Top 10 Best Movies of 2014

After a couple nights of sobbing, binge drinking, and being driven to insanity several times over, I was able to release my list of the worst movies of this year. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to set our sights on this year’s best movies. Before starting, I must admit that I haven’t seen every movie that I probably should’ve seen by now. Selma, for example, won;t be released in a theatre near me until January, I haven’t had a chance to see The Imitation Game yet and, like an idiot, I missed my chance to watch Whiplash when it was released in Edmonton. Since I can’t very well claim to have seen the best of this year until I’ve, y’know, actually seen the best of the year, I’ll probably do another list in February after awards season, when I’ll have become a little bit less of an uncultured swine.

Unlike my…Other list, I actually enjoy watching good movies. Therefor, I have a few honourable mentions to get through before getting to the actual Top 10. These are movies that would be great fits on any Top 10 list, but juuuuuust missed out on mine.They are, in no particular order:

  1. Interstellar
  2. Neighbors
  3. The Fault in Our Stars
  4. Boyhood 
  5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1
  6. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  7. Edge of Tomorrow (Or Live. Die. Repeat. Whatever the hell we’re supposed to call it)
  8. John Wick
  9. Big Hero 6
  10. The Lego Movie
  11. 22 Jump Street 
  12. Top Five

Let’s give them all a round of applause, everybody!

Oh, right, before I go on, once again, this list is purely opinion-based, and if you don’t agree with it, feel free to leave your own list in the comment section. Also, I’m not going to go quite as in-depth as I did with the shitty movies (In fact, I’m only doing a caption for each movie), as I’ve already reviewed quite a few of these movies, and pretty much all of those that I haven’t reviewed yet are probably on deck for an Oscar or Golden Globe review. Alright, let’s do this!!!

10. The Theory of Everything

You will cry.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy

This is an actual thing that happened.

8. How to Train Your Dragon 2

“Nice pansy-ass white balloon robot. Check out my pet.”

7. Nightcrawler

Uhh…..Bamf????

6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

One of the most badass posters of the year, by the way.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

“You’re an inanimate fucking object!!!”

4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I want an orangutan of my very own. Maurice is fucking awesome.

3. Gone Girl

..Ummmm… I’ll just give you two some privacy…

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past

The collective awesomeness in this poster is too much for most mortal men.

1. Birdman

What? No! Who the hell is this?!

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Top 10 Worst Movies of 2014

These freaks just missed out, but don’t worry, they’ll have the opportunity to royally fuck up in the sequel.

So, it’s that time of the year again. It’s time to take a break from my Golden Globe reviews and take a look at the year’s best movies. However, because I’m a masochist, and also because I want to end the year on a positive note, I’m going to get through my Top 10 worst movies of this past year. God help us all.

Here are some things to keep in mind before getting into this list.

  • I don’t watch horror movies. A lot of deserving movies were left off of this list as a result. You got lucky, Ouija. 
  • I didn’t get to see every bad movie this year, mainly because life is too damn short to pay full price for Exodus: Gods and Kings. When the Golden Raspberries come around, I may review some or all of them.
  • I feel like I shouldn’t  have to say this, but with the internet, you can never be too careful. This list is purely opinion-based and totally biased. If you personally liked a movie on this list, that’s your opinion, more power to you. However, I, personally thought they were crap.

Alright, let’s get through this shit.

10. A Haunted House 2

The tagline is the funniest thing about this movie.

Do you remember when Marlon Wayans was actually really good in Requiem for a Dream? Or when he was very funny as a dumb stoner in the first Scary Movie? Well, that was fourteen years ago. Now, the things he’s most recognized for are the knock-offs of the Scary Movie franchise known as the A Haunted House series. I suppose these movies deserve some credit for being funnier than anything Scary Movie has done since 2000, but when you consider that the comedic high points of Scary Movie after the first one have been the George Carlin cameo on Scary Movie 3 and Charlie Sheen dying due to a boner pill-related incident in Scary Movie 4, that becomes less impressive.

To be fair, A Haunted House 2 is definitely better than its rubbish predecessor, and it does have some funny moments. Marlon Wayans would be a lot funnier to me if he didn’t go so over-the-top and drag out so much of his jokes to the point where they become obnoxious. Problem is, he does both. And then some. This movie over-steps my tolerance for annoying stupidity by miles. It can get a chuckle out of you every now and then, but for the most part, it’s just a sloppy mess.

You know, unless you’re into Marlon Wayans fucking Annabelle. Then, you’re in for a treat.

9. Sex Tape

Lesson learned: Make sure you have Safe Search on before looking up a movie named “Sex Tape” if you don’t want to see Z-list celebrities porking, ever.

There are many things that I never need to see again in my life. One of them is Jason Segel’s ass.

As obnoxious as A Haunted House 2 was, at least it had enough effort and energy put into it to make it seem like a relatively short dumpster fire of a movie. Sex Tape, on the other hand, feels like a fucking slog through the Valley of Death, except in this Valley, you have Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel yammering obnoxiously into your ear the whole time. I love Jason Segel, but for God’s sake, I can’t possibly turn a blind eye to this atrocity!!!

The one saving grace that this movie had was Rob Lowe. Maybe it’s just because everything else was so dull by comparison, but I found the scenes in his house to be borderline hilarious.

Also, searching “rob lowe sex tape” like I did for this movie? Stupid idea.

8. I, Frankenstein

Are those seriously supposed to be weapons he’s holding?

After Legend of Hercules came out the week before, I think pretty much anybody was ready to see I, Frankenstein as an improvement. And, it was! I mean, it was still shit, but hey…It was better than Legend of Hercules???

Yay???

Look, I’ve heard people defend this movie as a Street Fighter style guilty pleasure movie, and if that’s how you want to look at it, fine, that’s your opinion, but I just couldn’t stand it. At least Street Fighter had the late Raul Julia to keep me entertained. This movie, on the other hand, had Aaron Eckhart doing his best Christian Bale as Batman impersonation, Bill Nighy phoning it in, and some decent action scenes sprinkled throughout. Shit, man, Jai Courtney was the best part of this movie, and I’m not even sure I’ll ever forgive him for being in that John Moore-directed Bruce Willis ego trip that we do not speak of.

Ugh. So many people worked so hard on these movies and I’m just shitting all over them. It’s times like these that I wish I could just see other humans as a means for my own personal amusement. Sociopaths have it so much easier.

IMG_0034

Or so my cat tells me.

7. Vampire Academy

Sorry guys. “Better than Twilight” is not exactly a benchmark for glory.

You said it, caption.

Thanks, Kenny!!!

Raise your hand if you wanted to see a cross between Mean Girls and Twilight this year. Oh, really, you didn’t want to see 104 minutes of Zoey Deutch doing an awkward impersonation of Ellen Page in Juno while going to a school for vampires? Of course you fucking didn’t. You’re an intelligent human being.

Unless you liked it, in which case it’s just your opinion, and that’s fine, yadda yadda yadda.

One of my pet peeves is when movies, and it seems this is popular among young adult movies try to really go the quirky route, like Juno did. Problem is, they rarely do it well Vampire Academy is no exception.

Also, in case this movie wasn’t already begging for ridicule, it does that thing where it sets up a sequel that’s never going to happen. That’s so pathetic, I almost want to see them go through with the sequel out of self-pity.

6. Tammy

Ugh…. You can do so much better, Mel…

I like Melissa McCarthy. Really, I do. And it does make me feel better to know that she was really good in St. Vincent (Either my next or second-next movie review, by the way), but that doesn’t make me feel any better when I call Tammy, a passion project of Melissa and her husband, about as amusing as getting your legs shattered by a cement block.

Though they do give you morphine after the latter, so that’s the deciding point in leg-shattering’s favour.

Ugh. Halfway through. You can do this Rollins! YOU CAN FUCKING DO THIS!!!

5. The Nut Job

If it wasn’t for The LEGO Movie, this would’ve been a terrible year for Will Arnett.

2014 was a great year for animated movies. Between How to Train Your Dragon 2, The LEGO Movie and Big Hero 6, there were no shortage of entertaining films for children, parents, stoners, and creepy bearded men with questionable taste in love interests to watch at the movies this year.

The Nut Job is not one of them. Holy fuck do I ever this movie to just vanish from existence. There were instants when the animation was kinda cool, but for the most part, the voice actors were phoning it in, the animation is dull, the humour is nonexistent, and the message that they try to tack on at the very end when the writers realized at the last minute that they needed to bring this aimless pile of fuck-all to a close is generic bullshit that doesn’t even really make any sense. My only consolation is that it didn’t do all that well at the box office, and we don’t have to worry about a seq-

Well….

Fuck this. I’m a legal adult. There’s no way I’m finishing this list sober.

4. The Legend of Hercules

Not even Kellan Lutz’s abs could help this movie not be a bomb.

Oh man, multiple shots of Fireball make the prospect of getting through this list seem much more bearable.

Anyways, when comparing two movies, one directed by Renny Harlin, the director of Die Harder, and one directed by Brett “Rehearsal is for fags” Ratner, that are trying to do stories based upon the same character, which movie would you expect to be the better one?

The correct answer was “Not the homophobic jackass who directed X-Men 3“. However, while Ratner’s movie was about as dumbly entertaining as one would expect, it looked like The Godfather compared to The Legend of Hercules. I’m not going to talk more about it, as I’m 100% sure I’m going to do a Golden Raspberry review of it later on, but god, does it suck. Don’t watch it. Don’t.

Mmm…It burns so good going down…

3. Are You Here

Oh, look, Amy Poehler’s watching The Legend of Hercules.

Oh, right, this fucking movie,.

This god awful piece of shit was easily the worst comedy of this year. At least the others on this list had something bearable about them. This one was just awful all around. The acting was bad. The jokes weren’t even remotely funny. The commentary is not insightful. There is a graphic scene in which Owen Wilson cuts the head off of a chicken. And there’s another scene that I can’t recall, as my brain is currently in the process of recovering from the drinking binge I just underwent to erase these movies from my brain. I spent six hours drunkenly playing Super Metroid and screaming at the screen until I blacked out.

“I’LLKILLYOULIKEIKILLEDALLTHE METROIDSYOUGREENDRAGON MOTHERFUCKINGASSHOLEPIECEOF-“

Oh. I remember. In case you were wondering, the scene that I’m trying to remember is the one where Zach Galifianakis fucks his stepmother.

If you need me, I’ll be playing Kirby Super Star  while blasted on absinthe.

2. Transformers: Age of Extinction

The Dinobots were not the best part of this movie. Just throwing that out there.

So… I may be going away for a while after this post.

So, this movie is the one that made me realize once and for all that I am no longer willing to go to any movie that Michael Bay directed. Excuse me for being fairly brief in the last few reviews, but it’s only because I’m so sure that I’m going to need to do a full review of them later, anyways. All you need to know about his movie is that it’s 165 minutes long, it’s one giant Michael Bay orgasm of noise and concussive explosions, and the girl who ruined Katara is there to serve as eye candy for the 80% of the audience who were already bored and exhausted 30 minutes into the movie.

Huh. Suddenly, I hate what has become of my life a little less.

Sure, that was shallow…. BUT NOT EVEN HALF AS SHALLOW, BRAINLESS AND ALTOGETHER STUPID AS THIS ENTIRE SHIT-STAIN OF A SO-CALLED “MOVIE”!!!!!!!!

But y’know, if you liked it, whatever.

1. Left Behind

This movie is almost as bad as the photoshop on this poster.

Ha. Ah-ha. Heh. Ha ha. Ha Ha Ha Ha!  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! BAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To be continued…

All work, no play and Left Behind make Kenny a dull boy…All work, no play and Left Behind make Kenny a dull boy…All work, no play and Left Behind make Kenny a dull boy…

Birdman (Movie Review)

Pffft. Whatever man. This is Tuesday for me.

If you read my review of Boyhood, the presumptive favourite for the Best Picture award at the next Academy Awards, you know that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the movie (It’s great, just not the best movie of the year, in my opinion). Knowing this, you may be itching to think what movies I think are good enough to displace what some are calling the best movie of this current decade?

I’d say Birdman is a pretty solid bet (And Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. And Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America…).

Oh fuck, it’s Mothman!!!

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Produced by: Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher,  Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Written by: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone,  Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo

Genre: Black comedy

Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, Naomi Watts

Music by: Antonio Sánchez

Plot: Birdman revolves around a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The play is being written and directed by Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), who is also starring in the lead role. Riggan used to be one of the biggest actors on the planet, back when he was the star of the crowd-pleasing Birdman franchise, which he left after the third movie, languishing in obscurity ever since. His bid for newfound relevance is being threatened by prima donna actors (Edward Norton, Naomi Watts), his temperamental daughter (Emma Stone) and his own overblown ego.

Alejandro González Iñárritu has made a name for himself in Hollywood, directing weird, dark foreign movies that are nonetheless accessible for mainstream audiences, such as Amores Perros and 21 GramsBirdman is Gonzalez’s first entirely English-language movie, and has gained quite a bit of publicity since debuting at the Venice International Film Festival in August. In many ways, this is a turn towards more conventional storytelling for the director, as he sacrifices his trademark epic, non-linear. intertwining  storylines for what is essentially a frequently darkly comic character study of Michael Keaton (Kinda).

That doesn’t mean Gonzalez doesn’t try to put his own personal fingerprint on this movie, because it has his heavily stylized fingerprint all over it. The usual orchestral score music one would find in most award-bait movies is replaced by some maniac frantically playing the shit out of his drums, even making several appearances throughout the movie itself. Instead of conventional film editing, that is, carefully selecting shots and arranging them into sequences to create a finished movie (Like a loser) Gonzalez decided to go the really strange route of, through extremely clever editing, making the entire movie look like it was filmed in one continuous take, with no noticeable separation between scenes. It’s weird. It’s unconventional. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.

I FUCKING LOVE IT. 

The preceding sentence should always be read like Christian Bale’s Batman, for full effect.

The frantic pace of the music, editing (And the movie as a whole, really) really compliments the rest of the, relatively short, film perfectly. It’s very rare that the fact that a movie felt longer than its runtime is a compliment to the movie, but in this case, it absolutely is. This movie throws SO much stuff at you in its two hour runtime, which would get boring and/or exhausting if every. Single. Goddamn. Thing that happened on screen wasn’t so visually captivating, or if damn near every line of dialogue spouted by the fascinating characters wasn’t so interesting and/or intellectually stimulating.

I do mean that last sentence, by the way. As I was leaving the theatre, so many themes from the movie were swirling through my mind, and none of those themes felt tacked-on for dramatic effect. The dilemma of fame is brought up. The idea of staying relevant and the human desire for immortality is referenced abundantly. Blockbuster movies versus “high art” mediums too. Hell, even the usual theme of a parent-child relationship gone sour is fitted in among all this other stuff. And you know what? It’s all done fucking beautifully. As much as I loved 12 Years a Slave last year, and it was my favourite movie of 2013, and as much interesting things it had to say about the human condition, I can watch it maybe once every six months or so without getting horribly depressed and angry at humanity in general. What I’m getting at is: As great as 12 Years a Slave is, it doesn’t have very much immediate replay value. In fact, more often than not, I just want to put it out of my mind after watching it.

Right after watching the matinee showing of Birdman, I was fully prepared to pay full price for an evening ticket, just so I could analyze the movie’s themes again. The only thing that prevented me from doing so was the fact that I had already spent all my money on comic books by the time evening rolled around.

I guess what i’m trying to say is that I think that a movie about the harrowing conditions that slaves faced in the United States before the civil war wasn’t as interesting to me as a movie where this happens:

I think I’ll just go ahead and let the majesty of this image sink in.

Admit it, you can’t take your eyes off of Edward Norton’s bulge either. It’s okay, none of us can.

Good storytelling can go to shit without good characters, though. Thankfully, this movie delivers on that front as well. All of these main characters are written so well that by the end of the movie, I genuinely like each of them, and want to see everything go well for them, even when they’re being the biggest collection of dickbags on the planet (Which is often). Zach Galifianakis erases my memory of his crappy turn in Are You Here with a great performance as Riggan’s lawyer and best friend, while Naomi Watts is also great as a first-time Broadway actress trying desperately to make something of herself.

The three performances that seem to be attracting the most Oscar buzz, however, are those of Keaton as Riggan Thomson, Norton as a superbly talented, yet pompous asshole of a method actor who could make or break the play and Emma Stone. As much as I hate mindlessly conforming the the general consensus, I’ve gotta say that I agree with everybody else. They’re all fantastic, and I would be more than happy to see them nominated come January.

However, while Norton and Stone seem to be facing some very stiff competition from their peers, Michael Keaton is straight up eating the competition alive. It’s great to see Keaton back doing prominent work again (Not that he was dead in the water or anything, it’s just he wasn’t as big of a name as he was back when he was doing Batman), and even better to see him totally owning a role that is pretty obviously meant to be portrayed by him, even if it’s not always a portrayal that most would consider flattering. Needless to say, he absolutely kills it in this movie. Even if I do joke that it’s basically Michael Keaton playing Michael Keaton, he still disappears into the role and breathes life into what could have easily been a pretty phoned in performance. The only real competition that I’ve seen so far that can really stand toe-to-toe with him is Eddie Redmayne, but more on him later.

Overall: Watch this movie. Do it. Drop whatever you’re doing, drive to whatever independent theatre is showing it in your hometown, pay full price, and plunk your ass down in the theatre seat to watch it. I guarantee you will not regret it.

Rating: 10/10

The Norton-Bulge commands it!!!

Boyhood (Movie Review)

“And that‘s why Uma Thurman can go fuck herself!”

Before Texan director Richard Linklater, the master behind Dazed and Confused, the Before Sunrise trilogy, School of Rock, A Scanner Darkly (Which I haven’t actually seen, it’s just fun to say) and Bernie, first unveiled his latest movie, Boyhood, way the hell back in January at the Sundance film festival, people didn’t know what to expect. A movie shot over…twelve goddamn years? What a weird fuckin’ concept, right? Yeah, good luck running up the Oscar nods on that premise, Richard. You best stick to your cute little art movies, alright?

And then, the critics saw the movie. What was the reaction? Well, I’ll just let Rotten Tomatoes do the talking for me.

Transformers is also here. Y’know. For some reason.

Needless to say, I had pretty high expectations upon watching this movie. How did I feel about it after?

Well, I’ll tell you, but if you’ll excuse me real quick, I need to do a quick change of clothes.

Never leave home without it.

I’m sure Ethan Hawke must have loved it when he learned that both the child actors were credited before him.

 

 Boyhood

 Directed by: Richard Linklater

 Produced by: Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland,  Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss

 Written by: Richard Linklater

 Genre: Drama

 Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei  Linklater,  Ethan Hawke

 Plot: Ha! Good one.

In all seriousness, there really isn’t much to the plot of this movie, which is kind of the point. There’s no real unifying obstacle to tie this movie together. Just the day-to-day obstacles that this kid and his family have to face.

The simplest way to really summarize the movie is this: Over twelve years, Mason Evans, Jr (Ellar Coltrane) grows from boy to man, experiencing life with his friends, his older sister (Lorelei Linklater) and his divorced parents (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette).

So, judging by my slightly ambiguous intro, you must really be expecting me to spout an unpopular opinion on this movie, like I didn’t think it was great, or, God forbid, I thought it sucked. If you do want me to tear into this movie apart, then I’m sorry to say you’re going to be disappointed.  The vast majority of what this movie sets out to do, it does very, very well. It’s a very different kind of movie than what one would expect, even besides the fact that it was filmed over twelve years. This kind of filming over several years to show the passage of time has been done before (Several documentaries, such as Hoop Dreams, come to mind) but never over a scale as large as twelve years, and never in a movie that has received this much notoriety.

So, how does the story work as a movie? Pretty damn well, I’d say.  It’s not told in a traditional three-act structure (How could it be, really?), it’s more of a look into the life of the main character as he grows up. Of course, he has somewhat of a rough life, because this movie would be boring otherwise, and there are some moments where that fact feels kind of needlessly tacked on. That said, it also helps us empathize with the character of Mason, who is portrayed well enough by Ellar Coltrane, even through his perilous child actor years.

Watching this movie must be one hell of a mind-fuck for him.

Is the story engaging enough to keep one occupied during the entire 165-minute runtime? For the most part, yeah. I (Part of the Millennial audience  I believe the film was aimed at) wasn’t bored for the majority of the movie, and I could relate to a lot of what Mason was going through. Okay, maybe not everything. My parents aren’t divorced, I’ve lived in one neighbourhood my whole life, and I haven’t lived in a home where drug, alcohol and domestic abuse were prevalent. I did, however, relate more to the smaller things he was going through. Hanging out with sketchy friends-of-friends, eagerly anticipating the next Harry Potter book, talking excitedly about the next Star Wars with my friends back when I hadn’t realized the prequels were garbage, discovering that girls were actually pretty cool to hang out with, murdering my first homeless person on my eighteenth birthday, the list goes on. There are scenes that seem to have little to no meaning that really, really should’ve been axed, though. There is one scene, for instance, when it looks like Mason is about to enter into some sort  of altercation or long-term rivalry with a bully, and I kept expecting it to come back later in that point of his life, but it never did, and the little bully prick never showed his face again. I guess you could argue that this is very much how that situation would play out for some people in real life, I certainly have never had that big of a problem with bullies that I haven’t been able to suppress with expired painkillers by now, but this scene in particular just seems like something they stuck in to make some people nod and say “Oh, yeah, remember that?” If that’s what you’re looking for in a movie, fine, I guess, but I’m personally not a fan of relying on nostalgia for critical and commercial success.

If the Rolling Stones were to read that last sentence, they would be laughing their asses off at me right now.

Even when the movie does slow down and get less interesting, as it does once Mason gets into his later teens, I was still able to gravitate towards the characters thanks to the performances. I already mentioned Ellar Coltrane and his fine performance, which, surprisingly, doesn’t appear to be generating much Oscar buzz (Especially considering the massive hard-on that the awards higher-ups have for every other aspect of this movie), but I guess that makes sense when you look at the other premium actors in contention. Most likely making the cut, however are his movie parents, Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, who should easily be in the mix for the big prize come February. Those two were so fucking good that I actually wish that the movie focused more on them and less on Mason. I thought that Ethan Hawke finding his own way in his life and Patricia Arquette going through all the shit she goes through in the movie probably would have amounted to something, well, better.

How was Lorelei Linklater? Well, all I’ll say is it must be nice to be a highly regarded director’s daughter and not have to get jobs through, you know, being a good actor.

Look, I still really, really like this movie. I may even go so far as to call it a great movie that is necessary viewing for film fans. That said, after watching the movie, I stopped and thought, and I realized that not only was it not my favourite movie of the year, but it wasn’t even in my top 15 (More on that later). I watch this movie and I see a great movie that I don’t ever want to watch again on account of it being the length of a Lord of the Rings movie and not as entertaining. I definitely don’t see “one of the greatest films of the decade” as Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian apparently sees.

Also, there’s a line in the movie in which a kid welcomes Mason into a new school by saying “Welcome to the Suck.” This is such a terrible line that I fell to the floor laughing for ten goddamn minutes. What can I say? It helped pass the time.

Overall: Is it the masterpiece that everyone seems to think? I certainly didn’t think so, but judging by the massive acclaim for this movie, you may disagree. In my personal opinion, Boyhood is a highly innovative, must-see movie that gets by on the strength of its performances, and the relatability of the characters.

Rating: 8.0/10

I barely liked this movie more than John Wick. Bizarre, right?

GOLDEN GLOBE TIME!!!

The Golden Globe trophy: a perfect combination of prestigious entertainment award and blunt murder instrument.

So, it’s awards season again, which, I find, seems to coincide nicely with  the holiday season. Last Thursday, in what I can only assume was a movie specifically tailored to coincide with my birthday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominees for this year’s Golden Globe Awards. As was the case last year, I plan to review a lot of these movies, specifically the nominees for best Drama and best Comedy/Musical. For those of you too lazy too check out a link, those movies would be:

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Into the Woods
  • Pride
  • Selma
  • St. Vincent
  • The Theory of Everything

Now, I already reviewed The Grand Budapest Hotel back in April, and I’m too lazy to have another go at it, but every other one of these movies should be reviewed before the ceremony on January 11th. If I review any of the other nominated movies before than, more power to me I suppose, but for now, these are the movies I’m focusing on.

And for those of you assuming that I’m just going to ignore the television awards like the lazy hack I am… You’re right. That said, I’ll still be doing predictions for both the TV and film Golden Globes, because why the hell not?

And you know what? If you snub the Game of Thrones actors for any of the acting awards, then you’ve earned my indifference. 

DEATHMATCH-Episode 1: Battle of the Tarantinoverse Villains (Part 2 of 2)

I will never have a more appropriate moment to use this photo.

I will never have a more appropriate moment to use this photo.

So it’s come to this. One week after I posted my mildly in-depth analysis of the contestants, it’s time to quit discussing angrily amongst yourselves and learn which Tarantinoverse villain is the deadliest of them all. If you don’t know what the Tarantinoverse is, go read my last article. If you haven’t seen any of these movies yet…..Go watch them!?!?! Also, that’s your spoiler alert. I personally think that movies that’ve been available to watch for as long as these ones don’t merit a spoiler warning, but I dunno, I feel like a nice guy today.

Anyways, before we get started, I should point out that, while each character is allowed a signature weapon (For example, Mr. Blonde gets his razor blade and his pistol) they don’t get any objects that aren’t weapons (Stuntman Mike doesn’t get his car). Also, the fight takes place on what I deem to be neutral ground (In this case, a warehouse reminiscent of the one in Reservoir Dogs, except loaded with stacked crates of cocaine, because cover and, also, Tarantino.

Right, now that that’s out of the way…

Again, it’s like this place, but, y’know, there’s cocaine everywhere.

In an unnamed warehouse somewhere in Los Angeles County, all is silent. Until out of nowhere, nine notorious people from different points in the history of the world materialize: Notorious thief and murderer Vic Vega, noted drug dealer Drexl Spivey, bloodthirsty assassin O-Ren Ishii, older bloodthirsty assassin Bill, sadistic serial killer Stuntman Mike, SS turncoat Hans Landa and vicious slave owner Calvin Candie. 

Oh, and some Mexican lady is dressed in lingerie, and some guy dressed in bondage gear. That’s…. Really fucking weird. Who brought them here?

Not that I’m complaining. It’s just weird, is all.

 The gathered villains glare warily at each other, silently, as you would do if a bunch of these freaks suddenly materialized around you in a location that you found yourself in for no goddamned reason at all. 

After a good five minutes of staring, the gimp shrieks loudly, for no particular reason. Mr. Blonde gets a wild look in his eye and shoots wildly in the gimp’s general direction. Everyone else escapes to cover, but the gimp, sadly, takes a ton of lead straight to the torso and falls, having shrieked his last shriek. 

It was an act of mercy, really.

The scantily clad Mexican, while still behind cover, seems oddly fascinated with the bleeding gimp. 

Raise your hand if you ever thought you would read that sentence in your life. 

Stuntman Mike, hungering for a Big Fat Kill, runs through No Man’s Land, somehow not managing to be nailed by any of the bullets that Mr. Blonde sprays at him before he runs out of bullets, and sidles up to the morbid Mexican lady. Trying to take advantage of the situation, Drexl Spivey makes a break for the warehouse doors. However, he doesn’t count on Hans Landa squaring him up in the sights of his outdated German pistol and blowing three holes in his torso. Which he does. 

A scream is heard from behind the cover that Stuntman Mike has disappeared behind. Everybody assumes that Stuntman Mike has satisfied his need for murdering women. These sad, sad fools have no idea what’s coming next.  

Calvin Candie, being batshit insane, takes the opportunity to pounce on Landa, beating him with a brick of cocaine that he had pulled out from a crate. Landa manages to pop off a shot, but it merely grazes Candie’s arm, causing only a slow trickle of blood. 

Meanwhile, Vic Vega has decided to make a break for it, but runs into the legendary Cottonmouth, O-Ren Ishii. Itching for a kill himself, Mr. Blonde smirks and takes out his straight razor, starting to advance towards O-Ren. 

O-Ren, on the other hand, does some smirking of her own and pulls out her katana. 

Mr. Blonde stops smirking. 

As Cottonmouth slices Vega into bits of man-sushi, Candie is about to deliver the finishing blow to Landa when he hears a bloodcurdling shriek. He turns to see the head of Stuntman Mike being hurled away by what looks like Nosferatu with a skin condition. In a bikini. 

Again, I can’t stress enough how weird it feels to type that out.

Before Candie has a chance to react, the vampiress(?) pounces on him and tears the innards out of his throat. Landa takes the golden opportunity to limp off to find cover while the vampire enjoys her meal of delicious, delicious slave driver.  

The other white meat.

Bill, inactive until this moment, leaps into action, slicing furiously at the blood sucker with his katana. The vampire, distracted by her meal, doesn’t notice the pristine Japanese steel impaling her black heart until it’s too late. 

As Bill examines his deceased paranormal victim, Landa emerges from behind his cover and dispatches Bill, execution style. 

At least it’s quicker than having your heart blow up, apparently.

However, as has been the case throughout this whole Deathmatch, Landa’s downfall is his lack of foresight when things aren’t going according to plan, and as he leisurely begins the reload of his pistol, he turns to see the poised Asian woman in an aggressive stance, a katana pointed precariously at his forehead. He tries to get a word out to convince her to let him be, but can’t before O-Ren Ishii drives her katana straight through his forehead. 

THE WINNER: O-REN ISHII

In the end, I decided to go with Kill Bill‘s Cottonmouth, because not only is she one of the foremost assassins in this twisted universe that Tarantino has created, she also has the least amount of flaws. Sure, she gets cocky in her fight against the Bride, which leads to her death in that movie, but she only really does that when she thinks she’s got no shot of losing. In this fight, she sees that Landa is dangerous, so she wouldn’t waste any time in wasting him when the opportunity presents itself. Hell, watch that scene in Kill Bill when she decapitates the Yakuza boss who insults her. Maybe she isn’t in any direct physical danger from this dickhead, but she realizes the threat of having her lofty position undermined, so she doesn’t waste any time chopping his noggin off.

Hans Landa, Bill, Santanico Pandemonium and Calvin Candie were all fairly strong candidates, but they each have their fatal flaws. Candie may be batshit insane. but he isn’t all that smart (He isn’t even really the main villain for the last bit of the movie. That would be Stephen). Santanico Pandemonium is vicious, but she’s also very killable (Vampires in From Dusk Till’ Dawn tended to do their best work in group or surprise attacks anyway). Bill is sixty goddamn years old, and Hans Landa leans on his intelligence, not so much his strength, or combat proficiency. When I think back to Inglorious Basterds, I’m pretty sure the only person he actually murdered himself was Diane Kruger.

…The bastard.

Well, that was the first episode of Deathmatch and, while there’s still some tune-ups to be done, I had a lot of fun with it. So, until next time, I leave you all with three pressing questions:

1. Did I get it right? Who do you think would’ve come out on top?

2. What Deathmatch would you like to see next? 

3. What did you think of the Terminator: Genisys trailer? Personally, I still can’t get over the fact that they can’t spell fucking “genesis” right. 

“You didn’t think it was gonna be that easy, did you?”