Monday, November 10, 2008

Alone @ the Movies Reviews

So because I am such a loser I tend to go to movies on Sunday afternoon as a way to make the day go faster ... because I hate weekends!

So recently I have been to 2 movies with the past few weeks: Body of Lies and Zach and Miri Make a Porno

I am still working on a decent ratings system so I hope to have one by the next review.

Newly stationed in Jordan, idealistic CIA agent Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) teams up with veteran operative Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) and the head of Jordanian intelligence (Mark Strong) to infiltrate an underground network of terrorists and locate a criminal mastermind.
As far as espionage thrillers go, "Body of Lies" isn't bad, but it's certainly not great especially considering that they are still trying to convince us that DiCaprio can act despite having friends in high places. For the most part he still looks and sounds just the same as in the last four movies he has made.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays an agent who is in the middle of the Middle East conflict, traveling from Iraq to Turkey and hitting many countries in between, while Russell Crowe plays an overweight agent in the U.S., dealing with the situation via his satellite phone. Together they are trying to catch the head of a terrorist organization who has orchestrated a Sheffield, U.K., bombing. Basically the film covers a lot of ground, but it doesn't seem to accomplish much. For me, what this movie lacked was 'something in the balance'. There is no meaningful objective in this movie nor any significant character arc. We get some interesting characters but the movie-makers spent most of their time on action scenes rather than developing characters.
Rating: **1/2 (out of 5)

Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) have been platonic friends for years. When they both find themselves in financial hot water, they hit upon the idea of making an adult film to bring in some easy money. But when "action" is called, these two friends discover that unspoken feelings for each other may threaten the whole enterprise. Writer-director Kevin Smith helms this comic look at the line between friendship and romance.
This movie is unashamed about its brash in-your-face style of humor. The title tells you the plot holding back only that, like in any Kevin Smith movie, a love story is at the heart of it. Albeit, hidden beneath a plethora of raunchy, topical, and hilarious dialog. This movie was true to itself--unapologetic in style and content.

Smith successfully titilates and tickles the "funny bones" of Smith fans, satirically sending up high school reunions, YouTube, and the adult film industry in this raunchy comedy while exploring an "intimate" view of the heretofore platonic friendship of roommates Zack and Miri. Humorous wordplay and visual jokes mesh well with the gentle emotions of friendship and attraction due to Smith's strong pacing and a funny and likeable cast of creative characters, headed by Rogen and Banks.

For me the draw really was hearing Smith talk about making the film and seeing thing that he and his producer friend Scott Mosier talk and ramble on about on SModcast their podcast about anything and everything. I was concerned on my way to see this since Kevin's other departure from his 'Clerks' franchise (Jersey Girl) turned out to be a train wreak, but having Jason Mewes (Jay) and Jeff Anderson (Randal) from Clerks in the movie was great. Since I am not a huge Seth Rogan, I was kinda worried since he was one of the main actors (although I did enjoy him on "Undeclared"). Great performances all around and another great script by Smith. This film is funny and definitely fits in well with Smith's other films.

Rating: *****(out of 5)

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