Saturday, November 9, 2013

Two Tickets For… Ranks… The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films (Not Called The Avengers)

Andrew: Hello readers! What did we say in our last post, eh? Definitely our busy season, but with Thor: The Dark World -  the latest entry of Phase 2 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - hitting theatres this weekend, we wanted to take the time (even if ever so quick) to give you our obligatory personal rankings of the MCU films.

Now, for the purpose of this exercise, when we say the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" films we mean that in the way Marvel Studios does, i.e. no X-Men films, no Spider-Man films, etc. This leaves us with Phases 1 and 2 of the MCU films, and we're going to trim it down by one right off the top by taking The Avengers out of the equation. Why? Because it would be at the top of both our lists, duh. That leaves us with six films to rank, so without further ado please enjoy the very first entry of our new feature, Two Tickets For... Ranks...

Sarah: Personally I'm glad we're sticking to the Phase 1 and Phase 2 films in the MCU because I'm not a fan of the Spider-Man movies or the Fantastic Four movies, so I can guarantee you they wouldn't be on my list anyway. But like you said Andrew, here's how I personally rank the Marvel Cinematic Universe films if we're leaving The Avengers out of it, from least favorite to most favorite.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Slowing Things Down a Bit: A Two Tickets For… Update

Andrew: Hello dear readers! We know we have been VERY bad at doing the whole movie reviewing/blogging thing the last month or so, and for that we apologize. 

Since we posted our last review we actually haven't been to the theatre very much, for a number of reasons. The primary reason though, and the reason behind this particular post, is that we just haven't had the time to do so. We don't want it to sound like an excuse, either. It's just the God's honest truth.

As you may or may not know, I work for a very large sports entertainment television network, and as of late I've been particularly busy preparing for the upcoming college basketball season. Now, I've worked college basketball the last two seasons as well and still had time to do the site on a pretty regular basis, but I'm proud to say that it's not just that I don't have the time to properly review and blog, but that both Sarah and I don't quite have the same amount of time that we used to.

See, when we first moved out here to Connecticut, Sarah was hard-pressed to find a full-time job. She started off working for a local catering company on a part-time basis, which gave her a very flexible schedule and plenty of time at home so that she and I could both write emails back and forth writing our weekly previews, writing Six Packs Of… and What Two Tickets For… Would Do columns, and even the occasional review the old fashioned way.

When Sarah took a different job with a retail company, it was still on a part-time basis which gave her that flexible schedule that worked so well with mine so that we could still see movies at night and do reviews, then one of us would transcribe said review and post it. 

But in a very good occurrence of events Sarah wound up moving to a brand new store her company had opened and with it came a full-time promotion, with the slight draw-back of working later hours, which cut into our availability to see and review movies. (She'd regularly get home between 10:00pm and 10:30pm.) 

Again, this wasn't a bad thing. In fact it's a very good thing because she acquired more responsibilities at work and made new friends while making more money, too. That move - coupled with my working long hours in the summer on the NBA Draft and Little League World Series (which took me to Pennsylvania for a two-week stretch) - created a slower blogging work-flow for us. We just weren't getting the same opportunities to see films like we used to, and when we did see movies on the weekends it was when we were squeezing them into small windows of free time.

So that's the primary reason that we've been so quiet lately. It's not because we don't want to keep running this blog; because we do. We love this blog, we love the movie review blogging community, and we love talking about movies in general. So we apologize that this perfect storm of our two jobs and other social activities (such as a vacation we just came back from) have taken a short-term priority over our blogging duties.

All of that said, I'm here to say that it's still going to be slow-going for a little while longer. Sarah did just recently moved back to her original store to be the second-in-command which is even more fantastic for a number of reasons - one of which is that she will now be working more 9-to-5 shifts than she used to be, which will hopefully allow us to see more movies once again! But I'm still currently knee-deep in basketball preparations and it's going to be pretty hairy for both of us these next two months what with the start of the basketball season and with the Christmas shopping season hitting for Sarah.

Still, we're not giving up on this blog. We don't do it for money, we do it because we love talking film. I'm just here to say that while it may be sporadic, we will definitely be posting more often these next couple of months than we have been. We can't promise regular reviews or columns, but we're going to try because we'll hopefully have more time to write now. We're particularly excited for "Oscar" movies to start hitting theatres, plus we're particularly excited for Marvel's Thor: The Dark World to come out this Friday. Mayhaps we'll even write a column breaking down our favorite Marvel films in preparation for it.

So thank you, readers, for sticking with us during these slow times. We'll make it up to you if you just keep checking in with us.

P.S. Nikki, if you're reading this, eventually we'll see Captain Phillips and post a review of it. And maybe we'll even do a video review of Butter. If you're lucky. ;)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jackman and Gyllenhaal Headline This Top-Notch, Fincher-esque Thriller: Our Review of "Prisoners" (2013)

Directed By: Denis Villeneuve 

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Paul Dano, Melissa Leo

Rating: R for disturbing violent content including torture, and language throughout

Run Time: 2 hours, 33 minutes

Synopsis: Keller Dover (Jackman) is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child's life is at stake the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)


Andrew: Hello readers! We are BACK after a relatively long hiatus, and we’re excited about this film we’re coming back from. Real quick though we want to apologize for the length of our absence from blogging. It’s just been a really busy last couple of months and our schedules have been so mixed up that it’s been difficult to A.) see a movie together, or B.) record, transcribe and post a review if we DID see a movie. But things are starting to get back to normal and we should be coming back with regular review posts as we get closer to the end of the year. We’ll also be posting reviews we’ve had in the can during our hiatus, so be on the lookout for those.

But the other night Sarah and I were able to catch a preview screening of this weekend’s new drama, Prisoners. It is the Hollywood debut of French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, who has already made a name for himself with foreign films like his Academy Award-nominated 2010 film Incendies.

Prisoners starts Jake Gyllenhaal as a Pennsylvania police detective, Detective Loki, who picks up the case of two young girls who have been abducted on Thanksgiving Day. Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard play Keller Dover and Franklin Birch, the fathers of the girls who are taken; Maria Bello and Viola Davis play the mothers…

Sarah: And Paul Dano plays the prime suspect – a man with a low IQ that lives with his religious aunt, played by Oscar-winner Melissa Leo. It’s a fantastic cast!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Site Update! (8/17/13)

Andrew: Hello dear readers! Our sincerest apologies for our silence on Two Tickets For... the last few weeks. This is an incredibly busy time for both Sarah and I at our day jobs, what with me away in Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series for 15 days and Sarah working overtime at Ann Taylor, then include the fact that we're not even in the same state currently and it's really tough for us to see the same movie separately and then do a review.

BUT, we do have a few reviews in the can that just need to be transcribed, and our goal is to get those posted within the next week, and when I get back to Connecticut from the LLWS both of our schedules open up a LOT, so we'll be able to get back to doing our regularly timed reviews as well as some column ideas that we've had brewing.

So please bear with us for the next couple weeks. If we're able to post new content during this busy time we'll tweet out the link and post it on our Facebook page like we normally do. Thanks for your patience, and as always, thanks for your readership!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Andrew's Top Five Films of 2013 (So Far)!

Andrew: Hello readers! My apologies that Sarah and I have posted our lists of our favorite movies of the year this late in the game (seeing as it's almost August), but better late than never right? Yesterday Sarah posted her list (which you can check out HERE) and as you can see, she didn't think too highly of this year's crop. I've been a little higher on most films this year so far, but you'll see that overall our lists are quite different!

Again, a reminder that there are a few criteria for our lists: the films included have to be films we’ve actually seen and reviewed, and they had to be films that were released in theatres for public consumption in the United States during the 2013 calendar year. If you don't see a movie on this list, you can check it against our Reviews page and it's possible we just didn't see it, so it didn't qualify for our list.

So without further ado here, in descending order, are my Top Five Films of 2013 (So Far)!

5.) Now You See Me

Kicking things off with a bit of a surprise, I know! But hear me out: when Sarah and I go to the movie theatre, it's to be entertained, plain and simple. Obviously most movie-goers are the same, but with us it's even more so because of this blog. We don't get paid to do this, we don't make any money off of it, we do it for fun. So when we see a film in theatres, we generally want to make sure we'll enjoy it somewhat (hence why we haven't reviewed films like Alex Cross or anything else Tyler Perry's fingerprints are on). 

But back to my point: I had a blast with Now You See Me. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery behind who The Four Horsemen were and what they're motivation was. I enjoyed pretty much the entire cast, particularly Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Eisenberg. And more than anything I liked that it was a heist movie on par with the Ocean's films, one that kept me guessing right up until the very end, and ultimately left me with a smile on my face as we left the theatre. That's really all I can ask out of a movie, and Now You See Me delivered. (This is also a bit of an indictment on the quality of the movies that came out in the first half of 2013.) (Read our review of Now You See Me HERE!)

The CK's Not-So-Secret Santa Review Swap: A Two Tickets For... Video Review of "Trainspotting" (1996)

Andrew: Hello readers! It's been a little while since Sarah and I have done a video review, and when our friend Nick at The Cinematic Katzenjammer invited us to take part in his Not-So-Secret Santa Review Swap (In July), we figured it was a perfect opportunity to make another one!

The basic idea is that we gave Nick a movie that we want someone else to review and he gave us a random one from a fellow blogger taking part in the blogathon. We can't really say which film we gave out, but be assured that it was one of our favorite films that we wanted someone else to watch and review. The film we were given was Trainspotting, Danny Boyle's 1996 film about heroin addicts in Scotland starring Ewan McGregor. So to check out our take on the film we were assigned, watch the video after the jump! (And don't hesitate to leave any comments after you do!)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sarah's Top Five Films of the 2013 (So Far)!

Sarah: Hello readers! Here we are at the end of July and Andrew and I are just now getting around to posting our lists of the top movies of the year so far. It has been such a crazy summer so far, so our apologies for the delay. As you may know, at the end of the year we do our Top Ten lists for year, but since it is the middle of the year, I thought that we should just do our Top Five Favorite Movies of the Year (So Far).

Like every time we do this list, there are a few criteria: the films included have to be films we’ve actually seen and reviewed, and they had to be films that were released in theatres for public consumption in the United States during the 2013 calendar year. If you don't see a movie on this list, you can check it against our Reviews page and it's possible we just didn't see it, so it didn't qualify for our list.

Today we're going to be posting my Top Five, and tomorrow we'll post Andrew's (since he hasn't written it yet). Instead of listing my films 1-5, I'm going to give my five in chronological order starting at the beginning of the year.


This was such a surprising movie! It was heartwarming, funny and a great zombie movie! I loved the premise that the zombies were turning back into humans. It was just so clever! And at the base of it all is a love story starring the much more talented Kristen Stewart look-alike, Teresa Palmer, and young Hank McCoy/Beast, Nicholas Hoult. If you haven't seen this movie yet, then you're missing out. I think that this is a great alternative for people who don't like the super scary zombie/Halloween movies. (Read our review of Warm Bodies HERE!)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Alone In The Dark: Andrew's Review of "The Conjuring" (2013)

Directed By: James Wan (Saw, Insidious

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston

Rating: R for sequences of disturbing violence and terror

Run Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

Synopsis: In 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron (Livingston and Taylor) and their five daughters move into an old farmhouse in the Rhode Island countryside. Soon after moving in the family starts to experience increasingly disturbing events that cause them to seek out the help of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Wilson and Farmiga). Upon their arrival the Warren's discover the Perron's are being terrorized by an evil and powerful force that will test their faith more than any case they've taken before.


Andrew: Hello readers! Earlier this week I was able to catch a screening of this week's new horror film The Conjuring, directed by James Wan, who directed two of my all-time favorite horror movies in Saw and Insidious (as well as the underrated Dead Silence and the upcoming Insidous sequel). Needless to say, I had been looking forward to seeing Wan's newest film ever since I heard it was in the pipeline. Then, as the promotional train started picking up steam, my interest grew even more when I found out it was about the paranormal investigative couple Ed and Lorraine Warren - until now most famously known for their investigation into the Amityville Horror case in the mid-1970s. And although Ed passed away some years ago, Lorraine still lives in their longtime home in Monroe, Connecticut...which is just a forty minute drive away from where Sarah and I live.

Now, I've been interested in the horror genre since I was a kid. I read every "Goosebumps" book R.L. Stine ever wrote, I read and was terrified by the "Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark" books and I caught every single episode of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" on Nickelodeon when I was younger. As I grew up I started reading Stephen King books and watching horror films I probably shouldn't have been watching like John Carpenter's Halloween and The Thing (which left the biggest impressions on me) [UPDATE: You can read a term paper I wrote on Halloween from college that we posted back in October HERE], slasher classics like the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street series, and other genre classics that I hold dear like The Shining, Poltergeist and (to a lesser extent) The Exorcist.

It's Giant Monsters Fighting Giant Robots and It's Awesome: Our Review of "Pacific Rim" (2013)

Directed By: Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language

Run Time: 2 hours, 11 minutes

Synopsis: When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes - a washed up former pilot (Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Kikuchi) - who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse. (From IMDb)


Andrew: Hello readers! We're about a week late on this review, and for that we apologize, but it's such a busy time for us at our day jobs and with so many big movies coming out this summer it's been tough to keep up with it all! Alas, we decided to take some quick time and do this particular review the old fashioned way - via email!

Last Saturday we were able to catch an IMAX 3D showing of Guillermo del Toro's new sci-fi/action flick Pacific Rim, a passion project of his about gigantic aliens called Kaiju (pronounced how it looks like) that arrive on our planet through a chasm in the Pacific Ocean and begin to destroy cities around the world and how humanity is fighting back with gigantic robots called Jaegers (pronounced "yay-gers") that, as Wikipedia so eloquently puts it, are "massive, humanoid fighting machines...which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are bound in a neural link which lets them share the mental strain which would otherwise overwhelm a single pilot."

Got it? Good! So Sarah, I know this was a film I was very much looking forward to seeing because I'm a big fan of del Toro's work and because the idea just sounded so freaking awesome. Where you as excited to see it as I was? And now that we've seen it, what did you think of Pacific Rim?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Disney's Pirates of the Old West is a Jumbled Mess: Our Review of "The Lone Ranger" (2013)

Directed By: Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson, James Badge Dale

Run Time: 2 hours, 29 minutes

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material

Synopsis: Set in 1930's San Francisco, an old Tonto (Depp) regales a kid with the tale of The Lone Ranger - a former lawyer named John Reid (Hammer) who heads home to Texas to join his Ranger brother, Dan (Dale). While tracking down escaped criminal Butch Cavendish (Fichtner), John, his brother and his rangers are ambushed, killing everyone. John is brought back from the dead by Tonto, rechristened The Lone Ranger, and they team up to carry out the task of catching Cavendish, but wind up discovering a deeper plot involving the Transcontinental Railroad and railroad tycoon Latham Cole (Wilkinson).


Andrew: Hello readers! Continuing our task of catching up on reviews we’ve been late on posting, today Sarah and I are discussing this month’s big blockbuster, and utter box-office flop, The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer (The Social Network) in the title role.  The Lone Ranger is a bit of a reuniting of the crew that brought us the hugely successful original three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, particularly with Depp and director Gore Verbinski coming together again after Verbinski sat out Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

So this was Disney’s big film of the summer, hoping that this group of people could put together another successful franchise based on the old radio and television show. Sarah, now that we’ve seen The Lone Ranger, what did you think of this new attempt at a franchise?

Sarah: I thought that it was a feast for the senses, but that’s about it. It was action-packed and it was the Johnny Depp Show to the max, but as far as storyline? And character development? I thought it was incredibly weak. What did you think?

A: Well, I think you’re right, that’s it’s totally full of action, especially the last half of the film. But, yeah, the storyline isn’t the strongest and I understand they had to kind of set this up; it’s really starting from scratch pretty much as they’re trying to market this to an audience and a generation that doesn’t really know the Lone Ranger, or even care about the Lone Ranger.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's Like Two Different Zombie Movies In One, For Better and Worse: Our Review of "World War Z" (2013)

Director: Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace

Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale

Rating: PG-13 intense frightening zombie sequences, violence and disturbing images

Run Time: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Synopsis: Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt) is pulled back into action when a zombie pandemic breaks out and he is tasked with travelling abroad to find the source of the virus so scientists can create a cure.


Andrew: Hello readers! A few weeks ago when it first came out, Sarah and I were able to catch Marc Foster's zombie-action flick World War Z starring Brad Pitt. Based on the book "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" by Max Brooks - or should I say it's more inspired by...

Sarah: Yeah, by all accounts the only thing this movie has in common with the book is the title.

A: This was a film that we weren't dying to see but we were intrigued by it because we both like Brad Pitt, I'm a big fan of zombie movies, and we had heard conflicting things about it, so we were interested to see it with our own eyes and give our own take on it.

So now that we've seen World War Z, Sarah, what did you think of it?

S: I'm not one for zombie movies usually, they kinda freak me out, but I enjoyed parts of this movie. Specifically the parts that were an action movie, the parts were Brad Pitt's character Gerry had to go around the world looking for a cure to the outbreak. I liked those parts. I liked Brad Pitt! I thought he did a fine job, but there were parts of this movie I definitely did not like. So I'm kind of torn on this one. I thought it had likable parts and parts that you scratch your head at. Like I found myself wondering why they made some certain choices.

But you're the zombie expert in the family, what did you think?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gru & Crew Are Back With a Perfectly Enjoyable Follow-Up!: Our Review of "Despicable Me 2" (2013)

Directed By: Pierre Coffin & Chris Renaud (Despicable Me

Starring: Steve Carell, Kristin Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Steve Coogan, Russell Brand

Rating: PG for rude humor and mild action

Run Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Synopsis: Famed supervillain Gru (Carell) has retired from villainy to focus on being a good father to his daughters - Margo, Edith and Agnes - as well as starting his own jam and preserves company. But when the Anti-Villain League comes asking for his assistance to find and stop a new supervillain, Gru must team up with an agent named Lucy (Wiig) to stop a villain named El Macho (Bratt) who was long-thought to be dead.


Andrew: Hello dear readers! Our sincerest apologies for our absence on the blog lately, we’ve been pretty busy the last week or so with me traveling back to Michigan last weekend for a wedding and then hosting Sarah’s younger sister all week out here for an East Coast visit. Haven’t had a whole lot of down time when you combine those things with work, but things have slowed down juuuuust enough that we can finally post reviews we’ve been meaning to get to!

First up, Sarah and I were able to catch a morning showing of last weekend’s hit animated film Despicable Me 2, the sequel to 2010’s Despicable Me, which is one of our favorite animated films of all-time.

Steve Carell returns as Gru the supervillain-turned-adoptive father to his three daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes.

Sarah: This time around instead of being a bad guy he’s recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help them bring down a new super-villain they can’t quite seem to catch. We were really excited to see this one because we absolutely love the first one, and this one didn’t disappoint! What are your thoughts on Despicable Me 2?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Emmerich's Latest Is Disastrous, And Not In His Normal Way: Our Review of "White House Down" (2013)

Directed By: Roland Emmerich (Independence Day

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins

Rating: PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image

Run Time: 2 hours, 11 minutes

Synopsis: Capitol Policeman John Cale has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer. Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation's government falling into chaos and time running out, it's up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country. (Courtesy of Columbia Pictures)


Andrew:  Hello readers! Last Friday Sarah and I hit the local multiplex to catch one of last weekend’s new releases – the action flick White House Down, directed by Roland Emmerich, director of such classic doomsday movies as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012.

Sarah: And it’s not just that Emmerich likes to destroy the world, it’s that he also loves to come up with different ways to destroy the White House.

A: This is true. In the three movies I mentioned just now he has managed to destroy the White House in different ways. And now his new film is pretty much centered on doing that exact thing.

White House Down stars Channing Tatum as John Cale, a prospective Secret Service agent, and Jamie Foxx as the President James Sawyer. In supporting roles we have Sad Turtle Face…

S: (laughs) Maggie Gyllenhaal as a ranking Secret Service agent, James Woods as the head of the Secret Service…

A: Richard Jenkins as the Speaker of the House, and Joey King as John’s daughter, Emily, who has been coming on strong as of late with roles like a young Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises, the China Doll girl in Oz the Great and Powerful and she’s in the upcoming horror film The Conjuring.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fox Strikes Gold with Their Bullock/McCarthy Buddy-Cop Comedy: Our Review of "The Heat" (2013)

Directed By: Paul Feig (Bridesmaids

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy

Rating: R for pervasive language, strong crude content and some violence

Run Time: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Synopsis: Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) has high aspirations in the FBI and wants to impress her boss, so she reluctantly takes a drug ring case in Boston that forces her to team up with a brash police detective named Shannon Mullins (McCarthy). With styles and personalities that clash, they struggle to find a way to work with each other in bringing down the drug kingpin...and maybe even become friends in the process. 


Andrew: Hello readers! Today sees the release of one of the bigger name comedies of the year, The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) and Melissa McCarthy (Identity Thief) as an FBI agent and a Boston police detective forced to work together to bring down a drug ring. It’s a R-rated comedy brought to us by Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids, the film that McCarthy was a supporting role in and was her breakout role.

Sarah and I were fortunate enough to see a screening of The Heat weeks ago, and
this was a movie that was originally slated to come out last April but it was pushed back to its current release date at the end of June by 20th Century Fox. I originally wasn’t quite sure why they pushed it back, but now after seeing it, I think we can assume it’s because they knew what kind of film they had and wanted to get big summer dollars

Sarah: I would agree with you on that one. There would really be no other reason I could see other than to get it into the summer blockbuster series.

Going into this film…Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, done by the same guy who did Bridesmaids…what did you feel Feig followed up his 2011 hit with this new buddy-cop flick?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pixar Gives It The Ol' College Try and Succeeds: Our Review of "Monsters University" (2013)

Directed By: Dan Scanlon 

Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Helen Mirren, Steve Buscemi

Rating: G

Run Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Synopsis: During a field-trip to the Monsters, Inc. factory, a young Mike Wazowski is inspired to go to Monsters University to learn to become a Scarer. When Mike finally arrives to his dream school, he immediately bumps heads with a fellow Scaring major named James Sullivan, who comes from a family of scarers, whereas Mike has to work hard at it. When their feud draws the ire of Dean Hardscrabble (Mirren), who boots them from the School of Scaring, Mike and Sulley must team up and join the outcast fraternity Oozma Kappa to take part in the Scaring Games with hopes of winning...and getting back into the school they so desperately want to be in.


Andrew: Hello readers! We’ve been a little quiet lately on the blog and for that we apologize, but it’s not that we haven’t been seeing movies! Both Sarah and I have been pretty busy at work this week, what with Sarah working at not one but two Ann Taylor stores at the moment, and I’ve been working overtime to prepare for tonight’s NBA Draft on ESPN. (In case you want to know, if you watch the draft tonight at 7pm, all the highlight packages for players from Big Ten and Big East schools were my handiwork.)

All that said, Sarah and I did hit up the local AMC last Friday night to catch the latest Disney/Pixar film, Monsters University, the prequel to 2001’s popular Monsters, Inc.

Sarah: It’s been a long time since Monsters, Inc. came out! What took them so long?

A: It’s definitely been a long time. For Monsters University, Billy Crystal and John Goodman reprise their voice-acting roles as Mike Wazowski and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan. As a prequel the new film details how Mike and Sulley came to meet at college and how they became the “Scarers” that they became.

So Sarah, you’re actually a bigger fan of Monsters, Inc. than I am, so I want to get your take on this one first.

S: I am a big fan of Monsters, Inc. It was the very first movie that my parents and I took my little sister to see in theatres, so it was big moment in her life and in mine! It was her first movie! Her introduction to the wonderful world of movies! So that one holds a soft spot in my heart.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Snyder & Nolan Will Make You Believe a Man Can Fly: Our Review of "Man of Steel" (2013)

Directed By: Zack Snyder (300

Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language

Run Time: 2 hours, 23 minutes

Synopsis: A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind. (Courtesy of Warner Bros.)


Andrew: Hello readers! Last night Sarah and I were some of the few in a crowd of about 50 people who bought advance screening tickets through Walmart to see Zack Snyder's new Superman reboot, Man of Steel - starring Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and a whole host of other famous actors that we'll get into during this review. This was a film that I know I was very much looking forward to ever since it was announced that Christopher Nolan would be producing and Zack Snyder would be directing.

But the interesting thing to me, and where I think the crux of this interview will come from, is that you, Sarah, told me as we were leaving the theatre that you did not know much about Superman and his story whatsoever prior to tonight!

Sarah: Yeah! I'm not very familiar with the storylines and characters of the DC Comics universe as much as I am with Marvel's. Before the Dark Knight trilogy I wasn't entirely familiar with Batman's backstory and his enemies and before this came out I was really under the impression that General Zod was his arch-nemesis throughout his entire history. And apparently I'm wrong! So yeah, I didn't know much about Superman, I didn't know much about his history and backstory, so everything in Man of Steel was very interesting for me to learn!

Man of Steel has the very clear DNA of Christopher Nolan's perfectly told origin story like we saw in Batman Begins, and I thought it was directed brilliantly by Zack Snyder. I love that it wasn't your typical origin story where you start at the beginning and move chronologically. I really liked that, because I assumed that's just how it would be. I loved that.

A: And what you mean is that Superman's backstory is told primarily through flashbacks. I mean, it starts at the beginning with the birth of Kal-El back on his home planet of Krypton, which is important because he's the first naturally born Kryptonian in hundreds of years. So that's a big part of the storyline. Then we see the destruction of Krypton, we see his parents sending him to Earth, all these things are are pretty well known to most people familiar with Superman. So I find it very interesting that this is your first exposure to all of this.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Five Reasons Why... "Man of Steel" Will Be The Highest-Grossing Movie of 2013!

Andrew: Hello readers! Zack Snyder's Man of Steel hits theatres nationwide tomorrow, and it's undoubtedly one of the most anticipated films not only of this summer, but of the year. And I, for one, believe that it will not only be the highest-grossing movie of the summer but of the year as well. When you think about it, that's a pretty bold claim, because Marvel's Iron Man 3 has already grossed a whopping $1,197,907,000 worldwide (as June 13th, 2013), making it the fifth-highest grossing movie of all-time (not adjusted for inflation.) Think about that! It's only been out for five weeks and it's already made that much cash, including an astounding $395,607,000 domestically. (Numbers courtesy of Box Office Mojo)

So yeah, Superman has quite the hill to climb to catch Tony Stark's lofty perch at the box office, but I'm just crazy enough to believe that he'll be able to do it. So without further ado, here are Five Reasons Why... I Think "Man of Steel" Will Be The Highest-Grossing Movie of 2013.

1.) Christopher Nolan Is Producing & David S. Goyer Wrote The Screenplay

Nolan and Goyer is a bonafide tande, as we’ve seen with their collaboration on the Dark Knight Trilogy. No, Nolan isn’t directing the film this time, but it’s clear his fingerprints are all over this film despite insider claims that he was never really on or near the set during filming. His buddy Goyer wrote the screenplay based off a story that they both came up with, and while Zack Snyder is the director, it’s probably a safe assumption that Nolan and/or Goyer were right there with him along the entire creative process, filming and post-production in some way, shape or form. Hell, if you watch any of the trailers or TV spots for Man of Steel and they didn’t say Nolan only produced and didn’t direct, you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. When it comes to getting butts in the theatre, it doesn't hurt when you have the minds behind a trilogy that made over $2.46 billion at the box office.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Alone In The Dark: Andrew's Review of "The Purge" (2013)

Directed By: James DeMonaco 

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Heady, Rhys Wakefield

Rating: R for strong disturbing violence and some language

Run Time:1 hour, 25 minutes

Synopsis: In an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity-including murder-becomes legal. The police can't be called. Hospitals suspend help. It's one night when the citizenry regulates itself without thought of punishment. On this night plagued by violence and an epidemic of crime, one family wrestles with the decision of who they will become when a stranger comes knocking. When an intruder breaks into James Sandin's (Ethan Hawke) gated community during the yearly lockdown, he begins a sequence of events that threatens to tear a family apart. Now, it is up to James, his wife, Mary (Lena Headey), and their kids to make it through the night without turning into the monsters from whom they hide. (Courtesy of Universal Pictures)


Andrew: Hello readers! Because the wife was working late last night, I ventured to the local AMC to catch a showing of this past weekend's new horror film, The Purge, starring Ethan Hawke (Sinister) and Lena Headey (HBO's Game of Thrones). In general I wanted to see this movie because it's a horror movie and those are my jam, but I specifically wanted to see this one because of its fantastic premise. Now let me preface the rest of this review by saying that because I want to delve into what the film is and what it could have been, I'm going to be talking heavily about the plot, probably even summarizing the movie in a "running commentary" style. Therefore I'll give a big ol' ***SPOILER ALERT*** for what's the follow. So stop reading if you don't want the film spoiled for yourself.

Ok, so the here's the premise: It's the year 2022 and America has undergone some sort of revolution, with a group referred to as the New Founding Fathers running the country. Unemployment is only 1% and crime is virtually non-existent with the exception of a yearly event called The Purge. The Purge is a 12-hour event from 7pm to 7am, once a year, where all crimes including murder are legal (with the exceptions of government officials Level 10 or higher being exempt from being killed, and weapons above a certain level being illegal to use, which I'd imagine include weapons of mass destruction, bombs, etc.) and all emergency services are suspended during this time. The point being that once a year everybody in the country is allowed to vent out their frustrations and anger and commit whatever crimes they like.

That's a helluva premise for a movie that is just LOADED with possibilities, and I'll get to what I think some of those possibilities should have or could have been a little later. But first I'll tackle the direction that writer/director James DeMonaco chose, and that's for The Purge to just be a home invasion film.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We Would Love to Spend the Apocalypse With These Guys: Our Review of "This Is The End" (2013)

Directed By: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg (writers of Superbad

Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill & Danny McBride

Rating: R for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence

Run Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Synopsis: Jay Baruchel (himself) visits his BFF Seth Rogen (himself) in L.A. for the weekend. Although Jay doesn't quite get along with Seth's newer Hollywood friends, he joins him to a party at James Franco's house, when suddenly the world starts to go to Hell and leaves Jay, Seth, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson alive to fend for themselves while the Apocalypse is going on outside.


Andrew: Hello readers! A couple of weeks ago Sarah and I were able to catch an advanced screening of This Is The End, the apocalyptic comedy starring Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson…

Sarah: Plus a whole host of their friends and other famous people in various cameos.

A: It’s written and directed by Rogen and his regular writing co-hort, Evan Goldberg. Together they have also written Superbad and The Pineapple Express, but this is their first time directing a film. This Is The End is based on the short-film Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse that this duo co-wrote and that Rogen and Baruchel starred in, with the simple premise being that all the main actors involved are playing exaggerated versions of themselves who all get together at James Franco’s house for a party when the apocalypse starts to go down.

S: They’re definitely playing exaggerated, fictionalized versions of themselves, which I enjoyed. Yes, for the most part it’s just a bunch of guys messing around, but they’re still legitimately trying to tell a story, with the actors actually playing characters – they just happen to be parodies of themselves, essentially.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's Nice to See Vaughn & Wilson Back Together After All These Years: Our Review of "The Internship" (2013)

Directed By: Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Max Minghella, Aasif Mandvi

Rating: PG-13 for sexuality, some crude humor, partying and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 59 minutes

Synopsis: Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are successful watch salesmen who suddenly lose their jobs when their company goes under. Stuck with the prospect of only ever being salesmen, they take a chance at earning a spot in Google's internship program, where they must team up with other outcasts in the program to win full-time jobs at the famous company.


Andrew: Hello readers! A few weeks ago Sarah and I were able to catch an advance screening of the new Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson comedy The Internship, where they play a pair of salesmen/best friends named Billy and Nick, respectively, who lose their jobs selling watches. Seeing as they have no real work skills they take a chance at getting an internship at Google; kind of an odd premise but we’ll get to that in a little bit.

This was one that I, personally, was looking forward to – what about you?

Sarah: I thought it was one that looked cute. It’s not one I was dying to see in theatres, I could have took it or left it as far as seeing it on the big screen or not. But I must say I’m glad that we did see it, because it turned out to be pretty cute! It turned out to be pretty funny and it had a lot of surprisingly heartfelt moments, good actors…it was just a fun movie. What did you think?

A: Well first I want to say I was looking forward to it because it had been so long since Vaughn and Wilson had done something like this together. The trailers made it seem very reminiscent of…

S: Wedding Crashers, a movie that we love.