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Showing posts from May, 2011

Tuesday Trailer Breakdown: 50/50

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What might work: Joseph Gordon-Levitt of course. You could call me incredibly bias but hey, it's my blog isn't it? I love me some JGL. In all honesty, he's one of the best actors out there and he proved that by carrying the anti-romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer last year. There's no doubt he'll be fantastic in this. Seth Rogan is hilarious when given the right material. I think Rogan will benefit from having a fantastic actor like JGL to bounce off of. It's rated R. R-rated comedies are not stuck with same boundaries that PG13 ones are. This one looks like it could deliver a lot of laughs and a lot of heart. What might not: Weak supporting cast. I don't have a ton of faith in Anna Kendrick or Bryce Dallas Howard, but hopefully the movie will focus mostly on Rogan and Gordon-Levitt's character. Marketing: It's hard to market a movie about the main character suffering from cancer. It could turn a lot of people off, they may want a laugh a

Review: The Hangover Part II

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Over the top. The theory for many sequels is take something from the original and times it by 10. That seems to be the main purpose of The Hangover Part II. The sequel to the surprise smash hit comedy of 2009. While it falls short on the laughs compared to the first one, it does make a few things more outrageous. In some cases it works. Two years after Doug's (Justin Bartha, who's pushed to the side) bachelor party in Vegas, Stu (Ed Helms) finds himself in love and getting married in his bride's native country of Thailand. Of course Phil, (Bradley Cooper) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) are there to join. Phil initially bitches about having to travel such a long way and not having a bachelor party. Stu, still feeling it from the last time around prefers a "breakfast brunch" at their local IHOP before they leave. Eventually after they all arrive in Thailand, they decide to have one beer on the beach. Of course they wake up the next day in a dirty hotel room with no r

Indie Gems: The Wackness

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Don't let the stupid title fool you..  The Wackness is a clever, engaging film filled with the best of old school, early 90's hip hop and surprisingly beautiful scenes. Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is finished with high school and wants to spend his summer dealing drugs from his mock up freezey cart. His parents are having a rough time, Luke sees a psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley) who listens to his probems in exchange for bud. Luke also harbors a crush on Squires' step-daughter, (don't forget the step) Stephanie. (Olivia Thirlby) At first she doesn't give him the time of day, by the end of the summer she's going on his rounds with him daily. Her parent's don't have an easy relationship either. Director Jonathon Levine took a simple coming of age story and made it stand out. The actors, with the exception of a slightly miscast Mary-Kate Olsen blend well and really make it interesting. Kingsley is hilarious, and Thirlby commands attention in every

15 Movie Questions Meme

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Anna over at Defiant Success  (vote for her in the LAMMY's  while your at it.) was kind enough to tag me in one of her memes. Here it goes: 15 Movie Questions. 1) Movie you love with a passion: American Beauty. I first saw this in 1999 when I was 12, and I loved it because it was about a family that seemed more dysfunctional than my own. (I didn't think that was possible) As I grew up I began to love it for so many more reasons, and it's always the first thing I recommend. 2) Movie you vow never to watch: I Spit On Your Grave. Either the original or the remake. I can't imagine a shittier movie based solely on the plot line. Women's empowerment my ass. 3) Movie that literally left you speechless: A tie between Schindler's List and There Will be Blood. Schindler's List because it was such a fantastic, sadistic, emotional movie. There Will be Blood because the ending caught me off guard. "I'm finished!" 4) Movie I always recommend: Ameri

DVD Review: The Way Back

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Based on a true story..according to some.  There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Peter Weir's The Way Back in terms of the story being true or false. It was initially marketed as a true story, but then some came out and said it was exaggerated. Either way, The Way Back is an interesting gem that somehow fell under the radar. It's 1941 and a group of POW's escape from a camp in Sibera. They are Polish Janusz, (Jim Sturgess) Tomasz, (Alexandru Potocean) and the night blind Kazik. (Sebastian Urzendowsky) An American, Mr. Smith, (Ed Harris) Russian Valka, (Colin Farrell) Latvian Voss (Gustaf SkarsgĂ„rd) and Yugoslavian Zoran. (Dragos Bucur) They are joined along the way by Polish Irena. (Soairse Ronan) They walk through the most extreme conditions. Winter storms, rough terrain, sand storms, and eventually blistering sunlight. Some make it, some do not. I was honestly very surprised that this didn't get a wider release, or a more serious push during the Oscars. T

Indie Gems: In Bruges

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Fucking Bruges After a job gone wrong, a hit man named Ray (Colin Farrell) is sent off with his partner/mentor Ken (Brenden Gleeson) to go on a little "vacation" to lie low. They are sent to Bruges, Belgium. Ray is not happy with this at all. Not only is he strung up from bad job, but now he's stuck in this town playing Tourist. They are sent there by Harry, (Ralph Fiennes) their crazy boss who fell in love with this town as a boy. His idea is to take Ray to this beautiful city only to have Ken kill him. Ken is not thrilled with this idea, but thankfully Harry is back in England. Right? This movie perfectly blends humor, action, violence, and beautiful scenery. Being in Bruges changes both Ray and Ken. They began to appreciate life even more. There's humor throughout, but when the film needs to get serious it does it with ease. The performances are top notch. This is Farrell's best performance to date and Gleeson is right up there as well. I remember when Farrell

Trailer Breakdown: Martha Marcy May Marlene

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What Works: Suspense. The trailer is immediately interesting because you want to know what happened to Martha. This was a big hit at Sundance, and that's usually a good thing. Curiosity. I'm curious to see "the other Olsen sister" in action. I'd like to think while she was watching her sisters become so famous she was taking notes on how to act convincingly. She shows more promise in this trailer than the Twin's have in their entire careers. What might not: This entire trailer sort of screams "Winter's Bone" to me. It's probably because of John Hawkes, who some say gave a great performance in Winter's Bone. He bored the hell out of me, as did the entire movie. That's one of those films that had a very intriguing trailer and then fell flat on it's face in my opinion. I hope the same thing doesn't happen for this for this. When to see it: It's an independent film so it will probably have a very limited release. When

Review: Thor

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Bore. I'm going to be honest. I never liked reading Thor comics. He was never as interesting as Spiderman or Batman or Wolverine. Sure his hammer is pretty cool, but just because you have a neat weapon doesn't mean you are worthy. (Hello Aquaman) I went into Thor thinking the trailers looked pretty cool, so perhaps I would enjoy it. After all, I never cared much for Ironman comics and I loved the movies. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is cast out from his home planet of Asgard and banished to Earth. As he learns to adapt with humans, eveil Loki (Tom Hiddleson) seeks to destory them all. Thor must protect them. The main problem Thor suffered from was that it was just plain boring. It didn't even that huge climatic fight scene that films such as Spiderman and Ironman had. It lacked the chemistry between the hero and villian that The Dark Knight had. Hell, even the romantic parts between Hemsworth and Natalie Portman felt forced. Poor Kat Dennings wasn't in the movie enough to s

Indie Gems: Alpha Dog

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Based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood. Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsh) is the son of a privileged family and a big time drug dealer. Jake Mazursky (Ben Foster) owes Johnny money, but doesn't respond well to his threats. On a whim, Johnny and his friends kidnap Jake's 15 year old brother, Zack. (Anton Yelchin) At first Zack is afraid, but after awhile they just let him party with them. He gets at ease, he knows his brother will pay Johnny his money, so he goes along and has a good time. He forms a good relationship with Johnny's friends Frankie (Justin Timberlake) and Keith. (Chris Marquette) Things began to go to far, Johnny starts to panic and makes a decision that will change everyone's lives forever. This is an excellent film about troubled youth. The performances of Hirsh, Foster, Yelchin and even Timberlake are fantastic. Foster in particular shines, he plays a convincing meth addict. His actions, his blood shot eyes, he nails it. Any fan of these actor

Review: Hanna

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Behold the phenom that is Saoirse Ronan  There's something special about Hanna. (Ronan) She's not like any other 16 year old girl. See, Hanna knows a handful of different languages. She knows how to fend for herself in the wild. She knows self defense, whether it be with her fists, guns, or knives. Hanna has been living in the middle of nowhere with her father Erik (Eric Bana) and now she's ready. She's ready for Marissa (Cate Blanchett) to come find her. Marissa won't stop until she is dead, so Hanna must off her first. At first we're not told why Marissa wants Hanna, but it's not hard to figure out the intrigue. Hanna lets these people capture her only to break away from their compound and hitch a cross country ride with a family that is curious about the girl traveling alone. Hanna's never known friends or love. We watch her try to adapt into normal life while it's obvious how abnormal she really is. Director Joe Wright keeps the balance betwe

Trailer Breakdown: X-Men First Class

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What works: James McAvoy. He turns everything into gold. He's a very underrated actor (Where the hell is his Oscar nom for The Last King of Scotland?) and even though he's taking over such an iconic part, he'll still bring out the best in it. X-Men are awesome. I've always enjoyed the X:Men comics, I loved the first two movies, even though my initial reaction to this movie was to boycott it, I'll still go and see it because I've been a fan for so long. What might not: Only Bryan Singer does X-Men justice. Sure he wasn't true to the comic, but he created a damn good story and made it worthy. Brett Ratner ruined X-Men 3. The Wolverine movie had some of the worse CGI I have ever seen, anyone else touching X-Men makes me a tad nervous. The rest of the cast. I'm not knocking them, but they don't seem as intriguing as our previous X-Men cast. I can't accept Jennifer Lawrence as a young Mystique, I'm sorry. I just can't do it. Random Th

My life in Movies

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This idea came from Fandango Groovers. Check out their blogathon! http://fandangogroovers.wordpress.com  My favorite movie released every year since I was born. Although some are not my favorites at the time of release. If that were the case than we'd be seeing a lot of cartoons and Adam Sandler movies. My taste (thankfully) has evolved. Actually that sounds like an interesting post for another time.. 1987: Predator Chosing between this and Evil Dead 2 were tough. I love my campy horror. 1988: Die Hard Thanks for being so badass, Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. All Dogs Go To Heaven Although this movie makes me sad now after reading about what happened to Judith Barsi, this was essential for me growing up.  1990: Edward Scissorhands Over the fantastic Goodfellas which was also released this year? It's a tough call, but I love this film. It's weird and beautiful at the same time. 1991: The Silence of the Lambs There were A LOT of gr

Indie Gems: Winter Passing

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Before they went all ska.. I love Zooey Deschanel. She's truely one of my favorite actresses, and going through her resume you're bound to find a lot of indie gems. Reese (Deschanel) is an actress that's offered a deal to publish letters written by her novelist father (Ed Harris) to her now deceased mother. It's obvious Reese has been away from her family for a long time, not even making it to her mother's funeral. When she goes back to her snowy town in Michigan she's surprised to learn her father has taken in a few new roommates. A British college student, Shelly (Ameila Warner) and a shy, wannabe musician Corbit. (Will Ferrell) Her father's health is ailing, and he's chosen to live in his garage rather than in his own house. Reese has a hard time adjusting. Winter Passing is quiet and delicate and feels like it almost floats by. Zooey and Harris put in great performances as always, but the one that surprised me the most was Will Ferrell. We're

Trailer Breakdown: Sleeping Beauty

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 No, not the Disney movie. What works:  The overall tone of this trailer is downright creepy. It also doesn't give a lot a way, and leaves you to guess what exactly this film may be about. I kind of like that. I've seen two different plot descriptions of this film. One of them being Emily Browning's character works as a prostitute who is required to be asleep during her jobs. The other is Browning's character tries to sleep through her jobs. I'm going with the first one. What might not: While the trailer is ominous the end of it borderlines being corny, but hopefully that won't translate into the film. The other concern I have it that the film might be exploitative, but it's hard to tell by this teaser alone. Random Thought: Emily Browning was Stephanie Meyer's first choice to play Bella in the Twilight movies. Thankfully she turned it down. When to see it: Australian independent movie debuting at Cannes. Unless it's instant Oscar bait my gue

DVD Review: Frozen

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Adam Green has never been to a ski resort. A bold statement you might say, but I'll get to that later. Frozen is a thriller about three college students who take a trip to a ski resort. Long time best friends, Joe, (Shawn Ashmore) Dan (Kevin Zegers) and Dan's tag along girlfriend Parker (Emma Bell) didn't get lift tickets so they bribe an employee to let them on. Eventually that employee gets distracted and the trio end up left on the lift over night to freeze to death. The ski resort won't be open again for a few days and of course they don't ski with their cell phones. (Because, what's the purpose of a mobile phone, right?) I'm sure director Green has actually been to a ski resort, hell I would hope he at least researched it. It's just a little hard to tell. I was expecting the film to be a bit more believable. It's hard for me to believe that the employees would shut the lifts off and NOT check them. It's hard for me to believe that they wo