Archive for June, 2013

I have been looking forward to watching this movie since it hit theaters but was willing to wait until the DVD and I’m glad I did.

Here’s the rundown: man has identity stolen, thief goes on spending spree, thief gets arrested and doesn’t show up for court date, warrant is issued and man is arrested, police refuse to help and man in jeopardy of losing job decides it’s up to him to bring thief to justice, wacky road trip comedy, cue laughs and roll credits.

If you have watched the trailers for this movie then you know all of this already and unfortunately you have seen many of the big laugh moments as well. While there are still some laughs that weren’t given away to try and pull you into the theater, most of them come from the supporting cast.

Having said that, I’ll say this, I enjoyed this film. There’s chemistry between Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman and both lead actors bring solid performances to an entertaining story. The supporting cast, which include T.I. and Robert Patrick do their job to move the story along and provide a couple of my favorite moments from this film. T.I. has a couple of good one liners and Robert Patrick turns crazy up a notch but perhaps it’s the love scene between Eric Stonestreet and Melissa McCarthy that really won my heart and brought a tear to my eye.

While this doesn’t quite rank up there as one of my all time, could watch it everyday favorites, it did its job and kept me entertained for a couple of hours.

So to wrap it up I give Identity Thief a rank of “Redbox one night rental”Hope you enjoy it.

-D

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Die Hard is by far one of my favorite franchises of all time. At the very least it is my favorite action franchises because, well Bruce Willis is a stone cold badass…with a heart of gold. I will give nearly any film with the great Mr. Willis a chance but, this isn’t a love letter to Bruno (crickets…anyone?) it’s a review of the latest installment in the classic action franchise.

Over the last 20 years the franchise has turned from “everyday cop in wrong place at wrong time goes above and beyond to stop terrorist plot” to “stone cold badass kills everything with a heartbeat that is involved in terrorist plot including driving cars into helicopters”. Even though the films lost some heart in the last couple of installments they more than make up for it with awesome stunts and a bigger body count. The films have also gotten a little more formulaic in the last 2 films and A Good Day To Die Hard is no exception.

Starting out with John McClane going to Moscow to try and help his estranged son, John Jr., without the latter’s knowledge of course. In true Die Hard fashion shit hits the fan fairly rapidly with a kidnapping/rescue attempt and some great action sequences including some over the top scenes in the style of Live Free or Die Hard. Bruce still has that magic and charisma that have made us pull for McClane for the better part of 30 years all while maintaining that everyman quality. Jai Courtney is a welcome addition to the franchise as John’s eldest child John Jr. Courtney hasn’t had a lot of work but what I’ve seen indicates a promising future for him.

After a massive body count, several awesome explosions, a helicopter crash, a trip to Chernobyl and of course Yippi Ki Yay Motherfucker, this film delivers pure entertainment from start to finish. Even if it is a little formulaic it is surprisingly not predictable. Good performances and a solid script make the latest entry in the Die Hard series well worth your money. I give this one a solid 4/5 rating…or fully erect whichever you prefer.

-Heath

Let me start by saying I was very skeptical about this film from the first time I heard about it. I mean let’s be honest here, a slightly dark romantic comedy about zombies? The whole concept just sounds terrible especially when you consider that it’s aimed at the Twilight crowd. I’m a bit of a zombie purist so naturally I thought I would hate it but, my film geek curiosity prevailed.

What I got as I watched the film was not the teen oriented Twilight with zombies overly romantic slop that I expected. Instead I got a well crafted, clever, if not slightly formulaic, comedy with a hint of romance. Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer execute their roles very effortlessly and believably. The near constant inner monologue of Nicholas Hoult’s R has the potential to be very annoying, but is surprisingly one of the highlights of the film. Rob Corddry gives possibly the best performance of his career as R’s best friend M. It is great because unlike the rest of his performances the role requires him to be subdued yet he still conveys all of the hilarity that normally accompanies his presence in a film.

John Malkovich gives an expectedly good performance as the film’s main antagonist. In fact, his casting in the film was the only thing that made me curious about the film. The film is a quasi typical good vs. evil, Romeo and Juliet, love prevails over everything story. It somehow avoids being too formulaic and actually delivers a very enjoyable story. It also has a really good soundtrack and some awesome references to vinyl being the superior music medium, which as a music nerd I can appreciate.

A truly good script combined with great comedic timing by some very talented actors makes this an enjoyable experience all around. If you are looking for a good time that is not too heavy but still makes you think then look no further. Warm Bodies is a good film that really serves its purpose. This one gets a fully erect.

-Heath

Over the past weekend I decided to undertake the daunting task of finally watching The Stand miniseries from start to finish. Seeing as I was only 7 when it originally aired in 1994 I’ve managed to never watch the whole thing, only catching bits and pieces here and there over the years. This time I was committed to so through it all.

For those unfamiliar, The Stand is essentially a social commentary, good and evil, morality tale type thing about a man made virus that gets unleashed on humanity and effectively pulverizes man and animal kind except for a few who have a genetic predisposition for immunity. A good/evil battle of literally Biblical proportions ensues with some pretty important players and events. The series opens with incredibly well done opening sequence and superb opening credits set to Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear The Reaper.

This series was cast with a virtual who’s who of “that guy/girl from that one thing”. Actors such as Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Bill Fagerbakke, Ray Walston, Laura San Giacomo and even Ken “Dr. Bob Kelso” Jenkins in a small supporting role. The supporting cast is rounded out by many very talented familiar faces/unknown names such as Ossie Davis, Matt Frewer, and Miguel Ferrer. It even features some great cameos from Stephen King, Sam Raimi, and Ed Harris.

The original novel written by Stephen King was very strong material to begin with and considering he wrote the screen adaptation, that should say that it is strong enough to stand on its own. At six hours it is a taxing task to undertake but well worth it in the long run. Fantastic writing, great acting, and good directing from frequent King collaborator Mick Garris makes this series very easy to watch. It has a great social moral as well in that mankind has the potential to bring its own demise if not careful. Ultimately, it’s well worth the watch and still holds up after nearly 20 years. If you have managed to never watch it like me, give it a chance sometime. This one gets a fully erect.

-Heath

Having been bombarded by trailers for Man Of Steel and seeing the scene with a young Clark and Jonathan Kent, I think it’s safe to say I may shed a tear during this film. I’m not talking a What Dreams May Come emotionally draining kind of breakdown, just a tear or two, wiped away quickly as I glance over at my friends in time to see them doing the same. Damn movies.

They’ve done it to me for years, make me cry that is. The first offender was Old Yeller followed closely by Where The Red Fern Grows, both I watched for the first time in the second grade. Congratulations to Mrs. Addams for emotionally scaring a group of small children all those years ago.

That was just the beginning. Since then I’ve had to deal with lovable aliens going home, underdogs beating the odds, loved ones dying and so many more. I still can’t watch the first ten minutes of Up without tearing up or when Arnie tries to wake mama up in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape…gets me every time.

Some movies caught me off guard. I watched Kick-Ass for the first time three months after my pops had passed away and Big Daddy’s death scene really hit home. I have a similar connection to the movie Brother Bear, watched it months after my mom had passed and it got me as well. Neither of the above mentioned movies were hard hitting dramas where a mentally challenged jewish child grows up to become an alcoholic genius who discovers the cure for the disease his wheel chair bound fiancĂ© suffers from just hours before she dies but I connected with them due what I was going through at the time and to me, that makes them better.

I could sit here all day and name off movies that have brought me to tears but that wouldn’t be very interesting and eventually they’re going to kick me out of this Starbucks, so I’ll try to wrap this up.

Whether they are tears of joy or sadness, films have been making me look like a prepubescent teenage girl for years. There have been good times and bad times and Uwe Boll times. I look forward to many more years of sobbing through a mouthful of popcorn as Forest loves Jenny and Schindler makes lists.

Be sure to check back with us in a couple weeks to see if I was right and to read our review of Man Of Steel.

~D