Real Steel

Shawn Levy wants to fornicate with Ron Howard. Or maybe just his Oscar.  Or maybe try to procreate a baby Oscar from his fornication with Ron Howard that will be the baby half-brother to Ron Howard’s existing Oscar. You see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Real Steel, is a Hugh Jackmanification of John Nash, without the economics, plus a dash of Iron Man.  The over-the-topness and Hollywoodishness oozes like cheese whiz through every bolt and every joint of the poor abused robot Atom.  I shall elaborate about how Shawn Levy wants Ron Howard through providing a good deal of evidence that shows, at the very least that Shawn Levy is trying to get you to ooze with cheese like his idol does.  This is his vain attempt to replace Ron Howard in the eyes of the US media consumer.  I say don’t fall for it!  Shawn Levy is only about 70% of the heavy handed cheesiness of Ron Howard, so don’t give in!  Ron Howard may be bald but he is far from dead!  Plus Levy doesn’t have a porcupine-shaped sidekick like Brian Grazier, so not even a competition.  I mean the dude doesn’t even use classical orchestra to definitely hammer in his give-away standing ovation moments….

Evidence ONE – The plot: The movie draws you in with promises of cool effects with ultimate fighting, rampant injury (and possibly death!) and  machines and robots from the future, but REALLY it’s a manipulative plot to get grown men into the theaters to see the tale of an estranged father re-connecting with his emotionally retarded son and emasculate them into puddles of tears.  Yes, you will cry.  Unless you have a heart of steel like mine and laugh in the face of the cheesiness.

Evidence TWO – The kid’s name is Dakota: Ok so, not Dakota Fanning, but similar in the sense that the kid is  freckly fresh faced little boy named Dakota Goyo with a spunky attitude and you quickly get the point of his role.  To get at your heartstrings.  HA! Only if you are a pathetic sucker

Evidence THREE – The robot looks like WALL-E:  Now who is the most beloved robot of all (with a possible exception of Rosie from the Jetsons, Vicki from Small Wonder, oh and R2D2 and C3PO of course, and I also really do love my Roomba, but yeah, you get the idea)?  WALL-E!  the cutest mute robot in the whole darn universe.  Not only does Atom look like WALL-E, but it even has this slightly eerie smile…slightly eerie potentially cuz it’s always there…

Evidence FOUR and possibly the most compelling evidence – The dialogue: I don’t have all the dialogue with me here, since I don’t have the script but the ones I remember are the following (BTW Charlie Kenton is Hugh Jackman and Max Kenton is the kid, Dakota Goyo):

Charlie: I know I’ve done all kinds of wrong by this kid. I’d just like to do one thing right.

Charlie Kenton: What do you want from me?
Max  Kenton: I want you to fight for me.  That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Max Kenton: I need you to teach him to box.
Charlie Kenton: Are you kiddin’ me?
Max Kenton: You know this fight game inside and out. He needs your moves, your commands!
Charlie Kenton: I can…I can’t!
Max Kenton: Yes, you can!

I hope you will see, ladies and gentlemen, that this is clearly an attempt to be and be with Ron Howard.  I say NO! Don’t let it happen.  No one can replace Richie Cunningham in our hearts and minds….rest easy Ron, I’ll stand by you.

And does anyone complain about robot-abuse in this movie?  All the poor robots, beating up on each other like a page from Michael Vick’s private playhouse but do I hear any complaints?  NO!  and why?  oh the infamy….$4

If you heart Real Steel:

Recommendations from Bernard Liptenstein LLC:
Iron Man
A Beautiful Mind
Apollo 13

Notes Towards a Review of Kathryn Stockett and Tate Taylor’s The Help

The most hated movie of the year.

The most loved movie of the year.

The shittiest movie of the year.

The best movie of the year about shit.

The most sad funny movie of the year.

The least funny sad movie of the year.

Was The Help the biggest money maker this year without explosions or CGI?

Nope. Bridesmaids. (I assume The Hangover 2 had at least one explosion)

[side essay on the politics of gross out comedy versus the politics of feel-good dramas. side side essay on the subtlety and expressiveness in Kristen Wiig’s face versus Viola Davis’ face – point to Wiig]

The last movie in my memory that passed the Bechdel Test in nearly every scene.

[minus brief subplot with Emma Stone and a rugged Southern gentlemen, minus even briefer subplot with maid Minny and her abusive, off-screen husband. like in The Joy Luck Club, men flee the scene in this movie, to escape feminine wrath. when they enter it, it is to inflict violence or stand to the side with proper posture.]

The Help wants to be treated like a normal movie.

It wants to be loved, given a gift of chocolate, brewed a cup of coffee.

The Help wants each of its characters to be someone you are or used to be or could have been.

The Help is harmless.

The Help is harmless.

The Help is harmless.

It will not hurt you. It would never hurt you or have intention of hurting you.

The Help features exactly one authentic relationship, that between Emma Stone and her former maid, Constantine. Constantine, played by veteran Cicely Tyson, has the most interesting face and voice in the whole damn movie. She provides easily digestible chunks of advice and pathos, and is given a heartbreaking backstory. Constantine is the avoided subject in The Help. The Help actively avoids her beating heart for the sake of other funnier, braver, salvageable hearts.

Robert Bresson will rise from his grave at the hour of judgement to film her story. $4


If carefully crafted scenes of familial forgiveness brought upon by forces of unrelenting bigotry give you the warm and fuzzies, see:

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
The Color Purple
Mississippi Burning
To Kill a Mockingbird

If you were offended by even the idea of The Help, see:

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
Far From Heaven
Au Hasard Balthazar

Horrible Bosses

photo by

If I could sum this movie up in ONE word, it would have to be: “meh”

There’s an incredible amount of comedic talent in Horrible Bosses: Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, and Jennifer Aniston (yes, she CAN be funny).  Sometimes this happens when you have too much talent in a movie, you think that talent will cover up the lack of creativity or a need for good writing.

I did get some good chuckles in. But I couldn’t get over the outlandish plot turns. I don’t expect anything to be believable when I step into a movie theater, but I want to be courted into the movie’s suspension of disbelief.

photo by even without

The three main dudes: Sudeikis, Day, and Bateman are pretty much the same characters they play in any other movie/TV show (except that Sudeikis is uncomfortably sleazy).  That’s not really a complaint, these guys are aces.  Especially Charlie Day.  As each day passes, my love for this man grows stronger and deeper. He’s so goddamn lovable – I want to tell the whole world to watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  Hands down one of the best shows on TV.  I’d put it up there with Arrested Development.  Actually, it has some strong parallels with Arrested Development – a family of despicable, bickering fools with black holes for hearts.  Only there’s a huge class divide between these two families – I kind of like that the folks in It’s Always Sunny are working class, because it lends them to do things like dumpster diving, trying to get welfare, and making friends with bums under the bridge.

I digress. The best thing about Horrible Bosses was the closing credits… $4

Yolkie’s recommendations:

If you liked this movie, you might like these other mediocre comedies that are similarly forgettable:
Date Night
Cedar Rapids 
The Switch 

If you didn’t like this movie, you might like these:
It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia
The Hangover 
Pineapple Express 

Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

Transformers: More than meets the eye.  Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, also known as a very very long action sequence.  Man, I had to pee like 1 hour into the movie and almost died as I tried to hold it almost 2 hours later.  Enjoyable, not really much to talk about except the 3D portion almost made me pee in my pants, partly because it was exciting and realistic special effects, probably also mostly because I just really had to pee and the movie was ridiculously long.

Shia LeBeouf seems like an ass, not so different from the over-pumped teenage twerp he plays in the first two movies, and well the transformers are machines so did you really expect any character development there?  he gets a new girl, blond ex-Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitley, who is actually, if you can believe it, even more flat of a 2 dimensional character than Megan Fox was in the first two, and not half as hot, but still way hotter than you’d think a dude like Shia LeBeouf could score.  AND he’s supposed to be her American sex toy or something……?!?!?

The twist in this movie is a giant American cover-up of the moon’s landing, which is a smidgen more cleverer than the first two movies that highlighted just explosions and destruction, but similar to the previous two, the main reason to watch is for the special effects, not the character development, plot, or dialogue cuz there really isn’t any to speak of.  That said, special effects are cool, I have a special place in my heart for Transformers in any case…

If you want to watch a movie, not have to think, and just drift away with the onslaught of action-packed 3D sequences and not hate the movie, this movie is for you, I just suggest visiting the restroom before the movie.  If you’d prefer to be wowed and intrigued by the movie, go elsewhere…$4

If you heart Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon:

Recommendations by…
Fast Five

Away we go

I had a hard time writing this review. I don’t really have anything to say about this movie.  It’s kind of like a pregnant version of Garden State, with not-quite-as-likeable characters.  Speaking of Garden State, does Dax Shepard from Parenthood (possibly better known from Punk’d) remind anyone of Zach Braff?  Maybe it’s just me.  Back to the matter at hand…

I mean, I love John Krasinski, so of course I thought he was likeable, but far more likeable in the office.  The girlfriend, played by Maya Randolph, bordered somewhat irritating.  not quite irritating, but almost.  It had quick, fast, witty dialogue, as you might except from David Eggers and his wife, who co-wrote the screenplay, was amusing, entertaining and passed the time, but besides that was kinda bleh.  Forgettable and unmemorable, except in the fact that it inspired me to write my own movie about an early 30 something that travels around the country like a vagabond, searching for the perfect place to live, we’ll see how that turns out.  In essence, it was not bad, but not great.


I wanted to write a review about this movie because I had such high hopes for it.  It has a kinda indie flavor, fun actors, is about travel so i thought I’d really like this.  Redeeming factors, besides John Krasinski was a hilarious Maggie Gyllenhaal and Allison Janney.  I also happen to love Catherine O’Hara so it was nice to see her in a toned down version of her much reprised slightly offbeat and cooky mother figure.  It was sweet, and was fine, but fell short of expectations…$4

If you heart Away we go:

Recommendations from …:
Garden State

Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Nah dis shit was sore a boring ya’ll. Furst thang this Shy Ledouche character needz to learn how to act fo true. Cuz he’s around some serious cats man. Frank Langella of Frost/Nixon, Josh Brolin of Milk. These guys are fucking for real bomb-ass actors an fo true making Shy Ledouche look like he can’t act fo shiznits (shit peanuts). Frank, when you jumped in front that subway train I shed a little tear for you playa. Nigga was just trying a keep hiz dick hard in this cruel and fucked-up world. I could relate cuz this one time I got fired from my job at Soup Plantation for wearing a fishnet T-shirt. And leaving in anger I dippt my ballz in the raspberry vinaigrette and got hella heat rash son. So actually I hurt my own self worse of all.

Carey Mulligan you not that fine, sorta just a pushover in this one. But in general you a bomb lady. Education, that was tha shit. So keep yo chin up girl! Michael McDougle Goddamn you old as a muthafucka. Everytime I seen you I thought you wuz dead. I be all like, “Whose that white-haired dude? Michael McDougle?! From Coma?! Goddamn I thought he wuz dead.” It’s cool geriatric citizens can still get jobs tho as I support that otherwise you’d prolly just be in some wheelchair, staring at da wallz.

So basically diz movie is about Jews. Josh Brolin is fucking bawler yo. Doing some shady-ass shit starting rumors about Frank (Nixon). So then he all jumps into train, like kersplat fool!! And then LeDouche be all crying like, “I loved you Frank like my father, why’d he have to go squish hisself? I’m gunna get a revenge on you dawg on my muthafuckin motorbike!!”

And then McDougle just got out from da pen and he be all complainin, “No one ever visited me while I was getting my ass taken fools! Now I’m so old and just a lowly author.” And then LeDouche goes to McDougle and be like, “Help me fuck up that nigga Jonah Hex and I’ll help you rip off your daughter for like 100 million dollaz ya’ll.” And I was yelling like, “LeDouche you fucking puto!” And oh yeah old-ass Charlie Sheen was in this too like about 30 seconds. The best part bout it being it only lasted I think about 20 seconds. Goddamn that old piece of shit makes my skin crawlz. Like why are you so fucking tan? Men aren’t sposed to be orange.

Big upz to Josh Brolin, big dawg! You tha man. Oliver Stone tho, I don’t know what da hail you wuz thinking about that ending. That shit was weaksauce. In conclusion this movie was about Green energy and bailouts and Jews having loads of money witch is a racist portrayal of Jews since we know they care about lotz a other things beside making money, such as beanies and some sort a Gefilte fish.

Nah dis shit sore a boring ya’ll . . . $4

The Men Who Stare at Goats

What a phenomenal cast!  What high expectations I had going into the movie!  Such an interesting piece of cover art!  George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan MacGregor, Kevin Spacey and a goat: even the cover art made me chuckle out loud when I first saw it.  Granted, I had absolutely no clue what the movie was about when I first started watching it, but after watching the first 10 minutes, premise seemed promising and absolutely hilarious: Special psi-ops team who used mental powers to help the US army, in an exploratory attempt to try and engage through semi-non-violent means.

The movie itself was enjoyable, passed the time, but I felt in many times, it tried too hard to be weird, and quirky (Clooney: SICK ops? Spacey: It’s PSYCH ops) in a lot of obvious ways.  I mean, I should have known that going into the movie, after all the cover art is these guys with a goat.  It passes with a series of vignettes and flashbacks, about the beginnings of the New Earth Army after the Vietnam War and current operations in the Iraq war (apparently, according to wikipedia, at least partly based on true story).

I have to say I thought Jeff Bridges was hilarious as a military sergeant turned hippie/burn-out that tries to revolutionize the US army with flowers and yoga.  Clooney plays his loony, over the top character (see Burn After Reading, O Brother Where Art Thou?) as opposed to his traditional debonair self (see Oceans Eleven, Out of Sight) well enough, though the entire movie seemed a bit too contrived, a bit over-the-top Coen-wanna be (read Raising Arizona/Big Lebowski rather than Barton Fink/No Country for Old Men) for me to really appreciate and get into it.

That said I appreciate the effort and still had an ok time…$4

If you heart The Men Who Stare at Goats:

Recommendations from …:

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Burn After Reading
Pulp Fiction

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