Friday, September 14, 2012

Movie Review - God Bless America

Having seen a preview for this movie I knew that I had to watch it.  The movie is "God Bless America"  IMDB - Post

The movie had a bit of a slow start but it had a big finish.  There were scenes that were absolutely true and so very funny.  I am of course getting ahead of myself as I always do, let's start at the beginning.

This film tells the story of Frank, a down on his luck average over 30 american.  Frank (who is played by Joel Murray) is in quite the down spot when we meet him.  Laying in his bed in his apartment you hear a screaming child and two people yelling at the TV.  There is a scene here that is a bit over the top but thankfully it is shot in a way that doesn't over dramatize it.  On his way to work we find out that he is divorced and that his 10 year old daughter wants nothing to do with him.  Once he makes it to work he flirts a little with the secretary and loans her a book to read.  This seems not much more than inocent office banter.  However we find out that the secretary has filed a sexual harassment charge against him and Frank gets fired because of it.

Now that Frank has no job, no family, and white trash neighbors who have no respect for his privacy Frank gets out his gun and decides to end his life.  Contemplating his suicide he is staring at the TV when a horrible reality show comes on.  He is watching Chloe, a spoiled teenage girl who has rich parents that buy her anything she wants.  The parents buy her a brand new reliable car and she is pissed it isn't an Escalade. Frank suddenly has a revelation, this girl must die.  She is not a good person, she is selfish and has a bad temper that she can't control.

We cut to a scene of Frank sitting in the woods waiting for Chloe to get out of school when Roxy stumbles upon him.  Roxy (as played by Tara Lynne Barr) thinks that he is a stalker pedophile and calls him such as she heads into school.  Later when Chloe is getting in her car Frank handcuffs her to the steering wheel and stuffs a rag in the gas tank and lights it on fire.  The rag falls out of the gas tank and he tries to grab it and stuff it back into the gas tank when Chloe's friends show up.  Faced with a tough decision he simply shoots her in the head and runs off.

On his way back to his car he finds Roxy watching him.  She asks if he just killed Chloe which of course he says yes he did.  At this point Roxy totally asks to come with Frank so they can kill more idiots who deserve to die.  This pretty much starts their killing spree which is equal parts serious and humor.  I'm sure that many of the people that they kill are based on real people.  There are some I recognize and many others I do not.

The movie is absolutely amusing to watch.  There are a few awkward moments between Frank and Roxy I could live without.  Although I attribute this to her being so wrapped up in the adventure she is just throwing caution to the wind.  I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who isn't squeamish about blood and guts, and loves a good comedy action film.

For the above reasons I am rating this film four and a half smiley Mike heads.

There was a moment at the end that kinda upset me.  It seemed thrown in and not well thought out, if it wasn't for this I would have given it five smiley Mike heads.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Movie Review - Griff the Invisible

Well, I certainly have an eye for odd movies, and this one is no exception.  The movie is Griff the Invisible IMDB - Post

This is a would be superhero movie, except the superhero is not what he seems in this film.  We follow the main character Griff as he fights crime and keeps his neighborhood safe.  As we progress in the film we meet Griff's brother Tim.  Tim stops by with his new girl in his life Melody, and Griff is afraid that Tim and Melody will see his super suit which is hidden behind a curtain in his living room.

There is a moment in this meeting where Griff and Melody seem to have a shared moment.  We soon find out that Melody is not quite what she seems either.  Awkward and shyly Melody doesn't think like regular people.  She has ambitions of walking through walls but she explains it in a truly scientific way.    

Griff continues to work at his day job at a shipping carrier in the customs office.  He does not fit in at work and there is Tony that is constantly tormenting him.  It turns out that Griff makes an Invisible suit and breaks into work to setup a gag to get back at Tony.  It is shortly after this where we find out that Griff was not invisible and he was caught on film.

This is the point in the film where you start to question whether or not Griff's reality is truly real.  They go back and forth between reality and fantasy at this point making things a bit confusing to figure out what was really going on.  Although I must state I had many interruptions and several breaks during the viewing of this movie.  So if I had a quieter and less distracted viewing experience I might have been less confused.

Melody keeps finding reasons to come over to see Griff and certainly is interested in him.  Griff is clueless as to Melody's intentions and is just worried about her revealing his secret identity.

At the end you find that both Tim and Melody both want what they think is best for Griff.  However they are at totally different ends of the spectrum.  Melody wants him to embrace his fantasy and Tim of course just wants Griff to be normal like everyone else.

In the end we have a great finish to the film and everything seems to get tidied up.

It had a love story in there but it was buried in the middle of the chaos that is part of the film.  I just couldn't seem to get into the film.

I rate this film three and a half out of five smiley Mike heads.  If it wasn't quite so in and out of reality and confusing I perhaps would have rated it a bit higher.  I must also admit that the ending seemed to just come out of nowhere.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Movie Review - Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

This is going to be a very short review.  I only watched about 15 minutes of this movie before I shut it off.  The movie is Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie.  IMDB - Post

This has to be the gayest movie I have ever seen, I mean that literally though.  Both Tim and Eric act like they are gay, the clothes they wear, the way they kiss each other on random body parts.

There are not enough bad things to say about this movie.  I can't believe that some of the actors in this film agreed to be in this film.

Please for the love of god or whatever dieity you prefer to pay homage to do NOT watch this movie.  Reading the description on the back of the box I knew it was going to be silly, cheesy but I didn't expect the large amounts of stupid and just pointlessness that is this movie.

I'm not sure if it was going to get better but I wasn't going to find out.

I rate this movie one negative smiley Mike head.

I hope if you do watch this film despite me telling you not to that you might find some redeeming quality that I was unable to find.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Movie Review - An Invisible Sign

This was one of those movies that shows the main character at a low point in their lives.  Unfortunately this movie show our main character so low in her life you wonder if it is ever going to get better.

The movie is called An Invisible Sign IMDB - Post.

This film stars the very attractive Jessica Alba as Mona Gray.  We start with Mona as a young woman and we build a great relationship with her family.  She is especially close to her father a math professor who one day has some sort of medical emergency and is no longer all there in the head.

Mona obsessed with the idea that she can somehow make her father better if she could just act a certain way or find a perfect number.  Mona spends the rest of her childhood with this concept stuck in her head.  We quickly find out that the grown up Mona has not actually lived her life.  She has been trapped in her own little world trying to make her father better through her own actions.

Her mother seeing this decides enough is enough, and kicks her out of the house.  She forces her to get an apartment and find a job to support herself.  Her mother tells a few lies to get her into the school as a kindergarten math teacher.  This is where I would expect the hilarity to begin, (sort of like a Kindergarten Cop with Schwarzenegger screaming "It's not a tumor") however her time as a teacher is just really awkward to watch as she gets bullied and teased by the children and some of their parents.

One of the Ben Smith a fellow teacher notices her and begins to fall in love with her.  This budding romance is totally eclipsed by Mona's odd almost obsessive compulsive disorder behavior.  She can't admit to herself that she can have feelings for anyone other than her father.

Ben Smith as played by Chris Messina is a very cool science teacher who is lighthearted and funny.  Chris is nothing if not persistent, he continuously flirts with Mona to get her attention.

There are some really great actors in this movie and the acting is actually quite great, it just the writing that throws me here.  Among one of my favorites is John Shea who plays Mona's father, he is best know for his role as Lex Luthor in the TV series Lois and Clark: The new adventures of Superman.  He does a superb job playing the mentally unstable father.  We also have J.K. Simmons perhaps best know for his role as J. Jonah Jameson from the Spiderman Trilogy movies.  He plays Mona's math teacher in the elementary school where she is now teaching.  He is very quirky and interesting to watch in this role.

Despite the great acting I found myself physically cringing during certain scenes and simply uncomfortable with others.  Despite the fact that this movie does have a happy, if somewhat unrealistic ending does not save it from my chopping block.  It feels like by the time you get to the happy you have been dragged through the shit for so long your just glad the movie is over with.

For the many reasons that I have listed above I have to rate this movie two smiley Mike heads.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Movie Review - Black Lightning (Chernaya Molniya)

I'm pretty sure this is my first Russian film that I have ever seen.  The film is Black Lightning (Chernaya Molniya). IMDB - Post  At the bottom of this post is my First Ever Video Movie Review.

I will put out this warning though, THIS IS A SUBTITLED FILM.  It is all in Russian with English subtitles.  I actually prefer my foreign films this way, since most English dubbed versions are terrible.

I was actually quite surprised by this film, I was expecting cheese and instead I got wine.  The acting was quite exceptional, everyone was spot on with their rolls.  There is a clear bad guy and of course there is a good guy as well.

The film starts with off in the 60's with a man obsessed with mining a huge diamond vein running directly under Moscow.  His giant penis looking drill doesn't have enough power to penetrate the mound to get at the diamonds.  Of course this sounds entirely like a personal problem to me.  However this problem sets Kuptsov on the path that helps bring about the plot of the movie.  Kuptsov then sets off in search of the Nanocatalyst, an unlimited power source.

We flash forward 30 years to the story of Dima.  He is a teenager who is going to college and lives with his family.  They are very poor and live in a poor neighborhood.  Dima who is going to a pretty fancy college and is friends with Maks.  Maks is a rich kid who's parents give him everything he wants.  The two make a stark contrast as they hang out together.  This is when they meet the new girl Nastya, and pretty quickly they are both vying for her affections.

Dima then goes home to find out that his parents have purchased him a 1956 Volga for his birthday.  The car has a matte black paint job and looks a beat up.  It is definitely an old car at this point in its life.  Embarrassed by the car Dima doesn't want to be seen in it.  Although he doesn't want to disappoint his family who worked hard to buy it for him.  Dima drives it far enough his family can't see him and then he parks it and tries to hop on the bus to school.

Trying to get to class on time for a lecture, another man who is also trying to get on the bus and asks him for his help getting on.  When Dima helps the obviously inebriated man get on the bus the man turns to thank him and blocks his way onto the bus and it takes off without him.  Of course this makes him late for his class.

When Dima gets to class he tries to sneak into the lecture.  Although the lecturer who turns out to be Kuptsov, decides to embarrassing him in front of the class for being late.  Dima undiscouraged by the embarrassment ends up talking to Kuptsov after the lecture is over.  Kuptsov gives him some advice, he says to Dima "Never help anyone if you want to get ahead in life".  

At this point Kuptsov's men find the lab where the Nanocatalyst was created.  Finding the plans for this they realize the Nanocatalyst was built into a car, and they know it is in a Volga.  Kuptsov knowing this sends his men into the city to find the Volga.  They start stopping and questioning everyone in the city who is driving a Volga.

Later when Dima get home His father asks him to go for a ride in his new car.  His father tells Dima to stop the car when he sees a mugger take some lady's purse.  Dima warns his father that the mugger might be involved with a gang or the mob.  His father jumps out of the car and quickly stops the mugger and gets the lady's purse back.  His father tries to explain how hard work and kindness will make you happy in life.  Dima again tells his father how dangerous it was to intervene.  They argue and his father gets out of the car.

Kuptsov's men see his father get out of the car but they don't want to lose the Volga so they pass him by.  They continue to follow him and Dima realizes he is being followed.  He of course thinks that the mob is trying to kill him for his father's intervention with the mugging.  He then tries to lose them in a high speed chase through busy streets.

When Dima realizes that he is going to crash right into Kuptsov's men he slams on the brakes only to find that his car is now airborne.  Hurtling through the air Dima is simply trying not to splat on the pavement.  The car turns out to be very difficult for him to fly, only when he crashes it into a pile of tires does he get away.

Of course this is when the movie really gets interesting.  There is a love story going on in the background of all the chaos and testosterone.  Although I doubt the love story is enough to make your girlfriend want to watch this with you.  Unless of course she is as much of a geek as you are for watching this movie in the first place.

I won't ruin the ending but I will say it is pretty great how they bring the whole thing to a close.  I truly enjoyed this film, and would readily recommend this movie to anyone who likes Sci-Fi movies.  If you simply like foreign films or you like sneaky love stories you would like this film too.

I rate this film four and a half smiley Mike heads, for it's imagination and the way it kept the story interesting.