Monday, February 20, 2012

Bridesmaids (2011)

"This is the first time I've seen you ugly. And it makes me happy"

Let me begin by saying I didn't have the highest expectations for this movie going in. I had seen the preview in the beginning of the year and actually thought it looked really funny. I chose to pass on seeing it in the theater and even when it came out on DVD I passed for a while, just recently seeing it this week! The film is very basic, a girl (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and asks her best friend (Kristen Wiig) to be her maid of honor and everything goes wrong and that's where the humor lies. However, there is very little humor in this film. Lets begin...

First off, Kristen Wiig plays one of the most unlikable characters I've ever seen. Her character used to own a bakery called "Cake Baby" and it went under because of the economy. She lives with these very odd British people who literally annoy the living hell out of me. Throughout the entire film all her character does is complain about shitty her life is. She constantly puts herself down and it is very clear she hates herself. Why should I care about this character? Even when she finds a guy she still shuts him down and then expects him to come back to her.

The film is also just one joke the whole time. The film is basically a battle between Annie (Wiig) and Helen (Rose Byrne). Annie has been Lillian's (Rudolph) best friend since childhood, Helen has only known Lillian for 8 months. So the joke is that they are trying to outdo each other, which begins with one of the most painfully slow scenes in the entire movie. The scene is people giving speeches at Lillian's engagement party and as the maid of honor Annie gives her speech then Helen gives a speech trying to outdo Annie and they go back and forth trying to get the last word in. The scene goes on forever and isn't funny at all.

The film also has a pretty damn disgusting and unfunny scene involving food poisoning. Annie takes the girls to some Brazilian restaurant and of course they all get food poisoning while doing dress fittings. This leads to a very stupid scene involving all the girls either throwing up on each other or shitting in a sink or in the street. The scene is trying to be funny but it just fails and comes across as the worst bathroom humor I've ever seen, simply because the writers (Wiig and some other co-writer) don't get what they are doing.

Overall the film tries very hard to be the female "The Hangover" and it fails on every single aspect. There were very few funny scenes in this 2+ hour film. The scene in the jewelry store between Annie and a teenage girl is pretty funny and the scene where Annie and Helen are trying to get the guy Annie shut down to come back to her with their car was pretty funny as well. Overall, the funniest thing in the movie was the character played by Melissa McCarthy, this actress is absolutely hilarious and sadly she is not used enough in the film. Another note I'd like to make is that other than Wiig and Byrne, none of the other characters are utilized much at all. Maya Rudolph is pretty much pushed off to the side and then the other characters have a few lines and that's pretty much it. The film tries too hard to be funny and simply isn't. How this film was nominated for Academy Awards baffles me, especially the nomination for screenplay!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rocky II (1979)

"Yo, Adrian! I did it!"

Not many sequels can outdo their originals but in my opinion "Rocky II" did just this. Rocky went down in history winning 3 Academy Awards including the Best Picture Oscar for 1976. So, by the time Stallone decided to make a sequel to his blockbuster role, America was very familiar the Italian Stallion.

Rocky II takes place over the following year after the original film. After Rocky heals up from the fight in the first film he quickly spends his money. Unable to do commercials like he thought because he has a hard time reading, Rocky finds himself strapped for cash. His eye injury from the original film also takes it's toll. But when Apollo wants a re-match (feeling that people thought he didn't actually win the fight), Rocky wants to feed his desire to fight.

Rocky II has much more going on than the original one did. The love story between Rocky and Adrian is continued and develops more. The character of Rocky is much more developed in this film showing that Rocky isn't exactly a "smart" guy. He runs out spends all his money on stuff that he doesn't really need. He can't read and ends up getting fired from doing commercials, and he becomes very selfish when Apollo challenges him. He puts his wife and unborn child off to the side just so he can do what he wants and in the end he pays the cost. However, after everything that happens with Adrian I just don't understand how she just changes her mind like that. It was so important to her before he slipped into a coma, but afterward she was just like "Win!".

The movie has a really cool running sequence to "Gonna Fly Now" which encompasses hundreds of kids running with Rocky as he makes his way to the art museum. And the ending of the movie is just as iconic as the ending of the original film. The "Yo, Adrian! I did it!" part is just as amazing as the "Adrian!" ending of the original film. It really shows that to Rocky his wife is the only thing that matters to him.

Overall, the film plays out much more entertaining than the original film and this is coming from a huge fan of the original. Even the fight at the end film is much more entertaining, it's a thrilling fight, and as most people probably thought, Rocky wins, but honestly when you see the end of the fight, you're seriously on the edge of your seat even though you're pretty sure he's going to win.