May 15, 2012

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

Horrible Bosses – Man, this is another Tucker & Dale. Seemed like a great idea, trailer seemed really funny, but the movie wasn’t as much. Granted, this one is better than T&D, I laughed, it certainly had its moments. But it didn’t have me rolling. Everyone did a fine job and everything, it just didn’t have as much gas as I thought it’d have, too bad.

Attack the Block – Gosh, what is with me lately? This one isn’t bad, but it’s not as good as I heard. I heard it’s like the most amazing alien invasion movie ever. And it does get credit for doing it totally different. The idea is aliens invade, and a group of hoodlums in London fight them off. It’s a really cool concept. The problem is the whole anti-hero. I just can’t get behind a group of assholes who start the movie by threatening and robbing some random women. I’m sure it’s just my perspective, but I have a much harder time accepting them as heroes than the lovable ruffian who never really does anything wrong, but is just kind of an asshole. To be fair, the finale is pretty cool and heroic in its own right. But the movie just doesn’t live up to what I was hoping, sadly. Still decent, still 3 stars, just not great.

Ip Man – This movie is super good. It’s a chinese movie based on a true story of a guy during the japanese occupation during WW II. It’s a bit of a folk tale, him standing up to the oppressors and such, but I guess it’s at least partially true. He also was a great teacher of a martial art style called wing chun that is famously the style used by Bruce Lee. The movie story is cool enough since it’s “based” on real life. But the fighting is pretty awesome. It’s worth seeing the movie just for that.

Everything Must Go – Kind of a bummer movie that’s supposed to be about turning your life around and having hope that it can get better. Will Ferrell is a drunk who loses his wife and job and lives on his lawn. It’s well done, I can’t say it’s a bad movie, it’s just kind of a bummer.

The Station Agent – So, Peter Dinklage inherits an old train station from a friend of his in some podunk place. He is, of course, a dwarf, so he is an item of curiosity in this small town. That’s hard for him, he’s antisocial, some people force some social on him. It’s generally a nice story of making friends and figuring it out.

Planet Hulk – Haven’t been able to get to the avengers yet, so this is my consolation prize. It’s ok. I’m not really a hulk fan, and I wasn’t a fan of the planet hulk run, what little I read of it. I just feel like hulk is used so weirdly, sometimes he can smash a planet, sometimes he has to try to break through some dinky armor. Seems very inconsistent and hard to write well. The movie, separate from that, is an okay saturday morning type movie.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – Didn’t like the first one, don’t like this one. Don’t like money. Movies about people who only care about money are boring.

Martha Marcy May Marlene – This is another tough one. It’s about a girl who gets out of a cult and tries to make sense of it, doesn’t do a very good job. Everyone does a very good job in it, I can’t criticize the movie at all, it’s just kind of uncomfortable to watch. The ending is kind of weird, supposed to leave you wondering “oh no, is that what just happened?” but it’s kind of dumb when movies do that. It’s good though.

Killer Elite – This isn’t really as bad as you would think. Clive Owen is trying to stop a team of assassins led by Jason Statham. Many fights and explosions follow. Sounds bad, it’s not great, but it’s got plenty of fun fighting, which is really all I was looking for, so thumbs up.

Elephant White – This isn’t a bad movie. It’s about human trafficking, which is pretty effed up. Djimon Hounsou (yes I definitely copy pasted that from the netflix page) is on a tear out to punish the bad guys and save the girls. Kevin Bacon is an arms dealer with a weird accent. The movie is decent, Djimon goes around shooting the shit out of some people until all the people are shot. Despite nominally being about something someone different (not just some terrorist with a  bomb), it’s still a pretty samey action movie.

Griff the Invisible – Um, I’m not sure about this one. It’s about a guy, with a crappy boring life, who plays super hero at night. It’s hard to talk about the movie without saying too much. It’s kind of a sad movie, he’s a pretty pathetic character. The movie ends up in a very weird place, in that it embraces his patheticness, and is just okay with it. That’s an odd answer. I guess it’s not an invalid answer, if that’s the way you think, that’s one way to live. I’m being obnoxiously vague, but I sort of have to be. Not that it’s a big mystery or anything, but no sense in spelling it out. It’s kind of sweet, the way it embraces his weirdness, but it’s also kind of off putting. Decent movie, I guess.

The Double – Pppt. So Richard Gere is some kind of secret agent hunting down a super spy. Topher Grace is also an agent (less secret) trying to help Gere do that. Have you picked up on the two things wrong with this movie yet? To be fair, Richard Gere isn’t completely unbelievable as a badass. He has a couple bourne-esque scenes that work surprisingly well. He’s slick enough to pull it off. Topher Grace though, jeez. Between this and Predators, I’m thinking he should never be in anything except the movie version of that 70’s show. I mean, jeez, that was just not very good.

The Mechanic – So, Jason Statham made a movie where he beats up people. I know, weird, right? All things considered, this is one of the better Statham movies of the last couple years. It’s not particularly over the top. It’s not particularly clever either. But there’s this whole apprentice thing that is kind of cool. And Ben Foster, who is a freaking awesome actor, certainly does a great job. The action is actually somewhat sporadic, but comes in really quick awesome bursts. Very slick. You see the end coming, but it’s decently satisfying anyway. Worth the watch.

The House of the Devil – I actually was into this movie for a while. It wasn’t going gross out, or jump scare, or found footage. It did have a hokey 70s/80s feel to it, but that was on purpose, so it was ok. It was going for a slow burn. It did go a bit too slow though. And then it did try to be extra gross after things started going. In the end, it’s not that interesting or different. It’s not super poorly done, there’s just not a lot there to be fascinated by.

Battle: Los Angeles – Okay, I’m not done watching this movie, but it just lost me. It just said, I shit you not, that the aliens invaded because of the “composition” of our water. Because we, unlike ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE UNIVERSE, have liquid water on the surface. The fuck? 1) That’s a ridiculous statement, we might not even be the only place in the SOLAR SYSTEM with liquid water. 2) somehow travelling millions of light years to a planet to get water is more economical than MELTING ICE?! Besides that, it’s an entertaining enough shooty explodey movie. Lots of booms, lots of guns, lots of dead people and dead aliens. Totally fine if you want to watch explosions for a couple hours. Really can’t get over the no liquid water thing, though.

Reel Steel – Huh, this is a pretty good movie! It sounded so dumb, rock ‘em sock ‘em robots and all. But I’ve never actually seen a movie like this, so that’s cool. The plot is mega predictable, not amazingly well done or anything. It’s a very average movie in all regards, except that you get to see robots beat each other up.  Very fun!

Apollo 18 – This actually wasn’t half as bad as I thought it’d be. I had heard only bad things, but, as far as found footage movies go, it’s one of the better ones, I think! The context really suits the movie. I mean, the found footage part of it is stupid, it’s always stupid. But hey the moon is pretty freaking scary. It’s isolated, it’s foreign. As annoying as found footage is, it works to not be able to see what’s really going on. I don’t know, I’m not saying it’s a masterpiece, but I would absolutely watch it over any of the paranormal activities.

Contagion – This was decent. It does everything it’s trying to do well. But it doesn’t do anything that hasn’t been done. I think I probably could have gone back and watched Outbreak and saw the same movie. Not sure what new stuff this gave me. But still, done well enough.

The Man From Earth – Uh, ok. This is kind of a stoner movie. But not a party stoner movie, more like a “woah, what if we were all ants?” kind of stoner movie. A guy tells his friends that he’s actually a stone-age caveman who never ages. You don’t know for sure if he’s crazy, full of shit, or supposed to be real. I think they thought it was an interesting thought experiment to have everyone sit around and talk about what it WOULD be like. But it comes out more like potheads talking about how there’s actually 8 dimensions you just can’t see them. Meh.

The Game – I think I saw this long ago, but we resaw it. It’s kind of annoying, any movie where things work out so perfectly and unrealisitcally is annoying. In that context, I guess it’s fine. Kind of exciting and everything. The conceit just kind of bugs me.

F/X – Apparently I forgot to do this one a long time ago. The movie was… ok? Seemed like a generic 80s movie, clever that it’s about a guy who is good at practical effects. That makes for a slightly more interesting protagonist than a random cop, I guess.

Red Riding Hood – Don’t remember this at all. I do remember it wasn’t’ very good. Waited too long to write about it, oops.

Bridesmaids – Yeah, I don’t really get the whole thing. People so flipped out about this. I was very resistant to the Hangover, and ended up thinking it was very funny. I’ve been very resistant to this, and end up thinking meh. It’s certainly got funny parts, no doubt. But I’m sick of the over the top shenanigans. I get it, girls can be gross, very funny. Can we make a movie that’s funny cuz it’s funny now?

Hangover II – Same thing as Bridesmaids, except not as good. But I didn’t say Bridesmaids was good! Exactly.

Gentlemen Broncos – Holy shit, no no no no no no. I love flight of the conchords, I was excited for this when I first heard about it. But no no no. I mean, c’mon, at least TRY to do something funny. Bridesmaids tried, it had some parts that were very funny, the over all thing was just too focused on one type of humor. Hangover II tried to try, tried to re do what it had done, didn’t really succeed, but at least some laughs. I don’t think I laughed once in this one, really just crap.

Piranha – And to wrap up this crapfest, no big surprise. Blood and boobs, how bad can it be? Pretty bad. The gore is really lame, digital flesh and penasia (to borrow Louis C.K.’s term) is pretty 3rd rate. The fish look pretty good, so I think they put all their money there. The rest of the movie had worse CG than in most decent amateur internet movies.

Game of Death – Right, so, Wesley Snipes kills some dudes. Then some dudes try to kill him. He kills them in response. That happens a handful more times. End of movie.

Casino Jack – This is kind of interesting. I didn’t really know much about Jack Abramoff, now I know more. Hopefully it’s true, otherwise I’ll be carrying some misconceptions forward. But the movie is done well, the fantasy scene at the end is so unbelievably tempting, would be kind of awesome to actually happen.

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