Saturday, September 5, 2009

Inglourius Basterds

It took me a long time to review this movie. I couldn't figure out what to say. I love this poster because it says, "Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France...where apparently no one could spell." It's the truth. It's classic Quentin Tarantino. You will recognize the style from Kill Bill and if you didn't like Kill Bill don't go see this movie. The main draw, let's not kid ourselves, is Brad Pitt. He and his hilariously bad Southern Tennessee accent are the real stars in this movie. Quentin does an excellent job of tying together themes of outrageous inhumanity and stupidly arrogant ignorance by those that had money and weren't bullied by Hitler. Brad Pitt plays a Nazi soldier in a force of pissed off Jewish men and other men who are or have been persecuted by The Nazis. Brad Pitt tells his men that he has a little Creek Indian in him and that each man owes him 100 Nazi scalps and when he makes this request he doesn't mean it metaphorically. He means he wants his scalps and as he says, "I will have my scalps." The violence that seem to be the staple of all Quentin Tarantino movies and the graphic nature of it is missing in this movie and I have to say, thank god. There are times when there are graphic scenes of violence but nothing too cringeworthy. In Entertainment Weekly, they said it best when they said, "this is World War 2 the way Hollywood woulda done it." All I can say is amen to that. It doesn't ever tell you where the big scar on Brad's neck comes from or any of his character's back story. It's a little long and slow in parts and of course some of it is in German and therefore subtitled and to me annoying. This movie is worth seeing regardless of whether you like Quentin Tarantino or not. This movie is just good fun! I loved it, but then in my eyes Quentin Tarantino can do no wrong and he has proven it once again!

This movie gets *** out of 4 stars because it is a little too long and slow in places, but still I laughed, I cried, I cringed and I cowered on the edge of my seat. Like I said before....just plain ole fun! Go see it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I went to this movie hoping the critics were wrong. My hopes were soon dashed. The premise of the movie and the book it is based on are good. The general idea of a man with a genetic disorder who involuntarily travels through time to the most important times in his life. What I can't understand is how or why? How, if he honestly can't control this disorder does he make sure to show up at just the right moment just a little bit older. For example, as he disappears while getting dressed for his wedding, not to worry an older looking gray-haired version of himself shows up to see his bride walk confused but happily down the aisle. If he can control it that much to make sure he is there at his wedding and then the younger version who should have been there for the wedding shows up at the reception, again, at just the right moment. Like the poster, this movie is topsy-turvy. I was so confused trying to keep up with all the time traveling and therefore the story line. The Henry that shows up to foreshadow his death for all of 10 seconds in front of his wife and his younger self was just down right annoying. He states throughout the entire movie that no matter how much he "travels," he can never change the past or the future and is sure not to spill the beans to ruin the future. So, the gist is, the whole time I was sitting there going what on Earth is happening? Wait if he can make sure he's there for his wedding then why can't he control where he goes. I want to give this the benefit of the doubt and hope that the book is more clear and less confusing than this movie. Rachel McAdams is very good in this movie, as she always is, and so is Eric Bana although his age transformations are not that convincing. When he is supposed to be in his early twenties he still looks like he's in his 30s and the only way to tell is one small gray streak in his hair. I don't know if I would say "I Do" to this movie, at least the movie on the "big" screen. Wait for the DVD and see if the deleted scenes make anything more clear. If not, read the book and hope that clears things up, but if that doesn't do it, be ready to stay confused because if you aren't when you walk out of this movie then you are much quicker than me. If this is the case please comment and explain.

This movie gets **1/2 stars love Rachel McAdams as always and Eric Bana does well at hiding his accent but not his age. Rent it don't buy a movie ticket. It was something to do on a lonely boring Saturday night otherwise I just might have skipped it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Julie and Julia

Julia Child changed the world. In a time when women were frying chicken and cooking mashed potatoes for dinner, or for those lucky enough to have servants who cooked, Julia child took a chance on learning to cook at the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris where she moved with her husband Paul. Meryl Streep doesn't fail in her adaptation of Mrs. Child and her very distinctive voice and demeanor of fearlessness. She fought the odds and kept pushing and cooking until she eventually became one of the most famous cookbooks in history and pioneering the TV cooking show. Julie Powell was a disgruntled, bored cubicle worker at an insurance company who has to constantly listen to the woes of others. Her husband gives her, an aspiring writer, the idea to write a blog, where you don't have to worry about being rejected by a publishing company, she can publish for the world to read. She vowed on her blog, the Julie/Julia project to cook the 524 recipes in Julia Child's cookbook in one year and to blog about it everyday. As she does, she faces multiple breakdowns over failed cooking and a nearly fatal blow to her marriage after her husband gets sick of the world revolving around her and Julia Child. In the movie, Julia Child is alive and Julie does everything she can to show Julia that what she did mattered and in the process, improves her life, her love and relationship with her husband, and her well-being and outlook on life. In all the hardships of the cooking, the failures and her determination to finish make her stronger. Obviously, her blog becomes wildly popular and she eventually writes a book based on her experiences with that blog. There are flashbacks to Julia Child and her life as well. The whole movie could not have been about either woman, but especially not about Julia Child who is fun to watch for a while but after a while, her voice and complaining start to stop being cute and become annoying. The movie is cute, but a little slow at times and had me thinking when is this movie going to end? Well, it ends and Julie never meets Julia, but her life was changed regardless. The only thing hard to believe is that Julie and Julia don't weigh 500 pounds because the one thing about French Cuisine according to Julia Child is USE LOTS OF BUTTER! FromQ the entrees, the sides, and the desserts there isn't enough exercise in the world that could work it all off. Other than that, this movie is very cute, very watchable, slow at times, but ends well and leaves you satisfied after walking out. All together a delicious meal. Go partake in the goodness. Anything with Meryl Streep in it cannot be wrong in my see it and just hope you aren't hungry afterward cause you will crave French fattening food.

*** 1/2 stars only losing half a star because it is a litle slow in places and could be condensed a little but other than that a real treat!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Ugly Truth

Okay, I was reading People magazine the other day, don't get me started on how pissed I am at that rag. Anyway, they gave this movie one star. I was like oh it must really suck then, but I will have to sit through it because my Mom wants to see it. People magazine was very wrong. This movie is cute and funny and a little bit crass, hence the R-rating. Here's the formulaic story-line. Katherine Heigl is big shot TV news producer in Sacramento. Gerard Butler is crass, tells it like it is, cable syndicated jackass who talks about what's wrong with women and how men think about them. So, because this is America and everything is backwards. People watch the show that Gerry does cause we like smut, it's the American way. Well, people don't much like the news. So to increase ratings and prevent shut down from the big bosses, you know cause of the bad economy and stuff, they bring in Mr. Butler himself to help the ratings of the news show and admittedly and predictably it helps. So, there's big shot news producer girl, she's a control-freak who scares men away with her checklist of perfection that they must live up to. She can't stand him and makes a bet with him that he can get her a hot male neighbor/doctor she likes if she does what he says. If it works, she lays off, if not, he quits. Okay, so he dresses her up in slutty dresses, gets her hair extensions, you know shallow crap and it works. Gerry isn't so happy it works. I won't ruin the story for you but you can guess what happens.

On that subject, a quick note to all you "movie critics" out there. Romantic comedies are always the same. There are few exceptions. Man or woman hate each other. Man or woman gets put in weird or awkward situations, man or woman fall in love with object of hate at the beginning. Hello, this is the way a romantic comedy is supposed to work. So yes, it's predictable, but so what, doesn't mean we should say it sucks because it has a predictable plot. Very few movies these days don't have predictable plots. So, you pros out there who are being so petty about your ratings, pull the giant stick out of your butt. Movies are entertainment. We want to believe we could have an Eric Winter and a Gerard Butler in love with us. We need to believe it for just a two hour span and then we can go back to our own normal and usually boring lives where no Gerard or Eric enters the picture. The movie was entertaining. It was worth the money and it was cute. Good movie. Go see it.

**1/2 the reason for such a low rating is only because Gerard Butler is not famous for his face, he is famous for his abs and we saw none of them. Also, he looked like someone while putting makeup on him in the makeup chair before his TV appearances could have introduced him to a razor, cause he's damn cute, but you just want to go buy him some shaving cream and a razor. Katherine Heigl seems to play the exact same character in every movie. Control freak who is clueless about life and love and not willing to take risks. Sound familiar, yeah you might have seen it in a little movie called 27 dresses. Good movie for fun and entertainment, if you want the meaning of life or you want to cry or be scared go see something else, otherwise, go. Note to suck..shut up!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Hangover!

The Hangover

All I know is that I and my friend were not really wanting to go to this movie. I had a free movie ticket and a gift card that had around 6 dollars on it. The movie had been out quite a while and I had heard some good whispers and stuff about it, but nothing definitive. I heard whispers about a sequel and this movie making Bradley Cooper a star.

For once folks, all the rumors were true. From the very beginning this movie had me laughing so loud I think I was upsetting the people in front of me in the theater. Maybe not though, because they were laughing too. This movie is what I would call, "universally," funny. Meaning that you will laugh at this movie and you will laugh hard. You may even find yourself slapping your knee or clapping or whatever you do when you are truly laughing at something truly funny. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard.

This is not a movie to take your Mom to, if you do you will be embarrassed. Unless, you have one of those uber-cool Mom's who tries to dress and act like you and your friends. Otherwise, for those of us with "true" Mom's don't watch this with her. Watch it with your best friends and if you are lucky like me, you can look back on the time you went to Vegas and at times, I have to admit, be jealous of the crazy stuff these guys did or were doing. My friend who I saw the movie with and I went to Vegas together and it made me want to go back. It's Vegas, baby! This truly is a "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," situation. The reason being that they "accidentally" got "ruffied," you know the date rape drug that wipes your memory? Everyone has to have heard of it.

Anyway, they have a soon to be groom, a married school teacher with a potty mouth, a crazy guy that at one point they call, fat Jesus, because yeah he honestly looks like Jesus, you know, but, fat. A dentist who is somehow missing a tooth, got married, and inherited a baby and a tiger. Who knew a dentist's life could be so interesting?

The tiger is in the bathroom when one of the guys who doesn't where pants often, but definitely should gets up from this night that they can't remember and decides to use the bathroom. The same bathroom in which the tiger is kept. How they got the Tiger in is a funny story and even funnier is how they get the tiger out. The baby is treated well, don't worry no babies were harmed in the making of this movie. Bradley Cooper plays the kind of guy you want to marry. He's faithful and lovable and sweet and hides all his faults and penchant for the crazy things in life from you and hides it well. That is the kind of man we all need. Men don't have bachelor parties anymore, at least not fun ones because we women worry so much about what they are going to do at them. Ninety percent of the time the bride does worse stuff at her bachelorette party than any man will do.

Ladies, if your man wants to go to a strip club for his bachelor party let him go. What's the harm? If he is going to cheat on you with some groddy skanky exotic dancer then let him do it before you say I do and save both of you the heart ache. If the man loves you, and he has any sense at all, he will not cheat on you with some gross stripper. If he does you don't want to marry him anyway. So let this movie remind all women, men are stupid they do stupid things, it's just the nature of the beast. It's still in them from the day of the cave-man with the club and that magical elixir we all call alcohol tends to bring back the grunting and cro-magnon ways. Then, they wake up in the morning and they are back to the evolved men we love and they have a great story to tell their sons when they get ready for their bachelor party, or in this case don't, cause they don't remember. Give them this one night. You have them for life, they need this one night to truly be a man.

Go see this movie or rent it. You will laugh. If you don't then you are made of stone and might want to get that checked out. Something is wrong with you if you do not laugh at this movie at all. Just heed my warning and don't see it with Mom or Grandma or especially for you women out there, your fathers. That is just not something you want to discuss after the movie or pretend you didn't see.

This is definitely destined to become a cult classic a la Old School and Bradley Cooper has become a household name. No more is he the side kick to the star, he is now the star, which he rightly deserves. So yay Bradley, yay other guys that star in this. Good movie, bet you had a blast shooting it. The fact that you could act out any second of this movie without laughing is amazing in itself. Good job fellas, maybe next time don't let anyone drug you so you will remember. And you might want to rethink the tiger. I'm just saying. Okay well that's my review, it's good go see it. I recommend it.

**** This gets a full four stars for just being a damn good time. I had a lot of fun watching the movie and so will anyone else who sees it, but it is not for the faint of heart or anyone who cannot take a little raunchiness, cause the raunch factor is high, but it's worth sitting through to get to the fun. Way to go! A Must See for sure!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

             The saying goes, no movie is ever as good as the book. In this instance, I have to agree. The movie was good and stuck close to J.K Rowling's book in many ways as far as plot. The problem with a much hyped and waited for movie is that the hype and the anticipation sometimes outweigh the movie's quality itself. That is the case here. The movie was good and the special effects were excellent. The story telling however lacked time. It was as if they tried to "fit it all in." All the actors are back and all have aged. Ron has grown up and hormones are running rampant throughout Hogwarts in Harry's sixth year. There are surprisingly many laughs in this installment and the casting and acting couldn't have been better especially from Daniel Radcliffe himself. His comic timing and varying expressions are better, it's not all brooding and whining this time. The problem is that J.K. Rowling paints pictures with her words that put an image in your head that as much as you try you never really let go of. The worry and overwhelming feeling of impending doom with the return of Voldemort is not conveyed. The secrets are attained and we learn about the Horcruxes and how many there are, which of course sets up the next two installments of the 800 page Deathly Hallows. A key character dies and when this person died in the book as I was reading the pages were bent with tears streaming from my eyes. Maybe, it was because I knew what was coming, or maybe it just wasn't as poignant as the way Rowling wrote it. I don't know which of the two it was or if it was a little of both combined, but I found myself almost having to force myself to cry because it was what felt "appropriate." It was not actually sadness that gripped me but tears that came as a result of the events and what the appropriate emotion should be, not real heartfelt sorrow. That heartfelt sorrow was abundant when reading the book and caused me to be so mad that the book and the wall met for the first time. The romance that blossoms between Harry and Ginny is not well developed, in fact in the first place he sets a date with a beautiful Muggle girl until Dumbledore shows up to remind Harry of the world he truly lives in. I'm having a problem reviewing this movie because I have so recently reread the book. Some of the scenes had me asking, wait did that happen in the book? I don't remember that. The big cave scene is pretty much how Rowling wrote it. The school grounds, setting is even more amazing than ever and you ask yourself are these sets built or are they shooting in a real place and if it is a real place where is it and when can I visit? The acting was excellent, the special effects superb, and as with all the Harry Potter movies it was entertaining and surprisingly scary at times.  This is a must see.  If you have read the book really recently you might notice some scenes they added and some they completely left out.  Where is Bill and Fleur? I'm confused?  Guess, we will find out.  If you are just watching the movies and not reading the books, then you are missing a huge part of the story, so get reading after you see the movie.

*** Three stars because it was entertaining and I'm just a Harry Potter fan, but not the best movie of the franchise, we will have to see if Deathly Hallows lives up to the excellent writing of the book.  Go see it, worth the 10 bucks and like I said before, it's Harry Potter!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Proposal

You can't live in the United States without seeing ads for Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynold's new movie The Proposal. This movie was very good. One highlight in particular lies in the much beloved and long missing from the spotlight, Betty White as "Grammy." Ryan Reynolds has his usual sarcastic sense of humor going on, but maybe toned down a little bit from former movies where he had all the comic relief in the movie resting on his chiseled shoulders. The actor, married about one year ago to fellow thespian Scarlett Johansson sparkles with charisma in this movie. Sandra Bullock is looking better than ever. Here her hair, clothes, shoes, everything is perfect and expensive, which becomes a funny issue as the movie progresses. The only thing wrong with this movie is that it may have been "over-exposed" by the press. The trailer gives you pretty much the entire plot-line and because it is a romantic comedy, anyone with any common sense can guess what is going to happen. Let's just put it this way, wouldn't be so funny if the main characters were prosecuted for defrauding the government with a phony marriage. Get the picture? That's what I thought.
The two actors do not have the same chemistry on screen as Bullock's movie soul-mate Keanu Reeves. Sandra usually produces good chemistry with all her co-stars, but it is hard to believe that these two would ever get together, there is no affection and you never guess that Reynold's character has any feelings toward her at all. There should have been that scene in every romantic comedy aka chick flick, where they have an amazing kiss or love scene, but then regret it and not know what it really means. There was no "light bulb" moment. I kept waiting and waiting for the light bulb and it never came. Their relationship falls a little flat and they never fully develop Sandra or Ryan's characters. Otherwise, it is just good fun and who wouldn't mind looking at Ryan Reynolds for two hours, some of that time in which he strips off all clothes. You will not see me complaining. The price of admission has gone up and so too have the expectations of movie-goers who need to be convinced they will be entertained, before they pay the price, in this declining economy. Let's just say, dig through the couch, go to the emergency coffee can full of money, scrape together the money anywhere you can and go see this one! It's cute, it's funny and above all it's entertaining. Isn't entertainment all that really matters in the end?

*** Three stars for this one it would be four, but it is very hard for any romantic comedy to get four stars on my ratings because they are all insanely predictable which is worth one whole star. So in this case three is the best it could be. Go see it! Take your girlfriend if you are a guy. Drag your boyfriend to see it if you are a girl. Trust me if you watch him closely you will see him secretly enjoying this movie. All you have to say is Sandra Bullock naked...he will go. TRUST