Posts Tagged ‘FireFly

23
Jun
09

The Hangover

20090611-the-hangoverWhen thinking of the comedy hits of the “20 something” generation, many incredible titles come to mind. There are the killer comedies from the “Frat Pack” (Old School, Wedding Crashers, Anchorman, etc). There is the off kilter humor of Broken Lizard (Super Troopers, Beer Fest, Club Dread). And of course let’s not forget the Seth Rogan era (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked up, Super Bad). The Hangover will easily find its place among these great comedies. It follows the recipe perfectly for gut busting entertainment. Soon everyone you know will be reciting the witty one liners, and updating their Facebook statuses with paragraphs of dialogue. The Hangover is an extremely fun movie, and will make every guy in the world want their bachelor party in Vegas. But lets be honest, “some guys just can’t handle Vegas”.

The Hangover runs with the idea of having a balls to the wall bachelor party in Vegas. Doug Billings is getting married, and as one last hooray hits the Vegas strip with his buddies Stu, Phil, and soon to be brother-n-law, Alan. Of course a night out in Vegas is never dull, and the boys “misplace” the groom to be. They must back track their steps to remember what happened the night before, and find Doug before he has to step up to the alter.

Todd Phillips could possibly be one of the greatest comedic directors of our generation. First he brought us Road Trip, the ever hilarious Old School, and now the 2009 hit The Hangover. It is one thing to have a hilarious script with dream dialogue, but if you do not portray it to the audience correctly, all that comedy gold is lost. Todd Phillips does an excellent job of keeping the audience rolling. Sometimes comedy is made through reaction shots. Catching the reaction of a character at the right moment can, most times, be a lot funnier than the actual dialogue. Phillips grabs those reaction shots with great close ups of the characters. Zach Galifianakis’s character, Alan, is so incredibly hilarious that to not shoot his facial expressions would be a sin. There are also great landscape shots of Vegas. This helps the audience get the full ambiance of the bachelor party. Seeing the Vegas lights foreshadows the insanity..

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What truly makes this movie, is the dynamic characterization and their interactions. A great comedy has characters that have distinct personality traits whose energies feed off each other. The Hangover is an excellent example of this. First off you have the suave, asshole, teacher, Phil (Bradley Cooper). Anytime you have a party movie you need this character. A guy who knows how to party and most definitely adds fuel to the fire. Next there is the conservative, whipped lap dog, Stu (Ed Helms). You always need a character like Stu; a guy who is always freaking out, but will follow the party guy to hell and back. His unease with the situation heightens the suspense of the plot, and of course adds some funny one liners. Then there is the socially awkward, odd ball, of the group, Alan (Zach Galifianakis). This is the character that is a little off his rocker, and sticks out like a sore thumb. This inevitably is the star character of the movie. The character people will be quoting for years to come. His awkwardness provides the movie with a constant flow of random, hilarious dialogue, and a catalyst for the movie’s action. If you look at Old School, Alan can be compared to Frank the Tank. Will Farrell’s character is quoted more than Maya Angelo on Valentines Day. And as many of you have already seen or heard, Alan’s lines will easily be recited at drunken college parties, and on Twitter updates for a long time.

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This movie looked like it was a lot of fun to make, and that energy is easily portrayed to the audience. The Hangover is getting a lot of hype, and for once it is actually deserved. Get off your butt and stop watching Old School reruns on TBC. Go see this movie, and leave the kids at home. P.S if you are offended by male frontal nudity you will LOVE this movie!

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12
May
09

X-men Origins: Wolverine

x_men_origins_wolverineJust when I thought that I would never see Huge “Jacked” Jackman with feathered hair and a mustache-less beard again, X-men Origins: Wolverine came to the rescue. This origin story brings Wolverine to the screen for the fourth time; revealing the past of our favorite three-clawed hero. Wolverine, aka Logan, witnesses the death of his father at a young age. In rage, he shoots bones claws from his knuckles and avenges his father. But wait I thought Wolverine had metal claws? Patience my friends, lets go to chapter two and see what happens next! Wolverine and his childhood friend Victor Creed, later to be known as Sabertooth, escape only to fight in pretty much every American war. They are mutants, of course they live forever. Wolverine and Sabertooth eventually join the “Weapon X” program which is dedicated to creating the perfect mutant killer. This group is not what you would consider morally sound, so Wolverine leaves to take on the life of a lumberjack. His old buddy Sabertooth is not very exciting about this, and decides to kill Wolverine’s girlfriend. Cue cheesy shot of Wolverine holding his dead girlfriend as he screams into the air. Blood thirsty for revenge, Wolverine allows the Weapon X program to pump his body full of space metal. Ahhh now I see, THAT’S how he gets the metal claws. The Wolverine we grew to love as kids is now born, and really pissed off at the world.

It’s tough to write a synopsis on an origin story! So many details with so little wordpress space. As you can imagine a character like Wolverine has a long complicated history. This fact alone makes this movie a difficult creation. On one end you want to make a good movie that everyone will want to go see. On the other you have to please all the comic book fans by recreating the story as accurately as possible. I could sit here all day and argue over the movies authenticity in relation to the actual origin story, but let’s leave that to the fan boys’ wordpress pages. Just analyzing the movie for what it was, X-men Origins: Wolverine fell short in many ways.

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My main complaint was that the movie cut corners and forced the story. The Wolverine origin story already has enough meat, there is no need to add potatoes. There were a lot of aspects that made the movie feel rushed. For instance I felt like characters were added to create a forced ending. I realize that the studio was probably just trying to please fans by adding characters like Gambit and Cyclops, but they were not needed. Gambit was in the movie for what seemed like two seconds, and had a very minor role. He was obviously only placed in the movie to make fan boys happy.

Another thing that seemed to make the movie feel rushed and cheaply made was the bad CG. There was a point in the movie where Wolverine is looking at his new metal claws in the mirror. For some reason the claws looked like a bad cartoon from Who Framed Rodger Rabbit. I understand that you can not really show claws shooting out of Huge Jackman’s hands, but the original X-Men movies the claws looked a lot more realistic. That is what makes Wolverine, Wolveriney! We couldn’t throw a little more money toward the design?

Aside from the bad CG and the unnecessary character placement X-men Origins was a decent movie. It had good acting, thank you Huge Jackman, was well filmed, and provided enough action to hide its weak plot behind. The title also suggests that there might be more origin stories to come, which I welcome with open arms. If you go see it in theaters make sure you wait until after the credits. X-men movies always like to give you a little treat for sticking around and reading who the “Best Boy Grip” was.