Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Cave

Rating: D-

It's 1979, and I am at the theater watching Alien. No wait, it's 1986, and I'm watching Aliens. No, hold on. It's 1987, and it's Predator, no it's Alien vs Predator, it's Anaconda. Oh no, it's just The Cave.

I wish it was 1979.

The Cave didn't get a whole lot of press, and I can see why. It's the story of a bunch of scientists, cave explorers, and others that find some cave in Hungary way up in the mountains that holds some sort of treasure or something. They head down into the cave, and discover they are not alone, I guess. They have to survive and find a way out and make sure not to forget to bore the hell out of us while they do it.

The Cave gets very confusing at points. They are in the cave running around, then in the water diving or swimming or dying, and then climbing and falling or scrambling all over the place. You kinda lose track of who is where and what happens to them, which is not too bad since you really don't get the chance to know anyone or like them for that matter. They are not good guys or bad guys, they are just there. When one of them bites it, you just meet it with, "I knew that was coming. Can I have some more popcorn?" It gets to the point where you just want them to either get out or all of them die just so it will be over.

A bunch of low-level actors headline the cast. Cole Hauser plays the leader of the team who ends up sounding more like the Terminator by the end. Morris Chestnut, who is no stranger to this type of movie drivel being in 2004's Anaconda: Search for the Blood Orchid (Are you telling me there's some sort of snake orgy going on out there??), is just kinda there. There's no point in going on, they's all horrible.

The ending will have you running for the doors also.

Wait for this to come out on TV, and not pay TV, regular TV. It's not worth the paper the ticket is printed on.

The 40 Year Old Virgin

Rating: B+

It's really nice to see the raunchy adult comedies are making a comeback. It's also very good that these movies are actually very good and very funny. Following on the heels of Wedding Crashers, The 40 Year Old Virgin tells the story of a uh, 40 year old virgin (Andy) played by the extremely talented and hilarious Steve Carell. Carell stole the show in Bruce Almighty and delivered a total comic knockout to the over the top Will Ferrell in Anchorman.

Andy has had some bad sexual experiences in his past, and has pretty much given up on ever getting lucky. He follows is schedule with OCD perfection, collects action figures, and plays video games to wile away his sexless life. He works in a generic electronic store stockroom. It isn't long until his buddies discover his secret, and they take it apon themselves to remedy the situation. Hilarity insues.

Carell takes the role with a ton of vigor, and you find yourself really rooting for Andy to just get out there and "do it". The way his relationship develops not only with his friends (Paul Rudd, Seth Rogan, and Romany Malco) but also with the lady across the street (Catherine Keener), the woman that might be Mrs Right Now is very well paced and believable.

There are a few parts that I found myself laughing out loud and still laughing a few scenes later. A lot of sexual situations humor, which was very well done and for the most part tastefully done. Ok, it's not that tasteful, but it's damn funny. Check this movie out. Carell's star is rising, and I look forward to his next project.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sky High

Rating: C

Ok, this is a kid's movie, and I'm not a kid, but I like The Lion King, so here goes. Sky High is a high school for children of super heros. Our main star is Will Stronghold, the son of the bestest super heros in the world The Commander (Kurt Russell) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston). Will and his buddies are freshmen at Sky High.

This movie is pretty much like every other high school movie ever made. There are the cool kids (here called "Heros") and the not so cool kids (called "Sidekicks). There is the main guy that starts out with his buddies in the not so cool but is tempted to be popular and that leads to all kinds of conflicts not to mention Will doens't seem to have any of his parent's powers. Will's friend Zack seems to be channeling Matthew Lillard, and does it very poorly.

There's great appearances by cult movie fav Bruce Campbell and Lynda Carter as the school's principle. You won't recognize the school bus driver from his recent stint in the Dukes of Hazzard.

Overall, a very light family comedy about kids coming of age and dealing with thier parents expectations as well as high school. Not too much for the older crowds but your kids will love the special effects and the physical humor.

Dukes of Hazzard

Rating: B+

I remember laying on the floor each Friday night watching CBS at 8 o'clock for my favorite TV show; The Dukes of Hazzard. The adventures of Bo and Luke and especially Daisy sure helped me jump my bike off of everything that I could. When I heard they were making a movie, I was excited. When I heard who was in it, I was less than excited. It seems that nothing in the movie except the car and the character names was the same as the show we all know and love. I got a chance to see the new movie for free thanks to my station's sneak preview.

And you know what? I loved it! It is not a lot like the old series, and it's not very appropiate for the younger viewers with the language and some adult themes. The comedy is fantastic and the car chases are the best I've seen in a long while. There are a few jokes that I don't know if anyone outside of Atlanta will fully appreciate. The confederate flag is still on the car, which I thought was good that the PC police didn't have someone remove it, but it does take a verbal beating several times.

Everyone you know from the series is here, Bo (Seann William Scott), Luke (Johnny Knoxville), Daisy (Jessica Simpson), Uncle Jessie (Willie Nelson), Boss Hogg (Burt Reynolds), and Roscoe (M.C. Gainey). Even Flash is there, and he was also present at the preview, very cool. I enjoyed Knoxville's portrayal of Luke better than Scott's Bo. And Scott needs a good shave, he just looks wierd with that beard. Jessica Simpson is really hot of course as Daisy, but there was something wrong with her face, not that I was looking a whole lot. Willie Nelson is right on as Uncle Jessie, a moonshine runnin, joke cracking, horny old man. If there was a glaring dark spot on this movie, it was the casting of Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg. I can accept a different Roscoe, or Bo or whatever, but Burt as Boss Hogg was just terrible.

Of course there are mysterious dealings going on in Hazzard county and of course Boss Hogg is behind them, and of course it's up to the Dukes to save the day. That much hasn't changed.

Overall, not too bad. It was better than I expected, and it surely isn't for the kiddies with the language and pot jokes and sexual innuendo. There will probably be a sequel, so look for that. So, swallow your pride and check it out, just leave the kids with a babysitter.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Must Love Dogs

Rating: B

Must Love Dogs is a interesting look into the world of lonely people and internet dating. It shows what some people will go through just to avoid being alone. Diane Lane plays Sarah, a middle-age divorcee pre-school teacher who would rather stay home in her Pj's and feel sorry for herself than try dating again. I almost forget that Lane is actually married in real life since she plays these types of characters so well, which is good for me since I have a huge crush on her. Lane's nosey family lead by a frumpy Elizabeth Perkins interveens to help Sarah find Mr. Right. Perkins loads Sarah's information on an internet dating site and hilarity insues. Sarah meets the hot guy (Dermot Mulroney), a father of one of her students. And of course she meets John Cusack's Jake, a wooden boat builder with an affinity for Dr. Zhivago. Which one will she end up with? You can probably guess, as I'm sure everyone in the audience will. There are many funny parts most of which have to do with Sarah's family. Christopher Plummer is wonderful as Sarah's gigalo-like Irish father. Stockard Channing steals most scenes as Sarah's father's trailer park honey.

This is a true chick flick. Guys, your date will like it, and you will be rewarded. I am somewhat of a romantic kind of guy and live for these types of movies. Some cheesyness appears, but what do you expect? Even at 1 hour and 38 minutes, there still were some parts that could have sped up a little. Overall, not too bad.