FlixChatter Review: SEX TAPE (2014)

AshleyBanner

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This review will be short and sweet because honestly there’s not a whole lot to say about Sex Tape.

A married couple wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts. 

Yep. That’s about it. I went in with low expectations and it’s exactly what I got. The story is pretty simple. Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) met in college and had an intense physical relationship, but an accidental pregnancy, marriage and another kid later, they find their sex life is somewhat nonexistent. Annie is a mommy blogger whose blog is being courted by a Fisher Price type company and Jay is a music producer who is constantly gifting his iPads to family, friends and strangers. So, when Jay upgrades to a cloud based storage system and they film their sex tape on his iPad, it’s automatically sent to all of Jay’s used iPads. Yikes.

Sounds like a great foundation for a comedy right? Eh. When a film isn’t even rated half good (4.9/10 on IMDB), how do you expect audiences to be excited for it? Sure, there were some comical and awkward scenes, but it just felt tired. It was Jason Segel being Jason Segel. With the exception of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, his comedy has become redundant. And, he can’t seem to let go of that one character.

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I’m a big fan of Cameron Diaz’s humor because she’s physical, expressive and isn’t afraid to make herself look ridiculous. But, not even she could save this film. Which is a shame because I really enjoyed her last film, The Other Woman. True, it didn’t receive great reviews either, but maybe because the humor of that film was on the weird and complex nature of female relationships.

Honestly the amount of nudity and the premise of the film just didn’t work for me. The nudity was completely gratuitous and at times very awkward. Segel and Diaz spent more time naked than actually acting. Plus, it wasn’t believable that an intelligent, tech savvy couple couldn’t figure out how to delete their file from the cloud. I guess it wouldn’t make for an interesting film, but the couple embarked on a race to individually delete the file. Their journey leads them to Annie’s possible future boss’s house. Frank (Rob Lowe) appears to be clean cut, but Jay and Annie find him home alone and letting loose. I swear Lowe doesn’t seem to age, but he’s plays the eccentric, aloof characters so well. The film is almost worth seeing just because of him. Almost. 

I originally was going to give this three reels, but the more I’ve been thinking about it, it really only deserves a two. Sorry, I really dug into this one I know. But, I’m just being honest!

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PostByAshley


So what do you think of this movie? Am I alone on the Jason Segel thing?

FlixChatter Review: The Other Woman (2014)

AshleyBanner

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I went in to The Other Woman expecting next to nothing, but I came out with sore abs, cheekbones and wet cheeks. Simply put, this film was hilarious! I haven’t laughed this hard at a movie in a really long time. In my opinion, comedies are hard to review because whether or not it’s funny is all relative. I must’ve been in desperate need for a good laugh, because there were parts where I was crying from laughing so hard. If you see it, I think you’ll know exactly which scenes I’m referencing. Yes, it’s raunchy and has some slapstick humor, but it works. Its 40 Year Old Virgin meets Bridesmaids.

The film opens with what we’re lead to believe is the beginning of a normal RomCom. Carly (Cameron Diaz) and Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) have the typical meet cute and we see a montage of growing romance. Then the rug is pulled out from under our feet, as we learn Mark is actually married. However, Carly is unaware of his marital status and is just as upset over Mark’s betrayal as his wife, Kate (Leslie Mann). That’s not all! Just when we think we have Mark figured out, we learn he’s not only cheating on his wife but also his girlfriend. Duh, duh, duh.

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Meet Amber (Kate Upton), a twenty-something with a gorgeous body with not so much as a light bulb glowing upstairs. Amber is setup to play the typical dumb blonde; however, the film acknowledges this cliché and pokes fun at it. With that said, Amber is significantly downplayed (as you might’ve guessed Upton doesn’t really contribute much to the film). In fact, Vulture created a post listing the entirety of Upton’s lines. 

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After Kate awkwardly yet hilariously confronts Carly about her husband, the two begin the weirdest friendship ever (the tagline says it all), but you’ll love every minute of it! What I truly appreciated was instead of the women being petty towards one another they banded together and decided to get payback. Diaz does exceptionally well with physical comedy and Mann isn’t afraid of making herself look ridiculous for the sake of comedy. There were several scenes where Mann delivered perfect verbal diarrhea, which must’ve been completely impromptu. Nevertheless, I dare you to keep a straight face! Also, keep an eye out for some of Mann’s more ridiculous outfits.

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You know who did surprise me was Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Most notable for his portrayal of Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones, Nikolaj is not too shabby with comedy. His comedic timing was very natural and seemed unphased performing some self-deprecating scenes (comparable to the infamous Dumb & Dumber bathroom scene). Additionally, I was impressed by his American accent. Even though he slipped a few times, for a Danish actor it was pretty good!

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There were very few things that bothered me, but Nikki Minaj was one of them. Personally, I found Minaj (Lydia) to be very distracting and, like Upton, didn’t add much to this film. Luckily, she only has a small role and is featured only a handful of times. Additionally, there were a few cheesy scenes that tried to bring a serious note to the film, which I thought were entirely unnecessary. 

I purposely avoided watching the trailer and didn’t really know anything going into the film. However, I did watch it afterwards and was pleasantly surprised by how much they left out. So if you think you’ve seen all the comedic parts, there’s a lot more where that came from! Overall, I really enjoyed watching this film, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t laugh as much as I did. Enjoy!

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PostByAshley


Have you seen The Other Woman? What did you think of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau comedic debut?

Indie Review: Lake Bell’s debut film ‘In A World’

Two of the films I was impressed with at MSPfest happen to be directed by women. One was Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, which is as far away from this one in terms of tone and subject matter, but I’d highly recommend both. I like the fact that this one is a comedy, it’s quite rare to see a well-written comedies these days that don’t contain overly foul language and/or crude sexual/bathroom humor. Thankfully, this debut film from Lake Bell contains neither, but it definitely delivers the laughs and then some.

In A World (2012)

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An underachieving vocal coach is motivated by her father, the king of movie-trailer voice-overs, to pursue her aspirations of becoming a voiceover star. Amidst pride, sexism and family dysfunction, she sets out to change the voice of a generation.

As someone who watch at least half a dozen movie trailers a week, the premise definitely appeals to me. In fact, earlier today I saw a trailer of Inescapable that pretty much had this cheesy VO narration that tells you the plot of the story. The protagonist of this movie, Carol (Lake Bell), lives under the shadow of her voice-over star dad Sam Solomon (Fred Melamed). After being kicked out of her dad’s house to accommodate for his new young wife — which Carol refers to as his groupie — she has to pack her bags and live with her sister.

As a vocal coach, Carol often has to coach certain celebrities when they have to adopt a certainly adopt a certain accent, but voicing a trailer is still pretty much an elite boys club. An opportunity suddenly presents itself when a big studio is looking for a voice over for a quadrilogy blockbuster sci-fi franchise and with the help of her friend Louis (Demetri Martin), she just might have a chance to break into the glass ceiling of that industry. The whole VO competition involving her dad and another VO star Gustav, an eccentric douche bag who takes a shine on Carol, provide most of the laughs. Ken Marino is a hoot as Gustav, a familiar face though I can’t quite put my finger on what movies I’ve seen him in. There’s also a comical side plot about Carol’s sister marital infidelity involving a seductive hunk in the form of Irish hunk Jason O’Mara. Seriously who could resist him with his natural Irish brogue 😉

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This is the first time I’ve seen Lake Bell, though I’ve heard of her before this movie. She not only star in this but also wrote and directed her debut film, and I must say I’m impressed! She’s got excellent comic timing and a knack for accents, and the story is surprisingly engaging and downright hilarious. The tall and svelte Bell could make a living as a model but she really made herself to look very plain here as a perpetually-disheveled tomboy whose ‘signature look’ is a denim overall. But she’s instantly likable and she surround herself with equally affable and amusing characters.

It was fun to see cameos from Geena Davis, Eva Longoria and Cameron Diaz as well, the scene of Longoria struggling to say just one simple line with a British accent had me in stitches! This movie premiered in Sundance a few months ago and I hope it’ll get some decent distribution in the coming months. I’m glad I got to see this comedic gem, and it’s one I actually don’t mind seeing again.


Thoughts on IN A WORLD and/or Lake Bell?

Upcoming Flix Spotlight: The Coen Brothers’ Gambit remake

I haven’t visited impawards site in a while but I’m glad I did so today. How have I not heard of this film before?? I mean, hello Col. Brandon and Mr. Darcy… I mean, these are two of my all time favorite period drama heroes!! 😉

The gist:

So what’s Gambit about? Now, you comic-book fans out there might think of the X-Men character, but no, it has nothing to do with that. Here’s the synopsis from Orange.com:

Private art curator Harry Deane (Colin Firth) devises a finely-crafted scheme to con England’s richest man and avid art collector, Lionel Shabandar, (Alan Rickman) into purchasing a fake Monet painting. In order to bait his buyer, he recruits a Texas rodeo queen (Cameron Diaz) to cross the pond and pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII.

It’s described as a crime-comedy. Now, another thing that piqued my interest is that the screenplay is written by the Coen Brothers, who specializes in this kind of genre. But this time they’re not directing the movie, instead, it’ll be Michael Hoffman (One Fine Day, The Last Station) doing the directing duties. The story is a remake of the 1966 movie of the same name with Michael Caine as Harry. I don’t know how many remakes the Coens have done in the past, I think The Ladykillers and True Grit were remakes, but I’ve only seen the latter and that was one of my top 5 movies of 2010.

The Cast:

See my first paragraph. Obviously the two male leads Alan Rickman and Colin Firth sold me already on this movie. But add the always excellent Stanley Tucci and this automatically becomes a run-don’t-walk-to-the-theater kinds of flicks. But Cameron Diaz?? Heh, can’t say I’m enthused about her casting… but I’ve got to admit, she’s got good comedic skills, case in point: Something About Mary, and I totally could see her as a Texas rodeo queen. Besides, it could be worse… Jennifer Aniston was considered for the role of PJ Puznowski.

Looks like the pics above are snapped at Heathrow Airport. Boy, even at 40 Diaz’s still rockin’ those daisy dukes! I like the fact that the movie is filmed on location in London. No Rickman in sight though, but no matter, I just have a good feeling about this one. With the Coens’ script, this seems poised to be quite an entertaining caper comedy.

Now the bad news… for us in America anyway…

Release dates:

According to Cinemablend, Gambit has been pushed back by CBS Films from October 12th of this year to a mysterious time in “Winter 2013.” Not sure why that is, but apparently the studio is placing Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths in its slot. Looks like my UK friends are the lucky ones as they still get to see it this year on November 21.

Added 9/20:

The trailer is now here!

Man, now I’m even more excited to see this!


Thoughts on this movie folks? Are you going to see this one?

Clip Spotlight: Brett Favre in “There’s Something About Mary”

In honor of the Vikings’ playoff game today against Dallas Cowboys, I thought it’d be fun to post this classic scene from There’s Something About Mary where Brett Favre played Mary’s (Cameron Diaz) boyfriend.

I’m still working to embed this video but
you can watch the clip here

This movie is such a riot. “What the hell is Brett Favre doing here?” Ha! And I love how Ben Stiller’s character pronounced his name “Fa… v..re” towards the end.  The funniest thing is how Favre never even bothered to act, I mean the dude was smirking the whole time! I know he’s playing himself, but come on! It’s also amusing to see how ginormous he is compared to the rest of the people in the room, as he seems like an average, even smallish-built on the field surrounded by those massive defensive players twice his size!

Go Vikings!!!

Conspicuous Trailer of the Week: Knight & Day

Well, this is something I’ve never done before in my blog, feature a Tom Cruise movie! I used to like the guy back in Top Gun time (well who wasn’t?), thought he was good in Minority Report & Jerry McGuire and terrific in Last Samurai. But his couch-jumping antics & all that scientology stuff are just too much. Then his last two flicks (Lions for Lambs and Valkyrie) bombed, though his hilarious cameo as a fat, balding, foul-mouthed producer in Tropic Thunder was regarded as ‘scene stealer.’ No doubt he’s in dire need of a hit, and judging from this Knight & Day trailer, he just may get one this Summer.

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more about “Knight & Day Trailer – Trailer Addict“, posted with vodpod

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First thing I noticed though, how in the world would the 5’9″ Diaz look up when she bumped into Cruise who’s 2 inches shorter??? Now that’s some notable camera trickery. I haven’t seen Vanilla Sky so this’ll be the first time I see the Cruise/Diaz duo on-screen. Anyhoo, I thought it looks like fun, even if it’s basically Mr. & Mrs. Smith meets Mission Impossible with Cruise kind of reprising his Ethan Hunt role with a touch of whimsy. I kind of dig the teaser poster, too. Again, in a silhouette, Cruise can look as tall as any guy 🙂

Reportedly Cruise passed on the revolving door that is The Tourist to do this movie (it was rumored for a while that Sam Worthington took over his role, but now Johnny Depp has been cast). With James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) at the helm, this could be more than a check-your-brain-at-the-door type action flick, too. I’m not a huge fan of Diaz’s one-note acting though, it might have more edge if a different actress is cast (on the top of my head I’m thinking Emily Blunt or Rachel McAdams perhaps?). Peter Sarsgaard, Marc Blucas, Viola Davis and Paul Dano round up the cast.

In any case, perhaps the “impossible” mission here is going against the third Twilight installment on July 2nd. Wonder if the actual movie will be at least match the excitement in the trailer.