On March 27th, 2009, I posted my first Movie Round-Up. I had posted movie reviews before, but I adopted the once a week format to give myself structure and to avoid having multiple movie review posts per week. I have enjoyed doing them, even more since I added the Photoshop amalgam poster a few months back, but as time went on and I attended less and less screenings, the posts turned into mostly reviews of trailers and hype.
While I think there is value in that sort of review, and I may start doing that in the future (and if so it would get a new name), for now this particular format is coming to an end. I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted, and I hope you stick around for whatever else I happen to write.
The last Friday of the year is also the last day of the year, and as cool as I think it would be to open on the last day of the year, movie studios must not want the headache of splitting an opening weekend between two years of books so opted not to open anything new.
So, I recommend going out and seeing something old. Like True Grit or Black Swan, or maybe like me you still haven’t seen the new Harry Potter, or Tron: Legacy or even Gulliver’s Travels… but go tomorrow, after breakfast, and the handover subsides just a bit.
Have a safe and happy night! See you next year…
This week’s Movie Round-Up is all messed up. Two of these movies opened yesterday and one opens on Saturday, with nothing opening on Friday and me posting on Thursday… oh well… let’s get on with it…
Gulliver’s Travels: (official site)
I want to mock this film. I tend to dislike when Jack Black is all Jack-Black-ing out, making faces and saying silly nonsense. But I watch this trailer and am reminded that it’s by the same people who did Night at the Museum which was such a fun movie, and this movie looks fun too. It is highly unlikely that I’ll go see this in the theater for $10, let alone pay $13 to see it in 3D, but I can easily see myself watching this at home at some point and feeling good about it.
Little Fockers: (official site)
I tolerated Meet the Parents. I disliked Meet the Fockers. I’m now willing to openly hate Little Fockers.
True Grit: (official site)
Having completely come to terms with the fact that Hollywood is content with turning out remakes and sequel, I first saw this trailer with an open mind… and it was blown away. Early reviews of this film are heaping praises on the little girl and on the film overall, and it makes me very excited. I will, somehow, manage to see this movie. Soon. If for no other reason than because I can’t let Jonah Hex be the last western I’ve seen on the big screen. That must be rectified.
Also, Black Swan goes wider this week and might actually be playing in a theater near you…
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1: (official site)
The entire world is going to see this movie over the next couple of weeks. Except maybe me. The movies have been good in this series, and I enjoyed the books. But the final book was definitely the weakest in the entire run for me. They had an opportunity to cut all the lame boring parts and shoot a tight two and half hour action packed film… their decision to break the book into two movies leads me to believe that all the boring, stomping around in the woods parts remain. So I’ve lost a bunch of my desire to shell out the big bucks to see this on the big screen. Even more so since I have to wait eight months to see the other half of this film. I could be wrong. This could wind up being a great film, but I’m willing to wait and see before I see it.
The Next Three Days: (official site)
This is the story of a man and his wife. She is accused of murder and goes to prison. He doesn’t believe she is guilty and decides to break her out. Beyond that I know nothing of this film. I had a chance to go to a screening for it, but ended up unable to attend. I will say that I think this looks to be very good and I really want to go see it. Especially with Russel Crowe and Elizabeth Banks playing the leads because I have really enjoyed a lot of both of their work.
I had never played paintball. So, when a deal popped up on Living Social a while back, a few friends and I (who had also not played paintball before) bought in. It took a long while, but we finally went.
In a word… meh.
I suppose I can see the draw that some people have to it. Being able to shoot other people isn’t something you get to do very often. But overall, it was fairly lackluster. First off, there were four of us and we mixed in with a larger group, and they put two of us on one team and two on the other. Frankly, I’d have had more fun with my friends being on my team since I had no desire to shoot my friends. Next, they lead a team to each end of a field which was dotted with forms of cover. They counted to three and said “Go!” People ran to cover and then started shooting.
The first round we played, my team won. I didn’t shoot anybody. In fact, I spent most of the time trading shots with another guy who eventually got shot by a teammate of mine. We had spent nearly the whole time swinging out, shooting and then ducking behind cover. Then, suddenly, we just sorta won.
The second round we played, my team lost. I got shot… kinda. I mean, my gun got shot. I didn’t even see it happen, but a ref told me I had been hit and there was paint on my gun. Umm… okay. I watched from the sidelines as a repeat of the previous game happened. People hiding, swinging out to shoot occasionally, and when one team was down enough players one dude ran out from the side and shot the last two players on the losing team.
The third round, I can’t tell you who won, because I don’t know. The full seven minutes ran out and they called it off. Not that it mattered. I got shot in the first fifteen seconds. By my own team. I ran forward to a position (we were on a different field this time, larger, more cover, a spot of trees in the center, and more people too), I was crouched over, and then felt the painful sting of being shot, right in the gap between my shirt and my pants, right on the skin. If I were so tattooed, I’d have been shot on the tramp stamp. The girl who shot me (and I know it was a girl because the only people behind me were three girls who refused to leave the original, completely out of range, bunker) was no more than ten feet away. That freakin’ hurt! Team kills count, so I was out and I walked off the field and walked off the pain.
Round four, same larger field, other side. We found good cover and began shooting our foes. Minutes went by of a pitched battle, and I think I shot someone… I don’t know, because with like thirty people on each side and so many paintballs flying around it gets hard to tell if it was me or some other shooter. All was going well, and then someone on the other team, who was sitting out of traditional range, switched to mortar fire. He couldn’t hit us firing straight, so he started arcing his shots. I’m going to pause here and tell you one of the rules of the field: if someone is hiding behind a low barrier, you are not allowed to come over the top and shoot them from above. This rule exists for two reasons, 1) shooting down on someone’s head can really hurt them, and 2) them shooting upward at your chin (and by virtue of the equipment, the gap between your face and mask enabling them to possibly hit your mouth and nose) can really get you hurt. So back to the mortar moron… if he’s arcing, that means that the paintballs are coming from above, you know, as if he was shooting down on us.
Right on the top of my head.
Yeah. Some people suck. That really hurt.
Anyway, despite how much I’ve written here, the day was basically a check mark. Play paintball? Check. No reason to ever do it again.
For Colored Girls: (official site)
As always, I remain not a fan of Tyler Perry’s work. I’m sure other people like it, they must since he keeps on making movies, but it just isn’t for me. If it’s your thing though, I’m certain it’ll be worth the money to see it in the theater.
Megamind: (official site)
Animated kids movies are all the rage. Seriously. When I was growing up I don’t recall there being so many. Maybe I was too busy buying tickets for Transformers: The Movie and seeing Aliens instead. And every single animated kids movie is in 3D. This certainly looks like a lot of fun though. I may not catch it on the big screen or in 3D, but I’ll definitely watch this the first chance I get.
Due Date: (official site)
In Hollywood, movies are often pitched by shorthand. You say, “This movie is like Die Hard, only it happens on the Goodyear Blimp!” or something like, “It’s like Steel Magnolias meets The Godfather!” I imagine the pitch for this film as being, “It’s as if Planes, Trains & Automobiles and The Hangover had a baby!” And if that was the pitch, if that was the intent, then this movie delivers. Two guys traveling cross country together. One just wants to get home to his wife for the birth of their kid, and the other is going the same way, is a little weird, and really wants to be friends. And the whole story is told with the comedic style and tone of The Hangover. I got to see a screening of this last week…. I laughed. I cried (with laughter). I wet my pants (when I laughed so hard I peed, just a little). To say that I loved it would be an understatement. It was fantastic. Well worth your hard earned dollars.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole:
3D animated owls. Part of me just wants to shuffle this movie under the rug with all the other children’s fare that we’ve seen at the theaters. Perhaps see it someday on Netflix when I’m bored. On the other hand, this is Zach Snyder, director of the Dawn of the Dead remake, 300, Watchmen, and next year’s Sucker Punch (which does look totally wicked). That alone has me wanting to go see this in the theater. Plus, you know, 3D.
The Virginity Hit:
Two weeks, two films about virginity. Easy A, to me, looked to be the better of the two films. I’m not a huge fan of the mockumentary form of film unless it is done really well, and I’d rather watch them at home instead of at the theater. So, this one gets a pass from me for now, but I’ll probably see it when it is available through streaming on Netflix.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps:
Everything old is new again. I’ll give these people props though, instead of remaking Wall Street they are doing a sequel. I enjoyed the original, and despite the presence of Shia LaBeouf this movie actually looks like it might be pretty good. Not $10 in the theater good, but I’ll definitely catch this on Netflix when it is available.
The only film this week I’ve already seen, You Again is the story of a girl, Marni, who survived high school and a bully, Joanna, only to have her older brother be marrying that bully eight years later. And if that isn’t enough, it turns out that Marni’s mother, Gail, was a high school rival of Joanna’s aunt, Ramona. The twist being that while Marni was the loser of her generation, Gail was the winner of her’s. It was a pretty funny movie, and I think women will definitely enjoy it more than men. I’m not sure I’d want to spend $10 to see this, but I think I’d be happy if I’d seen it at matinée or early bird prices.
Alpha and Omega:
It’s a movie about a couple of lost wolves trying to get back to their families. It’s a kid’s movie. The trailer makes it look… typical. I’m sure kids will enjoy it.
To understand where M. Night’s career might be headed, go here and watch the video. He’s on a downward trend. But I like monster movies. So from the trailer we see people trapped in an elevator and some sort of thing is stalking them, which sounds really ridiculous when I say it. Stalked? In an elevator? Then again, maybe this will work, maybe it will be good. I think I’m going to wait for Netflix unless it gets some seriously awesome reviews.
This movie looks to be hilarious and possibly still have a heart as well. The story is about a girl who helps out her gay friend by pretending they have sex so that other guys at school will stop picking on him. This turns into her helping a number of other outcast guys with similar problems, earning her a reputation as a slut even though she’s not actually having sex with anyone. I’m sure it will all turn out okay, but it’s the ride (pardon the pun) that will make this worth watching. If I can find time and a few extra dollars, I’ll be off to see this at the theater.
The only movie opening this week that I’ve already seen, The Town is the latest effort from Ben Affleck. I’ve always thought he was a decent actor (especially when given good material), and as director of Gone Baby Gone he did admirably. So I was pretty excited to see The Town, and it didn’t disappoint. It was well directed, well acted, and well written. The heist scenes were exciting, and the whole thing worked. The only drawback to the film at all is the similarity it holds to the 1995 movie Heat. But it has been 15 years since the release of Heat, so I don’t mind so much that The Town plays out almost like a remake. Anyway, this movie is totally worth seeing. Your $10 won’t be wasted here.
Resident Evil: Afterlife:
I loved the first film. I liked the second one a lot. The third one was fun, but I had some issues with it. I’d make a comment about downward trends, but who would I be fooling? No one. Of course I’m going to go see this movie. It’s zombies, it’s action, and it’s in 3D – and that’s all I need to know. Now, the only question is who will I go see this with?
You might notice a small addition to the movie round-up. I will now Photoshop an amalgam of the movie posters to accompany the post each week. Enjoy!
You know, part of me watches this trailer and wants to make fun of it. Another part of me thinks that the movie might actually be fun and even a bit thrilling. When I’m split like this it often means I won’t go to the theater, but I do think I’ll seek this out on video. One thing is for sure though, all of me agrees than Hayden Christensen’s hat looks downright silly. What the hell were they thinking?
The Last Exercism:
I managed to see a screening of this film a couple weeks ago. My opinion of it then, and it hasn’t changed, is that they put together a very nice movie. It has tense moments, and the lack of a soundtrack adds to the feel of it… and then they completely blow it in the final scenes of the film. I was so dissatisfied with how it ended that it actually made me wish I hadn’t enjoyed the earlier bits. Completely not worth the $10 unless you really really really feel the need, but when it hits DVD it’s worth seeing at home. Alone. With the lights off. Did you hear something?
Avatar: Special Edition:
It isn’t really fair to put this here. It’s not a new film, and the 9 extra minutes just makes me want to punch James Cameron in the face, because it’s like when they release a DVD, then later that same year they put out a Special Edition, and then the next year they put out a 2 disc Special Edition. Screw you! On the other hand, the only way to truly see this film is in 3D on the big screen, so another theatrical run makes sense. I’ll probably end up seeing this again. I am both a sad and happy panda.