Friday, August 24, 2012

Hit and Run

My View:   Hit and Run (2012) Dax Shepard plays Charlie Bronson whose girlfriend (Kristen Bell) has a job interview in Los Angeles. Charlie offers to drive her to the interview but there’s one problem – Charlie is in the Witness Protection Program, and there are some bad guys in LA who want to kill him.  Charlie and his girl now have to dodge the Feds, the bad guys and Annie’s ex on their way to the interview. This is what I call a popcorn movie.  Just have fun with it and enjoy both the action and banter. Real life couple Shepard and Bell have great chemistry together, and their scenes on the road trip are enjoyable with back and forth kidding around. Bradley Cooper, in his blond Rasta haircut, is hilarious as the bad guy out to find Charlie, a man whom he feels has betrayed him. Tom Arnold is also surprisingly funny as Charlie's Federal Marshall handler who tends to be a little accident prone. The car chases are quick and action-filled, but it's the funny, smart dialogue and the back and forth play between Bell and Shepard that makes this film go.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Hit and Run Website
My View:  The Expendables 2 (2012) Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) has assembled the Expendable team for what they think is going to be an easy mission. But they soon find that they are in over their heads, and one of the team loses his life. Now it’s time for the Expendables to get their revenge and maybe, if they have time, save the world. This is a film where you must leave your mind at the door because the plot holes in this film are big enough to drive an armored truck through. I enjoyed some of the performances, especially Jason Statham, who the film let do most of the hand-to-hand fighting, and some of the banter, that refers to the stars' former films, was fun to watch and hear.  Some of the entrances of the stars are fun, especially when we get introduced to Chuck Norris's character, but the film doesn't ever quite pull together all the parts, and doesn't really seem to know what to do with all the action star power. The new addition to the team is Nan Yu, who plays Maggie, a Chinese agent assigned to the team to help them complete their assignment.  Yu is an enjoyable addition to the team and shows some wit and good comeback reactions to this boys' club, but, overall, this movie doesn't fulfill its promise.  Please note that this film isn't for young kids.  There is quite a bit of blood splattering about and quite a few F bombs uttered by our heroes.    My Rating: Cable   The Expendables 2 Website
Indiefest:  Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012): Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are one of those couples who love to hang out together, have special catch phrases and can finish off each other sentences. There’s only one problem, though. The cutesy couple is getting a divorce and neither one realizes that they must move on. The script, written by Jones and Will McCormack, who plays Skiltz, one of the couple's friends, has some nice moments, especially at the start, when we see the couple on their way to meet another couple for dinner.  At times, though, this film goes for the easy, cliché laugh, which makes it not quite work on all levels.  Also, there isn't much chemistry between the two leads, and I really began to wonder what the attraction was between the two in the beginning of the relationship. The film has an interesting supporting cast with Elijah Wood and Ari Graynor as some of the couple's friends who are trying to get them to realize that this living arrangement just isn't normal, and Emma Roberts, who stands out as a "Miley Cyrus" like actress who is a client of Celeste's.    My Rating: Cable   Celeste and Jessie Forever Website
Indiefest:   2 Days in New York (2012): Marion (Julie Delpy) and Mingus (Chris Rock) are living together in an apartment in New York and each have children from former relationships. Their world is turned upside down when Marion’s father (Albert Delpy), sister (Alexia Landeau) and her boyfriend, Manu (Alex Nahon), come from France for an extended visit. Trouble is stirred, as Manu was once Marion’s boyfriend and his presence only compounds Marion and Mingus’ relationship, and it's tested as never before. Chris Rock is the highlight of this film giving a very restrained performance of a radio host trying to hold on to his sanity as this French invasion threatens his family's home life. Albert Delpy, Julie Delpy's real life father, is fun to watch as he blusters his way across the NYC streets, and Julie Delpy is excellent as the beautiful, but slightly kooky artist, who fights with her sister at a moment’s notice and then acts as if nothing is out of the ordinary. This is a smart, funny film that is the perfect sequel to Delpy's 2007 film, 2 Days in Paris.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   2 Days in New York Website
Indiefest:  Cosmopolis (2012) A 28 year old billionaire (Robert Pattinson) sets out in his stretch limousine across New York City to get a haircut. By the time he arrives at the barbershop, he encounters a number of people and one who is trying to kill him. This is another one of those films that some critics are going to love (like last week's reviewed film Killer Joe) but that I hated. Directed by David Cronenberg, who is known to do some strange films (Naked Lunch, existent), along with some more mainstream films (The Fly, Crash, A Dangerous Method), this film is more like a stage play where characters come into the limo and get into heavy, philosophical discussions about wealth, money and power while the limo slowly moves across the NYC streets. Fans of Pattinson's Twilight series are going to be disappointed in the lack of plot and the fact that his character doesn't have a lot of redeeming qualities. This is one of those films that you never know whether the film is set in reality or in the imagination of the main character and, in my case, I ended not caring which - I just wanted the film to hurry up and end.    My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Cosmopolis Webiste
Forgotten Film:   The War of the Worlds (1953)  Made at the midst of the cold war, this classic Sci-Fi film holds up rather well, even if at times you can see a few wires hanging from the Mars invaders.   Set in California, the local residents of a small town are mesmerized by a giant meteor, that is until the it turns out that the meteor contains an alien force that sets out to kill anything in its way.  Gene Barry plays, Dr. Forrester, a visiting scientist, who tries to discover a weakness to help defeat the  over power alien force.  Producer George Pal was a master at taking modest budgeted films and making them look like the big Hollywood productions and this film, with is lush colors, great lighting and incredible aliens looks like a film that was ahead of its time.  The storyline keeps moving and the action/special effects (other than the wires visible in a couple of shots) are way ahead of their time.  For those of you with kids, this is a fine introduction into the wonderful world of Science Fiction filmmaking.    My Rating:  Full Price    the War of the Worlds Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of The Expendables 2: Trailer Cleaning Ladies

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:  The Words (2012) A successful writer (Bradley Cooper), who is widely popular, is discovered to have stolen someone else's work. Now he must deal with the consequences and try to make amends. Also stars Zoe Saldana, Jeremy Irons, Olivia Wilde and Dennis Quaid.   The Words Website
Until Next Time!

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