Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Collector

A Panther Joe Misdemeanor

Director: Marcus Dunstan
Starring: Josh Stewart, Karley Scott Collins, Juan Fernandez
Release: Summer 2009

Horror fans rejoice! The Collector is an American-style horror/thriller that brings in several keystone elements of the genre and overlays them on a story that reminds you of one of those too-weird-to-be-true stories that were popular several decades ago.

Arkin (Josh Stewart) desperately needs money. It is supposed to be for his wife who owes money to loan sharks but it could have easily been several other problematic debts. He determines the best way to obtain the dough is to rob one of his customers, a jewel broker who lives in a secluded country house. Arkin is a handyman and has been working on the family's house for a while and has ascertained the owner has a jewel in a safe that will more than repay his wife's debt.

This is the point of the movie things just start getting bizarre. His plan to rob the safe is interrupted when he discovers another intruder in the house with much more sinister plans. Sinister as in torture and intricate booby traps. Now Arkin doesn't seem like such a bad guy but more like the only hope this poor family has for survival.

The synopsis tells you of the booby-trapped house and whatnot, but as I was swimming further into this flick I was thinking one thing: Saw. And then after the movie I read this tidbit:

"Originally titled The Midnight Man, the script was originally intended to be a Saw prequel, but the producers were against the idea and quickly dismissed it." source via Wiki

SPOILERS AND WTF? RAMBLINGS AHEAD!

I really enjoyed the aspect that this wasn't a ripoff of the Saw franchise but was cut from the same cloth. The viewer is treated to a labyrinth of deadly traps and a cool birds-eye-view depiction of the cat and mouse game that is Arkin eluding The Collector. It was as if they cut off the roof of the house and we see Arkin darting through various rooms while The Collector is investigating. 
The only hangup I had with this movie, albeit a 700-pound gorilla sized hangup, was the set-up for the whole movie. We are to believe all this takes place in one day, which starts with Arkin and others working on the house before the family leaves on vacation. Later in the night, Arkin comes back to rob the place only to be ambushed with the endless booby traps. Think Home Alone but the trap expert has ten times the budget and twenty times the direction. 

The reason I say this is because we see the family has clearly been kidnapped and tied up, which would essentially make the traps useless. The only thing I can think of is he kidnapped the family as they were departing for vacation, brought them back and turned their house into a live action Mouse Trap. 

That kind of makes sense, but it is also clear The Collector has no idea where the two daughters are, whether somewhere in the large house or out doing teenage stuff, like hazing in the cornfields. Either way, his angle was to keep things contained or from keeping intruders out, which really says something about his kidnapping self-esteem. 

END SPOILERS

The acting was nothing special but appropriate for the setting. The little girl reminded me of Dakota Fanning and the killer kept us in suspense with his sweeping movements and creepy mask. A nod goes to Josh Stewart for pulling off the down-on-his-luck country boy turned hero role. Upon first seeing Stewart in the movie I had recognized him immediately as the guy who knocked up my favorite character on Criminal Minds, Agent Jennifer Jareau, lopping off about 500 joules off her hotness factor. To say I already hated the protagonist because of this wouldn't be a lie. 
Fans of realistic horror will more than likely enjoy this film. It has a little bit of everything--gore in moderation, the quick set-up with disposable characters, the who-dunnit factor, and excess female nudity. I have to say I enjoyed the ending mostly because it was unexpected. Far too many times these endings are like that of a rollercoaster where you are gently shuffled back to whence you came and think that because of the oh-so-many zany twists and turns you experienced throughout the ride you need a cooling off...

but that's why they call this guy "The Collector."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mothman

A Sy-Fy Original Movie Review by Alan Trehern

Welcome back Not Just New Movie-goers to another Trehern-ified review of a sub-par horror/sci-fi cinematic experience. For those of you who don't know me, it's too late now to get caught up, because this review is going down. RIGHT. NOW.

Mothman (2010)
Directed by Sheldon Wilson
Starring Jewel Staite and the Mothman
This movie actually began pretty legitimately, and I was kind of surprised since Sy-Fy movies are notorious for being legendarily abominable. It starts out with some generic teenagers hanging out at some crik in West Virginia; never a good idea. Well, one guy's little brother drowns because the kids were rough-housing with him. They attempt to resuscitate him in like 5 seconds and presume him dead after 11 seconds... Meaning they're a) doctors or b) complete morons. The answer is B, by the way.

Alright, so we have this dead child on our hands. What do we do? Call for help? Go to the nearest hospital? No, we decided to each beat him in the head with a rock to make it look like he hit his head. I guess these West Virginians have never seen an episode of CSI, but that's not how it works.

10 Years Later...

Jewel Staite has moved to Washington DC to become a journalist, and is sent back to her hometown of Point Pleasant where the Mothman Festival is being held. Now we still don't know what this Mothman is, we just hear about it. I guess it's a real hokey legend somewhere in the world, but I assumed it was a science experiment turned wrong when somebody became half-man/half-moth. That's kinda what drew me to the movie in the first place, hoping to see how they'd make a half-man/half-moth somewhat frightening. I was let down.

Now the movie doesn't get turrible until the very end, where this mythical Mothman escapes from its mirror-dream world (yup.) and terrorizes the sinners of Point Pleasant, WV...which happens to be everybody because they live in West Virginia.

It turns out, according to the old coot Frank, the Mothman was an Indian chief whipped and beaten by the White Man. Also, Point Pleasant was inhabited by an evil spirit and not even the Native Americans would settle down on, so all this combines to the creation of the Mothman, who seeks justice against those who have done wrong.

So in reality, these kids have it coming. Not only for their pure stupidity, but for the fact THEY LET A KID DIE THEN BEAT HIM IN THE HEAD MULTIPLE TIMES WITH A ROCK !! So for the entirety of the film, you end up rooting for the quote-on-quote villain while approving of the putrid deaths of these retarded kids.

Conclusion
Things I liked about this movie? Little to nothing. The Mothman was pretty cool-looking, but he's still a monster based on a moth. Those are like the poor-man's ugly butterflies, and their weakness to light makes them easily beatable. And the twist ending was alright, I guess. I used to think Jewel Staite was okaaay looking, but it looks like she's content with making this sci-fi crap and not working out. I mean, you make hundreds of thousands of dollars, take a couple minutes to use the BoFlex. Geez!

In conclusion, Sy-Fy movies STILL suck, so don't bother watching this one unless your Blockbuster has burned to the ground or you live in West Virginia. You know, cause that's the only VHS in the entire state... Yep, the only VHS...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Summer Movie Preview 2010

I thought I'd throw together a little Summer Movie Preview to A) let you know what's coming out over the next few months and B) give you my thoughts on what I'm looking forward to. This is a new feature I hope to start doing here (Fall Movie Preview, etc.), so grab your calendars and mark those dates along the way.

MAY

Iron Man 2 - May 7th: Locking down the same "first weekend in May" release slot as the original, Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2 effectively kicks off the summer. Robert Downey, Jr. returns as Tony Stark in the highly-anticipated follow-up to the spectacular Iron Man. The buzz on this project has been incredibly varied for the past few months, and as we approach the release date (which is only two and a half weeks away as I type), word of mouth seems to be on a positive upswing. Here's hoping this film can capture the tone of the original and not succumb to Spider-Man 3 syndrome (read: too many characters involved).

Robin Hood - May 14th: Look, it's obvious to everyone that this looks like Gladiator 2. But I'm willing to give director Ridley Scott the benefit of the doubt on this one; he's directed these period pieces before (2005's Kingdom of Heaven, most recently) and I honestly believe that he wouldn't be returning to the genre if he didn't have something original to contribute. These projects are too expansive and exhausting to be a cash grab, and this production in particular has a troubled history (one which I'll detail if I review the film). I don't think this will be the best movie of the summer by a long shot, but I think it'll definitely be watchable.

MacGruber - May 21st: I've never seen the MacGruber sketch on Saturday Night Live, so unless I score some sort of free screening to this movie there's no way I'm seeing it. Val Kilmer's presence is almost enough to change my mind, but not quite. That being said, this film obviously doesn't take itself seriously and might be a fun ride for fans of the sketch.

Shrek: Forever After - May 21st: There's no way I'm seeing this. This franchise should have ended years ago.

Sex and the City 2 - May 27th: Someone explain to me why these women are in Dubai or wherever the hell they are. Never mind - I don't care.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - May 28th: Mike Newell may be a respected director, and I may have played (and enjoyed) the old school PC game and two of the four new releases for the next generation consoles, but the horrific miscasting of Jake Gyllenhaal combined with Bruckheimer's signature style in all the wrong ways tells me to avoid this at all costs. The buzz on this one is not good, so I'm probably going to sit it out and - maybe - wait for the DVD.

JUNE

Get Him To The Greek - June 4th: The spiritual sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall features Russell Brand reprising his hilarious role as British rocker Aldous Snow in this comedy from Universal Pictures. Jonah Hill (NOT reprising his Sarah Marshall character) plays a record label intern tasked with the titular job, and craziness ensues on their quest to arrive at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. I'm actually looking forward to this one - Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller wrote and directed this film, so I'm sure it will have similar sensibilities (and hopefully a Kristen Bell cameo).

Killers - June 4th: This cinematic pile of potential garbage stars two of the least interesting people in Hollywood right now: Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl. If this movie was made in 2003 or 2004, it may have been watchable. But now, after Mr. and Mrs. Smith and so many other similar movies already released? I think I'll pass.

The A-Team - June 11th: I wasn't on board with this film after seeing the teaser trailer, but after seeing the full-length cut, I think I'm sold. Jessica Biel (me-YOW) actually delivers the following line: "They specialize in the ridiculous!" Obviously we know what kind of movie this is going to be, and with a cast that features Liam Neeson, The Hangover's Bradley Cooper, and District 9's Sharlto Copley, you can count me in for the absolute insanity we're sure to see on the big screen.

The Karate Kid - June 11th: As soon as this project was announced, I knew I had no interest. Some of you may feel differently, and that's the only reason I've included this movie. Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi? Sorry dude - you can definitely kick ass, but you're no Pat Morita. And I'll reiterate the vocal cry collectively raised by the internet since the day we heard the project was announced: this film is set in China. They do kung fu in China. They do karate in Japan. This should be called The Kung Fu Kid. Actually, this project probably shouldn't exist at all. Go back and watch the original; Elisabeth Shue is worth the re-watch.

Jonah Hex - June 18th: Another film with a troubled history, this one has been getting some really awful buzz lately. Based on the comic of which I've read a few (thanks Jared), Jonah Hex is essentially an Eastwood-esque cowboy who wanders through the Old West kicking ass and getting all kinds of revenge. Rumors of the inclusion of supernatural elements coupled with this film being the live-action directorial debut of director Jimmy Hayward have me more than a bit wary, not to mention the fact that it's halfway through April and we haven't seen any footage yet. Tread carefully with this one, but the "Josh Brolin vs. John Malkovich" factor may be enough to put it over the edge.

Toy Story 3 - June 18th: Pixar's next animated film will be good, I'm sure - but that doesn't mean I plan on seeing it. We grew up with Toy Story, but I feel like I've outgrown these characters. A third film just seems like a retread. I've heard fantastic things about the final 30 minutes of the movie, so maybe I'm wrong. But I just don't have much interest in revisiting Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the gang anymore.

Knight and Day - June 25th: Now this is a film I'm looking forward to. Tom Cruise is back, and this time it appears as if he's fully aware of the public perception of him as a crazy man. If his performance in the trailer is any indication of the tone of this movie, I'm going to absolutely love it. He's wild ("I'm the guy!") and outrageous, and if I can just get past the fact that Cameron Diaz is in this movie, I'll be good to go.

Twilight Saga: Eclipse - June 30th: Is it time for another one of these already? Yeesh.

JULY

The Last Airbender - July 2nd: M. Night Shyamalan hasn't made it easy to be one of his supporters with his past few directorial efforts, but I'm still holding out hope that he can bring something interesting to the table. This film, based on a well-loved cartoon, has been drawing racial controversies over the casting of the lead characters, but since I've never seen the original show I have nothing on which to base my perception. Even though I consider myself a fan of Night, I still might not see this one in theaters.

Predators - July 7th: Nimrod Antal's Predators looks like the Predator sequel we should have gotten back in the last 1980's. Robert Rodriguez is producing the film, and even though there's some bizarre casting going on here (Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace), I think this one could be just enough to hold action fans over until The Expendables.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - July 16th: Nic Cage as a sorcerer teaching Jay Baruchel the art of magic? As awesome as Cage was in Kick-Ass, I'll probably sit this one out as well.

Inception - July 16th: Hands down my most anticipated film of the summer (and arguably the year). I fully expect for this to be one of my favorite movies of all time - which I realize is a mind-boggling amount of pressure to put on any film - but I'm confident that Chris Nolan, DiCaprio, and Co. can rise to the occasion.

Dinner for Schmucks - July 23rd: I like Steve Carell, and I like Paul Rudd. But I just don't think this movie looks very funny.

Salt - July 23rd: Tom Cruise was attached to this film and ended up dropping out. The film was re-worked for Angelina Jolie, but watching the trailer it's obvious that they didn't do too much altering to the script; this still feels very much like a Tom Cruise movie. Looks cool to me, so I'll probably see it.

AUGUST

The Other Guys - August 6th: The latest film from director Adam McKay sounds like a concept I came up with years ago: what is it like to live in the same world as a supercop? Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play regular police officers in the same precinct as two supercops played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson. I'm glad to see Ferrell continuing to stay away from sports-themed comedies since he overdosed on those a few years back, and this looks like a worthy follow-up to Step Brothers.

The Expendables - August 13th: I've written about this project before, and I've yet to see a trailer for the movie. But I'm sure it'll be awesome.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World - August 13th: The teaser trailer for this film is one of my favorite teasers in recent memory, and after reading the fantastic source material on which this film is based, I'm totally sold on this movie. The casting is absolute perfection, and Edgar Wright looks like he could provide a real game-changer with this movie. I can't wait.

Now you can respond with some real answers when your friends ask you, "what movies are coming out this summer?" I'll keep you updated along the way, and maybe I'll do a little recap at the end to compare my predictions with my actual reactions. As always, thanks for reading. Until next time...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Kick-Ass

I'm not going to claim this is the best movie of the year, or the best comic book movie of all time (I've warned against that before). But I will say that I had an absolute blast in the theater, and I think at year's end I'll be debating whether I had more fun in Tron Legacy, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Expendables*, or Kick-Ass.

Kick-Ass
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse


Brief backstory for the uninitiated: Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. created a comic book version of Kick-Ass back in 2008. Director Matthew Vaughn secured the rights to the film before the comic was even published, and began working on the movie at the same time that Millar continued work on his comic series. Vaughn shopped the script around to various studios, but due to the graphic violence (mostly involving children), the studios suggested Vaughn change the film to a PG-13 movie and cut the character of Hit-Girl completely. Luckily for us, Vaughn decided to independently finance the film outside of the studio system so he didn't have to compromise his vision; after the film was finished, he screened some of the movie at 2009's Comic-Con to rave reviews. Vaughn returned to the studios to secure distribution rights, and eventually Lionsgate decided to pick up the movie for release. The lesson here? Matthew Vaughn is the man - having the balls to finance something yourself and not compromise your vision will almost always equal a superior product.


Now that the history lesson is over, let's get to the plot. Dave Lizewski is a teenager living in New York who, "like most kids [his] age, just exist." He's kind of a geek, reads comics, is bad with the ladies, and fantasizes about his English teacher. Dave, played admirably by up-and-comer Aaron Johnson, wonders aloud to his friends why no one has ever tried to become a superhero. Eventually, he buys a scuba suit, sets up a MySpace page taking crime fighting requests, and dubbing himself "Kick-Ass" in the process.

Here's where it gets interesting - up until this point, the movie has taken itself pretty seriously. It presents a realistic world with real consequences and treats the brief high school segments with a nice authenticity. But - MINOR SPOILER - when Kick-Ass is violently hit by a car in his disastrous first outing, the movie becomes a meta-narrative on the very nature of comic book films. Thanks to his injuries, Dave is imbued with a borderline superhero ability to withstand pain: his broken bones have been fixed with metal rods and some of his nerve endings are shot, causing Dave to compare himself to Wolverine when he glances at his X-rays.

Near this point, we're also introduced to Big Daddy (a rare post-Y2K solid performance from Nicolas Cage) and the already-infamous-in-the-media Hit Girl (played wonderfully by Chloe Moretz), a father/daughter team of what could only be described as actual superheroes. With the introduction of these characters, Kick-Ass abandons its realistic aspirations and embraces what the movie truly is: a hyper-violent self-aware comic book film. Big Daddy and the 11-year-old Hit Girl are an updated version of Jean Reno and Natalie Portman from The Professional; Daddy trains daughter to be an efficient killing machine. One particularly cool sequence details their family's backstory in a quasi-3D that didn't require glasses (it's a more advanced version of this effect, in which the camera rotates around and shows the individual elements as fully-realized shapes instead of just a 2D layer).


Enter the villainous Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong), a cartoonish seedy crime boss, and his son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who eventually becomes a fake superhero named Red Mist. Strong has secured his place on my "actors to watch" list thanks to performances in Body of Lies and RockNRolla, and he is perfectly cast here. Mintz-Plasse is convincing as the aspiring bad guy desperate for his father's approval, and does some good work in this flick. The former McLovin' is finally stepping out of his Superbad shadow with good turns in Role Models and How to Train Your Dragon, so I think he's making a transition out of the "one-hit wonder" category.


If I didn't know any better, I'd say Kick-Ass was made by someone who began watching films in 1990 but has only ever seen action flicks, comic book blockbusters, and the occasional comedy. It relies heavily on The Matrix in terms of style and even lifts settings outright from the Wachowskis' classic (a lobby fight, Kick-Ass and Red Mist's final fight scene, the jet pack "shooting through the window" scene, etc). That being said, I think Kick-Ass is going to be very well-received right now, but might not hold up as well over time (and certainly not as well as The Matrix).

I had some problems with this film, most notably the romance between Dave and Katie. Due to a series of circumstances too ridiculous to list, everyone at Dave's school believes him to be gay - even Katie. She wants Dave as her gay best friend, and he plays along so he can spend time with her. Eventually (as I'm sure you can guess), they become more than friends, but that relationship always felt like the weakest aspect to this movie.

SPOILER ALERT FOR THE REST OF THIS REVIEW


My favorite scene in the film was the hallway fight near the end. Hit Girl makes her way into the lair of Frank D'Amico and corners herself into an almost inescapable situation where she has her back to multiple men with guns. While I thought the more reasonable outcome would be Kick-Ass returning at that exact moment to save her, apparently Vaughn and company had a different idea. In a scene that would make Tony Jaa raise his eyebrows, Hit Girl completely eviscerates every single guy in that hallway, stimulating my audience into loud bouts of cheering. For those still on the fence about seeing this movie, imagine the "gunkata" fight scenes from Equilibrium and you'll have a decent idea of what to expect.


Also of note: Hit Girl's introduction (getting shot in the chest by Big Daddy), her fighting introduction (in the apartment), and the first-person sequence in which she saves Kick-Ass using night vision goggles (executed better than some video games I've seen). Actually, I'll go ahead and say that every scene Hit Girl is in can be counted among the best parts of the movie. I also liked the True Lies callback at the end with the bazooka, and Nic Cage's Adam West-inspired delivery when he embodies the character of Big Daddy.

This is an interesting movie; it has the potential to deliver some insightful commentary (and it does, to a small extent), but instead decides to take a hard right into ridiculous territory and chooses to just cut loose and give the audience what they want instead of providing brief glimpses of what we want between message-heavy moments. Even taking my problems with the film into account, I'm definitely glad I paid money to see this in a theater. Until next time...

*A trailer for The Expendables came on before Kick-Ass, but I closed my eyes and clamped my ears shut. I'm hoping that I can avoid any sort of marketing before opening day: I'm going in fresh for this one.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Date Night

Shawn Levy hasn't exactly been on my personal watch-list of directors in recent years. Night at the Museum didn't do anything for me, and I literally did not crack a smile watching his 2006 Pink Panther film. But Date Night was a surprisingly fun comedy that, while silly at some points, has an undeniable charm to it. There are way worse things to see in a theater right now, so if you haven't seen How To Train Your Dragon yet, I'd say give it a shot.

Date Night
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey


I wasn't thrilled about seeing this film. My apprehension began with my first viewing of the trailer, filled with broad comedy, a tired "marriage in a rut" premise, and a "one crazy night" structure which seemed painfully middle-of-the-road. I didn't think the film could overcome these elements and rise above its central conceit, but I was wrong. Carell and Fey elevate the material much higher than it has any right to be, and their performances (their chemistry, in particular) allows us to put aside notions of legitimacy and overlook ridiculous plot details in the hopes of seeing these lovable characters work out their problems and live to see the light of the next day.


Carell and Fey are goofy and honest as Phil and Claire Foster, a New Jersey couple whose marriage is beginning to stagnate. They are very much in love, but thanks to busy work schedules (he's a tax advisor, she's a realtor) and the daily routine of raising their three kids, they have lost a bit of the spark that brought them together. Most of the film's heart shines through these characters in little moments: on their regular date night at the local steakhouse, they play games with each other, humorously creating backstories and dialogue for other couples in the restaurant. Spurred into action after learning of their friends' impending divorce, Phil and Claire deviate from their normal Jersey steakhouse and head for an exclusive restaurant in Manhattan. When they assume the identity of "the Tripplehorns" to snag a table, a case of mistaken identity throws our heroes straight into film noir territory, complete with dirty cops, corrupt public officials, low level thugs, and everything in between.


The side characters aren't quite as entertaining as the leads, but they hold just enough weight to earn their way past cameo status. Mark Wahlberg is funny as the perpetually shirtless Holbrooke Grant, a former client of Claire's to whom the couple turn when they realize they're in over their heads. Common (Smokin' Aces) and Jimmi Simpson ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") are convincing as the goons chasing the Fosters/Tripplehorns, and small roles for James Franco and Mila Kunis don't hinder their comedic performances in the least. There are appearances by other recognizable actors as well, but I won't give those away since their presence is part of Date Night's charm.

As you might expect, things get absolutely ludicrous as the plot unfolds and the stakes are seemingly raised at every turn. But because we can relate to these characters and care about their plight (however ridiculous it may be), the film is an enjoyable ride to the sunrise and I was totally on board for the whole trip. Josh Klausner's script provides consistent laughs mixed with "aww" moments of realization for Phil and Claire, and, aside from relying on a blatant deus ex machina at the climax of the film, is effective and well-crafted.


One of the aspects I enjoyed the most was how the film treated Phil and Claire's relationship. They truly feel like a real couple, and even though the trailer features their kids jumping up and down on them to violently wake them up, the children are (thankfully) quickly banished in favor of the adult storyline. Their relationship felt organic and genuine, about as far from a Bill Engvall punchline as you can get.

As you've probably gathered, I liked Date Night quite a bit. I'm not claiming it'll be one of my favorite films of the year by any means - in fact, I'm sure I'll forget large chunks of it by this time next year. But this film did its job admirably: it entertained me, and it reintroduced me to Tina Fey's comedic talent. Her performance and comedic timing may have convinced me to start watching NBC's "30 Rock." Until next time...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Remember Me (2010); Live in the moments.


Remember Me

Directed by Allen Coulter

Written by Will Fetters

Starring Robert Pattinson, Emile de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper

Guest Review by Becki Pearson


I LOVED this movie. I had seen the trailer and written it off as a movie that I would like to see, but wouldn’t be upset if I just ended up renting it. I still feel that you can rent it and get the same effect as you would in the theater, but I am so glad that I saw it!

The story was depressing and made me want to call everyone in my family to tell them how much I loved them. The tension between the father and son was so wonderfully created that I actually started to feel sympathy towards each other the characters equally.



The story follows Tyler Hawkins, a New York college student who just recently lost his older brother. His father, Charles Hawkins, is a big-time businessman who treats his family like colleagues at the office. Tyler is just searching for any sort of feelings and gets messed up with the cops resulting in a fight with the Chief of Police. After realizing that the cop that busted in his face, played by Chris Cooper (amazing : ), has a daughter just about the same age as himself, he starts a romantic relationship with her just to spite her father. Little did he know that he would actually fall in love with her and want to spend the rest of his life with her.



Now, I am a twilight fan, but I was excited to see Robert Pattinson do something other than squirming in pain every time Kristen Stewart kissed him (which… who could blame him? Ew.) I actually enjoyed him in this movie quite a lot. I did see some of the same Edward Cullen tendencies and expressions, but overall he was really pretty decent. I think Shia LaBeouf could of played the character just the same, but that’s only because I think the sun shines out of his …. *cough.* Excuse me, anyways, Rob did a pretty decent job as the disgruntled college student fighting with his father along with his own set of emotional struggles.


I didn't think that Emile de Ravin was terrible, I just didn’t think she was good. She plays one of my favorite characters on LOST, Claire, and from watching her as this pregnant Australian girl stranded on an island, you would think that it would be easier to believe her as a young college student who falls in love with a nice guy. But.. not so much. Her true Australian accent shown through her fake American one and it was totally noticeable. The wardrobe chosen for her character was very unflattering and make me think that she wasn’t as sophisticated as she truly was. That’s not Emile de Ravin’s fault, but…. still.


They incorporated the Alice in Wonderland statue in New York a few times into the movie. I love that statue. I think it is such a cool idea and concept to have a children’s sculpture in one of the nation’s highest and sophisticated societies. I am always really happy to see it in movies.

The ending of this movie was so unexpected and wonderful. I won’t ruin it for you, but the ending “made” the entire movie more worthy of… time. It was unexpected, and shocking, and I absolutely love it. After you see it (IF you see it) you will understand how happy I was that it wasn’t marketed with the ending in plain view. It would of ruined the innocence and purity of the surprise factor. It was so great- I can’t even express how impressed I was.

In conclusion, Pierce Brosnan sucks.