Bolt (2008)

Stupid cat.

Stupid cat.

Directed by: Chris Williams and Byron Howard (Howard also directed Tangled which I didn’t think much of)

Written by: Dan Fogelman and Chris Williams

Starring: the vocal cast of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton, Malcolm McDowell, Randy Savage, Nick Swardson, Diedrich Bader, Chloë Grace Moretz, James Lipton, Grey DeLisle, John DiMaggio, and Jenny Lewis

What it’s about: a dog raised on a TV show finds out that he has no super powers at all

B-Movie Alternate Title: The Dog Who Didn’t Know

Movie Mash Up: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey animated

What I liked: The animation is gorgeous – especially on Bolt – and some of the scenes that don’t involve any of the characters in the movie look like real life.  Well, the movies version of real life, I guess.  I absolutely love Jenny Lewis, and honestly, there’s no reason (except that the Oscars are bullshit political garbage) that her song wasn’t nominated in the Best Original Song category.  Really, TWO songs from Slumdog Millionaire were nominated?  Idiots.  Her song still brings a bit of the old glassy-eyed reaction out in me.  The characters were fun as well.

What I disliked: For some reason, the more times I re-watch this, the less impressed I am by it.  I still think it is a decent movie, but my enthusiasm for it has dulled since I originally watched it.  Personally, I would have rather had Chloë Grace Moretz as the lead voice like they originally recorded, rather than Miley Cyrus’ fucked up nasally cigarette-infused voice.  The movie just doesn’t impact me as much anymore, but I still want a dog.

Would I recommend it to anyone?: Sure, there’s nothing offensive about the movie at all, just an enjoyable easy-to-watch romp.

Rating: 3 / 5

That is pretty adorable right there

That is pretty adorable right there

Jack and Jill (2011)

I’ll bet you can guess what my feelings on this movie are going to be.  HINT, they’re a lot like my feelings on Bucky Larson and generally any “Adam Sandler movie”.  These movies generally offer nothing of any redeemable value, and oftentimes feature Sandler’s celebrity friends doing cameo appearances that are “fun” but generally just head-shakingly embarrassing for everyone involved.  In fact, I’m annoyed with myself at actually devoting time to not just watching the movie, but also writing up a hateful review about how terrible the movie was.  It just seems like such a waste of time to me, when I could be collecting Trophies on Uncharted 3 or smoking out by the ocean or Tweeting about stupid things.

Adam Sandler plays the two titular roles and oh my god how did it get past that stage of the script writing process?

0 / 5

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star (2011)

Sometimes you go into watching a movie with preconceived notions and are completely blown away by a movie not being what it was advertised as.  Just Friends is a great example of that, as it wasn’t just Ryan Reynolds in a fat suit, but actually a pretty funny and touching movie.  Bucky Larson was almost 100% exactly what I thought it was going to be, from the shitty acting to the unbelievable story to the atrocious fact that it exists.  Thankfully, audiences around the world proved that either Adam Sandler’s Midas touch is wearing off, or that the advertisements really did work and warned people about seeing this steaming pile of excrement.

Bucky Larson (Nick Swardson) is a naive small-town man-child who – upon discovering his parents (Edward Hermann and Miriam Flynn) were unlikely porn stars in the 70s – decides to move to L.A. and follow in their gross footsteps by becoming a star in nude movies.  Through completely unbelievable on this planet turns of events, he in fact does become a porn star, and lands the incredibly cute Kathy (Christina Ricci) as his girlfriend.

There is exactly one character in this movie that could potentially exist in the real world, commercial director Claudio (Mario Joyner), who recognises Bucky for exactly what he is, a hayseed with a dream and tries to help Bucky out.  Everything else is straight out of some mentally deficient ham-fisted screenplay writer’s junk food-fueled bad dream.  It is terrible and will probably become some sort of hit in home release, because when people can drink and smoke pot while watching movies, they tend to make bad decisions.  The only redeemable part of the movie was either a mistake in the version I saw, or an actual intended switch to a different camera or filter when Bucky actually became famous, and by no means is it a reason to put yourself through watching it.

Oh and Nick Swardson, I know you’re a talented funny guy, but now that I’ve seen your piece of shit movie, can you just call a duck a duck and admit that it was a misguided terrible effort all around?  Maybe not blame the movie’s poor showing on the horrible advertisements that was populated by the idiots in every Happy Madison production that was decided by someone in marketing as a great way to lure Adam Sandler’s fanbase into the movie, and actually accept that it was the cinematic equivalent of finding a rotting animal corpse on the side of the road?

Oh and Grandma’s Boy fucking sucked too.

0 / 5

30 Minutes or Less (2011)

The last time we saw Jesse Eisenberg in a Ruben Fleischer movie, we were treated to the somewhat uneven Zombieland, which was entertaining and rewatchable enough, as long as you ignore the whole last amusement park bit.  Since then, Eisenberg starred in last year’s excellent The Social Network in which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar.  Now one can argue long and loudly about whether or not Colin Firth deserved the win for The King’s Speech (he did, but I would have gone with James Franco in 127 Hours), but no one was denying that Eisenberg has great acting chops.  Which is why it was weird that he went and did this wacky heist movie.  At least he’ll always keep us on our toes.

The basic premise of the film is that Nick (Eisenberg) is forced by two not-so-bright dudes, Dwayne (Danny McBride) and Travis (Nick Swardson), to rob a bank for them.  The forcing comes in the form of a bomb vest strapped on Nick with the detonator in Dwayne’s greasy paws.  Nick enlists the help of his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) to pull off the heist, and since they’re both two bumbling man-children in ways, wacky hijinks ensue!  There’s a lot more to the plot than just what I typed, but I won’t spoil the fun details for you.

So it’s not a great movie, as most movies with Danny McBride tend to hinge on how you feel about him personally, and whether his brand of humour is actually a good fit in the film.  I’d say it works for 30 Minutes, but thankfully it’s not just him.  Watching Eisenberg and Ansari play off one another is entertaining enough, and while I can’t give the movie my highest recommendation, it does have its moments.

3 / 5