0040 – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review


0040 - The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

CLICK ON MY FACE TO LINK TO THE VIDEO!

 

WATCH REVIEWS HERE!  YouTube  OTHER JOKES HERE!  Twitter  BE A FAN HERE!  Facebook  If you like these reviews so much, spread the word.  Keep me motivated!  Also, if you like them so much, why don’t you marry them?!

Advertisements

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)


You Seriously Think I’m a Cop in a Skintight Red and Blue Suit?

Another week has come when I’ve been able to secure a free Tuesday and used it to get to a movie theater for a double feature.  If I had planned it better, I might have been able to make it to three movies, but I don’t plan things.  I just showed up for the first show of one movie I wanted to see and then found out what the nearest other movie I wanted to see.  That problematically meant that I’d have to sit around outside for an hour proofreading old reviews, but I’ll get to that second movie later.  The first one is a movie I was first not excited to see because they were just rereleasing a comic book movie origin story with a different set of actors, but then trailers for the movie won me over.  And it’s a comic book movie, so I was going to see it either way.  Let’s find out if you should go as I review The Amazing Spider-Man, based on characters created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, written by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, and Steve Kloves, and starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Chris Zylka, Irrfan Khan, C. Thomas Howell, and Stan Lee.

Richard (Campbell Scott) and Mary Parker (Embeth Davidtz) dump their young child off with his Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and leave, seemingly in a hurry and never to be seen again.  Later, he grows into Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield).  Well, he was Peter Parker before he grew up, but you know what I meant.  He’s in high school later in the movie, where he’s a nerd who is bullied by Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is the object of his affections.  At home, Peter finds a briefcase owned by his father, and in it finds paperwork from his studies with herpetologist Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans).  He goes to OsCorp to see what Connors is working on and, while he’s exploring the facility, gets bitten by a genetically modified spider, which helps him develop spider-like abilities like wall crawling, enhanced strength and agility, and a danger-sensing spider sense.  No one could have seen any of this coming.  Well these powers will invariably bring great responsibility, ones that he chooses to ignore when he decides not to stop a robbery because the clerk was a dick and that leads to Uncle Ben being shot and killed.  Peter embarks on a vigilante crusade to find the killer.  Meanwhile, Dr. Connors takes his experiments to help regenerate his arm to the next level by testing on himself, and it winds up turning him into a giant lizard.  Can this man-spider put aside his own quest to defeat this lizard-like creature?  Yeah, probably.

I liked this movie, but some of the stuff fell pretty flat with me.  The story was fine, but I think a lot of the dialogue needed a lot of work.  The story is a bit of a reimagining of the classic Spider-Man story that the majority of us – and certainly the nerdiest of us – have heard numerous times.  Peter Parker gets bitten by a spider that’s been tested on somehow, he gets special powers, his uncle gets killed in some way that is arguably Peter’s fault, and he becomes Spider-Man.  That’s all the same.  This time the story was a little more modernized as genetic engineering is more of a today thing than radioactivity.  That was a big deal closer to the time Spider-Man was created and that’s why that was 90% of their origin stories.  They also go with a common store robbery to get things started instead of having Spider-Man be ripped off by his wresting promoter.  I have a feeling the store robbery is a more common thing there too.  The only problem with that is that I’m with Peter: I would’ve let that dude rob that douche hole of a store clerk too.  Sure, it worked out poorly for him this time, but the lesson needed to be learned.  But I’m not the kind of nerd that thinks things can’t be changed because they’re gospel, but I am still pleased that they stuck to the basics.  The Tobey McGuire movie stuck more towards the story I knew, but this movie also had the web shooters instead of Peter making webs out of his own wrists.  It was perhaps a little shaky in how they made Peter intelligent.  He was indeed smart, but he also left his camera with “Property of Peter Parker” written on the back of it for an enemy to find, so I’d say he’s not quite smart enough.  He also takes off his mask far too much for my liking.  I’ll take your word for it that it’s still Peter, but what’s the purpose of wearing a mask if you can’t go five minutes without taking it off in front of a kid or the police?  They also didn’t go for the Mary Jane character in this movie, probably because Kirsten Dunst already uglied up that role a while ago.  Gwen Stacy is an acceptable substitute.

I’d say the biggest problem I found with this movie is the dialogue.  Spider-Man had a good couple of one-liners in him that were amusing, but much of the dialogue just falls flat.  I feel like it’s most evident whenever Peter and Gwen were talking.  I understand that they’re supposed to like each other and probably be nervous with each other, but it just seemed like no one actually wrote dialogue sometimes, telling the actors to go out there and make it up as they go along, but neither one had anything to say.  The best example is the scene they show after the credits, where a hidden figure asks Connors if Peter knows about his father and Connors just says, “No.”  Good one, bro.  I did like the use of Peter’s cell phone to listen to the voicemail from Uncle Ben posthumously.  It felt like Superman listening to the message from his father, Jor-El, after his death.  Maybe it’s just because Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando were in Apocalypse Now together.

The look of the movie was also great times.  There were no parts of the movie that were horribly computer generated as in the first Spider-Man movie, so crawling up the walls looks great.  The suit looks just as good as always, and I really liked how they unveiled it slowly, piece by piece, until the full reveal after seeing Spider-Man through a first-person perspective that finally revealed it by having him land on a reflective building.  They use reflection to good effect later on too when Connors is standing by a glass door and looking at his reflection in a way that looks like he has both of his arms.  I didn’t like this door later because seeing “Curtis” in a reflection apparently makes me read “Citrus” for a while and get really confused.  There’s also a part of the movie where Spider-Man is trying to find the Lizard in the sewers and shoots webs down all the different tunnels and waits in the web until one of them vibrates to tell him something is down there.  I thought this was a really clever idea on the part of the writers, taken straight from nature.  I liked all of the action scenes in the movie too.  Spider-Man never used his webs so well in a fight in the other movies.  He balls up the lizard with them, pulls himself through the lizard’s legs, and pretty much uses his webs in every imaginable way.  It was all very exciting.

I liked all the performances in this movie, but it seems like they got some pretty solid actors to do this stuff.  I think I prefer Tobey McGuire, but Andrew Garfield did a commendable job.  He had all the wit and charm as Spider-Man, and all the nervousness and lack of confidence as Peter.  I much prefer Emma Stone to Kirsten Dunst, though.  I’ll go into it more when I get around to the first three Spider-Man movies, but Mary Jane was supposed to be a supermodel whereas Gwen Stacy was just a regular girl.  I suppose they went with Emma Stone because they couldn’t find many actresses uglier than Dunst.  Yeah, I said it!  Maggie Gyllenhaal was probably unavailable.  Well they just got tired of looking so they hired someone good looking instead.  And she’s incredibly cute and charming in this movie.  I also liked how she used every man’s weakness against her father when she was trying to hide the fact that Peter was in her room.  Women probably already know this, but if you start talking about cramps and menstruation stuff, most men (myself included), will curl up into a ball and start humming to themselves while crying.  I really liked Denis Leary as her father too.  He was funny while still being intimidating to Peter in every way.  I think the Lizard was a great villain to go to, the other big ones already having been used in the other movies.  I was also a fan of him because my dad was a herpetologist, which makes them the best kind of people.  Rhys Ifans also does a great job at it.  One could expect that Stan Lee would also be popping in for a bit in this movie.  I say make sure you look out for his scene, because it’s phenomenal, and quite possibly the best scene he’s ever been in for one of these movies.

Though I don’t necessarily feel that Spider-Man required a reboot so soon, they did a pretty good job of it.  The story is the same one we’ve seen in the comic books for the most part, but the changes they made were welcome and added a little bit more modern feel to the Spider-Man story.  The look was great, the action was fantastic and exciting, and I liked all of the performances, some even better than the original movie (Kirsten Dunst!).  The only complaint I have about this movie is that there is a large amount of dialogue that falls flat.  Altogether, I was satisfied with the rebooted Spider-Man, and I think you will be too.  It’s worth catching in a theater, but I’m guessing it won’t blow your mind.  The Amazing Spider-Man gets “I think he’s trying to do something maybe the police can’t” out of “Your father and I were going to change the lives of billions.”

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 and Twitter.  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.

The Help (2011)


You is Kind. You is Smart. And You Really Want to Be More Important Than You Probably is.

I was not excited to watch today’s movie, and not just for fear of how many racist/sexist jokes I might make. I liked who I knew in the cast, had been told really good things about other people in the cast, but I have gone on record in saying that I am not a fan of dramas. I don’t know why I would want to pay money to go somewhere and feel bad for myself. And to make that worse, why would I pay money to have a movie make me feel bad for being white? And that’s exactly what I expected out of The Help. Either that, or a movie about how liberated and progressive Emma Stone is, and how she should be praised as a superhero for black people. Either way, I didn’t want to do that. So when my coworker, Samrizon, suggested that I watch and review this movie, I said okay. ‘Cause that’s how I do, people! The Help was an adaptation of a novel by Kathryn Stockett, written and directed for screen by Tate Taylor, and stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia L. Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Allison Janney, Mary Steenburgen, Aunjanue Ellis, Sissy Spacek, Ahna O’Reilly, and Cicely Tyson. Let’s find out how many times I yelled “Go on, Soul Sister!” during this movie.

Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) has just moved back home after graduating, and takes up employment with a “homemaker hints” column in the local newspaper. She goes to the maid, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis), for advice for the column, but this is short lived as Aibileen’s boss, Elizabeth Leefolt (Ahna O’Reilly), thinks it’s getting in the way of Aibileen’s work. Meanwhile, another white woman named Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a dirty, racist bitch. She fires her maid, Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), for using her white people toilet with Minny’s black booty, just ’cause there was a hurricane going on outside and Minny didn’t want to go out there to use the outdoors, black people toilet. Publisher Elain Stein (Mary Steenburgen) gives Skeeter the idea that she should write something she cares about that no one wants to talk about. That gives Skeeter the idea to interview all of the black maids and put their stories into a book that she can take credit for, but the maids argue her down to not giving anyone credit for it and just telling the stories.

This movie is thoroughly okay. I think it’s probably the story that held me back the most. I mean, we had a good arrangement going and Skeeter had to go and muck it all up. Okay, that’s not what I meant. It just all seemed a little obvious, and I wasn’t able to connect to it. I know that things were shitty for black people back in the 50’s or 60’s, but I wasn’t there and I wasn’t black so I can’t connect. I could connect with white males, sure, but there were barely any in this movie. All this being the case, I couldn’t judge my feelings about what was happening in the movie from experience. Judging it from today’s standards and all of the white people are pretty on the nose in their depictions, and the situations all seem a bit melodramatic. There’s the white girl that is super progressive for her time and regards the black people as equals or better, there’s the white girl who is openly and aggressively racist, there’s the old mother who seems to have found the error of her ways in her old age, and the old mother who loves her maid but is too afraid to be different in order to defend her. There’s also a good deal of Breakfast Club-style archetypes in this movie with Howard as the leader of the popular club, Stone as the artsy quasi-outcast, and Jessica Chastain as the girl that’s an outcast because she’s with the queen bee’s ex-boyfriend. It does have a good message, but one that is nowhere near as powerful today as it would have been back then. Not that racism is gone today or anything, but most people going to see this movie probably don’t have experience dealing with racism on that level. Then again, I’m a white guy, so what do I know? If I was writing this review in the 60’s, I would only be seeing status quo and not racism, and I would be worshiped as a God because I owned a computer and had the internet.

There were a couple of things that didn’t make any sense to me in this movie. First off, why put a shot of a good lookin woman like Emma Stone in her underwear if you’re gonna make her wear that gross, period-correct underwear. Underwear was gross back in the day. There’s also a scene where Emma Stone’s mother, Allison Janney, wakes Emma up and her reaction is so weird that it threw me off. She yelled “No” as she was waking up in a way that seemed more like her mom was killing a puppy in front of her than just her not wanting to wake up yet. There was a major storyline going on in the movie about Bryce Dallas Howard hating Jessica Chastain, but I never really understood why. They mentioned that Howard thought Chastain had been fucking Howard’s boyfriend while they were still dating, but her reaction seemed a little much for something that wasn’t actually happening. There’s also a part in the movie where Minnie gets back at Hilly by feeding her a pie with her shit in it. That’s real. Howard was such a bitch in the movie that my problem clearly isn’t the fact that she ate shit, but how much sugar would it take to make a pie not only edible with shit in it, but Howard seemed to think it was delicious!

The performances in the movie range from pretty good to fantastic. Emma Stone was pretty good, and had a couple good moments based around her maid Constantine (Cicely Tyson), who had raised her more than her mother, but was recently fired by her mother. The rest of the time she was fine, but not spellbinding. Viola Davis was almost always spellbinding. I don’t know that I’ve seen her in a movie before, but she was good as shit. When she told the story about her son to Skeeter, it was heartbreaking. I hated Bryce Dallas Howard’s guts throughout the movie, but it’s not a negative for her because that’s the reaction you’re supposed to have to that character. She’s always got this happy, nice facade up, but underneath she’s a snooty, hateful bitch. She’s not so much a racist, but only because she seems to be shitty to everyone. I guess she does kick it up a notch for black people. Octavia Spencer was good, but I don’t recall any parts where she really caught my attention except in the scenes where she interacted with Jessica Chastain. I liked their relationship a lot. Chastain’s character was probably the second white person who wasn’t a racist in the movie, not because she was taking a stand like Emma Stone, but because she just seemed too innocent, as if she just wasn’t aware of the fact that she was supposed to be racist. Sissy Spacek was as good as she always is, but she didn’t have many emotional scenes. She actually worked mostly as comic relief in this movie. She was losing her memory, but having fun with it. And I totally believe Spacek as Howard’s mother. Them’s good casting.

The Help is a fine movie that just doesn’t connect with this shut-in white guy. The story’s fine but perhaps a bit obvious, with characters that are well-performed but written a little heavy with the archetypes. I got this movie from a RedBox and I feel satisfied with the experience for a dollar. I think you will be too. And if you have to wait for it to arrive from Netflix, probably the same. I can’t say that I like this movie enough to run out and buy it, but if I see it on sale, maybe. The Help gets “Fried chicken just tend to make you feel better about life” out of “That’s a quote from the movie. Don’t call me a racist!”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Friends with Benefits (2011)


Let’s Play Tennis

Today ended up being a pretty rough day for me when it comes to reviews. Not because I didn’t have time to review anything but had to force one in, but because I watched 3 movies and want to do all 3 reviews back to back. These three movies are all comedies, but much different types of comedies that you will be presented with over the next 3 days. First on my list is the 3rd part to the epic and unrelated friends who fuck each other but won’t get into a relationship series. I saw No Strings Attached before I started doing reviews, so I assume I will need to back track to it eventually to write the review for it. Love and Other Drugs I saw and reviewed already. That leaves only one: Friends with Benefits, written by Harley Peyton, Keith Merryman, and David A. Newman, directed by Will Gluck, and starring Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Richard Jenkins, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, and Woody Harrelson, with notable cameos by Emma Stone, Andy Samberg, Shaun White, and Masi Oka.

Dylan (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis) get dumped by their respective significant others, Emma Stone and Andy Samberg, at the very beginning of the movie, and that makes them gunshy about any future relationships. Dylan, an art director for a small internet company, goes to New York City to take a meeting with GQ about a job offer and Jamie is sent to try to convince him it’s a good idea. The two hit it off and Jamie really sells him on NYC, so he takes the job. They become pretty good friends pretty quickly. One day, while mocking a romantic comedy, Dylan proposes the idea that the two of them should bump uglies – or in their case, bump ridiculously hot and handsomes – and just be friends. This goes really awesome for them for a long time. Jamie starts dating a guy named Parker, who ditches out on her after they have sex. Dylan proposes that she accompany him back to LA to visit his family, sister Annie (Jenna Elfman) and father (Richard Jenkins). On this trip, their feelings start to interfere with their awesome fuck-buddyship. It’s a rom-com, so you can expect a good bit of happily ever after.

Having seen all three sex buddy rom-coms, I can say this one is by far the best. Love and Other Drugs was too much drama and way not enough funny, and, though Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are a pretty pair, you can give us TOO much nudity. No Strings Attached was funnier than Love and Other Drugs by a lot, and the drama wasn’t as heavy, and Portman is a great actress, but she was dragged down a lot by the not very likeable Kutch. Friends with Benefits manages to hit a nice sweet spot in all categories. Timberlake and Kunis are both good looking enough to appeal to any human with normal sexuality, and we don’t see everything so we don’t get bored with looking at them naked. There is a good deal of comedy to the movie and a fair amount of drama, but nowhere near enough to call this melodrama like Love and Other Drugs. It was light drama, so we don’t get depressed in the middle of our comedy. The pair in this movie have a lot of good dialogue written for them. The first act of the movie is filled with great back and forth between the two stars, and most of it is pretty funny. Their banter suffers a little once the fucking begins, but that might be in part that I was desperately searching for a little more nudity from Kunis. And the search is what I want. Once you give it to me, I’m satisfied. When you beat me over the head with it, I’m bored. Their banter gets back to form getting towards the end of the movie. I especially liked when Kunis was making fun of Timberlake for the fact that he used to like Kris Kross, and Timberlake busts a rap from “Jump”. One problem I had with the movie was that they sat around mocking a rom-com for using manipulative music and all the typical things from rom-coms, but they use most of these staples in their own movie. I’m sure it was done to be a little tongue-in-cheek, but it more served to just point out those things and make us notice them in their own movie. One such cliche is them sitting on the Hollywood sign, although that did end in some good funny. One thing they did that I don’t recall ever seeing is that they had Annie’s son (the aspiring magician) have his arm catch on fire, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid catch fire in a movie. Also, if a movie wants to stand out so much, they should make the girl go after the guy for a change. Do we have to do ALL the heavy lifting just because of our greater upper body strength, ladies?

I had refused to allow myself to say this for a long time, but I like Justin Timberlake. *NSYNC was awful enough to make me hate him for a long time, but his appearances on SNL and Jimmy Fallon made me think he may be able to do some decent comedy. Friends with Benefit only supports that. He’s both charming and funny in this movie, and good-looking and naked enough that ladies and gays would be all over it. For the mens and other gays, Mila Kunis is hot. Real hot. And pretty damned funny to boot. She’s also charming and funny, and both actors put on a pretty good performance during the short-lived drama parts. The things they said to each other in the inevitable part where they get angry at each other would sting pretty badly in a real fight as well. Richard Jenkins doesn’t add much comedy as Timberlake’s father, but he adds some heart to his parts because of his advancing Alzheimer’s. On the exact opposite side, Patricia Clarkson doesn’t bring much drama, but brings plenty of humor as Kunis’ hippie mom. She’s almost as funny here as she was in Easy A. It’s not too much of a surprise that Jenna Elfman does some good funny in her short time in the movie. One of my favorite things she did seemed improvised, when they were having dinner and Timberlake and Jenkins were talking about sports, and Elfman was sitting to the side mumbling to herself “We get it, you guys like sports.” blah blah blah. Also not in the movie very long, but very enjoyable and original in his performance, was Woody Harrelson. He played a very masculine sports columnist, but he was also very, VERY gay. He talked with Timberlake in a way that most guys talk to each other in movies, but instead of pussy, he was all about the wang. The cameo performances are nice, but don’t really add much to the movie.

I can thoroughly recommend this movie to you guys. I got it from RedBox, so it didn’t cost me very much money to watch this, and I don’t really feel the need to go out and buy it immediately, but I will probably add it to my collection eventually. I think you’d do well to put it on your Netflix queue or your RedBox reserve. Guys have Kunis, Girls have Timberlake, and both get a good amount of funny and an interesting enough story, with pretty good performances throughout. If you’re only going to see one of the plethora of “friend fucking movies”, I recommend this one. Friends with Benefits gets “Your breasts. They intrigue me” out of “I can work with that”.

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Zombieland (2009)


Another request review, comin’ atcha!  Today I picked the non-horrible movie that I think my friend Loni suggested, Zombieland.  This movie has only 7 names in the acting credits, and stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Amber Heard, and a surprise appearance by the great Bill Murray.

Zombieland is the story of a guy known to us only as Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a neurotic guy trying to survive in a world overrun with zombies, a task he accomplishes by making and following a set of rules.  He’s trying to get back to his parents in Columbus, Ohio when he comes across a guy we only know as Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a man trying to survive in a world overrun with zombies, a task he accomplishes by being a total, zombie-killing badass.  Tallahassee is trying to survive, but more than that, he’s trying to find a Twinkie.  Tallahassee and Columbus team up and, on a raid of a supermarket to find said Twinkie, they meet two sisters, and the younger one has been bitten.  Tallahassee agrees to shoot her to put her out of her misery, but then her older sister says that she’ll do it.  Tallahassee gives the gun to her, just to have her turn it on Tallahassee and Columbus, robbing the two of their weapons and car.  Turns out these two, Witchita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), are two girls trying to survive, a task they accomplish by conning people and leaving them to rot.  So they drive off and leave Tallahassee and Columbus to rot.  Tallahassee and Columbus soon stumble across an abandoned, but working, replacement vehicle with a backseat full of abandoned, but working, shit-ton of weapons.  Back on the road, they find their car with “HELP” written on the side.  Fearing another con, Tallahassee goes to check out the car alone.  When he calls Columbus to bring their new wheels down, he does, bringing Little Rock with him.  They’ve been conned again!  But this time, Witchita and and Little Rock don’t leave them to rot, and take them along.  Turns out Witchita and Little Rock are going to an amusement park in California they have heard is zombie-free, and Tallahassee and Columbus go along because Tallahassee has nothing better to do, and Columbus wants him some Emma Stone.  Who could blame him?

I don’t know that I would say this movie is universally awesome, but it may be the winner of the “Movie Made for Robert” award.  You can find that out right from the get-go, while the opening scene is the credits rolling over brutal zombie killings with “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica playing.  Later, when some Van Halen is playing, and later still, when Bill Murray shows up, you may be pretty sure that someone loved me so much they wanted to give me the gift of this movie.  And what a gift it was!

There’s a lot of great to this movie.  It’s very funny and full of gruesome zombie deaths.  I’m also a big fan of the on screen messages that pop up.  As Columbus’ rules pop up on screen, they can be interacted with and movie to some comic effect.  Also, I’m totally with Tallahassee at some point in this movie when he finds a Hostess truck but, much to his chagrin, it’s full of Snowballs.  I’m with you; Snowballs suck.  I’d actually prefer a truck of Cupcakes, but I’d take Twinkie’s too.

All of the very small cast was great.  Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin pissed me off for about the first half of the movie, but that was what they were supposed to do.  I wanted one of them to get punched in the mouth the second time they went to carjack Woody and Jesse.  I just realized that their names were the cowboys in Toy Story, the guy and the girl.  Just thought you should follow my thought process there.  The two girls are very self centered, which annoyed me but, when I think about it, that’s how you have to be in the zombie apocalypse.  The more people you get attached to, the more likely you are to meet a gruesome death.  Jesse plays a similar part to every roll I’ve ever seen the man in, but he plays it well.  And Woody Harrelson is a bona fide badass throughout the entire movie, but has a really touching moment when we realize that the puppy he’s been talking about losing since early in the movie was actually his son.  Also, watching him at the amusement park in the end of the movie is the most fun killing zombies, and the most fun watching zombies die, that has been captured on film to this day.

I had to really think about any negatives I could give to this movie, and the only one I had was at the very end.  That moment is when Columbus realizes he has to be a hero – deliberately going against one of his rules – in order to save Witchita and Little Rock from a zombie clown (having mentioned earlier in the movie that he fears clowns more than zombies).  The problem with this scene is that it’s a climax that’s very anticlimactic.  It should have been a battle that Columbus barely survives, but instead he sweeps the clown’s legs with a “Test Your Might” hammer, and then smashes his head with it.  It took all of 8 seconds.  Not enough of a negative to throw off my affection for the movie by a long shot, but a bit anticlimactic.

So, this movie is awesome.  You should own it.  Go do so.  I give it “Thanks for my movie, guys” out of 14.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others.  It may help me get better.