Showing posts from October, 2012

Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts explores the relationship between a 19-year-old college sophomore, Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), and a 35-year-old man, Jesse (Josh Radnor). Jesse now lives in New York City, but in the 1990s he attended a small liberal arts college in Ohio. He returns to his alma mater to celebrate the retirement party of his favorite professor, Peter Hoburg (Richard Jenkins), and ends up meeting Zibby.

Jesse and Zibby meet through Zibby's parents, and they have an instant connection. After Jesse leaves the college, he agrees to write Zibby via snail mail, and they keep up a "courtship" or sorts for a few months through this, until Zibby asks him to come visit her back at the college. Jesse knows that the age difference between them is too much to ignore (at one point, he makes a list with the columns "When I was: [x] age" and "She was: [x] age", coming up with depressing numbers like 19-3 and 16-0), but he finds himself greatly enjoying Zibby's company.…

Fun Size

The movie Fun Size presumably gets its name from the shirt that one of the main characters wears for a brief minute near the end of the film, which says "I'm not short - I'm fun sized." However, this film was anything BUT fun, and is in fact one of the worst movies I've seen in quite a while - despite the comedic intentions, it isn't funny at all.

Wren (Victoria Justice) and her friend April (Jane Levy) are thrilled when they receive a Halloween party invite from a hot guy at their high school, Aaron Riley (Thomas McDonell). There's only one problem: Wren's mom, Joy (Chelsea Handler), is going out to a party with her 26-year-old boyfriend, Keevin (Josh Pence), and needs Wren to babysit her younger brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) that night. Wren and April take Albert trick-or-treating, and while in a haunted house they manage to lose track of him. They scour the town looking for Albert, and wheedle school dorks Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) and Peng (Osri…

Alex Cross

I will confess that I've never seen any of the Madea movies nor read the Alex Cross book series, but I didn't have high expectations for this film, although the trailer looked interesting. Although there are some good performances in the film, they are marred by the unrealistic situations and sometimes cheesy script throughout, and also a few gaping plot holes that the writers left open.

I was later told that this movie is a prequel to the series, as books Alex lives in D.C. and works for the FBI; in this film, he is a cop living in Detroit and he is thinking of applying to the FBI. Alex (Tyler Perry) has just learned that his wife, Maria (Carmen Ejogo), is pregnant with their second child, and he thinks that moving to D.C. will be better for the family - however, Maria wants to stay in Detroit. Meanwhile, Alex and his partner Tommy (Edward Burns), are on the hunt for a murderer who killed a heiress, and who later abducts fellow cop Monica (Rachel Nichols), who is also secret…

Review and GIVEAWAY: Hallmark Spiderman and Twilight ornaments

When I was in NYC for BlogHer '12 this past August, Jackie at Free is my Life invited me to attend Hallmark's off-site party as a guest. Hallmark had rented a suite at a small boutique hotel across the street from the Hilton, and the view was AMAZING. We were also treated to desserts and were able to see their products for the upcoming holiday season.

Recently Hallmark sent me two of their movie-themed ornaments to review, and I also have a set for one lucky reader to win, as well.

I received the "Edward and Bella's Wedding" ornament ($17.95), from the Twilight series, and an Amazing Spider-Man ornament ($14.95) in the mail, two of which I had admired at Hallmark's NYC party, where there was a huge Christmas tree with all sorts of goodies. The detail on Edward and Bella's ornament is amazing - the back of her dress looks just like it did in the movie. I also was laughing at how much the man figure looks like Robert Pattinson (Edward), though the female f…


Argo is one of the best movies of the year thus far, which isn't surprising when you consider its cast and crew. Ben Affleck plays the lead role and directs, and George Clooney helped produce the film. John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Victor Garber, and the escaped U.S. embassy employees in Iran all deliver great performances as well, and the movie showcases a turbulent time in U.S.-Iran relations that many people may not know much about.

The movie starts out giving us a basic rundown of the crisis up to that point, for the uninitiated. It's the late 1970s and Iranians are storming the U.S. embassy, because their Shah (former leader) has been allowed to enter the U.S. for medical treatment, and the Iranians are very anti-American by this point. The doors are finally kicked in, and 52 of the employees there are taken hostage; 6 of them, however, escape out the back door. The six go from embassy to embassy, but the only one that will take them in are the Canadians: Ken Taylor (Garber)…

Seven Psychopaths

With an all-star cast and a quirky trailer, Seven Psychopaths appears to have it all. However, the film is more weird (or quirky, as some call it) than it lets on, and the plot is a bit messy as well.

Marty (Colin Farrell) is writing a screenplay called Seven Psychopaths but is out of ideas. His friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) tries to help by placing an ad in the paper asking all psychopaths to call Marty, with the possibility that their stories will be used in his movie. Meanwhile, Billy is making his money by helping Hans (Christopher Walken) with his "dognapping" business: they kidnap dogs and then, when they see reward posters for them, Hans returns the dog and collects the money. They make the mistake of kidnapping the shih tzu belonging to a gangster by the name of Charlie (Woody Harrelson), however, and Charlie is not pleased. Soon Billy, Hans, and Marty are running from Charlie, and finding all sorts of material to write about for Marty's screenplay on the way.

Here Comes the Boom

Kevin James is back on the big screen in Here Comes the Boom, which is suspiciously similar to 2011's Warrior except that in this case, the main character is trying to raise money for a school music program rather than needing money for himself and his family. Boom is also a comedy, whereas Warrior was a drama. I originally wrote Boom off in my mind, thinking it was going to be a silly movie about MMA (mixed martial arts), but it actually had a few funny moments and ended up exceeding my expectations.

Scott Voss (James) once loved teaching, but now is a slacker: he shows up late, gets docked vacation days, and doesn't care about his class. His friend Marty (Henry Winkler) is the orchestra teacher at the school, and one day Scott comes across them practicing and is impressed by how good they sound. When the school principal (Greg Germann) announces budget freezes and says that the music program will be cut, Scott realizes that Marty might lose his job, and decides that he wil…


I will confess that I wasn't super excited to see Frankenweenie, even though Tim Burton's movies (as well as Disney films) are usually great. It's completely in black and white and the little kid with the weird teeth in the previews for it (who we later find out is named Edgar "E" Gore - get it?) was more than a little creepy. Now, however, I completely take back my earlier sentiments, as Frankenweenie was not only unique, but intriguing as well.

Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan) doesn't have many friends aside from his dog, Sparky. Victor wants to enter the school science fair, but his dad (Martin Short) makes him a compromise: he can do the fair as long as he joins the baseball team as well. During his first game, Sparky gets loose from where he's tied to a post, and runs into the street after the ball, getting fatally hit by a car. Victor is distraught until his new science teacher (Martin Landau) shows the class how all dead animals have "muscle…