Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen – Okay, here’s what’s wrong with the first transformers: THE BOOF; Megan Fox, who is hands down the least hot girl people consider hot these days; John Turturro playing the worst character in the history of cinema; horrendous shitty sitcom humor; somehow killing off the only “black” robot'; and generally far too much human and far too little transformer. As for the second movie: even more too much BOOF, Megan Fox is still not hot, though she’s outdone in not-hot-ness by that nasty blonde chick; john turturro is actually halfway funny; humor almost as bad as the first except for the fortunate lack of a garden scene; replacing one offensive black robot with TWO offensive black robots (I think they were black, maybe white trash, either way stupid and not funny which is the most offensive part); and 30 minutes of humans for every 5 minutes of robots (seriously transformers, YOU are going to teach me both about love and father/son relationships?). This is all what I was very critically and fuddy-dud-ily thinking until Optimus Prime wrecked the SHIT out of some decepticons, and I was sold. To be clear, this movie is not good, it’s lame and stupid and you can barely suffer through any scene with a non-metallic based lifeform. But for the 25 minutes (total) that the robots really show up in this movie, it is some fantastic ass kicking fun. The CG is very good, I was amazed how well the robots blended into the live action. The battles are pretty confusing, but pretty cool (minus a massively disappointing finale). Whoever invented slow motion badassery in action movies (nearly perfected in 300) should win some kind of life time achievement oscar. I don’t care how much they messed with transformers lore, it’s not like I remember. I just wanted to see shit done get blown up, and it did. If you made a 45 minute clip show of the first two movies combined, you’d have a great 45 minutes, that’s the best I can say for it. Favorite part of the movie? When optimus prime blasts some decepticon through a wall and a 10 year old boy in the row in front of me flings his hands toward the sky and yells “YES!” I guess I can be content that they made this movie after all.
Up – I was kind of worried about this one. The previews made it seem so normal, like just another typical adventure cartoon. Not bad, just not special. The movie did overcome this impression, though not entirely. There is a lot of running around in the jungle with our friends dodging this danger and that, kind of normal. Of course you can boil all of the pixar movies down to an adventure of a couple heroes, but something about jumping over logs and running from creatures seemed pretty standard. However, the basis of the movie is very solid. You really can’t deny its heart, or at least I couldn’t. The opening was incredibly touching, reminded me a lot of this video I posted a bit ago. The relationships were a bit standard, but charming nonetheless. The end is very sweet and touching, of course. It’s not the best pixar movie ever, I’m not sure where it ranks. I think I was more charmed by ratatouille, definitely by Wall-E and the Incredibles. Those first 10 minutes and the reprise later on are beautiful, the middle is just fun.
Heckler – This is a Jamie Kennedy movie (I guess?) about hecklers and critics. It’s just interviews and footage of a bunch of comics talking about hecklers, which is pretty good. No one likes hecklers, we all think they are assholes, done deal. It’s funny to hear the way comics deal with it and some of the crazy stories. The second half moves to critics and they lose me. It becomes a bunch of comics and filmmakers whining and bitching about people making fun of them. The irony of people who make a career of observing and more often than not making fun of the world complaining about being critiqued is lost on them, if not the viewer. Filmmakers are slightly different, but they are still a bunch of baby bitches. Aww, poor actor had some nasty person with a blog (ahem!) call him a baby bitch, awwwwww. A couple claim that by nature of being a performer you are sensitive, have a thin skin, and therefore feel the criticism more. That’s an interesting point. But I still can’t summon any sympathy because a blogger said jamie kennedy should be stopped from making movies. It’s true, he’s lame and unfunny and untalented, so it’s funny to say he should be stopped. If you think that means I think also means are a fundamentally bad person, then you are stupid AND untalented.
Volver – Umm…. okay. Kind of a weird movie. Kind of a mix of a coverup caper and a ghost story and a family movie. Not really either of the first two things, though. I don’t think I really liked it. Penelope Cruz was about as likable as I’ve ever seen her, she’s not my style. The story of the story is really kinda silly. I wasn’t enjoying myself. Family movies have a tendency to come together in the end and make you feel good, and I suppose this one did that. But I don’t think it’s enough to make up for an otherwise unimportant movie.
A Simple Curve – Random little indie family movie. Father and son up in alaska, I think, who own a woodworking business. Business is rough, trying to balance art and money. Drama with another man in town, and with the son’s dating. It’s a well enough done movie. It feels real in a simple (no pun) straightforward way. The script and acting is done honestly, so I appreciate it. It also isn’t about a whole lot, so it’s easy to leave by the wayside, in my mind. I can certainly imagine it having some resonance for the right audience. It didn’t fail for me, it was perfectly adequate, it just didn’t have a special spark for me on top of that.
End of the Spear – Yech. This movie didn’t have to be bad, it seemed like. It’s about some missionaries and a tribe in some jungle somewhere. It’s filmed really amateurey. I mean, they used a good camera, but somehow you can just tell it’s a dude and a prosumer, not professional stuff. I would never be the type to discount non-“professional” contributions, but it was distracting here. The real problem is the ridiculous vantage of the movie. First of all, it’s about missionaries who try to convert savages and get killed. Science has not invented a scale small enough to measure the amount of sympathy I had for these jackfucks. Second of all, it’s preachy and annoying and selfishly from the point of view of the missionaries. It’s not blatantly offensive, I’m more annoyed in retrospect than I was while actually watching the movie, so I shouldn’t be so harsh. But it is simply not a good movie, to me. The showed some footage at the end of the documentary about this apparently real life story (woudln’t have believed it, seems too movie-ish, I’m going to guess they took some liberties) and it actually seemed moderately interesting. It’s too bad this movie soured me on the subject, now I probably won’t watch the documentary.
American Teen – Yeeeesh. I swear I heard this movie was good, I don’t know where, but I thought I did, but it’s really not. I don’t even like teenagers, I pretty much want nothing to do with any of them I’m not related to. Teenagers are dumb, that’s the whole point of being a teenager. I was extra dumb as a teenager, why would I want to watch an hour and a half of other teenagers being dumb? On top of that, they are unbelievably cliched. You can’t say it’s fake, I guess, because it’s a documentary, so it’s real, so life really just is cliched. But mostly its pretty annoying, drama is annoying, high school is annoying, reality tv is annoying, and seeing myself in this movie is pretty damn annoying. I already know how i was and what I did and how stupid it all turned out to be, no movie was required to provide an education. The only reason to see a movie like this is is to get some sort of insight into the kids, and I don’t feel it provided any of that. Maybe I’m close enough to kid-dom still that it’s not interesting to see what goes on, maybe an older person would say “oh, that’s how it is nowadays” I guess? I can’t imagine that’s true, cuz I’m pretty far from high school at this point. So if it doesn’t provide insight, what’s the point? It’s the Real World: Indiana High School, so…… ok? Annoying kids with standard lives living the same old story. Not that I’m blaming the kids, I was just as annoying as any of them, it just doesn’t seem interesting if we all already know this stuff.
Punisher – It’s been like 2 weeks since I saw this, but it wasn’t really worth rushing to review. It’s just a bloody action movie. It’s gory as hell, like seriously extraordinarily nasty with gross ways to kill people. Not really that cool of ways, certainly not interesting, just there. Nothing interesting about the story, nothing captivating about the punisher’s motivation. Moderately interesting revamp of Jigsaw’s origin, but besides that, super meh!
Pi – Faith in Chaos – Gah…. ok. So this is a weird one. Never saw it, even though it seems like the type of thing I’d see. Darren Aranofsky, who did the Wrestler, which I looooove, but was nothing like this. It’s more of a David Lynch film. It’s black and white, has dischordant jarring sounds/music in the background. All the shots are really tight on peoples’ faces who yell into the camera as often as talk. It’s very aggressive, offputting, and weird. It’s not bad, i guess, maybe if I was really really paying attention I’d have something to say. Mostly it was just kinda weird, kinda interesting, mostly weird. The math part of it doesn’t hold up in any realistic way. It’s quickly diverges into weird numerology bull crap and jewish mysticism of all things. So it’s not really cool in that way. It’s mostly interesting the way Lynch is interesting, it’s freaking weird and you probably haven’t seen a movie that was weird in this particular way before. Beyond that I can’t say much for it.