Reviews written by registered user
cwood0609

8 reviews in total 
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175 out of 289 people found the following review useful:
More Than Just Another Apatow Comedy, 30 July 2009
9/10

I'll start by saying that I am a Judd Apatow fan. I've loved most of his movies, including the two previous movies he's directed, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. I've seen each many times, and they are two of my favorite comedies.

This, however, didn't prepare me for his newest, Funny People. Apatow has become well known for his sweet, adult comedies, but this movie is very different from his others. I would almost call it a "funny drama." This has it's pros and cons. I don't think I laughed out loud as much as in either of the other two films, but what I got in return, is an actual good movie, that's actually ABOUT something.

I liked Adam Sandler before I knew what a good movie was, as I grew up watching his lighter movies, like Waterboy, Happy Gilmore, etc. I've seen him so much that he ceased becoming an actor to me and actually reached a point of self-parody. His role as comedian George Simmons is perfect for him, because he's basically playing himself, to a point. He gives the performance of his life, even better than Punch-Drunk- Love. His portrayal is cold and confused, angry and hurt. It's what a comedian might truly be like when he's not on stage. He plays it perfectly, providing a likable character while at the same time showing us there might not be so much to like. He's the best part of this movie, and that's saying something

The supporting cast is great, as usual. Seth Rogan actually plays a different character than his other movies as Ira, who acts as a great foil to George Simmons. Jason Schwartzman and Jonah Hill provide some great comedic backup, including their hilarious fictional sitcom "Yo, Teach". In fact, a lot of the laugh out loud comedy from the film stems from the many supporting performances and cameos (My favorites being Marshall Mathers and James Taylor). Eric Bana is very funny, and Leslie Mann gives an impressive performance as well.

Funny People's only real problem is it's ambition, and that's definitely the best problem to have. It's nearly two and a half hours, and while I didn't have a problem with the length, it obviously had to end when it did, as there aren't many people who would want to sit through a three hour comedy. I wish it could have ran even longer, as some subplots weren't fleshed out nearly enough. I really liked the romance between Ira and Daisy (Played by Aubrey Plaza, who is sweet and funny in every scene she's in), but it was rushed, and in the end cut short, which is a shame, because it's one of the best parts of the movie.

Above all, this is a real movie. It's success doesn't just depend on the amount of laughs it receives. Thanks to Sandler and a thought provoking story, this is more than just another raunchy-sweet comedy. The movie will definitely divide people more than the others, and I'm not sure it will find as big of an audience. Judd Apatow has improved tremendously with each movie he's directed, and, despite his detractors, he's going to be the king of the comedy movie for a long, long time.

54 out of 107 people found the following review useful:
Solid Story Highlighted With Some Great Performances, 1 July 2009
8/10

Let me just start out by saying: This is a very, very good movie. If you're going to the movies this weekend, this is the one to see.

The performances are really the highlight. Depp is perfectly nuanced as Dillinger. It's his most mature role to date. I don't really understand the flack he's giving for playing him as "empty". Subtle would be a better word. He's playing someone who always lives in the moment, and has accepted that he won't be around for a while. I think he captured this perfectly. Marion Cotillard is also perfectly fragile as Billie, his love interest. It's Bale, however, who really steals the movie. His portrayal is absolutely brilliant. He plays Melvin Purvis as professional, intimidating, and broken. Anyone who has seen his work should realize that his accent is spot on. He's also very subtle in his expressions, and this is one of his best performances, right up there with "Hard Times" and "American Psycho."

The shoot out scenes are fantastic. I actually enjoyed the digital shooting much more than I thought I would. It really had voyeuristic feel that just can't be obtained with traditional 35mm. The visuals are across the board fantastic. The authentic places really stand out.

I think the ending will really split viewers. I, for one, loved it. The last line is killer, and left me with a good impression of the film.

Now the cons:

The story spends too many scenes on Dillinger and Billie. The love story ends up feeling a bit contrived. I understand that Mann was going for an old gangster movie type of love dialogue, but it just didn't fit in. The movie had too much to say, and it leaves some subplots completely open. It almost seems sloppy. It should have been 30 minutes longer, with more of a focus on Purvis and J. Edgar Hoover (absolutely brilliantly played by Billy Crudup).

Overall, go see this movie. This and Up are the best blockbusters of the summer so far.

12 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
An Old Man's Coming of Age, 18 January 2009
10/10

As the movie opens, Walt stands at his wife's funeral, snarling and grimacing at his pathetic family. His anger, and his refusal to accept, comes from deep guilt that he has buried deep in his soul his entire life. Nothing is right. He lost his wife, "the best woman on earth", he despises his family, and a new family of Hmongs moves next door to him.

Clint Eastwood has come such a long way from his earlier vengeance films. His reprisal for wrongdoings turns to acceptance, his coldness turns into true emotion. This is a fantastic Eastwood movie. It's also one of the most mature. Critics and casual movie goers will find something to like. Perfect symmetry in this film, from beginning to end. A perfect ending, in my opinion, not only to the film but maybe to an unmatchable career. If this is in fact his send off, I can't possibly think of a better film to end it with. Mr. Eastwood deserves an Oscar Nomination for Best Actor.

I don't want to spend any time with the story, because I would probably reveal too much. This is a movie to experience first hand. I am also impressed that the trailers don't give away too much as you would expect them to. Pretty good supporting performances, although you could tell some were first time actors. This doesn't really hinder the film, however.

It's a movie that shows self redemption is just as important as vengeance. It's a movie to be discussed and enjoyed. It's a movie of friendship in the most unlikely places. It's a movie that shows a coming of age, even in the later stages of life. Dirty Harry was just a little late to realize all of that.

72 out of 93 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly Watchable, 11 January 2009
7/10

"Marley and Me", for what it's worth, is a true family film. The first half, with cute puppies and slap stick humor, will probably draw in the younger audiences, while the last half, a surprisingly substance filled story of a marriage growing past its prime, will appeal to the parents. The inevitable last bit will hit it home for everyone. Even teenagers. I know because I am one. That really is a 'family' film.

On a different note, what I was really impressed with in this film is Owen Wilson. I have never been too impressed with his work, he's tolerable, but that's about it. In this, however, he had a very heartfelt performance for what he was given. The last few scenes were among his most impressive work ever.

Give Marley and Me a try, if you're out with the whole family.

Milk (2008/I)
11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Eye opening and heart breaking regardless of age or sexual preference, 27 December 2008
10/10

Born and raised in a southern, catholic community, I saw that homosexuals were always grouped with prostitutes and rapists in our religion books. Something didn't quite sit right with me when I saw this ever since I was very young. The anti gay feelings abound in a small southern city, and, although I myself am straight, I was always in the minority of gay right supporters.

Van Sant's Milk could not have come at a better time in my life. This movie is a transcendent bio pic, and an inspiration to me now and forever. In my theater, a packed crowd with an average age of about 60 gathered. (I found this interesting, why so many seniors? Was it guilt?) The film exceeds both as a touching biography and a bold social statement. Van Sant really does what Alfred Hitchcock so famously did, and "played the audience like a piano". We laughed, we thought, and came out of the theater a little bit more in tune with reality. I was the youngest in the theater by about 40 years, so I saw from an outside looking in at what this film really did.

So much has been said about how well made the film is that anything else would be redundant, but the praise is well deserved. Penn should be a top runner for Best Actor, as he completely disappears into his character. Another actor that was an absolute thrill to watch in this movie was Emile Hirsch, who was fantastic.

So emotionally wrenching, it will stand the test of time. It is so powerful because everyone knows someone that's gay and someone that's a bigot. The best movie of the year I've seen.

Twilight (2008/I)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
An unbiased review., 23 December 2008
4/10

As Edward Cullen's half naked body gleams with crystals as he stands in the sun of a seemingly mythical forest, he smiles. He says that this is why vampires throughout the ages can't be seen in the sun. At this point, I think I understood what kind of movie this was supposed to be.

I had seen the TV spots for Twilight, and heard of how great the books were, but never really knew what all the fuss was about. A few of my friends said that the movie was a must-see (unsuprisingly, they were without a Y chromosome). Next thing I knew, I was taken in a theater with hundreds of screaming high school girls, being force fed little known facts about every one of the characters.

As a movie, from someone who has never touched one of the books, it fails pretty horribly. Apart from some truly beautiful scenery, there's really nothing to savor in this film. Robert Patterson and Kristen Stewart are decent in the lead performances, showing that they really do have some potential with better direction. The supporting actors, however, were uniformly terrible. The "bad" vampires and young werewolves were especially horrendous.

I saw where this movie was trying to go, but it desperately needed a better director. The movie seems to mock the audience's intelligence, flashing back to earlier parts of the movie many times to remind us what happened. After about the halfway point, I completely lost interest in where the story was going. Unless you're an avid fan of the books, this is definitely not worth the $9 admission.

7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Fantastic Fluff, 5 October 2008
9/10

This movie could be filed under "Comfort Food for teens." There's no reason to analyze it or try to get anything from it, it's just a great time at the movies for young people. Michael Cera shines in his first leading role, and Kat Dennings really breaks through as Nora. The supporting cast is very good, especially newcomer Ari Graynor, who is drunk nearly the entire movie. A lot of actresses would ruin a role like this, but Graynor comes off as funny and likable. Their are also a lot of cameo appearances from comedians like Andy Samberg and Seth Meyers.

The use of atmosphere in New York is one of the best parts of this movie. It really sets it apart as the characters roam around from venue to venue searching for a certain indy band. For the 13-19 year old age group, its an feel-good, if flawed, movie that will really entertain younger viewers.

Hancock (2008)
9 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
A waste of talent., 1 July 2008
4/10

After witnessing half a summer of great blockbusters (Iron Man, Hulk, WALL-E, Wanted), and being a fairly big Will Smith fan, I have to admit I went into this movie with pretty high expectations. This movie has been talked about and advertised for a good 6 months, and i bought into the hype. Don't make the same mistake I did. What can you expect from this movie? Crater sized plot holes! A conflicting script! Lame CGI effects! One of the worse third acts ever! I am all about turning off my brain and just enjoying a good summer movie, but this movie is not only laughable, but boring! That being said the film does have some things going for it. Will Smith does raise it from disaster to extereme mediocrity. Some of the jokes do connect, and are somewhat funny. The twist works for a minute, but then it falls into something extremely uninteresting. And then there is the finale, which is so incomprehesible and ridiculous that it ruins everything good that happened before it.

The worst movie I have seen this summer, the worst of Will Smith's career, and one of the worst this year.