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Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Ech, review coming soon...

(I'm leaving the comment above on purpose because I wanted to make sure that everyone will be shocked, as I clearly am, about what I'm about to say...)


Well, really no... There are two reasons that I'm tempted to recommend Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (GoGP). First, it has low expectations going for it. I'm pretty sure everyone expects it to fail and therefore will be pleasantly surprised when it actually doesn't. Second, of the two wide release movies that started off the busy summer season, GoGP was the more enjoyable film.

It's tough to go wrong when you steal from Dickens. The structure is, scene for scene, an interpretation of A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens may be spinning in his grave, but he'd be happy to know the restraint that McConaughey showed as he was able to keep his shirt on for, wait for it... the first full hour of the movie!!! It might be a record.

Was GoGP a stupid, predictable chick flick? Yes, and ultimately, no, you should not pay to see this movie. But, for the record, it really isn't as bad as you might think.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

::sigh:: This is difficult. There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just get it over with... No.

Here are the two worst parts about the fact that I didn't like X-Men Origins: Wolverine:

1. I had very low expectations. I can only imagine how anyone will feel if they had high hopes for this.

2. My biggest fear about why I wouldn't like it actually DIDN'T come true. I was afraid, as I am with all prequels since the Star Wars debacle, that there would be things in this movie that contradicted plot points in X-Men and X2 (I couldn't care less about X-Men: The Last Stand). To my pleasant surprise, it didn't. You can actually watch Wolverine, then X-Men, and X2 and have everything make sense.

Unfortunately, the correct information was packaged along with a mess of some of the worst special effects I've seen in a summer blockbuster since Van Helsing, some Van Helsingesque plot points that immediately put the movies reality-based feel at risk, too many extraneous scenes that good superhero movies like the first two X-Men movies and the latest Batman movies were able to avoid (And BTW, IMO with such a short running time as 97 minutes, there should be no opportunity for unnecessary scenes), and an arbitrary collection of mutants that could have been interchanged with any other mutant in Marvel's arsenal. For example, Gambit could have been anyone, the fact that it was Gambit had no impact on the path that Wolverine was on.

While they were careful to not contradict the previous installments, Wolverine was a substandard, poorly structured, sloppy attempt at continuing the franchise. I didn't hate it, but I was disappointed and my expectations were already low.



If you absolutely must see a movie about street fighting... watch anything except Fighting.

I read a review that said that this movie should have been called "Talking". I actually agreed with that at first, but the more I thought it, I realized that the characters didn't do that very well either. The dialogue was rambling on and on and nobody was really saying anything at all. Conversations between the characters were seemingly just illogical strings of repeated awkwardly delivered words and phrases that, in many cases, were irrelevant to the plot... or what there was of one.

The fighting scenes were done well and you do find yourself rooting for the good guy to win, but those short segments aren't really worth the price of suffering through the rest of the movie.


... I don't know. What?

Here's the thing, in 2006 BBC teamed up with Discovery Channel and produced an 11 episode miniseries called, interestingly enough, Planet Earth. Seeing as how they used around 8 hours of gorgeous footage, I imagine there wasn't much left for when DisneyNature called them up.

Not only was the footage exactly the same, but I'm pretty certain that much of the naration is similar, if not exactly the same as BBC production. The main difference is that when displaying the more violent aspects of the circle of life, the BBC had no problem showing animals eating other animals. In the Disney version, the chase ensues the predator catches it's prey, and then the editor switches to another beautiful vista.

If you liked March of the Penguins and you have not seen the BBC/Discovery miniseries Planet Earth, the by all means, see Earth. I would, however, recommend Planet Earth over Earth. It's available on Blu-ray and it's segmented so you can pick and choose what areas you want to see. I suggest the Deep Ocean and Caves episodes (which weren't covered in Disney's version.)

Monsters vs. Aliens


I saw Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D and ::shrugs:: ... it was good. It's definitely entertaining; it's funny, colorful, exciting... i don't know, this movie is either just OK, or is another victim of my apparent increase in standards.

Last year was a GREAT year for movies. Even with regards to animated films... WALL-E, Kung Fu Panda, and Horton Hears a Who were all all sharp, colorful films that were deserving of recognition. I think with regards to overall entertainment value, Monsters vs. Aliens is better than Horton and not quite as good as Kung Fu Panda.

Once again Dreamworks has assembled a stellar voice cast. They put big name actors/actresses in virtually every role, including the minor... even one-line characters. Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Keifer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Paul Rudd, Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Poehler, Ed Helms, Renee Zellweger, and John Krasinski all provide voice talent even though there are really only 5 or 6 main roles. The leads are all effective and the supporting cast keeps you guessing, trying to figure out who's speaking the dialogue.

The animation is state of the art and the writing is good, Monsters vs. Aliens was entertaining and is definitely worth the 10-12 bucks, but don't get all hyped up... its just good, not great.

State of Play


I feel like I've been a little harsh lately. I haven't been able to recommend many films this year and I'm not sure why other than the fact that all of the movies that have been released lately have been mediocre at best and I'm pretty tired of the crap. I went into State of Play looking for reasons to recommend it in an effort to break the trend. I really couldn't find anything.

The biggest problem with the movie was the casting. I hate Russell Crowe. I've hated him since he won an Oscar for Gladiator. Rachel McAdams and Helen Mirren both seemed out of place... but the biggest hurdle to get past was Ben Affleck. His performance might have actually been OK... if he wasn't Ben Affleck. I just couldn't get past the fact that he was Ben Affleck.

The other problem was the twist. I won't say what it is, but I will say that I knew the twist from the trailers. Obvious twists aren't always bad, but it was the "why" that made me angry. There was NO WAY that anyone could have figured out what happened and why based on the clues that Crowe and McAdams uncover during the movie. It's not until Crowe has an epiphany at the end of the movie that we understand why what happened happened.

I wanted to like State of Play, but couldn't. I don't think you will either.

Dragonball: Evolution


If you haven't seen Dragonball, you most likely have no intention of doing so. Moreover, you probably haven't even heard of it. It's based on the popular anime series and something was lost in the translation to the big screen.

Aside from it's obvious flaws (terrible acting, abysmal writing, and horrific special effects), the filmmakers did absolutely nothing to include the uninitiated. I had never seen an episode of the cartoon and while I could follow the story being told in this movie, there was little character development and several unexplained plot points. They relied too heavily on the viewers knowledge of the show, alienating those of us who had none.

Don't even rent this, don't watch it on cable, and certainly don't go to the theatre.

Donkey Punch


Donkey Punch was released in limited theatres on 1/23/09 and DVD on 4/7/09.

Observe and Report


... Observe and Report is a prime example of false advertising/movies that show all of the funny parts in the trailer. The gags in the trailer that made it look funny were the majority of the funny parts in the movie. There were only a few other lines/scenes in the movie that were funny at all and if they weren't laden with vulgarities, i guarantee that they would have been shown in previews and TV spots.

Once all of the jokes from the trailer had been exhausted, the movie turned into a very serious drama. It was sad, uncomfortable and slightly boring. Even the climax, the last 5 minutes, were more shocking than funny... and also a little bit uncomfortable. Too bad, I was looking forward to this one.

Fast & Furious

Umm... no.

I didn't hate Fast & Furious. To be honest, I think it might be the best of the four films in the franchise. The story is structured better than the first two and the third one... well the third one was more of what I expected all of the movies to be like (flashy cars, fast driving and scantily clad Asian women) but really had no strong story to speak of.

Fast & Furious kept me interested as far as the plot was concerned but the writing was pretty terrible. The acting was awful too, but to be fair they really didn't have anything to work with. This movie contains some of the worst dialogue of the year, but once they set foot in an automobile, you forget about the words the characters are saying and get lost in the action sequences.

So should you see Fast & Furious? No. Will you be disappointed that you did? Also, no.