Cut. Copy. Paste. Move. Save As TheHangover2.doc. Rub hands devilishly and laugh at all the stupid people. Did you walk out of "The Hangover 2" with the nauseating feeling that you just got played? Mmhmm. Me too. Here we are in Bangkok, once again following the epic tale of outlandish drunkenness with The Wolfpack. There's another wedding on the horizon, this time for timid dentist Stu (Ed Helms) and his Thai bride. With Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), and the bride's young brother Teddy (Mason Lee) in tow, the nightmare begins. The guys wake up in a sleezy hotel room with no knowledge of the events that have just taken place. Instead of missing incisors, a jungle cat, and a baby, we get a Mike Tyson face tattoo, a chain-smoking monkey, and Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong). Instead of marrying a Las Vegas stripper, Stu has a very close encounter with a ladyboy. Instead of a Mike Tyson cameo, we get one from Paul Giamatti - wait, scratch that, we still get the Tyson cameo. Do you people see where I'm going with this? "The Hangover 2" is a carbon copy of "The Hangover." And my reaction is a carbon copy too: I wasn't all that impressed. I chuckled a few times under my breath, but not one moment in the entire movie sent me to the edge of hilarity. I don't know why I was expecting more.
"X-Men: First Class" deserves a good chunk of credit for its efforts. The X-Men franchise has been haunted by crummy scripts, poor acting, and mediocre special effects. Eleven years later, we finally see some improvement. The fuel that drives this movie is the doomed friendship of Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender). Armed with an Oxford education and plenty of family money, Charles goes the way of peaceful mentor to the young mutants he and Erik find. Erik, on the other hand, has made it his mission to destroy Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), compelled by the desire to avenge the death of his mother. In the background, Charles rounds up some teenage mutants, most of whom are forgettable characters. The movie attempts to dig a little deeper into the origin of Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), who wrestles with her appearance and self-esteem. Let's talk acting, briefly: Michael Fassbender is the stand-out performance. James McAvoy wasn't as annoying as I thought he would be. Jennifer Lawrence was pretty bland, but not as bad as January Jones (Seriously! Are you just going to stand there?) Nothing against Kevin Bacon, but why was he the bad guy? I thought that was a very strange casting choice. With a running time of 2 hours and 12 minutes, I was feeling a bit restless towards the end. Overall, "X-Men: First Class" was a well-executed origin story that was worth the ticket.