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6 posts from March 2010

March 26, 2010

"Hot Tub Time Machine"

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy -- 'Hot Tub Time Machine' starring John CusackJohn Cusack accidentally floats back to the 80s in the new sci-fi comedy, Hot Tub Time Machine. In order to return, he must do precisely what he did 24 years ago. Nothing more, nothing less. No playing the lottery. No getting in on the ground floor of Google. No finding your college self and talking it out of an English major. Yea, I know. Then what’s the point of a time machine?
 
    Looking for a morale boost after a personal tragedy nearly befalls one of them, Adam (Cusack) and his two best buddies head to a ski resort where the trio once had the time of their lives. What they find is that the years have been even less kind to the Kodiak Valley lodge than they have to their own unfulfilled selves. Reluctantly, they take to the hot tub, but when one of them accidentally spills a contraband Russian energy drink (“Chernobyl”) on the controls, the mysterious liquid reacts with the tub’s electronics and transports the group back to 1986.
    To return, they merely have to bide their time while a quirky repairman (Chevy Chase) fixes the glitch. Meanwhile, to avoid the potentially catastrophic consequences of the “butterfly effect,” they must to do everything they did that original weekend. That means they must break-up, get beat-up, and screw-up all over again. To do otherwise might jeopardize the misery that the future holds for them. As if!
    Back to the Future meets The Hangover in this contrived waste of John Cusack’s talent that nervously oscillates between hysterical and now-they’ve-gone-too-far. Craig Robinson (TV’s “The Office”) and Chevy Chase costar, the latter as the mysterious repairman who fills-in all of the blanks for the confused time-travelers. (Why do the worst films need such a character: Christopher Walken in the Adam Sandler fiasco Click, George Carlin in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure?) Rob Corddry (Old School) as the unstable and unpredictable friend Lou, is the most entertaining though Crispin Glover’s one-armed bellhop, Phil, is the one to watch. He’s comically bizarre, yes, but astute moviegoers who better remember Glover as George McFly will be on the lookout for a random DeLorean fly-by. Spoiler alert: it never happens, but it would have been cool.
    Hot Tub Time Machine is not clever but it has its moments, none of which are politically correct. That’s OK. It’s still entertaining, but just to be on the safe side, go in with low expectations and you won’t be disappointed. That worked for me.

2.0
MPAA Rating: R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language.

...And see what else the Med City Movie Guy is up to here:
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March 19, 2010

"Repo Men"

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy -- 'Repo Men' starring Jude Law and Forest WhitakerGovernment-run bionics program: The $6,000,000 Man. Replacement parts available only to a select few (a select “two,” actually).

Private bionics company: $400,000. Life-saving body parts at a fraction of the government cost for anyone willing to pay for them – financing available.

Jude Law and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker star as the Repo Men who come to repossess artificial organs from those who fall behind on their payments. If that doesn’t make you rethink the need for healthcare reform at least it may make you rethink the need for that Twinkie.

      Having grossly overreached and recklessly overextended itself, our government has gone bankrupt. In its place, private for-profit organizations like “The Union” are free to operate market-based medicine. Need a cochlear implant? No problem, there’s a finance plan to fit your lifestyle. How about a new lung? No problem, you can’t be turned-away! A pancreas? No problem, just sign here. Miss a payments? Now you have a problem.
      That’s where Remy and Jake (Law and Whitaker) come in. They’re two of The Union’s busiest repo men and business is good, though it does take its toll. Remy, for instance, has his sights on a desk job that is more conducive to a family life. But on the eve of his new position, Remy is injured, waking-up days later in a hospital bed with a new top-of-the-line heart and a hefty debt. When he falls behind on his payments, The Union sends his partner after him. Now Remy must find a way to get his name out of The Union’s database before Jake gets to him.
      It has to be a coincidence that Repo Men opened the very weekend of the House healthcare vote -- this movie’s audience is more MTV2 than C-SPAN -- but it is impossible to watch the film without the national debate playing like a score.
      There’s a lot of action, naturally, and a high-body count. Still, it’s all secondary to the unanswered question: is this our future if the government does nothing or is it our future if the government tries to do everything? They never say. Neither are we told why so many of our descendents will need organ replacements, though we get a clue from two of the film’s comical moments. In one scene, a portly defaulter with one hand in a bag of potato chips and another grasping a beer bottle insists, “the check’s in the mail;” in another, The Union’s mascot, Larry the Lung, is taking a cigarette break.
      “Put the chicken wing down and no one gets hurt!” Yea, we know, we know. But moviegoers pony-up their hard-earned ducats for entertainment, not sermons. To be fair, Repo Men is not preachy, but neither is it remarkable. What makes it noteworthy is its timing.


.15
1 1/2 Honks
MPAA
Rating:
R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and some sexuality/nudity.

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809947433/trailer

...And see what else the Med City Movie Guy is up to here:
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March 12, 2010

Just sit right back...

Just sit right back and ponder these cast picks for the new "Gilligan's Island" movie

 

     Alan Hale, Jr. ("The Skipper") almost killed me some years back. But that's a story for another time.

 

     Did you hear this: a big-screen version of "Gilligan's Island" is reportedly in the works. If it's done right, it might be fun. Remember "The Brady Bunch Movie?" By parodying itself, it was not just clever, but actually entertaining, too. But like anything else, casting will be the problem. Here're my picks for the castaways ...

 

Gilligan

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy - Gilligan's Island Movie cast - Gilligan

Michael Cera

 

The Skipper, too

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy - Gilligan's Island Movie cast - Skipper

Cedric the Entertainer

 

A Millionaire...

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy - Gilligan's Island Movie cast - Millionaire

Alec Baldwin

 

... and his wife

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy - Gilligan's Island Movie cast - His Wife

 Tyler Perry’s Madea

 

A movie star

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy - Gilligan's Island Movie cast - Ginger

This one has to be an unknown

 

... and the rest

(the Professor and Mary Ann)

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy - Gilligan's Island Movie cast - Professor  Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy - Gilligan's Island Movie cast - Mary Ann

Jason Bateman and Drew Barrymore

 

 

What do you think about these? What about supplemental characters like:

Headhunter #1?

Headhunter #2?

Herald Hecuba?

The Mosquitos?

 

 

 


March 11, 2010

"Remember Me"

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy -- 'Remember Me' starring Robert Pattinson and Pierce Brosnan In the new drama, Remember Me, Robert Pattinson plays Brando playing Dean playing a tormented soul; the critics are mixed on his prowess but all seem to agree that it’s nice to see the Twilight heartthrob with some color in his cheeks for a change.

      Brooding, detached and chain-smoking, Tyler Hawkins (Pattinson) would like nothing more than to be left alone to sulk. But he can’t stand by and watch his estranged father (Pierce Brosnan), whom he blames for his older brother’s suicide, ignore his little sister Caroline any more than he can a police sergeant wrongly arrest an innocent victim.
     Egged-on by a friend one afternoon, Tyler asks-out fellow NYU student Ally Craig (Emilie de Ravin). Ally’s the daughter of the bitter cop that roughed-up Tyler a few nights prior and ostensibly it’s payback. She doesn’t know that, of course, which is just as well because Tyler’s heart is not in it, anyway. The two fall for each other, none-the-less.
     Meanwhile, Tyler’s father, who runs a successful Wall Street legal firm, continues to disappoint his family. This time by standing-up Caroline, whose art exhibit he promised to attend. That and Caroline’s catty classmates are too much for Tyler who only lately reflects on Gandhi’s words that, “whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it.” What he does next, however, is far from insignificant and when it’s all over father and son are not just both redeemed, they’re transformed.
      The biggest surprise in Remember Me is Robert Pattinson who is remarkable – even if a lot of that wonderment comes from the low expectations you go in with. Pattinson carries most of the weight, but doesn’t go it alone. Girlfriend Emilie de Ravin, cop Chris Cooper, cliché goofy buddy Tate Ellington, precious little sister Ruby Jerins – they all contribute. Pierce Brosnan, though, stands out. You hate him up until the third act when he announces that he’s going to “make a few calls” and rain down mercilessly on the school board (trust me, it’s more dramatic than it sounds), then you realize he’s not such a bad guy, after all. And his Brooklyn accent? Fuggetaboutit!
      At the end of the day, it’s all about the plot (unless you’re a Pattinson fan in which case it’s all about the hair). I found it immediately engaging (the plot, not the hair) and even when it moved slowly, it never felt long. It is sappy at times, but never hokey.
      It’s a good film that’ll be remembered.


3.0 
3 Honks
MPAA Rating: 
PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language and smoking.

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810076910/trailer 

...And see what else the Med City Movie Guy is up to here:
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March 04, 2010

What're your picks for Sunday's OSCARS? Play the Post-Bulletin's Oscars contest

Oscars contest

     To celebrate the 82nd annual Academy Awards, the Post-Bulletin and The Promise of Rochester 2010 are teaming up for this year's annual Oscars Red Carpet Contest for readers.

     Pick each of the winners correctly, and you'll be placed in a drawing to win a four-pack of tickets to the annual performance of The Promise, which begins March 12 at Bethel Lutheran Church Sanctuary in Rochester. (For ticket and performance information, go to www.ThePromiseRochester.com or call Bethel Lutheran Church at 288-6430).

     Voting can be done online at Postbulletin.com/oscars. Click on the Red Carpet Contest logo. 

     Ballots were printed in the Feb. 24 edition of the Post-Bulletin. To purchase a copy of that day's paper, please stop by the P-B offices during normal business hours— only one entry per person, please.
     We'll accept ballots postmarked or received by 7 p.m. Sunday.

     Mail your entry to Oscars contest, c/o Marissa Block, Life section editor, Post- Bulletin, 18 First Ave. S.E., Rochester, MN 55904.
     Or bring it to the P-B offices at 18 First Ave. S.E. in Rochester. Offices are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. There's a night drop available as well.

     The winner will be announced in the Post- Bulletin on March 10. (Please provide a phone number with your entry — the winner will be notified on March 8.)
     Good luck!

 

"Brooklyn's Finest"

Chris Miksanek - The Med City Movie Guy -- 'Brooklyn's Finest' starring Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, and Wesley Snipes In the gritty new crime drama, Brooklyn’s Finest, Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke are New York policemen working in one of the worst government-run housing developments in the city; a place where the law is futile, where despair is plentiful and hope is nonexistent; in short, it’s a place that really, really needs a volleyball center. 

     The centerpiece of Brooklyn's dangerous 65th Precinct is the BK housing project. Dozens of cops police it fulltime and many can’t help but be influenced by its desperation. Veteran patrolman Eddie Dugan (Gere), for instance, has numbed himself to it; he avoids getting involved and copes by counting-down the days until his retirement. At the other extreme, undercover narcotics office "Tango" Butler (Cheadle) is in too deep, he’s befriended his suspect and the conflict is eating him away. Somewhere in-between, but sill on a fringe, is Detective Sal Procida (Hawke), who’s desperately trying to balance his work and family, even if it means volunteering for dangerous drug busts at one to finance the other.
     Their paths and their personal dilemmas cross on one fateful evening at the projects. Tango has to decide between selling-out his old prison buddy and a cushy desk job. Sal, who’s long forsaken his oath but not his religion, needs one last score to move his family out of the small unhealthy home they overcrowd. Dugan, just retired, stumbles on a crime he can’t ignore. When it’s all over, two will be redeemed, but only one will be left standing.
     Director Antoine Fuqua gives us a film we’ve seen before -- Gere in Internal Affairs, Cheadle in Traffic. Cop Land, Serpico, It’s a little of each. That’s the problem. With three very separate story lines and only incidental overlap, Brooklyn’s Finest, is spread too thin. The story manages, but doesn’t dazzle.
     Nonetheless, the veteran ensemble turn-in respectable performances. The same can’t be said of supporters on opposite sides of the law: Wesley Snipes, as Tango’s old prison buddy "Caz" Phillips, is so cliché it’s embarrassing and Ellen Barkin is remarkably unlikable as the bossy Federal Agent Smith.
     Critics were not kind to Brooklyn’s Finest, neither were “New York’s Finest,” who complained the film unfairly portrayed them and the dangerous shoes in which they walk every day. Moviegoers were a bit more forgiving. The movie took the #2 spot on the box office chart, though far below fellow new release Alice in Wonderland.
     Still, this film’s not for everyone..

2.5 
2 1/2 Honks
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language.

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810028049/trailer

...And see what else the Med City Movie Guy is up to here:
http://postbulletin.typepad.com/med_city_movie_guy/2009/05/chris-miksanek-med-city-movie-guy-happenings.html 
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