Archive for August 21, 2010

She’s Out of My League

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Kirk Kettner (Jay Baruchel) is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in his mid-20s who has low self-esteem and, by his own admission, has not accomplished very much in life. He works at the Pittsburgh International Airport as a Transportation Security Administration officer, and hopes of becoming a pilot one day. He tries to get back together with his self-centered ex-girlfriend, Marnie (Lindsay Sloane), who had ended her relationship with Kirk two years ago, but remained close with Kirk’s parents (Debra Jo Rupp and Adam LeFevre) and overbearing brother Dylan (Kyle Bornheimer), and continues to participate in family activities with her new boyfriend Ron. The movie opens where Kirk is rehearsing his “getting back together” speech to his three best friends who also work at the airport: Stainer (T.J. Miller), Devon (Nate Torrence), and Jack (Mike Vogel). Stainer is depressed by the speech, and tells Kirk he deserves way better. Jack advises Kirk to send the message to Marnie that since the breakup his life has been a nonstop parade of random sex with countless numbers of women, while Devon advises Kirk to just be who it is. When Kirk presents his personal speech to Marnie, she is highly dismissive of his continued romantic interests after his latest pursuit.

Then at work one morning, a beautiful woman, Molly McCleish (Alice Eve), arrives at the passenger terminal for a flight to New York. While proceeding through security, her striking looks attract unwanted attention and harassment from several male employees. Kirk is the only employee to treat her courteously: Kirk’s boss Fuller asks Molly to remove her shoes and belt to get a better look at her, but Kirk asks her to simply step through the frame to see if the alarm sets off. She walks through and no alarm sounds. Fuller then stops her and asks her to step over to the wanding area, claiming Molly had items which caused the wand to go off, but Kirk points out it was only his tie clip. Fuller then backs off, and Molly thanks Kirk for pissing off his boss for her. She then proceeds to her flight, accidentally leaving her phone in the airport security area. Upon realizing she has misplaced it, Molly calls her phone and Kirk, back at the security checkpoint, answers. The two arrange for a time to meet the following evening so that he may return the phone to her.

The following night, Kirk arrives at the Andy Warhol Museum where Molly, a professional event planner, is running a party. Devon accompanies Kirk to the Museum where Kirk returns Molly her phone. After returning the phone, both stay and met Katie, Molly’s sister. Katie then purposefully causes Kirk to spill his drink on the museum director and was asked to leave the museum for being uninvited for the party. Molly offered tickets to Kirk to the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game vs. the New York Islanders at the Mellon Arena as an apology. During the intermission, while Molly and Stainer go to get drinks, Molly’s friend and work partner Patty (Krysten Ritter) breaks some shocking and unexpected news to Kirk that Molly is into him. The next night at the bowling alley, Stainer, ranking-obsessed, tells Kirk that on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 meaning the most attractive and successful, he’s a 5, and Molly a 10, and that a relationship does not work if the difference is more than 2. Kirk then receives a call on his cell phone from Molly, whom to his greater surprise, asks him out. Prior to the date, while Katie is helping Molly pick out her dress for her date, Patti objects, claiming that she got hurt dating Cam, so she picks a guy like Kirk because he was safe and she wouldn’t get hurt. Molly simply states that Kirk is a nice guy. When Patti asks when Molly wants the “bad date bail-out call”, Molly says she won’t need it. Meanwhile the next day at the airport, Kirk shows up to work sleep deprived over the thought of him dating Molly. That night, Kirk and Molly go out for dinner at a fancy restaurant in Pittsburgh. Kirk’s nervousness only results in giggles from Molly. While having a conversation, Kirk notices a woman departing the restaurant without her jacket, and brings it to her. Kirk is mistaken by the husband for a waiter, as he pays him a couple dollars (Kirk wears a red jacket which looks almost identical to the waiters), but Kirk explains he doesn’t work there. On his way back to the table, Kirk lets a group of tough looking but non-intimidating men walk through the entrance. One of the men happened to be Molly’s ex-boyfriend Cam. After a brief conversation between the 3, Cam departs. After dinner, Kirk and Molly continue their date by going out for a walk around the downtown area, exchanging stories of themselves. Molly then receives a phone call, but sees it is Patti attempting to make the bail-out call, and lets the call go. When Kirk drops Molly off at her house, Molly kisses him. Kirk thanks her. The next day at work, Stainer is shocked to hear that Molly intentionally kissed Kirk, claiming the world is at a tilt. Molly then gets herself invited to Kirk’s family lunch. Her looks turn the heads of both Ron and Dylan, who invite her into the pool. Marnie and Dylan’s fiancé Deb are angered. During lunch, Molly discusses her work with Kirks family. After Ron and Marnie leave, Dylan and Kirk play slapshot regatta, which Kirk had promised to play in exchange for Dylan not embarrassing him. Kirk defeats Dylan for the first time.

That night in Molly’s house, while the two are making out, Kirk ejaculates in his pants, just before her parents arrive for a surprise visit. Attempting to conceal the ejaculate from her family, he initially avoids standing up but then quickly leaves to avoid Molly and her parents noticing what happened. The next day at work, Kirk and his friends are waiting for their shift to start. Marnie, whom is jealous and upstaged by Molly’s looks, takes an interest in Kirk again, claiming that she sees a change in him, and that she likes it, and proposes getting back together. Kirk says no, and Marnie walks away in disgust. Stainer shares his story about his relationship with Tina Jordan, and how he was a 6 and she was a 10, and that he wasn’t good enough for her. After making numerous comparisons about rankwise unbalanced couples, Stainer states the exceptions in all but one: Beauty & The Beast. Devon then advises Kirk to go up to Molly with confidence. At the airshow where Molly is working, Kirk approaches Mollys tent, where Molly lays down that her spending a whole day with her family, and him not even spending 30 seconds with hers was a red flag. Kirk then explains what happened, and Kirk and Molly are fine again.

During a date, Kirk suggested to Molly to throw a birthday party for her sister, Katie. During the party, Molly’s former boyfriend Cam tells Kirk that Molly has a defect and to avoid saying that she is perfect. After the party, both of them went to Molly’s place. Molly showed Kirk her webbed toes, which Kirk considers so minor that he decides that she is too perfect for him, and he breaks off the relationship. Kirk and Marnie resume their relationship and decide to go on the family trip to Branson.

When Kirk and his family go through security to depart for Branson, Stainer snatches a drink from Ron. He then tells Kirk that he has nothing mutual between any of his family members. Kirk says that he doesn’t want to go to Branson, but Stainer was right about him not being good enough, and proceeds to the gate to board the plane. While Devon gives Stainer a dirty look, Stainer sees the cup he had snatched from Ron was from the French Fry Factory where Tina Jordan worked. When Stainer goes over and asks her why their relationship never worked out, Tina claims that Stainer was plenty good enough for her, but not for himself. With this, Stainer realizes his mistake in telling Kirk that he is a 5 and his relationship with Molly would not work. He attempts to get Kirk off the plane, but Kirk refuses. While Stainer is being dragged off the plane, he shouts to Kirk that he is “a 10” too. Stainer then phones Patty, claiming that it was both his and her mistake for telling Kirk and Molly the relationship wouldn’t work, and pleads for her help by getting her to bring Molly over to the airport. Meanwhile, back on the plane, Kirk realizes his mistake, and gets out of his seat, declaring he would go find Molly and tell her he is good enough for her, whilst saying the f-bomb to all his family but his mom and Ron. His plane exit is shot down in flames when the flight attendant asks him to take his seat, and buckle up, and a $25000 fine would be required for her to reopen the passenger entrance. Kirk awkwardly retakes his seat. Back at the airport, Stainer and Molly rush to the gate, busting right through security with Stainers’ threatening words towards his boss who had been guarding the way. Stainer and Molly check the flights and discover that the flight to Branson has departed. Stainer then phones Jack, demanding that he stops the plane. The status on the flight is then set to delayed, as the plane captain announces that the plane is having mechanical problems, and they would have to de-plane. This angers many of the passengers, but Kirk, with great relief, rejects Marnie and rushes off the flight through the airport to find Molly. Marnie follows, initially in a pleasant tone, convinces Kirk to stay with her. When he takes off his Branson Bound shirt and throws it in her face and runs, Marnie is angered, and chases him. Kirk is sprinting down one conveyor belt, maneuvering around everybody. Marnie is running down another conveyor belt that is parallel to Kirks, and the same direction, but bumps into a man and falls down, giving Kirk time to get further away. Stainer phones Kirk, telling him that Molly is with him and they are in the opposite direction Kirk is running. Kirk turns around to the conveyor belt moving in the opposite direction. Marnie, however, is on the other side, sticking her arm out at chest height, knocking Kirk down, but Kirk gets back up and continues running. Marnie continues to chase him as he jumps on an airport cart. Marnie pulls an airport attendant in the back seat off. This causes tension, as the driver begins to speed, knocking over the popcorn stand. Kirk tricks Marnie into looking at certain people, then knocks her off the cart into a crowd of people. Kirk then finds Molly, and reunites with her. Later, as a surprise, he takes Molly on a trip in a small plane, with himself being the pilot; he has taken flying lessons.

PLOT:

I’m sure all of us guys at one time or another have had that girl that they felt was out of their league, whether they were just friends with them or actually had the good fortune to date them. This is the basis for She’s Out of My League.

Yes, this is a romantic comedy, but it isn’t one of those sappy ones. Often times, us guys could are in the mood for a little romance. Ok…I can’t say type that with a straight face. Most of the time, when we go see a film like this, it is usually a girl wondering why she’s with some guy and then there is all these pointless sappy drama stuff. Luckily, there is none of that here, except for enough to add some conflict to the plot.

The comedy in this film is great, but I would have liked for it to have been more. It seemed like they writer’s were holding back or were scared to put in a good joke here or there becuse *GASP* the audience might laugh.

Plotwise, as I said before, we get a nice story here, but I think there was too much time spent on trying to keep the two apart.  No wonder they felt like they should have been apart. It seemed like everyone was telling them to do so, until the last 5 minutes, of course.

The casting isn’t great, but it works. Jay Baruchel, as I said in my review for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, has the most annoying voice, but as a geeky, underacheiving loser, as this role calls for, he works. I still didn’t care for his whiny attitude. If  you had a girl that hot, would you be complaining and second guessing? I know I wouldn’t.

Alice Eve is perfect. As the hot chick, she works, and her chemistry with Baruchel is great. Not to mention, she appears to have awesome comedic timing.

The supporting cast of Krysten Ritter, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, and T.J. Miller all help (and hurt) the story. Without them, this film would not be half as good as it turned out.

Every year, there are one or two films that come out of nowhere and surprise everyone with how good or bad they are. She’s Out of My League is one of those pictures. When I first saw/heard about this film, I thought it was going to be another horrid comedy, but after watching it tonight, my preconceived notions were proven to be false. This is a really good picture. Now, it will probably be forgotten a year from now, except for Alice Eve’s rising star performance, but that doesn’t take anything away from its quality. Go check it out. It is definitely worth a look-see!

4 out of 5 stars

The Book of Eli

Posted in Action/Adventure, Drama, Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Thirty years after an apocalyptic event, Eli (Denzel Washington) travels on foot toward the west coast of the United States. Along the way, he demonstrates uncanny survival and fighting skills, hunting wildlife and swiftly defeating a group of highway bandits who try to ambush him. Searching for a source of water, he arrives in a ramshackle town built and overseen by Carnegie (Gary Oldman). Carnegie dreams of building more towns and controlling the people by using the power of a certain book. His henchmen scour the desolate landscape daily in search of it, but to no avail.

In the local town bar, Eli is set upon by a gang of bikers and he kills them all. Realizing Eli is a literate man like himself, Carnegie asks Eli to stay, although it is made clear the offer is non-negotiable. After Carnegie’s blind concubine Claudia (Jennifer Beals) gives Eli some food and water, Carnegie asks Claudia’s daughter Solara (Mila Kunis) to seduce Eli. Eli turns her down, but she discovers he has a book in his possession. Eli pacifies her with stern words, but offers to share his food with her. Before they eat, though, he has her pray with him. The following day, Solara prays with her mother. Carnegie overhears them and realizes Solara’s words were likely from the contents of the book he has been seeking. Through violence, he forces Solara to tell him Eli was reading a book. When he asks what kind, she says she does not know but forms a cross with her two index fingers. Carnegie realizes Eli has a copy of the Bible, the book he has been seeking. Eli sneaks out of his room and goes to the store across the street, where he had earlier asked the Engineer (Tom Waits) to recharge his portable battery.

Carnegie attempts to stop Eli by having all his henchmen shoot at him, but the bullets seemingly just graze him, as if he is being protected. Eli shoots most of Carnegie’s henchmen and hits Carnegie in the leg with a shotgun blast. After Eli leaves, Solara follows him and leads him to the source of the town’s water supply, hoping she can accompany him on his travels. Eli traps her inside and continues on alone. Solara escapes and soon finds herself ambushed by two bandits who attempt to rape her, but Eli appears and kills them.

Eli and Solara continue on until they arrive at a strange house. They stop to investigate and quickly fall through a trap door. The residents, Martha (Frances de la Tour) and George (Michael Gambon), invite them in for tea; however, the travellers are soon found by Carnegie. Eli, Solara, Martha, and George hole up inside the house. A shootout ensues, leading to the deaths of some of Carnegie’s men, as well as George and Martha. Eli and Solara are captured. Carnegie threatens to kill Solara, which prompts Eli to hand over the Bible. Carnegie shoots him in the stomach and leaves.

While in transit, Solara escapes and drives back to help Eli. Rather than chase her, Carnegie chooses to return to the town with the Bible, since his vehicle is running out of fuel. Solara picks Eli up and they continue west until they reach the Golden Gate Bridge. They then row to Alcatraz, where they find a group of survivors. Eli tells the guards that he has a copy of the King James version of the Bible, and they are allowed in. Once inside, they are introduced to Lombardi (Malcolm McDowell), the curator. Eli, who is revealed to be blind, begins to dictate the Bible from memory.

Meanwhile, back in the town, Carnegie manages to open the Bible with the help of his Engineer, but he is horrified to discover that it is a Braille copy. He is unable to persuade Claudia to read it for him. Carnegie’s leg wound has become septic, and he realizes he will die without making use of the Bible. Eli finishes dictating the Bible and dies from his wounds shortly thereafter. The printing press at Alcatraz begins printing the new King James Bible, after which Lombardi places a copy on the bookshelf between copies of the Torah and Qur’an. Solara is offered sanctuary in Alcatraz, but she instead chooses to head back home.

REVIEW:

Another week, another apocalyptic film. Ho-hum. No worries, though, I’m planning on staying away from this genre next week, unless Netflix screws me over and randomly picks something from my list because of the wait on the few that are on the top. It has happened before.

I don’t really know what to think about this flick. On one hand, I liked it, but on the other, I didn’t care for it. I mean, I knew it wasn’t going to be some bright happy picture, but this whole dark thing is a bit played out for me. I guess that is why more and more pictures are doing the whole schtick of one actor walking around by themselves and there is no music or anything before the film finally picks up and gets going.

While I’m thinking about it, this flick starts out with Denzel killing a cat. Now, I realize he has to eat and everything, but did he really have to kill a cat? Couldn’t the filmmakers have used a dog? I’m so tired of cats getting abused in film and society while dogs are all but worshiped! It just isn’t right. I also think it would have been more effective to use a dog. The way it was done, and then the way he shooed a cat later on in the bar made it seem like he was a cat hater. I was just offended by this whole cat hatred thing.

With that point aside, this whole plot is a bit confusing. It is kind of hard to figure out that is going on, but to sum it up, it is postapocalyptic times where they have burned all the bibles. Eli has the last one and Carnegie finds out he has it and will do whatever it takes to get it because he believes that whoever controls a bible can more or less control society.

With a film like this, I sort of expected more action, but at the same time, the fact that it didn’t have too much didn’t surprise me. I was pleased with Denzel kicking ass, but disappointed that as the film progresses he seems to lose his bad-assery.

The cast is actually pretty good. I’ve already talked about Denzel, but Gary Oldman does just as good a job with his role. Seriously, do we expect less from him? As the villainous Carnegie, though, he is ruthless, cunning, conniving, and delusional. Oldman really sells his character’s descent into madness.

Mila Kunis may be the weak link of this film. She doesn’t even seem to be trying here. If you saw her in the early day of That 70’s Show, then you may remember that she more or less sleepwalked through all her scenes. The same kind of thing is going on here, but she does make a believable daughter for Jennifer Beals, as they do sort of resemble each other.

The Book of Eli isn’t the best apocalyptic flick, but it does provide some food for thought. The religious overtones and strong casting really drive this film home. Sad part is, a film like Legion, which dealt with angels wasn’t nearly as powerful, mainly because it relied more on the special effects, as opposed to the acting. I can recommend this to everyone, but for me, the jury is still out. I don’t think I would rush to see it again, but seeing it for the first time was indeed a treat.

4 out of 5 stars