Here's what I've seen in the last few weeks..
"Quantum of Solace", rated PG-13, starring Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench
I have to be clear on this... I'm not a huge James Bond fan. This is unofficially the 25th movie in the James Bond series, and I've probably seen, or at least can remember, five or six of them. That being said, I think Daniel Craig is a great James Bond. Seriously... Pierce Brosnan was decent, I think, though a little too... well, charming and not manly enough... while Timothy Dalton was terrible. Roger Moore was the Bond of my childhood mostly, and of course, everyone loved Sean Connery from back in the day.
Now that my exposition is out of the way, I can say that I really and fully enjoyed this flick. It picks up right where "Casino Royale" left off, another film I enjoyed immensely--one of the coolest things about 2006. One drawback is that "Quantum" features none of the gadgets that we are so used to seeing, but like "Casino Royale", the story isn't about the gadgets. This one is about an agent seeking revenge... and Strawberry Fields? One of the best looking Bond girls ever. Ever. Well, except for Paris Carver. Oh, and Xenia Onatopp.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$"Twilight", rated PG, starring Cedric Diggory, The Chick from #51 on The Dave100, and Mike Dexter.
There are only four things that redeemed this movie for me...
1) The chick playing Alice Cullen
2) The chick playing Jessica Kendrick
3) Watching Mike Dexter try to be a father figure
4) When it was over, after 2 god-forsaken hours that Ill never, ever, ever get back.
I mean, this movie is so dreary, and so depressing--not a good depressing like "Schindler's List" or "Saving Private Ryan", a depressing that entertains and enthralls, nay, even haunts you... no, this is a bad depressing, so much so that I was sticking fire pokers between my fingers. I was playing games on my phone. I was working out algebra formulas in my head. I was counting the hairs on my arms (I got to about 1,993,103 before I lost count). This, of course, begs the question, "Dave, why didn't you just leave??" to which I answer, "I had to finish the movie, just in case it got better. It actually did, for about 10 minutes towards the end, then that part got ruined.
I found the ticket for free in the little ticket box, which is why I went to see it. It was free, and I still wanted my money back. This movie was terrible.
"Role Models", Rated R, starring Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks
As a follower of Christ, we are bound by the law of what is good and what is right, as listed in the Word of God, telling us be careful what we see and what he hear, be cautious of what we put before our eyes and in our hearts. I say this to head off anyone telling me this exact thing, Amy McL, because I have to say, for me...
...this movie was absolutely hysterical. I mean, unbelievably funny, to the point I was cracking up every few minutes. The plot is a little contrived--two guys get into trouble and are sentenced to work with some troubled kids at a center. Of course, it goes without saying, the ending will be that, though they hate the kids at first, they end up loving the kids, and the kids, though hating the two guys, end up loving the two guys. Duh. That's how movies like this are supposed to end.
That being said, this movie is driven by Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott, two extremely funny and talented guys. Their timing and delivery of what might be unfunny dialogue turn this from cliche to completely a riot. I like Paul Rudd anyway, for his work in the little-seen-but-very-funny "Wet Hot American Summer" (directed by David Wain, as is "Role Models"), the slightly overrated "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" and of course, my 91st Favorite Movie of All Time. Seann William Scott, who will forever be known as Stifler, is also emerging as a great go to guy for silly, stupid comedy, and in the case of genius like "The Rundown" (also on The Dave100), smart, sharp comedy.
Anyway, if "Superbad" offended you, or "Knocked Up" got under your craw, stay away from "Role Models". Its got language, its got unnecessary boobage and its got boy potty humor... but man, its funny. And its great to watch Fogell emerge as a decent actor.
"Four Christmases", Rated PG-13, starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon.
Whereas "Role Models" was really, really funny, this movie was just funny. Again, its a contrived plot that relys on the strength of its leads and Vince Vaughn definately does his end of the job. He's one of the funniest guys out there.
Oh, by the way, after this movie, I'd like to introduce one of three possible candidates into The Ashley Judd Club (my answer to The Colin Firth Club)... Reese Witherspoon. She's one of those actresses that I keep forgetting 1) how talented she is, and 2) how hot she is. She shouldn't be hot, either, she's got this weird goofy grin thing going on, along the same lines that has made me never find Julia Roberts attractive... and yet, somehow she is.
Kristen Chenoweth, who starred in the tv show "Pushing Daisies". It sounded like an interesting premise, so much so that I was very close to buying Season One on DVD, catching up and following the show. Then ABC cancelled it--or "halted production, which is just as good as. Then the news came out that there is no plans to resolve the cliffhanger left by the last filmed episode. So, I didn't get it.
Reese is funny in this movie. She's been funnier, though, as seen in "Election", one of the most wickedly funny movies ever, and even "Sweet Home Alabama". Avoid anything that has a number after "Legally Blonde", though.
Anyway, they play a couple who, since both comes from divorced homes, somehow avoid visiting the four different families they'd have to see on Christmas Day. Through a pretty clever set of circumstances, however, they are forced to do just that very thing... the parents are great, played by Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight and Mary Steenbergen, all four Oscar winners. Dwight Yoakam also has one heck of a funny cameo too (I didn't even spot him at first).
You'll also see Jon Favreau at his stupid best, Tim McGraw somehow pulling off a funny part, and another candidate for this year's inductees into The Ashley Judd Club, Kristen Chenoweth.
This is a silly popcorn movie that, if what you want is sold out, I would recommend. You won't laugh until you cry, but you will laugh.
d$'s Movie Moment....
Three Films of Vince Vaughn to check out...
"Wedding Crashers"... again, if you don't like this kind humor, stay away!
"Be Cool"... not nearly as good as "Get Shorty" but Vince + The Rock = d$ laughing
"A Cool, Dry Place"... a more serious role, in a very sweet movie
Three Films to Avoid at All Cost...
"Psycho"... "The Cell"... and one of the worst movies I've ever seen, "Domestic Disturbance"
Three Films of Reese Witherspoon to check out...
"Election"... a very satirical flick with a great plot, hilarious (and bad) dialogue and Reese at her most scrumptiously good
"Man in the Moon"... no, not the Jim Carrey one. Reese was 15 when she debuted in this country movie--grab a few hankies. The only movie I have ever cried in. Seriously.
"Walk the Line"... of course.
What do we think? Is she The Goddess worthy?
Three Films to Avoid at All Cost...
"Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde"... "S.F.W."... "Little Nicky"
"The Punisher: War Zone"... Rated R, starring Ray Stevenson, Dominic West
You ever go to a movie and you just know, after its over, that you would have enjoyed it soooo much more if you had seen it at the $1 theater, thereby investing only a single dollar, than at the big show, investing $9.25? Yep. This was "The Punisher: War Zone" for me.
Mikey Nipp and I saw this movie together, as we do have a tendency to check out bad flicks, sometimes because no one else will see them with us. We saw "Death Race 3000" this summer--at the $1 theater--and it was unbelievably craptastic.
"The Punisher: War Zone" is a terrible movie. The acting is terrible, the effects are terrible, the plot is terrible, and the blood/body count is terrible. Please know that all these "terribles" are predicated on the fact I paid about $8.25 more than I should have for this movie.
In one seen, The Punisher punches a guy in the face. Does the guy's nose break? Does the eye get a bloody eye? No. The guys face caves in. Completely. This is the movie called "The Punisher: War Zone".
The Colin Firth Club and Its Official Members
For those of you who have read the blog a while, you'll know what this is, and many of you have your own version. KT's is called "The Eddie Vedder Club". Nikki Brown might have "The Michael Phelps Club". Who knows?
If The Lovely Steph Leann is offered a romantic escapade with Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, she laughs and says "no way". However... offer her Colin Firth, and though she would say no, she would hesitate. It wouldn't be an automatic refusal, there would be a few seconds of thought. Hence, The Colin Firth Club.
The official president and leader of The Colin Firth Club
Its members include.. Colin Firth, of course... Patrick Dempsey, Bradley Whitford, Pierce Brosnan, Mr. Darcy and now, 2008's inductee, Hugh Jackman.
My own version, heralded by The Goddess? It includes Samantha Brown, Kate Winslet, Debra Messing, Teri Hatcher and Marisa Tomei. And 2008's candidates for induction? Kristen Chenoweth, Reese Witherspoon and Ashley Tisdale.
"Australia", Rated PG-13, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman
"Australia" is defined by two words... "Sweeping" and "Epic". This is not a movie for everyone. This is a movie for people who enjoy "Sweeping" and "Epics". Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the same guy who did "Moulin Rouge!", "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" and the highly underseen "Strictly Ballroom", it tells the tale of an English Lady who lost her husband to the rough tread of the Australian cattle driving industry in the days leading up to World War II.
This one is for The Lovely Steph Leann...
Now, for my money, I had never even given a thought to cattle drives--or droves--in Australia, as when I hear that name, I only think of koalas, kangaroos, WalkAbout and Nicole Kidman. Good thing that Nicole Kidman is in this movie. Its been a while since I've enjoyed Nicole Kidman, because lets face it, she's done some crap in recent years.
Three Nicole Kidman movies to check out...
"Dead Calm"... One of her first films, and its chilling. She's excellent.
"To Die For"... Very funny, very sharp
"The Others"... Creepy. Very creepy.
Three Nicole Kidman films to avoid at all costs...
Pretty much everything since 2001's "The Others" and now. "Cold Mountain" might be worth a look and... no, avoid that one too.
Anyway, she shines and looks great in the Great Outback, and actually, The Outback could be a co-star of the film. Its got adventure, its got love, its got villians, its got aborigines, its got war, its got Hugh Jackman, lathered up in soap, washing off, leading to this exchange...
Me: Hugh Jackman, huh? Good looking?
The Lovely Steph Leann: Oh yeah. He's People's Sexiest Man Alive for a reason.
Me: Colin Firth Club worthy?
The Lovely Steph Leann (incredulously): Of course he's Colin Firth Club Worthy! Its Hugh Jackman! Helll-ooo....
At a running time of almost 3 hours, empty your bladder before going in, drink slowly and get comfy. I do recommend it, though... it was a good... no, it was a great, fun picture.
I was going to go see "The Day The Earth Stood Still", but then I learned that its kind of a "we are aliens who are so ashamed at how you measly Earthlings (re: Americans) are destroying your planet, we're going to come and destroy it for you so you can start over"
That did it for me.
Random The Goddess picture, since The Lovely Steph Leann got one
Finally, here are the movies I'm really excited about seeing in the next few weeks...
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"... First, I think Brad Pitt is an extremely talented actor, all looks aside. Secondly, I'm all about some Cate Blanchett, but only in certain movies--this one is included. Perhaps I've seen the entire movie in the previews, but I think it will be, at the very least, interesting.
"Gran Torino"... True story. I'm watching the previews, waiting for "Quantum of Solace". I see the trailer for the new Star Trek film, and while it was pretty good, I was completely taken and enthralled with Clint Eastwood's new film. It looks amazing.
"Bedtime Stories"... It kind of reminds me of the fantasy and fun of "A Night at the Museum", and it reminds me of "Four Christmases"... a fun popcorn flick. This is not to be confused with the Cinemax late night series of the same name, by the way.
"Revolutionary Road"... Its got Kate Winslet. That's all I care about.