Archive for March 2012

The Lorax – Film Review   Leave a comment

The Lorax

IMDB: 6.5

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%

 

Dr. Suess’ The Lorax

 

 

Simplicity is a quality far undervalued. No artsy drama or big budget blockbuster can shed such insight on the way things are like a good kid’s movie can. Pollution and greed have never been attacked in such a charming way.

 

Dr. Suess is known for his delightful ability to turn morals and lessons into colorful adventures that provoke thoughts of the way things ought to be. The Lorax is no different, and the message it sends is one that we all need to here.

 

Centered in the materialistic and cloyingly commercial Thneedville (eerily similar to Meadville in name) the story is focused around a boy’s quest to discover what has happened to all the trees.

 

It raises powerful questions that I hope we never truly have to ask, what has happened to all the trees? What have we done?

 

Getting rich, getting ahead, that’s what we are here at Allegheny to do right? Just keep your head down and do whatever it takes to come out on the other side a winner.

 

There is no place for lofty idealism gators; this is the real world.

 

The Lorax however sees things differently. A symbol of conscience, and the true guardian of the forest The Lorax fears a coming future that many of us choose to brush off.

 

Once all the Truffula Trees are been cut down and the once vibrant landscape is covered in the smog the belched out of the Thneed factory The Lorax ascends upward from whence he came. Greed had stained the land and it was time for him to go.

 

The Lorax leaves behind a stone that says only one word, “unless”. Later it is unraveled to mean “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

 

If you haven’t already noticed this edition of the campus has a theme, money. Oddly I feel that is why most of us are here. We have the money, want to make money, or were given money to come here and there is nothing wrong with that, it’s just the way of the world.

 

But I urge you to think (and I rarely am thought provoking so hear me out) about the duality of money. It is simultaneously great and awful. It is important that we recognize this dual nature of money. As it causes great happiness it also causes great sadness. Never should we take our status for granted.

 

Yet there are more important things. Far more important things, and I cannot surely say what those things are in your life but there certainly should be a few. The Lorax implores us never to stop caring, to never let greed blind us from what we know is wrong.

 

The Lorax delighted me in childhood and it’s adaptation to the screen delighted me once again. Tasteful, entertaining even for adults, and unexpectedly poignant this film is a must see.

 

I’m not sure if it is the Saturday night blockbuster type of flick. It is more the skip class, sneak away with a friend and see a movie that will make you feel good kind of thing. From time to time I think we all need a little of that.

Posted March 14, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

Wanderlust – Movie Review   Leave a comment

Wanderlust

IMDB: 6.2

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%

I almost feel bad for relating how I really feel about this flick because I went into it with such high hopes, but truly just wow, this one stunk.

In the equation of movies this one made sense. Paul Rudd + Jennifer Aniston + quirky premise = good movie? That’s what we all hoped.

What started off as a creative spin on the classic rom-com spiraled into exaggeration and what seemed like painfully scripted antics that had me begging for the credits to roll.

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are a overworked Manhattan couple that suddenly find themselves out of work and at odds in their relationship. Their only option is to move in with Rudd’s caustically obnoxious brother Rick.

Along the way they stumble upon a laid back hippy commune called Elysium which seems to be exactly what the stressed out duo needed.

At first the stereotyping of both Rick (the commercial polo wearing suburban d-bag) and Elysium (dirty nudist vegan hippies) seemed a delightful contrast.

Quirkiness abounded and the film seemed to be heading the right direction. However not even Rudd’s sarcastic and relatable style of situational humor could not pull this film out of the crapper.

The true issue with the film is that despite a creative and unexplored premise the film squished all of the plot development into the final third of the film.

In the first third I was delightedly optimistic. The second third I started to say hey these jokes are getting old something needs to happen here. In the closing portion however I was biting my lip, checking the time and coming to grips with the reality that this movie was awful.

The actors did their best, truly this film was neither Rudd nor Aniston’s fault. Director David Wain however needs to be sat down…. Immediately. So much potential with so little substance left a bitter taste in my mouth.

A handful of low caliber one liners and an eclectic cast of funny people just can’t overcome the poor plot development. If beating a dead horse was a crime (which it may very well be) everyone who green-lighted this movie should go to jail.

To put it metaphorically this film was like a kid with all the potential in the world who tried meth, and as we all well know you can’t try meth, not even once. This flick is a C-, don’t see it. Just imagine that it w

Posted March 13, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

Safe House – Film review   1 comment

Safe House

IMDB: 7.0

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%

Ryan Reynolds has finally left his Van Wilder roots behind as he and Denzel struck espionage silver in Safe House.

 

I say silver because although Reynolds created a believable CIA agent aura, he’s still no Jason Bourne.

 

Denzel on the other hand was predictably phenomenal as the enigmatic and extremely dangerous Tobin Frost the ex-CIA double agent that drives the film.

 

Although the CIA double-crossing conspiracy film genre has been milked harder than any of us feel comfortable with Safe House packs enough star power, shoot-outs and spy mystique to earn a solid B/B+.

 

If you sat down and really thought about the plot of this film you would realize that it’s predictable as all hell, but when actually watching the star power and loud noises help you to forget about all that.

 

Reynolds is a rookie CIA agent (if there is such a thing) stationed in Cape Town, South Africa when disavowed wanted man and ebony box office magician Denzel Washington lands in his lap.

 

What ensues is like a hybrid of Training Day and The Bourne Ultimatum.

 

That’s really the best way to describe it. Denzel does his thing just like always, Reynolds shows that he’s got some chops as he sheds a few tears and kicks a little ass.

 

The most rewarding aspect of the film is the sort of begrudging mentor-like relationship that develops between Reynolds and Washington in the film.

 

For the most part the film remains somewhat on the superficial side of entertainment (car chases, spy intrigue etc.) but the director chose to delve a bit deeper when it came to the relationship between the two stars.

 

Although director Daniel Espinosa made his A-list debut with this film he did a very solid job handling both his actors and the spy-film context, which can become convoluted or just plain boring if your not careful.

 

The runtime of 115 minutes gives the film adequate time to develop but doesn’t leave you running for the door when the credits roll like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the like.

 

The main success of the film is in moderation. It had all the raw materials to make a solid flick and Espinosa did a great job stepping aside and letting the story tell itself.

 

When it comes down to it the film delivers what it says it will. Excellent actors in a high budget environment with some high caliber action and the added bonus of some character development make the film a solid Saturday night watch.

 

If you are fan of either actor it’s a must see, if you’re a fan of action your gonna see it anyway, and if your bored then you should certainly consider seeing Safe House.

 

 

 

Posted March 13, 2012 by dauberb in Uncategorized

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