Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Round Up!

It's the end of the year again! And what a sad year for movies it was. I'm having trouble making a top 5 favorite films, cause I've seen so much crap and average movies this year. I'm almost crying. Almost really. Some movies had so much potential..

Movies I saw in the theater (in chronological order):
Cloverfield; The Mist (a 2007 movie so I won't include it any further); 27 Dresses; Untraceable; Made of Honor; Sex & The City; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Mamma Mia!; The Dark Knight; Get Smart; The Accidental Husband; Mirrors; and Eagle Eye.

Movie I saw on DVD (in alphabetical order):
Definitely, Maybe; Meet the Spartans; My Sassy Girl; Pathology; and The Strangers.

Movies I wanted to see, but didn't get around to seeing (in alphabetical order):
The Air I Breathe; All the Boys Love Mandy Lane; Be Kind, Rewind; Choke; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Drillbit Taylor; Four Christmases; Funny Games; The Happening; Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay; The House Bunny; How to Lose Friends & Alienate People; Leatherheads; The Life Before Her Eyes; Marley & Me; Midnight Meat Train; The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor; Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist; Over her Dead Body; Passengers; The Pineapple Express; Quarantine; Role Models; The Ruins; Saw V; The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2; Sleepwalking; Speed Racer; Tropic Thunder; Wanted; What Happens in Vegas.

My five favorite films of the year (notice how I say favorite and not best):
1) Cloverfield (All round great monster movie.)
2) Mamma Mia! (Fantastic cast in a highly enjoyable movie.)
3) My Sassy Girl (A touching story plus a relatable performance by Jesse Bradford.)
4) 27 Dresses (Katherine Heigl shines and carries this cute romantic comedy.)
5) The Strangers (A truly scary movie.)

My five least favorite movies of the year:
1) Meet the Spartans (No, just, no.. )
2) Untraceable (Wasted potential.)
3) Mirrors (More wasted potential.)
4) Pathology (Even more wasted potential.)
5) Sex & the City (This movie just angers me for ruining certain characters.)

Ten favorite performances of the year (in alphabetical order):
1) Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!)
2) Christine Baranski (Mamma Mia!)
3) David Eigenberg (Sex & the City)
4) Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)
5) Isla Fisher (Definitely, Maybe)
6) Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
7) Jesse Bradford (My Sassy Girl)
8) Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses)
9) Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield)
10) Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)

My top 5 movies I'm looking forward to in 2009:
1) Inglourious Basterds
2) Friday the 13th
3) Confessions of a Shopaholic
4) Obsessed
5) Wolverine

I had trouble picking out five movies. Besides Inglourious Basterds and Friday the 13th, I don't have a strong preference.

Other movies I'm looking forward to in 2009:
17 Again; 500 Days of Summer; 2012; Adoration; Adventureland; All About Steve; Away We Go; The Box; Bride Wars; Fanboys; Fired Up!; G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra; Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; He's Just Not That Into You; I Love You, Beth Cooper; Jennifer's Body; Knowing; Land of the Lost; The Lovely Bones; My Bloody Valentine 3-D; My Sister's Keeper; New York, I Love You; The Post Grad Surivial Guide; She's Out of My League; Star Trek; The Stepfather; Sunshine Cleaning; The Time Traveler's Wife; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen; The Ugly Truth; When in Rome; Whiteout; The Wolfman; Zombieland.

Some of these movies were on my upcoming list last year as well. Hmmm! Anyways, I thought I was disppointed with 2007's movies, but they're all looking like friggin' masterpieces compared to what 2008 has brought us. Note that I haven't seen the big award contenders, so I can't judge properly. Bring on 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Review: Pathology

When Dr. Ted Grey (Milo Ventimiglia) joins a prestigious pathology program, it doesn't take long before 'the cool kids' invite him to sit at their table. Grey learns the gang plays a deadly game: who can commit the perfect murder?

When I first heard about this movie 1,5 years ago, I thought it sounded interesting. I liked the concept and the cast (Johnny Whitworth! Johnny Whitworth!). Of course, when the release date kept being pushed back and the movie eventually saw a limited release, my interest had sorta faded. BUT! When I spotted Pathology in the videostore, I decided to give it a chance, because, you know, Johnny Whitworth!

Now, what can I say about Pathology? It's a good concept that's poorly executed. Milo Ventimiglia plays our supposed hero. He goes from a seemingly decent guy to a killer in a small amount of time, and he cheats on his fiancée as well. Why?! Alyssa Milano is hotter than Lauren Lee Smith! But, that's beside the point. How am I supposed to root for him? Plus, he's kinda lacking in the personality department. In contrast, Michael Weston is very effective as Dr. Jake Gallo, the leader of the pack. He does crazy well and is this movie's MVP. Really, Weston saved this movie for me, cause the only time it's really interesting is when he's around. Johnny Whitworth is a talented kid, but didn't have much to do here. SHAME! Thirteen years after Empire Records, he still looks good though!

About the movie itself, I find it hard to believe that the 'cool kids' are able to get away with their game. They seem to be killing a lot of people in a short period of time. While I don't doubt they know ways to kill people, and I don't think they're able to pull it off without getting noticed. Also, I kinda hate the camera work in this movie and the unnecessary nudity.

I did like the ending. Sorta. I think.

Overall, worth a look if you like the cast, I guess. A 2,5/5.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Listmania: Favorite Love Actually storylines

It's the holiday season and the need to watch Love Actually again became very strong. It's one of my favorite romantic comedies/feel good movies. It continues to impress me how the script manages to fit the characters into each other's stories. David and Karen are siblings. Natalie and Mia are neighbors. Jamie and Sarah attended Juliet's wedding. All the stories are about love, but not all about romantic love. While none of the stories bore me, I do prefer some storylines over others.

1. Jamie & Aurelia
Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Lucia Moniz)'s storyline is classic romantic comedy stuff. They don't speak each other's language, but fall in love anyways.

Credit: Striped Wall

2. Mark & Juliet
I dare you to find a straight women who didn't fall in love with Andrew Lincoln (Mark) after witnessing his "TO ME, YOU ARE PERFECT" scene. Their storyline starts off with Juliet (Keira Knightley) marrying Mark's best friend (Chiwetel Ejiofor). While it first appears Mark dislikes her, it turns out he's in love with her. Awwww!

3. Daniel & Sam
This story starts off sad with the funeral of Sam's mom and Daniel's wife. Daniel (Liam Neeson) is Sam (Thomas Sangster)'s step dad and the two bond when Daniel tries to help Sam win the heart of his dream girl. Probably the cutest of all stories.

4. Billy Mack & Joe
A funny storyline about an aging rocker (Bill Nighy) and his manager, trying to recapture their glory days by landing the Christmas #1 with the awful 'Christmas is All Around'.

5. David & Natalie
Hugh Grant is perfect as the Prime Minister who falls in love with employee Natalie (Martine McCutcheon).

6. Sarah & Karl
Sarah (Laura Linney) has been in love with Karl (Rodrigo Santoro), her colleague, approximately forever, but never had the guts to do something about it. When something finally happens, she lets him slip away. This is probably the saddest story of the bunch as it's the only one with an unhappy ending.

7. Colin
Colin (Kris Marshall) can't get a girlfriend in Britain so he decides to go the USA as he's convinced he'll be a chick magnet there. It's a funny storyline with cameos by Ivana Milicevic, Elisha Cuthbert, January Jones, Shannon Elizabeth and Denise Richards.

8. Harry & Karen
The only thing that saves this storyline is the awesome Alan Rickman. His Harry cheats on his wife Karen (Emma Thompson). It's rather depressing really.

9. John & Judy
This is supposed to be funny, but it doesn't really work for me. It's more gross out comedy, which the other stories tend to shy away from.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trailer Park: Friday the 13th

Oh, Marcus Nispel! I kinda love you and your collaborations with cinematographer Daniel Pearl! I mean, this, a shot from the trailer of Friday the 13th, is pretty:

After watching the F13 trailer, I don't think it will look better than the gorgeousness that is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but I do like the eerie atmosphere. What I don't like is that the trailer spoils too much! I feel like I've seen everyone die already! I like being surprised while watching a movie. Now I know how Richard Burgi will die. Grr arrgh..

I will go see Friday the 13th, because 1) Marcus Nispel directed it! 2) The guy below is all sorts of awesome and hot!

Mmmm.. Jared Padalecki!

And 3) Dick Casablancas!

Okay, yeah, I know his name is Ryan Hansen, but I really hope he will channel Dick Casablancas a bit. He was awesome and hilarious as Dick Casablancas PERIOD! (Plus, it's fun to say and type Dick Casablancas!)

Now Jason has never been a favorite of mine (sorry, Jason!). The men in my life have always been Freddy and Michael. Will this movie change that? Who knows?! I never liked Leatherface much until Nispel worked his magic! Jason, I'll be seeing you on the 13th!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Review: The Strangers

I finally caught The Strangers on DVD after a short theatrical run here. Which is insane really, because I have seen a lot of crap in theaters this year that played much longer.

After attending a wedding, Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman) return to James's family vacation home. Not long after their arrival, the young couple find themselves being terrorized by three masked individuals.

This is the kind of movie that scares me deeply, because it could actually happen. I grew up watching Freddy, Michael, and Jason but they don't scare me because of the fantasy element. I don't believe Michael Myers will be knocking on my door anytime soon. But real crazy people? They're out there.

One of the scariest things about The Strangers is that we don't get any info about the attackers. No motivation. They don't target Kristen and James because they hold a grudge. They target them simply because they are home.

The Strangers reminds me of two other movies: Funny Games and Vacancy. The first I haven't seen, but the latter I enjoyed, more than The Strangers. There's something so unsettling about The Strangers that makes it hard to enjoy and maybe it's not even the terrorizing. Kristen and James are having problems in their relationship. James has just proposed and Kristen said 'no' (ohww, you're a fool, Kristen!). They as a couple are hard to watch. In Vacancy, Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale are having marital problems, and, if I remember correctly, are about to divorce. Their arguing is more amusing than unsettling. They as a couple have more screentime together and actually work together to survive the ordeal. It's easier to relate to them than it is to Kristen and James.

Our unlucky couple splits up twice in the film. Both times we follow Liv Tyler around while Scott Speedman in all his gorgeousness is nowhere to be seen. I'm not sure why this is. Watching Liv as Kristen cry and crawl around is not all that interesting. I was half expecting her in horror movie cliché style to stumble across James's body and that would've been the last we've seen of him. Lucky for us the movie avoids that, but the reintroduction of James is not that earth shattering either.

And the ending.. my God! First, after all that terrorizing the maskies just sorta awkwardly stab them and leave them to bleed to death. They are eventually found and Kristen is not dead. Yet the movie announces at the beginning that it's unknown what exactly happened to them. If Kristen survived, how could people not know?

I'm not hating on this movie though. It's one of the better movies I've seen this year and it includes the most haunting scene I've seen in ages. When James's friend, the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia dude, is walking down the hallway and one of the strangers is following him with an axe.. well, that was just beautifully shot. I felt the atmosphere. The entire movie is well shot. The performances are good. The first half of the movie is pretty great.. too bad it falls apart in the second half. A 4/5.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

American Pie 4?!

Moviehole reported the following earlier this week:

Universal has decided to abandon those direct-to-video American Pie spin-off films in favour of making a third sequel to the original film – one that might possibly pick up on the whereabouts of now-married Jim and Michelle (Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan). Like the other three, it’ll be released theatrically.

YES! Finally! American Pie is one of my favorite movies EVER! I wasn't really satisfied with Pie 2 and Wedding though. The sequels lacked the heart of the original and certain castmembers were either missing or had throwaway parts. I dug up my original review of American Wedding, which I wrote in 2003. Here's how it ends:

Will we see American Pie 4? Probably. I hope. But not soon. I don't wanna see American Baby or American Pie: le Divorce. I don't even want to see a Stifler spin-off. I want to see American Reunion and I want to see it in 2009 DAMNIT! Let's have the ENTIRE cast return for their ten year high school reunion. I want to see what the gang is like all grown up, and I want to see Kevin and Vicky back together!

I stand by my idea from five friggin' years ago. American Pie 4 should be about their ten year high school reunion. It's the perfect device to get entire cast involved. I've read ideas that the movie should be about Jim and Michelle having a baby, but that plot alone doesn't leave much opportunity for the other original characters to return. A reunion does. And even if the movie's central plot is about the reunion, Jim and Michelle could still have a baby. All the characters need their own storyline anyways. And Alyson Hannigan is pregnant in real life so if they move quick, they don't have to make her wear a fake belly.

Now what's the likelihood that the original cast will return? Pretty big since most of them haven't enjoyed much success since the Pie movies. Let's hope we hear more news soon!

Review: Eagle Eye

I found a piece of paper with some notes I scribbled after I watched Eagle Eye weeks ago. Since I don't feel like writing a proper review anymore (because I barely remember the movie), I will just leave you with the following:

  • Eagle Eye is an attack on the sensory organs.
  • Entertainment for the MTV generation.
  • No substance.
  • No character development, except Shia and Michelle (somewhat).
  • I feel like I've seen this movie before.
  • The ending, WTF?
  • Shia once again proves to be a capable and appealing leading man.

Then I wrote down 'a 3,5/5' so obviously I didn't hate it as much as you would think based on the above. Shia is probably the reason it scored that high, because Rosario Dawson, Ethan Embry and Eric Christian Olsen are wasted here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review: My Sassy Girl

I wasn't very positive when I reviewed the trailer of My Sassy Girl, a remake of a South Korean romantic comedy. However, the movie pleasantly surprised me and it isn't as generic as the trailer makes it out to be.

Jesse Bradford plays Charlie Bellow, a nice, small town guy focused on college and his career. He rescues manic pixie dream girl Jordan (Elisha Cuthbert) from a collision with a subway, giving her room to insert herself into Charlie's life. Charlie reluctantly goes along with her crazy antics, and despite the bodily harm she causes him, he falls in love with her. But Jordan has a secret that will test the strength of his love for her.

I don't know why this movie went straight to DVD. I have seen far worse movies in theaters this year. One could argue the lack of star power. I will watch anything Jesse Bradford is in, but he isn't a household name. Elisha Cuthbert was a promising talent once upon a time, but hasn't lived up to her promise and hasn't been in a (relatively) successful movie since House of Wax in 2005. Both do a fine job here. Cuthbert is a bit off at times, but has enough charm for the part. Bradford is a relatable leading man and manages not to get overshadowed by Cuthbert's quirky role.

I've been contemplating if the character of Jordan could be defined as a 'manic pixie dream girl'. The term was coined by Nathan Rabin and he describes the character as existing "solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." At first glance she is, but several other characteristics of the manic pixie dream girl state that she is a secondary character and she has a lack of inner life. We find out Jordan has a complex inner life and she's as much a leading character as Charlie is. Maybe the term 'manic depressive pixie dream girl' would be more appropriate.

That being said, My Sassy Girl isn't a generic romantic comedy. Though it has comedic elements, the heart of the movies lies in its dramatic storyline. I know nothing about the original version, so I cannot compare, but I do know that the dramatic part works here. If not for the drama, Cuthbert's character would barely be tolerable.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I didn't think I would be so emotionally invested in Charlie and Jordan's romance that it would actually reduce me to tears, but congratulations My Sassy Girl, you did it. A 4/5.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

'Haunted' the Movie?

Variety is reporting that Brian Levy is optioning the rights to Chuck Palahniuk's novel 'Haunted', which Koen Mortier will adapt and direct. Well, good luck with that.

I've read 'Haunted', which is comprised of 23 shorts stories and one main story to tie them all together. How is one movie supposed to do the novel justice? I think it would work better as a mini series.

I hope Mortier will include Cassandra in the film. She was my favorite character and 'The Nightmare Box', one of the stories which featured her, was my favorite of the bunch. I actually don't care much for the stories that don't feature her. It will be interesting to see how they pull off 'Guts' though!

Megan Fox as Cassandra?

Personally, I'd rather see 'Survivor' finally hitting the big screen. I can't believe 'Choke' ended up getting made first!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Review: 28 Weeks Later

What an opening! I think Robert Carlyle running across the lush green grass chased by hordes of Infected is almost equally as impressive as Cillian Murphy's stroll through desolate London in 28 Days Later.

I liked the idea of a sequel to 28 Days Later and I think they made the right decision to not make it about Cillian's Jim and his cohorts. Though a part of me would like to know whatever happened to them, but I digress.

I was pleased with the choice of Robert Carlyle as the lead as he was truly phenomenal here. I was rooting for him! And then THAT happened. You know! THAT! And THIS! We are obviously venturing into spoiler territory here so consider yourself warned:

As Carlyle is presented as our main dude in the movie, I kinda expected him to last longer or even survive. Now I do sorta like this twist of turning him into an Infected early on in the movie as I didn't see it was coming (note: I haven't seen the trailer for this movie so I don't know if it gets spoiled). But, I sorta hate it too, cause I felt I had no one else to root for until Jeremy Renner was inserted with a personality. Carlyle was the heart of the movie.

Then THIS happens! After they killed off the only two characters in the movie I actually cared for, I lost interest. Rose Byrne had no personality, I keep forgetting Harold Perrineau is even in this and the kids.. I loathe the kids! Of course they go venturing out of the safe zone. Of course they are the only people to make it to the helicopter. Sigh.

And the ending. It felt like an after thought and IMDB tells me it is. So the infection has spread to Paris, leaving the possibility for a sequel, 28 Months Later, wide open. I prefer 28 Days Later's hopeful ending. And what's with the crashed heli? No bodies.. hmmm..

I gave the movie a lot of crap in this review, but I did like it. Probably as much as I did the original (I have some problems with that one too). It was shot well and the pacing was good. Bring on, 28 Months Later! A 4/5.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Review: Mirrors

I can't say I'm a fan of all those Asian horrors and their remakes. I don't find them scary and they are all pretty much the same to me. What's the difference really between The Ring and The Grudge? Mirrors wasn't on my list of 'must see movies' this year, but somehow I ended up seeing it twice. And not because I liked it so much the first time.

The great Kiefer Sutherland plays Ben Carson, a former detective turned alcoholic night watchman at a burnt down department store. He starts seeing things in mirrors. Boredom ensues.

Before I saw the movie, I pondered.. "a movie about evil mirrors.. I wonder how Alexandre Aja (who did a great job with The Hills Have Eyes) will pull this off." The answer is: he didn't, really. We have a surprisingly low amount of people in jeopardy here and not much is done with the actual mirrors, except for some cat scares. Actually, this movie relies a lot on fake outs and sound effects. I grew tired of that quickly. There's also a lack of interaction between characters. Seeing Kiefer go out and about on his own is not that interesting. You have Jason Flemyng in your movie, Mr. Aja, use him! There's a scene where Kiefer is on the phone to Jason, who plays a cop and friend of his. In this scene, we only see Kiefer.. there are no cuts whatsoever to Jason's character as we only hear him on the phone. Why? Why not use him? Flemyng is an appealing actor, but completely underused. Same goes for the lovely Amy Smart. She maybe has 7 minutes of screen time, while the movie is 110 minutes long (and about 20 minutes TOO long). Also, this movie has completely ruined Miss Smart for me.. I can never look at her the same way again. *traumatized for life*

Kiefer is a good actor, but he's just channeling Jack Bauer here. It really felt like I was watching a Jack Bauer movie.. you know, life after CTU and all that stuff. I hear Paula Patton is a talented actress, but she was channeling Maya from "Heroes". If you watch "Heroes", you know that's not a good thing.

Overall, I feel this is a poor movie. Taking away my lack of interest in these Asian horror remakes, I just feel like I've seen this movie already. It's one cliché after the other and predictable as hell. I did like the ending though. Let's just leave it at that. A 2,5/5.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Review: The Accidental Husband

IMDB tells me The Accidental Husband is set for a March, 2009 release. Why this movie keeps getting pushed back is beyond me, because it surely isn't the worst movie I've seen this year so far. In fact, I expected this romcom to be completely generic, but was pleasantly surprised that it had something more to offer.

That something more is Jeffrey Dean Morgan, best known for his recurring roles on "Grey's Anatomy" (playing Denny)and "Supernatural" (playing Sam and Dean's dad). To be honest, I never cared much for Denny in contrast to most "Grey" fans, so I wasn't sure if he would be leading man material. Denny fans can breathe a sigh of relief, because I can report that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is leading man material. He has the talent and charisma to carry the movie. Especially in contrast to both Uma Thurman and Colin Firth, who are incredibly bland in this. Which is the point, I know. Therefore, if someone less capable than Morgan had portrayed this role, this definitely would have been a generic romcom.

Uma Thurman plays Dr. Emma Lloyd, a radio talk show host who advises one of her listeners (Justina Machado of "Six Feet Under") to dump her fiancé Patrick (Morgan), which she does. Patrick wants to take revenge and with the help of his neighbor and some computer hacking, Patrick finds himself married to Emma, who is about to get married to Richard (Firth).

The movie is predictable as hell, but has its moments. Colin Firth's stress-eating moments are funny, as well as relatable. However, I'm kind of tired of seeing Firth play the same no nonsense Brit. Bridget Jones, Love Actually, What a Girl Wants, Mamma Mia!.. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Uma Thurman is a fantastic actress (see Kill Bill), but is somewhat lacking in the comedic department. I think Amanda Peet would have been a good choice for this role as she can play both funny and serious.

Overall, the movie is fun and Jeffrey Dean Morgan shines. Come on, US, release the movie already! A 3,5/5.

Trailer Park: The Accidental Husband

I don't watch a lot of trailers online, so this feature will mostly feature (hee!) trailers that were attached to movies I've recently seen. Keep in mind that I live in The Netherlands, and that the trailers attached wont necessarily be the same as the ones in your country. In this post I'll review the trailers that were attached to The Accidental Husband!

I like to note that I always try to guess which trailers will be attached to the movie, but lately I've been sucking at it. The choices have been just too odd, I can't call them anymore. I mean, The Children of Huang Shi attached to Mamma Mia! or The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian to Sex & The City? Plus, movies I haven't really heard of keep getting attached.

Bride Flight
Again this trailer. I now know that this movie is in Dutch. It doesn't look bad, but I just don't like Dutch movies. They sound.. fake.
To be viewed: on TV maybe

The Women
Eva Mendes is hot. Really, really hot. But this movie doesn't really appeal to me.
To be viewed: on TV sometime

Nights in Rodanthe
I love Mae Whitman. She's an underrated talent so I was happy to see her in this trailer. Why isn't this girl more successful? Why does Miley Cyrus keep getting attention?! Plus, Christopher Meloni is in it, and he's someone I can't seen enough in movies. Diane Lane and Richard Gere are great of course. Unfortunately James Franco is in it.. he's talented, but kinda "meh" to me in general. You know why, James! Anyways, the movie is based on a book by Nicholas Sparks so it should find its audience.
To be viewed: on DVD

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Review: Get Smart

Get Smart is not a bad movie. It's quite enjoyable actually. It's just not memorable at all, except for the stapler gag. I saw this movie only 2 days ago and I'm having trouble remembering what exactly I liked about it.

Steve Carell is a likeable guy and funny in this, but I feel I've seen this character before. Really, it's not that different from his character in "The Office" (= great show). I'd like to see Carell is more challenging roles. He was really good in Little Miss Sunshine. Anne Hathaway is as uninteresting as ever. I'm not getting her mass appeal. Alan Arkin and The Rock are good in their supporting roles.

Bill Murray's cameo was not funny and rather pointless.

I really have no idea what else to say about Get Smart. It's entertaining, but easily forgotten. Kinda like fastfood.. yummy, but not satisfying. A 3/5.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trailer Park: Get Smart

I don't watch a lot of trailers online, so this feature will mostly feature (hee!) trailers that were attached to movies I've recently seen. Keep in mind that I live in The Netherlands, and that the trailers attached wont necessarily be the same as the ones in your country. In this post I'll review the trailers that were attached to Get Smart!

Disaster Movie
Really? Disaster Movie? It hasn't even been that long since Superhero Movie came out! Or Meet the Spartans! These movies need to be stopped. STAT!
To be viewed: Never

This looks interesting. Though I'm fairly tired of seeing Angelina Jolie (not in movies per se, but in general), Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy are cool and.. er.. I like assassins?
To be viewed: on DVD

The Accidental Husband
It still looks cute, but it worries me that this hasn't been released in the US yet.
To be viewed: on DVD

The Forbidden Kingdom
Ahhh Michael Angarano.. you're growing up to be a fine young man. You're already a good actor.. keep it up and you'll be one of the greats of your generation. But I'm gonna skip this movie, kay?
To be viewed: Never

Monday, August 4, 2008

Christina Applegate diagnosed with breast cancer

Did I Miss 60B?! would like to wish Miss Applegate a speedy recovery! x

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saw V teaser trailer

Beware if you are a Gilmore Girls fan and don't want to be horribly traumatized right now like am.

I like the Saw series. I grew up watching the Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween movies and I respect that Saw is the current generation's horror franchise. Saw was great. Saw 2 was not that good. Saw 3 was better than 2. And Saw 4 was rather impressive storytelling wise.

That being said: I don't like this teaser. I hate the biblical aspect of it and then of course SPOILERS Agent Strahm's head in a box. But not like Gwyneth Paltrow's head in a box. His head in a box in a Saw way. DAMNIT! I like Agent Strahm and Scott Patterson! If they put the incredibly adorable Julie Benz in one of those traps this will probably be the most unwatchable movie for me.

Saw V hits this Halloween!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review: Mamma Mia!

Despite the super cheesiness of the trailer, I went to see Mamma Mia! a week before it officially opened here. How I suddenly got so excited to see this movie.. I don't know. But let me tell you this now, it's great!

Sophie (the luminous Amanda Seyfried) is getting married and dreams of finding her father. She invites her three potential dads (Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth) to the wedding without informing her mother Donna (Meryl Streep). Singing, dancing, ABBA songs and hilarity ensues.

When I first heard about Mamma Mia! the movie and the cast was announced, I was really looking forward to it. Then I saw the trailer and I got a little scared. It just looked like this big cheese-fest. Since I was still recovering from last year's overly quirky Hairspray that left me with a toothache and in a vomit induced state, I was planning on avoiding this in theaters. But somehow I did end up watching it and I am pretty damn sure this movie will end up on my favorites of 2008 list at the end of the year.

I was hooked from the moment Amanda Seyfried starting singing "I have a dream..." She really impressed me. Sure she was fab as the ditzy blond in Mean Girls, but here she showed a lot of range. It was an endearing and brave performance. How could you not fall in love with her? Her voice was amazing as well. While Meryl Streep seems a bit old play Sophie's mother (if Sophie is 20, she should have given birth to her in her late 30s - so why wouldn't she be allowed to come home. She's an adult; old enough to make her own decisions), she IS Meryl "f*ckin" Streep and she can play whatever the hell she wants to play. And she was excellent and her singing was amazing too! I smell a Golden Globe. Supporting turns by Julie Walters and Christine Baranski as Donna's friends were great too. Both are funny ladies and Baranski especially impressed. Pierce Brosnan seemed a bit bland, but Stellan Skarsgard and Colin Firth seemed to have a good time and did the best they could do with their roles. Now that I think about it, all the male roles were a bit underwritten. Hmmm.. that probably explains why Dominic Cooper barely left an impression.

The writer did a good job including all those ABBA songs into the story. There's only one sequence that I thought was truly awful: the "Money Money Money" dream sequence. Yikes! The movie quickly recovered after that, but seriously, they could have left that part out. Overall, I really liked Mamma Mia! and my fellow audience members as well. If this movie doesn't want to make you sing and dance, you're dead inside. Probably the most enjoyable movie out there this summer. STAY FOR THE CREDITS! A 4/5.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Trailer Park: Mamma Mia!

I don't watch a lot of trailers online, so this feature will mostly feature (hee!) trailers that were attached to movies I've recently seen. Keep in mind that I live in The Netherlands, and that the trailers attached wont necessarily be the same as the ones in your country. In this post I'll review the trailers that were attached to Mamma Mia!

Bride Flight
I have no idea whether or not this movie is in Dutch. I see Dutch actors, but the title is in English. There's no talking in the trailer, but the official site is in Dutch. Either way, I don't like Dutch productions so I'll pass. Waldemar Torenstra is pretty though.
To be viewed: never

And I thought Bride Flight was an odd choice for a trailer to attach to Mamma Mia! Here was have Baz Luhrmann's latest effort, which reteams him with Nicole Kidman. Hugh Jackman's in it too and that's pretty much all I can recall about this trailer. Okay, the cinematography is pretty breathtaking, but other than that, I really have no interest in this at all.
To be viewed: never

The Children of Huang Shi
Who picked these trailers? Seriously?! Still no comedy trailer? I was starting to wonder if I was sitting in the right theater. This trailer looked familiar and I think I've seen it attached to Sex & the City. For some reason I didn't mention it in that trailer park, so I must've blocked it out or something. I can tell you that Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Radha Mitchell are in it.
To be viewed: never

The Accidental Husband
This looks cute. Uma Thurman plays a talk radio host and advises a listener to break up with her boyfriend. The now ex-boyfriend (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) wants revenge and through certain circumstances, he ends up as Uma's husband. Colin Firth's in it too and who doesn't love Colin Firth. *fans self* Hopefully this won't turn out as another generic comedy.
To be viewed: probably on DVD

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

I was thinking the other day that I still needed to write a review of Getting Over Allison. It's weird, because I never even thought about that movie when I was watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall so how could I have mixed them up? Now that I've thought about it a bit, the movies are somewhat similar. The males leads in both movies (played by Ben Foster and Jason Segel, respectively) are regular, somewhat nerdy guys who are dumped by their popular exes (Melissa Sagemiller and Kristen Bell, respectively). Both girls start dating musicians (Shane West, Russell Brand, respectively) with uhm.. interesting accents. Both movies feature musical sequences and Mila Kunis. However, she is not Ben Foster's love interest in Get Over It (Getting Over Allison was the movie's working title).

It is rather unfair to Jason Segel to compare the two though. While Get Over It is a teen movie and a bit over the top, FSM is a comedy with a heart. I felt Segel's pain, both thanks to his well written script and sensitive performance. If this guy isn't on his way to become a big star, I give up on Hollywood. He deserves a Golden Globe nod for this. However, it was Russell Brand who was the star of this movie. He stole every scene he was in. Supporting roles from Mila Kunis, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd were great too. It's interesting to note that Sarah Marshall herself, Kristen Bell, was actually the weakest link here. I've never seen Bell be so bland before. I wonder if she's actually capable of carrying a movie (I've blocked the awful Pulse from my memory, thank you very much).

One thing I really liked about the movie is that it shows two sides of the relationship. While mostly the focus is on Segel's character Peter, you also get to find out why things didn't work out for Sarah and her motivation isn't as shallow as you might expect. Overall, FSM is an enjoyable movie. If you liked Knocked Up, I'm sure you will like this movie as well.

Well played, Mr. Segel! A 4/5.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Review: Waitress

At the beginning of the movie, Jenna (Keri Russell) is bitching about her husband. At first I thought, what could be wrong when you're married to Jeremy Sisto?! Then he opened his mouth. What an ass!

Waitress is about a small town Southern girl named Jenna, who is unhappily married to Earl (Sisto). She is a gifter pie maker, but her a-hole of an husband won't let her enter a pie making competition. To make matters worse, Jenna gets pregnant and her dreams of packing her bags and leaving Earl look even more impossible to reach now... until she meets the new guy in town, Dr. Pomatter (the wonderful Nathan Fillion).

I think the hype killed Waitress for me. I've heard so many good things about it, but in the end, it didn't touch me. I didn't care. There's a feeling I get that I really can't describe when I watch movies like Almost Famous, Elizabethtown, The Family Stone or Love & Sex, but for me that is Waitress's missing ingredient.

Also, I couldn't stand Jenna. This has nothing to do with Keri Russell; she is lovely. But Jenna? I grew so tired of watching her bitch and moan throughout the entire movie. I wanted her to get her act together on her own, and then *SPOILERS* she got the check from Old Joe. How convenient. And then she won the pie making contest. And opened her own diner. When did we cross over into Disney territory? And would Earl really give up this easily?

At least the acting was good. But you can't really go wrong with Russell, Sisto and Fillion. Worth a look for them alone. A 3,5/5.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Review: Georgia Rule

Somebody needs to kick the person who made the Georgia Rule trailer and the marketing department too. I was under the impression that this was a comedy, but in reality, it's a drama about abuse and alcoholism.

Lily (Felicity Huffman) dumps wildchild daughter Rachel (Lindsay Lohan) in Idaho with grandmother Georgia (Jane Fonda) for the summer. When Rachel shares a secret with vet Simon (Dermot Mulroney), Lily returns to find out the truth.

Let me start by saying that I think Lindsay Lohan has talent, but she chooses not to use it and devote her time to partying. IMHO, Lohan was pretty weak here. Here and there her talent shines true, but overall, she just wasn't that good. And that frustrates me, because if you look at The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday there's so much potential. While watching the movie I couldn't help but think it would've been better if, say, Kristen Stewart was cast.

Felicity Huffman is terrific as always and she and Jane Fonda are convincing as daughter and mother. I mean, they even look alike! I've been aware of Garrett Hedlund for a while, but never seen him act before. He does a nice job playing small town boy Harlan, who gets in way over his head when he meets Rachel.

Dermot Mulroney is the only reason I even watched this and he was definitely worth the watch. He turns in a nice, sensitive performance as Lily's old boyfriend. Why Dermot isn't a bigger star is beyond me, but on the other hand, I kinda like that not everyone knows him.

As for the movie.. it isn't as bad as people make it out to be, but I don't think it's that good either. It's the attempt at making this a dramedy. I think the movie would've been better if it was either a comedy (thus, minus the abuse subplot) or a drama. Now it just seems like a mess, cause the comedy makes it difficult to take the subplot serious, but the tone of the movie is still heavy enough that you can't really laugh. Maybe Garry Marshall should just stick to making movies with Julia Roberts?

Good in theory, but badly executed. A 2,5/5.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Review: Sex and the City

I loved the show. I truly did. The idea for a movie? Not so much. I feel the show's finale was so satisfying, there wasn't anything left to add. Despite the rumors, I didn't think this movie would actually get made - ever. As it went into production, I got a bit excited though. I was missing the girls AND the guys!

If you're a fan of the show, then the movie is like catching up with old friends. The movie is also made accessible for newbies and casual viewers. As the opening credits role, we get a recap of the main events in the girls's lives as seen on the show. Personally, it kinda annoyed me and it reminded me of the Spider-Man opening credits recaps, only worse. Also, the theme tune was awful and gave me a headache. I don't think it really fit the show.

Now I'll focus on the fab four's storylines separately:

Like the show, the movie mainly focuses on Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker). Carrie and Big (Chris Noth) are getting married and a large part of the movie is about their wedding. She also gets a personal assistent in the form of Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson as Louise from St. Louis. I don't think that's a cute joke, but whatever.

Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is now living in LA with Smith (Jason Lewis), but grabs every excuse to fly back to Manhattan. Apparently, Smith's now even more popular and successful than before and Samantha is disliking that everything is about him and that she's stuck at home cooking for him. Luxury problems, eh?

Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Steve (David Eigenberg) are having real problems. In a shocking plot development already spoiled in the trailer, we find out that Steve cheated on Miranda. Their entire storyline is about forgiveness and the fact that Miranda is not willing to do it. You may interpret the latter part of the previous sentence any way you like.

Charlotte (Kristin Davis) doesn't really have a storyline. Not in the first half of the movie anyway. Charlotte is still married to Harry (Evan Handler) and they have an adopted daughter Lily. Their lives are pretty much perfect.

Charlotte is my favorite character and I was very disappointed she had so little to do in this movie. At least give her her own damn storyline! I feel I saw more of Jennifer Hudson than Kristin Davis and Hudson even had her own storyline. Also Evan Handler is completely wasted. It would have been nice to see more of him and Charlotte. As always, too much focus is on Carrie and she's my least favorite of the bunch. I tend to get very annoyed with her and don't understand why Big would want to marry her in the first place. Carrie made the runtime of 148 minutes feel very long.

Overall, I don't really like this movie. It has its moments, but I like to pretend it doesn't exist mainly because it has ruined the satisfying ending of the show for me. SPOILERS Samantha, who on the show only believed in Mr. Right Now found real love in Smith in the final season. And in the movie she dumps his ass. What is wrong with you? I don't think Smith would ever ask you to be a stay at home wife who cooks for him nor would he expect it. But what I'm really pissed about is that they turned Steve, my favorite male character, into a cheater. Miranda isn't the only one feeling betrayed here. END SPOILERS

The movie was also too dramatic for my taste. My best friends and I were all slightly down after we left the theater. It could've used some more laughs, and not the gross out kind, like the Charlotte-in-Mexico gag, which I didn't think was funny at all! At least the acting was good, with David Eigenberg and Cynthia Nixon turning in the best performances.

I've been hearing sequel talk because the movie did so well at the box office. I am seriously hoping this won't happen. I mean, where to go from here? A 3/5.

Review: National Treasure 2

I don't understand the hate for National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Movies like this are made to entertain and that's exactly what NT2 does. I don't watch movies like this and think 'oh this plot is so contrived. This could never happen.' If I wanted to see something realistic, would I really be watching a Nicolas Cage movie?

Now I can't say much about the plot, because honestly, I've already forgotten most of it, but it includes the following: Abraham Lincoln, Mount Rushmore, kidnapping the president and the City of Gold. Throw in a cast that includes Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Bruce Greenwood, Ed Harris and the appealing Justin Bartha (we need to see more of him in movies, TV, basically everything), and you've got yourself a fun film.

Stop the hate. Just turn of your brain and enjoy. A 3/5.

Trailer Park: Sex & the City

I don't watch a lot of trailers online, so this feature will mostly feature (hee!) trailers that were attached to movies I've recently seen. Keep in mind that I live in The Netherlands, and that the trailers attached wont necessarily be the same as the ones in your country. In this post I'll review the trailers that were attached to Sex & the City.

Mamma Mia!
Good lord, when is this movie getting released? I saw this trailer attached to 27 Dresses! The more I see this trailer, the less I'm looking forward to it. It's just so.. cheesy. And again the BFF mentioned that Meryl Streep is too old to play Amanda Seyfried's mom. I don't think we'll be seeing this.
To be viewed: on DVD (unless the word of mouth will be amazing, then in theater)

AWWWWWWWWWWWW! WALL-E is SO cute! But why is this trailer attached to Sex & the City?! *confused* The movie looks interesting. Different from what Pixar normally brings us. Hmmmm... but CUTE CUTE CUTE!
To be viewed: on DVD or TV

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
William Moseley is looking good. What? He's legal, I can say it! That's the only interest I have in the Narnia movies. Haven't seen the first though and probably will never see this one either. But that William Moseley is an attractive kid.
To be viewed: Never

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Box Office Buzz: Racer loses Speed...

It's only the second week of the Big Summer Movies and already it disappoints. While Iron Man holds strong at the top spot with another $50m, it's kid-friendly Speed Racer that's tanking. Not a big surprise though as the reviews were not kind and, IMHO, the whole thing just looks.. ehhh. About five months ago, I put this flick on my must-see list for 2008, but the more I actually saw of it, the more interest I lost. And I'm someone who has much love for Emile Hirsch and will watch him read the phonebook! Speed Racer opened in the second spot with only $20.2m. Considering it's a film by the Wachowski Brothers, I doubt it has a small budget. I think we can safely say that Warner Bros. won't be racing to greenlight a sequel.

Cameron D. and Ashton K. fared better with What Happens in Vegas. Their comedy grossed $20m, which is pretty average (and sometimes even good) for what romcoms are making these days. Patrick Dempsey's Made of Honor is doing pretty decent too. It opened last week with $14.7m and has now grossed about $26.3m total domestically. I've seen a lot of Vegas promotion and barely any for Made, so really, it's not doing bad at all. Maybe a March release would've been better, but hey, what do I know?

Next week sees the release of Prince Caspian. I have no faith at all in the summer of 2008.

The numbers courtesy of Box Office Mojo:
1) Iron Man - $50.5m/$177.1m
2) Speed Racer - $20.2m/$20.2m
3) What Happens in Vegas - $20m/$20m
4) Made of Honor - $7.6m/$26.3m
5) Baby Mama - $5.8m/$40.4m
6) Forgetting Sarah Marshall - $3.8m/$50.8m
7) Harold & Kumar 2 - $3.2m/$30.7m
8) The Forbidden Kingdom - $1.9m/$48.7m
9) Nim's Island - $1.3m/$44.3m
10) Redbelt - $1.1m/$1.2m

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Review: Untraceable

Diane Lane stars as FBI agent Jennifer Marsh, who works in the cyber crime department with the younger Hanks (aka Colin). They come across the site and find out that not only are they able to watch people die in horrible ways via streaming video, but the more people that visit the site, the faster the victims will die. Jigsaw eat your heart out!

Comparisons to the Saw movies are easily made. Like Saw, Untraceable is cruel and it has traps, and it has people wanting to teach other people a lesson. It seems unfair to compare the two though as there is more to Untraceable than those things. A fabulous Diane Lane, for example. But, those things are used as a hook for this movie and in the process, it alienates a potential audience for this film. Or maybe I'm just babbling here.

Diane Lane is a strong and appealing lead. I like that she isn't glamourous here despite the fact that she is a gorgeous woman. Colin Hanks is always a nice addition. Man, I was rooting for him! 24's Billy Burke always creeps me out, but he didn't make me too suspicious here so I guess well played, Mr. Burke! Joseph Cross looks like a young Jonathan Jackson (not that the real JJ is old), which didn't enhance Cross's supposed creep-factor for me. Kid did give a good performance though. I'm utterly convinced I'm the only person in this country who not only knows who Ty Giordano is, but who has also seen all his work. Not on purpose, I just keep running into him if you know what I mean. If you've seen The Family Stone, you'll know he's talented. He's wasted here in Untraceable. And BB Kiddo is also in this movie as Lane's daughter. It makes me miss tiny Abigail Breslin.

I will not overanalyze plot points here and point out ways the site maybe could've been shut down. With movies like this one you need to suspend your disbelief to enjoy them. A 2,5/5.

Trailer Park: Untraceable

I don't watch a lot of trailers online, so this feature will mostly feature (hee!) trailers that were attached to movies I've recently seen. Keep in mind that I live in The Netherlands, and that the trailers attached wont necessarily be the same as the ones in your country. In this post I'll review the trailers that were attached to Untraceable.

At first I thought I was watching the trailer for a zombie movie. 28 Weeks Later popped in my head, but then I was like.. wasn't that released months ago? Then I saw Rhona Mitra (= stunning!) and then I remembered the existence of Doomsday. Only (my bad) I thought it was an Uwe Boll movie instead of Neil (The Descent) Marshall's latest effort. Whoops! While I really liked The Descent, I'm gonna take a pass on this one.
To be viewed: someday on TV

The Eye
Good lord, this trailer was attached to The Mist and that was ages ago! I thought The Eye was released already. *state of confusion*
To be viewed: if there's nothing better on TV

The Ruins
I got so excited seeing this trailer on the big screen, it was almost sad. Really. See, little horror movies like this one usually don't get theatrical releases here, but apparently The Ruins does. So yay! I'm really looking forward to this. Maybe because I'm so tired of all the J-horror of the past years. Gawd I miss the post-Scream slasher craze. I know a lot of people hated it, but I'll take Urban Legend any day over The Eye/Shutter/One Missed Call. But back to The Ruins (no sequel pun intended), it looks good. The concept seems original (but compared to J-horror, everything is!), looks visually pleasing and it stars Jonathan Tucker, who is also visually pleasing. Throw in Iceman.. er I mean, Shawn Ashmore and Laura Ramsey and you've got yourself a cast that will no doubt do a better job than the Turistas did (no offense Josh Duhamel and Melissa George - you're both awesome!). Jena Malone - I'm not so sure of. IMHO, she's always the weakest link in an ensemble.
To be viewed: opening weekend.

Vantage Point
Matthew Fox on the big screen. It surprises me everytime. What some prime time success will do for your big screen career, huh? After "Party of Five", I thought this guy had fallen of the face of the earth. But Foxy seems like a cool guy so I'm happy with more of him on the big screen. Vantage Point looks interesting, but it's not the type of movie I would go see in theatres. Definitely a rental though! IMDB tells me Leonardo Nam is on this. He's a talented kid who co-starred in The Perfect Score and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I wonder what he's been up to?
To be viewed: on DVD

Friday, March 28, 2008

Review: Return to House on Haunted Hill

I think this is the crappiest movie I've seen this year. Yes, I'm actually considering that Meet the Spartans is better than Return to House on Haunted Hill. I LOVE LOVE LOVE 1999's House on Haunted Hill. It's an incredibly fun movie to watch and has a high rewatchability factor. And that cast! DAMN! Geoffrey Rush! Famke Janssen! Taye Diggs! Ali Larter! Bridgette Wilson! Peter Gallagher!! Chris Kattan was hilarious and even small supporting roles from Max Perlich, James Marsters and Jeffrey Combs were nicely done.

When I first heard about a sequel, I thought it might be a fun idea. Then I heard they killed off Ali's character Sara (Miss Larter herself does not appear in this movie), or actually, she supposedly killed herself. I was like WTF?! You made it out alive, you have Taye Diggs and $5 million to share. Why kill yourself? *SPOILERS* It turns out Sara didn't kill herself, but she was murdered. In her incredibly poor looking apartment. What happened to all that cash?! Anyhow, RtHoHH focuses on Sara's sister Ariel (Amanda Righetti). She is forced inside The House by Erik Palladino and his lemmings to get the statue of Baphomet. That ugly thing is worth a lot of cash and is apparently worth dying for. Long story short: people go inside the house and die. Ghosts are present, but not quite in the same way as in the original nor did I see the smoke monster.

I got a big 10 Little Indians vibe from this film as characters were very quickly killed off once inside the house. At least the characters in House on Haunted Hill were developed. Here.. well, I can't even tell some of the people apart. And of course it takes ages for the worst actor to be killed off! How frustrating was that?! Actually, bad acting was a big part of the suckage here. I don't remember Cerina Vincent being that bad in Cabin Fever, but here she was barely tolerable. Now Erik Palladino is a talented guy, but horribly miscast here. I mean, Dr. Dave Malucci as the bad guy? YEAH RIGHT!

Basically, this whole movie is a disaster and not true to the original, which is a shame. Maybe if I had the choose-your-own-adventure DVD I would like it better. But I don't want to sit through this crap again. A 1/5.

Trailer Park: My Sassy Girl trailer

I almost feel bad for Jesse Bradford when watching the trailer for his new movie My Sassy Girl. He's a talented actor who is completely underrated and who deserves so much better than this. For Elisha Cuthbert, this movie looks like a step up from Captivity.

My Sassy Girl is a remake of a Korean (I think - I'm too lazy to look it up) film. After all the J-horror remakes, Hollywood is apparently now focusing on the K-romcoms. I don't know the details of the original, but My Sassy Girl is about an average guy (Bradford) who falls for a free spirited girl (Cuthbert). Sure the trailer has some cute moments, but overall, this looks like another generic and forgetable romcom. I don't think the casting of Elisha Cuthbert helps either. Once a promising talent, now box office poison after the disaster that was Captivity. I know the fanboys like her, but they are not exactly the target audience for My Sassy Girl. And, IMHO, she seems like a pretty average actress. She's not able to transcend her material and make it better. I'm sure Bradford will charm his way through this like a champ, but I don't think Cuthbert will have much street cred left after this.

To be viewed: on DVD (because I do love Jesse Bradford)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jared vs Jason

Congrats, universe! You win again! I had no interest whatsoever in the Friday the 13th remake. Hell, I don't even care much for the original movies (except for maybe the first one, cause you gotta respect The Bacon). However, Platinum Dunes pulled out the big guns. After getting Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Marcus Nispel on board, they have now cast Jared Padalecki. Yes, pretty much the only damn person in this world who could make me watch a Friday the 13th remake. As I said before, congratulations, universe. You win. Should I just hand over my 8.75 euros now?

I'm almost getting hope this movie will be good. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake was an all-round good movie: visually stunning, great casting and acting, good script. If anyone could make Camp Crystal Lake look good, it's Nispel. And Padalecki knows his way around the horror genre, thanks to Supernatural, House of Wax, Cry_Wolf and New York Minute. Now if we could just get Brittany Snow and Lindy Booth and Monica Keena and [insert name of pop starlet wanting to act] to stay away from this as far as possible, this should turn out to be okay. Right?!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Trailer Park: 27 Dresses

I don't watch a lot of trailers online, so this feature will mostly feature (hee!) trailers that were attached to movies I've recently seen. Keep in mind that I live in The Netherlands, and that the trailers attached wont necessarily be the same as the ones in your country. In this post I'll review the trailers that were attached to 27 Dresses.

Step Up 2 the Streets
Hey it's that guy who was in She's the Man with original Step Up star Channing Tatum! [...] Yeah, I don't really care about him or the Step Up movies at all. I'm pretty much done with all those dance movies.. they annoy me more than all those spoof movies! I spotted the gorgeous Will Kemp in the trailer which made me smile. Not because he's gorgeous but because he's a dancer in real life so I can appreciate his casting. Will should make more movies.. haven't seen him in anything since Mindhunters and Van Helsing.
To be viewed: you've got to be kidding me right?

Sex & The City
I'm looking forward to the Sex & the City movie. I loved the showed, but at first I didn't think a movie follow-up would be a good idea. It's already been 4 years and the series wrapped up pretty nicely so there wasn't really a need for a movie. BUT, now that it's filmed and all, I am looking forward to seeing all my favorites again. Charlotte! Steve!
To be viewed: opening weekend!

Mamma Mia!
Oh my.. I was looking forward to this but the trailer, IMHO, is pretty horrible. It's so cheesy. Or is that the point?! Amanda Seyfried is an incredibly pretty girl, but doesn't look like herself here. Too tanned? I can't put my finger on it. While watching the trailer, my BFF leaned over and said: "Meryl Streep is way too old to be playing Amanda Seyfried's mother. Maybe grandmother." I couldn't agree with her more. I haven't seen the musical, but the thought of a Meryl Streep/Colin Firth pairing is rather disturbing. And when the cast names are shown, why isn't Stellan Skarsgard mentioned but Dominic Cooper is? Who the hell is Dominic Cooper?! Skarsgard thrumps Cooper!! GAWD! People have no respect these days.
To be viewed: in theaters maybe otherwise on DVD

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Review: The Mist

It's already been 2 weeks since I've seen this, but here we go anyways. [...] Actually, I don't know what to say anymore. I'll try my best to recall my thoughts.

The Mist is based on the Stephen King story of the same name. I haven't read it so I won't compare. But the story is about a mist invading a small town and centers on the people who are in the local supermarket when the mist appears. Hidden in the mist are monsters, but the biggest monster is actually in the store: Mrs. Carmody.

Thomas Jane plays our hero David Drayton. He's an appealing actor. Very easy to root for just like in Deep Blue Sea. He gives a fine performance, though I did notice a couple of off moments. The thing is, he can't possibly compete against the perfect Marcia Gay Harden as Mrs. Carmody. Seriously, that woman is a force to be reckoned with! The rest of the cast is good too (William Sadler, Jeffrey DeMunn, Andre Braugher) with Toby Jones as Ollie also being a standout. And it's always nice to see Chris Owen pop up in movies. Looking good, kid!

I'm a glass-half-empty kinda gal, so let's focus on the negative bits;
- The pacing is off. Sometimes the movie moves too quickly and sometimes too slow. I found myself checking my watch. But was puzzled when the big tentacle monster was shown at the beginning. They should've saved that one for later and started with the bugs.
- It's too religious. It made me uncomfortable and bored watching all that religious talk go on and on and on. It's just not my cup of tea and I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt alienated by it.
- The ending. Okay so I don't hate it. I appreciate unhappy endings. But this was too harsh. Plus, I don't understand why the mother who left the store to go find her children survived.

I saw Cloverfield not long before this movie and throughout The Mist, I kept thinking: "Cloverfield did it better." Now I realize it's unfair to compare these two movies, but they're both movies with big ass monsters and parasites. I just couldn't help but compare the two. Do I have a point here? No, not really. I just like Cloverfield better.

I have nothing left to say. A 3/5.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Trailer Park: The Mist

I don't watch a lot of trailers online, so this feature will mostly feature (hee!) trailers that were attached to movies I've recently seen. Keep in mind that I live in The Netherlands, and that the trailers attached wont necessarily be the same as the ones in your country. In this post I'll review the trailers that were attached to The Mist.

The Eye
Meh.. American remakes of Japanese horror movies do nothing for me. Neither does Jessica Alba. What is Alessandro Nivola doing in this? And why isn't he a bigger star yet? And Parker Posey? You have no excuse at all.
To be viewed: if there's nothing better on TV

I like the basic idea here: the more people that visit a certain website, the faster the victim will die. On the other hand, it kinda reminds me of the Saw franchise and C(r)aptivity. Diane Lane is an appealing actress and it's always nice to see Colin Hanks and Billy Burke. I don't really know what the think of this movie. I'm kinda interested, but then again, I'm not. Hmmm..
To be viewed: on DVD

I'm a girl. I've seen My Best Friend's Wedding more times than anyone should. I sing along to Ashlee Simpson songs. I want to go shopping with Katherine Heigl. I want to marry Dermot Mulroney. And I'm actually looking forward to the Sex & The City movie. Do you think I give a crap about Rambo? It was nice seeing Julie Benz though.
To be viewed: never

10,000 B.C.
The effects looks pretty good. I like Camilla Belle. But my like for Camilla hasn't made me watch When a Stranger Calls yet so I doubt I'm going to see this anytime soon. Movies like this are just not my thing.
To be viewed: on TV (maybe)

80th Academy Awards

I don't have much to say about this year's Oscars. Marion Cotillard and Tilda Swinton's wins were surprising. I'm not saying they didn't give great performances, I just expected Julie Christie and Cate Blanchett to win like pretty much everyone expected Daniel Day-Lewis to win.

I don't really care though.

The only person I wanted to win was Casey Affleck. But who can blame Javier Bardem?

Also: why wasn't Brad Renfro included in the In Memoriam section? Like Heath Ledger really is all that better than Brad Renfro? Shame on you, Academy!

Anyways, let's talk about Amy Adams! PHENOMENAL! She performed Enchanted's Happy Working Song, which was nominated for best song, but didn't win. That's How You Know should've won, but that didn't happen either.. eh... BUT! Amy Adams! Gorgeous! Talented! Gotta give credit to a girl who can own the stage all by her own and sing amazing live.

But then Kristin Chenoweth happened.. ehh.. Kristin performed That's How You Know and I realize she's a Tony Award winner and all, but, honestly, her performance was kinda headache-inducing. Her voice is just not right for this song. I don't know why Amy didn't perform this song as well.

And finally: Katherine Heigl rocked the red carpet. Without a doubt, best dressed celeb of the night! *hearts*

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review: Meet the Spartans

Poor Sean Maguire. He's a... no, wait. Let me direct this to him personally.

Sean? Hi. Gwen here. Just wanted to tell you that I think you are a very talented and funny guy. I remember you from that British magazine Smash Hits, back in the day when you were a popstar. I really really liked you on "Off Centre". It's a shame that show was cancelled, because it was actually funny, and compared to Meet the Spartans a friggin' masterpiece worthy of many Globes and Emmys. I also really like how you X'd Jamie Kennedy when he was trying to X you on "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment". And between you and me, the only reason I ever tuned into "The Class" was to see you.

The thing is, Sean, is that I don't know if I can support you any longer if you make crap like Meet the Spartans. It was painfully unfunny and you deserve much better than this. And I mean MUCH better. And I deserve better too! I realize that you need to pay the rent too, but maybe if you feel tempted to do something like MTS again, you should come and stay over at my place. Forget about paying the rent. We'll drink tea and gossip about Matthew Marsden, a Brit like yourself who was once in Smash Hits and now makes bad movies too (though Rambo is supposedly good). Then we'll laugh about MTS like it was just a bad dream and focus on your promising future.

Think about it.

Hugs & kisses! - G

Yes, this was a really bad movie. I was shocked at how bad it actually was. Sean Maguire was great though and I respect him for making the best of this mess. Carmen Electra and Kevin Sorbo were amusing too. I don't have anything positive left to say and I don't want to waste my time writing more negative things. A 1/5.

ps. Matthew Marsden - don't take this the wrong way. I think you're talented as well and enjoy seeing you on the big and little screen. And you're always welcome to stop by for tea too.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Trailer Park: Cloverfield

I don't watch a lot of trailers online, so this feature will mostly feature (hee!) trailers that were attached to movies I've recently seen. Keep in mind that I live in The Netherlands, and that the trailers attached wont necessarily be the same as the ones in your country. In this post I'll review the trailers that were attached to Cloverfield.

The Mist
I like Thomas Jane. He seems like a cool dude. I enjoyed him very much in Deep Blue Sea and I have no doubt he's able to kick some Mist-monster butt (if the monster has a butt). The trailer is visually pleasing, the cast is talented and Frank Darabont knows how to handle Stephen King stories. I'm looking forward to this somewhat.
To be viewed: on DVD

Meh. I feel like I'm the only one who's not impressed. I liked the beginning when we followed young Max Thieriot, but lost interest when he grew up to be Hayden Christensen. I'm not sure why. Interest was slightly peaked when I saw Jamie Bell, but overall I just feel meh about Jumper. I guess it's just not my kind of movie.
To be viewed: on TV

Things We Lost in the Fire
Hi, David Duchovny. I feel like I've been seeing you a lot lately. On that "Californication" show that I don't like. And on promos and set pics of X-Files 2. It seems you're one of the things lost in the fire in this trailer and that's sad, because you seem to be the only main cast member in the film that I like. Also, you seem to be the only main cast member in this movie not to own an Oscar. But that's okay, since those things seem to be overrated anyways. Hope you're well and give my love to Téa, kay? xoxo - Gwen
To be viewed: on TV

TBS is a Dutch movie and IMDB tells me its international title is Nothing to Lose. It's main character (played by Theo Maassen) is locked up for supposedly killing his father and little sister. While he admits to the murder of his father, he denies killing his sister. He escapes from his clinic and goes in search for his mother who could possibly help him prove his innocence. Along the way he kidnaps a young girl to help him stay out of the hands of the cops. I'm not a big fan of Dutch films, but TBS looks pretty good! And Maassen is a solid actor so he should be able to carry the film.
To be viewed: on TV

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Review: Cloverfield

I finally got to see my most anticipated movie of 2008: Cloverfield! And it was great! I was afraid the hype would lead to disappointment, but I really enjoyed the film. I've already seen it in theaters twice, and it holds up really well in its second viewing. It tends to happen that I like a movie but get bored during a second viewing and end up disliking/hating it (examples: the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks, LotR: Fellowship of the Ring). I think Cloverfield really benefits from a second viewing.. at least you know where you need to focus your attention. I have no problems with the camera work at all, it's just that sometimes the action happens really fast and I feel that if you blink, you'll miss something important.

I was really into the Cloverfield hype when it began. I was following the news and trying to figure out what Slusho! had to do with everything. At some point I kinda lost interest in all that. Not in the movie itself, though. I just didn't want to spoil it for myself so I didn't watch the new trailers and commercials, and didn't look at new pictures etc. I'm glad I didn't, because when I look at those things now, they do spoil a lot!

Our main dude Rob (played by the charismatic Michael Stahl-David) is moving to Japan for his fancy new job as V.P. of Marketing and Promotions for Slusho. His brother Jason (the always great Mike Vogel) and friends Hud (T.J. Miller) and Lily (Jessica Lucas) throw him a surprise goodbye-and-good-luck-in-Japan party. The fun doesn't last long when a monster attacks the city and a mandatory evacuation takes place. Rob, however, goes on a mission to rescue his true love Beth (Odette Yustman), who got injured during the rampage across town, and is accompanied by Jason, Hud, Lily and Lily's friend/Hud's crush Marlena (Lizzy Caplan).

I don't know what else to say. The cast is good and appealing. I feel for our hero Rob, but my favorite character was the little seen Hud. T.J. Miller did a great job at making his character memorable. Mike Vogel was a bit underused IMHO, but that's the Mike fan in me talking. The writing and pacing were pretty good as well. A part of me wanted an explanation about the monster, but I think it works for the better that we didn't get one (if you don't count the viral marketing). I heard they want to make a sequel.. I'm really not up for one. I think it might ruin this movie and they should leave it for what it is.

Like I said before, I had no problems with the camera work and I really liked the flashes to the Coney Island tape. It helped the Rob/Beth back-story. The CGI was pretty damn great.. I didn't get that annoying 'aarghh it looks so fake' feeling from the monster, which is really important for a movie like this.

Overall Cloverfield is a great thrill, but one that will not be appreciated by the masses. And that's a shame. A 4/5.

Remembering Heath Ledger

April 4, 1979 - January 22, 2008

Rest in peace, Heath Ledger!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Box Office Buzz: Cloverfield & 27 Dresses liven up January

Who says January is a slow month? I think it's only slow if studios etc. make it a slow month by releasing crap. Let me applaud J.J. Abrams for releasing a potentially big monster movie called Cloverfield in January! And lookie.. it grossed $40 million in its opening weekend! See, if you release quality, the people will come. The movie looks great, I loved the initial marketing, Mike Vogel is awesome and I cannot wait to see this opening day here in The Netherlands.

But what I'm really happy about is 27 Dresses opening in the second spot with a pretty damn great $22 million. Yes, Katherine Heigl is able to open a movie! I knew she could do it! I know people wanted her to fail after what she said about Knocked Up in her recent Vanity Fair interview, and that she should be thankful to Judd Apatow. I defended her here, and like I said in that post, Katherine Heigl is a star. People will go see a movie for her. And it helps that Prince Charming himself James Marsden co-stars of course! Considering 27 Dresses cost only about $30 million to make, it's a hit for Fox already!

The other big release, Mad Money, did not do as well as Cloverfield and 27 Dresses, but that was to be expected as it stars Katie Holmes. Need I say more? Though the $7.6 million it grossed in its opening weekend is already more than I had anticipated. Ellen Page's Juno is heading towards the $100 mark, while those cute Chipmunks are heading for the $200 million! I will never doubt your movie making decisions again, Jason Lee. I take back everything bad I've said about making a Chipmunks movie. I Am Legend is heading towards the $250 million mark.. people sure love Will Smith!

The weekend numbers courtesy of Box Office Mojo:
1) Cloverfield - $40,037,000/$40,037,000
2) 27 Dresses - $22,750,000/$22,750,000
3) The Bucket List - $14,010,000/$41,569,000
4) Juno - $9,925,000/$85,052,000
5) First Sunday - $7,800,000/$28,466,000
6) National Treasure: Book of Secrets - $7,609,000/$197,492,000
7) Mad Money - $7,600,000/$7,600,000
8) Alvin and the Chipmunks - $6,900,000/$196,280,000
9) I Am Legend - $4,870,000/$247,447,000
10) Atonement - $4,759,000/$31,884,000

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Trailer Park: Good versus Bad trailers

I innocently surfed over to YouTube and staring at me on the index page was the trailer for the Prom Night "remake". I wasn't interested in this movie, but then again, I wasn't interested in the remakes for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead and The Hills Have Eyes either, and they turned out to be pretty damn great. Of course, those movies had (besides good scripts and cinematography) excellent casts to carry them. While watching the Prom Night trailer, the only person I even recognize is that Brittany Snow girl in the lead role. And Brittany Snow ain't no Jessica Biel, Sarah Polley or Aaron Stanford.

Trailer starts with the preparations for prom night and it makes me feel like I'm watching a commercial for One Tree Hill or something.. A cover of Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time plays. It's not even a completely horrible cover and might just be the best thing about this trailer. Hmmmm... After about a minute we get to the "scary parts" and I come to the conclusion that this in no shape, way or form even resembles the original Prom Night. It looks like another generic, PG-13 teen horror flick. Plus, the trailer gives too much away. I feel like I've seen the entire movie already. Isn't a trailer supposed to leave you wanting more? IMDB reminds me that Johnathon Schaech is in this film and by David-Boreanaz-in-Valentine-logic, he must be the killer.
To be viewed: on TV

Now a good trailer, and one that definitely leaves me wanting more, is the Midnight Meat Train trailer. MMT is based on a short story by Clive Barker and stars Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields and Vinnie Jones.

Cooper plays a photographer who runs into a brutal killer (Jones) on the subway. The trailer looks creepy, doesn't give too much away and leaves me with questions like 'Why does Cooper go after the killer by himself?', and 'Why does his girlfriend (Bibb) go on the subway if she knows there's a killer?' Aaarghh the wait is killing me! Plus, I really like Bradley Cooper and Leslie Bibb, and an appealing cast is always important to me.
To be viewed: opening weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Remembering Brad Renfro

Brad Renfro is dead. I still have trouble believing it. I know there are stages in grief and this must be denial. I feel like I've known Brad for years. I mean, I've been following his career for over a decade! It must be like 13 years by now. I had a huge crush on him growing up. I had a poster on my wall. I still have a scrapbook somewhere with clippings and interviews of him and other teen heartthrobs like Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Devon Sawa (what happened to those guys, anyways?). Yes, I thought he was hot, but I also knew he was a very talented young actor and I've seen The Client, The Cure, Tom & Huck, Sleepers, and Apt Pupil a bunch of times in my younger years. This was all back in the 90s.

Since 2000, I've still followed young Brad Renfro's career. I didn't have the poster up anymore, and I stopped scrapbooking, but I did watch his movies when possible. Brad is such an indie kid, it's sometimes difficult to get his films.. especially living elsewhere than the US. I enjoyed his performances in Ghost World and Happy Campers. While I disliked Bully, Brad was great in it. I still have the July 2001 issue of Movieline that features an interview with him in which he stated: "I don't go out and get arrested anymore. The most extravagant thing I do these days is play golf. I'm like an old man."

It never occurred to me that things would end badly for Brad. I knew his bad reputation. I knew he attempted to steal a yacht ("It was a joke, a joke that went very sour."), and that he had substance abuse problems. I always thought he would overcome his problems and make a comeback. Make people see why there was so much buzz when he made his debut in 1994 with The Client.

I've been sad about it all day. It reminds me of when Jonathan Brandis died back in 2003. Both deaths were so unexpected. It makes me wonder if Brad would have been happier back in Knoxville. How his life would've been if he never did The Client and would never have been in Hollywood. Would he be alive and happy today? The world would have been deprived of his talent, but that would have been worth it, right?

Brad Renfro's death is a great loss for Young Hollywood. A loss that's hopefully been met by a hurricane of love...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Review: American Wedding

It's the first time I've rewatched American Wedding since I saw it in theaters back in 2003. I was pretty disappointed in this movie back then. The original American Pie is one of my favorite movies ever and Pie 2 was nowhere near as good as the first one. Knowing half of the original cast wouldn't even appear in Wedding, I had low expectations so how could I still be disappointed?

In American Wedding, Jim (Jason Biggs) proposes to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). What's left of the original gang (read: Finch and Kevin) prepares for the wedding. Stifler, however, is not invited, but somehow manages to get involved.

Okay, so it's not as bad as I remembered it. BUT, it's still not that good either. The things that annoyed me when I first saw it, still annoyed me the second time around.

1) The absence of the original cast members. Yes, I miss Vicky, Heather, Oz, Jessica, Nadia, even Sherman and Stifler's little brother. I know there's no need to have most of these characters in this movie, as they are not friends of Jim and/or Michelle (except Oz). Yet, this is an American Pie film, and they are part of what made the original so great. I especially missed Oz, and this comes from someone who cannot stand Chris Klein (though he was pretty good in Just Friends). It would have bugged me less if they would have at least addressed his absence with a throwaway line like "It's a shame Oz couldn't be here because he recently moved to Australia for his new job and couldn't take time off."

2) You'd think the writers would spend time developing the remaining characters, yet Thomas Ian Nicholas's Kevin is completely underwritten. It's nothing more than a glorified cameo. Poor Thomas deserves so much better than that. Kevin was one of my favorite characters in Pie, and, along with Tara Reid's Vicky, the heart and soul of the original movie. In Wedding, he maybe has ten lines. I keep waiting for him to say something, but it rarely happens.

3) Stifler is an ass in all three movies, but I found him incredibly unlikable (except for the end) and unfunny in this one. Stifler was another fave character of mine, though after watching Wedding, I have trouble remembering why. Seann William Scott is a good actor, but he is overacting here and it gets tiring.

4) January Jones as Michelle's sister Cadence. She is incredibly bland in everything I've ever seen her in.

5) The gross-out humor is way overboard here. Stifler eats poo. Need I say more?

Of course, there are some good things about this film. Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Eugene Levy are all very good here (Thomas Ian Nicholas has always been good, but he's barely in this) and I really liked watching their characters progress throughout the films. I think they should've made a TV show spin-off at some point. It could have worked with good writers. The ones who did "Off Centre" spring to mind; that sitcom was created by the Weitz brothers (who directed Pie), starred Pie-regulars Eddie Kaye Thomas and John Cho, and featured guest appearances by Levy, Biggs and Shannon Elizabeth. And it was genuinely funny. CHAU RULES!

I liked that there was more heart in Wedding than there was in Pie 2. I loved the original Pie for combining gross-out with heart, but the latter incredibly lacked in the sequel. In Wedding, there are some sweet moments, like the wedding itself and Jim making sure Michelle gets the dress of her dreams. Those things and the cameos by John Cho and Jennifer Coolidge do make this last installment of the American Pie trilogy (I don't count those other "Pie" movies like Band Camp) worth watching. I would love to see American Pie: the Reunion though! A 3/5.