Me and My Nine Iron

November 22, 2011

Movie reviews

The Change-Up

Watch out, Bridesmaids. We have a contender for best comedy of the year. What I thought was going to be a cheesy, Jason Bateman-esque comedy (think Horrible Bosses) with few laughs turned out to be the most underrated ($68 million, 6.5 IMDb) and surprise laugher of the year.

Written by the guys from The Hangover, it’s a well-paced, solid R-rated movie filled with nudity and profanity and one-liners that would make you think this was a Judd Apatow-produced film. David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) did a great job directing, and I’m looking forward to Jon Lucas and Scott Moore‘s directorial debut next year in 21 and Over, co-starring Justin Chon from the Twilight films.

Rotten Tomatoes bashed the film, marking it down for its “crude humor.” Really?

One point about Olivia Wilde and her hotness. I always thought she was the product of the character and costume in TRON: Legacy and that naturally, she’s just a weird-looking girl like in Cowboys & Aliens, but she was smokin’ in this movie. Ironically, it’s her first of the three where she’s her everyday self. Those eyes are ridiculously piercing. It’s like God spent the same amount of time crafting the most sparkling pair of eyes as he does on entire people. I would literally eye-fuck those pupils. It’s no wonder she’s the busiest actress in Hollywood, coming out with five more movies next year and already at least four the following year.

Two last things, I read Wilde and Leslie Mann‘s nipples were both CGI’d so sorry to burst your bubble. Also, they’re in Atlanta. Not a single person has a southern accent? Or is black?

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

I don’t know how I felt about this movie. Obviously, a high-end rom-com, but something didn’t sit right with me. I don’t know if it’s the closed-end world of all the characters knowing each other; being a writer, it feels like a form of cheating, which it shouldn’t be. It has a huge payoff at the discovery scene, rivaling Just Go With It and Bridesmaids as one of the funniest scenes of the year.

It’s either that or Emily’s weak character arc or the cliched ladies’ man in Jacob. And Marisa Tomei‘s performance was just entirely awkward. It was a good movie, damnit. Still a must-watch.

Analeigh Tipton, the sex offender (in the movie) who surprisingly no one in the public has gave a licking to, was formerly on America’s Next Top Model in 2008. Good for her. But seriously, it’s because she’s a girl, right?

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Final Destination 5

I didn’t see 2 through 4, and I don’t remember the first one at all, but I was supremely impressed with this movie. The gore wasn’t lacking, reminding me of the Saw franchise, and the tension was gripping, as you knew each person was going to die, but you have your fists clenched as to how. One or two of the deaths were really dull and a huge letdown, but otherwise, highly entertaining.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Hereafter

Speaking of letdowns, this was an unexpectedly low-key movie. As a writer, I probably would’ve approached the story–not the interweaving stories–the same way, exploring all avenues of the afterlife. But I didn’t really care for Marie’s character. And I didn’t know George’s other power is to make every girl who sees him want to sleep with him (see Melanie and Marie as soon as they first set eyes on him).

I guess I was expecting the tsunami scene at the end, not the beginning; culminating in the huge disaster, not opening with it. The payoff was as mellow as the whole movie, but good for Peter Morgan, who received a seven-figure advance for his spec screenplay.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Warrior

I was expecting greatness out of an 8.3 IMDb, and as happy as I was at the realness of the early fights, the movie sports glam scenes I love so much (read sarcasm) took over in the tournament. I’m talking 5 second KO’s from a high school wrestler, a fucking powerbomb by a typical huge Russian who was so obviously a heavyweight in the middleweight division, but no blood. Where was the blood? Surprisingly, unlike the real UFC where fighters bleed by the dozen, only one person had marks on his face – and it looked like days-old nicks.

Despite the slow opening and cliched underdog story, I found the dramatic scenes involving Brendan and his brother and dad refreshingly compelling. I cried about three separate times in the theater alone – twice over the same scene. The moral of the ending was great, and everyone loved Nick Nolte‘s performance–I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary, and I couldn’t understand half of his mumbling–but it had its flaws. One of which might’ve been a cheesy-looking UFC-wannabe movie trailer that brought in only $22 million at the box office.

Nitpicking, but the brothers look nothing like each other. And Tom Hardy gives the badass performance, I thought. Hopefully, he’ll be a household name he deserves after being in six movies released over a 15-month period, highlighted by the villain in next year’s highly-anticipated The Dark Knight Rises.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

BJ

November 8, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 review

Filed under: Movie reviews — BJ @ 9:16 pm
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If you don’t know by now, just about everything you see in the trailer is not in the movie, as posted in this article. As scary as they all seem, it’s nice to not see anything and get a basic sense of what to expect in an 86-minute movie. For those who are wondering why they weren’t included in the final cut, they didn’t fit the story. Period. No matter how funny or scary a scene is, if it doesn’t fufill the A-story, it doesn’t belong. If you want to debate this, I won’t necessarily disagree with you, but that’s just how it is.

In ranking the third film, I would put it just below the first one in terms of overall grade and fright factor. The noticeable difference between the second and third one is that there are more scares in the third one, and frankly, it just made it that much better. I can tell it really wants to thrive via a natural buildup, but in a sub-90 minute movie, there’s just not enough time to do that, and I think they learned from the second one.

Many were disappointed with the ending, but what did you expect from an ongoing franchise? Were you really shocked that it was open-ended? They did their job in creating so many questions, as me and my buddy debated all the possibilities the whole walk home. Not to take anything away from the ending, but it was kind of redundant to me having seen The Last Exorcism. A freaky twist notwithstanding, that has me pumping my fists for the next one.

Directed by the makers of Catfish, the prequel set numerous box office records on a $5 million budget and does a pretty good job of setting up the story for the 20 years in between. Hopefully, they can pump the next one out by next Halloween.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

BJ

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