Dec 13, 2014

Movie Reviews

Transformers: Yet Another one – So wait, are you telling me that 2 hours and 15 minutes into a movie called “Robot Dinosaurs!!!”, I finally see my first robot dinosaur? Maybe that’s a spoiler, but if you are worried about spoiling the plot of Transformers 4, you might need to examine your life goals. This movie is not very good. To be fair, it’s better than the last one, I think maybe better than the second one. It has a couple of good fights. It has exactly 1 moment of self-awareness when the dad makes fun of the short shorts on the daughter (the same dopey short shorts that have been in every movie on the “hot” girl). The movie is astonishingly long. 2:45, I mean, holy shit. And it’s not like they were afraid to cut it down – there is some really bad editing. Like, literally I’m driving in a field, cut, I’m driving on a free way. No transition. I’m fighting with bumblebee, them bumblebee disappears for like 20 minutes. It is comically bad. Maybe criticizing editing in a Transformers movie is like worrying about the lack of emotional depth in an EDM song. Anyway, the movie isn’t very good, but I think it might be the 2nd best transformers movie. So, that’s some weird math.

Snowpiercer – This movie is pretty cool. In a world (say that in movie announcer voice) overrun by teenybopper dystopias that are largely exchangeable, this is a very different idea. The world has gone to crap, and all of humanity, that we know about anyway, lives on a forever running train. Within that context, its a kind of normal story with the powerful and the powerless and how that goes. But the context allows for very stark transitions among the castes, which is very cool. It feels kind of video gamey, moving from level to level, but that’s also kind of cool. It’s a bit slow, maybe drags on a bit more than it has to. The stuff toward the end is pretty cool, in terms of conflict for the hero. The very very end is pretty dumb, but maybe that’s me thinking too much. Overall, pretty cool.

Authors Anonymous – This movie is kind of depressing. It’s about a group of writers and their, mostly, lack of success. I would never ever ever want anyone I loved who is creative to watch this movie, it’s so freaking sad. The people are deluded, angry, pathetic, jealous. On the one hand, I’m sure there are people out there like this. It is kind of over the top, I can’t imagine people are this bad. I wouldn’t say its all that entertaining. It’s just kind of uncomfortable to see sad people do sad things.

A Million Ways To Die in the West – Against all odds, this movie is actually pretty funny. It is very juvenile and stupid, without question, but it never pretends to be anything else. I was pretty convinced from the ads that they had used up all their funny jokes and the rest of the movie was going to be terrible. The plot you can predict from the start, but the jokes in between are actually pretty funny. It’s kind of surprising, but I laughed pretty much throughout.

Edge of Tomorrow – I really like almost everything about this movie. It’s very easily described by saying it’s {this movie} in war with aliens. But I didn’t know that going in, and it was enjoyable, so I’ll leave it out just in case. But I really like the conceit. I really like the alien design, it’s almost completely unique though it is kind of like the things in the Matrix. I really like the look of the movie, I like the arc of the main character, I like the tech. The only thing I hate is the ending. It shouldn’t have been like that, I would have been much more effective without the last 2 minutes. I wonder if the original comic had that ending or not. But man if you hit stop a little early, I really like it.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Kind of like the first one, not that great. Some okay fights, some okay funnies, but mostly not super interesting. People who have read the comics know the end is coming, and I really wanted that to have impact. I’m not sure why it didn’t – whether because I was kind of unsatisfied with the rest, or if they just didn’t do a great job. It is one of the most famous moments in all of comics, it’s up there with the death of superman, or jason todd. It’s one of the top 3 marvel moments of all time, maybe the top. And it didn’t feel like that, which makes it a pretty big failure.

The Town – This is pretty good. At the one hand it’s a pretty normal cops & robbers kind of story. But it was pretty well done and pretty good to watch. It looks nice and all the performances are pretty good. If you just describe it, it sounds kind of boring, but it comes off good.

We’re the Millers – This one is pretty dopey, but it’s funny. I laughed more than I expected to by quite a bit. Maybe that’s a function of low expectations, but there were some pretty good moments. It’s ultimately not super memorable, but it’s a fun time.

Dallas Buyers Club – Pretty dang good, kind of hard to argue about that. Like many of these movies based on real stories, it’s just so bananas that it’s true it’s hard not to be captivated. And of course it’s pretty dang well done. Matthew McConaughey looks so sick it’s amazing, but also he does the job acting-wise. Everyone does, really, it’s good.

Pompeii – Meh, I guess I didn’t expect much. There’s some cool enough fighting, but honestly it’s been a month and a half since I saw it and I can only remember one scene in this movie.

Veronica Mars – I really liked the show, and I know it was an early kickstarter success but…. pppt. So boring! So… teen feeling. She’s much older now, this shouldn’t feel like nancy drew, right? I kind of wonder if I would like the show if I went back and watched it, because I was really unimpressed.

The Purge – Oh for christ’s sake. I know no one thought this was good, but it was shockingly not good. It’s just so dumb. I kind theoretically get behind unnecessary violence, but it has to have some sort of style or suspense or something. This was just dumb.

Her – I like this movie, but not as much as everyone acted like. I like looks into the near future, they can be really interesting. Scifi can be really interesting examining the far future, but looking at what’s around the corner, and how it reflects on us now, can be awesome (e.g. Black Mirror). So the first half or 3/4 of this movie is kind of that and pretty good. Granted, it’s too long by half, this really could have been an hour long TV episode. And then at the end it goes off the rails and gets silly. But it still has some interesting ideas.

R.I.P.D. – Men In Black with dead people. Yep. That’s pretty much it.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – I waited too long to write about this, so I can’t remember. I think I liked it? In kind of a whimsical sweet way. It’s kind of confusing, I’m never sure what happened and what didn’t. I guess that’s the point? But I was pretty sure it was all fake. But then they act like it’s real, and that’s kind of annoying. But besides that it’s nice.

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