mr sparkle

The Internship

by mr sparkle on June 7, 2013 · 0 comments

in Film

Before I was even invited to my advanced screening of The Internship – the new Vince Vaughn / Owen Wilson comedy – The Onion had already nailed what seemed so lame about it just from the ads. That the film starred these actors, who had top-lined several movies from the so-called Frat Pack in the mid-aughts before fading out of style, made The Internship feel like a relic of the past.

But here’s the deal – I love the Frat Pack, as much today as I did when I graduated from High School in 2006 (I will not rest until a Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story gets the proper sequel and the second and third sequels it deserves). So this should have been a slam dunk.

But it turns out The Internship isn’t a Frat Pack movie – or at best, it’s a hybrid Frat Pack feature.

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Epic

by mr sparkle on May 24, 2013 · 0 comments

in Film

Four years later, we’re still feeling the effects of Avatar on Hollywood. While no one’s gone and outright copied the film for a knock-off, we’ve seen movies pick up on its wild embrace of motion capture performance and full-scale creations of digital worlds.

But the influence has never been so pronounced from James Cameron’s epic than with Epic. The Blue Sky Studios production (those Ice Age guys) chronicles a day in which a teenager, MK, gets shrunken down to a world where magical tiny dudes are fighting for the fate of the world. Coincidentally, the fate of the world is being fought for in the backyard MK’s father’s country estate.

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The Croods

by mr sparkle on March 22, 2013 · 0 comments

in Film

If you follow show business, you’ve probably heard that DreamWorks Animation isn’t doing too hot. Ever since they mercifully let their not-so-jolly green giant retire, they’ve struggled to find any other banner property to prop their studio on. And last year’s Rise of the Guardians was especially disappointing at the box office. To make things worse, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s studio laid off hundreds and had to break off from long-time distributor Paramount Pictures.

All of this culminates with The Croods, which DreamWorks desperately needs to be a hit to avoid slipping further into uncertainty. But The Croods itself is somewhat of a mixed bag. If the studio was going for a Hail Mary they failed, but it’s still a passable family film that should go down as a safe play.

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A Good Day to Die Hard

by mr sparkle on February 14, 2013 · 0 comments

in Film

The original Die Hard did a lot of things very well, but one of the most remarked upon was its simplicity. Isolating the protagonist to a largely empty office building, Johh McClane spent most of the film without guns, gadgets, even shoes. Playing the game this straight let all of McClane’s accomplishments shine harder, and stacked up the stakes even more hopelessly against him.

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I know what you’ve been thinking.

You’ve been thinking, “Who will ever tell me what the Ten best movies of the year are?”

Well, sir or madam, I am here to help you. As the person with the best taste in Cinema (me), I am the authority to seek just such information out from. I would be happy to meaningfully contribute to you in providing these facts.

You are welcome.

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Parental Guidance

by mr sparkle on December 24, 2012 · 0 comments

in Film

For as much as Hollywood loves trying to reboot all of its properties with a edgier, savvier turn, there’s a definite trend of releasing good ol’ family comedies around Christmas to a lot of success (and I use the word “good” very lightly). We’re talking about artless movies like Cheaper By The Dozen, Bedtime Stories, and the remarkable Alvin and the Chipmunks features.

This tradition is passed along to 2012 with Parental Guidance, produced by family content factory Walden Media. It’s a perfect storm of silly kid humor filtered through a safe consortium of parents to make sure nothing of flavor seeps in.

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This Is 40

by mr sparkle on December 19, 2012 · 0 comments

in Film

Judd Apatow is a tough nut to crack. He might be the most powerful figure in movie comedies – serving as producer for huge Gen-Y cultural touchstones like Anchorman and Superbad. When he started directing films with The 40-Year-Old Virgin, it looked like they would be just as popular as raunchy comedies despite a lot of heart. But by the time Apatow got to his third feature, 2009′s Funny People, his scripts had taken on more drama than humor. Audiences rebelled, not knowing how to react to a comedy that didn’t want to play stupid, and showed a maturity you rarely see out of anything that gets a wide release.

But anyone who had a problem with Funny People might as well give up on This Is 40. At least Funny People had Adam Sandler and a hook where he was essentially playing himself; This Is 40, on the other hand, stars two B-Listers with no hook of a premise other than its not easy to be married and have a family.

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Lincoln

by mr sparkle on November 16, 2012 · 0 comments

in Film

Coming out in the immediate aftermath of a divisive presidential election full of big dramatic gaffes and embarrassing moments on stage, Lincoln – unsurprisingly about one a President, though I forget which – might feel a little anticlimactic.

Like its release date, Lincoln takes place after a president’s reelection. The campaign is over, and while the Civil War is still raging, the end is very much in sight. With all that understood, Honest Abe turns his attention to an even more difficult task – ramming the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished of slavery, through the House of Representatives.

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Wreck-It Ralph

by mr sparkle on November 2, 2012 · 0 comments

in Film

Maybe this is just because I’m at the onset of adulthood, but I regard Nostalgia to be a powerful and dangerous drug. It’s pointless, addictive and, of course, impossible to resist.

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Cloud Atlas

by mr sparkle on October 26, 2012 · 0 comments

in Film

Anyone who saw the extended teaser trailer released for Cloud Atlas a couple months back had to know this movie was shooting for the stars. There was no plot on display, not even much of a through-line. Instead, the almost-six-minute teaser showed shots from six different stories set in different times and different countries but strewn together by similar actors, themes, ideas, and art.

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