The Time Traveller’s Wife

Time Travel has fascinated countless writers of science fiction, this might be the first time a romance writer takes a stab at it, and the end result is surprisingly good. This is much more romance and matters of the heart than it is the actual science behind transversing time and space. All the physics geeks (and yes, I was part of that group as well) might have trouble the bending of the laws in order to make the story work.

Hey, there is actually something out there called the Clock Gene, but I doubt it has any bearing in transporting a entirely naked Eric Bana across space and displacing all his molecules perfectly together in another time. Hey, if you can believe that he can interact with his younger self, thereby violating the basic principle of time travel, well, you can just suspend your belief.

The movie isn’t about going around from place to place in any sort of awesome way, it’s about Claire’s (Rachael McAdam’s) very creepy love affair with the sometimes old, sometimes young Henry (Eric Bana). Who first appears to Claire at the tender age of 6, gym fit and buck naked he continues to visit her until she catches up with him while still in College and he’s a research librarian (too bad he can’t go back and get some real dirt on the Spanish inquisition). She falls in love with him even with his ‘Chrono-impairment’ which causes him to miss birthdays, holidays, and even a portion of their wedding. But don’t worry, an older Henry takes his own place.

The wardrobe costs for this guy must be killer.

You’re telling me you’re in the Sherlock Holmes sequel?

There’s a lot of naysayers out there, mainly the Internet community which I happen to be a part of that didn’t feel any emotion and figured Claire was a damsel in distress, constantly having to love someone that wasn’t there. Hey, it’s romance guys, this is what chicks dig. And for me, it was somehow soothing. Forlorn love, difficult decisions, and kids. Kids just make me well up these days. Damn those cute kids and father figures they’ll end up missing as they grow up.

7.5 out of 10

Funny People

Year Released: 2009
Directed by: Judd Apatow
Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Eric Bana, Leslie Mann, Aziz Ansari
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Release Date: July 31, 2009

Judd Apatow always brings in the laughs, Funny People is no different.

George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is the mega rich, mega funny and mega shallow movie star that climbed the rings of comedy to become king. George is distanced from everyone and everything due to his enormous wealthy, and when he’s diagnosed with an interminable disease finds he’s at a loss for human contact. Reaching out, he finds Ira (Seth Rogen) an up and coming comedian who works days in a deli and struggles to find his niche in stand up. The two find each other, and both seemed destined to give each other what they sorely need: George needs someone to confide in, and Ira needs his big break.

“Let’s eat turkey in a big brown shoe!”

Apatow stands out in the comedy category for one reason: he weighs down his comedy with some real meat. There’s too many romantic comedies that skip over real issue and contain so much filler and uninteresting characters we bypass them and they end up in the bargain DVD bin. Funny People, stands out as one that’s willing to give us more meaning, and be more about the people, than it is the funny.

Adam Sandler has been bringing his A game the last few movies. I was getting a little bored with his Happy Madison days, and the sophomoric, elegant side he’s been showing with Rein Over Me and Punch Drunk Love (old reference, I know) is starting to show some shine.

“I gotta tellya Eric, ‘Troy’ was terrible”

An interesting balance is always struck with Seth Rogen; he’s naturally funny and the lines he spouts out with his commanding voice are well timed and on-spot. His comedy fodder seems to get bigger with each picture. I have mixed expectations of his up and coming Green Hornet movie myself. For now, I’ll revel in his funny nature.

Funny People manages to hit some high notes and keeps us entertained all the way through. Apatow gets better with each film, this one by far is his most mature to date.

8.0 out of 10

Year One

Year Released: 2009
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Starring: Jack Black, Michael Cera, Hank Azaria, David Cross, Possibily Jesus
Production Company: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Release Date: June 19, 2009

Year One is a reminder never to take our religion too seriously. It also reminds us that Jack Black plays the same damn character in every movie. Thanks to Michael Cera’s awkward teenager role lifted directly from his Arrested Development days, the two manage to squeeze out some laughs, but the movie never really gains any momentum.

Hey! Did you catch Bill Hader?

Zed (Black), and Oh (Cera) are Hunters and Gatherers (respectively) for their small village. Zed is a failure at his job, and Oh simply wants to obey his carnal lusts for Eema (Juno Temple), yet fawns for her at a distance. Zed one day, has the bright idea to eat from the tree forbidden tree of knowledge. With his mind awakened, he and Oh are promptly exiled from the village. Zed in his slow, somber retreat accidental torches the village, burning it to the ground, causing his ex-tribe members to be imprisoned by the guards of Sodom. Zed and Oh travel the lands with Zed’s new-found knowledge in search of Zed’s destiny. You need to think less Life of Brian, and more Superbad; the script certainly has an impromptu feel, yet doesn’t distract too much from the main themes.

Jack Black has worked a long time in Hollywood, and for some reason he keeps getting plum roles where he gets to show up, shout some obscenities and never develop a real character. Michael Cera keeps getting jobs on his teen character, speaking to his chest more often than putting his forward emotions on screen. It certainly works in his favor, as Oh is more at home given intricate moments of inflection such as “I saved a life with my love making”. At least these guys looked like they were having fun filming, with a subject like religion he tongue-in-cheek humor bodes well with both personalities.

Golden Shower just took on a whole new meaning.

Year One at times felt more B-Movie quality, which was supposed to be played off as campy. Most of the humor comes from physical comedy, even observations (lady armpit hair, women’s eyeliner) or the circumcision loving Abraham (played by Hank Azaria). It also seemed a little foolish to have yet another aimless comedic duo start out wandering from forest to desert, only to find their true calling. Call me crazy, but is Hollywood really pandering that much to the generation that’s still spinning it’s tires?

The genre can withstand shtick, should it be awesomely funny as “Life of Brian”, or more ho-hum as “Year One” puts it. On the scale, “Year One” land between mediocrity and an eyebrow raise.

G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Year Released: 2009
Directed by: Stephen Somers
Starring: Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Incredibly Hot Sienna Miller, Rachel Nichols
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: August 7, 2009

I remember when Stephen Somers burst onto the scene with The Mummy. Here was a franchise that hadn’t been touched in long time, and was a classic movie monster. At the time, I was blown away, digital effects were gaining ground, and the story was solid. Pretty good material for its time. G.I.Joe on the other hand is based on the popular American cartoon television series that more Gung, than Ho. It glorified guys with big guns and promoted American Values such as reading (“Knowing is half the battle”) and other forgettable things that I can’t seem to muster up right now.

Take those elements, and the child like wonder of Somers who is able to treat the source material in the same way many 10 year-olds did. The end product is something that is both insulting to the intelligence, and completely non-sense. What a complete waste of money. The only reason I wanted to see this was for Dennis Quaid, and he’s quickly stepping into the realm of B-movie actor in quad leaps after watching G.I.Joe.

I kinda wish I paid more attention to the “Travelling Pants” movies…

As a paying movie-goer, we have to suspend our belief every once in a while, and take what is given to us. I simply cannot accept what happened here, all the dialogue is cookie cutter thin, and the characters are stock representations of their plastic toy counterparts, with as much appeal behind a blister pack. The plot makes no sense the special effects were bargain basement. If Stephen Somers set out to make his movies as uninteresting, and un-entertaining as possible, by Joe, I think he’s hit the perfect note here.

I’m never sure what to expect with a Wayon Brother cast into an action role. You either get “White Chicks” or some variation of the Halloween mash’em ups. With that mind, they’re usually into gross out humor with B-List actors. Well, there’s no gross out humor here, but there’s plenty of B-lister’s on stage strutting their stuff in the hopes an A-list action director comes calling with a casting sheet. Even Dennis Quaid seems to be hamming it up with his serious, gruff, plastic-type mannerism that comes off as cartoonish, and to think he’s got the most serious role. C’mon Dennis, you’ve done so many good films, why choose this one to screw with your karma?

Style takes a backseat to substance here folks, and this is the end product so many of us were waiting for, and now will forever be stuck with. It’s a reminder, that in a time of technological wonders, we can have high expectations, yet have them dashed in a moment. For that, I firmly place the blame on George Lucas for forgetting to write scripts to his prequel movies. For shame people, for shame.

Bet you had to look twice, didn’t you?

The comedy should add to the exciting things on screen, but the comedy here comes completely from the visual effects department. There simply is no consistency when jumping from scene to scene; the backgrounds are straight out the cartoon, complete with brightly colored palettes and bad lightning techniques. Marlon simply shows up the green screen set with his attitude. And at least he’s sporting a character, the rest are either too busy brooding or trying to remember their simple dialogue they’re all played off as foolish and silly. At least Snake Eyes had the good grace to take an oath of silence and let his physicality take the main presence over the rest of the amped up cast.

2009 was a dismal summer of movies, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, one of the most anticipated sequels of the year fizzled, the Terminator prequel/sequel received more attention behind the scenes with Bale’s rant than in the box office, and it just doesn’t seem to add up. Perhaps money doesn’t make a good product (too many cases in point here). G.I.Joe just fails me at every level. At least Transformers believed in itself enough to try to sell me on the idea. The sales pitch falls flat in G.I.Joe, it was more DOA than COD, and that’s from a guy who had to watch a rental.

2.0 out of 10

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Year Released: 2009
Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, a bunch of polygons
Production Company: DreamWorks Entertainment
Release Date: June 24, 2009

“Transformers Revenge of the Fallen” appeals to the MTV generation in more one way. For the rest of us with longer attention spans, we’re bound to notice the lack of character development, the fundamental story telling flaws, and the visual and auditory assault on the senses that Michael Bay loves to stuff down our throats. Transformers as you might know is the love child of Japanese big robots with the Gung-Ho of Americanism chock full of child loving goodness, broadcast Saturday mornings to children all across North America. The problem with this premise used to be “how can we make giant robots LOOK cool?” Thankfully the geniuses at ILM made the mega monstrosities come to life in 5 storey fashion, but the story falls flatter than Shia LaBeouf’s personality. We have Michael Bay to thank for all this noise, and when I say Noise, I mean it. Sitting in a darkened theatre whilst giant mecha’s duel it out certainly can be grating – 2 and a 1/2 hours worth was plenty for me.

You can’t blame Steven Spielberg for this one, he has the executive producer rights, but his name, his image is nowhere seen close to or on this product at all. Like every other Michael Bay movie, the action is frenetic, choppy, and bright without any sort of shyness when it comes to being full bore on insane. And just like any other Bay-hem film, the action is tough to track; the enemies and good guys mix it up so frequently you can’t keep track of who is kicking whose butt. Other nuances, such as the average lifespan of a shot must be less a second, watching Sam (Shia LaBeouf’s) and Mikhela (Smoking Hot Megan Fox) say their respective good-byes to each other had so many tracking shots I nearly got motion sickness.

Bumblebee: missing a pair of converse high tops and a sweet kentucky waterfall

It’s simply mindless, it spends more time trying to build on non-existent back stories and continually going back to characters that don’t add to the overall plot, or contribute anything further than being racist stereotypes that Bay finds amusing. I’m of course talking about Skids and MudFlap, the Autobot twins annoying their way in each scene, showing up only to be more bothersome and irksome than actually adding to the storyline. Personally, the movie could have done without them. A,s I mentioned before, new characters are hastily introduced and just as quickly killed off without even any proper introductions. I wish I could have said the same about Sam’s parents, as their little escapade at Sam’s University was blown out of proportion and borderlines on fantasy of ‘what drugs can do to you’.

The one saving grace was and should always be the Transformers themselves, the stars of the show, who comfortably have more speaking lines than the last, and compared to the mindless banter of the humans is by far more welcome. Some approximated render times are far more fictitious in the age of Quad Core Computing, yet the finished product is something to awe. Especially worth watching in high definition television.

The Gundam happily crunched the racism-bots where they stood.

There’s been a lot of Michael Bay bashing over this movie, some I can understand, while others I’m little more lenient to dissuade. Mainly the naysayers that are advocating that he should stop making films altogether. Now, I’m a fair guy, and I like explosions, and The Rock was actually pretty good, even after a few viewings. People want him to stop because he’s inflicting more pain on the movie going-public than he should be. I for one think all that is absolute crap. Because, complain all you want, you have to admit the guy is a mega cash cow with regards to any movie he’s directing. Some small faction might not like his in your face, shoot-for-the-edit style of film making, but he’s pulling in the revenue to generate more mindless action vehicles.

And to prove a tired point, wouldn’t your 8 year old self want to reveal in watching gigantic mechanized Godzilla’s slugging it out on the big screen?

4.5 out of 10.0

Fanboys

Year Released: 2009
Directed by: Kyle Newman
Starring: Sam Huntington, Jay Baruchel, Dan Fogler, Kristen Bell
Production Company: Weinstein Company
Release Date: February 6, 2009

“Fanboys”, as the namesake would imply doesn’t quite live up to it’s own title. That being said, there’s certainly a trying effort at work here to make a decent comedy, but it fails due to only chuckle worthy jokes. Director Kyle Newman never embraces the full on Star Wars geek within all of us, and would rather film the surface level knowledge only inherited from the original trilogy. Like any true geek director (Tarantino, even Robert Rodriquez’s Sin City) he talks the talk, but never delves any deeper into what makes the series so popular, or why it’s been such an enduring piece of American history. Hey, I’m sure Chewbecca jokes and salivation over slave Leia pics are worthy, but there’s certainly a father-son dynamic and the maxim that absolute power corrupts. But I’m not here to tell Newman how to make a film, I’m reviewing why I didn’t like it.

THIS MOVIE SUCKS!

Hey, if you’re a geek (which I proudly proclaim), and you love Star Wars (which I do) there should be a homage movie that takes in those elements and churns out a comedy right? Well, Fanboys doesn’t quite hit all the right marks, but it earns a few points for trying.

There was an Internet debacle around the release of Fanboys. Blog comment boards were lighting up over some last minute edits. The edits were intended to give the film more appeal to the masses, as a result the entire crux of the plot was taken out. The original plot was about a group of buddies planning to steal a copy of Episode: I for a dying friend. The sympathy and motivation is certainly there, and it sounds like it’s got real heart. I don’t know why anyone would go screwing with that…but money talks. Of course, the version I viewed still had the original plot, but numerous reviews cite many in-jokes were cut out and the final product is a watered down fan-shtick cobbled together by money hungry producers. So to say the least, my expectations were fairly high.

“Look, just give me the bluebook value of a mint PoTF maskless vader”

So I was a little disappointed with the final product. It’s certainly no Star Wars, but it has it’s heart in the right place. This by no means equates this movie to absolute crap. However, it does leave a bit to be desired. A dying friend doesn’t equal comedy, but the friendly in-fighting, the banter between friends even, a poorly executed Chewbacca is comedy. Fanboys serves up more under cooked jokes and silliness in the name of silliness than is necessary. Even the final 20 minutes of the film, the resolution feels more of a let down after the beginning acts.

4.0 out of 10

More time should have been spent on plot and the impact of a friends impending death; doing the right thing for the right reasons. The impact ultimately is wasted on low lying jokes and not fully embracing it’s namesake as Fanboy material.

Star Trek


Year Released: 2009
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Chris PineZachary Quinto, Bruce Greenwood,
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Release Date: May 8, 2009

“Star Trek”, the titular science fiction/space opera known by all, watched by many, and appreciated by the few has been re-imagined in J.J. Abrams super summer blockbuster. This certainly isn’t your father’s Star Trek, filled with action, bright lights, lens flares and space; the final frontier.

2009’s Star Trek heads back to it’s roots introducing young versions of Kirk, Spock and company. A titanic task? Not quite, considering major back stories have been traded in for a time travel plot that lends to much needed explosions (Hey, I love my eye candy too). The plot plays it safe, not getting into any new ground and treats science with a ‘suspend your belief’ attitude. It’s seeing the characters assemble onscreen, and Abram’s deft use of scenery and characterization that really shine.


Folded Arms are the new thing in the future

Follow me now: Nero, a Romulan from 129 years in the future has come back to ‘the beginning’ (of the Trek universe) because future Spock couldn’t save Romulus from collapsing. The black hole formed from the collapse sucks in Nero and Future Spock, plunging Nero into ‘the beginning’, he destroys the U.S.S Kelvin where commanding officer Kirk Sr., has assumed control, his son is about to be born and he must pilot the ship on a collision course after evacuating the entire crew with busted warp drives. Nero sits around for about 25 years waiting for future Spock to arrive so he can get revenge by destroying Vulcan with the very technology the Vulcan Science Academy created (known as red matter). So it’s up to our very handsome/great looking crew of the U.S.S Enterprise to go in, destroy the ship, save the day and create a Star Trek for the masses. The Roddenberry-verse physics aside, as long as you know that black holes equal time travel, and class M planets exist with scary looking monsters, and total and complete coincidences happen, you should be absolutely fine. Just suspend your damn belief already.

“Did you seriously sign on for the sequel?”

Chris Pine does an admirable job as James T. Kirk, successive captain of the Starship Enterprise. His energy and natural leadership slightly showing, although his douche bag like character is still lovable and enduring. Zachary Quinto was definitely born to play Spock, his cold demeanor picked up from his time as Sylar on TV’s Hero’s, he dons the Vulcan ears and detached voice with ease, simmering emotion under the surface as the half Vulcan/Human hybrid and Kirk’s best friend. The rest of the ensemble cast play their parts magnificently, no one seems to miss a beat and the slight nods to the original series are deft in execution. Even Leonard Nimoy shows up in Spock attire, his first outing in nearly a decade, proudly handing the touch from one generation to the next; although it seem like he was in this version a little longer than necessary. I’m sure all the fan boys were wetting themselves in excitement when the pointy eared one entered from stage right.

There’s only a few moments of disbelief, and it’s all in the science of show; consider that against the numerous times Scotty has outright bent the laws of physics in the original television show and movies. It’s all in good nature however, once you realize you’ve been beamed aboard another reality, one with much better looking people and alien races with humanoid bodies and slightly larger/smaller eyes or different skin color. Bridging the continuities was an immense task, keeping with the newer, sexier generation just got a whole lot easier.


No caption, just a green skinned Orion Girl in her bra and panties

If you haven’t witnessed the rebirth of Star Trek yet, I highly suggest you do so. Reading up on the pre-reviews of supposed mega-blockbusters as Transformers and Terminator: Salvation, I can already see a pattern emerging: All these franchises are getting slammed for lack of care, they’re not lovingly crafted as they should be, and are getting shoehorned with last minute rewrites and CGI over actual plot or any good character emotion. These movies aren’t meant to be overly cerebral, but it’s pretty clear the movie going public wants more substance than the flash and bang approach. Star Trek thankfully is light hearted enough to take all this in stride and put together a fun, exhilarating thrill ride that won’t disappoint.

9.5 out of 10

I Love You, Man

Year Released: 2009
Directed by: John Hamburg
Starring: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, Lou Ferrigno
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: March 20, 2009

Should the movie rental aisle decide to start getting more specific about categories, you will be seeing “I Love You, Man” in the newly minted ‘Bromantic Comedy’ aisle. This genre of course speaks to the daily bombardment of new words created by slamming together existing words in the hope that Internet blabbermouths and entertainment shows will repeat to no end. That being said, it’s with no shame that this movie blatantly slams together genres in a non-sexual manner bearing about the relationship that only two men can share with brutal honesty and awkwardness of new feelings. Okay, I’ll admit that last sentence sounded kind of weird, but really was a good movie.

Blue never goes out of style

Remember back in the 1980’s when cool tough guys with loads of testosterone, big guns and zany one liner’s were the big box office draw? There’s been a paradigm shift as of late, in the way that buddy comedies are becoming much more sophisticated. Not to say that “I Love You, Man” was in any way high brow, there’s a good deal of toilet humour, but it’s all done from such an honest and straightforward standpoint; all delivered by the incredibly confident Jason Segel it transcended regular comedy fodder. That was a huge draw for me: the honesty; other comedies of late are more concerned about shoving so many E! Headline news down your throat so fast it gets very old, very quickly. It was refreshing to see someone take the material and turn it into something worth hearing and thinking about.

Peter (Paul Rudd) has a little problem: he’s getting married in a few weeks and has no best man. In fact, he has no meaningful male relationships to which he can tie himself to, and sets out find the perfect man-friend to which he can ask to be his said best man. After numerous man dates set up by online profiles and Peter’s parents, they all turn out to be failures. Enter Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), the Zen master of truth with all the right justifications. Just the perfect man crush for Peter or any man really. His casual strut and self assurance winning over lasses and fella’s all around. Peter finds himself in man-love with Jason, as their relationship builds on likenesses (the 80’s band Rush) and moves from awkwardness to truly hilarious, the questions start about relationships. Not the relationship between the guys, but Peter’s impending wedding; namely things such as ‘why did you choose to marry this one?’. Without any close male buddies, Peter is sent reeling and the cracks in his long relationship with his fiancée Zooey (Rashida Jones) begin to surface. Or do they? Following closely to the Romantic Comedy formula: boy meets boy, boy has platonic man love for other boy, struggle ensues with real relationship, and both overcome to give the movie title over some sappy music. That about sums it up. Aside from the obvious gay jokes that ensue about a man-love, “I Love You Man” the plot hits all the right notes. A Commendable performance by Rashida Jones as Zooey, Peter’s fiancé who has to be the cutest co-star available with laughs to spare (take THAT Katherine Heigl!). This girl certainly has that je ne se quois about her that I can’t seem to get enough of. I always look forward to any guest appearances she makes on her stomping ground “The Office”.

“Y’see Seth Rogen over there? His career is your goal bro

Above all else, Paul Rudd finally gets his own movie after toiling away in small roles. I’m glad the producers finally took a chance on this guy; because he steals scenes away from every big star he’s played opposites. Heck, even Seth Rogen’s rising star quality was powerless to stop Rudd in “40 Year Old Virgin”. Jason Segel has a similar quality about him, television simply contain his raw talent: he’s got that natural courageousness that’s self sure and bold. Plus, you got to give props to a guy that exposes his junk multiple times in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”.

Let’s hope Rudd is given the reins to more flicks where he’s headlining. If another comedy comes out that’s willing to take a subject like Bromance to the masses, make it funny and enjoyable, then sign me up for another.

8.0 out of 10

The Ugly Truth

Year Released: 2009
Directed by: Robert Luketic
Starring: Gerard Butler, Katherine Heigl, Cheryl Hines, other people who are usually comedy fodder.
Production Company: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Release Date: July 24, 2009

For a romantic comedy, The Ugly Truth is more comedy, than romance and squanders itself on focusing on a non-existent chemistry between the two main characters. Gerard Butler is a man’s man, so what’s this guy doing screwing around in another ROMCOM? Seriously? I thought he was just testing the waters with “P.S. I Love You”, but he just keeps getting sucked into this genre. At least he’s still doing some testosterone heavy movies like Gamer, even the mediocre reviewed Law Abiding Citizen doesn’t manage to emasculate him. The only person that’s fallen head first into the chick flick fodder cannon without a hope is Matthew McConaughey: and he’s so past the point of return that his balls are small enough to fit into a tic-tac container. Hey, you star with Kate Hudson in enough drippy girly flicks, you lose credibility, just face it.

Man, wasn’t 300 awesome?

Katherine Heigl is uptight, control freak Abby Richter. Abby can’t find a suitable date in L.A mainly because she’s the uptight, control freak type. Abby is the producer of a dying television talk show sorely in need of new blood, which comes in the form of a dirty minded, foul mouthed, yet truthful local cable personality, Mike Chadaway. Gerard Butler is Mike Chadaway, the anti control freak, the woman reader, the guy that knows what makes the sexes tick and uses them for his sexual ends (so we’re to assume). As you’d expect, sparks fly and the two are at ends with each other’s differing personalities. Abby as you know is the control freak, who just wants a man to love for who she is. Mike, knowing that men work by the tips of their southern heads, convinces Abby that he can help her bag the man of her dreams if she listens to his advice. If the deal doesn’t land Abby a man, he’ll resign from her show. This plot introduces us to Mike as more than a one dimensional character, his motivation being his nephew without a father-figure, and bombards us with more Katherine Heigl screen time.

As you would expect, Abby manages to get the man she’s always dreamed of, some comedic situations are thrown her way, and as Mike is giving directions he somehow falls in love with Abby. It’s predictable comedy fodder that we’ll forget in a few months time. That’s a good thing, because I felt like wincing through most of the film. The last 20 minutes for example takes the bickering couple up a romantic balloon ride while still broadcasting live, they pronounce their love for each other and the all’s well that ends well. This thing was written with more concentration on the material and getting girls to go gooey over Gerard Butler than actually focusing on the main relationship at hand.

The love/hate relationship between Mike and Abby was more convincing than the love/love relationship for one main reason: It was believable. I had more fun when they were at each other’s throats, rather than seeing Mike awkwardly gazing at Abby’s direction while she fawns over her new boyfriend on the phone.

I should have listened to my agent and stayed on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

I’m not sure what the draw is behind Heigl, is she the cute girl-next-door-type, or the stable-funny-type that gets audiences to pay up? What demographic does she play to? As far as I can tell, it’s the hopeless romantics in the world, or those guys who get roped into seeing another one of her movies. I don’t see it, I’m missing the point entirely about what draws people to her, and this is the second Heigl movie I’ve reviewed that I really didn’t like. She’s apparently quit her full time gig on Gray’s Anatomy to do more movies. Can the world really take more of this girl, who has Moxie, or whatever you want to call it filling up more screen time?

Just my two cents.

2.0 out of 10

Role Models

Year Released: 2008
Directed by: David Wain
Starring: Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Release Date: Nov 7, 2008

Gross out humor, front man Paul Rudd, caustically straight and funny Jane Lynch, a plot that is absolutely over the top and chock full of four-letter obscenities spewed from a ten year old. You had me at Paul Rudd. Not to say that Role Models is only these things, it has great chemistry between the two leading men; William Scott and Rudd are absolutely a blast to watch bicker and fight, and they give each scene an improv-like quality that never distracts from the final product. The message at the end is also one that we can all appreciate, considering there’s so much pressure today to conform to the masses. You can rest easy knowing the crude jokes are funny and hip; and everyone can agree on that.

The AA group keeps getting younger

Rudd and Seann William Scott are Danny and Wheeler, Minotaur energy drink salesmen doing their pitch to high schools across the city. Danny’s in a rut, his negativity finally catching up to him when he crashes the Minotaur-mobile due to his girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks) breaking up over his last minute wedding proposal. Rather than do jail time, the two are given the option to complete 150 hours of community service at a Big Brother link organization called ‘Sturdy Wings’. The organization is run by ex-junkie Gayle (Jane Lynch), who’s full on seen-it-all and done-it-all-attitude gets half the laughs it vies for. The teens put in the care of Danny and Wheeler two extremes: Augie (Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse), the awkward older teenager who would rather practice LARP (Live Action Role Playing) than deal with the real world, and Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson) the pint sized thug with a mouth that Andrew Dice Clay would be proud of.

The movie smoothly runs along as expected; the guys learn about responsibility and the boys get the attention and acceptance they’ve been long looking for. The laughs along the way are well deserved, the situations and support characters are hiliarious (check out Ken Jeong as the ‘King’).

“Who is that horny bastard behind me?”

Role models is sweet in a macho way, it never once stops to wipe it’s tears and a kick to the groin over sentimentality. The characters all connect and the message is something we all need: you don’t have to change to earn someone’s else’s approval. The good natured spirit and fun of the film was unexpected to me, and it was enjoyable from start to finish. If you want a feel good flick that has solid laughs and lots of cussing from a kid, check out Role Models.

8.0 out of 10