Amazon Holiday

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon


(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Some big alien robots fight other alien robots; audience loses.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Bill O'Reilly

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketStop! Even if you're a fan of this film trilogy, or the old animated show, or Michael Bay or... uh, anyway, seriously, you have to be missing your entire brain to enjoy this mess. The answer to this question has never been more definitive: no.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Based on the weird performances of LaBeouf, Turturro, Malkovich and McDormand I'm going to guess that the movie is supposed to be funny. Instead, it's just sad.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: You'll be too bored to cry. And besides, for this movie to elicit any emotion in you would be giving it way too much credit.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Most Boring Film Ever Made In The History of Cinema. This plastic bag filled with my friend Roy's dog's poop goes to: Transformers: Dark of the Moon. (Even the title is dumb.)

Q: How is the Acting?

A: For John Malkovich this is just another weird performance. Unfortunately his weird performances don't have the same effect in a non-weird movie. But if you've ever wondered what it would look like if a gigantic yellow robot tickled John Malkovich and made him squirm with laughter, then at least you'll get that. (Yes I said 'tickled' and that's exactly what happens.) Otherwise, use the image of that scene as a microcosm for how horrible and ill-conceived this atrocity is. And while we're here, everyone else in this movie is bad.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: In the grand tradition of proving he can direct action, robots, clones and Ben Affleck, Michael Bay scores again with the massive action set-pieces here. Where he doesn't score is in achieving a cohesive tone. Is this supposed to be silly? Serious? Funny? Romantic? Please discuss below, because I'd really like to know... On second thought, I don't actually care.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Watching this movie reminded me of when my parents took me to church every Sunday: I was bored and spent much of the time fantasizing about when it would end. It is not only boring, it's also incredibly annoying and grating. And heck, at least church was never two hours and forty minutes long! Maybe this has nothing to do with the story/script... but probably it has everything to do with it.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Transformers: Dark of the Moon Trailer

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Green Lantern


(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A daredevil fighter pilot (Ryan Reynolds) is recruited by an intergalactic peace-keeping squadron and given a mystical green ring that bestows him with super-human powers.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, Angela Bassett, Jay O. Sanders

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. Filling a space somewhere between the excellence of Iron Man and the inexplicable awfulness of Iron Man 2, Green Lantern ultimately fails in justifying a reason for making a movie about a second-tier Marvel comic book superhero who gets his power from a lantern. Yeah, a lantern.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Ryan Reynolds plays the title character so there was probably some initial idea about infusing humor into both the film and character because Ryan Reynolds has been known to be funny. Ryan Reynolds is not funny in this movie, but I think he was trying to be.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you're a big Green Lantern fan from reading the comic books, then most likely yes. But not as much as when you cried over what they did to Daredevil when they made that film.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Sometimes the questions in these reviews simply don't apply. Here is one instance.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Here is a second instance...

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Way back in 2006 director Martin Campbell thrillingly revived the Bond series by directing Casino Royale. Hopes were high that he could pull off something equally as thrilling by launching Green Lantern into a fantastic film franchise filled with lots of numbers after the words “Green Lantern.” If you've been paying attention to this review, then you know that did not happen. Regardless, there is still some cool stuff in Green Lantern that we can give Martin credit for.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Clearly Green Lantern's origin story is a complicated one that, much like Thor, involves plot lines on two completely different planets with two completely different sets of characters. This script tries hard to keep things clear, but too often it just feels like it's going through the standard superhero movie motions and it all feels like been-there-done-that stuff. There are always ways to keep a new superhero movie fresh even though it might not seem that original. Iron Man achieved it, and so did this summer's X-Men: First Class. Green Lantern did not.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Green Lantern Trailer

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Bad Teacher


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A gold-digger (Cameron Diaz) resentfully moonlights as a teacher, hating her job, students, co-workers, and basically anyone who doesn’t have money that she might be able to manipulate out of them.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, Jason Segel, Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins, Matthew J. Evans, Kaitlyn Dever, Kathryn Newton, Jillian Armenante, Igal Ben Yair

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. Not boring or hard to watch, but if my description of the movie sounds like it doesn’t include a plot, well…

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Jason Segel has most of the good lines.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: When I think that this crappy teacher, with a little financial motivation, ends up being about 100 times more efficient than the majority of teachers in the public schools, yeah, it makes me a little weepy... Then again, this movie has less than nothing to do with real life, so why even compare the two.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Most Desirous of the Audience Noticing that the Teacher was Not Good, but "BAD." I first noticed the strong desire to get this across when in the the opening titles, they underlined the word "Bad" three times, and then circled it twice (just in case we hadn't noticed it yet.) So of course I had to ask myself why this was so important to them, and I think I figured it out. I have concluded that naming this movie "Bad Teacher" (instead of "Whore Teacher"-- which would've been a thousand times more apt), was done in an effort to create a genre based around a similar but great movie called, Bad Santa. You see in both movies, a protagonist with a drinking problem is placed in a job that involves dealing with innocent children, where the professional is expected to be sweet, but instead is an asshole-- and therefore funny. Get it? I know you do. So as a FREE GIFT from reading my blog, here are some marketable ideas that you might want to write in this genre: Bad Camp Counselor, Bad Pediatrician, and Bad Tooth-Fairy (the list of possibilities is endless). You're welcome.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Cameron Diaz is convincingly unlikeable, and Justin Timberlake is completely miscast in the role of a na├»ve, easily manipulated, sensitive nerd. He is so incredibly miscast, in fact, that no amount of acting could have saved his performance. This role is simply custom-made to be played by not him. And by “not him,” I mean, Jack McBrayer of 30 Rock.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: I tend to want to blame the director for casting Justin Timberlake in a role so ill-suited to him, and thereby causing the movie to be even more stupid than it already is... But, considering all the press about how Cameron Diaz lobbied for her ex to have this role, I tend to think that Jake Kasdan's hands were tied. After all, she’s the big star, and his job is to make sure she doesn’t walk, thereby causing his movie to never get made at all.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Most of the elements of the school, the teacher-student relationships, the parent-teacher relationships, the teacher-teacher and principal-teacher relationships are as unlikely as a woman who looks like Cameron Diaz and acts like a transparent bitch ever getting hired for a job around pubescent children. But the most offensive and blatant problem with the script is the resolution, where the character turns around her whole attitude because I have no idea why.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Bad Teacher Trailer

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mr. Popper's Penguins


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A high-powered, low-emotioned real estate tycoon (Jim Carrey) inherits 6 penguins from his now dead absentee dad, and right when he figures out how to get rid of them, his kids fall in love with them, forcing him to keep them in his exclusive Manhattan apartment.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino,Ophelia Lovibond, Madeline Carroll, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Clark Gregg, Angela Lansbury, Jeffrey Tambor, David Krumholtz, Philip Baker Hall, James Tupper, Dominic Chianese, William C. Mitchell

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. The penguins are cute, but the adult love story is uninteresting to adults because it's obvious, and uninteresting to kids because it's an adult love story.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: There are laughs for all ages... Although most ages won't remember any of them long enough to quote them to their friends later.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you're a kid, yabsolutely! Especially when you ask your parents to turn your living room into an ice rink and they say no. Your cry will probably go something like this, "But Mr. Popper got to do it!" To which your parents will say, "That was a movie. Mr. Popper isn't real." To which you will reply, "Sure it wasn't real. Next you'll probably try to convince me that Santa Claus doesn't exist!"

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Most winter-y movie to come out right in time for the 4th of July! Good job marketing team!

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Jim Carrey doesn't annoy his audience with his usual wacky shtick... Then again, when you take away his shtick, you're left without a reason to cast Jim Carrey. Catch 22.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Mark Waters has consistently made me happy with movies like Mean Girls and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Despite its triteness, this movie maintains that dreamy look, that makes you wanna buy into what's happening, no matter how preposterous.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Particularly peculiar, but pointing to proficient penning, the personage of Pippi, pontificates primarily in "p" words, which is pleasant, playful, and praiseworthy.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Mr. Popper's Penguins Trailer

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Trip


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A possible documentary or improvised comedy about a food tour of Northern England that comedian Steve Coogan (Steve Coogan) goes on with comedian Rob Brydon (Rob Brydon), because in this, they're not just comedians, they're also food critics.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Claire Keelan, Margo Stilley, Rebecca Johnson, Dolya Gavanski, Kerry Shale, with cameos by Paul Popplewell and Ben Stiller

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. The dynamics between Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are so pure, that you feel like a fly on the wall of their strange friendship. But it is repetitive and has no story.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: I just found out that this movie was based on a British TV series of the same name, with the same actors. That's mostly funny because Steve Coogan, who plays himself, spends most of the movie turning down TV acting jobs because he only wants to do films!

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Yes, if you go on an empty stomach, you will cry at the fact that they are on a culinary tour of England's best cuisine, and you are hungry.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Most Scallops. They are served platter after delicious looking platter of seared scallops. At first, you become pretty sure that you will go eat some just like that as soon as this movie is over. But by the end, you're so sick of looking at scallops, and you will decide to eat pretty much anything else instead.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: These guys do impressions. Then they do more impressions. As impressive as their impressions are, I really hate impressions.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Michael Winterbottom pulls off the feeling that you are watching a documentary better than any of the other fake documentaries I've seen this week. And I've seen three. Yeah, because something you may not know about me, is that I see about twice as many movies as I write about-- which I realize makes me officially insane, all while proving that I have virtually no life.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: No way! This movie has a script? I'd have to see that to believe it.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Trip Trailer

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Super 8


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A bunch of pre-teens, who are making a super 8 film (because it's 1979, and digital doesn't exist yet), witness a mysterious train crash, and as they put together the pieces, start to realize that there is an alien force involved.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Riley Giffiths, Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard, Ryan Lee, Gabriel Basso, Zach Mills, Noah Emmerich, Richard T. Jones, Jessica Tuck, Joel McKinnon Miller, AJ Michalka, Brett Rice, Michael Hitchcock, David Gallagher

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! The story is hoaky as all hell, but the kids are adorable in a way that reminds you of Goonies and Stand by Me.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: If you stay for the Super 8 movie, which plays in its entirety about 45 seconds into the closing credits.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you're going to, it'll be at both Elle Fanning's amazing acting, and the boys' reaction to it.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Most Steven Spielberg-like movie since the 80s.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: The lead in this movie, Joel Courtney, has not a single credit to his name. He must've been very intimidated playing up against an old pro like Elle Fanning. Joel's co-star, Riley Griffiths, also breaks out as the amazingly talented fat-kid, so I'm assuming he'll grow up to look like Jerry O'Connell, and marry a gorgeous super-model.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: It's impossible not to think that the filmmaking aspect of the story is a little autobiographical to J.J. Abrams. Furthermore, if you don't think that, somewhere in the back of your mind, these 11-year-olds' level of expertise quickly starts to seem completely improbable for their ages... Of course, I'm talking 1979 11-year-olds, not the ones we see today. (But in all fairness to Generation X, digital is way easier to master.)

Q: How is the story/script?

A: I've heard mashups of music, I've seen mashup shorts on the web, but this is the first time I've seen a feature film mashup. Along with being part Goonies, and part Stand by Me, it's also part War of the Worlds, part Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and there's even some elements that are strangely similar to Kung Fu Panda 2.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: You're probably wondering why they decided to place this film in 1979. So was I. But I concluded that it was in order to use super 8 film. Then I wondered why it was so important to them to use super 8, when this film could have easily been in modern times... And I have yet to come to a conclusion. Let me know if you have any theories!

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Super 8 Trailer

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Last Mountain


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: This is another documentary about how corporations are controlling the government by paying for politicians' campaigns, so they can get away with polluting our air and water, and killing people. This time, it's the coal companies.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and a bunch of Appalachians who have all their teeth.

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! I'm going to keep sending you guys to these angrifying docs until each and everyone of you can't help but rise up against the system, with the purpose of fixing it.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Some of the grammar used by the Appalachians is funny. But you feel so bad for them, you can hardly muster up the strength to laugh at them.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Only if you care about the fact that the U.S. Government is completely corrupt. There, I said it. Sorry, but I'm not happy about it either.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: One of the Appalachian activists ends up winning a Peace Prize for her efforts to save Coal Mountain and shut down Massey Coal. She speaks English like someone who couldn't pass a high school proficiency test if her life depended on it. All I'm saying is, if this woman can win an award nobody else has an excuse for not trying.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. truly cares about the animals and the environment, and he's actually putting his trust-fund-earned-free-time where his mouth is.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: The opening shot says it all. It's a sweeping beautiful landscape of trees on mountains, as seen from the point of view of a soaring eagle. Suddenly, we see puffy white clouds rolling in, like a flash storm is on the horizon. Pull back to find it's not clouds, but smoke stacks, coming from the burning coal, ruining the scenery on its way to ruining the air and water that we all rely on for life.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: At only an hour and a half, it actually feels longer. Maybe the human brain can only handle so much frustration and helpless feelings at one time.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: We all rely heavily on the electricity coal produces, so they do offer an alternative. Once again, we're being sold on the value, economy, and ecology of wind farming. But the oil and coal industries are spending all they can to stop green energy from moving forward. Maybe they don't realize that when we all die from their negligence, their money won't be worth the paper it's printed on... then again, paper might be worth a lot at that point, since they've cut down all the trees to dig up coal.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Last Mountain Trailer

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

X-Men: First Class


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Before they were X-Men, they were X-boys and girls. This is the story of how they found each other, developed their powers, and chose sides.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, January Jones, Oliver Platt, Zoe Kravitz, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Till, Edi Gathegi, Alex Gonzalez, Jason Flemyng, Matt Craven, Laurence Belcher, Bill Milner, Demitri Goritsas, Glenn Morshower

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! In the world of superheroes, the story of how they became who they are is always going to be the most interesting part. And that goes for stories about regular people, too.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: There's a lot that's light-hearted and fun, but none of it will really make you laugh.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: The ending is really sad, because it has to leave us off where the original films begin. But it's also kind of exciting because we knew they had to get there. Kind of like the end of Revenge of the Sith.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: I give it the Award for not using 3D! I guess when you have a good story, you don't have to rely on gimmicks to get the audiences interested.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: The most emotional performance is Mystique's morphing. Can we give acting accolades to the special effects department?

Q: How is the Directing?

A: With Stardust, Kick-Ass and this, Matthew Vaughn can add another to his quickly growing list of films that I've given green lights. Except that I only gave Stardust a green light in my mind, because it came out a few months before I developed my mutant super power of giving out lights.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: I enjoyed how they incorporated the story of mutant superheroes into the actually history of WWII and the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's especially great because now, when we want to confuse our children about where the line is between history and fiction, we no longer have to rely solely on the 24 hour news networks.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: X-Men: First Class Trailer

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beginners


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A man (Ewan McGregor), with a gay dad who dies (Christopher Plummer), falls in love with a French woman (Melanie Laurent).

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos, China Shavers

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketStop! This film did not make me think, it did not make me laugh, it did not make me cry, no not in the bath. It did not inspire me, it did not teach me a thing, it did not entertain me, it did not make me sing. But I think the most annoying thing, is that it's not quite so bad, to stop others from liking. (Yeah, I watched Green Eggs and Ham recently. So what?!)

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: It did do one thing. It made me sleep-- bada-bing!

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: ...But at least I wasn't snoring, like the man next to me, so boring... Okay, enough with the "rhyming", which I quote to mock my timing. And get ready for it, we're going back to my usual style of wit.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: The Animal Acting category is really filling up this year. I've got another great contender in the Jack Russell Terrier named Arthur, who is played by Cosmo... My audience gave him the biggest applause of all the actors during the closing credits.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: What a waste of good actors. Whatever. They were fine.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Throughout the film, Mike Mills cuts to colors and still images during Ewan McGregor's quirky narrations. At first it's cute, but as it continues, you get the distinct impression that Mills is only keeping up the gimmick because he feels artistic pressure to maintain a consistent look throughout the film. You can even feel him starting to regret having introduced this style in the first place.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Quirky and dull. Two adjectives I've never had to use together before.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: The best of the quirky parts are in the trailer below, so enjoy those for free.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Beginners Trailer

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