Friday, July 31, 2009

Bride Wars

I'm not sure if this movie should be categorized as a romantic comedy or a fighting comedy. Though I guess any movie with "War" in the title is less romantic and more fighting.

Bride Wars stars Anne Hathaway, the attractive brunette with her big irresistible brown doe-like eyes, and Goldie Hawn's daughter Kate Hudson (who looks horrible in bangs - I sounded totally gay there, didn't I?). They have been best friends since childhood and both of them are now getting married. Liv (Hudson) is a type-A personality, go-getter, never loses, and Emma (Anne) is the reserved, shy, but friendly school teacher.

Both brides-to-be want to get married at The Plaza in New York, not to be confused with the condominiums of the same name in Ocean City, Maryland. They schedule their weddings for two non-overlapping days in June. However, when an error is made by the incompetent assistant of Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergan), New York's most sought after wedding planner, the girls end up with their weddings scheduled for the same day. Neither girl will agree to move their date as the next available date is three years away and thus sets off the bride wars.

The girls begin a series of hysterical pranks that get meaner and out of control as the movies rolls along. As you can image from this age of predictability in movies, the pranks drive them apart to the point where they start hating each other. Throughout the movie you will wonder which one will end up caving in first.

Bride Wars is a 2009 movie directed by Gary Winick who also directed the remake 13 Going on 30 and Charlotte's Web. The movie is PG for suggestive content, language, and though not indicated by Netflix, some minor violence and is 89 minutes long.

Despite it's predictability, I found the pranks to be really funny. And it was nice to see Anne Hathaway rut (Brokeback Mountain, Becoming Jane, Rachel Getting Married), though Get Smart was funny. However, because of its overwhelming predictability I will have to give it 3 stars.

Bart Got A Room

Bart Got A Room is one of those teen angst comedies in the vein of American Pie, The Breakfast Club, and Juno, though not of the callibur of any of those three. Without that disclaimer several of my John Hughes friends would be going off on me.

The movie stars Steven Kaplan as Danny Stein, a high school senior who needs to find a date for the prom. Danny, like most of us guys in high school, has that friend of the opposite sex who we really like as a friend, but have no desire for any romantic interaction. And for the prom we wanted that hot girl who would let us get under her dress, just like Danny. And for most of us it didn't work out that way. Just like Danny. And for Danny it's one comedic disaster after another.

The funny thing about the movie is that the title is about Bart and Bart is one of his friends who has a very minor role in the movie. But throughout the movie everyone keeps mentioning that "well, Bart got a room".

In addition to dealing with his own angst about finding a date for the prom, Danny must also deal with his divorced untrusting erratic Jewish parents played by William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines.

Bart Got A Room is rated PG-13 for some language and mild sexual content (like when his female sophomore car ride "friend" (Ashley Benson) gets changed in his car while they are driving (she's actually 20 yrs old, so don't get all bent out of shape). The movie is only 80 minutes long and was directed by Brian Hecker, who's only other movie on Netflix is Celebrating AFI, which is an unknown to me.

The movie is average funny, so I give his a whopping 3 stars.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Johnny Got His Gun

This classic from 1971 is one of those movies that most people have probably never seen, though many Metallica fans may know. Many clips from the movie were used in the video for the 1988 song "One" off of the And Justice for All CD. In fact, the video was ranked 38th on the MTV Top 100 Greatest Videos.

Johnny Got His Gun stars Timothy Bottoms as Joe Bonham, a young man who joins the military during World War I and is sent to the trenches in France. Soon after getting there, Bonham is hit by a shell and ends up in a hospital, only to realize that he has lost his legs, his arms, his sight, his hearing, and his lower jaw, though the song declares that he lost these from a landmine. He now has no way to communicate to with the outside world.

The movie then becomes a series of flashbacks, visits with a helpful spirit played by Donald Sutherland, and dialog with himself in his mind.

As the movie progresses, Joe must learn to adapt to his surroundings. He figures out how to keep track of time. Meanwhile, a friendly nurse has a feeling that there's still a person inside, and she communicates with him through touch.

After a visit to the spirit of Donald Sutherland, he figures out that he can use Morse code to communicate by thrashing his head in code. Doctors soon figure this out, but they do not like the message.

Jason Robarbs stars as Joe's father in this movie that flashes between black and white and color. The movie was directed by Dalton Trumbo, also known for Papillon, Exodus, Spartacus, and probably his most famous work being Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo.

The movie is not the greatest quality, nor does it contain the greatest acting, but it's one of those subjects that really makes you think, "Wow, that would be terrible if that really happened" and perhaps it did. And now when I see the video for One by Metallica, I can say, "I saw that movie!"

Johnny Got His Gun is rated PG as some material may not be suitable for children. I know that the black and white footage of the armless, legless, faceless man were disturbing to me....and I'm 36!

Because of the novelty of this movie I give it movie 3 stars.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I got this movie out of the library for one reason. Okay, 3 reasons: Sara Foster, Jordon Brewster, and an apparent lesbian relationship between these 2 girls.

The movie is a spoof of Charlie's Angels, (not to be confused with Charlie's Angles, which are right and obtuse). D.E.B.S. is an academy for girls that are trained to be spies and super agents. All are young and beautiful and wear short prep school pleated skirts.

The protagonist in the movie is Sara Foster's character Amy and the villainess is Jordon Brewster's character Lucy Diamond. Lucy has been stealing from banks all over the world and once even tried to sink Australia because she didn't like their attitude. Now the D.E.B.S. girls were out to get her.

A chance meeting during an investigation in a warehouse between Amy and Lucy led to their realization that they liked each other. Now Amy is in a quandary - can she conceal her relationship with Lucy Diamond and protect her at the same time?

This is totally a B-movie with corny dialog and horrible acting. If you're looking for a good movie to watch, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a movie with some hot girls and 2 of them end up in bed, then maybe this movie is for you.

Unfortunately for the voyeuristic set, this movie is Rated PG-13, which means no nudity. However, there is plenty of sexuality throughout and Lucy and Amy do end up in bed in a naked embrace, you just can't see anything.

Moreover, this movie was totally snubbed at the Academy Awards in 2004. At its peak it was showing in 45 theaters and after 3 weeks had already made over $97,446. And that's not in millions. That's in thousands.

I'll give this movie 2 ratings - for the "Oh, yeah" crowd: this is a 4 star movie. For the movie enthusiast, this is a 2 star movie.

Monday, July 27, 2009


The last few movies staring Nicolas Cage have been average. There was National Treasure, The Wicker Man, Ghost Rider, and, of course, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.

About 30 minutes into this movie I began to think two things. 1 - this must be National Treasure 3. And 2 - this must be a Disney Movie.

In both National Treasure movies, Cage sifts through clues that have been around for hundreds of years and is able to solve some of the country's biggest mysteries in a matter of minutes. He is able to solve these complex mysteries because he thinks hard about it.

In Knowing, he seems to have picked up from where he left off and began deciphering clues written by a young girl and left in a time capsule that would reveal the end of the world.

And I thought it was a Disney movie because in typical Disney fashion there is no mother. Think about it - Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Alladin, Pinocchio. No mothers.

I thought the movie wasn't half bad for the first hour and a half. It certainly wasn't my favorite, but it kept my interest. But then they went and made the last half hour of the movie. And it sucked. It was a total cop-out. No conflict resolution. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. I don't even want to waste time describing the premise of the movie. If you're that interested you can read the canned recap on Netflix.

Knowing was directed by Alex Proyas who brought us such great movies as I, Robot and The Crow . Also suffering as actors in the movie are Rose Byrne and some other people I've never heard of.

The movie was an hour and 50 minutes and it was Rated PG-13 for having a horrible plot and computer-animated disaster sequences, some pretend language, and some creepy ghostly images.

As you can probably tell, I didn't care much for this movie. Take my advice and don't waste your time on this movie. I give it 2 stars.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chasing Amy

I'm not sure which of my friends recommended this movie, but when I figure it out I'm going to punch them in the nose.

Now and then you get a movie recommendation that is absolutely wrong. I know one of my friends, or perhaps several of them, recommended the Kevin Smith movie Chasing Amy to me. I've seen several of his other movies including Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, and Clerks 2, so I figured it was a safe pick. Boy was I wrong.

My first mistake was thinking that Chasing Amy was a comedy. With nearly an hour and 18 minutes of Ben Afflac and Gay Joey screaming at each other trying to make the other feel guilty I came to realize that the movie is actually a romantic drama, because that's what they do in romantic dramas - scream at each other for long periods of time while trying to make each other feel guilty.

Chasing Amy stars the usual suspects for any Kevin Smith movie, including Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Matt Damon, Brian O'Halloran, and Jason Mewes.

Chasing Amy is rated R for language and drug use, if you can believe that in a Kevin Smith movie, and some sexual content. The movie is 113 minutes long.

Outside of some of the Jason Lee parts and the Jay and Silent Bob bit, the rest of the movie sucked. I give this movie 2 stars. If you ever hear me recommending this movie to anyone please smash my Big Mac into my face. This movie is not as funny as anyone will report it to be. And the worst part about it is I wasted a Netflix spot for it. I could have had Emmanuelle 2!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gran Torino

Growing up, when I thought of Clint Eastwood, I thought of a bad-ass. Like Charles Bronson. Or Chuck Norris. A real tough guy. There was Dirty Harry and Blondie and Josey Wales.

Now Clint Eastwood is old. 79 years old. And he mostly directs movies. When I saw that he was starring in Gran Torino I got excited. Not only because he was going to be in a new movie, but because my family also owned a Ford Gran Torino. We didn't own a 2-door fast back coupe like his, nor did we own a red one with a racing stripe like Starsky and Hutch. We had a '74 4-door with a black vinyl top with a root beer-colored paint job. But it was still cool to us.

In Gran Torino Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a recent widower, who has lived in his Detroit home for several decades and watched the once-thriving working class neighborhood slowly deteriorate into a mixed ethnic bad neighborhood. A Korean War veteran, Walt doesn't like Asians, nor too many other people. And he's not afraid to tell anyone what he thinks of them.

The situation gets uncomfortable when his teenage Hmong neighbor is caught trying to steal his Torino. However, a couple days later Walt finds himself standing up to gang members trying to intimidate his neighbors. For his actions he his showered with accolades, foods, and flowers from the very people he despises.

Though wanting to be left alone, Walt finds himself endeared to his young neighbors when they show that they are not intimidated by his flippant bigotry.

Additionally, the young Father Janovich, who performed the eulogy for his recently passed wife, keeps showing up at Walt's door explaining the promise he made to Walt's wife to look over him. Despite Walt's stubborn rejections of the Father's friendly gestures, Janovich remains unrelenting in his quest to fulfill his late wife's wish - to get Walt to come to confession.

Tensions culminate when the gang members decide to stand up to Walt and drive him out of the neighborhood.

Gran Torino is a great movie and shows tough-guy Eastwood as we would have pictured him to be 20 years ago. In addition to liking his character, I could also relate to his determination to stop the urban decay in his neighborhood and stand up for what is right.

Gran Torino is rated R for violence and tons and tons of bigotry and language throughout the entire movie.

I highly recommend this movie and give it 5 stars, my highest rating.
My Zimbio