Knight and Day

Tom Cruise has always been a pretty cool guy. Perhaps one of the biggest stars in the world, if not the biggest (not height-wise, he’s quite small), he’s a great actor, one who fully embodies his roles and gives memorable performances, always seeming to play likable characters who we love to watch on the big screen. Although he believes aliens created him or, uh, something, he is a hard person to hate, he’s consistently on top-form and shining in each role he takes, but some do have these malign feelings towards him. Assholes!

His last film, war story Valkyrie, was in 2008 and I have to say that I’ve missed him since then. Cruise is one of the best of his field and a year without him is quite noticeable. But now he’s back, starring alongside the ever-scrumptious Cameron Diaz in the lighthearted action comedy Knight and Day. So is it good? Well, keep reading, you lazy bastard.

Diaz is June Havens, a confident, rather typical, everyday woman who gets on a flight from Wichita, intending to go home and attend her sister’s wedding. Sat in the aisle next to her is Roy Miller (Cruise), a suave and talkative cool cat who she “coincidentally” (wink, wink) bumped into twice on the way to the plane. After some chit-chat June visits the restroom, during which the few seated passengers jump up and attack Roy, but are all quickly killed along with the two pilots. Roy, you dumbass!

So, much to June’s surprise, Roy crash lands the plane in a corn field, after which it comes to light that he is a secret agent. Through a series of unfortunate events, Roy ends up having to protect June from a bunch of guys with guns, having to go globetrotting with her, all the while trying to keep hold of a certain object called a Zephyr. “What is a Zephyr?” I hear you ask. Well, you’ll have to watch the movie.

Knight and Day apparently went through what filmmakers call Development Hell, with many different rewrites, directors and cast member changes along with budgetary problems and several re-shoots taking place. Because of this, I’m quite surprised by how the film turned out. With all of these predicaments, I would have assumed that the film would end up a confused mess like Jonah Hex, The Wolf Man or X-Men Origins: Wolverine, all of which went through the same bothersome process.

But Knight and Day manages to still be a fun, energetic movie which defies logic for the sake of silly entertainment, working as a decent satire of the spy genre. All of the cliches are there; the grand locations, the charismatic secret agent, the villain with a foreign accent, car chases, mass gunfire and fist fights, all of which add up to a great night out at the movies.

However, a little word of warning. Don’t go into Knight and Day thinking that it’s a side-splittingly hilarious comedy because where the film fails is in the laughs department. Truth be told, this film does not achieve the hilarity it thinks it does, with it lacking in good jokes, taking the film down a notch or two. No doubt, the film is persistently humorous and has a strong tongue-in-cheek nature, but I would have liked more laugh-out-loud moments.

Saying that, it’s not completely without shits and giggles as there were a few scenes which made me chuckle. For example, as Roy is in a cafe, dragging a handcuffed, struggling June outside, he points his gun and says to the customers, “Nobody follow us! Or I kill myself and then her!” This wittiness is few and far between and having more of it would massively lift the film up.

What the film lacks in hilarity, on the other hand, it very much makes up for in the action sequences. The movie is quite action-packed with several over-the-top fight scenes and vehicle pursuits, all of which are equally thrilling and exciting, as well as pretty damn creative. In one scene, June is worriedly driving a car down the highway from the backseat after the original driver is shot dead. Through the side window, we see Roy drive a police motorbike off-screen on an uphill road. Some seconds later, the Roy-less bike re-enters the frame and splashes into the lake below before Roy lands on top of the car’s hood, smiling away through the windscreen. “That’s a beautiful dress,” he says to the terrified June.

Each of these action scenes are brilliantly shot by director James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma, Walk The Line), capturing the tense, yet cartoonish escapades going on without having to resort to the sometimes tedious shaky cam many action directors have recently helmed. They all crank up the tension and adrenaline whilst keeping the always-present humour intact. They really make the movie.

As you can probably tell by the two opening paragraphs of this review, I am a fan of Cruise (as you should be too) and here he most definitely did not disappoint my usually high standards. He plays the elegant and charming yet cheeky and lovable nature of Roy to a tee, additionally kicking some ass and shooting some bullets. And then some.

Diaz is first-class alongside Cruise, living up to her A-list name, playing June in a believable enough fashion, which is impressive considering the insane and incredibly unfamiliar circumstances her character has to deal with. Both Cruise and Diaz are juxtaposed with each other, one this energetic action hero, the other a commonplace, unassuming 30-something who’s a little freaked out by Cruise’s antics. Their on-screen chemistry is somewhat effective and helps in the film’s appeal.

All in all, Knight and Day is pretty good. The movie loses itself in the middle for a little bit, but it manages to pick itself back up towards the end. It suffers from weak jokes, but the feel is still very comical, not taking itself seriously at all and the film is an action-packed one filled with twists and turns along the way. The French-style music used in some scenes by John Powell sets the tone perfectly and household names Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz dazzlingly carry the movie without fault. It’s not quite True Lies, nor is it Hot Fuzz, but at least it’s not the Ashton Kutcher mega-fart known as Killers.

Seven outta ten.

Watson

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Trailers of the Weak: The Best of Fall

alexbwThe exciting Summer Movie Season is over, but fear not, you film lovers, you—because the Fall Movie Previews are up running. There are still plenty of movies for you to throw your money at while praying to your god’s deaf ears that they will be worth your while. The secrets out! The almost certainly won’t be. Let’s gaze deeper into the Fall Trailers of the Weak! 

The Vampire’s AssistantI have a feeling that John C. Reilly committed some sort of horrendous crime in a past life. That would be the only rationale behind the laundry list of crap-movies he’s legally obligated to appear in. The Vampire’s Assistant is based on another in a similar laundry list of teen-vampire-book-series. While the film itself may seem almost watchable, it’s just giving further encouragement to the industry that keeps shitting out these kids’ vampire dramas. Fuck it.

The Fourth Kind—If you weren’t scared shitless by Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you’re probably amongst the sane people who will be avoiding this movie. Milla Jovovich, reprising her role as the dead-serious-intense-staring female lead in a science fiction flick, this time decides to present it as a “true story.” In psycho-babble, a “close encounter of the fourth kind” is an alien abduction; however, it should probably refer to an encounter with a psychologist whose first-fucking-logical-hypothesis is that you were abducted by fucking aliens

TruckerReplace Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler with a truck-driving chick with smaller tits and you’ve got yourself another dynamically bland indie film that’s bound to make a grown man weep. 

UntitledWhether it succeeds or not in its breath-taking pretentiousness and not-so-subtle plagiarism of Art School Confidential remains to be seen, but I’m going to give this two thumbs up, and A-for-Effort, and my confidence that this could be the only movie I see this Fall.

Fantastic Mr. FoxI take that back. If this movie is half as incredible as the amount of work that went into making it, it will be an instant classic. I can’t imagine Wes Anderson not being able to pull that off. 

Dark Room TheaterIt’s a good thing that this film is going to be released on September 11th, so that we Americans can consider two horrifying national disasters on the same day. Two birds—one stone

The Horse BoyDon’t let the title fool you. This is a documentary about a family taking their autistic child to Mongolia for some therapeutic healing. There’s something about taking a retarded kid to Mongolia that just seems wrong to me

Brief Interviews with Hideous MenJohn Krasinski’s directorial debut yields exactly what one would expect: subtle, tongue-in-cheek comedy in an IFC casing, featuring a list of comic-actors so extensive that it can only be safe to say it’ll be…kinda funny

Sorority RowAre people really going to see this? Do they think we’re children? Go fuck yourselves! 

Whip ItI’m not entirely sure what to do here. Essentially, Drew Barrymore has decided that her directorial debut would be using Ellen Page to capitalize on the popularity of Juno, while offering relatively nothing new. That being said, I’ll probably see it just to spite myself. 

Youth in RevoltAll of you fuckers who said, “Michael Cera can only play Michael Cera” can suck it! He can play Michael Cera and Michael Cera with a mustache! 

AladinThis modern-day interpretation of the story of Aladdin told through the magic of Bollywood is bound to be the greatest movie no one will ever see. 

The Boys are BackWatching Clive Owen cry is as cripplingly depressing as seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting stationary behind the governor’s desk. 

Leslie, My Name is EvilIf there’s one thing you don’t see enough of in romantic comedies, it’s Charles Manson

BronsonIf I miss this movie, I don’t think I’ll be able to live with myself. This trailer is refreshing, original, sexy, and off-the-wall. While we’re all sitting shiva waiting for Guy Ritchie to come back, we have Nicolas Winding Refn offering us delicious lemonade and Rice Krispie Treats

One Good ManI’m sorry, can we make a rule, please? Mormons aren’t allowed to have their own movies unless there’s at least one black guy in them. With reviews like, “Captures the spirit of Mormonism,” I can’t help but be confused. I didn’t notice any fear, bigotry, infidelity, racism, or arrogant ignorance in the trailer…hmmm…maybe they’re talking about a different “spirit on Mormonism.” 

Adventures of PowerSome may accuse me of writing lazy reviews…but I may accuse some of making lazy movies. There is not one element of this movie that makes it look “good.” But at the same time, it’s probably going to be effortlessly hilarious. 

The BoxAs intense and original as this film may look, I must still take issue with PG-13 Cameron Diaz film entitled The Box, simply because of the 0% chance that we will actually be seeing Cameron Diaz’s “box.”

Alex G/

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Trailers of the Week: Memorial Day Edition

alexbwBefore you start to fling about your rampant accusations, let me just say–in my defense–that I am inflicted with the most horribly debilitating of physical and psychological diseases. No, it’s not Swine Flu. It’s Summer Laziness. The symptoms of which are chronic procrastination, writer’s block, and an ever-increasing ass-groove in what had once been a perfectly usable sofa.

I have written (and brought forth from others) a plethora of fine material with which all you fun-junkies can shoot up, snuff up, or swallow up for quite some time. My recent activity has been lax; and by lax I mean insignificant; and by insignificant I mean I’ve done fuck all in the past few days.

I’m granting Dave (the recently missing member of the site) a bit of a grace period for article writing. Truth be told, by this I mean, I just don’t have the energy to demand much anymore.

I’ll keep up my duties to the best of my ability, while retaining some semblance of unfounded hope that there is some Biblical face-melting Ark of the Covenant full of sparklingly witty original material buried somewhere under the piles of clothes, trash, and artifacts of gobbledygook in Dave’s room; which, if a mini-shit-storm apocalypse should come tomorrow, would be looked upon by future generations of Archaeologist Mole People with puzzled solemnity.

Fuck that was a long sentence.

Now, let’s get to all those new Movie Trailers that you may or may not need to see (unless you can’t see–in which case, don’t go to the movies. You’ll creep people out).

PontypoolThe tag line is “Shut Up or Die.” Which may be good advice for the Zombie genre. We’ll see if this can make the pain of Zombie Strippers go away.

Sherlock HolmesGuy Ritchie doing what he does best; making us all forget how fucking boring England really is.

The Brothers BloomWonderful to see the writer/director of one of my favorite movies tackling such a huge film. If the movie meets the expectations presented by the trailer, I’m going to be wading balls-deep through awesomeness.

GamerIs there no limit to Gerard Butler’s obscenely polymorphous cinematic valiance? All kidding aside, this looks like the single greatest kick-in-the-cunt action movie ever.

Beyond a Reasonable DoubtMichael Douglas seems to be prepping his bad-guy game for the inevitable sequel to Wall Street; but even so, this film doesn’t go far beyond being a “fun afternoon” for a bored housewife who doesn’t feel like cracking a book. She will then proceed to tell her children how wonderful and suspenseful the movie was, but when they see it, they’ll be sure to think it sucks beyond a reasonable doubt.

PreciousOprah and Tyler Perry thought Notorious was unfair and decided to make a movie about a the rise of a morbidly obese girl instead.

9Seems like one of those Tim Burton movies that no one will really like, but if you work at Hot Topic, you’ll kindof have to force it.

NineYes, that’s right. Same title…just spelled out this time. And this one is a sexy musical starring some women you thought were dead, some you wish were dead, and that guy who drinks your milkshake.

Street DreamsI have absolutely no interest in this gritty skateboarding flick…and that’s coming from someone who just reviewed Precious just minutes ago.

Aliens in the AtticUnless this is sequel to Hider in the House, I’m not even going to give it the time of day. No Busey, no Movie!

Baby on BoardTwo points. One, they already made this movie. It was called The Break-Up. Two, if this suckfest stays in theaters for more than 48 hours, I’m going to write an angry letter to the President.

The Girlfriend ExperienceThe big acting debut of porn star Sasha Grey doesn’t look nearly as compelling as it probably should. I picture her doing an artsy flick, but this looks stale and unfinished. I feel like I’m back in art school.

The Ugly TruthRemember what I said about Gerard Butler? His rugged charm sucks you in to a trailer that should, by all Matthew McConaughean means repel the shit out of any serious film nut. Fuck you, Gerard Butler! You make me want to see a romantic comedy that anyone with half-a-fucking-gerbil-brain knows what the ending will be!

Yesterday Was a LieSci-Fi Film Noir should have began and ended with Blade Runner. This unwatchable mockery of classic cinema makes Community College Film Students look like Fritz fucking Lang.

GoobyTry to watch this trailer without laughing. I fucking dare you. This movie looks so appallingly and unfathomably ridiculous that I can’t help but watch it again just to make sure I didn’t make it all up. Warning: Who ever sees this movie has tasted death. What the flying fuck???

Children of InventionI almost certainly won’t see this in theaters…but I’m not sure why. Must be the Asians.

Twistee TreatI’m starting to become disillusioned with Independent Film…I applaud the effort, and I’m unmistakably jealous, but I’m still not going to see your shitty movie.

Whatever WorksLarry David as Woody Allen as Larry David.

$9.99The onslaught of movies with “Nine” in the title is interminable. This film, however, looks beautiful, imaginative, and I almost can’t wait to see it.

District 9I’ll end with another “Nine” movie here. Maybe Hollyweird is on to something with this whole “Nine” thing. This pseudo-documentary looks brilliant. My faith in the future of cinema has been rejuvenated. If there were some omniscient, omnipresent being living amongst the clouds, this would be the time to thank it, sincerely.

And with that, I shall take my leave of you. Don’t be a stranger, and please keep watching good movies. It’s our only defense against Hollywood feeding us another Summer crap-a-thon.

Alex G

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