Archive for June, 2012

Ted

29th June
2012
written by Adam

Mike (Channing Tatum) is an entrepreneur of several wildly divergent businesses, rx
with a skill set ranging from roofer to auto detailer to custom furniture crafter to male stripper. You could say life in Tampa Florida hasn’t exactly turned out quite the way he’d hoped or wanted. With an ounce of pity for Adam (Alex Pettyfer), an out of work college dropout, Mike opens the door to the hardcore party lifestyle, women, stripping, and drugs. Meanwhile Adam’s sister, Brooke (Cody Horn), isn’t exactly sitting by the sidelines, but attempting to care for her little brother might be too much. And, with the pressure of club owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) mounting for all, eventually something’s got to give. Finding center, love, and purpose becomes Mike’s new goal, but is it too late, and what of Adam’s fate? Now, I know what you’re thinking, Chippendales/Male Strippers? C Tate? Can my eyeballs possibly witness this without the rest of my body somehow engaging in a full on gag reflex? Short answer, yes, and without totally giving up your man card either. The material could have very easily turned hokey or hard to digest, instead, Director Steven Soderbergh coaxes honest performances from what might otherwise be a laughable story. Mind you, there are quite a few honest laughs, and awkward moments, but somehow it all seems to add up to provide for characters you’re really rooting for. Acting all round feels on point, and with a mild reservation on the film’s final act, the film is seaworthy and stout. And, once again, hat’s off to Tatum, somehow miraculously he manages to pull on the yoke every time I think he’s about to crash and burn…well played sir, well played. Magic Mike is rated R for obvious reasons.
Growing up just outside of Boston John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) didn’t have many friends. And, order
on one particular Christmas day eve, pharmacist
when the conditions were just right to make a little boy’s wish come true, visit
young John made a wish, a wish that his teddy bear could be his best friend. With that wish, and a little magic John awoke the next morning to discover his bear, Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), was in fact alive and able to talk. Best buddies forever, the two swore they would never part– even when initial fame of Ted’s miracle existence hit and wore off, the two managed to stay together. Now a grown man at the age of 35, John is looking to keep the love of his life, Lori (Mila Kunis). But, between his own self destructive behaviour and Ted’s influence, John is walking a delicate line. Can he pull himself together to save his relationship, and what about Ted, and what about the creepy Teddy bear-napper, Donny (Giovanni Ribisi)? Written and Directed by pop culture comedic skewer Seth MacFarlane, fans of Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show are in for a treat. The comedy comes fast, cheap, and easy (insert your own “mom” joke here) and doesn’t let up till the bitter end. Still, dancing on a razor’s edge, perhaps some humor, despite it’s satirical nature or otherwise might be a little much for some easy targets and minorities; getting past that, there’s still a lot of charm in a four mouthed bear with an attitude played straight to a fault. Also of note, unlike MacFarlane’s television work, Ted’s storytelling seems to plow through mercilessly and on target instead of the usual asides many fans are accustomed to. I laughed, was entertained by a bear, and am not ashamed to admit it. Worth your comedic dollar, Ted is rated R.

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29th June
2012
written by Adam

It’s all about Motown and the girl group that never was as singer songwriter Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) and her two sisters (Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter) gain the attention of a major record label. But drugs, site men, tooth and family drama could be the downfall off them all. Meanwhile, food the girl’s mother, Emma (Whitney Houston), does her best to steer her girls towards success, but some kinds of help are the kind of help we all can do without. In what feels almost autobiographical for Houston, a number of her lines, now posthumous, ring as downright eerie or ironic, or both. Meanwhile, the rest of the script is so drab and boring it barely carries us to the songs we’re all hoping to hear. And, at that, the music doesn’t exactly stay in the period, odd since this is really supposed to be a period piece. But then, the musical performances were pretty good, so….go figure. Lesser cinematography rounds out the rest. A sad final note for Houston to go out on.
Mike (Channing Tatum) is an entrepreneur of several wildly divergent businesses, sale
with a skill set ranging from roofer to auto detailer to custom furniture crafter to male stripper. You could say life in Tampa Florida hasn’t exactly turned out quite the way he’d hoped or wanted. With an ounce of pity for Adam (Alex Pettyfer), an out of work college dropout, Mike opens the door to the hardcore party lifestyle, women, stripping, and drugs. Meanwhile Adam’s sister, Brooke (Cody Horn), isn’t exactly sitting by the sidelines, but attempting to care for her little brother might be too much. And, with the pressure of club owner Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) mounting for all, eventually something’s got to give. Finding center, love, and purpose becomes Mike’s new goal, but is it too late, and what of Adam’s fate? Now, I know what you’re thinking, Chippendales/Male Strippers? C Tate? Can my eyeballs possibly witness this without the rest of my body somehow engaging in a full on gag reflex? Short answer, yes, and without totally giving up your man card either. The material could have very easily turned hokey or hard to digest, instead, Director Steven Soderbergh coaxes honest performances from what might otherwise be a laughable story. Mind you, there are quite a few honest laughs, and awkward moments, but somehow it all seems to add up to provide for characters you’re really rooting for. Acting all round feels on point, and with a mild reservation on the film’s final act, the film is seaworthy and stout. And, once again, hat’s off to Tatum, somehow miraculously he manages to pull on the yoke every time I think he’s about to crash and burn…well played sir, well played. Magic Mike is rated R for obvious reasons.

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22nd June
2012
written by Adam

Merida (Kelly Macdonald), physiotherapy
the wide eyed and wild red haired daughter of Scottish Royalty is an aspiring archer and independent young woman looking to make her own way in the world. But, viagra sale when her parents, Fergus and Elinor (Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson), deem that it’s time for Merida to be traditionally courted and married against her own will, a locking of horns ensues. Unfortunately, it’s a disagreement that could undo the entire kingdom and hurt the ones closest to the center. Now it’s up to Merida to look deep inside, find her strength, and mend the tear that could otherwise destroy everything before it’s too late. Visually interesting, Disney’s Pixar just keeps getting better and better in their animation abilities, this time paying dramatic attention to hair and textures, and that alone is quite stunning. But as screenplays go, where Pixar has normally pushed boundaries and found compelling ways of telling a story, Brave just comes across as a mediocre. At its core the story is sweet, has some comedic points, but doesn’t really show us anything dramatically new– even through the feminist empowerment lens. And, from my totally unscientific eye count, zero tears appeared to be shed by the screening audience, surprising considering that Pixar films consistently tug our heart strings just so. On the flip side, La Luna, the opening short before Brave, does offer genuine heart and soul and is not to be missed. Perhaps more of a rental or matinee, Brave is rated PG.
American history is reframed and re-told as Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) leads a double life during pivotal times for our nation. As slavery is challenged, discount
a battle for human souls is also at play as vampires have infiltrated every sector of American life. Unbeknownst to the general public, ed Lincoln is a trained vampire hunter taught by his mysterious associate Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper). With Henry’s assistance Lincoln takes strides in ridding vampires from America, information pills
all the while searching for the vampire who killed his mother years earlier. But, as age sets in, Lincoln’s contingency plan of a life in politics takes hold. Now, years later, a nation at war with itself, Lincoln finds the battle between North and South hinges on his ability to slay the leader of the vampires, Adam (Rufus Sewell), and his cadre of blood sucking minions. But how to pull off this seemingly impossible feat, and what will be the ramifications? Okay, so we can’t really take this seriously can we? No, of course not. Instead, knowing that you’re about to be subjected to a pulpy retelling of history, sometimes tongue in cheek, we can almost just let the suspension of disbelief ride. That being said, assuming that you’re willing to “just go with it,” for the entertainment factor, you could do worse. To a certain degree Walker actually seems to portray Lincoln visually the way we have come to expect him to look. Anthony Mackie, Jimmi Simpson, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead stay within their supporting roles, and anytime you can get Alan Tudyk to dress up as a vampire, well…you just can’t go wrong now can you? Fight sequences actually had me tensing up on a few occasions, but large action often relied on half baked CGI a little too much for my tastes. Still, it’s Saturday summertime matinee popcorn chomping fun. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is rated R.

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