Saturday, May 21, 2011


Bridesmaids or "Hangover: Women's Edition" was hilarious! I must admit I was truly shocked by how funny this movie was. The hype had been big, the movie was still selling out every night during the week at the Drafthouse and we had to wait in line for about an hour before the movie started! This was a lot to accept for a comedy featuring not only an all woman cast but also one with SNL actresses! SNL has for the most part been doomed when their comedians venture onto the big screen. But Kristen Wiig was brilliant. Her SNL character did not appear too much during the movie and the few times the "one-upper" came up it fit the movie perfectly. This was a great comedy for guys as well as girls.
In Bridesmaids Kristen Wiig plays the best friend of a girl who just got engaged. Kristen's character is a total mess: her cake business went under, she lives with the worst roommates, and cannot seem to break from a series of one night stands with Jon Hamm (who is also pretty funny). While Kristen is her friends maid of honor there is a new friend fighting for the spot and constantly undermines Kristen (hence the one-upper game).
This movie sits right up there with recent classics like the Hangover, Knocked Up, and Wedding Crashers. It will be interesting if it can maintain its success and standing against Hangover 2 in just one more week!! I highly recommend getting to the theater and seeing this- before you get left behind and don't understand the jokes around the office!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Something Borrowed

Getting suckered into chick flicks always sets the expectations a little low, especially when there is not a lot of apparant comedy in the trailers, but this movie was really good.
Ginnifer Goodwin plays perfectly (once again) the quiet, hopelessly romantic girl getting screwed over. It reminded me a lot of her role in He's Just Not That Into You. I really liked Kate Hudson in this movie. She played her role as the frenemy very well and although I did not read the book, my wife said she played the part perfectly. John Krasinski was the part I really liked in the movie. He added the aspect that allows guys to see this and enjoy it and not just roll your eyes. John's character was funny in the serious and sarcastic way that we would all be if our friend was in this position- supportive at first, but then tired of all the drama.
The movie is basically about a two best friends (Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson) who have grown up together. Ginnifer is the quiet one and allows herself to be railroaded by Kate Hudson. Ginnifer falls for this guy in law school but does not act on her feelings allowing Kate to come in and "steal" him away. Now Kate and the law guy are engaged and it finally comes out that not only does Ginnifer have feelings for this guy, but he has feelings for her too. The two get involved in an affair behind Kate Hudsons back.
The story was framed the way most romantic comedies are with lots of indecisions, one grand point of contession, and then redemption. This one has a few little twists that kept it interesting and like I said John Krasinski's humor lightened the mood.
Overall a pretty good film. I give it a 3 and say girls that read the book will probably be dying to see it in theaters, otherwise a nice rental for a Friday Night Movie Night.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011


Last night began the Marvel Movie Marathon which involved watching Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man 2. Sadly, as I watched these movies in order, I remembered how each one had been progressively worse than its predecessor. Iron Man was incredible and is still enjoyable to watch over and over again. The Incredible Hulk was good, at least a lot better than Ang Lee's Hulk. Then came the robot overload in Iron Man 2 that made the story seem redundant. Iron Man 2 at least had the redeeming quality of really pushing forward the Avengers story with lots of screen time with Nick Fury and the Black Widow.
After seeing Thor tonight I fear for how much worse it can get as we head into Captain America and then close with the Avengers. Thor was a massive disappointment. But not from a story perspective- Kenneth Branaugh may be the worst director ever!! Without any spoilers- below are the 3 main reasons I did not like Thor.
1) This is a comic book movie. Remember that Ken. Beginnings of movies that are just a short tease as to an event later in the movie using the exact same footage is screwing the audience out of some valuable story building time. This movie was less than 2 hours, and a good 10 minutes was wasted by showing the same scene twice (opening scene, flashback to the beginning of the story, then catch up to current time). This strategy of filmmaking should only be used when making artsy movies while trying to prove something profound.
2) This is a comic book movie. Quit trying to make it artistic. Iron Man 1- lots of action backed by a strong story. Iron Man 2- even more action than the first- backed by a great story. Thor- completely boring at parts backed by what could have been a great story. Numerous times the action would start to build in the movie and you would feel that twinge of almost excitement, but before you could fully realize the intensity of the scene, it would end in some ridiculous artsy shot. Or it would switch back to Asgard (another complaint- way too much of Asgard in the middle of the movie). There are numerous fight scenes in which Kenneth slows down the pace of the movie by using slow classical music, instead of rock and roll superhero kick butt music. I never thought I could be bored in a comic book movie but I had to eat Twizzlers to stay awake in this.
3) And 3- this is a comic book movie. No one will be upset if you make it 2 hours or 2 1/2 hours. But when you introduce a new hero in a movie less than 2 hours, you lose some of the storytelling capabilities. Sif and the Warriors Three were almost annoying by being in the film at all. If they were not going to be developed more as vital characters to Thor, they should have been left in the background or just disregarded completely. Ideally though an extra 15 minutes of footage building up these characters would have proved invaluable to the quality of the movie. And its not like you could slow it down anymore.

So now- what was good about the movie? The casting was perfect. I could not think of better actors to hold the parts. Chris Hemsworth is Thor and his meddlesome brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was brilliant. Anthony Hopkins was also powerful and of course Natalie Portman played well with the others.
And the end- STAY AFTER THE CREDITS!!! I do not understand people that still leave during the credits. Do they not remember that all of these movies have awesome teasers at the end! This one is no different. I will not tell you what the end is- but its incredible and has now got me pumped up to see Captain America and the Avengers.
At the end of the day, you have to see this movie because it does further the entire story and there are some cool hints at other movies and characters. If nothing else check it out to see Stan Lee with his first lines in a movie!! If you get bored, just fast forward to the end past the credits- its worth the less than two hours worth of sub-prime movie in front of it. I rate it just a 2 star movie but check it out as a matinee before Captain America comes out. You will enjoy it much more after seeing Thor.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let Me In

Let Me In is the American remake of the cult classic Swedish film, "Let the Right One In". The story is about a young boy who is bullied at school and becomes friends with a girl who moves in next door to him. Their relationship quickly becomes romantic and he starts to discover that the girl he is falling in love with is a vampire.
The movie was a very good adaptation of the original movie and while I never read the book, the majority of the story stayed the same across both films. I have to say that the American version did show a lot more violence and action than the Swedish version. This probably has a lot to do with the available budget each studio was given.
The American version keeps the intrigue, intensity, and the innocence that the first one exhibited. The love story between the two kids, while odd, is very innocent and sweet.
I really liked this movie and felt that even with a realitively unknown cast, the overall quality was very good. I give this 4 stars and would highly recommend it. Think Twilight but grittier with love less sexy and more pure.

The movie poster was found at:

Case 39

Case 39 starring Renee Zellwegger and Bradley Cooper is a thriller/horror movie about a little girl who is perceived to be a demon. After a social worker (Zellwegger) discovers an abusive family and exposes their plans to kill their daughter, she takes the little girl in until the system can find a home for her. Quickly she begins to learn the girls real parents may have not been as crazy as they seem as people start dying and accidents become more frequent around Zellwegger.
The movie is not without its intensity and classic jumps, but the end was quite predictable. Even watching this in the daytime, there were several parts that freaked me out. Unfortunately the end was as predictable as any other satanic kid story.
I give it a 2 1/2 stars. It was freaky scary rather than gory scary but still left a lot to be desired from the story and the lackluster end. Its a good rental during the Halloween season!

Movie poster found at:

The Next Three Days

The Next Three Days is about a woman who is falsely accused of murder and her husband who makes it his life's goal to get her out by any means necessary.
The premise sounds great and the previews show an exhilarating thrill ride. Unfortunately thats not what we get until the very end. The first half of the movie builds up the big adventure at the end. However it is a little too long and slow at the beginning. The second half of the movie really picks up and is very intense.
Paul Haggis (Crash) was the writer and director of the movie, however it did not showcase is normally high talent for dialogue and story telling. The question of the woman's guilt is only slightly teased. It should have either been explored deeper or left out completely. The wife also seems to be almost ok being stuck in prison for a crime she claims she didn't commit. Even as her husband is trying to break her out of prison, she seems reluctant to leave. It seemed unrealistic for a woman who claims the system failed her to be content with spending the rest of her life in prison away from her husband and kid.
Overall this movie was slightly below average. I give it 2 1/2 stars for how slow the first half of the movie was and the annoying wife.

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