Friday, April 2, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine Review by William Kunz

This movie I naturally knew going in wasn't going to be exceptional or great judging by the preview. However after last years The Hangover, which had an awful preview, I was not going to look down on the film before I had seen it. The film centers around four characters, Adam, Jacob, Nick, and Lou. Each played by John Cusack, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, and Rob Corddry respectively. The films starts out showing how each of the characters is doing really bad in life and things are not on the up. After Lou nearly kills himself by revving his engine up in his shut garage the four decide to take him on a vacation to an old ski retreat in the woods where they had awesome memories back in the 80's. They get there and the town and resort they loved has fallen on harsh times is now a dump. They decide to stay anyway and procede to get wasted and spill a high energy drink on the hot tub controls flashing them back to 1986 where they to eachother look like themselves but to everyone else look like them from 1986 with the execption of Jacob because he wasn't born yet.
The film proceeds to go through with cliched 80's things such as walkmans, Michael Jackson jokes, bad hair styles and Red Dawn. Admitedly there were a couple of good laughs such as the constant running joke with Lou getting excited because he knows the bellman(played by Crispin Glover) will get his arm chopped off, for in the future he only has one arm, and is always let down when the bellman is in compromising situations and the arm does not go, but the film follows the typical comedy formula of one hour of laughs, a friend or two gets mad and they need to reconsile, and in the end it all works out. Which is starting to get really old and is what The Hangover did so perfectly which was to stray from the typical formula and be completely different. Overall the film brings a few laughs with John Cusack doing a great job as always(kind of untrue, I won't forget 2012 yet!) and some memorable moments but not a film I will be rushing to see again or to buy on dvd at all maybe worth a netflix.

Rating: 2.5 out of 4

A Clash of Acting, Not Titans by Taylor Ellis

With a story comprised of a great acting cast and a plot driven deep in the heart of Greek mythology ,“Clash of the Titans” looked to be a extremely promising flick that would sure to be an early 2010 blockbuster. As movie goers galore filled the theatre, a overwhelming sense of anticipation filled the room. It seemed as if everyone had a colossal amount of hope for Leterrier’s new film, and I must admit I did as well. Soon, it was show-time and my preconceived notions were soon to be shattered by the gods themselves.

“Clash of the Titans” follows the story of Perseus(Sam Worthington), Zeus’ bastard son who has been raised by a human family; away from the heights of Olympus. With a unfortunate set of events Perseus is soon whisked away from his quaint lifestyle and dropped in a feud between gods and men. While Zeus contemplates with the other gods, Hades has a plan of his own; to force the humans back into the will of the gods. Of course there is a damsel in distress and the city must choose over a beautiful princess or their beloved beachfront town.Perseus quickly realizes Mankind is angry with the gods “control” over humans, and the humans are angry with the gods. Personally, I am angry with both, because from this point out the movie takes many undesirable turns that will leave many audiences feeling flat.

We soon meet the overbearing and over-bearding Zeus, portrayed by Liam Neeson. At first Neeson seems to be the perfect fit for the “King of the gods”, but as minutes go by Neeson seems to become a little to serious in his portrayal, and at some points even a laughing matter. Zeus’ counterpart “Hades” portrayed by Ralph Fiennes adds a little more spice to the movie but just doesn’t seem to be evil enough to be playing the god of the underworld. With that being said a viewer could begin to wonder if the script itself was just a big mess up. While the gods seemed to be failing at more than the ruling of Olympus,Persues portrayed by Sam Worthington seemed to slowly lift the movie out of the depths of Hades itself. While I was no fan of Persues love interest in the movie “Io”, a ageless woman cursed by the gods portrayed by Gemma Arterton, I did understand the need of some sort of sex appeal for all of the teenaged boys out there. Overall their love story was out of place and just simply confusing. With the exception of the love story or lack thereof, I throughly enjoyed Worthington’s overall acting and all of the chaotic combat that he participated in; helping to cover up some of the movies early flaws. Overall Worthington did an “ok” job, nothing outstanding by any means but enjoyable at that.

While all of the other “major” stars continued to disappoint to me, there was a small, but rather large glisten of hope that resided within the movie from early on. This glisten of hope came from Draco portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen. Within the first hour of the movie Mikkelsen had impressed me the most with his potrayal of Draco. A rough, fierce warrior Draco seemed to be a well trained and battle hardened veteran. Draco’s hate of the gods was extremely evident but suppressed in a way that was hard to comprehend or understand. As the rightful leader of the army against the gods Draco came to give up his position to Perseus (Worthington) and except the gods may always have the ultimate favor. Mikkelsen delivered the audience a character that exemplified all of the courageousness traits a solider under those circumstances would have and proved to be the most memorable character of the entire film, in my opinion of course.

Before the showing many where talking about the CGI and the 3D that was input AFTER the initial production, which seemed to be at the very soul of “Clash of the Titans” (as seen by trailers nation wide.) (Note: I did not see “Clash” in 3D due to the fact that the movie was not initially made for 3D.) Being a person who loves CGI and respects the momentum that it expresses in films nowadays; I was hoping for another “Avatar moment” but this turned out to not be the case. The CGI in “Clash” seemed to be focused in about three instances throughout the movie. At point, a scorpion fight in “Clash” proves to be the weakest of all the CGI in the movie. It was hard to tell if this point in the movie was rushed or just not well done, to me it was both. Overall the CGI was pretty good but not commendable, and could have been so much more in so many ways.

Ultimately, “Clash of the Titans” was yet another huge letdown for movie goers everywhere. With its ruffled plot and decent story line, “Clash of the Titans fell short of the standards that many had hoped it would reach. Overall the acting and special effects are equally moderate, but not horrible. If taken lightly with a loving heart and a full bag of popcorn I suppose “Clash” can be considered a fun movie. But for all of the movie buffs out there I am sure this film will have you wanting to jump off the highest peak of Olympus within the first hour.

Rating: 2.0 out of 4