Posts Tagged ‘Michael Pena’

’30 Minutes’ a frantic action comedy

Sunday, August 14th, 2011
Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg in "30 Minutes or Less" Chet (Aziz Ansari), left, and Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) plot to steal a car in the shrill action comedy “30 Minutes or Less.”

“30 Minutes or Less” might have been a lickety-split action comedy had its running time actually been 30 minutes or less.

Ruben Fleischer’s movie runs a scant 83 minutes as it is, and that still gives his annoying, caffeinated characters plenty of time to wear out their energetic, promising welcome during the first act of a two-and-a-half act comedy.

Fleischer reunites with his “Zombieland” star Jesse Eisenberg in a project clearly intended to follow the model of the popular, quick and quirky undead horror comedy that works where this one does not.

Eisenberg brings his patented brand of nervous twitchiness to Nick, a slacker pizza delivery guy who drives like Burt Reynolds in a Hal Needham movie just to get the goods to the customer in under a half-hour.

As we see, he’s not all that successful, despite burning the tire tread.

Nick’s best friend Chet (the personable Aziz Ansari) has landed a job as a teacher. Despite taking a brave step into adulthood, Chet realizes his example is lost on Nick, who initiates incredulously childish, destructive fights that no normal friendship could withstand. (Chet takes responsibility for the divorce of Nick’s parents; Nick tortures Chet with details of how he deflowered Chet’s twin sister Kate, played by Dilshad Vadsaria.) (Read more…)

Common sense an alien concept in ‘Battle: Los Angeles’

Saturday, March 12th, 2011
Aaron Eckhart in "Battle: Los Angeles" A U.S. Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) tries to rescue a family during “Battle: Los Angeles.”

It’s been a long time since we’ve had an old-fashioned, dumbed-down, apolitical war movie masquerading as an alien invasion drama, but “Battle: Los Angeles” fits the bill quite nicely.

War movie?

Actually, “Battle: Los Angeles” is more like a bloated, nonstop violent video game, except we don’t have a controller to determine where the soldiers go and when they’ll blast the alien creatures who’ve invaded the California coast line and scorched the land like Sherman’s march from the sea.

The U.S. Marines in Jonathan Liebesman’s noisy, numbing war film aren’t the sharpest bayonets in the arsenal, either.

When they come into contact with their first alien fighter and presumably shoot it dead at the bottom of a backyard swimming pool, what do they do?

Send the corpse back to HQ so the military can study it and learn the nature of their extraterrestrial enemies?

Nope.

The Marines destroy it with a hand grenade. (Read more…)