Horrible Bosses Has The New Three Stooges!

I’ve been seeing the trailer for this movie over the past two months, and once again I rolled my eyes at seeing another comedy centering on sex, scandals, and drugs.  It seems that a majority of the comedies are all about at least one of these things and too release so many in such a short amount of time I’m getting really annoyed with it.  Despite this annoyance, Horrible Bosses had a little more twist and surprise to it then what I had gotten from the trailers.  With a great cast, adequate pace, diverse comedy, and some well-timed dialog, I recommend this movie for most comedy fans.

As usual we will start with a small plot summary in case you haven’t seen the trailers for this movie.  Horrible Bosses is about a trio of middle aged men, Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) who are working in very diverse fields and have very different feelings about their careers.  One thing they just happen to have in common though is that they all cannot stand there bosses, who make their lives a living nightmare.  After withstanding their torture for so long, the three of them decide that life would be much better if their bosses were dead, and hire a murder consultant (Jaime Fox) to help them with the deed.  The movie then portrays the trio’s adventure into murdering their bosses and the comedy that accompanies there journey.

You may ask, “How can such an idea be worthy of my time?”  Well one factor that makes this film worth the two hours is the wide cast brought into the project.  Bateman, who seems to be in just about every movie these days, plays his typical role of an uptight, geeky, and professional individual that manages to stay calm in every situation.  However this time we get a little more anger from the man, which unleashes some darkness not seen in his characters before.  Fans of his work will not be disappointed by his typical character and will laugh at his antics and new dark side.  Sudeikis’s role in the movie is the perverted, wise cracking, and sometimes clueless wing man whose primary strength is well timed, sometimes clever, and usually perverted one liners that had a lot of the audience laughing.  However the guy who had me laughing the most was Day’s character Dale.  Day’s portrayal of a naïve, spastic, and somewhat childlike adult had me laughing hysterically throughout the movie.  Of the three stars, his comedy was the most diverse focusing on a variety of topics from sex to peanuts.  What made the dialog even funnier was Day’s ability to sound shocked, excited, and bewildered which helps bring a little more spice to movie.  However, what really brought the comedy to life was all three of these actors working together and really keeping the comedy fresh.  Each of the character’s dialog was designed to set the other up for their next line, and each character kept the scene interesting and fun, instead of becoming stale like the comedy in Bad Teacher.

Now some of you may have seen that Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Colin Farrell are in this movie as well.  Of the three actors, Spacey has the biggest role as his sinister character drives a lot of the plot and indirectly the comedy of the movie.  Farrell and Aniston’s characters are mainly used as tools to provide momentum for some of the comedy and occasionally say a few funny lines or perform some funny actions.  Farrell’s dialog is mainly jerky, immature, and impatient and is the weakest of the three bosses.  Aniston’s character is the opening for a lot of sleazy, sexual innuendos and awkward raunchy comedy that is a step down from the Hangover.  Regardless they play their parts well and do the job they were supposed to do, they just don’t play as major a role as you’ve enjoyed in the past. On a side note, Jaime Foxx’s role as the murder consultant is funny as well.  Foxx’s ability to play many roles seen once again and he captures the shady and sneaky bar visitor well, providing some pretty funny quips himself.

Okay enough about the acting, was the movie what I expected?  The answer is the movie was even better than what I expected on some levels.  For one thing the comedy was a lot more diverse than I thought it would be.  However the biggest thing that made this movie better than expected was the twists and turns the movie took.  I’m not going to ruin anything, but there was a lot more plot development and “surprises” in this movie than I was expecting that helped with keeping the moving interesting.  These twists give this comedy more character and helps separate it from a majority of the comedies I have seen in the past.

This movie however does have some things that were not as enjoyable to me as they were for other people.  One major thing that made the movie a little less enjoyable for me was the constant use of the F word in just about every scene.  I know I shouldn’t be surprise that they use this word, but to overuse as much as they did made it more annoying than funny, with the exception of Jaime Foxx’s character. At the beginning of the movie the pace was also slightly slow and boring, but luckily the pace got faster and moved pretty quickly throughout most of the movie.  Another weakness for me, and another fellow movie goer, was some of the predictability in the movie.  Despite the twists, there were a lot of things that we easily predicted, and as a result made the movie a little boring and less funny.  However, there was still enough twist to keep the movie fun overall.  Occasionally some of the comedy did grow stale, but not nearly as stale as the comedy in Bad Teacher.

Overall Horrible Bosses is one of the more enjoyable comedies I have seen in a long time and is definitely worth seeing.  The great cast, decent pace, well timed comedy, and surprises keep the moving interesting and fun, while still helping set up a plot for the movie.  This comedy is actually one I would recommend seeing in theatres, but is definitely worth viewing on Netflix/ On Demand when you get a chance.  I give this movie somewhere between an 8.5-9.0 for being unique, but still enjoyed the movie Brides Maids more.  So until next time my friends keep enjoying the movies and having fun.  Check back tomorrow for my review on Zookeeper!

Not the Lizzie McGuire movie, but the Selena Gomez movie

This weekend Fox 2000 studios released the movie Monte Carlo starring Selena Gomez.  Upon first seeing the trailer three months ago, I began thinking that this was another Lizzie McGuire movie minus Hilary Duff.  Although there were plenty of similarities to the Disney movie, there was a little more depth to the film than what I had been expecting.  Despite this depth, Monte Carlo proves to be a generic pre-teen/teenage romantic comedy with some pretty good camera work.

Let’s start off, as I always do, with a little plot summary.  As you may have seen in the trailer, Monte Carlo centers on a Texas girl named Grace (Selena Gomez) who has a mediocre life in her hometown, but aspires to have something more exciting.  Through hard work and some generosity from her parents Grace and her faithful sidekick Emma (Katie Cassidy) are able to go on a tour of Paris France and see the city of lights.  Also tagging along for the trip is Meg (Leighton Meester), Grace’s responsible stick in the mud step sister who is not too thrilled on sharing the trip.  Regardless the three arrive in Paris and find their accommodations stink and begin hating their reward for their hard work.  During one rainy night, the girls take refuge in a hotel where they by chance run into Cordelia Winthrop Scott (Selena Gomez) an heiress and selfish brat who hates responsibility.  Soon enough Grace, who looks just like Cordelia, poses as the heiress and the trio begins living the high life.

Gomez takes the major role in this movie as she plays two characters with very different attitudes.  When Gomez plays Grace, she acts like an unsure teen looking for something more than she already has.   There are times where Grace is a rebel and likes to break the rules, and other times where she is a law abiding citizen and follows the rules.  Gomez does a pretty good job at portraying the character, but there are times where the character feels to fantasized and unreal, which made me role me eyes.  The very brief time she plays Cordelia, Gomez manages to play that spoiled brat that she’s played as in the Wizard’s of Waverly Place, but picks up a pretty good English accent along the way.  Although a little overdramatic at some points, Gomez still plays the role of the spoiled daughter quite well.  Katie Cassidy plays the wild, irresponsible, rebel Texan who cares nothing for the rules as she pursues the idealistic high society life.  Despite how predictable Emma is, Cassidy does a fine job portraying the character really laying it thick on the country accent and capturing that bubbly laughter that is stereotypical of blonde characters.  Where Emma is kind of the devil on your shoulder character, Meg is the angel of reason kind of shifting toward a more ethic and good nature role.  Meester actually portrays this character very well, which surprised me since I had seen her play a wilder role in the Good Girls Go Bad music video.  I was very impressed with her acting as that awkward good natured girl, who reminded me of Bella from the Twilight series but nowhere as overdramatic or cheesy.

Despite the good acting, the movie’s story is incredibly predictable and shallow with very little surprise to it at all.  A majority of the movie is something from a pre-teen/teenage dream of living the high life without paying any of the expenses.  A majority of the time the girls are playing dress up in expensive jewelry, dresses, and makeup, which although makes them look even more beautiful, really does nothing for the story for me.  When not dressing up, the girls are out schmoozing with three different boys and each experiencing a different aspect of Monte Carlo.  As I sat there and watched the movie, I was able to predict what was going to happen way in the movie, which made it boring for me for the most part of the movie.  Unlike some movies that have action or witty dialogue to make up for the predictability, Monte Carlo really had juvenile dialog, very weak comedy, and very little catchy music to really keep the pace going.  And unlike Larry Crowne, which I also saw this weekend, the romance we have seen is extremely fantasized and unrealistic often moving too fast or seeming too cheesy.

However this movie was not all bad as I may have made it sound.  One thing is the movie is cute and may make you say awwww at a few scenes.  The backstory of the characters is also pretty well done, it’s just short and not as emphasized as it should be.  As I mentioned earlier, the acting is very well done, even by the guys in this movie.  Most of the ladies will be ecstatic to know that Cory Monteith is in this film and pretty much plays a role extremely similar to Finn, minus the singing.  Perhaps the biggest strength of this movie though is the cinematography work.  The cameras have done a fantastic job capturing the beautiful scenery of Paris and Monte Carlo.  My breath was taken away at the famous monuments, the spectacular views of the city, and the natural beauty of the countryside, all filmed at just the right angle for maximum enjoyment.  The camera work also does a nice job at bringing emotion to the scenes that the film would otherwise lack.  There are times where I felt the scene would be completely lacking of any romantic feelings, had it not been for the camera filming at just the right angle, and probably a little help from some music as well.  Although the girls have natural beauty to them, the camera also helped make them even more stunning.

Overall Monte Carlo is a fun rainy day movie that is definitely worth a Netflix view.  Cute characters, beautiful scenery, and some great acting give the movie a little kick, but it’s still more a dress up movie than anything else.  For those of you that have eight to twelve year old nieces, sisters, daughter, etc. I think you all will enjoy this movie.  Those looking for a real plot, funny comedy, and good character development, this is one to avoid.  My final rating on Monte Carlo is a 6.0-6.5 range.  Tune in tomorrow for a look at my review on Priest, which is getting ready to come out on DVD.

There should be no texting in this movie! Larry Crowne is a must see!

The first time I saw the trailer for Larry Crowne, I thought another sappy, overacted, love story that we’ve seen in movies like Twilight and the Notebook or as we have heard in many Taylor Swift songs.  To my surprise, this movie was nothing like that all and instead was an entertaining and pretty realistic portrayal about handling what life throws at you.  To tell you the truth this may be one of the best movies I have seen this summer, and even this year.

As you’ve seen in the trailers, Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) is a successful, caring, and hardworking supercenter employee who is fired from the company because he never went to college.  Despite his services in the navy, his loyalty to the company, and the amount of enjoyment he gets working at Umart, they still let him go to pursue other options.  After striking out with various job interviews, Crowne turns to his loyal friend Lamar (Cedric the Entertainer) a greedy yard sale entrepreneur who tells him to go to college and get educated.  Eventually Crowne arrives at college and signs up for two classes, one of which is a public speaking class taught by Ms. Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts).  Tainot is teacher going through some tough time of her own, but unlike Crowne who is trying to take life by the reigns, Tainot decides to drown her troubles in booze.

So what did I like so much about this movie?  Well to start off the pace of the movie was faster than I expected.  Unlike some romantic movies I have seen in the past, Larry Crowne’s pace was fast enough to keep me interested, yet slow enough to still deliver the lessons and story that it had set it to tell.  I’ll admit there were a few slow scenes that were probably a little carried out, but overall I thought the pace was balanced.  I think what also helped the pace of the movie was the different types of humor injected throughout the movie, more on the humor later.

However the pace was only one strength of the movie.  Perhaps the biggest strength is how realistic and entertaining the story is.  Instead of some drama filled, overacted, teenage love story, Larry Crowne is a more accurate portrayal of life.  Success doesn’t just magically come for Crowne, like we have seen in other movies, instead we see him experience both failure and success as he works hard to get his life back on track.  It actually brought back memories of my struggles to find balance in my life and trying to recover from some bad times, though I must admit my bad times were nothing like Crowne’s experiences..  However there was also another side of the story that some may be able to relate to.  Ms. Taibot’s faces her troubles in a little less positive manner resorting to alcohol to drown her sorrows.  Instead of working hard to improve her life, she instead takes the easy, temporary relief that comes with getting drunk and faces the consequences the next morning.  These two sides of the coin approach to life really helps one see how to there is a balance that must be achieved in order to tackle life.

It may sound like the story would get old after a while, but the acting and comedy provided by the actors, both main and secondary, keeps the movie fun and exciting.  Unlike some comedies that seem to focus on one or two comedic styles, like Hangover, Your Highness, 40 year old version, Larry Crowne has a variety of comedic styles that can be enjoyable by a wide variety of ages.  For instance there were plenty of one liners that had the audience cracking up, which for most of the movie were well timed to keep you laughing.  People who may have had troubling marriages, relationships, or other forms of interactions will get a kick out of some of the irony and justice you see in the movie.  Others may laugh at Larry being introduced to the modern world and the new frontier of technology.  Although Lamar is his starting mentor, Larry’s main guide into the world is Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) a carefree, women’s right passionate, hippy spirited student who has a natural zest for life.  The spunky and youthful nature of this college girl is a wrench in Crowne’s quiet life, forcing him to experience new things and move on with life at a rapid pace.  Not only was she an important cog to the pace and story of the movie, she and her friends made a lot of scenes fun.  Perhaps the most enjoyable comedy for me though was the amount of college life jokes that were present in this movie.  Whether it was that awkward, lazy college student, the intense science fiction geek or sports jock, or even a teacher being intimidating, harsh, or fair, I found myself laughing a lot as I could relate my friends to these characters.  There were a lot of aspects that actually reminded me of a few professors, and I was able to actually picture my professors doing these kinds of actions, which made me laugh even harder.  The point is there is a lot of comedy here that one can relate to, which seems to amplify how funny the jokes are.

However this movie is definitely not perfect.  Perhaps the biggest weakness to this movie is the last few minutes of scenes which kind of dragged on.  Although it tied up a few loose connections, the ending to the movie went back to that cheesy romance style that seems to make most audience members heart melt.  Instead the movie should have ended a little sooner, where there was still some uncertainty, mystery, and everything had ended on good terms.  To me it would have felt like a more realistic and appropriate ending.  Another weakness, though only minor, is some of the camerawork in the movie.  There are some shots where the background is really blurry and for me it was distracting to the scene rather than helpful.  Although it is not an issue in most scenes, there are some close up shots of the actor that really emphasize blurry backgrounds.  Other than these two issues, the only other things that come to mind are some overacted scenes, a few pointless lines, and a small amount of unanswered questions.

To wrap this up, Larry Crowne is an exciting tale of tackling life that teaches a good lesson about life.  However, what really separates this movie from more recent movies with a similar lesson is the strong cast and diverse characters that this movie had.  Hanks, Roberts, and all the rest of the gang worked so well in this movie and I hope to see some of them work together again.  Again the comedic styles are diverse, fresh, fun, and extremely relatable and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do.  This movie I feel deserves 9.0-9.5 rating and is definitely worth checking out.  I strongly recommend you to see this film except if you only see movies with action, horror, crude comedy, or are a Hanks/Roberts hater. 

Optimus is back and still the center of attention

Transformers 3 is here!

Okay so being as big of a transformers fan as I am, I can’t tell you how excited I have been during these past two weeks; as I have awaited the release of Michael Bay’s third installment to the popular 80’s cartoon.  Yesterday the big day finally arrived and I am happy to say that the wait was mostly worthwhile.  I’m here to tell you my friends that Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon is an entertaining piece of work in more ways than one.

To get this review started let’s start with what you may already know from the trailers.  As stated time and time again, Dark of the Moon centers on a Transformer ship that crash lands on Earth’s moon, which catches the attention of the United States space program.  In a matter of minutes the famous astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong are assigned the task of scouting the ship and collecting as much evidence of their close encounter with alien kind, which is classified as top of the line top secret.  Years later the Autobots received hints about this mysterious ship and how the humans have been hiding this secret from Optimus and the gang, which is always a grave mistake.  A quick trip to the moon recovers the alleged cargo contained in the ship, and the journey and excitement unfold.

Now that you have a little backstory, let’s start the review by looking at the acting of the movie.  Shia LaBeouf plays his typical role of Sam Witwicky, complete with his typical soiree of sarcastic comments, his outspoken rebel attitude and his typical surprised at anything screams.  However in this movie they have added a few more features we haven’t seen in the past few films: such as sadness and actual emotional attachment to his girlfriend, the incredibly beautiful Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).  Despite what a lot of critics say, Whiteley plays her role well and actually gives Sam’s girlfriend a little more character other than being beautiful.  Instead of playing that rebellious biker chick like Megan Fox played, Whiteley’s character actually feels more like a real person as she actually has a job, a life, and a personality, which is a plus.  Yes she’s not the greatest actress, but she provides some new spins to the movie.  Seymour Simmons (John Turturro) returns to the mix as well, playing that arrogant, goofy, adventurous, and skill lacking agent we’ve seen in the past.  However the agent doesn’t play as big a part as we have seen him in the past, which was a little disappointing to me.  Fans of the tag team soldier style of Lennex (Josh Duhamel) and Epps (Tyrese Gibson) may be disappointed for a good portion of this movie, as their roles have been significantly scaled down from what we have seen in the past.  Near the end of the movie they fall back into their normal roles of being true blue soldiers that fear no Decepticon.  Other actors in the movie such as John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, and Alan Tudyk also make an appearance in this movie each providing their own talents to an already well rounded cast.  While Malkovich and Tudyk provide mainly laughs and catchy one liners, Dempsey still plays that suave, sophisticated, and calm role that we’ve seen a hundred times before in Grey’s Anatomy.   If that doesn’t rope in some extra fans to the series, I don’t know what will.

Despite the large and diverse cast of characters, you may be asking yourself, “Robbie is this movie worth sitting in a theatre for close to 3 hours!?”  I believe the answer to that question is yes, because the movie doesn’t feel like 3 hours, at least not to me.  The pace of the movie moved at a quick pace and didn’t really drag anywhere, with the exception of a few scenes. In fact I would say that there were more places where Bay and company actually sped through the story a little too quickly, leaving out some details that may have helped explain the motifs behind the actions.  However, I wasn’t too bothered by this, as the humor from every character helped keep people’s interest into the movie.  Every character, and two of the Autobots Wheelie and Brains, played a large role in keeping the audience laughing.  The comedy had a wide variety of styles that was sure to make you laugh at least once during the movie.  Fans of the Twins however will be disappointed as Bay decided to pull the two quarreling brothers from the movie due to a majority of the fan base hating them.  If you liked the comedy they provided, then I’m sorry but it’s not there, however Brains and Wheelie make up a lot of that lost ground.

Comedy however is not the sole means for helping keep the pace of this movie fast.  No my friends, just as you expected there is plenty of action to keep this movie going strong.  Bay and company have once again made the fast paced robot action look good as the same kind of detail and special effects fill screen.  Exciting chase scenes, laser shooting, sword wielding, and robot karate perform smoothly without any glitches as all.  The adrenaline I felt with these action scenes really kept my attention on the movie, and I was again impressed by what Dreamworks studio had done, again pushing their limits as to what the Transformers can do.  However being as big an action fan as I am, I must say I was a little disappointed in the action scenes this movie had.  Don’t get me wrong the graphics were amazing and the camera work was pretty good, but I was still expecting more than what I saw.  Part of the reason was because I had read the book of this movie and my overactive imagination tends to make more action packed sequences then probably possible.  One other reason though was that Bay and Company still only focuses on Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and mainly Optimus in this film.  I know they are everybody’s favorite duo, but honestly there should still be a way to integrate the other Autobots into this film.  In the first film they had all five Autobots equally participating, but in this one I still feel that only Optimus and Bumblebee had the major action screen time.  I also wanted more screen time for the Transformers taking on the Decepticons instead of the human race, which seemed to be the more effective fighting force.  Regardless the action is still good and fun, and in my opinion much better than the previous installment.

Okay I’ve dabbled on long enough.  Overall I think Dark of the Moon is a step in the right direction and much better than its predecessor.  However I think that Bay and company need to take a step back on the comedy and instead work on balancing transformer screen time.  The camera work, acting, and voice work are fun and entertaining and the soundtrack still complements the sequences nicely.  Overall I will give Dark of the Moon a solid 8.0-8.5, but again I emphasize more robots and less humans.  Maybe I’ll get my wish if they make a prequel about the War on Cybertron.  So until then my friends keep on enjoying the movies!.