The Room Review

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To be honest, I don’t know where to start with this one. The Room was released by Tommy Wiseau in 2003. He not only wrote the movie, but also produced, directed, and starred in it. The problem is that Wiseau is a man so out of touch with reality that seeing the world through his eyes is both terrifying and hilarious all at once.

The plot is pretty simple, girl cheats on guy with his best friend, guy gets pissed. Its the way that the story is told that sets it apart. Knowing how human males live Wiseau manages to capture every facet: pillow fights, daily trips to the flower store (without his sunglasses on, the clerk had no idea it was him when he was wearing them), football tossing from 3 feet away, paying for a random kid’s college tuition, and saying “chip chip chip” to antagonize your friends. It’s all there. Is this seriously how Wiseau envisions people living their lives?

While you may not be able to count on this movie for good acting, or believable situations, or really even a decent grip on reality, what you can count on is horrifically awkward dialogue. In the beginning of the movie people keep saying “I’m really busy, I cant talk right now”. While this isn’t inherently funny or ridiculous, the first time it happens the person saying it is sitting in traffic. The second time the person has just ordered a pizza and is then pictured reading a book. Busy indeed. Another gem is when Lisa, the cheating girlfriend, is talking to her mother… and the mother recounts her brother trying to get her house… shes not having it… too bad shes dying. What? Yep she just got those tests back, she definitely has breast cancer. Lisa has no real reaction and instead says “Don’t worry about it, everything will be fine.” This breast cancer thing is never talked about again. At another point in the movie Johnny (Wiseau) is telling his best friend Mark (who is bopping his girlfriend) about a new client they picked up at the bank he works at, Mark wants to know who this new client is buy Johnny cant say. Johnny responds, “I don’t want to talk about it, so how is your sex life?” Needless to say, Mark doesn’t want to talk about that either.

All in all this is probably the worst movie in existence. As such it has somehow managed to bend the laws of the universe and be enjoyable to watch if only to observe its absurdity.

The Dark Knight Movie Review

Let me preface this by first saying that I really loved Batman Begins. That out of the way, I think The Dark Knight is a better movie in every single way possible.

Heath Ledger blows every past Joker out of the water (including animated versions and such). He perfect for the role, and the writing and plot surrounding his character is so smart, and brilliantly planned. The bank heist in the beginning helps set the stage with what you should expect from him for the rest of the movie. You really get to see how fantastic of a villain The Joker is, and why he deserves to be Batman’s nemesis. I liked the treatment of Joker’s back story, and the nods to the graphic novel “The Killing Joke” in which the Joker tells Batman his “origins” and that he believes anyone could become just like him if they had one really bad day.

Oh, and the disappearing pencil trick was awesome.

I’ve been listening to and reading a lot of reviews and a lot of the complaints about this movie are the same ones that were raised for the first movie. People don’t like how Christian Bale speaks when dressed as Batman. I think it totally makes sense, though. In a world where people aren’t retarded (Superman Universe). He needs to not use his normal voice so people won’t recognize him. Bruce does interact with all of the same people as Batman, so I think it just adds another layer of realism. It doesn’t matter that it sounds forced. Its not Bruce’s real voice either.

I think that this movie was not only the best superhero movie to date, but also the best movie of the summer so far. It should definitely be a contender for Best Picture. If Heath Ledger doesn’t win Best Actor then he was robbed for much more than just his life. He was absolutely amazing. Whoever plays joker next is going to have a pretty fucking hard time filling his shoes. Go see this movie.

WALL-E Movie Review

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So I saw WALL-E today. We got to the theater only 10 minutes before the show started, so we ended up having to sit in the third row. During the previews I thought it was going to be a pain in the ass seeing anything. Once the movie started it wasn’t that bad as long as there wasn’t text or anything on the screen. If this movie was subtitled my head would have exploded.

As always, Pixar’s CG was insane. As someone who does CG as a hobby, I’m floored every time I see their work. WALL-E was a very cool character, and was surprisingly expressive for a robot that wasnt all cartoony.

Overall I thought that the movie was fantastic, but for me, there were a few negatives. First, I didn’t really like some of the lecture-like messaging in the movie which essentially boils down to “dont screw up the environment, and dont get fat.” Second, I didn’t really like the awkward addition of live action on the screens in WALL-E. It just kind of took me out of the fully 3d world.

Aside from that, it was a fantastic movie. Among the best they’ve produced.

CJ7 Movie Review

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I’ve been meaning to post a review of CJ7 for awhile now. I got the Bluray disk awhile back. The first thing you notice about the movie is that the visual fidelity of the CG has been improved enormously over Stephen Chow movies like Shaolin Soccer. I was kind of nervous that better CG would lose a certain ridiculousness that his other movies had posessed. Fortunately, this wasnt the case. They more than made up for it in other areas.

The story was pretty hilarious, though it makes you feel bad for CJ7 for the whole movie. There is definately the stephen chow token serious moment, which feels familiar, but not in a bad way.

Stephen’s screen-son was pretty good too, with the notable exception of his attempt at crying. His comedy was spot on, though. It was also great to see people from his other movies making cameos like the foreman at his job, and the son’s male teacher. The female teacher was pretty cute too, so that didn’t hurt matters.

If you are a fan of Stephen Chow or are willing to give HK comedy movies a chance, I’d say this is a good one to try. I’d say its better than Kung Fu Hustle, but not as good as Shaolin Soccer.

Get Smart Movie Review

I’ve read some reviews that are shitting all over Get Smart for being more about action than comedy and not sticking to the strictly comedic blundering spy formula of the 60’s television show. I gotta say, I couldn’t disagree more. This movie’s comedy may be slightly less slapstick than the show, but its smart, and funny. Don’t get me wrong, there is slapstick. Like Steve Carell skewering himself with his pocket knife’s harpoon gun trying to escape from ziptie handcuffs, or a blundered trip through a room full of lasers.

In addition to the purely slapstick, Get Smart has a much smarter variety of comedy going on in the background. Liz and I both laughed out loud when the director of the good guy spy agency “Control” yelled, “Nuclear!” correcting the President’s “Nucular” which is always something that annoys her in movies and she has me noticing now.

The story is pretty standard spy fare, but  Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway really sell it. Carell is pretty much the spy version of Micheal Scott from his show The Office, which is awesome. The rest of the cast is all pretty good with some pretty great people in cameos and other minor rolls.

Get Smart is a great summer movie, and delivers comedy and action in one neat little package. Sure its no action epic like Indy or Batman, but I think in a summer brimming with big names Get Smart can hold its own.

Indiana Jones 4 Movie Review

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Going into this I wasn’t expecting too much, and thats just what I got. Not too much. Not to say that this movie is bad, its just kind of average. The nostalgia of seeing Harrison Ford as Indy again was welcomed, even though Shia LaBeouf did most of the heavy lifting as far as action is concerned. There were a few really enjoyable parts, and the whole movie was well shot, pretty well acted, and fun. The problem was its plot, which I wont spoil here… The movie starts out pretty awesome, but continues on a steady decent interrupted only by things like the fight on the Jeeps, and ancient machines doing their thing.

Indy movies generally have a decent amount of camp and cheese, but in crystal skull there are several parts that are just unforgivable. Like when LaBeouf learns how to be Tarzan from jungle monkeys and manages to catch up to a Jeep

Overall, I had a good time with this movie – despite its faults. Its a fun movie and worth a watch if you’re into Indiana Jones or like tomb raiding.

B+

Iron Man Movie Review

Iron Man movie review

Yesterday Liz and I went to see Iron Man in theaters. I was really excited going in and fortunately my hype train was not derailed. I really liked this movie. The character of Tony Stark’s casting was just about perfect. Robert Downey Jr. didn’t even really need to act because he was, for all intense and purposes, playing himself. As a result it was completely believable.

The dialog in this movie was surprisingly well written, and because of the great cast, expertly delivered. The movie wasn’t too overwrought with stupid one liners like other films in this genre, which was refreshing.

I’m not sure how closely it follows to the comic, but I really liked the story as well. The “twist” midway through was pretty obvious, but it still a plot point that I cared about when it happened. The little bit at the end (during the press conference) was surprising and is making me super hyped up about the inevitable sequel.

Visually, this movie is fantastic. The effects feel real, the suits feel weighty, and everything looks believable. The movie is like a gadget porno so if you’re into gadgets, as I am, expect to be starry eyed from start to finish.

Iron Man is on par with Spiderman 1+2, and maybe even Batman Begins. It’s one of the best movies in the superhero genre within the past few years, and is definitely worth the price of admission.

Thank god they kept the Black Sabbath till the ending credits!

Oh, and stay till after the credits roll.

B+