Saturday, June 30, 2012

Your Sister's Sister - Movie Review

Your Sister's Sister (R) 90 minutes A-
Wanna get away

Starring Emily Blunt, Mark Duplass, Rosemarie DeWitt

The premise of this film might sound cliche - boy loves girl, girl loves boy, boy bonks girl's sister.  Yet, this quiet film speaks volumes.  It is tremendously real and heartfelt.  One of the year's best offerings. Seek it out & enjoy.  Highly recommended.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Prometheus - Movie Review

Prometheus (R) 124 minutes C
Hallo Space boy

Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron, Sean Harris and Rafe Spall     

Prometheus is a so-so fantastic voyage. Initially, it was meant to be a prequel to Alien, circa 1979, but director Ridley Scott decided that this latest reincarnation was strong enough to stand on its own. It’s not as good as the aforementioned Alien film, but it does have some interesting (if not fantastical) meditations on theology.

The first half of the film felt pedestrian, yet sufficient enough to keep me curious. The second half was more engaging, due in large part to Michael Fassbender. He was absolutely magnificent as the unemotional android.

Prometheus might be worthwhile for sci-fi fans, but everyone else should proceed with caution.
Bonus DVD Review

Red State (R) 88 minutes C
On with the body count

Release Date: October 2011
Starring Michael Parks, Michael Angarano, Kerry Bishe, Nicholas Braun, Kyle Gallner, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Root and Cooper Thornton

Red State is an intriguing film and departure from the norm for writer/director Kevin Smith.  But the film has an uneven feel.  Some of the scenes tend to drag on much longer than necessary.  The story follows three horny teenage boys who are kidnapped and torched by a religious cult.  File under Tarantino-lite.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rock of Ages - Movie Review

Rock of Ages (PG-13) 123 minutes D
Aside from a few toe tappers, forget about it

Starring Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston, Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Will Forte, Erica Frene and Angelo Valderrama

Believe me, I really wanted to like this film.  But, this piece of over-produced fluff is gag worthy.  Hey, I got nothing against the hair bands of the 80s, some of that music plays like the soundtrack to my middle school years.  Yet, Rock of Ages is like a bad SNL skit set to music.  Film critic Rex Reed called it the worse film he has seen since "Battlefield Earth and Howard the Duck," and he went on to say that Rock of Ages is so bad it makes Burlesque look like an under appreciated masterpiece."  Maybe I should've paid $8.50 to read Rex Reed's review, it was much more entertaining than the film.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Crooked Arrows - Movie Review

Crooked Arrows (PG-13) 105 mins C-
Straight & Narrow: Exploring heritage through lacrosse

Starring Brandon Routh, Gil Birmingham, Crystal Allen, Chelsea Ricketts

Native Americans and lacrosse are two things we rarely see featured on the big screen, let alone together.  Joe Logan (Routh) is a mix blooded Native American and former high school lacrosse star who has become a fancy pants entrepreneur.  In order to close his latest blockbuster business deal, the native son must win the approval of the reservation's tribal council.  The only way that is going to happen is by coaching the reservation's high school lacrosse team- a ragtag bunch of underwhelming underdogs.  Naturally, turning this team around will also restore pride and help him rediscover his roots.

The film is uplifting, in an after school special sort of way.  It's very family friendly; however, it is predictable, cheesy and cliche.  It would be better suited as a television movie, rather than a full length feature film.

Friday, June 8, 2012

King of Laurel Canyon (Music Review)

First Impression Music Review
John Mayer - Born and Raised B+
Released May 2012 

A friend recently asked me, "is the new John Mayer a covers album?"  It is not, but it does have a certain familiarity.  On Born and Raised Mayer channels his inner CSNY with a dash of Ryan Adams.  The album is produced by music vet Don Was, and is full of catchy folk-rock that sounds honest and heartfelt.

His public screw-ups make this album all the more interesting because of its confessional nature.  Some of the juicy bits suggest that "Shadow Days" is a response to Taylor Swift, the "Queen of California" is about Jennifer Aniston, and the title track is about his parents divorce.  Regardless what/who the songs are about, Mayer has constructed an impressive piece of Americana.  The album isn't perfect, but it speaks to me.  It has been a fixture in my compact disc player since I got it.
Favorite tracks - Shadow Days, Born and Raised, Queen of California, Walt Grace's Submarine Test January 1967

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Dictator - Movie Review

The Dictator (R) 83 minutes D-
A candidate for worst film of the year 

Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley and Jason Mantzoukas

Jason Mantzoukas is the only reason I didn't give this an F.  The Dictator is disastrously unfunny and stupid.  I walked out of the theatre feeling like, "I could do that!"  A complete waste of time.