Thursday, December 13, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Directed by Colin Trevorrow

Screenplay by Derek Connolly

Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Jenica Bergere, Jeff Garlin, Kristen Bell and Mary Lynn Rajskub

There was a lot of buzz with Safety Not Guaranteed when it opened last summer. It was my intention to catch it when it was in theaters, but I was too late. Now that the movie is on DVD, I hesitant that I might not like it. I liked the movie for the most part, but it start off a little strange for my taste.

Darius (Plaza) is an intern for magazine in Seattle. Much like Aubrey Plaza's other characters, she is a snarky morose girl that hates everything and everyone. Darius wants to do something bigger than she is currently doing. She gets her chance when a reporter, Jeff (Johnson) has an idea for a piece. He pitches doing a pieces on a guy that puts out an ad for a partner to go back in time with him. Jeff takes Darius and another intern, Arnau (Soni) to the city where the ad was placed. Darius manipulates the guy, Kenneth (Duplass) into letting her be that partner for the time travel adventure.

As stated before, it irritates me when someone is doing the same persona is every single role that they were in. I have a problem with Aubrey Plaza playing the role like Michael Cera. It felt like I was going to hate the movie, but when the other characters were introduced, the irritation subsided. At first, I didn't like the Jeff character. I thought he was just another jerk that wants to screw around, but his arch surprised me.

The other thing that made me fall in love with the movie was the chemistry between Darius and Kenneth. You wouldn't think that the guy who might a madman or a mad genius would be someone that Darius can connect with.

The movie made me think if I could make a time machine, where would I go? It makes you think of the regrets people have in their lives. Do I have regrets? Absolutely. If I could go back in time, I would. Besides this movie is not explicitly about time travel like Looper, Primer or Timecrimes.

 My Rating

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street (2012)

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Story by Michael Bacall & Jonah Hill

Screenplay by Michael Bacall

Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, DeRay Davis and Rob Riggle

I was on the camp of every person that heard that they were making a comedic remake of the 80s series of the same name that it was going to be terrible. I chose to skip the movie when it was in theaters. Then, my movie nerds kept telling me that the film is actually pretty good. I would say that the movie is funny and ridiculous, but not the second coming.

The story centers around two losers, Jenko and Schmidt (Tatum, Hill) who were the outcasts when they went to high school together. Seven years later, they met again while in police academy training. They become fast friends for convenience. They thought everyday would be like COPS, but it's more like Pacific Blue. While on parole, they look at a gang smoking weed and they try to take them down, expect Jenko forgot tell the suspect his Miranda rights. Instead of getting the sack, they are resigned to previously defunct Jump Street mission to see who is dealing a street drug called HFS to high school students.

Before I saw one frame of the film, I thought it was going to be like Starsky & Hutch or The Dukes of Hazzard. I thought it was going to be a horrible comedic remake of a television show of a different genre. No idea why, but the concept kinda works here. You get guys that looks like a typical high school to infiltrate the school to find major shit going on.

It feels like the drug in question is not a big deal to me. It was like LSD and marijuana wrapped in plastic. It was not like it was bath salts or some other crazy shit that's out there. The chemistry between Hill and Tatum was very good. They worked well with each other.

Everybody knows the film has cameos by three of the main stars of the TV show: Holly Robinson-Pete, Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise. I was surprised when a good portion of them showed up. I had to rewind it again.

My Rating

Monday, December 10, 2012

LAMB Acting School 101: Once Bitten

Once Bitten (1985)

Directed by Howard Storm

Story by Dimitri Villard

Screenplay by David Hines & Jeffrey Hause and Jonathan Roberts

Stars: Lauren Hutton, Jim Carrey, Karen Kopins, Cleavon Little, Thomas Ballatore and Skip Lacey

I know! I know. I know. It has been a hot minute since I reviewed a film. I started a new job that had me working crazy hours. Since the last review, the same circumstances happened with a partial power outage. Waiting for the electric company to come, I happened upon Once Bitten. When I was a kid, I loved this film that it was so cheesy. Watching the movie again, I still savor the cheese factor.

Countess (Hutton) is a 300 year old vampire that desires to have the blood of a virgin to stay youthful. Being that she is living in Los Angeles finding a viable virgin would be hard to come by. Countess enlists her flamboyant chauffeur, Sebastian (Little) and her cronies to find a virgin before Halloween. Meanwhile, Mark (Carrey) is frustrated that his girlfriend, Robin (Kopins) is not putting out. Mark's bonehead friends, Jaime and Russ (Ballatore, Lackey) try to get him lead, but they put him in a path to Countess' seductive claws.

Back then, I didn't know that this movie was bad. I thought it was the best movie ever. I was young, I didn't know any better. My taste was not as refined as it is now. Okay. That's a lie. I love shit movies, too. What can I say? Shit movies are funny in its awfulness. The teenagers in the movies were in their mid to late twenties. The plot is ridiculous. Who cares? A female vampire wants to suck the life blood from a virgin's boy inner thigh. Okay. The movie is silly with dream sequences that have to muck of the smoke machine. I love the movie in its awfulness.

My Rating