Archive for Alice Eve

Before We Go

Posted in Drama, Independent, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , on June 23, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Before We Go, the directorial debut of Chris Evans, follows the journey of two strangers stuck in New York City for the night. Starting as convenient acquaintances, the two soon grow into each other’s most trusted confidants when a night of unexpected adventure forces them to confront their fears and take control of their lives.

What people are saying:

“Slight and familiar but sweet enough for Saturday night, Before We Go is the umpteenth re-up of Brief Encounter, not that there’s anything wrong with that.” 4 stars

“Evans and Eve as actors get a passing grade, but Evans as director fails to find a thematic center worth sticking around to watch.” 2 stars

“I know it says “Romantic” but to me it was more than Romantic, it was about finding a friendship without being intimate. I loved the aspect that both Alice and Chris were there for each other. Two people that had never known each other detailing there most personal feelings. I am from a time that two people could fall in love without being intimate. Without giving away the ending had to be that way because even though she felt something for him she was still married. ” 5 stars

“A cliché but heartfelt romance movie. A good movie to watch with your significant other on a rainy night. The chemistry between the leads is apparent and for a Directing debut, Chris Evans gives a solid attempt at a slightly different take on classic Rom coms. If you do not enjoy long walking and talking scenes however, I would advise against this movie as this is a common story telling method throughout the film” 3 stars

“Equal parts drama and comedy, this one isn’t as predictable as you would think. I recommend it for a lazy rainy day or a before bed movie with minimal expectations. The two starts are both great. Good enough I would watch again.” 4 stars

Star Trek Into Darkness

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 2259, the starship Enterprise is on a survey mission to the planet Nibiru, studying a primitive culture. Captain James T. Kirk and First Officer Spock attempt to save the planet’s inhabitants from a volcanic eruption. When Spock’s life is endangered, Kirk violates the Prime Directive in order to save him, exposing the Enterprise to the native inhabitants, a decision with which Spock disagrees.

Returning to Earth, Kirk loses command of the Enterprise and Admiral Christopher Pike is reinstated as its commanding officer. Pike manages to convince Admiral Marcus to allow Kirk to continue as his first officer on the Enterprise, rather than being sent back to the Academy. Meanwhile, a secret Section 31 installation in London is bombed by a renegade Starfleet officer, Commander John Harrison. During a meeting of Starfleet commanders to discuss the situation, Harrison attacks in a jumpship, killing Pike. Kirk disables the jumpship, but Harrison uses a prototype portable transwarp transporter device to escape to Kronos, the Klingon homeworld, knowing Starfleet would be unable to follow.

Admiral Marcus orders the Enterprise to kill Harrison, arming them with 72 prototype photon torpedoes, shielded and untraceable to sensors. Chief engineer Montgomery Scott resigns his duties in protest when Kirk denies Scott’s request to examine the weapons for safety reasons. Pavel Chekov is promoted in his stead and Dr. Carol Wallace, a weapons specialist, joins the crew. Spock, Dr. Leonard McCoy and Uhura convinces Kirk it would be better to capture Harrison and return him to Earth for trial, rather than killing him.

En route, the Enterprise suffers an unexpected coolant leak in the warp core, disabling the ship’s warp capabilities. Kirk leads a deniable operation to Kronos in a confiscated civilian vessel. Approaching Harrison’s location, they are ambushed by Klingon patrols. Harrison easily dispatches the Klingons, then unexpectedly surrenders after learning the exact number of torpedoes locked on his location. On the Enterprise, Wallace is revealed as Dr. Carol Marcus, the Admiral’s daughter, who along with Dr. McCoy, opens a torpedo at the behest of Harrison, revealing a man in cryogenic stasis. Harrison reveals his true identity as Khan, a genetically-engineered superhuman awoken by Marcus from a 300-year suspended animation. Khan reveals his crew was held hostage by Marcus to force him to develop weapons and warships for Starfleet in preparation for a war between the Federation and the Klingons. Khan attempted to smuggle his crew out in the torpedoes he had designed, but was discovered. Believing Marcus had killed his crew, he instigated his attacks to avenge his family. Khan reveals Marcus had sabotaged the Enterprise’s warp drive, intending for the Klingons to destroy the ship after firing the torpedoes at Kronos, giving him a casus belli for war. Acting on information from Khan, Kirk asks Scott to investigate a set of coordinates within the Solar System.

The Enterprise is intercepted by a larger Federation warship, the USS Vengeance under the command of Marcus. Marcus demands that Kirk deliver Khan, but Kirk refuses. The Enterprise, with a hastily repaired warp drive, flees to Earth in order to report Marcus, however the Vengeance intercepts and disables it. Kirk offers to exchange Khan and the cryogenic pods in exchange for sparing the lives of his crew. Marcus refuses, transporting Carol Marcus to the Vengeance and ordering the Enterprise’s destruction. The Vengeance suddenly loses power, having been sabotaged by Scott, who discovered and infiltrated the ship during his investigation. With the transporters down, Kirk and Khan, with the latter’s knowledge of the warship’s design, space-jump to the Vengeance. Meanwhile, Spock contacts his older self on New Vulcan, who informs him that Khan cannot be trusted. After capturing the bridge, Khan overpowers Kirk, Scott and Carol, killing Admiral Marcus and seizing control of the Vengeance.

Khan demands from Spock the return of his crew in exchange for the three Enterprise officers. Spock complies, but had previously removed Khan’s frozen crew and armed the warheads. Khan betrays their agreement, crippling the Enterprise, however the Vengeance is in turn disabled following the detonation of the torpedoes. With both starships powerless and caught in Earth’s gravity, they begin to fall toward the surface. Kirk sacrifices himself by entering the radioactive reactor chamber to realign the warp core, saving the ship. Kirk succumbs to radiation poisoning, throwing Spock into a grief-stricken rage.

In one last act of defiance, Khan crashes the Vengeance into San Francisco to destroy Starfleet headquarters. Fleeing the scene, Spock transports down in pursuit. While experimenting on a dead tribble, McCoy discovers that Khan’s blood has regenerative properties that may save Kirk. Spock manages to subdue and capture Khan, and Kirk is revived. One year later, Kirk addresses a gathering memorializing the events, where he recites the “where no man has gone before” monologue. Khan is resealed in his cryogenic pod and stored with his crew, while Carol Marcus joins the crew of a recommissioned Enterprise, as it departs on a five-year exploratory mission.

REVIEW:

Let me preface this review with a very important statement, I am not a trekkie. My sci-fi franchise allegiance lies with the holy trilogy, before George Lucas decided to make them nothing more than a cash cow. That said, I do have respect for the phenomena of Star Trek and was somewhat looking forward to Star Trek Into Darkness.

What is this about?

This sequel returns much of the cast from the Star Trek feature released in 2009, breathing new life into the seemingly ageless space franchise. Led by the intrepid Captain Kirk, the Enterprise crew still includes Scotty, Spock and Chekov as well.

What did I like?

Characterization. In the last Star Trek, I don’t recall the characters being as similar to the original as they are in this one. For instance, Scotty has an exaggerated, almost Scrooge McDuck-like Scottish accent, Bones was spitting out metaphors, until ordered to stop, etc. I know that this irked some people, but I loved it! If you’re going to reboot something, you need to have nods to the original, and this is a good way to give the fans a little nugget of nostalgia.

Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch is a fast rising star. If you haven’t had the chance to see him in Sherlock, then you are missing out on a great show. I’m no fan of him as Khan, but as a villain he has the cunning, cruel streak that is pure evil, not to mention his voice, which has been compared to the likes of Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, and Alan Rickman, makes for quite the imposing antagonist.

Pacing. If you are an avid reader of this blog, then you are more than aware that I am a sucker for films that keep things rolling along. When things slow down, my ADHD kicks in and I lose interest, unless it is an older film that Is made in a different time, so pacing isn’t the same. I appreciate this film being almost non-stop action, slowing down just long enough to let the audience catch their breath and then ratchets right back up.

What didn’t I like?

Plot. The big selling point of this rebooted Star Trek universe is that it is new adventures that may be similar to things that have happened before. Well, this was not a new adventure, no matter what they try to tell you. My dad was a trekkie and forced me to watch Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan when it was either released or on TV. It is more than obvious that this is a blatant ripoff of that film. Many of the memorable parts are recreated, just with different characters, for instance, it is Spock that yells “Khan” and Kirk that ends up in radiation. They came up with a new villain for the first film, and Khan was eventually going to have to make an appearance, but damn…they could have done better than this.

Lens flares. When this was released everyone was complaining about the lens flares. A couple of times, it worked, but after a while it just got to be old and annoying, in the same vein as bullet time has become. What was J.J. Abrams thinking by using this technique so frequently?

Underwear. There apparently is a bit of a controversy surrounding the scene with Alice Eve in her underwear. I was expecting it to be some huge scene where she’s half-naked, but instead it is a quick shot where she’s changing clothes. Yes, it was out of place, but I’m not complaining. A little skin never hurt anyone. I really don’t get the backlash. No one said anything about the alien girls in Kirk’s bed. Also, I would much rather see curvy Alice Eve than anorexic Zoe Saldana in her underwear.

There are only a few other films that were as hyped coming into this year as Star Trek Into Darkness. Did it live up to the hype? Well, judging by the box office, you would say no, but audiences seem to have responded very positively to it. That being said, audiences expected more than what we got. I enjoyed and recommend it, but I can’t help but feel it is a bit of a step back from its predecessor. Give it a shot, though.

4 out of 5 stars

The Raven

Posted in Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , on November 18, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film opens in 19th century Maryland, where several Baltimore policemen are chasing after the screams of a woman in an apartment. The police arrive at the apartment to discover a woman sprawled on the floor. Detective Emmett Fields is called to assist in the investigation and discovers that the crime resembles a fictional murder in the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”.

Poe has fallen in love with the beautiful young Emily Hamilton and desires to marry her but faces opposition from her father Captain Hamilton. Poe is brought to see Fields for questioning and is horrified to learn someone is using his stories as the backdrop for a series of murders. Fields then proposes that Poe volunteer his services.

The two men are called to investigate the murder of literary critic Ludwig Griswold. Poe realizes the gruesome crime resembles a scene from “The Pit and the Pendulum” as Fields notices a red demon mask near the corpse. The two then deduce that the scene of the next crime will take place at Captain Hamilton’s annual masquerade ball.

Fields assigns several members of the Baltimore Police to go undercover as guests at the Masked Ball. A man on horseback dressed in a skeleton costume appears. Fields shoots the man only to learn he was an actor hired for the entertainment and receives an anonymous note. Poe then realizes Emily has been kidnapped. It’s revealed in the killer’s note that he will continue to commit murders and leave clues to Emily’s location. The killer then threatens to kill Emily if Poe does not start writing columns for the newspaper that describe the brutal combination of fact and fiction.

The local Medical School’s anatomy class discovers a live raven and the corpse of a prostitute in theatrical clothing. Poe and Fields investigate and deduce the scene resembles “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” except for one detail – the blood on the corpse’s hands was not an element of Poe’s story. The two soon learn the woman was an actress in costume as Lady Macbeth and rush to the theatre where the victim worked, demanding to see all the stage hands. All the stage hands are accounted for except for Maurice, a sailor on leave after his ship landed in Baltimore. Poe and Fields notice a mysterious figure running along the catwalks and pursue him but the figure escapes. Fields later makes an off-handed comment that the name of the ship Maurice arrived on is the Fortunato – which prompts Poe to realize the next murder will resemble “The Cask of Amontillado”.

Poe and Fields search tunnels under the city with several policemen and discover an area with fresh brickwork, an area that might be where Emily is being held. The officers smash through the brick and discover what appears to be a woman with blonde hair in the costume Emily wore the night she was kidnapped. But the body is revealed to be that of the sailor Maurice, who was dressed to resemble Emily after he was killed and buried in the niche.

Two clues are found on Maurice: a pocket watch that was stopped at 12:27 and then stuffed into his mouth, and a compass tattoo on his back with a mark on a certain point. Poe and Fields deduce these clues will give the location of Emily, and Poe realizes a church in Baltimore called Holy Cross is where Emily must be. Everyone races to the church but they find it locked. While attempting to break in, one policeman whose name is PC Cantrell shoots at the killer but the latter jumps from the roof and slits PC Cantrell’s throat. Poe and Fields hear the shooting and race to catch the killer who shoots Fields and incapacitates him. Poe takes after the killer in a horse race but the killer escapes. Poe walks back to the church where he meets up with Captain Hamilton, who finally apologizes for his treatment of Poe. Fields discovers an empty grave at the church that has Emily’s name written on a wooden cross.

Poe then decides to write a new column in which he tells the killer that he’s tired of this. People in Baltimore, while still enjoying the excitement of the murders, decide to burn down Poe’s house because they blame his stories for inspiring this bloodshed.

Poe then moves in with Fields because he no longer has lodgings. In the morning, the maid gives Poe both the newspaper and a letter from the killer. Poe deduces that the killer left the note on the doorstep the night before. Then, the paper boy came by and put the newspaper on top of the note after it stopped raining. Poe therefore deduces that the killer is someone who read his new column before it was published. Poe then assumes the killer is the newspaper editor.

Fields, meanwhile, is having surgery with no anesthetic to remove a bullet from his shoulder. The doctor uses a magnet to find the bullet in his flesh, an experience Fields later uses to realize that the ink the killer used in all his notes was magnetic. Since this is the type of ink used in newspaper printing, Fields later independently realizes that someone at the paper is the killer.

Poe reaches the newspaper office and finds the editor dead, with his hands separated from his arms and his body arranged at his desk as if writing a letter. In front of the editor is a note that reads, “Getting Warmer!”. Ivan congratulates him on finding him, and the typesetter explains that he missed Poe’s writing so much that he decided to make up a story of his own and then act it out in real life so that Poe would have to write about it.

Poe pulls out a gun but Ivan reminds him that Emily will die if he pulls the trigger. So Poe hands the gun over to Ivan and tells him that he can kill him if he will release Emily. Ivan gives Poe a vial of poison and tells him to drink it, so that he can keep talking to his “favorite writer” while the poison slowly kills him. Once Poe is too weak to go for help, Ivan tells Poe that he’s moving to Paris because he wants to do the same to Jules Verne. Poe learns that Ivan will be traveling under the name “Reynolds”.

Before Ivan leaves, he makes a reference to “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Poe realizes that Emily is buried under the floor beneath him. He breaks through the floor into the cellar and digs Emily out. The police get there and put Emily in an ambulance. Poe wanders off to a park bench to die. While he’s sitting there, a bearded man comes over and says he recognizes him as “Edgar Poe” the famous writer. That pleases Poe, but the poison has him so addled, all he can say to the man is “tell Fields his name is Reynolds”, which the man interprets as nonsense. Later, at the hospital where Poe is pronounced dead, the doctor tells Fields that Poe’s last words were unintelligible, that he had “said that Fields’ last name was Reynolds”.

Ivan is seen exiting a train station in France, and as he enters a carriage Fields greets him with a pistol. Then, Ivan jumps at Fields and a gunshot is heard.

REVIEW:

I can remember sitting in English Lit class and cursing the teacher for assigning us “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe. I look back on that time now and relish the fact that I was able to read them, because it, and some of Poe’s other works,  actually allowed me to understand some of the references made in The Raven. 

What is this film about?

After discovering that a string of baffling murders seems to be inspired by the macabre short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, Baltimore cop Emmett Fields turns to the brilliant-but-boozy author to help solve the crimes.

What did I like?

Setting. Some films can have you hooked from the first image you see. This film did a good job of catching the audience’s attention with the dark, steamy streets, horse-drawn carriages, and moonlight backdrop. That was just the beginning, though. With the added bonus of being set in this rather gothic time, it could really capitalize on the apparent dark tone.

Source. Kudos to the filmmaker for making Poe a totally different character than the real man was, while keeping a good part of biography intact. For all we know, this is what really happened in the final days of Poe, though I doubt it. I was also a fan of how the killer used Poe’s works as a basis for his murders. One has to really know your stuff to pull that off!

Thank you. In so many thrillers, it is obvious pretty much from the opening credits who the killer is. This film doesn’t make it so obvious. As a matter of fact, there were times when I thought it was someone who wasn’t even close to being the killer, nor did I pinpoint what I believed to be his motives. It isn’t very often that I say this, but it was good to be wrong!

What didn’t I like?

Poe. I give all the credit in the world to the screenwriters for keeping this version of Poe close to what is known about him, while leaving room for this guy to be a character. However, I can sit here and take John Cusack’s performance. I can’t comment on the Baltimore accent, because I don’t really know that there is one, but I can say something about his Nic Cage impression. Almost the whole film, I found myself pondering why they just didn’t get Cage if they were going to let him get away with this impersonation. Cusack even does some of Cage’s mannerisms. It is fascinating, yet disturbing.

Genre jumping. Remember those old Mounds/Almond Joy commercials where the jingle was “Sometime you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t?” Well, this film kind of has that with its genres. One minute it is a drama, the next it dabbles in horror, then it goes into thriller mode. At one point, it even tries a bit of comedy, but it quickly drops that, wisely.

Nevermore. Realizing that Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his poem “The Raven”, I can’t help but notice that with the exception of some fairly cool graphics going on the end credits, and a recitation in the early goings, there is no mention of that infamous work. I don’t recall seeing a raven past the early goings, which brings to question, why not just call this something else like Poe, for instance?

The Raven surprised me in that it was actually watchable. If this was just a thriller, I’d probably give it an enthusiastic rating, but the fact of the matter is, this is a thriller loosely based on the last days of Edgar Allan Poe. Anytime you use a historical figure, there is going be that extra bit of scrutiny. Other critics have said that this is like a 7 course meal, but the main course never gets there, which leaves you unsatisfied. I don’t totally agree with them, but I see the logic. I felt like this could have been so much more, but I will still recommend it as something that should be watched at some point in time, but no rush.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Men in Black 3

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

On July 16, 1969, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) apprehended the intergalactic criminal Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) at Cape Canaveral in Florida before setting up the ArcNet shield, which protected Earth from an invasion by Boris’ species and rendered them extinct forever.

In spring of 2012, 43 years later, Boris manages to escape from the Lunar Max prison facility on the Moon and arrives on Earth, intent on taking revenge on K – who took away his left arm during his arrest and locked him for decades. After investigating a spaceship crash in New York City, K deduces that Boris has sprung out of prison, and he regrets not having killed him back in 1969. He returns back to his apartment.

The next day, Agent J (Will Smith) notices that K is no longer in his apartment. He arrives at MIB headquarters to discover that K has been dead for over 40 years. Agent O (Emma Thompson) , the new Chief after Z’s passing and retirement (with his memory erased), deduces that there has been a fracture in the space-time continuum based on J’s insatiable craving for chocolate milk to ameliorate his headaches. J comes to the conclusion that Boris acquired a time-jump device and traveled back to 1969 to kill K, resulting in an inevitable invasion of Earth due to the absence of the ArcNet. J goes to Obadiah Prince (Lanny Flaherty) , a black market dealer who sold Boris the time-jump device, and acquires one of his own. As the time-jump device needs a certain amount of velocity to activate, J must jump off the Chrysler Building to make the time-travel. He travels to July 15, 1969 – one day before the incident involving Boris and Agent K.

Upon arriving at the timeline, J travels to Coney Island, knowing that Boris will be committing a murder based on the original incident report he accessed beforehand. However, a younger agent K (Josh Brolin) arrests him and has him placed in a larger, more primitive Neuralyzer. At the very last second, J convinces K to stop the process when he reveals the truth of his mission. K decides that he is telling the truth and takes him to the MIB headquaters, which is largely changed that it’s in it’s 2012 version. He also meets with a younger version of Agent O (Alice Eve). They eventually work together and follow Boris’ trail. Their clues lead them to a prescient alien named Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg) , who is in possession of the ArcNet. Being able to look into multiple probable future outcomes and scenarios, he warns the two agents of Boris’ impending arrival and hurriedly leaves the venue.

Based on the clues left for them, the Agents locate Griffin, who gives them the shield that has to be placed onto the Apollo 11 lunar rocket launch occurring in less than six hours. Upon arriving at Cape Canaveral, the two agents and Griffin are quickly arrested by military police. The Colonel (Mike Colter) in the scene, however, allows the two agents to carry on their mission after Griffin uses his precognitive power to show them “how important they are”. The Colonel shares a long look with Griffin, his demeanor immediately softens, and he seems to take a more personal interest in assisting Agents J and K in their mission. The reason for this is revealed shortly thereafter.

J and K arrive at the launch pad, but are confronted separately by both 1969 and modern-day incarnations of Boris. Modern-day Boris impales J with his spikes before they both fall off the pad; however, J uses the time-jump to travel back to the beginning of the fight and avoid the spikes before pushing the criminal off the pad into the fiery exhaust gases of the rocket. Meanwhile, as K battles the younger Boris, he ruptures a fueling hose, causing it to spray liquid nitrogen on 1969 Boris’ left arm and shatter it. K then successfully plants the ArcNet on the rocket, which deploys after reaching the Earth’s atmosphere. The Colonel congratulates K, who in turn invites him to join the agency.

As J watches from the distance, however, 1969 Boris emerges from the blast chamber and kills the Colonel before he changes into his true alien form only to be disintegrated by K within seconds. A young boy named James (Cayen Martin) exits a military van near their location looking for his father. He pulls the pocket watch out of his pocket revealed earlier in the movie to have been passed down to Agent J’s by his father. This reveals James to be Agent J as a little boy and the Colonel to be his father. Young James is slowly coaxed away from the gruesome truth by K while older Agent J looks on in sadness from a distance in realization that he just watched his own father die and that Agent K tenderly cared for and softened the blow to young James knowing who he was. Specifically, K neuralyzes young J/James, telling him that his father was a hero and a great man, then walks with him along the beach holding his hand.

J returns to the present day, where he meets up with his partner at the usual diner. There, he shows K his father’s pocket watch. The senior agent, in return, tells him it was an honor to have met him that fateful day. As they leave the diner, Griffin – who is a few seats away, tells the viewer that all is well with the world, except for an inevitable asteroid impact on Earth because K forgot to leave a tip. But when K returns to leave his tip, the asteroid collides with a satellite, thus avoiding the catastrophe.

REVIEW:

I remember when the original Men in Black came out and I was blown away by not only how different it was, but how it paid homage to classic sci-fi, and had some reflective moments, as well, which made it a high quality film. Some people weren’t so thrilled with Men in Black 2, but I liked it. Many years later, the men in black have returned for Men in Black 3, a film that many thought would never happen. So, the question is, should it have just been something fans of the series wished for or was it worth the long wait?

I can say with strong conviction that fans of this franchise won’t be disappointed, for the most part, but at the same time, there is just something that doesn’t feel right. I am chalking it up to the time between films, but I’m sure there are those out there that are going to say this was just forced into production, which it may very well have been, I’m just not going to use that as an excuse.

So, what did I like?

Josh Brolin. This guy nails Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K. Everyone has been blown away by his spot on interpretation of Jones. I know that I sure was.

What’s old is new. Yes, New York is a huge city, but there are only so many places you can fight aliens there. How do you solve this problem? Simple, just go back in time and Bam!….everything is new again.

Literal leaping. I found it kind of funny that in order to travel through time (they call it time jumping), J, or whoever, had to literally take a leap off a building to do it. It reminded me of the leap of faith from the Assassin’s Creed games, only without the eagle screech when he did it.

Celebrity cameos. In the previous films, and you may have missed this if you blinked, there were certain cameos of celebrities whom the tabloids claimed were aliens at one time or another, such as Sylvester Stallone and Michael Jackson, who actually has a small speaking role. This film keeps with that tradition, as we see Lady Gaga on that list twice. Come on, you know you can’t help but think she’s an alien!

Gone, but not forgotten. I am so glad they didn’t just random;y change the head of MIB. Well, they sort of did, but they wrote it in that he died, which wasn’t a bad way to go. I do have to wonder why he didn’t come back, though. May have something to do with his legal issues, more than anything else.

Not all roses. It isn’t very often that time travel flicks bring up the topic of race relations, but they make an attempt to bring it up here, if ever so briefly. Granted, 1969 was a lot better place as far as racial tensions go than 1869, but it still is a far cry from 2012. It was nice of them to touch on the topic, and since this is a comedy, they didn’t dwell on it too long, or make it a major point. It got just the right amount of attention.

What didn’t I like?

No more familiar faces. The worms were back, briefly, but what about Geebs and Frank? Was there really a need to not have them around? At least we got a glimpse of Frank, albeit a creepy one, in a giant photo that hangs over J’s bed.

Female agents. I honestly wonder if they brought in Emma Thompson/Alice Eve just to have a female agent, since the past couple of films have had the whole damsel in distress thing. The problem with bringing them in, though, is that they don’t really add anything, but rather just seem to be a pretty face that K had a crush on (yet she had no mention in either of the previous films, or the cartoon, if I”m not mistaken).

Emptiness. I wasn’t planning on seeing this in 3D, but traffic had me running late and I had no choice since I missed the start of the last 2D showing. I belive this will be the film that unseats The Avengers for the #1 spot (I’m hoping so…rather than that abomination of Snow White that is coming out next week starring Kristen no talent Stewart), but the theater was literally empty, with the exception of one family. A few people trickled in, but it was far from full.

Lost art of villainy. In the previous films, the major villain hasn’t exactly the most sympathetic of characters, especially Edgar. However, this Boris the Animal is nothing more than psychotic, overacting comic foil. Sure, he actually was fairly capable villain, but he was a bit too over-the-top for my taste.

Family ties. I don’t know, the whole thing in the last few minutes about the family thing seemed kind of forced in there. Yes, it is mentioned early on, but you would think that was nothing more than just something they randomly said. I wasn’t really a fan of them shoehorning in this back story of J, especially in the last 5 minutes of the film, and to top it all off, they made it seem as if K has been basically watching over him all this time. That could have been a good story, yes, but not for this film.

Men in Black 3 lacks the magic and whimsy of the two films the preceded it, but it still manages to keep the audience interested and entertained. I don’t know if it was worth spending the money to see in theaters, especially in 3D, but it is worth seeing. I highly recommend it. There aren’t too many films that come out today that are like this…lighthearted fun. So, sit back and enjoy the ride!

4 out of 5 stars

 

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