December 2010

I Love You Phillip Morris

by Alan Rapp on December 25, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: I Love You Phillip Morris
  • IMDB: link

“I’m gonna live my life my way. Be the real me. Buy what I want. Do what I want. Fuck who I want. My way. I’m gonna be a fag! A big fag!!!”

It’s odd that I Love You Phillip Morris is based on the true experiences of con man Steven Jay Russell because if the film has one major flaw it’s how cartoonish and unbelievable some of the events appear on-screen.

As the film opens we are introduced to Steve (Jim Carrey), a respected police officer, with a loving wife (Leslie Mann), and a dark secret – he’s gay. A car crash causes Steve to reexamine his life, come out of the closet and live his life how he’s always wanted – the most stereotypical gay man ever caught on film.

An unforeseen problem arises when his new expensive lifestyle causes Steve to look for alternate sources of income by becoming a professional con man. This new career will eventually land him behind bars.

While in prison Steve meets the naive and trusting Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor). They begin a doomed love affair, both in and out of prison, centered around Steve’s inability to stop lying and Phillip’s blind acceptance of those lies.

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Gulliver’s Travels

by Alan Rapp on December 25, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Gulliver’s Travels
  • IMDB: link

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT

I’m not sure, but I’m willing to bet the central idea for putting Jack Black in a remake of Gulliver’s Travels was for the express purpose of having him fight a giant robot in the town square as the miniature masses looked on. As ideas go, this one is less than inspired (but, then again, so is the rest of this hapless film).

How you take the talents of Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, and Billy Connolly and create something as thoroughly inane and painfully unfunny as Gulliver’s Travels is a mystery. This might be the dumbest movie I saw this year.

Black stars as slacker mailroom worker Lemuel Gulliver. To impress news editor Darcy Silverman (Peet), for whom he’s had a secret crush for years, Gulliver plagiarizes various travel articles earning him a spot to write for the paper. (I can’t imagine how such a well designed plan might blow up in his face.) His first assignment takes him to the Bermuda Triangle. (Cue ominous music.) After sailing into a storm Gulliver finds himself in the land of Lilliput, a kingdom filled with people less than 6-inches tall.

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Somewhere

by Alan Rapp on December 25, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Somewhere
  • IMDB: link

Slow-paced, and deeply personal, writer/director Sofia Coppola‘s latest project isn’t for everyone, but it suits me fine. This semi-autobiographical, intimate look at a young daughter’s relationship to her celebrity father opens with fifteen minutes (of the films 96 minute running time) without any dialogue. American audiences may well struggle with the very old school European style of storytelling, but if you have the patience Somewhere has much to share.

Stephen Dorff stars as Hollywood star Johnny Marco. Johnny’s life consists mainly of making movies, attending press conferences, living out of a hotel (the Chateau Marmont, where much of the film was shot), paying strippers (Kristina and Karissa Shannon) to perform in his home, hosting parties, sleeping with a variety of sexy strangers, and spending time with his pre-teen daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning). Every detail of Johnny’s professional life is planned by an unseen voice over the phone (Amanda Anka) telling him when and where he’s needed, and his personal life consists mostly of waiting for his next set of instructions.

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The Sword

by Alan Rapp on December 23, 2010

in Comics

At more than 600 pages, and weighing-in over seven pounds, the Complete Deluxe Hardcover (complete a slipcase cover and all 24 issues and covers from the series) isn’t for the casual fan. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a must-read.

The Luna Brother’s tale of Dara Brighton and her quest for vengeance against the immortal beings who murdered her family over a mystical sword is a great read. This hardcover oversized edition captures all the gore, pain, and triumph of the series in the way only these oversized editions (similar to DC’s Absolute Editions) can.

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True Grit (2010)

by Alan Rapp on December 22, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: True Grit
  • IMDB: link

More than four decades ago John Wayne won an Academy Award for his performance in True Grit as the drunken U.S. Marshall hired by a young woman to track down the man responsible for killing her father. It would be the first, and only, time the actor would take home an Oscar.

Deciding to remake the film, the Coen brothers went back to the original novel by Charles Portis to give us their reinterpretation of the story. The result is the brothers most mainstream film to date: a traditional western filled with strong performances and splashes of the filmmakers’ trademark wit.

The film begins and ends with the narration (provided by Elizabeth Marvel, who plays the character in later scenes) of Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), who at the age of 14 travels to collect the body of her recently deceased father and hire a bounty hunter to track down his murderer (Josh Brolin).

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