September 30, 2011

Summer 2011 Movie Wrap-Up

Summer '11 In Review

Erica's comments will be appearing in green.

Mike's rundown:

Midnight in Paris-I agree. Great, charming little movie.
The Tree of Life
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Beginners-One of the best of the summer.
Super 8-Great action, adventure film
Bad Teacher-Huge Jason Segel fan, Diaz is even tolerable
Horrible Bosses-Very funny
Cowboys & Aliens-Not my favorite of the summer, but not the worst by far.

Everything Must Go-Not a huge Ferrell fan, but was good in this.
Project Nim-Gripping, real, makes me want to not own a pet monkey
A Better Life- Surprisingly good movie, a bit slow at times
Our Idiot Brother- Very funny.
Attack the Block-Edgar Wright, enough said.

Surprisingly Decent?
Cars 2-Much better than the first. Still a bit Nascar-y though

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides-Not a huge fan
The Hangover Part II- I liked it. It was funny, not as good as the first
Transformers: Dark of the Moon-Fine for what it is (not that great or intellectual)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
30 Minutes or Less-Disappointing

Overrated (but still very worth my time)
Bridesmaids- Why Paul Feig? Why?
X-Men: First Class-Not that great....
Thor- I think i fell aslepp for part of this movie. Boring.
Captain America-Zzzz

Ugh! (worst movie I saw all Summer)
Green Lantern-Definitely the worst of the summer (Mike and I agree on this!)

Huh? (why did we subject ourselves to this?)
Mr. Popper's Penguins-Not sure why we subjected ourselves to this. Poor penguins
The Smurfs-I subjected myself to this for NPH.

Regrettably Missed
Fast Five
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Winnie the Pooh
The Devil's Double
The Guard
The Help-We saw to follow
Fright Night

Thankfully Missed
Kung Fu Panda II
Larry Crowne
One Day
Friends with Benefits
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
The Change-Up
Final Destination 5
Glee 3D
Spy Kids 4
Conan the Barbarian
Note: We will see some of these on DVD. Hopefully we will be pleasantly surprised by at least one of these (10 bucks says it isn't Zookeeper)

September 15, 2011

The Smurfs- UA Court Street 12

Erica: Labor Day Weekend saw us only seeing one movie in theatres (we saw Red State while visiting my mom) due to the fact we weren't home and not feeling all that great. Due to the latter, we used our Fandango coupons ($4.50 per ticket) to see The Smurfs at the Regal Court Street. Everytime we go there, it reminds me why I prefer taking a subway out of my way to visit another theatre. The people. Although this movie actually saw well-behaved children (I guess the bratty ones were away for the long weekend), it still saw bored adults who were only there to not have to spend actual family time with their kids.

Mike: I LOVE LOVE LOVE Smurfs! La-la la-la-la-la, la la-la la-la. So much so that I buy books about them and just spent 200 bucks importing a limited edition DVD box set of the first 5 seasons that just came out in Australia. (the rest of the series - seasons 6-9 - comes out in another set at the same price point in November) The Smurfs looked like it was going to be another Yogi Bear. Another Marmaduke. Another Alvin & The Chipmunks. Another Garfield. Another Scooby-Doo. Another popular nostalgic childrens property raped by Raja Gosnell or another take-your-pick shit director.
Surprise! It is! But Thank Smurf it's not as bad as all those others I just mentioned. There's a smurfload of cringe-inducing moments that make you want to hit your head against a brick wall in the hopes that you'll forget them. But there's enough cool stuff to make it worthwhile. There are some fun scenes showing the smurfs in the smurf village. And Hank Azaria is surprisingly good as Gargamel. The partly-CGI Azrael is really funny, too. It could have been so much cooler and better, but all things considered it's a disaster averted.
One of the previews was for the upcoming movie Happy Feet 2. I think this was the most awful trailer I have ever laid eyes on. I shrunk into my seat as it unfolded in front of me. Had there been a shotgun near me while watching this trailer (we were at the UA Court Street 12, so odds are there was), it would have magnetically attracted itself to my hand, which in turn would point it at my temple and pull the trigger, spraying green goop and marinara over the rest of the audience. Something tells me that I will be seeing a lot more of those retarded penguins... when I die and go to hell.

Erica: OK I went to this movie for two reasons: The Smurfs were part of my childhood. I always watched them when I was a kid and for Neil Patrick Harris. Now I knew this film was not going to be great, I went into thinking it would be awful (as you should go into films that could possibly wreck memories from your childhood). I didn't hate it but I didn't love it. It could have been MUCH worse than it was. With that said, it wasn't SMURF-ing great either.

One thing that's staggering to me is the decision to set the film in New York City. The Smurfs has been raking in lotsa dough overseas, but not nearly what it should be picking up for such a popular European property. With the announcement of Smurfs 2 coming in two years, it was mentioned that it will once again be set in the human world, again neglecting the international appeal. Wouldn't a Smurf-world-set adventure epic be so much cooler than another boring visit to Central Park. I still dream of one day seeing a live action adaptation of The Purple Smurfs.

September 14, 2011

Red State-VOD

Mike: Unlike Erica, I'm not a Kevin Smith apologist. I was once a big fan of the guy, but have been hugely disappointed in his output after his first handful of films. He has a very devoted following and, Kool-Aid or not, they seem to be enjoying themselves in Smith's universe. I was expecting Red State to be another self-indulgent Smith suckfest. But it turned out to be pretty good. I was very much surprised, particularly by how well the film works on a bunch of different levels. It's not just a horror film or thriller. It's silly at times, and as usual Smith couldn't be stopped from casting his untalented spouse. And it looks and sounds really, really indie. Props to Smith for working on a budget and his unique way of releasing the film. But the film's strong performances, over-the-top (Michael Parks, Melissa Leo) or right on-target (John Goodman), as well as its food-for-thought ending made for an interesting viewing.

Erica: First off, I am NOT a Kevin Smith apologist. Clerks and Mallrats are two of my favorite movies. I really enjoyed this movie. Not only because we watched it from the comfort of my mother's living room via Video on Demand and didn't have to worry about anyone talking or texting but because I thought it was a genuinely good movie. Smith has been hyping this movie up for a very long time and I thought all the hype was not going to deliver but it did. It wasn't necessarily a subject matter I was instantly drawn to and it wasn't a typical Smith stoner-fest but it was gritty, violent, and kept me interested the entire time. Even my mother enjoyed it (I think it was a bit violent for her but we were talking about it way after it ended). So props to all involved in this indie gem.

Definitely check this movie out if you can, just be warned, it is a bit gory.