Monday, May 30, 2011

Podcast: Episode 5

Head over to to listen to the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu For Movies. In this episode Michael and Russell talk about Bridesmaids, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Hangover Part II, Ben Affleck and They Live!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: The Hangover Part II

Grade: D+

Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug are back and it’s been a couple years after Doug’s infamous bachelor party in Las Vegas. Now Stu is getting ready to get married to his new fiancée, Lauren, in Thailand, where most of her family lives. Stu has every intention of keeping this event as low key and calm as possible, so much so that he has reduced his “bachelor party” down to a brunch with Phil and Doug and he has not invited Alan to the wedding. However, Doug’s wife convinces Stu to allow Alan to come along. However, a couple nights before the wedding, the four guys, along with Lauren’s younger brother, Teddy, decide to have a drink on the beach next to a bonfire. Phil, Stu and Alan wake up the next morning in a mysterious, grungy hotel room somewhere in Bangkok and Teddy has gone missing. The gang must retrace their steps in order to find Teddy before the wedding and hope that Lauren’s father doesn’t find out.

The Hangover Part II is, of course, the sequel to the original, great and hilarious Hangover a couple years back. They announced this sequel shortly after The Hangover hit theaters and exploded at the box office. I wanted so bad for this movie to be just as good, or at least nearly as good. I went into this theater with hope that it would be decent. I was let down. Sadly, if you have seen The Hangover, you have seen Part II already. This movie hits ALL of the exact same notes that the first one did. It seems as though writer/director Todd Phillips simply took the script from the first movie and changed the location to Thailand. Both movies start with Phil calling Doug’s wife to explain they won’t make it to the wedding, both have the night start out with the group making a toast, both have them wake up in a hotel room with an odd animal that is integral to the story and what happened the night before, both include Stu being disfigured in some way, both have Stu singing a song, both involve Phil going to the hospital, basically, both movies are the same movie. Because of this, Part II is extremely predictable and the jokes are tired because we’ve seen them before. The only thing new that Part II brings to the table is some stereotypical (and borderline racist at times) Thailand joke.

The movie stars Bradley Cooper (The A-Team, Limitless) as Phil, the “cool” one of the group. I really like Cooper and he is pretty consistently funny and I would like to say that he was funny in this, but sadly as I mentioned before, he was just recycling old jokes. Ed Helms (Cedar Rapids, TVs The Office) plays the role of Stu, the straight laced one who is now getting married. Ed Helms managed to be pretty funny in this movie, his over the top reactions can really be hilarious. Zack Galifianakis (Due Date, It’s Kind of a Funny Story) plays the role of Alan, the dumb one. Galifianakis is absolutely hilarious but in this movie, it was almost too much. His character worked in the first one because he was essentially just tagging along and would randomly pipe in and say or do something funny, in Part II I feel they tried to make him more of a leading man and his character really only works in those small doses. Justin Bartha (National Treasure, Holly Rollers) plays the role of Dough, the one left out. I really like Bartha and think that he can be absolutely hilarious given the right opportunity and it makes me sad that, once again, he was not given that opportunity in this movie. In the first movie, he is the one that is lost the whole time and in Part II, he is fine and back at the resort with everyone else. The movie also features Ken Jeong, Jeffrey Tambor, Mason Lee, Jamie Chung, Sasha Barrese, Nick Cassavetes and more including an awesome cameo which I don’t want to spoil because it was one of the more thoroughly enjoyable parts of the movie.

The Hangover Part II is sadly mostly recycled jokes from the first movie and it really just feels like and excuse for Todd Phillips and crew to go on vacation in Thailand for a month or so. There was nothing original in this movie and because of that, none of the jokes were really all that funny. They tried to push the envelope in a couple areas but really just ended up creating some awkward and just plain gross moments. Prediction: they will be announcing a third one soon that will take place in Amsterdam.

Great quote: “Are you serious Phil? Even back in the U.S.?”

Monday, May 23, 2011

Podcast: Episode 4

Head over to Shut Up! The Movie's Starting to hear episode 4 of the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

On episode 4 of Shut Up! The Movie’s Starting Michael and Russell discuss Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Doghouse, Gentlemen Broncos, TJ Miller, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Video Games and more!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Grade: B+

Captain Jack Sparrow is back for another adventure. In London, Jack runs into Hector Barbossa, who is now working for the King’s Royal Navy, and an old friend, Angelica, and discovers that they are all on a quest to find the same thing, the mythical fountain of youth. However, he is double-crossed by Angelica and he ends up on the Queen Ann’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable and evil Blackbeard. Blackbeard forces Sparrow to help him find the fountain. At the same time, Mr. Gibbs gets picked up by Barbossa and, since he is the only other person who knows the way to the fountain, is forced to help Barbossa find the fountain. As the two crews battle to find the fountain first, they encounter mermaids, zombies and more strange and bizarre things on the seas.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a fun new addition to the series. I am glad to see that the writers of this movie decided to get back to the basics. The third movie in the series was huge and had way too much going on in it. This one corrects that by focusing mostly on Jack and a select few characters. Another huge bonus to this movie is that they drop the characters of Elizabeth and Will, played by Kira Knightly and Orlando Bloom respectively, who really brought down the second and third movies. The characters are all great and are all very intriguing and fun to watch, especially the character of Blackbeard. However, there is one thing about the movie I still don’t know exactly how I feel about. The first movie seemed very real and the second and third felt relatively real even with Davey Jones and all that came with that. In Stranger Tides there is a lot of mythology type stuff and a fair amount of magic. There are mermaids, which they have an interesting take on these creatures, and people that are supposed to be zombies as well as the fact that Blackbeard seems to have magical powers and his ship does as well. I liked some of it but some of it also seemed to go too far in my opinion.

The movie stars Johnny Depp (Public Enemies, The Tourist) in the lead role as Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp is a great actor and is always fun to watch but he really seems to exceed in this role. His portrayal of Sparrow is always fun to watch, with the characters bizarre mannerisms and wry sense of humor, it’s just a great character that he has managed to create. Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, Munich) returns as Hector Barbossa, who is another great character. Rush does an amazing job every time with this character and really makes it interesting to watch. Especially his interactions with Jack. Penelope Cruz (Vicky Christina Barcelona, Volver) plays the role of Angelica, Jack’s former lover who also has a secret. Cruz is okay in this movie, she has her moments where she is fun but overall I wasn’t overly impressed with her or her character. Ian McShane (44 Inch Chest, TVs Deadwood) plays the role of the devious Blackbeard. I was very excited about this character being in this movie and Ian McShane was absolutely perfect for the role. He added a certain amount of intimidation to the role and was really fun to watch. The movie also features Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Astris Berges-Frisbey, Keith Richards and more.

On Stranger Tides is a fun addition to the Pirates of the Caribbean series of movies. The story is pretty interesting and entertaining and the characters are great. In my opinion, this movie is better than the third but not quite as good as the first two. I like it and if you are a fan of the Pirates movies, then go see this as soon as you can.

I would however like to add that I watched this movie in 2D and it’s movies like this that really make me hate 3D. There are several shots where the actors will stick their swords or whatever right in the camera, and in such a way that the actor might as well be saying “Hey! Check this out! It’s coming right at you! Isn’t that crazy? Woah, watch out!” really annoying.

Great quote: “Does this face look like it’s been to the fountain of youth?”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Podcast: Episode 3

I have decided not to write a review for Priest, instead I encourage you to listen to episode 3 of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting for my opinions.

This week on Shut Up! The Movie’s Starting Michael and Russell discuss Priest (in theaters) and Four Lions (on Netflix Instant Queue) as well as the 2011 lineup for Film on the Rocks. They also fight about stupid movie stuff and ramble a bit… sorry.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: Bridesmaids

Grade: B+

Annie is broke and has been a little down on her luck lately. But when her best friend Lillian, whom she’s been friends with since they were children, gets engaged and asks her to be her Maid of Honor, she must find a way to put her problems aside for a little while. Annie thinks the task will be fun at first, until she meets the ragtag group of women who are going to be the other bridesmaids. One in particular, Helen, seems to be causing her a lot of trouble as she seems to be constantly trying to out-do Annie. Broke and troubled, Annie fakes her way through all the bizarre matrimonial rituals on the road to the wedding, bringing the entire group of women along.

Bridesmaids is written by the movie’s star, Kristen Wiig (Paul, TVs Saturday Night Live). Wiig is one of the most consistently funny people out there today. She is hilarious in every movie she does and she helped write a brilliant script with this movie. Wiig is hilarious as Annie and gives amazing delivery on all of her lines and jokes. I will admit that Bridesmaids take a little bit to get going, but once it does, it doesn’t let up. It kept me laughing through the majority of the movie. All the characters are great and many of the lines are simply hilarious.

Bridesmaids stars many great people besides Kristen Wiig. Maya Rudolph (Away We Go, Grown Ups) plays the role of Lillian, Annie’s best friend. She was absolutely great in this movie. Rose Byrne (Get Him to the Greek, Adam) plays the role of Helen, a wealthy friend of Lillian’s who is trying to up stage everyone. Byrne was really great and very enjoyable in this movie. Chris O’Dowd (Gulliver’s Travels. The Boat That Rocked) plays the role of Rhodes, a police officer who Annie meets. O’Dowd is always hilarious and I’m glad to see him doing more stuff outside of The IT Crowd. The movie also features hilarious performances by Jill Clayburgh, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Matt Lucas, Jon Hamm, Rebel Wilson and more.

Bridesmaids is a genuinely funny movie loaded with some of the funniest women out there today. It is a great movie and if you are looking for a good comedy, this movie is for you. It is funny, raunchy and just plain fun to watch.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Thor

Grade: A+

In the fantastic realm of Asgard, the mighty Thor is next in line to be king. On the day that the realm was holding a celebration so Odin, his father, could announce him to be the next king, some ice giants from the Jotunheim realm break into Asgard to steal an ancient relic that will aid them in conquering the nine realms. They are stopped, but Thor overreacts and heads to their realm where he tries to start another war. As a punishment for almost breaking the peace between the realms, Odin banishes Thor to Earth and takes away his power and makes it so Thor can’t pick up his hammer, Mjolnir, and regain his power until he proves himself worthy. On Earth, Thor meets Jane Foster, a physicist, who is fascinated by his tales and decides to help the mysterious man in anyway that she can. Meanwhile, a traitor in Asgard does everything he can to make sure Thor does not return home.

Thor is an awesome comic book movie and that is exactly what everybody should expect out of it. It is the latest Marvel comic book movie based on the character of the same name and is another tie-in movie to the upcoming Avengers movie in 2012. Thankfully, that aspect doesn’t take up too much time in the movie (not like Iron Man 2), instead there are a few passing references. For instance, Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town) does show up in the movie briefly as Hawkeye. The action in the movie is awesome and I feel that the mythological aspects of this movie are handled extremely well and make the character seem at least moderately believable. The movie also has a lot of great moments in it that are quite hilarious, it is surprisingly funny. One of my favorite aspects of the movie has to be the costumes. They made the Asgardian wear look absolutely amazing and fun and the helmets are awesome, so glad they didn’t drop this aspect of the comics from the movie.

Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek) plays the titular role of Thor, god of thunder and wielder of the mighty hammer Mjolnir. Hemsworth really hasn’t done much but he was spectacular in this movie. He really manages to not only fit the role perfectly in terms of looks, he also did a great job at portraying such an interesting character. Natalie Portman (Black Swan, Your Highness) plays the role of Jane Foster, an astrophysicist who begins to fall in love with Thor. Portman is great in this role and is very enjoyable. I think that for some of the scenes, specifically the one where she kisses Thor, I think they had to have her standing on a platform of some kind as she is probably a foot or more shorter than Chris Hemsworth. Anthony Hopkins (The Wolfman, The World’s Fastest Indian) plays the role of Odin, king of Asgard. Hopkins was really perfect for this role and I thought that he was great in this movie. Tom Hiddleston plays the role of Loki, Thor’s brother. He did a pretty good job with this role. The movie also features performances from Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Clark Gregg, Ray Stevenson, Jaimie Alexander and more.

Thor is an incredibly awesome and fun movie. One of the best comic book movies to come out in a while. If someone is expecting a serious movie, like Dark Knight, this is the wrong movie for you. It is fun and fantastic filled with great myths and lore. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to go see it again.

Great quote: “Meowmeow? What’s a Meowmeow?”

Don't forget to check out the podcast, Shut Up! The Movie's Starting

Podcast episode 2

Episode 2 of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting is up at Go take a listen, it's good stuff. In it we review Thor and Aaah! Zombies, discuss movie news and so much more! I will have a written review of Thor up soon, Thank you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: Something Borrowed

Grade: D-

Rachel has always been a hard worker and has kept herself busy. So much so, that while in college, she let her best friend date a man whom she had strong feelings for. Four years later, her best friend, Darcy, is now engaged to that man, Dex. She is ok with it until one night she has a few drinks with him, they both express their old feelings for each other and end up sleeping with each other. Now Rachel is extremely conflicted because she doesn’t want to hurt her best friend’s feelings by causing them to cacel the wedding, however she wants nothing more than to be with Dex. Her best friend, Ethan, tries to help her make a decision while she and Dex do their best to keep their secret from the needy Darcy.

Something Borrowed is an extremely clichéd romantic comedy. I went into this movie at least hoping that it might be somewhat decent and have a few laughs. Instead what I got was a movie I’ve seen a dozen times before with pretty bad writing and generally unlikable characters. To begin with, Darcy is one of the most obnoxious and self-centered people ever, it’s a wonder why she and Rachel have stayed friends for so long. Darcy is beyond needy and extremely narcissistic. Dex is a rich douche bag who seems to have no problems cheating on his fiancé and I for one had no clue as to why he would be engaged to someone like Darcy as they have nothing in common, he must just want a trophy wife. Rachel is pretty likeable except for the fact that she can’t seem to make a single decision for herself and also has no problem being part of wrecking her best friends relationship. Ethan is easily the most likeable character in the movie but I have a slight problem, not with him per se, rather with the movie’s ending. SPOILERS (I guess): Ethan and Rachel are best friends and clearly love each other very much. However, this movie is practically a remake of John Hughes “Pretty in Pink” because it is painfully obvious that Rachel should be with Ethan. There is even a point in the movie where this almost happens, but instead, Rachel is insistent on being with the rich douchebag pretty boy rather than the person she truly connects with.

Ginnifer Goodwin (He’s Just Not That Into You, TVs Big Love) plays the lead role of Rachel. Goodwin is pretty good and as I mentioned before, she is pretty likeable in the movie. Kate Hudson (Nine, Bride Wars) plays the role of Darcy. This is a very typical Kate Hudson role and I feel like I’ve seen her play this character a dozen times, very uninteresting. Colin Egglesfield plays the role of Dex. He was clearly hired for his looks (looks like Tom Cruise and Scott Wolf had a child who is tall) as he was not good at all. John Krasinski (Away We Go, TVs The Office) plays the role of Ethan. If it wasn’t for Krasinski, this movie would have been completely unbearable. He is consistently funny and charming throughout.

Something Borrowed brings absolutely nothing new to the table and is not entertaining at all. I can’t imagine too many people finding this movie enjoyable and I absolutely pity all those guys who are going to be dragged to this movie by their girlfriends, sorry fellas. Go ahead and pass on this movie.


Hey everybody! I am excited to announce that the first episode of SHUT UP, THE MOVIE'S STARTING a podcast done by myself and my friend Russell Baines. So, please head over to:

and give the podcast a listen. As a warning, this is a first attempt, it will probably take a couple weeks to find our flow and we promise to be more organized in the future.

Thank you and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: Super

Grade: A+

Frank D’Arbo lives a simple life as a cook in a diner and he is happily married to his wife, Sarah. One day, he comes home to find his wife missing, along with all of her clothes and belongings. Frank finds out that she has fallen back into the world of drugs and is now living with Jacques, a drug dealer in the city. After pleading with wife to come home doesn’t work and the police don’t care, Frank begins to lose his mind. He then has a “vision” and becomes convinced that god wants him to be a super hero. He creates “The Crimson Bolt” a masked superhero who beats criminals with a wrench. He meets Libby, a comic store employee, who decides to become franks sidekick, Boltie. The two fight crime together and come up with a plan to get Frank’s wife back.

Super is an incredible movie written and directed by James Gunn (Slither). It is a crazy good an intense dark comedy. I would really like to put an emphasis on the dark part of that. It is definitely funny but you quickly come to realize that the two main characters are sociopaths who probably have some serious psychological issues to deal with. The movie is unrated but I would like to mention that this movie is hyper-violent and loaded with language and an… interesting sex scene. It is funny, but sometimes you’ll be laughing and you won’t quite know why as what is happening is rather disturbing. The movie is extremely well written and the ending is great, but as a warning, it doesn’t really leave you with a good feeling. It took me a little while after I watched it to get back and truly realize how genius this movie is.

The movie stars Rainn Wilson (The Rocker, TVs The Office) as Frank D’Arbo. Wilson is surprisingly perfect for the role and amazing in it. He really did an amazing job with this part and was extremely convincing in the role. Ellen Page (Inception, Juno) plays the role of Libby, who becomes his sidekick. Page is absolutely hilarious in this movie and had some of the best lines, however, she is also pretty disturbing at times too. Liv Tyler (The Incredible Hulk, Jersey Girl) plays the role of Sarah, Frank’s wife. Tyler isn’t in the movie too much, but she is pretty good in it. Kevin Bacon (Frost/Nixon, Death Sentence) plays the role of Jacques, or Jock as Frank keeps calling him. He was really good in this movie and pretty funny, glad to see he is kind of making a comeback. The movie also features Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Nathan Fillion and more.

Super is a great and extremely well made movie. It is dark and intense while having great comedic sensibilities as well. It definitely falls under the dark comedy category. If you are one of those people that Super is just like Kick-Ass, trust me, it is not, at all. The only similarities the two movies have is that somebody decides to put on a costume and fight crime, other than that, they are miles apart. I really cannot recommend this movie enough, go see it as soon as possible.

Great quote: “SHUT UP, CRIME!”

Review: Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Grade: B+

Dylan Dog works as a private investigator in the city of New Orleans. When a mysterious case comes up where the client claims that her father was killed by some kind of monster, probably a werewolf, it digs up his troubled past. In another life, Dylan Dog was chosen by the city’s underworld of werewolves, vampires and zombies to be an impartial investigator but things went sour at one point and he was forced to retire. However, after one of the creatures kills his best friend, Dylan decides to come out of retirement to find out who is behind the murders and why.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is based on a comic book of the same name, but I’ve never read it. Maybe that was a good thing, I don’t know. I completely enjoyed this movie. It is a great comedy/horror movie, although it does tend to lean more towards the comedy side. The characters are all great and really fun to watch. The werewolves and vampires, of course, don’t trust each other and are enemies currently at peace. The zombies, however, mostly stick to themselves and are just trying to get by under the radar, most are very timid working low end jobs. The story is really fun and even though it can be predictable at times, the turns it takes are still enjoyable to watch.

Brandon Routh (Superman Returns, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) plays the titular character of Dylan Dog. I really like Routh and would like to see him in more movies, and specifically, more movies like this. He handles the action sequences pretty well but he has surprisingly great comedic delivery. He was extremely good in this role and really made this movie what it is. Sam Huntington (Fanboys, Rolling Kansas) plays Dylan’s friend who becomes a zombie, Marcus. While he hasn’t done a lot, I have enjoyed most of his work as he is consistently funny and this movie was no exception. Anita Briem (Journey to the Center of the Earth) plays Elizabeth, Dylan’s client whose father was murdered. Briem was pretty good and enjoyable in the movie. The movie also stars Peter Stormare, Taye Diggs, Kurt Angle and more.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is a really fun, funny and enjoyable movie. If you love movies about werewolves, zombies and vampires that don’t sparkle, then go check this movie out. It tells a pretty good story and has a really fun take on the mythology of these creatures. It’s very funny and has some pretty decent action sequences.

Great quote: “You know what they say about werewolf hair, it never lies.”