Showing posts from January, 2012

DVD Review: The Change Up

You spent your CGI money on what? Olivia Wilde and Leslie Mann have CGI nipples in this movie. That's right, they can fake nudity. I'm sure there's a logical reason for it, like how Jessica Alba won't be completely nude due to her religion, yet makes directors go through painstaking camera angles to show "just enough." I just think the idea is so stupid. If you don't want to be nude, don't do it, re-write it, re-cast it. Why waste your CGI money on something like that when you could've used it towards those God-awful babies that made Baby Geniuses' look like a masterpiece. Working dad Dave (Jason Bateman) and playboy slacker Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) are old buddies that piss in a magical fountain and suddenly switch bodies. Now they must find this fountain (it's been moved) and pee in it again to get themselves back to normal. Pretty standard. I figured this movie might have a few laughs, but it didn't. Not even Ryan Reynold's flawle

Indie Gems: Atonement

Come back.. Robbie ( James McAvoy) is in love with Cecilia, (Keira Knightley) but after her younger sister Briony (Saoirse Ronan) witnesses something that she isn't sure she actually saw, she blames Robbie for a crime that he didn't commit. Instead of spending the rest of his life in jail, they give him the opportunity to join the army and fight in WWII. Robbie writes to Cecilia and hopes that they can one day be reunited. Meanwhile, as Briony grows older and realizes her mistake, she's set on giving up her dream of being a writer and to work as a nurse like Cecilia. A way of atoning for what she has done. There are so many beautiful things about this movie. One that stands out first is the score. They were very clever to use a type writer sound in their music when we are first introduced to Briony, who is played wonderfully by Ronan as a child. The costumes were breathtaking, Cecilia's green dress has reached icon status in my opinion, and let's not forget about

DVD Review: Warrior

Did I miss something? Reviews for this film contain words such as "heartwarming"and "entertaining". I guess I didn't see the same film everyone else did. Shame.  War hero Tommy (Tom Hardy) teams up with his alcoholic father, Paddy (Nick Nolte) to train for some MMA fighting, he eventually crosses paths with his Pyshics teacher and cash strapped brother, Brenden (Joel Edgerton) who is training to fight as well. They had a falling out as teens during their parent's divorce and now they must fight each other. The plot is so recycled and filled with cliches that you can practically predict whats going to happen next. Nick Nolte turns in a fine performance, but even he can't save this film. Bring on Tom Hardy as Bane, because this film did nothing for me. Recommended: No Grade: C Memorable Quote: "Why am I looking at pictures of people I don't know?" - Tommy (Tom Hardy) 

2012 Oscar Nominees

Ah Oscar season. With that comes the usual complaints on who got robbed and who deserved it. This year's nominees however are a real buzz kill. It seems like there's way more gripes then praises, that even the best nominees (Gary Oldman, FINALLY) get overshadowed but a few total "wtf" moments. My comments as always are in green. Best Picture: " War Horse " " The Artist " " Moneyball ," " The Descendants " " The Tree of Life " " Midnight in Paris " " The Help " " Hugo" " Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close " This year, the number of nominees could range anywhere between 5-10. They settled on 9. (stupid) Not only did they settle on 9, but Extreme Loud & Incredibly Close? Really? I wasn't aware anyone liked that movie. War Horse? While not a surprise, my problem with Speilberg's picture was that it was obvious Oscar bate. This movie serves no other

Dear Oscars, here's my wish list.

Here's a few things I hope will be announced during tomorrow's nominations. Some may seem a little far fetched, but that's the point of a wish list. 1) Elizabeth Olsen for Best Actress. She blew me away in Martha Marcy May Marlene, why not include her? An up and coming actress that broke out in a Sundance favorite? Why not? 2) Leave Bridesmaids out. No supporting actress, no screenplay, and please no Best Picture! It didn't deserve it. 3) 50/50 deserves an original screenplay nomination. It was one of the most unique pictures this year. 4) Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Best Actor? Yeah..I know this probably won't happen, but I loved him in 50/50 and Best Actor isn't as stacked as it was last year. In my mind, there's only three "for sure" performances, Clooney, Pitt, and Dujardin. Possibly Michael Fassbender for the 4th. Who does that leave for the 5th? Go with Gordon-Levitt, 50/50 got better reviews than J. Edgar and I know you won't nomina

2012 BAFTA nominees

Late, I know. Here's a list of the 2012 BAFTA nominees. I'm happy to see that Drive is getting more love. It's deserving, and a far better film than Ides of March. Phillip Seymour Hoffman's nomination feels like it's a little "out of nowhere" but I like the guy, so I'm not complaining. I'm bummed that 50/50 didn't get an original screenplay nomination though. Best Film The Artist The Descendants Drive The Help Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy   Film Not in the English Language Incendies Pina Potiche A Separation The Skin I Live In Outstanding British Film My Week with Marilyn Senna Shame Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy We Need to Talk About Kevin Director Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive Martin Scorsese, Hugo Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Lynne Ramsay, We Need to Talk About Kevin Leading Actor Brad Pitt, Moneyball Gary Oldman , Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy George Clooney, The Descendant

Indie Gems: Daydream Nation

A dreamer, that's what he was. Caroline (Kat Dennings) has just moved from the big city to a small town. This year, everything would happen to her. Her new home town is plagued with an industrial fire that burns outside of town, and a serial killer praying on young women. Then there's the fact that Caroline is having an affair with one of her teachers, Mr. A (Josh Lucas) and also carrying on a relationship with stoner buddy Thurston (Reece Thompson) who has plenty demons of his own. Kat Dennings may not be the strongest actress out there, but she's well on her way. What she lacks when trying to convey extreme emotions she makes up for in spunk during the rest. She's a great narrator for this film, she makes it interesting despite it's flaws. I felt like they tried to cram way too many subplots into one film. All were strong enough ideas and I felt they didn't get the time they deserved, but if they did the film would've been longer and just as jumbled. Like

DVD Review: Scream 4

What's your favorite scary movie? Ahh the Scream franchise. You could say this rebooted the slasher movies in the 1990's. You have to give Scream credit, while it was painfully aware of the ridiculous nature of the slasher film, it still turned in some jumpy moments and made you think about who the killer really is. Sydney (Neve Campbell) is back in Woodsboro for her book tour on the anniversary of the slayings. Of course things don't go well. Scream 4 brings back familiar faces like Courteney Cox and David Arquette, and adds new ones like Emma Roberts and Rory Culkin. It also adds some pretty funny cameos by Anna Paquin, Adam Brody, Kristin Bell, and Lucy Hale. I felt like the stabbings in this film were taken to a higher level than the previous ones, which fits perfect. Scream 4 lampoons the horror remake, and the last line of dialogue from our heroine may be the funniest in a slasher flick yet. Recommended: Yes Grade: B Memorable Quote: "You forgot the most im

2012 Golden Globe Winners

Here are the 2012 Golden Globe winners. As always, my thoughts will follow in green. Ricky Gervais was hosting again, and honestly it went a lot better than I expected. I found him to be terribly boring last year, but this time around he had some decent jokes. Best Picture (Drama): The Descendants I thought War Horse would win since the Best Drama at the Globes never wins at the Oscar, but Descendants won instead. I'm fine with this because I really enjoyed the movie, but I was a little surprised to see how many were against this win. Best Actor in a Movie (Drama): George Clooney, The Descendants Again, I'm ok with it, but really Michael Fassbender probably deserved it. As Clooney pointed out, he did go full frontal.. Best Picture (Comedy or Musical): The Artist I figured this would happen, I think 50/50 deserved it. Thank God it wasn't Bridesmaids. Best Actress in a Movie (Drama): Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady I was surprised here too, but Streep's accept

Indie Gems: The King

The devil made him do it.   When Elvis (Gael Garcia Bernal) goes to Texas to search for the father he's never met, he doesn't expect much. He surely didn't expect him to be tough, Christian pastor David (William Hurt) who tells Elvis to stay away from his family. It's too late for that, Elvis is already in a relationship with David's teen daughter Malorie. David is faced with some serious questions about faith, while Elvis is about to take everything a step too far. (Pell James) If you can get past the fact that Pell James is way, way, WAY to old to play a 16 year old (this is Alison Lohman territory we're talking about) The King is actually very interesting. David brings up some valid questions and we really come to find out how unstable Elvis really is. What I enjoyed most about this film was it's unpredictability. I didn't expect it to go where it did. I also enjoyed Paul Dano's small role, surprise surprise. Recommended: Yes Grade: B Memor

Review: Midnight in Paris

J'Taime Not too long ago I went on a mini tangent about how I always try to watch Woody Allen films, and am always let down. A number of my fellow bloggers/tweeters were quick to recommend a few that they didn't think I would hate. Midnight in Paris was one of those film. Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) are done crashing weddings and are tagging along on Inez's father's business venture to Paris. Gil is a successful screenwriter who's attempting to write his first novel. He believes the 20's were the golden age, and he quickly falls in love with Paris. He feels inspired through his midnight walks through Paris, but snobbish Inez doesn't feel the same. Paris is an enchanting city, and I honestly think that beauty distracted me from the fact that this was an Allen feature. Maybe I'm looking for excuses, but I couldn't believe how beautiful this movie was. Sure it followed the familiar formula of a couple drawn apart, but Gil's trips

SAG Awards: Who Will Win. Who Should Win.

For my intial thoughts on the SAG awards, click here . Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role DEMIÁN BICHIR / A BETTER LIFE GEORGE CLOONEY / THE DESCENDANTS LEONARDO DiCAPRIO / J. EDGAR JEAN DUJARDIN /THE ARTIST BRAD PITT /MONEYBALL Who will win: George Clooney, there isn't a clear favorite yet, but this was the film I enjoyed the most. Who should win: Leonardo DiCaprio. Give this guy a damn Oscar already, he obviously wants one. Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role GLENN CLOSE /ALBERT NOBBS VIOLA DAVIS /THE HELP MERYL STREEP /THE IRON LADY TILDA SWINTON /WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN MICHELLE WILLIAMS /MY WEEK WITH MARILYN Who will win: Michelle Williams Who should win: Williams, this is her year. Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role KENNETH BRANAGH / MY WEEK WITH MARILYN ARMIE HAMMER /J. EDGAR JONAH HILL /MONEYBALL NICK NOLTE /WARRIOR CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER /BEGINNERS Who will win: K

The Golden Globes. Who Will Win: Who Should Win:

Best Drama The Descendants The Help Hugo The Ides of March Moneyball War Horse Who will win: War Horse. It's a Speilberg vechile, plus Best Drama at the Globes never wins Best Picture at the Oscars. Who should win: The Descendants was my favorite of this list, but I wouldn't be upset if The Help won either. Best Comedy/Musical 50/50 The Artist Bridesmaids Carnage Midnight in Paris My Week with Marilyn Who will win: The Artist (or, Bridesmaids..but hopefully not) Who should win: 50/50. It seems the HFPA has a big golden boner for The Artist. I haven't see it, so all I can really say is how much I love 50/50 and how much I think it deserves to win. Best Animated Film Arthur Christmas Cars 2 Rango Puss in Boots The Adventures of Tintin Who will win: The Adventures of Tintin seems to have awards written all over it. Who should win: Rango? Best Foreign Language Film The Flowers of War In the Land of Blood and Honey The Kid With a B

Indie Gems: Pretty Persuasion

Mean girl. Kimberly (Evan Rachel Wood) is a scheming high school sophomore at a prestigious private school. She forces her two friends Brittany (Elisabeth Harnois) and new exchange student Randa (Adi Schnall) to wrongfully accuse their English teacher of sexual harassment. Why? Fame. Her father, played by James Woods is more concerned about how this trial will effect his business than the effects it has on his daughter herself. TV Reporter Emily (my first exposure to Jane Krakowski) also hopes covering this case will further her celebrity. It seems like everyone is in this for the wrong reasons. When this first came out, most of my friends hated it, but not me. PP has some pretty intense dialogue and possibly an agenda. Some see the film as having political undertones. I didn't pick up on that at first, but I can kind of see where they are coming from. I enjoy Evan Rachel Wood as an actress, and it was nice to see her in such a cruel role. It goes to some dark places, but manages

5 Timeless Classics...That I Hate.

This is what happens when you're bored.. 1) The Sound of Music: Julie Andrews has a beautiful voice, but after having to sing all of those songs for a elementary school program has made me appreciate it less. Sixteen Going on Seventeen is probably one of the WORST songs ever written for a film. (Or book?) It makes What Would Brian Boitano Do sound like a masterpiece. 2) Gone With The Wind: Frankly, my dear, this movie is so damn boring! Scarlett O'Hara is completely unlikable - some unlikable characters in movies are at least fun to watch. Not her. 3) Bed knobs and Broomsticks: This sparked a debate on the greatest magical movies of all time (I say Harry Potter) There was too much going on in this movie and none of it was interesting. 4) Dances With Wolves: Never mind the fact that Kevin Costner can't act, this movie actually beat Goodfellas for Best Picture. GOODFELLAS! Fail, Academy. Fail. 5) Field of Dreams: Guess who's not a Costner fan?  I bab

DVD Review: The Lincoln Lawyer

Everyone has a price. Mobile defense lawyer Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is slapped with an interesting case when a wealthy realtor, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) is accused of a terrible crime. At first, Haller is convinced he's innocent, but after a little more digging he realizes that he was picked for a purpose, and that he may have already put an innocent man in prison because of Roulet's previous crimes. Lincoln Lawyer didn't look that interesting to me when it first came out, but I have to say the cast is impressive. Besides McConuaghey and Phillippe, there's Marisa Tomei, Michael Pena, Josh Lucas, William H. Macy and Bryan Cranston to top it off. McConaughey seems to be at his best when he's playing a lawyer. You might guess the ending before it comes, but watching the characters put all the pieces together is still very enjoyable. Recommended: Yes Grade: B Memorable Quote: "Repeat customers.." - Mick Haller (Matthew McConuaghey)

My Top 10 Films of 2011

 A few films that I really wanted to see, but haven't gotten the chance yet are: We Need To Talk About Kevin, Pariah, My Week With Marilyn, Take Shelter, and Shame. 1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  - Were you surprised this was at the top of my list? You shouldn't be. Actually after numbers 1 and 2 this list is in no particular order. I love Harry Potter, and it's quite sad to think that I don't have anything HP related to look forward too ever again. I love having HP fever, and all the build up before standing in a long line for the midnight showing. Even though there were a few gripes I had about the film, it was still good overall and ended on a great note for the series. I still hate Steve Kloves. Horrible fucking screen writer... 2) 50/50 - This film had the perfect balance between drama and comedy, which is a tremendous feat for a movie about cancer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a fantastic lead and the story was great. 3) Martha Marcy May Marle