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Freudianspud's Reviews

Displaying Review 1 - 5 of 24 in total

  • Written by Freudianspud on 21.01.2010

    The first time I saw Toys, I was too young to understand any of it. I was just distracted by all the funny toys and the bright colours. Hell, I didn't even know who that 'funny man' was.

    Years later I came across the DVD for this movie and bought it right away. Upon watching the movie again, after such a long time, it became quite clear that even though it looks like a movie for children, it's really not that simple.
    The story of a military man taking over the company and utilizing it for his own purposes (Training children with video games and building aggressive toys) rather than using the toy company for what it was meant to do is basically a metaphor that's used in countless other movies, namely 'War is bad'. But even with it's cheesy message it gets the point across.
    The revolution of the dinky, fumbling wind-up toys is adorable to say the least. It's the traditional overcoming of the underdog, portrayed by a couple of pleasantly disturbed people and some toys, but it never stops entertaining.

    Pleasantly disturbed is exactly the term to describe Robin Williams, which is why he exceeds in his role as kooky toy builder Zevo. He plays his part with the childish glee we expect from him and interacts with the bright surroundings as if he has always lived there.
    This is of course in perfect contrast with the role of Lt. Zevo, played by Michael Gambon, who is the ultimate soldier and wishes nothing but death and destruction by any means necessary.
    A special mention has to go to Joan Cusack, who plays the mildly retarded sister, Alsatia Zevo. Although she is mostly known for parts where she plays a high-strung persona (School of Rock, for instance), she really takes it to another level in Toys by playing a balls-out crazy person.

    All in all it may not be the best move ever made, but it's adorable and a lot of fun to watch if you're a fan of Robin Williams's older work or if you just like toys battling it out amongst each other. Sure, you can watch Small Soldiers for that, but why settle for special effects when you can get real tin toys?

  • Written by Freudianspud on 22.01.2010

    'The Invention of Lying' seems like it was written specifically for Ricky Gervais. In fact, he wrote it himself, so that might be true. Nevertheless, Gervais plays the part of world's first liar as if he actually were the world's first liar.

    The story about a society where no one has ever lied is just as funny as you might suspect. When everybody tells each other the truth, everyday happenings like an elevator ride with a neighbour turns into a depressing event, a date becomes even more uncomfortable because you'll be told exactly what the other person thinks about you, and you won't ever have to wonder about getting fired because you'll know when it's being discussed right away. That's exactly what happens to Mark (Ricky Gervais himself in the lead role), who works at a film company and is one of the least popular writers they have. It's not his fault, because who could write an interesting movie about the Black Plague? It also doesn't help that movies are nothing more a man in a chair reading stories to you about historical events. That's because people would believe the world was actually going to end if it was said in a movie. You get the idea.

    It comes to the point where Mark is fired and is about to be evicted from his apartment because he can't pay the rent. But this is where the fun starts because those events lead up to world's first lie. And Mark invented it.
    Of course, this leads to some hilarious scenes in which Mark tries to tell his friends what happened. Naturally, they don't understand any of it because they assume he is telling the truth, even when he says that he's a German pirate with one arm.
    This eventually leads up to a perfectly timed emotional scene where he tells his dying mother that she doesn't have to be afraid of vanishing into the nothingness after she dies, but that she'll go to a wonderful place where you meet all your friends and everyone gets a mansion and as much free ice cream as you can think of.
    Word about this gets around and pretty soon he whole world wants to hear about these wonderful stories about what happens after you die. That's when the biggest lie of them all happens, namely, the creation of God. Or, as they call it, the Man in the Sky.
    It wouldn't be a decent film though, if there wasn't the obligatory love interest, portrayed by Jennifer Garner. She plays her part as the shallowest girl ever with the greatest of ease. It's all about the best genetic match, status, looks, and money with her, but somehow, through the miracle of Mark's lies and such, they become best friends and she starts to see that there's more to people than just chubby and loser.
    In the end she does of course find someone with a better genetic match, but any bright film lover can guess what happens following those events.
    Supporting Gervais an Garner is a cast of numerous well-known or at least very recognizable comics such as Jonah Hill (Superbad), Jeffrey Tambor (Hellboy), Rob Lowe (Thank You For Smoking), Edward Norton (Well, duh), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Boat That Rocked) and SNL comedians Tina Fey and Louis C.K., which make the movie all the more enjoyable to watch.

    In the end, 'The Invention of Lying' is a brilliantly written film which parodies the human society and organized religion in a way I personally haven't seen before. This makes it a very refreshing comedy to watch. It's filled with numerous sublime one-liners which will crack you up to no end, but it also touches on a whole other, emotional level. It certainly puts lying for your own good in a whole new light. Actually, it does the same for just speaking your mind. Just go see it. It'll definitely be worth your time.

  • Written by Freudianspud on 23.01.2010

    'Igor' tells us the story of the hunchbacked henchman Igor (John Cusack) who assists Dr. Glickenstein (John Cleese) in creating evil inventions. The story takes place in a place called Malaria, which is plagued by dark clouds. Thanks to these clouds, the town doesn't get any visitors which means that there isn't a lot of profit to be made, until the king of Malaria (Jay Leno) comes up with a plan in which evil scientists have to build evil machines. He then threatens the world to unleash said machines unless the world pays Malaria a sufficient fee.

    Of course, Igor isn't your regular igor. Even though he is Glickenstein's assistent, he has some ideas of his own. He'd like to e an evil scientist as well. Some of his previous inventions include Scamper (Steve Buscemi), a suicidal, yet indestructible bunny and Brain (Sean Hayes), a not so bright brain in a jar.
    Of course, he doesn't actually get a chance to invent because igors are considered an expendable workforce and generally retarded. But, the movie wouldn't be much if it ended at that, so in an experiment Dr. Glickenstein kicks the bucket and it's up to Igor to build the evil invention for that year's Evil Invention Convention, so he decides to create the ultimate of evil inventions: life.
    This news comes as a big shock to the story's bad guy, Dr. Schadenfreude (Eddie Izzard), who has won all the conventions so far and is planning to overthrow the king with his next evil invention. The thing is, he has never actually invented anything, he stole everything from the other scientists.
    Naturally, this leads to a lot of funny moments, with the bunny and the brain in the jar as an extra comedic relief, but there's also a love story in there, even though it's played out pretty straight forward.

    All in all it's a fun film to watch, thanks to the performances of all the voice actors. Some of the supporting cast really adds to the feel, like Jennifer Coolidge (Better known as Stifler's Mom, to many), who voices Schadenfreude's assistant and Molly Shannon (All-round cameo performer) as Eva, the evil invention of Igor.

    The animation isn't as much as you'd expect from pixar but fits the story perfectly. You often get awkward movements or expressions in characters when a new animation company brings out a film (Monster House is a nice example of an entertaining film with a great voice cast, but still the animation comes off pretty unnatural), but Igor pulls it off with the greatest of ease. The jokes are kind of predictable from time to time, but that doesn't mean they're any less entertaining. Also, Eddie Izzard's performance as the bad guy is one to remember. Definitely a must-see for those who like to keep an eye on animation.

  • Written by Freudianspud on 26.01.2010

    Many of us will remember the first live-action movie of Street Fighter. You know, the one with Jean-Claude and Kylie? Well, they decided to try it again last year. I'm still not sure wether it was an improvement though. A good idea, sure, because I love Street Fighter, but an improvement?

    The story revolves around Chun-Li (Kristin Kreuk, Smallville), who loses her father to Shadaloo (Pronounced 'shadolau'), a huge crime organization lead by a man named Bison (Neil McDonough, Band of Brothers) which is trying to take over Bangkok by force and pretty much succeeding to do just that.
    When she's grown up, Chun-Li receives an ancient scroll from China, teling her to leave everything behind to go to Bangkok, where she will find a man named Gen* (Robin Shou, Mortal Kombat). Gen takes it upin himself to train Chun-Li so that she can help her bring down Bison. She'll also get her father back in the progress.
    They're not the only ones though. Two Interpol agents, Maya Sunee (Moon Bloodgood, Terminator: Salvaton) and Charlie Nash (Chris Klein, American Pie) are also on Bison's tail.
    Bison isn't that worried though, since he is backed up by Balrog (Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile) and Vega (Taboo, from the Black Eyed Peas).

    The story itself isn't one of the best ever written. Chun-Li is out for revenge, Gen teaches her to control her anger, and two (almost renegade) cops are trying to achieve the very same thing and eventually team up with the rest of the ass kickers. But as we've seen in both Transformers movies, you don't need a big storyline to make an awesome film. The reason I give this one a mediocre score is mostly the shoddy acting.
    Even with names like McDonough and MC Duncan, it's hard to act out a badly written script. The lines come off as if they were copied from other action films and seem forced. Especially Klein's part as the bad ass cop is one that has been done thousands of times before, spewing lines we only get in cheap video games nowadays.
    I guess that's mostly because this is the second full-length film screenwriter Justin Marks had written, and it's the first he's written alone. He probably likes the game and decided that it should have another chance to be on the big screen.

    Personally, I totally agree. Street Fighter is awesome and it deserves more films, preferably ones like Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, but for now we have to make do with the Legend of Chun-Li. A legend that's not really that legendary.

  • Written by Freudianspud on 28.01.2010

    When I first saw the trailer to Role Models, I thought "Damn, another Sean William Scott film?", but after seeing the movie, my opinion has changed somewhat. It is, of course, a SWS-film, but he doesn't take the lead in this one. Not really, anyway. The lead goes to Paul Rudd, who mostly appears in comedies much like Role Models, such as The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up

    The story is about two guys, Danny (Rudd) and Wheeler (Scott, best known as American Pie's Stifler), who represent an energy drink to high school students, when Danny gets dumped by his girlfriend Beth (Elizabeth Banks, Zack and Miri make a Porno) and loses it, crashing the company car and pissing off pretty much everyone he comes to face with in the process. As result, both Danny and Wheeler face either jail time or community service. Since they're both fond of their anal virginity, they opt for the community service, which turns out to be 150 hours clocked with Sturdy Wings, a programme in which 'lonely' children ("Littles") are each teamed up with an adult (their "Big") to become friends.
    Naturally, they get teamed up with two of the worst kids available: Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad), who is a social recluse and only interacts with others when he's at L.A.I.R.E., a LARP-themed event, is teamed up with Danny while Wheeler has to cope with Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson, Land of the Lost), a foul-mouthed little racist who hasn't been able to keep a Big around for longer than a day.
    At first, this leads to the necessary uncomfortable moments between the adults and the kids, since Danny and Wheeler don't really want to be there and Augie and Ronnie are pretty impossible to get close to, but eventually a relationship builds up between the teams and through the obligatory montage we get to see the friendship grow, when all of a sudden we get the inevitable screw-up moments. After that, it's up to the Bigs to save their reputation. Whether they manage to do so or not is for you to decide.

    In my opinion, Role Models suffers from what I call the "Superbad Syndrome", in that it starts up pretty badly, but manages to save it's own ass in the end and eventually becomes a pretty enjoyable film.
    Both Rudd and Scott play their parts as if they were playing themselves, Rudd as the cynical dumpee and Scott as the party animal (which, surprisingly, doesn't get annoying this time), and the relation between the two works pretty good.
    The same goes for the chemistry between the oldies and the younguns, which is fairly believable, as far as adult-kid friendships go.
    A special notion goes to Jane Lynch (Julie & Julia), who plays the addict-gone-straight manager of Sturdy Wings. Her performance as the trying-to-be-cool tough chick is unparalleled, yet gets on your nerves to no end. Bravo to that.

    All in all, Role Models is a pretty standard comedy, much like What Happens In Vegas and Wedding Crashers. In fact, it is basically Wedding Crashers with some kids thrown in. Add to that some decent one-liners (The one about the Minotaur-suit cracked me up) and you have yourself a fun film to waste an evening on. Don't pay too much though.

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