From the Director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The… MoreFrom the Director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek, comes Neighbors, and you usually can't go wrong with a comedy that stars Seth Rogen. In this film, Rogen is actually playing a grown up, with a new baby and a new house. Life seems to be perfect for Mac (Rogen) and his new wife Kelly (Rose Byrne), until they get new neighbors, a fraternity house. They seem like they'll get along okay, until the couple finally calls the police on their neighbors, then all hell breaks loose. This film had all the makings of a great comedy and would have been terrific, if their had been less partying, and more fighting. While there were some extremely funny moments, most of the film either features the eye candy partying or Rogen and Byrne consistently interrupting each other during their long, loud, confusing conversations. This film really was the first time I understood peoples complaints about Rogen, as his rambling and interrupting was just ridiculously over the top. The surprise of the film was easily Zac Efron. I've seen him in several films before and he's good at what he does, usually playing this super attractive, really nice guy, in some love story or teen drama. I can honestly say until this point, I never enjoyed anything he was in, except for 17 Again. This film marks a change in direction for the young stars career and he was really great. Most of the funny moments in this film, actually came not from Rogen, but from Efron. It was great to see, but still not enough to save this film. There is a lot of partying, drinking, pot, and eye candy, but when it comes right down to it, this film really wasn't anything special.
I've let my feeling be known many times on how I feel about these… MoreI've let my feeling be known many times on how I feel about these found footage documentary films, that use camcorders. They are lazy, usually have no storyline, and the constant camera movement is just nauseating. Europa Report is different, as the film is told through surveillance cameras, aboard a state of the art space ship. Europa is a privately funded mission to the sixth moon of Saturn, to investigate strange heat signatures detected by NASA, that could be alien lifeforms. The cinematography was better than most of these film, and there was somewhat of a back story, however Europa Report is really not much different than a million other similar films. Nothing really happens until they reach their destination, they find something strange, and then must decide if fighting for their lives is worth the potential for scientific discovery. I bet you can name a dozen other films that were similar. As for the cast, they were just like film, in that they were very average, with little to nothing of note. Science Fiction is my favorite genre and I'm always hoping these films will show me something new and excited, but as with Apollo 18, Mission To Mars, Sunshine, and Moon, I was extremely disappointed. Europa Report wasn't a bad film, but it wasn't unique in any way. If you haven't seen many films, you may be wowed by something like this, but if you're like me, all you're going to find is a very boring and unimaginative film.
Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, but… MoreHuman trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, but what if it was used for something other than sex or slavery? The story of Arena is of a rich millionaire, who wanted to blend the UFC with Roman gladiators. The people taken are all men in excellent shape, who believe they're about to have sex with a beautiful woman, when they are kidnapped, and forced to fight to the death on a highly popular internet site. Everyone from the rich to college kids bet on the fights and then determine the fate of the loser. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from a film like this, but the story far exceeded my expectations. There is a huge back story to their most recent acquisition, a firefighter from Denver who is dubbed as Death Dealer. Kellan Lutz plays him and is one of these OC, Twilight, model types, who gives a surprising performance. This guy must have some kind of special fight training and portrayed this scary dude, who just wasn't going to give up. He's paired with the legendary Samuel L. Jackson, who was his usual hilarious, twisted self. Jackson is one of these guys who is just at a point in his career where everything he does is worth watching, and in a relatively small role, he really adds a lot to this film. Arena was a little better than I expected, until it reached it's conclusion. At the end of this film, there was a huge twist that would have made M. Night Shamalyan proud. I really didn't see it coming and the ending changes the whole theme of the movie. It's the kind of ending that makes you want to watch the film again, after you know the ending, to see if there were clues to figuring out the truth earlier than it was revealed. Arena is far from an award winning film, but it's got much more going for it then I ever would have expected. It's got some crazy violence, but there is also has a pretty compelling story, with an ending that will absolutely blow your mind.
When used properly, John Malkovich is the best of the best when it… MoreWhen used properly, John Malkovich is the best of the best when it comes to playing the bad guy. In his latest film, Deadly Code, Malkovich is playing the Grandfather of a Siberian crime syndicate and much like Brando in the Godfather, is used sparely to impart words of wisdom on his young decedents. Siberia is one of the coldest and most desolate places on the planet. When a criminal is too dangerous to even be put in the jail of a major Russian city, they are dumped into Siberia. Crime is rampant and everything is run by organized crime families, who's strict code of loyalty and honor puts even the Italians to shame. Kolyma (Vilius Turnalavicius) is the grandson and the film is split between Kolyma in the army, hunting down a wanted man, and his time growing up in a crime family under his Grandfathers guidance. Mafia movies traditionally follow a format and this film was no different, with the except of the setting, so when I heard it was the Godfather of Russian organized crime and started John Malkovich, I wondered how it was possible that I'd never heard of it, well now I know. There are these crazy rules and code of honor that these guys live by, making them gangsters who aren't really violent. They simply steal from the government to help their community. In a real sense, it's about sophisticated, responsible criminals, helping people, and avoiding the police. While honorable, it makes for an extremely slow moving film, add to that all the Russian actors trying to speak English, and you have a film that's somewhat hard to even understand. Subtitles and some more action would have helped, but so would have a more experienced cast. Most of these guys have no other listings on IMDB and the inexperience shows. The story of Deadly Code seems like a good idea, but when you have a lack of action, mixed with inexperienced actors, speaking in a way that is barely understandable, you have a very uninteresting movie that is more than somewhat hard to watch.
Everyone thinks their parents are crazy, but in the case of Joe,… MoreEveryone thinks their parents are crazy, but in the case of Joe, Patrick, & Biaggio, their parents really are nuts. Looking to escape the insanity of their every day lives, the boys decide one summer to build a cabin in the woods, where they can live off the land like men. Nick Robinson stars as Joe, and gives a performance that is out of this world. In a film that stars three kids in the woods, it would be very easy for things to turn stupid very quickly, but as the leader of the pack, Joe not only keeps the group together, but keeps the story together. No matter what this young man does over the course of his career, he will have a hard time duplicating what was easily a career defining performance. Robinson is paired with Disney star Moises Arias, who until now I thought was just this weird little guy they used to guest in their shows. Arias plays Biaggio, easily one of the funniest characters I've seen in a very long time, some of the things that come out of his mouth are just fall on the floor funny. As the kids enjoy their time in the woods, their parents really start to show their crazy, as they go on a hunt for the lost boys. The characters were all unique in their own way, but Joe's father, played by Nick Offerman, was far and away the best, leading the parents the same way, his son lead the boys. From gigantic wontons to turtles on kites, The Kings of Summer is an extremely enjoyable film and the rare instance of a film that I wish was longer. I truly loved every second of this smart coming of age comedy, for it's uniqueness and young exciting cast. Blending dramatic and comedic elements, The Kings of Summer is that perfect mix that takes you from laughter to tears and back again. For that, this film is an easy choice for one of our must see movies!
Arnold is back, and at 67 years old he hasn't missed a beat. Sabotage… MoreArnold is back, and at 67 years old he hasn't missed a beat. Sabotage is the Governor's third starring role since returning from his stint in politics, and it's easily his best one to date. Schwarzenegger stars as Breacher, the commander of an elite DEA swat team, who agrees to help his under appreciated team take part in the theft of millions of dollars, from a top cartel boss. The heist goes relatively smoothly, but when the team goes to retrieve their money, they discover that one of them double crossed the rest and had stolen the pay day. Everyone is upset and trying to figure out who it was, when the cartel shows up looking for retribution. As the cartel picks off the team one by one, the remaining members have to ban together to try and stop them, except this time, they have to do it knowing that one of them is a trader. Arnold isn't doing the crazy stunts or fighting scenes that he's become synonymous for, he's in more of a leadership role in this film, but he's still the man when it comes to action films. Here he's paired with the Killing's Mireille Enos, who as the only female member of the team, gives an amazing performance. I'm used to her always playing these quiet, reserved, troubled characters, and it was a real treat to see her break out as the wild girl on a team full of men. Sabotage is the rarest of Action films, as it is one with a great storyline, that is as gripping as any drama. The film isn't just about killing people and blowing things up, it has plenty of that, but in the case of Sabotage, there is a reason for all of it, and this film will really keep you on the edge of your seat.
When I saw the preview for The Monuments Men, I was really excited.… MoreWhen I saw the preview for The Monuments Men, I was really excited. I've never been all that crazy about George Clooney, but I love Matt Damon, and the film is based on a little known tale from a famous historic event. Stories like this one, are often turned into some of the best films that Hollywood has to offer, and I was sure this film would be a can't miss. Clooney stars and directs this extremely large and diverse cast, which ultimately turns into it's downfall. When you have a large cast of talent, you need to be very careful about how you use them. In The Monuments Men, the cast is split up all across Europe, leading to short scenes, that jump from location to location far too quickly. When the crew is reunited towards the end, the film becomes much better, and in my opinion, this is how the story should have been told right from the beginning. The story centers around a community of art lovers, who are distraught about the Nazi's theft of historic works of art. As the war is winding down and the Nazis defeat is imminent, these men want to make sure that the worlds greatest works of art are protected, and their willing to risk their lives to do so. As I stated earlier, George Clooney stars and gives his usual performance. When Clooney first started doing movies, he was exciting and really gave audiences their moneys worth, but lately all he does is play the same character over and over again. Clooney is the mysterious, handsome stranger, who does a lot without saying much. Some people love that kind of thing, as for me, I find it to be lazy. If you just wanted to direct, there was more than enough talent to carry this film, and in fact, I would have preferred to see Bill Murray or John Goodman in larger roles. The story told in The Monuments Men is extremely interesting, but it's told in these fast paced, short scenes, that do nothing but confuse the audiences and squander the extreme amount of talent this film has to offer. Needless to say, while I thought the film was a great idea, I was far from impressed.
No, not that Frozen, however this Frozen was also critically… MoreNo, not that Frozen, however this Frozen was also critically acclaimed, as one of the best Horror films of 2010. After seeing that it begs the question, were we watching the same movie? 2010's Frozen takes place at a ski resort, where three very unlucky skiers are stranded on a chair lift. Somehow, none of the cameras picked them up and none of the employees at the ski resort realized there were people stuck on their insanely high chair lift. There really isn't a whole lot you can do in a setting like this, so pretty much everything you'd expect to happen, does happen, with little in between. The setting is creepy and I'm sure that getting stuck on a ski lift is someone's worst nightmare, but a whole film just based on that? After the character introductions, this film turns into an hour of talking, with the occasional really bad idea thrown in, and that's it. The Following's Shawn Ashmore stars and he was alright, it's really hard to judge a performance when all the people do is sit in a chair and talk. I honestly don't know what the critics liked about this film and what prompted them to give it such a high rating, because unless you like watching people sitting around in a chair and talking, this film really has nothing going for it. Frozen is painfully slow and worse than that, it's predictable. If I haven't learned by now to ignore my fellow critics and just watch the films that interest me, I probably never will, but please take it from me, Frozen is a film that you can absolutely do without.
Seth MacFarlane is a comedic genius, who has succeeded in everything… MoreSeth MacFarlane is a comedic genius, who has succeeded in everything from musicals to fart jokes, but could he pull off a romantic comedy, taking place in the wild west? MacFarlane plays Albert, a sheep farmer, who has a reputation for being a coward. After backing out of one duel, he is forced into another, after falling for a woman he didn't know was married to a psychopath. With Seth MacFarlane, you know there is going to a range of comedy from ingenious to low-brow, but this recent film is completely the latter. It is impressive that he got such a large cast to star beside him, but unfortunately they all have very little comedic experience and it shows. Writing, Directing, Casting, and Starring in a film is an admirable feat, but it is completely wasted when the film is a stupid as this one. If your film is going to be rated R, why not go all the way with it? If you take out the sheep fornicating and the fowl language, A Million Ways To Die In The West, is nothing more than an awful kids movie, full of potty jokes, and misleading heroes. The story here is very simplistic and half the time it's not even funny. The parts that are meant to be humerus, turn out to be little more than jokes for the young teens that watch Family Guy. When I saw this film, I was hoping for another unique MacFarlane comedy, like Ted. That film was hilarious and extremely unique. By comparison, A Million Ways To Die In The West is about fifteen minutes of content, and an hour an half of complete and utter nonsense. I suspect some of the big stars in this cast wish they could remove this film from their IMDB page, because it really was that bad.