Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A great light has gone out in the universe.

Don't listen to me. In fact, don't listen to anybody. I sometimes (though I feel it rarely happens) get caught up in the hype. I do.  I was convinced that  Green Lantern was a steaming pile of awful and all I had seen was a trailer. Well, after taking my sister to the dirtmall ($2) and conquering this one, I can assure you it's pretty good.  People love to pile on the bad news, but honestly, this movie entertains. Yes, my expectations were very, very low. And seriously, I only paid two bucks for each ticket. But at times, this movie was pretty badass. There's a nice mix of action and story, with neither really dominating (though I think we could've used some more ass-kicking, honestly). Overall, I think this flick will be labeled as a massive failure (budget was over $150 mil!), but it's as least as good as Thor and First Class. Personally, I think I'd put it in the middle, but maybe even ahead of Thor.
  • Ryan Reynolds. Dude is big.
  • Blake Lively is gorgeous. Very, very.
  • The ring is way cooler than I thought.
  • People get thrown into and through walls often.
  • Frickin' helicopter scene!
  • Hector may be the best bad guy ever. He's so happy (and always thrashing. Always.)
  • Bonus scene!
  • You might want to take notes in the first five minutes.
  • Not enough Ms. Lively.
  • Final Boss fight is super easy!
  • More ring please!
  • Some dialogue might hurt your brain.

So there you have it. Take my advice and see it, or take my advice and don't listen to me...and not...see it? Okay, I'm lost now. Goodnight.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Like a gooood neighbor...Mater is there.

Goodness. This past Friday, at around 10:30 in the morning, my wife and I decided to bring Matty to his first movie. As mentioned before, he is obsessed with the Pixar movie, Cars. So, after what seemed like months upon months (and thousands of commercials), Cars 2 was unleashed upon the world. As a lover of all things Pixar (except A Bug's Life...which is okay, at best), I'm telling you...this movie is terrible.

I once had a conversation with a co-worker about the live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks. I had recently seen it (don't ask) and was telling him how much it sucked. He said it was great and that I was just being a jerk. I said that no, it was actual fact, that the movie simply was awful and should not be seen by man nor beast. He countered that his son loved it, and that by seeing his son enjoy it, he too thought it was great.

Fast forward four years, and here I find myself watching my son digging Cars 2. Now, he was into the movie while eating snacks and/or pounding juice boxes. But once all the consuming was at an end, he could not care about his first trip to the movies. Matty, like a small wolverine, wanted to run, shout and destroy. And for the last 30 minutes or so, that's what he did. And honestly, he didn't miss much. This movie was the biggest cash grab in cinematic history. Dozens and dozens of characters who appeared and disappeared for no other reason than to be sold in die-cast form. Now, I'm not too upset about that (because we have been buying them left and right!), but I do feel it's shameless. The title of this post was the most groan-inducing line of recent memory. Literally, this is a two-hour commercial getting a laugh out of referencing another commercial. Yeesh. Shame on you, Pixar. You're better than this.

The poster was more exciting than the movie. And easier to understand. 
So, I guess that guy was right. In my case, my son's indifference mirrored my own. Glad that he went to his first movie, but wish it would've been something more memorable than almost two hours with Larry the Cable Guy.

As far as I know, Pixar will also be making another Monsters, Inc. Please redeem yourself. Matty loves the original (me too). It rules.

Friday, June 24, 2011

You owe me a Blaupunkt!

Currently, I'm watching about 95% of the movies I see on my laptop. I set up in my kitchen: plug the computer in (for maximum brightness), don my airplane-pilot headphones (don't want to wake the little one) and sit back in an uncomfortable wooden chair. It's not very glamorous. In fact, my friend H. Dunphy shook his head and uttered, "That's no way to watch a movie, man" when hearing of this setup. He might be right. He also mentioned that MacGruber was pretty funny and I should check it out. Was H.D. two for two?

The soundtrack is pretty sweet 

This movie is very, very stupid. It's satire played so straight, it almost ventures into seriousness. Regardless, it has moments that are so damned funny, that I think it's a must-see. A few times I actually teared up in an effort not to loudly crack-up. Some of the highlight's include...
  • MacGruber's constant throat-ripping of foes
  • The funniest sex-scene ever filmed (both)
  • His obsession with cutting off Cunth's junk
  • Mentioning a "pretty substantial Costco run"
  • MacGruber is such an a-hole to everyone
  • there is soooooo much profanity! It's pretty admirable, actually
For the record, I went with the unrated version on blu. It's a couple minutes longer. Probably 50 more f-bombs!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Look, Chalmers, let's understand each other... I don't like you.

It's Monday morning technically (after a busy weekend) and I haven't much movie-related to post.
I'll let the images of two quintessential 80's movies recap the daily themes (well, and a caption per).

Friday: Wife not home till after 8pm
Saturday: Almost 4 hrs at the SC.
Sunday was Father's Day, so I got to sleep in and sort of lounge around. Kim and Matty got me some sweet Grown Man Sandals, which after some hesitation, I was actually pretty stoked about. Apparently, mystery gift arrives tomorrow, as does week 2 of summer vacation/Daddy Day Care duties. Though reinforcements are arriving from Seattle in the form of my younger sister. Still working on her title. So far, it's AuntiTati.

 Anyway, what I did manage to finish on Friday, was 1968's Bullitt. This is a flick I picked up on blu-ray for 5 bucks two Christmases ago. I think most people have heard about the ultimate car chase featured later in the movie, but I was more interested in the legend of Steve McQueen. I don't recall ever having seen him anything and knew that he was iconic. The verdict? Decent. But nothing in the ballpark of spectacular.

This is how I'm going to dress. Forever.

Since it's late, I'm going to break this down into Yay's and Boo's. Keep it moving.
  • Jacqueline Bisset! She was super-hot. Late-60's fashion was exquisitely featured!
  • Opening Title Sequence. Mysterious and funky and altogether badass.
  • 90 seconds of Robert Duvall is 90 seconds you better shut-the-hell up.
  • No music in the chase scene. Just engines roaring.
  • The guy who played the doctor. Dude was hardcore, well, for a doctor.
  • Violence. It's PG (yes, I know, no PG-13 back then) and it's not bad.
  • Restaurant scene in the beginning? 5 minutes of hard core flute action! Wtf?
  • 90 seconds of Duvall? That shit ain't right.
  • Steve McQueen. Yeah, I said it. Dude needed to kick some ass. He just stared intently. In a sweater. Yes, he forced those two into the gasoline and match factory, but I wanted some fisticuffs.
  • Nudity. I know you're PG, but where are you, random ass-shot? Was sideboob not invented in 1968? 
Well, there you have it. The Yay's outnumber the Boo' I guess that proves everything ever.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Big day. After getting Matty down (with some assistance from ailing wife), I ducked out to see J.J Abrams latest, Super 8. I purposely have avoided reading reviews closely because this has been the summer movie I have been waiting for (ever since I saw the kickass trailer months ago). Even though I was simply getting a vibe from the reviews, it seems "people" are not loving it. Hmmm...about that...

I really, really enjoyed this film. The end (which I gather is a sticking point for many) is not perfect, but it didn't ruin it. Regardless, the other 95% of the movie is so well done it doesn't really matter. Hell, the train scene alone was worth at least $6.50 of the 8 bucks I dished out! The best part though, are the kids. As a person who spends their life trying to educate 12 year-olds, it was refreshing to see a group of kids who were not only passionate about movies, but were also just smart. And motivated. And interesting. Damn, 3/4 of my students come off as imagination-free drifters, passively "engaging" in school as means only to eat lunch and make fart sounds.

Anyway, this movie is really good. See it. In the theater. Soon. Encourage this kind of stuff. I saw it with one couple two rows behind me. Three people TOTAL (surprise! I went alone).

By the way, am I the only person in the world who watched Leaving Las Vegas and Super 8 today? Yes. Yes, I am. One last thing...I was completely enamored with 1979. All movies should be set there.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Look at me... I'm a prickly pear!

Better late than never, right?

About 6 weeks ago, I started watching Leaving Las Vegas. I was 16 years old when it hit theaters and despite seeing just about everything that came out my junior year of high school, I never caught a minute of Mike Figgis' acclaimed drama (actually, I know I saw Powder instead). Anyway, half a lifetime later I started it and six weeks after that I finished it.

There's no need to recap the plot or anything because pretty much everyone has seen this movie (right?). Just in goes to Vegas to drink himself to death and despite having almost no redeeming qualities, manages to shack up with super-hot (though equally flawed) lady of the evening.

Nicolas Cage won the Oscar for his role, but looking back...I'm not so sure how to feel about that one. Ben Sanderson is awkward, drunk, washed-up and uber-sketchy...though still fairly likable? That's exactly how I would describe modern-day Nic Cage. Screw it. He used to be pretty legit. Now, not as much. Hell, I'd have given him the Oscar for his role as Cameron Poe. "Sorry boss, but there's only two men I trust. One of them's me. The other's not you."

Speaking of people I'd make out with, did I mention that Elisabeth Shue is in this? Goodness. I have had a very pathetic crush on her since...well, forever. I was thinking it started after Adventures in Babysitting, but I now realize that her hotness is cemented in cinematic history as Ali in The Karate Kid. Oh yes, I was all of 5 years-old when that movie came out, and probably 7or 8 when my family rented it for the ol' VCR (rented? VCR? makes me feel a hundred), but damn if I didn't know I was looking at something special. Goodness. The scene by the pool? Jinkies.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mom? Mom! Are vampires real?

Oh my.
Alright, so it looks like I now make every movie a two-part event. Last night (after the Bruins smashing 5-2 victory over the Canucks) I began 2004's Night Watch. Today, during Matty's second (!) nap, I finished it.

So, why bother watching this? I'll give you two reasons.

Well, for starters, I have zero standards. More importantly however, Timur Bekmambetov. This is the man responsible for Wanted. Now, I've only seen it once, but I do recall loving it (and not just because of some Jolie side-boobage either) immensely. That said, I really didn't care for this one. It had some moments...
  • The scene pictured above was really sweet. The finishing move is very cool.
  • There's this Bay-esque falling screw just have to see it. Inspired weirdness.
  • The conclusion! Almost made the movie make sense!
  • Sweet-ass entire-movie montage at the end! Why don't all movies recap themselves during the credits?
Some other stuff though, yeesh. Owl transformation? No. Ultra-fast telephone repair truck? Are you kidding? CGI bird-vortex? Please, make it stop. 90% of dialogue and/or soundtrack? Goodness. Oh, and not that I think this holds true for all Russians, but damn, everyone in this movie is genuinely ugly. Maybe, I'll give you cursed train-lady (and possibly the girl with the burned face), but otherwise...damn.

I swear I'm going to watch a legitimate classic next. I need redemption.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I'm warning you, if you take one step closer, I'm never letting you go.

Another free on-demand movie, another forgettable flick. I haven't seen anything I've really liked in awhile. Today's (though I started this with my wife yesterday afternoon) entry is No Strings Attached.

If you need any sort of review or an indication of how, um, awesome, this movie is, please read the title of this post aloud to yourself. If you can say it, without putting on some stupid voice, and finish without shaking your head or clenching your fists, then you are a better person than I am. Yes, Natalie Portman is hot. That fact alone is simply not enough. That cutesy, rom-com bullshit is piled on pretty high here. Exhibit A would be the role of Ashton Kutcher's co-worker. Thinking of this character actually makes me want to have my eyes gouged out then forced into my ears so that I may never see or hear again. Honest.

I leave you with some NP from the film, just because I can (and because I believe in redemption).

Friday, June 10, 2011

I could hear the little man inside me again. He was screaming like a little girl.

I scored a copy of The Men Who Stare at Goats on blu for .99 at a Blockbuster in East York. I'm always up for a kickass ensemble production, and this flick has a quartet of guys who have portrayed some legendary roles.

You have Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan, Renton), George Clooney (Batman, Mr. Fox), Jeff Bridges (The Dude, Clu) and Kevin Spacey (Verbal Kint, Jack Vincennes). Hell, you even get a little T-1000 for good measure.

So, what does all that talent get you? Not that much. The movie isn't terrible, but is isn't very good either. The idea that the military has this secret Jedi program run by the Dude is pretty sweet. The fact that nothing really happens in Iraq isn't. There was some opportunity here, but it was squandered more often than not. If you want to see Ewan McGregor do quirky, please, please catch Big Fish. Clooney in Iraq? Three Kings is great. For a dollar, I'm not mad at all. And I do it give it some credit for clocking in at 94 minutes. That's basically the duration of a nap from this kid:

Not that you asked, but the two best ensemble flicks in the last 15 years I can think of are Heat and CopLand. L.A Confidential should make that list as well.

For the record, his favorite movie in the world right now is Cars. I have seen it about 40 times. Seriously.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Go F--- Yourself

At this point of my life, getting to the movies is serious business. My wife is cool with me going, but I feel guilty so I don't press her as often as I'd like. This past weekend, not only did I see something on opening night, I attended it with two solid individuals, Flem and Miller/Payne. It was "Good Stuff."(indeed)

Obviously from the rather lame picture above, we tackled X-Men: First Class. I say tackled, because what seems like a requirement of all movies lately, this bastard clocked in at 132 minutes. Goodness. The first-first one was only 104 minutes. Anyway...that wasn't the real problem here (though 10:30 start time didn't help).

I had read reviews prior to showtime and I was pretty stoked about a "good" X-Men movie again. I really liked the first two and had read that this was very similar. Matthew Vaughn is currently deemed trustworthy as Kick-Ass was really good and I kinda think James McAvoy is the man (Wanted, anyone?). All that said, I'm on the fence here. Definitely not an outright punch to the balls like X3 (or whatever the Hell it's called), but not "The finest comic-book flick since 2008's The Dark Knight" (see the list in a May entry and verify that nonsense in your own head).'s the breakdown.
  • Wolverine cameo! (and Mystique to a lesser extent)
  • January Jones' cleavage!
  • Overt sexual discrimination!
  • Kevin Bacon!
  • killing people by dropping them!
    • Most of Beast's dialogue (look at that picture)
    • Black guy dying first cliche
    • Weird semi-incestuous relationship between two-characters
    • Weird semi-homo-erotic relationship between two other characters