Wednesday, July 21, 2010

DVD Reviews - Youth in Revolt, Hot Tub Time Machine

Youth in Revolt - ***1/2

Directed by:  Miguel Arteta

Starring:  Michael Cera, Zack Galifianakis, Jean Smart, Portia Doubleday, Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard

Review:  One of the great joys of movie watching is when a movie completely surprises you and you like it more than you ever thought you would.  That is what "Youth in Revolt" is.

The movie contains the type of dry, quick witted humor you would come to expect from a Michael Cera film.  He hits everything in the film note perfect and turns in an absolutely hilarious performance.  The supporting cast is perfect as well.

The movie concerns Michael Cera's character whom falls in love with a girl from the trailer down the street.  However, Michael Cera's character is not "bad" enough for her and we get the impression that his character has been a quite agreeable person nearly all his life.  This of course has rendered him incapable of being bad.  How is he to win over the woman he loves if he can't be "bad" as she wants?  Well, he creates an alternate persona that can do all these "bad" things for him.  Naturally.

Nevermind the possible paranoid schizophrenia undertones, they are ignored as they should be in this movie in the name of humor.  The rest of the movie concerns itself with the series of bad things the alternate personality does in order to win over his love.

The cast could not have been chosen better and the writing is top notch.  I was not expecting this to be as funny as it was but there were for sure multiple laugh out loud moments.  Definitely worth your time.

Hot Tub Time Machine - ***

Directed by:  Steve Pink

Starring:  John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Rob Coddry

Review:  I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie.  It looked like one of those movies that could go either way.  If done right, it would be a very enjoyable comedy, if done wrong it would be Couples Retreat.

I will get it out of the way right now and say that this movie was done right.  It is a very enjoyable comedy.

The movie is about a group of four individuals who retreat to a ski resort to conjure old memories and hopefully make some new ones.  Their first night they decide to get hammered in a hot tub that's on their balcony.  They all pass out in the tub and wake up to find themselves sent back to 1986 when they were there before.  The weekend they all got sent back to happened to be a weekend in which all of them made choices that drastically altered their lives.

This is the crux of the movie, they now can all change those decisions that altered their lives.  The question is, should they?  They could be changing their futures for the worse without even knowing it.  But that's all the fun.  Eventually by trying so hard to not change things and do them EXACTLY like they did before, they end up changing things.  Then they decide to go all out and completely change things.  This is where the fun begins.

The movie has many funny scenes and the plot remains fun as well as the actors remaining focused.  It would be very easy to let things spin out of control at a movie like this, but they keep it under control.  This all makes for a very fun movie that has a decent plot and some very good funny scenes.  All in all, it's worth your time.

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