Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Movie review - How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is the latest comedy starring Simon Pegg, as well as Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox, Gillian Anderson, Jeff Bridges and Thandie Newton (as herself!). Pegg is back with his usual British humour, which I happen to like. He plays a British magazine writer who gets a shot at writing for a big New-York magazine and a chance at the big live and a prestigious career, rubbing elbows with movie stars and other celebrities. Problem is, he's a bit rude and doesn't quite follow the rules, which puts a break to his aspirations. Until he decides to give the rules a chance.

Along the way he will meet two women who will change his life. One is a co-worker (Dunst) who helps him out with his new career and whom he doesn't fancy much, the other his a movie star (Fox) he very much desire. He will get to be with the star, but do you suppose he may end up with someone else?

I found the story interesting and very funny. Pegg is as charming as usual, in his own kind of way and the other actors & actresses do a very good job as well. It last almost two hours and is rated R in the U.S., 13+ in Quebec, for many good reasons...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Movie review; Eagle Eye

I saw Eagle Eye in glorious Imax, which is usually an added interest to movies, particularly when it has nice special effects and action scenes. Eagle Eye certainly have those two elements. And the story is not bad either. The main theme of this movie deals with the ultimate Big Brother figure. The two main characters, played by Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan, are chosen for a mission assigned to them by a mysterious group that can follow them everywhere and always can figure out a way to talk to them, using diverse technologies that surrounds them, such as surveillance cameras, cell phones, electronic billboards and much more. The reason why they are chosen and also why they have to do what they are asked to do is revealed slowly during the first part of the movie.

Once we learn the identity of the Big Brother group and even why they are giving specific orders to our two protagonists, the story still continues, with more details and reasons being revealed still. Other important characters are played by Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie and Michael Chiklis.

The end is somewhat predictable and a little ordinary, but I found the story interesting enough to find myself wanting to know more and got a few surprises along the way. I guess it makes you think about where technology is possibly taking us and makes you ask yourself "what if they could do these things?" or perhaps "how much of this can they already do?".

The movie has good visuals, nice action scenes and plenty of stunts. A nice pop-corn movie, I would say! PG 13 for violence and language. Shia LaBeouf is climbing his way to the top of the action stars domain and this movie is another good step for him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Movie review; Step Brothers

It took me a while before I decided to go see Step Brothers. I'm not sure why, because it looked like something I would like. I like Will Ferrell and the trailer was funny, so it looked like a safe bet. But it seemed there was always something that I wanted to see first. But I finally did and it was worth the wait! I had a lot of fun watching this movie and I laughed a lot. You do have to take into consideration that this is a movie that is anything but politically correct, just in case you are are easily offended and don't like that feeling. Because this is a comedy, I didn't have issues with that aspect of the movie.

As the title indicates, this is the story of two step brothers, who get in this situation when they are fully grown adults. Like, 39-40 years old. But they both still are living at home with a parent and not even considering the maturity aspect of their live. The other step brother is played by John C. Reilly and is a perfect match to Ferrell's type of comedy. Living together is very hard at first, but eventually turns into a good friendship, before turning bad when their parent gets a divorce, but then by the end, things starts getting better once again. The parents are played by Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins.

Most of the movie is around the immaturity of both main characters, separately as well as together. You can easily deduct this from the trailer, but it gets worst. You generally want the trailer to be "G", so that you can air it anytime during the day. Not the "R" it got in the U.S. or even the 13+ it got here in the Quebec province (I guess we get our maturity faster!).

If you like Ferrell and/or Reilly type of comedy, you will enjoy this movie like I did. If you can't stand immature comedy, then obviously, go see something else... ;-) Fortunately for me, my taste in comedy is quite diversified.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Movie review; Burn After Reading

When I saw the trailer for Burn After Reading, it seemed like this would be a fun movie to watch. And it was! Very funny, from beginning to end. It is written & directed by the Coen brothers, Ethan & Joel, has a very good story and a great cast. The main characters are played by Brad Pitt, George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Richard Jenkins, as well as J.K. Simmons and David Rasche in smaller but very funny roles.

The humour is often a little dark, mixed with violence, but I found it very funny and laughed out loud several times and particularly in the last scene. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that ended with everyone in the theatre laughing so much during the last few minutes.

The basis of the story is that a gym employee (Pitt) gets his hands on a CD that contains documents from a CIA agent and decides to blackmail him, although he only sees it as a normal reward that is due to him and his partner (McDormand) in the transaction that will possibly follow. The CIA agent (Malkovich) sees it as pure blackmail and doesn't like it at all. What follows are misunderstandings, drama, back-stabbing, fights, conversations and of course, comedy.

The trailer is a good indication of what this movie is about, but unlike some other movies, there is still a lot of situations & jokes that are not revealed, so there is a lot of surprises to be seen. Once again, leave the kids at home and rent them a Disney movie while you watch this one.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Movie review; Bangkok Danderous

Basically, Bangkok Dangerous is an Asian movie starring an American, Joe, played by Nicolas Cage. It is actually a remake of an all-Asian movie from 1999, which I didn't see. Joe is an hired assassin and about to retire, after "one last job". We know how this usually end, don't we? I expected more from this movie, although I don't think it's as bad as many seems to think it is.

Things starts right for Joe, but unexpected events starts messing up his plans after he starts getting "soft", relatively speaking. He finds a girl he likes and takes a local guy he hired under his wing. The problem is, he's breaking his own rules. Maybe it was caused by his dreams of retiring?

There's a few good action scenes and the story is not bad. A bit of humour and a bit more violence. I can't really recommend this movie for most people, so you may want to wait and rent it when it comes out on DVD...