Tuesday, April 20, 2010

5 sentence review of "Hot Tub Time Machine"

5. "Hot Tub Time Machine" is what I call a cotton candy movie.

4. Cotton candy tastes really sweet on the tongue when you're eating it, but it quickly evaporates to nothing and, in a half hour or so, you're ready for a meatier snack.

3. Cotton candy movies seem very good during the initial viewing, but you can't remember much about them even a few minutes after the movie.

2. Regarding "Hot Tub," I recall Craig Robinson being funny, Rob Corddoy being annoying and even telling my buddy I thought the movie was better than last year's over-hyped dog "The Hangover," but I couldn't defend any of those statements by quoting a joke, plot points or much of anything memorable from the movie.

1. However, I recommend "Hot Tub" and cotton candy (maybe at the same time!) because even if you don't get much out of them, they sure seem fun while they last.

Hot Tub Time Machine

- 1hr 40min‎‎ - Rated R‎‎ - Comedy‎ -

Director: Steve Pink

Cast: John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover

Finney's Flick's Grade: C+

Sunday, April 18, 2010

5 sentence review of "Kick-Ass"

5. The problem with "Kick-Ass" is that it spends its first act telling us this just isn't another superhero movie and then quickly becomes just another superhero movie -- well, that and the movie stinks.

4. When would-be hero Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) dubs himself Kick-Ass, dons his green goofball gear and runs out to fight crime, he's nearly killed in a scene which, alas, provides the narrative's high point and leaves the audience wishing that the kid had bought the farm rather than make us endure the rest of this garbage.

3. In Kick-Ass' universe, nobody has superpowers, but a fellow can be a superhero if he is a gun-toting, revenge-bent psychotic a la Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) who creepily trains his daughter to be a Munchkin murder machine called Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz.)

2. The film's second act, complete with the obligatory "team-up," is dull and followed by a third act riddled with nearly every superhero movie cliche possible from a dumb gadget perfectly suited to the crisis of the moment and the same series of slow-motion fight scenes and martial arts nonsense that's plagued every action movie since "The Matrix" circa 1999.

1. "Kick-Ass" is a stupid movie pretending to be a sly parody and fresh take on genre of films that may well have run their course in popular culture.


- 1hr 57min‎‎ - Rated R‎‎ - Action/Adventure/Comedy/Drama‎ -

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Cast: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Chloe Moretz, Nicolas Cage

Finney's Flicks Grade: D

5 sentence review of "Clash of the Titans"

5. OK, I admit I'm very fond of the original from 1981 with it's hopelessly outdated stop-motion special effects, wooden Harry Hamlin performance and Bubo the robot owl.

4. The 2010 version is slicker, slightly better acted with the big slam-bang special effects one comes to expect from the modern megaplex.

3. The new "Clash of the Titans" watches like a video game -- complete lots of little tasks (get the God sword, flying horse) and defeat lesser bosses (giant scorpions, Medusa) before the big, final showdown (Pericles vs. the Kraken and Hades)  that is inevitably not as interesting as some of foes already bested.

2. The modern "Clash" is technically superior to the original in every way, though it lacks a bit of the hokey charm of it predecessor.

1. And I missed the robot owl.

"Clash of the Titans"

- 1hr 50min‎‎ - Rated PG-13‎‎ - Action/Adventure‎ -

Louis Leterrier

Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos

Finney's Flicks Grade: C

5 sentence review of "The Runaways"

5. IMDB says "The Runaways" is 1 hour, 45 minutes long.

4. A ticket will cost you about $8 in my native Des Moines.

3. Amazon.com says the running time of "The Best of The Runaways" CD is 42 minutes, 30 seconds.

2. It costs about $8.50.

1. Despite the increased cost and decreased running time, the music would be the better entertainment value than the tepid, brooding and joyless biopic about the 1970s all-girl experiment that ushered in the age of manufactured corporate bands, sexpot jail bait singers and drug-addled train wrecks.

"The Runaways"

- 1hr 45min‎‎ - Rated R‎‎ - Drama‎ -

Director: Floria Sigismondi - Cast: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Alia Shawkat, Scout Taylor-Compton
Overall grade: D

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