Wednesday, August 11, 2010

“Movie review: 'The Other Guys' make for a funny duo - Rocky Mountain Collegian” plus 3 more

“Movie review: 'The Other Guys' make for a funny duo - Rocky Mountain Collegian” plus 3 more

Movie review: 'The Other Guys' make for a funny duo - Rocky Mountain Collegian

Posted: 11 Aug 2010 02:10 AM PDT

last edited: 2:06 am 08/11/2010

"Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" –– Originality abound, Michael Cera's latest movie looks like nothing that has come out in a while. I think its creativity will propel it toward success.

I don't know what it is, but Will Ferrell just has a knack for making people laugh. It's no different this time around, even when Ferrell is playing one of his most reserved characters yet.

In "The Other Guys," Ferrell is Allen Gamble, a mild mannered pencil pusher for the New York Police Department. His partner, Terry Hoitz, is his polar opposite. Terry, played by Mark Wahlberg, is an aggressive type who fits the mold of the "bad cop" in the famous good cop/bad cop routine.

Terry was on his way through the ranks until a hilarious mishap left him shamed for life and back at the bottom of the food chain. Now he is partnered with Allen and neither of them can get any respect from their peers.

You can completely disregard the story in "The Other Guys;" it doesn't matter. What does matter is all the comedic payoff between Ferrell and Wahlberg, something that averted me in "Dinner For Schmucks."

All of the little quirks that the cop duo has are so original. You will definitely be laughing when they show up throughout the movie. For example, Allen's preposterous ability to attract gorgeous women.

You expect plenty of laughs from Ferrell, but Wahlberg's performance in this comedy is a pleasant surprise. Terry's dissimilarity to Allen is what propels the movie forward and ultimately the reason why their partnership is interesting.

In the line of Will Ferrell comedies, "The Other Guys" is far from the best. Don't get me, wrong this movie is funny, but people expecting to see a film that's on the same comedic level as "Anchorman" will be disappointed. Go in expecting a good time and enjoy the laughs that follow.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at

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Movie Review: 'The Girl Who Played With Fire': nail-biting tension - Republic

Posted: 30 Jul 2010 05:01 AM PDT

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Have the movies ever seen a heroine like Lisbeth Salander?

As portrayed by Noomi Rapace in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and now "The Girl Who Played With Fire," Lisbeth grabs our attention and our allegiance without for one minute asking for our love.

In fact, she's creepy.

It's not just her intimidating looks: the dark wardrobe, nose ring or deliberately ugly slice-and-dice cut of her jet-black hair. It's what she has inside ... or perhaps what she lacks.

Rapace's Lisbeth rarely expresses an emotion, yet it's clear she burns with an inner rage. Antisocial and secretive, she prefers to live off the map.

Lisbeth almost never looks another person in the eye — not even in bed. Perhaps some form of autism prevents her from truly connecting with another human.

But whatever demon made her a loner has also allowed her to become a computer wiz capable of hacking into any database or tracking down an individual laptop through its Wi-Fi.

Earlier this year in the Swedish "Dragon Tattoo," the mysterious Lisbeth helped middle-aged muckraker Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) solve the 40-year-old disappearance of a young woman .

Now, with the second film based on the late Stieg Larsson's best-selling trilogy, their roles are reversed — Lisbeth is a fugitive wanted for several murders, and it's up to magazine writer Blomkvist to prove her innocence.

The bad guys this time around are international sex traffickers. Blomkvist is working on a big expose that will name names. Lisbeth's interest in the project is more personal; in fact, we will learn a good deal about her tormented past and the crime for which she spent her adolescence in a mental hospital.

"Fire," like the book it's based on, is a less pure experience than "Dragon Tattoo" (a third film already has been completed), with more reliance on the cliches of movie crime melodrama. For example, the plot offers a hulking, seemingly unstoppable killer (Mikael Spreitz) who literally cannot feel pain. It's a character that would be more at home in a Bond movie.

And the emphasis of the film (and the entire series) on the abuse and degradation of women is sure to revive arguments over just where Larsson's sympathies lie.

Yet under Daniel Alfredson's direction the film works, thanks to an ever-tightening sense of panic and, especially, to Rapace and Nyqvist. The two stars don't share a scene together until the end of the film, yet their connection is palpable.

Don't even think about seeing this movie unless you've taken in "Dragon Tattoo." The films build upon each other as a slow, detailed examination of two characters who form an unlikely bond that neither could have anticipated.

You may forget the details of the individual mysteries, but you won't escape the impact made by Lisbeth and Blomkvist, two characters who burrow into our consciousness and won't let go.


3 stars

Rated R

Time: 2:09

Swedish with subtitles


(c) 2010, The Kansas City Star.

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.



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'Twilight' movie and actors score big at Teen Choice Awards -

Posted: 10 Aug 2010 05:34 PM PDT

It seems vampires are still the favorites of teens everywhere as both the 'Twilight Saga' and 'Vampire Diaries' cleaned up at the recent Teen Choice Awards. 'Twilight' in particular took home a total of 12 awards including Best Fantasy Movie and Best Villain. 'The Vampire Diaries' took hom a good share of awards as well with seven. The awards show was recently hosted for the taping by singer Katy Perry ('California Gurls').

According to NY Daily News, even the Awards host, Katy Perry, dressed in goth clothing to go vampire style. Perry's wardrobe contained more than just the goth costume as viewers will see her in a variety of outfits on Monday night at 8PM EST.

Both Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson scored several awards at the show, with Pattinson even winning one for Best Drama movie actor for 'Remember Me'. In total, Pattinson won four awards on the night, and he even quipped it was great to win an award that wasn't for 'Twilight'. These two are no strangers to award nominations or wins, as both have won awards at other shows including the MTV Movie Awards this past year. Kristen Stewart hasn't done so badly either.

The awards show will appear on FOX this coming Monday night. As long as they keep making 'Twilight' movies (there's at least two more left), then expect the film and its young stars to keep picking up plenty of trophies, statues, golden popcorns and other awards. If you're not sick of 'Twilight' or vampires yet, you may want to check out the show. There's also some other surprises included such as comedic bits from 'The Hangover' star Ken Jeong and talk show host/comedian George Lopez.


Do you think Twilight has an unfair advantage when it comes to these awards shows or does it really deserve all the attention?

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Vengeance Movie Review: Hong Kong Action Cinema Extraordinaire -

Posted: 06 Aug 2010 09:11 AM PDT

Published: August 06, 2010


By Prairie Miller

Long the feisty David to Hollywood's splashy Goliath fare, Hong Kong action cinema has always intrigued and amazed, where those studio counterpart offerings tend to range from assembly line synthetics to heavy handed gore. And Chinese thriller maven Johnnie To once again doesn't disappoint even at his bloodiest, with the fascinating and mystifying Vengeance (Fuk Sau).

French crooner icon turned pensive thespian Johnny Hallyday is Costello, a weathered Parisian restaurant owner and chef who travels to Hong Kong to the hospital bedside of his gravely wounded daughter Irene (Sylvie Testud), after her husband and young children are gunned down during a mysterious home invasion mob hit. Intent on exacting retribution, Costello offers a trio of gangsters (To tough guy regulars Anthony Wong, Lam Suet and Lam Ka Tung) whom he witnesses in the act of another hit, everything he possesses on the planet, including his watch and restaurant, in exchange for tracking down and killing his family's murderers.

Though the bare bones narrative may sound unexceptionally conventional, be prepared for the expectation-defying unexpected when stepping into a Johnnie To murder for hire masterpiece. An immensely gifted and never less than imaginatively playful filmmaker, To never forgets that movies, no matter how done to death in more ways than one the genre, are always about art. And the limitless creative possibilities of even piles of trash. Which in Vengeance, happen to be graced by the breathlessly assured hand of this visual artist and storyteller extraordinaire.

In other words, To's focus in Vengeance is less about gunning down the bad guys - although there's plenty of that - than crystallizing with exacting precision the visceral sensations surrounding violence, and the many metaphysical looming silences in between. And scene after scene plays out, as if lyrical canvases in motion. Whether capturing identical ominous assassins in hooded raincoats cruising for their prey in a sea of umbrellas, or a freaky poetic shootout in total darkness, as the moon above drifts into a sea of clouds.

Which is not to say that there isn't at the same time lots of room for an abundance of humor, along with bittersweet existential despair. This, as gangsters ranging from menacing executioners to buffoonish family men, and with names like Python, Wolf and Crow, become inextricably tangled in a confusing web of perpetrators and victims. And Costello, devoured by advancing amnesia, earnestly releases his inner dark side before its too late, only to find that compromised memory has left him unable to comprehend even what vengeance is as a concept anymore. A cunning plot point which To himself unleashes here, subverting the very genre he so passionately embraces.

IFC Entertainment
3 1/2 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

Tags: IFC, bittersweet, existential despair, vengeance, hong kong, action, cinema

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