‘@PainGainMovie’: A dark comedy with wild style and surprising turns (movie review)
Written By MCF | Posted In New Movies


Wow, Michael Bay must have been a bad boy. Somebody took all his giant toys away.

And thank heavens, too.

Because without his “Transformers” to play with, the genius-stupid filmmaker has actually turned out a pretty good movie, with some wild style and surprising turns.

“Pain & Gain” is still a Michael Bay movie, of course – which means fiery explosions, slow motion, blaring music and an endless parade of young women in thongs.

Restraint? In Bay’s movies, that’s something the cops put you in when you start mouthing off.

But even with all that, the picture still manages to be a strange contradiction – a polished piece of crude entertainment.


Pain and Gain

Who: Directed by Michael Bay. With Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub.

Rated: R for bloody violence, crude sexual content, nudity, language throughout and drug use.

Running time: 124 minutes.

When: Opens Friday.

Where: Area theaters.

Grade: C-

The story – based on fact – is a slice of the kind of true-crime sleaze that only Florida can deliver. But basically it involves a crew of criminal body builders, a couple of shady businessmen, extortion, torture, Eastern European strippers and a private eye.

You know, just another weekend in South Beach.

Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson are the chief beefcakes here, and they’re the obvious box-office draws — and, sadly the weakest parts of the picture.

Neither is a stupid man – you don’t get to be as rich as they are, with as small a skill set as they have, out of stupidity. But they don’t play stupid well. Wahlberg just pops his eyes. Johnson grins, sweetly.

They’re hard workers, but they’re not deft enough to get at the best jokes – that Wahlberg’s character is an idiot who thinks he’s smart, and Johnson a psychopath who thinks he’s a saint.

Pumping iron is one thing, but pushing irony is beyond them.

But there are some far better actors here in the supporting cast, including Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub and, as Mackie’s large-and-in-charge wife, Rebel Wilson. Each one shines.

And Bay understands that this crime movie is really about American ambition – it’s no mistake that one character quotes the De Palma “Scarface,” or a few scenes recall a goofball “Goodfellas.”

In a rare, subtle touch, the soundtrack even channels the Tangerine Dream score for “Risky Business” – another crime-as-capitalism picture that trafficked in aspirational larceny.

It’s so subtle it may even be unconscious – Bay pounds points home like twopenny nails. Most of the movie is shot from absurdly low angles (as if you needed them to make The Rock loom large.) Tiny, dashboard cameras and oversaturated colors also come into play.

But for once, Bay steps back a little bit from the Cuisinart editing and slambang chases to give some space to other effects. Like a few, sly performances. And an appreciation of the sunbaked, sideshow tilt-a-whirl that Miami can be (a world Bay clearly knows, even if he hasn’t visited it onscreen since the “Bad Boys” movies).

“Pain & Gain” is definitely sleazy (private eye Ed Harris and his 30-years-too-young wife are the only moral characters in the whole film). Even a little queasy (violent as Wahlberg and his gang are, they still get more sympathy from the filmmaker than their victims).

But it may be the best movie Michael Bay’s ever made. And suggests that, if you just kept his toys put away a little longer, someday he might even make a better one.

Written by:
@StephenWhitty, Newark Star-Ledger


Watch Will Ferrell in a teaser for his Spanish comedy flick ‘Casa de mi Padre
Written By MCF | Posted In New Movies,News,Videos

Will Ferrell’s comedic range never ceases to amaze me: he’s at once 100 percent convincing as the most naïve, cheerful kid on the planet (i.e. Elf, which will be on cable TV daily until 2012 rolls around, probably) and as a supreme womanizing douchebag (i.e. Wedding Crashers, which will be on cable TV daily until the end of time).

A new flick, however, is giving him the opportunity to expand his acting chops to a new language. A new trailer was released for Casa de mi Padre, a full-length all-Spanish comedy that also stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna. The film centers on Armando Alvarez (Ferrell), who works as a rancher in Mexico before his brother Raul (Luna) arrives back at the ranch both richer and with a fiancée in tow. Cue the obvious love triangle: Alvarez falls for his brother’s fiancée, and all of them become embroiled in a huge war with a Mexican drug lord (Bernal). Hooray!

Take a look at the new teaser below. Ferrell’s accent is almost convincing!

Will Smith’s New Film ‘Men In Black 3′ Finally Releases New Trailer!
Written By MCF | Posted In New Movies,News

Finally, the long awaited Will Smith film Men In Black 3 has released a trailer! After many problems with the script and the casting, the film by Sony Pictures is set to be released next summer!

If you havent seen the trailer yet, here it is;

‘GI Joe:Retaliation’ Starring Dwayne Johnson Releases New Trailer!
Written By MCF | Posted In New Movies,News

The new film GI Joe:Retaliation, the sequel to G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, finally released a new trailer today courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
The new film stars Dwayne Johnson, Channing TatumAdrianne Palicki ( of NBC’s defunct Wonder Woman fame), and Bruce Willis. Oh yeah, there will be a small part in there from comedian DeRay Davis! The film, Directed by Jon Chu opens June 29th, 2012.

Here is the trailer:

Behold The Adam Sandler Movie Matrix
Written By MCF | Posted In New Movies,News

At long last, Adam Sandler’s movie career has been matrixized. (Matricized?) Below, his movies are plotted on a brilliant-shitty axis as well as a serious-silly axis. I think after today’s reviews we can pretty much guess where Jack and Jill has landed. Hint: it’s the most crowded quadrant. Also, really? Click is in the “brilliant” hemisphere?

Eddie Murphy flick “A Thousand Words” finally being released; watch the trailer
Written By MCF | Posted In Funny Stuff,New Movies,Videos

He may not be hosting the Oscars anymore, but he does co-star in Tower Heist, which, despite its embattled director Bratt Ratner, is doing just fine at the box office. And, as it turns out, that’s not the only flick on the horizon for the iconic comedian. After nearly three years on the shelf, Murphy’s movie A Thousand Words is set to hit theaters March 23, 2012.

Murphy stars as slimy businessman who can only say 1,000 words for the rest of his life. Why, you ask? Well, because a Native American put a curse on him, of course. Anyway, here’s the trailer. It looks kinda crappy. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Movie review: Kevin Hart’s “Laugh at My Pain”
Written By MCF | Posted In New Movies

The first trailer for the new Steve Martin, Jack Black flick, “The Big Year” is here
Written By MCF | Posted In New Movies,News,Videos