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Buffalo's This Week in Movies, August 9th, 2009: Perfect Getaway, GI Joe, Funny People

Posted: Aug 09, 2009

A PERFECT GETAWAY was not what I imagined at all. Fact is, I expected another of those movies where a group of twenty-somethings are off on a lush tropical vacation and one by one they start disappearing, sliced and diced and left to sleep with the fishes. This movie was nothing like that at all.

Yeah, the twenty-somethings are there, the pretty girls, the hunky guys. Only thing is, they managed to get a group of folks who can actually act. I mean, there are no Dustin Hoffmans or Meryl Streeps, but at least there are no cookie-cutter, soap opera trained cardboard cut outs posing as characters.

The setting is Hawaii, and the scenery is breathtaking. A young couple has decided to head to this paradise on earth for their honeymoon. He is a Hollywood screenwriter. She is - well, she just is.

They meet a couple on the mountain trail during their three-day hike. The guy, from South Carolina, is a Marine with a metal plate in his head, the result of a land mine explosion during his tour in Iraq. His girlfriend is from Savannah, Georgia.

Suspicions run wild when they get word from other folks on the trail that another honeymooning couple has been butchered on the island, and the murder suspects are a couple. A young man and woman.

Sure, there are a few problems, like when we do discover who the killers are, and we start to relive previous scenes in the movie, some of it doesn’t add up. Still, for what it is THE PERFECT GETAWAY is a good one. Good dialog, lots of surprises. Three and a half stars.

GI JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA - Hasbro toy company racked up a fortune with the two Transformer movies, and now they jump feet first into every guy my age’s first hero. The only “doll” made for boys back in the day.

GI JOE ain’t a guy. It’s a military operation. Good guys. The bad guys are obvious.

I expected a blockbuster, but dang, this movie is all explosions and action and very little else. Not to mention the acting skills of a couple of the main characters are questionable at best.

It was obvious they built the whole movie as a vehicle for sequels, but they really didn’t peak my interest that much. Three Stars.

I really enjoyed FUNNY PEOPLE. Adam Sandler plays a character much like himself, a standup comic turned Hollywood film star. The only difference is,  his character, George Simmons has terminal cancer.

Judd Apatow directs some seriously funny people in this story of comedy and life, including Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) and Jonah Hill (Superbad).

Apatow’s kids appear in the movie, as does his wife, Leslie Mann, playing an old flame of Sandler’s who is married to an Aussie played by Eric Bana. And there are oodles of cameos by everyone from James Taylor to Eminem.

An excellent script full of laughs and tears and the proverbial happy, if not expected, ending. Good stuff of the Five star variety,

Now. Just a few words about the digital 3-D fad. STOP IT! I tried it with “Up,” and sat in a dark theatre wearing what amounts to heavy plastic sunglasses. They are so dark that it took away from the movie more than added to it, and after a couple of 3-D scenes I was like, “Okay. Big deal.” When I tried to remove them and a 3-D scene came up, I couldn’t even look at the screen. It was too weird.

Now there are tons of movies coming out in 3-D, and I avoid them like the plague. I wouldn’t mind seeing the new Final Destination horror flick, but there’s no way I’m doing the dark glasses again. Nope. There are just too many other movies out there in good old fashioned 2-D.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

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