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Alpha and Omega (2010)

I almost wanted to not review this movie, but I thought since I haven’t seen a movie in a long time. I thought that I would suck it up. I went to see Alpha and Omega with my niece. I barely knew anything about this movie. Looking at the trailer, it is the same story in a different configuration. Her choices were limited to this or Secretariat. Slim pickings. Help me get through this review without a narcoleptic episode.

The story is basically about a two wolf packs in Jasper National Park in Canada. It’s like a Romeo and Juliet for the animal kingdom with the awkward Omega wolf, Humphrey (Justin Long) is hopelessly in love with the Alpha wolf of the pack, Kate (Hayden Panettiere). She sees him as a friend only. Her life goal is to lead the pack like her father. Having a fun is foreign concept for her. Besides, Alphas and Omegas are forbidden to be together.

The fathers of the Western and Eastern packs, Winston (Danny Glover) and Tony (Dennis Hopper) are trying to arrange the marriage of Kate and groomed Alpha wolf, Garth (Chris Carmack) together so the packs won’t starve for food.

During a moonlight howl, Kate realizes that Garth is a little defective. Getting his chance to strike, Humphrey tries to tell Kate about his feelings when they are both tranquilized by rival park rangers and shipped to a national park in Idaho. They are befriended by a golf playing French/Canadian goose named Marcel (Larry Miller) and his  caddy, a duck named Paddy (Eric Price). They show them the way to get back to Jasper before war breaks out between the wolf packs.

I know that I wasn’t going to love this movie. It was made for little kids. I was bored to no end with this flick. The story is cookie cutter storytelling. Everybody knew what was going to happen. Yawn! The animation overall was poorly done. It felt like it was on the shelf for years before it was released like Delgo. Anyone remember that movie? If you do, I’m sorry. The fur on the wolves looked like the material on a stuffed animal. It was like stuffed animals walking and talking. That took me out. I’m glad it was under eighty minutes. It was like watching paint dry. My body felt like an elephant sat on me. Sitting through this movie was excruciating pain for me.

Judgment: It was a cute film with elementary school type humor. That’s all.

Rating: **

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

You’d be surprised what you’ll be willing to do, when the Lamia comes for you.

— Rham Jas

Don’t hate for this proclamation, but I am not familiar with Sam Raimi’s comedic horror past with The Evil Dead series. I should visit them in the future, but I thought I would start with Raimi going back to his roots with Drag Me to Hell. This movie freaked me out.

A plucky loan officer, Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) longs to be assistant manager at her bank, but she is constantly undermined by ass kisser, Stu (Reggie Lee). Her boss, Mr. Jacks (David Paymer) is deciding between the two of them. In order for her to get the position, she needs to make tough decision to secure it.

As by maligned fate, a decrepit woman Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) appears at her desk, asking Christine to stop the repossession of her house. With two extensions under her belt, there is nothing for Christine to do. She decides to turn her down. Mrs. Ganush begs her to try to save house. Christine stands her ground. Mrs. Ganush pounces on Christine and is forced out.

When Christine is going to her car after work, she is attacked by Mrs. Ganush who felt that she has publicly shamed her. They fight. Christine thinks she defeated her, but the old hag got the upper hand reciting an incantation by using a button from her jacket. She hands the button back to Christine.

Visibly shaken from the ordeal Christine wants to get her fortune read when strange occurrences start to happen. Her boyfriend, Clay Dalton (Justin Long) goes with her. The fortune teller Rham Jas (Dileep Rao) says that she has been cursed by the old woman. A dark spirit surrounds her. Clay is skeptical of the fortune teller’s powers.

After Christine arrives home alone, she hears strange noises in her house when she is alone. She sees a demonic figure. A doctor thinks that it’s post-traumatic stress disorder because of the attack. In the middle of night, a fly enters her body. She thinks it’s not real but she can here is buzzing inside her. She begins to see the old woman in nightmarish hallucinations.

She tries to get back with Mrs. Ganush to ask her for forgiveness, but she is recently died. She goes back to the Rham Jas; he tells her about the dark spirit that is haunting her. It is called a lamia, which takes the possessor of the cursed object to Hell. He offers alternative to rid of the curse. She wants to do anything to not be condemned to hell in three days time.

I thought that this movie would be a cup of tea. Damn, I was sucked into this movie. The genesis of how Christine got the curse was a little ridiculous, but I could forgive it because of nature of the movie. Besides I think the posters and the trailer kinda give away the ending. That’s unfortunate.

Judgment: It’s a wild ride that everyone should get on board.

Rating: ****1/2

Youth In Revolt (2010)

I’m not going anywhere until you sink your filthy dick in this tomato.

— Nick Twisp and François Dillinger

Everyone knows that I have my hang-ups with Michael Cera and his shtick of not stretching his acting muscles in any direction. He is basically playing himself in every movie that he is in, but his latest film Youth in Revolt could finally be something different for him to do. This movie has been getting rave reviews from the critics and the audiences think that it is a piece of shit. My assessment is that I side more with the audiences.

Based on the series of books by C.D. Payne, Michael Cera plays another dorky sixteen-year-old — what a surprise — named Nick Twisp who believes that he is born in the wrong time. He adores with work of Kurosawa and enjoys the music of Frank Sinatra. You know where this is going. He is a virgin — double surprise — that want to lose his virginity as soon as possible.

He is living with his trailer trash mother, Estelle (Jean Smart) and the latest victim in her vagina turnstile is Jerry (Zach Galifianakis), who gets local sailors pissed off about a jalopy that he had sold to them. The family unit decides to go on vacation to Yokia (sp?) to the house of a friend of Jerry’s. Turns out that the vacation house is actually a grimy double wide trailer.

One day, Nick meets a beautiful nubile girl named Shenni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) who shares the same taste in music and movies. It’s kismet, but she has a “boyfriend” named Trent (Jonathan Bradford Wright). I put that in quotations marks because it’s not clear that is actually with him or Trent’s a big homo.

Nick falls hard for Sheeni and wants her to be “the one.” She teases him by flirting, kissing and making out with him, but she withholds herself because of her strict Christian upbringing with her inexplicably elderly parents (M. Emmet Walsh, Mary Kay Place). She drops the hint that she likes bad boy and that her husband would be named “François.”

Nick decides to create an alter-ego named François Dillinger that is like Nick, but has blue eyes, a horrible teenage mustache and dresses like a bad guy from Miami Vice. The alter-ego was so ridiculous. Nick as François begins to terrorize his hometown of Berkeley to get into the pants of Sheeni.

Was this film supposed to be a comedy? I did not laugh once at this movie. A slight chuckle peppered here and there. Michael Cera is in his twenties, stop playing loser teenagers. It’s getting old. Take a role as a fucking serial killer. Something! I was so bored with this movie that I wanted to be a pyromaniac. Burn the fucking screen down!

Judgment: Don’t bother with this movie.

Rating: *1/2

He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)

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We are all programmed to believe that if a guy acts like a total jerk that means he likes you.

— Gigi

Being that I don’t have a vagina, I did not read the Greg Behrendt/Liz Tuccillo self-help wake-up call to women, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” I watched the Sex and the City episode where Berger tells Miranda that the guy she went out with is not into her. Now, we have the big screen adaptation of the best-selling book. It’s not that bad.

It is an ensemble piece centering around a trio of co-workers: Gigi, Janine, and Beth (Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston aka “Jen3“) that are restless in their pursuit of love.

Gigi is classic case of a clueless woman that microanalyses the motivations of the men that she dates until a bar owner, Alex (Justin Long) gives her a much needed wake up call.

Janine is married to Ben (Bradley Cooper) who is trying to hook up with a yoga instructor/budding singer, Anna (Scarlett Johannson) who is semi-interested in real estate broker, Conor (Kevin Conolly) who went on a date with Gigi whose roommate is Alex. Confused yet? It’s like a long episode of Coupling.

Beth has been dating Neil (Ben Affleck) for seven years and she is feeling the itch. She wants to get married, but Neil doesn’t believe in marriage. This causes a rift in their relationship.

Anna is inexplicably friends with Mary (Drew Barrymore), an online magazine editor that is having dating troubles of her own with men and the latest modern technologies.

This movie tries to be different than the typical rom-com fodder out there, but it still suffers from the same conventions. It was nice that there was some role reversal with some of the male characters being the “woman.” It was refreshing.

Judgment: If you want to see a charming movie, check this movie out.

Rating: ***1/2

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