Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILER FREE Movie Review)

If I have to hear one more bullshit fan theory about Jar-Jar Binks, I’m going to go on a murder spree.

Honestly, I actually had stuff I wanted to post before reviewing Star Wars. I had a WTF for X-Men: Apocalypse on the docket. I had a review of Spotlight in development. Hell, I may have gotten around to finishing the last two entries in that DeathMatch that I’ve procrastinated on for around a year now. But once The Force Awakens took over the world, there was no way I was getting anything done before seeing the most anticipated movie on Planet Earth (I’m not exactly the outlier in this case. It was my most anticipated movie of 2015).

Before getting into the review, I should clarify that this is meant to be a SPOILER-FREE space. If anybody in the comments spoils the movie for those who have yet to see the movie, no matter if they meant any harm or not, their comment is getting removed, no exception. If you feel like spoiling the movie anyways, because you take pleasure in that sort of thing, then I feel the need to point out that you are literally festering human garbage. I shouldn’t have to do this, because I have a fairly limited reader  base (and those who usually comment are pretty awesome), but there you go. On with the review.

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Spectre (Movie Review)

I like to think that Daniel Craig got the part of James Bond by murdering Pierce Brosnan with his bare hands and taking his suit. Would you really be surprised?

Everyone’s favourite alcoholic, mass-murdering man-whore is going back to the basics! And by “basics”, I don’t mean “Scottish accent, casual 60’s sexism and villains/women with extremely implausible names. ”

 Spectre

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Produced by: Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli

Screenplay by: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth

Story by:  John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade

Based on: James Bond by Ian Fleming

Genre: Spy. Duh.

Starring: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci

Music by: Thomas Newman

Cinematography by: Hoyte van Hoytema

Plot: After an unauthorized assassination mission in Mexico City gets slightly out of hand, James Bond (Daniel Craig) decides to investigate a shadowy, malevolent organisation named Spectre that seems to be controlling world events is somehow linked to him for unknown reasons. Ignoring M (Ralph Fiennes), he decides to  venture forth into the world to find out what Spectre’s deal is. Meanwhile, back at home, M is involved in a power struggle with C (Andrew Scott), the head of the Joint Intelligence Services, who wants to get rid of the “00” program and institute a global intelligence organisation that would make the NSA look like kids’ stuff. Shenanigans ensue

If you were to take the opening Mexico City sequence of Spectre, cut out everything that comes after it, and present just that scene as a James Bond short film, I would be absolutely thrilled with it. This sequence is incredibly aesthetically pleasing, with an action scene that ranks among the best in the franchise, a tracking shot that would make Martin Scorsese feel a slight twinge of jealousy, and Day of the Dead imagery that generally looks awesome. It was amazing, and as the first act clipped along, Spectre had me by the throat. It was so much goddamn fun.

And then the second and third acts happened, making that first act one of the more prominent examples of cinematic blue balls in the history of film.

Before I start shitting on Spectre, I should point out that it’s really not even that bad of a movie. It’s not particularly good, sure, but it’s not like it’s overwhelmingly bad, either. Instead, it finds itself floating in the purgatorial ether, being not good enough to overwhelmingly praise, but also not so bad that I can go Fantastic Four on it. That’s frustrating for me, seeing how I’m pretty much incapable of conveying any emotion on a movie besides exaggerated positivity or overwhelming hatred, but such is life.

There are things to like about Spectre thouh, and they do help make up for some of its many faults. Daniel Craig continues to impress as a Darker and Grittier Bond who, interestingly enough, is referred to as being an “assassin” frequently throughout the movie, which I kind of like, as the job title kind of fits the tone that the Craig movies are going for.  At this point, it’s a toss-up between him and Sean Connery in the race for my Favourite Bond, but I’m leaning towards Craig, as he kind of looks like he could break Connery in half with only his pinky finger.

Right after curb-stomping Roger Moore, drop-kicking Timothy Dalton and eating George Lazenby alive.

The other cast members also do a solid job, although that compliment comes with some caveats, which I’ll get into later.

As was the case in the other recent Bond films (Even, you know, that one. Please don’t make me speak its name), the action, when it does occur-

*Cough*.

-is extremely well-directed by Sam Mendes, cementing his newfound reputation as an excellent action director (Which is what we had all predicted after watching American Beauty, obviously). Even more impressive is the gorgeous cinematography from the excellently named Hoyte van Hoytema and the score from Thomas Newman (Although admittedly, when the bare minimum you’re expected to do in the score is this, that simplifies the composer’s job of pumping up the audience, I would expect)

Just the very act of hearing that theme makes me want to chain-smoke, binge drink, speak with a Scottish accent, and punch a racial caricature in the face.

With that out of the way, do you remember that obvious foreshadowing from a few paragraphs ago? Well, it’s time for it to come into play!

While the action in Spectre is extremely impressive, these kinds of scenes become few and far between from the second half onward, and the fact that this movie has a two-and-a-half hour long runtime doesn’t help one bit. In the meantime, we’re left with Bond’s relationship with Lea Seydoux’s character, his relationship with Christoph Waltz’s character, and the M vs. C subplot, straight out of Mission:Impossible- Rogue Nation. Out of those three, the last one is probably the most entertaining, but that’s only because M and Q have some funny lines in them, it’s not because that subplot is anything worth writing home about.

Lea Seydoux is a great actress, and I’m glad she’s getting a lot of work now, but I wanted to punch her character in the face every time she appeared on screen. I’m still waiting for an explanation  of how she mattered to the plot in any extent, and her whining about her daddy issues and how Bond is an asshole for saving her are both tiresome tropes that should’ve died out in the Mesozoic Era during which they were conceived.

Some of the drama in the movie also revolves around the question of “Is this the girl who’ll finally be the one to win Bond’s heart?” Fuck that. It’s not so much that this trope bothers me if it’s done well (As in: Every single spy movie known to man-fucking-kind), but if THIS was the girl to turn Bond from a badass killing machine into, I dunno, a fucking soccer dad, I would probably lose all faith in humanity.

And now we get to the villain. I could name a million reasons why SPECTRE and Franz Oberhauser make no fucking sense and are generally stupid and idiotic. I’m going to name two.

First of all, Christoph Waltz in any role should be a home run (Just ask Quentin Tarantino!), especially as a villain. He isn’t helped out by the plot though, and he kind of comes across as though he’s phoning it in. It doesn’t exactly help that he appears in exactly three scenes, and we have to wait almost two goddamned hours just to see him again. We sure have learned a lot of backstory about him, though! A backstory that is so phoned by the Powers That Be that my eyes rolled so far into the back of my head that I can’t see anymore. I’m actually screaming this into a tape recorder, and it’s going to be written into the blog by a street urchin that I’ve kept chained up in my basement for this very purpose.

Seamus, if I come home, and you’re still bitching about your goddamned dead parents, I’m rescinding your privilege to look me in the eyes when speaking to me!

Where was I? Oh. Right.

Second of all, even with this half-assed backstory, we learn very little about him. How did he become the leader of Spectre? What does he hope to get out of Spectre? How did he get his fearsome reputation? And how exactly did he and Spectre engineer the events of Casino Royale, the second one, and Skyfall? Wouldn’t you like to know? So the fuck would I! After the sophisticated, intricate  storytelling of Skyfall, I guess the filmmakers decided audiences would be happy with a villain whose character is even more minimalistic than those from the early Bond films, with none of the personality.

I dunno, maybe audiences are gonna be fine with it. I’m happy with whining pretentiously from my high horse, though.

Overall: I enjoyed Spectre for the things that it does well, but it’s shortcomings are just too numerous for me to call it a “good” movie. Look at it way: 2 out of 4 in baseball ain’t bad!!!

Rating: 6/10

The opening titles are fucking incredible though, so there’s that.

The Martian (Movie Review)

“Sailors, fighting in the dance hall. Oh man, look at those cavemen go…”

It’s kind of an atrocity that “Life on Mars” wasn’t played once during the movie. “Starman” was though, so I suppose that’s something.

The Martian

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Produced by: Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood, Mark Huffam

Screenplay by: Drew Goddard

Based on: The Martian by Andy Weir

Genres: Science fiction, drama

Starring: Matt Damon, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie

Plot: In the (Hopefully not-so) distant future, NASA has put people on Mars.

And crackpot conspiracy nuts are undoubtedly denying it up and down.

So, who are the lucky bastards who get to leave everybody and everything that they know and love on a whole different planet a hundred trillion miles away (Or whatever the hell the exact measurements are)? Well, specifically, they’re scientists tasked with learning as much as possible about Marvin’s home turf.

Unfortunately, Marvin’s scenes had to be cut from the movie due to lack of cohesiveness. Look for them on the director’s cut!

One of these expeditions, Ares III, is forced to abort their mission because of a storm, and unfortunately, one of the crew members, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is killed by debris during the evacuation….

… Or is he?…

… I mean, obviously, he survives, because otherwise, we wouldn’t have a premise for the movie. I mean, we could have one focusing on the guilt the other crew members feel about leaving him dead on- ah, fuck that, I’m getting off track.

Watney survives, and eventually makes contact with NASA, but since it takes a shit-tonne of time to get from Earth to Mars, Mark can’t count on help arriving anytime soon, and must find a way to survive on the Red Planet as the good folks at NASA work to bring him home.

Truth be told, I’ve never been a huge fan of Ridley Scott’s. Yeah, I know that Blade RunnerAlien and Thelma & Louise are all great, and Gladiator is one of my favourite movies, but if you look at his filmography as a whole. there’s a lot of crappy stuff in there. His last couple of movies especially haven’t been kind to his reputation.

In fact, Ridley Scott was the one aspect of The Martian that was making me consider going to see Sicario instead. The near-universal acclaim that The Martian is getting swayed me back into its’ corner, though.

Good thing it did too, because The Martian is absolutely one of my favourite movies of 2015 so far.

This movie will make you want to quadruple NASA’s budget.

One can’t exactly make a movie where 50% of the action takes place in space, have it look like shit, and still come out of it with arms raised in a victory pose. Thankfully, like the the other major space movies of recent years (Gravity and Interstellar), this movie promises to show us outer space (Specifically Mars, obviously) and it delivers in spades. It maybe doesn’t reach the level of the other two movies in terms of pure CGI goodness, but the visual effects are still top-notch, and the beautiful cinematography and steady direction don’t hurt either. What it piles on top of the effects and cinematography though, is what really makes the movie for me. Specifically, the awesome, involving story from Drew Goddard (And I suppose Andy Reid’s novel, which I haven’t read, also deserves praise), of Cabin in the Woods fame. The dialogue and banter is surprisingly buoyant humorous, something one wouldn’t expect from subject matter like this.

Obviously, the movie makes a point to show the isolation and loneliness that Watney is feeling throughout, because holy shit, how could it not, but it also makes a point to have a sense of humour about itself, and not make the audience wallow in a sense of despair. Aside from the surprisingly good, solid, mood-lightening humour, the main character’s infectious optimism is such a welcome touch. It would have been so easy to have Watney sulk around in a haze of self-pity throughout the runtime, only having breakthroughs when it conveniences the plot. What he actually does is a million times more entertaining to watch, and what he does is attack every problem with such an unrelenting sense of positivity that makes you root for the guy to get home that much more. If life handed him lemons, he would not only make lemonade, he could probably somehow make Fireball.

No, university’s treating me fine. Why do you ask?

Of course, also to be thanked for Watney’s incredible likability is Matt Damon’s performance, which is great. , because he’s Matt Fucking Damon, and he’s great. However, lost in the fact that Damon is the one with his face plastered on all the publicity is the fact that the cast assembled for The Martian is one to be reckoned with. Jessica Chastain doesn’t have as much to do as she did in Interstellar, but she’s still great at what she does, and she shows it here. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig and Sean Bean are all A+ as the dedicated, underfunded (AHEM) folks at NASA, and Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie and Michael Pena all have excellent chemistry with each other and Matt Damon as the crew members of ARES III. Somebody I was really surprised and happy to see appears in the middle of the movie, but I won’t say who it is to preserve the surprise.

It’s kind of like Matt Damon in Interstellar. Except, y’know, good.

The Martian is one of those movies  where it really takes a lot of effort to find any flaws whatsoever, but if I had to nitpick, I would have to say that, as welcome as Watney’s optimism is, it can skew a bit on the unrealistic side at times. That said, the movie does make a point to frequently show his discouragement with the situation, so I guess that argument’s pretty much moot.

I dunno, would anybody have a problem with me labelling it as the closest possible thing to a perfect movie? Because that’s pretty much all there is to it.

Overall: Excellent visuals, terrific performances and a cheerful sense of humour and positivity make The Martian one of the best movies of the year.

Rating: 9.5/10

Now, who else can’t wait for Prometheus 2!?!?

The Visit (Extremely Belated Movie Review)

“I see dead people…”

I am writing the first draft of this review in the cafeteria of my new school, MacEwan University, in between my Human Interaction class and my Introductory Japanese class. I have no idea how my unscholarly self got into one of my better universities in Western Canada, but at this point, I’m just enjoying the experience until they (Whoever they may be) inevitably figure out that I’m a hack and kick my dumb ass out.

Speaking of hacks…

Best segue ever!!!

The Visit 

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, hours and hours of both horrifying and hilarious entertainment)

Produced by: Marc Bienstock, Jason Blum, M. Night Shyamalan

Written by: M. Night Shyamalan

Genre: Comedy, horror

Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie, Kathryn Hahn

Music by: Paul Cantelon

Plot: 15-year old Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her brother, 13-year old Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are sent off to some hick town in Pennsylvania  by their mom (Kathryn Hahn), a single mother who’s taking this time taking this time to go on a well-deserved vacation. Becca is a wannabe documentary filmmaker, thus giving an excuse for this movie to fall into the tired “found footage” genre (Although now that I think of it, how many 15-year olds do you know that give a shit about documentaries?), and Tyler is a rapper who is not shy at all about sharing his…Um…. “Talents”

Pictured: The audience’s appropriate response to that last statement.

While in rural Pennsylvania, the kids visit their grandparents (Deanna Dunagan and Peter McRobbie) who, at first, seem like regular, kind old folks. However, when the sun goes down, a different side of them emerges… And it’s discovered that Nana and Pop-Pop are completely bananas, even for most people.

Hey, you’d be crazy too if your state was the home of the Phillies. ZING!

I’ll be here all day, folks…

The rise and fall of M. Night Shyamalan has been so well-documented that I probably don’t need to mention it. I will though, because I’m a sadist.

After skyrocketing out of obscurity with the classic thriller The Sixth Sense and following hat up with the great deconstruction of superheroes that is Unbreakable, and fooling everybody into liking the critical and commercial successful crap-fest that is Signs, Shyamalan found himself on shaky ground with the massive cock-tease that is The Village before vomiting out absolute dogshit like Lady in the Water and The Happening. Lessening his tiresome shtick of twists that got less intelligent with each movie, M.Night tried his hand at two mainstream blockbusters: The Last Airbender (Based on one of my favourite TV shows of all time) and the Jaden/Will Smith nepotistic fever dream known as After Earth. Both of them failed miserably critically and commercially, with the former frequently featured on lists of the worst movies of all time. Shyamalan’s propensity for boring, exposition-ridden dialogue, wide-angle shots, pointless, insipid twists, and tendency to to somehow suck the talent and charisma out of supremely talented actors like Mark Wahlberg and Will Smith made him the butt of many jokes told by critics and internet commenters the world over. It didn’t help that Shyami has (Or had) quite the ego, inserting himself into Lady in the Water as a monumentally important writer, and writing a character for the very same movie that is little more than a caricature of a snarky, miserable critic who gets devoured by wolves.

As a snarky, miserable and critical person, I’m very offended by this.

I admit to getting in on the act of hating relentlessly on M.Night for quite a while. For further proof of his, see my angry, incoherent review of After Earth from two-ish years ago (Actually, please don’t). But, now that I’ve blossomed from a misanthropic, untalented and childlike 17-year old into a misanthropic, untalented and childlike 18 3/4-year old, I’ve gained a new perspective on this supremely important issue. While I still think that pretty much every movie that he’s done after Unbreakable is pretty much irredeemable shit, I appreciate that he comes across as someone who really loves his craft and wants to entertain. And with The Visit, Shyamalan seems to be returning to his roots, making a small-budget, semi-satire of horror movies set back in his home state of Pennsylvania.

And it’s not a classic, or anything, but hey, even a merely good movie is a monumental improvement over Airbender and After Earth, so rejoice remaining Shyamalan fans! Your king has taken baby steps towards reclaiming the glory and respectability he enjoyed at the turn of the century!

I found that it greatly increased my enjoyment of the movie when I didn’t think of it so much as a horror movie, but as kind of a dark comedy. Odd that Shyamalan would delve into comedy when his attempts at comic relief in his recent movies are the only parts that DIDN’T leave me laughing hysterically, but there you go.

From what I’ve heard, Shyamalan directed two cuts of The Visit. One of the two is pure horror (Yuck) and the other is pure comedy. Apparently, the finished product is a blend of those two cuts, and in the comedic aspect, it works very well. Not only is the humour very well-written (!!!), Shyamalan also willingly parodies himself, showing that he’s maybe realized some of his mistakes from his past projects…

About. Fucking. Time.

… And his self-critique proves surprisingly effective. The problem with that is that the strength of the comedy actually exposes the weakness of the horror.

Granted, I really fucking hate 99.99% of all horror movies, so maybe I’m not the one whose opinion you should be seeking out  out on this aspect of the movie, but for all the elements of shitty mainstream horror movies that The Visit  does a good job of poking fun at, there are plenty of cliched horror elements that do sneak in that kind of take me out of it. There are plenty of stupid jumpscares to go around, to my chagrin and, to be honest, the horror element was extremely tedious compared to the story progression and the humour. I felt like I had to suffer through the horror (And to be fair, there was a fair bit of good humour injected into the horror) until I could get to the humour.

The combination of black comedy works well enough… Until the climax, when things kind of fall apart, tone-wise. At that point, the horror and comedy go to such opposite extremes that it really is extremely jarring.

And while the writing is good, one must always remember that this is still a post-Unbreakable M.Night Shyamalan script, and while it’s not as off-putting as, say, the script for The Last Airbender, of which I have been known to buy multiple copies of to burn in a bonfire while laughing maniacally and mainling pure ethanol, this one, while solid and frequently clever, does suffer from some noticeable plot holes. Nothing that serious, but definitely a detriment.

That said, there are some legitimately touching moments to be found, and the characters are well-written enough that they don’t need massive amounts of exposition. Not only that, but Shyamalan, who hasn’t exactly built up a reputation for being an actor’s director…

Ahem.

… Gets some pretty great performances out of his actors this time around. The older folks are terrific and suitably creepy, but the chi;d actors are really good. Like, Haley Joel Osment good. Granted, this and The Sixth Sense are very different movies, but… Well, you get the idea.

Olivia DeJonge is awesome as a character who I suspect is supposed to be sort of a parody of Shyamalan, but even better is Ed Oxenbould as the younger brother. I know that I lost most of you when I said that his character is a rapper, an believe me, I get it. It is fairly annoying and cringe-worthy at first, but I figure it’s kind of supposed to be that way. Nobody puts a 13-year old rapper in their movie and expects you to take them seriously. That’d be like the inverse of putting a Holocaust scene in a movie and screaming “LAUGH DAMMIT! WHY WON’T YOU LAUGH!!!” when they won’t stop sobbing.

Overall: The consensus seems to be that this is Shyamalan’s best movie since Signs or The Village. These people are under the mistaken impression that Signs and The Village are actually good. While not a great movie, The Visit is Shyamalan’s best movie since Unbreakable and is an extremely welcome return to form for the much-maligned director, One can only hope that he keeps his second shot at respectability going.

Rating: 7/10

OH, FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!

August 2015 Movie Round-up

Featured image

This image is a lot more humourous when you don’t imagine the sound of that guy’s ankle inevitably snapping after the fact.

Aaaaaaaand summer’s over. Fuck.

Soon, bugs will die by the truckload. Leaves will bail from their trees at the first sign of chilly weather like the unfaithful bastards they are. Children and most teenagers will be back in school (Hah, losers!), and the other teenagers and young adults, if they’re not working full-time, will be back in university (Aw, nuts).

Since September is looking of be a real dumpster fire of a month when it comes to movies (Which suits me well, since I’m trying to focus more on other stuff, anyways), let’s take a quick, extremely half-assed look at some of the movies from earlier in the year that I got around to seeing last month instead of going to the cinema, because aside from Straight Outta Compton, August 2015 can go fuck itself.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Just think: This movie came out the same weekend as Kingsman: The Secret Service, a movie that, very graphically, includes Colin Firth murdering an entire congregation inside of a church. And the latter was the more romantic movie.

Directed by: Sam Taylor-Johnson

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eloise Mumford, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden

Plot: Plain (You know, for Hollywood) college student Anastasia Ste- Wait. ANASTASIA STEELE?!?! BAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Okay, okay. As a writer myself, I get it. Names can be tough. You want a name that fits and/or says something about your character, but you don’t want it to be too obvious, and yeah, a name like “Jane Smith” would be boring, but “ANASTASIA STEELE!?!?!?!”

Fuck off, E.L. James. Just for that, I’m skipping the plot summary and short blurb. You gave up all hope of that semblance of dignity when the thought of naming your protagonist/Avatar ANASTASIA FUCKING STEELE, and I’m not going to encourage you.

Besides, it’s not like anybody doesn’t doesn’t know the premise of the book. It’s a Twilight fanfic minus vampires and werewolves and plus bondage. I don’t know what part of that is screaming “make me a fucking movie”, but silly me thinking that Hollywood cares about the quality of the source material it adapts.

Unrelated Hitman: Agent 47 publicity photo.

  • + The two leads actually to a pretty solid job with what little worthwhile material that they’re given. They don’t stand out or anything, and everyone else is fairly terrible, but they don’t embarrass themselves, and that’s a small mercy in this movie.
  • The cinematography and direction in general are also quite good. It’s very cold and clinical, which can work with the tone sometimes. It’s not Kubrick, but it’s alright.
  • – Unfortunately, this same coldness makes the movie about as erotic and emotional as Spock and the T-800’s sextape.

Though that would probably be a lot more watchable than Fifty Shades of Grey

  • – This movie should’ve embraced the fact that everybody thinks the book is terribly written trash. At least that would’ve been more entertaining.
  • – If you want to learn absolutely nothing about BDSM culture except that there’s dominants, submissives, and sometimes, a metric shitton of leather is involved, then have I got the movie for you!

Rating: 4/10

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Shaun has a freakishly enormous tail! Look at that fucking thing!

Directed by: Richard Starzak and Mark Burton

Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparks, Omid Djaili

Plot: Growing tired of the same old routine at their farm on the countryside, a flock of sheep, led by the one apparently known as Shaun (Although you wouldn’t know without the title. This movie has little to no dialogue whatsoever) decide to take a day off from the daily grind. Unfortunately, through various hijinks, their actions result in the Farmer getting lost in a nearby city. Accompanied by the loyal sheepdog, Shaun and the flock must venture into the city to bring him back home, all while evading the local Evil Animal Control Guy.

Shaun the Sheep is the latest movie from Aardman Animations, the British stop-motion animation studio who brought us Wallace & Gromit and Flushed Away, among other stuff. This latest movie is based off of a TV show (Also made by Aardman), and as far as kids’ show adaptations go, it’s probably one of the better ones we’ve seen in a while. That last sentence should most definitely not be seen as high praise, by the way.

FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUCK OOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFF.

  • Stop-motion animation looks like hell to create. That said, when done right, it can rival CGI and hand-drawn animation. I don’t think Shaun the Sheep  quite attains that level of greatness, but it’s still really good, regardless.
  • Shit, I dunno, it’s funny? I have literally nothing to say about this movie, you guys.

Rating: 7.5/10

Trainwreck

I just realized: Amy Schumer is John Cena’s boyfriend at the beginning of this movie… And she has dated Dolph Ziggler in real life…                                                                                                                     I dunno, I think there’s some potential WWE storylines that we’re missing out on.

Directed by: Judd Apatow

Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Mike Birbiglia, Vanessa Bayer, Ezra Miller, LeBron James

Plot: Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) is not the most responsible person you will ever meet. Devoted to a lifestyle of drinking, partying, smoking pot and sex with multiple partners, she had it drilled into her head by her father (Colin Quinn) that monogamy is not a realistic ideal. However, this lifestyle of her is challenged when she meets funny, charming sports doctor Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), and hijinks ensue.

Aside from the gender/role reversal and a few wrinkles here and there (Amy can be straight-up cruel and unlikable a lot of the time), Trainwreck plays out more or less like your average rom-com, except much cruder. Which is awesome, because the romcom genre and its many cliches are getting fucking unwatchable at this point, and if we can’t expect an original storyline, the least we can hope for is really good comedy, and Trainwreck delivers on that front.

  • WHO IS BRIE LARSON, AND WHERE THE HELL HAS SHE BEEN ALL MY LIFE!?!?
  • All the performances in this movie are great, but LeBron James gives us a candidate for the best athlete/actor double threat to ever appear on screen.

I stand wildly corrected.

  • Also, John Cena, because why not?
  • – As is par for the course with a Judd Apatow movie, it probably goes on a little longer than what is needed. Ah well, at least it’s not as bad as Funny People in this respect.

Watch Funny People, by the way. It’s the last movie where Adam Sandler headlined and I didn’t feel like ending it all with every word out of his mouth.

Rating: 8/10

Unfinished Business

Aaaaand now you’re ripping off the Thank You for Smoking poster. Fuck off, movie.

Directed by: Ken Scott

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, James Marsden, Nick Frost

Plot: No. You can’t make me.

Rating: 1/10

The Woman in Black: Angel of Death

Once again, it’s time to play “How many horror cliches can we stuff into one photo”!

Directed by: Tom Harper

Starring: Phoebe Fox, Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory Adrian Rawlins, Oaklee Pendergast

I have said before before that I hate horror movies, and while my sentiment on them still hasn’t changed (Give me Wet Hot American Summer over even the most highly-touted horror movie any day), even I realize that there are plenty of good scary movies out there, like The BabadookThe Exorcist and pretty much any foreign horror flick.Hell, I may not enjoy Nightmare on Elm Street, but I can still recognize that it’s a well-made horror movie, technically speaking.

So, why do I still profess to hate the genre? Well, it’s precisely because of dogshit like this movie. If I wasn’t already ambivalent enough towards the genre, I would be insulted that this movie was even considered a horror movie. What this movie is is part of a near-universally despised subgenre of horror that I hereby dub “StartleCore”.

What is StartleCore, you ask? Well, without going into detail (Maybe some other day), it’s any movie that tries to sell itself as a horror movie, but then spends the entire runtime trying to startle the audience with shitty jumpscares instead of focusing on creating an actually scary atmosphere and leaving an impact on the audience.

To summarize, this is one of those movies. There, I just saved you 98 minutes. You’re fucking welcome.

  • Phoebe Fox is actually legitimately good in the lead role. Way to do one thing right, movie!
  • There is one jumpscare that is just a bird flying into a window. Ya done fucked up, movie.
  • – At least this movie makes sure to make sure that a lot of time passes between the jumpscares… Too bad it’s wasted on terrible dialogue and story development that interested me less than try to follow the squiggly lines floating across my eyeballs  until the next bullshit jumpscare.

Rating: 3/10

Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation

Drool.

Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Jens Hulten, Simon McBurney, Alec Baldwin

Look, just watch it. It’s a really good time, and if this movie is any indication, Tom Cruise isn’t going to be alive or not horribly crippled for much longer. You know, unless Scientologists are hiding some kind of cure-all/anti-aging formulas in their churches or whatev- that’s totally it, isn’t it?

There’s a John Travolta joke to be made somewhere in there,  but I think I’ll take the high road, for once in my life.