Sunday, December 28, 2008

Marley and Me

Marley and Me is a wonderful tale of John Grogan (Owen Wilson) and his wife Jennifer Grogan (Jennifer Aniston) who move to Florida after they both receive jobs at their respective newspapers. They end up adopting a tiny lab since Wilson doesn't want to have children yet. On the ride home, Wilson turns on the radio and names his dog Marley after the Bob Marley song that plays in his car.

From here is where all the hijinks's ensue. Marley turns into this untrainable dog that does whatever he wants, which includes tearing up the garage, eating the wall plaster, and eating a whole answering machine. All this goes on while Wilson and Aniston try to retain a normal lifestyle while keeping this demon dog.

Wilson's relationship with this dog is really the true magic in this movie. While his relationship with Aniston is done well, Wilson just constantly seems like he's uncomfortable and a little goofy being with her. Though, with Marley, he hits right on key. These two are just amazing together because even as Marley is at his wildest, he seems to pull back while with Wilson which shows the true connection one can have with their pet.

The story is laid out beautifully and never gets dull. The movie runs about an hour and a half and not once did I feel anything slowed down or missed it's mark. If I were to pick something out that just doesn't seem to fit, it's Wilson's character doesn't ever seem happy with his current job. Though that could just be a normal issue in anyone's life, Wilson changes what he does at the newspaper at least three times, but this in no way detracts from the movie.

The creators of this movie really pulled some great emotions out of their cast and it shows through to the audience. Many times I felt the same feelings that Wilson was going through and this just puts the movie ahead of a ton of movies that might fall into this season. Though this movie does have a sad ending, you don't walk out of this movie feeling depressed, you come out feeling surprisingly pleasant. Hence why this movie warrants the 8.75 out of 10.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Seven Pounds

With a run time of nearly two hours, this melodrama staring Will Smith is nothing shy of great. Will Smith plays a character by the name of Ben Thomas who is in search of finding people who deserve a dramatic life change that only Ben can give them.

The movie, played in a flash back mode, had a very confusing first half. The issue here was that the time line of the movie is all over the place to the point of confusing the audience. You have no idea what is truly going on or in what order this movie has appeared to be put in. Although, as the movie goes on, tiny bits of the truth start to shine through and this is where the actors really shine.

Seven Pounds has such a great pace that even when the plot seems like an endless pit, the actors come out and give such emotion and play their characters you begin to forget that these are not real people. Rosario Dawson plays the amazing Emily Posa who slowly becomes the love interest of this movie, but be weary, this is not a romance in the slightest sense. Smith and Dawson are remarkable together, never once does their relationship seem phoney. They really seem to be in love with one another and it comes out beautifully.

The major twist in this movie not only changes your outlook on the movie but turns everything you thought about the movie on it's head. Everything comes together in the most amazing way that turns anything bad you thought about the movie to become a real tear jerker.

Smith has always been a favorite of mine. He started out as a mildly funny T.V. star and then was magically transformed into one of, in my opinion, the best actors in the business today. I really enjoyed this movie and it really gets the rank of 8 out of 10

Monday, November 10, 2008

Movie Announcements

As of recently, there have been a lot of movies that have been announced and rumors that have been shooting up like none that we've seen before. This is not to say that we haven't had rumors for movies in the past, but my favorite announcement has been that of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

The main point I want to bring here is the announcement that Johnny Depp will be playing the Mad Hatter in this new adapted movie. Along with Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter have joined the cast of Alice in Wonderland playing the White Queen (Hathaway) and Red Queen (Carter) respectively.

The main curiosity I have here is the choice of unknown Mia Wasikowska to play Alice. Wasikowska is relatively new to the "biz". With Depp and Carter and Hathaway being such big stars, it makes my curiosity tingle with Burton moving to possibly create a new star in that of Wasikowska.

Other announcements that I stumbled upon today was that of the new X-Men movies entitled X-Men Origins and will focus on specific characters such as Wolverine, Storm, and Magneto. We all know that Wolverine will be getting his own movie but the announcements that were big for me has been in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine cast.

Obviously, Hugh Jackman will be reprising his role of Wolverine in this movie but the real treat is the other characters in it. In this movie we will officially see the Weapon X program and the recruits such as Sabertooth, Deadpool, Beak, Silverfox, and (drumroll please?) Gambit.

Ryan Reynolds will be playing the role of Deadpool which leaves a little to question since his preformance in Blade III was subpar, in my opinion. Taylor Kitsch, known for only his role in the movie Covenant, will be playing the mutant Gambit in this movie. I only saw the Covenant once and enjoyed it. When it comes to Kitsch though, his role was not one that stands out in my mind so I'm a little worried about the fate of my favorite mutant.

With both ups and downs of the movie seasons to come, I'm very excited to see what happens in the future to these movies and will try to keep an update of both these movies and maybe throw some more announcements in the future.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Role Models

Paul Rudd plays Danny Donahue in the new movie entitled Role Models. Seann William Scott plays Danny’s best friend Wheeler and together Danny and Wheeler go from school to school taking about why kids should not take drugs but buy their energy drink, Minotaur, that ends up turning your pee neon green. One day, everything goes wrong on Danny and ends up driving his Minotaur truck up a statue after getting into a fight and trying to steal his truck back from a tow truck.

Christopher Mintz-Plasse, better known as McLovin, as Augie Farks. Augie is your stereotypical D&D dork but instead of playing it in his basement, there is a whole group that he plays this with in the park. Bobb’s J. Thompson breaks out of the mold in this movie playing the foul-mouthed Ronnie. Ronnie has gone through tons of different “big’s” because of his foul mouth and antagonizing character.

I cannot honestly think of a better match than this match up of Rudd and Scott. These two actors play so well of each other that there friendship is actually believable. While the “littles” of Mintz-Plasse and Thompson end up stealing the scenes most times because of the ridiculous lines.

The plot of the movie is very straightforward in that because of Rudd’s “blow up” he and Scott are forced to do 150 hours of community service with a mentorship program or spend 30 days in jail. Given their options they go with the mentorship and meet Thompson and Mintz-Plasse. Initially, they can’t find anything in common as there first day with each other are full of awkward jokes and aggressive comments.

Eventually both pairs find a connection but the funniest of either is that of Scott and Thompson’s with the love of Kiss and boobs. The connection starts when the mentorship offers a big/little camping trip and in order to fill the hours, Scott and Rudd attend. Though, Rudd’s depression and hatred towards the world hinders the relationship with his little. Eventually Rudd comes around and realizes that he and his little have in common they feel isolated from everyone else.

The laughs in this movie are continuous from the moment it starts to the final scene in the movie. Your sides will hurt from the amount of laughing you do during this film. Writers Paul Rudd and David Wain really have a great movie with this masterpiece of comedy under their belts. In the end, this movie was probably one of the funniest movies of the year and was well worth the price of a movie ticket.

This movie laughed its way to an 8 out of 10

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saw V

With the Halloween season in full bloom you know that it is truly the Halloween season when the next installment of the Saw series comes out. The fifth installment starts off right after the fourth movie leaves off with Agent Strahm finding Jigsaw’s dead body when his own game starts as the door holding the dead bodies of Jigsaw, Amanda and the husband and wife from the third film closes.

Strahm, played by Scott Patterson, is then entered into his own game delving ever deeper into the mind of Jigsaw. Meanwhile, off in some distant, unknown place, five people wake up to find they are in one of Jigsaw’s final traps.

FBI Agent Mark Hoffman, played by Costas Mandylor, returns for his third movie. Although the only issue with his character is that he resembles Agent Strahm just enough that you sometimes get confused which person is which.

The traps that are set up in this movie are fantastic in their terror. The opening trap pits a murderer on a table where he must crush his own hands to the point where the bones are turned to powder or face getting chopped in half by the swinging pendulum that slowly is being lowered.

This movie delves much deeper into the connection Jigsaw has with his traps and how he does not feel he is killing. He sees himself as a more efficient way of rehabilitating each subject than our federal system. Tobin Bell plays Jigsaw so well that its difficult to picture anyone else in that role.

Although this movie continues the installment, it just misses the mark set by the other movies as it is meant simply to continue the story into what will surely become the sixth installment coming out next year. Don’t get me wrong though, this movie has you on the edge of your seat really feeling the pain and the agony these unlucky contestants are going through to save their own lives.

The grittiness of the traps is one of sure amazement. Each time you see someone in their own personal hell, even if you don’t like the character, you still are feeling the agony they have to go through to put their past behind them.

The fifth movie really ties all the movies together in a way that has not been done before. We are treated to flashbacks of some of the traps we may have forgotten over the series. The barbwire trap from the first movie is brought back for a horrible twist along with the house from the second movie.

Overall, I would give this movie a 6 out of 10 alone. But with keeping in mind that it's setting up the sixth picture, I would give this a 7.5 out of 10.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eagle Eye

What happens when the government tries to get intelligence on everyone to try and weed out terrorists and people who plan to do evil unto us? This is the general idea behind the movie Eagle Eye. Eagle Eye is a super computer designed to find people who plan to conspire against the America. All the events of the movie start off with our war on terror and hunting out the people in the world who try to create another attack on America.

Shia Lebouf plays the slacker Jerry Shaw who works at a copy store and just coasts through life till he finds out his twin brother has been killed in an accident. Shia’s performance in this movie is one that I thought would never come. Finally, a role where Shia has to be a mature adult in a role that suits him and his teen angst well.

Michelle Monaghan plays Rachel Holloman, a single mother who does everything she can to help her trumpet-playing son be the best he can. This drive pushes her scum ex-husband away and puts him on a train to play with his school at the white house.

These two characters get a phone call one night by a mysterious female who tells them that if they do not comply with her that they will die. Not something they want to happen, obviously. Jerry comes back from his brother’s funeral to find a weapons cache in his apartment with the FBI about to break in. At first neither Jerry nor Rachel believe that this is actually happening to them, but if they want to survive, they need to work together to find out what is really going on with this mysterious caller.

The dialogue in this movie is very well executed since each line is to help the story move along in a fast pace. The camera works well as it stays close to the action giving the viewer almost the kind of “Holy crap! I’m right there” feeling. Billy Bob Thornton makes a special cameo as the hard ass Agent Thomas Morgan who is determined to catch Jerry Shaw, convinced he is a terrorist.

Each character is well rounded and is only enhanced with the actor’s talent. As the story unravels, the viewer is never bored since each scene brings another piece to the puzzle of what really is going on behind all the scenes. Each part of the puzzle is laid out in the beginning but only truly cones to fruition at the very end of the movie.

This movie plays on our instinctual urges of what would happen if our lives were threatened by an unknown source? Would you obey and go along with what the voice tells you even if it goes against your morals? Or would you disobey and have the possibility of dying an intense death? These questions are all to frequent reminders during this movie to punch the point of creating the connection to the characters.

All in all this movie was very enjoyable and with the ever increasing cost of movie ticket prices, it is very difficult to find movies that are clearly worth the price of them. Though this year, the movie selection has been a very good crop with Eagle Eye entering itself into the mix. Overall, I'd have to give this movie a 6.5 out of 10

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lakeview Terrace

With a movie like Lakeveiw Terrace, star Samuel L. Jackson plays an officer for the LAPD who gets a new couple to move in next door. This new couple is an inter-racial couple who are new homeowners and excited and happy to be in their new beautiful house. Unfortunately, Abel, played by Jackson, does not approve of the inter-racial couple and attempts to get the new couple to leave.

This movie sounded to myself as a great thriller drama but once the movie started it just drug on. The characters are so two dimensional that the names of any other character except for Abel are forgotten. The entire focus of the movie is spent in astonishment because you are not sure whether to believe that there can be a person who is so against the couple while enlisted to “protect and serve”.

At no point in this movie are there any twists or surprises. Although it is absurd the corruptness of someone who is suppose to keep us safe can be. Abel’s character just takes his job way to seriously and even makes his home a type of jail. Abel’s kids are so fed up with his rules that they contemplate running away to their Aunt’s house. The whole house has floodlights surrounding the whole thing, while the large fence keeps everyone at bay.

The couple on the other hand, goes through a great deal when they move into their new house. One of Abel’s lights shines right into their bedroom window and keeps them up all night. When they try to plant privacy trees, Abel comes home and tries to cut them all down because they are growing onto his property. Amidst all this, we find out that the wife has become pregnant.
Though, none of this is enough to keep my focus off of how poorly this movie was. The characters were not drawn out enough, the dialogue was bland and had to tone at all, and finally it had no depth at all. It was just the couple going against a guy who was so set against white people that he is driven crazy by his own racism.

All in all, this movie sucked. It was the first time I honestly finished watching the movie and thought that I would walk out and ask for my money back for this atrocity of a movie. I give this 2 shits out of 10.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Glimpse into the Future

With a summer of fantastic blockbusters who would have thought that movies based on comic books would turn a profit that would rival the ages? Dark Knight, Hellboy 2, and Iron man are just a few of the movies that were inspired by such great illustrators and writers from the Marvel and DC Universes, but how can one top such greatness?

Taking a look forward we have the obvious sequels coming out such as Iron man 2, Transformers 2, G.I. Joe, and most likely a third installment of the Dark Knight/Batman Begins series. Though there are still many lesser-known movies that will be coming out within the next few years that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat as well as coming back for the sequel.

On December 5th, the installment to the Punisher series, Punisher: War Zone. Though this time instead of Thomas Jane playing Frank Castle, or his alterego The Punisher, we have Ray Stevenson. This major change of character may turn some people away from this movie because this difference is very clear but on the other side, Punisher: War Zone will still remain to have just as much violence as its predecessor.

Once the new year hits Marvel puts its best comics forth beginning with Iron Man 2 in mid-April, Thor in late June, Captain America and Spiderman 4 in May and July bringing in Marvel’s super team, The Avengers. With more than two dozen announced or in development that the next few years should be very filled with fantastic movies.

Marvel’s greatest rival, DC Comics, have not jumped on the band wagon and have only announced Wonder Woman and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract for the forth coming year or two. DC seems to be very vigilant of which comics they wish to bring to the silver screen since some directors and comics seem to turn south if the right crew and story line is not cast.
One of the most anticipated movies was not even created by Marvel or DC, The Spirit, from Quality Comics, is the next movie out from the twisted mind of Frank Miller, who created Sin City, 300, and many others. The Spirit is the story of a man who works almost like Batman but more of a detective who fights for righteousness and the justice. Another movie made fan boys wake in their shoes at Comicon, Watchmen. The Watchmen is a very dark and sinister comic about, what else? A murdered detective whose has then returned as a ghost like figure to patrol the city for vigilantes and villains only in this city, all superheroes must be registered with the government in order to keep some sort of precedent to keep the “masks” in line.

With everything from Punisher to Captain America and Wonder Woman, it seems that the big movie producers seem to have a plethora of storylines and heroes and heroines to create the big blockbusters of the next few years. And with everyone from Johnny Depp as a rumored Riddler, to Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, it seems that even the actors want to put their time in order to fulfill their childhood fantasies of being a super hero.

Only time will truly tell which hero(es) will become the best sellers and fan favorites but regardless of who ends up taking down the record of sales for the Dark Knight it will truly be a great few years for those of us who still want to remain kids at heart and watch your favorite heroes take to the streets to show that Justice will Prevail.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Step Brothers

What happens when you pit Will Ferrel and John C. Reilly as two step brothers who are 40 and have never left the house? A movie filled from beginning to end. This movie was fantastic simply put. The improv styles of these two great actors is an astonishing thing to sit and enjoy.

Will plays Brennan Huff, a 39 year old who has never had a decent job and still lives with his mother. Conversely, John C. Reilly plays Dale Doback, the 40 year old who also lives at home with his dad and has never had a good job. Brennan and Dale's parents meet one night at a convention and share a hilarious sex scene setting up the premise for this movie. Shortly thereafter, they are wed and Brennan and his mother movie into Dale's house. Dale and Brennan meet for the first time and immediately turn the other into their arch-nemesis.

I have not seen a Will Ferrel movie this funny since Anchorman. Even so, I think this movie was better than Anchorman. Ferrel and Reilly seem to really have created their own within this movie. The characters are intensely funny and you will laugh so hard at the bickering fights that your side hurt. Ferrel and Reilly's characters are really just 40 year old children as they never left for college or even really had true friends.

This is the kind of movie where once the feature ends, you want to watch it one more time because you know you've missed something. For everyone who has ever had a sibling that you didn't get along with, this movie will make you laugh till you cry.

This movie clearly is a 7.5 out of 10

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express. The weed that smells like God’s Vagina, the rarest of the rare, the weed you want to shove up your nose to just smell it all day. That’s what Saul (James Franco) got in last night. Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, who plays Dale Denton, wrote this action comedy that takes nothing seriously.

This Camera angles in some of the scenes almost seem to be forced and although it works, it gives the feeling of an uncomfortable high going awry. Which is the whole plot of the movie, Dale Denton buys some Pineapple Express from his dealer Saul and ends up witnessing a murder. Saul and Dale are stoned throughout the entirety of the movie and play it so well, it’s impossible to tell if they have ever been sober in their life.

The fight scenes in this movie are so absurd that they aren't even taken seriously. Camera angles seem forced and the movements by the actors are impulsive. It almost seems as though the fight scenes themselves were improved. Though they are hilarious in their absurdity, they really play well to the whole movies mis en scene. Even the "deaths" of people aren't taken seriously as they get up after being shot for hours, shot with a machine gun, foot blown off after getting run over. Not a single death in the movie has ever made me laugh so hard.

The ending, which I don't want to spoil, is kind of blurry. There's no closer to basically anything other than the whole drug dealers chasing them. Everyone that Dale and Saul are attached to, have no closer at the end of this movie and it's a little unnerving.

The strange part about this movie is the writers never take a stance for whether or not they are pro or con legalization of pot. The funny parts were funny, awkard was definitely awkward, and being stoned? Well, it may look like fun, but if you witness a murder while high. Probably a better idea to just move to the next town.

Overall I would give Pineapple Express 6.5 out of 10

Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanemo Bay

The sequel to 2004’s Harold and Kumar go to White Castle comes a new chapter in the “Stoner comedy” genre. This time around our boys from New Jersey are off to Amsterdam to visit the love of Harold’s life, Maria. Taking place right after the first movie Harold and Kumar go straight to the airport to head to the weed capital of the world with no way of knowing where Maria is or how they can even find her.

As luck would have it once they get on the plane an old lady spots them and immediately thinks that their terrorists. She keeps calm at first but once Kumar goes to the bathroom and tries out his new invention, the smokeless bong, she mistakes it for a bomb and the boys get held up with our nation’s Homeland Security boys.

Playing on the stereotypes of every sense we have a buffoon of an officer played by Rob Corddry who is named Ron Fox. He sees them as Korean and Iraqi and figures the two countries are working together to stop our freedoms and sends the boys off to Guantanamo Bay. After an escape involving a cock and meat sandwich, Harold and Kumar find themselves on the run ranging from Miami to Alabama to Texas in order to clear their names.

Fox chases closely behind them, stopping in Alabama where Harold and Kumar leave an abandoned car, and questions some of the locals. Fox’s character believe all stereotypes to be true questions a local African American and in order to get him to tell the truth, pours a can of grape soda to get him to tell the truth. While questioning Harold and Kumar’s Jewish friends, he pours a small bag of pennies on the table playing into the Jewish stereotype. Followed by a quick comment from one of the friends says “What? About seven dollars more or less?” We see every stereotype from African Americans to Jews to Red-neck even the Klu Klux Klan makes an appearance in this movie.

The real focus is no longer on the boys getting to Amsterdam but to get to Texas where Kumar’s ex-girlfriend is getting married to an egotistical jerk who’s only concern is getting into the white house just like his dad, and befriending the president of the United States. Kumar sees this as a great way for him to break up the wedding and win back the girl he lost way back in college.

For all you Neil Patrick Harris fans out there, the answer is yes, he is back for round two and this time we see more of him and he is just as off the wall as he was before. This time, he finds the boys in Alabama and drives them closer to Texas. Once he picks up Harold and Kumar he immediately states that he goes where God tells him to and downs a bag of shrooms washed down with a nice cold beer. After a little driving, they run into a checkpoint brought up by Fox himself.

Neil Patrick Harris hides them under a “sticky” blanket and talks to Fox while tripping on the shrooms he just digested. Fox is star struck seeing Neil in the car, but what he doesn’t know is that Neil is tripping balls and sees himself riding on a unicorn with the “shiniest horn ever.”

Neil Patrick Harris takes them to a whorehouse where he does his thing but ends up branding a lady who goes by the name of Tits Hemmingway. Harold and Kumar freak out and grab his car and jet out of there. But don’t think this is over by a long shot, they meet and smoke pot with President Bush in his Guesthouse, jump out of an airplane, meet a Cyclops who reminds them of Sloth from the Goonies, and even talk to Cuba’s on a boat and tell them what to do once they get to America.

This movie was great and if you enjoyed the first one, this will be another treat. With plenty of great actors, combined with a hilarious storyline, this movie was well worth the money to get a movie ticket. Also, with laughs every minute, it’s hard to say you’ll catch all the jokes watching this the first time through but this movie will have a high replay value once you see it. Finally, as said by George Bush in the movie; “You don’t need to trust your government to be a good American, you just have to love your country.”

Harold and Kumar easily rated at 7 out of 10

The Eye

Upon going to see this movie the first thought that popped into my head was that The Eye was going to be another poor remake of a great Japanese horror flick. With a storyline placing Jessica Alba as Sydney, the blind violinist, who gets a new surgery that basically, gives her new eyes, so that she can see the world around her. With this new sight however, there are a couple major drawbacks. She’s now constantly haunted by frightening images of death stealing the doomed victims and dragging them into the realm of death.

I began to think that this could potentially be good, I’m sure if your honest with yourself you thought the movie The Ring was half decent the first time you watched it. Maybe this movie could have the potential to bring a genre back from the brink of fear, and with Jessica Alba at the helm, I thought, can’t be half bad. So I check into my seat and try to watch this movie without to must bias against the Japanese Horror Remake.

The original movie was called “Jian Gui.” The Eye had the exact plot and story but for some reason the original movie, which I watched the day earlier by chance, was much more terrifying. Watching this movie, the surgery she gets seems eerily parallel to the new laser eye surgery.

As soon as Syd gets the surgery she meets a nine-year-old cancer patient who tells her not to worry because the world is beautiful. Once she leaves the hospital she begins to start her recovery into learning how to see again. At first, everything is blurry but almost immediately she starts seeing the dead and their “escorts.”

Syd realizes that what she is seeing isn’t actually suppose to be there so she sets off to try and find who the donor eyes came from and why she continues to have these weird visions. Her journey leads her and Doctor Paul Faulkner, the doctor in charge of her recovery, down to Mexico where she finds out the true nature of what happened to the donor.

Once the movie ended, I thought about the general movie idea and thought that it was not to bad. Some of the themes were a little redundant but overall this was a pretty good movie. The acting was surprisingly well done and I never was bored. But the movie had an eerie feeling of M. Night Shyamalan’s “Sixth Sense” the only difference here was that instead of seeing just the dead, she could see them right before they died.

As for this being a remake of the Japanese Horror, Jian Gui, it held together pretty well. There was no time that I thought “None of this is making sense” as the little details of each scene were shown and left no plot holes. But when you think of an American Horror, most times you will think of a hack and slahs flick. Japanese horror films are more psychological in the fact that they will elude to a scary moment but just as you think it’s going to happen, it leaves you hanging for a truly jump out and scare you moment. Though on the many occasions where something actually did occur, the theater was filled with the screams of fear from the people around me.

In general I would recommend this movie to most anyone for the simple reason that right now, there are no other movies like this one. Sure, it has some recycled points in it but what movie these days don’t have recycled points? In the end, with a rating scale of one to five, I would place this about a three and a half. Well directed, and well acted, this movie was pure entertainment and did an amazing job in the transition of Alba’s blindness into her world of sight once more.

Definitely, Maybe

With the director of Love Actually and Notting Hill at the helm of this Valentine’s Day love-fest called Definitely, Maybe, one can not help but think that this will be another comedic love story that will shine this Valentine’s Day with the main star, Ryan Reynolds, at the helm.

The plot of this new-age love story stars Ryan Reynolds as Will Hayes, a 30-something Manhattan dad is in the midst of a divorce. His ten-year-old daughter Maya, played by Abigail Breslin, starts to delve into her father’s past life, before the marriage. Maya wants to know absolutely everything about how her parents met and fell in love and thus starts the story of Will’s past love life. The story then jumps to a flashback to 1992 where Will, a young, politician who moves to New York from his hometown in Wisconsin to begin working on the Clinton campaign.

Will then begins to relive his past as a idealistic young man learning the ins and outs of big city politics, and recounts the history of his romantic relationships with three very different women for his daughter. While on the campaign trail, Will's best buddy is Russell McCormack. They not only have similar political aspirations, they share the same type of women problems, too. Will hopelessly attempts a dulled down, more appropriate version of his story for his daughter, while changing the names so Maya has no clue who each women is and is forced to guess which of these women he finally married.

So which girl will William end up with? Is it Emily, his college sweetheart who seems to good to be true, or April, the artsy copy girl he works with during the Clinton campaign, or is it Summer, the journalist who is sleeping with her thesis professor?

The movie is set up in a very interesting way. As William recounts his post-college life to his daughter you are also trying to find out who Will ends up with. Each girl has her ups and downs but there still is that hinting suspicion of the mystery wife he is divorcing. As for a romantic comedy, this movie has all the elements to make this a great movie but something seems to be missing. The acting is on pair and you stay hooked throughout the movie but the subplot of William being a politician seems to drag the story down.

The main character might be Ryan Reynolds, but the movie is stolen by his daughter Maya who is such an adorable asset to this movie that she is acting well beyond the age she is currently at and can out act most of the people in this movie. Though April, Wedding Crasher’s Isla Fisher, keeps the reality of the movie going with the romantic chemistry moving with the back and for love between her and William, her devotion to the character is easily only skin deep.

There are a few choke up moments when you come to realize how difficult it is for the love torn Will to make decisions that end up helping and hurting his life. As is for real life, his daughter Maya, continually thinks that finding out the perfect person is easy but as the story progresses she comes to the horrific conclusion that life is not as easy as we are made out to believe. Maya at one point asks her father how there could possibly be a happy ending to this story and Will responds that there most definitely is a happy ending here but he just has not gotten to it yet.

In the end, this movie has all the right parts for the perfect romantic comedy but sadly falls short and leaves you wanting more. Although, not up to the standards of Love Actually or Notting Hill this movie still warms your heart right up until the end. With an ending that is almost predictable from the first twenty minutes in, it does the job of a good romantic comedy, makes you laugh, wanting the main character, Will, to end up happily ever after. This movie would be a great movie to rent and watch on the couch with your friends but not one that would be recommended for spending the absurd price of a movie ticket on.


To go see a movie like 21 you have to think back to a time where Vegas wasn’t a family friendly place where it was just coming into the age where we are today where cheating the casino’s out of hundreds of thousands of dollars is nearly impossible. This is the setting for the movie wittingly entitled 21. The name alone lets the viewer know what game and how this small group of MIT students, who are mathematical geniuses, stroll into Las Vegas only a handful of times but end up walking out of the casino with more money than anyone knows what to do with.

Jim Sturgess, from Across the Universe, plays the mathematical genius Ben Campell who dreams of getting admitted into Harvard Medical to become the doctor he always dreamed of. Once he gets admitted to the school he runs into a bit of a snag, money, an issue that many people have. So what does he do? Applies for a full ride through a scholarship that would admit him there. Although, a professor tells him that the only way he can get this scholarship is through his essay that needs to “Dazzle and jump off the page.”

Ben never had much life experience since he was always focused on work and school. His intelligence is shown throughout the movie from his 1590 on the SAT’s, 44 on the MCATs, and the one time you see him working and he does a customers total for sales in his head. Though, he still lacks the experience and this causes the main issue for this movie. As a student of MIT he takes courses that require an amazing amount of intellect, one of which taught by none other than Kevin Spacey.

Kevin Spacey plays the role of Mickey Rosa, who use to play blackjack and count cards but for some unknown reason stepped out while he was on top. When Mickey asks a question in class Ben is the first to answer and surprises his professor with such an astounding answer that he goes and looks at the test and realizes the intellect that Ben has. One night while Ben is studding in the library he gets encountered by a character that tells him to follow him down through the building to a darkened hallway where only one room has lights on.

Upon entering the room we see Mickey and his crew practicing counting cards and Mickey lays everything out for him. Counting cards being legal, him needing the money for Harvard, everything and although Ben realizes how beneficial this can be, he has trouble wrestling the morality of cheating. He initially turns down the offer and tries to forget about it but only when Jill Taylor, the romantic interest played by Kate Bosworth, enters his work and explains everything to him does he actually join the team.

The movie then embarks on a wonderful montage of Vegas and it’s high roller lifestyle that completely transforms the pace of the movie. Ben and his crew begin taking all the casino’s by force and taking hundreds of thousands of dollars by simply paying attention to the cards and the most simplistic system of showing when a deck is ready to let lose and pay off the big money.

Enter Lawrence Fishburne, Cole Williams the muscle of the casino, who is having difficulty dealing with a new security system that uses facial recognition to catch card counters and cheaters as they enter the building. Think of Cole as your classic old school Vegas thug, using his muscle to get his way. Cole spots Ben while he’s winning a ridiculous amount of hands and getting the payoff of a lifetime. As Cole goes to catch Ben, a fight breaks out and luckily our “hero” gets away.

One fateful night, while Ben is not on his “A-game” loses somewhere near two hundred thousand dollars and Mickey has a freak out. Telling Ben he’s off the team and that he’ll get the money back one way or another. Ben then tries to lead the team but as bad luck would have it, Cole finally catches up to him and beats the tar out off Ben, Old school Vegas style.

When Ben returns back to Boston, he sees that Mickey has taken everything from Ben. Giving him an incomplete to a class, breaking into his dorm and stealing all the money Ben had been saving for Harvard Med. For a while it seems that fate has screwed Ben over and there’s nothing he can do. Ben decides to apologize to Mickey and have one last night in Vegas to get all the money back.

This was one amazing ride of a movie from start to end. The acting was amazing and the ode to Bono’s role in Across the Universe was humorous. In the end though, this movie was a treat for the viewer and quite a ride it takes you. This movie is highly recommended for anyone who has the need to experience the high roller lifestyle of Vegas, Hands Down.

Since we all need to have ratings, I would give 21 the movie an 8 out of 10


Welcome Everyone,

This is my first blog and thus, I have no fucking clue what I'm doing. So since I created this for me to put my reviews up, here goes.