Monday, March 30, 2009

I Love You Man

I Love You Man - review by zackRelease Date: March 20th, 2009

Click here for the I Love You Man Trailer.

One of the first comedies of the new year, I Love You Man produces a comedic cast lead by funny men Paul Rudd(Role Models) and Jason Segel(Forgetting Sarah Marshall).

Peter(Rudd) is a mild mannered real estate agent who just proposed to his beautiful girlfriend Zooey(Rashida Jones, The Office). When the two of them begin to make arrangements, Zooey discovers that her new fiance Peter has no real and, as a result, no groomsmen and even no best man. Upon realizing this, Peter embarks on a mission to find a new best friend. After a series of "man-dates", Peter begins to loose hope. But when he is hosting an open house to sell the famous Lou Ferrigno's home, Peter meets Sydney. Sydney Fife is an investments dealer who has many opinions and is not afraid to show it. Sydney is the complete opposite of Peter and the two instantly hit it off. As Peter spends more and more time hanging out with Sydney, he slowly drifts away from his future fiance Zooey. It is only when Sydney questions Peter about why he is marrying Zooey that Peter begins to wonder that answer himself. And it is here that Peter must choose between his fiance and his new found bro.

This movie is hilarious. I'm serious, it is one of the funniest movies I have seen in a while and it kept me laughing out loud from start to finish. Directer John Hamburg, who did such comedies as Along Came Polly and Meet The Parents, hits the proverbial bulls eye with I Love You Man.Paul Rudd(Role Models) delivers one of his best performances as the mild mannered Peter who becomes hysterical when he decides to break out and cut loose with his new pal Sydney played by Jason Segel(Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Segel's character is charming, funny and very opinionated, but above all, he is a little whacked. One of the funniest things about the movie was the way Paul Rudd displayed the weird, quirky awkwardness of Peter. Sydney would continuously give Peter nicknames like "Pistol" and every attempt by Peter to do the same ended in some sort of nickname throw-up like Peters first attempt at a nickname "Jobin" which has absolutely nothing to do with anything. But it wasn't just these two front men that kept the laughs coming. This movie had an all-star cast of very funny people. Jamie Pressley(My Name Is Earl) and Jon Favreau(director, Iron Man) who plays Zooey's best friend and her husband add to the flame as the crazy married couple who seem like they hate each other but are really madly in love. Peter's parents, played by Jane Curtin and J.K. Simmons, are the typical embarrassing parents who have those traditional awkward moments that make the child wish he were dead. Andy Samberg(Saturday Night Live) plays Peter's gay brother, who also attempts to hook him up on some "man-dates" which do not end well. So the cast of comedians does one thing that some movies con not, keep the laughs coming. In most movies with more than one or two good comedians, the actors tend to shadow each other or steal the show. The flow doesn't seemed balanced, like the performers are trying to out do each other. However, in I Love You Man, the laughs are spread out among the entire cast and each one has a different flavor to bring. It's kind of like mixing all of the flavors in the soda fountain together in one cup, except it tastes good. Even the Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Feriggno, makes an appearance. I do not think I can express how truly funny this movie is. The style of comedy is so different from some of the lame attempts in today's cinemas.

I can't recall any major flaws about this movie. The only thing I could count as a flaw or negative was that some of the premises in the movie are made to make the characters feel awkward, but, do to the extreme weirdness of them, make the audience feel awkward at the same time. There are many points in the movie when I was watching when I put my head down from embarrassment and I wasn't even in the movie. But other than that this movie was spot on. A definite comedic work of art that will certainly bring joy and outrageous laughter to anyone who watches. I Love You Man gets 9 Man-Dates out of 10.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Knowing - review by ZackRelease Date: March 20th, 2009

Click Here for the Knowing Trailer.

The year is 1959 and it is the grand opening of William Dawes Elementary School. In commemoration of the event, a group of students are asked to draw pictures of what they think the future will look like. Some students draw spaceships, others draw robots, but one girl does something very different. Little Lucinda Wayland furiously covers her paper from corner to corner with numbers. Fifty years in the future, a new group of students opens the time capsule and each student receives an envelope to open and explore. Lucinda's paper ends up in the hands of Caleb Koestler. When Caleb takes the paper home, his astro-physicist father, John Koestler(Nicholas Cage). That night, John deciphers the numbers and realizes a frightening thing; the numbers predict the day, month, year, casualty number, and exact location of every disaster over the last fifty years. But there are three occurrences that have yet to happen. When mysterious men keep showing up and harassing John and Caleb, John slowly begins to realize that the last disaster on the list is one on a world-wide scale and that him and his son are somehow involved. With the help of Lucinda's daughter Diana(Rose Byrne) and granddaughter Abby, John embarks on a mission to prevent these disasters from occurring.

One of the first suspense films of the year and one that was on my top summer movies list, Knowing was a movie I was excited for. I happy to say that my excitement was not in vain. It begs the timeless question "Is it better to know the future?" The movie started off slow, but in a good way. It started with the emergence of the mysterious numbers and a very creepy little girl. First of all, little kids in movies like this are always creepy, and this one was no different. When the numbers reached the hands of Nicholas Cage, the story really started to unravel and pick up the pace. The whole scene of Cage discovering what the numbers mean, was very intense. As Cage furiously scrolled through disaster after disaster, matching each one with a sequence of numbers. After Cage realizes that there are three sets of numbers which have yet to happen, he realizes he has to do something.

This movie isn't short on action or suspense. The entire movie is like one big suspense ride that always has you saying "Whats going to happen?" It also has its fair share of twists. When Cage's character shows the numbers to his friend, they realize that there are some numbers after the dates that are unused and only realize later what they mean, which may become obvious to some but will leave others, like myself, saying "Ohhhh, that makes sense." There is also the mysterious men that keep appearing. These men, who have ghostly pale complexions and dress in all black, randomly appear throughout the movie, making contact with Cage's son. But its not until the three future events start to happen that the action goes into overdrive. The first event happens when Cage is on his way to pick up his son from school. A traffic jam on the highway from a car wreck leaves Cage wondering if this is the event. When he goes to investigate, a plane falls from the sky, crashes into some power lines, and finally erupts into a massive fireball upon hitting the ground. The special effects delivered by the plane crash were pretty impressive. In fact, most of the special effects left me going "whoa." One of the craziest things was after the plane crashed. Nicholas Cage goes to look for survivors and finds people coming out of the wreckage covered in flames and screaming in agony. The only bad part about this scene was that the fire on the debris and plane was very unrealistic. You could clearly tell the fire was animated not just by looking at but by the Cage's reaction to it. At some points he would just reach in or over the fire without any reaction, basically acting like the fire wasn't even there.

The action continued with a subway train coming off the tracks and slamming head on into another train on-loading passengers. This kind of action and suspense was common throughout the whole movie which definitely kept the audience attracted. But,despite my dreams of a movie being perfect, this movie does have some flaws. One of my biggest flaws with the movie was the role of Cage's son, Caleb. The character was fairly young, elementary level. Now, the bad thing was that the kid was trying to act more mature than his age. He talked and acted like he was trying to be an adult which, for me, made me look at him and say to myself "Shut up and stop trying to act older." I also had a problem with the acting done by Rose Byrne, who played Diana Wayland. Her acting was way over the top and reminded me of a bad soap opera. There was a particular part in the movie that was a dramatic part and Byrne pretty much ruined it with sporadic an hysterical screaming which did not sit right with the scene.

This movie also tried to add a sci-fi/religious aspect to the purpose of the disasters which, for me, never became clear as to which it was, either sci-fi or religious. On the one side you have Nicholas Cage's character who is the atheist alcoholic son of a preacher. He does not believe in Heaven, Hell, or God. Then you have Lucinda Wayland, the author of the numbers. While we never see her after the very beginning, due to the fact she is dead when you move to present times, you do travel to the place of her death, a small trailer in the middle of nowhere. Upon investigating the trailer, Cage finds a picture on a wall along with articles of all the disasters. The picture is that of a story from the Bible, out of the book of Ezekiel. It is the image of a man receiving a prophecy from God. While you have these religious aspects, Cage's character adds sci-fi parts, typically with life on other planets. He talks to his son about other planets and aliens, and at the end of the movie, you find out that the mysterious men are something other than human.

But, despite these minute negatives, this movie was very good. It was directed well, the special effects were excellent and the acting was good for the most part. If you are looking for a good suspense/action/thriller/sci-fi movie, or are a huge Nicholas Cage fan, then you should definitely check out Knowing. It has a good and interesting plot and enough suspense and action to satisfy even the hardcore action fans. I give Knowing 8 Horrible Disasters out of 10.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Watchmen - review by ZackRelease Date: March 6th, 2009

Click here for the Watchmen Trailer.

"Who Watches The Watchmen?"

Another movie by director Zack Snyder(300) that was derived from a graphic novel. Watchmen is a mystery story set in an alternate 1985 America. Nixon is President, we win Vietnam, and masked superheroes are a part of every day life. Although these superheroes do not actually have real powers, they are all kind of like Batman, no powers but they all fight really good.

It is 1985 and superheroes have been a part of society for many many years. But now, they are all normal people in society since Nixon made wearing a mask illegal. But when a hero is brutally murdered, an outlawed but determined fellow superhero named Rorschach sets out to find the truth, a deeper plot slowly begins to unravel. Rorschach begins to see a plot to eliminate any all masked superheroes, past and present, and discredit all of them. The group of heroes, known as The Watchmen, one and only job was to protect humanity, but while they watch over humanity, who watches the Watchmen?

Since this movie is directed by Zack Snyder, who is the visionary director of 300, another graphic novel turned into a big screen sensation, you know that the visual direction will be stunning, and that is exactly what it is, stunning. Since it is a superhero movie, the feel also has to be above normal. The way the movie is shot has a very gritty feel. A lot of the scenes in the movie take place on the streets of the city at night. So scenes are made to look really dirty and real. The acting was also good. Each of the characters played each part differently. One one side you have the typical cliche hero in Night Owl(Patrick Wilson) who just wants everything to be good and and try's to handle every situation calmly and without harm. Then you have the Comedian(Jeffery Dean Morgan). The Comedian definitley blurs the line between hero and villain. Although the comedian works as a Watchmen, he continually does horrible things, like murdering a Vietnamese woman carrying his illegitimate child or the beating and attempted rape of a fellow superhero. The Comedian actually takes pleasure in others people's suffering. The main character you follow through most of the movie, Rorschach(Jackie Earle Haley), is one of the most interesting characters I've seen in a superhero movie. Even though wearing a mask is against the law, Rorschach still wears a potato sack-like mask with moving ink blots on them that resemble the ink cards of psychiatrist. Rorschach is another hero that blurs the line between hero and vigilante. He will do whatever is necessary to get the job done and his character is definitley my favorite. There is also the mysterious Dr. Manhattan(Billy Crudup). Once a normal physicist, a tragic accident transformed a man into Dr. Manhattan, a glowing blue, interstellar being with the power to make things do whatever he wants. The only problem with Dr. Manhattan's character is that he likes to walk around naked. Now, this isn't such a bad thing if it is kept in moderation. However, Dr, Manhattan likes to flash his, shall we say, "downstairs friend", a lot. In any scene where he is not out in public, you get a good look at Dr. Manhattan's package. Other than that, I have no real flaw with this movie. Visually it is beautiful and it has major action. The fight scenes in this movie are incredible. Since the superheros have no super powers, they need extreme fighting skills, and that is exactly what they have. The combat in this movie is some of the best and brawliest I have seen in a superhero movie and rivals the extreme combat found in movies like The Matrix

Overall this is by far my favorite movie of the new year. It has everything you could ask for in a superhero movie. I give Watchmen 10 incredible crime fighters out of 10.