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?