Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Robin Hood, Kick Ass, & Hot Tub Time Machine



I recently saw a sneak preview of the new Robin Hood movie starring Russell Crowe (It comes out on 5/14/10.) Several readers have asked: How do you get to see sneak previews? Is your blog so popular that you are now invited to review movies? I wish that was the case. Unfortunately, I’m not that cool. If you want to know how to see sneak previews just like me, then read below. Otherwise, skip it, and enjoy the reviews.

How to Go to a Movie Screening

Sometimes, in front of big movie theaters (especially in NYC and LA), there will be sketchy guys trying to give you something. Your first reaction will be to ignore them because they are sketchy and weird. But these strange men are offering you something special: free tickets to a movie screening. The odd men will summarize the movie quickly and boast about the actors even if they suck. If you’re still interested, you must answer one more question correctly to receive your free pass for two.

“Do you work in the entertainment industry?”

Just say NO and you shall receive your golden ticket.

When you get home, register for the screening online. Arrive to the movie super early because it’s first come, first serve. The place will be a mad house, and you’ll get a taste of Hollywood and its motto: “Hurry up and wait!”

But once you get in, you’ll get to see a movie that might not come out for months. You may also get picked for a focus group and actually voice your opinion on the movie. You may even run into celebs who are involved with the film. That’s how I met Larry David

Some of the screenings that I’ve attended include Anchor Man, Envy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Bruno, and now Robin Hood.

ROBIN HOOD













There have been dozens of Robin Hood movies so why do it again? Well, this is the UNTOLD STORY of Robin Hood.  And the idea of pairing Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe with bows and arrows sound pretty cool.

But the story has never been told possibly because it is so boring. In this version, Robin Hood aka Robin of the Hood aka Robin Longstride helps fight against the Norman invaders and becomes a legend in the process.

The majority of the movie, Robin Hood is just plain Robin. He impersonates a great army soldier, retreats to a village, and befriends a family.  This is where he meets Maid Marion played by Cate Blanchett (I’m sorry, but I don’t find her attractive at all…is that bad?)

For a good 45 minutes, this movie felt like a bad Jane Austen novel. Robin gets to know the family, the town, and learns what his destiny should be. There were flashbacks to explain his childhood, but I didn’t understand because I’m too stupid or I dozed off for a little bit. I had trouble paying attention because the movie was so slow. Instead, I kept trying to solve the riddles of Lost, wondering why the Red Sox sucked, and deciding what my next facebook status should be.

I’m really knocking this movie, but it wasn’t all that bad. First off, one of Robin’s right hand men was Keamy from Lost (the guy who kills Ben’s daughter!) There were also a few good actions scenes including the big one at the climax. At times, Robin Hood morphed into Maximus Decimus Meridius and definitely kicked some ass.

Coincidentally, Robin spent most of the time on a horse wielding a sword just like Maximus did in Gladiator. I was a little confused; I thought Robin Hood was this great archer, but he only uses the bow a few times. 

The movie was conscious not to be like Gladiator which was really disappointing. Every time, Robin started to tear things up, the movie slowed down, and focused on the love story. It also chose odd times for silly scenes and jokey dialogue (sometimes it worked, but sometimes it didn’t.) And to top it off, there weren’t even any Bryan Adams’ songs (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) or any appearances by Dave Chappelle (Robin Hood: Prince of Tights.)

From what I’ve read, this movie has been in the making for years. In the original script Robin Hood was actually a bad guy which sounds very appealing. Unfortunately, producers got their hands on it and gave it a huge overhaul.

Robin Hood is not a bad movie. It’s well directed, well acted, but it’s just really slow. My parents would probably like it because the action isn’t too graphic (it is PG-13 after all), the settings are beautiful, and there’s a romance story. But anyone looking for an intense action movie will definitely be disappointed.  

The movie Robin Hood is kind’ve like the girl that’s not attractive, but she’s not ugly either. She’s ok. If only she wasn’t boring too. 

On the other end of the spectrum, you got Kick Ass and Hot Tub Time Machine. Both movies are over the top, absurd, and lots of fun.

KICK ASS

















Kick Ass is ultra-violent and definitely lives up to its name. The premise is that a bunch of normal, everyday people like us decide to become super heroes. Since it’s a movie, and based on a comic book, they take liberties to make them a little more superhero then the average joe. Two characters, Big Daddy and Hit Girl, have tons of money and therefore, some of the cooler weapons you’ll see. And they also have some insane fighting skills.

The best character by far is Hit Girl, a 11 year-old girl who makes Uma Thurman, from Kill Bill, look like a princess. She lights up the screen by destroying her enemies faster then Batman and Jackie Chan combined. Kick Ass is like a Tarantino movie without the pretense and need for attention. It’s fun, violent, and over the top. If you’re a comic nerd, you’ll love it. If you’re a fan of action movies, you’ll really like it. And if you think what I just wrote is stupid, then it’s not for you (and you’re mean.)

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE

















How can you not want to see a movie with a brilliant title like this? Hot Tub Time Machine is well aware of its absurdity and ridiculousness. And that’s why it’s really funny. The characters are vulgar and idiotic (especially Lou played by Rob Corddry.)

John Cusack takes a trip down memory lane, and definitely earns some street cred for taking on this role. Rob Corddry, the asshole of the group, garners the most laughs. Clark Duke, the dorky kid, is pleasant enough. And Craig Robinson, aka Daryl from The Office, has one of the funnier scenes performing with his band (a solid homage to Marty McFly and Marvin Berry & The Starlighters.)

The movie takes its time introducing the characters, and every scene (at least at the beginning) wasn’t a joke/minute.  We get to know the characters and, amazingly enough, the movie actually has some heart.

But the real reason you wanna see this movie is to go back to the 80’s. Most people from my generation will be psyched to go back to a time of walkmen, Nintendo, Michael Jackson, mullets, and leg warmers. 

While watching, you almost want to play Where’s Waldo with the 80’s references. Some of the movies and 80’s shows they pay respect to are: Back to the Future, Rambo, The Karate Kid, Better off Dead, Ski Patrol, Red Dawn, The Terminator, 21 Jump Street, and Miami Vice. And Crispin Glover, who played George McFly from Back to the Future, steals every scene he’s in as the one armed doorman. 

Hot Tub is not a great movie, but it’s one that makes you laugh and brings you back to the good old days; a time before cell phones, ipods, and email.

At one point, Jacob, the dorky kid, meets a cute girl at an 80’s party.

Jacob: Can I text you later?

80’s Girl: What?

Jacob: Are you online at all?

80’s Girl: I have no idea what you’re saying.

Jacob: How do I get a hold of you?

80’s Girl: Come find me.

...how simple things used to be.