February 2009

The Force isn’t strong with this one

by Alan Rapp on February 27, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Fanboys
  • IMDB: link

fanboys-kristen-bell-posterI’m a self-admitted and unabashed fan of Star Wars and, as such, I really wanted to love Fanboys. Sigh. Sadly it felt like too many people screwed with this cute little project about Star Wars fans until the result was something jumbled and broken, which, is of course, what happened.

The film follows the reunion of young used car salesmen Eric (Sam Huntington) with his old pals (Chris Marquette, Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel, and Kristen Bell) still rocking to Star Wars years later and counting down the hours and minutes to Episode I: The Phantom Menace. After discovering Linus (Marquette) is dying of cancer and won’t live to see the premiere, Eric and his pals decide to storm the Skywalker Ranch and steal a rough-cut of the film.

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  • Title: Fired Up!
  • IMDB: link

Fired Up!I come neither to praise nor bash Fired Up! Here’s the type of movie, in the right mood, I might be perfectly fine finding at 1:00am on Comedy Central. If you’re a fan of the straight-to-DVD American Pie films (like this one) you should feel right at home.

The basic set-up for this male cheerleader recruitment film involves two high school ladies men (played by 28-year-old Nicholas D’Agosto and 31-year-old Eric Christian Olsen) who skip out on football practice for a chance to join the squad and go to cheer camp with the hopes of scoring with as many cheerleaders as possible.

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  • Title: The International
  • IMDB: link

the-international-posterThere’s much about The International that works, and almost as much that doesn’t. Still, for a mid-February release it’s much better than expected and one of the few films of the new year worth a look.

Clive Owen stars as an Interpol agent obsessed with bringing down a bank which does shady dealings with both world governments and criminal organizations. Naomi Watts stars as his deskbound partner who, as is often the case in these types of films, hits the streets with him to bring down the bad guys.

Who are these evil-doers he’s willing to risk his life and career to stop? Well, they’re bankers. Um…yeah. As movie baddies go evil bankers ranks slightly below evil party clowns and Elvis impersonators.

Thankfully we’re given Owen who raises the bar here by elevating the script and infusing the character with an obsession both palpatable and a little out of control.

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  • Title: Push
  • IMDB: link

push-posterAs a critic you see quite a few movies that make you wonder, “What we’re they thinking?” Push, in all its convoluted whacked-out banality, is just such a film. The overwhelming reaction from the audience at the screening I attended can be summed up as “Huh?” (that is those who hadn’t fallen asleep before the end).

Hey, I’m not saying you’ve got to hold my hand through the entire movie, but how about having it make more sense than a random collection of clips taken out of order from any random sci-fi/action flick?

Just a suggestion.

The film (preceded by the lackluster comic of the same name) introduces us to those in the world with special powers. How did they receive these powers you ask? I’m glad you asked. Were they born with them due to some genetic mutation or evolutionary process? Granted them as a piece of some divine plan? Are they aliens sent from a dying world in hopes of a better life? Nope. Nazis.

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Sorry, I’m just not that into you

by Alan Rapp on February 6, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: He’s Just Not That Into You
  • IMDB: link

hes-just-not-that-into-you-posterHe’s Just Not That Into You starts out with some promise, but, as romcoms are prone to do, falls prey to contrivance and the inevitable happy ending which is cuter than a basket of newborn kittens. Adapted from a self-help book the film does take a (at least occasionally) funny look at how women regard relationships in a mostly twisted and illogical way.

The plot centers around a group of romantically challenged individuals including a loving longtime couple (Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston) dealing with the question of marriage, a quirky young woman (Ginnifer Goodwin) who can’t seem to find a guy, Justin Long as the nice-jerk you find in films like this with an encyclopedic knowledge of women’s bad relationship habits, a real estate agent (Kevin Connolly) in love with a Yoga instructor (Scarlett Johansson) who is more infatuated with a guy she met in a grocery store whose wife (Jennifer Connelly) keeps his balls in her purse. Oh, and I forgot Drew Barrymore (and so does the film for large stretches) as woman trying to find romance online surrounded by the trademark swishy gay friends who have nothing better to do than help their hetero pals find love.

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