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June 29, 2011

Bad Teacher

Bad Teacher is a comedy about a middle school teacher who is not at all equipped to be a teacher. Her main goal is to find a wealthy man to take care of her. Cameron Diaz does an amazing job portraying this gold digger. A strong, hilarious cast supports her well also. It is a very funny film! (Although, I am slightly biased as a teacher). It's a funny movie with a shallow, but funny story and some great comedic writing!

The strongest point is the comedy. This is a full on comedic movie! Granted I saw it with a group of teachers, but we barely stopped laughing the whole time. The writing was great with hilarious scene after hilarious scene. The acting perfectly created theses scenes and quotes. Unlike some other comedies, Bad Teacher has less one liners and more physical humor. This is a testament to the strength of the actors! The writing was well done also.  I absolutely hate when comedies get really serious with an underlying message after they have made you laugh for at least an hour. Bad Teacher did it perfectly! There was an underlying message about being less superficial, but it was not corny or overly sentimental! Loved it!

I was a little disappointed with Justin Timberlake's performance.  I am a huge Justin fan, but this character was not quite right from him or he didn't portray it well. I'm not sure which was the issue, but it didn't sit right with me.  The story is not spectacular or deep, but that's not what a comedy is supposed to be.  I worry that others will not be able to relate to the film as well as teachers do. Hopefully it will make you laugh though.

Overall, I loved this movie! It has good comedic acting and writing. It is not life changing, but it does make you laugh. That is all a comedy is supposed to do!


June 17, 2011

Green Lantern

Green Lantern appears to be DC Comics' attempt to compete with Marvel Comics in creating a series of major superhero blockbusters. This attempt is falling short in creating interest in the superhero theme again and I'll predict that it will fall short in making a profit also. However, much to my surprise, Green Lantern was a valiant effort by DC to create a modern movie based on a comic book superhero. There were quite a few weaknesses, but I didn't check the time or shake my head in embarrassment once.

Watching the trailers I expected this to be one of the worst films I had ever seen. My major concern was what appeared to be very weak and superficial casting. I would consider the acting to be the biggest weakness of this movie. Ryan Reynolds may have the look of a superhero, but he is much better suited for a romantic comedy than an action flick. Similarly, Blake Lively looks like the perfect superhero love interest, but in this movie she was also supposed to be a serious business-type woman. She did not pull this off well.

Aside from the acting, there were only minor problems. The effects were sub-par at points but didn't take away from the plot. I felt that there was too many story lines playing out at once. I understand it is necessary to set up a lot of background in a short amount of time, but as a viewer, I felt like I was jumping from one story to another to another until they somewhat came together 3/4 of the way through the movie. I could have done without one or two of the story lines. At the same time, there was so much focus on setting up the background of the Green Lanterns, the history, and the villain that the background of the main characters was lacking.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. The acting was not great. The effects could have been stronger and I would have been satisfied without so many storylines. But I enjoyed seeing the film and do not think it was one of the worst films I have seen. I think it will fall in the wayside of many other major summer movies, but Redbox it if you are in the mood for another good superhero adventure!

Redbox/Netflix It!

June 11, 2011

Super 8

Super 8 is a film about a group of kids that witness a catastrophic train wreck outside their small Ohio town. When unusual things start happening throughout the town, these kids investigate to see what is causing all the strange occurrences. This is Steven Spielberg's newest film, joined by J.J. Abrams as writer and director. Like most Spielberg films, it has a unique story and lots of surprises. It is very well written. The acting was great! It definitely had me hook for the entire 112 minutes. There were a few weaknesses, but overall it does not disappoint.

The story in this film is very Sci-Fi and out of this world. There was a few moments that I could not quite accept the crazy occurrences that were happening. When electronics and pets are going missing throughout the town and people are being dragged away by an unknown force, I began to think this was a little too outside the box for me. However, Speilberg and Abrams changed my thoughts when they slowly began sharing information about these mysteries, a little at a time. Letting the viewer in with bits and pieces keeps you guessing.

My only other disappointment was the similarities between this film and other films (most of which involving Speilberg). I would describe Super 8 as a cross between Transformers, E.T., and The Goonies. This film was rumored to be Speilberg's next great film. I wish the writers and Speilberg could have come up with something that didn't nearly copy previous films.

Aside from a moment of frustration about a lack of knowledge shared with the viewer and some repeat of material, this was an excellent film. With a cast of mostly young actors, you have to wonder how well the portrayals will come across on screen. These young actors were super! I thought the story was good, the effects added to the story, and there is definitely excitement from start to finish. I am not sure that Super 8 will go down as one of Speilberg's greats, but it's definitely good.


June 4, 2011

The Hangover: Part 2

The Hangover Part 2 chronicles the disaster that ensues when the Wolfpack is reunited in Thialand for Stu's wedding. It has the same characters and similar catastrophes as the first Hangover film. I was very concerned that it would be a total flop, because The Hangover was so great and unique that it cannot be repeated. However, the executives did a great job of keeping the same actors, staying true to the characters, and creating new adventures for our favorite best friends to go on.

The best aspect of The Hangover Part 2 is the fact that all the original actors were part of this film too. It would not have been the same if they would have changed, as often happens with sequels. Also, the writers stayed very true to the personalities of these characters. Again, many sequels go too far to create humor and completely change the characters. These writers perfectly kept the uniqueness of each character and created new situations for them to experience.

The writers also did a great job of creating similar, hilarious activities without repeating those that happened in the first Hangover.  From bar fights to mistakes with prostitutes, The Hangover Part 2 created all new disasters to make you laugh.

Overall, The Hangover is film that cannot be repeated, but The Hangover Part 2 kept the best parts of the original without copying it completely. It is unrealistic that such shenanigans would occur twice, but we don't go to the  movies to watch something realistic. Part 2 is hilarious in it's own way. I don't think any comedy with measure up to  The Hangover, but The Hangover Part 2 comes very close.