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>> Monday, February 6, 2012

A couple posts back I spoke about my decision to begin including reviews by others, more or less in an effort to make things easier on myself. After reading the following review by Luke Fandrich over at Editing Luke, I asked him if I could share it here and he was more than willing. So thank you, Luke!

I also stated in the aforementioned post that before I shared a review I would see the film in question. After reading Luke's review, I no longer had the urge and am pretty sure I'm glad I didn't waste my time. As Luke states, "
embrace the trailer for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and then move onto other nominees". So that's what I did and for your embracing pleasures, I've included the trailer for the film below Luke's review. Enjoy!

~Angry Charlie


*Reviewed by Editing Luke of Editing Luke and Jeeves and the Jaguar

Slowly b
ut surely I've been crossing nominees off of my Oscar screening list. A few nights ago, Andrea and I went to see Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, one of the nine nominees for Best Picture this year. I'll be blunt about this one, it wasn't very good.

The trailer for this flick had me excited, sort of the way I felt after seeing the trailer for United 93. I was imaging an emotional, but heartfelt picture about an innocent kid and his soul searching quest to find meaning against the backdrop of 9/11. It looked genuine and fresh.

The problem I had immediately with the film was the kid, to be honest. Part of his back-story is that he has some kind of social disorder or disability (never really defined in the movie) that makes him awkward and emotionally abrupt. He was always on the verge of a panic attack or he was flying off the walls with rage. In the first thirty minutes all I kept thinking was, what is his problem? How am I supposed to relate to him if he's so aggravating to watch? And, really? Someone thought audiences wouldn't find it annoying to centre such a sensitive story around a character who is already this disconnected from reality to begin with?

Like I said, I expected an emotional story, but the kid overwhelms every aspect of the narrative. His ticks and commentary seemed so gratuitous and heavy handed that I was actually relieved when some of the supporting players finally got a bit of screen time.

The thread of the film is the quest to find a lock for a key that is found in the father's closet after he dies during the attacks. I actually really liked the concept, but was scratching my head again when it wasn't really explained why the key should be relevant to begin with. Even the close relationship between the father and son didn't really justify that this seemingly random find would be worthy of scouring the city to find answers for. I suppose it could be argued that the quest to find meaning in some of these traumatic events is a hopeless search, but I still found myself thinking that wouldn't the kid be more content to search out a part of his father's actual history? Something that he already knew was important to his father?

I know in my own experiences in dealing with loss that I'm looking to give random items more meaning. You end up looking to expand on the things that you already knew meant something - unfinished business. The proposed scavenger hunt in Extremely Loud didn't seem grounded enough in many aspects.

When all is said and done though, I would have overlooked so many of the film's flaws if the kid was more relatable, a bit more innocent, more wide-eyed, more raw, and just far less stunted. In a story that was genuinely full of compelling connections and human stories, why have the main character fight against all of those naturally inspiring encounters instead of adding to them? Why distract us with painfully enigmatic narration and a kid who you have to will yourself to even root for? In short, it was the perfect recipe to continually disconnect from the plot.

It may be a bit harsh, but the flick isn't anywhere close to being one of the best films from 2011 and certainly shouldn't have been nominated in my opinion. If you really want to watch a powerful film surrounding 9/11, there are literally ten other flicks I could recommend to you - United 93 for starters. Do yourself a favor and embrace the trailer for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and then move onto the other nominees.



>> Friday, February 3, 2012


I have a vow... it's to never see this movie. If you liked Dear John or The Notebook though, you'll be in line opening day - which proves my point. All these movies are formulas used time and time again to get you into the theatre to cry - not at the repetitive nature from which these films are drawn, of course. But for the tragedy that befalls our hero couple and the pitfalls they're forced to overcome to hold each other just... once... more.

Do I dislike romantic, sappy movies? No, not really. Do I dislike unoriginal ones? Yup. I know there's a line out there that states every story has already been told in one form or another. While this may be true, it's not about a couple struggling with love that needs change - it's the way it's told. We see love all the time in movies and it's done in a million different ways. So if The Vow was willing to try harder, than perhaps it could become more of a timeless film than a money-grubbing one.

Even the actors in this film are reused from other sappy dramas. As you probably know, Rachel McAdams was in The Notebook and Channing Tatum was in Dear John. My question is where are Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? Because The Vow uses the same 'I need you to fall in love with me after your memory loss' ingredients as 50 First Dates implemented. Hell, even The Notebook was a movie based ENTIRELY on that concept. That's why I refuse to see it- because I've seen those movies and prefer to see a movie more original.

However, there is one good thing to come out of speaking about this film. It's inspired me to start using a new term on my site when referring to movies that reuse the same story lines over and over - ESP. ESP is not only the ability I have to tell EXACTLY what it will be like based on the (much shorter) trailer, but it is a rating system I am officially implementing as of now.

In this case, The Vow has an ESP (Exact Same Plot) rating of 7/10.

If you don't believe in ESP, The Vow opens February 10th right in time for Valentine's Day! Wait, I'm seeing something else with my ESP - it appears to be a cash cow. Fact.



>> Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Besides my first post and introduction to this blog back in July of 2009, I've never spoken candidly on this blog until today. Normally I share all my intimate thoughts on my more personal blog (Don't Make Charlie Angry) and leave this blog to the purpose I intended it for - sharing my reviews of newer movies.

Unfortunately, what's happened in the past four to five months is I seemed to have pretty much stopped completely. After 114 written and video reviews it appears I've run out of the passion to review movies - or at least write about the films I see a couple times a week. That stated, I'm proud of what I've accomplished through this site but I'm still not sure where to take it.

I've thrown around lots of ideas and what it's come down to is this: I simply want to make it easier on myself to be excited about my blog and sharing my thoughts and opinions of movies in general. So, since I'm not sure where to start - I'll do the easiest thing possible.

If I feel like writing a review about a movie, I will. There are a lot of great movies out there and if you come (or were coming) to my site I don't want to take that away from you. But I don't always have the time or ambition to write was is essentially an essay outlining my likes and dislikes of any movie in particular. So, what I want to do in an effort to consistently update my site is start sharing others' reviews. I'm aware this is something similar to what Rotten Tomatoes does, but what's different is there are a lot of critics I watch on YouTube or read regularly that could never hope to be featured on such an exclusive site. So I want to start sharing them here.

As usual, I'll see the movie in question before I present a review for it. Whether it'll be my own review will be determined if I have anything else to say that wasn't covered in another's review (be it video or written). I may even review others' reviews and see how that goes. By doing things this way I hope to not only gain my passion for blogging again, but provide something a little different to those of you who are beginning to tire of the usual movie review sites.

So, with that, I'm moving forward and hopefully the change works for you! Please be patient with me for the next few months as I may seem all over the place, but I assure you - in the end Angry Charlie Reviews will be a better site for it.

Happy February!



>> Friday, January 6, 2012

Growing up I vaguely remember the story of Tintin and his dog Snowy, not to mention his friend Capatain Haddock. I remember this because it was a cartoon and back in the day before there was too much to watch the selections were limited. As a cartoon, Tintin always seemed a little dry but nonetheless I found myself watching it from time to time. Then - nothing. At least not for fifteen years of my life.

Then, through my various interweb snoopings, a couple of years ago I discovered Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were teaming up to bring Tintin to the big screen. Retrospectively, it's surprising it took anybody this long to make a movie based on one of the most successful comic series of all time. But alas, along with writers Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) this amazingly talented super team has brought us The Adventures of Tintin, which also happens to be Spielberg's first 3D movie. As Scorcese did with Hugo, I'm happy to say he's done it right.

In this case, The Adventures of Tintin turns out to be more of a single adventure - one surrounding an old ship called the Unicorn. The ship itself belonged to a relative of Captain Haddock, who's played by the motion capture master himself - Andy Serkis. Tintin is played by Jamie Bell and other notable 'performances' come from Thomson and Thompson, who are voiced by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg respectively.

works for a lot of reasons. The biggest and most important reason it works is why any good film succeeds - the story. I'm not certain if the story is wholly based on previously written written material, although I wouldn't be surprised as even my foggy memory shook loose a few familiar moments from the cartoon. Other reasons Tintin is so wonderful are in part due to the amazing special effects, the successfully utilized 3D and my thirst for adventure - or anybody's for that matter. Any criticisms lie within that of the uncanny valley. While I admire the detailed animation and often marvelled at it - my suspended disbelief was never broken per say, just jarred.

The Adventures of Tintin gets an open door as I suspected it would. It's kid friendly, it's adult friendly and it's PETA friendly. Seriously, a lesser dog would have been eaten by that hawk. With Oscar season upon us, Tintin is sure to score big in at least a couple of categories including Best Animated Feature. I imagine a sequel isn't far off either.



>> Sunday, January 1, 2012


What I love most about One for the Money's leading lady Katherine Heigl is that she doesn't care if she becomes the next Nicholas Cage. Lately she's made bad movie after bad movie and the last good movie Heigl was in was 2007's Knocked Up. Since then she's made several screen mistakes including her most recent debacles New Year's Eve and Life as We Know It. Coincidentally Life as We Know It was the movie I refused to see in October of 2010.

While Heigl's movies are undoubtedly enjoyable to a select few and while she is delightful and charming in all the right ways - the plots of her movies are unoriginal and idiotic cliché-ridden disasters. Not to mention the casting director for Money must've thought Heigl looked smokin' next to The Ugly Truth co-star Gerard Butler, because they cast his doppelganger Jason O' Mara (TV's Terra Nova) to be the man Heigl is dangerously in love with for this train wreck.

What's One for the Money about? Just imagine Heigl as a down-on-her-luck girl who decides to become Dog the Bounty Hunter. I imagine that's how it was pitched to the studio and based on the trailer - that's how it's pitched to you. No thanks - I think when it comes to One for the Money, I'm gonna skip bail when it opens January 27th. Happy 'New' Year!



>> Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It doesn't take more than one look at the now widely known and absurd trailer for Jack and Jill to know that by this point Adam Sandler is almost parodying himself. The trailer looks like it would have been something Sandler threw together as a skit back in his SNL days. Sadly, it's not. It's a movie the studio invested in and it's a movie that will get some play. People may almost want to see the movie that was 'so bad it's good'. Snakes on a Plane did it in 2006, Piranha 3D did it last year - will this be the year of Jack and Jill? It's hard to say.

What I do know is that I will be seeing it. And I will be reviewing it. Unfortunately as we near the Oscars it becomes harder and harder to find a movie you don't want to watch. Also, that weekend, it happens I'll be visiting my friend Luke in Medicine Hat, AB. I've never known anybody that has made watching a bad movie as enjoyable as Luke. As an example, I saw Rob Schneider's The Hot Chick and thought nothing good of it until I watched it with Luke. Now it's one of my favorite movies. Fact is, Luke has a way of sucking you into his enjoyment of bad movies with him and making you see why ridiculous is sometimes funny. It's hit or miss at times - if Luke doesn't like a bad movie (like 2007's Norbit), then you know it's really bad.

With Jack and Jill coming out the weekend I visit Luke, it seems like too good an opportunity to pass up. It is a 'watch with Luke' movie after all. And although I most certainly won't recommend it (we all can't know a Luke, after all), I will enjoy the pure ridiculousness of Al Pacino hitting on Sandler in drag. It's sad not because he wouldn't, but because he agreed to do it on film. Sigh... I miss Scarface Pacino.

If you want to risk falling down and breaking your crown, Jack and Jill opens November 11th.



>> Saturday, October 29, 2011


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