Archive for May, 2017

Movie Mayhem – Baywatch

Matt Brody, the cocky, selfish new blood protecting the beaches of Baywatch, may be well-known around the world as the “Vomit Comet” for his unfortunate mishap during an Olympic swimming event, but his portrayer, Zac Efron, is that much closer to being dubbed the “Dick Whisperer”. It’s hard to find a recent comedy Efron has been in that doesn’t involve some drawn out joke involving the male appendage. And though there are plenty of other comedians (Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill among them) that rely heavily on this body part to squeeze out comedy, it seems Efron makes sure it’s written into his contract. I’ve seen it done right in movies like “There’s Something About Mary,” where the joke itself has more importance than simple embarrassment, but when a film focuses so much time and attention on two unoriginal dick jokes that overstay their welcome well before they ever appear, something has gone horribly wrong. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Alien: Covenant & Everything, Everything

Leaving something on the cutting room floor. The phrase has been around since the beginning of cinema, when editors would literally cut strips of film from the reel to leave lying on the floor until it was time to sweep up for the night. There are many things that would warrant a piece of dialogue or a scene be cut from a film, including shortening the length or removing unnecessary or repetitive sequences. For anyone who’s watched deleted scenes of their favorite movies, for the most part the choices the director, producer or studio make are for the better. But there are some things that are cut out that actually would have improved the film, and answered questions left, well, on the cutting room floor. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Snatched

When Goldie Hawn first broke onto the scene in Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, she was a highly energetic performer who didn’t mind taking comedic risks. Yet compared to the majority of comedy we see today, her sensibilities were pretty conservative in their opulence. However you perceive her style, what made Hawn so funny was her maturity in how she delivered and reacted to whatever situation she might find herself in. Even if the ideas and characters around her were heightened, she was smart enough to know when to pull back on the comedy to keep it from becoming absurd.

Fast forward thirty years, where that line has moved so dramatically, comedy has become more about who can be the loudest, crudest or most abusive, pushing the limits for the sake of pushing the limits while stepping on eggshells to keep from offending any one person’s sensibilities. Amy Schumer fits comfortably in this new excessive style, specializing in laid-back crudeness that tries to be shocking but comes off as desperate. I’ll admit, Schumer is as smart a comedian as Hawn — she understands herself and her audience, expressing a subtle, knowing debasement of the world and her inconsequential place within it. This style worked well in Trainwreck, but was much more grounded in a genuine reality than Snatched, where these differing styles keep the film from finding a reliable foundation to build anything substantial. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

For a science fiction space adventure with both a talking raccoon and a talking tree (or in this case, a talking root), it may be hard to believe it when I say I felt Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at times felt a bit too cartoony. Let me explain. Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) aside, the original Guardians of the Galaxy was still grounded in the same Marvel realism that had been set up by all the previous films in the franchise, although with a subtle wink and vibe that differentiated it from the pack. Even if the stakes were a little over-exaggerated, it still felt as if they were part of the universe occupied by the likes of Captain America, Iron Man and Thor.

Guardians Vol. 2, however, chips away slightly at that aesthetic. Peter Quill, aka Starlord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and the rest of the ragtag team of misfits still bring the same acerbic wit and charm that we all fell in love with three years ago, and I can’t wait to see Rocket and Tony Stark bromancing it up with some sarcastic banter over a new technological marvel that will save the galaxy. But director James Gunn tends to take some of the silliness a little too far at times during this second outing, pushing the tone a bit too far into far-fetched goofiness and pulling you out of the movie, if only for a few brief moments. Read Full Review

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Busy Busy Busy…

I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but I’ve been all but MIA from social media for, oh, a couple of months now. There have been a couple of posts littered here and there throughout Instagram or Twitter, but I’ve been mostly silent on both Facebook and this very blog. (If you follow my movie reviews, you probably noticed a major dry spell between Rings and the recently posted The Circle!)

This absence hasn’t been because I chose to step away from social media. I still check my stats and see what everyone else is up to on a daily basis, and if I feel compelled, comment on posts and what have you. In fact, I schedule posts for all of my social media channels each week. No, the real reason I haven’t been social lately is because of work. What Have I been Up To?

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