Get Him to the Greek (2010)

Get Him the the Greek is a comedy featuring Russell Brand and Jonah Hill. Brand plays a narcissistic rock star, Aldous Snow. If you are familiar with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it's the same character he played in that movie. Coming off of a bad record and a break-up with his wife, Aldous stops making music and retreats to alcohol and drugs. His best years are well behind him. A record company worker played by Jonah Hill comes up with an idea to revive Aldous' career and make some money for his ailing music company. With the blessing from his boss, the plan is in motion for a 10 year anniversary show at the Greek theater in L.A.. The only problem is getting the rock star from London to L.A. on time for the show.
Jonah Hill and Russell Brand share good chemistry and provide several enjoyable scenes. There are definitely enough jokes and funny songs to make you laugh. I also thought that Diddy was funny with his portrayal as the boss of the music label. Majority of the comedy tends to be over the top, physical humor. One problem I had with this movie was that it made the mistake of trying to take itself too seriously along with its type of humor. I just felt that there was just too many awkward moments that really didn't make much sense. If you are looking to just have some laughs, and you are a fan of over the top, physical comedy, then this movie is definitely worth your look.

IMDB- 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 73% audience- 65%
Yong's rating- 6.9/10 (worth a look)


L.A. Confidential (1997) #

I've always heard good things about L.A. Confidential and I finally got a chance to watch it recently. Set in the city of Los Angeles during the 1950's, the movie explores the role of police corruption and organized crime on the city. A brutal killing at a diner gives three very different cops an opportunity to search for the truth. Russell Crowe plays Bud White, a good cop with a good heart, with a tendency to let his anger get the best of him. Guy Pearce plays Ed Exley, a clean-cut, young rising star in the police department willing to do anything within the rules to get ahead. Kevin Spacey plays Jack Vincennes, a sleazy cop willing to do anything to get his name in the papers and in the circles with the celebrities. All of them may have started out with their own selfish motives, but the search for the real truth behind the killing brings these unlikely cops together to unravel a conspiracy.
L.A. confidential is a smart crime thriller with an excellent cast and storyline. The three actors I already mentioned all give a very good performance. As well as Kim Bassinger, who steals the scene with her portrayal of a high end Hollywood prostitute. I'm always glad when a movie is as good as it is advertised. So, if you are looking to watch a well-made crime thriller with a top-notch cast and storyline be sure to check this one out.

# IMDB- 8.4/10 (#65 on Top 250)
Rotten tomatoes- Critics- 99%, Audience- 90%
Yong's Rating- 9/10 (highly recommended)


Garden State (2004)

Zach Braff showed so much potential with Garden State, I was ready to consider him as one of the best young directors working today. Except, he hasn't done much since then. I hope he continues to make good movies. But then again, if you are going to go out with just one movie, Garden State isn't too bad at all.
Garden State is a modern love story starring Zach Braff and my favorite actress, Natalie Portman. Braff plays Andrew Largeman, a withdrawn small time actor who comes back home for his mother's funeral. Portman plays Sam, who is a complete opposite of Braff's character. She is full of life and affection. Her character complements Braff's character very well, and helps to bring him out of his shell. From the beginning of the movie, you get a feeling that there is something a bit off about Braff. From his immense amount of medications and his unhappy job, you see a man who is numb, with no emotions simply going through the motions of life. Things start to change when he meets Sam and just learns to let things go and starts to feel life for the first time.
What made this film so great for me were the small idiosyncrasies of the all the scenes that just added to the overall experience of the film, as well as the great soundtrack. My favorite scene was at the pool where Braff talks about the idea of home. I have gotten to that point in my life where the place I grew up doesn't really feel like home anymore. And maybe the idea of home really is a group of people searching for the same imaginary place they can claim for their family. Garden State is quirky and surprisingly insightful movie that is definitely worth your time. You gotta go watch this one. It'll change your life, I swear.

IMDB- 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 86% Audience-87%
Yong's Rating- 10/10 (Must See)


How to Train Your Dragon (2010) #

Dream Works Animation shows that Pixar isn't the only company capable of making visually stunning animation entertaining for both children and adults with How to Train Your Dragon. The movie takes place a long time ago, on a Viking island where dragons roam free terrorizing the people and their livestocks. Our young hero is Hiccup, who just doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the Vikings culture. Desperately seeking approval from his father and the village, Hiccup is determined to catch the only dragon that has never been captured. His encounter with the mysterious dragon turns into an unlikely friendship, and Hiccup realizes that everything he has ever learned about dragons are not true. I really enjoyed this movie and it has the cuteness factor, comedic timing, and a good light-hearted message that every good animation must have. How to Train Your Dragon is very entertaining animation that everyone can enjoy, even if you don't have kids to watch it with.

# IMDB-8.2/10 (#171 on Top 250)
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 98%, Audience -90%
Yong's Rating- 9/10 (Highly Recommended)


Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

Do you have a movie you like to watch whenever you are having a bad day or a week to help cheer you up? For me that movie is Everyone Says I Love You. Watching this musical romantic comedy about a quirky upper class New York family always has a way of brightening my mood. This is one of those special movies that I can watch over and over again and it makes me smile every time. The dance scene under the bridge by the moonlight is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, it's just magical. I think that's what draws me to movies so much, it's for those magical scenes and moments in films that just grabs you and makes you forget about all your troubles even for just a few minutes or even seconds. So, what movies do you like to watch to cheer up?

Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 78%, audience -63%
Yong's Rating- 10/10 (must see)


Dear John (2010)

Dear John seemed like a typical average romantic drama. And for its own sake, I wish it was. It stars the handsome Channing Tatum and the beautiful Amanda Seyfried. It starts out as a romantic vacation fling that turns into a long distance relationship. Then, it starts to forcefully throw different layers to the story. Just for the sake of adding more drama to the storyline. What you end up with is a jumbled mess. I just wanted to yell at the screen and ask, What are you trying to get at here?!?
I don't mind movies with various themes. In fact, I enjoy them, but as long as they are done well and actually add to the overall experience of the movie. The only thing that may have saved this movie was Amanda Seyfried's on-screen presence. I'm sorry, but Channing Tatum just can't act. At least he's still got his good looks. He basically had two modes in this movie.
1.Sad/angry John-which he showed by raising his voice or crying.
2.Not sad/angry John- which he showed by not raising his voice and not crying.
Anyways, just avoid this movie if you want to save yourself with the frustration of having your intellect and emotions toyed with.

Rotten Tomatoes- critics-28% audience- 66%
Yong's rating- 2/10 (Stay away)


Karate Kid (2010)

I've always been a huge fan of Jackie Chan. I even went through a Jackie Chan phase when I was younger. I must've rented all the Jackie Chan movies at the local blockbuster. So, I was a bit excited when I learned that Jackie Chan was going to be in the new Karate Kid remake.
The 2010 remake basically follows the similar premise as the original. Just switch NJ to Detroit, California to China, Daniel Larusso to Jaden Smith, and Mr. Miyagi to Mr. Chan.
Well, if you haven't seen the original. Mother and son moves into a new neighborhood and the kid gets picked on by the local bullies. He is helped by a mysterious maintenance man to defend himself from the bullies. He must enter a local karate tournament in order to prove to himself and the bullies that he can stand up for himself. Along the training, the master and the student go on to learn valuable life lessons from each other.
After watching this remake, I just didn't feel that magic that made the original so special. There are some funny scenes, but overall I just didn't think a remake was necessary. It may just be best to skip this one and go with the original.

IMDB- 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes- critic-67% audience- 75%
Yong's rating- 5/10 (Skip it)


North by Northwest (1959) *#

North by Northwest is my first Alfred Hitchcock movie, and yes I have a lot of catching up to do. North by Northwest is an excellent action thriller starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. A mistaken identity leads an unsuspecting man to be thrown into the world of spies and government agency. When Roger Thornhill (Grant) is mistaken for a government agent by a gang of spies, he finds himself in a situation where he can't talk his way out of. Suddenly he is on the run from both the spies and the government across the country in an attempt to clear his name and figure out what is really going on. Along the way, he gets a little help from a beautiful stranger (Saint), who also becomes a part of his adventure. Hitchcock truly knows how to build up suspense and keep you entertained throughout the movie. Most of you probably have already had the chance to see this classic film. If you haven't, be sure to check this one out sometime. Any recommendations on which Hitchcock movie should be next on my list?

#IMDB- 8.6/10 (#38 on Top 250)
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 100%, Audience-93%
*(One of 1001 movies you must see before you die)
Yong's Rating -9.5/10 (must see)