Friday, October 12, 2012

Red State (2011)

Number Rolled: 54
Movie Name/Year: Red State (2011)
Genre: Horror
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Actors: Michael Angarano, Deborah Aquila, Nicholas Braun, Ronnie Connell, Kaylee DeFer, Joey Figueroa, Kyle Gallner, Anna Gunn, Matt Jones, John Lacy, Cathering McCord, Alexa Nikolas, Stephen Root, Cooper Thornton, Betty Aberlin, Kerry Bishe, Ralph Garman, Melissa Leo, Molly Livingston, James Parks, Michael Parks, Haley Ramm, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Elizabeth Tripp, Ash Barnett, Taylor Briggs, John Goodman

I was lucky enough to get to Radio City Music Hall for the first showing of Kevin Smith’s tour for Red State, and it was well worth the extra cash.

As many of you may know, at a film festival, Kevin Smith made the controversial move of auctioning off - to himself - his own movie. Not only that, but in a twenty minute long speech (found on youtube), basically told the majority of Hollywood that they were money-grubbing whores and that there was a better way. In that same breath he honored his fans, those middle-class people working 9 to 5 in order to get the ten dollars necessary to see a movie in the theaters. Many times this man has made sure his fans know that it's us who matter to him, not the rich guys sitting in the back of an empty theater with a glass of wine and expectations to see the same thing over and over again. That being said, I am sorry to see such an amazing director retire (after his next movie), but thrilled that he intends to take his success and help produce the works of others for free (as per his speech).

For his second to last directed/written film ever, Kevin Smith stepped outside his raunchy (and hilarious) comedy style to enter into a world of horror. I was terrified that it was going to be too great a leap for him to be able to land gracefully on the other side. That fear was laid to rest after the first half hour of the movie. He managed the leap flawlessly. "How?" you might ask. The answer is simple: because he didn't attempt it. Kevin Smith took the raw terror of an extreme belief and tied it in with the raunchy, somewhat inappropriate, comedy he is known for… and it worked.

I spent half the movie staring at the screen frozen in fear with my mouth hanging open and the other half snorting through my laughter.

To me a family like the Phelps definitely instills a terror that I have trouble overcoming. I'm pro-choice, pro-gay marriage and pro-not picketing peoples funerals. These extremist jack-asses feel like a headline waiting to happen. Kevin Smith took the fear that people like I have and showed us that next step. In the question and answer session after the movie he worded it as having shown, "what the Phelps would do if there were no more funerals to picket."

With stars like John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Michael Angarano, you know the acting itself was insane. The photography had a touch of "Clerks" but almost like a grown-up version of it. The script itself was out of this world.

A tough topic was wrestled in this movie and it was handled, in my belief, correctly. In a movie that uses the line "Fear God" as its advert it's almost amusing that Kevin Smith comes off as a god amongst men.
Overall Opinion5/5

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Green Hornet (2011)

Number Rolled: 67
Movie Name/Year: The Green Hornet (2011)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 119 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Michel Gondry
Writer: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and George W. Trendle
Actors: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Christoph Waltz, David Harbour, Edward James Olmos, Jamie Harris, Chad Coleman, Edward Furlong

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love superheroes. Super heroes and comic books. Needless to say, there are a lot of comic book movies on my queue. The Green Hornet has been on my queue since before it could actually be on it.

First thing you have to realize when you dive into this film is that you shouldn’t expect your normal everyday superhero film. The main characters don’t really have any kind of definite powers, they aren’t Batman-esk or mutants, in fact, they’re not even definitely good.

Based on the comics/radio show, I really feel as though this movie stuck to its roots. Even Bruce Lee  – the original Kato – makes a cameo in a sketch book. I’ve heard more than one person trash this movie and I’m convinced it’s because they walked into the theater expecting a typical hero movie. Meanwhile, the writers and director did an amazing job of modernizing a storyline that my grandmother listened to on the radio.

Furthermore, I think the actor/actresses in the movie did a beautiful job as well. Seth Rogen stepped it up for this one, even losing quite a bit of weight for it. Jay Chou stepped into some big shoes, but filled them nicely.

I could go on forever, but the bottom line is that I love this movie.

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Land Before Time (1988)

Number Rolled: 58
Movie Name/Year: The Land Before Time (1988)
Genre: Children & Family
Length: 69 minutes
Rating: G
Director: Don Bluth
Writer: Stu Krieger, Judy Freudberg, Tony Geiss
Actors: Judith Barsi, Burke Byrnes, Gabriel Damon, Bill Erwin, Pat Hingle, Helen Shaver

I think this movie is a classic. I was five when this movie came out and I was all OVER it until I was thirteen. I watched it a hell of a lot. It’s a cute cartoon that teaches some valuable lessons to a child. Watching it as an adult I find that the story itself is nothing to sneeze at either. It’s a well written, well directed, well drawn movie.

Ok, so it doesn’t have the super-amazing graphics that we have now, but for its time it was pretty well done. And although it’s short, no longer than most of the TV shows today at just over an hour, it doesn’t feel rushed. Be prepared to cry, however, if you’re prone to such things.

The one thing I totally forgot though was how much of a bitch Sara was. Wow.

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5