THE MUSIC WAS PLAYING ON THE radio as we sang along to it. We had met for lunch so we could catch up with each other’s life; it had been a few months since we last got together. Driving on the way back to her apartment, my friend wanted to show me the house she was thinking of buying. I was fine with checking out the place, so my friend decided to take surface streets to the house to show me what type of neighborhood she would be living in. On one picturesque street, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the houses were being maintained. My friend slowed and came to a stop near the end of the block; I thought we had arrived at the house she was interested in. Suddenly, she started backing up; I asked her what she was doing. Before she could answer me, she came to a stop and rolled down her window to talk to a man who was standing in front of a car that had its hood up. Before I knew it, she popped her hood and the man was attaching jumper cables to her battery. I sat there in disbelief; I did not even see this guy as we were driving down the street. Within a couple of minutes, the man’s car was running, and we continued on our way. IT WAS SOME TIME LATER AFTER I had left my friend and was home, that I replayed that whole helpful scene in my head. I was struck with the fact that my friend was willing to help a stranger with no hesitation. When I had asked her why she stopped, she said she figured something was wrong by the way the man was looking at his car’s engine. Was I so fearful and mistrustful that I would have continued driving by without stopping I wondered? The next question I had was why was I mistrustful and fearful? In my past, I had been taken advantage of by strangers. Things like being asked for spare change or sign up for a promotion that later turned out to be fake; after several bogus incidents, I stopped offering any help. I guess you could say I became hardened towards those asking for help. Yet, I have always been willing to help friends and family. But as I am writing this, I am recalling times where I did help strangers; the shopper who could not reach the top shelf or the train passenger who was lost would be my examples. Seeing the help the main character offered in this action, adventure film has made me reassess my feelings about helping a stranger. DESPITE HAVING NEVER SEEN SUCH A being did not stop Tom Wachowski, played by James Marsden (Hairspray, Enchanted), from agreeing to help the being called Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz (This is Where I Leave You, Parks and Recreation-TV) get to San Francisco. Their trip was the last thing Dr. Ivo Robitnik, played by Jim Carrey (The Truman Show, Mr. Popper’s Penguins), wanted to see succeed. With Tika Sumpter (Ride Along franchise, The Old Man & the Gun) as Maddie Wachowski and Natasha Rothwell (A Year and Change, Insecure-TV) as Rachel; this family fantasy based on the video game was a fun movie watching experience. The message was sweet about friendship and friends in need; the humor was cute and pleasant. There was nothing extreme or harsh in any of the scenes. And the big surprise was seeing Jim excelling at the physical comedy; I felt I was watching a much younger Jim Carrey because he was so into his role. This picture was easy to watch and if nothing else I appreciated the way it made me look at my feelings about helping strangers. There was an extra scene in the middle of the credits.
2 ½ stars
It was a long day of intensive studies. We had not seen the outside since we had arrived at 8 in the morning. Before the dinner hour was to arrive we were given an hour to decompress from the day and clear our minds. My partner during the practical applications came up to me and asked if I wanted to take a walk with her. We had only met when we both started our yoga training a few months prior; however, there was an immediate connection. Our sense of humor was similar as our skill level with the poses we were practicing in our studies. As we headed outside the sun was in the latter part of the day, its orange hued rays large and unfocused. We headed down a trail that led us into a forest. With the air cooler inside the green canopied trees, we leisurely started up a conversation that moved us to be vulnerable with each other, laughing at each other’s adventures and supportive as we reported our past hardships. Time had left us behind; the few shadows that had slipped into our darkening green enclave could not catch our attention. When I happened to glance at my watch finally, we were 30 minutes past the dinnertime. In addition we were lost. I tried not showing my nervousness, but it was not easy as I began feeling my hunger pangs becoming aggressive in my stomach. Despite these concerns the two of us kept talking and laughing on a variety of subjects as we treated this excursion as an adventure. We did finally find our way back to our studies that day; but more importantly, we cemented a friendship that continues to this day. Lesson learned, adventures can be more fun with friends. AFTER all these years Harry Dunne, played by Jeff Daniels (Looper, The Squid and the Whale), discovered he had a daughter. When his best friend Lloyd Christmas, played by Jim Carrey (The Truman Show, Bruce Almighty), saw a picture of the girl, he convinced Harry they should try to find her. Their road trip adventure would take them to the craziest places. This comedy written and directed by brothers Bobby & Peter Farrelly (Shallow Hal, There’s Something About Mary), was dull beyond belief. Most of the jokes were either retreads or barely humorous to me. The trailers truly provided the highlights for this film. After 20 years I felt the script should have taken a fresh look at Harry and Lloyd; instead it was a rehash of their previous film. All this movie provided was crude, rude and juvenile jokes for the most part. I wished I had for this movie gotten lost before getting to the theater. If you do go to see this film there was an extra scene after the credits.
1 1/2 stars
They walk together in pairs or groups, wearing dark berets upon their heads. I have only seen them a couple of times since they made their presence known in my city. Consisting of volunteers, they are a group of people who hope by being seen they can provide a layer of safety for residents and visitors. I understand and appreciate any non-judgemental person who wants to make their place a safer one. The same goes for people in any type of work that benefits humanity; I am in awe of their desire and dedication to help people feel better. This was one of the reasons the first Kick-Ass movie did so well. Where that movie focused on a couple of ordinary people portraying themselves as superheroes, without the super powers; this action comedy delved into the aftermath of being a hero. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Savages, The Illusionist) once again played Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass. Inspired by the birth of ordinary citizens donning costumes to fight crime, Dave sought out Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl, played by Chloe Grace Moretz (Hugo, Let Me In), to join him and form a crime fighting duo. Little did they know at the same time Chris D’Amico/Red Mist, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad, Role Models), was reinventing himself to become the world’s first super villain. Part of his mission was to get revenge on Kick-Ass for killing his father. Sadly I cannot tell you what name Red Mist chose for his evil persona, because if I were to put it in print I would be slapped with an obscenity charge. Things were not any better with the story; I found parts of it were mean-spirited. Where the first film was fun and hopeful, this one was vulgar and boring. I cannot believe I am going to say this but the best part of the movie was Jim Carrey (The Truman Show, In Living Color-TV) playing Colonel Stars and Stripes. He brought life to his character. Hit-Girl’s fight scenes were the only other part I enjoyed in this dreadful dud. There was such a good opportunity here to extend the first film’s story and make a decent sequel, with the same endearing characters. Instead they grew up and turned into less interesting people. I have to blame this on the writers. A couple of brief scenes had blood in them.
1 2/3 stars