The mission of this site is to review not just “good” movies, but “so bad they’re good” movies. So when I heard that “The Host”, a film adapted from the Stephanie Meyers book, I knew I was in for either a horrible treat or the most excruciating two hours and five minutes of my life. As you know, Ms. Meyers wrote the “Twilight” series and it’s obvious that Open Road Films was hoping for something of equal quality. Of course, that could have been achieved by filming an adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” with “Octomom” Nadia Suleman starring as Juliet. What they ended up with was something so subpar it actually had me longing for two hours of Playstation 2 looking wolves, vapid dialogue and Robert Pattinson’s blue-ribbon-winning-pumpkin-sized noggin. Read more
Archive for Feature Film
No outside help.
Alone in an impenetrable location.
Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, “Die Hard”, “Under Siege”, and I guess “First Blood” to an extent (if you count the Pacific northwest forest as an impenetrable location). That’s the gist of “Olympus Has Fallen”, which isn’t to say it’s a bad thing because that’s always a fun plot to watch. Read more
It’s not too often that I’m wowed by a cartoon. Gone are the days of the Pixar “slam dunk” (in my opinion). More often than not, I find myself annoyed by an animated film – like say, Shrek that uses some catchy pop song and then has the characters dancing around like assholes almost as a concession for not having them sing a la OG Disney films. To quote Mike “Green Ogre Slob” Myers: It’s craaaaap! Which is exactly the reason I was DREADING “The Croods”, Dreamworks’ latest computer generated feature. After seeing countless bus shelters, mass transit wraparounds and AMC policy bumpers all featuring the cave-clan, I wanted to smash my head in with a rock (which was probably used as both a pillow and a dental tool in their day). But after seeing the film in glorious 3D, I have to say that I haven’t been this happy to spend time with cartoon cavemen since “The Flintstones”. Read more
Pretty much every red-blooded American child has seen the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz”. It’s almost like going Trick or Treating or drinking a Coke. It’s unforgettable music and unbridled imagination has made it a cultural staple for young and old. Maybe that’s why anything in the form of a prequel, a sequel, a reboot or a “reimagining” would be met with harsh skepticism. I mean, remember “New Coke”? Well on March 8, Disney, a company very familiar with retelling classic children’s tales, treads on hallowed ground with “Oz the Great and Powerful”. Flush with mouse money, this prequel comes loaded with special effects and big names, but can director Sam Raimi (“The Evil Dead”, “Spiderman”) deliver a quality story to win over the tiny hearts and boundless minds of children everywhere? Read more
Somehow, I missed the trailers for “Jack the Giant Slayer” (or I just wasn’t paying attention) and I certainly wasn’t wowed by the cardboard standees in the theater used to promote the film. I mean, what IS that thing? A giant stone Mayan turtle? Whatever. Everyone knows that fantasy films of this type nowadays are either ultraviolent retellings with zombies or Shrek -style fractured fairy tales with references to medieval versions of things like the iPad. Besides, Jack and the Beanstalk was one of my favorite stories as a child and I refuse to let anyone other than George Lucas rape my childhood. Well lo and behold Warner Bros was able to wine and dine the 8 year-old in me and director Bryan Singer turned out to be the perfect gentleman. No, my childhood wasn’t unwillingly fondled… but after the first 10 minutes, I was ready to put out. Read more
Summer, 2009: I think my favorite comedy to date had been “Old School”. I had been a huge Todd Phillips fan since seeing a bootleg of his GG Allin doc “Hated” back in college, so naturally I expected to love “The Hangover”. Love it I did – so much so that it knocked “Old School” from the pedestal it had occupied for nearly 6 years. I dragged everyone to see the film, probably watching it myself once a week for a month and a half. It just never stopped being funny to me. Then came the numerous knockoffs, including its own lackluster sequel – which didn’t even employ the talents of the original’s writers, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. But Lucas and Moore did end up writing the irreverent, if ultimately unimpressive Ryan Reynolds vehicle “The Change-Up”. The film ultimately lost money, but apparently not enough. The scribes have now been given a chance to direct “21 & Over”, their own Phillips-less “Hangover” knockoff and you know it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Read more
Ah, THE SHINING, how I love thee! Let me count the ways! 1.) It has one of the most unhinged and scenery chewing performances of Jack Nicholson’s career. 2.) The ominous music by Wendy Carlos. 3.) The roving steadycam never letting you relax to ride your Big Wheel, knowing that those creepy twins could be around any corner. 4.) Also knowing that Scatman Crothers has kick-ass nudie paintings of chicks with afros in his kick-ass bachlor pad. 5.) The way it gets you to relate to the anguish of cabin fever. 666.) That overabundance of TANG in the Overlook’s pantry being proof that director Stanley Kubrick helped the government fake the moon landing.
Wait a sec…what?
As a child of the 80′s, I grew up loving the “ABC Afterschool Special”. I guess I never really gave much thought to the social importance of these cheesy little shows, nor did I realize how bad they really were. Going back now, watching these things are not unlike watching “Reefer Madness” with the joke being the not very subtle (and often too heavy-handed) “message”; the very quality that redeemed such schlock.
In 2004, Participant Media, then known as Participant Productions, was founded as a socially relevant alternative to the empty calorie offerings of mainstream Hollywood pictures. Their latest release, “Snitch”, produced by and starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is a movie with a message.
That message: The Rock might want to avoid dramas. Read more
Question: Who doesn’t love a good action movie? Better question: Who doesn’t love taking their girlfriend to a good action movie? Even better question: Who doesn’t love taking their girlfriend to a good action movie on Valentine’s Day?
It’s probably safe to say the good people at 20th Century Fox asked themselves these very same things when they set a February 14th release date for “A Good Day to Die Hard”, the latest installment of Bruce Willis’ 25 year-old shoot ‘em up franchise. After all, what better way to remember you have a heart than to see one shot out of somebody’s chest on the big screen? Read more
*In my best movie trailer narration voice* In a world where trailers reveal entire movie plots in 30 seconds, one movie dares to be indescribable: MOVIE 43!!!
Honestly, the give-it-all-away-wrapped-in-a-green-band-syndrome plagues Hollywood, but can you blame marketing execs for their spoiler-free shills? Most people don’t want to risk $12 on something that could stink, but they’re more than happy to shell out for a story they’ve enjoyed before. When I invited a friend to catch a screening of Relativity Media’s latest film, he said he hadn’t heard of it and wasn’t interested. I tried to sell him on what little knowledge I had of the picture: “It’s a movie with, like, every actor in Hollywood. Like, everybody.” My valley girl pitch must’ve struck some sort of chord, because he reluctantly agreed to accompany me. Lo and behold, 10 minutes later when Kate Winslet finds herself on a date with the perfect guy (who just happens to have a scrotum dangling from his neck), we were both hooked. Is that gay? Read more