Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Catching up on my Bougie Movie Reviews: “Death at a Funeral” “The Losers” and “Iron Man 2”

For once, I'm actually attempting to keep up with movies instead of playing catch up on cable twelve months later. So I've been to a few this spring. Here are my quick thoughts:

Death at a Funeral was chock full of way too many black "comedy" movie stereotypes. You'll notice I put comedy in quotes. To name a few overused bits: 2 brothers feuding, overdramatic mama playing favorites. Down low dude, midlife crisis guy hitting on young chick, angry "little" person, grumpy old man, toilet jokes (particularly nasty), hapless drug dealer, accidentally high guy, token white dudes, impatient minister… I could go on but I won't.

Synopsis (from MovieFone): Frank Oz's 2007 black comedy Death at a Funeral is given the remake treatment with an urban spin in this Chris Rock-produced production. When a dysfunctional clan reunites to mourn the passing of the family patriarch, a respectful funeral quickly turns into an all-out fiasco marked by bitter resentment, blackmail attempts, and scandalous revelations. Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan (three very funny men) are completely underutilized in this film.

Grade: 1.5 out of 5

Iron Man 2 was 40 minutes too long. It is at times amusing, at times action-packed, at times dragging and many, many times overdone… in my humble opinion. I liked Iron Man and was looking forward to this sequel. I felt they tried to put too much (and alternately not enough) into this film. But I love Don Cheadle and he was GI Joe all the way in this one… oh, that's a different film? At times it didn't feel like it. Congrats to the wardrobe designer. You could not get Gwyneth Paltrow or Scarlett Johansson into tighter clothes or more useless shoes. They looked good, if a little starved for breath and sustenance. Suspension of disbelief is needed early and often.

Synopsis (from MovieFone): Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, the wealthy playboy whose exploits as Iron Man are now public knowledge after his admission at the close of the first film. In the follow-up, Stark is pitted against his Russian arch nemesis, Whiplash (Mickey Rourke), and corporate rival Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell). Also making their Marvel debuts are Scarlett Johansson as the sexy Russian spy Black Widow, and Don Cheadle, who takes over the role of Colonel James Rhodes from Terrence Howard.

Grade: 3 out of 5

The Losers was an amazing, fast-paced humor-filled action film from start to finish. I loved, loved, loved it. Oh, did I mention that I loved it? I didn't expect a lot but it delivered over and above. Spectacularly cast and beautifully filmed, you are sucked in from the first scene and are sad to see the film end. The good thing is they set up for the sequel. I didn't know it was a comic franchise until the opening and they really did a great job of making it feel like a fast flip through a comic book. I also appreciated not understanding exactly who was a good guy or a bad guy until near the end. Oh and the entire cast spent much time in the gym… much time. Zoe Saldana brought some sizzle I didn't know she had. I can't hate on a girl that makes cargo pants, tank top and a ponytail look awesome. Plus she kicked much ass. Go girl.

Synopsis (from MovieFone): The Losers are a team of mercenaries who wage war on the CIA after they're double-crossed in the field and left to die. Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short), and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) were on a black-ops mission in the Bolivian jungle when rogue CIA agent Max (Jason Patric) hung them out to dry. After beating the odds and surviving their ordeal, the team decides to strike back against Max even if it means sacrificing their own lives to do so. Aiding them on their treacherous suicide mission is sexy operative Aisha (Zoe Saldana), who has her own reasons for wanting to see Max get his just deserts. But getting to Max won't be easy, because in addition to having the CIA on his side, he's about to spark a war that could plunge the entire globe into chaos. Their time quickly running out as Max's plan kicks into overdrive, the Special Forces unit that everyone assumed dead arms themselves to the teeth and prepares to strike back with a vengeance.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

So my recommendations – Hold off on Death at a Funeral until cable, do not go see The Losers before you see Iron Man 2. The pacing from one movie to the next is stark (no pun intended) and disappointing. Even if you are not a action film lover (like BougieOlderSis), you'll still like The Losers. Next up? I think Robin Hood (or as we are calling it, Gladiator in Tights). Thoughts, comments, agree/disagree?


derek love said...

Ouch for Death at a Funeral! But I agree. It was awful. I liked Iron Man 2, I was thinking about seeing The Losers. This is nudging me to go.

Stank_0 said...

Death at a Funeral looked bad in trailers.

I guess I've seen waaaaaaaaaaay too many movies b/c I could see the problem in The Losers immediately. Still loved it. This is the summer of ensemble movies. Yay us!

Iron Man 2 was good but you needed to be a comic geek to get some of the references and things that Starks did. Thought it was real dope. Like I said elsewhere, there's gonna be some feelings if the Silver Samurai does not show up in Iron Man 3.

Joy Andrews said...

I saw on Twitter where you hated Death at a Funeral. Once I heard about the toilet jokes - I had to say no. Haven't seen Iron Man 2 but I did go see The Losers on a date. It was way better than I expected.

careycarey2 said...

Death at a Funeral (for me) had it's moments. However, since it was a re-make of a white version, it lost its suspense (for me). In the original version, the white guy was just another white guy. Hey, they were all white. Btw, he wasn't funny or amusing. You have to see the original.

However, I still found a few big laughs. But that created another problem for me. Well, I like strong acting, this version pulled too hard on "comedy". The acting was poor, and many times, way over the top. Chris Rock is a very funny man, but a great actor, he is not.

Iron Man 2..... only on bootleg. Come on now, let those that have not sinned.....

There a lot of guns in "Losers", and I don't know the actors..... bootleg.

And OneChele, I still hated Eli... and I don't care what you say. No no no, a thousand time NO. I'd rather die than say yes. *lol*

MeetCharlieL said...

I thought you were a SuperHero Chick? And you didn't like Iron Man 2? I liked it.
The Losers was well done, they pulled off a lot of guns without a lot of violence - a rare quality.
I'll hold off on Death of A Funeral - good looking out.

diamond life said...

Ummm... I'm going to hold off on all of these for now. I did see Just Wright though - loved it. Are you going to see Letters from Juliet?

Sarmora said...

I saw "Death at a Funeral" and agree, there was WAY too much talent in that movie for it to have gone SO wrong. I will probably check out "Iron Man 2" though. I already saw "Robin Hood" and thought it should have gone straight to TNT. Halfway through I started checking the time. It was average at best IMO.

bougiesis said...

The Losers - FTW!

OneChele said...

I heard that if I was expecting Gladiator with Bows and Arrows, I would be disappointed.

SBChitownChick said...

Saw The Losers this weekend, it was much better than I thought it would be. I walked out on Death at a Funeral. I couldn't take it.

Jasmine Girl said...

I saw Letters to Juliet this weekend, you already know the plot before you walk in. It's okay but if I had to do again - I'd wait for DVD.

theuppitynegro said...

I thought Death at a Funeral was going to replace "Kingdom Come" in my book.

I lied.

I mean I laughed at the jokes. But, I always have a slight problem when I watch black actors play race neutral roles. I mean honestly, having seen all of these characters play in other comedy's before, I really thought that the movie could have been written so much better. I think we're often times to harsh on the actors when what was really wrong was the script and the flow of the story line from the get-go. I mean, I never thoguth I'd say it, but Lorretta Devine fell FLAT on her face to me because the joke about wanting grandkids got TIRED after the third time in 5 minutes--that's bad writing.

KG said...

Death at a Funeral: Haven't seen it and didn't plan to. I'm happy to wait until it hits Netflix.

The Losers: I loved this too!! It was so much fun. This officially made me a fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Clay). My fan-dom started once I saw him in Watchmen. So yeah, after this movie, I can forgive him for that stupid Denny-Izzy storyline in Grey's Anatomy in season whatever. I had thrown him in the gutter after all that mess but he has now been fully redeemed.
Re: the gym work, word! I mean, Jeffrey Dean Morgan's ass looking all swagalicious and ish. And Saldana with her sexy self....ok, I think I need to stop drooling over this movie now.

Iron Man 2: It was just alright for me. Tony Stark's obnoxious character really took off a lot of the swag he had acquired in the first one and also made it hard for me to root for Iron Man. Re: the ladies' dresses and shoes, I was literally ready to jump into the screen and beg Gwyneth Paltrow to eat a cheeseburger. Homegirl needs it stat. Scarlett Johansson on the other hand was looking quite *ahem* hot especially as a superhero.

p.s. I was part of the unfortunate who saw The Losers before Iron Man 2. Like you said, bad mistake but in my defense I couldn't wait for Iron Man 2 to come out before going to The Losers. I. Just. Couldn't...
I'm in two minds about Robin Hood. I like action but Russell Crowe puts me off. I've only liked him in The Gladiator & A Beautiful Mind which are arguably his best movies. If it ain't on that level, then I'm not that interested.

sunt97 said...

I guess I am going to have to go see The Losers and Iron Man 2. Now there is another movie that you didn't go see, as I don't think there are any black folk in it, but I heard it was really good, Kickass. I haven't seen as I rarely want to pay $9 to see something I can see for a $1 in a month or so. I guess that's one thing I need to work on with being impatient, being cheap, lol.

Peace, Love and Chocolate

brownstocking said...

so does it matter than "Death" was a British import? did you see the original, and can you compare? I saw the original, but didn't want to see the remake b/c I was afraid too much had changed.

careycarey2 said...

Brownstocking, I saw the original and I loved it. You are correct, much has changed. Well, the midget didn't. Yep, same midget! But the whole chemistry changed. Since the British version had a white cast, there was a racial element to this one that distracted from the movie (imo). And, of course, for you, the suspense will be missing. I mean, you already know about the father's secret. You know about the "drug". You know about hiding midget. I don't think there's anything to keep your interest. Don't get me wrong, I had a few gut busting laughs, but overall it pales in comparison to the original.

Oh, I don't know if you remember that bathroom scene (grandfather). Well, I think they went over the top in this one. Poop scenes never make me laugh, especially when it's on someones face.

Yep, I think you made the right move. But do tell, you must be a huge movie fan. Not many people (that I've spoke to) saw the original.

brownstocking said...

I really do love movies! All types of movies, from bollywood to Hong Kong action to weepy period romances to Harold and Kumar! LOL

So I'm quite critical when I watch films, which is why I tend to shy away from Chris Rock films, he generally can't drive a movie, let alone direct a movie, including Good Hair.

I wasn't happy with poop scene in the original, but I did laugh at the chubby cousin. I just KNEW it was going to fare so much worse in the remake. Glad I don't have to sit through it. Looking forward to The Losers and Just Wright, though.

careycarey2 said...

Don't do this, I am the biggest arm critic in the world. Well, in my house. I've even driving to The Telluride Film festival. I mean, I was just a slob standing in line (Q line), but I was there.

Okay, you started this *lol*, come on... Casablanca, Valmount, Young victoria, Purfume, The Crying Game, Gosford Park, The Reader, Ray, Soul Men, Shakespear In Love, The Great Debator, Bable, and reaching way out... A Love Song for Bobby Long starring John Travolta.

Okay, *LOL* two of my very best or among that crowd. Have you seen all of them. All of them were good viewing (imo). I do not like horror flicks. No SAW I-V for me.

Oh, we don't even want to talk about movie like Saving Private Ryan & Apocalypse Now. Best Actors, Denzel & robert De niro. Best unknown, Jeffery wright.

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