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5 out of 5

It’s so cheesy it’s practically fondue! I love that.

Warning: There are spoilers.

lv shots

Kevin Kline and Romany Malco providing a much needed public service.

When I first heard about the premise of Last Vegas a few years back I thought, that’s an immediate pass. I will not be watching that. Old guys in a rip off of The Hangover? No thank you.

Then the trailer came out and I saw that basically everyone is in this movie. You get Kevin Kline (yum), Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro and Morgan Freeman. That’s an awesome cast.

Did it look silly, over the top and predictable? Yes. Did I want to see it? Yes. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to renting it, I have to say WATCH IT. It’s super fun.

It’s a simple plot, four OLD friends reunite for the first time in a LONG time in Las Vegas. Michael Douglas is a high powered lothario (I know, I feel like I’m in the wrong decade too) who has decided to finally tie the knot. Where does he propose? At a friend’s funeral, cuz he’s just that romantic.

He calls up all of his old buddies to get them to attend his quickie wedding to his 30something girlfriend and it quickly turns into a crazy bachelor party. There are, predictably, but hilariously none the less, a ton of jokes about her age BTW.

Wait, before we actually get to Vegas we are treated to a bit of each fellow’s life: Kline is referred to as the Bionic man as he wears a hearing aid, has a replacement hip and a full medicine cabinet, Morgan Freeman is being babied by his adult son because he had a minor stroke at some point and Robert De Niro is a grouchy shut in (surely they jest, De Niro angry? Nah).

lv party

On to Vegas, these guys are not quite up to speed on today’s scene. Luckily due to some magic on Freeman’s part the guys luck into getting their own personal assistant, the always fab Romany Malco. He helps guide them around the Vegas lifestyle and eventually gets very into it as well.

lv lmfao

There’s so much partying, Vegas baby! It’s off the chain. Yes, that is a cameo by LMFAO!

lv freeman dance

The standout for me is definitely Morgan Freeman. He gets the best lines, “I feel like a princess” and “these Red Bull and vodkas, I feel like I’m getting drunk and electrocuted at the same time”. Plus his character facilitates much of the plot.

lv steen red

lv steen sing

LV steen

There is also a competitive horn dog/grudge thing going on between Douglas and De Niro. Enter the always beautiful, Mary Steenburgen as a lounge singer.

LV suits

standout suits and yes, Turtle from Entourage

Without giving absolutely everything away, watch out for the shopping montage, woot and another unexpected, yet totally in sync with the storyline, cameo.

Sit back, have fun with it, don’t pick it apart and you will probably enjoy this flick.

You can rent or buy Last Vegas on Amazon here (affiliate link)

Photos are via the official Last Vegas twitter

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***

This poster is completely accurate. He distracted me into watching this.

This poster is completely accurate. He distracted me into watching this.

Upon seeing I Give It A Year listed on Netflix I almost bypassed it. Unfortunately, I did not. I spotted the deliciousness of Simon Baker and my hormones added it to my queue.

I then proceeded to watch it despite my intense hatred of Rose Byrne. She’s a bad actress. I’m sorry, she just is. It’s true that I never noticed her until Adam and some think that I’m basing my dislike on that character but no, that’s not it. I’ve seen her in so many good or great films and she is always a blight on the picture. Okay, she was funny in Bridesmaids but I attribute that to the writing.

i give it a year movie poster

So what we have here is a romantic comedy about a couple who meet and marry quickly despite reservations from their friends. Byrne stars as Nat opposite Josh (Rafe Spall) who is so awkward that he’d make me seem debonair in comparison.

Anna Faris plays Chloe, Josh’s best friend, which was what kept me watching until the end of the film, to be honest. I’m a huge fan of Faris. Here I got to see her in a more insecure, less silly role. She was fantastic, as usual. If you are also a big fan of hers you probably have to watch this even if it’s just to see her funny threeway scene. Guy (Simon Baker) meets Nat at work and falls for her. I wanted to see more of him in the film but I understand that it’s not his movie. Minnie Driver has a supporting role. At first I thought her character was funny but I quickly changed my mind. I mainly just got excited about seeing her as an actress.

The couple see a marriage counselor and decide to give their marriage a year before calling it quits. During this time both find each other more and more annoying and become more drawn to the objects of their attraction. At one point the main couple set up the two people that they are attracted to and basically order them to date. The whole thing just seems like a huge waste of four people’s year.

I did get a few laughs out of this but, no, save yourself. I’m sure you have better things to do or watch for an hour and a half.

Don’t give your time over to “I Give It a Year”.

You can watch I Give It a Year on Netflix Streaming or rent it on Amazon (This is an affiliate link so if you make a purchase through this, it may earn a small commission for this site.).

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Saluting: Bride Wars

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***

Olivia Wilde at the Drinking Buddies premiere

If it weren’t for social media I’d have no idea that Drinking Buddies existed. This is one of those times I’d be totally okay with that. This seems to stem mainly from the perceived attractiveness of the lead, Olivia Wilde. Wilde’s a decent actress but I guess she’s just not my type.

I believe the first time I heard about the film was in the fall when a writer on XOJane blogged about how the eating habits of Wilde’s character in the film are completely unrealistic. Ya know, that whole men want women who eat like men but look tiny thing. It was an interesting post but I then forgot about it.

In the following months I’ve seen tweets from various movie reviewers espousing the virtues of the film, including how hot Wilde is and that she gives a great performance. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve watched many a film for the hot actor (or actress) in the starring role, so that’s not an insult, just an observation.

What all of this leads up to is that despite not knowing much about the film I ended up watching it within one day of finding out that it was on Netflix Streaming. I had to know what the fuss was about. Well, for me, not much.

Olive Wilde and Jake Johnson in Drinking Buddies

The movie focuses on a pair of best friends played by Wilde and Jake Johnson. They both work at a beer bottling plant. He has a blue collar job while she seems to be an event planner of sorts. They are the type of friends who hang out incessantly. It even seems to outsiders at times that they are a couple. You yourself will wonder why they aren’t.

Drinking Buddies

Well it turns out that both of them are already dating other (hot) people, Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick. Neither seems particularly suited for their counterparts, but Livingston in particular. Being that they are so close, Wilde and Johnson arrange a couples’ weekend away. This is when it really becomes evident that things aren’t going smoothly in their relationships.

There are funny moments and sweet moments but they don’t add up to much for me. It’s a good cast. The hugely funny Jason Sudeikis even has a supporting role (though he’s underused in this flick). The cast is not the problem for me. They seem suited to their roles. Anna Kendrick does great at playing a bit of an introspective girl, which is quite a turn around from how I saw her in Rapture-Palooza. She definitely has range.

Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston in Drinking Buddies

Some things about the film are very real, which I appreciate. Yes, there’s a friend zone element and a “don’t slut shame me” speech (I do appreciate the latter). Oh and there’s a shit ton of drinking. They work in a beer plant, they drink there, they drink at bars, they drink in the woods, they drink at home, basically, they rarely stop drinking. This does seem plausible in their world.

Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson in Drinking Buddies

The fact that the actors seem so real in their roles is what leads me to say you may want to give it one viewing if you are a big fan of any of the leads. Otherwise I’d skip it. It’s meandering and at only an hour and a half, almost boring. I must say that I did enjoy the soundtrack though.

All in all, cast and crew, I am not impressed with your lackadaisical movie.

You can watch Drinking Buddies on Netflix Instant Streaming or rent it from Amazon (this is an affiliate link so if you make a purchase through it a small commission may be generated for this site).

You may also enjoy:
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Movie Review: Seven Psychopaths
Movie Review: Casa de Mi Padre
Movie Review: Wanderlust
Movie Review: Take This Waltz
Movie Review: The Shape of Things

*Photos are via the Official Drinking Buddies Facebook.

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2 out of 5

saints 1

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is yet another film that I only discovered through semi-frequent visits to videoeta.com. The main thing that drew me to the film was that it stars both Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. I’ve been a fan of Affleck since To Die For. Mara made quite the impression on me with her recent portrayals in the US remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and then Side Effects. Shortly after the start of the movie, I also spotted Ben Foster. Score, I thought. He’s never failed to blow me away (in the past).

This romantic crime drama is set in the 1970’s in the West. It’s about a man who wants to be reunited with his family after being imprisoned. That is the sum total of what I knew going in. I didn’t even watch the trailer. If I had viewed it, I’d know everything there is to know about the flick. Affleck somewhat heroically goes to prison and starts serving a long ass sentence. While there he pines for his woman as their child starts to grow up. At an hour and a half this movie drags, painfully. I was so bored. I was ready to give up.

It seems that this movie was sold on the basis of nice cinematography and a decent amount of chemistry between Affleck and Mara. However, cinematography doesn’t make a movie for me if the movie is empty. That’s how this film felt, empty. Chemistry is also not that big of a selling point to me when the leads are spending the majority of the movie apart.

Aw shucks pretty lady, I'm such a good guy, but I'm as dull as paint and about as bright too.

Aw shucks pretty lady, I’m such a good guy, but I’m as dull as paint and about as bright too.

I can’t believe that I’ve now finally seen a movie that has wasted Ben Foster. I mean wasted him. I’ve seen Casey Affleck wasted before (although he usually seems to punch up a flailing movie) but never Foster. I did not watch this alone. I watched it with someone who enjoys movies in this type of genre far more than I do and they felt almost the same amount of boredom. That’s bad news, folks.

So, I can not recommend this unless you are a super huge fan of Affleck, Foster or Mara and must see all of their work. I’d probably give this a lower score if it weren’t for the fact that Affleck really tried to get me to root for him in this.

Click here to order Ain’t Them Bodies Saints from Amazon. (Note: This is an affiliate link. If you make a purchase after clicking through it may yield a small commission for this site.)

*Photos are from the official IFC site

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****

thor poster

thor loki foreground poster

thor hiddleston poster

Thor: The Dark World (aka Thor 2, aka why bother with these long ass titles no one will recall years later) is a nice installment in the Avengers superhero series. The flick was directed by Alan Taylor, who is slated to direct a new Terminator and has worked in TV up until this point. His credits include Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. I’m actually pretty impressed by that as the film looks amazing.

To 3D or not to 3D, that is the question? Thor 2 was converted to 3D, not filmed in it. Some scenes looked nicely dimensional but I don’t think that seeing it in 3D is a must.

thor cast

The cast, which includes all of the main characters from the first Thor, is fantastic. I’ve read that some thought that Kat Dennings was used too much. I’m confused as to how there can be too much Kat Dennings.

thor 2 baddie

The plot involves random portals that just pop up bridging worlds, which is pretty eye catching. The baddie is a freakin evil elf (Malekith, played by Christopher Eccleston but you can’t really spot him under the makeup/prosthetics). An elf might not sound scary but these elves look as though they’ve escaped from hell. Good job!

So there’s a feud between these elves and Thor’s dad, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), as well as that whole fabric of reality ripping apart to displace folks from other worlds thing going on. This makes for a lot of great action sequences.

thor battle

While watching the first Thor I think that many of us thought, hey, what’s Asgard (Thor’s home planet) like? Now we know, it’s like the middle ages. There’s fighting and feasting and existentialism?

thor port poster

Well Thor is a bit broody in the beginning of this flick as he misses that hot scientist Jane (Natalie Portman), whom he met two years ago. WTF man? Yes, this movie does take place two years after the first. Apparently Thor totally never contacted her at all. That’s bullshit, okay. I write a dude off FOREVER after 3-4 weeks of not hearing from him. Don’t give me that viking crap, I’m pretty sure that even in the dark ages warriors tried to see their women every few months.

Okay, I must calm down. No wait, Loki’s in jail and his dad is still a prick. But at least his hair still looks fab, even when he can’t gel it down.

loki hair

No, I don’t want to give too much away. There are a couple of twists. Hey, Loki’s a trickster man, we know this. There are also a couple of funny and interesting cameos plus the prerequisite one by Stan Lee.

Even without being able to tell you much without ruining it, if you enjoyed the first Thor then go see this sequel. You’ll most likely enjoy it. I know I did.

You want reasons? Cool special effects, check. Tom Hiddleston in handcuffs, check.

You may also enjoy:
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Movie Review: The Avengers
Movie Rundown: May 2011-includes a mini review of Thor

loki cuffs

photos via the official Thor 2 Facebook

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