Archive Page 2

21
Feb
15

Brik Hates the Academy Awards: 00s Edition

It’s no mystery that I hate the Academy Awards. Hollywood spends half the year binging on cocaine and hookers and the other half praising themselves for it. No other industry exerts so much energy and spends so much money on self-congratulatory masturbation than the film industry. These sick fucks have the cushiest, easiest jobs in the world, and they act like what they do is some kind of goddamn accomplishment. “LOL OH LOOK I JUST RECITED SOME LINES SOMEONE ELSE WROTE FOR ME AND SHED A TEAR AT THE SAME TIME! I’M A FUCKING ACTING GOD! QUICK SOMEBODY GIVE ME FIFTY AWARDS LOL!” In theory, I could get behind the awards if they actually awarded things that were deserving. You know, giving a Best Picture award to the best movie of the year. But the Academy rarely gives that award to the best movie of the year. Hell, they don’t even give it to the most popular movie of the year. Usually, they give it to whatever cool person produced the movie, or to the most obscure, independent, foreign piece of shit they can find. Typically, no one in the mainstream public will have even seen the winner. They’ve been pulling this shit for years. So, I decided to analyze the past years, offer my own nominees, and declare new winners. Best movie isn’t the one that makes you cry or makes you think. Best movie is the one that you want to revisit over and over again. A movie you watch once and never again isn’t good. It’s only good if you can’t help but watch it a million times. Rewatchability is the hallmark of something great.

This time around, I’ll be taking a look at the Best Picture winners from the 2000s.

Continue reading ‘Brik Hates the Academy Awards: 00s Edition’

08
Feb
15

The Interview, Godzilla (2014)

The Interview

A couple of dipshits starring in a terrible movie.

10 minutes into The Interview, I found myself doing something I had never thought possible: I agreed with North Korea. The Interview is so horrible, I agree with North Korea that this cinematic abortion of a film should be wiped from the face of the Earth. This is one of the laziest, stupidest, most incompetent movies I have ever seen. Written by Rogan, it features a journalist and his producer flying to North Korea for an exclusive interview with dictator Kim Jong-Un. The CIA tasks them beforehand with assassinating the dictator. What follows is a non-stop parade of dick jokes, fart jokes, oral sex jokes, sticking stuff up butt jokes, and general screaming. I never laughed once during the entire 2 hour runtime. I didn’t even smirk. Even in the worst comedies, I can at least find myself chuckling once or twice. But here, no, not once. The movie’s jokes are lazy and recycled and done far worse than any other movie you’ve seen. Rogan and Franco seem to think that if they simply reference penises, it will elicit huge laughs from the audience. That’s not how it works, guys. You can’t just say “penis” and expect the movie to be laugh riot. There needs to be a punchline. This is the drawback of having a screenplay written by a guy who is high 24 hours a day, stoners think everything is funny. They tried to make Kim Jong-un interesting and likable, but failed there too. The actor playing Kim is too handsome to be confused with the chubby, goofy-looking kid running that country. Sony should be ashamed of themselves for making this movie. Not because it insulted North Korea, but because it’s a horrible piece of shit. North Korea was right, this movie sucks ass, and should not be watched by anyone.

Verdict: Shitty

Godzilla (2014)

Rowr, rowr, rowr rowr rowr rowr.

The new Godzilla movie is a bigger letdown than the giant monster himself. Bryan Cranston stars as a guy who is obsessed with Godzilla after the atomic monster blows up a Japanese town and kills Cranston’s wife in the process. Cranston is great as the obsessed scientist, a role he’s familiar with. Unfortunately, the movie plays the ol’ switcharoo. Cranston dies early, and the rest of the movie features a bland hero played by the dude from Kick-Ass. Kick-Ass follows Godzilla around, from one disaster set piece to the next. Godzilla turns out to be a heroic monster, as he fights giant mutated grasshoppers or something. Apparently, they are Godzilla’s natural enemy and he, oh, whatever, fuck this shit. It’s just an overwrought explanation for having giant CGI monsters fight each other. The fight scenes are OK, and Godzilla actually looks pretty good. But the movie features nothing we haven’t already seen before. The pacing is lethargic, and they bring nothing new to the table. I was pretty bored by the end of it. Maybe the inevitable sequel will be better, but I won’t count on it.

Verdict: Bad

31
Jan
15

Cheese Goes to War: Windtalkers

Photoshop goes to war…

Windtalkers is a World War II movie directed by action legend John Woo and starring the lovably insane Nicolas Cage. When I learned these bits of information, my first thought was, “Where do I sign up?”
The movie came and went, and got middling reviews. I never got around to seeing it thanks to its poor reception. Finally, 11 years after its 2002 release, I watched this movie on Netflix. And how did it hold up? Eh, not good.
It’s somewhat hard to believe that John Woo actually directed this movie. He is normally very competent behind the camera. His action scenes in movies like The Killer, Hard Boiled, and Face Off were incredible. They managed to have enthralling, well-planned, heart-pumping moments of carnage. It’s impossible to watch one of his older movies, see Chow Yun-Fat flying through the air with a gun in each hand, and not get excited. I figured he would bring all that good stuff to this movie. Unfortunately, he didn’t.

Continue reading ‘Cheese Goes to War: Windtalkers’

19
Jan
15

Btooom, Kill la Kill

Btooom

Bombs and boobs.

Despite having a terrible Engrish title, Btooom is a decent show. It falls in line with the genre of kids who have to kill each other in an arena like Battle Royale or The Hunger Games. Even though this has already been done a million times, Btooom still manages to bring something new to the table. It doesn’t matter that the idea isn’t original, what matters is that the show is executed in an interesting way. A popular online video game called “Btooom” features teams of people playing deathmatches, and their only weapons are various types of grenade and mines. One day, many of the games best players are kidnapped, dropped off on a mysterious tropical island, and forced to play “Btooom” for real. Each character has a unique grenade or mine, and must kill the others in order to win the game and get off the island. As you would expect, characters form alliances to try and improve their chances of survival.

The show is fun to watch. It manages to have a lot of variety and somewhat ingenious ways to use explosive devices. It has just as much of characters outsmarting each other than just winning by brute force. The characters are likable, and the plot moves at a quick pace. The ending leaves a bit to be desired, clearly they want to do a second season, but at least it didn’t stop on a cliffhanger. My only real complaint is that this show is inconsistent in the blast radius of the various explosives. Sometimes, it seems that a grenade will explode right next to someone, and they will be unharmed. But, whatever, it’s anime, it isn’t realistic. Btooom is worth a watch.

Verdict: Good

Kill la Kill

Kill la clothes.

Kill la Kill is the spiritual successor to Gurren Lagann. Those of you who follow me online know that I declared Gurren Lagann best anime of the last decade. And I still stand firmly behind that assessment. Naturally, I was extremely excited to check out this show, given its outstanding pedigree. And the show is really good. It puts an interesting spin on high school dynamics. In reality, high school is like a constant battle against annoying peers, jealous kids, exclusive cliques, and raging hormones. Kill la Kill takes that to absurd levels with the students literally fighting each other. The student council dominates the academy, passing down special uniforms to favored individuals that will boost their fighting skills. One day, a mysterious transfer student (anime trope alert), Ryuko Matoi, comes to school demanding vengeance for the murder of her father at the hands of the head of the student council, Satsuki Kiryuin. They each get special talking battle uniforms, and battle it out, blasting apart the school, and pounding each other with absurd levels of force. What arises from that is an even more absurd concept. The world has been colonized by “life fibers” which are evil alien organisms that have plotted to take over the world by forcing human to wear them as clothes. An insurgent organization, Nudist Beach, is trying to rid the world of clothes. Ryuko, Satsuki, and Nudist Beach ultimately team up to battle the life fibers.

The action in Kill la Kill is phenomenal. I haven’t seen a show with such fantastic battle, and such tremendous animation quality since, well, Gurren Lagann. There is also a lot of humor in the show to punctuate the onslaught of battles. Unfortunately, Kill la Kill isn’t perfect. For all its great points, the show is ultimately hollow on the inside. There is no character development, there is no deeper meaning, everything is taken at face value, and despite the worldwide battle, the show is surprisingly low-stakes. None of the heroes die. One dies, but it turns out to be a fake out, and he was fine all along. Characters don’t have to die to make a show good, but it goes a long way to show that there are real stakes, and there are real dangers against which the characters are willing to sacrifice themselves. As none of the heroes die, they can throw themselves headlong into every battle, and there is never any worry that anything bad will happen to them. Also disappointing is the fact that the heroes don’t kill either of the primary villains. Both of the villains end up killing themselves. So, even with all that fighting, the good guys were completely ineffectual. Overall, Kill la Kill was a lot of fun. It may be light, mindless entertainment, but it was incredibly entertaining mindless entertainment. It’s hard to recommend a show more than this one.

Verdict: Good

12
Jan
15

American Hustle, Everything or Nothing

American Hustle

American Cleavage.

American Hustle was one of those films everyone raved about. When this happens, the movie is usually extremely overrated with little more than coherent storytelling and passable acting, with Argo being a prime example. I figured American Hustle would be exactly the same. The 2013 movie tells the story of con-artists in the 1970s helping the FBI run a sting operation against corrupt politicians. The movie begins with a very out of shape and balding Batman who has seen better days. He has been a con-man for years, and one day meets the love of his life, Amy Adams, who is a masterful con-woman. Batman and Adams are caught by Bradley Cooper who extorts them into working for the FBI. Their goal is to run a larger operation and take down corrupt politicians and the mob. What follows is a dizzying tale of each character trying to get something for themselves. American Hustle is truly a character-driven film. Each character is almost larger than life, played expertly by fantastic cast members. Every player has a developed backstory and clear motivations for what they want in life. There are, of course, double-crosses and cons along they way to keep the film moving. What else would you expect in movie with con-artists? Fortunately, the movie does not rely on the cons, but rather the characters. The 1970s are alive and well in this movie. I didn’t live in this decade, but I can only imagine this is what it looked like, bright, flashy, and very eclectic. The movie required a lot of juggling on the part of the director to keep each character in the spotlight, to keep the story moving full steam ahead, and to not let the pacing get bogged down. Director David O. Russel delivered on every level. The movie really is as great as the hype claims it to be. It is a rare example of a big-budget, star-studded movie done right.
Verdict: Awesome
Everything or Nothing

Such Bond. So secret agent. Wow.

Anyone who frequents Awesome Shitty knows that I’m a James Bond fan. A documentary titled Everything or Nothing was released to mark Bond’s 50th anniversary. I finally got around to watching it, and I must say it was an interesting look back at the genesis of everyone’s favorite spy. The movie begins with Ian Fleming’s early life, and the events that led up to his creation of the Bond character. Bond is essentially an extension of Fleming himself with the smoking, drinking, and jetsetting. The film follows the failed first attempt to bring Bond to the screen on American TV as “Jimmy Bond,” an American CIA agent, and continues on to failed licensing attempts, and eventual success with the first film, Dr. No. We learn the behind the scenes drama of Connery leaving, returning, and leaving again, Lazenby’s hilarious story as to how he was cast as the second Bond, and more. Like a Bond villain himself, Kevin McClory pops up three different times over the years to attempt to thwart the Bond film producers because he claimed rights to the Thunderball story. While I knew the Bond franchise had its ups and downs over the years, I didn’t know how much backstage battling there really was. I suppose there had to be considering it is a 50-year-long movie franchise. The film features great intreviews with producers, writers, directors, and the James Bonds themselves. Only Connery doesn’t appear, which is disappointing, but otherwise, we get some great insights from everyone else. Brosnan in particular had a rough road to becoming Bond and had an interesting story to tell. For fans of the James Bond series, this documentary is a must watch. Even non-Bond fans will like the movie. Mrs. Brik who has seen some of the movies found the documentary quite interesting. I highly recommended checking this out.
Verdict: Good
01
Jan
15

Awesomest/Shittiest Things of 2014

It’s that time once again, people. Time to look back at the awesomest and shittiest things of 2014. As always, it remains a struggle to find things for the awesome category, and to keep the shitty category to a minimum. Check it out:
Awesome
  1. I Procreated – Yes, that’s right, I procreated. Mrs. Brik and I have welcomed Baby Brik into the world. We are now evolutionarily fit. She’s a happy, funny, cute bundle of joy with the most discerning taste in films you’ve ever seen in a six month old. Expect a post from her soon.
  2. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford – The crack smoking mayor of Toronto provided nothing but laughs this year. Whether it was being found drunk in public, running away from television cameras, or dancing in Canadian parliament, this guy was a parade of hilarity. I love the fact that he was an actual elected official. It’s a nice change from what we get in the U.S., the typical holier-than-thou, super-corrupt but pretending to be squeaky clean assholes. The fact that Rob Ford let it all hang out and didn’t seem to care was rather refreshing.
  3. The Cool Pope – The head of the Catholic Church still has a lot of dusty old beliefs about homosexuality, women’s participation in the church, or any number of things. However, this pope has been pretty progressive, as far as popes go. He acts more like a regular guy and less like a reclusive king than any pope in recent memory. He is cool with welcoming unwed mothers into the church, he called for homosexual to no longer be shunned, he’s all right with contraception as long as it prevents spread of disease, he’s anti-poverty, anti-death penalty, and is pro-environment. He even stated that it is completely possible for there to be alien life, and he’d gladly baptize an alien. Sounds great to me. He’s trying to bring the world’s most craggy, immovable institution into the modern era.
  4. China Anal Probes its Pigeons – As a part of China’s National Day celebration, they planned to release 10,000 pigeons over Tiananmen Square. Fearing a possible terrorist attack, each pigeon was inspected: under the wings, under the legs, and inside the anus. Now, if any terrorist has the capability to put high-grade explosives inside a pigeon’s butthole, he has an unparalleled dedication to his job. Also, I feel sorry for whomever had to stick their fingers inside 10,000 pigeon anuses. It seems like nothing good ever happens in Tienanmen Square.
  5. New Zealand Man Fights a Shark – A New Zealand man was spear fishing with his friends when he was attacked by a shark. Being a crazy New Zealander, and probably using an enchanted sword, he stabbed the shark until it fled. When he got out of the water, he saw his leg was lacerated, so he did what anyone would do: stitch it up himself and go to a pub. He wrapped a towel around his bleeding leg while he continued to drink. Pretty baller move.
  6. U.S./Cuba Relations Re-open – After 50 years of a pointless, idiotic policy of punishing Cuba for being Communist, the U.S. announced they are going to thaw the long-standing frosty relations. Cuba will again be a vacation destination, and a more valuable member of the international community. I’m sure cigar aficionados will also be thrilled.
Shitty
  1. Everything about North Korea – The People’s Republic of North Korea has been a joke for years, but now they have reached the level of self-parody. Their leader Kim Jong Un leaves the spotlight for a month, only to be found later, hobbling around on a cane after an attack of gout and/or an eating binge. They hacked into Sony Pictures, leaked several films, and a metric ton of the executives’ correspondence, then threatened a 9/11-style attack on the U.S. if the film The Interview was release in theaters. It was released to way more attention than if North Korea had said nothing about it. The 9/11-style attack never happened. Finally, the U.S. government stated it would respond to North Korea’s hacking shenanigans in kind, with North Korea threatening an apocalypse if this happened. After their internet was shut off, North Korea called President Obama a monkey. That’s it. That was their big threat. North Korea is the national equivalent of the boy who cried wolf.
  2. Russia Invades Ukraine – All hail glorious leader Putin! Comrade Putin, out of the kindness of his heart, decided to unite the people of Crimea and Russia by invading Ukraine. They innocently annexed Crimea just like Hitler innocently reclaimed Austria. Putin’s provocateur’s continue to battle it out with Ukrainian forces, and they even shot down a commercial jet. Putin denied all involvement, and, let’s be honest, nobody believes him for a fucking second, and he knows it. Russia has started a modern war they thought they could get away with it, but only alienated themselves from the rest of the world in the process. Thanks a lot, Tsar Putin.
  3. The Colbert Report Ends – After 9 years on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert ended his show. He will be taking over The Late Show on CBS once David Letterman retires. I’ve been a longtime fan of Colbert, and I’ve been watching his show since the night it premiered. I’m very happy for him. However, I’m also extremely disappointed. His show was satirical and subversive, and provided humorous, intelligent discourse into the affairs of the world. Colbert could get away with anything from testifying to Congress about migrant workers, bashing President Bush to his face, and creating his own Super PAC. If his own network told him not to do something, he would go ahead and do that thing. I shudder to think of Colbert on CBS, with him doing lame standup and pandering to two guests pimping their current movies. Blargh.
  4. Ebola Will Kill Us All – If you don’t live in one of the African countries affected, chances are, Ebola isn’t going to kill you. 24-hour news networks would beg to differ. They want you to cower in fear, and continue to stay tuned so they can generate ad revenue. 24-hour news networks are like the North Korea of the journalism world. They talk a big game about scary stuff that will kill you, but ultimately nothing ever materializes.
  5. CNN Can Only Cover One Story at a Time – Malaysia Airlines flight 370 seemed to be the only news story on CNN this year. To be fair to CNN, they also talked about race riots in the U.S., ISIS/ISIL/Whateverthefucktheywanttobecalledthisminute, and Ebola. So, they covered a grand total of 4 news stories this year. Thanks for wasting everyone’s time, guys.
  6. Death Eaters Take Control of U.S. Government – OK, so Lord Voldemort hasn’t taken the presidency yet, but his cronies now control the U.S. House and Senate. If that isn’t one step closer to total evil domination of the world, I don’t know what is. The only person worse than Voldemort running the country would be Putin.
  7. Shitty Bonus)  Winter Olympics – I already wrote a full post about the shittiness of the Sochi Winter Olympics here. Feel free to read it again and reminisce.
Well, another year has come and gone. 2015 is just getting started. I’m sure there will be many more awesome and shitty things happening during the Earth’s long trek around the sun. Let’s hope, no matter what happens, we can ridicule them with reckless abandon.
21
Dec
14

I Am Santa Claus

I recently watched a documentary that chronicles a year in the life of four professional Santa Clauses. It provides an inside look at what these men go through in an entire year. January through September are lean, boring, lonely months. From October onward, Santa Claus suddenly comes in demand. These men make a lot of money for just two months’ work leading up to the big day.

The four Santas are very different. There is Lonely Santa, Gay Santa, New Jersey Santa, and Swinger Santa. Each has a vastly different lifestyle. What we see is that these are regular guys with the same problems as everyone else. The movie also includes WWE wrestler Mick Foley, who has been obsessed with Christmas since an early age, and documents his first attempt at playing Santa.

Some of the Santas get more screentime than others. Lonely Santa probably gets the most, as he’s got the most sympathetic story. He’s just a single guy, no family or friends to speak of, who toils away in his basement apartment, clinging to the hope that he’ll get hired on for another Christmas. Living paycheck to paycheck is hard on him, and you certainly feel he sadness.

Continue reading ‘I Am Santa Claus’




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