Anyone who puts this film and The Hangover on the same level is a bumbling fuckhead.
That being said - I laughed. HTTM suffered from classic mediocre-movie-monotony (I think I just invented a lame critiquing term there, but hey, like Nietzsche said, the worst coinage is better than the best cliche). The first ten or twenty minutes were great; funny, quick-hitting jokes stacked on one another for the maximum result. Then, for no apparent reason, the film sags horrifically for the next thirty minutes, including a period where Crispin FUCKING Glover is inexplicably and criminally absent from the screen.
HTTM then lines up some rails, wakes the fuck up, and brings us home admirably, but the damage is done. The film is saved by pure exploitation of the primacy-recency effect, which affords it the slack needed to forget the forgettable second act. One gets the impression that the writer had a great opening and closing in mind but decided to hire a high school kid to fill in the blanks.
All in all, it's funny, but don't expect it to be in drunken frat house discussions a la Anchorman in the next five years. Hot Tub Time Machine shows its range, and that is to take us comfortably about two hours into the future.
The Man From Earth is exactly the type of movie I've been scouring the internet for; unknown, unseen, yet intellectually fulfilling. Much the way Primer set the mathematical side of my brain on fire, The Man From Earth stimulated historical reflection and a near-childlike curiosity (and trust me, I am not a childlike person. Fuck. Okay, maybe immature. But not childlike. All right enough of the parenthetical digression.)
I do think several people will be tempted to overrate this movie - namely because a small part of the film depicts a woman of faith as a bumbling moron, essentially staking the claim that this person is a symbol of Christianity. No, I'm not a fan of Christianity, but I know certain atheists love watching Christ-bashing just like foreigners love In Bruges for its American-bashing. However, the point the film makes is not at all Anti-Christian, but rather anti-Christian establishment, which I think is more than valid.
That's half of what makes The Man From Earth so good - it challenges your perspective. It gives us a protagonist who has lived so long that he has come to realize the pettiness of personal beliefs (or rather the fault in the imposition of those beliefs on those who disagree). There is a startling amount of truth in the immortal's words, so much so that the separate emotional reactions of each character (themselves metaphors) are entirely believable.
Cue segue into the second key asset of the film: entertainment. The method in which the protagonist reveals his past and displays his encyclopedic knowledge of history and basically every other science is quietly riveting. There are certain plot twists that are far from transparent. Most of all, like the characters, everything seems entirely possible. This "possibility" piques curiosity, leading to the viewer asking him or herself the question that great films inspire: What if?
What if someone really did live for fourteen thousand years? What if you met them? Would you believe them? If not, how would you disprove them? And, all of a sudden, you realize:
That's it in a word; phenomenal. Murderball is a documentary about wheelchair rugby played by paraplegic athletes. These men, however, are anything but pitiful. They talk candidly about their lives, sex, family, and the incidents that left them partially paralyzed. Equally stunning is the ferocity with which the play the game, seated in specialized chairs that resemble something out of The Road Warrior, knocking the shit out of each other and hating their rivals and getting fucked up in bars afterward.
The film does an excellent job of remaining objective, not hiding the flaws of the central figures but instead incorporating them into its portrayal of the athletes and coaches as extraordinary human beings. Murderball is a testament to a person's ability to overcome adversity with strength, guilt with forgiveness, and stress with perspective.
Anyone who gives this time-waster a plus rating has been hitting the E too hard themselves. The best comparison I can make in regards to the ineptly-titled Human Traffic is that it is an attempted rip-off that resulted in a lame, tame, retarded version of Trainspotting.
Human Traffic depicts a slice of the perpetually cycling life of a group of weekend warriors as they quest for meaning and identity. For some reason the majority of English films attempt to mimic the style and wit of Lock Stock and in this case, the vastly superior afore-mentioned Trainspotting. In doing so this film fails miserably due to unintelligent and cliche narration and an inordinate amount of annoying breaks of the fourth wall. Its revelations are anything but, scripted and delivered as epiphanic moments when in reality they are as obvious to anyone who doesn't spend their day stumbling around drooling and shoving shit into their mouths.
The only reason this film didn't earn a lower rating is because it did manage to exude the qualities of some fucked-up raver preaching to a sober crowd. The film throws what it perceives to be sparkling wit and insight at its audience while they look sidelong at each other thinking, "When will this asshole shut the fuck up?"
Even the usually solid Danny Dyer couldn't salvage his role, let alone the rest of the film. All that aside, you can be certain that a plethora of Hollywood-hating limeys will sit firmly on this film's wholly English dick, tickle its nuts, and whisper sweet nothings into its ear while entirely missing their own glaring hypocrisy.
Somehow, Human Traffic managed to take an incredibly interesting subculture and turn it into Sesame Street worthlessness. Fuck this movie.
I regret to inform you that Let The Right One In has gotten an overdose of positive critical acclaim.
I have not nor will I ever see Twilight, and from what I understand from those that have, Let The Right One In is a superior film. I have no trouble believing that. However, I really don't think this film is a violent or "adult" as some make it out to be.
Here's what I will say: this is a well made film. It's an improvement on mass-audience media, it's an interesting take on the vampire genre, and it's handsomely shot. However, it's boring and predictable. The bullied=young-boy angle is perhaps the most overused stereotypical storyline in the past few decades. I would have loved to see this film taken to a true level of darkness, one where neither the protagonist or the young girl are so straightforwardly innocent. Unfortunately, it plays it safe in that regard.