Month: January 2008

Superbad

“Superbad” stars Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and co-stars Seth Rogan and Bill Hader. This raunchy comedy is directed by Greg Mottella and is produced by the legendary Judd Apatow. Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are best friends who get lucky enough to be invited to a party. The only problem is that they promised to bring alcohol. With the help of their friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and his fake ID. Seth is determined to provide alcohol for Jules’ party because he believes that the only way he can have sex is if she is drunk. Everything they plan goes wrong once Fogell, also known as McLovin, gets caught up with a couple of slacker cops who are impressed with his taste for alcohol and his aptitude to take a punch. This may all sound very funny, especially after all of the praise that it is getting. The truth is that the movie goes overboard with the foul language and potty humor. A very unpleasant film. Between the overlong penis/lunch box joke and the not so funny references to vaginas, this film was extremely offensive at times. It may work for some, but for me it was just plain vulgar and rude. Crude and discourteous in the most perverted way. Just one long dirty joke. Not funny. I had high expectations for this film, thanks to the hilarious trailer and the remarkable reviews...

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The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

“The Hills Have Eyes” stars Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Vinessa Shaw, Emilie de Ravin, and Dan Byrd. Alexandre Aja (High Tension) directed this remake of the 1967 low budget Wes Craven film of the same name. The film starts off showing nuclear testing sites and the effects that they cause on nearby citizens. The government commanded that everyone evacuate the area, but many miners refused to evacuate their homes and were exposed to the radiation caused by the testing. Those who survived became deformed monsters who survive in the mountains of the desert on tourists who pass by. The Carter family seemed to be their next victims in “The Hills Have Eyes”. I was very excited to see this remake of one of my favorite horror movies of the 60’s. One of the main reasons why I was gravely disappointed. Alexandre Aja’s directorial debut, “High Tension”, was a masterpiece. Remakes just don’t fit Aja’s style of work. Executive producer Wes Craven, puts forth a remake of a film he knows won’t be topped, just making his original version all the better. I really thought that Alexandre, a director who has actually made my heart stop, could pull this one off. Acting was somewhat impressive and the scenery is appealing. Putting more money into the film for more “realistic” makeup effects just didn’t seem to work. It actually made the movie feel more idealistic. I am far from hating the film, I just...

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In the Valley of Elah

Director – Paul Haggis Writer – Paul Haggis Starring – Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon, Jason Patric, James Franco Review: Paul Haggis, the writer of 2004’s award winning Million Dollar Baby and writer/director of 2005’s Best Picture winner Crash, brings his talent to the subject of the Iraq war with In the Valley of Elah. I was expecting the same high level of quality that was found in his mentioned earlier work and I am saddened to say it’s not completely there. After a soldier returns from Iraq and promptly goes missing, his father (played by Tommy Lee Jones) heads out, with the help of a police detective (Theron) to uncover the truth behind his disappearance. What bugged a lot of people about Haggis’ award winning Crash was that it had too many characters and tried too hard to make them intertwine with each other. Although I didn’t have a problem at all with that aspect I still recognized that the film could have been a bit more focused in what it was about. In The Valley of Elah doesn’t have that problem to face, as the film is about one thing and it stays focused on that throughout. This gives us a chance to keep our attention firmly on the situation at hand and watch closely the performances given all round, particularly from Tommy Lee Jones who just recently got nominated for...

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Waitress

“Waitress” stars a high caliber cast that includes Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, Andy Griffith, and Adrienne Shelly. It takes place during a woman’s pregnancy and her unhappy marriage. Jenna (Keri Russell) is a waitress working in the small town restuaruant “Joe’s Diner”. Jenna has a passion for making pies. Many different pies with some strange names. Her controllable husband, Earl, takes her hard earned money and spends it on himself. This keep Jenna from winning the pie baking contest for $25,000, and ends up having an affair with her married gynecologist who believes in her attempt at happiness. “Waitress” is written and directed by Adrienne Shelly, who appears in the co-staring role as Dawn. This is a decent film, but highly overrated by many. I felt like I was watching a Soap Opera. This is not a good thing for me. The acting was on par for the most part. Keri Russell gives what will probably be the performance of her career. This and the directing are the only film aspects that I can think of that peeked my interest throughout the movie. “Waitress” is full of dysfunctional characters that I can’t see anyone relating to. This might be one of my main reasons for disliking the movie, but that doesn’t stop the fact that waitress will find many that will actually say this is a great movie. I did...

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Popcorn

“Popcorn” has a cast that includes Jill Schoelen, Tom Villard, De-Wallace Stone, Derek Rydall, Tony Roberts, and Ray Walston, all mostly unknowns. This doesn’t effect the fact that “Popcorn” was well worth watching. The film centers around a group of students who set up an all night horror festival to raise funds for the film club. The horror festival includes a bunch of old school horror flicks from the 50’s shown in implements such as 3-D, Odorama, and Shockorama. Little does the group know that they are being stalked by a psychopath. A film-maker named Laynard Gates, who murdered his family on stage during the screening of his only horror movie “The Possessor”. Now he is in search of his missing daughter to finish off the family tree. This low budget horror film is one that I had bought during a clearance sale and finally got around to watching it. Directed by Mark Herrier, more commonly known for his role as Billy in the 1982 comedy hit “Porky’s”, who went on to direct the 2004’s “I Like Mike”. Don’t expect a lot of gore, but do expect a mind-warped horror comedy. The word “good” comes to mind more often than the word “scary”. This is a hidden gem that was well worth discovering. One scene I thought was done so well that I got the goosebumps. This is one of the major accomplishments that this film pulled off. I also...

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