#25 Cyrus

Theatrical poster
Directed by Jay Duplass Mark Duplass
Produced by Michael Costigan Tony Scott Ridley Scott
Written by Jay & Mark Duplass
Starring John C. Reilly Jonah Hill Marisa Tomei Catherine Keener Matt Walsh
Music by Michael Andrews
Cinematography Jas Shelton
Editing by Jay Dueby
Studio Scott Free Productions

If a good comedy is rare.  A good romantic comedy is an endangered species.   And Cyrus is that unique animal, that is hard to categorize in either genre, but is definitely good.

It is a simple, quirky story.  A regular joe who finds love unexpectedly and then must work through the kinks albeit strange to find happiness. 

The cast is perfect in every way. 

John C. Reilly is brilliant.  No other actor could have explored the layers of his character, John, as deftly.  He was a mixture of depressed, pathetic, kind, sweet, strong and decisive.  That’s a lot to pull off! But, he does–naturally and easily. 

As Molly, the object of John’s affection, Marisa Tomei is at her best.  I believed in her–even with the weird, awkward factors added to her life.  I understood Molly and watching her fall in love was beautiful. 

Jonah Hill had the most difficult part, as Cyrus the grown son that is unhealthily attached to his mother, Molly.  It could have gone too far–but his subtle performance keeps the creep at bay.  Instead, you feel sorry for him and cheer for him to find his place. 

 This is not a hollywood movie.  This is a story about real people with real complicated issues.  It never feels scripted or forced and that’s what I love about it.

I laughed out loud.  I cringed.  I was taken by surprised and emotional.  It is a wonderful experience when a film can take you on a journey with their characters and you are better for it. 

RESOURCE: Wikipedia 


25 Days to Oscar–Top 25 of 2010

5-4-3-2-1 Neon Countdown at Night 5-12-09 -- I...

Image by stevendepolo via Flickr

First let me explain my criteria for chosing my top films.  It is simple:

  • I would not change a single frame of the film. 
  • I was emotionally and/or intellectually invested.
  • I believed in the universe. 
  • I want to see it more than once.

 With that said…let us begin our countdown–

Top 5 Science Fiction

This is my favorite genre and the first 3 of these films are in my Top 25–

1.  Never Let Me Go –Beautiful!

2.  Daybreakers–best vampire movie I’ve seen in a while–

3.  Splice–wow!

4.  The Book of Eli–love, love Gary Oldman–good fun–even if I figured it out in the first 10 minutes!

5.  Repo Men–enjoyed 95% of this movie–then the last 10 minutes happened–what a shame–still have love for it though.

Side mention–Must include AMC’s The Walking Dead–although it is a television series, the production value and strong overall quality deserves a shout out! It is really amazing to see a series based on detailed character studies–where zombies just happen to be lurking about.   Well done–well done indeed!

Top 5 Action

Kick-Ass (film)

Image via Wikipedia

1. Kick Ass (top 25)  SWEET!

2.  RED–super fun!–full of mature bad asses–loved it!  Happy to hear there are talks of RED2–

3.  Salt–Angelina Jolie is a bad-ass!  She can give an award worthy performance one year and then kick some ass the next–she is absolutely lovely–yeah, I am a fan. 

4.  Faster–I was  flat-out excited to see Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) get back to some grown up action ( loved Rundown & Walking Tall)–we need him out there!

5.  Machete is outrageous, crazy shit–awesome!  Robert Rodriguez made me laugh out loud at the pure ridiculous-ness! Too much fun!  MACHETE DON’T TEXT!

Top 5 Re-Makes, Re-Boots, Re-whatever!

(seems this is becoming an annual thing) 

1.  The A-Team–I watched the TV show religiously…I heart Murdock!–this exceeded my expectations, which was bad-tastic cheese–instead we had perfect casting and a helluva good time! And I still heart Murdock!! 🙂

2.  Predators–this is the true sequel to the original (one of my all time favorites–WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!)–fantastic opening sequence and then an awesome ride throughout.

3.  Tron: Legacy–again going to date myself–but I loved TRON–as a sci-fi geek, it was ground breaking and full of awesome-ness–but c’mon let us admit–it was not necessarily full of substance–and Legacy delivered the same thing–eye candy visuals–and simple basic story–add one of the best soundtracks of the year by DAFT PUNK and it works.

4.  The Karate Kid–which should have been been renamed The Kung Fu Kid–was a nice retelling of the same basic structure of the original–Jackie Chan is a true master and Jaden Smith has his Daddy’s charisma–look out world!

5.  Nightmare of Elm Street–Wes Craven’s original vision is still tops–but this a strong remake with some modern twists–except…HELLO–where the hell were the 5 hour energy bottles??–anyway, with Jackie Earle Haley and Rooney Mara (who is going to be a big star soon) it is still solid.

Top 5 Romantic Comedies

(good straight comedy was hard to come by this year)

1. Easy A –refreshingly smart and fun.  Emma Stone is going to be a big star!

2. Going the Distance–a realistic look at love…Drew Barrymore and Justin Long have great chemistry.

3. I Love You Phillip Morris–it fits in this category–it is a rom-com about 2 guys–in prison–sometimes a bit over the top–but Jim Carrey is a perfect fit and Ewan McGregor gives a lovely performance.  You believe they love each other!  (that’s more than you can say for most movies)

4. Just Wright–totally overlooked this year–what a shame, because Queen Latifah and Common are fantastic and believable.  I love the Queen!

5.  Date Night–it was a little hit and miss at times, but Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are incredible comedians and make it work.

Top 5 Sleepers (movies that surprised me!)

1.  Secretariat–a horse movie? (rolling of eyes)–bor.ing–WRONG!  I was on the edge of my seat (and I knew what was going to happen)–a big thumbs up!

2.  Ramona and Beezus–the title alone was enough to keep me away–good thing I was bored one day–it turned out to be a sweet, sincere story–well acted and it won me over.

3.  Knight and Day–I don’t really care for Tom Cruise (a bit over rated) and Cameron Diaz, as I have mentioned, just annoys me–and yet, I completely enjoyed them in this story–maybe because Tom was winking at his star power (and craziness) and Cameron toned it down.  Whatever it is–it works.

4.  Devil–a small film with M.Night Shyamalan’s name attached (not a good thing now a days)–but it turns out it was written and directed by some other dudes–so I went for fun and got a pretty smart thriller.  It kept me guessing and I usually figure things out quickly–they get awesome points for that!

5.  Mega Mind–It looked cute, but not good–the trailer did not do it justice–it actually had a strong narrative and was so much more than what I expected–Will Farrell was pitch perfect.

Top 5 Guilty Pleasures

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010 film)

Image via Wikipedia

Okay–I should not admit I liked these…but I did!  I  liked them a lot!

I will bow my head in shame now…and add a few more Bad-tastic movies to my already long list of guilty pleasures–

1.  The Sorcerer’s Apprentice–what can I say?–it works…Nic Cage being just the right amount of crazy and yet cool…Alfred Molina being  a fantastic villain (he is so under rated)…Jay Baruchel being the perfect nerdy dude…and then add cool special effects–yeah there’s a dragon–it was a blast!

2.  Leap Year–it’s predictable and cliché at times–but who cares–Amy Adams is adorable and I fall in love with Matthew Goode a bit more every time I watch it–plus add the gorgeous Irish landscape and viola!  And to its credit–they take the long way around to the happy ending.

3.  The Other Guys–I had high hopes and they were a bit dashed–but I still quote this movie and it made me laugh–more than once–not the masterpieces that Talladega Nights or Ron Burgundy–but still…”Don’t go chasing waterfalls…”  and “APARTMENT POP!”

4.  Shrek Forever After–I was not supposed to like this–but just like the 3 before–I did!–they make me giggle–it is hit and miss with the funny–but Rumpelstiltskin and a Fat Puss-in-Boots are enough!

5.  Clash of Titans–again I have seen the original many times growing up–it is stop action awesome-ness–pure cheese!–the remake?  Just the same–with cooler scorpions and Ralph Fiennes! I will take it!

Top 5 Biggest Disappointments

Cover of "Alice in Wonderland"

Cover of Alice in Wonderland

I was counting days! Keeping up with all the latest photos, trailers and articles–so excited I could hardly stand it…


1.  Alice in Wonderland–OMG!  Three of my all time favorites…Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Alice!  What could go wrong?  Everything…and I really, really wanted to LOVE it!  But, alas…it was very depressing for me.  Nothing clicked for me–the visuals were too cartooney and fake–Johnny’s Mad Hatter was Willy Jack Wonka Sparrow–and the Alice plot device was annoying–deep sigh!–sadness.

2.  Due Date–Robert Downey, Jr and Zach Galifianakis–perfect comedy duo!–NOT!  It was not funny–mean and awkward–but not funny–what went wrong? Maybe an ill conceived script–

3.  The Wolfman–come on, it’s the wolfman!–with our technology and Benicio Del Toro this is going to rock–and it did well with the transformations and made great use of robotics, etc–if only the plot and execution of the story had done as well–I wanted to see him struggle with his curse–instead they rush to the ending.

4.  Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief–Yes!  A new franchise for kids and adults–the books are creative, fun and pretty much directly translatable to the screen–but nope–let’s change all that and make it suck!  Yay! Hollywood!  -_-

5.  Catfish–a very mysterious, interesting, well marketed…SHAM!!  It’s a real documentary…and extremely anti-climatic–not at all what I was lead to believe and this time it ruined it for me.  I was hood winked.  It is not a bad piece of film–it’s just….what?  Oh, that’s it? Well…okay. I guess.

Bottom 5 –Worst of 2010

The Last Airbender

Image via Wikipedia

I am sure there are plenty more awful films–but I did not bother to watch them.

Jonah Hex–Furry Vengeance–The Tooth Fairy?? No, thanks.

Here are the worst films of 2010 that I’ve seen…

5.  Robin Hood–this one disappointed me and was horrible–thanks Ridley Scott!  I want to know what happened??You had A class actors–a tried and true beloved hero and yet it’s just plain bad–oh, wait!  that’s right–this movie isn’t about Robin Hood…now I get it.

4.  Legion–okay…you have demons, angels and a hot Paul Bettany–at least this has to be fun–right?  NOPE!  It was dumb.

3.  You Again–NO!  When you have all those fine actors and all that is produced is crap…there is something terribly wrong.  Terribly wrong.

2.  When in Rome.  I wanted to shoot myself in the head–yeah, I really did.  Sad. Sad. Sad.  I used to like Kristen Bell. 

1. The Last Airbender–I actually thought this could redeem M. Night Shyamalan–the animated show is of good quality with an interesting storyline–the special effects looked cool enough–nope–deceived again!  The dialogue was atrocious–the acting wooden and melodramatic–and the story reduced to nothing.  There were points that I laughed out loud from the sheer shock of the awfulness.  WOW!