Movie review : Funny People

Funny People

Funny People is partly about a guy with a terminal illness. And it’s partly about a guy who screwed up and didn’t marry the woman he loved when he had the chance. And it’s partly about a few other things. But ultimately it’s a bro-mance about two guys and the growth of their relationship.

Fortunately the title of the movie isn’t ironic and there are a few good laughing points. But it isn’t hilarious. The acting is right on which might be the biggest problem with the movie. The characters are like, you know, fairly normal people and where’s the fun in that?

It is a good story, not great. I cared for the characters and their development. Something that is important to me in any movie is that I believe the relationships and that’s where I felt this movie stood out. That being the case I’d give it a solid B. It isn’t good enough to get a B+ but they didn’t really screw anything up either to get a B-.

What did you think about Funny People? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Orphan

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Orphan

PeeTimes for Orphan are up. Our reviewer told us there is only one decent PeeTime (35 minutes in), so we suggest using that as a proactive pee break. That way you can enjoy the non-stop second half of the movie! CREEPY!

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What do you think about Orphan? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : The Ugly Truth

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The Ugly Truth

If you want a good evening out, then I’d suggest seeing The Ugly Truth with a group of friends, and then heading out to dinner for some lively conversation afterward. Not only can you talk about the merits of the movie, but also the points that Mike makes on his show: everything from ‘can men be changed,’ to the merits of masturbation.

The movie itself is good. Solid performances all around. And I found that I really believed the romance developing between the two characters. It isn’t in the same league as say When Harry Met Sally, but then what is?However, it does have a scene that comes very close… I’ll say no more.

If you like romantic comedies you’ll enjoy this.

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

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Movie review : G-Force

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G-Force

In case you didn’t know, G-Force is 3-D movier for young kids. There were many kids in the audience in the 4-7 age ranges. The main reason I say it’s a young kids movie is that there are a lot of short scenes and every 3rd scene – at least – involves some sort of action. Something to keep the kids from losing focus.

I did notice that the kids in the theater laughed quite a few times. And I saw the 3D version which seemed very appealing to them. A handful of times you could hear them gasp as something seemed to leap out of the screen.

So it’s a safe bet that most young children will enjoy this. I wouldn’t push this off on children getting into their early teens, though.

As for adults, well… it didn’t suck. But what many good writers are able to do is intersperse adult humor into a kids film that the kids won’t be able to get. Usually by quoting something in past/pop culture, or paying homage to other movies. There was just a tiny bit of that here and it just wasn’t that well done.

What did you think about G-Force? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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Are Modern Movies Too Long?

Bladder Bursting Blockbusters – are modern movies too long?

As Alfred Hitchcock said, “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.” Beautifully said and appropriate for most films. wikipedia creative commons film photo

The above-linked Yahoo News Story lists wonderful films clocking in at 90 minutes – Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark – films that would have foundered at longer lengths (like their very own sequels/prequels, actually). Hitchcock wisdom aside, I ‘m not sure 90 minutes is the magic minute number for all films.

The Lord of the Rings films are, inarguably, verrrrry loooong. But the Lord of the Rings book is thousands of pages! Thousands. That trilogy needs the length to explain things properly, and still many of the movie version’s storylines are compressed. Tom Bombadill was eliminated as a plot point – which I am okay with, granted – but when favorite characters like Faramir and Theoden get short shrift, it irks. The poignantly dark story of Denethor was reduced to a joke. Saruman’s film farewell was just unfortunate, compared to his kick-ass denoument in the novel. My point is, the movies could have been even longer in this case, but not shorter.

Titanic was also very well told, despite the seemingly-excessive screen time. It’s a clean story with a good pace; I would have hated to miss any of it. Titanic is long, yes, but somehow stays fresh with every viewing.

The Color Purple is another classic long film without fat. Shawshank Redemption fills its running time nicely; The Abyss is just about right…so, not every long film is a tedious bore.

wikipedia creative commons peter jacksonBut then there are the films that really could have – nay, should have – been shorter. Peter Jackson, fresh off the Oscar success of Lord of the Rings, was granted much too much leeway to directorially dictate King Kong.

Jackson’s overweening Kong story clunks along with frequent gratuitious interludes, like the psychotic bug swamp gross-fest. By the time the gorilla gets to NYC, you’ve long since stopped caring about anyone but the girl, and you wish Jack Black would just die already.

Did you know King Kong is actually the movie that inspired the creation of RunPee in the first place?

We really should make an award for that.

So what is the answer? Besides being armed with a list of good PeeTimes?

Well, directors should hire excellent film editors, for a start – people who know when a story starts to sag but don’t keep you breathless for the whole ride, either. A movie like The Bourne Identity got it right – not slow, but not exhausting. Aliens got it right and so did Pitch Black (even though, once again, their sequels forgot how to tell their stories properly). Finding Nemo is just about perfect. Australia didn’t get it right: sitting through it feels like watching three unrelated, rather tedious films.

What movies do you think are too long? Is it only epic and adventure films that suffer from poor editing? What movies do you think got it right?

New Transformers Review posted on RunPee

RunPee has a new movie reviewer for Science Fiction movies in the esteemed Michelle Taylor, Science Fiction Movies Editor at BellaOnline.com.

She’s posted her Transformers review on our blog –> Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen <– (it’s a cool review)

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From Michelle Taylor’s bio on BellaOnline.com: Michelle Taylor, Science Fiction Movie Guru

As far as movies go, I am not the “girly-girl” type. If the word “romance” is in the description of the movie, you are not going to find me in the theatre.

However, if there are amazing special effects, kick-butt fight scenes, and the promise of some kind of monster or alien – well, sign me up!

Like many of you, I cut my teeth on “Star Wars” in the early 70s and haven’t looked back. I am also an avid Marvel comics fan (with a major collection of X-men and related universe titles) and so the production of comic books into movies is right up my alley! I also love reading, so I grew up with the epic tales like “Lord of the Rings” and was thrilled to see those adaptations. And finally the roles of women in Scifi/Fantasy have been growing and strengthening ever since the movies of “Alien” and “Terminator”. These are all things that keep me coming back to the theatre.

We are excited to welcome Michelle to our growing list of reviewers at RunPee and look forward to reading her POV on sci fi!

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Transformers

What do you think about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Let me start by saying that I’m not a big Harry Potter fan. I’ve seen all of the movies and thought they were okay. But I haven’t read any of the books. And I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan – both of the books and movies.

I must confess that I didn’t like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at all. I’m not saying it was a bad movie. It just lacked anything to get over the hump of being average.

The most notible failing is the acting/directing. There are very few scenes where the actors have any expression other than a dower expression of impending doom or feeling dejected over their inability to form a relationship with the ones they really love. And there’s hardly ever a smile, or quirky expresson of playfulness. In only a few scenes during the movie did the audience laugh out loud.

Since impending doom is the flavor of the day, throughout the movie they should have worked with it by getting more closeups of the actors in anquish. But the camera seems to always be far enough away that we don’t feel the actors. We only see them. I never felt any connection to any character at all.

The first hour-and-a-half or so of the movie is also filled with many short choppy scenes, with hardly any connection from one to another. It’s as if they decided to film a few pages of the book here and there without aluding to what was skipped over. But I’ve found all of the movies, except the first one in this series, to have a similar flow. If it didn’t bother you then then it won’t bother you now.

Lastly, the music was completely underwhelming. Where’s Hans Zimmer when you need him? 🙂

Ultimately, this movie seemed like it was put together from scenes from a great movie that fell on the cutting room floor.

What did you think about Harry Potter? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire


Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

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Buy at AllPosters.com

Movie review : I Love You, Beth Cooper

I love you, Beth Cooper is certainly meant for a teenage audience, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a quality movie. Is it predictable? Certainly. Is it a movie about broken stereotypes? Of course.

Nonetheless, it is still a quality story. The main characters are likable from the beginning and become even more likable as the story unfolds.

The movie has lots of funny scenes but only a few times did the audience laugh out loud.

Beth, Hayden Panettiere from HEROES, gives an excellent performance. She can say a lot with her expressions.

Denis, Paul Rust, who played the neardy kid, did quite well. He doesn’t have the awkward physical humor as well as Jim Cary, but then who does?

I really thought that Rich, Jack Carpenter, did the best job of all. I never got the sense that he was acting a role or putting on a performance. He is either very much like the character he plays or he is a fantastic actor. We’ll have to see him in some various roles to know which is which.

What did you think about I Love You, Beth Cooper? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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Movie review : Bruno

Bruno is funny, crass and explicit. And pokes fun at just about everyone and everything in Hollywood. That alone makes it worth seeing. The swinger’s party, near the end, is possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in a movie. If you just want a good laugh, go see Bruno.

If you’re offended by onscreen sex, nudity and foul language, or if the thought of seeing two men kissing makes you queasy, then do not see this movie… go see Ice Age instead.

Note from polyGeek: my mother, who did this review, is a big fan of South Park and Family Guy. She commented to me that Bruno is sort of like an uncensored version of those shows.

She also said that she thought this was one of the funniest movies she had ever seen and in the next breath said, “And you probably wouldn’t like it.” Not sure what that says about me. 🙂

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

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Movie review : Public Enemies

[ no spoilers ]

Guess what: Johnny Depp is a fantastic actor. Once again, he plays his roll with aplomb. I think that Depp and Mann – the director – play well together. Depp is able to commanded the scenes he was in without overdoing it, which is a tribute to their team work.

It’s hard to say if Christian Bale did a good job because his character is so unassuming. In a way, I wish he hadn’t been in this movie. There are many actors that could have done a fine job of playing FBI agent Melvin Purvis leaving Bale to shine in something more demanding of his talents.

The only other character to get enough screen time to be recognized is Dillinger’s girlfriend played by Marion Cotillard. The only problem I had with the entire movie is that there didn’t seem to be any magic between her and Depp that would justify the attraction and sacrifices that the characters made for each other.

Michael Mann, the director, does a nice job of making a modern 1930s movie. The colors are muted throughout the film and occasionally he fades to a sepia tone to give it that news real footage.

From reading back over this much of my review I see the failing of this movie: there is nothing magical about it.

Everything in the movie seems to be slightly muted, just like the colors. There isn’t much to cheer for or against. And because it’s based on a true story there is little, or no, suspense. Of course Depp creates a likable but not lovable Dillinger. Bale’s character is no different. And the one thing that probably could have made the movie much better would be to create a real love story between Dillinger and Billie. But that doesn’t quite get off the ground either.

So there wasn’t anything wrong with this movie but there also wasn’t anything right about it either. If I didn’t have to see it professionally – to get the PeeTimes – then I wouldn’t have missed seeing this one. But then again it wasn’t a total waste of time either.

What did you think about Public Enemies? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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