Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Normally a movie like Crazy, Stupid, Love would not interest me at all, but I am a HUGE Steve Carell fan, making this a must-see for me. I did expect the film to be too much of a chick flick for my liking. I mean, the word love is in the title! Even with the obvious love theme, the trailers made me laugh a lot, so I was depending on the comedic aspects of the film. I wanted Crazy. I expected Love. I prayed for no Stupid.

The storyline was a bit bipolar in my personal opinion. For the first hour of the movie there was a lot of focus put on Cal (Steve Carell), as he reacted to his recent divorce. Every once in a while you would leave his story to focus on another character, but I just seemed disconnected from the main plot when the camera wasn't on him. There was also a lot of strange background music that for some reason distracted me and was just weird. I just thought I would throw that out there. So after an hour or so of boredom and a few laughs, BOOM! a HUGE plot twist is revealed. One that I never even saw coming and won't ruin for you. The scene where the twist is revealed was amazing. I could not stop laughing. Possibly because I was in shock that there was a scene that great in a romantic comedy. Of course the movie goes on, as all romantic comedies do, to a happy little ending.

Steve Carell is great as his usual self as he plays Cal, a man struggling with divorce. He is not quite as funny as usual, mostly because his role is more serious, but he does a great job of handling the serious scenes. Ryan Gosling plays Jacob, who is great with women and really helps lighten the mood for Cal. His character was absolutely necessary, but I felt his love story with Hannah (Emma Stone) could have been left out of the mix entirely. Plus her love story with Richard (Josh Groban???) was completely useless and weird. As I said before, the plot was disconnected when the focus turned from Cal. The plot twist certainly helps bring all of the characters together, but the twist was not good enough to make up for the prior wasted hour.

Best Character: Robbie, Cal's son, played by Jonah Bobo, was undoubtedly the best character in the movie, but I don't think he would have been without the addition of Jessica, played by Analeigh Lipton. Robbie was thirteen years old and struggling with his crush on seventeen year old Jessica. I really enjoyed watching each of their parts unfold, and Robbie really made you feel bad for his sufferings stemming from the divorce.

Worst Character: Half way through the movie I was prepared to declare Hannah (Emma Stone) one of the most useless characters in the history of film, but things get better with her, so no worries there. With that being said, the worst character crown must go to David Lindhagen, played by Kevin Bacon. Not only do I not like Kevin Bacon, but he really distracted from the story between Carell and his wife as the movie progressed. He had a good part in the movie, but he should have had a smaller role.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is certainly not the worst movie I have seen in my lifetime, but it isn't the best either. The second half of the movie saved it by far, and there were some extremely funny scenes. This is one of my least favorite Steve Carell movies, but he is still amazing. There was certainly more of a love theme than anything else, and my girlfriend loved it, which probably means it was a good chick flick. I didn't quite find the story very intriguing. People almost always have mixed feelings about divorce, which makes the plot a bit predictable. In the end, Crazy, Stupid, Love gets 2.26 out of 5 stars and apologizes greatly for that first hour of Stupid.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Movie News for the Week of July 26, 2011

1. Dwight Yoakum has signed on to the cast of The Lone Ranger, and most think he will play the villain in the film. I personally hate Dwight Yoakum, but I remain excited about the movie.

2. Cartoon Network is developing a live action Captain Planet movie. The producers believe that the environmental superhero is more important now than ever.

3. A new Paradise Lost movie is in the works, and Bradley Cooper will play Lucifer. The film will utilize motion captured technology and will require 72 weeks of post-production and visual effects works, which means we can expect the film to be visually stunning.

4. Warner Bros. has set the release date for Man of Steel. The new Superman reboot will premiere June 14, 2013. The date is six months later than the expected date of release, but the star-studded cast is sure to deliver.

5. Universal Studios just paid seven figures for the rights to a new R-rated comedy. This is a very high price to pay for a comedic movie, but the untitled comedy may be worth it. Seth Rogen is set to star as a regular old college guy who lives near a crazy fraternity house, in which resides ...... Zac Efron. Many think the two roles should be switched to make Rogen the more "wild" character. We will just have to wait and see how this plays out.

A lot of Spiderman news came out of Comic Con this week. Here is the first trailer for the film, and a heartfelt speech from the loveable Andrew Garfield. Check it out!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

While I have enjoyed watching the pre-Avengers movies, the only one that has impressed me so far is Iron Man, which would have sucked without Robert Downey Jr. Thor was ok but should have been much better. Iron Man 2 just purely sucked. I have not seen the Hulk movie yet, but it just can't be that good. With that being said, I didn't expect much with Captain America. I knew it wouldn't be aweful, but Chris Evans is no Robert Downey Jr. and World War II is no 2011. Once again I must admit to knowing nothing about comic books, making it impossible for me to have accuracy expectations heading in. I also didn't understand why the first Avenger was the last one made. The timing kind of made me think that Captain America was going to suck more than the other pre-Avengers movies, but everyone was going to be forced to watch in anticipation.

As most know, the movie is set during World War II, which gives the movie a bit of a classic film feel (except for the CGI). The beginning of the movie was a bit rocky. I personally think they should have waited a bit to bring Red Skull in, but the back story on Steve Rogers (Captain America) was fantastic. Rogers was small in stature but had a huge heart and of course was transformed into Captain America. Somethings went wrong in the process, and Rogers ends up with a role in the war that isn't that of a soldier. I really thought Rogers reacted strangely to this role, considering he is supposed to be a man with such a great heart. But he got back to normal rather quickly. Something that really impressed me with this movie was the final battle and eventually the final scenes. So many super hero movies have a final battle scene that lasts all of two seconds (cough cough THOR!). The film makers really embraced the end of the movie, rather than just focusing on the character build up. I thought the movie was very well arranged and had great balance between story, character, and action.

Chris Evans was great in his role as Captain America. His likability really transferred over to the character, which made Captain America what I believe he is supposed to be--a figure that people can look up to. His nemesis, Red Skull, was played by Hugo Weaving who, with the help of a computer generated face, really freaked the crap out of me. I didn't really feel like Red Skull was the enemy of Captain America, but, instead, I felt like he was the enemy of the entire world. Maybe this was reinforced by Captain America's politically correct team, including a black guy, an Asian guy, and even a French guy. It was a bit unusual but good. The inclusion of Howard Stark (Iron Man's dad) was fantastic. From the previews it looked as if he would just make a quick, helpful appearance, but he really had a pretty big role in the movie and fit in quite well. It was not as awkward as the cameos that we are used to seeing.

Best Character: Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, was fantastic as Captain America's love interest. She had a very big connection to the storyline, which is the one thing that Marvel usually does well. She was very tough and really showed up the guys often.

Worst Character: Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan, was very useless as Rogers's best friend. It was easy to tell that we were supposed to be connected to him, but I just didn't feel it. He was one of the few unnecessary pieces of the movie.

Captain America was a great surprise. I can't decide whether I like it better than Iron Man, but it is definitely a close race. The ending was fantastic, as I sat there wondering "How will they get him to 2011?" Will I rush out to buy it, well... no, but I am more excited about The Avengers now. If you haven't heard, the first preview for The Avengers plays after the credits of Captain America, and the movie promises to be amazing. I am extremely hopeful that there will be more Captain America films in the future and cannot wait to see if Marvel can learn from past mistakes and make great movies. I give Captain America 3.001 out of 5 stars and am OFFICIALLY pumped about The Avengers!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Movie News for the Week of July 19, 2011

It's been a rather busy week for movie news, and Comic Con is coming up so expect even more in the coming weeks.

1. A movie about Caesar has been picked up by Warner Bros. The film will not follow the lines of Shakespeare but will instead follows Caesar as more of a war/action hero.

2. Chris Pine is the man that MGM wants to play Robocop in the new remake of the classic film. There has been no indication that Pine is interested as of yet.

3. Just in case you wanted to be more excited about Captain America this weekend, it has been announced that the first trailer for The Amazing Spiderman will precede the last pre-Avengers Marvel film. I am now officially pumped for Captain America.

4. Billy Bob Thornton has said that he would do a sequel to Bad Santa, if the studio can find a director daring enough to make a sequel to the hit comedy. It seems that the film is a long ways away but is definitely a big possibility.

5. There has a lot of talk this week about another Friday Night Lights movie. If another film were made, it would be based on and follow the characters of the TV series, rather than the characters of the first film. The show just finished its final season.

6. I don't know how many of you have seen Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, but rumors are that Bill and Ted may return to the big screen. The idea is being called Bill and Ted at 50. This sounds brilliant to me, and I really hope it works out.

7. Johnny Depp will star in a film about the ride of Paul Revere. This really took me by surprise, but we will see. It has not been said yet whether Depp will play Revere himself, but most think he will not.

8. Edward Norton will play the villain in the new Bourne Legacy. Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner already have their names attached to the new film that I will officially dub the Bourne-less Bourne. Matt Damon nor his character Jason Bourne will be in the film.

9. Finally, Harry Potter broke the opening weekend box office record as well as the midnight box office record this past weekend. The film brought in $168.5 million in just one weekend, passing The Dark Knight. Unfortunately for Potter fans, this record will not likely stand for long with The Dark Knight Rises due out next July.

First Teaser Trailer for The Dark Knight Rises!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Farewell to Harry Potter

This post is going to be a bit different, and some of you may not like it but oh well.

On the day of the release of The Deathly Hallows Part 2, I wanted to spend a moment expressing my feelings about the entire Harry Potter series, rather than focus on the final film. Of course the last film is what everyone is looking forward to, and of course, as a critic, I should review the biggest movie of 2011. But I'm not going to do that. You see, the truth is that I have never seen an entire Harry Potter film and certainly have never cracked open one of the books. This may shock anyone who doesn't know me, and some may think the credibility of my reviews to be destroyed, but that's ok. Last Thursday (July 7), ABC Family began showing the first six films on their Harry Potter marathon weekend dealio. I sat down and watched three hours of a little boy who had his life changed drastically in The Sorcerer's Stone. The problem was that I fell asleep with thirty minutes remaining, which totally pissed me off. I assure you that I did not fall asleep from boredom or lack of interest, but from getting up at four o'clock in the morning to go to work. I was actually very impressed with a film starring a bunch of little kids.

It was so weird to see them at that age, and to think that I was younger than them at the time the movie was made. It also made me think of how many Hollywood stars have risen and fallen in the time that these movies were made. That alone earns a great amount of respect from me for the cast, who never gave up. Sure, a few characters were played by multiple actors, but, for the three main characters to have gone that long, dedicated to making a great series, it is truly amazing. I cannot imagine giving up my entire childhood in the name of Harry Potter. Of course there was Radcliffe had his nude Broadway thing, but that just makes him an actor.

The truth is that Harry Potter has defined my generation up to this point. Maybe I am one of the few people who have not seen the Potter films, but my world has certainly been surrounded by Harry's world, ever since I was a small child. Anyone who can write a book or make a movie that has that much influence deserves my respect and thanks. One day I will sit down and watch every Potter film, hoping to fall in love with the characters and the story. One day I will probably regret that Harry Potter hasn't been a bigger part of my life so far. But at midnight, July 14, 2011, I realized how big this series really was, simply by logging on to Facebook and seeing the stati and photos of friends who were saying goodbye to Harry Potter, one last time. Then I celebrated and said goodbye to Potter....... by going to sleep! And to Harry Potter, I say thanks, for letting kids dream a little, in a world where imagination has become reality.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Movie News for the Week of July 12, 2011

1. The Star Wars news continues to roll in. Now a LEGO Star Wars TV special is being developed by George Lucas. The series will complement the Clone Wars series as Lucas promises a "new and fun" take on the classic.

2. An Angry Birds feature film is becoming more of a reality each day. I don't understand how this will be interesting, but I thought many people might be excited about it.

3. Javier Bardem has signed on to play in the new, untitled James Bond film. Most believe he will play a villain, but this has not been confirmed. The movie has taken a while to get started, due to the financial woes at the production company, but everything seems to be coming together.

4. FOX has ordered more scripts for a Napoleon Dynamite animated series. The series, based on the film, will premiere in the fall.

5. It has been rumored that Adam West will make an appearance in The Dark Knight Rises. West was the star of the original Batman TV series and would be a great surprise in the film, however big the role.

6. Paramount Pictures will replace the well known Dream Works name with a new animated division. The title of the new division is Paramount Animation (very original). Paramount will be working on a more limited budget, which could spell disaster for the films being made by the new division of the well-known company. Dream Works has yet to find a new home, but will likely be picked up by a new company in the future, sooner or later.

7. Not much of a surprise but certainly a big piece of movie news began this week. Johnny Depp is very very close to signing on for a fifth Pirates film. As a huge fan of the series who had mixed emotions about the fourth film, this news depresses me. I don't want one of the best film series ever to be ruined by Disney's quest for cash, but they never ask me.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Horrible Bosses

With the disappointment that was Bad Teacher having come and gone, I longed for a new movie that would simply just make me laugh. Jason Bateman is absolutely not funny in my opinion, so his being in the lead role certainly turned me off. Nobody in the cast of Horrible Bosses really excited me, but the trailers for the film cracked me up, particularly Colin Farrell talking about "Professor Xavier." Also, the entire plot seemed a bit unreal and worried me that I may be once again disappointed by another R rated comedy. People don't just decide to leisurely kill their bosses. Finally, it was between Horrible Bosses and Zookeeper this weekend, which made the choice rather simple. I didn't expect Horrible Bosses to be great, but I just wanted to laugh.

As I said the plot seemed unreal to me after watching the trailers, but I think the writers did a pretty good job of carrying out the idea. You could easily tell that these three guys had no freakin clue what they were getting themselves into, and that really helped the plot along. They even needed a "murder consultant" for goodness sakes, and the consultant is one of the greatest parts of the movie, which really surprised me. They really tied the main characters and the bosses together in an unexpected way that I won't ruin for you. The only large gap I found in the plot was Jennifer Anniston's role. It was necessary to have the third lead character and his boss, but her role never tied in with the role of the other two bosses. They basically had to pause the entire movie long enough to fit a scene with her in. It was completely random and useless, especially considering how great her character could have been. I laughed very often at the situations, and really thought the storyline excelled, considering my expectations. I was unable to even predict what was going to happen.

As much as I didn't really love any of the three lead actors, I thought they did a fairly good job. I personally would have switched Jason Sudeikis and Jason Bateman's characters. Sudeikis played a sort of man whore, and I personally thought Bateman would have been better in that role, with his more dull attitude. Bateman is one of the least funny comedic actors in Hollywood. If you don't agree with me then he has got you fooled. Kevin Spacey was his normal jerkified self but was a great addition to the cast. Colin Farrell was amazingly hilarious, but he really had very little screen time. I certainly hope to see him playing more funny roles in the near future. As I said Jennifer Anniston was useless, and I didn't quite buy her being such a dirty girl. Surely they could have found someone better (and cheaper) to play the useless part. It was tough to choose the best character, and Jamie Foxx was certainly a close runner-up. His nickname alone cracked me up each and every time, but his role was also a bit too small like Farrell's.

Best Character: Dale, played by Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), was amazingly funny. Bateman may have been the actor that was used to sell this movie, but Day made this movie what it was. His voice alone was enough to keep me laughing. If only Jennifer Anniston had been a better boss.

Worst Character: Kenny Somerfield, played by P.J. Byrne (Dinner for Schmucks), was given very little screen time, which is a VERY good thing. He was one of the most pointless characters in the history of film. I do not at all understand why he even existed, but oh well.

Very funny movie! I loved the storyline, greatly exceeding expectations. I also loved the characters, which I am still shocked by. Charlie Day made this movie, and I really hope he continues to become a bigger star. Ferrell and Foxx both broke out of their usual roles as more serious actors, and it worked out great. If you need a good laugh or just hate your boss, go watch this movie. Certainly not a family film, but I certainly would suggest it to anybody who longs for something as we wait for The Hangover Part II to come out on DVD. I give it 3.27 out of 5 stars, and still wish Jennifer Anniston was not in the movie.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Movie News for the Week of July 5, 2011

1. After taking a break from acting to obtain his college degree, Haley Joel Osment will return to the big screen in a Frankenstein-like movie. The movie, entitled Wake the Dead, will bring the story of Frankenstein to the modern world. This will be the first of many upcoming Frankenstein movies.

2. Will Smith is attempting to bring Hurricane Katrina to the big screen in American Can and wants Denzel Washington to play the lead role. Smith was originally supposed to star in his own production, but now he wants Washington.

3. I new idea called Movie Pass was recently introduced at a San Francisco movie theater and has many people talking. For only $50 a month, you can go to the theater as many times as you desire. This sounded amazing when I first heard it, and everyone was talking about it last week. Unfortunately, AMC frowned at the idea, which really hurts its chances of succeeding nationwide. Let's just continue to hope and pray that something comes through because I believe this is a great idea.

4. The second Thor movie has been given a release date for summer 2013. Marvel movies seem to be going nowhere, considering Iron Man 3 is also due out summer 2013.

5. The creator of Sex and the City has revealed one of her desired choices for the rumored prequel. Selena Gomez is now one of the front runners to play Charlotte, if the prequel becomes a reality. Another name that has been tossed around is Blake Lively.

6. Christopher Nolan is set to produce a secret supernatural thriller. Keith Gordon, known mostly for directing TV shows such as House and Dexter, will direct the film, based an an unknown novel. Details are certainly few and far between, due to Nolan's secretive nature.

A Little Something for the Potter Fans:
If Harry Potter were made into South Park character.