Archive for July, 2010

American Mike
18 July, 2010

I like to think I have a decent sense of humor. Occasionally, though, I find something hilarious. For example, after a few months at a new job many years ago, I heard one of my coworkers refer to me as “American Mike”. As the people in the conversation were all citizens, I found this odd and asked about the origin. Since my family name is also a brand associated with one of the Big Three and his family name is a homonym for a famous marque of Japanese automobile, somebody dubbed me “American Mike” and him “Japanese Mike”.

Pretty flippin’ funny, if you ask me.

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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
17 July, 2010

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice provides a special-effects-laden break from the inclement summer weather. With only a callback to Fantasia as a connection to the eponymous character, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a big, loud, summer popcorn flick.

The plot felt a little loose to me but did its primary job of providing a framework for the special effects. Alfred Molina stole the show with his performance as the antagonist. Nicholas Cage surprised me in his role of the mentor, fitting it very well. Teresa Palmer had a believable prettiness that did not detract from the story. Jay Baruchel brought his trademark whingeing, which I don’t enjoy so much, to the role of the budding hero. The score from Trevor Rabin matched the film very well.

I recommend The Sorcerer’s Apprentice for those looking for a summer diversion for the kids.

Despicable Me
11 July, 2010

Despicable Me is a computer animated family comedy. While it does not come from Pixar , it demonstrates a similar polish and similarly lovable characters.

Steve Carell, Jason Segel, and Russel Brand provide voices that do not sound much like their regular voices. But Agnes, voiced by Elsie Fisher, and the minions steal the show. I now have an “It’s so FLUFFY!” ringtone and see a big market for minion action figures. The animators included thinly-veiled copies of Bill Gates and the Pointy-Haired Boss. The story is quite funny, often subtly so, and has a remarkable amount of heart.

I recommend Despicable Me for fans of films like Up who are looking for a family film.

The A-Team
8 July, 2010

The A-Team is a summer action movie that stays within itself. I was pleasantly surprised by it given the number of years and writers this film consumed on its way to the screen.

The opening scenes include enough callbacks to the television show to show that the film pays loving homage to its predecessor. Sharlto Copley gives a delightful turn as Howlin’ Mad Murdock. Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, and Quinton Jackson stay out of the way of the action but I found Jessica Biel miscast. The plot serves as an explosion delivery vehicle; Bellisario’s Maxim is in full effect.

I recommend The A-Team for those in the mood for lots of action and lots of explosions.