Christopher Mintz-Plasse

All posts tagged Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2

Published June 19, 2014 by mrsrag

Starring the voices of: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harrington, Djimon Hounsou.

Rated: PG. Animated.  Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.

 

Well, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks…my girlfriends and I went down to Key West for my bachelorette party, I then turned 30 and I’ve been entertaining a serious amount of guests.  I hope you enjoyed reading the wonderfully enlightening (and darn good) writing of our guest reviewer, Ethan.  The boys had a great time at Maleficent and they had a ton of fun writing the review together.  The Keys were awesome – per usual.  We danced up a storm, relished a libation or two and had an all round blast.  Ross and I are getting back into the swing of our routine and we took Ethan to see the sequel to one of our family favorites: How to Train Your Dragon.  We saw the first one all together and absolutely fell in love with the witty humor, heartfelt story and superb animation.  All of us were so looking forward to the second installment, but I don’t think any of us expected what we got.  It was just as good as the first one – maybe even better.

All of our favorites are back for How To Train Your Dragon 2.  Hiccup (Baruchel), his dragon pal Toothless; Stoick (Butler) Hiccup’s hard Viking father, Gobber (Ferguson), Astrid (Ferrera), Snotlout (Hill), Ruffnut (Wiig), and the wide variety of dragons.  As Maria mentioned, we all loved the first installment, and I was wondering how they planned to freshen up the encore.  Hiccup and Toothless learned to fly together, won over the village and saved the day in the original, and they do more of the same in 2, but the cast of newcomers make the sequel anything but stale.  Valka (Blanchett), Eret (Harrington) and Drago  (Hounsou) are wonderful additions to the franchise.  Maria and I were playing our favorite game of, figure out who the voice is, and she made one of the GREAT snipes of all time by guessing bad guy extraordinaire Drago was the always amazing Djimon Hounsou.  Valka was easy, but neither one of us could come up with Kit Harrington as Eret, which was a major disappointment because we love him as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones.  These three are HUGE parts of HTTYD2, and there are several  plot twists that you just don’t see coming.  There are also some seriously badass new dragons!

I hate spoilers…so there’s no way I’m going to give you details about this plot that could possibly ruin it for you.  I’ll just say that HTTYD2 was way more emotional IMO.  I was cleaning up some serious tears during a few parts.  And I think that’s why I enjoyed the movie so much.  It was very clever to age our main character Hiccup and the story aged with him.  It was a heavier plot with some very serious and thought provoking occurrences.  It had us talking on the way home, which is always a good sign.  If we get in the car and no one’s interested in recapping the jokes or storylines, then it’s usually a flop.  This was not the case with our favorite Dragon riders.  The sequel examines the dynamics of familial relationships, the obstacles of friendship and the acceptance of great responsibility.  It always pleases me when they can comingle such important principles with just plain fun.  The dragons are up to their usual tricks and we meet some really cool, new breeds.  But Toothless & Hiccup will always have a special place in our hearts, as the leading duo who started a dragon riding revolution.

Everyone has their own style and ours is, to hopefully, give you a review that informs without ruining the plot.  What’s the reason we read reviews in the first place?  There are certain movies that we, as individuals, will go see no matter what anyone writes.  Maybe you’re a fan of Star Trek, or X-Men or Brad Pitt movies.  You may hope the movie is well received, but it’s not that important.  It’s the movie you’re on the fence about, or the kid’s movie you’re not sure you want to spend the money taking the whole fam to, that you want to hear about.  And hear a solid opinion without learning that Bruce Willis is really a ghost, Charlton Heston never left Earth or that Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze.  What you need to know is, should I go see this movie?  Wait for On Demand or the Redbox?  Or just wait until it gets to HBO.  Here’s your answer for How to Train Your Dragon 2: a resounding “absolutely yes!”  At the very least, it’s as good as the original, and the emotional journey is deeper than most of the animated fare.  One last bit of advice, a common refrain if you read MRSRAG on the regs, save the money on the 3D.  It’s already a giant, Hi-Def screen, everything looks awesome!  Spend the cash on M&M’s or Skittles or Nachos.  Even that fake, yellow plastic, melted cheese product they slather over the chips will give you more value, and you don’t need to wear glasses to eat it. 

Maria’s Rating: 4 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Ross’ Rating: 4.25 Gummies.

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Movie Review: Neighbors

Published May 21, 2014 by mrsrag

Starring:  Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Lisa Kudrow.

Rated: R.  Comedy.  Running Time: 1 hour 36 minutes.

 

Having watched This Is The End over and over in recent months, it’s on HBO like everyday, I was pretty psyched to see Neighbors.  This scenario quite often doesn’t work out for me too well, high expectations, and unfortunately that was the case this time too.  Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) are a young suburban couple with a new baby, and it’s pretty apparent early, that they are not the greatest parents.  When a fraternity moves in next door led by Teddy (Efron) and Pete (Franco), they get worried about what may transpire, i.e. partying and noise.  The problem is, they are clearly frustrated by their lives being stifled by being parents and they LOVE to party.  They go over to “welcome” the guys with the ulterior motive of asking them to keep the noise down, and end up staying all night doing drugs and shots, leaving their infant next door at home.  They did have a baby monitor, but I’m pretty sure social services wouldn’t be crazy with this practice.   The next night it’s more of the same at the frat, but now they need them to be quiet, so they call the cops.  The rest of the movie the two sides are at “war”, and there are some chuckles, but the best ones were already shown in the trailers.  I believe the more they show you in commercials, the weaker the movie is, and that should have been a tipoff.  The air bags absolutely should not have been revealed, still funny, but would’ve been off the charts without prior knowledge.  These Neighbors have a lot of problems, and the movie does too.  

I expect too much.  Just because someone strikes gold once does not mean that everything they do is going to be superb.  That being said…I can’t help being disappointed.  Just as I was disappointed with Anchorman 2.  And The Internship.  And The Hangover 3.  I am guilty of assuming that because a certain person or group of people that I find hilarious have chosen to participate in a project that it will knock my socks off.  But you put Byrne, who flawlessly executed super sweet bitch Helen in Bridesmaids and Seth Rogen, a man that makes me laugh when he plays himself – which is pretty much every role, and well, I am going to have high expectations.  As Ross said, they showed way too much in the trailers.  And somewhere along the line, they just missed the mark.  The humor was extremely crude, which I usually love.  But the majority of these jokes lacked the cleverness that balance out the perverse nature.  There were several laughs that make this one worth watching, but the best advice I can provide is to rent it out of the RedBox.  Or wait until it’s On Demand.

There was a cool cameo from our boys from Workaholics (now there’s a show! catch it on Comedy Central), Blake, Adam and Ders; much too brief though.  Andy Samberg’s mug shows up for a second or two as well.  I have to be honest, director Nicholas Stoller and I just aren’t on the same page.  This is his fourth movie, I’ve seen them all, and I have nearly the same opinion of every one: not bad, not good, some laughs but not enough, wait for video.  Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, The Five Year Engagement, Neighbors; all ordinary and forgettable.  One final note on the human race, what looked to be a grandmother escorted two boys ages around twelve into the movie then left them there.  Are you kidding me?!  The first scene Rogen and Byrne are screwing and it doesn’t get much milder from there.  Just not sure what people are thinking.  We took Ethan to Universal on Friday and the shit the girls were wearing at 12 and younger is fucking unbelievable!  Common sense seems to have left parenting for the most part.  Trust me, I’m the furthest thing from a prude that there is, but children are no longer being allowed to have a childhood.  Don’t let them dress like tramps; let them play Sonic and Mario and NOT Call of Duty.  And don’t dump them at R rated movies!  Sorry about that, but I have a 10 year old son, and it infuriates me when I see this kind of stuff.  Neighbors is okay.  If you have to see it, go.  If you’re on the fence, pass and don’t give it another thought.    

I agree with Ross’ assessment of the human race.  However, when it comes to Mr. Stoller’s resume, our opinions differ.  I loved Get Him To The Greek.  And I was a fan of Forgetting Sarah Marshall as well.  So, it seemed only natural that I would take to Neighbors.  But I didn’t.  It had its moments.  But in its entirety – it was quite disappointing.  Back to that human race assessment…I am still in disbelief that someone would be naïve enough to drop two kids of that age at this movie.  Another primo example of the lack of social awareness on this planet.  Not only is it a shameful act, but it kind of impeded our enjoyment.  Every time something perverse graced the screen, Ross and I were concerned about those two kids.  Parenting has reached a new low.

Ross’ Rating: 2.75 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Maria’s Rating:  2.5 Gummies.

 

 

Fairly Recent DVD Release: Movie 43

Published September 5, 2013 by mrsrag

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, Common, Charlie Saxton, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Live Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, J.B. Smoove, Emma Stone, Kieran Culkin, Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth, Jack McBryer, Aasif Mandvi, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Bell, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Grace Moretz, Gerard Butler, Johnny Knoxville, Sean William Scott, Halle Berry, Stephen Merchant, Terrence Howard, Josh Duhamel, and Elizabeth Banks.

Rated: R. Comedy. Running Time: 1 hour & 34 minutes.

Ross and I rented Movie 43 on a whim.  We were en route to our home from cocktails & dinner.  Neither of us was expecting much at all.  I remember seeing the previews and thinking, “Wow, that’s some cast” (see above listing).  But then it fell off the radar.  And I figured, if no one is talking about it, could it really be worth watching?  The answer is: YES.  The movie makes up for any later transgression in the first skit.  Five minutes in, Ross and I were laughing so hard that neither of us could speak or breathe.  That being said, if you don’t like immature humor, skip this one and you should probably leave my blog for good.  We had no idea what to expect, but what unfolded on the screen left us bewildered, delighted and quite intrigued.  Once the movie got rolling, we realized it was a series of interconnected sketches featuring some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.  I kept asking myself, “How did they get all these people!”  There were some promising moments of hilarity & ingenuity…but taken in its entirety – this movie was bad.

I had no idea what we were in for when we rented Movie 43, but with that cast, you had to expect something decent.  I don’t know if I agree with Maria that the movie was bad.  If a movie entertains, makes you laugh or cry or feel exhilarated, I think that’s enough.  I will say the premise, an ever increasingly insane Dennis Quaid (playing a version of himself?) pitching his movie idea to a generic movie executive, Kinnear, is silly.  The “movie” is just a series of skits.  There is no way anyone could think they could make a coherent, full standing movie.  However, many of the vignettes are clever and hilarious.  None more than the first one, a first date for Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet.  If you follow MRSRAG at all, you know that Maria and I rarely, if ever, give out spoilers, and we’re not going to do it here.  But this first skit has a shocking surprise, a side splittingly funny one that keeps on giving.  Beyond the great opener, a few of my favorites were, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts as parents who are homeschooling their teenaged son, complete with all of high school’s worst possible scenarios.  A girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) getting her  period for the first time.  And Terrence Howard as a basketball coach circa the 1960’s (think Pleasantville or Hoosiers) giving a pep talk to his all black team before their first game against an all white squad.  While maybe “bad” isn’t the right word to describe Movie 43, it is hard to believe the creators convinced all these “A” list actors to associate their names with it.  

It was entertaining, but at times, hard to watch.  I’m actually surprised that Ross enjoyed it more than me, since he has some difficulty with awkward humor.  I will say that Movie 43 is like nothing I’ve ever seen.  And the “A” list actors is what put some of the skits over the edge for me.  Watching these Academy Award nominees and winners act out these absurd storylines was not only amusing, but shocking.  It took me a full day to get over the movie.  I kept asking Ross, “Was that real?”, “How did they get everyone to sign on?”, “Did I drink a lot last night?”!  It is in one word: unbelievable.  There were several vignettes, most of which my partner has described, that were pure comic genius.  They must be viewed.  But if I really look at this film in its entirety, it missed the mark.  And that is truly unfortunate because it contains so much potential.  Bottom line, go rent this for a $1.27.  The belly laughs are well worth that price.

An extremely tough movie to review.  Ultimately I have to recommend that you see it.  If you’re in the mood for some raunchy, clever, original comedy, Movie 43 should get the job done.  It certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and it won’t end up on your Top 20 list, but it’s not quite like anything you’ve ever seen before.  And, you will probably never see a larger collection of stars in one project.  There is one last scene I have to mention; a skit where a man is obviously going to propose marriage to his girlfriend.  “I have something I want to say.”  “Me too”, she replies.  “Ok, let’s say it together.  One. Two. Three….”  She beats him to the punch, and I almost fell off the couch!  You may want to keep some pillows handy for that one.

Maria’s Rating:  2.5 Gummy Bears out of 5. (Mostly for Jackman & Winslet)

Ross’ Rating:  3.25 Gummies.