June 29, 2009

Movie Review #13 Transformers Revenge of the Fallon

Transformers Revenge of the Fallon (2009) Shia Labeouf, Megan Fox Directed Michael Bay

Michael Bay has been dubbed the King of the Blockbuster and his resume is worthy of that title...whether his movies are good or not is another story. Let's go back at just the movies he has directed and do a quick recap. First up Bad Boys 1995 (good flick), next up The Rock 1996 (Ok I liked it very solid), then we have Armageddon 1998 (I liked it and made out with a chick on a date seeing it :), Ok now it starts to go downhill...Pearl Harbor 2001 (my buddies favorite war movie...just awful), hmm Bad Boys 2 2003 (take the last ridiculous 30 minutes off this movie it would have been fine...but somehow regular Miami cops in Cuba fighting tanks...might have been a little over the top), Ok he is streaking down, The Island 2005 (the smartest of his bad films with a solid cast...but this material is way to smart for a shoot em up director to be aloud to blow things up the hole time), and now the two Transformer movies 2007, 2009 (both just too arrogant and silly to really be great...not awful but really self indulgent) . Well he shoots about 50 % which if your Shaq or Tim Duncan fine...but when you are producing big entertaining summer movies, I can't help but give you a bad review.

Transformers Revenge of the Fallon is too long first of all, and with 140 plus minutes you think the story would make sense...it doesn't. I am going to lay out a few good things here first. It is better than the first because some of the characters are more likable (Fox, Turtuorro, and even Labeouf are all better), it is easier to keep track of what's going on, although only slightly (I can't ever tell who is a good guy or a bad guy when the robots are fighting, but it does look pretty cool), and the last good thing about this film...it looks just great (no stranger to this all Bay movies are so crisp on the big screen it is hard to take your eyes off it, I have a feeling if Bay did a remake of Terms of Endearment it would be the coolest movie ever!!) Ok so now for the more negative stuff, it is a wacky story using some old robot called "The Fallon" as the center of the plot, it uses the same storyline elements from the first one, just more drawn out (won't say what but somebody needs a spark again...it's no shocker settle down), um the soldiers have beards (Um I was in the Marines even secret units have to shave...I've never seen a whole unit maintain the George Michael stubble so well), the chicks are all orange (spray tan), and the movie is just a ride meant to appeal to your eyes not your brain...Bay is begging you to not pay attention to the story or the timeline. It's fine I know he is the King of the summer blockbuster now, and there will be like 3 or 4 more of these movies so I'll deal with it. I didn't hate it I actually thought it was more watchable than the first one. It is cool for somebody my age, who watched the cartoon a lot, that you have Optimus doing the voiceover for the movie, like the cartoon. I am going to give it a marginal 6.0 rating as always out of 10, slightly lower than Wolverine. I am not going to add a Shawshank phrase in this one because I'm pretty sure Red and Andy would not want much to do with this flick.

Sidenote...I didn't write it (so don't get mad at me!) but check out this nice piece done by Yahoo...it points out ten silly plot holes from Trans 2, nice work :)

Food for thought: Had a diet coke and popcorn, went traditional...but again it is long so beware!! Also after had some time to kill and enjoyed a few Jack and cokes, and a few Bailey's Coffee...hmm at my age by now I would know that is not a good mix, shame on me. Enjoy your summer movies! Up next for Labeouf is an ensemble peice called New York, I love you, for Fox a possessed cheerleader flick called Jenifer's Body, and Bay has Nightmare on Elm Street coming out in 2010.

Movie Review #12 Year One

Year One (2009) Jack Black, Michael Cera Directed by Harold Ramis

Ramis (Most famously known for playing Egon in Ghostbusters) who brought us comic genius in Caddyshack and Groundhog Day, two of the funniest movies ever, decides to go back in time for Year One. This is a story of two guys who get kicked out of their village...for being idiots, and go out and explore the world. The cast is top notch, and the biblical humor is also sarcastic enough to not be offensive (to religious people). Ramis has a knack for bringing great comic talent together and Year One is no exception. Oliver Platt (as a gay priest is funny), David Cross (as Cain steals the show), Hank Azaria (as Abraham is spot on), and the beautiful and up and coming Olivia Wilde is gorgeous and kinda funny as Princess Inanna. Year One is not the funniest movie I have seen this year, and it is a notch below films like Role Models, I Love You Man (reviewed), and The Hangover (reviewed). But as the back end of doubleheader after an intense action film like Transformers it does just fine. Black (who is becoming more watchable lately see: Be Kind Rewind and Cera who is always great see:Nick and Norah,Superbad, and Juno make a nice comic duo. the script is funny and smart, but it won't make you spit up your soda or get you to that high pitch annoying laugh. It pokes at the bible which is funny, and seeing Ramis on screen again is cool. I hope if you get bored and have some time you will go out and buy a ticket to Year One...for us fans waiting for Ghostbusters 3, this film serves as a gateway, because Gene Stupnitsky and Ramis are both attached to Ghosterbusters 3. (actually Jack Black is rumored to also be attached) I am going to give it a reasonable 6.5 memorable Morgan Freeman lines (same as Wolverine) because this is the kind of smart comedy that would entice Andy Dufrane because he could obviously get all the jokes, and make fun of those who don't get it.

Food for thought: I had nothing to eat for this viewing, but went home and cooked up a nice petite sirloin, sliced thin, and marinated with terrayki flavor...served over rice. Needed something nice and healthy to clear out some Jack and Cokes I may have had during the wait for the film:) Up next for Ramis, he is working on a Meatballs remake and of course GHOSTBUSTERS 3. Black has Gullivers Travels and Brutal Legend coming up, and again I urge you to see a sweet funny film called Be Kind Rewind. Cera has two cool movies coming up with Youth In Revolt and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, also keep an eye out for the Arrested Development movie which eyes 2010 as a release year. Oh and for my own selfish reasons and cause she is so hot I looked into Olivia Wilde's next projects Tron 2.0 (bummer) and In Northwood about a mentally ill man who commits murder. Oh and let me just add on, that the preview for a cute looking called Paper Heart, that you might miss because it will only open in selected cities with Cera also looks real good...youtube it!

June 28, 2009

Fantasy Update #8

Ok so it is the summer time, I took a short little blog-break and now I'm happy in my little loft/office, chilling with my cheese hot dogs (don't judge) and Heineken Light (come on Heineken become a sponsor) and once again it is time to update my many (and by many I mean me and one other guy) blog fans with a fantasy update. I'm still alive despite some awful decisions in both leagues. In the RedsoxRevenge league I'm still in1st with a small cushion, though I did fall out of first for a few days, so the threat is real. In the Soxtown league (6th) my awful pitching choices from earlier in the year have been haunting me, they continue to, although I have some hope in WHIP if I can hang on and get some good pitching over the next week or so. Let's break it down. (Note 12 team mixed)

League One (RedsoxRevenge) Soto Catcher 17/7/24/228avg (Posada came back from injury...but Soto has been so hot I've been offering him in trades lately, still nice to have both) Lee 1st Base 32/11/39/288avg (He has knocked the struggling Dunn out of this spot, and has played very well, I can't believe I cut this guy earlier in the year) Utley 2nd Base 52/16/49/299avg (Chase really keeps my team balanced and makes me forget that David Wright isn't hitting for power) Wright 3rd Base 47/4/39/346avg (He has 19 steals so I'm not going to complain...but really is he only gonna hit what 10 homers...say it isn't so) Ramirez SS 33/9/36/261avg (With 11 steals he is back in my starting spot, he is the player we thought he was...now he has to keep it up on a weird White Sox team) Holiday OF 36/8/39/274avg (8 steals, 8 homers, I hope he finds a new zip code...maybe St. Louis?) Werth OF 50/15/43/269avg (with 10 steals this guy is an everyday starter for most fantasy teams...on my stacked team he is just keeping Ibanez or Manny's seat warm) Dunn OF 34/18/51/256avg (he really helped with power on this team in April/May but he may get benched if he doesn't start producing again 205avg over the last month) Tejada UTIL 40/6/41/330avg (The Stros are sticking around and Tejada is a big reason) On My Bench Manny is still NA but almost back (July 3) Ibanez is on the DL still, and that leaves my bench to only Cody Ross (just picked up) and Posada (trying to find spots for him to play) Really the Ibanez injury has let me play Werth more, which is something I hesitated to do for some reason...I don't know why, he is a fantasy stud. My Pitching has improved slightly though I'm way over on innings, so I have to watch that. I'm lead by the recently picked up Kevin Millwood (2.64 era, 70 K's/ 8 wins), Edwin Jackson (2.40, 79 K's/6 wins), and another new addition Jarrod Washburn (3.22 era, 60 K's/4 wins). My Relief Core still is fine with the very reliable Nathan (18 saves/1.22 era), Fuentes (21 saves/ 3.21 era), and the new add J.P. Howell (4 wins/4 saves/ 1.70 era). On the DL I've got Bedard who I hope comes back soon, and I also have Kuroda (nervous about him) and Smoltz (I have high hopes). I really feel good about this team and think I can win this league as long as I keep up with it, and make some good pitching choices. I felt bad that I had to let go of Oswalt A guy that is easy to root for, and I also hope that ditching W-Rod doesn't come back to bite me in the ass. I continue to look for trades and with Manny coming back very soon, I anticipate a trade in the near future.

League Two (Soxtown) McCann Catcher 22/8/31/323avg (He might be the best hitter on this team and I need him to produce) Helton 1st Base 43/9/53/320avg (It took me awhile to believe, but I'm glad I listened to Nate Ravitz and not only picked him up, but started him daily) Pedroia 2nd Base 54/2/30/292avg (He has 12 steals...but if he isn't going to hit any more homers then I want more steals, and please bring the average up) Youkilis 3rd Base 45/12/42/313avg (He is slumping a bit but I won't complain about his solid numbers) Ramirez SS 33/9/36/261avg (See above) Sizemore OF 32/10/39/229avg (Grady it's nice to have you back...now start hitting the shit out of the ball and get that average up a bit, my team relies heavily on him) Werth OF 50/15/43/269avg (He is more valuable than Dunn right now) Dunn OF 34/18/51/256avg (Right now with this team I don't really have the luxury of being able to bench him, so I hope he picks it up and fast) Ethier Util 39/14/49/264avg (He has been playing well, but is so streaky) On My Bench (With Beltre and Lowell I have no idea what I'm doing with this team at times, so I picked up Konerko for the coming week in hopes of a little power). My Pitching is awful on this team so with ERA kinda conceded I'm just really looking for wins and maybe a miracle with my WHIP. I'm led by Jon Lester (4.68 era, 106 K's/6 wins), Zambrano (3.48 era, 63 K's/4 wins), and Washburn (3.22 era, 60 K's/4 wins). My Relief Core is the only thing about this team I don't have to worry about with Jenks, Franklin, Rodney, and Fuentes all lights out (combined 73 saves). I just picked up Nieve and again I'm really hoping Smoltz comes up big for me here as well. This team needs work, but I'm still close enough to continue fighting to win. I really only have one category that is totally out (ERA) and the rest I just have to fight to get better. I'm in dire need of a trade probably sending a closer out the door to bring in some hitting.

Some advice from the guy in 1st and 6th
It's trade season for the real thing, should be for us dorks as well. Find things you have lots of (i.e. saves) and offer it up to those who need it for value. That sounds so obvious, but I think nobody wants to look at all the numbers because it takes too much time...hey if you want to win, find out the information you need and use it.

Stock Up: Oritz, welcome back Big Papi you were missed. Werth...just a good player, Smoltz, he gets the benefit of the doubt, Wakefield...really could make the all-star game, Manny...expect big things, and Millwood...weird that he is playing this well...some say he will fizzle but my guess is he stays strong.

Stock Down: Dunn...just a bad month hopefully, Dice-K...see you later Dice-K, Chipper Jones...didnt like him in the preseason...still don't, and finally welcome back shitty J.D. Drew...he might heat up soon but I just like having him on this list because of his ridiculous salary.

News and Rants: Really is there any argument...it will be the Sox vs. Dodgers in October and my guess is Manny will hit a walk off homer (of course off of the now shaky Papelbon) to win it all in 7 games (at home when the N.L. wins the All-Star game). These two teams look so deep and so good right now. Some sleepers for the 2nd Half Seattle, and likewise Texas if they can get a pitcher, I like what Tampa is doing, and also keep your eye on the Giants...maybe just a Matt Holiday away from being a Wild Card.

June 15, 2009

DVD Review #8 He's Just Not That Into You

He's Just Not That Into You (2009) Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connelly Directed By Ken Kwapis

I am ashamed at what just happened while watching this movie. I couldn't sleep and I have had this DVD sitting on my TV for awhile now, I decided let's get it done. So I watched it and I really wasn't all that impressed with what I was seeing, mediocre dialogue, Middle of the road acting, ensemble cast that is often lacking in chemistry...and then out of seemingly nowhere it happened...I F-ing teared up watching Ben Affleck act...not because of what you would think (he is so bad and I couldn't find the DVD remote I started crying...nope that wasn't it) he actually legitimately made me well-up. I for the first time in a long time forgot he was Ben Affleck and saw the character he was trying to play do something...and I got sad. I don't know what to say...if my four blog fans choose to leave now, I will understand. He's Just Not That Into You is an ensemble romantic comedy that tries very hard to give us insight into how silly we all are about relationships. It fights to be smart, cute, progressive, and charming...and for all the fighting...it scores um about half the time...and that isn't bad. Though I can't explain it, I actually cared about several characters. Drew Barrymore, Connelly, Long, and Aniston/Affleck (couple) all had me at the end...everyone else sorta missed. But I gotta tell you for most of us movie fans it's enough to only like about half of these characters. Turtle from Entourage gives it a good shot, but I just didn't love him, and the very cute Ginnifer Goodwin, just doesn't get enough material to make the impact I think they wanted her to make. But that said it is a nice flick, that is a great date movie, and trust me it will make you take a look at your life and your situation...no matter what that situation is. Kwapis (known mostly for directing The Office episodes) does not have a masterpiece here, but this layered story is not easy to tell, and even though halfway through I thought I wouldn't get it...by the end I got it...so much so I teared up a bit...and that is rare for me. I may go out now and hover this book to see what the pace and style of the book are. There are some random people quotes on relationships that felt unnecessary throughout the film... A little forced. I am going to give a solid/marginal recommendation and warn you to keep it on through the rough spots...and feel free to walk away for a soda once or twice...be careful this was a sneaky flick. In addition I suppose I will also settle down the hatespeak (I call him a capped tooth sellout from time to time) about Ben...nice work here...just please stop trying to be Jack Ryan or Daredevil. The soundtrack is pretty good as well...give it a shot...I would love to hear some feedback on this movie...i'm still not sure what just happened.

(The Shawshank 1-10 Scale) This film gets a 6.5, I may never watch it again, but it did make me sad.

Movie Review #11 The Hangover

The Hangover (2009) Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis Directed by Todd Phillips

From the man who brought you Road Trip and Old School comes The Hangover. It is better than Old School and I'm really glad to hear a sequel is already in the works. Ed Helms (Of Daily Show and The Office fame), Bradley Cooper (Current it guy from Yes Man, Failure to Launch), Justin Bartha (Riley from National Treasure), and the hilarious Zach Galifianakis are four buddies that blackout from a crazy bachelor party gone wrong. The comedy is priceless and the guys all have a cool chemistry that works. Heather Graham, Jeffrey Tambor, and Mike Tyson all do a nice job with their respective scenes...but keep your eye out (and believe me you'll have to look closely) for Ken Jeong who has the best "guy in trunk scene since Back to the Future. Galifianakis is deservedly the breakout here, his weird, creepy humor is laugh out loud funny, and you would want to go out and grab a beer with this guy. There are things they could have done better, but unlike the Wedding Crashers I will commend it for not pushing it and being too long. (it's a summer comedy people don't run over two hours) Todd Phillips is doing some good work, I wouldn't nominate anything here for an Oscar...but if you want to laugh your ass off and get some ideas for the next bachelor party (I have done 3 in Vegas) this film is perfect. Works great at the back end of a doubleheader. I highly recommend this movie and hope you will take the time to see it. Does it crack my top ten comedy list...no, top 25...maybe. Take the time, go grab your funny bone and your Holocaust ring and see this movie. I give it a very noble 7.0 memorable Morgan Freeman lines from Shawshank (as always people out of ten), because most of these guys really should be in prison.

Up Next (these guys are all busy) Cooper's got his first lead in the Sandra Bullock movie All About Steve...and watch out he is rumored to be in the new A-Team. You can hear Zach later this summer in the furball flick G-Force. For Phillips it is Old School Dos...wait that's it I'm going streaking...who's coming with me???

Food For Thought: Here I went with a Havarti Cheese, Pastrami sandwich...very good but I regret not bringing a pickle in I mean I wasn't with a girl...I shoulda brought the pickle. Light on the mayo, go mustard, and please for the love of god don't cheap out on the bread, and salt and pepper it.

June 14, 2009

Movie Review # 10 The Taking of Pelham 123

The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) Denzel Washington, John Travolta Directed by Tony Scott

Pelham 123 is an average movie, for a summer flick it is moderately entertaining, but I'm not ultimately going to recommend this one. I did not read the book or see the original, however my gut tells me that this story worked better in 1974. Travolta who plays "bad guy" Ryder is very average. He sports his bad boy goatee proudly, and hams it up every chance he gets desperately trying to steal scenes away from the more talented Mr. Washington. It doesn't work even though Denzel basically sleeps through this performance he still is better and more watchable than the current version of John Travolta who I guess thinks he is like Al Pacino and can just yell his way through a movie now. The bit players here are James Gandolfini and John Turturro who both do there best to keep things moving. Sadly it is the direction and crappy cinematography that makes this a less than admirable effort by the usually "good for a popcorn flick" director Tony Scott (Top Gun). It is filled with crappy city shots that serve as goofy transitions in between Denzel and Travolta talking. You feel nothing really for Ryder as a bad guy, his plan is weak, and his motives are not well-described. Denzel on the other hand has a character in Garber that is worth caring about, but really compared to his other work, he is strictly cashing a paycheck here. It is DVD worthy, but hopefully your making out with someone while your watching it. I will generously give it a 5.0 memorable Morgan Freeman lines from Shawshank just because Denzel has the kinda Morgan Freeman voice that draws you in...and Andy Would laugh at how silly Travolta's escape plan was.

Up next for Travolta is the silly looking Old Dogs which is like another Wild Hogs...wow I'm standing in line already...after that he might be back to straight to DVD. Denzel has Inside Man 2 which intrigues me and an interesting sounding Book of Eli which features the beautiful Mila Kunis. Scott has The Warriors remake...a movie that should not be remade.

Food For Thought: I had a half and half ice cream Birthday Cake and Cotton Candy...it was awesome as usual. Also just so you know all equal parts Rose's Lime/Pineapple Juice/Smirnoff V Twist...shake it, strain it, serve it up in a martini glass...you made yourself a nice Key Lime Martini...yeah bout 6 of those and you'll love this movie.

June 8, 2009

All Things Must Pass

Scrubs 2001-2009

So we all make mistakes, and I have made enough for a lifetime already...tonight I noticed yet another, while constructing a list of my favorite TV Shows I accidentally forgot about Scrubs. I just want to say the only reason I forgot about a show that has entertained me as good as a show can for the last eight years is because I don't watch Scrubs until the season ends and I feel like I can handle watching it (makes me sad)...usually all in one night a la tonight. Let me just say season 8 was every bit as good as season 1, and it was a fantastic run. I don't care what network it was on, or what the ratings said...Bill Lawrence, Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, John C. McGinley, Ken Jenkins, Neil Flynn, and Judy Reyes...along with Colin Hay and the rest of the gang made a really cool hospital TV show that was and still is a great unique piece of television. The two part finale on ABC ended fittingly with one of my favorite songs by the Magnetic Fields...and sung by Peter Gabriel, "The Book Of Love" while showing J.D. daydreaming of kids with Elliot and Xmas with Turk and Dr. Perry Cox...nice work. Someday in the not too distant future I will go out and get the box sets of all the seasons so I can watch them all next time I have a surgery or take a "just sit at home vacation". Unfortunately all good things come to an end and that is the sad reality of life that haunts us all...today I'm sad Scrubs is gone...but I am happy it went the right way...like Studio 60 (though a much shorter run it was also allowed a series finale though ratings were dropping) it was a well respected show deserving of a great finale. The fans thank ABC for letting it go in style.

P.S. My Fav episodes My Musical, My Way Home, My Point Of No Return, and My Last Words...though seriously very consistent they are all good. All good high five!