Archive for May, 2016

28
May
16

Whiplash, Silver Linings Playbook

Whiplash

We’ve all had an insane teacher, right? I know I have. Those people that push you really, really hard, scream at you, and bring you to your boiling point. And then, when it’s all over, you look back and realize, “Holy shit, I am better at this thing now because of how hard they pushed me.” Whiplash is like that, but dialed up to eleven. J.K. Simmons plays an instructor at a prestigious music school, who is trying to push his student, Miles Teller, to become the next big jazz musician. Teller tries to live up to Simmons’ impossible standards. He practices his drumming until his fingers bleeds, he deprives himself of sleep, he breaks up with his girlfriend, and he endures hours of torture just to please his instructor. But there’s a fine line between pushing for greatness and going too far. Simmons ends up crossing the line, taking the hazing to lunatic levels. While you watch this movie, you simultaneously cringe in fear in anticipation of Simmons’ next tirade, and you watch with rapt attention, hoping that Teller will win his accolades. Simmons is in a league of his own with a phenomenal acting presence here. He absolutely deserved every award he won for this role. This was a phenomenal movie, and one we can all relate to on some level.

Verdict: Good

Silver Linings Playbook

This is a movie about damaged people, but it manages to be fun and uplifting at the same time. Hollywood almost always gets the medical field wrong, and the psychiatric field gets the shortest end of the stick. This movie manages to get things kind of right, at least more right than most Hollywood movies. Bradley Cooper plays a Bipolar guy who refuses to take his meds, and Jennifer Lawrence plays a girl with raging Borderline Personality Disorder. They freak out and clash with each other, and are as dysfunctional as one would expect given their diagnoses. Even so, they work together, and through teamwork (and love *facepalm*) they get better. The hokiest part was that they find happiness THROUGH THE POWER OF DANCE! I JUST GOTTA DANCE YOU GUYS! which is a bit too cliché for my tastes. The acting was pretty good, though.

Verdict: Average

14
May
16

Captain America: Civil War AKA WTF Did I Just Watch?

Full disclosure, here is a list of Marvel Cinematic Universe properties I haven’t seen: Captain America 2, Thor 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers 2, Ant-Man, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Amazing Spider-Man, and Amazing Spider-Man 2. So, I probably wasn’t prepared for Captain America 3: The Combining of All Properties Civil War. Seeing this movie presented an interesting experiment: watch a bunch of characters I’m not very familiar with cavort on-screen, and try to see if I can figure out what the hell is going on.

Civil War is about Selfless Captain America fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. Err, wait no, scratch that. Civil War is about Sanctimonious Captain America defending his psycho assassin best friend despite the fact he’s a murderous lunatic who deserves to rot in a prison cell.

Continue reading ‘Captain America: Civil War AKA WTF Did I Just Watch?’

07
May
16

Creed and Rocky Are the Same Movie

Apparently, I was supposed to love Creed because of its amazing acting, incredible story, and wonderful direction. Creed was pretty good, I suppose… for a remake.

The problem with Creed is the problem with every fucking movie Hollywood has been churning out lately. It’s a goddamn motherfucking remake. Yeah, that’s right, it’s a remake of the first film in the series: Rocky.

Rocky has long been hailed as one of the finest movies of all time. But it’s 40 years old. That means the current generation is largely unaware of it, and the last generation has probably forgotten most of it. It was an easy trick for the writers of Creed to do a virtual carbon copy of the Rocky screenplay and make it good. Of course it’s good. It was good the first fucking time in Rocky! That’s the reason everyone loved it. They were just watching Rocky again. What a crock of shit!

If you don’t believe that Creed is nearly identical to Rocky, check out this breakdown:

Creed: main character is an underdog no one takes seriously

Rocky: main character is an underdog no one takes seriously

Creed: main character finds an old, down on his luck trainer to teach him to be a better boxer

Rocky: main character finds an old, down on his luck trainer to teach him to be a better boxer

Creed: best fighter in the world sets up a publicity stunt match, giving the underdog a once in a lifetime shot

Rocky: best fighter in the world sets up a publicity stunt match, giving the underdog a once in a lifetime shot

Creed: main character meets a girl and falls in love during his journey

Rocky: main character meets a girl and falls in love during his journey

Creed: the big fight is expected to be an easy win for the champion, but the underdog holds his own

Rocky: the big fight is expected to be an easy win for the champion, but the underdog holds his own

Creed: main character loses by decision

Rocky: main character loses by decision

Creed: the point of the movie is the main character’s journey of self-discovery

Rocky: the point of the movie is the main character’s journey of self-discovery

Continue reading ‘Creed and Rocky Are the Same Movie’

01
May
16

Snowpiercer, Fletch

Snowpiercer

This critically acclaimed 2013 film from South Korea makes you wonder what it takes to make a film “critically acclaimed.” Apparently, it isn’t an interesting story, good action sequences, or wonderful acting, because Snowpiercer has none of those things, but still rocks a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In yet another dreary, boring, post-apocalyptic nightmare, Snowpiercer takes place on a perpetually moving train. The world was completely frozen-over, and the last remnants of humanity took refuge on one insane man’s train, which continues to run indefinitely, despite nobody being alive to maintain the train tracks.

The train is divided into two classes: our heroes (the poor) and the villains (the rich). The rich are stealing children for some reason, so the poor decide to rise up one day and find out what’s going on.

Chris Evans leads the poor people in their uprising. They fight their way to the front of the train with some pretty bland action scenes along the way. Tilda Swinton shows up to chew some scenery, and John Hurt appears to cash a paycheck before both move on to better projects.

Evans finds the crazed engineer, played by Ed Harris, who says they have to use small children to keep the guts of the train clean. Because, yeah, um, just accept it. Some more fighting happens, the train explodes and derails, and everybody dies except for one kid and a Korean chick.

There is nothing unique or thrilling about Snowpiercer. It’s yet another entry into a tired genre that needs to go on extended hiatus.

Verdict: Bad

Fletch

Chevy Chase stars as Fletch, an intrepid reporter hot on a California drug case. Chase is at the height of his comedy powers here, when he was snorting mountains of cocaine, but it hadn’t caused irreparable brain damage yet. He dons plenty of wacky disguises as he investigates a labyrinthine mystery involving an airplane company, the police, and a rich man who wants to be murdered. It isn’t super jokey, and I wouldn’t even say it’s an outright comedy. Yes, there are tons of light moments, and nothing is really taken seriously. But I would almost classify it as a light drama. Chase does a great job moving the action along, and makes the comedy appear effortless. While it is a fun movie, it is rather unmemorable, and I don’t think it has a lot of replay value. Still, it’s worth a watch.

Verdict: Average




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