Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Now in Theaters - 'The Family That Preys'

Tyler Perry yet again invites us to follow along in another story of married couples who just don't seem to know how to find love. I personally am a huge fan of Perry's and have enjoyed pretty much all of his plays and movies. That is why this one was really starting to upset me. Almost 30 minutes into this one, I was not intrigued. And that is a huge no-no for a movie. Luckily it picked up pretty well as it continued.

Perry gives us the same things that he usually gives us in his films. Dynamite cast... check. Character that you love to hate... check. Good humor... check. Story line with a message... check. As usual, Perry makes his appearance as one of the actors as well. However in this one, it was a tad bit smaller than some of his other roles. However, two acting legends had much larger roles in this one. Both Alfre Woodard and Kathy Bates were sensational in their respective roles. The dialogue between the two carried the film in my opinion. And I for one really enjoy watching Bates in comical roles. Sanaa Lathan, one of my personal faves, was wonderful as well. It was good to see her in this role.. because up until this one I always loved her on screen. But for the first time, I hated her in this one. Well, not her per se, but her character that is. She is truly an @$$ in this one. And speaking of being an @$$, Cole Hauser really fits the bill. I have enjoyed watching this guy be a jerk on the big screen dating all the way back to 'Pitch Black'. The guy is just the type that you love to hate. He does a great job and is VERY believable in this film.

One thing that Perry really has to get past one day is the fact that his movies are generally very predictable. As much as I enjoy his brand of humor and his morally charged stories... just once I would like to NOT see what's coming next. On top of that, all his movies have these perfect story book endings. Everything just falls magically into place and everyone is happy. If you have ever seen 'Daddy's Little Girl's' you will know exactly what i mean. Those two things coupled with the incredibly slow start to this one lead me to say that this is probably at the bottom of the Tyler Perry collection. Does that mean its bad? Not necessarily. Could it have been better? Yes, very much so.

All in all, the movie is worth seeing. If you are a fan of Perry you will still enjoy this one. If you aren't a big fan of his, you may want to wait on this one. It's a pretty decent date movie, but it doesn't have the amount of humor of a typical date movie should have. This is more one that you would go see with someone that you have been with for a while. In typical Perry fashion, the both of you will get something out of it.

New to DVD - 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'

This was a film that I was highly anticipating seeing. I had heard a few of the local radio personalities speak very highly of this film. As were there quite a few people at work that told me how hilariously funny it was. And now that I think back on the people that told me that... they also felt the same way about 'Pineapple Express'. So now I see why I was so disappointed with this film. Not that it didn't have its moments, it just wasn't all that funny. The story line had a pretty good premise, and the acting was fairly good... the jokes just, well... weren't funny. It was a great idea to have a girl dump her guy, guy tries desperately to get away so that he can get over her... and just can't seem to get away.

The lead role of the film was played by Jason Segel, who also happened to be the writer. I guess he felt that since he wrote the screenplay, that he could portray the lead role the best. Well I am sorry, but that was a terrible mistake. In fact, in my opinion, the reason that this movie was so incredibly AVERAGE was because of the average acting job performed by Segel. I found most of the supporting cast to be quite quirky and contributed more than their fair share of laughs. A few notables were Jonah Hill ('Superbad' and 'Knocked Up') Davon McDonald (from 'Drilbit Taylor') and both had some gems that they added to the film.

The person who absolutely stole the show for me was Russel Brand who plays the role of the new boyfriend. This guy is hilarious! The character, Aldous Snow, is a very pompous music artist who is the definition of being full of oneself. Almost every time he was on the screen there was laughter to be had.

All in all the movie left a little bit to be desired. It had some funny moments, but overall, it was quite mediocre. It is worth seeing, but not worth spending money on in my eyes. So if you get a free code from the Redbox and 'Iron Man' is already rented... then go ahead and pick it up.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Now in theaters - 'Eagle Eye'

I have been kind of awaiting this one since seeing the preview. I was told by a buddy of mine that it was just too unrealistic as far as the action scenes went, but I was still pretty eager to see it. And I must say, I enjoyed it. I can definitely see how someone could get upset at the outlandish action sequences though. There were a few scenes that just went overboard and the storyline did seem to go just a tad past the believable threshold. But then again, why do we go to see movies? When you go to see a movie like this, you already know what you are gearing up to see. You don't go see 'Die Hard' and get upset at John McClaine knocking helicopters out of the sky with police cars. You don't go see 'Deja Vu' and question if the technology is believable. You just sit there and allow yourself to escape reality for the next two hours. And I think this film did a decent job of doing that.

One reason that I was able to enjoy the film was because of the acting job of Shia LaBeouf. If you are asking yourself "who???", it's the little kid from 'Holes'. You know, the boy in 'I, Robot'. Okay, okay, the boy in 'Transformers'. You may not know the name, but I'm sure you know the face. This little guy has really matured on screed and I think he has the ability to continue moving forward. In a film that boasts powerhouses like Billy Bob Thorton, Rosario Dawson and Michael Chiklis... to have the best performance of the group speaks volumes. Granted, he had the most opportunity to capture us, but it's still good to outshine actors of that caliber.

I agree with my buddy that there was a lot of outlandish moments, and to be honest, at times the storyline just gets downright out of hand. They could have eased off a tad and still had an action packed film. There were a few sequences that really could have been toned down. But again, it wasn't so terribly over done that it made the movie unbearable.

This movie had a lot of elements that will remind you of other movies. This was almost like an up to date version of 'Wargames' with some 'I, Robot', 'Live Hard, Die Free' and 'Enemy of the State' all tossed into the pot. Was the movie great? No. Was it terrible? No. It is definitely worth seeing. Maybe not rush out and stand in line and pay 10 bucks, but it's worth a matinee viewing.

New on DVD - 'Iron Man'

Ahhhhhhhhh. It's been too long guys. Sorry for leaving you hanging so long, but I was back home with family in Columbus, OH for a couple of weeks. But at least I come back with what could be the best DVD release of the year. It is hands down the best one to release so far. 'Iron Man' sparked a summer for us to remember. With 'Hulk' and 'Dark Knight' following soon behind, super hero's had a great year.

First, I can't even begin to tell you what a wonderful job Robert Downey, Jr. did in his performance of billionaire playboy Tony Stark. In my opinion, Downey was a better Stark than Bale was Wayne. (and if you know me at all, that is saying a LOT.) Downey's one liners and just overall portrayal of Stark was right on par with the arrogance we knew and loved from the comic books. Everyone in the cast did pretty darn well. Terrance Howard as James "Rhodey" Rhodes was very well done. And we comic lovers could appreciate that little War Machine teaser that they gave us. :) Gweneth Paltrow gave a very heartfelt performance as the right hand lady of Stark, Pepper Potts. One performance that really will stand out to you is that of Jeff Bridges. There are several times when I was watching the film that I completely forgot that it was even him. He was so matter of fact and so cold blooded when he needed to be. I tell you what, this certainly was not "The Dude" (from classic 'The Big Lebowski') on your screen. Oh, and of course good ol' Stan Lee made his usual cameo appearance.

If I had to say something bad about this movie, I would have to say the lack of action once Tony Stark became Iron Man. They did a wonderful job of making the comic book story of Tony Stark relevant to today and building up his character. They showed us exactly how a man like this could become a super hero. You could almost call it 'Iron Man Begins' if there were a few scenes of his childhood thrown in, lol. But once Stark made the transition to the super hero in the iron suit... the movie was basically over. Now, we all know that there will be a sequel and it will be action packed, but it still would be nice to have seen a little more action in this one. Oh, and speaking of sequel... make sure you comic book lovers watch it all the way through the credits. :)

All in all, the movie was fantastic. Very well written, acted and directed. Special effects were great and it left you wanting more once the credits ended. If not for Heath Ledger, this may have been the best movie of the summer. This is one that you should run out and buy. The DVD is loaded with great features and the Blu Ray looks AMAZING. In fact, I think I'm about to put it in one more time. :)