Friday, July 31, 2009

The Jizt: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In this fast-paced world of blogging, tweeting and fly-by-night film voyeurism, sometimes one doesn't have the time to give a film proper treatment. More importantly, others do not always have the time to read it. Sometimes you just have to take it around back and squeeze one out in 1-2-3 quick licks. Think of The Jizt as the wham, bam, thank you ma'am of reviews.

Harry Potter
and the Half-Blood Prince

Release: 07.15.09
Rated PG
2 hours, 33 minutes


Cast: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone), Michael Gambon (Sleepy Hollow), Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge!)

The Build-up: Harry, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwart's and are faced with unraveling the mysteries of the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort's power, and their pelvic urges.

The Blurt-out: Neither the magic of Hogwart's nor Industrial Lights and Magic could make the absolutely lovable Ron look any younger than 37.

The Jizt: The romance, danger and death of the sixth installment doesn't make up for the blatant disinterest in crafting a satisfying resolution to the secret of the Half-Blood Prince.

...and that, Harry, is The Jizt.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

CHUCK NORRIS!!!! Month: Invasion U.S.A.

The following post is part of Invasion of the B Movies's CHUCK NORRIS!!!! Month.


Invasion U.S.A.

Release: 09.27.85
DVD Release: 11.20.01
Rated R
1 hour, 47 minutes


How could I not contribute a guest post for this iconic 80's action movie? During the height of the 80's, CHUCK NORRIS!!!! leapt onto the big screen with Invasion U.S.A. I call this iconic because it has five hallmarks of what makes 80's action so great. First, it's from Cannon Films, a true mark of 80's quality; producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus knew how to turn quick cash into a big bang. The story, penned by CHUCK NORRIS!!!! along with brother Aaron Norris and James Bruner, centers around Russian terrorist Rostov (Richard Lynch). The film creeps along at times and isn't always coherent, but it goes something like this:

Rostov ships in hundreds of highly-skilled international terrorists to Florida and sets them loose to terrorize Americans during the Christmas season. Before his crew can open up a can of terrorist whoop-ass, he needs to buy weapons from a shifty drug dealer. This brings us to the second mark of 80's quality: Mickey the drug dealer is portrayed by none other than Billy F'n Drago! Granted, Rostov goes all Dark Knight Joker on Mickey's bitch and promptly removes Drago from play, but his role is key to illustrate to audiences that Rostov is nobody's bitch.

Wetted your appetite for more CHUCK NORRIS!!!!?
For the full post head over to Invasion of the B Movies

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jon Hamm's Got Nuttin' On Me!

Move over Don Draper, there's a new Mad Man in town! I'm here for your job, your booze and your women (you can keep the kids). Now step aside and let me show you how it's done.

I'll be throwing a party at the hotel later, who would care to join me? Best come dressed to impress.

A special thanks to Dave Enkosky of Dave's Blog About Movies and Such for this little time-suck.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We Don't HaveTime for One "The" Let Alone Two

Fast & Furious

Release: 04.03.09
DVD Release: 07.28.09
Rated PG-13
1 hour, 47 minutes

Second Run Seats

The original cast of The Fast and the Furious reunite to drop the unnecessary articles and answer the eight year-old question: what have these stimulating characters been up to? The short answer is pretty much the same damn thing as when we left them. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is still stealing cars and knocking boots with his main squeeze Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). His sister Mia (Jordana Brewster) worries about them and lives her uninteresting off-camera life. Meanwhile, former friend Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) is still working for the law to take down the bad guys.

If you're looking for specific details, Dome, um, sorry, Dom is back in LA on the vengeance tip to wreck a drug lord's shit. Coincidentally, Brain, I mean Brian, has been investigating Campos (John Ortiz, Miami Vice), the main recruiter for the drug lord Braga's organization. Mia and Letty...well, at least they got a paycheck. Dome and Brain repeatedly butt heads while infiltrating the organization only to begrudgingly partner when they realize two is better than one.

"Does this fire make my eyes less pretty?"

Director Justin Lin (Annapolis) assembles some exciting and well shot chases, though getting Diesel to portray a sympathethic Dome would prove impossible even for the best of directors. You should know I have no love for Diesel, and F&F does little to improve my opinion. Diesel always comes off as too tough. I appreciate a good Willis-esque or Stallone-ish quipping with my action, so seeing him stand swollenly by when he could incite stroke-inducing anger with a few words is just unacceptable.

I'm being sarcastic on the inside, can't you tell?

I shouldn't blame Diesel completely. Writer Chris Morgan (Wanted) should have given him some snarky lines instead of the instruction "stare blankly." Valuable minutes are eaten away wrapping Dome's vendetta and Brain's covert operation into a convenient package or validating the need for Jordana Brewster. It would've been nicer if they explained how a rotation of cops outside Mia's house found it impossible to apprehend Dome, though he spent days in her open garage rebuilding his old ride. For serious.

"Guys, do you need me all?"

Dirty Undies
Detailed plot points aren't what draws audiences into F&F. It's Diesel's beefy bod and Walker's baby blues as they wrestle each other's gearsticks in heart-pounding races. For me it was about seeing the hotness of MRod, which I got to do for all three of her minutes of screentime. Unforgivable!

"Soak it up folks, this is the most you get."

Lin did make up for it by making F&F a teen boy's wet dream. My friend and I are still unclear why an LA road race party had an attendance of 2,000 people: twelve dudes either racing or judging and 1,988 smoking hot women in high heels and short skirts, itching to lick carpet.

The Money Shot
Random hotties and fast paced action go a long way to making an action movie tolerable. Audiences can forgive some hamfisted drama and needless twists if the payout is an afternoon of mindless entertainment. Dome and the Brain have steered this franchise back into the black despite having a story that's running on fumes.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, July 27, 2009

MMM: The Cheatin' Spoon!

Tonight may herald my return to bachelorhood. You see, my wife has left me. She's on the road to stay with her best friend. I know what you're thinking, that she's fed up with my whorish ways, but quite the contrary, this is all her.

Her other man is in town...well to be more exact, her other man is in her friend's town. Tonight at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, Virginia, Maxwell will be performing live. The wifey was quite upset that he'd been so absent-minded as to not schedule an NC stop originally, but assumed it was a mistake by his staff. He's since corrected that mistake with an NC stop next week, but since she already had tickets it was the perfect opportunity for a little one-on-one time for them.

For those of you unfamiliar with Maxwell (shame on you!), he's a sensual and studly R&B singer who came on the scene back in 1996. His first album, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite, was followed by Embrya in 1998 and Now in 2001. Shortly thereafter, he vanished. Rumors flew as to his whereabouts, sexuality and mental state. "Lies, all lies" as my wife would repeatedly say. After having gone ghost for nearly eight years, last fall rumors of his return began to take root. As of July 7 his newest album, BLACKsummer's Night, was officially in stores and women everywhere rejoiced.

It won't be long before you'll be hearing more than your share of his newest single, Pretty Wings, but let's rewind it back to when this cat first hit the scene. Here's his second and most popular single from Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite. I'm sure this will put more than a few of you in a mood despite having to sit through a lame advertisement.

Maxwell - Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)

Maxwell - Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder) (Official Music Video) - The funniest videos are a click away

My wife claims she'll be back home by tomorrow evening. I don't see why she wouldn't, at the very least she'll need to pack more than an overnight bag if she plans to join him on tour.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Friday, July 24, 2009

Double Team'd: The Rockwell Films

More and more frequently it seems we find actors in multiple movies releasing within mere weeks of one another. By far the prize for the most contrast between said films goes to Sam Rockwell who plays a lonely astronaut in an enthralling indie and a Special Forces guinea pig in an eye-straining 3D kid's film. What better time for Sam Rockwell to get Double Team'd?


Release: 06.12.09
Rated R
1 hour, 37 minutes

Full Price

Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell, Heist) lives on the moon under a three year contract to harvest fuel for Earth. With only a couple of weeks left on his contract, Sam talks excitedly of his return trip with the lunar station's artificially-intelligent computer GERTY (Kevin Spacey, American Beauty). However, Sam is growing more easily distracted which leads to an accident. After he awakens an irritated and impatient Sam sneaks out of the station against GERTY's instructions only to find a wounded Sam Bell!

Watching Moon, it's important to remember it's NOT a location shoot. The seemingly natural quality of the film makes it easy to imagine director Duncan Jones, Rockwell, and crew hopping a shuttle flight to get it in the can. Though in color, the monochromatic hues of the station and the lunar landscape are reminiscent of the original Twilight Zone episodes. As with those episodes, it wasn't the scenery that bedazzled audiences, it was the resolution of the main character's dilemma.

This is equally true in Moon as we watch a meditative, introspective Sam Bell butt heads with an angry, demanding Sam Bell. The two emotionally disparate Bells are portrayed excellently by Rockwell. Thanks to the accident and sickness, physical differences between the Bells are apparent and distinguished further by Rockwell's mannerisms. Arguing with yourself takes on a whole new meaning in Moon and Jones couldn't have been more fortunate to have Rockwell doing the shouting.

Dirty Undies
When words aren't enough the Bells resort to fists, leaving one Bell in bruised and bloody shape. Combined with the sickness and the accident's remnants, it can be hard to look at one Bell. With three years of pent-up affection, Bell also finds himself having naughty dreams of he and his wife. Unfortunately like all great dreams, they end before it really gets steamy.

The Money Shot
Moon appears quiet and reserved, but is erupting with emotion. The power of hope can inspire great change or the ability to overcome the worst, even overwhelming solitude. The only person truly capable of undermining that hope is ourselves.


Release: 07.24.09
Rated PG
1 hour, 29 minutes

A Netflix Night

Though not officially an agent of the FBI, Darwin (Sam Rockwell, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) has been specially trained in espionage by Ben (Zach Galifianakis, TV: Tru Calling). Darwin and his team infiltrate the home of Saber (Bill Nighy, Flushed Away) to locate intel on Project Clusterstorm in hopes of impressing FBI Agent Kip Killian (Will Arnett, Horton Hears a Who!). You'd think Killian would be impressed with the fact that they're a group of talking, combat-trained guinea pigs, but he instead chooses to shut the group down. Darwin, Juarez (Penélope Cruz, Sahara), and Blaster (Tracy Morgan, TV: 30 Rock) escape capture and race against the clock to prevent Saber from implementing his diabolical plan.

Having seen only My Bloody Valentine in Real 3D, I was curious to see if G-Force would squash my disdain for the lackluster technology. Sadly, it still sucks just as bad in kids' movies. I listened to kids oooh and ahhh as the Real 3D and Disney Digital 3D logos seemingly hovered before our eyes (granted, it was very cool). Once G-Force began, however, the coos of approval quickly died. Until they can produce 3D images that remain clear while in motion, studios need to stop shoving this crap down our throats.

Kudos to the voice casting. Each character has a distinct voice making the personality differences among the rodents easy to follow. The award for best work goes to nasally Speckles the mole, voiced by Nicholas Cage (Ghost Rider), although Steve Buscemi's (Monster's Inc.) Bucky overshadows all others thanks to his hyperactive, laugh-inducing shtick.

Project Clusterstorm turns ordinary household appliances into robot killing machines, which would have been interesting if I hadn't already been annoyed by this premise in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The reheated storyline isn't as much of a problem as the poor buildup and execution of the climax. Maybe story structure shouldn't matter in a kid flick, but with six writers penning G-Force, you'd expect at least coherent, passable storytelling. When they do try to wedge in a moral of positivity between the farting and destruction, it is obviously forced.

Dirty Undies
It's a Bruckheimer production so enter expecting lots of destruction and plenty of explosions...then add ten percent to your expectation. I love mind-numbing action as much as the next guy or action flick chick, but the mish-mash of 3D effects, CGI guinea pigs, and blurry action might have destroyed a few of my brain cells.

The Money Shot
G-Force disappoints even without the added help of the atrocious and unnecessary 3D. A strong first act full of mild humor and exciting action degrades into lame jokes and destruction. G-Force promises the threat of a Clusterstorm, and what it delivers is definitely cluster@%$ed.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coraline? More Like BOREaline!


Release: 02.06.09
DVD Release: 07.21.09
Rated PG
1 hour, 40 minutes

Second Run Seats

Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning, I Am Sam) is the new kid on the block, or more appropriately, the only kid at the apartments where she moves with her parents. As Mother (Teri Hatcher, Tomorrow Never Dies) and Father (John Hodgman, Baby Mama) type away at their garden catalog, Coraline searches for excitement and uncovers a small locked door. In the wee hours of the morning, Coraline discovers the door opens to a magical world where she meets fun and interesting versions of the people she knows. To make this world her reality, all Coraline need do is trade in her eyes for buttons like those her Other Mother has.

Writer-director Henry Selick (Monkeybone) turns Neil Gaiman's book into a warm and inviting spectacle. I didn't have the pleasure of seeing it in 3-D, and I can't help but wonder how more impressive the peculiar antics and acrobatics of Coraline's neighbors Mr. Bobinsky (Ian McShane, Kung Fu Panda), Miss Forcible (Dawn French, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and Miss Spink (Jennifer Saunders, Shrek 2) would have been. Still, Selick makes the colors pop and the screen literally blossoms with creativity.

Sadly, the script pales in comparison. Coraline's real world is dull and uninteresting. Mother and Father are inconvenienced by her presence. Her only companion is Wybie (Robert Bailey, Jr., The Happening), the grandson of the tenant house's landlord. Sadly,Wybie's Cat is far more interesting, and not only because he's voiced by Keith David (TV: Gargoyles) in the Other World.

In the Other World, Coraline quickly becomes a nuisance to Other Mother and the Other residents. Even when Coraline must uncover the truth behind Other Mother, the resolution is tedious and unclear. Key plot points which should have been amply foreshadowed in the previous acts for the sake of its kid-centric target audience are rushed into the third act.

Dirty Undies
You'd think an animated PG kid's film wouldn't have any unmentionables, but Coraline is rife with adult fare; yea for me, boo for the chits. At one point, the elderly Miss Spink whips out her jugs for all to behold. Granted, the nipples are covered, but little else is left to the imagination. On the darker side, the Other Wybie has his face stitched into a permanent smile to please Other Mother, which is just creepy for a viewer of any age. Danger and death abound so parents, consider yourself duly warned.

The Money Shot
Coraline is astounding to behold yet surprisingly arduous to sit through. The vibrant colors of the DVD advertisements snap and pop on my HDTV; I am tempted to watch it again. But like Coraline, I'm wise to things that look too good to be true.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, July 20, 2009

MMM: New Tricks for this Old Dog

It's Monday morning and you know what that means! Time to set this week's mood with a little music. Usually I pull a song from my bag of artists, but this time I'm trying something different.

In a few moments, I'll be buying tickets for this weekend's She & Him concert. Mmm, Zooey goodness. Um anywho, I noticed the band Wye Oak is listed as an opening act to M. Ward and Z. Deschanel. Since I've previously posted about She & Him, I thought why not chose a song from their opening act.

Until finding this video, I'd never heard of Wye Oak nor had I heard their sound. Have any of you stargazers seen their act? What was your opinion? After this Sunday, I'll be quite familiar with them and have a better handle on how I feel about their music, but I'm just curious to know who out there's been in the know long before me.

Here's a little vid of Jenn and Andy at SXSW singing in the back seat of a Yaris. Yep, a Toyota Yaris.

Wye Oak - I Don't Feel Young

To my local readers, if you like what you heard, you should swing over to the Cat's Cradle and get your tickets!

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Counting Down the Zeroes: Run! Rabbit! Run!

This post is part of COUNTING DOWN THE ZEROES, brought to you by IBETOLIS of FILM FOR THE SOUL.


House of 1000 Corpses

Release: 04.11.03
DVD Release: 08.12.03
Rated R
1 hours, 29 minutes


I have to go on record as saying House of 1000 Corpses is perhaps one of the best and one of the worst horror films I have ever seen. Approximately three-fourths of it is edgy and phenomenal in its delivery; the remaining just utter filth and a waste of good celluloid. Then again, the horror genre has a wealth of depraved avenues one can traverse; I just prefer some concepts more than others.

The debut picture from musician turned writer-director Rob Zombie opens on All Hallow's Eve with four college kids traveling along the back roads of Texas (has a familiar ring to it, right?). Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig, Jackie Brown) runs the roadside Gasoline, Fried Chicken, and Horror Museum where the kids stop to stock up for the last leg of their voyage home. The museum tour chronicles notorious mass murderers, including the local legend, Dr. Satan, which sparks the kids’ need to drive out to the fabled killer's remote stomping grounds in the cold, rainy dead of night. One hitchhiker named Baby (Sheri Moon) and one flat tire later, the kids end up at the home of the Firefly family. After partaking in the Firefly Halloween celebration and getting the car repaired, their fun really begins.

To read the full post, head over to Film for the Soul...

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Jizt! Paul Blart: Mall Cop

In this fast-paced world of blogging, tweeting and fly-by-night film voyeurism, sometimes one doesn't have the time to give a film proper treatment. More importantly, others do not always have the time to read it. Sometimes you just have to take it around back and squeeze one out in three quick strokes. Think of The Jizt as the wham, bam, thank you ma'am of reviews.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

Release: 01.16.09
DVD Release: 05.19.09

Rated PG
1 hour, 31 minutes

Group Rental

Cast: Kevin James (I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry), Keir O'Donnell (The Break-Up) Jayma Mays (Smiley Face)

The Build-up:
Mall Cop spins the Die Hard premise so that Reggie Vel Johnson, not Bruce Willis, is trapped with terrorists, and he's going to need a whole lot of Twinkies to stave off the villains AND his hypoglycemia!

The Blurt-out: When is Anna Faris going to let Jayma Mays share a little more of her adorably-cute-and-funny-girl spotlight?

The Jizt: Had Paul Blart been a Twinkie-eating Reggie Vel Johnson, I might not have forgotten seeing the film by the end of the credits.

...I'll go get you a towel.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, July 13, 2009

MMM: Best Things in Life are Free

I thought you stargazers would enjoy a little local flavor for this Monday Mood Music. On Saturday I went to Raleigh Downtown Live, a free bi-weekly concert series. The wife and I hadn't planned on sweltering in the summer heat to watch all the bands being showcased. In fact, we came for a specific group I had only just recently heard on the local radio station WKNC.

The trip Downtown was worth it. Durham group The Beast had the crowd jumping with their jazz-hip hop groove. The only bad thing was they were on stage for less than an hour. Still, I got pumped, met the lead singer Pierce Freelon, and picked up their first EP.

Their second EP, The Catalyst, is available for FREE at I highly encourage everyone to give them a listen. The Beast would appreciate it if you made a donation to the Durham Arts Council instead of paying for their latest EP.

If you are looking to hear the next big thing, look no further than The Beast. Here's the group with Nnenna Freelon recording Once Again for their Free Catalyst EP:

The Beast featuring Nnenna Freelon
Once Again

Like it? Love it? Let people know.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Quickie: Public Enemies

Public Enemies

Release: 07.01.09
Rated R
2 hours, 20 minutes


IMDB's synopsis for Public Enemies reads "The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s." Almost. Moreover, Dillinger (Johnny Depp, Blow) & Company are the primary targets of J. Edgar Hoover's (Billy Crudup, Mission: Impossible III) war on crime. His G-Men, led by Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale, Equilibrium), birddog every connection of Dillinger's until there's nowhere left to run.

I was drawn to the prospect of seeing a Michael Mann (Miami Vice) directed period action-drama hosting a cavalcade of starpower. To its credit, Public Enemies delivers exactly that, but little else. Depp's Dillinger is the focal point; the remaining "Most Wanted" being little more than a footnote in his notorious career. Henchmen and partners pass through his spotlight, but you can't tell one from another save the orange-haired "Red" (Jason Clarke, Death Race). The thugged-out performances by Stephen Dorff (Shadowboxer), Channing Tatum (Havoc), Giovanni Ribisi (Gone in Sixty Seconds), and Stephen Graham (Snatch) aren't bad, but their few seconds of screentime don't add up to a significant role.

Even the great white hunter Purvis is little more than an emotionless, straight-faced cameo by the second-billed Bale. It's quite an impressive feat for a director to pull in all this talent to essentially be day players. The only healthy-portioned role other than Depp's is that of Dillinger's lady friend, Billie Frechette, played by the lovely Marion Cotillard (Big Fish).

When Enemies isn't aflurry with cameos, guns fire a flurry of bullets across the thoroughfare. Cars give moderately speedy chases (it IS the 30's) and yet the only lasting impression any of it leaves is the numbness in my ass. Despite Depp and Cotillard's rousing performances, the languid minutes that pass in this largely forgettable film are the real public enemies.

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Today I Feel Like This...

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Jizt: Knowing

Come one, come all (no pun intended)! Reel Whore is unveiling a new series. Most days I try to please my audience with full-length reviews, but there are times when I only have time to squeeze in A Quickie. What I've discovered is that in this fast-paced world of blogging, tweeting and fly-by-night film voyeurism, sometimes one doesn't even have the time to give a film proper treatment. More importantly, others do not always have the time to read it. To remedy this situation, I've created The Jizt. Like Mr. Owl, The Jizt can knock out a film review in three licks:

A One...
The Build-up: A one-sentence synopsis of the film.

A Two...
The Blurt-out: A random statement one might say as if in the throes of passion.

A Three!..
The Jizt! A one-sentence opinion of the film.

As always, the film's basic information will be provided. I will also list three of its actors. With The Jizt explained, who better to help me demonstrate this new feature than Nicholas Cage with his film which coincidentally releases on DVD today, Knowing.



Release: 03.20.09
DVD Release: 07.07.09
Rated PG-13
2 hours, 1 minute

Group Rental

Cast: Nicholas Cage (Wicker Man), Chandler Canterbury (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Rose Byrne (Sunshine)

The Build-up:
A widowed astronomy professor, Koestler, and his son come to possess a fifty-year-old piece of paper full of numbers that foretell humanity's imminent destruction.

The Blurt-out: As a fellow Ford owner, I was comforted knowing the roomy interior and tight turning radius of a mighty F-150 transported Koestler & Co. to the apocalypse with ease.

The Jizt: Knowing Nic Cage's track record, I knew enough to pay only $1.50 to see Knowing, but had I known Knowing was such a mess I'd have been better off blowing the cash at Wendy's, know what I'm saying?


Large Association of Movie Blogs

Monday, July 6, 2009

Counting Down the Zeroes: They Can't All Be Winners!

This post is part of COUNTING DOWN THE ZEROES, brought to you by IBETOLIS of FILM FOR THE SOUL.


Bad Santa

Release: 11.26.03
DVD Release: 6.22.04
Rated R (DVD: UR)
1 hours, 28 minutes
(UR: 1 hour, 38 Minutes)

See It, Take a Friend, Buy the DVD!

Around this time of year, you will inevitably hear ads pitching Christmas in July sales. I bet you never thought you'd come upon a website promoting a Christmas movie in July! Specifically, a review of a live action interpretation of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. If you're picturing Jim Carrey in green makeup and a matching fur suit, you're thinking of the wrong antagonist.

You should actually picture Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton, Slingblade), an unshaven, unclean wretch who's just shy of alcohol poisoning. Every Christmas Willie portrays the appropriately titled Bad Santa at a random shopping mall while his partner Marcus (Tony Cox, Friday) dresses as Santa's elfin helper. They suffer through the prattled wishes of dullard children until Christmas Eve arrives. As mall patrons and employees are nestled all snug in their beds, the two rob the mall clean of its expensive goods and stacks of cash.

To read the full post, head over to Film for the Soul...

Large Association of Movie Blogs

MMM: Returning to the Grind

I've got three reasons to post this week's mood music selection. First, it's the Monday after a three day weekend and, if you're like me, it's a struggle to return to the daily grind. I'd much rather prefer another day, week, month, or year off if it were possible. Since I didn't win the lottery on the Fourth, that dream will be deferred a few more days.

Secondly, I love this band and it's a crying shame I haven't featured them long before now. My friends and I saw Huey Lewis and the News in concert back in 2003 and it was a blast! It probably helped that we were third row center, close enough to see the embroidery on Huey's gold suit. Koka Booth amphitheater is already an intimate venue, but at that range we were within ten feet of Huey most of the concert. That's way better than his father-in-law, a local resident who was crammed in the back with the masses (no joke).

I could talk on and on about my love for HL&tN, but instead, I'll leave you with the biggest reason I chose them for this week's mood music. Huey Lewis turned 59 yesterday, July 5. This is a belated birthday wish for Mr. Cregg.

As I trudge through this post-holiday Monday, I will preoccupy my mind with some fun tunes from a band that's been entertaining us for nearly thirty years, starting now:

Huey Lewis and the News - Workin' for a Livin'

They really do put on an awesome concert, full of energy and great music. Here's hoping they make the rounds again in the near future. Who do you wish would come 'round your neck of the woods?

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Robots Rock! People Suck.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Release: 06.24.09
Rated PG-13
2 hours, 30 minutes

Second Run Seats

Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) and his Autobots are working with the American military to track and eliminate the Decepticons remaining on Earth. These rogue Decepticons are actually scouring the globe as part of a plot by the ancient Transformer known only as the Fallen (Tony Todd, The Rock). Their scheme is to recover a shard of the All Spark, revive Megatron (Hugo Weaving, V for Vendetta), locate the Matrix of Knowledge, destroy Optimus, and rape the Earth of its Energon; not necessarily in that order.

For a film about robots, Revenge wastes a HUGE amount of time filling the minutes with extraneous details about the ineffectual ants littering the screen. I don't give one drippy ounce of flaccid ejaculate about Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf, Constantine) embarking on his college adventure, his relationship with smokin' hot girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox, Transformers), his dillweed roommate, or his parents and their obnoxious hijinks. I also don't give one smelly fart about the walking-talking dildo of a government agent hell-bent on dismantling NEST: that's the robot-human military team comprised of Major Lennox (Josh Duhamel, Turistas), Master Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson, Annapolis) and an army of bodybags.

Unlike many critics, I harbor no inherent disdain for director Michael Bay (Bad Boys). I enjoyed the hell out of The Rock, Armageddon, and The Island. Also, he's the last director to give Theresa Randle a role in a major motion picture, which deserves some respect. But frankly, he doesn't know dick about making a quality sequel as evidenced first in Bad Boys II, and even more so with Revenge of the Fallen.

With the history established in Transformers, Bay needed to develop the human face of the robots, but Revenge couldn't make us care less. Don't say people can't care for robots; damn near every person in the world went all weepy over a talking trash compactor on treads last year. Writers Ehren Kruger (Skeleton Key), Robert Orci (Legend of Zorro), and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) could have crafted more than robot caricatures if they hadn't wasted pages stitching in slap-dash scenes for those meddling humans. It also might have helped if Bay had stopped the gorram camera from zooming and spinning for five friggin' seconds!

Dirty Undies
Oh Megan, you are a pretty one aren't you? You've got a tight body, lovely deep blue eyes and one hollow melon on your shoulders. A word of advice; when you audition for your next role, you want to choke it down your throat. Being repeatedly poked in the brainpan will only worsen your deteriorating mental state. Stay foxy.

Open Prime's glovebox and you'll find a his wallet etched with "Bad Motherfucker." In a fantastic forest battle, Optimus wrecks several Decepticons proving he will stop at nothing to protect the human race. If you're a Decepticon locked in hand-to-hand combat, watch out man! Optimus will rip your fucking face off, punch a hole through your chest, and slice a hole in your engine block with a quickness! No wonder he's the Autobot leader; he'd shove the opposition's muffler so far up their ass they'd choke on exhaust before they could even challenge him.

The Money Shot
I had to throw up my hands in disbelief when half-way through Revenge John Turturro's character, Simmons, says, "Let's not get episodic. Beginning. Middle. End. The plot. Tell it!" Why, for the love of all that is holy, would the writers put such an instruction in the script and fail so miserably to adhere to it?! Bay's explosions and action sequences are phenomenal and the feat of coordinating actors with the astounding CGI and effects is no simple task, but let's face it, Revenge is lazy storytelling.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Trailer Trash: The July-09 Gang Bang

Whew, if not for The Hangover, June would have been a total wash. Before you ask, yes, I did see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and, well, my review will be posted soon. I'm not here to lament over last month's middling mediocrity; I'm here to dip my wick in July's offerings.

July has some seriously tempting treats. This will be the true test. If I don't come away from this month with at least two great film experiences, I may have to exercise my right to cinematic celibacy for the entire month of August!

Here are July's releases according to the IMDb Summer Movie Guide, ranked from worst to best for your reading enjoyment.

Exercise the Right To Cinematic Celibacy.

Aliens in the Attic (07.31) I've never walked out of a trailer before, but when Doris Roberts did the Shōryū-ken, I was nearly disgusted enough to do so. Then she slid down the banister and I actually felt a little bit of my brain leak out my ear.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (07.01) I never understood what was so great about hiding adult humor within cutesy animated flicks. The first Ice Age was insufferable, yet somehow we're up to #3. Call me when it's time to celebrate Ice Age: The Fossilized Five.

Orphan (07.24) This muddled-looking mess stars Claire Farmiga or Vera Forlani or something like that. It's hard to tell since all the trailer focuses on is the creepy Morton Salt girl. Peter Sarsgaard awoke from his couch in hysterics when he realized he'd agreed to costar.

Maggie gets The Dark Knight, and I get this?! Aaaarrrgh!

G-Force (07.24) Hot off his breakout role in The Hangover, Zach Galifianakis stars as government liaison to a team of talking, superspy guinea pigs. Way to keep that rising star firmly anchored, big G! But with Bruckheimer producing, here's hoping the fuzzy buggers are rigged to explode!

It's Friday, I Don't Want to be Alone.

The Ugly Truth (07.24) I'd rush out to see this if I hadn't already seen everything in the trailers. Unless Katherine Heigl pops out a boob a la Heather Graham in The Hangover, I'll just set aside a $1.00 for the future Redbox rental.

Click to see uncensored wish!

Adam (07.29) Rose Byrne has true breakout potential, but she can't seem to snag that winning role or that winning movie *cough Knowing cough*. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Rose, but hitching your wagon to Hugh Dancy won't get you much farther.

Brüno (07.10) Borat was so wrong and yet so hilarious, but as this trailer reminds us, "That was so 2006." Maybe if Sacha Baron Cohen had released this in 2007 or even 2008 I'd be more excited, but now it feels very been there, done that, girlfriend.

I Love You, Beth Cooper (07.10) This looks plain stupid, but it looks like my kind of stupid. I'm interested in seeing Panettiere in something non-Heroes even if she has to run around with that creepy thirty-year old dude draped on her arm. I'm talking about co-star Paul Rust, not her current boyfriend Steve Jones.

Moist With Antici...Pation!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (07.15) It's about gorram time! I've logged many an hour in the theater watching the adventures of Harry & Co. so why would I stop now? Besides, it does look bloody exciting, doesn't it?

I'm curious to see how many grey hairs Ron has now.

(500) Days of Summer (07.17) This is not a love story. This is a story about love. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I love Zooey Deschanel. I love that this looks delightful. If you have to see one movie starring JGL and Deschanel, why not make it this one?


Funny People (07.31) ATTENTION STARGAZERS! THIS IS AN ACTUAL APATOW PROJECT, NOT JUST A FILM HE SIGNED THE CHECKS FOR! Even better, Adam Sandler stars alongside the usual suspects Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Leslie Mann. The screen's going to be filled with so much Jew-fire, its release date may be declared a holiday.

Public Enemies (07.01) How do you make a summer hit? Get actors who played two of the best movie characters of the last five years (read: Jack Sparrow and Batman) and cast them opposite one another in a Michael Mann film. Mann directing the delicious Depp and spank-bankable Bale; my pants are sticky just at the thought of it.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed the indie theater here will get Blood: The Last Vampire this month, but considering we just got Away We Go this week I'll just go ahead and add it to my NFQ. How excited are you for July's releases?

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