Land Ho! (2014)
One of the most enjoyable films of the year follows two former brothers-in-law and their tripcation to Iceland. While both single, old, white men, they have the spunk and charm between them to navigate the countryside and mingle with others along the way. Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhoorn are our delightful guides. Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens are the writer/director duo just as responsible for Land Ho!'s success.
Dream Home (2010)
Josie Ho plays a call operator bent on making enough money to afford an apartment with a harbor view. The film is juxtaposed betwixt her single-night killing spree of the apartment's tenants and the story of her life up to this point. Writer/director Pang Ho-Cheung weaves a biting satire on the fallout of the 2008 economic meltdown and the impossibility of the working class reaching such heights. Dream Home contains many memorable but gruesome acts of violence but the genre/tonal shifts throughout the narrative are far from mastered.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
A second viewing of Marvel Studio's latest and greatest also proves to not be enough of the ragtag team of outlaws and their galactic comings and goings. The jokes are still funny, the action is still captivating and the music is still golden. However, it is the characters themselves and the worlds they hop between that give this film the irresistible nature that captivated us with Star Wars and Star Trek. 2017 cannot come soon enough! Full Review
The Expendables (2010)
Sylvester Stallone leads a team of mercenaries (both in front of and behind the camera) to "take care of" a dictator and a former CIA agent on the island of Vilena. The big draw here is the roundup of iconic action stars (from Jet Li to Dolph Lundgren) and putting them together in one explosive extravaganza. It may not be the action movie to end all action movies (see The Raid 2), but it absolutely delivered in what it was teasing even if it felt like just the pre-season and if some big names only played the cameo roles.
The dynamics of pairs and parties can often prove to be the secret ingredient in a film. Land Ho! is completely dependent on the amusing relationship between Mitch and Colin. I've sang the praises of the embodiment of the Guardians of the Galaxy and will continue to do so. I cannot imagine anyone else in those roles or the film being remotely the same without any one of them. Stallone and company are the definition of machoism. Their camaraderie is built by competing in who can kill faster. It's the little similarities in you life you have to build upon.
Share your thoughts on any of these films or what you watched last week in the comments below!