Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hugh Jackman's Biceps! Samurai Swords! Train Fights! It's the 1st Full-Length Trailers for "The Wolverine!"

Andrew: Hello readers! Sarah and I are currently working on unleashing a string of new posts - reviews, Six Packs Of..., you name it - but while we're working on those we wanted to post the first full-length trailers for this summer's new X-Men film, The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman in the role that shot him to super-stardom.

The Wolverine is a sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand (as we can see by some shots of Famke Janssen's Jean Grey in the international trailer) and is based off the limited "Wolverine" comic series from the 1980's. Check out the trailers after the break and then I'll give some quick thoughts on my and Sarah's behalf!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Not Exactly The Spring Break We Were Expecting: Our Review of "Spring Breakers" (2013)

Directed By: Harmony Korine (Kids

Starring: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine

Rating: R for strong sexual content, language, nudity, drug use and violence throughout

Run Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

Synopsis: Four friends desperately want to go to Spring Break in Florida, so they rob a restaurant to fund their trip and head on down. After getting arrested along with a couple of guys for drugs they catch the eye of a local dealer/rapper named Alien (Franco), who bails them out and tries to seduce them with the seedier side of Spring Break, giving the girls more than they originally bargained for.


Sarah: Hello readers! Andrew and I caught an early evening viewing of one of this weekend's four wide releases, Spring Breakers, starring Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and James Franco. A story about four college girls who want to go to Spring Break but can't afford it so they rob a restaurant and then head down to St. Petersburg, Florida where they get into your typical Spring Break shenanigans...and some not so typical shenanigans. After getting arrested for drugs they're bailed out by a drug dealer named Alien who proceeds to show them a bit more of the darker side of Spring Break. 

We had been hearing a lot of things about this one, both good and bad. The director, Harmony Korine, has come out and said, "You know what? I don't care if you like it or not!" He's very outspoken and so this was kind of a "see it for yourself" film. So now that we've seen Spring Breakers, Andrew, what did you think?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Not Quite The Blackout We Were Expecting: Our Review of "21 & Over" (2013)

Directed By: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore (writers of The Hangover trilogy) 

Starring: Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chong, Sarah Wright

Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, some graphic nudity, drugs and drinking

Run Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Synopsis: Miller (Teller) and Casey (Astin), best friends from high school, visit their other friend Jeff (Chong) to celebrate his 21st birthday. But when Jeff blacks out after drinking too much, Miller and Casey can't remember where he lives and wind up spending of the night trying to get him home before his big med school interview in the morning...and learning more about the current state of their friendships than they knew.


Andrew: Hello readers! Sarah and I both had the day off from work yesterday so we decided to catch a matinee showing of a film we A.) haven't had the time to see until now, and B.) didn't catch our attention with the trailers too much but had been hearing good things about. That movie was 21 & Over, starring Miles Teller (Rabbit Hole) and Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect) as a pair of friends named Miller and Casey who visit their friend Jeff Chang (Twilight's Justin Chong) at college to celebrate his 21st birthday. Even though JeffChang - always referred to as JeffChang, one word, even in the credits - has an important med school interview the next morning, Miller and Casey proceed to get him blitzed and the trio fall into some Hangover-esque shenanigans.

As mentioned earlier, Sarah, this wasn't one that we were dying to see, but now that we've seen 21 & Over, what did you think of it?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trailers for "Despicable Me 2" and Pixar's "Planes" Has Us Optimistic for 2013's Animated Films!

Andrew: Hello readers! Like we mentioned yesterday, we're back in the game of things and as we promised we're going to be chugging out more posts than the past few weeks have allowed. This includes a new feature we're fine-tuning involving a round-up of each week's movie trailers, but since that's not completely ready we're just going to go ahead and share two new(er) trailers for animated movies that we're looking forward to!

The first one is the animated movie we've been waiting years for, Despicable Me 2, the sequel to 2010's hit about a "super-villain" named Gru, voice by Steve Carell, who adopts a trio of young girls so they can gain him access into a rival's fortress and how they instead eventually melt his heart. Watch the trailer below to get an idea of the shenanigans Gru and the Minions will be getting into this time, as well as a Gru's fatherly side.

Reprising their roles in the sequel along with Carell are all three actresses who voiced Gru's daughters Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), plus Russell Brand is back as Gru's partner, Dr. Nefario. And though Jason Segel will not be back as Vector (sad face!), we WILL be getting the additions of Kristen Wiig (Correction: Wiig voiced Miss Hattie in the original, so she's technically returning too), Steve Coogan and Al Pacino! Should be a fun time and now that we know Despicable Me 2 is coming out on July 3rd, Sarah and I can't wait for the Fourth of July weekend to get here!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sometimes Magical Yet Incredibly Uneven: Our Review of "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" (2013)

Directed By: Don Scardino (30 Rock

Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, Alan Arkin

Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, dangerous stunts, a drug-related incident and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Synopsis: Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton (Carell and Buscemi) are two of the most famous magicians on the Las Vegas Strip. After 10 years though, their show has become stale and their friendship strained, and when an outlandish street magician named Steve Gray (Carrey) comes along to make things worse, it causes Anton to quit the show and Burt loses his job. Resorting to being an entertainer at a retirement home, Burt meets his childhood hero, an old magician named Rance Holloway (Arkin), who combines with Burt's former assistant Jane (Wilde) and inspires Burt to rediscover why he became a magician in the first place.


Andrew: Hello readers! Sarah and I are back from our hiatus now that, for all intents and purposes, I’m finished with this past season of college basketball and my schedule is about to open up. We apologize for the lack of content recently but we can assure you that we’re back and we’ll be coming out with our usual reviews and posts. We might even be able to start cranking out more columns like our New Year’s Resolutions said we would.

All of that said, we kicked off our return by catching a matinee showing of Steve Carell’s new comedy, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Carell stars as a Las Vegas magician named Burt Wonderstone…

Sarah: And Steve Buscemi (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) plays his best friend and partner Anton Marvelton, but their show is getting old and stale and they’re in-fighting is tearing them apart.

Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi play off each other pretty well as "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone & Anton Marvelton," but this truly is Carell's movie for better and worse.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Site Update (3/14/13)

Andrew: Hello dear readers! Just wanted to post something real quick to let you know that we're sorry we've been so quiet this week, but it's been for a good reason. I've been working all week down in NYC on the Big East Tournament and I've been working 12-16 hour days, plus Sarah just joined me down here yesterday, so we haven't had any time to see any films let alone post any news or articles.

But the college basketball season ends for me on Saturday night, and after that my work schedule clears up big time, so you can expect to be seeing the normal amount of reviews, columns and news starting next week! I think up first we'll be seeing The Incredible Burt Wonderstone on Sunday and then Spring Breakers sometime early next week, so be on the lookout for those reviews! And thanks for sticking with us!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Oz The Mildly Great, but Powerful? Maybe Not: Our Review of Oz The Great and Powerful (2013)

Director: Sam Raimi (Spider-Man)

Starring: James Franco (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), Mila Kunis (Ted), Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy), Zach Braff (Scrubs) and Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises).

Rating: PG for sequences of action and scary images, and brief mild language.

Synopsis: When a carnival magician is whisked from Kansas to the wonderful world of Oz filled with witches and talking flying monkeys, he must decide whether to be the great man he desires to be or the good one that Oz needs.

Andrew: OK! So we just got out of seeing this weekend's big release,Oz, The Great and Powerful. Released by Disney and directed by Sam Raimi, it's a prequel to the classic, Wizard of Oz, and by prequel I mean before hand. It's the story of how Oz gets to the Land of Oz and actually becomes the Wizard that we all know. It's based more on the actual books by L. Frank Baum...

Sarah: Well, it is based on the books by Baum.

A: Exactly, but there are a lot of homages to the original movie so it's the unofficial prequel for all intents and purposes. Starring James Franco as Oscar Diggs "Oz," Mila Kunis as Theodora, Rachel Weisz as Evanora and Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch.

S: Along with a great secondary cast! Zach Braff (Scrubs) plays Finley the flying bellhop monkey and Joey King (The Dark Knight Rises) as China Girl who in my opinion where the most fun characters to watch. So this was a big movie for us, obviously being a part of the Disney family with Andrew at ESPN as well as being a big family movie that a lot of people have been waiting for. Now that we've seen it, what did you think?

A: I actually really, really liked it! I won't go so far as to say that I loved it but it was pretty entertaining. There were some funny moments, there's definitely some action and peril and I just felt that it was fun movie to go see. Definitely better than Jack The Giant Slayer...

S: Definitely! In the sense of family movies that have come out this year so far, this one definitely stands alone at the top. I will agree with you on that...

A: I think where the split happens is in the acting. It's kind of 50/50 as far as the strengths and weaknesses of the cast. This is an interesting talking point because I have read several reviews where some reviewers really liked some actors and not others and vice versa. So I'm curious as to what you thought about the acting. Who did you like and who didn't you like?

S: Well here's the thing, you say 50/50 and I think that is 100% spot on. There were two actors that really shined through and fit in with the story and two that in my opinion where just abhorrent. I loved Michelle Williams as Glinda the Good Witch...

A: Really?!

S: And I am not a fan of hers normally...

A: No you are not!

S: I find that she's a very weak actress normally. But knowing the original role of Glinda the Good Witch I think that, to me, she truly embodied Glinda. Also Rachel Weisz as Evanora! I think that Weisz is a stronger actress to begin with but I loved her evil, she definitely shines as a wicked character.

A: Well this is the first studio movie that she has been in since The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.

S: Yeah, it's been a while since we've seen her. We've seen plenty of her husband recently (Daniel Craig) so I think a lot of people forget about her. She's really a pretty good actress and shes beautiful so she brings that beauty and evil to the screen really well in this movie. But James Franco and Mila Kunis were the worst choices for their roles! I thought that Franco was a joke in this role. We've talked about this before, I think he is one of the flattest actors and you can totally tell when it's a movie that he really cares about and has a vested interest in and when it's a movie that he's just doing because. These are not his movies, I think he really needs to stick to his stoner flicks because that's where he shines. I realize that's pretty harsh, but I give no apology. And Mila Kunis...I feel like needs to stick to her Rom-Com roles, evil is not her strong point.

A: Well she was good in Black Swan.

S: Different. Yeah, but she's not really the evil character.

A: But she's a darker character...

S: But it's just different to me, maybe it's more that she doesn't play kitschy anger well. She just wasn't convincing in the role...

A: That's the thing.


the Wicked Witch of the West is arguably one of the most classic villains of all time.

A: No, not arguably, a classic villain.

S: Yeah, and Mila Kunis' Wicked Witch was just loathsome....But now that I've kind of vented on the acting what did you think?

Maybe not the best fit for this movie. Good thing you have set roles to fall back on!
A: I am actually in complete agreement with you. I'm a little surprised that you said Michelle Williams but I completely agree with you. She was the best cast actor for her character in this film in her role; she's kind, she's gentle, she's beautiful, everything that this character should be. I thought Rachel Weisz was really good in her role as Evanora. She's not given a whole lot to do...

S: No.

A: But for what she has to and for the evil, and like you said, she's beautiful as all the witches are. I agree with you, Franco...there are moments where I liked him in the role such as the beginning where he plays like womanizing, con-man and for that sort of thing he kind of worked in the role. But almost everything else, he just didn't feel right to me. And I've told you before, Robert Downey, Jr.was originally talked to about the role, and I actually found myself at various times thinking, "I wonder how Downey, Jr. would have done that scene," and I think Downey would have been a much better choice.

S: Yeah, I think so too and you know, James Franco's looks bothered me a little bit too. He's so young looking and since I don't think there's a ton of years that pass between this Oz and Dorothy's Oz and Dorothy's Oz is a much older man. And so it bothered be a little bit that he just looked so young, I just think it was the wrong choice.

A: Yeah, I also think it was his personality that just didn't necessarily mesh with the script and there was something about his voice...

S: And that cheesy grin...

A: I just could have done without him.

S: There are times though, when Franco is serious, that it's touching and he can evoke emotion from the audience, I just don't find him very consistent.

A: Exactly, when we meet China Doll for the first time and he's gluing her legs back on, you're right, there were scenes like that where I felt he did just fine but when he's trying to play this grand magical and theatrical guy, it's just didn't work for me. And then Mila Kunis, she's very pretty obviously which works for Theodora early on in the movie but when she's starting to turn into the Wicked Witch, it was her voice! I love Mila Kunis' voice because it's different and it works so well on Family Guy...


A: Yeah, but for the Wicked Witch of the West, does not work. When she does the cackle? Doesn't work. And so I was trying to think in my head, "who would be better in the role?" Would Anne Hathaway have been better?

A/S: Ehhhh

A: Would Natalie Portman have been better?

A/S: Ehhhh

A: So it's like, it's a really tough role to cast and so I couldn't come up with one, but it's definitely not Mila Kunis.

S: Yeah I can't...I almost wouldn't have minded if Rachel Weisz had been the Wicked Witch of the West instead of Evanora...

A: Yeah I don't know, it just didn't quite work for me. But so yeah, I'm in complete agreement with you there. But the secondary characters; Zach Braff as Oz's assistant in the Kansas show and then as Finley the flying monkey, I thought he was hilarious! And when Finley comes on the screen it's almost like it's his movie! He gets a lot of lines! And Joey King as China Doll was great; to me China Doll is the best part of the whole movie, she looks amazing.

Hands-down the best two characters in the movie, Finley and China Doll
S: That's was the main thing is how amazing she looks. Once again though with the animation, as with Jack The Giant Slayer, she is obviously the animated character that is paid the closest attention too.

A: I think also, we noticed during the credits that they mention a marionette puppeteer so there might have been some actual marionette references. So that's pretty cool. 

S: Yeah, but....

A: She still looked way better than Finley....

S: And the flying monkeys.

A: Well to me almost everything, when Oz first gets to the Land of Oz, I'm looking at it and almost all of it is green screen because just the way it looks with Franco in the scene doesn't look good. Also when he and Theodora are running at one point, it's just so obvious that they are running on a green screen stage and it really bugged me. You shouldn't be able to tell those things, and you could.

S: That's what happens when the entire set is green screen.

The magical, computer generated Land of Oz
A: Another reason it bugged me was that it looked so fake, but the Kansas scenes were actually done on a set with painted backgrounds, just like The Wizard of Oz was...

S: Yes, and I loved that touch!

A: The beginning of the movie I loved! Or when they're in Glinda's courtyard and you can tell that they are on a set and the things around them are real. So it bugged me that when they weren't on a live set that it was so obvious.

S: There was definitely some disjointed feelings between scenes and I think that that can be blamed on Raimi.

A: Well of course. He did so well on the Spider-Man  movies though, like when Spider Man is swinging through the streets of New York City, it actually looks like he is there. So obviously this is a make-believe world so there's a lot of things you can't recreate in real-life....

S: Yeah I mean I don't think we need to go on too much of a tangent on this...

A: But I will say this, I loved the first act of the movie. Second act, when shenanigans start to go down, not so great. Pretty much after China Town it kind of slowed down. But then the final act, the climax, the big battle for Oz, I thought it was great.

S: Yeah I did too.

A: The way they tie in how he really becomes the Wizard I thought was great.

S: I thought that was genius.

A: Raimi and everybody on board did a great job with the visuals in that scene, the story, it was really really entertaining.

S: And that's the main thing I loved about this movie was all the tie-ins to The Wizard of Oz. I didn't really like that movie, it wasn't a favorite of mine growing up. It was actually kind of scary to me as a little kid. But I can still appreciate it for the classic that it is and to see all the homages that kid today may not notice. I'm sure that there are a lot of kids that have seen The Wizard of Oz, but there are plenty that haven't. I don't think my sister has seen it.

A: Yeah, that's the thing, I don't know how many kids would actually get the references in this movie. I mean there's a scene where Oz and Finley walk past a field and it's filled with horses that are different colors. It wasn't great animation but it was a nice little nod.

S: There was the Cowardly Lion...

A: Yep, and the Scarecrow reference and I think my favorite part was and "Ah, OK" moment towards the end. When The Wizard is giving out gifts, it's just really sweet. So I really liked the movie, wouldn't actually mind owning it one day, possibly. I really would like to see a sequel! See how this continues.

S: Yeah I will be interested to see how the story progresses since neither of us read the books.

A: Now just to clarify, we did not see this in 3D. It was shot in 3D and we didn't see it that way just because of show times and schedules. But I wouldn't mind going back and seeing it in it's intended form.

S: I bet it's beautiful in 3D. It's very obvious that it's made for 3D and maybe we wouldn't have had as much of a problem with the green screen if we had seen it that way.

A:  Another aspect that I really liked about it was Danny Elfman's score. It really enhanced the magical feeling of Oz.

S: So, kid friendly? As a kid movie, I actually think this falls in line with The Wizard of Oz...

A: Absolutely.

S: As far as tension, thematic elements, it falls right in line. There are some jumpy moments and I can definitely see where in 3D it would be right in your face.

A: Once again, you need to know your kids and what upsets them and what doesn't. This isn't one that would necessarily keep your kids up at night. So final thoughts...worthy of seeing in theatres?

S: Yes

A: Will we own it?

S: Maybe.

FINAL VERDICT: A must see in theatres!

(S: 3.5/5 A: 3.5/5) 

 Photo Courtesies:,

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fee Fi Fo Fum, Bryan Singer's Latest Is Just Ho Hum: Our Review of "Jack the Giant Slayer" (2013)

Directed By: Bryan Singer (X-Men

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, Ian McShane

Rating: PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language

Run Time: 1 hour, 54 minutes

Synopsis: Young Jack (Hoult) takes some "magic beans" from a friar one day, but accidentally lets one get wet, causing an enormous beanstalk to sprout all the way to the land above the clouds where giants roam. Alas, a runaway princess was sheltering away from the rain in his house when it happens, forcing Jack to join the King's Elite Guard in a rescue attempt, and stop the king's adviser from using the giants to usurp the throne. 


Andrew: Hello readers! Earlier this week Sarah and I saw the new fantasy-filled action film for the whole family, Jack the Giant Slayer, starring Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), Ewan McGregor (The Impossible), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Bill Nighy (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and relative newcomer Eleanor Tomlinson.

Sarah: It's a pretty big cast!

A: A big cast for a big tent-pole film, and most notably this is the latest directorial effort from Bryan Singer, of X-Men and The Usual Suspects fame. We've seen the trailers and the promotions for this movie for a while now and to be honest, it didn't really look that good to me.

S: No, I would agree with you somewhat. It seemed more fun to me, more of a no-brainer action flick than anything else. This didn't look like one where you would be forced as an audience to think very much. I don't think the trailers did a very good job promoting what the movie was going to be like.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Rock Gives Dramatic Acting a Shot & It's Actually Not Bad!: Our Review of "Snitch" (2013)

Directed By: Ric Roman Waugh (Felon

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jon Bernthal, Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon

Rating: PG-13 for drug content and sequences of violence

Run Time: 1 hour, 52 minutes

Synopsis: John Matthew's (Johnson) son, Jason, gets busted for drug possession after Jason's best friend sets him up in order to get his own sentence reduced. When Jason refuses to do the same, John offers himself as an informant to the US Attorney (Sarandon) to get Jason's time reduced. Teaming up with an employee of his with a drug past (Bernthal) and a crusty DEA agent (Pepper), John delves into the drug world and risks everything he has to get his son free.


Andrew: Hello readers! Earlier this week Sarah and I were able to get to the movie theatre (no small feat these days with the college basketball season winding down), and out of all the not-so-appetizing choices the multiplex was offering, we ordered two tickets for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's (Fast Five) latest film, Snitch. Based on a true story apparently, it's the tale of a man named John Matthews who becomes a drug informant for the Feds in order to get his son's jail sentence reduced.

It's one that, for me at least, I only saw the trailer once...

Sarah: Same here.

A: And so it wasn't one that we knew a whole lot about going in to.

S: Like we didn't know that it was based on a true story. This one really wasn't on our radar at all as far as movies we intended to see at the theatre.