Tag Archives: movie review

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WRECK-IT RALPH: Reviewed by Ebert & Armond

WRECK-IT RALPH: Reviewed by Ebert & Armond

Roger Ebert is the world’s most respected film critic. Armond White is its least. See what happens when they hang out every week here at At The Buzzer with Gary Sundt’s new web comic-movie review hybrid, “Ebert & Armond: At The Movies”.

Check out my fancy Tumblr (http://ebertandarmond.tumblr.com) and Twitter @gsundt for more comics, additional content, and random whatnot!

The Lorax — ☆☆☆ out of 5

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The Lorax (Danny DeVito) plays cards with a barbaloot, humming fish, and baby swammy swan in "The Lorax."

As Posted on At The Buzzer on March 4, 2011

By Gary Sundt

The Lorax is my favorite of the many animated adaptations of Dr. Seuss’ works from the 1960s and ‘70s — where bizarre and vaguely hippie-dippie tunes were set against the rough lines and bright-yet-cruddy pastels that are synonymous with the artist’s humble illustrations. Now we have a feature-length version courtesy of the studio and director of Despicable Me, where the viewer enjoys state-of-the-art CGI artistry wrapped in a cotton candy-coated color scheme not found anywhere I’ve seen in nature. Continue reading

The Artist — ☆☆☆☆☆ out of 5 stars

Jean Dujardin stares at something off-camera in The Artist. (Photo courtesy of http://kalafudra.wordpress.com)

As Posted on AtTheBuzzerShow.com on February 4, 2011

By Gary Sundt

As I live in Los Angeles, I am an avid listener to the hilarious Kevin & Bean Show in the mornings on KROQ 106.7 FM. This past Tuesday, Kevin was complaining about The Artist, this year’s apparent frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards. Not only does our man Kevin dislike the film, but he has gone as far as to call it “utter BS.”

He has, of course, made up his mind having never seen the film, under the guise that it is for hipsters and intellectuals. He’s wrong, but we’re going to circle back to that. Continue reading

The Grey – ☆☆☆1/2 out of 5

Liam Neeson tapes broken bottles and a knife to his hands in The Grey. (Photo courtesy of moviespad.com)

As Posted on At The Buzzer on January 28, 2011

By Gary Sundt

At the risk of spoiling the entire film, I must warn anyone who was stirred to see The Grey from its promising trailer. It’s not that the latest picture from writer/director Joe Carnahan (NarcSmokin’ Aces, The A-Team) isn’t his best yet — in point of fact, it is — but it’s that the film that was sold to you is not really what you’ll be getting. It’s not dissimilar to Drive, an art film stuck with a “fast and furious” trailer. These aren’t bad movies, but the false pretense on which you see the film may leave you dissatisfied. Continue reading

Sex, Trees, Wizards, and Aliens, or The Very Best of 2011

When I googled “Shame,” this is what the image search gave me…

As Posted on AtTheBuzzerShow.com on January 21, 2012

By Gary Sundt

Hey there, gang! My name is Gary Sundt, and this is my very first piece as film critic for At the Buzzer. To those who know my film criticism, hello again. To those who are new to the game, glad you could make it, and check out my past reviews over at garysundt.wordpress.com. And to those who have a problem with my opinions and wish to strike up a debate about films and filmmaking, please feel free to do so as I’ll be thrilled to pound your very wrong opinions into the ground.

Now that we’re done with formalities, let’s get to my breakdown of the Best Films of 2011. While I thought coming up with 10 films I loved from 2011 would be difficult, I’m rather surprised to discover just how much there was to love. I’ve written a lot of these lists in the past, and I’d like to try something different this year by merely denoting my favorite flicks and giving them awards I’ve seen fit to make up.

From lizards to mutants, from aliens to sad people, from sex to sex with the Irish — here’s my recap of the very best of 2011 in film. Continue reading

Wanted

Photo courtesy of examiner.com

James McAvoy points a gun in Wanted.

by Gary Sundt

Before Wanted, I cannot recall a film more like a heavy metal song. Here is a flick that is loud, angry, hates its audience and informs them of its distaste. Funny thing is, the audience for Wanted is a lot like a heavy metal crowd, cheering the entire time while the movie basically says “$#&% you!” with every frame. Does that sound like a good time? As long as you are old enough to know that everything in this exercise in testosterone is absolutely and completely impossible, you bet your curving bullet it does.

Did I say curving bullet? I did. Why? Because, as the trailers make perfectly clear, Wanted is about a bunch of assassins that can curve the bullets they shoot. This makes executing a hit particularly nifty, because they, much like the movie, can do whatever they want. The script by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas and Chris Morgan wants to follow this insanity like the camera follows the curving bullets, letting their story run to infinite and beyond as long as it gets to the target.

The plot? Well, it gets pretty hairy with twists that often don’t make a lick of sense, but I’ll start you off. Wesley (James McAvoy) is a pencil-pushing accountant who hates his life. The guy is so restless that his heart goes into overdrive whenever he is remotely taunted by his rather irritating boss Janice (Lorna Scott). His girlfriend Cathy (Kristen Hager) is cheating on him with his buddy and coworker Barry (Chris Pratt). And his dad left him and his momma when he was a week old. All in all, Wesley feels as if he could’ve been dealt a better hand.

The chance for a full house seems to come along in the guise of Fox (Angelina Jolie), who shows up just in the nick of time to save Wesley from a curved bullet to the cranium. After one of the many brilliantly-executed action sequences, we are informed by the smooth-talking Sloan (Morgan Freeman) that he was rescued in order to kill the attempting assassin, Cross (Thomas Kretschmann). You see, they are all part of a fraternity of assassins, aptly calling themselves “The Fraternity,” and they get orders from a giant loom as to who the next target will be. These people are chosen because…

Oh, forget it. None of this matters. What matters is Jolie is a sexy chick, McAvoy is remarkable in this against-type role and Freeman uses that majestic voice of his with the added benefit of swear words. And the action sequences are simply outstanding. Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (whose name I admittedly copy-pasted here because it is pretty intimidating) knows how to make action movies, and his freshman entry into American action cinema has the tenacity of The Matrix with a little bit of Tyler Durden DNA mixed in.

On the related subject, while comparisons to The Matrix cannot be ignored, Wanted is a different sort of beast. Sure, it has the wacky badass-powers-in-a-world-without-rules feel, but it also has a hint of consequence to the whole affair. How do the characters in Wanted feel about these consequences? Remember the whole “%$#@ you” remark that started this review? That’s how they feel about it.

The choice for moviegoers this weekend came down to WALL-E or Wanted, and I can’t think of a better weekend for these two films to come out. They are essentially the antithesis of one another. WALL-E is sweet and beautiful, while Wanted is sweaty and bloody. Which is the movie for you? That is a good question. If you are interested in a steroidal Matrix with a heavy dose of Fight Club on the side, then Wanted is for you. If not, go see the cute robot. If you want a good movie, go see both.

I am coming to the end of my review, but I wish to offer an analogy that I think best sums up the Wanted experience. Here is an adjusted conversation from my favorite scene from the great 2004 film Closer:

WANTED: You like this movie?
AUDIENCE: I love it!
WANTED: You like me &*%$ing in your face?
AUDIENCE: Yes!
WANTED: What does it taste like?
AUDIENCE: It tastes like The Matrix but sweeter!
WANTED: That’s the spirit. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Now %$#& off and die, you $#%@ed up people.

Our response to this, mirroring another famous piece of dialogue from Closer, is quite simply, “Thank you.”

NOTE: Wanted is based on a comic book by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones. I didn’t find much room in the review to write that, but I felt it was noteworthy.

Running time: 110 minutes. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Produced by Marc E. Platt, Jim Lemley,Jason Netter and Iain Smith. Screenplay by Michael Brandt, Derek Haas and Chris Morgan. Based on the comic book by Mark Millar and J.G. Jones. Starring James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Thomas Kretschmann, Lorna Scott, Kristen Hager and Chris Pratt. A Universal Pictures release. Rated R.