Saturday, March 27, 2010

Review: Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) [Reviewed By Kelsey Zukowski]

Starring: John Cusack, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Lizzy Caplan, Chevy Chase
Directed By: Steve Pink
Written By: Josh Heald, Sean Anders
Grade: B

Given the name Hot Tub Time Machine, going in to the movie you know it’s going to be goofy and fun with plenty of retro vs. modern laughs. Our characters have more recent familiarity with the modern world but find themselves back in the past. Three out of the four of them are re-living the trip they had years ago. Hot Tub Time Machine is just about everything you would expect it to be given the premise. Of course you have to suspend your belief, but this isn’t really the type of movie you should be analyzing that much. A foreign energy drink spilling on an old rusted hot tub takes them back to 1986 and transforms the resort to the happening Winterfest. Sure, they could have had some elaborate scientific gadget that transported them back in time, but it’s so nonsensical and outside of the realm of possibility that something as small as a spilled energy drink seems to fit. Really this is the type of movie where you just go with the flow and see where it takes you.

Adam (Cusack) has just been left by his girlfriend who took a great deal of his belongings with her. His 20 year-old nephew, Jacob (Duke), is currently living in his basement. He spends all of his time on the computer creating a “second life” where he’s a prisoner serving his time, which he shows much more concern for than anything in his first life. Adam hasn’t been close or had much contact with his friends in awhile until he gets a call from his high school buddy, Nick (Robinson). Their friend and “asshole of the group”, Lou (Corddry), has survived a suicide attempt but is recovering in the hospital. They know his family doesn’t really like him and no one else will be there for him If they aren’t. They decide to take a trip to go to a ski resort where Nick, Adam, and Lou had some of the best times of their youth.

When they get there they find it isn’t quite the same place that it used to be. It’s completely run down and the one-armed bellboy is rude and destructively throws their bags around. The place is pretty deserted and even when they find a hot tub they find a dead animal in it. Just as they get desperate to get the night going in this slump the hot tub seems to go through some transformation, bubbling and brightening. The guys jump in and begin to start the night off right. Lou’s foreign energy drink spills on the hot tub, making it static as electro bolts surge through it. The hot tub begins swirling, taking them away through a vortex. Suddenly they find themselves back in the 80s. When they look in the mirror they see the 1986 versions of themselves. They’re surrounded by leg warmers, ALF, humongous portable phones, and they even see a live broadcast by Ronald Reagan.

They are warned by a quirky repairman played by Chevy Chase that they have to do things exactly the same. They realize that since they are playing with the past they have to or it will trigger one change after the other and skew the future. This means that Adam has to break up with an incredibly attractive girlfriend who he believes was the last really good girl in his life. Lou has to repeatedly get beaten up and Jacob has to drag him away from a threesome because that’s not what happened before. Jacob flickers and fades since in this world he doesn’t or shouldn’t exist. He does run in to his young partying mother, which quickly turns his stomach. Seeing her though clues him in that it is exactly 9 months since he was born, meaning that he could have quite possibly have been conceived this weekend.

The cast is great, really adding great personality and comedic touches. If you have seen Better Off Dead you will really appreciate John Cusack here. The atmosphere really reminded me all of those 80s ski trip movies. Cusack makes a good transition in characters between the cynical and selfish, but still somewhat likable grown Adam, and the youthful Adam that he finds again when he gets caught up in the prospect of second chances. Cusack shows great energy in these moments and has a lot of charisma.

Clark Duke did pretty well as his nephew. You could make the argument that he has a flat character as he is essentially a computer/sci-fi nerd without much of a social life outside of the world of the internet. Personally, I thought his character worked pretty well. Duke added the appropriate geeky and loner aspect of the character without overdoing it and still seeming like a likeable enough guy. He does really represent our generation very well by not knowing how to connect with others when cell phones and internet aren’t even in existence yet. Duke has great reactions, as he is really the only one experiencing all of this for the first time, constantly reminding himself that all of the technology and pop culture references he has grown up with are essentially gibberish. Duke also had good comedic timing with the other characters as well, insulting others right back and actually being more witty.

Craig Robinson is hilarious throughout the movie, even adding a bit of his personal comedic flair such as including the “It must be some sort of hot tub time machine” line that he speaks directly in to the camera. The young Nick has great moments of youthful spark as well, performing 80s numbers and giving the audience a taste of the future. One of his funniest moments though is when cussing out the 9 year-old version of his wife for cheating on him in the future. Rob Corddry does well as the asshole of the group, eager to exploit the future and everything else in the process. Corddry still manages to play this without making us hate him and even adds a bit of depth in realistically to the character. Lizzy Caplan does well as the charming, interesting, and elegant April, a music journalist Adam meets who might do a lot more to change the future than his high school fling ever did. Chevy Chase also was a joy to watch, portraying the oddball repairman who seemed to have a sly nature to him.

Hot Tub Time Machine isn’t an incredible movie and you could find holes if you really tried, but why even bother? It’s a pretty solid film for a goofy time traveling movie. All of the principle characters, particularly the main 3 characters have back stories, well-developed personalities and energy between them, and a certain amount of depth without seeming forced. The 80s energy is great and there is a lot of comedy through the past and present pop culture references. The rival pretty boys think the energy drink must be some sort of Russian bomb and since they are different and seem to have foreign unknown items they must be Russian spies. Yes, we even have the typical “king of the mountain skiers” that always served as funny rivals in 80s ski comedies. Their first clue that these guys must be up to no good is that one of them is riding some odd plank thing (a snowboard). I also liked that the film went a slightly less formulaic and more fun route with how they dealt with the butterfly effect. Instead of them having a blast just for things to slowly blow up in the face they actually try to prevent a major catastrophe from the beginning so the guys vow to do things exactly the way they did before. Of course, everything isn’t neat and perfect or we wouldn’t have much of a movie. The film plays with the idea of the inevitable and second chances, questioning how much control you have over your own successes and happiness even early on before these actions really play out.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reviews: The Quiet Arrangement (2009) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: David C. Snyder
Written by: David C. Snyder
Genre: Action / Drama / Mystery
MPAA: Not Rated
Released: May 2009 (USA)
Starring: Kyle Jason, Christina Simkovich, Rob Stone, Julian Hicks, Kevin M. Hayes, Joseph D. Lane, John Delserone, Jordan Weeks, and Chuck D

Plot: When the wife of prominent lawyer Walter Briggs is kidnapped, he decides to take matters into his own hands. But things are not really what they seem and the abduction becomes more complicated for everyone involved.

Review: 8/10

The Story is about: a group of individuals surrounding a kidnapping get more than any of them bargained for when the perfect crime get‘s complicated. One crime told from various point of views

My Thoughts: There are so many films now days where a group of misfit individuals gather together to commit the perfect crime, and it always seems like they get away with it, but in reality is there really such a thing as a flawless plan? Some will argue that with the right amount of planning and the right people with skills put together, is the perfect formula for a flawless getaway. You see it in movies, you read about in books, and you hear about ’em in stories, but what many of those movies, books, and stories don’t tell you enough is that even with the right people, the skills or the perfect amount of planning, everything can come crashing down in flames over the element human nature. You see, a person can live life on a daily routine set of rules and schedules down to the letter, some of you who read this know exactly what I’m talking about. For some, it’s something as innocently small as having their cup coffee first thing in the morning, for others, it’s checking their email religiously throughout the day, while for others their habits can be a little more edgy, but no matter how well someone thinks they have you mapped down, what they can’t anticipate out of you is the unexpected will of human nature that allows us to change our entire routine in an instant, that little marble of disaster that fate throws down onto the track and allows everything to derail.

And as the saying goes, sometimes things are as easy as pie, and sometimes, things get complicated. And when things to get complicated the line between right and wrong become as blurred as the line between doing your job and taking your job personally. Call me a cynical man but I can’t help but feel a certain sense appeal towards the negativity of humanity, because it’s in our darkest moments where we show our true self, the unsavory side of ourselves that neither you or those around you want to see which, because it’s the side of us that shows the true nature of our inner agenda which may not always be as heroic as we lead people on to be, which proves to be one of the prime reasons I was so captivated by Writer/Director David C. Snyder’s latest film, The Quiet Arrangement, a film which projects precisely what happens when a simple plan can get very complicated very quickly, or how the most good and honest of people can wind up surprising us, and that even in the most shadiest of characters lays a shear glimmer of good. The film takes a gripping look into the lives of multiple individuals surrounding the kidnapping of a prominent criminal attorney’s wife, who just so happens to also be mixed up in dirty dealings of his own. The film follows a time period of about 72 hours showcasing the events of the kidnapping, the events before hand leading up to it, and after, taking completely from different points of views all of which gives a small puzzle piece to the whole story. What I found interesting is that each bit paints it’s own light over the situation as it slowly unveils itself, and where one story may demonize certain individuals, another will turn the tables and show a different take.

My only disappointment though, is that the film leaves a few questions un-answered as well as some major plot holes. I get the idea that the filmmaker probably did this intentionally as to leave a form of unsolved mystery to the story, I mean I can perfectly understand the idea of not wanting every single detail thrown to the viewer and that some things are best left to the unknown, whiter if that was the case or not I felt certain things really did need answering for closure as a viewer and weren’t. However, aside from this little upset towards the film I urge you to look past this little bump in the road, and see the memorizing thrills this film has to offer. The film’s plot is a truly thought provoking piece that will keep you guessing until the very end. Aside from what I’ve already said about the film, what I found to be one of the film’s best attributes is the grim atmospheric world that Director Snyder created around his characters, and I must stress the word atmospheric here, because it’s really captivating in that rear sense that, weather you love it or hate it you can’t deny that the film’s cinematic feel is on it’s own unique level that is nothing short of sear brilliance.

As for the acting: as a critic, observation of the actor’s performance is single handedly one of the most important things in being a film critic, because a good performance can turn a bad film good, and a bad performance can turn the tides against a good film. As for as the acting goes, the performances were pretty good. Kyle Jason give an outstanding performance, through his performance he managed to pulled off being one of the most peculiar characters in the whole film, making you wonder about him in one scene and than route for him in the next. I enjoyed Kevin M. Hayes performance a great deal because his presence onscreen commanded the focus of the viewer almost entirely while onscreen, which is seen as somewhat of a rarity for most actors. Rob Stone and Julian Hicks did a fine job portraying the undercover cops in the film, their chemistry worked really well. John Delserone was great in his odd but good performance, I say odd because, well, it‘s something you just have to see for yourself to understand, but know you‘ve been warned! Christina Simkovich was very impressive, I found her acting to be very gratifying for giving the film a sense of realism, and the fact this is her first film (according to her IMDB profile) this makes it all the more impressive, because she mange to pull off a performance that was more believable as a lightweight actress than some longtime heavy hitters. The rest of they cast that I may have not mention here, did very well, if not for them this film probably wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.

Final Say: As many of you who’ve been following my critiques for some time now know, I’m a tough as knells critic who isn’t ashamed to down talk a film to it’s very filmmakers, I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again, but you also know that when I hold high praise to a film it’s out of my honest sincerity, I’m not going to blow smoke up your windpipe here; the film does have it’s faults, but to that same respect the film makes up for many of those faults in smart and cleaver storytelling that will guessing what will happen next, and for that it’s forgiven for it’s flows. I highly recommend it!

Copyright 2010 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Beatnicks Giveaway!


Giveaway;
We at tcwreviews.com will be hosting a very special giveaway for you, our readers, in gratitude for your countless support and contributions over the years. To celebrate the release of The Beatnicks DVD, on April 6, we are holding a giveaway courtesy of http://www.thebeatnicks.com/. The giveaway includes one copy of the soundtrack along with a copy of the DVD signed by The Beatnicks’ star, actor Norman Reedus. Aside from the press release and giveaway details listed below, please take a minute to check out official trailer and the IMDB website for the film’s details by clicking on the links above.
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Press Release;
Norman Reedus, perhaps best known for cult phenomenon The Boondock Saints stars in the long awaited release, The Beatnicks. In addition to Norman Reedus, the film stars Mark Boone Jr.(award winning FX series Sons of Anarchy), Elodie Bouchez (Alias) & co-stars Eric Roberts (Batman: The Dark Knight), Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite) and Patrick Bauchau (The Pretender). The film is available to Save now on Netflix and will be available for retail sale and rental on April 6, 2010 via Passion River Films.Set in Los Angeles, The Beatnicks, are a poet and a musician named Nick, known as The Beatnicks in search of a gig. They find a magic box on the beach, that when opened, creates amazing music that hypnotizes anyone who hears it. The Nicks use the box to get booked for a show, but their abuse of the box's powers has unforeseen consequences. The poet falls in love and the musician meets a guru. Ultimately, they must both learn the lesson of "no suffering, no understanding" . As the film concludes, The Nicks reach a deeper understanding of themselves and the box earns them the gig of a lifetime.The Beatnicks is a unique independent film that is another example of the power of social media and viral marketing. With over 20,000 online fans, The Beatnicks is an eagerly anticipated DVD release amongst the cult fans that gave The Boondock Saints its underground success. With over $50 million in DVD revenues, The Boondock Saints was an incredible example of phenomenal grass roots marketing which The Beatnicks will surely immolate. Norman's excellent performance as Nick Nero in the film brings out the same snarky and bad-ass persona reminiscent of his Boondock Saints character, Murphy McManus. The potential for another cult hit is all, but certain.After years of perseverance and creative marketing, the producers of the film built up a significant online presence for The Beatnicks. "It was about 2 years ago that enough people were asking for the film that made me regroup, put my filmmaker hat back on and take on the challenge of self distribution. What's amazing about distribution today, is that the internet has created a whole new science out of getting your film to its target audience and I have only scraped the surface." says Garen Topalian, executive producer of the movie.
Included in the giveaway;
- The Beatnicks Soundtrack & DVD- Signed by actor Norman Reedus.
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Giveaway Details;
For your chance to win The Beatnicks’ Soundtrack & DVD, signed by Norman Reedus, simply email your full name and email address* to giveaway@tcwreviews.com (only 1 entry per person, additional entries will be disqualified) and return on Tuesday, April 6th to see if you are the randomly selected winner.
Giveaway Notice;
- One entry per household, One winner per household- One prize to be given to one person- Ends Tuesday, April 6th, 2010.
 
* Additional information will not be required until after the winner has been selected.

Review: The Book of Eli (2010) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes
Written by: Gary Whitta (written by)
Genre: Action / Drama / Sci-Fi
MPAA: Rated R for some brutal violence and language.
Released: 15 January 2010 (USA)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals.

Plot: A lone hero must fight his way across the wasteland of post-apocalyptic America to protect a sacred book that holds the key to saving the future of humanity.

Review: 9/10

The Story is about: Eli (Washington) has been on a journey for 30 years, walking west across America after a cataclysmic war that turned the earth into a total wasteland. The world has become a lawless civilization where people must kill or be killed. The barren roads belong to gangs of cutthroats who rob and kill for whatever goods they find. Eli is a peaceful man who only acts in self defense, and becomes a warrior with unbelievable killing skills when he is challenged. After the war, Eli was guided by a higher power to a hidden book and given the task of protecting the book and taking it to its final destination. Eli guards the book with his life, because he knows that the book is the only hope that humanity has for its future.

My Thoughts: In our world today we take so much for granted, we waste food and water likes it’s going out of style because these necessities hold no value to many of us, or the fact that the warmth of respect and kindness seems to be demising on a rapid rate and being replace with pointless panther over who’s right and who’s wrong, everyone wants to be victor no matter the cost, it’s these very principles that push us closer than ever before to the edge of oblivion. The question is, what will become of us after the great plunge?

Denzel Washington takes a leap of faith into the post-apocalyptic Action Sci-Fi The Book of Eli. The film focus on Washington’s character, Eli, a man who’s been walking the doomed wastelands for little over 30 years since the end of a great war the devastated the globe crushed all known sense of social governing, in his possession is the only known remaining copy of the King James Bible. He’s protecting it because he believes that God led him to discover it so that he may deliver it’s knowledge to someone who’ll preserve it for the future of mankind, but in the wake of his journey there are those trying to get their hands on it specifically to use it as a weapon. The film is an epic new take on the post-apocalyptic genre, and I must stress the word EPIC here, because the film will without a doubt blow your mind on an epic proportion, with stylish and memorizing cinematography that is visually stunning to say the least, and the score, oh how moving it is, Atticus Ross composes a score for the Book of Eli that honestly tells a story all on it‘s on within it’s notes, filled with emotionally charged sounds the score for this film is a must listen to. Now I want to fully say here and now, if you are not a person of faith I would step back from wanting to see this film, because you’ll only become filled with aggravation from watching this film, yes it’s heavily religious based, and yes the journey this film goes through is in itself a testament to Faith in a higher power, so if you don’t believe in a faith of some sort don’t waist your money by watching something that will leave you fully frustrated by the end of the film. Now if you’re a person of faith or at least open minded to a film with a faith based concept and morals, than the Book of Eli is defiantly a film that will not disappoint.

Because it’s a gritty and somewhat syndical look at a grimy future where there are no rules to live by other than surviving, it’s ether kill or get killed, people! And the faster you learn this the better off you‘ll be. The film’s plot is defiantly not an original one I can tell you that, but what it does is show you is that; even in man’s most darkest hour hope still loves on. The film is jammed packed with pulse pounding action that is both extremely gory and stylish almost on the near level of a graphic novel. What makes it so interesting is that most of it comes to you unexpectedly and leaves you breathless. The plot in itself is like a splice between a post Apocalyptic version of the classic Clint Eastwood western ‘Unforgiven’ and Japan’s legendary film series ‘Zatoichi‘, mixing awesome martial arts and blade welding fights with classic style gun slinging action. It also works pretty well on the motion that we are giving very little information on how exactly the war started or who launched nukes onto who first, the only thing the viewer get is a mild hint at what might have caused society to go so wrong, also it doesn’t give much as to why humanity’s survivors decided to destroy all know surviving bibles, only that man blamed religion and felt if everything that made us civil was gone so should it. This of course gives the viewers and excellent sense of control that allows the individual decide what the real caused motives might have been behind the war. The movie however doesn’t go with out a few cons I might add, while I enjoyed the mass majority of the plot, I felt the story ran it’s course quite fast towards the end, almost like the ending was rushed to reach it’s ultimate message, which in turn is revealed as a final and major twist in the end, which itself is a play at having faith in a higher power to guide you through the storm of life, I strongly feel the there was more to the story that could have been told before reaching that point, like a little more back story behind our mysterious hero Eli, we know almost nothing about his life before the story take place other than the fact he’s been roaming the earth for 30 something years, thus leaving him as a 2-demantional character in the film. Other than that the film was a real pleasure to view and a worthy contender for being a top film for this year.

As for the acting: Viewers are treated with nothing short of top notch performances by the whole cast here. For starters, Denzel Washington really stands out in this for giving one of the most memorable and unique of performance’s in his career. For those of you, like myself, who’ve closely watched his career over the years would notice that he’s always stuck close to playing very talkative characters, may it be any one of the many different genres he’s crossed into as an actor he’s shown that his best attributes on screen has been good looks and the ability to deliver slick smooth talking dialogue and lots of it, no matter how horrible the film may be, once you got him talking some of that dislike will just melt away. However it seems that this time around while in the role of Eli, he take a leap out of the norm and plays a character that has very little say, but much to express. Not only does this prove to be very affective on screen, but it shows that he can evolve into new roles and exciting possibilities. I’m a long time Gary Oldman fan, he simply can’t do any wrong when it comes to acting in my opinion, and in the book of eli he shows just that playing in the role of Carnegie, by proving that no matter what type of a role you put him in he’ll shine in it, though he does great playing the good guy from time to time his best has always been playing the antagonist, and it’s nice to see him return to the role of the antagonist in this, he gives the character this perfect blend of dark jaded cynicism and near psychotic greed, that he’ll do anything to get what he wants even if it means destroying everything in the process. I’ve really become impressed with the way Mila Kunis’s career has developed over the last few years, she’s gone from being just ‘That’ girl you see on the side lines to being a real heavy hitter, and does so graciously in the leading female role, and give us a little taste at the end at what a film at this magnitude would be like with her in the leading role. Ray Stevenson does a magnificent job in his performance as Redridge, because though he’s Carnegie’s second in command and most of the time just the scum of the earth, you can’t help but feel something for his character, because it’s like he does mean well most of the time, but like the main villain, he often put his own selfish greed before others. Last but certainly not least, actress Jennifer Beals does a wonderful performance in the role of Claudia had perfect chemistry alongside actress Mila Kunis playing as mother and daughter.

Final Say: The Book of Eli was a powerful and engaging film from start to finish, and makes the viewers question themselves if all this arrogance we show towards each other is worth in, when the possible outcome could one day result in something like this, it also makes you value the more simpler things in life, like food, water and the kindness and companionship towards our fellow man. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian or not, but a believer of faith in general or at least open minded to it, you’ll defiantly want to see The Book of Eli. I highly recommend it!

Copyright 2010 TCWreviews.com
All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 12, 2010

Review: American Pie Presents: The Book of Love (2009) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: John Putch
Written by: David H. Steinberg (written by) Adam Herz (characters)
Genre: Comedy
MPAA: Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content, language and drinking, all involving teens.
Released: 22 December 2009 (USA)
Starring: Bug Hall, Kevin M. Horton, Brandon Hardesty, Melanie Papalia, John Patrick Jordan, Jennifer Holland,

Plot: three friend who are helpless virgins: Rob (Bug Hall), Nathan (Kevin M. Horton) and Lube (Brandon Hardesty). accidentally finds the legendary "Bible" and decides to use it’s knowledge to teach them how to get laid.


Review: 7/10

The Story is about: Ten years after the first American Pie movie, three new hapless virgins discover the Bible hidden in the school library at East Great Falls High. Unfortunately for them, the book is ruined, and with incomplete advice, this leads the boys down a hilarious journey to hunt down those who wrote in the bible and repair so that they can learn it’s knowledge to lose their virginity and possibly find love in the process.

My Thoughts: Raunchy comedies have always been a guilty pleasure of mine, manly because their usually the type of film you’d never watch with another person for a number of many reason, a few of course can range from the humor being too obscene and lewd to watch with loved ones, or simply because the film is beyond the level of cheesiness for you to view with your friends without feeling like a totally A** for having such a film in your library, you know the type of film I’m talking about, too much cheese for anyone one person to handle in front of others, and believe me, we’ve all got at least one of those guilty pleasures laying around.

Which brings me to one of my all time guilty pleasures, American Pie (1999), the franchise which has gone from being just a trilogy has turned itself into an entity quite similar to that of the National Lampoon series, and gone on to make two sequels and four direct-to-DVD spin-offs. Now I’ve argued in the past that the quality and integrity of the franchise diminished after the release of American Wedding (2003) I mean lets face it folks, the Jim and Michelle saga ended on a rather low key note compared to it’s predecessor, which made AW feel like a PG-13 romantic chick flick. Now Band Camp (2005) was a huge improvement in salvaging what respect the film series had left, but that success was unfortunately short lived when a year later American Pie Presents The Naked Mile (2006) was released, suddenly two things became very clear, 1. The writers and the studios felt that trading up decent writing and quality humor for cheep thrills was worth it if it meant more bang for their buck, and 2. Giving the viewing audience needless and uncalled for nudity was the perfect cover for the fact that the acting was a total disaster, and don’t get me started on that soft-core porn rip-off (the plot of Animal House keeps coming to mind when watching it) they called Beta House (2007), that film pretty much buried the franchise under six feet of dirt for me, and left me utterly disgusted in disappointment with the way the franchise was treated and had me hopping that this was going to be the last we’d ever see the title ‘American Pie Presents’ on the cover of a another title in the raunchy genre.

But low and behold I was mistaken, and in some strange turn of events, right for it. I originally had no intention what-so-ever in viewing than alone reviewing American Pie Presents: The Book of Love (2009) because if I’ve learned anything it’s that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks anymore than you can turn the town slut into a saint. But don’t scratch The Book of Love off your list just yet! Despite my deep criticism towards this franchise for it’s lackluster performance in the past, it’s newest installment has in fact manage to do the unimaginable by breathing new life into a series that was once unredeemable until now. The Book of Love takes the entire franchise back to it’s original grass roots of wild teenage adolescence and raging hormones, or in other words, it’s returned back to basics, but don’t think that because it’s gone back to it’s roots doesn’t mean it’s not as raunchy enough for the times, the film still maintains a raunchy title but does so in a more tasteful manner, meaning the eye candy isn’t thrown out there on screen for no apparent reason, much like the original American Pie, The Book of Love is more character driven than it’s predecessor that mainly revolved around senseless humor and over the top nudity everywhere. This time around the film’s main plot focuses on what got the subplot to the very first American Pie film going, the legendry ‘Bible’ which has been sought after by many but only few had been chosen to learn of it’s knowledge to become the ultimate lover.

Now for those who haven’t seen the first film and don ‘t know exactly what I’m talking about, in the fist American Pie, one of the main characters inherits the bible from his older brother after expressing that he wanted to please his girlfriend in the bedroom, but little is ever explained about this mysterious book and it’s origin. In this new spin-off we learn of the origin of the elusive book and who’s it’s true creator, The story takes place at East Great Falls High, ten years after the first American Pie film, with the protagonists of the film being three hapless virgins: Rob (Bug Hall), Nathan (Kevin M. Horton) and Lube (Brandon Hardesty). After Rob accidentally sets fire to the school library he discovers the book, but sadly for him and his buddies, the book is damaged beyond repair, now it’s up to the three of them to hunt down the creator of the book and it’s contributors over the years so they can re-print it. Unlike the last film the viewers can actually relate to the atmosphere surrounding the main characters and for a change the female leads aren’t just gorgeous bodies flaunting themselves on screen with no talent to show for it. Though I greatly enjoyed the film, it doesn’t go without flaws. Despite the film having some pretty big plot holes, the major problem with the film lays in the fact that the main plot doesn’t truly pick up and take off until about the mid point of the film, making the viewer question weather or not the filmmakers couldn’t decade what the film’s main focus was going to be. On the upside I’m glad to see that the Stifler name has rightly returned to it’s roots of being the antagonist of the film and NOT the hero.

As for the acting: as standard for films like this, the acting comes off rather mediocre as usual, but it’s a huge step up from the last film which was so terribly delivered that it wasn’t even passable for the standards of an alcoholic on his second case of beer. But in The Book of Love the acting is very much enjoyable now that it’s returned it’s focus it’s delivery the story and not bare breasts bouncing around. Bug Hall was fairly okay as the film’s lead protagonist, giving a performance that makes you feel for his character (Rob) who seems to have the worst of luck by having all of his embarrassing antics broadcasted on the internet by his younger brother, it’s nice to see such a familiar face like Hall stepping out of his innocent childhood days of acting and into something more fitting his age. Beth Behrs did fairly okay for a film like this, but I think she could have done a lot better, it’s not that she wasn’t the best she could be, but rather holding back on what could have been a fantastic performance. Kevin M. Horton was not very impressive, I mean aside from the fact his character was side tracked early on in the film to provide a bigger part for the other characters, his performance came off very un-impressive and easily forgettable.

Brandon Hardesty is not your traditional style actor, I mean let’s face it people, posting YouTube videos of yourself hardly merits being called an ‘Actor’ in my book, and though he had something going well with his character, it just seemed way too unoriginal in that seen it a million time sense, I’m also starting to get tired seeing al these web-actors popping out of the wood works thinking they can call themselves actors just because they can read lines in front of a camera (But to be fair, I can’t really judge because I’m no better, I call myself a critic just because I write a review on the internet [Laughs]). John Patrick Jordan who plays the latest member of the ever so growing Stifler family, though I appreciated the fact the Stifler name has returned to being the antagonist of the series I was not however happy with Jordan’s performance, which seems like a lousy rip-off of Seann William Scott’s performance of Steve Stifler in the first three American Pie films. Eugene Levy is a real decent actor, who’ve been quite the number of comedic hits over the years, and I respect his style as an actor, I really do, but I cannot be the only one who’s getting just a little sick and tired of him playing a character that shouldn’t even be a part of the storyline anymore, and yet here he is, playing Jim’s Dad in every damn spin-off film in the series. Melanie Papalia, Jennifer Holland and Louisa Lytton, who plays the other leading ladies of the film do fairly decent aside from looking without a doubt stunning, the only disappointment was they weren’t given a good enough development in the story for you to apr├Ęs heat. Aside for the rest of the cast the film is filled with a slew of well known former child stars now grown up which was amusing to see.


Final Say: After sitting with my train of thought over the film I’ve come to realize that, the Book of Love is probably the most soft-core slice of pie in the entire series, trading most of the eye candy opportunities for more comic driven set ups, thus making this film more in tune with the beginning of the series than any other film before it. Though the film has it’s rough spots and slight disappointments I still found the film to be very enjoyable and wouldn’t mind diving back into it again someday. I recommend it!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Corey Haim Passes Away At 38!

Growing up in 90s I had a great deal of movie idols, which were mainly from films released in the 80s. And let me tell you, anyone who was alive during the 80s and early 90s can tell you that the two (2) Cory’s (Corey Feldman and Corey Haim) were the ’it’ duo for youngsters, tweens and teens alike. And rather you liked the movies they were in or not, you still rushed out the door to your nearest cinema. Sadly though, for all heartthrobs and childhood actors, time is always your enemy, and as they get older the audience tends to lose interest.

Former child actor Corey Haim past away early Wednesday morning, March 10th 2010. There have been reports by various news outlets that the LAPD has stated his death was likely due to accidental Drug overdose. Haim admitted publicly not long ago that he had battled drug addiction his whole life and claimed that he would never be able to fully beat his addictions for good. While they may be the case at the moment nothing should be ruled out until after a thorough autopsy and toxicology report has been completed. Haim struggled with a drug problem most of his life, but had claimed prior to his death that he had cleaned up and was focusing his time at working hard for his comeback as an actor and was certainly doing so while promoting his newest film, American Sunset, as well as several other projects that has yet to be realest.

Many celebrities came out to show their support and condolences towards Haim’s family on their twitter page.

Alyssa Milano: Just woke up to the sad, sad news that Corey Haim passed away. RIP sweet boy.

Ashton Kutcher: Rip Corey Haim “Childhood hero”

Christina Applegate: My thoughts go out to Corey’s family and friends today. So sad.

Ralph Macchio: Always so sad and disturbing when the addiction and demons prevail. RIP Corey Haim

A&E Television: We are saddened by the tragic loss of Corey Haim who we had the pleasure to work with on the series ‘The Two Coreys…. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.

Khloe Kardashian: So sad! God bless!!!

Lisa Ling: Goodbye Lucus. RIP Corey Haim

Director Kevin Smith: Lost Boy goes home: Corey Haim, dead at 38. G’bye, LUCAS. You gave hope to the weird & unlikely.

Hoda Kotb: so sad about corey haim…..

Marlee Matlin: Another actor dies because of drug addiction. In this case RIP Corey Haim.

Melissa Joan Hart: No way! I just saw him last week at a Lupus event! RIP!

Corey Haim is most remembered for staring roles in such films as; Silver Bullet (1985), Lucas (1986), The Lost Boys (1987), License to Drive (1988), and Prayer of the Rollerboys (1990).

Corey Ian Haim
December 23, 1971 – March 10, 2010
R.I.P.