Movie Review: Baggage Claim

baggage-claim-movie-2013-poster-1Will Someone in the TSA Please Taze Baggage Claim?

What is it about romantic comedies? They can either be incredible (see; The Wedding Singer) or absolutely horrible (see Fools Gold…or anything else with Kate Hudson). Unfortunately for Baggage Claim, they are neatly nestled in the latter category.

Let’s start with the premise. Montana Moore (Paula Patton) a flight attendant with a porn star name, has just learned that her little sister is getting married…insert case of feminine hysterics. Now, Montana has 30 days to find and get engaged so her sister won’t ‘win’. With the help of her sassy best friend Gail Best (Jill Scott), and her stereotypical gay friend Sam (Adam Brody), she is going to break every flight regulation possible and use her airline to hunt down all her ex boyfriends. Then, she’ll ‘accidentally’ bump into all of them when they inevitably come to her airport. Little does she know that Mr. Right is right in front of her!

Literally, her love interest’s name is Mr. F–ing Wright. Apparently, someone thought that was clever.

There are two major flaws with this movie that keep it from taking off in any way. First, it’s insulting to BOTH genders. Second, it requires a suspension of belief usually only reserved for science fiction…bad science fiction.

Baggage Claim Movie Still 3

Let’s start on how it’s insulting to woman. [more…]The entire premise of the story is that Montana MUST get married in order to not dishonor the family (because this movie takes place in 1950’s Japan). Her little sister, who is about to drop out of school to get married is winning. Screw Montana having a good career and all that. The only thing that matters is how many sheep and cows they are going to turn over for her dowry. Sorry, got confused again. While watching this, I kept checking the credits to see when it was made. Every time I saw 2013, I got a little more lost.

Next, they guys get nailed as well. Men did not get treated nicely in this film. Every single guy was a stereotype in some way. They had married guy, flashy guy, narcissist, and more stereotypes I didn’t bother to remember. The movie stumbles through an unfunny bad date montage and climaxes with the requisite ‘love was with me all the time’ William Wright (Derek Luke) professing his undying love. There was no male character in this movie that wasn’t either a complete jerk, or a doormat.

Baggage Claim Movie Still 2

Baggage Claim Movie Still 1

Let’s get on with the suspension of belief.

First of all, the characters mess with the airline scheduling system in order to stalk Montana’s exes. I can’t even get a bottle of shampoo on a plane without getting tackled by security. How are three people messing with the entire friggen flight plan…with no apparent fear of going to federal prison?

Next, ALL of Montana’s exes go through her airport, coincidentally, within the next 30 days. They brush this coincidence off by explaining that it’s the holidays, so everyone is traveling. I wasn’t buying it. I could buy the guys all deciding to travel for the holidays. I could even buy them all deciding to fly. What I couldn’t buy was the fact that Montana apparently worked at the only available airport in the entire United States.

With a storyline stuck in a time warp, clichéd characters and bigger plot holes than the Grand Canyon, Baggage Claim is best left with the unclaimed baggage.

Here’s the Trailer!


(Source Photos: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Movie Review: Battle of the Year – (Battle to Stay Awake!)

MV5BOTY2OTcyNzM3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzgxMjkxMDE@._V1._SX640_SY934_If the makers of Battle of the Year really wanted to make money, they would have just named this film “Come Watch Chris Brown Get Punched in the Face.” That was the one redeeming characteristic of this movie.

In Battle of the Year, a group of wacky misfits wants to win the international B-Boy dancing competition, because apparently the country that friggen invented B-Boy dancing hasn’t managed to win in 15 years. Josh Holloway (TV’s “Lost”) plays Jason Blake, an alcoholic basketball couch, with a clichéd tragic back-story, who decides he just needs to dance out the pain. He partners up with Dante Graham (Laz Alonso), a hip-hop mogul determined to make the world respect the USA again…by dancing.

Enter the building of a team of dancers from every clichéd stereotype available. There’s Rooster (Chris Brown), a cocky (ha-ha, get it?) dancer who wants the spotlight all to himself. There’s an intern who only wants the appreciation of his boss. There’s a guy who wants to dance his way out of the projects. There’s Rebel, Sniper, Grifter and Mayhem. If you want to know their stereotypes, just Google the definition of their names.

Have you ever actually felt like a movie was making fun of you?

They even managed to accidentally toss in the clichéd sports injury of the best dancer Rooster, as the reason why he couldn’t attend the competition in France. In real life, Brown couldn’t attend because he was still on probation.

Also, there is so much product placement in this movie, I actually felt like I was watching a commercial. By the end, all I wanted to do was make a call on my Sony Smartphone, while I tied the laces on my new Pumas and shaved my legs with my new Braun Razor.




For a move about dancing, there was very little…dancing. When there is dancing, the 3D affects and split screen montages make it so dizzying, you can actually expect to bring on a seizure. What dancing I could actually see (after I stopped convulsing) wasn’t that bad. But sloppy, overly contrived camera work made it hard to focus.

The one standout in this entire mess of a film was Chris Brown…getting punched in the face. To be fair, Brown played his cocky, jerky, immature character really well, but that’s probably because he was playing a character that he seems to play regularly in real life.

Josh Peck, the second in command, wasn’t bad in his roll as the over eager, stereotypical Jewish intern either. While the roll was another sad stereotype, Peck managed to play it pretty well.

In the end, when the crew took off to France, I actually wanted them to lose. Why? Because I don’t want other countries thinking this is the best that America has to offer. Based on the clichés, terrible dialog, one dimensional characters and blatant product placement, the most surprising thing about this film is that it’s actually loosely based on real events and is partially a documentary. All in all, the dancing was good. Maybe if they had focused on that, rather than trying to force a story of redemption in there, it might have worked. Instead, I was too distracted with clichés and my sudden desire for a new pair of Pumas to pay much attention.

Here’s the Trailer.

Movie Review: Thanks For Sharing (2013)…Thanks for Sharing!

thanks-for-sharing-movie-poster-2Every now and then, when I think everything has been done and there is nothing new left to do, a movie comes along to prove me wrong. Thanks for Sharing is a not your standard addiction recovery movie. Instead, it takes a look at a new twist on addition, specifically, sex addiction.

Adam (Mark Ruffalo), is a handsome environmental consultant who is 5 years in recovery for his sex addition. The sex addiction is easily believable because Ruffalo is actually hot enough to have scores of willing women tossing themselves at him. His love interest Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), comes with conflicts of her own, as a former breast cancer survivor and dater of an alcoholic. Also sharing the spotlight is the long-married Mike (Tim Robbins) who plays Adam’s sponsor and Neil (Josh Gad), who plays a fellow sex addict (though with a bit more of a pervy twist). Even Pink plays a part, as Dede, a female addict just coming off her own 12 step program.

For the most part, even though it was a comedy, the subject was handled with a certain level of maturity. The main problems come from the way Gad’s character was treated in the movie. Gad played the part of Neil, a loveable pervert, well. However, some of his actual scenes (particularly where he rubbed up against women on the subway and filmed up his bosses skirt) had me wondering ‘why is this guy not in prison?’

His character becomes significantly more redeemable when he meets up with Dede, a hairdresser dealing with her own addiction. Pink pulls off a great addict and helps Neil work through his issues when he helps her work through her own. While their recovery is awful quick, it is a movie recovery, so I guess it would have to be. [more…]



The conflict between Adam and Phoebe goes on a bit too long, with Phoebe trying to seduce Adam at every turn and Adam resisting, but it’s still interesting to watch. Mike has his own good scenes, when dealing with his newly sober drug addicted son.

Unfortunately, when explaining the motivation behind the characters seeking treatment, the film falls a bit flat. While Neil is in treatment because of a court order (shocker), Adam apparently decided he was an addict after cheating on his girlfriend with hookers? Well then, pretty much every dude I know who’s ever had a regrettable bender in Vegas is a sex addict.

In the end, the movie was done pretty well. The most surprising breakout star in this one was Pink, who proved to be one of the few pop stars capable of making the transition to film. Overall, the subject was approached with just the right amount of humor, without the actors making slapstick fun of an addiction that can be just as serious as substance abuse. Thanks for Sharing could have turned into an awful sex humor, or it could have gone over the top hokey and preachy. Instead, Thanks for Sharing really managed to strike the right balance between drama and comedy.

Here’s the Trailer and if you’ve Seen the Movie – Leave a Review & Earn Some Points!

Movie Review: Prisoners – Escape from Prisoners

prisoners-posterI know what to do if I ever want to get an Oscar. I need to write a movie about a missing kid. Prisoners is getting rave reviews, but honestly haven’t drama filled movies about angst filled parents searching for their missing kids just…been…done…to…death. Unfortunately, because it’s pretty much a guaranteed Oscar nomination, we’re going to keep seeing the same movie over, and over, and over again, just wrapped up in a different bow.

Prisoners is nothing new. Hugh Jackman plays Keller Dover, a contractor living in rural Pennsylvania with his wife Grace (Maria Bello). When his 6-year-old daughter Anna (Erin Gerasimovich) is kidnapped along with her best friend Joy Birch (Kyla Drew Simmons), the movie becomes one part exploitation flick, one part lifetime movie with better acting.

Local cop, Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), apprehends Alex Jones (Paul Dano), the driver of a windowless van (dilapidated trailer, whatever clichéd rape mobile you want to picture). Loki doesn’t believe that Jones has anything to do with the disappearance and decides to let the guy go. That’s when Dover shows up to beat a confession out of the suspect.

Of course, there’s other suspects. Like any cop drama, there are loads of other suspects. Every 12 seconds, you’ll find yourself going “it was that guy…wait, no it wasn’t.” In fact, I did it so many times; I just stopped giving a sh-t and decided it was the one armed man.[more…]

I’m sure there were other actors in the film, but following the abduction, it really just focuses on Loki and Dover. Gyllenhaal tried to get across how quirky and unusual Loki is by um,…blinking repeatedly. Jackman plays Dover like Wolverine without the claws. Bello’s role as Grace could have been replaced by a pillow under some blankets.

This movie reminded me of something that was popular during the 70s; torture porn. About 90 minutes of it is Dover thinking of more creative ways to torture Jones, while Loki runs around town investigating suspects and blinking excessively.




Oh god, and the forced prison metaphors. Loki is a prisoner of his own good record and his quirky blinkiness. Dover is a prisoner of his anger. Grace is a prisoner of a sleep-number-mattress and Jones is a prisoner of a psychotic Dover. Seriously at one point I expected director Denis Villeneuve to come into the theater, nudge me in the arm and ask “You get it right? They’re prisoners…” Yes, I got it, I just didn’t care.

Oh, and the ending? The only good thing I can say about it was at least the damn thing was over. The ending was so contrived and unrealistic, you really need to be on something to believe it. Also, why are there so many psycho nut jobs in one small Pennsylvania town? They might as well have just named the town ‘Molesterville.”

In short, Prisoners is your run of the mill missing kid movie. Everyone is a suspect in town filled with crazies. Jackman is angry. Gyllenhaal is broody (when he’s not being blinky). But in the end, you’ll just want to escape.

Here’s the Trailer and if you’ve Seen the Movie – Leave a Review & Earn Some Points!

Movie Review: Blue Caprice – As Disturbing as the Story it Was Based On

Blue-Caprice-2013-Movie-PosterBlue Caprice takes a chilling, straightforward and realistic look at 2002 Beltway Sniper killings. In this film, we’re led by though the strange, often frightening relationship between the two snipers involved, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.

John Allen Muhammad is played by an absolute terrifying, ranting Isaiah Washington, who before this roll was famous as ‘that guy who got kicked off Grey’s Anatomy’ for making all those gay slurs’. Washington plays a controlling and fanatical Muhammad to a T and reminds us that before the Grey’s incident, this guy could actually act.

Of course, Tequan Richmond is no slouch either, in the roll of impressionable and sometimes even sympathetic Lee Boyd Malvo. His actual dialog is limited, but that makes his ability to clearly portray a needy boy, being manipulated into a cold blooded killer, even more impressive.

The film takes us through Muhammad and Malvo’s’ meeting. Malvo is just a boy who has been abandoned by his mother. Muhammad is the benevolent father figure that rescues Malvo from a life on the streets. He takes Malvo to Washington with him, and little by little Muhammad’s nefarious side starts to show.

One moment he’s teaching Malvo how to drive. Another he’s tying him to a tree and leaving him alone over night. The plot starts to culminate when Muhammad mater-of-factly tells Malvo of his master plan to create chaos, while shopping in the grocery store. [more…]

The actual attacks themselves are sensitively handled by the director, in a memorable but respectful way. The POV is through the eyes of the snipers themselves. The view is that of simple suburban simplicity, and the watcher cringes as the people being targeted clearly have no idea the horror that is about to unfold. These moments highlight the entire films ‘impending doom’ atmosphere.

blue Caprice Still 2

blue Caprice Still 1

The dialog and writing is done well. Much of the decisions are left up to the audience. Was Muhammad looking for a son, or was he a predator intent on using Malvo for his own means? The viewer never knows and Muhammad never says, but Washington’s excellent performance makes you think it could go either way. The characters never try to explain too much and the movie doesn’t focus on answers. This is appropriate, considering that real world situations like this never truly offer any answers.

Of course, there were some problems. The ending is more of a rushed montage of the results of the spree, followed by an abrupt ending.  The blurred focus to regular focus seemed a bit on the nose, and the slow pans following the Blue Caprice were a bit overdone.

Overall though, this is a movie to set out what it intended to do. It clearly set out to show the disturbing relationship between the two perpetrators of this crime. At the same time, it managed to handle the deaths in a mature way. This is a psychological thriller that does exactly what a good psychological thriller is expected to do. It doesn’t tie the answers up for the viewers in a neat little bow. Instead, it makes the audience draw their own conclusion about the motivations behind the 2002 Beltway Sniper killings, while at the same time, making the watcher accept the fact that sometimes, there are no good answers.

Here’s the Trailer and if you’ve Seen the Movie – Leave a Review & Earn Some Points!

Movie Review: Insidious Chapter 2 – Was This Supposed to be Hilarious?

insidious 2Movies like these make me wonder why anyone buys Victorian style houses. I mean, from everything I’ve seen, anything listed as “Victorian style” guarantees someone is getting murdered. Psycho, The Haunting, The Amityville Horror, all these people could have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they’d just rented a nice condo instead.

In Insidious Chapter 2, Josh and Renai Lambert, played by stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, are apparently trying to decide if Josh is really being possessed by an angry old woman, or if he’s just super in-touch with his grumpy old lady feminine side. The movie goes though a few confusing bounces between time periods, flashing back to Josh as a boy, and forward to him as a possessed adult.

The film starts out in 1986, where the friendly neighborhood medium Elise (Lindsay Seim) is called to find out what might be haunting young Josh. After multiple warnings from Josh, Elise wanders into a closet and gets scratched on the arm. Presumably, due to an immense fear of tetanus, Elise then makes young Josh (Garrett Ryan)  forget about his astral projection abilities.

Because that kind of stuff always turns out well.

Anyway, flash forward 25 years and we find Renai getting questioned about the death of Elise. As her husband might be a killer and is behaving oddly, they all decide that the best course of action is to move back to Josh’s childhood home, where all the problems started in the first place.

Hey, if it wasn’t for idiots, horror movies would never get made.

What follows is a bunch of close encounters with scary ghosts which would have had most normal people checking into a Holiday Inn. Elise returns as the friendly ghost and through dice, tells them all to head on over to Our Lady of Angels. Lorraine (Barbara Hershey)  tells a story about Parker Crane, a cross dressing serial killer who killed himself by jumping off the roof of the hospital. [more…]

They decide to continue their haunted house tour on to Parkers house, where they learn the story of “The Dark Bride” AKA “The Guy With the Worst Serial Killer Name Ever”. There’s also this moment that is supposed to be some kind of “AHA!” moment, where they learn that it hasn’t been Elise communicating with them from the other side. It was Parker’s mother.


Insidious 2 trailer  (Screengrab)

Because when the story is dragging on with no resolution, you might as well toss a few more characters in there that no one cares about.  They all go home to be attacked by the possessed Josh, who has his own ‘here’s Johnny’ moment as he hammers his way through some drywall using a fire extinguisher.

Anyway, this complicated mess of a movie was more confusing than scary. The scares are completely predictable, with the frequently overused ‘dead quiet, followed by something jumping out’, being done to death. There’s a funny, but not supposed to be, moment where the scary mother yells at little serial killer Parker, who wasn’t being girly enough for her liking. In addition, there is allegedly a scary part with noises coming over a baby monitor. At which point, I actually thought “Oh no! Someone is using a radio too close to the baby monitor”. “Ghost activity’ was pretty far down on my list of possibilities.

As far as this movie goes, Insidious Chapter 2, was anything but insidious. Innocuous, yes. Incomprehensible? Absolutely. But as for insidious enough to compare to its predecessor, Insidious Chapter 2 just fell flat.

Here’s the Trailer and if you’ve Seen the Movie – Leave a Review & Earn Some Points!

Harry Potter Fans Go Wild!Final Chapter

With this last installment of the Harry Potter saga, fans went hog wild standing in crazy lines. Waiting in anticipation to get first dibs on tickets for the sure to be sold out release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part 2; fans showed their devotion.

I know personally, I could not get my hands on tickets anywhere I looked, called or begged. So much for that movie review!!

So, I thought it would be fun to look at all the fan videos and craziness and pretend like I was a part of this epic last film! Enjoy the video below of some of the fans in the DC area hoping to get some Harry Potter tickets.

Harry Potter Fans!!!

Country Strong Review

So last night I rented Country Strong, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw. Aside from McGraw having what appeared to be a full head of hair, I was pretty impressed with the film.

Typical story of a county struggle, but told a bit differently. Paltrow is a superstar already and in rehab. Getting out of rehab early, she embarks on an encore tour to renew her career after a horrible mishap 9 months prior.

If you have not seen this movie already, I won’t give away big details, but I will tell you this; break out the kleenex. Maybe I am just emotional right now or maybe Country Strong  just really tugs at the heart strings.

Although the storyline seems to move fast and not give much history on the characters, you become completely involved in their mess. I thought McGraw did a fine job and Patrow’s voice was exceptional. However, I have been waiting for Paltrow to take up a singing career since I heard her version of Betty Davis Eyes about 10 years ago.

I don’t like her singing country though….although she did great; as a matter of fact I will be downloading a few songs today from the film.

Have you seen it? Thoughts?

Hard As Stone: Review of Stone

stone movie review, deniro stoneSo, my favorite actor of all time is Robert DeNiro. I just love the man. Without a doubt he is one of the most dynamic actors of our time. He is versatile, emotional, funny and just pure magic to watch on the screen.

I felt quite excited to pick up Stone starring DeNiro and Edward Norton. DeNiro plays a tough as nails parole officer and Norton, a convicted felon. Makes for a good plot right? Hmmm…..not so sure. This movie centered around Norton’s character, Stone. Convicted of killing his grand parents when he was a teen, strung out on drugs….the story involves him interviewing for possible parole. With….you guessed it….DeNiro.

Stone has a nut case for a girlfriend who befriends DeNiro and tries her darndest to help her man get parole granted. The story line turns extremely weird at this point as DeNiro starts up a volatile friendship with her. Now, seeing as I adore the man, I gave it a chance. But I have to say, I was highly disappointed. Not in DeNiro, but the story itself.

The plot gives a little hints as to why DeNiro’s character; Jack, partakes in the drink, excessive praying and as to why his married life sucks. But that’s it. You get hints and no resolution. No explanation of how his life came to be the way it was. It felt as if the writer/directors were attempting an existential work of art, but didn’t really know how to make it all culminate. You are left with more questions than answers…..and I despise that in movies.

I felt as though there was huge potential with this flick; two powerhouses as the stars and all. Oh, and the wife of Stone is played by Milla Jovovich….another strong contender. Her performance was brilliant in my opinion. And as for my man, it was so so. I don’t blame him though….I blame the film’s director. I think he worked with what he had…..and played his role just as it was presented to him.

What I can say is that there were some surprises that kept me watching, so it’s definitely worth a Redbox $1.00 rental! I wouldn’t pay more than that for it though….and I also wouldn’t wait for cable. It wasn’t THAT bad. 🙂

My rating:  80%

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Review

If you are going into this movie thinking that you’re going to watch another Harry Potter flick you’re in it for a big surprise, this is a completely different approach to the previous movies and the sheer emotional intensity that was put into the story takes it to an entirely new level.

The movie picks up in a very tense mood, where Harry, Hermione and Ron find themselves far away from Hogwarts alone without any protection running and trying to stay alive.

The movie does such a great job isolating he characters and giving you a sense of loneliness and despair, I really have to give credit to the Cinematographer Eduardo Serra that brought so much of his experience in French Cinema into this movie, and it shows particularly in this theme.

This is where the pace of the movie is completely different from the other Harry Potter movies;it’s more fragmented less frantic and a lot more silent.

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