Monday, May 17, 2010

"Letters to Juliet" - in theaters

When I went to see this movie I was in dire need of a chick flick and this totally fit the bill.

Before we begin though, I would like to state for the record that the premise of this movie is somewhat ridiculous. The story goes that desperate women in need of romantic advice pen notes to Juliet (of Romeo and Juliet fame) asking for her help. This is ludicrous simply because Juliet is probably the last person that I would turn to for romantic advice. Sure, she found her true love and got married, but less than a week later, she kills herself. How is that a healthy display of what love should be, huh? I don't get it...

However, I did enjoy this movie, that obvious annoyance aside. The film revolves around Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfried), a fact-checker who wishes she were a writer for the New Yorker, who travels to Verona with her chef/restaurant-opening fiancee Victor (played by Gael Garcia Bernal) on a pre-honeymoon. But alas, Victor is too preoccupied with the copious amounts of fantastic food and wine to pay too much attention to Sophie, who wanders aimlessly around the city. By a lucky happenstance, she volunteers with the Secretaries of Juliet, who answer all of the letters that the unfortunate romantics leave at Juliet's family home. It's there that Sophie finds a 50 year old letter, written by Clare, whom she decides to write back.

Due to the nature of the letter, Clare (Vanessa Redgrave) comes over to Italy with her grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan) in order to find her lost love, and Sophie ends up tagging along on the journey. And who would have thunk it, but sparks fly between Charlie and Sophie, who grapples with a guilty conscience about Victor but can't ignore the pull of her heartstrings.

Sounds disgusting, right? But disgusting in an awesome way.

Vanessa Redgrave made this movie. She was incredibly charming and vulnerable, and Italian men simply flocked to her in a manner that was a little insane. Christopher Egan was uptight in the beginning, as he was supposed to be, but by the end, he was a British teddy bear. I didn't care for Victor, who was a total douche, but was supposed to be, so well played by Gael Garcia. And I've been a fan of Amanda Seyfried since "Veronica Mars", so it there's really no argument that I enjoyed her performance here.

So on the CWeave scale of 1 to 10, I would give this movie a 7.5. I got the warm and fuzzies while watching, but there could have been a little more heat between Charlie and Sophie. Needless to say, I'll probably own this one when it comes out on DVD.

"Iron Man 2" - in theaters

I saw this movie twice on opening weekend. I went once with friends, and then again on Mother's Day because my mom wanted to see it in IMAX. And who am I to refuse a free movie?

To start off, I'll say this about "Iron Man 2" - it was NOT made to be in IMAX theaters. Apparently it is quite popular these days to simply reformat a movie after it's been shot to play in an IMAX theater rather than shoot the movie with IMAX cameras. This is a ripoff, in my opinion, that compares to reformatting a film to be in 3D. I think it's the movie industry's way of trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of paying customers.

With that said, while the film was enjoyable to watch in IMAX, I wouldn't have bothered if it hadn't been free. I had a similar experience in the normal theater.

As for the movie itself, I found Robert Downey Jr., once again, to be spectacular as Tony Stark. His cockiness and narcissism is somewhat endearing because while yes, Tony Stark is all about Tony Stark, he IS fighting evil too. And frankly, if I had invented the Iron Man Suit in addition to all of the other gadgets that Tony rocks in this film, I'd be a bit full of myself as well.

Surprisingly, I found Scarlett Johansson's character, Natalie Rushman, aka The Black Widow, to be a total bad ass. And I was incorrect in assuming that she was a villain prior to seeing the movie. She's actually one of the good guys, and has some frickin' amazing martial arts moves. So I give major props to Scarlett.

Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role as Pepper Potts, who gets promoted to CEO of Stark Industries, and hence has to clean up all of Tony's messes, while Don Cheadle takes over the role of Colonel James Rhodes who has the unfortunate duty of being Tony's friend/liaison to the U.S. military. To be honest, I could've done without Don Cheadle. And the same goes for Terrence Howard who played Rhodes in the original. Maybe it was because Rhodes is always attempting to procure the Iron Man technology for the military, or that he just plain wasn't much fun, but either way, Rhodes' role could have been minimized further.

Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell had the distinct pleasure of playing the villains. Mickey Rourke was absolutely foul as a Russian physicist out for vengeance (and as my mother commented, "Are all of those tattoos real? Because if they are, that is disgusting."). I have always found Sam Rockwell to be fantastic in pretty much any role, and he doesn't disappoint here. And he dances, which is always fantastic.

There was a lot going on in this film, and while yes, it got kind of hectic, I also thought it was entertaining as hell. So on the CWeave scale of 1 to 10, I give this film a 7. It wasn't as good as the original, but the performances really drive the film, as long as you can stomach the fact that Jon Favreau gave himself a much bigger role the second time around, and you would rather that he didn't.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"The Losers" - in theaters

I was pretty excited to see this movie (though looking back on it, I'm pretty excited to see every movie), because I enjoy a good action/comedy. And that's what I found "The Losers" to be: pretty darn good.

The story centers around a group of covert ops soldiers who knew too much and had to be eliminated. Of course, the elimination didn't go as planned, and what really happened was that they all got ticked off (not to mention stuck in Bolivia). Then all of a sudden, Zoe Saldana shows up, claims she can find the guy who set up them (named Max, played by Jason Patric) as long as in the end, Max meets his maker.

The leader of this rag-tag group of soldiers is Clay (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan). It's tough to figure out Clay's MO throughout the film, other than the fact that a lot of his actions seem to be guided by his penis. The romance that blossomed between his character and Zoe Saldana's was somewhat unbelievable. I mean, why pick a guy with gray streaking his hair, when Chris Evans is available to you? Maybe it's just me though...

What I particularly enjoyed about this film was the chemistry between the four of the five soldiers, and more specifically between Pooch (Columbus Short) and Jenson (Chris Evans). Chris Evans' role was probably the most fun character, what with his obsession with his niece's soccer team and the fact that he was probably the buffest computer nerd on the face of planet Earth. He also held up the comedy end of this film almost single-handedly. The soldier that I didn't enjoy was Roque, played by Idris Elba. He was basically a whiny bitch throughout the movie's entirety, and I find it difficult to develop a liking for characters like that.

And I'd also like to point out that if I were ever to go into a war-like scenario, I would take Cougar (Oscar Jaenada) as my wingman. He seriously has your back.

So on the CWeave scale of 1 to 10, I give this movie a 7.5. It had action, comedy, bastards (for real, Max is a PRICK), and lots of men. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.