22
Jul
17

Happy (Shitty) Nine Year Anniversary (Belated)

It’s hard to believe that this blog has been alive for nine years. I’m pretty late on the anniversary post. And as some of you have noticed, I haven’t been posting frequently anymore. I’ve been incredibly busy with my new job, saving lives, and banging supermodels every day. The time for writing shitty posts about shitty movies has become smaller and smaller. I don’t know where the future of Awesomely Shitty is heading. I hope to continue to post, but it will be more erratic than it had been. Let’s look forward to the tenth year of Awesomely Shitty! Thanks, everyone, for reading.

09
Jul
17

Kung Fury, Citizen X

Kung Fury

A lot of movies, books, and videogames have tried to capitalize on 80s nostalgia. Most of them have failed miserably. Kung Fury, on the other hand, is a completely brilliant piece of comedy that works on every level. Kung Fury began life on Kickstarter, and raised enough money to make a 30-minute feature, but fell short of the funds necessary for an entire film. Fortunately, those 30 minutes are packed to the gills with non-stop absurdity.

Kung Fury is like the ultimate 80s B-movie. It’s got everything we loved from the 80s like ninjas, arcade games, Transformers, time travel, barbarians, and renegade cops who don’t play by the rules. The main character chases down Adolf Hitler and defeats all the Nazis in a battle royale.

The movie was given an intentionally distressed look, like you’re watching a well-used VHS tape. It’s kind of the same way they did Grindhouse, and it helps to capture the look and feel of life in the 80s. I sure as hell remember watching my favorite tapes until they crumbled into dust.

The comedy lands almost every time. Fair warning, though, if you aren’t a fan of parody, the 80s, or ninjas, then you won’t like this movie. However, if you are cool, you will like it. Check it out.

Verdict: Awesome

Citizen X

 

While bored, I perused HBO’s streaming catalogue and came across this unknown made-for-TV movie from 1995. The premise was interesting, so I checked it out. Citizen X is about the search for the Soviet Union’s most notorious serial killer throughout the 1980s. The killer is just as gruesome as I’ve come to expect from the serial killer genre, but his killing of children, not to mention the fact that it was real, was chilling. The main character, Stephen Rea, tirelessly pursues the killer despite getting nothing but pushback from his superiors. However, the pushback he gets is given an interesting spin. The Soviet Union cannot ask the United States FBI for help (who have the largest database on serial killers in the world), because that would show the West that they don’t have the same skills or knowledge as them. They can’t give him the agents or funds he needs to apprehend the killer, because they simply don’t have them as a result of the Soviet Union’s failing (but kept under wraps) economy. This all manages to put a fresh spin on a story that could have been dull and overwrought. Donald Sutherland plays Rea’s sole ally in the hunt for the killer. Ithas an obvious made-for-TV quality to it, but it is well-written and acted. The only thing that doesn’t work is all the actors speaking English with Russian accents. It sounds ridiculous. They should have just did away with that. Otherwise, this was an intriguing little movie.

Verdict: Good

24
Jun
17

Redemption (Hummingbird), Pitch Perfect 2

Redemption (Hummingbird)

Jason Statham tried and failed to stretch his acting chops in this woeful 2013 movie. He plays a homeless former soldier who barely scrapes by on the streets. He steals the identity of a random rich dude, and starts living the high life. He eventually gets involved in the underworld, and gets to the requisite martial arts antics. The movie’s insipid plot barely has a pulse. Nothing makes a lot of sense. That would be OK if the action was great, but it isn’t. The fights are lackluster, only to be followed by huge swaths of nothing happening. It’s like no one involved in this production was even interested in trying. Statham tried to do a good job, but his work ethic doesn’t elevate this turd of a film.

Verdict: Shitty

Pitch Perfect 2

I thought the first movie was terrible, and somehow the sequel manages to be even worse. The a capella group from the first film returns, and are living comfortably in a sorority on campus. Unfortunately, they botched an important performance. As a result, the school is going to disband the group, and dissolve the sorority if they don’t win the mysterious, and totally not fake International A Capella Competition. Obviously, whoever wrote this giant piece of shit has no idea what college is like. What college would dissolve a sorority because their singing group wasn’t any good? Anyway, the movie is horrible. There were absolutely no jokes that worked, the songs were trite, the singing was as engineered as fuck, and nobody does anything remotely interesting. Naturally, they win the competition because it’s a shitty movie. Apparently, there’s going to be a third one of these coming out soon, so god help us all.

Verdict: Shitty

 

17
Jun
17

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar X-Men

Director Tim Burton’s latest film is a book adaptation, yet another in the deluge of young adult novels Hollywood has flooded us with as of late. They remain desperate in their attempts to find the next Harry Potter and shove it down our throats, but so far they continue to come up short.

The basic gist is that some children are born with special abilities. These gifted youngsters live in a special school where their headmistress teaches them to use their abilities for the greater good. A scrappy outsider named Logan Potter discovers the school, and is welcomed to their makeshift family. Professor X attempts to persuade Logan to join them. Logan doesn’t think he’s special, but over the course of the film realizes he has powers of his own.

Continue reading ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar X-Men’

11
Jun
17

The Nice Guys, Pan

The Nice Guys

Director/screenwriter Shane Black has been having a bit of a career renaissance lately. With Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3, he’s quickly falling back into favor with Hollywood. In case you don’t remember who Black is, he’s the Christmas-obsessed mind behind gems like The Last Boy Scout and Lethal Weapon. He’s generally regarded for razor-sharp dialogue and eschewing standard movie tropes.

The Nice Guys is his latest effort. It’s a retro film, taking place in the 70s, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. And, as you’d expect, it has all the trappings of a Black movie, like the crazy dialogue, two main characters who hate each other, and a precocious wisecracking kid. It’s plays out like a neo-noir with a twisty plot, violence, and a little nudity thrown in for good measure.

Performances are generally good, and the directing is fine. Somehow, though, this movie didn’t really do much for me. The plot isn’t enthralling, and the twists can be seen coming a mile away. Plus, an extended, bumbling “hot potato” scene at the end is more aggravating than it is thrilling. Much of the dialogue is good, but an equal amount of it is rote, without any memorable lines whatsoever.

Overall, The Nice Guys is an OK film. I suppose I liked it. At least I didn’t actively hate it. But it doesn’t do enough to become an instant classic. It’s serviceable, and, fortunately, a non-superhero movie in an age of CGI bullshit.

Verdict: Average

Pan

Wow, what a huge piece of shit this movie is. To be honest, I’m at a loss for words how exactly to review this thing. It’s an exercise in atrociousness not seen since Transformers 2. There is literally nothing good about this movie.

It’s a prequel to Peter Pan, because Hollywood apparently thinks we need an origin story for everything. Peter Pan is fine on his own. We don’t need to know how he got to Neverland. We don’t need to know how he and Captain Hook used to be friends. We certainly don’t need to know how he is “the chosen one” to have magical bullshit powers or whatever the fuck. And we certainly didn’t need to hear Hugh Jackman crooning classic rock ballads in a fantasy setting against an all green-screen backdrop.

Seriously, fuck this movie.

Verdict: Shitty

12
May
17

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Being a fan of the Ghost in the Shell franchise isn’t easy. There are five million different universes to keep track of. Each iteration is its own thing, having the same characters, but entirely separate events. This is a good and bad thing. Good because you can ignore Mamoru Oshii’s shitty film versions, but bad because each time you get a new TV show or movie, you’re always starting over, there isn’t enough continuity.

My favorite version is the TV series, Stand Alone Complex. It is the most accessible due to its incredible action, interesting characters, and amazing soundtrack. Digging deeper, it offers up philosophical insights regarding human nature and identity, and humanity’s interaction with connectivity and technology. Even though I haven’t liked every version of Ghost in the Shell, this was the one that got me into the franchise, and made me excited to see the live-action movie.

2017’s live-action Ghost in the Shell is a failure. It is a hodge-podge of the entire franchise. It combines disparate elements from all the different universes. In doing so, it becomes confused and diluted. It is a mere soup of what makes Ghost in the Shell unique. They had a number of deep storylines from which to choose, and they attempted to tell them all in the most milquetoast way possible. Continue reading ‘Ghost in the Shell (2017)’

29
Apr
17

Sing (No, Please, Don’t)

Now that I have a kid who’s old enough to take to the movies, you can expect to see more children’s film reviews. So, yeah, enjoy these, everyone.

Sing is the latest in a long line of non-Disney animated films that tries hard but misses the point entirely. You see, most non-Disney animated movies think that all they need to be good is a bunch of brightly colored animals cavorting around on-screen. Kids aren’t that stupid. Movies don’t have to pander to them.

Sing is about a koala who owns a failing theater. As a last-ditch effort to save the theater (save the rec center, amirite?), he hosts a singing competition a la American Idol. What follows is a parade of animals singing popular songs. The songs are strung together at regularly intervals to hold together the paper-thin plot.

Continue reading ‘Sing (No, Please, Don’t)’




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