Thursday, May 27, 2010

50 Cent Drops Weight for Role

What you see above is not the 50 Cent we are used to seeing. The Grammy award winning rapper is certainly a shell of his former self. Usually, 50 weighs in at a muscular 215lbs but in the picture he’s around 160 lbs. Virtually, unrecognizable to me and his millions of fans 50 Cent lost all that weight for a movie called Things Fall Apart. The story centers around a football star who is diagnosed with cancer. The film also co-stars Ray Liotta. Now I’ve never been a big fan of 50 Cent the actor. I like some of his music but he has never really come across well on the silver screen. Now that I’m seeing such dedication to a role my perception has changed a bit. I can honestly say that I’m intrigued to see this movie now.

This dramatic lose of weight is obviously not the first we’ve seen. More well accomplished and talented actors have done so before 50. Robert DeNiro did it for Raging Bull (1980). He gained 60lbs for his role as boxer Jake LaMotta. Matt Damon did the transformation two separate times. The first was for Courage Under Fire (1996) where Damon played an heroin ex-military addict and lost 40lbs to get into character. His second time was just last year in The Informant where he put on 30lbs. Renee Zellweger also did it for both Bridget Jones films (2001 &2 2004) gaining 25lbs. Zellweger was much more of shock to people since she’s a woman and she typically has the figure of a stick. However, she pulled it off beautifully and no one would have ever known she put on weight. The same can be said for Charlize Theron in her portrayal as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster (2003). Theron gained 30lbs for her role and won an Oscar. Tom Hanks packed on 50lbs for Cast Away (2000). His goal was to be as pudgy as possible. Production was then stopped for a whole year so he could lose the weight and grow out his hair and beard! Finally, the most drastic weight loss an actor put his body through was Christian Bale for The Machinist (2004). Bale shrunk down to a scrawny 110lbs from 173lbs. If you look at IMDB under the trivia section for the film is says that Bale wanted to go to 100lbs, but producers would not let him do it out of fear for his health. What’s even more insane is that Bale put all that weight back on for Batman Begins in 2005 and if you saw that movie you know he was all muscle. According to IMDB, Bale’s 63lb weight loss is the most anyone has ever done.

So what makes these actors do such crazy things to their bodies? Is it dedication? Money? Passion? My guess it’s a combination of all three with dedication at the lead. However, money isn’t even a factor in some cases. The Machinist was by no means a blockbuster movie. Barely anyone saw it and I don’t think Bale made that much money from it. However, it’s an amazing movie. When an actor goes to such extremes you can’t help but become mesmerized by what you see. The connection between actor and the audience is much deeper than usual. Every time I watch Cast Away I find myself feeling so sad for Tom Hank’s character. Overall, I think that’s what each actor goes for. They want the audience to feel the pain and suffering of the character.

If you would like to read the entire article go to the link below. Filming has wrapped on Things Fall Apart and 50 has now begun going back to his former self.

Terrible Thursday: Batman and Robin (1997)

By far this is the worst Batman film ever to be created and definitely one of the most horrible films ever. There are so many flaws with this film its laughable. If one were to be on some mind altering drugs and watch this movie they may consider it a comedy. The casting, the dialogue, the set design, and several other factors contributed to this titanic mess.

Today, George Clooney is a highly respected actor with a diverse resume, which includes an Oscar. While he didn’t have that little golden statue in the 90’s he was a star on the rise. As everyone knows the Batman character is darker than the average superhero. Batman is a man of mystery who is deeply troubled by his past. It’s safe to say that Clooney represented none of the traditional characteristics of the Cape Crusader. Out of all the actors to don the cape and cowl Clooney was the worst. Surprisingly, Clooney doesn’t have any regrets about the film. In an interview back in 2008 he told Showbiz Spy, “I don’t regret anything…with hindsight it’s easy to look back at Batman and go, ‘Woah! that was really shit, and I was really bad in it. The truth is, Batman is still the biggest break I ever had. It changed my career. I wouldn’t be doing this now if it hadn’t been for Batman.” If you look at his resume on IMDB he is correct. Before Batman and Robin barely any of his movies stood out, except for From Dusk Till Dawn. Most of his breaks cames after this film. Therefore, you can understand why he took on the role. It was the right move at the time.

However, George Clooney is not the only person to blame for this awful piece of cinema which I speak of. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Mr. Freeze, is also at fault. I will go as far to say that he was the worst part of the movie. He repeatedly killed the audience with his corny one line jokes and abysmal acting. I hesitate to even use the term “acting” when speaking of Arnold and his performance because it was anything but. I never understood why they chose Arnold for that part. Just like Clooney, Arnold’s role in Batman and Robin was the worst of his career next to Junior. As for Uma Thurman, who played Poison Ivy, I’ll skip over her because she was the least of the films problems. I do have an issue with the incorporation of Bane. Here is the only villain to best Batman in the comics and the writers turned him into a second rate henchman incapable of speaking. What the shit is that about? If anything Bane deserves to be the only villain in a Batman movie. Blasphemy!

Let us now move on to Chris O’Donnell. I didn’t mind O’Donnell in Batman Forever. He seemed to fit the character at that point in the story. He correctly displayed the emotions of a young man hell bent on his own mission of revenge. With that said, he provided no support in Batman and Robin and his acting was shitty. If you thought the misery ended there you were wrong. Let us not forget Alicia Silverstone as Bat-Girl. I have less of issue with Silverstone than I do with how her character was portrayed. First, the Bat-Girl character in the comics is the daughter of Commissioner Gordon not Alfred’s niece who speaks with an American accent. Moreover, where was her characters’ training? She may have been athletic and a daredevil but when Batman takes a new protégé he works them to the bone. It would have been cool to see some of that stuff. For me, that was such a hole in the plot.

When one thinks about Batman and Robin it’s hard to forget the films biggest nemesis…director Joel Schumacher. Many people personally blame him for the numerous errors in this film. Others may say it was Warner Bros. fault for wanting to go in a more kid friendly direction. Whatever you may think, Schumacher was the one who put nipples on the Bat suit (a mortal sin by the way). He changed the entire ambiance of the story. Long gone were tall buildings and dark alley ways filled with smoke where Batman would seek out justice. Instead it was replaced by colorful set designs that glowed in the dark under black lights. I don’t understand why he decided, or agreed, to go in this direction. Here is a guy who directed St. Elmo’s Fire, The Lost Boys, Flatliners, Falling Down, The Client, and A Time To Kill. Those were all very good movies. I guess he got carried away with himself.

All in all, Batman and Robin is pure trash at its finest. I’ll be honest I’ve taken dumps that have looked and smelled prettier than this movie.

Overall: F

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Trailers Up

I just put up some new trailers. Check them out.

Solitary Man-starring Michael Douglas. If you saw Up in the Air you can kind of get the same feeling with both of these films. Men who are lost and don't know who they are because they become so entangled in their own lives.

Get Him to the Greek-starring Jonah Hill and Russel Brand. I put the Red Band trailer up because its funnier. At first, I thought the movie was going to be stupid but when I saw the trailer in Robin Hood plus the Red Band I found myself laughing a lot. It has the same director as Forgetting Sarah Marshall so there is definitely hope for this film.

Restrepo- A war documentary about one platoon in Afghanistan during the course of one year. This documentary was done by National Geographic therefore you will see the true affects of war on soldiers as well as their thoughts. This looks good!

The Killer Inside Me- starring Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson. This film is catching some major buzz. Definitely worth checking out.

The American-starring George Clooney. An American James Bond movie set in Italy done with style and seriousness.

Robin Hood

Summary: Robin Longstride is an archer in King Richard the Lionheart’s army. On their way back home from the Crusades Robin finds himself making a promise to a dying soldier. Unbeknownst to Robin his promise takes him to Nottingham where he discovers the truth about his past. Now that Robin has found his identity he takes part in the fight to save his country from a French invasion.
Plot (C+): I honestly had no clue that this movie was going to be an origin story. Since establishing this blog I try not to read any reviews or spoilers before seeing a film. I only go by the trailers. This way I can form my opinions on films. Robin Hood was much different then I had anticipated and I don’t mean that in a negative way. If anyone was expecting to see the classic Robin Hood story I’m sorry to say this isn’t it. As a historian, I will tell you that there are no conclusive records on who Robin Hood was exactly, which is why there are so many different tales. More specifically, the legend of Robin Hood stems from English folklore. With that said, the story which was presented did keep me interested. Many of the classic Robin Hood virtues are present in this film but he doesn’t rob from the rich and give to the poor. While I did find the movie to be interesting I wasn’t fully captivated by the story. The film lacked a sense of energy. Also, it was definitely too long and slow to develop. Certain scenes could have been cut out and just added to the DVD. Usually I like movies to be long but I felt that the lengthy time factor worked against it.
Action (B): Action movies that are set in ancient or medieval times have always caught my interest mainly due to my love for history. When I see those types of movies the battle scenes and fighting styles have to be accurate. If they are not, you can expect people, myself included, to get pissed and call it bullshit. Movies like Gladiator, 300, Alexander, and Kingdom of Heaven correctly displayed the battle techniques used during those periods thus adding to the films authenticity. While Robin Hood’s plot may have not been the strongest I did like the battle scenes. The combination of archers, cavalry, and infantry proved to be England’s greatest strength during times of war. There was a decent amount of action throughout the story however I felt that battle scene at the end of the film was too short and anticlimactic. I don’t need a 25 minutes battle scene, but something a little more than 7 minutes works for me.
Acting and Dialogue (B-): It goes without saying that Russell Crowe is a very good actor. His dedication to this role is clearly seen throughout the film. From his accent to his skill with the bow and arrow one must applaud his effort. Does Crowe have the same impact as he did in Gladiator? Certainly not. However, he correctly portrays a man who holds his morals very high. Cate Blanchett appropriately fitted the role of Marion: strong, stubborn, loyal, and a tender loving heart. I expected much more from Mark Strong. After seeing his villainous role as Lord Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes I was confident that he would deliver as Godfrey, the Englishman who betrayed his country for France, however that was not the case. He came off a bit dull in my eyes but I think that was just his character. He probably would have been better for the role of King John although that would have meant even less screen time for him. Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Constant Gardener) who played King Richard was a delight to see. His acting was entertaining and properly gave life to man who has been dead for 811 years. What I thought was really funny about him was the way he looked. Huston looked extremely similar to the Lion from The Wizard of Oz after he got that makeover in palace…no joke. He sported long curly hair and thick beard. How appropriate if you think about it.
Sex Appeal: N/A
Director (B): Every time I watch a new Ridley Scott movie I know I’m in for some type of treat. His films range from being elaborately beautiful to simplistic and bloody. No matter what direction he decides to go in you can rest assure a good story will be told. Here’s a man who directed a variety of classics such as: Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, and Gladiator. These are only a fraction of the quality movies he has directed in his time and I feel ashamed not to mention them (I HIGHLY recommend Matchstick Men with Nicholas Cage…HIGHLY). As usual Scott incorporated the same style of directing as he always does in these dramatic action films. The camera is up close and personal with the actors to provide a deeper connection with the audience. The battle scenes are properly filmed with a combination of wide aerial and ground shots. Due to my vast amount knowledge I did spot a carbon copy action scene from Gladiator and I felt that was a cop out. (If you care to know what it is just ask) As I mentioned earlier the film was a bit long…2 ½ hours to be exact. Still, Scott should be praised for his efforts.
Overall: B-

Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Monday: Rocky II (1979)

Since I reviewed Rocky V for Terrible Thursday last week I thought it would be very fitting to review a real Rocky film for Memorial Monday!

Summary: Just like Zoolander review I will not summarize this film. SHAME ON YOU if you have never seen it…seriously. By far, this movie (and the rest of the series, except for Rocky V) is one of the greatest inspirational movies ever. It showed everyone that a man’s determination and strength of the heart can achieve victory.

Plot (A): Rocky II picks up right where the first one left off allowing nothing to be missed. Although, he now has some financial security life isn’t all peaches and cream for the Italian Stallion. Rocky is dealing with new changes in his life. He and Adrian are married and are expecting a baby. Since he is now retired from boxing Rocky finds it hard to provide for his family due to his limited education. After some unsuccessful commercials he takes a job at the meat packing plant. Working his fingers to the bone the audience witnesses a man willing to anything for his family. However, Rocky quickly realizes his true place is in the ring. He was born a fighter and forever will be one.

Action (A-): While the fight is the last fifteen to twenty minutes of the film it’s a great one nonetheless. The viewers can really feel the emotions expressed by Rocky and Apollo. During the fight, Rocky remains calm, cool, and collected. With his new skills he consistently lands punch after punch at his surprised opponent. Apollo, on the other hand, is man on a mission…a mission to prove he IS the best. His determination and ferocity is clearly evident in his aggressive fighting style, which wasn’t seen in their first fight. Leading up to the big match we are re-introduced to the famous training montage which came to dominate the Rocky saga. I’ll never forget the lead in to this particular training montage. It occurs when Adrian comes out of her coma and whispers into Rocky’s ear, “Win”. Suddenly, we see the lion awake from his slumber get ready for battle.

Acting & Dialogue (A): Much like Rocky, the acting and dialogue are very strong and dominate the film. So strong are these two elements they have allowed generations of people to fall in the love with the characters and the story they tell. Sylvester Stallone plays Rocky as a simple minded giant with the heart of lion. As I've watched Stallone play Rocky I always wondered what part, if any, of himself is in the character? Stallone’s acting is so effortless and translates beautifully to the screen that I believe some part of him lies within the character.
Talia Shire continues to display Adrian as the quiet mouse willing to do anything for the man she loves. Shire’s performance is so convincing and realistic that we happily cheer on as her character evolves into a more confidant woman. As for Carl Weathers’, he depicts Apollo Creed drastically different from the cocky and arrogant version we saw in Rocky. While he wasn’t much of an antagonist in the first film, Weathers fully submerged himself as the “bad guy” in Rocky II. Apollo’s determination to crush the Italian Stallion, a legend in the making, is equally met by Rocky’s will to win.
Burt Young and Burgess Meredith equally bring the same intensity and style of acting as they did in the first installment. Paulie and Mickey each stand out significantly and play pivotal roles in Rocky’s life. If you really think about it those two characters highly influenced the Stallion. Rocky wanted something better for his life and didn’t want to end up like Paulie; a drunken, jealous, over-weight never was. As for Mickey, we all know how he influenced Rocky. Mickey taught Rocky all he knew which resulted in a more skilled fighter. Most importantly, Mickey loved Rocky and treated him like a son. Their relationship was always so sincere and unique that it added a deeper layer to the films context.

Music (A+): I get chills every single time I hear those trumpets sounding that legendary theme music. I believe most people do. There is no doubt that Bill Conti created a master piece. The entire film is filled with inspirational music which correctly correlates to the emotions of the star and pacing of the story. I can only think of two other films whose music serves as an integral part of the story: Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Without the music, these movies wouldn’t be nearly as good and hold such important places in our hearts.

Director (A): Rocky II was Stallone’s second directing job. For his sophomore film, he really hit the nail right on the head. Stallone was obviously comfortable enough with the character and story that he was willing to take on the roll of directing. Personally, I think that was a great idea. Others may say that it was a mistake because he had too much on his plate. If you look at IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes, they both give Rocky much higher scores. I’m not sure for the exact reasons, but I always have felt that Rocky II was a great sequel. Above all, it was a film that solidified Rocky’s place in American pop culture.

Overall: A

Thursday, May 20, 2010


So I'm reading and I came across a post about Sex in the City 2 and the cost of the wardrobe. Now I couldn't believe my eyes when it said the final cost was $10 million! Let that soak in. Yes, $10 million! Is that really necessary? I'm going to get serious for a second. There is a huge economic crisis going on in this country. There are people starving and suffering all across the world. However, there's enough money for a studio to spend $10 million on a wardrobe for some shitty ass movie. I know the issues are completely separate I just find it extremely irritating and a TOTAL waste of money. I'm sorry I just had to share this piece of information. The fucking nerve with these studio's.

Terrible Thursday: Rocky V

In the words of Jon Belushi from Animal House, “Ho-ly shittt!” What the hell was Stallone thinking with this movie? Let me try to explain his thought process, “How should I follow up Rocky IV? I know! First, Rocky will have brain damage due to his fight with Drago (okay at least that is understandable and believable). Then Rocky will lose all of his money thus sending the entire Balboa family back to their impoverished beginnings. Oh, I’ll also cast my son, who has no acting experience at all, to play Rocky’s son in the movie. That’ll get him some pussy. I’ll even cast a real boxer, another person who has no acting experience, to play Rocky’s protégé only to have him become brainwashed by a Don King type promoter. Yea, that’s what I’ll do.” Again, holy shit! C’mon Sly! I will definitely give you props and say you’re a very talented writer, but you completely dropped the ball on Rocky V. Rocky IV was a simple movie that centered on the fight and Rocky’s determination for revenge. While it wasn’t as well written movie and as deeply emotional as Rocky it still provided solid entertainment.

It’s safe to say that very few, if any, appreciated the direction Rocky V went in. The entire series up to that point was always about never giving up and fighting for what you want. While some of the traditional Rocky spirit was displayed in the fifth installment, the plotlines which I listed above make it impossible to respect where they took this beloved story. It’s hard for anyone to watch a Rocky film and not be inspired. I get chills in my body when I watch Rocky and Apollo struggle to stand up at the end of Rocky II. When I see the training montage from Rocky IV I want to go out and run for a straight hour listening to “Hearts on Fire”, “War”, and “Gonna Fly Now” on repeat. If Rocky V is ever on I get diarrhea and sense of nausea overwhelms my body.

In my opinion, no one wanted to see the Italian Stallion lose everything he worked so hard for in what was to be the last installment. It’s just depressing. Furthermore, listening to his whinny son, who wore that ridiculous fucking earring, bitch throughout the movie was extremely annoying. The only thing a person could mildly appreciate in Rocky V was the fight scene which was alright at its best.

Overall: D-

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nightmare on Elm Street

I saw the new Nightmare on Elm Street the other day and with all the reboots and remakes Hollywood is doing I’m puzzled by this one. What could have been a very good movie really wasn’t too interesting. It’s a shame too, because this one really had potential. First, let me start off by saying that I’m not really into the horror movie genre. It has never been my style but I respect all the classics, whether they’re from the 30’s & 40’s or late 70’s & 80’s. There were certain elements to those films that made them legitimately scary. Perhaps it was the graininess, simplicity, and suspense factor all mixed together. I was in my late teens until I saw Halloween I & II (the originals), which in the opinions of the hardcore fans is unacceptable. Nonetheless, those two films were great and to this day represent the definition of the horror genre.
With this remake of Nightmare on Elm Street none of the important factors were really there. First, they showed Freddie way too early (right in the beginning actually), which is a bad mistake because you want to create suspense for the audience. They should have started by showing how Freddie became Freddie and later on explained the reasons. Instead they showed it an hour or so into the film and it was a dream sequence of one of teenage victims. I particularly found that to be weird and annoying because how can a teenage boy have a dream of past events when he wasn’t even there or weren’t his memories? It made no sense. Speaking of dream sequences there were almost 100 of them. I know that’s the whole point of the Nightmare storyline but when every other fucking scene is a dream sequence I’m reminded of the last two seasons of The Sopranos where Tony has them every episode and it’s irritating.
As for Jackie Earle Haley, the actor who played Freddie, he did a decent job. His version of Freddie was different than Robert Englund’s, which it should have been. However, he pretty much used the same voice from his Rorschach character in Watchmen. Also, his presence wasn’t that commanding or scary. I did like the make-up for Freddie though. He actually looked like a burn victim.
At its core Nightmare on Elm Street was really just a nightmare. Very few horror films these days do the trick. Many directors and writers always go for the quick bloody kills without taking the correct time to establish a storyline and suspense factor.

Overall: D+/C-

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Movie Titan Needs Your Help!

Hi everyone! One of the movie blogs I comment regularly on is looking to hire one or two more writers. As you know this is something that I could be great at. The site is I wrote an email stating my reasons why I should be chosen. Please leave comments under this post in support of me. I have given the writer my website address so hopefully he'll check it out and see all the support. Thank you very much.

The Movie Titan

Memorial Monday: Zoolander (2001)

Summary: Screw writing a summary about this movie. If you haven’t seen it then you haven’t experienced a quality comedic movie. Just see it!

Plot (A-): The downfall and rise of the Derek Zoolander brings a lot of depth and flavor the story. The story needed its hero to experience despair so the audience could laugh harder at his attempt to reestablish his career and save the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Models have always been viewed as not the smartest of people (certainly Tyra Banks is doing a bang up job proving my point here) but in Zoolander we see that they’re complete morons. I mean, only the dumbest person in the world would wear an all white suit to a funeral and pronounce the word “eulogy” with a hard “g”…eugoogooly.

Action (B-): While there is some action at the end of the movie it doesn’t hold a candle the walk off we witness between Derek Zoolander and Hansel, who is so hot, Hansel! As Derek says to Matilda, “If you want a real look at the inside modeling world, watch this!” Never before have I seen comedic actors portray models with such a high level of seriousness as in that scene.

Acting & Dialogue (A): “Oh, I’m sorry did my pin get in the way of your ass?!?! Lose ten pounds immediately or never come back!” “Todd, are you not aware that I get farty and bloated when drinking a foamy latte?” These are just two of the many hilarious lines in Zoolander. Will Ferrell brought so much this film from his outrageous clothes to his weird bleach blond hair style. For many, he may have been the true star of the film. Ben Stiller not only showed his genius as a comedic actor but as a writer and director. He worked exceptionally well with the other actors in the film on screen but also gave them the right direction for them to shine on their own. Owen Wilson is equally as funny, entertaining, and stylish. Wilson correctly displayed Hansel as a free loving, living in the moment hippie, who is also an adrenaline junkie….pretty much the anti-thesis to Derek. Hansel’s opening line has always been one of my favorite, “I wasn't like every other kid, you know, who dreams about being an astronaut, I was always more interested in what bark was made out of on a tree. Richard Gere's a real hero of mine. Sting. Sting would be another person who's a hero. The music he's created over the years, I don't really listen to it, but the fact that he's making it, I respect that. I care desperately about what I do. Do I know what product I'm selling? No. Do I know what I'm doing today? No. But I'm here, and I'm gonna give it my best shot.” It’s like Hansel knows who he is and what he wants but at the same time he doesn’t.

Sex Appeal (6): There’s not really any sex appeal in this movie except for the beautiful Christine Taylor.

Director (A-): I never envisioned Ben Stiller as a director for some reason. I initially viewed him as a person that worked better in front of the camera rather than behind. Previous to Zoolander he directed The Cable Guy. While it definitely wasn’t as impactful as Reality Bites, his previous directing gig, The Cable Guy was surely an underrated comedic film. My opinion definitely changed when I first saw Zoolander. Stiller was able to balance his roles as the director and the main star with great ease. The story progressed very smoothly and never dragged on at any point. Every time I watch the movie, I always get impressed by the arbitrary amount of stars in the film such as: Lil’ Kim, Fred Durst, Donald Trump, David Bowie, Stephen Dorff, the list goes on and on. I think it’s safe to say that directing Reality Bites definitely gave Stiller street credibility but Zoolander increased his stardom tenfold.

Overall: A-
PS. There are talks of a Zoolander 2 coming out. Nothing is official. It's still up in the air. Hopefully, they do make another one!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Piranha 3D

When I see trailers for movies like this I truly become amazed at the amount of shit that comes out of Hollywood. I'm more then sure there are hundreds, probably thousands, of scripts written by talented writers desperately aching for their piece of work to made into a movie but they can't. However, some jackass who blew the right person got this hunk of garbage to be made. It simple amazes me. What really pisses me off is the part in the trailer where Ving Rhames is telling everyone to clear the lake but they don't. The SECOND someone told me to clear a lake, or any body of water for any reason, you can be sure that my white Italian ass is getting to land, okay. I saw Jaws. I saw Lake Placid and Orca (the latter two were shit by the way). There are way too things under the water for me to test fate against, which is why those characters really piss me off, even though its a movie. Finally, screen writers and directors have been trying for years to recreate the suspense and horror that Jaws brought and have failed. Jaws was the really the first movie of its kind. Everything else has been a shitty replica.

As you can see, this movie is in 3D for some reason. That's even more money wasted!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

3D or Not 3D: That is the Question

Since the release of Avatar the 3D craze has taken over Hollywood. It seems like every other movie coming out will be in 3D. I find 3D to be very annoying. It doesn’t add anything new to a movie other than nausea. While certain animated films and movies that have a good amount of CGI are an exception to this I’m disgusted in the direction Hollywood is going. As if this studio’s don’t make millions upon millions of dollars they are now using a way to make more. Yes, I know the point of making movies is to generate money but they’re sacrificing quality. Just so you know, most of the 3D movies coming out will not have the same quality as Avatar therefore you are really wasting your money. Trust me it happened to me with Clash of the Titans. Avatar was shot with a specific type of film and technology. Most of the movies coming out now have been converted to 3D afterwards which provides shitty 3D quality. If this 3D trend really catches on, which it seems like it is, you can expect even more movies to be released in 3D that don’t call for it. If that’s the case, do you know what that really means? Increase ticket prices. As if going to the movies wasn’t expensive enough you’ll now have add $5 or so on top of what you pay per ticket. I’m sorry I think its bullshit. I know I’m not alone on this. Roger Ebert hates 3D and just recently wrote an article on it. Here are some of movies coming out that will be in 3D (for some you have the option to see it in 2D):

Shrek Forever After
Toy Story 3
Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D-was already released but who the fuck wants to see Kenny Chesney at all none the less in 3D. A 3D Kenny Chesney concert is as useless as an ass on my elbow.
The Last Airbender- could be cool I’ll admit
Step-Up 3D-Yea, because I desperately want to see the same bullshit recycled story in 3D.
Piranha 3D-not even going to touch this one.
Jackass 3D
Tron Legacy
Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 1 & 2
The Smurfs
The Green Lantern

The list goes on and on. If you’re interested in full list go to As I said, for the animated movies I don’t have an issue with that as much, but for a live action movies c'mon. Furthermore, companies like Samsung are releasing 3D TV's. Now that's too far. Do you really want to watch TV wearing those glasses all the time? Since this 3D issue is something that affects everyone, what are your thoughts on the matter?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2

Summary: Tony Stark continues to publically live his life as Iron Man…protector of world peace. Since his admission to being Iron Man life has been good for the billionaire. However, things quickly change when he finds himself a target of the US government, a Russian physicist Ivan Vanko aka Whiplash who holds a serious grudge against Stark, and his own friends. Stark finally realizes the full danger being a public super-hero brings.

Plot (B): The plot itself is interesting and properly shows the next step in the Iron Man series. Stark is not only dealing with external issues, but internal issues as well. I won’t get too specific but let’s just say the contraption in his chest, which is keeping him alive, is doing more bad than good. Stark is still the same narcissist playboy with quick one-liners as displayed in the first film. However, we come to find that Stark may have met his match with Whiplash. I only say that because Vanko proves himself to be as smart as Stark. What I didn’t like about the film was the long stretches of story in between fight scenes. I did feel that Favreau should have shown Iron Man taking on a personal mission in the beginning. Instead, he completely indulges you with egocentric Tony Stark thru and thru.

Action (A): When it was time for action scenes Iron Man 2 delivered big time! Bigger explosions, better fight scenes, and the introduction of War Machine provided solid entertainment. The culminating battle scene was very cool. Like I said, this movie isn’t dominated by action. It focuses more on Stark’s new double life and his mental capabilities of juggling them.

Acting & Dialogue (B+/B): As always, Robert Downey Jr. hit a home run. Downey was funnier in this film than the last, which is never a bad thing. What made him even more spectacular was his deeper connection to the character. Since Stark is dealing with a few personal issues he eases his mind with alcohol. Obviously, this is something Downey knows much about; therefore he put his own personal emotion/experience in that aspect of the character making Tony Stark more real. Don Cheadle took over for Terrence Howard as Lt. Col. Randy Rhodes/ War Machine. His performance was solid and spot on. While I thought Howard was a good pick for the character he never really got the chance to make it his own. This allowed Cheadle a lot of freedom to mold the character in his own way when he stepped in. Mickey Rourke played a very convincing bad guy. His Russian accent was authentic and his dedication to the character translated very well to the screen. I read that Rourke visited a Russian prison to get a better feel. Also, the fake tattoos on his body are actual Russian prison tattoos. Scarlett Johansson played secret spy Natasha Romanoff (insert Andrew “Dice” Clay voice-more like Jerkmeoff oh!) whose beauty and intelligence were captivating, but her screen time wasn’t dominate. Sam Rockwell played Justin Hammer, a rival weapons manufacturer of Starks, who was a delightful addition to the cast. He played his character with the same cocky assurance as Downey. However, his fake tan was too much for me to handle especially when I noticed the inside of his palms were stained with spray tan…fucking gross dude.

Special Effects (B+): In a movie like this, CGI is definitely needed but it was not over the top. There was a proper balance between live action scenes/fights and CGI.

Sex Appeal (6): Iron Man 2 is PG-13 so don’t expect anything. However, Johansson is so stunningly beautiful that your attention may get sidetracked for a second. Gwyneth Paltrow also looks very good in the film too, but she complains a bit too much for my taste. Take a Vicodin, sit down, and shut up.

Director (B+): I’m a big fan of Jon Favreau so I find it hard to give him anything less than a B+. He takes his job seriously but more importantly knows what should be incorporated and what shouldn’t. When you have a director who is a fan of a comic franchise and respects it people’s hearts can rest easier. The same cannot be said for that douche bag Bret Rattner. As I said before, I think Stark should have been in the suit one or two more times but it was still a good movie. Favreau is already talking about Iron Man 3. No release date has been announced but he did mention that they’ll probably introduce Mandarin as the villain just because it’s the next logical step in the story.

Overall: B+

Memorial Monday: PCU (1994)

Summary: Tom is a preppy senior high school student (pre-frosh) who visits Port Chester University for the weekend in order to see if this is the college for him. Admission’s places him into the care of James “Droz” Andrews (Jeremy Piven), a seven year college student, who leads band of social misfits known as The Pit. From their initial meeting to the time he leaves, the pre-frosh realizes that college is MUCH different from 60’s frat culture he’s imagined. Political correctness and a lack of fun have taken over the university forcing The Pit to constantly cause trouble for everyone including Tom.

Plot (A-): In my opinion, this is the best college movie ever. While Animal House was very funny for its time, PCU took the college movie genre to a new level in the 90’s. I’ll always have an appreciation for Animal House due to my father but after seeing this movie for the first time back in 1996/7 I COULDN’T WAIT to go to college. Set in a span of one day, you quickly see the type of destruction The Pit causes the entire campus. By pulling immature, yet genius pranks you understand they are the poster children of everything that is anti-politically correct. For the most part PCU showed me the absolute freedom you have in college and that everyday can be a party. Looking back, I should have failed a year or two of college just so I could have stayed.

Action (N/A): Like any Tom Cruise film there’s a lot of running.

Acting & Dialogue (A): “Excuse me, can you blow me where the pampers is?” It’s safe to say that anyone who has seen this movie more than once can quote it entirely, which is why I gave this section an A. Jeremy Piven is clearly at his best in this film. Everything he says and does is legendary. For example, it’s because of his one line to John Favreau that I, or any of my friends, CANNOT wear a shirt of the band we’re going to see. Why? Because we don’t want to be “that guy”. What that actually means, I don’t know but it’s funny. John Favreau and David Spade contribute more comedy to the film in several ways which can only be appreciated when viewed. Favreau plays Gutter, one of the social misfits of The Pit, who clearly isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Favreau rocks an overweight belly and short dreadlocks which makes his role authentic. Spade plays Rand McPherson, a preppy Reganite who leads an underground fraternity that is desperately aching to seek vengeance on The Pit. Going back to why this movie made me salivate for my college years. I did come to find certain truths in this movie about college during my four years there. One in particular stands out, which I’ll let the quote explain:

Tom: What's he doin?
Droz: He's finishing his senior thesis. Pigman is trying to prove the Caine-Hackman theory. No matter what time it is, 24 hours a day, you can find a Michael Caine or Gene Hackman movie playing on TV.
Tom: That's his thesis?
Droz: Yes! That's the beauty of college these days, Tommy! You can major in Game Boy if you know how to bullshit

This is something that is so true about college. Now, perhaps you may or may not be able to write a thesis about the extinct and primitive Game Boy, but in reality if you have a interest in a specific topic you can get away studying it. Legitimate or not. By the way, that theory of Pigman’s is true for the most part. Michael Caine and Gene Hackman movies are always on.

Sex Appeal (4): Are you kidding me? The Womynist’s would have no toleration for sex or anything like that in this film. For example, analyze this quote: Jock: What’s up babes? Womynist #1: Pack up your rape culture and take a hike! Jock: You want a brew dog? Womynist #1: We’re not interested in your penis! Womynist #2: Wait, wait. I think he’s offering us a beer.

Director (A): Hart Bochner is known more for his acting than directing. After PCU he directed High School High starring John Lovitz and Tia Carrere, which is very fitting since both films are comedies that focus on school. In my opinion, his directing abilities in PCU were amazing. He created a cult classic about the best four years a teenager can have. According to IMDB, Jeremy Piven stated that none of the actors were allowed to improvise during filming. The only line that was improvised was the “Don’t be that guy” line…which is iconic to the hardcore fans. I don’t know if that’s true but if it is you gotta give SOOO much credit to the writers. They created funny ass one-liners that will live forever.

Overall: A

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sex in the City 2: Menopause, Botox, and Dreadful Fashion

As if one Sex in the City movie was more than enough a sequel is coming out May 27. Why? Why God? Why? After seeing the trailer on TV we come to find that these over the hill women, except for Kristin Davis who is still so hot, are going to Abu Dhabi for some bullshit reason or another. Haven’t we seen enough of this particular foursome yet? I’ll admit they had a strong run on for several years on HBO, but even after a while it got so repetitive. They were always unsure of what or who they wanted that after a while it all sounded like blah blah blah blah. I only hope that due to the intense heat that it caused some of their Botox to leak out. Before I concluded, what the fuck is up with this picture? Kim Cattrall looks like she’s about to be mummified with that outfit on. Cynthia Nixon looks like those huge multi-color circular lollipops. I hope they all fell several times in the desert and found it difficult to wash the sand out of their vagina hair. Don't act like it doesn't happen ladies!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Release Date For Batman 3

On Monday a release date for the third Batman film was revealed by Warner Bros. We can expect the final installment to Christopher Nolan's trilogy on July 20, 2012. Even though there is a release date there is still no official title or plot line. There are no hints to what either will be only speculation by fans and critics. The highly secretive Nolan has always worked this way, even for his upcoming sci-fi film Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio. By doing so Nolan creates a high amount of anticipation among followers.

Nolan’s brother Jonathan, and David Goyer, will return as writers. Therefore we can expect the same type of quality as The Dark Knight. As for who the villain(s) will be that is also uncertain. We already know that Nolan will not go with Mr. Freeze or Killer Croc because that goes into the fantasy comic direction where characters have super-natural powers. Nolan has always stated his goal was to keep his Batman franchise as real as possible. I have no objections with that at all. Keeping it real is something that has made this series so interesting and different from other comic movies. While the writers have several other villains to pick from the top contenders are probably The Riddler, The Penguin, and Catwoman. Rumors are going around that Johnny Depp may play The Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Penguin. I’m not as sure about Hoffman anymore since that was a few months ago, but there is still a bit of buzz regarding Depp. I think they should go with The Riddler because we’ll really see Batman’s detective solving skills and Depp would do a very good job (not to say Hoffman wouldn’t). I can only assume that they will keep the two villain combo. If that is the case I would like to see The Penguin as well. However, they may put Catwoman in there to serve as the love interest since Batman’s love, Rachael Dawes, is now dead. Honestly, this movie can go in any direction. Up until the release people will still question if this new one could measure up to the legendary status of The Dark Knight.

With all the uncertainty there is one thing that is. This film will complete the trilogy and we probably won’t see Nolan making another one. A fourth film would make the franchise too commercialized which is something Nolan despises. Furthermore, he always envisioned his work as a trilogy. If by chance that were to happen you can expect Nolan to call every single shot. He’d have so much power he could literally walk into the executives offices at Warner Bros. piss on their desks, marking his territory like my damn dog does in my house, and leave smiling.

As I mentioned above there is no title for this project. I read on another blog that Gotham may be the title. Who knows really? They could call it The Caped Crusader, but I think that’s too much like The Dark Knight since it’s a synonym. Maybe The Gotham Detective? What do you think they should call it? All I do know is that this film is already highly anticipated and 2012 couldn’t get here quick enough.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Memorial Monday: Bad Santa (2003)

Summary: Two thieves pose as Santa and an elf in a mall so they can rob the department stores on Christmas Eve. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton), who poses as Santa, is a dead beat drunk who can’t get his shit together and has a obession with women and anal sex. Marcus (Tony Cox) is the midget (is that the PC term…ah fuck it) who poses as the elf and is the brains of the operation. While they usually don’t run into problems during their scams this Christmas proves to be very different.

Plot (B+): Let me start of by saying that I love this movie! It’s so damn funny and I think it caught many viewers by surprise when it initially came out. You have to admire the creativity of the writers. Not only did they make a funny film but they made a funny raunchy film centered on the jolliest holiday. What really made this movie standout were two factors: 1) the shit stain of a life Billy Bob Thornton’s character leads, and 2) the Kid, who according to the main characters, is a fucking pathetic loser. You’ll find yourself laughing throughout the entire movie but don’t be surprised by the vulgarity. This is definitely one of my favorite Christmas films due to the fact that it’s so unconventional.

Action (B): Does kicking and punching other people the balls count? I think so.

Acting & Dialogue (A): Anything Thornton, Cox, or the Kid say or do screams brilliance in regards to the writing. Thornton’s character is a deadbeat alcoholic dickhead who has no filter when's speaking to other people. For example, analyze this comment as he fornicates with heavy set woman in a dressing room, “Yea baby! Yeah baby! You're not gonna shit right for a week.” Santa’s callous personality coupled with Marcus ‘sarcastic remarks make them an indomitable comedic team. Bernie Mac and John Ritter are also in the film. Both have minor roles but are funny, especially Ritter. The innocence and political correctness his character adds is a twist to the dirty dialogue. Sadly, this was the last movie he starred right before his death.

Sex Appeal (7): There is an unrated version called Badder Santa and I can’t remember if there are any nude scenes in it. However, in both versions do see Lauren Graham in nice lingerie moaning in a harmonious rhythm, “Fuck me Santa! Fuck me Santa! Fuck me Santa!”

Director (B+): Other than Bad Santa, Terry Zwigoff hasn’t directed anything of real value. However, you don’t need to be Spielberg or Scorsese to make a good movie. In my opinion, the well written story and acting allowed this movie to be a hit leaving Zwigoff with little to do.
Overall: B+

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Actor of the Month: Natalie Portman

Why: After just recently watching Brothers Natalie Portman is an actress who has quietly dominated the movie scene. Her abilities are vast. Her beauty is flawless. Her movie picks are smart. Natalie Portman stormed onto the movie scene when she was just 12 years old in The Professional (aka Leon), which also starred Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, and Danny Aiello. The Professional is an excellent movie where Portman shows her natural skills at such a young age. What always intrigued me about this movie was Portman’ level of maturity and understanding. She realized that her character took no shit from anyone and was forced to grow up within minutes due to her families brutal murder. I have always hoped and thought they should make a sequel to The Professional and just call it Matilda. Portman followed The Professional with a minor role in Heat but her biggest role was in the prequels to Star Wars. Although, it wasn’t the best acting on her part but being part of the Star Wars franchise definitely elevates your credibility and future paychecks. In 2005, Portman starred in V for Vendetta, which is my second favorite role of hers (first is The Professional). Much like in The Professional, Portman’s character in Vendetta endures so much pain and turmoil from external elements it forces her to become stronger. She showed her dedication to the role during the emotional sequence of her characters breakdown culminating with the shaving of her head. (By the way, she looked beautiful without hair.)

Natalie Portman isn’t a blockbuster actress. She doesn’t feel the need to accept every script that comes her way. Her ability to pick quality films that have deeper meaning signifies her intelligence. She has a unique talent for authentically displaying emotions in her characters when needed. For reasons such as this I award the May’s Actor of Month to Natalie Portman!