Oct 25, 2009

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

The Knowing – Ugh, why do I do this to myself? No one thought this would be good. And I have an extra special problem with silly bullshit that’s too close to reality. What I mean to say is, a story about aliens, no problem. Dragons? check. Ghosts? sure. But people actually believe in numerology. Those people are idiots, granted, but I still don’t like to see their delusions made into a big movie. I know this isn’t really numerology, it just happens to involve numbers, but it’s all stupid and it annoys me. But even without that, the movie is obviously bad. It’s not horrendous, suprisingly, Cage actually keeps it in check, the lady and the kids are fine. The writing isn’t frightening, even if it offers nothing of interest.  Of course, in the last 20 minutes the movie goes so off the rails it can’t see the amusement park. I mean, jeez, just the most obvious yet pathetic way to “twist” the ending. Pretty damn silly.

Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans – Going in with super low expectations, this movie was actually alright. No one would think it’s amazing, but it’s kind of a decent action movie. The only big fault is the blood. I swear to jesus in 10 years we are going to look back at the 2000s as the decade of horrible stupid CGI blood. Bad prop blood is so much better, but we are so enamored with our puters that we just can’t help to use them for everything possible. Use ketchup, it will be more believable, you are embarrassing yourself with this glossy bullcrap. But, hell, I’ve seen the Mutant Chronicles, so nothing can dismay me anymore. The rest of the movie is pretty decent. It’s got good enough choreography, the story is 100% expected. The acting and writing are fine for a slightly above generic action movie. That’s all.

The International – Wasn’t exactly looking forward to this one either. I mean, it’s about international bank intrigue. Christ, i almost fell asleep typing those three words. I give few shits for intrigue movies to begin with, they generally aren’t all that intriguing (I’m positive I’ve used that line before). This one isn’t either, and to top it off it’s about effing banks. Who gives a shit?! Clive Barker needs to stop acting the same way in every movie if I’m going to remember how great children of men was. Naomi watts was just… there. I don’t remember anyone else in the movie. it was fine, it wasn’t bad, but i can’t think of a single reason to be interested.

Drag Me to Hell – Oh come on! Is this failure week? I thought this one would be good! Granted, it didn’t look good. But people said it was good, and people said Sam Raimi makes good these-kind-of-movies (I haven’t seen the evil dead things, they are on the list). So despite looking totally stupid, I had high hopes! But…. BOOOOO. What the fuck? First of all, the premise, the reason why I thought it would be bad. You deny some bitch gypsy a loan because this is 2009 and you have to actually pay real-life non-magic-gypsy money for things, and so you get cursed? That’s just a stupid idea. Make a movie about some guy murdering you because you stepped on his shoe in the movie theater while you are at it. Dumb. Okay, so maybe that’s the point? Maybe this faultless thing (unless you try to make some sort of comment of capitalism, but meh) turns into a big thing and that’s silly but let’s have fun with it? Or… not fun. You know, more like, anti-fun. Movie isn’t scary, except for startling scares, which are obviously cheating. I don’t think it’s funny. The times when it’s being stupid which you might imagine are stupid to be funny, aren’t funny, which just leaves stupid. I honestly don’t get what I’m missing, everyone else seemed to think it was so much fun and a great ride. It seemed so pointless to me! And then the ending has a sort of interesting quandry (if an obvious one they could have gotten to earlier), but they don’t end up doing anything interesting with it, just the cheat. And then the end end is just blah of course stupid. I don’t get it, I really don’t. Am I going to hate the evil dead movies?

The Haunting in Connecticut – Okay, here’s a weird story – this movie is kind of okay. Here’s a really weird story – I think it’s better than Drag Me To Hell! Okay, let’s calm down. It’s not a good movie. What this movie has in its favor is a decent premise. It’s kind of a Poltergeist movie, rather than a single murderer, or a single ghost, it’s a haunted place cuz some bad shit went down. On top of that, the main kid has super cancer and is dying and that interacts with the story a little. After that, it’s mostly a normal horror movie. But those tidbits had me slightly interested for the first while. I was never interested in Drag Me To Hell. And in as much as this is a standard horror movie, DMTH was that too. DMTH was cheesier, which apparently some people interpret as funnier, but not fundamentally any better in my opinion. Anyway, this is an okay movie, it’s not as bad as you’d assume, watch it on cable some saturday night.

Yes Man – Oh I dunno, kind of a random comedy. It wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t rush off to see it, but it’s mildly entertaining. The premise is forced, but no surprise. The romance is forced too, but meh. I don’t know, watch it on a plane, it’s fine.

2001: A Space Odyssey – Umm… what?  So… this is one of the greatest movies ever made ever, huh? Masterful? Art? Genius? It’s weird, maybe I rented the wrong disc, but the movie I saw was long, boring, weird, briefly brilliant, but mostly meh. First the good – Hal. That presence really is genius. It’s so foreboding, ominous, omniscient, and almost evil. But not evil. Not even capable of evil, in fact, which is what is so scary. Hal has a distance from humanity that is frightening, even today after 40 years of movies and scifi have reused this idea, it’s frightening. The image, too, has been reused. The glowing unblinking constantly watching red eye is the best part of this movie. The rest, however, is kind of bad. The Jupiter mission could have been an amazing short film, but tack on the monkeys, the moon base, and the crazy ass shit at the end, and I don’t know what to think. The monkeys are cool in concept, even in execution, the dawn of man is an interesting moment. But the idea of aliens prompting evolution is somehow fundamentally annoying to me. Evolution didn’t need a stupid monolith to spark it, it works just fine on its own, that’s why it’s so damn cool! Wikipedia tells me the book makes more sense of the end than the movie. But the truth is even after I looked that stuff up (hoping I was missing some hidden genius) I realized I understood what they were going for all along and I still thought it was stupid. Man evolves further, to a giant space baby? Even as a metaphor that’s idiotic. Evolution is interesting, evolution in spontaneous jumps because of magic black bricks is not. I am really just all around disappointed in this movie. It’s famous for the monkeys and for HAL, and those really are the only things worth remembering.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop – Yeah, I rented it, so what? It was completely what you think it is. I laughed a little, maybe more than I expected, but not enough to make it a good movie, obviously.

Inkheart – I was excited for this movie, once upon a time, because someone I knew was excited about it (having loved the books). I don’t know that person anymore, though, so I ended up letting it pass by without notice. Glad to have finally seen it, though I don’t know that it reflects well on the book. The concept of a silvertongue, someone who reads books to life, is pretty awesome. It’s original, has crazy options as far as storytelling, and is just neat to think about. The trouble with the idea is it’s wildly uncontrollable in any sort of real narrative sense. The whole plot progression doesn’t make any sense, a million solutions present themselves along the way, all of which are ignored for the sake of the preordained plot. It’s really kind of a failure in that sense. The rest is fine, people act fine, it’s kind of amusing in parts, the few special effects there are are good for this kind of movie. In the end it’s fun, but the quantity of plot holes is overhwelming, for me.

Monsters vs. Aliens – Damn, didn’t really like this one either. It’s cute enough, I guess. There is some good humor, mostly centered around B.O.B. The rest is pretty childish, and yeah I know it’s a movie for children, but most of these try to reach adults too, pixar being the obvious example, and this one doesn’t reach me. And besides, I don’t mean it’s childish in that it’s humor for children. I mean it’s overly simple humor that a child could write, it’s amateur. The voice acting is good some of the time, but a lot of the script & relationships make a lot of it seem forced. I’m sure I’m being too harsh, no one expects greatness here. But I expected a little more, nonetheless, should have been more fun than it was. Also, this movie was clearly made for 3D and it’s fucking obnoxious. For no damn reason things fly at the screen every 10 minutes, which in 2D seems ridiculous. But, even without actually seeing the 3D, that informs me that the state of 3D is still the same today. I’ve said before (regarding beowulf, I think), that 3D is still gimmicks, it offers no value. Shit flies at you, you duck, it’s a novelty, it means nothing. Some day in the future 3D will be a fundamental medium for art, just as radio, then pictures, then color pictures. It will give us something we can’t get otherwise. But right now all it gets me is balls in my face. And no one likes balls in their face.

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