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  The Hunger Games
Posted by: Mike on Aug 20th, 2012 Leave a Comment »

The Hunger Games Review

The Hunger Games

I suppose I’ll start with the mildly obvious – I had no real desire to see this movie. Not even a little bit.  But boredom on a summer night when there’s no new episodes of any TV show airing results in you watching some things that you wouldn’t normally watch.

That said, I loved this movie.  Probably more than I should have.  I should probably also admit that I (embarrassingly) am just about done reading the book too, because I liked the movie so much.  I’ve always been interested in seeing what things get cut from books to make them into movies.  I’ve often read the book first, so I’m approaching this a bit backwards.  My real goal in reading the book(s) is that I want to know what happens next.

Pretty much everything about The Hunger Games fascinated me.  Seeing these entire worlds that digital artists get to create is amazing.  Seeing how someone takes the vision of a writer and transposes it onto screen is a feat that I wish I had the ability to accomplish.  And The Hunger Games certainly is beautiful.  The scenery, the villages, the city, the arena.  Everything about the movie is visually beautiful.

Like any good movie, in addition to looking good, you have to have substance. You need characters and a story that people want to invest in and fight for. And this movie has all that, and more.

I’m sure you know the premise of the story by now, so I won’t bore you with telling you what the movie’s about. But I will say that I immediately wanted to root for Katniss.  From the very beginning where we’re learning about who she is, and where she lives, I wanted her to win whatever it was that was coming her way.   That doesn’t happen too often these days with movies (maybe Iron Man and The Dark Knight Rises.)

While the film runs a bit long (almost 2 and a half hours), it doesn’t feel like it. There are very few dull spots where you want things to pick up and move faster.  I was actually surprised once the film ended and I was reading about it online to see how long the actual runtime is.  Granted, you can probably cut 10 minutes off the end, unless you’re the type that wants to watch every last second of the credits (which I’m not, unless I know there’s something hidden at the end.)

The combination of characters I actually liked, and a story that’s compelling and different from the normal dick and fart jokes that Hollywood is churning out these days made me really enjoy The Hunger Games.  I’m comfortable saying that, in writing, on the internet, as a man in my thirties.  If I’m okay with liking it, you should be too.

While I loved it, it wasn’t a movie that I felt like I immediately needed to run out and buy a copy of, or even see again in the near future. Though I imagine when the time comes closer for the second film in the series to come out, I’ll want to re-watch this one. Just to refresh my memory on who’s who, and what’s what.  (I’m also sure that if Amazon has a deal on the blu-ray sometime in the near future, I’ll score myself a copy.)

If you like action, good characters, a fun story, and fighting for the good guy, then The Hunger Games is for you!




  The Uninvited
Posted by: Christine on Aug 1st, 2009 Leave a Comment »

The Uninvited Review

The Uninvited

I rented The Uninvited from Netflix for one reason, and one reason only: Elizabeth Banks. The woman is a comedic genius, so I was interested in seeing her play a (presumably) crazy/evil person. Judged solely on Banks’ performance, it was a great movie.

Unfortunately, movies are more than their stars, and this movie’s plot and other characters just didn’t live up to the immense talent of Banks. Not to mention David Strathairn, a former theater actor who has starred in movies like The Bourne Identity and A League of Their Own – why on earth would he do this little semi-horror flick?

If you’ve seen the trailer, you know that the movie is about two teenage girls who think Dad’s new girlfriend killed their Mom in a horrible explosion. Little sis also happens to have horrendous nightmares which she thinks contain clues to the potential murder.

Sounds interesting, right? Wrong. It’s cliched. The acting isn’t awful, but it’s also not great. I guess the best word for it would be tolerable. The story isn’t really interesting and doesn’t have any real drive to it. The “twist” isn’t all that surprising, which defeats the whole purpose of having a twist ending.

The one thing I will credit the movie with, other than Banks’ acting, is the scare factor. Despite not having a great story or great acting, the scares, thrills, and spooks were perfectly executed. The jump-out-of-your-seat factor is definitely here. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep the movie from sucking. Take it from me – don’t waste the hour and a half of your life on this.




  Role Models
Posted by: Christine on Jun 21st, 2009 Leave a Comment »

Role Models Review

Role Models

I went into Role Models thinking it’d be a decently funny movie with a heartwarming side effect…and I was pretty much right. It’s not nearly as funny as movies like Dodgeball or Superbad, but it was much funnier than some other comedies I’ve seen recently.

If you’ve seen the previews you get the basic idea – Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott break some laws and get sentenced to community service. The judge assigns them to a Big Brothers/Big Sisters-style program where adults are paired with kids and teens that could use a good influence in their lives. Needless to say, Rudd and Scott’s characters aren’t exactly good influences.

The storyline progresses pretty much as expected – they hate the assignment, but don’t want to go to jail. Eventually they start to care about the kids. They do something to break the kids’ trust, and then have to work to fix it. I’m not telling you anything you couldn’t have predicted on your own. While predictable, the movie was still good.

The highlight of the movie was the interaction between Seann William Scott’s character and his “Little” Ronnie (played brilliantly by the very young Bobb’e J. Thompson). The two work together as flawlessly as a seasoned comedy duo.

There were two negatives to the movie, though they shouldn’t necessarily stop you from watching it. One – Elizabeth Banks was underused. She’s an incredible comic talent (not to mention gorgeous), but in this movie she was very much filler. Two – Paul Rudd’s character is such a tool. I like Paul Rudd. He’s a likeable guy. Every movie he’s in, he always seems like a fun guy to hang out with. His character in the movie, though, is truly unlikeable. It was actually distracting, I thought, since I found myself being annoyed that he was so out of character instead of paying attention to what was happening.

Despite my two minor complaints about it, I did enjoy the movie. Christopher Mintz-Plasse was very McLovin-like, but in a charming kind of way. The comedy was solid, if not the funniest movie ever. The heartwarming bits weren’t too cheesy. And Kiss features prominently in the storyline. What more could you want?

I’m glad I didn’t shell out $10 plus popcorn money to see this on the bigscreen, but it was definitely worth the rental.




  Elizabeth Banks Rocks
Posted by: Mike on Jan 6th, 2009 Leave a Comment »

Seriously, is there anything she can’t do?  Romantic comedies. Comedies. Now an action thriller? The Uninvited is her newest movie where she plays the step mom to some kids who apparently think she killed their mom.  It looks pretty awesome.

All that’s left is for Banks to play a character in the next Rambo flick.

Check out the trailer below, and voice your opinion in the comments.  What do you think of The Uninvited trailer?




  New Zack And Miri Screens
Posted by: Mike on Sep 17th, 2008 Leave a Comment »

From the good folks that are kind enough to pay for Kevin Smith’s next file, Zack And Miri Make A Porno, we’ve got nine screen caps from the upcoming flick, which has been called the “funniest movie of “2008” already.  I’m sold, I’ll be there opening weekend.

Check out the pics, click to enlarge:

Zack And Miri Make A Porno

Zack And Miri Make A Porno

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 2

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 2

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 3

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 3

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 4

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 4

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 5

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 5

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 6

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 6

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 7

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 7

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 8

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 8

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 9

Zack And Miri Make A Porno 9

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty psyched about this flick, and can’t wait to laugh my ass off on Halloween.




  Zack and Miri Rated R
Posted by: Christine on Aug 6th, 2008 Leave a Comment »

Kevin Smith Wins R Rating

Kevin Smith Wins R Rating

Shortly after Seth Rogen spoke out about the MPAA being hypocritical by giving Zack and Miri Make a Porno an NC-17 rating, news has arrived that Kevin Smith was able to cut only 12 seconds and get his R rating.

The Associated Press reports that Smith won the appeal after presenting his case to the MPAA’s Appeals Board. I think Smith hit the nail on the head in this quote:

They felt it was rather sexually graphic. My point is, it was comically graphic. All the sex in the movie with the exception of one scene is very cartoonish, very campy. It wasn’t designed to titillate.

Whether the MPAA takes into consideration the intentions of certain objectionable scenes is unclear. In fact, most of what the MPAA does is unclear to the general public. However, Smith’s point is that the scene wasn’t meant to be pornographic (despite the title), but rather was designed to be laughed at.

This is a victory for Kevin Smith since everyone knows making an NC-17 film is “commercial suicide,” as he put it.

Check out Zack and Miri Make A Porno starring Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in theaters October 31st.




  W Teaser Poster
Posted by: Christine on Jun 6th, 2008 Leave a Comment »

Oliver Stone’s W. is already causing quite a stir and it’s far from being released yet. We’ve already seen stars Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Banks as President and Mrs. Bush, and now we have a teaser poster featuring some of our President’s fascinating quotes.

W. will be in theaters in October.




  Zack and Miri Make a Porno Teaser
Posted by: Christine on May 30th, 2008 Leave a Comment »

UPDATE: The trailer had to be pulled. See the explanation here.
Straight from Kevin Smith comes the extremely dirty teaser for Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Kevin Smith emphasizes that this is not a trailer, as it contains no footage from the movie. Again, I have to say this is a very dirty teaser and extremely not safe for work. You’ve been warned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYm9NuDjgoE

You can find the teaser and more goodies from the film at QuickStopEntertainment.com.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks and is set for release on Halloween 2008.




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