Smokin' Aces

[Amazon Link] [3.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

I probably shouldn't have liked this movie as much as I did; it got a critical drubbing. The plot is complex, involving a large number of bizarre characters; it's hard to keep straight exactly who's on which side and what their goals are. Doesn't matter much, though, since the main purpose of all that is to get nearly all those characters inflicting deadly violence upon one another.

The movie does have a unique premise: a Vegas magician, "Aces" Israel, who once had aspirations to becoming an organized crime boss, is now thinking about turning into an FBI informant. Unfortunately—he didn't think this through much—this causes most of the illegal and semi-legal folk in Nevada to want him (or pieces thereof) dead or alive.

Ryan Reynolds is a nice surprise, playing an FBI agent, away from his usual light-comedy character.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:54 PM EDT

Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny

[Amazon Link] [2.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

I like Jack Black. Kyle Gass seems like an OK guy. But it's OK if they don't make any movies ever again. In this one, they play two people much stupider than they are in real life, I'm pretty sure. There are a lot of marijuana jokes, which (again, pretty sure) are only funny if you're watching while baked, and maybe not even then. Their music seems like mock Meat Loaf, which makes it a mockery of a mockery. (Ironically, or perhaps not, Meat Loaf has a small role in the movie.)

There are some funny bits here—it's probably impossible not to laugh at Jack Black if he really wants you to—but the movie is essentially forgettable. How forgettable, you ask? Well, I watched it Saturday night. Sunday morning, I looked at its IMDB trivia page, which said:

The car chase in the video-game Kyle plays at the beginning ends the same way as the actual car chase at the end of the movie.
… and I'm thinking: "Wait a minute. There was a car chase in that movie?"

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:55 PM EDT