Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Skarsgard

20
Mar
18

Mute, Radius

Mute

When you decide to make a movie about how the Amish are affected by a dystopian future, you have officially reached the bottom of the idea barrel. “But wait, there’s more!” writer-director Duncan Jones cried out. “What if the Amish main character was also mute?!” What follows is a pathetically uninspired fart of a film. The gist is that Alexander Skarsgard plays a mute Amish guy in the neon-lit big city of the future. His girlfriend vanishes, and he tries to find her. In theory, I could get behind a noir film about a mute person trying to perform an investigation. It has obvious roadblocks, and the idea is kind of intriguing. But the movie overreaches in trying to smash that idea together with a dystopian future that ultimately serves no purpose in the story. Nothing much really happens, it meanders slowly, and we quickly stop giving a shit about Skarsgard or his girlfriend. The acting is atrocious with everyone phoning it in (Skarsgard) or turning in caricatures (Paul Rudd). Rudd seems to actively hate his role as he does everything possible to make his acting as cringe-worthy as possible.  The movie strokes Duncan Jones’ ego as it wastes millions of dollars on glossy special effects that serve a poorly-plotted story. Who is this movie for, anyway? Who did Netflix think would like this? Were people clamoring for yet another dystopian movie? Are the Amish subscribing to Netflix now? What the fuck? This movie offers nothing of value to anyone.

Verdict: Shitty

Radius

Radius is a 2017 Canadian film that has a killer premise, the kind of premise you wish you had thought of first: an amnesiac discovers that any living creature that comes within 50 feet of him dies instantly. It’s a neat little sci-fi thriller film which banks too much on the thriller side, and goes too light on the sci-fi angle. It has solid performances, and an excellent mystery. There are problems, though. The biggest problem is the story isn’t robust enough to justify a feature length. It could have been better as an episode of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror or something. There are several parts where the pacing drags, and nothing happens while minutes just tick away. The other major problem is that everything the characters do, every plot point, is in service of unraveling the mystery (why Liam and Rose have amnesia), and the sci-fi angle gets short shrift. The mystery’s solution is cool once it is revealed, but it is completely disparate from why Liam can’t get within 50 feet of anyone else lest they die. Finally, the conclusion was what happens when you write yourself into a box. There were several better possible endings, but they picked the most obvious and dumbest way to end things. And how did Liam know his solution would work? It’s not like how he ends up would suddenly stop his body from being radioactive, so he solved nothing. Poetic justice could have been served when Rose had him walk into the lake, but the writers were too obtuse to realize that, even though the solution was screaming in their faces. Anyway, Radius is an interesting movie with good acting, but its writing isn’t smart enough to properly service the premise, and it’s light on content.

Verdict: Average

21
Apr
12

I Lost My Combination to The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker poster.

The Hurt Locker is a 2008 film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal. What is it about? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that it is overrated as hell. Supposedly, this movie is about a three-man U.S. Army bomb squad operating in the Iraq War. That’s what all of the movie’s scenes revolve around. However, it would be a stretch to say this movie is really about anything. But that’s not for a lack of trying.

In fact, The Hurt Locker tries to be about a lot of things, but fails at all of them. You know that old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”? Well, that’s this movie in a nutshell.

It tries to be an honest look at the Iraq War, but it isn’t realistic in the slightest. It tries to be a suspense-laden thriller, but the suspenseful scenes are few and far between. It tries to give us an in-depth look at the psychology of the men who experience war, but it doesn’t know how to pull that off. At best, The Hurt Locker could be described as schizophrenic. At worst, a piece of shit.

Continue reading ‘I Lost My Combination to The Hurt Locker’

12
Aug
11

How to Save True Blood (Bonus True Blood Drinking Game)

True Blood logo

Back in April of 2010 I wrote a review of how badass the first season of True Blood was. And it was good. Really good. With all the blood, tits, and foul language it was easily the television highlight of the year. Since that time I watched season two and season three, although the latter was difficult due to the loud-talkers in the room. Now, season four is currently airing, and I regret to say that compared to the highs of the first season, the fourth season is a sack of shit. So where did they go wrong?

The reason that the first season worked so well (besides the sex and violence) was that the story was simple and straightforward. It centered on the relationship between Sookie and Bill, and the other characters were more or less peripheral. Eric, Jason, Lafayette, etc were all involved to some extent, but they played smaller roles in the central storyline. Really, though, there was just one story, told from Sookie’s perspective, and it worked.

Season two was a little more divided as it had two main stories: one involving Sookie, Bill, Jason, and Eric; and the other involving everybody else. Storyline A with Sookie and the vampires was interesting and held my attention. Storyline B was a non-stop sex orgy which at first seemed awesome, but when it dragged on for 12 episodes with nothing else happening, it started to wear on me. The secondary characters were fleshed out a bit more, which seemed fine. Overall, Storyline A worked really well and Storyline B not as much. But it was still a good season.

Moving on to Season Three, things became problematic. There was still the main storyline with Sookie, Bill, Eric, and vampire king Russell. Simultaneously, they introduced a number of stories involving a shitload of secondary characters. Almost everyone had their own storyline. Sheriff Andy had one, Jason and Crystal had one, Arlene had one, Sam had one, Hoyt and Jessica had one, Lafayette had one, and Tara had one. It was too much. Tara annoys the fuck out of me, and since she cries her eyes out in every scene, I could hardly stomach her own subplot. Arlene is annoying too, and she is not interesting enough to deserve her own plotline. Sam’s family was stupid. Hoyt and Jessica were idiotic. Jason continued to be a dumbass. While the main storyline with Sookie was strong enough to carry the season, the quality of the series was dragged down with all the other unimportant crap that was going on.

Which brings us to the current season, number four. Gone are the days when Sookie was the main character. True Blood has now become an ensemble show. Every character is given almost equal amounts of screen time whether it’s heroine Sookie, or shrill, annoying Arlene.

We have storylines featuring Sookie and her faerie godmother, Eric losing his memory, Bill becoming vampire king of Louisiana, Sheriff Andy as a drug addict, Jason as “ghost daddy” getting raped non-stop by werepanthers (LOL WTF), Tara suddenly becoming a lesbian, Lafayette as a witch, Lafayette’s boyfriend Jesus as a witch, Jesus’ grandfather as a witch, Lafayette and Jesus joining a witches’ coven (I’m detecting a pattern), Arlene’s baby has evil devil powers, Sam is in love with some shapeshifter lady, Tommy becomes Hoyt’s mom’s surrogate son, Tommy plans to rip-off his surrogate mom, Tommy kills his biological parents, Hoyt and Jessica continue their turbulent relationship, Pam gets her face melted off and wants revenge, and Alcide gets into trouble with a new local werewolf pack leader. And that’s by the end of episode five, not even halfway through the season.

Get the picture? There is way too much shit happening. Nobody cares about Lafayette, Jesus, Tara, Hoyt, Jessica, Tommy, Arlene, Sam, or Andy. There is absolutely no need to dedicate equal screen time to each of them. Really, the only people they should focus on are Sookie, Eric, and Bill, and to a lesser extent Jason and Alcide. Those are the only characters that should be get storylines. Characters like Sam, Pam, or Andy can make appearances, but should only show up occasionally, have a few lines, and then be on their way.

The first season worked so well because it was simple and had purpose. It dealt with Sookie’s introduction to the world of vampires, and her relationship with said vampires. The second season was still decent because it only had two storylines, and not a lot of other nonsense to clutter it up. The third season had too much extraneous nonsense, and it got bogged down by the excess weight. The fourth season is a schizophrenic clusterfuck with so much shit going on it has become bloated and messy.

But all is not lost. There is a way to salvage True Blood. So, HBO executives, if you are reading this, take careful notes.

  1. Kill Tara.
  2. Kill Lafayette.
  3. Kill Jesus.
  4. Kill Tommy.
  5. Kill Hoyt.
  6. Kill Jessica.
  7. Kill Sam.
  8. Kill Arlene.
  9. Kill Andy.
  10. Kill Crystal.
  11. Kill Terry.
  12. Kill Debbie.
  13. Kill anyone who started out as a secondary character.
  14. Keep Pam alive, she’s cool.
  15. Bring Franklin back to life, he was a crazy motherfucker.

That’s pretty much it. If they go ahead and wipe out all those people in a giant vampire massacre, the show could be saved.

True Blood doesn’t need a shitload of characters to be good. The book series it is based on has fewer characters than the show, and it is told in the first-person, from Sookie’s perspective. Naturally, being first-person, you are only aware of what is happening to Sookie, and 90% of the books are all about Sookie. The mess of multiple, concurrent storylines isn’t there. Not surprisingly, the book series was a hit prior to True Blood, and it didn’t have to rely on subplots involving evil devil babies and gay witches.

There is no good reason why every character needs to have their own storyline. Perhaps the popularity of the show has given all the actors bloated egos and a trumped-up sense of self-importance so high that they feel the need to be included more often? Yeah, that’s probably it. At any rate, True Blood is dying a slow death. I suspect this won’t be remedied by the end of season four, and will likely continue on to season five. Eventually the weight of all this shit will cause the show to collapse, create an even more convoluted mess than we have now, and bring the series to cancellation. It could still be saved, but if it keeps on its current trajectory, more likely than not, it will end up in the shitpile with the rest of the crap that’s on TV.

Verdicts:

Season Two – Good

Season Three – Average

Season Four – Eh…

Bonus: True Blood Drinking Game

Drink every time:

  • Bill says “Sookie” in his weird husky voice.
  • Sookie uses her magical powers.
  • Sookie gets mad at someone.
  • Jason is shirtless.
  • There is graphic sex.
  • There is graphic violence.
  • A vampire drinks human blood.
  • A human drinks vampire blood.
  • Pam says something sarcastic.
  • Eric acts menacing.
  • Tara cries.
  • Tara overreacts.
  • Sam shape-shifts.
  • Alcide turns into a wolf.
  • Andy gets annoyed with someone/something.
  • A vampire glamours someone.
  • Lafayette calls someone “bitch”, “hooker”, or “motherfucker.”
  • Someone says, “The True Death.”
  • Arlene is the only employee working at Merlotte’s.
  • There is a dream sequence.
  • The episode ends on a cliffhanger.



September 2022
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Archives

BrikHaus - Find me on Bloggers.com

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

Join 411 other followers