Posts Tagged ‘Netflix

13
May
19

Triple Frontier

A Netflix original film, starring Oscar Isaac, Ben Affleck, and some other dudes, has been promoted as a high-stakes thriller, and a militaristic heist film. Those descriptors don’t work for this movie. This movie is a plodding, pointless piece of poop (yay alliteration) that is anything but thrilling.
Triple Frontier is a snooze a minute about former military guys who learn that a drug lord has a shitload of money hidden in his house. Well, obviously a drug lord has a shitload of money hidden in his house, that’s not exactly a revelation. Anyway, these guys plot to steal the money. Instead of showing the planning stages in a flashy way like heist movies are supposed to do (see Ocean’s Eleven and The Italian Job), it’s literally just them sitting around a table talking about what to do. Eventually, they get to the drug lord’s house, and kill everyone. But it isn’t an action-packed extravaganza you’d hope for like in Commando. No, the characters are methodical, and quietly take out the bad guys. It’s supposed to be realistic, but it’s boring as hell. They find the money, and try to escape via helicopter, but there is too much money, and they can’t make it over the Andes mountains, and crash.
The rest of the film is these bozos trying to carry whatever money they can on foot. You’d think at this point something interesting would happen. Like they would turn on each other, or drug dealers would catch up to them or something. But no. Nothing fucking happens. They encounter a couple of small problems they easily overcome. One of them dies, but it’s not in any sort of heroic or exciting way. And then, after a while, the movie decides to meander to a conclusion.
I don’t know what the fuck the filmmakers behind this thing were thinking. For a movie about ex-military commandos stealing money from a drug lord, it has no sense of urgency whatsoever. The nature of its premise alone requires something more, and Triple Frontier consistently fails every step of the way. Even the denouement lasts too long, and the audience is dying for the movie to end already.
Verdict: Shitty
23
Apr
19

Velvet Buzzsaw

When I saw the cast list for this movie, I figured it was going to be special. With the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, and more, the cast of this movie is totally stacked. How does a movie manage to land A-list talent like this unless it’s good? Well, that’s a great fucking question, because Velvet Buzzsaw is terrible. It’s about a group of art dealers who stumble across the collected works on a recently-deceased, unknown artist. There’s a bit of sales maneuvering, power plays, and political backstabbing in the first half of the film, which leads one to think this movie will be a drama/thriller of sorts.
It’s an interesting setup for sure. But the second half of the movie doesn’t know what to do with the setup, and just goes balls-to-the-wall stupid. The art dealers are killed one at a time…by the art. Yes, that’s right, art is a serial killer in Velvet Buzzsaw. No matter where the characters go, if they profited from the unknown artist’s works, they will die, murdered by paintings. And it doesn’t even have to be those specific art pieces they sold. Literally any art will murder them, like graffiti or performance art. The cast does their absolute best to work with the material, but it’s hard to be convincing when they are being murdered by CGI paintings.
The movie has a mocking tone, trying to stick it to the art world, but it’s hard to find that angle appealing when 99% of the populace has no interaction with art dealers, and therefore no point of reference for this. It’s a hokey film, but at least it moves at a brisk pace. The ending is dumb, and it’s hard to get invested in a horror movie that doesn’t even have a villain. It’s hard to believe that this piece of crap was written and directed by Dan Gilroy, the same guy who wrote and directed the incredible Nightcrawler. This one isn’t worth your time.
Verdict: Shitty
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

01
Feb
18

Bright, Death Note (2017)

Bright

This Netflix original movie comes with an interesting premise: orcs, elves, and magic exist alongside humans in the modern era. Unfortunately, the bland writing does nothing for the concept. It’s a standard buddy-cop movie set in the gritty streets of L.A. But instead of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, we get Will Smith and an orc played by Joel Edgerton. Every character is hugely racist against orcs, and Smith especially comes across as an insufferable asshole. I guess it’s to help you sympathize with Edgerton, but it’s overboard here. They don’t even trade witty one-liners, it’s just non-stop racism and swearing.

The story is rote. Director David Ayer cribs from his own filmography, bringing out every cop movie cliche in the book from dirty cops (like in Street Kings) to two cops trying to escape gang members in the ghetto (like in End of Watch). Smith and Edgerton stumble across a magic wand, and are constantly running from everyone who wants to get it for themselves. It’s mostly Smith and Edgerton surviving shootouts and car chases, and none of them are inventive or memorable. The entire concept of fantasy characters in a modern setting is irrelevant to the story. Something more should have been done to make this stand out, but writer Max Landis was too busy jacking off from creating a cool concept to be bothered to write a compelling plot.

The acting is borderline atrocious. Smith and Edgerton are fine, but everyone else is hammy as all get-out, with Noomi Rapace turning in one of the most over-the-top performances this side of Nicolas Cage. When the credits finally rolled, I was happy to turn Netflix off, and I have no interest in revisiting this world for the already-announced sequel.

Verdict: Shitty

Death Note (2017)

Death Note exists in a lot of mediums from the original manga, to anime, to several live-action Japanese films, and now a Netflix live-action movie. I’ve experienced every version, and there is no doubt that Neflix’s version is by far the worst. Trying to compress 37 episodes (going by the anime) of material into 100 minutes is an impossible task. Plot lines, world building, characters, important scenes, and character development are all tossed by the wayside. How can you even have character development in such a compressed running time?

Light is changed from a brilliant sociopath with a god complex into an average, angsty teenager with misgivings (somewhat) about what he’s doing. His girlfriend Mia is more of a threat than him, and ends up being a more interesting character. L is portrayed accurately, but even he devolves to shouting at everyone when things go sideways. The things that made the original Death Note great are not to be found here.

The backbone of the anime was the cat-and-mouse game between Light and L. In this film, it is gone, with L figuring out Light is Kira immediately, and trying to ram home the conclusion to his investigation as quickly as possible. The movie is too stupid to even follow its own rules. For example, they mention multiple times that the Death Note can only have one owner at a time, and it can’t change hands unless it is separated from Light by seven days. Then, they have Mia stealing pages and killing people left and right, and even L possibly writing Light’s name down at the end, all while Light was in possession of the book within the seven-day window. For fuck’s sake, the filmmakers don’t have the attention span to follow the rules they established thirty minutes earlier.

The ending tries to include Light’s trademark elaborate machinations, but it comes across more as deus ex machina rather than the workings of a criminal genius. All of this happens amid a swirling shit storm of bad acting, corny dialogue, and poor plotting. The only positive thing I can say was Willem Dafoe was perfect as Ryuk, even though his character was watered down from evil/mischievous to boring/asshole. Worst of all, there was no scene of Light eating the potato chip! Total letdown, utter garbage.

Verdict: Shitty

15
Feb
14

Iron Sky

They even have to “heil” on the moon.

Iron Sky is one of those movies that has a great concept and absolutely horrible execution. The plot is about a group of Nazis who escaped Earth in 1945 and colonized the dark side of the moon. They’ve been spending years building their space armada with plans to eventually return as a conquering force. It has all the trappings of what could be a cheesy yet brilliant sci-fi parody film. Iron Sky certainly gets the cheesy part right, but it fails everywhere else.
There are loads of problems with this movie. The writing, the acting (or perhaps over-acting), the directing, pretty much everything except the CGI was horrendous. The CGI surprisingly looked pretty good. That’s the only thing Iron Sky has going for it. And that certainly isn’t worth the price of admission. FYI, the price of admission is free on Netflix, but it’s still not worth it.
21
Sep
13

You Just Wasted $35

I wish I could see my movies here.

People are assholes.

There is no sense of common courtesy anymore. Everyone just cares about themselves and nobody gives a fuck about others.

That much became clear to me recently when Mrs. Brik and I went to the movies. The film itself isn’t important. What is important is how it got disrupted by a couple of big fucking douchebags. We were watching the movie and having a good time. More than anything, just getting out of the house, regardless of what cinematic turd we watch, can be an enjoyable endeavor. This movie has been out for a while, and the theater was only about 20% full. We were not in the last row, but near the back and no one else was behind us.

The movie was only 95 minutes long. These two assholes walk in, I shit you not, 60 minutes into the film. They drop themselves into empty seats two rows behind us with a mighty thump. I thought the chairs were going to break. They start chomping on some popcorn so loudly it sounded like they were grinding nuts and bolts from ACE Hardware. Seriously, I have never even noticed people eating popcorn around me in a movie before this. I couldn’t hear Mrs. Brik chewing popcorn next to me. But now I can hear these two fuckers chowing down two fucking rows back! Jesus Christ.

For the first 5 minutes or so, they were just eating loudly. It was annoying, sure, but maybe they had traumatic brain injuries or something and didn’t know how to eat in public. But then, as the movie entered the third act, they decided it was time to start talking.

Believe me when I tell you that these guys NEVER shut up during a movie.

They were chatting about everyday crap, gossiping about some bullshit friend/relationship drama, and occasionally laughing. And not a normal hushed chuckle like you’d expect when your friend makes a witty one-liner about the movie. Oh no, not that at all. The guy would guffaw and the girl would hysterically cackle, and both of them would do it as loudly as humanly possible. It wasn’t directed at the movie either, because it would be during a lull or in the middle of an action sequence. It was clearly tied to their bullshit banter.

It goes without saying that I was super pissed off. It took me right out of the movie; I could no longer follow it. All I could manage to follow was that Brenda was dating Barry and Barry was also with Shaniqua and Barry’s baby mama Rene was trying to win him back but if Rene’s dad Leroy found out he would probably kill Barry. THAT’S what I got out of the final third of the movie. I couldn’t tell you what the fuck happened on screen.

WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOUR GODDAMN MANNERS?! WHO THE FUCK RAISED YOU TO ACT LIKE THAT?!

These assholes got plenty of “shushs” from the other people in the audience, and one guy even got up, walked back to where they were sitting, and told them to shut the fuck up. So, they were not just bothering me. They quieted for maybe a minute, two if I’m being generous, but then got right back to the cacophony of verbal diarrhea.

Finally, and this is the best part, they left the movie when there was about 5 minutes left. While I was able to comprehend the climax, a great deal was lost because I couldn’t concentrate on anything leading up to that moment.

As we were driving home, I got to thinking about this bizarre event. These two people paid full price for tickets and then bought popcorn and presumably soda to go along with it. That probably cost them around $35 total. And for what? To catch 30 minutes of a random action/sci-fi movie, and then leave just before it ends? They weren’t even watching it in the first place! And no, they were not just killing time in there until the movie they really wanted to see started, because this was the last showing of any movie for the day. I guess they could have finished the movie they came to see and then jumped into this one for the hell of it, but nobody does that. When your movie is over, you go home. If you theater hop, you don’t do it when there aren’t any other showings.

So, I’m not sure what these fuckos were up to. It seems like their sole purpose that evening was to blow $35 just to ruin a movie for some unfortunate theater goers. Why would you waste your money like that? Why not make some popcorn at home, order a pizza, and watch a Netflix all for $10 instead — AND you can gossip and laugh like morons to your heart’s content? They didn’t do that because they’re self-absorbed, oblivious assholes.

Fuck those fuckers.

This is why I stopped going to the movies in the first place. Guess I won’t be going back anytime soon.

15
Jan
11

Tron

I’m not sure what the point of this movie was other than to make Disney a lot of money. Tron, the cult 1982 film, didn’t require a sequel. There was no burning need to continue the story of software-engineer Kevin Flynn. Back in its day it made a modest profit and then the public at large forgot about it. In 1982 Hollywood wasn’t as sequel crazy as it is today. Oh sure, they made sequels to stuff like Dirty Harry movies, Star Wars movies, and a shitload of James Bond movies. But today we have shit like Green Lantern getting a green-light for a trilogy before the first movie even finished production. Only the Hollywood of today would make a sequel to the putrid pile of shit that was the remake of Clash of the Titans. So that’s why a modest money-maker like the original Tron didn’t get a sequel. It was fun, people liked it, but then they moved on. There wasn’t this obsessive need to keep beating the dead horse of sequels just because Hollywood thinks it’s easier than coming up with original ideas.

28 years later, we have Tron: Legacy. How exactly did this happen? I have no idea. No one does. It seems like the idea for a Tron sequel came out of the blue. It’s not as if the general public was clamoring for another Tron movie for the last 20 years. Seemingly at random, Disney started to pimp out TR2N promos three years ago. Whose bright idea was this? Nobody’s. This actually confirms a theory I’ve had for quite some time: no humans run Disney. There is just this old IBM computer that still takes 8-inch floppy disks that generates random ideas and scrounges for old shit to remake. Why else would we be getting Pirates of the Caribbean 4? Either that or Hollywood is so starved for ideas they are really digging into the past to find anything to remake/sequalize. I guess that’s why we now have a Green Hornet movie. After all, if you can find a 30-75 year old property that didn’t completely bomb, why not make a sequel to it?! Half the movie-going public isn’t even old enough to remember how much the first one sucked! By that logic, I guess we can expect a sequel to The Beastmaster any day now.

Like any terrible blogger, I decided that I needed to see the new Tron movie. But I barely remembered the old one. All I could recall of it was some guys throwing frisbees at each other, motorcycles that sprout deadly solid lines behind them, and everyone wearing these blue and red light-up leotards. Unfortunately, what I could not recall was if the movie had been any good. I decided to ask my parents, and they remembered just as much about it as I did. I asked a few other people who were adults when the original movie premiered, and pretty much everyone remembered the same stuff. Nobody could actually recollect what the plot was or if it hadn’t been executed well or ineptly. So, I figured my next best move was to watch the original. I queued it up on Netflix… Continue reading ‘Tron’




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