Archive for the 'Movies' Category

10
Jul
16

Rubber

There are bad movies, and then there are BAD movies. Rubber, if you couldn’t guess by the title alone, falls in the latter category. It purports to be a satirical take on horror/slasher films. I suppose it is, but it isn’t a good satire, it’s a terrible one. Pretty much every decision they made was a bad one.

The film is about a sentient tire that rolls through the desert, and kills people by exploding their heads with psychic energy. That idea is amusing enough for a one-shot comic or an SNL sketch, not a feature-length film. That’s the problem right there. A punchline can’t be stretched to accommodate an entire movie.

The bulk of the movie is about a cop who investigates the murders, and slowly comes to realize that the tire is the one doing the killing. He and his colleagues attempt to take down the murderous tire. Now, if that had been it, the movie might have been watchable. But it didn’t stop there, it took things further down the rabbit hole of shittiness.

Continue reading ‘Rubber’

25
Jun
16

Dallas Buyer’s Club

AIDS was some scary shit in the 1980s. There was no treatment, and if you got diagnosed with it, it was as good as a death sentence. Today, we have effective, readily available treatments. It is no longer the death sentence it once was. Dallas Buyer’s Club tells the true story of one man who tries to beat AIDS in a time when the U.S. did not have any available treatment.

Matthew McConaughey tries to get enrolled as a patient in the first clinical trial for an AIDS medication. He can’t get in, so he pays hospital staff to smuggle him the drug. When that route eventually fails, he goes to Mexico to get the drugs. Of course, even though his health is important to him, he can’t pass up a business opportunity when he sees it. He decides to run a business, a buyer’s club. Essentially, people pay him monthly club fees and he will give them all the various AIDS medications they need smuggled from Mexico. Technically, he’s not selling them the drugs, so his venture is legal. The FDA, however, tries to shut him down as he’s providing an unregulated, untested drug to the general market.

Dallas Buyer’s Club is a fascinating movie. First, the story is true and relatable. Whether AIDS or something else, we all know someone who has been touched by medical illness. Some of these illnesses may have no treatment. What lengths would you go to in order to procure a treatment for yourself or your loved ones? That’s what this movie is about: one man’s struggle to find a way to survive. Second, it casts light on FDA practices (which have since changed) where they denied people treatment for a deadly disease while waiting for data to come in on clinical studies. Third, while you side with McConaughey, it’s easy to see that what he is doing is wrong. The FDA guys are assholes, but they have a point: you can’t just let people take whatever they want and end up killing themselves or muddying the waters so effective treatments can’t be discovered. The movie is great because it shows both sides as having multiple shades of gray. Neither is completely right or completely wrong. This is what fuels the compelling drama.

Of course, I have to discuss the acting in this movie. McConaughey was lauded for his performance. He took a method acting approach and lost a thousand pounds for this movie. He certainly looks like an AIDS patient, emaciated and pale. But more than physical change, McConaughey brings his A-game in terms of acting. His performance is excellent, and he is instantly believable as this character. You feel his struggle, and become emotionally invested in what happens to him. He was well deserving of every award he won for this movie. The rest of the cast turn in fantastic performances, as well. The entire production was a complete package. The film is wonderful.

Verdict: Awesome

12
Jun
16

Dumb and Dumber To, The Monster Squad

Dumb and Dumber To

The original Dumb and Dumber is one of my all-time favorite comedies. Don’t judge me, I don’t bash on you for liking whatever crappy movie you think is great. Anyway, the original film is a classic. It’s got just the right amount of stupid antics combined with sight gags and subtle humor (e.g. the salmon of Capistrano) to make it the complete package. It’s endlessly quotable (“I like it a lot”), and even to this day, I pretend like I’m running incredibly fast while I’m in the passenger side of a car.

Dumb and Dumber To is none of those things. Sadly, it’s a completely unnecessary sequel 20 years too late. It makes the typical mistake these kinds of movies make, and that is to rehash the original film. This sequel takes it to the extreme and essentially become a near remake of the first film.

Dimwits Harry and Lloyd embark on a cross-country trek to find Harry’s long-lost daughter so she can give him a kidney. They carry an unopened package with them that is worth millions. They are accompanied by a criminal who they trade barbs with, and accidentally kill him. Once they get to their location, they learn that there is more to their journey than meets the eye, criminals and police get involved, and everything gets sorted out in the end.

But it’s still funny, right? Wrong. Most of the jokes don’t land. The humor is tired and surprisingly mean-spirited. There are barely any gags worth remembering. The only part that I found funny was when Harry, Lloyd, and the criminal were debating the “He Who Smelt It” game rules, and even then it was only mildly funny.

Overall, this was a sad reminder of the state of Hollywood today. They resurrect every old property and spit an ill-advised sequel or remake into the theater. This movie doesn’t deserve to exist.

Verdict: Shitty

The Monster Squad

Back in the 1980s, kid movies were a big thing. A group of plucky youngsters would get involved in strange adventures that were way over their heads, and would ultimately save the day and/or world by the end. The Goonies, in 1985, was perhaps the greatest example of this format. The Monster Squad is one of the poorer examples of this format.

The Monster Squad has a promising premise, but executes it in the most moronic way possible. A group of kids who are obsessed with monster movies form a club so they can revel in their hobby. Meanwhile, all the classic Universal horror villains (Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Wolfman) gang up with a thread-bare plot to take over the world. When the kids find out, they used their combined monster lore to defeat the bad guys.

I’m a fan of whimsical fantasy movies when they are done right. The Monster Squad, however, is done completely wrong. The characters are flat and boring. They have no personalities. They merely exist to shuttle the story along. We feel nothing for them. When the main kid is in danger, I didn’t care in the slightest.

The monsters are equally dull. They do nothing to strike fear into our hearts. They lurch about, hiss at the kids, and are generally impotent to do anything even remotely horrifying. They are easily defeated by the youngsters with shotguns, wooden stakes, and silver bullets.

Obviously, the kids are going to kill the monsters, that’s the whole premise. But it’s done in such a lazy fashion. The requisite fat kid kills the Creature from the Black Lagoon with a shotgun blast to the chest. Gee, how inventive. The requisite tough kid kills vampires with wooden stakes while they lumber toward him without any sense of urgency or danger.

With an underdeveloped plot, one-dimensional characters, and monsters with nothing to do, The Monster Squad fails on every single level. It’s too bad, because it could have been great in the right hands.

Verdict: Shitty

04
Jun
16

Classically Shitty: Bridge on the River Kwai

Bridge on the River Kwai is another one of those classic movies that is classic for inexplicable reasons. Watching it, I honestly could not figure out why people like it. Was it the languid pace and lack of urgency? Was it the battle of superior White morality over that of the evil Japanese? Was it Obi Wan Kenobi as the main character? It’s hard to say. Perhaps it’s the combination of all three.

Kwai is sort of like the ultimate movie for spoiled assholes. The movie begins with a group of freshly captured British soldiers being hauled into a Japanese POW camp. The new inmates are told they are going to be put to work building a bridge. The bridge is extremely important to the war effort and must be built on time.

Obi Wan tells Saito (the head of the Japanese camp) that officers are not required to do manual labor because of the Geneva Convention. Saito says he doesn’t care, and everyone is has to work. Obi Wan remains defiant. He and his officers refuse to work. They put up with starvation, beatings, and being locked in an iron box. Eventually, Saito gives in and tells the officers they don’t have to work. The officers get to chill while their grunts go build the bridge.

Continue reading ‘Classically Shitty: Bridge on the River Kwai’

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’




July 2016
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Archives

BrikHaus - Find me on Bloggers.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 378 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 378 other followers