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December 14, 2011 @ 09:17 PM
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Young Adult: Movie Review

Director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody reunite for the first time since they struck gold with JUNO. This time we are given a more dramatic film that is also a lot less entertaining. The film is not so much bad as it is depressing. There are brief spurts of humor, but most of the laughs were caused by the film’s awkward moments.

Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gray, a ghost writer for a dying series of teen books who returns to her hometown in order to reclaim her high school sweetheart Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) who happens to be happily married and has a brand new baby to boot. Former class mate Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt) recognizes Mavis in a bar her first night back in town. When she shares her plan to take back her ex, Matt tries his hardest to sway the delusional Mavis from getting between Buddy and his family. She truly believes that Buddy is miserable but in reality he could not be happier.

Read the rest of the review here


Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked - Movie Review

Four years ago, the first ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS live action/CGI movie was released. I have to admit that even I thought it was pretty cute and mildly entertaining. Shortly after a sequel (or squeekquel) was released which introduced the Chipettes. Though the follow up made tons of money, the film itself was downright annoying. Now the furry little guys and girls are back for a third attempt to lighten your wallets and I wish the film itself was stranded on a deserted island along with Alvin and friends. ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWREKED is just plain awful. The term “cash-grab” was created just for a movie product like this.

In the new movie Dave (Jason Lee) takes the Munks and Chipettes onto a luxury cruise liner where they can have a little fun and relaxation before heading off to the international music awards. Little do they know, that the Munks former manager Ian (David Cross) is working on the ship as well, and he wants revenge for his ruined life.

Read the rest of the review here
December 15, 2011 @ 05:44 AM
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Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows - Movie Review

I was not a fan of 2009′s update on the classic adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I found it long, talky, loud, annoying, and despite the fact that I did like Robert Downey Jr. in the title role, I felt like the poorly written story and less than interesting nemesis did not allow Downey to shine. Here we are, two years later with SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS. The good news, we actually have an interesting adversary this time around with Professor James Moriarty (played wonderfully by Jared Harris). What’s the bad news? The sequel is still long, talky, loud, & annoying, but at least it’s a bit easier to follow.

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) team up again to bring down Professor Moriarty, who has been blowing up buildings and taking lives, including Holmes’ love-interest from the first film Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams). The duo are joined by the beautiful gypsy Maam Simza Heron (Noomi Rapace) who Moriarty also attempted to kill, but failed.

Read the rest of the review here
December 15, 2011 @ 11:54 PM
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Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol: Movie Review


Director Brad Bird (THE INCREDIBLES, RATATOUILLE) was a surprising choice to helm the fourth film in the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise. His previous directing credits have all been animated films. After watching MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, I can now see why he was entrusted with the gig. Bird did one hell of a job and knows how to not only create incredible action set pieces but he also inserts a nice dose of humor that the previous films in the series have lacked. Casting Jeremy Renner and beefing up Simon Pegg’s role from the previous film were also great additions to the film.

GHOST PROTOCOL starts out with a mission going bad and then IMF members Agent Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and tech wizard Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) breaking Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out of a maximum security prison where he was incarcerated for an unknown reason. Their next step is to go on a mission where something else goes wrong and now Ethan winds up being blamed for a terrorist bombing of the Kremlin in Russia.

Read the rest of the review here
December 21, 2011 @ 03:34 AM
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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011): Movie Review


Though I was often curious, I never actually saw any of the Swedish films based on the Stieg Larsson Millennium trilogy. Once I heard an American version of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO was in the works that involved director David Fincher (THE SOCIAL NETWORK, FIGHT CLUB), I decided to hold out a bit longer and just wait for the his take on the story. In all honesty, I try to avoid subtitles as much as possible. After seeing the new version, I am glad I waited. This is not a short film at over two and a half hours but, there are some strong reasons to see it, which begin with the mind-blowing opening credits.

The story begins with financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) being engaged by Henrik Vagner (Christopher Plummer), a wealthy Swedish industrialist to help him solve a 40-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of his beloved niece, Harriet. The reluctant Mikael only takes the job to help restore his honor after being convicted of libel. Henrick agrees to offer proof that Mikael was set up which led to his troubles along with a much needed payday in exchange for his services.

As Mikael digs deeper into the Vagner family past, things get much more complicated than he could have expected. Things get even more complex when he discovers that there are seemingly connected murders to Harriet’s disappearance. With the permission of the family lawyer, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) is brought in as Mikael’s research assistant. Lisbeth is the one who did the background check on Mikael before he was approached for the task of discovering the truth.

As good as THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is, to me the whole investigation that takes place though the film is nowhere near as interesting as the character of Lisbeth Salander. Since I have never seen Noomi Rapace’s acclaimed performance, I cannot compare it to Rooney Mara’s. I will say that Mara is captivating. Not just because of how absolutely beautiful she is, but her portrayal of Lisbeth is one of the most original characters I have seen on screen in recent years. Lisbeth is a shielded and unusual woman who is so full of fear and rage that so much of her life feels like a struggle. At the same time she is an impressive investigator who’s focus in her work makes her invaluable to the firm she works for. She is their best investigator but they prefer she never meets the clients because she is so off putting. Covered in tattoos and piercings and not much for talking to people, her employers chose for her to work from home.

The title of the film fits perfectly because despite everything that’s going on, to me it’s all about Lisbeth. In the film’s best scene, Lisbeth gets revenge on the man who used his power over her finances for his own sexual gratification. This includes a horrific rape scene. He does get what’s coming to him and it caused the audience I saw the film with to cheer. Lisbeth’s revenge is so brutal that it would have made me uncomfortable if I didn’t feel the guy deserved exactly what he got. Everything about Mara’s performance is beyond excellent. Her body language tells you almost everything that Lisbeth is feeling and I hope Mara is recognized come Oscar time.

We get many great performances here. Not only from Mara and Craig, but also Stellan Skarsgard who plays Martin, the CEO of the family enterprise. Martin seems like the only family member who is ok with having Mikael living on the family island digging into their pasts.

I do not think THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is a great film, but it is a great looking film, thanks to Fincher. I felt the investigation process could have been handled a bit better, but Mara is just so amazing here, I can’t help but recommend the film based on her alone.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2011/12/the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo-2011-movie-review/
December 21, 2011 @ 03:36 AM
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The Adventures of TinTin: Movie Review


Oh how I missed you Mr. Spielberg. Sure, you haven’t actually gone anywhere and you have been continually putting out great films over recent years, but THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN is one of the first films in a long time that reminded me why I love you so much. You see, I grew up with E.T., JAWS, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARC, and JURASSIC PARK. When I hear your name, those are the first titles that come to mind. You are the king of adventure and fantasy. Now I can include THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN onto the list of fun and memorable Spielberg classics.

Based on a series of books, Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell) is a journalist who stumbles across a secret message that was hidden within a model boat that he bought. It turns out that there are some bad guys who want that boat with the hidden message, which includes Ivanovich Sakharine (voiced by Daniel Craig). When Tintin is kidnapped by Sakharine and brought aboard a ship, he is able to escape with the help of another captive, Captain Haddock (voiced by Andy Serkis). The escape does not go smoothly due to Haddock being completely drunk in the process.

Through the rest of the film, we have Tintin and Captain Haddock in search for the meaning of the hidden message and why Sakharine wants it so bad. We are taken on a wild adventure in the form of the best looking motion capture film to date. This is an absolutely beautiful film and we are given some incredible action to go along with it. One of the best scenes in the film is a chase scene in Morocco that is done in one continuous shot. Not only are Tintin, Haddock and Sckharine in this chase, but also Tintin’s dog and a hawk as well. The scene is just incredible. I can’t forget to mention a sword fight that comes later in the film, but instead of swords, they use huge cranes. The action is top notch and at times THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN feels like it fits in the world of Indiana Jones.

There is also plenty of comedy here as well, especially from Inspectors Thompson & Thompson (voices by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost respectively). Not only is Pegg going up against himself this week with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, but Spielberg is also in competition with himself with WAR HORSE. Thankfully each one of these films will attract a different group of moviegoers.

Even though THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN is an animated film, it is not intended for the little ones. There is pretty intense action, drinking, if someone gets shot, there is a “tiny” amount of blood. I recommend the film for teenagers and up, though I think the ones who will enjoy it the most are the people who grew up loving these types of films in the 80’s. The 3D here is also impressive. I am happy that so far this season the 3D has been as good as it should be. Moviegoers will get what they pay for with the 3D up-charge, just like they did with HUGO. If you are looking for a fun film to see with the family and want something a bit more mature than your average animated fare, TINTIN is a WIN WIN.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2011/12/the-adventures-of-tintin-movie-review/
December 22, 2011 @ 05:52 AM
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War Horse: Movie Review

Three years ago Director Steven Spielberg delivered what some might call his worst movie, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (I still don’t blame him, that credit should go to George Lucas for writing that giant turd). After taking a hiatus from behind the camera, the acclaimed filmmaker is back this holiday season and he is going up against himself with two films, THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN and WAR HORSE You can read my TINTIN review here, but now I want to focus on the wonderful family film that should not be missed, WAR HORSE.

The film is based on the 1982 novel of the same name, which tells the story of a farm boy named Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his beloved horse Joey who are separated when Joey is sold to the British cavalry and sent to the front lines during WWI. Joey begins an amazing journey throughout the Great War and leaves and impression of some sort in each life he encounters along the way.

War Horse is essentially told through the eyes of Joey. We get to know each of the people that this brave and beautiful animal encounters, from British Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddleston) to a sickly young girl and her grandfather who find Joey in their barn after he and another horse escape from battle. While Joey is on his epic journey, Albert leaves home to join the war in France in hopes of finding and bringing home his beloved horse.

WAR HORSE happens to include one of my favorite scenes in a film this year, when a gun battle comes to a halt in order to aid a wounded horse. This is such an amazing moment and the dialogue between the two men helping out the horse is not only written perfectly, but delivered perfectly as well by the two actors involved.

Spielberg has delivered an absolutely beautiful film here with the vast natural landscapes of Dartmoor, England, where much of the film was shot by Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and equally stunning score by John Williams, who to me remains the best composer working in film. The winter season of 2011 has been surprisingly solid when it comes to family entertainment and even though not all have performed well financially, I am hoping that WAR HORSE finds the audience it deserves.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2011/12/war-horse-review/
December 22, 2011 @ 05:54 AM
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We Bought A Zoo: Movie Review

Director Cameron Crowe (JERRY MAGUIRE, ALMOST FAMOUS) brings us this sweet, funny, and inspiring film based on a true story of widowed father Benjamin Mee (Mat Damon), who decided to quit his job as a newspaper columnist and buy a house out in the country so he could give his family a fresh start after his wife’s death. The only catch, the house that Benjamin bought comes with its own zoo (animals and employees included). Though the film is about an American family, the real people the film is based on are British and live in the South of France.

Matt Damon plays Benjamin, a man struggling with the loss of his wife six months earlier, and his son Dylan (Colin Ford) is having a rough time as well. When Dylan is suspended from school for stealing, Benjamin decides a change is needed. Not only for his son, but for his daughter Rosie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) as well. When the Mee family goes looking for homes with first time realtor Mr. Stevens (played hilariously by J.B. Smoove), they stumble upon a property that Stevens is reluctant to show them, knowing what the home comes with. Once they arrive at the house, Benjamin falls in love with it right away, then he finds out that it’s actually a zoo and if he takes the home, he is obligated to take care of the animals too. It does not take long for Benjamin to sign on the dotted line.

Though Benjamin’s brother Duncan (Thomas Haden Church) feels his sibling took his advice to make some changes in his life a little too far, Benjamin does everything he can to make things work. With the help of head zookeeper Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson), Robin Jones (Patrick Fugit), and Peter MacCready (Angus Macfadyen), Benjamin is set to get the zoo up to code just in time for its’ inspection by the strictly-by-the-book zoo inspector Walter Ferris (John Michael Higgins).

WE BOUGHT A ZOO delivers us Cameron Crowe’s first family film and a very good one at that. Damon is terrific in the leading role, playing a part that is very different from how we are used to seeing him. Benji is an ordinary family man who just wants to do right by his family and by the animals and the workers who depend on him. He struggles to stay afloat emotionally as his son and his finances continue to slip away. Jones who plays the youngest Mee is simply adorable. She is one of those way too cute to be real kind of kids, it seems like the loss of her mother hasn’t hit her as hard as it has her older brother Dylan who continues to remain unhappy and distant. That is until Dylan meets the highly energetic motor-mouthed Lily (Elle Fanning). Being home-schooled and raised by her cousin Kelly at the zoo, Lily has never had the opportunity to make any friends her own age. So naturally she clings to Dylan like a fly to flypaper. He cannot resist her charms, though at the beginning he does try.

I haven’t even mentioned all the animals, the tigers, birds, zebras, and of course snakes, which unfortunately do escape from a crate at one point in the film. If you are a sucker for animals, the film gives you plenty to gaze upon. WE BOUGHT A ZOO may not be a great film, but it is a nice way to spend a couple of hours. We get likable characters, beautiful settings, a good amount of laughs and a few teary eyed moments. What more could you want in a film for the holiday season?

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2011/12/we-bought-a-zoo-movie-review/
December 26, 2011 @ 07:48 AM
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The Darkest Hour: Movie Review

There is not much about the new sci-fi film THE DARKEST HOUR that is very original or very good for that matter. This new 3D film is filled with 2D characters and terrible dialogue. With all that is bad about the movie, why did I wind up thoroughly enjoying it? Director Chris Gorak (RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR) seems to know how to entertain an audience even if there is not much on the page to work with. The Russia setting helps give the film a great and distinctive look that sets it apart from other disaster films, and casting Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby as two of the film’s leads helps as well.

The film begins with two young American internet entrepreneurs, Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) who arrive in Moscow for business, only to learn that they were duped by Swedish businessman Skylar (Joel Kinnaman). Trying not to think about how they just got ripped off, Sean and Ben decide to head to a nightclub and meet up with two lovely travelers who are stranded in Moscow due to a canceled flight, Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor). Unfortunately, Skylar happens to be at the club as well. Moments later, everything that runs on any kind of power suddenly goes dead, including lights, cell phones, etc. Next thing we see are lights falling from the sky that look so beautiful, that you know they are going to turn out to be deadly, and guess what….they are.

In the first initial attack from these power draining aliens, we see that they turn all living things into ash and it does not take long before they take out almost every human being and animal in the city. Sean, Ben, Natalie, Anne and of course that jerk Skylar survive the first attack by hiding out in the nightclub’s basement. After a few days of hiding, they decide to venture out in hopes of finding the American Embassy. This was my first major issue with the story’s logic. As this group heads outside and sees that all of Moscow is now a ghost town, what makes them think that the embassy is still intact? Guns can’t kill these creatures, though the embassy does wind up leading them to a clue on how to get out of Moscow.

Through the movie we follow the five survivors through Moscow as they learn ways to evade the invaders. The aliens cannot be seen thanks to a shield that they use, but electricity gives them away. If a streetlight suddenly lights up, you know an alien is right beside it. So the group learns it is easier to avoid them at night.

THE DARKEST HOUR has so many issues, that I simply gave up on even thinking about them and just allowed myself to enjoy the quickly paced film for what it was. Thanks to a mostly likeable cast and some great visuals (which do not include how cheesy the aliens look when we finally see them under their shield), THE DARKEST HOUR is an adequate sci-fi film for those who are in the mood for one. As for the 3D, it does not ad anything to the film but it is not as flat as most post-converted 3D fare.

http://keepitclassic.com/2011/12/the-darkest-hour-movie-review/
January 6, 2012 @ 06:08 AM
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The Devil Inside: Movie Review

WOW, what a way to start off 2012 at the movies. THE DEVIL INSIDE is a truly awful piece of cinematic trash that can’t seem to do a single thing right. Director William Brent Bell (STAY ALIVE) not only delivers a scare-free horror film, but he also manages to make Rome, Italy look unusually bland.

When Isabella Rossi (Fernanda Andrade) learns that twenty years earlier her mother Maria (Suzan Crowley) killed three people during an exorcism that was being performed on her, Isabella travels to Rome to learn more about exorcisms and to see her mother. Well, Isabella does get to see her mother for a not-so-sweet family reunion and it becomes pretty obvious that her mother is possessed.

Trying to learn more about exorcisms and possessions, Isabella hooks up with Priests Ben (Simon Quarterman) and David (Evan Helmuth). These men of the cloth actually perform exorcisms without the permission of the Church, because of all of pesky bureaucratic rules. Yep, they are rogue priests who eject demons on their spare time. Ben and David invite Isabella to sit in on an exorcism that does not go to smoothly before she gets them to agree to help her mother.

There are a few half-decent moments during some of the exorcisms in the film but that is it. Everything in between is not the least bit interesting. THE DEVIL INSIDE is sloppy, uninspired, and lacks any creativity. I would complain about the film’s ending too if I wasn’t so relieved that it was finally over.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/01/the-devil-inside-movie-review/
January 13, 2012 @ 12:57 PM
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Contraband Review???
January 19, 2012 @ 01:31 AM
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Contraband Review???


I actually screened it the night before release and then due to timing did not get to review it. I actually thought the film was very entertaining, despite how stupid it was.

I actually forgot to post this review last week on here....

Joyful Noise: Movie Review

I kind of feel bad for director Todd Graff. The movie studios just don’t seem to know how to market his movies. In 2009 he directed the little seen but extremely enjoyable teen film, BANDSLAM. A film that I missed during its short theatrical run but thanks to Netflix, gave a look when it hit DVD. His new film JOYFUL NOISE may have a problem getting people into the theater based on its terrible trailers, which make it look like a stupid comedy that squanders the talents of its leads. I am here to tell you that JOYFUL NOISE is not bad comedy that the adds would lead you to believe. It isn’t even much of a comedy. It’s more of a light drama with some humor, the kind of film that you would likely find on the Hallmark Channel.

After the death of Bernard Sparrow (Kris Kristofferson), Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah) is appointed as his replacement to direct the church choir in a financially struggling small town. Bernard’s widow G.G. (Dolly Parton) is not too happy with the fact that she was passed over in favor of Vi, but she continues to sing with the Choir regardless.

Things start to heat up at the Church when G.G.’s troublemaking grandson Randy (Jeremy Jordan) comes to town and joins the Choir in hopes to get close to Vi’s daughter Olivia (Keke Palmer). The plot is extremely cookie-cutter and there is not a single original moment in JOYFUL NOISE, but Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton sell the hell out of it. I dare you not to enjoy these two amazingly talented women, especially when they are on screen together. The relationship between the younger cast members is sweet at times, but this is Parton and Latifah’s party and the rest of the cast is just along for the ride.

JOYFUL NOISE is not a great movie, actually I wouldn’t even call it very good. It’s simply a pleasant film that wants to entertain you while keeping you comfortable. The music in the film is also great. Parton has not lost any of her talent in any way. Palmer, Jordan, & Latihah are also quite strong vocally. I have a feeling that JOYFUL NOISE could find an audience in the Sunday Church going crowd and maybe the word of mouth will help people see past the poor-promotions for the film. JOYFUL NOISE does make some beautiful music.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/01/joyful-noise-movie-review/
January 19, 2012 @ 01:32 AM
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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Movie Review


How do you go wrong when you match up director Stephen Daldry (THE HOURS, BILLY ELLIOT) and screenwriter Eric Roth (MUNICH, ALI) with a cast that includes Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis, and Jeffrey Wright? Well, in the case of EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE, the biggest problem lies in the fact that the main character, 9-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) is so annoying and unlikeable that is makes sitting through the whole film a seemingly never-ending chore.

E.L.A.I.C. takes place shortly after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Young Oskar had just lost his father Thomas (Hanks) due to the World Trade Center attack. With Thomas now gone, his widow Linda (Bullock) is left struggling with her confused and frustrated son. We learn about much of the father & son relationship through flashbacks, and realize why the loss of his father is so devastating to Oskar. The young boy has trouble communicating with others and his father was the only person he could relate to. He does not share the same relationship with his mother.

When Oskar finds a mysterious key hidden in his father’s closet, tucked away in an envelope with the word “Black” written on it, he feels he needs to go on a quest around New York to find the lock that the key opens. The first step Oskar takes is to look up everyone in the city with the last name Black and then find each one of them and see if they have a lock that the key fits. It’s really a shame that the film is not nearly as interesting as the premise. I honestly feel that E.L.A.I.C. could have worked if we were given a child that you want to root for.

E.L.A.I.C. mostly consists of Oskar wandering through the city and meeting the various people on his list. At first he starts this journey alone, but is soon joined by an elderly man (Sydow) who rents a room from Oskar’s grandmother. The man, only known as “The Renter” does not speak a single word but answers Oskar’s questions with the “yes” and “no” that are tattooed on the palm of his hands.

Oskar is such an unlikable character, not because he is bad in any way, but he has some issues that go much deeper than the loss of his father. It’s not his fault the way he is and it makes it harder for me to use the word “unlikable” to describe him. Some of the moments between him and his mother are also hard to watch, but Bullock does a good job regardless.

I so much wanted to enjoy the film but even with the great performances mainly coming from the films minor characters, I just could not get interested. EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE was not much more than extremely dull and incredibly annoying.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/01/extremely-loud-and-incredibly-close-movie-review/
January 20, 2012 @ 12:54 AM
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Haywire: Movie Review

Before attending the screening of the new spy-thriller HAYWIRE, directed by Steven Soderbergh (TRAFFIC, OCEAN’S ELEVEN), I was not the least bit familiar with the film’s lead star, MMA fighter Gina Carano. I had heard from others about how amazing she is as a fighter and how sexy she is on top of that, but I have never actually seen it for myself. Well now I have seen the stunning Carano in action and would put my money on her, when it comes to the next big action star in films. Carano is so impressive that I am sure she could take down some of the biggest male action stars out there.

Carano plays Mallory Kane, an operative for a government security contractor. The film setup starts off with Kane entering a diner in upstate New York. When fellow operative Aaron (Channing Tatum) enters the diner and sits down across from her, the two of them go at it in a pretty hardcore fight until Kane breaks Aaron’s arm and she gets away with a civilian named Scott (Michael Angarano) who was only trying to help her because he thought she was in trouble. From there most of the story plays out as Kane tells Scott the events that led up to the diner.

After learning that a Chinese journalist that she helped free from being a hostage in Barcelona was murdered, Kane winds up being set up to take the fall for the crime. After the first attempt on her life by another agent (Michael Fassbender), she learns that her boss and former boyfriend Kenneth (Ewan McGregor was the one who ordered the hit. Kenneth though, isn’t the only one in play here. There is the Spanish government official Rodrigo (Antonio Banderas), who initially helped set up the Barcelona deal with Kenneth. Also we have Coblenz (Michael Douglas) who plays the man who Kenneth answers to. HAYWIRE does become quite convoluted but not the least bit dull or predictable.

Soderbergh creates what feels sort of like an art-house action film. No big explosions or big budgets, just Carano roaming around the world and kicking a bunch of butt along the way. The fight scenes are staged wonderfully and can be quite brutal at times. Her character Kane not only delivers some mighty blows but she receives them as well. She also gets involved in a few great chases on foot.

Not everybody is going to enjoy HAYWIRE, because it is not a traditional action film. It tries to be different and succeeds for the most part, with a few problems in the script that could have been handled better. If HAYWIRE winds up being a success, I can totally see a sequel happening.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/01/haywire-movie-review/
January 28, 2012 @ 02:22 PM
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Man on a Ledge: Movie Review

A couple years ago, Sam Worthington burst onto the scene with not one, but three high profile films. The newcomer top-lined AVATAR, CLASH OF THE TITANS, and co-starred in TERMINATOR: SALVATION. Now, Worthington is back with a much smaller film in terms of scope, but a much larger performance than he has previously given us. Prior to MAN ON A LEDGE, I did not think of the film’s star as much of an actor and even though he is still not great, he has improved and does have potential to grow. To make things even better, MAN ON A LEDGE is Worthington’s most solid film to date.

Worthington plays Nick Cassidy, a former NYPD Officer who is in prison because he was accused of stealing a 40 million dollar diamond from powerful business man David Englander (Ed Harris). Cassidy claims that he is innocent and after escaping custody when allowed to attend his father’s funeral, he shows up many months later standing on the ledge of the Roosevelt Hotel on 45th & Madison in New York City. Prior to heading out on the ledge, Cassidy took the time to make sure he cleaned the room of any fingerprints so that NYPD negotiator Lydia Spencer (Elizabeth Banks), who Cassidy personally requested to be on the scene and Detective Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) could not identify him.

Why would Cassidy go through all of that trouble if he was planning on jumping off the ledge of the building? The answer, he has no intention of jumping. He is simply trying to keep the police occupied while his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and Joey’s girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) break into the building across the street to steal the diamond that Nick was originally accused of taking.

While Nick and Lydia are going back and forth as she tries to figure out his true identity. Nick’s friend and former partner Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie) is still searching for his fugitive buddy. It becomes quite obvious early on in the film that Mike is hiding something as well.

MAN ON A LEDGE is not very original, especially when it comes to the scenes that take place during the break-in, but it really does not matter all that much, because this is quite a fun film. The chemistry between Worthington and Banks is great and even the moments between Banks and Ed Burns who plays a fellow detective, work well. I always enjoy Mackie, even in thankless rolls like last year’s REAL STEEL. Mackie just has a great screen presence.

This is director Asger Leth’s first feature film directorial effort, if you do not count the 2006 documentary GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL. Leth does a very good job, especially when it comes to the scenes that take place on the ledge. The film’s biggest flaw comes in the last few minutes during an absurd moment when Cassidy goes after Englander. In all honesty, I expected that moment to happen but it just did not work for me when it did. Aside from more than a few implausible moments, MAN ON A LEDGE is an entertaining heist-thriller that should please most moviegoers.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/01/man-on-a-ledge-movie-review/



The Grey: Movie Review

THE GREY is a much different film than the last collaboration effort between director Joe Carnahan and star Liam Neeson, which was THE A-TEAM. While the A-TEAM was a big budget, idiotic, and loud mess of a film, I still found it to be quite fun. THE GREY does have some good tension and another engaging performance from Neeson, but the film failed to keep me interested. It’s an extremely depressing and slow film. The interesting thing is that I feel I will probably be in the minority when it comes to most of the critics’ feelings towards the film. I have heard many praise THE GREY and I can totally understand where they are coming from, but unfortunately I just can’t agree with the majority.

Neeson plays Ottway, an ex-con who works as a sharp-shooter for an oil drilling facility in Alaska. Why is a sharp-shooter needed? When the workers are outside the facility fixing pipes, wolves tend to sneak up from behind and attack the unsuspecting men. Ottway is there to make sure that the workers do not become dinner. When Ottway is not working, he is writing letters to his wife and also contemplating killing himself because he is a man that is obviously in pain.

Does the film sound depressing enough to you yet? No? OK, well how about this? Ottway winds up surviving a plane crash with a handful of other not-so-lucky ones on their way to civilization for a break from work. Why are the survivors the unlucky ones? You see, they know that search parties will not find them and they are not only freezing and low on supplies, but they also have a huge pack of wolves hunting them down and picking them off, one by one.

THE GREY is at its most entertaining when the group of men are confronted by the wolves. There is some serious tension but there are also a few moments that did not work because of the poorly rendered CGI wolves that looked like they belonged in the TWILIGHT movies. Not all the wolves are CGI, but the ones that are not real are so obviously fake and the CGI just feels wrong for a movie this grounded in reality.

Most of the film consists of the men walking through the snow and arguing while trying to find safety, constantly looking over their shoulders for the wolves. Carnahan is trying here and he delivers on a few aspects of the film, plus there are some beautiful shots involving the locations. I just wish THE GREY was able to bring me in and hold my attention, even the great Liam Neeson could not save the film for me.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/01/the-grey-movie-review/


Albert Nobbs: Movie Review

It’s a tough call when you really like a performance in a film, but you don’t care much for the film that the great performance is featured in. There are two films being released this week which fit into that mold. The first being Liam Neeson’s THE GREY in which Liam is fantastic even though I can’t say the same about the movie itself. The second being Glen Closes’ unforgettable performance in the mostly forgettable ALBERT NOBBS. The film is directed by Rodrigo Garcia, who is best known for working on TV shows like IN TREATMENT and SIX FEET UNDER. Garcia is a more than capable filmmaker but he never seems to bring the screenplay by star Glen Close to life.

The film tells the story of a woman (Close) who has been pretending to be a man named Albert for more than 30 years in 19th century Ireland. Trapping herself in life that feels more like a prison. Working in a hotel, Albert has been saving money over the years in order to open his/her own tobacco shop in which he/she could bring the young hotel maid Helen (Mia Wasikowska) to work in the store with her/him. Not only that, but Albert is in love with Helen, who happens to be in love with Joe (Aaron Johnson), a young man who wandered into the hotel for work.

ALBERT NOBBS is all about Close. She is fantastic here and though I would never buy her as an actual man, her performance is heartbreaking. The film itself has some great moments, which includes a surprising wardrobe change that not only shocks the moviegoer, but surprises Albert as well. It’s my favorite moment in the film. The supporting cast is filled with amazing talent like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson, and James Greene, but they aren’t given a whole lot to do. Meyers is mainly reduced to just walking around and hardly saying a word. It feels like some of his work may have been a victim of the editing room. Another problem with the film is the pacing. At 113 minutes, it feels like it goes on at least a half hour longer. This is one of Closes’ best performances, but not one of her best movies.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/01/albert-nobbs-movie-review/
February 3, 2012 @ 04:40 AM
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The Woman in Black: Movie Review

The new horror film THE WOMAN IN BLACK by director James Watkins (Eden Lake) is not a terrible movie, but it’s not a good one either. It looks great and has a talented supporting cast, but it’s problems are pretty major ones. The film’s star Daniel Radcliffe was a poor choice to play a father who is on the edge of committing suicide because of the loss of his wife. Even with some facial hair, Radcliffe barely looks like he is out of high school . Unfortunately, I just kept seeing Harry Potter standing there, instead of his character Arthur Kipps.

The films other problem is its reliance on cheap scares. I am sorry, but how many times are you going to have a woman face the camera and scream in the same movie? That seems to be the only time the filmmaker tries to scare the audience and it wears thin. I will admit that there are a handful of times that Watkins does let the tension build and allow fear to set in, but then he ruins it by giving us the same scare time and time again.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK is just another lame haunted house movie that is all style and little substance. Even a great character actor like Ciarán Hinds (THERE WILL BE BLOOD, THE DEBT) can’t help the film all that much.

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/02/the-woman-in-black-movie-review/
February 10, 2012 @ 12:15 AM
hiphopspaz

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SAFE HOUSE: MOVIE REVIEW


Denzel Washington doesn’t seem to push himself often enough anymore. Lately most of the characters he portrays seem to be way too similar. With that confident strut and too-cool-for-school smile, which is supposed to show that he is either smarter than everyone else around or that his is a bit crazy. Washington is giving us just another retread performance in the new film SAFE HOUSE that we have seen from him countless times. Does that make this a bad movie? Not by any means, it is just as entertaining as Washington’s other mediocre but enjoyable films like MAN ON FIRE and THE BOOK OF ELI.

In the new action-thriller SAFE HOUSE, Washington plays Tobin Frost, a legendary CIA ex-intelligence officer who is wanted for supposedly selling military codes to the highest bidding enemies of the US. Having eluded capture for nearly a decade, Frost suddenly turns up at the U.S. embassy in Cape Town to turn himself in. Naturally this puzzles CIA branch Chief Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga), Case Officer David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson), and CIA Deputy Director of Operations Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard). They know that Frost does not do anything without a reason.

Frost is quickly taken to a safe house which is run by housekeeper Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds), an agent who spends most of his time in an empty location by himself just hoping to become case officer by proving himself as a loyal company man. Things suddenly change for Weston when his first and only occupant checks into the safe house. As you can guess, it’s Tobin Frost. Just moments after Frost checks in, the safe house is compromised and Weston flees the not-so-secure location with Frost in hand.

The biggest problem with SAFE HOUSE is how predictable it is. The audience can see the films twist in the final act from a mile away. If you have ever watched a film like this before, you know exactly how it’s going to play out. Washington is of course entertaining and Reynolds is good here as well, playing an agent who has the “do the right thing” ideology. As much as I like Reynolds smart-ass attitude in most of his comedies, I think he is best to play it straight in his more serious rolls like this one.

There is plenty of action and SAFE HOUSE never slows down or drags its feet. The screenplay is sub-par but the cast and director Daniel Espinosa keep things moving and fun. We are not treated to anything new or exceptional with SAFE HOUSE, but if you are looking for a decent film to entertain you, this is not a bad choice.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/02/safe-house-movie-review/
February 10, 2012 @ 12:16 AM
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JOURNEY 2: MOVIE REVIEW


One of the benefits of going into a film with low expectations is that there is the chance that the film could turn out better than expected. If you have seen the terrible 2008 version of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, then I can’t see how you would expect much from a sequel, especially if that sequel is done by the same filmmaker behind CATS & DOGS: THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE. While watching JOURNEY 2, something interesting was happening, I was actually being entertained. Not because the film was good, but because this is one of those times where the cast actually saves the movie. Most notably Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Luis Guzmán. They both provide the film with a handful of laughs.

In the sequel, the first film’s only returning character, Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) decodes a message sent from his missing grandfather Alexander (Michael Caine) with the help of his stepfather Hank (Dwayne Johnson). The message reads that Alexander has found the Mysterious Island from the classic novel. It turns out to be a real place (at least in the film). Hank decides to take Sean to find the Island so that he can bond with his stepson, even though he thinks that they won’t actually find it.

When the pair hitch a helicopter ride with Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and his beautiful daughter Kailani (Vanessa Hudgens), they soon find themselves in the middle of a terrible storm that crashes them onto the Mysterious Island. Not long after they arrive on the island, they realize that animal sizes are reversed. You can pick up an elephant with two hands and you can ride a bumblebee for transportation. Watching Luis Guzmán ride a bee while holding on to The Rock and giving him a kiss on the head is truly a site to behold. The peck-pop-of-love scene that is shown in the films trailer is actually funnier in the film when you see the whole moment play out.

The CGI in JOURNEY 2 is a mixed bag. While some is impressive, especially during the scene in which the group is being chased by a giant lizard, which resembles a similar scene in AVATAR. Some other effects look rushed and sloppy. There are a few shots of the people walking through vast landscapes that looks so awful that becomes laughable. The 3D is also mixed. The digital effects look great in 3D but the rest of the film looks pretty flat.

JOURNEY 2 is pretty idiotic but it’s lively enough to keep the kids entertained. All the characters are likable especially Johnson who has great charisma. Hutcherson and Hudgens are cute together, plus Michael Caine is entertaining to watch no matter what film he is in (JAWS: THE REVENGE is proof of that). If you are looking for a fun film for the family, take a journey to the multiplex for JOURNEY 2.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/02/journey-2-the-mysterious-island-movie-review/
February 15, 2012 @ 03:33 AM
hiphopspaz

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This Means War: Movie Review


Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are two of today’s most talented rising stars, Pine’s break out roll was that of James T Kirk in the reboot of STAR TREK and Hardy has made a name for himself in the US with films like INCEPTION, WARRIOR, and will be playing the heavy in the upcoming Batman sequel. The pair display great chemistry in the new action rom-com THIS MEANS WAR, but all the chemistry in the world and the inclusion of the incredibly cute Reese Witherspoon can’t save this insanely stupid film.

THIS MEANS WAR follows two best friends, Franklin Delano Roosevelt aka FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) who also happen to be a couple of the world’s deadliest CIA operatives. FDR is not only a great spy, but he is also a smooth talking and cocky ladies man who scores with a different woman every night. Tuck on the other hand is just as handsome and dangerous as FDR but not as slick when it comes to women. Tuck is also a single father and might still have a thing for his ex-wife.

Tuck decides to put himself on the market by joining a dating site, where he meets Lauren (Witherspoon). The two hit it off really well and Tuck thinks he met the perfect girl for him, but just minutes after their first date, Lauren heads to the video store to rent a movie, where she meets FDR. FDR attempts to pick up Lauren but she sees right through him. Later he shows up at her job and leaves her no choice but to go out with him. Next thing you know, Lauren is now dating both spies and it does not take long for both to find out they are seeing the same woman.

THIS MEANS WAR could have been a very clever and fun movie, especially with this cast, but the screenplay by the writers behind such terrible films like X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, JUMPER, & JUST GO WITH IT give us something so lazy and predictable that the film barely qualifies as entertainment. There are a couple mildly funny moments, which include a scene when FDR and Tuck are listening in on a conversation between Lauren and her best friend when she goes into details on the men’s flaws. Also, you know that the film will include some action since it’s about two spies, but even those are flat.

THIS MEANS WAR is just another lame action-romance-comedy that could have worked if they left the romance part of it out. I just hope Hardy decides to concentrate on films worthy of his talents from here on.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/02/this-means-war-movie-review/
February 15, 2012 @ 03:43 PM
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Thin Ice: Movie Review


The new film THIN ICE by writer/director Jill Sprecher (Clockwatchers) is a semi-interesting piece of work. Not that the film itself is very good, but it does give us a few entertaining characters and a much needed twist in the final act to elevate the story from it’s extremely dull state.

Greg Kinnear plays Mickey Prohaska, a mid-western insurance agent who is quick to take advantage of people in order to make an easy buck. Mickey gets lucky one day while paying a visit to retired farmer Grovy Hauer (Alan Arkin). Within Grovy’s house filled with mostly worthless junk, lies a violin worth $25,000. With the help of local locksmith Randy (Billy Crudup), Mickey breaks into Grovy’s home to steal the violin. Unfortunately things get out of control when one of Grovy’s friends stop by and Randy decides to kill him.

What started out as an easy way to make a quick buck, turns into an extremely volatile situation. Now Mickey is constantly tormented by Randy who will continue to follow him around until Mickey sells the violin so they can split the money.

The biggest problem with THIN ICE is that the story takes too long to get anywhere interesting. None of the characters are very likeable but Kinnear and Arkin are both very good. Crudup is funny as the unstable Randy who is prone to sudden outbursts of rage. Unfortunately the rest of this dark-comedy is not very dark or funny.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/02/thin-ice-movie-review/
February 25, 2012 @ 02:01 AM
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ACT OF VALOR: MOVIE REVIEW

ACT OF VALOR is one hell of an impressive experiment in filmmaking. Swapping our professional actors for a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs was an inspired decision. Not to mention the edge-of-your-seat missions that help drive the film along. Almost every action set-piece on display here feels real and the dialogue spoken between the SEALs rings true. This is truly an exciting film, which entertains and pays homage to the real life SEALs that fight for our country every day.

ACT OF VALOR’s plot is pretty thin, but it really does not matter because most of it is just a blueprint to show us how these brave soldiers live their lives and make it through their campaigns. The combat sequences are breathtaking, especially when stealth plays a key role in the mission at hand.

Directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh (producers of the documentary STEP INTO LIQUID), they take us into the center of the Bandito Platoon and their mission to uncover a plot that involves terrorist cells that plan on causing mass destruction on U.S. soil.

ACT OF VALOR is actually the result of a seven minute documentary that the Bandito Brothers filmed in 2007. The short was about the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen. The Navy was so impressed by the project, that they decided to support a feature film being made.

Sure, not everything in ACT OF VALOR is realistic. Much of it is played for entertainment value as well it should be. After all, at its core, it is an action film. If you have ever wondered what it’s like to be a Navy SEAL, for less than two hours, you can get a pretty good idea. Go check out ACT OF VALOR, I doubt you will be disappointed.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/02/act-of-valor-movie-review/


WANDERLUST: MOVIE REVIEW

The new film by director David Wain (ROLE MODELS, WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER) titled WANDERLUST may lack originality, but at least it’s pretty damn funny. Thanks to a terrific cast which includes Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Ken Marino, and Kathryn Hahn. I know that I did not include Jennifer Aniston on the list, because honestly, I think her role could have been casted better.

The film starts out with George (Rudd) and Linda (Aniston) buying their first studio apartment micro-loft in New York’s West Village. In a very funny scene, we see the couple trying to fit furniture in the tiny living space. Not long after, George winds up losing his job and Linda’s sales pitch to HBO for her film winds up tanking.

With the couple now broke and forced to sell their new home at a loss, they decide to drive down to Georgia so that George can work for his jerk-of-a-brother Rick (Marino) at his port-a-potty business. Not only that, but George and Linda wind up moving in with Rick and his constantly tipsy wife Marisa ( Michalea Watkins) and their son. On their way down South, the couple stop off at a Bed & Breakfast that turns out to be an idyllic community called Elysium, where they spend one of the best nights of their lives before heading down to stay with Rick.

Once George and Linda arrive at Rick’s, things get way too tense and the couple decide to head back to Elysium and give that lifestyle a try. With colorful characters and a laid back way of life, things seem to be going great, but when Linda starts to really find joy in the new community, George begins to feel like his wife is slipping away from him.

WANDERLUST is a really funny film and much of it is due to Rudd, whom I always enjoy. In one outrageously funny scene, we see George practicing the art of talking dirty in the mirror which had me in stitches. The scene is funnier than any moment in film that I can remember seeing this year. Aniston is OK here but to me, that’s all she ever really is…just OK.

If you are looking to catch a flick that will give you a few chuckles for your money, then I think you might enjoy WANDERLUST.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/02/wanderlust-movie-review/
March 1, 2012 @ 03:29 AM
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PROJECT X: MOVIE REVIEW


The new film PROJECT X by first time feature film director Nima Nourizadeh is a unique cinematic experience. Filmed in the handheld-found-footage style that movies like CHRONICLE & CLOVERFIELD have done before, you would think that this trend in filmmaking has worn out its welcome. Well, if there is any type of film that fits this style, it is the traditional house party film. The thing is though, PROJECT X is not just any house party film. It’s a house party film on crack. The trailers cannot prepare you the events that transpire on screen and what a blast it was to behold. Granted, if I was 15 years younger, I am sure I would have enjoyed the film even more. This was made for the high school and college crowd.

The film starts out with three high school seniors, Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper), and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) who decide to throw a house party for Thomas’s birthday, while his parents are away for the weekend. Thomas is reluctant at first, but Costa talks him into it with the promise of beautiful women showing up. The camera used to film the movie is being controlled by a goth AV kid from the school named Dax (Dax Flame).

The three main kids in the film really have no other friends, aside from Thomas’s childhood friend Kirby (Kirby Bliss Blanton). She is a cutie and you know from the beginning that the two will wind up together, but that is such a minor part of the film, the real meat here is the party. What starts off with maybe 50-100 people, quickly grows to an upwards of 2,000 and things get completely out of control. Things turn from being fun to insanely violent. I really can’t tell you about much of the stuff that happens through the course of the night without ruining the film for you, but I can give you a small list of things PROJECT X taught me in case I ever wanted to host a house party myself.

1) If you have a dog, keep it isolated from the out of control party.

2) If there is a really expensive car in your driveway during the party, you may want to park it overnight somewhere else.

3) Do not steel anything from an unstable drug dealer if you don’t want him to come looking for you at the house party.

4) It’s not a good idea to try and shove a midget in the oven if you value your own testicles.

5) Having 85 lb. 13 year olds as your security guards might not be very effective.

6) If you are a bully, don’t show up to a house party that the ones you bullied are throwing. Even more so if you plan on passing out there.

7) And finally, if you are about to get lucky with the most beautiful girl in school. Make sure the bedroom door is locked so nobody can come in and disturb you.

PROJECT X is a whole lot of fun and it goes by pretty fast too, and just under 90 minutes. It is also not a lame PG-13 film either. Produced by Todd Philips (THE HANGOVER), we get plenty of good R-rated fun.

By: Marc Ferman

http://keepitclassic.com/2012/02/project-x-movie-review/
July 8, 2012 @ 07:39 PM
Trollinator

Post: 5030

Join Date: Jun 2010

Location: Location

Yo spaz, where you at?

I loved reading your reviews!!!!

hope everything is well

I want to see the world burn


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