Saturday, April 16, 2011

Due Date (2010)

A basic road trip movie made by a director (Todd Phillips) who has a lot of experience making road trip movies. But this one was better than most because of the great performances by the two leads.

Peter (Robert Downey Jr.) is an uptight yuppie who arrives at the airport to make it home in time for his wife to give birth. He's casually making his way in when Ethan (Zach Galifianakis) runs into him...literally. Once they both are kicked off the plane for making "terrorist" threats, they have to embark on a car ride from Atlanta to L.A. in order to make it for the childbirth. Along the way, shit goes down. Car accidents, Western Union beatdowns, an appearance from Ray, and a dog. And Ethan just can get on Peter's good side. Every time he tries, it just doesn't work out. It eventually doesn't become a question of when they'll make it to California, but if they can even stay alive.

Zach Galifianakis is almost always funny, and Robert Downey Jr. is a great actor. These two actors together had a great rapport, but it wasn't a complete match. They definitely had their moments though. Ethan's going to L.A. to get on "Two and a Half Men," and his obsession is hilarious. He even has a superfan website that, yes, actually exists. RDJ's best quality in this is his ability to keep such a straight face in the midst of shenanigans. A good movie that's funnier than you think. Grade: B+

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

This was a very deep, spiritual movie that had many cosmic undertones to make it a cinematic masterpiece...I can barely write that without laughing. The title says about all you need to know about this flick.

Adam and Nick (John Cusack and Craig Robinson) come rushing to the side of their friend Lou (Rob Corddry) when the hospital thinks he attempted suicide. In an effort to make him feel better, they decide to head back to the ski resort that was party central in 1986. Tagging along is Adam's nephew Jacob (Clark Duke). When the four of them arrive, the town is a rundown mess that no one visits now. Low and behold, they get drunk and into a hot tub that (TAH DAH) sends them back in time. Now, they need to do everything exactly as they did in '86 in order not to disrupt what happens in the future. That means; one night stands, drugs, fights, drinking, musical performances, arm-detachments, etc. Can this foursome of destruction get everything done correctly and in time to make it back to the future?

Funny performances all around with a plot that you'd suspect from a movie named Hot Tub Time Machine. Craig Robinson was the MVP of the film. He had the best story and did the most with it. Props for the bits with Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover and 80s movie bad guy William Zabka. Not the best comedy of 2010, but solidly humorous and genuinely ridiculous. Go into this with a blank slate. Grade: B

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Unstoppable (2010)

This is your basic action movie, but it had enough to keep my interest, and it was better than Tony Scott's last film The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. It captured my interest throughout.

Frank Barnes and Will Colson (Denzel Washington and Chris Pine) have set out to move line of train cars from one end of the track to another. Also, they don't really care for each other. Barnes is a career railman, while Colson took the job as something to do. While they're on the trek, another train carrying cars full of hazardous materials is barreling down the tracks straight toward them. Bigger problem: No one's at the helm of the runaway train. The first step is to make sure they can get out of the way before the cars run straight into them. When the plan becomes a disaster effort, Barnes and Colson decide to take matters into their own hands and track the sucker down. They need to make sure they do it before the train reaches an impossible turn in a densely populated area. Game on.

Again, this was a basic, but very enjoyable action flick. There was enough suspense and intensity to keep me glued to the screen the whole time. Speaking of time, it was also the right length. Any longer or shorter would have detrimentally hurt the film. The biggest problem I have, and it was noticeable, was the amount of moving panoramic shots. I understand they're used to build suspense, but they just made me dizzy. Also, they're unnecessary while people are just talking. That being said, most action fans should enjoy this. Grade: B