“Manglehorn” Review – Over-direct Much?


THE DEVIL''S ADVOCATE, Al Pacino, 1997, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

Manglehorn

Directed by: David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Prince Avalanche, Joe)

Starring: Al Pacino (Al Pacino), Holly Hunter (The one with the cool ass voice), Harmony Korine (As one of the most stupid, annoying characters ever)

A character piece about the life of one grumpy old, senile man. His issues are laid-out slowly in grandiose & overly sentimental melodramatics. We as an audience are slowly dragged from sad set piece to sad set piece where the conclusions are obvious if only the film would spare us the “drama” and arrive at them already.

Manglehorn is an Indie that knows its an Indie and is closer to “Prince Avalanche” than any of the Directors other works. Al Pacino kills it here but instead of focusing on solid dramatic acting, Green decided to over-direct this right into “trying to hard to be pretentious” territory.

Manglehorn is trying to re-connect with a long lost love while slowly driving away the things he does have in his life. He’s struggling to be happy. Where in that the Director feels the need to have “LSD flashback” type sequences is lost on me.

It’s not original nor refreshing to slowly plod an audience around in drab and everyday circumstances, throw some folk music or a harp in the background and call it “subdued” and “special”. I don’t need Jurassic Park Dinosaurs or anything but I don’t need to see him feed his cat 37 times to realize he loves it. I don’t need to see him get his mail 32 times before you get to the point of why. I just need Pacino, with something to chew on. I just need his character to fight these demons already. I just need his struggles, his journey and his resolution.

Instead you meandered for 90% of the film and slapped it together at the end with some attempt at an thoughtful ending that landed with about as much intrigue as a happy meal toy. What a wasted Pacino performance. 3/10

Mike

The Boy Next Door – Movie Review



The Boy Next Door Movie Review – Jennifer Lopez gets the chance to charge us 10 bucks to see her almost naked body while we pretend shes sleeping with a high school student in a terrible movie they tried to make into a thriller! GASP! In a 50 Shades of Grey money grab Noah Guzman plays Noah who makes friends with the hot Jennifer Lopez and promptly has a steamy sex scene with her before going psycho killer and ruining her life! January Movies everyone!

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The WWAM Cast Movie Podcast Episode #2! (3/26/2013)


 

spring-breakers-08

Hey guys!

Movie Podcast Episode 2! With Movie Reviews, News, Blu-Rays and TV! We talk Spring Breakers, Olympus Has Fallen, The Call, Game of Thrones Seasons 1 & 2, Bates Motel, The Following, Blu Ray Releases this week, Lincoln, Killing Them Softly, Wreck it Ralph, Movie News, Ryan Reynolds, Green Lantern, Deadpool, Wolverine, Trailers, Scary Movie 5, Star Trek Into Darkness and a whole lot of other shit!!!!! Comment below what are you buying on blu-ray this week?!? And other shit too!

LISTEN HERE!

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DOWNLOAD IT HERE! (Free ofcourse)

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(Just click the “download” link below the player)

Smiley Movie Review


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Written by: Mike Holtz, WeWatchedAMovie

Directed by: Michael J. Gallagher

Starring: Caitlin Gerard (Magic Mike), Melanie Papalia, Shane Dawson, Andrew James Allen and Roger Bart

What’s the first word that came to mind when I realized there is a movie about a killer with a smiley face carved into its giant head? Awesome. Then inevitably the next thought “How could they actually pull that off?” I mean, it’s a giant smiley face that kills people. Campy fun maybe. Legitimate horror film? No way. Actually…

Ashley (Caitlin Gerard) is a girl with some past mental issues and a close relationship to dad being dropped off at college to move in with her new roommate Proxy (Melanie Papalia) she met online. The girls are polar opposites as Ashley is the typical scream queen lead who wasn’t popular in high school and is quite shy and strange. While Proxy of-course plays the fun loving bad influence who likes to party, smoke pot, and sleep around. She also hangs around with a bad “online” crowd who are friends in the real world as well. These friends like to spend their time partying and possibly getting people murdered online. Yup. There’s a website where you can log in chat with random people face to face and all you have to do is click the “next” button to discard of whoever you are speaking with and have a fresh new face pop up. There’s an urban legend that if you type in the words “I did it for the lulz”, three times “Smiley” the aforementioned serial killer pops up behind them and murders them. I told you it was far fetched.

But…. There are ideas in this film mostly brought up by Ashley’s angry yet charming College Professor (Robert Bart) that may not give a logical explanation to Smiley’s existence but it is smartly written and adds a level of creepiness the film needed. Up until that point Smiley is not only completely un-believable, bordering on campy, but it just wasn’t all that scary. Unless you count pop up scares or gotcha gags. The film has these in bundles as Director Michael Gallagher’s up close, frame filling style of cinematography is a playground for jumpy moments, but it’s the ideas of Professor Clayton that give the film a leg to stand on, whether his theories on evil end up sustaining themselves by the end or not.

The whole movie has a fun feel to its mayhem, the same way Scream did, as a group of teenagers are picked off one by one. But don’t get me wrong, while Smiley isn’t on the same level as Scream, it plays far more interesting than the countless I Know What you did last Summer rip-offs before it and has way more fresh ideas as well.  Smiley also has a slight Goosebumps feel to it as not only is the main character so childish and innocent, but the death scenes are surprisingly void of gore and guts, even if Smiley has the ugliest face I’ve ever seen. It’s no children’s movie. I’m just saying it’s not the gore fest you may have expected.

Smiley has one of those endings that are meant to feel like a rollercoaster, jerking you in different directions at a fast pace but it doesn’t fall on its face by any means.  It actually ends with an interesting and well thought out twist. The whole movie feels this way. Jumping from one direction to the next and while it may not master any one thing it does…. It’s not bad at anything either.  Just remember to watch it past the first twenty minutes because it honestly has more to offer than it lets on. Being full of not only horror movie cliché’s but original ideas as well; and going from slasher film to philosophical thought, is a change of pace I welcomed. It may not scare you to your core but it will make you jump out of your seat. It may not blow your mind but it will keep you interested and it’s worth a watch, especially for horror fans.  7/10

The Dark Knight Rises movie review


The Dark Knight Rises is the epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. It enters the theaters like an undefeated fighter fighting his last bout. With it’s legacy at stake.

The Dark Knight Rises picks up with the idea that The Dark Knight left us with. Harvey Dent is gone and Batman took the blame. Gordon knows this, but protects the lie to preserve the peace of the people. Which is at an all time complacent high. Crime is way down and the city is in danger of becoming a normal one. While Wayne struggles with his battered body and the fact that no-one needs the Batman anymore, a young “hothead” cop (Joseph Gordon Levitt)with many similarities to Bruce Wayne’s traits and struggles, begins to piece together the truth about Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent. All the while Alfred struggles mightily with the choices Bruce has made since hanging up the costume. All the while Bane and his ruthless, talented, and dedicated thugs begin their terror tour on the city of Gotham providing a reason for war torn Batman to surface once again, albeit in the face of a possibly un-beatable force. Catwoman is in the mix as well, more as a thief than anything else, with questionable motives as we can’t ever tell who’s side she is really on other than her own. With Batman’s personal struggles never ending even including major problems with Wayne Enterprises, our hero has never been up against it like he is in The Dark Knight Rises. I mean, look how long it takes just to write down the plot. This movie had a lot to cover.

Nolan’s films have always had a grandiose landscape and issue scope. This film is no different, although in The Dark Knight it was easier to hone in at times simply on the madness of The Joker. With Bane however, though more intimidating by far, has much deeper agenda that parades us further into the issues at large and perhaps taking us away from the heart of the film we really came to see at times. Again there was just so much to cover in this film it was nearly impossible to give every monumental moment ample time, even with a running time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. Though the film was enthralling to watch at every turn, I do wish it had a bit more Batman.

The action scenes are epic and disturbing. If I had to pick one thing I think this trilogy has done best it would be the mass scale of panic and doom in Gotham that Nolan projects on the screen. For the first time in a super hero films, you really feel like there is a city in danger. That people are being terrorized and need someone to save them. Other films talk the talk, but none walk it the way Nolan’s films do. Making you feel as though you live int he city in peril and are watching the Joker and Bane terrorize you on the nightly news. This film is no different, taking you to a whole new level of hopelessness. Whereas The Joker would threaten and toy with the city, Bane just wants it wiped off the map and has a disturbingly strong conviction to do so.

Our hero though not on screen as much as we would like is as interesting as he has ever been. It’s difficult however to take Bale’s performance in because his character has so much going on around him he doesn’t even have time to be upset about some of the most profound things that may ever happen to him. His blind dedication to risking it all to save Gotham is what you expect from your hero. But at the same time watching him give it all it in such a personal way is tough to see at times. Especially during the physical interactions with Bane. It was beyond a spectacle to watch someone so strong and thought of as almost un- beatable be so helpless. Nolan did an amazing job showing that.

All the acting is on par with the films before it and there are a few scenes with an emotional Alfred that Michael Caine really steals the show drama wise. Though I believe time would have been better spent in other places than the character of Catwoman, Hathaway is great and not in the nearest bit off-putting in this movie. She was the perfect actress cast for the part even if the movie really didn’t permit time for the role. Then there is the matter of the ending. Wow. All I can say is that it took conviction and guts for Nolan to make this film and close it out the way he did. Despite how you feel about what transpires, you will not feel cheated. There are no cop-outs in this film. Just remember as you sit in your seat full of expectations and hope for the ending of this great trilogy. This isn’t The Dark Knight. It deals less with the maniacal villain versus Batman spectacle and more with the deep consequences and emotional wreckage that the villains of Batman have wreaked on the city of Gotham and of course Batman and those he knows and loves. Nolan began the trilogy with Batman Begins with intent to make it realistic as possible. He ends with The Dark Knight Rises true to that promise and in the real world, actions have consequences. Even for Batman. Even if it’s hard for us to watch.

The Dark Knight Rises provides the excellent film-making we expected and this trilogy is a gift to Batman and film fans everywhere. We all have our idea of how Batman should end but Nolan’s vision is a spectacle we can all accept even if it needed a bit more Batman and a bit less vision. 9/10

“I Melt With You” Movie Review


“I Melt With You” Movie Review

(Currently streaming on Netflix)

Directed by: Mark Pellington (The Mothman Prophecies)

Written by: Glenn Porter (Nothing)

Starring: Thomas Jane (The Punisher, The Mist), Jeremy Piven (Entourage, Family Man), Rob Lowe (St.Elmo’s Fire, Tommy Boy) and Christian Mckay (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

Four College friends get together for their annual drug and booze addled vacation of male bonding and debauchery.  Only this time, hampered by the troubles of their lives back home they take things too far.

The movie and it’s characters will make you mad. But you can’t deny the gall of this film to show you the ugly side of it’s leading men and their unflinching descent into manic self destruction. It’s almost impossible to like. But it’s a beautifully shot film with more than impressive acting by everyone involved. Jeremy Piven and Thomas Jane really show some versatility and I wish they were allowed to showcase it in a film less ugly at it’s core. The problem is it’s a film mostly about male bonding by people who obviously don’t know anything about male bonding. It’s homo-erotic undertones are pointless and showy and I think the ending comes only because you can’t possibly let these unlikable animals be unleashed back into the world after you see how screwed up they really are. Bottom line it’s a beautiful film that’s ugly at it’s heart with amazing performances by it’s actors. Unfortunately despite all of it’s deep thoughts and gutsy stories…. it doesn’t have anything meaningful to say. That’s okay for a popcorn flick about a few guys partying but not the art house drama this film tries to be.

Mike Holtz,We Watched A Movie

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