Me and My Nine Iron

February 3, 2012

Movie reviews


A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

If you’re a fan of the first two Harold & Kumar movies or into stoner comedies, this one’s for you. Everyone’s back for this holiday-themed sequel–yes, I mean everyone–and it’s another ridiculous roller-coaster ride for the two buds.

A little short on laughs (keeping it just shy of a 7.0 rating from me), but the story was solid, making it a good movie, and consequently, a good comedy.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.7
What it should be: 6.7

Consider

Immortals

Another 300 movie. I never watched its predecessor, but my friend said Immortals was just as good, if not better, and I surely don’t understand its negative reviews. It’s visually stunning from fresco-like landscapes to extravagant costumes to graphic kills, and the epic war in the third act is satisfying.

Tarsem Singh–India’s Zack Snyder, if I may–does every bit as good as his American counterpart in just his third directorial feature (The Cell). His next film, Mirror Mirror, starring Julia Roberts is a PG-rehash of the Snow White story, out on 3/30.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.4
What it should be: 7.9

Recommend

In Time

I raved about this movie’s concept ever since I saw the trailer but was bummed to see the mediocre reviews. Sadly, they were right. What I thought had the potential to be a sci-fi classic much like The Matrix franchise or Minority Report turned out to be a somewhat shaky movie with moments of brilliance, which was surprising considering writer-director-producer Andrew Niccol‘s track record. His five previous scripts averaged a 7.4 IMDb, topped by The Truman Show (8.0).

I cried within the first ten minutes…in the theater…by myself. Not since Up do I remember being drawn to a movie so quickly. But it’s like it didn’t know what movie it wanted to be. Here’s what I mean. The following is a list of genres the movie portrayed to be, in order: drama, thriller, romantic comedy, action…You read that right. Romantic comedy in the second act. I didn’t dislike it, it was just weird how the movie changed tones like so. And the ending was kind of silly, but in all, it was a fun watch.

That being said, I’ve heard reviews that say the movie let Justin Timberlake down. I disagree. In fact, I felt at times it was the other way around. Not a bad performance–don’t get me wrong–he still looks raw and not quite A-list material…yet. Great performances by Cillian Murphy (Inception) and Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), and Amanda Seyfried looks absolutely ravishing as the rich, rebellious girl a la Kate Winslet‘s character in Titanic.

Seyfried is set to be in five movies this year, including the eponymous character in the porn bio, Lovelace and Tom Hooper‘s (The King’s Speech) musical, Les Miserables with a 12/7 release date. Niccol is next adapting Stephenie Meyer‘s novel, The Host, with a 2013 release date.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.6
What it should be: 6.6

Recommend

Johnny English Reborn

A poor man’s Mission: Impossible and a James Bond parody with oddball comedy. If you like Rowan Atkinson, the man who might be better known as Mr. Bean, or want to see a family action comedy that’s better than Spy Kids, this is your movie. A very fun movie with clean humor, this movie grossed $159 million against $45 million.

I didn’t watch the original Johnny English (2003), but this movie fared better critically and commercially. And let me remind you that Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Rosamund Pike are in the sequel, where the whole time I couldn’t decide which one I would choose to have a one-night stand with. Anderson will be in five movies this year, mainly doing the international arthouse/period scene. Pike can next be seen as the female lead in the highly-anticipated sequel, Wrath of the Titans, out on 3/30.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.3
What it should be: 6.8

Consider

The Thing

Considered a prequel to the 1982 version of The Thing, which garnered an 8.2 IMDb and one I didn’t watch, I was only interested in seeing this movie having read and absolutely loved John W. Campbell Jr.‘s novella Who Goes There?, a sci-fi classic. But like the short story, the movie starts off slow with no big names to keep you engaged.

And then the awesomeness hits. The last half of the movie is filled with non-stop action and tension to salvage this as favorable, including a high death count, twists and an open ending. Unfortunately, it tanked at the box office, grossing $17 million against $35 million. But if you like movies where a bunch of strangers are stuck in a cabin together trying to find out who the killer is, you’ll enjoy this movie.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who played the chameleon-haired Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, heads the American dig team and can next be seen in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, out on 6/22. Joel Edgerton of Warrior fame has four movies lined up this year, including The Great Gatsby (12/25) and Kathryn Bigelow‘s untitled thriller about Osama bin Laden (12/19).

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.3
What it should be: 6.8

Consider

Gym Class Heroes – The Papercut Chronicles II

You didn’t think sequels only pertained to movies, did you? Three albums and six years after The Papercut Chronicles, frontman Travie McCoy stated this album was going to go back to the roots of their hip-hop. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, they’ve created a compilation of pop ballads that maybe only has two or three songs with standard 16-bar verses.

The thing is it works, as long as you’re not a diehard GCH fan who loved their first couple of albums. While I’ve followed them throughout, I like their poppier stuff, and it’s more universally appealing. They should’ve called it The Quilt II, after their last, most poppy album before this. Great replay value as every song has a catchy, familiar-sounding chorus and with star features as Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) and Neon Hitch.

Favorite tracks: Stereo Hearts, Ass Back Home, Nil-Nil Draw

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Recommend

Jack’s Mannequin – People and Things

I was hesitant to get this album because the singles sounded uninspiring, and even after this album, I question how much O.C. frontman Andrew McMahon has left in him. But if you’re a JM or Something Corporate fan, it’s more of the same awesomeness that’s gotten him the fanbase he’s accumulated over the years. Plus, how many piano rock bands are there? A real pleasant listen that grows on you.

Favorite tracks: My Racing Thoughts, Hey Hey Hey (We’re All Gonna Die), Platform Fire

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Consider

Patrick Stump probably held the lengthy title of being on GCH’s most popular song (Cupid’s Chokehold) until now, as the popularity of this song is undeniable.

BJ

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