Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Short Review: Seven Psychopaths

Grade: A

A screenwriter and his friends become a target for the mob after one of his friends kidnaps a mob boss' shih tzu.

Very funny and entertaining movie. Loaded with many interesting and bizarre characters. Fun writing.

Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish and many more.

Attention span must last 1 hr 50 minutes to enjoy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Short Review: Taken 2

Grade: C

Bryan Mills and his family are taken... Again.

Not nearly as fun or entertaining as the first. Not bad and still enjoyable though. Too long of a set up. My favorite scene involves Mills' daughter randomly throwing grenades in the middle if Istanbul with no regard for what crowded area they might be going to.

Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Serbedzija and more.

Attention span must last 92 minutes to enjoy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Short Review: Looper

Grade: A+

An assassin who kills people sent to him by the mob from the future is sent his future self... Who escapes.

Great sci-fi movie. Best use of time travel in a while. Amazing story that hooks you right away then takes some great turns throughout.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 58 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Hotel Transylvania

Grade: A-

A human stumbles upon a hotel built as a sanctuary for monsters on Dracula's daughter's birthday.

Very funny and entertaining movie. Well written and loaded with references to classic horror and monster movies.

Voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samburg, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 31 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Short Review: Pitch Perfect

Grade: B-

Glee: the Movie... In college.

Decent music and performances. Pretty funny at times. Anna Kendrick is great. Predictable. Overall a fun movie though.

Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Skylar Astin and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 52 minutes to enjoy.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Short Review: Dredd

Grade: A-

In a dystopian future where law enforcement acts as judge, jury and executioner a veteran officer teams up with a rookie to take down a gang ruling over a mega-block.

Very fun action/sci-fi movie. Story is actually really good, writing is good for this type of movie. Urban is great as Judge Dredd.

Carl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 35 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: End of Watch

Grade: B

Two police officers in south central Los Angeles accidentally uncover a drug cartel ring after a routine traffic stop.

Great story. Great acting. Writing was a bit rough at times. Don't like the camera work/shooting style. Overall a pretty compelling movie.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 49 minutes to enjoy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Short Review: Resident Evil: Retribution

Grade: C-

Alice fights with a resistance group against the Umbrella Corporation in a massive underground facility.

This is what I wanted Afterlife to be but it is still disappointing. Overly ridiculous at times to the point of being laughable. Unnecessary characters introduced particularly the fake clone daughter.

Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Boris Kudjoe and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 35 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Branded

Grade: F

A man tries to uncover a conspiracy involving corporate brands and their control on the population.

Concept would have made a good 15-20 minute short. Overly long with too much lead up to a disappointing conclusion.

Ed Stoppard, Leelee Sobieski, Jeffrey Tambor, Max Von Sydow

Attention span must last 1 hour 46 minutes to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Short Review: Hit and Run

Grade: C+

A man under witness protection risks it all in order to drive his girlfriend to LA.

Enjoyable movie. Not as funny as it could have/should have been. Few superfluous scenes.

Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth, Tom Arnold and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 40 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Premium Rush

Grade: B+

A Manhattan bike messenger gets a mysterious package that attracts the attention of a dirty cop who chases him through the city.

A fun and sometimes exciting movie. Surprisingly funny. A bit over the top (in a fun way usually) with a few unnecessary scenes.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Aasif Mandvi and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 31 minutes to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Short Review: The Expendables 2

Grade: A

A team of mercenaries seek revenge for the death of one of their men against a mysterious foe.

Awesome over the top action. Absolutely hilarious. So much fun to watch.

Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Jean-Claud Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 42 minutes.

Short Review: ParaNorman

Grade: A

A young boy who can speak to the dead must use his abilities to fight zombies and adults in order to stop a centuries old curse.

Extremely entertaining and well made movie. Very smart and funny. Highly recommended. They snuck in a lot of adult humor.

Voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anba Kendrick, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Casey Afleck and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 33 minutes to enjoy.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Short Review: The Campaign

Grade: A-

Two candidates duke it out during an election.

Very funny movie. However, a very bitter pill to swallow. Only 10% less silly than our current presidential campaigns.

Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 30 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: The Bourne Legacy

Grade: A

Aaron Cross must fight for his life after the events of the previous Bourne movies.

A very fun and entertaining movie. Great action spy movie. Could have stood on its own but oh we'll.

Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacey Keach, Albert Finney, more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 15 minutes.

Short Review: Total Recall

Grade: A-

A factory worker becomes convinced he is a spy after visiting a company that implants fake memories.

Very entertaining sci-fi action movie. A fun, albeit unnecessary, remake of the original 1990 movie. Great visuals and awesome fight scenes.

Colin Ferrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston.

Attention span must last 1 hour 58 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: The Watch

Grade: C

A neighborhood watch group fights off an alien invasion in their suburban town.

Some funny moments but not enough. Richard Ayoade is the only consistently funny person in it and really the only reason to watch.

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Richard Ayoade.

Attention span must last 1 hour 42 minutes to enjoy.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Short Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Grade: A

Batman must come out of hiding and risk everything in order to stop Bane, a mysterious criminal mastermind.

Great movie. Bane is terrifying. A fantastic and emotional conclusion to Christopher Nolan's trilogy.

Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman and more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 44 minutes to enjoy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Short Review: Savages

Grade: A-

Two California pot growers are forced to fight a Mexican drug cartel after their shared girlfriend is kidnapped.

Interesting story with plenty of twists and turns. Great acting. Great writing. Weird at times but in a really good way.

Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta

Attention span must last 2 hours 11 minutes to enjoy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Short Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Grade: B+

A reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. Once again tells Peter Parker's origins and transformation.

The good: some visuals, Spidey's sense of humor, the characters, the acting is great, many story points. The bad: the directing, other story points, worst/most pointless post credits scene ever.

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Denis Leary, Sally Field, more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 16 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Grade: A

On a small island in New England, two young lovers run off together causing a massive search party to form.

About the most Wes Anderson-y movie ever. Truly bizarre but in great ways. Very funny. Beautifully shot.

Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 34 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Ted

Grade: A

A young boy makes a wish that his teddy bear was alive... And I comes true. This is what happens 25 years later.

Absolutely hilarious movie. Enough said.

Mark Wahlburg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 46 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Magic Mike

Grade: A

A young entrepreneur who strips to make a living teaches a new younger performer the ways of the job and life while looking for ways to better his life.

Stripping scenes aside (which some are entertaining dance numbers) this is a great movie worth watching. Tells a great story, is very funny at times with great direction by Soderbergh.

Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 50 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Brave

Grade: A+

A young Scottish princess wants to live her life the way she wants and does not want to be forced into marriage.

Pixar does it again. Fantastic movie with great story, great writing, fantastic characters and is emotionally gripping.

Voices of Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson and more.

Attention Span must last 1 hour 33 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Safety Not Guaranteed

Grade: A

A man puts an ad in the paper seeking a companion to time travel with.

A great story with wonderful writing. Very funny. Very charming.

Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, JakevM Johnson and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 26 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Grade: B

A fun story about Abraham Lincoln becoming a vampire hunter as a young man.

Lots of fun. Entertaining. Great action scenes. Has fun with history.

Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anthony Mackie, Rufus Sewell, more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 45 minutes to enjoy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Short Review: Rock of Ages

Grade: A+

A small town girl pursues her dreams in 1987 in LA on the Sunset Strip.


Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston, Paul Giamatti, Malin Ackerman, Mary J Bleige and more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 3 minutes to enjoy.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Full Review and Discussion: Prometheus

Part 1: The spoiler free review

Grade: A+

In 2089, two archeologists discover a star map among several ancient and unconnected civilizations. They interpret it as an invitation so they, along with a group of scientists and a few employees of the Weyland corporation, travel to a distant planet, LV-223, in hopes of discovering the secrets to mankind’s beginnings. What they find becomes a threat not just to them, but to all of mankind.

To start, the visuals in this movie are absolutely spectacular. This movie warrants being seen in IMAX for that alone. Add to that the 3D that director Ridley Scott uses is actually pretty tolerable, it adds depth to the movie rather than being a gimmick. That aside, the story and the writing are fascinating. This is a conversational science-fiction movie, so anybody expecting an action packed scare a minute ride will end up disappointed, once again the advertising doesn’t quite accurately depict what’s really happening in the movie. The overall theme of the movie is evolution, which is kind of funny as the subject of our possible “creation” keeps coming up. The idea of evolution really ties everything together and keeps things moving.

The character of David, an android played by Michael Fassbender, is easily the most interesting part of this movie. He has been on the ship for close to 3 years, all by himself, while everyone else was in hyper-sleep. As a result he has developed a bit of a personality, which androids aren’t really supposed to have. He becomes curious about certain things. Also, androids are treated like second or third class citizens and it becomes apparent that he is not pleased with this. Everything his character says or does fascinated me throughout the movie.

The rest of the characters are great in their own ways too. Especially Elizabeth Shaw, one of the archeologists who found the “star map” and is leading the expedition in hopes of making contact with an alien species she calls Engineers. Her character resembles that of Ellen Ripley from Alien, which this movie is related to in several ways. I would like to state right now that while this movie does take place in the same universe as Alien, it is NOT an Alien prequel, and again, people expecting that out of this movie will find themselves disappointed. Anyway, Ridley Scott truly excels at making strong female leads and Elizabeth Shaw is no exception to that.

One thing that I loved about this movie is all of the questions that it raises, some simply about what is happening in the movie and some are slightly more philosophical. Either way, I will discuss some of these in Part 2.

Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009), Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows) plays the role of Elizabeth Shaw and she does not disappoint. Her performance is great and you really feel for her character and everything that she is going through. Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Shame) plays the role of David, the artificial human. Fassbender really manages to steal the show in every scene that he is in. All the little nuances of his character and performance are amazing and he really makes you think about what this character is going through and what he is thinking, if he can think in the traditional sense. If for no other reason, see this movie for Fassbender’s role as David. Charlize Theron (Young Adult, Snow White and the Huntsman) plays Meredith Vickers, a representative of the Weyland Corporation and the person in charge of everything to do with the ship and expedition. This was an interesting role to see her in. Her character is a bit of a hardass and is very standoffish but at the same time she is just as curious as everybody else about what they are going to find. The movie also features Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green and more.

I cannot recommend this movie enough, maybe simply because I need more people to discuss it with. I am dying to see it again so I can try to figure out some answers to some of the questions I have. Also, if you are a fan of science-fiction, especially Ridley Scott’s brand of sci-fi, you need to see this movie. If you are a fan of the Alien franchise, even though this one is only loosely connected to them, I need to recommend this movie. Very simply, if you are a fan of well made and well written movies that also have amazing visuals, see this movie. It is very different from many movies I’ve seen and I love it for that reason. It has infected me in a way that a movie hasn’t in a very long time, hence the two part review.

Part 2: The discussion


Ok, now we can get to the part that I really want to discuss: what happens Prometheus? I am mostly going to present some questions that I had while watching it and my theories on some possible answers that possibly only Ridley Scott, Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts have.

To begin, at the very beginning of the movie we see an “Engineer” standing atop a waterfall, drink some mysterious back goo. He then begins to disintegrate and we see that he is breaking down right to his DNA, he then falls into the water and we see that DNA begin to reform. This is never talked about again throughout the movie… So, what happened? My theory is that we are seeing the creation of life on Earth. Again, one major connecting tissue in this movie is evolution. Whatever that black goo is, it broke him down, he fell into the water and when the DNA began to form again, it was forming into the earliest of single cell organisms that created life on Earth and began to evolutionary process leading towards man. Part of why I think this is also because at one point we find out our DNA matches that of the Engineers. They talk in the movie about how they (really, mostly Shaw) believe that the Engineers created man, well, I think this is how they did it. Is the goo natural or is it something they created, I again believe that it was something they created in order to do just this; create life.

What is that black goo, anyway? My theory is that it is a goo full of single cell organisms that were created by the Engineers. Again, the overall connecting theme of this movie is evolution. When the “vases” full of this mysterious substance are exposed to the right conditions, the evolutionary process begins. This is what accidentally happened to the Engineers in the past and is what happens when the scientists from Prometheus open the door to the holding area with the giant head. They evolve into different things under different circumstances. In the room with the head, they evolve into serpent like creatures that infect (or possibly “impregnate”) foreign hosts to help further their evolutionary process.

Continuing with that, David at one point takes a small drop of the mysterious goo and puts it in the drink of Dr. Halloway. Why does he do this? I think it was a combination of a couple of things. First, over the course of the trip to the planet, David had plenty of time to think about his secret mission of helping find a way to help Peter Weyland live forever. This coupled with the fact that I believe David had formed a sense of curiosity over time caused him to do this. That and maybe he was under orders from Weyland himself to test what the substance would do. Either way, the more interesting things about this substance occur after he infects Halloway.

What happens to Halloway, and then subsequently Shaw, after being infected with the black goo? My theory is that, once again, the goo, once introduced to the human body, started to evolve in a different way (hence the shot of weird worm like creatures coming out of his eye) and spread throughout his body affecting his DNA and molecular structure. When Halloway and Shaw have sex, the goo combines with their DNA and begins to evolve in a way like never before. Shaw becomes pregnant with a creature formed by the combination of the goo and human DNA. Thankfully she acts quickly and removes the thing before it kills her from the inside.

Now this is where we possibly get into more connections with the Alien movies. What is the squid like creature that Shaw cuts out of herself? At first it seems like a bizarre creature we’ll never see again. However, during the climax at the end of the movie, this creature, now MUCH larger, busts through the door of the ship and attacks the Engineer trying to kill Shaw. It shoves a tentacle down the engineers throat and dies. I believe that this is an early form of the Facehugger from the Alien movies. As is revealed at the very end of the movie, a whole new creature emerges from the body of the Engineer. It looks similar to the Xenomorphs but at the same time it looks more human. Again, I believe this to be an early form of the Xenomorphs that will evolve into the terrifying creature we all know and love. This is not the same planet from Alien and Aliens and as discussed earlier in the movie, this is essentially a military installation for the Engineers. Maybe they find it and keep doing tests and experiments until they create the perfect killing machine that is the Xenomorph.

Now for the big question; why did the Engineers decide to destroy Earth? My theory begins at the first question I posed. The Engineers created life on Earth, essentially, and like any scientist, they want to check on their work and keep an eye on that which they created. I think this explains why they found references to these beings in several unconnected ancient civilizations. They would check in on us every couple thousand years. I believe what happened was, after a while, whenever they checked, they noticed us killing each other and warring over nothing. We were out of control. But that’s not quite why they made their decision. In the movie, they talk about something happening a little over 2000 years ago and that being when they possibly decided to kill us. I believe they gave us one last chance. I like to theorize that the Engineers “created” Jesus and impregnated Mary with this superior being. They hoped that this being would show all of the humans that they need to stop fighting and that they need to get along. However, what happened to this superior being… He was nailed to a cross. When the Engineers discovered this, they became infuriated and that’s when they made their final decision about our fate.

There is another question brought up by this movie and I have no answer or theory to it. The cave drawings and carvings that were found around the world about the Engineers and where they live, is it an invitation to come visit them when we are advanced enough or is it a warning to stay far away from them as they are dangerous and will only bring harm to our world? This is really up for interpretation and subject to the individual viewer.

There is so much more to discuss in term of this movie but this is where I think I’m going to call it quits. I really need to watch it again… and again and again and again. This movie fascinates me on a level I don’t think I’ve ever experienced with a movie. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Short Review: Prometheus

Grade: A+

A team of scientists travel to a distant world in hopes of discovering the truth behind mankind's origins. What they find may alter human existence forever.

Amazing movie that presents profound questions. Spectacular visual effects. Great writing, especially with the character of David.

Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba and more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 4 minutes to enjoy.

Coming soon: 2 part Full Review. Part 1 will be a spoiler free review and part 2 will be a spoilerific discussion.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Short Review: Battsleship

Grade: D

Aliens land in the ocean off the coast of Hawaii and try to invade the planet. Based on the board game.

Some entertaining parts. Makes no sense most of the time. Aliens are inconsistent in who/what they decide to attack. So many things are wrong with this movie.

Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna, Liam Neeson and more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 10 minutes to enjoy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Short Review: The Avengers

Grade: A+

Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk must work together in order to stop a dangerous threat.

AMAZING! Couldn't ask for a better movie. Joss Whedon knocked it out of the park.

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlet Johansson, Jeremy Renner and many more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 22 minutes to enjoy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Short Review: The Raven

Grade: B

Edgar Allen Poe helps the police locate a killer who uses Poe's stories as inspiration.

A fun take on Poe's last days. Great to see many of his stories come to life. Interesting mystery thriller.

John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 50 minutes to enjoy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Podcast: Episode 51

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

 In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies Flawless (available on Netflix streaming) and Thor (in their lead up to The Avengers). There were no new movies in theaters worth watching… sorry. They also discuss Punisher and Stargate as well as a bunch of other stuff in this relatively short episode!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Short Review: The Cabin in the Woods

Grade: A+

Five friends go to a cabin in the woods... Bad things happen.

The best "horror" movie I think I have ever seen. The most original and entertaining movie I've seen in a long time. So nice to see something new brought to the table in a tired genre.

Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 35 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Lockout

Grade: B+


Very funny and entertaining action movie. Not a lot of substance but who cares, it's just fun to watch.

Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare, Lennie James and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 35 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Podcast: Episode 50

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies Lockout (Available in theaters now), Cabin in the Woods (In theaters now) (no spoilers, we promise), Demolition Man (available on Netflix Streaming) and Iron Man 2 (in their lead-up to The Avengers). They also talk about Fast Five, Bully, how the 90′s viewed the future, the Trailers for Savage, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Looper, as well as much much more. Again, we promise there are absolutely NO SPOILERS for Cabin in the Woods.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Podcast: Episode 49

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies Mirror Mirror (in theaters now), 1911 (available on Netflix Streaming) and Iron Man 2 (in their lead-up to The Avengers). They also talk about The A-Team, The Rundown, TMNT II, the trailers for Ted and others, How Overrated Julia Roberts is, their excitement for Snow White and the Huntsman and more!

Next week on SUTMS: Lockout (in theaters), Cabin in the Woods (in theaters), Demolition Man (Netflix Streaming) and Thor.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Short Review: Mirror Mirror

Grade: D-

A re-imagining (of sorts) of the classic tale of Snow White.

Extremely cheesy and corny. They try to make Snow White more of a rebel and a leader but fail miserably. Love story is ridiculous. Most of the characters are just annoying. A few funny parts but not enough.

Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Sean Bean and many more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 46 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Podcast: Episode 48

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to listen to the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

Welcome to episode 49 of Shut Up! The Movie’s Starting! In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies Wrath of the Titans (in theaters now), High Road (available on Netflix Streaming), Hulk and Iron Man. They also discuss Take Shelter, Little Big Soldier the upcoming Ninja Turtles movie and the trailers for Total Recall and Safety Not Guaranteed.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Short Review: The Hunger Games

Grade: A-

A girl is forced to fight 23 other young boys and girls to the death.

Very fun and enjoyable movie. Cast is spectacular. Unfortunately, does not stand on it's own. Pretty sure only fans of the book will love this movie.

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz and more

Attention span must last 2 hours 22 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Podcast: Episode 47

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss (at length) the movies The Hunger Games (in theaters now), The Vicious Kind (on Netflix Streeming) and Jewel of the Nile. They mostly jabber on about the good (and the bad) things about The Hunger Games movie.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Short Review: 21 Jump Street

Grade: A

Two new cops are sent back to high school undercover in order to stop a drug ring.

Absolutely hilarious from start to finish. It has been a long time since I've laughed this hard at a movie. Fun story. Cannot stress enough how funny this movie is.

Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Ice Cube, Dave Franco and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 49 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Casa de mi Padre

Grade: B

A man tries to get rid of the drug dealers doing business on his father's land.

This Will Ferrell comedy done entirely in Spanish is funny and entertaining. Plays out and looks like a Spanish soap opera.

Will Ferrell, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez, Gael Garcia Bernal and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 24 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Podcast: Episode 46

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com 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 discuss the movies 21 Jump Street (in theaters now), Casa de mi Padre (in theaters now), Ghosts of Mars (available on Netflix Streaming) and Romancing the Stone. They also talk about Boondock Saints, Silent House, the trailers for Dark Shadows, Prometheus and Avengers, the greatness of 80s adventure comedies, why do 80s action stars want sailboats so bad, and so much more.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Podcast: Episode 45

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies John Carter (In theaters now), The Hard Way (available on Netflix Streaming) and Fierce Creatures. The two also talk about Warrior, Monty Python, the trailers for Men in Black 3, Avengers, That’s My Boy and more, as well as what makes good science fiction as they swoon over John Carter, how funny John Cleese, Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Palin are, the awesomeness of James Woods and so much more.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Short Review: Silent House

Grade: D-

Strange things start happening in an old house while a young woman is helping fix it up with her dad and uncle.

Really boring. Bad plot. Uninteresting. Terrible ending. Being one continuous take/shot is interesting but leads to some horrible camera work.

Elizabeth Olson... More...ish

Attention span must last 1 hour 25 minutes to enjoy. (7 minutes of which are ending credits)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Short Review: John Carter

Grade: A+

A civil war soldier is accidentally transported to Mars where meets a princess in need of a savior.

Great and completely enthralling story. Very fun. Good performances. Great effects.

Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong and many more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 12 minutes to enjoy.

PS: this movie is quite violent but because all of the blood is blue I guess the MPAA doesn't care.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Short Review: The Lorax

Grade: B

A boy must learn the story of the Lorax in order to find a tree for a girl.

Pretty funny and entertaining. The music leaves something to be desired. Relentless in its message.

Attention span must last 1 hour 26 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Podcast: Episode 44

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies The Lorax (in theaters now), Lucky (available on Netflix Streaming) and A Fish Called Wanda. The two also talk about Dirty Girl, the Trailers for Despicable Me 2, Paranorman, Frankenweenie, Madagascar 3 and That’s My Boy, Avengers vs Batman, Top Gun 2, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Where to Find the Oscar nominated shorts and so very much more!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Short Review: Wanderlust

Grade: B+

After a couple lose their jobs and apartment in New York they decide to try living in an intentional community where free love rules.

Much funnier than I thought. A pretty good movie with a decent story and message.

Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Alan Alda, Malin Akerman, and many more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 38 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Act of Valor

Grade: C+

A Navy SEALs team embark on a covert mission to stop a terrorist plot.

The action and combat scenes are great. Some obnoxious camera work. Horrible acting.

Stars active duty Navy SEALs and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 51 minutes to enjoy.

Podcast: Episode 43

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies Wanderlust (in theaters now), Act of Valor (in theaters now) and Toy Story 3. They also talk, at length, about the 84th Academy Awards, The Rock, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, The Artist, the rest of the best picture nominees, their love/hate relationship with the Oscars, how uninteresting the ceremony was, they need to pick a better host, the few funny/entertaining moments of the ceremony and so very much more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Short Review: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Grade: B-

The Ghost Rider is back to protect a young boy and his mother from the devil.

The action scenes are great. Slow at times and too much exposition. Would be better rated R. Neveldine and Taylor do great directing, if only they had more creative control. Cage is awesome and has some great "freak out" moments.

Nicolas Cage, Idris Elba, Violante Placido, Ciarán Hinds and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 35 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: This Means War

Grade: B

Two best friends (and spies) date the same woman and compete for her affection.

Pine and Hardy are very funny. Pretty entertaining. More rom-com-y than I would have liked. Not as much action as the trailer implies.

Tom Hardy, Chris Pine Reese Witherspoon, Chelsea Handler and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 38 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Podcast: Episode 42

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies This Means War (in theaters now), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (in theaters now), The African Queen (available on Netflix Streaming) and Up. The two also talk about Star Trek (2009), Colombiana, High Fidelity, Tree of Life, Bad planned sequels, Bad trailers, Trailers that lie, Zoe Saldana is awesome and so very much more.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Short Review: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Grade: A

Sean receives a coded message from his grandfather saying that the mysterious island from Jules Verne's book is real.

Surprisingly fun. Very funny. Extremely entertaining. Anything that encourages kids to pick up a book is good in my world.

Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 34 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Safehouse

Grade: B-

A young CIA agent must look after a rogue agent while people from all sides are trying to kill him for the information he is secretly holding.

Fun action movies with a decent plot. Nothing really new or too exciting with this one.

Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 55 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Podcast: Episode 41

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (in theaters), Safe House (in theaters), The Double (available on Netflix Streaming) and more. They also talk about Real Steel, Bunny and the Bull, Grandma’s Boy, The Trailers for The Bourne Legacy, Cold Light of Day and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, surprising comedies/movies, Machete Kills news, Candyland: The Movie, Ken Marino (Can’t remember his name on the podcast), Horrible Ideas for Remakes and so much more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Short Review: Chronicle

Grade: B+

Essentially a "found footage" superhero origin story.

Surprisingly well put together. Entertaining and fun. Good story with decent writing.

Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 24 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Podcast: Episode 40

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

The Movie’s Starting. In this episode Michael and Russell discuss Chronicle (in theaters) and Smiley Face (Netflix Streaming) as well as Ratatouille and A Knight’s Tale. They also discuss Ferris Bueller, Stardust, Easy A, Say Anything…, Watchmen, Another Earth, This Means War will be a guilty pleasure, Movies that don’t explain everything and that’s ok, Star Wars Uncut, A serial killer who kills puppets movie, vomit-cam movies, How teenagers would use super powers, movies that consider girls with ponytails ugly and so very much more.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

5 Reasons a Sequel to Ferris Bueller's Day Off Won't Work

With the release of Honda's new super bowl ad, featuring Matthew Broderick reprising his role as Ferris Bueller, the talk of a Ferris Bueller's Day Off sequel has started up once again. While I list Ferris Bueller as one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time, I really do not want to see a sequel to this classic comedy. On top of that, there are a number of reasons a sequel simply won't work.

1) This one is really just for fun but, cracked.com and I agree, the events and character of Ferris Bueller are entirely a piece of Cameron's imagination. Cameron lives in a loveless and abusive family and as a coping mechanism created Ferris in his mind. Ferris is everything Cameron in not; has a loving family, beloved by his entire school, outgoing, ambitious and to top it all off, is dating the hottest girl in school. Ferris is to Cameron as Tyler Durden is to Edward Norton in Fight Club. It is my belief that there is a scene missing showing Cameron doing all the things Ferris did.

2) Fun conspiracy theories aside, My biggest problem with the idea of a Ferris Bueller sequel is that would mean Ferris is working a job that he doesn't like and wants to skip out on. If we learned anything from the original it is that Ferris should be running the world. Ok, not literally. I believe that Ferris grows up to be Richard Branson by way of Steve Jobs/Bill Gates. We learn that he is good with computers and I like to think that he creates some sort of program or computer that revolutionizes the industry. He makes billions and now uses his money to do crazy things all over the world whenever and wherever he wants. On any given day Ferris could be sky diving over his private island only to hop on a jet ski with a topless model (or Sloane, I'll discuss that next) then buying a Ferrari because he can. Does this sound like the sort of existence that Ferris needs a day off from?

3) Ferris is madly in love with Sloane and says he is going to marry her. I don't doubt this but one of two things will happen. a) He will be too wild for Sloane to handle and they won't stay married long or b) he and Sloane will live happily ever after but with no children as that will only slow them down. A studio will of course want him to have kids and I don't think Ferris is the parental type as I described in #2. I, however, do personally like to think that they stay married and jet around the world together crazy in love.

4) Cameron also should have a job that he enjoys and a loving family, in other words, a life he also doesn't want a day off from. I view Cameron to grow up and be a business executive, most likely for Ferris' technology company, and that he actually really loves that life. He and Ferris work together and hang out/go on vacations all the time together and, again, therefore never need a "day off."

5) Ferris Bueller's Day Off is about being in high school and being so consumed with trying to finish that and figure out what to do with the rest of your life that you don't take time to just enjoy life. It's a great movie and you could make a version of this with adults (and to a point they do all the time) just not with these characters. If they make a sequel where Ferris and Cameron have desk jobs they hate where they sit in a cubicle all day, I believe that ruins everything they built in the first movie for these characters.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Short Review: Red Tails

Grade: A-

Based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all African-American crew of WWII fighter pilots.

Great movie. Fantastic action scenes. Great story. Writing is shaky at points. Top notch cast.

Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nate Parker, Tristan Wilds, David Oyelowo, Ne-Yo and more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 5 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: The Grey

Grade: B

A group of oil rig workers crash in the middle of Alaska and fight for survival.

A fun survival thriller. Interesting story. Ending might upset some people.

Liam Neeson, Durmot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 57 minutes to enjoy.

Podcast: Episode 39

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode they discuss the movies The Grey (in theaters now) and Red Tails (in theaters now), there was no Netflix movie this week, sorry. They also discuss Man on a Ledge, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, We Bought A Zoo, Death Race 2, Snatch, Crank, Real Genius, Oscar nominations, Val Kilmer, Galaxy Quest is the best Star Trek movie, great actions stars who do shitty rom-coms, Guy Pierce is awesome, Space Prison: The Movie, a possible new Monty Python movie? and so much more!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Short Review: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Grade: B-

A young boy wanders the streets of New York City by himself trying to find the lock that matches a key left behind by his father who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Good story. Interesting premise. Extremely manipulative. Great cast that does virtually nothing.

Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max Von Sydow, John Goodman, Viola Davis, Jeffery Wright and more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 9 minutes to enjoy.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Short Review: Man on a Ledge

Grade: B-

An escaped felon threatens to jump off a building in order to gain an audience so he can prove his innocence.

Better than expected. Good story with some fun twists. Satisfying ending.

Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Genesis Rodriguez, Anthony Mackie and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 43 minutes to enjoy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Short Review: Underworld: Awakening

Grade: B

Selene wakes up in a lab after 12 years and now must uncover a conspiracy in a world where humans now hunt lycans and vampires.

Surprisingly good movie. Very entertaining with some really fun action scenes. Plot is a little loose but who cares, this is how werewolves and vampires are supposed to be. No sparkling.

Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 28 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Haywire

Grade: B

A black ops soldier for hire is betrayed by her employer and seeks revenge in order to clear her name.

A fun action thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh. The fight scenes are great. Story is nothing new but still very enjoyable.

Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Angarano, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 33 minutes to enjoy.

84th Oscar Nominations

Go to www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/84/nominees.html to see the complete list of nominations.

I just want to make a few comments about the nominations.

The Good:

First and foremost I would like to say that I am extremely happy that Melissa McCarthy got a best supporting actress nomination for Bridesmaids. Usually the Academy skips movies like Bridesmaids and she was the best part of that movie and it was one of my favorites of the year.

Bridesmaids was also nominated for best writing which is awesome.

Rooney Mara gets a much deserved Best Actress nomination.

Really glad that Jonah Hill was nominated Best Supporting Actor for Moneyball as that was a great performance and unlike anything he has done before.

Rango was by far the best Animated movie of the year, glad to see it's nomination and glad Cars 2 was not nominated.

Directing category looks pretty good this year. Lots of competition and I don't know at this time who I would pick to win this one.

Glad to see "Man or a Muppet" written by Bret McKenzie nominated for best original song. A bit surprised there are only 2 nominations in that category.

If for no other reason than the perfect/eerie sound of teeth scattering across the floor in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo does that movie deserve to win Best Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.

9 movies for best picture this year and they all seem like quality movies.

I'm glad that comedies weren't completely ignored this year with 2 nominations going to Bridesmaids and 4 nominations, including Best Picture, going to Midnight in Paris.

The Bad/Snubs:

I cannot believe that 50/50 did not get ONE nomination. That movie was amazing and perfect in every way. Joseph Gordon-Levitt deserves a best actor nomination. It deserves a Best Writing nomination and, in my opinion, a Best Picture nomination.

Michael Parks should have gotten a nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Red State but I knew that movie would be ignored. It was the best and most chilling performance I think I've ever seen and even if you don't like the movie it is hard not to like that performance.

Albert Brooks should have gotten a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Drive.

I know it's a source of controversy but Andy Serkis was amazing as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and should have gotten a nomination. It might not be his face but it is his performance.

Every year I insist on seeing every movie nominated for best picture and most years that is just fine. I have to say, I am really upset that I have to sit through War Horse this year. I was really hoping to avoid that.

Kind of surprised that given all of its other nominations that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did not get a Best Picture nomination.

I also feel that We Bought a Zoo should have gotten some nominations. Best Writing in the very least.


Young Adult was completely overlooked. Patton Oswalt should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Charlize Theron for Best Actress. As well as possible nominations for Best Writing and Directing.

Lars Von Trier overlooked for Best Director.

Tilda Swinton should have been nominated for Let's Talk About Kevin.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Podcast: Episode 38

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies Underworld: Awakening (in theaters now), Haywire (in theaters now) and Kill the Irishman (available on Netflix Streaming). Unfortunately this episode was cut short, only 20 minutes, due to illness.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Short Review: We Bought A Zoo

Grade: A

After his wife's death, a father decides to buy a new home that is also a zoo that needs to be renovated and re-opened.

Great writing. Amazing acting. Very touching story. The little girl is adorable.

Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Hayden Church, Elle Fanning, Colin Ford, Maggie Elizabeth Jones and more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 4 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: Contraband

Grade: C-

A former smuggler must pull off one last job in order to protect his brother-in-law from a drug lord.

Descent story. Some interesting turns. Pretty disappointing. Proves that Pollock without a frame is just a dirty tarp.

Mark Wahlberg, Kate Winslet, Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 50 minutes to enjoy.

Podcast: Episode 37

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss the movies Contraband (in theaters now) and Transylvania 6-5000 (available on Netflix Streaming). They also discuss Monsters Inc., Green Hornet, Dodgeball, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Wes Anderson movies, The trailers for Lock-Out, Casa De Mi Padre, Moonrise Kingdom and Salmon Fishing in Yemon, 2012: The Year of the Re-release and so much more.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Short Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Grade: A-

During the days of the cold war an MI6 agent is determined to find the traitor hiding amongst their ranks.

Great story. Great writing. Amazing performances. A bit slow going.

Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Toby Jones and more.

Attention span must last 2 hours 7 minutes to enjoy.

Short Review: The Adventures of Tintin

Grade: B+

A young investigator stumbles upon a secret that leads to a sunken treasure.

Very fun. Great action scenes. Interesting story. Many funny moments. A bit ridiculous at times.

(Voices) Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and more.

Attention span must last 1 hour 47 minutes to enjoy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Podcast: Episode 36

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (in theaters now) and Bunraku (available on Netflix Streaming). They also discuss Toy Story 2, Burke and Hare, Tucker and Dale vs Evil, The trailers for G.I. Joe: Retribution, Jack the Giant Killer, Haywire and Safe, how do some movies get such great casts?, the “trailer” for the Oscars, being entertained at movies, good award show hosts, snooty film watchers and more.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best of 2011

Well, it’s a new year so I thought I would take this time to look back at all the movies of 2011 and give my opinion of the best movies of the year. I would say that it was a pretty good year for movies, if you looked hard enough. So here they are, the 20 best movies of 2011:

Honorable mentions: Super, The Help, Our Idiot Brother, Thor, Win Win, Attack the Block, Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows, Drive, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Beginners, The Way.

20. The Muppets

I don’t really like Jason Segel but I have to admit that he wrote and helped make an incredible Muppets movie. This movie is hilarious from start to finish and the songs, written by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie, are great. The Muppets is an extremely enjoyable movie for people of all ages.

19. X-Men: First Class

This sequel/reboot of the X-Men franchise is fascinating. It takes place in 1962 and gives an interesting twist on the Cuban missile crisis. It shows the origins of Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr as well as many of the other X-Men. It is really well written and Matthew Vaughn did a great job of directing. One of the better superhero/comic book movies ever made.

18. The Guard

An unorthodox Irish policeman and a by-the-book FBI agent must work together in order to bring down a drug smuggling ring. Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle are great together in this movie. Mark Strong does a great job as the head of the drug smuggling ring. This movie is very funny as well as really well written.

17. Bridesmaids

One of the funniest movies to come out in years and to top it all off it shows that there are many funny women out there who are constantly over looked. The whole cast is great but Kristen Wiig really gets a chance to show off just how funny she can be. However, Melissa McCarthy, of Gilmore Girls fame, manages to steal every scene she is in.

16. Tucker and Dale vs Evil

A great twist on the horror genre. What starts out as a typical movie about a bunch of college students going camping in the Appalachian Mountains quickly turns into a great comedy about miscommunication and misjudgment. Tucker and Dale are two hapless hillbillies just trying to fix up their summer home. One of the college girls knocks herself unconscious while swimming in the lake and they save her but her friends think they are going to kill her. So they try to rescue her but one by one end up killing themselves and Tucker and Dale think they are all part of a suicide cult. A great movie that is written well and Alan Tudyk and Ty Labine do a great job as the titular characters. I cannot recommend this movie enough.

15. Hugo

I love movies that love movies. This movie suffered from really poor advertising. It is an extremely well made movie that looks beautiful. About a young boy who lives in the walls of a train station fixing clocks meets an old filmmaker. This movie shows that magic of movies from the early 1900s. Ben Kingsley is great as the famed George Méliès. This movie tells a great story and is a lot of fun to watch. Just don’t see it in 3D.

14. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

I love the Mission: Impossible movies and while this isn’t quite the best one, it is really close. It is loaded with tons of amazing action scenes and plenty of humor sprinkled throughout. Tom Cruise is back and just as entertaining as always as Ethan Hunt. Simon Pegg gets a more substantial role this go around and handles it really well. Jeremy Renner is really good in it. Brad Bird does a great job with his live action directorial debut. This is easily one of the most entertaining movies of the year.

13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

The epic final chapter in the Harry Potter franchise gets a spectacular conclusion. It does a great job wrapping everything up. The battle at Hogwarts is a spectacular sight to see. On top of all the great visuals it manages to have a deep and compelling story. Alan Rickman’s part in the movie as Snape is amazing and heart wrenching, it is one of the best performances of the year. Warwick Davis is great as Griphook. It is a very satisfying conclusion to a great series.

12. Paul

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play two sci-fi geeks traveling across America when they encounter a real life alien (voiced by Seth Rogan). This movie is absolutely hilarious from start to finish. It is loaded with references to all of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. On top of that it is essentially a love note to people like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The supporting cast all add a lot to the movie as well.

11. The Artist

French writer/director Michel Hazanavicius made a bold and daring movie by making a silent film in 2011, but it completely works. Despite its lack of dialogue, The Artist tells a compelling and emotional story. The two leads, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, are wonderful. Jean Dujardin is amazing as a silent film actor who refuses to change with the times and start doing “talkies.” I was completely sucked into this movie from the start and never lost interst. It also features John Goodman, James Cromwell and Missi Pyle.

10. Captain America: The First Avenger

I have been waiting quite some time for there to be a good live action version of this character to be made. Marvel managed to make an amazing movie out of Cap. It was great that they kept the Cap in WWII fighting Nazis and Hydra. Chris Evans was a great choice to play Captain America and he did it perfectly. Hugo Weaving was great as the evil Red Skull. On top of that Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, Stanley Tucci and Sebastian Stan all did a great job at helping tell the origins of Captain America. Visually great with a fun and interesting story, this is one of my personal favorite Comic Book movies of all time.

9. Young Adult

Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman, this is an outstanding movie. It starts out like a pretty typical romantic comedy about a woman who wants to win back her old high school sweetheart. But when she returns to her hometown things quickly take a turn as we find out that she is mentally deranged. Charlize Theron gives the best performance of her career and she managed to do it without altering her appearance a la Monster. She is funny yet disturbed and depressing at times. Patton Owsalt gives an incredible (and dare I say award worthy) performance as someone whom Charlize's character used to go to high school with. I really enjoyed everything about this movie and can’t recommend it enough.

8. The Descendants

The latest movie from Alexander Payne tales a very surreal story about a man whose wife is in a coma and he then discovers that she has been having an affair and on top of that he is trying to get his daughters to understand him and everything that is happening. It is a very powerful movie with some incredibly real moments. I loved every moment of this movie. I will say, though, that the best part of the movie is George Cloony’s spectacular performance. Just when I thought the man couldn’t get any better he managed to pull this one out.

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

David Fincher’s take on the blockbuster book is a great movie. I was very glad to see that he didn’t hold back at all on the book’s, at times, tough subject matter. Daniel Craig did a great job as the lead character, Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist hired to find a killer. Roony Mara, however, is the reason to see the movie as she plays Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. The movie starts out with one of the best opening title sequences ever and then moves along at a breakneck pace. Its run time is a little over 2 and a half hours but the movie is so good you don’t even realize it. This is one of the rare instances where the movie is better than the book, in my opinion.

6. Midnight in Paris

This is easily my new favorite movie from writer/director Woody Allen. When I first saw the movie I knew nothing about it but was blown away by its premise and everything that happens in it. It is a very charming movie and all of the people in it are just great. I love the characters, I love the beautiful scenery, I love the movie’s sense of humor, I just love this movie.

5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I have been a Planet of the Apes fan my whole life. I enjoy all 5 original Planet movies. So I was pretty excited about this movie and am glad to say that it more than exceeded my expectations. It makes the idea of an Ape uprising seem like a very real thing. It is a very emotional movie and by the end of it you are cheering on the Apes to overcome the evil humans. Andy Serkis gives an amazing performance as Caesar, the lead chimpanzee. James Franco and John Lithgow are great as well and so it the rest of the cast. This movie makes an excellent addition to the franchise.

4. Moneyball

I don’t like baseball… at all, which is why I find it amazing that I loved this movie so much. Part of that is Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian’s spectacular script. The writing in the movie really gets you into the story in a big bad way. Brad Pitt gives one of the best performances of the year as Billy Beane and Jonah Hill pulls a wonderful performance out of nowhere. I could not get enough of this movie and have seen it multiple times already and have been itching to see it again soon.

3. Red State

Writer/director Kevin Smith takes his career in a completely different direction with his latest movie. He makes an awe-inspiring movie the likes I have never seen before. It is loaded with so many twists and turns that every time you get comfortable it feels as though the rug is being pulled out from under you . It is terrifying but not scary, it is humorous but not a comedy. It tells a dark tale of fundamentalism gone wrong in the Midwest. If for no other reason, see this movie for Michael Parks’ performance as Abin Cooper, it is incredible and my favorite performance of the year. It also features great performances from John Goodman, Steven Root, Melissa Leo and more.

2. 50/50

This is the most compelling and emotional movie I saw all year not to mention it’s pretty funny. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazing as Adam, a 26 year old who finds out that he has cancer. Seth Rogan is great as his friend Kyle. This movie is the most honest representation of someone getting cancer that I have ever seen. There is no “hero” of the story and people act like real people. This is all a result of being written by Will Reiser who wrote the story based on his true story and experiences. This movie is just amazing and loaded with many great performances like Angelica Huston as Adam’s over protective mom.

1. Super 8

This was definitely my favorite movie of the year. J.J. Abrams actually got to work with Steven Spielberg while making is thank you note to the man. Super 8 plays out like an amazing mash up of E.T., Jaws and The Goonies. It is rare for a movie to find one halfway decent child actor but Abrams managed to find five incredible child actors. Everyone in this movie is just so good and so much fun to watch. It is another movie that loves movie as one of the main story lines is following the kids around while they make a zombie movie around a recent train wreck. With this movie I am completely sucked in and involved with the biggest smile on my face from start to finish, cannot get enough of it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Podcast: Episode 35

Head over to sutmspod.wordpress.com to hear the latest episode of Shut Up! The Movie's Starting, the Official podcast of Cucu for Movies.

In this episode Michael and Russell discuss The Adventures of Tintin (in theaters now), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (available on Netflix streaming) and A Bug’s Life. They also discuss Out Cold, Adventures in Babysitting, Beginners, Winter Passing, typical 80′s and 90′s movie plots, Andy Serkis and his many motion capture suits, how much they hate 3D, the cardboard cutout look of post conversion 3D, movies that use the same song too many times, poop jokes: funny or gross? and so much more.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Underrated Movies of 2011

There were a few movies released in 2011 that I feel were unfairly overlooked. This is a list of some of the movies I feel were better than people gave them credit for.

Fright Night

Most people seemed to be against this one simply because it is a remake of a cult classic. Well, I watched the original before going to see the remake and I have to say this remake is definitely better than the original. This one is a lot of fun. Colin Farrell is great as Jerry, the vampire next door. Anton Yelchin does a really good job as Charley, the boy who figures out that his neighbor isn’t who he seems. Not to mention how awesome David Tennant is as Peter Vincent, a Vegas magician and vampire hunter. This remake is much more enjoyable than the cheesy original.

Drive Angry

Most people don’t seem to like Nicholas Cage but I am a fan, especially of over the top roles like this one. This movie is about a man who literally escapes from hell in order to stop a crazy cult from killing is new born granddaughter. This is one of the most over the top ridiculous movies I have ever seen, and that is why I loved it. The action is non-stop and hilarious. Nicholas Cage is at his most outlandish and if for no other reason you should watch this movie for William Fitchtner’s role as “The Accountant.”

Adjustment Bureau

Based on a story by Phillip K. Dick, I thought this movie would be better received. I think Matt Damon was great in this movie as a politician on an honest streak who meets a charming and beautiful dancer, played by Emily Blunt. I really liked the concept that deals with fate and a supernatural government like agency that keeps track of everybody’s “destinies”. I was fascinated by this movie and loved every bit of it. I will admit that the conclusion is lacking a little but I couldn’t come up with a better ending so I guess I just don’t care.

Fast Five

Most people wrote this movie off because of its predecessors. I can understand their hesitation but I have to say that this is easily the best installment in the Fast and Furious franchise and is unlike any of the other movies. The rest of movies in the franchise are just loose stories intertwining between drag races. This fifth installment, while not a great movie by any means, is a fun action movie and plays out like a low rent Ocean’s Eleven, and I mean that in a good way.

Larry Crowne

I feel like nobody cared to see this movie and I don’t know why. It is a very charming, fun and funny movie. Tom Hanks stars as a man who loses his department store job because he never went to college, so he enrolls in a local college where he meets some new friends. Granted, if you are looking for “edgy”, this is not the movie for you. It is a delightful movie that has some very funny moments and some great characters.