Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Interstate 60

Starring: James Marsden, Amy Smart, & Gary Oldman 
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Interstate 60 is one very strange but one very cool movie, that features a man searching for the great mysteries of life on a road that doesn't exist on any map. On Interstate 60, your wildest dreams or worst nightmares can come true, so you have to be careful where you get off. You might find yourself in a town that's full of insane laws, where everyone is a lawyer. On the other hand, you might find yourself in a town dedicated to partying, where every resident is high on drugs 24/7. There are strange drifters, weird road side attractions, and caught in the middle of everything is Neal Oliver (James Marsden), who isn't sure why he's there. At first, I just thought this film was weird and over my head, but as time went by, I started to see the genius of it. How it shows us that taken to the extreme, what we really want isn't what we want at all, and that most of us don't really know what the hell we want. James Marsden is the star and he is fantastic, paired with a non-stop flow of cameos everywhere he stops. This virtually unknown film has appearances by Michael J. Fox, Ann-Margert, Christopher Lloyd, Kurt Russell, and the list goes on and on. How they got all these guys to appear in a direct to video feature is beyond me, but take it from me, this isn't your typical b-movie. This film is one of the most unique stories you will ever see and even if you don't fully understand everything that's happening, you'll keep watching simply to see who and what comes next.

Malcolm In The Middle

Starring: Frankie Muniz, Bryan Cranston, Jane Kaczmarek, Justin Berfield, Erik Per Sullivan, Christopher Masterson, Craig Lamar Traylor, David Anthony Higgins, & Catherine Lloyd Burns

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Many TV historians will tell you that if it wasn't wedged in between the Simpsons and the X-Files on FOX Sunday nights, Malcolm In The Middle never would have lasted seven seasons. The ratings did drop every time Fox tried to move the show, and it did ultimately get cancelled when Family Guy came back and took it's time slot. I think however, it had more to do with the kids growing up than it did with the quality of the show or it's time slot, because Malcolm In The Middle to me, was the first truly hilarious and worthwhile sitcom of the new millennium.

The family with no last name, (yes, in seven seasons, they don't mention their last name a single time) is the dysfunctional family that puts all others to shame! The father, Hal (Bryan Cranston), may be the biggest kid of them all, with absolutely no self-control. The mother, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), is the boss, the big scary scream machine, who hands out the punishments, and is the boys ultimate rival, making her the most fun to mess with. The oldest son, Francis (Christopher Masterson), is so bad, that he keeps getting sent away to one ridiculous place after another. The next oldest, Reese (Justin Berfield), is the good old fashion school bully. Little brother, Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) is just as weird as they come (every time he screamed like a girl, especially when he got older, I almost peed myself). Finally, in the middle is Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), who is a genius, trying to make sense of the chaos that is his life. 

To me this show was so ahead of it's time, I mean they cast Bryan Cranston in a leading role, back when Vince Gilligan was still a part-time screen writer on the X-Files. The chemistry between the kids is fantastic and the dynamic between the laid back Hal and the high struck Lois is comedic gold. This isn't just the kind of show you love to watch, but it's also the kind of show you can tell the people involved with loved doing it. When it's more than just a job and the actors really love the characters and fellow cast members, that is when a show can become really special.

The bottom line, most sitcoms are full of corny PG jokes meant for prime time audiences. They're something to tune into when nothing else is on, but once in a while, one of them comes along that is special and breaks the mold, Malcolm In The Middle is that show. No sitcom, with perhaps the exception of Everybody Loves Raymond has ever made me laugh as much as this show has, and trust me that is not an easy task with my weird sense of humor.

Horrible Bosses 2

Starring: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, & Chris Pine
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Okay, I understand that people love sequels and it's usually a guaranteed win at the box office, but did we really need another Horrible Bosses movie? In this unnecessary sequel, the boys have gone into business for themselves, and in common fashion have signed away their invention to an investor for a fraction of what it's worth. Realizing they've been taken, they plan on kidnapping the billionaires son and the ridiculousness begins again. The old bosses and old accomplishes join new face for another adventure that's even more absurd than the first one was. I watched this film because I love Jason Sudeikis, he is one of my favorite comedic actors, however Charlie Day is not. I really don't know how anyone can stand watching It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, with this little guy running around, with his high pitched rabbit voice, always excited like he just did an eight ball before every single scene he shoots. It's honestly one of the most annoying things I can think of. This film was kind of lame and leaned toward the stupid side to begin with, but when you add this little squirrel on crack to the mix, it really becomes nearly unwatchable. The bottom line, sequels make money. Some people want to learn the fate of characters they've seen and gotten to know. Then there are people like me, who went to see the first one and even though they weren't crazy about it, figured I might as well go see the next one. I can only hope at this point they don't decide to make it into a trilogy.

Sinister (2012)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, & James Ransone
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Original ideas in horror are hard to come by given the nature of the genre. The fans all want to be scared, some want blood and gore, and do we ever really want to see a happy ending? The idea behind Sinster was simple, lets give fans a little bit of everything and see how they react. Seeking peace and solitude, real crime writer, Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke), moves his family to the country, unaware that the house he's living in has a checkered past. That is until he finds an old movie projector with 8mm films, that will horrify the man to his core. Having children as the perpetrators of these crimes was my favorite part of the film, I love it when horror movies do that, because what could be scarier than an evil child. You take the most innocent thing in the world, turn it evil, and once that happens what can you do about it? Would you be able to shoot a kid? So how do you stop them? The idea is bone chilling. I also liked the fact that they touch on every aspect of the genre they could from ghosts to possession, from gore to jump scares, they really did include a lot. The problem however is that the film focuses on Ethan Hawke, who tries to shield his family from what's happening, while investigating the events on his own, and this makes the time in between events move at a snails pace. With so much going for it, this is a movie that should have a lot going on, not long periods of nothingness. Personally I'd like to see the story focus on a child and watch as he/she transforms into one of the kids in the 8mm films, that would be cool. For what it's worth, this wasn't a bad film, the cast was pretty good, and they did a lot with what they had, but ultimately Sinister just moved a little too slowly for me.