Monthly Archives: July 2012

I Am The Wahlberg

CONTRABAND (2012) Director: Baltaser Kormakur Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsdale, Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster Rating: R  for violence, cussing, and bad Cajun accents

As I have pointed out in previous reviews, movie criminals have it a pretty sweet life. There’s lots of money, plenty of excitement, and best of all there’s always a chance for advancement when someone dies or gets arrested!

But… the biggest problem with being a top notch criminal in crime movies is that you can’t simply walk away from that life; you are forever locked into that world whether you like it or not. As our hero in Contraband learns, the crime world is like a gym membership: you pretty much have to die to make a clean break.

In Contraband, rapper turned underwear model turned A-list actor Mark Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday, a working class New Orleans lug with a steady job, a hot wife (Kate Beckinsdale, who seems resigned to a career of playing the hot wife or hot girlfriend when not killing vampires in the Underworld movies), and two kids who play soccer and love their Mom and Dad.

But before Contraband turns into a Chevy commercial, things get ugly when Chris’ idiot brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) gets in deep trouble with a vicious drug dealer named Briggs who’s a little peeved at Andy for tossing his shipment of dope overboard during a smuggling operation gone wrong.

Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi at his twitchy, oily best) demands immediate repayment for his drowned drugs. Since Andy is an idiot, Chris offers to raise cash for the shipment by returning to his smuggling career and pulling off one more lucrative caper.

Chris plans to sneak a ton of phony cash from a counterfeiter in Panama aboard a cargo ship bound for New Orleans. Unfortunately, the ship is captained by a first class hard-ass (J.K. Simmons) who hates Chris with a white hot passion, even though he will begrudgingly admit to his friends that “Good Vibrations” is a catchy tune.

Oh wait, that’s me.

Anyway, Chris and his cohorts get into all kinds of mischief in Panama when their deal goes south and Chris has to improvise a solution before his boat sets sail. Meanwhile, Chris’ wife is having some troubles of her own back home, as Briggs shows up from time to time to terrorize her with his big gun and ridiculous Cajun accent.

Hold on a second, maybe Chris’ former partner in crime Sebastian can help! But since he’s played by Ben Foster, who’s made a career playing scuzzballs who can’t be trusted, I’m going to advise you not to create the “I love Sebastian” Facebook page until you’ve seen the whole movie.

Things don’t look good for our hero! It’s all up to Chrissy Chris and his funky bunch to outwit the bad guys and get his stolen goods past customs agents  and set things right!

And that is my last Mark Wahlberg/rapper joke ever. I promise.

Contraband is one of those movies where everything is gritty. The bad guys are gritty, the sets are gritty, the violence is gritty, and the film itself looks like it was dipped in something gritty. But if like gritty things, and want to learn a thing or two about the exciting world of smuggling, then sneak a copy of Contraband past customs and go to town.

Note: DVD Critics Corner does not condone the theft or smuggling of DVD movies. Just watch them on one of those Bit Torrent websites like everyone else does.      

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More Movie News!!!

Once again DVD Critics Corner brings you important updates from the world of movies!

Sony Greenlights Another Spider-Man Reboot

(Hollywood) With The Amazing Spider-Man still cleaning up at the box office, Sony Pictures announced plans to reboot Spider-Man again with a brand new movie for summer 2014.

“People are crazy about the new Spider-Man movie, and we couldn’t be more proud, but it’s time to shake things up,” a representative for Sony Pictures stated over the weekend at the San Diego Comicon. “After one movie, it’s time breathe some new life into the franchise.”

While The Amazing Spider-Man was a hit with hardcore fans who consider the film a respectable update of the previous Spider-Man movies starring Tobey Maguire, sources close to the studio say a script is in the works that will once again tell the story of mild mannered student Peter Parker and how he became the wall crawling crime fighter everyone knows and loves.

Sony executives were overheard saying how anxious they are to “retell the origin story once again, with a new cast and a new director with a fresh vision of the famous webslinger, a vision that’s even fresher than the Spider-Man movie still playing in theaters.”

Pre-production of the new Spider-Man reboot is expected to begin this fall, with a tentative release scheduled for July of 2014. Sony execs are predicting this second new Spider-Man movie will be a major success, and are hoping to reboot the series again in 2016.

This article is brought to you by The Gallows, a fine internet news blog available for your viewing pleasure here on WordPress.   

There Goes The Neighborhood!

ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011) Director: Joe Cornish Starring: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Nick Frost Rating: R for graphic violence and graphic english.

Far across the sea is a magical place known as England, where people drive on the left side of the road, elevators are called “lifts,” and a young girl named Elizabeth defeated Lord Voldamort to become Queen of all the land!

Sure, Amercans and Englanders have their differences; their football is really soccer and our football is really awesome, but there is  one thing both of us can agree on –  when space aliens invade our turf and run amok, it’s time to kick ass!

Which brings us to Attack The Block. 

On a chilly evening in South London a group of playful cockney urchins dance down a cobblestone street, singing songs about how great it is to be an Orphan picking pockets for Fagin and..

Oh wait, that’s Oliver! My bad.

On a chilly evening in South London a motley group of teens are mugging a young nurse (Jodie Whittaker) when a space alien crash lands right in front of them. The teens promptly kill the weird creature that emerges from the crash sight because none of them ever had a puppy or kitten when they were little.

The leader of the gang Moses (John Boyega) decides to hold onto the alien carcass for a while, hoping to exchange it for boatloads of cash –  because England apparently has some sort of space alien carcass buyback program. I told you things were different over there!

Moses and his pals head back to their apartment building and while chilling in the flat of spaced out pot dealer Ron (Nick Frost), more aliens (who are bigger and badder then the one Moses and his crew killed) crash land in the neighborhood and lay siege to the block looking for a little payback.

With the help of Sam, the nurse they mugged earlier (who bless her heart doesn’t hold a grudge) and some of the other neighbors in the building,  Moses and his gang do battle with the alien invaders, who are covered in jet black fur, have glowing green fangs, and run around on all fours like actors in hot jet black fur covered costumes.

Will Moses and his pals survive? Will their building be overrun by blood thirsty alien monsters? Do English people really eat steak and kidney pie?

Okay, that last question won’t be answered when you watch this movie, but all in all Attack The Block is a pretty decent low budget alien movie with an old school low tech feel and a  few scares here and there.

And best of all, since Attack The Block was made in England, it’s a foreign film, so when that snooty hipster poseur friend of yours asks you if  you watch foreign cinema (he calls movies cinema – extra douche points there) you can say yes and it won’t be a lie!

You’re welcome.

Master of Puppets

For years they have remained silent. Watching. Waiting.

We thought they’d never return. We thought we were safe.

We thought wrong.

That’s right, The Muppets are back!

The Muppets (2011) Directed by: James Bobin Starring: Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper Rating: PG because Kermit says the “S” word a few times. (Just kidding. But seriously, how funny would it be if he did?)

The last time The Muppets were together on the big screen was way back in 1999.

Ah 1999…

The year the world fell in love with Jar Jar Binks, the Cleveland Browns finished 2-14 in the AFC Central Division, and newly elected president Hugo Chavez introduced crazy to the people of Venezuela.

A lot has changed since then, and a very important question is raised that is the central theme to this new Muppet adventure:  Do Kermit the Frog and company still have the old razzle dazzle that made them so popular? Do they still have what it takes to entertain the masses in the new millenia?

Does Gonzo still have have an unhealthy attachment to chickens?

He does. Ya know, even by puppet standards, you have to admit that’s kinda weird…

In The Muppets, Jason Segal (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) stars as lovable doofus Gary who grew up adoring The Muppets and all of their shows and movies with his brother Walter (Peter Linz).

It should be noted that Walter is a muppet himself. It’s never discussed why Walter is a muppet in a family of humans; I’m guessing Gary’s Mom had a fling down on Sesame Street or something, but this is a family blog, so we’ll move on.

Anyhoo, Walter, Gary, and Gary’s best gal Mary (Amy Adams, who’s packed with more perkiness then a whole truckload of Reese Witherspoons) visit the Muppet Studios in Hollywood, and when they find the place broken down and nearly abandoned, they track down a reclusive Kermit the Frog and convince him to reunite the old gang to put on a show and save the crumbling studio before it’s bulldozed by an evil tycoon (Chris Cooper).

All he beloved characters easily step back into their old roles: Fozzy craps all over the institute that is American comedy, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem act stoned, Beaker gets physically abused by Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and Miss Piggy has more issues than National Geographic.

The film features oodles of cameos by big name stars like Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Halpert from The Office, and political consultant James Carville, who actually looks like a muppet these days; and not one of the cute Fraggle Rock muppets, we’re talking one of the effing scary Dark Crystal muppets. Your face frightens small children, Carville.

But it’s all for fun as the muppets sing and dance their way back into our hearts, reminding us of the good old days when The Muppet Show was still on the air; a glorious time when kids sat too close to the TV and ate tons of saccharine while wearing highly flammable polyester pant suits.

I honestly think my parents were trying to kill me.

In summation, The Muppets is a great trip down memory lane. So enjoy the ride as Kermit the Frog and pals entertain you. And try not to think about whether Gary’s Mom had sex with a muppet.

You can’t not think about it now, right?

Isn’t that weird?