Identity Thief has its fair share of laughs, but McCarthy and Bateman can’t save the mess of a film that this script has created. [Read more...]
In this week of rentals I found myself disappointed with many of this years “better” comedies, where two other films ending up where I expected them to be. If you’re considering renting The Alphabet Killer, Horrible Bosses, Your Highness, or Win Win then read my thoughts before making your choice this coming weekend. [Read more...]
For the past few weeks I have agonizingly pouted over email after email announcing upcoming screenings that I could not make it to in my broken state, so by the time The Change-Up rolled around I was at my breaking point. With the giddiness of a child refusing to stop believing in Santa come Christmas Day I sat in my seat waiting for the movie to begin. Unfortunately I should have taken one more week off… [Read more...]
Paul is a love letter to Spielberg and Lucas of the 70’s and 80’s with more references than you can shake a stick at in what is basically a giant geek road comedy that will work for film nerds and regular folk alike.
Greg Mottola takes Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s script (they also star) and almost perfectly captures the tone and film they are going for. So much so that I don’t know how much better it could have been done if Frost and Pegg’s bud Edgar Wright had done it; that is high praise for Mottola. The film follows a pair of Brit’s, Graeme and Clive, who come to comic-con before setting off on a great American UFO road trip in their RV. When they witness a crash on the road, the pair goes to check it out only to discover an alien, Paul, who is on the run from authorities. Graeme, Clive passed out, reluctantly agrees to hit the road with Paul and the trio head off to try and get Paul back to his people.
The Switch is a high concept rom-com that might seem a bit, “I’ve seen this before,” but its great performances, fantastic heart, and the most realistic characters in a rom-com, in what feels like forever (save 500 Days of Summer), make this a quality effort that is easy to enjoy.
(This review might be a tad spoilerly for some, but I really don’t go into much beyond the trailer and to be honest I think I clarify things so you can have the best enjoyment of the picture. If you want to stay as blind as possible though, skip the next paragraph to be safe.)
Now we have all seen the preview for this and there is only one thing that the trailer is selling, Jason Bateman’s character, Wally, swaps his sperm for that of his best friend’s donor and seven years later the kid and friend re-enter his life after a Midwest hiatus. Jennifer Aniston plays the best friend, Kassie, and while Wally and hers’ relationship started on a dating level, Wally quickly pushed them into the friend zone and they have been best-ies ever since. [Read more...]
The title might speak towards the switch of a certain bodily fluid in the story, but this is not the only switch with this film. Instead, what we get is a non-stereotypical romantic comedy (if you can even stick that genre title on it), differing in tone and far less groan worthy than most.
For better or worse, family and friends have a tendency to think they know what’s best for us. In Wally Mars’ case, well, he thinks his best friend is making a mistake by deciding to get pregnant through artificial insemination. Though he strongly apposes it, he still lends his support by showing up for her pre-pregnancy party (AKA the sperm donation party). But that isn’t all he lends. While in the bathroom he drunkenly disposes of the donor’s goods, replacing them with his own. Soon after she moves away, only to return years later with a son that strongly resembles Wally, who has no recollection of what he did that night. [Read more...]
A couple of weeks ago I excitedly told my aunt that I was going to Comic Con in a week, with a big ol’ smile on my face. I didn’t really expect her to be jealous, but I was overly excited. Then she asked if it was a gathering of comics or something. As in comedians. I then proceeded to try and explain that it was this really cool event that happens each year that has been taken over by Hollywood in the past decade or so. Basically it has everything a nerd would desire to see, including comics, writers, artists, video games, tv shows, and movies. I told her about the panels I was planning on sitting in on and some of the people that were scheduled to attend. I was adamant about making her see how awesome it was, but she just didn’t get it. Color me deflated. Oh well, I guess Comic Con is just for certain people…
Like this girl:
No matter who you go with, when it comes to vacations some fighting and mishaps are bound to happen, but usually there are enough good moments to balance out, if not overpower, the bad. Couples Retreat tries to show these moments of both ups and downs (well, mainly downs), but in the end the trip is far too painful to enjoy.
Of the four couples, Jason and Cynthia are the most willing to admit their relationship has problems. After many years and unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant the stress of the situation has finally reached its peak, and they are contemplating divorce. Feeling that this is their last hope, Jason and Cynthia ask their fellow couples, Dave and Ronnie, Joey and Lucy, and Shane and Trudy to go with them to Eden West, a couples resort on a beautiful, tropical island. When they arrive they are forced to partake in couples counseling, and those couples that assumed they would be spending a vacation having fun in the sun are finding that maybe they have more issues than they thought bubbling under the surface. [Read more...]
For a movie about flavored extract, Extract sure is bland.
For the most part, Joel lives a pretty mediocre life. He lives comfortably in his nice house with a nice car in the driveway, but its hard to be content with this with an annoyingly outspoken neighbor and a wife that uses sweat pants as if to say “you’re not getting any tonight.” What’s more is that his only escape from it all is the extract plant he built and now owns, but now it too is becoming more trouble than it’s worth for Joel. Seeing his escape thanks to an offer from General Mills to take the company off his hands, he finally sees a way to put his life back together. Too bad the factory has other plans for him. After a freak accident at work, Joel must now find other ways to bring about a happy return to normalcy before he loses his mind.
Up in the Air is a painfully honest film that not only looks into the lives of our three main leads but will cause a number of viewers to reflect back on their own in these troubling times.
Jason Reitman adapts the novel by Walter Kim into a funny and sad tale that takes us all across the country and into the life, or lack there of, of Ryan Bingham; played wonderfully by George Clooney. Bingham’s home is the airport, or should we say, airports. Living his life almost literally in the skies as he flies from company to company around the country as he is hired to come in and make employees redundant. This job has made him numb to the world and unable to make any real connections to just about anyone. Bingham even gives seminars about how to detach yourself from the things that hold you back and possess you instead of possessing them. We see him doing his job, which he does well, and the company he works for sells their business as helping these employees look toward their future and helping them cope with this traumatic moment in their life. [Read more...]
Peter Billingsly’s feature debut with screenwriting stars and duo Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau have created a relationship comedy that has a number of interesting points on couples, but really lacks a lot of good humor and drags at a miserable pace for the last forty five minutes or so.
Dave, Jason, Shane, and Joey are a group of four friends and their respective significant others Ronnie, Cynthia, Trudy, Lucy are all going through varying stages of their relationships. Lucy and Joey are on the verge of divorce once their daughter heads off to school, Trudy and Shane are a young couple (two weeks) and Shane still isn’t over his divorce, Dave and Ronnie are fairly content in their lives, and Jason and Cynthia are having problems conceiving. Jason and Cynthia are also contemplating divorce as the stress of the lack of baby making is wearing thin and as a last ditch effort they decide to go on a couples getaway and want their friends to go with them as it gets them a discount rate. After a bit of convincing they are all off to Eden West, and before they know it they are unsuspectingly thrown into couple’s therapy activities under the tutelage of an expert on repairing relationship, Marcel. From here, everyone’s relationships get a bit turned all around, stretched thin, and problems arise as they go through zany exercises and sessions to supposedly help their relationships. [Read more...]
If Hancock had a brother, he would be Clark Kent. Okay, different dads or something, but still, there are too many similarities not to draw the comparisons. They could compete in challenges of strength, flight, etc., make up stories about where they really came from, reminisce about their memories of breaking needles in hospitals, Clark could pick Hancock up from the bar when he is too drunk to fly home… You get the gist.
As easy as it is to compare Hancock to any other superhero story, it does explore some areas that others have not, at least not as closely. This film is about John Hancock (Will Smith), a drunk superpowered being who does things for the good of humanity because he can, but he doesn’t really believe in the whole “with great power comes great responsibility” mantra with the fervor that Spider-man does. However, when he meets Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), he agrees to do what he must to clean up his image, and eventually steps into the role people hoped he would fill in society.
This journalistic thriller keeps the intensity and intrigue from start to finish, and when coupled with some excellent performances across the board you have a pretty good picture when it is all said and done.
Cal McAffrey is a journalist for the Washington Globe, which also happens to be a sinking ship of a medium as the days of newspapers are quickly dying out in today’s internet fueled news world. That doesn’t keep Cal McAffrey from trying to still be a good reporter though, bribing cops and bending the rules for his stories, Cal is of the old school ilk of news reporters; and he gets what he wants. Cal is in the process of investigating a possible drug related murder that we witness in the opening of the film, when news breaks of Congressman Stephen Collins aide dying on the subway system on her way to the hearings she was chief investigator on that was probing a company profiting off the wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan by privatizing the war effort. The death of this aide, Sonia Baker, quickly turns into scandal as rumors/news of an affair with Collins quickly comes to the surface. We discover that Collins and McAffrey were college roommates and that an aspiring blogger at the Washington Globe, Della Frye, might turn out to be a thorn in Cal’s side [Read more...]
Will Smith’s latest is a definitely entertaining but ultimately flawed film from Peter Berg that could have used a bit more breathing room and depth to the picture.
On the surface, Hancock (Will Smith) is a disgruntled, drunk, and collateral damage magnet of a super hero that no one likes. The talk shows of LA are calling for him to go away and never come back, sick and tired of him tearing apart their town and wasting their tax dollars on his messes. Enter Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman), a struggling PR guy that can’t get companies to give stuff away for free in exchange being part of a campaign to make the world a better place. Ray is saved by Hancock, almost being plowed by a train, and he comes to the defense of Hancock who is immediately berated by the surrounding public for his reckless behavior and doesn’t give a shit attitude. Ray invites Hancock over for dinner and pitches him to let him engineer a reimagining of Hancock in the public eye; which Hancock reluctantly agrees too. While at dinner Ray’s wife Mary catches Hancock’s eye as his attitude completely turns off Mary in supporting Ray’s campaign to help Hancock. With a disdaining voice in Ray’s ear from his wife, he moves forward with the PR plan which begins with Hancock serving a prison sentence for all the damage he has incurred. Hancock is hesitant, but Ray ensures that the call will come as LA experiences life without Hancock. [Read more...]