Saturday, December 31, 2011

Slam your doors in Golden Silence!

Well, I decided to end the year with quite possibly the most baffling movie I've ever seen, 1967's Play Time. I do consider myself basically obsessed with film, but this might've been more than I was looking for. I had read a glowing review of the striking imagery and overall cleverness of director Jacques Tati's "film." I thought I had to check it out. I don't think I would've made it alone, so I brought along/dragged my sister (the consummate team player) into it with me.

Since I'm typing this as my wife and in-laws are celebrating New Years (I'm stuffed and taking a breather), I'm going to keep the final entry of 2011 as brief as possible. I will say that I was really into the first twenty minutes and then....Well, then, things took a turn to the artistic. And by artistic, I mean mind-boggling Frenchiness.

Since there aren't any characters (let's be honest), no real story to follow or any important dialogue, let's just break down the decades-old French madness into bite-sized Truffles, oui?
I was still very excited and curious at this point.
  • I don't think there are any close-ups. Honestly, most people don't even need faces.
  • It's like a ballet at times, with people entering and exiting the frame in a slightly hypnotic rhythm. And just like being at a ballet, I started to glaze over and think of something stupid, like video games or kicking stuff.
  • The scene where we watch people living their lives in glass apartments was cool for the first 15 minutes. It's as interesting as it is just frickin' strange. I'm sure it gives film professors √©rections. Yes, I Googled that for authenticity.
  • The restaurant portion? I don't even know where to begin. It seems like it lasts forever.

    Monsieur Hulot can't catch a break.
    Look, I'm not a complete idiot. I actually really appreciate how Play Time is unlike anything else I've ever seen. That's cool. 
    The idea that we are more concerned with the future and progress than appreciating the accomplishments of the past was cleverly portrayed. And, there are some really genius gags sprinkled throughout. Just not enough. Supposedly, you'll discover more and more of them as you rewatch the film. Really? Pardon my French, but no f**king way that's going to happen.

Friday, December 30, 2011

That's it. Next time I get to seduce the rich guy.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to explain to me why everyone likes this movie. Your explanation should be overly long and complicated and have gadgets that while awesome, really would only work in one situation (I'm looking at you, Mars rover). Oh, and during your explanation, I want you to go to three different countries, simply because you can. Failure to complete your mission simply means that you are reasonably intelligent and attractive. Yes, you must be sexy to attempt any of this.

I rarely make guarantees. Last night, I promised my sister that she would enjoy Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. She hadn't seen any of the first three, but I swore to her it wouldn't matter. It's just going to be kick ass spy stuff and explosions. She called Father Flem, and we rappelled to our local cinema.

A few things first. I really like Tom Cruise. I do. I have enjoyed, to varying degrees, the first three Mission: Impossible movies. So don't think my hatred of this is based on any irrational anti-Scientology nonsense or whatever. This movie just isn't good. It's not flat-out awful, no, but it is definitely not worth the hype. I might have had a decent time if this was critically panned, but 93% fresh? Ridiculous. Almost makes me second guess myself. Almost. But then I remembered thinking that if I had had a watch (do they still make those anymore?) I would've checked it a hundred times. Or, once every time things started to drag between action sequences.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's the dress code for the end of the world?

I wish the power had gone out in the theater.
I had a plan. My sister and I were going to double-feature it tonight. First up, was The Darkest Hour. We had both heard that it wasn't any good, but it was the only movie we could make and then see something else (presumably, a good movie). On our way out the door, my wife asked me what time we would be back. When I told her in four hours she made that face. The one where her mouth says it's okay, but everything else on her face says bullshit it is. 

Speaking of bullshit, that's exactly what this movie is. I think my sister nailed it in our post-movie wrap up. She felt like this entire movie exists because someone thought up a handful of clever scenes (her actual number was three, but we could only come up with one). If you've seen the trailer, trust me, you're good. You have seen everything in the ballpark of interesting. Yes, a dog gets attacked. Why I found that intriguing baffles me. Now, I just find it infuriating.

You know what? I'm done. I'm going to punch it in the face for a few minutes and then I'm going to bed. How about a top ten list? Perhaps a baker's dozen?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad I'm not hung like a bear.

You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight.
My sister is in town and we decided to watch one of the movies she bought me for Christmas, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. If you're reading this, then you're probably aware of the buzz surrounding this flick. While I think any degree of anticipation generally works against a movie, Tucker & Dale delivers. Mostly.

The premise is genius in its simplicity. Take the typical horror-movie hillbillies and make them the good guys. In turn, have the college kids play the bad guys. Simple enough, right? Well, yeah. But that doesn't make it any less impressive.

This movie excels despite the fact that you can see just about everything coming. What isn't predictable, is how simply perfect Tucker and Dale are as characters. Especially Tyler Labine as Dale. This is his movie. Damn near everything he says is delivered in a way that'll charm you. The guy is the kind of person that you'd want to be friends with. That's not to say that Alan Tudyk doesn't completely kick ass as Tucker, he just doesn't get the screen time that Dale does. And he's not a fat guy with a beard. Those guys always get bonus points. It's pretty much a rule.

Friday, December 23, 2011

What happens if I say no?

Do you think his shower is golden, too?
When I was six or seven years old I played on a soccer team. We were the Pirates. We had orange and black uniforms and I wore number 9. Awesome, right? Well, not quite. I have little to no memory of any game action, but I do remember this one incident. We were getting a drink at the water fountain after practice when this weird kid on my team (he "spoke" in odd grunts and mumbles) grabbed my hand and placed it under the panel on the front of the water fountain. I remember being really surprised this kid was touching me and then being horrified when my finger was sliced open on this jagged shard of metal somewhere in the inner workings of the fountain. The kid mumbled some sort of satisfaction and I just quietly freaked out as the blood spewed from my finger.

Great story a-hole, but what does this have to do with tonight's flick, The Devil's Double? Well, that sadistic bastard was my coach's son. Even at a young age, I felt at the mercy of that relationship. How I could tell the dad that his son was a psycho? Surprise! I couldn't.

So, take that story and multiply it by a billion, make it actually relevant to more than one person on the entire planet, and you have something resembling the plot of The Devil's Double. Well, not at all, actually. But still.

If you're still with me, the plot concerns itself with the true story of Latif Yahia. Latif was a loyal Iraqi who was hand selected to be the body double of Saddam's son, Uday. If that doesn't sound frightening enough, turns out Uday is a complete trainwreck/nightmare of a person. I know, I thought he'd be a stand up guy, too - but, gasp! - he's a real douche. Coke-fueled and intermittently cocksure, Uday routinely picks up his ladies at local high schools or weddings. Their weddings. This is a person you simply must oblige. No matter how horrible the request is. For example, at his birthday, Uday wants everyone to get naked. Everyone. Not cool, man. Not cool at all.

When Uday snaps, it can get crazy. Like, slicing Achilles crazy.
I've gone on way too long to not mention Dominic Cooper. His performances as Uday and Latif are remarkable. They are two very distinct personalities and Cooper plays off himself effortlessly. Seeing one become the other is intriguing and undoubtedly worth the price of admission.

Before I go, I want to mention the patriarchs in this one. Obviously, Saddam is a bad customer whom you simply don't want to piss off. Oh, he might be having a blast playing tennis with his double. But embarrass the family and he's liable to cut your di*k off. And while I thought Latif was a badass, it turns out that the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Check out the cajones that his Pops shows at the end. Frickin' awesome.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great Snakes!

Damn. I went to the movies tonight. An opening-night, theatrical showing in eye-popping 3D, no less. That's good news, right? Well, it turns out that I was exhausted. Like, borderline delirious. Things started out smoothly, but then I became this hyper-fidgety madman (I think I changed my seated position over a hundred times). I'm rambling, but there's a point. Take any information and criticism with a grain of salt. I left hating this movie, only because it was attempting to keep me from jumping aboard the Sleepy Town Express.

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson came together to bring The Adventures of Tintin to the big screen. I hear that this is based on a truly-beloved comic book character, but that means nothing to this simpleton. I wasn't concerned about authenticity or anything like that. With Spielberg and Jackson involved, I would have been there for a Shirt Tales movie.

I realize it's Wednesday, but does it bode well that only four other people were in the theater on opening night? Probably not, as York, Pennsylvania is not quite the burgeoning metropolis it claims to be. I know. Shocking. I should probably go again, but I think I would have to sneak in after seeing something else. I don't feel like I missed that much, but who knows? I actually thought that it was over two hours long, but that's because I was incapacitated due to drowsiness.

Okay, I'm stalling. I hate this. I think every movie deserves a fair shake, and Tintin isn't getting one. That said, here goes...

Regardless of what I may have missed, I know this: the animation is breath-taking. It now feels like we are on the verge of being able to have computer animation so realistic that Tom Cruise will be able to star in Mission: Impossible 68 thirty years after his death. Tintin's characters are indeed stylized with exaggerated features, but sometimes even that can't hide how damn realistic everything looks. The 3D makes it even more impressive. I probably said this to a nine-year old version of myself after watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but, where do we go from here? Then I asked myself, how did Roger land such a smoking hot chick?

Frost and Pegg play Thomson and Thompson.
Since the story gets a little fuzzy for me near the end, I feel like I should let that dog lie. It's not exactly brain surgery regardless, but it does get a bit convoluted (especially when you're blinking for 45 seconds at a time). Basically, the ultra-inquisitive Tintin gets caught up in a web of double-crosses and generational grudges while chasing clues hidden in model pirate ships. And this quest will take him on a video-game like adventure. Water level? Check. Creepy mansion? Check. Sand level (running's so difficult!)? Oh yeah. We even get Motorcycle Challenge, Plane level, and Pirate Ship Battle. I swear we were a Lava Level and an invisible wall away from true 8-bit bliss (although I guess they might've been in there...dammit). Sweet.

Now I realize that I may seem as if I didn't like this movie. That's not true. It moves at a breakneck pace. The set pieces are ridiculous in size and scope and there's nothing the camera can't do. The scene in the street with all the passing cars stands out, but that may be just because it was early on, before I was in a mild coma.

My dog has never saved me from a propeller-induced beheading.
Before I go (I'm stunned you're still here), I want to mention Tintin's dog, Snowy. For some reason, I thought I was going to hate this character, but he turned out to be pretty awesome. True, he probably should have died eleventy-billion times, but I really liked this pup. He's exactly like my dog. Well, except that Snowy's smart. And helpful. And he cares about his master. And he's not constantly licking his junk. Other than that...

Thanks for reading this ridiculously bad entry. Seriously, I feel like I let the team down tonight. Now, I must wear the cone of shame.

I do not like the cone of shame.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

You know, he's just a little boy. Little boys fight. Doesn't mean he's going to grow up to be a frat-boy rapist.

Do people still wear Crocs?
I really like Paul Rudd. I think the guy epitomizes understated brilliance. Tonight's flick, Our Idiot Brother, continues the roll that he's been on lately - just not as much as I thought it would. I convinced myself that this movie would slay me, but like Rudd's character Ned, it just kind of strolls along and does its thing.

Ned is a good dude. He believes in the best of people and assumes that if you are positive and treat people fairly, things will work out. Unfortunately for him, the world doesn't necessarily agree with that outlook. Ned routinely gets himself in trouble just trying to help. But outside of one incredibly frustrating game of charades, Ned just keeps on keeping on.

This movie is therapeutic in a way. I find myself often wrapped up in negativity and mired in worry and doubt. I think it comes with my profession. Anyway, following this guy around shines light on being positive and just rolling with whatever comes your way. Granted, Ned is by all professional accounts a loser and a vagrant - but as a person, he's a pretty enlightened dude. The only thing bringing this guy down is his lack of face-time with his pup, Willie Nelson.

I think I'm going to start flashing the sideways thumbs-up.
There are a few laugh out loud lines and situations here, and most of it comes from Rudd's delivery. Though it was in the trailer, this exchange floored me.

Omar: I just figured, looking at your sheet, that since you sold grass to a uniformed police officer that you must be retarded.
Ned: Yeah, I get that a lot.

That may not be in the vicinity of funny written here, but the exchange really embodies the whole plight of Ned. And seriously, who could sincerely acknowledge that and not sound the least bit annoyed, sarcastic and/or disappointed? A guy who's most himself when he's hanging out with a 7 year-old boy, that's who.

Bottom Line: I'd say if you like Rudd, give this one a spin. It has a very good cast (his sisters are all legit) and a nice message. And, I think that Janet's boyfriend, the big hippie-dude, may take the gold medal for best ex's new boyfriend ever. Dude just wants to help...
As for the poster... claiming that every family has an idiot brother? Well, my family has four boys, so the odds are that we do, too. Shoot, I think we only have one that isn't an idiot. And I'm not sure who it is.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I. Deserve. To die.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Nic Cage, Nicole Kidman and even director Joel Schumacher have all been at some time in their careers relatively legitimate and/or bankable. But last night's film, Trespass, is an alarming sign that things aren't what they used to be. I mean, in 2011, I made more money in the United States than this film did. And I'm a teacher. At a charter school. [for the record, this one raked in just over 24k at the box office]

W-w-wait a minute. Where's Ice-T?
Do you like shouting? I mean, screw talking ever, and let's-just-scream-at-each-other-always type of communication? If you even considered that worthless question, this might be the movie for you. Outside of the first ten minutes or so, Trespass is basically a house full of people yelling constantly. It does add some occasional tension, but it also gets aggravating. It's like that kick-ass YouTube compilation of The Wicker Man, except not as cool. Oh Cage, you crazy, inconsistent, cracker.

Speaking of, Cage has three modes in this movie: 1) Slimy/Douchey Businessman (characterized by fast-talking lunacy) 2) Rage-Filled Monster (heavy on the shouting and the spitting, here) and 3) Guy Who Just Wants to Die (lots of crying + a dash of shouting about just killing him already). I think if I drank, I could have had an absolute blast watching this. Unfortunately, I was very sober and just kind of saddened by the whole thing. Not only has Cage lost his ability to be subtle, but he basically looks like a circus freak, too. Look up at that poster. Scary. Just, scary.

It can't be all bad, right? Right. For starters, Nicole Kidman is still pretty sexy. I liked her as the bored -yet totally hot and rich- housewife. I did. And to be fair, as ridiculous as things get, the story moves quickly enough that it is relatively entertaining, even if it's in a so bad it's awesome kind of way. But as my man The Wolf once so eloquently put it: Well, let's not start sucking each other's d*cks quite yet. Here's a small (yet tasty) sample of the awful:

You're on a need-to-know basis... and you don't need to know.
  • The kid at the party the daughter goes to? Almost out-douched Cage. Wrap your head around that possibility.
  • Robbing a house? Here's a tip. Don't assemble the worst crew ever. Especially Druggie McSlutface. She's a bit of a wildcard.
  • Shittiest Employee of the Month Award: Goes to Security Dispatch Lady. Good God was she terrible.
  • Cage sporadically manhandles some of the intruders. Um, no. Not buying that. I'd take one-handed Moonstruck Cage before this iteration.
  • I have a lot of money. I have to hide it. Let me think of the least practical place ever created on Earth. Oh, and let that place be the location of the final fiery showdown. Sounds like a plan!
I know, I lied to you. I said I would stop watching crappy movies. My bad. Oh, hey - my sister just got me two kick-ass horror movies for Christmas: Tucker and Dale vs. Evil  and Pontypool. Awesome, right? What's that? You didn't get me anything? It's okay, baby.

There's still time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Azreal? Are you dead?

If you dare scroll down and look at the movies I've been watching lately, you might think that I really like either a) torturing myself or b) watching complete piles of shit. While neither of those are entirely true, I think I've figured out why I'm seeing so many lackluster movies. Run-time. Yep. Since I watch most of these damn flicks so late at night, I've been choosing the shortest movies available. Yesterday, I managed to watch a movie in the daytime. Good news, right? Well, not exactly...

From left to right: Idiot Smurf, Mexican Smurf, Papa Smurf, Katy Perry Smurf, Braveheart Smurf and Douchey Smurf.
A bit heavy on the Smurf ass, no?
Somewhere in my internet travels, I had read a glowing review of this movie. Honestly. I must've really worked for that because the general consensus is that this movie sucks in a big way. I had read a lot of "" comments and that "Hollywood was officially run out of ideas". While I somewhat agree with the latter, the former is definitely overstating it. Yeah, The Smurfs is essentially terrible, but let's be honest. Outside of the top-tier animation studios, 98% of all flicks aimed at kids tend to be cinematic abominations.

First, all this "they're raping my childhood" bullshit has to stop. Most things we loved as kids tend to really suck once you subtract the nostalgia factor. Yes, I rolled my eyes when I first saw the trailer for this one, but seriously, who gives a shit? I can't think of one thing from my childhood that they could remake or re-imagine that would truly upset me. They've pretty much taken a shot at everything (G.I Joe, Transformers, TMNT and even Inspector Gadget) and while most did indeed suck ass, I'm cool with it. Now mess with Jem, and we might have a problem. It's showtime, Synergy.
The ol' butterfly net. Classic.

Anyway, because I know you're dying, let me break it down into some Yays and Boos! Cool?
  • Hank Azaria, as Gargamel, kind of rules. Mostly because he uses his Professor Frink voice routinely, but he really gives this one a go. And damn it, why is he so jacked?
  • I would totally do either of them.
  • Sofia Vergara is proof that there is a God.
  • Their eyes are scary. I mean, like, I'll-do-whatever-you-say-scary. 
  • Of all the Smurfs to choose from, I feel like we got ripped off. No Handy? Really? That guy is like the cornerstone of Smurf society. Him and Jokey. He brings a lot to the table.
  • There was a dick joke in here. Unacceptable. If we're going to amuse the adults, then I want to see Smurfette's boobs. It's only fair.
  • Twenty-one minutes. That's how long you entertained my son, Smurfs. And that's simply not good enough.
  • Not sure if this counts, but my wife actually said aloud (rather disgusted, no less), "They aren't even three apples tall." Then, I smurfed her.
  •  Speaking of domestic violence, my wife is the one who put the disc in the PS3. And you know what? She played the DVD! What-what-whaaat? I haven't watched a DVD willingly since 2006.I want Vanity Smurf in his HD glory, or frankly, not at all.
Hey, Winter Break is approaching us shortly. I pledge to watch better movies. Shit, I might even watch a foreign film. One that has an incredibly girthy run time. I got it. Red Cliff. Both parts. Hell. Yes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

When this is are you.

Parkour, you lied to me. When you were in those Nike commercials? You were cool. District B13? I had a good time - thought we were friends. But Friday night, you took advantage of me. You called yourself Freerunner, and you, sir, are a real piece of shit. In fact, I hate you. Oh, and let's just put it out there: you're not even a real sport.
Explosions! Guys, um, flying. Radical! 
At least they're not on a roller coaster, I guess.

Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking. I got this movie via an online trade and for some reason, I thought it would be entertaining. Stupid? Yeah, I expected that. But unreasonably shitty? Nope. Didn't see that one coming.

I know, whatever you just called me in your mind (or aloud) - I deserve that.

Initially, though it was cheesy, the video-game style introductions were interesting enough. Once we know the characters, the basic conflict is thrown our way. What is it, you foolishly ask? Eight guys must run, I mean, use their mesmerizing parkour skills to collect three flags placed throughout the city. And for some reason, people seem to like watching these races and even bet on them. It's funny, during the races, they'll cut to the audience watching online - and those bastards are loving it. They are having at least 900% more fun than we are. Whatever. Occasionally a guy does a flip over something and you think; that's cool, but it'd probably be faster if you didn't bother with the floor routine, asshole. At least I did.
At least the blonde lets the girls breathe for a minute.
Screw this. This movie is so worthless, it's unfathomable. But let me take a minute to examine the worst of the worst. Starting with...
  • The script. Everything is so thoroughly explained it's offensive. I'm surprised the writers didn't include a note in the blu ray case detailing how to play the disc. And then there's...
    What's funnier than a head explosion? Nothing.
  • The Main Bad Guy. Cliches must have been on sale that day. Not only does he smoke a cigar, but he has a large, black bodyguard, too. And this guy? Dude's bald. And, and, has an eyepatch. He also surrounds himself with titties. Bad ones.
  • You're racing down an alley and there's a person crouching in the road. Run around them? No way, bro. You do a front flip over them. Extreme!
  • Sweet zombie Jesus! The rich guys who bet on the final race? Each guy is more stereotypical than the previous. Factory Owning Japanese Guy! Oil Tycoon/Southern Douche! Uppity British/Potentially Gay Guy! Frenchman! Jersey Mob Scumbag! Where's Pirate Man and Rap Guy when you need them? 
  • And their acting abilities? Shockingly, not good. They simulate typing by wiggling their fingers mostly off camera. It hurt my life. For real.
Well, damn. It's almost two-thirty. My hate is subsiding and turning into indifference. That's when it's time to  shut it down. If you want this movie, just leave your e-mail address in the Comments section. It's yours. Otherwise, I'm going to see how far I can throw it. And then? Then I'm going to do a back flip next to it. Parkour!

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's going to be very hard to unsee that.

I hate this so much I actually love it.
Even if you already have, look at that poster over there. I mean really look at it. Holy shit, right? Imagine that hundreds of people went to work everyday to make that. Then imagine that I actually watched it. And spent money on it, too. Okay, it was thirty-two cents, but still. I probably would have had a better time if I'd have simply eaten the coins used to Redbox this one. I imagine my ass would have felt the same either way.

Look at it. Seriously. Look at that poster. That actually exists. You want to know what's even crazier? In the movie, they don't even go on a motherf***ing roller-coaster.

Okay, I might be overselling it, but Zookeeper really does suck. I know, surprise! I wanted to give it a shot not only so I would have a Z movie on the review index (and this truly is a Z-movie), but I thought it would be something that I could watch with my son that wasn't a certain Pixar movie that will remain nameless for the time being. Here was the pitch:

Matty: Whatchoo watchin', Daddy?
Me: The Monkey Movie. You want to watch it with me?
Matty: Nooooo...I don't want to watch the monkey movie. I watch Cars 2!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pies for everybody. Everybody. Everybody gets pies.

Of all the things to hate in this world, some people have seemed to settle on Tom Cruise. I don't get it. It's cool if you don't like his movies, or um, you think he's a weirdo or whatever. Fine. Enjoy that. But hate him? Refuse to see any movie he's in? Bash the guy incessantly? I can't do it. He's simply in too many kickass flicks.
What would Les Grossman say about this one?
Now, if I'm going to knock the guy at all, it seems that he's playing Tom Cruise: Action Star in more than a couple of his movies. Last night's, 2010's Knight and Day is certainly guilty of this. Perfect hair, sweet shades, sexy lady and of course, mad skills on the ol' crotch rocket, Cruise does his thing as he's done numerous times before.

Despite this, I couldn't help but having a good time. He seems so comfortable in the role, you just sort of surrender to the absurdity and enjoy it. It's frickin' Maverick, man. Maverick. Or do I have to go Cole Trickle on you? Because I will.

Friday, December 2, 2011

What would you do if you knew you only had one minute to live?

This past February, Adam Sandler and his crew released a film called Just Go With It [review]. Two months later another movie came out that should have had the same title. Instead, they opted for Source Code.
Did you ever watch Quantum Leap?
No? You damn kids. You know nothing.
Actually, if there's a movie that is actually similar to this one, it's the Bill Murray comedy, Groundhog Day. What that means is we are going to find ourselves, along with the main character, reliving the same scene over and over. Murray had to get an entire day right, where our guy Jake Gyllenhaal only has to handle eight minutes.

If you've seen the preview, a lot of the surprises are revealed. In fact, the INFO button on my remote contained a decent-sized spoiler, too. C'mon, maaaan! I wasn't too upset honestly, but you might enjoy the film more if you can manage to go in completely blind (I guess it's too late for that, huh?). Oh well.

What I did flat-out enjoy was the performance of Jake Gyllenhaal. He's so damn earnest. I got a kick out of his relentless pursuit. He may have his doubts, but he simply won't let that derail the mission. And as things progress and his confidence grows, his arrogance/determination jump off the screen. Imagine knowing everything that's going to happen in the next 8 minutes and you could be pretty badass. So much so that you might land yourself a very beautiful lady-friend.

I took your advice. It was good advice, thank you.
And that, friends, brings us to the super-lovely, Michelle Monaghan. She has the unenviable task of not only saying the same lines over and over, but wearing the same clothes, too. Her character is revealed to us in 8 minute chunks, but each time she is sweet and endearing. I've pretty much been in love with her since Mission: Impossible III. 100% Fact: We both appeared in the same quickly-cancelled CBS drama. Though I'd bet you a dollar that she got more screen time than I did.

Awkward pathetic crushes aside, I really don't know what to make of this movie. Overall, I would say there are more positives than negatives, it just didn't kick my ass like I thought it would. The ending is incredibly crucial and I felt like it left me with more questions than answers. It didn't warp my fragile little mind like some flicks (Inception, anyone?), but at least it made sense in a muddled sort of way. Jeffrey Wright (who was the f**king man in Shaft) plays the architect of the whole thing and I swear every word he said was intentionally confusing. At the end of his speech I wanted to say: At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. 

It's about to get hot in here.
What I will award points for, however... 
  • It's like a videogame. You screw up. You start over. You have infinite lives. Game on!
  • Our man Colter, is quick. His second time in, dude found what he was looking for. I would've wasted that turn trying to make out with Monaghan. At least touch a boob.
  • Jumping out of a moving train is glorious. Yep.
  • Vera Farmiga. You sexy bitch.
  • Punching someone in the face is always a good time. Unprovoked? Oh, that's a great time.  
Bottom Line: At 93 minutes, I say risk it. Come back and explain the ending to me (please). Personally, I preferred the director's other film, Moon, much more. Great ending + Multiple Sam Rockwells = Good stuff.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What do you think I have down there? A gnome?

And she's got the most incredible body too...
It's weird. Watching high school movies now doesn't necessarily remind me of my own high school days. I now imagine myself of the parent of a high school student instead. Granted, my son is only 2, but it seems I'm closer to his teenage life than mine. Yeesh. Depressing.

What is the complete opposite of depressing, is last night's flick, Easy A. I don't know if we'll look back on this one like classic teen movies such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club, but trust me, this one certainly deserves it. Awesomely aware of the movies that I just mentioned, Emma Stone delivers a performance that will cement her as the ultimate hot-yet-attainable movie chick. Like a much cooler Sloan Peterson...

Obviously, this is Stone's movie. She's been solid in movies like Zombieland and Superbad, but she rules here. She delivers every witty line like she just thought of them. Nothing forced, just pure awesomeness. She's like a dude. A very sexy dude.
...and a pair of titties that make you want to stand up...
 Here's a challenge for you. Find a cooler set of movie parents than Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson. Don't bother. It's impossible. Not only are they both great actors, but they lend such credibility to Olive being as cool and smart as she is. Maybe you won't buy their brilliance as easily as I did, but I loved them. Their openness and humor will be the blueprint for my parenting approach. Yes. Movies will govern how I raise my children. Especially flicks about teenagers getting it on. Logical.

...and beg for buttermilk. Ass like a ten year old boy!
Also kicking ass are the supporting players, too. Thomas Haden Church plays the teacher I want to become in real life, Mr. Griffith. Penn Badgley plays the guy I wish I was in high school, Woodchuck Todd. And finally, Amanda Bynes plays the girl that didn't exist in my school, the uber-religious Marianne. All three a tad cliche, but you'll like them. At least the guys. Bynes' is kind of a bitch.

Random Thoughts Before I Call It...
This guy would know what movie I'm quoting.

  • Is Don't You (Forget About Me) the best soundtrack song ever? Uh, yea. It is.
  • You have a fat guy. He's sad. He's shirtless. Does he have to be eating a candy bar, too? C'mon, now.
  • Why are gift cards so funny? Autozone giftcards especially. And, T.J. Maxx, too.
  • Hey, movie. Thanks for teaching me trollop. I use whore waaaay too much. Nice.
  • Quizno's Guy? Stellar.
At the mention of reasonably delicious sandwiches, I'm out. As they say in Canada, take it Easy A.
      Not only did I just write that, I'm not going to delete it.

      Saturday, November 26, 2011

      It's no Slurpee.

      Dude, that's what you get for going outside.
      Could I have survived that? What would I have done? Those two questions are what I asked myself over and over again while watching last night's film, 127 Hours. By the way, the answers are No way in Hell and Died a lonely death, in case you were curious.

      James Franco is an amazing actor. If anyone ever questions him, ever, they simply need to watch this film. I know he kind of goes all Hayden Christensen-wooden at times (see: Spiderman trilogy), but the Oscar nomination is completely earned here (Colin Firth won it). Not that you ever get a chance to, but you can't take your eyes off him. Riveting. The conversation/interview he has with himself is brilliant (so is the editing).

      Why all the Franco love? Well, this movie is like a small-scale Castaway. Besides the chance encounter with the girls and occasional flashback, this one is all Franco, all day. If you don't like the guy, you should keep your distance. Though really, this is the film that'll sway you. Or Pineapple Express. He owns in both.

      Scooby-Doo, where are you?
      The other star of this movie is one of my top five directors, Danny Boyle [The rest of the list in no particular order is Fincher, Abrams, Tarantino, Scorsese, and the Coens]. Oh, that's six? Whatever. Boyle has made some of my favorite movies in the last 10 years or so and this is another stylish, outstanding effort. The pace, the visuals and the energy that this film exudes are all top-notch. Considering we're trapped with Franco for 94 minutes (he gets stuck 17 minutes in), this film flies by.

      If you don't know the ending, or haven't figured it out - you might want to stop reading. You also might want to lay off the ganj, because you're kind of an idiot. This is based on a true story, so um, he kinda has to survive. The drama is still there, but it isn't too shocking. Well...

      I'm still alive, only I'm very badly burned
      Hold up. There are a couple of moments that even if you're told about them, will floor you. First and foremost, the arm. You know it's coming (especially if you can do division), but it's insane. I shudder even thinking about it. My wife missed about seven whole minutes because she couldn't handle it. How someone who has had an entire person exit their body can get squeamish during a movie is beyond me. Though to be fair, I was in the room and actually saw my son being born and I still was pretty grossed out by the arm-severing. Hmm.

      Friday, November 25, 2011

      What went so wrong in your life that you ended up educating children?

      I think police officers must get tired of seeing their profession dramatized over and over. Maybe lawyers, too. But as a teacher, I feel that the list of films that highlight the profession isn't incredibly long. In fact, our main character, Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) probably shows all of them to her 7th graders. Stand and Deliver, School Ties, Dangerous Minds - hell, she even shows Scream. She defends herself, saying "In a lot of ways, I think that movies are the new books."  That's not true - at all, but it's probably closer than any of us would ever care to admit. So, am I a Bad Teacher? Well, depends who you ask...

      Despite (still) being pretty hot, Diaz wouldn't get away with 90% of the shit she pulls in this movie if she were a real teacher. I know, I know, it's a movie! But the same way I'm sure that cops roll their eyes repeatedly watching something like Bad Boys, I struggled to fully buy in at times. Eventually, I said screw it and went along for the ride. And yes, I've had a thing for Cameron from the minute she appeared onscreen in The Mask (frickin' 17 years ago? Goodness).

      Ranking awesomeness? I'm going Segel, Timberlake then Diaz.
      Okay, so you don't give a damn about any of that do you? Fine. You have two questions, don't you? Here are the answers: Yes and gigantic. Your questions were Is this movie funny and How big are the breasts that I'm going to see while watching it, right? Oh, they were about something else? Well, I'm sure the answers still apply. 

      Best Cameron Diaz character? Tie: Mary or Natalie Cook.
      Pretty much from the first minute we see her, Diaz is the hugest bitch alive. She sneers at everyone and can't go two sentences without cursing or being rotten. It's funny, but at times you think that she isn't attractive enough to overcome her shitty attitude. She does, of course, and any inkling you get during this one will inevitably come true - it's that predictable. Though, I really didn't see the dry-humping scene, um, coming. Awesome.

      Still, the best scenes for me came from seeing parts of my professional self on screen. For example, there's a scene when she's grading papers that was taken directly from everyday of my life. True, I've never written are you f--king kidding me? on a student's test, even though it may have crossed my mind once or twice. Or nineteen thousand times.
      If I haven't convinced you to check this one out by all this pointless rambling, check it out for any of the following reasons:
      • TV Stars! Cam from Modern Family and Ms. Beiste from Glee show up. Classy.
      • The use of the word, Fagatron. Also classy.
      • The scene in the men's room! "Holy f---, I thought she was never going to leave.
      For the record: I watched the unrated blu-ray, so the naughty bits may have been a bit more naughty then if you caught this theatrically. Just sayin'...
      Hope your Thanksgiving went well. Don't leave your house tomorrow. Not worth it. At all.

      Wednesday, November 23, 2011

      Witness Hell.

      Well, alright. After my last theatrical experience was a little, um, girly, I decided to renew my man card and check out something a little more ass-kicking. No wolfboys. No pale-faced Gap models. Just countless guys being slaughtered in boner-inducing slo-motion. Yes kids, I'm talking about Immortals.

      When I got to the theater tonight, I had a coupon for $3 off my ticket. Poor ticket-lady couldn't handle punching in the numbers and just printed out a free ticket and went back to texting. So, while reading this, please keep in mind that I paid nothing. At that point, I'm already giving it a B, and I haven't yet seen a Titan have his head smashed into a wall. Just a disclaimer, if I seem too joyous.
      Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.
      The plot is simple: Bad guy wants to be a god. Gods aren't cool with this. One man has the power to change this, but he just wants to keep to himself. Too bad, holmes. A hot oracle chick, flower intact, has had a vision. It's on you, Theseus. Good thing you're jacked. And pissed. And your trainer? He might be the Ancient Greek equivalent of frickin' Yoda. Lots of cryptic advice + secret ability to tear asses in half.

      Though I found the plot serviceable, it really doesn't matter. I hate to be that guy, but tonight I wanted blood. And though I stick to the fact that there wasn't enough action, when it occurred it was indeed ball-splattering. Yeah. Ball. Splattering.

      Before I jump into this, let me actually defend the 3D. Most of this was shot in 2D and converted in post, but the director and the cinematographer planned it that way. They weren't simply going for the cash grab (well, maybe they were). Regardless, I thought it brought a lot to the visuals, which are downright incredible at times.
      I'd ask you to sit down, but you're not going to anyway.
      Since it's late as shit and I have to give a test in less than 8 hours, let's break it down into the oh my goodnesses and the really's?

      Oh my goodness!
      However lame this looks, is exactly how badass they are.
      • The prologue looked very cool in 3D. Though the Titan's box-thing looked like a gay bar in the year 5000.
      • Let me enlighten you, Priest. Mickey Rourke: Master of the double entendre.
      • I think when you behead a guy, you are obligated to kick his body off of the highest cliff. It's like, courteous.
      • Oldboy tongue removal! High five on that!
      • First Theseus rampage? Like Christmas morning. I was that giddy.
      • I could watch the gods fight for the rest of my life. It's like the best videogame ever made in the history of mankind. Times ∞.
      • Pre-tunnel speech + tunnel battle = Yes.
      • Costumes? And the Oscar goes to...
      I imagine this might interfere with your peripheral vision.
      Really, Immortals?
      • Trees are cool and all, but in the foreground? Always? Seems showy.
      • Hey, I have this hyena. Interested? What can he do, you ask? He can growl. Yep. Oh, and snatch magical bows like a motherf----r. Sold!
      • And speaking of magical bows...that's where you hid it? Thanks, Mom!
      • What happens when the most powerful tidal wave in the history of the world hits? Nothing to the good guys. Well, hold on. They did get dirty.
      I might start cranking out the reviews soon. Only because I'm going to lose my job in the morning. Solid plan, Mr. Brown. Staying up til 1:27.

      Sunday, November 20, 2011

      Hurt people hurt people.

      Writer/Director Noah Baumbach has produced some great work. Tonight's flick, Greenberg, doesn't make that list. The film has a few moments, but overall, like the main character, I found myself consistently looking for more. Though, I wasn't a douche about it.

      Basically, Greenberg is about this slightly older guy who can't figure out what he's doing in life. He's holding on to some stuff in the past and he's completely unsure about his future. Oh, and he recently suffered a nervous breakdown. And he was once in a band. That's it.

      Ben Stiller may deliver an excellent performance, but his character is lacking many redeeming qualities. He's painfully awkward and when it comes to the ladies, and the guy is a prick. The initial um, sex, scene with Florence sums it up perfectly. I gave my wife the really? look at least twice during that one.

      The only thing Greenberg earns points for is that he takes care of a sick German Shepherd throughout the film. Seriously. Maybe you smarter kids out there can explain the symbolism to me over Dr. Pepper's one day, but I think it was the only thing that kept me on this guy's side at all. He actually had a little compassion for the pup. Otherwise, he came off as a jerk with a bad haircut and no license.

      Here at Globo Gym we're better than you, and we know it.
      Where it did turn around for me, was the scene where Greenberg does coke with all the hipster kids. That scene was very cool. I enjoyed how he ridiculed the mindset of youth today. Shit, I'm 32, but twenty-somethings grew up in a completely different world than I did. And somehow think they are better for it. Sorry, cool-kids. Not by a long shot. Bastards.

      All that said, when are you officially not cool, no matter what? Forty? Fifty?
      Shit. It's not age, huh?

      It's when you have your own movie blog, isn't it?

      Saturday, November 19, 2011

      No measure of time with you will be long enough. But we'll start with forever.

      Everybody has things in their life they say they will never do. Me? I will never type ell-oh-ell in a text (you see what I did there). I will never kiss a man (on the mouth). I will never get hooked on meth (again). And, I will never see a Twilight movie (ever). Well, three outta four ain't bad.

      So, how the Hell did a badass mofo like me end up at The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1? Simple. A friend of mine wanted to go and she had nobody to go with. Being that I often find myself solo at the movies, and I already had clearance, it was win-win. Well, almost. We happened to choose seats where the worst people alive were in earshot. Seriously, people. Shut your mouth, phone and while you're at, ass. If this were 1950 would you have had a flashlight and a typewriter? 'Cause that would have been marginally less annoying, you rotten bastards.

      So, about the movie? Well, let me quote one of my all-time favorite movies, The Big Lebowski. Walter, played by John Goodman, says this to Steve Buscemi:

      So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

      This is how I felt most of the time. I knew whatever it is that everybody knows about these movies. Bella's the chick who's bummed because she only weighs 75 pounds. Edward is the vampire dude who looks like he's always reading something far away. And then there's Jacob, who's either frustrated or shirtless. Or both. These three have a complicated relationship I gather, and apparently you have to choose sides. Really, people, really? Whatever, I used to be wrapped up in the personal affairs of fictional characters, too. Then I turned seven.
      Only someone like Wonder Woman has a strong enough uterus to carry his kid.

      Despite that little rant, I didn't hate this movie. I thought I would, I really did. I had a million snide comments to make, but I was trying to be respectful. And the douche behind me was taking care of it, anyway. For example, upon seeing a deteriorating Bella, this wordsmith exclaimed, "She look like a crackhead." Brilliant. He got a decent laugh, too. Damn you, York, Pa. Damn. You

      Look, much like the Harry Potter movies,  if you're interested in seeing part 4, reviews don't matter. I mean, is there anyone alive in the world who's calling it after the first three? No, no there isn't. But me? I'm good here. Maybe, maybe I'll catch the next one to see how it wraps up, but won't deuce myself if I don't. I'm not sure how much more melodrama I can take. How can every single word be the most important thing ever said? Simple. It can't.

      Though it dragged at times (by that I mean damn near always), I was into it a little bit. Like being at play in a foreign country that has one hot girl in it. You occasionally pay attention, but you don't really listen. Or care.

      Some questions before I go:
      Longest wedding kiss ever. Lots of church tongue.
      1. Did Jacob get all the good looks in the werewolf family? Jeez. Everyone else looked like Native American trolls with a dash of Yao Ming. 
      2. What is the imprint process? Honestly, I don't want to know. The version in my head involves dry humping and werewolf hair. Lots of both.
      3. So, wait? We're in the fourth book and this is the first time anyone's gotten laid? Laaaame.
      4. Was this a thinly-veiled anti-abortion PSA? 'Cause if there's two things I don't ever like to mix, it's my personal politics and shirtless wolfboys. 
      5. Don't you know, you're not supposed to drink blood with a straw? You'll get drunk faster.
      6. Last one. Why are you still reading this? Go to bed.

      Wednesday, November 16, 2011

      Bets, have you ever really done it, all the way?

      When I was a kid, late night movies were all about letters. Oh, I'm not talking about PG and R. Uh-uh. I'm talking about the letters that preceded the actual start of the film. Letters such as L and V. Those were cool, but nothing to stay up until 3 for. BN might be interesting, so too SC. But N was the letter that my friends and I would stand up and cheer for. You'd give up Saturday morning for N. Remember kids, we didn't always have the internet to meet the salacious needs of growing boys.

      1983. When boobs ruled the earth.
      That Veronica Vaughn is one piece of ice.
      Is it getting awkward in here? No, relax. I honestly didn't even know what I was getting myself into when I DVR'd this one months ago. Seriously, right about the time I started this blog,  I began recording random movies left and right. Most have been sitting there forever. Last night, I decided I'd watch the shortest one and that so happened to be the 80's sex-romp, Private School. Two words: Oh. My.

      Let me get this out of the way: this movie sucks. There's no story. At all. The only semblance of plot is that our two main characters, Jim and Christine (played by Matthew Modine and Phoebe Cates), want to have sex. Yep. They've decided it's time to get-it-on. Woo. Weee. And for some reason, the super-hot, yet (surprise!) super-bitch Jordan wants to do him instead. Yes, friends, that's it. If that sounds interesting to you, well, you should probably go outside more. Or read. Reading's cool.

      If you're still here, congratulations. You love movies. Oh, wait. You didn't say movies, did you? You said boobies. Well, dear reader, this movie delivers in spades. Honestly. Maybe movies today have become too conservative to overflow in female nudity (for awhile however, it seemed like the dong was making a comeback - thank you, Dirk Diggler), but in the 80's, the objectification of women was funny! We have to watch them shower, we have to. Oh, and if their shirt rips open and they run away in horror? We laugh and point. Then we laugh some more! Maybe even a high-five and a thumbs up!
      So many scenes in this movie, while titillating, were shameful, too. I kept thinking to myself, that's assualt, brotha. They play a videogame that has two buttons: thrust and withdraw. Crass, I tell you. Crass.

      Betsy Russell (third from left) hates shirts. Hates them.
       13 Signs it's an 80's flick:
      Reading aloud from a romance novel? Who does that?
      Oh, wait. Everyone.
      • Everyone dances like Elaine. I mean, everyone.
      • The soundtrack is relentless. I mean how many full songs are we going to play? A shit-ton.
      • Someone drinks a can of RC Cola. In an arcade
      • More than one scene takes place at a pay phone.
      • The finger-in-the-mouth gesture is used. 
      • Spoken line: "Hot beef injection." Yep.
      • Going on a panty-raid? Bosom Buddies-style drag is somehow a legitimate disguise.
      • All female's pants must be higher than their bellybuttons. Like, for sure!
      • There's a nice car. There's a pool. You know what happens next. And some guy will dive over a table. In slow motion.
      • The screen freezes and it turns into a portrait style painting a la Family Ties.
      • Parents Weekend at school? We should have a bikini volleyball game. Totally rad!
      • People go cross-eyed to express sexual frustration. Cross-eyed! I mean, really.
      • Old men fondling high school girls? Hysterical! Oh, 1983! You rascal!
      Before I go, I will let you in an on old theory of mine. I used to believe that if more than two girls were hanging out (yes, we can say sleepover, I was like, 13 when I developed this theory), everybody ended up shirtless. Yes. Boobs maybe, but bras definitely. No girl ever, ever, confirmed this, but I held firm. Pretty sure the fine American who wrote this one believed the exact same thing.

      And then put it to film.