June 2009

  • Title: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  • IMDB: link

transformers-revenge-of-the-fallen-posterI hated Michael Bay’s first Transformers, and this second installment is more of the same only longer, louder, sleazier, and (if possible) dumber.

Part Deux is filled with lazy humor, cheap gags (such as multiple shots of humping dogs and robots), a confusing and ridiculous plot (which is so inane characters twice have to stop and explain it not only to us but each other), big, though not too impressive, special effects, and little else. It’s obvious that Bay and screenwriters Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman love robots (wait, it took three of you to write this movie?). What isn’t obvious is if they give two shits about Transformers, or their fans.

Once again we’re given a plot which has more to do with Sam (Shia LaBeouf) learning a life-lesson and Megan Fox looking hot than Autobots or Decepticons. In fact the Decepticons aren’t even the big baddie here, it’s the Fallen. What is the Fallen? Well, you see, he’s one of a race of seven Primes, ancient Transformer brothers… (the sound you just heard was me dying a little inside).

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I’ve got a “Proposal” for you

by Alan Rapp on June 19, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Proposal
  • IMDB: link

The ProposalRomantic comedies can scare critics away quicker than a mob racing out of a burning building. It’s hard to warm up to a genre that’s let you down so often, and so consistently. So settling down to watch The Proposal all I really was hoping for was to make it out of the theater with my sanity intact.

Here’s the thing, aside from the contrived device used to get the film’s stars together (and a few best-forgotten groan-worthy scenes), the film actually works better than I expected. It’s not great by any stretch of the imagination, but for the genre it’s above average.

Sandra Bullock stars as Margaret Tate, a bitchy cutthroat book editor who is feared by all. Her assistant, Andrew (Ryan Reynolds), sums up her character best as someone who is allergic to “pinenuts and the full spectrum of human emotion.” When Margaret is faced with being deported and losing her job she decides to blackmail Andrew, whose career track is tied to her success, into marrying her. The newly engaged couple take a trip to Andrew’s hometown to learn about each other and prepare for a quicky wedding. And so the shenanigans begin.

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Easy Virtue

by Alan Rapp on June 19, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Easy Virtue
  • IMDB: link

easy-virtue-posterWhen you stop and think about it, it’s amazing any movie ever actually gets made. Many films flounder through the maze of casting issues, constant rewrites, shooting problems, and budgetary constraints. A finished film, even an awful one, is something of a miracle. If you don’t believe me check out Terry Gilliam’s Lost in La Macha which chronilces just how far a film can go off course when the gods are against you.

Easy Virtue isn’t a great film. It just didn’t navigate those treacherous waters with enough skill. Despite several pieces which work well, and a definite style, it’s a deeply flawed film. Much, though certainly not all, of its troubles can be laid at the feet of its young stars.

The film stars Jessica Biel as Laritta, a poor American race-car driver who marries young British aristocrat John (Ben Barnes) for love. What follows is something of a farcical Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (with snobby class warfare replacing racial tension) as John and Laritta travel to England to introduce his family meet his new bride.

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Leverage – The 1st Season

by Alan Rapp on June 15, 2009

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Leverage – The First Season
  • tv.com: link

leverage-season-one-dvdGrifter. Hacker. Hitter. Thief. Four thieves agree to work under direction of an honest man helping those who can’t help themselves. As the show’s tagline states “sometimes the bad guys make the best good guys.”

Insurance investigator Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton) and four thieves are brought together by an unscrupulous executive (Saul Rubinek) who planned to use them for his own ends. After turning the tables and completing their mission, the team begin to work together as modern day Robin Hoods by going after those who have been taken advantage of by the system and those in power.

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  • Title: Leverage
  • tv.com: link

Season Two of Leverage is set to begin tomorrow night. The show centers around a team of thieves and con artists (Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf, Aldis Hodge) who use their unique talents to help those who have been taken advantage of by the system. If you, like me, missed the first season (seriously, I don’t even remember hearing about this show last year) here’s a quick recap to get you up to speed. The first episode of the second season, “The Beantown Bailout Job,” airs Wednesday night at 9/8c on TNT.

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