The Sitter

Posted: December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Sitter

Grade: C-

 

Don’t you love those comedies where in the end, everyone involved learns a lesson and changes their wicked ways…kind of like every Adam Sandler movie ever made.  Well, if you do then this is the movie for you!  I hated it.  I would have given this movie a D, but there were a few laughs and it was more entertaining than any of the Twilight movies.

The Sitter stars Jonah Hill as Noah Griffith (aka The Sitter) who is a down on his luck former college student still living at home with his single mother.  When the mom gets setup on a blind date, it’s up to Noah to babysit some kids that belong to a neighbor and this is the key to the blind date setup.  Seems a bit of a convoluted way to get an adult to babysit, but I’ll go along with the party at this point.

While babysitting, Noah receives a call from his “girlfriend” who asks him to come to a party, receive sex and bring drugs.  So, in Noah’s mind, why not bring 3 kids along too.  Naturally at this point in the movie, high jinks ensue.  The story takes place in New York suburbs and the city itself, so as a viewer we are then asked to believe in an area of over 10 Million people, that the same group keeps running into each other over and over and over….  At one point, I was confused about the characters.  A new love interest was introduced, but I thought she was the same girl that carjacked the minivan from a valet.  Yup, carjacked a minivan from a valet.  This is that kind of movie.

The gross out humor is there, but not delivered very well.  I think the humor in this instance actually did a disservice to the movie.  If the female oral sex and poo jokes were left off the table maybe the writers, Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka, could have had more room to be a bit more creative.  Pendulums swing both ways, if the humor were even grosser, perhaps the jokes could have worked.  Instead we are left with humor-less mind numbing jokes ripped straight from a stand-up comedian’s first night at an Open Mic Night.

The best performance comes from an unexpected source, that being from young Landry Bender playing the part of Blithe.  She was funny and made her character believable making fun of the Paris Hiltons and Kardashian’s.  She is a girl ready for a party, but no party to go to.

Feel free to skip this movie, especially during this time of year.  There are so many better options especially with us being in the middle of awards season when studios release the very best they have to offer.  I feel the studio found a weekend where a comedy wasn’t being released hoping to capitalize on their profits.  The movie would not have stood a chance of making money during the summer.

J. Edgar

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

J. Edgar

Grade: C

The film that I am going to review for you this week is brought to us by a powerhouse director and delivered by a cast that holds more star power than Andromeda.  J. Edgar is a biopic of J. Edgar Hoover, who was the head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years before dying in office in 1972 at the ripe ol’ age of 77.  In the film, director Clint Eastwood takes the script written by Dustin Lance Black and brings us up close and personal to the controversial former head of the FBI.  Was he abusing his power? Did he have mommy issues?  Was he gay?  Eastwood tackles each of these potentially career ending secrets with great care, making no apologies or explanations of why the stoic Hoover acted the way he did.  Leonardo DiCaprio leads the cast, as John (call me Mr. Hoover!) ranging in age from 24 to his death at 77.

The story begins with Hoover already in office and works in flashbacks as he is dictating his biography to several different FBI agent scribes.  Early on it becomes a question of Hoover’s honesty.  Did he truly work for the people as he claimed, working feverishly trying to protect the public and the Lindbergh Baby, or was he simply embellishing his stories to he could become a comic book hero?  Along with Hoover is Clyde Tolson, who was Hoover true life partner.  Tolson, played brilliantly by Armie Hammer, takes the number 2 spot in the FBI and maybe the number 1 spot in Hoovers heart.  This is the main crux of the movie, the hidden love story between Hoover and Tolson.  This seemed to be one of the worst hidden secrets in Washington DC at the time.  Hoover created secret files on members of the political world to not only advance his career but perhaps keep his personal life out of the papers.

This movie is clearly aimed at the members of the Academy, going out of its way to be considered an EPIC Biopic.  Unfortunately it falls far short.  In the beginning of the film, Eastwood’s use of the handheld camera makes it seem like a bad version of Blair Witch, only with StediCam.  The camera never stops moving for the first half hour, to the point of being distracting.  DiCapro is pulling out all the stops, and sadly he is using the same playbook from The Aviator.  Some of these scenes could have been copied and pasted from his performance as Howard Hughes.  In the scenes with his mother, played brilliantly by Judi Dench, DiCapro is less stoic and more creepy, almost Psycho like.  Norman Bates would have been proud.

The first and second acts never take the time for the audience to breathe.  I don’t think the broken timeline works here, at times the timeframe becomes confusing and it disconnected me from the film.  Maybe the use of on screen graphics to tell me the years would have helped.  I don’t know where the reported $35 Million budget was spent, but clearly not on special effects or make-up.  DiCapro aged to look like an older Hoover looked as if Johnny Knoxville from Jackass did the make-up.

Around the one hour and fifty minute mark, the movie finally starts to make strides and become interesting.  When Clyde develops a health issue, we then see Hoover become truly vulnerable, I just hate it took so long.  The first hour and fifty seem to be simply hitting the highlights from a history book.  Lindberg baby, check.  Fingerprinting, check. Being a librarian at the Library of Congress just to later impress a girl….check?

The supporting cast is brilliant; the score properly sets the mood…only Eastwood and DiCapro fail to get this movie off the ground.  I was truly looking forward to this film, this is a point of American history that I love to watch especially with the gangsters of the era like Bugsy and Dillinger.  This would have been a better and more focused film if Eastwood would have been selective with the content he attempted to cover.  I give this movie a disappointing C.

A Lil Bit of an Introduction

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hello Dear Reader,

 

I’ve never “blogged” before, but I felt like I need a creative outlet to help get some of my juices flowing.  I am going to use this blog for several purposes.  Mainly, I will be using this as an outlet for me to get my movie reviews out in a longer form format.  In the past, I have used Facebook, normally using only a sentence or two followed by a letter grade.  Here, I will expand on this and hopefully you’ll enjoy either my review or making fun of my review.

I will also use this blog as a chronicle of my lifestyle change.  No, not turning gay yet, however if my wardrobe gets any bleaker I’ll consider it.  I am a truck driver and I have no desire to drive a truck.  It’s been a long strange trip getting to this point in my life and I would like to back-track a bit on my career front.  I do not dislike my job or the people who do my job, but I wouldn’t want to be a politician either.  Previous to driving a truck, I worked in the news business as a videographer.  I was much more satisfied as a photog and I plan on making some lifestyle and financial changes to get back to using my creative side a bit more.

I will keep this introduction short for now, Jeopardy on the DVR is calling my name.

I doubt that I will have any new movie reviews for a week or so, there just isn’t any opening nationally this week that I have any desire to see.  I will post a review that I wrote about J. Edgar shortly.

 

‘Till next time Dear Reader,

SR