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#421 CRASHER

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 03:53 PM

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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Pay homage to the INCREDIBLE scoring goalie!!!! :-)

I saw CRASHER trip a kid on skates and then he stole the kids lunch money and slapped his mom when she came to pick him up.. All because the kid looked at his crease


CRASHER's official list of high stick victims from this forum:
gionta182, devilsfan26 .... WHO'S NEXT??

2005 Fantasy Football League Champion... Bow to my Football knowledge !!!!!!

2003-04 NJDevs.com winner of the Masterton Award for Dedication to the Devils(still proud of that one !)

4, Four (!?!?) Time (2005-2008) NJDevs.com winner of the Whoever the damn Award for the funniest poster in the land is named after...(geesh... post pressure, but I seem ok with it!)
TWO TIME (2005, 2006) Award Winner and the man who can show Jeremy Roenick what a REAL loudmouth is all about.... hell this mouth roars SO loud, they retired the DAMN AWARD!!!! But how do you be emotional about an award for being most emotional when you're sharing it?

2008 NJDevs Stanley Cup Winner for best overall poster... where's my damn ring?

June 6, 2007... the NHL dies just a little bit.....
.. April 20, 2008...it gets a little better :)

#422 Bulletproof

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 04:16 PM

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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#423 Atterr

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 07:37 AM

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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#424 Bulletproof

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:37 PM

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, 10 May 2010 - 02:40 PM.

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#425 DaneykoIsGod

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:49 PM

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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#426 Devils731

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:51 PM

Iron Man 2

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.


One reviewer had a funny line, said the movie studio figured out how to get us to pay to see a 2 hour Avengers trailer.

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.


Definitely, I want a douchey movie about Hammer Industries more than another Iron Man. :lol:
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Your unconditional rejection of violence makes you smugly think of yourselves as noble, as enlightened, but in reality it is nothing less than abject moral capitulation to evil. Unconditional rejection of self-defense, because you think its a supposed surrender to violence, leaves you no resort but begging for mercy or offering appeasement.

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#427 Devils731

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:53 PM

New Movie Review

Kick Ass

For example, if this was a dramatic film about a young girl living in the streets, maybe then the language would have some context


I don't want to ruin the movie for people who are going to see it but I felt the movie did give the context that would explain the hero/monster of a girl.
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Your unconditional rejection of violence makes you smugly think of yourselves as noble, as enlightened, but in reality it is nothing less than abject moral capitulation to evil. Unconditional rejection of self-defense, because you think its a supposed surrender to violence, leaves you no resort but begging for mercy or offering appeasement.

-Terry Goodkind


Sex Panther cologne -- 50 percent of the time, it works every time.

-Anchorman

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

-Anonymous

Keeper of Section 212-213's wayward step

#428 Devils731

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 02:57 PM

but Sin City really bothered me. Each story and each subplot in the film centered around disrespecting and violence toward women.


I don't think that's how it comes across in Kick Ass. For me, the girl is treated like a person. If it was a boy being hit like this there wouldn't be a problem for many people so the hang up is that girls are supposed to be proper and weak while it's more acceptable is boys are jerky thugs. Since the movie ignores those being our social hang ups it's more fairly treating women, since a boy could be treated that way without much issue, so there is equality to the role.
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Your unconditional rejection of violence makes you smugly think of yourselves as noble, as enlightened, but in reality it is nothing less than abject moral capitulation to evil. Unconditional rejection of self-defense, because you think its a supposed surrender to violence, leaves you no resort but begging for mercy or offering appeasement.

-Terry Goodkind


Sex Panther cologne -- 50 percent of the time, it works every time.

-Anchorman

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

-Anonymous

Keeper of Section 212-213's wayward step

#429 Bulletproof

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 04:26 PM

I don't think that's how it comes across in Kick Ass. For me, the girl is treated like a person. If it was a boy being hit like this there wouldn't be a problem for many people so the hang up is that girls are supposed to be proper and weak while it's more acceptable is boys are jerky thugs. Since the movie ignores those being our social hang ups it's more fairly treating women, since a boy could be treated that way without much issue, so there is equality to the role.

For me, this wasn't my hang up at all. If a young boy was running around killing and cursing, I think I would have the same reaction. My question is, why did it have to be a little girl at all? Kill Bill features a strong heroine who kicks major butt and that flick has more visceral violence than Kick Ass did. The difference for me is the tone of the two...one treats its subject in a serious yet campy homage style where Kick Ass goes from teen comedy to brutal way to quickly.

Also, from two post two posts up regarding the Hit Girl character being contextualized in the film, I don't quite agree. Again, it's hard to discuss without giving it away, but while it is established that she has a tough upbringing, it still doesn't excuse the sight gag of a potty mouthed 12 year old. Maybe this is hypocritical, but when it comes to Hit Girl, it wasn't so much the violence as it was the language, as backwards as that may seem. I thought the violence in the film as a whole was needlessly brutal, including Hit Girl, but the language just stuck out to me as particularly unsettling in a film, that wasn't setup as being as such.

Also, to DiG's point, Sin City is a decent comparison, however, you knew what you were getting into in that film. Sin City was setup from the beginning as a gritty, film noir type where Kick Ass just take a nasty tone a third of the way in. Also, while I do have perosnal hangup when it comes to films, I honestly try not to let it sully anything I write. While certina things may rub me the wrong way, I try hard to exclude that from any critical writing that I do. That being said, my hangups in Kick Ass, while personal, also speaks to a weaknees in writing and directing in that they weren't confident enough in the subject matter to do it without the shock moments. Also, to be fair, I know nothing about the comic, so maybe they were trying to be too faithful...either way, it simply didn't work for me.
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#430 CRASHER

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 04:27 PM

I don't want to ruin the movie for people who are going to see it but I felt the movie did give the context that would explain the hero/monster of a girl.


I kinda agree there.... though it wasn't a best movie... it's my least favorite of the summer movies I've seen (the Losers, Clash of the Titans, Date night and Iron Man 2)

Given I haven't and will try not to see the Nightmare on Michael Bay's... Elm.... Street
but when I do I expect much venom to follow :P

They also showed a little that she was the result of her environment with the quick peek in the ending too
I also thought the adult on kid violence is logically what the mob boss WOULD do in that situation so it was excusable in the "reality" of the movie
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Pay homage to the INCREDIBLE scoring goalie!!!! :-)

I saw CRASHER trip a kid on skates and then he stole the kids lunch money and slapped his mom when she came to pick him up.. All because the kid looked at his crease


CRASHER's official list of high stick victims from this forum:
gionta182, devilsfan26 .... WHO'S NEXT??

2005 Fantasy Football League Champion... Bow to my Football knowledge !!!!!!

2003-04 NJDevs.com winner of the Masterton Award for Dedication to the Devils(still proud of that one !)

4, Four (!?!?) Time (2005-2008) NJDevs.com winner of the Whoever the damn Award for the funniest poster in the land is named after...(geesh... post pressure, but I seem ok with it!)
TWO TIME (2005, 2006) Award Winner and the man who can show Jeremy Roenick what a REAL loudmouth is all about.... hell this mouth roars SO loud, they retired the DAMN AWARD!!!! But how do you be emotional about an award for being most emotional when you're sharing it?

2008 NJDevs Stanley Cup Winner for best overall poster... where's my damn ring?

June 6, 2007... the NHL dies just a little bit.....
.. April 20, 2008...it gets a little better :)

#431 Bulletproof

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 10:34 AM

Opening This Week – Nationwide

Robin Hood – Russell Crowe reunites with Ridley Scott in what could be seen as Gladiator 2 with a different main character. Promising action, adventure and a few missing limbs, this newer, grittier Sir Robin of Locksley has been seeing mixed reviews. My opinion is if it’s a rainy day and you’ve seen Iron Man 2, Robin Hood has the star power to be a decent waste of two hours. Still, I’m not going to be planning to see this anytime soon.

Letters To Juliet – This film is about a young American who travels to Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, to join a group of volunteers who answer letters that are sent there by love-lost people looking for advise from fictional people. Blah, this sounds like a big heap already and critics agree giving this one a 39% right now on RT, but some top reviewers have actually given this film a thumbs up. Most are agreeing that it’s loght, inoffensive TV fare but not really worth running out to see.

Just Wright – Common (yes, the rapper Common) and Queen Latifah star in this flick about an NBA All Star (Common) who, after a season ending injury starts to fall for his tough talking physical therapist (Latifah). Critical response is pretty much the same as Letter to Juliet; formulaic, standard and sometimes boring, yet not so terrible that one should run screaming from it. Worth a look when it hits TBS but not worth spending actual money on.


Opening This Week – Limited

Looking for Eric –Ken Loach directs this breezy comedy about the chaotic life of Eric, a middle aged postman and the football star who helps him rise above his funk. Critics are across the board recommending this film as a optimistic and hopeful comedy. I’m thinking they love the message more than the film, but it still looks to be a good watch in an otherwise weak summer weekend. Opening at Lincoln Plaza and the IFC Center

Daddy Longlegs – A real indie DIY style film about a 35 year old father and the two weeks he gets to spend with his two sons. Not many critics have weighed in on this film, but the who have say it’s an excellent example of real independent filmmaking with a heart. Screening at the IFC Center


Opening This Week – Worth Waiting For

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo – Documentary about how insects, beetles in particular, play a crucial role in Japanese culture and lore. Critics are raving about this and even though it’s not playing anywhere in the Tri State area, it’s definitely worth looking out for.


My 3 To See

Iron Man 2 – After seeing it in glorious IMAX, I now can whole heartedly recommend this energetic, if not uneven, superhero sequel. It’s not the revelation that the original film was, but it’s a more than serviceable part two that starts the summer season off with a bang.

Exit Through The Gift Shop – See it for all the reasons I stated last week!

No One Knows About Persian Cats – Independent film about the underground music scene in Terhan and a band trying to make it work, Persian has been widely praised, not only for the music but for the social underpinnings it brings to light.
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#432 Devils731

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 02:17 PM

I wish Robin Hood had stuck to the original idea of Russel Crowe as the Sheriff in a sympathetic retelling for the Sheriff.
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Your unconditional rejection of violence makes you smugly think of yourselves as noble, as enlightened, but in reality it is nothing less than abject moral capitulation to evil. Unconditional rejection of self-defense, because you think its a supposed surrender to violence, leaves you no resort but begging for mercy or offering appeasement.

-Terry Goodkind


Sex Panther cologne -- 50 percent of the time, it works every time.

-Anchorman

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

-Anonymous

Keeper of Section 212-213's wayward step

#433 CRASHER

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 04:57 PM

I wish Robin Hood had stuck to the original idea of Russel Crowe as the Sheriff in a sympathetic retelling for the Sheriff.


Wait... there was a Sheriff in this movie??? :blink:

This movie missed the mark like Michael Bay missed the Mark in Pearl Harbor.... seriously (though I do love digging up the Team AMERICA reference).... slow paced.. kinda missing a point, with things randomly put in there.... this movie felt more like an "alternate reality" or reboot of the whole Robin Hood idea then an "origin" or doing any justice to it's real predecessors ... hell all this one did was make the Kevin Costner one look a LOT better :P.... too much detail to the irrelevant and not enough details to the point of the movie..... avoid this one kids!!!
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Pay homage to the INCREDIBLE scoring goalie!!!! :-)

I saw CRASHER trip a kid on skates and then he stole the kids lunch money and slapped his mom when she came to pick him up.. All because the kid looked at his crease


CRASHER's official list of high stick victims from this forum:
gionta182, devilsfan26 .... WHO'S NEXT??

2005 Fantasy Football League Champion... Bow to my Football knowledge !!!!!!

2003-04 NJDevs.com winner of the Masterton Award for Dedication to the Devils(still proud of that one !)

4, Four (!?!?) Time (2005-2008) NJDevs.com winner of the Whoever the damn Award for the funniest poster in the land is named after...(geesh... post pressure, but I seem ok with it!)
TWO TIME (2005, 2006) Award Winner and the man who can show Jeremy Roenick what a REAL loudmouth is all about.... hell this mouth roars SO loud, they retired the DAMN AWARD!!!! But how do you be emotional about an award for being most emotional when you're sharing it?

2008 NJDevs Stanley Cup Winner for best overall poster... where's my damn ring?

June 6, 2007... the NHL dies just a little bit.....
.. April 20, 2008...it gets a little better :)

#434 DaneykoIsGod

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 11:08 AM

Wait... there was a Sheriff in this movie??? :blink:

This movie missed the mark like Michael Bay missed the Mark in Pearl Harbor.... seriously (though I do love digging up the Team AMERICA reference).... slow paced.. kinda missing a point, with things randomly put in there.... this movie felt more like an "alternate reality" or reboot of the whole Robin Hood idea then an "origin" or doing any justice to it's real predecessors ... hell all this one did was make the Kevin Costner one look a LOT better :P.... too much detail to the irrelevant and not enough details to the point of the movie..... avoid this one kids!!!


I agree with a whole hell of a lot of this, especially how awesome it is to reference Team America (Fvck Yeah!).

Just saw this last night and it was meh. I didn't even feel like I was watching a Robin Hood movie until the last minute or two. It just felt like a meh time piece movie with some meh action scenes, meh acting, meh characters and a too-detailed but unsatisfying meh plot.

It was an interesting idea to try to re-imagine the origin of a classic character, but it just didn't work.
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#435 Devils731

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 11:34 AM

Wait... there was a Sheriff in this movie??? :blink:


The original script had the Sheriff as the good guy and star.
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Your unconditional rejection of violence makes you smugly think of yourselves as noble, as enlightened, but in reality it is nothing less than abject moral capitulation to evil. Unconditional rejection of self-defense, because you think its a supposed surrender to violence, leaves you no resort but begging for mercy or offering appeasement.

-Terry Goodkind


Sex Panther cologne -- 50 percent of the time, it works every time.

-Anchorman

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

-Anonymous

Keeper of Section 212-213's wayward step

#436 CRASHER

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 11:37 AM

The original script had the Sheriff as the good guy and star.


I know, the ACTUAL movie had him in it as much as Gambit was in the X-Men movies :P
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Pay homage to the INCREDIBLE scoring goalie!!!! :-)

I saw CRASHER trip a kid on skates and then he stole the kids lunch money and slapped his mom when she came to pick him up.. All because the kid looked at his crease


CRASHER's official list of high stick victims from this forum:
gionta182, devilsfan26 .... WHO'S NEXT??

2005 Fantasy Football League Champion... Bow to my Football knowledge !!!!!!

2003-04 NJDevs.com winner of the Masterton Award for Dedication to the Devils(still proud of that one !)

4, Four (!?!?) Time (2005-2008) NJDevs.com winner of the Whoever the damn Award for the funniest poster in the land is named after...(geesh... post pressure, but I seem ok with it!)
TWO TIME (2005, 2006) Award Winner and the man who can show Jeremy Roenick what a REAL loudmouth is all about.... hell this mouth roars SO loud, they retired the DAMN AWARD!!!! But how do you be emotional about an award for being most emotional when you're sharing it?

2008 NJDevs Stanley Cup Winner for best overall poster... where's my damn ring?

June 6, 2007... the NHL dies just a little bit.....
.. April 20, 2008...it gets a little better :)

#437 Devils731

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 11:46 AM

I know, the ACTUAL movie had him in it as much as Gambit was in the X-Men movies :P


Gotcha. Ya, I pegged this one as a TV watch to be able to goof on.
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Your unconditional rejection of violence makes you smugly think of yourselves as noble, as enlightened, but in reality it is nothing less than abject moral capitulation to evil. Unconditional rejection of self-defense, because you think its a supposed surrender to violence, leaves you no resort but begging for mercy or offering appeasement.

-Terry Goodkind


Sex Panther cologne -- 50 percent of the time, it works every time.

-Anchorman

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

-Anonymous

Keeper of Section 212-213's wayward step

#438 Bulletproof

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 01:02 PM

I kinda agree there.... though it wasn't a best movie... it's my least favorite of the summer movies I've seen (the Losers, Clash of the Titans, Date night and Iron Man 2)

Wait a sec...are you implying that you actually enjoyed Clash of the Titans?? I saw that about a month ago and thought it was terrible! Probably one of the worst movies of the year for me. I can't even devote braincells to how much I disliked it, but maybe I'll write a review sometime.

Blech to Clash of the Titans!

Edited by Bulletproof, 17 May 2010 - 01:03 PM.

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#439 Bulletproof

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 01:14 PM

Note: Not to overshadow Atterr's review, but I just wanted to throw this out there before posting it on Rottan Tomatoes. Atterr and I actually have very similar thoughts on the movie, but I thinked I liked it a bit more than he did. Enjoy!

New Movie Review

Iron Man 2

If there’s one almost constant in the universe, it’s that sequels rarely surpass the quality of the original film. Maybe it’s the lack of freshness, maybe it’s the high expectations or maybe it’s just bad luck that drive these flicks straight to the bargain bin, but a sequel is simply a tough nut to crack. From The Matrix to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, sequels almost always lead to a letdown. So how did director John Favreau do with his second crack at the Iron Man franchise? In my opinion, just fraknin’ fine.

Iron Man 2 finds our beloved Tony Stark in quite a few pickles. Not only is he being pressured by the government to surrender his Iron Man weapon to the US Army, he has a mad Russian after him to avenge the “stealing” of his father’s arc reactor (Mickey Rourke), a rival industrialist looking to make a suit of his own for the military (Sam Rockwell) and a secret agency looking to recruit him, headed up by an eye patch wearing Samuel L. Jackson. Add to that a love triangle between him, Pepper Potts and his new assistant, a back stabbing best bud and all sorts of daddy issues, and you can see this film has a ton going on, with mixed results.

With a complex and muddled script, Iron Man 2 really bites off more than it can chew and the result is a thick narrative that does nothing except set up the eventual sequels. As a result, things like plot structure and character development are thrown to the wolves, creating an uneven experience. Still, Favreau knows how to direct the franchise and he does his best to connect the web of plot points as well as create some kinetically satisfying fight sequences. Even as the main cast balloons to over double the original film, Favreau does a fine job of keeping everything moving, remarkable given the bloat in the screenplay.

As for the cast, the only returning members are Downey and Gwyneth Paltrow and while Downey does his Tony Stark shtick to perfection yet again, the introduction of Scarlet Johannson as Tony’s new eye candy reduces Pepper Potts to a withering, weeping damsel in distress and a poorly acted one at that. While the script really didn’t give her much to work with, Paltrow does a shockingly bad job in the role reprisal, surprising considering how good she was in the first installment. The rest of the cast, with the exception of Sam Rockwell who is a scene stealer as the competing industrialist, just chews their lines and gets through the feature. Don Cheadle does his best with his limited screen time, Mickey Rourke was very believable yet uninteresting as the Russian madman and Johannson adds some sexiness to an otherwise bland cast of supporting characters. Again, the cast does their best with their diluted screen time but the acting quality is nowhere near the original film.

Luckily, the film holds together due to Downey’s great performance and the skilled direction of John Favreau. Without those two, this could have been a mess, but the film is a satisfying second stanza that bridges the fantastic original and the eventual sequels quite nicely. While nobody arcs here (Stark is still a loveable dick, Potts is constantly fretting, etc, etc), the film doesn’t take a step back and still provides some visceral thrills that make it an enjoyable go-round. Some reviewers have said this movie is merely a 2 hour advertisement for the sequels, and while I can see where they’re coming from, I still think the film stands up fine on its own. While it’s not the achievement the original was, Iron Man 2 works nicely as a solid start to the summer movie season.

Rating : 7 out of 10
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#440 Devils731

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 02:33 PM

The only thing I'll probably really remember about Iron Man 2 a year from now is how great Justin Hammer was.
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