22
Mar
15

Thief, Branded to Kill

Thief

A Michael Mann cure for insomnia.

An orgy of 80s nostalgia, Thief was director Michael Mann’s first big budget production. It shows all of his trademarks like glacial pacing, an overabundance of needless dialogue, and no concept of editing. Tangerine Dream provides the super-dated synthesizer score. James Caan stars as a diamond thief who works independently, but gets muscled into working for a big-shot crime boss, who is played by the innkeeper from The Great Outdoors. The movie is drenched in darkness, and every shot was filmed behind two or three blue filters. You get the feeling like you’re watching a movie under water. Like any standard crime “thriller,” Thief features a double-cross and Caan has to get revenge against the innkeeper. It’s really a lame-brained, been-there, done-that scenario. I highly doubt that this plot hadn’t already been done to death by the time the movie was released in 1981. There’s also a weird, pointless subplot about Caan getting a baby on the black market. Thief goes to show that Michael Mann is a director who doesn’t have the capability to leave needless garbage on the cutting room floor.

Verdict: Bad

Branded to Kill

“Do I make you horny, baby?”

This 1967 film from Japanese director Seijun Suzuki is about as weird as they come. It’s about a hitman, ranked number three in the country, who wants to be number one. He devises a way to take out the competition. Well, sort of. That’s what the movie says it’s about. But really, it’s an acid trip. Suzuki must have just discovered LSD when he went about filming this monstrosity. There is dialogue, scenes, characters linking the actions of the film together, but none of it is coherent. The main character has weirdly distracting chubby cheeks. He gets horny when he smells rice cooking, then bangs his wife, who runs around naked for the entire movie. His other love interest decorated her apartment with dead butterflies. He kills people, but the action scenes lack any sense of excitement or tension. The closest film I can think this movie resembles is Pierrot le Fou, an experimental French piece of shit from the same era. Branded to Kill is better than that movie simply due to the weirdness factor. At least it doesn’t come across as pretentious. Unfortunately, Branded to Kill is too strange, too experimental, and not worth anyone’s time.

Verdict: Shitty

15
Mar
15

It’s Heracles, Not Hercules

I swear to god, Hollywood is filled with dumb fucks. For as long as they’ve been making movies, they’ve been making Hercules movies. And for as long as they’ve been making Hercules movies, they’ve been calling him by his Roman name, and putting him in ancient Greece with the Greek gods. It’s a boneheaded move that makes zero sense. His Greek name is Heracles.

It can even create confusion. For example, this film stated the name “Hercules” is meant to be an appeasement to the Goddess Hera; he was named after her. Well, that only makes sense if you call him Heracles, not Hercules. If you are going to use the Roman Hercules, then the gods should be Jupiter, Minerva, Juno, etc. Since everything in this movie is based in Greek mythology, from this point forward, I am going to refer to him only as Heracles.

The movie begins with a five-minute recap of Heracles’ history. I knew I was in for a bad time when the story begins with two woeful CGI snakes that pop out of a statue’s head. After baby Heracles kills the two serpants, we smash-cut to an adult Heracles completing his famous 12 labors. He chops the head off the Hydra, he battles the Erymanthian Boar, and he kills the Namean Lion with his bare hands. This sequence features a barrage of shit-tier CGI. The Hydra looks passable because its in a fairly dark scene, but the Lion is dreadful. The CGI hairs looks like a bristle-brush. Aslan from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe looked more realistic, and that shit came out 10 years ago.

Continue reading ‘It’s Heracles, Not Hercules’

07
Mar
15

Magic Mike, The Fault in Our Stars

Magic Mike

Hey, ladies, has anyone seen my shirt?

I wanted to love this movie. I wanted to like this movie. But in the end, I only ended up hating this movie. It seems like it had all the right ingrediants: C-Tates in a starring role, Matthew McConaughey at the height of his acting powers, and an over-the-top story about a group of male strippers. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t revel in bawdy antics or go balls-to-the-wall (so to speak) with playing up the ludicrousness of the the strippers. It settles for a slower, more introspective character study of C-Tates and his desire to do something else with his life. Director Steven Soderbergh bleeds the life out of this movie from the first frame. He encouches the whole thing in weirdo lens filters to make every scene saturated to a single color. Cody Horn plays C-Tates’ love interest, and she wanders around the lanscape like a zombie, speaking her lines more robotically than Honda’s Asimo. She must have given Soderbergh a ton of blow-jobs and/or reach-arounds in order to get this part, because she sure as fuck didn’t get it on talent. Anyway, the movie is slow and pointless, nothing much happens, and it isn’t bombastic and fun like it should be.

Verdict: Shitty

The Fault in Our Stars

You make oxygen tanks sexy.

This whole business of adapting young adult novels into films really needs to stop. They are truly scraping the bottoms of the barrel at this point. The Fault in Our Stars is a sappy romance about a chick with lung cancer and a dude with bone cancer who fall in love despite having horrible illnesses. The problem with this movie is that the characters define themselves by their illnesses. They seem to have no life apart from seeing doctors and going to cancer support groups. Hazel (the chick) reads one book over and over again, a book about another chick with cancer. Gus (the dude) tries to show her that life is about more than cancer, but she eventually wears him down enough that he, too, learns to obsess about his illness.

Like any teenage boy, he tries to worm his way into her pants, and finally does so on a trip to Amsterdam to meet the author of her favorite book. They make out in Anne Frank’s hideout (I can’t think of a better place to get freaky, can you?), and then decide to blubber about the fact they are going to die. If they just chose to live their lives to the fullest, to live each day as its own, they could move forward with their lives, perhaps even enjoy them. The fact they mire themselves in their cancer is super fucking depressing, and not at all interesting from a narrative perspective. The Fault in the Author is the culprit in failing to craft a good story.

The other thing, a pet peeve of mine, is the fact they fuck up all the medical shit. Hazel has to lug around an oxygen tank for the entirety of the movie. Why? She has lung cancer, duh! Except lung cancer doesn’t require supplemental oxygen for treatment. It’s just a stupid fucking prop to make a beautiful actress appear sick. What a bunch of horse shit. Fuck this movie. The only young adult adaptation I can think of that was worse than this was The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Verdict: Shitty

21
Feb
15

Brik Hates the Academy Awards: 00s 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 2000s.

Continue reading ‘Brik Hates the Academy Awards: 00s Edition’

08
Feb
15

The Interview, Godzilla (2014)

The Interview

A couple of dipshits starring in a terrible movie.

10 minutes into The Interview, I found myself doing something I had never thought possible: I agreed with North Korea. The Interview is so horrible, I agree with North Korea that this cinematic abortion of a film should be wiped from the face of the Earth. This is one of the laziest, stupidest, most incompetent movies I have ever seen. Written by Rogan, it features a journalist and his producer flying to North Korea for an exclusive interview with dictator Kim Jong-Un. The CIA tasks them beforehand with assassinating the dictator. What follows is a non-stop parade of dick jokes, fart jokes, oral sex jokes, sticking stuff up butt jokes, and general screaming. I never laughed once during the entire 2 hour runtime. I didn’t even smirk. Even in the worst comedies, I can at least find myself chuckling once or twice. But here, no, not once. The movie’s jokes are lazy and recycled and done far worse than any other movie you’ve seen. Rogan and Franco seem to think that if they simply reference penises, it will elicit huge laughs from the audience. That’s not how it works, guys. You can’t just say “penis” and expect the movie to be laugh riot. There needs to be a punchline. This is the drawback of having a screenplay written by a guy who is high 24 hours a day, stoners think everything is funny. They tried to make Kim Jong-un interesting and likable, but failed there too. The actor playing Kim is too handsome to be confused with the chubby, goofy-looking kid running that country. Sony should be ashamed of themselves for making this movie. Not because it insulted North Korea, but because it’s a horrible piece of shit. North Korea was right, this movie sucks ass, and should not be watched by anyone.

Verdict: Shitty

Godzilla (2014)

Rowr, rowr, rowr rowr rowr rowr.

The new Godzilla movie is a bigger letdown than the giant monster himself. Bryan Cranston stars as a guy who is obsessed with Godzilla after the atomic monster blows up a Japanese town and kills Cranston’s wife in the process. Cranston is great as the obsessed scientist, a role he’s familiar with. Unfortunately, the movie plays the ol’ switcharoo. Cranston dies early, and the rest of the movie features a bland hero played by the dude from Kick-Ass. Kick-Ass follows Godzilla around, from one disaster set piece to the next. Godzilla turns out to be a heroic monster, as he fights giant mutated grasshoppers or something. Apparently, they are Godzilla’s natural enemy and he, oh, whatever, fuck this shit. It’s just an overwrought explanation for having giant CGI monsters fight each other. The fight scenes are OK, and Godzilla actually looks pretty good. But the movie features nothing we haven’t already seen before. The pacing is lethargic, and they bring nothing new to the table. I was pretty bored by the end of it. Maybe the inevitable sequel will be better, but I won’t count on it.

Verdict: Bad

31
Jan
15

Cheese Goes to War: Windtalkers

Photoshop goes to war…

Windtalkers is a World War II movie directed by action legend John Woo and starring the lovably insane Nicolas Cage. When I learned these bits of information, my first thought was, “Where do I sign up?”
The movie came and went, and got middling reviews. I never got around to seeing it thanks to its poor reception. Finally, 11 years after its 2002 release, I watched this movie on Netflix. And how did it hold up? Eh, not good.
It’s somewhat hard to believe that John Woo actually directed this movie. He is normally very competent behind the camera. His action scenes in movies like The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Face Off were incredible. They managed to have enthralling, well-planned, heart-pumping moments of carnage. It’s impossible to watch one of his older movies, see Chow Yun-Fat flying through the air with a gun in each hand, and not get excited. I figured he would bring all that good stuff to this movie. Unfortunately, he didn’t.

Continue reading ‘Cheese Goes to War: Windtalkers’

19
Jan
15

Btooom, Kill la Kill

Btooom

Bombs and boobs.

Despite having a terrible Engrish title, Btooom is a decent show. It falls in line with the genre of kids who have to kill each other in an arena like Battle Royale or The Hunger Games. Even though this has already been done a million times, Btooom still manages to bring something new to the table. It doesn’t matter that the idea isn’t original, what matters is that the show is executed in an interesting way. A popular online video game called “Btooom” features teams of people playing deathmatches, and their only weapons are various types of grenade and mines. One day, many of the games best players are kidnapped, dropped off on a mysterious tropical island, and forced to play “Btooom” for real. Each character has a unique grenade or mine, and must kill the others in order to win the game and get off the island. As you would expect, characters form alliances to try and improve their chances of survival.

The show is fun to watch. It manages to have a lot of variety and somewhat ingenious ways to use explosive devices. It has just as much of characters outsmarting each other than just winning by brute force. The characters are likable, and the plot moves at a quick pace. The ending leaves a bit to be desired, clearly they want to do a second season, but at least it didn’t stop on a cliffhanger. My only real complaint is that this show is inconsistent in the blast radius of the various explosives. Sometimes, it seems that a grenade will explode right next to someone, and they will be unharmed. But, whatever, it’s anime, it isn’t realistic. Btooom is worth a watch.

Verdict: Good

Kill la Kill

Kill la clothes.

Kill la Kill is the spiritual successor to Gurren Lagann. Those of you who follow me online know that I declared Gurren Lagann best anime of the last decade. And I still stand firmly behind that assessment. Naturally, I was extremely excited to check out this show, given its outstanding pedigree. And the show is really good. It puts an interesting spin on high school dynamics. In reality, high school is like a constant battle against annoying peers, jealous kids, exclusive cliques, and raging hormones. Kill la Kill takes that to absurd levels with the students literally fighting each other. The student council dominates the academy, passing down special uniforms to favored individuals that will boost their fighting skills. One day, a mysterious transfer student (anime trope alert), Ryuko Matoi, comes to school demanding vengeance for the murder of her father at the hands of the head of the student council, Satsuki Kiryuin. They each get special talking battle uniforms, and battle it out, blasting apart the school, and pounding each other with absurd levels of force. What arises from that is an even more absurd concept. The world has been colonized by “life fibers” which are evil alien organisms that have plotted to take over the world by forcing human to wear them as clothes. An insurgent organization, Nudist Beach, is trying to rid the world of clothes. Ryuko, Satsuki, and Nudist Beach ultimately team up to battle the life fibers.

The action in Kill la Kill is phenomenal. I haven’t seen a show with such fantastic battle, and such tremendous animation quality since, well, Gurren Lagann. There is also a lot of humor in the show to punctuate the onslaught of battles. Unfortunately, Kill la Kill isn’t perfect. For all its great points, the show is ultimately hollow on the inside. There is no character development, there is no deeper meaning, everything is taken at face value, and despite the worldwide battle, the show is surprisingly low-stakes. None of the heroes die. One dies, but it turns out to be a fake out, and he was fine all along. Characters don’t have to die to make a show good, but it goes a long way to show that there are real stakes, and there are real dangers against which the characters are willing to sacrifice themselves. As none of the heroes die, they can throw themselves headlong into every battle, and there is never any worry that anything bad will happen to them. Also disappointing is the fact that the heroes don’t kill either of the primary villains. Both of the villains end up killing themselves. So, even with all that fighting, the good guys were completely ineffectual. Overall, Kill la Kill was a lot of fun. It may be light, mindless entertainment, but it was incredibly entertaining mindless entertainment. It’s hard to recommend a show more than this one.

Verdict: Good




April 2015
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Archives

BrikHaus - Find me on Bloggers.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 310 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 310 other followers