Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quick Shots 20 (Sandler Edition)

Title: Just Go With It.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Nick Swardson, Brooklyn Decker, Dave Matthews.

Brief Synopsis: Danny Maccabee (Sandler) finds out just before his marriage that his fiance doesn't actually love him and is sleeping with someone else. After that he finds out that being recently divorced (or widowed) can score him chicks - so he adopts this as his life-long way of hooking up. Until he Palmer (Decker) and really connects with her - then has to pretend to be in the middle of a divorce with his dental assistant, Katherine Murphy (Aniston).

Opinion: Maybe it's because she is very pretty, but I really am starting to enjoy Decker (she was great in The League as well). This movie wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be - even though I saw everything coming from the start. The addition of Aniston I think helped that out - being mixed with Sandler's normal crew.


Title: That's My Boy.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, Vanilla Ice, James Caan, Milo Ventimiglia, Will Forte, Susan Sarandon.

Brief Synopsis: A young Donny manages to seduce his teacher Mary and produces a baby. He becomes pretty famous for this accomplishment and makes a large amount of money - and proceeds to blow it. Years later Donny's (Sandler) son Todd (Samberg) is getting married to Jamie (Meester) and has done rather well for himself. In order to get out of debt Donny tries to reconnect with his son and also with the still imprisoned Mary (Sarandon).

Opinion: First, the best part of this movie is hands down Vanilla Ice. His scenes were very funny. The movie as a whole may not have been too horrible - besides a ton of old-school horrible jokes that they tried to sprinkle in. The absolute worst, though, was Sandler's voice - it was insanely horrendous.


Title: Jack and Jill.

Starring: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Nick Swardson, Tim Meadows.

Brief Synopsis: Sandler plays both Jack and Jill, who are identical twins. Jack has become a successful advertising executive and family man, while Jill stayed at home to take care of their mother and is now very needy. When Jill comes to visit Jack for their annual Thanksgiving together, she begins to overstay her welcome and Jack wants her gone - that is until Al Pacino, who Jack wants to do a Dunkin Donuts commercial, starts to fall for Jill.

Opinion: Like That's My Boy's Vanilla Ice, Al Pacino stole the show in this film. He played a perfect well over the top version of himself and it was hilarious. But, probably the only good part about this movie. When are people going to start realizing playing a girl version of yourself does not equate to funny.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 2/26/13

The Master: This has gotten a lot of great reviews, but there is really nothing about this that has me interested. Too bad too because I like the main three actors.

Chasing Mavericks: A movie about surfing phenom Jay Moriarty - stars Gerard Butler. This isn't one for me.

Girls Against Boys: A pair of girls take things to extreme levels when dealing with some bad experiences with men. I think I'll pass.

The Mule: Sharon Stone plays a reporter in search of her missing brother. Good to see Ms. Stone is still getting the good roles out there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 2/19/13

Argo: Surprisingly, there are actually a lot of Oscar-nominated films for Best Picture that I really want to see. This one, though, is right at the top of the list. A look into a true story, one that looks really interesting. Ben Affleck has done pretty well behind the camera - can't wait to check this out.

Sinister: Looking at the post I knew this film wasn't for me at all - but I did look into it more and the actual premise sounds interesting. But, the gore factor throws me off and I won't be checking it out.

Anna Karenina: Keira Knightley, why do you keep doing these period pieces? Ugh.

Fun Size: A girl loses out on her Halloween and she is forced to watch her brother - who goes missing. Of course. Looks like it's gotten some bad reviews - and nothing about it really stuck out to me. So far, not on my radar.

The Factory: John Cusack and Dexter's sister in a serial killer film. Sounds good enough to me.

Special Forces: Looks like a French film - I am not too high on the subtitles. Anyway, haven't heard anything good or bad about this one. As of now, staying away.

Small Apartments: Not sure - looks like a mixture of Rope and Very Bad Things. Some decent actors here, but nothing to make me run out and check it out. Perhaps sometime in the future.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Theater Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Well, I saw this film the day after I saw Les Misérables and I am now almost two months after the fact. Seriously lacking in my review time - again.

Anyway, I boned up for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by watching the original Lord of the Rings trilogy over a few nights. It had been a long time since I had watched them - I find them more to be one single movie instead of three, so watching one really is not an option.

But, it also reminded me just how frustrating the films being cut up into three can be. This especially happens during The Two Towers where it is pretty much just the middle part of a film - no real beginning and no real ending.

So, I was sort of prepared (unlike a few of the other theater dwellers in my showing) that this movie could again have an ending that felt flat - and I was right.

Anyway, this set of films follows a Hobbit with the last name Baggins - heard it before? Of course - but this isn't about Frodo, this is about Bilbo and it happens many, many years prior to Frodo's adventure.

Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is even more reluctant to head out on this journey than Frodo was for his. He is visited by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a slew of dwarfs to become their 'burglar' to retake the dwarfs' mountain that was stolen from them by the evil dragon, Smaug.

The rest of the film is a lot of what we have seen before in a bit of a different way - we see trolls, goblins and, of course, Orcs. Then it finishes with a shot of what we can expect to be a lot more of in the second film.

Did I like it? Absolutely. I now know that I can not really judge these films on one portion - because like I said at the start - this is really one epic film broken into three parts. So, I must wait - but I still need to give this portion a grade, don't I?

A lot of this is familiar, which is a good thing. But, I did find myself longing from characters of old - I was even excited when I saw Frodo, who was probably the least likable character in all of the Lord of the Rings. But, we are able to spend most of our time with Gandalf - and Bilbo is not that bad - but I am still getting to know the dwarfs, there are just so many of them and I look forward to learning about their personalities - if I ever get to.

Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli had such great chemistry in the first three films - and I may have been looking for that a little during this first film. But, we did get some familiar faces like Frodo, Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond, Galadriel and, of course, Gollum.

I definitely look forward to the next two installments, and although frustrating that I still feel incomplete - this was a great first start to this series.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quick Shots 19

Title: The Dilemma.

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum.

Brief Synopsis: Ronny (Vaughn) and Nick (James) are best friends and work partners who are trying to convert cars to echo-friendly, hybrid cars. Nick has been married to Geneva (Ryder) for awhile, while Ronny has been seeing Beth (Connelly). While trying to find the perfect spot to propose, Ronny discovers Geneva is cheating with Zip (Tatum). He becomes torn about telling his best friend and ruining their project, or holding it in. Meanwhile, due to his issue he also unknowingly begins to hurt his relationship with Beth.

Opinion: Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Also really starting to dig Tatum more and more. Never thought I'd say that, but the last few movies I have seen with him he has impressed. Vaughn wasn't as crazy over the top here, and James was actually pretty toned down as well. Sort of like the less over the top.


Title: Looper.

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels.

Brief Synopsis: In the future a person like Joe (Gordon-Levitt) are called Loopers, they take care of hits for the mob in the even further via time warp. The Loopers get paid rather while, but eventually they have to 'close the loop' or take care of their future selves, which completes their run. However, when Joe has the chance to 'close his loop' he freezes and Old Joe (Willis) escapes.

Opinion: So much more going on then I can write in a brief synopsis. It was very interesting and so breathtaking to see a film that has really never been done before. Gordon-Levitt continues to become one of this generations best actors. Actually look forward to seeing it again to pickup on some things I might have missed.


Title: Battleship.

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson.

Brief Synopsis: Alex (Kitsch) and Stone (Skarsgard) are brothers. Stone is the perfect brother and a Naval officer, while Alex continues to be a screw up - until Stone makes him join the Navy. Years later, he is still a bit of a screw up and finds himself on the outs with the Navy, despite dating Admiral Shane's (Neeson) daughter, Sam (Decker). Then all hell breaks loose when a bunch of alien lifeforms attack the Earth which thrusts Alex into a leadership role..

Opinion: This film was seriously panned as Kitsch had the lovely rough trifecta for summer blockbusters failing. But, I honestly didn't hate it. I feel people really take this summer blockbusters or popcorn films way too seriously. Just sit back and enjoy the mindless action.


Title: Frankenweenie.

Starring: Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Winona Ryder, Atticus Shaffer.

Brief Synopsis: A boy, Victor Frankenstein (Tahan) loses his friend - his dog, Sparky. Learning some new scientific tricks from his crazy science teacher - Victor brings his dog back to life. He tries to keep it a secret from both his parents (Short and O'Hara) and his classmates. Though Edgar 'E' Gore (Shaffer) finds out and tells other classmates - who also try out the experiment.

Opinion: Not the greatest of films, but not horrible. I am not a huge fan of stop-motion animation, and having it in black and white certainly didn't make it any better. But, it was a decent watch and had a few moments.


Title: Pitch Perfect.

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Ben Platt, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson.

Brief Synopsis: Beca (Kendrick) is forced by her father to attend college, despite the fact that she wants to head to LA and get into the music industry. She hates the idea and blows off pretty much anything - until her father forces her to join some groups. So, she joins The Bellas - an all-female acapella group.

Opinion: I love Kendrick - she is seriously my new crush in Hollywood. Great actress and very pretty. Plus, apparently a decent singer as well. This was a funny film, and the music was pretty great.


Title: Moneyball.

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Chris Pratt, Reed Diamond, Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Brief Synopsis: In 2001 the Oakland A's lost to the New York Yankees in the playoffs, and in the offseason they lost their three best players in free agency. A small-market team, the A's have a hard time bringing in high-profile free agents, and don't have the funds to replace the players lost. So GM Billy Beane (Pitt) hires Peter Brand (Hill) and the two of them use computer statistics to map out wins with players on the cheaper end of free agency.

Opinion: I have heard about this as a sports fan, the magical Billy Beane in Oakland. Basically, this film is Social Network for sports nerds. I absolutely loved it - and I see that Chris Pratt just may be a big star at some point - his star is certainly on the rise. Pitt of course was amazing, and I actually loved Hill here as well.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 2/12/13

Skyfall: I have never gotten into the Bond films. But, it actually took me quite awhile to realize that this was even a Bond film. I have seen a few of the Pierce Brosnan films, but I have yet to see any of the Daniel Craig ones - but I do plan on catching up at some point. This one looks pretty good.

Perks of Being a Wallflower: Only thing I knew about this movie was it starred Hermione Granger - aka Emma Watson. Good to see the Harry Potter kids starting to branch out into other films. Again, this one has been getting some good mentions out there in the interwebs - so, eventually we will check this one out as well.

Silent Hill: Revelation: Never played or had the urge to play any of the Silent Hill video games, and that urge has stayed lacking when it comes to the films as well.

Man with the Iron Fists: Something about this movie has me interested. Really want to check it out and see what it has to offer.

The Sessions: Oscar-nominated film with Helen Hunt and John Hawkes. Really have enjoyed Hawkes in a lot of his roles. Probably check this one out.

Robot & Frank: So an ex-thief gets a robot as a present from his son - and soon the two get the idea to try their hands at stealing again. Hey, at least its a different idea (at least I think it is - I am probably wrong).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday's With Movies: 2/5/13

Flight: When I first saw the trailer nothing really jumped out at me. But, I have heard some really great things about the film. Although, after repeat viewings of the trailer - still not sure what to think. I knew I'd always check it out, now even more interested to see how it is.

Here Comes the Boom: This one, though, I was immediately in. I know, I probably have it backwards - especially since Kevin James' films have not been that great. But, looked interesting enough - hope there is some funny in there.

Alex Cross: Definitely wanted to check this out, but the hiring of Tyler Perry in the lead has sort of scared me off. I will check it out now that it is on DVD - hard to take Perry seriously after all of the Madea stuff.

Celeste and Jesse Forever: Pretty interesting premise - a couple get divorced, but they are still each other's best friends. Plus with Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones, should be good.

Deadfall: Two siblings break apart after a botched casino heist only to reunite together at a family's house. Who cares about the rest, it has Olivia Wilde in it.

You May Not Kiss the Bride: A pet photographer is forced to marry a Croatian mobster's daughter. Gotta like PSU alum Dave Annable and a bit of Katharine McPhee - I am sure this is something my wife and I can watch together.

So Undercover: The next Miley Cyrus film. It has Jeremy Piven in it - what the hell are you doing Piven?

Toys in the Attic: Not many animated films get past me nowadays, but this one definitely did. I had never heard of this movie. And, it has some decent voice actors in it - must not be too good since it was created in 2009.

The Oogieloves: Thankfully I have never heard of the Oogiloves - but this was the film that broke the record for least money made in an opening. Odd too that there are so many well-known actors that signed on for this.