Over the weekend, I caught Judd Apatow
's new film "Funny People
" starring Adam Sandler
and Seth Rogen
. "Funny People" lived up to my expectations; it's funny at points with an appropriate seriousness that's present throughout the movie.
I thoroughly enjoyed the bond that Sandler and Rogen's characters form over the course of the film. Rogen plays a socially awkward comic struggling to find his way, and Sandler is a jaded celebrity trying to make meaning out of his tragic situation. I was surprised by how unlikable Sandler's character is at points, revealing that his problems in life are not just limited to his health.
Stand-up comedy interlaced in the film contains some of the funniest lines, but those aren't the only humorous parts. Using stand-up comedy for humor though effectively leaves room for more serious conversation in other areas of the movie.
My only real complaints about the film were its length - the film was slightly too long at 2 hours and 16 minutes - and the overuse of jokes about male genitalia. There are only so many times I want to laugh at synonyms for male anatomy.
This week is a big week for multi-talented writer/directors. Each of the movies coming out has a writer/director involved. Coming to theaters are "Julie & Julia," "Shorts," "A Perfect Getaway," "Cold Souls," and "GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra."
A special group of military operatives known as the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity are faced with the ultimate menace: Cobra, an evil organization run by Scottish arms dealer with dreams of world domination. GI JOE must do everything in its power to save the world from the threat of Cobra.
Stephen Sommers directs this action epic based on the GI JOE line of toys. Sommers wrote the story for the film while Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, and Paul Lovett penned the screenplay. Beattie wrote 2008's "Australia
" and Elliot and Lovett collaborated previously on 2005's "Four Brothers."SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
See it. I'm going to make a bold claim right from the start that you can't walk into this movie expecting a work of cinematic masterpiece. This film seems to sell to moviegoers' basic instincts: attractive people, tons of action, and lots of explosions. All of those things are very entertaining if you don't think too hard about them. I think a strong ensemble cast of Dennis Quaid
, Sienna Miller
, Channing Tatum
, Jonathan Price, Marlon Wayans
, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
also gives the movie potential to be good, even if the writing isn't that great.
A secretary bored by her career, Julie Powell attempts to spice up her life by trying to cook all 524 recipes from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year's time. The film splits itself into different two different time periods, following Julie's quest to cook all of the recipes in the book and Julia Child's rise to prominence as an American chef in France.
Nora Ephron returns from a four year absence, after 2005's "Bewitched
," to write and direct this film based on Julie Powell's book of the same name. Julie Powell is played by Amy Adams
, and Julia Child is portrayed by veteran actress Meryl Streep
. SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
See it. I believe this film is meant to appeal more to female audiences and to those who love cooking, than to the average viewer like me. Although I don't have a personal interest in seeing it, I think it could be an interesting movie. Telling the story in two different time periods is an unconventional narrative device, but it seems like one that could be effective.
The frequently bullied outcast Toe Thompson changes his life the day he discovers a rainbow colored rock that grants wishes. Havoc ensues however when adults in his small town of Black Falls get their hands on the magic stone. Toe must team up with his friends to show the adults that sometimes what you wish for is not always what you want in the end.Robert Rodriguez
, the man behind other kids' films like the "Spy Kids
" franchise and "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl
," writes and directs this movie. Jimmy Bennett, who recently starred in the horror film "Orphan
," plays Toe Thompson. Bennett is accompanied by famous adults like Leslie Mann
, James Spader
, Jon Cryer
, and William H. Macy
. SEE IT, RENT IT, OR SKIP IT?
See it if you have a family, otherwise I'd wait to rent it. I don't quite understand why Robert Rodriguez, who has made some of my favorite bloody adult action films, also makes kids' movies. Even if I don't have an interest in his family films though, he is a solid director so I could see him making entertaining movies for all ages.