Saturday, September 7, 2013

We're The Millers

"We're The Millers" starts out pretty strong and then _____. It flattens out. A good cast, trying their best, can't make up for a script that begins to die the minute the premise (that thing the trailer uses to get people to see the movie) starts in the second act. What's left is a disappointment.

Jason Sudeikis is David, a drug dealer who is robbed of cash he needs to pay off his supplier (Ed Helms). To erase the debt, Helms arranges for Sudeikis to go to Mexico, and come back with a "smidge, smidge and a half" of marijuana. To cross the border inconspicuously Sudeikis decides to have two of his neighbors, a stripper played by Jennifer Aniston and an eighteen year old kid played by Will Poulter, and a homeless girl played by Emma Roberts, pose as a typical american family.

Once they get into Mexico, the terms of the deal become apparent. According to Helms a smidge is roughly a couple hundred bags of weed, enough to fill every hiding spot on a giant RV. Of course, nothing goes as planned and things get complicated when the family runs into a DEA agent, his wife, and their eighteen year old daughter (Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, and Molly Quinn, respectively). They also run into other drug dealers who have a problem with the arrangement.

Focus on Molly Quinn and the problems with the movie become clear. It's half-baked. Her role in the film is strictly to hook up with Poulter's character. We know almost nothing about her outside of what her parents are like, the two of them have virtually no scenes together, and in the end Poulter wins her over because that's his major arc in the film. She doesn't get an arc in this movie, but she's used to make Poulter look like a nerd, a freak, and in the end a hero.

The rest of the movie has the "family" getting to know each other in some admittedly sweet scenes, and getting out of a few ridiculous jams. Unfortunately this doesn't make up for when characters, mainly Sudeikis, have to behave like assholes just because the screenwriters throw another curveball to pad the movie.

In the end, the performances do save this movie. I believed all the actors involved liked working with each other, which is the only reason why this movie may be worth watching. They're all funny in it, but they have only themselves to thank for that.

2.5/5 Stars

"We're The Millers" is a Warner Brothers film directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber


Friday, May 3, 2013

Iron Man 3 (No Spoilers)

How do you successfully follow up The Avenger's? That's is:
A) An obvious question Marvel Studious asked themselves
B) An obvious opening to this review
C) Scale back
D) All of the above
     D is the answer.
Marvel did what they do best by brining in the right people and changing the formula a bit from the previous films. This feels like a different Iron Man film than the others because it tries to bring certain elements full circle, even though the end of the era isn't until Avengers 2 (at least). Downey's role mostly remains the same (in quantity and quality), but Paltrow, Favreau, and Cheadle are all given a chance to do more than just act as "Stark's foil" this time.

The plot of the film is based on The Extremist storyline and the villains are The Mandarin and Aldrich Killian. These men are terrorist, who just want to reek havoc on Tony and the world. To beef themselves up, Extremist is used to give Killian an edge against Tony's suits. This is one of the best parts of the film, as this movie has the best fight scenes of the stand-alone Iron Man films, people are actually able to physically threaten Tony, whether he has the suit or not.

Balancing out the action is a heavy dose of comedy, and some nice drama. Since this film is directed by Shane Black (who directed Downey in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), the banter, comebacks, and general a-holeness of Tony Stark is better than ever. Luckily, it's consistently funny, but not constantly present.
A major focus is put on what happens to Tony after The Avengers. He's on put on edge after the experience and worries about the safety of himself, Pepper, and Rhodey. The scenes come through at a moment's notice, and to his credit Downey transitions between everything thrown at him seamlessly. In doesn't matter if someone's wearing a super-suit and in the middle of a fight, or just relaxing on a couch because everything fits together perfectly in this film, and I'm probably going to look back and call it the best film of the summer.

4/5 Stars.