Friday, July 29, 2011

Crazy, Stupid Love

Title: Crazy, Stupid Love
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Starring: Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Kevin Bacon, Crystal Reed, Marisa Tomei, Joey King
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Running Time: 1 hour. 47 minutes
Release Date: July 29th, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Review: First off, while I rarely watch, and even more rarely enjoy rom-coms, this cast was too good to pass up. I have a special place in my awkward-loving heart for Steve Carrell and Emma Stone, and who doesn't like Ryan Gosling? Well, I didn't before this film, with could be knows under the alternative title "Ryan Gosling Haters Converted to Ryan Gosling Lovers", and thus I have now joined the masses who worship this exemplary male specimen, which actually can act, as it turns out. Regardless, I walked into this one with no expectations to enjoy it, and was very surprised to find that I did.

As always, Steve Carrell portrays the "awkward, lost, confused grown man" extremely well, the man has a gift, and while the subject of divorce is a total bummer, the film turns out to be very heartwarming and, as always with Steve Carrell, quite funny. Furthermore, the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is perfect, and their part of the story has several epic scenes making fun of the usual rom-com fare, without coming across as parody. This film is sweet, and doesn't rely on either raunchy jokes or snark to get by. I surprised to say that I highly recommend it.
Grade: 8.5

Cowboys & Aliens

Title: Cowboys & Aliens
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach, Paul Dano
Genres: Western, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller, Action/Adventure, Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hour. 58 minutes
Release Date: July 29th, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Review: 'Cowboys & Aliens' is a film with an identity crisis. It starts as a Western, then morphs into a Sci-Fi flick, with some flickers of Action, Adventure, End-of-The-World, and sprinkles of Romance. I decided to give up trying to label this film, and, much to my surprise, I found myself entertained.

I'm usually not a big fan of Daniel Craig films, as I find his lack of acting skills distracting. Here, he is joined by a pretty interesting cast, which aid to dilute his ineptitude, and this is what saves the film. All in all, 'Cowboys & Aliens' is surprisingly entertaining.
Grade: 6

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
Directed by: David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ra;ph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Tom Felton, Bill Nighy, Bonnie Wright, Jason Isaacs, John Hurt
Genres: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Adaptation, Sequel
Running Time: 2 hours. 10 minutes
Release Date: July 15th, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Review: 'Part 2' is here, and I am thorn between wanting to see this story to the end, and not wanting it to end. This is the end years in the making, and it this is a final film worthy of this amazing saga.

War is upon Hogwarts, and it is epic. Gone is the slow, depressing pace of 'Part 1'. We get answers to questions that have been left hanging for years, our heroes gets to fight back, and our villains get what they deserve. For instance, seeing Mrs. Weasley kicking Bellatrix's ass, and Neville getting his revenge, were both thoroughly satisfying moments. We also get the final verdict on Snape, and his story is surprisingly soft-hearted. After all, this is a story about love and friendship, and we feel it in this film. All in all, a deeply satisfying final movie in the series.
Grade: 9

Friday, July 8, 2011

Horrible Bosses

Title: Horrible Bosses
Directed by: Seth Gordon
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Colin Farrel, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey
Genres: Comedy
Running Time: 1 hour. 33 minutes
Release Date: July 8, 2011
MPAA Rating: R

Review: 'Horrible Bosses' is hilarious, extremely raunchy (they don't hand out R ratings to comedies for nothing), and custom made for anyone who has ever worked for an awful boss.

One of the high lights of this film is seeing Jennifer Aniston like we've never seen her before. Gone is her regular go-to of "cute & funny", and instead we get to see Ms. Aniston as outrageously inappropriate dentist, Dr. Julia Harris, who is sexually harassing her male employee. The result is a mix of thigh-slappingly funny, and so awkward that you have to watch through your fingers. Another high light is Colin Farrell, who is almost unrecognizable in heavy disguise.

The rest of the cast all put in solid performances, and the overall result is one of the funniest films of the year.
Grade: 7