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Pain & Gain Review


Spirited and very funny, this movie should actually be rather disturbing since it's a true story about torture and murder. But director Michael Bay is so slick with the action and comedy elements that he lulls audiences to sleep, entertaining us with events that really should send chills down our spines. So the movie feels rather tasteless when you begin to think about it.

Wahlberg stars as Daniel, an obsessive bodybuilder in 1990s Miami who works as a personal trainer at a local gym. But he's becoming increasingly annoyed by the fact that his clients are much wealthier than he is. So he convinces his steroid-addicted colleague Adrian (Mackie) to help him kidnap a customer (Shalhoub) and steal his fortune. Realising that they need some help, they enlist born-again ex-con Paul (Johnson) in their plan. But none of them is very smart, and the kidnapping goes badly wrong from the start. Still, they manage to steal quite a lot before a tenacious private detective (Harris) notices something isn't right.

For a story that deals with such intensely serious themes, this is an oddly broad comedy. Bay never even tries to find dark irony here; he just focusses on how stupid these criminals are, convinced that they are as cool as the characters from their favourite movies and eerily unbothered by the fact that they are inflicting pain and even death on people for their own greedy ends. The actors inhabit the roles with a disarming naivete, so we can't help but laugh at their idiotic actions. Wahlberg plays Daniel as a muscle-head so focussed on getting what he wants that he doesn't notice the carnage in his wake; Mackie at least gives Adrian a sense of self-doubt, plus some comical romance (with scene-stealer Wilson); and Johnson has a tricky role as a religious guy with a weakness for drugs and women.

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Michael Sucsy birthday party

Donald De Line, a guest and producer Laurence Mark - Michael Sucsy birthday party - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 21st February 2013

Clint Culpepper, Donald De Line, Michael Sucsy and producer Laurence Mark

Yogi Bear Review

There's no real reason for this live action/animation hybrid version of the classic cartoon besides the fact that digital effects allowed them to do it.

But at least it's rather undemanding good fun while it lasts.

At Jellystone Park, Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo (voiced by Aykroyd and Timberlake) drive Ranger Smith (Cavanagh) crazy with their picnic-stealing antics. But just as they reach a kind of agreement, things are complicated by the arrival of nature expert Rachel (Faris), who wants to make a documentary about the talking bears. Meanwhile, the local mayor (Daly) decides to sell the park to logging companies to pay the city deficit, luring Smith's sidekick Jones (Miller) in as an accomplice. It's going to take a miracle to save the park.

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Burlesque Review

It's difficult to imagine a more outrageously camp movie than this glittery romp, and fortunately there's a sense that the cast and crew understand this.

By never taking their ludicrous plot seriously, they've made a true guilty pleasure.

Fed up with dead-end Iowa, Ali (Aguilera) heads for Hollywood. Despite having no experience or training, she's sure she can make it as a singer-dancer. After a series of rejections, she stumbles upon the Burlesque Lounge on Sunset, run by jaded diva Tess (Cher) with the help of her long-suffering buddy Sean (Tucci). Ali charms sexy barman Jack (Gigandet) into a barmaid job, while keeping her sights on the stage. And she's also wooed by Marcus (Dane), a developer who's trying to buy the financially strapped club.

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Observe and Report Review

Some people take their jobs way too seriously. Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogan), head of security at a local shopping mall, is one of those people. Thus, when management receives reports about illicit activity occurring on the premises, he takes them very personally. Beside the complaints about a pervert exposing himself to women in the parking lot, after-hours robberies are taking place on a regular basis. Ronnie alerts his security staff to be on high alert, but all of their brains put together couldn't solve a three-letter crossword puzzle.

When a cosmetics counter employee named Brandi (Anna Faris) becomes the pervert's latest victim, management calls a police detective (Ray Liotta) to help catch him. Ronnie is livid that his supervisors have outsourced an investigative team. He feels that he's perfectly capable of handing the case, and would love to prove it to Brandi to win her affection. He quickly discovers, however, that Brandi's "affection" isn't difficult to win.

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I Love You, Man Review

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to come up with the plot for a romantic comedy. After all, most follow the same basic recipe: boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, the end. I Love You, Man was born when someone tossed a gimmick into the formula. The film doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does turn the ingredients upside down, and it's quite refreshing.

Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a mild-mannered Los Angeles real estate agent, and his girl is Zooey Rice (Rashida Jones). They have been dating for less than a year, but are madly in love. As the movie opens, Peter proposes, and Zooey accepts. Immediately, she calls her friends to celebrate. This makes Peter realize that he has no buddies to call; he doesn't even have anyone to be his best man.

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attends a private screening of 'I Love You Man'

Donald De Line Friday 6th March 2009 attends a private screening of 'I Love You Man' New York City, USA

Donald De Line

Without a Paddle Review

Without a Paddle: The year's most ingenious title. It speaks volumes about the creek we're headed up before the film even starts. Paddle finds its roots in Deliverance, though this updated version clearly has no intention to follow the gravity of its master. To compare the two would be shameful.

Three childhood buddies, now in their early thirties, have reunited to mourn the death of a close childhood friend. Since their last encounter ten years prior, each man has taken his life in a different direction. Dan (Seth Green) is a doctor with a laundry-list of phobias, Jerry (Matthew Lillard) is an executive with a fear of commitment, and Tom (Dax Shepard) is a lying barfly who refuses to grow up and act his age.

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Domestic Disturbance Review

You would think it'd be a sure bet that a drama with the title Domestic Disturbance would at least be better than its laughable name. But frankly, Domestic Disturbance may as well be called Movie Theater Disturbance. Or, more specifically, Cookie Cutter Clich├ęd Thriller. This retread of barely suspenseful nail-biters from ten years past (think Pacific Heights and the like) is one lackluster sleepwalk of a movie.

An obvious John Travolta vehicle, it features the healthy-looking, tanned, hit-or-miss star as Frank Morrison, a loving but divorced father who is earthy enough to build wooden boats for a living, and honest enough to not charge a profitable fee. He's nice. He loves his young son Danny (a natural Matthew O'Leary), and is dealing with his ex-wife's (Meet the Parents' Teri Polo) marriage to rich investor Rick Barnes (a stale Vince Vaughn, playing a whole other kind of psycho).

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The Stepford Wives (2004) Review

We're almost halfway through 2004, the unofficial Year of the Remake, and we've yet to encounter anything worthwhile from the rehash bin. Here's another case in point: Frank Oz's update of The Stepford Wives, a bitter little throwaway that manages to come off as even worse than the original.

The 1975 Stepford (and Ira Levin's book) was a piece of Americana that was so influential it became part of American slang. It unfortunately isn't a very good movie: If anyone can even remember how it ends, I dare you to e-mail me.

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