Thanks to the miracles of Youtube, I’ve been able to get my hands on two of Spurlock’s biggest films, Supersize Me and Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden. Instead of writing two long and drawn out reviews, I decided to just condense them like I did a few weeks ago.
Supersize Me-Everyone needs to see this documentary before you think about going to a McDonald’s ever again. Spurlock basically eats 30 Days worth of fast food, and he feels the effects of it. This one really opened my eyes and was a blast to watch. Sometimes it got a little bogged down in the statistics, but it ultimately provided a really fun and informative documentary that teaches us all something we should already know and realize in a “give me now” society. 4 1/2 out of 5
Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden-This one’s a little different. I learned A LOT more from watching this one. Spurlock travels over to the Middle East to learn more about the Iraq war. I really think everyone in the south or whoever is quick to make a towelhead joke should check this one out. This movie can change your thoughts on how you see terrorism and the hidden side of our current conflicts. Really great film, taught me a lot, I 100% recommend this one. 4 1/2 out of 5
Just for the record, Dreamworks Animation is now above Disney Animation thanks to their newest animated comedy, Monsters vs. Aliens. I’ll be honest, when I was first heading into this one, like Bolt, I wasn’t expecting anything great, in fact I didn’t expect to like it. However, the movie really blew me away at how interesting and undeniably funny this movie could be. The title itself of Monsters vs. Aliens pretty much explains itself. Over the years, the government has captured monsters as a means of defense, and the recruitment of a new bride-to-be Susan, the gang including Dr. Cockroach, BOB, The Missing Link, Ginormica, and Insect-O-Saurus are out to save the world from the impending invasion from Galaxar, in conquest of the world’s energy sources. If you are a fan of any of the leading comedy players today, you can enjoy this movie. The movie is filled to the brim with current comedy giants. Hugh Laurie, Paul Rudd, Will Arnett, John Krasinski, Stephen Colbert, Keifer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Amy Poehler, and of course, Seth Rogen all lend their voices to what has to be one of the best voice casts I’ve ever seen in an animated movie. Like recent animated films, Dreamworks carries their weight with incredible animation and beautiful effects.
One thing I was incredibly concerned about going into the movie was how or if the movie was going to provide humor to keep me (along with all of the 3 year olds as well) entertained. I have to say, where Bolt kinda faltered in this department, Monsters vs. Aliens slam-dunked it. I really think I laughed more than the children in my screening. Sure, the movie does provide a lot of pie-in-the-face antics that get the kids laughing, some in-between silly antics that make you feel guilty for laughing, and then the jokes I laughed at most, the ones that had me taking off my glasses and bending over laughing so hard I was crying that noone else got. (RIP Invisible Man.) The movie quite literally hits the perfect balance of humor laugh-able for all members of a family. I was literally hooked to the movie I didn’t think I’d like, hooked even more than the 5 year olds this movie is primarily intended for. Whether that’s sad or not you be the judge. The entire 1 1/2 hour circumference of the movie is just brimming with creativity and the fruits of hard work. Every 10 minutes there’ll be some genuinely funny joke, some really ingeniously funny background animation, some incredible attention to detail, just something to let you know these guys worked really hard on this movie, and had a blast doing it. Which in turn, helps you to have fun with it. There were a few flaws present in the movie. The last third of the movie involving Galaxar’s base kinda lost my attention a little bit and wasn’t as creative, plus there were some times when the story got a little slow. Galaxar’s plan as a whole I feel wasn’t fleshed out enough, and could have benefitted from an extra 1/2 hour or so. Sometimes though you just gotta turn your brain off and have fun with a movie. This isn’t Watchmen, this is Monsters vs. Aliens. This is a great movie, probably one of my favorite of the year, that is an animated treat that any fan of animation, parent, or general comedy fan can have a blast with on Friday night. If anything else, it’s just fun to play “Who’s that Voice?” Monsters vs. Aliens thoroughly succeeds at providing a fun experience for kids, teenagers, and adults thanks to thoughtful and creative humor, not to mention a labor of love, and by just being one of those movies I’m gonna love to watch over and over again.
4 1/2 out of 5
I wonder if it would be possible to procure a hamster named Rhino that behaved just like his movie counterpart? One can only hope. The newest film from Disney to compete with the likes of Pixar and it’s many animated classics, Bolt, has now hit DVD, and I had a chance to see it. While it’s not up to par with the likes of WALL E or even Monsters Inc., it’s still a pretty fun time. The story is a really nice mix of creativity and straight-forwardness. Bolt is an action hero on one of America’s biggest television shows, but he thinks it’s all real. That is, until he is tossed into the real world, gets lost, and must make it back to his “person”. Along the way he meets and teams up with a cat and his biggest fan, Rhino the hamster. Rhino had to be my favorite part of the movie. His one-liners and antics had me rolling in my seat. The voice acting in the movie is pretty well done. John Travolta is really great as Bolt, Rhino’s voice is spot on, and I even enjoyed hearing Malcolm Macdowell, Keith in his own parts in the film. The movie also had some really great animation to it, some really life-like CGI. Some say it’s the likes to challenge Pixar, but I still think Disney’s got a little while to go before they reach Pixar’s unbelievable animation. The story however, is something I could see Pixar doing. I went into this movie thinking that I wasn’t going to like it. I was wrong on that, however I was right thinking that a lot of this movie was going to be really kid-oriented. I’ll admit, there were several times when I did laugh and I did think the jokes were funny (trailer park scene, rhino, the pigeons), however most of the time the jokes kinda went under me. The jokes weren’t as everyguy-oriented as some of Pixar’s movies. If you are or have a kid, they’ll love this, most of the jokes just didn’t come off to me though. Also sometimes I kinda lost some of my interest in the plot or the movie. It may sound like this movie isn’t worth your time, but believe me it is. I enjoyed this movie, and it was well worth the $2.50 I spent for it, it’s just not “buy” material. For those of you wondering, this is how my animated movie chart goes-
- Disney Animation
- Dreamworks (Sorry, Kung Fu Panda didn’t make up for Over the Hedge’s mistakes.)
Anyway, to wrap things up, this is a good movie. This is a great achievement for Disney Animation as they’re getting a foot into the door as far as getting a great animated movie out there that has some great visuals, some hilarious moments for the kids, and a great, memorable story. It may not be the best animated movie out there, and it may not appeal as much to the older crowds, but is still a great rent for casual movie fans, or kids/people with kids.
4 out of 5
Hey? Guess what I found? The entire movie of Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden by Morgan Spurlock. This is the documentary from the brilliant and hilarious mind of Morgan Spurlock, the man behind the very interesting film I just got through with, Super Size Me.
Valentine, Paul Blart, Benjamin Button, Wrestler, Defiance, Hotel, Bride, Fanboys, and Valkyrie DVD Info
Below are the release dates and box arts for a few winter hits headed to DVD.
- My Bloody Valentine 3D-May 19th
- Paul Blart: Mall Cop-May 19th
- Valkyrie-May 19th
- Fanboys-No Release Date Announced As of Now
- Bride Wars-April 28th
- Hotel for Dogs-April 28th
- Defiance-June 2nd
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button-May 5th
- The Wrestler-April 21st
This is not a key to the future of the Pirates series, more of a draw-ring of it’s future. It’s been almost 2 years since the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and now rumors are a float about what the 4th film (which has been confirmed) would be like. So, with the influx of new rumors coming out of the mill about casting and what not, I thought I’d throw in my own pirate hat as to how the next films should go about (I promise my advice isn’t-GO DARK).
- Recruit Brand-Probably one of my favorite bits of potential casting has been the rumor going around the mill (and actual fact) that Russell Brand is mulling over joining the cast of the fourth Pirates movie as the brother of Captain Jack Sparrow’s brother. If you’ve never seen or heard of Russell Brand before, he’s the guy with the sleep disorder in Bedtime Stories, and he’s the boyfriend in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. This could be an excellent addition to the Pirates cast, and he could even be a great counterpart to Jack’s search for the fountain of youth.
- Adventurous, Non-Dark Story-I bet you didn’t see that one coming. The main thing I love(d) about the Pirates of the Caribbean series was how classically adventurous it was. In every single one of those movies you have this grand scale of adventure, of mystery, of grandness that you just don’t find as much anywhere else. It is my hope that they continue this trend in the next film, and what better place then with the tales of The Fountain of Youth? You don’t have to bog the story down with some dark tale (although that worked great with Davy Jones’ two movie plot line), all you have to do is convey a grand adventure that can be simplistic, but captivating that the audience will lose themselves in.
- That Would Be CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow-How can you have a movie without Jack Sparrow? It’s been confirmed that Keira Knightly doesn’t wanna be in the next Pirates movie, and Orlando Bloom’s role is being debated, so why not take the opportunity to center the story mainly around Jack Sparrow, maybe even have little flashbacks to his past lives and exploits if we’re delving into a youthful storyline. Barbossa + Black Pearl Crew + Jack Sparrow = One Good Time.
- Some Newer Crewmates-This one’s more of a maybe. I’m not gonna throw names out, because last time they were shoved down my throat. (Durka durka) However, I do think that maybe a few new names (along with Russell Brand) could help the franchise. Maybe introduce a new Colonial enemy (Terrence Howard or maybe another older actor). Dare I say it, dare I say it, but even more different faces could even add to the series. Mickey Rourke, Robert Downey Jr., hey, maybe even James Roday (even that one sounds silly to me) could be added. However, the chances are small. One can dream though.
- Newer Stories-Hey, if the Pirates series even decides to go on past a fourth film, other pirate-themed legends (like what they did with Davy Jones) would continue to amaze and provide a fresh, but deeply familiar base plot for some future movies.
Overall, the Pirates series doesn’t need to be fixed. All 3 movies were excellent in their own right, and even if they stuck to the same formula for a 4th movie, I’d still love it. However, if the movies continue to provide a GIGANTIC scope as they did in the third movie especially, and maybe recruit some new players, focus more on Jack, and keep up the great storylines, the Pirates series will continue to be one of my favorite movie series of all time.
What? You want me to race to which mountain? Sorry, I couldn’t resist making that joke. The newest Disney live-action-family-friendly-adventure-WITH THE ROCK is now in theaters, and to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised. The story follows Jack Bruno (the reason I didn’t forget it is b/c the girl says it like 500 times) a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, a reluctant taxi driver to two children. Who, unannounced to him, are alien children trying to get back to their ship buried in Witch Mountain. It’s a very simple plot any 9 year old can follow but had me a little confused at times (maybe it was b/c i was trying to empty out my Buncha Crunch box). At first I really thought this wasn’t going to be that good of a movie (I even brought my Ipod in with me), but I was actually pretty entertained by it. The movie provides a steady impulse of action throughout the movie. It wasn’t that goofy action, it almost reminded me of National Treasure, which was a really good vibe it gave off. The excitement and action (especially in chase sequences) is enough to keep any parent or kid zoned in, but don’t expect any Watchmen bone cracking in here. I was also really digging the cast choices in this movie. Dwayne Johnson is pretty cool and does his best to be a cool action hero, and he succeeds. Anna Sophia Robb is cool as the little action heroine, Carla Gugino (who was Silk Spectre 1 in last week’s Watchmen might I hilariously point out), and so is the rest of the cast. I also really enjoyed the appearances by Cheech as a mechanic and Gary Marshall (my new role model) as a sci-fi nerd. There were certain times that I felt they could have explained some of the characters a little more (I didn’t really know anything about the two kids). There were also a few
times it felt a little too generic, that they could have made it a little more interesting. This is pretty much the definition of family friendly classic fun Disney movie. You’ve got your hooking story, funny moments, and a great sci-fi time at the movies completely worth your 7 bucks. I honestly cannot discrecommend this movie. I can, however, with a perfectly good conscience recommend this movie to any big sci-fi fan that has a good sense of the kid in him, or has kids. If you’re a casual fan of science fiction or adventure, or into movies like National Treasure, and you go into this with an open mind like I did, you’ll be sure to enjoy this.
4 out of 5
Basically, I have three new favorite trailers. All of these trailers I saw in either Witch Mountain or Watchmen, and they all either blew me away or made me laugh my butt off. I am now looking forward to all three of these movies, thew new Seth Rogen comedy Observe and Report, the new sure-to-be-classic Up that I used to be unsure of, and the new action sequel, Terminator Salvation.
Observe and Report-
I know Nolan’s already posted this, but I thought I’d go ahead and re-post this hilarious trailer for the newer movie that’s actually starting to look really really funny. I’ll totally be renting this on DVD.
Yea, these are older movies, but my movie store was running a 2 for 1 deal, so I decided to give these two movies a try. But since they’re older, I’m not gonna write a full long review unless I feel like it. I decided to rent the Will Ferrell basketball comedy Semi Pro and the Kevin James/Adam Sandler teamup, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
Semi Pro-Overall, pretty funny movie. Will Ferrell plays the somehow loveable oaf Jackie Moon in this one, and is pretty much the bright spot of the comedy alongside some really funny stuff from Will Arnett and Andy Richter. Really, this movie lost a lot of steam in spots (especially when Ferrell isn’t on screen), had some really funny moments and 70s nostalgia,but couldn’t keep the funny up throughout the movie to constitute a rent unless you’re a diehard Ferrell fan.-3 1/2 out of 5
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry-Probably my favorite of the two, the plot’s in the title. They pretend to be gay so they can get the benefits for the kids. Kevin James and Adam Sandler are a great combo, along with the rest of a great comedic team-Dan Akroyd, Tim Blake, Keith Swandson, etc. One thing DS mentioned was that the gay stuff’s too strong, I went into it thinking it wouldn’t bother me, to be honest, it did. I really really enjoyed the movie, thought it was really funny, but it’s hard to fully commit to a movie when you don’t fully agree with the message it’s blaring at you the whole time. Sometimes I got past it and enjoyed the movie, other times I was just too uncomfortable with it to sit still. However, if you’re a comedy fan or Sandler/James fan, it’s worth your money.-4 out of 5
After seeing this, I’m convinced I could be a butt-kicking assassin. One of last year’s biggest summer movies for the older audiences (humorously sharing an opening weekend with Wall E) was Wanted, and, as it astounded many others, I was blown away by the sleek and stylized action, unpredictably engrossing story, and excellent style and cast. The story follows Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy), a guy that, quite frankly, is sick of his life. He has to put up with a loud mouthed stressful boss, a cheating girlfriend, and he just doesn’t really know where or who he is. That is until Fox (Angelina Jolie) comes to him and recruits him into The Fraternity, a league of assassins restoring balance to a chaotic world, led by none other than Sloan (Morgan Freeman). Soon Wesley is on a mission to track down his father’s murderer and avenge his death, all the while proving himself in his new lifestyle. I have to admit, I actually quite liked this movie, more than I thought I would after DS’s disrecommendation. Wherein he hated the super-stylized, frequent slow motion action and overall feel to the movie, I loved it. That’s really what hooked me into the movie. Here you have this club of super sleek assassins, a whole movie about training this guy into their ways, so it really only
makes sense to have a super sleek, super violent style. Plus it’s really cool to see his Wesley’s former co worker get home-rowed in slow motion with swear words being spelled out in the keys. As far as the swearing goes, I didn’t like it, but it didn’t ruin the movie for me. I would have preferred if there weren’t 80 F words in the movie, but I just stopped noticing them after the first few, and it didn’t really bother me as much.
Another great thing about the movie is the highly engrossing story. Seeing Wesley change from office cubicle loser to super cool assassin in a 1 1/2 hour timeline is well-noticeable through the movie, and is a blast to watch as he starts kicking tail and taking names. It has to be the coolest transformation I’ve seen since Optimus Prime. Each of the assassins (or divisions of the Fraternity) had somewhat of a unique personality that made them different-The Repairman, Sloan, Fox, The Russian, etc. While throwing all of this epic action at you, there’s much more than meets the eye lying underneath. The movie also did a great job at diversifying the action. There’s plenty of different locations and locales to head to, to well, killpeople. It’s not just the stuffy old buildings or warehouses. This isn’t just a bland shooter, a lot of time and effort went into making this movie fresher, more stylized and more refreshing, most of all, fun to watch. The cast is also great to see on screen. You’ve got Angelina Jolie whom I’m convinced could kill me with her eyes, James McAvoy who is great for the part, and Morgan Freeman, who plays the head honcho well. If it wasn’t for the all the swearing, I might have given this a perfect score. There were times that I, well, Wanted Wanted to stay in some areas longer (the training especially) and move from others more, but I was still very glad I rented it. Wanted is a stylish, slo-mo laden film that will keep any action junkie wanting more, and will provide a super-violent, engrossing, often hilarious, and jaw-dropping 2 hours for any older movie fan.
4 1/2 out of 5
Watchmen, one of, if not the most highly regarded graphic novels of all time, has finally made its way to the big screen after 20 years of rigorous production and feuds. As far as I’m concerned, this isn’t a film adaptation of the novel, this is theadaptation. I can’t see anyone hitting closer to the mark than Snyder has with this accomplishment. This isn’t a perfect movie or a perfect adaptation, but it is a groundbreaking, visually striking film that will change the way you look at comic book film. The movie revolves around the alternate America in 1985, where Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon is verging on 5 terms as President, the world is on the brink of a cold war, and a Comedian is dead in New York City. After exile from the US Government, superheroes are forced to come into the open or go into hiding. However, Rorshach, a current vigilante still carrying the mask, is determined to reunite his former colleagues and discover who’s behind the “mask theory”. That’s actually the simplified way of describing the plot.
As the movie started off, the first opening scene depicting Edward Blake/The Comedian’s murder, set to Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” was just that. The film continued to amaze with a phenomenal credits sequence (the best I’ve ever seen) accompanied by Bob Dylan’s “Times Are A Changin'”, and from there out, the movie took off. The first ½ of the movie provoked that true feeling of the comic, provided some beautiful imagery, and nearly exactly replicated some of the panes in the comic at times. However, the second half of the movie, initiated by the Nite Owl II/ Silk Spectre II romance, although still great, lost a little steam and the energy built up in the beginning. The entire movie, however, is a lovechild of Snyder’s apparent devotion to the novel. If you would, picture with me, if Dave Gibbons and Zack Snyder had a baby. That emotionally scarred baby would be this movie. Every nook, cranny, newspaper, snapshot, location, and weapon has some sort of perspective and purpose to it, even if you don’t see it on screen, you know it’s there. Snyder’s attention to detail in both the mind-shattering visual and art style combined with the attention to detail in props and sets as seen in Blake’s guns and Veidt’s base are commendable. The whole movie, let alone its cinematography, is true nerd paradise. It was amazing to see panels of my favorite comic come to life with vivid detail and intensity right before my eyes.
Also commendable are the performances by Snyder’s choices for the Watchmen. Jackie Earle Haley’s portrayal of Rorschach is from beginning to end mesmerizing, right on the dot from the comic and comparable to that of last year’s Joker. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s charismatic approach to the Comedian’s inner persona is perfectly recognized, and a blast to see on the screen. Goode, Wilson, and Akerman also carry their parts well. Billy Crudup’s portrayal of Dr. Manhattan however, was a little indifferent to me; his voice just didn’t carry Osterman’s power. Thanks to the excessive deals of violence present, this movie earns its R rating, in other words, this ain’t Spiderman. While totally dis-recommended for children, the brutal violence present is at times over-the-top, at other times just brutally fun. Brains fly out of heads, skin is ripped off, arms are cut in half, and pretty soon you’re out of the opening credits and onto the rest of the movie. Snyder also made great choices in his musical decisions. From Hendrix to Garfunkel, the musical style fits in perfectly for the era portrayed.
In ultimate, this movie’s biggest flaws won’t come from a fanboy’s mouth, but, based on what I’ve heard, from the mouth of the newbies. For those unfamiliar with the comic, you can and will get lost quickly in the tangled webs of Watchmen. The main point with the movie is that it doesn’t convey the opportunity to get caught up or even display certain plot points to the new fans, even in its 3 hour running time. Can you enjoy this movie as a new comer? Yes. Will you understand the entire thing? No. The movie can be a little slow at times, and does lose a little power in the 2nd act, but this is forgiven. For those that have read the novel though, this is a treat for the eyes and the ears, long over due, and will be a superhero epic to re-visit a few times, even if just to see all the little details you missed. This is just one of those movies you can’t take in one sitting. ½ the time my brain was thinking either “Holy crap it’s Watchmen!” or “Holy crap it’s Watchmen, it’s really Watchmen; I hope this doesn’t scar me for life!” Snyder has taken Alan Moore’s vision of a deconstructed superhero and turned it into a gritty, stylized super hero epic. Whether it’s Edward Blake’s violent death, Rorshach’s escapades from the police, or Nite Owl’s adventures in Archie, this is the Watchmen movie you’ve been waiting for.
5 out of 5
This is a brand new trailer for the soon-to-be Marvel epic X Men Origins: Wolverine. The trailer shows off a slew of new footage, including some great new clips including Cyclops himself.
This is kinda one of those ramble posts again. If you don’t wanna read it, don’t. Don’t complain, just move on and read something else. I was tired of seeing Samuel L. Jackson every time I pulled up Safari, so I decided I’d post something new. For a few years now I’ve tuned in every night to a little thing occasionally called the “Comedy Night Done Right”, which features a classic lineup of My Name is Earl, Kath and Kim, The Office, and 30 Rock. While I never really cared for Kath and Kim, the rest of the lineup is well worth any comedy fan’s time. I have a conversation with my chemistry teacher every day about the new episodes of The Office and 30 Rock. One of the great things about the lineup is the sheer diversity. My Name is Earl shows off slapstick humor with a message, The Office is more of a documentary spoof with dryer but funnier humor, and 30 Rock rounds it up with smarter, more witty humor with plenty of culture references. The main reason I wanted to post this tonight was b/c tonight’s episodes really surprised me as to how great they were. The Office had a really great Valentine’s Day (I know a little late) episode with a Lonely Hearts Convention, plus some awkward dining between couples, and some weird habits of Dwight. 30 Rock was especially hilarious with the constant references to Harry and the Hendersons, even tying it into the storyline. Just some great humor that I’ve come to love and expect on Thursday nights. I hope if you don’t get to see this great lineup, you’ll give it a try, or DVR it. So, basically, I just wanted to tip my hat to NBC for supplying a great lineup, and delivering the quality tonight. Thanks a bunch Jack Donaghuy.
You’d really think the realtor would mention to Patrick Wilson that he’s living next to Samuel L. Jackson, especially when he’s this off-kilt. Before I left for Gatlinburg, I decided that it’d be best to rent a movie to watch before I headed off. I’m too heterosexual for Nick and Norah, and the hot girl at the video store recommended Lakeview Terrace, so after I sneaked in a few more-comfortable-than-she-wanted belated birthday hugs, I headed home to see the Samuel L. Jackson thriller. The story basically goes as follows. A new interracial couple (Nite Owl and some chick) moves into a fairly nice neighborhood, that is except for the incredibly creepy neighbor Abel Turner (which is such a cool name), a local and trusted police officer, who does not approve of their relationship, not….. one….. bit. Throughout the movie he makes it his personal mission to make their lives a living nightmare. Usually I’m not one for thrillers unless they have unique concepts, but this one really stood out. The plot keeps you hooked from the first minute Mace Windu himself comes on screen, all the way to the very end as the plot, like a rope, gets twisted deeper and deeper and deeper. This had to be the best part of the movie by-far. As the mysteries and plot grow deeper and deeper, you really become convinced that this couple is in a whole heap of trouble, and have no way of escaping the snares of Turner. However, also as the movie goes on the reasons as to why Turner’s doing all these things are explained vaguely, but his actions becomes slightly irrational as the movie comes to a close. Both Patrick Wilson and Samuel L. Jackson pull their acting weight and more. Their performances only add to the intensity and reality of the dramatic situation and its convincing-ness. The movie even carries its full weight of action. While not frequent, it can get your heart pumping. Samuel L. Jackson even gets to drop an F-bomb. Other than the irrational story at times, the movie can get a little slow at parts, and is one of those movies you only watch once. Now my day is complete. Lakeview Terrace is well-worth any thriller or horror fan’s time, and is a great rent for any movie fan wanted to tense up their movie routine. The great story, although not always fully rational, but always entertaining and captivating, along with some great performances by Wilson and Jackson, make this worth any movie fan’s time.
4 out of 5