Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Grade: A+

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is this summer's follow up to 2007's Transformers. Revenge of the Fallen takes place two years after the events in Transformers. Now Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots, which now includes four new Autobots that have come to Earth, work in a top secret multi-national government agency that's sole purpose is to track down the rest of the Decepticons hiding out across the globe and to eliminate them. This leads to an awesome battle right at the beginning of the movie in Shanghai. At the same time Sam Witwicky is leaving for college and his mom is heartbroken about it and his dad can't seem to wait to get him out of the house. Sam is still dating Mikaela Banes and they seem to be pretty involved and are trying to figure out a way to make this now long distance relationship work. On top of that Sam breaks the news to Bumblebee, his Camaro and Autobot protector, that he does not want to bring Bumblebee to college with him so that he can try to live a normal life. While finishing packing Sam finds a shard of the All-Spark, a cube that contained unknown power that was mostly destroyed at the end of the first movie, and when he touches it it seems to implant an alien message in his head. At college he has a minor freak out and starts writing in the alien language. Meanwhile the Decepticons resurrect Megatron and he flies off to a distant planet where he speaks with an ancient Decepticon and basically Megatron's boss known as The Fallen. They are determined to find a source of Energon, the energy that gives the robot race life, that is on Earth and discover that Sam is now the key to finding it. The rest of the movie is a race to find the energy source and stop the Decepticons from destroying the planet.

Many critics seem to hate this movie and apparently those critics just don't like to have fun and I think are possibly terrorists. This movie was awesome. Was the plot touching and life affirming like said critics seem to expect out of it? No. Was the acting simply amazing and Oscar worthy again like the critics seem to expect? No. Was this movie everything every fan was expecting, big shiny talking robots fighting each other in amazing battles and blowing stuff up? Absolutely. Again, I don't know why the critics are so against having fun but that's exactly what this movie is, fun, it is a popcorn flick. Transformers was never meant to be a serious drama or Oscar contender (except for the visual and special effects, they were amazing). If you like the action of the first movie you are going to love Revenge of the Fallen as Michael Bay brings the action back tenfold. This movie has nonstop edge of your seat action and is riddled with humor to help it along. Megatron returns and is bigger, badder and meaner than ever. The movie is full of amazing fight sequences between the two factions of robots, including one scene where Optimus takes on four or five Decepticons at once. The battles in Revenge are bigger and longer than in the first Transformers movie. The true Devastator shows up when seven Decepticons combine to create one super robot that destroys everything in its path.

Shia LaBeouf (Transformers, Eagle Eye) returns as Sam Witwicky, the slightly awkward teenager now adult going to college. I personally don’t really care for Shia LaBeouf, never really thought he was a good actor but he’s tolerable in this because he is surrounded by shiny robots. Megan Fox (Transformers, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People) returns as the sexy Mikaela Banes. I actually think Megan Fox shows some potential, in general, to be a good actress and not just eye candy, but in these Transformers movies that is exactly what she is, something to look at, and myself and the rest of the audience seems to be ok with that. John Turturro (Secret Window, O’ Brother Where Art Thou) returns as well as former Sector 7 agent Simmons. Turturro mostly plays the part of comic relief in Revenge as he did in Transformers as well, and he does such a great job at it as Turturro is a naturally funny man. Also returning is Josh Duhamel as Captain Lennox, Tyrese Gibson as Tech Sergeant Epps, Hugo Weaving as the voice of Megatron and Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. New to the scene is Ramon Rodriguez as Leo, Sam’s new dorm mate. This is the one part of the movie I didn’t care for, Leo was a completely useless character. Fine, give Sam a wacky conspiracy theorist dorm mate but don’t have him tag along for the rest of the movie. Leo contributes absolutely nothing to the movie and the movie might have been better without him.

Many people these days seem to have a problem with director Michael Bay and his movies, so much so that Bay has said that he is leaving the action movie business because of how the critics treat his movies. Bay says “It's easy to go shoot an art movie in a winery in the South of France. But people have no idea how hard it is to create something like Transformers. They (the critics) review me before they've even seen the movie." And “I need to do something totally divergent, something without any explosions.". To Michael Bay I would like to say that I agree with what you said and I hope that you change your mind. While your movies may not be the art house crap most critics look for, they do bring joy to me and many of people around the world as is evident by the large sums of cash your movies rake in. Please ignore the ignorant snobs who review your movies and keep making the beautiful and glorious movies that you do. They may not tell some tragic story that makes everybody want to kill themselves after leaving the theater or be some completely ridiculous love story set in Mumbai that’s story makes cars that turn into robots sound believable, but you sir make the best popcorn flicks and make the summer blockbuster season worth looking forward to.

I recommend that any fan of Transformers be it TV show, toy or movie, go see Transformers: revenge of the Fallen. In fact, I recommend that anybody who enjoys a good popcorn flick and likes the sweet sound of explosions and metal colliding with metal go see this movie. It is fantastic and more fun and exciting than the first Transformers. Also, if you have the opportunity, go see it in IMAX as Michael Bay shot at least 3 scenes with IMAX cameras so they look beautiful and take up the entire IMAX screen.

Great quote: “Give me your face!”

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: Year One

Grade: C+

Year One is a new Comedy about two hunter/gatherers, Zed and Oh, who eat from the tree of good and evil and are thrown out of their village. They then meet up with many biblical characters. To start they meet Cain and Abel and after Cain kills Abel they all run off together. Cain then sells the two into slavery. The two then meet up with two women from their village, Maya and Eema, who have been captured and sold into slavery as well. The two then spend the rest of the movie going from biblical story to biblical story trying to find a way to free Maya and Eema.

This movie is written and directed by comedy legend Harold Ramis. Unfortunately this movie is far from his greatest. It has its moments that really make me laugh but overall Year One was nowhere near as funny as many of Ramis’ past movies. There were many jokes about the biblical stories that I did enjoy like Cain killing Abel and trying to cover it up, Abraham founding Israel and talking about circumcisions. Unfortunately the jokes were very hit and miss and not very frequent. Regrettably most of the humor is very low brow and even at points involves the characters eating poop and drinking urine. Like I said though there are some great jokes, most of which are at the expense of religion and religious practices that don’t make sense, like sacrificing virgins.

Jack Black (Tropic Thunder, Orange County) plays Zed, a hunter/gatherer who is not good at either and is pretty much hated by everybody in the village. After he eats from the tree of good and evil he becomes convinced that he is the chosen one. Chosen one for what, he never really says other than he feels he is meant for something larger. Zed wants to be with Maya but she is only interested in people who are strong and smart. Jack Black is his usual crazy and outgoing self in this role which is ok because that’s one of the reasons I wanted to see it. Michael Cera (Superbad, TV’s Arrested Development) plays Zed’s close friend Oh. Oh has very little self confidence but is in love with Eema and keeps trying to get her to like him. Michael Cera will probably have the misfortune of always playing this type of character, it is the exact same character that he’s played in Arrested Development, Superbad, Juno and Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. Up and coming actress June Diane Raphael plays Maya and did a pretty good job for the small role and was pretty funny at times as well. Another up and coming actress Juno Temple played Eema, again doing a pretty good job for the somewhat minor role.

There was quite the supporting cast that really helped the movie along. Bill Hader showed up as the village shaman and was pretty funny in the brief role. Harold Ramis himself showed up as Adam, father of Cain and Abel. David Cross played Cain and was very funny and was the most prominent character outside of the two leads probably. Paul Rudd had a very brief appearance as Abel. Vinnie Jones played Saragon, a leader in the Sodom army. Oliver Platt had a very funny role as an effeminate high priest in Sodom. Hank Azaria was very funny as Abraham, especially since he kept running around talking about circumcising everybody. Olivia Wilde played Princess Inanna, a kind hearted women who only cared about the well being of the people of Sodom.

Over all the movie wasn’t bad and was good for some cheap laughs but it defiantly doesn’t rank up against Harold Ramis’ other works and is far from the funniest movie of the year. If you like Jack Black and Michael Cera chances are you will enjoy this movie.

Great quote: “Guard! The upside down man has to pee!”

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review: The Proposal

Grade: C+

The Proposal is a romantic comedy about Andrew Paxton, and executive assistant to an overbearing book editor named Margaret Tate. Margaret is mean and most people in the office seem to be afraid of her. One day Margaret finds out that her visa from Canada has expired and that she will be deported and fired from the company. She then comes up with the plan to force Andrew to marry her so that she can stay. The company buys it, immigration doesn't so much so they plan on testing the two. In the mean time to try to prove that they are a couple they fly to Alaska for Andrew's grandma's 90th birthday where they will also tell the family that they are engaged. When they get there most of the family is shocked to hear that Andrew is engaged to a person he has claimed to despise for three years. What follows is some funny scenes and many chick flick clichés leading to the very predictable ending.

Like I said, this movie was filled with chick flick clichés. To start you could tell from the trailer that it was going to be a movie about two people who hate each other at first but after a lie and extremely unusual and farfetched circumstances they were going to end up falling in love. This movie also has the most over played cliché of all time for romantic comedies, the somewhat crazy and inappropriate grandmother. This grandmother gropes Margaret Tate, gives the couple a "baby-making" blanket and enjoys going to see the only male stripper in the small Alaskan town. Basically there was nothing really new about this movie and it all played out so very by the book.

Ryan Reynolds (Waiting, Just Friends) plays Andrew Paxton and he really carries most of the humor in the movie. He is very funny in the first half of the movie as he does to his boss exactly what I would have done in that situation, he totally owned her. He was constantly making Margaret do rather embarrassing things (especially for the power and authority she is used to having), such as kneeling to propose to him and the overall experience of going to Alaska to meet his family. Reynolds delivers his perfect delivery throughout the entire movie rally helps things flow along smoother. Sandra Bullock (Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice) was great as the tyrannical Margaret Tate. She has some shining moments in the movie where she is really funny but not as much as I thought there would be. She still did a great job and if they had cast anybody else in this role I don't think it would have been nearly as good. The supporting cast was great and at times very funny. Craig T. Nelson (TV's Coach) played Andrew's dad, and the two don't exactly get along. Mary Steenburgen (Back to the Future Part III, Step Brothers) does a great job as Andrew's mom, as she has been doing rather frequently lately. Betty White played the stereotypical inappropriate grandma, as she does so well. It also included Malin Akerman (Watchmen, 27 Dresses) as Andrew's ex, a brief appearance by Aasif Mandvi (The Daily Show) and a hilarious bit played by Oscar Nunez (TV's The Office), Ramone, who works everywhere in town.

The movie does also include, all in one scene, the obligatory shirtless Ryan Reynolds scene, which I could tell pleased all the women in the audience, and Sandra Bullock in the buff. This scene has been talked about a little bit as it is Sandra Bullock's first nude scene. She covers up so you can't really see anything but yet you can see everything. I would just like to say that she looks amazing for her age, you know what? Scratch that, she looks amazing for any age really.

The Proposal is a good date movie and a good girls night out movie. It was good and pretty funny at points but like I said, it is a very by the book romantic comedy. If you like to laugh go see this with you boyfriend or girlfriend.

Great quote: "So what do you prefer? Margaret or Satan's Mistress?"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Review: Away We Go

Grade: A-

Away We Go is a sweet and funny movie about long time couple Burt Farlander, played by John Krasinski (TV’s The Office), and Verona De Tessant, played by Maya Rudolph (TV’s Saturday Night Live), who are expecting their first child. One day they go to visit Burt’s parents, played by Jeff Daniels (State of Play, Dumb and Dumber) and Catherine O’Hara (Orange County, Home Alone), and they tell the couple that they are moving to Belgium for two years, on top of that they are moving just one month before the baby is due. So Burt and Verona realize that the only thing keeping them in Colorado and in a trailer that is falling apart was Burt’s parents. The couple decides to go visit old friends and family in other cities and try to make a decision on where to start anew and to raise their family.

This movie was a very good and very sweet tale of the happily unmarried couple traveling all over the country reconnecting with old friends trying to decide what kind of environment they would like to raise their child in. Along the way they discover some real life problems that many families face and come across some very hard decisions. They have several discussions about their abilities as parents, they wonder if they are screw ups because they are both thirty something and don’t have life figured out yet. They realize of course that nobody really has life figured out, ever.

First stop is Arizona where they meet up with Verona’s old boss and friend Lily and her family. Lily, played by Allison Janney (Juno, TV’s West Wing) is a bit crazy and her husband Lowell, played by comedian Jim Gaffigan, has a very dreary look at life. You feel kind of bad for the kids because both are narcissistic and seem to barely care about their kids. Next they go to visit Verona’s sister Grace, played by Carmen Ejogo, where we learn a little bit about Verona’s upbringing and her parents who we learn earlier had passed away years before. Then it’s off to Wisconsin to visit Burt’s childhood friend LN. LN, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight, Stranger Than Fiction), and her husband Roderick are pretty much the definition of New Age extremist parenting to a disturbing degree that they reject strollers and have sex in front of their children. They quickly leave them to go to Montreal where some old College friends of theirs live. Their friends Tom, played by Chris Messina (Vicki Christina Barcelona) and Munch, played by Melanie Lynskey (TV’s Two and a Half Men), have 5 adopted children and these people seem to be the epitome of a happy family, but we soon learn that even if you do everything right life makes no promises. Then a frantic call from Burt’s brother Courtney sends the two to Miami. Courtney, played by Paul Schneider (TV’s Parks and Recreation), tells Burt that his wife has just left him and his daughter and he doesn’t know how to tell his daughter this sending the couple on another adventure involving the chaos of life.

All the performances in this movie were absolutely amazing. John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph take a step out of the norm for their roles as the uncertain couple. Allison Janney is absolutely hilarious and outgoing and Jim Gaffigan played perfectly alongside her. Jeff Daniels and Catherine O’Hara were amusing as Burt’s parents. Maggie Gyllenhaal was hysterical as the New Age mother LN. The rest of the cast, including the children in the movie, all did a fantastic job.

Away We Go is a wonderful, funny and bittersweet ride that everyone should enjoy. It is defiantly an unconventional romantic comedy where the two main players are realistically in love with no ridiculous fights and despite all the problems they encounter their relationship never seems threatened. The writing was fantastic, it’s rated R but easily could have been PG-13 with minor changes but I appreciate that the writer’s didn’t compromise the realism of the movie for a rating.

Great quote: "I promise I will always love you, even if you get so fat that I can't find your vagina."

P.S. This is for the distributors of the movie. Why would you advertise the hell out of a movie life this showing trailers all over TV and in theaters, posters everywhere and then only release it into about 50 or 60 theaters across the country? I know so many people that want to see this but it's not playing anywhere near them. Then a movie like Easy Virtue which has had virtually no advertising is opeining in 10 major movie theaters in my area alone? Seriously, rethink your strategy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Movie Theater Etiquette

I talk to people about this all the time and people seem to understand and agree with me. I have yet to meet someone who disagrees with me. Yet every time I go to the movie I see people breaking at least one of these rules EVERY TIME. I have also come up with some new and additions to rules. This has been bothering me because my movie going experiences are getting worse. I have seen Pixar's Up twice now, the first time with a theater full of children and the second with a theater full of adults. Guess which showing was worse… that's right the theater with "adults". At least the kids understood that when the movie started it was time to shut up. So here are the rules:

1. Turn OFF ALL cell phones. This should go without saying but every time I go to a movie there is at least one jackass who keeps pulling out his phone. I don't mind if you keep your phone on silent , but if you're going to pull it out and use it GO OUTSIDE! That light is extremely irritating. I recently heard that there were some people who decided to go to a midnight showing of a movie and discuss it LIVE on TWITTER! This means that these people kept pulling out their phones and texting to twitter (yet another reason I hate this site). These people need to be shot. I don't care that they sat in the back, the fact is that they kept pulling out their phones and disturbing the people around them. I see this, I will revoke your phone and shove your battery up your ass. Why do you want to spend $10 to go to a movie than just play on your phone the whole time? What is the point? If you’re a doctor either don't go or if you're phone goes off LEAVE THE THEATER! As an overall rule to this NEVER EVER EVER ANSWER YOUR PHONE OR TEXT MESSAGE DURING THE MOVIE!!!

2. When the movie starts your mouth shuts. That's right, I think it's a simple request. When the movie starts it's time to start paying attention to the movie and stop talking to your friends. If you want to talk to your friends save yourself $10 and don't go to a movie. To go along with this please do not talk back to the movie, I know this may be hard to comprehend but the actors can’t hear you.

3. Do not bring your kid if they are under the age of 4. This may offend some people but I really don't care. Under the age of 4 kids have no attention span and really no memory so don't waste the money bringing them. And especially if they are toddlers and under because they have a tendency to cry and disrupt everyone's movie experience. Get a babysitter.

3a. Don't bring your kid unless they can behave themselves and sit still for the duration of the movie. Again, this may offend some people but it needs to be said. I am going to movies and increasingly seeing disruptive kids. I have on numerous occasions seen people bring their kids to movies and just let their kid wonder through the theater. WHAT THE HELL!? So now the kid is disrupting EVERYBODY as they wonder up and down the rows of people watching the movie. I even saw one of these kids drag other kids out of their seats to join them on their adventure. If I was a parent I would be worried that the kid would wonder out of the theater and then who knows what would happen.

3b. Only bring your kid to age appropriate movies. This is another increasing trend I'm seeing and it is really beginning to upset me. For instance, when I went to The Hangover, and extremely raunchy and vulgar R rated comedy, I saw some guy show up with A BABY!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! That is extremely inappropriate. Granted to go with rule 3 at that age they don't even really know what's going on but still. So of course the baby starts crying 5 minutes into the movie and everybody in the theater got so upset that the guy finally left the theater and never returned. WHAT WAS HE THINKING!? Also, when I went to see The Soloist somebody brought a kid who was probably 7. Now, there isn't really anything inappropriate about the movie but it does deal with pretty mature issues so I had the privilege of trying to watch this fantastic movie while every five minutes everyone in the theater can hear "what's going on?" "What does that mean?" "I don't get it" "What's that?" "What's happening?" because that's another reason to not bring kids unless they can behave themselves, most children have one voice setting, loud.

4. Do some research on the movie you are going to see so that you know what to expect. Now, by this I mean have a basic knowledge of what the movie is about. Part of this can be tied into rule 3. I went to see Milk, about the first openly gay man elected to a public office, and next to me is a group of people probably in their 60's and 70's and the gentleman sitting next to me was apparently homophobic or something. The whole movie he kept cringing and complaining every time 2 men would kiss. This got really annoying really fast. Also, I went to see Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, that's right DEMON BARBER, it's an R rated movie about a man who would kill people while shaving them then dump their bodies down a chute where the lady in the pie shop would cook their bodies into pies. What part of that sounds family friendly? When I saw it apparently a bunch of people only heard Johnny Depp from the Pirates movies and musical and thought it would be good wholesome family fun. Well, sure enough about 20 minutes into the movie about half the theater got up (pretty much all adults with children and even a baby in tow) and left. Same thing happened at Pan's Labyrinth. People heard the word "fairy tale" and then when a man gets his face smashed in with a bottle 5 minutes into the movie they get upset. Your own fault.

5. This should go without saying but kicking the back of someone’s seat is extremely disrespectful and annoying plus it looks badly upon you and nobody wants that. In addition to this please make sure that your children aren’t kicking the back of someone’s chair.

6. If you have a bag of candy that you have not opened yet, please wait till there is some noise in the movie to open it. By this I mean that I hate hearing people trying to open a loud crinkly bag of candy during quiet parts of the movie.

7. Be on time! Man I cannot stress this enough. It is really annoying when a movie has started, the movie not the previews but the actual movie, and people are still walking into the movie then walking in front of you trying to find a seat. If you show up late, go to a later showing, seriously!

8. Please stay seated during the movie. I understand that sometimes you just have to go out of nowhere, in these instances please stay low, apologize to the people you have to walk past and take the quickest route out of the theater. But basically, please try to go to the restroom before the movie starts so you are not interrupting people’s movie going experience.

9. When purchasing your tickets and more often your concessions please be prepared and know what you want when you get to the front. Do not stand at the front of the line hmming and haaaing over what you want to get, you are holding up the line and most people don’t want to be late for the movie. Also, please know where your wallet is, it gets really annoying and holds up the line when people are digging through their purse and what not looking for their wallet.

10. I know there are people who clean the theaters in between each showing but help them out and show some courtesy, throw out your garbage please. It is really annoying when I see people leaving bags of popcorn, drink containers and candy wrappers all over the seats and floors. Seriously people it’s not that hard, you walk right past garbage containers on your way out the theater, just grab your trash and throw it out please.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review: Land of the Lost

Grade: B-

Land of the Lost is a movie based on the TV show from the 70's. This movie is about a man, Dr. Rick Marshall, who is the laughing stock of the science community because he has invested is life and taxpayer money into time warps. A seemingly ludicrous concept that he believes could save our renewable energy problem. One day he encounters a woman, Holly Cantrell, who convinces him to finish his work and join her on a small field test. The small field test takes place in a cave/tourist trap in the middle of nowhere. There they meet a cave guide, Will Stanton, who takes them into the cave. Then the small field experiment go awry and they open a full blown time warp and the three of them are transported to another dimension where the past, present and future combine into one. They then embark on a journey to find their way back and along the way encounter a missing link type creature, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, lizard creatures called Sleestaks and a whole other mess of bizarre creatures.

The movie stars Will Ferrell (Step Brothers, Anchorman) as Dr. Rick Marshall, a joke in the science community. This is unfortunately far from Will Ferrell's best performance, while he is still funny at points but not nearly as much as I was hoping for. Anna Friel (TV's Pushing Daisies) plays Holly Cantrell, a woman who studied the works of Dr. Marshall at college and was convinced he was right. Anna Friel shows great potential as an actress but unfortunately doesn’t contribute much to the humor of this movie. Danny McBride (Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express) plays Will Stanton, a white trash tourist trap worker who end up getting sucked into the time warp with the other two. McBride has always been a very funny man and most of the humor in this movie comes from his character.

I was really hoping this movie was going to be funnier. The trailer and concept showed so much potential to me but the script just couldn't seem to deliver. Don't get me wrong it was still funny and it had its moments but I was just wanting more. The bits with the T-Rex were funny and entertaining but at times it seemed like the movie was relying on this gag for its laughs. The character Cha-Ka, who is a half ape half man creature, is pretty entertaining at times.

This movie is very enjoyable and is very funny at times but to me it just wasn't enough. It is still absolutely worth seeing if you like a good comedy. This movie isn't for everybody but if you like Will Ferrell you'll probably like this movie.

Great Quote: "Matt Lauer can suck it!"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Review: The Hangover

Grade: A-

The Hangover is about a man, Doug, who is about to be married so he heads off to Las Vegas with his three friends, Phil, Stu and Alan, for a bachelor party two days before his wedding. They get to Vegas and upgrade their room to a villa at Caesar's Palace. They start off the night with toasts in celebration of the upcoming wedding. Next thing they wake up in their room with the place completely destroyed, a tiger in the bathroom and nobody can remember a thing from the night before. The three friends then realize that the groom is no longer in the room and has left his cell as well. What ensues is one hilarious stop after another as they search for clues around Vegas as to where their friend could be.

I would like to start by putting a big warning on this movie. While it is absolutely hilarious to somebody like me, this movie is absolutely not for the easily offended. This movie has something to offend everybody: Alcohol use, drug use, sex, strong nudity (and plenty of it), child abuse and who knows what else, some people are just touchy. So, as usual, just know what you're getting into.

The cast was fantastic. Bradley Cooper (Yes Man, Wedding Crashers) was great as egocentric Phil. Phil is a school teacher by day but when they hit Las Vegas all he wants is the biggest and the best. It's his idea to upgrade their room to a villa even though nobody has any plans of actually being in the room for too long. Ed Helms (TV's The Office, The Daily Show) played the concerned and kind hearted Stu. Stu at most times seems to be more mature than the other guys and most of the time seems to be the only one truly concerned with Doug's safety and well being, and the other guys make fun of him for these traits. Zack Galifianakis (Out Cold, The Comedians of Comedy) steals the show as Doug's soon to be brother-in-law Alan. Alan is a little weird and seemingly slow at times. He is the odd man out of the group and is just trying to fit in with the rest of Doug's friends. He does however have some of the funniest lines in the whole movie. Even though he's not in this much I have always been a fan of Justin Bartha (National Treasure) who plays the groom, Doug. Justin Bartha's character is very kind and loves all his friends and even has a certain sense of sophistication to him. This movie also has hilarious appearances by people like Mike Tyson, Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike Epps and Rob Riggle.

I laughed so hard at this movie from the beginning all the way to the end. This movie is just filled with humor at every turn. This actually surprised me as the director did Old School, which I really didn't find that funny, and the writers are the same people who wrote Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Four Christmases, which both really weren't that great or funny and directed more at girls. Speaking of, the vast majority of the humor in this movie is more guy oriented as it does take place around a bachelor party, but I noticed most of the women in the theater laughing as well. I would love to talk about what happens in this movie after they wake up but I don't want to give anything away because it is all hilarious but it is also all pretty shocking.

This movie is just good movie fun. If you want to laugh, this is the movie that will help you do that. The jokes are witty and brilliantly delivered by the great cast. This movie is absolutely absurd but completely fun. Go out and watch it and have a good time without waking up the next morning like these guys did.

Great Quote: "Remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Except for herpes, that s***'ll follow you back."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Review: The Brothers Bloom

Grade: A-

The Brothers Bloom is a story about two brothers, Stephen and Bloom, who grow up going from foster home to foster home before they decide to become con men. They grow up and learn to perfect their art of the con and become to be known as the best con men in the world by reputation. When Bloom decides he’s tired of life, tired of acting out his brothers fantasies for the cons and decides he doesn’t want to take the risks anymore while conning people, he “retires” to Montenegro. His brother Stephen, who is determined to pull the perfect con, finds him three months later and convinces him to join him and help in one last con. The target is a very rich and lonely woman named Penelope living in New Jersey. Bloom has to befriend her for the con and she ends up becoming very interested in their fake story and joins them in a trip to Europe where the con takes place unbeknownst to her.

This relatively little known movie was a flash o genius. Writer/Director Rian Johnson (Brick) has delivered a fantastic movie. The script is brilliantly written, has a great plot that keeps you guessing and is full of humor. The characters are excellent. Stephen is an enthusiastic man who loves his work and is determined to pull off the perfect con. Mark Ruffalo (Zodiac, Collateral) does a fantastic job with this role and it is probably one of his best performances. Bloom is the nervous and caring one of the two. He becomes attached to their targets and you can tell the life style bothers him sometimes mostly because he doesn’t like to hurt people. Adrian Brody (King Kong, The Pianist) does a fantastic job with this role. He really did a great job showing the characters feelings and emotions as he grew closer to Penelope. Penelope is a very lonely and rich woman. She lives by herself in an extremely large mansion in New Jersey. She, as she puts it, collects hobbies, she watches other people’s hobbies than learns how to do them. Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner, The Mummy) does amazingly well with this role. She is surprisingly funny and eccentric and the scene where she shows her hobbies, including Skateboarding, break dancing, juggling, ping pong and riding a unicycle (which apparently she actually learned how to do all of these for the role), is absolutely hilarious. Probably my favorite character in the movie is Bang Bang, the explosives and special effects expert who never talks. Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi does a great job with this role. Since this character never really speaks her role is all about body language and she is hilarious, her subtleties and nuances make this character one of the most entertaining parts of the movie.

The style of the movie was great. Most of it took place around Europe, specifically Belgium and Prague. The scenery is absolutely beautiful as they walk through the wonderful cities. Another thing was that the movie did take place in the present but with the way they dressed it was hard to tell most of the time. Dressing in classic styled suits, hats and dresses was a very interesting style decision. It looked like these characters came straight out of the 20’s or 30’s but work in modern times. It’s an interesting choice but I feel that it actually helps the movie and makes it more intriguing.

The Brothers Bloom is a very clever movie full of humor and twists that will keep you guessing to the very end. It is one of the best con movies I have seen in a very long time and is great entertainment for most anybody. It has some of the best writing I’ve seen all year too. I highly recommend getting out to try and see this movie if you can.

Favorite Quote: “I think you’re constipated… In your soul. You just have a big load of grumpy petrified poop up your soul's ass.”