Most Anticipated: Your Highness

Your Highness (R)
Runtime: 102 minutes
Starring: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman
Director: David Gordon Green
Original Ranking: 30

Wow, talk about missing the mark considerably. I ranked this movie based on the red band trailer I saw and to be real honest, the funniest moments are all in that trailer. Go ahead watch it now. Done? Well, that's really all you need to see.

The movie just is slow, not only with the plot but with the jokes. Part of the movie takes itself way too seriously (a lot of the fantasy elements) and it seems the main joke is that Danny McBride is playing himself stuck in a fantasy movie. It's too bad because there hasn't been a good fantasy comedy in a looong time - probably Monty Python's Holy Grail is the last (and only?) good comedy based around this theme. I'd love to see Edgar Wright and Pegg and Frost tackle this genre.

Well, you know the movie's not good based on the fact that I'm talking about a hypothetical movie that would be way better. There's not a whole lot of substance to this movie and it's evident from the beginning. There's a really bizarre and very serious sacrificing/rape (WTF? I know, right?) scene in the beginning that sets the tone for the rest of the film - the comedy is constantly fighting this very disgusting first scene and it just doesn't come off right throughout the rest of the movie.

I would definitely avoid the hell out of this movie and in fact, rent Monty Python instead. You'll thank me later.

Rating: Avoid Like the Plague!


Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (PG-13)
Runtime: 118 minutes
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Aside from the goofy sounding title, Crazy, Stupid, Love (period) is a fun and truly wonderful romantic comedy. It hits all the right spots and the cast is exceptionally good (and exceptionally beautiful). This was not on my most anticipated list, but nevertheless, it's definitely one of my favorite movies this year!

Steve Carell plays Cal, a dull husband who gets cuckolded (look it up - or better yet, watch the movie!) by his wife and ends up taking advice from a ladies man, Mr. Hey Girl himself, Ryan Gosling to get over his wife and start bangin' some chicks. That pretty much sums up the movie - you pretty much know what is going to happen (well, at least I thought I did. More on that later). So what's the point in watching this movie, you might ask? Well, first off, it's pretty funny. Secondly, there's a lot of good acting going on here. Ryan Gosling is perfect as the handsome pick up artist and Steve Carrell and Julianne Moore are always good for these types of roles. Plus you have some truly memorable side characters played by Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon. Oh! And Cal's son has a subplot about him falling in love with an older high schooler - his babysitter no less!

While that subplot is not great, there are some great moments and all the story arcs collide near the end of the movie in a very big and climactic scene. It may have been a bit too much, but I still laughed a buttload during it. Plus, I should have seen it coming from a mile away but there's a big reveal in that scene that I will admit I was surprised. All in all - it's a good story and it's made even better by the cast. Maggie pointed out that the babysitter is played by a previous America's Next Top Model contestant and going into the movie I figured she would be the worst part, but fortunately, she was really good! So there's lots of surprises in this movie and most of them are good.

The movie does start off really slow - I was about to write this one off after the first 15 minutes, but it slowly found itself and really delivered on the laughs, too. It's a solid date movie, so what more could you ask for?

Rating: See It!


Most Anticipated: Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys & Aliens (PG-13)
Runtime: 118 minutes

Starring: Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig
Director: Jon Favreau
Original Ranking: 3

On paper, heck, even in the trailers, this movie seemed awesome! How could you not love a genre mash-up? Not only do you have Speilberg and Brian Grazer producing, you have the very talented Favreau behind the camera. Also, make sure to have two very iconic movie stars and throw in a really hot chick and instant success. The formula is quite simple:

1. Find two genres to mix up.
2. Get some well-loved actors/filmmakers to do it.
3. ???
4. Profit!

Well, sometimes too many ingredients (or as Maggie likes to put it - too many flavors) can ruin something special. It's like when I tried to make the ultimate pizza the other night. Maggie was having a ladie's night in (watching a movie and eating pizza), so some of them brought over their own pizza toppings. Being stuck upstairs with not much to do, I decided to throw everything we had onto the pizza! Great idea, right? WRONG! I had goat cheese mixed in with red olives and on top of that sausage and pepperoni and a handful of other ingredients. Well, you can understand how stupid that may seem now. But I was hungry and needed all those awesome ingredients now! Point being, it may seem like awesome sauce from within the confines of your hungry brain, but step back and it's a disaster. This is Cowboys & Aliens.

The movie starts off really well - they had the atmosphere of the western down to a T. Daniel Craig wakes up after being anally probed (just a hunch, really) and has some crazy bracelet/weapon locked onto his wrist. Of course, he's a bad guy who cannot remember a damn thing and it's up to Olivia Wilde to show him who he really is (that is, a nice guy who doesn't talk much and who just did some bad things). Harrison Ford shows up as the local mob boss who runs the town and wants his money back that Craig stole. Yada, yada yada, aliens invade the town and snatch up all their loved ones and it's up to both cranky pants and mutey to band with outlaws and Indians to save the day!

It all sounds awesome, but it gets real messy after the first aliens attack. Not only do they ride out in search of the kidnapped, but they decide it's a great idea to take the prisoner (Craig) and set him free because he has that weapon bracelet thingy. And they take a kid with them because apparently no one wants to take care of him back home. The frontier is harsh, man. Then they find out (SPOILER!) that Olivia Wilde is an alien herself, sent to warn the humans about the other aliens. Who, BTW, are just here to take all of our gold. And apparently research us because they want to know our weaknesses. It's all just a bit too ridiculous for me to swallow. Oh the moviemakers definitely wanted a sequel to happen - Wilde warned everyone that this is a just a scouting party. She mentions that if they stop them and destroy their ship, they'll all be safe. Umm, no, wouldn't that just make the other aliens mad to know their scouting party never came back? So I'm guessing that's the sequel (which will probably never happen after its miserable performance at the box office). (END OF SPOLERS!)

Plus, the climactic battle at the end is all sorts of messy. They go down into battle and the aliens are killing all of them (they only had about 50 humans, but it seemed like they had 150 by the time everything was over - so many people died!) and after one of the main guys gets killed, Harrison Ford gets off his horse and cradles the dude and sheds a tear for him! So did all the aliens just leave the area or did they all just stop killing the humans so we could all share this touching scene? It was weird and that happened more than once (not Harrison Ford crying, just spontaneously stopping the battle).

Another thing - I'm getting sick of aliens looking the same in all the movies - they're slimy and have scaly, reptile skin,. Their limbs are backwards and all the aliens look the same. It's like this in almost every alien movie lately - Super 8, District 9, Battle: Los Angeles. Don't get me wrong I love those movies, but can't we get someone new to design these aliens? And on top of that, the climactic battle scene was so chaotic I really could not tell what was happening half the time because the CGI aliens were too blurry.

I still have lingering questions about the movie. So if the aliens are here to steal our gold, is this the whole alien race going after gold on distant planets. Or is this a corporation on the alien homeworld seeking wealth? Do they have a government and do you think they have these liberal aliens who are against the mining and destroying of other civilizations? That's probably the only worth wile conversation I will get out of the movie and it sounds really, really silly. But I wonder...no! no! Colin, just stop! Stop it!

It's a shame to see such a highly anticipated movie come out such a turd. I had it ranked number 3 and this is clearly the most disappointing movie so far this year. I thought having all that talent behind the movie would only make it that much better, but in the end it ends up being okay. The action was okay, the plot was okay. It's really only worth renting if you can get it free.

Rating: Not Worth Paying For!

Most Anticipated: Friends With Benefits

Friends With Benefits (R) - Runtime: 109 minutes
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis
Director: Will Gluck
Original Ranking: 29

After the success of No Strings Attached, Friends With Benefits seemed fairly redundant. But instead of playing the same notes as the other R-rated comedy, the movie is good, if not better than its counterpart.

Justin Timberlake is surprisingly funny in this movie - he's quickly becoming a great actor and one of the few crossover stars from the music world to successfully manage a movie career. As usual, Mila Kunis is brimming with hotness and awesomeness - she plays a rough and tough girl who's just "one of the boys." When both characters meet for the first time in the airport (a pretty smart choice for the writers - they're not best friends from childhood, which would make their sexual escapades a bit too awkward) there is a budding chemistry that's present and it slowly works its magic throughout the movie. Woody Harrelson provides more comic relief (and a lot of the raunchiness) in the form of Timberlake's co-worker/buddy. He has some great jokes and he should have been in more of the movie.

It's a fun movie and funnier if you enjoy R-rated humor - the movie does get a bit sappy at times, but its never overbearing or weighed down with melodrama. Although there are very serious moments when they go to LA and Timberlake's father is dealing with Alzheimer's. It's a bit sad, but it never really drags the movie down. In fact, it adds a whole dimension to Timberlake's character and you start to understand his motivations for undeveloped relationships. Mila Kunis has similar issues, but they're really light-hearted (her mom is a slut! Hardy har har!), so it's fitting to see these two broken individuals come to see each other as more than just friends.

There are a few missteps, however. The beginning scene when they first meet goes on a bit too long - the main crux is Timberlake is being headhunted by Kunis and in order to get him hired, she sells him New York City. It's an okay way to start, but they make NYC seem like the only place you can have fun - oh and there's flashmobs! Seriously, that's exactly what sold Timberlake on the job - a five year-old fad that could be replicated anywhere. Lame! They do leave a couple of loose ends about their families, too - Kunis never really knows who her father is and they never really resolve that issue, which is fine - but they kept bringing it up throughout the whole movie! Frustrating, none the less.

Aside from those small issues, the movie is great. It's a fantastic romantic comedy that most anybody can enjoy - it's not just for the ladies! Plus you have two very attractive leads and they get naked! So you can't go wrong with that - thank god we didn't have to see Harrelson's bum or anything like that.

Rating: See It!