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How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

You just gestured to all of me.

— Hiccup

Currently the #175th movie of All Time on IMDb, How to Train Your Dragon has been on the hearts and minds of the people that have seen it a couple of months ago. I was not interested in seeing the movie, because of the crappy trailer for it. People were gushing over this movie saying that it was the best thing that’s happened in that dead part at the beginning of the year. I’m glad that I saw this movie. It’s not most original storyline ever, but I enjoyed the ride on Toothless’s back.

A scrawny Viking boy unfortunately named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is trying to be a typical Viking that kills dragons that have been terrorizing their village for centuries like his father, Stoick (Gerard Butler). Life dealt him a bad hand that he is a bumbling kid that could only make little contraptions in the back of Gobber’s (Craig Ferguson) blacksmith shop where he works as an apprentice.

During one dragon fight, Hiccup wants to help his fellow Vikings out by using one of his inventions; a bolas-shooting cannon that could take down the elusive Night Fury dragon. Hiccup sees a figure out in the distance and fires his cannon. He believes that he caught something that fell in the middle of forest outside of the village.

Stoick is tired of fighting the dragons for their basic way of life. He decides to go out in search of the dragon’s nest to have one final decisive battle. While he is away, asks Gobber to stay behind to teach the new generation of dragon killers, including Hiccup.

At the mean time, Hiccup tries to search for the dragon he might have captured in the forest. He does find it, which turns out to be the Night Fury of legend. He has the perfect opportunity to slay the beast. But looking into the eyes of this creature could not allow him to strike to the fatal blow. Hiccup decides to release the dragon instead, who tries to fly away, but is injured enough to not take flight.

Hiccup wants to help out the dragon he named Toothless while he is in the middle of his dragon slaying classes with the know-it-all Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), the fragile  Snotlout (Jonah Hill), the warring fraternal twin Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig), Tuffnut (T.J. Miller) and Hiccup’s crush, Astrid (America Ferrera). Hiccup struggles being a “dragon whisperer” and being a dragon killer that his father wants him to become.

The praise was well-deserved to a certain extent. I’m not gonna be Armond White or anything, but the story has been done countless times with the protagonist has to choose between duty and an unconventional friendship. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but I liked the movie tried to interpret the author, Cressida Cowell’s words into something slightly unique. The one thing I thought was too convenient is something traumatic happens to Hiccup that made him relate to Toothless more kinda turned me off.

Judgment: Damn it. I wish I saw this movie in 3D. It would have been epic.

Rating: ****

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Get Him to the Greek (2010)

When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.

— Aldous Snow

When you hear the word “spin-off”, it usually means impending doom. I did not like Forgotten Sarah Marshall that much. I thought the only highlight of the film was Russell Brand’s Zen rocker character of Aldous Snow. Now, Aldous Snow has he own star vehicle, Get Him to the Greek. It seems like a bad idea to me. Coming away from it, I felt like it was great decision to do so.

We follow Aldous Snow as his new album, African Child is about to drop. There is a media blitz promotion the hell out of it. There is also a video of same name that he performs with his on and off girlfriend of seven years and baby’s mama, Jackie Q (Rose Byrne). When his album comes out, it’s a huge bomb. A devastated Snow pulls a Kanye/Blohan/Winestone with him boozing it up, taking blow, exposing his naughty bits and much worse. He goes underground for awhile.

Jonah Hill—not reprising his role of Matthew the Waiter—is Aaron Green, an intern working for Pinnacle Records. He and his live-in girlfriend, Daphne (Elisabeth Moss) are trying to have sex, but with her hellish schedule, they couldn’t. He is frustrated as all get out.

Aaron gets his ass chewed out along with his co-workers from their boss, Sergio (Sean Combs) from sagging sales of their artists as of late. Sergio wants to know what can be done to remedy their dire situation. Aaron thinks that they should have a reunion concert with Aldous Snow to commemorate the tenth anniversary of him playing the Greek Theater. The subsequent live album was the highest selling in history.

One month later, Snow– who is in London at his mom’s flat—agrees to the gig at the Greek. Since it was Aaron’s idea, Sergio asks Aaron to get Snow, bring him back to New York for a stop at the Today Show and his aforementioned concert at the Greek all within 72 hours.

Aaron thinks it’s just a simple escort trip, but that would be boring. When the shit hits the fan, it splatters everywhere. Daphne breaks up with Aaron, because he doesn’t want to move to Seattle to recreate Grey’s Anatomy. In London, Aldous thought that the gig was in two months instead of three days. Let’s just say that he is unwilling to go unless he goes on his last bender before going to the States. He takes Aaron on his trip of sex, drugs and rock & roll.

This movie is vulgar, offensive and deplorable and I loved it for that. It didn’t give us frank and beans like Marshall did, but it did have its moments. I never thought that I would say this, but Puff Daddy – Puffy – P. Diddy – Sean Combs stole every since that he was in. I laugh my ass off when he came on screen. There are celebrity cameos up the wazoo like P!ink, Meredith Viera, Mario Lopez, Lars Ullrich, and many more. It seems like the long episode of Entourage.

This movie is not the next Hangover, but it does have its moments. I didn’t like the subplot with Aldous and Jackie Q– who supposed to be a parody of Fergie—which I didn’t get. The ending took the bromance a little bit too far. Like Marshall, it has pop culture references that would not mean shit int twenty years. It would seriously date the movie.

Judgment: I cannot believe that I would like a spin-off better than its predecessor.

Rating: ****

The Invention of Lying (2009)

The television spots for The Invention of Lying had me befuddled with a world that could only tell the truth. The spots let the main character knows how much the other characters hated him, which I thought was strange that they wouldn’t hold up. They would be lying by omission which goes against their code, sort to speak. The movie has a lukewarm reception last fall when it was released; I thought that this film was much more than brutal honesty.

In this alternate universe, the human race has evolved with only the ability to tell the truth. Anything that pops into their minds comes out of their mouths like oral diarrhea. Damn it, some of their bluntness has rubbed off me. Oh, well. The narrator of this story is an ordinary man named Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) that recounts the events of his before telling the first ever lie. He is afraid that he will be fired from his job as a screenwriter for Lecture Pictures. There is no fiction in this world so everything is researched from found documents are recited into the camera by an orator. Mark works with the 14th century, which is mostly about the Bubonic Plague.

His slacker friend, Greg (Louis CK) sets Mark up on a blind date with his longtime crush, Anna (Jennifer Garner), who is not terribly impressed by Mark when she opens the door. She doesn’t have high hopes for their date, because he is poor, fat with a smug nose. Anna is the complete opposite with discussing all the material things that she can get for work that she doesn’t want to do. Making her feelings known throughout the date takes Mark by surprise where Anna kisses him on the cheek. He thinks that he has a legitimate shot with her.

His worst fears are realized when the next day; he is canned by his boss, Anthony (Jeffery Tambor). Then, the landlord comes by for the rent. He has only three hundred left in his account. He has one day until he is out on the street. Going to the bank to withdraw the amount with the system down the teller asks Mark how much to withdraw, a switch is triggered in his mind to say eight hundred. The systems goes back online, the teller sees three hundred, but she trusts that Mark is telling her the truth and gives him the eight hundred.

Mark is giddy like a schoolgirl. He tests out his leap of the evolutionary ladder by telling Greg about this new idea he stumbled upon. He is drunk his new found power that he could do whatever he wants; cheating at a local casino, telling white lies to keep people from killing themselves like his neighbor, Frank (Jonah Hill), write a fictional screenplay that stick it to fellow screenwriter, Brad (Rob Lowe) and former assistant, Shelley (Tina Fey) and have the “stature” to have a second date with Anna. The more lies he tells, the greater the ramifications of those multiply.

I’m surprised that people aren’t depressed in this world. Some subjects should have been explored more with the damage done by hearing nothing but the truth all of your life. I thought some instances of this world rang false. There is supposed to be no doubt in this world, but at the end of the movie a character is having them. Wouldn’t that be a lie? There were some instances about genetic match ups that got on my nerves a little bit. The movie is not laugh out loud comedy. It’s actually sweet and touching.

Judgment: It makes you rethink about what is right instance of telling the truth and telling a white lie.

Rating: ****

Funny People (2009)

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Does your act just design to make sure no girl will ever sleep with you?

— George Simmons

Funny People is a movie that I was eagerly anticipating for writer/director Judd Apatow. Thoroughly enjoying his previous movies, I want utterly disappointed with this movie.

In the first trailer of this movie, the whole plot was spoiled. I thought, “What the fuck?” That knocked my rating down considerably.

Adam Sandler is playing a twisted version of himself by the name of George Simmons. A comedian that is unfulfilled by his life with the kiddie movies that he makes, the spacious mansion and he does not have anybody in his life.

He discovers that he has a form of leukemia. Coming to terms with his “death sentence”, he hires a struggling stand-up comic, Ira (Seth Rogen) as an assistant to help him write jokes.

George wants to get back together with the one that got away, Laura (Leslie Mann), but he is set in his ways that he won’t realize that his brand of humor drives people away.

The movie has some funny bits especially with Jonah Hill with his one-liners and Aziz Ansari. Most of the time, crickets were heard in the audience during most of the movie.

I was very bored with the film. I was looking at my shoes, scratching two week old mosquito bites, yawning and dozing a little bit. That’s not good.

Trying to mix comedy with drama doesn’t work. It was a real downer and not hopeful. Some of the characters were horrible human beings. You cannot root for them. I didn’t care about any of them.

George Simmons was fixated on the size of Ira’s cock and balls. The sexual puns and jokes were jarring. Overkill. Enough the cock, balls, sex and asshole jokes. Enough!

Judgment: This movie does not live up to its name. How ironic.

Rating: **1/2

Superbad (2007)

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You know when you hear girls say ‘Ah man, I was so shit-faced last night, I shouldn’t have fucked that guy?’ We could be that mistake!

— Seth

Before seeing Greg Mattola’s latest movie, I wanted to revisit another movie of his that at first I hated with a passion at first, Superbad. I saw a bootlegged version of this movie that one of my relatives had and I watched it. I was turned off by the movie after five minutes.

No normal teenage boy talks like this. I was a teenager once. Teenagers talks about sex about ten percent of the time. They talk about clothes, movies, video games, cars, shoes, hair cuts, etc. I decided to let that go.

This is the first produced screenplay by the team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

The main focus of the movie is about three high school friends; Evan (Michael Cera), Seth (Jonah Hill), and Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) trying to get alcohol into a party at Jules’ (Emma Stone) house.

The movie is not complicated. It’s like a road trip movie, but not. It like the new millennium’s version of American Pie.

I have never laughed so hard in my life. The scenes with the penis drawings, Fogell going on patrol with Officers Michaels (Rogen) and Slater (Bill Hader).

I did have some problems with period joke. The endless barfing scenes. I could deal without them. We get it. People are drunk. Let them pass out, piss on themselves, something.

Judgment: If you want to see drunk teenagers trying to get laid, see this movie.

Rating: ****

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)

forgetting_sarah_marshall_ver3

It’s not all about you, you know. People come here not just to follow you.

— Peter Bretter

Saturday night, I was bored as all get out. I saw that Forgetting Sarah Marshall was premiering on HBO that night. I thought, what the hell? I’ll watch it. I commend Jason Segel from having his script produced by Judd Apatow and brought to the big screen. This movie was dead on arrival.

Segal plays Peter Bretter, a composer that is working together with his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) on her struggling primetime television show, “Crime Scene.” Sarah breaks up with Peter while he is standing in his apartment letting his dong flap in the breeze.

Over the next three weeks, Peter is a blubbering mess. Wailing at the top of his voice every chance he gets. His step-brother, Peter (Bill Hader) urges Peter to get over Sarah by having a whole bunch of one night stands. Then, he suggests taking a trip to Hawaii.

Not surprising, he bumps into Sarah on the island with her new British musician beau, Aldous Snow (Russell Brand).

In order to avoid Sarah, Peter strikes up a quick friendship with the hotel receptionist, Rachel (Mila Kunis). To distract Peter even further, he becomes friendly with a newlywed that is trying to please his wife, Darald (Jack MacBrayer), the surfing instructor Chuck (Paul Rudd) and the bartender at the hotel bar, Dwayne (Davon McDonald).

During the course of the week stay, Peter is basically stalking Sarah and Aldous with awkward conversations and uncomfortable dinners.

The movie was okay. It was not groundbreaking. It was a typical romantic comedy. The jokes fell flat. The brief flashbacks were the only biggest laughs to me. Why was Peter sobbing over Sarah who is a total bitch and treated him like crap? Do we really need to see Segel’s bookend dong shots? Is that necessary?

The only things that I enjoyed with Aldous who is getting his own movie, the bartender, the newlywed couple, Darald and Wyoma (Maria Thayer) and the Dracula musical. That’s it. The rest is forgettable. Pun intended.

Judgment: If you are a big fan of Jason Segel and want to see his dong, see this movie.

Rating: **

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