Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Green Hornet Trailer

I've added another trailer to the group...The Green Hornet starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Tom Wilkinson, and Christoph Waltz. I was never really got into The Green Hornet as a young kid. I've seen some of the old episodes which starred Van Williams and Bruce Lee which were entertaining. Since there was never a updated version of the story it never really caught on as strong as other comic book superheroes for me at least. After watching the trailer I'm not too sure what to make of the film. I feel that it falls directly in the middle of being very good or very bad. From the looks of this trailer it seems that everyone took themselves seriously but not too seriously.

Little Fockers Trailer

Ben Stiller has returned for the third installment of his Fockers series. The same cast is brought back as you can see except for Dustin Hoffman. Also, Jessica Alba and Harvey Keitel are the new additions to the story. Personally, I'm a bit hesitant about this film. The first one was great and the second was pretty good. However, Ben Stiller has been playing the same type of character for the past decade now (Tropic Thunder and Greenberg excluded). I'm looking for something different than I've already seen. Step out of your comfort zone Ben. Don't get me wrong I'm not trashing this movie and who knows this one could be good. We'll just have to wait and see. Check out the trailer section to watch it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Layer Cake (2004)

Summary: Daniel Craig plays a mid-level cocaine dealer living in London who is going into early retirement. However, he is asked to do two jobs by his boss before he sets out to live the quiet life. As a result, he is taken on a whirlwind of chain events leaving him with 1 million tablets of stolen ecstasy to sell. All of sudden he's now caught in the crossfire…

Plot (B+): The film was based on the novel written by J.J. Connolly who also wrote the screenplay. You always have to be a bit careful when a book turns into a movie because a lot is changed most of the time. I don’t know in this case because I didn’t read the book but since Connolly wrote the screenplay I’m more than sure he kept it as true to his novel as possible. To get a general understanding of the film I would say Layer Cake is the Ocean’s 11 of drug movies where there’s one guy out of a group who is the brains of the operation. The story is very interesting but somewhat confusing due to all the names and subplots going on. If you were to see this movie a second time it would be easier to follow. Much like a typical Guy Ritchie film everything comes together in the stunning and unexpected ending. I highly suggest seeing this film. It's funny, entertaining, and original.

Action (B+): As in any drug movie there is always violence. What you see in Layer Cake is not drastically different but still very good. Gun shoot outs, bullets in the head, brutal beatings etc etc. My favorite part was when one of Craig’s friends beat the fucking shit out of a guy. It appealed to me because of the way it was filmed. Rather than filming it in the traditional manner, this time the viewers see through the eyes of the victim during the course of the beating. We experience what he experiences such as hearing his bones break and the lack of sound due to dizziness and spells of unconsciousness. I thought that was very original and not often seen in movies.

Acting & Dialogue (B+): Daniel Craig is exceptionally smooth in this movie. He has a strong command over his role much like his character has over the situations he is put in. Just like George Clooney’s Daniel Ocean in the Ocean series, Craig is always three steps ahead of every other character in the story. He has the ability to look at all the different angles of a situation/problem and find a solution. In essence, he’s a clever businessman and a damn good one. Craig narrates throughout the film which allows for viewers to form a closer bond with his character. Such a connection is immediately made right from the beginning as Craig describes his job and his rules for playing and surviving the game. If you have noticed I haven’t provided the name to Craig’s character. I am not doing this intentionally it’s just never spoken throughout the story. Any quote you are to find by Craig from this film would simply be labeled as XXXX. Sienna Miller (G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra) has a relatively small part in this film but I felt that she really stood out. Her English accent was spot on and not overly accentuated like Jake Gyllenhaal’s in the Prince of Persia, which sounded like nails on a chalkboard. As for the other actors in the film they too did a great job. I’m not going to name them because they are not mainstream actors but their contribution to the film shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Sex Appeal (7): Seeing Sienna Miller’s side boob when she’s changing into a seductive lingerie outfit was exceptionally pleasing to my eyes.

Director: This was Matthew Vaughn’s first film he ever directed. Before the film was released in 2004, I don’t think he knew he just directed a movie of such high quality. Vaughn did an excellent job with this film and I would be very proud if I were him. He was exceptionally creative and added a distinctive style to the film by meshing two scenes together. For example, as you are watching one thing happen there are quick cuts to a different in descriptive scene that is about to come up. Vaughn also incorporated a good soundtrack, which flowed nicely with the story. A quality soundtrack is always an added bonus to any film. Recently, Vaughn directed Kick-Ass and if you can remember that review I spoke highly of him then. Vaughn’s next project will be X-Men: First Class, which is expected out in 2011. After that, he will direct the sequel to Kick-Ass. I thoroughly look forward to these future projects.

Overall: B+

Friday, June 25, 2010

Size does matter...

Forget the picture of Kristen Stewart pretending to not be a constant emotional train wreck and let us focus on the other one. It looks as if Robert Pattinson is looking down at Taylor Lautner's dick in sweet anticipation of things to come. I bet you this was the exchange between the two during the photo shoot:

Lautner: "You like what you see?"
Pattinson: "I do. Someone is going to make me gape later on tonight."
Lautner: "Suppppperrrrr!!!"
Pattinson: "Super indeed!"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Trailer-Conviction

In the trailer section you'll find a new addition to the list. The movie is called Conviction and it stars Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2) and Hilary Swank. This is a true story of a loving sister who decided to go to law school and represent her brother who was accused, arrested, and sentenced to life in prison for a murder.

This film looks very good. Rockwell is actor whose talent cannot be measured. For the majority of people he flies under the radar, which is a crying shame. As everyone knows, Swank is also dynamite with two Oscars to her name. The combination of their talent and presence will be interesting. Juliette Lewis is also in the film. Lewis is a versatile actress with a wide amount of experience in comedies, dramas, and thrillers. As I said, this film looks very interesting. Release date is October 15 and directed by Tony Goldwyn (the guy from Ghost who betrayed Patrick Swayze's character).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Meet the new Prof. X and Magneto for X-Men: First Class

A few weeks ago, James McAvoy (Wanted), right picture, signed on to play a young Professor Charles Xavier for the new movie X-Men: First Class. Now the Michael Fassbender (300, Inglourious Basterds) has signed on and will play a young Erick Lehnsherr/Magneto. Fassbender had the choice to play either Magneto or The Lizard in the new Spider-Man reboot. I am very happy he chose the role of Magneto because there are more options to come out of it in the future. X-Men: First Class will focus on Xavier and Lehnsherr as young mutants who dream of a better tomorrow for mutants and humans but ultimately split ways. An official plot hasn't been released but you should probably expect the original X-Men class to show up at some point in the film.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Monster Squad Remake

The 1987 cult classic The Monster Squad is being remade by Paramount Pictures. Paramount has just signed cousin screenwriters Mark and Brian Gunn to head the project. This new film will be directed by Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Daylight, XXX) who also produced the original. Therefore, this remake is in good hands if you are worrying. My only hope is that Cohen doesn't go crazy with the CGI. I would prefer to see very little CGI for that matter. What made the original so great was its simplicity and its dedication to traditional horror movie characters in terms of how they were depicted. I do not want to see a CGI Wolfman or Frankenstein. I want people to actually play these characters. Let us hope that this remake will do justice to our beloved original. Finally, let us also remember one important thing...Wolfman has nards!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The A-Team

Summary: Four Army Rangers make up an elite team called the A-Team who specialize in covert missions. They simply are the best of the best. Headed by Col. Hannibal Smith the team must retrieve a set of stolen US currency plates used to print money. Upon retrieving the plates the A-Team is set-up by a rival mercenary group and sent to military prison. Instead of spending their time in behind bars the A-Team breaks out in order to recover the plates in hopes of clearing their name.

Plot (B): What I really liked about the movie was seeing how these four guys first met each other. The first fifteen minutes is dedicated to that and it’s filled with fast pumping action. Immediately, we see the chemistry between each of the characters. In between the action scenes the story is laid out for you and it’s pretty easy to follow. All the traditional elements of the show are in the movie such as: the theme song, the montage of planning and building things for their mission, and of course the van. Overall, the film definitely lived up to the 1980’s TV show and it was a fun action movie which I found very entertaining. I could be a bit more descriptive but this is an action movie and I see no need to bore you with critiques. If you’re an action fan and fan of the series go see this movie your inner child will thank you.

Action (A-): This is what it’s all about when you’re talking about The A-Team…action. If you watched the TV show you know what I’m saying. This A-Team, just like the 80’s A-Team, never disappointed me. They were always three steps ahead of everyone else and the shit they were doing was very crazy. Yes, some of it falls into the zone of being ridiculous but it was still cool to see. I mean I’ve never seen characters in any other film free fall in a tank and use the missiles to suppress their landing in a lake. Indeed that was outrageous but it still was cool shit. The combination of live action stunts and CGI was properly balanced. I’ve read reviews that said the CGI was over the top in the last act. I see where these people are coming from, but hey, it’s an A-Team movie so who cares. One of best parts of all the action scenes was not the action itself. Instead it was watching these characters have fun during their missions/adventures. Rather than being super serious during their missions there was an undertone of comedy which allows people to enjoy the film more. It may be hard to understand how these characters can laugh in the face of death time and time again but these guys are not right in the head so it kind of makes sense.

Acting & Dialogue (B+): For me, this is where the movie really shinned. Each actor accurately portrayed their character and it was such a pleasure to see. As I mentioned above, the chemistry between each of these actors really showed and it added to films overall fun level. By far, the star of the film was Sharlto Copley (District 9). He played the whacky/crazy Murdock. Copley’s dialogue with everyone, but especially with B.A., was very funny and extremely refreshing. I look forward to anything he does in the future. Liam Neeson played Hannibal with same confidant swagger as George Peppard did in the TV show. Neeson was a proper choice for this role because he plays the role of elderly Colonel with style and authority. Bradley Cooper played Face and I felt that he added a little more arrogance to the character more so than Dirk Benedict did in the 80’s but it worked very well. As usual, Face is the pretty boy in the group who can’t help himself from fucking any good looking woman with a pulse. Let us not forget Quinton “Rampage” Jackson who played B.A. Baracus. Although he played a good B.A. who exhibited all of the traditional traits Mr. T brought (except the excess of gold chains and a feather earring) I did feel that Jackson toned down the character a bit. I always remembered B.A. as a person who was in everyone’s face and that wasn’t there so much in the movie. Don’t get me wrong Jackson did a good job but I felt he didn’t let it all hang out. Maybe this is because Jackson said that “acting makes you gay” and didn’t want to put himself entirely into the role (that’s not a joke he actually said that). Lastly, there was Jessica Biel who truly provided nothing to this film other than her pretty face. She served as a former love interest to Face who was tracking down the A-Team. Watching her try to be all tough and macho really fell flat and was not believable at all.

Sex Appeal: N/A

Director (B+): Joe Carnahan has not directed that many films in his day. In fact, he’s only directed six (The A-Team included). However, this should not suggest he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I’ve only seen two of his other films, Narc (2002) and Smokin’ Aces (2006), both of which are good especially Narc. Carnahan seems to like to take on projects where there are twists to the story and I have to say I really like that about him. He knows how to handle such twists in the story. As a result, it keeps viewers on their toes forcing them to think about what has happened even after the credits roll. While The A-Team does fall into that category Narc and Smokin’ Aces accurately represent his style.

Overall: B/B+

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Terrible Thursday: Larry the Cable Guy Health Inspector (2006)

Can someone please tell me what’s funny about this guy? Is it a southern red neck thing because I seriously don’t understand? Don’t get me wrong I’m not making fun of southerners or red necks per se. I just don’t find his humor amusing at all. Okay, so he had that stupid catch phrase “Get-r-done” which lasted five fucking minutes but I don’t even know what it means. What or who am I supposed to ‘get done’? I honestly want to know what moron said, “Hey, let’s give Larry the Cable Guy a movie. He has mass public appeal right now and it’ll be funny.” Uh, the guy is not an actor he’s a comedian…a mediocre one at best. Plus, why should he get a film? Was he that popular at the time that a movie was truly needed? Now I’ve never seen this movie before and I don’t intend too but I know shit when I see shit and this ladies and gentlemen is a mountain of steaming hot shit. Here is the summary from IMDB:

"Irreverent as ever, Larry The Cable Guy plays a big city health inspector who's happy with his usual beat of greasy spoon diners and low-rent ethnic restaurants. His easygoing life is turned upside-down when he's saddled with a straight-arrow rookie partner (Iris Bahr) and assigned the biggest case of his career: investigating an outbreak of mysterious food poisonings at the city's swankiest restaurants. Infuriating restaurateurs with his bad manners, Larry still manages to charm a sweet, shy waitress (Megyn Price) into a budding romance. But when his unorthodox methods cost him his job, Larry has to go undercover to bring the conspirators to justice and 'Git-R-Done!"

Do you know what this movie really is…besides shit? It’s a miss-mosh of poorly written scenes acted out by people who have C-List status if that. There’s no meaning or true direction to the film and therefore it serves no purpose. Look, I’ve seen my fair share of films that are crappy and found enjoyment from them but this is a different type of film. I wonder if the producers/studio made their money back…probably not. This movie and it’s so called “star” is a dingle berry on a dogs asshole!

Overall: F (and the F also stands for fucking pathetic)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Memorial Monday: Clerks (1994)

Summary: On his day off, Dante gets called into work at the convenience store. With the utmost reluctance he goes into work. What starts off as regular day quickly turns into hell and forces Dante to question everything in his life.

Plot (A): What I’ve always loved and respected about Clerks is its simplicity and rawness. Not every movie has to have A-list stars with a huge budget and elaborate special effects. Clerks is a movie which proves that a well written story supported by edgy actors/character is more than enough. There are several connections people can make to this movie but there is one which we ALL share. It’s safe to say that the majority of people in this world hate their job in one form or another. Whether it’s the stress, the hours, or the lack of money everyone bitches about it. However, I don’t think there a person who hates their job more than Dante. While his life isn’t really that terrible he believes no one has worse luck than him and he has no problem letting everyone know about it. With the blunt philosophic advice and comments of his best friend Randall Dante feels even more trapped in his life. As a viewer, it’s crucial to understand that Randall’s skewed view of the world may sound extreme and weird at first but after much thought there is a deeper meaning in what he says. It’s like, in some bizarre way, he’s the person you would want to talk to if you had problems in your life. He’ll make you feel like shit but you’ll learn something about yourself from him. This is just one element that signifies the greatness of the Clerks plotline and the character of Randall. I would go as far to say that Randall was the unaccredited voice for the movie and the generation it influenced.

Action (N/A): Does roller blade hockey on top of a roof count for anything? Or how about fighting with your best friend in the convenience store?

Acting & Dialogue (A): “My love for you is like a truck, BERZERKER! Would you like some making fuck, BERZERKER!” “Did he just say “making fuck”? There are countless quotes such as this which makes Clerks an amazingly funny and highly creative film. As I said above, this film did not star any well known actor. Each person was as green as the weed Jay and Silent Bob sold in front of the store but they all provided one of the best performances of their careers. Speaking of Jay and Silent Bob who could ever forget their performances, granted Kevin Smith had only one line. However, it was really Jason Mewes’ Jay whose vulgarity and random bursts of nonsense who elevated this film to another level. If you don’t know what I mean take a look at these two separate quotes of Jay:

“I feel good today, Silent Bob, we're gonna make some money, then you know what we're going to do? We're gonna go to that party, we're gonna get some pussy, and I'm gonna fuck this bitch, I'ma fuck this bitch, I'll fuck ANYTHING THAT MOVES! Yo, what the fuck you lookin' at, I'll kick your fuckin' ass! Shit yeah. Doesn't that fucker owe me 10 bucks? You know, fuckin' tonight, we're gonna rip off this fucker's head, and take out his fuckin' soul. Remind me if he tries to buy something, I'm gonna shit in the motherfucker's bag. Hey, what's up baby? What's up, sluts?”


“Yeah. Silent Bob, you’re a rude motherfucker, you know that? But you're cute as hell. I could go down on you, suck you, line up three other guys, make like a circus seal. Ewww, you fucking faggot, I hate guys. I LOVE WOMEN!”

See what I mean. Underneath the clever and comedic commentary lies the genius writing of Kevin Smith. I don’t know what was adlibbed and what was actually wrote but it all made sense. The dialogue in Clerks is the most integral part of the film. For the most part, the story focuses on Dante and Randall. We see how they engage in deep conversations about a variety of things but they’re all interesting. Whether its Dante’s personal life, Star Wars, or work everything is connected.

Sex Appeal (N/A): “37! My girlfriend sucked 37 dicks!”

Director (A): Clerks was Kevin Smith’s first real directing gig. It was and still is his baby. With barely any money (almost $50,000, more than half was spent on gaining the rights to the songs) Smith made a ground breaking, cult classic which influenced other writers and directors of his time. Smith would go on to create other classics such as Chasing Amy, Mallrats, and Dogma. However, none of them could top the legendary status Clerks immediately attained. A huge fan of movies himself Kevin Smith knew what he was doing from beginning to end and it is clearly visible in his work. In 2006, Smith made Clerks II. Initially, many thought that was a very risky move and would never live up to the first film. While it definitely wasn’t better Clerks II was a worthy sequel which stayed true to the essence and tone of the first film. It brought the characters full circle and Smith was graciously able to put to rest the story that him famous.

Overall: A

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Actor of the Month: Paul Rudd

Why: If you’ve been watching HBO lately you would have noticed that Paul Rudd is dominating that network. Two of his movies are playing non-stop, Role Models and I Love You, Man. A few months ago Forgetting Sarah Marshall was on every HBO movie channel as well. Rudd has a laundry list of comedies which are all very impressive such as: Wet Hot American Summer, Anchorman, 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Reno 911!: Miami. The guy knows how to pick his roles. He has never seriously ventured out into other genres. For the most part he has stuck with comedies because that’s what he’s good at. The times he did star in a non-comedic film, such as The Cider House Rules, he performed greatly. As we look at his career who would have thought the guy from Clueless would now be one of Hollywood’s funniest actors today? His delivery is impeccable. His genius is greatly admired and respected among his peers. Writers, directors, and producers all want to cast him in their films because Rudd is the type of comedic actor who brings his characters to life. By doing so he leaves an everlasting impression on the audience. Rudd is also known for his writing capabilities as well as his acting. He wrote the screen play for Role Models and is one of the writers and producers for the hit T.V. show entitled Party Down on Starz. I highly recommend that show if you catch it. It’s hysterical.

I thoroughly look forward to anything Paul Rudd does in the future. You can always expect him to be different, fresh, but most important funny. I would like to leave off by quoting Rudd's character, Chuck, from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. These words of wisdom can help anyone in need or those who are lost in life, "When life throws you a bag of lemons just say 'Fuck the lemons' and bail." Therefore, for my month of my birth, I award Paul Rudd the Actor of the Month!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Les Grossman Produces the MTV Movie Awards

Not that either the MTV Video Music or Movie Awards mean anything check out this commercial for their Movie Awards. This was good thinking on their part I'll admit that. Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder is balls to the wall crazy. He's so vulgar and I love it!

Nolan Confirms No Joker for Batman 3

Since the release of The Dark Knight people have been wondering if the Joker would return for the third Batman film. In a interview Nolan gave to Empire Magazine on his upcoming film Inception he was asked that question and he firmly stated "No." Rather than elaborating his reasons for not bringing the character back he stated, "I just don't feel comfortable about it." In my opinion, this isn't surprising in the least. Even if Heath Ledger didn't die I doubt Nolan would have brought him back for the third movie anyway. Nolan refuses to be a type of director that gets pigeonholed into certain things thus taking away the essence of the story. I believe Nolan has always had an overall vision for the Batman story and the Joker was just one part of it. As for which villain the Nolan brothers will bring in next has still yet to be determined but you expect the Clown Prince of Gotham not to show up in Batman 3.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

I saw the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time the other day and I decided not to write a formal review for it. Typically, I’ll write an informal review for only the films that suck but I feel like being different with this one. The Prince of Persia wasn’t horrible. Being a big fan of the video games I knew the type of movie I was walking into. The film was filled with acrobatic actions sequences on behalf of Jake Gyllenhaal’s character Prince Dastan. There was a proper balance between CGI, live actions stunts, and real set designs which are all things I appreciated since the director could have totally dominated this film with CGI.

My issues with this movie stem mainly from the cheesy dialogue combined with the poor English accent of Gyllenhaal which irritated me like a dry handjob. I don’t understand why there is a need for the characters to speak in an English accent. The setting is in fucking Persia not England. No one in the Persian Empire spoke like that so I don’t understand why English is the go to accent. (In reality they didn’t speak English but that’s neither here nor there) For some reason that is the direction the writers and director decided to go in, so whatever. I would have had less of problem with this movie if Gyllenhaal spoke regularly. As I was watching his performance it was difficult not to focus on his overly accentuated tone. I don’t know why the director didn’t say to him after the first scene, “You know what? Fuck the accent. All the vocal lessons in the world couldn’t help you. Speak in your regular voice and let your acting stand out.” Kevin Costner saw no need for an English accent when he was in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. While it was slightly awkward that his character spoke differently than everyone else it worked and it allowed audiences to enjoy the film. As for the rest of the cast in the Prince of Persia, they were all from the United Kingdom so at least they weren’t a problem. However, the cheesy dialogue was. I shouldn’t really have expected anything different since this film is coming from Disney. Like a majority of Disney films everything was wholesome and finely tuned and lacked elements of rawness. I can at least say that the first two Pirates of Caribbean do not fall into that category. Those movies were done with style. I hated the third one.

In summation, the movie could have been better. Personally, I would have done things differently especially the ending. There are two more parts to the story so sequels are possible. If so, you should expect darker films, especially the second one, which will be filled with uncertainty, peril, and death. I hope they don’t fuck that up.

Overall: C-

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ben Kingsley's Makes Fun of Heidi Montag

Last week, a short video was released of Heidi Montag. She made an audition tape specifically for Michael Bay for a role in Transformers 3. I found a clip on the George Lopez Show which shows both. This is too funny! I hate you Heidi Montag and your creepy flesh colored beard husband.

Terrible Thursday: Kazaam (1996)

I'm going to keep this short and sweet. The main actor in this horrible piece of shit movie is Shaq. I'll say it again...SHAQ! In the movie he screams, "I am...KAZAAM!!!" upon making his entrance. What he should really be saying is, "I am....THE WORST ACTOR IN THE WORLD!!!"

Overall: F

Solitary Man

Summary: Ben Kalemen (Michael Douglas) was a man with everything. He had a successful car dealership business, a loving family, money and happiness. This all changed when his doctor told him there were some irregularities with his heart. Too scared to go for the test and find out the results Kalemen immediately decides to live life to the fullest. Fast forward six years later, Kalemen is divorced, dead broke, seen as liability in his line of work, and a chaser of 19 year old girls. Instead of sugaring coating life’s little lessons, his personal thoughts on people and their situations, Kalemen is now as blunt and real as they come. What you see his is struggle.

Plot (A): This is an indie flick that is very good and I highly recommend it. It’s sad and depressing but funny at the same time. While you find out the reasons for Kalmen’s method of madness and self-destruction you will still wonder why. He had everything in life but he was too scared to face reality and therefore fucked it up…purposely. He spends his days trying to get his career back on track but cannot seem to do so due to the lies he has told. When he isn’t trying to finagle his way back to the top Kalemen is chasing young girls or seeking a form of therapeutic help from his daughter played by Jenna Fisher.

Action: N/A

Acting & Dialogue (A): Michael Douglas is phenomenal in this film. Part of his character reminds me of his Gordon Gecko character from Wallstreet without being an overly greedy sleezeball. As I wrote above, Kalemen sees no reason to lie to people about themselves, their situations, and even himself. His skills as a car salesmen allow him to read people immediately and call them out on their bullshit. As I was watching this movie I saw a connection between Douglas’ character and myself. I too refuse to be anything but myself. I say what I feel even if it’s vulgar and blunt. The majority of the time it’s done with a touch of comedy but it’s still me. If you know me then you understand. I even try to let my honesty and genuine demeanor come across in my writing. If something is great I’ll tell you, but if something is shit you’ll know just the same. I see no reason to sugar coat things or to be fully PC. The only difference between Kalemen and myself is that he does it at the expense of hurting the ones he loves and I don’t. Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Jenna Fisher (The Office) Jessie Eisenberg (Zombieland), and the beautiful, sexy Mary Louise Parker all play a strong supporting cast for Michael Douglas. Each character they portray play a significant role in Kalemen’s past and present life.

Sex Appeal (6): Somebody wanna tell me when Susan Sarandon tits got so damn big? Although you don’t see them her cleavage is presented quite nicely and hard not to notice.

Director (B+): Solitary Man was directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levian. Both worked on the 2001 film Knockaround Guys, which I heard was shit. I really liked their chemistry and felt they told an excellent story. We’ve all seen movies where men are suffering from a mid-life crisis and feel they have to do certain extreme things to regain a sense of youth. While this film doesn’t walk off that particular path the directors were able to show the absolute extremes a man would go. What I didn’t care for was the ending. (Since this film is limited to major cities I feel that I can express my thoughts about it.) I’m starting to see a trend in Hollywood with these ambiguous endings and I’m not liking it. While in certain cases it works, such as The Wrestler, I would have liked to see an end result with Douglas’ character.

Overall: A-

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Is Mike Myers the New Eddie Murphy?

Two weeks ago Shrek Forever After was released and so far it has made $43.4 million. While that is not too shabby by any means I started to wonder if Mike Myers has lost touch with his roots. Today it seems that Myers now sticks to kids movies. Granted the first two Shrek installments were funny and original. He made a shit load of money with those films and I give him all the credit and respect in the world. However, I felt the franchise lost its steam by the third and he kept hacking away at it. Whatever happened to the Mike Myers from the 90’s and early 2000’s? I’m talking about the type of comedy that was edgy and creative like in Wayne’s World I & II, So I Married an Axe Murderer, even the Austin Powers franchise. Each of those films and characters were so funny that I almost get sad when I think of Myers today. Those characters took on a life of their own outside the movie theater and became ingrained in American pop culture. I mean who doesn’t quote Wayne’s World or an Austin Power’s movie? Yes, Shrek is equally part of American pop culture as well but that fat ogre will never live up to Wayne or Dr. Evil in my opinion.

Even though Myers has had small roles in non kid films such as, A View From the Top and Inglorious Basterds, he hasn’t truly delivered and they are few and far between. Is it appropriate to call him a sell out? Five to seven years ago I would have said no. Today, yes. Myers has followed in the footsteps of another SNL star who once had the comedic golden touch but lost it. Eddie Murphy was a revolutionary comedian. His films were funny and his stand up was raw. Then all of sudden, he consistently starts to take on these kids movies thus disowning his heritage. Now I’m not saying all of his non-kid films are something to rave about certainly Vampire in Brooklyn is a shining example of pure shit. However, The Nutty Professor was smashing success and that wasn’t targeted for kids necessarily. Look, don’t get me wrong. I understand why people like Murphy and Myers agree to do kiddy movies. It’s less risky and a guaranteed paycheck. However, what is the risk of going back to your roots and giving the people what they really want? Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so.

When I think of these two actors I can’t help but think of a quote from Conan the Barbarian. (Yes, I’m going to make a connection to Conan right now) There’s a scene where King Osric says to Conan, “There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a father's love for his child.” Forget the last part about the fathers love for his child, but focus on the beginning. At this point in their careers when is it enough? Money can’t buy happiness or laughter. Granted some parts of Shrek are funny, but not as funny Beverly Hills Cop or Wayne’s World. After a while of doing the same stuff it all becomes recycled bullshit and a prison they are encased in.

The Messenger

Summary: Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) is a war hero who has survived scrap metal explosion and is no longer fighting the war. For the remainder of his service he is assigned to notification duty where he must report the deaths of soldiers to their next of kin. Sgt. Montgomery works under the supervision of Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson). Capt. Stone has experience in this area and quickly lays down the ethical ground rules for the job. After notifying a wife that her husband has been killed Sgt. Montgomery violates the rules by becoming involved with the widow due to his sense of compassion and his own need for love.

Plot (A): There are several sides to war which society is accustomed to seeing whether it’s in a movie or on the news. The brutal battles, the explosions, the rescuing, and of course the death are all things society is familiar with seeing in one way or another. However, there is something we never see. Something that is so personal and heartbreaking that it’s difficult to recreate in a movie. When a soldier dies in combat, another solider(s) is given the difficult task to notify the family. This is what you see in The Messenger. This film is an emotional rollercoaster. Although I cannot speak from experience I would have to imagine that next to fighting in battle notification duty is the hardest job a solider could have. While there is no physical danger the emotional trauma can sometimes be too much to handle. In The Messenger you see how differently Sgt. Montgomery and Capt. Stone handle such emotionally fragile moments. While I highly recommend this movie it may be too hard to watch if you have a family member in the military. (The film setting is in New Jersey and was shot in several NJ towns)

Action: N/A

Acting & Dialogue (A): Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, Alpha Dog) is a star on the rise. This is one of his best performances and it is so moving. Although Fosters character breaks protocol he provides family members with sincere emotions of sympathy and regret. He understands their pain all too well. Do not be surprised if you see Foster nominated for an Oscar in the future. He is actor that flies completely under the radar. Woody Harrelson is equally as powerful in this film. Harrelson depicts Stone has the complete opposite to Montgomery. While he too understands the sudden shock and pain these family members are experiencing he is very robotic about how he carries out his job. Harrelson shows the audience that his character has experience but he refuses to put any emotion into the job for the risk of his own sanity and sobriety. Harrelson’s performance was so astounding that he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar this past year. When this movie was out in theaters I read that Harrelson and Foster did not have any interaction with the actors who played the family members. When the two leading actors came knocking on the door it was the first time they were meeting. I’m not sure if that was their decision or the directors. However, the purpose of this was to recreate, in some molecule of a way, what it would actually be like. The reactions are extremely authentic and it’s difficult to watch at times. One father throws up while another father (Steve Buscemi) spits in Harrelson’s face. During the course of this film I found myself to be an emotional mess. Although I didn’t cry I became extremely agitated when the disc started skipping for some reason. This is a film that is not supposed to make you feel good. However, it is story that makes you aware of the tragedies that go unseen in life.

Sex Appeal (8): Two minutes in there are some boobs and again 15-20 minutes later. That was the only bright side to this story.

Director (A): The Messenger is Oren Moverman’s first film as a director. What a way to make a first impression. His direction in the film was flawless. At no point was the film slow or lacked improper character development. Moverman understood the complexity of the film and the level of seriousness it depicts. I’m going to leave it at this because I know somewhere in the United States some family is being notified of the death of their loved one and it’s too difficult to get my head around right now.

Overall: A