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25
Jan
13

Cloud Atlas Smelled Like a Fart

Cloud Atlas had a ton of hype around it when it came out in October. It took Brik and I a few months to get around to seeing it, since we usually wait for things to get to the second run theater. I am very glad I did not waste $10 a ticket to see this turd.

The coolest scene in the movie.

The plot of Cloud Atlas is divided into multiple storylines, each taking place in a different time period using all of the same actors playing different characters. Each plot line had little strands woven in that linked them somehow to the other time periods. The goal was lofty: to demonstrate that each action, good or bad, has consequences to everyone, even rippling out to the distant future.

The tagline for the movie is Everything is Connected, and this makes sense given what they tried to do with the plot lines. However, I spent most of the time in the theater wondering how is everything connected (besides Halle Barry treading the boundary of black and white). How could the average moviegoer pick out these barely discernible threads? This is Amurrica. Dumb it down please.  Continue reading ‘Cloud Atlas Smelled Like a Fart’

12
Oct
12

Game of Thrones Seasons One and Two

That is what the show is called.

Game of Thrones Season 1

I thought Season 1 of Game of Thrones was really good. I enjoyed the fighting, the nudity, and the midget. Since the rest of the internet also liked Season 1, I will end my review here. There’s not much that I can add to the collective wisdom already out there on the subject. I will pose the rhetorical question, why does Sean Bean die in every role he gets? The world may never know.

Sean Bean

I know, it totally sucks that you always get killed.

Game of Thrones Season 2

Season 2 of Game of Thrones can suck my balls. The season suffered from slow pacing, lack of fighting, really confusing plot (or lack thereof), too many characters, and not enough nudity. Even more nudity wouldn’t have made up for all of the other problems, but it would have helped. I am so sick of people talking about how awesome Game of Thrones is, because either they haven’t seen Season 2, or they just weren’t watching it at all and were on bookface the entire time.

1) Slow Pacing

There was a shitload of talking this season. Not yelling, not fighting, just talking. I do that all the time with teh Brik, so when I watch TV I want to see something more exciting than talking, unless the conversation is interesting. I have ADD and this did not hold my attention for 10 episodes. 10 hours of television, that is all this show takes for a season, and it was about 9 hours too long. They should have cut out all of the talking, or at least run it at 3x speed. Early in the season I had reason to believe that all of this talking meant something, but by episode 2 I realized it was useless filler.

2) Lack of Fighting

I didn’t read the book series, but from what teh Brik told me, there are some pretty epic fight scenes in print. I never saw them on my TV. Did you?

This picture came up when I googled Game of Thrones.

3) Confusing Plot

I think the reason the plot was confusing was because there was so much meaningless conversation followed by so little fighting and the mysterious appearance of new characters that seemingly had no relation to any of the existing characters (see #4). Not to mention that the plots I cared about, involving Daenerys and Arya, got so little air time that it was very difficult for me to maintain interest. My confusion might have been my own fault, but instead of taking personal responsibility I choose to blame the writers.

4) Too Many Characters

Every episode some new asshole would appear and I would have to google who the fuck they were to try to figure out what was happening. If I wanted to do that, I would have just read the books first. I know there are a shit ton of characters in these books, but sometimes when you adapt for TV, you have to change things (OMFG!) to make them work better for television. Don’t punish me for being an average American who is incapable of picking up a book not printed in an extra large font.

If I had this, maybe I would have known who the fuck was on the screen.

5) Not Enough Nudity

I think if more sex scenes and nakedness had happened I wouldn’t have cared as much about #1-4. I can’t guarantee I’d rate the season highly but no one can complain about more nudity, even if it is gratuitous.

The only high point of Season 2 for me was Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. His character had depth, humor, and enough screen time for me to give a fuck. If the entire show was just about him and they threw away the rest of the subplots I’d be happy. Or if he decapitated Joffrey, either way. I look forward to seeing Dinklage in something more deserving of his talents after he finishes his work in this series.

This is exactly how I feel.

In conclusion, Game of Thrones can fuck off. I really loved Season 1 but I really hated Season 2, and since 2 came after 1, I am left with a bad taste in my mouth. I would not cry if this show was cancelled.

Season One Verdict: Awesome

Season Two Verdict: Shitty

Average: Shitty

03
Aug
12

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises cast.

Since The Dark Knight Rises is a big fuckin’ deal, BrikHaus and Mrs. Brik have decided to do a tag-team review.

Mrs. Brik

I would like to preface this review by letting you know that I am not a particularly big fan of comic book movies. I only watch them if they look interesting (and they rarely do). I liked the first Iron Man. Lots of witty dialogue and ass-kicking, the story made sense, and it was paced well. Iron Man is an example of what Hollywood is almost never capable of doing: making a big-budget movie into something good. (I cannot, however, say the same thing for Iron Man 2.) The Hulk is an example of Hollywood at its worst. They made the same movie repeatedly and did a mediocre job of it each and every time.

Having said all that, Rises made all of my wildest dreams come true.  Continue reading ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

07
Apr
12

A History of Violence

A wholesome family film.

A History of Violence is a 2005 film starring Viggo Mortensen and directed by David Cronenberg. (He also directed the 2007 film Eastern Promises and the 2011 film A Dangerous Method, both starring, you guessed it, Viggo Mortensen.) I have seen Eastern Promises multiple times and just recently saw A Dangerous Method, not to mention numerous other Viggo films, so I was prepared to be blown away.

The film wasn’t terrible, and it didn’t disappoint in the BAMF department, but it definitely wasn’t his best film. There was plenty of graphic violence and unbelievable situations for Viggo to wriggle his way out of, but the acting, especially the child acting, was pretty terrible.

Let’s start with the bad. Considering that every actor in the film has a long list of titles under their belts, I don’t get the weak performances. This wasn’t David Cronenberg’s first rodeo, either, but considering I saw his later works first, I must have just been spoiled. The acting was extremely flat in parts and then way overdone in others. The children reminded me more of robots than children. In the opening scenes, for example, when the homicidal maniac shot the whimpering kid, I was laughing at how the kid was crying. I don’t really think that’s what they were shooting for (no pun intended). Ed Harris was really the only actor I can exclude from this, because I didn’t get that awkward feeling in any of his scenes. Everything just felt a little bit off and the cheese factor was off the charts. A scene that really exemplifies this is when the local sheriff shows up at Tom’s house and tries to get to the bottom of his “history”. His wife starts bawling uncontrollably (too much, in my opinion) and then the sheriff leaves. After that, Tom and his wife, Edie, start slapping each other around in an apparently erotic way because then they start doing it on the stairs. I can relate because I know I get all hot and bothered when I learn about my husband’s secret mob history and we’ve punched each other a few times.

OMG oh noes!

Another example of the cheesy bad acting was when Fogarty (Ed Harris) confronts  Tom (Viggo) about his history in the Philadelphia mob. Tom gives him a shit-eating grin and denies it–but it comes across as really fake. I couldn’t tell if Tom was supposed to be an amnesiac, an idiot, or just a really bad liar. (If they were going for bad liar then they succeeded.) He kept denying it repeatedly with that same goofy look on his face, and I didn’t buy his reaction, not one bit. Also, he had a tendency to talk way too softly, which just reminded me of the really bad voice-overs they did for the children in Pod People (“I think I’ll call him trumpy”). If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you can suck it. Or try googling.

Moving on to the good stuff. There was plenty of graphic, gratuitous violence with Viggo at the helm. He punches a man repeatedly in the face, and then they show the man lying on the ground struggling to breathe with what’s left. Or after Tom shoots Crapley in the head and they show him dead on the ground, his face blown off. I’m not into torture porn or anything, but they did do a good job of making it gory enough to be realistic but not so gory that it made me want to throw up. Not only that, but they made Viggo’s character seem innocent, likable, and secretly capable of an ass-whooping all in one fell swoop. This is a woman’s dream man: sensitive, handsome, with an ability to pistol-whip his enemies at the slightest provocation.

I look innocent but I will kick your ass.

The peak of awesomeness in this movie happens at the end, when Tom’s brother Richie orders his men to have him killed–Tom miraculously escapes from the choke wire and kills both of them. He runs downstairs, tricks Richie into going outside (proving Viggo is not just handsome but smart, too), shutting the door behind him and using the opportunity to shoot the final henchman multiple times in the head, blood splattering everywhere. Finally he steps outside and delivers a fatal bullet to Richie’s skull. He killed his own brother! The amount of sheer ruthlessness was awesome. Show no mercy, Viggo. Show no mercy.

Overall, the film didn’t let me down in the action department. There was more than enough Violence to satisfy me. The acting was where I really felt let down. Though the cast was filled with experienced actors, only one managed to deliver a solid performance.

Verdict: Average

22
Jan
12

Fifty Reasons Why 50/50 Sucked

I'm not going to waste my time listing 50 reasons why this movie was terrible because I don't need that many to argue my case, but it sounds catchy, so just go with it.

This movie had all the elements, in theory, to be awesome. It had a decent cast, i.e. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It had balls jokes in the trailer. Finally, it was written by Will Reiser, who had something to do with Da Ali G Show, which led me to believe it might be decent. I was prepared to be inspired by the heartwarming story of JGL overcoming cancer, while giggling at poop jokes made by Seth Rogen. I was sorely disappointed.

The overarching reason I hated this movie was that it tried to show something “true-to-life” in a way that got the details of real life completely wrong. (If you get the details wrong, it pulls me out of movieland and back to reality, where I am then free to judge mercilessly.)

Take the oncologist he sees, for example. The doctor has absolutely no people skills and won’t even look JGL in the eye when he’s talking to him. He only knows how to use extremely complex medical terminology that JGL can’t understand, and on top of all of that he brings JGL into a swanky office, with a desk between them, instead of, oh, I don’t know, an EXAM ROOM like most docs use, to diagnose him with the tumor. I know it’s popular in society to hate on doctors right now for having no empathy or compassion, because doctors are huge assholes who don’t give a shit about their patients, they go into it just to get rich and to have a personal stripper on speed dial, but come on. Think it through. What person would go through four years of medical school, incurring 6 digit debt, followed by 3-11 years of slave labor training just for the money? And explain to me how after that 3-11 years of patient contact (not counting the 2 years in medical school) a person manages to escape without any people skills whatsoever? Hollywood just pisses me off with their portrayal of the medical community in general, and 50/50 did no better than most other films out there at capturing reality.

Jumping off of that, how exactly was his therapist a doctor? She introduced herself as doctor, then proceeded to say she was working on her dissertation and was under supervision (but where the hell was the supervisor) and oh shit, her office was awfully nice for a student. I’m pretty sure (positive, because I’ve seen one) that they just cram “students” or “residents” or whatever into any small crevice available, with old piece of shit furniture and no A/C controls, and you’re lucky if you get a window. I can guarantee that your supervisor would be present with your first patient. They don’t just let you run with it on your own, if they did they’d be personally responsible if that patient hurt himself or someone else. Luckily, JGL just decided to call her up and ask her out ON HER PERSONAL CELL PHONE NUMBER THAT SHE GAVE HIM!!!!!!!!! This probably does not outrage you as much as it does me, but I am married to a psychiatrist and you Never. Give. Out. Your. Personal. Phone. Number. Not to patients. Don’t do it. Horrible idea. They WILL call you, at all hours of the night, for emergencies like I can’t sleep unless you give me more Xanax.”

Ok, enough with the ranting on the medical stuff. Let’s move on.

I really hated JGL’s character in this movie. He was totally spineless before the tumor literally ate up his spine, so honestly I didn’t give a crap if he got over cancer or not. I couldn’t sympathize with him. He let his girlfriend walk all over him and cheat on him with a stinky hippie; his friend had to bitch out his girlfriend for him because he didn’t have the balls to do it himself (did he also have cancer there?). At the end it seemed like somehow the cancer taught him to be more assertive, but if anything cancer would beat you down even more. I don’t buy that his growing tumor also magically grew his self-confidence.

The entire idea of a comedy about cancer is flawed to begin with. It’s an oxymoron. There’s nothing you can say to make cancer funny. Was I supposed to be lol’ing when JGL’s old man friend passed away (in the span of a week, when he previously looked perfectly healthy)? Was I supposed to be LMFAO when he was getting chemo? I just don’t get how the two fit together, and from what I saw, they didn’t. One of the only funny things in the movie was when he shaved his head with the balls trimmer, but the outcome was that JGL had a buzz cut, and all I could think after that was JGL looks really ugly with a buzz cut.” JGL isn’t exactly the sexiest man in Hollywood, but I can usually fantasize about making sweet, sweet love to him during his movies. Like in Inception, where he was exceptionally well dressed during the entire film, had witty dialogue, and oh yeah, he had hair. 50/50 really cock-blocked me on this one.

Now my head smells like your balls.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the dog his cheating girlfriend gave him, Skeletor. WHAT THE FUCK? Did you see that dog? Did they starve that dog on set just to make the name Skeletor more fitting? I get that greyhounds are lanky dogs, they are runners, blah blah blah. But you are NOT SUPPOSED TO SEE ALL OF THEIR BONES. If you can, they are too skinny. Someone should call the ASPCA or PETA or something on them. I can’t find a picture to prove my point here but I remember being completely disgusted in the theater. A little ribs showing is one thing; seeing hip bones is absolutely too thin and I distinctly remember seeing hip bones.

I really wanted to like 50/50. Comedy about inappropriate subjects is right up my alley. But while the movie had some funny moments, overall it just didn’t feel real. I could never get sucked in to the movie’s world and get lost in the story. They made too many mistakes, in my opinion, for the movie to have any real heart.

Verdict: Shitty

02
Dec
11

How to Jump the Shark: The Office Season 8

They should have crossed out the whole picture.

Up until this season, The Office was probably my favorite show of all time (second only to Rock of Love Bus). I quoted it. I had parties to watch the new episodes. I loved it, and since I hate everything, that is saying a lot. The show had weak episodes here and there, but through 7 seasons, it gave me a lot of laughs.

Then came season 8. Why couldn’t The Office have had the grace to quit while they were ahead?

I predict that The Office will be cancelled by the end of the season, if not before. It certainly needs to be put out of its misery. Here’s why:

  1. They lost the show’s main character. Yes, The Office has an ensemble cast, but the world of The Office only works with Michael Scott at the helm. He is an incompetent boss, completely insane, and yet still likable. The show revolved around Michael’s crazy ideas and the rest of the office trying to cope with/react to them. Andy is not nearly incompetent or insane enough, and Robert California might be insane but he’s barely on the show. Without Michael, it’s just an office full of slightly weird/annoying people. Why would I waste my time watching it when I can just go to work?
  2. All of the characters got fat. Ok, not all of them. Just Darryl and Pam. And Pam is pregnant, not so much “fat” per se. Either way, I feel like the cast is just bigger this year, and for some reason I don’t enjoy watching them as much because of it. So sue me.
  3. The characters are not consistent. Pam used to be somewhat meek, shy even. She seemed like a nice person–now she just seems arrogant and entitled. Round-face smug, bossy Pam. She seems more like Angela now. And Angela is nice and happy this season. What the hell? Who decided to switch Angela and Pam? I don’t like either of them now. Andy used to be an acapella-loving, banjo-playing man with anger issues. Now he is an acapella-loving, banjo-playing man with daddy issues. Ok, so Andy has issues. Why not carry on his previous anger issue? Why make up a new one this season? They used it as a plot device for a single episode, instead of building on past established traits in multiple episodes. It didn’t fit and I didn’t get it.
  4. They tried to continue the series after all of the loose ends were tied up. Last season, Michael Scott finally realized his dream to get engaged to someone equally as insane as him. Pam and Jim already had their happily ever after. Angela was dating a gay politician. Dwight was exactly the same as he was on day 1 of the series. The Office was left with an uncertain future with no replacement boss–what better way to end? What other story is there to tell? (None, if you couldn’t guess.) Leave it open so that each viewer can make up his own ending, if you will.
  5. The gags are over-the-top. I know what you’re thinking. It’s The Office. ALL of the gags are over-the-top. But that’s just it–they’re not. Like when Jim and Pam throw Andy’s phone into the ceiling over his desk. That is totally doable, and I’m sure people tried it after the show aired. Or the time when Michael was going to pretend to commit suicide by jumping off the roof into a bouncy castle. It was crazy, but within Michael’s realm of crazy, so I could buy it. This season? Jim publishing a fake book online about throwing garden parties? Dwight finding it, purchasing it, and using it as a reference to throw a garden party? IMPOSSIBLE. At the very least, IMPLAUSIBLE. Sorry guys, I just don’t believe your jokes anymore.
  6. Not enough of the minor characters. I love Meredith, Creed, and Kelly. They have provided some of the funniest moments this show has ever offered up. Creed selling fake IDs to all the local teenagers. Meredith flashing Michael in his office. Creed’s “blog”.  Meredith trading sex for paper discounts. Creed taking a bite out of a potato. Almost anything that Kelly says. (“I have a question for you Ryan. First of all, how dare you.”) In seasons past, I would lol every time they would come on screen–but this season I haven’t lol’ed once. Are they even in this season, or do they just not have anything even remotely funny to say?
  7. The writing is bad. I think that sums up 3-6. The writers all forgot their craft after Steve Carell left the show. His impact on the entire production was obviously huge, because without him, they just can’t pull it off. Most of the issues I listed could be corrected with better writing–but it won’t happen. If they could write better episodes, they’d be doing it already.

The bottom line is that the show is pointless without Steve Carell. If the people in charge had any insight, they would have realized this and cancelled it already. Instead, they decided to go for one more season–but I guarantee it will be the last.*

Verdict: Shitty

*But if it’s not I’ll still be watching, and complaining about it the entire time.




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