Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Ridiculous and Fun Future FX Staple: Our Review of "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" (2013)

Directed By: Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow

Starring: Gemma Arterton, Jeremy Renner, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare

Rating: R for strong fantasy horror violence and gore, brief sexuality/nudity and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Synopsis: A re-imagining of the classic Brothers Grimm tale, years after escaping from the clutches of a witch when they were children, Hansel and Gretel (Renner and Arterton) have grown up to become professional witch hunters. When a city hit by a particularly bad rash of kidnapping by local witches hire the siblings, they wind up discovering more about the events that led up to their original witch encounter as children.


Andrew: Hello readers! So Sarah and I had pushed off seeing Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters off far enough and finally caught it at our local AMC last night. The film is a new spin on the old Brothers Grimm tale, starring Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) in the title roles, with Famke Janssen (Taken 2) playing the head witch they are hunting. Now, this wasn’t a film that we thought, “Oh man we NEED to see that!” But it was one that piqued my interest…

Sarah: It definitely looked entertaining in a totally cheesy way.

A: Exactly. So now that we’ve seen Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Sarah, what did you think of it?

S: I thought that it was entertaining! It had a lot of action and some over-the-top gore and blood and guts. And it totally maintained its R rating with that violence and with the language. It was very much like The Brothers Grimm movie that starred Matt Damon and Heath Ledger mixed with the Van Helsing movie with Kate Beckinsale and Hugh Jackman. I loved it because of that. It was fun and entertaining and over-the-top silly. It’s been a while since we’ve been entertained at the movie theatre, and this one certainly entertained me. I didn’t have to think too hard. And I wasn’t repulsed by the gore or anything, so that was good.

So yeah, it was entertaining but not a whole lot more than that. What did you think?

Monday, January 28, 2013

When Good a Trailer Makes a Terrible Movie: Our Review of "Movie 43" (2013)

Andrew: Hello readers! Sorry we've been away for a bit again, still been a bit busy with the day jobs, but we WERE able to catch a showing of this past weekend's unheralded new sketch comedy movie, Movie 43, and we're here to give you our review of it! (Duh.) Movie 43 stars a TON of big-name actors and there were about ten different directors involved all taking a different sketch. But due to the low-brow humor of the film, and apparently general distaste the studio has for it, almost everyone involved is trying to distance themselves from the movie (check out this humorous New York Post story about it to see what we mean). 

Now, because of the structure of the film, we're going to be doing our review just a touch differently than normal. Instead of doing a free-flowing conversation, we're going to break up the review by talking about each individual sketch on its own - starting with a brief description of the sketch and what we liked about it, what we didn't like about it, etc. With that said, in order of how they appeared in the film, here are our thoughts on Movie 43.

Stars: Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman
Premise: Winslet plays a woman going on a blind date with a man who by all accounts is handsome, wealthy and incredibly popular, so it comes as a shock to her when they get to the restaurant and he takes off his scarf, that he has a pair of testicles hanging from his chin and no one else seems to find it unusual.

Sarah: Yea, this one actually made me very uncomfortable. Besides being slightly disgusting, this little sketch was hilarious! Having such a beautiful man like Hugh Jackman with a pair hanging from his neck was disturbing on so many levels. What bothered me the most was the fact that NOONE seemed to know!!! It's ridiculous! 

A: There are plenty of sketches in the movie that are over-the-top ridiculous, but I felt that this was a good one to kick things off. The sight gag of the male genitalia dangling from Jackman's face and the complete obliviousness by everyone other than Winslet was pretty funny. And they use the sight gag to its full effect, with the part where an air duct blowing cold air on their table taking the cake. But the sketch wouldn't have been anything if it weren't for Winslet's reactions.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

J.J. Abrams Will Direct "Star Wars: Episode VII"!

Andrew: Hello readers! I was trying to come up with a way to introduce this quick little news story, but I'm so excited that I'm just going to get right down to it. After initially denying any chance of his involvement with the new Star Wars trilogy that Disney and Lucasfilm will be producing, The Wrap, Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter are all reporting that Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams WILL in fact direct Star Wars: Episode VII!

Jumping ship from the U.S.S. Enterprise to the Millennium Falcon, reports
say J.J. Abrams will bethe director of Star Wars: Episode VII.

The Wrap had the story first and reported that Abrams, who initially said he would be sticking with the Star Trek franchise that is overseen by Paramount, had a change of heart after a long courtship from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Star Wars: Episode VII is currently being written by Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt and already has Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford lined up to reprise the roles that made them famous, so landing a big-name director that fanboys would approve of was one of the last remaining hurdles.

We'd have to imagine that a move like this from Abrams means his involvement with any future Star Trek films is out of the question, which is too bad because we love his 2009 reboot and are looking forward to Star Trek Into Darkness, but other than Brad Bird, we personally couldn't have hoped for a better director to take us back to the universe the George Lucas created.

We'll post updates as more information comes out, but just know how excited we are about this news. What do you think of Abrams' move from one franchise to the other? Would you have rather had a different director like Jon Favreau take a shot at it? Hit us up in the comments section!

Photo Courtesy: Yahoo!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

5 Reasons Why... We're Excited For 2013's Movie Slate!

Andrew: Hello readers! It's almost the end of January, so it can be considered that we're posting this a bit late, but when you consider the general crappiness of January releases we think it's okay. Either way, we're here with the Five Reasons Why We're Excited for 2013's Year in Film! Just so you don't think we're misleading you, we're not listing the top five movies we're excited for. That's not the purpose of this exercise. You'll see what we mean. So, in descending order, here are the reasons we're excited about going to the movie theatre this year.


A: If you've read my personal Top Ten Favorite Movies list then it's no secret that Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy is one of my all-time favorite films, and it's a film that Sarah and I originally bonded over when our relationship was truly starting, so it holds a special place in my heart. But it bummed me out for many years that they weren't going to make a sequel to such a modern classic, so when news broke last year that Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate and the rest of the Channel 4 team were finally reuniting for more shenanigans, I can't even tell you how excited I got. We quote the original far too often even just in our own apartment, don't we Sarah?

It has been WAY too long since we've seen a new movie with THIS guy in it.

Sarah: Oh yes, we are quite the quoting couple and this one is a favorite! Since the first one original came out, we have seen Steve Carrell's career take off and Christina Applegate go on to fight cancer AND star in one of our favorite current television shows. I am so looking forward to Anchorman: The Legend Continues! My hopes are possibly WAY too high for this one but the humor from the first one leaves me with lots of hope. With the Channel 4 team back, I wonder what all sorts of shenanigans they will get in to. Where are they now? Who is taking whom to Pleasure Town and for crying out loud, how is Baxter?! 

It will be excruciating to wait for all the excitement! I'm so excited to add some new lines to our repertoire of quotes and annoy all of our friends with our perfect delivery.

Monday, January 21, 2013

No Need To Break Open Your Wallet For This January Snoozer: Our Review of "Broken City" (2013)

Directed By: Allen Hughes (The Book of Eli

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Rating: R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence

Run Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Synopsis: Seven years after being forced to retire allegedly shooting an unarmed suspect, former NYPD detective Billy Taggert (Wahlberg) is hired by NYC mayor Nick Hostetler (Crowe) to investigate his wife (Zeta-Jones) and find out who she's cheating on him with. But when things go south, Taggert finds himself caught up in city politics and something more than just a cheating spouse.


Andrew: Hello readers! So just the other night we joined the throngs of people hitting up the movie theatre on a Saturday night to catch a showing of the new Mark Wahlberg thriller Broken City. I can’t really say this is one we’ve been looking forward to seeing…

Sarah: No, I wouldn’t say that at all actually.

A: But it’s more that we felt like it was our duty to see a new release this weekend.

S: And honestly it’s filled with actors who have historically done very well with the movies they’ve chosen.

A: For sure. It has Academy Award winners in Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones to go along with Marky Mark…

S: Who has his moments…

A: Yeah, we can’t forget that he was nominated for an Oscar for The Departed, too. And then it has a pretty solid supporting cast with Jeffrey Wright (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Barry Pepper (True Grit) and Kyle Chandler (Zero Dark Thirty). So really a pretty good cast if you really look at it. It’s directed by Allen Hughes, who is one half of The Hughes Brothers who directed a person fav of mine in From Hell, as well as Dead Presidents and The Book of Eli. So it’s only one of the brothers this time, but still, not a bad pedigree behind it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Alone In The Dark: Andrew's Review of "Texas Chainsaw 3D" (2013)

Directed By: John Luessenhop (Takers)

Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Trey Songz

Rating: R for strong, grisly violence and language throughout

Run Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Synopsis: Just before going on a road-trip to New Orleans with her friends, Heather (Daddario) gets a mysterious letter in the mail telling her she's inherited large estate back in Texas. When they get to the estate, Heather and her friends discover a skin-mask wearing, chainsaw-wielding psychopath in the basement and all hell breaks loose.


Andrew: Hello dear readers! Sorry for the long delay between posts, but to be quite honest we’ve been quite busy with the day jobs, plus my better half was fighting a cold for most of last week and the early part of this week. But she’s all better now and I finally have some time to write this review, but first, let me introduce this new feature! 

As you may know, Sarah isn’t the biggest fan of horror movies. Yes, she did love The Cabin in the Woods, but for the most part she doesn’t really like slasher flicks, haunted house movies (she even believes our apartment is haunted!), monster movies and so on. She has an active imagination and it gets the better of her when she’s asleep, so horror movies are a no-no for Mrs. Keck.

Understandably that puts a little dent into how we do our reviews here at Two Tickets For… where we hold a conversation about the movie. As you can imagine, it’s a little hard to hold a conversation about a movie the way we normally do when only one of us has seen the film. In the past we’ve tried to do it the normal way, but we’ve discovered it’s just not the same.

So with all of that said, I’m here to introduce the first review in our new feature – Alone In The Dark. Nothing too special here, but what this feature is going to be will be a one-man review on the horror movies I see without Sarah (hence, the "alone" part).

I haven’t quite nailed down a format that I want to write these reviews in, but for the sake of kicking things off, I asked our friend Nick of The Cinematic Katzenjammer (who helped me come up with the name for this feature) if I could borrow his "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" review format just this one time and he gave me his blessing. So without further ado, here is my solo review of Texas Chainsaw 3D.


Alexandra Daddario: I’ll get this right out of the way, there isn’t a whole lot of good in Texas Chainsaw 3D. I’m sure that surprises all of you. But it did have some good things, lead by a fine leading turn by Alexandra Daddario (USA's White Collar) as Heather, a twenty-something girl who finds out she’s inherited a huge estate in Newt, Texas (setting of the original), and the estate happens to have Leatherface living in the basement. Daddario is certainly pretty and she fills the role of scared heroine fairly well, but it’s really more of the fact that she was apparently contractually obligated to bare her midriff at all times that most guys will appreciate.

Considering how often her belly-button and abs are shown off in the film, it was surprisingly difficult to find a picture
like this of Daddario's Heather. But this pic nicely shows off those AND the nice set design. Speaking of which...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Warner Bros. New Gangster Flick Is Just a Wannabe: Our Review of "Gangster Squad" (2013)

Directed By: Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland

Starring: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone

Rating: R for strong violence and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Synopsis: Sergeant John O'Mara (Brolin) has returned to the LAPD after fighting in WWII and he doesn't recognize the city he once loved now that a gangster named Mickey Cohen (Penn) has started to take control. After impressing the police chief with his brazen style and disregard for Cohen's reign, O'Mara is charged with putting together a top-secret squadron of LAPD officers to taken down Cohen's empire.


Andrew: Hello readers! Earlier this week Sarah and I were able to catch a screening of the new, star-studded action film GangsterSquad – starring Josh Brolin (Men in Black III), Ryan Gosling (Drive), Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man), Sean Penn (The Tree of Life) and more. This was a movie we’ve been waiting a while for because it was originally slated to be released in 2012, but after the tragic theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, the film was pushed back to reshoot a climactic scene that involved a shoot-out in a movie theatre. So the film was pushed back, they reshot it, and it comes out today. So Sarah, now that we’ve seen Gangster Squad, what did you think of it?

Sarah: I love my gangster movies. I think there’s something romantic about the gangster genre, ESPECIALLY vintage gangster movies. So I was looking forward to Gangster Squad, but it ended up being a bit of stretch for me. It had its moments, I’ll give it that. It had a great cast, a phenomenal cast…but it just missed the mark for me.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The 85th Academy Awards Nominees! (How Did Our Predictions Fare?)

Andrew: Hello readers! All week we've been posting our predictions for who we think will be nominated for this year's 85th Academy Awards, and this morning the awesome duo of Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane announced those nominees. 

So...how did our predictions fare? Listed below are all of the nominees that were announced today - nominees that are in italics are the movies that we got CORRECT. (And a reminder that we did not predict the short film categories, so those will not be posted below.)


Beasts of the Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Django Unchained


David O. Russell
Ang Lee
Steven Spielberg
Michael Haneke
Benh Zeitlin

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Two Tickets For...'s Oscars Nominations Predictions - Best Picture & Full Predictions

Andrew: Hello readers! So the last few days we've been sharing our predictions for who will be nominated in  the acting categories, the directing category and the screenplay categories for this year's Academy Awards. Today we're going to discuss and share our guesses for which films (and how many) will be nominated in the big one - Best Picture. We will also be posting our picks for ALL the categories (except the short films) because that is what we need to do for the Oscar Nominations Predictions contest being held by Film Actually

So, to preface our discussion of the Best Picture nominees, we're briefly going to remind you that the process for voting and determining Best Picture nominees changed last year. Remember in 2009 how the Academy changed the number of nominees from 5 to 10 in large part because Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight didn't get nominated in 2008? Well after two years of having 10 nominees the Academy decided maybe they were watering down the category by letting in a set number of 10.

So last year they changed the process to where there can be anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees in the Best Picture category, but now to get nominated your film MUST receive a minimum of 5% of all first-place votes. That's why last year there were 9 nominees - there weren't that many movies that EVERYONE loved, so a larger amount of films got first-place votes. Could that happen again this year? What do you think, Sarah?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Two Tickets For..'s Oscar Nominations Predictions - Best Director, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay

Sarah: Hello readers! It's been a big day here at Two Tickets For... with our Golden Katz Award! So we're going to continue the awards season predictions with the Academy Award for Best Director. 

I'm going to have to go with the number one spot and that will go to Ben Affleck. His directing in Argo was amazing. He was able to bring enough intrigue ad suspense to a movie that most of the world already knew the ending of. Being able to manipulate the audience to feel real fear for the characters on screen is a feat that few directors have been able to accomplish. I don't typically like Affleck but I do hope that he wins this category this year.

Two Tickets For... Wins Golden Katz Award Thanks to Our Readers!

Good morning dear readers! (Or afternoon, or evening depending on when and where you read this post.) 

This will be really brief, but we just wanted to write a quick post thanking all of YOU for your amazing support of our little blog!

As some of you might know,last week we were nominated for an award over at our buddy Nick's blog, The Cinematic Katzenjammer, where he was holding his inaugural Golden Katz Awards - celebrating the year in movies as well as movie blogging. We were lucky enough to be nominated in the Best Rating System or Review Format category, and after a week of open voting to the public we found out this morning that we had won!

We're incredibly excited to win this award because not only were we nominated by our peers, but it was voted on by our peers and by YOU. Amazingly, the category we were nominated in garnered the most votes of any character with 146 total votes, and we're very humbled that we won the category with a total of 96 of those 146 votes.

So again, we'd like to say THANK YOU for your continued support of our blog and for going all out and voting for us in Nick's award contest.

We highly suggest heading over to Nick's site and checking out the results of the movie categories to see what films won what categories as well as checking out the other blogs that were nominated, because there are a ton of other great writers and sites out there with great content and movie coverage.

Check back here later today when we post today's Oscar Nominations Predictions, where we break down the Best Director category and share which films we think will get nominated in the two screenplay categories!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Two Tickets For...'s Oscar Nominations Predictions - Best Actor & Actress

Andrew: Hello readers! Later this week on Thursday morning, Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane will be announcing the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards that will be held on Sunday, February 24th in Los Angeles. As you may or may not know, we happen to love the Oscars, and as such we're going to be posting our predictions for who will have their nominations announced by Mr. MacFarlane and Ms. Stone. We kicked our predictions off yesterday with our guesses for the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories, which you can read here if you'd like. And today we're going to be discussing whom we think will get nominated in the lead acting categories.

So, Sarah, which of the two categories would you like to start with today? Best Actor or Best Actress?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Two Tickets For...'s Oscar Nominations Predictions - Supporting Actor & Actress

Andrew: Hello readers! It’s getting to be that time of year when the awards circuit is moving full-steam ahead. We’ve already had the nominations for the Golden Globes, the Writers Guild, the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild all announce their awards nominees, plus we’ll have the Directors Guild announcing there’s on Tuesday. 

But we’re not here to talk about them, exactly, no. As you may or may not know, the nominees for the 85th annual Academy Awards will be announced at 8:30 AM EST on Thursday, January 10th. With that in mind, Sarah and I are going to be taking part in a Predict the Oscars Nominations Contest that our fellow blogger Squasher88 is hosting over at his blog, Film Actually. Squasher88 is asking all his contest participants to predict the nominees for every category except for the Short Film categories.

So this week, Sarah and I will be posting our Oscar nominations predictions, starting today with our predictions for who will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and building all the way up to our Best Picture nom predictions and full revelation of the more technical predictions most people have no clue about on Wednesday.

Alright, let’s get down to it Sarah! Today we’re just focusing on the two supporting acting categories. Which one would you like to start with first?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sopranos Creator's Directorial Debut Doesn't Do Much For Us: Our Review of "Not Fade Away" (2012)

Directed By: David Chase (The Sopranos

Starring: John Magaro, Jack Huston, James Gandolfini, Bella Heathcote

Rating: R for pervasive language, some drug use and sexual content

Run Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

Synopsis: Set during the mid-1960's, Doug (Magaro) and his friends put together a band to try and make it big like. All the while they must deal with in-band jealousies and decisions, girl problems and parents that just don't understand.


Andrew: Hello readers! The other night Sarah and I were privy to an advance screening of a film called Not Fade Away that was written and directed by David Chase, best known for being the creator of the hit HBO series The Sopranos. Starring John Magaro (My Soul to Take), Jack Huston (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) and James Gandolfini (Killing Them Softly), this was a film that we didn’t know a whole lot about going into it. We only really saw a poster for it when we were in New York City on Christmas Day, we saw who it was directed by and it sort of piqued our interest.

Turns out it’s about a group of young guys in 1960’s New Jersey who start a band trying to go big, and the trials and tribulations of band dynamics, dealing with love, dealing with family and so on. It focuses mostly on Magaro’s character, Doug, the band's drummer and back-up vocalist, and Huston’s Gene, the lead singer and lead guitarist.

We legitimately didn't even know those basics going in to it. We went in relatively green, I'd say. But now that we’ve seen it, Sarah, what did you think of Not Fade Away?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Six Pack Of... Our 2013 New Year's Resolutions!

Hello readers! The New Year is upon us, the year two-thousand thirteen, and we all know there's a tradition of people making a resolution or few in order to better themselves. Well our friend Nick over at The Cinematic Katzenjammer asked us what our blog's resolutions were, and we hadn't really thought about it until now. But thanks to Nick, we've come up with just enough things we think we can do to better the blog. So without further ado, here is A Six Pack Of... Our 2013 New Year's Resolutions! 

1.) More Video Reviews: We toyed around with doing video reviews last year, with some relative success. We only did two of them, one for the Michael Fassbender drama Shame and for the hit video-on-demand comedy Bachelorette (you can check those out by click on their respective names). We enjoyed recording them and our relatively small fan base seemed to enjoy them, too! Now that we having a growing readership, we want to do more and see how they turn out. So our first New Year's Resolution is to do a minimum of ONE video review per month. Let us know down in the comments if you'd prefer us to do them on new releases in theatres, films that are already on DVD, or both!

2.) Regular Feature Columns: This is another thing that we've toyed around with last year, with even more success than the video reviews. We have a couple of features that we do sporadically already - What Would Two Tickets For... Do?, Five Reasons Why..., and A Six Pack Of... - but we'd like to do those a little more regularly than we have been. It's a little tough with our days jobs taking up so much time, but we want to make more of an effort because they're fun for us to do and it looks like y'all like reading them! So our second New Year's Resolution is to write a minimum of ONE column per feature. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Andrew's Top Ten Films of 2012! (And Sarah's Bottom Five!)

Andrew: Hello readers! First off, Happy New Year! Secondly, ymight remember that at two separate points last year we posted articles called Sarah & Andrew’s Top Ten Lists for 2012 So Far. We posted our first at the start of July and we posted our second at the start of October (so the halfway point and three-quarters point of the year). Now that 2012 has come and gone, it’s time to reveal our final lists that includes films that we saw in the final quarter of 2012! In those last three months we saw 17 new releases in the theatre, including a bunch of Oscar contenders.

So here’s the deal – just like the last two times, we have 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 2012 calendar year. This means that a movie like Zero Dark Thirty, which doesn’t get a wide release in the USA until January 11th, would qualify because it’s been playing in cities like New York for a couple of weeks. Again, these are from among all the movies we've seen and reviewed this year, so if a movie isn't on this list, it's possible we just didn't get around to seeing it.

And one last thing: because I personally found that each of our last two Top Ten Lists were a little lengthy, we’re splitting them up into two different posts. And at the bottom of each post will be the other’s BOTTOM five of the year (the post headline kinda gave that away though, didn’t it?). So check out my personal Top Ten List for 2012 and Sarah’s Bottom Five of 2012 after the jump!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sarah's Top Ten Films of 2012! (And Andrew's Bottom Five!)

Sarah: Hello movie lovers and Happy New Year! We are so looking forward to the new year and all the great new movies that it has to offer! I gotta say, I'm pretty excited that the world didn't end because we would have seriously missed out on some good ones. So in response to the new year, Andrew and I are going to be looking back a little and bring you each of our favorite films from 2012. There will probably be some overlap but I can guarantee that we liked some movies for very different reasons.

Like we did with our two Top Ten List of 2012 So Far, we have some criteria for these 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 2012 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.

At the bottom of my list you'll also be able to find Andrew's Bottom Five of 2012. You'll have to check out his Top Ten list to see what my bottom five were. Okay! I'm going to do my list in the countdown method, after the jump. Here we go...