Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Paul (2011) R - 3½ Stars

I have to say this is a movie I would probably not have rented on my own. My friend owns a copy and told me to put on my happy face, sip a little wine and keep an open mind while I watched it. I have to say Paul is an unexpectedly funny almost "cute" movie, though watching the unrated version, I doubt "cute" is the proper word. This is not a movie for children as it does contain many adult situations and strong language but if you need a good laugh it can probably find one of your funny bones.

Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), an alien from another world, has been on planet earth now for years working solely with our government answering and sharing information. Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg), and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost), two English Sci-Fi geeks and comic book fanatics, are on their way to the Comic-Con convention in San Diego, California. They have rented an RV and vow to have their greatest adventure by visiting every site of major extraterrestrial importance along the way. While headed to New Mexico deserts of Area 51, they stop to help a car that raced passed them and crashed off the side of the road. Paul emerges from the accident he tells Graeme and Cliff the Feds will be looking for him and they must help him escape and get back to his spaceship so he can return home.

Awards: 2011 Best Comedy Award - National Movie Awards, UK

Universal Pictures
Director: Greg Mottola
Writers: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost
Producers: Eric Fellner, Nira Park, Tim Bevan
I viewed 10/15

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Dog Problem (2007) R - 2½ Stars

The movie seems to have many mixed reviews online with some viewers getting more out of it than I did. Labeled a comedy, it's hard for me to call it that because other than one time I don't remember smiling often. I couldn't even find a credit given for Don Cheadle's role on the rental box or in the final rolling credits. Maybe I just got a bad copy.

I feel the director is trying to bring across the similarities between this odd mix of dysfunctional people stumbling through their lives with people that surround all of our lives daily but for me, I couldn't connect with anyone. The story is of a man who under the advise of his therapist, buys a dog hoping to give his life some purpose.

Solo Harrington (Giovanni Ribisi), is a depressed novelist who can't get in touch with his creative side. Even though he's been successful in the past, he's spent all his lives savings on women, drugs and his expensive psychiatrist, Dr. Nourmand (Don Cheadle). When nothing seems to help Solo break out of his mood, the doctor suggest he get a dog to help with his lonesomeness. Casper (Scott Caan), Solo's friend, introduces him to a rich girl Jules (Mena Suvari), who Solo tries to convince to take the dog when he suddenly notices he's becoming attached. But with Benny (Kevin Corrigan) is breathing down his back to pay his loan, and the dog gets bit at a dog park needing expensive medical treatment, he meets a feisty stripper named Lola (Lynn Collins), who he tries to convince to take the dog and pay his veterinarian bill. Now he has to sort out his feelings of letting go of the dog?

A Thousand Words
Director: Scott Caan
Writer: Scott Caan
Producers: Jonah Smith, Palmer West
I viewed 3/13

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Return to Paradise (1998) R - 3½ Stars

If your friend was in trouble in another country and the only way you could save their life was by going to jail yourself, would you? This movie asks that question of how far are you willing to go to help a friend. Good plot, makes you feel the pressure of those tiny little voices in the back of your mind that tell you to walk away.

John 'Sheriff' Volgecherev (Vince Vaughn), Lewis McBride (Joaquin Phoenix) and Tony Croft (David Conrad) are on a dream vacation of a lifetime. In the exotic country of Malaysia, the three spend days drinking rum, smoking hashish and having their way with the local women. Eventually it's time to return to their normal lives. John and Tony leave to go back to their corporate lives in New York while Lewis stays behind to devote his life, joining a team to rescue orangutans. As soon as John and Tony leave, Lewis gets arrested with a huge leftover stash of hash, charged with drug trafficking, punishable by death. Lawyer Beth Eastern (Anne Heche) travels to New York in search of John and Tony to convince them to return to Malaysia saving their friend from certain death. If they do return they will definitely spend time in a third world jail.

Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Propaganda Films, Tetragram
Director: Joseph Ruben
Writers: Pierre Joliver, Olivier Schatzky
Producers: David Arnold, Alain Bernheim, Lashan Browning, Steve Golin, Ezra Swerdlow
I viewed 5/15

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I Love Your Work (2004) R - 2½ Stars

I didn't care too much for this movie. I felt it is pretty twisted and the story line is all over the place making you totally clueless as to what the movie is trying to get across. Maybe it's just me but then the movie becomes nothing but predictable.

Gray Evans (Giovanni Ribisi) is a celebrity at the young age of 20 having a slow meltdown. He's married to a beautiful successful actress Mia Lang (Franka Potente). Gary drinks up the attention of the spot light making most think his life should be perfect but Gary's obsessed. He's obsessed thinking he has a fan that is stalking him.

While he is at a video store, he meets a guy named John (Joshua Jackson). John tells Gary he's one of his biggest fans. This makes Gary extremely nervous that his belief is true and that it is John who is the one that has been stalking him. Gary decides to turn the tables and starts to follow John to keep tabs on him. When he returns to the video store he meets John's wife, Jane (Marisa Coughlan). The two seem to have a perfect caring marriage so Gary feels sort of silly thinking John could have been involved in actually stalking him. But now that he's met Jane, he's driven to stalk her as he'd like to be in her life. Confused? Yeah me too.

Director: Adam Goldberg
Writers: Adam Butchart, Adam Goldberg, Adrian Butchart
Producers: Adrienne Gruben, Terry Spazek, David Hillary
I viewed 5/15