Thursday, May 19, 2016

Movie Review: The Interview

"Eminem's gay in our show!" – Aaron Rapaport

 Since this movie is about the assassination of the leader of North Korea, it was not shown in theaters as it was a danger to everyone who would watch it. Anyway, on to the movie.

The movie stars James Franco as David Skylark and Seth Rogen as Aaron Rapaport. They are both reporters and have their own show which stars Mr. Skylark.

Here's the setup: Dave Skylark (Franco) and his legit-wannabe producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) run the cable tabloid TV show "Skylark Tonight." When they discover that Kim Jong-un is a fan, they land an interview with him in the hope of validating themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the C.I.A., in the person of Agent Lacey,  supplies them with a fast-acting poison that can be transferred by handshake. Simple if you're James Bond. If you're Dave and Aaron, not so much. It's stupid. It's in bad taste. It impossible. I know all that. Look, Quentin Tarantino killed Hitler in and the neo-Nazis stayed quiet. It's a farce, people. From the opening scene in which a North Korean schoolgirl sings about Americans drowning in their own blood to a face-melting climax for Kim, The Interview strives hard, sometimes way too hard, to push the envelope. But at least Rogen and his co-director Evan Goldberg — their story forms the basis for Dan Sterling's screenplay — are striving to go beyond the dick jokes that spell easy box office. I wish the movie had spent more time on the bromance that develops between Dave and Kim. As played by the most excellent Randall Park, the ambitious Minnesota governor on Veep. Kim is as "ronery" as his father, Kim Jong-Il, in 2004's puppet parody, Team America: World Police. Franco brings a genuine sweetness to his role and his scenes with Kim suggests possibilities that get crushed by the film's descent into 007 pyrotechnics.

In the end, The Interview hits the sweet spot for raunchy fun and spiky lampooning because Franco and Rogen areas hilarious and fearless about swinging for the fences. It's the American way. Could Rogen and Goldberg have saved us all the fuss by changing Kim's name to a fictional dictator dedicated to the destruction of human rights? Maybe. But that instinct to try anything for shits and giggles and sticking it to dictatorial assholes is worth fighting for. Sucks for Kim if he can't take a joke.
Movie Review: 10 Things I Hate About You

"It's not everyday you find a girl who'll flash someone to get you out of detention." - Patrick

10 Things I Hate About You is inspired by Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Despite its exhausted wheeze of an ancient recycled plot idea (boy takes bribe to ask girl to prom, then discovers that he really likes her--but then she finds out about the bribe and hates him). The story this time involves two Seattle sisters. Bianca Stratford (Larissa Oleynik) is popular and wears a lot of red dresses. Her shrewish older sister Katarina (Julia Stiles) is unpopular, never dates and is the class brain. (When the English teacher asks his class for reactions to a Hemingway novel, she snaps, "Hemingway was an alcoholic who hung around Picasso, hoping to nail his leftovers.'') Two guys want to take Bianca to the prom. One is shy and likable. The other is a blowhard. But Katarina's father (Larry Miller) has forbidden her to date until her older sister Kat starts going out. So they hatch a plot to persuade Patrick (Heath Ledger), the school outlaw, to ask her to the prom. He takes a $300 bribe, but then realizes that Kat is actually quite lovely and really falls in love with her.

All teenage movies have at least one boring and endless party scene, in which everyone is wildly dressed, drunk and relentlessly colorful (in "Never Been Kissed,'' some of the kids come as the Village People). These scenes inevitably involve (a) a fight, (b) barfing, and (c) a tearful romantic breakup in front of everybody. That scene was tedious, and so was a scene where the would-be lovers throw paint balloons at each other. I know there has to be a scene of carefree, colorful frolic, but as I watched them rubbing paint in each other's hair, I began to yearn for that old standby, the obligatory Tilt-a-Whirl ride.

I liked the movie's spirit, the actors and some of the scenes. The music, much of it by the band Letters to Cleo, is subtle and inventive while still cheerful. The movie almost but not quite achieves liftoff against the gravitational pull of the tired story formula. Sometimes it's a mistake to have acting this charming; the characters become so engaging and spontaneous, we notice how they're trapped in the plot.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Movie Review: Comet
"Why does it feel so impossible to let you go?" -Dill 

Set in a parallel universe, Comet bounces back and forth over the course of an unlikely but perfectly paired couple's six-year relationship.

Although the movie is confusing, it does seem to open the eyes to most viewers. Comet tells the story of six years of a relationship between Dell (Long) and Kimberly (Rossum) in intercut scenes of its biggest moments—meet-cute, break-up, get-back-together, break-up, etc. The narrative jumps from scene to scene out of chronological order.

Dell seems to be the most pessimistic man to ever live. For example, his “I hate people who think I’m too negative" statement is not the most optimistic thing to say. He is the kind of relative misanthrope who lives in the “five-minutes-from-now” due to constant worry. Kimberly lives in the now. Dell falls for her the minute he sees her, in one of those Comet Streaks Across the Sky moments that most of us believe only happens in movies and the cynical can’t forgive when it does. He falls so hard, that he asks for her number in front of her truly annoying boyfriend, a gent who talks about how The Beatles were better when Pete Best grounded them and the beauty of soccer. Dell doesn’t want to miss the “now,” as he has so often in his life.

The movie starts to drift into the mystical, even forcing us to wonder if these images are visions of the future, the past, or some dream state, Esmail loses his hold on the material ever so slightly. And one wishes he had opened up the film a bit more in terms of film structure, as it often feels like it might work better as a two-actor piece on a stage the way it exists now. He also over-uses his score a bit too much, using it often to link the different scenes in a way to keep a cinematic throughline, but it gets a little forceful.

In the end, Dell and Kim end up together? I would think so because of the split second right before the screen goes black and the credits begin to roll.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Movie Review: Charlie St. Cloud
"I'm okay Charlie. I'd give anything for you to see me. What I've become, but no one ever gets to see what could've been" - Sam St. Cloud

I recently saw Charlie St. Cloud for the first time since 2010 (or whenever it came out) and I can admit that I have the absolute worst memory. I did not remember, at all, that the entire time, Sam is dead and Charlie is simply seeing ghosts.

Obviously, no one really realizes it until the very end of the film when Tess is mysteriously gone and Charlie realizes he is seeing her "ghost" even though she is very much alive and stranded on an island. The one thing I did not like about this movie was how often you would feel like the boats/sailing had an impact on the entire plot but all you are really watching is Zac Efron crying and mourning the death of his brother then abandoning his brothers ghost over a girl that is missing who he then finds at the end of the movie because he realizes she is sailing alone. It was obviously a good movie to me when I was younger but now I am noticing the many flaws of this movie. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Movie Review: The Loft

The movie starts out with a man (pictured bellow) being interrogated. His name is is Vincent and he is played by Karl Urban. Vincent is an architect that recently had a grand opening of his new building and he invited his closest friends along with other colleagues and such. (Pictured below from left to right are the 5 friends. Vincent, Chris, Luc, Maxim, and Filip)

So, Vincent tells his friends that they can all share a room (The Loft) where they can get away from their wives and just have fun without anything tracing back to them.

As of right now, we have absolutely no idea why the men are being interrogated. I mean when you get 5 mischievous men, a room they share, and the cops, you can only conclude that someone either stole something, broke something, got caught with drugs, or there is a dead body.

If you thought someone died then you're right. If you thought there were drugs involved then you were also right. Now, the problem is that no one knows who did it (apparently). 
 From the movies and shows that I have seen, I know that someone was framed or someone was too drugged up to know what happened. Throughout the movie, you begin to notice little things that each character does. For example, Filip is what you would call a "hot-head". You say one bad thing and all of a sudden the Hulk is in your room. Maxim is the drunk; he cannot keep his mouth shut for the life of him. There's a scene where he almost tells all of the wives that the 5 of them are sharing the loft to cheat on them. Which leads to Luc tipping his chair over and knocking him down. Speaking of Luc, he's what you'd call an observer. Throughout the movie he never sleeps with any other woman and he always stays in the background while his friends are either making out with their new girlfriend or butt naked in a pool. Vincent is the leader. I mean, he is the one who brought up the loft, he's the one who sleeps with the most girls, and he's the one with the most money. Now, as everyone knows, there's always a romantic. Chris is the one who just stands by his friends until he meets a girl named Ann who ends up showing up at almost every event Chris attends with his friends because she works for a councilman. Chris only ever sleeps with her countless times and he tells her he is falling in love with her but then she goes on to tell him that he doesn't "know the half of it". 

Now, this is where it gets interesting. In the beginning, the first person to walk in is Luc. He drops the grocery's he bought, on the floor, and then calls everyone EXCEPT Vincent. Everyone except Chris had their room key which means he must have left it somewhere. When the other 3 ask why Vincent wasn't called, Luc shows them the videos he has been recording since the first day. Filip nearly chokes him out when he finds out the Luc has basically been spying on everyone but they soon calm down when Luc tells them that Vincent has been lying to them and using them. Vincent had slept with the most important women in their lives: Filip's sister, Chris's fling Ann, Mamix's wife, and , of course, Luc's love interest who is dead on the bed. 

Fast forward to the 5 men in the loft and Vincent admits that he was in the loft the night that the girl died but he says she was alive when he left. Chris then breaks a glass cup which signifies that the other 4 could carry out their plan to drug Vincent and frame him for the death. Later on in the movie, the man who is arrested is Filip because he was being messy when he left the evidence all over the room. Not only that, Vincent was not the one who murdered the girl.

So who did it? We know that Vincent did not do it and Filip couldn't have done it because he was the one to frame it all on Vincent. So we are left with Luc, Chris, and Maxim. The mastermind behind it all is Luc. The reason why the girl is dead is because he noticed how badly Vincent treated her and he asks her if she would give him a chance because he would never hurt her but she says no. So when Vincent leaves her in the Loft, Luc goes inside and talks to her. She says she wants to lose feelings for Vincent and by then, Luc drugged her and laid her down in the bed. He then injects insulin into her body so that she dies without feeling a thing. The problem is that Luc didn't give her enough insulin so when Filip slashed her wrists to make it seem like a suicide, she was bleeding out right then and there.

The only two people of the 5 that know about what Luc did are Luc and Chris. It only takes Chris a few hours to realize that Luc was the one who killed her and he wanted to pin it all on Vincent because he took the woman he loved away from her. "He was standing in between us." The movie ends with Luc trying to kill Chris but then Chris turns the knife on Luc and Luc throws himself off the balcony as soon as the cops arrive.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Movie Review: Remember Me
Cast: Robert Pattinson as Tyler Hawkins, Emilie de Ravin as Ally Craig, Ruby Jerins as Caroline Hawkins, Chris Cooper as Sergeant Neil Craig, Pierce Brosnan as Charles Hawkins, and Tate Ellington as Aidan Hall.

The movie starts out with a scene in a subway in 1991 then fast forwards ten years; but I am going to skip that because it was slightly (very slightly) irrelevant unless you absolutely care about every single detail in a movie. In which case I will mention that Ally Craig is a child and her mother is with her at a subway, they get mugged and the mother gets shot which leads to Ally never wanting to take a subway again. Back to the above screenshot, Tyler Hawkins is meeting with his family at his brother's, Michael, grave. Michael committed suicide which led to Tyler falling into a deep depression. This is obvious as his sister (pictured above) Caroline tells him that he smells like beer and cigarettes. The movie then continues to Tyler portraying the typical nostalgic college student who just wants things to be okay again. He ends up going out with his roommate, Aidan, when they both meet two girls from Miami. While the four of them are walking through an alley, Tyler notices a fight break out in the middle of the alleyway. He then walks over and begins to punch the men who jumped out of a car to pick a fight. Aidan then gets involved and before they know it, the cops are involved. Did I mention that Ally's dad is the cop that shows up to the fight?

So, Tyler and Aidan are thrown into jail but then Aidan calls Tyler's dad which is a terrible mistake. Why? Tyler hates his dad because he thinks he is the most inconsiderate and pathetic man to set foot on the planet. After the boys are bailed out and they return to class, Aidan sees Ally and her father in the car together. He then puts two and two together to figure out that if Tyler woos her, he may be dropped from the charges. So, of course, Tyler takes the idea into consideration and decides to approach Ally.

When Tyler meets Ally, she tries her best to get rid of him. By that I mean she doesn't necessarily flirt back but she does accept his offer for a dinner date. They end up going to dinner then to the fair where Tyler ends up catching feelings for Ally. He invites her over to his apartment where they get drunk and cook together only to lead to Ally throwing up in his toilet. She ends up going back home in the morning where her father is extremely upset and asks her where she has been. They end up arguing and within 5 minutes, Ally gets slapped by her father. She storms out of the house and returns to Tyler's apartment where he welcomes her with open arms. As the movie continues, Tyler begins to fall in love with Ally and he has no intentions of stopping himself or leaving.

Ally is invited to have dinner with Tyler and his family where she meets Caroline. Caroline is Tyler's pride and joy, almost like his own daughter. So for Caroline to tell Ally that Tyler is crazy about her means it must be true. Caroline is also a very artistic girl who draws better than half of the students at my school. When Tyler returns to his apartment, Ally's dad is sitting on his bed. They begin to argue and it leads to them fighting and Tyler being choked nearly to death until Neil backs away and tells Tyler to come clean to Ally about his actual intentions with her. When Tyler sees Ally again, he tells her why he approached her that afternoon in the library. He mentions how the black eye was from her father and he was arrested the night before they met. Ally storms out of his apartment this time and returns home to her insane father.

Aidan manages to get Ally to meet Tyler and clear the air with what had happened between them. Tyler admits that he had feelings for her and that, although what he did was wrong, he does not regret approaching her. How cute. Tyler invites her to stay the night and they end up going back to how they were. The two of them end up going to Caroline's art show where everyone except his father shows up. He becomes furious and grabs the drawing of his father and races to his fathers office. After Tyler and his father argue back and forth (almost get into a fist fight), Tyler walks out and returns to his girlfriend.

The next morning, Tyler gets a call from his dad. Charles tells Tyler that he is taking Caroline to school which brings absolute joy to Tyler. He tells Charles that he will go to his office to talk about the meeting he will have with his lawyer and how much it will cost.

Here is where the movie takes a dramatic turn. Throughout the film, Tyler goes to his fathers office about 5 times. Not once did we see where Charles worked. In the beginning of the movie, Ally's mom is shot and killed. The year was 1991. Then there was a 10 year jump to the current time of the movie. So that means that the year is 2001. Guess where Charles Hawkins works.. guess who is not in his office.. guess what day it is.

The entire movie you think that it is going to be about some guy who does not get close to anyone because he is afraid of losing them just like he lost his brother. Instead, the movie is about making choices that change everything around you while not having any significance at all. What I mean by that is, when you die, everything you did will only be remembered for so long. Some people are remembered forever and others are forgotten in the rubble or not heard of at all.

"Gandhi said that whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it because nobody else will. Like when someone comes into your life and half of you says: "You're nowhere near ready". And the other half says: "Make her yours forever". Michael, Caroline asked me what would I say if I knew you could hear me. I said: "I do know. I love you. God, I miss you, and I forgive you."

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Movie Review: Dope

By definition, "dope" is a slang word used by most teenagers around the world. In this case, it is a movie of a black teenage boy who is brighter than most kids in my school. At the beginning of the movie, he introduces himself as Malcolm Adekanbi. 

Malcolm does not own a car nor does he have any siblings. He lives in the stereotypical black neighborhood where drug dealers sit on the hood of their cars and wait for buyers. 

Malcolm has two friends named Jib and Diggy. As you can see, they are the three minorities of America. "But it's two black guys and a hispanic guy." Wrong. Diggy is actually a girl (pictured on the left with the C on her hat) and not only is she a girl but she is a lesbian. So there you have it, a movie about a lesbian, a black teenager, and a hispanic. But, they are not the entire point of the movie.

The three musketeers happen to go to the same school, what a coincidence. Malcolm goes on to list the things that white kids do. The list is called "White Shit" and it says that a white kid has a skateboard, owns a bunch of manga comics, whoever the hell Donald Glover is, they trash talk, listen to TV on the radio, get good grades, and apply to college. This becomes an important part of the movie because Malcolm (who is black) ends up doing this white shit.

Look who it is! It's Marcus from Short Term 12 and he seems to be playing the antagonist in this movie too. All he wants is Malcolm's shoes which he only gets ahold of one.

Malcolm then goes to talk to his College Advisor. As a CA, you should be the one motivating your students to apply to colleges and apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can. All this CA does is tell Malcolm that his chances of getting into Harvard are slim to none. This causes Malcolm to feel attacked and gives him a reason to prove his CA wrong.

The three amigos begin biking home but The Crips were too busy filming a music video in the middle of the usual route so they decide to take the long way home. Malcolm then runs into A$AP Rocky's character who just so happens to be chasing after Malcolm's love interest.

She ends up being a total brainiac who wants nothing to do with any guy except Malcolm. She then ends up inviting him to A$AP's party where "shit hits the fan" in the matter of seconds.

So, the party gets raided and Malcolm ends up asking for a ride home after he basically saves Nakia's life in the party.

Malcolm brings up prom and how he does not normally go to the school parties. Instead, he stays home and studies or hangs out with his friends to make music. Nakia tells Malcolm that she will go to prom with him if he helps her pass her G.E.D exam.

The next day, at school, the group comes across a stack of drugs in Malcolm's bag. They realize that his bag was loaded the night of the party because no one would suspect that he would have any narcotics on him. This ends up becoming the main conflict of the movie.

(Please ignore the random volume sign)
Malcolm gets a call from who he believes to be his allies but instead they turn out to be the enemies so Malcolm has to find a way to get home and get away from the bad guys because they have a tracker on him.

Malcolm ends up losing the bad guys when he leaves the phone on a bus that his mom happens to be driving. This gives Malcolm enough time to flee and get to the dealers house.

Malcolm does not meet the dealer because he is busy working but he ends up finding the dealer because the dealer is, guess who, the Harvard associate. So, of course, Malcolm is putting the pieces of the puzzle together and realizing that he needs to make a decision between the drugs and school.

Malcolm ends up selling the drugs on an untraceable website that gives you coin money. He ends up selling almost all of his dope within the school year.

The morning of the ACT,  Malcolm's school is being searched by police dogs. He makes a quick dash to his locker to grab the remaining dope that is inside and runs back to class in order to save himself from being arrested. 

A bunch of different things happen but the last 10 minutes of the movie are by far my favorite. I do not have the words to describe the final scenes so, instead, I will copy and paste the script of the masterpiece:
Let me tell you about two students. Student "A" is a straight-A student who lives in the suburbs of Los Angeles. He plays in a punk band with his best friends. He loves to skateboard and ride on his BMX bike. His favorite TV show is Game Of Thrones and his favorite band is The Thermals. He's a '90s hip-hop geek. Student "B" goes to an underfunded school... where teachers who would rather not be there... teach kids who really don't care. He lives with a single mother, doesn't know his father and has sold dope. Now close your eyes. Picture each of these kids
and tell me what you see. Be honest. No one's going to judge you. Now open your eyes. So, am I student "A" or student "B"? Am I a geek or a menace? For most of my life, I've been caught in between who I really am... and how I'm perceived, in between categories and definition. I don't fit in. And I used to think that that was a curse, but... now I'm slowly starting to see... maybe it's a blessing. See, when you don't fit in, you're forced to see the world from many different angles and points of view. You gain knowledge, life lessons from disparate people and places. And those lessons, for better or worse, have shaped me.
So, who am I? Allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Malcolm Adekanbi. I'm a straight-A student with nearly perfect SAT scores. I taught myself how to play guitar and read music.
I have stellar recommendations and diverse extracurricular activities. I am a Google Science Fair participant, and in three weeks, I helped make over $100,000 for an online business. So, why do I want to attend Harvard?
If I was white, would you even
have to ask me that question?