Posts Tagged ‘juno

24
Aug
12

Sucker Punch, Cedar Rapids

Sucker Punch

The vivid artistry and the subtle nuance of metaphor truly comes alive in this piece.

This is one of those big-budget movies that is so bad it defies explanation. After watching it I had to rethink some of my previous “shitty” verdicts. Keep in mind this didn’t prompt me to change any of my past verdicts, but this movie is so fucking bad, it made me seriously reconsider the definition of “shitty.”

Written, produced, and directed by Zack Snyder, this 2011 “film” is one of the smelliest turds Hollywood has crapped out in a long time. Eschewing all plot, logic, and character development for flashy visuals, the movie stumbles along from action sequence to action sequence until it reaches a laughably idiotic finale. Below is a list of reasons why this movie sucks so hard:

  • Entire production filmed against a green screen
  • Waife-like beautiful women are all experts in weapons and martial arts.
  • People casually walking away from explosions or collapsing buildings.
  • Giant samurai robots.
  • WWI-era steampunk German zombies. (yes, you read that sentence correctly)
  • Using WWII-era planes to fight medieval-fantasy orcs and dragons.
  • Girls getting the shit beaten out of them, crashing through buildings, etc. and not getting a scratch on them.
  • Weird flying mecha in the aforementioned WWI-era setting.
  • Fighting hordes of non-descript robots.
  • Tons of slow-mo action, punctuated by brief super-fast action, to be brought back again to more slow-mo action.

The mish-mash of genres, settings, and action styles must have seemed like a ZOMG AWESOME idea to Snyder, but it turned out horribly. It looks more like a shitty video game than a movie. And the storyline is just about as good as one you’d find in a mindless button-mashing PS2 game from the early 2000s. I especially like how the girls only enter the “fantasy world” when they start dancing. OH MAN I CAN’T WAIT TO KICK GERMAN STEAMPUNK ZOMBIE ASS BUT FIRST I JUST GOTTA DANCE! I also like how the “fantasy world” is actually already within another “fantasy world.” So we go two layers deep, like Inception, but without any coherence or good plotting. I also like how Jon Hamm is slumming it for some reason at the end of the movie. The acting is horrible, the special effects gaudy and overused (i.e. every second of the movie), there are huge gaps in logic in every aspect of the story, and the plot is just all around clunky and terrible. What do you expect when Snyder co-wrote it with Steve Shibuya, who has no other writing credits, and his biggest previous work was as Production Assistant: Effects Unit in Killer Clowns from Outer Space.

Probably my favorite part is that this run-down shit-hole mental institution’s only inhabitants are young, thin, incredibly attractive 20-something girls. Could someone please point me in the direction of this psychiatric facility so I can apply for a job? Thanks.

Verdict: Shitty

Cedar Rapids

The crazy mofos of Cedar Rapids.

It’s unfortunate that, a lot of times, smaller movies don’t get the proper distribution and advertising they deserve. They may get a limited run at an art-house cinema, and then get lost into obscurity. One of those movies is the 2011 film Cedar Rapids. It was on the 2009 “Black List” – a list of the most liked unproduced Hollywood screenplays. Previous entires on the list include 50/50, The King’s Speech, and Juno.

Fortunately, Cedar Rapids didn’t stay on the Black List for long. It is a very funny movie about a small town insurance salesman named Tim Lippe (played by The Office’s Ed Helms), who gets sent by his company to the annual convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. To Tim, Cedar Rapids is the big city. He has never left home before. He wants to stay on the straight-and-narrow, as his company is eligible for the prestigious “Two Diamond Award”, which they have won the previous four years. If he screws up and they don’t win the award, he’ll be out of a job.

Complicating matters, the hotel is overbooked and salesman are forced to double-up their rooms. Tim gets roomed with the brash and rude Dean Ziegler (played by John C. Reilly). The bulk of the movie features Tim’s downward spiral as he loosens up, starts to drink, gets wasted, cheats on his girlfriend (played by Sigourney Weaver) with Joan (played by Anne Heche), hangs out with prostitutes, sings Karaoke, uses meth, and tries to bribe his way into winning the coveted award.

Raunchy comedy is certainly nothing new, but Cedar Rapids has an indelible charm, and an absolutely hilarious cast, all of whom are acting at the top of their games. It manages to be funny, totally inappropriate, charming, and crude all at once. It is skillfully directed and written. It is a comedy that should not be missed by anyone.

While people are out laughing at drek like That’s My Boy, The Dictator, or Mirror Mirror, they are missing out on movies that are truly funny. I hope more people discover Cedar Rapids, because it has a lot to offer.

Verdict: Good

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17
Jul
10

Fake Indie Movies (AKA Fuck You, Hipsters)

There are a lot of movies I hate. For the most part, Hollywood can’t resist shoving recycled garbage down the throats of the movie-going public 52 weeks a year. Since 2004 there has been a growing number of “indie” movies released every year. The indie movie trend really exploded with the release of Napoleon Dynamite. Since then the term “indie film” has been Hollywood shorthand for “quirky independent comedy.” Unfortunately, the majority of the movies being passed around as “indie” are nothing close to being independent.

A truly independent film typically has a lot of features you will never find in a Hollywood “indie” movie. For example, if the movie was ever released in a national cinema chain (e.g. AMC, Harkins), then it was likely backed by a major studio, and thus is not independent. Real independent movies are not seen in the same cineplex that shows the latest Michael Bay summer shit-spectacular. They may play in a small theater dedicated to independent films, but usually they just make the rounds on the film festival circuit until they are either picked up for home video release or fade into obscurity.

Real independent movies are way too hardcore for the standard movie goer. They are grainy, often black and white, have really low production values, do not star any known actors, and many times deal with social issues or are completely confusing mindfucks. Perfect examples of this would be the movies Eraserhead by David Lynch and Pi by Darren Aronofsky. Continue reading ‘Fake Indie Movies (AKA Fuck You, Hipsters)’




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