There has been a culinary phenomenon taking place in my city for the past couple of years. What I find curious about it is the focus has been on a basic American staple, the hamburger. Back when I used to eat hamburgers they were not something I gave much thought to; they were a reliable backup dish, easily found. But something happened where all these new restaurants started popping up around the city that focused on “gourmet” burgers. The majority of these places kept a limited menu: burgers, fries and milkshakes. Each place touted something unique about their hamburger/menu. One food establishment promoted the way they grilled their burgers; another pushed their hand cut fries. The competition was fierce and when everyone was on the same footing, one of the restaurants would do something to make themselves unique. I guess the latest rage, based on the advertisements I have seen, is combining different food items into a hamburger. Out of the blue there now is something called the mac and cheese burger which is a hamburger stuffed with macaroni and cheese. As I drove by one place I saw they are promoting a breakfast burger. My curiosity got the better of me so I had to look up and see what it was and I have to say, even if I was a hamburger lover, I would never order one. The breakfast burger had strips of bacon on top with a layer of hash browns. Inside the burger was cooked eggs with onions and if that was not enough, there was a sausage patty on the very top of the stack. Honestly it just floors me; I would love to sit in on one of the restaurant chains’ marketing meetings to see who thinks up these concoctions. It sounds to me as if every place is picking bits and pieces of other food chains and combining them in the hopes of creating something new. That theory applies to this crime movie. WHEN one specific bank became the target of several brutal heists FBI agent Montgomery, played by Christopher Meloni (42, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit-TV), felt the criminals wanted something more than just the bank’s money. This action film also starred Bruce Willis (Looper, The Fifth Element) as Hubert, Adrian Grenier (The Devil Wears Prada, Entourage-TV) as Wells and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick) as Stockwell. I thought the actors were the right choice for the roles, though I felt the characters were not much of a stretch for any of them. The issue was the script; to me it was a hodgepodge of different ideas that never blended well. At one point I found myself confused with the characters; which was a shame because the action scenes were not that bad, though still quite violent. This movie’s story did not offer anything new or creative. Instead I felt I was watching bits and pieces from other pictures that were twisted into this story in the hopes of presenting the viewer something new. It did not work; this still was simply a bank robbery picture.
1 ¾ stars
As the totals rise in one’s bank account, the chances of arrogance and entitlement increase as well. Now I am not saying this applies to everyone who saves money or becomes wealthy; but I have come across many, shall we say, well-off individuals who feel they are better than other people, who pontificate and brag to anyone who will listen to them because they have money. There is nothing I find more irritating than someone unsolicitedly telling me what I should be doing. I knew this person who came into a lot of money. The change in them was amazing as they went from this friendly unpretentious person to a big blowhard. They would always be flashing their money around; taking small groups of people out to dinner, to bars and stores so they always had a willing audience around them. I got a real taste of them at a party which we both happened to be attending and let me tell you, it was not pretty. I came across them right in the middle of a heated discussion with someone about some type of profession. It was startling how this braggart would utter offensive statements, discarding the other person’s opinion on the subject. There is one thing I always say: no person has control over another person, nor can they tell you how you should feel. THINGS have changed for the group of friends from the hit television series. Ari Gold, played by Jeremy Piven (Old School, Serendipity), was now the head of a movie studio that was funding a picture for his actor friend Vince, played by Adrian Grenier (The Devil Wears Prada, Drive Me Crazy), who was directing and starring in it. Over budget with producers complaining, everyone’s reputation was at stake; this film needed to be a huge success. I have never seen the series. This was my first time seeing Ari and Vince along with Eric, Turtle and Johnny Drama; played by Kevin Connolly (The Notebook, Antwone Fisher), Jerry Ferrara (Think Like a Man, Lone Survivor) and Kevin Dillon (Platoon, The Doors). This comedy as far as I was concerned was barely funny. I thought the script was such a mess; except for the cars, I would have thought this story took place in the 1980s because of the women’s roles and excessiveness shown throughout the film. Most of the female actresses were relegated to minor characters. With a variety of cameo appearances and the over the top acting; I felt everyone was trying so hard to make this story relevant. I was bored throughout most of the film and am still not sure if there was supposed to be some point to this movie. Sitting through this was like being lectured by a pompous jerk.
1 1/2 stars