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The King's Speech


Being British and set in the 1920's the film is rather dry. Even the quirky nature of Rush's character, while seemingly defiant, is still very proper, but when paired with the stern, strict, royal Duke of York, Rush's character comes off as a circus clown. This is a testament to both performances.

The King's Speech really is a "buddy cop" movie at it's core. When I see a movie that has two distinctly different personalities reluctantly trying to work together for a common goal, that movie automatically gets places in the "buddy cop" genre. I hate "buddy cop" movies, but this one is classy, heartfelt, and, well true, which helps a little too.

While The King's Speech may not be for everyone, the story is wonderful and the relationship between Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush is what propels the movie forward. The ability of the film makers to elevate one of my least favorite film genres and make a british period piece is what ultimately lands The King's Speech in my top 20 films of the year.

Winter's Bone


There is so little plot in Winter's Bone that it can be summed up in one sentence: An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. With this little amount story, the film relies heavily on the performances of it's cast. This cast delivers.

This movie belongs to actors Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes. Lawrence is able to convey hope in a world that seems to have none and Hawkes embodies exactly how I would envision what a mountain man drug dealer would be.

Winter's Bone brought me into a world that I'd heard about, but then quickly dismissed as an exaggeration of how it used to be. This is an eye opening film about poverty in our country. Anyone affected by the Bush tax cuts should be required to move to this region and see how people in the United States of America are being forced o live, or, at a minimum, see Winter's Bone.

The Fighter


The Fighter is a success because of Christian Bale with really strong support from Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. The movie was well made, but the writing and direction were just average and Mark Wahlberg was only at his best (which isn't necessarily a compliment), but Bale, Adams, and Leo were exceptional.

The story, which I thought would be the same typical underdog sports story, actually has a little something extra with the unintentional sabotage of Mickey Ward's career by his immediate family (specifically his mother and brother). Some of the worst things have been done with the best intentions and Dickie Ecklund and Alice Ward were just too self-involved to really be on Mickey Wards side.

The Fighter is a remarkable film and is sure to make a few appearances this awards season.

Black Swan


Beautiful and haunting, Black Swan is a powerful film that explores the physical, emotional and mental sacrifices an artist will make for his/her art.

Natalie Portman is amazing in this. I honestly never thought I'd see the day when I'd hear someone refer to her as Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, but not only will she definitely be nominated, she is almost certain to win. Her character's (Nina) obsession with perfection slowly destroys her and Portman's portrayal of Nina's downfall is absolutely breathtaking. Add to that her apparent background in ballet and you get the most memorable performance of the year.

Black Swan is a horror movie for snobs. It's very slowly paced, but is sufficiently creepy. The entire cast is perfect and Darren Aronofsky's direction is spot on. If dark psychological thrillers that mess with your head as much as it messes with the characters is your thing, do not wait another day to see Black Swan.

True Grit


My recommendation of True Grit is based almost entirely around the fact that I really don't enjoy westerns. The fact is that I just don't find them enjoyable as a genre. The color palette is filled with drab tan and brown colors, everyone talks with a southern accent, and action scenes are difficult to make exciting because of the lack of technology (horses and 6 shooters are no sports cars and machine guns).

When I like a western, and it's rare (I can only think of 3 others and one of them doesn't count), it has more to do with the actor's performances and the characters they portray. If the characters aren't intriguing I won't care about anything that's going on. In this case I was really impressed by Hailee Steinfeld's portrayal of 14 year-old Mattie Ross. I enjoyed her character's persistence and her ability to take charge of a situation and control the older characters in the movie. Obviously this would have been impossible without the great writing that she was reading from, but it was her job to convince me believe that this young girl was capable of doing the things she was doing. She convinced me.

Jeff Bridges was good although I couldn't understand most of his drunken, southern, old man, raspy dialect, and Matt Damon was fine too although it really was a strange role for him. Josh Brolin's character was weird and I'm not sure he was the best choice for the role.

I haven't seen the original and I have no desire to. True Grit (2010) was enough for me and since I actually kinda liked it even though I hate westerns, it was probably a very, very good film.



Tangled, Disney's interpretation of Rapunzel, is a fun, colorful and entertaining addition to the holiday season. It's very girly and may not appeal to young boys, despite the suave, witty and adventurous swashbuckling male lead, who is actually going to appeal more to moms than he would to a young male demographic.

This is a princess movie through and through, and I have to say, it's about time Disney went back to their Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty roots. Other than The Princess and the Frog (which I really didn't like) the studio had abandoned their classic tendencies and relied heavily on Pixar or individual "talent" (Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Lindsey Lohan) to rake in the dough for them. While Tangled may not have appealed to me personally, it's success will, hopefully, encourage them to produce more titles like Aladdin, and The Lion King.

Tangled's one flaw is that it might be too quirky for it's own good. Movies like the aforementioned classics take place in a specific time period and region of the world and the characters act appropriately. Tangled is a cartoon and the characters "act" like they're in a cartoon instead of a medieval kingdom; making this movie lighter and cuter than the animated stories from the 1990's.

You should absolutely take the time to check out Tangled. It's beautifully animated and a fun story.

Tron: Legacy 3D

sigh...  No...

... I wanted so bad for this movie to exceed my dismally low expectations and sadly, it was only able to meet them.

Aside from the special effects, Tron: Legacy has very little to offer other that a cool score written by Daft Punk. The performances are either over-epically serious or sickeningly cutesy-cute. Why Disney would put this tent-pole holiday release into the hands of a first time director is mind-blowing, but I'm really not 100% sure that it would have been all that much better in the hands of a seasoned director, anyway.

I think the biggest disappointment is probably special effects related. While the movie was stunning to look at, there was never any huge special effects climax or overly impressive stunt to "wow" the audience beyond the pretty standard effects that fill the movie. The visual effects are just a stagnant aspect of the movie that you'll take for granted by the 30 minute mark.

The story was both overly complicated and irritatingly unoriginal and while the effects were enough to keep me engaged for the length of the movie, I wouldn't necessarily recommend that anyone spend money to see Tron: Legacy unless you are only looking for eye-candy and your standards for what qualifies as eye-candy is on the low side.

The Kids Are Alright


The Kids Are Alright was released in theatres on 7/30/10 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 11/16/10.

I really liked The Kids Are Alright. Besides the stellar performances from he entire cast, it has an original storyline, great dialogue and an intriguing look into the concept of family without ever exploiting its subject matter.

The Kids Are Alright is a perfect fit for the "dramedy" genre. As long as you have an open mind, this fresh look at contemporary family unit has the perfect mixture of wit, charm, intelligence and earnest. Highly recommended.

The Tourist


Really? A Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture... what a joke. There is nothing "best" about The Tourist. The only explanation for the nomination is that the movie was just released so it  was fresh in the mind's of the Hollywood Foreign Press nominating committee.

That being said, I didn't absolutely HATE The Tourist. There was just nothing there to really like. The story was silly and we just arrived in the middle of it. There was so much going on before the cameras started rolling that they could have made a better movie just from what was left out. There was very little chemistry between Jolie and Depp, however, there was a very strange dynamic between Jolie and Paul Bettany; certainly there was a history (seemingly romantic, based on the tension) between the two of them that the writers failed to explore.

The action wasn't all that intense and the jokes weren't all that funny. I wouldn't even know what genre to classify The Tourist as. While I don't feel like I wasted 2 hours, if I had paid for a ticket, I would have been pissed.

Jonah Hex

No, come on!.

Jonah Hex was released in theatres on June 18th and on Blu-ray and DVD on October 12th.

I had absolutely no interest in seeing Jonah Hex from the second the first trailer hit the screen. I had a hard time watching it and actually had to take a break somewhere in the middle of the less than 90 minute run time, just because I was bored.

If you don't like a genre, it's still possible for you to like the movie because of powerful performances or an interesting, original story. There's very little a movie can to get you interested in the story if you're just not interested. The story in Jonah Hex is... well, virtually non-existent. Since the characters were ALL mean-spirited and ugly and I hate westerns, it was impossible to care about anything that was going on.

Don't bother with this one. Jonah Hex will just make you angry.

The Warrior's Way


I have no idea what that was. It was like a western, kung fu stage play. All of the sets looked like they were backdrops and cardboard cutouts... as did the actors. I mean they must have just told the actors to be as stereotypically westerny/kung fuey as possible...

... and it wasn't so much western as it was a circus movie... there were carnies everywhere and all so that they could put a sniper in the half-built ferris wheel. THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF THE MOVIE WAS BASED AROUND A SINGLE SET PIECE.

Absolute garbage. The movie was greenlit so that the studio would have something to release on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Love and Other Drugs


A good rule of thumb when writing a movie is that you should either put ordinary people in an extraordinary situation, or put extraordinary people in an ordinary situation. When you put ordinary people in ordinary situations, there isn't a whole lot to keep the audience engaged. A drug rep falling in love with someone with Parkinson's disease is a very specific version of an ordinary situation that could happen to anyone. Maybe he won't be a drug rep and maybe she has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Are they gonna make a movie about that, too?

Love and Other Drugs isn't unbearable, but it's definitely not worth the price of a ticket.

Morning Glory


I get when celebrated actors feel the need to do something light, and I'm sure Diane Keaton is a nice lady, but why is she allowed to continue to make schlocky movies. She gets nominated for an Oscar once each decade. The last time was in 2004 for Something's Gotta Give... a romantic comedy... costarring Keanu Reeves and Amanda Peet. Maybe it's time she tries something a little more weighty than the last 5 movies she made (Mad Money, Because I Said So, The Family Stone, Something's Gotta Give and Town and Country). Anyway, she's barely in Morning Glory at all, so I'm not sure why she angered me so much...

... Maybe thats why I didn't like the movie, though. I truly wanted to care about these people, but really didn't have enough time to get to know them. The movie was too much about the show they producing and not enough about the people who were producing the show.

Morning Glory is one of those movies that, as a two hour film, is pretty inconsequential, but as an HBO or AMC character study, where we might learn to like some of these people and get to know them on a deeper level, it might have been entertaining.

Due Date


Due Date was funny... but not funny enough for me to recommend. It really is just a road trip movie with Alan Garner (from The Hangover) and Tony Stark (Iron Man). The wackiness that ensues is all clearly set up leaving no room for surprises.

I have to say that, with Due Date coming from the same director as The Hangover, I really had higher hopes than I should have, so it's partially my fault. At the end of the day, Due Date just misses the mark.

It'll make a fine rental one day, but don't waste a trip to the theatre.

127 Hours


When I heard about this movie a few months ago, I thought it was going to be terrible. I don't like James Franco, so a movie about him being trapped, alone, in the middle of the desert seemed like a red flag. I went to see it anyway and... well, 127 Hours is, possibly my favorite movie of the year.

While there's nothing spectacular about the writing, there is this constant electricity from the very beginning of the movie thanks to director Danny Boyle and an amazing performance by Franco. Franco's character has an infectious energy, a spirit that seems impossible to break. To see that spirit slowly deteriorate into fear, desperation and depression was absolutely heartbreaking. It's not until he's verging on insanity that he's able to do what needs to be done to survive.

For those of you who don't know how he escapes, you need to stop reading now. This is based on a true story, so I have no qualms talking about the end of the movie.

This is my version of a horror movie. Supernatural shit doesn't scare me; it may make me jump, but rarely frightens me to my core. What happens in 127 Hours represents one of my biggest fears. I'm claustrophobic, but there's more to it than just being in a confined space. It's being stuck and being alone. It's hopelessness that scares me. Nobody can say with absolute certainty how they would handle a situation like that on the day. I'd like to say that I'd have the strength to break my own arm and cut it off using only a dull leatherman. I honestly don't think I could. The scene in which Franco's character frees himself is one of the most gruesome visuals ever filmed.

Come Oscar season, I honestly think James Franco has a serious shot at winning. I think Boyle has a shot at taking home his second award for directing and I'm pretty sure 127 Hours will win best picture.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Well yes, but...

... it's really not fun... at all. The fact of the matter is, those of you who have stuck with the series through the first 6 movies are going to see the last two. There's no reason to think that you wouldn't. Those of you who haven't, should absolutely not see this one. You must see them all for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 to make any kind of sense at all.

Now that we've got the obvious disclaimer out of the way I'll tell you my biggest complaint. A lot of people walk out of Harry Potter movies feeling... betrayed... because they left out so much of the book... usually the insignificant parts that made the books so charming... but insignificant parts none the less. I never had that problem. I always knew they would leave that stuff out and with good reason... they weren't at all relevant to the plot. My issues were always with the acting and directing (after the first two, it was only the acting). I feel like the acting has FINALLY fallen into place. Even Radcliffe, who was always the weakest link in the cast has grown into his role and has learned to portray emotion. Unfortunately, with the splitting of the final book into two movies, it seems everyone else in the world has finally gotten their wish. They have found a way to include almost every detail from the 800 page book... make a 5 and half hour movie. I on the other hand was kinda bored. They included almost every detail and it was BORING. To be fair, this is the one book that I remembered practically none of at the time that I went to see the movie, so it's possible that they did actually leave a lot out that I just don't recall. There was also a lot of staring. Characters just staring at each other. They could have probably cut out 15-20 minutes if the writer didn't rely so heavily on facial expressions that the cast clearly weren't talented enough to pull off and just used his words.

My other issue, which was actually a bigger issue than what I've already complained about, is the lack of fun. There is absolutely no humor in the movie at all. This is a dark, scary, depressing movie.

Otherwise, I'd have to say that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the best in the series with regards to filmmaking. Maybe since the director wasn't confined inside the damp walls of Hogwarts castle, he was able to do more with the actors, I don't know what it is but it was well made considering what he had to work with.

As I said, you'll see it or you won't... so go see it... or don't. Whatever.

MegaMind 3D

Ummm... yeah.

MegaMind isn't bad. It just isn't really good either. It's just as forgettable as Monsters vs. Aliens but not as forgettable as say... Ratatouille (that's right, I said it. A Pixar movie is forgettable).  The fact of the matter is that with the onslaught of "original" superhero movies/television shows, MegaMind doesn't really stand out as anything spectacular.

If your kids really want to go to the movies, you could do a lot worse than MegaMind. But you may want to stall, cause they'll forget about it eventually... whether you take them to see it or not.



I was pleasantly surprised by Unstoppable. The movie is short, which is good. The very opening scene sets the plot in motion... pun intended... and it rolls along for 98 minutes without ever letting up.

The movie stays pretty intense considering the fact that anyone going to see it knows there's no way either of the two lead characters are REALLY in any danger of getting killed.

Unstoppable is pure popcorn fun. It's easily forgettable, but definitely worth the trip.


God no.

Skyline has phenomenal special effects. Everything else about it is phenomenally bad. The story is nonexistent, but not for a lack of trying. The writer's attempts at a plot is pathetic at best as are the actors' attempts acting.

If you're looking for pure eye candy, Skyline will suit your needs. If you like a little substance in your movie going experience, look elsewhere.



Red has a fun concept, a great cast, and the film was pretty well executed, but it just misses the mark and I think the entire reason is: story.

There's too much and too interesting of a backstory for these characters for this to have been the first film in the franchise. I felt left out and not in a good way. The characters had a strong, exciting history together that we learn about as the movie progresses, but it's not a mystery to anyone except the audience. There's never any big revelation... it just is... it's discussed amongst the characters as if we'd known about it all along. Which is weird.

I had a hard time getting invested in the plot, but it's always fun to see people doing unexpected things. Young children cursing or carrying on a mature conversation is always cute, and Hellen Mirren killing government agents with a machine gun is just adorable.

I'd wait for rental; but if you have nothing else to do, go check out Red.

The Social Network


The Social Network Deserves the 97% "Fresh" rating it's earned on It's a very good, well crafted film. I learned, however, that just because I movie rates high on RT doesn't mean it's the best movie ever. It simply means that several critics thought it was a very good movie.

When this movie was first in development, my initial reaction to the thought of a Facebook movie was the same as my reaction to the thought of a Monopoly movie... which is real and being directed by Ridley Scott. Once i learned that it was about the creation of the website and not just some romantic comedy set in some Facebook world, and that David Fincher was at the helm, I was immediately onboard.

After a single viewing of The Social Network, my one complaint is that it lacks emotion. The characters are all intelligent fast talking and quirky, specifically Zuckerberg who seems mildly autistic in the way he's portrayed. When I watch it again, I have a feeling that I'm going to notice some things that I didn't see the first time around.

What's absolutely mind-boggling to me is why Senior Citizens are flocking to see this. There is a significant amount of dialogue about code writing and computer hacking that even I, a computer savvy thirty-something with a blog, couldn't understand. I feel like a lot of older folk are seeing this because they heard it was good, and then are saying things like "It was wonderful" so as not to come across as irrelevant.

The Social Network is essentially a Rock n Roll movie for a nerds. It's stylish, clever, and well written, directed and acted. If you haven't already, go check out The Social Network.

Paranormal Activity 2

I mean... yeah, I guess.

There isn't much in Paranormal Activity 2 that you didn't get in Paranormal Activity... it's pretty much the same tricks that get you to jump. What it does have (besides an awesome dog and an adorable baby) is a little bit of a story; an area where the first installment was lacking.

It does a great job of connecting the two films, which was a pleasant surprise since I thought there would be little to no connective tissue, but it also has a very anti-climactic ending which, of course, is open ended enough for a third installment.

If you're looking for something to make you jump, or as was in my case, you're just curious to see what happens next, definitely check out Paranormal Activity 2. Just try not to expect too much in the way of originality.

The Town


... but it really wasn't as good as you'd expect from the reviews it got. To be fair, I had a hard time understanding what they were saying due to the combination of poor sound quality and the fact that they were wearing masks. There were 5 other people in the theatre... 4 of them were right behind me and wouldn't shut up. I was a little distracted.

Ben Affleck is doing a great job as a director. This wasn't as good as his directorial debut (Gone Baby Gone), but still very good. Its actually gotten to the point where I kinda can't wait for him to direct another movie.

I definitely recommend checking out The Town when it's released on Blu-ray/DVD.

Jackass 3D


I really hate where society is headed. To be honest, I wouldn't really mind if it were just Jackass, but the amount of shows on TV about assholes is staggering. Thanks to shows from The Real World to Jersey Shore, we've started celebrating, not only mediocrity, but absolute idiocy. It's not abortion, homosexuality or socialism that's destroying America... it's "reality" TV.

That being said, I have to admit that I did laugh a little bit during Jackass 3D. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous; these guys are millionaires and it's all because they're  stupid... or smart, i guess... I can't say that if I had thought of it first that I would have gone through with it. I guess that's because I'm not an idiot... or maybe I am.

I don't know that the 3D effect was really necessary. It was there, but it never made me jump, laugh or throw up in my mouth any more than I would have if it were in 2D. The extra $3.00 for the 3D experience was a colossal waste of money for anyone who paid it.

If you watch more unscripted television than you do shows that require creativity and talent, and you enjoy gross-out humor, then Jackass is for you. It's not for me.

Let Me In


Let Me In is a dark, brooding fairy tale. It's a remake of 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In in which a "young" girl moves into an apartment complex and befriends a boy who's parents are going through a divorce and who is constantly bullied at school. As their friendship blossoms, the boy comes to realize that the young girl is a actually a vampire.

Now I know what you're thinking... Twilight... but not even close. This movie follows all of the Vampire rules while telling an interesting story with complex characters. Let Me In is virtually a "frame for frame" remake except that since it's in English, I was able to follow the story more and pick up on some plot points that I didn't get while watching the original.

This is an atypical horror movie, more of a horror/drama/romance/fairy tale hybrid and it works. Check it out.

Easy A


So, strangely, I actually liked Easy A. It's seemingly geared towards teenage girls, but was still really entertaining.

I can, very surprisingly, recommend Easy A.

Resident Evil: Afterlife

I fell asleep...

.. which is an amazing feat considering the fact that Resident Evil: Afterlife is one of the loudest most obnoxious movies I've ever gone to. It's just awful. As if it weren't bad enough, they torture the audience with slow motion; essentially doubling the actual length of the movie. Total crap.

The Last Exorcism


I don't know, I guess I'm a sucker for the whole "Mocumentary" horror movie thing. I still like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity... Quarantine was terrible, but I kinda dug The Last Exorcism.

The problem with most of these types of movies is the build-up. There needs to be the perfect amount of time to give you the information that you need and to lull you into a false sense of security, but not so much time that you get bored or frustrated. The Last Exorcism really pulls that off.

The acting is realistic and the shaky cam is effective. This one will really creep you out if you give in to it.



... which kinda sucks because I was looking forward to this one.

Machete misses the mark because, unlike in Piranha, it actually starts to take itself too seriously as the movie progresses. The first 15 minutes of the movie were hysterrically funny and a great homage to '70s B-movies. With immigration being such a hot topic, the writers couldn't resist trying to send a message. What that message is?... I really don't know... and thats where the movie takes a turn for the worse.

I fell asleep after the main character slices open a man's abdomen and, holding on to the end of the guy's intestines, jumps through a (closed) window and swings in through the (closed) window for the floor below. Other than the opening sequence, there were little winks throughout, but in the end, Machete just wasn't able to hold my attention.

The American


Welcome to Snorefest 2010 with special guest George Clooney. I'm pretty sure nothing actually happened in this movie... nothing.




Chloe was released in theatres on 3/26/10 and on DVD and Blu-ray on 7/13/10.

Chloe was full of great performances, but you'll definitely be able to predict excactly what happens throughout. No surprises here except for the soft core porn scene with Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried. Still, a well made, well acted movie.

The Switch


The Switch was sort of a disappointment for me. Hindsight being 20/20, I sort of regret getting my hopes up so high for this romantic comedy, but the premise seemed so unique that I thought it might actually be somewhat original.

Jennifer Aniston plays the same character she always plays, which is essentially a variation on Rachel from Friends. Bateman isn't nearly as witty as he usually is because his character is so damned depressed throughout the whole movie and the rest of the cast is just as "whatever" as the the leads.

The Switch isn't unwatchable, it's just a pretty big let down. It falls into the category of movies with original concepts that just aren't executed well; a category that actually angers me. Check this one out on cable, it's not worth the cost of a ticket or a rental.

Piranha 3D


... and by yes, I mean, "Shit, yeah!!!"

Piranha 3D is a remake of the 1978 cult classic that, based on the synopsis I read, is nothing like the "remake" at all. That's irrelevant though, because this new version is (I'm sure) just as silly, campy, gorey, and nude-y as it's predecessor.

The effects are terrible, the acting is over-the-top and the story is, obviously, ridiculous. However, Piranha 3D succeeds where, say, Snakes on a Plane failed because it never tries to take itself seriously. The producers knew what kind of movie they were trying to make and hired people who "got it".

You should run out and catch Piranha in 3D if you still can... it's fun.

Vampires Suck


FYI, there are spoilers in this review because I don't fuckin' care if you want to be surprised... you shouldn't see it anyway. Why do these movies have to exist? I feel like these parody's are more of a detriment to youth culture than any well made R-rated film regardless of the content.

There is a subtlety to comedy that's lost on a lot of people. I'm not trying to sound snobbish or condescending, but obvious jokes are not funny. They are even less funny when you explain them. There is one scene in Vampires Suck when the werewolf character takes his shirt off for (seemingly) no reason. The girl character asks why he took his shirt off and he says that he's required to for every 10 minutes of screen time as per his contract... Then he holds up a copy of his contract. They could have not said anything after he took his shirt off mid sentence and we still would have gotten the joke... they really didn't need to explain it twice.

There are a few glimmers of comedy (most of which are, again, explained to the apparently dumb as a board audience). I chuckled when the girl character accidentally kills Buffy the Vampire Slayer who was there to save her from the bad vampires. But then Buffy says, in the Buffyest way possible, something like "ech, I was, like, totally here to save you..." before she drops dead. As if we didn't already get the reference.

(This is where I may sound a little snobbish...) Maybe it's because I'm smart that movies like this insult me, (and now condescending...) but if this is the kind of entertainment that makes you laugh, you should totally go see Vampires Suck.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World


I really liked Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The plot is simple (but at least there is one), the humor is smart and goofy at the same time, and the performances are irrelevant.

Let's just get it out in the open so that it never has to be mentioned again... Michael Cera will never play a different character. Doesn't that feel good? Now, no one will ever have to be upset or surprised that he keeps playing the same character in every movie. I know it may seem hypocritical since I often complain about the likes of Nicholas Cage, Ben Stiller and Jack Black who also have made a career of playing the same role in whatever situations the new film they're in calls for. I guess what it ultimately boils down to is, "Do you like the character?" When it comes to Michael Cera, the answer for me is, "Yes... for now."

The movie as a whole, however, is just frenetic fun. It's visually exciting, aurally engrossing and intellectually numbing. It's tailor-made for people suffering from attention deficit disorder in that there are no (or very few) scene transitions. A characters will be in one scene talking with one person and once the point of the conversations is made clear to the viewer, the background behind the character will change mid-sentence and the same character will be in an entirely different location talking to different characters who have no idea what he's talking about.

While it may sound overwhelming, it's not and if you want to submerse yourself in crazy for a couple of hours I strongly recommend Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

The Expendables

Fuck no.

What a piece of garbage (and I mean that in the worst possible way). This throwback to 80's action films is so poorly conceived, written, and directed that I'm pissed I even thought it might be entertaining. The Expendables is a real disappointment.

Go ahead, ask me what it's about. I have no fuckin clue. Not because it's confusing or even mildly complicated, but because they never say what it's about. THERE IS NO PLOT. Rambo, Cobra, Commando... simple as they were, they all had a story. This movie was literally about a bunch of guys who get hired to kill a lot of people. No indication of who they work for, why they do what they do, who pays them... why the people who hire them want them to do what they hire them to do or what the end result of the job is and what kind of political ramifications it'll have.

Every scene with Randy Couture and Terry Crews should have been deleted. Not one thing that they say or do advances the nonexistent plot.

The scene that's supposed to set up some kind of story, the one in the church with Stallone, Willis and Schwarzenegger, was so poorly written and acted that it was unintentionally hysterically funny and I was uncontrollably laughing out-loud. They were trying to have this Heat moment (Pacino and DeNiro on screen together for the first time) and instead, they filled it with terrible dialogue that specifically designed to take shots at either the actors in real life or the characters they played in other movies, and the dialogue was separated by extraordinarily uncomfortable pauses.

I took a quick nap whenever Mickey Rourke showed up because, between his 10 minute crybaby monologues about the girl who got away and Jason Statham's moping about his girlfriend cheating on him, I thought I was watching the fuckin Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

Dolph Lundgren isn't a good enough actor to pull off a flip-flop-flip-flop-flip of that magnitude convincingly, not that the writers actually gave him any motivation to jump back and forth between good and bad... he just did. And finally, Jet Li was probably supposed to have a storyline and Stallone just got tired of writing. Li kept talking about how he needs more money, lies about why, admits to lying about why but insists that he needs more money and... that's it... they never revisit it.

If they had made this an origin story instead of throwing us right into the middle of their careers, this could have been the start of a fun franchise. The Expendables is full of cursing, tattoos, motorcycles, gunfire and explosions, but it's completely devoid of talent. You decide how you want to spend your money.

The Other Guys


I can't, for the life of me, understand why this is getting better reviews than Dinner for Schmucks. The Other Guys relies entirely on the comedy stylings of Will Ferrell so if you like a Will Ferrell movie, you'll love The Other Guys.

Sam Jackson and The Rock are the best part of this and they're only in the first 10 minutes. After that, it's all downhill. Ferrell's overly complicated rants tend to annoy the shit out of me rather than tickle my funny bone. I know the director just lets him do the same scene over and over again, a little differently each time, and then picks the one he thinks is funniest. I truly think Ferrell is at his best when he sticks to the script. Mark Wahlberg proves, once again, that his Oscar nomination was a fluke, and while Michael Keaton was very funny, the script did him a disservice by beating a dead horse, specifically the TLC gag.

As in most comedies, I laughed here and there, but not enough to recommend The Other Guys.

Dinner for Schmucks


Dinner for Schmucks isn't without it's faults, but those faults are easily forgotten while you're laughing so hard you can't breathe.

The movie is easily 15-20 minutes longer than it needs to be, but that time is filled with comedy. All of the slow parts were necessary if they wanted to tell an actual story. If the slow parts were left out we would have been complaining that there was no plot.

The two stars are cast perfectly for their roles, as is the entire supporting cast. Unfortunately, none of them are able to convince you that any of what happens in the movie would ever happen or that these characters could possibly exist in real life. Since it's completely unrealistic to begin with, the lack of a plot may have been a good thing... except that, without the boring plot development, we may all have died from laughter.

Go see Dinner for Schmucks, keeping in mind that the slow scenes may be saving your life.

Charlie St. Cloud


There isn't much to say about Charlie St. Cloud. It is as the preview suggests. It's about getting women to swoon over a hot guy who is vulnerable, sad, or damaged. Zac Efron spends a significant portion of the movie in tears, manipulating his target audience into crying along with him.

I, however, was completely unmoved. There wasn't a whole lot of setup. I didn't care enough about the characters before the accident to be affected by their struggle to move on... and it was not the fault of the actors. Efron does exactly what the story calls for. He plays a good looking, brooding, mysterious graveyard caretaker, who was once unbeatable in a sailing race, better than baseball camp for practicing, an excellent cook, can talk to the dead, and is capable of stitching up a wound, which is always helpful after he destroys in a bar fight, and does so convincingly, believe it or not. Unfortunately, the writing and directing took his hard work and flushed it down the tubes.

The whole thing was choppier than the stormy waters that swallow up Efron's love interest's boat. It was even choppier than that last sentence. I honestly don't know whose fault it is. Ignoring the fact that the story was kind of lame, it was just a terrible movie that wasn't made well. The script is corny and manipulative, the directing choppy and indulgent, and the movie was edited so poorly that there were times that I couldn't quite figure out how we had gotten to that point.

Don't bother with Charlie St. Cloud. I know it's been a while since we've had this kind of movie to fill the void left by Dear John, The Last Song and Letters to Juliet... Just re-watch those on DVD.



Salt is a straight forward action movie. Angelina tears up the screen performing insane stunts and the director gets some really exciting footage as a result. There isn't a lot of thinking involved in Salt, which is a nice break from the puzzle that is Inception. The plot twists are fairly evident from the very beginning, although they may keep you teetering back and forth between a couple of possibilities.

If you're looking for a fun time at the theatre with a movie that was, very suspiciously,  able to rip it's plot straight out of current events, go check out Salt.


Not only should you... I'm considering requesting that a bill be submitted to congress that would require every American to see Inception at least two times.

I'm behind on my reviews; I've seen The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Despicable Me and I just watched From Paris with Love at home... I'll go back to them, but I need to submit this post now because everyone needs to go out and experience this film as soon as possible.

I saw it twice. On Wednesday, I woke up and was at work by 10:30am. I worked until 9pm and then watched Inception, a two and a half hour film, at 1am (technically Thursday morning). I was exhausted, first from the day and then from trying to follow what was going on in the movie. I drifted off once or twice and needless to say, I had several questions at the end of the movie. I watched it again at 10:45pm on Thursday night and everything became clear. There are no words to describe the epic nature of Inception, the closest I can get would be with "Brilliant", or "Mind-blowing", or "Astounding".

When I say everything became clear, I don't mean to imply that I could verbalize the complex plot or the rules created by the genius writer/director that govern the world(s) the film takes place in... I just don't have the vocabulary or the articulation necessary to explain it. Suffice it to say Inception is one of the most extraordinary pieces of film making to hit the screen in... forever(?). The fact that anyone could put something like Inception together in a way that is even remotely coherent, is staggering.

Christopher Nolan. He hasn't made a "bad" movie yet. Memento was phenomenal, Insomnia was OK. Batman Begins was great and The Prestige was really good as well... you should know by now how I feel about The Dark Knight and now he pulls Inception out his hat. His next film will be the final entry in his Batman trilogy and if he is successful with "Batman 3", he may earn the coveted role of "Mike's favorite director". (Yes, it is coveted.)

Needless to say, the writing and direction are unbelievably good. The acting is stellar all around; there isn't a single weak link in the cast. The visual and sound effects seamlessly bring you in the world of the dreams, and the orchestral score is emotive and exciting. The action sequences will keep you on the edge of your seat and the love story is absolutely heart-breaking.

My suggestion to you is that when you go to see Inception... and you will go see Inception... you pay attention when the characters are talking... even some of the "throw away" lines of dialogue are important. Go see it tonight. And tomorrow... I'm going for a third time next week, let me know if you wanna tag along.

P.S. Warner Bros - Thank you for not releasing this in 3D.

Despicable Me 3D


Despicable Me is a fun, family friendly heist movie with adorable characters who get you to laugh, not because they're saying funny things, but because they are just SO cute. The kids are cute, the minions are cute as hell, and even Gru has his moments...

While it's a very entertaining 100 minutes, the only thing that will really stick with you when you leave the theatre is how cute it was. Despicable Me is great family fare for a rainy day when there is nothing else to do.



So Predators is by no means a good movie, but it's successful in that it was an unnecessary sequel that didn't destroy the mythology of the original, and actually could have held up on it's own without the original having already existed.

There were no weak links in the cast, and the writers and director were totally aware of the lack of necessity for another film in the Predator saga so they never took the film too seriously.

Should you see it? No; it didn't even need to be made... but you can. If you do you'll probably have fun.

The Last Airbender


But to be fair, I didn't think it was as bad as the critics made it out to be. The writing is hokey and the acting is terrible. I never saw the cartoon on Nickelodeon and knew absolutely nothing about the plot. Ignorance is bliss... with better dialogue and a different cast, The Last Airbender could have been phenomenal, but to be honest, I didn't hate it.

I'm not taking away my "no", but you should know that while it's not good, The Last Airbender isn't nearly as bad as some would have you believe.

From Paris with Love


To be honest, I really wasn't paying attention while it was on; The fact that it couldn't grab my attention on a 40" HD screen in a tiny room isn't a stirring endorsement...

Knight and Day


I didn't hate Knight and Day, it was just too silly to recommend. The plot is overly complex for the type of movie the filmmakers wanted to make.

They tried to do too much in too short a running time. As a result, we got a choppy story with characters traveling the world in seemingly too short a period of time. Diaz's character develops the skills of a super-spy way too quickly; especially considering the fact that everything she needed to learn to turn into the person she is at the end of the movie only happens while she's unconscious. Cruise's character's solution to the fact that she clearly can't handle the life of a super-spy is to drug her... which is also the director's solution to the problem of getting them to another continent. Just about every transition is Diaz losing consciousness and then regaining it on the other side of the world.

Knight and Day is fun, but less believable than some of the most unbelievable action movies ever made.

Toy Story 3


Very unlike the marketing campaign for Shrek 4 (which may have actually been called "Shrek: The Final Chapter"), Disney/Pixar hasn't stated outright that this is the final Toy Story movie. I'm really hoping it is, though.

Not because I hate the characters and never want to see them again. While the gang could go on any number of adventures in the future, the emotional end to every one of them would be a repeat of the journeys that they've already taken. Toy Story 3 provides a satisfying conclusion to the series. The Toy Story saga is complete and other than to make money, there is no reason to make another movie starring these characters.

The trilogy has had messages ranging from friendship and family, to jealousy, to loss and moving on. Pixar has made family friendly films with mature themes and no pop-culture references. They have never sacrificed the integrity of the characters or the story and for these reasons, the Toy Story films are truly timeless.

I can't blame them for releasing Toy Story 3 in 3D, but there really is absolutely no reason for it to have been except for, again, money. If you haven't seen it yet, definitely go, but don't stress about seeing it in 3D. Just see it.

The A-Team


I felt like I came in in the middle of something. I was confused from the beginning and was too tired to try to figure out what was going on, but I was entertained enough by the action sequences and witty banter to give it another shot as a rental.

From what I can tell, The A-Team movie is a prequel to the 1980's series that shows why the team became fugitives. The action scenes in the movie were ridiculous and exciting, Murdock and Face were hysterically funny, but the story was almost non-existent... and was kind of irrelevant.

The A-Team is a minor success. I wasn't expecting much, but I got what i expected.