27 August 2008

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor

Spanks - 1.5

Director - Rob Cohen

Writers - Alfred Gough & Miles Millar

Starring - Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh & Luke Ford

Release Date - 1 August 2008

MPAA Rating - PG-13

The running gag in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is the main characters saying "I Hate Mummies", I say "I Hate Rob Cohen (the director of the cinematic masterpiece The Fast and the Furious, xXx, and Stealth)". I have only seen the first Mummy movie and that is Citizen Kane compared to this new one. Imhotep was a much better villain, the special effects were much better, Maria Bello was miscast, and this new story was stupid.

I am fully against recasting of characters, and this is a perfect example of why. Bello couldn't do a British accent for one and she didn't fit in the character at all. She doesn't even look smart and archaeologist like. They could have at least recast Evelyn with a British actress since they weren't smart enough to write her out. Emperor Han was your stereotypical one dimensional bad guy who just wants to take over the Earth and rule it with total power. At least Imhotep was after his girl that was killed when he was cursed before he was mummified. Remember the beatles that would craw under your skin and eat you from the inside out from the first? This sequel had nothing even close to scare you with... just Yeti.

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor is about Emperor Han who in ancient China was in the process of becoming emperor of the world when he was betrayed by a which and turned to stone. In 1948 he is awaken with the help of Brandon Fraser's son. Han then must find Shangra-La to restore his powers and take over the world. Brendon Fraser happens to be in the right place at the right time to save the world from a mummy for the third time.

The story is totally ridiculous and totally unoriginal. Three times in the film the protagonist say that if Han gets past them here then he will be unstoppable. That can work saying once, but no more. What I remember of the first, it was a serious action movie, but this seemed to be an children's action movie with the jokes, dialog, and Yeti. The comic relief in the first film was Evelyn's brother Johnathan, in this they tried to make each character be funny. That failed miserably because it was something written to be funny to a 12 year old (the 12 year old in the theater sitting next to me laughed at all these jokes).

19 August 2008

Tropic Thunder

Spanks - 4

Director - Ben Stiller

Writers - Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux & Etan Cohen

Starring - Robert Downey Jr., Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Jay Baruchel, Brandon T. Jackson & Steve Coogan

Release Date - 13 August 2008

MPAA Rating - R

Tropic Thunder is a great film. Don't listen to the protesters, they don't know what they are talking about. You would think people would be more upset from Robert Downey Jr in blackface than the use of the work "retard". Just so you know, they do not use "retard" to describe someone who is mentally challenged (that I could understand protesting a little). Ben Stiller's character in the film, Tugg Speedman, stars in a movie called Simple Jack prior to starring in the war epic Tropic Thunder. He takes the role of a mentally challanged man because he thinks it is a guaranteed Oscar like Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, and Billy Bob Thornton have done for roles in the past.

The film is a satire of Hollywood. It is not to be taken seriously in anyway. I think it does a good job of it too. It is also very funny. All the characters are stereotypical Hollywood-types. Ben Stiller is the action star, Robert Downey Jr. is the professionally trained actor, Jack Black is the drug addict commedian, Steve Coogan is the first time director looking to make a name for himself, and Brandon T. Jackson is the rapper turned actor (do they sound familiar to you?). The soundtrack is full of the classic rock songs from the 60's that are put in most Vietnam war movies.

Tropic Thunder is the story of making a Vietnam era epic war film based on the book Tropic Thunder by Four Leaf Tayback. After some time behind schedule and over budget, director Damien Cockburn decides to film the movie off the grid and gorilla style.

If you like comedies and war movies then this is truly the movie for you. If you are a fan of just one of those two genres, you will also enjoy it. That is unless you like to protest movies before seeing them because some group of people don't agree with it. If you are one of those people please read here.

14 August 2008

Pineapple Express

Spanks - 2

Director - David Gordon Green

Writers - Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg & Judd Apatow

Starring - Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole, Rosie Perez & Ed Begley Jr.

Release Date - 6 August 2008

MPAA Rating - R

On the top Pineapple Express is a movie about smoking week. Deep down it is really about friendship. The film follows Dale (Seth Rogen) who is a process server who smokes pot all the time. He gets a new kind of marijuana called pineapple express, who he is the only dealer in town with it, from his dealer Saul (James Franco). Later that day Dale goes to serve Ted Jones (Gary Cole). Before serving Ted, he smokes up, and while in his car he witnesses a murder in Ted's house by Ted and a lady cop (Rosie Perez). The movie then follows Dale and Saul on the run from Ted and the lady cop all the while building a friendship between dealer and buyer.

The film is funny and has some great scenes, but it is a slow movie. A lot happens, but the flow of the film is slow. It should have been 20 minutes shorter. James Franco's has the best character, and he plays a great stoner. He would remind you of your stoner friend from high school.

Even though it is a comedy it has 2 good action sequences. They are nothing breathtaking, but original in its own way. A police chase with the drivers right foot stuck in the windshield is one example. Maybe Seth Rogen is is practicing for The Green Hornet.

If you are going to go spend 9 dollars to see a comedy, see something else. Although Pineapple Express is funny there are funnier and better movies you can go see worth 9 dollars. If you want a good marijuana movie, just see Half Baked or Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke.

08 August 2008

Step Brothers

Spanks - 4

Director - Adam McKay

Writers - Will Ferrell, Adam McKay & John C. Reilly

Starring - Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen & Richard Jenkins

Release Date - 25 July 2008

MPAA Rating - R

Step Brothers
is a hysterical film. I laughed from start of the first reel to the end of the last. Its like Talladega Nights but a thousand times funnier. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are great together. You might be skeptical after watching the trailer for the first time. I was. I thought, it doesn't look that funny... but it is.

The film is about to 40 year old guys who just meet and become step brothers because their parents get married. However, they are not your normal 40 year old guys. Remember how you and your siblings acted towards each other and with each other when you were 11 years old. That is Ferrell and Reilly in this movie. Because of their parents getting married they are forced to grow up, get jobs, and apartments.

I think this is going to be the most quoted movie of the summer. "You better not close your eyes, because as soon as you do, I'm gonna punch you square in the face!" and many more you will hear in the streets that are not PG rated like that one.

If your looking for a smart comedy like Stranger Than Fiction, this one is not a good choice. But if you want fart, poop, and funny childish things like that in your comedy, this movie is for you.

*The song in the trailer is called "North American Scum" by LCD Soundsystem"