Archive for the 'Movies' Category

11
Feb
17

Interstellar: The Girls Keep Getting Older, But the Spaceman Stays the Same Age

Christopher Nolan has a pretty good track record. His Dark Knight trilogy was excellent, and some of his other films like Memento and Inception have gone on to be modern classics. Unfortunately, Nolan finally hit a stumbling block with his ninth film.

Interstellar wants to be a space epic in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It also wants to feature a labyrinthine mystery like Memento and be mindfucky like Inception. Sadly, though, it’s none of those things. It just gets bogged down under its own weight and Nolan’s ill-advised aspirations.

Continue reading ‘Interstellar: The Girls Keep Getting Older, But the Spaceman Stays the Same Age’

28
Jan
17

The Mist, Trainwreck

The Mist

A 2007 adaptation of a Stephen King novel directed by Frank Darabont seems like a recipe for success. After all, the two of them made fan-favorite The Shawshank Redemption. Sadly, though, this movie was a misfire for everyone involved. It takes places in a sleepy Maine town that gets overrun by a mysterious mist. What’s in the mist? Giant bugs and tentacle monsters (*facepalm*). The characters crowd inside a supermarket while they try to wait out the pending apocalypse, but the group loses cohesion and the fight to stay alive becomes exponentially harder.

There are all kinds of problems with this movie. Foremost is the absurd length. It’s over two hours long, and for what essentially boils down to a monsters-killing-everyone flick, that’s about thirty minutes longer than it needs to be. The pacing of the scenes between the monsters is laborious, and the film drags most of the time. And when the monsters come out, the incredibly dated CGI makes them more hilarious than frightening.

None of the characters are remotely interesting, and there is nothing for the audience to latch onto. The only good thing about this movie was the ballsy, super-dark ending. I hadn’t expecting something so bleak, and it definitely worked. But watching the dreck that came before didn’t make it worthwhile.

Verdict: Shitty

Trainwreck

Trainwreck falls squarely into the “check out the socially-inept, rude, funny, fat chick” genre of comedy films. Written and starring Amy Schumer, Trainwreck fails to bring anything new to the table, and instead recycles the same clichéd relationship jokes that have been done a million times over. None of the characters are relatable, from the unbelievably oversexed Schumer to the as-exciting-as-paint-drying Bill Hader. There is a bizarre subplot with Schumer’s father, played by a young Colin Quinn, suddenly getting dementia, being put in a home, and dying. It is strange because he acts normal, is way too young to have dementia, let alone be her father, and it adds nothing of value to the story. In the end, Schumer and Hader’s characters break up, and they get back together without an apology or any growth on the part of Schumer’s deplorable character. I admit I laughed at some of the jokes, and, most surprising of all, LeBron James was the highlight of the film. Overall, though, it’s not worth it.

Verdict: Bad

21
Jan
17

Rogue One: A BrikHaus Review

Another year, and another Hollywood attempt to cash in on peoples’ childhoods. This time, it comes (again) in the form of Star Wars. The last movie, The Force Awakens, turned out to be nothing more than a thinly veiled remake of the original. It was watchable in the same sense that McDonald’s is edible. You can eat it, and maybe even enjoy it in the moment, but later on you feel sick and full of regret. That means the odds were already stacked against Rogue One.

Rogue One is a prequel to the original trilogy. Star Wars prequels have an abysmal track record, but George Lucas didn’t have anything to do with this one. So, I went into it hopeful that, at the very least, it wouldn’t be a total clusterfuck. Thankfully, it wasn’t.

Continue reading ‘Rogue One: A BrikHaus Review’

29
Oct
16

Movies > Books: Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s famous novel Frankenstein was originally published in 1818. It’s become an English literary classic in the 200 years since. Conceptually, it’s phenomenal; the story of a man who dares to become God by creating life out of dead flesh. Unfortunately, for those of us who have actually read the book, we all know how badly executed it is.

Shelley wrote the novel between the ages of 18 and 20. When you read it, you can tell it was written by a teenager. It has no depth, no nuance, clunky prose, it’s idealistic to the point of annoyance, and it smacks of worldly inexperience. It is exactly the kind of book you would expect a teenage girl to write. It doesn’t convey any maturity that an adult writer would naturally have from a lifetime of experience.

LOL BUT BRIK IF IT SUCKED SO BAD IT WOULDNT BE A CLASSIC DUH LOL

Shelley’s book is indeed a “classic” today, but not because she wrote a good book. Shelley got extremely lucky. First, her husband was the world-famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and he certainly had pull within academic and publishing circles. Second, she lived in a time when pretty much anyone who had the wherewithal to write a book (i.e. they were rich) could get it published. It’s not like today when anyone with Microsoft Word can bang out a shitty novel and self-publish it on Amazon. Third, the 1931 film Frankenstein was so incredible, people remember that and not the book on which it was based.

Continue reading ‘Movies > Books: Frankenstein’

08
Oct
16

The Accountant, The Innkeepers

The Accountant

I think it’s great that Hollywood is finally recognizing Autism, and giving its sufferers, such as Ben Affleck, starring roles in films. Affleck plays a shady accountant that fixes books for drug lords and terrorists. Working with such greasy clientele, he’s had to keep a low profile. The government has been tracking him for years, and finally gets a break in the case to hunt him down.

Simultaneously, Affleck gets a new assignment, one that causes him to cross paths with hired guns. As a kid, his psycho father trained him in martial arts and marksmanship. So, Affleck is able to kill quite handily. He goes against said killers while trying to keep his identity a secret.

The movie works well on pretty much all levels. The story is smartly written, and paced evenly, although it’s a bit slow in parts. We learn Affleck’s history through well-placed flashbacks, and there is even a stunner of a twist ending that I won’t spoil for you here.

It’s not an action movie, although there is some action in it. The action isn’t anything to write home about; don’t expect this to be the next John Wick. It’s more a thriller, a story meant to keep the audience guessing. The acting is also pretty good, too. Affleck barely emotes, and when he does, it’s mostly for laughs. For once, he finally found a role he was suited for.

Overall, it’s an above-average thriller, but probably won’t be one we remember ten years from now.

Verdict: Good

The Innkeepers

This 2011 horror film has rave reviews, but I can’t understand why. It’s certainly not the worst horror film ever made, but it is far from the best. It might actually be the most disappointing one I’ve seen.

It features a pair of hotel employees trying to figure out if their hotel is haunted. The film starts out promising. It takes its time setting up the characters and the atmosphere. It lets the audience get to know the surroundings, and slowly builds a sense of dread. The problem with most horror films is they go right for the jump-scares without giving the audience any time to settle in.

This movie sets up atmosphere to a fault.  It spends 1 hour and 20 minutes of it’s 1 hour and 40 minute runtime setting up atmosphere. That amount of setup is beyond excessive. By the time the scares actually come, the audience is bored stiff. It’s a tease more than anything else. Yes, the scares were good, and they didn’t have to rely on startles, which I approved of. But, sadly, it’s a case of too little, too late.

Verdict: Bad

01
Oct
16

The Bourne Mediocrity (AKA Jason Bourne 5)

Thirty minutes in, and right after a major action sequence, I checked my watch to see how much time was left in this movie. I grimaced when I saw there was still another ninety minutes to go. Jason Bourne, the fifth film in the series, is yet another one of Hollywood’s ill-advised attempts at resurrecting franchises. Instead of wowing, it falls flat on its face, and makes you wish they had stopped with the third film.

The fundamental problem with Jason Bourne is it’s a film stuck in the past. The original trilogy is undeniably phenomenal. It is one of those rare “perfect trilogies” that never makes a misstep. Expanding the series beyond that meant there was nowhere to go, and they would be doing nothing but rehashing old concepts.

Continue reading ‘The Bourne Mediocrity (AKA Jason Bourne 5)’

23
Sep
16

Look Who’s Back

Like many people, I have a morbid fascination with World War II and the Third Reich. Seventy years later, we still produce movies and books set in this era. It was a pivotal time, perhaps the most important in human history. And with the Nazi party being so ludicrously evil, well, it’s hard not to be fascinated by them. Fascination is not the same thing as condoning, mind you. They were evil personified, and it’s hard not to examine them. So, when I heard about the 2014 German film, Look Who’s Back, I jumped at the chance to watch it.

Look Who’s Back is simultaneously one of the most hilarious and frightening films I have seen in a very long time. The premise is brilliant: Adolf Hitler wakes up in modern-day Germany, and everyone he encounters thinks he’s a method actor doing performance art. But he isn’t doing anything like that, he’s the Fuhrer, and he wants to seize control again.

Continue reading ‘Look Who’s Back’




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