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Not the Most Original Movie, but a nice story
The plot, Nick (Michael Cera) has been dumped by his girlfriend of six months Tris (Alexis Dziena) and has made mix CD's for her. Tris doesn't like them, doesn't want anything to do with them, and simply throws them away. Norah (Kat Dennings) picks up one that was trashed and is interested. Nick also is in a band with a few of his friends, and is at a gig that Norah is at. Norah in an attempt to make Tris jealous tells Nick to act like her boyfriend for a few minutes. Tris didn't seem too convinced it was believable. Caroline (Ari Graynor) gets way too wasted at this gig, and the band members are supposed to take her home. Along the way (the entire movie except the 1st 5 minutes is shot at night), Caroline escapes, and the band, Nick and Nora set out on a quest to find her. Also, everyone is determined to find one band, and tries to find the clues to figure out the location of where they are playing.
Which woman does Nick want? Is Norah even remotely interested in Nick? What does "infinite playlist" really mean?
This movie is 85 minutes not counting credits, it gets right to the point, and moves at a great pace. What works I think is the chemistry between all of the characters. For the record, I disliked "Superbad", I didn't think it was funny (I didn't laugh once), but Michael Cera does a good job with this. As I heard some people leaving the screening, one word kept coming out, "cute". I agree with this. It is funny, it is romantic, and although it isn't the most original idea in the world, it is well done. I would consider seeing this again, maybe to catch a few little things, but just for something different.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Very funny movie - slightly over the top humor
I have no clue where to begin with this review. This movie is one of the most off the wall movies I have seen in years, yet it does have a plot, and a lot of humor mixed in.
Without spoiling things, the beginning is very creative, and nothing that you would expect. Once past that, we get into the crux of the movie. Speedman (Ben Stiller) and his crew are in Vietnam, working on a movie based on the book "Tropic Thunder" and the director and author of the book are on set the entire time. During one particular scene, Speedman is really fed up with his crew, and wants to do his own thing. So, the crew goes back to where they were dropped off, and Speedman does his own thing. Speedman gets captured by a group of people and the crew through getting lost eventually figure out, we are in a movie and have to follow the script they had to find Speedman.
There are so many laughs in this movie, some of it was over the top, but some of it was almost crying laughing. Jack Black plays his usual comedic self, but Robert Downey Jr. does a great job with what his character is. Downey had a lot to deal with, and when you see the movie, you will know what I mean.
Some of the music was placed where you wouldn't expect was funny too, some of it original, some of it songs you have heard before. I had not seen the trailer prior to this, which may be a good thing because I am not sure I would have laughed as much. I am very close to saying pay full price for this, but very little of the humor wasn't funny.
American Wedding (2003)
Funny as the others!
Considering most of the girls aren't back for this one and the directors/writers aren't the same, I was somewhat impressed. Some parts of this movie are downright silly and there are some really good one liners. There is a one liner that Finch tells Stifer that almost had me out of my chair and had the audience clapping. I thought the trailer showed a little too much, but it left plenty to be desired. I really like the music that was used in this one, especially the bar scene that Stifer walks into alone. Go see this one, it's worth it, and it will be interesting how it does at the box office after opening weekend.
Life or Something Like It (2002)
Too MUCH Given Away in the Trailer!
The movie starts with a very brief childhood story of how Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie) wants to be a news reporter when she grows up. Then, she is shown working for a news station in Seattle. She gets offered a morning gig in New York and is in competition with people from all over the country. Pete (Edward Burns) plays a cameraman that gets involved in the stories Lanie is involved in. They don't get along too well, and Lanie tries to get Pete to not work with her anymore but that backfires.
Lanie gets involved in a story to interview a homeless man, Prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub) and he is preaching to the people walking by in Seattle on how the weather will be, the score of a Denver-Seattle football game, and at the very end of the interview tells Lanie that she is going to die in one week.
So, Lanie tries to get as much done as possible within a week, including a romance with Pete (big surprise). Pete has a son who is likes baseball and obessed with Lanie's fiancé, Cal Cooper (Christian Kane), baseball player for the Anaheim Angels. Lanie makes time for her dad who appears to not be doing too well, and simply try and enjoy life.
Minority Report and Unfaithful is what Fox attached to the print that I saw. Angelina Jolie as a blonde, she doesn't look that good. Actually, I thought that whole angle could have been done without, but that is the only way she can get noticed in the news industry where this story takes place in Seattle. Everyone else in the news station she works for looks natural. You know it's bad when you see a trailer over and over again and then the TV spots get annoying. That was the major problem with this movie, 90% of the movie was in the trailer and took some of the funny parts out. There are very few funny parts that were not in the trailer but overall, a lot of characters were not developed and the writer seemed to concentrate on Jolie too much and some things could have been explained, such as why Prophet Jack was able to predict things and why he was homeless. What was the relationship like between Lanie and Pete in the past (it is eluded to in the movie that they dated at one time). For a movie that is 1 hour 43 minutes long, it was too simple of a plot and some things could have been cut out and other things explained to make it more of a story. 3 out of 10.
John Q (2002)
Poor Script - Good Acting.
SOME SPOILERS - I saw "John Q." Thurs. night (Feb 7th) in Washington D.C. and I had never seen the trailer and saw the poster on the way in, so I didn't know much going in.
We are introduced to John Q. Archibald (Denzel Washington) who plays a factory worker that just got his hours cut to part time status because of work being slow. Denise Archibald (Kimberly Elise) works as a grocery store clerk (although we never see her working) and is worried because the bills are falling behind and John's vehicle had just been towed because of not making the monthly payments. As John puts it, it was between not paying the vehicle or not paying the house payment. Mike Archibald (Daniel E. Smith) plays their son who plays little league baseball.
Mike is up to bat and hits what appears to be a single. Mike is called safe at 1st base, and while the 1st baseman is arguing with the ump - Mike decides to run for 2nd. In the process, he collapses. Instead of waiting for an ambulance, John and Denise take Mike to the local hospital. It turns out Mike needs a heart transplant because his heart is 3 times larger than it should be. John's insurance won't cover this, and Rebecca Payne (Anne Heche) and Dr. Turner (James Woods) gives Denise and John their options. The heart transplant will cost $250,000, $75,000 of that up front. So, Denise and John start to sell everything - and even get a collection going at church. When Denise finds out Mike will be released because of money not being given to the hospital, John decides to take the hospital hostage. There are many patients inside, everything from a woman having a baby to Lester (Eddie Griffen) having what appears to be broken fingers.
So - the standoff begins. John wants one thing - to get his son on the top of the donor list.
I thought the script was poorly written but the actors that are used in this do a good job with it. There were some things in this movie that were far fetched and this kind of movie has been done before. It will make money for two reasons, one because it is PG-13 (and rightfully so, very little language, some violence) and Denzel is a big draw. The audience clapped at least 5 times. It is 111 minutes long, and moves at a good pace, but some things simply didn't fit. I give it a 4 out of 10.
Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
Very funny movie!
I caught a screening of "Kissing Jessica Stein" on January 31st in Washington D.C. > We are introduced to Jessica Stein (Jennifer Westfeldt) as a copy editor for a newspaper who has trouble developing relationships with men. She tries speed dating, in which one of these scenes involves a guy who insists on splitting the check, instead of him paying for it, and some other guys that are simply out of her league. So, she decides to look in the personal ads. All of a sudden, she has a life. Jessica is trying to figure out who she really is. She looks in the women seeking women section. Jessica meets Helen (Heather Juergensen) who works at a art museum and already knows what she wants. So, these two women decide to see if there are any sparks and Jessica decides not to tell any of her peers. However, Jessica is all of a sudden happy at work and everyone suspects she is seeing a guy.
I was very surprised how funny and entertaining this movie actually is. The cast works really well together, and the screen time is very balanced for the main characters. It is about 90 minutes long. Go see this movie, it didn't win two awards at the L.A. Film Festival for nothing. 8 out of 10.
Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
About As Funny as Scary Movie (I) was.
First, I saw the reviews on here already, and this is not the worst movie of 2001. That goes to Legally Blonde.
Tuesday night, Dec. 11th, I caught a screening of the above movie in D.C. Let me just preference this as I really like spoofs and I enjoyed Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2 wasn't that good, and there hasn't been much in between.
Bearing that in mind - while waiting in the lobby of the theatre, I saw the trailer countless times on a TV. Actually, I got tired of seeing it. When the movie did start, it opens with Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh) doing a parody of a scene from "American Pie". After that five minute sequence, we meet the gang at high school. The long and short of the movie is a parody of "She's All That". There are a lot of parody's in between, one of which I doubt the audience will pick up on because the movie it is referring to wasn't a big success.
There isn't much to say about this one, not all the good parts were in the TV spot or trailer, but it seemed to me that most of the funny parts were in the 1st 20 minutes and most of the movie was predicable. I thought this movie was about as funny as Scary Movie was but not as disgusting. I think what the director was trying to do was use the same formula as "American Pie" - throw a bunch of no names (except for Jaime Pressly who has been in a bunch of stuff) and see if they can get a career out of it. Should be interesting how this plays out, since I am sure it didn't cost much to make either. 6 out of 10.
Sidewalks of New York (2001)
Yet another good Edward Burns film!
I saw a screening of "Sidewalks of New York" back on September 6 in Washington D.C. and I never saw the trailer or heard much about this movie going on, which is sometimes a good thing. I knew some of the cast involved, but that was about it.
So, those were my thoughts going in, and the movie itself is quite simple. Someone decides to film eight peoples lives that shows their ups and downs. Tommy (Edward Burns) is looking for an apartment after his girlfriend kicks him out. Annie (Heather Graham) plays a real estate agent that helps out Tommy. Annie is married to Griffin (Stanley Tucci) who plays a dentist and is having an affair with Ashley (Brittany Murphy). Carpo (Dennis Farina) plays a friend of Tommy's. Ben (David Krumholtz) plays a doorman who just got divorced from Maria (Rosario Dawson).
The story comes out of all some of these stories tie together, for example, Ben is always going to the coffee shop that Ashley works at trying to get a date with her. Tommy meets Maria to get back in the game.
There are some really funny lines - and it is 103 minutes long not counting credits. I believe this opens in Washington on Sept 28th, NY/LA on Sept 21st. Hopefully some other major cities will get this movie because it is one of the few date movies to have come out this year and it is really enjoyable. 8.5 out of 10.
Very weak story!
I saw "K-Pax" Monday night at a screening in Washington D.C. and it was packed. Word of advice, get there early, a lot of people got turned away from this one because they waited till 7 PM to show up, you simply can't do that with screenings.
Nonetheless - the movie starts out with a man in a wheelchair at a train station trying to get money using a paper cup and witnesses another person get robbed. Prot (Kevin Spacey) is all by himself in the train station and tries to help out this person that gets robbed only to get arrested by the cops despite the man in the wheelchair telling the cops Prot didn't do anything. Prot ends up in a psychatric hospital where he meets Dr. Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges).
Mark has some problems of his own, a son he hasn't seen in years through a previous marriage and his new wife, Rachel (Mary Mara) tries to talk him into visiting his son who is at college. Mark is never home, and when he is home, his mind is on this new patient, Prot. There is even a scene where he wakes up in the middle of the night and runs down to his study to listen to some of his Prot's sessions. Prot tries to explain the best he can that he is from "K-Pax" and gets to take one person back with him. He explains why he is on Earth, which isn't his first time. Mark gets some of his collegues involved and Prot does a good job of explaining what life is like on K-Pax. He makes friends with other patients and overall is a good patient, just a bit strange because he claims he isn't human.
In my opinion, the trailers are very misleading on this movie and to me it gave away too much. I thought this was going to be good, but the more I was watching this movie that is 109 minutes long, the more I couldn't get into it. This is very predicable, and the story is so one dimensional. They have very small sub-plots that to me simply didn't fill time, it was just there. I saw this on Monday, Oct 15th in Washington D.C. and the audience laughed at a few parts, but they didn't clap at the end. That isn't a good sign and I will be surprised if this movie makes money after opening weekend. I kept thinking the book this is based on has to be better. 4 out of 10.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
One of the Most Unique Movies I Have Seen in A Long Time!
I saw this Wednesday, Sept. 26th in Washington D.C. in which one of the actors, Justin Theroux showed up to do Q & A. For the first 90 minutes, the movie makes sense, then it goes down a path in which you wonder, what was David Lynch thinking. The plot goes like this, Rita (Laura Harring) is involved in a limo crash and walks through the woods when Betty's (Naomi Watts) aunt leaves and Rita sneaks in because she has no where to go. Betty goes to the apartment in which we are introduced to Coco (Ann Miller) who plays the landlord of the complex. Rita has no idea what is going on with her life, who she is, or anything, and then several stories occur that have nothing to do with Rita until toward the end when everything ties together. You want to see a strange movie, this is it, and it is certainly thought provoking because I had no idea what to think afterwards.