REVIEW: In a World … [2013]

“The whole thing’s based on the Prussian War” I remember seeing Lake Bell for the first time on the criminally underrated HBO show “How to Make It in America” and thinking, “this is a real person.” She was slightly awkward, somewhat unconventionally attractive, and far from the ditzy, interchangeably dull girls mainstream entertainment loves to shove down our throats ad nauseum. Bell’s Rachel was headstrong, successful, charmingly flakey, and ultimately the kind of woman you’d believe could find herself at the center of a love triangle. What I couldn’t have…

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REVIEW: Pain & Gain [2013]

“I gotta get a pump” I like when actors not only play to their strengths, but also make a concerted effort to do so. Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson saw an opportunity to have fun playing a couple of bumbling amateur criminals—waiving their salaries along with director Michael Bay for backend deals—and had faith audiences would come to see them make light of their physiques and act the fools. Pain & Gain is a perfect venue for their somewhat limited skill sets as its true to life tale of greed…

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REVIEW: Warm Bodies [2013]

“God, we move slow” Who would have thought even fifteen years ago that 2013’s nerd culture would have at its pinnacle zombies and bacon? Seriously, who? While we have Ron Swanson to thank for helping keep the latter alive recently, Hollywood has been the former’s driving force. What used to be a vehicle to disseminate political satire and civil unrest in a world slowly devolving towards a wasteland of mindless automatons has now become a million dollar moneymaking machine. They are so ubiquitous that I’m baffled none ever showed up…

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REVIEW: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World [2012]

“You were the love of my life” It’s easy to conjure images of post-apocalyptic wastelands, cryptic symbolism, and philosophical ruminations when one thinks about the end of the world. Hollywood uses this fascination to create science fiction actioners and depression-laden dramas each decade even though the layperson would never fall into such over-the-top cliché. Most John Q. Publics would let loose, create some sort of last minute bucket list, and live without consequence after years of cautious sacrifice and regret. Despite inevitable riots, chaos, and crime, one shouldn’t ignore the…

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REVIEW: Yogi Bear [2010]

“The microphone is on” I’m pretty sure I watched the old “Yogi Bear Show” cartoon from Hanna Barbera growing up, but I can’t recollect anything besides the titular character’s goofy voice and the park ranger constantly screaming his name in defeated angst. What I want to remember, however, is that it was good. Granted, I was young and not much was probably needed to keep me entertained and interested, but if the new live action/animated hybrid from visual effects superstar Eric Brevig gives any indication through ‘precise mirroring’ of its…

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REVIEW: Hot Tub Time Machine [2010]

“Look at the douchebag from Karate Kid 3” Hooray for the reunion of Steve Pink and John Cusack, screenwriter and star respectively of contemporary classics Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity. They are back and it’s with … Hot Tub Time Machine? Well, it isn’t quite the highbrow humor I was expecting from the duo, but then Pink didn’t write this one. Instead he helms the shenanigans as three old, yet currently distant, friends decide to journey back to the place that brought them their happiest memories. With Adam, (Cusack),…

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REVIEW: What Happens in Vegas [2008]

“Oh Lovebiscuit; Yes Tickle-Monkey?” I went into the screening of What Happens in Vegas thinking I was in store for a train-wreck; I mean the trailer looked horrible. I suffer the pain for all of you readers, though, in the hopes that you won’t have to live the same fate. In actuality, the movie ended up being a same-old, same-old rom-com that had some laughs, but overall just plodded along to its inevitable conclusion. Being that this pair of New Yorkers, married after a night of heavy drinking in Vegas,…

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REVIEW: Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay [2008]

“Y2K?” If you enjoyed Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and have any reservations about the sequel, fear not. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay may not be quite the same as its predecessor, but it brings enough of the story mechanics back and the stoner humor that made it a cult success. Writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, also serving as directors this time around, have upped the ante like the sequel cliché goes. There is more nudity, (with a bottomless party, how could there not?), a…

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REVIEW: Semi-Pro [2008]

“Softest hands in the world” Will Ferrell has done it again. He got my butt in the seat based off a funny trailer and funnier spoof premise despite the fact I knew I would end up hating the film. Yes, I did not like it much at all. Probably more entertaining than its predecessors, I found myself laughing big at more scenes, rather than just laughs in one or two sequences. I credit this fact to it not trying to be a movie, but instead relying on its strung together…

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