12
Apr
14

Natural Born Killers – Oliver Stone Has No Talent and He Must Scream

Oh, so that’s what this movie is called.

In case you were wondering why people have a tendency to hate on Oliver Stone, just take a look at Natural Born Killers. It pretty much sums up everything the “auteur” director is about. He goes into full on pretentious cunt mode with this movie. He tries hard to make an “artistic film,” but it turns out to be the movie version of Taco Bell diarrhea. Stinky, wet, and cheap.

Did you ever see the old 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West? Half the time the scenes were filmed with the camera tilted to a 45 degree angle to make everything look all weird. Natural Born Killers is filmed like this for two fucking hours. I’m not sure if Stone was trying to evoke the old 60s Batman, but it sure looks like his audition tape to direct an episode. It becomes a chore to watch because you know he is doing it on purpose to be clever, but it comes off as stupid, and a lazy man’s way of making the movie “deep.”

Continue reading ‘Natural Born Killers – Oliver Stone Has No Talent and He Must Scream’

05
Apr
14

Identity Thief, The World’s End

Identify Thief

I hate this movie so much.

This is a classic, stupid, road-trip, piece-of-shit movie that Hollywood loves to produce and defecate on the masses every year. The set-up is as generic as possible. Jason Bateman plays an average, everyday schmuck who has his identity stolen by brash, morbidly obese Melissa McCarthy. She has stolen his identity, racked up huge credit card bills, and put him in trouble with his employer. He travels across the country to set things right. What happens next is a prolonged road-trip where he uses her to clear up all the problems with his employer. Of course, in typically cliche fashion, they learn from one another and becomes friends in the process. This story has been told a billion times before, and this movie brings nothing new to the table. The characters are completely bland and one-dimensional. McCarthy uses physical “comedy” to elicit laughs from the audience. She punches a lot of people in the balls and runs away. This, I think, is the primary gag in the movie. It is also a sad commentary on what this film is. It’s a punch in the balls to the audience. If you paid money to see this shit, you got punched in the balls. If you saw it for free on Netflix, you still got punched in the balls, because this movie sucked 111 minutes of your life away. Don’t waste your time with this stinky piece of shit.
Verdict: Shitty
The World’s End

British culture summarized in a single picture.

The World’s End is directed by Edgar Wright, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and written by Wright and Pegg. It features the exploits of 6 childhood friends who return to their hometown to complete a famous pub crawl called “The Golden Mile.” The final pub on the crawl is the aptly named “World’s End.” The movie also forms the third act of the loose thematic “Cornetto Trilogy.” It’s one of those trilogies where none of the movies have anything in common except for the actors, director, and some thematic elements. I call bullshit on the fact they planned this as a trilogy. I bet they never had any consciousness of a trilogy back when they made the first or even second installments, but it only dawned on them when this movie went into production. In any case, the movie shows how different each of the 6 friends have become. Five of them have grown up, but one, Gary King played by Pegg, is still living life like he was 18 years old. He’s a drunk, a drug-addict, and an all-around loser. He revels in the nostalgia the pub crawl brings, while his other friends are wary of it. As the pub crawl goes on, the comedy becomes greater, and the characters warm up to each other. It seemed like things were really going to get deep, with serious character introspection, when the film throws a sudden curveball. It turns out that the town has been overrun by alien/bodysnatching robots. They started with this small town, and have plans for global domination. Only the 6 friends stand in their way. Things go balls-out crazy from this point forward. There are zany action scenes, chase sequences, killer robots, and heaping doses of comedy throughout the final act. The film turns itself into a commentary on our modern society and how everything has become homogenized (essentially all the pubs are identical) and how we have become like zombies, enslaved by our own technology. Zombies, hmm, yes, the alien robots are pretty much exactly like zombies. Which brings me to my biggest complaint about the film. The first film in the “Cornetto Trilogy,” Shaun of the Dead, was a spoof on zombie movies. The second, Hot Fuzz, was a spoof on cop movies. This film, sort of backtracks and does the zombie thing again. The town is overrun, the heroes are outnumbered, and slowly they are all turned into alien robots. They already did this before, and it seems like the filmmakers are spinning their wheels. The other problem was that the character depth we were just on the brink of experiencing was thrown away in favor of chases and fights. The characters do show growth by the end, but only in the most superficial ways (Gary quits drinking). To be perfectly honest, I greatly preferred the first half of the film. I want to see more of that, I want to see where those characters go in an organic way, without all the gimmickry of alien robots. Alas, we’ll never know. Overall, though, this was a fun movie. It was about something, had a deeper message, and had great action and comedy. Of the “Cornette Trilogy,” I’d say it’s my second favorite entry. Here’s how I would rank all three films:
Hot Fuzz > The World’s End > Shaun of the Dead
Verdict: Good
29
Mar
14

The Wind Rises

Jiro and Naoko.

Hayao Miyazaki’s final film (until he un-retires again), The Wind Rises, is an excellent capstone to his already legendary career. The movie is decidedly less fantastical than the rest of his work, but just as emotionally moving as anything else.
The Wind Rises tells the story of Jiro Hirokoshi, a Japanese man who loves aviation. He has poor eyesight and is told he can never fly a plane, so he decides to do the next best thing: design airplanes. The film follows him from a young boy into his middle years as he toils to develop a new kind of airplane. The storytelling, while fictionalized, is quite riveting. You understand Jiro’s eagerness to build an aircraft, and you feel his successes and failures through each attempt.
22
Mar
14

Veronica Mars: The Movie

A long time ago, we used to be friends.

If you’ve never seen the TV show Veronica Mars, then don’t make the movie your introduction. You won’t get it. Sure, you’ll be able to follow the story, but you’ll miss the inside jokes and you won’t appreciate the cameos from the various cast members. If you have seen Veronica Mars and are a fan, then chances are you’ve already seen the movie. If you’ve never seen the show, it’s about a teenage girl who moonlights as a private detective. She’s like the high school version of Philip Marlowe. And as ridiculous as the concept seemed, it somehow worked.
Mrs. Brik is a die-hard Veronica Mars fan. She used my hard-earned money to help fund the Kickstarter to get the movie made. I’m sure you know that story, how this is the largest fan-funded movie of all time. Veronica Mars fans are crazy and love them some Kristin Bell. They would jump at any chance to revisit the show.
The series had no sense of closure after it was unceremoniously cancelled in 2007 in favor of a Pussycat Dolls reality show. Great move, CW, way to go, how are the Pussycat Dolls doing these days? The movie was made not just to see our favorite characters again, but to provide a more appropriate conclusion to the series. So, how did it turn out? Continue reading ‘Veronica Mars: The Movie’
08
Mar
14

The Expendables, Argo

The Expendables

They’re all so old and veiny.

Stallone hasn’t given up the mantle yet. He still thinks he can carry a testosterone-fueled homage to 1980s  action films. You know what? He can’t. It’s not even that he’s too old for the role. He played his character just fine, his acting (whether you like it or not) hasn’t gotten any worse over the years. He has charisma, and he is certainly watchable on screen. But he can’t carry such a bloated train wreck of a film. It’s just too terrible a movie, regardless of how likable Stallone may be. I wanted to like this movie, I really did. After all, I love schlocky 80s shoot-em-up movies. I grew up on that shit, and can’t get enough of it. But as I said before, that stuff was a product of its era. It worked then, but it no longer works today. You can’t revisit the past, no matter how hard Stallone wants to. Anyway, The Expendables tried to evoke this bygone era, but it failed miserably. The storyline was paper-thin, the acting was passable at best, the characters were one-dimensional, and the action scenes were a bore. The action scenes should have been the highlight, but they were tired and uninventive. Plus, with copious amounts of CGI blood and knives, it looked fake as hell. There were too many characters, so many that none of them had any personality. Stallone (as writer and director) should have pared down the cast to maybe three main characters in order to flesh them out a bit, to give the audience a chance to care about them. But, no, he was more interested in cramming the cast with as many fading stars as possible to do that. The only way he could have made this film work was to inject it with a lot more comedy, and make it a tongue-in-cheek look back at how crazy the old 80s action movies were. Then it could have been really cool. But he made the film serious and un-self-aware, and it failed as a result.
Verdict: Shitty
Argo

70s fashion deserves to be held hostage in Iran.

Everyone in the movie industry was tripping over themselves to talk about how much they loved this film. But they didn’t just “love” it, they were jizzing all over it. Gushing about the story, the performances, the directing, the bulge in Ben Affleck’s pants, etc. The movie industry couldn’t have been more gay for this film if they tried. And why? Well, Hollywood is always eager to jerk itself off. And what better way than with a film that shows how Hollywood saved lives. Yes, Argo is a movie about how a fake movie saved the lives of hostages. It’s “based on a true story”, whatever that means, and it’s a total wank fest. Affleck stars as a CIA agent who infiltrates Iran under the guise of a film producer scouting locations for a sci-fi movie. He uses his cover to extract the hostages (well, technically they weren’t hostages, they were people in hiding trying to avoid becoming hostages) and get them back to the U.S. The premise, I’ll admit, is pretty cool, and if it hadn’t really happened, you wouldn’t believe it for a second. Affleck does provide some solid directing, giving the film comedy when it needs it, drama when appropriate, and a healthy dose of tension in the climax. The acting is pretty good, but Affleck is the weakest link in the cast. A director with good sense would have hired the best actor available to be the star of the film. But Affleck made himself the star. He didn’t do a bad job, per se, but the movie could have been truly excellent if he had put someone with range in front of the camera. Nevertheless, Argo had thrills and laughs and everything you’d want in a movie. The acting, though, leaves something to be desired, and the story is obviously punched up for the audience. The fact that Hollywood loves itself is never more apparent than watching this film, and then seeing how it won every award possible thereafter.
Verdict: Average
01
Mar
14

Brik Hates the Academy Awards: 90s Edition

It’s no mystery that I hate the Academy Awards. Hollywood spends half the year binging on cocaine and hookers and the other half praising themselves for it. No other industry exerts so much energy and spends so much money on self-congratulatory masturbation than the film industry. These sick fucks have the cushiest, easiest jobs in the world, and they act like what they do is some kind of goddamn accomplishment. “LOL OH LOOK I JUST RECITED SOME LINES SOMEONE ELSE WROTE FOR ME AND SHED A TEAR AT THE SAME TIME! I’M A FUCKING ACTING GOD! QUICK SOMEBODY GIVE ME FIFTY AWARDS LOL!” In theory, I could get behind the awards if they actually awarded things that were deserving. You know, giving a Best Picture award to the best movie of the year. But the Academy rarely gives that award to the best movie of the year. Hell, they don’t even give it to the most popular movie of the year. Usually, they give it to whatever cool person produced the movie, or to the most obscure, independent, foreign piece of shit they can find. Typically, no one in the mainstream public will have even seen the winner. They’ve been pulling this shit for years. So, I decided to analyze the past years, offer my own nominees, and declare new winners. Best movie isn’t the one that makes you cry or makes you think. Best movie is the one that you want to revisit over and over again. A movie you watch once and never again isn’t good. It’s only good if you can’t help but watch it a million times. Rewatchability is the hallmark of something great.

This time around, I’ll be taking a look at the Best Picture winners from the 1990s.
22
Feb
14

Worst. Olympics. Ever.

Saying that the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a disaster is nothing new. People have been saying it would be a disaster since before it started. But I’m going to go on record and say it was the “Worst Olympics Ever.” That includes Olympic games held in Nazi Germany and any future Olympic games that may be held in North Korea. The 2014 games were a testament to ineptitude, a political device meant to showcase the glory of Russia to the world, but came across instead as a vanity project for President Vladimir Putin’s massive ego.
Here’s a list of reasons why this was the worst Olympics ever:
1.) Stop the gays – OK, this is an obvious one, so I thought I’d get it out of the way first. Russia has been no friend to homosexuals, as Putrin has enacted numerous bits of legislation under the guise of “traditional family values” which are nothing more than laws targeting the country’s homosexual population. The sad part is that the U.S. Republican party does pretty much the same thing when railing against gays in America. Traditional Family Values include one man marrying one woman, and each being miserably depressed, never divorcing, and being involved in alcoholism and extra-marital affairs. You know, good old fashioned American values. I suppose Russia has more in common with the U.S. than we realize. In any case, Russia seems mired in the past, enacting outdated legislation and systematically targeting a minority demographic. The rest of the world is slowly moving forward, but Russian seems hellbent on going backward.
2.) Kill the dogs – Sochi has a problem with stray dogs. There are so many that dog kill squads have been ordered to wipe out the masterless mongrels. It’s pretty fucking sad that they would rather kill dogs than attempt to adopt them to families. I’m a realist, I know that not all of these dogs would be able to find homes and many of them would be put down in shelters. But for fuck’s sake, at least give them a chance before murdering them. Some reporters have lamented becoming somewhat attached to friendly strays, only to notice after a few days they are nowhere to be found. If Putin hates dogs this much and hates gays this much, I wonder how much he must hate gay dogs? Maybe he was raped by a gay dog as a child? His anger must come from somewhere.



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