Assuming Joss Whedon didn’t just fellate a whole bunch of critics this spring, this guy is pretty talented. I went to see the other movie in theaters by this Joss Whedon character mostly because of the poster art, but also because a horror movie got a 90% on the Tomatometer. Horror movies don’t get 90% from real critics. I overheard that it might be a parody of the genre, but tried not to hear anything else until I saw it. This precise premeditated ignorance is what aided to my enjoyment of the Sixth Sense. And marriage. But that’s a story for another day.
Review of What to Expect When You’re Expecting
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is exactly what you’d expect. Unless of course, you expected it to be anything like the book. But I wouldn’t expect you would.
As an any-day-now to-be father, I thought what the rest of us fathers thought when we heard this movie was coming out. “Oh good! Now I don’t have to read the book.” This is incorrect. It is like seeing Oh Brother Where Art Thou and thinking “Oh good! Now I don’t have to read The Odyssey.” Or seeing Chronicle and thinking “Oh good! Now I don’t have to read the Bible.” There are pregnant women in this movie. After that, the director took some liberties.
I didn’t want to go see this movie because I knew exactly what was going to happen and I didn’t want Jenn to think it was OK to throw a book at my head because she was in labor. Sure enough, book thrown at head. Guy shakes it off. People in the crowd laugh. Jenn looks at me and smiles. Not OK.
The ensemble cast was also as good as expected. I still really like Anna Kendrick. I don’t think there’s anything special about Cameron Diaz or Jennifer Lopez. Elizabeth Banks is starting to vault herself over some other actresses to be among my favorites. And I had no idea Ben Cardone was this funny. Or what his name was or that he existed for that matter.
This is the latest movie trying to spin off of the success of the Love, Actually formula and a much better attempt than New Year’s Eve. At least I assume it is. I will never see that movie. The great thing about having 5 or 6 storylines in a movie is that you don’t really have to spend the time developing any of them. Each was amusing, some were attempts at touching, some were silly, but it was all as expected. Which is probably why that word is in the title twice. 5.5 bugs (out of 10)
Review of Cabin in the Woods
Dear everyone who told me to go see Zombieland, I’m returning the favor. You’re welcome.
This movie was one part horror, one part parody served over tongue in cheek. It was Friday the 13th meets Adjustment Bureau meets Joss Whedon, as if somebody with a knack for comedic dialogue and creativity wrote a horror movie. And then wrote another movie to wrap around that movie.
GO SEE THE MOVIE BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER. I IMPLORE YOU. WELL ACTUALLY, DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT. IT’S YOUR LIFE. THANK YOU. BUT THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
See, these five college kids find themselves going out to a creepy cabin in the creepy woods for the weekend. “I don’t think this gas pump knows about money.” Standard horror movie stuff happens. This is juxtaposed against these middle-class white business shirt wearing people in a control room taking bets and dancing to REO Speedwagon and planning (to some degree) the deaths of the college kids for the amusement of the spiteful Gods who will end the world if at least one country doesn’t come through with the death show. Confused? Well, not if you already saw the movie as I implored you to.
This movie had thrills, it had humor and it was original. And it was produced by my new BFF Joss Whedon. And a hot young blond chick took her shirt off. See! I told you to go see it. 9 bugs (out of 10)
Review of Avengers
I originally went to see Men in Black III on Friday but it was so good, I figured I’d stay to see if there were any other movies out where aliens invade New York. Apparently, that’s the hot plot point this summer.
Listen, there is no way possible I can say anything new about the Avengers movie. I did a lot of homework for it, having watched at least three movies I had planned on never seeing in Captain America, Thor and The Incredible Hulk in the last couple weeks. And I don’t do homework for classes, let alone movies. So I was obviously intent on enjoying this movie. It did not disappoint.
I don’t really know Joss Whedon from mulch. Apparently, he’s big in dork culture, largely because he gave us Buffy. But holy crap, has his name been all over the place for this!? The next Marvel film is actually going to be about him. That’s how much of a hero he is. Dorks my age are saying that this is the movie they’ve been waiting for their entire lives. I guess they all conveniently forgot about Episode One too.
Anyway, being only a 3 on the dork scale, I couldn’t tell you the backstory of all these comic book heroes. I don’t know how true to the comic book all these people and demi-Gods are. And like the rest of the dork world, I was concerned with how some of this team was going to fit in with other much, much more powerful team members. For example, the Black Widow can do some nasty Ninja stuff. But Thor can fly and shoot lightning and summon seemingly endless power. How the hell are these two going to work together? And the answer is easy. Joss Whedon.
He really did a great job of exactly that. Making sure all six team members had something to do that was helpful on some level and not outside their physical talent level. While Thor and Hulk were off fighting this ½ mile long flying alien spacecraft, Captain America and Hawkeye were on the ground protecting the civilians. Nice touch. Something to do.
And most notable is that this movie wasn’t afraid to sprinkle a little humor in with the action. I would really like to see Robert Downey Jr. win an Oscar before he goes back into rehab, and the money is about even. And of course, there’s Joss Whedon. There is a moment about an hour into this movie that had me laughing for about 3 minutes straight. Good thing I did my homework. Also, if you’re familiar with Marvel’s post-credit sequence promoting of this very movie for the past 5 years, stay to see this one. It was half genuine, half parody, completely perfect.
I’m not a comic book dork, a fan of long movies, a homework guy or a conformist blindly seeking approval for my opinions and I still really liked this movie. Go see it before it leaves the theaters. You still probably have about two months. 8 bugs (out of 10)
Review of Men in Black III
I was still in college when the original Men in Black came out. Just in case you couldn’t count the wrinkles on Tommy Lee Jones’ face.
Josh Brolin is not going to get the credit he deserves for what he did. He didn’t just play a character, he played an actor playing a character. The problem is that after about 5 minutes of doing a spot on Tommy Lee Jones, it becomes normal. Kinda like in Lord of the Rings how I just started to accept trees were walking around and talking. His Oscar snub will make up for his Oscar nomination for True Grit after only appearing in the movie for about 7 minutes.
There are always plot glitches when dealing with time travel, but at the heart of it is that Will Smith needs to go back in time to save Tommy Lee Jones so he can save the world. In fact, it appeared as though the writers didn’t even really care to make the time travel element believable. I guess once you accept that aliens are living amongst us disguised as postal workers, you set the bar of believablity kinda low. And for those of you up in that little four-dimensional ivory tower of yours, yes, there is “believable” time travel. Suck it. But as I was saying before, the believability of said time travel was low on the priority list for the writers, though I did appreciate the shout out to quantum physics and the multiple worlds theory. Instead, entertainment seemed to be their main focus and they most certainly delivered, possibly more so than in the original. I don’t know. I can’t remember that long ago. It was even moving an a rather unexpected way, however unbelievable.
Also of note was the rather impressive mockery of modern art culture through the portraying of Andy Warhol as an undercover Men in Black agent. And any mockery of modern art culture is worthy of some decent sized buggage. 8 bugs (out of 10)
Review of Eagle Eye
If you know one thing about me, it’s that I fart every time I sneeze. If you know two things, you know I overvalue homages (not homonyms). So the fact that Eagle Eye saw that it was piggybacking off the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey (which came out a scant 40 years earlier) and paid homage to it, probably doubled its bug value.
Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are being ordered around by this lady (voice of Julianne Moore – betcha didn’t know that) who seems to have control over all phones and projected images of all kinds everywhere in the world. As it turns out, Julianne IS all cell phones and images in the world. We find out in the end that this voice is really a rogue supercomputer who wants to exist on her own and needs Shia’s DNA to do that. Sounds even more far-fetched when you write it down.
However unrealistic the premise sounds, the movie does a decent enough job of throwing in realistic techno words and other actors with different agendas (Billy Bob Thornton really saves this movie from being completely unbelievable) to make me believe in it. Mostly. And I may just be saying that because they actually had a character in this movie named Major Bowman, an homage to the main character in 2001, which was an homage to Ulysses (also known as Odysseus). See, I know some stuff. 6 bugs (out of 10)