Monday, April 12, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox

One of over 400 movies that George Clooney starred in during 2009, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a stop-motion movie about Mr. Fox who raids farms and steals birds. To eat, of course. His wife, Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep), talks him out of stealing and he eventually becomes a writer for the local newspaper.

Feeling like his life is going nowhere, Fox plans to start raiding farms again. However, the farmers are on to him and they begin to make life hard on the animals. Now it's up to Mr. Fox to save the day.

The movie is an animated adaptation of the Roald Dohl children's book. The movie also stars the voices of Bill Murry, the opossum, Jason Schwartzman, Cate Blanchett, Willem Defoe, and Owen Wilson.

The movie was directed by Wes Anderson, who is known for The Darjeerling Limited, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Rushmore. The Fantastic Mr. Fox is rated PG for smoking (gasp!), smoking, and some mild violence (including shooting of guns - gasp!).

The Fantastic Mr. Fox is very melodramatic. There is very little inflection in the dialog and the humor is very dry. VERY dry. It's drier than a $4 bottle of white wine. Both of my kids watched the movie and neither got into it very much. And neither did their Papa.

This was not my favorite kids movie, nor my favorite dry humor movie. I just didn't find it all that funny. For this I can only give it 2 stars.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

For some reason I had it in my head that this movie starred Morgan Freeman, even though a split second later after each time I thought that I knew it didn't.

Did You Hear About the Morgan's is actually a romantic comedy that stars Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker as Paul and Meryl Morgan. Though going through a divorce, they happen to witness a murder by a wanted mafia lord, so in order to protect them, the FBI puts them into the Witness Protection Program. Unfortunately for this divorcing couple, they are sent to Wyoming together.

Once in Wyoming, they hook up with the local Sheriff and his wife, Clay and Emma Wheeler (Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen) who hide them until the case is solved.

One of the driving themes of the movie is that the Morgan's are raging liberals dropped into the middle of hill-billy redneck country, a place where Republicans live.

While hiding out, Paul and Meryl are forced to be with each other, while simultaneously trying to run their businesses from afar and not getting found by the mafia.

Watchers of the movie will be on the edge of their seats to find out if they will be able to solve all three problems without a hitch.

Directed by Marc Lawrence, who also directed Music and Lyrics and Two Week Notice, two other Hugh Grant movies, Did You Hear About the Morgans? is rated PG-13 for some sexual references, some minor violence, and a bad Sarah Palin quip. The movie is an hour and 43 minutes long.

The movie was corny and stereotyped rednecks and Republicans (who, according to the movie are one in the same). Less concerning was the movie's total predictability. As romantic comedies go, this one was not that good. I did laugh out loud a couple of times, saving this movie from being terrible. I give Did You Hear About the Morgans? two stars.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Every now and then I feel the need to indulge in some guilty pleasures. Outside of porn, what fits this bill better than an 80's beach sex comedy? And Hardbodies it is.

I remember sneaking down into the basement at like 2 in the morning when I was 12 or 13 in order to watch this movie. There was no way my parents were going to let me watch this. Well, a very very remote chance that my dad would have let me watch it if I didn't tell anyone, so my best shot was scoping the TV Guide for movies in the middle of the night. You did this, too, right?

And as far as Hardbodies is concerned, I mean, just looking at the cover of the movie you know what you're getting. And at 13 I wasn't disappointed. This was one of my favorite movies of all time. And then I saw it as an adult.

I really didn't remember the plot, just that there was a lot of skin, but as it happens, a young beach bum with glorious feathered hair gets kicked out of his place and needs to find another one in which to live. Meanwhile, 3 "older" men show up looking for a good time (Hunter, Rounder, and Ashby; Gary Wood, Michael Rapport, and Sorrells Pickens, respectively). The most notable person in the movie is probably the red-headed Courtney Gains who went on to play bit roles in several prominent movies.

Anyway, unable to pick up girls and sensing these old men needed help, Scotty (Grant Cramer) plots to manipulate them and convinces them to put him up and teach them the way to get hot girls. Tension builds, however, when Scotty's girlfriend Kristi (Teal Roberts) thinks he's having too much fun with all the naked girls.

If you're looking for a thin plot, bad acting, and lots of bouncing round boobs, then you've found your movie. If you want a hysterical romantic comedy full of anecdotes and creative use of dialog, then you are way off.

Directed by Mark Griffith, who was known for other big hits such as Beethoven's 5th and National Lampoon's Going the Distance, Hardbodies is about an hour and a half long and is rated R for boobies, language, some fisticuffs, boobs, butts, and bouncing boobs.

What is funny is that many of my friends are eager to borrow this movie. I think it's the 13 year old in my friends that wants to sneak downstairs at 2am to see this movie. And that 13 year old would give this movie 5 stars, but his 37 year old alter ego gives it no better than 3 stars, and that generous rating is due to the many bouncing boobies.
My Zimbio