Saturday, June 28, 2008

Weekend Movie Reviews

I've seen a bunch more movies, so here we go with another round of quick shot reviews.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan, rated PG-13, starring Adam Sandler and John Turturro. I'm a fan of Adam Sandler (except when he makes absolute garbage like Click), so I had to see this movie. So funny, so wrong, and so great. This movie recalls the earlier days of Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, before he took a "serious" turn and did films like 50 First Dates (possibly the only chick flick I enjoy, but it's not exactly an "Adam Sandler joint"), Spanglish (again, not a bad movie, but definitely not a screwball comedy), and the aforementioned, terrible Click. If you like Adam Sandler doing crazy shit, you can't miss with the Zohan.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, rated PG-13, starring Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, and John Hurt. What can I say? It's fucking Indy. Is it as good as any of the films in the original trilogy? Hard to say. Is it still Indy? Very much so. Anyone who was disappointed by this film was either expecting too much, had their memories of the original trilogy tinted by rose-colored glasses, or both. It's fucking Indy, what more do you want?

Get Smart, rated PG-13, starring Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Arkin, and Terence Stamp. I'll be the first to admit that I've never seen the TV show from the 60's. So I don't have criticism like, "Maxwell Smart would never do that!" I took this movie for what it is: a summer spy action-comedy. It delivered on that front, so I enjoyed it.

The Incredible Hulk, rated PG-13, starring Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt. As one of the few people who actually dug the first Hulk flick, I was lukewarm towards the idea of a reboot. The trailers didn't really do it for me, but I'm still a fan of Hulk and Edward Norton, so I gave it a shot. In short, I liked it. Edward Norton is a great Bruce Banner. I really liked how they foreshadowed the Leader for the inevitable sequel, and just like with Iron Man, the seeds of the Avengers are planted at the end of the film. It is a very good time to be a comic book fan.

Zodiac, rated R, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. I Netflixed this one. My only real complaint about this movie is it's length. Granted, it covers some 22 years, but it does tend to drag in parts that could have been edited not only to keep suspense, but to shorten the overall running time of 2.5 hours. Overall, not a bad movie.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, rated R, starring Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer. I was raving about this film to one of my coworkers about how she had to see it, and I got the urge to rewatch it. It's definitely one of those films that you can watch a second time and end up getting even more out of it. Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer are great. The movie is very dark and yet absolutely hilarious, it's fantastic.

That's all for now. Tune in next week (or maybe in two weeks or a month, whatever) for more quickie film reviews.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Ready for a shocking fact? 26 of the 50 United States of America have constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriages. For the mathematically challenged, that's over half of the states in the union. Would you like a list? Here's a list:
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota

Hawaii has an amendment stating that the legislature "has the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples." Voters from the state of Arizona were presented with an amendment banning same-sex marriage and voted it down by a slim margin. The existing amendments were all passed by a solid majority, some by an overwhelming majority (Mississippi, Alabama, Tennesse). The state of California will vote on a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage in 2008, and other states such as Florida, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania may as well.

What I can't wrap my head around is this: how and why is it legal for a state (26 of them, no less) to tell two people that they cannot be married for no other reason than because they are the same sex? Forget about all the rhetoric and politics and other bullshit, what we've got here is a civil rights issue. What we've got here is a group of people being denied a right that another group of people has. Period, full stop.

When the election rolls around in November, I might go out and vote for no other reason than to put my mark on a piece of paper, stating that, "No, I refuse to deny a basic civil right to other human beings."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 Impressions (PS3)

After about an 8 minute install (during which Snake smoked like 4 cigarettes), I started playing the game. Or rather, I started watching cutscenes.

Here's the thing about the initial cutscenes, though: they don't make any fucking sense. Which is the norm for Metal Gear Solid cutscenes. *rimshot* Seriously, though, there was some sort of documentary footage with some deep sea divers and voiceover talking about octopuses, while a news ticker jumped around the screen. Then it switched to a couple of people (not sure if they were male or female, it was hard to tell) doing slow motion wire fu while shit blew up around them.

I was literally staring at my television slackjawed, not out of awe, but out of sheer confusion. Eventually, the game started, and it was Iraq, with Snake in the back of a truck headed to a combat zone. Once I was able to play, I settled in pretty nicely. Although there is a man and his monkey that also has me scratching my head.

I dunno, this is the game that got a number of 10's, but unlike GTA4, I'm just not seeing it. Not yet, anyway.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Thursday Night Movie Roundup

I haven't done one of these in quite a while, and since I've seen a number of flicks since the last time I did, another one is certainly due. Let's get started.

Cloverfield, rated PG-13, starring a bunch of actors no one has ever heard of. I caught Cloverfield in the theatre, and I had a good time. Not much else to say other than that.

Dan in Real Life, rated PG-13, starring Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, and Dane Cook. Yes, it's a romantic comedy, and yes, all romantic comedies are the same: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy drives girl away, boy and girl reconcile and end up together. But I'm a huge Steve Carell fan, so it wasn't a bad way to waste 90 minutes.

Alvin and the Chipmunks, rated PG, starring Jason Lee, David Cross, and the voice of Justin Long. You couldn't have paid me to see this movie if Jason Lee wasn't in it. However, since Jason Lee is one of my man-crushes, I suffered through it. Dear god it was terrible.

Bullitt, rated PG, starring Steve McQueen and Robert Vaughn. This was the second time I've seen this movie, and the first time on Blu Ray. It was one (of 5) I chose for free when I bought my PS3. It's surprising how great a 40 year old film can look and sound on Blu Ray, but the movie itself isn't very good. It's memorable pretty much solely for a 14 minute car chase through the streets of San Francisco with a Dodge Charger and a Ford Mustang.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, rated R, starring John Cho, Kal Penn, and Neil Patrick Harris. A funny, if entirely forgettable comedy.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall, rated R, starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, and Mila Kunis. Anyone who knows me knows I can't get enough Kristen Bell (I still pine for Veronica Mars). Me seeing this flick was a foregone conclusion, and it was pretty damn good even when Kristen wasn't on screen.

Iron Man, rated PG-13, starring Robert Downey Jr, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Terrence Howard. This is by far my favorite comic book movie since Spider-Man 2. Robert Downey Jr is perfect as Tony Stark. I can't wait for the sequel, and I really hope Rhodey gets to become War Machine. Just bad ass all around.

I'm going to catch You Don't Mess With the Zohan this weekend, Kung Fu Panda next Wednesday, and Indy (finally) next weekend. Then there's The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, WALL-E, Hancock, Hellboy 2, Dark Knight, Pineapple Express, The Clone Wars...Jesus Christ, this summer is fucking packed with great flicks. Until next time!