Archive for August, 2011


Colombiana & Our Idiot Brother

Colombiana & Our Idiot Brother

I did a little two-movie marathon today. The first of the two is Colombiana (2011) starring Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis, Lennie James and Jordi Mollà. A young woman, after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. Hot chick kickin’ ass? Check. Zoe Saldana gets the movie
she deserves with this excellent action thriller. Since Avatar, Star Trek and The Losers, she has stepped into the limelight as not only a good actor, but now as a good action star. Writer and producer Luc Besson knows how to make his leading ladies shine i.e: The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional and La Femme Nikita. I call this movie an action thriller cause well, it’s a given its gonna be action, but the thriller is the excellent cat and mouse game between Zoe Saldana’s character and the authorities that are after here while she executes her revenge. I really liked the over plot and story. The script is smart and clever too. I also liked the casting of the film. And trust me, for my dude friends out there; Zoe Saldana is one hot butt kicker. For this reason she stays on my top 5 list I have referenced several times:

In action scenes, I have always enjoyed good and creative death scenes. This movie does not disappoint in this area. Not only does Zoe Saldana kick ass in some hand-to-hand combat, she is very proficient with all kinds of weapons. The movie was rated PG-13 and kudos to the editing, as it teased your mind just enough to figure out how gruesome the death scenes can get with out actually being rated R. Of course the perve side of me wanted it rated R for another reason. The movie was the perfect length, and worth a theater visit. Check it out!

The second and last movie of my short movie marathon was Our Idiot Brother (2011) starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer. A comedy centered on an idealist who barges into the lives of his three sisters. About five minutes into the film my wife surprised me and met me in theater. I unusually tell her my movie marathon schedule so she knows what I’m seeing and when. From time to time she surprises me and shows up to meet. I like it when she does that; she’s a cool wife. All right, on with the movie take. I had been
seeing a lot of hype about this movie due to the TV commercials and the late night interviews with the stars with one of favorite late night shows Chelsea Lately. After all of the hype I didn’t find the movie as funny as I thought it would be especially with the talented cast it had. Don’t get wrong, the movie did have it funny parts, but I found the movie more drama, than comedy. It’s misleading that way. However the drama in this movie does work, and the main message of this film isn’t too preachy. Paul Rudd was very charming and the leading ladies in this film that play his sisters are also charming and fun to watch. This movie was only 90 minutes so the lack of comedy didn’t hurt as much as it could of. But I did wish it was funnier. I wouldn’t dismiss this film, just wait for video and don’t expect it to be the laugh fest the trailers lead you to believe the film is.

Next week is DragonCon 2011 for me. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. My friend Cat is visiting and I see ourselves checking out a movie or two. After all, Cat was one of my original movie marathon buddies.

More later, stay tuned!

– Spartan Phoenix


Conan the Barbarian 3D, Fright Night 3D, The Help, The Big Lebowski, 30 Minutes or Less, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Change-Up and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Conan the Barbarian 3D, Fright Night 3D, The Help, The Big Lebowski, 30 Minutes or Less, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Change-Up and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Spartan Phoenix Movie Round up! Alright its time for some movie lovin’ catch up!

Conan the Barbarian (2011) 3D. The tale of Conan the Cimmerian and his adventures across the continent of Hyboria on a quest to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village. First things first, this movie is not worth the extra charge for 3D. As fun as it was, its not worth 3D. Its hard to compare this movie with the original Conan the Barbarian (1982) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was a different time and a different feeling. The original, Conan stands on it’s own, but I did like this new one. My only problem with the new one was the some of the plot holes, But do I really need an A+ plot with a  Conan movie? No. It was rated R, which a Conan movie should be. There was plenty of blood and violence and some boobies. By the way, the sex boobie scene with star Jason Momoa and his hot co-star Rachel Nichols were stunt
boobies, not hers, sorry guys. As for Jason Momoa, I was pleased with his role as Conan, I thought it was good casting. I’ve been a fan of his
since his co-starring role on the TV series Stargate: Atlantis. So new Conan is fun, not great, but worth a check on video or a matinee movie price.

Fright Night (2011) 3D. A teenager suspects that his new neighbor is a vampire. I didn’t expect much from this remake, but I must say it was refreshingly fun. I liked the backdrop of Las Vegas as a Vampire haven. I also liked the cast, especially the lead teen / vampire hunter role-played by rising star Anton Yelchin (Terminator Salvation, Star Trek 2009). This movie also did a wonderful job with the 3D effects. This is a must see on the big screen. The movie was very funny too. I was also impressed with Colin Farrell’s character as “Jerry, the Vampire”. He was charismatic and funny too. I’ve been impressed with Colin’s recent low-key movie roles that have showcased his acting instead of his looks like Horrible Bosses, The Way Back, Crazy Heart and In Bruges. Fright Night in 3D was more fun than expected and worth seeing in 3D.

The Help (2011). A look at what happens when a southern town’s unspoken code of rules and behavior is shattered by three courageous women who strike up an unlikely friendship. This was a movie my wife “called”. This means it was a movie I had to see with her and not alone in one of my movie marathons. Just like every other woman in this country, this movie was a must see after reading the book. I didn’t read the book, yeah, big surprise right. But my wife did and really wanted to see the movie adaptation. I wanted to see this movie actually, cause
I was impressed with the casting, and I was not disappointed. This movie is a well-acted and excellent portrayal of the time of segregation of the south on the 50’s and 60’s. Everything from the sets, costumes, cars, and music transported us to a tumultuous time in our U.S. history. This movie was a good history lesson. I also would like to see some Oscar nominations for the to lead maids played by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. They were absolutely awesome in their roles. Also great in their roles was America’s new sweetheart Emma Stone as the lead Eugenia Skeeter’ Phelan and Bryce Dallas Howard who played the evil but captivating Hilly Holbrook. It was nice to see a movie with great acting, sorry and plot with out action, explosions and special effects up the whazoo. This movie was great drama, and is a must see.

The Big Lebowski (1998) “Dude” Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it. This movie was only playing on the big screen for one night only. It was also being released on blu-ray the same week. And lead “Dude” actor Jeff Bridges released a country album the same week too. I have to admit that when I first saw this movie on the big screen, I didn’t get it. I didn’t like it. As time went on the cult status of this movie increasingly rose especially with the video sales and the annual convention called “ Lebowski Fest”. More on that event can be found

Last year I borrowed the movie from my friend Porter cause I wanted to see what I missed. Now that I get it, I found a new respect for this movie. Its very funny once you “get it”. When I found out this movie
was playing on the big screen, I contacted my buddy Porter and he met up with me to see it. It was only playing at two theaters here in the Atlanta area. It wasn’t a big crowd, but the Lebowski faithful were there. I was a little disappointed by not seeing anyone in costume. The movie was fun to see on the big screen and my appreciation for this movie grows.  I wouldn’t mind attending one of these Lebowski Fests. Beer,
bowling, costumes? What’s not to like?

30 Minutes or Less (2011). Two fledgling criminals kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest, and inform him that he has mere hours to rob a bank or else… I was looking forward to this movie cause the lead star Jesse Eisenberg and director Ruben Fleischer did one of
my favorite movies Zombieland (2009). The movie had a good comedic cast too. The move had some very funny parts, but wasn’t as funny as I expected it to be. The two funniest characters in the movie were played by Aziz Ansari and Nick Swardson, both of which are very funny comedians in their own right. Danny McBride was also funny, but some of the jokes fell flat at times. Not worth the movie ticket but worth a video see.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes 3D (2011). During experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a genetically enhanced chimpanzee uses its greater intelligence to lead other apes to freedom. I really liked the story and the concept behind this film. What this movie did for me was now put a back-story for all of the Apes movies of the past I’ve seen. I now know what we did as humans to piss them off. San Francisco was ground zero for the ape revolution. OK I can go with that. The real star of this film is the one you don’t get to see his real human face, I’m talking about the actor that brought to life the lead ape Caesar
played by motion capture actor Andy Serkis. Andy is also known for other famous creatures he has played like Gollum, Kong (King Kong) and as Captain Haddock in the upcoming release I’m very excited about: The Adventures of Tintin (2011). As for Apes, I would say that I liked it overall. But I did get an uncomfortable feeling during the first half of the film. It’s the feeling you get when you visit a zoo and you get depressed seeing all of the animals in captivity. It was a little depressing to see what the apes went through. But I think that is what the movie is trying to do, so kudos for making me feel bad to be a human. I did see this movie in 3D. It’s not worth the 3D price, but worth a theater visit.

The Change-Up (2011) A comedy in which a married father accidentally switches bodies with his “ladies man” best friend, leading to a series of wildly complex difficulties. This movie was some funny shit! It’s rated R for a reason and is worth a see. After seeing this movie I have decided one thing; Co-star Jason Bateman, is a comic genius. His co-star Ryan Reynolds, was very funny as well, but Jason Bateman steals the show. This movie does a good job on the “personality switch” twist. This move was also filmed in Atlanta, my town. So it was cool to see the location shoots that I had seen myself.

I would also like to mention that female costar hottie Olivia Wilde has officially made my new “Top 5 Freebee List”. Not sure whom she knocks off the list yet, but feel free to let me know whom you think she should replace:

Oh and Jason Bateman had the best line in the film. Picture this, he’s Ryan Reynolds personality in Jason Bateman’s body and is buck-naked. He’s cupping his junk with his right hand and holding a mirror under his crotch with his left hand. He says: “Holy fuck knuckles, I have freckles on my taint!” Ha! Comic awesomeness. This movie is a very funny, check it out!

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011) A father’s life unravels while he deals with a marital crisis and tries to manage his relationship with his children. This was a date night movie with my wife. I will start off saying that I liked this movie more than my wife did. Overall I enjoyed this movie and the twist at the end that ties all of the relationships together. Lead actors Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling were picture perfect as their roles. Steve Carell played the down on the dumps soon to be divorcée and Ryan Gosling plays the ladies man who helps with the “man up makeover”. America’s new sweetheart Emma Stone was charming as
the “game changer” love interest to Ryan Gosling. The best part of the film is when Steve Carell gets his man mojo back and starts his own version of the “ladies man”. This movie does take a serious turn towards the end, which does add to the drama, but that is when the funny ends and the story takes a more serious note. Skip the movie theater, but check it out on video.

More movie madness to come, check me out later bitches!

– Spartan Phoenix