Monday, June 6, 2011

Review Roundup: "The Hangover 2" and "X-Men: First Class"

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.
Grade: C-


"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.
Grade: B

9 comments:

  1. Nice roundup. Good to see you back to posting!!!

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  2. I completely agree with these ratings!

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  3. You're spot on about The Hangover-Over-Again. I have yet to see First Class, so I cannot comment on the veracity of your rating, though my expectations are fairly high.

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  4. Ha ha ha!! I agree Jennifer Lawrence was totally mis-used. She is an extremely talented young actress and yet she just fails to shine here. Have you seen Winter's Bones. She is outstanding in it and her talents shine unbelievably!!
    I think everyone is agreed upon January Jones!! She is awful and the only weak point as the rest of the movie is quite solid and better than most expected it to be.

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  5. Dead on about Hangover 2.
    The new X-men was good....easily the best X-men flick since the awesome X-MEN 2.

    I hated January Jones and Zoe Kravtiz in this movie. I did enjoy Kevin Bacon though. Shit got all Inglorious Basterds with the multi language scenes and was surprised to see Bacon pull that off. His take on Sebastian Shaw's character (a stuffy bastard in the comics) was pretty cool also.

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  6. Nice roundup you got here! The Hangover Part II could have been better, but was just lame; and X-Men: First Class was fun and reminded me why X-Men were so cool in the first place. Good Stuff!

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  7. X-Men First Class was a pretty good movie!

    Fassbender and Kevin Bacon were excellent. Their confrontation towards the end was very suspenseful!

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  8. Me thinks stoopid.
    Better wiseabove, pal...
    or I fear for thy soul.
    God bless you.

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  9. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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