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Absolutely fantastic, if you're looking for kitsch
A great "so bad, it's good" film, this movie fails on so many levels yet succeeds on so many others. Great for a watch if in the mood to tear it apart limb by sinning limb. It's ridiculous, histrionic, dry, and absurd, and is a great watch if you're in the mood to shout at the screen with some rowdy friends. (A great way to spend a birthday too, I might add.) Every 'plot twist' is improbable yet predictable, and the characters are the best kinds of "Saturday morning special" archetypes. Our "villain"drives a red sports car, to which the mother says NUMEROUS TIMES throughout the movie, "Awww, he drives a red car, like the Devil, he's the Devil!" Desperately needs to be MST3K'ed, this movie is one-in-a-kind awful, but never painfully so.
Escape from Tomorrow (2013)
My high review of this will likely make it stand out (and possibly not in the best way), but hear me out- this movie is the punk rock of cinema right now. It simply doesn't care. It's dark, twisted, hilarious, unnerving, and very Terry Gilliam. This isn't a movie to be looked in very deeply (as admittedly the symbolism is a bit confused and the plot takes a very strange turn), but it's fascinating, strange, and incredibly entertaining. It's certainly not a movie one will forget about quickly. It breaks the basic rules of film and never comes off as pretentious- it pokes fun at itself, and not in an annoying way. It's strange and fantastic. Recommended in general, but highly recommended to film buffs and fans of the bizarre. Definitely worth a watch.
The Master (2012)
Beautiful, but ultimately hollow
I'm honestly incredibly torn about this movie. It is absolutely stunning to watch in terms of the cinematography and the acting is fantastic. However, there some irreconcilable faults in terms of an incredibly disappointing and 'feh' ending, as well as an unsatisfied feel toward the end. It is vague, which works both as an advantage and as a hindrance. It does bring up fascinating ideas and psychological challenges, but ultimately it desperately needs higher stakes than those of the curious mind.
Ultimately the movie was told very well and very beautifully, but the lackluster story didn't deserve it.
Vampires Suck (2010)
Mediocre at Best
This film was surprisingly not as awful as Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer's previous endeavors, however it is not nearly up to the level of a great farce like Airplane or even Kentucky Fried Movie. It echos the tone of MadTV often at times due to the cast, and although it could have been much hammier and painfully obvious,the leads primarily pull of the meta jokes with ease and elicit some of the best laughs. The pop culture references and slapstick gags are all groaners, however the jokes with the sole purpose of lampooning the Twilight phenomenon work and are actually clever with the actors competent delivery. However, despite the comedic chops behind some of these MadTV actors and even cameos from Ken Jeong and Dave Foley of Hangover and Kids in the Hall Fame, respectively, the movie ultimately leaves you wanting to watch their previous projects instead. Not terrible, but not worth the watch.
I really had no idea what to make of the new Disney/Pixar movie "WALL-E". I mean, I heard great reviews of the movie, claiming it was "The definite best animated picture Oscar" or even "best picture worthy". I seriously doubted this. At the same time, I heard people say that it was "overpreachy garbage", or "Pixar rubbish spewed at us again by the marketing advertisers at Disney". I also highly doubted this. I heard that it was lighthearted, yet at the same time really depressing. In short, I had no idea how this movie would be.
So, I came in the movie with a pretty open mind, yet still skeptical. The last few Pixar movies, with an exception to "Ratatoullie", haven't been that great. I was worried that "WALL-E" would have been over-hyped, and that it wasn't really all that great.
I was wonderfully mistaken.
First off, I'd like to say that the opening short was great. Not good- great. It was funny, witty, and flat out cute. Just wanted to say that.
So, I've heard many people saying that the opening was artsy. I'd have to say I'd disagree. It wasn't artsy- it was a representation of WALL-E's life. It had a few sight gags that will entertain the kiddies, yet at the same time was pretty emotional. It opens on a ruined and not green Earth, yet in the background plays music from "Hello Dolly". But after that amazing opening, we finally get to the story.
EVE arrives. Immediately, WALL-E (unsurprisingly) is enamored with her. (Even though she keeps trying to shoot him with her laser.) There is a cute little montage with WALL-E wanting desperately to hold her hand, a very sweet theme throughout the movie. The movie hits off with WALL-E trying to show EVE the "wonders" of his Earth, and meanwhile he shows her the last remaining plant that he found. THIS is when the movie begins.
WALL-E and EVE get trapped on this Space Cruise, which has been going on for about 700 years. In other words, all of the people are all fat and ugly and lazy. But they're so lovable! Again, this moment could come off as preachy, but it doesn't, and moves quite smoothly. There are also many funny robots doing- well, funny things. Getting back to the plot, pretty much the plant that WALL-E finds and EVE gets becomes the center plot, proving that life is capable on Earth- but it's not as easy to get back as it sounds. It becomes somewhat of an action type movie, with comedy, and a little romance. I can't say anymore because it'll give too much of the plot away, but let's just say I got a little teary eyed.
I would recommend this movie to all ages, but really I'd say 6 and up. I mean, not saying that little kids won't like it, they just might find it boring after a while, and might hunger for something with a little more in your face comedy, more of a "Toy Story" or "Monster's INC". In other words, it's not a "kiddie flic", but rather a "family movie." I still don't like the product placements for this movie every five minutes, but at least the message wasn't IN YOUR FACE obvious. It was subtle, which was nice.
In all, I'd say that this was a really good movie and would recommend it. (Oh yeah, the animation was beautiful. Just wanted to add that.) Rating: A Age Group: Any age (but recommended 6 and up).
Comparison to other Pixar films: It's different, but good.
Overall: A great movie.
A Wanna-be "Chorus Line"
When I entered the movie theater and realized that "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel" and "Old Dogs" were being advertised before this movie began I knew I was in for a real treat.
But, I haven't seen the original, so I knew I wouldn't be "tainted" by that; I'm just judging on the movie by itself here. And lemme tell you folks, it's pretty impressive.
We begin with promising characters that go no where and stay one dimensional and barely learn anything about them, yet we're supposed to be moved when one of their dreams doesn't become a full reality. Wait- what? The dancing, although slightly impressive, is nothing out of the ordinary. The "best dancer" in the school is alright, but nothing that would be gasp-worthy. And yes, yes, I know she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," but did she win? No. And apparently she can't act either.
None of the actors look like believable high schoolers and the school has an unlimited amount of funding (and I'm in a high school for preforming arts, so I would know.) Half of my fellow students in my drama class could out act this newcomers. Although, to their credit, they didn't have much do go on; the script is as thin as it gets.
And, to make matters worse, the singing isn't very impressive either. They all had the same sort of robotic- Hannah Montana/HSM type of nasal tone that we've all heard before on Radio Disney; it's old. We came for great performances, not an even WORSE High School Musical copy pretending to be- well, "Fame". Why should I care about these characters? So far none of them seem very special to me (although the black girl, I forgot her name, now THERE'S a singer. The rest? Mediocre at best.) Where's all the edge of highschool? No drugs? No sex? Why are these kids so clean? One drinking scene, and one "almost rape" scene, which really didn't seem that scandalous at all. Wow, one "gangsta" kid, real impressive and original guys. Wasn't expecting that. And the black girl who can sing hip-hop, and the closeted depressed gay guy, and the over-the-top dramatic film kid, these aren't predictable, no sirree. Why aren't these kids in a real crisis, and why the hell is the drama teacher a counselor? This movie is choppily edited, and for some reason it goes super fast (and not in a good way.) None of the years are distinguishable from another.
The absolute worst part? They cut "I Sing the Body Electric" for some crappy "believe in yourself" song. At that point I left the theater, because A) I had to pee and B) I was tired of being sold short. I didn't care anything about the characters well being, and when the gay dancing boy tried to off himself, I sincerely hoped he would succeed. And then all the kids, one by one, would jump in front of the subway to end the movie in a more interesting manner then how it began. And then the filmmaker kid would say, "And cut" and jump dramatically into the subway and die a slow death, and the "Fame" theme song (not the terrible remake, the original by Irene Cara) would play behind his demise. Now THAT'S an ending.
In full? It felt like an afterschool special. A really bad one. From the 80's. The movie was going for a reaction, but with too many one-sided characters and no real emotions, I had no reaction. It was stupid bubblegum fluff advertising itself as a great dance movie, the next "Fame." Well, it wasn't "Fame" at all. It was "Shame."
The Rotten Tomatoes Show (2009)
I wish I could give 8.5
I wish I could give this show 8.5 stars, but I can't. It's a funny, addictive show (and entertaining) that, no matter how obscure the movie is, it can make you laugh. However, I do have some grievances.
1. The canned jokes. Although usually they're alright, sometimes I just can't sit through them.
and 2. The movies. This isn't the show's fault, but sometimes the movie choices they review are movies I haven't even heard of, so it's hard for me to laugh at other people's reviews.
Other than a few minor problems, this is a great "kill time" show you can watch when you're bored and not feel guilty that you haven't left the couch in two solid hours. The hosts have a good chemistry and are funny, and add to the show. Not one of the funniest shows on TV, but definitely a fun show to watch.
The Break-Up (2006)
One of the Most Misleading and Depressing Movies Ever
Maybe I'm overreacting, but I found this movie to depress me for almost an hour. (Then I watched "Good Luck Chuck". That depressed me for another hour.) I was expecting a light-hearted, decent, funny romantic comedy. Instead I got a clichéd, self-pitying, story of a terrible breakup. The only saving graces were that it was somewhat realistic, and the ending was great in comparison to the rest of the movie.
My problem with most romantic comedies in general is that they have this stupid set-up for reality as if everything is made of rainbows and butterflies and nothing ever goes wrong with the power of love. (That of course is not true.) Now, I'm going into this with missing the first half-an-hour, but I heard some of it and could tell it was depressing.
Now, maybe it's because when my parents were married I remember them yelling violently at each other frequently and this movie hit too close to home, but generally speaking I just don't want to watch couples fighting. (And as brilliant as "Revolutionary Road" is supposed to be, I just don't want to suffer through that.) And guess what folks? That's all that happens in this movie. All they do is fight and argue and fight and argue a bit more and put their friends in difficult situations and cry and scream and personally, I just don't want to have to sit through that.
Once again, we have another movie where everyone is a cliché. Men are all slobs, stupid, they all like video games and can't be serious about anything, and women are annoyingly persnickety and are hyper-clean and feel they are superior to their man. At least, that's what most movies tell me. Now, I know this movie wanted you to be on the woman's side (most romantic comedies do), but personally I couldn't stand both of them. He was annoying and slob-ish and although she didn't annoy me as much she was still a nagging stereotype of "the every-woman". Of course there was the pseudo-gay brother, the best friend who tells-it-like-it-is, and not to mention both lead characters come from two stereotypical families.
One good thing about this movie is the acting. The acting, although at points slightly campy, is never over-the-top and never feels fake. You feel like you could believe they are a couple breaking up. Vaughn and Aniston work well together, and have some real emotional scenes. Another good thing about this movie is the ending; the ending is so real and honest to real life and open-ended that it just boosted an otherwise mediocre movie up another star for me. This is an example of a movie that is almost unbearable to watch but has a great ending.
It's a terrible movie to bring a date to, though, because it'll just depress you. It's a good movie to watch when you're blue though, especially for the great and unexpectedly well acted ending.
Good Luck Chuck (2007)
Made of Retard
My Mom and I watched this movie after watching an other romantic comedy, "The Breakup." I didn't really want to watch "Good Luck Chuck" after hearing how terrible it was, but there was nothing else on TV and my Mom was bored and it didn't cost any money so we figured, "Why not?" It was a terrible mistake. Very. Terrible.
First problem; who is this movie marketed to, anyway? You'd think it was marketed to women (because it's a romantic comedy), but you'd be wrong. There are more topless women in this movie than in any porno ever made, and I don't even need to see a porno to know that. So, why would women want to watch a man have sex with various topless women? So maybe it's marketed to lesbians. Again, it can't be. There are so many homophobic and fat-phobic jokes that I can't even count. (Okay, probably about seven.) So maybe you're thinking, "So it's a guy movie, like Wedding Crashers." Wrong again. First off, Wedding Crashers, although not perfect, was a funny and entertaining movie. This however, is not. Although there is some "dude humor", there are also many juvenile slapstick jokes. Can it be marketed to teenagers? No, because it's rated-R. So who is this movie trying to reach to?! Retarded older men?
Then comes the actual writing and movie- well, guess what folks, it's terrible. There is no cliché that isn't used; The Sassy Black Woman, The Annoying Womanizer Best Friend, The Perfect Yet Imperfect Woman, The Guy Stud That Rivals The Main Man, The Crazy-In-Love Main Man, etc. Not to mention any woman that isn't perfectly skinny and photo-shopped is automatically a scary fat woman. Almost without fail, my Mom and I could predict the entire movie's plot and exactly what would happen. And we were nearly always correct. Besides not guessing the stuffed penguin sex-scene at the end (which was disgusting and strange, by the way, if not slightly funny) almost everything went the way we thought it would. Dane Cook's creepy stalking of Jessica Alba's character in real life would automatically turn a real woman off and get a restraining order, but of course because this is Hollywood they (SPOILERS) get together at the end. Shocking, isn't it?
And now the acting. Well, Jessica Alba is flat as always. The kids in the beginning are okay, if not over the top. And of course Dane Cook plays- well, himself. I guess the acting is over the top, but that might be the director's fault, so I don't know.
One more complaint; the colors in this movie were incredibly bright. Everything was brighter than life and very hard to watch.
Honestly, I shouldn't have to put a spoilers tag seeing you can predict this movie just by the trailer, but I must for those who might actually care. Don't waste your time on this movie; go out and watch a more decent romantic comedy, like "Music and Lyrics" or "Wedding Crashers", something that is actually romantic and funny.
The Tale of Despereaux (2008)
Sub-Par compared to the classic book
Okay, I normally don't actually "review" movies I see, but this one needed a review.
Lemme preface by saying that I read the book back in 4th grade, and thought it was brilliant. It's not just an ordinary "kiddy" book, it's edgy, sweet, interesting, and many themes.
In truth, I didn't expect much because I kept hearing horrible reviews, but I know that the reviewers also hated Yes Man and saying it was bad, even though it was funny and cute enough to satisfy anyone. The book is not meant for little kids; there are themes they won't understand, and really is for the older end of elementary/ beginning of middle school kids. But of course it's animated, so that crowd will basically ignore it. Which means, the audience that the text is meant for won't get it, but people who are too young to understand will flock thinking it's an innocent film when the basis isn't.
Now first off, it's completely different than the book. The order of introducing Desperaux first is changed so that we meet another main character Roscuro first, which would be okay if that didn't completely change the tone of the movie from the book. One major aspect of the book was about telling stories reducing ignorance and getting people out of the dark into the light, and that was largely ignored when a certain aspect about the book was changed, which bothered me. The themes of dark and light remained, but there were made to be obvious and the subtlety was lost.
Other than a few aspects, the basic plot of the movie stays pretty accurate to the book. Only problem is, the movie makes it BORING. The characters were turned into caricatures of themselves, especially Roscuro who received the brunt of all the changes. The book, if I remember, was slightly dull because of all the descriptions, but because you read it over a period of time it turns into a fairy tale instead of a 1 1/2 hour movie. This dullness made the movie feel longer which, with a young audience, is never good.
The most distressing out of all this is the loss of the edge that the book contained. All the aspects that made it more than a normal kiddie book are gone because, in truth, this is a normal kiddie movie. For example, in the book, the reason Miggery Sow's deaf in one ear is because her father beat her, but that's never mentioned. Neither is the fact that Desperaux is torn between conformity and the outside world, and is not completely wrapped in the outside yet. These are small facts, but add so much depth to the book making it an instant classic, whilst the movie is not. It's a shame because the material it's based on is great, but the movie falls flat. There are parts that are great and dead on to the book, but those are overshadowed by confusing plot points and long lingering shots that are unneeded. The art is beautiful, especially the job on the fur and the glossiness of the eyes. You can even tell subtle details like the wetness of Desperaux's nose, which is amazing thinking that only six years ago Monsters Inc was out and it took so long for that fur to be done, and it wasn't even that great. Soundtrack is decent too. But other than that, the actual story is too long and complicated to fit into the slot it's given, and unneeded parts such as a talking fruit basket, are annoying to those who know what the audience is missing.