The Other Woman
The Other Woman is the epitome of shitty Hollywood film-making. It features a braindead plot about a high-powered New York City lawyer, played by Cameron Diaz, who never actually has to do any work. She is unwittingly having an affair with a married man. She is “the other woman.” When the wife, played by Leslie Mann, finds out, she immediately gloms onto Diaz, and forces the two of them to become friends. They bond over their mutual hatred for the husband. Obviously, this would never happen. The movie tries to force insipid, unfunny buddy comedy down the audience’s throat. I guess you could equate watching this movie to being waterboarded. Anyway, the two women hook up with a third woman who is also unwittingly sleeping with the husband. The three of them team up to humiliate him. They eventually get revenge, and the movie takes a sudden and bizarre turn into gross-out/violence humor when the husband walks through two plate glass windows and gets soaked in blood. As an aside, what the fuck happened to Cameron Diaz’s face? It looks like an old catcher’s mitt in this movie. I wish I had a score lower than Shitty on this blog, because that’s what I would give this train wreck.
Broadchurch Season 1
Broadchurch is a 2013 British TV series about a murder investigation in a small town. The series was so successful that it managed to snag a second season, even though it was originally meant to just be a mini-series. An 11-year-old boy is found dead on the beach in an idyllic coastal town. Police show up to investigate, but the lead investigator, played by David Tennant, has a black mark on his record, being unable to close a previous case due to a scandal. The media shows up, as well, making the investigation much harder to conduct. There are several central characters populating the small town, each of whom has some kind of secret they are protecting. The point of Broadchurch wasn’t really the murder investigation. It was how the investigation turned up all the town’s dirty secrets, and turned citizens against one another. It featured some brilliant writing at times, the case was riveting, and the performances from Tennant, and his co-lead Olivia Colman, were fantastic. This is a great series, and a great deviation from the usual procedural crap that plagues TV these days.
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.
Branded to Kill
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.
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.
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.
The Fault in Our Stars
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.
Tags: 8 mile, a beautiful mind, academy awards, Batman, bourne ultimatum, cast away, chicago, Christopher Nolan, crash, Dark Knight, gladiator, Harry Potter, Hustle and Flow, Inglorious Basterds, iron man, Lord of the Rings, Memento, million dollar baby, No Country for Old Men, oscars, Pirates of the Caribbean, prisoner of azkaban, Quentin Tarantino, slumdog millionaire, the departed, the hurt locker, Wicker Man, zoolander
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.
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.
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.