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Love Happens

... bull shit. I saw this movie and I don't remember a single moment when the actions on the screen could me misconstrued as "love".

There's a man and a woman. They're both very attractive, save for Aaron Eckhart's chin cave. But at no point did i believe anything other than the fact that she feels bad for him and he needed to get back in the game. There was never any kind of connection. At all. Soooooo... No, you should not see a movie that has a title that has nothing to do with the plot. No.

Away We Go


Away We Go was released in theatres on 6/26/09 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 9/29/09.

I loved this movie. Away We Go is a heartwarming road-trip movie about two thirty-somethings trying to find their place in the world before the birth of their daughter.

As in other road trip movies, they encounter some quirky characters along the way and each stop helps them discover who they are and what kind of parents they want to be. Hey, I never said it was original... but the two main characters, portrayed by John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, are so endearing and have such chemistry that you can't help but fall in love with them.

Away We Go is in my top 10 films this year and will probably stay there. It's definitely one of the year's best.



Fame isn't a movie.

I don't think I've ever seen such a long piece of film with as little plot as this... I mean, there is LITERALLY no story. Fame is just a 2 hour montage.

I had a difficult time accepting the action in the film anyway. If they were trying to sell this as a musical, then they missed the boat because there weren't enough musical numbers. If not, then there were too many. Do you honestly believe for a second that just because you get a group of 50 musicians and dancers together, that the will be able to work together to improvise a perfectly constructed and choreographed musical number?

And, on a more serious note, it's time to stop releasing these sugar-coated teen dramas that, for example, resolve suicide attempts with a hug. This sort of dumbed-down attempt at appealing to the lowest common denominator is destroying society. If you want to make a movie that addresses some tough issues, then tackle them and stop being a pussy. You'll probably make a better movie for it and, oh my god, you may actually get some respect. It is possible to make a 'good' PG rated movie, but not if it's about PG-13 to R rated material. It sucks when you can tell, just by watching it, that a movie was made because they thought it would rake in some dough and had little to do with craft or the love of filmmaking.

Avoid Fame at all costs, it's not a good or coherent series of images and sounds... see? I really can't bring myself to call it a movie.



There's nothing wrong with Surrogates. In fact, there's quite a bit right with it, the most important of which being the running time.

Surrogates has just the right ratio of action, sci-fi, drama, and mystery. The twist is very predictable, but to be fair, it's virtually impossible to surprise an audience in a post-Sixth Sense America. I don't expect to be fooled anymore, I do want them to make a reasonable effort, though. The dramatic element isn't as overbearing as in some recent action movies (Gamer) and it actually adds to the idea; helping us to understand why someone might want to use a surrogate. I mean it's not rocket science, but if they didn't include some sort of psychological reasoning behind it, it might have been harder to buy into.

Surrogates won't win any awards. You may actually forget you watched it a week after you see it, but if you're looking to escape for 90 minutes, this is a perfectly acceptable way to do it.

Jennifer's Body


So, it seems like the Juno screenplay was a hoax, because while Diablo Cody's dialogue in both movies may be super clevs, dope dialogue does not a good screenplay make. The heart that Juno had is clearly missing from Jennifer's Body... and the bodies of all her victim's...

Julie & Julia


If you have white hair and love to complain, you'll love Julie & Julia.

You can start your adventure by complaining that the senior price, that is by no means a law or a requirement of any kind, is too high. You have developed a sense of entitlement over time and have no problem telling the box office cashier how much other theatres charge just before you pay the ticket price anyway. Then you can make snide remarks about the cost of concession products... this is important because no one else knows that the prices are high. If you don't tell the 16 year old behind the counter that $5.00 for a small popcorn is "criminal" or "outrageous", than the prices will never go down.

Once you get to the theatre, be sure to stare only at your watch so that if the movie starts 30 seconds late, you can scoff and make a mental note to tell the manager that the movie started 15 minutes late. Because we hate that you can hear, the projectionist turned the volume up to unbearable levels and the manager turned the A/C on full blast because he want your extremities to freeze and fall off.

You could miss 5 minutes of the movie to let the theatre staff know about the volume and the temperature, but instead, you'll sit, miserable, through the whole movie and expect a refund afterwards, even though you watched the whole movie and enjoyed it.

The Informant!


All The Informant has going for it, is the random, hysterically funny monologues that run through Matt Damon's mind thanks primarily to his mental disorder. Other than that, it's just an average movie that may be worth checking out on DVD, but not in theatres.



I felt like I was being attacked. I sacrificed my senses for you. Do NOT put yourself through this. Gamer is a horrible experience.

Sunshine Cleaning


Sunshine Cleaning was released in theatres on 3/27/09 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 8/25/09.

Sunshine Cleaning is just as formulaic as a Hollywood blockbuster, but masquarades as a quircky indie flick. Not a romantic comedy... it could have been if the followed through on that sub-plot. It's just sort of implied that they get together, but never really fleshed out. It's really just another dysfunctional family movie set against a the backdrop of a strange situation. You kinda know how it's gonna end, but ultimately, you won't care by the time the end comes around. This review is just as pointless as the movie. I'm gonna stop writing.

Sorority Row

No (yes).

Everyone's entitled to one or two guilty pleasures each year. Sorority Row is mine. It's really soooo bad, but I liked it.

There's almost no way to guess who the killer is which sucks because part of the fun of slasher flicks is accusing each character only for them to be vindicated by bloody, gruesome death. Sorority Row does a great job of that, but I also like the opportunity to get it right and there really is no chance because the killer is barely a character and really has no real motive... or maybe I'm just bitter because I didn't guess it.

Sorority Row is campy, bloody, silly and fun... and that's all I'm going to say...


hmmm... yeah....

... but only because it's so short. 9 has the animation of a Pixar movie and the dialogue of a Japanese Anime movie. If you've read my reviews of Up and Ponyo, you'd know that this is a very mixed review.

The animation is stunning, making this 79 minute feature a sight to behold, but the screenplay leaves a lot to be desired. There isn't much speaking and when they talk, the characters speak in bursts like, "We have to go after him", and "Look out!". It seems like the screenplay had been written for a family adventure film, but the animation was too dark and scary for a PG rating. There are very few engaging, thought-provoking, or compelling interactions between the characters and so the only device this movie has to grab hold of you with is the beautifully rendered animation.

At the end of the movie I had a strong sense of indifference as to how I had just spent the last hour and 20 minutes. I shrugged my shoulders, got up and left. I know this isn't a stirring recommendation, but I do think it has some good ideas and some amazing visuals. If the screenplay were better, I would be giving 9 a rave review.



Duplicity was released in theatres on 3/20/09 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 8/25/09.

To be fair, I didn't really pay much attention to the movie while it was on. Then again, maybe that's telling. It never captured my interest. The times when I did tune it, I couldn't tell whether or not what Clive and Julia were saying was part of the plan. I gather that that was kind of the point, but how can you invest in these characters if you never know their true motive. I liked the twist at the end, but really didn't care enough for it to have any real impact.

If you've seen everything else that's available and you have nothing else to do, please... but really, there's no other reason to watch Duplicity.



I think I'm more embarrassed than anything else. I'm also mildly disappointed because Office Space was so good, but mostly embarrassed. Whenever anyone would ask me if I thought this was going to be good, I would say that since Office Space was so funny, I couldn't imagine that this wouldn't be. I was wrong and now people who hadn't seen Office Space probably won't go out of their way to see it... which is a shame.

Extract doesn't really ever go anywhere. The story isn't over yet (not that I would have liked the movie to go on for longer). The main character is stuck in cycle of unhappiness that we see up until a pseudo-resolution masquerading as a happy ending. Anyone who believes that the end of Extract is a happy one needs to look into the future a little bit further. Nothing changed for anyone during the course of the film so there is no reason for it to have been made.

Ben Affleck was terrible, Kristin Wiig's talent was wasted along with J.K. Simmons, and Bateman played the role in accordance with how Mike Judge wanted it, but the surrounding characters hadn't been properly fleshed out for his contribution to be appreciated.

Extract is basically another comedy that takes relatively the same situations as Employee of the Month, Waiting..., Clerks, and so on and so forth, and sets them in an extract factory. Not original. Not funny. Not worth your time and money.



Adventureland was released in theatres on 4/3/09 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 8/25/09.

Adventureland suffered severely from poor marketingitis. Yes, this is a quirky indie flick, but the ad campaign screamed Superbad. The ads showed the funny moments in the movie but none of the drama... and let's be clear, this is a funny drama, not a serious comedy. In fact, I think the movies only real flaw (for what it was trying to be) is the casting of Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig as the park's managers. Maybe it wasn't the casting, so much as it was just the existence of the characters that messed up the movie. They were overly goofy and completely out of place.

Flawed though it may be, Adventureland is a fun nostalgia trip worth taking.

The Final Destination


It's always disappointing when a franchise that starts off as well as the Final Destination franchise did, turns into complete direct-to-video worthy garbage. The fourth film in this tired franchise probably would have gone straight to DVD if it's pitch man hadn't used the magic word: "3D". (I don't know. I don't think it's a word, either).

I'm not going to, but I want to see this movie again in 2D so that I can see if the gore looked as fake as it did in 3D. Everything was way over the top and poorly produced. The blood, the visions, the deaths, the characters. All of the originality from the first installment has been sucked out of the series. Now, like in the Saw films, it's just about coming up with new, clever ways to kill off the characters... and for me, that's just not enough.