Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 4/30/13

Silver Linings Playbook: I am not sure if this is a movie I would think twice about seeing if it didn't have the actors that it does. Really enjoying Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper is very likable. Mix that with the positive reviews - from fans - and I definitely want to check it out.

Guilt Trip: I am going to say that this is probably horrible, stupid and the jokes will fall flat and seemed forced. But, I still need to check it out at some point - I don't know why, perhaps the mix of Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand has me intrigued.

Broken City: I went on a little action kick over the weekend - and this looks like it would have fit in perfectly with that. Looks like it could be a nice time.

Not Fade Away: Never heard of it, looks like its about a band trying to make it big. Not really something that pulls me in.

The Details: Looks like a decent cast, but these 'dark' comedies are usually hit-and-miss with me. I have found a few of them funny, but for the most part I just don't get the humor. I will probably give it a try.

The Wicked: A witch horror film. Nope.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 4/23/13

Gangster Squad: Was pretty interested in seeing this when I first heard about it. Not a huge Sean Penn fan, but I can tolerate him - but the Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone pairing has me in. Horrible circumstances hurt the release of this film and I haven't really heard anything about it since. I am sure it's at least pretty decent.

A Haunted House: I guess since the Scary Movie franchise was taken over from the Wayans - they decided to do pretty much the same thing under a different name. I admit that as dumb as they are I continue to at least check out the Scary Movie films, even though I hardly ever see the films that they are based on. I will probably look into this one at some point as well.

Promised Land: I like Matt Damon and John Krasinski - and they even helped co-write the screenplay. Damon travels to small town in hopes to buy their resources for a natural gas company. Krasinski is a community member and, of course, Damon is no doubt going to learn a lesson in this town. I will most likely give it a shot.

Any Day Now: A gay couple in the 1970s fight for a chance to keep custody of a mentally handicapped teenager that they have been taking care of. Film stars Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt as the two gay men, Cumming a struggling musician - Dillahunt as a closeted district attorney.

K-11: Even after reading the premise to this movie I am still pretty darn confused. It does star ER's Goran Visnjic, Cutting Edge's D.B. Sweeney and Jay himself, Jay Mewes.

Pawn: Inexperienced robbers hold up a diner, which just so happens to be a front for the mob, and a hostage situation ensues. Sort of sounds interesting - might be something I check out in the future.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Top 10: Summer 2013

Every so often there is a summer that is robust with films that I want to see. Occasionally, there is a pretty bland summer with just a few, but looking over summer 2013 it looks like another great year for movies.

I know that the summer movie season seems to be moving further and further into the spring (and sometimes end of winter) months, with G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Oblivion and even Jurassic Park: 3D being released already. But, I am only going to count the months of May-August for my list.

 So, here are my Top 10 movies I am most anticipating this summer.

Honorable Mentions: The Internship, Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim. All three of these movies look like they could be good, but as of now they did not crack my Top 10.

10) The Wolverine

This would probably be higher because of how much I have enjoyed the X-Men series, and I even liked the Wolverine origin story. So, I will no doubt enjoy this as well. But, the first couple trailers have not pulled me in as much as some of the other films on this list. Although I am anticipating seeing this, for now it is at No. 10.

9) Elysium

Last week this may not have even been on this list. I don't think I had even heard of it, but I finally was able to check out the trailer a couple days ago and it looks amazing. Although I wasn't as big a fan of District 9 as everyone else seemed to be, it did look great. This one, so far, looks like it may look great and have a good story to go with it.

8) Now You See Me

Probably the least likely film on this list out of all the summer blockbusters. However, I love me a good heist film - the Ocean's Eleven movies will always hold a special place in my heart. This looks great - using magic to pull off the heist. And, it has a ton of fun actors in it as well.

7) This is the End

This will be incredibly stupid, but also - I am hoping - incredibly funny. The red-band trailer that came out a few weeks ago was down-right hilarious and if all of the gags weren't in that trailer than this film should not disappoint.

6) Monsters University

Honestly, as much as I love Pixar, even I am getting a bit irratated about the amount of sequels they are churning out. But, if the story is funny and has that Pixar heart involved, I am definitely going to be checking it out. Knowing the main characters already just helps with the attachment to the film - and looks like some of the new ones will be just as funny.

5) Man of Steel

I guess it's a good thing that I have slowly gotten into superheroes, mostly because of my son, because there are an absolute ton of superhero movies being released. I really thought about making this No. 4, but as cool as Superman is there just has not been a great movie made about him, in my opinion. This one has the chance to be the first, but I was burned with Superman Returns. Hopefully, they got it right this time.

4) Fast and Furious 6

Though I might be more interested in Man of Steel in the end I went with what was more familiar and what has worked in the past. It's odd that we are now on the sixth film of this franchise (seven if you count Tokyo Drift) but, for the most part, all of the films are really enjoyable. And, with the gang back together it's even better.

3) Kick-Ass 2

Didn't check the first film out in the theater, and I think it took me awhile before I finally checked it out on DVD, but I absolutely loved it. Hit-Girl is an amazing character and I have probably watched the trailer for this movie 15 times. Very excited to check this one out.

2) Iron Man 3

As of right now, Kick-Ass 2 is pretty darn close to being No. 2 on this list - but my love for The Avengers last year and knowing how great the Marvel films have been I am still expecting a lot from this movie. I really don't think they will let us down with the first film after Avengers.

1) Star Trek: Into Darkness

Was there even any doubt? When Star Trek came out in 2009 I was so pumped - and for the film to not only live up to my expectations but to surpass them was amazing. One of the first films in awhile I absolutely had to see again as soon as I stepped out of the theater. And, I feel this new film may even have a chance to out do the original - which may have been my favorite movie in the past four years.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

50x3: Lost Boys (O-2)

A lot of the reason I tossed out this list to a few people was to get a handful of movies from each person that helps me branch out a little more. Even though some of the films might be films I wouldn't even think to watch for various reasons.

Lost Boys was one of those films. I have seen the cover of the movie and scenes from the film multiple times, but I have never wanted to watch it. But, I was told to and so I did - and it wasn't all that bad. In fact, I found myself enjoying it.

The Emerson family, Lucy (Dianne Wiest) and her sons Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), move to Santa Carla, California after her divorce. She moves into Lucy's father's (Barnard Hughes) house.

As both Lucy and Michael head out on the town looking for jobs, Sam walks into a comic store where Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander) Frog both work. They show Sam some new comics to read - and explain it will help him in his new town.

Michael, meanwhile, locks eyes with a girl named Star (Jami Gertz) who is part of a gang and in a relationship with David (Kiefer Sutherland). Despite lusting after his girlfriend, David takes a liking to Michael and initiates him into their group by drinking some sort of liquid.

The next day, Michael wakes up and has a hankering for human blood - and attacks his brother. Not knowing what is going on he begins to realize that what he drank the night before was blood and he is turning into a vampire.

Using his new comic-book knowledge Sam tells Michael that since he has never killed anyone he is only a half vampire - and if they kill the head vampire everything will be reversed. This would also allow Star and a younger child, Laddie, to be returned to human as well because they have also not killed anyone.

I actually really enjoyed this film. Some things bothered me - mainly the soundtrack - especially that one that constantly seems to play. It is so slow and so '80s.

I liked Patric in this film, but I just couldn't help thinking Rob Lowe would have been better. And how can you go wrong with the Coreys in the '80s? Also, great seeing Keanu's buddy Alex Winter - where has he been?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

50x3: Say Anything (J-2)

Well, I have been very bad in posting these reviews - again. I watched this quite awhile ago and am just now finally getting to it.

Anyway, Say Anything is a movie I had never seen before, but is also sort of a cheat because this movie is pretty much iconic - and even though I had never seen it I did know pretty much the entire plot.

Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) is an average student with an above-average crush. He has feelings for the valedictorian of his school, and even though he has never spoken to her, decides that he is going to ask her out.

Diane Court (Ione Skye) was selected for a fellowship to study in England. She is a very smart girl, but does not have the greatest experience in social environments. Lloyd gives her a call to attend a party for their graduation - and feeling she should experience it she accepts.

Diane actually really enjoys her time with Lloyd and they begin a relationship. Diane's father, Jim (John Mahoney), is a nursing home owner and is also very overprotective if his daughter.

When he finds out that Diane is dating Lloyd he disapproves because he is such an underachiever and that he may drag his daughter down.

Jim, though, has his own problems as he goes under investigation by the IRS for tax violations at his nursing home. Diane feels she should be with her father, and eventually breaks up with Lloyd - offering him a pen as a consolation present.

As I said, I knew the movie pretty much all the way through - but it was finally nice it.

It's funny that I thought Jeremy Piven's character would have been in the movie much more - his character was absolutely crazy and hilarious. John Cusack pretty much plays the same character in all of his movies - and his sister, Joan, always seems to be his conscience.

Overall, a decent film. Pretty dated, but still glad I watched it.


Tuesday's With Movies: 4/16/13

Django Unchained: It took me far too long to finally sit down and watch Inglourious Basterds, but I do not intend to wait that long to watch this one. In fact, I was really behind on many of Tarantino's films - but have now caught up on them all. Most were very enjoyable, but I really liked Basterds.

Dragon: A martial arts wants to retire, but it turns out that some people just don't want that to happen. Not really my cup of tea.

Save the Date: Community's Alison Brie and Party Down's Lizzy Caplan star in this movie - and I really enjoy them both. Looks like something that Mrs. Kano and I can watch together perhaps.

Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia: Now I don't care at all - but now there is a haunting in Connecticut by some ghosts coming up from Georgia? Doesn't that seem like a long distance to travel just to go haunt someone? Oh, well. Good for them on staying in shape with that long trek. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Theater Review: The Croods

This was honestly a bit of a surprise. I had absolutely no interest in checking out this film, but my parents visited and decided to take my son (and us) to the movie.

The Croods is about a a family of cavemen led by their father Grug (Nicolas Cage). The cavemen have slowly started to become extinct, thanks to disease, carnivorous beasts, and others.

Grug is very overprotective of his family, which they believe is the reason they have survived while others have died. Eep (Emma Stone), Grug's daughter, is not so excited about having to stay in hiding inside their cave all of the time. So, she begins to push the limits.

Ugga (Catherine Keener) - Grug's wife, Gran (Cloris Leachman) - Ugga's mother, Thunk (Clark Duke) - Grug's son, and Sanday - Grug's other daughter, all follow everything that Grug's says. They love their cave and have no plans to ever go out and explore the world.

Eep, however, sees a glow outside the cave during the night and curiosity gets the best of her. She sneaks out of the cave and follows it - which actually turns out to be fire, something she has never seen before. The creator of the fire, though, is Guy (Ryan Reynolds), another caveman who has been out on his own and has adapted to the harsh world.

After an earthquake crushes their cave and opens up a hidden world to the cavemen, the Croods are forced to try and find a new place to hide - and use Guy as their guide. Along the way, the rest of the family begins to feel that Grug's way of life may not be the best.

I have to admit, even after seeing the trailer a handful of times this movie never really excited me. But, I guess you can't judge a movie by its trailer - because the film as actually pretty decent. Not amazing, but definitely worth seeing.

The scenery in the film was outstanding, with at first mostly brown and boring colors - but blossoming into a rainbow world.

The family itself was also pretty fun. But the funniest character had to be Guy's pet sloth, Belt - who had some great scenes, despite not uttering any real words.


Tuesday's With Movies: 4/9/13

Hyde Park on Hudson: Well, this is an odd thing to create a film about. Franklin D. Roosevelt and his relationship with a distant cousin? Haha, the description of this film says it is in upstate New York - Hyde Park is nowhere near upstate. It's not even near Albany.

Sorcerer and the White Snake: A monk helps protect a young man from a snake demon. Wow, they might be odder than FDR and his cousin.

Bad Kids Go To Hell: Well, I do like this casting. A group of students are in detention - but all of a sudden  one-by-one have horrible accidents. But who is to blame? The casting of Judd Nelson in this (hello Breakfast Club) is pretty genius.

Late Bloomers: An old couple retires. Wow, slim pickings this week.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Quick Rant: Glee Season 4

OK, this may not be that 'quick'.

I said in my Friday Night Lights post from Friday that there would be another post about the show, and I was technically telling the truth.

The whole truth, however, is that I have been searching/hoping for a chance to write something about another show that I enjoy - and while watching FNL it dawned on me how I could explain my point.

If you are a follower of my blog (and I believe it may just be my wife) you know that a little while back I decided to jump into watching a show I hated for no reason in Glee - see my review here.

Anyway, as I stated in that review Glee garnered a lot of hate from me for no true reason - and after my wife and son became fans of the show, I thought I should give it a try.

Well, I caught up on the first three seasons in order to be ready for the brand new fourth season that started in the fall.

First, I loved the first three seasons. Although I am not a huge fan of all of the characters, together everything worked and the musical numbers have been wonderful - some are way better than others though.

But, this isn't a review of Glee. I had already stated in my first review (even if it was just for the first season) that I enjoyed it. No, this is a post about what Glee did wrong - and, honestly, the problem occurred from day one.

When Glee began in 2009 the school had signups for the glee club and only had five signup. After the first few episodes they were able to get up to the 12 that they needed - and in those 12 all of them were sophomores and freshmen. Makes sense, right?

At the time, yes. But, as the seasons went on the sophomores became juniors, and then seniors. Those freshmen, well they are now seniors. In those three years - the 12 students never really changed, so no other characters (read younger students) were introduced in those three seasons.

Which brings us to season four and my issues.

In season four the glee club, after losing eight members to graduation, finally had to introduce some new characters - and I am fine with that. The main issue - going to New York.

This show is called Glee, not NYADA.

It's supposed to be about a high school glee club. In fact, when the show was pitched it was about a teacher (Will Schuester), but as the seasons went on Rachel became the star of the show and the powers that be felt it best to follow her to NY.

During season four, the my least favorite parts of the show have been the NY portions. Rachel is no longer the high-strung annoying girl from high school - no she is much worse now.

Which leads me to my comparison to Friday Night Lights - a show that seemed to have it together from the start. Like all high schools, kids grow up and eventually graduate - you need to have a plan in place so that when a loved character leaves, another one is right behind them.

From the start we are introduced to characters in all four grade levels - the quarterback Jason Street is a senior. The running back 'Smash' Williams is a junior. The cheerleader Lyla Garrity, the backup quarterback Matt Saracen, the fullback Tim Riggins and Tyra Collette are all sophomores, with the coach's daughter, Julie Taylor and Saracen's best friend, Landry Clarke each freshmen.

Sounds smart doesn't it? Already we are given a year of Street, two of Williams, three of the sophomores and a fourth season with the freshmen. But, because Julie is part of the Taylor family, we actually get her for all five.

But, that isn't it. As the seasons went on more characters are introduced - so for season four when we only had Julie and Landry left - we already had a bunch of new characters we knew. By season five - the entire football team was gone, and even though some of them were missed, the show moved forward and it was still enjoyable.

Don't get me wrong - keep lovable characters around, but find a reason for them to stick around. Whether it was Riggins dropping out of college and coming back to help Coach Taylor out and his brother, or Saracen sticking around to take care of his sick grandmother and be with his girlfriend, Julie.

This was actually used brilliantly in Glee with Finn's character. He washed out in the Army and eventually made his way back home - and took over the glee club when Schuester was gone. Perfect - keep a former character around longer with an actual reason to stick around.

Other characters have been back as well from the original cast, but in small doses - which is perfectly fine. Coming back to support the glee club, coming home for holiday - it can all be done.

Going to NY, though, not needed. Sometimes, its best to just say goodbye.

My complaint, however, will go on deaf ears - the comment posters out there continue to say they'd rather the show just be in NY and forget about the high school (which again would be fine in a spinoff called NYADA). But, this is about the high school and the glee club. I am still getting to know most of the new characters - but it would have been nice to have been introduced to a few of them as the seasons progressed.

And since NY is going to be sticking around, when is this Rachel Berry coming back? Because she is missed.

Also, off topic, where the heck do Sugar, Joe and sometimes Unique go? This is a school, right? But they tend to be missing a lot (I know reading too much into it, but it is annoying). Finally, I miss Rory!

Friday, April 5, 2013

TV: Friday Night Lights

"Possible spoilers, but nothing too dramatic"

As much as I love movies, if a television show is able to draw me in I am all in. What I like, however, is catching up with a show after it has already finished airing - I have watched numerous series this way, and I have to say I love it that way. This way you don't need to wade through commercials, breaks during the show, summers, etc.

My latest adventure into a television series was Friday Night Lights. The television show is based on a feature film of the same name, which in turn was based off a book - which was based off of actual events.

I watched the film when it first came out on DVD and had watched it once again awhile ago, but it had been awhile - after finishing the television series I decided to check it out again.

That being said, Friday Night Lights (the television series) is based on football. However, it is one of those shows that is based on something, but it delves much, much deeper.

Throughout the show there is one constant, the Taylor family. Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), has just been named head coach of the Dillon Panthers in Texas. His wife, Tami (Connie Britton), is a stay-at-home mother (at the start of the series) and they have a daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden), who is a freshman at Dillon High School.

The show itself is pretty much based around their family, but branches out to a very strong supporting cast featured through players on the football team, their girlfriends and boosters of the football game.

Dillon, in season one, is one of the favorites to capture the state championship in Taylor's first year as head coach. He takes over with a proven quarterback in senior Jason Street (Scott Porter) and a strong running game in junior tailback Brian 'Smash' Williams (Gaius Charles) and fullback Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch).

In the Panthers' first game, they find themselves trailing and Street drops back for a pass and is intercepted. Being the only person between the player with the ball and the goal line, Street makes the touchdown saving tackle, but in the process becomes paralyzed.

With their star quarterback gone, Dillon pretty much writes off the season when little known sophomore Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) takes over. Despite being very nervous and out of his element, Saracen actually leads the Panthers back for the win - but the community still feels he is not the answer at quarterback for a team destined for state.

Other main characters in the first few seasons are Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki), the on-again-off-again girlfriend of Riggins; Lyla Garrity (Minka Kelly), a sophomore cheerleader going out with Street; Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons), freshman best friend of Saracen and Buddy Garrity (Brad Leland), Lyla's father and booster of the Panthers.

In the last two seasons we are introduced to sophomore quarterback Vince Howard (Michael B. Jordan), junior running back Luke Cafferty (Matt Lauria) and football fanatic/student Jess Merriweather (Jurnee Smollett).

There is literally a ton of things that go on in the five seasons of Friday Night Lights - not even counting it being on right in the middle of the writer's strike - but I won't be able to go into all of them here.

Each season has a new issue that arises that the Taylor family needs to overcome. The characters are very well written and the actors are all well liked in their roles.

The first few seasons of the show are probably the best, but the last two are still very watchable and enjoyable - I will have an extra blog talking about this in the near future.

The football in the show is pretty good, too. Although, I can't believe that any of these players would be able to truly play in Texas, or get Division I scholarships.

Also, there are a few plot points in the show that sort of go unanswered, and are sometimes completely forgotten about. There was one that really had me confused, but they eventually circled back to it, even if it was much later than I expected.

I would definitely recommend checking the show out - you don't even have to like football to enjoy it, but if you do you may like it a bit more. I really liked it and I was a bit sad when it finished - probably why I jumped at the chance to re-watch the film as soon as it finished.

Speaking of the film, there are actually two crossovers from the film and the show. Brad Leland, who plays Buddy Garrity in the show, was also a booster in the film. He didn't have a huge role in the film, but his role is much bigger in the series. Also, Connie Britton, who plays Tami Taylor, was also the wife of the head coach in the film. Here her role is so much bigger, she hardly spoke in the film - so little in fact I didn't even remember she was in it. In the show, her role his huge - pretty much the main star with her husband.

P.S. - If you're a fan of television's Parenthood keep an eye out for a ton of cameos throughout that have also been in that show. It was actually cool picking them all out.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

HOT: Larry Crowne

It is sort of amazing to see how long it has taken me to get through this list. I realize life has gotten in the way, and obviously, even as much as I love him, watching a Tom Hanks film every night was not really an option.

But, to put it in perspective just how long it has taken - this film was just entering the theaters when I thought up this hair-brained idea. And, now I finally near the conclusion of this list and I finally get to watch it.

Hanks stars as the titular character Larry Crowne, a man that never went to college but instead joined the Navy, but he has carved a nice little niche for himself as a sales employee at UMart. One fine afternoon he is called into the break room for a meeting - thinking he, yet again, was being named Employee of the Month. But, instead he is fired because of his lack of education - he has risen as high as he could go without a college degree and had been passed over multiple times by people less deserving because of this.

On top of this, he is recently divorced and after losing his job finds it very difficult to find another job. As a cook in the Navy, but it wasn't something he was hoping to do long time. His friend, Frank (Ian Gomez), runs a diner and hires him as a cook - with enough leeway that he can go back to school.

He really cuts back on everything in his life - sells a lot of stuff, and switches from an SUV to a used scooter - in hopes to try and save his home from foreclosure.

He enrolls in just a few classes, one of which is a public speaking class taught by Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts). Tainot is an educated professor that appears to be stuck in this college she hates - when she first walks into her class only nine students are present and due to rules of the school that each class needs 10 to happen she cancels the class. But, Crowne enters at the last minute - much to Tainot's chagrin.

Crowne, now riding a scooter, befriends another scooter pal Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), whom he also has economics with. Economics is a much larger class taught in a stadium-style classroom by Dr. Ed Matsutani (George Takei).

Tainot is married to Dean (Bryan Cranston), who was also once a professor but is now a full-time writer/blogger after getting something published. But, what he really does all day is look at porn - even though Tainot knows this.

Eventually Tainot and Dean get into an argument and she gets out of the car a long way from her apartment. She is discovered, however, by Crowne and his scooter gang - and he helps her by giving her a ride to her apartment.

I guess there are a few morals you can take from this story - like it is never too late - or what you want in life may be right in front of you.

Hanks was amazing and very likable as Crowne. Never heard of Mbatha-Raw before, but she was also very likable as Talia, the young girl that befriends and helps Crowne. Takei was absolutely amazing as the economics teacher - his scenes were very few, but he definitely rocked them. I am not the biggest Roberts fan, but even I enjoyed her in this role.

Another group I enjoyed were those in Crowne's public speaking class - which he befriends. Steve (Rami Malek), Lala (Maria Canals Barrera) and Dave (Malcolm Barrett). They were actually some great characters, and you see that they become good friends with Crowne - but they were not used enough, and the friendships weren't seen growing, mostly seen through musical interludes.

But, Hanks carries the film. And, if you don't like him or even his portrayal of Crowne, you are not going to enjoy the movie very much. But, I do - and I did.


Tuesday's With Movies: 4/2/13

LUV: A young boy heads out with his uncle and experiences what it is like to be an adult. Stars the rapper Common and Mr. Pedro "Allstate" Cerrano. Don't think this will be on my to watch list.

John Dies at the End: This sounds really interesting - and odd. A drug has the ability to send its users pretty much into space. But, one draw back - sometimes you return as an alien. It's up to two college dropouts to save the day? Told you it was odd. Not sure if I will check it out.

Baytown Outlaws: If a movie poster could draw me in, I would definitely be in. Eva Longorio looks great in it. I honestly had never heard of this film, which also stars Billy Bob Thornton - and looks like it may be somewhat decent to watch. Might be something to check out down the road.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Quick Shots 22

Title: Kung Fu Panda 2.

Starring: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong.

Brief Synopsis: Po (Black) returns as a kung fu warrior along with his group of friends Tigress (Jolie), Monkey (Chan), Mantis (Rogen), Viper (Liu) and Crane (Cross). A new villain, Shen (Oldman), a peacock has developed a new weapon and plans to take over China. Shen, though, may also have be a link to Po's past - and now the true identity of his parents.

Opinion: I thought the first Kung Fu Panda film was decent, but not amazing. This one was right about the same. It furthers the story of Po, which apparently is supposed to be six films long. I am sure I will check them all out - but after three they better have some decent ideas, or it will get stale fast.


Title: Hotel Transylvania.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade.

Brief Synopsis: Dracule (Sandler) lost the love his life due to the humans. Now, he has spent the last 100 years protecting his daughter, Mavis (Gomez), and other 'monsters' from the human world by creating a hotel that they can all stay in - hidden from the humans. A mistake, however, allows Jonathan (Samberg), to find the hotel and Dracula does his best to hide him in plain sight - and he flips the hotel on its head.

Opinion: As we all know Sandler is always going to bring his pals along for his movies - here it actually works well. I thought the film was done very well, had a lot of heart, and I laughed quite a bit. May be a new medium for Sandler to continue to explore in the future.


Title: Hop.

Starring: James Marsden, Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, Hugh Laurie.

Brief Synopsis: E.B. (Brand) is the son of the Easter Bunny (Laurie) and is being trained to eventually take over as the Easter Bunny himself. Fred O'Hare (Marsden) once saw the Easter Bunny when he was a child, and has since become a bit of a disappointment to his parents, Bonnie (Perkins) and Henry (Cole) - so they finally kick him out of their house. E.B. has a dream of becoming a drummer, while O'Hare is looking for a purpose. When Carlos (Azaria) tries to take over Easter, the two of them team up to save it.

Opinion: Thought we'd throw this in for Easter and I was honestly surprised it wasn't a full on cartoon. It does the Alvin and the Chipmunks mixture of CGI effects and human element. And, I was actually pretty surprised I enjoyed it. A lot of great laughs and a lot of decent 'adult' worthy jokes throughout as well.


Title: Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

Starring: Morgan Spurlock.

Brief Synopsis: A documentary from Spurlock, the maker of Super Size Me that took on McDonald's super size fries and drinks. Here Spurlock explores the ever-growing world of product placement in television and films. With the invention of TiVo and DVR programs, companies were in need of finding a way to get their products shown - and product placement was their answer.

Opinion: I really enjoyed Super Size Me, and through that began to enjoy Spurlock, which really helps when trusting him in his documentaries. As a consumer and huge fan of both television and movies - this is something that I have seen a ton. It is absolutely the worst in television, mostly in reality programs where they pretty much just show a commercial during their show (think Sprint for Survivor or Subway for Biggest Loser). Although it's annoying, it may be here to stay.