Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Harry Potter 6

Yeah, so I took a few days off but I'm back with a review of "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." I saw the movie this past weekend and I'm glad I did.

In case you don't know, I'm a huge fan of the books and can't say enough positive things about them. I'm a big enough fan that I watched the ABC special the other night about a year in the life of J.K. Rowling. (It was good). So... the movie. I thought the movie was great. I have enjoyed most the of the HP movies and this one was as good as any of the others. Yes, in an ideal world, Harry Potter would be a miniseries on TV that could include every part of the book. But considering the length of these movies, they try. They made a couple of big changes from the book, some definitely unnecessary but in the end I was okay with it. I know some are complaining about all of the adolescence love scenes, but I quite enjoyed them. They gave a lot of needed humor to a dark movie.

I just look forward to the next two movies (they're breaking the last book into two movies.) I think they should have no reason to include all of the best parts, especially the battles.
HP 6 grade: A-

Now I want to hear from you... do you like the movies, what would you change if you could? And what do you hope will appear in the next two movies.. spoilers are allowed, cause come on you should have read the books by now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Year One

Yeah, I know. The reviews for this movie were horrible. But I just couldn't believe that a movie directed by Harold Ramis (Groundhogs Day) and starring Michael Cera and Jack Black could be all bad. I was kind of wrong. It pains me to say this but I think all of the funny parts were in the trailer. There were some cool supporting characters but they weren't really given much to do. The movie's not that long so it wasn't painful or anything. Just a major, major disappointment. I look forward to Cera's "Scott Pilgrim vs the World," and "Arrested Development: The Movie." I'm not sure what's up next for Black, but it probably can't be much worse than this.
"Year One" D+

P.S. This was the other half of the double feature I mentioned in yesterday's post.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Land of the Lost

Today's movie is "Land of the Lost." It was the second of a double feature I saw at a drive-in theater. I will tell you of the other movie at a later time. "Land of the Lost" was actually the better movie. It was also better than I thought it would be. But that doesn't mean it was quality cinema. This is probably a movie to catch on TBS late at night. Or if you have a free rental at the redbox. It's typical Will Ferrell fare. He acts like a pompous idiot like you would expect. I love his schtick, so you should keep that in mind while reading this review. Now I never saw the TV show upon which this film is based but I'm told that's it's not the most faithful of adaptations. Will Ferrell plays a discredited scientist who happens across a strange new world. And wackiness ensues. There are some scattered laughs but not enought to pay eight bucks for.
So in the end I give this movie a C.

I look forward to Will Ferrell in "Anchorman 2"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Movie A Day

So, I know I'm sporadic on this thing, but I'm going to try something new. For the next few days, I will post a movie review a day. Or I won't. Sometimes life happens. But that's the goal. There's too many reviews to do them all in one day. They will be in no particular order. Today's movie: "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen".

This is an interesting movie to review. I liked the first move but I didn't love it. I just had too many problems with the plot. Yes I know it's based on a cartoon. But for whatever reason, I just thought some of the problems could've been fixed with a line or two. Was it really a smart idea to hide the little spark thingy in the middle of a populated city -- where robots could wreak crazy havoc? No it's not a good idea. How about in the middle of an abandoned desert. That's a better idea.

Speaking of abandoned deserts that where most of this movie takes place. I quite liked all of the robot fighting. But I think they could've taken out 5-7 minutes of robot fighting from the desert scenes and we'd have all lived. Also they could've taken out the entire parents subplot and the scene in China and I would've liked the movie even more.

Another thing about this movie is it's very sexualized. Isn't this a movie about toy robots. Do we really need everything to be sexy?

So you're asking yourself, did he like the movie, or not? I'm going to go with yes. I had so many people tell me that the movie wasn't any good that I went in with low expectations and was I kind of surprised by how not completely sucky it was.

So let me write a list of reasons to see the movie and reasons to not see it.. so you can decide for yourself if this movie is for you.

Reasons to see the "Transformers":

Big robots fighting
Great special effects
The plot makes more sense than the original. Although it is convoluted.
John Turturro doesn't suck in this movie like he did in the last one.
Lots of pretty ladies.
Big explosions
Big Robots fighting
Rainn Wilson

Reasons to not see the movie:

The twin robots
Too sexualized for children
The mom gets high for no apparent plot reason
Two dogs hump for no apparent reason
It's too long (a lot of scenes could've been excised and not hurt the movie)
The dialogue, especially between Shia and Megan

The fact that somehow the government was able to hide from the public the events of the first movie -- I mean come on -- No one noticed L.A. was destroyed by giant robots. If that happened in real life you can bet it would've been all over the news, not to mention youtube, facebook, etc.

CrOW is watching giant robots destroy L.A.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Okay, I'm almost done. All I have left is Friday and then I can move onto other pop culture related posts. Friday television probably hasn't been good since "Firefly" went off the air years ago. Well this season it got good again. First off was "Prison Break" which finished it's series run this year. I know a lot of people abandoned PB over it's four year run. But I stuck with it. And I'm glad I did. Yes, it had some problems, yes it strained credibility, but yes it was also entertaining. I thought this last season started out really strong. The "Ocean's 11" episodes (as I like to call them) were great and brought new life to the series. The "Miami" episodes, though, dragged. I thought the finale was good and a fun way to end the show. I was blindsided by the surprise ending. I did not see that coming at all. I look forward to renting the DVD movie coming out this month that supposedly explains how that all went down. PB probably should've ended earlier than it did but I still enjoyed it to the end.
Series B+
First half of this season A-
Second half B-
Series Finale A-

And for the final show I plan to review this year: "Dollhouse." I wrote about this show earlier in the season. As anyone who knows me knows, I'm a huge Joss Whedon fan. So when I found out about his new show my expectations were quite high... Well when it finally premiered I was let down. I liked the premise but had a hard time getting used to the procedural element. I prefer serialized shows ala "Lost" and "24." Well things started to really pick up starting at episode six. I found myself drawn into this crazy, messed up world. Now this wasn't my favorite show last season as I hoped it might be... But it did prove to me that this show has big potential. I'm extremely excited about it's unlikely renewal. I have no doubt season 2 will be twice as good as season 1. As far as the finale.... who doesn't love Alan Tudyk. Right?
First half of Season B-
Second half of season B+
Finale: B+ (I actually liked the second to last episode better... but this one was still good.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thursday part two

This is the post where I talk about NBC's Thursday night line up. I'm going to start with "Parks and Recreation", NBC's newest sitcom. It stars Amy Poehler and it comes to us from the writers and producers of "The Office." I found this one growing on me as the season progressed. I particularly enjoyed Chris Pratt's character Andy. He's the boyfriend who gets both his legs broken. I've been a fan of Pratt's since "Everwood" and am glad to see him use his comedic chops on this show. I think this one has real potential. There were only like six episodes this season so I will only grade the season and not the finale.
Season grade: Solid B

Next up is "The Office." I really enjoyed this season particularly the second half of the season when Michael quit the office and started his own business. Sure it was improbable but it was funny. I liked how he got his job back and how he tried to make everyone feel guilty about sticking with him. This is just a solid sitcom. Sure it's not as funny as "30 Rock" but it's still a great way to spend 22 minutes.
Season: A-
Season Finale: B-

Speaking of "30 Rock," why is this show so funny. I could list the reasons. The incredibly talented Tina Fey, the hilarious Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan's insanity. I know everyone was supposedly tired of all the guest stars this season. But if it keeps this show on the air I say bring them on. I don't understand why this show doesn't have a bigger audience. Everyone I know watches it and loves it but yet there are no ratings. I only have six more words: I want to go to there.
Season: A
Season finale: B (not sure what happened here but I was underwhelmed by the finale)