Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Descendants

I’m going to admit to something that has rarely happened to me in the movie theaters. I was almost brought to tears by The Descendants. I had to walk out during the showing for a few seconds to compose myself. It came out of nowhere for me. One second, I’m laughing at something and in the next scene I was so moved I got choked up. That’s the kind of movie The Descendants is. It’s a movie about life and the surprises that can change everything in an instant.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Our Idiot Brother

Our Idiot Brother is more therapy than comedy; a cinematic trip to the psychiatrist – if the psychiatrist is a shaggy, magical hippie. In a deserved lead role, Paul Rudd is the idiot (and shrink) in question – a man dumb enough to sell drugs to an uniformed officer, yet smart enough to solve life’s petty problems in 90 minutes or less.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Tucker & Dale vs Evil

If there has been one genre that Hollywood has been unable to really churn out lately it’s solid original comedy. This year it seemed the only comedy that was liked by both critics and mainstream audiences was Bridesmaids, other than that we’ve had a string of mildly amusing, but sadly forgettable films. Romantic comedies have also been big this year with Crazy, Stupid, Love and Friends with Benefits, but again not really general comedies. In unfortunately limited release comes a solid entry into the lacking comedy genre this weekend with first time writer-director Eli Craig and co-writer Morgan Jurgenson bringing us Tucker & Dale vs Evil and just in time for Halloween.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: 30 Minutes or Less

After seeing 30 Minutes or Less, one can clearly see all the contention built of its parallels to another, more tragic story are just coincidence. Not to say 30 is drastically different, but there is no evidence the filmmakers thought that hard about the connection. They really didn’t seem to think too much about anything in this case.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Friends with Benefits

When it comes to relationships, there’s always that age-old question of “Can there be a physical relationship without the emotional?” Well, Hollywood decided this year to give us two tales of it. Earlier in the year, Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman starred in No Strings Attached and now Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis give us another take on the subject in Friends with Benefits.

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Actor Spotlight: Sexy Beast

I was perplexed by this film before watching it.  Nothing major.  Someone had once said to me that it was a complex, hard to follow, puzzle of a film.    Upon watching the movie, I had a different experience.  I did have to turn on the subtitles since the actors were so cockney it was a bit hard to follow, but nothing too complex.  I didn’t find it really complex at all, though there was one mystery that eluded me the entire time.  Who is the Sexy Beast of the title? Read the rest of this entry

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Lonely Devil Review)

My name is Paul Allan Colbourne, and I have seen all the Twilight films. I didn’t get forced to watch them by a Twilight-obsessed wife or girlfriend. I made the conscious decision to sit down and watch the films, by myself, out of curiosity. Why was this much-mocked film series, based on a collection of also mocked books, so popular and loved, I wondered. So I watched them myself to find out.

Phew. I feel better now I’ve got that off my chest.

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Episode 95: Harold, Kumar, Puss, and Bats

This week the Advocates are in full force discussing Batman: Year One, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, Puss in Boots, and even a bonus discussion on The Captains, the new documentary that has Trekkies beaming with joy.

Give us a listen, because not many shows have the guts to talk stoner comedies and kid’s films in the same episode.

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Immortals (Devil’s Advocates Review)

Immortals is a remake of Clash Of The Titans set in Mickey Rourke’s 1980’s Los Angeles apartment that….Wait. It’s not a remake? Really!?!? I have to start this review over.

Immortals is the sequel to the mostly forgettable Troy. Like Troy, this movie….What?!?! Again?!? It’s not a sequel to Troy? But, it’s got…And….It’s….I am so confused now. Please, forgive this reviewer as I try this again.

Right! I think I’ve got it now.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Conan the Barbarian

Surprisingly entertaining in the face of one-dimensional characters and a plot stuffed full of clichés, I enjoyed this new interpretation of Robert E. Howard’s sword-wielding warrior, though I was left rather unsatisfied by the whole experience.

The first twenty minutes or so, showcasing Conan’s “he was born on the battlefield” bloody entry into the violent world of Hyboria, and his life as a young Cimmerian, feature the closest thing the film comes to actual character development.

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Devil’s DVD Disappointment: Super 8

J.J. Abrams’ and Steven Spielberg’s (and yes, they do warrant a co-credit) Super 8 is a movie with so much potential to be fun, exciting, and vastly entertaining, but is unfortunately so self-conscious in its attempt to be E.T. 2 that the makers end up distracting, and detracting, from the story, leaving the audience holding the sad and rather flaccid bag.

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Actor Spotlight: Elegy

Based on the novel The Dying Animal by American novelist Philip Roth Elegy, from director Isabel Coixet, Elegy stars  Ben Kingsley (Shindler’s List), Penélope Cruz (Pirates of the Caribbean, Blow) and Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island).

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Immortals

Evil (and impractically helmeted) King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) blames the gods for the death of his family and plots to free the Titans from Mount Tartarus so that they can destroy the gods. On the side of good is young Theseus (Henry Cavill) who, despite being the spat-upon bastard son of a peasant mother, is fated/groomed by Zeus himself (John Hurt when in disguise; otherwise, Luke Evans) to defeat Hyperion and save all mankind. Thus begins Immortals, director Tarsem’s (a.k.a. Tarsem Singh, Tarsem Dhandwar Singh, Tarsem Singh Dhandwar) long-in-the-making answer to Louis Leterrier’s rather unfortunate 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans.

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Ask the Advocates Episode 16: George Lucas and the SW Prequels

Listener Jim Dietz of the Legion of Dudes podcast asks, “Would you go back in time and kill George Lucas with a shovel to stop the Star Wars prequels from being made?”

Submit your questions today.

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Episode 94: Immortals

In this episode the Mikes, Jonathan and Rene discuss the latest mytho-rama film Immortals.

Give us a listen, because we have the bodies of Greek Gods and the brains to match.

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Melancholia

Melancholia is the newest film from director Lars von Trier  staring Kirsten Dunst (Spiderman), Charlotte Gainsbourg (21 Grams) and Kiefer Sutherland (24). I don’t see many art house films, mostly because they play in downtown Chicago which is a bit out-of-the-way for me. I do occasionally get to see a few before they hit DVD and am sometimes pleasantly surprised as was the case with Tree of Life. Tree of Life captivated me with its mix of visual scenes cut in between it’s story. Melancholia, while similar, engrosses the viewer in its story and visual style while also having a running narrative.

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Reign Of Fire DVD (Just For The Hell of It)

A really “Marmite” of a film, this post-apocalyptic dragon yarn delivers a nice slice of B-Movie fare, though its character-based rather than balls to the wall attitude to storytelling seems to infuriate many.

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Actor’s Spotlight: Schindler’s List

“I’m trying to thank you. I’m saying I couldn’t have done this without you.”

I’m going to start this by stating the obvious. That Schindler’s List is an amazing movie. Loosely based on real events and inspired by the novel, Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, it’s quite possibly Steven Spielberg’s best movie. It’s a harrowing, at some points disturbing, look at the horrors of the Holocaust. It’s a movie that I think should be shown in every single high school and college history class as a reminder of the evils of hatred and what happened during World War II. It’s a living monument to both those that died during the Holocaust and the survivors. The movie co-stars Ben Kingsley in the pivotal and memorable role of Itzhak Stern, a Jewish accountant hired by Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) to help run his factory in the Jewish ghetto of Krakow, Poland. Schindler arrives in Poland during the German occupation and quickly sets up a munitions factory for the Nazis using Jewish slave labor. At first, Schindler is only interested in making a fortune through the necessity’s of war, in essence becoming a war profiteer. After seeing first hand the destruction of Krakow and the slaughter of the Jewish people at the hands of the evil Nazi Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), Schindler decides to try to save his workers and as many Jewish people as he can in a plot to smuggle his workers out of Krakow.

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The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn (3D)

Providing a good old-fashioned adventure story, and featuring some outstanding computer animation, Spielberg’s Tintin managed to appease my childhood love of Herge’s work as well as entertain for the duration of the film.

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Ask the Advocates Episode 15: Favorite Eighties Slasher Film

For this episode listener T.J. Tunnington of the FBombcast asks the Advocates:  What is your favorite eighties slasher film?

Submit your questions today.

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Episode 93: In Time

This week Jonathan and Mike C return to take Mike to task over the new sci-fi thriller, In Time.

Is the film a waste of, or a nice way to kill some time?  Only time and the Devil’s Advocates will tell.

Give us a listen, because there is no better way to spend the last hour of your life.

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A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

It’s been a few years since we last saw our two favorite potheads Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn). The last time we saw them, they had just escaped from Guantanamo Bay and crashed a wedding with some help from  George W. Bush. It’s been a few years and the boys have grown up and grown apart. Well, Harold’s grown up and Kumar’s still Kumar. Harold’s moved up in the world, both at work and at home. Meanwhile, Kumar’s still a slacker and a pothead.

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Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Eight films into the series, what else can be said about these films? I…uh…like the cool magic effects? Honestly, it is difficult talking about the eighth film in a series without getting too repetitive, but I shall try my best. Read the rest of this entry

Devil’s DVD Disappointment: The Change-Up

Finally caught up with The Change-Up, while up in the…something that rhymes with up. Director David Dobkin developed, directed, and distributed (that last one is likely untrue, I just wanted the alliteration) the film, with stars Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, and Leslie Mann. How does The Change-Up measure up? Read the rest of this entry

Actor Spotlight: House of Sand and Fog

Personally choosing which Ben Kingsley film to review this month for our actor spotlight was quite easy for me.  I’ve been a fan of Kingsley’s work for years but I have to admit that I for the main part have just seen him in supporting roles.  Roles he excelled in no less but still supporting.  So when I read the synopsis for House of Sand and Fog I was intrigued and geared up to see a more leading role.

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Actor Spotlight: Ben Kingsley

For the month of November, we Devils decided to honor a man who has been in the industry for over 40 years.  One of Hollywood’s underrated actors, we will be reviewing four films of his due to the release of his new movie Hugo releasing this month.  Check back with us each week to find a new review of Krishna Bhanji aka Ben Kingsley.

Week 1 – House of Sand and Fog

Week 2 – Schindler’s List

Week 3 – Elegy

Week 4 – Sexy Beast

In Time

At some unspecified time in the near (or not?) future, time has replaced money as currency and human beings have been genetically engineered to stop aging at 25, at which point you are given a year to die or to start “earning” more time. Of course, the rich have decades, even centuries of time stockpiled to give to their children and each other, while the poor must work, it seems, a whole day’s work just to earn another day’s life…in order to work another day to earn another day, forever. I wonder how much time it would cost to watch a movie in this world, i.e., would the length of the movie itself be factored into the cost? Would you, in other words, “pay” 2 hours of your life to watch a 2-hour movie (net cost: 4 hours)? Would the “price” of a longer movie be higher, or lower?

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Episode 92: Red State

This week Mike and Rene check out the latest film from October Spotlight Director, Kevin Smith.

Does it instill true terror or is it simply a commentary on society as a whole?  Listen to find out.

Give us a listen because we love to snootch to the bootch.

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Ask the Advocates Episode 14: Best Non-Traditional Film Slasher

This week listener T.J. Tunnington of the FBombcast asks the Advocates:  Who is your favorite film slasher who is not named Freddy, Jason, or Michael Myers?

Submit your questions today.

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Footloose (2011)

My wife and I decided to cut loose and put on our Sunday shoes and make our way to the theaters.  27 years after Kevin Bacon danced his way onto the silver screen Hollywood brings us another remake.  This time it was the dancing sensation Footloose.

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