The Place Beyond the Pines is has three distinct acts, the first is excellent, the second is pretty great, and the last one misses the mark almost entirely. [Read more...]
With a fall season shooting out some big name video games and an important World Series for STL fans, the Cardinals, Batman, and Nathan Drake have been keeping me a little too busy to slip some movies in. Ok, there might have also been a Teen Wolf marathon on MTV at some point… However, with those games in the bag (for the most part) and the Cardinals coming out the victors, it is now time that I get back to watching some rentals. Other than Red State, I probably should have chosen a few better titles to come back with though… [Read more...]
The Hangover Part II could have easily been one of the best comedies of the summer, but instead of embracing the challenge of besting the first film, it hides behind the popularity of its predecessor, becoming nothing more than an uninspired copy.
The film opens up on Phil exclaiming that “it happened again,” and these words could only be truer had he said, “All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.” But I don’t really take him to be a Battlestar Galactica fan. Point is, the writers are obviously a fan of Mad Libs and draw from this passion to create this sequel: While celebrating [name]’s impending wedding in [location], Phil, Stu, and Alan wake up in a hotel room having no recollection of the night before. While looking around the room they realize that [name] is missing, Stu has [alteration to face], and they have somehow come into possession of a [animal]. At some point they believe that they have found the missing person, but when they go to the [location] to retrieve him they realize it is not the same person. Mr. Chow jumps out of the [container] to attack them, [no-no bits] are all around, and when all leads have been explored something clicks and they realize the missing person was on/in the [location] the whole time. The end. [Read more...]
You know the story, (no, literally, it’s exactly the same) Stu, Phil, and Alan go out and get so messed up that they can’t remember what happened the night before. A fourth party is involved, is lost and missing a finger, and the group must track down their whereabouts the night before. The problem is it takes what feels like an eternity to get to this point and I feel like the film would have been better off just picking up right with everyone waking up. We are introduced to quite a few new characters, Stu’s soon to be in-laws to be exact, get reacquainted with the gang, endure an awful rehearsal dinner scene, all among some rather pointless attempts at character building. People are signing up for this film to see the debauchery and it takes a very long time to get there.
And when it does get to the crazy stuff, it fails to be all that crazy. The first film was fresh, surprising, and original and repeating the exact same format beat for beat does not make this film any of those adjectives. In fact it makes things feel tiresome, extremely repetitive, and stale from frame one.
Neil Burger’s film follows Eddie Morra who is a struggling writer, recently dumped by his girlfriend, and has no signs of forward growth anywhere in the near or distant future. When he bumps into his ex-wife’s brother they grab a drink and his ex-in-law gives him a pharmaceutical drug to try that isn’t quite on the market. Eddie takes the drug and his mind and motivation opens up to reveal his true potential. Wanting more, Eddie finds that having the drug gets him into a lot of sticky situations. His intellectual high and life will both come under risk in an attempt to posses it.
Devo advised to whip a problem when it came along, but I am not Indiana Jones. Instead I would much rather take the advice of the narrator in the A-Team, because calling them in when a debacle arises just seems way cooler.
Based on the 1980s TV series, this incarnation starts with the introduction of the four men on their first mission together. Eventually they form the “A-Team,” successfully completing a vast number of missions together that most other soldiers fighting in the war in Iraq would not expect to come back alive from. It’s just what they do. While out on one of these missions things don’t go quite so well and they end up being framed for a crime that they didn’t commit. However, prison time just so happens to be a great time to plan your next move when you want to clear your name and get revenge when you just so happen to know who set you up. I pity the fool who thinks bars can contain them! (I’m sorry… I couldn’t resist. And you should have expected it at some point…) [Read more...]
The latest TV adaptation, The A-Team, gets 3 great actors and one unproven one together with a director that can shoot some action and the results is an almost non-stop action flick with paper thin characters and a weak plot that is quite a lot of fun.
The A-Team is a group of rangers who have been performing mission after mission specializing in black ops and crazy over the top affairs. After being sporadically thrown together in the film’s opening back story we flash forward to eight years later to see the team accept a mission in Iraq to recapture a billion some dollars and the illegal plates that made them. Well as you can tell from the trailer, the group is double crossed, thrown in prison, and are forced to prove their innocence.
The film follows a loosely connected group of individuals as we watch their experiences with love through a series of short films and connecting vignettes. The stories involve a just dumped boy who gets a last minute prom date, a composer and an assistant who bond through their many phone calls, a couple of strangers outside a restaurant, a confident and tad overzealous smoker trying to pick up a not so forth coming women, a pick pocket and a girl that catches his eye, an jeweler and his client, an long lived and nagging couple, an assumed one night stand deciding to meet again, an aging star revisiting an old hotel, a painter and his longed for muse, a video artist capturing people around town, and the bond between father and daughter even if no one believes they are related. [Read more...]
I still stand behind the fact that I am not a fan of this day, but Valentine’s Day has at least warmed my heart enough to be capable of acknowledging it as an acceptable holiday. But just this once.
In a nutshell, Valentine’s Day takes a group of characters that tie together in simple ways and depicts the relationships in their lives, whether they be familial, budding romances, friendships, till death do you part relationships, or what have you. The stories are all familiar and never veer from what is expected of them (except for one storyline), but the humor and the majority of the casting are enough to keep it entertaining and enjoyable. With the predictable stories the film also occasionally dips into the cheesier elements of the romcom genre, but it was at least not as sappy as the trailers that were shown prior to the film. [Read more...]
Valentine’s Day is a bunch of good actors, looking pretty, and doing decent work in paint by numbers plot and unimaginative entry into the rom-com genre; whose formula has been done much better in a few films still fresh in the memory.
Now, this film is bound to bring in the bank for a number of reasons; lots of big name stars, appropriately timed release over the romantic holiday weekend, and its familiar plot lines a plenty being peddled in the film’s trailer. Now beyond this surface assessment people can make from the trailer and the poster, the film will gel with audiences once in the theaters because it offers up plenty of comfort food for the average viewer in a multitude of so obviously planned elements it is almost laughable. This is how I imagine some of the production meeting going on this film;
David Wain’s – Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Released under the radar and still no more than a cult following today, David Wain’s feature debut is a silly, absurd, insane, and bizarre film that pokes fun at cliché through the world of a Jewish summer camp that is about to end it’s summer run and the results are hilarious.
It is the last day of camp at Camp Firewood and when the longest conversation ever between our hero, Cooper, and camp counselor hottie Katie sparks a desire inside our hero the quest for love begins. Now, I know that sounds corny and all but that is the simplest and most understandable plot description of the film. This is the most consistent theme that pops up throughout the film, but once the first few minutes of the film passes by you are about to enter a random world of silliness that you won’t soon forget. A sexually repressed Vietnam vet cook, gay marriage, capture the flag, astrophysics, robbing an old lady, dying children, a van crash, drug binges, a talent show, countless make out sessions, and a trip into town if only for an hour are only the tip of the iceberg of the events that unfold over the single day the film takes place over. [Read more...]
Todd Phillips returns to form after a series of floundering pics with this bachelor party gone bad comedy that keeps the jokes coming and rarely misses a beat from start to finish.
Doug is getting married and the male celebration commences with his son to be brother in law Alan, and best friends Stu and Phil heading off to Vegas for a night on the town. Stu is a whipped dentist that has a raging bitch of a girlfriend, Phil is a disgruntled married middle school teacher, and Alan, well Alan has never left the confines of his wealthy family and is a tad bit socially awkward. The four toast to the night on the roof of their hotel overlooking the city only to wake up the next morning in their trashed hotel room, unaware of anything that happened the night before and missing their groom Doug. The three begin retracing their steps with the clues they have laid before them and their wild night begins to unfold as new hijinks fall in their path.
I won’t go into the plot to heavily with this picture, but the trailer and this synopsis is more than enough to get a grasp on what you need to know whether this picture is up your ally. [Read more...]