The Golden Raspberry Awards!!!

Oh boy, here we go…

Ugghh…. As is typical, the nominations for the infamous Golden Raspberry Awards (Or “Razzies”) were annnounced and, just like last year, it’s my duty to review these movies along with the Oscar nominees (Which are going to be announced on Thursday), culminating in my predictions on the night of the awards. This year’s “Worst Picture” nominees are:

  • Left Behind. My choice for worst movie of 2014. Not looking forward to watching this one again (As if I’m looking forward to any of them. My God). It’s one of two movies hell-bent on pushing a hardcore Christian agenda on its viewers. Did it work? Ha-ha. No.
  • The Legend of Hercules: Brett Ratner’s movie was better. This movie will never live that down.
  • Saving Christmas: This is the other religious movie I was talking about, as well as Kirk Cameron’s latest stop in his trip down the toilet bowl of irrelevancy.
  •  Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesThe only one of the nominees that I’ve already reviewed already. Thank God that’s out of the way.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction: Left Behind’s only real competition for worst movie of the year (Although I haven’t seen Saving Christmas yet, so maybe it has a shot).

So, these movies are the ones that are definitely getting reviews, on top of the Oscar movies. Maybe I’ll watch another one of the movies nominated for other categories. Probably not though. These movies blow, you guys.

Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

Godammit, do I ever love lists!!!

So, it’s that time of the year again. The time when we groggily emerge from our holiday hangovers and start getting back to the drudgery that constitutes our everyday lives, be it through working at a dead-end job, slaving away at school, or being a parent. The fact that, with January now here to stay for a bit, we don’t have much movies to escape to, doesn’t help either.

Unless you’re really looking forward to seeing Jennifer Lopez in The Boy Next Door.

But, tumultuous first months of the year aside, there are still a lot of movies to look forward to in 2015. The following are the ones that I’m looking forward to the most (And, by extension, the ones you should be looking forward to the most).  Just a heads-up, any movie that did not have some form of North American release in 2014 is not included on this list. With that out of the way…

10. Chappie

If the robot dies, I’m going to be a total fucking wreck.

Neill Blomkamp is one of the more promising sci-fi directors working today, having released the great apartheid commentary that was District 9, which ended up overcoming its August release date and sci-fi label en route to a Best Picture nomination, and Elysium, which… Was a comedown, for sure, but it wasn’t bad, despite Jodie Foster’s best efforts.

English? French? South African? Hell if I know.

 Chappie definitely looks to be a touch more… Spielbergian than his other movies, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as it means that the movie ends up feeling more like E.T. and less like A.I. The movie is based on a short film directed by Blomkamp named Tetra Vaalis written by Blomkamp and his wife, Terri Tatchell, and boasts an impressive, eclectic cast, comprising Wolverine, Ripley, Slumdog Millionaire, two members of the South African rave group Die Antwood, and frequent Blomkamp collaborator Sharlto Copley as the eponymous robot. It seems to have everything going for it so far. Here’s hoping District 9 wasn’t just a fluke. I, for one, have hope.

9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2

What? You expected Divergent?

A lot of people didn’t like the first Mockingjay movie. I am not one of them, although I did feel like it suffered from being split in half. Hopefully, all the tense build-up in the first movie leads up to something, because if it doesn’t, man is that ever going to make a lot of the pacing problems in the first movie less forgivable.

It’s probably gonna be better than Divergent 2 or whatever. At least we can all agree on that.

Fact: I’ve never read a book in the Divergent series, and I haven’t watched the first movie, so don’t mind my snarkiness, I’m just being a dick.

8. Jurassic World

The face of highly-intelligent, avian-descended, scientifically inaccurate terror.

This.

7. Spectre

 

“Now there’s a name to die for.”

Fun fact: The first James Bond movie I ever watched was Quantum of Solace. Yeah. Even then I knew that shit sucked. But then I watched Skyfall and Goldfinger, so I think that cancels it out, at least mostly.

So, why am I excited for this movie, despite not being a huge James Bond fan? Well, Christoph Waltz, mostly, but also Cristoph Waltz. However, one must not forget about Christoph Waltz, Christoph Waltz and Christoph Waltz. And don’t even get me started on Christoph Waltz.

6. The Peanuts Movie

Pleasebegoodpleasebegoodpleasebe goodpleasebegood…

Huh. Two Pixar movies coming out this year, and the animated movie I’m most looking forward to is a movie from Blue Sky Studios.

Need I say more?

I grew up with the comic strip and the old cartoons, so I really hope that this movie can do justice to Charles Schulz’s legacy, and the trailers were pretty awesome, contemporary pop song notwithstanding. Then again, the only good movie that Blue Sky Studios has ever made is Ice Age way the hell back in 2002, so forgive me if I’m still a little nervous.

5. Ant-Man

View image on Twitter

Pre-Guardians of the GalaxyAnt-Man!? What the fuck. Marvel’s running out of ideas, this is fucking bullshit!!!” Post-Guardians: “Ant-Man? Seems legit.”

No Edgar Wright? No problem!

Okay, in all seriousness, the problems behind the production of Ant-Man are a little worrying, and the trailer wasn’t as mind-blowing as… Another one, but at this point, I think that Marvel’s earned the benefit of the doubt.

4. The Revenant

Combined Oscar wins: 0. Combined Oscar wins in a perfect world: All of them.

For my money, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman was the best movie of this past year. The same director with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy doing his bidding? I’m getting manic just thinking about it, and we’re only at number four.

3. The Hateful Eight

I can already feel my bloodlust overwhelming me.

Quentin Tarantino is my favourite director and screenwriter, so if I was manic for The Revenant, you can bet your ass that I’m balls-to-the-wall insane with application for this movie.

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron

I’ve got no strings to hold me down… From seeing this movie!!! Play me off, Johnny!!!

You may have heard of it.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I know, shocking right?

Wow. It’s 2015, and we’re going to get a new Star Wars movie. Who’da thunk it?

With my luck, it’s going to end up even worse than the Phantom Menace.

St. Vincent (Movie Review)

Seen here: The physical representation of awesomeness.

So, because the Golden Globes are unclear on what exactly a comedy is, St. Vincent got nominated for Best Musical or Comedy instead of, say, Top Five, and I have to review it. Ah, well, once they nominate The Tourist, I suppose every other complaint looks nitpicky by comparison.

St. Vincent

Directed by: Theodore Melfi

Produced by: Fred Roos, Jenno Topping, Peter Chernin, Theodore Melfi

Written by: Theodore Melfi

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher

Music by: Theodore Shapiro

Plot: Oliver Bronstein (Jaeden Lieberher) is not having the best of times. His parents have separated, and he has had to move away with his mom (Melissa McCarthy) to Sheepshead Bay, New York, and tries to fit into his new school, always a tough thing to do for a kid. It’s no real cakewalk for his mom either, obviously, who is swamped with her job. So, to help lighten the workload, she hires her retiree neighbour, Vincent MacKenna (Bill Murray) to babysit him after school. Problem is, Vincent isn’t exactly the best example of a good role model for a 12-year old, being a drunken gambler who seems perpetually grouchy about something or other.

 I really wish I had more to say about St. Vincent, because it is a good movie, but aside from some very good performances from Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy, it’s just that. Good. Not great. Not extraordinary in any way, and certainly not original. Just good.

I guess I should start out by complimenting the actors, who seem to be the focus of the majority of the praise directed at this movie, and it’s hard to see why not. The child actor is fine, and heads or tails above most child actors, but he’s not about to pull a Quvenzhané Wallis, as there were some slip-ups from him in the delivery of his lines, but that’s to be expected. You can’t really ask for much more from child actors.

Not every movie can have St. Macauley.

Bill Murray was ideal casting, and he plays his part perfectly in this movie, and I can totally see why he was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Comedic Lead Actor, because he was just the embodiment of this cranky, cantankerous, yet sympathetic old man, even if, again, his character isn’t the most original. However, there is a point in the movie when his character undergoes a very drastic change that Murray performed excellently, and which may have ended up as one of his better performances.

Melissa McCarthy makes up for at least part of Tammy with a solid performance that was much, much more dramatic than one would expect from the lady who helped bring us Bridesmaids. Fine performance, but again, nothing particularly special, although it does give me hope that she can do better stuff than do her worst Will Ferrell impersonation for an hour and a half.

At least I had some semblance of an expectation for The Identity Thief.

Naomi Watts is fine as well, playing Vincent’s Russian prostitute buddy, but it was surprising to me that she got so much critical acclaim, even a nomination for a SAG award for Best Supporting Actress. That’s really stupid. I mean, she was good, yeah, but award-worthy? They couldn’t have maybe given it to Jessica Chastain? Carmen Ejogo?

Skeletor/Margaret Thatcher?

Also, I appreciate that the filmmakers decided against the tiresome trope of having Oliver’s Catholic school be the big baddie through all this. It’s not that I’m Catholic or even religious, it’s just that “Evil orthodox religious schools” are tied with “The government”, the “monolithic, evil corporation” and “environment-destroying, non-redeemable humans” as my least favourite clichéd movie villains.

 Murray’s performance is phenomenal, obviously, but the main beef I have with this movie is that we’ve seen this story before. It’s the black sheep with a heart of gold, of course he’s gonna meet up with a nice yet pitiful kid and teach him something about himself, and of course the little kid is gonna return the favour and get him to open up to human kindness. Even when what I thought would be an earth-shattering event in the story occurred, it didn’t, really. It just kind of kept moving forward in the auto piloted fashion it had started off on.

None of this is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just been done a million times before, and it’s been done much better. I dunno, it was a good movie, it’s not like I was expecting another Lost in Translation, but it also wasn’t particularly gripping or interesting for me. I can’t think of anything offhand that I disliked about the movie. I like the characters, I like the performances, it was funny when it needed to be, sad when it needed to be. It does everything right, just not particularly well enough to itself particularly memorable, especially among all the other awards contenders. It’s a solid, feel-good movie. Just not necessarily a special one.

Overall: Look, St. Vincent is a good movie. It’s just not a particularly original or exceptional one, apart from Bill Murray’s performance. Will I hold this movie close to my heart? No, but it’s a nice movie to put on if you just need a warm, fuzzy feeling in the cockles of your heart.

These are cockles, by the way. What a stupid expression.

Rating: 7/10