01
Aug
15

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Repo Man

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

And here we have another exhibit of Wes Anderson’s overly indulgent, self-absorbed hipster film-making tendencies. He gathers an incredible cast, puts them in a unique and fun setting, and then takes a shit all over everything. This movie pisses me off because it could have been amazing. It is part tribute and part parody of famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. Bill Murray plays the titular Steve Zissou. He goes on a quest to find a Jaguar Shark or some shit. What unfolds is little more than a series of loosely connected episodes that have only a slight relation to each other, and do nothing to develop a more robust plot. Sure, some interesting things happen like when Steve’s ship is overrun by pirates, and Bill Murray gets involved in an unexpected gun fight. But that doesn’t sustain a movie. It’s absolutely bloated in length. I would say nearly 45 minutes could have been excised and nothing much would have been lost. There isn’t much substance here. It’s meant to be whimsical, like all of Anderson’s output, but it fails at that too. It just doesn’t do anything. It isn’t worth anyone’s time.

Verdict: Bad

Repo Man

If any movie screams the 1980s, it’s this one. Repo Man is a comedy/sci-fi about a young punk (Emilio Estevez) who drifts through life until one day he winds up working for a repossession company. Harry Dean Stanton takes him under his wing, and trains him in all the tricks of the trade that every repo man must use in order to survive their job. Everyone hates them, they get paid crap, and they work horrible hours. There isn’t much to like about the job, but once he starts, Estevez finds he has a purpose in life. He’s actually pretty good at the work.

A secondary story about a stolen Chevy Malibu slowly intersects with Estevez’s tale. Everyone wants this Malibu: criminals, the CIA, rival repo men, etc. It turns out to actually be an alien spaceship dressed up as a Malibu. Anyone who looks at contents of the trunk (and we never see what those contents are) is immediately vaporized in a blaze of green light.

Anyway, the two stories intersect in a completely absurd way. There is a lot of ironic humor. It’s not a laugh out loud comedy, but more of a “huh that’s weird and clever” kind of comedy. It’s incredibly low budget, the fight choreography is laughably terrible, the special effects are about as basic as they come, and the acting leaves a lot to be desired. But despite all those factors, the movie is as charming as hell. You can’t not like it, because it’s got heart and originality, and it’s pure fun.

Verdict: Good

26
Jul
15

Terminator Genisys is on Trial

Bailiff: Hear-ye, hear-ye, this court will come to order. The dishonorable Judge Brikhaus is presiding.

Judge: Today’s case is the People of Good Taste versus Terminator Genesis, no, Genysis, no, Genisys, oh for fuck’s sake, why did they give this movie such a stupid title? From now on, it’s Terminator 5. Anyone calling it otherwise will be held in contempt.

Defense: Objection!

Judge Brikhaus: You can’t object, the trial hasn’t even started yet.

Defense: I’m sorry, your dishonor.

Judge Brikhaus: Very well, let’s hear the opening statements.

Prosecutor: Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I stand before you today as a representative of mankind. All of humanity craves good entertainment. And we were all cheated out of good entertainment when this new movie, Terminator 5, was shat into theaters. By this time this trial is over, you will agree that this movie is a rancid piece of shit that should be wiped off the face of the planet.

Continue reading ‘Terminator Genisys is on Trial’

18
Jul
15

Fringe Rewatch

You didn’t think I was done posting about Fringe, did you? I recently got the blu-ray set, and I decided a rewatch was in order.
Season 1
I actually enjoyed Season 1 more the second time around. Although, my initial complaints about it still hold true. It does get off to a slow start, and there are several clunky episodes that don’t work. The first half feels disconnected from the rest of the series. It still seems like a X-Files rip-off for about 10 episodes until the meat of the main storyline starts to take effect. On the positive side, the seeds for what is to come were planted early on. There are many subtle hints about the future of the series that are so subtle you couldn’t have realized what they were talking about until you’d already seen the series at least once. For example, in one episode, Walter is distressed and laments that he doesn’t “have access” to all of his memories. The first time you see this, you just assume that it’s because he’s crazy and spent 17 years locked in a mental hospital. The second time you see this, you realize it’s a hint to the fact (later revealed in Season 2) that Walter had parts of his brain removed. There are other subtle hints about the two universes and the truth about Peter early on. It seems the writers had put more thought and planning into the early days of the show than I had originally given them credit for. On this rewatch, I can appreciate these things more. Of course, I know that the story is going to get a lot better, so watching the early clunky episodes is kind of a drag. I just wanted to skip them. The other complaint I had was the villain of the season, David Robert Jones, is squandered. He shows up a few times, does some cool and evil things, but is defeated far too easily. They should have done much more with him. The season still works in terms of character dynamics. The acting is fantastic, and the actors bring these wonderfully written characters to life. They interact in believable ways, and Peter’s lessening estrangement from Walter is handled in a realistic manner. Overall, though, Season 1 is Olivia’s story. She is a cipher for the audience, being pulled into the world of Fringe, and slowly learning about all the crazy things this world has to offer. She’s a strong, uncliched female character, and a great anchor for the series.
Verdict: Good

Continue reading ‘Fringe Rewatch’

15
Jul
15

Happy (Shitty) Seven Year Anniversary

I’m sitting at the computer, and I’m feeling exhausted. I’m trying to drum up the energy to write another anniversary post. I can’t believe I’ve been writing this blog for seven years. Sure, it seems like it’s on life support sometimes, but somehow it has chugged along.

Awesomely Shitty can’t die no matter how hard Hollywood or I try. At this point, this blog is a mythological creature like a vampire or a Terminator or John McCain. It’s unbelievable that it has lasted for this long.

My favorite part of this blog is all the cool people I’ve met over the years. Maybe we haven’t actually met and had a beer together in real life, but meeting online is still a form of meeting. There are great regulars who never fail to drop by and leave a comment even though I’m too lazy to comment on their websites. I love all of you.

And there are the jackasses, too. The ones that think I’m an idiot because I didn’t like their favorite anime, or I’m too immature to understand art-house cinema, or I’m a virgin because I didn’t like Red Dead Redemption. But I write the blog for them, too. I get a kick out of how furious people get over words (opinions) on a computer screen.

I’m glad that people read this blog and get a reaction of some kind. That’s the whole point. Why would anyone read a blog that loved everything or only gave synopses of movies without an opinion?

Sometimes my posts are funny, and I’m glad I made you laugh and brightened your day for a few moments.

I write this blog for everyone, but mostly I write it for myself. I’d like to think I will keep writing it until I die. And who know, maybe I will? But probably not.

In all honesty, I don’t know how many more posts this blog has in it before it joins the thousands of others that will sit on the WordPress servers, defunct, until the end of time.

Here’s to seven years of Awesomely Shitty, and who knows how many more!

11
Jul
15

Jaws

Jaws recently had its big 40th anniversary, and since I’ve never seen it, I decided to check it out. Jaws is one of those classic movies that has a lot of hype to live up to. When a movie is older than you are, and you’ve heard nothing but praise for it your entire life, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be a let-down.

Fortunately, Jaws holds up pretty well. It’s not an amazing film, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s pretty solid. It’s the movie that made Steven Spielberg an A-list director. You can tell that he’s developing his style, and he’s a little rough around the edges still, but the Spielberg magic is definitely there.

The thing that is both a benefit and a hindrance to Jaws is the pacing. It’s incredibly slow. It’s good because it builds tension and creates atmosphere, but it’s bad because it takes way too fucking long to get to the climactic battle with the shark. At 124 minutes, it’s about 24 minutes too long. I literally fell asleep while the crew was on the ship, talking, before the shark showed up.

Everything else about the movie is pretty good. The acting, the cinematography, the music, the directing, and even the story. Yeah, it’s a little thin, but it’s a play on horror films, so it’s good enough.

What probably made this film such a classic was the era it was released. The 70s had its fair share of great films, don’t get me wrong, but there was a ton of shit from that era, too. Jaws was probably so different, such a popcorn spectacle, that it immediately endeared itself to people. And those people who became so enamored with it on their first viewing haven’t forgotten their nostalgia for it. That’s why it’s considered a classic today; much more so than any truly amazing quality of the film itself.

Ultimately, Jaws is not the unstoppable film behemoth it’s purported to be. But it’s decent enough to watch once or twice. It’s a fun film. I’m feeling generous today, so I’ll give it a score of…

Verdict: Good

29
Jun
15

Let’s Terminate This Film Series

I decided to do a marathon of the Terminator movies. I’m not sure why, other than the fact I’m a big Arnold Schwarzenegger fan. After all, he is the star of the greatest movie ever made. I remember enjoying the first two movies as a kid, but as an adult these things rarely hold up to scrutiny. Plus, I had never seen the fourth movie. So, I decided to watch one a day, and write a mega-review trashing them all.

The Terminator

The original Terminator is a 1984 cheese fest. Watching it today, you can see just how incredibly dated it is. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “LOL BUT BRIK ITS A MOVIE ABOUT TIME TRAVEL SO OF COURSE EVERYTHING IS GOING TO LOOK DATED LOL!” Technically, that’s true. But the cheesy 80s synthesizer music certainly doesn’t give The Terminator a timeless quality. The music is so fucking bad, I cringed every time it started up. I suppose the main titles theme is alright since it evokes the monotonous, single-mindedness of the titular killer robot, but other than that, the music sucks major ass.

The acting doesn’t fare much better. The only person who turns in a good performance is Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese. Arnold is good, I suppose, but he just acts like a robot, which isn’t much of a stretch for him. Linda Hamilton as the main character Sarah Connor is a disaster with her ridiculous shrieking and forced line delivery. She looks like she’s still stuck in rehearsal. Her line “You’re terminated, fucker” is so bad, just try not to laugh out loud when you hear it. The typically good Lance Henriksen is criminally underutilized. The rest of the cast (cops, Connor’s roommate, people with a line or two) are generally terrible. They were barely passable by 1980s acting standards, and completely suck by today’s.

Continue reading ‘Let’s Terminate This Film Series’

21
Jun
15

Now You See Me

Here is a list of things that are good about Now You See Me:

  1. Isla Fisher is hot.

And here are the reasons why this movie blows giant whale dick:  Continue reading ‘Now You See Me’




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