The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Review Dec21

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Review...

4/5 – Highly recommended The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as it turns out, is not the life story of Jakob Dylan. Perk #1: Being on the cover of Rolling Stone Watching The Perks of Being a Wallflower took me back to my own high school days. I wasn’t in with the popular crowd. I wasn’t very athletic and didn’t have the musical ability to cut it in marching band (but even if I did, their cult-like demeanor would have kept me away. That and the hazing). I definitely felt like Charlie. And like Charlie, it was meeting a small group of friends with whom I would end up spending most nights hanging out that opened up my world and made high school much more enjoyable and much more interesting. I only wish that like Charlie, I had befriended these people my first year of high school instead of my third. Emma’s back! Emma Watson is back and out of her wizard robes. Her character, Sam, is very different from Hermione, and not just because Sam doesn’t wield a magic wand or ride on the backs of hippogriffs. I think Emma really showed off her acting talent here, playing a heavy role with heart. I hope this means we see Emma Watson in more movies. The only knock I have on her performance is she cannot do an American accent at all. Wait, was she trying to sound like Mia Sara in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? If so, well played Ms. Watson, as Ms. Sara is an American. I always thought Mia Sara was British or Aussie.  Nope. Born in Brooklyn. I really enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I think it has the potential to be this generation’s The Breakfast Club. Ironically, the characters look...

The Help – Review Dec18

The Help – Review...

4/5 – The Help is kind. The Help is smart. The Help is important. Okay, I know, I’m a little late to the party on The Help. It was one of the few Oscar nominees that I didn’t see in time for the Oscars. I waited for the DVD (and then some) before finally sitting down to watch it. I’m not sure what caused my hesitation. I think the poster just made it look a little too chick-lit like for my taste. I was wrong. The Help is definitely not too chick-lit. The movie tells the story about some very heartwarming and bittersweet relationships between the woman who raise southern girls in the place of the girls’ mothers, and the dynamic shift that takes place when those girls grow up to be their former caretakers’ employers. The movie has a lot of heart. If you enjoy the television series versions of Friday Night Lights or Parenthood, I would recommend The Help. The Help also has it’s fair share of thrills. No, there aren’t any crazy chase sequences, but there are a few scenes involving the outcome of a horrible, but very justifiable prank that will keep the viewer very engaged. As I was watching The Help, I couldn’t help but think that southern racists are kind of like Nazis, in that they’re a very easy go-to Hollywood villain. The southern racist and the Nazi are both easily reduced to being one-note villains in movies. They come on screen and you know they’re evil. But The Help does a good job of making each of the racist white women who make up the bulk of the film’s antagonists individuals and not reducing them to cookie cutter copies of each other. Bryce Dallas Howard, in particular,...

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – Review Dec17

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – Review...

2/5 – Watch Sherlock on BBC instead! I really enjoyed the first Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes movie. I wasn’t expecting much from it and it blew away all my expectations. I was quite excited when it was announced there would be a sequel. Unfortunately, the sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, is as disappointing as the first film was entertaining. My SPOILER-filled reasons for not liking the movie come after this photo of Holmes and Watson. The movie isn’t completely without its merits. Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law have very good chemistry as Holmes and Watson. Holmes’s urban camouflage was great, and definitely my favorite part of the movie. And hey, who can complain about casting Stephen Fry as Mycroft! But overall, the movie was a bad combination of slow and confusing. I didn’t realize that Rachel McAdams’s character, Irene Adler, was dead until long after her onscreen demise. It wasn’t a great loss, killing off Adler. She and Holmes didn’t have much chemistry in the first movie in my opinion. But Holmes’s chemistry with the woman she was replaced with, Noomi Rapace’s Madam Simza Heron, wasn’t any better. It took far too long for me to realize Noomi Rapace was  replacing Rachel McAdams as the new “Holmes Girl.” The third Sherlock Holmes movie is currently in the works. Hopefully the producers solve the mystery of the failed sequel in time to save this...

Lincoln – Review Dec16

Lincoln – Review...

After a brief stop at Shake Shack after seeing Wreck-It Ralph, we headed back to the theater and caught Lincoln. In the battle of movies I saw that night, Wreck-It Ralph was the clear winner over Lincoln. I was excited for the cast of Lincoln. I thought that Daniel Day Lewis was perfect as Abraham Lincoln. I thought Joseph Gordon Levitt was great as Lincoln’s eldest son. I loved Tommy Lee Jones in the movie. His character was actually my favorite in the movie. I also really loved the way handled Lincoln’s assassination. It was done from a very different and unexpected point of view. But the story was kind of on the boring side. There was a part of the movie where I realized I had just glazed over during the scene completely. It was during one of the “we need to convince this guy to vote our way” scenes. I have no idea how they convinced him. I came to just in time to find out they did. Just thinking about that scene as I type this is putting me back to sleep… I was more interested in Tommy Lee Jones’s character, Thaddeus Stevens, than I was in Abraham Lincoln. If the movie was his story, I think I would have been much more entertained. Sure, there would have to be a title change, but that’s a small price to pay to be entertained. Bring on the Thaddeus Stevens movie! This guy rocks! One of the most fascinating parts about the movie was who were the abolitionist and who were pro-slavery. I always thought it was a north-south divide, and figured the loudest abolitionists would be from the far northern states, and the pro-slavery guys would be the southern-border states. But the loudest person pro-slavery was...

Wreck It Ralph – Review Dec14

Wreck It Ralph – Review...

5/5 – Wreck-It crushes it! Man, the people at Pixar outdid themselves with Wreck-It Ralph. Don’t dismiss this movie because it’s aimed at children. This is a must-see! Wait, did I say Pixar? Hmm, it turns out this is a Disney release, not Pixar. It’s kind of weird that Pixar gave us a princess movie this year and Disney gave us the movie from an unusual POV. Pixar is known for movies told from the point of view of bugs, toys, etc., and Disney is known for Princess movies. John Lasseter produced Wreck It Ralph, which give it Pixar status in my mind. But, back to the movie…Ralph is a videogame villain from the 8-bit era, who is growing tired with his lot in life. When he expresses it, people are worried that he’s “going Turbo.” I wondered what that meant at first. My best guess was that it was a Street Fighter reference. I was wrong. M. Bison has nothing to do with “going Turbo.” Wreck-It Ralph should be required viewing in every screenwriting class. It’s tightly paced, has great character development, and everything pays off. Everything that happens in acts two and three is deftly set-up earlier in the movie. Bad-Anon! This is just genius! It was fun spotting all the cameos in Wreck It Ralph, like the characters from Dig Dug and Sonic the Hedgehog. Sadly, my all time favorite 80s video game character, Mr. Do, was nowhere to be found. These posters are awesome! There’s a Wreck-It Ralph iPad game that is a bargain at $0.99. You get Fix It Felix, Jr., a Smash TV-esque shooter starring Jane Lynch’s character, and a Ralph game that has him trying to get as high as possible in the candy cane trees. What...

That Time I Stopped an Art Theft at Ivan Reis’s Table at NYCC...

It was Saturday at New York Comic Con. I turned to my friend and said, “We should head over to Ivan Reis’s table in Artist’s Alley. He has the original art to the cover of Earth 2 #1 at his table. It’s $3,000, so I don’t think either of us are buying it. But it’s cool to see it in person.” My friend, like me, is a fan of Earth 2, so I knew he’d want to check this out. Ivan had two tables that he shared with his brother Rod and Joe Prado. Books of original art lined the table, along with a stack of sketchbooks for sale and a bin of covers and splash pages. It was in this bin where I had seen the cover to Earth 2 #1. Everything in that bin was at least $2,500. As we approached the table, there were two guys leafing through the original art. They looked almost identical: same height, same build, same jeans, and same Yankees cap. The only difference between them was the color of their hoodies. One of them had the cover art for Earth 2 #1 on the table and another page from the bin in his hands. “Wow, that guy’s buying the Earth 2 #1 cover.” I said to my buddy. I’ve never seen $6,000 in cash trade hands before, so I wanted to hang out and watch the exchange take place. There’s usually a bunch of people at this table: Ivan, Joe, Rod, various friends. Right now, it was empty except for a woman I took to be Ivan or Joe’s wife or sister. The guy with the Earth 2 #1 cover and other cover in his hand walked away from the table. “Did I just see what...