Ryan Reynolds

Smokin Aces

Year: 2006
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Written By: Joe Carnahan

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a movie I like but don’t love. A movie that caught me at the right place at the right time and I thought it was cool. It’s the kind of movie that reminds me of scenarios I acted out with my action figures as a kid. A lot of cool actors were brought in and they had fun making a movie that is a lot of fun to watch.

I’m a big fan of anything that kills off most of the characters it introduces. Such boldness creates a level of unpredictability that makes the whole experience more fun. This movie doesn’t kill off all its characters but a large number of them don’t survive this shoot out. Killed without a second thought are not just the small time actors from TV playing big parts but also bigger guys like Ray Liotta and Ben Affleck. It takes a lot of gusto to pull the trigger on so many characters, it’s what we love about Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. This movie doesn’t necessarily do it as well as those but the balls it took to do it still count for something.

How high Chris Pine has risen since this movie came out. Nevertheless, despite all of his success I still can’t see him in anything without thinking of the scene in the elevator when he licks his finger and touches the bush of the naked girl tattooed on his shoulder. It’s such an obscene gesture from a dirty and obscene character. Captain Kirk, Steve Trevor, Jack Ryan, or anybody else it doesn’t matter what role he is playing, the guy I see is the Tremor brother he played in this one. Not to say he wasn’t good in any of those roles, in fact I thought he was a terrific Captain Kirk in the Star Trek reboot. His memorable role actually came late as he was a replacement for Michael Shannon who was fired after pissing someone off.

My opinion has changed in recent years but I used to be a big time Ben Affleck hater. It was one of the things I loved about this movie back in 2007 because it was evidence that his career was spiraling down. At a time when his buddy Matt Damon was on the high horse Affleck was having trouble getting roles. Here he was in an entourage film not even making it halfway through the movie. In 2006 I found this hilarious and relished in it as a hater. Like I said, I feel differently now. Ben Affleck’s star has risen again and this time much higher than it ever had before. I initially changed my opinion when I saw him in Runner Runner and then again when he showed such promise behind the camera. His rendition of Batman sealed the deal and I look forward to what else he does with that character.

I felt Ryan Reynolds proved dramatic acting capability with this film. That unplugging scene in the end is very intense and well played by Reynolds. I am a fan of Reynolds, even after his many failures prior to the success of DeadpoolHe’s a funny guy but I think in this movie he pulls off serious and angry pretty well. I thought back in 2006 that this was proof he could move beyond Van Wilder and do better things. He has stayed true to being a comedic actor and Deadpool is just the start of more to come.

This movie was the featured film debut of both Common and Alicia Keys. I have never listened to either’s music but I thought they both gave great debut performances. Alicia Keys is cool as the sexy assassin and Common is a bad ass hit man to have at your disposal. I am a big fan of Common from his role on Hell on Wheels. An awesome show that if you haven’t seen then you’ve been missing out, it’s worth binge watching.

Without delving into the rest of the large ensemble cast I’ll simply say I liked the cast overall. It’s a really cool blend of popular TV actors, musicians, and movie stars. I love a big cast and I like it even better when you never know who among them will survive the adventure. I liked that about this movie and I enjoyed watching it again. I think this is a fun movie that is worth your time to see but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.

NEXT MOVIE: Snakes on a Plane (2006)

 

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Deadpool

Year: 2016
Directed By: Tom Miller
Written By: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick

RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie was amazing for so many reasons. For being so clever, and being so vulgar. For proving how successful inventive marketing can be. For being a testament to perseverance by a man determined to prove something to the world. This movie goes against every rule we understand about the genre and it worked like a charm.

This is a movie clever enough to make fun of itself and its genre. From the very beginning as mock credits roll across the screen this movie sets a tone unlike any other we have ever seen. Before anything has even happened this movie immediately manages to be unique and funny. As the movie gets going it doesn’t just earn its R rating but it pushes the limit of R rating. This movie took things to a new level with its rating and it relished in all the opportunity that it presented.

This movie had such interesting marketing methods ranging from using emojis on billboards to Deadpool himself hitch hiking to Comic Con. For months the marketing for this movie was aggressive and the images were, well, weird. Deadpool provocatively laying on a bearskin rug in front of a fire. Deadpool using the toilet in a stall and reading a magazine about himself. Deadpool making a heart with his hands (the movie was  Valentine’s Day release). The emoji thing with the death head skull and a poo followed by an L. These things were so clever and really put the name of the title character on the front lines.

Ryan Reynolds was specifically embarrassed by the first rendition he portrayed of this character and he made it his personal mission to rectify that. He should have been embarrassed, we all were. Truthfully, Wolverine X-Men Origins was an overall embarrassment for everyone involved but Reynolds may have gotten the worst of it. Deadpool has a lot of serious fans and they were real pissed by the abomination Reynolds portrayed on screen under that name. Reynolds had hoped to get a solo film for the character but the response was so poor the studio decided against it. Reynolds persevered for years before secretly shooting test footage of the character and leaking it onto the internet. The response was so great that it effectively twisted the studios’ arm into green lighting the project. A couple of years later and we have this awesome film to enjoy. Thank you Ryan Reynolds for never giving up and congratulations on all your success with the project.

Ryan Reynolds’ sense of humor makes him a perfect actor to portray Deadpool who has his own unusual sense of humor and style. The mercenary type of comic character never really did it for me so I had never read any Deadpool comics before. I was aware that as a character he was self-aware and knew he was in a comic, occasionally addressing his audience directly. I thought that was interesting and the character looked cool but knew little else beyond that. I think Reynolds determination to do right by the fans after the Wolverine debacle drove the character to being so true to the comics and well received.

I love how R rated this movie is, but I do not think it is appropriate for children. When Amber and I saw this movie in the theater there were two young girls sitting behind us and that was not cool. Those little innocent kids didn’t deserve to have their minds polluted by this debauchery and no others should. As adults we should be able to have something without assholes ruining it by creating controversy. Damnit people, be responsible parents and don’t take your young children to see something that we should be able to enjoy in all our maturity as adults, without the guilt of spoiling innocence. I just don’t feel right laughing at all the sex jokes while there are two little girls my daughter’s age sitting in earshot, and it made me mad at whoever was so irresponsible to bring them to the film.

This movie changes the scope of what comic book films are able to do and I think that is awesome. It sets a precedent for success at a level that didn’t need the teenage audience. It made a ton of money with a limited market audience and more importantly it made an incredible amount of profit. I look forward to what else we might see in the future. Not since Blade have we had a comic book film about a Marvel character so satisfyingly violent and profane. This doesn’t mean we should expect anything like this from Marvel Studios. Disney will keep with its own way of doing things, which is fine, but the door is wide open now for other properties owned by Warner Brothers, Fox, and others. I would specifically love to see an R rated Batman film because the general movie going audience is so misguided about the character. Batman is not family friendly, he’s dark and he’s a violent vigilante that often has the police chasing him. We need to see a real Batman movie and despite the disaster BVS has turned out to be I still think Ben Affleck is the guy to give us the dark and R rated Batman.

In the aftermath of Deadpool’s success we are verified to see an R rated Wolverine film coming in the near future. Hugh Jackman’s final performance as the character is coming and they are pulling out all the stops this time. I was really disappointed that Jackman didn’t make an appearance in this movie but I will hold out hope for a Deadpool cameo in the final Wolverine film. The references to Jackman throughout this movie are really funny but after doing all that they owe us an actual on screen pairing of the two characters. It’s widely rumored that the final Wolverine movie will be based off of the Old Man Logan comic. I have read that comic and it is awesome but they shouldn’t base the third Wolverine movie on it. It should be an original story. Due to property rights to characters the Old Man Logan comic would leave far too many holes and come out all convoluted.

Wolverine 3 should bring back Liev Schrieber as Sabertooth, throw in a little Deadpool, and just go nuts with the opportunities of an R rated movie. They should make it a true Wolverine movie only better. I think roles for guys like Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart would be really cool. This is all wishful thinking so it doesn’t matter. Casting announcements are coming out now and beyond its R rating there is little known that isn’t a rumor.

Deadpool currently still has a box office presence but it is closing out as the second highest grossing R rated movie of all time. Second only to the Passion of the Christ by a mere $10 million. I wish so much they would re-release the movie for just one week so it could take that record. I have always found box office statistics fascinating and specifically love when a movie I enjoy so much can break records. This was the movie the studio was so reluctant to do and all its success is awesome but that number one all time record would have been the cherry on top.

As Deadpool promised in the end credits scene; there will be more to come in this franchise. I look forward to it and can’t wait to see how it turns out with what will undoubtedly be a larger budget. I think this is a great movie and would recommend it to any adult out there with a cool bone in their body. If you’re cool, you need to see this movie.

I do not think this movie is appropriate for children. Please please please spare your little ones the adult content of this movie. This is too much, like anything Trey Parker and Matt Stone do. It’s awesome, but don’t allow your kids to see it, it’s for us and they should have to wait till their old enough.

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

Year: 2004
Directed By: Danny Leneir
Written By: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a funny movie but I do feel we have reviewed way too many stoner movies lately.  This one is another product of our college years when life was different. I thought it was funny then and it still makes me laugh now.  At the time I really enjoyed the efforts from Kal Penn and John Cho to become the new generation’s Cheech and Chong. I think they are both really funny in this one but it’s really just a typical pothead movie.  Like most mainstream movies like that it sports a lot of cool cameos.  In this one we see Ryan Reynolds, Anthony Anderson, and Neil Patrick Harris to name a few.  If you get a chance to see it this one it’s good for a laugh but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.  It’s worth your time if you have time to spare.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I still really like this movie. I think it is a funny comedy about being a stoner and going the super extra mile to find some munchies. It still makes me laugh. I also love Neil Patrick Harris. Number one, I love gay people. (Side note here: I love gay people because I am among a minority that was once refused rights and therefore, I am utterly and completely 100% FOR equal rights for every single person on this planet. You cannot let religion get in the way of people’s rights.) Sorry for the mini-preach. Second, when I was little we used to watch Doogie Howser, M.D. all the time. I love that guy. This movie is super silly and somewhat slapstick, but I thoroughly enjoy it.

NEXT MOVIE: Heat (1995)