Monthly Archives: August 2011
I admit, I wasn’t expecting much. Another movie in which Paul Bettany plays a slayer of supernatural creatures. Another special effects extravaganza that is completely devoid of style or soul. But a funny thing happened about 5 minutes it…the movie hooked me.
It’s a gonzo mish-mash of styles based on an anime graphic novel, set in a kind of alternate future where an eternal war between mankind and vampires has resulted in the Earth being a scorched ruin dotted by “Cathedral Cities”. These walled metropolises are govered by the Church. Vampires have been imprisoned in “reservations”, and the once powerful Priests, sort of Jedi Knights of this alternate reality, have been discarded by society. Until a new hybrid human-vampire threatens to reawaken this age old war.
Ya, I know, it sounds hokey, but I had a blast watching this movie. The effects are good, and there’s plenty of action. The visual style is dark, like the Underworld movies, but contrasted by daylight scenes where the world comes alive with searing tones. While the flick cribs from some past movies like Blade, The Road Warrior, and Underworld, it still manages to do it’s own thing well enough to win over some fans. It’s a big, dumb popcorn movie, and hey, that’s cool with me.
DVD Release Date: August 16th, 2011
On the surface, this movie didn’t look like much. Goofy looking cover/poster, and a premise that seemed pretty lame. Ed Helms plays Tim Lippe, a goody-two-shoes insurance agent who goes to Cedar Rapids for his company’s annual convention. Lippe is naive almost to the point of being a man-child, and from the moment he begins his trip, the laughs start. I was caught completely by surprise at the number of laugh-out-loud moments in this movie.
Ed Helms is a funny, funny actor, and plays this part perfectly, but the film also benefits from a cast of supporting characters that set up his gags perfectly. John C. Reilly plays Dean Ziegler, the perpetual middle-aged party boy who encourages Tim to let loose. The two have great comic chemistry together. There is a scene toward the end where Tim ends up at a redneck house party with a hooker, and his insurance-agent friends come to rescue him. During this scene, I can’t remember laughing so hard at a movie in a long time.
If you like a good comedy in the vein of Trains, Planes and Automobiles, you should really give this one a try.
For my money this week, “Paul” is a slam-dunk comedy. Simple concept, two nerdy, sci-fi, Comic-Con junkies from England (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of “Shaun of the Dead”) come across a slacker alien in the desert, who is voiced by Seth Rogan. If that alone hasn’t convinced you to check this movie out, then nothing will. You could play drinking games with all the sci-fi movie references in this flick, especially Star Wars. Personally, I thought it was hilarious. Great cameo by Sigourney Weaver.
“Your Highness” was also pretty funny, but more along the lines of a spoof like “Scary Movie”. There are many scatalogical jokes involving masturbating and minataur penises. What more do you need to know? Surprisingly high production values and special effects for a sub-genre comedy, and a solid cast. I wouldn’t have gone to see it in the theatre, but it’s a decent rental if you like this kind of potty humor.
My pick for the week, believe it or not, is Stakeland. This was a fantastic horror flick. Takes place in the years following a Vampire apocalypse. But these things aren’t all emo angst like the pretty boys in Twilight and True Blood. They are feral, and behave a lot like zombies. The movie was quite character driven for a horror movie, and had a tight script.
More reviews in-store….