Archive for April, 2013

26
Apr
13

I Saw the Devil and He Looked Like a Bitch

I saw the Devil’s pants.

I Saw the Devil is a movie that has a good premise, good acting, good directing, and good production values. Despite having so many good things going for it, it’s a piece of crap thanks to having a boneheaded script. No matter how wonderful everything in your movie may be, if your script sucks ass, your movie will suck ass.

The film takes place in South Korea, and the premise is that a serial killer’s latest victim was a young woman who happened to be the fiancée of a spy. The spy uses his training and advanced technology to hunt the killer. But he doesn’t just hunt him down and murder him. No, his revenge is to psychologically torment the killer, making his life a living Hell. Like I said, great premise. Sadly, the characters act like stupid dipshits, ruining the movie.

Continue reading ‘I Saw the Devil and He Looked Like a Bitch’

19
Apr
13

Young Adult, Gangster Squad

Young Adult

She has a great life.

Young Adult tells the story of an emotionally stunted 37-year-old woman who returns to her hometown in order to win back the love of her life. Unfortunately, there are several problems. First, she is stuck in the past while everyone else has moved on. Second, she’s a narcissistic bitch that everybody hates. And third, the man of her dreams is already married and is not the slightest bit interested in her.

Charlize Theron plays the ghost-writer of a popular book series aimed at high-schoolers. The series has reached its end, and she is bumbling through life with no idea what to do next. She winds up back in her small hometown. She meets a few people she used to know, but we quickly learn she has no friends. She has no friends because she was a total bitch in high school. Her bitchiness has remained the same. Her development has arrested at the young adult period of her life. Theron’s character is also a raging alcoholic, either drunk or hung over in every scene of the film. She is completely delusional in her belief that she can win her old flame back.

Theron shares a significant amount of screen time with Patton Oswalt, who plays a guy who was nearly beaten to death as a teenager. Despite resistance on both ends, the two of them reconnect in a way. He’s funny and charming, and provides a nice balance to Theron’s completely self-centered character. Fortunately, they don’t reconnect in the usual, cliche Hollywood fashion.

The best part of this movie is its realism. It shows that people who were cool in high school usually grow up to be losers. Those people live in a fantasy world, thinking they are still the shit, while everyone else has learned otherwise. In the end, Theron’s character shows little to no growth. Young Adult is an interesting character study. Not much really happens, but it is completely mesmerizing to watch. It has drama, laughs, and a few uncomfortable scenes, too. Even though it was written by Diablo Cody, this movie stands miles above her usual dreck. You should check it out.

Verdict: Good

Gangster Squad

“Myeah, see, I want the Gangster Squad rubbed out, myeah, see.”

This movie begins with the words: “Inspired by a True Story.”

Gee, I wonder which parts of the story were true? I’d bet they were:

  • Two cars ripping a bad guy in half.
  • Josh Brolin using a moving elevator to sever a guy’s hand.
  • Throwing grenades back and forth between two moving cars.
  • Sean Penn saying “You know the drill” and then killing a guy with a drill.
  • Babygoose talking in a weird, high-pitched voice.
  • Faking out the audience to think Josh Brolin’s family is dead, but SURPRISE they are fine. DERP!
  • The squad trying to take down Sean Penn’s operation but doing so without any kind of plan.
  • The squad (remember, this is the 1940s) being racially diverse.
  • Babygoose going after jail bait Emma Stone.
  • Babygoose dumping acid on a bad guy’s crotch.
  • Josh Brolin throwing away his gun so he can fight Sean Penn hand-to-hand.
  • Sean Penn pretending to know how to fight.
  • Nick Nolte croaking his lines like a bullfrog.

Gangster Squad has to be the most accurate movie “inspired by a true story” of all time. Man, oh man, I love movies that are based on true stories. Usually, only one aspect of the movie is true and everything else is made up. Fortunately, I can say without hesitation that Gangster Squad doesn’t have this problem. There is no doubt in my mind that this movie is 100% historically accurate. I would like to use this opportunity to thank The Gangster Squad for cleaning up L.A. for good. Thanks to their efforts, it is a clean, prosperous metropolis without gangs, drugs, or crime of any kind.

Verdict: Shitty

12
Apr
13

Horse Meat is Horsalicious

“Wilbur, nooo!”

I love a good scandal.

There are all kinds of scandals. Sex scandals, financial scandals, government scandals, and that guy who hates gays but turns out to be gay himself scandals. The crazier the better. And right now, Europe is in the throes of one of the craziest scandals of all time. A horse meat scandal.

Delicious.

It all started in January 2013 when horse meat was found mixed in with frozen beef in the UK and Ireland. Genetic testing revealed as much as 29% of the sold meat was from horses. ABP Food Group’s subsidiaries were found to be culpable in the UK and Ireland. February, in France, a company called Spanghero was caught intentionally selling horse meat labelled as beef. Apparently, they bought the meat from Romania, where it had been labeled correctly, and then changed the label to beef. This seemed like a good idea at the time, because people could unwitting get all the health benefits of horse meat Big Macs.

Continue reading ‘Horse Meat is Horsalicious’

05
Apr
13

Person of Interest Season 1

Peoples of Interests

J.J. Abrams is the king of producing entertaining pilot episodes. From the incredibly awesome like Fringe to the good but flawed Alias to the hilariously terrible like Lost, he knows how to put together a first episode. Abrams, however, as a hands-off producer, isn’t the driving force behind this series. That title belongs to Jonathan Nolan, brother of famous film director Christopher Nolan. Jonathan is no slouch in the writing department. He wrote a short story which became the film Memento, and he was co-writer on The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Of course, when I started Person of Interest, I didn’t know any of this, I just started it, expecting another shitty, by the numbers cop procedural.

Surprisingly, this series offers much more than that. Let’s start with the bad stuff. Yes, the show has a case-of-the-week format. Yes, there are a lot of filler episodes. And yes, it airs on network TV which is usually not a good thing. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff.

First, the premise is great. A computer genius named Harold Finch (played by Michael Emerson) created “The Machine” for the U.S. government in the paranoia following 9/11. The Machine is an omnipresent monitoring device the government uses to eavesdrop on everyone via security cameras, email, telephones, GPS, etc. If it finds what it perceives to be a terrorist threat, it passes that information to the government. If some piece of information is considered irrelevant, it ignores it. Finch realized that the irrelevant stuff often led to crimes and/or murders that he had no way of stopping. He eventually teams up with a disavowed CIA agent named John Reese (played by Jim Caviezel) and the two of them try to stop the “irrelevant” crimes.

“Let’s go save some people we are interested in.”

Second, the show kicks ass. Solving crimes doesn’t involve a bunch of CSI-style bullshit lab work. No, it typically features Reese following bad guys and then confronting bad guys. In order to solve crimes, he usually commits way more crimes including armed robbery, arson, kidnapping, assault, and murder. Of course, he is doing all this stuff to bad guys, but it is fun to watch him deal vigilante justice and cause way more destruction and mayhem than if he had just ignored the irrelevant crime in the first place. Anytime Reese throws down with someone, the show is plenty exciting.

Third, the writing is great. Despite having a case-of-the-week format, there are several story threads that run continuously throughout the episodes. Every character has a compelling back story, which is teased to the audience through flashbacks throughout the season. By the end of the season you know more about Reese, Finch, The Machine, and the two main antagonists, but you certainly don’t know everything. There are plenty of mysteries left to be unraveled. The show can also be surprising, as when Reese and Finch set out to stop a crime, they don’t know if the person The Machine has given them is going to be the perpetrator or the victim. A couple of times, the person they are protecting turns out to be the bad guy. It keeps the show more fresh and varied, and offers up a good deal of entertainment.

Time to shoot some interesting people.

The acting is kind of a mixed bag. Caviezel plays his character as a stoic, monotone warrior who would rather kick your ass than mince words. At first this seems to be a drawback, but as the character becomes more fleshed out, you get a sense of why he became that way, and it ultimately works in his favor. Emerson is consistently good as the nerdy and paranoid Finch, and manages to be dramatic and comedic in all the right places. Kevin Chapman, who plays a crooked cop (Fusco), is also consistently good. Even guest stars like Enrico Colantoni (Elias) can bring in pretty great performances. The major weak link in the acting is Taraji Henson (Carter), who plays a sassy cop who is hot on Reese’s trail. The material is beyond her capabilities, and she is completely unbelievable as a police detective. Any time she’s on-screen with someone else, she’s upstaged. She doesn’t have the acting chops to successfully pull off this role. I’ve never cared for her. She was annoying on Boston Legal, and she’s just as annoying here.

My biggest complaint of TV in general is that seasons are too long. With a 22 episode order, and maybe 11-12 episodes worth of ideas, the writers are stuck shoe-horning in 9 or 10 shitty episodes every year. If the networks followed cable’s example, and did 13 episode seasons, the writing of all their series would be much better. With Person of Interest, it becomes obvious which episodes are meant to move the story along and which are written as afterthoughts because they needed to fill an order for a specific number of episodes. The filler episodes are generally weak, and easily skippable. The important episodes, though, are a blast, totally engrossing, and definitely worth watching.

Sure, Person of Interest isn’t revolutionary. It’s not meant to be. But it is a step above the typical procedural dreck that plagues network TV. If you are in the mood for something a little different, with a cool premise, fun action, and good writing, then you should check this one out.

Verdict: Good

01
Apr
13

The Zen of Spam 3

Maintaining a blog for over four years has its perks. One of the best parts is getting great spam messages in the comment inbox. While most of them are links to porn sites or incoherent gibberish, there are a few comedic gems. I have listed some of my favorites, in no particular order. Read them and meditate. To understand them is to achieve enlightenment.

  • F*ckin? awesome things here. I?m very satisfied to see your article. Thanks so much and i am having a look ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

Thanks? a lot for the compliment. I?m very satisfied to see your spam comment. Thanks so much and i am having a look ahead to… TOUCH ME?! Holy shit! I think this spambot is stalking me.

  • she is about to masturbate in the bedroom in a hotel room after taking her clothes off when her girlfriend s dude buddy knocks at the door.

Woah, that sounds really fucking hot. It’s like I’m reading Penthouse Forum all of a sudden. Hey, don’t stop there. What happens next? I’ve got my tissues and lotion ready. Don’t leave me hanging!

  • Had a wardrobe fitting for the next season of iCarly! Freddie’s clothes are Freddie-er than ever. And I still fit in last season’s jeans! 😀

OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS! ONE OF THE CAST MEMBERS FROM iCARLY READS MY BLOG! SQUEEEE! Ahem. But why does it have to be Freddie? Why can’t it be Carly instead? She’s legal now, right?

Continue reading ‘The Zen of Spam 3’




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