Archive for Sean William Scott

Goon: The Last Enforcer

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After one too many injuries, hockey enforcer Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is forced to give up his aspirations of going to the big show and settle into a buttoned down career as an insurance salesman at the urging of his pregnant wife Eva (Alison Pill). However, Doug can’t resist the siren call of the Highlanders, so he sets course to reclaim his former glory.

What people are saying:

“Baruchel’s sequel is everything Dowse’s original film was, amped up a degree or three: The fights involving dim-bulb hero Doug (Seann William Scott) and his various rivals are bloodier, the locker-room talk is dirtier and the on-ice action is slicker. The unlikely project – how many made-in-Canada films spark a franchise? – doesn’t quite reach the heights of the original film, which found surprising pathos in Doug’s tale of sweet good guy to brutal goon. But it delivers on nearly every other scale, including standout performances from returning players Scott, Alison Pill and Liev Schreiber, as well as some bits of comic gold courtesy of series rookies Wyatt Russell, T.J. Miller and Jason Jones” 4 stars

Goon was a keeper. The perhaps prophetically named “Last” isn’t exactly 101 minutes in the penalty box, but it’s a disappointing throwaway.” 2 stars

“It was okay ehh? Lots of good one-liner’s and even more fights. E Cuthbert was funny in her bit part. If you liked the first one then this one will not disappoint. The Sports Desk segments were funny yet sometimes monotonous. We could have done with a little less vulgar language. Don’t over-analyze it – just watch and enjoy. ” 3 stars

“Pretty funny with a decent story. it is a step below from the first movie in basically every aspect (like how you could really feel the hits in the fights in the first one, these fights were forgettable), but it was still enjoyable overall. i wasn’t a fan of some of the additions. the new hockey player that gives out candy is really annoying, and is an example of why this movie went over the line into goofy territory. the first movie was really funny without being goofy. i liked the team owner and new antagonist. he was pretty intimidating and looked like a medieval warrior in some of the scenes” 3 stars

“Six years later, the follow-up arrives. Not totally awful, in fact the skating action by the stars and mostly pros, stuntmen-standins, is very good. Credit the camera work for the excitement on ice. But off-ice the film is draggy in places and not very interesting. I prefer the wackier Sean William Scott from yonder years. Not really a lot to laugh at here. I know they are all older but that doesn’t mean they have to be duller. The ever-present fight scenes are brutal, and the language is what you would expect. Nice to see them all again, though. ” 3 stars

Revisited: The Rundown

Posted in Movie Reviews, Revisited with tags , , , , , , , on December 26, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Beck (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is a “retrieval expert”, a bounty hunter who collects debts for a man named Walker (William Lucking). He is dispatched to a nightclub to retrieve a championship ring from a football player, and after doing so is assaulted by one of Walker’s other collectors. Angry, he confronts Walker and tells him that wants out of the business. Walker talks him into one last bounty – retrieve Walker’s son Travis (Seann William Scott) from a small mining town in Brazil and Walker will give him enough money to open his own restaurant. Beck accepts and leaves for Brazil. When Beck arrives in the town of El Dorado he meets with the man running the mining operation, Mr. Hatcher (Christopher Walken). Hatcher gives Beck his blessing to grab Travis, but reneges when he finds out that Travis has discovered a missing golden artifact called “El Gato do Diabo”. Beck confronts Hatcher and his men in the local bar and leaves with Travis. On the way back to the airfield, Travis forces their Jeep off the road and into the jungle. There he tries to escape but is re-captured by Beck. After an unfortunate encounter with some local monkeys the two find themselves in the camp of the local resistance.

At the resistance encampment, Travis convinces the rebels that Beck works for Hatcher and was sent to kill them all. After a prolonged fight, Beck gains the upper hand before the rebel leader Mariana (Rosario Dawson) intervenes. She wants Travis, as the Gato can be used to ensure the locals can free themselves from Hatcher. Hatcher suddenly attacks the camp, killing many rebels. Beck, Travis, and Mariana escape the camp and Beck makes Mariana a deal: she helps him get Travis to the airfield in exchange for the Gato. After some searching, Travis leads them to a cave behind a waterfall where the Gato is located. They retrieve it and begin the journey back.

On the way back, Mariana chastises Travis for wanting to sell the artifact, but Travis argues that he actually did want to give it to a museum. Mariana gives the two men Konlobos, a toxic fruit that paralyzes the eater. As she tells Beck which direction the airfield is, she leaves them with the fire to keep the animals away. After waking up able to move, Beck hauls Travis to the airfield. The local pilot, Declan (Ewen Bremner), tells Beck that Mariana was captured earlier by Hatcher and will probably be killed. Travis pleads with Beck to help, and the two head into town to rescue her. Using a cow stampede for cover, the two begin their assault on Hatcher’s goons. Travis becomes trapped by gunfire in a bus, and Beck saves him before the bus explodes. Hatcher tells his brother to take Mariana and the Gato and flee, but they are stopped by Travis. Hatcher confronts Beck, who offers him the chance to leave town still. Hatcher refuses, and is confronted by the townspeople who shoot him before he can leave. Travis gives the Gato to Mariana before leaving with Beck, who tells him that despite all they’ve been through he must still return Travis to the US. Back in the U.S., Travis is delivered to his dad who begins to verbally and physically abuse him. Beck asks to celebrate with them and gives Walker and his men Konlobos. As they are paralyzed, Beck uncuffs Travis and the duo leave together, with Travis continuing to jokingly annoy Beck.

REVIEW:

The Scorpion King may have been the film that started action career of The Rock, but it was The Rundown that really laid the foundation for him as a movie star that has been doing nothing but getting brighter and brighter (even when he was doing those family movies like The Game Plan). For some reason, though, this is one of those films that seems to be forgotten, though.

What is this about?

Looking to retire and open a restaurant, a bounty hunter named Beck gets roped into one final assignment: fetching his employer’s errant son from the Amazon jungle. Along the way, Beck finds himself involved in a treasure hunt and a rebel uprising.

What did I like?

Action. Earlier today, I was listening to a review of the Indiana Jones collection on Blu-ray. Not long after, I started watching this. What is the connection? Well, in a way, they are both action packed and set mostly in the jungle (not all Indy movies are set in the jungle, remember). The Rock at this point in time was still a wrestler turning actor not an actor who was a wrestler and occasionally goes back to appease the ungrateful fans. As a fan of The Rock during his heyday in WWE, I noticed a few of his moves, especially in the club scene. The jungle fights though were a bit more inclusive of all different types of fighting. I guess it is kind of hard to Rock Bottom or give the People’s Elbow to little men flying around and kicking your ass with their speed.

Connection. The Rock and Sean William Scott have a nice chemistry that works very well throughout the course of the film. Scott’s character provides much of the film’s comedy, as expected from him, and The Rock is the straight man to his antics. A tried and true formula, to be sure, but it is one of those that works, so why question it? I think we can all admit we’ve seen this formula in other films and it doesn’t quite work as well as advertised.

The Dawson. When we first come across Rosario Dawson’s character in the bar, you just assume she’s eye candy. To a certain extent she is, considering how she is the only female in this cast, except for background ladies in the village, town, and club. With that in mind, it isn’t long before she shows her true colors as a rebel who wants to find the El Gato so that she can free her people from the evil hands of Christopher Walken’s character, who I believe he bought and runs the town, but I’m not 100% sure what his definitive relationship with it is. Dawson is a tour de force, if you will, in this role, even taking on a Brazilian (subtitles said she was speaking Portuguese) accent and speaking the language in a couple of spots. Something else of note is that there is no romantic relationship with either The Rock or Scott’s character. This is noteworthy because it shows that not every action film needs a woman for the guy to fall for or a girl to fall for the guy that rescues her, or any other scenario you want to cook up. Dawson’s character gets the job done and then goes about her merry way, rather than forcing us to deal with some useless relationship drama and convoluting the film with thoughts, feelings, and whatnot.

What didn’t I like?

Jungle danger. Maybe I watch too many cartoons, but I half expected to see more in the way of dangers in the jungle. Other than a trap set by the rebels, the howler monkeys, and konlobos fruit that was given to them by Rosario Dawson’s character, there weren’t any natural dangers and I just don’t understand why that was. Surely, something could have come up. Oh, there was the mention of those piranha that swim up penis holes, but nothing came of that, either.

Guns. The whole film, The Rock’s character makes it perfectly clear that he doesn’t like guns and will not use them because of something that happened. When he does use them “you wouldn’t like the person I become”, or something to that effect. The this is, near the film’s end he has no choice but to pick up a gun, which he does and owns that shootout like the hero in a western! Apparently, something happened in his past,  which perhaps could give us the dark tale of how he got into the bounty hunter game. I would like to know why it is he has issues with guns. At least Batman has an excuse, he watched his parents get gunned down when he was a little boy. What is this guy’s reason?

Shut up! While the final shootout is going on, the pilot is spouting off some kind of mumbo jumbo gibberish that no one really is paying attention to. I guess the best way to describe it would be to think of those old blues singers that cameras often pan to in certain movies when the hero has a revelation that makes them become the hero. It was sort of like that, as The Rock’s character was picking up the guns. In theory, it should have worked, but the way it was shot and the fact that what he was saying made no sense derailed it from doing so.

In the years since The Rundown, The Rock has decided to go by his real name and now goes by both his real and ring name. He has also become a big star, literally and figuratively. This film may not be the greatest, but as an action flick it is good fun and it served as a nice big stepping stone for The Rock. Do I recommend this? Yes, very much so! Some people won’t care for it that much because the parts that try to be a more serious-minded film, rather than just a fun action flick don’t seem to work that well, but it still is something that you should check out sometime. As a matter of fact, it seems as if this is always on Spike TV. So, there go, give it a shot!

4 out of 5 stars

Movie 43

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film is composed of multiple comedy shorts presented through an overarching segment titled “The Pitch”, in which Charlie Wessler (Dennis Quaid), a mad screenwriter, is attempting to pitch a script to film executive Griffin Schraeder (Greg Kinnear). After revealing several of the stories in his script, Wessler becomes agitated when Schraeder dismisses his outrageous ideas, and he pulls a gun on him and forces him to listen to multiple other stories before making Schraeder consult his manager, Bob Mone (Common), to purchase the film. When they do so, Mone’s condescending attitude toward Schraeder angers him to the point that, after agreeing to make the film “the biggest film since Howard the Duck”, he confronts Mone in the parking lot and tries to humiliate him. Wessler tries to calm Schraeder with more story ideas to no avail, and the segment ends with it being revealed that it is being shot by a camera crew as part of the movie, leading into the final segments.

Having recently moved, Anna and Sean have coffee with their new neighbors. The neighbors, Robert (Liev Schreiber) and Samantha (Naomi Watts) have a teenage son, Kevin (Jeremy Allen White), whom they have home-schooled. Anna and Sean begin inquiring about the homeschooling, and the numerous manners in which Robert and Samantha have replicated a high school environment within their home, going as far as hazing, bullying, and giving out detentions, are humorously revealed. They also throw high school parties and Samantha simulates Kevin’s “first kiss” with him. Visibly disturbed, the neighbors end up meeting Kevin, who says he is going out and gives them the impression that all is fine: until he reveals a doll made of a mop with Samantha’s face on it, referring to the doll as his girlfriend.

Julie (Anna Faris) and Doug (Chris Pratt) have been in a relationship for a year. When he attempts to propose to her, she reveals to him that she is a coprophiliac, and asks him to defecate on her in the bedroom. Urged by his best friend Larry (J.B. Smoove) and others to go along with it, he eats a large meal and drinks a bottle of laxative prior to the event. Wanting foreplay, Julie is angered when Doug wants to finish, and she runs into the street. Chasing after her, he is then hit by a car and graphically evacuates his bowels everywhere. She cradles him and apologizes; covered and surrounded by his excrement on the road, she exclaims that it is the “most beautiful thing” she has ever seen and accepts his marriage proposal. (In the end credits, Julie and Doug are mistakenly re-named Vanessa and Jason by Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Steve Carr, Peter Farrelly, and Charles B. Wessler).

Neil (Kieran Culkin) is working a night shift at a local grocery store. His ex-girlfriend, Veronica (Emma Stone), comes through his line and the two begin arguing, which soon turns into sexual discussion and flirtation as they humorously lament over their relationship; unbeknownst to them, Neil’s intercom microphone broadcasts the entire explicit conversation throughout the store, where various elderly people and vagrants tune in. After she leaves in tears, the customers agree to cover his shift while he goes after her.

Robin (Justin Long) and his cohort Batman (Jason Sudeikis) are in Gotham City at a speed dating establishment seeking out a bomb threat by their arch nemesis, Penguin (John Hodgman). While Robin attempts to connect with various women through speed dating—including Lois Lane (Uma Thurman) and Supergirl (Kristen Bell)—Batman encounters his ex, Wonder Woman (Leslie Bibb), and attempts to stop Penguin from detonating Supergirl, who later turns out to be the Riddler (Will Carlough) in disguise, which Batman already knew and was screwing with Robin, who kissed “her” moments before unveiling. (Early during production, this sketch was formerly titled “Robin’s Big Speed Date”.)

A faux-PSA about kids stuck in machines and how adults’ criticism of these particular machines affect the feelings of the children stuck inside the machines. This commercial was paid for by the society for the prevention of cruelty to children inside machines.

A developing company is having a meeting in their headquarters over their newly released product, the “iBabe”, which is a life-sized, realistic replica of a nude woman which functions as an MP3 player. The boss (Richard Gere), listens to his various workers (Kate Bosworth, Aasif Mandvi, and Jack McBrayer) argue over the placement of a fan that was built into the genital region of the iBabe, which is dismembering the penises of teenage boys who attempt to have sex with them. The board members then agree to strongly emphasise the dangers of the product via its new commercials.

Nathan (Jimmy Bennett) and Amanda (Chloë Grace Moretz) are watching television after school at Nathan’s house as their first “middle school” date. When they begin to kiss, his older brother Mikey (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) enters the living room and makes fun of them. Amanda then discovers she is menstruating and tries to hide it, and when Nathan sees blood on her pants, he panics and believes her to be bleeding to death, causing a debacle, which would later have Nathan and Amanda’s fathers (Patrick Warburton and Matt Walsh) involved.

Another faux-commercial; this time it now involves two women and Tampax as the two women are swimming in an ocean and a shark suddenly appears and graphically eats one of the women.

Pete (Johnny Knoxville) captures a leprechaun (Gerard Butler) for his roommate Brian (Seann William Scott) as a birthday present. After tying the leprechaun up in the basement, they demand he give them a pot of gold. The obscene leprechaun threatens that his brother is coming to save him. When he arrives, Brian and Pete are shot at but ultimately kill both leprechauns. At the end of the segment, Pete reveals he has also caught a fairy (Esti Ginzburg) who performs fellatio for gold coins.

Donald (Stephen Merchant) and Emily (Halle Berry) are on a date together at a Mexican restaurant. Tired with typical first dates, Emily challenges Donald to a game of truth or dare. She dares him to grab a man’s buttocks, and he follows with daring her to blow out the birthday candles on a blind boy’s cake. The game rapidly escalates to extremes, in which both of them get plastic surgery and tattoos, and humiliate themselves.

Set in 1959, Coach Jackson (Terrence Howard) is lecturing his basketball team before their first game against an all-white team. Worried about losing the game, the timid players are lectured by Coach Jackson about their superiority in the sport over their white counterparts, which he expresses vulgarly. When the game ensues, the all-white team loses miserably and rejoices in a single point they earn.

Amy (Elizabeth Banks) worries that her boyfriend Anson’s (Josh Duhamel) cat, Beezel (an animated cartoon), is coming between their relationship. Beezel seems to detest Amy and anyone who comes between him and Anson, but Anson only sees Beezel as innocent. One day, Amy witnesses Beezel masturbating to summer vacation photos of Anson in a swimsuit. Beezel attacks her and violently urinates on her. Anson still finds his pet innocent but Amy threatens to leave if he doesn’t get rid of Beezel. Caring more about his relationship, Anson agrees to find a new home for him. That night, Beezel tearfully watches the couple make love from a closet (whilst sodomizing himself with a hairbrush and dry humping a stuffed teddy bear). The next day when it comes time to take Beezel away, he is nowhere to be found. Amy goes outside to look. Beezel then runs her over with a truck and attempts to shoot her to death with a shotgun, but she chases him into the street and begins beating him with a shovel, which is witnessed by a group of children attending a birthday party at a neighboring house. When Anson approaches to see what is happening, Amy tries to explain Beezel’s motives. Beezel acts innocent and Anson sides with his cat. The children of the party then attack and murder Amy for beating up Beezel, stabbing her with plastic forks. Anson grabs Beezel, as Beezel again fantasizes about French kissing his owner.

REVIEW:

Movie 43 is a film that I have yet to read a good review about. Against my better judgment, though, I decided to see what the masses were so incensed about. Surely this thing could not be that bad…or could it?

What is this about?

A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches insane story lines featuring some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

What did I like?

Offensive. No, this film did not offend me, unless you consider how unfunny it was, but there is a disclaimer at the beginning, and the directors were making the rounds before it was released saying that the reason they made this picture was to offend and shock audiences. Judging by the vitriol people have been spitting out regarding this film, I would say they succeeded.

Cohesive. Unlike Putney Swope, a film that also has random sketches interspersed amongst the “plot”, this one actually keeps everything tied together. As a matter of fact, the plot involving a guy who wants to get the horrible movie, which we are watching, made could very well be the best part of the entire flick.

What didn’t I like?

Fire the agents. I really have to wonder what the agents of such big stars as Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Richard Gere, and fresh off his Oscar worthy performance in Les Miserables, Hugh Jackman, amongst others that have no business being in a film this lowbrow. I don’t particularly care to say that actors are too good for a film, but they were. For goodness sakes, Jackman was playing a guy with testicles on his neck!!!!

*SIGH*.  I was talking to a friend of mine a few minutes ago, and he summed this film up very well, it is like a movie version of current Saturday Night Live. There are moments that are funny, but they are so few and far between, that you barely even notice them, or care. The rest of the sketches and whatnot just exist for the point of being gross, offensive, or filler.

Some media outlets have been trying to compare Movie 43 so such comedy sketch classics as Kentucky Fried Movie and The Groove Tube, among others, but it doesn’t come anywhere near the quality of those. This is one of those films that I am stretching to fins something good to say about, so it is best that you avoid it like the plague. I’ve suffered enough for all of us!

1 1/2 out of 5 stars

Goon

Posted in Comedy, Independent, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott), a bouncer at a bar in Massachusetts, feels ostracized from his family, his father (Eugene Levy) and brother both being doctors. One day he attends a minor league hockey game with his friend Pat (Jay Baruchel). Pat taunts the visiting team during a fight and one of their players climbs into the stands, calling him a homosexual slur. Doug, in defense of his gay brother, quickly knocks him out, which prompts the rest of the crowd to cheer him on. Soon after, Doug gets a phone call from the coach of his hometown team who offers him a job as an enforcer, a player whose role is to protect his teammates and act as a deterrent by hitting or fighting opposing players who take liberties with his teammates.

In the meantime, veteran enforcer and Doug’s idol Ross “The Boss” Rhea (Liev Schreiber) is demoted to the minors after serving a 20 game suspension for slashing an opponent in the head from behind. Three years prior, Rhea hit and concussed the highly skilled prospect Xavier Laflamme (Marc-Andre Grondin) who has had trouble recovering from that incident due to the fear of being hit, being stuck in the minors and falling in with the wrong crowd. After earning himself the nickname “The Thug”, Doug is called up to Canada and hired by Laflamme’s team, the Halifax Highlanders, to protect Laflamme and be his roommate.

The Highlanders experience success with Doug as their primary enforcer, and he quickly gains popularity among fans and teammates much to the chagrin of his parents and Laflamme, particularly after losing ice time and the alternate-captaincy to Doug. Doug becomes romantically involved with Eva (Alison Pill), a hockey fan with a penchant for players.

With 4 games left on their schedule, the Highlanders need two wins to secure a playoff spot. On a road game in Quebec, after an opposing player concusses Laflamme with a heavy hit, Doug savagely beats the player unconscious and is suspended for the next game against Rhea and the St. John’s Shamrocks. Doug encounters Rhea at a diner, where Rhea dismisses Doug’s claim that he is a hockey player, calling him a goon. Rhea warns him that if they ever meet on the ice, he will “lay him the fuck out.” The Highlanders, with Doug suspended and Laflamme hospitalized, lose to the Shamrocks.

Doug reaches out to Laflamme, and promises him he will always have his back on the ice. In their next game, the Highlanders lead 1–0 thanks to renewed teamwork between Doug and Laflamme. In the dying seconds, Doug blocks a slapshot with his face and his ankle is injured in the ensuing scramble. The Highlanders win, but need a win against Rhea and the Shamrocks in their last game for a playoff spot.

After two periods, the Shamrocks are beating the Highlanders 2–0. Rhea and Doug drop the gloves in the third period, and dole out and receive physical punishment during the fight. Doug is knocked down first, but Rhea calls off the linesmen and allows him to get back up. Doug manages to break Rhea’s nose, but breaks his previously injured ankle in the process. Doug manages to stand back up and knocks out Rhea with a vicious cross. Eva and his teammates help a seriously injured Doug off the ice and Laflamme, inspired by Doug’s efforts and Rhea’s demise, scores a natural hat-trick to lead the Highlanders to a 3–2 victory and a play-off berth. While being comforted by Eva in the locker room, Doug victoriously comments, “I think I nailed him.”

REVIEW:

Hockey is not a sport that I typically keep up with or have any interest in. Sure, back in the 80s, I watched a few games with Wayne Gretzky, but that was more because of that Saturday morning cartoon, ProStars (kudos if you remember and/or watched it). I’m more of the football/basketball kind of guy. So, I bet you’re thinking, why am I watching Goon, a film that is all about hockey? Well, a sports comedy, no matter the sport, is sure to tickle my funny bone, supposedly.

What did I like?

Payoff. This is one of the few films that I know of which holds off the big moment when the two major forces, if you will, do not meet until the end and then nothing happens until the final act. In the time before that, we are privy to Sean William Scott’s character rise from lowly bouncer to beloved hockey enforcer who is the spark that gets his team, which hadn’t won a game before he got there, into the playoffs.

Fights. Like most people, the only reason I have any interest in hockey at all is the fights. If all hockey games could be like this, then I’d be the biggest hockey fan in the world, more than likely. The fights are what really keep this film moving along, although, they seem to get stale until the big one at the end.

Annoying…not so much. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews for just about anything Jay Baruchel is in that his voice is annoying, However, for some unknown reason, it works for his character. Or maybe, it was the fact that he was trying to act so street that it was overshadowed.

What didn’t I like?

Jagged little pill. Allison Pill. Does that name ring a bell? Well, if it doesn’t, think about the drummer chick in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. She may be a total cutie, but I just wasn’t buying her as the beer drinking, foul mouthed, hockey groupie slut character they made her. I tried, really I did, but it just wasn’t happening. Maybe it’s the face, or the fact she doesn’t look like a New Jersey hooker, who knows?

Doppelganger. I know that Scott was supposed to be being built up as the next version Schreiber’s character, but it looked like they even tried to make them look-alike, especially around the cheek region. I was half expecting him to shave his beard into that moustache or vice versa.

Seriously? Eugene Levy is Doug’s father, a successful Jewish doctor, but he is very unaccepting of his son, well sons when he learns that the other one is gay, a subplot that feels like an uncomfortable silence when it is touched on.

Goon is a surprisingly good independent comedy about a lovable, albeit slow-witted guy who is really good at beating people up. Outside of boxing, wrestling, MMA, etc., the best place to do this is on the hockey ice. With a story like that, how can you go wrong, right? This is a film that you should definitely check out sometime!

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

The Dukes of Hazzard

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Cousins Bo (Seann William Scott), Luke (Johnny Knoxville), and Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson) run a moonshine business for their Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson) in the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia in modern day. The cousins’ primary mode of transportation is an orange 1969 Dodge Charger that the boys affectionately refer to as ‘The General Lee’. Along the way, the family is tormented by corrupt Hazzard County Commissioner Jefferson Davis Hogg, widely known as “Boss Hogg” (Burt Reynolds), and his willing but dimwitted henchman, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey).

After Coltrane has the General Lee wrecked during Bo’s attempt at winning his fifth consecutive local road rally, Billy Prickett (James Roday), a famous stock-car driver, enters Hazzard to participate in the rally. Meanwhile, Coltrane plants a fake moonshine still (“’cause he’s too dumb to find the real one”) in Uncle Jesse’s barn and seizes the Duke property in the interest of eminent domain for Boss Hogg, forcing the family to temporarily reside with neighbor and Uncle Jesse’s love-interest, Pauline (Lynda Carter). Pauline informs the Dukes that Rosco seized another farm on charges so Bo and Luke investigate a local construction site and find geologic core samples with the help of bait-shop owner Sheev (Kevin Heffernan). Meanwhile, Coltrane makes arrangements to seize the General Lee as “evidence” from the local auto body shop run by the Dukes’ friend Cooter (David Koechner), who instead turns the car into a hot-rod and applies a new paint job and horn, in return for finally getting payment for all the work he has done (“…’cause that’s how this works.”) for the boys in the past, when Bo wins the Rally.

After retrieving the General Lee before Rosco can, the Dukes go to Atlanta to visit a local university geology lab, meeting up with Katie-Lynn Johnson (Nikki Griffin), a Hazzard county girl and the Dukes’ love interest, and her roommate Annette (Jacqui Maxwell). At the lab, they discover Boss Hogg’s intentions of turning the county into a strip coalmine. They are later arrested after running from campus police. Back in Hazzard, Daisy learns, with the help of Sheriff Deputy Enos Strate (Michael Weston), that Billy Prickett has been hired by Boss Hogg to participate in the Rally as a ringer. Boss Hogg then heads to Atlanta where he informs the Duke boys, in lock-up, that they are too late to stop him and reveals that the vote on Hogg’s proposition is at the same time as the rally, explaining Billy Prickett’s involvement. During a transfer from detainment, Daisy helps the boys escape and they speed home to try to inform the townsfolk.

Upon returning home, the Dukes discover that Rosco has taken Uncle Jesse and Pauline hostage, an obvious trap for the boys, and that Billy is in on the scheme because he’s ashamed of the town’s low status. The two race to the farmhouse to cause a distraction while Daisy and Cooter rescue Jesse and Pauline. Meanwhile, the college girls head to the rally with Sheev to inform the townsfolk about the vote on the strip-mining ordinance. Because of Sheev’s armadillo hat and lack of pants, no one listens, so Bo leaves for the rally while Luke and Jesse team up to foil the police who are chasing Bo, interfering with the race. Upon crossing the finish line first, before Billy, the two continue racing back and forth all the way into town, leading the townsfolk to the courthouse just in time to vote against Hogg’s proposed ordinance. At the courthouse, Daisy takes advantage of the governor of Georgia’s presence and TV cameras to convince him into pardoning the boys, so Uncle Jesse takes the opportunity to knock out Boss Hogg and gets a pardon for assaulting a county commissioner at the same time.

The film ends with a cook-out at the Dukes’ house where Pauline convinces Uncle Jesse, who could not be found because he was “using the meat smoker,” to get up and play the television series’ main theme. Bo and Luke are romantically involved with the girls in the General Lee when they are caught by Luke’s other love-interest Laurie Pullman (Alice Greczyn) from the intro of the film, who proceeds to chase them with a shotgun as they drive away.

REVIEW:

Like most boys growing up in the 80s, The Dukes of Hazzard was one of those shows I couldn’t miss. I remember having a General Lee Big Wheel and everything. Needless to say, there was nothing that could contain my intrigue to see what they would do to one of my favorite TV shows upon learning about the release of The Dukes of Hazzard, especially when they kept shoving the scenes of Jessica Simpson in a bikini or in her “Daisy Dukes” everywhere one would look. The fact that they were doing that, and all but ignoring everyone else in the picture should have been a red flag!

I’ll get to Jessica in bit. First off, I have to say that I didn’t care for how sexualized they made the Dukes. Please don’t mistake me for an old fuddy-duddy, as I like a good sex romp as much as the next guy. However, when it comes to the Dukes, one of the things that made them so successful was that it was good family entertainment. Sure they were a bit lewd and crude, but it wasn’t as overt as this. I’m sure there were those that were offended by what they did tho the beloved Dukes. I was almost in that boat, then I remembered that the prequel The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning, was just as overtly sexual, and I was very high on that one. I guess it would be kind of hypocritical of me to not be fair and balanced with this one, right? Not so fast, my friend, this one got a major releases, so its held to a higher standard!

It was also brought to my attention, and they also touch on it in a scene in the film, that the Confederate flag on the top of the car might be offensive to some. When I was little, I didn’t even know what it was, other than a design on the car. As a matter of fact, I don’t think it was a big deal back then, bt somewhere in time, it became a negative thing. Is it offensive? Well, in the way it used, no, but I can see how some would feel the need to have it removed or something along those lines. Hatred of past generations and what that flag stood for/represented can be brough up just by a 2 second glance of it. You may notice however, that they rarely show the top of the car, unlike in the series. I think this was done to not offend anyone, but also keep the original design. At least, that’s my guess.

Now that I’ve said all that, let’s get to the good, shall we?

Firstly, living in Baton Rouge, where this was filmed (I wasn’t here when that was happening), it was good to notice pieces here and there that I see everyday, especially in the chase scene. I go that way to work everyday. Wonder if I could drive like that one day..hmmm…

Second, I give them kudos for casting Jessica Simpson. At the time she was nothing more than a pretty face on her own reality show, but she was hot. She went on this extreme workout regimen to get all toned up for this film, but that is not why I give them my kudos. I half expected them to make her a bigger focus than she ever should be, like in the prequels. If you’ve ever seen the show, she appears here and there, shakes her tight little tush, gets the boys out of trouble, then we don’t see her again, unless they go to the bar where she shows she’s totally capable of holding her own, and is more than just a pretty face.

I also applaud bringing in the original Sherriff Roscoe. Seeing him was a nice little nod to us fans of the original series, and his character is one that can be pretty much any age, so it works.

This is one of those films where the one thing you have to get right is the car chase scenes. Without them, then I don’t know what you have. These filmmakers realized that and made sure to get that spot on with some impressive chase scenes!

Now, onto the bad..

I have to say this. The college scenes were filmed on LSU’s campus, but it was supposed to be the University of Georgia. On top of that, the chase scenes through downtown Atlanta took place in downtown New Orleans. I realize it is cheaper to film here because of tax breaks and whatnot, but that just seems wrong! Pay the extra money and film in Georgia! A few of my LSU fan friends were highly pissed about that.

Next, I scratch my head at some of this casting. Boss Hogg is supposed to be a big fat guy, why in the blue hell would you cast Burt Reynolds? On top of that, he didn’t really bring anything to the character.

Lynda Carter seemed as if she was just brought in to pay some bills. The whole time she was on screen, I was wondering why they just didn’t use Catherine Bach for her character. Nothing against Lynda, but she’s above this. For goodness sakes, she’s frekain’ Wonder Woman!!

Johnny Knoxville and Sean William Scott aren’t horrible as them Duke boys, but that’s all they are, just ok. There isn’t any chemistry between them, like we saw between the originals. Hell, the guys in the prequel have more than these two.

Yes, I gave Jessica Simpson kudos earlier for not trying to make the film about her, but I have to mention her acting. Keeping her mind that this is her debut, she just doesn’t cut it. The horridness at which she tries to wiggle around and look sexy is pathetic. The girl may have a great voice and (had) a great body, but nothing makes up for her vomit inducing take on Daisy Duke.

The story wasn’t exactly the most coherent, but I can’t say I was surprised. If you’re expecting some mult-faceted, deep thought invoking flick, then why the hell are you watching The Dukes of Hazzard? That being said, they could have done better. This sort of seemed like they brought in some monkeys to help with figuring some ideas and wherever they threw their poop, those were the ideas they kept.

So, as a fan of the original series, what did I think of this film. It was closer than I thought it would be. Obviously the filmmakers tried to not alienate the original fan base. However, they also threw in some new wrinkles to bring in today’s audience which, in my opinion, is where it went wrong. Do I think it is worth seeing? I won’t fault you for watching it, but don’t alter your plans just to make sure you have to watch it, let’s put it that way, shall we?

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Ellie (Queen Latifah) and Manny (Ray Romano) are expecting their first child, and Manny is obsessed with making life perfect and safe for the family, since his first experiences as a husband and father went bad when his family was killed by hunters. At the same time, Diego (Denis Leary) finds himself unable to catch a cocky gazelle (Bill Hader) he has been stalking and decides to leave the herd, believing that he is losing his predatory nature as a tiger. Sid (John Leguizamo) grows jealous of Manny and Ellie and “adopts” three apparently abandoned eggs that he finds in an icy underground cavern and call them Eggbert, Shelly, and Yoko. Manny tells him to put them back, but Sid instead looks after the eggs, which hatch into baby Tyrannosaurus the next morning.

Although Sid tries his best to raise the three dinosaurs, their rambunctious behavior scares away all the other animals’ young and ruins a playground Manny built for Ellie’s baby. A female Tyrannosaurus, Momma, whose eggs Sid stole, soon returns and carries both Sid and her young underground, with Diego in pursuit. Manny, Ellie, Crash, and Eddie (Sean William Scott, Josh Peck) follow as well and discover that the icy cavern leads to a vast jungle populated by dinosaurs thought to be extinct. Here, an Ankylosaurus threatens the herd despite Diego’s efforts to fend it off; they are saved from a further crowd of angry reptiles by an insane, one-eyed weasel named Buckminster, or Buck (Simon Pegg).

Buck has been living in this jungle for some time and is chasing Rudy, a large albino Baryonyx, with the intention of avenging the loss of his right eye at Rudy’s hands. He agrees to lead the herd through the jungle’s perils to Lava Falls, where Momma has taken Sid and her babies. At one point, they have to cross the “Chasm of Death” which is filled with gas fumes (a mixture of helium and laughing gas, causing anyone who breathes in it to laugh uncontrollably while speaking in a high-pitched voice). Although the gas is not the actual cause of death, victims usually cannot stop laughing and thus die while trying to cross the chasm. Eventually the group manages to cross the chasm. In the meantime, Sid and Momma try to outdo each other in feeding the offspring; he loses this contest, but is soon welcomed into the family regardless. The next day, however, Sid is separated from the family and attacked by Rudy. Sid is knocked onto a loose rock slab that is floating on a river of lava and about to plummet over the falls.

As the herd moves toward Lava Falls, Ellie goes into labor and a Guanlong pack strikes, causing a rock slide that separates her from Manny and Diego. Manny doubles back to protect her and Diego fends off further attacks, while Buck takes Crash and Eddie ahead to rescue Sid. Just as he goes over the falls, the trio swoops in on a commandeered Pteranodon only to be chased by a flock of Quetzalcoatlus on the way and saves his life. Manny reaches Ellie, and there is suddenly a reaction, the cry of a newborn baby, then he sees that it is a girl. He wants to name her Ellie, or Little Ellie, but Ellie instead names her Peaches after the fruit (and the codeword they had chosen for Ellie to use if she went into labor during the trip). Sid is saddened at the fact that he never had a chance to say goodbye to “his” children as he returns to the herd and learns of Peaches’ birth.

As they venture back to the tunnel, they are shocked to discover Rudy lurking inside of the entrance. Rudy exits the tunnel and attacks at full force; Buck lures Rudy away from the group and is nearly eaten himself, before Diego saves him at the last second. Manny, Sid, Diego, and Buck manage to ensnare Rudy and knock him unconscious, but as they begin to leave, Sid trips over one of the ropes and breaks it. Rudy quickly recovers and escapes, and is about to attack Sid when Momma arrives on the scene, charging at Rudy and knocking him off a cliff before roaring her victory. As she and her children wish Sid well, Buck – now without a purpose in life since Rudy is gone – decides to join the herd and live on the surface. However, a distant roar tells him that Rudy is still alive; he changes his mind and sends the herd home, blocking off the path to the underground jungle at the same time, so nobody else can go down there anymore. Manny and Ellie welcome Peaches into their frozen world and admit that Sid did a good job looking after Momma’s children (though Manny tells Diego that he will never let Sid babysit Peaches). Diego decides to remain with the herd, while Buck stays where he wants to be: underground, battling it out with Rudy.

REVIEW:

 Both Ice Age and Ice Age 2: The Meltdown were huge commercial successes, but what about Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs? Well, for starters this thing was released in 3D, so they were going to make some money, even if only half the audience went to see it, thanks to the outrageous, overpriced tickets. That being said, it is arguably the best of the bunch.

This film franchise has been criticized for not being true to the timeline. Personally, I don’t care. Whatever happened to suspension of disbelief? Can’t kid/family films just be fn and not have to worry about being historically accurate? I mean, if you want to go that far, then you may as well go all out and say that a wooly mammoth, sloth, opossums, and sabre tooth tiger, as well as the rest of their little herd (plus whatever Scrat is), wouldnt ever be traveling together! Some people just need to get over their high and mighty elitist attitudes and enjoy something once in a while, rather than find any and everything to criticize!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way. The CG here is obviously better than the first two. Of that there is no question. If you have any doubt about that, just watch in awe of the land where the dinosaurs roam, or the detail on Manny and Ellie’s fur, or the scales on Rudy. It is impressive. Now that I’ve said that, I didn’t really see anything that warranted the use of 3D, and I feel sorry for those that wasted the extra money on the used glasses.

The plot is ok. I mean, it basically is about how the original trio is sort of drifting apart because Manny is about to become a father, Diego has gotten “soft”, and Sid wants them to stay together and be a family. A tad bit to overemotional for my taste, but I can see how it works.

I like how the movie flies along at a steady pace. Its predecessors seemed to drag a bit. I think this may be because of the action in this one, though, or maybe it is just the break from the icy world they live in.

Voice casting in here is amazing, but some seem to be giving more than others. For instance, Simon Pegg as Buck, appears to be going all out, while Denis Leary, Sean William Scott, Queen Latifah and Ray Romano all sound as if they’re just reading some lines.

When all is said and done Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs may not be the greatest film by the critics’ overpuffed standards, bt for us normal people, it is quite an enjoyable flick. Sure, it has its flaws, and that’s just fine with me. The most important thing is that it is entertaining and not boring. This is fun for the whole family and a film all will enjoy!

4 out of 5 stars

Cop Out

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

James “Jimmy” Monroe (Bruce Willis) and Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan), cops working for the NYPD, are celebrating their ninth year together as partners. After failing to capture Juan Diaz (Cory Fernandez) and for causing a disastrous neighborhood shootout and beating up a kid, a heartless police captain suspends them without pay refusing to care about Jim’s feelings for his daughter’s wedding. Jimmy’s daughter Ava (Michelle Trachtenberg) is getting married, and the price for the wedding is close to fifty thousand dollars. Though his ex-wife Pam’s second husband Roy (Jason Lee) offers to pay for the wedding, Jimmy is determined to find a way to come up with the money so that Roy won’t humiliate him. Paul is worried that his wife Debbie (Rashida Jones) is cheating on him, so he sets up a secret video camera in a teddy bear. While Jimmy is selling a 1952 Andy Pafko baseball card to pay for the wedding, Paul is calling Debbie. Jimmy is robbed by Dave (Seann William Scott), who steals his card and Paul’s favorite gun whilst robbing the shop Jimmy was selling his card to. They find out that Dave is going to rob a house that night, so they stake out the house to retrieve the card and gun. Paul arrests Dave and discovers he has sold the card and gun for drugs.

Jimmy previews the tape from Paul’s hidden camera and finds what looks to be Debbie and another man, but tells Paul there’s nothing on it. They go to the dealer, Poh Boy (Guillermo Díaz), who tells them they may have the card if they retrieve a stolen car. When they find the car, they discover a distressed woman named Gabriela (Ana de la Reguera) in the trunk. Paul then sees the tape from his hidden camera and is heartbroken when he sees that Jimmy has lied: Debbie is with another man in their bedroom. Gabriela reveals that she’s the mistress of a murdered drug lord who was kidnapped by Poh Boy’s gang. Not wanting to get Jimmy and Paul hurt, she flees, leaving for them a flashdrive concealed in a cross, which contains information about offshore bank accounts. Jimmy and Paul pay Dave’s bail so that he may retrieve the card and gun, but he falls out of a tree and apparently dies. Jimmy goes in to retrieve the card, but is surrounded by the gang. At the same time, Paul learns that Debbie is not cheating on him after all: she has played a trick on him for hiding the camera in their bedroom. After killing most of the gang, Jimmy and Paul found Poh Boy holding Gabriela at gunpoint. They shot him dead, but Paul’s bullet goes through the head of the baseball player on Jimmy’s card, which is hidden in Poh Boy’s shirt pocket. Pleased with the duo’s investigation and assisting two colleagues who were caught in the shootout, the precinct chief restores Jimmy and Paul to active duty and gives them commendations.

Dejected at the destruction of his card, Jimmy lets Roy pay for the wedding, but Paul discreetly points his pistol at Roy and orders him to sit down at the moment the priest calls out the father who would give away Ava. During the closing credits, it is revealed that Dave did not die in the fall when he pulls a prank on the coroner opening the body bag by doing one of his knock-knock jokes.

REVIEW:

It has been quite awhile since I’ve seen a good buddy cop film comedy. Thank goodness (and Kevin Smith) for Cop Out. I’ve read some critics’ reviews of this film saying it is his worst film. I find it hard to contest that statement, until I think of Jersey Girl. Obviously these are not Smith’s best works, but neither sucks.

Cop Out is a nice little tale of a couple of cops that are put on administrative leave after botching a drug bust. As with most cop stories, the partners have a bit of a rivalry with another pair of cops.

While the film has its moments, the back and forth between the two set of partners and the camaraderie they share is quite the impressive dynamic.

You can’t have a cop film without a villain, and this is no exception. The sadistic drug lord in this film and his even more psychotic hitman brother provide the perfect foil for our “heroes”.

The plot is pretty good, thought it felt as if something was missing. I’m not sure what. Maybe it was the way they sort of threw in the whole ex-wife/daughter getting married thing with Bruce Willis’ character (even though that did lead to the baseball card plot point), or the whole possible cheating scandal with Tracey Morgan’s character, which was quite funny.

Both of these situations worked out in the end, but they felt sort of shoehorned in and not thought through.

The cast works for some strange reason, because by all accounts, you would not expect these pieces to fit together.

Bruce Willis is his usual gruff, bad ass action star, stonefaced self. He does show some emotion and drop a few one-liners here and there to remind the audience he’s human and not a robot, though, which I found as a nice touch.

Tracy Morgan steals the show, but considering how this is supposed to be a comedy, one should not be surprised. His best scenes are when he is spouting off movie lines in the interrogation room and interacting with both Willis ans Sean William Scott.

Speaking of Sea william Scott, his character was rather oddly brought in. I mean, it worked for him to have been brought in as a common crook, but how many cops are going to keep a working relationship with a random criminal they pick up? I guess suspension of disbelief had to go into effect there. Still, Scott’s performance is second only to Morgan in terms of hilarity.

Adam Brody and Kevin Pollack’s chemistry as partners is almost as good as Morgan and Willis, but not quite that good. Of course, that could just be the way it looks with the few scenes they have.

Rashida Jones is hot as ever, though a bit wasted in the handful of scenes she’s in.

The sadistic Poh Boy is played effortlessly by Guillermo Diaz. Diaz does a good job of playing the drug dealer and making the audience believe he is unhinged, yet in the comedy villain way, not in the way you would expect if this were your typical action flick like, say, Die Hard.

Is this film worth seeing? Yes, it is. There is plenty of comedy, action, and a bit of intrigue to go around that makes it a must-see. Having said that, I think this is a bit of a letdown f or Kevin Smith, but that may be more to do with high expectations. If you get the chance, check it out.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars