Happy New Year! I love going to the movies. However, as a stay-at-home dad with two kids under 5 and a wife who works and goes to school, I don't get a whole lotta chances to make it to the movie theatre anymore. Before I was a daddy I usually went at least once a week. Since fatherhood I'm managed to average about 10 movies a year. This year I actually made it to 15! Here's a quick rundown of what I shelled out my wife's hard earned money to see...
Epic Movie I'm a sucker for these Airplane! type slapstick parodies. This one's target was pretty much everything in popular culture from the last year. While these affairs are always hit-or-miss, when Epic Movie missed it missed pretty hard. Still, I'll be in line to see these guys next film Meet the Spartans - another gag filled spoof using 300 as it's basis.
Meet the Robinsons The rest of the Disney online community really loved this new computer animated sci-fi/comedy from Walt Disney Feature Animation. I found it to be a little too far-fetched and a bit too obnoxious. The best part of seeing it in the theatre was the inclusion of a classic 1930's Mickey Mouse cartoon. That was worth the price of admission alone!
Grindhouse This film actually made movie-going an experience. Grindhouse is a double-feature of two full length films both made to look like they were shot in the 70's. The picture is grainy and scratched up, the soundtrack is dated, and there were even reels of the movies "missing". The most fun came with the screening of trailers for other fake 70's flicks. Now on DVD, the movie is split into it's two features: Planet Terror and Death Proof.
Shrek 3 Seriously, someone at DreamWorks just turned on the Shrek machine and went out to get some Jack-in-the-Box. I enjoyed the first two Shrek films, but this third one was so lazy and uncreative. I had to force myself to laugh just to keep awake. By the time number four rolls around my kids will be old enough that I won't have the choice of skipping it!
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer Last time I checked, weren't action movies supposed to have action in them!? This was a major snooze-fest! Enough with the talking already...save the day by stretching or turning into fire for pete's sake! You know a superhero movie is bad when the superheroes don't really use their powers.
Knocked Up This movie plays on two levels. For the youngins' in the audience it's a vulgar silly comedy. For the married with kids audience it's a brilliant satire on married life and what having kids can do to your life. It's funny as all-get-out and it's very entertaining. If you haven't seen it yet you should go to a place where DVDs are sold or rented and buy it...or rent it!
Live Free or Die Hard How about plopping down your eight bucks for a ticket and then just having the crap entertained out of you until your exhausted! Die Hard 4 was awesome and a great time at the movies. Wall to wall action with minimal story to follow equals a good time!
Transformers Not only was this toy-based movie filled with action sequences, it also had some of the funniest stuff in the theatre all summer. Using giant transforming robots for comedy purposes is a great idea. However, does Anthony Anderson need to be in one of the top grossing movies of the year!?
Ratatouille This movie is beautiful, fun and very original. I see it's near the top of every critics "Best of `07" list and there's a reason for it. This is a rare case of animation putting story above merchandising, soundtrack sales, or pleasing the kiddies. This is simply put a fantastic movie that everyone should see.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry The problem with alot of comedies is that they aren't consistently funny throughout the whole picture. Chuck & Larry was filled with laughs from beginning to end. There's a good chemistry between stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James plus there are several outstanding supporting actors and characters to back them up. I was really surprised with how funny this flick was. Another good time at the movies!
The Simpsons Movie I was one of those people waiting years for this movie to be made, and it was worth the wait. Just plain funny...they did so many things right in translating the TV show into a full length film. Of all the movies I saw this year, this is the one that I'm most looking forward to rewatching on DVD. (And I got it for Christmas - Yeah!)
Mr. Woodcock This was one of those times where I had the chance to go to a movie and there wasn't anything I really wanted to see. Back in the old days I would have seen 20-30 movies of this caliber a year. Still, it was a good time and a pretty decent comedy. Billy Bob Thorton plays his "disgruntled guy" character here once again, yet he does it so well it's fun to watch. Plus Amy Poheler was on board and you can't go wrong with her.
The Comebacks Yeah! I got two movie-spoofs in one year. This one was much better than Epic Movie. Here, every cliche in sports movies is raked over the coals in this tale of a coach who's never won a game in his whole career. A much better hit-and-miss ration than other comedies of it's type in the past few years.
Bee Movie Bee Movie was actually well done and a very enjoyable movie. It's basically The Jerry Seinfeld Movie except Jerry is a bee. It's got lots of slapstick for the kids and some surprisingly adult jokes for the older members in the audience.
Alvin and the Chipmunks This is all I can say about Alvin: What was there was cute but there wasn't much there. It's a little better than you'd expect but not much more! I was there as a daddy, and my son really enjoyed it so that's all that counts!
Well...maybe in 2008 I can make it to just as many movies, if not more!