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The Wackness

Yeah, but it's kinda too late because it's not really in theatres any more.

I think if you were a teenager in the 90's you might get more out of this movie than you will if you were under 15 or much older than 30. It's more of a nostalgia piece than anything else. Maybe the most recent "period film" ever made. There's a lot of 90's slang and 90's music (mostly rap) to make you smile and think about back when those words and songs were all you'd hear.

The story is fine, the acting was good, and the writing was OK, but the direction was nothing to write home about. The director made some cool decisions about how to film the movie, but bailed out on them before they were fully realized. The movie gets a little more serious towards the end than I had expected it to. The trailer made it look more fun than it ended up being, but what it ended up being was fine, too.

I guess this is a fun rental if you grew up in the time period that it takes place in. Check it out when it comes out on DVD.


Yeah, actually...

Penelope was realeased in theatres on 2/29/08 and on DVD on 7/15/08.

... I mean, don't run out and buy it, but it's definitely worth a rental if you're looking for something light. Penelope is an originalish fairy tale with a good cast and a strong moral. It's great for all kids, but especially little girls, and I think they'd LOVE this movie.

I say "originalish" because I don't think it's possible to come up with a completely original Fairy Tale. You can create new characters and and choose from one of a few generic Fairy Tale morals to wrap up the story with, but for the most part the formula will need to be the same or I guess it wouldn't really be considered a Fairy Tale.

Penelope takes place "Once Upon a Time..." when a town witch casts a spell onto a man who abandoned her pregnant daughter (who subsequently commits suicide). The first female born of the man's bloodline will suffer from the curse which can only be broken if she find's someone who can see past the curse and love her unconditionally. (That is not how the curse is described in the movie.)

The end is kind of a stretch because they deliberately worded the curse in such a way specifically to deceive the audience, but my biggest problem with the story is that the punishment doesn't really fit the crime. The pregnant woman who was abandoned wasn't abanoned because she was ugly, actually she was quite pretty. She was abandoned because of her station in life, she was a servant girl, not a pig faced girl.

The fact that the writers couldn't come up with a better origin story for the curse is depressing because while Penelope won't be winning any awards, it is wholesome entertainment for a rainy afternoon with the family.

Superhero Movie

I'm not really sure how to say this without inducing panic, so I'll just say it and trust that you'll be able to handle it long enough for me to explain.


Superhero Movie was released in theatres on 3/28/08 and on DVD on 7/8/08.

Okay breathe. Deep breaths... now relax. Here's the deal. In a world where we are getting slammed with movie genre spoofs; Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, Date Movie, Epic Movie, The Comebacks, Meet the Spartans, and the upcoming Disaster Movie, honestly, the last thing we needed was Superhero Movie. I haven't seen all of those movies, but the difference between those and Superhero Movie is that all of the jokes in this one are actually jokes about the genre. You don't have gladiators kicking Britney Spears into a pit or Narnians in an edition of MTV's Cribs.

I hate these movies. I think they're stupid, but this one wasn't completely unwatchable. While the gags are hit or miss (in my opinion, mostly miss), if I can tolerate it and you're into these kinds of movies and you liked Airplane, The Naked Gun, and Hot Shots, you'll probably love Superhero Movie.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

Yes, but after you put your 3D glasses on, take your brain out.

There were several times during this movie that I said, "... bullshit." I mean, forget about the stupid parts like the full out theoretical conversations that the three characters were having as they were falling for miles about what might happen when they finally get to the bottom of the pit they were falling down, or the cavalier attitude that the 13 year old kid has about the Tyrannosaurus Rex that's chasing him and his uncle. There were a bunch of very easily resolvable issues that had nothing to do with the quirky nature of the movie. Example: they were racing against time; the temperature was rising and they needed to get to the surface before it got too hot, yet, they were rarely sweating. In fact, it seemed like the hotter it got, the less the characters would sweat. All they needed was a spray bottle between takes.

I like the new 3D technology, but I'd prefer it if the 3D movies that were being released wouldn't over exploit the technology. Yes, it's cool when things jump out at you, but when they introduce a prop, a yo-yo for instance, just to throw it at the audience, they should try to incorporate it into the plot somehow. Have someone swing a yo-yo at a creature or something. Something.

I can't imagine that this movie is at all entertaining in 2D simply because you would be sitting there picking out the actions that were specifically added in to take advantage of the third dimension and would normally have no place in a regular 2D movie.

So why should you see it? Good question. Journey to the Center of the Earth is the definition of "mindless fun". This movie in 3D is a roller coaster ride that you shouldn't miss.

Step Up 2 the Streets


Step Up 2 the Streets was released in theatres on 2/14/08 and and DVD /and Blu-ray on 7/15/08.

This is a movie, for lack of a better word, for people who like to watch hip-hop dancing. Step Up 2 the Streets is so formulaic that, without all of the ridiculously impressive dancing, it's not worth the power it took to run my TV. The acting is bad... not horrible, but bad. The story is flat out stupid and really just an excuse to extend this music video to 97 minutes and 44 seconds.

The screenplay and direction is so random that it barely creates a coherent plot. For example, oh, and spoiler alert (in case you actually want to see this for yourself), for some reason after Andie gets expelled, her entire group of friends stops talking to each other with absolutely no reasoning behind it, none of them gets into a fight with another one, there's no confrontation, or drama of any kind that might hurt their friendship. Then there's this whole dramatic montage of them all doing their own thing; eating lunch at the same time, but not with each other, moving on with their old humdrum lives all sad because they're not fulfilling their destiny to form a crew and perform at "the streets", a spontaneous, exclusive dance competition that you can only find out about after you perform some kind of dance prank and post a video of it on the Internet. If the video gets an insane amount of hits, you'll get a text message the day of "the streets" competition with its time and location. Even though none of them are speaking to each other, when they all get the text about the competition, they all drop what they're are doing to go find Andie and convince her that she should blow off her responsibility to her foster mother and go with them. It's all quite magical.

That being said, the actual talent that these kids has is unbelievable. They move their bodies in ways that they weren't meant to move... and they do it to a beat. If you asked me to move like them, not only would I not be able to do it to a beat... but I might never be able to move again.

If they had made a movie with no dialogue, just these people dancing, it probably wouldn't have made as much money as it did, but it would have been a whole hell of a lot more entertaining.

The Dark Knight


Holy shit, Batman! The Dark Knight is, without a doubt, the best movie of the year (so far). It's not even really a "superhero" movie, but more of a crime thriller where the main character has badass armor and a cape. All of the action revolves around a few plots; the mafia hiding their money from the authorities, and the love triangle made of Bruce, Rachel, and Harvey, but most importantly, the emergence of the the Joker.

The writing is amazing. The dialogue is sharp and startling (specifically from the Joker, but from the rest of the cast as well), and, even with such a long running time, the story points come at you in such rapid succession that you literally never know what's going to happen next.

The performances are spot-on. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a vast improvement over Katie Holmes from Batman Begins. Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Michael Cane, and Morgan Freeman do their thing and do it well. The shining stars of this film, however, are Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent and Heath Ledger as The Joker. Aaron Eckhart's tragic portrayal of Harvey Dent was surprising to me. I'm not a fan to begin with, so it seemed like he was going to be the weak link here. His subtle decline from Gotham's "White Knight" to, well, what he becomes, was handled perfectly.

In one of the best performances... in any movie... ever(?), Heath Ledger scared the shit out of me. He created the most frightening version of this madman ever put on film. When he decides it's time, this one man plunges Gotham into complete and total chaos, just for fun... or to make himself feel better. Some people think that the movie loses steam when The Joker isn't on the screen. I don't but I can understand why they do. The Dark Knight is quite heavy but for a few chuckles here and there, but Heath Ledger had such a presence, between his performance, his make-up, and his dialogue, that a weight was lifted when he was on screen. While it made you anxious because you didn't know what he would do next, he added such a dark humor that you would find yourself laughing at things he said or did, that you definitely shouldn't be laughing at. I can't think of any performance this year that deserves an award more than Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight. It's truly sad that he won't be there to accept it.

I can't remember the last time I was this excited to see a movie. I started to try to convince myself that it was going to be terrible just so that I wouldn't be disappointed. Try as I might, I was still on the edge of my seat when the movie started and I didn't sit back once (metaphorically).

The Dark Knight is almost, if not perfect on every level of it's multitude of levels and if you don't see it, you're missing out on what may be the best movie of the year.



The performances are fine, and the writing is OK, but there are too many moments in the movie where a character is thinking about something, or reminiscing and I didn't know what they were supposed to have been thinking about. I blame that on the director.

Also, I really didn't care.

Be Kind Rewind

Yes, but only because it's already out of theatres.

Be Kind, Rewind was released in theatres on 2/22/08 and on Blu-ray and DVD on 6/17/08.

This movie didn't get a huge release, and with good reason... it weird. I think the weirdest thing about it is that the main characters in the movie are renting VHS tapes at their store. The story wouldn't really work with DVDs, but if they wanted to do it, they should have set the movie earlier, like in the mid-late 1990's when DVD was still in it's infancy. The fact that someone is trying to rent Rush Hour 2 on VHS is just weird to me since VHS was already pretty much obsolete when it became available for home viewing.

It seemed like it was gonna be a really good movie until one of the characters gets electrocuted and you actually see the cartoonish electricity flowing through him. After that, it got fun again. They began remaking the movies that people were trying to rent and some of their interpretations were pretty funny.

Jack Black was Jack Black and Mos Def was pretty good. The story kind of developed into more than just a comedy about a couple of screw-ups trying to fix an enormous blunder, and became a story about acceptance of the end of an era.

Be Kind, Rewind is a strong rental, but if I had reviewed this while it was in theatres, I might not have been able to recommend it.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

No... unless you're into Hellboy... then yes. But for me? No.

All this movie really has going for it is that it's visually stunning. I guess that's a direct result of the movie's visionary director. Guillermo del Toro has been the guiding force behind some of the most creative images on screen. Hellboy, Blade II, The Orphanage (producer) and most notably Pan's Labyrinth, now Hellboy II: The Golden Army can be added to the list of dazzling, del Toro ingenuity.

The only real reason to see this movie is as an example of what to expect from the Hobbit movies that he will be directing for 2011 and 2012.

After seeing this movie I'm uber-excited to see his take on the Tolkien classic because I actually care about the story. I've read the source material and with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh producing and del Toro directing, we may have another sweep at the Academy Awards in 2013.

I haven't read the source material for Hellboy. I just don't care, is what it boils down to. Add my disinterest to a hack script which includes trite lines like the weepy "I never got to tell you how I feel about you", as well as an overlong performance of Barry Manilow's "I Can't Smile Without You" by none other than Hellboy himself and his fishy friend. If you want to know anything about me at all, you should know that I hate when characters break out into song, and that I hate fish.

So, to sum up... if you like Hellboy you'll probably like this movie. I was bored to tears.

The Ruins

Uhh... no...

The Ruins was released in theatres on 4/4/08 and on Blu-ray and DVD on 7/8/08.

I mean, if it weren't as gory as it is, I might be able to recommend it. This is some of the most uncomfortable gore. Maybe because it's mostly self inflicted. The characters are constantly trying to help each other (with each others permission) and all it does is kill the person and make matters worse the survivors.

The cast is fine. It doesn't take much acting to convince someone that you're grossed out by a meaty, bloody prosthetic. The story is fine, but nothing overly scary happened in it. Since there weren't a lot of scares they filled it in with gore... and it was just way too gory. Let me give you with an example of what I'm talking about: an amputation is shown in broad daylight. The tools that were used: a big rock to break the bone, a hunting knife to cut the flesh, and a scalding frying pan to cauterize the wound. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie.


eh... no.

I mean this review is kinda late for such a huge release, so if you've seen it you probably know what I'm talking about. If you haven't already seen it, you may as well wait till its available from Netflix or on demand.

This movie was missing something. I can't quite put my finger on what it is other than to say it lacked substance. It felt like an empty shell of a film. Will Smith played the role exactly as it should have been played as did Jason Bateman. I guess Charlize Theron was fine.

The director tried to make the movie more serious than it was. The shaky-cam effect didn't suit the movie, it was like they were filming an indie drama. The short running time was padded with too many overly dramatic group therepy scenes. The soundtrack was weird and the orchestral score wasn't quite epic enough. There was no real villain and even the backstory was unclear.

I was entertained, but the whole time I was watching, I was waiting for something more, and whatever it was, it never came.

27 Dresses


27 Dresses was released in theatres on 1/18/08 and and Blu-ray and DVD on 4/29/08.

Here's a movie that tries to trick you into believing it has balls. First you have James Marsden's character. He plays a ridiculously cool guy; a ladies man and a man's man... or not... actually he's a pussy. Turns out he's putting on a tough facade to protect himself from being hurt again. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't surprised, it's just that I was hoping for something a little less predictable. Then when Katherine Heigl's character, who has been taking shit from everyone (especially her selfish sister) finally stands up for herself and actually trys to protect a friend, she feel's bad about it and apologizes... while what she did may have been over the top, it certainly wasn't uncalled for.

This horribly directed, formulaic crapfest has mediocre performances and substandard writing. It is the definition of "chick-flick", but really isn't suitable for anyone. If you want to see a good "chick-flick" rent Definitely, Maybe.