September 23, 2012

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

I know this movie was panned by critics, and that some people didn't think the sequel was up to par with the original, but I just really enjoyed watching this. Believe me, I do understand what everyone's saying about it, but I just found the movie thrilling. Maybe it's because Garfield has been one of my favorite characters, or maybe I'm just that easy to please. I did like the first one better. I keep coming back to Garfield dancing to Hey Mama! by the Black Eyed Peas. Still one of the best scenes from a movie for me.

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties was released two years after the original movie in 2006. It remained it's principal actors including Breckin Meyers as Jon, owner of Garfield and Odie, Jennifer Love Hewitt as Liz, Jon's love interest, and Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield. It added new people as well like Billi Connolly, Tim Curry, and Ian Abercrombie, who became one of my favorite characters in the movie. The movie had a modest income, earning a profit of around 100 million dollars.

First off, I thought the title was genius, referencing a classic novel. Then going into the story, it became even interesting as it alluded to Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper. For some reason, The Prince and the Pauper works really well with animated movies, like how Disney used it before. I believe it was Mickey Mouse who experienced being part of the literary classic. But yeah, I thought it was nice that they adapted it into a Garfield movie, which then translated to a funny comedic experience.

Bill Murray did a great job with providing his voice as Garfield. It's awesome. The small noises he created did the movie huge favors. It escalated the quality of entertainment of the movie. It's good that Tim Curry was also ready to step into the plate and deliver a voice performance just as good as Murray's. The two of them conversing about the widest range of things was definitely a highlight for me, especially their plan to throw off the film's antagonist. Breckin Meyer was also an awesome choice for the character of Jon. It's a shame Jennifer Love Hewitt had a shorter screen time cause she's a lovely lead actress. I remember thoroughly enjoying her performance in the first movie.

I thought the movie was great. It provided some laughs and was highly entertaining. That's on my part. This short post probably won't convince anyone to go watch it especially if they already have pre-conceived notions about it. I hope they do still try checking it out. I'm glad I did and I thought the movie was worth watching. I am actually hoping for a third installment but I know the chances are slim.

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September 22, 2012

Finding Bliss

Finding Bliss was a 2009 comedy starring Leelee Sobieski, Matthew Davis, Denise Richards, Mircea Monroe, Jamie Kennedy, and of course, the reason I watched this movie, Kristen Johnston. I became a supporter of Kristen Johnston when I saw the movie Music and Lyrics. She was really funny there, and I thought I'd check out her other projects. Finding Bliss was written adn directed by Julie Davis. I was a little shocked to find out that a woman directed a movie revolving an industry not a lot of people openly talk about, but I guess watching the movie made me realize she showcased a different side to it. Shall I say, a more sensitive side to it.

The story of the movie revolved around a 24 old woman who wanted to be a filmmaker. As a person who wants to be involved in the movie industry, I really liked this point of the movie. However, after seeing a bright future, Jody Balaban realized quickly how hard it was to break in to the film industry. As an aspiring filmmaker, she wanted to make ends meet which was the reason why she accepted to be an editor in an adult entertainment studio.

At the same time, Jody didn't let go of her dream, sneaking actors into the studio so she can shoot her own movie. It even led to hiring the adult entertainers as the stars of her very first movie. Here started a string of comical quips with a lot of references in the adult film industry. It was actually very funny.

Kristen Johnston really has a knack for comedy. Se's awesome and really funny. Her facial expressions sell the movie. Jamie Kennedy was another one who really got into character as an actor not gifted with that much intelligence. However, I thought his lines were genius and it really made me laugh. For the Ghost Whisperer fans out there, this was a little different Jamie Kennedy.

I thought the movie had a great cast. It had two strong leads, Leelee Sobieski and Matthew Davis. Plus, it had an amazing supporting cast. Everyone brought their game to the movie and I found the movie an entertaining one. A nice movie to watch on an afternoon to just relax. I should warn you though that since the movie tackles this specific kind of industry, there would be a lot of exposures. Just a warning for the conservative ones.

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September 18, 2012

Two Weeks Notice

So a lot of people like Hugh Grant, and a lot of people like Sandra Bullock so I decided to write about their movie, Two Weeks Notice which was released a decade ago. I hope this post satisfies those looking for reviews of Grant and Bullock movies, and for those requesting the reviews. It's a good place to start.

Two Weeks Notice was a comedy starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock as two opposing sides, a principled lawyer vs a businessman. It was directed by Marc Lawrence, who also wrote the screenplay of the film. Interesting fact: Marc Lawrence also directed Music and Lyrics, my last entry before this. Actually most of the movies he did involved Hugh Grant or Sandra Bullock which tells me they are really good friends. And also that their partnerships work. Another interesting fact: Bullock produced the movie. Good for her as she got even richer since the movie became a successful hit worldwide.

I liked this one better. It was funnier and wittier, if that's even a word.  It had the Sandra Bullock quirks we all know and enjoy. The way she delivers her lines has this effect on the audience, a positive one at that. And it also had the Hugh Grant effect. It was a very entertaining movie. These two actors really created something and I enjoyed it.

The story started with Bullock trying to save the community center and figuring out that the only way to save it was to work as a corporate lawyer for the firm that was trying to knock it down after sealing a deal with Grant's character. Everything went as planned, and Bullock was fully integrated with Grant's life. But everything came crashing down when Bullock decided to quit, giving her two weeks notice. That's the brief version of the plot. A lot more happened in the movie but all were connected to this basic plot.

It was the kind of movie that had a strong appeal. With two strong leads, it was no wonder the movie did as well as it did. With also the power of the supporting cast including Alicia Witt, Dana Ivey, Robert Klein, Heather Burns, David Haig, Dorian Missick, and more, the movie even became even more entertaining. A romantic movie with lots of laughs, that's what Two Weeks Notice was.

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September 16, 2012

Music and Lyrics

The funny things was, when they started playing Pop, Goes My heart at the beginning of the movie, I kept thinking they were re-creating an 80s song. I'm sure I've heard the song before because the moment the started playing, it all sounded familiar. I was even able to sing along with a few lines. I was sure it was a real 80s song they probably borrowed for this film. I was pleasantly surprised that the song really originated from the movie. That just shows how popular the movie was here. I knew the song Way Back Into Love came from the movie (although I did find out after quite some time). I was under the impression that it was the only song that came from the movie. Anyway, I just thought I'd start this off with this.

Music and Lyrics was a 2007 drama-comedy movie starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Another interesting fact, apparently the stars of the film did their own singing in the movie. That was impressive. Part of the cast were Haley Bennett, Brad Garrett, Kristen Johnston, Matthew Morrison, Campbell Scott, and Scott Porter. It was written and directed by Marc Lawrence while the music was created by Adam Schlesinger. The movie did just ok in the United states but it did rather well in the other markets, earning almost twice as much as it did in its domestic market.

The movie was quite enjoyable even though it never took off for me. It didn't have a drastic progression that I look for in movies most of the time. This time the movie was just simple and it stayed simple throughout the movie. The movie was a formulaic one as well, and it followed a generally used plot line. Also, I'm not sure what it was, but there was a scene that seemed quite awkward that it was really hard for it to be believable. I guess those were the main issues of the film. To be honest, even with these issues, it was still a pretty good movie. Maybe it's because I haven't seen a movie in over a week that watching this made me appreciate just how much I like watching movies.

What made it work, however, was Schlesinger's magic with music. His compositions were enough to carry the movie and make it a hit worldwide. The melody and words of Way Back Into Love was carefully crafted and it was obvious time and effort were put into it. It's also funny how the same man wrote the other songs in the movie like Don't Write Me Off and Meaningless Kiss. I really thought that the music was the movie's strongest point.

It also helped that Grant and Barrymore were in synced when it came to the dynamics that should be presented by the odd partners. There was a time when these two didn't seem as connected as they were in the other parts of the movie, but that was probably an editing issue more than anything cause throughout the film, both of them displayed a significant amount of chemistry. Haley Bennett was a star in the film as well with her zen quirks and smoking performances. She was definitely shining and she made her presence in the movie known. Kristen Johnston also made her mark. While she didn't have much to do, she did everything she did exceptionally. It was funny and awesome.

While the movie won't be at the top of my list of movies to recommend, I definitely wouldn't stop you from doing so. It's a movie to appreciate movie, the struggle of making a song, and the interaction of people in general. It had great insights and occasionally hilarious lines. It was quite enjoyable, actually. Go ahead and watch it if these things appeal to you. They sure do to me. Plus, it was a delight to see Grant, Barrymore and Bennett sing.

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September 10, 2012

The Change-Up

The Change-Up was a 2011 comedy movie starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. It was directed by David Dobkin while the story was written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. It also featured Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde as the love interests of the two protagonists. Also part of the cast were Alan Arkin, Mircea Monroe, Gregory Itzin, and more. The movie did modestly in the box office but it did earn profits so the producers couldn't have complained. But I really thought the movie had enough charisma to rake up a lot more than that.

It was an awesome comedy film. It was a little bit on the raunchy side, and the humor was definitely dirty. It was all so wrong, but so right at the same time. It's mixture of lewd humor and appealing sexy scenes brought laughter and that's what I appreciated about it. I like comedy movies that go the extra mile to entertain. it's a comedy film after all. I have no problems with nudity or green jokes which was probably a major reason why I really enjoyed the movie. Conservatives would not appreciate this move at all, but I guess we all have our niche and comfort zones. As for me, I'm just glad that this movie was a real comedy movie.

The story was about the body swap of two friends who wanted to live each other's lives. It's a little like Big, the Tom Hanks movie released in the late 80s ( ) except in this case, there were two people involved. I'm sure there are movies with the same story, I just couldn't remember any right now. But yeah, it's a generic story with a cliche story line. But, I don't think any body swaps movie have been this entertaining. If those movies were remotely close to the level of entertainment his movie gave me, I would have remembered them, but clearly that's not happening.

It's one of those movies that had a heart-warming sensitive and dramatic side to it. I guess that's a requisite for any comedy movie, the down time where everything's serious and heartfelt. I'm just glad that the movie snapped out of it and delivered more comical scenarios and surprising events. It kept the story moving forward, and in the right direction. Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds knew how to carry this movie and their quirks created this insane push and pull. It also didn't hurt that the movie featured two very hot ladies, Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde, who were kind enough to fulfill the fantasies of every man in this world.

It's definitely a step-up from the last comedy I saw. It was funny, it was witty, and it was dirty. Not in a disgusting way, but in a hilariously raunchy way. The way good comedies are made. The stars were awesome and the script, though generic, had its own unique qualities that made the movie work. It was an appealing an entertaining movie, probably mostly because of its stars.

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September 09, 2012

Bad Teacher

It's become quite a struggle to find time to watch movies, and it's even harder to find time to write reviews. I still appreciate the fact that I still can do this despite my crazy schedule and intense work. Unfortunately, that also means that I won't be able to post as much as I used to; but, as I always say, I'll always try to keep this blog up cause I do enjoy doing this.

Bad Teacher was a 2011 comedy film starring Cameron Diaz as a non-typical teacher. Also part of the cast were Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel, Lucy Punch, Matthew J. Evans, Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins, Thomas Lennon, Molly Shannon, and more. It was directed by Jake Kasdan and the screenplay was written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. It became a box office success, earning more than 200 million dollars worldwide.

The basic premise of the movie was simple. There's a girl who quit teaching to marry a rich man who she thought could support her through life. After the said man saw through her, the wedding was called off and she found herself teaching in the same school. That's when she decided that to get a rich man, she needed to have bigger boobs. Thus started her quest to gather enough money to get the job done, which will, in effect, get her a nice, rich man. Pretty simple, right? Also from the premise, there's a promise of how funny the movie could be, and how it should be.

I did expect more from this movie. It was one of the biggest comedy hits of last year that going into it I had the bar set high. I thought since it was a box-office hit, and because a lot of people seemed to like it, that it will be a lot funnier. It was funny, just not as funny as I thought it would be. It's one of those cases of expecting too much, which I know's a big crime. I just couldn't help it, and during the first half of the movie, I just wasn't being involved in the movie. I even stopped watching it, then just continued watching it the next day. Another thing that bothered me a bit was how the movie underutilized Segel's comic abilities. We all know how funny Marshall Eriksen is in How I met Your Mother, but I didn't think the movie capitalized on that. Sure, his character was one of a supporting role, but I thought the other supporting characters had so much more to do than him, which I thought was a great shame.

The second half of the movie served as its redemption. The second part of the movie was more entertaining and funnier. The exchange of dialogues became more effective, and I thought the material did improve, which made it easier for the actors to translate it to a comedic manner. It did end good.

I know Diaz and Timberlake were the main stars of the movie, but there were two people who definitely stole the show. One was Lucy Punch, who I consider to be the best part of the movie. Her character and the way she portrayed it earned her that title because she truly made the movie more exciting. The scenes I consider to be the best mostly involved her and her awesome yet troubling discomfort towards Diaz's character. It was really funny. The other scene-stealer was Matthew J. Evans. The kid's awkwardness added a sense of light comedy to he movie. He played his "dork" role really well. The funny thing was, he didn't seem like an awkward dork, yet he managed to play it in a very believable manner. Also, another trivia, he's an award-winning filmmaker as well. This kid's got all the right ingredients to make it big in Hollywood.

Cameron Diaz definitely turned it up here. I mentioned how the movie wasn't all that funny, especially in the first half, but Cameron took what she had and made it work to the best of her abilities. She really was a good bad teacher. Her scenes with Lucy Punch were hilarious! Just for those scenes alone, they should do a sequel to this movie. Bad Teacher 2: The Battle, or something like that, where Diaz and Punch would battle it out as they teach two different schools. I just had a lot of ideas how these two would make the sequel better! Timberlake's character was a little mild and reserved, yet a little sleazy as well. It was a bit different though.

One last thing I'll say: it's a shame they deleted some of the scenes from the movie. I saw one deleted scene clip and I thought it would have been the best scene in the movie. If you have time, search for the robot dance on Youtube. I thought that was pretty awesome, but they chose not to show include it on its theatrical release.

It;s a good Sunday movie, probably. Not exactly for the kids though. But it was a pretty good movie. You'll just have to let go of any expectations you might have. Who knows? You probably might like it more than I did. I still liked it though. You can follow me on twitter @sirfilmreviewer or email me at You can also follow this blog by checking the right side of the page.

September 04, 2012

21 Jump Street

Finally, I now have a copy of 21 Jump Street. I waited a long time to watch this movie because of all the great things I've heard about the movie, and I've finally seen it. It wasn't a let down, and I got everything I expected from it and more. It was awesome! I'm sure you'll be reading the word awesome throughout this post, and that just shows how much I enjoyed watching it. I was laughing the whole time. It's a real, straight-up comedy. It brought the laughs, the joys, and the best quality of entertainment.

For those of you who are not aware of the movie, which I highly doubt considering the amount of success the movie enjoyed, and the publicity that went along with it, here are some facts. 21 Jump street was released earlier this year, opening at number 1 and maintaining that spot throughout its opening weekend. The story was created by Jonah Hill himself with Michael Bacall, who transformed it into a screenplay. It was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The cast included Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Ice Cube, Elle Kemper, Rob Riggle, Chris Parnell with the cameo appearances of Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise. The movie enjoyed great success in the box office earning more than 200 million dollars. And that is a lot of money.

I knew 21 Jump Street was a television series, but I didn't know that it was not a comedy show. Apparently, it was a crime/police drama, like CSI or NCIS. I was quite shocked when I found out cause I was under the impression that the movie was a complete remake of the series, which obviously turned out to be a comedy. It was also awesome they they featured the two stars of the television of the series in the movie. Sure it was only for a couple of minutes, but their cameo was just as substantial. It was really awesome that they invited back the two stars of the original Jump Street. It was actually one of the best scenes in the movie when Johnny Depp confessed his appreciation towards his friendship with Peter DeLuise.

This just became my favorite Jonah Hill movie. I've enjoyed all Jonah Hill movies I've seen primarily because Jonah Hill is an awesome comedian. But this just took it to a whole new level, and the quality of the humor and entertainment skyrocketed. It was plain genius. He really has this talent of transforming simple conversations to insanely hilarious quips. He took every opportunity to make the audience laugh. Of course he couldn't have done it with out his partner, Channing Tatum. I won't say this was Tatum's best work because of my bias towards G.I Joe and Step Up. I really enjoyed those two movies but Jump Street also became on of my favorite Tatum movies. It was an absolute pleasure to watch this tandem do their thing.

It had an incredibly funny script and an amusing story as well. It also featured different types of comedy, sarcasm being my favorite. Also, while I don't always enjoy slapstick comedy, I quite liked it in this movie. It was playful. I also appreciated the fact that the movie was set in high school but wasn't a teen movie. It had a semi love story, yes. But nothing too teeny cheesy. It stayed as a comedy the entire time, which kept me laughing and enjoying the movie. Like I said, a real straight up comedy.

This is one of the best comedies in recent Hollywood history. It's been a while since I enjoyed a movie this mush. I always enjoy movies, and I always enjoy comedy movies. But this one is one of the better comedy films out there. Probably one of my favorites in 2012. That's saying a lot, but it's the kind of movie that really sits well with me. I liked the action and the comedy. I liked the actors, and I liked how they made the movie as fantastic as it turned out to be. It was that awesome.

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September 03, 2012

The Vow

The Vow was released earlier this year, and is still holding the record of having one of the best opening weekends this year. The film was based on the novel of Nicholas Sparks, a staple now in Hollywood. It was directed by Michael Sucsy, also oneof the writers of the movie. The movie starred Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams, Sam Neill, Jessica Lange, Scott Speedman, Jessica McNamee, Tatiana Maslany, and a whole lot more. It was a very successful box office hit, earning almost 200 million dollars on a budget of 30 million. The critics was another story though.

The story was about a married couple who met a terrible accident leading the wife to lose her memory. It was a battle between staying what's familiar against venturing to something new, staying with the family she's familiar with, or to take a leap of faith and be with a man who claimed to be her husband. It showcased the difficulty in dealing with the loss of her memory, and the confusion that went along with it. It also showed how drastic the changes were, ranging from personality, to feelings and everything else in between.

It started with the accident before showing flashbacks of how the two used to be. It showed how they met, how they got together, how it all started. Then it resumes to follow the story after the accident, with the husband trying to recall the memories they used to have. There was a struggle about how to approach things, how to bring back the things things they once had. There  were arguments and bickering among the people involved, not only the couple but also the family of the wife.

The whole movie was melodramatic. Sure it had some quirky and funny moments, but as a whole, it was a dramatic narration of a tragic tale. It was a bit romantic, some would say, but for me, it was just a heartfelt drama. It was a bit weird seeing Channing Tatum in a dramatic role. Very far from G.I. Joe, or Tyler from Step Up, or any of his other characters. This was the first time I've seen him in a more serious role. Rachel McAdams was beautiful, and her performance was even more captivating. She was able to portray the loss, the fear, the suffering, and the happiness of taking a gamble with her husband. The two of them had an undeniable chemistry that made this movie all that more genuine.

The movie had a specific attack to the subject. It's even more compelling to find out that the story was based on a true story. How many details from the movie were actually real? We'd never know. But I'm sure they tried to keep the basic spirit of the story straight and true. I'm no romantic, but this story should give everyone hope, not just in love or marriage, but towards everything. Experiencing loss could open up various positive opportunities. There's a lesson to be learned from every loss, and every mistake. This movie captured that essence in a very serene manner, and it led to a well-inspired movie.

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September 02, 2012

In Time

In-Time was a 2011 sci-fi drama movie written and directed by Andrew Niccol. It boasted a well-rounded cast including Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde, Cillian Murphy, Johnny Galecki, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and Vincent Kartheiser. To be honest, the only reason I watched this movie was the actorsinvolved in it, especially Olivia Wilde and Johnny Galecki. As an avid TV fan, I really enjoyed watching House, which used to be my favorite TV show, and I still enjoy watching The Big Bang Theory. Both television shows brought a certain quality of entertainment which made me a loyal viewer. The movie went on to become a box office hit, which I wasn't all that surprised to hear since the movie was led by two of the most popular stars of the current generation.

The story was about a futuristic America wherein everyone stopped aging at 25, people used time as a mode of payment, and people were segregated by social classes. Will, Timberlake's character, lived in the poorest district with his mother, Rachel, played by Olivia Wilde. After a chance encounter with a well-timed man(I'm using this term to mean a person with a lot of time/resources), Will got over a century worth of time which would back him up to stir some changes in their society, especially after a tragic incident. On his quest to bring changes, he met Sylvia, the daughter of one of the most powerful man in the district of the rich. Their push and pull would cause friction, and also balance throughout the movie.

I found it very intriguing. While not absolutely revolutionary, it still offered a new, modern take on things, especially politics. Also, as a sci-fi movie, different elements came into play to construct such a story. It's like a sci-fi political story. It also had an economic side to it, using time as their primary currency. Then it went deep with the values of things, especially time. There were a lot of layers in the story and each made the story even more interesting. There were a lot of cliches in the movie, but at the same time, the very concept of it made it stand out.

It also utilized location. If I had to describe the locations they used, I'd say it was like The Hunger Games, where poor people lived in dirt, while the rich lived in extravagant residences. The locations were enough to separate the rich from the poor. It also had great musical backgrounds. At times rough, and at times solemn. Every music fit the scene perfectly.

I greatly enjoyed the movie. I know some didn't and some even absolutely hated it. As for me, I enjoyed the idea behind it. Probably the idea was the driving force why I enjoyed it, much more than the actual execution of the idea. At the same time, it's hard not to like the movie when such an idea was being transformed and bought to life, backed up by intense performances from the cast, amazing direction by Niccol and an overall awesome backdrop for the story. It did have some flaws, I'm not gonna lie. However, I can point out all the wrong things about it, and at the end of the day, I'll still like it.

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