Monday, June 29, 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I have to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised when I walked out of the theater after taking this film in. I had heard arguments from both sides, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen takes place two years after the conclusion of the first film. The Autobots are still calling Earth home and are actually helping a new branch of the military called NEST, along with Major Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Master Seargent Epps (Tyrese Gibson). Their main objective is tracking down Decepticons hidden on the planet and terminate them.

Meanwhile, Sam (Shia LaBeouf) is heading off to college and is forced to leave his uberhot girlfriend, Mikaela (Megan Fox) behind - although they do try the long distance relationship via webcam.

Of course, something goes wrong just before Sam leaves for college and the allsparks information is downloaded into his brain after he touches one of the two remaining shards from the cube.

This is where everything begins, and the action picks up as the Decepticons try to capture Sam yet again to gather this information - and finish what was started hundred of years ago by The Fallen.

I am not here to spoil this film for anyone, so I will the information at that.

Let's just say that I was pretty impressed with everything. I know that this isn't a masterpiece in terms of dialogue and plot, and all of that - but that is not the intent of the film, and for those people going in expecting Gone With the Wind 2, then your disappointment is on you.

This is a pure summer blockbuster (a popcorn flick). And boy did it deliver.

The action was pretty much nonstop, and despite how everything unfolded, I actually enjoyed the way things came together.

Not to mention, the film was pretty darn hilarious as well. I have read reviews that Mudflap and Skids was blatant racism - I would agree that it may appear that way - but they were still pretty darn funny (Note: I read that someone was up in arms that this was a knock on African Americans when one of the twins said they can't read - just wanted to make it clear that they didn't say the couldn't read, just that they didn't read much).

Also, the inclusion of a remote controlled truck known as Wheelie, also had some great one-liners in the film. And Sam's parents (Kevin Dunn and Julie White) along with Agent Simmons (John Turturro) were also a lot funnier in this film than in the previous.

A few things that did bother me, however, was the inclusion of yet another hottie, Alice (Isabel Lucas), and everything about her just being sort of written off very quickly. Plus, Sam's new college roommate, Leo (Ramon Rodriguez) didn't really have a lot to do with anything except whine a lot - not sure if he was really needed. Finally, Wheelie's disappearance. He was a pretty big part of everything once he arrived on the screen, then is somehow missing during the final part of the movie without any real reason.

That's pretty much the bulk of the things that bothered me. I wouldn't say this film was better than the first, but it did have more action and more comedy.

If you want to enjoy a movie for that alone, I highly recommend it.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quick Shots 5

Title: Untraceable.

Starring: Diane Lane, Colin Hanks, Billy Burke, Joseph Cross, Peter Lewis.

Brief Synopsis: A deranged murderer is not only killing his victims, but is allowing the entire country to view it - and with each viewer the victim is killed just a little quicker. In a world where everyone is fascinated and curious, one killer uses that as his advantage and hooks up each of his victims - in a series of gruesome deaths - to die depending on the amount of viewers on his website. With each new viewer the death is sped up. FBI agent Jennifer Marsh (Lane) is tipped off about the site and tries to persuade her company to find this man before things get even worse.

Opinion: This may have been done before, but I haven't seen it. I thought that it was a pretty interesting way to not only show the sickness of the murderer, but also how many people in this world would actually log on to see someone killed. It's baffling, and pretty darn sad. I thought the ending was going to be a little predictable, but they changed it up a bit which made it all the more entertaining. My only downgrade of the movie is the killing of an animal, which always tends to tick me off.


Title: Fired Up!

Starring: Eric Christian Olsen, Nicholas D'Agosto, Sarah Roemer, Molly Sims, Juliette Goglia, John Michael Higgins.

Brief Synopsis: Two standout high school football players Shawn (D'Agosto) and Nick (Olsen) decide to skip out on football training camp and head to cheerleading camp instead, so that they can score with the opposing high school's cheerleaders.

Opinion: Pretty predictable, but the way you get there is downright hilarious. I laughed pretty hard during this movie and felt Olsen and D'Agosto had terrific chemistry together. The music was another story - it had me rolling with some of the songs that were flowed in through the movie. A pretty common story among teen movies, but done rather well which made it very enjoyable.


Title: He's Just Not That Into You.

Starring: Kevin Connolly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Bradley Cooper.

Brief Synopsis: Gigi (Goodwin) is looking for love - hard. She is the quintessential girl that does everything wrong and drives guys away. Alex (Long) meanwhile doesn't sugar coat anything and gives Gigi straight advice in love - which of course ends up making her fall for him. Ben (Cooper) is married to Janine (Connelly), but is secretly having an affair with Anna (Johansson). Conor (Connolly), meanwhile, is totally head over heels in love with Anna. All the while, the perfect couple Neil (Affleck) and Beth (Aniston) break up because Neil doesn't believe in marriage.

Opinion: Did you get all of that? Everyone sort of meshes together somehow. This is a pretty big chick flick, which I tend to watch with my wife every so often. Most of the storylines end up pretty much the way you would think they do, however, a few curves are thrown in to make you stay interested.


Title: Angels & Demons.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard.

Brief Synopsis: Symoblogist Robert Langdon (Hanks) returns to use his skills to help track down four missing cardinals. After the pope has died, the Illuminati have kidnapped the four cardinals that would be next in line to become pope. Not only that, but they have also stolen an antimatter container and hidden somewhere in the Vatican. Starting at 8 p.m. and on every hour, a cardinal is to be assassinated until midnight when the bomb is to explode.

Opinion: A pretty fun ride. I enjoy almost everything Tom Hanks does, with only a few exceptions. I have to say I think I liked the first one more as the codes and symbols were a little more interesting. I also basically had figured out the ending midway through the film, which I never enjoy doing. But, it was a decent follow-up to the first film. My issue may be that everything was done very quickly in this one, where there was no real race in the first. But, still pretty enjoyable.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Quick Shots 4

Title: Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Starring: Kevin James, Keir O'Donnell, Jayma Mays, Adam Ferrera.

Brief Synopsis: Paul Blart (James) wants to become a police officer, but suffers from narcolepsy and continues to fall just short of making it. He is also a single father, who lives at home with his mother. He is, however, the only person that can protect the West Orange Pavilion Mall during a break in.

Opinion: Another story of the loser overcoming all odds to take down the crooks. Of course there is also the gaining of respect from other police officers and the love story between the girl that is way out of his league. There were some decent laughs, but no where near the amount a Kevin James film should have.


Title: New In Town.

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Harry Connick Jr., J.K. Simmons, Siobhan Fallon.

Brief Synopsis: Lucy Hill (Zellweger) is a pretty high up executive living in Miami who takes on the task of a company in Minnesota to help downsize the company. Along the way she seems to make fun of each and every person in the town, but because they are such decent people they come to her aid to help save the company from being closed.

Opinion: This was a pretty decent film, I actually laughed more than I did during Paul Blart. It's kind of odd how Zellweger has sort of fallen off the charts as a leading actress. This film was a pretty good date movie, nothing more-nothing less.


Title: The Hammer.

Starring: Adam Carolla, Oswaldo Castillo.

Brief Synopsis: Jerry Ferro (Carolla) just got fired from his carpetring job. He is still, however, a boxing instructor at a local gym - and somehow impresses a local boxing coach into gaining a tryout to make the Olympics. He does everything possible along the way, overcoming insermountable odds. He later finds out that the coach was only using him as a free sparring partner for his true prized fighter.

Opinion: This movie was definitely a little known gem. If you are a fan of Carolla at all, I suggest checking out this movie. I found it hilarious, and the premise of the film was actually pretty well done. Very good flick.


Title: Still Waiting.

Starring: John Michael Higgins, Alanna Ubach, Steve Howery, Luis Guzman, Justin Long.

Brief Synopsis: A rival restaurant opens up right next to Shenanigenz and current manager, Dennis (Higgins) is trying to become a regional manager - in this night to even get considered he has to have the best night ever at his restaurant.

Opinion: The sequel to the pretty popular Waiting film, except straight to DVD. It's pretty weird though, because this was better than some films that actually get a full release. No where near the first film, but still pretty entertaining.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Stanley Cup Champions

Things are finally slowing down for me (I think) so I should be back up and running sometime this week.

As most of you know, I am a huge Pittsburgh fan, so I was pretty stoked when the Penguins captured the Stanley Cup on Friday.

If you may recall, I wrote about this last year when the fell to Detroit.

Anyway, here is the new gatorade commerical, Enjoy!