And we’re hitting August up just under the wire! I have seen a lot of movies this month. However, I’ll only write up about half of them lest I break filmchaw. Yeah, this is only half of the movies I've watched in the last 30 days...what of it? I'll fight you.
The Love Guru
This movie is all about the Toronto Maple Leafs! Which, as we all know from @astinto, is actually a real hockey team! So the movie is about the star of the Toronto Maple Leafs – a black guy – having a meltdown on the eve of the Stanley Cup Finals (like the Superbowl in the NFL, except dragged out for a whole bunch of games) because his wife is sleeping with the well endowed goalie on the opposing team. In order to heal his heartbreak, so the Leafs can win the cup, the owner of the team, Jessica Alba, hire a Love Guru from India – Michael…um…shoot…oh Myers! He also has a cameo as Michael Myers, Toronto Maple Leafs fan, late in the movie. There is elephant sex. On ice.
$5 a day
Quirky father/son roadtrip movie. It stars Christopher Walken, so it’s kinda creepy too. He’s the dad. He’s dying and looking for forgiveness from the son he framed for grand theft auto five years prior. The title refers to how much he spends on living expenses. Everything else he grifts, steals or wins from radio show trivia games. There’s no need to rent this movie, but if you happen to find yourself in a closed space and it’s playing on a big screen somewhere, there is no need to stab yourself in the face.
The Killer Inside Me
No shade, but I pretty much think Casey Affleck really is a serial killer. I would prove it, but I fear as I got too close, he would add me to his collection. What? His face is way too…like angelic! Anyway, this movie pretty much confirms my fears. He kills. A lot. And the whole time he’s all “aw, shucks, ma’am, did I spill your blood all over your pretty bed sheets? My apologies.” DUDE! Um. I guess this is a good movie, I like Goldie Hawn’s daughter and even Jessica Alba didn’t make me hurl. But part of what happens when you have a boy next door murderer story is that you try to keep everything calm and serene, so yeah, it’s gory, but also a bit boring.
The September Issue
Yarf. A documentary about a fashion magazine! Double yarf. I rented it because I thought they were going to uncover the real truth about Vogue or Vanity Fair or whatever magazine this was about. That truth being that Satan is really the Editor in Chief and the architect of what passes for women’s fashion. But no. This thing takes itself and fashion totes seriously. Blah. There’s even a part where the cameraman for the documentary gets a part as a model in the magazine. And then the head editor in chief lady calls him fat and asks for it to be “touched up.” Okay. That part was funny. I also hated the head lady’s smug daughter. Who, is all “nah, I’m going to be a lawyer even though my mom keeps saying I should be the Managing Editor of this magazine.” Screw you, Princess. Yup. Dawn is a hater.
Have you seen The Departed? Did you wonder how that movie would be with B celebrity actors and more black people? Then run right out and get you some of this. Seriously. It’s a black Departed. I like black people. I liked The Departed, I liked Brooklyn’s Finest.
The Young Victoria
I was a bit sloshed when I saw this. So…um…it’s about a Princess and then her uncle dies, so she becomes a Queen…and then she marries her cousin and they have a lot of kids off-screen and then he dies. Oh and someone shoots at her. Pretty much if you’re tired of movies about Elizabeth, but you like movies about royals, then this flick is for you.
When In Rome
Why does Veronica Mars keep making terrible movies? Why? It’s like she is the modern-day Sarah Michelle Gellar: boss TV actress, crapola movie star. Um. The premise: Veronica Mars goes to Italy for her younger sister’s wedding, meets a man, frolicks in a magic fountain. Hilarity ensues. Well, minus the hilarity. It is predictable from the opening scene to the closing dance montage. God, it isn’t even a good “chick flick” so far as those go. Blech.
THIS. MOVIE. WAS. AMAZING! So you think you know, but NOPE YOU HAVE NO IDEA! Just great! Even the brain tumor guy with his speech impediment was good. And Leo, well, Leo was in top form, his best outing since The Departed. I don’t want to ruin anything, but basically, it’s about a crime that happens on an island for the criminally insane. You can try to pay attention to every little detail along the way, you still won’t figure out the twist! Great flick!
From Paris with Love
And then on the other side of the spectrum, we have this dungpile of dog poop. Awful. Just awful. John Travolta plays a super spy who comes to Paris looking for a terrorist cell. He is assigned a young intern guy and it just so happens that the intern’s girlfriend is in the cell! Wretched. Just vile. Lots of explosions, sadly none of them destroy this DVD. And believe you me, I would have happily sacrificed my DVD player if this thing self destructed. Dude, they stop to play chess on an active runway! ARRGGGHHHH
The Back-up Plan
Ok, now this is a chick flick – but it’s a good chick flick. I mean, wholly implausible boy meets girl fall madly in love even though she’s expecting stuff…but that’s understood from the phrase “chick flick.” J Lo is actually charming. I also like the fat black guy from Law & Order’s last season.
Aaaandd we’re back to awful. I owed Nicholas Sparks a kick in the shin for The Notebook, now I also owe him a knee to the groin. Dreck. Oh, premise? Um. Guy on military leave meets this girl, they fall in love and write letters back and forth, until she dumps him to get engaged. TO HER DAD’S DYING FRIEND WITH AN AUSTISTIC SON. Eyeroll. Oh, the girl also doesn’t drink. Whatever.
Soo…this movie is weird. But good weird. It employs many of the techniques found in terrible movies like omniscient narration and flash backs and vignettes style storytelling, but it is not a terrible movie. It’s quite good. I love Lisa Kudrow in it. It’s about an unorthodox family. There’s some weird abortion stuff, but all in all, I liked it. Definite recommend.
Our Family Wedding
This movie was hilarious. To me. Here’s why I qualify that: the movie is about an interracial couple: The Ugly Betty girl and a black guy, who are getting married. Now, the black father is a rich celebrity, the Mexican parents are working class joes. So all the offensive, stereotypes are about the Mexicans. I mean offensive. But since I’m not Mexican, I thought it was funny. O_O What?
Why did I rent this movie? I do not know. It had that British guy on the box. You know the one, he was Remington Steele and then everyone was like he should be James Bond! And then he was, but now he’s not. Well, so he’s a dad in this and he’s married to Susan Sarandon and their oldest son dies. But before he died he impregnated this girl and so she comes to live with the couple and the youngest son (now only child.) I suppose it’s an interesting peek into grief. Susan Sarandon is pissed off that she is getting a grandchild because now people won’t feel quite so sorry for her about losing her son. Remington Steele doesn’t want to talk about the dead kid and throws himself into prenatal caring for the preggo girl. Meh, it’s okay.
Saint John of Las Vegas
Wow, I really am unintentionally doing a “good/bad/good/bad” style review today cause this one is most definitely ABSOLUTELY BELCH AWFUL! I just invented that phrase. Belch Awful TM. It stars Steve Buscemi, who I usually love. Also Sarah Silverman who can be hit or miss and the black guy who used to sell Nancy Weed in Weeds. It’s supposed to be a modern-day Dante’s Inferno, with Las Vegas in the place of hell. I didn’t know that going in. I just saw Steve Buscemi, Las Vegas and chips on the box and figured it was about poker. It wasn’t. Boo. The best part of the movie is the Harold from Harold and Kumar setting himself on fire repeatedly. But I think it was mostly envy.
The Ghost Writer
Hey! It’s the James Bond guy again! But now he’s playing Tony Blair…or a guy that looks and talks EXACTLY *like* Tony Blair…let’s call him Bony Tlair? Anyway, he’s all a private citizen now, trying to write his memoirs, but his ghost writer has killed himself. So he hires a new one and we discover that maybe it wasn’t suicide after all! And when the new ghost writer finds out the secret the old ghost writer uncovered, his life may be in danger as well! Dum dum dum. The movie has like 15 really suspenseful minutes, unfortunately, it’s almost two hours long. So, um, I dunno, rent it on a plane maybe.
Home for the Holidays
It’s Robert Downey Jr. and Dylan McDermott! When they were young! I kept pausing the movie and taking pictures of the screen with my Droid X. Wanna see them? What do you mean what was the movie about? I have pictures. Of a young Robert Downey Jr. AND Dylan McDermott on MY PHONE! Haters.
Oh. MY. GAWD. It’s the James Bond guy. AGAIN! I didn’t plan this, I swear! I don’t even really like him. This movie is one of those whiny, teenage angst movies starring shirtless white twenty-somethings. Those movies are almost always terrible unless John Hughes is directing. John Hughes is dead. Nuff said.
Me & Orson Welles
You know who I DO LIKE? Awww yeeeahhh, Zac Efron. Me like him long time. This movie is about a young kid in the 20s or 30s or 50s getting his first break as a bit part in Orson Welles’ Julius Caesar. I give it four stars. 1 star for starring Zac Efron. 2 stars for featuring a shirtless Zac Efron and 1 star for having Zac Efron sing.
I cannot remember the last good movie David Duchovny made. And I just saw this movie two days ago. Premise? Really? You wanna know? Okay. David Duchovny is a living billboard. He walks around wearing fancy watches and buying expensive golf equipment so all the people in the neighborhood will buy them cause they want to be just like him. Right. Cause he’s so cool. Eyeroll.
I thought this movie was going to suck because I’m not that big a Steve Carrell fan, but surprisingly, I laughed, jumped, was entertained almost all the way through! That the gratuitous “nudity” was of Marky Mark instead of some underfed Hollywood waif, double bonus score! It’s funny and actiony and all around well done.
The Bounty Hunter
This movie is every bit as terrible as you thought it would be from the horrible commercials and posters. I don’t for one second believe that Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston were ever even on set at the same time, much less married, divorced, but falling in love all over again as he tries to apprehend her on an outstanding warrant. There is zero chemistry and the writing is atrocious. I don’t want to wear out “Belch Awful TM” too quickly, but this flick is Belch Awful!!!!!!!!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Pirate Radio (known as “The Boat that Rocked” in the UK) doesn’t have much of one it and really doesn’t matter.
VERY loosely based on pirate radio stations that broadcast off the coast of England in the 60’s, the cool DJ’s on the old tanker Radio Rock play groovy music for the adoring masses while uptight squares in the British government try to shut them down.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is the lead DJ and lone American on the ship, The Count. The Count constantly pushes the envelope on what he and the other DJs do and say on the air. The other characters fill somewhat standard roles: the sexy DJ, the fat horny DJ, the burned out stoner DJ, etc. Rhys Darby (best known as Murray from The Flight of the Concords) stands out as the comic DJ who can’t seem to get any fans, on or off the ship.
This is one of the best ensemble casts in recent memory. Across the board the actors make the most of their generic roles and the result is a very funny movie. January Jones shows up briefly as a bride for one of the DJs and her scenes are surprisingly hilarious. Emma Thompson also comes onboard for a cameo and she makes the most of her few minutes. Almost nothing serious ever happens on the boat, even as they become aware of the government’s increasingly aggressive attempts to shut them down and the movie is better for it.
It almost feels like there are two movies here; the scenes on the boat alternate with scenes of Kenneth Branagh, the head government tight ass, complaining that his minion, Mr. Twatt (yes, really) can’t find a way to shut down the pirate radio broadcasts. The scenes with Kenneth Branagh are truly played as farce, with lots of puns and innuendo revolving around Mr. Twatt’s name.
The movie features wall-to-wall classic tracks from the middle to late 60’s: The Who, The Stones, Hendricks, Dusty Springfield and much more. The only band missing is The Beatles. I blame Yoko.
If you enjoy the movie, be sure to check out the deleted scenes. There are 50 minutes of them! All the deleted scenes are as funny as scenes that made the movie and some of them are even more hilarious. My favorite deleted scene shows the DJs invading a competing pirate radio boat. There’s a nice introduction to the deleted scenes by the director, explaining that the scenes were only cut because the first cut of the movie was almost three hours long and these were the easiest to cut, even though he enjoyed them and thought they represented excellent work from his cast.