Strange independent films with strange premises (are there any other kind?) are oftentimes hit or miss. You can have fantastic movies like Juno, and then you can have terribly obscure titles that no one should have ever watched in the first place. Thankfully, Sunshine Cleaning leans toward the former rather than the latter.
Coming from the same people who brought us Little Miss Sunshine (they must have a fascination with solar rays), Sunshine Cleaning takes us on a journey with two sisters who somehow find themselves cleaning up messy and bloody crime scenes. Both sisters have fallen on hard times and it turns out that cleaning up crime scenes can be a very lucrative career… because no one wants to do it. They visit places where people have shot themselves, emptied their bowels on their beds, and everything in between. Someone has to do it, right?
Amy Adams, who you might remember from Doubt, does a brilliant job playing a single mother who is struggling to raise her “little bastard” of a son. As with Little Miss Sunshine, despite the incredibly odd circumstances, this movie gives us a very honest and real look into the lives of everyday people. Things don’t always go according to plan, but you can always trust that your family will be there. It’s no Juno, but Sunshine Cleaning is worth a couple hours of your time.
Ever since I saw the first trailer to The Hangover, I knew I had to watch it. Originally, I was only drawn to the cameo by former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson (his role is very minor and relatively brief), I found that I ended up loving the rest of the movie as well. We even get to see Ed Helms from The Office losing a tooth and getting his rear end handed to him by a naked Chinese man. Using a crowbar.
It’s this kind of over-the-top and crude humor that makes The Hangover so great. Fans of Judd Apatow’s movies will find a lot to like from this fantastic comedy, ranging from simulated baby masturbation to suddenly exposed hairy male buttocks. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… except herpes, because that follows you everywhere. Don’t expect anything too insightful or thought-provoking with The Hangover, but do expect to be slightly offended. But that’s a good thing.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
The first Michael Bay-fueled Transformers movie left a lot to be desired, but we still got our dose of giant robots, explosions, and Megan Fox. Based on the epic trailer that we saw earlier this year, we should have already known what to expect when it came to Revenge of the Fallen: more robots, more explosions, and more Megan Fox.
And that’s exactly what you get with this second Transformers movie. It’s one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer and it really is an experience that you want to see on the big screen. The plot, as thin as it may be, has us looking toward one of the first Decepticons, known as the Fallen. He wants to harvest our sun and it’s up to Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and the Transformers to save the day. Again.
The battle sequences can be a little confusing, since so many of the Transformers look like a blur of grey metal, but I was still entertained by this movie, even if it had too much human content.
Don’t get me wrong. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen isn’t going to win any Oscars for acting or writing, but it’s not quite as horrible as the critics are making it out to be. And the prominence of Megan Fox’s, um, “assets” doesn’t hurt either. For an alternate perspective, check out the Transformers 2 review on Ed Lau’s blog.