Tuesday, January 28, 2014

(Rental Review) In a World... (2013)

I'm a sucker for a certain type of movie. And that type of movie is anything with Lake Bell in it. Not only do I find her to be one of the most underrated comedic actresses of today, but she is a legitimately good actress. Every time that I see her in something she is almost ALWAYS the thing that I love most about the movie. Obviously that is what drew me in to this film. And while it isn't some massive budgeted epic film, it IS a  movie with a lot to say about family dynamics and a person trying to find their way.

Storyline: After the passing of Don LaFontaine, the originator of the line "In A World..." , a series of voice actors are looking at not only reviving the famous line but also taking over for "The Don" of movie trailers. While the world is sure that Sam (Fred Melamed) will take over as the "go to" voice, he quickly takes himself out of the running to promote up and comer Gustav (Ken Marino). But when Sam's daughter Carol (Lake Bell), a voice coach, begins to make waves by stealing work from Gustav, Sam becomes adamant about holding his daughter back. Sam considers himself the King of this world, and he refuses to let his daughter dethrone him.

So, as you can see from the storyline, this movie is not only about a girl coming into her own and making a name for herself in her profession, but it is about a father that is not only not willing to accept her as an equal but is surely not going to allow her to one up him. A father that is so adamant about remaining in the spotlight that he would choose to hold his child back from achieving a dream in a vain attempt at remaining relevant in an industry that is looking for something new. It really is an interesting look inside that family dynamic.

Also in the cast is Demetri Martin (Louis), Michaela Watkins (Dani) and Rob Corddry (Moe). Rob is really solid in this movie (as he is in most things) and I really enjoyed what his character and this Dani go through in this film. The struggles of a somewhat stagnant married couple may not sound very entertaining, but a particular scene in the film is not only heart breaking but it feels so real (the way they play it) that it absolutely "gut checks" you. Very solid performances from Rob and Michaela  in that scene.

Demetri Martin was a surprise to me. I'm not a huge fan of his. I think that he is funny and a bit quirky, but not someone that I just HAVE to see. His Comedy Central show was entertaining, because Demetri is a smart comic, but his shtick can become tiresome pretty quickly. But he was really strong in this movie. Not only was his character someone that was easy to identify with, but his character's budding relationship with Carol was believable and pretty adorable. Kudos all around for those involved in this film.


(Rental Review) Captain Phillips (2013)

There is a reason that I HATE to watch a movie late. People have either built it up or torn in down to the point that I am always either really really excited to see it or I have heard so much negative buzz that I skip it. Obviously, with this movie, I have heard nothing but positive. So I eagerly sat back with my snack and prepared for something truly inspiring to come on.....and I waited....and I waited.....and I waited. I don't know why I didn't love this movie as much as most people, but it bored me to death. Literally. This what I looked like after the credits.

moisturize meeeeeeeee


The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama's commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award®-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips' unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. - 

What I can't wrap my tiny mind around is what all the love for this film was about. Don't get me wrong. I think it is an amazing story and I truly feel sympathy for the people that are forced into a life and robbery/murder or be murdered. It's not fair and I am grateful that I do not have to suffer that hardship. But I didn't find new comer Barkhad Abdi to be all that convincing, I mean, look at him, how can you be scared of him in this movie. 

Give me my Oscar! 

Wrong picture, but pretty close. Not only did I kind of find the lead "big bad" to be less than terrifying, I think that this is the absolute least that I have ever liked Tom Hanks in a role. He was utterly and entirely unconvincing to me. His "emotional" scenes in the movie were laughable and his inability to emote was surprising. This is a man that brought me to tears when he lost his Volleyball, but can't work up a few tears for a man being held captive on a ship? Doesn't add up and felt phoned in. 

All in all, and I can't believe that I am saying this, I would recommend that you skip it. If you haven't seen it by now the hype has probably made you think that it is a masterpiece, and it wasn't. I was disappointed. 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

(Movie Review) Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

There really is nothing like receiving a visit from an old friend. Especially one that you haven’t seen in years. You start reliving all of the “good old days” and the fun that you once had together. While mulling over all of these past memories you usually fail to consider the fact that in the years since you last saw each other that things might have changed a good bit. Your sense of humor might have changed. Or you might just end up spending a few hours reliving the past and not really discovering anything new. Combine ALL of that together and that is how I felt about this movie. No new ground is broken with this movie and most of the jokes are pretty standard Ron Burgundy jokes,  but the cast and the audience seem to have no problem settling into the familiar territory and “catching up” with each other after Ron’s nine year sabbatical.

Storyline: After years of living with his wife and son in New York City, Ron (Ferrell) and Veronica (Applegate) are called into the office of the legendary Mack Tannen (Ford). Mack is retiring and must promote one of them to Nightly News Anchor. He promotes Veronica and ruthlessly fires Ron. Ron, hurt by the fact that he was fired and that his wife took the position, leaves Veronica and their son in New York to return to San Diego. After a few failed attempts at staying relevant he is asked to join a 24 hour news channel. Ron goes back to re-recruit his old new team and convince them to follow him back to New York City to take back what was stolen from Ron….the news. 

Worth the admission? While I am going to say “yes”, I have to warn you about the second half of the movie and its descent into madness. The first half of this movie is hilarious. But the second half of the film is pretty out there. The situation that Ron finds himself in seems like a weird direction for the writers to take. There were much funnier situations that they could have written for him.

Also, the inevitable “News Anchor Brawl” that takes place in this movie might be the single strangest thing I have ever watched. Not that it was bad, or even good for that matter, but just insane. The movie kind of goes off the rails a bit. But at the end of the day, it’s a funny movie with a great cast doing what they were born to do.

As a side note, I LOVE the message of this movie and the jab that it takes at those that sensationalize the news. The fact that the News Anchor Brawl is so bloated and crazy is because there are too many news channels involved because of the saturation of the market. I found that to be one of the best running jokes of the movie.