Reviews written by registered user
|9 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Do you remember "Safe Haven"? Yeah, that soppy romantic drama last year
that ended with (SPOILER ALERT if anyone cares) Robin Scherbatsky's
character being a ghost that wanted her former husband to find true
Safe Haven is several times better than Endless Love, and I hated Safe Haven.
Endless Love is a movie so mind-bogglingly inept, so blissfully unaware, so morally empty, and so raucously confident that if it (God forbid) took the form of a human being, you would alternately want to weep for her, educate her, and bash in her skull with a bowling ball. This movie takes place in a world that is structurally unsound and is populated with aggressively stupid characters whose actions are unjustifiably opposed to sound logic and good morals.
Yes, Endless Love is a film aimed at a very particular target audience with a very specific goal in mind, and therefore its flaws mean little to the filmmakers or to the numerous squealing 13-15 year old girls at my showing. However, that does not excuse it from following film rules that, when broken, force a viewer out of the entertainment experience and instead force them to put their head in their hands in disgust.
1. You need a strong lead character. Jade Butterfield is the opposite of a strong lead character. She is a selfish, spoiled, and ignorant 17-year-old who falls head-over-heals for a stranger and then proceeds to give up everything (from body to future) to this reckless young man whose first impression on her is taking a client's car for a joyride and then assaulting the man. She treats her father awfully even before he turns into a dominating jerk and she says stupid things like, "Let's be young and dumb" and "I want to go sneak into a zoo and get high with people I don't know and I demand you go with me!" Okay, maybe I stretched that last one. Also, don't even try to consider the boyfriend as the main character: he is two-dimensional, un-complex, artificially constructed and a poor excuse for a human being, whose purpose is to make the target audience swoon and be severely disappointed with real men.
2. You need convincing conflict. Jade's father is not convincing conflict. He seems like a genuinely good father whose good character traits seem to reflect his inner love nature and his negative traits are unconvincing and contrived in every sense. This is especially displayed in his affair, the provocation scene against Jade's lover, and the scene where he almost beats said lover with a baseball bat. These scenes are in direct contrast to scenes that describe a man who left his job to support his dying son, who constantly wants to help his daughter succeed, and is wary of a violent young man who hides with his daughter in closets during parties. To any logical viewer, it is much easier to side with a hurt father figure who only wants a bright future for his children (as opposed to a mother who only wants her children to find "true love" and to get "good at getting their hearts broken") and not a mindless 17-year-old caught up in a week-old infatuation and who is insisting that she found the love of her life. And don't even get me started on the living son and his girlfriend, whose characters are entirely irrelevant and whose sole purpose seems to be to force the audience to believe the dad is the bad guy.
3. In a romance aimed at tweens and teens, you need some underlying morality or a subtle message to "do what is right". This movie knows what is right and what is smart, identifies it, and then promptly laughs in its face and grinds it into the dirt. It is NOT okay for a young girl to ignore the violent tendencies of her boyfriend before intending to give up her life for him. It is NOT okay for a mother to be jealous of the "love" between 2 teenagers that just met and be upset with the father when attempts to break it off. It is NOT okay to steal people's cars because they are jerks towards you. It is NOT okay to sneak into people's houses that don't like you and have sex with someone you hardly know. It is NOT okay to say "screw you" to internships and opportunities you have committed to when teenage love shows up: that's not how life works. It is NOT okay to say it is more important to seek out a lover before deciding what to do with your life. It is NOT okay to smoke weed in the elephant's exhibit. It is NOT okay to make out with an old boyfriend while you are in a relationship and then promise to run away to the other side of the world in the middle of college, with no money or plans or future. None of what this movies says is okay, is okay.
There was so much wrong with Endless Love, but my space is quite limited so I touched upon my biggest gripes. As a college student soon to be engaged, this type of movie should appeal to my inner romantic at least on some primal level and instead, both my girlfriend and I left this movie embarrassed to have spent money in this film and laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of the film's messages and characters. As my girlfriend said, "I have never enjoyed the trailers before the movie more than I enjoyed the movie until I saw Endless Love".
As a postscript: dear filmmakers, teenagers coming from a party that just got busted by the cops aren't going to go to a new party with adults and then play games that involve choreography and a boombox and then go home nicely when told to by the adults. Nice try.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
DIRECTOR: Good afternoon, sirs! I came in today because I was stoned
out of my mind earlier and I thought of the best idea for a movie ever!
STUDIO: Alright, we're listening! DIRECTOR: So, like, in the near
future, the government will allow 12 hours of crime a year! Like,
murder will be legal and stuff! STUDIO: Okay, cool! Why? DIRECTOR:Uh...
well... because if people go crazy on one day, then they won't need to
do any other crimes the rest of the year! Because all crimes are
created by random murderous passions, right? ONLY SMART GUY IN THE
ROOM: Why don't the rich people just leave the country? That's the
worst idea I- STUDIO: That's so original! People will eat that up. And
it can double as a shallow social commentary! DIRECTOR: Uh... yeah...
social commentary. I know what that is. Anyways, I got Lena Headey and
Ethan Hawke to sign on! STUDIO: Fantastic! I bet you have lots of good
dialogue to go between them.
DIRECTOR: Yeah... good dialogue... I know what that is. Anyways, the dad sells these security systems and the mom is... well... a mom, I guess. She can sulk a lot. And the older female kid can be a "typical" sulky teenager who is completely brain dead! She won't see anything suspicious when her much-older boyfriend, who her father disapproves of, sneaks into her house on the night murder is legal and says he's come to see her dad! And the also brain-dead boyfriend can botch his low-awaited parent killing by yelling out the dad's name before shooting! He'll die and then the shocked girlfriend will cry and then wander around the dark house by herself for no reason! ONLY SMART GUY IN THE ROOM: Uh, why would the boyfriend think she'd continue to date him after he killed her dad? That's an awful and unnecessary i- STUDIO: Perfect! It'll be tense when she wanders around because we really care about her character! Who else is there?
DIRECTOR: Well, there'll be another son with that awful super-long hair that's popular with horror movie boys nowadays! He'll be reclusive and play with creepy remote control dolls and he'll be the only moral character in the movie while being completely moronic! He will shut down the security system without letting his parents know in order to let a homeless guy in, and then he'll hide him, even though that means his whole family will die. And then, when he sees his sister about to go hide in the same spot, he won't yell out or warn her or anything! And then even later on, he'll hide in the basement and STILL let one of the invaders sneak up behind him, even though he has a gun! STUDIO: He sounds so lovable! What about the other characters? Are they dumb too? DIRECTOR: Oh yeah, super dumb! For example, the dad will have a complete 180 degree moral change halfway through the movie even though he sees the purge first hand, as if he didn't already know about it because he sells security systems for the purge! And then, he won't even untie the guy he's saving so he can help! He's completely retarded. And then there's the wife! Instead of hiding and having the advantage against the invaders, she can get up and wander around so she can be snuck up on! And then she won't shoot the guy who's threatening to kill her daughter because... well... she's stupid! And finally, the lead bad guy will try to kill the main character, but stops and leaves after giving him a flesh wound in the stomach! And then gets snuck up on, too!
STUDIO: That's wonderful! Movie goers are much more likely to cheer for stupid characters than intelligent ones! DIRECTOR: Oh and the invaders will wear masks like "The Strangers"! STUDIO: Great, that movie was terrifying! ONLY SMART GUY IN THE ROOM: No it wasn't, that movie was awf- DIRECTOR: I'll be sure to include the max amounts of clichés, too! Like, a bad guy will be ABOUT to kill a main character, but there'll be a dramatic pause before he does, and seconds before it happens, he'll get killed from behind! STUDIO: Genius! That should happen AT LEAST 4 times.
DIRECTOR: And for the icing on the cake, the invaders will be like cultists and recite prayer-like incantations dedicated to America and the "new founding fathers" because that's what would happen in real life, right? STUDIO: Perfect! Let's get this movie made. ONLY SMART GUY IN THE ROOM: **** this, I quit.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most of the people I saw Pitch Perfect with truly enjoyed it. They
laughed and clapped and booed at me when I expressed my disgust. For
many, this movie will definitely be enjoyable. Make no mistake, that
does not make it any less of an awful movie.
Several factors contribute to my low opinion of Pitch Perfect. The largest of these concerns is the cast of characters. While there are few complaints in the acting department, the characters themselves are among the worst set of "people" committed to screen in recent memory.
"Beca" (is that spelling supposed to be hip or something?) is an arrogant, brooding, selfish brat who spends most of her time sulking on her computer and complaining about being forced to go to COLLEGE and be with PEOPLE (blegh, right?!). This is a perfect setup for character development, right? Wrong. After a half-hearted apology for being a terrible human being before the climax, Beca morphs not into an upstanding social and moral butterfly, but a smug leader of the troop she so recently was kicked off of, and this is the image the audience is left with.
"Jesse" is the most cliché love interest one can imagine. Seriously, girls, if you ever meet a guy this perfect and blameless, marry him. Jesse prances throughout the movie being sweet to everybody, from his unrealistically nerdy roommate to the jerks he sings with. He pursues Beca valiantly for no particular reason and provides the cliché moral criticism Beca so desperately needs late in the movie (but of course he takes her back). While girls might be enthralled by this sentiment, no true development can occur through a character who is so blatantly one-dimensional.
Worst of all are the two commentators for the sing-offs, Gail and John. These two buffoons spew dialogue that is not only shockingly inappropriate for television/radio, they simply aren't funny. While clearly trying to channel Fred Willard's comedic performance from Best in Show, the pair instead come across as amusing as your drunk middle-aged parents at a frat party.
Other character "highlights" include the mind-bogglingly narrow-minded and stubborn team leader, Aubrey. Stacie provides the necessary college-aged sex-addicted tramp character (a character so over-the-top, you're guaranteed to squirm). Bumper (the captain of the boy's singing team) is a character so insanely arrogant and rude that he is not only hard to enjoy watching, he makes you want to kill every jock on the planet. Slowly.
The movie's second fatal flaw is its achingly stupid sense of humor. Yes, boys and girls, Fat Amy is funny. She has several good one liners and lends the movie its only spark of humor-related vitality. However, all else falls flat. The most achingly obvious example is the vomit-laden climax. Seriously, was that girl doing vomit-angels supposed to funny? I guess I just don't get it.
Also, for a PG-13 flick aimed at mostly female tweens, Pitch Perfect is surprisingly offensive. The movie takes heavy jabs at nerds, Asian people, Jewish people, redheads, and probably more that I fail to recall at the moment (not to mention several distasteful jokes like the one about eating another baby in the womb). Seriously, filmmakers, you aren't Sacha Baron Cohen, and you don't have the same audience.
Finally, the movie follows the most cliché (I like this word, don't I?) storyline imaginable. Girl has trouble in college. Girl meets boy who befriends her. Girl joins team of has-beens. Girl pushes away boy away because of her past and her daddy issues. Girl forced off team. Girl "learns lesson" and wins boy back and helps team of has-beens win championship. Yay, ingenuity!
Ultimately, the comedic sparks from the humorous character Fat Amy can not save Pitch Perfect. I'll be honest, this movie completely lost at the vomit scene(even Miss March was more tasteful than that!) I was quite aca-thankful when the movie came to its (very abrupt) ending.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As I watched "Magic Mike", I was entertained and hopeful. Some of its
elements were fascinating and the storyline seemed to be heading in an
interesting direction. Each new scene seemed to lead toward a climax
that could make the movie's run time worthwhile.
And then it ended.
I was confused. So many things didn't make sense. So many questions were left unanswered. Where was the conflict's resolution? What happened to Adam? When did Mike and Brooke fall in love? What was with Tarzan's character? Did I have the wrong mindset?
The problem with "Magic Mike" is that it attempts to appeal to every form of movie watcher and, instead, appeals only to the ladies fanning themselves while mesmerized by abs and biceps. While Mike (a surprisingly decent Channing Tatum) is an interesting character, the movie's structure and story suffer from Steven Soderbergh's direction.
1. "Magic Mike" has no goal. No themes, no morals, no bottom-line. We see hints of anti-drug sentimentality, and Soderbergh draws a little attention to the effects of the male stripper world on the male mind. But these elements are only hints, and are abandoned by the time the credits roll. Mike doesn't regret his actions as a stripper, only that he continued to be one into his 30's. He dabbles in drugs in one (hyper-extended and annoying) montage-esque scene, but that event too has few direct consequences.
All this would be okay if the movie was a comedy. However...
2. "Magic Mike" isn't funny. Not by any stretch of the imagination. We have some witty remarks that are bound to induce some smiles, but the only laughs come from people's "shock" from the dance numbers. There are no jokes, no slapstick humor, and the dance numbers really aren't that amusing (to a male). The only truly funny scene is when Adam (a bored looking Alex Pettyfer) is first backstage with Tarzan and the other strippers.
If this movie lacks a drama's thematic elements and a comedy's laughs, then it must be a romance, right?
3. "Magic Mike" isn't romantic. In fact, Mike and Brooke (Cody Horn) don't let any sparks fly at all. A relationship between the two isn't even a possibility until they get into their first shouting match, near (what I assume to be) the movie's climax. Their relationship is never given time to grow because the movie's first half tries to build a story around Adam and Mike's relationship. However, the second half drops Adam almost completely and attempts to bring in Brooke. Both relationships fall flat, not to mention Adam ends up as a terrible human being.
In the end, what the audience gets is a casserole of movie elements and little of the satisfaction that comes from watching these types of movies because Soderbergh shoots high and misses everything. Also, "Magic Mike" is peppered with extended "erotic" dance numbers that add nothing to the plot and exist purely to satisfy the target audience: middle-aged women. These scenes, in addition to the movie's schizophrenic lack of direction, will disappoint any movie lover's hopes of seeing a film that provides insight into the mind of a male stripper.
At least, the audience could have used a decent ending.
So close! That was my first thought when the credits for Abraham
Lincoln: Vampire Hunter began to roll. I am no fan of the book, I was
only mildly excited for the movie, and I came out mildly disappointed.
Why? Because it could have been so much more! It SHOULD have been. If
the first half of this movie is any indication, it had big,
However, the final result is still quite decent. No, not decent as in, "Oh, look at its title! Shut off your brain and have a good time!" No, not decent as in, "I had a fun time and the blood was really cool!" This movie was legitimately decent.
The whole concept of transforming the ideology of slavery into an embodiment of evil is clever, and this idea is not lost on the script's translation to the big screen. On one side of the spectrum, this movie can be viewed purely as a metaphor for Lincoln's historical deeds and character.
However, this concept also sets up AL:VH for its biggest flaw. The first half of the film runs with this alternate universe for Abraham Lincoln, and it succeeds wildly. We are given characters we accept, circumstances we appreciate, and relationships with which we agree. The pace is frenetic, the dialogue well-executed, and the acting enjoyable.
But instead of keeping this attitude throughout its run time, the movie changes mood. Near the halfway point, the movie loses momentum due to a stale plot development that allows for the vampires to be leading the South in the Civil War. The action becomes "meh" and the characters no longer seem like legitimate people.
Why doesn't it work? Firstly, AL:VH tries too hard to include more history in its second half. With Lincoln as president and leading the Civil War, the vampire actions seems out of place and just silly. This is because instead of REPLACING the historical events with the metaphorical vampires, or at least downplaying the history, AL:VH tries to reconcile the two and the result is downright boring (for example, did anyone REALLY care about that whole "get the silver to Gettysburg" plot line?) Also, we are subjected to some seriously bad makeup. The "aging" between early Lincoln to president Lincoln consists of a few wrinkles and a beard, and the co-stars fare even worse. Also, side characters stick around for too long, and we don't care about them. The shopkeeper is a poorly written character and never has a fleshed out personality, and Lincoln's black friend (whose unremarkable name escapes me) is also too insignificant but inexplicably good at killing vampires.
In the end, DO SEE Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for its cool action (eons ahead of that atrocity with similar effects, "Immortals"), great visuals, and hints of moral poignancy and historical metaphors. But don't expect complete satisfaction.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dear "atp118", You asked me to explain our position, so here I go. You
have several complaints about realistic aspects of The Grey. You say
the characters would be dead within hours of being outside in Alaska.
However, keep in mind that these men live up here for long periods of
time, and have grown accustomed to the cold. They're not just dandy and
prancing in the snow, but they can survive. For a direct account of
real men surviving in such conditions, I encourage you to watch the
The wolves. The movie did an excellent job of explaining their actions. I'm sorry your extensive knowledge based on nature shows says otherwise.
You say the premise is outrageous, although your reason doesn't really make sense. Basically, Ottway doesn't kill enough wolves and his survival methods don't work. I'm afraid you've missed the point of The Grey then. The Grey does not aspire to be an action-packed man-versus-wolf movie. The title itself relates to the color around them, the wolves, AND the moral bleakness in the environment these men have been thrust into; therefore, the movie intends to be more than meets the eye. IF Ottway's plan had worked and he had saved everyone and killed more wolves, then the premise would have been a thousand times more unrealistic and outrageous and there would have been way more complaints. If your complaint is that Liam Neeson wasn't able to supply a happy ending, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong movie.
You scorn the men for laughing after their friend(s) got killed. This isn't poor scriptwriting, this is a human mechanism. Humor is the best way to keep one's spirit alive. The point of the movie is to draw attention to man's need to fight for survival. Laughter is the medicine of the soul, and joking around was these men's realistic way of dealing with their trials.
In the end, you criticize the movie's reputation as "a survival movie at its best". You say this is terrible because Neeson's character (as well as the rest) don't survive. Again, you missed the point. The movie IS about survival, although perhaps not about accomplishing it. It is about STRIVING for survival. It is a reflection on the human mind under duress. Go ahead, roll your eyes. You came to the wrong theater anyways.
All this being said, two scenes were unrealistic. Yes, that-climbing on-the-rope-made-from-shirts-over-a-cliff deal made little sense. Also, the fact that Ottway survived the icy water of the river without suffering hypothermia or the like made no sense either. HOWEVER, be fair. How many Hollywood features have no such scenes? Besides, these scenes achieved their goals effectively. The former addressed the one man's fear of heights and provided an extremely tense sequence. The latter demonstrated the death of the last survivor besides Neeson, and serves as irony (that he died over something so trivial after everything they survived) and a reason for Neeson to vent against God.
AS you may have realized, this isn't as much of a movie review as it is a defense. Most of the movie's critics attack the movie's unrealistic factors or its slow pace. I already addressed most of the former complaints, and most of the others made no sense (one reviewer was outraged that the survivors 1: didn't build a fort from the airplane pieces to defend themselves and 2: didn't build a raft on the river. What is WRONG with you?!) I don't fully understand the complaints about the slow pace. The movie never fails to be tense. Therefore, I attribute these complaints to a disappointment: most of these viewers were expecting an action flick so no matter what, they will walk away disappointed after encountering the "metaphysics" and analysis of the psyche that is The Grey.
In summary, this really isn't a date movie. This is not high school escapist fare. The Grey is raw, unforgiving, and chilling. People swear. People make controversial decisions. People die. This movie will stick with you for a long time, and that fact alone makes it worth your time. Don't forget the amazing cinematography, the incredible acting (Neeson's performance was downright heart-stopping; who can forget his climatic tirade against the sky scene?), the three-dimensional characters (all stereotypes shattered, including the guy who you think will be the annoying dissenter), and the undeniable terror and beauty that creeps into every frame.
And "atp118", you spelled Neeson wrong. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
Rise of Planet of the Apes (which I will now refer to as Planet for
obvious reasons) has had lots of marketing in the last few weeks, and
all of it portrays this movie to be a chaotic disaster/action film.
Fortunately, while mayhem rears itself in the climax, Planet is more of
a suspense drama that tautly engrosses its viewers through expert
storytelling, spellbinding performances, a well-wrought script, and
I find no need to give a detailed plot summary, because most of the plot is given away in the trailer. Basically, our hero Will Rodman develops ALZ-112, the cure for Alzheimer's disease, while testing on chimps. However, his key chimp goes bananas and is shot. After the drug is discarded and the apes put down, Will discovers the ape's baby that the drug passed on to and decides to raise it for himself. However, as time passes, the super-smart ape Caesar begins to clash with his neighbors, his origins, and his place in the world.
From the beginning, Planet is a thoroughly gripping movie. The dialogue is genuine, the characters are more than relatable, and most of all, the ape visuals are frighteningly real. James Franco lays down a solid performance as Will, and right off the bat makes the viewer care about his character. The co-stars (especially John Lithgow as Will's unfortunate father) also allow the viewers to invest emotionally, but the true star is Andy Serkis's Caesar. From his early playful and curious antics to his shock and fear among the other apes, Andy's digitally rendered performance awes us. When the climax arrives, his presence is downright commanding. That signifies true acting power.
The level of design that went into the visual side of Planet is immeasurable. Yes, we are not debating whether or not the apes are real, but they hold our attention nonetheless. For instance, the ape integration scene when the apes are first out of their cages together is inspired. Also, the apes truly acted like you would expect apes to act, and therefore added to the realism.
The scriptwriting, while not "whip-smart" like some have described, is perfectly balanced, providing a rising tension and an air of dread unmatched by nearly all movies this year. I was genuinely surprised by how powerful the writing was, and how ready the audience was for the finale.
There are very few flaws with this movie, but there are enough to name. Freida Pinto's character Caroline, while well-acted, seemed unnecessary and under-written, almost as if she was added in as an afterthought, or as if she was expendable. Also, Tom Felton's nasty character was just plain stupid. Not only did he make illogical decisions in nearly every moment of his screen time (the hose/electrical prod scene was groan worthy on his part), but I also find it hard to believe that someone as irresponsible and brutal as him would find work in an ape house. After all, apes are not dogs, and I'm sure the humane society would have regular check-ups.
Also, Jacobs death scene was out of place. The entire sequence played out like the audience was supposed to be horrified, but instead afterwards we realize that this should have felt like the death of the villain and we should be satisfied. But that kind of didn't make sense considering Jacobs wasn't nasty enough to be a main villain.
Finally, small plot holes litter the script. Why did Will still have the updated drug in his fridge long after his father's death? How did no one realize that their neighbor had an ape for five years? How did this elite company not notice some of their breakthrough drug go missing?
On a side note, did anyone else have trouble with the names? I felt like the only names i remembered were "Caesar" and "Bright Eyes". Everyone else I had to nickname names like "James Franco", "the girlfriend", "the bloody nose dude", "the black boss", "the nasty blonde dude", etc. Maybe its just me, so I won't detract stars.
In any case, Planet is an engrossing movie. Not in just the visual "Avatar" sense, but also emotionally. It is exhilarating, smart, and entertaining. Rise of the Planet of the Apes comes highly recommended.
I had three reasons for originally seeing Crazy, Stupid, Love this
weekend. 1. I heard bad things about Cowboys and Aliens. 2. My
girlfriend said so. 3. Emma Stone is gorgeous.
Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised with the end result. The scriptwriting was clever, witty, and never stiff, while the directing was top-notch. However, no matter how you play it, this is a character story.
Steve Carell plays Cal, a likable middle-aged man whose wife, Emily, (Julianne Moore) suddenly requests a divorce after 20+ years of marriage, along with an announcement that she has cheated on him. Heartbroken, Cal eventually turns to the rich womanizer Jacob (Ryan Gosling). His story of "re-discovering his manhood" (read: seducing women in a bar, including the wonderful Marisa Tomei) soon intersects with the story of the young, smart, and aspiring lawyer, Hannah (Emma Stone) as well as a deranged love triangle between Cal's middle schooled son, his babysitter, and Cal himself.
It was refreshing to see Mr. Carell play a not COMPLETELY incompetent character for a change, and he plays it well. Needless to say, all of the actors and actresses played their parts well, but surprisingly, I was most impressed by Ryan Gosling's performance, a man who I previously viewed as pure woman's eye-candy.
For the most part, the on screen relationships were honest and endearing, with the exception of the middle schooled infatuation with the babysitter (call me cynical). The "bedroom" scene with Hannah and Jacob is especially engaging (even though I usually hate montages). Steve's love for Emily never seemed silly, and the babysitter's crush was played out just long enough not to be tiresome.
I also liked the "twist" (are twists allowed in romantic comedies?), which I didn't guess earlier on. The laughs were also plentiful and hearty enough without being too lowbrow/slapstick.
However, I have yet to see a perfect romantic comedy, and Crazy, Stupid, Love has its share. For instance, Hannah and Jacob's relationship is squeezed in and never given time to develop. They are given one scene to fall into unconditional love for each other, and although the scene works great, the relationship feels distanced. Also, Emily's reason for divorcing Cal is never fully explained. Yes, she cheated, and he's apparently boring, but she seems to want Cal back from the moment she leaves him.
I won't harp on Cal's son's wince-inducing endeavors for his love, but lets just say some of it was over-the-top. And of course, no movie in this genre escapes clichés (note to screenwriters: climax scenes of public embarrassment/expression of love where the on screen audience has no relation are NOT funny. Please stop). Finally, the first half flowed much better than the second, and guys will feel conned by the necessary Hollywood ending.
All in all, I found myself laughing, smiling, and enjoying this flick much more than I thought, and that's what entertainment is all about. I recommend Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Oh yeah, and there's Kevin Bacon.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had been looking forward to Captain America for about a year, and I
decided to make it the first premiere I'd go to all summer. I got a
group of ten friends and showed up hours early with Captain America
merchandise and enough caffeine to stay up through Lord of the Rings in
Every single person in my group was disappointed. Needless to say, we still enjoyed ourselves, and I wasn't even expecting much, (Jumanji and Jurassic Park III at the top of the director's credentials), but, man, I couldn't help counting the flaws throughout the film.
Positive: Chris Evans was surprisingly convincing. Also, our hero was truly inspirational (if not corny). The sets were nice, and the other stars filled their roles well. I was well entertained, and the first half flowed nicely.
Negative: Oh, lord. I'll try not to nitpick. Most glaring was the absolute pathetic villain. Hugo Weaving (a great actor who manages to give his character some, well, character) plays a downright cheesy, sappy, crazy, and so un-menacing-its-not-even-funny chum nicknamed Red Skull. His back story is never laid out and only hinted at a few times, his followers are faceless drones with advanced weaponry but the brains and aim of stormtroopers, and his intentions are ridiculously stupid and unexplainable (his target is "everything"? Oh, please). He was never threatening and never endangered our hero, not to mention his death was as anti-climatic as they come (Voldemort, anyone?)
Also obvious is the cliché invincibility of the Captain. He leaps twenty feet as flames engulf him, he fistfights scores of goons, blows up crap all over the place, and never once gets seriously injured. Suspense? Apparently, there's no need when you have patriotism!
The technology was just plain silly for its era. Leaving out the cheesy blue-shooting things (something to do with the gods? I don't know, it was kind of weird), there are spycraft, tanks the size of mansions, helicopters that look like spacecraft, single-person submarines, and (my personal favorite) manned bombers in the shape of bombs. Are they suicide bombers? Apparently.
There is no attachment to the characters (anyone blink when his best friend died?), there are loads of forgettable scenes (notably the war montage of which the trailer consists, which might have made a good movie, I might add), and clichés (love interest walks in on random kiss, etc.) and downright sloppy pacing galore.
I must stop here, but seriously, 8.0? Not even close. Enjoyable fare, but nothing to think twice about. Here's to hoping Joss Whedon improves upon Chris Evan's Captain in 2012.