Tag Archives: movie review

‘American Reunion’ still satisfies

Our generation has had the, well; let’s call it, luxury, of growing up with “The American Pie” movies.  Whether you like them or not, it is kind of cool that we got to see “The Animal House” of our generation grow throughout its four incarnations.

What is most interesting is how this movie has grown.  For me, and most of the readers of this newspaper, “The American Pie” movies have been meant to parallel the demographic one step ahead of us.

Stifler, Jim and the crew were in high school when we were in junior high and they were getting married just before we shipped off to college. So we, as viewers, have had the unique ability to look at our future selves and that next step in our lives, something we take so seriously, and laugh.

Sure, there is not much wisdom to be gained from a sex-driven comedy, but its nice to see, even if it is fictional, that things will change, but there are always people who you can depend on, whether those are your high school buddies or over the top jokes from Sean William Scott.

Now, is this movie the next instant comedy classic? No. But whether it is a good movie or not will more likely depend on how much you enjoyed the previous films in the series.  I liked “American Pies 1” and 2, and I can assure fans of the series that “American Reunion” is a more than a worthy addition.

The fourth installment brings back all of the characters from the first three movies, and it’s fun seeing how some of the more minor characters make their return.

Fans will appreciate other subtle references and homages from earlier entries as well in the form of Youtube videos, character histories and back stories hinted at through dialogue, and entirely new characters that seamlessly fit into the “American Pie” narrative.

So for what it’s worth, “American Reunion” is a riotously fun comedy.  As the fourth movie in a series that started a relatively short time ago, this movie does what it does very well.

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Ian Storey/
For the Review
Ian Storey can be  reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

 

I’m in love with ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is an outstanding movie. I mentioned it earlier this year as my favorite movie of the summer but didn’t get to do much of a review for it.

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is the story of Cal and Emily Weaver (played by Steve Carell  and Julianne Moore) and their unfortunate divorce after 25 years of marriage when Emily admits to sleeping with her co-worker (played by Kevin Bacon).

Cal then falls into a deep hole and spends most of his time at a local bar talking to anyone who will listen about the situation. A club regular and player, Jacob, (played by Ryan Gosling) gets tired of hearing about the sob story and offers to teach Cal how to “get his manhood back.”

After accepting the offer, Cal learns from the ladies’ man, Jacob, and begins to move on with his life.

Later, Jacob claims he has found the woman for him, Hannah (played by Emma Stone) and leaves the club scene.

Eventually, Cal realizes that he still loves and misses Emily and wants to go home. This is where all of the fun starts!

Through the beginning of the movie, it was hard to tell exactly what path this movie was going to take. Eventually, it finds its footing and takes off.

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” was clever, emotional, and above all, real. It features at least five different love stories that are all awkwardly connected.

The cast really highlighted this movie. Carell, Moore, Gosling, Stone and even Bacon were incredibly believable. Gosling has really grown on me, and he didn’t disappoint.

Carell was a toned-down version of his usual character, which I thought was one of his best movie roles yet. I also recommend “Dan in Real Life. “

Overall, the humor level was at about a B+, although there was one scene toward the end of the movie where it got bumped up to an A+.

If you’re looking for a solid movie with a mixed up love story that is well-developed and powerful, I highly recommend it.

I give “Crazy, Stupid, Love:” 9.5/10

Once again, this was Hayden from haydensmovies.com bringing you the latest and greatest in movie news and reviews.

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Hayden Mace/
For the Review
Hayden Mace can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

‘Paul’ is almost an intergalactic hit

“Paul” is an unexpected breath of fresh air in the midst of all of the pollution coming from Hollywood.

I’m a huge sucker for excellent trailers and high expectations, and I’ve been in somewhat of a rut lately when it comes to picking solid flicks. But I decided to give “Paul” a chance.

It’s a road trip comedy about two sci-fi geeks who travel, via a battered RV, to all the alien “hot spots” in the United States. Along their way, they stumble upon Paul, an alien who has been held captive on Earth for several decades.

The two comrades agree to help Paul get to his mother ship but don’t know what they’re getting into. Along their journey, they are chased by federal agents and accidentally kidnap an extremely religious young woman, whose beliefs are frustrated by the very existence of Paul.

I really enjoy the humor of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, both from “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead,” but it’s not for everyone. I’ve met a handful of people who have loved both movies and another group who didn’t understand them at all. I recommend testing one out before diving into this humor genre subsection.

Also, I go back and forth on Seth Rogan, so I was initially a little uncertain with the casting of his voice for the alien, Paul, but he does a magnificent job and I ended up liking the character.

I thought the writing of Pegg and Frost combined with the directing of Greg Mottola, the man who brought us Superbad and Adventureland, made for a great combination. Everything worked extremely well together.

The jokes are smart and crude, and I know science fiction fans will get a good laugh from all of the gestures toward the genre. The lines about people hinting that the two might actually be a couple and the jokes about anal probing got a little old, but in the end, everything ran fairly smoothly.

Paul is definitely an underdog type of movie, and I don’t mean the story. It’s just got a lot stacked up against it from the beginning. Not a lot of people are huge fans of Pegg and Frost’s work, Seth Rogan or alien movies in general, whether they’re comical or action-based.

I think the movie was an overall success just from this standpoint alone. It’s not the best work of Pegg and Frost, but it was definitely still a good ride.

Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, Sigourney Weaver and many others join Pegg, Frost and Rogan.

I give “Paul” an 8.4/10.

Once again, this was Hayden from haydensmovies.com bringing you the latest and greatest in movie news and reviews.

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Hayden Mace/
For the Review
Hayden Mace can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

‘Attack the Block’ fails to impress

“Attack the Block,” although attention-grabbing because of its promise for action and drama, really isn’t all its cracked up to be.

Although the director has created successful movies before, “Attack the Block” didn’t live up to expectations.

“Attack the Block” is written and directed by Joe Cornish, who brought us “Hot Fuzz.”

It’s the story of a teenage gang in London and their unlikely battle against a group of aliens who have landed in their neighborhood.

I enjoyed “Hot Fuzz,” and the trailer for “Attack the Block” looked pretty good, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

The alien invasion story is a bit overused, and this story wasn’t anything fantastic.

The humor wasn’t there, and I could hardly understand what anyone was saying because of the accents.

There wasn’t anything special about this movie, and overall, it wasn’t that entertaining. I give “Attack the Block”: 6.5/10.

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Hayden Mace/
For the Review
Hayden Mace can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

 

Watch this, not that

I’m sure most of you are anticipating a Top-five scary movies list. Unfortunately, horror movies aren’t my strong point, so I decided to do another edition of “Watch This, Not That.”

In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to compare two movies that were so bad it was almost scary. I’ll be comparing “Battle Los Angeles” and “Sucker Punch.”

“Sucker Punch” stars Emily Browning and Vanessa Hudgens. It’s the story of a girl, known only as Baby Doll (Browning), who is forced into a mental institution by her abusive stepfather.

Once admitted, Baby Doll discovers a way to retreat into a fantasy world where she learns of a possible escape from the horrible situation she is in.

Baby Doll encounters every possible enemy imaginable: dragons, nazi zombies, large terracotta samurai warriors, robots and nasty, creepy mustached men.

Baby Doll and her band of four other inmates roam through many different alternate worlds and take on these easily killed enemies.

In the end, the story was boring, action was questionably weak and the movie was a letdown.

It’s directed by Zack Snyder, the director of the visionary films “300” and “Watchmen.” He will direct the new Superman flick, “Man of Steel,” and I hope he does a good job with that.

One could say I was sucker-punched when I saw this movie. Disappointment plays a major factor in my rating here.

“Battle Los Angeles” stars Aaron Eckhart and is the story of an alien invasion. These aliens have landed off the coast of many major cities around the world, but our movie covers the battlefield of Los Angeles.

Eckhart held his own for the majority of the movie, but one character is not enough to pull this one out of the dumps.

The special effects weren’t great and the aliens were boring.

Michelle Rodriguez was in this movie, and she played her normal role of either a police officer or military member.

I’m beginning to shy away from movies in which she makes an appearance.

“Battle: LA” was uninspiring. This storyline has been worn out…over and over again.

Look for “Battleship” if you love this genre and story. Aliens attack with overwhelming force, the military arrives, we fight the aliens, and after many back and forths between the two sides, we end up destroying the mother ship and win the battle.

I’ve just described the entire movie, so even if you were considering seeing it…don’t.

I was dying to see “Sucker Punch” since I first saw the trailer. Some of the fight scenes were pretty cool, so if you’re only looking for some decent action then I guess I could recommend this to you. If you’re looking for a solid all-around action flick with a good story, steer clear.

“Battle Los Angeles” was hard to watch. It’s the story of military stereotypes fighting alien stereotypes.

At the end of the day, I recommend you don’t watch either, however, this is Watch This, Not That. I recommend you watch Sucker Punch (6.0/10) and not Battle Los Angeles (5.0/10).

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Hayden Mace/
For the Review
Hayden Mace can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.