Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hits and Misses

Some new reviews!  I can't believe I am already 25 movies in and am not even halfway through the Bs!  This may take forever!  Luckily, I am enjoying it.  Have another non-movie review post coming up as well so come back really soon!

Movie Review #25: Big Daddy

Having a kid is great... as long as his eyes are closed and he's not moving or speaking. 

Wait a second, I used to like this movie?  What the hell was I thinking?  Ok, it really isn't that bad, but having not seen it for years, this movie is not as cute as I used to remember.  Nor is it as funny as I used to remember.  It really is just an average movie.  I already reviewed one Sandler movie that ended up being not as good as I remember and now we have a second.  Is this going to be a trend?  Man, I hope not.  Maybe it is a backlash against the crap that he has been putting out lately, who knows.

Like I said though, it isn't a bad movie.  It's kind of cute, but I never did once laugh out loud.  And man, Sandler is pretty terrible as an actor in this film.  When he attempts to look sad and tear up, it's actually pretty painful. It looks like he is holding back a sneeze.  And the kid is pretty damn annoying.  I think the most memorable aspect of this movie is the fact that whenever I see a scuba diver, I still ask if his name is Scuba Steve.  Besides that, it is a pretty forgettable film.  2 out of 5 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #26: Big Trouble in Little China

Everybody relax, I'm here. 

Thankfully, this is one movie that has not lost any of its luster and still holds up as a classic.  Despite all the amazing things this movie has, there is one big reason why this movie succeeds: Kurt Russell.  Russell as Jack Burton is clearly at the top of his game.  He's as cool as an Indiana Jones or Han Solo character to the point that it surprises me that this film never got any kind of sequel on his character alone.  He really is one of the coolest characters in film because of his great lines and awesome charisma.

But as I mentioned, although he is the biggest reason why the movie succeeds, he is not the only one.  Great villains, a fun story, and great cast of supporting characters also contribute to making this movie such a fun ride.  It's almost like a really good comic book, afterall, the large majority of the characters are comical all on their own.  Throw in magic powers, one liners, and a setting that seems other worldly, and you have a fun, but totally unique film.  How they never capitalized on this great film and created a sequel, I will never know. However, it's probably a good thing that they never attempted to recreate this film's greatness by following it up with some rushed, subpar sequel.  A good, stand alone film is a concept that should be followed more often. 4.5 out of 5 cheeseburgers

Movie Review # 27: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Be excellent to each other

Not having seen this in years, I admit, I expected this movie to not be very good any more.  Thankfully, I was wrong.  This movie still is, well, excellent.  Now, let's not jump the gun and call this a cinematic masterpiece, but for what it is, it's perfect.

As much as we make fun of Keanu Reeves for his acting, especially early in his career, he is more believable in this role than Adam Sandler was in the film I reviewed up above.  He's perfect here as is Alex Winter.  And the amount of one liners that came out of this film were popular for many years after the release.  Hell, you could probably still yell, "Excellent!" in a group of people and most of them would know what you were talking about.  As for the film, well, we often complain that films lack imagination nowadays and that all films are too alike, but you have to give it up to this film for having a very unique plot.  And the people they got to play all of the historical characters are all so much fun and totally dive head first into their roles.  The film does still have some 80s cheese to it that doesn't quite transfer over to the modern era, but in the end, this is a fun 80s film that still holds up very well today.  3 out of 5 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #28: Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

How's it hangin', Death? 

And this is why it is ok to just stop after one movie.  A description of the movie can be summed up simply by the movie titles.  While the first film was "excellent," the second film is definitely "bogus."  While not the worst film, or even the worst sequel I have ever seen, it isn't a very good film.  With the first film, they were able to capture a little bit of magic and put it on the screen.  You do have to hand it to the writers, they didn't just try to do the same movie by going back in time and picking up more characters.  They did try to be unique and go a new direction.  But based on the fact the the new direction ended up not being that good, perhaps they should have tried to just recreate the first film.

The new storyline is just silly.  The main villain is just comically bad.  Bill and Ted have lost some of their dumb charm of the first film and become almost annoying.  It has weird sequences with silly monsters.  It just reeks of an unimaginative, rushed film put out quickly to capitalize on the success of the first film.  The only redeeming quality of the film is William Sadler totally stealing the film as Death.  The guy simply owns every scene he is in and I would have watched a film just following his exploits.  But overall, man, this film just misses the mark.  Of course, if they ever make that rumored third film, I know I'll go see it.  1.5 out of 5 cheeseburgers

Monday, September 03, 2012

Bad Boys and Disney Magic

Movie Review #21: Bad Boys

Don't be alarmed, we're Negros. 

An up and coming action star in Will Smith and a still funny Martin Lawrence made Bad Boys a great movie when it came out.  Looking back on it now, it is still a top shelf buddy cop movie.  Will Smith showed great signs of being the great action star he would later become  (his acting hadn't quite reached the level it is now).  And Martin Lawrence was really at the top of his game here, probably due to the fact that he wasn't resorting to dressing up in Grandma outfits in order to get cheap laughs.  Plus, Michael Bay directed it.  Say what you will about his films, but I love them.  They keep me entertained even as ridiculous as they can get.

Story-wise, the plot is fairly simple, but it really stays fresh because of the banter between Smith and Lawrence.  Simple discussions about a car and cup holders becomes a laugh riot because of the two of them.  I would love to know how much of the dialogue was actually written by the writers of the screenplay and how much was ad-libbed.  I don't want to discredit the job screen writers do, but so much of the dialogue seems so random, I feel like so much of it was thought up on the spot to hilarious results.  And not only is it funny, as an action movie, it DOES have some great action scenes.  I mean, that is what Bay is good at, right?  Overall, this movie has lost none of its appeal and it is still as entertaining now as it was back then while not seeming dated at all.  4 out of 5 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #22: Bad Boys 2

We ride together, we die together. Bad boys for life. 

I'm not sure what took so long, but after 8 years, it was cool that they released another Bad Boys film.  And truthfully, they never missed a beat.  Yeah, they took it to the next level in every way imaginable and it became semi ridiculous, but it was still entertaining as Hell, maybe even more so than the first film.

In between the first and second films, Will Smith had become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and his presence in the film definitely reflects that.  He just oozes so much more charisma in this film than the first one and he takes on more of a serious role than he did previously.  Martin Lawrence, while comical in the first one, is more of Will Smith's foil in this film, being the comedic sidekick to Will Smith's serious cop.  This is not to say that they don't have comedic moments together.  There are plenty!  But they definitely have more defined roles in this one than in the first one and it works just as well.  Martin Lawrence is absolutely hilarious in this one, but he was just probably happy to do a movie where he didn't have to dress in a fat suit. 

As for the action, it takes on a whole new level.  In fact, many reviews criticized the film for being so gratuitous with the violence.  While it may be over the top, it's just for the sake of fun and it is just what you would expect from a Michael Bay movie.  Again, we are not trying to throw this into consideration for an Oscar, but for pure entertainment and action with a great dose of humor, this movie totally gets it done and I would be there opening day if they decided to do a third film.  4 out of 5 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #23: Bambi

It is Man. He is here again. There are many this time. We must go deep into the forest.

After being fairly disappointed with the last two Disney films I have reviewed, I didn't have much hope for Bambi, a movie I haven't seen since I was a kid.  I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the film.  What is interesting is just how simple the film really is.  The plot is so basic and bare-bones, but somehow manages to make such a memorable impact on those who watch it and appreciate it.

I also really like how the "villains" of the film, humans, aren't even seen.  They aren't necessary.  The threat of them are enough to make the point that film is trying to make and enough to try to put the scare into the loveable characters of the forest.  And the characters are really adorable.  They really did a good job with giving them such great personalities in such a short amount of time.  It really is a special film that is full of Disney magic.  3.5 out of 5 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #24: Beauty and the Beast

He's no monster, Gaston, YOU are!

While Little Mermaid ushered in a new age for Disney movies (they had been struggling for a few years with underachieving films), it was Beauty and the Beast that took it to another level.  Upon watching it again, I really do see why it got nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.  Animated or not, there are so many amazing elements in this film: a wonderful story, great characters, and a fun soundtrack.  Like Little Mermaid right before it, the song features so many memorable songs that have been sung over and over throughout the years.  What is great about all the songs is how well they move the plot along.  The songs aren't placed in there for the simple task of filling time.  Each song is essential and make the movie what it is.

But besides the music, the characters themselves are perfect.  Belle is a classic Disney princess, albeit one that can definitely handle her own.  The Beast is perfect as the lovable grump, and Gaston is about as good as villains get in the Disney realm.  And that doesn't even hit on all of the great and memorable supporting characters.  Throw in a perfect, touching love story and you have the makings of a spectacular film that you forget is even an animated film near the end.  4.5 out of 5 cheeseburgers