Ghostbusters: Original vs Reboot

ghostbusters 1984-vs 2016
The Green Carbon 2112 movie review team from Brickwall Pictures went to the premier of the Ghostbusters 2016 then watched the original and gave their opinions of both.

Ghostbusters (2016)

Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat. The 2016 version stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones
Directed by: Paul Feig

Writing Credits: Katie DippoldPaul Feig

Based on the 1984 film “Ghostbusters” directed by Ivan Reitman

Based on the 1984 film “Ghostbusters” written by Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis

Ghostbusters (1984)

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service. The 1984 version stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis and of course the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Director:

Ivan Reitman

Writers:

Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis

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Up In the Air (2009) Review

up in the air title card

Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert with a job traveling around the country firing people. Ryan, played by George Clooney, enjoys living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened when he meets the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams

WATCH THE REVIEW

Sam Kench reviews the 2009 Jason Reitman film Up In the Air starring George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Vera Farmiga.

FUN FACT VIA IMDB

“A large amount of the people we see fired in the film are not actors but people who were recently laid off. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had. A way to discern who are the actors and who are the real people is that the real people do not have dialogue with George Clooney or Anna Kendrick, as they were shot separately. Jason Reitman did this intentionally, feeling that the real people would freak out Clooney and Kendrick.”

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

kiss kis bang bang

kiss kis bang bagn

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a dark comedy with a strong noir edge mystery about a murderer being pursued by a gay private investigator, a thief mistaken as an actor and his childhood love interest.

Though this movie may be enjoyable to the casual movie going audience, it is especially appealing to those well versed in the medium of film. Film buffs will find great pleasure in this film as it takes the conventions you’ve come to expect and twists them around to great comedic effect. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” follows a somewhat generic murder mystery plot, but infuses it with genre defying dark comedy at crucial moments to steer the film into unexpected territory with the comedy forming to the point of perfection and hitting its mark every time.

two

While the comedy and some of the direction/cinematography stop “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” from being a true hard boiled noir, all the style is still there. The film has a great grasp of the noir style, with a lot of darkly lit sets, many washed over with heavy color as many neo-noirs do.

The music is also excellently noir and it is impressive how the often serious music manages to avoid clashing with the comedic moments that occur simultaneously. The music is all great and genre fitting, until the end credits where they used a horribly unfitting song. I’m one to usually read through the credits of a film if I like it, and the music choice stopped me from doing so. This isn’t a bad mark on the film itself, just a poor decision from the soundtrack department which up until that point had been so great.

The two leads are great. Robert Downey Jr. as Harry Lockhart and Val Kilmer as Gay Perry are both terrific. Each character is well formed, and though the characters never take on the buddy cop formula, they do have good back and forth on screen chemistry which makes the comedy work that much better. The excellent comedic writing is pulled off flawlessly by these two leads. The female lead, Harmony Lane played by Michelle Monaghan, is a different story. The threeactress did a fine job, but the writing of the character does not work to the film’s benefit . The only aspect of the film that didn’t work to me was the romance between Harry Lockhart and Harmony Lane. I really can’t see why she is worth all the trouble or why Harry would even want to be with her, she’s honestly quite a whore.

The film has one of the absolute best narrations of all time from Robert Downey Jr. as his character tells the story while having quite a bit of difficulty. He goes back to parts he forgot, criticizes scenes and gets off topic. All to excellent comedic effect. The film is very self aware which works in its favor and gives a feeling of true originality to the film.

The clever, tightly written script is the main reason to watch the film. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is hilarious but also manages to be very cool and stylish with a nice noir tone and even managing to have a pretty damn cool final shootout.
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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is a fantastic film. I highly recommend it to all fans of cinema. Anyone looking for a neo-noir, a comedy or even a low octane action film will likely find a good time wrapped up within “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, it can even work as an alternative Christmas film like “Die Hard” or “In Bruges“.

 

Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

wolf of wallstreet

By Sam Kench

The Wolf of Wall Street” is the latest film to come from master director Martin Scorsese. One of the best American film makers of all time, Scorsese (Fun fact: is on a list of only 50 people banned from Tibet) has delivered some of the best movies ever made, including classics such as “Taxi Driver“, “Raging Bull“, and “Goodfellas“. “The Wolf of Wall Street” looks poised to join the ranks of his classic work in time.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” works as a biopic to tell the story to Jordan Belfort, a drug addled stock broker who works outside of the law. The film relishes in showing his exploits and drug induced mayhem with his team of equally deplorable stock market workers.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” was nominated for 5 Oscars including best actor (for Leonardo Dicaprio) best director, and best picture. Leonardo Dicaprio turns in a fantastic performance with his portrayal of real life ex-fraudster/drug/sex addict Jordan Belfort. Though many scenes in the movie are exaggerated or improvised for the sake of comedic excess, the real Jordan Belfort says that the film accurately portrays the crazed debauchery of his life during the time.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” has been called an epic of excess. An overabundant use of profanity and explicit graphic material and drug use gave this film an element of controversy. Some people find the unabashed blatant depiction of drug use and sexual material to be offensive, but the Wolf of Wall Street wears its offensive elements as a badge of honor. Nothing is held back and everything is put out on display for the audience to interpret it however they wish.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” takes pride in how graphic it is because it reflects the nature of the characters in the film. “The Wolf of Wall Street” has broken the world record for the most “F” words in a movie, a title that has previously been held by other Scorsese films such as “Casino” and “Goodfellas”.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is a very long movie clocking in at exactly 3 hours, and the rate of profanity averages out to 3 “F” words per minute. If you are someone who cannot handle strong language or graphic depictions of what many would consider to be profane material, then this movie is not for you.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is hysterically funny. Though it is not a comedy first and foremost, often putting thematic and dramatic elements first, the film manages to be consistently funny throughout. The film sets a very fast pace from the beginning and hardly ever slows down. There was a lot of improv done by the actors as well which contributes heavily to the comedy. The film manages to tell a very good story while being incredibly funny. The film mixes the two genres by having a fully dramatic scene where a character is left by the wife balanced out a scene with Leonardo Dicaprio under the influence of Quaaludes crawling and rolling around on the ground for 15 minutes.

This film is truly hilarious at times, one of the funniest movies of the year, more so than a lot of straight up comedies, and what’s more impressive is that it remains dramatically competent at the same time.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is a great film, the only complaint I have is that there were some digital effects that really took me out of the movie for a moment. “The Wolf of Wall Street” is full of genuinely funny moments, original set pieces, strong dramatic elements, and great performances. I highly recommend it to anyone who won’t be turned off by the graphic nature of the film. “The Wolf of Wall Street” will surely be remembered as a classic.

Movie Recommendation of the Week #11

see no evil hear no evil

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

see no evil hear no evil

This is a very funny movie about a blind man and a deaf man who witness a murder in tandem. Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder star and the two make an excellent comedic pairing.

It would be easy for a movie like this to come off as immature and offensive, but although their disabilities are used for comedy, the disabilities themselves do not ever become a laughing matter, just the situations that result from them. This is good and keeps the movie respectable.

The movie manages to have some well acted and competent dramatic scenes mixed in with the comedy. It also features a very early Kevin Spacey role and sees him playing one of the villains and putting on a British accent.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil is delightfully funny and everyone is sure to get at least one chuckle out of it so check it out.

Movie Recommend of the Week #10 – ‘The Sting’

the sting

the sting

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford and was directed by George Roy Hill.  “The Sting” sees these men teaming up for another movie that is an absolute classic.

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is a masterpiece of film and I would highly recommend it as well, the reason I’m not is because I think most people have at least heard of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, whereas “The Sting” is at least a little lesser known.

REASONS TO WATCH

  • The acting of course is fantastic. Paul Newman is one of my favorite actors of all time, and his pairing with Robert Redford is one of the all time greatest screen duos.
  • The movie sets it’s tone perfectly and holds true throughout. The film tells a serious, competent story, but also manages to have a slight whimsical and comedic edge that makes it a lot of fun.
  • The music is great, if a bit limited. You will end up hearing the same song quite a few times throughout the movie, but whether or not you grow tired of it is a matter of personal experience. Personally, though I’ll admit the music is repetitive, it never stopped being enjoyable or fitting.
  • The movie is very long and is broken up into segments. The segments are connected with little musical interludes, and absolutely fantastic hand-made art panels. This artwork is magnificent and took a great deal of time and care.
  • There’s a degree of showmanship in “The Sting” that you just cannot find in modern cinema.
  • I’ve heard this film compared to “The Godfather“, and while they do have completely different styles, tones, and even focus, when comparing the two “The Sting” wins by a large margin. I know that “The Godfather” is often considered one of the best films ever made, but  I honestly think that “The Sting” is a much, much better film all around.
  • The Sting” is an absolute classic and is truly a masterpiece that stands the test of time.

Movie Recommendation of the Week #8

weekly movie recommendation-clue

By Sam Kench

clue

Clue is our movie recommendation for this week.

Yes this is a movie based off of the board game Clue. You wouldn’t expect a movie based on a board game to be any good, but this movie is surprisingly fantastic.

Perfect Comedy – This is honestly one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. The absolutely amazing cast paired with the writing of John Landis, the comedy genius who brought us classics like The Blues Brothers. Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, everyone, in this movie is perfectly cast, and hilarious.

Alternate Endings –  Make sure you watch the version of the film that includes the alternate endings. Any release of this film without the endings is a disgrace to this masterpiece. As a riff on the board game, where each time you play there is a different killer with a different weapon, the movie has a series of alternate endings, each one is clever and hysterically funny, if you don’t see all the endings then you are really missing out.

With its premise you just wouldn’t think this movie would work, but it does and it manages to be one of the absolute best comedies ever put to screen. Go watch it right away.

Cottage Country Review

cottage country

Cottage Country

Cottage Country is a movie that I saw a trailer for and then just sort of forgot about until they added it to Netflix. The sole reason I watched this movie was for Tyler Labine from the excellent Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

This movie seemed to have the same kind of idea, both being dark comedies centering around accidental murder. Was Cottage Country as good as Tucker and Dale VS Evil? No. It’s not that close either. Tucker and Dale is a much better movies all around and it is especially a great deal funnier. That being said I still very much enjoyed Cottage Country.

After watching the movie I was somewhat shocked to see all the negative reviews for this movie. This film has a bad reputation and seems to be getting a lot of undeserved flak. Is this movie perfect? Not at all, but it is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s an enjoyable flick that doesn’t deserved to be labeled as trash as it has been. I’m expecting this movie to actually gain a cult following in a few years.

Let me just say real quick that this movie has one of the worst IMDB pages I’ve ever seen. THIS is the poster they used for the movie

cottage country worst poster ever

What the hell is that?! I could find a better poster for the movie on google images, in fact I will.

cottage country

Okay that’s still pretty bad, but at least it’s a poster this time. Only B movies have posters like this, and really gives the audience the wrong idea about the quality of film they should expect.

Cottage Country tells the story of Todd and Cammie who go to Todd’s cottage so that he can propose. Some unwanted guests lead to Todd and Cammie covering up multiple murders in a very dark comedy. The movie is morbidly funny and mixes the horror with the comedy in a way that not everyone’s pallet will be able to handle. Sometimes the mixing of the two genres is a little uneven, and I would’ve liked a bit more comedy in there, but the movie remains funny enough throughout, to not lose sight of it’s goal. There are standout moments that are very very funny, but the movie would’ve benefited from having some smaller laughs sprinkled in throughout.

The dramatic and horror aspects are surprisingly effective. I love horror comedies, and what usually ends up happening, is that the comedy takes center stage, while the horror is merely a backdrop. Most horror comedies simply use the horror as the setup and fail deliver on actually being frightening. Cottage Country, while never being scary, does manage to competently build tension and even manifest a creepy vibe in a few scenes. The way these different elements are mixed, could have been handled better, but I found that they still worked. These elements work especially well given the excellent acting and the good musical score.

Tyler Labine is great as Todd. He pulls off the comedy and handles the dramatic moments just as well. The cast of characters is surprisingly varied and everyone does their jobs very well. The female lead, Cammie, played by Malin Akerman is great and her character, that at first seems generic, is actually rather interesting. SPOILER Her character actually becomes the antagonist of the film near the end and while the writing on her transition wasn’t particularly good, the actress manages to make it work fairly well. The climax of the film went in an unexpected direction, but I think it works for this particular movie. END SPOILER

The supporting cast all do a very good job. Horror movies in general get a bad reputation as having terrible acting, but that is not always the case. The acting in Cottage Country is good all around. There are some standout characters that manage to be fully developed even though they may only have a couple of scenes. There is a Hasidic Jewish man named Dov who goes all detective on the disappearance of Todd’s brother Salinger who he murdered earlier (Not a spoiler it’s in the trailer). This character is delightfully strange and his outcome is gleefully funny.

The one character I found underdeveloped was the vagrant. He is only seen twice and a little more action from him would’ve been appreciated. There are two other standout character I want to mention. The female cop and Todd’s father both manage to be terribly cool, despite having little screen time. The cop is a bonafide BAMF and really goes out with a bang and Todd’s father might actually be the funniest part of the whole movie when he starts screaming at his wife.

Overall I found Cottage Country to be a thoroughly entertaining film. Despite the direction sometimes being a bit misguided and the different elements getting occasionally crossed the film remains very enjoyable. It definitely could have been funnier, but what we got with Cottage Country is still a satisfying flick, if perhaps a little forgettable. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the horror comedy subgenre.

Flight of the Conchords review

flight of the conchords

By Sam Kench

flgiht of the conchords

Flight of the Conchords is a comedy band that is absolutely fantastic. Their music is great and their humor always hits it’s mark.

The band consists of two members Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie.  In 2007 they got their own TV show on HBO in which they play fictionalized versions of themselves, similar to shows like Maron and Louie.

This show is hilarious. The style of comedy may not be for everyone, so if you don’t like their music, you probably wont like the show.

The TV show is a combination of two parts. The first part being a comedy show that just pretty much follows the two of them around New York as they try to become a popular band, and the second half is their music. There are usually two songs per episode, and some work better than others. Sometimes the segues from the stories into the music is a little haphazard, but they generally try to work the song into the plot one way or another.

Both the narrative plot and the music are great. Both aspects are very funny. Some people may think that the show is just a shell for some music videos, but that is not true. Even if you took away the music, this show is still one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. The show only had two seasons and I would love to see it come back for a 3rd, however unlikely that is.bret and jemaine

The biggest reason why this show works so well is the cast. Both Jemaine and Bret are terrific in the show. Jemaine is always my favorite of the two but they are both great. They have great comedic delivery, and since the style of the show has very realistic sounding dialogue for the most, the actors do a good job of making everything sound incredibly natural. It’s true that they’re playing themselves so that probably makes it a bit easier, but they are incredibly believable which still takes talent.

murray hewittThe supporting cast is very good as well. The characters Murray, Mel, Dave, etc. are all unique and funny, and again the performances are very good.

Flight of the Conchords has to be one of my favorite TV shows of all time and I highly recommend it.

Maron Season 1 review

maron

maronMaron is a show created by comedian Marc Maron in which he plays himself. The show is a comedy that airs on IFC. I enjoyed Maron’s stand up so I gave this show a shot expecting something along the lines of FX’s “Louie“.

This show really reminded me of Louie when I was watching it. Both shows star a comedian playing a fictionalized version of himself and more or less just follow them around on their day to day activities. Both can have some strong dramatic moments as well and both shows have a lot of great cameos from other comedians and actors. Marc Maron was actually on Louie for an episode. What Maron lacks in comparison is the strange and surrealness of Louie. Maron is much more conventional and focuses more heavily on comedy.

Maron is a pretty funny show. Marc Maron does a good job in the lead. Regardless of whether or not he’s playing himself, it’s still very possible to give a bad performance, but he delivers finely. He feels very natural and realistic on screen and the dialogue is also very realistic for the most part. The characters on the show feel like real people (with a few exceptions) which makes the funny things that happen more relatable. There are cameos abound from people such as Dave Foley, Pete Holmes, Jeff Garlin, Judd Hirsch, Dennis Leary, Danny Trejo and more. Some playing themselves and others playing characters.

The cast and acting are good, the comedy hits its mark, and the show is even capable of having some competent dramatic moments. Maron is not a must watch show, but it is funny. I’d say if you like Marc Maron’s stand up then give the show a watch, I’m in it for another season.