March 21, 2013

Spring Breakers - AMC Empire 25

 How ridiculous does Franco look in this movie?!

Erica: This movie was just awful. Sure I like James Franco but this movie was just unbearably bad. It was only 94 minutes but it was a long 94 minutes. I laughed once during the entire movie and just felt kind of uncomfortable during the rest. This movie has a lot of cringeworthy moments but I can see it finding it's audience......just not me...I can't really recommend this movie to anybody...I'm sorry...I just can't. I wish I could...

Mike: I actually loved Spring Breakers. Despite some parts that drag and might test your patience, I thought it was hilarious and biting, although I think that the film will also appeal - for the wrong reasons - to the brain dead partying/college/spring break culture it makes fun of. James Franco is the highlight of the film, providing several memorable scenes with a Nicolas Cage-like full-on crazy performance. 

March 14, 2013

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - AMC Lincoln Square 13/Oz The Great and Powerful UA Court Street 12

Erica: Sorry it has been so long since we last posted a review. We have been extremely busy....I will try and update more frequently....I may include multiple reviews in one as well. Last night we saw an advanced screening of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and for the first time in a while, I liked a movie Mike didn't! I don't know why he didn't but he will have to tell you about that. First thing you need to know about this's silly. Know that going in and you will enjoy it a lot. It's magical and funny. I am not a huge fan of Steve Carrell but he did a good job in this movie but Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin stole the show. A magician never reveals their secrets so I do not want to give too much away but I highly recommend this movie. I may be biased because it was written by John Francis Daley and I seem to see every movie that Steve Buscemi is in but it is still a good, fun, magical movie. 

Now all of that being said, it is NOT as good as that other 'magical' movie out now Oz the Great and Powerful. Franco does a great job as a con-man/wizard who is trying to get away from his current situation and lands in Oz only to be transported in a magical land. I highly recommend this movie as well. 

As much as I enjoyed Wonderstone if budget only allows for one magical film this month, follow the yellow brick road....

Mike: Aside from a few sporadic laughs, I absolutely hated Burt Wonderstone. To me it seemed like a bad Will Ferrell movie, with Steve Carell doing a bad Ferrell imitation. It also seemed incredibly dated - I felt like I was watching something made 8 or 10 years ago.

Oz the Great and Powerful is a severely flawed but ultimately fun movie. A great opening and a satisfying finale made up for the meandering middle, where I couldn't help but wonder where the hell it was going.

January 12, 2013

Lincoln - AMC Essex Green CInema Suites

Mike: We haven't been back to the AMC Cinema Suites since Hunger Games came out, so we were excited that another loooong movie was coming out that would allow us to take full advantage of the ultra-comfortable seating at Cinema Suites. We brought my parents for a lunchtime screening of Lincoln. As usual, we tried to get there a bit early to at least get our orders in and get our food before the movie started. Since last time we were here, AMC has done away with the complimentary chocolate-covered popcorn before the show and Ghirardelli chocolate mints afterwards, but the comfortable reserved seating and solid menu still make Cinema Suites a great deal. I just wish they'd bring one of these to New York City, so I don't have to go all the way to New Jersey. I know there's the Nitehawk, and there's two Alamo Drafthouses coming to NYC, but the best part of Cinema Suites is really the comfortable reclining seats.
I know I'm in the minority, not being blown away by Spielberg's Lincoln. I found it to be too talky, too post-West Wing. I think it's a very good film, so I'm in the situation of trying to explain why I didn't love it as much as, seemingly, everyone else - which is silly. But as an example, I point you to the voting scene, where votes are cast in embarrassing cliches, one after another. I dare anyone not to cringe when Michael Stuhlbarg screams out his choice.

 Erica: I felt like I was in a two and a half hour history class. I enjoyed seeing this movie in reclining seats though. Lincoln has gotten lots of Oscar nominations, I, like Mike, was not blown away by this movie. I am not saying it was bad, just not amazing. I am sure Lewis will win the Oscar for playing Lincoln because that is how the Academy works. I never seem to like the movies that the Academy ultimately chooses on the big day. I think I will be one of the few not cheering when this scoops up a lot of awards at the Oscars. If you want one big history class about Lincoln in two and a half hours, you can watch this movie.

December 31, 2012

Erica's Best of 2012

This was a very difficult one for me...I honestly keep changing the rankings....

1- Frankenweenie
2- Ted
3- Robot & Frank
4- Killer Joe
5- The Dark Knight Rises
6- The Five Year Engagement
7- Django Unchained
8- Argo
9- Dark Shadows
10- Dark Horse
11- Seven Psychopaths
12- Jeff Who Lives at Home
13- Wanderlust
14- Safety Not Guaranteed
15- ParaNorman

Honorable Mention:  2 Days in New York, Fantastic Fear of Everything, The Inbetweeners Movie, Compliance, Not Fade Away, Liberal Arts, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Silver Linings Playbook  

Mike's Best of 2012

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Killer Joe
3. Cloud Atlas
4. The Master
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
6. Safety Not Guaranteed
7. The Silver Linings Playbook
8. Argo
9. The Dark Knight Rises
10. Frankenweenie
11. Robot & Frank
12. Take This Waltz
13. Jeff Who Lives At Home
14. Beasts of the Southern Wild
15. Django Unchained
16. Arbitrage
17. Prometheus
18. Ted
19. A Late Quartet
20. The Loneliest Planet

Honorable mention: It aired as a 3-part special in the UK but is being released as a feature in the US in 2013, so I didn't include 56 Up, the latest in the outstanding Seven Up series. Aside from that, I also really liked: 21 Jump Street, Amour, Compliance, Dark Horse, A Fantastic Fear of Everything, The Five-Year Engagement, The Impossible, Killing Them Softly, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Not Fade Away, On the Road, ParaNorman, Promised Land, Red Hook Summer, and Wanderlust. And there were segments in Holy Motors that I absolutely loved, but then there were some parts that I didn't, so that one didn't make my top 20 either.

Erica's Worst of 2012

Erica: Wow I had a lot of movies to choose from this year for my 'worst of 2012' list.

Below are my top 10 followed by some additional ones that were bad, but not bad enough to make the list.

1- Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
2- Rock of Ages
3- That's My Boy
4- This Must Be the Place
5- The Dictator
6- Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
7- A Late Quartet
8- Hotel Transylvania
9- Bernie
10- Parental Guidance

(Dis)honorable Mention: Hitchcock, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Guilt Trip, Save the Date, Bachelorette, Frankie Goes Boom,  I could go on for days...

Mike's Worst of 2012

Mike: I usually know which movies to skip, and I skip most of the ones that don't interest me or that I just know I won't like. But there are times (too many) that curiosity gets the best of me, and I watch something that I know is absolute crap. Or there are times when I watch something and expect it to be good and it's just a terrible disappointment. These are the films that I really didn't like in 2012, ranked from Worst (1) to Still Really Bad (10).

1. The Intouchables
2. Rock of Ages
3. Frankie Go Boom
4. Red Tails
5. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
6. Piranha 3DD
7. Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie
8. Save the Date
9. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
10. Wrath of the Titans

I also disliked: Battleship, Goon, Hotel Transylvania, Hysteria, Mansome, People Like Us, This Must Be the Place, Total Recall, and The Watch.

December 25, 2012

Rust and Bone - Landmark Sunshine

Mike: Rust and Bone is a ridiculous movie in which ridiculous things happen. It's silly in the absolute randomness of obstacles presented to the main characters. You meet a girl whose legs get bitten off by a killer whale and then manages a street fighter. More random obstacles present the two main characters throughout the film. But there's something in the sheer melodrama that makes it hard to look away and not enjoy it. Marion Cotillard is getting Oscar buzz, but I think any half-decent actress would have done just as well with such and overly dramatic part. This is an old-fashioned drama that we grew out of as we left the 1980s, and while I enjoyed it, it's absolutely ridiculous and silly. I must give props for a pair of scenes that use a Katy Perry song. You hear it early in the movie as Cotillard is about to have her legs bitten off, but when it recurs much later in the film, it's a genuinely moving moment, and perhaps the one thing that the movie really gets right.

December 23, 2012

The Loneliest Planet - IFC Center

Mike: This one was almost completely off my radar. I'd heard a bit about it, but only became interested when I saw it pop up on year-end top 10 lists. I had a day off from work so I went to see this one morning. I'm glad I did. It's an unconventional film that gets uncomfortably real as we follow a young couple and their tour guide through the countryside of Georgia (the country, not the state). Most of the film is dedicated to simply getting to know this couple, seeing how they react to their guide and take in the experience. I can imagine this being extremely annoying and boring to many, but I was able to bear with it and I'm glad I did. There's a bit of a twist along the way - not in the traditional sense, but it kind of changes direction at a certain point - the poignancy and challenge of which I found to be very rewarding for the 90 minute travelogue that preceded it.

December 21, 2012

Hitchcock - AMC Kips Bay 14

Mike: This is one of two competing films about Alfred Hitchcock that came out this year. The earlier one, The Girl, debuted on HBO a couple months ago and focused on the making of The Birds and Marnie. This one's just about Psycho. Both films were mildly interesting. Neither of these films were necessary. And both films present Hitchcock as a mysterious, impenetrable character. The make-up is impressive, but under the layers we don't get a good sense of who the guy was. In Hitchcock, we get a bit more of an understanding of the guy than in The Girl. If anything, we get a better understanding of the woman behind the man, in this one played by Helen Mirren.

Erica: I was sitting through this movie, just like through The Girl wondering when it was going to be over. Being a Hitchcock fan, I was looking forward to this movie and was highly disappointed. While I think this was better than the HBO movie that aired earlier in the year,  that does not mean by any means, was this a good movie. Helen Mirren did a great job as Hitchcock's wife and the almost unrecognizable Anthony Hopkins did a good job as the man himself. That is where the good parts of this movie end...for a Hitchcock, I feel like you may be disappointed with this movie.