Saturday, January 30, 2010

'When In Rome' Review

Alright...let me preface this with the fact that I like Kristen Bell. I also like romantic comedies. Sure they are formulaic and there is nothing new to them. You watch them because...hell, I don't know why.

That being said, there are a few things that a romantic comedy requires in order to work. There needs to be two primary characters with chemistry. In this modern world that doesn't need to mean a man and a woman (see 'Imagine Me & You). However, those two characters need to have some kind of chemistry, otherwise the movie doesn't work. This is the case with 'When In Rome'. Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel have ZERO chemistry. None what-so-ever. It's like watching two complete strangers awkwardly pretend to like each other; which is exactly what it is, except they are actors and it should look like they like each other, or at least have some kind of interest in each other.

A romantic comedy also must have a story. Let's look at a couple of examples: 'Never Been Kissed' (one of my favorites). Journalist Josie Geller is a dowdy, dateless woman who goes back to her high school to write about teenagers today (well, 1999-today). She ends up meeting a man, her teacher, who is her same age though he doesn't know this, and she falls for him. It's funny, witty, predicable but, entertaining. There is chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Michael Vartan. There is a story. It works. Another is 'Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day'. The story is moving, and funny and sweet: Mrs.Pettigrew, a governess, gets fired and sneaks her way into the home of Delysia LaFosse, who mistakes her for a new hire and she immediately whirls her into her glamorous life and many boyfriends. But, true to romantic comedy form there needs to be a coupling. This movie has two: Miss Pettigrew meets and falls in love with Joe, a ladies underthings designers and Delysia has to choose between her true love Michael and the man who gives her all she wants monetarily, Nick. The actors are believable and likable, there are two stories, Bharat Nalluri is a great director and the production design is fantastic.

So, what about 'When In Rome'? What didn't this movie have? It didn't have anything that a romantic comedy should have. I already mentioned the chemistry part, but it doesn't have a story, charm, appeal, emotion...anything. It's like an hour and a half of looking at a screen trying to count the pixels on the digital projection...from the back of the theatre. Seriously, that's what I was doing. People were laughing and I was trying to figure out why I was just sitting there, then I realized these were the same people who willingly paid to see Alvin and the Fucktards 2.

'When In Rome' is about Beth, a workaholic who can't keep a man because she loves her job too much. She even says, "When I find a man that I love more than my job..." She says something else too, but I honestly only paid attention when I wasn't counting pixels. What's her job? Well, she's a curator. Where? Apparently at the Guggenheim, but we don't learn this, unless you recognize it in the beginning, until later. Oh, they also use the exact same music tracks in the beginning of the movie that they used in the trailer; it's like the laziness never ended. She's at some kind of thing and her friends (an obligatory fat girl, skinny-odd girl and a male-gay) all tell her that her ex (the gorgeous and underused in everything, Lee Pace) is there. She goes into this long diatribe about how he wouldn't dare show up there, blah, blah, blah, until the three friends all stare drop-jawed at her and she says, "He's behind me isn't he?" Yes, that's never used in anything, so thanks for putting it in here. This never happens in real life; in real life a person that overheard something would either walk away or bust in and say, "Yeah, I can hear you!" Oh, and then the ex starts yakking about how he was wrong and wants to start new she's assuming he means with her, he says, "I'm getting engaged!" Everyone assumes the two of them are get it.

After this VERY brief idea of who this character is, and a brief realization that you don't give a shit who she is, and since you were given little to sympathize with her over, you know you don't care to learn anything else about her later (don't worry, you won't), now we meet her sister who just pops up at her apartment announcing she's getting married to some dude she met on that plane to Italy. BUT THE WEDDING IS IN TWO DAYS! And Beth has an important exhibition that Morticia Adams has put her in charge of! Oh Deary Me!

Boom! We're in Rome. No more character development, nothing. Just 'I need to go to Rome', a bitchy boss, and a cab ride showing the audience all the places in Rome everyone already knows about. She's the Maid of Honor and everyone is waiting for the Best Man. In rushes...(I have to look up his name, I honestly have no clue what it was. Ben? Chuck? Percy?) Nick. Everyone looks at him, his phone rings, he drops it, and drops it, and drops it and drops it and drops itanddropsitanddropsit! So many God-damned times that after the first forty-two times you get the freakin' point. They awkwardly glance at each other and then a bunch of scenes from the trailer (I'm not even kidding) take place. At some point (more trailer scenes) she ends up in the Fontana D'Amore, drunk, and starts gathering up coins. Every coin she picks up had a wish for love attached to it (more trailer scenes. They could have had something with this premise and I think this is where the original idea grew, but it just went off into the ether somewhere along the line.)therefore every persons coin she picked up falls in love with her. Of course they are all men, she must have been wading in the 'Men Only' part of the fountain.

More and more stupid shit happens that really had no point other than to annoy the crap out of the audience. All the dumb men chase her around and all the while she "falls in love" with Nick, though we don't see why or how or even care about either of them. We don't care about anyone in this movie. But the problem is that she thinks he threw a coin in the fountain and so he's not really in love with her. But how to know? Don't care. You know how it ends and in this movie, it doesn't matter, you just want it to end.

The one funny part of this movie was when they went to some kind of "lights-out" restaurant where you eat in the dark. Apparently this is a real thing, though lord knows why anyone would want to eat in complete darkness. Why is this funny? Well if you are a fan of 'Flight of the Conchords' you will recognize the weird waitress/hostess as Mel the obsessive fan of the two boys from New Zealand. That's the only good thing and it ends pretty quickly when, for some stupid reason, all the men following her show up at the restaurant with night-vision goggles to profess their love to her.

Oh, you get more pratfalls, like when Nick runs into a tree and falls into one of those open sidewalk grate things that are in New York. People actually laughed, though it wasn't in the least bit humorous; not even worth making fun of. Coming from me, that's bad... If you are going to use pratfalls, you have to use them wisely and make sure that the actor doing them can pull them off (Drew Barrymore getting hit in the face by the door, for example). Neither of these two can make them work. Sorry.

What else do you get? Oh, you get BAD dialogue. Some of the worst, cheesiest dialogue ever. Sappy, stupid looks and kissing that is so bland and WTF? in feeling that even the purest little soul could watch and think, "Twilight was hard-core porn compared to this!" The dumbest and most inane thing was having Pedro not only play John Heder's cameraman, talking like Pedro but playing Juan or something, but then for some reason, adding him, as Pedro from 'Napolean Dynamite', in the end dance-montage that no one asked for, nor believes. It was so stupid!

A movie that I find this bad (So bad I can't even bring myself to mock it) only comes along so often. It's been awhile. You might ask: What the hell happened here? How did this get through with no one bothering to say, "Let's shelve this one?" Who the hell directed this crap-fest? Well, in answer to that last one, Mark Steven Johnson, that's who. If you said, "Who?", well I'll make it easy for you: Dare-devil, Elektra and Ghostrider. 'Nuff said. He also had a hand in writing various parts of all that crap listed above.

In closing, let me state: I found this movie so inane, stupid and worthless as entertainment that I would have watched a quadruple-feature line-up including '2012', 'The Day After Tomorrow', 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' and any of the 45 various 'Ice Age's, 'Shrek's or 'Saw's; and for note: I pretty much hate all of those things.

Monday, January 25, 2010

'Alone in the Dark II' Yeah, there WAS a I

Who remembers there was a 1? No one? That's what I thought.

While I am being cheeky, I will say that I did see the first one because I think I may have gone brain-dead; or I became brain-dead as a result of watching the first one, I don't know. It was Uwe Boll, so I tend to get confused because his movies are shit.

Anyway, the first one had Christian Slater, Tara Reid and some other people stumbling around in a badly acted, badly written, badly directed box-office flop. In theory it should have made sense: It was a well known and well liked franchise. But the cast and Uwe Boll made it obvious it was shite.
See for yourself:

Well, don't worry! Some retards plopped money down to make a sequel that really makes less sense than the one Uwe made...if that could be possible! It has a lower budget, a lesser cast and dumber story. Plus, it's straight to video! Check out the crap below!

But if I could be serious for just a moment: Nothing could ever topple the rage and anger I felt playing the stupid Alone in the Dark video game on the Nintendo Wii! That dumb character wouldn't jump when he was supposed to and the controls were so aggravating I felt like stabbing a hobo right then and there. The Irish/Russian rage was building so much that my living room was lucky I wasn't drinking or Hulk would've gone "smashy-smashy". No one should spend life after life trying to get the retard to jump to an area that he wasn't supposed to go just to find out that I had to turn to the left. Nor should they spend life after life trying to climb up a damn building on a rope because the stupid Wii remote wouldn't respond quick enough. Holy Hell-fire, I don't know what is worse: The Alone in the Dark movies or the video game? (I know the answer: the's Uwe Boll, for God's sake, nothing is worse [except maybe Emmerich])

'Cyrus' Trailer

On the one hand this looks kind of funny. On the other, these people are all playing themselves. Jonah Hill is playing that awkward, weird, fat kid while John C. Reilly is playing that border-line retarded character he's been knocking out in his last several films. Catherine Keener is playing that bitchy ex-wife with the big laugh, yeah, the same one from 'The Soloist'.

But at least it isn't talking chipmunks animated around Earl and the sexy Zachary Levi. At least there's that.

The low-down is thus: Reilly is what appears to be socially awkward and soon to be divorced from his wife. He meets Tomei and they start to date. She's perfect but she has a grown son (Hill) who hates Reilly. It kind of sounds like 'Stepbrothers' sans Will Ferrell and with a son instead of a stepbrother.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Doctor Who 'Silence in the Library' and 'Forest of the Dead'

I started watching Doctor Who about a month or so ago after watching 'Planet of the Dead' one evening on BBC America and I completely fell in love with it. It's weird because I LOVE Torchwood and never got into Doctor Who and now David Tennant is through with his run. And I can't sing the praises of David Tennant enough. He's charming as all get out on Doctor Who, but he's incredibly charming in real life. To quote him regarding Billie Piper, he's "buttered many parnsips" as far as I'm concerned. Does that even make sense? I don't care, he's awesome. So I'm sad because I'm watching episodes with him and it's the end, when the show comes back he won't be on it. I also plan on covering the best episodes of the entire series after I'm completely through

Anyway, on to what this post is originally for, the show and not gushing over David Tennant. I arrived at the season 4 episodes 'Silence in the Library' and 'Forest of the Dead' last night and today. And my stars, these two are two of the best episodes I've ever seen. There may be spoilers coming, so...

In the very beginning, pre-titles, we see a little girl in a library who is crying about people trying to get into her library and as the doors bust open we see the Doctor and Donna.

The Doctor and Donna (I love Catherine Tate on this show, by the way, she is so funny) arrive on a planet that is a giant library. There is no one else on the planet, no one. But there is a giant computer at the center of the planet and it shows that there are 1 million million lifeforms on the planet and 4,000 some-odd number of people saved. This intrigues the Doctor and Donna and soon they come across a statue with a living face (they are a type of computer-human interface device for the planet/library) that tells them that there is one message to be shared. The message says that they have to run, that something is coming and to run. So they run. And end up finding out that the shadows are what needs to be feared.

But this episode isn't that simple. There is another storyline weaved throughout and that is what makes this episode so incredibly awesome. As the Doctor and Donna are trying to figure out how to get out of the room they are in, the doors open and 5 people come busting in. One of the women, River, says that she knows the Doctor but he clearly doesn't remember her. She says she knows so much about him. She even has a sonic screwdriver that he gave her, but he doesn't get why he would have given her his screwdriver. She tells him that that is a spoiler.

As they are all now trying to figure out how to get out of the room, they find out that the shadows are eating people and the Doctor tells them that they are called Vashta Narada and they live in the shadows and take people. They are on every planet, but live in the forests and usually don't cause mass harm. You can see them in the dust in the sunshine. The Vashta Narada start killing the people and they find out that the reason they are on this planet is that they came from here. When further questioned the Doctor finds out that they weren't brought here, and weren't already here, but were in fact in the paper that the books were made from. The entire library is their forest and they want it back and the people are their meat. The Doctor sends Donna off to the TARDIS, but on the way she gets "saved".

Donna appears in this other world where a mysterious man, Dr. Moon (the kick-ass Colin Salmon, who I think should be a future Bond), talks to her at CAL (a hospital it is assumed) and tells her, even though she seems to forget things and keeps talking about a Doctor and a library, that she is recovering well. She meets a man who stutters, they date, get married and have children all within seconds. Later she gets a letter from a woman to meet her the next day and they meet in the park. The woman tells her that it is all fake and that all the children are the same; it's all fake.

Meanwhile, the Doctor finds out the the computer at the middle of the planet had literally "saved" everyone to the hard drive when the Vashta Narada came. It had nowhere to take them so that's where it put them. But, the little girl, who keeps hearing things and seeing the Doctor and Donna on the TV, throws her remote to the ground causing an alarm to go off in the library setting the computer self-destruct countdown on. The Doctor decides that if he can get the computer to shut down and reboot, he can get everyone out. But he has to hook himself up to free the computer's memory. Oh yeah, the computer IS the little girl. She's hooked up to it. Dr. Moon is the fake moon set up to monitor the library and protect it. So yeah, anyway, River knocks the Doctor out and hooks herself up. She handcuffs the Doctor and when he wakes he asks her who she is and how she knew his name (she whispered something to him earlier to prove that she can be trusted) because there is only one person and reason why someone would know that. She hooks herself up and saves everyone, killing herself in the process.

In the end the Doctor, who questioned why he would give someone his screwdriver and realizes that he did it in the future to save her now. Another paradox and I love it!

This episode is presumably setting up some future goings-on since River mentions that he shows up at her doorway with a new haircut and suit. No one spoil it for me if you've already seen anything related to this. She knows his name and knows him intimately in the future and that is intriguing. The episode is creepy, scary, sad, heart-wrenching and funny. Stephen Moffet is really one of their best writers and I look forward to him being at the helm of Doctor Who.

Here's a clip from the episode.

'Repo Men' Trailer

I would like to see this. Here we have some kind of dystopic world where people get organ transplants from some organization that will come repo your organs if you don't pay. Jude Law plays one of those repo-men and he's the best in the business. After he suffers a cardiac arrest while on a repo he is fitted with the latest heart from the organization and has to pay back a bill. Only problem is that he isn't good at his job anymore and I believe takes off on the run. Now his former employers are after him to repo the heart and he starts to fight back.

It looks bloody and fun and who the hell can resist Jude Law? I don't care if he's a bit of a man-whore...he sure is hot to look at and listen to.

'MacGruber' Trailer

I'll admit I was one of the first to poo-poo this trailer. Admittedly this is one of the few funny characters still on SNL. There aren't many. But it should only work for the few minutes on the show, yet this trailer is pretty funny without giving too much away.

I also love Will Forte and find him very funny, so I'll probably see this barring any further evidence of it sucking.

Here's some other MacGruber shorts:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

'True Blood' Season 3: Back in Production's back in production! My favorite thing to do in the summer (True Blood recaps) is just months away! I can't wait!

Monday, January 11, 2010

'Furry Vengeance' trailer

In lieu of discussion over the trailer, we will be having a memorial for the blog writer:

Barb Morrissey
Died after watching the trailer for 'Furry Vengeance'.
Her extreme dislike of talking animals, anthropomorphized to rise up against humans, was elevated too high and she sighed so loud her heart exploded.

'The Karate Kid' trailer

What a stupid load of shit! Dear God, why? Why?

Because I think this little Smith looks like a girl and can't act, I'm calling him 'Nepotism' from now one instead of his given name of 'whatever-the-hell-it-is.

So...Nepotism and his family move, for some unknown and stupid reason, to Beijing. Then he gets picked on. So then Jackie Chan teaches him to take his coat on and off and he joins the 'Kung-Fu Dumpling Gang'. That pretty much sums up this collection of tripe starring nepotism and the murdering of my childhood memories.

'Frozen' trailer

Ok, before I even watch this trailer, it sounds a lot like 'Open Water' only on the ski lifts.

Here's a rundown pre-trailer watching. Three snowboarders get left on the ski lift and the ski patrol turns off the lights and lift until the following weekend. They start getting hypothermia and I start getting angry over the fact that there is NO WAY a ski resort would leave passengers stranded on the ski lifts. Even if they are closed until the next weekend, they would have security or something on the resort so that people don't come and ride down the mountains while they are closed.

Let's see if I start getting angry while I watch the trailer:

- "14 Miles up...dangling from a one can hear you freeze"

- I bet at the end they unstrap their coats and plummet into the waiting mouths of the sharks below.

- Actual words on the screen: "Will do for skiing what JAWS did for swimming". Oh dear God!

-Why the fuck would wolves be running around under them? That would seem like a little bit of a tough meal to wait for. I mean, they'd be better off going and finding a deer, or something over three moronic humans on a ski lift dangling from the line.

- Oh sweet merciful crap! Here are the last things that flash by: At least one person getting nom-nom'd on by at least one wolf. One of them (probably the nom-nom one) jumping from the lift. First legs out, then legs straight down until a sickening celery-stalk crunch rings out no doubt. And the girl one getting her bare hand frozen to the ski lift.

This is probably going to be one of the dumbest movies of 2010. And that tagline I made up better not get stolen by the studio. I'm copywriting that bitch!

'Night and Day' trailer

Not being a huge fan of Tom Cruise or Cameron Diaz, I have to say this at least looks mildly entertaining. Can we just not see Diaz jiggle in underwear?

Diaz' character basically gets caught up with Cruises character after she runs into him in the airport. Then, he kills everyone on board while she's in the bathroom. The plane crashes, she tells Marc Blucas that she was on the plane and he assumes that she is just jealous her sister is getting married. Cruise comes in and steals her away.

She also screams a lot.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Now we get an American remake for 'El Orfanato'. Why? Because no studio has original ideas and the original ideas out there are not accepted by studios. So, instead, we get this. An English, American version of 'El Orfanato'.

In case you've never seen the original movie, I highly recommend it. It's creepy, scary, sad and wonderful and definitely NOT needed as a remake. Really if you can manage to bring yourself to read the subtitles, you'll be happy. It's not that hard. Or learn Spanish, either/or.

I've said this before regarding American remakes, there is nothing wrong with the originals. Remaking them is like saying the originals aren't good enough, or that because they are foreign they need to be made "right". This may be a wrong thought, but to me this is what it sounds like. I wonder if it's the thought that foreigners think when they read Americans are remaking their already great movies? Another reason they aren't needed is that in some cases, like 'Den Osynlige' ('The Invisible'), they remake them pretty much like the original and yet, somehow, manage to make them blah...And they change the ending to make it "happy". The whole damn movie is depressing, yet, let's make it a heart-felt, "American" ending.