Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Honestly, I thought this movie was going to be one of the funniest of the summer. There are a ton of hilarious jokes and happenings that can revolve around pregnancy, and we all know it. As I said with The Avengers, it was obvious that there were going to be many, many major characters, which is a huge risk to take with any movie. While all of these characters had potential, I was truly looking forward to seeing the dads group (led by Chris Rock). The previews, obviously meant to suck men into an otherwise female-led comedy, were quite funny when the dads group was present. What to Expect was a great idea with a lot of potential, but there was also a lot of potential for FAILURE...
Let's just call it "lacking," for lack of a better negative adjective. There was absolutely NOOOO flow to the film at all, which really led to a bunch of confusing, emotional moments that made me want to kill myself. One second we would be laughing and carrying on, then, suddenly, it was like the saddest movie you could ever watch. On top of the confusion, there was really very little to tie the various storylines together. Usually movies with many stars will bring those stars together in some way, but that wasn't the case with this film. Everybody did have some connection; however, the connection was usually completely pointless and small. There just wasn't any clear plot, which usually means that the whole movie just sucks.
This is the segment of this review where I have to be very careful. While I have hated a fair amount on the movie so far, I do believe that there were some very funny and great characters in this film. If you would have taken any one or two of the thousands of pregnancy stories that made up this film and made a separate movie with only those stories, the movie would have been much funnier and successful. You just couldn't really enjoy the time given to one couple, because you knew that the time would soon run out. However, I don't have much criticism for the actors in this film (except for Cameron Diaz, who I just can't stand in general). The dads group was hilarious. The relationship between Ramsey (Dennis Quaid) and Gary (Ben Falcone) made for many laughs and an emotional moment. Elizabeth Banks was rather funny just by herself. The problem lied in the fact that there was just too much going on.
Best Character: Craig, played by Thomas Lennon, was undoubtedly my favorite character. It may be because the character was great, but it very well could be because I think that Thomas Lennon is one of the funniest men on the planet. Also, a shoutout to Rebel Wilson for being so dern funny/ugly!
Worst Character: Move on over Cameron Diaz! She should be ashamed that she wasn't the worst. I have to, unfortunately, give the worst honor to Anna Kendrick's Rosie, who was just bad. Normally Kendrick is one of my favorite actresses, but she just didn't have it for this one.
It's fairly simple: DON'T GO!!! I can see where some girls might enjoy the sappy sad parts of the film, but, other than that, there isn't much to it. If I were you and I really wanted to see the movie, I would rent it at the Redbox and fast forward to the dads' club scenes. Those really are the only memorably good scenes of the film. Particularly when Chris Rock's kid is getting kicked in the head with a ball or something. This was just one of those star-studded films with no storyline, and I must admit that I get excited when said films struggle at the box office like this movie did. Stars don't deserve to be paid billions for acting for a day and a half just so their name can be thrown in the hat. Movies like these hold back the future of Hollywood, and that disappoints me. I give What to Expect When You're Expecting 2.01 out of 5 stars.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Heading in to watch The Dictator, I didn't quite know what to expect. Although many people love Sasha Baron Cohen's other films, my movie knowledge falls short of ever having watched either Bruno or Borat. I had a feeling that this movie was going to have more of a direct storyline and be more movie-like compared to Borat and Bruno, which were just him being in character and doing random, stupid crap (from what I have heard). Personally, I like that structured feel of a movie, so long as it isn't too predictable. Since seeing the Super Bowl ad, I have been waiting to watch The Dictator with great patience, and, while I wasn't too confident in it, I did believe that this film had the potential to be one of the funniest comedies of 2012...
I must say that the storyline was both random and structured. There was certainly a plot, but Cohen's random, stupid crap made it's way into the film with ease. The butt of the movie's jokes mostly revolved around either racist or political themes, which opened the door for many hilarious one-liners. However, the plot itself was funny and contained a few elements that only someone as goofy as Cohen could pull off. The biggest problem was that the movie, from beginning to end, had absolutely no twists or turns. It would have been so much better if Aladeen (Cohen) ended up nuking America or something in the end. I wanted to see how far his crazed power could take his hilarity, but I felt like that film structure turned out to be too predictable for this character to really shine.
As expected, Sasha Baron Cohen's Aladeen was in basically every scene of the entire film, and I had no problem with it. I only wish that I could dream up a character as crazy and genius as Aladeen. Cohen did his thing quite well, and I have a great amount of respect for him. Zoey, played by Anna Farris, wasn't that great of a character, but her occupation and beliefs made for many interesting moments. She suffered from the fact that the idea of her character was more important than the character herself (if that makes any sense). Many big actors made small appearances in the film, such as Edward Norton, Megan Fox, and John C. Reilly. There is no doubt that these small appearances made for some funny moments. Aside from these roles, however, there were very few major character, which was certainly very different.
Aladeen Character: Aladeen
Aladeen Character: Aladeen
(You will understand after you watch.)
While I won't be rushing out to buy The Dictator on DVD, I am very glad that I watched it, and it is safe to say that, so far, this is one of the better comedies of 2012 (the year is still very, very young). There were many hilarious one-liners and a few really funny scenes, which usually make for a good comedy, as long as the plot is good. I do wish, however, that the film would have been a little more extreme. Did it deserve an R rating? Heck yeah! But there could have been a more extreme and unrealistic feel to the movie, due to the extreme and unrealistic idea. If you want to see a good comedy, you are probably going to have to wait a while, so I would go check this one out. Also, make sure you pay attention to the American-turned-Arabianish music. That was probably my favorite thing about the whole film. I give The Dictator 2.82 out of 5 stars.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Let's be honest with one another for just a minute. How many people have ever seen a movie with a ton of really famous stars in it that just really, really sucked? Answer: Everyone. How many people have a seen a movie with so much CGI and so much unrealistic crap that it just really, really sucked? Answer: Everyone. Now my expectations were that, when you combine those two elements of suckiness, you get The Avengers. There is just no way that you could possibly set your expectations too high for this film. We all know how awful Thor and Iron Man 2 were. We all know that nobody can make a good Hulk movie. We all know that Loki looks retarded with that antler helmet on. Sure, the action scenes would rock, and every comic book guru would pee in their pants while waiting in the theater at midnight. The question was could they overcome all of the aforementioned problems and make a good, solid movie?
While the plot of the movie certainly wasn't deep or real, I will hand it to Joss Whedon and crew for coming up with a way to make every character share an almost equal-sized role. This film had so many big characters, which is not an easy aspect to deal with, but they dealt with it almost perfectly. The only real big problem I had with the plot structure was the fact that it took so long for us to actually see them all together. There was too much jumping around from place to place at the beginning of the film. The other small problem that I had was not really a problem with the movie but, instead, a problem with film critics and watchers. No one can tell me that the final battle scene didn't mimic the final scene in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (a film that everyone hated for no reason at all). While I loved the scenes in both films, can someone please explain to me how you can love the one film and hate the other? Regardless, I was completely surprised at how sound the plot was. While it certainly isn't Oscar-worthy, people can still love more than the just the characters in the film, and that is a strong statement for a superhero movie.
While there were a few low points character-wise, most every character was dealt with fantastically well. There was very little randomness to the interaction and appearance of these characters. Robert Downey Jr. was fantastic, as usual, in his role as Iron Man. While I expected her to fade into the background, Scarlett Johannson really surprised me at how interesting her character was. Samuel L. Jackson was just as so so as he ever is. Chris Evans certainly carried his momentum from Captain America into this film. Tom Hiddleston's performance as Loki turned out to be much more real and raw than I ever could have imagined. While the antler helmet did take away from your ability to accept him as real, I was very impressed with his performance. On a negative side of things, there were a few characters that I didn't quite like in the film. Looking back, Chris Hemsworth's Thor really had no major role in the movie at all. I think Hulk's presence really took away from Thor's ability shine as the big strong dude that does big strong dude stuff. Also, I was not a big fan of Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner. I don't really know why, but I just wasn't impressed.
Best Character: Although I never saw the newest Hulk film, I have heard nothing positive about it, which is what lead everyone to think that Hulk would be a low point in The Avengers. Boy were we wrong! Everyone who has seen the movie knows exactly how great Hulk was portrayed, but I'm not completely sold that it was because of Mark Ruffalo's performance. I give the credit, yet again, to Joss Whedon.
Worst Character: Agent Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders, was absolutely the stupidest character in the whole film. I do not understand why she had anywhere close to that big of a role. She wasn't basically just a person that gave Nick Fury a reason to have lines.
The Avengers shattered mine and everyone else's expectations, while taking the box office numbers for quite a spin as well. Was it the most solid movie ever? No. However, it was extremely well put together, which means that comic freaks and movie freaks all need to invite Joss Whedon to their birthday party this year! The comedy in the film was a bit over-bearing at times, but it was certainly fun to watch with everyone cracking up at 1 o'clock in the morning. The plot wasn't realistic, but it wasn't supposed to be. Almost everything that went wrong in The Avengers had an excuse, which is rare. With all the positive things that have been said, I must say one thing that everyone may not agree on. Contrary to what everyone was putting on Facebook and what not, The Avengers is NOT the best superhero movie ever made. That title is held and will likely always be held by The Dark Knight, and don't you ever forget that. I give The Avengers 4.11 out of 5 stars.