Archive | July, 2010

Weekend Film Recommendation

30 Jul

The work week is coming to a close and if I have something pressing to discuss I will post it over the weekend. If not, I will leave you with the weekend film recommendation:

CONTROL (2007)

While it is not the feel-good movie of the decade, it certainly paints a powerfully tragic portrait of the lead singer of Joy Division, Ian Curtis. The trailer is posted below.

What happened to movies like “The Sandlot”?

29 Jul

We all know these movies, the ones from our childhood that we can quote over and over and still never get tired of watching as adults. To me, the quintessential childhood movie was “The Sandlot”. That film had something for everyone, even adults. Every person could look at those characters and see hints of people they knew or people they were on the Sandlot. That coming of age tale became a staple in households everywhere…FOR-EV-ER.

What happened to those kinds of films? There was a slew of them from the 1980’s until the mid-nineties. There was “The Goonies”, “Stand By Me”, “The Outsiders”,  etc. and they became staples coming of age tales for generations to come. Since “The Sandlot” what film has come to stand as a coming of age tale that all ages can enjoy?

I said for ALL ages

Maybe it is that I do not have kids and am not as attuned to seeing what non-animated children’s films have to offer, but I do not hear the buzz about one like it since “The Sandlot”. I have talked to people that have kids right now and say that they still quote “The Sandlot” or “The Goonies” more than any kids movie that has come out in the last ten years. I am not saying that there haven’t been any good non-animated kids movies that have come out recently, but none of them seem to stand the test of time.

I am interested to hear some different opinions about this subject because, as a 25-year-old without kids, I have a skewed perspective. I am not claiming that there isn’t one, but I have polled several different people about this, even people with kids ranging from ages 7-17 and they can’t think of a  kids movie since The Sandlot that will be timeless. If you can think of one, post it in the comments.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Inception

28 Jul

For those of you out there who love the intricacies of “Inception” as well as the brainless comedy of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, I found this video and thought I would share it with my readers. I hope you enjoy it for a mid-week laugh.

REVIEW: Despicable Me (2010)

27 Jul

REVIEW: DESPICABLE ME (2010): *** out of 4 stars.

It has been a while since a non-Pixar animated movie made me laugh this hard. “Despicable Me” unfurled in a such a playful manner that it was a  true delight to watch. From the pace and comedic timing to the animation and character selection, this film succeeded in creating one of the funniest films of the year.

Steve Carell voices the main character, Gru, who is an evil mastermind past his prime. When an up and coming villain steals a pyramid, Gru thinks it is time to get back on top and steal something bigger, the moon. Gru, assisted by Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and his team of roundish, yellow creatures known as “minions”, attempts to steal a shrink ray so he can shrink the moon and steal it. However, his plans are impeded by a trio of little girls that he has adopted to incorporate into his plan of world domination, as well as the up and coming supervillain and arch-nemesis, Vector (Jason Segel).

The voice cast is a conglomerate of outstanding comedic actors that bring so much to the film. None of them over-do  their characters, but play them to perfection, forming a great ensemble. Almost every new character that was brought on the scene was voiced by someone that was easily recognizable, including Will Arnett, Jack Mcbrayer, Danny McBride, Kristen Wiig, and Julie Andrews. It became part of the excitement every time a new character was introduced.

The best part of the film was watching the minions and their gibberish (with some Spanish mixed in I think). Their loyalty to their evil boss ,despite the ridiculous tasking and experiments, plus their love of fun and disco make them very endearing characters.

The film had some minor flaws, but not many, and I  think some of them came from the fact that I was an adult watching a kids movie. However, the flaws were not gaping enough to take away from the enjoyability of the film. It is very easy to tell that the director, animators, and writers had a lot of fun with this film and it translates incredibly well to the screen. The use of 3-D was not overwhelming and they used it to enhance the film, especially in the roller coaster scene. They even show how cool it can be to break the fourth wall in the end credits.

In a year that is bereft of refreshing movies (with the exception of “Inception” and maybe one other) “Despicable Me” came as a surprise and I will definitely be looking for it on DVD in hopes of seeing more misadventures with the minions.

Most Ominous Film Soundtrack

26 Jul

It was another scintillating conversation here in the CROC (Community Relations Operations Center) this afternoon. We were discussing classic horror films and their ominous soundtracks and which ones disturbed us the most.

The one that came up immediately was “Jaws”. The distinct two-note stroke of horror movie genius that created the monster was the obvious stand out to be the most ominous soundtrack to a film, right? “Friday the 13th”  and “Halloween” don’t  come close and “Psycho” , while it has the signature note repetition while the knife is in the air, doesn’t equate to ominous and disturbing as much as it is just startling.

But then my co-worker, Wayne, said something that I believe tops “Jaws” as the most ominous soundtrack…..”Deliverance”. The song ‘Dueling Banjos’, while a lot of fun to play on the guitar and banjo, is most likely now carved in the minds of all that have seen that film as “that song that goes with the in-bred redneck squealing pig movie”. While the song isn’t played in the most memorable and disturbing scene in the film, it is a precursor to it and will forever be associated with it. As soon as those opening notes are played and heard it sends chills down the spine thinking about “Deliverance”, creepy rednecks having “fun” in the woods, and a stone-faced banjo boy.

Wanna jam?

We didn’t go into a whole lot of depth of discussion on this topic, but I thought I would share it with you, my readers, and see if you all could think of something that could top it.

REVIEW: She’s Out of My League (2010)

26 Jul

REVIEW: SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE (2010): ** out of 4 stars.

The word ‘forgettable’ best describes this film. I remember I laughed at a couple points in this movie, but I don’t remember what I was laughing at.

“She’s Out of My League” centers around the premise that a really hot girl, Molly (Alice Eve), unbelievably falls for a nerdy airport security worker, Kirk (Jay Baruchel). The writer and director try to make this couple believeable, but just like Kirk and Molly’s friends in the movie, the audience is still left wondering why the heck they are together. There is nothing established that they really have in common besides that they both like the Boston Bruins and being awkward. While Molly says that she is looking for a nice guy after having a dated a bunch of much better looking jerks, there still was not any chemistry established between her and Kirk in the film to build a believable relationship.

There were a few laughs, like I mentioned, but it never kept up a good comedic pace and the laughs it did have were re-treads of worn out jokes from the American Pie series. The funniest characters and situations were brought on by the supporting cast rather than its leads, which is fine, but when Kirk was placed in a humorous situation he seemed to rely too heavily on his facial expressions to carry the gag.

One of the main problems with the film was that its leads were not lead actor material. Jay Baruchel played mildly humorous supporting characters in “Tropic Thunder” and “Knocked Up”, but he is only good in small doses. Alice Eve is like a cheap version of Jessica Alba, she is there just to look nice. She can’t carry a movie on her acting or comedic chops so she is there to just  be the “hot girl”, which she does, but making her a convincing match for Jay Baruchel required her character to have a little more depth.

All-in-all, “She’s Out of My League” would suffice for a background movie during a get together of some sort; something for people to sit and stare at to be mildly entertained while waiting to do something better.

Weekend Film Recommendation

24 Jul

Hey everyone it has been a busy week, but I promise I will be back in full force on Monday. My film recommendation for the weekend is “The Lives of Others”.