1492 Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Happy Madison Productions,

Michelle Monaghan, Adam Sandler, Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Ashley Benson, Josh Gad, Kevin James, Jane Krakowski

Will Cooper (Kevin James) and Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler) were best friends as kids. In 1982 they competed in the Arcade Video Game World Championship. Sam came in second. The contest was taped, and along with other pop culture icons of the 80’s and the tape was sent in a capsule into space in the hope that an alien race might find it and come to visit. Decades have now passed, and Will has now become President of the United States, while Sam is working as an nerd squad installer of TV’s, sound systems, and game consoles. As they had hoped, an alien race has received the video tape, but misunderstood it as a declaration of war, and so now they have sent a war ship of real creations of video game characters to engage the Earth in a 3 life, winner take all, video game challenge. President Cooper has to call on Sam and their old crew to assist the military in a battle to save the world.

I was really anxious to see this film, mostly because I lived through the brief period of the height of the arcade period. My four sons and I spent plenty of quarters on the classic games. I can remember when Pong arrived, and was quickly followed by Asteroids, Space Invaders, and then a lineup of new games every week it seems. So I was interested in the the subject matter. I knew folks who had reservations as Sandler has lately had a rather weak batting average in the box office of late, unless it’s a rom-com with Drew Barrymore. But now that I’ve finally got a chance to see this film, I was NOT disappointed. Sandler did a really good job in this one, and he and Kevin James did a pretty good job with the assistance of Peter Dinklage, Sean Bean, and Michelle Monaghan. The story was really well done, and the tributes to the arcade games of our younger years was a lot of fun. Unfortunately they gave a lot of the best scenes away in the trailer, but still it was well done. It’s not really serious, it’s 99% comedy. But the gags are really good, and there are a lot of fun times here. This was one of those experiences where you can just kick back, eat your popcorn, and relax. No suspense, and the action is tongue in cheek, but there’s a lot of action, and the game play is very Ghostbuster-like. I enjoyed this film a lot, and I wish I had gone to see it a lot earlier. I don’t know why I waited so long. If you don’t mind silly concepts and Adam Sandler/Kevin James style humor, then you may not like it. But if you don’t mind that, I would highly recommend this one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Muse Productions, O’ Salvation, Division Films,

James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane, Heather Morris, Ash Lendzion, Emma Holzer, Jeff Jarrett

Four college girls at a religious college want to experience more from life than school and church. As spring break approaches, they have no cash, but a desire to experience a wild time at the beach. They fund this adventure by robbing a fast food joint, lying to their parents, and going off on an adventure which quickly turns pretty bad, and very dangerous. Arrested and in serious trouble they meet a local guy (James Franco) who offers them assistance in return for a few requests of his own. Things spiral into a very dark place very quickly.

This movie is schizophrenic! It really never decides what it wants to be. That doesn’t mean it’s horrible, but it does confuse the people who think they’re going to like for one of several reasons, and then they don’t like it because it’s not what they expected. What I’m trying to say is that an one level, it’s a very artsy film, pretentious editing, slo-mo effects, and trying to please the Sundance crowd. Then there’s tons of pictures of teen girls in bikinis partying all night long. One might expect it to be a teen exploitation flick, which is kind of resembles, but really isn’t at all. It appeals to the kids with Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, etc., but it really bashes them to point out how stupid and shallow they are, so it doesn’t make the younger crowd happy. The young men and women in the film are totally one dimensional and have not depth to their characters at all. Then the whole latter part of the film is so weird and very dark that there’s no way to explain it. I have no idea who Alien (James Franco) really is, and what motivates him. He’s just as stupid and one dimensional as the rest of the cast. So all in all, it’s a story with a message that tries to reach out to many different groups, and really doesn’t make any of them happy. Still, it did have a decent message, and when all is said and done, I didn’t hate it for any of the reasons other reviewers did. But at the same time, I didn’t find it particularly worthy of praise either, so I end up kind of ambivalent about the whole thing, and pass it off with a shrug. Ok, so I saw it. So what? Watch it if you want, or if you’re interested, but if you’re disappointed because its not what you want it to be, don’t be surprised. You’ve been warned.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** Christmas Cupid (2010)

ABC Family

Chad Michael Murray, Ashley Benson, Christina Milian, Ryan Sypek, Burgess Jenkins, Cara Mantella, Reagan Michelle, Christie Maher, Jackee Harry, Patrick Johnson, Sharon Morris, Justin Smith

Christina Milian is Sloane Spencer, beautiful, fashionable, public relations representative and her first big client is a challenge.  Ashley Benson is Caitlin Quinn, superstar bad girl who keeps getting into one jam after another which Sloane has to get her out of.  On Christmas Eve she takes off on a boat and, drunk as usual, falls over the side and dies.  But Sloane keeps seeing her.  She’s come back as her personal ghost of Christmas past, present, and future.  Sloane has to learn first hand the things she has to change to be truly happy.

I am typically a big fan of Christmas Carol stories, and I enjoy them all from Scott to Stewart to Grammer, to Murray, to the Muppets, to Mickey Mouse, to Mr. Magoo, and everywhere in between.  But this is so loosely based on the story that it doesn’t hardly resemble it at all.  This is about whether or not she dumped the wrong sweetheart, hence the title.  Christina Milian is cute and ambitious in this role, but the script is really weak.  Caitlin tries to play a Lindsey-Paris type superstar, which she’s not bad at, but when she’s a ghost, she has few redeeming qualities.  Everything is jokes and crack ups and teasing the poor living folks that can see them.  Plus the ghosts are not ghosts but alternate images of living people.  I never thought I’d ever find a Christmas Carol I didn’t like, but there’s a first time for everything.  She found true love and made up with her family and friends, but I don’t know that it matters much.  I hope she got what she wanted.  I’m going to switch over to “Barbie’s Christmas Carol” instead.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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