimental feeling, as well as humor together, to show true stories in his life, that he lived with.

That’s the one thing about this film that really had me watching, was that it had a nice deal of humor as well as a nice deal of true drama. The film is about breaking boundaries, and going further then what you were expected of. It’s also about a great deal of race and ethnic problems going around.

The only problem was that the story never fully compelled me. I always felt there was so much more in this film rather than 3 stories about stepping over boundaries. I liked the story of Ben Foster, and the African American girl, cause it was so nicely played, and not just in an exploitation way, but handled with care. The other stories were so-so with me. The story with Joe Mantegna and his burlesque club, I thought was a total bore, and the sub-plot with him and Orland Jones that happens, was very quite random, and had no state of believability at all.  But I did enjoy the story of Adrien Brody, being the heart-breaking romantic, who tries so hard to find this one chick he loved.

The performances are good. I loved Ben Foster here, I thought he had so much energy, and resilience on screen, that it’s no surprise now he’s doing great in films now. Adrien Brody is always good, and is a charmer in this film, that you fall behind and you cheer him on. Joe Mantegna story line was too boring for me to actually watch his performance up close, but he was good in the end scenes. Orlando Jones pops in this film half-way through, and they try to make him a scary character, but he’s just too funny, and colorful (no pun intended), that it was hard to take him seriously at all.

Consensus: It has a nice script, as well as some good performances from the cast, but Liberty Heights doesn’t succeed fully with being something stronger than it should have been.


Superbad (2007)

Downright raunchy as hell, but I love it!

“Superbad” revolves around two co-dependent high school seniors (Hill and Cera) who set out to score alcohol for a party, believing that girls will then hook up with them and they will be ready for college. But as the night grows more chaotic, overcoming their separation anxiety becomes a greater challenge than getting the girls.

When I first saw this film back in 8th grade, with my mom, sister, and my sister’s friend, all on opening night, I was not expecting to be clinching my ribs the whole throughout this movie. And not much has changed 3 years later, now that I’m a big boy.

The one thing that separates Superbad from so many other comedies in today’s world, is that it literally is, funny from beginning to end. Yes, film’s like The Hangover, or Pineapple Express, they are all funny, but their never from beginning to end hilarious, this film is. The screenplay was written from Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, and they started writing it when they were like 12, so it gives you the perfect realism, of how teenagers actually talk, and that’s the one thing I liked. I’m not the dirtiest mofo, but I can at least say that I have had conversations with my boys, like these three are having about sex, women, and everything else in between. But it’s not just the humor that get’s you, and it will, but there is a certain amount of heart, deep within all the sex jokes. The film gives us a nice refreshing look at friendship, and somehow the nerdiest bunch of dudes, can somehow be the coolest guys you would never ever know, and no matter, they always stay friends. This film makes me really want to go out to everyone in my huge school and get to know them all.

It is a teen comedy, but it doesn’t mean it’s not smart. There are so many crude, and rude sex jokes, as well as plenty of disgusting gags (who can forget the blood?), but everybody just loves having a good time like your back in high school. I’m not done high school, and got plenty of parties coming up, but the way this whole film revolves around one crazy night is perfect, because your along for the ride, and feel like your apart of something special, that you haven’t felt in awhile since you left high school. For some reason, I do love “one night” films, but this one has the most fun with its happenings, jokes, and overall everything else.

The one thing that makes everything click in this film, is it’s characters that never stop being great. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, became house-hold names after this, and play the roles now, that they did then, but they are just so damn lovable. Watching these two on-screen now is great, because they both seem like friends and real life, which shows through their chemistry with one another on-screen. They are a great duo for comedies, and I would love to see them in other stuff hopefully. Christopher Mintz-Plasse will always be remembered as McLovin, but it’s not a terrible act to be known for, since he’s the greatest nerd in cinema history. And I will always stand by that. I absolutely loved Seth Rogen and Bill Hader as the two cool cops in this film, every scene they have is just great, and their comedic timing between both is just perfect.

Consensus: Superbad may be lean, mean, and without a doubt sick, and dirty as hell, but it’s hilarious, with a heart in the middle, and a perfect casting job, that will lead you on quoting this film for year’s to come.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

The Final Destination (2009)

I love how they call this The Final Destination, not Final Destination 4, but THE Final Destination. Like this is going to be the last one.

Young Nick O’Bannon (Bobby Campo) thinks he’s cheated death when he keeps a grisly premonition from becoming reality, saving his friends and himself from being crushed in a catastrophic accident — but the survivors soon realize that fate has other plans.

So if your not familiar with the last three films, or any of the films for that matter, basically the whole film is just one crazy, and cool sequence of a person being killed, one after another.

In all honesty I liked the first, and second one, with the second being my favorite, and the third is just one I didn’t bother seeing at all, but this film just doesn’t feature the type of kick that those two did. I didn’t see it in 3-D, but I can see that the directors just found anyway they could to make the coolest deaths, that would look cool while splashing at the camera. I will admit the death scenes are pretty cool, but compared to the second, and first, their just alright.

The main problem with this film is that the writing is terrible. Everybody talks in this choppy, cliched, tone, as if the writers just took stuff off bumper stickers and wrote it down as dialogue. And what’s even worse is that these people don’t even seem real at all. Like the way they look, and the way they react to their life being in danger. If I knew I was going to die, I think I’d be a little bit more scared, and worried than how all these people were. In the other ones there was actually some comedy that wasn’t too in your face, but this one had none of that, and if they did have some bits of comedy, it was unintentionally cause the dialogue had me cracking up, I kid you not. It’s not scary for horror movies, just really goofy.

The acting is pretty terrible here too. This dude Bobby Campo seems like he could do something with a good script, but this just isn’t that script and he gives a bad performance to say the least. The chicks in this film are pretty bad in this too. I don’t even remember their names, but all I know is that their just terrible, and I kind of wanted some of them to get killed off right away. However, the best of the best is in this film………..get ready for it……….it is…….Mykelti Williamson!!! I bet your all probably wondering “who in the hell is Mykelti Williamson??”. For do not fear my friends, check out this clip and then you will understand who the legend behind the name truly is. Yeah, that’s right, it’s Bubba everybody. I laughed when I saw his name on screen, and when I saw him I just went he finally lives on. I kind of like it when I see guys like Mykelti get material like this, not as bad as this, but enough exposure, for everybody to see that you’re still alive and working.

Consensus: The Final Destination provides the always faithful cool death sequences, but is just so terribly written, acted, and for a horror movie standards, just isn’t scary.


Cabin Fever (2003)

I’am never going to the woods again.

Five college friends head off to the woods for a weekend of drinking, partying and fooling around. But as they sit at their campfire the first night, a blood-soaked hermit with a flesh-eating virus approaches them. They shoo him away, but the hapless kids start to catch the bug, and paranoia and hostility run rampant. Meanwhile, the locals slowly learn that they’ve got the bug, too.

Eli Roth is one messed up mofo. But he’s still a good director, and after watching this, and Hostel, I can tell that he really does love blood and gore.

The film starts out at as any normal teen scream film: wild, horny, and crazy teenagers go to some secluded place, to go and party, and then all hell breaks loose…but not in a good way. The film reminded me so much of Friday the 13th or other horror classics of the 80’s.

On a scary factor, it’s not terrifying, it’s just incredibly gory. In ways I thought it was good, but for others I know it’s totally off-putting. I appreciate that Roth does have a love for his creations of blood and gore, and he does film it in such a way that we do cringe when we see it. But it’s not just the gore that gets us going, it’s the actual story that has us watching. Roth plans everything out where it’s all scattered and you don’t know what is exactly causing all this, but you don’t care cause your still involved with the film. By the end the violence really starts to pick up, and it gets better and better, providing plenty of bloody fun.

The problem with the story here is that the comedy takes away from the story. Roth tries too hard to bring out some laughs in this film, and its just random and dumb, considering that the material is just too serious to try and get goofy with it. The little side character’s are quite random, and although rarely funny, just have no place being in the film, other than to bring some meaningless comedy into it. Also, need I not forget to mention the fact that there is also some satire within the film, that to no, avail gets across to no one, mainly because were watching a horror movie that’s about teens going into the woods, and getting sick. No need for politics Mr. Roth sorry bro.

The budget was relatively small, and you can see they spent a lot of the money on the make-up, so the cast isn’t quite well-known, but their OK for what their given. You may know the main dude Rider Strong, from my favorite sitcom when I was a kid, Boy Meets World. He’s actually pretty strong here, and you can tell if he was given a good enough script now, could make the best out of it. Also, Jordan Ladd is here, and she’s always a beauty to have on-screen. And that’s basically about it for the cast, sorry guys.

Consensus: Cabin Fever isn’t as scary as it is gory, but it works with keeping your attention, even though you may turn away at times, and paying a great homage to the old school 80s horror films, but fails with trying to be more than a just horror film.


Garden State (2004)

Whoever thought New Jersey was so depressing??

Having just weaned himself off antidepressants, Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff, who also directs) returns to his New Jersey hometown after a decade away to attend his mother’s funeral and slowly begins to see his life in a new light. In the process, he confronts his psychologist father (Ian Holm) and forges a connection with a new friend (Natalie Portman).

Garden State is one of those films, that all 20 somethings in today’s world have always quoted and loved. Hell even my best friend’s sister, danced with her husband, at her wedding, to a song from this movie. I never understood all of the freakin’ hype until now.

Zach Braff does a great job in his debut directing/writing job. There is a lot of insight in here about how wonderful, and grand life is, but yet, it’s so short, that you shouldn’t take it for granted, and live out every second of it. Many films I know, have this same message, but the way Braff shows it, and doesn’t over play it, that it stays fresh, and it actually hits you, especially by the end.

The film kind of annoyed me a bit with its quirky stuff, but at times I didn’t mind it. I did actually laugh at a lot of this, and made me realize that all of this may be how real people actually can be. There is a great sense of alienation that Braff feels with these people around him, and we feel that, not just through his character, but from the direction he puts the film in. I liked the soundtrack, and a lot of it fits in with the film and it’s moments so well.

Probably the best thing about Garden State and why it’s going to live on forever, is these characters that Braff creates. Yeah, their crazy, and yeah, their not all that believable. But, their lovable, and you can’t shy away from the fact that they entertain the hell out of you. Largeman is in Garden State for a couple of days, and it’s great to be on this ride with him, because the characters are fun, quirky, and overall, just downright hilarious. Zach Braff does a great job of making his character the biggest loner in the beginning of the film, and then having him totally change, and become this fun, free-loving dude. Braff goes way past his Scrubs days with this one. Natalie Portman plays one of the best characters she’s ever played since Closer, and that’s saying a lot. Her portrayal as a slightly neurotic, compulsive liar who’s wackiness becomes very disarming (not an easy task), is worthy of high praise, mostly because her and Braff are fun to watch on screen, and their chemistry doesn’t feel forced or anything, it’s genuine fondness of one another’s personalities. Ian Holm is also good here, as the father that still holds a lot against Braff, and he has a good scene. Peter Sarsgaard is as usual, good, and brings a lot to his character, as the grave-digger, who we always wonder if he should be trusted or not. Also, be on the look out for a random cameo from Method Man. Always great to see him in random ish.

Basically, Garden State is a great film for anybody who likes feel-good romantic dramedies. That hit the core of the heart the right way. It makes you think about life, as well as makes you laugh about it, and just possibly have you thinking differently about it.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)

I never thought making the Hula Hoop was such a dangerous job.

This film follows a schmuck (Tim Robbins) who falls into good — or bad? — luck when he becomes the CEO of a successful business. The evil Sidney J. Mussberger (Paul Newman) chooses Barnes so he and the other board directors can make a fortune on the falling stock price. Meanwhile, reporter Amy Archer (Jennifer Jason Leigh) befriends Norville in hopes of landing a big scoop.

This film is written and directed by my favorites, The Coen Brothers, and just like any other film they have ever made, yes this one is good too.

I liked how the whole film looked. It reminded me of those old screwball comedies of the 1930’s and 40’s. The production is just beautiful, with a lot of the settings look like they came right out of an old-time photo, or a museum. Literally, you will be looking at this film forever, and the look and style really is, something to die for.

That’s where the major problem lies. We are so interested, and in love with these sets, that they actually up-stage the characters. The film has some funny moments, that are at times dark, but never too funny, nor emotionally resonant. I couldn’t find the main message, or heart behind all this material, and I think that’s the major problem when you got a film that has so much to look at, but nothing else to show for it. In all honesty I don’t even think the story took itself seriously either. The characters are all treated as satire, and not given anything really serious.

Tim Robbins was very good in this lead role as this lovable loser, that is given this big job, as a joke, and then totally changes everything. Jennifer Jason Leigh was pretty funny with her old-style New York accent, and she brings a lot of laughs, even though her and Robbins don’t have the best chemistry. Also, let’s not forget to mention that Paul Newman does a great job, as usual, as the villain, in a way, but the guy was never too menacing to the point of where I despised his every move.

Consensus: It’s beautiful to look at, and entertaining, but overall not that much heart, and the film doesn’t take itself seriously, so therefore we can’t either.


Tommy Boy (1995)

A film Chris Farley will be remembered for, forever. R.I.P. bro

Party animal Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) is a few cans short of a six-pack. But when the family business starts tanking, it’s up to Tommy and number-cruncher Richard Hayden (David Spade) to save the day.

The film is always remembered as a cult classic, that finds its way onto television every once and awhile, and it’s a film I always catch myself watching, but not fully.

The comedy here is too slapstick for me. I like it when people get knocked in the face with something, or breaks, when it’s used in the right context, but here it just seems too lead-on. We get constant slapstick happenings, and its just to bring out some cheap laughs, and didn’t have me laughing all that much really. Also, there is way too many fat, and dumb jokes that just got annoying, and at times really mean. I didn’t laugh at them although I could have, cause I just found them cruel after awhile.

However, despite the slapstick, this film still does have a lot of funny stuff going for it. It’s not trying to go for an award, or trying to make people cry, their just trying to have a good time, and make people have belly laughs by the end of the movie.

The best thing the film has going for it is the chemistry between David Spade and Chris Farley. They are both complete opposites but its great to see how these two actual real-life friends, put their comedic timings together, to make an irresistibly funny on-screen duo. The best thing is the Farley-esque schtick, and the wonderful self-deprecating comedic lines and excellent physical comedy that Farley could throw out. His rotund boyish physical appearance just adds to the mix. There is also some funny side performances from people like Rob Lowe, Bo Derek, and the best of the best, Dan Aykroyd, who no matter what you put him, can always be somewhat funny.

Consensus: Tommy Boy isn’t great, and it isn’t striving to be anything pure and amazing, but it has a great on-screen duo of Farley and Spade, that produce a fun time, with some good laughs.


Boogie Nights (1997)

A job that I could make millions in, if I really wanted to. Yeah, it’s that huge.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic about the adult film industry stars Mark Wahlberg as a nightclub busboy who transforms himself into porn king Dirk Diggler and ultimately becomes intoxicated by success, cocaine and lofty aspirations. Set in the 1970s, the film features Oscar-nominated supporting performances by Burt Reynolds as skin-flick auteur Jack Horner and Julianne Moore as a veteran porn icon with maternal instincts.

When it comes to PT Anderson, he can take a normal script, and put it places you weren’t expecting. The screenplay is just pitch-perfect. There is a lot of dark comedy in the beginning, probably cause the whole idea of making these 70’s style porno films is pretty laughable, but by the end it dives into some deep, deep, dramatic areas that I wasn’t quite expecting. The story moves along at a narrow pace, and doesn’t lose you as Anderson is constantly going from one character to another. And that’s probably my favorite thing about this film, is that yeah, it’s a story about Dirk Diggler, but there’s also plenty of other stories to go along with it, and add on to the film.

The only problem with this film is that it never delves into anything more than a just a film about the porno industry, and “stardom”. I didn’t see what the message behind all this was, and although Anderson wasn’t down-grading porn, he wasn’t saying how great it was either. So I was confused on what the central message was behind this whole film, and I think it could have used one if went into deeper territory.

PT Anderson the director is even better, because not only does he do a great job at showing all these other different characters, but he follows them in such good pace, like your literally behind these people, and your there. And you feel like your there, because of the constant lively music (which I loved, get that soundtrack now), vibrant colors all over the place, and an overall feeling of a constant party. There is also some tense, well-played out scenes by the end, that just get inside of you, as their going on.

I have to give the most praise to the casting in this film, because everybody fits their own character so well. Mark Wahlberg gives his break-out performance here, and is just perfect and fits Dirk Diggler so well. he’s still a boy that was taken into a very adult world early, and you believe him when he has these problems, with his emotions, rage, and trying to become a star. Burt Reynolds give his best performance ever as Porn director Jack Horner, he’s calm, cool, and overall relaxed. He’s just a pretty chill guy, and I ‘d feel pretty comfortable getting busy in front of him. Julianne Moore is good here too, as basically the mom who can’t love herself, but can love everybody else. Her performance is just tragic and you feel so bad for her. John C. Reilly is in here too, and is as easily as likable, him and Wahlberg create this great buddy-buddy chemistry, that plays throughout the whole film, and has you still liking both even when they become total deuches at times. Philip Seymour Hoffman has another tragic performance as the man that becomes infatuated with Diggler, and can not just understand what love really is. Other people in this film are Don Cheadle, Thomas Jane, Alfred Molina, William H. Macy, the always funny Luis Guzman. The cast is perfect, and you can tell that Anderson really does have a lot of love for these people and how they react to life.

Consensus: Though it never goes deep enough, Boogie Nights is a great ride from PT Anderson, complete with a pitch-perfect cast, inspired script and direction, and just the overall feel of your actually there.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

Death at a Funeral (2010)

Goes from being a black comedy, to a BLACK comedy. Pun intended.

Put-upon Aaron (Chris Rock) is always plagued by drama and dysfunction, but he encounters more than he can handle while attempting to plan his father’s funeral. What’s a family gathering without jealousy, tension and blackmail?

This film is directed by Neil Labute, but noticed how I said directed, not written. This guy has made some pretty edgy comedies like Your Friends & Neighbors, and In the Company of Men, so I was kind of bummed to see he wasn’t doing any writing for this film, and considering his last remake was The Wicker Man, I was sort of on my tippy toes about seeing this.

Now I haven’t seen the original so this review will be based on this one, so don’t worry no comparisons here my friends. I didn’t want to really see the original at first, but after watching this, I really don’t want to. This script could have been so much better if it was written by Labute, but yet, I don’t know how funny it would have been either. The jokes in this are as tired as how you would feel after a funeral. We have too many poop gags, drug gags, sex gags, and overall just no sense of what’s even funny. The joke doesn’t work the first time, but they keep going on with it, and that’s what really sucks, cause it takes away from all the other possibly good jokes that could have came out.

The one thing that really intrigued me, is the ensemble cast that has some of my favorite African-American comedians, however their not funny. Chris Rock playing this straight-laced, hapless guy was really dumb, because he wasn’t convincing, and he does too much nose clinching, and wide-eyes to convey emotions, and after awhile, I was just sick of it. Martin Lawrence has put on a couple of good pounds, but isn’t funny at all, he has a couple of dirty sex jokes with him and this girl from high-school, and the jokes are about dead within the first minute of it. Tracy Morgan probably made me laugh once or twice, but he’s watered down by dumb poop jokes. Zoe Saldana, Regina Hall, and Loretta Divine are all good on their own time, but just fall fatal victim to the wrath of the gags. Luke Wilson‘s also here, and it looks like him and Martin Lawrence have been hanging out, as well as sharing lines, cause nothing’s really funny here either. The only ones that made ma laugh the most were James Marsden and Peter Dinklage, who were both under the influence in the movie, as well as Danny Glover‘s lines are hilarious. But notice that’s two white guys out of the whole cast, plus one, but those two are the funniest. Oh and Columbus Short, and my fav Keith David are here too, but their not as funny, as they could be.

Consensus: Death at a Funeral has a great ensemble cast full of the best comedy stars, but uses them for stale jokes, that are tired, as well as not funny, and used way too many times.


P.S Roger Ebert said this was the best comedy since “The Hangover”. Sorry Roger, love ya bro, but WTF were you smoking!??!

Fever Pitch (2005)

I never really cared for the Red Sox, but after watching this, I think I may start loving them.

Everything’s going great between baseball fanatic Ben (Jimmy Fallon) and his new girlfriend, Lindsay (Drew Barrymore). But when spring rolls around and baseball season begins, Ben’s overwhelming obsession with the Boston Red Sox threatens to destroy their relationship.

I’m not a huge baseball guy in all honesty, I’m more of a football and basketball guy, but I’m not obsessed with a certain team when it comes to me liking sports. But I know plenty of people that are die hard fans all the way, and since I’m from Philly, that means a whole lot.

The one thing that kind of had me worried about this film was that it’s directed by The Farrelly Brothers, who are basically known for films like There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin, and more, all that feature the signature gross-out humor their known for. And surprisingly there is no offensive or gross-out humor here, it’s all about being cute.

And cute is just exactly the right cord they hit here. The romance starts off slow and dull, then it becomes something bigger, and you believe it. There is also a lot of sports stuff here, and it’s really true to the point of how die hards act. But you can feel the love for sports in this movie, as well the excitement and craziness it brings to its fans.But it’s not just supporting the life of obsession to sports, it shows how it can sometimes destroy your personal life, and keep you sheltered off from the real world.

By watching the first 10 minutes of this film you can already tell where it’s going. It’s very predictable, and there is a little dry spot in the middle of the film that took a lot away from the film I thought. There were a couple of laughs here and there, but it was never too funny to the point of where I started cracking up non-stop.

Probably what elevates this whole movie is the leads. Jimmy Fallon is great here, he’s funny, cool, and overall believable. I believed him when he was in love, I believed him when he was trying to fall in love, I believed him as a sports, and a teacher, and everything about his performance is so natural. Drew Barrymore is also very good here as the woman, that can’t stand by forever and wait for the love of her life to eventually grow up and realize there’s more than just baseball. These two have good scenes together, and their love seems true. I wish there was more side characters in this film to give their perspectives on everything, as well as some other characters that weren’t quite as developed as others.

Consensus: Fever Pitch my be predictable, but it’s sweet, and charming much ado to the chemistry between Fallon and Barrymore.


Serpico (1973)

If I really wanted to, I could grow a beard like that.

Based on the real-life story of New York City undercover cop Frank Serpico (an honest man who was grievously wounded for refusing to take part in the corruption forced upon him by his peers). Directed by Sidney Lumet, Serpico is at once an indictment of corrupted authority and a shining testament to one man’s effort to reform the New York City Police Department.

Frank Serpico is known pretty much as one of the first real rats within the police department. This guy had the cojones to get every single police officer and show who was dirty, and who was clean. This guy is the man!

So everybody, this is how we’re going to do things. My full review here is posted at Talking Films so go on over to the link, check it out, and write some good little messages in there. It’ll make us all happy.

Check it out!!!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

I wish when I skipped school, it was as fun as this.

High-schooler Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) knows everyone — and every trick to faking an illness. So with the entire school convinced he’s at death’s door, Bueller grabs his girlfriend (Mia Sara) and best friend (Alan Ruck) and hits the streets of Chicago for a well-deserved day off. Fed-up principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) is determined to catch Bueller and put a premature end to his field trip. But it’s tough to outfox Ferris.

Writer/Director John Hughes is known as one of the premiere directors for when it comes to 80’s films. With films like Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, and now Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it almost seems like Hughes is a teenager when he’s writing all this stuff.

There is a lot to love here, and the best thing about this film is the creative screenplay from Hughes. There is a lot of comedy here, for me, it was a lot of laugh out loud comedy, and other times it was little chuckles, but overall it had me laughing. But it’s not just the funny in here that’s great, it’s capturing the emotion, and the mind-setting that was within all the teenagers back in 1986. There are plenty of parts where they bring it up, but around this time was when the teenagers started rebelling against all their parents and standing up for themselves. It’s great to see how Hughes captures the generation of the 80’s teen, and he never stopped, but it’s a shame he had to go so soon. R.I.P. Brotha.

But it also delves a lot more into the fun of life. To be truly honest I was pretty jealous of everything Ferris was doing. I mean going on top of parade float singing The Beatles, driving around in my friend’s  dad’s 1961 Ferrari GT California, and faking dinner reservations at a fancy ass place, makes me want to go do something fun. Ferris says it himself twice in the film: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And that’s what this film is all about, enjoying the fun things in life while you have it, cause you never know when your going to have that chance again.

Matthew Broderick does a great job of portraying Ferris Bueller probably cause he feels like a real cool guy. He’s funny, he’s got the hot-ass girl, and he can basically get himself out of any situation. There are constant times when Bueller breaks the fourth wall and talks to us, and that brings us to connect more with his character, and say hey, this guy is really cool, I wish I was him, or at least hanging out with him. It sucks that Broderick doesn’t do much stuff now, but for me, he always be a lovable star.

Other characters in this movie are great too. Alan Ruck as Cameron is the most developed character in the movie, and although is a total mook that can annoy you, you feel the pain he feels, and he has one scene where he’s on the phone with principal Rooney, posing as Sloane’s dad, and it’s easily the funniest scene, and that car scene is just perfect. Mia Sara does nothing now, and that kind of sucks, cause she’s actually good in this. Jeffrey Jones is good here as Mr. Rooney, who is just the biggest d-bag ever, and he reminds you of all high school principals out there. Too bad that guy had to have child porno caught on him, he would still be in a lot of stuff, creepy bastard. There is also some great stuff from Ben Stein, and an amazing cameo from the always funny Charlie Sheen.

The only problem I had with the film that doesn’t make it one of my all-time favorites, is that it doesn’t go far enough, as far as other’s character’s emotions, and feelings, but it all still works none the less.

Consensus: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a prime example of a film that’s hilarious, fun to watch, but well-written, with plenty of ideas and trends about the times in the 80’s, with a timeless message of life.

9/10=Full Pricee!!!

Terminator Salvation (2009)

Awesome memories of Terminator 1,2, and 3……Terminated!!!

All grown up in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) must lead the resistance of humans against the increasingly dominating militaristic robots. But when Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) appears, his existence confuses the mission as Connor tries to determine whether Wright has come from the future or the past — and whether he’s friend or foe.

So when I look at Terminator 1,2, and even the 3rd one, I just say “wow these movies rock, and totally introduced me to great sci-fi action”. Probably the first bad sign that this movie was going to blow was that it wasn’t directed by James Cameron, who did the original first two. And although he didn’t do the 3rd, it still looks fucking great compared to this junk. The movie was directed by some dude named McG. In all honesty, what the fuck!?!? Like there’s no normal name for you, you have to make a nick-name considering your only claim to fame was Charlie’s Angels. I guess it’s a good thing that Cameron didn’t get involved with this one probably because he had his sights set on something a lot, a lot, better.

The one semi good thing about this film is that the action, and the visuals look good. The problem is, is that they have made these terminators, so indestructible, that nothing, and I do repeat nothing, can destroy them. So the action scenes, are just repetitive, because these things never go away. It looks good, but after awhile I just start to think it’s a sci-fi remix of The Book of Eli look. And yes, I know Eli came out later, it just looks so the same, and Eli does better in my opinion.

The biggest bummer with this whole film is the fact that the whole story is slow as hell. The action starts off from the get-go, but we get the same story that we saw, just more sci-f, Skynet mumbo jumbo we don’t care about, and “John Connor” is probably mentioned about 1,000 times. The whole script just seems tired, bored, and doesn’t want to do anything new or inventive, just blow shit up.

Christian Bale is absolutely terrible in this film. He does that “Batman” deep throat mumble thing that annoys the crap out of me, and almost every five seconds he’s just yelling, or whispering, never talking. But his best performances was defiantly off-screen (haha I love this audio every time). Sam Worthington is at least watchable here, and brings a lot of emotion to his character, and it just sucks that he is the character I cared for more than the one who actually saves the world. Common’s in this. Why? Who cares, he doesn’t change anything in this movie. I also love how they just put the naked version of Arnold Schwarzenegger, luckily it wasn’t really him, or somebody would have defiantly lost some credit on the man-o meter.

Consensus: There may be some good visuals, and action, but overall Terminator Salvation, is a piss poor attempt to bring back a classic trilogy, while having no heart, and none of the energy the originals did.


Step Up 3-D (2010)

I can’t believe it, but I liked this movie.

A tight-knit group of street dancers, including Luke (Rick Malambri) and Natalie (Sharni Vinson), team up with NYU freshman Moose (Adam Sevani), and find themselves pitted against the world’s best hip hop dancers in a high-stakes showdown that will change their lives forever.

This was probably my first Step-Up movie I have ever seen in a theater. Hell this is my first time seeing a hip-hop dance movie in a theater. I saw the original Step Up, with my boy Channing Tatum, and thought it was pretty crappy, but this was a step up (no pun intended).

Now take it for granted, I did not see this in 3-D, which was a bummer, but none the less it was still great to watch. The visuals in this film are straight-up in your face perfect, because there are certain lights, and certain effects used on this camera to convey a lot of excitement, and it really does feel like your there.

The main reason why the visuals are great is because the dance numbers, are just bangin’. I can’t lie at all, I thought every dance sequence was just better than the last. Though some can be pointless at times. Like when the rivals follows one of the lead characters into a bathroom and instead of threatening him by just beating him up or knifing him, the rivals actually threatens him with dance… I really don’t why they use that to demoralize him, but hey… movie logic. But still the dance numbers mixed in with the incredible soundtrack, i mean damn, this film had me tapping my feet.

Dancing, music, and visuals aside, this film is terrible. The story feels like they wrote this back in 1983, didn’t update put it in a vault, and waited for 2010 to come around, and used that script for this movie. Within, the first 5 minutes you already know how this film is going to turn out, and the problem is they focus on the story too long. There were plenty of great dance numbers, but a lot of the time, the film focused on the romantic love story, that we all knew how it was going to turn out, so it was no big shock there.

However, I can take very predictable films, only if the acting is good. This, is not one of those films. All of the actors in this movie, with the exception of one kid, are just terrible. They were only hired for their dance moves, so I’ll give them that, but they just suck at delivering lines. I mean honestly, I started laughing at some of these lines here, just because they were so cheesily written and acted. Adam Sevani is the only really good actor in this film, and although he may seem a little homosexual, he’s got reasonable energy, and stage presence.

Consensus: If you want things like good acting, plot twists, character development, and credible pacing, then this film is not your choice, unless you enjoy the great dance sequences, mixed in with some dazzling visuals and bumpin’ soundtrack.


Singles (1992)

Seattle Grunge may not be the most romantic music out there, but for these people, it’s the closest thing their going to get to Marvin Gaye.

A group of twenty-something friends (Matt Dillon, Kyra Sedgwick, Bridget Fonda, and Campbell Scot), most of whom live in the same apartment complex, search for love and success in grunge-era Seattle.

Writer/Director Cameron Crowe is a very smart person. His two films Jerry Maguire, and Say Anything.., are perfect examples of films that blend smart comedy, with realistic romance. With this one, he does an OK job to say the least.

The one thing Crowe does with this film is that he shows these real people talking about real stuff, and expressing their real feelings. You get a real sense of how love is, and sometimes not supposed to be. Crowe plays out some little director tricks to give us the feeling of how it feels to be in love, and how we all react to when we are in love. There’s also a lot of Generation X nostalgia that will tell you how these people feel about the future, and what they expect from it.

Although, I think Crowe didn’t know what to do when it came to comedy. Yeah, there’s a little laugh here and there, but it’s all too random. There are just moments where something weird happens, and yeah, it turns out funny, but it’s so useless.

Also, the soundtrack is pretty rockin’, with grunge greats like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, but the music never plays a huge part in this film which kind of bums me out. I wanted to hear more insight on how this dirty, and dark music, made these people feel, and how they connected to it.

The performances from the cast we’re very good. Bridget Fonda is good, as this cute, likable girl that falls for the heavy grunge rocker, Cliff, played by the always amusing Matt Dillon. He’s as usual funny, but he’s also kind of a dick, but its not off-putting, he knows that he is. Campbell Scott and Kyra Sedgwick do the best jobs together in this film. They are both aimlessly in love, but they don’t know how to approach it, nor do they know how to express, cause they have recently been hurt. It’s great to see these two on-screen together, and it all feels so real. We also get great cameos from Paul Giamatti, Jeremy Piven, Bill Pullman, and the most random one yet, Tim Burton. Yeah, the director dude is in this, and I have no idea why.

The only problem with a lot of these characters is that it never gets fully in-depth to who these people really are. Yeah, we get to hear about their past love-life, but we walk into their lives with an open-mind, but get nothing in return. We guess their all good, and nice people, they just all need love. I guess…..

Consensus: Aimless, and not enough depth, stops Singles from being a great romantic comedy, but it has good performances, and a very smart script that shows real people, talking about real feelings.


Romeo + Juliet (1996)

I never thought there would be such a thing as Shakespearean gun battles.

In director Baz Luhrmann’s contemporary take on William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) fall in love and secretly wed.

I always have liked Shakespeare, and I think everybody, myself included, can at least say they love the classic story of Romeo and Juliet. But I never imagined the story to be played out like this mess.

The one thing I liked about this film was the direction from Baz Luhrmann. He directed one of my favorites of all-time, Moulin Rouge!, and that film had a very crazy, trippy, and all-over-the-place feel to it, as so does this. I liked the visual style Baz was going for here, and the vibrant, and beautiful colors he uses in this film create such a great taste of feeling, and wonder to the whole story and look.

However, his direction isn’t enough to save this ship from sinking big time. I couldn’t believe any of this, especially when these people would speak. The film is shot in modern time, but still keeping with the original olde English dialogue, and this was just a totally bad idea. Everything that these people said, just came out so unintentionally funny, or really cheesy. Leonardo DiCaprio is always great, and Claire Danes is a presence on screen, the only problem is, is that their not Shakespearean actors. Their emotions don’t capture the original text, and when they talk it doesn’t seem real. And besides, DiCaprio cried too much in this film, I mean honestly, the guy was making me laugh. The only person in the cast that I can think of that did the best job with the language, was Pete Postlethwaite. This guy knew how to capture the raw emotion, taste, and feeling that had to go into this character, for audiences to understand, and did the best job out of the whole cast.

I think the constant energy the film was given kind of took away from the original material. This was released back in the day of 1996, and its obviously for teenagers, of the MTV ages, and it just tries so hard to be hip, and cool with the young crowd, that it fails, at even conveying enough emotions to show the real beauty of the story. There are too many gun battle sequences, and random doses of high energy, that just takes this film to places we would have never imagined.

Consensus: It’s visual style may be great to look at, but the film gets lost with it’s ability of trying to be too hip, and doesn’t do it’s cast any favors, by making them sound like complete idiots.


The Other Guys (2010)

Note to Kevin Smith: This is how you do a buddy-cop comedy.

While an elite pair of New York City cops (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson) nabs headlines for their amazing heroics, fellow boys in blue Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Mark Wahlberg) toil in obscurity as lowly desk jockeys, until a big break finally gives them a chance to tackle real police work. Rob Riggle, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton and Steve Coogan co-star in this action-packed comedy directed by Adam McKay.

To start off with aspects of this film that I enjoyed, virtually every cast member involved does a solid job in their respective roles. Both Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play off of each other much better than you might expect as the titular characters, and Michael Keaton once again, this summer steals just about every scene that he’s in as the Guys’ more-calm-than-he-probably-should-be captain. Also, for what little screen time that they have, both Sam Jackson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shine as the two celebrity-status-garnered cops, being responsible for what could be the funniest movie moment of this year so far. Even Eva Mendes (who I’m typically not the biggest fan of) shares a couple of enjoyable moments with Ferrell as his purposely-out-of-his-league wife.

The problem is with this film is that it becomes an absolute mess especially by the last two acts. I feel like there wasn’t enough action for this film, so they just started to randomly throw in a bunch of crazy, cool, action sequences, to keep a lot of viewers entertained. The action is shot-well, but they just seem forced, and not like my favorite comedy of the year, Date Night, the film doesn’t quite know how to balance out the comedy and action as well.

The screenplay was good, I’ll give it that. A lot of stuff was ad-libbed, but many of the other jokes in this film worked, because they were silly, but made a lot of sense to the audience. However, by the end the film gets too wrapped up in some random satire, that I didn’t believe for one moment. And the ending does seem a bit forced, since there was a bit too much going on.

Consensus: The Other Guys may not know what to do by the last act, so they just add unbelievable satire, and random explosions. However, the cast is hilarious, with a great amount of consistent laughs.


Capturing the Friedmans (2002)

With any situation, you never really do know who’s telling the truth.

A family in crisis is “captured” through home video in this searing documentary about the Friedmans, an upper-middle-class family who found their world turned upside down when father and son were charged with child molestation in 1987. The media inundated the airwaves with coverage of the alleged crime, but some of the best footage — seen here publicly for the first time — was shot by the Friedman family members themselves.

I was never alive when this whole Friedmans molestation shit hit the fan, but with this film I got an idea of what was surrounding these people. The best thing about this film is that it doesn’t just show the Friedmans side, it also shows the police’s side as well. This gives us an idea, for us to make our own assumptions, as to who was right, and who was wrong, and if anyone was telling the truth.

The film does a great job of showing this family from the ins and outs. We get to hear and see all the emotions from the two boys, Jesse, and David Friedman, as well as the guilt-driven mother, Elaine. We never hear the story from the one boy, Seth, but I don’t think he had much to say, since his name only came up every once and awhile. But the one thing that bummed me out was that we never get to hear Arnold’s side of the story at all, probably because he was dead around the making of this movie, but I just wish we got to hear from him. And although we didn’t, i still liked the fact that the whole family told us every sigle point of their stories. We also get stories from the kids that Arnold “raped”, as well as, talks with his brother, who has a big surprise in the end, and other people that were acquainted with Arnold, as well as the Friedmans.

I just loved how director Andrew Jarecki got all these people together to talk about this one, messed-up family. The best parts of this film, are when they show the home videos, that for some dumb reason David took, of when the family started to really self-destruct, and you can see how family interaction’s really are, when something bad happens, and how they all go after one another. This fascinated me cause we always see this kind of stuff in films like, In the Bedroom, but never in real life, and I finally got to see that.

The whole film is just about real life. Imagine if everyday, you saw your dad, as this cool, down-to-earth dude, that you could talk to no matter what, and then you found out he had a secret, a secret that made you totally think different of him, how would you react. The film captures the realistic horror that goes into a family, knowing that their father, his whole life, has had these secrets. It may not sound as beautiful and great as it should, but really it something to see, if you want to see true family relations.

Consensus: Capturing the Friedmans works as a study of human, and family relations, and the horror that stands behind it all, as well as a study for the real meaning behind truth, and who did what.

9/10=Full Pricee!!