Name: Al_K_Hall

Most Recent Reviews by Al_K_Hall

(500) Days of Summer

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Reviewed by Al_K_Hall

You know how you see these billboards of a new bar with some radical name and the radio ads sound pretty cool so you think you’ll discover yet another home away from home until you get there and find the place is jacked full of yuppies, the drinks are overpriced and watered down, and not only is it ‘decorated’ but all the decoration is imitation English pub crap that came out of some Ikean nightmare? That’s where i found myself in this flick.

What a disappointing Summer. Here i was expecting this nice indie film getaway and ended up at a run of the mill Motel 6 in the middle of the the suburbs. Basically what you have here is a package tour, emphasis on the word ‘package’. Because that’s all this movie is: marketing to the independent circuit. They get this cool poster and start a lot of buzz and spin it as a quirky thing off the beaten path when in fact it’s standard romantic comedy fare parked dead center in the middle of the road.

Sundance my ass. i’d like to Sun-dance on their freakin’ graves is what. Just ranting about how they manipulated me into seeing this infuriates me and i feel like going up to the top of this review and ripping a star down, but that wouldn’t be fair to Zooey Deschanel, who turned in a neat performance. She did what she could to keep this film cutting edge cute but there was too much other crap holding it back, like the script. Like a narrator who rarely narrates, which is in fact a good thing because his lines come across as Pushing Up Daisies throwaways. Like scenes which are supposed to be ‘experimental’ but actually have all the originality of Applebee’s sports memorabilia.

One pleasant surprise was the supporting role of Rachel, the lead guy’s younger sister, as portrayed by 12-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz. Her performance was solid, especially when considering her age. Keep an eye on her, she’s one to watch.

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Funny People

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Reviewed by Al_K_Hall

You know how you go to the bar and meet this really cool girl (could be a guy, but, yeah…) and start talking to her and she’s kinda funny and kinda interesting and you catch yourself having a really nice time? She’s more than you expected, a little deeper than you thought and her story’s intriguing so you slowly settle into her like khalua in coffee? Until after a couple drinks and she starts talking about her ex and how she’s still hooked on him and do you think he still loves her and should she call him and what should she say when she does? She keeps talking and keeps talking and keeps talking and keeps talking and you realize she’s not so different than any other girl in the place and you start looking at your watch and try to think up a good excuse to bail without hurting her feelings? That’s the way it is with Funny People.

Funny People is, in fact, two movies. The first one is decent (three shots) but the second one is as flat as warm English beer (one shot). i’m guessing that Judd Apatow got power drunk on the successes of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up and started wielding this power with all the deftness of a drunken German sloshing his stein at Oktoberfest. It’s like Stephen King: once he got famous, his publishers stopped editing his books and we got shafted with things like the uncut version of It (which is a huge thing to get shafted by).

The sad thing is, most of the actors turn in decent performances, especially Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen who get the chance to shrug off their clown costumes, but you don’t really notice this because your eyes are closed praying for the end of the film to put you out of your misery. Maybe what upsets me the most about Funny People is that Apatow should have shown a little restraint, and i hate the word ‘restraint’ even more than i hate ’sobriety’.

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The Proposal

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Reviewed by Al_K_Hall

You know that one sober simp who only knows one joke and tells it, always badly, repeatedly and the only reason you invite him along to the bar is so you can make fun of him? That’s why i see romantic comedies. So i can sit here in the Bar None and tear them a new one. Sure, it’s easy but us drunks find fun wherever we can, right?

Like that stupid joke your stupid designated driver tells over and over again, i knew exactly where the story was going and just what the punch line was. i got it, but it didn’t make me smile.

As for The Proposal, the only original thing about it was–just kidding, there was nothing even remotely related to ‘new’ here. Not even as distantly related as Ben Affleck is to Obama. Nope, not even that distant.

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The Descent: Part 2

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Reviewed by Al_K_Hall

You know how when you were in high school and you’d go to a party where there’s the one drunk ass who loves sneaking up behind girls and startling them by grabbing their shoulders and screaming in their ear so they jump and spill their beers and he giggles as he looks for the next chick to do it to? He thinks everyone yelling at him and telling him to get the hell out is part of the game and he truly considers himself to be the entertainment for the evening and the next time you see him he’ll say “Remember that one party where I scared all the girls and they freaked? That was pretty awesome!” The Descent: Part 2 is kinda like that.

The director, Jon Harris, must’ve done that a lot when he was younger ’cause that’s pretty much all he does here. He confuses suspense with making people jump, not realizing the former is an art and the second is cheap. The first Descent was great until you saw the monsters because of the violence and the ambiguity surrounding the cause of it. Then the hellions showed up and the movie sank into standard horror fare. Unfortunately, The Descent 2 starts out with the monsters so all we get is Friday The Thirteenth in a cave and not even a token titty shot to tide us over.

The other major drawback of The Descent 2 are the WTF!? moments. i won’t go into them here because i don’t want to spoil anything, but looking at my notes i find at least five times where the story was so absurd i just had to ask myself: WTF!? (Ok, i can’t resist, SPOILER ALERT! At the beginning of the movie, Sarah (Shauna Macdonald) can’t remember what happened in the cave during The Descent (WTF!?) and the police suspect her of killing her friends so they decide to take her to the cave again (WTF!?) and when she gets there she doesn’t freak out (WTF!?) until she has a flashback and realizes all of the horrors that happened there so she RUNS AWAY FROM THE GROUP (WTF!?) and, instead of looking for an exit, SHE RUNS DEEPER INTO THE CAVES! (WTF!?))

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