Posted by Joan Alperin-Schwartz
Okay folks, ‘Snow White’ is back and this time, she’s mad as hell and ready to kick some butt.
First off, I must ask…Did we really need two films this year about Miss White? Personally, I think one was too many.
In any case, ‘Snow White And The Huntsman’ directed by Rupert Sanders, stars Kristen Stewart as Snow, Charlize Theron, as the super evil Queen, Ravenna and Chris Helmsworth as the hunky Huntsman.
We all know the story, so I’ll be brief…
Ravenna feeds on the souls of virgins in order to maintain her youthful glow…Guess she never heard about Botox. After she kills off her hubby, the King, she locks Snow White up in a damp, dingy, dreadful basement and basically makes her subjects extremely unhappy.
One day, Ravenna’s creepy brother, Finn (Sam Spruell) drops in on Snow and it’s not for conversation. When he tries to put the moves on her, Snow stabs him and escapes…Right into the…
Dark Forest, where all kinds of nasty creatures await…
Meanwhile, back at the palace, the raging Ravenna consults with her mirror…
The mirror oozes this gold liquid which morphs into some sort of weird figure, who sounds very much like Darth Vader. He tells Ravenna that the only way she obtain immortality, is to eat Snow’s heart. Ravenna, not being a vegan, has absolutely no problem with this.
Now, Ravenna’s powers don’t work in the Dark Forest she sends The Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) after her. In all fairness, at first he balks at the assignment. But when Ravenna promises to bring back his dead wife, The Huntsman agrees…and…
We all know what happens when a goodlooking guy goes after a hot chick. He falls in love with her of course. So instead of killing Snow…the Huntsman saves her and together…and with the help of…the dwarfts, who are in no particular order…
Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Bob Hoskins, Nick Frost and Eddie Marsan, Johnny Harris, Brian Gleeson and Toby Jones as well as an old family friend, the handsome Prince (Sam Claflin) they all band together to take down Ravenna and restore the Kingdom to its glory days.
My problem with the film is that it takes itself way too seriously. It completely lacks humor.
Charlize Theron, who is one of my favorite actresses, is way over the top. Kristen Stewart who is not one of my favorite actresses, is very bland and lacks chemistry with the two male leads.
Plus the film has several different styles going on and suffers from the…It doesn’t know what it wants to be…syndrome.
With that said, I gave ‘Snow White And The Huntsman’ 3 bagels out of 5. The film opens in theatres Friday, June 1, 2012. Check out our video to see John’s thoughts and his rating.
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May 23, 2012 | 4:05 pm
Posted by Joan Alperin-Schwartz
Okay people…They are back…
Those alien fighting dudes, in their black sport jackets, white shirts, skinny ties, shooting gadgets that can wipe your memory clean, faster than you can say ‘The Martians Are Coming’
Not only are they back, after a fifteen year absence, but…Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith) are better than ever. And that’s…
Thanks to director, Barry Sonnenfeld and the screenwriters, Etan Cohen, and David Koepp, based on the comic by Lowell Cunningham the third in the franchise
The plot, without giving too much away, involves…time travel, a super grotesque alien known as Boris The Animal (Jermaine Clement) who can shoot ugly deadly spider like creatures from his various orifices…
A super adorable fifth dimension alien (aren’t they all?) named Griffin (Michael Stulberg) who is able to see several different futures all at the same time…
Andy Warhol (Bill Hader) a younger Agent K (the wonderful Josh Brolin who does a killer imitation of Tommy Lee) Emma Thomas as the head of MIB, her younger self (Alice Eva) and all sorts of fun and at times…gross things.
On an aside…I don’t think I’ll eat Chinese food for a very long time.
Anyway, to summarize…Boris escapes from his maxim security prison on the moon and he’s really, really pissed. You can’t blame him. His race has been wiped out of existence, and thanks to Agent K, he’s been locked up for over 40 years. Now, he wants one thing…Well maybe two or three…
Travel back in time to 1969, kill Agent K and with the help of his peeps, invade earth.
Luckily for K, J will do anything and everything to stop this from happening. What are partners for, right?
‘Men In Black 3’ shot in 3D, is exciting, super funny, and has exciting action and effects. But what makes this film my favorite in the franchise is that the script focuses on the relationship between Agent K and Agent J and…there’s a really nice reveal toward the end.
By the way’ MIB3 like the first two, is filled with all kinds of important information including…All models are aliens and…Well, you just have to see this film, which opens in theatres May 25, 2012, to find out the rest.
I gave ‘Men In Black 3’ 4 bagels out of 5, Check out our video to see John’s bagel rating and to see him shoot a couple of aliens.
May 15, 2012 | 9:06 pm
Posted by Joan Alperin-Schwartz
By Joan Alperin Schwartz
‘Battleship’ directed by Peter Berg (Hancock) has a poorly constructed script, ridiculous dialogue, cardboard charcters and it’s really, really loud.
It does have bad ass aliens and some exciting visual effects, but that is not enough to save this $200,000,000 fiasco.
When the film opens, we find out that a group of scientists in Hawaii, have sent out a signal to Planet G whose atmosphere is similar to ours. They must have been thinking…Wow, another planet we get to ruin…Anyway to the scientists surprise, their signal is heard.
That’s right folks…The extra terrestials are coming to visit and these dudes are not your mama’s aliens.
Unfortunately before our visitors get here…we are subjected to…A really hackneyed plot and slew of boring, bland characters,including…
Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) a bad boy who’s celebrating his 26th birthday in a local bar with his big brother, Stone,(Alexander Skarsgard) a Naval Commander.
Alex overhears a girl…Samantha (the very blond Brooklyn Decker) ordering a chicken burrito…Too bad the kitchen is closed. But not to worry…Hopper is on it.
He breaks into a local convenience store, and returns with…one big fat chicken burrito. Too bad for Alex, he gets arrested before Samantha can see his six pack.
But no worries, once you give a girl food, she’s yours forever…At least according to Erich and Jon Hoeber, the writers of this mess.
Moving right along, Stone tells his brother he has to get his act together and the next thing we know…
Alex is a lieutenant in the Navy, under the command of, none other than Samantha’s father, Admiral Shane (Liam Neeson) and he’s about to participate in the annual international war games which takes place at sea on these super sized ships…(Navy men from all over the world get together to fake destroy each other).
Little did Alex know, that before two long hours are up, it would be up to him to save the world from extinction. Lucky for him, Rhianna is on his crew…and all I have to say is…why? why? why?
‘Battleship’ which got one and a half bagels from me, is based on the Hasbro naval combat game and I’d recommend buying the game and avoiding this movie…Unless you’re an eight or nine year old boy.
Check out our video to see John’s thoughts on ‘Battleship’ which opens in theatres, Friday May 18, 2012.
May 13, 2012 | 8:51 pm
Posted by Joan Alperin-Schwartz
Sacha Baron Cohen…People either love him or hate him. It’s hard to feel indifferent about this outrageous, over the top, and at times, super obnoxious, man. Personally, I admire his chutzpah.
In his new film, ‘The Dictator’ a mock-documentary directed by Larry Charles (Borat, Bruno and Religulous) Sacha plays Admiral General Aladeen, a bearded North African dictator of the oil rich country, Wadiyas.
To get a sense about what kind of man the Admiral General is…His heroes are North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein…
Aladeen has been in power since he was seven years old and he’s an ignorant egomaniac, who thinks nothing about ordering the death of anyone who displeases him…And practically everyone, at some point, displeases him.
Like most dictators, Aladeen has doubles that stand in for him and they usually wind up shot in the head from an assassian’s bullet. This is one General with a lot of enemies…
Including…his right hand man Tamir (Ben Kingsley). Tamir is secretly planning to overthrow Aladeen, take over the government so he can sell off the country’s oil rights. Which brings us to the heart of the plot.
Aladeen and his posse are going to New York City so he can address the U.N…And that’s where Tamir plans on kidnapping Mr. Admiral General and replacing him with this really stupid shepherd dude, (Sacha Baron Cohen)who just happens to look exactly like…Aladeen…
Got it?...Okay. so…Aladeen arrives in The Big Apple and before he can pig out on pizza and pretzels, his so called security chief (John C. Reilly) kidnaps him. This is actually one of the funnier scenes in the film. Reily pulls out his torture items and Aladeen starts to ridicule him about his inferior, outdated equipment.
As Reily becomes unhinged from embarrasement, Aladeen starts a fire and gets away…Unfortunately, he winds up losing his beard and his clothes in the process…And now, no one recognizes him.
Poor, poor Aladeen…all alone…broke, dirty, wandering the streets of New York with not a camel or servant in sight…Karma’s a bitch, right?
Well, apparently not for Aladeen. He winds up at an anti-Aladeen protest, and meets, Zoey (Anna Faris) a vegan/feminist/politically very correct chick who manages The Free Earth Collective. And from there…well, you just have to see the film to find out what happens.
I can tell you that ‘The Dictator’ written by Sacha, Alec Berg, David Mandell and Jeff Schaeffer is funny, at times hysterically funny, politcally very incorrect, sexually bizarre, really gross but it’s also kind of charming…in a weird twisted sort of way.
And for all those reasons, I gave ‘The Dictator’ which opens in theatres Wednesday, May 16th. 3 1/2 bagels out of 5. If you’re a fan of Sacha’s, it’s a must see.
May 10, 2012 | 2:24 pm
Posted by Joan Alperin-Schwartz
For those of you, like myself, who aren’t familiar with the television series ‘Dark Shadows’ which ran from 1966-1971, here are the film’s cliff notes…
The year…1750 (give or take)
A wealthy young man named Barnabus Collins (Johnny Depp) gets it on with his maid, Angelique (Eva Green) who just happens to be a witch…She feels the love…He…not so much. Witch gets pissed…Turns Barnabus into a vampire, locks him in a coffin, which she then buries deep in the ground.
Still not satisfied, Angelique kills Barnabus’s one true love, as well as his parents, and then, she spends the next two centuries destroying the rest of his family. This is one witch with major anger issues.
Now, let’s fast forward to 1972. For those of you, too lazy to do the math…two hundred years have past….Thanks to a group of construction workers, Barnabas is released from his coffin. He thanks the workers by eating them…After quenching his appetite, Barnabus makes his way back home…But his super sized mansion known as Collingswood, is not exactly as he remembers.
The once grandly estate is now dilapated filled with old furniture in need of a good dusting, a dirty chandelier and…the Collins descendents…who are in no particular order…
Matariarch, Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer)...her rebellious teenage daughter, Carolyn (Chloe Grace Moretz), Roger, (Jonny Lee Miller), Lizzie’s bum of a brother, his precocious 10 year old son, David (Gully McGrath) who has conversations with his dead mother.
This unhappy little group also shares their home with victoria, the nanny (Bella Heathcote) who happens to look exactly like Barnabas’s dead soul mate, a caretaker, Willie (Jackie Earle Haley) and a live in psychiatrist, Dr. Julie Hoffman (the fantastic Helena Bonham Carter).
Okay, so Barnabus arrives home, meets the clan, shares his secret identity with Elizabeth and gets to work restoring the family to its former glory.
Of course along the way, he must deal with televisions, lava lamps, women doctors, mini skirts, pot smoking hippies, and everything else that was part of the 70’s culture…including a Alice Cooper and a happening.
Oh, there’s one other small thing…Angelica, the love sick witch, is not only alive and well and running the town of Collinsport, but she still has the hots for Barnabus and will do everything and anything to make him hers.
‘Dark Shadows’ directed by Tim Burton and written by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer) is a fun, campy and visually beautiful film.
Does it have some problems?...Yes…I felt Johnny Depp’s performance was one note and at times, the film felt stuck between two or three different genres. But having said that, I still enjoyed it and gave it 3 1/2 bagels out of 5.
John, on the other hand…did not share my opinion. Check out our video to see his throughts.
‘Dark Shadows’ opens in theatres Friday, May 11, 2012.