Monday, September 3, 2007

Movie Review Monday

Let’s face it, as far as Minnesota sports go, we’re in quite a bit of a rut. The Twins are all but eliminated from the playoffs, the Timberwolves traded away the best player in franchise history, the Vikings are being picked to finish last in the NFC North, and the Gophers just lost to Bowling Freaking Green. I don’t know about the rest of you, but personally I cope with all of this by trying to escape from reality. The best way I know how to do that is to watch movies. So, on this lazy Labor Day morning, here are some reviews of films that I have recently seen.

First up on the list is a movie that I can’t praise enough. Most of you probably remember the cartoon and toys from the 80’s. Well, thanks to great advances in technology, our favorite Autobots and Decipicons have been brought to life on the big screen. Without giving away too much, the story revolves around a quirky high school kid named Sam Witwicky (played by Shia LeBeouf). Like most kids his age, Sam is obsessed with getting a car. When he finally raises enough money to buy one, he doesn’t choose a car so much as it chooses him. As one might expect, his car is actually a robot. From there, the story runs through the gambit of war, friendship, romance, and a bit of humor. Is the story a bit predictable? Sure. Did I (or most others that have seen it) care? No way. The special effects in this movie are absolutely outstanding, the actors are superb (especially the super hot Megan Fox, who plays Sam’s love interest), and, well, it’s the freaking Transformers brought to life. What more could you ask for?


Old School, Wedding Crashers, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, any other movie featuring Vince Vaughn and/or Will Ferrell. Are you a person that enjoyed these movies? Then you absolutely have to see Superbad. Twice. It’s your typical raunchy teen comedy, but the three main characters, Seth, Evan, and Fogell/McLovin, are played brilliantly by Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, respectively. It’s not the most creative or brilliant story line. After all, it’s not too hard to come up with a story about teenage boys who want alcohol and sex. But the fast talking Hill, deadpan Cera, and hilariously awkward Mintz-Plasse create characters that are second to none. I’m not going into much detail about the movie, but trust me; you need to see this movie. I also recommend a second viewing, just because you’ll miss some lines the first time around.

Wild Hogs

My roommate (and fellow TKOT writer), Tank, convinced me that it was a good idea to watch this movie. Ever since I saw the first commercial for it, I knew that I wanted nothing to do with it. When it came out on DVD, I didn’t even consider renting it for a second. But on a lazy Sunday afternoon about a week ago, I got suckered in. I talked myself into believing that there was no way this movie could be as bad as I thought it was going to be. I mean, the list of actors in it is amazing: John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy, Ray Liotta, and Marisa Tomei. That’s quite the ensemble. So I figured that, while it wouldn’t be a great movie, it wouldn’t be absolutely terrible either. I was wrong. This movie is dreadful. The forced, lame attempts at humor are awful. The actors all over acted. The storyline (four middle age guys go on a road trip on their motorcycles and run into all sorts of trouble) is not only implausible, but simply a bad idea to start with. Unless someone is paying you a large sum of money, do not waste your time with this flick. You’ll thank me when you have those extra two hours of your life that I have now lost to this travesty.

Blood Diamond

I’ll be honest here, I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I know it was critically acclaimed and won and was nominated for a ton of awards. But I’ve never been a big Leo DiCaprio fan, and watching him try to pull off a South African accent didn’t seem like a lot of fun to me. For the second straight review, I was wrong. This movie is awesome. I thought I’d be distracted by the accent the entire time, but that wasn’t the case. Leo and Djimon Hounsou were fantastic as the lead characters. However, it wasn’t just the intensity of the actors and the action of the civil war that was being waged in Sierra Leone that made this movie great. It was the eye opening awareness that engulfs the viewer as the story unfolds. I think far too many people have no idea about what is going on in other parts of the world, and how it affects us. The plot deals with the aforementioned war between the government and rebels, all over who has control of the diamond fields of western Africa. As the war rages on, we get to see the development of an odd partnership between a diamond transporter (DiCaprio) and a local man trying to reconnect with his family after being enslaved by the rebels. I won’t tell you any more than that, but if you have the time, I highly recommend that you watch this movie.

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