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.

      Sunday, November 13, 2011

      Wow is the word you're looking for.

      Okay, I have to make this quick. I just finished 2008's The Brothers Bloom and I have to tell you, I loved it. I might regret this one in the morning, but there was something about it that just got me. If I were in college, this is that moment after you've met a girl and you are so intrigued by her, you can't function. Maybe the feeling will wear off in a few hours, but tonight, it's going to haunt me. In a good way, obviously.

      So, before this gets too awkward, let's get on to the film itself. I've never been one to rehash plots here, so I'll keep it brief; two brothers are trying to pull one last con before getting out of the game completely. Things get complicated when the mark - an always fascinating Rachel Weisz - proves to me more than either could manage. Also hard to manage is the level these cons reach and whether what we ever see is real or simply scripted by the elder Bloom, Stephen (played by the ever-cool Mark Ruffalo).

      Formalities complete, what was it that got me? I don't know, exactly. If I go back to the analogy of meeting someone new, I suppose it goes to the vibe of the whole thing. Simultaneously mysterious and comforting. Next up, the looks. Damn if the cinematography isn't something to marvel. Each shot is framed in such a sumptuous way, it's mesmerizing. Also, the rapport. Each of the four main characters (I'll include Bang Bang) are so interesting and endearing, you'll buy whatever it is they are selling. Clearly, I did. And finally, the sound. I so loved the score that I am actually letting the blu ray menu repeat over and over (we might be going on an hour here). Additionally, the soundtrack is as vital as any dialogue in the film. Admiring it like the Drive soundtrack, actually.

      Terrible picture. Fantastic montage.
      Some thoughts before I shut it down:
      • No one plays reluctant like Adrien Brody. I know it helps that the guy looks sad indefinitely, but he nails it here.
      • Must Google: pinhole camera.
      • If ever there is a movie to show men how to dress, it's this one. Seriously, their clothes ruled. And I never notice that kind of thing.
      • Pretty sure it's federal law that you must love Rachel Weisz. Amazing.
      • Collecting hobbies? I'm in.
      And yes, Tati, now I have to see Brick.

        Saturday, November 12, 2011

        I told you, my man Brad just crushes ass.

        Mike Judge gets a pass. No matter what. Not even counting his legendary television work, the man behind Office Space gets the benefit of the doubt. Despite having a limited directorial resume (three live-action films), the guy is clearly a genius. Clearly. However...between you and me, I pretty much hated Idiocracy. The concept was brilliant, but I found the movie to be fairly, um, shitty. I want to blame it on my disdain for Dax Shepard, but I think the film simply didn't work. Maybe I need to see it again. Or, maybe it's a turd.

        This nonsense brings me to last night's feature, 2009's Extract. Having a terrific cast gets this film as far as it does, but overall the movie doesn't deliver. I wanted to like it. I did. It's charming. It moves quickly. But, get this: it's not very funny. It has it's moments, but at best - you'll smile. Maybe a chuckle. Perhaps even a titter. Yeah. I went titter.

        Obviously, I don't have much to say about this one. The whole movie might actually be about men losing their balls. Both a literal and figurative sense. See, one character gets his sack torn from him in a freak accident at the factory. The other, has such little stones that he considers insulating the bathroom so he can masturbate in peace, instead of confronting the bigger problem of his diminishing sex life. 

        Affleck, you the bomb in Phantoms, yo..
        Again, just like Idiocracy, the premise is there. It really is. Something is missing, though. And I think Judge is to blame. As I've mentioned, the cast is stellar. Teen Wolf, also, Jason Bateman, Spidey's boss J.K Simmons, caveman Ben Affleck, and Kelso's ex, Mila Kunis. Judge even makes his patented cameo. Oh, I should mention that my wife swears that Danny Devito is also in this. If he is, he plays the pivotal role of Mexican Factory Worker #7, and will appear in the background for about three seconds. I expect more from you, Penguin.

        Nice bongos.
        Despite this one basically sucking, here are some bright spots:
        • Mila Kunis - I think we've got some DushFactor here, but she is lookin' good, friends. Very nice.
        • Affleck! Seems like he showed up for a day, had some drinks, and created this character. Looked like a gigantic, homeless Jack Johnson.
        • I watched an episode of The Simpsons right before this. Chief Wiggum calls 911 from his desk and is frustrated to find that it's busy. Very similar joke here. Very.
        And with that, I bid you good evening.

        Friday, November 11, 2011

        Cheyenne, bunny you mind taking the children out now for the lesson. 'Cause it's gonna get grown up in here.

        I'm 32. Clerks., Mallrats and Chasing Amy all came out when I was either in high school or a freshman in college. My point? Kevin Smith is partly responsible for this site. My love of movies started way before (probably with Gremlins, honestly), but his sharp writing and ridiculously unforgettable characters further cemented my affinity for all things cinema. The reason I mention this? Well, last night's film, Red State, is the latest from the man responsible for at least 40% of the words I uttered in the 90's. And that might be lowballing it.
        Four hundred and sixty collars, all convicted. I hear he's even got two kills.
        Well, after more than a decade, it looks like we've both grown up. And yes, things change. I no longer quote Brodie and T.S. every chance I get, and Smith has stepped far away from his Jersey-based universe. Red State may not work the entire time, but I found it effective and engaging. Especially the performance of the man pictured above, Michael Parks. Incredible.
        What am I gonna do...with a gun rack?

        I rented this last night from Redbox. I was looking for The Tree of Life, but stumbled upon this one instead. It was late, and I figured that since school is closed tomorrow, I could stay up and watch it alone. Surprise! My wife was awake and wanted to watch something. Shit. This is not going be her cup of tea. She asked, "What is it? What kind of movie is it?" I told her it was a Kevin Smith movie.

        She said, "Oh, okay. It's a movie about some kids that takes place over, like, three days..."

        What a weird summation of the Kevin Smith genre, right? But it's not bad. I was surprised (she usually doesn't concern herself with such details). Oh, wife. You so crazy.

        With that, we settled in. She assumed comedy, and I certainly didn't want to burst that bubble. I'd say by about ten minutes in, she'd known that I'd duped her. But, she was hooked. Being that she doesn't watch a lot of violent movies, this one shook her at times. Each death made her emit that weird low-gasp sound that women often make (my mom makes the same sound every time she has to slam on the brakes, or a small child almost walks into the corner of something). I bit too, though some of the shortcomings distracted me. I appreciated the tight editing (88 minutes!), but the jump cuts drove me crazy at times. It can be cool, but it seemed overdone and unnecessary. Whatever. It's not a dealbreaker.

        You want a toe? I can get you a toe.
        One last thing! John Goodman was very solid in this one. Dan Conner delivers one of the finest film performances of his long career (though Walter from The Big Lebowski will never be topped). His agility may come into question during the shootouts, but his cajones were never doubted. Good stuff.

        Damn. One more thing! I thought the sermon was very well written and impressively delivered. I read that some found it too long. Idiots. I found it amazingly hypnotic. It provided all the answers to any questions I could ever have about the motivations for these crazy bastards. Chilling stuff.

        Thursday, November 10, 2011

        You know, you're not as popular as you think you are.

        Everybody knows that the amount of money a movie makes at the box office does not reflect its quality. I mean, a lot of shitty movies have raked it in, and many fantastic movies simply don't have mass appeal. I'm not going to get on my soap box and preach that the average movie-goer is some kind of slack-jawed inbred. Nah. I just find the numbers fascinating. Of the top-ten grossing movies of 2011, I managed to catch six of them in the theater. A surprise hit, and the tenth on that list, was the comedy Bridesmaids, which managed to earn $169 million at the box office this past summer (and if you're curious, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  [review] reigned with $380 million). Seven down, three to go...

        The one on the right? So hot. Want to touch the heiny.
        Though my wife and I started the flick in the afternoon, we completed this one on the night of our three-year anniversary. Yeah, not terribly romantic, but at least we were keeping the wedding theme going. It wasn't like we watched this. That would've just been weird. But awesome, too.
        Red beans and rice didn't miss her.

        Ridiculous Japanese romantic comedies aside, how was Bridesmaids, you ask? Pretty damned funny. It starts out very strong, drags in the middle, but ends on a high note. My wife really enjoyed it, and I think that most guys will, too. Kristen Wiig, writer and star, really delivers.

        Surprisingly though, the show is stolen by the lady pictured on the left, Melissa McCarthy. Usually the funny-fat girl is annoyingly one-note, but her character brings a lot to the movie. Yes, she shits in a sink - which may be a minus for some of you, but almost every line she delivers is uttered with such supreme confidence you have to buy in. For example:

        Yeah, oh, shit. Took a hard hard violent fall, kinda pin-balled down. Hit a lot of railings, broke a lot of shit. I'm not gonna say I survived, I'm gonna say I thrived. I met a dolphin down there and I swear to God that dolphin, looked not at me, but into my soul, looked into my Goddamn soul.

         Maybe that's not that funny when you read it, but I nearly pissed myself when I heard it. Good times.

        The other/last thing I want to mention is that I can't recall a movie where the people involved honestly loved each other. The off-screen friendship between Wiig and Maya Rudolph so obviously carried over it was like a documentary at times. Entire scenes looked like outtakes because their rapport was so strong. I know, stupid point, but it resonated with me for some reason. Reminded me of the ridiculous movies that we made in college. Movies where you just smiled no matter the scene because you were doing dumb shit with your friends and you couldn't help it.
        Oh, you didn't make a lot of movies with your friends? You must have had a real major. Not me. Communications, anyone? Whatever. That's where I met my wife. Oh, yeah. Full-circle.

        Monday, November 7, 2011

        Start the punishment!

        Tony Jaa, I love you. I do. I loved The Protector. That sequence at the end is legendary. I've never seen anything like it. But where my man-love truly began was on February 22nd, 2005. That was the night that I saw the original Ong-bak in the theater for the first time (I would see it again four days later with my younger brother, Nikos). Jaa ran across dudes heads and delivered countless devastating elbows to all parts of the body. There were flaming jump kicks and even a ridiculous double-knee drop from two-stories up. It. Was. Insane.

        Thanks for the offer but my hands aren't going anywhere near your staff.
        So, about all that goodwill? Gone. Ong Bak 3 is like a 90-minute Thai deodorant commercial. We get a shirtless Tony looking focused under a waterfall for what seems like an eternity. Yes, he does kick some ass (and it's decent), but not nearly enough to compensate for all the other nonsense. Not at all. If you like montages, this might be your frickin' Citizen Kane. Seriously, he trains for most of the movie. Not cool training either, where he kicks a tree for ten minutes, then punches someone's face through an elephant's tusk. But shitty training where he learns to uncurl his gnarled hands via interpretive dance, then hangs out in the crotch of a tree for a week. Not cool, Tony. This is no way to treat someone who loves you.

        This poster is as exciting as the whole movie.
        Is it all bad? Well, yes. Okay, some of the fights are cool (there's basically only three scenes). And thankfully, elephants are involved in the proceedings. But the list of cinematic travesties is too long to mention. Sounds like a challenge!
        • Fog battle? Bullshit. You will show fists landing. I have no imagination. I need to see everything.
        • Was that beard CGI? I mean the beheading was bad enough, but the Jesus-beard looked like it was glued on using elephant jizz. Shameful.
        • Crow Guy? Looked like a Thai Vince Neil. But with more mascara. And he never sings "Home Sweet Home." Lame.
        • Comic Relief Guy? I remember him being somewhat acceptable in the first one. But by the 3rd one he's just stupid. Even if he says balls. Actually, that's where I'd like to punch him.
        • What does this have to do with the first one at all? Tell me. No wait, don't. 
        • Written by Tony Jaa. Directed by Tony Jaa. Produced by Tony Jaa. Fight Scenes choreographed by Tony Jaa. That dump on your face? Tony Jaa did that, too.

          Tuesday, November 1, 2011

          You sure you're up for this?

          That a shadow on the wall? Or a stain? One's scary, one's just gross.
          I have to say this right out of the gate; I've never seen the first two Paranormal Activity movies. Nope. I started to watch the first one illegally online (my students told me where to go) and I got scared. First, because I thought the movie was genuinely eery, and second, because it was frighteningly simple to basically steal a movie. I'm all for lifting music, but film? That's sacred.

          Anyway, who begins a trilogy with the third movie? I guess I'm that guy, but as far as I know - it doesn't matter. Apparently Paranormal Activity 3 is actually the beginning of the whole thing. Awesome, right? Right.

          Three paragraphs in, let's discuss the movie, shall we? I had read some reviews prior, because in all honesty, I never thought I'd watch one of these movies, let alone the third one (can we say final? No. No we can't). Most professional reviews stated that it's too much of retread of the first two. The internet basically said, "Worst.Movie.Ever." Oh, Internet. You're so silly.

          For me, alone in the theater on a Tuesday night, I was actually pretty nervous. These damn found-footage flicks are so quiet. You sit there and wait. And wait. Then, you wait some more. While that may drive 90% of you into a rage-induced frenzy, it got to me. Every swinging light or magically shutting door was what relaxed me. Waiting for that shit to happen? Madness, I tell you. Mad. Ness.

          Perfect mix of creepy and sweet. But mostly creepy.
          The little scares are decent, but probably tired to fans of the trilogy. Some of the bigger moments -which I won't spoil- are pretty damn shocking. Yeah, you probably saw them coming (you're so smart), but I was rattled. It got to the point where I didn't want anybody to go into the kitchen for anything. No midnight snack, okay, bitches? Damn oscillating-fan-cam heightened everything, too. It pans left and right so slowly, you have entirely too much time to think about what you might see. The tension was palpable.

          Does it seem like I enjoyed this one? Damn. I think I liked it. Maybe even a lot. Certainly worth the $3 I shelled out.

          Please don't think this one is perfect. It isn't. But, it's scary enough, if you allow it to be. If you sit there with your friends and trash all the ridiculousness (seriously, Dennis, you're running for your life, but you grab the camera...again? C'mon, dude), then it'll probably end up being a steaming pile of malodorous dog shit. But get in a cold, dark, almost-empty theater? And really focus...I don't know. It might not be dog shit you smell. That might 

          Not to go eleven-year-old girl on you, but my 9th birthday was "Night #5" - that's some bonus points right there. Wonder what I asked for...
          [Not to go eleven-year-old girl on you again, but after I submitted this, I heard a strange noise in my house (it's super-quiet, right now). Sounded like a dog toy being squeezed. My sleeping dog wakes up. A minute later, we hear the sound of my son standing on his crib mattress upstairs (it's after 11:30). My dog gets up, fur standing on back, and growls in the direction of the empty kitchen. But he won't go in it. Shit. Damn this movie. Damn it. And my son never moved!]