Saturday, April 3, 2010


The only film that I've seen that Noah Baumbach has directed is The Squid and the Whale and I thought is was brilliant. I remember calling my Mom right after I saw it and begged her to go see it. It was so good and so original, even though it uses some very famous music in it like Pink Floyd, it's executed very well. For some reason I skipped his next film Margo at the Wedding and waited for Greenberg. I don't know. There was something about Margo at the Wedding that just didn't appeal to me at the time. But after seeing what Baumbach did with Greenberg I'm very excited to go back and watch Margo.

Greenberg is about Roger Greenberg, played by Ben Stiller, who moves back to Los Angeles from New York City for a month to house sit for his brother who's on vacation in Vietnam with his wife and kids. While there he strikes up a weird and extremely awkward relationship with his brothers assistant/nanny Florence, played by Greta Gerwig. We quickly come to find out that Roger is an ex-musician who could have possibly made it big time if it weren't for a rash decision on his part to refuse a record deal. Now he's a carpenter who just want's to do a whole lot of nothing for a while, as he puts it. While in L.A. he comes into contact with a few few old friends, some of which were in his band and are still quite upset about his decision. But the majority of the film focuses on Greenberg and how much he simply just....hates everything.

The film is a good mixture of drama and dark comedy. There are some really funny moments though including a scene at a restaurant during Rogers birthday dinner, a last minute pool party Roger decides to throw, and an unexpected visit from his teenage niece who throws a massive party at the house. This was actually my favorite scene in the entire film and shows that Ben Stiller has acting abilities that no one has ever seen before as the party starts with him doing coke for the first time in years (hilarious scene), and ends with an intense argument with his best friend in the backyard.

Greenberg may seem to drag here and there but overall I was very much entertained by simply just watching the character of Roger Greenberg being played out by Stiller. He's kind of a more angry version of Larry David, and more of an ahole. With that, I will end this review with my favorite quote from the film by Roger Greenberg, "Some people say that youth is wasted on the young, I say that life is wasted on people". Greenberg gets a 4 outa 5.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Edge of Darkness

The trailers for The Edge of Darkness had me sold on the film for three reasons only. One, it was Mel Gibsons first major starring role since Signs and he was kicking all sorts of ass in it, second, it was directed by Martin Campbell who helmed Casino Royale which demonstrated that he's certainly no stranger to action, and third, Gibsons character says the line "You're either hangin from the cross, or bangin in the nails" as he's bustin some poor dude up against the wall. Yes, those three things had me sold on this film before I even saw it. But in the end....sadly I had been misguided.

The film centers around Detective Thomas Craven investigating the death of his activist daughter. Everyone else on the force thinks that Craven was the real target for the killer, but Craven knows it was for his daughter and what he unravels is a large cooperate cover-up. He soon finds himself being chased around the city of Boston as well as doing some chasing himself. The story is way over the top and feels very unrealistic. The ending is one of the cheesiest anti-climatic endings I've seen in a while and I was not expecting this from Campbell nor Gibson. The film is honestly kind of boring as well with all the action scenes in the trailer.

With that being said it was still good to see Gibson on the big screen again and although his Boston accent was nowhere near as good as Dicaprio's in The Departed, I mostly blame director Campbell for this failed Boston cop story. I never saw the show that this is based on, also bearing the same name and created by Campbell that aired in 1985, but I heard that that is the one to watch and saw that it got great reviews. Still like I said, it's great to have Mel back as an actor on the big screen, that's for damn sure, and I'll be looking forward to his next project The Beaver which looks damn entertaining. The Edge of Darkness gets a 2 and a 1/2 outa 5.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine

I'll start by saying that Hot Tub Time Machine is a balls to the wall, all out, hard R-rated comedy that doesn't hold back for a second. It's an ode to classic 80's and time travel films with a fantastic 80's soundtrack that will make you feel like you're....well....partying in the 80's.

The film stars John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, and the man who stole the entire film, Rob Corddry. It's directed by Steve Pink, who also wrote the films Gross Point Blank and High Fidelity which also star John Cusack, so he knows how to work with the man and it certainly shows in this film as we see Cusacks charm flow off screen and mesmerize the audience in virtually every scene he's in. He's got one of the best voices in Hollywood, and he's one hell of a cool dude.

The film centers around the four friends retreating to a hotel at a ski mountain that they all stayed at one time during the 80's together and all experienced life changing events during that time. This time around they're trying to help out their best friend who, the night before, ended himself in the hospital from an alcohol and car exhaust overdose (an absolutely hilarious scene to start the film). Once arriving at the hotel they immediately start partying it up in the room and reminiscing a bit on the last time they were there, in the 80's. Pretty soon the hot tub starts working, they all get naked (yes four straight guys), jump in, party like maniacs, and soon get transported to the same day in the 80's when they last stayed at the hotel. From then on they have to try and play everything out exactly how it happened then, or else the hot tub time machine (god I love writing that) will not work correctly and they wont make it....back to the future. But they learn that it's not that easy and the temptations arise and hilarity ensues for the remainder of the film.

There are some hilarious cameos in the film including Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover (from Back to the Future), and William Zabka, who played Johnny from The Karate Kid. This is a party film by all means, so when you go see this in theaters or you wait to dvd or blu-ray for some dumb reason, be ready to party. Hot Tub Time Machine gets a 4 outa 5.