A Thunder Matt Movie Minute

April 17, 2009 | Comments (0) | by Chaim Witz


In Theatres Now

IMDB Cribbed Synopsis: A comedy set in the summer of 1987 and centered around a recent college grad (Jesse Eisenberg) who takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

Review: Let's get this out of the way upfront. This movie is not Superbad, despite what the marketing geniuses may lead you to believe. If you go in expecting a ball-punching laugh riot with lots of hand drawn penises and bodily fluids (although there is a Jewfro), you may dismiss this movie out of hand, like America did with Jessica Simpson's hotly anticipated (according to Joe Simpson and Tony Romo) country album. Too subtle for the Fast N Furious set and too cutesy for the pretentious lamb shank nibblers, this movie has thus far failed to find an audience, which is a shame.

Always a sucker for a good coming of age story (Say Anything, Dazed and Confused and yes, throw your rotten produce at me, but I loved Garden State. Heck, I even dug Nick and Norah.), this movie certainly fits the bill and wears it well. Set to a great 80's soundtrack (no real obvious picks here), what it lacks in LOLs it makes up for in heart and honest performances without a false note. Call me a romantic, call me a pansy, just don't call me late for dinner. Okay, that was a really stupid joke. If you hated that joke, you'll love Adventureland. How's that for tag line?

Bottom line: If you're a child of the 80's, have ever had a crappy job, are a sissy like me and enjoy the dulcet sounds of 80's era Lou Reed and Bowie, this movie is probably for you. If not, rent the Fast and Furious trilogy and continue to incorporate the letter 'z' onto the end of all your plurals.

Thunder Matt Rating: 4 perms out of 5

State of Play

IMBD Cribbed Synopsis: A team of investigative reporters work alongside a police detective to try to solve the murder of a congressman's mistress.

In Theatres: Friday, April 17

Review: This movie is a bit of a throwback in many ways. It involves a newspaper reporter (they still make those?), played by Russell Crowe, investigating the murder of a congressman's (Ben Affleck, who also happens to be one of his best friends) mistress, filmed in true 'who done it' fashion, with enough twists and turns to make M Night Shyamalan's wiener fall off.

There is a blue collar, old-school thriller feel to the proceedings that you'll feel like you've seen before, but it's done so expertly and with such a great cast (Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Jeff Daniels, the heartbreakingly adorable Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman in a comic relief role - natch) that you'll forgive a few loopholes that arise along the way. This movie may the last of it's kind in that the director (Kevin McDonald - The Last King of Scotland) explores the inner workings of a newspaper (and thusly, it's struggles to adapt to the Internet world) and the role of investigative reporting; the way that papers are crumbling by the hour, this film might be used to show future journalism classes when the question arises, 'What is a newspaper'?

The performances here are all solid, with Crowe giving a surprisingly subdued (yet effective) turn and Helen Mirren is perfect as the obligatory ball-busting editor. Enough intrigue, political corruption and corporate crime to keep you thinking mixed with just the right amount of people getting blasted to keep you from getting bored. Plus that Rachel McAdams is just so damn cute.

Thunder Matt Rating: 3.5 Wait, What Just Happened?s Out of 5