Saturday, June 30, 2012


One of the funniest movies I've seen this year. TED is the new comedy from Seth McFarlane creator of FAMILY GUY and AMERICAN DAD. Being the hardcore THE SIMPSONS fan that I am when FAMILY GUY first aired I could've cared less which is sad because I could have been laughing years ago. It wasn't until FAMILY GUY did the Star Wars spoof BLUE HARVEST that I started watching the show on a regular basis. I was instantly a fan of Seth McFarlane's sense of humor. When it was announced Mcfarlane was going to do a feature film I could not wait.

TED really knocked it out the ballpark for me. I laughed practically every minute and I really liked the story.

Mark Wahlberg plays John who as a kid growing up never really had any friends. One Christmas John gets a teddy bear and it instantly becomes his favorite toy. John makes a wish that his new friend could actually become real so that way they can be best friends for real. The wish comes true and they have been best buds ever since.

During their formative years John and Ted are inseparable. Somewhere along the way because of the “magic” that is Ted he becomes somewhat of a celebrity. But just like Jersey Shore and Justin Bieber in 4 years no one will give a rats ass.

Now 35 years old John still has his best bud Ted but also an awesomely hot girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis, meow). John and Lori have been dating for 4 years and they both are wanting to take the relationship to the next step but John isn't quite ready. John really loves Lori but is he ready to part ways with his best bud Ted?

Giving you a play-by-play of the jokes in the movie wouldn't do them justice in fact you'd probably think this movie sounded terrible and never take a recommendation from me seriously ever again, but most of all it'd be down right rude of me to spoil even one joke.

TED works because it's funny and the laughs just keep coming and coming. McFarlane's humor is edgy but not without charm and that's what I like most about it that it's not being offensive solely for shock value. It's not hard to find a walking, talking, and vulgar teddy bear not charming and funny.

The supporting cast is quite funny in this as well. Joel McHale as Lori's boss is pretty classic. The sub plot of an obsessed crazy father wanting to buy Ted is great too. TED does have the best cameo in a movie since ZOMBIELAND! It's not being kept secret as much as the one in ZOMBIELAND was but I won't ruin it for you.

If you are a fan of Seth Mcfarlane's sense of humor then you'll love TED and I highly recommend it!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


In anticipation for the release of Quentin Tarantino's new film DJANGO UNCHAINED I'm going to be watching and writing a lot of westerns primarily Spaghetti Westerns. With the exception of the super popular one's (THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY) my knowledge of spaghetti westerns is limited. So this should be an interesting endeavor to say the least.

To kick off this series let's start with a film that stars the original Django himself the one the only Franco Nero in KEOMA.

Returning from the Civil War half breed Keoma arrives back to home only to find that his town has gone all to hell. Now a ghost town full of outlaws and a plague outbreak causing panic throughout the territory. It's up to Keoma and his former slave friend George to rid the town of it's sadistic bloodthirsty bandits whom three members just so happen to be Keoma's half brothers.

Director Enzo G. Castellari (1990: BRONX WARRIORS, INGLORIOUS BASTARDS) creates a nice atmosphere in KEOMA with stylistic references to other iconic western films, some interesting symbolism, and most importantly lots of gunfights and violence. I have seen three Castellari films now and I plan to see more but I can finally see why Quentin Tarantino loves the filmmaker.

Franco Nero is a complete bad ass as Keoma! After watching KEOMA I made a note to myself to watch more Franco Nero movies. Franco is just such a cool force to be reckoned with in KEOMA. Spoiler alert! I love the scene where Keoma basically “Hulks-Out” after his adoptive father gets gunned down. Franco just has these eyes of intensity and rage that's just amazing.

Keoma's three half brothers are all amazing in this! Layers in their performances delivering smart and clever twists. The dynamics between Keoma and his brothers is very compelling and touching, I genuinely felt sad for Keoma.

With the exception of the films story and plot kinda getting a little sloppy I highly recommend KEOMA to spaghetti western and action movie fans.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN is a flawed film but I ended up liking it quite a bit. The previews impressed me by how dark and gritty they were presenting the Snow White fairy tale. I normally would pass on something like this but from what I was seeing a lot of it reminded me of the fantasy movies from my youth especially LEGEND. Charlize Theron looking smoldering as the Evil Queen helped my decision too.

It is said that SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN is a closer adaptation to the Grimm fairy tale than Disney's SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS but I wouldn't know or do I care to do research on that matter. I'll just take this new film as a re imagining of the classic fairy tale.

When Snow White was a young girl her mother the Queen passed away leaving it very difficult for her father the King to raise her and a kingdom. One day after battling a mysterious army the king's men discover a beautiful female prisoner. The king immediately falls in love with her and they get married. On their wedding night the newly crowned queen murders her husband, takes the throne, and reveals her true self as the witch and now queen Ravenna.

The evil queen Ravenna is obsessed with vanity and keeps herself beautiful by eating the hearts of birds and sucking the age out of young women. One day her mirror tells her that Snow White is the fairest of them all and the key to becoming immortal is taking her heart. Snow White escapes the clutches of Ravenna and escapes. The evil queen's brother and master tracker the Huntsman are sent to find Snow White and bring her back. The Huntsman feels sympathy for Snow White so he fends of the pursuers and the two team up. They soon gather a nice group (including the dwarfs) to try and overthrow Ravenna and restore the kingdom.

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN seems off too me. It starts off great as being a real dark and gritty fairy tale. Theron is amazing (at least I thought she was) as the evil queen Ravenna. She goes over the top a few times but overall I liked the performance a lot. Kristen Stewart as Snow White played very well against Charlize Theron's Ravenna.

The excitement of this dark fantasy starts to fall off the rails once our heroes enter the Dark Forest. Just when any fantasy element gets interesting the movie cuts to another scene. In a film filled with eaten bird hearts and soul sucked virgins it seems messed up to have bloodless sword fights in your movie? In fact a lot of the action seems done in a matter-of-fact fashion?

When the dwarfs show up things start to get a little better again. The fairy sanctuary scene ended up being my favorite part of SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN. Probably some of the best fairy tale stuff I've seen in this sequence since LEGEND!

Overall I liked SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN but expected more and I'd bet those expectations ended up on the editing room floor.