Monday, March 29, 2010

The Last Song

Sappy, predictable and boring. These are the words that sum up Julie Anne Robinson’s newest film The Last Song, based on the book by celebrated author Nicholas Sparks, who co-wrote the screenplay.

Fifteen-year-old Ronnie Miller (Miley Cyrus) and her younger brother Jonah (Bobby Coleman) are shipped off to a small beach town in Georgia where their dad Steve Miller (Greg Kinnear) lives. Ronnie and Steve don’t exactly get along and her mother thinks this will be a good thing for them to do.

Cyrus is going for the bad girl persona, her grades are in the toilet, and she got caught for stealing, but she’s incredibly talented at playing the piano. The first twenty or so minutes of the film are just Ronnie and Steve getting into arguments and Ronnie storming off.

However, the bad girl attitude goes away once Ronnie meets a one-dimensional stud named Will Blakely (Liam Itemsworth) with perfect blonde hair, a perfect body, traditional snooty rich parents and oh! he works at the aquarium, helping animals.

In fact all the boys and girls in the entire town are one-dimensional and have perfect looks, even the town douche bag named Marcus (Nick Lashaway). Why couldn’t there be at least one imperfect person, like a homeless person or something? I guess that’s not Spark’s style.

Within a matter of days, or a matter of minutes in the film, Ronnie and Will are off frolicking in the water, playing in a fish tank at the aquarium, blowing underwater kisses at each other and a whole bunch of other typical cheesy romantic movie scenes that are sure to make the woman in the audience go “oh how cute” and the men go “oh brother”.

Probably the dumbest scene in the entire film is when Will and his fellow perfect-teethed buddies compete in a beach volleyball tournament. The whole time I was wondering what the point of this volleyball scene was. It didn’t move the progress of the film nor did it affect anyone or anything. I assume it was just an excuse for the guys to show their studly bodies without shirts.

Of course, it’s just not a Nicholas Sparks story if there’s no tragedy, and soon the happiness goes away when the movie enters the emotional time-to-get-out-your-handkerchief part.

We soon find out that Greg Kinnear has cancer and is hospitalized because of it. And he takes a turn for the worse and the film becomes one big cry fest. At this point the film starts to drag and goes into the Hallmark Zone.

Miley Cyrus wasn’t convincing in the role of Ronnie. She did an all right job with the upbeat parts but her acting skills weren’t strong enough for the emotional scenes. Whenever she cried I didn’t buy it one bit. I’ll give her an “A” for effort, she definitely tried, but she’s just not there yet.

Greg Kinnear was the best part of the film. If only there had been more of him. He was kind of funny at the beginning, and toward the end when he was hospitalized he was very convincing as a dying person. He had a lot of regrets about the way things turned out between him and his kids and you believe him.

Unfortunately, Greg Kinnear wasn’t enough to save The Last Song. For a movie like this there has to be a convincing cast and for the most part it didn’t have one. Sadly the best part of the film was during the end credits when the new Miley Cyrus song was playing. She can’t act that well but she sure can sing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine.

Hello there. I know I said my next post was going to be "The Last Song Review" but i decided since I saw "Hot tub time machine" I figured i would write a brief review of it.

"Hot tub time machine", hot tub time machine, hot tub time machine. The name just roles off the tongue. Why aren't most comedies today like this one. It's a film that doesn't try to imitate other movies or do homages to other films. it's just a wacky buddy picture with lot's of over the top sex  jokes.

I didn't have low expectations for this film nor did I have high ones. I new what kind of comedy it was going to be. The title says it all. It's about four guys who travel back in time in a hot tube time machine. there hasn't been a title this good since "Snakes on a Plane". I don't understand why these film makers try to come up with these elaborate titles for comedies. They should just name them about what their about. For example the new film with Jennifer Anniston and Gerard Butler called The Bounty Hunter. What a boring name.

Any how the film follows the typical buddy picture formula. There are the three main friends and the nephew of one of the friends played by John Cusak. There's the loud mouth crazy looser and the one who is basically his wife's bitch because she's cheating on him.

The four guys decide to head up to a place called Kodiack valley where they three friends once had wild and crazy times. However the town is not like that anymore. it's rundown and every place is going out of business. The four stay in a lodge where they once stayed and even in their same room.

One nigh they party in a hot tub time machine ( god I love saying that) and they go back to the 80's. At first they try to keep everything the same to not mess the future up but then they decide since their lives suck, to change things up a bit and it works out for them.

This film wasn't excellent but it was better than about half the comedies out there. Yeah the jokes get kind of repeditive after a while and there is an awful lot of swearing but it's a fun little time travel adventure. Much like the Bill and Ted films. And it has perhaps the greatest line in comedy movie history. After they discover that they traveled back in time one of the friends played by craig Robinson says "It must be some kind of hot tub time machine," and then looks a the camera. 

All the cast works well together, they are all fairly funny even the young one. I didn't think John Cusak would ever consider being in a film like this but he was funny. The only one who didn't really work was the magical hot tub repair man played by Chevy Chase. He didn't have that big a part and he wasn't funny.

Yes I know Hot tub time machine will not win any awards or will it be liked by most people but if your looking for a fun comedy to see with some good jokes and a fairly original plot than go see it. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Hello there my name is Drew Powell, I'm from Seattle Washington. I am sixteen and I love movies. I have ever since I was little. I have decided I would like to pursue movie criticism as a career. My favorite critic is by far Roger Ebert. I do have another blog called Movie Reviews but I have decided to create this one just to get a fresh start. In my other blog I posted reviews of films I had reviewed. Some of them were from my school newspaper the Ballard High-school Talisman. And a few of them were published in my weekly Neighborhood newspaper called the Queen Anne news. That's right I am published and I intend on keep writing for them for now. In this blog I will post current movie reviews that i have written and sometimes I will write about the weekly movie scene and give my opinion on it. Your also welcome to view my other blog to read my other reviews. My next post will be the review of the the movie coming out wensday called "The Last Song" March 31st. I am writing it for the Queen Anne News and I intend to post the review on Monday before it comes out.

I'm looking forward to it. My email is