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GRITZ Movie Reviews: Pregnant Teens, Aliens and Rock Star Parodies

Posted: Jan 05, 2008


What a great film to see as my first movie of 2008. This one had me laughing from start to finish, with a great script, great characters and good acting, especially from the too cute Ellen Page as Juno MacGuff, the smart 16 year old who ends up pregnant and decides to have the baby. Well, her plan is to have the child and then give it up for adoption to a couple who are unable to have kids (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner). The plan is going along nicely until Mark (Bateman) reveals the truth, that he is not ready to be a father and wants a divorce on top of that.

Michael Cera does a good if understated job as Paulie Bleeker, the unlikely father of the child, and character actor J.K. Simmons delivers some classic one liners as Juno’s father, Mac. This is the kind of movie I just love to see. All of the elements are there, from the story line to the characters, and it works very well. Just a very good movie, and the soundtrack is fresh and different as well.

NOTE: In the scene where Mark is playin music for Juno, he plays her a cut by Sonic Youth of "Superstar,"  saying it was written by The Carpenters. The truth is the song was written by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell.

Five Stars


Ah, we continue to milk two franchises a once. Not as good as the first A vs P film, but still pretty nifty. My primary complaint is the darkness of the screen during the fights between the waring factions, who have both ended up on Earth, duking it out in a small town somewhere. No quarter is given in this one, as men, women, children and cheerleaders are all blown apart by aliens in some of the goriest scenes this side of Saw. A pretty cool holiday escape, if you can let go of the predictability. (The government is sending planes into the infected area to rescue you. Just come to the dead center of town and wait for the bomb - that is, the airlift.) Like I say, it’s okay but give me the original Alien films with Sigourney Weaver anytime. Oh, and the over the top obvious set up for the sequel is a little too cheesy for my macaroni.

Three Stars


John C Reilly stars as Dewey Cox in this sometimes hilarious, often stupid, parody of rock and roll movies, taking most of its material from the Johnny Cash story Walk The Line. It pokes fun at everything from Dewey’s accidental killing of his brother as a child, angry father, bad marriage, drugs, and everything else. Some of the fun scenes include his pow-wow with the Beatles in India, with Jack Black as Paul McCartney, and his dealings with Elvis and Buddy Holly. Cameos abound, including Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne and Jewel. It’s a pretty funny movie, but not one I care to see again or own.

Two Stars

All Reviews by Michael Buffalo Smith


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