Saturday, January 15, 2011

Non-Milk Duds and a Gala Event!

Thanks to everyone who commented on Good vs. Evil. I should’ve clarified something – most of the time, with movies and books, I just want to escape. Yes, I enjoy a realistic, introspective drama, but most of the time, I just want to escape reality. Thus, I want good to triumph over evil in the end. Make sense?

And I took my wife out to dinner instead of seeing the Green Hornet last night.

First the duds. Sorry, these aren’t delicious Milk Duds. These are movie duds!

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
I finally watched this film, and I’m sure it was a better experience than going to see Season of the Witch. Cage is really hit-or-miss, although his acting cannot be blamed in this movie. The story idea is good, the special effects great, but there’s just something wrong. It’s like the film missed an essential beat. It’s as if the screenwriters knew what needed to happen but missed the steps of convincing us how the plot moved from point A to point B. It’s also a mix of serious, funny, and who knows what. I blame Disney - they wanted to hit all the happy Disney notes but forgot to compose a complete song. Plus I spent the entire movie listening to Jay Baruchel speak and thinking “Well, there’s Hiccup - where’s Toothless?”

Shrek Forever After
I don’t think the lack of 3D hurt my viewing. Or rather, I doubt it would’ve helped. They promise this is the last installment, and I hope they stick to their guns. Overall, it was better than the third, which was lame, un-funny, and often cringe-worthy. The problem with this one? There was no humor. It lacked the fun, fairy-tale humor of the first two movies. It was dark and serious. (The storyline is similar to It’s A Wonderful Life - what if Shrek had never been born?) It’s not that the jokes weren’t funny - there weren’t any. I was disappointed.

Fantastic Mr. Fox
How to describe this movie? Think The Royal Tenenbaums merged into a clay animation children’s story. Think awful! I don’t like director Wes Anderson’s films - I think they’re weird, pretentious, boring, and lacking in humor. Add that this is based on a Roald Dahl story and you just know it’s going to be weird. I didn’t make it to the end. Critics may have loved it, but Mr. Fox is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of movies… (And this is NOT a kid's movie!!!)

Those were the duds of my week. Any duds you’d like to share? Warn some of us unsuspecting fools?


Karen M. Peterson said...

I always assume that any movie with Nicholas Cage in the cast is going to suck. Having extremely low expectations has led to the occasional pleasant surprise, such as National Treasure. But then, those movies are usually good/fun despite Cage rather than because of him.

As for Wes Anderson, I'm a big fan. And I loved The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! I've never been to a Hollywood Spy event. Sounds like fun! - G
PS. On a side note, the date at the top of your "Music Blogfest" announcement freaked me out for a second. I thought "Today i'sn't January 24th? It cant be? Cuz... OMG!!! that means I missed that massively important project deadline at work...Oh crap! " and then I scrolled down and read your post and all was right with the world again. :0

Pat Tillett said...

I'm right there with you! I wouldn't watch The Sorcer's Apprentice if it was free...
Now can I please have some real Mild Duds...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, for those who like Anderson, I'm sure it was spot-on. I just don't like him.

Georgina, sorry to scare you!!

Pat, would you like for me to wing them at you from the back of the movie theater?

DEZMOND said...

I'm not sure how my penguins would feel about that canine gentleman appearing at our gala ceremony, they aren't really nice to other non-human species.

I also didn't like FANTASTIC MR. FOX but I did adore the voices in it, they had a great voice cast.

Unknown said...

I didn't mind Sorcerer's Apprentice. You're absolutely right,though, it was missing something. The story felt off and I can't put my finger on it. Have not seen Mr. Fox, but it looked strange to me and not in a good way. Think I'll avoid it now.

Summer Ross said...

I really liked the Sorcerers Apprentice. I agree it lacked that 5 stars but I thought the overall impression was done well, it had a mingle of humor, serious, and drama that I enjoy in a movie or book.

The Shrek movie, I agree was way darker than I think a kids movie should be, but then the only shrek I really enjoyed was the first one. My kids like all of them.

Christian James said...

Enjiyed reading your duds Alex, tomorrows awards, shoul be fun too. said...

Shrek sounds lousy. Thanks for the warning.
That dog is very cute. Perhaps he'll be my date for the awards ceremony. xo

Helen Ginger said...

I was really hoping The Sorcerer's Apprentice would be good. It was on my "see" list.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

"Mr. Fox is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen" - Alex, seriously? I was completely shocked by this comment!

For me, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" is one of the most original, funny, entertaining and enjoyable animations ever created! And the stop-motion animation itself was pretty incredible.

Shrek FA was decent, yet too contrived, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was a passable entertainment overall.


Sometimes it's good to escape reality with some of the things going on in the world.


Unknown said...

havent seen any of these movies but my daughters at that age so i will be on it!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like Nick Cage but he does star in some crappy movies. I never wanted to see The Sorceress's Apprentice but I wanted to see Shrek. I'll save my money.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dezz, if he causes trouble, I bet the penguins can take him.
And the cast for the movie was great.

Melissa, you nailed it! Something was wrong, but not sure what.

Summer, Apprentice was mindless fun, but just seemed to lack something. Definitely the best thing I saw last week!

Robyn, after reading your series on celibacy, he's probably a better option!

Helen, it's still mindless fun. Worth a NetFlix. Once.

Nebular, as I stated, I really don't like Anderson as a director. I gave it a shot and discovered I disliked it as much as I do all of his films. Sorry.

Yvonne, that's how I feel!

Susan, if it's on a movie channel for free, take a peak. It wasn't bad - just lacking in humor.

Colene Murphy said...

Yes. You're so right. I have only seen the Shrek one out of those but I had heard the exact same things(which is why I never watched the others). So I trust your judgment and the door has finally been close and the door locked on my curiosity about the others.

Old Kitty said...

I like the Mr Fox film!! LOL!! I didn't see this Shrek because Shrek 3 was awful but if it came on dvd at 99p I might just have a gander!! LOL!!

Ooooh I better go and iron my posh frock and dress up the cat for this gala event!! Thank you for the invite!! Take care

Melissa Gill said...

I think I've mentioned before that I can't stand Nicolas Cage, and The Sorcerers Apprentice was just aweful.

I thought Shrek IV was better than III, but not by much.

I haven't seen Mr. Fox.

I saw Country Strong. I thought it was just strange. It would have made a good book, but there was way too much backstory left out. And too many sub plots.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Colene, and sadly, there will be another movie - Puss in Boots comes out this fall.

Take a picture of Charlie all dressed up, Kitty!

Melissa, as you said, not by much.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Thanks for the warning. I haven't seen any of these and now I won't! Sorry you had duds in your week.

Unknown said...

I haven't seen any of those movies and I'm kinda glad I didn't.

Getting ready for Dez's awards.

Jemi Fraser said...

Completely agree with your point about reading & viewing for escape. I'd add writing in there too. I want to enjoy - not work too hard. Maybe when I was younger, but not so much now :)

Anonymous said...

Loved Shrek I and II. The third and fourth installments were okay. They did lack the toilet humor of the first two which is vital for a Mike Myers character.

I rented Clash of the Titans a couple months ago. Had high hopes going in but couldn't finish it.

RaShelle Workman said...

Hey Alex - That's so sweet of you to take your wife our to dinner. I can't wait to see The Green Hornet. I'm hoping all the good lines weren't in the trailer cuz it looks really funny.

Do you want to know why I struggled with The Soc App? The boys voice. The story wasn't great. The dialogue, meh. And his voice is very, very (How To Train Your Dragon - Hiccup).

Have a great night. =D

See you tomorrow. No laughing at me in my dress. I played dress up and I'm a nerd at heart, it's just a fact. LOL

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, duds happen.

Clarissa, Dezz's awards will be spectacular.

Jemi, thanks for sharing my view!

Stephen, you were warned!!

RaShelle, he's a geeky kid with a ggeeky voice - all I could envision was Hiccup.
I bet you look stunning tomorrow!!

Abby Minard said...

Oh I'm jsut like you- I want to be entertained. That's why I don't read literary adult fiction- too depressing!

Budd said...

I can attest to your review of Sorcerer's Apprentice. I wasn't thinking Hiccup when I saw Shes out of my league recently but I did the whole time in this movie. No way he gets the hot chick, just saying.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I'm looking forward to the Grand Dezzy Gala. I still want to see the Sorcerer's Apprentice, but I might wait. I saw Shrek recently and also didn't miss the 3D. I felt the themes in Shrek were more adult in this one too.

Will Burke said...

You hit the nail on the head with Sorcerer's Apprentice; all of the formula points, but missing something. I sure hope that GI Joe was on your Dud List, that one was a heart breaker.

Jamie Gibbs said...

I enjoyed Shrek 4 mainly on the basis that Shrek 3 was so damn awful. Plus the fat kid repeating "do the roar" cracked me up.

I was half looking forward to Sorcerer's Apprentice. You're right that Cage is very hit and miss, and I was hoping this would be a fun one to watch. Nevermind.

The Hollywood Spy Awards (hereby known as The Dezzies) are gonna be awesome. better press my tux ready :P

BTN Hip Hop said...

wes anderson is awesome

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amen, Abby!

Budd, not a chance - just too geeky.

Lynda, yes, it's as if they forgot it was for children.

Will, yes it is!

Jamie, if it's free or just happens to be on, go ahead an watch. Leave brain at door.

BTN, Anderson is a love him or hate him kind of director.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

i like cage, but it is not his fault sometimes... he just jumps at roles that will not type cast him or i think he just picks roles that best suits his current hair style?
mmmmm, maybe!

Glynis Peters said...

I do not watch many movies, but when DH told me Nicholas Cage was in S/App, it ticked two boxes. DH's type of thing and an actor I like.

We watched it at home on a download *only way here in Cyprus*, anyway when we both woke had finished. LOL

Not impressed was the final vote.

Sarah Ahiers said...

ugh. we saw shrek 4 for free and it was not good. i think i only laughed like twice.

also, Royal Tennebaums is awesome. Fact. ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jeremy - current hair style, I like that.

Glynis, I guess not!

Sarah, he's a love him or hate him kind of director. I'm just in the latter group.

Talli Roland said...

I'm a massive un-fan of Nicholas Cage. I just really don't like him - or his acting!

Hope you had a good dinner with your wife! :)

WritingNut said...

I love reading/watching movies for the escape aspect too :)

Thanks for the great reviews - I'm sad to hear Shrek didn't have the normal humor... it's like the trademark... funny and Shrek go hand in hand!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

hmmm, these are fun to read. It's nice to talk about duds as well as great movies. I actually loved The Sorcerers Apprentice - liked it more than Voyage of the Dawn Treader, so there's a good example of why you can go to a movie everyone raves about but find it actually sucks.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'll avoid Fantastic Mr. Fox then!!
And the pug in a tux is adorable.

The Words Crafter said...

I stopped watching Shrek after the second movie and the trailer for The Sorcerer's Apprentice didn't appeal to me at all. I'd heard good reviews of Mr. Fox and recorded it on dvr....and watched the first 10 or 15 minutes of it...that's all I could bear.

Saumya said...

Awww for taking your wife out to dinner. I'm sure she loved that ;) And I agree with you about Shrek. Such a let down :( I do love the first Shrek (and second, for that matter). You should watch Pixar movies if you haven't already! They're great for escaping and are instant mood lifters.

Ella said...

I hope you and the Mrs. enjoyed your evening out! Still haven't found out what my son thought of the movie!
Usually he talks about it, so I am sure it sucked! I'm always sad about movies that suck the fun out, especially with all the press. It happens~

Congrats on your award, see you at the after party!

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Congratulations, Alex!
hat's just the way I pictured you.

The Man-Cave said...

I avoid anything with Cage nowadays especially in the theater, with the exception of Kickass.

watchman said...

nice blog man, just subbed to it.

make sure to follow mine at

Raquel Byrnes said...

Not a kids film, really? Thanks for the heads up. I was about to rent that for my own rugrats.

Congratulations on your award!
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Talli, I like that - an un-fan!

Writing, it just wasn't there.

Terry, that's why sometimes you just have to trust your gut. And most people thougth Dawn Treader was 'okay' while I really liked it.

Words Crafter, then you understand what I mean by awful!

Saumya, I always catch the animated flicks!

Ella, if he hasn't said anything, that's not a good sign.

As a pug in a tux?!?!?!

Geof, he was good in that because it wasn't a Cage movie.

Raquel, your kids will be bored and not understand it at all!!

Arlee Bird said...

Hey! What a cop-out picture! That's not you--it's a dog. Who do you think you're fooling?
Congratulations on your award!

Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well Lee, I hope no one thought it was me!! Mr. Blanket!

Hannah said...

I love The Royal Tenenbaums! Hilarious it is. I will probably enjoy Fantastic Mr. Fox then. LOL!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I used to have a Pug...never dressed him up like this, but otherwise he looked pretty much like the pug in the photo. His name was Buster.

But back the topic at hand...duds. I'd throw in Knight and Day with Cruise and Diaz, except I have to admit I watched it all the way through, marveling at how incredibly stupid it was while laughing anyway.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Thanks for the reviews! I usually like Cage, but I didn't like the look of the previews, so I hadn't planned to see The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Good to know what you thought of it.

And I missed The Dezzies! Granted, I was pretty out of touch with the blogosphere... Boo-hoo! Maybe next year.