Timothy Green vs ParaNorman vs Expendables 2

Kenny D August 17, 2012 1
Timothy Green vs ParaNorman vs Expendables 2

This is going to be an interesting weekend at the box office. It feels like the studios had these movies on hand and thought to themselves, “Hey, let’s just release our movie on August 17th. Who cares about August anyways?” Let me say that I care. I know Hollywood sees it as a throwaway month to release the movies they didn’t trust earlier in the Summer. But some of my favorite movies in the past few years have been August releases (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Scott Pilgrim, Inglourious Basterds, and 500 days of Summer). This weekend we have some kids movies that take on dark/fantasy/horror themes and a big boy movie trying to kill your “eye-sticles” with testosterone. I would hate to be at that 4D show.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
timothy green, disney, fantasy, tearjerker, family
“It ain’t easy being green.”

The Odd Life of Timothy Green is an odd little movie. It’s a modern day fairy tale that doesn’t try to force a moral or life lesson on the audience. The premise is a bizarre one. It could easily be a horror movie with a different score attached. Essentially, Joel Edgerton (Warrior) and Jennifer Garner plays a married couple who can never have kids. One night (after booze and crying) they write down attributes that their kid would have. They put these notes in a box (a mini hope chest) and bury it in the garden. That night, after a bizarre storm they find a dirty boy, with leaves that grow on his legs, in their house, calling them “Mom” and “Dad.”

rise from grave, zombie, family, disney, showtime, showdown
“Mothhhhherrrrrr…….Faaaaatherrrrrrrrrr…….”

It’s at this point in the movie that I’d call an exorcist and get the Vatican involved. Fortunately and unfortunately, this is not that movie.

They accept him as their “wish fulfilled.” He is instantly immersed into the small town and injects happiness into people who are bitter, envious, or just plain grumpy. That description makes it sound like the sweetest, most saccharine-filled movie ever. And it is. Your cinematic molars are guaranteed to get cavities. But here’s the thing… the entire experience is very charming. I categorize myself as a cynic. At best I’m apathetic. I tried to convince myself that this unrealistic cheese fest was killing me, but just the opposite, it completely won me over.

CJ Adams as Timothy carries the movie. Normally I hate kid actors, but he outshines many of the older actors here. Joel Edgerton continues to get better with every movie and I’m excited to see what projects he takes on from now. This movie caters to a young family audience. I highly doubt that the Expendables crowd will see this as part of a double-feature. But if you want some chicken soup for the Disney soul, go see Timothy Green.

ParaNorman
zombie kid, showtime, showdown, new movie
“Just look at the face: it’s vacant, with a hint of sadness. Like a drunk who’s lost a bet”- Shaun of the Dead

I love me some stop-motion animation. I don’t want to sound like a brooding emo girl when I say this, but The Nightmare Before Christmas ranks in my top 15 favorite films. I can’t get enough of it.

Norman Babcock is a regular kid, with regular friends. He just doesn’t live in a regular town. Turns out that his town is about to suffer from a witch’s curse given 300 years previous to those that sentenced her to death. As zombies take over Norman’s town, he is the only one who can stop the destruction. Turns out, he can speak to the dead. Not that any adults believe him, but he leads his friends and his sister to try and stop the oncoming zombies…and ultimately the witch.

This movie is not what you think it’s going to be. It is not really a horror movie at all. Yes, it’s made by some of the creative team behind Coraline (Which was actually pretty creepy), but it doesn’t actually go that dark. It’s also surprising that for this kind of movie, how slow it moves. That said, I could watch stop-motion goodness all day. As a horror movie fan who loves zombies too much I could really get behind Norman. I found this movie pretty hilarious for the first half. But the only people laughing were the older crowd who get into dark stop-motion movies. The kids in the theater didn’t have much to laugh at. In fact, this movie is a little dark and a little vulgar for kids. I was all about it, but I wouldn’t be bringing my kids to this one.

If ParaNorman was faster paced it would be right up my alley. But for most people I would say it’s a rent it.

The Expendables 2
expendables, action, big movie, explosion, mangasm, wargasm
If you went back in time to show this picture to someone in the 80’s, they would explode!”

The first Expendables movies came out 3 years ago and did quite well. When it was announced, it was every 80’s action movie fans’ dream. How can you have a cast like that and not have the biggest war-gasm (thanks to Savages for that line) ever? Well, the movie had a lot of explosions but really wasn’t all that good. I sadly forgot about it quickly. That isn’t the case with classic action movies like Rambo, Commando, Under Siege, Die Hard, etc. I really just think that movie was a missed opportunity.

Well, now these geriatric action heroes have another crack at making men happy. The story here is not the main point, nor will a lack of one affect anyone’s perception of the experience. Basically Jean Claude Van Damme plays the villain. And get this, his name is actually Vilain… I’m not joking. Bruce Willis and Arnold Swarzenneger who did cameos in the last movie have slightly bigger roles this time around. The team is joined by Miley Cyrus’s boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, who is there to add a small amount of heart into gunfire, bad lines, and brass knuckles. There is one thing that is the saving grace of this and any movie….

chuck, norris, jedi, expendable, best man ever, manly man
Chuck. Norris.

Yes, Chuck Norris is in this movie and he shines. The audience I was with, could not help but cheer at his arrival. He seems to be in on the Chuck Norris jokes, he even quotes one. This movie reminds me a lot of Act of Valor. The action is incredible, but the dialogue is so so terrible. Not only is there a lot of action/explosions, but it’s hard to stifle laughter at how over-the-top it is. Pair that with these old men (who you can’t understand in the first place) yelling one-liners at the top of their lungs. Nearly every scene was embarrassing to watch, and that made it all the better. This is the movie the first Expendables wanted to be. This is the movie that we guys watch on Saturday nights with our buddies just to have a laugh. One of my few complaints is that I wanted more Dolph Lundgren. He sleepwalks through the entire movie and it is unintentionally hilarious. This movie is categorized under “So Bad It’s Good!” See this during opening weekend with some buddies, because it won’t hold up so well without a good crowd.

For families you’ve got a solid sweet movie in Timothy Green. For emo-kids looking for new hoodie designs you’ll enjoy ParaNorman. And for the guys, you can’t go wrong with Expendables 2. Just don’t bring any ladies, otherwise you’ll owe them big. Like Magic Mike big!

One Comment »

  1. Sarah August 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm -

    Ha ha! Good call about not bringing any ladies with you to see Expendables 2.

    But it sounds like each in their own way, there are some fun movies opening up this weekend. Thanks, as always, for your great review!

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