Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love review... one of the best romantic-comedies ever

I hate it when people prematurely title something the "best ever".  I am consciously aware that I am about to contradict the previous sentence with the next... Crazy, Stupid, Love may be the best romantic-comedy of all time!  I'm not kidding.  Brief summary: Steve Carell's marriage to Julianne Moore is ending (she cheated on him with Kevin Bacon).  He gets some lessons on how to man-up by Ryan Gosling (who has the hots for the good-girl, Emma Stone).  Got it?  Good!  Let's go.

What I liked about the film:
 The Actors
Steve Carell is so unique, there is really no other actor to compare him to.  There is a sense of sincerity in his face that you can't teach.  His comedic timing is impeccable too.  He starts the film as the nerd who we feel sorry for.  By the end of the film, we're standing up and cheering for him to succeed.  I don't want to give away anything, but Carell is able to transform right before our eyes, nice job.

Ryan Gosling is one funny guy!  Gosling is a tremendous talent, he just keeps getting better and better.  In Crazy, Stupid, Love he plays a womanizer who sets out to help Carell regain his confidence.  With a swagger and charm to match his good looks, he plays the part with such wit, you can't help but love to hate to love him.

The supporting cast is great as well.  Emma Stone as Gosling's love interest makes ANY man want to change their ways.  Julianne Moore has a very difficult role.  She could have easily been the villain in the film because she cheated on Carell, but we don't see her that way.  We feel a little sorry for her because of what's going in behind the scenes.  She's confused, a little neglected and under appreciated.  Kevin Bacon is in the film, but for only a few scenes, he does great!

The Relationships
I have a few close friends I've grown up with that I still talk to on a weekly basis.  I know what being a true friend is and how much hard work it takes.  I felt the relationships in the movie were very well written and believable; especially the relationship between Carell and Gosling.  The two play opposites that riff off each other so well.  One is teaching the other and we're invited for the ride.  The mutual respect is there and the comedy feels natural.  It's a Yin Yang relationship.

Speaking of Yin Yang relationships, so too is the one between Gosling and Stone.  She is the lawyer, good girl; and he is the bad boy womanizer.  It was nice to see Gosling's character change over the course of the film.  Then of course there's Carell and Moore.  You know they love each other.  You know they've been together a long time.  But we also know things must change to make them stay together.  Great stuff.

The Story
The movie featured a large cast, we were bound to see ourselves in at least one of the characters right?!  Whether you are a male who is confident with women, or a female who is starving for attention, there's something in this movie for you.  Never steering too far from reality is key to the success of the film.  There are definitely exaggerated scenes, but "it could happen".  I loved the story and the character arcs.

What I didn't like about the film:
The Coincidence
Marisa Tomei is in the film and plays one of Carell's post-marriage lovers.  Don't worry, I'm not spoiling anything you haven't already seen in the trailer.  Well, it turns out she is the 8th grade teacher to Carell and Moore's 13 year old son.  Why?  It doesn't add anything to the film except for the awkward moment at the parent-teacher meeting with Tomei.  I hate when movies do that.  I complained about it in my review for The Town; same thing happened.  Small complaint, just a pet peeve really.

The Verdict:
Great stories lead to great movies... period
I sit back sometimes and wonder to myself, "Is it really that hard to make a good movie?".  The answer is yes, but a good story always helps ;o)  A good story, good actors and good direction can make for some beautiful art.  By the end of the film, we care.  I say it a lot on this blog, but I want to care about the characters.  I want to care about what happens to them.  Are they going to be OK?  Is everything going to work out?  And this movie succeeded in so many ways.  As far as this movie, I'm in love.  Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Horrible Bosses review... it's as good as you've heard

Jason Batmen, Jason Sudeikis and Kevin Spacey?  Sold!  Is there a story more relate-able than this?  Sort of.  How many of us have had a jerk for a boss?  A lot of us I'm sure.  Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day are dealing with just that in Horrible Bosses.  Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell respectively, play their bosses.  Let's begin!

What I liked about the film:
The Cast
I kind of gave this away in the intro huh?  The cast is terrific.  Bateman is the "leader" of the crew plays a smart ass who has worked really hard to get ahead at work.  But Spacey, who is as mean as ever, blocks Bateman's promotion.  Jason Sudeikis is a loveable loser who is actually pretty good with the ladies.  His boss is played by coke addict, sex crazed, Collin Farrell... who is terrific in this.  It's nice to see him come back after a few bombs in Hollywood.  Charlie Day plays the neurotic guy with a sexually abusive boss, played by Jennifer Aniston.

The tension between the guys and their bosses is great.  You can imagine all the comedy that ensues with these three pairs.  The really funny stuff happens when the trio sets out on their mission...

The Story
Simple, stupid and insane.  That is pretty much the story.  But in a good way.  The three friends set out to kill each others.  They're not tough enough to do it themselves, so they employ the help of a "consultant".  Great stuff.

The Outcome
Totally a sub-point to "The Story", but I wanted to talk about it anyway.  The story has a great ending that ties everything together.  It does a nice job of wrapping up all the chaos so we don't leave the theater with any questions about "what happened"?  Can't really elaborate without giving anything away, just watch the movie!  We don't talk plot on this blog.

What I didn't like about the film:
Unnecessary Characters
Jamie Foxx plays the trio's murder consultant.  While I am a fan of Jaime Foxx, his character didn't REALLY add anything to the story.  There are funny instances between the guys and Foxx, but again, I think the movie does fine without him.  And then there is the stunning Julie Bowen.  She is of course Claire from TV's "Modern Family".  It's too bad the director wasted her talent, she's barely in the movie!  If the characters aren't going to add anything to the film, get rid of them.  The character Bowen plays is vital to the story, but could have been one of those characters you never see, they're just referenced, and it would have been just as good. 

The Verdict:
Loved It!
You know, sometimes I get criticized for being TOO critical.  I don't think that's fair.  I'm not a critic, I'm not a journalist, I just write about what movies I like and what movies I don't like.  Sometimes it's a simple, fun movie like Horrible Bosses that can totally brighten my day.  It was simple, had a wonderful cast, and had a lot of crazy comedy.  There were a few little things I didn't enjoy, but for the most part, it was a great change of pace from the Summer of Superheros!  Go see it and let me know what you think!

Friday, August 5, 2011

First official photo of Anne Hathaway as 'Catwoman' in The Dark Knight Rises; hmm...

In Nolan I trust folks, but this has got me scratching my head.  Christopher Nolan would never steer us wrong right?  I remember when Anne Hathaway was cast as Catwoman in the third film of the Nolan directed trilogy, did-not-like-it!  I still don't like the actress at all.  And now this...

The first official photo of her as Catwoman has been released, and it's underwhelming to say the least.  I'm trying to be unbiased and keep an open mind, but damn it it's hard.  I don't like it.  It's my blog, it's my opinion, I don't like it!  Haha.  The fact she's riding the Batpod is interesting.  After all, Catwoman is a thief and would be the type to steal it from Batman.  Then again, she could be assisting him, she's done that in the comics as well.

As far as the photo, I don't like the glasses/goggles, the blue LED lights or the simple black suit.  Granted, we need to see moving pictures to get a better idea of what Nolan is going for, but I don't like it.  It appears to be Trinity from The Matrix films.  I can't believe the backlash online, I really thought I was going to be the only who didn't like it.... guess I'm not alone!

First official look at the new Superman... the Man of Steel

So this is it!  The new Superman that will hopefully last longer than just one film!  Above is the first official photo released of Henry Cavill as Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel.  Just click the picture to see an close up of the suit. 

I like it a lot.  It is dark, gritty, kind of 'ugly' what's going on around our hero.  Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan are doing a great job of casting and obviously designing.  The "S" on the chest is different from past Superman suits.  So too is the hair; a more slicked back look rather than the comb over.  The suit has a webbed look to it that makes look a lot cooler in my opinion than spandex.  The red is not so bright, making the hero appear meaner than usual.  It also looks like the standard red underwear above the pants are gone.  I'm loving this pic!  How about you guys?

Laurence Fishburne cast as Perry White in Superman: Man of Steel

And the casting continues!  Laurence Fishburne is a great actor who has turned in one great piece of work after another.  He has just been cast in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the Superman reboot.  He will portray Perry White, the "chief" of The Daily Planet, the newspaper where Clark Kent works.

I am very happy with the casting so far for this movie.  What do you think?  Do you care that they changed the character from white to black?  Me personally I don't care at all.  There will always be decisions that make the fanboys mad; they're very hard to please.  I look at it like it should be the best actor for the job.  I doubt Fishburne will play the character like incarnations of the past (he's not the eccentric type).  But I'm interested to see what he can do!