What’s Your Number? (2011)


Are You Going to Rape and Kill Me Later?

The only inspiration I had for watching today’s movie was my love of the main actress in it.  I know I’ve said that I was in love with probably 20 actresses by now, but I like to keep my options open.  And that’s kind of what today’s movie is about.  I knew the basic premise of today’s movie and knew that it was a comedy, but was mainly drawn to the movie by the star.  I’m sure there was a point when it was available on RedBox, but I found the movie on Netflix and got the disc sent to me.  So let’s check in with What’s Your Number?, written by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden, directed by Mark Mylod, and starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner, Ed Begley Jr., Heather Burns, Eliza Coupe, Kate Simses, Tika Sumpter, Dave Annable, Joel McHale, Chris Pratt, Zachary Quinto, Martin Freeman, Andy Samberg, Thomas Lennon, Anthony Mackie, Mike Vogel, and Aziz Ansari.

Ally Darling (Anna Faris) makes the mistake of reading an article that says that the average number of sexual relationships a woman has is 10.5.  Ally has had 19.  Finding that her number is so much higher than all of the people she knows, and the article saying that women that are too sexually available never find a husband, Ally resolves to not have sex again until she’s found her husband.  It goes great for her … for all of a few hours, when she gets really drunk at her sisters bachelorette party and sleeps with her ex-boss Roger (Joel McHale).  Having reached 20, and having no desire to stay with the ball scratcher/finger sniffer Roger, Ally decides that her only solution is to find all of the other 19 guys she’s slept with to determine if they are better prospects since the last time they were in her.  She enlists the help of her neighbor, Colin (Chris Evans), and gets started on some poor decision making.

I was vaguely fond of this movie, but probably not for many reasons you’ll find in this paragraph.  The story didn’t really connect with me.  It seemed like some chick read an article in Marie Claire, got pissed because it made her look like a whore, and then decided to make a movie that vindicated her.  I don’t know if 10 is the actual number or not, but if someone is worried about how guys will feel about their number then they should probably be more discerning with their vagina.  I can’t speak for all guys, but I’d say that I personally wouldn’t care that much about what a girl’s number was as long as she didn’t have a kid or any other venereal diseases.  Most of Ally’s reactions to her predicament annoyed me with how little they made sense.  Her first reaction is to get sloppy drunk at a bar.  Yeah, ‘cause no one’s ever slept with someone under those circumstances.  Well, Ally was able to be the first person to do it, ruining her number and leaving her in the situation where she made her next poor decision to try to find old boyfriends.  As they pointed out in the movie, you probably left those guys for a reason.  Also, if you tell a guy that you had sex with 20 guys, his reaction will probably not be much different than telling him you had 21.  So, instead of locking your vag and looking through your old black book, do what you should have been doing already and hold out on the sex until you like a guy.  But that probably wouldn’t have made much of a movie premise, so we let it slide so long as they make a funny movie.  They never really manage to pull that off either.  I would say that this movie finishes as “cute”, but the actual laughs in the movie are few and far between.  They try often enough, but I’d say the movie only managed about three laughs out of me.  I appreciated that Ally realized, as she was climbing a wall to get to someone, that she probably should’ve just waited for him at his apartment.  It was what I was thinking at that point and it got a laugh out of me that they pointed out that it didn’t make that much sense.  The movie also follows a pretty basic romantic comedy pattern, but it does it so slowly that the lack of some real funniness leaves you wishing they would just get to the conclusion that you know they’re heading towards already.  Another thing that I’m pretty sure I’ve noticed in other romantic comedies is that they always pick the strangest little hobbies for the main character to enjoy and somehow find employment from.  I remember in Bridesmaids that Kristen Wiig’s character loved to make cupcakes.  In this movie, Ally strangely loves to make creepy little dioramas that Mr. Right tells her she should do for a living.  Why can’t they ever do something normal and more typical with their time, like writing reviews in all of their free time?

I think the performances are what charmed me the most in this movie.  I’ve been a big fan of Anna Faris since the first time I saw her.  Not only do I find her gorgeous, but she’s typically very funny in all of the movies she’s in.  She’s never really been given the opportunity to participate in a really good comedy, and I have no idea why.  I think she’s got great comedic timing and tends to bring it to all of her movies.  In this movie, she did what she could with material that was spotty at best.  The real thing she brought for me was intense hotness and being almost naked numerous times in the movie.  And what’s more is that I feel the exact same bunch of stuff can be said for Chris Evans.  He’s really good looking, he was nearly naked a lot in this movie, and he’s a pretty good comedic actor.  He’s had much better luck in his career than Anna Faris has, but mostly with action flicks.  Though he was the comic relief in Losers and the Fantastic Four movies, the only actual comedy I’ve seen him in before this was Not Another Teen Movie, but he was pretty funny in that.  I liked Ari Graynor as well, though the only thing that sticks with me that she did was that I liked her vows at her wedding.  I also found the crew that they got as representatives of the 20 guys Ally had sex with were interesting.  The majority of them were pretty big actors that just popped in for a scene.  People like Joel McHale, Zachary Quinto, Martin Freeman, Andy Samberg, Thomas Lennon, Anthony Mackie, the voice of Aziz Ansari, and Anna Faris’ real life husband Chris Pratt.

What’s Your Number? manages to make up for what it’s missing in quality writing and comedy with its two main actors.  It’s got a couple of solid laughs in the movie, but they’re too far spread out and left me just wanting them to cut to the chase and reach the conclusion that you can see coming from about 20 minutes in.  If you’re in the market for a romantic comedy, you could do much worse than this one and it’s at least worth a watch.  If you’ve no interest in a romantic comedy, then you have no real reason to pay this movie any mind.  What’s Your Number? gets “I know that I’m not perfect, but I wanna be with somebody who appreciates me” out of “How’s your blow job?”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)


I Don’t Care What You Put in My Way.  I’m Not Giving Up!

Left to my own devices, I feel like I would never have watched today’s movie.  It’s not that it looked bad, but all it seemed like to me was Matt Damon and Emily Blunt running away from a bunch of guys wearing hats.  And that was EXACTLY the script that I was working on!  I had to put that aside when my friend Phil recommended that I watch the movie.  I was able to find the movie in a local RedBox and give it a watch.  The movie is The Adjustment Bureau, written and directed by George Nolfi, and starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Terence Stamp, Michael Kelly, and Jon Stewart.

David Norris (Matt Damon) is a Congressman that’s running for the US Senate, but he gets pwned for some reason when a picture comes out that he mooned somebody in college.  And since he was the only person who’s ever done that, he loses the election.  While preparing his speech in the bathroom, he meets a woman named Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt), hiding from security after crashing a wedding upstairs.  After a bit of conversation and a kiss, Norris is inspired to not perform his rehearsed speech, instead delivering a candid speech about his loss, which makes him an instant favorite for the next Senate race.  Months later, Norris is on his way to work and being watched by a man in a hat named Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie), who is told by another be-hatted man named Richardson (John Slattery) that he needs to make sure Norris spills his coffee on his shirt.  While waiting for Norris, Mitchell falls asleep and misses his opportunity.  As a result, Norris gets on the bus on time and sits next to Elise.  Norris gets them digits before he departs the bus and goes to work.  At his office, he finds that everyone is frozen in time, and the group of be-hatted men are doing something to his associates with a glowing stick.  But not probing them.  That would be weird.  Norris attempts to escape, but is captured by the men.  They inform Norris that they are called the Adjustment Bureau and their job is to make things go according to “the plan” set by “the Chairman”.  Mitchell’s failure has caused some trouble for them because Norris was not supposed to ever see Elise again and he was supposed to arrive to work late so that he would never have seen them working.  They let Norris back into the world sans Elise’s number, warning him that if he tells anyone about them, he’ll be lobotomized.

I really liked a lot of this movie.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was really cool.  The story was what I found hit and miss about this movie, but it was more hit than miss.  I thought the science fiction elements of the movie were all really interesting and really well done.  The Adjustment Bureau – though it was never clearly stated – were basically like angels to God, the Chairman.  And their whole job was to make slight adjustments to our lives so that we go according to God’s plan.  I thought this was a very interesting story premise with some really cool ideas to it.  The part that kind of lost me was the romance side of the story.  I can take a romance story, so it’s not just my overbearing masculinity that turns me off to it.  What kept bothering me was how much Norris was willing to risk (going up against angels, risking lobotomy, missing political obligations, etc.) just to hang out with a girl that he had talked to for a combined total of an hour.  I’m sure some people are all about the idea of love at first sight, and I know there was a mention of the fact that the original plan had Norris and Elise as soulmates before the plan was changed, but that’s a whole lot to throw down because the girl was really cute and you had some good chemistry with her for a little while.  I feel like I could be really into a girl after talking with her for an hour, and I may even ignore the guys with hats to talk to her for the third time, but after they kept doing everything they could to ruin it, I would throw out a “Fuck this” and go about my business.  And Norris took his sweet time getting wise to the fact that the hat guys were trying to throw a monkey wrench into his works.  Why didn’t he think that it was a little strange that his campaign manager showed up out of nowhere with an appointment that would separate him from Elise.  He even asked him how he knew where he was, and the guy’s response was basically just a shrug, but he didn’t put it together.  I also felt that making Elise a ballet dancer was an odd choice.  I guess it’s technically possible for a straight man to fall completely in love with a girl after seeing her dance, but my reaction was that it looked like they were doing slo-mo martial arts.  Granted, doing slo-mo martial arts would make me fall in love, but I’m also a straight guy.  And the ballet thing just creates problems for him anyway, because the lead be-hatted guy convinces him to ditch her by telling him that she’ll stop dancing if they stay together and wind up teaching dance to 5th graders.  I had a problem with this because I wouldn’t have taken issue with that.  Sure, it’s a selfish decision to put my desire to be with her over her own desire to dance, but there’s also no way in hell she’d ever know that I made that decision.  And she seemed to like his company anyway, so she’ll probably be pretty happy enough as my stay at home wife.

I was happy with all of the performances in this movie as well.  I thought the chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt was really good.  Their conversations were very real and you could get the understanding of how they would get charmed with each other so quickly, though I still think it’s bullshit.  I liked Matt Damon’s character as well, though he mostly seemed a lot like the real Matt Damon from what I’ve seen of him.  Just a down to Earth and likeable guy, but this one was a politician.  It’s the kind of politician I would probably vote for if I ever chose to start voting.  Especially after his big candid speech I thought to myself, “I wish that a real politician would do that so I could continue not to vote for any of them.”  Emily Blunt was very cute in her part as well, and for more than just her looks.  She was also very charming.  And, if that was indeed her performing the dancing, then she did that very well also.  I liked all of the be-hatted guys as well, but their roles meant that they should be toned down with the personality, though never to the point of being robotic.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is more to The Adjustment Bureau than just people running from people wearing hats.  The sci-fi part of the story was really interesting and well done, the romance was fine but a little farfetched, and the main characters were charming and had lots of charisma.  I definitely recommend giving this movie a shot.  I was able to find it at a RedBox for a dollar, and I know it was available on Netflix, though not for streaming, and it’s worth watching either of those ways.  I’ll probably buy the movie eventually too.  The Adjustment Bureau gets “Very few humans have seen what you’ve seen today” out of “I’m not some hopeless romantic.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Hop (2011)


Talking Rabbits Freaks Her Out

I confess that the only inspiration behind wanting to watch today’s movie was to shit on it.  I feel like it’s been a while since I really got to ridicule a movie for how bad it was since it seems people have actually been requesting movies that they genuinely want my opinion on, as opposed to movies they just want to punish me with.  But I need to watch a piece of shit every now and then.  It builds up my immune system.  And it’s a lot funnier when I hate the movie and can give you numerous reasons why.  When I saw today’s movie was available in a RedBox, I reserved the shit right out of it.  So let’s get into a movie that you all may have seen commercials for, but were all probably well aware of the fact that you didn’t want to see it.  This movie is Hop, written by Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch, and Cinco Paul, directed by Tim Hill, and starring James Marsden, the voice and physical form of Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, the voice of Hugh Laurie, the voice of Hank Azaria, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff, and Chelsea Handler.

On Easter Island (ha ha, fuck you movie), all of the world’s Easter needs are handled underground, run by Mr. Bunny (Hugh Laurie), the current presiding Easter Bunny.  He hopes that his son, E.B. (Russell Brand), will take over for him one day, but EB just wants to play drums and open a vaguely successful string of video game stores that he will later sell to GameStop.  EB runs away to Hollywood in hopes of finding success as a drummer (The White Stripes could use a new one).  His father sends his royal guard, the Pink Berets, after him.  Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) (also, could you lay it off with the puns already?) has just been kicked out of his house by his dad, Henry (Gary Cole), and told to find a job.  His sister, Sam (Kaley Cuoco), lets him stay at a mansion that she’s housesitting.  On the way there, Fred hits EB with his car.  EB’s dead, the end.  Okay, it didn’t go that way.  Instead, EB feigns injury in order to get Fred to take him in.  Through the course of the movie, Fred and EB must find their true calling in life.

I definitely found a few things to make fun of in this movie, but the weirdest thing that happened here is that I did not hate this movie.  I’m a surprised as you are!  This movie is actually pretty cute and I’m sure kids would really like it.  There are even a few jokes in the movie that made me laugh and I did not see that coming at all.  The story of the movie is nothing new and reminded me a little bit of the Prince and the Pauper by the end.  It’s a couple of stories about people that want to do something, or don’t know what they want to do at all, and the people around them just don’t get them, man.  This story is so familiar that I tend to refer to it as “My Life”.  Later on is the Prince and the Pauper part, where Fred decides that he would like to be the Easter Bunny so that EB can go about his dream.  This is around where the story really loses me.  How the hell is a human going to be an Easter Bunny, let alone the Anything Bunny?  It’d make a lot more sense if the chickens that helped out actually took over after their coup d’état.  Chickens make more sense for a holiday that centers around eggs anyway.  And if it was going to be a human, why not a woman instead?  They actually have eggs.  That’d be a pretty icky Easter though, and it’d have to happen every 28 days.  These, of course, were not the only things that didn’t make sense to me in this movie.  First off, why the hell would Sam let her slacker, loser brother housesit a giant and expensive mansion owned by her boss?  The movie actually made the biggest surprise they could have by not actually making him burn the house to the ground by the end of the movie.  He actually left a fairly small footprint on the mansion.  Fred also makes a really big deal about trying to hide the fact that EB is a talking rabbit, but the greater majority of the people in the world inexplicably don’t even bat an eye at it.  Except when it serves the story, that is.  Like when EB makes a scene at Fred’s sister’s Easter play, when people are suddenly interested because they wanted to waste about 10 minutes with a whole ventriloquism bit they wrote.  Also, though you kind of expect their specific talents to play into the resolution of the movie, I felt like it didn’t make that much sense that EB was able to save Easter by playing the drums.  The puns in this movie got on my nerves because it felt like they weren’t even trying.  The upcoming Easter Bunny’s name is EB, the other guy’s name is O’Hare, they work from Easter Island, etc.  They were either not trying or they actually thought this shit was hilarious.  Many other jokes didn’t work in this movie, and some of the stuff just seemed crass, like the random fact that EB shit out Jellybeans.  It’s gross, unnecessary, and the reasoning they tried to make behind it was stupid.  EB showed Fred to prove that he was a special bunny.  Apparently him talking wasn’t getting that job done.  And there’s also one big spoiler that made me have a problem with the entire movie ::SPOILER ALERT:: The Easter Bunny isn’t real.  ::END SPOILER::

The performances in this movie were exactly what they were.  First off, all of the bunnies (and mostly EB) were so ridiculously cute in their animation.  Women will swoon.  I may have swooned myself, but I’m not entirely sure what swooning is.  Is that when you pass out and wake up with no pants on and covered in blood that’s not your own?  EB himself had occasional moments of funniness, but almost as many occasions of annoyance.  I think that’s due to Russell Brand lending his voice to the character.  I’ve always felt like Russell Brand’s idea of comedy was to constantly have things coming out of your mouth and then, even if only 10% are funny or worth hearing, at least people will still leave thinking he was hilarious.  What didn’t annoy me about EB was that he was a fantastic drummer.  Sure, there was no good reason for him to drum in the movie, but he was animated to be good at it.  James Marsden was mostly manic and over the top on his side, with a little bit of stupid mixed in, but he never really bothered me.  Gary Cole was mostly an asshole through the movie.

This movie doesn’t have a lot to offer you unless you have kids, but I think you’ll actually find it mostly cute if you end up watching it with them.  The story is silly, nonsensical, and somewhat dumb, but it’s also really cute and has a couple of funny moments in it.  If you like Russell Brand, that would be a plus for you with this movie.  If you’re like me, he’ll be very hit and miss but bother you much less since you barely have to see his face.  I’ll recommend this movie for kids, but say skip it for the single people.  Hop gets “I am a bunny and am incredibly sexy” out of “This must be the rags part of my rags-to-riches story.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Clueless (1995)


This Reminds Boys of Being Naked, and Then They Think of Sex.

Again feeling the need to get away from the underdog fighting movies, I feel that the movie I’ve chosen for today could not be further removed from them.  When the Lady MacBalls last suggested a movie, it was my most popular review in a while, so I felt a little obligated to do her next request quickly.  The movie she suggested was a movie I already owned, but had never opened and never really had an inspiration to open it.  I had seen it before, though the last time was much closer to when the movie came out.  It doesn’t seem like the kind of movie I would enjoy, but I vaguely remember it being better than one would expect based on the subject matter.  Let’s see if memory serves in my review of Clueless, written and directed by Amy Heckerling, and starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, Dan Hedaya, Jeremy Sisto, Justin Walker, Wallace Shawn, Twink Caplan, Elisa Donovan, and Julie Brown.

I just realized that this is going to be a hard movie to describe because there’s no singular plotline to be seen.  Well this movie is basically about a superficial high school girl named Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), who is pretty, popular, and rich.  She’s friends with Dionne Davenport (Stacey Dash), who is roughly as pretty, popular, and rich.  Cher lives with her father (Dan Hedaya) in Beverly Hills and is visited often by her ex-stepbrother Josh (Paul Rudd).  First, Cher gets a mediocre grade on her report card and resolves to fix that by setting her teacher, Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn), up with another teacher, Miss Geist (Twink Caplan).  With that out of the way, she then decides to give a makeover to the new girl at school, Tai Frasier (Brittany Murphy).  Tai seems to like a stoner named Travis (Brecken Meyer), but Cher sets her straight and steers her towards rich kid Elton (Jeremy Sisto).  Elton doesn’t want Tai; he wants Cher, so that backfires.  Cher starts going after a new kid whose wardrobe is stuck in the 50’s named Christian (Justin Walker), but it turns out he’s gay.  Then a couple of other things and the end.

I remember this movie being better, but I suppose it’s not really made for my age range.  This movie seems more appropriate for teenagers around the same age as the characters in the movie, or at least for people that really enjoyed the movie back then.  Watching the movie today and as a 28-year-old, I don’t find a great deal of appeal in the movie.  It’s fine, but doesn’t really seem for me.  Even though I know that it’s mostly done in parody, I don’t know why I’d want to spend very much time with this superficial and stupid lot of people.  Yeah, pretty much everyone in this movie is super great to look at, but it turns out they talk too.  I grant that I’ve seen the movie before, but I didn’t really find most of the jokes funny.  The funniest thing to happen in the movie to me was when Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd were talking about Marky Mark and how he wasn’t cool anymore, which made me laugh because Mark Wahlberg is super famous now and Alicia Silverstone could very well be dead for all I know.  Beyond that, it seemed as if the bulk of the humor came from how dumb the characters were.  I would give the movie credit for having a decent enough message in the end about getting over yourself and trying to do something for those in need, even if you remain dumb to do so.  I didn’t feel like the story was ever really any one story either.  It was just like a couple of smaller stories smashed together to no great effect.

I guess you could say the performances were really good because they accomplished the two goals they set for themselves: be super-hot and pretty stupid.  Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash were particularly good at both of these.  Brittany Murphy’s looked better than she did in this movie, even after the makeover, and her character typically got on my nerves.  I had completely forgotten that Paul Rudd played the stepbrother in this movie.  That’s all I had to say about that.  Donald Faison and Breckin Meyer’s characters had a few quasi funny moments.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t muster much to say about this movie.  It wasn’t really good, and it wasn’t really bad.  It wasn’t funny, but it wasn’t painful.  It’s a decent enough conclusion, but a haphazard story with no real conflict and resolution, and the characters were mostly dumb and not people I want to spend time with.  I vaguely remember liking this when I was younger, but the attractive stars would’ve accomplished piquing my interest at that age all by themselves.  You may still like this movie if you have really fond memories of it from your youth, but it doesn’t really stand on its own anymore as far as I’m concerned.  You can probably skip this movie and not miss much beyond some sexy, fully-clothed ladies.  Clueless gets “Is this like a Noxzema commercial or what?” out of “Old people can be so sweet.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Warrior (2011)


How Much Abuse Can One Man Take?

I felt like it was necessary to put off today’s review for as long as possible after the Rocky reviews went up.  This is a movie I’ve been thinking about seeing for a long time, but never really gotten around to it.  And it’s also a movie about underdog fighters trying to do something big.  That being the case, six Rocky movies were enough in one span of time.  I was able to mix it up for the two reviews that separated this movie from Rocky with a romantic comedy and a really old movie, but I’ve had the disk sitting here from RedBox for a couple of days already and didn’t want to keep getting charged for it, so today is the day for my review of Warrior, written by Anthony Tambakis, directed by Gavin O’Connor, and starring Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Vanessa Martinez, Frank Grillo, Kevin Dunn, Bryan Callen, Kurt Angle, Erik Apple, Nate Marquardt, and Anthony Johnson.

AWOL US Marine Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy), though he tends to go by Tommy Riordan, returns home to visit his father, Paddy (Nick Nolte), to get him to train him for a winner-takes-all mixed martial arts tournament called Sparta, the winner of which takes home 5 million dollars.  Tommy wants this money to provide for the family of a friend of his that died in the Marine Corps.  Paddy’s older son, Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton), works as a physics teacher but, because of money troubles, he does small time fights on the side.  A bruise on his face gets him suspended from teaching, which is certainly not helping his money troubles.  Though his wife Tess (Jennifer Morrison) is against it, Brendan starts training to participate in Sparta so that the prize money can help him keep his house.

This movie is the Rocky for this generation, or at least it should be.  And hopefully that doesn’t mean they’ll dilute it with too many sequels of questionable quality.  This is a movie that women may avoid as they seem to do with Rocky, but that’s probably because they are making a very incorrect assumption about what this movie is.  Yes, it’s got MMA in it, but the real story is about a broken family somehow repairing itself through punches to the face.  Let’s focus first on the story that should be the reason you watch this.  Tommy’s side of the story is all about slowly unraveling his troubled past and how he deserted the Marines, saved the lives of a bunch of other marines, and the troubles he had with his family.  Brendan was dealing with his financial troubles, his career problems, his disapproving wife, and his family troubles.  Paddy is tying together the two sons who hate his guts.  It’s so well-written and so emotional.  The climax is so satisfying and emotional that I actually got a little choked up for it.  I would say that the beginning of the story is a little drawn out and doesn’t have a lot happening so that could’ve been shaved down a bit to benefit the story.  And I probably would’ve liked to have a little something more after the ending to wrap everything up with Tommy’s desertion problems, but it was still really good.  This is an MMA movie though, and the fights are pretty spectacular.  The first thing I appreciate about this is that I think boxing has lost a lot of its steam since the Rocky days.  I’ve never been that big of a fan of boxing, but I am all about MMA, and this movie does not disappoint.  Though it’s often to a lesser extent, MMA can suffer the same problems as boxing when the fights are moving too slow because the fighters aren’t willing to advance.  In a movie, you don’t have to worry about that.  All of the fights in this movie were intense and exciting.  One of the very first matches was Tommy absolutely embarrassing an experienced but douchey fighter.  He whoops that ass!  Tommy’s style was mostly wrestling and striking, and he won all of his fights with ease and brutality.  Brendan took more of a beating, but always won with some great submission moves.  I really liked his fight with Kurt Angle because Kurt was playing a Russian named Koba who was a force to be reckoned with, and it reminded me of the Rocky vs. Drago fight from Rocky IV.  One problem I had (without spoiling anything) was that there is no way a match would be allowed to continue when one of the fighters has a noticeably dislocated shoulder.  They would’ve stopped that shit and called the other guy the winner.

All of the performances in this movie were superb.  Joel Edgerton gave a very real and grounded performance.  It annoyed me that so many people doubted him because they thought of him only as a physics teacher and ignored the fact that he used to be in the UFC.  But in a world where the UFC actually exists, why are these guys not aware of Rich Franklin?  He used to be a teacher!  Tom Hardy’s performance was not openly emotional, but you could see that he was semi-constantly dealing with some inner turmoil.  And his fights were the most awesome for me to watch, though I do like a good submissions game.  I will say as well that I thought I couldn’t be more excited to see Dark Knight Rises, but now that I’ve seen this guy in this movie, I’m even more excited to see what he does with Bane.  Nick Nolte was fantastic in this movie.  He knew that he had fucked up royally in the past, but had gotten sober and wanted nothing more than for his sons to forgive him.  You feel really bad for him for the bulk of the movie.  If I had to say there was a bad performance in this movie, it would definitely be those douche ass announcers at the Sparta tournament.  When they were first fighting, the announcers said that both of the brothers were going to lose.  After they won, they warmed up to Tommy and kept saying Brendan was going to lose.  Maybe you two should just shut the hell up.  You’re no Miss Cleo.

I had a feeling I would like Warrior when I was going into it, but I didn’t really know that I would love it.  It’s the Rocky of this generation!  A fantastic and exciting fight story, but with a very good emotional storyline that should make even people that don’t like MMA love this movie.  I definitely recommend this movie, and with no caveats.  Everyone should love this movie.  You can probably still find it from a RedBox if you’re unsure, but I will probably be purchasing it post haste.  Warrior gets “I think I liked you better when you were a drunk” out of “C’mon, it’s not as bad as it looks.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

All About Eve (1950)


You Can Always Put That Award Where Your Heart Ought to Be

My roommate Richard must’ve immediately realized his mistake when he made me watch a movie from last year.  In a hurried rush, he ran and grabbed a 62-year-old movie so that he could keep up with his ancient movie watching reputation.  The movie he grabbed is a very famous and well-regarded movie that I had never really heard of, and one that stars an actress I still do not know the appeal of.  This actress is a well-known staple in cinema’s history, but not one I ever really found that appealing physically like a Marilyn Monroe, and since I’d never seen one of her movies I don’t know from any other appeal she may have.  But now I’ve seen one, so let’s see if I’ve figured it out as I review All About Eve, written and directed by Joseph L. Makiewicz, and starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, George Sanders, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe, Gregory Ratoff, Thelma Ritter, Barbara Bates, and Marilyn Monroe.

Told mostly in a flashback, we go to a time even older than the movie.  In this time, Margo Channing (Bette Davis) is the bee’s knees on Broadway, but she’s getting on in the years and knows what that will eventually mean for her career.  Margo’s friend Karen Richards (Celeste Holm), wife of the play’s author Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), meets a huge fan of Margo’s named Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), and pretty quickly realizes that it’s all about her.  Karen takes Eve to meet Margo, Margo’s boyfriend and director of the play Bill Sampson (Gary Merrill) and Margo’s maid Birdie (Thelma Ritter).  Margo is taken with Eve’s adoration of her and she quickly becomes Margo’s assistant.  Birdie is the first to think there’s something off with Eve, and soon Margo begins to feel as if Eve is more conniving than she lets on.  Everyone else just thinks Margo is being paranoid and they start getting annoyed with Margo’s attitude.  Eventually, Eve becomes Margo’s understudy and stands in for Margo at an audition that Margo was 2 hours late for, giving a performance that everyone finds far superior to Margo’s own.  The real question of this movie is whether Eve is as innocent as she seems, or is she was conniving as Margo believes.

I personally wouldn’t give this movie the perfect 100% that it received on Rotten Tomatoes, but it is a pretty good movie.  Without the same affection for older movies that my roommate has, I found the pacing of this movie to be flawed, but it does have a pretty great conclusion.  The biggest issue I had with the movie is that it was almost two and a half hours and I didn’t get that interested until probably the last half hour of the movie.  It’s a bit of a chore to get through, but I’d say it’s worth the wait.  Though it’s perhaps drawn out a little too much, it’s all set up to the conclusion.  I honestly couldn’t tell throughout the entire movie whether Eve was conniving or was just being innocently dragged along through these situations that made Margo suspicious because she was a crazy old coot.  I began to get my suspicions when she was being interviewed by Addison De Witt, and then the moment it was revealed ending up being a pretty big “Damn” moment.  It was also a thought provoking movie, but it kind of needs a ::SPOILER ALERT:: Do I really need a spoiler alert on a 62-year-old movie?  I guess…  Anyway, in the end it’s revealed that Eve is actually manipulating the entire situation in order to get to play Margo’s part and then get noticed and then get a new part that was promised to Margo.  The thought provoking thing happened after the movie, when my roommate and I were discussing it.  His take on the movie was that Eve was a dirty bitch, the same assumption I feel would be made back when the movie was made.  I had a different take.  Though I wouldn’t have supported the decisions Eve was making, I respect her ambition.  What she did was what seemed to be the only option she had to get ahead.  Margo wasn’t going anywhere on her own, so Eve had to do something.  Granted, what she did was the totally bitchy way to go about it, but it worked out for her.  ::END SPOILERS::

I think the performance in this movie that deserves the most credit is the role of cigarettes.  This movie made me believe that people in the 50’s were under the assumption that they could not breathe unless they did so through a cigarette.  Almost everyone in this movie had a cigarette blazing at all times.  They even wake up and immediately light a cigarette!  After that, Anne Baxter was also very good.  Part of the reason Eve was able to keep her intentions a secret is because of the way it was written, but a good deal of the credit belongs to Baxter.  She acted sweet and innocent throughout the bulk of the movie, but was able to make that turn when it was necessary.  After watching the movie, I can’t honestly say that I really understand the appeal of Bette Davis.  She’s nothing special to look at.  She is a pretty good actress, but I don’t really see anything that blows me away and makes me think she should remain a cultural icon.  Speaking of which, Marilyn Monroe is in this movie!  She’s only in the movie for a hot minute, but she is definitely what makes that minute so hot.  I’ve gone back and forth on my feelings towards Marilyn.  She’s always pretty, and she’s always a star and always draws your eye when she’s on camera, but her weight has fluctuated for a couple of her movies.  She’s about as good as I’ve ever seen her look in this movie.

You have to really invest something into this movie to make it worth your while, but if you can make it to the end it ends up being a pretty interesting movie.  Well written, interesting premise, and some pretty great performances.  It just doesn’t really make an impact until almost two hours in.  But it did make an impact on the lungs of everyone involved in this movie since they all smoked like chimneys.  And Marilyn Monroe is hot.  I guess I could say I recommend this movie, especially since you’ve already been warned about how long you have to wait for the good stuff.  I didn’t get that same warning.  All About Eve gets “If nothing else, there’s applause” out of “Slow curtain, the end.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)


The War Between the Sexes is Over.  Men Won the Second Women Started Doing Pole Dancing for Exercise

I felt like it was necessary to follow my reviews of the Rocky franchise with something entirely not-Rocky.  This, of course, led to me renting Warrior from RedBox.  But we’ll get to that in a couple of days.  After a bit of a near death experience I had today, I felt like I needed something life affirming.  And, after my roommate Richard yelled at me for suffering through my crippling pain in silence and driving myself to the ER without telling him even though I had to walk past his room to get to my car, he was able to suggest just the right movie for me.  And it was one that came out within the last 50 years, unlike most of the movies he watches.  Let’s see if this movie affirmed my life in my review of Crazy, Stupid, Love, written by Dan Fogelman, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Jonah Bobo, Analeigh Tipton, Joey King, Beth Littleford, John Carroll Lynch, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon.

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) sits down to dinner with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore).  He orders the salad and she orders a divorce.  Emily confesses that she cheated on him with a coworker of hers, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon) because she was unhappy with their marriage.  Cal does not take it well.  He starts frequenting a bar, getting drunk and talking loudly about his divorce.  Eventually, this catches the attention of Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), who decides to make Cal his pet project, turning call into a womanizer just like him.  Under Jacob’s tutelage, Cal’s first conquest is a teacher named Kate (Marisa Tomei), which will more than likely never come back to haunt him.  But Cal’s is not the only love story that’s not going well.  Cal’s 13-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bob) has fallen in love with his babysitter, 17-year-old Jessica Riley (Analeigh Tipton).  Jessica is having none of the younger Robbie, much preferring the much older Cal, who is in turn having nothing to do with that jailbait.  Jacob also begins to have feelings for a girl named Hannah (Emma Stone).

This is a flawed movie, to be sure, but it’s one I found genuinely likeable.  There were parts to the story I took issue with, but there were also plenty occasions in this movie that caused me to burst into laughter, something most movies don’t have the ability to do (intentionally, at least).  And it did indeed have a happy, life affirming ending.  It didn’t go for the silly convention of tying everything up in a pretty little bow and giving us the happily ever after, but it was close enough and better for it.  Let’s talk about the story first.  I appreciated it for being a really good and deep look at a crumbling marriage and how it affects those around it.  The alcoholism, the depression, the denial, all of these things came into the picture.  In comes the guy that seems to give the character what he really wants with a bunch of strange tail, but all he actually wants is his wife.  It seems to lead you down the path of believing that love is a lie and there’s no such thing as soulmates, but it flips the script on you for the end.  And the part right before the ending was a fantastic and hilarious way to smash together all of the different storylines, but it will require a ::SPOILER ALERT::  Near the end is when it’s revealed that Hannah, who is dating Jacob, is the first child of Cal and Emily.  Cal was casually flippant about the idea that Jacob was settling down with a girl before he knew that this girl was his daughter.  And he had seen too much of Jacob’s sluttier behavior to let that go down.  Of course the rest of the family would like to know how Cal came to know Jacob, but that would cast a negative light on Cal.  The “love triangle” between Cal, his son Robbie, and the babysitter Jessica comes to a head when Jessica’s parents finds that she’s taken nude photos of herself with the intent to give them to Cal.  Jessica’s parents show up and attack Cal as they’re all still working with the Jacob and Hannah situation, and this reveals Robbie’s love for Jessica and Jessica’s love for Cal, which causes more problems.  And then top it all off with David Lindhagen walking in to return Emily’s scarf to her, and shit just goes down.  This was definitely the emotional climax of the movie, and it felt like it should’ve been wrapped up with a good bit of dialogue immediately after this.  That’s not the way they went with it.  They went back to depressing for a bit before bringing us back to a happy ending.  It took a little longer, but it was still satisfying.  But it also was one of the best examples of a big problem I had with the story, but this does not require spoilers so ::END SPOILERS::  I’ve noticed a dangerous trend recently that is at least partially upheld by this movie.  It seems that, in the opinion of the masses, men are stupid and bad and women can do no wrong.  It felt like Cal was getting blamed for everything that was going wrong in this movie.  Yes, I grant that he may have been emotionally disconnected in the relationship, but that’s hardly an excuse to cheat on him.  Then, when it comes out that Cal slept with 9 women after their separation, Emily gets all mad at him.  First of all, we’re separated right now, so it’s none of your gundamned business.  Second, have you forgotten that you also had sex with someone else, but didn’t have the good sense to wait until we were separated?  This kind of stuff got on my nerves, but the movie still managed to be really good and really funny.  Any movie that makes a joke about how shitty Twilight is will be considered alright in my book.

I cannot think of any performance in this movie that I didn’t love.  It’s a star-studded cast and I expected no less from them.  They didn’t disappoint.  Steve Carell has shown us his comedic side and his dramatic side plenty of times before, and he pulls of both here fantastically.  I also like seeing him play drunk, because it’s usually really funny.  Ryan Gosling is probably the reason women would want to see this movie, and he gets his shirt off and shows the world that I am his body double.  Julianne Moore is Carell’s opposite in that she’s known for being a fantastic dramatic actress, but has done some good with comedy as well.  Emma Stone is great times to look at, and does a great deal of comedy as well.  I tend to always find her very charming.  Analeigh Tipton had unconventional good looks in this movie, but is still very attractive.  I kept thinking she looks like a younger, brunette Riki Lindhome, and that’s alright by me.  She also gives a very real performance in this movie.  I think Marisa Tomei tended to steal the show every time she was on camera.  She wasn’t in the movie that often, but when she was she was pretty hilarious as she completely flipped out over thinking Steve Carell had lied to her to get her in the sack, although I’m fairly sure he didn’t.

This movie borders on being a bit of a chick flick, but I found it to be a really good movie nonetheless.  It was well-written though it does seem to hate men, it was incredibly funny in parts, and the performances were all fantastic.  I definitely recommend this movie to you, as a watch, rental, or purchase.  I’ll probably purchase it myself at some point.  Crazy, Stupid, Love gets “Seriously?!  It’s like you’re Photoshopped!” out of “The perfect combination of sexy and cute.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.