Friday, July 31, 2009

4 Reasons Why "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is Not as Terrible as the Reviews Claim

I loved "Transformers" and was highly anticipating the sequel but once the reviews came out - I began to dread seeing the film. I didn't want to see a "loud", "incomprehensible" and "overlong" film. I mean, who would? But, like I said before - you have to watch the bad films in order to really appreciate the good ones. So, I finally dragged myself out, expecting the worst - and was really surprised by the outcome. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is not a great movie by any means - it doesn't even come close to the first film. Yet, it wasn't THAT bad either. Here are my thoughts.

1. Yes, it was long - 2 and 1/2 hours is always too long for a film - unless the film is called Titanic. However, it wasn't painfully long - like Watchmen. I was never bored because the action was fast paced, the special effects were awesome and the actors are hot. So, yes a lot of the film can be edited out (i would cut out all of John Turturro's scenes), but the length doesn't make it a bad film.

2. Yes, it was loud - As should any summer film be that is an action-packed, special effects extravaganza. The louder, the better.

3. No, it was not incomprehensible - I have read several reviews that use this word in describing the film - and several people that I know called it "confusing" and "they couldn't keep track of what was going on". I find this alarming because the film made perfect sense to me - as it should, considering that the story is essentially from a children's cartoon. If you didn't understand it, you weren't paying attention.

4. There are things that could have been done better - The reason the first film worked so well is because of Shia Labeauf and I will even give some credit to Megan Fox. Shia has amazing on-screen charisma while his chemistry with Megan gave the film a human touch. This chemistry is lost in Fallen. They are not given enough scenes and the scenes that they are given are awkward and forced. Michael Bay is obviously too arrogant to believe that people go to see films to see acting, rather than seeing a bunch of pretty people used as props. I also have a major problem with the entire end of the film (yes, I did feel like I was being forced to watch another Indiana Jones film). Lastly, the first film was funny - this one not so much, aside from a few amusing lines.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

3 Things About "The Hurt Locker" That Fascinated Me

With the extremely positive reviews surrounding "The Hurt Locker" (It currently has a score of 97% on - I just had to see what all the fuss is about. I concur with the reviews, the film is probably the best of the year so far. Here are some things about the film that fascinated me.

1. Jeremy Renner and the rest of the cast - As I said when The Unusuals premiered on ABC earlier this year, Jeremy Renner deserves some time in the spotlight. He has been consistently good during his career, but in this film he is fantastic. I'm talking Oscar-nomination fantastic. Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty are also nomination-worthy. I promise that even if you have no interest in seeing yet another war film, the acting will keep you engaged through the films entirety. Even the brief cameo appearances by Ralph Fiennes and Guy Pearce were memorable.

2. It was directed by a woman - It is not that I don't think a woman can direct an action film, it's just that this is the first time I have seen it done well. Katheryn Bigelow, not only made a great action film but she also revitalized a failing film genre (Iraq war films). It is a film that is overtly male-centric, unapolgetically grim and masterfully suspenseful. There have been dozens of films about the war in Iraq that have been completely mediocre, so it thrills me that a woman actually got it right. I hope this film inspires more female directors to step outside their comfort zone (and also inspires the studios to hire these female directors ...). I also hope Bigelow is recognized come award season for making such a beautiful film.

3. It is a "near-perfect movie" - That is what is on the poster, quoted from Time magazine. This is obviously an intriguing incentive to see the film, but after I saw it I went back to read the actual Time review (I hate reading full-reviews before I see a film) and it states "a near-perfect movie about men in war, men at work. Don't you just love when they cut a sentence down to the first 3 words? I agree with Time magazine, the only flaw that they found for this type of film was the length, which could have easily been fixed. It is certainly not a near-perfect film in my opinion, solely for the fact that part of my dissection of a film is it's ability to be watched repeatedly and this subject matter is not something I would want to watch again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Picks for the 10 Main Emmy Categories

Here were my picks for the Emmy nominations - The asterisks mean they were actually nominated. (I also noted who should win!)

1. Best Comedy Series
30 Rock*
The Office*
Pushing Daisies
Weeds* - should win

2. Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock*
Steve Carrell, The Office* - should win
David Duchovny, Californication
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies

3. Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Mary Louise Parker, Weeds* - should win
Tina Fey, 30 Rock*
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?*
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives

4. Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Adam Baldwin, Chuck
Justin Kirk, Weeds - should have won if nominated
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Kevin Connolly, Entourage
Rainn Wilson, The Office* - should win
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock*

5. Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristin Chenowith, Pushing Daisies* - should win
Jennifer Esposito, Samantha Who?
Melissa Mcarthy, Samantha Who?
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds*
Anna Friel, Pushing Daisies
Jenna Fisher, The Office

6. Best Drama Series
Breaking Bad* - should win
Dexter* - an extremely close second
Mad Men*

7. Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad*
Michael C. Hall, Dexter* - should win
Matthew Fox, Lost
Johnny Lee Miller, Eli Stone
Michael Cudlitz, Southland
Hugh Laurie, House*

8. Best Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Torv, Fringe
January Jones, Mad Men - should have won if nominated
Regina King, Southland
Evangeline Lilly, Lost
Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl

9. Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad* - should win, better win!!
Jeremy Davies, Lost
Michael Emerson, Lost*
Terry O'Quinn, Lost
Zachary Quinto, Heroes
Zeljko Ivanik, Heroes
John Noble, Fringe

10. Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Chandra Wilson, Greys Anatomy* - should win
Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter - should have won if nominated
Ashley Crow, Heroes
Olivia Wilde, House

As you can see, Me and the Emmys completely disagree in most categories. They seriously omitted a lot of great television - such as Californication, Fringe and Pushing Daises and some terrific performances, such as Jennifer Carpenter, John Noble and January Jones. I will only forgive them if they give Aaron Paul the win.

P.s - Justin Timberlake can now call himself an Emmy Nominee! How awesome is that?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4 Reasons Why I am Excited About "Jennifer's Body"

The idea behind "Jennifer's Body" sounded intriguing, but the red band trailer is so genius that I am now putting the film at the very top of my highly anticipated film list. Here is why the trailer is absolute perfection.

1. I don't think it is a secret that Megan Fox is hot - They sure jumped on the Megan Fox bandwagon, but it goes a bit further by completely and unapologetically exploiting Fox's uber-sexiness. She gets naked and she kills people - come on, who doesn't want to see that?

2. Adam Brody Lives! - This was the declaration on when the trailer was released last week, which prompted me to watch the trailer ASAP. I had no idea Brody was in it, which makes the film even more enticing.

3. It actually looks creepy - It looks as if Diablo Cody has perfected the mixture of the horror genre with the comedy genre - it's like Shawn of the Dead but scarier. I.CANT.WAIT!.

4. "I know what boys like, I know what boys want" - A perfect song to add to the trailer, because they obviously know that the subject matter (a teenage cheerleader who lures boys in and then kills them) is somewhat emasculating (reminds me of the film Teeth) yet the trailer is so sexy, campy and fun - I'm sure the boys will come running.

3 Reasons Why Ryan Reynolds Should Not Be "The Green Lantern"

I can't really say that I had much interest in upcoming "Green Lantern" project until all these casting rumors began. Everyone from Ryan Gosling to Jared Leto was being considered. Here is why I think they made a huge mistake casting Ryan Reynolds.

1. Bradley Cooper was obviously a better choice - I know I am a bit bias, but Cooper would have been fantastic. Once the announcement was made that they narrowed the list to 3 people (Cooper, Reynolds and Justin Timberlake(!)), I thought for sure Cooper was a lock. Seeing as The Green Lantern is a Warner Brothers project and Cooper scored a huge hit for them with The Hangover - how could he lose? I guess I don't really know the politics behind their decision, but I think Cooper has proved his on-screen charisma far better than Ryan Reynolds has.

2. Ryan Reynolds is already "Deadpool" - Although I haven't seen this summer's Wolverine movie, I understand Reynolds did a decent job as Deadpool - enough so that there are talks of a spin-off film based on his character. I find it a huge mistake to have one actor take on 2 different comic book characters. I actually find it a mistake to have one actor take on 2 iconic characters at all - proven by Christian Bale taking on Batman and The Terminator so close together - one project will suffer.

3. Who decided he was a star? - From what I can see, Reynolds has yet to prove himself. Sure, he is mildly entertaining in mildly entertaining films like Waiting, Just Friends and Van Wilder but he was also completely forgettable in films like The Amityville Horror, The Nines (although I like the film - I actually forgot it was him), and Adventureland. It is clear that the popularity of The Proposal was because of Sandra Bullock (and Betty White), while there is already a hard-core fan base for X-Men's Wolverine. So why is he suddenly considered an A-list star? EW recently had him on the cover proclaiming him as "Our favorite leading man" and now he gets this highly lucrative role in what potentially can become a highly successful franchise - not to mention he recently married one of Hollywood's most sought after actresses (if you can really call Scarlett an actress...). His publicist obviously deserves a raise.

4 Reasons Why "Public Enemies" is a Completely Forgettable Film

I wouldn't really say "Public Enemies" is a bad film - it just isn't a very memorable one. Here is why...

1. I now know why I am not a Michael Mann fan - While I appreciate his aesthetic, I have to admit that I don't really remember any of his films...Ali - I remember Will Smith not the film, Collateral - I know I saw it, but I could not for the life of me remember what it is about, Miami Vice - I remember feeling bad for Colin Farrell. It's a weird realization because he tends to have highly anticipated projects and he works with amazing people, it just seems like the final product always disappoints.

2. The trailer is so much better than the film - The trailer was highly stylized, cool, fast-paced and filled with well-known faces - Absolutely nothing like the film, which lost it's cool-factor after the first 1/2 hour, was drawn out, long and slightly boring and it gave zero screen time to anyone but Depp (except for one amazing scene featuring Marion Cotillard - proving that Oscar was well-deserved). The cast was incredible, yet Channing Tatum was in it for less than a minute (no joke, if you blink you will miss him), Giovanni Ribisi had like 4 lines, Christian Bale and Billy Crudup had 4 lines that they just kept repeating through the entire film and any other familiar faces in the film came and went so fast i stopped keeping track. Why cast such amazing actors if your not going to utilize them?

3. Everyone looked the same - It was really hard for me to distinguish who was who, not only because everyone had very little screen time, but also because they were all wearing the same thing. Guys were getting shot and I had no idea if they were bad or good or even main characters. I gave up trying to understand who was who, when towards the end of the film I was under the impression that John Dillinger had just been shot 5 or 6 times, only to have him reappear in a car - not shot (this was not just my impression - the person I was with thought the same thing). Obviously someone else important was killed, but I have no idea who. It's unfortunate because the film is called "Public Enemies" which led me to believe that the film is about several bank robbers during that era - not just Dillinger.

4. Johnny Depp is always memorable - I still think Johnny Depp was perfect casting, and if the script wasn't so limited - there probably would be Oscar buzz. It's unfortunate that we really don't get a sense of who John Dillinger was. The only thing we know is that he is a murderer, a bank robber and he can manipulate his women. But I thought I would get a little bit more information after watching it for 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Thoughts on 5 Recently Released DVD's: Part 3

1. Killshot - I read this book last year, solely because I heard JGL was involved in the film. I figured it had to be good, because he tends to make exceptional choices. I enjoyed the book - although it wasn't anything spectacular. Elmore Leonard books tend to make interesting films though, so I was anticipating this film for a while. I was expecting some popularity for the film based solely on Mickey Rourke's recent comeback, but was disappointed that the film was never widely released. After seeing the dvd, I understand why. What a train wreck. I've never known JGL to overact, but he was completely over-the-top absurd, while Diane Lane did her best in what seems like the same role she always plays. It made me sad.

2. He's Just Not That Into You - The only reason I even considered sitting through this movie is for Bradley Cooper. I have no interest in Chick-flick films (I am one of the few women who find Sex and the City completely ridiculous) nor do I have any interest in watching Jennifer Aniston insist that she is a movie star (t.v is clearly her medium). As I expected Bradley is in fact the only reason to see the film, not just because he is that good, but also because he has the most interesting story line. I'm pretty sure the audience is supposed to sympathize with the women in the film and not Bradley's character, but I don't fault him for sleeping with Scarlett Johansson (who gives up acting all together in this film, but flaunts her assets nicely). I do find it interesting that by the end he is the villain of the film. I also find it surprising that the film sends such a mixed signal about relationships because it clearly states all of these "rules" to follow but then ends with all these "exceptions" - which basically tells the audience to throw the book that the film is based on in the garbage.

3. Gran Torino - I guess I just don't understand Clint Eastwoods appeal. I mean I do get the whole Dirty Harry bad-ass attitude cool factor, but while watching Gran Torino all I was reminded of was an old, lonely racist man that I have no interest in watching for 2 hours and 10 minutes.

4. Defiance - Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber are superb, as is newcomer Alexa Davalos (from the surprisingly delightful film Feast of Love). The story was strong and powerful. Yet the film was just blah. I can't really explain why because it really didn't have any faults except maybe that it was too long and it dragged a bit in the middle. It has the daunting task of telling yet another holocaust story, unfortunately it doesn't offer anything new. I think it is still worth watching though.

5. Sex Drive - Really not funny. Although, Seth Green was hilarious as a sarcastic Amish auto-mechanic. Other than that - a completely forgettable film.

3 Reasons Why "The Proposal" is the Perfect Film to See With Your Mom and Grandmother

1. The lovable Sandra Bullock - I don't want to be too repetitive, but I love Sandra Bullock! She is back to what she does best and she is as adorable as ever. Plus, she looks better than ever - and naturally beautiful not botoxed and surgically enhanced like other over 40 "girl next door" actresses (i.e Meg Ryan, Renee Zellweger..).

2. It's good, clean fun - I can't really say that I really laughed out loud, but my mother and my grandmother did - which made me happy. It is rare for a film these days to appeal to three different generations. It had no sex scenes, obscenities or violence and yet was completely entertaining. can be done.

3. Romantic Comedy done right - I'm not really a fan of this genre, but there are few that I really enjoy - 2 Weeks Notice and 13 Going on 30 come to mind. I think I enjoyed this film because it was more about human behaviors and perceptions about each other than the actual love story. Sandra's character Margaret Tate is a complete bitch, however once we realize why she is this way she is she becomes completely vulnerable and we sympathize with her. I appreciate the love story because it is about a couple who get to know each other and then to their surprise fall in love rather than a love story about 2 strangers falling in love.