Posts Tagged ‘hollywood

23
Oct
19

The Conjuring 2: Conjure Harder

The Conjuring 2 is an incredible example of how not to make a sequel. I greatly enjoyed the first film, and was honestly surprised by how hokey the second film turned out. This has got to be one of the most precipitous drops in quality from film-to-film in a franchise.

The second film takes Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively) to bonny England to help a family that is being terrorized by a ghost. So, the plot is exactly the same as the first movie. But it’s a horror movie, and that’s to be expected, so no big deal.

Unfortunately, The Conjuring 2 forgot what made the first film work so well. Namely, the building of atmosphere, character development, and not having an over-reliance on jump scares. Startling the audience only works briefly, because the more you do it, the more the audience gets desensitized, and then it becomes ineffective.

So, this film jumps right in with the ghost scaring the family with startles flying left and right. There is no chance to learn about the characters in order to give a shit about them. Oh, some random one-dimensional characters are haunted by a ghost? Big fucking deal. And this time around, the startles are inanely stupid. They include stuff like seeing an old man in a television (which made me laugh pretty hard), the old man lunging out of the shadows, furniture being thrown around, and a crazy nun popping up in front of people. None of these scares work because there are far too many of them, and they are ridiculous. Are we supposed to find a cranky old man in a bathrobe scary? The nun was kind of creepy, but she wasn’t the focus. She should have been the main antagonist. The old man just wasn’t scary.

Clearly, they were either stoned or under a serious deadline when they wrote this movie. It’s idiotic from start to finish. It offers nothing to the horror genre, and it is funnier than it is scary. It is a generic horror sequel through and through. What a let down.

Verdict: Bad

28
Sep
19

Polar: Just the Tip of the Crapberg

Polar is one of those movies that seems like it would be impossible to fuck up. It stars cool-as-hell Mads Mikkelsen as a contract killer known as The Black Kaiser. That alone should have been enough to make this a great movie. Yet, they managed to completely bungle everything from start to finish.

The story is tired. Mikkelsen is retiring, but he has to do one last job before his employer lets him go. Of course. It’s always one last job, or one week until retirement, isn’t it? Anyway, the final job is a double-cross. The employer plans to kill Mikkelsen so he doesn’t have to pay him his $8 million pension. Mikkelsen survives, and vows vengeance against those who turned on him. Once again, this premise seems impossible to fuck up. It’s astounding that they did.

The biggest problem is the style of the movie. It has this over-the-top, loony comedy style. But it isn’t funny at all, it’s just really fucking annoying. It’s trying to go for, I don’t know, a Smokin’ Aces vibe or something. When a new character shows up, the film freezes to show their name in bold letters. When the movie changes locations, it shows the name of the place in a funky font with cash register and gunshot sound effects. It focuses on bloodletting, but not cleverly. It’s not like John Wick or Kill Bill that showed ultra-violence in inventive ways. No, it’s just blood splattering around the screen, or a CGI head getting tossed out a window. It’s uninspired. It’s like a teenage boy obsessed with Quentin Tarantino got hold of a multi-million dollar budget.

I’m not sure if the villain, this Baby Huey tub of lard is supposed to be funny or intimidating, but he’s neither, he is really fucking annoying. The movie drags on far too long, offering nothing new to the genre. Mikkelsen miraculously manages to bring in a solid performance, because the guy is a professional. Otherwise, there’s pretty much nothing worthwhile here. There’s some pretty good sex scenes, though, so I guess that’s cool.

Verdict: Shitty

15
Jul
18

Happy (Shitty) Ten Year Anniversary

In keeping with the crappiness of this blog, I decided to find a generic looking image. Ten years is a long time. Most film review blogs don’t last half as long. While it seems that this site has been on life support lately, the updates have still trickled in. I had no idea I’d keep my curmudgeonly reviews going for an entire decade, but hey, here we are. I appreciate my faithful readers, and my regular commenters for staying loyal all this time. I also appreciate the fact you keep coming back despite my hating just about everything I watch. I know I have trashed movies and TV shows some of you absolutely love, so thanks for sticking around. Most of all, I’d like to thank the people with no sense of humor, who comment angrily on one of my many satire posts; you’re the true spice of life.

So, for the tenth anniversary, I thought I would share my top ten favorite posts in the history of the blog. Fitting for a tenth anniversary, right?

20 Shittiest Anime of the Decade published January 22, 2010

Avatard Me Up (AKA Everyone is an Idiot) published February 20, 2010

Fake Indie Movies (AKA Fuck You, Hipsters) published July 17, 2010

4 Horsemen of the Film-Making Apocalypse: Part 4 – M. Night Shyamalan published December 3, 2010

Your Wedding Sucked published June 25, 2011

Reasons Why Predator Is Better Than The King’s Speech published July 29, 2011

Conan the Barbarian – Probably the Greatest Movie Ever Made published January 7, 2012

Classically Shitty: Breakfast at Tiffany’s published January 28, 2012

Michael F. Assbender Is In Everything published February 17, 2012

Lessons Learned From The Wicker Man (AKA Oh No, Not the Bees!) published October 26, 2012

I had trouble narrowing it down from a top 20 to a top ten, so there have been some decent posts over the years. And looking at my output, my best stuff came between 2010 and 2012. In TV terms that would be seasons 3-5. After that, I guess the blog jumped the shark. If you have a favorite post I didn’t list, let me know what it is in the comments.

Ten years are in the book, and here’s to a few more.

29
Aug
17

Fantastic Four Sucked (But It Was Still Not As Bad As Green Lantern)

Fantastic Four was much reviled by the Marvel comics masturbatory fanboy community. To be honest, they weren’t wrong. This movie is bad. But it isn’t the incoherent piece of shit I had been led to believe. The story isn’t good, but it does make sense, and there is a general sense of cohesion. Watching it, you can’t tell there was so much behind-the-scenes turmoil.

The main problem is the story. It is woefully generic. From the moment the opening shot fades in, you have already seen all of this before. The main character, played by Miles Teller, is a boy genius who is ridiculed by his luddite teacher, Homer Simpson. Of course, Teller invented a teleportation device in his garage by hooking up a bunch of Nintendo 64s.

Teller keeps working on the device throughout the course of middle school and high school (and his luddite teacher follows him for some reason), and eventually gets disqualified from a science fair, because the luddite thinks it’s magical or something. I don’t know, it’s idiotic.

Continue reading ‘Fantastic Four Sucked (But It Was Still Not As Bad As Green Lantern)’

05
Aug
17

Pirates of the Caribbean 5, John Wick 2

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The fifth film in the franchise tells a bit of an origin story, showing how Jack Sparrow became Jack Sparrow. He double-crossed (of course) a ruthless privateer when he was a young man, and simultaneously became captain of his first ship. Decades later, the privateer, Captain Salazar, returns from beyond the grave to exact his revenge.

This outing was a step up from the previous one, Pirates of the Caribbean: I Can’t Even Remember What It Was About. It was essentially a rehash of the first movie, featuring young male and female leads who are in search of a fantasy McGuffin, and reluctantly enlist Jack Sparrow’s help in order to get it. While it is a rehash, it doesn’t contain the same effortless storytelling, and elements of whimsy and adventure the first film had. Let’s face it, the first film in the series is a modern classic, and they haven’t been able to recapture that.

This film wasn’t a complete waste. While most of the jokes were lame and forced, some of them absolutely worked. There was still a sense of high-seas adventure, although held back a bit by an over-reliance on CGI. Instead of letting two ships duke it out in a naval battle, they had to throw in stupid bullshit like the mast coming to life and attacking Jack Sparrow (ugh, why?). Back on the positive side, the finale was pretty inventive, and I loved the Black Pearl dropping anchor as it skirted the edge of the ocean.

Johnny Depp is still watchable as Jack Sparrow, and there was fun to be had in this film. Overall, though, the franchise is completely out of steam. It wasn’t exactly a memorable film, but it wasn’t complete garbage. Disney should do the smart thing and end the series on a decent note. But they probably won’t, and will make another one.

Verdict: Average

John Wick 2

 

Taking place immediately after the first film ended, John Wick 2 shows Keanu Reeves getting deeper into trouble in the world of assassins he tried to leave behind. An old ally of his returned and cashed in a favor Reeves owed him. Then, the ally double-crossed Reeves, making him the target of every assassin on the planet. The action scenes were incredibly inventive, flashy, and a whole lot of fun. The only thing that didn’t work for me was Reeve’s bullet-proof suit, which made him nigh-indestructible. Other than that, I liked everything about this movie. I especially enjoyed the hall-of-mirrors finale, and kept on wondering how they filmed it without ever showing the crew. All in all this was a worthy sequel in a cool-as-hell franchise.

Verdict: Awesome

22
Apr
17

The Man with the Midas Touch (James Bond 3)

Goldfinger was the film that perfected the James Bond formula. The first two films developed it, but there were bits that were rough around the edges and pieces that were missing. It wasn’t until this third film that everything solidified into the quintessential formula. Filmed on a budget of $3 million, and raking in a whopping $125 million, the filmmakers quickly learned that the public loved this latest iteration, and they have rarely strayed from it since.

The behind-the-scenes history of the James Bond franchise is often more interesting than the films themselves. A few years earlier, when the filmmakers wanted to make Dr. No, they had originally attempted to lure Guy Hamilton into the director’s chair. Hamilton declined, and the producers went with Terrence Young instead. This was a huge benefit to the film series, as it was Young who taught Connery how to play Bond. Without that insight, who knows if the series would have been so popular?

Continue reading ‘The Man with the Midas Touch (James Bond 3)’

20
Nov
16

It’s Pilot Season – 2016

OK, this post is a little late since I’ve been promoting my book. Pilot season is essentially over, and all the new shows are in full swing. But who cares? I’m doing this post anyway!

The Fall 2016 television season is upon us. And that means we’re inundated with the worst the networks have to offer. Each year brings us new series; a few will be great, but most will be unwatchable trash. There’s far too many horrible series out there for me to review them all. So, I’ve decided to watch the three pilots that had the most promotional advertising of this season and review them. Please note, my reviews are not necessarily what I think of the entire series, but simply my thoughts on the pilot episode.

The Good Place

Mike Schur is a comedy genius. He wrote for Saturday Night Light, he worked on the US version of The Office, he created and ran Parks & Recreation, and he co-created Brooklyn Nine-Nine. So, I’m going to take notice anytime he gets involved in a show. Now, he has created yet another new comedy series, The Good Place, starring Mrs. Brik’s female crush Kristen Bell.

The Good Place is essentially heaven. It’s where good people go when they die. But the standards are really, really high. Your run of the mill good person isn’t going to get in. You have to be an ultra-humanitarian, a Ghandi or a Lincoln to make the cut. Everyone else goes to The Bad Place AKA Hell.

Continue reading ‘It’s Pilot Season – 2016′




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