Movie Reviews: Role Models, Doubt, Baraka, You Got Served, Ben and Arthur

Role Models
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After two energy drink salesmen crash their truck and get into trouble with the police, they are given a choice to complete 150 hours of community service or do hard time. They choose the community service.

Role Models looks stupid. Maybe even pointless, but it is funny. Starring a great cast including Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott and Christopher Mintz- Plasse, this is a great movie to go out with friends to see. In the style of Old School, David Wain (The Ten) commands these actors to a very pleasing and hilarious role. Get your love guns ready, because it is one hell of a battle.  The only real drawback of Role Models is the lack of attachment to some of the characters and the crude nature of the jokes involved. American Pie fans will be very pleased with Seann William Scott’s performance.

I recommend: Superbad, Idiocracy

Doubt
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Father Flynn, an upbeat and charismatic priest is accused by Sister Aloysius of abusing a black student.  Father Flynn denies the charges, but Sister Aloysius is determined to find out the truth.

Having just seen this, I cannot recommend this enough. Doubt is a gripping tale which is woven by John Patrick Shanley (Joe Versus the Volcano) and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. The raw power of Doubt comes from the terrific acting and the tension between many of the characters. You feel their pain. Their losses. Their wins. That is what we should see in almost all films today, but unfortunatly not very many directors are willing to bring this into the limelight, but John Patrick Shanley does it well. Doubt brings up many moral lessons which are very thought-provoking. My only complaint is that this should have been much longer. I didn’t want it to end.

I recommend: Luther, Donnie Darko

Baraka
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A movie that has no actual plot- just many images set to music that is very environmental.

Baraka is a very strange movie. Not that it’s a bad thing, but Baraka was pretty much made to be a cult film. Shot on 70mm film and filmed in over 20 different countries, Baraka delivers a very spiritual journey that is told not by words, but by music and images. Ron Fricke (Chronos) is the director/ cinematographer who has got to be the smartest person alive. This masterpiece is one of the greatest movies ever. Ron uses a very unique time-lapse effect that is very appealing to the eye, and often shows disturbing images that are inteded to build up emotions and Ron also makes comedy out of some shots (such as the transition from women rolling up cigarettes to a man smoking one). Baraka was executed very well and since you cannot connect with any characters you will be thinking in a spiritual manner. Although not technically entertaining, Baraka is an amazing and one-of-a-kind movie.

I recommend: Koyaanisqatsi, An Inconvenient Truth

You Got Served
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Two friends who dream of opening a recording studio must win a dance contest.

You Got Served is a joke. It has to be. Fans of this movie have never seen any other movie or are mentally handicapped. This being a dramedy by Chris Stokes (Somebody Help Me), it includes many elements of one, but believe me, when you watch it, you won’t care. At all. You Got Served’s redeeming quality is of course the dancing, but even then much of it is sloppy and even in one instance a COMPLETE RIPOFF of David Elsewhere’s famous robot dance.  If we actually pay attention to the rest of the movie though, you will probably be laughing at the death of Lil’ Saint, the relationships, the injuries and the stereotypes. The stereotypes are so bad in this that it makes a blaxploitation movie look subtle. Stay away from this.

I recommend: Step Up, Flashdance

Ben And Arthur
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Ben and Arthur are two homosexual lovebirds that seek to get married, despite the obstacles in their way.

This is the worst movie I have ever seen. It’s a shame too, because Sam Mraovich (the director/writer/cinematographer etc) is this generation’s Ed Wood. Ben and Arthur seems to be shot in a home video sort of way (not sure if it was the intention or not) and seems to have been edited by a 3 year old. The dvd cover shows Ben with his chest uncovered- but beware female shoppers, this NEVER happens in the movie. In Ben and Arthur, you see Sam’s whale of a body in one of the most grotesque scenes ever conceived in cinema. Ben and Arthur is laughably bad, and needs to be #1 on the Bottom 100 list on IMDB.  Watch this movie only if you are looking for something to laugh at or to pick up your spirits, because no one can make a movie worse than this monstrocity.

I recommend: Brokeback Mountain, Scarface

-s.

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