Thursday, June 21, 2012

Animals, Airplanes, and Alice

I watched three movies during work yesterday to begin my movie watching project.  Don't know what I am talking about, well then check out this post.

Movie #1- Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
I know there was just a collective groan from the audience thinking, "Really, THAT is how you start off this project?!?"  Truth be told, I was kind of thinking the same thoughts when I put the movies in alphabetical order and realized that this was going to be my first movie.  I hadn't seen this movie in YEARS and am not sure I really had any desire to.  Why do we even own this movie and why don't we own the first Ace Ventura?  Well, it is actually pretty simple.  Back when Jess and I got married in 2002, Jim Carrey was still one of the most, if not the most, popular comedians in Hollywood and we loved his movies, especially once he strayed from just slapsticky comedies and ventured into movies with a little more depth like Truman Show.  Since we were such big fans, we got the idea that it would be fun to own all his movies.  To mix it up a little on our Wedding Registry (we aren't the register for fine china type of couple), we put a ton of his movies on our wish list and we ended up getting this one for our wedding.  I am not sure that we have seen it more than once since.

So I went into this movie with low hopes as my tastes have somewhat changed since I last saw it.  It really takes a lot to make me laugh (I've been called a comedy snob) and I was afraid I would just find this movie stupid.  When the opening scene came on the screen, it mimicked the opening scene from Cliffhanger and I instantly wished I was watching that movie instead.  But by 10 minutes or so into it, I was smiling and chuckling.  I had forgotten how funny Carrey could be with his facial expressions alone.  His ability to contort his face into the most awkward of positions is funny enough on its own, but you add his silly humor to the mix and you have something you really don't see in comedies anymore as almost everything is just raunchy, R-rated humor.  Not that I mind that, but you don't really see what Carrey did back then anymore.   The plot is pretty dumb and outrageous, but he makes the movie good.  I didn't really laugh out loud...well...until this scene which I had completely forgotten about.

A couple of other random thoughts while I watched the movie:
-Mr. Eko from Lost was in this movie.  I had no recollection of this.
-Even though I really remembered nothing from this movie, I have never forgotten one main thing: Guano.  The plot of this movie revolves around guano, or bat droppings, and I have always remembered that word since then.
-Tommy Davidson has a funny role I had forgotten about, but most of you who just read that probably forgot who Tommy Davidson even is/was.  Poor guy, he was pretty big in the mid 90s.

Overall, not a bad movie, especially considering the fact that I expected this movie to be pretty horrible.  It isn't great by any means, but it reminded me just how funny I thought Carrey was back in the day.  I give it two and a half stars out of five.

Movie #2 - Air Force One
I REALLY used to like this movie.  When I first saw it in the theaters back in 1997, I found it to be one of the best action movies I had ever seen.  In fact, after seeing it, it still is a pretty damn good action film, but what I didn't seem to notice the first time I saw it is just how cheesy the movie is.  I mean, it borders on an action film parody with how cheesy it can be during some of the scenes. Harrison Ford is his usual awesome self that he is in all action movies, but without the charm of a Han Solo or Indy Jones.  The supporting cast is pretty good with a who's who of character actors.  Although, there is one particular scene where Glenn Close does some of the worst acting I have ever seen, something you wouldn't expect from her.

So if it is still a great action movie, what is so goofy about it?  It really is hard to pinpoint, but something about it just seems off.  The little jokes seem inappropriate for the dire situation.  It actual really doesn't take a nosedive until the final act.  The scenes become too overly patriotic while the special effects become downright atrocious.  When American fighter jets come to the aid and start declaring that the good guys are here, it just becomes laughable.  And by the end, when the fighter jets escort the plane that Ford escapes to and the happy score plays in the background, I half expected the clouds to turn a shade of red, white, and blue.  And let's not forget the horrible special effects in this movie.  Hell, this scene below as the plane crashes is as bad as it gets.  It looks like something from a SyFy channel movie.

Don't get me wrong, I can still enjoy this movie for what it is, a no-brainer action film, but it isn't quite the complete action epic I thought it was back in the day.  I give it three stars out of five.

Movie #3 - Alice in Wonderland
I truthfully can't remember the last time I saw this 1951 Disney classic.  In fact, when I was watching it, pretty much nothing seemed familiar to me.  So what did I think of it being a big Disney fan?  I hated it.  I mean, this movie was just weird.  Ok, ok, I know the whole Wonderland is kind of supposed to be weird, but this movie just seemed off.  The plot just seemed to be all over the place.  Granted, I haven't read the books and it is probably how the books were written, but I had trouble staying interested because of the plot line and how it almost seem to feel like they were just winging it as the movie went along.  And rather than finding the iconic characters cool, I actually found most of them to be pretty damn annoying, Alice included.  I'm actually quite disappointed.  I wanted to really like this movie, but I just couldn't get into it and by the time it was over, I was convinced I wouldn't be seeing the film again for a very long time.  The only things I took from the movie are that I think I need an unbirthday party every day of the year that isn't my birthday and that Sega seems to have stolen the idea for Sonic the Hedgehog from the hedgehogs that are in the croquet scene.  I give this film 1 out of 5 stars.  


Nani said...

First of all, I love your "Star Rating"! :-)
Funny how our tastes change as we grow older. I know what you mean about Air Force One. I LOVE Harrison Ford so we watch this movie about once a year. Yes, a little cheesy but I still love it!I love when he growls "Get off my plane!"
Jim Carrey was really funny but this movie was only so so even when it was new.
I never liked Alice in Wonderland.
Thanks for your reviews. I am really looking forward to more. This should be fun. Hugs, Nani

Tara said...

I just looked at my movie collection, because I read your post and thought that I had the first "Ace Ventura". That one made me laugh in some scenes. I thought of it the other day when I was eating pumpkin seeds and remembered him eating sunflower seeds and they were all stuck to his teeth while he called smoking a "disgusting habit".

As for "Alice in Wonderland", I didn't finish watching it. I was bored. Oh, and you're right about how hokey the airplane crash in "Airforce One" looked! I just remembered Harrison Ford scowling at Gary Oldman, "Get off my plane!"

Mom said...

You write so well son. I love your blogs but love your blogs about the movies you watch. I find that most of the time I will agree with you on the movies I have seen. For the movies I haven't seen, you always make me want to see them.
I have seen all three of these and agree. It is funny how comedy and action films have changed over the years. Alice was never one of my favorites.

Mom said...

One other thing: Why do you call them stars when they are actually cheeseburgers? I think you should give them the "cheeseburger" rating.

Miss Sassy Pants said...

I haven't seen Ace Ventura - either movie - in forever. That clip made me laugh though. Jim Carrey is just too much, in a good way. Nothing beats Cable Guy and the whole Silence of the Lambs scene though.

I feel like we watched Air Force One relatively recently and commented on the cheesiness factor. That's what happens as technology develops though. Maybe back in '97 that was an awesome crash scene. Nothing beats the little Harrison Ford peeking at you clip. I could watch that for hours and laugh hysterically the entire time.

I actually couldn't tell you the last time I saw Alice in Wonderland, if ever. I'm disappointed that you hated it. I mean, I knew it was weird and a little, um, druggy, but I'm still disappointed. I still like the ride at Disneyland though.

And the cheeseburger ratings - hysterical! I love it!

Looking forward to more reviews!

laura b. said...

I would be willing to rewatch Ace Venture-When Nature Calls mostly because I remember the guano so fondly. haha!
Believe it or not, I've never seen Air Force One. Huh.
Aw, I like Alice in Wonderland! But I can see how it wouldn't be universally enjoyed.