Category Archives: Shawn

Cop Out

Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) and off-kilter Paul Hodges (Tracy Morgan) are two suspended cops trying to track down a stolen and very valuable 1950s baseball card. Along the way, they encounter a Mexican beauty and countless other characters and get entangled with the mob. Kevin Smith (Clerks) directs this comedic action flick co-starring Adam Brody, Jason Lee, Michelle Trachtenberg, Kevin Pollak and Seann William Scott.

Rating: 4 out of 10

I love Kevin Smith, but I’m not in love with him. We put Kevin Smith on our most overrated directors list for good reason.

When he makes a great movie, like “Clerks,” “Dogma” or “Chasing Amy,” he really nails it. But he makes a lot of turds, like “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” “Jersey Girl” or “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.”

“Cop Out” is somewhere in between. It’s not as awful as “Jersey Girl” but it’s nowhere near “Mallrats” or “Clerks 2.” There are a couple funny parts — Morgan’s character uses dialogue from action movies when playing the “bad cop” to intimidate witnesses. Morgan and Willis have good chemistry on camera and there’s a handful of funny parts. But all in all, most of the humor is so moronic it hurts your head to watch. If you want a really funny cop comedy, check out “The Other Guys.”

The A-Team

“The A-Team” follows the exciting and daring exploits of a colorful team of former Special Forces soldiers who were set up for a crime they did not commit. Going “rogue,” they utilize their unique talents to try and clear their names and find the true culprit.

7 out of 10

I need to start off this review by pointing out the film’s biggest flaw.  No, it’s not the fact that it’s another example Hollywood being lazy and rebooting another classic franchise, it’s not the fact that Mr. T is nowhere to be seen, it’s not even the fact that whole movie is just another in a long line of predictable action flicks.  No, the biggest flaw in this movie is one person:  Jessica Biel.

The girl can’t act, plain and simple and she’s poorly cast in every single film she’s in.  Seriously, is the audience truly supposed to believe that she’s not only an officer in the U.S. Army but a Special Forces-type who they actually put in charge of things?  Now this wouldn’t even be an issue if she were routinely in exceptional films that could withstand her brand of crap or even if she were in truly awful films where should could just blend right into the scenery but she never is.  She’s always in these borderline-good films and she’s always a freakin’ anchor that pushes a decent film into the realm of crap-tastic.

But, honestly, “The A-Team” is exactly what you’d expect it to be and surprisingly it doesn’t suck because of that.  It’s obviously a reboot and it’s been modernized for 2010, but the casting was excellent (despite Liam Neeson’s accent issues)  and the characters were written very true to their TV counterparts from the 1980′s, and in fact (and people are going to hate me for saying this) maybe even a little deeper and a little better.

The action sequences in this film are fantastic, the villains are entertaining and there’s enough classic A-Team nostalgia thrown in to make even those most skeptical fan appreciate this new take. The dialog is clever and decently written and the film moves at a very good pace and I could think of a lot less fun ways to spend 117 minutes.  Is it going to win any Oscars?  No, but it is certainly one of the best action films I have seen this year.  I hate to say this, but the way this film was done, with the deference and reverence shown to the source material is very reminiscent of last year’s mega-hit “Star Trek.” And rest assured, like “Star Trek,” it was made very clear at the end of this film that this won’t be the last time we’ll be seeing these beloved characters on the big screen.

Shrek Forever After

Shrek is feeling over-domesticated in the fourth installment. He has lost his roar. It used to send villagers running away in terror. Now they run to him and ask him to sign their pitchforks and torches. To regain his ogre mojo, he strikes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin. The pact goes awry and Shrek must confront what life would be like in Far Far Away if he had never existed. That translates into Donkey being forced into cart-pulling duty, fat and lazy Puss in Boots trading his sword for a pink bow and the underhanded Rumpelstiltskin ruling the kingdom.

Rating: 8 out of 10

With most movies, I walk into them with some anxiety because I really don’t know if they are going to be any good despite even the best reviews. Quite frankly, I often disagree with the critics who I feel watch a film from a professional, detached artsy-fartsy perspective or on the other side of the coin, act as shills for the studios and give positive reviews to mediocre films in an blatant attempt to build more hype about a film than is deserved (see: “Avatar”).  Critics tend to ignore the perspective of the average semi-intelligent movie-goer who’s looking for, if nothing else, a good entertainment value for their $10 (in my case $13.75 for the IMAX 3D… ugh.).  That being said, I never have any anxiety when I walk into a Shrek film.  It’s not even that I particularly think Shrek films are that great, it’s that I know what to expect from the series.  Even the worst Shrek film (which was arguably Shrek the Third) is better than most family films out there because the characters are loveable and relatable, the humor hits for both adults and kids alike without a need for parents to squirm or have to worry about what their kids are exposed to (and I don’t care what anyone says, fart jokes are universally funny no matter what the age).

Needless to say, I knew “Shrek Forever After” would be enjoyable, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at how much it exceeded even my expectations.  It’s kind of like Shrek is Jimmy Stewart from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but unlike George Bailey, Shrek’s motivations are totally selfish because they revolve exclusively around his own mid-life crisis.  Part of the reason this film is so effective is because that is exactly the reason why an X – Gen’er would want to wish they had never been born; not for Mary, not for Uncle Billy and the Savings and Loan, not even for Zu-Zu’s flippin’ petals.  They’d do it so they could do whatever they want just like they could before they got married and had a family and get away with it (yes, we are that selfish).  The other reason this film works is because it’s based around an alternate reality concept which by its nature takes us all the way back to what we enjoyed in the beginning of the series where none of these characters knew each other yet hilariously develop their relationships all over again. Basically, “Shrek Forever After” takes the best-loved aspects of the franchise and puts a wonderful new spin on them and yes, I need to declare this now: I like fat Puss even more than I like skinny Puss, and you will too.  That’s right, I said it.  You can quote me (I might use that as my Facebook status).

As far as the technical aspects of the 3D IMAX is concerned, I’m really indifferent to 3D because the more films I see in 3D, the quicker my eyes adjust and I don’t even notice it any more.  It’s gotten so bad with me that my eyes adjusted during the trailers preceding the film so I really had a tough time appreciating the 3D effects during the film itself, however, the cinematography and visuals were so well done that I honestly believe that it would be just as enjoyable in 2D at home on Blu Ray.  It really is a beautifully done film that is funny, incredibly heartwarming and in my opinion the best of the franchise .

— Read Shawn’s TV-tastic blog at