Monday, November 22, 2010

Toy Story 3 (2010)

I'm actually really upset with myself for not seeing this in the theaters. I loved this movie. It was great to see the characters again and it was great to see that they stuck true to the story line. It's been 10 years since the last movie so it's been 10 years for them, too.

Andy is all grown up and getting prepared to head off to college. The things he is leaving behind aren't ready for that kind of separation. Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and the rest of the toys need to get ready for life without Andy. Through some of the usual miscommunication and hi-jinks that occur in movies, the toys are donated to a daycare center where they meet Lotso the teddy bear. The toys are excited until they find out they were mislead by Lotso and put into the toddler section of the daycare where they were abused beyond belief. While Buzz tries to negotiate, Lotso's goons take care of him and turn him against his friends. Woody is their only hope of salvation so they can maybe get back to see Andy again before he leaves for good.

This movie had a lot of comedy and a ton of heart. To go with the heart, this was one of the darker animated movies I've seen. There were a lot of heavy moments for the characters in the movie. I won't go into detail, but just be prepared. Back to the humor, Michael Keaton as Ken killed it in this flick. Him and Barbie were fantastic and provided a lot of the comic relief. I highly recommend this movie and I fully expect it to be nominated for Best Picture.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MacGruber (2010)

There used to be a big stigma with SNL skit based movies being, well, terrible. For the most part, that statement is true. Think of Superstar, The Ladies Man, and It's Pat. This movie isn't quite that bad, but it's not great.

MacGruber (Will Forte) was the best the United States military ever trained. An explosives expert with the skills necessary to rip out a man's throat. But that was 10 years ago. Now, he's the military's only hope against international super terrorist Dieter van Cunth (Val Kilmer), the same man who killed MacGruber fiance during their wedding. He assembles a team which includes his old friend Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe), the current best the military's got. Cunth has hijacked the X-5 Missile and is threatening to detonate it in Washington DC during the State of the Union. MacGruber and his team now need stop him before it's too late, but can MacGruber overcome his past demons to make sure this does not become his one defining failure.

I didn't hate this movie, but it was not nearly as funny as I expected it to be. Forte was great at committing to his character, but I was expecting more of his SNL routine to shine through. What was surprising was how good Phillippe was at playing the straight guy to the ridiculousness that Forte and Wiig portrayed around him. There is a fair amount of gross out humor, so be prepared for that,m but I can't recommend this movie unless you are a real MacGruber fan.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Was this as good as the first one? Absolutely not. But I still had fun watching this. Robert Downey, Jr. is great as Tony Stark, no matter how good or bad the movie.

Now that the world knows that Tony Stark is the Iron Man, they know to avoid him. However, even with international crime down by a substantial margin, Congress calls Mr. Stark in for a subcommittee hearing to try and get him to turn over the iron man suit to the US Army. Tony refuses saying that the technology for people other than himself to make a suit similar is still years away. In Russia, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) sees the hearing and decides he needs to get revenge on Stark because Vanko's and Tony's fathers worked together before a rift was created. In 6 months time, Vanko creates a machine crudely similar to the Iron Man and gets into an epic battle with Tony in Monacco. After seeing this, Congress demands the suit and gives the contract to make more to Stark's rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell). After that, Tony goes into a tailspin and doesn't know what to do. One thing is for sure, he needs to stop Hammer from completing his project. But now that he's gone off the deep end, can he hold it together long enough to stop him.

This was a fun movie. The substance was there for a great sequel, but it was not executed as well as it should have been. Everything moved so fast from Point A to B to C in what seemed like no time. It was visually pleasing though. As for Rourke, his Russian accent was OK. There were times I believed it, and other times it seemed forced. Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson and Don Cheadle were all great additions to the cast, but my favorite may have been Garry Shandling as the Senator who had it out for Stark. All in all, fun but not as good as the first.