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86 reviews in total 
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Vacation (2015/I)
5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Is It Worth Seeing?, 28 July 2015

"This vacation will stand on it's own", Rusty proudly proclaims at the beginning of the film. Well, he's right about that. Vacation stands far away from the original Vacation, and far away from any comedy out this summer. When an update is made on such a classic comedy, you're already making a gamble with your money at the box-office. 99% of the time, it's a bad, bad idea to see something like this. Vacation 2015, thankfully is no Pink Panther 2006.. and thank God, it's no Arthur 2011. But it's something alright. The makers of Horrible Bosses have taken a stab at the Harold Ramis/John Hughes slapstick epic, and seemed to have ran it through the Rhode Island School of Comedy, of which The Farrelly brothers and Seth MacFarlane are alumnus of. What do I mean by the Rhode Island School of Comedy? It's the golden rule to do everything you can to shock, gross-out and offend the audience. Vacation covers all the bases, and hangs from all the gallows. Poop, urine, gallons of vomit, animal cruelty, racism, homophobia, pedophilia, murder, suicide, hairs from the netherlands, boners, booze and mockery of the disabled. Gee, I don't remember the original Vacation being this dark. But what's the most important factor? Laughing, of course. The good news is, you'll laugh. Like the best of Farrelly Bros. and MacFarlane, you'll laugh the hardest when you really want to gasp and gag. You'll leave the theater happy, and immediately take a shower afterwords. As far as how it compares to it's source material, I think fans of the original will find many reasons to rip apart this remake, and I respect that. I mean, the day they make a lazy reboot of Big Lebowski, is the day I cry foul at Hollywood.

What?, 20 July 2015

Vanilla Sky is what happens when a great director wins an award, gets surrounded by Yes men, and gets the opportunity to have full reign of his dream project. This has vanity project written all over it. It's just gobbledygook. I understand why people hate this movie. Cameron Crowe really didn't care if this movie polarized his audience, and it astoundingly did so. But, the people that liked it, to my estimation, either looked into it too deeply, understood it's intentions or just laughed at how utterly incomprehensible it was. I gave it a chance, and I was oddly entertained by it. At times I couldn't believe what I was watching, but I had to keep going. I feel aggravated, but accomplished for having watched it. Cameron Crowe has unfortunately never made a decent movie again after this. You can see that it's his tipping point. Pretension and sticky saccharine gloop practically are pouring out of the seams, about to burst. I'd like to get a Life Extension, and dream that Cameron Crowe still makes good movies like Almost Famous.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A big, beautiful inside joke, 29 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is "500 Days of Summer" if Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Jean- Luc Godard, the Coen brothers, Stanley Kubrick, Harmony Korine, Wener Herzog, Hal Ashby, Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson and the entire student body and faculty of NYU Tisch film school took turns at the directors chair. There, there is my snarky cinephile reflection.. wink, wink, nudge, nudge. If you love the movies, and hate John Green novels with a burning passion, welcome to your heaven on earth. This is the ultimate hipster, meta-movie, movie that eye- rollers and Starbucks drinkers will love to death.. but for all the right reasons. As a cinephile, I felt like I was apart of an abstract German art piece, where I was being smacked with a trout. In other words, I felt like the artsy dick that this movie knew I was. But I found it, just really, really funny. These two guys are so smart, so clever, and so dedicated to film, that by the end of it all, I just wanted to hang out with them. They knew who they were, they knew they were in a movie, and they knew it was going to be a sappy love story where a girl dies at the end.. spoiler alert.. she does, but you already knew that. But the film, aside from being hilarious, is absolutely beautiful. Not because of it's academic knowledge of cinematography techniques from the greatest film directors spanning hundreds of years, but because it handles it's love story so gracefully and realistically. Without warning, the Dying girl takes a turn for the worst, and without warning, the film becomes devastatingly sad, and really heartfelt. I wanted to just hug myself. Two scenes in particular have some of the best acting and emotional depth of any movie i've seen this year. Olivia Cooke could very well be nominated for an Academy Award for her performance. Bottom line, as a first picture for this director, this film is mind-blowingly good. It's as if Alfonso Gomez-Rejon has been with us this whole time, but in the form of every filmmaker we've ever known of. I hope we see more films from him. I know they will be just as good.

Ted 2 (2015)
21 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Thunder Strikes, 25 June 2015

I came to laugh, and laugh I did. "Ted 2" is a ridiculously stupid movie, the thing is, when Seth MacFarlane directs it, I like it more than the average dumb guy movie. I was gut-busting more times than I expected to. Was it as inspired and heartfelt as the first? Of course not. It would've benefited if it was, but there is only so much you could squeeze out of a pot-smoking bear, without getting more of the same.. lots of fuzz. The story is predictable, yes. Yet it stays away from being too serious, which I applaud MacFarlane for doing this time around. He divulged in some really hacky melodrama in "A Million Ways to Die in the West", and I prayed that it didn't happen here. Luckily, he doubles down on the laughs. However, he also doubles down on the offensiveness. This is a mean movie, folks. Prepare to scoff and scowl at how low it goes. Some of it does work, partially due to how Ted's racism and homophobia is humorously typical of a loud Bostonian. I'm not sure how anyone will feel about Ferguson and Charlie Hebdo, and Robin Williams death jokes. The 22.3 year rule has never applied to Seth MacFarlane. For him, it's about a 4 month rule. Putting aside all of the flaws, I can happily say that "Ted 2" delivers as a comedy. It's a vast improvement over Seth's last film, and it's making me crave third film. But if they have to put the bear to bed, so be it.

Amadeus (1984)
Mediocrities, I Absolve You!, 25 June 2015

The great epic biopic, about the great epic artist himself. What's so fascinating about it, is it's style. It's refusal to be pretentious. If that's not enough, it mocks pretension by using Antonio Salieri. He's just so insufferably envious of Mozart, that he inadvertently kills him. Even after death, he can't get over how inferior he is to the master. What a great antihero. A jerk to end all jerks. Adding to the ridicule that makes Amadeus so unique, is Mozart himself. Without prior knowledge, you'd leave the film thinking that this whole time, he was an idiot savant. But perhaps, Mozart is just as colorful as his punk rock wigs... at least that would be what we all would hope for. While I don't think it's Milos Forman's best film, it's a magnificent achievement, and for the grand majority of it's 3 hours, it's engrossing.

In Bruges (2008)
Pack your Bags, 25 June 2015

Looks on the surface to be a typical English dark comedy/thriller in the vein of early Guy Ritchie. Watch it, and experience something absolutely phenomenal. I beg you, don't let this one pass you by. In Bruges is painfully hilarious, and painfully sad, at the exact same time. Imagine crying through your tears.. yeah, it pretty much sums this movie up. It uses it's criminal characters to observe the delicacy of life, and the excruciating consequence of one horrible mistake. Yet, these characters are so tragic, that when they go for a laugh, you're roaring. Laughter and sadness intertwine so well, isn't it a mystery why?

Snatch. (2000)
Yeah, Don't go to England., 25 June 2015

Wow, this movie is so much fun. I loved it. It's a better film than LS2SB, in my opinion. It's faster, funnier, crazier, smarter and tighter. None of the characters seemed conventional this time around. Ritchie takes the formula he used in his first film, and creates new, hilarious angles on them. Creativity wins in the end. We follow two mob groups, and they all intersect and scrap up within the final act of the film. There's boxing, and jewel thievery, and everyone trying to get the job done without being fed to hungry pigs (literally). While his last film was a tribute to Tarantino, this film, to me, seems like a parody of him. It works better, knowing that conventions are being made fun of, in cool ways.

Drive Angry, 25 June 2015

The first 20 minutes or so play out like a typical, early 70's, bust-a-pimp exploitation flick, and I thought I wasn't going to like it. But then, it all gloriously changed. A 180 degree turn-around, into what I think is one of the most nail-biting crime thrillers of all time. The French Connection is a ticket into the mind of a ragtag cop, trying to make his day with the case of his life. We spend most of the film, following him as he shadows the criminals he is chasing. It's classic cinema verite. We see every sudden movement and action in this cat and mouse chase. Climaxing with the unparalleled, jaw-dropping, chase scene, above and below the train station. These day's, its become an overlooked film, and sure it's not perfect. But, The French Connection is a thrill that any fan of the Fast and Furious series need to see. I mean.. THAT CAR CHASE!

Un-Immaculate Conception, 25 June 2015

One of the all-time, classic thrillers of American cinema. It's, as many people have said in passing in regards to the film, the un-immaculate conception of the Antichrist on an innocent married woman. But the story isn't that simple. The great director, Roman Polanski, keeps you second guessing yourself the whole time. Is it all the work of witch craft? or is Rosemary just crazy? Was her visit from the devil just a dream? or did it really happen? You're left on edge, until the very end, when it all tragically makes sense. Polanski's direction is startlingly good. The dream sequence is nearly the best scene in the whole picture. It demonstrates Polanski merging his avant-garde roots within his first contemporary American film. Such creepy fun.

Trainwreck (2015)
19 out of 49 people found the following review useful:
Say Hello to Movie Star, Amy Schumer, 25 June 2015

I'm not so proud to say that I belong to the "Tinder" generation. We tend to cater to the id, cutting right to the chase. It's between the sheets first, and maybe love after. I saw this film in college, where I would bank on the hook up culture thriving the most. Do you think this kind of accidental love story resonated with anyone? Will it make you think twice about being loose? Highly doubtful. For the most part, we were too busy laughing to care. Trainwreck in on track to becoming one of the most interesting, talked-about films of the year. I hope I'm not wrong. This is a new, bold, intelligent comedy from Amy Schumer. Regardless of how the rest of America will feel, she isn't going anywhere. Trainwreck manages to be a unisex comedy, that is more guy- centric than Bridesmaids... and Bridesmaids had some classic guy humor. Amy Schumer is really something to behold. She is as nasty and brutal as her "Comedy Cellar" friends, but then, she's adorable, and vulnerable. This is unique, and something we haven't seen before. This isn't just her show, however. Trainwreck features the most unexpectedly funny cast in any movie I can think of. What sticks out in my mind is John Cena and LeBron James. Two sports legends, and wouldn't you believe it, they have terrific comedic timing. Hollywood should take note, and cast people in comedies that have never done anything funny. I also have to single out praise for Colin Quinn. A great comedian, seen rarely on screen these days, and his performance is stellar. As for Judd Apatow, he's still so incredibly gifted with directing new talent, and surprisingly restraint from placing his wife Leslie Mann and his two daughters in cameo roles.. not that I don't think they're talented. This is a sweet movie. Spread it's praise.

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