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Review: “Hot Fuzz”

June 28, 2013 2 comments
Hot FuzzDirected by: Edgar Wright
Produced by: Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Written by: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Edited by: Chris Dickens
Cinematography by: Jess Hall
Music by: David Arnold
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Paddy Considine, Rafe Spall, Kevin Eldon, Olivia Colman, Karl Johnson, Bill Bailey, Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy
Year: 2007

 

(Review is very mildly spoilery, though you’d have to be a dolt not to catch on quickly or guess what’s going to happen. You’ve been warned, regardless!)

“Funny, but took a while to build up to the comedy.  Honestly, it could’ve been a lot more ridiculous in its humor, but it wasn’t bad.  Shaun still rocks, though.”

That’s the entirety of my 3-star Flixster/Rotten Tomatoes review, which I wrote years ago and recently rediscovered while preparing for this review. I remember the mindset that was informing this review. I had watched a few sneak peak clips back when IGN.com used to be my primary source for movie news, and those brief, minutes-long clips had set my expectations for the entirety of the film as being something more akin to Reno 911 in an English countryside than what the film actually turned out to be: a loving tribute to ridiculous buddy cop/crime films – as filtered through the English countryside. Read more…

Review: “Billy Madison”

June 26, 2013 2 comments
Billy MadisonDirected by: Tamra Davis
Produced by: Robert Simonds
Written by: Adam Sandler, Tim Herlihy
Edited by: John Gilroy, Jeffrey Wolf
Cinematography by: Victor Hammer
Music by: Randy Edelman
Starring: Adam Sandler, Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Josh Mostel, Darren McGavin, Norm Macdonald, Mark Beltzman, Larry Hankin, Theresa Merritt, Dina Platias, Chris Farley, Steve Buscemi
Year: 1995

 

As a kid, I had several friends who were massive Adam Sandler fans. I liked him well enough, I guess, being a 90s kid who actually watched Saturday Night Live quite often for someone my age, but I never liked him nearly as much as I did Jim Carrey, who, in my grade school mind, was seen as some sort of rival to Sandler – the Nintendo to Sandler’s Sega. The movies I saw Sandler in were just nowhere near as funny as Carrey’s to me, and it’s a sentiment I still hold to this day. But with every passing comedy that he made, Adam Sandler grated on my nerves more and more, even if I hadn’t seen the films in question – the trailers were pretty much all I needed. The few films I actually did get around to watching only made me dislike him more by association. His most recent output pales in comparison to even Jim Carrey’s worst films. I’d much rather watch the dull Yes Man three times over a single second more from Grown Ups, Bedtime Stories, or, even worse, the horrendous Jack and Jill. Read more…

Theatrical Review: “This Is the End”

June 24, 2013 4 comments
This Is the EndDirected by: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Produced by: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver
Written by: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg (screenplay and story)
Edited by: Zene Baker
Cinematography by: Brandon Trost
Music by: Henry Jackman
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jamese Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, Rihanna
Year: 2013

 

You don’t expect a movie where movie stars, playing (often slightly askew versions of) themselves, fight demons during the apocalypse to get widespread acclaim, and yet, here we are, and This Is the End has managed to delight audiences and critics alike. At least, the ones who can handle a heavy dose of raunch. And, for the religious out there, those who can handle a few liberties being taken with theology. This movie isn’t for the squeamish. There are scary demons in the movie who are well equipped to do their jobs, if you get what I’m saying…. (PROFANITY AND OTHER SUCH STUFF AHEAD, o ye of faint hearts!) Read more…

Review: “Predator”

June 21, 2013 2 comments
PredatorDirected by: John McTiernan
Produced by: Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver, John Davis
Written by: Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Shane Black (Uncredited)
Edited by: Mark Helfrich, John F. Link
Cinematography by: Donald McAlpine
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Kevin Peter Hall, Richard Chaves, Elpidia Carrillo, Sonny Landham, Shane Black, R.G. Armstrong, Peter Cullen
Year: 1987”

 

Apparently inspired by a gag about Rocky Balboa, having bested all his human opponents, fighting an alien contender, Predator always felt, to me, like a cheap and uninteresting action film with next to no characters I fully cared about. Given, I had formed this opinion around the age of 10, when I had first seen the film and at a time when I thought Batman Forever was a great entry in the franchise, so I’m not sure how much weight I’d give that assessment, but it’s one that I held on to for quite some time – in fact, I have basically avoided every possible opportunity to actually see it again in full length from that first viewing onward just based on the fact that it was a boring, super-macho action film with an ugly alien creature. I’ve seen both Alien vs. Predator films more times than this (though that’s more because they’re so entertainingly bad). For Guy Movie Month, however, I decided that it was time that I got past my distaste for the film and give it another go… Read more…

Theatrical Review: “Man of Steel”

June 18, 2013 9 comments
Man of SteelDirected by: Zack Snyder
Produced by: Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Deborah Snyder
Written by: David S. Goyer (screenplay), Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer (story)
Edited by: David Brenner
Cinematography by: Amir Mokri
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Starring: Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayele Zurer, Harry Lennix, Christopher Meloni, Richard Schiff
Based on characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Year: 2013

 

That ringing in my ears right now? It’s from seeing Man of Steel, one of the year’s biggest tentpole films, one that is already breaking the record for the biggest June first weekend box office previously set by Toy Story 3. If you came out of Superman Returns seven years ago (Has it really been that long?) feeling like you had been ripped off in the action department (justifiably), then this is the Superman movie you’ve been waiting for. It seems almost repentant for the past films’ lack of scale in regards to their depiction of Superman’s power and compensates for it with some of the most kinetic, cataclysmic action that you’ve ever seen in any superhero film, including The Avengers. You may even be a bit overwhelmed. Read more…

Review: “Point Break”

June 14, 2013 1 comment
Point BreakDirected by: Kathryn Bigelow
Produced by: Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy
Written by: W. Peter Iliff (screenplay), Rick King, W. Peter Iliff (story)
Edited by: Howard L. Smith
Cinematography by: Donald Peterman
Music by: Mark Isham
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley, James LeGros
Year: 1991

 

I watched this film at the suggestion of Hot Fuzz. Until that movie came out, this movie was never even really on my radar beyond maybe seeing it on rental shelves when I was little kid. Based on that movie, a tribute to ridiculous buddy cop movies and such, I pretty much had my expectations in check when I suddenly realized that this would be perfect for Guy Movie Month. Read more…

Theatrical Review: “The Purge”

June 9, 2013 4 comments
The PurgeDirected by: James DeMonaco
Produced by: Michael Bay, Jason Blum, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller, Sébastien Kurt Lemercier
Written by: James DeMonaco
Edited by: Peter Gvozdas
Cinematography by: Jacques Jouffret
Music by: Nathan Whitehead
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller, Arija Bareikis, Tom Yi, Chris Mulkey, Tisha French, Dana Bunch, Peter Gvozdas, Karen Strassman
Year: 2013

 

Bad news: This thing’s probably making money on its opening weekend. I went to go see Mud last night (excellent movie, by the way), and the lines for this movie, which disturbingly included several families with young kids, were pretty large. Look forward to next year’s sequel, people. I kind of regret paying into the box office success by going to this, but my friends were all chattering about it so I guess I kind of felt obligated to see it, if only because we were all coming up with theories as to what would occur in the movie, and I would’ve felt left out if I was the only one who hadn’t seen it come Monday’s carpool.

I have to admit, aside from maybe one little plot point early on, none of our predictions came true. Guess we don’t see that many crappy movies to actually get a handle on how these kinds of movies work. Oh, and spoiler alert, if you couldn’t tell already, I hated this dreadful excuse for a movie. Read more…

Review: “Stand by Me”

Stand by MeDirected by: Rob Reiner
Produced by: Bruce A. Evans, Andrew Scheinman
Written by: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon (screenplay)
Edited by: Robert Leighton
Cinematography by: Thomas Del Ruth
Music by: Jack Nitzsche
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, Richard Dreyfuss, Bradley Gregg, Casey Siemaszko, Marshall Bell, Frances Lee McCain, John Cusack
Based on the novella The Body by Stephen King
Year: 1986

 

Based on the Stephen King novella The Body and reportedly being the first film adaptation of King’s work that he fully approved of, Rob Reiner’s adaptation, Stand By Me (renamed due to the producers apparently thinking people would think the novella’s original sounded a little too dark or even perverse) is one of those quintessential “coming of age” films – indeed it may be the coming of age film. So much so that watching it for the first time these days after nearly three decades of imitators may take a little bit of adjusted expectations – you may have seen this done elsewhere. Stand by Me sets itself apart, however, with emotional honesty and engaging performances on the part of its four young leads. Read more…

Special Review: “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” — A Surprising Lack of Inexperience

June 4, 2013 1 comment
The 40-Year-Old VirginDirected by: Judd Apatow
Produced by: Judd Apatow, Clayton Townsend, Shauna Robertson
Written by: Judd Apatow, Steve Carell
Edited by: Brent White
Cinematography by: Jack Green
Music by: Lyle Workman
Starring: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Leslie Mann, Kat Dennings, Jane Lynch
Year: 2005

 

If you’re among my friends, you probably know the story about how I saw this movie soon after it came out on DVD during my first year of college. It wasn’t the sort of movie that I would have sought out myself at the time, but my best friend’s roommate put it on one night while I was hanging out at their dorm, as I was wont to do in those days, and, yeah, I watched it. It was pretty much the first hard R-rated comedy film I had ever sat down and watched at the time on my own. Being 19, living relatively on my own, I felt pretty grown up about the whole situation. And, you know what? I actually quite liked it. (Spoiler alert if you’re worried about those kinds of things with a review.) Read more…

In Honor of Father’s Day: Guy Movie Month!

June 2, 2013 4 comments

Die Hard - Bruce Willis as John McClane

So I did Girly Movie Month for May in honor of Mother’s Day in honor of my mom, who, on top of being a female, is also quite girly. Naturally, my first thought after starting that was, “What am I going to do in honor of Father’s Day?”

My stepdad is quite a man’s man, coming from a family that originates in Texas. Naturally, my inclination was to do a month of reviewing nothing but “manly” movies — stuff like Die Hard, BraveheartCasino Royale, and Man on Fire. But that sounded incredibly bland. Even as a guy, I can only take so many action movies starring burly action stars.

As such, what I decided upon was something that allowed me to be a bit more flexible in my reviews, a theme that would allow me to incorporate not just those manly movies, but films from a slightly broader selection of genres. The solution? Guy Movie Month!

Superbad - On the gound!

Male bonding has its sensitive side, too, you know.

Guy Movie Month will focus on movies specifically designed to appeal to the male demographic, whether they be action, comedy, or even coming of age films. This way, films like Shaun of the Dead and Superbad will also make it in, and I won’t have to watch film after film of sweaty men killing people all the time and thus avoiding my mind from going numb. Hope you enjoy it as much as you did Girly Movie Month — even if you’re not a guy!

Disclaimer: Incidental reviews of theatrical films during this time will not be counted as “guy” movies, unless, of course, they are actually a “guy” movie.

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