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Apr 042014
 

Figure skating has never looked funnier than on the comedy Blades Of Glory. Graceful Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) and unintelligent sex addict Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) are rival Olympic figure skaters, who tie for a gold medal. You’d think a tie was a good thing, but this one ended up a disaster. Jimmy and Chazz get into a fight, which gets them both banned from figure skating for life.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Jimmy’s adoptive father, billionaire Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner), disowns Jimmy because all he cares about is winning. What a jerk!

I met Jon Heder at MegaCon 2014 and he liked my shirt. I’m surprised that no one else wore this one.

All is not lost though. There’s actually a loophole that Jimmy and Chazz weren’t really banned from figure skating entirely, just their division, men’s single skaters. They can return in pair skating. Coach Robert (Craig T. Nelson), who trained Jimmy, has the two rival skaters team up as a pair. It won’t be easy since they still struggle to get along.

The real threat is pair skating champions Stranz (Will Arnett) and Fairchild (Amy Poehler) Van Waldenberg. These siblings will do anything to remain gold medallists, even cheat by forcing their sister Katie (Jenna Fischer) to spy on the competition.

Katie tries to stand up to her brother and sister, but they always remind her about how their parents died in a car crash while taking Katie to skating practice. They take advantage of it by making Katie their slave.

Despite their different personalities, Jimmy and Chazz become good friends and perform well on the ice together. The new outfits they wear represent fire and ice, which is appropriate.

Even though Jimmy and Chazz make it to the finals, Coach Robert believes that in order for them to win the gold they’ll have to do something special. It’s a very dangerous technique called the “Iron Lotus”, which always ended up in decapitation. I know ice skate blades are sharp, but are they really that sharp?

Meanwhile, Katie becomes Jimmy’s love interest and doesn’t give into her siblings anymore. That prompts Stranz and Fairchild to resort to foul play. The intensity is high for both skating duos now.

This was a funny movie and I loved it. It’s nice to see how the same sport that made Jimmy and Chazz enemies also brought them together as a team.

Apr 182011
 

In a peaceful neighborhood there’s one house that stands out from the rest, and that’s the Monster House (Widescreen Edition). The only person who truly notices is 12-year-old DJ (voice of Mitchel Musso, who has been keeping watch as the owner, Mr. Nebbercracker (voice of Steve Buscemi), keeps terrorizing every child who comes by. But why? Hmm, curious.

After DJ and his friend Chowder (voice of Sam Lerner) have a run in with Nebbercracker one day, Nebbercracker has a heart attack and passes out. The close up was a little creepy. Now it looks like the house is possessed. It lures young victims into its clutches by waving their missing goods just inside the front door. Is it possible that Nebbercracker’s ghost is out for revenge?

Soon DJ and Chowder rescue Jenny (voice of Spencer Locke), a prep school student, from the house and she joins the group. First they try the police, but that doesn’t help. “Smart house.” Rule #1: When faced with something supernatural, the only adults you can turn to are the specialists. So the children go to an expert, Skull (voice of Jon Heder). He’s a pizza delivery guy, who has been to many comic book conventions. (Awesome!) He says to destroy the possessed house, aim for the heart. Sounds simple, since the heart is the smoking chimney. The hard part is getting there without getting eaten.

DJ, Chowder, and Jenny do manage to get inside the house and survive. It really gets interesting as they explore the place and the mystery behind it begins to unfold. Unfortunately, the house attacks with killer slinkys and angry pipes. Thank goodness for large chandeliers. Ewe! House spit.

The Playstation 2 video game that’s based on the movie is more focused on the exploration inside the house. The three children get separated and fight all kinds of perils from living furniture to smoky pipe monsters. So what if the game was labeled to be too repetitive. I like it that way.

This was a good film with a really interesting story line. The exploration inside the monstrous house could have been expanded like in the video game, which would have made the movie even more interesting, but I think Monster House really earned its high rating as a horror mystery.

Mar 222010
 

This teen comedy produced by MTV Productions stars Jon Heder in his breakthrough role as Napoleon Dynamite, a gawky teenager, who is delusional and blunt. It’s so funny.

According to the Internet Movie Data Base, Tina Majorino was a child star, but left acting to finish high school. This film was the start of her comeback costarring as Deb, the pretty and sweet teen. I just love her.

The story line goes in several directions. First, Napoleon and his best friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) try to get dates for the school dance. Meanwhile, Napoleon’s brother Kip (Aaron Ruell) and his uncle Rico (Jon Gries) try to raise money as door to door salesmen in order to buy a time machine online. After that, Pedro runs for class president and Napoleon tries to help him out. Part of his campaign included breaking a piñata that looks like his opponent Summer (Haylie Duff). It looked like a pretty one, but it was only shown briefly. Too bad Pedro got in trouble for it.

Napoleon has some interesting catchphrases that really stick out. Some of my favorites include “Gosh!”, “Idiot!”, and “Lucky.” I have to ask though. What is up with those moon boots? I used to have a pair just like that… when I was in second grade!

Napoleon also likes to shop at thrift stores. It was where he found that dance moves VHS tape, which really pays off later on. You never know what kinds of things you’ll find in those places. It’s like the old saying, “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”

At MegaCon 2010, while my sister was getting Virginia Hey’s autograph, I went to the table right next to her, where I met Ellen Dubin, who played the role of Trisha’s (Emily Dunn) mother, Ilene. She was very nice.

 

It was amazing to find that Ellen Dubin was in this movie. In fact, she told me that this autographed photo here was from her own camera and the only one from the set. Her agent was sitting next to her and told me how rare it was.

This is a good movie. In fact, I can see a possible TV series coming from this. I’m still surprised that there wasn’t a sequel yet. Just like with Who Framed Roger Rabbit.