Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Fast Five

Grade: A

After breaking Dominic Toretto out of jail, Brian O’Connor and Dom’s sister, Mia, go on the run from the law. They head to Rio de Janeiro where an old friend has been living for several years now. While they wait for Dom to show up in Rio, Brian and Mia decide to take a job in order to get some cash to hold them over. Dom shows up just in time to help but all three of them get double crossed on the job and barely escape with their lives. The incident piqued the interest of the DEA and they send their best, Agent Hobbs, who is determined to find Toretto and his gang by any means necessary. Instead of going on the run again, they decide to pull one last job in order to get even with drug lord who tried to kill them and framed them with the murder of three DEA agents. In order to pull off the job, they call in the help of some of their old friends to assist in planning and executing their plan. The crew is forced to tread carefully while being hunted by a ruthless drug kingpin and a determined, and dangerous, DEA agent.

Fast Five is the fifth movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise. It also may be the best, or at least most exciting, movie in the series. It is everything I had hoped for out of another Fast and Furious movie. It is loaded with great action, outrageous stunts, cheesy dialogue, a corny, and clichéd storyline and skin tight muscle shirts galore. The makings of a fun movie, not a quality movie. To start, the story is very hackneyed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. It hits all the marks, double-crossing, pregnant girlfriend, an unconventional “family”, a team of people each with their own specialties and the most clichéd, stereotypical Latin bad guy… ever. The action is intense, from the ridiculous opening scene where they bust Dom out of a prison bus to all the crazy chase scenes culminating with climatic scene where two cars tear through the streets of Rio with a vault in tow, destroying everything in their wake. The stunts are insane as there are many roof top foot chases with people daringly jumping from house to house and jumping through windows. And then of course there is the dialogue, oh the dialogue, Not terrible but there are some scenes and specific lines which are just so bad they make you cringe. Again though, all of this is what makes the F&F series fun and one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

The movie stars Vin Diesel (The Chronicles of Riddick, Knock Around Guys) in the role of Dominic Toretto. Diesel was made for these kind of roles and he is great in the Fast and Furious series. It’s really fun to see him back with this gang and still kicking tons of butt. Paul Walker (Takers, Timeline) is back as ex-cop Brian O’Connor. He is as enjoyable as he can be, I really don’t think this guy is a good actor, but thankfully you don’t have to be in this movie. Dwayne Johnson (Southland Tales, The Rundown) makes his first appearance in a F&F movie as DEA Agent Hobbs. He is extremely enjoyable in this movie as an ultimate badass type and one of the best parts of this movie was a fight scene between him and Vin Diesel, a fight I’ve wanted to see for around 10 years now, ever since the two were vying to be the next big action star. Jordana Brewster (Fast and Furious) is back as Mia. Thankfully he had a slightly more significant part in this movie. Sung Kang (Ninja Assassin, Live Free or Die Hard) is back as Han. This is the part of the movie I was probably most excited about. Han is, in my opinion, the best character in the entire series, it’s just too bad he was in worst movie of the series and it’s even more tragic that they killed him in that movie (spoiler alert). Thankfully he has a much more significant part in this movie. The movie also features Tyrese Gibons (who seems to have the worst of the worst lines), Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Matt Schulze, Gal Gadot, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Elsa Patky and more.

This is my warning to you; if you are not a fan of the Fast and Furious series or if you are looking for a quality movie with decent writing and plot, Fast Five is not for you. It is a ridiculous and over the top (at times completely unrealistic) action movie. It is fun to watch and is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I think Fast Five is now my favorite movie of the series.

Great quote: “So did he smack that ass or just grab it?”

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Win Win

Grade: A+

Mike Flaherty has been getting increasingly stressed lately due to some financial woes. He is a private attorney who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach and lately business has been really slow. One day a client, Leo Poplar, comes in. Leo is a wealthy man but he is in the early stages of dementia. The court has deemed Leo incapacitated and was going to have the state take guardianship when in an act of desperation, Mike decides to take guardianship in order to get a little extra money. Shortly after this, Leo’s grandson, Kyle, show’s up looking for somewhere to stay while his mom is in rehab. Mike offers for Kyle to stay at his house for the time being, much to the dismay of Mike’s wife. Mike then discovers that Kyle is an excellent wrestler and put him on the team which quickly raises morale. Everything was going great for Mike until Kyle’s mom shows up and starts tearing everything apart.

Win Win is an excellent and heartwarming movie. The story is very interesting and forces you to think about your own morals and ethics. The movie is funny at times and emotionally stirring throughout most of it. The characters are great and very well written, you quickly connect with all of them. In general, the writing for the movie is fantastic. Written and Directed by Tom McCarthy (The Visitor), this movie is extremely well made and I hope more people discover this movie. I know it’s early in the year to say this but I feel that this is a totally Oscar worthy movie.

The movie stars Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version, Sideways) in the lead role of Mike Flaherty. Giamatti is an amazing actor and is the reason I went to see this movie as he was the only thing I knew about it before seeing it. His performance was top notch as always, just completely awe-inspiring. It is performances like this that convince me to see any movie with him in it. Amy Ryan (Green Zone, Gone Baby Gone) plays Jackie Flaherty, Mike’s wife. She did an amazing job as well and her character was great. It was great because her character is very hesitant about Kyle moving in at first but then she gets to know him and really connects with him and begins to think of him as one of the family. New comer Alex Shaffer plays the role of Kyle, a quiet and somewhat mysterious kid from Ohio. I have a hard time believing that this is his first time acting because he was really really good in it. The movie also features great performances from Jeffrey Tambor, Bobby Cannavale, Burt Young, Melanie Lynskey, Margo Martindale and more.

Win Win is an amazing movie that everybody should see. It is extremely well written, performed even better and is just an all around great movie. This is the kind of movie where you leave the theater feeling good, and those are the best movies. Seriously, see this movie, as soon as you can.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Soul Surfer

Grade: A-

Bethany Hamilton was born and raised in Hawaii near the North Shore. Everyone in her family are hardcore surfers and she has spent most of her life in the ocean surfing. She dreams of becoming a professional surfer and has been working hard to achieve that goal. She recently won an amateur surfing competition and is now training for a regional competition. One day, while surfing with some family friends, she was lying on her board in the water when out of nowhere a shark pops out of the water and bites off her left arm. She manages to survive the attack and is instantly determined to get back into the water and start surfing again. She begins to struggle as she tries to overcome her new disability and is determined to not let it slow her down or hinder her in any way as she fights to achieve her goals.

Soul Surfer tells a very inspiring true story about overcoming adversity. I remember hearing about this story when it first happened and so I was pretty excited to see the movie, and it didn’t let me down. It was incredible to see how calm Bethany Hamilton remains after the attack, though she may have been in a state of extreme shock, and then for the most part she seems to handle the loss of her arm shockingly well. It is great to see how close she was with her family and how they all worked together to help her out and they didn’t try to discourage her from getting back in the water but rather where very excited and happy to help her get back on the board. There is one moment that really touched me for some reason, the family is sitting down to have lunch shortly after Bethany returns from the hospital and she insists that the family hold hands and give thanks, her brother, who is sitting to her left, doesn’t know what to do since she doesn’t have a hand to hold anymore, she looks at him, takes his hand and puts in on her shoulder. I don’t know why I liked this moment so much, but it really spoke to me. It was also very inspiring to see that while competing, she was offered advantages due to her condition, but she refused to take them. She also thanked one girl, who was constantly rude to her, for still treating her like true competition and ignoring her condition.

This movie does have religious undertones but thankfully they aren’t shoving it in your face like some movies would. They just show that through her faith and her family’s faith, she is encouraged to overcome her adversity. I was very thankful that the religious parts of this movie were subtle and not a main part of the story.

AnnaSophia Robb (Race to Witch Mountain, Bridge to Terabithia) plays the lead role of Bethany Hamilton. She hasn’t done a lot yet but every time I see her in something, she impresses me more and more. I really think this girl has a ton of potential and I hope to see her in more lead roles like this. She did an amazing job with the role. Dennis Quaid (G.I. Joe, Flight of the Phoenix) plays the role of Tom Hamilton, Bethany’s dad. I have always liked Quaid and he did a great job in this movie, really enjoyable. Helen Hunt (What Women Want, Twister) plays the role of Cheri Hamilton, Bethany’s mom. I don’t know what happened to her, she was great and then I haven’t seen her in anything for a decade. She was fantastic in this role and I hope that it’s the first step in a Helen Hunt comeback. The movie also stars Carrie Underwood, Ross Thomas, Lorraine Nicholson, Kevin Sorbo, Cody Gomes and more.

Soul Surfer is a great and truly inspiration movie. It really exceeded my expectations and I can’t recommend this movie enough. For those out there like me who don’t like movies with heavy handed religious messages, see this movie, the religious aspects are very subtle. This movie is fantastic and very well made, get out and see it if you can.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: The Conspirator

Grade: A

Frederick Aiken is a young lawyer and a soldier for the Union in the Civil War. He was celebrating the Union’s victory with state dignitaries and his fellow soldiers when President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated. A manhunt is started immediately for booth and his fellow conspirators. Seven men and one woman, Mary Surratt, are arrested and charged for conspiring to kill the President, the Vice-President and the Secretary of State. Aiken is then tasked by Senator Johnson to defend Mary Surratt in her trial before the generals. While very resistant at first, Aiken quickly realizes that Surratt’s fate had been decided by these generals before the trial even started. So, determined to fight for true justice, Aiken puts his own reputation on the line to defend the woman and to make sure that she is tried fairly.

The Conspirator tells the true story of the trial of Mary Surratt after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. It is the first movie to be released by The American Film Company, who are dedicated to releasing historically accurate movies. I think that’s interesting because I feel that means that the writers did their research to try to make it as accurate as possible. The story is very interesting and I definitely learned some new things about the Lincoln assassination that I didn’t really know before. The main point of the story isn’t so much about whether or not Mary Surratt was guilty or not, but rather about the corruption within the military court system that seemed determined to convict everybody thought to even be possibly involved in the conspiracy in order to please the American people and possibly themselves. It is directed by Robert Redford (Lions for Lambs, The Legend of Bagger Vance) and he did a great job with it. It is a very well made movie with an interesting look to it. I don’t really know how to describe it, it’s not fuzzy and it’s not foggy, but there is something going on with the cinematography, I really liked the look of the movie.

The movie stars James McAvoy (The Last Station, Wanted) who plays Frederick Aiken, Ms. Surratt’s defense attorney and former Union soldier. I really like McAvoy and he keeps getting better and better with every role and he was absolutely fantastic in this movie. Robin Wright (State of Play, What Just Happened) plays the role of Marry Surratt, the owner of a boarding house who is accused of conspiring to kill President Lincoln. She was really great in this movie, an amazing performance. The movie also features great performances from the rest of the expansive cast that includes Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood, Justin Long, Alexis Bledel, Kevin Kline, Norman Reedus, Danny Huston, Toby Kebbll, Stephen Root, Johnny Simmons and many more.

The Conspirator is a fantastic historical drama. It tells a very interesting story about an interesting and important part of American history. I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie is shown to students in history class in high school in the near future.

Great quote: “One bullet killed the President, but not one man.”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Review: Scream 4

Grade: A

It’s been over ten years since Sydney Prescott has gone back to Woodsboro, but she returns on the anniversary of the famous series of murders by the ”Ghostface Killer” in order to promote her new self-help book. While there she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and his wife, Gale, as well as her cousin Jill and her aunt Kate. Unfortunately, however, a new “Ghostface killer” wants to reconnect with Sydney as well. However, the rules have changed and anybody is game in this new age of horror. Now the whole town of Woodsboro is in danger as somebody tries to “re-imagine” the famous murders in their own version.

Scream 4 should be titled Scream 3: For Real This Time. This one completely makes up for the atrocious third movie in this series. It manages to do exactly what it was meant to do: it makes a great addition to the series while managing to be a perfect satire of new age horror movies. The opening scene is hilarious as it mocks movies with too many sequels and pokes fun at the modern “torture porn” movies that go for more gore rather than actually being scary. Not to mention the amazing ending this movie manages to pull off. I love the scenes where they discuss the new rules to horror movies. All of the characters are great and the movie keeps you guessing the whole time as to who the killer is. It really manages to be just as good (if not better than at times) as the first two Scream movies. Wes Craven has completely re-invented and revitalized the series with this movie. It completely exceeded my expectations and I ended up loving every bit of it.

Neve Campbell (Drowning Mona, The Craft) returns as the lead character Sydney Prescott. I really enjoy her in the first two movies and it is great to see her return in top form for this new installment. David Arquette The Darwin Awards, Eight Legged Freaks) returns as Sheriff Dewey. Arquette is very enjoyable in these movies and it’s great to see him back in this role. Courtney Cox (Bedtime Stories, TVs Cougar Town) returns as well as Gale Weathers. While at first it seems as though Gale has become a new person, she quickly returns to her old self. Cox is great in this role but I was a little bummed out that Neve Campbell never punches her in the face. Emma Roberts (It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Valentine’s Day) plays the role of Jill, Sydney’s cousin. Roberts did a great job with this role, really fun and enjoyable. The movie also features performances by Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Lucy Hale, Shenae Grimes, Alison Brie, Hayden Panettiere, Nico Tortorella, Rory Culkin, Adam Brody, Anthony Anderson and more.

Scream 4 is a fantastic addition the the series and is everything I could have hoped for out of a Scream movie. It is very funny and very bloody with little bits of terror tossed in. It really holds up to the original movies in the fact that it manages to be both a decent horror movie and a great satire of horror movies. Now, as much as I enjoyed this movie, I really hope that this is the last in the series. I’m afraid that if they push it and make another that it’s going to end up becoming the very thing it is making fun of. So, if you like horror movies and you like the first two Scream movies then Scream 4 is a must see.

Great quote: "Yeah, new decade, new rules.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: Arthur

Grade: A-

Arthur Bach is the sole heir to a billion dollar family fortune and is poised to take over the family business in the coming years. The problem is that he is still a bit of a man-child with a bit of a drinking problem. Arthur likes to gallivant around town while frivolously spending money anyway that he wants. He is also constantly throwing parties at his house all while being watched and monitored by Hobson, his nanny who has raised him since he was little. Arthur’s mother, Vivienne, is afraid of what will happen if he takes over the company, so she comes up with a plan; Arthur must marry Susan Johnson, a business savvy woman who could take over the company once she has the Bach name. If Arthur doesn’t agree, he loses access to the family money. He decides to go along with it until he meets Naomi, a free-spirited woman who begins to change Arthur for the better.

Arthur is, of course, a remake of the great movie of the same name that stared the great Dudley Moore. Now, I am usually against remakes like this; remakes of movies that aren’t that old and are somewhat timeless and don’t need updates. However, the trailers had me intrigued and laughing. I have to say, this movie is one of those rare remakes that manages to be just as good as the original. The writing was great and I was laughing through the whole movie. They didn’t change the story nor did they really change the characters. I was afraid that they would get rid of Arthur’s drinking problem for this remake but was glad to see that they didn’t. I honestly enjoy this movie just as much as I enjoy the original. This remake manages to be just as funny, if not a little funnier, and has a great cast that makes it all worthwhile.

Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek, Bedtime Stories) plays the titular role of Arthur. I have had the feeling that Brand could be the next Dudley Moore since I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall and he was by far the best (and only good) part of that movie. He is consistently funny and pulls this role off perfectly. His portrayal of a drunk playboy billionaire is great and will have you laughing the entire movie, he is the main reason I was convinced to give this remake a try. Helen Mirren (RED, The Last Station) plays the role of Hobson. Miirren was the second reason I was willing to give this movie a try. She is perfect as Hobson.. She really manages to make the role her own and really helps draw you into the movie. Jennifer Garner (Valentine’s Day, Juno) plays the role of Susan, the woman Arthur is being forced to marry. Garner is very entertaining and pretty funny too in this movie. Greta Gerwig (No Strings Attached, Greenberg) plays the role of Naomi, the woman Arthur actually falls in love with. She is recently becoming a somewhat bigger actress appearing in more movies and I end up liking her more and more with every role. She was great in this movie and I definitely enjoyed her more than Liza Minnelli in the original. The movie also stars Luis Guzman, Geraldine James, Nick Nolte and more.

Arthur is one of the very few remakes that actually lives up to the original. It is an extremely funny and enjoyable movie to watch. I really have to recommend this movie to everyone> If you’ve seen the original or if you haven’t I think you will enjoy this movie.

Great quote: “I don’t consider it idiocy, I think of it as being a savant while cheating death with fun.”

Review: Your Highness

Grade: C+

Over the years there have been many tales about knights and chivalry in the middle ages… This is not one of those tales. Prince Thadeous lives a privileged and lazy life in his father’s kingdom. He likes to mess around with his squire, Courtney, and he likes to get high and drunk frequently. As a result of his behavior, most of the kingdom thinks of Thadeous as a fool and they think he’ll never amount to nothing. However, his brother, Fabious, is well respected as a brave knight and is widely revered by everyone. But, when Fabious’ bride gets kidnapped by the evil sorcerer Leezar, who plans to use her for a devious ritual that will create a dragon and allow Leezar to rule the world, the king forces Thadeous to embark on a dangerous quest with his brother to rescue Fabious’ bride. Along the way, the two encounter dangers they never expected and meet some new people along the way.

Your Highness seems like the type of movie that sounded great on paper, but I feel the actual execution of it falls a bit short. It is meant to be a humorous tongue-in-cheek take on classic medieval fantasy movies and stuff like Dungeons and Dragons. I will admit, I liked that this part of the movie and I thought it was pretty funny what they did with some of it. Universal must have had faith in it because they seemed to have enough money to make it all look very legitimate. So the movie looks great and like a fun fantasy movie. However, where some of my problem with the movie arises is with the jokes. The movie is extremely raunchy and while sometimes the jokes worked, I felt like many times they fell short. I feel they could have worked on the script a little more. It’s all pretty juvenile humor, which I figured it would be. I wanted to like this movie so bad, but I ended up only being mildly entertained by it.

Danny McBride (Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express) plays the lead role of Prince Thadeous. I really tend to like McBride and will find him very funny most of the time. He was decent in this movie but he wasn’t great. I feel like McBride isn’t really good at playing lead roles, except maybe for Eastbound and Down, which is a very funny TV show. James Franco (127 Hours, Howl) plays the role of Fabious. Franco is very funny in this movie because he is playing his role in a purposefully over the top manner. His character is surprisingly naïve for how many quests and what not he’s done. I am constantly surprised by how well Franco handles comedy. Natalie Portman (Black Swan, No Strings Attached) plays the role of Isabelle, a fierce warrior the two encounter on their quest. Portman is great and really helps with the humor because she plays her character completely straight against the ridiculousness of the rest of the movie. The movie also features very entertaining performances by Zooey Deshanel, Rasmus Hardiker, Justin Theroux, Toby Jones, Charles Dance, Damian Lewis and others.

Your Highness is a creative and fun at times medieval fantasy comedy. It has its moments that are somewhat brilliant but unfortunately I feel like most of the jokes could have been sharper. The movie is enjoyable, but I don’t think I will ever watch it again. The movie is extremely raunchy and pretty gross at times, I still don’t know how they got a minotaur with a full on erection past the MPAA. As a warning, it is best if you go into this movie with zero expectations and you don’t think there are going to be any intelligent jokes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Hanna

Grade: B-

Hanna is a sixteen year old girl, but she is far from ordinary. Since she was a baby, she has lived in the middle of nowhere with her father, Erik, an ex CIA agent, who has been training her to be an ultimate assassin her entire life. Due to this, she has superior strength, stamina and intelligence. It’s all been building up to one thing, a mission to kill the woman who killed her mother. When Hanna sends out an emergency signal, her dad goes on the run and the CIA come to pick her up. While being held in an underground facility, Hanna thinks she succeeds in her mission and makes a daring escape. While en route to the rendezvous point she set up with her father, Hanna encounters and befriends a family from England. The family begins to show Hanna many things that she has never encountered before; music, dancing, and general fun, all the while, Hanna begins to wonder if it was all worth it.

Hanna is an interesting take on the spy/assassin thriller. The first 20-30 minutes of the movie are fantastic. The first couple scenes that show her training and how she and her father live in the middle of the forest are very interesting. Then she goes on her mission and that scene and her subsequent escape are freaking awesome. But then the movie seems to come to a halt. What follows is and hour or so of her meeting a British family and becoming friends with the daughter, who you keep praying Hanna will throat punch at some point because she is very annoying. I understand what they were going for with these scenes as they were trying to show Hanna experiencing life as a teenager for the first time, but it grew tiresome at times. Also, the action scenes got weird after her escape as well. I find it odd that during her escape, she had no problem killing trained soldiers and CIA agents, but later in the movie she seems to have great difficulty even knocking a couple thugs to the ground. There are some points towards the end that are pretty interesting, but overall in my opinion, the movie never fully recovers after her escape.

Hanna stars Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Atonement) in the titular role. While she was definitely better than she was in The Lovely Bones (but I still blame that on the writing and story) she wasn’t great in this movie. She had moments where she was really good, particularly with the actions scenes, but there were parts where she really fell flat, maybe that was the character, I’m not sure. Eric Bana (Star Trek, Troy) plays the role of Erik, Hanna’s father. Bana was really good in this movie, I just wish he was in it a little more. Cate Blanchett (Robin Hood, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) plays the role of Marissa, a CIA agent and Hanna’s intended target. I’m not the biggest fan of Blanchett’s but I did enjoy her in this movie. The movie also stars Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Jessica Barden, Tom Hollander and more.

Hanna is a decent and somewhat interesting take on the spy/assassin thriller. I was hooked on the movie right away but unfortunately it lost me a long the way. It’s still worth a look, but I’m just saying it wasn’t great. Movies like this do amuse me. Once again, we have a movie with tons of violence (there is a scene with Hanna shooting people as blood splatters all over her face) but since there’s no language, it gets a PG-13 rating, I will never understand this backwards MPAA ratings system.

Great quote: “What does music feel like?”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Limitless

Grade: B+

Eddie Morra is a writer, but lately, he’s been a little down on his luck; He’s out of work, his girlfriend just left him, he’s behind on his rent and he hasn’t written a word of his book that his publisher is waiting for. One day, he runs into an old acquaintance who tells him that he just might be able to help him out. He has a pill, a new drug, which can open your mind and allow you to access 100% of your brain’s potential. Eddie is skeptical but decides to give it a try. It works wonders, when he’s on the drug he is a new man, he writes half of his book in a matter of hours. Eddie wants more and when he goes back to the guy who gave him the pill, he’s dead. Eddie manages to find a hidden stash of the drug that could last him a very long time. However, he begins to discover that the drug has some side effects and he is also being followed by a mysterious man. The more successful Eddie becomes, the more paranoid he gets and the more he realizes that he is in danger.

I love the concept of Limitless: what if a pill could make you rich and powerful? It is a great concept that is so simple it’s amazing it hasn’t been done before. I personally would absolutely love to be able to take this pill. When he’s on it he cleans up everything well and efficiently, the words for his book just fall out and onto the page with ease, he can pick up a new language simply by listening to people speak it and he becomes insanely good at math and masters the stock market. He can do almost anything he wants while on the drug. The movie is very suspenseful at times and it’s interesting to see the things that Eddie does while on the drug. It is a great movie and is a lot of fun to watch.

Bradley Cooper (The A-Team, The Hangover) plays the lead role of Eddie Morra. I really like Cooper and I’m glad to see him growing as an actor and getting bigger parts. He is really great in this movie, really made the role his own. Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch, Bright Star) plays the role of Lindy, Eddie’s girlfriend. She was really good in this movie too, great performance and very enjoyable. Robert De Niro (Stone, Stardust) plays the role of Carl Van Loon, the head of a large corporation who hires Eddie to work for him. He was pretty good in this role, playing a somewhat intimidating role who discovers the secret to Eddie’s success. The movie also features Anna Friel, Andrew Howard, Johnny Whitworth and more.

Limitless is an extremely enjoyable techno-thriller. It has a great story line and a few twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering where the plot is heading. All I know is that after watching this movie, I really wish this drug existed.

Friday, April 1, 2011

F-F-Fuck C#ns*rsh!p

As you may or may not have heard, The Weinstein Company has decided to censor their recent Best Picture winner, The King’s Speech. They claim that they made the decision to censor it from an R rating down to a PG-13 in order to broaden the movie’s appeal, but I believe that this is completely unnecessary.

To start, the movie is rated R, essentially, for once scene. In this scene, Colin Firth, playing King George VI, is in a therapy session with Lionel Logue, as played by Geoffrey Rush, and Mr. Logue asks if King George VI stutters when he swears. Firth says that he doesn’t and Rush asks him to feel free to curse, so Firth spouts of a series of swear words for the next 30 seconds to a minute, including several fucks and many other words. It is a great scene and helps show some of the tactics speech therapists use in order to help a patient overcome a speech impediment. The scene is filled with emotional power and is funny to boot. Yet for some reason, the Weinstein Company decided have this scene removed along with possibly some other parts in the movie as well, I honestly don’t know as I reuse to see this version of the movie.

Again, one of the main reasons the Weinstein Company decided to censor this movie is to “broaden its appeal” specifically to try to get more kids to see the movie, or maybe rather to convince more parents to take their kids. Now this is where I point out that I am not bothered by language at all. But that doesn’t really come in to play here. If I had a kid, of any age, and they said that they wanted to go see The King’s Speech, I would be so thrilled that they would rather see a quality movie, a work of art, rather than watch an animated movie where garden gnomes defecate all over one of the greatest plays ever written, that I would take them to see it without hesitation. The movie has no violence and no sex, I wouldn’t mind one bit if my children were exposed to a little bit of language in this movie. Anyway, this is all under the crazy assumption, of course, that children are interested in seeing this movie.

Now I’d like to get to the main reason that this whole PG-13 censorship bothers me: it is the censoring of a work of art. I hate censorship to begin with but I feel the biggest atrocities committed these days are when works of art get censored. Like it or not, film is a form of art and The King’s Speech is a masterpiece. I honestly can’t believe that the writer, director and stars of the movie didn’t oppose this. It is one big slap in their faces. This all reminds me of a story a couple years ago about a student at a Colorado high school who made a beautiful painting of a woman with an exposed breast. The school forced her to put a post-it note over her painting before being allowed to display it at an art show. The rest of the students in the high school wore post-it notes on their chests as a show of support for the student and her painting. Now, unfortunately there is nothing so obvious that we can do to show support for the original R rated version of the movie. However, you can vote with your wallet and refuse to see the atrocious PG-13 version. Get the word out and convince as many people as possible to boycott this version and, instead, wait for the movie to come out on DVD and Blu-ray in a couple weeks.

Once again, DO NOT spend any money on the censored version of The King’s Speech. I could go on and on about this, but I’m going to make this brief.