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The Last Song


I don't understand why Nicholas Sparks is allowed to write the same story over and over again and no one says anything to him about it.

I also don't understand why they would cast Miley Cyrus in the role. She's terrible and she's ugly. The only sound more annoying than her singing voice is her speaking voice. Liam Hemsworth, who is a very good looking guy, is supposed to have been attracted to her just by having seen her walking by. She was hunched over, mopey and bitchy when he saw her and immediately I called bullshit on the rest of the movie. I hate Miley Cyrus.

The movie's only redeeming quality was the kid that played Cyrus's younger brother. It's a Nicholas Sparks movie so I'm not giving anything away when I tell you that someone dies in it. That kid did a really good job in the scenes toward the end of the movie reacting to the news that the person was dying and to the death.

Don't waste your time and money, though. Miley Cyrus is the worst.

Hot Tub Time Machine

Yes... however...

...the majority of my review can be summed up in 6 words: "It's called Hot Tub Time Machine." It's a stupid movie, but it knows it and revels in it.

There are a few flaws in it... It wasn't as consistently funny as, say, The Hangover; most of it's laughs were 80's nostalgia based, but they didn't go as far with it as I thought they would. A staple of the 80's comedy was the competition, like a boat race or a eating contest, that they would have to win to save their friend's grandmother's house. Since John Cusak was in it and was an integral part of that era, you would think that he would have put a little more thought into it. Also, the time travel would have created a paradox that the film makers kind of overlooked which probably would have ended the world.

Hot Tub Time Machine is funny, raunchy, stupid fun. It's definitely the kind of movie that you should get high before going to see.

How to Train Your Dragon 3D

Yes yes yes. Definitely yes.

How to Train Your Dragon is the first good movie, that I've felt it was important to see in 3D to get the full effect. Up was my favorite movie of last year and I still don't think it needed to be in 3D it was perfect in 2D. Avatar was the opposite. In order to even mildly like the movie, you needed to have seen it in 3D. The movie was crap and the whole thing was really just a spectacle. Take out the 3D and you have a movie I like to call Pocahontas 3000. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was OK, Final Destination 4 shouldn't even have been released, and Alice in Wonderland was worse than Avatar because the 3D didn't help make it a better movie at all.

How to Train Your Dragon is a mixed bag in terms of originality. First of all, it's not an original screenplay, the script is adapted from the book series by Cressida Cowell. I can't speak for the rest of the series, but the premise of the movie really is just E.T. with a dragon instead of alien. That being said, the characters are all unique and the scenery is relatively new to the animated world... I can't think of any other animated movies about vikings. Also... I want a dragon. Not just any dragon, I want Toothless. The scene where Hiccup is testing Toothless's boundaries and they are becoming friends was so heartwarming I almost threw up. Then, the friendship that they develop; risking their own lives to protect the other... I want a dragon.

I couldn't give a higher recommendation. I loved How to Train Your Dragon.

Cop Out


Cop Out and When in Rome are currently vying for the award for worst overall production of a movie in 2010. It saddens me to say that Cop Out is currently ahead by a small margin.

The difference between the quality of the two lies mostly in the level of talent, and therefore, expectation. I didn't expect much from When in Rome; it's cast and crew were all second tier to begin with and 9 times out of 10, a romantic comedy is going to be pretty awful. The quality of buddy cop movies are always raised by the level of talent. With Kevin Smith directing Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan as veteran cops who've worked with each other for nine years, you'd think you couldn't go wrong... well, you'd be wrong.

Morgan plays a slightly more sane versio of his character on 30 Rock and Willis plays Bruce Willis, not interested in making this movie. He's phoning it in, and with good reason. Why exert yourself if there is absolutely nothing you can do to elevate the less than mediocre script you're working from.

I'm happy to say that Smith only directed Cop Out, it was written by Robb and Mark Cullen who've dabbled in television, but are highly inexperienced. It's become abundantly clear that Smith's real talent is in the telling of the story (see Chasing Amy, Dogma, and An Evening with Kevin Smith) and not in directing. I'd be curious to see what would come of a Kevin Smith movie in the hands of a good director.

Cop Out delivers a few laughs, but not enough to recommend.

Repo Men


Repo Men is just an excuse to release a blood splattered movie in theatres.

There are so many different approaches they could have taken with the subject matter to make the film relevant in today's society. The new Health Care craze and the nation's current economic crisis could have both been analyzed through the clever concept for this movie. Neither were.

Even the most basic concept or morality is only briefly explored with Remy's (Jude Law) wife's decision to leave him if he didn't transfer to the sales team and get out of the repossession department. Even that's a pretty weak gesture since that implies that if she turns a blind eye, everything is OK. I was really hoping that the ethics of the company that repossesses your organs if you can't pay back your loan would play a role in the plot of the movie. It didn't.

Having watched this movie free of charge, it's difficult for me to say that I didn't at least enjoy watching it play out. I was hoping for a whole lot more and if I had payed to see it, I would have been furious.

The Bounty Hunter

No... but what did you expect?

There is absolutely no chemistry between the two leads; Butler is a little bit hammy, Aniston, once again, plays Rachel from Friends and the supporting cast members don't provide very much support at all. The story is so formulaic that you can predict every scene and there are absolutely no surprises. The only redeeming quality about The Bounty Hunter is that is was (at least partially) shot on Long Island.

It's not the worst movie of the year, but... ech.

She's Out of My League


Even though he had absolutely nothing to do with it, She's Out of My League could fit in with some of Judd Apatow's best work. The writer's behind this film also brought us the not-terrible Sex Drive and are also responsible for the potentially great Hot Tub Time Machine (releases in theatres on 3/26/10); it looks as if they are getting better and better by the film.

The director is virtually unknown, and his lack of experience shows. I counted at least 4 montages during She's Out of My League (which is 4 more than should be in any movie, post 1989). Those four don't include the two super short montages that were so short that I wasn't sure if they could be defined as a montage or not.

Jay Baruchel has begun his train ride to stardom. After stealing just about every scene he was in in Tropic Thunder and giving a convincing performance in this movie, he will be heard as the voice of the lead character in Dreamworks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon 3D and then stars opposite Nicolas Cage in Disney's live action summer blockbuster The Sorcerer's Apprentice. If he keeps this up, he'll be the lanky version of Shia LaBeouf in no time.

The story and the message are as unoriginal as any of the sequels and remakes that have been coming out lately, but what the plot is missing in originality, the screenplay makes up for.

Green Zone

Yes. Green Zone is intense from the opening scene until the very end.

In past years, the political-war-conspiracy movies have left much to be desired. Shooter, Body of Lies, and The Kingdom are some examples of movies that had potential, but for one reason or another, just didn't fit the bill. I strongly believe that one of the major reasons Green Zone was a success and the others weren't (in my opinion) is the cast. The affore mentioned films relied on the performances of Mark Wahlberg, Danny Glover and Kate Mara - Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe - and Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and Chris Cooper. I know what you're thinking and I'll get to that in a moment, but in the mean time, you have to admit that the majority of these casts are severely lacking the believability factor. As for you're concern: I think the problem with Body of Lies was that it had too much star power. One of the two roles should have been played by a lesser star. As much as I HATE Russell Crowe, my feeling is that DiCaprio's role in that movie should have been portrayed by someone with less star power... like Ryan Reynolds, Channing Tatum or Sam Worthington. Matt Damon is the strong lead in Green Zone and he is supported by Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan and Brendan Gleeson who put forth subtle, yet strong/convincing performances.

The way the movie mixes fact and fiction was also kind of fun. Unfortunately, there will be some idiot liberals who think that this movie proves something and asshole Republicans who try to claim that the movie is a liberal conspiracy to convince people... I don't know what. The fact of the matter is that it is a work of fiction, but it fits into history as a possible scenario that led to the situation in Iraq.

Green Zone isn't getting rave reviews from critics, but if you are looking for a popcorn movie that makes you feel smart, then check out Green Zone.

Brooklyn's Finest

Ugh, no.

There's a certain sense of sarcasm that you get from the title after having seen Brooklyn's Finest that you might not necessarily pick up on before seeing it.

These are, for the most part, evil, but at an absolute minimum, unethical people and we are meant to relate with them and feel bad for them. I didn't feel bad for any one of them. They all signed up for something and when it doesn't turn out how they dreamed it would, they start breaking the law. It's not OK just because you're desperate or lonely or scared.

The acting is average, the direction is kind of "blah", and the story is... non-existent. This cliche ridden screenplay starts with the burnt out cop who wakes up to a whiskey filled breakfast and ends when he finds purpose just as he's about to kill himself. Literally, nothing happens throughout the first hour or so of the movie and when something does happen, you'll most likely feel like the emptiness of the first hour wasn't worth sitting through for what eventually came.

This movie was set up as counter-programming to Alice in Wonderland and probably wouldn't have performed at the box office at all if it were put up against and other 'grown-up' fare. Don't waste your time on Brooklyn's Finest.

Alice in Wonderland

No. If someone were to as me to describe Alice in Wonderland in one word, it would be "lacking".

Alice in Wonderland is as visually invigorating as you would expect from any Tim Burton film, unfortunately it's richness is severely diluted by it's lack character development, boring storyline, and it's overall wonderlessness.

The first two are clearly the fault of the screenwriter, but the worst offense is the "by numbers" approach that Burton took in his direction. It's almost as if he was really just phoning it in, using the same actors and composer he always uses... I think he even used the tree and windmill from Sleepy Hollow.

We are all, for the most part, familiar with these characters. We remember them from the original Disney animated classic and a few of you may actually have read the books. I remember the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit and the Tweedles. They're quirky... strange... but I'll tell you what, I knew plenty of quirky characters in high school. If I passed them on the street today and they started telling me about all of their problems, I honestly wouldn't give a shit and would probably be fidgety, looking for an excuse to continue on my way. I was very fidgety while watching Alice in Wonderland. I honestly didn't care about any of the characters because, even though I didn't need any character origin stories, I still needed to see some kind of emotional development. They were all just two dimensional cartoon characters behaving strangely.

I wish I had better news, I was really looking forward to Burton's vision of this wacky story. Unfortunately, no... you should not see Alice in Wonderland.