One For the Money (D)

“Unemployed and newly-divorced Stephanie Plum lands a job at her cousin’s bail-bond business, where her first assignment puts her on the trail of a wanted local cop from her romantic past.”

Now if any of that^ actually made sense, you should probably just stop reading. . . Also I should warn you, there are spoilers ahead.

All right, so the movie starts out with Stephanie Plum who has been out of work for 6 months. She is up to her neck in past due notices, about to be evicted and losses her little red sports car within the first 5 minutes of the movie. Then we meet Miss Plum’s family and find out that, in true cliche, she has an overly protective, meddlesome mother, a crazy grandmother, and a might-as-well-not-even-be-there-father. She is also, divorced, although said husband, or marriage is ever really discussed other than to serve as a set-up for Vinny, the creepy cousin. Oh, and to make us see Plum as an even bigger pathetic mess then we did before. No? All right so maybe it was just to set-up Plum as a down-on-her-luck woman about to come into her own? Ha! Not likely.

We should probably get something straight before I go on, I am NOT a fan of  Katherine Heigl‘s. Although a pretty girl, I can’t stand the characters she plays. Half-baked smart-successful women who for some reason can’t hold on to a man. Either that or overly emotional might-as-well-be-in-a-horror-movie, girly damsel in distress type that no one really cares about. I know it’s were the money’s at for her, and at this point, I doubt Tarantino, Jane Campion or even Woody Allen would be casting her. She goes where the money is, and I guess I can’t blame her for that. The truth is, someone has to star in these movies and might as well be someone we don’t have higher hopes for. (Harsh, I know, but whatcha going do?)

All right, so here’s a few (terrible) movie rules for you:  1) If the lead is a female, she must be somehow down on her luck. Either professionally or in her personal life, although both works too. 2)  The solution to her problems has to make absolutely no sense. 3) This leading lady cannot actually be any good at this “solution.” 4) There must be a MAN, who is also attractive, to help her make sense of things. 5) This “solution” must also present a problem. 6) The leading lady must always wear inappropriate clothing i.e. heels and mini skirts to chase down bad guys. 7) The leading lady might save the MAN, but in return he will save her right back. 8) In the end, no matter what, the MAN and LADY end up together. So those are the rules for Romantic Comedies, BAD female Comedies, and just about any Michael Bay movie. Oh and just in case you hadn’t guessed it, One For the Money follows this exact formula.

One For the Money

So after blacking mailing her cousin Vinny into giving her the Joe Morelli bond, Stephanie meets the very attractive ex-bounty hunter turned personal security expert, Ranger. He points out the obvious and tells Plum that she is out of her league with Morelli. Then, he buys her a gun and teaches her how to use it. As she tries to work her way through the Morelli case, Plum collects two other bounties. An old man, who was arrested for walking around naked, oh and he also, just so happens to live in Plums building. (What a coinsurance, huh?) By this time she has considered Morelli’s car, with the help of Ranger, and befriended some hookers, who were friends of the hooker Morelli was allegedly trying to protect. She does have one, decent bounty moment when she clotheslines one of her bonds although she did get Ranger shot, with the gun he bought her, in the process!  She also happens to piss off a half gangster/ half boxer who corners her in a MMA cage, and she is (surprise surprise) saved by a man. In this case Morelli. Plum also meets up with Jon Leguizamo, who is the owner of the gym, but we’ll get to him later.

In the end Morelli and Plum team up to help find the missing hooker and clear Morelli’s name. With Plum making him promise to let her take him in when it’s all over. They end up at this shady (and cliche) Italian meat market, that is a front for dealing heroine. They follow the market’s delivery truck and end up stumbling on to a crime scene. They find the body of the store owner, his lackey and the dead hooker. Before anyone gets too excited, the big, scary boxer man comes after them, and starts beating the snot out out of Joe Morelli. Stephanie, in true damsel fashion, can’t shoot him and instead pepper sprays him. Morelli knocks him out (see the MAN saved HER). Just as they gather their senses Plum turns the corner and walks into John Leguizamo, which of course doesn’t concern her at all! Now if Leguizamo’s involvement was suppose to be a surprise, they really should have cast a different actor. I know Leguizamo isn’t exactly a bit ticket these days, but still, there was no way he was just some random walk on. Instead of questioning what he was even doing there, she takes him over to the truck, thinking he’s there to help. Instead he pulls a gun on them and forces Plum to handcuff Morelli to the truck. He, of course, confesses everything and gets ready to shoot everyone, when Stephanie finally grows some lady balls and empties her gun in his chest.

Instead of letting Joe go and having a sweet, we’re alive kiss, Plum locks him in the truck and takes him into the station. Although, they were able to prove his innocence and his honor was restored! Oh, and Leguizamo (a guy who probably knows his way around a gun) miraculously happened to only clip Plum in the ass. She’s fine, she gets her money, saving herself from poverty and getting a ride home from the hansom Rider. Although, just when you think they might get together, who shows up, but Joe Morelli with a cupcake. So there you go folks, I just saved you 105 tireless minutes.

"Cupcake" was Joe's pet name for Stephanie throughout the movie

So in the end Kathrine Heigl hasn’t gotten any less irritating and this not romantic-comedy, wannabe murder-mystery was not worth the money I would have spent had my LOVELY Godmother not offered to pay. There wasn’t enough romance for a traditional rom-com, and not enough suspense or intrigue to be a murder-mystery. So, this weeks Movie Madness with me, The Movie Junky, gets a D for not only failing to keep my interest, but capture it in the first place.

[Top Movies of 2011 to be posted before the Oscars!]

(Let me know if there is any movie you’d like my opinion on! New or old!)

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Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby

In preparation for the end of 2011, I can’t help but look forward. Thinking of all the great projects yet to be seen, or even filmed. One project I’ve been keeping my eye on is Australian born director, Baz Luhrmann’s take on the classic Fitzgerald novel, The Great Gatsby.

For those of you who we’re unaware of such goings on, here is the current (and most likely final, seeing as they are already filming) cast list:

Toby McGuire [Spider-Man and Brothers] as the story’s narrator, Nick Carraway. He is also Gatsby’s neighbor as well as Daisy’s second cousin, once removed.

Leonardo DiCaprio [from everything] as the young, mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby, who has an obsessive love for one Daisy.

The (lovely) Carey Mulligan [from An Education and Drive] as the attractive and effervescent, yet shallow, young Mrs. Daisy Buchanan. She is married to Tom and they have a 2-year-old daughter, Pammy.

Joel Edgerton [from King Arthur and Warrior] as Daisy’s arrogant, hypocritical millionaire husband, Tom Buchanan.

Elizabeth Debicki (who I have just now learned her name, although I have yet to have seen her face)  as Jordan Baker, Daisy’s longtime friend, a professional golfer, with a slightly shady reputation.

Isla Fisher [Wedding Crashers and Rango] as Myrtle Wilson the desperate and unstable wife of George. She is also Tom’s mistress.

Jason Clarke [Public Enemies and The Chicago Code] as George Wilson as Myrtle’s rundown and lifeless, mechanic husband.

Still from The Great Gatsby (1974) directed by Jack Clayton, with a screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola

I’m not one of those, stuck-in-the-past types, especially when, in all honesty the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby isn’t all that great. It’s all right, but not, by any means great. Although written by one of Hollywood’s most innovative and influential filmmakers, the 1974 version is, severely lacking. The simplest way to put it, is that the film was just too faithful. Trying too hard to please die-hard literary fanatics and missing out on some of the extravagance that can come from a truly great film.

Now, back to 2011, or 2012, whichever you choose. Starting with the cast, and then starting with Mr. DiCaprio. Leo is a hansom man, something we’ve always liked about him, he’s also very versatile, as far as his acting abilities, as well as his looks. He can fit into period films as well as, apparently any semi-important american male that has ever lived. Look we all know that Leo is a fine actor, still, are we not all getting a little sick of him? This man is everywhere! I feel like the poor guy hasn’t had a rest since Titanic! (Oh yeah poor multi-millionaire who runs around with models in his spare time and considers Kate Winslet to be one of his best friends. Poor bastard) It’s probably just me, myself and I, but I am getting just a little sick of his pretty-boy face.

Toby McGuire as Nick Carraway: Hm, good for him… Where has he been? Oh, and those of you who are not a fan of Toby’s, do yourselves and the rest of us a favor and rent the first Spider-Man and Brothers. If you’re still not a fan, or at least confident in his acting abilities, just wait until February, your kind of movies will be ripe for the picking.

For those of you who don’t know me, or ever read anything I have ever written, I absolutely adore Carey Mulligan. She is one of my favorite young actresses working in Hollywood today. She is lovely, talented, versatile and also completely adorable! I think she will make an absolutely fabulous Daisy, and she definitely deserves it. Although, if she’s not careful she could be come “overexposed.” Much like her very attractive Drive costar, Ryan Gosling was this year.

Isla Fisher is a very gifted comedian. She made me laugh in Wedding Crashers and again in Definitely Maybe, and again Confessions of a Shopaholic and then again with her fantastic voice work on the animated film, Rango. Now I wish I could have outright faith in her abilities as an actress, but I am just too worried that she will make Myrtle, silly. Let’s be honest, Myrtle Wilson isn’t the most serious of characters, especially when she’s shifting her hips walking around her husbands garage like she has a chance in hell of ever getting out of there. I think Isla’s style can work for the Myrtle, and even bring something new to the character, so I guess what I am saying, is that although I never pictured her for the role, I am starting to warm up to the idea…

As far as Joel EdgertonElizabeth Debicki and Jason Clarke, I don’t actually know of any of them well enough to form a solid opinion. I haven’t seen Warrior or The Chicago Code and I have absolutely no idea who Elizabeth Debicki even is. As far as first impressions go, Edgerton looks a bit too sympathetic to play the giant tool that is Tom Buchanan. Though Jason Clark seems to have the ability to be a naive, awkward mechanic, George Wilson, something is troubling me. I think I worry that there might be too much rage behind his final attack on Gastby, instead of the lifeless energy that the character is known for. Though you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, and I do not know nearly enough about any of these three actors to form any strong opinions either way.

Photographs taken on the ‘Gatsby’ set: 

(the first two are “Production Stills” and after that are just acquired from the internet)

Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DeCaprio as Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby

The picture above looks to me like the moment after Gatsby gives Daisy the ring, and she gives it back, because she can’t wear it around her husband.

Toby McGuire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton as Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and Tom Buchanan

The moment captured above has to be either the first party of Gatsby’s that Daisy actually attends. The one in which she flaunts her relationship with Gatsby in front of Tom and in the ends up hating the whole evening.

Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan and Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson

The photos above are the best I could do for Tom and Myrtle. I have to say, Isla Fisher looks pretty good. She looks like the 1920’s version of Peggy Bundy. Which, actually, kind of works for the character. Sorry, no pictures of any of the other characters, as of yet.                                 (Oh and yes, Joel is flipping Toby McGuire the bird)

Well that’s all this week folks! Let me know your thoughts on The Great Gatsby remake, in the comment section bellow, and subscribe with your E-mail address on the right, if you’d like to get more Movie Madness with me, the Movie Junkie!

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Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1

Good news movie fans, the first part of the FINAL installment of The Twilight Saga is FINALLY HERE! Bad news? There is still a part to to look forward to…

Let’s start with the source novel, Breaking Dawn is by far the worse book in this mediocre series. Yes the “Romeo and Juliet” of our pre-teen dreams FINALLY make honest people out of each other, and then do the nasty… Well there you go

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1

Although as a stand alone film, it kind of bothered me how they just jumped into the wedding, there wasn’t a lot of build up or set up to the whole event. Which isn’t a problem if you’ve read the books, but for the people who don’t actually know what’s suppose to happen this could all be a little confusing. Although since I (reluctantly admit) actually have read all four books, I like that the filmmakers skipped that whole thing with the bulletproof car and Bella telling her dad that she’s getting married. THAT seemed a little pointless and stupid. Though lets be honest, by the time Eclipse was published, Breaking Dawn could have been written in crayon and covered in dog shit and still made Ms. Meyers 10 million dollars… I apologize Twihards, I don’t have much of a reason to be so hard on the shinny ones, considering that my favorite children/young adult fantasy writer J.K. Rowling is a bona fided billionaire and Ms Charlaine Harris (True Blood) isn’t doing to bad for herself either.

Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1

Let’s get back to the problem at hand, shall we? Well actually, problems… Starting with Stephanie Meyer’s vampire rules. So every vampire novelist likes to add their own little twist to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Anne Rice made them never changing, Charlaine Harris made them ‘the vampires next door’ and Stephanie made hers sparkle… there’s no accounting for taste. Although from what I recall, Stephanie Meyer’s vampires don’t change either, so my question is, why do they all have different hairstyles? Also there is clearly sun shining, so why are there no sparkles? Honestly the attention to detail in this movie was just atrocious. It was also painfully clear that director Bill Condon, didn’t have any experience in special effects. I’m sorry but once again I have to say, a series with THIS much attention, it’d be nice to see a director take SOME pride in what they are doing. Even if everyone is showing up for Bella, Edward and Jacob and not the quality of the film itself.

Okay-dokie, now for some good stuff, well some girly stuff. As a female, I have to say that wedding was amazing! Bella’s dress, the scenery, and the beautiful vintage clip her parents gave her? Just beautiful, although I’d never be able to pull of a dress like that, I still found the wedding to be perfectly wonderful and dream-like. Even if no amount of movie magic seems to be able to hide the dark circles under Kristen Stewart’s eyes and she always does that cross eyed thing when she gets a close up… Well that didn’t last long. Seriously though, the costumes and scenery, hair and make-up was all very well done. Even if it contradicted some of the earlier set out vampire rules. I also liked Edward taking Bella to dance with the natives in Rio (which seems to be the movie hot spot these days.) That was a cute little moment.

The wedding was nice and everything went pretty well, until Jacob showed up and said what everyone was thinking: HE’S MADE OF STONE, HE’LL KILL YOU! Now if only his magical vampire blood could cure any ailment… After one very intense night of passion, our lovely couple going on to have a very boring honeymoon, what is until Bella feels the kick! Edward then flies into action rushing his new wife back home to bet rid of “that thing.” Which I have to admit, even for someone as self-loathing as Edward Cullen that’s a little harsh. I have to say I agree with Bella on this one, as do most women I suppose, we’d do just about anything for our children. This is also the point in the film where things start to get good. Bella and Edward’s little demon spawn start to suck the life out of it’s mother a la Rosemary’s Baby.

Something that kind of bothered me was the overall “message” I got from this movie. As we all know, abstinence is a BIG part of Bella and Edward’s relationship. So even though, they waited, they were still subjected to some pretty unpleasant sex, Edward having to hold back so he doesn’t kill his wife, and Bella STILL ends up getting bruised. Which makes me feel the need to remind all of the young ladies out there who might be reading this, LOVE DOES NOT HURT, sex should not be this dangerous. Then, even after restraining himself, Edward still ends up getting Bella pregnant! Pregnant with a life-sucking, half stone child who only wants blood I might add. So I don’t understand, you’re suppose to wait until you’re married to have sex with a beautiful gentlemen, and yet you still end up getting hurt and being left with a life-threatening side-effect… Though I guess it’s nice to have someone address the fact that the first time isn’t always… comfortable.

Overall, Breaking Dawn, Part 1, isn’t the worse movie ever made, but it’s not best either. As I said before, Breaking Dawn was, in my opinion, the worse of the Twilight books. It also happens to be the worst of the Twilight movies, for one simple reason, NOTHING HAPPENS. By the end of the book everything worked out so perfectly, that it was actually laughable. Though there wasn’t a lot of laughing at the end of Part 1, and I have to say, the last 20 minutes or so of the film were actually pretty good. I also liked how Condon ended the film, I won’t spoil it for you, but it was dramatic, and just about the only scene in which special effects were used well.

So here’s how I see things, if you liked the book, you will like this movie. If you like Bella and Edward, you’ll like this movie. If you haven’t seen any of these films or read any of the books, or you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years, and have no idea what Twilight is, you probably shouldn’t be watching this movie. In fact, I have no idea how you actually got to this page, and I’d advise you to look up some other vampire love stories. Start with Let the Right One In, a 2008 Swedish, romantic, horror film directed by Tomas Alfredson, about a bullied 12-year-old boy who develops a crush on an odd “12” year-old “girl.” Then there’s the 2010 American remake, Let Me In, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee (of the upcoming Romeo & Juliet remake) and Chloë Grace Moretz (of Kick-Ass and Hugo). Then check out the HBO series, True Blood with sweetheart Sookie Stackhouse and the vampire next door Bill Compton, which just finished it’s 4th season. And, if you’re still looking for a little demon baby, Satan worshiping, baby snatchers, check out Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (the film that brought Mia Farrow to fame).

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 gets a D+ in this weeks (well, last weeks) movie madness with me, the Movie Junkie! See it if you must, but if you can help it see one of the 3 movies I mentioned above, or check out True Blood – seasons 1-3 on DVD.

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The Hangover Part II

So here’s how it goes, three guys wake up in a hotel room with no recollection of the night before, with obvious signs of misdeeds, including a missing friend. Does any of this sound familiar to you genre fans? Well it should, because it is EXACTLY like the first Hangover movie. The same movie only in Bangkok/Thailand, and this time Stu is the one getting married, Doug’s wife is pregnant and the bride-to-be’s little brother is the one missing. This might sound like good news to some Hangover fans, but this fan was, once again, left unsatisfied.The people behind Hangover 2 followed the same basic principle as On Stranger Tides: i.e., lets give the people what they want, what they’ve loved in the past, try to sell it as something new, and hope they buy it. Well movie fans, this movie junky does not want anything to do with what these moviemakers are trying to sell.

Whatever the reason is, I just did not like this movie. I wanted so badly to love this movie, I stayed up late, to see an early showing, I waited for 2 hours, and I really really wanted to love it, but alas, I did not. None of the actors seemed to be on their a-game either, as Ed Helms, over does it with the squeamish, wimp routine and Bradley Cooper seems like he could careless. Zach Galifianakis, who got most of the good lines, pulls them off well enough, but the writers didn’t stain any muscles trying to give him anything to work with. Something else that bothered me, was the bride-to-be and her Asian family. I really don’t think that Jamie Chung is Taiwanese, although I know Mason Lee is (even if he was born and raised in the United States). It’s just a bit of a pet peeve of mine when Hollywood, takes Black or Asian actors, throws them together and calls them a family, even if they look nothing a like. Though that’s a bit besides the point. . .

Some of the things that I actually liked about Hangover 2; getting the ol’ gang back together, Paul Giamatti and Mike Tyson’s cameos as well as the new addition of Mason Lee’s character. (However small/underwritten the part was, I liked him). I am also a big fan of the extended role of Mr. Chow, he’s used well and, as expected, gets some of the biggest laughs in the movie. To think that Ken Jeong is a licenced medical doctor, still baffles my mind.

It’s hard to say exactly what could have made this movie better. Quiet frankly I can’t remember the last time I saw a sequel that was this lazy. The filmmakers even went as far as to recreate, almost to a tea, some of the scenes from the first one. Opening the movie with a phone call to Tracey. Running around on the roof looking for Teddy, mirroring running on the roof looking for Doug. The moment Stu realizes where the missing person is. . . blah blah blah – Oh and take a guess as to how the movie ends?

Overall, The Hangover Part II, is not as memorable as the first one, there aren’t as many quotable lines, and Bridesmaids was a much better film. This movie earned it’s R rating, but it still managed to feel safe, lazy and tired. As a very wise friend said to me, knowing you are a useless sequel, is not an excuse to be one. So in end the end, I will let this week’s movie slide with a C, for sometimes making me laugh, but a () for just not trying hard enough. I laughed, I groaned, and then, by the time I got to bed, I had completely forgotten about the movie I had just seen. D

[Side Note: Are we all just going to forget that this kid does not have a finger?]

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Why hello movie fans, this weeks Movie Madness with the Movie Junky has pirates and well. . . pirates. For those of you who don’t know, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in Disney’s Pirates franchise officially came to theaters this friday. A new movie with new adventures, new actors, but in all honestly, really just more of the same.

Angelica, Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Blackbeard

The film started off well enough, with Johnny Depp, once again embodying the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, making his grand entrance while trying to save his first mate, Gibbs (played of course by Kevin McNally) from the gallows. Then on to a failed escape and yet another grand (or familiar) entrance by the great Geoffrey Rush as the now one legged Barbossa. Captain Jack makes another terrific, and comical escape, leading to a chase producing one of the best filmed sequences in the movie. Although after this the film seems to lose its momentum and the pacing is off for the rest of the story.

Captain Jack Sparrow escaping from the British

Other than the chase sequences and some of the better choreographed fights, the best moments of the film came from the new characters, Blackbeard and his daughter Angelica. Played by the gorgeous Oscar winner Penélope Cruz, and the fantastically underwritten Ian McShane. Cruz’s Angelica was not only the first true female pirate of the series, but also the most interesting character of the film. The tension and chemistry between Jack and Angelica was palpable, making their scenes together great character moments.

Penelope Cruz & Ian McShane as Angelica and Blackbeard

That is what I liked about the fourth Pirates movie, now for what I didn’t like, starting with Spanish. I don’t mean the language or the people, but the Spanish’s pursuit of the Fountain of Youth, felt, useless. They gave us the opening scene (before Jack’s rescue of Gibbs) and then a way to get Sparrow and Barbossa working together, though other than that they served no real purpose. Overall the movie would have been fine, or maybe even better without them. I also found myself missing the Tuners, or maybe just their budding and ever growing romance. I think the real problem there was not the lack of Bloom and Knightly’s characters, but the fact that their replacements, new comers (well new to me) Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Sam Claflin were just not as interesting. Not to say that the mermaids themselves weren’t interesting. In fact, the mermaids were the most surprising part of movie, and actually one of my favorite moments.

Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as Phillip and Syrena

Other than the mermaid surprise, back before I even knew of their involvement in the film, I was down right shocked by the choice of Rob Marshall as this film’s director. Marshall is a well known as a Tony Award nominated choreographer and director, and even more well known as the Academy Award winning director of the musical Chicago. As a first time Pirates director, Robb Marshall did well enough, though not as good as I we could have hopped. He directed the fight and chase sequences like grand musical numbers, giving the audience some fantastic moments, but in the end the film as a whole, fell flat to my expectations.

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa

All in all, I really only liked the film in bits and pieces, Penélope Cruz and Ian McShane as Angelica and Blackbeard, Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, the idea of the story (even if the script itself left more to be desired) and of course the mermaids. Though we don’t make good movies in the bits and pieces of good moments, and in the end the fourth Pirates movie left me a little unsatisfied. As for all you hard core Pirates and Jack Sparrow fans out there, I’m sure you will enjoy the film as the heart and soul of the franchise, Mr. Johnny Depp, was used in almost every scene. The film should have revamped the series, instead they played it safe with a glossy studio film, made seemingly only to keep interest in the series. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides gets an A for the good use of Penélope Cruz, Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush. A D for not bringing anything new to the series, pacing issues and the horribly small amount of screen time for Ian McShane. After averaging it out Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides gets a C+ which stands for average.

[Side Note: is that Judi Dench?!]

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Finally a comedy for the ladies! [Or should I say the no-so-ladylike-females] The movie of the week is a female buddy comedy that can hold it’s own against Wedding Crashers, The Hangover, and all the other bromantic comedies out there. Lead by the very funny Ms. Kristen Wiig, who also co-wrote the film, Bridesmaids is a great way to prove that us women have what it takes to be the funny ones too. Over the course of the film Wiig proves that she is not only a brilliant comedian, but that she can handle a fully three-dimentional character as well.  At first Annie seems like your average chick-flick character, down on her luck, single woman who’s best friend seems to be going off  and getting herself a perfect life. Although that is mostly true, for a nice change of pace Wiig went and created a character that is not only realistic, but relatable.

the cast of Bridesmaids

Along with the fabulous Ms. Wiig I would also like to shine the spotlight on the FANTASTIC Melissa McCarthy who gives one of the best comedic performances of the year as Megan, the sex starved, borderline man-ish, soon to be sister-in-law of Maya Rudolph’s character. Delivering some of the best lines in the movie and energizing (more than one) scene with a fearless performance as a Zach Galifianakis-esk character (I don’t think any of us) ever thought we would see her play.

Melissa McCarthy as Megan

I feel I should also take a moment to talk about Chris O’Dowd, Kristen Wiig’s love interest in the film. O’Dowd plays Rhodes the cute, Irish cop who strikes up a flirtation with Annie. Rhodes and Annie created an interesting subplot, and added (just a little) romance to this otherwise pure comedy. [Might I add that O’Dowd was the best part of the otherwise horrendous, waste of my life that was Gulliver’s Travels]

Chris O'Dowd as Rhodes

I hear tell of a lot of comparisons to The Hangover, and though I can see where these comparisons come from, in this movie junkies opinion, the is no comparison, because. . . are you ready for this movie maniacs? Bridesmaids is BETTER! This film is not only funnier, but much more satisfying. I also found the characters in this movie to be more realistic than the sometimes over the top antics of the Hangover boys.

Overall I have to say that this movie is completely worth, not only your time, but your money as well. The script is funny, the cast is fantastic and first time director, Paul Feig, more than proves himself as a filmmaker. So guys forget about Something Borrowed or Water For Elephants and take your girls to see Bridesmaids, a comedy that will have everyone laughing out loud. Now that the Movie Madness is over, the MovieJunky gives Bridesmaids, the comedy that’s masquerading as a chick-flick, with a little rom-com and a surprising amount of heart an A-

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Daybreak, Viagra & Magic Hair

Daybreak, being the name of the show inside the movie Morning Glory, Viagra, the drug being sold by the protagonist of the movie Love and Other Drugs, and the magic hair, which is coming out of the head of Repunzel in Tangled. It’s triple threat week this week folks!

Morning Glory (D)Becky Fuller & Mike Pomeroy

Starring Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford, and make no mistakes, they are the stars of the show. (Well the movie, and the show inside the movie) Now, now Rachel fans, don’t get yourselves all in a huff, I am by no means putting down Miss McAdams. I am, usually a fan of the gorgeous actress (seriously, beautiful this one, huh?) Rachel McAdams, effortlessly makes her character likeable, though unfortunately, her character’s story, is uninteresting, and has been done to death. A down on her luck, career woman with daddy issues and an undermining mother, who seeks to fulfill herself in her professional rather than her personal life. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. There was a little but of an odd romance between McAdams and Patrick Wilson’s characters, but it’s hardly worth mentioning. Like I said Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford are the real winners here, and the movie could have been saved if it were told through Fords perspective. In fact, Ford’s character was not only the meatiest, but the most intriguing. [Side note, Diane Keaton, talk about aging gracefully] Though, as most interesting and somewhat original characters in Hollywoodland, their characters are tragically underwritten. Overall, ‘Morning Glory’ being part Devils Wears Prada, part 27 Dresses (seriously McKenna, can you do anything else?) with a little That Girl for flavoring, unfortunately, isn’t a great movie, nothing special, harmless and to a moviejunky, actually pretty boring.

Love and Other Drugs (C) Maggie Murdock

Starring Anne Hathaway. . . I’m sorry, but as far as I’m concerned Anne Hathaway was the only person in this movie. (She is a phenomenal actress, and will someday soon, have that little statue we all associate with greatness.) For the most part, ‘Love and Other Drugs’ isn’t much different from all the other, sick girl, troubled young man love stories out there. In short, we’ve all seen this before. The top of the world, protagonist, who doesn’t know it yet, but his life is missing something. [Side note, was anyone else just thinking about, Award Winning Movie Trailer? Catchphrase!] The guy who can’t please his parents, but spends most of his life pleasing women (if you know what I mean).  So he (Jake Gyllenhaal by the way) takes to selling drugs (legally), which, like any other salesmen position, is really mostly about charisma. His character, meets Hathaway’s character, and at fist all is well (it’s just about sex), blah, blah, blah, they kiss and make up, the end. I felt that Maggie (Anne Hathaway) Parkinson’s was really just something for Jamie (Gyllenhaal) to get over in order to be the man we all know he could be. Which to me is tragically common for the rom-com crowd. The woman is perfect in all her imperfection and she can save the man with her quirkiness. At the end of the day, although the performances were good, and the difficulties they overcame were actually difficult, I just didn’t care enough about any of it to actually consider this movie noteworthy. The movie didn’t stick with me, or leave me wanting more, which is what a good movie should do. [Unless it’s There Will Be Blood or Inception, which have endings that really just make you say What?]

Tangled (A)

All right, finally to the good stuff. Tangled, the latest Disney movie, or should I say the first Disney (animated) movie in years. Honestly, when is the last time you saw a decent Disney Animated feature? And yes, I mean DISNEY, not Pixar. [Enchanted count?] All right, lets back up a minute here. Tangled is the first Disney Fairytale, in years. Originally Tangled was set to be something of an Enchanted-type flick, but the idea was scraped, when the producers realized, uh we’re the Disney corporation, we kind of invented the animated fairytale. Which is really eloquent way of saying, that Tangled (bad name by the way, should have stayed Repunzel) is a wonderful throwback to the old days of Disney, the Snow White days, the Cinderella, the Swan Princess days. I felt completely entranced by the story, and excited to see the characters develop. Taking the original Grimm Brothers tale and giving it that classic Disney flavor, that gives the story that light, fluffy taste we all know and love. The fun, funny, free-spirit attitude is just what animation needed and in the end made me really happy, and really, what’s a Disney movie without that little twinge of joy? Disney’s first CGI Fairytale brought the warmth and sensitivity of their hand-drawn films to CGI was a complete success and a fun, entertaining evening the whole family can enjoy. (Do I actually say things like that?) The real flaw with Tangled, was the marketing campaign, from the commercials it seemed kind of stupid. They should have marketed it as a classic Disney movie, adding in the funny little scenes with Flynn and guitar playing Repunzel. I honestly didn’t even know the movie was a musical until the first song. Maybe they were trying to get a wider audience, I don’t know, but I’m glad I gave it the chance to surprise me. [Side note, who knew Zachary Levi could sing?]

So here’s the gist of it, see Tangled, consider Love and Other Drugs and skip Morning Glory. Take the mothers’ to see Morning Glory (if you must), the girlfriends’ to Love and Other Drugs, lots of nudity and sex BTW. Then gather up the whole kitten kaboodle and go to see Tangled! Who would have thought, the one with the magic hair would end up being the keeper? So there it is, this week’s Movie Madness with me, the Movie Junky, and here’s to you, Tangled, for adding a little sparkle to this otherwise dry week.

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