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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Review: THE WACKNESS




Finally a movie about growing up in 1994. Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck), is an 18 year old drug dealer with a messed up life. His parents are broke and constantly fighting, he's graduating high school, he has no friends, and he still hasn't lost his virginity. Did I mention he's also a pot dealer? Even so, Shapiro spends his time selling drugs for money, as well as trading them to Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsly), a local therapist so he can have some one to talk to. Then he meets the step daughter of Dr. Squires, Stepahnie (Olivia Thirlby). Over the next few weeks of his summer, Shapiro experiences, loss, love, lust, friendship, and many things to help him become the man he was meant to be as Dr. Squires undergoes many trials and tribulations himself. In this coming of age story, its not about rising to the top, its just about learning to deal.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Get Smart




Also Coming in 2008 is a spinoff of the Get Smart film titled "Get Smarter: Get Bruce and Lloyd". Seems a little early to make a spinoff, does it not?



"The Office's" Brian Baumgartner and "The Nanny's" Wilder Shaw pose for a picture.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Film Review: KUNG FU PANDA



This is the first film since Road to El Dorado and Prince of Egypt that has been made by Dreamworks animation Studios that has been 100% original and that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

The art of the film is beautiful and one can see that much more effort has been put into each shot than ever has been put before in a Dreamworks animated film. Each shot is finely crafted with a delightful depth of field that adds to the realism, and for once there are no blatant fart jokes or obnoxious sexual innuendos. Good job.

Review: YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN




Lets start with that Poster. I love it only because I have not seen it until this moment and it is absoultly ludacris. But in a good way. Like the movie.

I must preface by saying my favorite Adam Sandler/ Happy Madison comedy movies are easily "Little Nicky" "Click" and also "You Don't Mess With The Zohan". The Wedding Singer is also nice, but for some reason Sandlers troupe and taste in comedy irks me a bit. However, in "Zohan" it all works perfectly.

People may have forgotton that Apatow did a draft of "The Wedding Singer," and this is not his first forray with Sandler, nor will it be his last. Next year the two unite in yet another movie featuring Seth Rogen, but for now, lets talk about the movie at hand.

Zohan is a delightful little film filled with zany laughs and fun gags, as well as a tad of heart. The Zohan (Sandler) is the best anti-terrorist unit in the Israeli army, but has grown tired of his life of sex, beach, and kicking ass. So he fakes his death in a fight against "The Phantom" (John Tuturro) so he can move to New York and be a hair stylist. Which he does and is quite happy with until his past finally catches up to him, as we as viewers all knew it would.

Filled with hillarious sight gags and some suprisingly nicely coreographed action, Zohan crashes throughout Israel and New York. Emmanuelle Chriqui puts in some nice acting as the attractive Palestinian hair dresser, who the Zohan falls for. She is a very likeable character, though not to funny, is always a pleasure to have on screen.

Rob Schnieder pulls off a role that is actually tolerable for once as the secondary taxi driving antagonist of the film. Nick Swarsden and Sayed Badreya play the minor leads in the film Swarsden as the guy who rooms with the Zohan and Sayed as the number two hezbolah terrorist. Chris Rock and Kevin James make some very unnecessry and slightly odd cameos and random people in the film who have little or no consequence to the films outcome.

Sandler and Tuturro are hillarious as the protagonist and antagonist of the film, acting as perfect foils to each other with questionable accents, but hillarious none the less. While Sandler alias "Scrappy Coco" sucks the rest of his character is hillarious and scene stealing in every scene he is in, rightfully so, since he is the star. When Tuturro is on screen there seems to be a small struggle for power, but they always align and work out fine each scene they are both in.

Dennis Dugan could direct a fantastic action film if he set his mind to it, and Zohan is never quite sure what type of film it is, though it delivers well every other shot. It is nowhere near the best comedy ever made, but it has some very good laughs and a nice rewatch at a party value.

Some people are concerned with the idea that the film may glorify Israeli's and Put down Palestinians, but while the film starts off with that as a possible angle, most offenses are avoided and it is shown how the two can co-exist happily and peacefully in society, and how life is not so different for each when they are set in a new unfamilar world like New York and that they must put aside thier differences to make the best life for each other possible.

Go see the film, you'll get a chuckle and when you are throwing a party later in the future you will know exactly what to put on.
3 stars

Review: INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL




I won't spend too many words on this review, but basically, if you liked the first three Indiana Jones movies, there is no reason for you not to enjoy this one. There has been the clamour that this film is cheesey and unbelivable, but when one thinks about it 1) its been 20 years since a Indiana Jones movie has been made and 2) in Raiders of the Lost Ark, G-D came out at the end and killed all the villians. What is beleivable about that one? Also, if that was a spoiler of Raiders of the Lost Ark for you, I don't care. The movie was made in 1984 and if you haven't seen it yet, you woulden't be seeing it anyway. Thats like me spoiling Citzen Kane. People have either seen it and know, or they just don't care.

Anyway... Harrison Ford is good as always, and Shia Le'bouf is showing that he has some high callibur acting chops, and he certainly will star in many more films in the not too distant future. Ray Winstone shows the world he is not as in shape as his animated body in Beowulf, and Karen Allen makes a nice reprise to the screen as Marion Ravenwood, Indy's lover in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Cate Blanchett makes an obnoxious, but acceptable villian, and the plot is just as fun as they were back in the old trilogy.

The action is fantastic with just as many crazy nuiances that Speilberg and Lucas could think up, with one invloving monkeys being the only thing I didn't care for in the film. The direction by Spielberg is fantastic, with amazing cinematography, and the choice to shoot film rather than digital was a good one because it helps the film fit the canon of looks and style perfectly. A nice touch is the use of Silhouette, which is used frequently by Spielberg to heighten the drama and magic of the scenes and the film overall.

It can officially be declared that Lucas and Speilberg still have thier magic... but maybe it is time for them to think of new franchises, because thier old golden boys are getting a bit tiring. Sure, it can have Harrison Ford, but its gotta be something we haven't already seen a trilogy (or two trilogies)of and numerous ripoffs by lesser quality filmmakers.
3 stars

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Review: IRON MAN




Lets have a quick chat about Iron Man, eh?

To take a moderatly unknown superhero and create a new franchise is a grand idea that should be tried more often. Iron Man is exactly that. By taking a superhero that everyone and their mothers do not know all about, creates the chance for a story that can thrill and achieve great heights with out everyone whining that it does not flawlessly follow the comic book story arch.

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