Sunday, January 30, 2011


In Bruce Willis' latest super secret agent movie, he plays Frank Moses, an ex-CIA secret operative who is in retirement, but is forced out of retirement when he learns that someone has a hit out on him. To make matters worse, these hitmen are also after the phone representative girl (Mary-Louise Parker) that he calls everyday because he's in love with her. Now he must save himself, and her. And he's never met her.

Assisting him on the hunt for the person who put out a hit on him are former ex-CIA secret operatives Nelson Mandella (who convincingly played Morgan Freeman once in a movie - or was it the other way around?), John Malkovich (who starred in Being John Malkovich), and Helen Mirren.

Also staring in the movie are 200 year old Ernest Borgnine, Richard Dreyfuss, Julian McMahon, and Karl Urban.

An interesting point about Julian McMahon - he played the Vice President running for President in the movie. In real life, McMahon is the son of a former Prime Minister of Australia - Sir William McMahon.

Red, which stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous, is more of an action comedy. There were plenty of parts that made me laugh. There is a lot of shooting, not a lot of blood, and a curse word here and there. The movie is rated PG-13 for said shooting and language.

I was adequately entertained by Red and it's nearly continuous sequence of action. I find it suffice to give it 3.5 stars.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

I haven't really reviewed older movies lately. But this movie had so many freakin' people in it I just had to write about it.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World starts when Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante) wrecks his car as he careens off of a cliff somewhere in the outback of California. Several car loads of people witness this accident and they all race to the car to see if he's okay. Nearing his last breath, he tells them that there's $350,000 buried beneath the big "W" in the park in Santa Rosita. Seconds later - he's dead.

The mad dash starts as the onlookers race across the state to get to Santa Rosita to get the money. Unbeknownst to them, Captain T.G. Culpepper is on to them and let's them lead him to the money. You see - he's been waiting for a break in the case for 20 years in order to find this money.

So here's a list of the people who star in the movie. If you're a well-rounded person, you'll probably know most, if not all, of them. Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett,
Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters, Jim Backus, Peter Faulk, Norman Fell, Buster Keaton, Don Knotts, Carl Reiner, Dorothy Provine, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Ron Howard, Jerry Lewis, Eddie "Rochester" Robinson, and the Three Stooges - Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curley Joe.

The movie is about 2 hours and 41 minutes long - which wasn't all that uncommon in the 1960's. The movie is not rated (pre-rating era), but the most scandalous thing to come out of the movie was when Ethyl Merman flashed her bloomers when she fell.

This is a great zany goof-ball comedy that anyone who appreciates classic movies will love. If you haven't seen this movie, put it on your list.

I give this movie 4.2 stars.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I don't know why I keep torchering myself with Jonah Hill movies. He's a fat obnoxious kid with a potty-mouth. I get enough of that from the cashiers at Best Buy. I guess the rest of the cast had me more interested in this movie.

Cyrus is the name of the title character played by Jonah Hill. He's an overweight psychotic kid (not a difficult role for Jonah to play) living with his mother, Molly, played by Maris Tomei (now we're talking, right???). She's a single mom.

Coming into the picture is John, played by John C. Reilly, Will Farrell's friend. He chose to play the role of John because he's already named John and that would be easy for him to remember. He's a divorcee wandering aimlessly in life, but his ex-wife Jamie (Catherine Keener - not bad for a 50+ year lady!) is encouraging him to meet other women.

When John meets Molly, they hit it off right away. But soon John will have to meet Cyrus. And Cyrus wants Mommy all to himself.

This dry independent comedy was directed by Jay and John Duplass. Cyrus is Rated R for language and some sexual material. I don't recall any nudity, but that's not important, is it?

As much as Jonah Hill irritates me (at least his characters irritate me), I thought this movie was somewhat funny and tolerable. Definitely not a 'watch it again' kind of movie. I will give it a slightly below average 2.9 stars.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Ryan Reynolds is really doing a good job trying to be a well-rounded actor. He's done romantic comedy - The Proposal, action - X-Men Origins, goofy comedy - Adventureland, and dramas - The Nines. This time, he does a different kind of drama, this time in the new movie war movie Buried.

Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, a contractor who is working in war-torn Iraq driving a truck for a private trucking company. He wakes up in a coffin-like box, buried somewhere in the desert. He finds that he has some items in the box with him - a lighter, a cellphone, a pencil, a flashlight, and some kind of light device (the kind that you snap and it comes on - gives that greenish glow).

Conroy tries calling people back in the states for help. 911. His wife. A mistress? His company. The State Department. Is everyone asleep? What's going on?

As he lies in the box it begins to leak sand and time starts to run out. Can the Americans track his signal and save him before it's too late. Does he have what it takes to survive?

The entire movie is shot from within the box. This has to be the smallest stage-set in the history of movies.

The only other person you see in the movie is a fellow contractor, but you see her through the video on his cellphone.

Buried is Rated R for language and some violence. It is a very suspenseful movie.

It certainly was interesting and I was in it for the long-hull. I can't comment further without giving the movie away. I'll just say that I'll give it 3 stars. You'll have to watch it yourself and let me know if you agree.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The A-Team

One of my favorite shows as a child. I'm sure you remember this intoduction:

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem...if no one else can help...and if you can find them...maybe you can hire...The A- Team.

In 6th grade we had to write an episode of a television show for our creative writing project. Of course I chose the A-Team, and recorded the theme song off of the television onto a cassette and played it before my script was read to the class. Yes, I was a dork. Still am a dork???

Anyway, in the latest installment of making tv shows from our childhood into movies, the A-Team was finally released, staring Liam Neeson as the cigar-chomping Hannible Smith, Bradley Cooper as Face, Quinton Jackson as "BA"Baracus, and Sharlto Copley as Murdoch.

Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict make cameo appearances in the movie. They originally played Murdoch and Face in the original television series. Mr. T was not in the movie and George Peppard (Hannible) has been dead for years. Additionally, Gerald McRaney makes a cameo. You may remember him from Simon and Simon or Major Dad if you're a bit younger.

The movie follows the classic A-Team style. Someone framed them. They have to find them and resolve it and escape while being pursued by evil government agents. Much of the movie is like watching your kid play a combat game on the Wii. The dialog is just okay - much like the television show. Lot's of outlandish action, though.

Also staring in the movie are Jessica Biel as one of the agents who is pursuing them, but then comes to believe they are innocent, and Patrick Wilson as the unwavering CIA agent chasing them.

Directed by Joe Carnahan, who was a kid himself when the show aired, The A-Team is rated PG-13 for many fake explosions and gun fire that never seems to hit anyone. The movie is just under 2 hours long.

The A-Team was a bit of a novelty for me. Had this been a stand-alone movie with no reference to a television show from my childhood, I probably would have hated it. However, since it wasn't a stand-alone movie, then I shall give it 3.1 stars.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Knight and Day

I'm always hesitant to watch a Tom Cruise movie. Come on - the guy is absolutely off of his rocker. He made Brooke Shields cry because he said she's not as cool as him. What a punk!

I used to be a big fan of Cameron Diaz, (Was there something about Cameron?) until she started dating some dude from some boy band who dressed like he was protecting an inner-city street corner. I think his name is Justin Timberlake.

Anyway, both of these overly-glorified actors recently starred in the released-to-DVD movie Knight and Day. It's a play on words. In the movie, Cruise and Diaz are known as Miller and Havens, but that would not have stoked as much interest as Knight and Day, but Knight does come into play as you will find.

Cruise plays a secret operative (imagine that) and Diaz plays an unsuspecting victim (imagine that) who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, through their trials and tribulations, Miller learns that Havens wouldn't make such a bad secret agent herself.

Would they eventually be able to work together to save the world?

Knight and Day also stars Peter Sarsgaard, who's been in such B movies as Rendition, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, K-19, and an Education.

Directed by James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line, and Girl Interrupted), Knight and Day is rated PG-13 for circus violence, G-fab computer graphics, and some naughty words and some sexual innuendo. The movie is just about 2 hours long.

I actually didn't think Knight and Day was that bad. Tom Cruise doesn't seem to be pompous, but rather competent and matter-of-fact. I would say the movie is more about Cameron Diaz' character.

I give Knight and Day 3.2 stars. If you can't find any of the top-shelf movies to watch, this one will entertain you for the evening. You probably wouldn't care to see it twice, but once is okay.
My Zimbio