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Archives for : Danny McBride

Movie Review: “Aloha” is an Unsatisfying Trip to Hawaii

It’s hard to believe that the man who brought us Say Anything and Jerry McGuire could have made such a disappointing flop. Director Cameron Crowe may not be on any winning streak with his previous films, but they still always managed to convey some kind of genuine emotion that left the audience somewhat satisfied. However, in his recent passion project, Crowe misses the mark completely. Aloha never quite finds its direction and is layered with a mess of undeveloped subplots.

In Aloha, Bradley Cooper stars as Brian Gilcrest, a jaded military contractor who was wounded and shamed by an incident in Afghanistan. When he is given a second chance to redeem himself, he must return to Hawaii and face a past love (Rachel McAdams) and a potential new one (Emma Stone).

Gilcrest is assigned to be looked after by air force pilot, Allison Ng (Stone). The two butt heads for about 10 seconds before they realize their immediate attraction towards each other. Their bickering soon turns into a fest of them giving each other googley eyes. All the while, Gilcrest has reconnected with his ex-lover, Tracy Woodside (McAdams), who is now married with two children.  One of whom strikes an uncanny resemblance to him. Hmmm, interesting? Tracy is married to the non-speaking, John “Woody” Woodside (John Krasinski). His lack of communication is used as a running joke throughout the film, but eventually wears thin as it gradually goes from funny to absurd.

With the quick set up of this love triangle, you would think we’d been introduced to the film’s central focus. But you’d be wrong. Sadly, there is no central focus. This story takes you in so many different directions, that by the second half of the movie you just don’t care what it’s about anymore.

Aloha’s crutch might have to do with its crowded all-star cast. Alongside Cooper, Stone, McAdams, and Krasinski; the film does its best to try and make Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray, and Danny McBride relevant to the story. The movie would have probably worked better if we got to see four people discovering themselves through an appropriate amount of development, but instead it is ruined by unnecessary characters involved in a ridiculous and forced subplot: Gilcrest’s expertise is required for a controversial rocket-launching headed by an eccentric billionaire, Carson Welch (Murray) and General Dixon (Baldwin) of the U.S. government.  Who cares?  Exactly!

Honestly, I would have much rather delved into what seemed like a gut-wrenched relationship between Tracy and Woody. Why doesn’t Woody talk? How are they going to fix their problems? It might have led to similar topics we’ve seen before, but there were a lot of layers within the Woodside family that I would have liked to peel.

There is a silver lining to this wreck of a movie.  What starts out sloppy and confusing does eventually conclude well and ties all loose ends. It’s just unfortunate that any resolution to the plot feels underwhelming, as the audience is never allowed to truly anticipate a climax.

Though Aloha features a strong cast and entertaining soundtrack that blends well with the beautifully captured scenery of Hawaii, the film can’t recover from the disorienting first act and the struggle to find its identity.

Rating: 2.5/5

Aloha opens in theaters May 29.

“Aloha” Official Trailer HD

Movie Review: This is the End & Man of Steel

Last week I got watch the two films I’m sure are at the top of everyone’s summer must see list.  One of these movies soared into heaven, while the other didn’t fly quite as high.

Lets start with the film that marks the directorial debut of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, This is the End.  The film is based off a short that Rogen had made with fellow cast member, Jay Baruchel, Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse.  The premise is simple. During a party at James Franco’s house, the Apocalypse strikes and only the good ascend to heaven. Most of the Hollywood stars drop straight to hell within the first 20 minutes, leaving only six of them to try and stay alive.  If they are good enough and prove to be selfless, they still have a chance at that golden ticket into heaven.

The most unique factor in this film and the biggest risk, is the fact that all these actors are playing selfish, versions of themselves.  I wasn’t sure how this would play out or if it would even be that funny.  But I was so happy my doubts were wrong.  This movie was HILARIOUS!  And is now officially right up there with Goldberg and Rogen’s other classics, Superbad and Pineapple Express.  The constant jabs that these actors make at each other, and the real chemistry that this cast has is what makes them so enjoyable to watch.  Like we’re getting a glimpse of a warped friendship.  All six contribute to laugh out loud moments, but I have to say Craig Robinson really stood out for me in this film.  Maybe it’s because we don’t usually get to see Robinson in lead roles, or maybe its because I’m still missing anything related to The Office.

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I do think most everyone will enjoy the film and leave with many quotable lines.  I only like to give a heads up to audiences, if you don’t care for these actors already or you’re not a fan of really dry and crude humor; then this will not be the film for you.  Otherwise, purchase that ticket and get ready to laugh!

Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen made a red carpet appearance in Dallas at the Northpark Mall to promote the film and they were a blast to interview!  Click on the link below to watch.

This Is The End; a red carpet interview with Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

One of the most anticipated films of the year, Man of Steel, finally hit theaters.  From the moment I heard Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer were behind the story idea for the film, I was convinced it would be better than The Dark Knight trilogy.  I am also a little bias, considering Superman is my all time favorite superhero.  Either way, my first advice to audiences (especially hard core Superman fans) is don’t go in with high expectations.

It pains me to say I was disappointed with this movie.  Don’t get me wrong the film wasn’t by any means “Bad.”  And to say it was better than the 2006, Bryan Singer film, Superman Returns, would be an understatement.

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I hope everyone knows the story of Superman before going into this film.   Man of Steel‘s main goal was to tell a version  that we hadn’t seen before.  And I will say they achieved that goal.  I just cant say that this was a version I wanted to see.  I get that they were wanting to make up for the lack of action in Superman Returns, cause there was more than enough action for both films.  But in doing so, there is a serious lack of character development with the supporting actors which led to not caring about most of them.  The film’s main focus was the battle between the infamous, General Zod and Superman.  And when I say battle, I mean BATTLE.  There are so many fight scenes between the two, that I just remember it all blurred together as one giant fight that lasts for the entire second half of the film.  As I’m sure you guys have read on other sites, there are many things in the movie that don’t follow the original story.  But what kills me the most is the relationship between Lois and Clark.  I’m not saying we need their love story to play a huge part.  But it certainly didn’t need to be rushed and not have any real growth.

There is still some really good parts to Man of Steel.  The flashbacks of Clark growing up and learning how to control his powers were by far my favorite parts of the film.  Though they may be redundant to people who have seen this story many times, they are necessary for us to connect to Superman on the human level.  I did like the dark tone of the film.  The casting was great, and all the actors owned their roles, especially Amy Adams.  I just wish that for someone who had tried out for Lois Lane three times, she could have gotten to exude more of Lois’ fiercely/fun side which I know Adam’s would have nailed.  Instead we got a seriously good, “Pulitzer Prize winning reporter.”

Having said all this, I still recommend audiences go watch the movie and get their own opinion.  I know a big part of my let down was that I had predetermined what I was about to see.  I’m actually thrilled it did so well in the box office, and I am really looking forward to a sequel.  There’s a lot they didn’t cover in this film and knowing now how they are telling the story, a sequel will be much more enjoyable.  I guess I will always root for Superman no matter what the circumstances.  And hey, I do love this trailer!

Man of Steel – Official Trailer HD