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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: January 2012

Tuesday

Jan 31: Mystery Team

"A group of former Encyclopedia Brown-style child-detectives struggle to solve an adult mystery."

   Mystery Team is a nice little comedy about a group of teenagers who think they have what it takes to solve a murder mystery. Donald Glover stars as Jason, the leader of the group, who is struggling with growing up, love, and not knowing what his place is in the world. He is a man-child, full of innocence and a 1950's "gosh golly" attitude and he finds himself, and his friends, way over their heads when a real crime happens in their neighborhood. It's almost a mix of Napoleon Dynamite, The Brady Bunch, and a who-dun-it crime novel. The whole thing is even filmed with the kind of fuzzy lighting you would only find in an old time-y PG Christmas TV movie, where everything is happy go lucky and nothing bad ever happens. 

Like this, but in color and with MUUUURRDDDEEERRR. 

   The comedy in Mystery Team is very hit and miss. The type of humor is very dead pan and almost satirical but, at times, it gets rather annoying. I feel the film was almost like a good variety show skit that dragged out a little too long. The jokes were not necessarily repetitive or tiresome, but the whole ordeal just chugged along a little too slow towards the end. I know there are a lot people who enjoy everything Derrick Comedy Productions makes (the company behind Mystery Team) but, for the most part, all of their productions have been short YouTube clips. Imagine 90 minutes of auto-tuned news, Chocolate Rain, or kittens. It just would all get old after awhile. 

Never mind! I'd never get tired of you!

   The acting in Mystery Team is pretty good, even with a sub-par plot and execution. Donald Glover is amazing as Jason, and I cannot wait to see more of what he does (see Community). D.C Pierson, the man who plays the "nerd" of the group, grows insanely annoying very quickly. Imagine Napoleon Dynamite, but a bigger asshole and an even worse haircut. Aubrey Plaza, who plays the daughter to the murder victims, is her perfect deadpan self and, for some reason, I find her insanely attractive. 

Deadpan humor is sexxxxxy. 

   Overall, Mystery Team proves to be an enjoyable comedy with a handful of issues that some may or may not ignore. It's refreshing to see a movie made by a bunch of people that just wanted to make a movie, even with a very small budget. The film is fun, to an extent, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend against watching it, but I do warn you, it can get somewhat frustrating. 

Sight: Clearly filmed on a cheap budget, Mystery Team isn't the most beautiful of films. 
Sound: I really don't remember much of the score. 
Skill: Solid acting here and there, the film would be nothing without Donald Glover. 
Script: The script is decent but at too many times it feels dragged out to every inch of it's life. 

Overall: 6.1/10

Best Quote:
Jordy: "When I was fifteen years old, when I got this job, I said to myself, "I am going to work here until the day that I kill myself."

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Monday

Jan 30: The Perfect Host

"A criminal on the run cons his way into the wrong dinner party where the host is anything but ordinary."

   The Perfect Host is what you would get if you combine American Psycho, Beetle Juice, and Frasier. It's an interesting film that has a lot going for it; but, in the end, it is just a little too weird for its own good. David Hyde Pierce is brilliant, as always. He plays Warwick, an unsuspecting man who lets a criminal into his home whom he believes to be a friend of one of his acquaintances. His mannerisms, from the changes in his voice to the way he walks, are devilishly amusing. The film, however, turns in a completely different direction and it is because of this fact that The Perfect Host is really too hard to review without giving a lot away. 

Hint: He is not a sled nor Luke's father. 

   The best part of The Perfect Host is the acting. Both of the main roles, Pierce as the Host and Clayne Crawford as the criminal, are excellent. The film is pretty much just the two of them and the dialogue between the two is sharp, smart, and unexpected. The two are completely different characters and it's in their contrast that the film succeeds. The script is hilarious, disturbing, and very clever and the way it all unfolds is curiously entertaining. 

One hell of a dinner party

    One complaint I have of The Perfect Host is that the pacing, at times, was uneven and a handful of scenes feel out of place or just too weird compared to the rest of the film. There also seems to be multiple endings and the film teases you with each one. You think it's over, then a new scene begins and it grows a little tiresome. The "gimmick" of the film, if that is how I'd explain it, is interesting, but that does become slightly annoying as the film progresses. Overall, the film is entertaining in its own way, and I would recommend it. 

Sight: As the film grows darker in tone, the camera picks up on that and becomes grittier and edgier. 
Sound: The film's score is composed of mostly songs played on the radio and also features a rather odd dancer number. 
Skill: David Hyde Pierce is phenomenal, and the character of Warwick seems completely made for him. 
Script: The script is smart and original, but at many times, too bizarre. 

Overall: 6.8/10

Best Quote:
Warwick: "You can't kill me, I'm having a dinner party."

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Sunday

Jan 29: Rubber

"When Robert, a tire, discovers his destructive telepathic powers, he soon sets his sights on a desert town; in particular, a mysterious woman becomes his obsession."

   From the very beginning, Rubber grabs your interest. The opening is a man giving a monologue about the concept of "no reason" in films, stating that so much just simply happens because it can.  Rubber is an "homage to the no reason- the most powerful element of style" and it is because of that fact, the film succeeds in its own way. There is no need to question why a tire goes around killing animals and people because you know it's all happening for no reason. It just simply occurs, and we simply watch it all happen. It's a strange concept to accept but, if you can, Rubber proves to be a lot more interesting than you'd think. Plus, heads explode, which is always pretty awesome. 

The most famous head explosion of all time. 

   Because of its "no reason" philosophy, Rubber is a hard film to explain. It's baffling in that you can't tell if there is symbolism in something, or if it's completely without reason. The film is open to interpretation and would definitely spark some interesting conversation. In the film, an "audience" watches the tire's actions from far away with binoculars and provide commentary on what is happening but, even then, what actually plays out is just too weird to explain. It's almost like a dream where after you wake up, you can't explain what happened but have the images dancing around inside your head. 

Only after waking up will he realize he has no clue of what the f**k just happened. 

   The acting in Rubber is surprisingly decent for this type of film. None of the people involved really show signs of wanting to get out of the movie they are in, and it all just fits in its own weird way. The special effects are very, very good and each head explosion and animal kill looks real, not that I've ever actually seen it happen. Robert, the tire, moves in a realistic (?) way and you believe he's alive. It's rather impressive how much character the filmmakers gave a tire. He even falls in "love" with a woman and kills anyone that hurts her. 

Voted "Most Likely to Pop a Tire's Heart" in high school

   Overall, Rubber proves to be entertaining in the weirdest of ways and it isn't as bad a movie as I thought it would be. I just finally got around to watching it because I was weary of the ridiculous premise. In an astonishing way, I really don't regret wasting 90 minutes watching it. I do not, however, think it is a movie I would revisit or even recommend. It exists simply to exist, with no reason at all, and it's up to the movie-watching population to decide whether or not it's worth his or her time. The film does have a very dragged out ending and its conclusion only frustrates and confuses the viewer even more. The whole thing just leaves you in awe, as in, you sit and wonder what the f**k just happened. 

Sight:The film is shot very well and many of the scenes featuring an alive tire seem real. The special effects are superb and the whole thing is really fun to watch... I think.
Sound: The sound the tire makes before he blows someone's head off makes you feel uncomfortable and the smallest details in the sound of his movement and actions give him so much more character. 
Skill: The acting is great, which is absolutely surprising for a film with such a premise as Rubber.
Script: Smart and unique, but confusing and bizarre, the script of Rubber does what I only assume the filmmakers needed it to do.

Overall: a baffling 6.5/10

Best Quote:
Lt. Chad: "My God, the kid was right. The killer is the tire." (after witnessing someone's head explode)

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Saturday

Jan 28: 50/50*

"Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease."

   Joseph Gordon-Levitt is due for an Oscar any day now as he proves, yet again, that he is one of the elite actors working today. It is in his realism and honesty that makes 50/50 the rare kind of film that hits every single emotion and makes you want to hug the cancer out of him. 50/50 is a movie that knows the topic of cancer is taboo, but handles it with a reverence so real you can't help but feel for the characters on an entirely different level. A part of this may be that the film is written by Will Reiser, who wrote the film as an almost autobiography. Seth Rogen, who not only stars in the film but also produced it, is good friends with Reiser and told him to write about cancer as a way of coping. I feel that, because of this, Rogen is better than ever. 


    50/50 is a simple film with a heavy topic that pulls the hearts strings and makes you cry, laugh, and surprisingly feel good about life. The movie shows that life is hard and unexpected but, when you have family and friends, you can get through anything. 50/50 makes you appreciate what you have, be it a best friend, a significant other, parents, or life itself. It teaches you that even in the darkest of moments, humor exists, and you are never on your own. 


   When a film like 50/50 is pitch-perfect in its casting, acting, and story, there is not a lot else needed. In the simplest form, 50/50 shows that you don't need flashy special effects or explosions to make a movie worth watching. Realism and honesty go so much further than Hollywood leads on, and more films like 50/50 need to be made. Sure, a movie with as much heart as this one is rare, and it is because of that fact that we appreciate them even more, but 50/50 needs to be seen as an example of what a film should be. 

Sight: The film is almost a peek inside the lives of these characters, and it is all fun and heart wrenching to watch. 
Sound: 50/50 has a great soundtrack, with songs from Pearl Jam, Radio Head and even the Bee Gees.
Skill: Phenomenal is the best word to describe the acting. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is absolutely, utterly underrated and his work needs to be recognized and awarded as soon as possible. 
Script: The script of 50/50 is just as solid as its acting, and without it, the film would not have as much heart as it does. 

Overall: 9.6/10

Best Quote:
Adam: "See, but... that's bullshit. That's what everyone has been telling me since the beginning. "Oh, you're gonna be okay," and "Oh, everything's fine," and like, it's not... It makes it worse... that no one will just come out and say it. Like, "hey man, you're gonna die." 

P.S Levitt is not only doing a great job in Hollywood but he also has a website called hitRECord that encourages everyone and anyone to work together to make art of any kind, be it photos, films or music. 

Check it out at www.hitrecord.org

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Friday

Jan 27: Kick-Ass

"Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so."

   Kick-Ass is a one of a kind movie that takes every piece of superhero lore and turns it on its violent, badass side. I figure the only way to end "The Glorification of the Great Nicolas Cage" week is with a brutally epic finish. I remember seeing Kick-Ass in theaters and wanting to go out on the streets and fight bad guys myself. After another viewing, I still have that urge, and if these blog entries stop after tonight, you know I have committed my life to fighting crime... or died trying.


   The film follows a teenage nerd who thinks he has what it takes to be a superhero and meets other actual "heroes" in the process of becoming one himself. When I was his age, I just kept praying that I would be bitten by a radioactive spider or find out that I'm an alien from a planet far away. This kid actually does something about that desire to be a hero, and he really does kick a lot of ass. Sure, a lot of the stuff he goes through and the things he can get away with seem far-fetched, but the way everything goes down is just too cool to question. There are a handful of action sequences that are not only filmed well but scream badass louder than Clint Eastwood riding a flying Velociraptor into a space-war to fight Hitler. 
No camera could capture such epic-ness.

   Nicolas Cage finally has a role (post National Treasure) that is absolutely made for him. He plays Big Daddy, a more violent, mustached version of Batman and even channels his inner Adam West when he's in costume. One of the coolest scenes in Kick-Ass is when Cage fights his way into a warehouse and brutally murders a group of thugs, all set to the theme from 28 Days Later. Everyone else is just as good in their roles, and each character has a moment to show how much they can kick ass themselves. 

Yes. 

   Overall, Kick-Ass is the kind of action film you want to take home to your mother...if she doesn't mind getting punched in the face. The film has just the right amount of over-the-top violence, action and cheese that you can't help but love it. Nicolas Cage is amazing in his role, and Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) shows he really can do what his name states. Chloe Grace Moretz is the one to reckon with as Hit Girl, who dishes out the most beatings, kills, and f-bombs in the entire film. Kick-Ass has everything you would want in an action movie and a superhero movie. Imagine a time and place where Batman wouldn't just throw his villains into prison, but slit their throats and shotgun them in the face, and you get Kick-Ass

Sight: The visuals fit the plot very well, each action scene showing the visceral carnage and rage behind each beating and killing in all sorts of ways (including a scene lit by gun fires and a first person night-vision view of the bad guys).
Sound: A lot of the songs in Kick-Ass' score will sound familiar, as a lot of the music is borrowed from other media. However, the recognition of the songs makes the scenes feel even cooler. 
Skill: Great casting all around as each actor fills his/her role with ease. And, everyone looks like they are having too much fun... you get jealous. 
Script: Great one-liners and with a simple script, Kick-Ass does just that as simple as possible without an over-cluttered story or an overload of villains. 

Overall: 8.6/10

Best Quote:
Damon: "So... Have you thought a little more about what you might want for your birthday?" 
Mindy: "Can I get a puppy?" 
Damon: [surprised] "You wanna get a dog?" 
Mindy: "Yeah, a cuddly fluffy one, and a Bratz movie-star make over Sasha!" 
[Damon is stunned
Mindy: [laughs] "I'm just fuckin' with you Daddy! Look, I'd love a Benchmade model 42 butterfly knife." 
Damon: [relieved] "Oh, child... You always knock me for a loop!"

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Thursday

Jan 26: Trespass

"As they're held for ransom, a husband and wife's predicament grows more dire amid the discovery of betrayal and deception."

   If Hostage and Panic Room had a baby, and that baby ran into walls and ate its own poop, you would have Trespass. The film is not only riddled with cliches, but nearly every line of dialogue and every action by each character is just plain stupid. The story is about a family whose house is broken into by a bunch of thugs who are looking for a bunch of diamonds Cage has supposedly stashed away. The house has an elaborate security system, yet the thugs get inside simply by pretending to be cops. The rest of the film is just a bunch of screaming, crying, and a handful of weird flashback sequences attempting to give the story more depth...but all this film does is drown in the kiddie pool. 
Filled with the tears of Nic Cage himself

   The acting in Trespass is atrocious by nearly the full cast. I really have no idea why they would hire Nicole Kidman for such for the part of Cage's wife, when all she does is cry and beg for her life. The saving grace of the film is Ben Mendelsohn, who plays the "head burglar" Elias. He kicks a hefty amount of ass in his role and, surprisingly, out-acts the Great Cage. Unlike the rest of the cast, he knew the film was a piece of crap and just has fun with it. Go rent Animal Kingdom and you'll see how awesome Mendelsohn really is. 

This is a real crime thriller. 

   Overall, Trespass is a hard film to review. I know it's awful and I know what I am watching is shit, but I can't put it all into words. It's the kind of movie that just needs to be left alone, un-watched. In fact, the film holds the record for the quickest theater to DVD release, at only 18 days. Trespass was actually pulled from theaters after just 10 days. That should tell you enough.

Sight: This film was directed by the same man who raped a franchise with Batman & Robin. That should tell you enough. 
Sound: The film's score consists of quiet instruments being completely blown out by the constant crying and screaming of the family held hostage. 
Skill: Mendelsohn. 
Script: Weak, cliche and unoriginal, Trespass' script fails in nearly every aspect. 

Overall: 3.8/10

Best Quote:
N/A


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Wednesday

Jan 25: Season of the Witch

"14th-century knights transport a suspected witch to a monastery, where monks deduce her powers could be the source of the Black Plague."

   I kind of have this love-hate relationship with movies that are set in Medieval times. Put me in front of a movie with knights and swords and even dragons, and I am hooked for 90 minutes. Even the worst of these films are absolutely entertaining. With that, Season of the Witch proves to be another one of those awful films that I watched with too large of a smile on my face. The opening, featuring special effects out of a direct to DVD The Mummy sequel, and the great Nicolas Cage (with gorgeous blonde locks) fighting in a Crusade next to Ron Perlman, completely shows you what kind of movie this is going to be. 

Nic Cage has to have the world's largest collection of awesome wigs by now. 

   Nic Cage plays Behmon, a knight sent in charge of transporting a supposed witch to a random monastery forever away in order to possibly cure the Black Plague. Him, along side his faithful friend Felson (Ron Perlman), realize that this "holy" task may bring them a hell of a lot closer to God. It's kind of ironic that the guy who plays Ghost Rider and the mass of muscle who plays Hellboy are both sent on a mission for God. That's like if Jesus was on the Vegas Strip handing out pamphlets showing you the best "goods" the City of Sin has to offer...it's just wrong. 

Turning water into wine for all the wrong reasons. 

   The dialogue in Season of the Witch has some of the worst lines I have ever heard. Nic Cage and Ron Perlman talk their way through the piles of shit with God-awful accents that are not quite British, but something completely new. It's almost as these two badasses created their own country of origin and came up with their own dialect. Hell, they could have just gotten drunk together and watched BBC until they got it "just right". The supporting cast is equally awful. There is a priest whose sole purpose is to look scared and a thief who sounds like he's from the Bronx, which is kind of funny because he's one of the only actors in this movie who is actually from the U.K.

The Bronx: Birthplace of Medieval thieves since 800 A.D.

   Season of the Witch is the kind of movie that is so bad that it makes you want to drink yourself into a hazy stupor until you think you are actually fighting witches yourself. The movie would make for a surprisingly terrifying video game but, as a full length film, it fails in nearly every aspect. The special effects are cheesy, but not the good kind of cheese (see Evil Dead) and the actors should be burned at the stake (har har) for how bad of a job they did. But, I guess that's the best they could do when the dialogue sounds like it was written by a 12-year old boy obsessed with King Arthur.

Sight: A movie that gets a theatrical release should be held to certain standards when it comes to special effects and visuals. If so, The Season of the Witch would have gone straight to DVD... in Asia.
Sound: The score sounds as though it was "borrowed" from every other film in the genre and at times you can tell that certain lines of dialogue were dubbed in later on, as they fade in and out and all over the place. 
Skill: Even the great Nicolas Cage can't save a turd that smells this bad. 
Script: Me believe script bad. Writing terrible job done. I write good and better than them. It awful.

Overall: 3.3/10

Best Quote:
Behmen: [preparing for battle] "Whomever slays the most men drinks for free." 
Felson: "I'll take the 300 on the left, you take the 300 on the right." 
Behmen: "But if we divide them evenly, who will buy tonight's drinks?"
Felson: "Oh, you're buying, my friend."

At least the "witch" is kind of hot. 

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Tuesday

Jan 24: Astro Boy

"Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost."

   For the second film of "The Glorification of the Great Nicolas Cage", I chose to watch something that highlighted one of his many talents, voice acting. In Astro Boy, Cage voices Dr. Tenma, the "Father of Robotics" and the man that helps a futuristic Metro City function day to day. If there was anyone in the world who could be believable as a genius scientist, it would be Nic Cage. Hearing him voice this scientist gives me hope for the future, knowing full well that Nic Cage's genius will help mankind. 

Does this face look like the face of someone who would let us down?

  But moving on to more of the actual film itself, Astro Boy is actually kind of depressing. Within the first fifteen minutes, Cage's son is literally disintegrated in front of his eyes. Cage then goes mad scientist on us and recreates his son in robot form, even installing his memories from a single strand of hair left behind. Something so sad that no parent should ever have to experience, turns into a very disturbing moment. The fact that the whole "creation" happens in just a couple minutes makes it all the more creepy. It's kind of like if you see your dog get run over by a car, then immediately run to your room and make a new pooch out of Legos. 

It's like he never left! 

   The animation in Astro Boy is pretty impressive at times, but has moments that show cheap production value. Some scenes have a lot of negative space in them, almost as though they were left unfinished. The film certainly has great moments of creativity and seeing all the different kinds of robots that populate Metro City is fun, especially the group known as the "Robot Revolution Front". But, after awhile, the cheesy humor and "funny" voices they all have grows tiresome and annoying. In fact, the whole film kind of fizzles out. Astro Boy is basically A.I and Pinocchio all rolled into a disturbing kid's movie about an insane man losing his kid. 

Step 1: Skip funeral, Step 2: Do not mourn, Step 3: Become mad man and make a new son out of scrap metal and rockets

Sight: Astro Boy had so much potential when it came to the animation, but falls very flat in most of the scenes. The action sequences are entertaining, but nothing new and original. 
Sound: The sound effects and the score all sound like they were pulled from stock recordings and just add to the cheese factor. 
Skill: The voice acting is sub par, and Astro Boy himself, voiced by the British Freddie Highmore let's his accent slip on more than one occasion. 
Script: The story is rushed and all over the place, almost as though it's ADD. Sure the film is made for kids, but the speedy plot, given the material, makes it all the more creepy. 

Overall: 5.9/10

Best Quote:
Astro Boy: "What? I got machine guns... in my butt?" (yeah... that happens)

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Monday

Something New & Fresh


Copyright America 1776

Hey, so I'm three weeks in on this blog and decided it was time to change things up just a tad. Even a movie guru, freak, geek, nerd and lover that I am, would love to hear other opinions on the stuff that I watch or anything else for that matter. I really want to see this blog become more than just a listing of reviews and my crazy ranting about this and that. So, this is me encouraging all you readers to become more involved. I want to hear from you. I want your feedback. I want to make this a blog you can't wait to read every day.

So this is an open invitation to anyone out there. I am wanting to spice this bad boy up a bit and add new articles that are not just your every day review. Yes, this blog is still just a little baby, but with new voices and new material, he (or she) is going to grow up to be one badass kid. If anyone has suggestions or "constructive" criticism, feel free to comment or email me. Also, if you're a movie lover like myself, talk to me about possibly writing something for the blog as well, be it a review, a "top 10" list, or even a rant about a movie you hate (see The Hangover Part II).


Thanks for reading. I promise to keep on entertaining. 
    
P.S. I am going to start up something new. I am going to be implementing an occasional "theme week", where each film I watch will be related in some way, and the reviews connected as well. 


This first theme week will be "The Glorification of the Great Nicolas Cage"

Jan 23: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

"Master sorcerer Balthazar Blake recruits a seemingly everyday guy in his mission to defend New York City from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath"

   The Sorcerer's Apprentice, or as I like to call it, The Talented Mr. Cage (as I call all of his wonderful films), is a special effects cheese fest of almost awesome crap. Yes, quite the mouthful, but there is really no other way to describe this movie. The film has nothing going for it but the special effects (and Mr. Cage), and that fact seemed quite obvious to the producers. They knew that they had a turd and they figured if they could make it as shiny as possible, it would "magically" make it a good movie. 

In the end, it's all still poo. 

   Nic Cage stars as Balthazar, a thousand year old sorcerer who needs to find a kid or something to help him fight this super witch that killed Merlin. Yes, that Merlin. The fact that the writers thought they could kill Merlin to begin with is baffling. As we all know, Merlin is arguably the greatest wizard ever so having him killed off in the first five minutes of a lame Disney movie is pretty much a sin. That's like killing Gandalf in the first five minutes of The Lord of the Rings, it's just unforgivable. Hell, Snape even knew to wait until book seven to kill Dumbledore.  
XI: Thou shall not kill off badass wizards until hefty screen time is given. 

   Since this is the first movie of "The Glorification of the Great Nicolas Cage" week, let's focus on his magnificence. Nic Cage proves, again, that he is a man of many faces. I was totally compelled by his performance as a sorcerer and now  know I must bask in his glory. Otherwise, he'll fireball my ass. He completely became Balthazar and I could not look away. Disney knows that a movie so heavy on the CGI needs a man like Cage. He is, after all, the world's greatest special effect. 

The only human to win the Best Special Effects Oscar. George Lucas would be proud. 

  Overall, The Sorcerer's Apprentice is just another cash cow for Disney that uses special effects as the plot device. Jay Baruchel plays the titled Apprentice, and channels his inner Micky Mouse with a decent amount of likability, but the story and the characters are just a back burner to the visuals. The movie is really not awful, in any regard, it just doesn't live up to its magical name. 

Overall: 5.3/10

Sight: Well, since the whole film really is about the special effects, I guess it's good?
Sound: Let's have a OneRepublic song play over and over and call it a score.
Skill: Nicolas. F**king. Cage.
Script: I didn't know there was one. I guess it was hiding under all that magic. 

Best Quotes:
Nic Cage: "Love is a distraction. Sorcery requires complete focus. "
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Nic Cage:  "You will not control your magic if you will not control yourself."
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Nic Cage: "I am a badass sorcerer and make equally bad ass movies." (paraphrasing)

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Sunday

Jan 22: Mr. Popper's Penguins


"The life of a businessman begins to change after he inherits six penguins, and as he transforms his apartment into a winter wonderland, his professional side starts to unravel."

   Mr. Popper's Penguins is exactly like the other "family" films that are churned out each and every year. The film follows a man who doesn't want to be in the position he is in, but manages to make the best of it and learn a lot along the way. Crazy antics ensue which include nut shots, fart jokes, pooping, and the over cliched divorced dad who seeks to regain the love of his kids. Oh, and I forgot to mention that he's a businessman who just focuses a little too much on his work, and not enough on his family. All of this happens, of course, in New York City...around Christmas. Sound familiar? (see Santa Clause, Elf, etc.)

Tis the season for cheesy family films..

   Even though Mr. Popper's Penguins is insanely predictable and nothing special, I did find myself laughing at a couple of scenes. Penguins, no matter what setting they are in, will always be entertaining and this time around is, unexpectedly, no different. Sure, at times, their CGI-ness is laughable but a lot of the stuff that they do is worth a chuckle. Just like the same flightless birds in Madagascar, the penguins are the only saving grace. In fact, I would have totally sat down and watched the penguins play for 90 minutes then have to sit through the boring story and unoriginal jokes. It actually gets worse as the film goes on. There is a scene, I kid you not, where Jim Carrey holds the penguins over a toilet, and squeezes the poop out of them. 

The toilet refused to comment.

   Overall, Mr. Popper's Penguins proves to be the same old run-of-the-mill family flick you see once a year. The only exciting things it brings to the table are the penguins and, although entertaining for a large part of the film, the too frequent pooping or running into things grows very frustrating. Sure, I know the film was made for kids and you may wonder why I even bother watching it, but that does not justify the stupid toilet humor. Jim Carrey really needs to get his act together and produce some quality work again. One takeaway I have for this film is my now stronger desire to own and raise a penguin. I prefer to not have to go through a messy divorce and lose the respect of my kids in order to get one. 

Sight: They did, in fact, use real penguins for certain scenes, however the CGI used for a large portion of the film adds to the cheese factor. 
Sound: I may want a penguin of my own, but their ridiculous honking, is rather annoying. From a soundtrack aspect, the film's score is just as unoriginal as the plot, sounding just like every other family movie.
Skill: Jim Carrey shows off his physical comedy on multiple instances, but the fact he signed on for the role is just discouraging. Also, kid actors suck... always.
Script: Whoever decided to write in all of the toilet humor needs to be fired. Let that then be a lesson to every screenwriter out there who thinks that kind of shit (no pun intended) is funny. 

Overall: 4.1/10

Best Quote
"Yeahbsolutely" nothing worth mentioning. 

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