Movie Review: “Turbo”

Starring
Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Snoop Dogg
Director
David Soren

If you sit and think about “Turbo” for even half a second, it’s difficult not to notice what’s wrong with it, from the formulaic story to its blatant disregard for the rules of auto racing (spoken by a man who doesn’t follow auto racing; that’s how egregious the oversights were). Luckily for the film, it has several other things working in its favor, namely some inspired voice casting, gorgeous design, and smarter than average dialogue. “Turbo” rises above its familiarity and makes for a charming, if predictable, experience.

Theo (Ryan Reynolds) is a snail who, along with his brother Chet (Paul Giamatti), works in the garden outside a suburban southern California house. At night, Theo watches video tapes of race car driver Guy Gagne (Bill Hader), and dreams of being fast like him, a racer named Turbo. One night, while watching the cars on the 101 from an overpass, Theo inadvertently winds up taking part in a street race and ingesting nitrous oxide, which rewrites his DNA and gives him incredible speed. (Warning to children: drinking nitrous oxide will not give you superhuman speed. If anything, it will put you to sleep.) Soon after, Theo and Chet are captured by Tito (Michael Pena), who co-owns a taco truck in a run-down strip mall, and races snails for fun with his fellow mall employees. Once they realize that Theo is actually fast, Tito begins raising money to enter him into the Indianapolis 500, and his new crew of racing snail buddies, led by Whiplash (Samuel L. Jackson), provides support.

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5 Questions with Hollywood Stuntman/Dove Men + Care Spokesman Bobby Holland Hanton‏

Bobby Holland Hanton is the Michael Jordan of his profession. Hollywood’s top stunt double, Holland Hanton has doubled as Christian Bale (in “The Dark Knight Rises”), Daniel Craig (in “Skyfall”), Ryan Reynolds (in “Green Lantern”), and he recently filmed “Thor: The Dark World” with Chris Hemsworth. Bullz-Eye got to ask the latest spokesman for Dove’s Men + Care line of products for men five questions about his career.

Bullz-Eye: Of all the Hollywood studs you’ve served as a stuntman/body double for, who is the one you would most like to be for an entire week and why?

Bobby Holland Hanton: Between Batman, James Bond and Thor, this is an extremely difficult question. I would have to say Batman and Bond are equally as intriguing, with Thor being a close second. Batman is a superhero, who fights crime behind a mask and no one knows who he is – that is pretty cool. Whereas Bond is more realistic, he’s a slick and suave hero that everyone can see and root for. On Thor, Chris Hemsworth looked great and is a character that carries a heavy hammer — he is always particularly well-groomed and keeps his face fresh.

BE: What did you want to be when you were 10 years old? And how did you become a stunt double?

BHH: When I was 10 I wanted to be Batman, Thor and James Bond. No, I’m only kidding. I wanted to be a professional soccer player. Growing up, I followed in my older sister’s footsteps and took on gymnastics. I loved the physicality of the sport and I loved to train. However, soccer was always my passion, and then I found myself just enjoying the regimented training and working out.

BE: What’s the most gruesome injury you’ve suffered as a result of being in your profession?

BHH: I suffered a bad back injury while filming “Green Lantern.” I performed four back-focused stunts in a short period of time, which took a lot of hits to my back over and over. It took its toll after a while, and I found out ultimately that I had sciatic nerve damage. I needed to have two operations on my back, one of which was an emergency surgery, and it took about 9 months to regain full strength. I hope I can say that will always be the worst injury I’ve ever suffered.

BE: What do you do to stay in shape? What type of training do you do, what do you eat and how frequently?

BHH: It is all dependent on who I am doubling. With Chris Hemsworth in “Thor,” I was on a very strict workout plan to gain the strength and muscle. Whereas for Daniel Craig, who is slimmer, I did not work out as often, and focused on my diet and nutrition plan. I have found that between movies it has been best to maintain a middle ground, and I have been blessed to have the ability to change body types rather easily; I thank genetics, I guess. I believe in a strict regimen all day, every day in order to keep workouts and nutrition intact. I wake up every morning and take a shower before I start my day. I am a huge fan of products like the Dove Men+Care Aqua Impact body wash, because it prevents me from smelling bad on set after performing stunts all day, which would be embarrassing in the company of so many movie stars. I also make sure I eat regular portions throughout the day, every two hours, balancing high protein, high carbohydrates and high fats.

BE: Was there a movie star you’ve met who left you completely start struck? Who is the hottest female celebrity you’ve ever seen in person?

BHH: I have been fortunate to work with some of the greatest stars of all time. I would say Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman struck me the most. Chris Nolan is a spectacular director, and I loved working with him on “Batman”. In terms of the hottest female celebrity I have seen, I would go with Emily Blunt or Rachael McAdams — they are gorgeous!

Check out the full line of Dove Men + Care products at www.dovemencare.com.

  

Movie Review: “The Croods”

Starring
Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke
Directors
Kirk De Micco & Chris Sanders

If this movie had a plot, it would be dangerous. As it is, “The Croods” is a rough sketch of an idea, kept afloat courtesy of some well-timed gags. It has heart and a fair share of laughs, and it’s hard not to like the message that we must evolve as a species if we intend to survive, but it feels like a sitcom episode stretched out to a grueling 98 minutes. Ninety-eight-minute movies aren’t supposed to feel long. This one does.

The Croods are a family of cavepeople who have outlived their Neanderthal contemporaries by playing it very, very safe. The father Grug (Nicolas Cage) insists that everyone stay near their cave, and to never leave the cave at night, much to the chagrin of his curious daughter Eep (Emma Stone). One night, unable to sleep, Eep sees a flickering light outside the cave. She sneaks out to investigate, and meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a homo sapien boy who warns her that the world is coming to an end (it’s actually continental drift), and that she and her family must find better, higher ground if they wish to survive. This idea, of course, does not sit well with Grug, but it is not long before Guy is proven right, which creates, in Grug’s mind anyway, a battle for supremacy between brains and brawn.

This is the kind of movie that sweats the small stuff – the disaster sequences will make Roland Emmerich squeal, and the animals they created, especially the piranha birds, are both amusing and inspired – but for some reason, they don’t put the same effort into the story. It gets to the point where they let Cage off his leash (never a good idea) and do this bit where Grug tries to be a thinker like Guy, only Cage sounds like he’s trying to channel Jeff Bridges in “The Big Lebowski.” On the one hand, it’s kind of fun to see an animated film play it loose and experiment. On the other hand, it feels forced and out of step with everything around it.

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