21 June 2006

The Break Up

The Break-Down

I live in Chicago and was severely inconvenienced for a week while trailers were parked on my street for the filming of this movie. I did, however, go out and watch a 3 second scene be filmed one night. I did get to see Jennifer. By the way, she is really small and really skinny. I was psyched to see this movie. When the reviews were bad, I could not believe it. I still wanted to see it. Jennifer Aniston playing Rachel....good. Vince Vaughn in a comedic role....good. Jon Favreau in a small supporting role....good. Things seemed to add up. My new wife, who was in town at the time it was filming, decided this would be a great first movie to see as a married couple. The Break-Up? I am sure there is logic in there somewhere.

It opens with a shot of Wrigley Field. I am a White Sox fan myself. Jon Favreau is wearing a Sox jersey and making fun of the Cubs and their terrible playing. I LOVED IT!! After that scene, the movie went downhill, and fast. Every scene dragged on for about 2 minutes longer than needed. They get into a fight, that lasted too long, over.....well, over nothing really. Just a gigantic amount of built-up anger. I can relate. But then, things kept getting worse. The story went nowhere. I got bored. I can't even remember how many times I looked at my watch during this movie. At first, the characters seemed to have substance, but they got me good on that joke. The only redeeming factor to the movie was Jon Favreau. His lines were hilarious, his delivery of them hilarious, he is hilarios. The movie, well, lacked being hilarious.

Verdict....waste of $20 plus concessions.

Cars

I must admit, I like the word trite. That is the best word to describe the latest movie from Pixar Studios. I cannot figure out why they are not focusing on Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc 2, or Finding Nemo Again. Cars had nothing new to offer.

It opened with an over confident rookie car names Lighting McQueen in his trailer before the "big race" to decide who wins the cup. The goes on, and it comes down to the top three cars, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, and McQueen. I meen, The King, Chick Hicks, and McQueen. Well, there is a three-way tie. They decided to have a race in California in one week to determine the winner. Along the way to California, Mack, voiced by long-time Pixar vocalist John Ratzenberger, falls alseep and is assaulted by Vin Diesel's crew from The Fast and the Furious. That was kinda cute. McQueen falls out of the trailer and does not know it. He wakes up and triesto catch up with Mack and ends up in Radiator Springs. It is a lost city on old Route 66 before I-40 is put in and bypasses it. After he tears up the street, he is sentenced to fix it. His punishment also begins ours. This city story drags on for too long. They are building up the obvious friendships and teach the "hot-shot" that there is more to life than winning. They also teach kids that is it cool to race a train over a junction and play with power lines within 1 minnute of each outer. Great thinking Pixar. While in this city, he learns all these great driving tricks that he will use in the final race. The town citizens become his friends and pit crew. An old racing legend is reborn. There could not have been more stale storylines.

I am not sure who thought making a kids animated movie with a running time pushing 2 hours was a good idea, but he should be fired. It was a cute flick, with 2 twists in it. It was nothing compared to The Incredibles, Toy Story and its sequel, Monsters Inc, or Finding Nemo.

Verdict: Wait a few more weeks before seeing this movie, or see it late at night. Here's why: CRYING BABIES!! There were at least 3 crying kids, 3 cell phone calls, and 3 times I had to get up to let out the lady next to me to take her child to the restroom. I don't mind large mature audience. Those are hard to find. But watching a kids movie with a bunch of kids was a terrible idea.

Over the Hedge

When I first saw this preview, I didn't think I'd see it in theaters. But, a long time ago, I made a deal with a buddy. I told him that if he came to visit me in Chicago, I would take him to a 30 screen cineplex to see any movie of his choice. So, this was his choice. I must say, I was impressed.

It starts out funny but trite. Luckily, it was entertaining. Once the movie got moving, I found myself laughing and enjoying the film. The voice actors were great. Bruce Willis was great, but Steve Carrell stole the show. The only thing that drove me nuts was the use of his squirrel. Ice Age started it back in 2002, then Hoodwinked did it last November. I guess, in Hollywood, if you need a spastic animal, the only answer is SQUIRREL. Scrat is hard to beat. But Hammy was great. Toward the end of the movie, as in Hoodwinked, they load the squirrel with caffiene and watch him run really fast. But in Over the Hedge, they put a nice twist on it.

William Shatner was excellent in his over-acting role. Thomas Hayden Church was good. Eugene Levy was good. Nick Nolte was excellent.

Verdict: It was a good, clean, funny, family movie. Worth the money? Why not.

20 June 2006

District B-13

B-13 Explodes

I am a large fan of the action genre. It does not take much for me to enjoy an action movie. It does, however, take a lot for me to give it a 10. This movie was great. Luc Besson writes another great movie. I loved The Transporter, didn't care too much for the sequel though. District B13 was so good, it makes me want to import Besson's Taxi Trilogy from Europe.

The movie is set in future Paris. There, they have built walls around every ghetto to "contain" the problem. Inside B13, the worst ghetto, there is a feared gang lead by Taha. There is one person, Leito, who will stand against the gang. Taha sends his henchman K2 after Leito for the drugs that were stolen. This leads to a great action sequence. K2 fails, and has to kidnap Leito's sister Lola. This then encites more action, where Leito is arrested by "crooked" cops.

Cut to a sting operation lead by Damien, played by one of the twins in Kiss of the Dragon. Another great action sequence transpires. Damien is asked to go into B13 and get this nuclear bomb that was stolen. He accepts. This sets up the rest of the movie.

Not to give too much away, basically, it is great action scene after great action scene. The plot is incredible, too. There is a government conspiracy going on with B13. The script was good, though I had to read it.

Verdict: All in all, i felt like this was the best use of $10. Not to mention, on my way out, I got asked to watch a movie trailer and give my opinion on it.