Licensed To Wed

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Obsession of the moment: PB & J; Pam Beason and Jim. Fans of The Office will understand. Everyone thinks they're adorable, and I'm obsessed with their love story. Completely and utterly obsessed. What spurred this obsession? I watched seasons 1, 2, and 3 of The Office in one week, non-stop. I know, I'm obsessed. I have a problem. I want to start season 1 over again. I'm lucky Joe won't let me. Maybe I'll do it in secret . . . Meanwhile, as I arranged my cover, I watched Licensed To Wed starring The Office's own John Karsinski and retired pop princess Mandy Moore.

Already anticipating the worst Robin Williams film ever, the former Mrs. Doubtfire plays semi-deranged Reverend Frank who plans to marry young lovebirds, Sadie and Ben. What Sadie and Ben don't expect is the pain and torture of Reverend Frank's marriage preparation course. Frank's inappropriate behavior and obnoxious meddling strains the couple's seemingly perfect relationship, and the intentions of the Reverend's counseling methods are questioned.

I don't understand how anyone could appreciate the humor of this flick. It was cheap, corny, and tactless. It brings shame to the already tainted authority of the clergy. It's pointless and stupid, and I really think that this has placed Robin Williams alongside Tim Allen's greatest hits. Screwball comedy is suppose to be about bizarre situations and characters, but
Reverend Frank was impossible to like and too enthusiastic to be intriguing. He's just annoying. Sadie and Ben were uninteresting, and the only good thing about the movie was the bright colors of the background and the clothing.

Normally Robin Williams is great, and I'm a huge fan. He once walked right past me and I got his air, but this movie was awful. And what's even more unfortunate is this movie didn't really give me my John Karsinski fix (even though about half The Office cast was in the film). It was just really bad. Save yourself for something better.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 12:07 AM 0 comments  

I'm Reed Fish

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Movies that take the time to present the plot in an interesting and creative manner always catches my attention, even if the overall movie is incompetent. Case in point I'm Reed Fish. Now, I really hate dishing on indie flicks because of what and who they represent. The people who write, produce, and act in these films are artistic, liberated, and scrappy. They are the cool, weird people who have what it takes, so I feel really bad when I hate the movie and must report on it.

Staring the relatively unknown Jay Baruchel and former Gilmore girl, Alexis Bledel, I'm Reed Fish is about the do-over. The young Reed Fish inherited his small town, local radio station from his late father, the original Fish. Living a lackluster, monotonal life, his approaching marriage to the town sweetheart leaves him less than enthusiastic, especially when his high school crush, Jill, returns to Mud Meadows and rekindled feelings become apparent.

Reed Fish is living a different person's life. He has no passion and goes through the painful journey of finding himself amidst his already chosen path, and what this film does is take these themes and literally does them over. The film we're watching is actually a movie in a movie. I don't want to give any more away, but the concept is completely innovative and deserves praise. However, the story, itself, is uninspired and dull, yet the gimmick eased the sluggish ache.

Reed Fish, the character, was a little bit slimy, and the girls unremarkable. Now, this may be because my basis is on the "amateur" flick (i.e. the movie about the movie), not the "real" film. The filmmakers may have attempted to make it look novice on purpose, but it isn't enough to show me that they were pursuing that technique. They fail either way.

I don't like I'm Reed Fish, and I'm happy that I'm not him.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 11:39 PM 0 comments  

Meet The Robinsons

Monday, November 19, 2007


So does anyone even know what Meet the Robinsons is about? This here, my friends, is another prime example of how movie trailers can't tell you anything. I think I saw the trailer for this animation ten times, and I still didn't know what the heck I was about to watch. Something with a dinosaur that looked very similar to Rex, the plastic dinosaur from Toy Story and a blond kid with Dragonball hair. Doesn't really tell us much does it? Well, that's what the movieGOOMBA is here for! I save you from the flop or turn you on to what's on top. Disney's first animated film independent of Pixar, however, is neither of those.

Meet The Robinsons is about an orphaned boy named Lewis who is gifted with an exceptional knack for inventing. Believing that he can invent a machine to look into his lost infant memories to remember his mom, he begins to create the contraption only to have it stolen by Bowler Hat Guy, the villain from the future. With the help of Wilbur and his "modern" family, the Robinsons, Lewis fights to get his invention back and hopefully gains the chance to "remember" his mother.

Good, clean, fun, this family flick provides the perfect distraction for children whose parents need a few moments to themselves. Other than that, Meet The Robinsons fails miserably in comparison to Disney's other computer-generated hits like Bugs Life, Cars, and Toy Story. It wasn't nearly as clever, nor did it have the wit or comedy that we've come to expect. When the bar is raised, its hard to compete. The story was straight forward and it did evoke the sympathy that is essential in family films of this nature. It was easy for little kids to understand, even with the time-space continuum theory present, and it was colorful and pleasant. I did have a major issue with the whole Oedipus Complex theme that was heavily present throughout the film, but other than that, nothing in Meet The Robinsons made me frustrated; always a good sign.

If you have kids, I'd say that this movie would compliment a family film library nicely. But as a normal, even movie fanatical, adult, I really don't think you need to meet the Robinsons. They aren't that interesting.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 7:15 PM 0 comments  

Reign Over Me

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Surprising as it may sound to those of you who know me, it took me a while to realize that I am a perfectionist. I like everything in order and every detail in place. Why? Not because I think its the best way but because I think it's the right way. It can get scary. I organize my DVD's by genre then alphabetical order. I like putting on my sweats and cleaning. I'm like Monica from Friends. Yet once I realized that I'm a perfectionist, it became astonishingly easy to know when I needed to let go.

Don Cheadle stars in the tragic drama, Reign Over Me, with good friend Adam Sandler. A successful dentist living a perfect yet unfullfilled life, Alan Johnson (Cheadle) sees his old and now haggard roommate Charlie Fineman (Sandler) on the streets of New York. Fineman has been lost to society since his wife and three daughters were killed in the September 11 attacks, and when Alan approaches him, Alan is surprised to find that Charlie, his bright, quirky, old friend is no longer all "there." As Alan makes the decision to help and support Charlie through his inner turmoil, he begins to notice that he's just as much of a mess as his friend, and in the end he realizes that Charlie is helping him as much as Alan is helping Charlie.

This film has a lot of class and cinematic style; its thoughtful, full of sorrow, and it focuses on the important things that matter in emotional relationships, like connection and responsiblity. Though both actors are known for their comedic talent, they surprised me with their ability to create such a sympathetic and bleak atmosphere. In some shots, the subject is brought out of focus at a transitional moment, representative of the characters' detachment, either to society or to his family. Reign Over Me is like body language. This movie isn't about what was said. It isn't about how it was said.

Adam Sandler is always a constant surprise. He's done some pretty strange and horrible movies, but his performance in this film is no fluke. He made a perfect, deranged Charlie Fineman

Not as mentally anguishing as you'd expect, Reign Over Me is poignant and hopeful. Although I don't remember actually listening to the song the movie references, this movie tells me that it's all about letting go; letting go of loved ones and friends and letting go of the perfection that he worked so hard at achieving, and that's a powerful message for a control freak like me.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 7:05 PM 0 comments  

Martian Child

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


"NanooooNanoooo!" shouted the man from outer space. "Welcome to Earth," yelled Will Smith after knocking out the slimy Forth of July alien. "Phone home" whispered the wide-eyed Extra Terrestrial as he pointed to the stars. Space themed movies are great backdrops for creative storytelling. Its a real place with real, endless imaginative possibilities where monstrous creatures, friendly beasts, time travel, and invisibility could exist. Throw my main man John Cusack into the mix, and you might get a decent film, if you're lucky.

However, Martian Child is more Earth-bound. A bit reminiscent of KPAX, Martian Child stars John Cusack, a lonely widower who writes best-selling, space-themed novels. He adopts Dennis, an isolated boy who believes he's from Mars, and while still dealing with his own tragedy, he takes on Dennis' in the hope that Dennis will feel at home for the first time.

This film lacks the typical plot build. It stays at a constant level, and was terribly anti-climatic. In my eyes, John Cusack is always amazing, but he and the Martian had very little chemistry. The writing is ordinary, and the characters are flat. There were some adorable scenes, like Dennis' Martian talk-dance, and Cusack brings a heroic quality to parenthood. But it was a movie that graduated out of Lifetime; possibly entertaining, given the right mood, but just average entertainment.

I'd leave the TV on if this movie were on TBS; maybe buy it on sale, but like most films without a significant plot climax, this film falls in the 3 GOOMBA realm. Martian Child, just okay.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 10:23 PM 0 comments