Archive for Rainn Wilson

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!

What people are saying:

Smurfs: The Lost Village is a mediocre effort that nonetheless succeeds in its main goal of keeping its blue characters alive for future merchandising purposes” 3 stars

“The acknowledgment that it is aiming solely for the kiddie audience this time around at least makes it slightly more palatable than its predecessors.” 2 stars

“I don’t understand why every kids movie has to be drowned in feminism. The far left in Hollywood are relentless in pushing these worn out themes down our throats. Sony can’t stop violating every adults fond memories of the 80’s (Ghostbusters, Karate Kid, Annie, Smurfs). The voice acting was bad and the movie isn’t funny.” 2 stars

“A direct-to-video feel with a generic plot. Despite the big name voice cast, the movie spends too much time trying to promote girl power than being an actual Smurfs movie.” 2 stars

“The animation is great but the film is a little boring with no real plot line. The problem with the Smurf films is the studio hires uninspired filmmakers for the property. The original Tv show was clever and the characters were fun, this film just goes through the motions of a very simple storyline. This was better than the first 2 films but it isn’t by a huge stretch, I can only hope with the films poor box office the film is handed to another studio to produce. Sony is having a mixed year with films and this was another poor reboot, Spiderman Homecoming proved reboots do work for studio but that was more thanks to Marvel Studios being involved. Uninspired film that fails to garner interest in a critically poor franchise.” 1 1/2 stars

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Cooties

Posted in Horror, Independent, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

When a cafeteria food virus turns elementary school children into killer zombies, a group of misfit teachers must band together to escape the playground carnage. The film stars Elijah Wood (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings), Rainn Wilson (“The Office”), and Alison Pill (“The Newsroom”) as teachers who fight to survive the mayhem while hilariously bickering in an uncomfortable love triangle on the worst Monday of their lives.

What people are saying:

“Just stupid! Elijah Wood must be hard-up for work to take this role. 10 year old kids (4th grade) using awful language. Gore abounds and the brief attempts at humor (it’s billed as a comedy) are so lame! I found no “sanving graces” in this film. The rental company (who do not allow their name to be used in “reviews”) said their “best guess” for my rating would be 3.2 stars. Not even close!” 1 star

“I had a lot of fun watching this movie. The jokes were funny, the scares were scary, and the gore was gory. Pretty much what it says on the tin, an altogether satisfying film.” 4 stars

“Fun premise, but dumbed-down script with very few laughs. I *hope* they were going for the look and feel of a 1980’s B-movie. What I liked were the zombie kids – pretty disturbing as a concept and the young actors are pretty creepy as a swarm of zombies. But the story of survival just keeps looping around on itself as the teachers try and find a way out and the ending is not satisfying at all….it just ends. Save for the presence of some good comedic character actors, this just felt rushed and cheap.” 2 stars

“As it stands cooties is neither scary nor funny. It’s a bad zombie movie as well with being a bad horror comedy. The movie has a good cast with a few somewhat entertaining performances, but the script is awful and the story goes nowhere. The Gore is over-the-top fake looking and ridiculous.” 1 1/2 stars

“This is watch it by your self late at night trying to fall asleep movie. Nothing really good or too bad about it. Has some funny parts but other times you wish it was more of a 40 minute single tv episode and have it get to the point.” 2 1/2 stars

Sahara

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on August 10, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

While investigating a deadly water-borne epidemic along the Nile River, adventurer Dirk Pitt uncovers a secret dating back to the U.S. Civil War and battles an evil industrialist bent on killing every living thing in the world’s oceans.

What people are saying:

“Sahara was a surprise find by my wife at a garage sale. Expecting the worst, it turned out to be about the best knock-off of a James Bond film that we have seen, so well done, and with its own plot (though with a few scenes right out of actual Bond films), that if someone had told us that it was put out by the Bond people to inject new blood into the mix, or to rejuvenate “the Franchise”, we might have believed them for a few moments.” 3 stars

“Despite the vast beauty of location settings in Morocco and Spain, the vast lack of chemistry between the two stars is appalling.” 2 1/2 stars

“This is a silly fun movie with a world class cast. Look it’s not a drama, so lighten up. McConaughey and Zahn are well matched. And in Wilson, Macy and the lovely Miss Cruz and you have fun. Good sound track beautiful locations. Give it a try. ” 4 stars

“Sahara was just like sex with a cactus, a terribly painful and scarring experience, but for some reason, I just couldn’t stop.” 1 1/2 stars

“Road to Morocco meets James Bond. A movie with fun written all over it. While an iron clad taking down a modern assault helicopter is a bit of a stretch (even for this movie), Sahara is a personal favorite that delivers on many levels: star power, love story and a happy ending. Two adventurers and a WHO doctor battle an evil warlord and corrupt solar power corporation on their way to finding an ancient civil war ironclad and source of a mysterious illness. Good cinematography, music and clever writing. Stand out performance by William Macy.” 3 1/2 stars

Super

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film opens with short-order cook Frank D’Arbo (Rainn Wilson) telling the audience of the only two good memories he’s had in a life of disappointment: marrying his beautiful wife Sarah (Liv Tyler), and an incident in which he directed a police officer to catch a purse snatcher. Frank immortalizes these two events in a pair of crayon drawings he hangs on his wall for inspiration.

Later on, Sarah, a recovering addict, leaves Frank for Jacques (Kevin Bacon), a charismatic strip club owner who gets her hooked on drugs. Frank sinks into depression, where he has a vision in which he is touched by the hand of God and meets the Holy Avenger (Nathan Fillion), a superhero from a public-access television show on the All-Jesus Network who tells Frank that God has chosen him for a very special purpose. Frank believes that God has chosen him to become a superhero and goes to a local comic book shop for inspiration. His claim that he is designing a new superhero meets with enthusiastic appreciation from the foul-mouthed store clerk, Libby (Ellen Page). Frank creates a superhero costume and assumes the identity of “The Crimson Bolt”. Armed primarily with a wrench, he begins to fight crime by delivering savage beatings to various rule breakers ranging from drug dealers and child molesters, to a man who cuts in line at the movies. The Crimson Bolt soon becomes a media sensation. Initially, the media views The Crimson Bolt as a violent psychopath, but he begins to gain public appreciation after the criminal backgrounds of many of his victims come to light. Frank later attempts to rescue Sarah, but Jacques’s thugs recognize him under the costume and shoot Frank in the leg while he flees.

A wounded Frank goes to Libby for help, as his home is no longer safe with Jacques’s thugs looking for him. Libby cajoles Frank into letting her become the Crimson Bolt’s “kid sidekick”, christening herself “Boltie” and designing a sexually suggestive costume. She proves to be even more unhinged than Frank, using her superhero guise to almost kill a man who may or may not have keyed her friend’s car. Frank decides to let her go, but changes his mind when Libby rescues him from some of Jacques’s thugs at a gas station. Libby soon becomes enamored with Frank, but her advances are turned down as Frank insists that he is still married. Deciding it is different when they are in their superhero identities, Libby rapes Frank while the two are in costume. Going in the bathroom to vomit, Frank encounters a vision of Sarah in the toilet and decides that now is the time to rescue her from Jacques.

Armed with guns, pipe bombs, and bulletproof vests, Frank and Libby sneak into Jacques’s ranch killing the first few guards they encounter. Eventually, they are both shot; Frank is struck in the chest, his bulletproof vest sparing him, but Libby is struck in the head and dies instantly. Devastated by her death, Frank goes into a rage, killing all of Jacques’s thugs. Inside, he has a final showdown with Jacques. Jacques shoots Frank and wounds him. Frank gains the upper hand, though, and stabs Jacques to death after a final monologue. Frank takes Sarah home, and she stays with him for a few months before leaving him again. This time, however, she manages to finally overcome her addiction and uses her experiences to help others with similar problems. She remarries and has children, but Frank is happy for her and decides that the reason why God chose him was so that he could rescue Sarah and help her get on with her life.

Frank, now with a pet bunny, looks on his wall of happy memories. Frank’s entire wall is covered with pictures of his experiences from his time spent with Libby to pictures of Sarah’s kids, who call him ‘Uncle Frank’. Frank smiles with a tear running down his cheek.

REVIEW:

Hancock, Defendor, Blankman, and of course, Kick-Ass…all films in which a nobody becomes a superhero. Well, Hancock has something that happens during the film that totally takes it out of this conversation, but before then, he fits in this list. I could also throw in Batman, Spider-Man, and the like, but regardless of their origin, they’re mainstream, and all of these are either original movies, or a lesser known comic. 

Now, along comes Super, a film where probably the biggest loser of them all becomes a superhero. When I say loser, I mean the guy has just been left by his wife, is apparently near 40 and still flipping burgers, and then there is just the whole lack of a personality aspect of his character.

After watching some kind of religious superhero on television…not sure if this was actually on or in his head…he is touched by the finger, not the hand, but the finger, of God and decided to become a superhero. He calls himself, The Crimson Bolt.

Those of you that watched The Fairly OddParents may have picked up on the name similarity to a certain superhero on that show. Remember the Crimson Chin?

I honestly can’t remember where I first heard about this film, but the guys that reviewed it said that it was one of those really dark, serious films. This cannot be further from the truth. Just watch the opening credits and you can tell that it isn’t taking itself too serious.

Sure, it isn’t a spoof or anything like that. As a matter of fact, it may very well be more violent than Kick-Ass, which is really saying a lot. However, the violence here is meant to make a statement, I believe, as opposed to being used as a way to glorify beating people with pipe wrenches and whatnot.

I’m so glad this flick doesn’t take itself seriously and does have comedic moments. We have enough dark, serious superhero movies out there. We need more than embrace the lighter side of things, as well.

The pacing of this film is great. It never really gets bogged down with to many subplots. Everything gets the chance to develop and come to a nice resolution, mush like a great symphony.

However, there are issues here and there. First off, we have some heavy hitters in the cast, such as the exceedingly gorgeous Liv Tyler, (who I think they tried to uglify for this role), Kevin Bacon, an extra annoying Ellen Page, and a couple of cameo scenes by a ridiculously maned Nathan Fillion.

I can’t help but wonder what drew them to this independent project, unless they owed the director a favor, or just really wanted to be in an over the top role, which is I’m sure how Fillion got cast. I just don’t see anyone lining up to be in a movie with Rainn Wilson, especially a super hero picture.

Speaking of Ellen Page, yes her character was annoying, especially when she became the “kid sidekick”, but in a pivotal scene near the end, the audience does actually feel for her.

While I’m on the subject of the “kid sidekick”, I have to question how it is that her costume looked so much better than the Crimson Bolt’s. Her outfit looked like it was professionally done, while his looked like it was stitched together at the last minute.

I realize that chances are a girl is going to be more adapt at sewing and whatnot (not all are, btw), but if she was gong to be that good, you’d think she could have made him a new costume.

Kevin Bacon is apparently the villain here, but it is never really clear what it is he does. It seems as if he’s some sort of drug smuggler, but I could be wrong. On top of this, there is the whole thing about him “kidnapping” Liv Tyler and then the random rape scene that precedes/is going on during the climax.

Super is not the kind of picture that will make you wish for more of these kind of superheroes, but it is chocked full of great action nad one-liners that can entertain any and everyone. I must warn those of you that are offended by culture references to the Almighty might not like the scene. Neither will those that can’t handle violence, but for everyone else this is almost a must-see picture. Why not check it out?

4 out of 5 stars

Monsters vs. Aliens

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Susan Murphy (Reese Witherspoon) is hit by a meteorite on the day of her wedding to weatherman Derek Dietl (Paul Rudd), absorbing a substance called quantonium and growing into a giantess. Alerted to the meteorite crash, the military arrive and capture Susan. She is labeled a monster, renamed “Ginormica” by the government, and sent to a top-secret prison facility headed by General W.R. Monger (Kiefer Sutherland) and containing other monsters: B.O.B. (Seth Rogen), a brainless, indestructible gelatinous blob; Dr. Cockroach, Ph.D. (Hugh Laurie), a mad scientist with the head and abilities of a cockroach; the Missing Link (Will Arnett), an amphibious fish-ape hybrid; and Insectosaurus, a colossal grub that is larger than Susan. The monsters are forbidden to have any contact with the outside world; while the other monsters have been living contentedly with this lifestyle for the past 50 years, Susan feels incredibly isolated and wishes to return to her old life.

An alien named Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) detects the quantonium radiation emanating from Earth and deploys a gigantic robotic probe to find it and extract it from its source, Susan. After a botched attempt by the President of the United States (Stephen Colbert) to make first contact with the robot, it begins destroying everything in sight, resisting all conventional military force used against it. General Monger convinces the President to use the monsters to fight the robot instead. The monsters accept the mission with the promise of freedom if they succeed. Arriving in San Francisco, Susan is chased by the robot across the city to the Golden Gate Bridge, where the monsters are able to defeat the robot.

Now free, Susan returns to her hometown and introduces her family and friends to the monsters, who are quickly rejected after innocently causing a panicked ruckus in the neighborhood. Derek, meanwhile, breaks up with Susan, claiming that he can’t be married to someone who could overshadow his career. Initially devastated, Susan realizes that becoming a monster has improved her life, and fully embraces her new friends and lifestyle. Suddenly, she is abducted by Gallaxhar, who apparently kills Insectosaurus when he tries to save her. On Gallaxhar’s spaceship, Susan breaks loose and chases Gallaxhar down, only to enter a machine that extracts the quantonium from her body, shrinking her to her normal size. Gallaxhar proceeds to use the quantonium to power a machine which clones him into an army so he can invade Earth.

With assistance from General Monger, B.O.B., Dr. Cockroach, and the Missing Link infiltrate Gallaxhar’s spaceship, rescue Susan, and hot-wire the spaceship’s power core, activating the spaceship’s self-destruct sequence. However, during their escape attempt, Susan is cut off from her friends, who are trapped in the power core and tell her to save herself. Instead, Susan confronts Gallaxhar, who tries to escape with the quantonium, and attempts to force him into releasing her friends. When Gallaxhar says he cannot reverse the sequence, Susan takes the quantonium back and absorbs it, restoring her to her gargantuan size and allowing her to save her friends. The monsters leap out of the exploding spaceship and are rescued by General Monger on the back of the revived Insectosaurus, who had sealed his body in a cocoon and transformed into a giant butterfly.

The monsters receive a hero’s welcome upon their return. Derek attempts to get back with Susan for the sake of interviewing her, which could benefit his career; instead, Susan rejects him and forces him to endure the humiliation of being thrown into the air and caught, swallowed and spit out by B.O.B. on camera. At that moment, the monsters are alerted to a monster attack near Paris and fly off to face the new menace.

REVIEW:

When I first heard about this movie I was as giddy as a school girl about it. The thought of classic monsters from the 50s taking on an alien invasion is a dream matchup equivalent to Ali-Frazier, but after I watched this I was a little disappointed. Not that it wasn’t a great movie, but the fact that it was set in modern-day kind of deadens the effect.

The 50s would have made the perfect backdrop for this, and wouldn’t have changed any parts of the plot except for the laptop at the very beginning. It just seems to be that this should have occurred in a time when everyone was paranoid about monsters and aliens, as opposed to everything but them, as they are these days, but maybe that’s just me

As I said before, this is by no stretch of the imagination a bad film. As a matter of fact, it’s really good.

Reese Witherspoon is all happy on her wedding day, then as she’s outside crying she get’s hit by a meteorite. Fast forward a few minutes and she’s at the alter about to say I do, then she suddenly starts glowing and then goes through a growth spurt. Strangely enough he hair turns white…don’t ask me how growing to 50 ft makes your hair turn from brown to white, but apparently it does. Personally, I think it was an upgrade.

The military shows up tags and bags her, so to speak, detains, debrief, and whatever else they do when they want to cover stuff up. Next thing we know she’s in this cell thinking she’s laying next to her supposed-to-be husband Derek. We go through the whole sequence of her meeting all the principal characters of the film here, General W.R. Monger, Dr. Cockroach, B.O.B., The Missing Link, and Insectosaurus.

Fast forward a bit and enter the villain, Gallaxhar, who wants the power of the meteorite that hit Susan. So, he sends out a giant probe to extract her. The thing lands in California. As one reporter puts it, “aliens only land in America.”[sic]  There is a big to do about the probe and the President of the U.S. (ironically and hilariously voiced by Stephen Colbert) attempts to make first contact. This doesn’t work and seems to do nothing more than activate the thing. Soon we see the President and his generals in sort of war room, when General Monger suggests he let the monsters handle it.

The monsters are…unleashed…for lack of a better term on San Francisco to stop the thing. THe fight tears up most of the city and spills out into the Golden Gate Bridge, where Susan realizes her full potential and takes control of the situation, ultimately defeating the probe, but not without destroying the bridge.

After some dramatic, heart warming fuzzy scene, Susan is abducted by Gallaxhar who extracts the quantonium from her, causing her to shrink back to her original size (at least she keeps her white hair) and informs her of his plan to take over Earth and eventually destroy it as he did his own.

The other monsters come to Susan’s rescue and help her to initiate the self-destruct sequence. In a final confrontation with Gallaxhar, Susan in nearly beaten, but then gets the quantonium back and becomes Ginormica again, totally saving the day.

Voice casting here is brilliant. EAch character seemed tailor-made for their voice actor. Keifer Sutherland is unrecognizable as General Monger until you see his name in the credits, and I’ve already mentioned Stephen Colbert as the president.

The action is what you would expect from your typical sci-fi genre flick. A city gets destroyed, ships blow up, the world is in danger, the usual.

I didn’t care for the dramatic mid section, but I suppose you had to have a calm before the storm, as it led to Susan getting captured. I also wasn’t a fan of the design of Derek. He looks like they animators just took a model from Happily N’Ever After put a suit on him, changed his air, and stuck him in Modesto, CA as a weatherman. That’s just a minor complaint, if you can even call it that.

I had high expectations for this picture. It didn’t live up to the standards I set for it, but that doesn’t mean I still didn’t enjoy it. How could you not? The film has everything except for transforming robots, and actually, the probes kind of fit that bill. Again, I think it would worked better had it been set in a different era. Still, anyone can watch and enjoy this, and not have to think too hard about it. Those born after 1985, may not get the keyboard scene, though. Only those of us older viewers will know those songs.

4 out of 5 stars

The Rocker

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Robert "Fish" Fishman (Rainn Wilson) was once the drummer for Vesuvius, which went on to be a successful heavy metal band without him. At the insistence of their manager and their own greed, he’s kicked out of the band and replaced by the son of the record label’s president. Fish vows never to play drums again. Twenty years later, after failing at another cubicle job, breaking up with his girlfriend, and having to move in with his sister, Fish finds himself living in the attic "looking" for work. When it looks like he’ll be a loser for life, his dorky, socially awkward nephew Matt saves the day. Matt (Josh Gad) plays the keyboards in a band called A.D.D., joined by the dark brooding artist type Curtis (Teddy Geiger) and the no-nonsense Amelia (Emma Stone). The band is set to play the prom when their drummer gets thrown out of school for bringing "hash brownies" to the Spanish club. Running out of time, Matty suggests they give his Uncle Fish a try.

The prom turns into a disaster, being Fish’s first time on stage again, and his drum solo takes over the King and Queen’s dance in a fit of rage, sweat, and sheer embarrassment for A.D.D.

When Robert is kicked out of his sister’s house and forced to live in the basement of his favorite Chinese take-out place, the band invents a new way to practice via four-way iChat. Because of the heat in Fish’s new "apartment", he’s forced to drum naked, which quickly makes its way onto YouTube. A million hits later, A.D.D. signs a contract with David Marshall (Jason Sudeikis), an obnoxious agent who tries to be hip and takes them on tour.

Fish and the kids wow audiences across the country, with everyone wanting to see the infamous “Naked Drummer.” Fish starts taking his rock star status a little too seriously, though, and the whole band winds up in jail after a late-night party.

Curtis’s mom (Christina Applegate) promises to stay for the remainder of the tour, so her children won’t be influenced by the wild ways of Fish. As the tour continues, Fish and Curtis’s mom begin to find an attraction with each other. A.D.D. also shoots a music video which upon watching, all the band members are featured prominently except Fish, who notices that his face is being obscured during the entire video under David’s watch.

David informs the band that they’re opening for Vesuvius in a free concert for their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Fish flies off the handle and the band stick by his side and agree not to do the show. Curtis’s mom, at this point has gone to the roof to calm Fish down and does so by kissing him, which David comes across. He exaggerates the truth about Fish and Curtis’ mother to Curtis to his dislike, hoping to replace Fish. During their next gig, Curtis announces the band will do the show after all to a live crowd much to Fish’s dismay. After they argue in front of the crowd, Fish quits the band, and finds himself a miserable job with his brother-in-law in the corporate world.

Matt and Amelia convince Curtis that the band is nothing without the spirit of Fish after the label’s appointed drummer doesn’t fit in, and Curtis convinces Fish to do the gig. Upon arriving at the stadium before their performance, Fish encounters his former bandmates who have all adopted phony British accents and egocentric attitudes. To his happiness, Fish finds that he is able to let the past go and wishes Vesuvius a great show. Fish and the band play an incredible show. When they think things couldn’t get any better, Vesuvius takes the stage. And with one slip of the mic stand, the lead singer’s microphone goes crashing to the ground. This mistake causes the singer to search for the lost microphone, while the voice track is still going, exposing their fraud for lip-syncing the entire time. The audience goes wild, booing Vesuvius off the stage in a cloud of embarrassment, and chanting, “A.D.D.! A.D.D.!”; Against the advice of David, whom they fire on the spot, the band take the stage again and performs for the crowd.

REVIEW:

Who knew they could still make films that are actually light hearted and fun anymore? I was pleasantly surprised while watching this film. It ws actually pretty good.

Rainn Wilson is not a leading man. As a matter of fact, the majorit of his roles are as the sidekick or comic relief, so for him to be cast as the lead in this picture is a shock. He does handle it pretty well, though. I wouldn’t go so far as ot cast him as the lead in Julius Ceaser or some other role that requires the full range of acting talents. Did I mention he has many o the film;s funniest lines?

Christina Applegate really has evolved in her acting career. Remember the days when she was Kelly Bundy on Married…with Children? Well, in this film she plays the mom and, what appears to be Rainn’s love intersrt. Not  a thing was wrong with her performance, except we didn’t get to see more of her,

Teddy Geiger, Emma Stone, and Josh Gad make up the band A.D.D. All 3 are relatvie unknowns, so this was their big break. Years from now, I am pretty sure Stone and Gad will be looking bak and rememebr that this was one of the crucial stepping stones for their carer. Geiger, on the other hand, had a hit some "Foyu You I Will" not too long ago. As I was watching the film, I knew that the lead singer of the band has to be a real singer, then I found out who it, makes sense.

Many of the comedies I’ve recentl;y watched have fallen prey to the formula that they are hilarious at the beginning though shortly after the 1 hr (to halfway) point, then they switch to some serious stuff and never really recover. This film, thankfully does not so that.

It’s good to take the time to watch a good comedy once in a while. Granted, this isn’t the best of comedies, but it is fun, funny, and has a cute ending. Definitely worth watching

4 out of 5 stars