Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Get Him to the Greek review

Dir: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand
Running time: 108 minutes

Warning: there may be some spoilers in this review, but this isn't a movie that relies heavily on its spoilers so I doubt it matters much.

There was a special advanced screening of "Get Him to the Greek" in State College last night and I got the opportunity to go. After the movie, Jonah Hill and Russell Brand showed up and did a Q&A with the audience. All-in-all, it was a hell of a fun time.

The movie, itself? Pretty enjoyable. There are definitely plenty of laughs to be had in this movie. Jonah Hill and Russell Brand work great together and their chemistry is the key for making this movie work, as a whole. There's also a sweet supporting performance by Elisabeth Moss who may be better known for her work on the tv show, Mad Men.

The plot of the film is fairly simple. Aaron Green, record company intern, (Jonah Hill) must get Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) from London to Los Angeles within a certain amount of time so that he'll perform his 10 year anniversary show at the Greek theatre which apparently was a huge hit at the time and Aldous Snow is presently in the twilight of his career. Green is hoping that the anniversary show could help resurrect Snow's career, but once he meets Aldous Snow, he realizes that this task will be a lot more difficult than he originally had hoped for.

Nicholas Stoller does a great job with providing plenty of material for Hill and Brand to work with. Another big part of this movie is Sean "Puffy" Combs's performance as Aaron Green's boss Sergio. You can tell Combs really put 100% into his role and made his character a lot funnier than he probably was originally.

That being said, this film is certainly not without its flaws. Nicholas Stoller, whose last film was "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," has quite a knack for the gratuity. There's lot of gratuitous sex and boobs in this movie just like in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and while most of the gratuity still manages to fall in line with the overall tone of the movie (and I certainly have no problem with it, overall), there is a point about 3/4s into the movie where it all kind of falls apart.

The film has a very weak final act and the characters make decisions that do not seem to fall in line with their previous logic. For instance, there's a scene later in the movie where Aldous Snow coerces Aaron Green and Green's girlfriend Daphne into a threesome. Aaron Green isn't feeling the situation at all, but Daphne apparently is open to it because it would be payback for her boyfriend's infidelities throughout his trip from London to LA. It was kinda disheartening seeing such a sweet character go the raunchy route and what resulted was a very awkward, cringeworthy threesome scene; from there, the movie's tone abruptly switches from being a wacky, raunchy comedy into awkwardly dramatic territory. Perhaps if they wrote Daphne's character differently, it would've worked better, but nobody really seems into it anyway. Of course, Daphne realizes halfway through that she doesn't want to go through with it, but by then the damage is pretty much done.

Stoller does this with "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" too, if you remember, when the main character accepts oral sex from his ex-girlfriend before realizing that it's wrong like halfway through. Why do these characters have to go through such lengths only to come to the obvious , correct conclusion? The scenes are way more awkward than they are funny and the movie just kind of ends shortly afterward without a satisfying enough conclusion. So while "Get Him to the Greek" has plenty of laughs for the first 3/4 of the movie, that awkward threesome scene almost ruined it.

So, that was pretty disappointing overall, but I asked Jonah Hill after the screening about how comfortable he felt showing his rear end in the movie and he said that you have to realize who the general audience is for the movie. He's comfortable doing scenes like that because he wants to go the extra mile to get laughs out of the audience. I respect that and I appreciate actors like Jonah Hill who are willing to go that far just for laughs. I just wish there was a better way he could've demonstrated such "boldness," so to speak.

Overall, however, the movie is a lot funnier than what I originally thought it'd be. You figure a movie that's a spin-off of another movie may come off as flat and the actors are just doing it for a paycheck, but that's not the case here at all. Like I said, the movie kind of falls apart toward the end and it fell way short of being a comedy classic, but it definitely has plenty of moments to keep you laughing most of the way through.

rating: 7/10

Get Him to the Greek opens everywhere on June 4th.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

CANNES 2010 lineup

Nothing too terribly interesting aside from some of the Out of Competition films along with Biutiful and Another Year. So it might not be the most exciting year for Cannes, but maybe there a lot of good films in this bunch that we just don't know about yet. I guess that kinda goes without saying.

Mathieu Amalric's "Tournee"
Xavier Beauvois' "Of Gods And Men"
Rachid Bouchareb's "Hors La Loi"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Biutiful"
Mahamat Saleh Haroun's "A Screaming Man (Un Homme Qui Crie)"
Im Sang-soo's "Housemaid"
Abbas Kiarostami's "Certified Copy"
Takeshi Kitano's "Outrage"
Lee Chang-dong's "Poetry"
Mike Leigh's "Another Year"
Doug Liman's "Fair Game"
Sergei Loznitsa's "You. My Joy"
Daniele Luchetti's "La Nostra Vita"
Nikita Mikhalkov's "Burnt By The Sun 2"
Bertrand Tavernier's "La Princesse De Montpensier"
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's "Loong Boonmee Raleuk Chaat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives)"

Out Of Competition
Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps"
Woody Allen's "You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger"
Stephen Frear's "Tamara Drewe"

Un Certain Regard
Hong Sang-soo's "Hahaha"
Cristi Puiu's "Aurora"
Xavier Dolan's "Les amours imaginaires"
Jean-Luc Godard "Socialisme"
Ágnes Kocsis' "Pál Adrienn"
Derek Cianfrance: "Blue Valentine"
Manoel de Oliveira: "O estranho caso de Angelica"
Lodge Kerrigan “Rebecca H. (Return to the Dogs)”
Ivan Fund and Santiago Loza: "Los Labios" (The Lips)"
Fabrice Gobert: “Simon Werner a Disparu…”
Christoph Hochhausler: “Unter Dir Die Stadt (The City Below)"
Vikramaditya Motwane: “Udaan”
Radu Muntean: “Marti Dupa Craciun (Tuesday, After Christmas)”
Hideo Nakata: “Chatroom”
Oliver Schmitz: “Life Above All”
Daniel Vega: “Octubre”
David Verbeek: “R U There”
Xiaoshuai Wa: “Rizhao Chongqing (Chongqing Blues)"

Special Screening
Diego Luna - "Abel"
Charles Ferguson: "Inside Job"
Sophie Fiennes: "Over Your Cities Grasss Will Grow"
Patricio Guzman: "Nostalgia De La Luz" (Nostalgia For The Light)"
Sabina Guzzanti Draquila: "L'italia Che Trema"
Otar Iosselini: "Chantrapas"

Midnight Screening
Gregg Araki's "Kaboom"
Gustavo Hernandez: "The Mute House"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cannes film festival lineup to be announced tomorrow

I've been stingy on the blog posts lately cause I haven't seen a movie in about a month and I don't like simply relaying rumors that I see on slashfilm or the playlist. Tree Of Life may or may not be at Cannes next month, Inception may or may not be at Cannes either... we MAY OR MAY NOT know about the status of either these two things even after tomorrow.

What else?

Jonah Hill and Russel Brand are coming to State College, PA this Monday to screen Get Him to the Greek. I'm gonna try my best to get tickets to that tomorrow morning. Wish me luck. Hopefully, I'll be able to post pictures and give a review of the movie. You'll hear it here first!

That is, if I'm up for it. I should be. I could be. Eh, we'll see.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Other Guys trailer review

Ok so I finally watched the trailer and although this may look like a typical goofy buddy cop film (or riff off buddy cop films), I think the movie puts a funny little twist in the genre and plus this looks to be WAY much funnier than Cop Out. Like I said before, Will Ferrell is at his best with Adam McKay and he looks to be his classic goofy self in this movie. What put the movie over the top for me was the last two scenes with "Bad cop bad cop" and the explosion scene.

I think this could be a really funny movie. I know Will Ferrell has sorta worn out his welcome with a lot of people but I generally just ignore any other Ferrell movies without Adam McKay because I know they won't be as good so he hasn't really worn out his welcome with me. Plus, add Mark Wahlberg into the mix (who happens to be a great comedic actor when he wants to be) and this could be a winner.

new trailer: The Other Guys

I personally can't watch it since I'm at work, but I figured I should let everyone else know! I'll give you my thoughts whenever I get the chance. Enjoy.

The Other Guys comes out August 6th.

Follow up on I Love You Phillip Morris

A movie that has definitely been on my radar this year is "I Love You Phillip Morris." Details of that movie are located on an earlier blog post of mine: here.

Well, if you read my piece on that movie, it has had to deal with delay after delay due to the not-so-subtle homosexual themes in the movie. It finally seemed to have a set release on April 30th, but it looks like it's being delayed... INDEFINITELY.

The Playlist talks about it in more depth here: http://theplaylist.blogspot.com/2010/04/jim-carreys-i-love-you-phillip-morris.html

I hate you, Hollywood.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Summer Movies preview ( top ten most anticipated movies this summer)

So SINCE I'm kinda bored of the current schlock of movies coming out this month, why not look forward to movies coming out from May-August? Here are the most notable ones from each month. Followed by my most anticipated out of these movies.

Iron Man 2
Robin Hood

Shrek Forever After
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Sex and the City 2
Micmacs (limited)

Get Him to the Greek
The A-Team
The Karate Kid
Toy Story 3
Jonah Hex
Grown Ups
Knight and Day

Twilight Saga: Eclipse
The Last Airbender
Despicable Me
Cyrus (limited)

The Other Guys
Eat Pray Love
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
The Expendables
Piranha 3D

10. MacGruber
dir: Jorma Taccone
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Val Kilmer

Ok, I know what you're thinking. But, this movie has actually gotten a decent amount of positive buzz coming from SXSW film festival. Make no mistake that it's going to be a really stupid movie. Let me emphasize the word stupid, once again. But, apparently, if you can get past some of its flagrant stupidity, then it's a pretty funny movie. My guess is since the expectations are pretty low for the movie (considering it started from a one-joke SNL sketch) that it wildly surpasses extremely low expectations. So really, take that as you will. I'm not saying this will be a comedy classic, but you know what? I'm not too off-the-wall about this summer's movie releases as a whole so if a movie like MacGruber can wind up being funny by accident, then I am all for it.

Coming out May 21st.

9. Predators
Dir: Nimrod Antal
Cast: Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace

I am not wild about the cast of this movie, I'm not too crazy about the concept, nor am I in favor of continually giving the Predator brand a bad name. But, if this movie winds up being better than Predator 2 or Alien vs. Predator, then that's a step in the right direction. In fact, I have to say that I thought the trailer for this movie was pretty decent. My only question is... how the hell will Adrien Brody or Topher Grace defeat this thing? Arnold Schwarzenegger had a hard enough time with ONE predator.

Coming out July 9th.

8. The Other Guys
Dir: Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg

Now there is no official trailer for this movie, but I'm honestly really excited to see what Wahlberg and Ferrell can do when teamed up together in a McKay movie. I know Ferrell's output has been pretty bad lately but he always seems to bring his A-game in Mckay's movies. I thought Step Brothers was hilarious. Anchorman is just a 21st century comedy classic and Ricky Bobby had its moments. The addition of Mark Wahlberg and this being a send-up of cop films, McKay and Ferrell should have a lot of good material to work with.

Coming out August 6th.

7. The Expendables
Dir: Sylvester Stallone
Cast: Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren

This movie has so many of the all-time great action heroes of the past 30 years that iIm excited for that reason alone. I'm expecting this to be an awesome, violent throwback to some of the more entertaining action movies of the 80s. Some are put off by the serious tone and nature of the film but after cop out & macgruber, we won't be needing more 80s action movie parodies or homages. All that said there is no guarantee that this won't suck. But here's to hoping that it won't suck. You can only commend Stallone for trying to make a movie like this. It's what all action fans dreamed of when they were teens.

Coming out August 13th.

6. Micmacs
Dir: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Cast: Dany Boon, André Dussollier, Nicolas Marié

From the director of Amelie comes another seemingly charming, funny, and wholly original film. This is only getting a limited release in May but I am hoping to see it before the year's end. Buzz on the film has been great so far and the trailer looks great.

Coming out in limited release on May 28th.

5. Robin Hood
Dir: Ridley Scott
Cast: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett

Russel Crowe and Ridley Scott together again in another medieval epic. I haven't been too keen on Scott's films as of late but he does pretty well in this genre. In fact I'd say he's really the only director i can think of who has made great epic sword-and-sandal action movies. If anyone can pull off a good Robin Hood movie, it's Ridley Scott. He's also been wildly inconsistent as of late so it'll be interesting to see how this turns out.

Coming out May 14th.

4. Toy Story 3
Dir: Lee Unkrich
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen

Woody and Buzz are back together again after 11 years? How could I not get excited over a summer Pixar movie? Pixar almost always delivers the goods every year and I expect no different this time around either.

Coming out June 18th.

3. Iron Man 2
Dir: Jon Favreau
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Platrow, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle

After the success of the first Iron Man, of course the amount of hype for this movie would be substantially larger. I'm not too sure if I like what I see out of Mickey Rourke's character in the trailer but hopefully it'll all look and feel better in the movie. Downey Jr. looks as sharp as ever and Scarlett Johansson? Hot damn. That's all I have to say about that.

Coming out May 7th.

2. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Dir: Edgar Wright
Cast: Michael Cera

So the teaser trailer came out for this movie last week and I got pretty pumped for this movie. I was already looking forward to it and the teaser definitely made it look even crazier than I'd imagine previously. Buzz for this movie is off the charts. It did feel odd to see the action half and romantic half of the movie sloppily mixed together in the teaser but I don't know if there's a better way to advertise both halves without it feeling odd and sloppy. Maybe when we get the first proper trailer, it'll all make more sense and look better. I trust Edgar Wright here. So far he's 2 for 2.

Coming out August 13th.

1. Inception
Dir: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio

This summer is really all about Inception for me. Inception looks like a seriously good movie on multiple levels. It's hard to say whether it'll meet expectations or not... who the hell knows what to expect from this movie at this point. All I know is that with Nolan at the helm, anything can happen. I know I made a mistake with thinking Public Enemies was definitely gonna be great last year but I will once again go out on a limb and say this will be the nest movie of the summer. I hope I'm right.

Coming out July 16th.

Have I been lazy?

Yes. I have been very lazy, but then again, it's been quite busy the past few weeks. I'm just as much of a sports guy as I am a movies guy so March Madness has kept me preoccupied and Easter weekend did as well. But I'm back in State College, looking forward to the summer movies. I'm not too wild about this month's crop of movies, but I might be seeing an advanced screening of "Get Him to the Greek" on April 19th so it'd be cool to write about that movie when it doesn't even come out for another month. You know, like with Hot Tub Time Machine. At least 62% of critics agreed with me on HTTM so I'm not such a bad reviewer, am I?

The only new movie coming out this weekend is Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. I'm on a wait-and-see approach with that movie. The commercials don't get me too excited about the movie but it could be better than it appears.

Clash of the Titans, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too, and The Last Song (with Miley Cyrus) came out last weekend. None of those movies look very appetizing to me. I'm still hoping to see How to Train Your Dragon at some point this month and I might see Date Night this weekend depending on how things go. I'm about 60/40 on the anticipation for Kick-Ass which comes out next week.

So all-in-all, I'd say that I'm not the one who's lazy... it's the lack of quality movies that are making me lazy.