The Croods

Nick at Nite sends in this review.

The Croods

Not sure what to say here.  I have a four year old and an eight year old.  If it is a cartoon and it is released to a movie theater, we must go see it.  The best compliment I can give this movie is that it was not terrible.  My children loved it.  I kid you not.  My daughter cried at one point during the movie because she was so moved by the cataclysmic events occurring to this cave dwelling group of Neanderthals, and she cheered as all ended up happily ever after.  The plot – the Croods have survived a nasty, brutish world by living in a cave, but they are forced to venture out as the world around them starts to change – not too complicated.  It has some humor.  It is a little long (the kids did not notice or care).  I give a “B.”  It could have been worse.

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Parental Guidance

Another review from Nick at Nite.

Parental Guidance

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. I think Billy Crystal is funny. His SNL schtick was great. His Oscar songs are almost always tolerable. I am down with it all. This was not his best work. Billy and Bette Midler play inept grandparents that must watch their grandkids for a long weekend while the parents are away. I am sure you have guessed, things go badly and then get better. This movie cannot figure out what it is . . . slapstick, after-school special, Hallmark movie, or updated Parenthood (which is funnier and more meaningful). Marisa Tomei, why are you in this movie? I give it a C.

Iron Sky

Nick at Nite delivers this DVD review.

Iron Sky

Four words: Nazis on the moon. Yep, they could not win the war, but they could create a secret moon base from which they could plot a return to earth. I am thrilled this was available on Netflix. I thoroughly enjoyed the Palin-like President that must confront the threat. Also, the combination of ancient technology with the space feel gave it a real filmed-in-Yugoslavia quality. Like Springtime for Hitler this bizarre movie will make you giggle. I give it a C.

Drive

A DVD review from Nick at Nite.

Drive

I loved this movie. Two words: Ryan Gosling. Two more words: Techno Beat. Combine them and you have a pulsating, action-minded getaway film that will leave you wanting more. Gosling stars as the quiet, methodical driver – he will get you out as long as you are on time, no questions asked. Things get difficult when he falls for the ex-con’s girl next door. He has to help the ex-con with a job that runs afoul of the Jewish mob bosses played by Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks. Should have gotten more Oscar buzz than it did. See it. Go. Now. You will not be disappointed.

Moneyball

DVD review from Nick at Nite

Moneyball

Not the best baseball movie I have ever seen.  The best is either Bull Durham or The Natural.  I’d watch either repeatedly.  Moneyball not so much.  I’ve read the book.  It was engrossing.  Every baseball fan should read the book.  The movie – well – I got bored.  The book is an interesting blue print for making the Oakland A’s, the Red Sox, the Rangers, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays so successful (the A’s have fallen on hard times again).  I digress.  Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are an interesting odd couple.  The muscled (Pitt) and the out of shape (Hill prior to whatever brilliant diet he is on) trying to piece together a baseball lineup after the departure of the roided up Giambi and his mates.  They have little money so they must ignore their baseball scouts and put together a team based on what the statistics tell them.  It is a movie for nerds.  Baseball nerds.  I give it a “B.”  I do not give it a Golden Globe or an Oscar.

Hall Pass

DVD review from Nick at Nite–two reviews, in fact

Hall Pass

Saw this movie twice.  Once on DVD, once with the spouse.  I thought it was funny the first time I saw it.  When I saw it with the spouse it was not so funny.  Like Jamie Foxx, “I blame on it on the alcohol.”  The premise of this film is that married men will not “shop” for a better deal if they are given the opportunity to hook up with someone else by their spouse – as the “shopping” experience will teach the married men how wonderful they actually have it with their spouse.  In the real world, this scenario results in a divorce or an appearance on Jerry Springer.  In the movie world, everything ends up okay for everyone.  Here is the problem with the movie, once you get past the multiple lapses in judgment by all of the characters – it is just not that funny.  First viewing I give it an “A.”  You must drink a minimum of three to four beers or two and half glasses of wine to get to this level.  Second viewing a “C.”

Contagion

Nick at Nite reviews a fairly recent release.

Contagion

I have thing for doom and gloom.  It is a little unhealthy.  I am all for any movie that has as its main premise the end of the world, the breakdown of society, and tall buildings lying in ruin.  From critically acclaimed fare, The Road, Night of the Comet, and Blindness, to critically panned fare, Waterworld, The Postman, and 2012 – I have seen them all.  I thought Contagion would fall into this category.  It does not.  However, it is a very good movie.  It is suspenseful.  It is interesting.  It is well acted.  The movie follows the progression of a deadly virus that strains the ability of the doctors, scientists, and government agencies to confront it.  Moral dilemmas abound at every corner.  No famous member of the cast is safe from a harrowing death.  The movie is not too graphic (one autopsy, images of sick people, and images of dead bodies in body bags).  It is a little scary.  I say check it out.  I give it a solid “B.”