Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Kick Ass" - in theaters

This movie rocked my balls off.

Or at least, it would've if I had any balls.

But seriously, this movie, like the title proclaims, kicks ass.

Personally, I found "Kick Ass" to be a more fun version of "Watchmen". The idea of everyday people dressing up as vigilantes and delivering justice with a side of sass isn't a new concept, but in this particular film, it was done with flair.

The standout performance goes to the 11-year-old sociopath by the name of Hit Girl (played here by Chloe Moretz, who also did most of her own stunts, believe it or not). Every review of the film that I have read describes her as a foul-mouthed, butt-kicking machine. While she didn't disappoint on the butt-kicking front, the foul-mouthed description was a bit off. Yes, she did have her colorful moments, but not as many as I expected. Those that she did have were executed brilliantly though and frankly, I wasn't too offended to hear that language coming out of her mouth. If you kick ass the way she does, I reckon you would talk like that too.

Hit Girl's dad, "Big Daddy" (played by Nicolas Cage) is an ex-cop who was wrongly incarcerated by one Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong, who is just so damn good at playing the villain). It is now Big Daddy's greatest wish to take down Frank and every single one of his goons, not to mention steal all of his money in the process. I loved Nicolas Cage in this role because you could see how much he relished being able to put on a superhero costume and kick butt. He LOVED it, you can just tell.

It is into this web that Kick Ass (played by Aaron Johnson) soon becomes trapped. It's a shame for him, because he started off wearing his masked avenger outfit simply to help out all of the underdogs of this world. But a case of mistaken identity, and a trap laid out by Red Mist (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, i.e. McLovin'), who happens to be the son of Frank D'Amico, and you've got the recipe for a kick butt finale full of blood, bullets, and a bazooka. Seriously, a bazooka!

There's also a love story mixed in, with Kick Ass lusting after a schoolmate who actually thinks he's her gay BFF. Ah, another case of mistaken identity.

So, on the CWeave scale of 1 to 10, I give this movie a solid 8.5. Action, romance, revenge, and a touch of ridiculousness go a long way in my book. And this movie had all four. A combination such as this make for one hell of a good time at the multi-plex!

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Date Night" - in theaters

As I was watching this movie, I half expected Tina Fey to bust into her Sarah Palin impression while in the midst of a high-speed chase, but alas! No such luck.

The premise of "Date Night" is based on the relationship of the Fosters, played by Fey and Steve Carell. They are the typical upper-middle class family from New Jersey whose marriage has gone according to plan, even if it is a little boring and predictable. Their relationship is in a rut, i.e. the bed is not a'rockin' so the kids always come knockin'. When close friends of theirs disclose that they're getting divorced, the Fosters attempt a date night shake-up. Instead of going to their usual "Texas Roadhouse" style restaurant, they head into New York City to dine at a new Manhattan seafood restaurant called "Claw". (Seriously, when they answer the phone they say, 'Claw. You're welcome." It's fantastic.) They don't have a reservation, and on an impulse, they steal a no-show's. And then, of course, mistaken-identity-corrupt-official-chaos ensues.

There were some super funny moments in this movie, mostly due to the awkwardness of Fey and Carell. Mark Wahlberg shows up as a past client of Mrs. Foster who helps them out, and does it with a certain sense of shirtless flair. But the standout bit part goes to William Fichtner, who plays a DA with an appetite for loose women, both feminine and androgynous.

I could have used a little more humor with the two "cops" that were chasing the Fosters. They were a little too serious about hunting them down than they should have been given the type of movie that "Date Night" proclaims to be. I enjoy Common (who played one of those cops) and wish he had been given juicier material.

I also have to say that some of the highlights were the previews beforehand. It seemed every action-comedy that was coming out this summer previewed before "Date Night", and they all seemed pretty funny. Plus, I've got to admit that the previews are always my favorite part.

So, on the CWeave scale of 1 to 10, I rate this movie a 7. I seem to be giving out a lot of 7's lately, and no, it's not a conspiracy. I just keep enjoying every movie I go to see. This was no exception.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Clash of the Titans" - in theaters

I love springtime. It means sunshine, warmer weather, leaves on the trees, and above all else, the start of the movie blockbuster season.

I qualify "Clash of the Titans" as the start of this season. It's the first big effects movie of 2010, and it's one heck of a ride.

While this movie is also playing in 3D, I opted for the 2D version for a few reasons. One, I don't think that every movie needs to be made in 3D. I don't need to see Krakken tentacles lash out at me while I'm enjoying my pretzel bites. The second reason I opted for the 2D version is because it was less expensive. I think it's a cheap ploy by the movie industry to charge more for 3D films. And third, I heard that the effects for this film were totally shit in 3D, so I didn't want to waste the money.

But I digress.

Like I said, this movie is one heck of a ride. I found it to be wildly entertaining, and that's not just because every man was pretty much wearing a short dress (I swear, you could tell what someone had for breakfast in some scenes, if you know what I mean).

The story revolves around Perseus, played by the oh-so-delicious Sam Worthington, who is a bastard son of Zeus, raised by a fisherman and his wife who are later killed by Hades. Now, Hades (played by Ralph Fiennes), really wants to get back at Zeus (played by Liam Neeson) for sticking him in the Underworld all those years ago. He plans on doing it by scaring the men of Earth shitless so that they pray to him instead of Zeus, thus making Hades stronger. The Krakken comes into play because Hades tells the kingdom of Argos that if they don't sacrifice their princess to the Krakken then the kingdom will be destroyed. And it falls to Perseus to save the kingdom even though all he wants to do is kill Hades. It's all quite confusing and the film doesn't do the greatest job at explaining things. I was glad to have read the Percy Jackson series because it gave me a "background" in Greek mythology that I otherwise would have lacked.

I never saw the original "Clash of the Titans" in it's entirety so I can't comment on how the two compare. The only thing I can say is that I enjoy Sam Worthington much more than Harry Hamlin. Oh, and there's a mechanical owl in the film for about 10 seconds and that's it.

There was action galore, a black Pegasus, giant scorpions, two crazy hunters, the villain from "Casino Royale", the chick from "Quantum of Solace", a confrontation in Medusa's lair, and a guy that looked like he was made out of driftwood with blue LED lights for eyes. And let's put it this way: it's not going to win any Oscars for acting, writing, or directing, but the most entertaining films usually don't.

So on the CWeave scale of 1 to 10, I give this film a 7. I'll probably own it when it comes out, and since honesty is the best policy, I've got to admit that I would watch Sam Worthington do just about anything. Even if his acting is a bit stiff...

Friday, April 2, 2010

"The Last Song" - in theaters

I'm not going to lie.

I was REALLY excited about seeing this movie. Like... for MONTHS. When I first saw the preview, back in November or December, I got jacked up. And here's why: I love Miley Cyrus. I'm not the biggest fan of Hannah Montana (although I saw that movie in theaters [again, not going to lie]), but I love Miley's music. And I'm not afraid to admit it. I'm also a closet Nicholas Sparks fan. I enjoy all of the movies based upon his books. I was so excited for this movie that I went out and bought the book a few months ago. And read it in 3 days. Pathetic, I know. But I can't help myself. It's like emotional cocaine.

My friend Meghan was also pumped about this movie, so of course we HAD to go opening night.

I reviewed "Dear John" as one of my first posts, and in that I described what to expect from a Nicholas Sparks' film. The same formula applies here. Plus, since I had the novel, I already knew what was going to happen. And I still cried like a little girl...

Needless to say, Miley, and Nicholas Sparks, did not disappoint.

Anyway, the story revolves around this girl named Ronnie (short for Veronica), whose mother (played by Kelly Preston) ships her and her 10 year old brother down to their estranged father's for the summer. At first, Ronnie is all angsty and rebellious, but soon meets Will, a good-hearted Southern gentleman who sweeps Ronnie off her feet. Before you know it, they're in love, and Ronnie and her father suddenly get along. There's an entire subplot about arson and a church, but it wasn't developed well in the film. For the better story on that end, read the novel. But even then, it's not really a good storyline. There is also a subplot of Ronnie getting arrested for shoplifting back in New York City, and then gets framed for it in her dad's town, but again, it wasn't well developed for the screen. This movie was primarily a love story between Ronnie and Will, and a bonding story for Ronnie and her father.

Greg Kinnear plays the dad, and I liked him in the role. In the book, Steve (the dad) is really mellow and Kinnear really stepped into the groove of that. Jonah, Ronnie's 10-year old brother (played by Bobby Coleman), was absolutely adorable in this film, and was easily my favorite character.

And then there's Ronnie (Cyrus) and Will (Liam Hemsworth). Miley did an okay job at Ronnie. Ronnie herself goes through a lot of changes, and though Cyrus lacks some acting finesse, she did a credible job of riding the emotional rollercoaster. Hemsworth was pretty charming, and often shirtless, but for being a good ol' Southern boy, he certainly lacked the accent. He spoke as if he was from Wisconsin. I can forgive him for that, because he's Australian and hell, probably just doing the American accent is tough enough. But he was charming, and had great chemistry with Cyrus. It's easy to see how they're an offscreen couple as well.

So, on the CWeave scale of 1 to 10, I give this a 7. It gets a rating boost because I'm an emotional sap and will cry at just about anything, not to mention that the love story is so sweet it might even give you a cavity. All in all, a great time at the movies.