Saturday, January 8, 2011

OSS 117: Lost in Rio (2009) - Movie Marathon Drive-Thru Review: Film #4

On the Menu:
OSS 117: LOST IN RIO (2009)

Ingredients: Jean Dujardin, Louise Monot, RĂ¼diger Vogler, Alex Lutz, Reem Kherici, Pierre Bellemare and Ken Samuels. Directed by Michel Hazanavicius. Run time: 101 minutes. Rated: Unrated. 

At First Bite: It was described as "possibly the 2nd funniest spy spoof ever" on the DVD cover, so that got me interested. Well, that and the cover art included the hero, two hotties, a hippie, a Nazi, an Asian gang and two guys in luchador masks. 

Tough to Swallow: Everything is meant to be ridiculous, so I can't complain. Even the repeated flashbacks are funny.

Something to Chew On: The language track is French.

Though it parodies Bond movies, the original OSS 117 novels were out in 1949. Ian Fleming published his first Bond novel in 1953. The OSS 117 movies from the 1960s were played straight.

The original spoof is titled OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES.

The settings for the two OSS 117 films are the same as the ones used in consecutive Bond flicks, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME and MOONRAKER.

Aftertaste: Even having not seen the original, I didn't feel left out on knowing the lead character, Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, aka OSS 117. He's a ladies man like Bond, but he's sometimes clueless and always inappropriate. Roger Ebert described the secret agent as "cheerfully racist."

Every situation is a riot -- whether it be a hospital chase scene, a shootout or a hippie orgy.

I knew it was going to be great when a damsel in distress referred to the Chinese as "dirty Reds" and OSS 117, obviously not understanding, "corrected" her: "Dirty yellows." She corrects him, but he laughs her off as though she's just a silly woman.

He doesn't understand his offense, and that's what makes the movie.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Oceans (2009) - Movie Marathon Drive-Thru Review: Film #3

On the Menu:
OCEANS (2009)

Ingredients: Narrated by Pierce Brosnan. Directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud. Run time: 84 minutes. Rated: G.

At First Bite: Disneynature was also responsible for EARTH, which was pretty decent (3.5 stars), so I figured this would be just as good.

Tough to Swallow: The narration drops out for minutes at a time in some places. I prefer more of a storytelling narration when it comes to documentaries of this sort.

A handful of shots look as though they include CGI (excluding scenes in space), but they don't. It's really weird.

The relaxing music and sparse narration made me nod off a couple of times.

Other than Disney being involved, I see no reason why a Joe Jonas/Demi Lovato song has to be played over the end credits. Sure, it's called "Make a Wave," but come on.

Something to Chew On: The DVD includes the music video for "Make a Wave."

Pierce Brosnan also narrates the 2003 documentary DEEP BLUE, which is also about ocean life.

Aftertaste: OCEANS is beautiful to watch. I believe Perrin says in the DVD special features he wanted the film to be visually impressive, and hoped the beauty would spark interest in learning more about the oceans and wanting to save them.

I guess if I watched the Discovery Channel or NatGeo more often I'd see specials on the animals I found most interesting: cuttlefish, Spanish Dancers and stonefish.

Just as good as EARTH, but not as good as HOME (not made by Disneynature).

Don't watch it at night or close to bedtime because you will fall asleep.


Winnebago Man (2009) - Movie Marathon Drive-Thru Review: Film #2

On the Menu:

Ingredients: Jack Rebney, Ben Steinbauer and Keith Gordon. Directed by Ben Steinbauer. Run time: 85 mintues. Rated: Not rated.

At First Bite: I heard about this documentary on one of comedian Doug Benson's "Doug Loves Movies" podcasts on iTunes. I'm pretty sure Benson said it was one he wanted to see. If someone I follow/admire is interested in a movie or enjoys it, then my curiosity is also piqued, and, oftentimes, I also find the movie entertaining. However, Nick Swardson loved MACGRUBER, so...

Tough to Swallow: Rebney is solely famous for his tirade that became a YouTube sensation, but the full clip isn't even listed in the special features on the DVD.

Steinbauer repeatedly tells Rebney he has an audience, but he also repeatedly tells him no one wants to hear what he has to say (as far as politics goes). Personally, I found Rebney to be very intelligent and would have loved to hear his opinions on anything. As a matter of fact, I'd like to read the book he was writing.

Something to Chew On: Rebney's book "Jousting With the Myth!" was published and available on in November 2010.

The completed Winnebago promotional video is a special feature on the DVD.

Here's a look at the YouTube clip:

Aftertaste: Steinbauer admits to not really having a plan for this documentary. He just has the camera rolling wherever he goes. One can argue that the movie might look better with an experienced director at the helm, but I think WINNEBAGO MAN works, in large part, because of the interactions between Rebney and the newbie filmmaker.

Despite Rebney and his constant swearing, the documentary is touching at times.

I'm sure if my maternal grandfather were alive today, he would give "The Angriest Man in the World" a run for his money. Cantankerous geezers are great company when they're free to speak their mind.

After watching this film or the YouTube clip, you might even start quoting Rebney:

"Do me a kindness" and watch WINNEBAGO MAN.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter (2010) - Movie Marathon Drive-Thru Review: Film #1

On the Menu:

Ingredients: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Jon Hamm, Craig Robinson, Jane Lynch, Mary Kay Place, Kathy Griffin, Meredith Vieira and Walt Dohrn. Directed by Mike Mitchell. Run time: 93 minutes. Rated: PG.

At First Bite: I saw the first two SHREK installments in the theater. They are the best of the bunch (4.5 stars each), but even the third film didn't disappoint (3.5 stars). Figured I wouldn't be wasting my time by watching this one either.

Tough to Swallow: Although he had a different appearance, Rumpelstiltskin showed up in SHREK THE THIRD (Prince Charming calls him Frumpy Pigskin).

That kind of continuity error in a film series is slightly annoying.

I've said it since the original came out in 2001: These aren't really kids' movies. And, this entry is much darker than the others.

Something to Chew On: Again, as with the other Shrek films, the fairy tale/movie references are what make me laugh the most. This one spoofs IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and makes references to THE WIZARD OF OZ, DELIVERANCE and THE UNTOUCHABLES among others.

Aftertaste: Not on par with the first two, but better than the third. It just won't be the same when there's not another SHREK movie in theaters every three years. At least this final chapter brought the story full circle. Unfortunately, this might be the last successful film of Eddie Murphy's career.