Sunday, June 20, 2010


“KILLERS” (Katherine Heigle & Ashton Kutcher)

Odd film in that at times I liked it okay, but then it turned into one of those ridiculous shoot ‘em up flicks where I rolled my eyes so many times I got dizzy.
‘Killers’ has one of those cute premises my wife enjoys more than I – but the two leads, though not what you would call great thespians – can bank on ‘likeability’.
Heigle plays Jen (‘Just’ Jen) a woman who goes on a vacation to Nice, France with her parents after her fiancĂ© dumps her. Mom & Dad are played by Tom Selleck & Katherine O’Hara, another not exceptionally talented, but likeable pair.
In Nice, Jen meets Spencer (Kutcher) who pretends to be unemployed rather than admit that he’s actually a C.I.A. agent. The two exchanged likeable glances & become inseparable.
Spencer’s boss/contact (Martin Mull) isn’t pleased when Spencer announces he’s retiring from the spy game & turns in his license to Hmmm.
The story then jumps ahead 3 years & we see Spencer running his own construction firm & happily living the life of a homebody & friendly neighbor.
All heck breaks loose however when Spencer discovers his ex-boss’s body after receiving a message from him.
I won’t tell you how stupid the story becomes, but it gets REALLY stupid (& predictable)
Still, despite the elongated, dumb finale, it actually wasn’t as bad as I expected –
Kind of like ‘Furry Vengeance’ in that I expected it to be stupid so it wasn’t a big surprise when that’s exactly what it turned out to be.
I guess because there wasn’t anyone who really annoyed me, I’d consider this to be palatable fare. For the most part, the cast did okay with the material they were handed - & it had a decent idea – I mean, to be honest, it’s a (really) dumbed down version of “A History Of Violence” (which I loved) – It’s just the whole car chase scenes where supposedly ‘master’ spies are driving like idiots while firing automatic weapons at each other & hitting everything BUT their targets quickly got ‘old’ the first time I saw it.
But for a semi-likeable stupid romantic comedy, it was ‘okay, I guess’...


“FURRY VENGEANCE” (Brendan Fraser & Brooke Shields)

Obviously you go into this film knowing it’s going to be dumb – but if you like animals more than you like human beings you’ll probably enjoy this despite the stupid premises and the really bad acting – by the way there are 2 actors here that were also in ‘The Hangover’ but it doesn’t help; I recently viewed a clip from ‘Failure To Launch’ which featured two of the stars of ‘Hangover’ & if that wasn’t the worst film of whatever year it came out, it was a close second.
So I guess that proves it doesn’t matter who you hire to act in your comedy – if the material isn’t there, it’s going to suck. This film however isn’t aimed at anyone who cares about acting – it was custom made for little tykes (and people like me who like to see animals get the best of humans) If you have small children rent it for them when it comes out on DVD (it probably already has) #1) because they will enjoy the antics of the wily clever raccoon and his forest pals & #2) it actually has a ‘message’/’morale’ that never hurts for little ones to learn. Plus kids will laugh at a car full of skunks unloading their ‘stinkers’ on the bad guy who plans to bulldoze their forest. They’ll probably even laugh when the husband (Fraser) belts his wife (Shields) in the face with a squirrel made out of raw hamburger (Don’t worry it isn’t on purpose, just a catapult experiment gone horribly awry)
The humor is ‘Stooge-ish’, the acting deplorable and the super-intelligent animals aren’t believable at all – yet, I didn’t mind ‘Furry Vengeance’ at all because I love stories where animals get revenge on mankind for destroying their pieces of the world.
So don’t let the title fool you, it isn’t a re-make of an ultra-violent lesbian porno from the 70’s – just a cute little tale about the creatures of the woodlands mounting a counter-attack against the greedy developers that would kill them to extinction for a profit.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


“GET HIM TO THE GREEK” (Russell Brand & Jonah Hill)

The first five minutes of this film are absolutely hilarious so it sort of goes downhill from there, but it is still a fairly entertaining jaunt thanks almost entirely to Russell Brand’s second appearance as rock star Aldous Snow.
The reason his reprise is a better film than the original? This one has more Aldous than “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” had – and even though I didn’t care for ‘Sarah Marshall’ all that much, she does provide the means for another funny line from Aldous.
I liked this film, but as always, there are some major catastrophes; the most glaring is the casting of Sean Combs as a major player – once he sent Jonah Hill’s Aaron Green to ‘fetch’ fading rock star Snow from London and bring him to L.A. for a 20th anniversary reunion concert with his band Infant Sorrow, I thought Combs was done and I wouldn’t have to suffer any more of his atrociously bad acting, but no, he keeps coming back into play – Which begs the question, “Why in the world would anyone hire H.R. Puff’n’stuff (Or whatever he calls himself) to play a semi-major role in their film?”
If Combs said or did anything funny, I didn’t catch it because I was too distracted by his ‘Saturday Night Live Skit’ style of acting – I felt as though someone was standing just off camera holding his lines in large print on billboard sized cue cards.
I heard someone say this film was a break-thru for Jonah Hill – I will agree that he isn’t AS annoying as he’s been in previous roles, but Aaron Green is hardly a ‘break-thru’.
As a fellow overweight member of society you’d think I’d have more compassion for Jonah’s enormous bulk, but I’M not trying to become a movie star – If I were that lucky though, I know I’d work at trying to shed some pounds, but Hill looks like he’s packed on another 50 or so since his last outing – which makes it a little difficult to believe his character who works for a big-time agency that deals with big-time rock stars - I just don’t see a Sean ‘Piddle Puffy’ Combs hiring a fat slob like Aaron Green to work for him. Just to go off an on a rant for a sec; I say that because the ‘music’ industry has evolved into a ‘visual’ medium over the years – what you sound like isn’t nearly important as how you look these days – so why would Sean ‘Cuckoo for Coco-Puffs’ Combs hire a guy who looks like Meat Loaf’s chubbier brother, with an eternal 3 days growth of stumble accentuating his multiple chins? Answer, he wouldn’t... Yeah, I know, but sometimes I just like to bitch about meaningless matters.
Like I said, I laughed my a— off during the opening sequence featuring clips of how far Aldous Snow’s career had fallen and even though there were several humorous moments after that, none made me laugh as heartily as I did at the beginning. Every time Aldous is onscreen I enjoyed it and every time they went off to cover the side plots concerning Aaron’s relationship with his girlfriend or boss, it lost me. And it isn’t even a matter that the funniest moments belong to Brand - the poignant ones do as well.
I had a feeling I would like this movie from the trailer when Brand’s rock star hands Hill’s ‘gopher’ a small pouch of heroin & tells him to stick it in his rectum as they’re about to board a plane – when Aaron struggles to get the pouch in place, Aldous yells out, “Will you hurry up, it’s not meant to be a hobby!”
I don’t know, maybe now that I’m over the hill I’m reverting back to my childhood because I’ve liked “Get Him To The Greek”, “Hot Tub Time Machine” & “She’s Out Of My League” while finding very little humor in “Date Night” & the ruined version of “Death At A Funeral”. I just never know what's going to strike me as funny these days...

Thursday, June 3, 2010


“SHREK FOREVER AFTER” (Voices of: Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz & Eddie Murphy)

I liked the first Shrek – something about Eddie Murphy being an ass appeals to me. After the second one, I knew I was done. If I saw the third one, I don’t remember it. When my wife told me she didn’t have any desire to see #4, I breathed a sigh of relief...
So why am I reviewing ‘Shrek IV: The Final Failure?’ Someone who works with my wife told her it was really funny & cute... BEWARE of these people, they are lying sacks of Shrek. ‘Forever After’ isn’t remotely funny – as I struggled to stay awake (& no, I wasn’t tired, just bored) odd little items entered my brain... “Boy, ‘Donkey’ looks like he has the mange – he should go take a bath.” . . . “So Shrek is Irish, eh? I guess I always knew that, but it’s really annoying in this one – he sounds gay... Meyers should have done him with a Russian accent, I mean, c’mon, ‘Shrek’? That’s not an Irish name, it sounds Bolshevik to me.” . . . “Boy, that guy behind me sure splashed on a lot of cheap cologne, what is that, Apple-Cinnamon Musk?”
I don’t really have much else to say because I retained pretty much next to nothing of it – it’s as though (imitating Ben Kingsley in ‘Shutter Island’) ‘the movie evaporated right thru the walls of its cell’.
I do remember what the biggest problem was - & I’ve always related this to ‘real’ movies so it makes sense that it applies to cartoons – the villain stunk. I don’t know if it was the guy who voiced Rumplestiltskin, or just the character, but they did nothing to make him ‘memorable’.
The idea was to try & bring back the ‘spark’ of the first ‘Shrek’ by having the ogre go back in time to when he first rescued Princess Fiona – except this time, thanks to Rinkledforeskin, Shrek never rescues the Princess, so everything has changed & nobody knows Shrek – in this horrible alternate universe, ogres are rounded up & imprisoned as though they were common... ogres!
I smirked a couple of times at Antonio Banderas’s “Puss ‘n’ Boots” having become a lazy, ‘fat cat’, but there isn’t a single solitary ‘laugh’ in the entire film – Pinocchio came close, but I never did more than crack a smile.
So it WASN’T funny and it wasn’t all that cute - & if my wife’s co-worker who recommended “Shrek: Void of Laughter” reads this – Keep your opinions to yourself because you don’t know Shrek from dreck...