Month: June 2011

Movie Review: TABLE FOR THREE (2009)

Starring: Brandon Routh, Jesse Bradford, Sophie Bush, Jennifer Morrison

Written and Directed by: Michael Samonek

Watch Table for Three Instantly

Buy Table for Three on DVD

Table for Three would have been a fine romantic comedy had it contained either more romance or more comedy. Instead, it’s a movie that features very painful jokes told by some really unlikable characters with a story that has an good enough hook but with terrible execution.

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Movie Review: NICE GUY JOHNNY (2010)

Starring: Matt Bush, Kerry Bishé, Edward Burns

Written and Directed by: Edward Burns

Watch Nice Guy Johnny Instantly

Buy Nice Guy Johnny on DVD

Rent Nice Guy Johnny on Amazon Instant

Going into Nice Guy Johnny, I didn’t really have any idea what to expect. Despite the fact I know Edward Burns exists, and that some people probably love his work, our paths haven’t crossed many times; in fact the last thing I remember really seeing him in substantially was 2004’s A Sound of Thunder and the less said about that trainwreck the better. But that’s the beauty of Watch Instantly; like a video store, it allows you to sift through thousands of titles that you’ve never even heard of before, allowing you the chance to discover something new. Nice Guy Johnny became one of these movies, an impulse watch due to a bout of insomnia and an abundance of time. After finishing it up, I’m on the fence about it: on one hand, it’s a competent movie that has a good story but is ultimately forgettable, but on the other hand it resonated with me emotionally in a way that I didn’t expect. Which path do I choose when going through the process of reviewing this? More importantly, how pissed off are you that this review has started off with me talking about myself? Let’s break it down and find out.

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Documentary Review: PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES (2011)

Written by: Kate Novack/Andrew Rossi

Directed by: Andrew Rossi

Buy Page One: Inside the New York Times on DVD (or Blu-ray)

Rent Page One: Inside the New York Times on Amazon Instant

Page One: Inside the New York Times chronicles the transition of one of the most important journalistic institutions in the country as it attempts to remain relevant and profitable in an era when anyone can access news for free at the click of a mouse while also showcasing the day to day activities of some of its more higher profile writers. Focusing more on the Media Desk, a section whose writers pontificate and report on the goings on in their own industry, we are treated to the twice-daily pitch meetings between the journalists and the editors that decide which stories make the cut as well as the act of getting a story done itself and all the work that goes into it. Overall, this 14 month glimpse into a fledgling industry is interesting and thought provoking but at the same time I can’t help but wonder how much better it could have been had it stuck with one story over another.

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QUOTED!: I Finally Get to Say I’m a Quote Whore…in Sweden?

Regardless if they admit it or not, one of the cool parts on being a film critic is when they use your pull quote in press materials (DVD covers, posters, etc.). When that happens, it feels like you really made it or at least someone out there besides your immediate family is reading the stuff you work so tirelessly on. Although I can’t really consider myself a real-life professional film critic quite yet, I’ve got a ton of more work to do in order to turn what I write into something that isn’t insulting to the eyes, I can at least say I’ve fired the opening salvo into my potential critic whore-dom. And I did, weirdly enough, in Sweden.

A little backstory: back in March, I got the opportunity to help cover the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX for The Film Stage. Besides falling in love with the city and for some reason the Pita Pit, I also got around to watching a ton of movies. One of them was Hesher, which had been playing the festival circuit for a year before finally getting distribution. I had heard a lot about it and wanted to check it out for myself, missing an Attack the Block screening in the process (a move I somewhat regret since everyone I know/follow on Twitter won’t shut their mouths about how good it is). And as it turns out, I…kind of dug it. I mean it was funny and it was definitely sad, but mixing it together didn’t work as well for me as it did for others.

Still I must have said something meaningful, because a quote was used. Here it is scanned from the Swedish magazine it was printed in:

Mine is the fourth from the top, or right smack dab in the middle if you really want to get technical (you don’t, honky). As you can see, it’s written in Swedish (wonder why…) but it got translated by my boss Jordan Raup as saying:

When it’s funny, it’s really funny, and when it’s sad, it’ll make you tear up.

Admittedly a little tacky, but that’s just how I roll. I know it is pretty egotistical or I guess stupid to get excited about something like this, but seeing as a) this is my first real pull quote and b) I use this site to whore how “awesome” I am, I see no harm in it. It is pretty freakin’ exciting though; feels like something I’ve worked so hard at is paying off and such.

If any more quotes from yours truly show up, they will be posted here but probably with less writing about it. I got overzealous this time. Who knows, there may come a day where I can challenge Shawn Edwards and Pete Hammond as the king of whores over at Criticwatch. Okay on second thought, that is a terrible idea.

Read the Hesher review this quote was taken from over at The Film Stage!

Movie Review: I SAW THE DEVIL (2011)

Starring: Byun-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Gook-hwan Jeon

Written by: Hoon-jung Park

Directed by: Jee-woon Kim

Watch I Saw the Devil Instantly

Buy I Saw the Devil on DVD (or Blu-ray)

Rent I Saw the Devil on Amazon Instant

Revenge is a strong emotion that all of us feel at one point or another; someone wrongs us in some way and we feel that in order to make things equal we need to do something back to them, something that hurts them in the same way they’ve hurt us. Such a strong feeling and the actions that result from it make for a good movie, and because of this, the movie industry has churned out copious amounts of entertainment that revolve around the act of revenge. Movies like Death Wish, Straw Dogs (whose remake is scheduled to be released this fall), and even 2009’s Inglourious Basterds all revolve around what a person will do in order to avenge the wrongs of their life. And while each of those along with the many others have their merits, they have officially been trumped. I Saw the Devil, the 2010 Korean film from famed director Jee-woon Kim, is brutal, violent, and heartbreaking. It shows revenge from all its angles, from the emotional impact it has to the unforseen consequences it yields, and by the end of it you just want to sit there as the credits roll and just think about what just happened. There have been great revenge movies in the past, but I Saw the Devil is the new king of the genre.

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Documentary Review: HOW TO DIE IN OREGON (2011)

Directed by: Peter Richardson

V.O.D. Service Used: HBO On-Demand

Buy How to Die in Oregon on DVD

WARNING: This is not a political site and I am not interested in political discourse or anything of that nature. This is a review site, and nothing more. Any comments that cross the line will be immediately deleted, discarded and forgotten. Got me? Good.

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Movie Review: GREEN LANTERN (2011)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong

Written by: Greg Berlanti/Michael Green/Marc Guggenheim/Michael Goldenberg

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Buy Green Lantern on DVD (or 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

On my drive back after seeing Green Lantern, a thought occurred to me: I’m getting really sick of superhero movies. It was fun in the early 2000′s when X-Men and Spider Man proved that taking source material from a comic book could equal both box office success and create a watchable movie to boot. Hell it got even better when Christopher Nolan entered the fray and took the genre to a whole other level with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. With those two movies, the fanboys and film snobs could finally join hands and sing kumbaya around the campfire. Yes sir, comic book movies created a world where nerds and not so nerds could become super best friends.

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