The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

Oh Burt, Burt, Burt… when were you incredible? As a man who loves Las Vegas, I enjoyed the idea of dueling magicians in sin city. Two stars fighting for the spotlight in a city of many spotlights. Unfortunately this film lacked humor, which the trailer led us to believe would be involved, and a story that could save it. Steve Carell and Jim Carrey were casted correctly in my opinion, it just didn’t work for me and I blame the script.

The bright spots of the film were Steve Buscemi and the late James Gandolfini. Buscemi has never let me down as far as I can remember and I have always enjoyed his roles in film and television. Of course, I saw this after the late great James Gandolfini had passed away. I have yet to watch Sopranos but it is on my short list for upcoming TV shows to watch. I have seen lots of his other work and he will be greatly missed. RIP James Gandolfini.

Rating – 4/10

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Top 5 Superhero Movies

With the release of Man of Steel, I thought I would make a list of my Top 5 Superhero Movies!

5. Iron Man (2008)

– Iron Man was my big introduction into the Marvel Universe. It was the first movie that drew me in and had me intrigued on what else they had to offer. This movie is such a good origins story of one of my now favorite Marvel characters.

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4. The Incredibles (2004)

– The family of crime fighting Superhero’s. This movie needs a sequel so bad and they are FINALLY working on it I heard. This is a movie I am very excited to show my son someday. It has stuck with me and if it’s on when I’m channel surfing, I always tune in for a bit.

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3. X-Men: First Class (2011)

– The X-Men movies are always fun but they never really hit its full mark with me. This one finally did that. This is movie has me so excited for the next X-Men movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

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2. The Avengers (2012)

– The All-Star lineup of Superheros battling some badass aliens. Again… I’m not a comic book person but I am all in on these Marvel movies. They are fantastic when they do stand alone character films and even better when they team up.

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1. The Dark Knight (2008)

– The greatest Superhero of all time… the Caped Crusader. This is a near flawless movie. The villain is captivating and reckless leaving the audience on the edge of their seats. Just a fantastic fight.

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Honorable Mentions

  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
  • Batman Begins (2005)
  • Thor 2: The Dark World (2013)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Kick-Ass (2010)

Lost in America (1985)

I’m a big fan of the Adam Carolla Show podcast and he mentioned this movie sometime last year and I immediately added it to my IMDb.com watch list. I hadn’t heard about it prior to his recommendation but as I researched more about it, I found out Albert Brooks directed, co-wrote, and starred in this movie. It turns out that is a delightful combination as one would come to expect.

The movie is about David and Linda Howard, played by Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty, and their plan to quit their jobs and sell it all to travel across America in a Winnebago. I think this is something a lot of people daydream about doing someday. Taking their nest egg and living the free spirit life all while traveling the states, I know I have. Hopefully anyone out there willing to try this has a better luck than the Howard’s did. The movie is very funny, well written and perfect for any family movie night.

Rating – 9/10

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Dark Shadows (2012)

I can’t say I was disappointed by Dark Shadows because I came in with low expectations, with the hope of being pleasantly surprised. When you are checking the time remaining and there is less than 20 minutes left and you are still unsure of what the plot is… well that’s a bad sign people. It was a very visually appealing movie and I enjoyed what I was looking at most of the time. I can’t even say the funny parts were funny and feel like I’m giving an honest review. The film just never had a direction and none of the characters were interesting or likable. I wasn’t bored by it but I was far from invested in it.

Basically, it was another Johnny Depp, Tim Burton vehicle that didn’t work. Tim Burton makes very fun films to look at and Johnny Depp is a great actor but it hasn’t worked for me yet. They will keep trying I assume and I will keep watching.

Rating – 4/10

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The Master (2012)

The Master is the latest film gift from the mastermind that is Paul Thomas Anderson. P.T.A. has already given us great movies like There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights. Now whenever I see his name attached to a project, I’m immediately interested in it and that led me to The Master. Even with my high anticipation for this film, having a pregnant fiancé I really didn’t have the opportunity to see this right away. The problem with seeing movies after they have been out a while is that you hear way to many opinions and start to form your own about something you haven’t seen for yourself. For The Master, the reviews I had been hearing varied a lot but seemed to settle on this film being good and not great. Well, I’m hear to tell you that I agree with that.

World War II veteran Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) can best be described as a major alcoholic with a sex addiction who is just trying to find his place. HIs fondness for alcohol leads him stumbling drunk on to a ship as a stowaway and in to the hands of the leader of “The Cause.” “The Cause” is basically a philosophical cult like group that is led by Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman.) The film takes off from here as Dodd explores the person that is Freddie Quell and how he effects “The Cause.”

Overall I enjoyed the movie and if anything hearing the other reviews improved my experience with the film. I didn’t expect another P.T.A. great but expected something good none the less. It can drag so buckle up if you’re going to watch it and expect some slow parts.

Rating – 8/10

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Top 5 Comedy Series

I was recently watching Austin Powers Goldmember on IFC and was surprised how much I still enjoyed it. So I thought to myself… what are the best comedy series? Here they are….

 

Top 5 Comedy Series

5. Meet the Parents Series

– Gaylord aka Greg Focker might just have the future father-in-law all men have nightmares of. A solid pair of movies to start with but ended with a dud.

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4. American Pie Series

-Jim and his pie, Stifler and his mom, and that one time at band camp. You know what you’re getting… A raunchy laugh.

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3. Austin Powers Series

-Yeah baby! Dr. Evil takes on Austin Powers and his deviant sexual habits. Mini Me, sharks with lasers, and plenty of henchman.

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2. Toy Story Series

– What happens when you leave your toys and head to school? They come alive! The adventures of Buzz and Woody impacted my childhood and continues into my adulthood.

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1. National Lampoons Vacation Series

-The Griswold’s are Americas family! Whether it’s Walley World, Europe, Vegas or just at home for the holidays… the Griswold’s bring the laughs. Such classics!

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Honorable Mentions

  • The Mighty Ducks Trilogy – The Mighty Ducks, D2: The Mighty Ducks, D3: The Mighty Ducks
  • The Hangover Trilogy – The Hangover, The Hangover 2, The Hangover 3
  • The Shrek Trilogy – Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third

Embarrassing Confessions of Movies I Haven’t Seen

  • The Jersey Trilogy – Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy
  • The Naked Gun Trilogy – The Naked Gun, The Naked Gun 2 1/2, The Naked Guy 33 1/3
  • The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy – Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End

Ted (2012)

When I heard Seth MacFarlane was working on his first big screen movie, I was ecstatic. I have always loved Family Guy and couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do with live actors and this CGI bear known as Ted. My expectations were met and I loved Ted and thought it was extremely funny. It’s one of those movies that you just buy into the theme right away and let it take you on a comical adventure.

I thought the cast was deep and well executed starting with Seth MacFarlane himself as Ted. He is such an amazing voice actor and doesn’t get the recognition that he should. Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis star as Ted’s roommate/best friend and his girlfriend. Mark is a versatile actor who was able shed his action drama ways we have come to love and nailed this comedic role. Another star and underrated actor in this movie has to be Giovanni Ribisi. He is such a good character actor and can play that creepy or dark villain character so well.

The main dish may have been different from Seth’s cartoon shows but there was definitely a nice touch of that pop culture humor throughout the movie, which is what we have come to know from Seth’s productions. This is one of the funniest films of the year. Well done Seth!

Rating – 9/10

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Oz: the Great and Powerful (2013)

Maybe it should have been called “Oz: the Not So Great and Rarely Powerful.” I can’t say I didn’t have high hopes for this movie and I also can’t say I that I didn’t hear all about the poor reviews. The movie isn’t good and that’s disappointed because I do love The Wizard of Oz, and the thought of going back to Oz was very exciting. The characters were fine, even though I didn’t particularly enjoy James Franco’s performance. He seems to be hit and miss with me and I just found him too cartoony in this movie. I know it’s a kids movie but even for that I thought he was over the top with it.

I did hear that they weren’t able to get rights to several things from The Wizard of Oz, and had to make some slight modifications and changes. Regardless, I do realize this is a Disney film and I’m not their target audience. The film is aimed at kids obviously and I can only hope it stirred up interest in one of the greatest family films ever in The Wizard of Oz. The ending was enjoyable and it probably saved this movie a whole letter grade for me. I did see they all signed on for a sequel, so this isn’t the last time we will be visiting Oz.

Rating – 4/10

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Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

This film flew under the radar for me up until award season and ended up being my favorite film of 2012. Not exactly something I want to admit, especially when you look up the cast and see who the wrote and directed it. Regardless, when award season rolls around I always try to catch as many of the films as I can. So in late November/early December my fiancé and I had to go check this one out. We both walked out loving it and I pre-ordered it on iTunes when i got home. When it was released recently I downloaded it and finally got around to watching it again this weekend. I still love this film.

David O Russell was able to take these two characters, with a tough topic in mental illness, and make the perfect combination of drama and comedy. If I had to make a list of the top 5 funniest films of 2012 this would be on it. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence had an incredible rapport and deserved all the recognition they received. Especially the from the coveted Watched It’s.

Rating – 10/10

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Identity Thief (2013)

Identity Thief was not a movie I was eager to see by any means. The trailer was bad and had to many potentially funny scenarios spoiled in this 2 minute preview. I have also never heard a positive review or comment about this movie, besides the all to common “it had a few laughs in it.” So right off the bat… I’m going in with low expectations.

So on this Saturday morning, as my two month old lay asleep in his bassinet, we rented Identity Thief off iTunes. The movie made me laugh a couple of times but was far from hilarious. Melissa McCarthy is quickly becoming my favorite comedic actress. She is hilarious but unfortunately the script was not. Jason Bateman did the Jason Bateman thing, while Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) was great in his small part as Big Chuck.

The movie is fine as long as you know what you are getting; a couple laughs, a poor plot, and T.I., yes the rapper T.I., acting.

Rating – 5/10

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