Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Adam Sandler's African Vacation Has Some Chuckles, Not Much More: Our Review of "Blended" (2014)

Directed By: Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy

Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Nealon, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Terry Crews

Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Synopsis: Jim (Sandler) is a widower with 3 girls to raise. Lauren (Barrymore) is a divorcee with two boys to raise. After Jim and Lauren go on a disastrous blind date, they manage to finagle their respective ways to an African "blended family" trip originally planned for Lauren's co-worker and Jim's boss. Hijinx ensue as the two families start to bond.


Sarah: Hello readers! Last night, Andrew and I were looking for some laughs, some yuks, if you will, so we checked out this past weekend's new comedy, Blended, starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore! This is the third movie that the pair have made together and not one that I would say that we were looking forward to, but nonetheless, here we are with a review on it. And I have to say it definitely delivered on some cheap laughs! 

What did you think of it?

Andrew: Oh man, where to start? Let's preface this by saying we, together, are not big Adam Sandler fans. I like his stuff more than you do, like The Wedding Singer, Mr. Deeds and The Waterboy being a few of his movies that I'll watch anytime I come across them on TV. But as a duo we actually do have a horrible secret - we actually find Grown Ups funny, and got some chuckles out of Grown Ups 2. We're not saying they're good movies per se, but they make us laugh for whatever reason.

So after saying all of that, that's what my reaction to Blended is. It's not a good movie but it hit the spot in regards to making us laugh when we just wanted some chuckles.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Singer's New Blockbuster is Best X-Men Film Yet: Our Review of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014)

Directed By: Bryan Singer (X-Men, X2

Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart

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

Run Time: 2 hours, 21 minutes

Synopsis: In the not-so-distant future, machines called Sentinels have tracked down and eliminated almost the entire mutant race. To stave off their extinction, Professor X (Stewart) has the consciousness of Wolverine (Jackman) sent back to his body in 1973 where he is tasked with getting a reclusive Charles Xavier (McAvoy) and imprisoned Magneto (Fassbender) to reconcile and stop Mystique (Lawrence) from assassinating the Sentinels' creator, Bolivar Trask - who's death propelled the Sentinel program to the mutant hunting power it became.


Andrew: Hello dear readers! Last night Sarah and I saw an advance screening of this week's new, big blockbuster - and one of the biggest, most anticipated films of the whole summer - X-Men: Days of Future Past. It is a de facto sequel to 2011's X-Men: First Class as well as being a "soft" reboot of sorts for the series.

Sarah: Why don't you explain what you mean by "soft reboot?"

A: Well…the difference between a "hard" reboot and a "soft" reboot is that a "hard" reboot would be like this new The Amazing Spider-Man series by Sony where they have completely started over with new actors and a new director but telling the same exact beats over again and they're not referencing the old trilogy at all. Sort of like how Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy was a reboot of the Batman films.

Whereas what I mean by "soft" reboot is that this time they are keeping the continuity of the original X-Men trilogy (kind of), but in the course of this time-travel film the general idea is that the franchise picks up around the year 2022 where the X-Men from the original trilogy - Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Magneto (Ian McKellen), Storm (Halle Berry), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) and others - are trying to send Logan/Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) consciousness back to his 1973 self so he can get the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto to stop Mystique (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, reprising their roles from First Class) from assassinating a weapons-building scientist named Bolivar Trask. 

It's Trask's death and the capture of Mystique afterwards that eventually causes the dire future in 2022, and they're trying to wipe out that time-line, which in effect would reboot the series from that point on because it would nullify the original trilogy. But because they're using the actors from the original trilogy AND the actors from the newer prequel films, people are referring to this as a "soft" reboot of the series. If that makes sense.

So, Days of Future Past was directed by Bryan Singer who directed X-Men and X2: X-Men United plus he had a hand in coming up with the story and producing X-Men: First Class. This one does see the return of a lot of familiar faces - as mentioned before Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Ellen Page and obviously the main actors from First Class, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence…

S: And you haven't even mentioned the main man, Hugh Jackman, who bridges the two timelines. He's the one who has really bridged the entire X-Men film because he's the only actor to appear in all 7 films and as the same character.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Disney's Latest Sports Film Hits a Solid Double: Our Review of "Million Dollar Arm" (2014)

Directed By: Craig Gillespie (Fright Night remake) 

Starring: Jon Hamm, Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal, Pitobash, Lake Bell, Aasif Mandvi

Rating: PG for mild language and some suggestive content

Run Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes

Synopsis: J.B. Bernstein (Hamm) is an L.A. sports agent on the verge of seeing his company go out of business. One night while watching cricket he becomes inspired to created a TV competition show called "Million Dollar Arm" where he'll try to comb India for any talent he might be able to shape into baseball players worthy of a major league tryout. Discovering a pair of boys named Rinku (Sharma) and Dinesh (Mattel), J.B. brings them stateside where they experience their first taste away from home and try to fulfill their dreams of playing baseball.


Andrew: Hello readers! Look at that! We're back with our 2nd review of the weekend! We're hopefully gonna be able to see more movies and crank out more reviews as the weather warms up and our work schedules settle down a little bit, and what better way to kick off a two-review weekend than with a baseball movie?

Yesterday Sarah and I saw the new Disney film Million Dollar Arm, starring Jon Hamm, based on the true story of sports agent J.B. Bernstein and his creation of the Million Dollar Arm TV show/talent competition to find cricket players in India that could maybe have the raw talent to hone and one day become Major League Baseball players.

Sarah, this is a film that you've been looking forward to for a little bit now, so now that we've seen it what are your initial thoughts on it?

Sarah: It was so cute! I have been looking forward to this one for a little while. We like Jon Hamm in Mad Men but like to see him playing different characters away from Don Draper, cuz that guy's kind of a jerk. And let's be honest, J.B. Bernstein is kind of a jerk, too, but definitely one that grows in this movie.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Let Them Fight!: Our Review of "Godzilla" (2014)

Director: Gareth Edwards (Monsters

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhew and creature violence

Run Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes

Synopsis: In 1999, a Japanese nuclear power plant run by Joe Brody (Cranston) is destroyed by an unseen force of nature, killing his wife in the process. 15 years later, Brody's son Ford (Taylor-Johnson) returns from his deployment in the Navy to his wife (Olsen) and son in San Francisco only to be called to Japan when his father is arrested in Japan for investigating the meltdown. The pair discover scientists led by Dr. Serizawa (Watanabe) covering up a giant monster that breaks free and heads across the Pacific, waking up another long-dormant monster called Godzilla in the process. Giant monster battles ensue!


Andrew: Hello dear readers! Last night Sarah and I were able to catch an early showing of this weekend's new blockbuster release, Godzilla. It's just the 2nd directorial effort of Gareth Edwards, a director that I for one am very excited to watch from this point forward, and it stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Elizabeth Olsen (Oldboy) and Ken Watanabe (Inception). Oh, and it's stars a giant freaking monster or two (or three).

Sarah, this was our #5 most anticipated movie of the year. Did it live up to our levels of anticipation?

Sarah: Ok, first of all I want to say that when the trailer for this movie came out, I thought it was just going to be another giant-lizard-destroys-city movie. Then the international trailer came out and we got our first look at a couple of other giant creatures. Then things got interesting because I realized it was a kaiju movie. So now let me say...I LOVED this movie!!! It was everything I hoped for and more. It was epic and beautifully realized. 

But I have to say, while I loved all the action and adventure, I really didn't care for the actual actors in this movie. What did you think?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Not the Neighbors We'd Want, But They Sure Are Funny as Hell: Our Review of "Neighbors" (2014)

Directed By: Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco

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

Run Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Synopsis: Mac and Kelly (Rogen and Byrne) are new parents and recently bought their first house. Not soon after a fraternity moves in next door and Mac and Kelly decide to try and be the cool neighbors to Teddy (Efron), the frat's president, in an effort to keep their noise down. But after calling the cops on them and betraying Teddy's trust, a full-on war breaks out between the exhausted parents and the frats brothers next door.


Andrew: Hello dear readers! Last night Sarah and I caught this weekend's new big comedy release, Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as a pair of new parents who must deal with a fraternity that moves in next door led by Zac Efron's hard-partying frat president.

Neighbors is the new film from director Nicholas Stoller who has helmed a couple of our favorite comedies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and and The Five-Year Engagement, so when you add that together with our fandom of Seth Rogen and the fact that we thought the trailers were hilarious, it's not an understatement to say we've been looking forward to this one for a while.

Now that we've seen Neighbors, Sarah, what did you think of it?

Sarah: I really had some good laughs in this movie! I'm not going to lie, I had pretty high expectations for this movie. I was expecting nothing but belly laughs and I was not let down. I love a good house party movie and I think this one fits in with the likes of Old School and House Bunny. I loved Seth Rogen of course but I LOVED Zac Efron in this movie! He was so funny but at the same time was a pretty deep character. And that delivery! Dare I say he's kind of following in the footsteps of Channing Tatum? Looks AND humor?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Six Pack Of... Our Favorite Seth Rogen Films!

Sarah: Hello readers! As this weekend gets closer we are looking at another Seth Rogen movie hitting the big screen with his new R-rated comedy Neighbors. It's one that we're looking forward to seeing and reviewing, but it also inspired us look back at the movies that he has done in the past and pick our favorites. That's right! It's time for A Six-Pack Of... Our Favorite Seth Rogen Films

SARAH'S PICKS (in ascending order)

3.) Knocked Up

S: My third-favorite Rogen film would have to be his 2007 rom-com, Knocked Up. Starring Rogen and Katherine Heigl, totally raunchy movie about a couple who, after a one-night stand, find themselves preggers seems like it would totally just be a movie about sex and drugs, be turns out to be a really heartwarming flick. For those of you who haven't seen it, Rogen's Ben is a witty slacker who lives in a house filled with a number of other guys played by famous comedians like Jason Segel, Jonah Hill and Jay Baruchel to name a few. This alone could create some hilarious hijinks, but then they throw in Judd Apatow's whole family and Paul Rudd and that just makes it all better. 

Yeah, I suppose Heigl is also kinda funny but….she's really not. All of the funny in this movie happens around her but doesn't necessarily involve her. This is all totally fine with me because I love the way that the supporting cast is just as funny as the main characters. It was a creative look at a different kind of family and definitely one that we own and watch when we're looking for a funny.