Monday, August 13, 2012

Meet the Spartans (2008)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 6.5
Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Starring: Sean Macguire, Carmen Electra, Kevin Sorbo
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Historical, War, Parody/Spoof
Runtime: 86 minutes
Original Version: 300 (2006)

In this shameless spoof of the 2006 movie 300, King Leonidas (Macguire) leads his "army" of thirteen Spartan soldiers again the corrupt "god-king" Xerxes.  Laughs abound as the story of the Battle of Thermopylae is bastardized with a collection of pop culture references including Briteny Spears, the Spider-Man 3 movie, the TV show Deal or No Deal, and "Yo Mama" jokes.

Now, in no way am I saying that this is great cinema.  And I'm not even saying this is high comedy.  The only reason I rated it a 6.5, (IMDb gave it a disappointing 2.5), is because I really enjoyed it.  It made me laugh, and that was more than enough for me.  That's where Cinema Sweetheart's reviews differ from other film reviewers; my reviews are not strictly based on quality of the film, but also on the fun it provides.  If I don't enjoy a film, it won't score as high.  Luckily, my tastes are fairly broad, so even if a film is not in my favorite genre, I usually can appreciate it.

Meet the Spartans, like Epic Movie and Scary Movie before it takes it jokes from pop culture references from the time it came out, so there will come a point where many people won't get the jokes, since they'll be too outdated.  And of course, those who do not watch a ton of TV or movies might not understand who certain celebrity parodies are supposed to be.  Most of the jokes are raunchy, gross, or stupid.  Still, this film is a lot of fun for a few immature giggles.  So, while this is not going to be a film you'll want to pass on to your kids or your grandkids for generations to come, it might be fun for a night spent with friends, drinking beer and eating pizza.  And what could be more fun than drinking beer, eating pizza, and watching thirteen men in leather underpants and capes  holding hands and skipping off to war (yes, you read that right) while singing Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"?  [Fun Fact: The historical Spartans were actually known for singing while on their way to war; it pumped them up and acted as a method of intimidation for their enemies, who saw a huge, powerful army coming to battle with such confidence in their victory that they were singing].

So, with all that being said, this is certainly not a great movie.  It's funny though, and if you enjoyed the campy fun of films like Scary Movie or Epic Movie, then I'm sure you'd enjoy Meet the Spartans.  That being the case, I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys sophomoric humor and campy, cheesy laughs. (Don't feel bad about it; I enjoy that, too, every now and then).  If you watched and enjoyed 300, you might also be interested in checking out this film.  Really, this is great for all those of you who spend countless hours on YouTube looking for funny parody videos of your favorite movies.  This is just like those, except about an hour and a half, instead of three to five minutes.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

300 (2006)


Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 9 out of 10
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham
Rated: R
Genre: Action, History, War
Runtime: 117 minutes
Other Versions: Meet the Spartans (2008)

The ancient world is on the brink of war.  Leonidas, king of Sparta has been confronted with a difficult decision, when a Persian messenger brings news that his "god-king" Xerxes' wishes to rule over Sparta, and requires Leonidas's subordination to him.  But, the Spartans are a strong and proud race; proud of their strengths and most importantly, their freedom.  Leonidas is not ready to just give all that up.  However, both the Spartan council and oracle warn Leonidas that war would be certain death; there is no way the tiny Hellenistic city-state could hope to take on the towering Persian empire.  However, Leonidas has courage and a plan which could easily even the odds, and turn the war in Sparta's favor.  So, gathering together an army of 300 Spartans, he sets off to for freedom, bravery, and honor, no matter what comes their way.

I've been wanting to see this film for a while now.  I'm both a history buff and a Classical Studies minor (focus on Greco-Roman history and literature), so I've had quite a bit of interest in the ancient world.  After learning about the Battle of Thermopylae in my Greek History class, I've had a renewed interest in the topic--and the film.  Now, of course, the film was terribly inaccurate, but after the first ten minutes or so, that didn't really matter anymore.  I was so swept up in the battles, fraternity, and just general fist pumping "yes!" moments, that slight inaccuracies didn't really matter anymore.

I particularly loved the message this movie carried.  It reminds us that what is right is worth fighting for, and that no man should be a slave to another.  Even when all hope is gone, one needs to keep fighting.  For the Spartans, the powerful realization was that it would be better to die as a free man fighting to protect those freedoms than it was to live as a coward, a subordinate, and a slave.

Not only is this a great story with a powerful message, but the CGI for this film was simply amazing. From vast armies to the grotesque "├╝ber immortals" of the Persian army, the effects were used perfectly in order to really enhance the atmosphere.  Although there is always that understanding that CGI characters are only just special effects, there comes a point in this film where you just find yourself so drawn into the plot that you don't even think about it--just accept it.

Gerard Butler was wonderful as Leonidas.  He was ripped, he was cocky and confident--and yet still sensitive and emotional.  He really brought the character to life.  He made him three-dimensional and almost real.  Leonidas was an amazing character.  Instead of just making him into a muscle-bound action hero or a cocky bastard, we are given a man who has concerns and fears that genuinely affect him, but is still able to overcome them.  That's a real hero.

All in all, this is a great movie which carries a powerful message.  I recommend this to anyone with an interest in ancient history, as well as those who appreciate a good action film with a powerful, hopeful message.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tommy Boy (1995)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 9 out of 10
Director: Peter Segal
Starring: Chris Farley, David Spade, Brian Dennehy
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 97 minutes

Things are finally starting to look up for Tommy (Farley).  After seven years, he's finally graduated from college, plus his father (Dennehy) has given him a job in the family car parts manufacturing company, and to top it all off, his father's getting remarried--and that means that Tommy gets the brother he's always wanted!  Needless to say, life is good.  Well, that is, until Tommy's dad dies at his own wedding reception, and Tommy inherits the failing company.  Things couldn't possibly get worse.  And then, Tommy has an idea.  Offering up his shares of the company to the bank as collateral, he decides to raise the money to save the company himself, by making sales calls personally.  But, with his limited experience in the business, he can't do it alone, so he ropes his father's stuckup accountant Richard (Spade) to come with him.  The unlikely duo must do whatever possible to earn enough money to save the company.  But will they be able to do it in time?

Now, I'm not saying that this is the greatest movie ever, but it was terribly funny, and that certainly was enough for me.  I've seen Chris Farley before in other things, mostly SNL skits involving the character Matt Foley, the motivational speaker.  He's a master of physical comedy, as well as an actor who can just get so worked up, that you can't stop laughing, and you have no idea what he is going to do next.  There is something hilarious in watching him crash into doors, through tables, etc.  Or of course, my brother's favorite scene involves Farley's character Tommy setting a toy car in his eagerness to demonstrate how his company's brakes work in comparison to the competition's.

David Spade was wonderful.  I have never been a David Spade fan; in fact, I've never really liked him.  But, this film changed that.  The contrast of big, boisterous Farley and short, serious, mousy Spade was wonderful.  It was so funny watching the sorts of conflicts they got into.  My personal favorites involve an argument over whether or not to eat in the car, and another incident where Tommy teases Richard about watching a woman skinny dipping.

All in all, I would highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a good laugh (I personally laughed until I cried), or who appreciates physical comedy (people crashing into walls, glass doors, through tables, etc.), or for anyone who is a fan of Chris Farely or David Spade.  All in all, it's just a funny movie and I highly recommend it!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Update

Just a quick head's-up.....Cinema Sweetheart will be taking a short break for a few weeks, with no film reviews posted on June 28, or July 5.  Reviews will resume the following week, on July 12.

~CS

The Shining (1980)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 6 out of 10
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Rated: R
Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
Runtime: 142 minutes
Other Versions: The Shining (1997)

When Jack Torrance (Nicholson) signs up to be the caretaker for the Overlook Hotel while it's closed for the winter, he has no idea what sorts of horrors await him, his loving wife Wendy (Duvall), and their son Danny (Lloyd).  Even stories of some of the horrors that occurred in he hotel are not enough to dissuade him, and he cheerfully takes the job, thinking that it's going to be the easiest money he's ever made.  All he has to do is keep the elements outside from affecting the hotel; keep the boilers burning, etc.  Easy.  And besides, it will give him time to work on his writing; something which Jack has been having quite a bit of trouble with lately.  Everything is going to work out pretty well for the Torrances.  But, there are things lurking in the shadows; things the family is certainly not prepared for.  Danny claims to have an "imaginary friend" named Tony, a little boy who supposedly lives in Danny's mouth and hides in his stomach.  Not only that, but he's having visions.  Visions of things that have happened and things that have yet to occur.  Bloody things happened in this hotel, and bloody things are yet to come.  The hotel starts to have an effect on Jack, as well, turning him from loving husband and father to a maniacal killer; will Wendy and Danny be able to stop him, or will all of Jack's worst nightmares come true?

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is one of those films I felt I just had to experience, especially as a lover of classic horror cinema.  I had constantly seen the title listed alongside with other "classics" such as The Silence of the Lambs and Psycho.  "If you're interested in these sorts of films, " I told myself, "then you had better watch The Shining."  I had been trying for months to watch it, but either found myself too busy, or found that my friends weren't very interested in watching with me.  And half the fun of watching a scary movie is watching it with a friend.  So, finally, I seized my opportunity (and my brother/movie buddy) this summer, and sat down to watch it one rainy Friday afternoon.  While The Silence of the Lambs and Psycho far exceeded my expectations, The Shining left me feeling a bit disappointed as it fell just shy of the mark.

I guess you could say that a chunk of my disappointment stemmed from the fact that I had put too much stock in this movie completely knocking my socks off.  Now, normally, I go into this films, attempting to keep my expectations as neutral as possible.  Not LOW, per se, but neutral.  That way, I won't be swayed by prior prejudices.   But, this was one film that I was excited about.  Probably because it had been on my "To-Watch" list for about three years.  And even before that, it was one of those films that I was pretty interested in watching, but just too scared to actually pick up.  That being said, I've been waiting to watch this movie for years--that's a lot of expectation.  However, high expectations only covered a small portion of my frustrations.  My issue I think, deals with Kubrick's directing style.  I'll have to check out a couple more of his films, but I'm starting to think I'm just not a Kubrick fan.

For me, Jack Nicholson was wonderful.  He absolutely stole the show, and as I watched the film, I found myself silently wishing that there would be more Jack scenes.  He was deliciously creepy.  And I love that sort of character in a horror film.  Not those that are outright scary, or horrible, but those that are creepy and still very human.  I love those sorts of villains.  There is just something so sinister about characters who just become sort of unhinged.  It makes it scarier because it makes you wonder if something like this could happen to anyone; your dad or your brother; neighbor, cousin, sister, grandpa, etc.  Very creepy.  But, there is more to Nicholson's portrayal of Jack Torrance than just a crazed ax-murderer possessed by evil spirits.  He's a family man, a loving husband and father, and he makes us feel for him.

Villains like Hannibal Lecter don't exactly illicit sympathy.  He's more of the guy who gets voicemail messages sounding something like this: "Hey, Dr. Lecter.  I just wanted to let you know that I'm not going to be able to make it to your dinner party on Saturday.  Nothing personal, but I just don't feel comfortable attending an event where I can't be sure if I'm going to be a member of the party or the dinner."  Jack Torrance, however, is a sympathetic character.  There is one scene, in fact, where my heart simply melts for him.  Wendy rushes to his aid after hearing him screaming and crying in his sleep, apparently from a nightmare.  Startled, he falls to the floor, and sits there, drooling, blubbering, and sobbing, as he tells her that he had the most awful dream, where he killed both her and Danny, chopping the bodies up into little pieces.  The pain is so raw, so real, you can't help but feel for him.  In those few minutes, all of Jack's behavior up to this point and afterward is put into perspective: he's not a bad man.  He's just under the influence of forces he cannot control.

Shelley Duvall was also wonderful as her respective character Wendy.  With her big eyes and sweet disposition, it was hard not to like her.  I think she also provided a wonderful foil to Jack's character, in that while he was dealing with frustration, anger, addiction, and possessive spirit, she's a quiet, gentle presence, who calmly puts up with everything that happens, while still maintaining order and reason in the family.  She's reserved, but strong.  And even though she's strong, she's still vulnerable, and that makes us root for her.  She's the underdog, and we don't want anything to happen to her.

Above all else, this movie was just very strange.  Much of it didn't make any sense.  I was confused, very creeped out, and mostly left with more questions than answers when all was said and done. All in all, it was a decent movie, but it just didn't wow me.  I guess if someone came up to me and said, "CS, should I watch The Shining?"  I guess I would say yes.  It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either.  Still, if you're interested in the genre like I am, I think it's just something you should check out.  At least you'd get all the references from Internet memes, right?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus (2009)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 2 out of 10
Director: Jack Perez
Starring: Deborah Gibson, Vic Chao, Shawn Lawlor
Rated: R
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 85 minutes

Thanks to human folly and global warming, the polar icecaps begin to melt and release two of the most horrifying creatures the world has ever known: Mega Shark and Giant Octopus!  Free from their frozen prison once more, they strike terror into the seas in their devastating attempt to find one another and finish the death match that started many centuries before.

I picked up this film expecting a funny, campy horror flick with lots of fighting, giant monsters, and cool CGI special effects.  Instead, I got a shitty film that broke every rule of screenwriting and acting, with sub par CGI effects reused scene after scene.  In fact, if I may be so bold, I would even go so far as to say that this is the worst movie I've ever seen.

But, a movie this bad has to really be savored.  It takes real effort to be this bad.  So, let's just take it one aspect at a time...First, the script.  The writing for this film was just dreadful.  Besides including so many painful cliches and "classic" stereotypes such as the customary agents in black suits, this film also included drinking alcohol from paper bags, the overly-violent American military stereotype, and of course, the cheesy mentor figure and the customary romance where everything just matches up so perfectly.  It's like these characters were written for each other!  Oh yeah...

I also loved the fact that everyone felt the need to remind everyone that the foreign characters were foreign.  From wonderful lines like "a Kewpie doll for the Irishman" (as if we couldn't figure out he was Irish from the HORRIBLE accent that was sometimes Irish, sometimes American, and sometimes boarderline Scottish), or when the Japanese scientist references "my Japanese government..."  Wow!  I had no idea you were Japanese!   And even if the audience wasn't sure, why would he refer to it like that?  Everyone he is talking to knows that he is Japanese.

I'm including the link to IMDb's collection of quotes from this movie.  They are golden.  Just for shits and giggles, you can check them out here.

Even though the writing sucked, the plot had some potential.  But, no....the script mostly focused on the three main characters: a "washed up" oceanographer, her salty Irish professor/mentor, and her Japanese scientist love interest.  There was almost nothing at all about the shark and octopus...the reason that just about everyone picked up this film in the first place.  I can tell you it wasn't for the romance or the bad accents.  It was for the title characters!

But, I digress....on to acting.  The acting was just dreadful.  Do I need say anything more?  I didn't believe these characters.  At their best they were laughable.  At their worst, they were annoying.  The Irishman's accent faded in and out between scenes, and I think only one member of the Japanese submarine crew spoke with even the slightest hint of an accent....and it certainly wasn't the main character.  The whole thing was just ridiculous.

If you're looking for a movie that is so bad it's good....then this is not that film.  This is just bad.  Really bad.  And you might get a couple good laughs out of it, but it's certainly not worth spending any real money on.  The acting sucks, the special effects are terrible, and the script is in the toilet.  Now, normally, I have a select audience to recommend these films to.  Right now, I'm not sure who would want to see this film.  I guess if you like really bad movies, then this is a good one.  Or, if you're a film professor or film student, you might like this....as a sort of "what not to do" cautionary tale.  As an amateur screenwriter myself, I think this really helped me.  It was kinda fun being able to say "Oh....so THAT'S why I'm not supposed to do that!"

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Taken (2008)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 9 out of 10
Director: Pierre Morel
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Runtime: 93 minutes

Bryan Mills (Neeson) only wants to have a real relationship with his daughter Kim (Grace) again.  But, being a retired CIA agent really makes things difficult for their relationship; he was never there for her as a child, and now, his background makes him constantly paranoid. So, when she asks for his permission to go to France with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy), Bryan is naturally cautious.  Both Kim and Bryan's ex-wife Lenore (Janssen) are quick to reassure him, and he allows her to go with some strict conditions.  But, upon his daughter's arrival in France, Bryan's worst fears are realized.  A panicked Kim calls him, telling him that she and her friend are in the process of being kidnapped.  When one of the kidnappers picks up the phone, Bryan tells vows that he will find and kill him if he does not release Kim.  With the kidnapper's final taunting words "Good luck," Bryan sets out to save his daughter, no matter who or what stands in his way.

If there was one thing that this movie really struck home for me, it was to listen to your parents.  They know what they are talking about.  Even when they're cramping your style or taking your fun away.  Oftentimes, they do it because they are speaking from experience, and don't want to have something happen to you.  When you don't listen, things can happen.  I had one of those moments not that long ago, and while I won't go into details, I can safely say two things: 1.) It did not involve the Albanian sex trade in France and 2.) My dad was absolutely right, and I should have listened to him.  So, as I was watching Taken, my dad was constantly on my mind.

This really was a great film.  It had everything one would want in an action thriller: there was suspense, awesome fight scenes, not a lot of blood and gore, and a really epic storyline.  I watched this one with my brother, and we were on the edges of our seats from start to finish.  It was GREAT!  And besides just an awesome plot, the audience was presented with a main character we could all love and connect with.  Most of these action films have characters you can't fully understand because they're too hardened, too tough, or too cool.  Bryan was tough, but he also had a softer side which made him easier to understand.  In many ways, he reminded me of my own dad, and personally, that made him even easier to understand.  Liam Neeson played a wonderful father figure, and I loved the thought that even though he was a kick-ass CIA retiree, he was still a sweet, caring, gentle father.

I think what also made this movie so intense for me was that the sex trade is alive in Europe (and all over the world).  Sex trafficking is far scarier than monsters because it's really happening.  And as a woman, it's something that I hear about quite a bit.  Not saying that every time I leave the house, I'm afraid of getting roped into the sex trade, but it is something that you think about from time to time.  And since I've done some research about it for classes and such, I was able to nod my head and say "Yep, that's a huge red flag. Kim, don't listen to him!"

I think another thing I really loved about this film was that it handled its topic in a tasteful manner.  True, it was an action film, and there was a lot of violence.  But, the violence was handled in such a way as to make it bearable.  It wasn't overly violent.  There was not an overabundance of gore.  We got the point without having it shoved down our throats.  Also, this film IS about the sex trade, but I didn't feel that they over-sexualized any of the prostitutes.  I don't think I saw a single exposed breast.  Instead of taking advantage of the topic to make a sexual movie about sex, they kept it in its proper place.  The sex trade was not made glamorous; it was made disgusting.  And I think that was something that must have been difficult to do; it would have been easy to make it overtly sexual.

All in all, an amazing movie.  Liam Neeson was amazing, his co-stars were amazing, and the plot felt real and convincing.  Sure, there were some blips, but for the most part, I was convinced.  If you're a fan of action thrillers, international intrigue, epic fight scenes, or are a father who would anything to help your child in a time of distress (or perhaps the daughter who knows that her father would do anything for her), then you would love this film.  I know I did!

And I know this is not something I'd make a habit of doing on this blog, and I know he might not read this, but I just want to say THANK YOU to my dad....Thank you for being MY hero.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Update

Hello, Movie Maniacs, Film Fanatics, and my Cinema Sweeties!

This is just a quick update to let you all know that I'm still alive and writing.  The reason for my lack of posts was the fact that I fell into the dreaded end of the school year arena, and just made it out.  That being said, I didn't really have a lot of time to watch movies, and even less time to review them.  But, that's the end of the bad news.  Now comes the good news!  With my summer free to watch movies and review them again, I'll have plenty of films for you!  I'm watching a movie a night, but I'm not sure if all of them will make it to the review process.  But, even so, there are going to be plenty of reviews shuffling their way into the que.  I'll still be posting them on Thursdays only, though, so that means that I'll still have plenty of reviews built up to go well into the school year.  No time to review movies?  No problem; I've already got plenty of reviews :)  See?  It's going to be great!  That being said, I have just finished my review for the 2008 film Taken, which you can find here this coming Thursday.  I also have reviews in the works for Tommy Boy, The Shining, and Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus, so be sure to look for those in the coming weeks :)

I look forward to seeing all of you again on Thursday!  I'm sorry I've been gone for so long, but it's good to be back! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Hobbit Trailer 2012

I am DYING to see this film!  December cannot come quickly enough!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Director: Drew Goddard
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz
Rated: R
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Runtime: 95 minutes

Five friends decide to spend the weekend at a cousin's cabin, but find far more than they bargained for when they discover they are all a part of a perverse and twisted ritual of death.  Before even a single night has passed, the group finds themselves spiraling into horror after horror as they try to uncover the secrets of their torment.

Now, I love horror films.  Not slasher films; horror films.  I can't stand the blood and the gore, but I LOVE to be scared.  Suspense is delightful; I just eat it up.  And this was a great film just for that reason.  While there was most definitely blood...and lots of it, there was such a perfect counterbalance of suspense and just plain freak-you-out horror that I almost didn't mind.  And that's really a first for me to say.

What I loved about this film was just how creative it was.  This is not your average bloody slasher film, or just scare-the-living-daylights out of someone horror flick; it was cleverly written out, cleverly acted, and even fairly amusing.  Perhaps the best part was just how metafictional it was.  This is not just a horror film: it is a horror film about horror films!  This is a horror film that gives the others purpose and meaning, and elevates them to something more than just blood, sex, and violence.  Sure, this film still has all those things, but it has a bit more that really gives it that "spark," and sets it aside from your average, run-of-the-mill zombie flick.

And of course, besides just a tantalizing plot, the characters themselves were wonderful.  Or, at least as wonderful as stock characters can possibly get.  The one that really stood out for me was the total pot-head, Marty (Kranz).  There's always something really funny about those kind of characters in the movies.

Sadly, there is not much more that I can say without giving away too much information.  So, that being said, I can only leave you with a strong suggestion that you check out this film.  It was honestly one of the best horror films I've seen in a long time.  If you enjoy horror films, zombies, ancient curses, or metafiction, then this film is a must-see for you :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Green Hornet (2011)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 6 out of 10
Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Run Time: 119 minutes

When Los Angeles playboy Britt Reid (Rogen), learns about the death of his father, he decides to react with a little friendly vandalism, by beheading his deceased parent’s newly dedicated memorial statue. While on this little misadventure with his estate’s mechanic Kato (Chou), the two witness and stop a mugging in progress, and Reid, hyped on adrenaline and alcohol, decides that he and Kato should become super heroes—but pose as villains in order to blend into the L.A. underworld. And so, after a series of inventions, tricked-out cars, and cool costumes, the vigilante Green Hornet is born. Unfortunately, things are not all sunshine and rainbows, as the Green Hornet’s activities catch the attention of supreme crime lord Chudnofsky, who will stop at nothing to keep this new name in crime from threatening his empire.

Now, I’m really a fan of superheroes, but before this movie, I didn’t know anything about the Green Hornet. Because of this, I’m really unable to connect this to the original series. I guess that means that my opinion of this film was fairly unbiased, at least on that front. My brother and dad, however, were fans of the show, and provided some interesting commentary in comparing the two pieces. For example, their biggest complaint stemmed from the personality of Britt, which they claimed was not very true to the original series.

Seth Rogen was distastefully crude. While in small amounts, sexual innuendo and swearing can be pretty funny, Rogen pushed it to a limit where it was no longer amusing. Instead of assisting the plot or furthering character development, it only made me wish that Britt would just shut the hell up. According to my dad and brother, Britt Reid is supposed to be a professional, collected character, something like a Bruce Wayne. While I would have been fine with a sort of goofy rich boy, I really feel that Rogen pushed it too far. And sadly, one can’t even say that Rogen was just working with what he was given, since he was the actually one of the screenwriters as well. This character is purely Rogen's creation, and I just didn’t like it. However, while there were too many times when you kind of just want to slap Britt, the character wasn’t ALL bad. In fact, there were times when he was actually really funny. But, these times become rarer and rarer as the film progresses.

Jay Chou, in contrast, played a very likeable character. While Britt Reid was something of a dunce, unable to do anything on his own, always cracking dirty jokes, and pretty much a vaguely likable foul-mouthed flop, Kato was talented, smart, and sweet. And he just had the coolest moves! In my humble opinion, one of the best parts of the film had to be watching Kato kick the tar out of the bad guys. No matter how many times I saw that, it was still cool!

Despite all this, Christoph Waltz stole the show. His someone limited role as the film’s villain was perfect in almost every regard. As this was an action comedy, there is a certain amount of humor to be leant to the role, and Waltz was undeniably perfect for the part. Chudnofsky is not a nice guy; he’s the incredibly unpredictable leader of crime empire in Los Angles, however, he’s incredibly funny. He asks for advice on how to be scary; he’s genuinely hurt when someone tells him his ideas are stupid. And then he says and does stupid things without realizing how it looks. He’s the perfect villain: threatening to the hero and funny for the audience; what more could a moviegoer ask for in an action comedy film? I think what I liked the best about this character had to be the unpredictability. After all, where’s the fun in a villain whose next move is always easy to guess? There is a certain tension that builds from this sort of character, especially when you never quite know what he’s thinking or what he’s going to do. Is he serious? Is he joking? Guess it’s time to thank your lucky stars that you’re not Britt Reid, and YOU don’t have to deal with him.

All in all, The Green Hornet was a decent movie. Not bad, but not great either. Just decent. Sometimes, that’s not a bad thing. Like when you’re just hanging out with people, or when you’re having a beer and movie night. It made for an interesting viewing session, but not something I would recommend or run out and buy on DVD. If you’re a fan of Seth Rogen and his sophomoric humor, then you might like this film. Christoph Waltz fans might enjoy his performance as well. For me personally, he was the highlight of the film.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Update

I'm going to attempt to resurrect this blog one more time.  If I'm able to do it, expect an update on Thursday as always.  If not, I'm sorry; I just couldn't make it work.

~CS

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Film Production Otter

The concept of the meme has exploded on the Internet, and there are memes for everything!  Personally, I subscribe to memes about college, library science, English majors, writing, knitting, Oscar Wilde, and even Hannibal Lecter.  There really is something for everyone.  If you're interested in film studies, I've found a Tumblr account for you to check out.

Fuck Yeah Film Production Otter is a collection of memes showcasing inside jokes and common experiences that might be shared among film students.  Seeing as my only real film classes were film critique and screenwriting, I can't really relate to most of what I read.  But, there are a few I find amusing, and it's my hope that someone stumbling into my blog might find this meme relatable and fun :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teen Movies

As a film buff, I try to be somewhat open-minded about the films I watch.  However, as a film critic, I'm also very particular about them. There are times when these two aspects of my personality collide in a very ambivalent relationship.....Teen Movies.

Teen movies can be cute.  Teen movies can be funny.  And teen movies are nothing if not uplifting, encouraging, and happy-endings-all-around.  As a moviegoer, I love this.  There's nothing better than a happy ending, right?  But, as a critic, these sorts of films drive me crazy.  Life does not work out that way; things are not always happy and perfect (and definitely not this corny!).  And while movies are SUPPOSED to act as a diversion from the tougher things in life, things do not always wrap up neatly in a little box with a big bow on top.  Usually, once the guy leaves, the guy does not come back to say the he's changed his mind and wants to stay with the girl forever (or if he does, it's not with a very cheesy, mushy, lovey-dovey line).  I hate it, but I love it, too.

I found this clip online, and it made me laugh.  First, because it describes teen movies as they would happen in real life.  Second, there is a huge inside joke for me (and the Film Critic might catch this, too-- pay attention, Joe), in the first names of the main couple.  I guess my biggest struggle with teen movies (and perhaps with romance movies in general) is the fact that life just does not work that way. 



Despite my obvious complaints against teen movies, I can honestly say that they are really not all THAT bad.  After all, they are funny, entertaining, and make you feel a little bit better about yourself afterwards.  I guess I'm just a crazy cynic, haha.  Maybe that's why I'm still single?  Nah...just haven't found someone as nutty as me yet :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Update

Hello, everyone, and Happy New Year!  I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday.  I'm really excited to bring some new changes to Cinema Sweetheart this year!  To start, Cinema Sweetheart's Film Reviews will no longer be strictly film reviews (with a few other random bits tossed in here and there).  Rather, I'm hoping to expand the website quite a bit more.  Instead, Cinema Sweetheart will include all matter of posts (still every Thursday), including commentary, parodies, some reviews, video clips, some fun behind the scenes bits, and much, much more.  Starting this Thursday, we'll have our first post of 2012.  A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has stuck around with me for the past few months.  I'm really hoping that this little blog continues to live up to your expectations.  Also, if there is anything you want to see, please do not hesitate to tell me, either in the comments on this post or via email at cinema.sweetheart@gmail.com.  I check my emails at least once a week on this account, and will get back to you as soon as I can.  I'd love to hear your opinions on things; this blog is for you just as much (if not more) than it is for me :)
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