Speed Racer – movie review

After the success of the films in the Matrix series, the Wachowski Brothers return to the director’s chair with this adaptation of the classic cartoon. Emile Hirsch (“Into The Wild”) jumps into the Mach 5 car as Speed Racer, while John Goodman and Susan Sarandon play his parents.

speed racer
Cast: Emile Hirsch
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rating: 7/10

Corporate line:
After the success of the films in the Matrix series, the Wachowski Brothers return to the director’s chair with this adaptation of the classic cartoon. Emile Hirsch (“Into The Wild”) jumps into the Mach 5 car as Speed Racer, while John Goodman and Susan Sarandon play his parents. Christina Ricci costars as Speed’s girlfriend Trixie, and Matthew Fox (“Lost”) is Racer X, his biggest competitor.

The review:
“Speed Racer” feels like anime coming to life. The Wachowski brothers have once again created a cinematic atmosphere like no other. The Wachowski’s also know how to make fun movies–even the plot is lacking and everything else seems pretty lame. “Speed Racer” is definitely fun to look at and action packed. What’s missing is a meaningful plot or any sense of meaning. “The Matrix” and “V for Vendetta” had a deeper meaning and both were very philosophical. “Speed Racer” is as philosophical as an episode of Spongebob.

“Speed Racer” is pure eye-candy. It could be Oscar worthy for visual effects but might also receive a Razzie Award for the lack of substance.

Finally:
“Speed Racer” is fun without being an event. We are used to the Wachowski Brother movies being an event and this simply isn’t. We know these guys love anime and Japanese flicks–but they could have passed this up for something more intelligent and thought-provoking. Just because they can doesn’t mean they should. If the effects weren’t so unbelievable it wouldn’t be worth recommending. Let’s just hope this isn’t what we can expect from the Wachowski Brothers in the future or else they dynamic duo might be brought back to earth.

Watch the trailer:

What Happens In Vegas – movie review

Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher star as strangers who unwittingly end up as bride and groom in this comedy. When one of them strikes it rich after playing the other person’s coin, the pair gets married. But all’s fair in love and war–and Las Vegas–as each of them tries to get the money.

what happened in vegas
Cast: Cameron Diaz
Studio: Fox
Rating: 5/10

Corporate line:
Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher star as strangers who unwittingly end up as bride and groom in this comedy. When one of them strikes it rich after playing the other person’s coin, the pair gets married. But all’s fair in love and war–and Las Vegas–as each of them tries to get the money.

The review:
If you are up for a super-sappy-silly movie then boy do we have the movie for you.

Cameron Diaz and and Ashton Kutcher are the queen and king of sappy. The fact that they are complete opposites and end up being in Vegas together isn’t too far from reality but here it’s just convenient plot point. This is just where all the ridiculous plot holes open up. They drink. They marry. They win $3 million in a slot machine.

The best part of the movie comes later as the unhappy couple try to get one another to leave the money and marriage behind. The truth is there are answers to the stupid questions but because its a movie nothing is simple. Instead, the movie takes the dumbest possible route. The movie is written with the intention of forcing laughs at the expense of reality. Of course, this is all going to end like a Disney movie where everyone is happy and sappy. What reality are the filmmakers living in?

The only smart move the filmmakers did make was hiring Rob Corddry and Lake Bell as supporting cast. They steal every scene and are always good for a laugh. Even Dennis Miller has his moments. Why the main characters couldn’t be appealing is anyone’s guess.

Finally:

“What Happened In Vegas” is barely worth watching.

Watch the trailer:

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay – movie review

“Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” marks the triumphant return of these two hilarious, slacker anti-heroes. The movie stars John Cho (American Pie I & II, American Dreamz) as Harold and Kal Penn (Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj, Epic Movie) as Kumar, two stoners who can’t seem to get a break.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Cast: Kal Penn
Studio: Fox
Rating: 6/10

Corporate line:
“Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” marks the triumphant return of these two hilarious, slacker anti-heroes. The movie stars John Cho (American Pie I & II, American Dreamz) as Harold and Kal Penn (Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj, Epic Movie) as Kumar, two stoners who can’t seem to get a break. Their last adventure found them traveling across country to find a White Castle hamburger in order to satisfy a weed-induced case of “the munchies.”

This time, the boys get themselves in trouble trying to sneak a bong on board a flight to Amsterdam. Now, being suspected of terrorism, they are forced to run from the law and try to find a way to prove their innocence. What follows is an irreverent and epic journey of deep thoughts, deeper inhaling and a wild trip around the world that is as “un-PC” as it gets.

The review:
There have been plenty of pro-war movies and a few anti-war documentaries–but no one has recently made a comedy that takes shots at all the parties involved–at least not like “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.” This isn’t going to be called a “smart” comedy and it doesn’t have to be–because comedy fans only want a funny movie. These potheads only care about getting their buzz while dealing with a whole range of odd characters. One of the best characters is Neil Patrick Harris. Harris reprises his hilarious role and once again kills. Rob Corddry, who plays the Homeland Security Chief, is hilarious as the dumbass racist.

And of course there are plenty of dick jokes, drugs and nudity to spare. They had to fill in the gaps with something. So instead of writing endless jokes they went for the truly absurd and hoped it would get them through–and on occasion it works.

Finally:

The ultimate question is whether the movie is as good as the first–it is. “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” isn’t going to win any awards–but it sure is funny as hell.

Baby Mama – movie review

In a comedy that brings together some of today’s sharpest talent, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler team with writer/director Michael McCullers and producers Lorne Michaels and John Goldwyn to tell the story of two women, one apartment and the nine months that will change their lives: Baby Mama.

baby mama
Cast: Tina Fey
Studio: Universal
Rating: 6.5/10

Corporate line:
In a comedy that brings together some of today’s sharpest talent, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler team with writer/director Michael McCullers and producers Lorne Michaels and John Goldwyn to tell the story of two women, one apartment and the nine months that will change their lives: Baby Mama. Successful and single businesswoman Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) has long put her career ahead of a personal life. Now 37, she’s finally determined to have a kid on her own. But her plan is thrown a curve ball after she discovers she has only a million-to-one chance of getting pregnant. Undaunted, the driven Kate allows South Philly working girl Angie Ostrowiski (Amy Poehler) to become her unlikely surrogate. Simple enough… After learning from the steely head (Sigourney Weaver) of their surrogacy center that Angie is pregnant, Kate goes into precision nesting mode: reading childcare books, baby-proofing the apartment and researching top pre-schools. But the executive’s well-organized strategy is turned upside down when her Baby Mama shows up at her doorstep with no place to live. An unstoppable force meets an immovable object as structured Kate tries to turn vibrant Angie into the perfect expectant mom. In a comic battle of wills, they will struggle their way through preparation for the baby’s arrival. And in the middle of this tug-of-war, they’ll discover two kinds of family: the one you’re born to and the one you make

The review:
“I just don’t like your uterus” is one of the funniest and crudest things you might ever hear in a movie about having a baby, ever. Then there is the scene where we see what Kate’s kids will look like depending upon her sperm donor. This all happens before the crazy Angie gets involved.

Once Angie ends up in Kate’s life its game over for Kate but the fun real starts for the audience. Poehler is hilarious as the crazy white-trash baby donor. Parts of the movie and irony of the situations hearken back to “Baby Boom.” “Baby Mama” isn’t nearly the classic that “Baby Boom” is however its certainly funnier than recent comedies of its ilk like “Knocked Up.”

The talent level is high with Fey, Poehler, and Steve Martin turning in fantastic performances. Michael McCullers has written a hilarious script that is always on the verge of reality but also keeps enough sense to make us laugh out-loud even when its not realistic. Fey and Poehler are a perfect duo. They are comedy gold. I haven’t seen a team this funny since Farley and Spade. Sigourney Weaver is also surprisingly funny.

Finally:
“Baby Mama” is a gut buster. That’s the best measure of a good comedy.