Thursday, April 8, 2010

Home Viewing Recommendations

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Grade: B

Cirque Du Freak is a fun movie about a boy who goes to a strange freak show one night where he encounters a real vampire. Through certain circumstances, that vampire turns the boy into a vampire himself. Afterwards, the boy learns that there is a war going on between two factions of vampire and must help in the fight.

This movie is a lot of fun and is worth watching if you’re into this kind of movie. It’s actually pretty funny but I wouldn’t quite call it a comedy. I really enjoyed it and it has a pretty good cast that includes John C. Reilly, Chris Massoglia, Ray Stevenson, Ken Watanabe, Orlando Jones and Selma Hayek.

Cold Souls

Grade: B+

This is an interesting movie where Paul Giamatti plays himself. Paul is working on a play but can’t quite seem to get the performance right. One day he comes across and article about a company that has developed the technology to remove the soul. Paul looks into it and decides that life would be easier if he didn’t have his soul weighing him down. After he gets his soul removed things do go better with the play, but the rest of his life starts to fall apart. When he goes to the company to get it put back in, it turns out it has been stolen and taken to Russia.

This movie is great but when I say that it is a dark comedy, I mean it. The humor is really subtle most of the time. Yes, the story is rather strange but if you enjoy odd movies or simply the idea of the movie, you will probably enjoy this movie. It is a little slow at times but I was expecting that. I am a fan of Paul Giamatti and his performance in this movie is excellent, and it’s nice to see he has a bit of a sense of humor about himself.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Grade: A

This musical is about an aspiring super villain who is trying to balance his career of evil doing with his desire to pursue a beautiful do-gooder, all along the way being thwarted in every way possible by the hero, Captain Hammer.

This charming little musical was made for practically nothing, which is a great deal of its charm. It was written and directed by fan favorite Joss Whedon. It stars Neil Patrick Harris as the titular Dr. Horrible and the great Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer. This movie is only 45 minutes long and is available to rent on DVD and is currently on the Netflix Instant Queue. I recommend everybody watch this, it is fun, funny and just really well done not to mention all the songs are great.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Grade: B+

Based on the book by Roald Dahl, is about a fox who decides to return to his old farm raiding ways and challenges the three local farmers. But, when the farmers find out, they retaliate and Mr. Fox must help his community of animal friends fight back against the farmers.

This movie is kind of charming. It’s interesting because it was done with stop-animation, something that hasn’t really been seen in a while. The story was good and plenty of fun and the cast was great and included George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Michael Gambon and Willem Dafoe. It was directed by Wes Anderson, whose movies I don’t normally enjoy. The most genius part of this movie is that it essentially has the dialogue of an R rated movie but they replaced all the adult language with “cuss”, this made it extra funny so they would say stuff like “are you cussing with me?”, hilarious.

Julie & Julia

Grade: B-

This movie tells two stories, the first is the story of Julia Child and how she became a cook and eventually a cooking icon. The other story is of a young woman who decides to go through Julia Child’s cook book and cook every recipe and write a blog about it.

I’m going to say right off the bat that only half of this movie is good. The story of Julia Child, where Meryl Streep brilliantly plays Julia Child, is really good and a lot of fun to watch and what makes it better is Stanley Tucci as Julia’s husband. The other half of the movie, which sadly stars one of my favorite actresses, Amy Adams, is really boring and pretty stupid. I just didn’t care for the character of Julie at all. But the half of the movie about Julia Child is so good that I recommend suffering through the Julie part to see it.

Paper Heart

Grade: A-

This documentary, which was all staged by the way, follows young actress Charlyne Yi as she treks across America discussing the one subject she doesn’t understand, or really believe in: Love. Along the way she meets actor Michael Cera and they develop a relationship. The documentary then begins to follow the two as love begins to grow between the two.

This independent comedy was really good and pretty funny at times, especially the ending, genius. This movie is simply really cute and a lot of fun to watch, I highly recommend this one.

Planet 51

Grade: B+

This animated movie follows and American astronaut who goes to Planet 51, he lands thinking he is the first person to step foot on the planet. Much to his surprise, the planet is inhabited by little green aliens who are happily living a life rather similar to 1950’s American suburban life.

This movie is hilarious and tons of fun to watch. The story is a very interesting twist on the classic story and the movie is loaded with references to classis sci-fi movies. It’s a great kids movie too. Also, it has a pretty good voice cast that includes Dwayne Johnson, Justin Long, Sean William Scott, Jessica Biel, Gary Oldman and John Cleese. If you are a fan of classic sci-fi, you will probably love this movie.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Grade: A+

This amazing documentary follows academy award nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick as he looks into the super secret organization that rates movies, the MPAA. In the documentary he hires a private investigator to try to find out who is on the ratings board and he interviews filmmakers and critics who have had run ins with the MPAA as they discuss their corruption and backwards standards of rating movies.

This documentary is simply amazing, I loved every second of it. It is an absolute must see, especially if you care about censorship, movies or have ever wondered why movies are rated the way they are. Kirby Dick interviews great filmmakers and actors like Kimberly Peirce, John Waters, Kevin Smith, Wayne Kramer, Maria Bello, Darron Aronofksy and many more. I love how this movie discusses the backwards ratings system that deems sex, a natural thing, far worse than violence, an unnatural and illegal thing. The discussions are just great, I really can’t recommend enough that everybody watch this documentary. It is available to rent on DVD and is currently available on the Netflix Instant Queue.

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