One of the best parts of having this blog is it gives me the opportunity to give my friends a venue to get their writing out to a wider audience. Today I am posting some movie reviews by my good friend Simon Woods. Now these are not written specifically for the blog, these were already pre-written on his facebook page. Encourage him to write some exclusives by reading these reviews.
Observe and Report
Over time, artists begin to build a trust with their audience. The artist will sometimes create something that seems off-putting, but the artist will say, " Trust me, you know I know what I'm doing." That is this movie with Seth Rogen and Jody Hill, both of whom I love. The movie is not quite unlikeable but not quite like able at first. I had no idea where it was going or what it was building towards. It turns out, it was building towards one of the biggest, funniest, most powerful conclusions I have ever seen. In this case, the end will justify the means. It is filled with amazing performances, and ends up being Taxi Driver for our generation. There is a good bit of frontal male nudity, so be warned of that.
My Name Is Bruce
This movie is like an ode to the career of Bruce Campbell. It makes fun of every movie he has been in and incorporates plot points from all of them too. It is a decent enough movie, even though in the end it isn't nearly as good as the movies that Bruce Campbell is known for. The demon wasn't near cool enough, and for a movie that is a tribute to Bruce Campbell, the monster should have been the second most important thing in the movie, next to Bruce Campbell of course. It was entertaining, but not as fun as many of Bruce Campbell's other movies.
This is visually one of the best movies I have ever seen. It has a very B movie quality to it, but that is what makes it so awesome. This is one of the finest examples of "so bad it's good" to ever be made. It is very self-indulgent, but also in a strange way pretty intelligent. Sean Connery is awesome as Zed, the pinnacle of manly testosterone. He is a savage brute who hijacks the flying head of a God and rides it to a Utopian society. When he arrives, and the inhabitants size him up, everyone decides they either want to sleep with him or be killed by him. This is quite simply one of the most hilarious plots ever. In spite of myself, I love this movie.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
The first 3/4s of this movie are pure gold. It is a hilarious take on the slasher genre with a documentary crew following around an aspiring psycho killer. Nathan Baesel is probably the most likable serial killer ever filmed, with everything portrayed in a very tongue in cheek manner. It is funny that every slasher institution is included, and he even uses Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers as role models. The parts with the retired killer explaining the rules if the game are hysterical. The last quarter of this movie denigrates into the kind of typical slasher movie that this is sending up. I don't know if it is on purpose or not, but for me it detracted from the rest of the movie. All in all, I really enjoyed it, but it did have its flaws.
This movie was not the disaster I thought it would be. It had an interesting world populated by interesting characters. You could obviously tell that things were cut out though. It spent an hour and a
half on the girl discovering the world of vampires and falling in love with one, and about 20 minutes on villains that were supposed to be intimidating. I cared not one bit about the villains, and even though a lot of time was spent on them, I didn't feel anything for the characters when they were put in danger. I think the best thing this movie did was whet my appetite, and make me open to seeing another one.
I Love You, Man
This is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. In fact, Paul Rudd has starred in the last two really funny movies I've seen. The real beauty of this movie is that it captures the interesting, sometimes awkward, dynamic between guys and their friends. The cast is dynamic. It would take me too long to sing the praises of everyone who impressed me in this movie. Paul Rudd, Jason Segal, and Rashida Jones are so good, and the chemistry among them is really well developed. I loved this movie.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
This movie is a piece of garbage. It had just a ludicrous story and the characters are just plain silly. It is actually worse than the first, which at least had Sean Bean. In this movie, Nicholas Cage is his usual sucky self, and Justin Bartha is equally bad. It seems those two managed to suck the talent out of normally good actors like Jon Voight, Ed Harris, and Helen Mirren. The only way in which this one wasn't as bad as the first was that it wasn't an infomercial for the Freemasons.
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