Tag Archives: Movie Reviews
Post by Mark T. Locker.
When your kid is sick, you let them do pretty much whatever they want. And they learn pretty quickly that they get to do whatever they want.
So when Felix woke all flushed and feeling crummy, we set him up in his comfy chair and asked what he wanted to watch. Without missing a beat, he replied, “Night at the Museum”.
Honestly, there are a lot of worse movies out there that a 4 3/4-year-old might request. Like most mainstream comedy movies, it follows the required formula and chooses the meanings/messages dutifully from the list of clichéd options. In this case, it’s twofold: divorced father with no follow-through is competing with the new husband for his son’s admiration. Also, there is the love interest to win over.
Of course, those parts are just to flesh out a movie which is really about a Natural History Museum whose relics come to life every night due to a magical Egyptian tablet. Larry takes a job as a night guard at the museum in order to garner a little respect from his kid. Of course when he learns that everything (including a T-Rex skeleton) comes to life at night, well doesn’t that just make Larry way cooler than the stock broker step-dad with a cell phone holster.
Like I said, there are worse movies out there to watch. Owen Wilson as a tiny cowboy and Steve Coogan as his natural enemy, the tiny Roman centurion, are pretty entertaining. My kid’s favorite parts? The Easter Island head that always says, “Hey dum-dum! You bring me gum-gum?” And the scene in which Larry and a Capucin monkey get in a slap-fest.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
This is the first movie I have seen all the way through since hobbling my way through The Hobbit back in December. My wife is a huge fan of the music and was needless to say eager to watch this together. The only musical I really enjoy is Singin’ in the Rain, which has amazing tap dancing and Gene Kelly is so handsome and Debby Reynolds is just cute as a button!
Neither Hugh Jackman nor Russell Crowe could be described as cute as a button. Some may describe Anne Hathaway as such, but not me. What Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway are, however, are outstandingly talented singers and actors. It’s hard not to choke up seeing Anne’s rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream”. It’s also even more difficult to watch Russell Crowe bleat out his lines. I don’t know who cast him in this movie, but it was an unwise decision. He very nearly manages to ruin the movie.
But he doesn’t, thank goodness!
It is a very sad, dark, intense movie, so it may give you sad, dark, intense dreams. It certainly did me. But more than that, it gave me lots of dreams about “I Dreamed a Dream.” If I had one criticism of the movie (besides Russell Crowe) it’s that that song gets stuck in my head, and I don’t know the lyrics so I end up making up my own lyrics. Happily, mine are less heartbreaking and tend to be about monkeys and sausages.
So, go rent this if you haven’t seen it.
Post by Felix and Mark Locker.
Happy Friday, everyone! I have fallen behind in what’s happening in the world of movies lately, so I have asked my four-year-old to tell me about a movie he watched last week, Wreck-It Ralph. I can’t guarantee that his summary won’t include some spoilers and it is highly biased and perhaps difficult to glean actual meaning from. So here you have it, folks: my son Felix reviews Wreck-It Ralph:
Wreck it Ralph wrecks the building. And Fix-it Felix fixes stuff. Wreck-it Ralph wants a medal. He had to go to a game, it was called Hero’s Duty. But he had to get the medal by climbing a giant building! But he had to try to but first he had to really get the medal but he had to fight Cy-Bugs.
Fix-it Felix thought wreck-it Ralph was coming back. But it was Q-Bert. And Fix-it Felix said, “Look! It’s Q-Bert!” He says something so scary, but we can’t understand it. Q-Bert talks in…Spanish. Actually, he talks like this (makes computer sounds.) (Ed. note: It’s not Spanish.)
Turbo is the greatest racer in the world. The Candy King Wreck-it Ralph went to Sugar Rush. He lost his medal and he saw a little girl (Vanellope von Schweetz) who was a glitch. SPOILER ALERT The Candy King is Fix-it Felix’s dad. Under Turbo’s disguise is the Candy King!
Turbo is my favorite person in the movie.
Sugar Rush is my favorite part. I like it because it has candy. I don’t like Hero’s Duty because there are Cy-Bugs. At the end, the Fix-it Felix Jr. game was new and everybody really wanted to play it. There was new stuff. The bomb would go “Boom!” and the person would go, “Ahh!”
Post by Josh Zinn.
Lately, when I’m not flying to exotic ports of call in an attempt to heal the world in the memory of Michael Jackson, I’ve taken to relaxing by watching simple shows of fun and frivolity. One of my favorite programs of recent has been a little show on MTV called “Friendzone”. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?
Now, dear readers, I can already hear your cries of protests and, yes, I understand the ennui you must be feeling. Believe me, until I too fell into the “Friendzone” I figured MTV was nothing more than a haven for hooligans, hipsters, and hussies. And you know what? It is. But, as a famous writer whose name may or may not slightly rhyme with the phrase “flannél feel” once said, “In the depths of despair, two hearts shine among the garbage heap.” Beautiful, and in the case of “Friendzone,” oh so true.
What “Friendzone” is is a show about bravery. It’s about shedding a cloak of despair, a corset of depression, and a vice of restrained emotion. Inside all of us, according to “Friendzone,” is a hopeless romantic longing to make a soul’s connection with those we hold closest to us. Yes, that’s right my love-struck lads and lasses, “Friendzone” is a show about hitting on your best friend.
Imagine, if you will, it’s another warm summer night in your small Nebraska town. As you try on the sheer top you recently purchased at Torrid and imbibe in a second cocktail of Mt. Dew and vodka, your gorgeous hunk of a friend Cody knocks on your door. Now, because you guys have been friends since middle school and because he is always there when you have to pick up a Saturday night shift at Sonic and need a last-minute babysitter, you’ve asked him over under the ruse that you’re going on a date tonight and need some friendly advice – Only, the trick here is that the date’s with him!
“Friendzone,” you see, is about taking that next step with the friend that’s been with you through everything. When you think about it, it’s really quite obvious. After all, why wouldn’t you want to lock lips with the person who held your hand when you got Tweetie Bird tattooed on your hip; was there to hold your hair back when you did one too many Jell-O shots in the parking lot of the dollar store; and who defended your honor by throwing his chili cheese fries on your ex-husband’s new girlfriend when she threatened to gouge your left eye out with her heels? “Friendzone’s” mission is to let us know that love is oftentimes staring us right in the face, but sometimes we need a nudge, a camera crew, and a signed release waiver in order for Cupid’s arrow to be let loose from its quiver of anticipation.
Of course, there are times when the “Friendzone” fails to unite two lovers. Sometimes, it seems, a friend is just a friend, even if they do like to rub your feet, always bring you Sour Cream and Onion Pringles, and spend more time at your place than the apartment they rent out in their Grandma’s basement. In cases like these, however, “Friendzone” makes it clear that we should applaud the bravery and tenacity of those for whom not even the risk of losing their Wednesday night nacho nibbling buddy can keep them away from the siren’s call of amour.
Straight, gay, white, black – to “Friendzone” it matters not. All that matters is that you take a chance on romance and risk having your colossal failure and uncomfortable heartbreak filmed for the whole world to see. If that isn’t a compelling reason to follow through with one’s desires, then maybe this world is a colder place than I thought.
Post by Josh Zinn.
Recently, whilst on assignment in Kuala Lumpur where we were researching the increasing rise of Malaysian youth huffing dried yak blood, my colleague Dena and I, after a long day out in the field, stumbled upon an American television show that was playing in our hotel’s tapas lounge. Tired and slowly coming down from the psychedelic effects of the aforementioned yak fluid (part of being a renowned scientist/movie reviewer is sampling the wares you are assigned to write about), we were in no mood to be subjected to a Southeast Asian version of “The Bachelor” or a program about how the Petronas Towers may be construed as a metaphor for Jessica and Ashlee Simpson. Naturally, our guard was up.
As we relaxed over a beer and a variety of dips and delights, the television screen roared to life with images of people madly running to and fro, clutching werewolf heads and bloody brains in their hands. No, this wasn’t some long lost documentary on the underbelly of Burning Man; this was “Face Off,” the movie makeup competition airing on the SyFy network.
Like most other competition shows on television these days (“Top Chef”, “Project Runway”, etc.) “Face Off” begins with the premise that people like to win things. Not only that, but people like to win things whilst being filmed in confessionals where they are dressed incredibly hip and are armed with a variety of derogatory quips. The show is like high school, but with an advocacy on accentuating, rather than hiding, facial blemishes.
“Face Off” pits these contestants against one another in a series of challenges meant to highlight the positive effects a steady diet of Mt. Dew and Sun Chips can have upon the mind’s creativity. If it weren’t for prepackaged snack food, we soon surmise, who knows whether half these folks would have the ability to shape a zombie groin to the correct level of desiccation needed for its special moment in front of a movie camera. It’s a matter of understanding the natural progression of things and seeing how something flavored “Harvest Cheddar” can enable you to sculpt a really killer witch’s nose.
As Dena and I watched a marathon of episodes (fortunately, tapas is a 24-hour phenomenon in Malaysia), we couldn’t help but wonder if, much like the contestants on “Face Off,” our own talents were being put to a test by a panel of judges whose authority stems from their ability to sit behind a logo-emblazoned desk. After so many reports filed on topics ranging from plants in Kuwait that react negatively to the music of John Mayer to a kind of Norwegian chewing gum that has been linked to demonic possession, we can’t help but feel that there’s got be something more than just receiving a pat on the back from the head of our department. In short, that yak inhalation better win each of us a Prius.
Because of the exposure it gives to the flipside of movie magic as well as the entertainment it provided two Americans coming down from an O+ yak high, I heartily recommend “Face Off.” While it’s true that—unlike, say, “Top Chef”—it doesn’t give suburban viewers the inspiration to host awkward dinner parties where they mistakenly think they can cook, the show nevertheless offers each and every one of us a reason to believe hope can still exist even when the chip bags are empty, the soda cans run dry, and even our sweatpants don’t fit anymore.