Monday, April 23, 2012

Movie Review: 35 and Ticking

35 and Ticking (2011)

Director: Russ Parr
Producer: Russ Parr, Kym Whitley
Release date: May 20, 2011
Running time: 108 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Rating: R

Centering around the lives of Victoria, Zenobia , Cleavon, and Phil -- all friends approaching the age of 35 and struggling to build the families they've always dreamed of. While Zenobia (Nicole Ari Parker) is still looking for a man, Victoria (Tamala Jones) is married to a man who doesn't want children. Cleavon (Kevin Hart), meanwhile, is too geeky to get a woman, and Phil (Keith Robinson) is already married with children, but his wife is not very interested in being a mother. All four of them try to rectify their romantic lives and futures while their biological clocks tick away. (Source)

Movie Tags: Romantic Comedy, Emotional, Goofy, Sentimental

Note: There are some adult situations and context. Please note the R rating.

This film was surprising. I personally feel that the blub that I read was not descriptive, going in I didn't know what to expect. (I made sure to find the better one for my review.) That said, I'm happy with what I found, however there are some flaws and pit falls along the way.

We follow four friends, two of who are struggling to keep their marriages and to keep their romance alive, one maybe more than the other but each struggling in their own way. The other two are single with no prospects in sight, still looking for love at the age of 35 and 37 (I believe).

I'd like to address the matter of the main characters age first because it plays a major role in all aspects of the movie. I bring that up because I find that stories with older characters lead to very different types of storytelling, it's only natural. The characters are more open and honestly, they aren't afraid to tell it like it is because they're done playing games and having everyone running around. They want a real relationship and aren't shy to voicing it, which usually leads to hilarity in many situations.

Since this movie follows four different characters I wanted to give each one a small introduction and my feelings on their story before giving an overall opinion.

Zenobia (37) is a sports anchor who hasn't met the right man yet or a man worth her time. She's very quick to judge and pass people over, while I consider it to be a major flaw it comes with her job. It's difficult for her to meet new people when most of them already know who she is because of her show. She wants someone that will take enough time to see her as the person she is and not just someone who's on TV.
I found Zenobia to be a typical hard-working women to put her career first and didn't think much of a relationships only to look in the mirror and go "I want a life beyond my work" and have no idea how she got where she is or how to go about changing that. The story was a bit typical but had some seriously hilarious moments.
In the beginning Zenobia is easily set as the main character but quickly become over-shadowed having her story thrown to the back burner as other characters stories begin to play out.

Victoria (37) is married to a hard-working responsible man and in a fairly stable place in life. Through the struggles of Zenobia, Victoria realizes she's ready to start a family, although not completely supported by her husband in the decision.
I found Victoria's story to be the one without a lot going on. There's a few major conflicts but overall not much happens with her. She appears once in awhile and then doesn't show up, dealing with her own things.
Overall I felt she didn't have the best story. I wasn't interested in the conflict or resolve as much as the others. She was a great friend to have when they needed her but she wasn't around most of the time.

Phil (35?) is working himself to the bone. Between juggling two kids and a wife that is never around to help out or spend time with him and their family, along with having to provide for all of them. From the beginning there's conflict in his marriage and between how their group feels about it, mostly his wife.
I liked Phil's story the most. It's one of those moments when you see a man that is honestly trying his hardest to make life, family, and love work. He's trying to balance and juggle everything, but somehow usually ends up with life handing him the short end of the stick.

Cleavon (35) is a lazy-bum. He's never had a 'real job' or stood on his own two feet. He slid by for most of his life and doesn't have interest in doing any more. Celvon not a smooth talker or a cool guy, that's putting it lightly! He is awkward and shy to the extreme. Always always finding himself in awkward situations with his foot in his mouth. And yet he tries, oh does he try.
His story is by far the funnies and raunchiest, the entire reason this has an R rating, which I found to be more hilarious than anything else
He's a typical guy, set in his ways and bound to make an idiot out of himself. He's generally considered to be the 'little kid' of the group often pushed into something by the rest of them, to then have them hover to see how it works out. (Don't you hate it when your friends do that?!)
About half way in I felt Cleavon became more of a major player in the overall story. In the beginning he's there for comic relief but over time he enters the spot-light and begins to try and find himself.

The biggest grip I have about this movie is transition scenes. I found more than a few of them to be very weak. The reasoning or drive behind a situation or a character [sudden] actions was full of holes. I felt these weak moments were usually setup in order to lead to a more important or dramatic scene. Leaving me to be semi-understandable in that sense.

As I'm sure it's clearly obvious by now, I enjoyed the comedy here. On occasion it was hit and miss but mostly hit. I found myself laughing more than I ever expected to and enjoyed watching awkward situations play out. There are a few subtle sign of following stereotypes which I felt it was for comic relief and faded once you got hooked into the stories.
I also love the element of tie-in. While each of the four friends have their very different lives, at the end of the day they find themselves relying on each other. Sometimes more than I felt most [real] people would admit to. It's an amazing thing to know no matter how terrible your day is a friend to comfort you, let you try on their shoulder, or just listen; is a phone call away. Again I feel this comes form the difference of age. They're friendships have lasted this long, why would they suddenly stop?

There's a little bad but mostly good. Some flaws are a little harder to over look than others but overall I still enjoyed this movie.
Easily said, might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Recommend: If you enjoy emotional family drama, romance, quirkiness, and comedy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #1

 In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @  The Story Siren to share the books and goodies you've gotten.

I hope everyone had a great week!

This is my first In My Mailbox, please bear with me.

I have been holding off posting this, knowing I was getting a couple of things in the mail. Although has I'm new to this I haven't received much, but still thought I would share!

I have received two wonderful things from fellow bloggers that I would like to thank.

Tough Shit: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith

I received this audiobook from Laura @ Owl Tell You About It

Easter Candy!
A friend of mine got me a ton of Easter candy, here's some of it.

I'm not even going to admit how much of the candy that is.. *cough*
But it's a lot of chocolate..

Signed Slide Bookmark (Slide by Jill Hathaway)

From Ed and Em @ Ed and Em's Reviews
Love it! This bookmark is so pretty, I'm already using it.

Notice: This entry is a backdate originally posted on April 24th, marked for April 22nd.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Movie Review: Rango

Rango (2011)

Director: Gore Verbinski
Producer: Gore Verbinski, Graham King, John B. Carls
Studio: Nickelodeon Movies, Blind Wink, GK Films, Industrial Light and Magic
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release date:  March 4, 2011
Running time: 107 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Rating: PG

Official Site

An unnamed pet chameleon (Johnny Depp) becomes stranded in the Mojave Desert after his terrarium falls from his owners' car by accident. He meets an armadillo named Roadkill (Alfred Molina), who is seeking the mystical Spirit of the West and directs the parched chameleon to find water at a town called Dirt. While wandering the desert, he narrowly avoids being eaten by a red-tailed hawk and has a surreal nightmare before meeting the desert iguana Beans (Isla Fisher), a rancher's daughter, who takes the chameleon to Dirt, an Old West town populated by desert animals. (Source)

Movie Tags: Children & Family, Ages 8+, Family Adventure, Animated, Comedy, Goofy, Imaginative, Feel-good, Witty

Just because something is animated doesn't mean it's for kids!

Note: This is not a children's movie! I have no idea how this got a PG rating but it is not, in my opinion, appropriate for children. From it's adult theme, to the crude language, and dark humour.
Children may not understand some of the words, their meaning(s), and the general adult heavy theme, but it is not something they should be introduced to while not understanding.

Under the context of this being acceptable for kids 9+ I am shocked to see what they got away with. The entire movie trends a very thin line of suggestion. Never saying too much but lots of hinting. If you're old enough you'll pick up on it otherwise it will go right over your head, which is what bothered me the most, because of how often it happened.
Such as, right in the beginning there's a moment when Rango asks his headless barbie "Are those real?" Referring to her breasts while not stating where the comment was directed. Then there are moments with quite a bit of quick slick talkin' where a sly change of a word with one that sounds similar and you have a very adult joke on your hands. At least to those who are paying enough attention to catch on but most are left none the wiser. A few examples include; cojones, prostate (and entire joke followed the phrase 'prostate exam'), and mammogram.
Changing a word or two might leave children not noticing but I kept asking "Did they just say that?" I'll admit it's clever, it really is, but not when you label a movie for children.

The worst, I think was the fact the word damn was said once in a pretty intense scene, which I found to be fairly violent (the scene that is, with the cherry topping of a curse word). But then I was pretty horrified with how often they said hell. You say 'heck' with kids, at least that's what I think.

This movie also deals with quite a bit of killing, death, and general violence.

I seriously do not think kids should see this, the theme and humour is more for adults, and those who have a pretty off sense of humour at that.

Putting that aside as I am an adult, I actually enjoyed this movie. It's very strange, I'm not denying that, and it should be noted my sense of humour is all over the place, including being slightly off (at times), which this very much appeals to me in that regard
This movie off the wall, there is no other way to explain it! At first glance I was ready to write it off, walk away and be done, but a movie sharing friend (we recommended things back and forth) highly recommended it. On the recommendation of it being a good movie, I stuck it out. And I'm happy I did! I can't explain the change of opinion other than the movie really does have heart to it. You start to feel for the characters and wonder where everything is going.
I found myself chuckling at the jokes that appalled me at first, mostly based on how clever some of them really are.

If you're able to put up with some weirdness and look for clever joke you will enjoy this movie. It will take some time, and maybe a bit of digging, but this is a great movie.

I do not recommend for the faint of heart. This is a very strange movie that you might not be up for, but if you can give it a chance you may very well fall in love.

Recommended: Adults, broad sense of humour, open-minded.