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Movie review : Diary of a Wimpy Kid

RunPee - PeeTimes linkDiary of a Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
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It is Spring Break in sunny California. I forgot this tidbit of information when I went to the very first showing of Wimpy Kid. The theater was packed with, yep, you guessed it, Middle School Kids. I don’t really like to go see a movie with a bunch of kids in the theater, they bother me…

However…as it turns out… this was a good thing. The kids let me know that this was a truly funny movie and the Moms let me know that they approved. There were no scenes to make a parent sorry they took the kids, not much really gross stuff except for one booger and a nasty piece of cheese.

The acting was good, the story moved along at a pretty good pace, and there was even a nice message for the kids to take home with them.

What did you think about Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : The Bounty Hunter

RunPee - PeeTimes linkThe Bounty Hunter
The Bounty Hunter
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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
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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
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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 : Green Zone

RunPee - PeeTimes linkGreen Zone
Green Zone
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I think the best way to describe how good this movie is is to compare it to a very good George Clooney movie with all the very good parts taken out. There’s nothing wrong with Matt Damons work at all. In fact he was very good. But the story just doesn’t quite grab you by the throat. Instead it seemed a little confusing right around the middle part.

There’s nothing much to make this a compelling movie to see in the theater. I’d say wait for the DVD.

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

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Movie review : Brooklyn’s Finest

Brooklyn’s Finest
Brooklyn's Finest
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If you’re a fan of either Don Cheadle, Richard Gere or Ethan Hawke, or just like cop movies, then you’ll love Brooklyn’s Finest. This movie is a little like Pulp Fiction without the dark humor.

There are three plots and each is germane to the ending. You see each of the characters crossing paths several times during the movie in small ways, so you know that somehow they’re going to be brought together and they are in a dynamite ending.

I’ve read a number of other reviews of Brooklyn’s Finest and no one gave it anything better than a “B”…good….let me be the first to give it a resounding “A”.

What did you think about Brooklyn’s Finest? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

Movie review : Cop Out

Cop Out
Cop Out
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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
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[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
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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 : Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day
Valentine's Day
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[ No spoilers ] First off the cast is great and huge. In the first 30 minutes of the movie there were at least 15 different scene cuts and it didn’t seem like we visited the same actor/actress twice. This movie is packed with highly recognizable stars.

There are many movies that have massive ensembles where we gradually see how their lives are intertwined. And doesn’t it seem like movies like this always take place in Los Angeles? What’s up with that? Well, there was Love Actually that took place in London. But all the rest are LA based. 🙂

I thought the movie was pretty good. Not great. Certainly no where near as good as Love Actually and probably not as good as Magnolia which is another one of my favorite’s in this genera – whatever this genera is called.

There were a few good laughs. Some surprises here and there. One thing is certain: if you see this movie then absolutely hang out through the beginning of the credits. There are a few minutes of bloopers and the last one is not to be missed. 🙂

It was very difficult to get peetimes for this movie because most of the scenes aren’t more than 2 minutes long. Plus, I knew that something that might seem innocuous but then turn out to be hugely important later on. That’s how this type of movie goes. So I just had to take my bust shot. I think the peetime after the camera man says, “High school love…ignorant of reality” is the best one to use.

What did you think about Valentine’s Day? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.