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The Love Guru (2008)
I m a fan of the Austin Powers movies, and so I was looking forward to seeing "The Love Guru."
Here's my opinion: The Love Guru is to Austin Powers what "Hot Shots: Part Deux" is to "Airplane." What I mean is that both movies want to achieve the same result and have similar formats and formulas, but one nails it and the other is a half-hearted attempt.
Let me try to say it a different way... If the Austin Powers movies are Mad Magazine quality. The Love Guru is "Cracked" magazine (remember that crappy rip-off of the Mad format?)
I miss the fresh double entendre of Austin Powers. What we get instead is a close-up of a BOOGER complete with NASAL HAIRS. Luckily I neglected to buy popcorn, or I would've retched! Same goes for the "stinkmop" scene.
I was amazed by the "What is it you can't face?" scene (look it up) that I saw in one of the trailers (the trailers included just about every other funny scene as well.) I thought it was brilliant wordplay. Then I went online and discovered it was ripped off from a comedy routine by Caroline Rhea and the movie "The Sound Of Music!" WTF?
Here's the part of the movie that really made me laugh (yes there was one.) While we are watching two elephants having sex (yes you read that right) the camera cuts to two obese people who kiss and say "I love you." That was funny. The other entertaining scene was a Bollywood flashback in which Myers and Jessica Alba sing in Indian complete with subtitles. It looked really retro complete with the 35mm film slipping off the projector gears. Nice fourth wall removal!
The rest of the movie seems really forced. Myers appears to be trying too hard. The Love Guru says "When love goes wrong, nothing goes right." Didn't Mike Myers recently (in 2006) divorce his long-time wife?
Sex and the City (2008)
The Sex And The City movie was basically exactly what I expected it to be, but that's a good thing.
I wanted to see an extension of the lives of characters I knew and loved from watching the HBO series.
As a happily married heterosexual man I don't get all the bashing that goes on in the media regarding this movie. Do most men really regard this movie as run-of-the-mill chick flick fare? This movie bares no resemblance to Steel Magnolias or Beaches.
I personally love to see middle-aged women talking dirty and basically being sexy. I don't understand how any heterosexual man wouldn't. I was happy to take my wife to this movie, and to watch the series as well. Let's face it, this is not your typical chick flick. Loosen up guys! Middle aged women are sexy, and there's nothing wrong with admitting you like this movie. The comments regarding the ages of these women are mean-spirited and (for lack of a better word) ageist!
Take your wife to see this film. She'll get choked up. You'll laugh, and you'll both appreciate each other more when it's over.
P.S. Don't worry! If you walk in a heterosexual, you'll walk out a heterosexual. It's not a clever trap designed to make you gay.
Just Like Heaven (2005)
Enjoyable Chick Flick
This "Chick Flick" was actually very enjoyable. Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo had good chemistry. The movie had a sweetness that made you root for the characters.
Other people have complained that the score contains crummy covers of good songs, and they are absolutely right. That is my only complaint about this film.
My "chick" was very proud of me for getting this "flick" for us to watch. The gag reel on the DVD was also very entertaining. This is a great date movie! Pick it up and watch it with your lady.
The scene in the bar when Reese Witherspoon is trying to keep Mark Ruffalo from drinking by taking over his body is hilarious. It reminded me of a movie called "All Of Me" with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin (but funnier.)
View from the Top (2003)
Aggravating Hack Comedy
I got this movie from the Cleveland Public Library for my wife who has a crush on Mark Ruffalo.
After about the twentieth hack Cleveland joke I was ready to destroy this copy of the movie to protect future viewers.
I'm supposed to believe Mark Ruffalo lives in Cleveland and puts up with Gwyneth Paltrow making whiny comment after whiny comment about how much Cleveland sucks? Yeah, right! A true Clevelander would've driven her to Detroit and booted her ass out of the car. I am so happy this movie bombed! My favorite scene is when the plane is landing at CLEVELAND HOPKINS AIRPORT in front of MOUNTAINS shrouded in fog. Last time I checked we didn't have any mountains. Have the makers of this movie even been to Cleveland or did they get the Cleveland jokes from twenty five year old episodes of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson?
Gwyneth Paltrow should stick to naming her kids after the Fruit of the Loom guys and making high-brow films nobody watches. In the meantime if anyone wants to see a good romantic comedy, watch "Just Like Heaven" with Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon. I gave this movie two stars because Mike Myers tried to give it CPR, but failed.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Two Hours Is Not Enough Time
The movie "The Da Vinci Code" is amazingly bland in comparison to the book. The whole problem with the movie is that all of the "eureka moments" from the first half of the book are just skipped over without any fanfare. The murder scene at the beginning of the movie in the Louvre is central to the plot and in the book the finding of the clues at the scene, and the discovery of the Da Vinci paintings are filled with suspense and detailed explanations of the symbology, and anagrams. In the movie Langdon, and Sophie run around like characters on "Supermarket Sweep" discovering clues and filing them away. Langdon and Sophie almost seem to be checking items off of a list as if they were on a scavenger hunt.
Did anyone else think "Da Vinci" wasn't featured prominently enough in this film called "The Da Vinci Code?" I did. The analysis of the imagery in "Madonna Of The Rocks" was fascinating in the book, but in the movie the emphasis was on the fluorescent magic marker writing on the painting. There was no mention of any hidden imagery.
I think the problem was essentially that two hours is not enough to explain all of the nuances of "The Da Vinci Code." The result is a muddled mess of flashbacks, poorly explained plot twists, and double-crossing characters.
A family member who never read the book was really frustrated trying to decipher what was going on at various points. For readers of the book it makes sense, but for the unfamiliar following the film may be a challenge. The makers of the film made a valiant effort, but the book (especially the first half of the book) is a lot more fun. Two hours is not enough time to capture the energy of "The Da Vinci Code."
Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)
Father And Son Bonding Movie
I grabbed this movie at the library, and really didn't know much about it before watching it. I remembered the movie being compared to Jumanji, and figured it might be a good film to watch with my twelve-year-old son.
I would like to thank everyone responsible for making this movie for giving me one of the most enjoyable movie watching experiences I've ever had!
It turns out my son is at the perfect age to watch this movie. He and I were on the edge of our seats, and he had a smile on his face the entire time. This film will hold the attention of your "tweens" even those with the touch of ADD that is all too common in our video game, microwave meal society.
I know I'm not saying much about what happens in the movie, and that's because the movie needs to be seen to be appreciated. It is part science fiction, part morality play with just the right amount of humor and a few twists and turns. The suspense level in some of the scenes is breathtaking, and other than one relatively minor expletive early in the film (nothing my son hasn't heard,) it's very family friendly.
Zathura is a DVD I'll definitely be buying. My son actually thanked me for getting this "awesome" DVD for us to watch. Dads (and Moms) put Zthura on your "must see" list.
Boat Trip (2002)
Really dumb movie
This movie is really dumb. I like Horatio Sanz on SNL, and I so wanted this movie to be funny. It's not.
Horatio Sanz accidentally shoots down a rescue helicopter with a flare gun! That's the dumbest thing I've ever seen.
The scene where Cuba Gooding is trying to reason with his woman while wearing drag is slightly funny. Roger Moore's portrayal of an old queen is slightly funny. The rest of this movie really stinks. I wanted this ship to hit an iceberg so bad. There's an abundance of stupid dirty jokes that you can see coming a mile away. Imagine a movie wasting cameos by Artie Lang and Will Farrell, and the comic ability of Horatio Sanz. What a shame.
Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
Fun, Energetic, and Altogether Wonderful
Wow, I can't believe I waited so long to see this film. I just never got around to watching it. The plot has nothing that interests me. I know nothing about soccer (football.) I am one of those American fools that has no clue. I had never even seen David Beckham before this film. I chose to ignore the buzz surrounding this film at the time it was released in America. Enough about me.
Truth be told, it was a mistake to ignore this little piece of movie-making heaven. What a fun film. It's full of color and exuberance. I had a goofy grin on my face through the whole movie. Parminder Nagra is so sweet and lovable, you can't help but root for her. No wonder why the American television show E.R. has snatched her up. I have a new appreciation for Indian culture. Those people know how to have a good time. The wedding scenes are dazzlingly beautiful.
The only problem I had was deciphering some of the British slang and dialogue through the accents. I turned on the English subtitles to make sure I didn't miss anything. (This is not a criticism of the film!) I'm sure audiences worldwide have trouble understanding the constantly changing slang in American films as well.
This is a perfect date film. It has a great sports plot like Rocky, and a strong sense of feminism that is empowering for women. I watched it with my wife, and sixteen year old niece, and we all loved it. I highly recommend it.
Man of the House (2005)
Could've Been Good With A Twist
First of all, the scenes with Cedric The Entertainer feel totally weird. They don't seem to fit the movie. I wonder if someone said: "this movie isn't funny enough, get a fat guy in tight clothes to act silly." I could be totally off, but these scenes seem like they were added after a bad screening. Either way, they can't save a movie that uses the formulaic devices this movie relies on. Tommy Lee Jones is a tough guy Texas Ranger (not the baseball kind, the cop kind) who has to keep cheerleader witnesses safe. In real life this guy would have some serious temptation, but not our tough guy cop! He's all business. Yeah right. The whole thing feels like a reality show gone bad like "Temptation Island, the May-December Edition." The cheerleaders are your garden variety airhead stereotypes (i.e. every cheerleader movie,) and Cedric is the stereotypical corrupt gospel preacher film-flam man (see Steve Martin in "Leap Of Faith.")There's the corrupt cop. There's a quick appearance by "Booger" of "Revenge Of The Nerds" as a shady weasel. There's a wedding of two characters that barely had any chemistry just to attempt to give the movie a happy ending.
Here's my idea to make this movie good: We find out that the reason Tommy Lee Jones never lusts after any of the cheerleaders is because he's secretly extremely gay like the butch tough guy neighbor in "American Beauty." (It's certainly more plausible than the clap-trap "married to my job" excuse that's given.)
Tommy Lee Jones is the same cop he was in "The Fugitive" and "MIB", just take away the sunglasses and plop a ten gallon hat on his head. This movie would be okay for a rainy Sunday afternoon HBO viewing. The cheerleaders are certainly easy on the eyes. Here's the verdict: cute cheerleaders: 8 out of 10, The rest of the movie: 3 out of 10
Hide and Seek (2005)
A DeNiro Near Miss
This is a crummy movie that makes you realize what a good movie Psycho was. Hide And Seek has a plot with a twist at the end that is like Psycho's but less effective, less exciting, and less surprising. Dakota Fanning is creepy. I can't decide if the creepiness is due to the fact that she's a good actress, or due to the fact that she appears to be a pint sized robot programmed to mimic adult behavior. DeNiro, it seems has two careers in real life as well as two personalities in this movie. There's the DeNiro that makes movies like Taxi Driver, Godfather II, and Raging Bull, and then there's the DeNiro that makes American Express commercials, and Rocky & Bullwinkle. This movie falls into the latter category. It's a boring movie that makes you wait for a crappy climax. Rent Psycho.
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
Funny, Raunchy, Really Sweet
I was surprised at how raunchy this movie was. It's reminiscent of American Pie, and Porkys in the amount of sex jokes, and sexual content. There is a good amount of drinking and drugging too. The racial humor is also abundant, and nothing is held back. I may sound like I was offended, but I have to tell you, in this movie it works! It really is a smart comedy. The relationship between Steve Carrell and his friends is similar to the relationship between the girls on Sex & The City. These people care about one another. They're totally believable. The movie's payoff is extra sweet, because we care. We really care. Steve Carrell has made a movie for adults that adults can enjoy without sacrificing adulthood. Really funny stuff!
I've been reading mixed reviews of this movie and decided to put my own two cents in: I really enjoyed it. I may be biased, (I've been reading Clive Cussler novels for years), I read this book years ago. I was afraid the makers of this movie wouldn't be able to accurately depict Dirk Pitt. I thought Matthew McConaughey (sp?) made a great Dirk Pitt. If you read the books, Dirk is the tall, dark, brooding, handsome type. Al Giordino is the clown. This leads me to the next casting decision: Steve Zahn as Al Giordino. This move scared me because in the book Al is a stocky tough-guy type, like a James Gandolfini type or something. I was wrong...Steve was great! He played the role purely for laughs, and it worked! Here's the part the critics have problems with: Can a man be shot at 10,000 times and not get hit? No. Does the viewer care? No. Is there a heck of a lot of globe trotting in this movie? Yes. Are James Bond movies any different? No. Lets face it, this movie is James Bond American style. I think it works. It's a two hour roller coaster ride, and it's a lot of fun. It's a good start for what will hopefully be a franchise. What's next? Inca Gold? Cyclops? Flood Tide? Dragon? No matter which Clive Cussler adventure it is, I'm there.
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
The Best Con Was The One On Me
I thought this movie was really bad! Packing a movie with stars does not necessarily make it good. There is a running gag through the whole movie about how much Julia Roberts' character (Tess) looks like Julia Roberts. This gag gets so old and downright stupid that it really frustrated me. I guess it was supposed to be cute and cheeky for Julia's character to goof on the real Julia, but the scene with Bruce Willis doing a cameo as himself is truly asinine!
The first movie has Danny Ocean's crew pulling off an elaborate con, and when it is revealed how they pulled it off, the viewer kind of has a surprised and elated "Eureka Moment." In this movie, the elaborate con is so elaborate and drawn-out the viewer is looking for the solution just to get it over with.
The most stinging con job pulled off in this movie is that the viewer loses his admission/rental cost!
Oh, one good thing I can say about the movie however is that the score kicks butt! There is a retro cool feel to it, and there's even a section that has a nice "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" riff in it. Great score! Crummy movie.
A Guy Thing (2003)
The Trailer Made It Look Funnier Than It Was
I just watched it. A couple of laughs, but nothing to write home about. Jason Lee looked like he was having fun. The (long) DVD gag reel consists almost solely of him having fits of uncontrollable laughter. Selma Blair seemed to be punching a time clock, but then again, her character was supposed to be a stick in the mud, so "well done" I guess? Jim Brolin was surprisingly funny. (Being married to Babs can't be a picnic.) The soundtrack was hip, and eclectic. Larry Miller, who played Julia Stiles father (hilariously), in 10 Things I Hate About You is funny here as well. He's great, but the best aspect of this movie was the casting of Julia Stiles. I could spend two hours watching her fold laundry, and I feel like I just did.