I was flipping through the channels last night and came across a few movies I had never seen before - I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry starring Kevin James & Adam Sandler, Max Payne starring Mark Walberg, and Wanted starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie.
I can't believe this was the first time I saw these movies - each one of them was absolutely amazing and I recommend that all of you put aside some time to have a movie night and watch all three of these wonderful films. I'm a sucker for a good comedy, and Chuck and Larry had me laughing for hours. I also love action packed, suspenseful films, and Max Payne and Wanted definitely lived up to my expectations.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (from Amazon.com)
It's crude and sometimes awkward, but there's a gleefully subversive movie lurking inside I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. By virtue of a tooth-grinding contrivance, two manly Manhattan firefighters, Adam Sandler and Kevin James, must move in together and pretend to be gay; after seeing life from the other side, they learn something about tolerance. Sandler is the obnoxious, aggressively offensive womanizer, while James plays a widowed dad worried about his effeminate son. Nothing is too surprising about the way this works out, except for the film's unabashedly gay-rights fervor. It's one thing for a sensitive art-house movie to preach to the choir, and quite another for Sandler to speak to his multiplex audience on how uncool it is to use a homophobic slur. Ham-handedly directed and almost proudly sloppy, Chuck & Larry wins points for remaining defiantly rude; a nicer movie wouldn't have been as effective. There's a hilarious supporting performance by Ving Rhames, and Jessica Biel brings her Kim Novak-style glamour to a truly unbelievable character. Rob Schneider and Richard Chamberlain (two names not generally brought together) are amusing in small roles.
Max Payne (from Amazon.com)
Any film based on a first-person shooter video game should, as a rule of thumb, be full of epic shootouts on a level equal to Sergio Leone or the Wachowski Brothers, and in that regard, Max Payne is an unqualified success. Mark Wahlberg also lives up to the game's pedigree by brooding mightily as the title hero, a big city detective mourning the murder of his wife and child. Revenge is, of course, Payne's ultimate goal, and with the assistance of slinky Russian hitwoman Mila Kunis, he dishes it out in elaborate set pieces overflowing with gymnastic gun play. Viewers seeking just that and nothing more will get their money's worth from John Moore's film adaptation, and most likely be impressed by its fashionably gloomy art direction and cinematography. Those seeking a bit more than gunpowder and gristle will find Max Payne utterly derivative of a half-dozen better films (Christopher Nolan's Batman films, most notably) and violent to the point of cartoon absurdity. They may find some refuge in appealing supporting turns by Donal Logue and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges as diametrically opposed cops and Beau Bridges, who offers his usual roguish charm as Payne's former superior.
Wanted (from Amazon.com)
As the impresario behind gravity-defying Russian blockbuster Night Watch, it's inevitable that Hollywood would come calling for Timur Bekmambetov. With a studio budget and an international cast, including two Oscar winners, Timur cooks up a Hong Kong-styled actioner bursting with fast cars and big guns. Our unlikely hero is mild-mannered Chicago accountant Wesley Gibson (Atonement's James McAvoy), whose father died when he was a tot. Wesley never learned to stand up for himself, and his girlfriend, boss, and best buddy all take advantage until the seductive Fox (Angelina Jolie) rescues him from a sharpshooter named Cross (The Pianist’s Thomas Kretschmann). After which, she whisks him away to a mansion on the edge of town to meet the other members of the Fraternity, where leader Sloan (Morgan Freeman) informs Wesley that Cross, a rogue agent, executed his father. Sloan believes Wesley has the goods to take him out, so he undergoes the Fraternity's brutal training regimen (Marc Warren and Common dish up some of the abuse). When he's ready, Sloan sends him out to fulfill his duty, but matters become complicated when Wesley finds out someone isn't telling the truth, leading our former milquetoast to exact an elaborate revenge. For those who've been following McAvoy's career to date, Wanted will surely come as a surprise. In adapting Mark Millar's comic series, Timur offers buckets of blood and a smidgen of depth, but fans of The Matrix and Mr. and Mrs. Smith will want to give this one a look.