REVIEW: Easy A

Easy A
Directed by: Will Gluck
Written by: Bert V. Royal
Starring: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Hayden Church, and Patricia Clarkson

There’s a moment in this John Hughes-wannabe that actually lives up to its intentions.  Daughter (Emma Stone) and mother (Patricia Clarkson) sit on a car overlooking their valley,  comparing high school reputations and laughing while the world around them sleeps.  It’s an evolution of the Hughes parent-child relationship.  For a moment, they understand each other. The rest, unfortunately, is far behind.

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REVIEW: Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass
Directed by: Matthew Vaughn
Written by: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn (screenplay), Mark Millar & John Romita Jr. (comic book)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Aaron Johnson, and Chloe Moretz

The way Kick-Ass was marketed, you’d never know what it was about.  It could be the next raunchy teen comedy, a Scary Movie iteration with super heroes, or a campy exploitation flick.  After seeing this movie, I now know why they could not market it efficiently.  Kick-Ass is all of the aforementioned things, struggling much like a super-hero to find an identity.  At it’s best, it is a rocking reinvention and exploitation of the super hero mythos.  At it’s worst, it is a formulaic teen comedy with shock value language dueling with shock value violence.

The premise of the film is interesting enough.  With caped crusaders invading our pulp culture like cockroaches, why has no one in the real world donned a mask and set out to fight crime?  Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) plays the nerdy philosopher who comes up with this idea, and decides to take action.  He becomes Kick-Ass, a scuba-suit wearing crime fighter who is stabbed and beaten to a pulp his first night on the job.  The answer to his earlier question is answered early on.

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