Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Movie Review: Dredd 3D (R - 95 minutes)

Judge Dredd's first appearance was in the 1977 British comic strip, created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra.  He was an American 'Judge' in the dystopian future of 2099.  The Judges were a law enforcement agency empowered to arrest, sentence, and even execute criminals on the spot as they patrolled the giant future 'Mega-City One' which takes up most of what used to be the American East Coast. 
Dredd took the Dirty Harry cop mentality to a new end, with his custom 'Lawgiver' pistol (which fired 6 types of ammunition, and was coded to his palmprint) and 'Lawmaster' motorcycle.  Dredd famously never removed his helmet and when pictured in flashbacks - his face is obscured. 
In 1995, Danny Cannon directed the first film escapade of Judge Dredd.  It starred Slyvester Stallone and Rob Schneider as well as Diane Lane and Armand Assante.
The film is widely regarded as one of the worst movies ever.  The trailer above actually makes it look pretty good.  Trust me, it is not.  It could not maintain the gritty, urban feel of the comic, threw in a useless comic sidekick, plus, in a move that angered all the Dredd fans - he rarely wears the helmet.  It truly is terrible, but if you are curious - you can Netflix it, but you have been warned.

The new Dredd shot in 3D in Cape Town, South Africa gets everything right that the first one got wrong.  It's directed by Pete Travis, who also did Vantage Point, in which a presidential assasination attempt gets retold from several different 'vantage points' - get it?  I really liked that movie - you should rent it and check it out. 

Vantage Point was gritty and quick; a style that lends itself to the new Dredd.
Real-life Dredd fan Karl Urban stars as Judge Dredd, attempting to maintain peace and order in the giant Mega-City One.  Dredd gets assigned to run an assesment on a new young recruit to the Judges force, who just happens to be a mutant.  Not a fun, X-men, brightly-colored, superpowered type of mutant, but a quiet, nervous, psychic mutant.  He picks her up at the Hall of Justice (anyone else have a hard time hearing that without going, "Meanwhile...at the ..."), she decides they should head out to solve a triple murder at one of the giant residential buildings called Peach Trees.  Unbeknownst to the two of them, the majority of the Peach Trees (200 levels) is run by a vicious drug lord Ma-Ma, who is making and distributing a new drug that is spreading through Mega City One, called Slo-Mo.  The drug makes the user feel like time is moving at 1% of its normal pace.  The two judges capture one of Ma-Ma's distributors, and to prevent them from taking him back to the Hall of Justice ("Meanwhile...at the Legion of Doom...") for interrogation, she forces the building into lockdown, trapping the judges inside, and asks the residents to deliver the judges to her.  They then need to get out alive with their captive, while avoiding her henchmen.  Simple, clean, easy to understand and well put together.
The genius of making the Slo-Mo drug have the time slowing effect makes for some fantastic use of the 3D.  The first time it is used is in a car chase, and just briefly.  There is then a shot of Ma-Ma in a bathtub, watching the water drip from her hand while on the drug.  The effects are stunning.  The violence is frequent and brutal, but again, looks very cool in the Slo-Mo setting.  I also found it interesting that in this movie, nothing is wasted, every flashback has information that is used again later in the story.  That's how you get the most from your budget, and is a trick Travis used previously in Vantage Point. 
The cast is relatively small, and very good.
  • Unlike Stallone, who had never heard of Judge Dredd until he got the role, Karl Urban has been a fan since his teenage years.  He has been building quite the career in genre-based entertainment since 1996 on Hercules: the Legendary Journeys.  He followed that up with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which shot in his native New Zeland, Ghost Ship, Chronicles of Riddick, Bourne Supremecy, Doom, Pathfinder, R.E.D, Star Trek and Priest.  He completely embodies Dredd, giving him a determined growl, and hey - true fans - he never removes the helmet!
  • Olivia Thirlby is a classically trained actress from New York who has done mostly small independent movies up to this point.  She plays Judge Anderson, the new young psychic recruit to the judges.  She gives Anderson a quiet confidence with a determination to become a judge and help make the world better.  The psychic abilities are not overused, although, conveniently, they work better without the helmet, so she spends most of the movie without hers. 
  • Wood Harris is Ma-Ma's Slo-Mo distributor that they capture and have to lug around for the majority of the movie.  He does a good job with what could have a been a minor character, but turns out to be very interesting.  I particularly like the mental battle he has with Thirlby's phsychic Judge Anderson, where he thinks he might be able to shock her, and she proves him wrong.
  • Lena Heady plays Ma-Ma and is the most memorable thing in this movie.  From her opening sequence where she is on Slo-Mo and moves the water in her tub, to the flashbacks that show her rise from former hooker to ultra-violent drug lord, to the scenes where she shuts down the building and demands the judges - she is captivating.  I first remember seeing her in 300, then Terminator: the Sarah Conner Chronicles, and most recently on Game of Thrones.  She just reads as mean, tough, and evil.  And thanks to my rabid viewing of FaceOff on SyFy, I was very impressed with the scar on her face!

I really enjoyed this movie, top to bottom.  The effects are great, the story is simple - and hey! it's only an hour and a half long.  I particularly enjoyed Thirlby's performance, more than I expected, as sometimes the female characters are at best two dimensional in these types of movies (tough for me, because I love these types of movies and want to see more strong females in them) and at worst, dumb, useless throw-away characters.  The mutant psychic powers were understated, and well used.  There is one scene where she gets captured, and again I was worried we were going to have to see what had been a strong female character (up to that point) resuced by the male lead.  She actually resuces herself, kills some bad guys, evades capture, then makes it just in time to rescue Dredd!  Awesome.  Go see this - in 3D, it's well worth it!
8 out of 10 - Gained points for Judge Anderson being badass, Lost points for all the slow motion bullets ripping through cheeks - ick.  Gained points for the almost real-time unfolding and the trapped in a building setup.  That's how you save money.

Bonus Video 1:  Urban on Hercules/Xena...

Bonus Video 2: Headey in 300 - in case you had forgotten the visual masterpiece that was 300. 
 Bonus Video 3:  Cast Interviews:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Movie Review: Resident Evil: Retribution (R - 95 minutes)

The first Resident Evil videogame came out from Capcom in 1996.  I remember playing it - or attempting to (it was hard) in college late at night, and promptly getting zombie nightmares.  I haven't played any of the games since! 
The rights to turn the game to a movie were bought by Constantin Film in 1997.  They actualy asked zombie legend George A. Romero to write a script for it, however, Paul W.S. Anderson wrote one that was liked better, and in 2002, Resident Evil, starring his wife-to-be Milla Jovovich was released.
The plot was simple - virus breaks out in underground lab - turns employees into zombies - the artificial intelligence that runs the lab locks it down - elite team fights to get out.  There were some more complicated pieces of who released the virus and why - but the result was a really fun zombie action movie.  Milla and Michelle Rodriguez further established themselves as legitmate action stars.  The movie was a success, and so was promptly followed by Resident Evil Apocalypse, in which the T-virus gets out of the facility and into the city above.
The last scene of the first movie is the first scene of the second movie - establishing a flow that the other movies maintain.  The second one introduces the S.T.A.R.S. elite operatives, who are a part of the games.  This movie was even faster than the first.  After all - they had a whole city to run with in this one, as opposed to just the one underground lab.  Anderson turned directing duties over to Alexander Witt, as he was busy working on AVP.  Of course, we then roll into the third movie, Resident Evil Extinction.
For the third outing, the virus has spread across the country - and things are starting to get really difficult for the living that are left.  Director Russell Mulcahy broke from the mold and shot the majority of this movie in the brightest sunlight possible, which means the zombie makeup better be good - because there are very few shadows to hide it in.  This introduced even more characters from the game and ended with Alice rescuing hordes of her clones, which rolls perfectly into Resident Evil Afterlife.
Anderson was back to direct this fourth installment, and it is the first movie to use the Avatar 3D cameras that James Cameron invented.  Incidentally, Milla accidentally shot a $100,000 cameras while filming this movie.  Alice and clones attack Umbrella's Japan base, then she goes searching for the promised "Arcadia" which is supposed to be uninfected.  This movie ends on a ship/tanker just of the coast of L.A., which is exactly where Resident Evil Retribution starts.
Paul W.S. Anderson (you have to use the W.S., because there is another Paul Thomas Anderson who is a director, he did Magnolia, and other Oscar-y, non-fun type movies) is back to direct this fifth installment, which is again in 3D and picks up right where the last one left off.  The title sequence is really nifty and is played over the battle on the tanker in reverse.  Alice once again gets captured and we see her interrogated by Jill Valentine - who is back after being last seen in the second movie.  Ada Wong breaks into the facility in which Alice is being kept, says she as Wesker (the villian from the 4th movie) are now working together against the Umbrella corporation.  Wong and Wesker explain that Alice is being held in an Umbrella testing facility that features downtowns of various major cities, and one suburban setting for them to test different bio-weapons; all kinds of bio-weapons.  The base is under the Arctic Ice, at what used to be a Russian sub manufacturing plant.  Wesker has sent in a task force of mercenaries, that features Leon S. Kennedy, Barry Burton, and Luthor West.  Leon and Barry are game characters, Luthor survived the last movie.  Alice and Ada fight through the various settings as the task force fights through the other direction.  Alice encounters more clones of the operatives from the first movie in her escape.  Eventually they make it out, leaving space for a big fight scene with Alice, Ada, Valentine, Rain (Rodriguez), Leon, and Luthor.  Survivors escape on a helicopter to Weskers new base of operations, where he recruits Alice to help him win the final fight for the survival of humanity....thus rolling into what I presume will be RE6 - probably out in two years time.
I do love these movies - they are fun and fast.  This one clocks in at just over an hour and a half, which I think is the perfect length for a movie like this.  You really don't need to know much about it, Alice kicks zombie ass.  Anderson again uses the fancy 3D, which makes for some very cool sequences, nothing quite as cool as the quarter-gun in the last movie, though.  There is one opening suburban sequences that made me jump twice as zombies popped out when I wasn't expecting them.  Or, I was expecting it - but they still made me jump!  The cast is fun because many of the people who had been killed off previously are back, now that Umbrella has taking to cloning actors from previous movies:
  • Milla Jovovich as Alice - what can you say?  Since the Fifth Element, she's been fun, watchable, and legitimately action oriented.  If you haven't seen Fifth Element in a while, rent that now.  Of course, the first thing I remember her from is Kuffs.  If you haven't seen that - rent it now.  She's still badass in this one, despite she and Anderson having had a baby recently.
  • Sienna Guillroy is back as Jill Valentine.  Valentine showed up in RE2, and popped in as a teaser at the end of RE4 - her hair is long and blond now, which did confuse me a little, as she was very short and dark at the end of RE2.  She has a great fight sequence with Milla near the end of the movie, and spends the rest of it bossing clone operatives around.  She has also been in Eragon, which I saw, and InkHeart, which I also saw, both of them were just okay.
  • Michelle Rodriguez plays two different versions of Rain in this picture - remember, Umbrella is cloning people all over the place.  Random trivia - Michelle was such a fan of the video game when it first came out that she told her agent if it ever got made into a movie, she wanted in.  Thus the reason she was in the first one, and got upset when she got killed at the end of it! It's very fun to see her play the laid back hippie version of herself (incidentally hippie Michelle Rodriguez is still pretty much a badass), then the full out combat version of herself from the first movie, and then the amped up on T-Virus Las Plagas Parasite super version of herself.  She's crazy good for this type of flick.
  • Li BingBing or BingBing Li plays Ada Wong.  It seemed to me like all of her lines were looped in later, it was a little distracting, but may only be my issue!  She was fine, I'm not familiar with the character from the game, so who knows how accurate she was.  I do find it interesting anytime someone breaks into a high security holding facility in an evening gown.
  • Boris Kodjoe is back as Luthor West, he doesn't have a ton to do - but really, it is not needed in this.  Here's a big gun, point it at the zombies. 
  • Johann Urb, formerly of the CW's The Mountain, plays Leon S. Kennedy - a character that they have attempted to work into several of the previous movies but finally gets some screen time in this one. 
  • Shawn Roberts is back as Wesker, who was portrayed by everyone's favorite time traveling cop, Jason O'Mara in the tiny bit the character had in RE3 (O'Mara time traveled as a cop in Life on Mars and again in Terra Nova...apparently any TV show that has time traveling cops is Jason O'Mara territory.)  Roberts picked up the character in RE4, and again here, plays him as cucumber cool behind his creepy sunglasses.  He took away Alice's powers at the beginning of 4, and gives them back at the end of 5.  Presumably she will need them in 6.  He's not in this one very much, and spends the time he has working hard to fill out an under-armor style shirt, and yes, recruit help for the final battle to save humanity.
  • Kevin Durand (Legion, Real Steel, Wolverine, Smokin' Aces...I love him) joins the band of mercenaries as Barry Burton - again, not a ton to do - big gun, kill zombies.  Some random trivia for you, he's real life BFFs with Russell Crowe, which is why he always shows up in Russell Crowe movies (3:10 to Yuma, Robin Hood, Mystery Alaska).
  • Oded Fehr is back as Carlos Olivera and a couple of cloned Carloses and gets to play with Jovovich in the suburban hallucination sequence.  Incidentally, has no issue making gunplay look natural as was trained in the Israeli army - again, that should win you a trivia contest someday.
  • The exquisitely elegant Colin Salmon plays 'One' again - but you know, another clone as he was chopped into tiny pieces by a laser grid in the first movie.  We'll have to see if he reprises his role as M's sidekick in the new Bond, which he had for all the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies.
If you're not expecting anything more than zombie fighting in 3D - you'll love this.  If you're expecting anymore than that...you will probably be disappointed.  As with all the previous films, it ends by rolling smoothly into the next one, and made me excited to see what they will do there!  Short, fun, and popcorn-y.
8 out of 10 - gained points for the suburban sequence, creepy and fun.  Lost points for being the first RE movie without zombie dogs, who knew I would miss them?  Gained points for the giant Licker, those things are ridiculous and just keep getting bigger.  Lost points for the survivors of the last movie really only showing up in the first five minutes of this one.  Lame - exactly what are the Redfields doing at this point?
Bonus Video 1 - the teaser trailers for 2 and 3, this series had some of the very best teaser trailers.  In the one for 2 - check the doberman, before it goes zombie...and in 3, just the best way to use Vegas!
Bonus Video 2:  I love most of Anderson's movies...especially AVP - but here's the first reason he will always be one of my favorite directors:
Bonus Video 3:  Cast Interviews!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Movie Review: The Cold Light of Day (PG13 - 93 minutes)

There's nothing wrong with keeping a movie short, especially if the movie is unoriginal and average.  Lockout was something from earlier this year that made use of a short running time.  I think that 90 minutes, give or take, is a great length for an average movie.  It's short enough that if you really don't enjoy it, you're not too upset; and if you loved it, it leaves you wanting more. 
The Cold Light of Day is three minutes past an hour and a half - and thank goodness, you really wouldn't want it to be any longer.  Where Lockout was silly, over-the-top and fun; Cold Light of Day is bland and boring.
Director Mabrouk El Mechri has done a few french films that I have not seen, and one that I have.  JCVD is a small independent movie that came out in 2008.  It's 97 minutes long and it's almost impossible to describe.  It's a semi-autobiographical picture in which action movie legend Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself having a really bad day.  He has to get money from a bank to his lawyer or risk losing his kids through a difficult divorce proceeding.  The bank gets robbed, and he has to come to grips with who he is, compared to who he is perceived to be.  It is quiet, small, intelligent, and mostly in french - but so worth the rental, in fact, I think it's available streaming on Netflix.  Check it out, it's absolutely not what you expected.
On the other hand, El Mechri's new picture, the Cold Light Of Day is, unfortunately, exactly what you expected, almost the entire way through.  Where JCVD was shot quick and small; the attempt to use a similar style for this 'thriller' comes off as a misfire.
Henry Cavill plays Will, a young businessman who has just arrived in Spain to spend a week vacationing with his mother, father, younger brother and his brother's girlfriend on a sailboat.  Unfortunately for Will, he's upset because his company has just gone bankrupt.  He goes ashore, and while he's away, his family goes missing.  He attempts to contact local police for help, only to bump into his father, who drops the bombshell that he's really a CIA agent, and has always been.  Apparently the family is being held as ransom while the kidnappers demand a briefcase that Martin (the father) had just delivered to his superiors.  Will must then negotiate various chase sequences through Spanish streets, and find what help he can to get his family back.  He enlists the help of a woman whose uncle is friends with his father.  He then encounters some Israeli agents, more CIA, and more cops.  Oh, and you never find out what is in the briefcase.  I am telling you that now so it won't upset you later.
If that sounded a bit ludicrous to you, you're correct.  Secret CIA operatives, rogue agents, mysterious briefcases, Israeli agents, Spanish city streets; all of that could piece together to make an interesting movie.  The opening sequence of the family assembling on the sailboat involves dialogue to set up their relationships, but feels really forced, clunky, and fake.  Will gets in touch with the police once he finds that the family is missing, but suspects they might be working against him, so he runs away, and promptly runs into his father.  Will states earlier in the movie that they family moved through 9 different countries while he was growing up, would he really not speak any spanish?  And why would he leave the American Embassy with a suspicious person, when at this point he's convinced everyone is after him?

When I stopped thinking and just sat and watched, the action sequences were fun, the locations were beautiful, and the pacing was good.  In terms of casting, everybody was okay, but not great:
  • Henry Cavill as Will, honestly, the reason I wanted to see this movie is to keep watching him in different things before Man of Steel comes out next year.  After this movie - it did nothing to change my opinion that the new Superman will be a disaster.  Cavill is fine, his american accent is passable, I'm just not sure I bought him in this particular role.  He is sufficiently confused, but then continues to react flatly as more and more craziness happens as the movie goes on.  He does determined well, but I have no idea if that will apply to Superman.  Maybe it's unfair to compare everything he's doing to a Superman performance that isn't out yet, but in all honesty, that's what I'm thinking about.
  • Bruce Willis plays Martin, Will's secret CIA agent father.  SPOILER ALERT (or maybe not), he gets killed pretty quickly.  This is pretty obvious from the trailers, as he is not around for the majority of the action.  In all honesty, his death was so quick and sudden, I kept expecting him to come back.  Similar to the way I kept expecting Morgan Freeman to come back in R.E.D.  Willis is only briefly in this movie, and probably could do this type of role with his eyes shut by now. 
  • Sigorney Weaver is the reason to see this movie - if you see this movie.  SPOILER ALERT (or again, maybe not - it's obvious in the trailers) she's the bad guy.  She does such a good job of being quietly icy about everything that happens in the movie.  She's totally unflappable, and just assumes she's going to come out on top.  She also shoots people left and right (right out in public!) for almost no reason.
  • Veronica Echegui plays the neice of Martin's friend Diego.  She joins Will on his adventures, and helps him after he gets shot at the club she works at, providing some very entertaining side characters, who are only briefly used.
  • Joseph Mawle - most recently seen in Game of Thrones as Benjen Stark (or you know, not seen), plays Weaver's henchman.  He's a bit frightening.
  • Rafi Gavron plays the younger brother, but honestly, that character, his girlfriend, and the mother have nothing to do.
So, yes, the potential was there, but the movie was a bit disappointing.  It moved pretty quickly - again, thank goodness it was short!  I think that I wanted more from it than it gave me, but, again, decent action sequences, a cold, evil performance from Weaver, and enough beautiful shots of sailboating in the Spanish Mediterranean to make you wonder if you could afford that vacation.
5 out of 10 - directly middle of the road...meh.  Gained points for the locations and scenery...pretty!  Lost points for not giving me more of the neice's club friends, because they were cool!  Lost points for Cavil walking weird.  He carries himself strange, and shorter than he is.  I wonder if that was a conscious acting choice, reflecting Will's confusion and uncertainty (I might be reading too much into it there)?  Or is he bowlegged?  hmm....Time to go check the Tudors, or the Immortals.  Speaking of which:
Bonus Video 1:  Cavill in the Tudors - HBO's amazing Henry the VIII tv series.  He played the king's best friend.  He's not doing any walking in this scene, so who knows if he really is bowlegged.  Warning - this scene gets a little steamy towards the end (but only a little)!
Bonus Video 2:  Man of Steel trailer.  There's just so many things wrong with this I don't even know where to begin... to start with, I don't believe that there is a major fishing industry in Kansas, and even though Kevin Costner is doing the voice over, it's not a baseball movie...Argh! this looks terrible!  Nevermind, I'm going to re-watch season 10 of Smallville again...
Bonus Video 3:  Cast interviews!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Movie Review: Hit and Run (R - 100 minutes)

Some time ago - a TV sitcom star named Ashton Kutcher had a show on MTV where he and a group of sketch comedy artists would "Punk" celebrities by putting them in awkward situations.  You remember that, right?  From back in the day? It was called Punk'd and the first two season were actually really funny.

One of the comedians on that show was Dax Shepard. Dax grew up in a small town in Michigan and then went to UCLA and graduated with a degree in anthropology. He is improv comedy specialist, which was obvious on Punk'd.  Dax's hobbies include snowboarding, motorcycles, snowmobiles, basketball, and collecting fast cars.  The success of Punk'd, and Dax's role in it, allowed him to get some parts in other movies: Zathura, Employee of the Month, Idiocracy, Without a Paddle, and my favorite of his movies, When in Rome.
The significant part of Dax being in When in Rome is that he met Kristen Bell and they started dating.  Eventually Dax decided he'd like to make a movie using all his friends and his cars.  He wrote a script, pulled together a budget of $2,000,000 (half of which went to buying the rights to several songs in the movie), and co-directed it with his friend David Palmer. 
The story follows a reformed bank robbery getaway driver, formerly Yul Perkins and currently Charlie Bronson, living in witness protection after attempting to testify against the rest of his crew.  He is currently living in a small town with his new girlfriend, Annie, who knows a little about his previous life but doesn't know exactly what he used to do or why exactly he is in witness protection.  She gets an incredible job offer in L.A., and knowing that his ex-crew lives there and he shouldn't go back, he loves her enough to drive her to L.A. for the interview.
Along the way - they encounter his hapless Federal Marshal protector, her crazy ex-boyfriend and his state trooper brother, elderly swingers, a random redneck, and of course, his old crew.  Hijinks and car chases ensue.  Because the budget was so low - and there was no insurance on set - Dax did most of his own stunt driving.
He asked all of his friends to do the movie, supplied the majority of the cars, did the stunt driving, the writing, and the directing, and thusly, made the movie for almost no money - ensuring that whatever it makes will be almost all profit.  It's a very smart way to make a movie - and if you have the connections, I highly recommend it.  Especially if you can turn out something this good.  The advantage to casting your friends is that the chemistry is already there, and the opportunity for improv is higher. 
This is particularly evident in any scene that Dax and Kristin have together.  Because they are a real-life couple, the scenes of Charlie and Annie are well played and really believable.  The chemistry is great, and the relationship feels genuine.  If you've already seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, then you know how funny Kristen Bell can be.  If you haven't seen that - you should probably rent it now, as it is absolutely hilarious!  The rest of the cast is equally as entertaining.
  • Michael Rosenbaum (my all time favorite Lex Luthor) plays a character that he is beginning to corner the market on: the douchey ex-boyfriend, Gil.  He is ridiculous and crazy, and is very funny.  And look - hair!
  • Tom Arnold plays the Marshal attempting to protect Charlie. He is bumbling and out of control - and really seems to just be playing himself.  In fact, most of the people in this movie are.  It makes me wonder if Dax wrote it with these people in mind, so that they had the least amount of work to do as possible.
  • David Koechner shows up, again mostly playing himself - or the redneck trucker version of himself. 
  • Kristin Chenoweth is the co-worker that sets Annie up with the interview in L.A. She is hilarious, but again, playing a character we've seen her do multiple times before. 
  • Ryan Hansen (who used to be on Veronica Mars, and is married to one of Bell's best friends) plays Allen, one of the members of Charlie's old crew.  There's no explanation for his suit - or his backflip skill - which just adds to the comedy.
  • Joy Bryant plays another member of the old crew - the hot chick, because of course, there's a hot chick in every bank robbing crew.
  • Jess Rowland steps in as Gil's state patrolman brother Terry.  Very tall and very funny.
  • Sexiest Man Alive (according to People Magazine - not necessarily according to me, but close) Bradley Cooper plays Alex, the leader of Charlie's old crew, and apparent dog lover.  The wig is terrible, but he has said it is the same wig from the beginning of Limitless, and they simply dreaded it - to save money.  Cooper can do comedy - and is also good at action, did you see the latest A-team?  you should, in case you didn't, because he shows off both the comedy and action chops in that movie.  He is absolutely the villain of this movie and does a great job.
  • Also Beau Bridges is in this - He's good, but it seems weird that he's in it - although he totally fits the tone and does a great job.
All in all - see if, if not because you think it will be entertaining (which it definitely is), then because you want to support the idea that a dude can write a script, pull together a little bit of money and all his friends and make a great movie.  Of course, I really wanted the gag reel to be over the end credits - because anytime a group of friends make a movie - that's all I want to see!
8 out of 10:  gained points for Cooper assaulting the pit bull owner in the store - hilarious.  Lost points for Chenoweth's weird massage scene.  Gained points for the car chases - fun and funny!  Lost points for the old swingers, weird.  Gained points for Rosenbaum.  Yay.

Bonus Video 1:  Bell as Sarah Marshall in two of Sarah Marshall's terrible TV shows...too funny!
Bonus Video 2:  The other movie I love by a dude who wrote a script, and pulled together all his friends to shoot a movie:  Clerks:

Bonus Video 3:  Up a Creek - totally bizarre comedy with Seth Green, Matthew Lillard and Dax Sheppard...just weird, and they do encounter Burt Reynolds.
Bonus Video 4:  Bradley Cooper as he was the first time I saw him - on Alias.
Bonus Video 5: I love Rosenbaum because of Smallville...however, if you have any questions about his comic skills - rent and watch Sorority Boys.  It's insane, but really funny!
Bonus Video 6;  cast interviews!