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Wild Hogs, Vacancy, and The LookoutPosted Tuesday, August 14, 2007, at 9:26 AM
Every Tuesday, the motion picture companies release a new flock of DVD's into the marketplace and I rush down to the local Movie Gallery to watch them all. The newest releases surprised me to no end.
First up, we have a movie starring four comedic tentpoles. Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy join forces to make a buddy road trip movie. This time, the guys are all living lives that they want to escape from for something more exciting. Eventually, they all decide a motorcycle road trip is the perfect idea. From there, mayhem ensues and they all have a great time. I did not want to see this movie. It did excellent at the box office and everybody who watched it told me it was VERY FUNNY. I wasn't falling for it, and completely skipped it at the theatre. Then, it came to Movie Gallery and I reluctantly gave it a chance. I'm glad I did. It's not the best or the funniest movie in the world, but it was way more than what I expected. Wild Hogs managed to take me, who had a relatively closed mind about the flick, and make me laugh out loud through many parts. The guys must have had a great time filming as it shows through in the final product. Each actor brings his own uniqueness to the script and instead of being bogged down with random jokes, the movie flows very well from start to finish, with a bit of action guiding the overall comedic portions. As with many movies, they play out a few jokes too long and cut others too short. A particular gay theme plays out for well past its welcome. Other than that, taken for what it is, Wild Hogs is a highly enjoyable road trip movie with great acting and many VERY FUNNY parts. Don't discriminate against Wild Hogs, it truly is a great time at the movies.
Vacancy is a slasher/horror/thriller flick and managed to make very little money at the box office. Many critics pointed out that there had been a thriller/slasher flick released almost every other week for a good couple months which lead to some decent films getting bad box office due to the overflow of the genre and fans just getting tired of too many too fast. Vacancy plays out very similar to any of the slasher genre, by taking two ordinary people and sticking them in a situation with little to no explanation. It's almost too much like real life to believe it. This one sets up the unlucky couple, played by Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson, at a hotel on the side of the road. The couple gets there by getting off the freeway because it was jammed and then damaging the car by swerving to miss a raccoon. The car breaks down and they decide to take a room till morning when they can get the car fixed. As you guessed, the hotel is infested with creepy guys who want to harm the couple. Why? We don't really know. Does the movie ever explain itself. Not really. Is there a motive? Very slight and almost missable. Is there a guy who comes back from an almost certain death? Yes, indeed. Is this a standard slasher flick? Very much so. Should I bother renting it? YES!! I will be the first to skip a film like this. I often don't enjoy them and the plots are so predictable, there is hardly any suspense. However, Vacancy managed to pull off enough suspense and 'thinking' moments that kept the film afloat. The director and screenwriter don't try to make the movie into something its not by playing it straight and it pays off handsomely. The director uses very tense and tight directing and slammed the entire story into 85 minutes. A short movie by today's standards. This tactic and style worked, as I felt like the movie played fast and fun, without being bogged down by too much acting. The two stars were smart choices and kept the movie grounded into what a real life couple might do to survive. With lots of good action scenes and some nice scares, anybody who is a fan of a good thriller/slasher flick will enjoy this movie. The other good thing is that it isn't terribly bloody or HORROR filled, which leaves the door open for many other audiences looking for a slight scare. Vacancy surprised me and I'm thrilled to have watched it.
A indie release that had some decent reviews got mixed in with the two big releases this week to give audiences a more tight psychological treat. This is a talking movie for most of the show and then turns into a blow out at the end. The movie deals with a horrific accident and the pain and suffering that one feels afterwards, especially with a major brain injury. Then, it takes a turn and shows how a person could get wrapped up in a crazy plot to rob a bank. The overall story is very slow to start and eventually throws everything that was slowing building into a dynamic ending. I became bored with the show, however many critics have heaped praise upon its subtle acting and superb portrayal of living with brain damage. Check it out and see what you think.
That's it for the new releases this week of August 14th, 2007. All the movies are available at Movie Gallery in McCook, along with other exciting new releases I didn't have a chance to review. And don't forget last week's great release, DISTURBIA. If you haven't seen it, you should rent it now!
Cody Dame is the CEO and owner of three local McCook Businesses, Game On, Spotlight Studios and Divine Productions. He also manages to work for the McCook Daily Gazette.
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