For today’s film, I had to choose something quick to watch due to time constraints and I have always admired the work of Jennifer Lopez (Selena). I never got the chance to see The Boy Next Door in theaters, but I am watching it for today’s film. Jennifer Lopez plays Claire Peterson, a woman dealing with whether she should stay with her cheating husband or move on. One day her son Kevin (Ian Nelson) befriends the mysterious boy next door Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman). In one vulnerable moment one night, she sleeps with Noah and it turns out to be a very big mistake. Noah has a bit of an obsession problem and after Claire tries to tell him that it can never happen again, Noah goes nuts and the game begins. The film also stars John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Garrett Peterson, Kristin Chenoweth (The Pink Panther) as Vicky Lansing, Lexi Atkins (Zombeavers) as Alice Callahan, Hill Harper (He Got Game) as Principal Warren, Jack Wallace (Boogie Nights) as Bob Sandborn, Adam Hicks (How To Eat Fried Worms) as Jason Zimmer, François Chau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze) as Detective Chou, and the film was directed by Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).
What can I truly say about the film other than that if you’ve seen one film about an obsessed individual than you kind of seen them all. The question in screenwriting is always what does your story bring to the table that is different than any other one. We’ve seen these types of films before like Fatal Attraction, Fear, The Gift, Devil In The Flesh, and even The Crush just to name a few. I think the thing about this film that is different than the others is that it explores that taboo teacher/student relationship because she is a teacher and he is technically a student at the school. Ryan Guzman does deserve some credit in this film because he does an amazing job playing the obsessed individual. He captures the essence of a kid who is strong and sexually desirable by women while also being vindictive and destructive when he doesn’t get what he wants. Jennifer Lopez well is Jennifer Lopez, she’s sexy as hell and why wouldn’t you be obsessed with that after you’ve had a taste. This film isn’t anything groundbreaking and it’s not the greatest film ever made, but it’s worth a watch. The cinematography is actually pretty decent and is probably what is most attractive about the film. The film is available to watch on HBO and HBOGO as we speak so check it out if you dare. I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
In the mid to late 1990’s, the thing to do in Hollywood was to bring back the lost art of Disaster Movies that people loved from the 70’s (Airport, The Towering Inferno, Poseidon Adventure, etc.). In 1997, 20TH Century Fox released the film Volcano which starred Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men) as Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management (LAC OEM) boss Mike Roark. Everything seems normal in Los Angeles except for the fact that people are outraged at a new subway line going in. That is until a couple of workers end up dying from severe burns. While Mike starts to investigate what happened, a volcano begins to erupt underneath Los Angeles and now Mike has to figure out how to save the city before it’s too late. The film also stars Anne Heche (Donnie Brasco) as Dr. Amy Barnes, Gaby Hoffmann (Uncle Buck) as Kelly Roark, Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) as Emmit Reese, Jacqueline Kim (Brokedown Palace) as Dr. Jaye Calder, Keith David (Men At Work) as Police LT. Ed Fox, John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Norman Calder, Michael Rispoli (Pain & Gain) as Gator Harris, John Carroll Lynch (Ted 2) as Stan Olber, and the film was directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard).
First of all, I want to start off by saying that Tommy Lee Jones is an amazing actor who commands the screen no matter what role he is playing. Second of all, this is a disaster film after all which means that the special effects are going to be off the chains for these kinds of films and it was. The explosions were cool and the lava running through the city was cool. How far fetched or possible is a volcano under Los Angeles, I am not 100% sure as to how accurate that would be. With the fault lines and all the subway systems they have, it would be a scary notion if it could happen. To spice things up for the film, they trow in some racial tension because we know that was running rampant in LA at the time. You have a guy looking out for his section of town, gets the handcuffs put on him until the cop decides not to be racist anymore. Then you have a little kid who is being carried by a black police officer who looks out and says, “look at their faces, they all look the same.” A nice gesture saying that we are all human and that we should all help each other, but a sentimental part I seriously could have done without. The movie is about Volcano’s, not Rodney King or Rampart. Nevertheless, you know exactly what you are getting with these films and it’s enjoyable enough to watch. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
There are movies in the world that I always said that I would never bother checking out, but I have gone against my word a couple of times. One of those times was Magic Mike XXL and now My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is the other film and that is also today’s film. The film fast forwards 17 years later as Toula (Nia Vardalos) and Ian’s (John Corbett) daughter Paris (Elena Kampouris) is at that age when she wants to leave the house and city for college. Toula is having a hard time with this as she also has to balance a problem at her parents house. Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan) think they’ve been married, but it turns out the priest never signed their marriage certificate. So, Maria wants to have a real wedding and the family has to plan it. The film also stars Joey Fatone (Family Feud) as Angelo, Andrea Martin (Wag The Dog) as Aunt Voula, Gia Carides (Year One) as Nikki, Alex Wolff (The Sitter) as Bennett, Louis Mandylor (The Quest) as Nick, Bess Meisler (Daddy Day Care) as Mana Yiayia, John Stamos (Full House) as George, Mark Margolis (The Wrestler) as Panos, and the film was directed by Kirk Jones (Walking Ned Devine).
As far as the movie goes, I actually enjoyed watching this film for what it is. It follows that motto of no matter how dysfunctional or weird that your family might be, they are exactly what you call them which is family. The movie is fun to watch especially if you come from a European/Mediterranean family like I did which helps you connect with the family. When the family is whole and together on screen is where the real laughs happen in the film and there is plenty of it. Andrea Martin deserves a lot of credit for stealing some scenes in the film and being hilarious. The only thing that bugs me is that I never saw the first film so I have nothing to really base any judgement off of. I can’t tell you whether it’s better than the first which took the world by storm back in 2002. All I can really say is that the film was fun to watch and the acting is definitely where it’s at in this film. Kudos to the studio for getting all of the original cast members back for the film and even adding some cool cameos like Rob Riggle. One of the things I liked about the film was the soundtrack with a Greek cover of Billy Idol’s White Wedding (by George Kostoglou). I thought it was cool. The film isn’t the greatest film in the world, but it does it’s job which is to entertain you. I’ll have to check out the first film now that I have seen this one. I am going to give this one an B for a final grade.