Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Lorax (2012)

Despite far exceeding the target age for movies like this, I always seem to enjoy them. I've read that some parents say it's too scary for their children but I don't really see that. To be fair I'm much older but I didn't see it as that intense a movie. Quite honestly not a whole lot actually happens. There are a lot scarier kids movies in my opinion, like Toy Story 3 with the creepy monkey toy.

A lot of big time names lend their voices to Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012). The story's protagonist, a young boy named Ted is voiced by Zac Efron, while his high school crush Audrey is voiced by Taylor Swift. Two great young talents that will definitely draw in some audiences from different age groups. Ted's grandmother is played by the magnificent Betty White and the villain, Mr O'Hare is voiced by Rob Riggle, who is annoying most of the time but this role suits him pretty well. The story within the story features The Once-ler voiced by Ed Helms and The Lorax himself, played perfectly by Danny DeVito.

Straight from IMDb: (because I'm just that lazy)

A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. 

Honestly, the main story itself wasn't very exciting but I found the interactions between the Once-ler and The Lorax much more entertaining. You really don't need to pay attention to the story but I very much enjoyed the musical numbers, they made me feel good and they are catchy. 

It's a great movie for kids and I don't think it's scary at all. If your kid is old enough to know whats going on and is still scared of The Lorax then perhaps it's time to accustom them to the real world....or maybe I'm just horribly desensitized, either one. If you're anything like me, you'll enjoy the movie. It's cute and feel good but other than that it's nothing too special but I'd still watch it again. If you only like to watch action movies or raunchy comedies then it'd probably be best to avoid The Lorax.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Abduction (2011)

I usually just write posts about the movies I like but I thought I'd show that I can dislike movies too. 

For some strange reason I chose to watch Abduction (2011) starring Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins. I thought I'd give Taylor a chance, despite his Twilight connections. For example, despite being in High School Musical, I was pleasantly surprised watching Zac Efron do pretty well in 17 Again, taking on quite a few of Matthew Perry's mannerisms. Sadly, this attempt at a blockbuster, action-thriller fell pretty short of any sort of decent.

The premise of the movie, if you care at all, is that Nathan (Lautner) is a regular teenager but one day finds a photo of himself as a kid on a website for missing children and learns some shocking details about his life and his parents.....Actually I don't even feel like telling you much else....crooked CIA agents, Serbians, predictable plot, fighting, Taylor taking his shirt off....that's about it. There was no real potential for this movie, I'm not sure what I was thinking. These types of movies have been overdone but have been done much better. It kind of reminds me of a poor attempt at a Bourne movie.

If Taylor wants to be known as something other than the shirtless werewolf from Twilight, he's got to step his game up. Honestly the only person this movie helped in my opinion is Lautner's co-star Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins). She didn't do a great job in the movie, but all she needs to succeed in this business are her sweet, innocent, girl-next-door looks and for people to know who she is. It's sad but true. 

The thing that irks me most about this film is that there was so much wasted talent in supporting roles. Jason Isaacs and Maria Bello play Nathan's parents but the roles aren't very substantial. Sigourney Weaver is in a few scenes and she is such a great actress but it doesn't seem like she cares much being in this movie. I don't blame her. Dermot Mulroney made a short voice cameo (and the bottom half of his face) but I never really liked him so we can skip over that. I love Alfred Molina but he made a poor choice when accepting a part in this movie. He's a great actor but doesn't get to do a lot in this case. I honestly just watched an interview clip from when he was on The Late Late Show chatting with his good friend Craig Ferguson and it made it worth watching this movie just for the fact that it reminded me today how awesome Fred Molina is. 

On that note here is the clip just to make it worth actually reading this post.

 

So the point I'm trying to make here is don't waste your time on this movie. Maybe in the future if I see it on TV, I might watch sit through it....if the news isn't on or something.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

happythankyoumoreplease (2010)

I have a bunch of posts half done but haven't really had much motivation to finish them. I watched this yesterday and I thought it was pretty good.

happythankyoumoreplease is a film about several almost-30-year-olds dealing with the problems life has thrown at them.

I've seen a lot of negative reviews for the movie and many of them touch on some valid points. Some said the writing was poor, some said the dialogue was flat, some say it was too much like a sitcom (which I can agree upon to a certain degree). With all this being said I really liked happythankyoumoreplease (2010). I'm not sure if it's because I'm a How I Met Your Mother fan and the film stars, and is written and directed by Josh Radnor, but I didn't really find too I didn't like about the film. 

Truthfully though, the movie is flawed but I think that's the whole point. All of the characters in the film are flawed in different ways and you get to see them evolve into better people or at least slightly more likable ones. I found the movie the same way. It was definitely weird at certain times but I liked all the characters and the story more by the end of the film. Maybe it's just me, I don't know. There were some scenes that were kind of awkward but Josh Radnor is kind of like that.

Radnor plays our protagonist Sam Wexler, a New York city writer trying to publish novels with little success. His life is pretty much a mess when we first meet him and honestly it doesn't change a whole lot by the end but there's some change. His "cousin" Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and her long-time boyfriend Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) also see some trouble when he wants to move to L.A. but she wants to stay in New York. Sam's best friend Annie (Malin Akerman) suffers from Alopecia and is dealing with a kind of overbearing yet adorable co-worker Sam #2 (Tony Hale). Sam Wexler's life is changed one day when he meets two strangers; a gorgeous waitress and part-time singer Mississippi (Kate Mara) and Rasheen (Michael Algieri), a boy that gets separated from his family on the subway.

I admit this movie isn't for everyone and many people probably wouldn't appreciate it in the same ways as I do. If you're bored, prepared for possible disappointment but hopefully a pleasant surprise, and want to see Josh Radnor's directorial debut in which he plays a more mellow version of Ted from HIMYM then happythankyoumoreplease (2010) is the movie for you.

Notes: 
- Kate Mara is sexy and adorable as always.
- Malin Akerman looks really weird without hair.
- Michael Algieri is such a cute kid.
- Zoe Kazan does not look like she's almost 30 and she kind of reminds me of a sad puppy throughout the whole movie. Maybe it's the eyes.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Goon (2012)

If you like hockey movies with flashy moves and dramatic goals, this isn't the movie for you. If you like big angry guys beating the crap out of each other, you should take a look. Besides it's a good Canadian made movie, it's not too often those come around.

I really enjoyed Goon (2012). It's a movie about Doug (Seann William Scott), a dim-witted but kind-hearted underachiever, who gets a crack at playing hockey for the sole purpose of being a goon and a fighter. Most of this movie is pretty believable, I mean they don't go too overboard like actually have him play in the NHL which is nice to see that they like to keep some realism. Liev Schreiber plays Ross Rhea, an aged veteran enforcer who has been suspended from the NHL and demoted to minor league hockey to finish his career where he started it. Liev is sporting a pretty epic handlebar moustache of which I strongly approve.

There are also some great Canadian actors in the supporting cast, which is nice to see in a Canadian film. Jay Baruchel plays Doug's highly inappropriate, yet supportive best friend Ryan. Jay's character is pretty much the douchiest I have seen in a while but it's pretty entertaining....I guess. Eugene Levy plays Doug's very serious father who is pretty much the biggest buzzkill ever which is a shame because Levy is a comedic genius. Alison Pill plays Doug's romantic interest Eva. Some may think Alison Pill of is kind of weird looking and to be quite fair she kind of is, but she is also adorable in a lot of different ways, plus she's from Toronto so that's gotta count for something.

There are plenty more great actors that round out the cast but you probably wouldn't care if I told you.

Lastly I would like to point out that the nice guy/tough guy/hockey player (which is usually reserved for Canadians) Doug is actually American. I'm proud of the great legacy Canadian players have in the world of hockey but it's nice to see that our neighbours to the south get some respect too. They had Miracle (2004) and The Mighty Ducks Trilogy but we've been ultimately more successful when it comes to hockey.....so I guess we're even.

If you like more realistic violence when you watch movies this movie is a great one for you. If you are against that sort of thing or just don't like fighting in hockey (which I can understand) then you can probably skip this one. It's playing now so you should go check it out, if you can't you're not missing anything mind blowing but you should definitely watch it sooner rather than later.

Note:
- Goon (2012) is an adaptation of the book written by Adam Frattasio and Doug Smith, Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey.
- This movie was filmed in Brandon, Portage La Prairie, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Gotta love it just for that reason alone.  
- There is also a nice cameo by retired NHL enforcer Georges Laraque. If you have ever seen Georges Laraque play and/or fight you know he would take both Schreiber and Scott down easily without breaking a sweat but it's all for the movies. From what I've seen of Georges he seems like a nice guy. His banter before his fight in the movie apparently is pretty accurate to how he approached fighting in the NHL.

Check out Georges in action.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Vow (2012)

Sometimes there are movies you see in theaters that just don't quite do it for you and you wish you hadn't paid for it. The Vow (2012) is one of those movies. The story is cute enough and the fact that it is a true story does lend itself to be a little more heartwarming, but it just lacked what great rom-coms of the past have had. To be honest though I did enjoy the movie for the most part and the acting wasn't the worst I've seen. I like Rachel McAdams (who plays Paige) and I'm beginning to have more respect for Channing Tatum (who plays Leo), but they can't really make up for other short-comings in the movie. 

I found the dialogue tugged at your heartstrings one moment but was rather shoddy and barely passable the next. It was pretty weak but it is a romantic comedy so you can't expect too much.

Another thing that struck me was the ridiculous fashion choices made by....well whoever it was I hope they didn't pay them too much. For most of the movie Channing Tatum either looked ridiculous in a sweeping variety of clothing or was simply topless, which I guess was a strategic move. As for Rachel McAdams, halfway through the movie she gets a rather regrettable hair colour change. The highlights in her hair just made her look like she had a head full of grey. Scott Speedman who played Jeremy, Paige's ex-fiance, also happens to have a weird hairstyle issue. I'm no fashion expert so I don't know what is cool and hip these days but I think they were trying to a little too much to fit the roles and went a little overboard. 

Jessica Lange and Sam Neill were cast as Paige's parents and I highly respect both actors but this was not their finest hour.

As bad as what I described above may seem I don't want it to seem like I'm ripping too hard on the movie because as I said I did enjoy it. I had some great cute scenes, mixed with some pretty funny scenes which did distract from some of the movie's flaws. Some people may not agree but I did like the chemistry between Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.

What it comes down to is that I enjoyed it but did find a lot of things wrong with it but you can't really have too high of expectations for it. Don't pay for it, unless it's a date movie and even then it's a stretch. It is a movie you can watch with other people sitting on your couch at home, because it doesn't really matter if they talk through some parts, it's just not that important. Just wait until it comes out and you can just stream it then. I would deem it worthy of bandwidth usage.

Note: The ending was kind of weird but it's based on a true story so you can't really fault them too much for it.