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Monday, August 10, 2009

Review: G.I. JOE The Rise of Cobra

Synopsis: An arms maker turns evil and it is up to an elite group of soldiers to take them down. I am being nice.

Stars: Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, Sienna Miller, Christopher Eccelston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (awesome name), Rachel Nichols, Ray Park (Dude, Darth Maul, Headless Horseman, Toad, fer rills), Byung-hun Lee, Saïd Taghmaoui, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Arnold Vosloo. That’s right, I am punishing all of you. And looking through the IMDB list of stars, I notice Brendan Frasier is not listed. YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM ME!!!

Dear GOD, that was the worst Stars Wars movie yet! That pod race was totally unbelievable. And the whole Death Star scene? Come on, just because it’s underwater doesn’t make it any cooler. Under water on Hoth. I mean, that light saber fight scene on Cloud City was cool, but that’s about it for the cool factor. And why did they make Lando gay? And why was C3PO a French guy? And… what’s that? No, I don’t have my movies mixed up. What are you talking about? GI JOE? That action figure thing with the “life like hair” and “kung-fu grip”? Get out of here. Darth Vader was in the damn movie! I mean, this time he was Leia’s brother, but still! … You gotta be BSing me.

Now that that parts over with, I can go on. GI JOE. I was never really a fan when I was a kid. I either just missed it, or my parents thought I went choke on the tiny toys. I had a bad habit of trying to eat things that were not food when I was a child. I finally stemmed it in college (Shane, shut your mouth). So, I must say that I have very little knowledge of the characters or any of their backgrounds. I am going over this purely as a wanna-be movie critic.

WHAT A PIECE OF $%&^!!!!!!

Things I Liked:
Ninja, ninja, RAP- Ninja fights are always cool. Martial arts are cool in general for that matter. So this part is pretty much a no-brainer. Now that I know it was Ray Park up there fighting, I think it was a lot cooler. I’m glad to see he’s still getting a chance to show off his moves.

That about covers that.

Things I Didn’t Like:
Failed twists, lame turns- When it came down to trying to make the story really engaging, the makers of the movie relied heavily on flashbacks and little pieces of story that were left hanging till the end. It didn’t work. We didn’t need that many flashbacks to explain the relationships between any of the characters. It didn’t need to be paced so you got a little at a time. I even got tired of watching (SPOILER) Kid Snake-Eyes and Kid Stormshadow punch each other silly. And who didn’t see the “twist” at the end? And who gave a flying EFF who Darth… er, I mean, the doctor really turned out to be. NO ONE. Well, I didn’t at least.

Things I Hated:
Welcome to the year 2000- I have to say, all those PlayStation One graphics they used really brought the whole movie together for me. Did you like it when plastic Scarlet did that awesome stunt with the motorcycle? Or that awesome secret desert base that appeared to ALSO be made out of some cheap polyurethane? HOW ABOUT THEM FLYING/SWIMMING SHIPS? It really adds realism when you briefly see the pilot of said ship as it passes by. And I thought that polar bear was gonna jump off the screen and grab me a freaking coke! I CANNOT BELIEVE that no one though, gee? Maybe we should polish some of this stuff up before we finish up production. Nah, the average movie goer isn’t going to notice that it all looks like Adobe Photoshop.

Ok, now that I have ranted about that, I just want to say that I know how hard it is to make things look real with computers, even with today’s technology. And I know that the movie is basically a Sci-Fi action films, emphasis on Fi. That being said, what they put out on that screen was pathetic. There is no excuse for SO MANY bad effects. If they couldn’t afford to make everything look as good as it could, they should have taken it down a few notches. They didn’t need all the tech crap they tried to put in to make a good movie. There is no excuse for such slop.

Advertisements- I don’t know about anyone else who saw the movie, but I want some Double Bubble. And I’m going to use Norton Anti-Virus, because you know, that’s what the big wigs use.

My head hurts. My head physically hurts from having gone and seen this movie. Since I liked some of the things I saw in this movie, I cannot give it a 1. I give it a reluctant 2. SEE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Curiosity is trying to kill you, and after this movie is done, you may want to do the job yourself. Maybe you are better off just going to You-Tube and looking up some martial arts tourneys.

By the way, Channing Tatum? Give Paul Walker his face and acting ability back.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Review: Funny People

Synopsis: A famous comedian/movie star learns that he is dying and figures out that his life is kind of crappy. A comedian trying to make it in the stand-up world gets sucked into the famous person’s life as the movie star’s assistant.

Stars: Uh, once again, there are a lot of famous people in the movie. A lot of cameos. I’ll just list the obvious. Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman

Let me just warn you straight up. If you are expecting to go see this and see the 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, you will be disappointed. This movie doesn’t go for the extremes like either of those movies, or any other Seth Rogen associated movie. That out of the way, damn what a good movie. The movies isn’t without its problems of course. For instance, I feel like it was two different movies. One I really liked, and one I eventually started getting tired of. The life of a stand-up comedian mixed in with the tale of a wasted life. It was a nice little package anyways.

Things I Liked:
Adam Sandler- I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I love it when Adam Sandler does (mostly) serious roles. I think he’s a very good actor. In fact, I really like a lot of comedians that do serious roles. Jim Carrey, Mike Myers (54 if you don’t remember), um… I’m sure there are others that I’m not thinking of.

You know what? Give it up for the whole cast- Everyone in this movie was really good. Eric Bana made me laugh quite a few times. Jason Schwartzman also was just as funny, and good in his role. I felt like the friendship between Rogen, Schwartzman, and Hill was easier to relate to then the other movies I have seen these guys in together (well, Rogen and Hill I guess). Then again, I’m not a stoner. Leslie Mann, she was SO good in this movie. She needs more roles. Give her more stuff Hollywood.

Things I Didn’t Like:
Pacing- Now, remember when I said that it was two movies, one I liked and one I was getting tired of? Now that I have had time to reflect on this, I think it all came down to pacing. There were tons of cameos throughout the movie, and the constant stand-up routine just got tired for me. And now that I think about it, the “lost love possibly regained” scenes were lagging too. The movie was long, almost 2 and a half hours worth, and I have to admit that at the time I didn’t notice this but I do have a habit of getting sucked into almost any movie. Now that I’m clear headed I can see that it really felt like a lot of scenes to make one story.

Too many cameos- There were some people that briefly appeared in the movie I could have done without. I love Dave Attell and Norm MacDonald, but they weren’t acting in the movie, and their brief appearance made me cringe.

Things I Hated:
Nah. Nothing here.

I’d say this flick a 4 out of 5, leaning toward 3. If you miss seeing it in the theater, I don’t think you are going to regret it. It would make a pretty good rental. I did really like it at the time of exiting the theater. Now that I’ve been able to sit back and pick at it, I can see that it still was very good, but not perfect in any stretch. Well, maybe Eric Bana was perfect. He was really funny.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review: G-Force

Sorry this is so late. I hit a snag in my movie reviewing schedule. You know, the oversleeping snag. For a week.

Synopsis: A group of elite guinea pigs finds them selves cut off from their federal funding and forced to be on the run. Also there some take over/destroy the world plots going on.

Stars: Bill Nighy, Will Arnett, Zack Galifianakis, Kelli Garner, Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, John Favreau, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Steve Bucemi

Let’s see, out of the movies that came out this week (The Ugly Truth, G-Force, Orphan) this was the only movie I thought I would get even the slightest kick out of. I was wrong, as I liked The Ugly Truth. I was not wrong about this film though. I got quite a few kicks out of it. It’s safe to say that if you have children and are going to take them to see this movie, then do not be afraid. I have a feeling you will also enjoy what is happening up on the big screen too.

Things I Liked:
Goofy, fun humor- I really doubt there will be too many things to go over a kid’s head in this movie. It had a good mixture of fun kid sight gags and dialog to make me smile almost the whole movie. They made a few references to other movies that actually made me laugh out loud. Kudos to the flick.

Soundtrack- Amazing. Not the music, it was good, not amazing. What is amazing is that they managed to make a “live” action Disney movie where I didn’t want to strangle whoever was in charge of the soundtrack. All the music was right in the right place. Nice work on that.

Things I Didn’t Like/Hated:
Not a thing really. If I were to be ultra-nitpicker, I guess I would say that the story wasn’t that cohesive. But you know what? It was a movie for kids.

I will give this movie 4 out of 5. It’s not something to be rushed out and seen by everyone or anything like that. It is pretty entertaining though. Take the kids and enjoy yourself. I mean, why not?