You Again (2010)

'You Again' may have been an engaging and funny movie if I was still four years old and only understood Korean. Kristin Bell plays Marni, who goes through hell during high school. She is the social outcast of the school and is constantly bullied. The grown up Marni is a confident, sexy, and successful business woman. When she comes back home for her brother's (James Wolk) wedding, she learns that the girl (Odette Annable) her brother is marrying is the same girl who was responsible for her nightmare known as high school. When her high school nemesis refuses to apology and goes as far as to say she doesn't even remember her, Marni is determined to show her brother who he's really marrying.
Bad screenplay and over the top acting makes 'You Again' very hard to enjoy. The movie is very predictable and wastes talents of some very good actresses like Sigourney Weaver. Also Kristin Bell really needs to look for better roles if she ever wants to be taken seriously as a real actress because she has the charm and charisma to be a very good leading actress. But then again, maybe her goal is to dominate the really bad romantic comedy movie genre. She's doing a damn good job at it. Don't watch this please. I made the mistake of browsing through netflix and being really bored and thinking hey that Kristin Bell is pretty cute. That's how she gets you every time.

Metascore- 28/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 18%, Audience- 45%
Yong's Rating- 1/5 Stars


30 Minutes or Less (2011)

'30 Minutes or Less' delivers exactly what it promises and it does a pretty darn good job. This is in spite of Aziz Ansari's terrible acting performance. Dude's a funny guy, but he just can't act. Even though Jesse Eisenberg and Danny McBride basically play the same character in every role at least they are good at it.
The movie tells the story of two hopeful criminals who kidnap a pizza delivery guy and strap a bomb to his chest and force him to rob a bank or get blown up. Boom! Danny McBride and Nick Swardson play the two losers who need to get their hands on $100,000. They come up with the perfect plan to kidnap someone to rob a bank for them. They play well off of each other and deliver several funny one liners. Jesse Eisenberg is the pizza delivery guy. He was living like a bum without any ambitions, but when he is faced with death he realizes just how much he really wants to live. Aziz Ansari plays Eisneberg's best friend who chooses to help his friend in his time of need. The two buddies must put their difference aside and pull off a perfect bank robbery or risk the very likely possibility of getting blown up into pieces.
'30 Minutes or Less' is a fun buddy comedy with a lot laughs and action. If you are looking for a light movie with a lot laughs this movie well worth a look.

Metascore- 48/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 42%, Audience- 68%
Yong's Rating- 3.5/5 stars


Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' tells the origin story behind the 1968 classic 'Planet of the Apes'. It does not disappoint. It's very refreshing to see a movie focused solely on telling a good story in today's age of 3D fad. What do you know? You can have a big budget movie where its sole intention isn't to throw random objects into the camera! 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' is a summer blockbuster that has the rare combination of visually stunning computer graphics and a compelling storyline that's sure to tug at your heart.
Set in present day San Francisco, a scientist (James Franco) working at a biotech company stumbles on a miracle drug that has the potential to change humankind. Franco plays Will, the scientist who has personal attachment to his work on a drug with potential to cure Alzheimer's disease. His father (John Lithgow) is a shell of his former self, trapped in his body at the mercy of Alzheimer's. The dangerous mixture of genetic engineering, animal testing/cruelty, corporate greed, and desperation to save a loved one create a volatile background behind this compelling movie. I thought this movie was sci-fi action at its finest. It had my attention from the beginning and it didn't let go. Caesar (Andy Serkis), the main ape in this movie clearly steals the show. Caesar is one of the most realistic and personable CG character in a movie ever. As you watch him grow from a helpless infant to an adult you can't help but care about what happens to him.
'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' is definitely one of the best movies of the year and I recommend you go and check this out if haven't done so yet!

Metascore- 68/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 82% Audience- 90%
Yong's Rating- 5/5 stars


Blue Valentine (2010)

Not all love stories end happily ever after. It's a sad depressing thought, but eventually love fades. 'Blue Valentine' tells two stories. One about falling in love and another about falling out of love. Both stories are presented well enough to stand on their own. And in the case of 'Blue Valentine', when the two stories are told side by side, you are treated to an unique perspective on nature of relationships. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams does a wonderful job portraying the hard luck couple. The vast difference between the dynamics of relationship when they first meet and the present time is eye opening. It is interesting to witness just how much you can love someone and just how quickly you can fall out of love with the same person. This film is very well made, and its realistic take on relationships really makes it stand apart from the typical romantic movies out there and for that I think it's well worth a look.

Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 87%, Audience- 75%
Yong's Rating- 4/5 Stars


The most memorable moment of your life...

It was one of those gorgeous spring sunday afternoons. We were at the local cafe drinking coffee and reading when she suddenly turned to me with those big blue eyes and asked,
"Tell me, what would you say is the most memorable moment you've had in your life so far?"
Naturally, I was caught off guard by the question. But, I kept my cool and quickly drifted away into thought.
'Let's see, most memorable moment?... hmm.. that one time I hit the game winning shot at the buzzer in high school, my first kiss, the first time finishing a marathon, that west coast road trip I had with my buddies, graduations, birthdays, when my parents brought home a puppy, first time at Wrigley, kickass concerts, that weekend in Vegas, that time I got to sit court side for a Bulls game, first time watching Hannah and Her Sisters and Wild Strawberries...'
As random moments of my life were processing through my head, I could not help but notice how beautiful she looked sitting across from me patiently awaiting my answer. Maybe it was the way the sunlight was hitting across her face or the extra shot of expresso I ordered. To this day, I'm still not sure. But, suddenly my thoughts became very clear.
'I love the way those lines form around her mouth whenever she smiles, the way she giggles at my jokes, her unique style, the way her eyes light up whenever we pass an ice cream store, how she can sleep through two of her unearthly loud alarm clocks every morning, the intense look she gets whenever she's trying to parallel park, the look on her face when she practices her violin or paints her pictures, the way she hugs me when I get home, the way she hums whenever she gets bored, how happy she makes me feel every morning knowing someone as kind, smart and beautiful as her could love someone as plain as me.'
For the first time in my life I was content with everything and it was all because of her. Without giving anymore thought, I replied,
"All the moments I've had so far are nothing compared to the wonderful moments that I plan on making with you. So I guess my answer is that my most memorable moment is still yet to come."
"Awww..." She responded with the tone of voice she uses whenever she talks to her dog.
"I was going to take our first date as an acceptable answer, but I guess that'll do too."
She smiled at me and quickly broke into laughter. I couldn't help but join in. She may not have realized just how honest and sincere my answer was but I didn't care. Because at that moment, I was happy just knowing that I had someone to share these laughters with for the rest of my life.

The Change Up (2011)

'The Change Up' is a body switch comedy starring Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. This may be the raunchiest of all the body switch movies out there. Bateman and Reynolds are two close friends who have grown apart over the years. Mostly because Bateman has a career and a family while Reynolds character simply just never grew up. When the two go out for a guys night out and end up peeing in a magical fountain, they wake up the next morning in each other's bodies. The unfortunate switch presents a chance for the Reynolds character to prove to himself that he can be a grown up and a chance for the Bateman character to live life without any stress that comes with a job and a family.
The plot is pretty simple as with most other body switch movies, except this one throws in a lot more adult jokes and language. There's a lot of laughs in this movie, but if dirty jokes aren't your type of thing than you'd better stay away from this one. On the other hand, if fart and poop jokes still make you giggle than you may find this very enjoyable. Seeing Olivia Wilde doesn't hurt either.

Metascore- 41/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 20% Audience- 62%
Yong's Rating- 2.5/5 Stars

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

After seeing the trailers for 'Crazy, Stupid, Love', I walked in the theater expecting just another 'Hitch' type generic romantic comedy. Boy was I wrong. 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' delivered much more than I anticipated with its stellar cast, plot, and that feel good after taste.
Cal's (Steve Carell) life gets a sudden wake up call when his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) asks for a divorce. Cal ends up at a bar to get some drinks for his sorrow and someone to talk to. Jacob (Ryan Gosling) takes notice of Cal. A badly dressed, drunk middle aged man babbling on and on about why his wife left him to anyone in his vicinity. Jacob takes pity on the poor guy and offers him his guidance to rediscover his long lost manhood. Just when you think this movie is just about a recently divorced middle age man learning to pick up hot chicks, it changes pace and ties in other character's story lines into the mix. What you get is a delightful mix of love, drama, and even a few laughs.
Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling share very good chemistry together. I also enjoyed Julianne Moore and Emma Stone's performance very much. The talented cast make this movie a very good ensemble piece and a joy to watch. If you are in a mood to leave a theater with a smile this summer go check this one out.

IMDB- 8/10
Metascore- 68/100
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics-75%, Audience- 86%
Yong's Rating- 4/5 Stars