CRASHER

The Movies thread!

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The only movies that look good to me are:

Splice – No idea what the hell this is but maybe it'll be interesting

Inception – I will see any Nolan movie now unless it gets horrendous reviews

The Adjustment Bureau – Phillip K. Dick stories have lead to some great movies (and awful ones) depends on reviews

The Other Guys – Wahlberg is an underrated comedic actor (I heart huckabees, parts of Boogie Nights), but he doesn't do it enough. It'll be interesting to see him in an out and out comedy for once

The Expendables – Starring the most underrated actor ever Dolph Lundgren, playing a super smart, super ripped scientist in a mesh tank top

and the movie you didn't mention

Macgruber - I'm intrigued, funny people involved at least

Not too sure abuot The Other Guys. I agree that Wahlberg is underrated as a comic actor but the buddy cop formula has been done to death by now. As for your other picks, I agree, those look to be the cream of the crop for this summer, especially Splice. Inception should probably get decent reviews, especially since Nolan knows how to do offbeat and interesting without being confusing. Remember, he did do Memento which totally worked despite the messed up timeline.

As for MacGruber, I didn't mention it because there wasn't much of a synopsis in the article I was reading, but very early reviews have all been good, so you might be right with that one.

I rewatched Gangs of New York this past weekend on AMC. I really like that movie. It makes me want to learn more about that era.

And Daniel Day-Lewis was great.

When I first watched Gangs of New York, I really enjoyed it but every subsequent viewing has me liking it less and less. Gangs of New York also marks, for me, the film where Daniel Day Lewis started his over the top acting schtick. Like I've said a few times on here, I like him as an actor, but he needs a director to tone him down some. Scorsese did a decent job in Gangs but PT Anderson did a terrible job of it in There Will Be Blood. Still, Gangs holds up as a decent flick but it's not the masterpiece I thought it was when I first watched it.

Oh, and to bens, I'm not going to quote your whole post, but I pretty much agree with alot of what you're saying. Good observations!

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Macgruber - I'm intrigued, funny people involved at least

The buzz on Macgruber started a month or two ago and I was surprised it was all really positive. Saw the trailer now and I was amused so perhaps the buzz is right on.

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When I first watched Gangs of New York, I really enjoyed it but every subsequent viewing has me liking it less and less. Gangs of New York also marks, for me, the film where Daniel Day Lewis started his over the top acting schtick. Like I've said a few times on here, I like him as an actor, but he needs a director to tone him down some. Scorsese did a decent job in Gangs but PT Anderson did a terrible job of it in There Will Be Blood. Still, Gangs holds up as a decent flick but it's not the masterpiece I thought it was when I first watched it.

That's interesting. Gangs had the exact opposite effect on me. The first time I watched it, I wasn't crazy about it. But upon viewing it again, I really appreciated the entire film a whole lot more -- particularly Daniel Day Lewis' performance. ... However, I agree with you about Blood. I didn't like the movie or Lewis. ... Could it be possible that you are holding Lewis' later acting jobs against him when judging him in Gangs? Just wondering.

To me, I liked Scorcese's job on Gangs moreso than what he did with The Departed, which I feel was way overated. I wish he came out with a director's cut of Gangs. But I read that he doesn't believe in that, although supposedly he has passed a longer copy of it around to his friends.

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Kick-Ass

Didn't see this coming...

The trailers did not appeal to me at all, but as it turns out, Kick-Ass is probably the most entertaining flick to hit the movie theatres in years. Probably due to the lack of studio interference, director Matthew Vaughn has succesfully created a brilliant cocktail of humor, violence, great characters (Hit Girl being the standout) and fantastic action scenes (especially the homage to Oldboy's one-take corridor scene is awesome). And along the way, Vaughn even managed to make Nicolas Cage turn off the auto-pilot and put on his best performance in years.

The title says it all. Highly recommended.

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Kick-Ass

Didn't see this coming...

The trailers did not appeal to me at all, but as it turns out, Kick-Ass is probably the most entertaining flick to hit the movie theatres in years. Probably due to the lack of studio interference, director Matthew Vaughn has succesfully created a brilliant cocktail of humor, violence, great characters (Hit Girl being the standout) and fantastic action scenes (especially the homage to Oldboy's one-take corridor scene is awesome). And along the way, Vaughn even managed to make Nicolas Cage turn off the auto-pilot and put on his best performance in years.

The title says it all. Highly recommended.

Still need to get out and see this one but good review...looking forward to checking this out as critics have either loved it or hated it.

To 95Crash, you may have a point that I'm judging Lewis soley on his more recent work. I really have to sit down and watch Gangs again with a clean pair of eyes, just so I'm not tainting my thoughts on him.

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Opening This Week – Nationwide

Furry Vengeance – Ever look at a movie poster and say to yourself, “Man, that looks like a pile of fecal matter”? Well, that was my exact reaction when looking at this one: the goofy bear, the hacky title, Brendan Fraser...they all add up to one big pile of fail. The story, involving evil developers who attempt to mow down a forest and get thwarted by woodland creatures, would be insulting to embryos, never mind actual children. Critics have this at a disastrous 4% RT rating, so avoid this at all costs!

A Nightmare On Elm Street – Not fairing much better on the Tomatometer is this re-hash of the classic Freddy film, A Nightmare on Elm Street. A direct re-do of the classic film, critics have said that whole it’s visually interesting is lacks none of the atmosphere, grittiness and downright creepiness of the original...basically, it lacks everything that was good about Wes Cravens original flick. I would say this is a shame, but it’s not really as there really is no point for this film to even exist. Skip unless you’re a die hard fan who needs to compare the two.

Opening This Week – Limited

Harry Brown – The wonderful Michael Caine, better known for his role a Alfred in the new Batman franchise, gets his bloody revenge in Harry Brown. Caine plays a modest hard working man who, when his best friend gets murdered, goes on a rampage of bloody revenge. Critics have been universally praising Caine’s performance but have been mixed on the film as a whole, with many saying he is the only bright spot in a film made up of brutality for the sake of brutality. Still, the star of the show may just be worth the price of admission. Playing in select theaters in NYC.

Please Give – Easily the highest praised film coming out this weekend, Please Give stars indie darling Catherine Keener as trendy Manhattan furniture re-seller living, working and existing in Manhattan. Critics have been raving about this one saying that it combines natural comedic dialogue and real poignant moments much like the best Woody Allen films. Recommended based on wide spread critical praise alone. Playing in select NYC theaters

The Good Heart – Brian Cox stars in this odd looking film about the owner of an NYC dive bar who, after meeting a homeless man who has given up on life, decides to make him his heir. Along the way, he teaches him the tricks of trade and the rules of the place (no new people, no chatting, no women...just heavy drinking). Sounds a bit like Trees Lounge from the owners point of view and Cox is a great character actor, but critics have been pretty negative, saying that the film is all atmosphere and no heart. Opening at the Angelika this weekend

The Human Centipede – Check this synopsis out: Two American girls on a road trip through Germany has their car break down. Whilst looking for help, they get wooed into the clutches of a deranged surgeon whose evil plan is connect the two via their gastric system to create…the Human Centipede. CMON, movie! You’re not even trying to make this plausible! Reviews have been surprisingly mixed, despite the lame premise. Opening at the IFC Center.

My 3 To See

Kick Ass – Pretty much the only wide film out right now that has gotten fairly good reviews, Kick Ass seems to have a love or hate it feel to it. Regardless, it’s something you should see and decide for yourself.

Harry Brown – Michael Caine kicking butt in a 70’s style revenge flick? The actor himself is worth checking the film out.

How To Train Your Dragon – Since this might be leaving theaters soon, you should really get out there and check this out before it does. Kids and adults alike will fall in love with this excellent animated feature.

Edited by Bulletproof

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Just to chime in on the Gangs of New York talk ...

I thought it was an epic masterpiece when I first saw it. I love films that take you back in time and really immerse you in what it was like to live in that period. Gangs does a great job of that. Leo never disappoints and DDL takes badass to a new level. Great story. Great everything.

Watching it over and over has taken a little bit of that luster off my original opinion of it, but that's probably just because my original opinion was about as good as it could get. The only movie that ever started off that high in my book and stayed there is Braveheart. It's a near-impossible task and isn't necessarily an indictment of the film.

But yeah, DDL was definitely over the top in There Will Be Blood. I didn't even really like it. The milkshake scene was the only thing worthwhile in the whole movie, IMO. Unintentional comedy at its finest. I. Drink. Your. MILKSHAKE!

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Maybe not a new movie, but I just want to say how awesome The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is in the theatre. On a tv it's already one of the most exciting movies ever, but it doesn't even come close to seeing a closeup of Clint's eyes with Morricone's brilliant score on the large screen.

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Kick-Ass

Didn't see this coming...

The trailers did not appeal to me at all, but as it turns out, Kick-Ass is probably the most entertaining flick to hit the movie theatres in years. Probably due to the lack of studio interference, director Matthew Vaughn has succesfully created a brilliant cocktail of humor, violence, great characters (Hit Girl being the standout) and fantastic action scenes (especially the homage to Oldboy's one-take corridor scene is awesome). And along the way, Vaughn even managed to make Nicolas Cage turn off the auto-pilot and put on his best performance in years.

The title says it all. Highly recommended.

I'm more like a recommend than highly recommend, but I thought it was a fun movie, definitely worth seeing.

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Maybe not a new movie, but I just want to say how awesome The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is in the theatre. On a tv it's already one of the most exciting movies ever, but it doesn't even come close to seeing a closeup of Clint's eyes with Morricone's brilliant score on the large screen.

I've never seen it on the big screen, but I have it on Blue Ray and it's one of the best movies ever made. Never has a 3 hour movie held me entranced for the entire length of the film. Just a little piece of brilliance!

While we're getting on the topic of Eastwood, I was watching Unforgiven the other night and, while it's a great movie, Eastwood is horrible in it. For the first time I realized that Clint Eastwood is not a good actor at all! Yeah, he's got his schtik, much like John Wanye had his, but he just doesn't connect at all with his character. Much better director than an actor, IMO.

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While we're getting on the topic of Eastwood, I was watching Unforgiven the other night and, while it's a great movie, Eastwood is horrible in it. For the first time I realized that Clint Eastwood is not a good actor at all! Yeah, he's got his schtik, much like John Wanye had his, but he just doesn't connect at all with his character. Much better director than an actor, IMO.

Funny, I had the complete opposite reaction when I first saw Unforgiven. Finally Clint showed his acting chops with what I thought was a great performance. However, I must admit that over the years his act has worn out a little bit, reducing him to a grumpy old man. But I completely agree with you that he is a better director than actor, although I will most remember him as The Man with no Name.

Edited by Atterr

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Funny, I had the complete opposite reaction when I first saw Unforgiven. Finally Clint showed his acting chops with what I thought was a great performance. However, I must admit that over the years his act has worn out a little bit, reducing him to a grumpy old man. But I completely agree with you that he is a better director than actor, although I will most remember him as The Man with no Name.

They don't make them much cooler than the Man with No Name. I loved those movies so much that I never wanted to watch any of his other westerns.

Although just recently I finally got around to watching The Outlaw Josey Wales and really liked it too. For the longest time, I had been hesitant to watch it, thinking it would be lame, but I'm really happy to say that it didn't let me down the slightest bit. Clint was great in it, and the story was every bit as good as all of his spaghetti westerns.

Also, if you're a real Eastwood fan, you gotta watch the Dirty Harry films. Clint was pretty bad-ass in those flicks too. I rewatched all of them, except one, over the summer last year. It made for a great movie marathon.

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Just Watched

Death At A Funeral (2007)

Funerals are rarely funny but somehow, someone always laughs at one. Not to be Debbie Depressing, but I’ve been at a few and inevitably somebody in the back of the room starts snickering about something. Maybe it’s just a natural reaction to tragedy, but there is humor to be mined from the morbid setting of a family funeral which is where this very funny British import finds its material.

The direct brother of the recently released Chris Rock film, Death At A Funeral is a smart, silly, if not uneven farce about a funeral gone horribly wrong. Featuring an ensemble cast of very talented British actors and directed by Frank Oz (yes, the Mrs Piggy, Yoda Frank Oz), DAAF tows the line between smart relational comedy and sophomoric gross out humor and while the film sometimes dips too strongly to either side, there is a lot to laugh at in this import.

The cast itself is unilaterally great, as each character compliments this family in hilarious turmoil. From the egotistical author back from the US for the first time in ages to the dwarf who claims to have a “special relationship” to the deceased, every character has the appropriate amount of depth to go with their craziness. The role of the elderly grandfather is particularly hilarious, especially in the “bathroom scene”, which is one of those aforementioned tip the scales scenes, but still provides belly laughs.

The script is also well done, giving the comedic actors lots of room to create the funny. Dialogue is quick, witty and completely genuine while the screenplay itself, although not without its pitfalls, allows the hilarious parts of the story to really shine. While every joke doesn’t work as it should, there is enough character to this film to make it work as a whole.

The film also takes time out of the lunacy to establish character connections, cement relationships and provide just enough back story to keep this film from spiraling into nonsense. The only real downside is that the story itself is barely believable and some of the jokes take the easy way out, but again, it’s a true farce in every sense of the word, so these types of transgressions are totally acceptable.

To be fair, I can imagine a good deal of people out there shunning this film for the subject matter alone, and if that’s the case with you, fair enough. While this film isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch, it’s a breezy hour and a half that will provide some laughs, some groans and the occasional guffaw. If the trailers and reviews for the remake are leaving you cold, get out there and give this film a spin. Chances are, you wont be disappointed.

Edited by Bulletproof

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Just Watched

Death At A Funeral (2007)

Funerals are rarely funny but somehow, someone always laughs at one. Not to be Debbie Depressing, but I’ve been at a few and inevitably somebody in the back of the room starts snickering about something. Maybe it’s just a natural reaction to tragedy, but there is humor to be mined from the morbid setting of a family funeral which is where this very funny British import finds its material.

The direct brother of the recently released Chris Rock film, Death At A Funeral is a smart, silly, if not uneven farce about a funeral gone horribly wrong. Featuring an ensemble cast of very talented British actors and directed by Frank Oz (yes, the Mrs Piggy, Yoda Frank Oz), DAAF tows the line between smart relational comedy and sophomoric gross out humor and while the film sometimes dips too strongly to either side, there is a lot to laugh at in this import.

The cast itself is unilaterally great, as each character compliments this family in hilarious turmoil. From the egotistical author back from the US for the first time in ages to the dwarf who claims to have a “special relationship” to the deceased, every character has the appropriate amount of depth to go with their craziness. The role of the elderly grandfather is particularly hilarious, especially in the “bathroom scene”, which is one of those aforementioned tip the scales scenes, but still provides belly laughs.

The script is also well done, giving the comedic actors lots of room to create the funny. Dialogue is quick, witty and completely genuine while the screenplay itself, although not without its pitfalls, allows the hilarious parts of the story to really shine. While every joke doesn’t work as it should, there is enough character to this film to make it work as a whole.

The film also takes time out of the lunacy to establish character connections, cement relationships and provide just enough back story to keep this film from spiraling into nonsense. The only real downside is that the story itself is barely believable and some of the jokes take the easy way out, but again, it’s a true farce in every sense of the word, so these types of transgressions are totally acceptable.

To be fair, I can imagine a good deal of people out there shunning this film for the subject matter alone, and if that’s the case with you, fair enough. While this film isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch, it’s a breezy hour and a half that will provide some laughs, some groans and the occasional guffaw. If the trailers and reviews for the remake are leaving you cold, get out there and give this film a spin. Chances are, you wont be disappointed.

Who was funny and who wasn't? Lawrence and Rock haven't been good in a while and I haven't seen much of Tracy Morgan yet.

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Who was funny and who wasn't? Lawrence and Rock haven't been good in a while and I haven't seen much of Tracy Morgan yet.

He reviewed the British version, which this year's release is just a newer version of (why a newer version of a three-year-old movie is needed, I don't know).

BP: Good review. I saw this last year and laughed my ass off. I'm curious as to whether you plan on watching the new version and doing a compare/contract.

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He reviewed the British version, which this year's release is just a newer version of (why a newer version of a three-year-old movie is needed, I don't know).

BP: Good review. I saw this last year and laughed my ass off. I'm curious as to whether you plan on watching the new version and doing a compare/contract.

ah... sign0002.gif

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He reviewed the British version, which this year's release is just a newer version of (why a newer version of a three-year-old movie is needed, I don't know).

BP: Good review. I saw this last year and laughed my ass off. I'm curious as to whether you plan on watching the new version and doing a compare/contract.

You know, I was thinking about doing just that, but I doubt I'm going to get a chance to see the remake while it's still in theaters. Still, I should probably do one eventually, as they have pretty much the same storyline. Good idea and thanks for the thumbs up!

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Opening This Week – Nationwide

Iron Man 2 (Also available in IMAX) – Probably the most anticipated release of the summer makes it’s debut this weekend. Many theaters actually started showing this film on Thursday at midnight, so expect one of the biggest opening weekends this summer. Trailers have been circulating for about a year now, so I doubt you’ll need a synopsis but the basic idea is that Tony Stark is now even more famous as Iron Man, the government wants to take his achievement for themselves, he refuses and Mickey Rourke has laser whips. Man, who cares what the damn thing is about...you know you’re going to see it! RT has this at a very respectable 71% and was already Certified Fresh even before it came out. Critics have said that while it may not be the breath of fresh air the original was, it’s still a rocking ride.

Babies – Not into metal suits blowing things to smithereens? How about a film chronicling the first year of life of four babies in very different parts of the world? Trailers have been out for awhile now and might just be the ticket if you need to be to hear come Monday. Critics have been pretty supportive of this film, with most saying it’s high on the adorable factor but misses the mark when it comes to insight and depth. Still, if a chubby face makes you go all googly at the knees, Babies is perfect for you.

Opening This Week – Limited

Badmaash Company – About four young Indian entrepreneurs who create a hugely successful business importing Western culture into their home country. Reviewers haven’t had a chance to check this one out yet, but the story itself looks to be an interesting one.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money – This film is a documentary about disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and how, through shaddy dealings and corruption, weaseled his way into power. Alex Gibney, who’s most famous for Taxi to The Dark Side, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S Thompson and the Enron doc, brings us another politically charged documentary that may get a few looks come next February. Critics are praising this as an important and interesting film and has labeled this as a must see. Opening at Lincoln Plaza and Landmark Sunshine Cinemas.

Multiple Sarcasms – About a middle aged man who tries shake up his hum drum life by writing a play about the women in his life. Touted as a Woody Allen style movie, full of wise assery and interesting takes on relationship, critics have not been kind to Multiple Sarcasms. Definitely watch a few trailers before running out to check it out. Opening at Regal Union Sqaure and AMC 25

Mother and Child – Naomi Watts, Samuel L Jackson, Kerry Washington and Annette Bening star in this drama about three women who have been profoundly affected by adoption. Critics have been pretty positive about this film, with some going so far as to say it’s a masterpiece. High praise for something I haven’t seen, but if the subject matter appeals to you, and you like yourself some drama, Mother and Daughter looks like it’ll be perfect for you. Opening at Lincoln Plaza and Landmark Sunshine Cinemas.

The Oath – Thought provoking documentary about two brothers who end up getting recruited by Al-Qaeda and working for Osama Bin Laden. One of the brothers, Abu Jandal, was the first person to stand before the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay and this film tracks his journey and how he got there. Limited reviews have been mixed but the subject matter alone seems to be worth a viewing. Opening at the IFC Center

OSS 117: Lost in Rio – Sequel to the French secret agent film, Cairo, Nest of Spies, Lost in Rio brings back the super spy in another whirlwind adventure. Critics are saying that this new film is even better than the original, and even though it’s not high art, it’s breezy fun for fans of the original character. Opening this weekend at the Angelika

Opening This Week – Worth Waiting For

Welcome – Widely praised by critics, Welcome is a love story about a 17 year old Kurdish refugee who, for three months, has struggled his way across Europe to reunite with his girlfriend in England. When he’s stopped in France, he decides to attempt to swim the English Channel with the help of a retied swimming coach who take pity in his plight. While it’s not showing anywhere this weekend, this is sure to reach the NJ / NYC area sometime soon, and should be well worth a watch.

My 3 To See

This week I’m going with one mainstream blockbuster and two indies, mainly because there’s nothing out wide that I can honestly recommend you go see. What about Kick Ass you say? Because I actually saw it...look for a review later today!

Iron Man 2 – Do I even need to talk about it anymore?? Critics and fans alike have been loving this and this tops my three to see.

Exit Through The Gift Shop – This documentary about the making of a failed documentary about a reclusive graffiti artist has been given top marks by every critic who has seen it, so it’s definitely worth a look.

Please Give – Indie darling Catherine Keener stars in this fun, sarcastic and witty tale of two Manhattan furniture store owners who sell the items of the dead. Lot’s other stuff going on in this film, and critics have been loving it, so its makes this week’s 3 to See!.

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Let me toss out a recommendation there for people who want to see the A-Team disaster *cringe*

Go see the Losers instead... it was a VERY fun movie.... and best use of a Journey song ever :lol:

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Let me toss out a recommendation there for people who want to see the A-Team disaster *cringe*

Go see the Losers instead... it was a VERY fun movie.... and best use of a Journey song ever :lol:

Maaaaan, you know how I feel about franchise reboots and regurgitation, but the A-Team might not be half bad. :ph34r:

As for the Losers, it's not the kind of movie critics generally go for, but I'm glad it holds up on the "fun factor". maybe I should've seen that instead of Kick Ass. Working on the review for it now...let's just say, I was not a fan of it, at all.

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Maaaaan, you know how I feel about franchise reboots and regurgitation, but the A-Team might not be half bad. :ph34r:

As for the Losers, it's not the kind of movie critics generally go for, but I'm glad it holds up on the "fun factor". maybe I should've seen that instead of Kick Ass. Working on the review for it now...let's just say, I was not a fan of it, at all.

A-Team looks soooo forced and like it's missing ... something.... I can't place it.....

The Losers was a BLAST, and the best parts were not in the trailer, I am glad I chose that over Michael Bay's New Nightmare.... then again I'm seeing Iron Man 2, tonight.... two people I know spoke highly of it already

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A-Team looks soooo forced and like it's missing ... something.... I can't place it.....

The Losers was a BLAST, and the best parts were not in the trailer, I am glad I chose that over Michael Bay's New Nightmare.... then again I'm seeing Iron Man 2, tonight.... two people I know spoke highly of it already

Yeah, I'll be checking out Iron Man, in IMAX, this coming Monday. Really looking forward to it! I'll have to check out the The Losers...the trailers intrigued me yet the critical response dulled my reaction to it, so I'm glad someone actually saw it and gave it a thumbs up.

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Iron Man 2

I'm a big fan of the first chapter, but unfortunately I couldn't help leaving the theatre disappointed. I really, really wanted to like this one and although it's not a bad movie, it's just... ok.

Iron Man 2 is a typical sequel where everything has to be more and bigger. Unlike great comic book sequels as The Dark Knight, X-Men 2 and Spider-Man 2, it just does not work. In fact, it is more like Spider-Man 3. There are so many new characters introduced that the focus is just totally lost and the movie becomes quite messy due to a lack of pace.

Although director Jon Favreau definitely ups the ante in terms of action, it doesn't really feel as a new movie. Particularly the climax is a huge disappointment as it is basically a repeat of the last film's final confrontation. If that's not bad enough, it is over before you even know it.

The thing that made the first installment so enjoyable for me was the humor of it all, but here a lot of the jokes felt forced and sometimes even downright cheesy.

Not all is bad in this sequel though. The cast has to be one of the best in recent comic book movies. Just like the first one, Robert Downey Jr. quite simply is Tony Stark. Don Cheadle is a major improvement over the annoying Terrence Howard, Mickey Rourke does a good job with his limited screentime, and Scarlett Johansson in a catsuit is obviously a pleasure to watch. However, Sam Rockwell definitely steal the show in this one. I have always been a huge fan of his, but it remains a complete mystery how this guy is still so underrated.

Add the great soundtrack and geek references to Captain America and Thor, and Iron-Man 2 is an enjoyable movie for anyone who hasn't seen the first one. If you did however, Iron-Man 2 could very well be a let-down.

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New Movie Review

Kick Ass

When it comes to why I leave the comfort of my cozy apartment and brave the streets of Manhattan to see a film, it all comes down to motive. Sometimes, I want to get swept up in an emotional drama, other times I want to laugh along with an audience and sometimes I simply want to watch things blow up on a big screen. When it came to Kick Ass, I just wanted to see some serious…well…ass kicking. Story, plot and acting be damned, I just wanted to give my endorphins a bit of a rush and hopefully have a good time at the flicker show. Imagine my dismay when I walked out of the movie, not disgusted, not exhilarated but thoroughly uneasy.

Kick Ass is the second feature film from director Matthew Vaughn and is a far cry from his first flick, Stardust. The story centers around a geeky comic book kid who, after getting fed up with the bullies of the world knocking him down, creates an alter ego named, not surprisingly, Kick Ass. After a few brushes with ne’er-do-wellers, often with disastrous results, Kick Ass finds himself the center of an Internet phenomenon and gardeners the attention of two “real” superheroes: Big Daddy, played wonderfully by Nicholas Cage, and Hit Girl, his 12 year old daughter. Add into the mix Red Mist, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and you have yourself a decent cast to start with.

The film has a promising start as I really enjoyed the home grown superhero aspect and connected with the lead who only wanted to see what ordinary Joe Shmoes could do to make life better for the people around him. When he’s in the comic book store with his friends wondering why regular people can’t be superheroes, the film touched on something that was simple yet profound. I even excused the silly way Kick Ass gets his “powers”…again, this isn’t a documentary or anything. Unfortunately for the film, the tone drastically changed in the second and third act.

My main problem with Kick Ass isn’t with the violence, which isn’t that bad, or the action, which isn’t that intense, but it’s with the overall tone and feel. Kick Ass could have been a whole lot of fun, even with the body count, but the film gets mired in an odd desire to be everything all at once. The movie isn’t content with being a rousing yet violent comic book adaptation, with a homegrown feel. The film also wants to be dark yet teen comedy, gritty yet campy and inspiring yet shocking. And, after all that, the film STILL could have held together, somehow, someway, if it weren’t for the nasty undertones, primarily surrounding the character of Hit Girl.

Now, I know 90% of you are saying, “C’mon, she was awesome!” or “Wow, what are you, 80?” or “Time to change your Huggies, Grandpa”. Sorry, but there’s something simply not right about a 12 year old girl brutally slaying 40 henchmen, getting shot in chest by a ’38 and throwing around the F-word like it’s the word “was”, especially when there is no need for it. For the sake of Pete, there’s one scene where Hit Girl is lying flat on her back getting the snot beaten out of her by a 40 year old man. I’m all for comic violence, but that’s just mean and unsettling.

The problem is that the Hit Girl character, while very well played by Chloe Grace Mortez, is only cussing and killing up a storm for pure shock value. If the language had some connection to the story, you could excuse it, but when it’s there just to get people talking about it, it looses all validity. For example, if this was a dramatic film about a young girl living in the streets, maybe then the language would have some context, but here, it’s reduced to a Howard Stern bit. To my mind, if we’re at the point in pop culture where we need a mass murdering pre-teen to yell C U Next Tuesday to get us giggling, sorry, but I can’t get behind that.

But, it’s not all Hit Girl’s fault. The second half of the film is replete with an almost sadistic undertone that bogs down the story to the point where I just wanted it to be over. Shame to, because I really wanted to kick back with Kick Ass and enjoy the story of an everyday kid becoming more than who he his. Kick Ass is like an apple wrapped in a coating of stomach bile; there’s a center there that’s worth getting to but you have to stomach a lot of sourness before you reach it and it makes you wonder why they didn’t just omit the blech in the first place. Hopefully the eventual sequel tones down the nastiness and re-focuses as there is a lot to enjoy in this world of real life superheroes. Just would’ve been nice to enjoy it without getting smacked in the face by the random brutality.

Edited by Bulletproof

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I'm glad I read your review before seeing this movie. From the way you're describing it, it sounds like you had a similar reaction to what I felt after seeing Sin City. Both are movies that got surprisingly good reviews, but Sin City really bothered me. Each story and each subplot in the film centered around disrespecting and violence toward women. I just couldn't enjoy the cinematography, the characters or the acting because I was so hung up on this theme being the driving point of the film.

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