Screen Junkies » Funny Movies Review http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:52:22 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 ANDY ROONEY REVIEWS ‘BRUNO’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/andy-rooney-reviews-bruno/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/andy-rooney-reviews-bruno/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 By Andy Rooney, of CBS's "60 Minutes"My primary care physician has recommended that I find a way to put more exercise into my daily routine. Normally I avoid all forms of physical exertion, but seeing as I’m no spring chicken anymore I decided it might be in my best interest to take him up on his suggestion.  I wouldn’t want to die and miss out on this newfangled digital television.  (Sometimes it’s hard to convey sarcasm through writing.  So let me just tell you last night I almost electrocuted myself walking into the HDTV my son bought me for Christmas.  It thought it was a doorway to the beach and I had my metal detector in hand.  Turns out I forgot to turn off the Travel Channel.)

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By Andy Rooney, of CBS’s "60 Minutes"

My primary care physician has recommended that I find a way to put more exercise into my daily routine. Normally I avoid all forms of physical exertion, but seeing as I’m no spring chicken anymore I decided it might be in my best interest to take him up on his suggestion.  I wouldn’t want to die and miss out on this newfangled digital television.  (Sometimes it’s hard to convey sarcasm through writing.  So let me just tell you last night I almost electrocuted myself walking into the HDTV my son bought me for Christmas.  It thought it was a doorway to the beach and I had my metal detector in hand.  Turns out I forgot to turn off the Travel Channel.)

Anyway, it may not surprise you that I hate the gymnasium. Nowadays gymnasiums cater to a whole crowd, instead of a handful of neighborhood prizefighters. The rampant nudity in the men’s locker room is more than a little off-putting. I refuse to sit on the benches in there without layering up a five towel cushion between myself and the unsanitary wood. Not to mention that the lockers smell like a long distance runner’s shorts. Then when you’re in the workout room itself there’s something called “house” music playing, which is fine, I guess, if you have a vendetta against your ear drums.

With all of that being said, I’ve opted to take up walking. You remember walking, don’t you? It used to be a popular mode of transport back before Lil’ Henry Ford unleashed his “vanity on four wheels” on the world.

Above: Even getting into one is a process.

Well anyway, I was out for a walk the other day when I noticed a Puerto Rican woman, and well, fearing for my life, I ducked into a nearby movie theater. It was that or be stabbed.

I’m not sure I made the right choice.

In my state of distress I stumbled into a theater so that I could hide in the dark until the threat had passed. Turns out I stumbled into a press screening someone had the foresight not to invite me to: a foreign documentary called Brüno. You may have seen the posters around town. I know I have.  All the colors make my eyes watery.

The film follows an Austrian reporter who just goes by “Brüno.” (Why someone would choose to go without a surname, I’ll never know. That’s got to be a paperwork nightmare when tax time rolls around).  He brings his interview program to America and always seems to be prancing around in short pants that make Mae West’s brassieres look like Amish winter wear. Whatever happened to newsmen wearing a suit and tie? When you’re conducting an interview on camera, you want to look your very best. Mesh material and animal print do not scream serious journalism. Unless you’re working undercover.

Above: Ed Bradley and me playing the role of "embedded journalists."

The movie that unfolds doesn’t really say much that we didn’t already know.  The Muslims hate the Jews…

Hassidic Jews hate flamboyantly gay Jews…

 

And everyone south of the Mason Dixon line despises anyone who’s one iota less masculine than Rock Hudson.  Rock Hudson is about the most masculine man I can think of, by the way.  Every other actor who came after him is a real ninny. 

There are a few memorable scenes.  Brüno interviews songstress Paul Abdul while they use Latino gardeners as human chairs.  I say Latino because God forbid I call them what they are. (Mexicans.) 

Above: a perfectly good piece of furniture (left); this Brüno nut’s idea of a chair (right).

I also enjoyed the musical interlude in which a banana squash bounces and twirls around the screen to lively music, like in the old cartoons.  Someone next to me kept saying it was just a close-up shot on an erect penis, but they should get their minds out of the gutter, or go see that movie with that Sandra Bullock and the Ryan Reynolds fellow where they no doubt have filthy sex.  I don’t need to see any more pornography disguised as a romantic comedy.  The second to last movie I saw at the picture house, When Harry Met Sally, had an orgasm scene that was enough to make a man celibate until the second coming of Jesus.  Though, that’s not too far off, the way the world is going these days.

I heard a rumor that the makers of Brüno cut out a scene where the reporter tries to get LaToya Jackson to hand over Michael Jackson’s phone number.  Universal Pictures, the amusement park robber barons of the day, claimed to do it out of sensitivity after Michael Jackson’s passing, but I don’t know why.  I’ve had to look up plenty of people after they were dead.  They still owed me money.  Maybe Michael owed this Brüno character money.  Who’s responsible for the debt?  Whoever picks up Michael Jackson’s cell phone.  That’s who.

Even though the movie had a run time of at least 80 minutes, I was able to hold my bladder for the duration.  I don’t know if it was that I was subconsciously genuinely interested in what the Austrian fruitcake had to say, or if I still thought there was a chance the Puerto Rican woman was still trolling around outside the theater and possibly with a bicycle chain.

In any case, that Brüno fellow rubbed me the wrong way, like I’ve met him somewhere before.  I don’t know why.  He doesn’t know me from Adam and I certainly wouldn’t associate with his kind. 

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‘TRANSFORMERS 2′ REVIEW http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/transformers-2-review/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/transformers-2-review/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 By Spencer Vickers I am 80% convinced that Michael Bay did not give a sweet sh*t about the first hour and twenty minutes of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  What occupies that part of the highly anticipated summer flick is about as dumbed down as you would expect from a film that is brought to you by a toy company (I would like to point out that my previous comment was by no means meant as an attack on Hasbro, for without them my childhood would have been severely depressing).  At points the film even borders on offensive (and not the good kind of offensive). 

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By Spencer Vickers

I am 80% convinced that Michael Bay did not give a sweet sh*t about the first hour and twenty minutes of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  What occupies that part of the highly anticipated summer flick is about as dumbed down as you would expect from a film that is brought to you by a toy company (I would like to point out that my previous comment was by no means meant as an attack on Hasbro, for without them my childhood would have been severely depressing).  At points the film even borders on offensive (and not the good kind of offensive). 

Yes.  Michael Bay is the filmmaking equivalent of Benjamin Button; with every film he makes, he becomes more and more like a child waiting for explosions.

Speaking of children, there were about seven kids behind me at the giganto-sized IMAX screening I attended.  Their review of the movie?  In their exact words, “That was the best movie EVER!”

That’s probably all you need to know.  I’m an old, bitter bastard, and now the young’uns have a fun summer movie to drag their parents too.  And yes, like myself, maybe the parents will get into the last 40 minutes of the movie, where Bay does his usual “blowing stuff up” routine in awesome fashion.  His movies aren’t the greatest things ever, but the movies are an afterthought to spectacle in the world of Bay.

Lemme get the bad parts out of the way first, much like the movie itself.  Whenever the script calls for storytelling, the film fails fantastically.  I have honestly not seen a movie hinge on so much expository dialogue ever before; quite literally every bit of plot is told through a military general or one of the Transformers.  There are scenes that explain the movie, and without few key bits of dialogue, the film would have literally stalled in its place.  That’s how dependent the film was on spoon feeding its plot to both its audience and its characters.

The other bits of dialogue are reserved for some of the worst comedy I’ve seen in a movie since the time I pretended I was watching What Happens in Vegas (I didn’t really want to watch the movie, but I wanted to talk negatively about it.  Who hasn’t done that?).  This goes with the “Bay Button” theory, where even his comic sensibilities are getting immature to the point of jokes about dudes being awkward around hot women and mother figures eating weed brownies that seem to immediately take effect (the Autobots might have been realistically engineered by the folks over at ILM, but everyone with any college schooling under their belt knows that weed brownies don’t kick in with just a jump cut).  What ever happened to giving Sean Connery mid-action zingers such as, “Well, it’s certainly more enjoyable than my average day… reading philosophy, avoiding gang rape in the washrooms… though, it’s less of a problem these days. Maybe I’m losing my sex appeal”?  That one line from The Rock is funnier than the sum of every alleged joke in Revenge of the Fallen, and looking at the IMDB quote page, I’m reminded of about 15 more quotes that are awesomely quotable even thirteen years after the films original release.

Instead of zingers between Nic Cage and Sean Connery, this film thinks that inner-city colloquialisms spoken by robots are hilarious.  This leads to a genuinely offensive set of characters, most notably the twins, who I refer to as “Mudflap” and “The Other Offensive One,” as I didn’t catch both of their names [Editor’s Note: It’s “Skids” but we like the one from Spencer’s memory].  They have decidedly goofier faces than most of the autobots, and giant gold and white bucked teeth.  Already, I noticed a bit of a racist character going on, before they even spoke.  They then spoken in a very stereotypical inner city accent, called people punk asses, pussies, and finally talked about how they couldn’t read.  I’m beginning to think Michael Bay directs the comment section of every post we have linked on Break.com.

As a current college student, I was upset by Bay’s portrayal of the college experience, notably how hot women are and how they operate around average looking/mildly nerdy guys (they jump them in a seductive fashion.  In the film’s defense, this is explained later, but I was plenty mad when it first was happening).  The sequences of college students running for their lives made me notice a very important aspect of the Michael Bay universe:  There are only super models and mothers.  Think about it.  Find an unattractive woman in any of Bay’s movies.  Go ahead, try; I’ll wait.  They’re usually the mother character if they are even there.  That’s alright though, because usually there aren’t that many women in his movies.  But the extras in the college campus sequences were just silly.  They were all models.  Not a single mildly attractive yet unconfident and awkward engineering major with cute glasses that I might possibly have a chance with after two cups of jungle juice to be seen.  What a shame.  This version of college is Asher Roth’s wet dream.  I’ll check the credits to see if he was a creative consultant.

This is all standard negative criticism for Bay movies, however.  The question you’re all wondering has yet to be fully addressed:  Are the action scenes good?  My answer is that yeah, they’re pretty sweet.  Bay manages to drop the pretense that he was trying to make a film with plot, and just let giant robots fight near or on pyramids.  A special note should be made of their IMAX cinematography.  The scale of the Transformers and the picture quality really do add a lot of enjoyment to some scenes, notably the ones where Devastator is involved.  The acting even manages to improve a bit from bad comic acting to legitimate moments of care and concern for the characters.  There’s not much else to say about this; the action is cool, but trying to describe why it’s cool is kind of a futile pursuit.

Reading this over, I notice a parallel between Revenge of the Fallen and my review for the movie.  Basically, I spent a majority of this review babbling about things most people who are going to see a movie about giant robots could not care less about, then spent a little bit of time at the end confirming what is obvious about the film’s level of action.  The only problem is that the good action is too little, and too late.  Revenge is boring and dumb for too long, until it wises up and becomes a big ol’ action set piece.  Kids will dig it, adults might like the action, and almost everyone with common decency and tolerance of all ethnicities will be offended by the incredible racism Bay pulls off with only two robots and a sh*tload of stereotypes.  Look for “Bay Button’s” next movie to be 70 or less minutes, dividing its time between poop jokes and giant explosions, and not caring once about plot.  On the bright side, Bay’s director persona will become instantly more likeable, as a baby shouting orders through a megaphone to blow stuff up is much more adorable than a douchey middle aged man doing so.

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‘THE HANGOVER’ REVIEW http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/the-hangover-review/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/the-hangover-review/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 “Oh my God…” That was what the woman sitting behind me in the theater kept muttering as we watched The Hangover together.  I have to admit, I had a similar reaction to this clever and raunchy comedy, albeit a silent one.  I can understand why Zach Galifianakis’s ass might elicit such a response, verbal or internal.  In a world of reimaginings and adaptations, it was refreshing to experience an original piece of material taking full advantage of its potential.  The concept is so simple it’s a wonder no one’s thought of it before, but hallelujah for the people out there like Todd Phillips who get creative when delivering big laughs.

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“Oh my God…” That was what the woman sitting behind me in the theater kept muttering as we watched The Hangover together.  I have to admit, I had a similar reaction to this clever and raunchy comedy, albeit a silent one.  I can understand why Zach Galifianakis’s ass might elicit such a response, verbal or internal.  In a world of reimaginings and adaptations, it was refreshing to experience an original piece of material taking full advantage of its potential.  The concept is so simple it’s a wonder no one’s thought of it before, but hallelujah for the people out there like Todd Phillips who get creative when delivering big laughs.

Essentially, The Hangover follows three amnesiac groomsman the day after a debaucherous bachelor party as they track down the origins of a series of clues that they hope lead them to the lost groom, Doug (Justin Bartha).  Phil (Bradley Cooper) is a schoolteacher who resents the family life that has stripped him of the wild antics he enjoyed as a youth.  He needs this party bad, and forces the gang to go to excess, an act that only bites them in the ass later.  Stu (Ed Helms), Phil’s cautious foil, is extremely pussy-whipped by a girlfriend that no self-respecting man would put up with for no longer than one roll in the hay.  He’s the conscience in the film that only seems to get trampled on and distorted.  Doug’s future brother-in-law, Alan (Zach Galifianakis), is the odd duck.  Phil and Stu aren’t really his friends, but he’s so desperate for male camaraderie that he’d follow these guys anywhere, as long as he gets to carry his male-purse that he refers to as a satchel – like the on Indiana Jones carries. 

Once the guys check in to their extravagant suite at Caesar’s Palace, they go up to the roof to do a few Jagermeister shots to kick the night off.  The evening then rushes by in a time-lapse shot of the Vegas lights twinkling rapidly until the sun rises the next morning.  We arrive back in the suite to find it trashed beyond repair and the groom nowhere to be found.  What follows is a detective story led by three strung-out and frazzled gumshoes who just want to figure out what the hell happened last night.  A tiger in the bathroom, an infant baby in the closet, and a hospital bracelet around Phil’s wrist starts them off, but nothing leads them to where you’d expect.

Overall, I found The Hangover to be really, really enjoyable and a welcome surprise for the summer season.  It’s hard these days to find a comedy that isn’t geared towards people who have to visit the theater with their parents in tow, and the film delivers some edgy laughs that don’t come from a museum that comes to life at nighttime.  The narrative gets a little bumpy in places, and the logistics don’t always quite make sense (don’t police impounds search cars?), but the chemistry among the cast shoves those thoughts to the back of the mind.  Zack Galifianakis steals every scene he’s in, which is pretty much every scene, and I hope this movie skyrockets him to stardom. 

Then we can mutter, “Oh my God…” in a movie theater for years to come.

Screen Junkies Grade: A-

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‘LAND OF THE LOST’ REVIEW http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/land-of-the-lost-review/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/land-of-the-lost-review/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000   If you're reading this during Land of the Lost's opening weekend and happened to have come here from our homepage, you may have noticed the GIANT LAND OF THE LOST AD enveloping it.  So, for those of you who think our advertisers dictate our reviews, you probably shouldn't read on.  (And those of you who thought our "Best/Worst Movie Time Machines" piece was a thinly-veiled ad for Land of the Lost, you should just stop reading the site entirely.)  Because I genuinely liked Land of the Lost. 

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If you’re reading this during Land of the Lost‘s opening weekend and happened to have come here from our homepage, you may have noticed the GIANT LAND OF THE LOST AD enveloping it.  So, for those of you who think our advertisers dictate our reviews, you probably shouldn’t read on.  (And those of you who thought our "Best/Worst Movie Time Machines" piece was a thinly-veiled ad for Land of the Lost, you should just stop reading the site entirely.) 

Because I genuinely liked Land of the Lost. 

The film’s detractors are founding a lot of their hatred on the fact that Land of the Lost doesn’t seem like it knows what it wants to be.  Its basis is a saturday morning kids’ show from the ’70s.  But its cast – particularly the male side of it – has made a career out of blue humor, and they don’t kick the habit entirely, here.  You have Will Ferrell (Dr. Rick Marshall), who’s no slouch when it comes to unabashed nudity (Old School) or old-fashioned misogyny (Anchorman).  You have Danny McBride (Will) who is peerless in his portrayal of prideful, narrowminded characters who live by ridiculous codes (The Foot Fist Way, "Eastbound & Down"). And you have The Lonely Island and SNL’s Jorma Taccone (barely recognizable under his Cha-Ka fur), who writes songs about dicks in boxes and mother loving.  Not exactly the crowd you’d immediately think of when adapting a property that once ran opposite shows like "Hong Kong Phooey" and "The New Adventures of Gilligan."  

But we’ve seen this sort of irreverent homage to ’70s source material before, and it’s kinda worked.  People championed Betty Thomas’s 1995 spoof of the "The Brady Bunch."  And the Starsky & Hutch movie, while met with mixed reviews, wasn’t criticized for its taboo brand of comedy.  But I guess those shows’ original audiences skewed older.  Nonetheless, everyone who watched "Land of the Lost" growing up is now old enough to experience a mouthed F-bomb from Will Ferrell, or hear Danny McBride call Grumpy the T-Rex "a pussy."  And I thought those moments that rode the edge of the film’s PG-13 rating were used well. 

The plot isn’t going to win any awards.  It’s pretty much there to hang funny scenes from, and I thought some of the bits between Ferrell and McBride were inspired.  Without giving too much away, the moment when Danny McBride manipulates his voice with a vibrating pylon – apparently an iconic piece of the original show – in order to pay tribute to Cher… well, that one was worth the price of admission, especially when Ferrell decides the song is best performed as a duet.  And I thought that, while they could have taken it even further, Ferrell’s character’s gluttonous eating habits that surface in stressful situations were used to great comic effect.  For example, Dr. Marshall nonchalantly explains to his impromptu understudy Holly (the funny and charming and gorgeous Anna Friel) that he’s eating a donut filled with M&M’s so "when you finish the donut, you don’t have to eat any M&M’s."  It’s a deadpan, beautifully naive line reading that rings true for anyone out there – myself included – who enjoys junk food a little too much at times.  And it becomes a good go-to source for gags once Dr. Marshall and company crash land in the titular location.  Also, the moment from the trailer with the giant crab on the offensive has a totally ludicrous payoff that laughs in the face of logic, but sometimes those make the best jokes. 

On a visual note, the CG was a lot better than I expected, and mixed well with the Sid and Marty Krofft-inspired, Bo Welch-crafted production design.  It was an interesting combination of lo-fi and new school technical wizardry, and I haven’t seen much like it.  And director Brad Silberling, who’s always had a sort of grand confidence behind the camera on his bigger films (Lemony Snicket, Casper), really managed to leave room for the actors to mess around while still keeping the momentum heading forward, and decidedly quicker than the villainous, reptilian Sleestak who threaten to devour Dr. Marshall and company, if they could ever catch up to them. 

Oh, and Matt Lauer CAN suck it.

Screen Junkies Grade: B

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‘TERMINATOR SALVATION’ REVIEW http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/terminator-salvation-review/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/terminator-salvation-review/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 By Afrim, sole member of the Albanian Guard Hello, United States, for one time again. Is Afrim. Is you remember me? I tell you about movie Angels plus Demons. I back in internet café in Baltimore. I is having problems with travel visa and immigration police tell me I can no go back to Albania. Is okay, I have good bed for sleeping at house of my cousin Fatbardha. Is better than box of wood that I am sleeping in Tirana! Is kidding! I has very comfortable mule for sleeping.

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By Afrim, sole member of the Albanian Guard

Hello, United States, for one time again. Is Afrim. Is you remember me? I tell you about movie Angels plus Demons. I back in internet café in Baltimore. I is having problems with travel visa and immigration police tell me I can no go back to Albania. Is okay, I have good bed for sleeping at house of my cousin Fatbardha. Is better than box of wood that I am sleeping in Tirana! Is kidding! I has very comfortable mule for sleeping.

I having lots of free time waiting for Visa problem stop, so I see more American movies. I like cinema in United States. Chairs are comfortable, and police are not throwing you in jail when videotaping screen.

Today I see Terminator movie. Is called Terminator of Salvation. Is meaning maybe there is Jesus in future? Is take place in year 2018 about computer that want fight humans and it make robot for killing man. But humans are fight back and want stop computer. Is very action movie, have many exploding, and is have robot skeletons. Is remind me of robot I make in 1980s calling “Afrim the Robot.” But no made of metal, is made of brooms and skin of sheep. It no mean to kill and is not working most of time.

In movie, John Connor (is Christian Bale) is lead his human warriors to fight machines. He is find man who is think he is man, but is really robot. John Connor is not trusting robot even one who think is man, but is only hope to find Kyle Reese (is Anton Yelchin) to protects him. To destroy robots, John Connor must fight many different machines. There is swim robots, airplane robots and motorcycle robots.

I is fan of movie. Is direct by Irish rapping singer McG. I is never heard from him. Actors in movie very good. Christian Bale remind me of young Afrim because I very handsome. Also remind because I is yelling many times. I is expecting to see first Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger, but is not in movie. I is hearing he is politician and am congratulating him. Is same way in Albania, James Belushi is make honorary governor of Tirana.

Movie is making me thinking for computers. Is problem in giving power to computer? Is possible computers want kill humans? If is possible, I is thinking Albania safe. Is because Albania not having many computers and we is still using MS-DOS.

I is also thinking, Swiss Guard is make everything with computers for protect the pope. If is problem with computer and is want kill humans, Pope is first to be killing. For that is when I return Tirana, I is sending Vatican “Afrim the Robot” for protect the pope. I is just being safe.

– AFRIM, Sole Member of the Albanian Guard

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