Archive for the 'Movies' Category

18
Mar
17

Amadeus, Sleeping With Other People

Amadeus

Amadeus is a tour de force of film making. It has everything you’d want in a period drama: lush sets, flamboyant costumes, fantastic dialogue, deep drama, scandal, and treachery. While Amadeus is far from portraying the events of Mozart’s life accurately, it is a riveting film nonetheless.

The most brilliant aspect of the film is that it is told not from Mozart’s point of view, but rather his rival’s. Antonio Salieri is the court composer for the Holy Roman Emperor. His also a deeply pious individual. He is gladdened to learn that musical prodigy Mozart will be coming to Vienna, where he lives. He is then abhorred to discover that Mozart is lewd, tactless, and arrogant. He questions why God would imbue such undeniable talent into someone so abrasive. The film moves on to portray the major events in Mozart’s life, and how Salieri tries to thwart him at every turn.

The acting is great all around, but F. Murray Abraham is especially fantastic as Salieri. Every inch of his face exudes his love of music, his hatred of Mozart, as well as confusion, dismay, joy, and every other human emotion. He towers among the other players, but never overshadows them.

It is an expertly directed film. While it might not get the historical details right, that really isn’t the point. It showcases a wonderful rivalry set against a historical backdrop. And Mozart’s thundering music helps to perfect the atmosphere.

Verdict: Good

Sleeping With Other People

This movie is an utterly forgettable romantic comedy from 2015. It managed to snag some decent talent with the likes of Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, and Amanda Peet. How they managed to secure those big names for such an abysmal failure is beyond me.

Sudeikis and Brie lost their virginity to each other in college, and then never saw each other again. Both went on to become sex addicts. They meet at a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, and rekindle their friendship. They decide they’ll not bang, and by doing so, they will become true friends.

Yawn. The movie derives its comedy from juvenile humor. They expect us to believe that the couple will just be friends, but they do shit like Brie modeling sexy underwear to Sudeikis. What kind of friends do that? It’s like whoever wrote this movie came from Mars, and is writing what they think Earth-friends must do together.

Eventually, Brie and Sudeikis have a falling out over Scott, whom she is having an affair with. She breaks it off, and then she and Sudeikis fall in love. This movie has every trope you’ve ever seen in a romantic comedy. This movie is bland, not funny, and sucks.

Verdict: Shitty

11
Mar
17

Logan: The Spoiler Review

Hugh Jackman’s final (until he gets paid all the money to return) outing as Wolverine has finally hit theaters. So far, it is both a critical and commercial success. With a bleak tone, incredible violence, and a definitive ending, we finally have been treated to the first truly great X-Men film.

Taking place 12 years from now, Logan’s future looks like a hellscape. One could be forgiven for thinking they accidentally stepped into a post-apocalyptic movie. With locations set primarily on the U.S.-Mexico border, the film’s vistas are mostly desert wastelands. This mirrors the inner narrative that Logan’s life has been wasted on violence, leaving him with nothing to show for it. That’s not to say the film can’t be beautiful at times. In fact, the forlorn landscapes evoke their own stark beauty thanks to some wonderful cinematography.

Once again, mutants are on the run, hiding from humans who wish to wipe them out. Humans have perfected a gene therapy technique that has caused all mutants to either lose their powers, or find they have become unstable. Professor X can barely control his telepathic powers, and is reduced to taking seizure meds to subdue them. Logan’s healing factor has slowed substantially, causing him to take much longer to recover from injuries, and making him almost mortal.

Continue reading ‘Logan: The Spoiler Review’

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




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