I’m trying to squeeze in all of the best picture nominees before the Oscars – I’ve already seen Lincoln, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook and yesterday, we saw Argo, the latest joint from Ben Affleck, who is not nominated for Best Director or Best Beard, and he really should be nominated for both. Continue reading
As we’ve already done with Star Wars, we’re going back to Middle Earth for the prequel trilogy to The Lord of the Rings and this time, we’re going to have more fun with The Hobbit. I got started on the trek last Sunday with An Unexpected Journey.
Like Arthur Christmas, Steve Guttenberg is about to become Santa Claus because his Dad is retiring – and, like The Santa Claus 2, he has to get married. And, like the lesser known Finding Mrs. Claus (oh, I’ll get to that one!), he has to go out to the real world to meet a bride because… humans and elfs don’t breed? I guess. It’s fair to say that Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus isn’t the most original movie
So, Armin Shimerman (Quark from Star Trek) is the elf in charge of getting Steve Guttenberg’s Nick hitched, and he furnishes him a list of potential fiances, who all happen to live in southern California. We never get to meet any of these women as characters, but Nick quickly dismisses them all and meets Crystal Bernard (you know, she played what’s her name on Wings) and she casts him in a commercial that her advertising agency is working on for a big new client. Anyway, Guttenberg works his ass off in this movie as reminder to everyone that he can actually act and continually does a hilarious "ho ho ho!" sort of laugh every once in a while just to remind the audience that he’s Santa Claus. There’s an ENDLESS amount of product placements in this movie, although coke and pizza hut are the most obvious and overall, the movie is nothing special. I give it a 5 out of 10.
Tia Mowry faces off against cardboard cutout villain Tori Spelling in The Mistle-Tones, a somewhat self-aware comedy that is billed as a musical but is completely and totally not a musical in any way. I know, the trailer says it’s a musical in the first five seconds, but it’s not a musical. They never sing as a means of communication or about the plot and never spontaneously break out into song – they’re always rehearsing for a singing showdown that will determine who will perform at a mall on Christmas Eve. Some of the arrangements of Christmas classics are impressive (particularly The Twelve Days of Christmas – this is one of the few renditions that didn’t make me want to stick a fork in my eyes), but at times, it’s just a bunch of people singing in unison, which was an odd choice. There are a few bits that don’t make much sense – like where the hell did that parade float come from? And I guess some of the other oddness is Christmas magic… Also, you can smell the Glee all over this flick, and not in a good way.
Anyway, settle down with a few spiked soy nogs and remember that Tia Mowry has a smile that can’t be matched and forget that her life goals are sorely misguided (now have another spiked soy nog) and check out The Mistle-Tones, which I’m sure ABC Family will be running into the ground today and tomorrow. I give it a 6 out of 10.
If you watched the trailer, then I’m sad to report that the graffiti alien didn’t make it into the movie. Too bad – he’s cool looking!
Any-who, I was surprised how much I enjoyed Men in Black 3. I don’t remember a thing about the second one, and although this one was very similar to the first movie, it had enough quirks to keep me interested. Will Smith is totally lovable as usual, and although I would have preferred to have more Tommy Lee Jones in the movie, Josh Brolin is excellent and does a kick ass Tommy Lee Jones impression. The movie is worth a watch for that if nothing else, because he nailed it: the voice, the facial expressions, even the subtle things we all do in between words, the sounds we make… Brolin was all over it.
The story is interesting, even if it’s full of paradoxes (some on purpose, some because I imagine producers were like, “Ugh, are you still writing? Just have Will Smith punch somebody already!”), but it was still fun. Don’t think to hard, enjoy the performances and the emotion between the characters, and I think you’ll have a good time with Men in Black 3.
The first ten minutes (or so) of Arthur Christmas was fun! I loved seeing how Santa would operate in a modern world with an ever-expanding population. After that… it’s just a bunch of loathsome characters who all seem to be British but can’t find England. The only character I liked in the entire movie was the elf that wrapped presents. Otherwise, the flick is a disaster of a road movie during which the characters seem to get more and more detestable as they keep running into the same brick wall. It’s a boring trip with people you come to hate more and more with each passing minute. (There’s nothing fun about the Santa family using the elfs as a labor class – particularly since the elfs don’t seem to need the Santa family to accomplish the task of getting children Christmas presents. And that’s just the tip of the North Pole Ice Berg… Santa doesn’t know the names of the reindeer? Seriously? What an asshole. Oh, and I have no idea what the point was of them losing the reindeer one by one – it just made me feel like they didn’t really give a crap about them, because that plot thread didn’t really end up being of import as it wasn’t the lack of reindeer that did in the sleigh… blah.)
I see what they were trying to, but it just didn’t work. I give it a 3 out of 10.
Safety Not Guaranteed stars Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Rec), a guy who looks vaguely familiar, and two other guys. I very much enjoyed the unusual story (check out the trailer) and the performances, but really, you can’t miss the chance to watch Aubrey Plaza in a feature film. She is friggin’ awesome in this, and the movie will keep you guessing right until the end. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that I would have ended this movie about 5 seconds earlier than it actually ends. Sometimes, less is more, and I think this was one of those times. Either way, this is a good flick; I give it an 8 out of 10 and I’m sorry I waited so long to see it.
I finally got around to seeing The Hunger Games, and I must say, I was impressed. The trailer did get my interest, and I’d heard it was a good watch from people I trust, but now that I’ve actually seen it – wow. The trailers don’t do it justice. It’s an interesting, gritty story (perhaps even shocking in some ways) with characters that are (for the most part) fun to root for or to hate. Sure, there were a few of the kids I never felt like I got a chance to know, but you’re so rooted to the protagonist that it hardly matters. All of the well-known actors give great supporting performances (Woody Harrelson is perfectly cast – but, he’s also just that good) and the newcomers are good, too.
This is a must see for action fans or just anyone who likes a good story. I’d keep the smaller kids away from this one, though. I give it a 9 out of 10.
If you’re like me (or rather like I was until just a few weeks ago), everything you know about Twilight you learned from commercials for the film. Well, today I can bring you up to speed on that which has enthralled some segment of the world.
My Score: 7 out of 10
Sometimes, things in your town get out of control. You don’t want to get involved, but eventually, you’re going to have to punch someone in the face. This is what happened to the Wu Tang Clan’s The RZA’s character in The Man with the Iron Fists. And, for the most part, it’s a lot of fun to watch.
Posted in movie reviews
Tagged Byron Mann, Cung Le, David Bautista, Jamie Chung, kung fu movie, Lucy Liu, movie review, Rick Yune, Russell Crowe, RZA, The Man with the Iron Fists
My Score: 80%
Last week, I reviewed the Hope Springs movie trailer (which was, admittedly, a weird thing to do), but this past weekend, we did the deed and actually saw the film. Guess what? The trailer and the movie don’t match. And now that I stop and think about that lack of coherency between trailer and film, I realize that’s probably a good thing… Continue reading
My Score: 80
The Expendables 2 is exactly what it looks like: action shlock. Fortunately, everyone involved with the film was well aware of this, so it’s a fun watch. Continue reading
Posted in movie reviews
Tagged Arnold Schwarzenegger, bruce willis, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Liam Hemsworth, movie review, movies, Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Terry Crews, The Expendables 2, Yu Nan
My Score: 60%
How do you feel about farce? If you love farce, then maybe you’ll love Death at a Funeral (the British 2007 version, not the American 2010 version)… maybe. It’s not really fair for me to say I didn’t like this movie as I don’t really care for farce, but I have seen many different ones over the years, and even for a farce, Death at a Funeral is crappy.
My Score: 80%
I saw Moonrise Kingdom this past weekend, and I certainly had a good time, but I didn’t love it the way most critics did. (It’s at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.) The flick checks off most of the usual Wes Anderson boxes, but ultimately, its peripheral characters feel underdeveloped and its main characters didn’t pull me in.
My Score: 80%
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel stars every British actor you’ve ever heard of that’s older, still alive and NOT Michael Caine. Despite that fact, the screenplay is not especially well constructed, and when I saw the trailer, I began to wonder why these folks would want to make such a movie at this point in their lives. I wouldn’t exactly say the story is full of holes or all of the dialogue is terrible, but I guess the lesson here is that even “Mary Had A Little Lamb” sounds awesome when played by a master violinist on a Stradivarius, because this movie is trite and cliche from start to finish, and it’s still pretty good.