Movie review – Mars Needs Moms

This was a truly unique movie. Never before has animation appeared so life like. Facial expressions and lip movements were closer to reality than I’ve seen in previous animated films – and I see a lot. As a bonus as the credits roll at the end we are given an insight as to how this was achieved using head gear on the actors doing the voices.

Not only was this a technically interesting movie but the plot was terrific. It was action packed from beginning to end with lots of humor and even a couple of heart warming scenes.

For the younger audience there’s a few scenes that are a bit scary and a few that may bring a tear to your eye. A young boy and his mother exited the movie just ahead of me. I asked mom how she and her son liked the movie and they both said that they loved it. Mom said that at one point they were both crying just a little – although the little boy denied it. 🙂

Movie review – Battle: Los Angeles

[ No Spoilers ]

Battle: Los Angeles is an amazingly fun, action packed, and gut wrenching movie. There was nothing that I didn’t like about the film. It has a lot in common with the other modern alien invasion movies: District 9, Independence Day, etc. But it is closer to District 9 in it’s grittyness.

The movie follows a platoon of marines starting 24 hours before the invasion through about a day or so of fighting. Once the action starts there is hardly a chance to catch your breath until the credits – making it hard to find peetimes! 🙂

One word of warning that I’d offer is that many of the shots are done with a shaky handheld camera. You won’t want to sit too close to the screen for this film. I sat in the back row and it hardly bothered me at all.

What I appreciated the most about the film is how well they avoided the need to go over the top with impossible action shots – as in ID4. They also avoided any unnecessary need to trudge up any fake romances or inappropriate humor. As much as an alien invasion movie is fiction this seemed real – which made it all the more gripping.

The only exposition comes from just a few short news clips that we watch with the marines. So we know what they know and that’s it. There’s no jumping around to different groups of people. Halfway through the movie you’ll be able to feel like your a member of the squad as well.

The movie is graphic but not over the top. There are no shots of limbs being blown off – as in Saving Private Ryan. There is only one scene in the movie that might seem gross – the alien autopsy – but even that is pretty tame.

I’m not a military veteran but if you are this movie will make you feel proud. The marines are the good guys out fighting to save their country and it’s citizens. Hooah!

Movie review : Vampires Suck

I actually got the biggest kick out of this movie. Having read all the Twilight books, but somehow missing out on all three movies, might have been a part of it. I thought this light spoof did a great job holding a coherent plot, compressing the huge oeuvre into one hour and 20 minutes, and telling the Bella/Edward story pretty well.

Fans of Jacob are likely to be disappointed with the short shrift his character – and the other wolves – get. The “ending” goes some way in addressing this.

Each character was very much “in character” the entire time, which is a step up from the morbidly nonsensical spoofs along the Epic Movie/Scary Movie lines. The plot moved along so swiftly it was hard to get decent Peetimes.

While this film has been pretty much panned by everyone else, I’ll give it a B-. I had a good time with it.

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

Movie review : The Switch

A very cute movie – and also a more grown-up version of a romantic comedy than we are used to seeing. Characters’ actions have consequences; personalities have depth. The Switch hit all the right notes to be a classic.

Aniston finally has a vehicle that isn’t embarrassing – she’s fine in this film. And while she may be the headliner, it’s the characters of Wally and Sebastian that steal every scene. They are recognizable people – neurotic ones, yes, but the kind of people you’d like to know (or maybe already do).

Jeff Goldblum does his recognizable ‘dry/droll humor’ schtick, in a good way.

The obligatory ‘jerk’ love interest is even likeable. There aren’t good guys and bad guys here – just people.

The picture frame metaphors are lovely.

The Switch could have caved to saccharine urges, but never stoops to that level. This film earns an easy A, and due to Jason Bateman’s solid talent, is very rewatchable.

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

A Discussion on Buddy Cop Movies

Dan and I (Jill) just IMed about funny action cop buddy movies, and the sub genre that spoofs them. Here ya go:

me: did you see my moview review on The Other Guys?
i just updated it
danflorio: no, I didn’t read it. I’ll go check it out
me: i didn’t pan it in any way it didn’t deserve. you will see. i think it’s a fair review
me: very few action comedy cop movies get it right.
danflorio: BHC #1 & 2
me: caxtly!!!! i was exactly thinking beverly hills cop
me: also he has a sidekick, not a buddy, so it’s a little different
danflorio: Tango & Cash, which was good for its day.
danflorio: I saw it again recently. It really was pretty lame. especially at the end. but fun
danflorio: And of course Lethal Weapon – sorta a comedy
me: right lethal weapon is the high water mark
me: almost flawless. Lethal Weapon is the Lord of the Rings – genre creating. I have not seen Pinapple Express or Tropic Thunder, so i don’t know if they get it right. MIB gets it right. In pure spoofland, the Naked Gun and Police Academy do it.
danflorio: I don’t think I saw Cop Out. but I agree about TM. You know what’s funny: I can’t imagine that there is a single real life cop-duo that is anything like the movies pretend. Cops are just beaten down by the rigors of the job. Do cops enjoy their jobs?
me: Only my Uncle Frank. He was a Bronx beat cop and loved it. Might be unusual though.
danflorio: k. Oh, another good cop movie – Running Scared. That was very funny and good drama. Fantastic movie
me: I have heard Rush Hour and 48 hours are excellent.
danflorio: We need to watch them together. Okay, can I get back to work now? Please?

Movie review : Flipped

RunPee - PeeTimes linkFlipped
Flipped
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Last week I saw “Charlie St. Cloud”, this week I saw “Flipped”. Charlie ripped at my heart but in the end the boy got the girl, the brother went to heaven and all was right with the world again. In Flipped, there was no tugging at the heart string, no painful goodbye’s just some cute puppy love and goo-goo eyes. That’s not to say that it was just an empty kiddy flick with no message for the youngsters. It was filled with kindness, sympathy for those less fortunate and best of all, an acceptance for things that are what they are and can’t be changed. The best part of the film was John Mahoney. Rarely can an actor say so much with so few words. Every kid going into Junior High should see this movie but they probably won’t because there’s no mind-blowing CG, no killer sound track and nobody gets to kick the crap out of the bully. Sad, very sad.

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

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Movie review : The Other Guys

RunPee - PeeTimes linkThe Other Guys
The Other Guys
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iTunes
Amazon

I’m not sure how to rate this movie. It started out brilliant, then lost all steam and comic coherence.

The opening sequence with The Rock and Samuel L Jackson spoofing themselves is a wonderful riot. The scenes between Will Ferrell and Mark Walhberg in the NYPD offices have some of the best humor seen this year.

Ferrell and Walhburg delight the viewer in their passive-aggressive and aggressive-aggressive differences. Characters Allen and Terry have just enough logic in their idiocy to lay the foundation for a completely enjoyable romp. The lion vs tuna discussion is easily the single best absurdist argument ever heard on film. A respectfully silent funeral brawl must be seen to be believed – that they pull it off, in context, cracks me up. And Micheal Keaton fantastically underplays some neo-dadist pop culture referencing that weirdly nutshells his career.

Then The Rock and Jackson do something so note perfect in a buddy/action cop movie, so funny and surreal, that it shocked me. Incredibly great stuff.

It’s all hugely funny. Until it falters. Somewhere along the way the movie becomes annoying; the jokes go limp…and the senseless plot becomes the driving force in what should have been a complete send up of the mismatched partners cop genre.

There’s a talent to writing a script using low-brow humor in a classic way, and The Other Guys stays in that perfect zone for about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, a few set pieces – the ex-girlfriend scene comes to mind – veer off into the form of crazy that isn’t funny. And most of the scenes with Ferrell and Eva Mendez, as the hot wife who takes his verbal abuse, get more embarrassing the longer they go on. Maybe the unfunny funny stuff is forgivable in a Will Ferrell movie.

What’s not forgivable: when Ferrell and director McKay forget their movie is a spoof, and elevate the flimsy plot with an attempt at serious follow-through. It’s just not that kind of film. The long running time (1 hour and 46 minutes by my count) absolutely could not support itself.

By the three quarter mark into the film, I was ready to leave. The humor wasn’t all that any more; the action wasn’t good enough to entertain. If I didn’t have to stay and monitor the end credits for RunPee, I’d have gone home. Barring a few good moments (Ferrell complaining that a real explosion hurts and the movies have it wrong, whining it’s not fair the bad guys have a helicopter), there’s nothing to actually miss. Including the interesting but depressing golden parachute powerpoint credits presentation, and the unfunny outtake tag.

So, how to rate The Other Guys? If the first act earns an A and the middle and end a C-, then I can live with a B- total score.

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

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

RunPee - PeeTimes linkCats & Dogs
Cats & Dogs

Don’t you just love movies where animals can talk. What I really love is trying to figure out who all the voices are. This time around I was stumped on a few of them, so I recommend looking the movie up on IMDB before hand. Now that I know who all the voices were, it’s even more funny.

There are a ton of funny one liners, so many that I actually started writing them down so I could use them for myself. It’s a very predictable movie but that doesn’t matter at all. You can just sit back and laugh. It’s a fun movie for all ages, young or old, you’re gonna love it.

What did you think about Cats & Dogs? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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Movie review: Charlie St. Cloud

RunPee - PeeTimes linkCharlie St. Cloud
Charlie St. Cloud

This was a sweet movie, it’s not going to win any awards and it probably won’t be a blockbuster but it is good clean entertainment. Yes, it has its sad moments and there are more than a few holes in the story but the acting is spot-on plus the scenery is beautiful. Parents, no need to worry about dropping the youngsters off to see the film. There are no scenes that could possibly corrupt the kiddies.

What did you think about Charlie St. Cloud? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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Movie review : Dinner for Schmucks

RunPee - PeeTimes linkDinner for Schmucks
Dinner for Schmucks
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Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

“Dinner with Schmucks”, directed by Jay Roach and stars Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, sounds like an instant comedy hit…right? No. The film has quite a few good laughs…and then nothing much after that. It is hard when a film has a better supporting cast performances than the main cast. Saving grace for the film besides the supporting cast is the supporting supporting cast (I guess?), Barry’s mice diorama’s. That credit needs to go to The Chiodo Brothers (“Killer Klowns from Outer Space”) for creating the best joke in the whole film and stealing the show.

You can read the rest of the review over at MovieMikes.com.

What did you think about Dinner for Schmucks? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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