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J Movies

Just Friends (2005)

Just FriendsFour Stars

Starring Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart, I really liked this movie and felt guilty doing so. Maybe it is because parts of it I could relate to, and other parts were just so silly in situation that you couldn’t help but laugh.

Chris (Reynolds) and Jamie (Smarts) are the best of friends in high school. Jamie is the hot cheerleader type that flirts with all the guys and acts without too much discretion around Reynolds. In the final party of his senior year, Chris gets up the courage to write how he really feels in Jamie’s yearbook. Well, like most high school stories, things go wrong, and oh, did I mention, Chris is a fat guy. So he is royally embarrassed by his peers and runs away to Los Angeles vowing never to return. Instead, promises to become “Somebody”.

Fast forward to the future, Chris is now a successful music mogul, confident, good looking, he can have any girl he wants. For Christmas, he has to escort in hopes of signing, a hot young bubble gum singer (Anna Faris) that is also irritating and obnoxious. Flying to Paris, she accidentally frys the microwave in the plane with some tinfoil, and the planes lands. Just outside of Jersey, Chris decides to stay with his parents until they can get another flight. He hasn’t been home in ten years, and all of a sudden, everything comes rushing back. Everything he wanted to escape.

The “Friend Zone” is a term coined by this movie, meaning, when you are such good friends with a girl she can’t even see you as a dating option. Chris sees Jamie, his feelings come rushing back, and so do his imperfections. Trying so hard to be someone he is not, one hilarious situation after another arises. Then he has to deal with Dusty (Chris Klein of American Pie fame), who also had a thing for Jamie is high school and is trying to score.

Back and forth they go, this movie makes you feel for Chris in both ways. The “Friend Zone” is real and true, and if you can appreciate that, you will love this movie. That, and the scene on tv when Chris is lip signing, in his fat suit, to “I Swear”. So stupid. Not a movie my parents would like, but anyone who enjoyed 40 year old virgin, or wedding crashers, this is less vulgar, more painful humor at times. You should check this out if you liked either of those two movies, and if you think Reynolds is a super cocky humor genius.


Johnny Dangerously (1984)

Rothe Blog Johnny DangerouslyTwo Stars

Danny Devito, Michael Keaton, and Peter Boyle in a silly slapstick movie about 50’s gangsters. Michael Keaton is Johnny Dangerously and has a knack for being the shiniest guy in organized crime, with a big smile and an “everybody likes him” personality. He is able to buy almost anyone, except for his little brother, who he guides to become a lawyer, and the D.A. who ends up tracking down Johnny. But a little mix up happens and little brother tries to prove Johnny’s innocence.

Most notable for the un Americanized gangster that kept slurring his curses, he would say, “Ima gonna teer off yer arms and steek dem in yer isore you corksoocker.” That and all of the Keaton isms, like waxing turtles at his under cover pet shop to his dim witted good luck.

This movie goes good with a couple beers. It is early 80’s silly, and I think my parents would like it, but unless you really like Keaton’s style, you may not want to see this one with a whole cast of nobody’s.


Jarhead (2005)

JarheadFour and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Jamie Foxx, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Lucas Black, Peter Sarsgaard

What was good

This is a solid movie. I think it would resonate more with those who have experienced war, because I think it may really portray what war is like, a lot of waiting on politics. Some of the imagery towards the end is just amazing when the oil wells are lit up with that as a backdrop for the soldiers at night, wow. Plus, it really gets into the psyche of war and those that fight it.

What sucked

This is a solid film. It isn’t the most entertaining at all times, but that shouldn’t be what you rented it for. If there is anything, it may be that while they are waiting, the film feels as slow as I am sure it does for the soldiers when they are there, in Iraq, waiting for something to happen.

Who should go see this

Everyone. This isn’t what I would call a real bloody movie, the marines don’t even kill anyone. But you do see bodies of burned Iraqi citizens and you get to see some of the guy get branded with a hot iron. But overall, it has some humor, if you like movies about Marine’s, and less about the training, this movie only deals with the training and conditioning for a part of the movie. It deals with more keeping sharp when things are slow. I would recommend most people should see this, just with the idea in mind if you don’t like the subject matter, you probably won’t like it.