Monthly Archives: June 2010

Episode 29: Knight and Day

Mike and Veer are reunited and it feels so good. This week we talk about Knight and Day starring the resplendently beautiful Cameron Diaz and the undeniably charismatic Tom Cruise. Our discussion covers Cruise’s public image, what passes for a proper “puppet-master” villain, and the comedy to action ratio.

Give us a listen and we promise not to jump on your couch.

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Director Spotlight: Goya’s Ghost

The final film in our Milos Forman spotlight is 2006’s Goya’s Ghosts. In it Stellan Skarsgård plays Francisco Goya, whose art is viewed as controversial, with many gruesome images that raise ire among the leaders of the church.  Father Lorenzo, played by a soft spoken Javier Bardem, acts as an advocate in the church for Goya’s work.  He seeks to commission Goya to create artwork that invokes a more fearful image of God.  Natalie Portman plays, Ines, a naive, young woman who becomes the target of the inquisition after appearing in one of Goya’s paintings.  Unfortunately, she isn’t educated enough to help herself out of the situation and winds up the victim of unimaginable cruelty.  In a turn of events Ines’ family kidnaps and tortures Father Lorenzo in the fashion of the inquisitors in order to procure her release. The plan fails, and the story quickly veers in another direction as the French invade Spain, releasing all of the inquisitors’ prisoners. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 28: The Karate Kid

This week Jonathan and Mike take a look at the Karate Kid remake.  They discuss martial arts choreography, an aging Jackie Chan, and just how creepy twelve year old romances can be.

Give us a listen or we’ll sweep the leg.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Hot Tub Time Machine

Hot Tub Time Machine is a movie that could only be made after The Hangover. It is an R-rated comedy with a limited storyline, starring little-known, bit part actors (aside from John Cusack, who I’ll get to later), with limited financial backing. Before The Hangover, and its immediate cult-like status, Hot Tub would have been a straight-to-DVD selection. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy:Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Going into the movie theater with my kids I was very curious on how this movie was going to play out. I have a solid interest in Greek and Roman mythology for starters and then I also was aware that the filmed was helmed by Director Chris Columbus who was responsible for the first two Harry Potter films and also based on popular books. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: The Crazies

Iowa is full of random craziness. Slipknot, meth heads, guys named Ezekiel all live in Iowa. In The Crazies, that insanity is taken to a new level.

Sort of. It all seems so familiar. Wait a minute. It’s a slick looking horror movie in 2010. Yup.  It’s a remake. Of a George Romero movie that nobody saw.

The town of Ogden Marsh is a typical farming town. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows each other and they actually listen to the local police. Read the rest of this entry

Toy Story 3

I have a love/hate relationship with Pixar. I love their films and I hate when they end. When most (I say most because I’m only marginally in love with some) come to an end I find myself wanting to explore the world created within even further. I want to see the characters’ unexplored adventures and crazy antics. Basically, I never want the films to end. Luckily, we’ve been given the gift of three Toy Story films. That’s, approximately, four and a half hours of Woody, Buzz, and the others doing their thing, and putting gigantic smiles on the faces of their viewers.
Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Green Zone

Heading to the theatre, I felt I needed a Jason Bourne fix, the dude is simply a bad ass and after viewing the trailer for Green Zone, I had thought I finally found something to hold me over, but did I really see a military version of the Bourne films? Read the rest of this entry

The Karate Kid (2010)

Before I get into the review of The Kung Fu Karate Kid, let me premise this by saying that I am not someone who automatically hates movies because they’re remakes. I look at movie remakes as being the same thing as a different theatre company performing a play: just another interpretation. Some are successful, some aren’t; some surpass the original, some don’t; but they are all opportunities for a new audience to discover a story. Also, I am not really a fan of the original Karate Kid. Once I get done ducking from the stones being hurled my way, I’ll continue. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: Man on the Moon

“Here I Come To Save The Day!”

I think that every generation has people on the outside looking in. And, oddly enough, a lot of these outsiders become entertainers (George Carlin, Lenny Bruce). Sometimes these people shine so brightly that you can’t really see their brilliance until that light is gone. I believe that Andy Kaufman was one of the most brilliant lights to have ever lived. Man on the Moon tells his story in a way that Andy would have loved.  It captures his spirit and imagination. Read the rest of this entry

The A-Team

It is fool pitying time over here at the Devil’s Advocates Movie Review website. I shall be the pitier of the fools in question, but who are the fools in need of said pity?  Well, the fools, are those who make snap judgments about a film because it is: a) mindless action and b) a retread of an already popular property. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Youth in Revolt

Cera grows a mustache despite the rumors.

Young men will always in their innocence believe that they can make a difference; that they can make their own mark in this world. Youth in Revolt is a traditional coming of age film with a familiar twist; the nice guy trying not to finish last.  Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Book of Eli

Every actor gets to a point where they want to do a vanity project simply for vanity’s sake. Book of Eli is Denzel Washington’s vanity project. Washington, the son of a Pentecostal preacher, plays the protagonist in the film who carries a shotgun and a sword, but his main weapon is his faith.

Episode 27: The A-Team

Eight months ago, a crack podcasting unit was sent to prison for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a very light security facility, to various places scattered throughout the U.S. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as pseudo-movie critics, which doesn’t pay much, if anything at all.  If you have a movie question, if no one else more qualified is available, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…The DA-Team.

We are in full force this week with Joe Wilhelm, Jonathan MacFarlane, Rene Alvarado, and Mike “I Love It When a Plan Comes Together” Pampinella.  The A-Team gets the once over, maybe even a twice over.  We talk movie violence, what passes for physics in a movie, and what it takes to bring the crazy on screen.

Give us a listen or else we’ll send Jonathan over to pity you.

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Get Him To The Greek

Get Him to the Greek chronicles the trip of a geeky and awkward music industry intern, Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) who is put with the task of escorting drug and alcohol addicted rockstar Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) from London to Los Angeles. Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy) plays Jonah Hill’s ball-busting music industry boss who wants something new in the music industry to improve revenues. Aaron Green suggests an anniversary  concert at the famed Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: Amadeus

The lyrics for those of us who grew up in the eighties still haunt me to this very day, “Rock me Amadeus,”  and that is what Milos Forman exactly did in his 1984’s Amadeus, (winner of 8 Oscar’s) based on the short play of the same name.  Unlike current films that have attempted to rewrite history, Forman was able to take the fiction and weave it into his very own masterpiece while staying true to the genius that was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Having already put himself on Hollywood’s radar after his direction of  One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Forman returned to the top of his game in Amadeus with a relatively unknown cast (which Forman has stated was done purposely for he wanted the audience to feel the characters not the actors). Read the rest of this entry

What is a Good Summer??? (A Mad As Hell Op-Ed Piece)

I’ve been hearing a ton about how this summer sucks. The movies aren’t where they should be, there isn’t a clear Oscar pick yet. My question is it’s been what two months or so since the Oscars???? What do you want? We have months to get that stuff together. Give them a chance. I keep hearing How to Train a Dragon will get the Coraline spot.  However other than that where are we??? We aren’t even 12 days into June is where we are.  Yeah MacGruber sucked…I knew it would. Read the rest of this entry

Splice

“What’s the worst that could happen?” is a reoccurring question in Splice, and can almost be answered with “something extremely disturbing and/or gross.” This is not horror as we’ve come to define the genre in the age of slashers and torture-porn, but horror in the truest sense of the word: a story designed, not to scare, but to horrify. There are very few–perhaps 2, all told–jump scares in the whole movie, but the entire story is building a sense of disgust and unease throughout.

Splice is the fourth feature-length film from director Vincenzo Natali, who is perhaps best known for his 1997 psychological sci-fi thriller Cube. He does a great job of creating what seems like a very in-depth world with what turns out to be a very small cast and only 4 locations. Adrien Brody, Adrien Brody’s Nose, and Sarah Polley star as geneticists Clive Nicoli and Elsa Kast, who specializing in splicing bits of DNA from different organisms together in order to createnew organisms, specifically to harvest chemicals and proteins for pharmaceutical use.  Read the rest of this entry

Episode 26: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Mike and his tour guide, Veer, head to the Middle East, mingle with the Sex and City girls, all while trying to avoid those pesky Brits pretending to be Persians.

This episode we discuss Prince of Persia, Bruckheimer syndrome, and a general lack of effort seen in films today.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Shutter Island

Riding the coattails (albeit a few years later) of The Departed, Martin Scorsese once again unleashes questionable Boston accents and Leonardo DiCaprio on the unsuspecting public in Shutter Island. Shutter is a noir-styled tour through a sheltered mental asylum which harbors more than just unbalanced criminals. The head doctor (Kingsley) speaks in tangled euphemisms and the inmates warn visitors of its inescapability as DiCaprio (Teddy Daniels) searches for a missing patient. As soon as Daniels steps off the ferry onto the haunting island, dreamy visions of his deceased wife cloud his thoughts and caution him to not go prying too far into the past. Read the rest of this entry

Episode 25: The Anniversary Episode

This week in honor of our 25th episode and one year of writing for the Devil’s Advocates site, we review three favorite films, two favorite movie moments, and one favorite movie quote.  Nuff said.

Give us a listen and all your wildest dreams will come true.

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Sex and The City 2

In the second installment of the Sex and the City franchise, the four best friends who appeared in the first movie and the entire 10 years of the show’s run on HBO travel away from the city and are thrust into the culture clash of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.  As the girls go away for an all-expense paid trip to the wealthy country, hilarity ensues. The pressure of motherhood, single life, and newlywed life all slip away when the girls realize they are not in Kansas anymore. Read the rest of this entry

Sex And The City 2 (Devil’s Advocate Review)

This weekend I took one for the team and went to see Sex And The City 2. I survived. Barely. I do have an overwhelming urge to buy a lot of expensive shoes. Weird. Anyway, SATC2 is the latest Halloween movie from Rob…..Wait, that make-up wasn’t for a horror movie? Wow. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Even though June switches to the director spotlight month for Milos Forman, we get a one week extension of last month’s actor spotlight of Jack Nicholson.  Why’s that you ask?  Well it is because Nicholson is the main character in Forman’s 1975 classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Read the rest of this entry

Director Spotlight: Milos Forman

This spotlight speaks for itself.  There are some beloved films gracing this month, and Milos is the man behind them.  This week we will see One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (almost a continuation from last month’s Jack Nicholson spotlight), then we move on to the highly coveted Amadeus (everyone wanted to review this one), followed by the wildly popular Man on The Moon, and the somewhat enigmatic Goya’s Ghost.

Follow along and let us know what you think each week.

Survival Of The Dead

Survival Of The Dead is the latest zombie horror movie from the man who pretty much invented the genre, George Romero. This is Romero’s sixth film in his mega popular Dead series.  Survival… is Romero’s take at a zombie western and a direct sequel to 2008’s Diary Of The Dead. It’s a fun little horror movie with lots to love for fans of zombie movies with some social commentary thrown in in between the bites. Read the rest of this entry