Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Double Dipping

This has never happened before.

This past weekend, my wife and I, saw two movies in the theater on the exact same day.

I know, I had to pinch myself.

After seeing a grand total of five movies in the theater last year, I am already at three for this year - and the rest of the year is looking rather promising as well.

On to the first flick.

My wife is a rather large Vin Diesel fan - and I don't mind looking at Jordana Brewster - so seeing Fast & Furious was a rather no brainer. This time around, the movie seemed to flow a lot easier with Diesel and Paul Walker back in lead roles - with no disrespect to Tyrese Gibson, but Diesel and Walker made this franchise.

I know absolutely nothing about cars, and I hate watching car racing - but something about these films really gets me going. I continually enjoy the pretty real situations that the characters find themselves in - although I am still at a loss at to where Dom (Diesel) gets his money for his cars. I mean I know he is stealing, but where is he hiding it.

Anyway, this time around Dom and Brian (Walker) find themselves looking for the same guy, Braga - and in order to get close to him they need to join his team of drug smuggling drivers. At first there is only one spot open and Dom and Brian, as well as two others, race to get selected. But another is soon opened up when another driver is caught with drugs.

Brian is out to bring Braga down for drug smuggling, while Dom is out for revenge. And the two end up helping each other along the way to get both done.

Returning from previous films are Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Brewster as Mia Toretto and Sung Kang as Hahn.

I am still not sure if this was better than the first film, although I am definitely sure it was better than the second and the Tokyo spinoff.


The second feature we took in was a little close to our hearts, Adventureland.

This film was shot at Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh, PA. I was born there and also attended college there (as did my wife) and we had been to Kennywood on multiple occasions.

The movie is directed Greg Mottola, the same guy who directed Superbad. And although I feel Superbad was funnier, I actually felt this was a better movie as a whole.

James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) is looking forward to his college graduation present of heading off to Europe, but a career change for his father thwarts his plans and he is forced to get a job. The lone job he could find, thanks to the help of a former childhood friend who still hasn't grown up Tommy Frigo (Matt Bush), is at Adventureland. Hoping to get a job in the rides department, the parks bosses, Bobby (Bill Hader) and Paulette (Kristen Wiig) feel he is much better suited for games.

Here he meets a great friend in Joel (Martin Starr) who shows him the ropes, and a girl who he begins to form a major crush on Em (Kristen Stewart).

The movie is sort of a you never know what life will throw at you sort of movie. Brennan was crushed when he couldn't go to Europe, but because of it was forced to work at this park and met a great friend and possibly the love of his life.

It was also fun to see 1980's Pittsburgh. My wife and I (okay mostly me) were trying to find certain things in the backgrounds that are mostly only in Pittsburgh. Like drinking Iron City or the Stroh's neon sign - or even the Jack Lambert jersey on one of the park patrons.

All-in-all a great film. It had all the drama, with small bits of comedy thrown in. In Superbad I think it was more a comedy with the small pieces of drama thrown in.



  1. Just got back from Adventureland and really enjoyed it. Surprised your grade isn't a bit higher, considering the words you say about it.

  2. I really enjoyed it, but I have a hard time giving some films an Excellent grade. It was in the good-great mode.