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.