Archive for the 'Movies' Category

29
Jun
15

Let’s Terminate This Film Series

I decided to do a marathon of the Terminator movies. I’m not sure why, other than the fact I’m a big Arnold Schwarzenegger fan. After all, he is the star of the greatest movie ever made. I remember enjoying the first two movies as a kid, but as an adult these things rarely hold up to scrutiny. Plus, I had never seen the fourth movie. So, I decided to watch one a day, and write a mega-review trashing them all.

The Terminator

The original Terminator is a 1984 cheese fest. Watching it today, you can see just how incredibly dated it is. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “LOL BUT BRIK ITS A MOVIE ABOUT TIME TRAVEL SO OF COURSE EVERYTHING IS GOING TO LOOK DATED LOL!” Technically, that’s true. But the cheesy 80s synthesizer music certainly doesn’t give The Terminator a timeless quality. The music is so fucking bad, I cringed every time it started up. I suppose the main titles theme is alright since it evokes the monotonous, single-mindedness of the titular killer robot, but other than that, the music sucks major ass.

The acting doesn’t fare much better. The only person who turns in a good performance is Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese. Arnold is good, I suppose, but he just acts like a robot, which isn’t much of a stretch for him. Linda Hamilton as the main character Sarah Connor is a disaster with her ridiculous shrieking and forced line delivery. She looks like she’s still stuck in rehearsal. Her line “You’re terminated, fucker” is so bad, just try not to laugh out loud when you hear it. The typically good Lance Henriksen is criminally underutilized. The rest of the cast (cops, Connor’s roommate, people with a line or two) are generally terrible. They were barely passable by 1980s acting standards, and completely suck by today’s.

Continue reading ‘Let’s Terminate This Film Series’

21
Jun
15

Now You See Me

Here is a list of things that are good about Now You See Me:

  1. Isla Fisher is hot.

And here are the reasons why this movie blows giant whale dick:  Continue reading ‘Now You See Me’

14
Jun
15

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is a movie everyone should see. It’s not just an action movie. It’s not just a car chase movie. It’s not just a fun summer blockbuster. It’s a subversive film that operates on two levels. The surface level is a high-octane, 2-hour-long action extravaganza, but below the surface it provides social commentary for the patriarchal society in which we all live. This fluid combination of excitement and societal themes elevate Mad Max: Fury Road far above anything else playing in cinemas today.
The original Mad Max films created a popular version of post-apocalyptic Earth. The “fuel wars” dragged humanity down, and obliterated the lush, green planet on which we currently live. The future is a desolate wasteland. Gasoline is scarce, and a gallon is worth more than a human life. It feels like a fully realized world, and has been copied and parodied a million times since the first movie was released in 1979.
30 years after the last film came out, the new film picks up without missing a beat. The post-apocalyptic future is just as bleak and intriguing as it ever was. It’s dirty and dangerous, and it envelopes the audience in a sense of wonder and despair. The increased production values and budget help to make the world more immersive and realistic. Director George Miller had a clear vision for how he wanted his wasteland to look, and he presents it spectacularly.

Continue reading ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

24
May
15

Guardians of the Galaxy Took a Shit on the Universe

The latest mega-blockbuster from unstoppable Marvel Studios was Guardians of the Galaxy. People hailed it as the greatest cinematic achievement since the introduction of the talkie. It was heralded as the best movie of the year. It had everything: action, adventure, comedy, and wonder. It also had a giant sentient tree and a talking raccoon. Let’s face facts here, people. Guardians of the Galaxy was passable summer fare. It wasn’t revolutionary, it didn’t do anything that hasn’t already been done before. It was an average, braindead, popcorn movie that doesn’t have a lot of rewatch value.

I say Guardians is braindead because it requires no active thought on the part of the viewer. All the audience is required to do is sit back, relax, and DURR WATCH DEM EXPLOSIONS BLOW STUFF UP REAL GOOD DURR! As you start to curl your hands into angry fists, take a second to think about that last statement. Try hard to think of a single scene in Guardians that challenges your brain, has a plot twist, leaves something ambiguous, or posits a viewpoint that might challenge your deeply set beliefs about morality or cultures or relationships. Guardians doesn’t do anything close to any of that. All it does is blow shit up.

Continue reading ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Took a Shit on the Universe’

17
May
15

I’m a Cyborg but That’s OK, Chef

I’m a Cyborg but That’s OK

This is a really weird movie from South Korea, from the same director as Oldboy. Now, I really loved Oldboy for how dark and twisted and funny and interesting it was. Cyborg, on the other hand, is completely different in style and tone. You wouldn’t even know it was filmed by the same director. Cyborg tells the story of a young girl who goes crazy and gets put in a mental institution. She is fully deluded into thinking she’s a cyborg. So much so, that instead of eating, she licks batteries for nourishment. She navigates the eclectic group of patients, all while having visions of herself doing wild things like sprouting machine guns and mowing down everyone in the asylum. The movie is really light, and mostly a fun romp not meant to be much more than that. While it was fun, it was kind of forgettable. I wouldn’t disparage anyone for liking it, but there is little substance here. Once the shock value and its weirdness wears off, there is little else going for it.

Verdict: Average

Chef

Writer, director, and star Jon Favreau plays a disaffected chef trying to make his way in the culinary world. He is head chef of a fancy restaurant, and likes to try new things. He unfortunately butts heads with the restaurant’s owner who only wants to stick to the hits. This leads to him serving an uninspired meal to a nasty food critic, which ultimately leads Favreau to quit his job. What follows is essentially a roadtrip movie. Favreau buys a food truck, and drives it from Florida to California with his son and best friend in tow. Along the way they make Cubano sandwiches, and Favreau reignites his passion for cooking. On top of that, Favreau also, more importantly, energizes the flagging relationship between himself and his son. He was on-track to win Neglectful Father of the Year before the cross-country journey. Maybe it’s kind of a cliche that they can fix all their relationship issues in a van serving food, but it worked in the film. The movie was very well written, well acting, well directed, surprisingly funny, and tackled a very interesting and unusual subject matter. Favreau himself is no dummy, and sets himself opposite some beautiful women. It’s a little hard to believe they’d swoon over him, but you can’t blame the guy.

Verdict: Good

19
Apr
15

And So It Goes, Begin Again

And So It Goes

I was stuck on a 12-hour flight and my choices were to sleep (impossible), stare at the back of the headrest in front of me, or watch this nauseating piece of shit. Reading was off the table because I had stupidly packed my book, and didn’t have it in my carry-on. Anyway, I chose the movie. This 2014 movie stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton playing characters meant to be thirty-year-olds. They sleep around, act goofy, obsess about their careers, and stumble through life. Of course, it’s allowed to never have your life completely figured out, but the glaringly bad writing, the fact that they couldn’t adjust things for their ages, dragged this film down quickly. Douglas’ character is suddenly forced to take care of his 9-year-old granddaughter. Keaton lives next door (in a duplex apartment) and helps pick up the slack. They meander about their pointless lives doing nothing of interest. The little girl does some school project about butterflies or some shit. Eventually, the movie farts to an ending and it stops. The acting is woefully bad, with everyone phoning in their performances. Avoid this one.

Verdict: Shitty

Begin Again

On the same flight, right after And So It Goes ended, Begin Again started. This isn’t a movie I would ever have chosen to watch, but it turned out better than I expected. Mark Ruffalo stars as a music producer who used to be big, but lately has been churning out nothing but shit. His company eventually gives him the boot. Keira Knightley stars as the girlfriend of a douchey pop-star played by Adam Levine. Occasionally, she writes songs for him. They live a comfortable, yuppy lifestyle until one day he cheats on her and she leaves him. She decides to strike out on her own, playing her own music. Ruffalo sees her at an open mic night, and realizes she could be the next big thing. They pool their limited resources, and record an album (written and performed by her) in various New York City locations. Naturally, the album becomes a big hit. I liked this movie for several reasons. The characters are fairly well written, they feel organic, and interact in largely believable ways. Ruffalo and Knightley worked well together on screen. I wouldn’t say they necessarily have chemistry, because Ruffalo doesn’t have chemistry with anyone. The story moves in interesting directions, and it never once verges into cliche territory. And the highlight was the segment of them recording the album, which was lots of fun to watch. It’s a decent movie, and one worth checking out.

Verdict: Good

12
Apr
15

Man of Tai Chi

The struggle is real.

Keanu Reeves directed this 2013 martial arts film starring himself and stuntman Tiger Chen. When reviewing martial arts films, you often cannot judge them on the same merits as dramas, comedies, or other kinds of movies. First and foremost is the action, and everything else is secondary. I can forgive a lot of missteps in martial arts movies as long as the action holds up. Of course, it’s not all about the action, but I try not to let those other things color my review too much. With that being said, Man of Tai Chi is a really bad movie.
Man of Tai Chi is the first movie directed by Reeves. He also stars as the villain. He doesn’t really have a lot of screentime, but when he does show up, every second he is on screen is cringe worthy. He lowers his voice an octave and growls all his lines. Most of his lines consist of very short phrases such as “Finish him” or “You owe me a life” and yet with such limited dialogue, he still can’t deliver the lines believably. He also bizarrely cackles directly into the camera in one jarring scene.

Continue reading ‘Man of Tai Chi’




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