Thanks. Unfortunately I’m not, I just do it for fun. Ironic that I started it cos I hate most film critics and their pretentious reviews so I decided to write mine
Whenever a small movie performs above expectations it earns the tag “surprise hit” and whether we like it or not a new franchise is born. We’ve already seen it with The Fast and Furious franchise and now The Hangover, the most successful R-Rated comedy of all time.
The Hangover Part II reunites the Wolfpack this time for Stu’s (Ed Helms) wedding and in Thailand. I don’t think I need to explain the remainder of the plot but this time it’s Stu’s future brother in law Teddy (Mason Lee son of Ang Lee) that gets lost. What made The Hangover such a refreshing and extremely funny movie was that it skipped the bachelor party and brought us to the morning after. There was also the whole mysterious element which kept us intrigued.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it right? Unfortunately yes and The Hangover Part II seems less like a sequel but more like an inferior remake of the first, at times almost a shot for shot remake. I know the formula worked well at first but they could have tried to be more creative and offer something different. From Kanye West songs in the beginning to awkward elevator silences to Ed Helms having a musical number. This time it’s a monkey instead of a baby, tranny instead of stripper, tattooed face instead of missing tooth etc and of course Mike Tyson. Makes me wonder if they even wrote a new script from scratch or just edited bits of the original.
This film however still has the strengths of the original, the chemistry between the three leading men is brilliant. Cooper’s main job is obviously to look nice but he has great charisma and his comedic timing isn’t bad either. Ed Helms continues his solid work, his character is way more neurotic in this one but that’s understandable considering the fact that it’s his own wedding at stake. It’s no surprise that most of the laughs come from Zach Galifianakis, he is really good in this and right now he’s arguably the funniest man in Hollywood. Ken Jeong has a more significant role and he’s also very funny. Supporting actors Justin Bartha, Sasha Barrese, Jamie Chung & Mason Lee also put in solid shifts. The brilliant Paul Giamatti steals the scenes he’s in and there’s a cool Nick Cassavetes cameo.
There’s not much Todd Phillips could actually do with this film due to the mediocre script. He deserves praise for his grand shots of Bangkok, for a comedy director he uses big wide shots very well, especially in Due Date. He also shot the fast paced scenes such as the car chase really well, maybe his long term future lies in action or science fiction. However Phillips should take some stick for the script he co-wrote with Scot Armstrong and Craig Mazin.
Yes The Hangover Part II is like a cheap remake of the first but despite this I laughed several times during the film and that’s the most important thing to take into consideration during a comedy. It’s not like Hall Pass, The Dilemma or Just Go With It which had me straight faced throughout and only slightly chuckling once or twice.
The Hangover Part II would definitely please fans of the first and the repetitive feel can be overlooked. The problem would be if there’s a The Hangover Part III that changes the city again but uses the same formula. Judging by the early box-office there probably would. 6/10
The first few months of every film year are very quiet, there are hardly any big releases. Most of the films that come out are films that studios couldn’t fit anywhere on their schedule and decide to release in order to make a few bucks. Box Office is usually slow too. I’m just gonna share some thoughts on the first few months of the year so far, emphasis on SO FAR.
Best Film: “Source Code”
Duncan Jone’s is one of the most interesting young directors right now and while his sci-fi thriller has it’s flaws it’s a brilliant film. Good script, good performances and some top notch direction. I really enjoyed it.
Worst Film: “No Strings Attached”
Natalie Portman is lucky the “Black Swan” buzz was still very strong or this film could have cost her the Oscar just like “Norbit” did Eddie Murphy. Hate is a strong word but that’s all I feel about this terrible unfunny unromantic movie.
Biggest Surprise: “The Lincoln Lawyer”
I used to really like Matthew McConaughey but recently I gave up on him, it seemed like he was going to waste all his talent on terrible romantic comedies. This film brought back memories of his early charismatic performances. Overall a quality and entertaining legal drama/thriller from start to finish.
Biggest Disappointment: “The Green Hornet”
I had high hopes for this movie because of the talent involved but it disappointed me. Director Michel Gondry would be ashamed of this film but it’s star and writer Seth Rogen that should take all the blame for this tepid unambitious and extremely lazy superhero film.
Most Underrated Film: “The Company Men”
Touching drama about the effects of the financial crisis on the American upper middle class. Lovely script and some very strong performances. A year ago I would have been surprised that this film didn’t get any Oscar recognition but now I know the Oscars are a big farce. It’s probably because Oscar voters are rich twats who weren’t affected by the recession.
Best Summer Blockbuster: “Thor”
Well, only two blockbusters have come out and while I love “Fast Five” I have to say “Thor” is more awesome. If you still haven’t seen it go and check it out in 3D and IMAX if possible.
Most Anticipated Summer Blockbuster: “Super 8”
Fox has been releasing some awesome ‘X-Men: First Class’ footage but JJ Abrams monster sci-fi homage to Spielberg, childhood and the seventies is still the most exciting prospect for me. The fact that we barely know anything about the plot increases the anticipation.
Most Anticipated Indie Release: “We Need To Talk About Kevin”
This was one of the first films to premiere at Cannes and it’s already getting serious critical acclaim. Adapted from the Lionel Shriver novel, it stars the always brilliant Tilda Swinton as the mother of a boy who goes on a killing spree in his school. It’s Lynne Ramsay’s first feature film in about nine years.
“Fast Five” grossed $86.2 million in it’s domestic opening weekend and has already made over $93 million in foreign markets. It’s the biggest commercial success of 2011 so far and it’s also a hit with critics, scoring 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. There are two things I hope Hollywood executives would learn from “Fast Five’s” success and apply to other blockbusters.
1. Use A Racially Diverse Cast: Casting one or two black or Hispanic guys in small roles isn’t ethnic diversity. This is ethnic diversity: Vin Diesel is of Italian and black descent, Dwayne Johnson is Hawaiian, Paul Walker is Caucasian and Jordana Brewster is Brazilian. The cast also includes African Americans Tyrese and Ludacris, Elsa Pataky who is Spanish, Joaquim de Almeida who is Portuguese, Puerto Ricans Tego Calderon and Don Omar, Korean American Sung Kang and Israeli beauty Gal Gadot. Even director Justin Lin is Taiwanese American. It’s the 21st century, the US president is black, so how come there are hardly ever any black, Asian or Hispanic people in major motion pictures? The growing importance of foreign box office should be a major factor in the need to increase diversity, this sounds simple and naive but if you want more blacks, Asians and Latinos to pay for your films put more blacks, Asians and Latinos in them. A brilliant article in The Wrap goes deeper into this issue.
2. 3D Isn’t A Necessity For Big Box Office: 3D means higher ticket prices and that means more money at the box office. While films such as “Avatar”, “Clash Of The Titans” & “Despicable Me” etc had their earnings boosted by 3D there have also been a number of high profile 3D flops such as “Step Up 3D”, “Alpha & Omega”, “Sanctum”, “Drive Angry 3D” etc. People look at the extra revenue that 3D brings but they usually forget about the extra cost of filming in 3D or even worse and more expensive, the cost of converting a film shot in 2D into 3D. Just make a film that’s meant to entertain it’s core audience and there’s a good chance it would succeed. If 3D is needed to achieve that, let it be in 3D but don’t use it as a way to sell expensive tickets.
The nominees for the anti Oscars are out. Surprise surprise “Twilight Eclipse” leads the pack with 8 nominations, surprisingly (for real this time) followed by “Inception” with 7.
The 2011 MTV Movie awards are on June 5 and would be hosted by SNL funny man Jason Sudeikis. Expect “Eclipse” to win everything when the night comes.
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”
“The Social Network”
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Best Female Performance
Emma Stone, “Easy A”
Emma Watson, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”
Jennifer Aniston, “Just Go With It”
Kristen Stewart, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Male Performance
Daniel Radcliffe, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”
Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”
Robert Pattinson, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Taylor Lautner, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Zac Efron, “Charlie St. Cloud”
Best Breakout Star
Andrew Garfield , “The Social Network”
Chloë Grace Moretz, “Kick-Ass”
Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”
Jay Chou, “The Green Hornet”
Olivia Wilde, “TRON: Legacy”
Xavier Samuel, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Best Comedic Performance
Adam Sandler, “Just Go With It”
Ashton Kutcher, “No Strings Attached”
Emma Stone, “Easy A”
Russell Brand, “Get Him to the Greek”
Zach Galifianakis, “Due Date”
Best Line From A Movie (New Category)
Alexys Nycole Sanchez, “Grown Ups”: “I want to get chocolate wasted.”
Amanda Bynes and Emma Stone, “Easy A”: Amanda Bynes: “There is a higher power that will judge you for your indecency.” Emma Stone: “Tom Cruise?”
Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”: “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”
Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield, “The Social Network”: Justin Timberlake: “… A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?” Andrew Garfield: “A billion dollars. And that shut everybody up.”
Tom Hardy, “Inception”: “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.”
Christoph Waltz, “The Green Hornet”
Leighton Meester, “The Roommate”
Mickey Rourke, “Iron Man 2”
Ned Beatty, “Toy Story 3”
Tom Felton, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”
Amy Adams vs. The Sisters, “The Fighter”
Chloë Grace Moretz vs. Mark Strong, “Kick-Ass”
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint vs. Death Eaters, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt vs. Hallway Attacker, “Inception”
Robert Pattinson vs. Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuel, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “Inception”
Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”
Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, “Black Swan”
Best Jaw-Dropping Moment
James Franco, “127 Hours,” Cuts Off His Arm
Justin Bieber, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” Performance Spectacular
Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page, “Inception,” Paris Café Scene
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan,” Mutilation: Pulls the Skin off Her Finger
Steve-O, “Jackass 3D,” Port-A-Potty Bungee Stunt
Best Scared-As-Sh*t Performance
Ashley Bell, “The Last Exorcism”
Ellen Page, “Inception”
Jessica Szohr, “Piranha 3D”
Minka Kelly, “The Roommate”
Ryan Reynolds, “Buried”
Biggest Badass Star
Alex Pettyfer, “I Am Number Four”
Chloë Grace Moretz, “Kick-Ass”
Jaden Smith, “The Karate Kid”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “Inception”
Robert Downey Jr., “Iron Man 2”