My Movie Reviews: “30 Minutes or Less”, “Fright Night”, “Swimfan”, & “The Contender”

Although it’s been a busy few weeks for me working 20 of the past 22 days and wrapping up the successful fundraiser I was working on, I”ve managed to catch some movies at home.  We’ve actually watched eight recently.  Since I blogged about “The Ides of March” and “Beginners”, I’ll talk a little about the recent movies.

Four of the movies were mainstream and four were alternative and more obscure, so I’ll review them separately.

The four widespread theatrical releases that I’m reviewing here were “30 Minutes or Less”, “Fright Night”, “Swimfan”, and “The Contender”.

They were all very different movies and I enjoyed each of them.

“30 MINUTES OR LESS”

This comedy was in theatres last year and is now out of DVD.  It was made for $28 million and earned $40.5 million.

The always incredibly deadpan Jesse Eisenberg plays a pizza delivery guy who gets forced into robbing a bank for a couple of idiots who knocks him out and straps a bomb to his chest.  The buffoons only want $100,000 from the robbery to pay a hitman to kill one of the losers’ dad so they can inherit millions the old man won in the lottery.

Needless to say, the movie is chaos as Eisenberg drags his childhood friend, played by “Parks and Recreation” star Aziz Ansari, into the insanity.

The movie definitely earns its “R” rating, but it was very funny.  Many groups of minorities are the brunt of jokes, but my favorite, OMG, did they really say that was directed to Indians from India, not American Indians.

GRADE:  B+

“FRIGHT NIGHT” (2011)

I didn’t see the original “Fright Night” back in the 1980s.  I was more into the silent type serial killers like Michael Myers (“Halloween”) and Jason Voorhees (“Friday the 13th”) and not vampires.  I’m still not into vampires, although I do have seasons 1-3 of “True Blood” at home to get to one day and with Alexander Skarsgard in it, I know I’ll change my tune.

So, 2011’s remake of “Fright Night” was a 3D movie that cost about $30 million and ended up making $37 in its theatrical run.

Colin Farrell, played a mysterious new neighbor in the Las Vegas neighborhood.  His high school next door neighbor, Charley, and his best friend, Ed, suspect that Farrell’s character is a vampire.  The teenagers are excellently played by Russian actor Anton Yelchin and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, of “Superbad” fame.

The special effects were good and if you know you’re watching a horror/comedy, it’s a fun time.

Farrell is totally creepy as a possible vampire and David Tennant is hilarious as a Vegas act who is an “expert” in vampires.

GRADE:  B

“SWIMFAN” 

This “Fatal Attraction”-esque movie for the younger crowd was a hit back in 2002.  The movie made $34.3 million dollars in theatres and cost only $10 million to make.

It stars a very sexy early-20s Jesse Bradford as a high school swimmer that has it all — a cute girlfriend that adores him and college scouts coming in from Stanford to check him out.  The only problem is that he gets down and dirty with the new girl at the school that has secrets of her own.  Let’s see, blonde kinky hair, getting dumped and looking for revenge, it sounds like “Fatal Attraction” to me and Erika Christensen did a great job.  And, no bunnies were hurt!

GRADE:  B

“THE CONTENDER”

This political thriller from 2000 wasn’t a box office smash, but it did earn Joan Allen an Oscar nomination.  Allen plays an Ohio senator that is asked by the president to be his vice-president.  During confirmation, some secrets from college come out from a shady politician wanting to ruin Allen’s character.  Cleverly written and well acted, it was definitely my favorite of the four movies that I’m reviewing today.

GRADE:  A

Off to watch “Real Steel” with Hugh Jackson, and “Donner Pass”.

Anthony

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