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Memphis Beat (2010)
So far so good
So far, the show seems pretty good. I generally don't get hooked into shows right away, it sometimes takes years before I "discover" them. But with the case of Memphis Beat I was willing to give it a shot.
Jason Lee never seems to be out of place in anything he does, and so is the case here. He plays the sort of "against the grain" detective pretty well. He's harnessed a little bit of "Earl" and a little bit of "Brodie" from his roles in My Name is Earl, and Mallrats respectively. But he's also injected a little of something new.
The entire Elvis thing did not sound good at first, but the way the show handles it is pretty good. It's just sort of "out there" floating around the show and not an integral part.
The rest of the cast so far, quite honestly, is sort of forgettable. No disrespect to any of the actors, but no one really jumped out to me as a core part of the show. Maybe that will come with time, and a few more episodes.
The stories are so far pretty well done. The music score, has been excellent. This show has some of the best, most fitting music of anything on television. The music is part of the star power here, it really pulls the show around from place to place, and sets the moods perfectly.
I will keep watching...
Tropic Thunder (2008)
Funny? Maybe a little. Boring? Absolutely.....
I can't even tell you if this movie was funny, it was so painfully boring I lost interest. I could not even make it through the entire film. It was basically morons walking through the woods arguing with each other, over which one was more stupid.
There were a few moments of smile inducing comedy, but I never once laughed out loud. Jack Black going through detox was kinda funny at times, but this movie was not very good.
I usually like Ben Stiller, heck I liked Zoolander. But this movie was just too lame to keep me interested. It lost me about the time the director blew up, and Stiller's character was too stupid to realize it was real, and basically started drinking the brain out of the severed head, to prove it was fake....at that point I was losing hope the movie was going to get better.....
Sadly, the next 30 minutes of the movie....nothing happens that is of any interest or comedy...it did not get better, it got nothing....not better or worse, it just goes nowhere fast...
The ending is just lame and predictable. I don't understand why this movie is worthy of the 7+ ratings is has here in IMDb.
It's Effin' Science (2010)
As a big fan of Mythbusters, I was less than impressed overall with this show. It's not bad, but it is also not original in any way. The host is fun, but the two science guys are somewhat underwhelming. So far all the experiments have just been another version of something other shows have already touched on. Now that in and of itself does not make it horrible, but the overall presentation seems rushed, like they are trying to fit too much into every 1/2 hour. They quickly explain the science, and then show the highlights of the experiment. None of the experiments seem well controlled, and seem some have a hard time finding the end point.
All in all it's not a horrible way to spend 30 minutes, but I won't be DVR'ing it anytime soon.
The House Bunny (2008)
OK I admit it was funny
I really did not expect much going in. I really only wanted to watch it because Anna Farris is usually quite funny all by herself. She was great in "The Hot Chick" and usually funny in the "Scary Movie" flicks.
In "House Bunny" Farris is her typically funny self, but she shows a lot more sex appeal then I ever thought she might have. And that gives her the ability to pull off "Shelly" a totally typical "Playboy Bunny" without any problem. I never doubted for a second that she was a "Shelly" so-to-speak...
The rest of the cast is funny as well. Some of the girls in the sorority were so bizarre they were "cartoon-ish"....but in a good way. All the actors played their parts well. No one really steals the show from Farris at any point as she is without a doubt the star but the entire cast was a pleasure to watch.
If I have to have one casting complaint, it would be Colin Hanks. He got a bit of a short stick IMO. He was totally wasted in this movie. His character was woefully underdeveloped, and his scenes were mostly about looking oddly at Shelly. Hanks is too good of a comic asset to waste on such a small role. They should have expanded it more, or just used someone else because I kept wanting more......The entire Shelly/Oliver relationship was underdeveloped and lacking.
All in all the script was pretty silly, and provided all the typical ups/downs of the usually fish out of water scenario. In this case it attacks both sides of the coin well enough. It points out the basic morality of judging a book by the cover and etc...etc...It never takes itself too seriously but it does provide a few overall messages.
If you are looking for a fun movie with a few hearty laughs this is not a bad choice. Because lets face it, movies like this are designed to make you laugh for a while. There are a lot of small funny things going on the entire time, some original, some old school....but it tries the entire time.
There are some moments that are very funny....Farris will force a few laughs out of you that you didn't see coming. But you have to like silly jokes. There is nothing here that might not end up in your usual "Lampoon" movie. It is what it is. But few things like the way Shelly remembers people's names are just out-of-left field funny.
It was definitely worth watching.
The Comebacks (2007)
Not great, but not horrible
It is hard to really rate movies like this. It is obviously not going to be anything classic. It is probably going to be pretty much forgettable. So what if any redeeming qualities might this have? Why waste your time? Well all I can say is that, it is what it is! There are many amusing moments, there are a couple funny moments. It is a mildly amusing comedy that hits the obvious laughs. And in that it is a decent movie. It makes fun of every sports movie it can think of, and most of the jokes are average at best. But on a few occasions there are some very funny prop comedy moments.
The actors all do a reasonable job with what they have to work with. The obvious jokes don't ask them to be exceptional. It just asked them to deliver the lines and try not to laugh at how ridiculous the lines are. And they all do a good job of being ridiculous, right in step with the movie.
It is a fun movie that does not take itself serious at all. No it is not "Airplane" or "Dumb&Dumber" type of classic flick. But if you compare it to something like "Not another teen movie" or any of the newer super-spoofs it holds its own. It is certainly better than "Meet the Spartans" or "Epic Movie" spoofs.
I thought Brooke Nevin was fun to watch. She is beautiful to start with, but beyond that she is very good. She delivers with a subtle but memorable performance. I'd like to see her more in the future I think she has a quality that comes through on screen. The rest of the cast is solid, and Mr. Lawrence is pretty good. He's a much better actor than his older brother if that is really saying much. And the always fetching Melora Hardin does her thing as she always does, this time as Coach Fields' wife. She is such an underrated talent.
The movies is filled with cameos from recognizable faces from both sports and movies. Just about every cameo can be traced back to someone with a much bigger resume than the role. It's fun stuff.
All in all, if you are looking for intelligent entertainment you won't enjoy this. But if you are willing to leave your mind at the door and just enjoy the stupidity, the movies has a lot of fun stuff going on to keep you interested for 90 minutes or so.
How I Got Into College (1989)
Fun and underrated
This is one of those movies that few people seem to know about. And those that do seem to either love it or hate it. I would consider myself on the former curve of that scale, I like it a lot but I don't love it.
What this movie is, is a fun and light comedy that only briefly touches on any sort of real world lesson. But it does send a positive message loud and clear. It says that if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen with some hard work and a bit of luck. It does so in a basic way, but nonetheless it makes the point.
The movie itself is not filled with huge memorable laughs. There are some common and lame gags, helped along by some big talents like Anthony Edwards and the late great Charles Rocket. But what the movie lacks in classic moments, it makes up for in interesting and sometimes twisted moments that leave you smirking. It is not a laugh fest, but it is a smile maker that will make you chuckle at times.
The movie also has a lot of visual gags that often escape attention the first time around. You can see the subtle "Better Off Dead" ties all over the place in style and of course the several actors that were on both movies. The two movies do not really compare beyond that.
Lara Flynn Boyle is as lovable as she ever has been in this role. Her portrayal of the All-American "loved by all" High School girl is well done. She and Corey Parker pull off a believable chemistry, as this is probably his defining role. Parker is a good underdog without being an underdog. Its never hard to believe that his character could pull off the things he does by winning over the Prom Queen or getting into the college of his dreams.
All in all this movie is a lot of fun and deserves some props. If you like goofy and fun movies you will like this one. If you are looking for Oscar caliber entertainment you will not get past the first scene anyway so you won't care.
classic mindless fun
A typical fish out of water story.....
The young hip SoCal surfer kid named Mitchell (Shane McDermott) gets moved, against his will of course to land locked Cincinnati, Ohio where his geeky cousin Wiley (Seth Green) lives. Wiley an outsider himself in a way tries to show his SoCal cousin the ropes at his hockey crazy high school.
The set up of the movie is really lame. Somehow just a few days in town the Surfer kid ends up in a big Ice Hockey game (also against his will) and mistakenly scores a goal for the other team. So of course the hockey jocks of the school now want to make his life miserable and start a series of endless pranks. As a life-long hockey fan I was repulsed by what the movie called "hockey" ....It was a pathetic attempt at comedy I guess, but not really funny at all. I suppose it was sort of funny watching Jack Black play goal and fall down a few times but beyond that it was all pretty lame....
The movie really changes as soon as a dejected Mitchell comes home from another miserable day a school, and gets a package in the mail. The package contain his beloved Roller Blades and soon Mitchell is out on the town doing tricks on the streets, making friends on BMX bikes, skateboards and roller blades.
Once that switch is thrown on the movie the fun really starts. Mitchell starts to build a friendship with a local girl Nikki, played very well by the adorable Brittney Powell. And he starts to feel good about himself for the first time since leaving the beach.
Shane McDermott has since retired from acting, but this was probably his best performance. And make no mistake he was quite good in the movie. He plays the cool SoCal surfer kid well, and he manages quite a few dynamic character swings with relative ease. It makes you wonder why he gave up the ghost so easily on his career, he is a talented actor. He holds his own in a movie filled with fun characters by such current superstars as Seth Green and Jack Black.
This was the first movie I ever saw Jack Black in, and it was apparent right away that he was going to be a star. His natural character was just so apparent. And of course Seth Green is always good.
Alanna Ubach is also in the film, and although she is not yet a household name, she will be eventually. She has been a secondary player in many great movies including Legally Blond. And she is a very good actor.
Eventually the tough guys from the opposing hockey team pick a fight with Mitchell and his refusal to fight makes people think he is a wuss. But he tries to prove he is just peaceful. Then he learns that the girl he was courting, Nikki, is big jock hockey player's sister, who also wants to fight him. When Mitchell's pacifist ways make it look like he does not care, people pull away from him. Even his cousin Wiley is disappointed that he would not fight. But Mitchell is not a wimp, he is misunderstood, which is explained as a foreshadow story he tells Nikki at a hockey game when they first meet.
Eventually a dream compels Mitchell to chase after Nikki in spite of the fact she tells him to leave her alone, and in spite of the fact her large brother wants to kill him. But Mitchell fights back with some great play in a roller hockey game, and series of pranks against the opposing hockey team. His school hockey players figure him out and invite him to skate in an dangerous roller blade race, in traffic down a series of hills...... Of course he does and helps them win the big race and all his happy in the end.
While the hockey scenes are pretty lame as far as realism goes, the roller blade stunts are quite good. Nothing supernatural takes place, although some excellent stunts were pulled off. There is no CGI in this one, just old school stuntmen. The illegal street race that the entire movie leads up to is well done and accurately portrayed.
Like a million movies before it, Airborne does nothing special, or even original. But it does have fun along the way, and the actors do pretty well with what limited story they had. It also sends a positive message that restraint can be cool. And that maybe fighting is not always the answer.
The movie is just some fun mindless entertainment, with some good actors sprinkled through.
strange and basically lame
I'm not even sure what to say about this movie. Yet it was so bizarre that I feel like I have to say something.
First off, the idea and concept are intriguing. The whole loser guy being recruited by some secret fraternity in which he is the new superstar is always fun. It gives every average Joe the idea that it could happen to them. It is a formula that many movies have followed with success. And as with most cases, the hero prevails in the end....
The problem with this movie is its ridiculous action, and mind numbing lack of reality. Flipping cars, curving bullets, seemingly inhuman ability to recover from all wounds because of some wax.....all of it is so contrived and impossible that it takes the movie into places it should just not go. The parting shot where Angelina Jolie kills everyone with one curving bullet is beyond impossible, even if you could curve a bullet. The ballistics and physics of bullets are violated all movie long but this parting shot is just so stupid that it makes the less stupid parts of the movie seem...you guessed it....more stupid.... a bullet from a pistol would not travel through 7 skulls even in a straight line, yet here it does so in a circle?
Even beyond the stupid bullet tricks, was the stupid twists in the plot. The entire fact that these people kill because a cotton loom tells them to via some impossible code it just silly.... Especially given the fact that there is no explanation of why they started following the loom in the first place.
Then there are the plot points that are seemingly forced into the fold as last second thoughts. The main character learns to be a super killer because he gets the crap beat out of him? They seriously teach him to fight by beating him up over and over again within an inch of his life. Somehow that turns him into a calculated killer...again very odd and never explained. And he's killing his father and defending his honor, all in no order that makes sense or furthers the plot.
Oh wait it was explained, by the fact that the hero has the ability to process more adrenaline than normal humans, so he can "slow down" everything he sees....So apparently beating him to near death taught him how to control it. OK well.....maybe......
The acting in the movie was fine, all the characters were believable for the most part. There were even some moments of comedic levity that made you smile. And there were more than a few amazing and fun action scenes. Those elements were OK which was why I gave it a "5" and not a "3".......
The movie should have really been billed as a sci-fi flick, and not an action/adventure spy movie, which is what it seems to be on the surface. But really there was too much impossibility to even be plausible and that takes away from the movie. Some of those impossible elements could have been left out and the plot would still have worked. But the confusing and pointless plot twists were silly and only convoluted the entire thing.
Hot Pursuit (1987)
Should be more well known
I generally like John Cusack in every movie he is in. There are some exceptions where that is not the case, but IMO it has been tough to find a Cusack movie I don't like.
With that said, it is no surprise I like this movie too. It is not exactly deep in story or genius dialog. It is not Cusack as his usual introspective self. What it is however, is a fun and funny chase movie that starts going quickly and keeps you entertained to the end.
There is nothing too shocking, the good guys win, the bad guys lose, but there is a lot of fun, and even some decently tense drama mixed into this bag of nuts.
You don't have to like Cusack to like this movie either, it is just a wild ride that he tags along for, and occasionally shines with some understated comedic moments. There is no deep hidden meaning here, its just a fun little flick that seems to have faded into the background. When really more people should know about it.
The Chase (1994)
This movie is one of the more underrated movies out there. It is fast paced, entertaining and funny. And above all it was different and original. It was a great parody of the modern media hungry America we live in and was somewhat ahead of its time. The documentary style that invades the film is not unlike the Youtube reality we see today, and it makes the film seem less outrageous and more plausible.
Sure the premise was a bit far fetched, and the love story a bit unrealistic.....but if you can suspend belief the movie is a lot of fun.
Charlie Sheen is great as the wrongly convicted escapee, a role that he did not really have to stretch for but still he was excellent if understated. Kristy Swanson was at her best IMO as the abducted millionaire's daughter, she was annoying and at the same time sexy. You just had to love her.
But the "supporting" star of the movie is without a doubt Henry Rollins. He plays the well-intended but power-tempted lead police officer so well it is scary. Rollins is funny and entertaining the whole time. He makes you really see into the plight of what the modern cop is facing from many angles.
The other supporting roles, in which many famous people are sprinkled in from Carey Elwes to rockers Flea and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but all roles are really well done and satire rich.
I would say those just looking for some high octane entertainment with a thick dose of satire and parody mixed in would like this movie.