Shows up on the homepage under the “Movie Reviews”

Movie review : Furry Vengeance

RunPee - PeeTimes linkFurry Vengeance
Furry Vengeance
Buy the soundtrack for Furry Vengeance
iTunes
Amazon

This was a pretty silly movie, but the kids should like it and the eco-message is very good. Brooke Shields and Brendan Frasier gave it a good go, in a low-budget flick that elicited a few light chuckles here and there from the adults. The kids on opening day seemed to enjoy the non-talking animal antics.

Warning: Lots of potty humor and semi-violent slapstick.

What did you think about Furry Vengeance? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Movie review : Date Night

RunPee - PeeTimes linkDate Night
Date Night
Buy the soundtrack for Date Night
iTunes

Sigh. For the two funniest people on television, I was expecting very funny, not mildly amusing. The outtakes showed how enjoyable this film coulda, shoulda have been.

I don’t blame the actors. I think the director told them to dial it back and play it straight – which was a mistake, as the plot doesn’t stand on its own. Really – go ask the Tripplehorns to return the stolen flash drive and you’ll solve this whole mistaken identity mob thing? The Fosters don’t come across as morons, so the writers must be.

If the plot doesn’t make sense in a film, you have to fall back on the acting. In this particular outing, people are paying money to see Tina Fey and Steve Carrell be outrageous. It is unfortunate the actual “Tripplehorns” (in their brief scene) were funnier.

Since Fey and Carrell didn’t act poorly in any way, and even had charisma together, I am assuming the Fosters’ subdued line readings were the director’s choice.

Wait all the way through after the end credits to view the unused, spontaneous line readings and you’ll catch what I mean. These people can be VERY funny if left unleashed to pursue their genius. Someone unwisely decided to play this too straight – too awkwardly uptight – and turned out a film that’s tragically, predictably, ultimately mediocre.

Wait for the DVD for this one. B

What did you think about Date Night? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Movie review : The Bounty Hunter

RunPee - PeeTimes linkThe Bounty Hunter
The Bounty Hunter
Buy the soundtrack for The Bounty Hunter
Purchase at iTunes
Purchase at Amazon

With its convoluted plot, you’d think Bounty Hunter might be a waste of time. Who is after who? Which set of bad guys are we looking at? Why isn’t Milo a cop anymore? It doesn’t really matter. The game is only afoot between Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston. Everything else is filler.

The attractive leads have an engaging chemistry – the sole point of the film. The snappy retorts and crazy little chase scenes fit the bill for an hour and a half of light entertainment. In fact, finding Peetimes was pretty easy, since there aren’t really any set pieces you can’t miss.

I can even ignore the unfunny insensitive treatment of Nicole’s co-worker/suitor (a nice enough fellow who puts himself in the line of fire for Nicole and gets atrocious treatment for it). It was enough for me to settle into a pleasant little March movie and watch hunky Butler make cute little Aniston squirm.

B+ for the fun, and ignore the hammy henchmen/plot MacGuffins.

What did you think about The Bounty Hunter? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Our Family Wedding

RunPee - PeeTimes linkOur Family Wedding
Our Family Wedding
Buy the soundtrack for Our Family Wedding
iTunes
Amazon

Surprise sleeper hit! Excellent writing, gales of genuine laughter and an appealing ensemble cast. A+ all around, and an example of how a movie should be done.

This was our favorite movie this year, so far. The fathers steal every scene from the game young couple, making you wish the snapshot photos during the end credits actually herald a return to these families’ lives.

It was challenging to find Peetimes for this film, since there are interesting and funny moments in every scene. Listen closely to the throw-away lines of some of the extended family members. This cast illustrates well the old chestnut of there being no small roles, only small actors.

There is a scene with a goat, where you realize (like the characters do), that Big Life Events are impossible to control once set in motion…and the best thing is to simply sit back and watch the mayhem play out. Then you pick up the broken wine glasses, straighten the tables, and blaze forward anyway.

If you enjoyed My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’ll see some echoes of that here, mixed in with Father of the Bride, Grumpy Old Men, and even the Odd Couple. Great soundtrack, too, which I plan to purchase. Everything associated with this film was simply stellar.

I actually want to go back and see it again. Maybe instead of seeing Cop Out! Oh, wait. I already saw Cop Out. Too bad. Our Family Wedding was the kind of surprise pleasure that a reviewer gets to enjoy once or twice a year…if she’s lucky.

What did you think about Our Family Wedding? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : She’s Out of My League

RunPee - PeeTimes linkShe’s Out of My League
She's Out of My League
Buy the soundtrack for She’s Out of My League
iTunes
Amazon

Charming in a low key way. While the lead characters have no actual romantic chemistry with each other, they are enjoyably cast. The backup friends (on both sides) are really the delight of this film. Stainer and his motley TSA group really come into their own by the story’s end.

The mathematics of hotness is interestingly worked out, all things considered (even though the sappy final message is that we’re all a 10 outside if we believe it inside).

This wasn’t too hard to get PeeTimes for, as nothing really happens in this film that you absolutely can’t miss. It’s not like there is an actual plot here. It’s just a cute lightweight film that seems to have a bit of fun with itself.

B-, and wait for the DVD.

What did you think about She’s Out of My League? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Cop Out

Cop Out
Cop Out
Buy the soundtrack for Cop Out
Purchase at iTunes
Purchase at Amazon

Cop Out was hard to watch. It…um… sucked. It had humor and adventure and really bad guys, with independent but loyal female characters. Some moments provoked a giggle or two.

With me so far? Cop Out cast me nostalgically back to 80s police movies like Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard (Bruce Willis: “I never saw that movie”) and hell, strangely, Star Wars. Why not? Sounds okay, right?

Cop Out still sucked.

Kevin’s Smith’s latest work is a mish-mash of nonsense that even Bruce Willis can’t redeem. Unless you absolutely love Tracy Morgan’s gummy elucidation, you won’t laugh as much as the script thinks you will. I would have really enjoyed Tracy’s extended ‘homage’ debriefing had he taken the marbles from his mouth. Is this actor missing some teeth? Is there some chew in there that precludes comprehensibility? And by what clever notion does common penis/bowel-movement vulgarity equate humor (outside of a South Park episode)?

And Bruce. Sigh. Lovely, sexy, straight-man Bruce. You need to get together with Harrison Ford and commiserate about Extreme Measures and this miserable wacked-out flop. There was some decent buddy-chemistry with Tracy. We know you tried. You know we still love you, right?

We will still pay good money to watch your cute, vulnerable/tough guy shtick.

Just please, don’t do these lightweight jobs that should reasonably embarrass everyone with their names in the credits.

Lastly. Kevin Smith, we won’t hold this against you. We KNOW you can do subversive and funny. This just wasn’t it.

Somewhere between a C+ and B-, but we recommend you wait for the DVD.

What did you think about Cop Out? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : The Crazies

The Crazies
The Crazies
Buy the soundtrack for The Crazies
Purchase at iTunes
Purchase at Amazon

[No Spoilers ] The Crazies is a good solid zombie flick but certainly not the best of the genre. There isn’t a lot of action to speak of so this doesn’t compare to something like Resident Evil. And I don’t recall a single funny scene, so it’s nothing like Shaun of the Dead. What this movie does have over most other zombie flicks is good solid realism. I didn’t just say that, did I? 🙂

Seriously, what would happen if a small Midwestern town suddenly came down with zombiecitis? I’d say this is a pretty good depiction of what to expect.

They play around with the zombie mythology a bit in this film to make it seem more realistic. You’ll see what I mean. And there is a cause for how and why this disease has hit this town. But the movie doesn’t waste time on tracking down causes or secret government conspiracies. All of those details are dispensed with in about 5 minutes of screen time. Maybe less.

What did you think about The Crazies? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson& the Olympians
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Buy the soundtrack for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Purchase at iTunes
Purchase at Amazon

A very enjoyable flick! Kinda Harry Potter meets the X-Men. Fun, watchable, an A-.

Since this is the first installment in what I am expecting to be a new franchise, I am willing to give the plot a lot of leeway. So yes, the denouement is rather awful, but the build up more than compensates. And each step of the Pearl Gathering trials was so completely enjoyable I can’t decide which of the three parts I liked best. Medusa? The Hydra? Or the little detour in Las Vegas?

(I might have to pick Las Vegas. Although Uma Thurman did some wonderful scene chewing at “Auntie Em’s”).

I’ll also give the young actors some time to settle into their roles. There was nothing egregious here, and I look forward to returning to a peek at how the Olympian Gods live within our own society.

One thing though: Hades? It’s not Hell. Writers, go back and read your mythology texts.

What did you think about Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness
Edge of Darkness
Buy the soundtrack for Edge of Darkness
Purchase at iTunes
Purchase at Amazon

Mel Gibson provides just the right touch in Edge of Darkness – he’s a sweetheart father, a rough Boston cop dedicated to his job, and pretty darned good at psyching people out to give up their creepy intel. He’s also lucky to make it to the end in one piece (so to speak) with that nothing-left-to-lose ‘tude he pulls on everyone in his path. Yes, he’s done that before in Lethal Weapon, but that was back in the Pleistocene. Mel’s a grown up now, and a lot darker.

It was hard to find PeeTimes for this movie, since you really do need to pay ATTENTION to everything that goes on. And sometimes, even when you are paying close attention, you still miss a subtle clue, or just can’t untangle what someone with a quiet but thick English accent might have just said.

Is this a scary flick? No. There’s some vomit and blood, but it all makes sense with what is going on. You’ll startle at least once (there’s a thing with a car door…). Are there laughs? A running gag about what’s legal in Massachusetts got the audience going each time. Will you cry? I tried not to. I almost made it. That last 15 seconds got me over the edge, dang it.

An excellent score by Howard Shore backs up this surprisingly thoughtful thriller. Dark, complicated, intense, a few light laughs and a tiny bit of tears at the very end. See this film. A-

What did you think about Edge of Darkness? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : When in Rome

When in Rome
When in Rome
Buy the soundtrack for When in Rome
Purchase at iTunes
Purchase at Amazon

I like Kristen Bell; she is a doll. When in Rome is charming fluff to pleasantly fill an hour and make you want to believe in magic. Maybe. Ignore the plot holes and try to just have fun.

The film sweeps along at a swift clip with hardly any filler. Bell and Josh Duhamel have a nice, easygoing chemistry. The silly suitors (including one surprise casting) get down with their bad selves as enjoyable irritants. The Wizard of Oz ending was sappy but cute: “And without you, Dorothy, I would never have found the courage/heart/brains to become a better person.”

Duhamel’s buddy Puck is also a hoot in his off-kilter supporting role. Let’s hope he finds a woman who appreciates Wookies.

I would have liked more scenes in Rome. Most of the film is in New York, and that was a let down. New York City – pish – done that. At least recent rom-com Leap Year treated us to a fine Irish panorama. I wanted more Rome.

Thoughtful use of the Guggenheim, though.

When in Rome earns a solid B for light hearted, silly fun with a ‘different’ romantic premise. It’s not trying to make a statement or pretend to be something deep. The audience laughed a lot, and so did I.

Ingredients: love-struck suitor fun, amiable romantic antics, wedding chuckles. Add a pinch of art discussion and one Roman statue of Venus. Mix well with attractive leads. Serve warm, with a side of laughter.

************************************************

Okay, duty done: let’s get down to what really needs to happen: Getting Veronica Mars back. Please? Any producers listening?

************************************************

What did you think about When in Rome? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

.