Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Gordon Levitt

29
Mar
14

The Wind Rises

Jiro and Naoko.

Hayao Miyazaki’s final film (until he un-retires again), The Wind Rises, is an excellent capstone to his already legendary career. The movie is decidedly less fantastical than the rest of his work, but just as emotionally moving as anything else.
The Wind Rises tells the story of Jiro Hirokoshi, a Japanese man who loves aviation. He has poor eyesight and is told he can never fly a plane, so he decides to do the next best thing: design airplanes. The film follows him from a young boy into his middle years as he toils to develop a new kind of airplane. The storytelling, while fictionalized, is quite riveting. You understand Jiro’s eagerness to build an aircraft, and you feel his successes and failures through each attempt.
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05
Oct
12

Looper Pooper

Sup, bros? I saw this totally rad movie over the weekend called Pooper. And by totally rad I mean it gave me the same feeling I have when I chug too much Jager and have to puke.

All my bros in film reviewing land had the exact same things to say about Pooper: “mind-bending”, “smart”, “scintillating”, “smart”, “creative”, “exciting”, “smart”, “very smart”, “high-concept”, “intelligent”, and “smart.” While my bros out there really liked this movie, I’m still wondering if they thought it was a smart movie. It’s hard to tell. In fact, I just typed “smart” so many times, it doesn’t even look like a real word any more. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Continue reading ‘Looper Pooper’

03
Aug
12

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises cast.

Since The Dark Knight Rises is a big fuckin’ deal, BrikHaus and Mrs. Brik have decided to do a tag-team review.

Mrs. Brik

I would like to preface this review by letting you know that I am not a particularly big fan of comic book movies. I only watch them if they look interesting (and they rarely do). I liked the first Iron Man. Lots of witty dialogue and ass-kicking, the story made sense, and it was paced well. Iron Man is an example of what Hollywood is almost never capable of doing: making a big-budget movie into something good. (I cannot, however, say the same thing for Iron Man 2.) The Hulk is an example of Hollywood at its worst. They made the same movie repeatedly and did a mediocre job of it each and every time.

Having said all that, Rises made all of my wildest dreams come true.  Continue reading ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

26
May
12

Where the Wild Things Are, Stop-Loss

Where the Whild Things Are

I hope they get lost in that desert.

I remember being fairly pumped for this movie when it was being promoted for theatrical release. It was directed by Spike Jonze who had also directed super awesome movies Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. It was based on a famous children’s book, and it boasted very unique character/monster designs. I never got around to seeing it in the theater, but Mrs. Brik and I checked it out on DVD a few nights back. I’m glad we saved our money.

This is one of the most boring and pointless movies I have ever seen. Basically, there is this whiny bitch of a kid named Max. He cries when his “igloo” gets crushed in a snowball fight, and then he trashes his sister’s room. He gets mad at his mom when she won’t come play with him while she’s working. He yells at her while she’s trying to get it on with Mark Ruffalo. He runs away from home after biting her. Then he hangs out with a bunch of imaginary friends (the aforementioned “Wild Things”), lying to them, bitching and moaning, throwing tantrums, and being a general nuisance. Eventually, he gets “homesick” and leaves his imaginary friends to return home to his mother. His mother welcomes him back with open arms and everything is A-OK.

Excuse me, but this is fucking bullshit. In what universe does a 9 year old boy scream at his mother, bite her, run away from home, and when he comes back he isn’t punished? I guarantee you, if this was reality, he would have been grounded and/or beaten mercilessly. You aren’t being an effective parent if you aren’t beating your children on a regular basis. I’ve never read the book on which this movie is based, but I imagine it tells children it’s OK to be disobedient, whiny liars. I’m glad I didn’t read the book as a child so I could grow up to be a belligerent asshole instead.

This movie has no climax, no resolution, no moral, and all the stuff with the imaginary friends was utterly pointless. He learned nothing from them, and they learned nothing from him. Pointless, boring, and worthless. I’m guessing that the only reason Spike Jonze’s previous movies were awesome was due to them having been written by Charlie Kaufman.

Verdict: Shitty

Stop-Loss

The cast of Stop-Loss. Notice that the movie’s only good character (Timothy Olyphant) is not pictured.

As the movie was getting started, I saw the “MTV Films” logo appear on the screen. Immediately, I knew I was in for a non-stop shitfest. This movie is ridiculously crappy. It opens with some home video montage of a bunch of soldiers fucking around in Iraq. Next, we are subjected to some stupid asshole (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, sorry Mrs. Brik) wailing and playing a guitar (badly). From there the movie is shot on actual film stock (thank god). We see men going into an Iraqi city, getting ambushed, and several of them dying. Finally, the survivors all go back to Texas, their tours of duty completed.

The main character, played by Ryan Phillipe, is shocked to find he can’t leave the Army because he’s been “Stop-Lossed.” Meaning, in his contract they can re-enlist him without his consent. He immediately goes bat-shit insane, and goes on the run. Unfortunately, going on the run isn’t very exciting. Most of the film features him driving across the country and chatting leisurely with Channing Tatum’s girlfriend.

With about forty minutes remaining, the DVD started to hang and the screen got all pixellated. Since it came from Netflix, it was scratched all to hell, and the remainder of the film was unwatchable. I was really disappointed I wasn’t able to finish this cinematic masterpiece. You can only imagine the hours of sleep I lost at night wondering what ultimate fates befell those characters.

The only good thing about this movie was that it had Timothy Olyphant. He played a badass. He always plays a badass because he’s really good at it. The whole movie should have just been Timothy Olyphant going around the country rounding up soldiers who went AWOL because they got Stop-Lossed. And if they didn’t go with him, he’d shoot them. That would be a kick ass movie.

Verdict: Shitty

22
Jan
12

Fifty Reasons Why 50/50 Sucked

I'm not going to waste my time listing 50 reasons why this movie was terrible because I don't need that many to argue my case, but it sounds catchy, so just go with it.

This movie had all the elements, in theory, to be awesome. It had a decent cast, i.e. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It had balls jokes in the trailer. Finally, it was written by Will Reiser, who had something to do with Da Ali G Show, which led me to believe it might be decent. I was prepared to be inspired by the heartwarming story of JGL overcoming cancer, while giggling at poop jokes made by Seth Rogen. I was sorely disappointed.

The overarching reason I hated this movie was that it tried to show something “true-to-life” in a way that got the details of real life completely wrong. (If you get the details wrong, it pulls me out of movieland and back to reality, where I am then free to judge mercilessly.)

Take the oncologist he sees, for example. The doctor has absolutely no people skills and won’t even look JGL in the eye when he’s talking to him. He only knows how to use extremely complex medical terminology that JGL can’t understand, and on top of all of that he brings JGL into a swanky office, with a desk between them, instead of, oh, I don’t know, an EXAM ROOM like most docs use, to diagnose him with the tumor. I know it’s popular in society to hate on doctors right now for having no empathy or compassion, because doctors are huge assholes who don’t give a shit about their patients, they go into it just to get rich and to have a personal stripper on speed dial, but come on. Think it through. What person would go through four years of medical school, incurring 6 digit debt, followed by 3-11 years of slave labor training just for the money? And explain to me how after that 3-11 years of patient contact (not counting the 2 years in medical school) a person manages to escape without any people skills whatsoever? Hollywood just pisses me off with their portrayal of the medical community in general, and 50/50 did no better than most other films out there at capturing reality.

Jumping off of that, how exactly was his therapist a doctor? She introduced herself as doctor, then proceeded to say she was working on her dissertation and was under supervision (but where the hell was the supervisor) and oh shit, her office was awfully nice for a student. I’m pretty sure (positive, because I’ve seen one) that they just cram “students” or “residents” or whatever into any small crevice available, with old piece of shit furniture and no A/C controls, and you’re lucky if you get a window. I can guarantee that your supervisor would be present with your first patient. They don’t just let you run with it on your own, if they did they’d be personally responsible if that patient hurt himself or someone else. Luckily, JGL just decided to call her up and ask her out ON HER PERSONAL CELL PHONE NUMBER THAT SHE GAVE HIM!!!!!!!!! This probably does not outrage you as much as it does me, but I am married to a psychiatrist and you Never. Give. Out. Your. Personal. Phone. Number. Not to patients. Don’t do it. Horrible idea. They WILL call you, at all hours of the night, for emergencies like I can’t sleep unless you give me more Xanax.”

Ok, enough with the ranting on the medical stuff. Let’s move on.

I really hated JGL’s character in this movie. He was totally spineless before the tumor literally ate up his spine, so honestly I didn’t give a crap if he got over cancer or not. I couldn’t sympathize with him. He let his girlfriend walk all over him and cheat on him with a stinky hippie; his friend had to bitch out his girlfriend for him because he didn’t have the balls to do it himself (did he also have cancer there?). At the end it seemed like somehow the cancer taught him to be more assertive, but if anything cancer would beat you down even more. I don’t buy that his growing tumor also magically grew his self-confidence.

The entire idea of a comedy about cancer is flawed to begin with. It’s an oxymoron. There’s nothing you can say to make cancer funny. Was I supposed to be lol’ing when JGL’s old man friend passed away (in the span of a week, when he previously looked perfectly healthy)? Was I supposed to be LMFAO when he was getting chemo? I just don’t get how the two fit together, and from what I saw, they didn’t. One of the only funny things in the movie was when he shaved his head with the balls trimmer, but the outcome was that JGL had a buzz cut, and all I could think after that was JGL looks really ugly with a buzz cut.” JGL isn’t exactly the sexiest man in Hollywood, but I can usually fantasize about making sweet, sweet love to him during his movies. Like in Inception, where he was exceptionally well dressed during the entire film, had witty dialogue, and oh yeah, he had hair. 50/50 really cock-blocked me on this one.

Now my head smells like your balls.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the dog his cheating girlfriend gave him, Skeletor. WHAT THE FUCK? Did you see that dog? Did they starve that dog on set just to make the name Skeletor more fitting? I get that greyhounds are lanky dogs, they are runners, blah blah blah. But you are NOT SUPPOSED TO SEE ALL OF THEIR BONES. If you can, they are too skinny. Someone should call the ASPCA or PETA or something on them. I can’t find a picture to prove my point here but I remember being completely disgusted in the theater. A little ribs showing is one thing; seeing hip bones is absolutely too thin and I distinctly remember seeing hip bones.

I really wanted to like 50/50. Comedy about inappropriate subjects is right up my alley. But while the movie had some funny moments, overall it just didn’t feel real. I could never get sucked in to the movie’s world and get lost in the story. They made too many mistakes, in my opinion, for the movie to have any real heart.

Verdict: Shitty

07
Jan
12

Conan the Barbarian – Probably the Greatest Movie Ever Made

Conan the Barbarian is probably the greatest movie ever made. I recently rewatched it on Blu-Ray for the 11,000th time. The sheer bliss I experienced while watching all that cinematic sex and carnage led me to realize that this is probably the pinnacle of human creation. No one will ever make a piece of art more endearing, more inspiring than this film. So why is Conan the Barbarian the greatest movie ever made? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.

1.) Sword Fighting – Whenever you include sword fighting, it ALWAYS improves the quality of your movie. Just try to think of one movie that wasn’t improved by sword fighting. You can’t. It doesn’t exist. A movie with sword fighting is going to be better than one without, every single time. Take a look at this picture from 500 Days of Summer.

JGL and Zooey: an indie match made in heaven.

It looks fine and all, but compare it to this picture from Conan the Barbarian.

Bloody swords improve everything 100 fold

The improvements are obvious. Clearly, the addition of the sword makes Conan the better film.

Continue reading ‘Conan the Barbarian – Probably the Greatest Movie Ever Made’




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