Thor 2: My Night with Jimmy

I would be amiss if I didn’t warn you, in the first sentence of this article, that this is not a review of Thor 2: The Dark World. If you absolutely need a review of that film than I apologize; I will not be writing one. The movie wasn’t good, or bad enough, to review, I think. I’ll give it a C. There. Now let’s move on to the real point of this article: Jimmy.

I now feel obligated to mention that his name might not have been Jimmy; Jimmy is simply the name I have bestowed upon the young man who sat in front of me in the theater because he looked like a Jimmy. I had never met this gentleman before in my life before last night so I know very little about him but I can tell you one thing definitively: he absolutely hated Thor 2. Every single line of dialogue spoken by any character in the film warranted one of three reactions from Jimmy: he either spread his arms out in a confused shrug with his mouth agape, vocally expressed his irritated confusion or freaking punched himself in the head! I’m not joking about this – during the dumber parts of the film (i.e. any scene without Tom Hiddleston/any scene focusing on Kat Denning) he would repeatedly slam his fist into his forehead harder than Chris Farley talking to Paul McCartney.

Spoiler: Thor doesn’t accidentally crush her with his hammer. Unfortunately.

At this time, I should mention that Jimmy was not alone. His friend, let’s call him Andrew, loved Jimmy’s criticism of the film. Now, he was less Jimmy’s friend and more his lackey, laughing at every head punch and looking at Jimmy with big teary eyes that begged for his approval whenever he worked up the courage to mutter a social commentary of his own. My personal favorite witty quip was the 8th time one of the two friends said the movie was cliché and then punch!

This kind of humor’s got nothing on the stylings of Jimmy and Andrew. 

I found myself so entertained by my own personal Siskel and Ebert that I completely lost track of the movie I was watching. It was like sitting behind an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 if the cast of that show was replaced with Mac and Charlie from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Which, now that I think of it, would be awesome. 

 At the end of the movie, as the girls in the audience screamed Tom Hiddleston’s name like they were at a Beatles’ concert in the sixties (or a Twilight movie yesterday), Jimmy announced loudly that he had not understood anything in that film and demanded that we agree with him. When his gaze fell on me I answered it with a simple nod as if to say: “You are a modern day prophet, good teacher. Please don’t kill me in the parking lot.”

And that was my experience seeing Thor 2: The Dark World. Now playing in theaters throughout the United States.

Sources: teaser-trailer.com, nydailynews.com, crapthatwillblowyourminds.com

10 Great (and 3 Awful) Halloween Movies That Aren’t Slashers

Tomorrow is Halloween. Leaves, the color of fire, are falling from their trees like embers from the heavens. A cool breeze is beginning to stir the night air. The sounds of raven’s wings fluttering can only be heard by those not distracted by the screams of agonized co-eds being murdered in their showers. What a magical time. For those of you looking to watch something seasonal this Halloween but who don’t enjoy some of the classics (most, if not all, involving a man in a mask murdering one of the aforementioned co-eds) then read on for 10 of the movies that you should watch over the next few days and 3 that I wouldn’t recommend to my worst enemy (as for the rest of you, watch Jason Goes to Hell after reading my article about it).

1.)    The Crow

Almost a superhero movie, The Crow is better described as a reverse-horror film in the sense that the star is actually the “monster”, who we get to watch stalk his (deserving) victims first hand. This film stars Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon Lee, as Eric Draven, a makeup-loving young man killed on Halloween who is then resurrected as an invincible and macabre force seeking vengeance. The gloomy and, dare I say it, gothic aesthetics make this film a perfect Halloween watch but in truth it is the infamous curse surrounding the movie that should really get your attention. Brandon Lee was killed, on set, when a stunt involving a prop gun went awry. The creepy thing? This exact same thing happened to his dad’s character in the film Game of Death (the very film that Bruce Lee was filming when he passed away).

2.)    Donnie Darko 

Starring a pre-gay-cowboy Jake Gyllenhaal as the eponymous anti-hero, Donnie Darko is the twisted tale of a morose young man struggling with a multitude of physical and mental issues, some of the most significant being: a near-death experience, the concept of time travel, the terror of living with Maggie Gyllenhaal and being haunted by a man in a grotesque bunny suit who tells him to do bad things. It’s also a strangely beautiful story of redemption, what it means to be alone in this world and how Smurfs procreate.

3.)    A Nightmare Before Christmas

This is the most important movie on the list and you can just shut up if you don’t think so. Tim Burton’s modern fairy tale about the Pumpkin King of Halloweentown, Jack Skellington, and his quest to show the world his interpretation of Christmas (without the permission of Sandy Claws, of course) is a dreamy and touching tale. The voice acting is stellar (especially Catherine O’Hara, who is awesome in general), the score by Danny Elfman will bring you to tears and the animation is in a league of its own. If you haven’t seen A Nightmare Before Christmas then get in a time machine, go back to when you were 7 and make your childhood self watch it so your life won’t be as stupid as it is now, stupid (sorry for the aggression, I just really like this movie).

4.)    Hocus Pocus

You know how Sarah Jessica Parker is most likely a witch in real life? Well in this movie she also plays a witch, alongside Bette Midler (who you may remember from a Seinfeld episode and I think some other things too) and the woman from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In this kid-friendly Halloween flick the three witches are resurrected from the dead for one night only, unless they can steal the life force from young children (seriously, this movie is marketed to kids). They are assisted by a zombie with his mouth sewn shut named Billy who… you know what, on second thought this movie might not be for kids. However, I do highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys referring to women’s breasts as “yabbos”.

5.)    Beetlejuice

Tim Burton makes this list again with Beetlejuice, his second time behind the camera and one of his best films to date. Michael “I’m Batman” Keaton stars as a malevolent spirit named Beetlejuice who can be summoned when his name is spoken aloud three times. This dark tale fits the Halloween theme perfectly with Tim Burton’s classic twisted aesthetics, Danny Elfman’s sinister score and strong performances from Keaton, Catherine O’Hara (who, as I said before, is awesome), Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Robert Smith from The Cure… I mean, Winona Ryder.

She has aged remarkably well.

6.)   Arsenic and Old Lace

The oldest film on this list and one of the best, Arsenic and Old Lace still stands up as a hilarious dark comedy. This movie stars Cary Grant as our hapless hero as he attempts to subdue his dangerous convict brother, convince his sweet elderly aunts to stop poisoning people and run away with his bride for their wedding night. The entire film takes place over the course of one night and is decades ahead of its time in terms of its dark subject matter and the humor associated with it. Also Peter Lorre has a small part in it, as he should in all Halloween movies.

7.)    Creepshow 

Penned by some of the biggest names in the world of horror, including that guy who wrote Cujo, you know, Steven what’s-his-face, Creepshow is actually a series of short horror films told one after another as a young boy reads them from a comic book. Creepshow isn’t the scariest film you will ever see but its concept is clever and the stories are certainly unnerving. There is also a sense of humor to the film, which makes it doubly entertaining. Directed by the already legendary George Romero, Creepshow stars some of Hollywood’s biggest names before their breakout into stardom, including Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Leslie “Don’t Call Me Shirley” Nielsen and famous film star Stephen King.

8.)    The Blair Witch Project

I had to put at least one legitimate horror movie on this list and The Blair Witch Project is one of the best. Way way waaaaay before there were 17 Paranormal Activity films and a million movies trying to be Paranormal Activity there was The Blair Witch Project, a “found” film that actually made you scared. The film was so controversial at its release that tons of people were actually convinced it was truly a work of non-fiction and that the tape they were watching, of three lost campers in the woods being tormented by the spirit of a witch, was true. The Blair Witch Project opened the door for independent film makers all over the world to drop whatever they were doing and try to make the same movie as quickly, and horribly, as possible.

9.)    Sleepy Hollow

To be honest, I really don’t like Tim Burton as much as this list would have you think. Sure, there was a time where he was making creative and insightful movies full of creepy characters and spiraling landscapes. The problem is that now Tim Burton just really likes to make movies that have already been made but in the style of his favorite director: 1990’s Tim Burton. That being said, Sleepy Hollow is a perfect Halloween film; it stars a pale-faced Johnny Depp who is in love with a pale-faced Christina Ricci as they try to capture a murderous spirit who you find out was once a pale-faced Chistopher Walken. The film is shot primarily in the spooky woods surrounding the eponymous town, deep in the throes of fall, which makes every scene either splashed with beautiful Autumn leaves or dark and foreboding, lit only by the blood of the Headless Horseman’s victims.

10.)    The Rocky Horror Picture Show

‘Nuff said.

1.)    Pumpkinhead

I recently read an article online where some nobody who writes a blog (what a loser) voiced his disappointment over Hollywood’s lack of Pumpkinhead remakes. The funny thing is he didn’t follow up this statement with a sentence about how great another world war would be. Pumpkinhead is a dumb movie where the guy from Alien whose chest bursts open because of an alien fights a monster that isn’t an alien. This is a huge disappointment because whereas Alien was an intelligent film about a monster wreaking havoc on a spaceship, Pumpkinhead is a stupid movie about a monster wreaking havoc in what I am guessing Idaho will look like after the apocalypse. But, hey, at least the monster is kind of cool looking, although I will say it is a little familiar looking…

It’s on the tip of my tongue…

2.)    Son of the Mask

If you look up movies that take place around Halloween on Wikipedia you will find Son of the Mask on the list (actually, you will find all of these movies because that was kind of the point). The problem isn’t that Son of the Mask isn’t a Halloween movie – it’s that Son of the Mask exists and I forgot about its existence until now. The other problem is that it stars Jamie Kennedy, another thing I forgot existed until now. Hey, speaking of unnecessary sequels…

3.)    Any Sequel to Any Movie on This List

While technically not a film per se, I have to conclude this list by saying the one movie you should not watch during Halloween this year is any sequel to every movie I have mentioned. Sure, they don’t all have sequels but the ones that do are terrifically horrendous. Take, for instance, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch Project 2, which, even though it was not shot with a handheld camera did stay true to the original in the sense that it obviously had no script whatsoever. Did you know that The Rocky Horror Picture Show had a kind of sequel called Shock Treatment? No? Huh, weird. The Crow spawned more straight-to-video sequels than maybe even The Land Before Time. S. Darko, the sequel to Donnie Darko made the original seem coherent and normal. Hell, even Pumpkinhead has a sequel called Blood Wings, which I haven’t seen out of fear for my own well-being. But don’t worry; look at the movies on this list that don’t have sequels! Even Tim Burton hasn’t made that mistake…

 oh… crap.

Happy Halloween! Spend this special day commenting and sharing my article!

Spooky Sources: nicksflickpicks.com, perezhilton.com, collider.com, movielottery.wordpress.com, fanpop.com, joblo.com, moviehole.net, nndb.com, scorceseproject.com, comicvine.com, yourfaceisa.com, totalfilm.com, bloody-disgusting.com, horrorhomework.com, fromquarkstoquasars.com, awn.com, imdb.com

“The Master”: A Boyfriend/Girlfriend Review

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Sometimes I see movies with my significant other and we don’t quite see eye-to-eye (A.K.A. she is wrong and I am right) on whether the movie was “good” or “bad”.  Well, since I value honesty to my readers above all else I will present both views of the latest movie we both saw, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest in slow-paced dramas: The Master.

The Synopsis

The Master stars Joaquin Phoenix as Freddy Quell, a mentally unbalanced veteran who has a pension for getting in fights and mixing toxic ingredients to make his own special liquor.  When he runs across the charismatic religious teacher and author Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) he begins to adhere to his teachings, almost immediately becoming Dodd’s right-hand man and number one project.  Things begin to fall apart when Dodd’s qualifications as a teacher are questioned and his religion begins to resemble a cult.  Also, it’s totally totally not about Scientology, guys!

Pictured here: NOT L. Ron Hubbard.

The Boyfriend’s Rating: B (maybe B-)

Let me start by saying that I really like Paul Thomas Anderson’s work; There Will Be Blood is one of my favorite movies.  I went into The Master expecting something similar to Blood and wasn’t disappointed.  Like its predecessor, The Master was brilliantly acted, had a unique plot, utilized an interesting slow pace that created tension in scenes that would normally be boring and featured a brilliant soundtrack.  Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams all dazzle with amazing performances (Phoenix in particular shines as the dysfunctional and mentally unbalanced lead).

A new thing for him.

For me, there was something addictive about this movie.  I found the characters so bizarre and well performed that I couldn’t help but be engrossed by their every action.  The structure of the movie itself could almost be described as a Stanley Kubrick-esque.  It didn’t rely on any cheap thrills or gimmicks to catch your attention.  The cinematography was also interesting; shots would linger on one character for minutes at a time without moving, making the camera almost feel like a character in the movie itself.  There is one scene in particular where Phoenix’s character is chopping up a coconut and milk sprays slightly onto the camera, giving the scene a surreal feel.

The movie is, admittedly, very very slow and unnecessarily long but those are some of the only reasons I lowered the grade at all.  I also didn’t love the ending (it felt a bit anti-climatic).  Still, if you go in expecting There Will Be Blood I think you may enjoy it.

Although you will notice a lack of milkshake drinking.

The Girlfriend’s Rating: C- (if that)

To preface, let me begin by saying one thing about the difference between my darling boyfriend and I. While Mr. Dibble takes a very intellectual, artistic approach to his movie critiques, I’m all about the cheap thrills. Entertain me for 90 minutes, and I will approve your work.

Case in point: I watch this movie with astonishing regularity

That being said, The Master was a hellish nightmare for me. Honestly, it’s like Anderson forgot what business he works in (hint: it’s called the entertainment industry) and decided to do whatever the hell he wanted, which was apparently waste 137 precious minutes of the lives of people naïve enough to think the film would somehow be more exciting than the trailer. Here’s a note to all of us: we’re idiots. It isn’t.

I will say that Phoenix and Hoffman were remarkable. I didn’t leave the theatre part way through the drought of stimulation because of their performances. Adams’ character was interesting (there’s a memorable bathroom scene) and she executed it well, but I honestly think the three of them accepted their roles after reading the screenplay because they knew it would be a true test of their artistry to make the story (or lack thereof) not completely suck. They gave it their best effort, and I applaud them for that, but they failed.

It was kind of like sending this guy to put out a forest fire.

I’ve never watched the time as intently as I did during that never-ending 137 minutes. And I’m in my last year of college, so I’ve sat through a lot of lectures. I spent the last half of the movie pondering how to retrieve my phone and look up the length of the movie without ruining the experience for my boyfriend so I would know how much more I had to suffer through.

Critics will love this movie because it’s boring and long and serious. Some guys might like it because there are a lot of breasts. I’m not enticed by any of those things so whatever The Master had to offer was basically lost on me. And I agree with my boyfriend, the ending was anticlimactic. But the whole film basically was (the first shot of the movie is absolutely gorgeous) so I guess Anderson gets points for consistency.

P.S. I’m not the only one who felt this way. As soon as the credits started to roll, some man stood up in the theatre and asked all (eight) of us who had sat through the whole film, “Well, was that the worst movie you every saw or what?”

Who do you agree with?  Let us know in the comments!

Songs boyfriend listened to while writing this: I’m still on a Starf****r kick so I just listened to them.

Songs girlfriend listened to while writing this: “Radio” by Lana Del Rey, “Shampain” by Marina & the Diamonds, “DNA” by The Kills, “Salt Skin” by Ellie Goulding, “The Harold Song” by Ke$ha

Sources: imdb.com, movieblogbuster.com, telegraph.co.uk, blogs.indiewire.com, miserableretailslave.com, fuzzmartin.com, insidethecostumebox.blogspot.com, wikipedia.com, halloweencostumes.com.

 

The Avengers 2: A Wish List

 

On September 25th, one of the best comic book movies of all time was finally released on DVD.  No, I am not talking about Howard the Duck.

That movie is, of course, The Avengers.  Instead of making movies about guys in tights punching people an exploration into psychoanalytics (The Dark Knight Rises), an obviously heartless excuse to rake in millions (The Amazing Spider-Man) or just really retarded (Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance) The Avengers realized exactly what it was and ran with it: a movie about guys in tights punching people.  It traded complex plots with what every fanboy wants to see: our favorite heroes fighting each other and then fighting something else.  It’s not that I don’t think comics can be deep (I mean, come on, Watchmen people!); it’s just that The Avengers didn’t need to be that.  It was fun, funny, entertaining, action-packed and, as a result, awesome.

So when the sequel comes out here are a list of characters that I would love to see make an appearance:

1.) Ms. Marvel

The Avengers was directed  by Joss Whedon and odds are he will be behind the camera of the sequel as well.  Whedon loves him some strong female characters (see Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly) and he showed that side of himself pretty well with the Black Widow character in Avengers.  She was strong, capable, smart, deadly and sexy while avoiding degradation.  However, she was powerless.  Let’s face it, in a real fight with the Hulk (I mean on open ground) she would last about fifteen seconds.  I would love to see how he handles a superpowered female in the sequel; someone who could go head to head with anyone on the team and possibly come out victorious.  Ms. Marvel is just the woman for the job.  In the comics, Carol Danvers is not just extremely powerful in battle (hosting abilities like super strength, resistance to damage, flight and the ability to blast beams of photon energy) but is also a strong person overall.  She strives to be the best hero she can be and will not let anyone pull her down.  I think Whedon would have a lot of fun with this character.

Who should play her: Ali Larter

2.) Luke Cage

Both Black Panther and Falcon are rumored to be in Avengers 2 (let’s just say that having a green guy on your team doesn’t make you ethnically diverse).  However, I would vote to see Luke Cage be the guy that tips this balance a little as opposed to the other guys mentioned above.  Not only is he stronger than them (boasting unbreakable skin, near invulnerability and super strength) but he would add personality.  With sarcastic and egotistical characteristics similar to Iron Man/Tony Stark it might be nice to see someone try and out talk the team’s resident loudmouth.  Think Shaft except as a superhero.

Or they could just get Shaft…

Who should play him: Terry Crews

3.) Dr. Strange 

The Avengers already have an enormous monster, a super powered human, a technology based hero, a spy, a god and an average Joe (with a bow and arrow).  What else do they need?  A magic dude, of course!  And in the mythology of the Marvel universe there is no one more magical than Dr. Strange!  Including him would also add a wise and seemingly all knowing character, which would be a nice addition.

I would settle for wise and created by Jim Henson, though.

Who should play him: Gary Oldman

You could go on for ages about the Avengers that deserve to be in this sequel so I will just stop here with these three suggestions.  I know you have someone else in mind so please comment away and let us know who you would like to see!

Songs listened to while writing this: “Ada” by The National, “2 Atoms and a Molecule” by Noah and the Whale, “Acetone” by Mudhoney, “Aberdeen” by Cage the Elephant, a lot of Starf****r, “A Beautiful Mine” by RJD2

Sources: teaser-trailer.com, ew.com, marvel.com, pixmule.com, fansshare.com, comicvine.com, culture.com, movies.about.com, quirkytravel.com, harrypotter.wikia.com

Some Things You Should Know Before You Watch “Six String Samurai”

If you have been keeping up with my site then you know that I have a thing about writing sort of sarcastic articles about horrible movies.  That’s because I love horrible movies and I really mean that.  Nothing entertains me more than a plot hole-filled disaster of a film.

 Or a plot hole-filled disaster film.

Six String Samurai is not one of those movies.  I cannot stress this point enough.  I know that while you are watching this rock n’ roll interpretation of Mad Max it will appear to you, on countless occasions, that this is a horrible movie but you must look past your senses and see the truth – that underneath its low budget and semi-ridiculous appearance is a mind-blowingly awesome movie.  Here are some reasons why:

1.) The plot is brilliant

I am going to do my best to avoid spoilers in this article but, oh crap, who am I kidding?  SPOILERS FOR THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE STRAIGHT AHEAD!  Ahem.  Six String Samurai is about an alternate reality where the Soviets successfully bombed and invaded the US during the Cold War.  As a result, the US turns into a post-apocalyptic wasteland crawling with cannibals, Soviet soldiers, savages and guys in space suits.

And evil bowlers.

Oh, yeah, and Elvis Presley is crowned king of the only city left: Lost Vegas.  After a 40-year reign, the king finally dies (probably in a more, er, dignified fashion then in reality) and the call echoes over the wasteland: Vegas needs a new king.  The rest of the film consists of our hero hacking and slashing his way through the desert with a katana and a Silvertone guitar on his way to claim the throne while a feral kid silently follows behind him in a coonskin cap.

It is Fallout: New Vegas, if you were wondering.

So, yeah, it rules.  And speaking of our hero…

2.) The protagonist is awesome

Officially, the hero of Six String Samurai has no name but unofficially he’s totally Buddy Holly.  The aforementioned young sidekick has about five lines in the entire course of the movie but one of them is “Buddy!”  He yells it at the protagonist constantly.  The inside joke here is that the hero is, in fact, Buddy Holly wielding a katana and killing every thing in sight.  He snaps his fingers a lot and says cool one liners like: “don’t touch my guitar man; don’t even touch my guitar.”

He says that, too.

He slays an entire regiment of Russian soldiers alone, plays a few good riffs and almost kills Death himself, which reminds me…

3.) The villain is Death incarnate

I don’t mean that figuratively – the villain is literally the living version of death.  He plays a white Stratocaster, has long black hair and wears a top hat.

Basically it’s Slash.

He has an entourage of heavy metal archers that follow behind him and he is after Elvis’ much coveted throne.  There is no villain more devious and sinister in the history of film.  He doesn’t kill people – he just applies his being to them (think about it, dudes).

4.) The soundtrack is Russian surf rock

All of the songs are provided by a band called The Red Elvises and they are exactly what I described above: surf rock infused with vodka and madness.  If nothing else I have said about this movie has struck you as great then hear this plea: the soundtrack alone is worth it!!!  

5.) The whole film is some kind of Wizard of Oz retelling

I don’t really know how this applies or what the director was thinking but this movie is basically Mad Max meets rock and roll meets The Wizard of Oz.  Here are some of the clues:

  • A dwarf in a do-rag tells the protagonist to follow the Yellow Brick Road.
  • Lost Vegas resembles the Emerald City and the classic shot of Dorothy and co. entering the city is imitated.
  • (Spoiler) The villain faces a liquid-themed death.

All that’s left is to watch this movie with the sound off while listening to Dark Side of the Moon.  Well, I know what I’m doing tonight.

If only there was a way you could watch this movie… oh, guess what: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcrNBYQ6Vow

For the love of everything holy please share this article!  The world needs to see this movie!    Also, after you watch, comment away to let me know how right I am!

Songs listened to while writing this: all Red Elvises all the time.

Sources: bztv.typepad.com, jamesaxler.com, forcesofgeek.com, therpf.com, tvtropes.com, 6stringsamurai.livejournal.com, badmovies.org, insidemovies.ew.com, scixual.tumblr.com, filmsondisc.com

“Thanks Hollywood!” or “How One of My Favorite Childhood Stories is About to be Toasted (Pun Intended)”

If you have never heard of The Brave Little Toaster immediately build a time machine, go back to when you were a child and watch it (while you are there watch Ferngully: The Last Rainforest also).  This film is one of the most innocent and genuine kids movies ever made.  As a young lad I watched it over and over again and, although it has been some time since my last viewing, I still think of it fondly. 

So obviously, since the world is a horrible place, some company has just acquired the rights to this adorable little franchise (against the original director and writer’s will and without giving him credit) and is now going to make a new and improved CGI (and probably 3-D) version!  To make matters even worse it’s going to be produced by the same company that makes the Alvin and the Chipmunks films. 

AKA really quality entertainment.

For more information on this story you can read this article: http://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/zugws/waterman_entertainment_has_acquired_the_rights_to/ that was posted on Reddit.com.  In the meantime, to make the unbearable wait until this movie is released a little easier for you, I compiled a list of things we can expect from this sure-to-be-classic film, based on Hollywood’s track record.  Take my word for it, this remake will have:

1.) Rapping and/or extreme sports

Every film producer knows that there are really only  two things that modern kids like: extreme sports and seeing their beloved characters break into song (not original songs or anything artistic like that, just top 40s and hip hop).  What a joy it will be to see the Brave Little Toaster hop on a skateboard and escape from some precarious situation just to bust into a squeaky voiced rendition of “Baby Got Back”!

2.) Some sitcom star as the human lead

Every CGI-addled kids movie (based on a series that only the adults in the audience will remember) needs a human character for all of us normal folks to relate to.  But this character can’t be played by a movie star because they would… well… turn it down (unless, of course, it was animated, for some reason).  So what familiar but fairly inexpensive face do the producers turn to?  Sitcom stars, of course.  From Neil Patrick Harris in The Smurfs to Jason Lee in the aforementioned Chipmunks disasters Hollywood has been giving TV stars the opportunity to spread their wings in these Oscar-worthy masterpieces.  So who will they inevitably cast as the lead to the Toaster remake?  In my opinion, only one person makes sense:

He could also play the toaster.

3.) The inevitable appearance of some washed up comedian (and it will be Cheech)

Some parents hate sitcoms and kids movies.  Uh oh.  How else are you going to get them into the theater with their little rugrats (hey, Rugrats would be another great old show to ruin)?  The answer is simple: when all else fails cast some old comedian that only adults will remember/care about seeing.  Whether its someone from Monty Python’s Flying Circus playing a kindly old janitor or an old Saturday Night Live castmember no one cares about (Kevin Nealon) as the mean ‘ol dog catcher.  No matter how you swing it, however, it is inevitable that Cheech will be in this movie.  I think they just have him on speed dial for this kind of thing.

Gee, I wonder why.

A lot of this article was written at a place where that kind of thing is frowned down upon.  As a result I leave it up to you, Dear Readers, to say the things I didn’t get a chance to say in this piece.  Comment away!

Sources: movieposterdb.com, picgifs.com, moviewallpapers.net, imdb.com, moviesonline.ca, cheechandchong.com, thedaily.com, reddit.com

Some Things You Need to Know Before You Watch “Captain Eo”

So lets start today’s article and assume that you are an uncultured swine; everything you know about “art” can be summed up by a Mountain Dew ad directed by Michael Bay.  Lets also assume that you have never heard of Disneyland (it used to be an orange grove in Anaheim, if that helps).  If this is the case then you have never seen, let alone heard of, Captain Eo and, man, do I feel sorry for you.  Captain Eo is an 80s-tastic 3-D film/ride that was first introduced to the world in 1986 and has now been re-released to a whole new generation of horrified children who don’t understand big hair or tight leather outfits.  It was produced by George Lucas (who made some sci-fi movies a few years back) and directed by Francis Ford Coppola (who is just famous for being related to Jason Schwartzman).  Not only is this Disneyland’s greatest attraction hands down but it’s also one of the greatest films of all time.  You should go see it for yourself but before you do here are some things to keep in mind:

1.) The hero is Michael Jackson

Even three-year old children walking past this ride, their faces sticky with cotton candy, know that Michael Jackson is the main character in this short film.  I mean… that was kind of the point, right?  In fact, the only reason this attraction even reopened at Disneyland is because he died (sorry if you didn’t know that he was dead, my bad).  But notice how I didn’t title this “1.) Michael Jackson is the main character”?  That’s because being the main character to the story isn’t the point, lots of stories have bizarre and unconventional main characters.  No, the important thing here is that MJ is the hero, as in he is supposed to be heroic.  Jackson plays the title character, Captain Eo, who captains a space ship and leads a rebellion against hordes of dark robotic aliens.  And he accomplishes all of this while wearing a rainbow embroidered t-shirt, talking in a voice that (if you close your eyes) sounds like an 8-year old girl and… dancing.  We will get back to the dancing later, it is an integral part of the story.  The point is that we are supposed to believe that this guy:

 

is somehow similar to this guy:

At least the little guy kinda resembles Chewbacca.

2.) The villain is terrifying

Okay, so we have established that the hero is less than heroic.  Well that’s okay because this is for kids right?  It’s not like they need some complex anti-hero who is trying to avenge his family or anything.  If this is the case, the villain is probably a joke too then, right?  Er, no, actually she is absolutely pants crappingly terrifying.

Inappropriately named the “Supreme Leader”, (I would have chosen “Spider Goddess of Your Deepest Nightmares” but, hey, I’m just a simple blogger) this sinister creature is played by Anjelica Huston because, duh, who else?  She hangs from black shadow-like tendrils and beckons at you with claws that would make Freddie Krueger curl up in the fetal position.  She is the most evil looking thing you have ever seen.  And she is defeated by dance.  We’ll get to that but first…

3.) It actually has good 3-D

If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m being pretty sarcastic about this whole thing (except the villain.  Seriously, look at that picture again).  I mean, the whole attraction looks like your favorite sci-fi was hijacked by the living embodiment of the 80s and then forced to wear a leotard and play slap bass with Muppets.  It’s that bad.

Or is that awesome?

But you know what?  It actually has really awesome 3-D and that is not a joke.  Modern 3-D is pretty awful because movies try to work cheap thrills into movies and not the other way around.  Because Captain Eo is actually just a cheap thrill trying to work in a movie the 3-D effects are actually pretty awesome.  Also the theater moves to the beat of the music in the show.  Wait, did I say this was a cheap thrill?  Sorry, I meant to say “an insanely expensive” thrill.  Captain Eo cost roughly 23 million dollars to film.  Keep in mind that it’s 17 minutes long.  

4.) Dance is the ultimate weapon

And so we finally arrive at what you have all been waiting for: the role of dance in Captain Eo.  Let me set the scene: as our intrepid (?) hero looks up at his ridiculously intimidating villain he commands his robot assistants to transform.  This comes as a big relief to the audience because up until now Eo’s team of puppets have accomplished nothing except making every mistake they could have possibly made and endangering everyone’s lives a hundred times over.

We’re looking at you, Hooter.

So the robots transform… into instruments.  Eponymous 80s electric bass and drums begin to play and as Eo unsnaps his space jacket we realize that only one thing can happen next… dance.  But not just regular dance: dance that causes Eo to shoot lasers out of his hands and turn all of the villains into homoerotic dancers in leotards.

Using the awesome power of dance, singing and shrikeing “eeee!” Eo manages to save the universe without a single casualty (let’s just ignore the fact that his superior points out at the start of the film that he has a history of engaging in combat AKA killing bad guys).  Why didn’t Luke Skywalker just try that?

Have something to say?  Bring it on, I’m not afraid of you or your comments!  I have dance on my side.

Songs listened to while writing this: “This Devil’s Workday” by Modest Mouse, “Science vs. Romance” by Rilo Kiley, “Young Pilgrims” by The Shins, “Implode Alright” by Built By Snow, “Slow Show” by The National, “Islands” by The xx, “Treetop Flyer” by Stephen Stills, “3030 (Instrumental)” by Deltron 3030, “By Your Side” by CocoRosie.

Sources: wikipedia.org, fanpop.com, wired.com, retrojunk.com, ptsnob.com

Some Things You Need to Know Before You Watch “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”

So it’s a nice Saturday night and all you really want to do is settle down with your family, cook up some popcorn and watch a nice family flick.  You perused the shelves at your local video store (hahaha oh man, just kidding) and found the perfect film: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday!  At this point you have seen the other twelve hundred Friday the 13th films and you are counting on this classic from 1993 to entertain you for a full 87 minutes.  Well, before you pop that VHS (hahahaha) into your VCR (HAHAHA oh man HAHA) here are some things you desperately need to know about what you are about to watch (warning: spoilers ahead! hahahahaha, I seriously need to stop, I’m killing myself):

1.) Jason isn’t in the movie, really

The first expectation you would have going into this movie is: “well, at least Jason Voorhees, the infamous hockey mask-wearing serial killer who walks at snail speed will be in it!”  Well, sorry pal but you are out of luck. Jason does appear in the movie… twice.  You see he “dies” in the first five minutes and spends the rest of the movie possessing other peoples bodies.  So instead of watching a lumpy maniac with a machete attack co-eds you are instead treated to a nerdy middle-aged mortician, a dumpy old cop (who inexplicably melts at one point) and a guy who might be your real estate agent walking at snail speed and killing co-eds.  Scary!!  When we finally see Jason’s true, evil incarnate, form… he’s a tadpole.  I’m not even joking.

2.) Hell isn’t in the movie either

Okay, so Jason isn’t going to be in the movie as much… that’s okay though, right?  You aren’t surprised he isn’t in it because, as the title implies, he is in Hell!  Well, unfortunately, you are wrong again.  Read point #1 and you will remember that Jason is too busy playing dress up to be in Hell a whole lot.  To be fair he does eventually go to Hell… at the very end.  So you spend the entire movie waiting for the title to happen.  That’s like naming The Sixth Sense “Bruce Willis is Dead”.

Or like naming Donnie Darko “Something Happens”.

3.) It isn’t the “final Friday”

Although the title implies that this is the “final Friday” there have been three more Friday the 13th films made since Jason Goes to Hell, including one where he goes to space.  Yes, Jason is the Ernest of horror movies.

Except I’m pretty sure Jason will never go to jail.

I would also just like to point out that Jason Goes to Hell was actually preceded by a 1984 film entitled Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.  And guess what?  There is another Friday the 13th on the way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_the_13th_(franchise)#Future!

4.) I’m not sure who the protagonist is…

Every movie has two things: a protagonist and an antagonist.  They don’t have to be a blatant hero/good vs. villain/evil kind of dichotomy, either.  There just has to be some kind of conflict to keep the film moving.  For instance, in this film the antagonist is a disappointing batch of flimsy characters possessed by Jason and the protagonist is… um… maybe this guy?:

I hesitate like that because its a solid 30 minutes before any kind of character you can consider a “hero” is introduced.  I also hesitate because that guy I pointed out doesn’t do anything the entire movie except wear a letterman jacket (it was the nineties) and get beat up a lot.  Jason is eventually killed by a girl who you find out is his long lost niece or something (the plot is a flimsy structure consisting of Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue) but since that is the only thing she does during this movie (I think she has a solid ten minutes of screen time) it’s hard to call her the protagonist.  Here’s the worst part: there is totally a bitchin’ bounty hunter in this movie named, I kid you not, Creighton Duke who would have been a great hero for this film.  All he does is whisper ominous one liners and wear cowboy hats.

Instead, the most heroic thing he ends up doing is breaking the main character’s fingers.  This literally happens for no reason at all but comes as no surprise to the audience; the so-called protagonist is so annoying and horrible that you are literally begging Jason to kill him at the end.

I mean… Just look at him.

5.) Even for a horror movie, everyone in this film is stupid

Being a writer (hahaha) I am constantly trying to make my stories new and original.  You see, there is nothing wrong with change so long as the change isn’t retarded (I think Shakespeare said that).  So the guys who wrote this movie decide they want Jason to inhabit other people’s bodies.  Okay, that’s fine because at least now he can pretend to be other people and kill them when they least expect it instead of just lumbering around and… oh, wait, he ends up just lumbering around the whole movie?  Okay then.  Jason is in other people’s bodies, killing those that recognize and trust him as a friend or family member, and how does he decide to murder them?  By walking towards them real slow with a machete and grunting a little.  Like he always does…  Not that it would matter anyways, the people in this film are the most brain-dead lot in film history.  Everyone knows about Jason’s legacy in this movie.  So who do they blame the minute murder’s begin to occur?  This guy:

I just can’t get enough of this picture.  He looks like the blue Power Ranger.

They just ignore the fact that the same guy has been killing people for decades in the area, despite having “died” numerous times, and throw the cuffs on Rick Moranis’ nerdy nephew up there.  No wonder everyone dies in this movie.

6.) They rip off The Terminator

A girl is at the police station, desperately afraid after seeing someone get murdered when suddenly a man who looks human but is actually something much more powerful and ominous ambles in casually and begins killing cops with zero effort.  Bullets don’t kill him but luckily she is saved at the last minute by a man she isn’t sure she can trust who just wants to protect her and her baby, whose legacy might be the only hope for… wait a second…

Alright, that’s the last straw: this movie sucks.

Disagree with my interpretation of this classic film?  Comment away, dear readers!  Your voice matters!

Sources: gunsandammo.com, wikipedia.com, imdb.com, aveleyman.com, dreager1.com, templeofghoul.blogspot.com, f13community.com

 

Some Reasons Why Nicolas Cage Is Actually Awesome

Nicolas Cage is sort of like the Great White Shark of the film industry; he is commonly referred to in a negative light, he seems to pop up (with negative results) all summer and his cinematic feeding frenzies are something that we can’t turn away from.  Mark my words: if (and when) there is ever a Nicholas Cage Week on Animal Planet you better believe we are all tuning in.  Don’t pretend like you wouldn’t; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance would never have come out if tons of people hadn’t seen Ghost Rider.

A couple days ago I saw someone on Facebook complaining about how stupid Cage’s next movie looks.  To be fair, I could only watch about half the trailer before I turned it off (something about him hacking into the Homeland Security Database hit me in a really emotional way) and, yes, it looks terrible.  However, the thing everyone seems to forget about Nick Cage when they are laughing about The Wicker Man remake or Bad Lieutenant: I Can’t Believe There is Actually More to this Title is that Nicolas Cage hasn’t always been in bad movies!  In fact, he isn’t even a bad actor (always)!

Need proof?  Read some words I wrote!

Adaptation (2002)

Super-weird-artsy-but-extremely-talented director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are, some of the best music and skate videos ever) teamed up with super-weird-artsy-but-extremely-talented screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich) to make this critically acclaimed flick starring none other than Nicolas Cage.

Before I dive into the movie itself maybe I should take a second to point out a few of Cage’s co-stars?  How about Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton and unanimously voted best actress of all time Meryl “the dingo ate my baby” Streep?

So what makes Cage so special in this film?  Well first of all he plays the two main characters.  That’s right, in this film you get twice the Cage and it isn’t Face/Off.  Second, the two main characters happen to be Charlie Kaufman (the guy who wrote the movie) and his real brother Donald.  The guy wrote the film about himself and then agreed that only Mr. Cage could perfectly encapsulate his complex personality.  The best thing is: he was right!  Adaptation has a score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert claimed it was one of the decade’s finest films and Nicolas Cage was NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR.  Almost makes you want to re-watch Con-Air, right?

It’s okay to say no.

National Treasure (2004) (No, seriously, hear me out)

Okay, you can stop rolling your eyes, I get it.  This movie has become sort of joke recently, probably because of Andy Samberg’s impressions of it on Saturday Night Live.  The thing is I get a sneaking suspicion that everyone only hates this movie because Cage is in it in the first place.  It’s actually not a horrible movie.  I mean, it’s basically Indiana Jones but set in America, the world’s greatest nation!  It’s a fun, mindless, adventure movie that you can sort of just put on and zone out to.  If you take it too seriously then, yeah, I guess you’re going to snicker at how a historian and his geeky friend manage to steal the freaking Declaration of Independence during a Gala where the Secret Service is hanging out but I also think it is important to mention that this is one of the only movies where the Knights Templar are part of the plot but don’t have a retarded purpose (taking over the world, something something Jesus’ baby).  They just really liked money!  And who can blame them?  I mean, isn’t that always Cage’s motivation too?

Kick-Ass (2010)

I’m only going to briefly cover this one because I didn’t like it as much as everyone else.  This is more of an example of a role that Cage was in that I loved, not a movie.  His portrayal of the brutal vigilante/horrible father (aptly named “Big Daddy”) could have been clichéd and terrible on accident but instead Cage decided to make it purposefully clichéd and terrible which, in turn, made it awesome.  Imagine if Adam Smith’s Batman sliced bad guys to ribbons and you pretty much have Big Daddy.  How could that be bad?

Answer: it couldn’t be.

Rumble Fish (1983)

Did you know that Nicolas Cage is related to the Coppola family?  As in Francis Ford Coppola (director/writer of Apocalypse Now, The Godfather series and… Jack), Sofia Coppola (director/writer of Lost in Translation), Roman Coppola (who writes all of Wes Anderson’s recent movies) and Jason Schwartzman (who is awesome).  Well he is and as a young aspiring actor his uncle Francis put him in Rumble Fish, a film adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s classic novel about greasers and angst (think The Outsiders but much more brutal).  The movie is a dark look at troubled youth filmed in beautiful black and white.  Also Tom Waits is in it.

Raising Arizona (1987)

This film might be the reason I even wrote this article.  This is one of the greatest movies ever.  I don’t have enough good things to say about this movie.  I can only organize my thoughts using bullet points:

  • It is directed by the Coen brothers (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, O Brother, Where Art Thou, No Country for Old Men, the list goes on).
  • There is an entire scene devoted to stealing diapers from a liquor store and the music in the background is a bluegrass yodeling ballad.
  • Nicolas Cage’s character’s name is “Hi” and he looks like this:
  • John Goodman yells a lot for no reason.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Bet you didn’t remember he was in this!  Well… neither did I until I went on imdb.com and read it.  Here’s a picture of him to prove it:

Not convinced that Cage is awesome?  Remember the wish list I wrote last week for The Expendables 3?  Well guess who is actually really rumored to be in this upcoming release?  Answer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2333784/

Any other Cage films that you demand be seen?  Want to tell me how stupid I am?  Like seeing your words on a website?  Comment!

Songs listened to while writing this: “Funky Cieli (Bridie’s Song) by Black 47, “Evening Kiss” by Willis Earl Beal, “Uprising” by Muse, “Alcohol” by Beck, “Sexx Laws” by Beck, “Rocky” by The Lonely Island, “Take it Easy” by Surfer Blood, “The Look” by Metronomy.

Sources: sofe.minine.co.uk, celebritywonder.ugo.com, wikipedia.com, boxofficeboredom.com, wordandfilm.com, screened.com, nogoodforme.com, sharetv.org,  totalfilm.com, cinekatz.com

The Expendables 3: A Wish List

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Yesterday I saw The Expendables 2 (with none other than my girlfriend and her mom) and found myself thoroughly entertained by the senseless violence, brain cell killing dialogue and, most of all, the awesome appearances of some of Hollywood’s worst/best action stars. There is a certain tingle of pleasure that can only be caused by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis shooting a mini-gun out of a smart car while Chuck Norris snipes Eastern Europeans from a balcony above them.  It’s a thing of beauty, really.  So then I got to thinking: who would I cast in the obviously-going-to-happen Expendables 3?  Well, here’s the wish list I came up with:

1.) Mel Gibson

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If you are scratching your head at this choice then you have seen too much Braveheart  and not enough Lethal Weapon, Mad Max or Conspiracy Theory.  Gibson has starred in some of he best/worst action movies ever and has solidly earned his place among the Expendable’s roster.  Just ignore the anti-Semitic rants and What Women Want and he should be fine.

Best scene: Oh, gee, I don’t know… What about the time where he bites off Patrick Stewart’s nose in Conspiracy Theory??  He seriously does this.  I couldn’t find a clip so watch this movie immediately.

2.) Jackie Chan or Tony Jaa

  

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I know what you’re thinking: do the Expendables really need another horribly stereotyped Asian karate master?  Don’t they already have Jet Li?  Well (spoiler alert) Jet Li must have a wildly successful career somewhere else in the world because he is in The Expendables 2 for probably two whole minutes (he still manages to kill about 400 people).  So if Jet Li is out we are obviously going to have to replace him with some other broken English-speaking little maniac.

Reasons it should be Chan: He’s old like the rest of the team, he might add a little comedy (because he is in such funny movies) and there was a once time where he would crawl through white hot coals just to impress the audience.  No, seriously, he does just that in The Legend of the Drunken Master.  Check out this clip if you don’t believe me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXA-4rN9-ds

Reasons it should be Jaa: he’s a little more brutal then Chan.  Also I’m pretty sure he absolutely abhors plot lines as much as the other Expendables do.

3.) Milla Jovovich 

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There is no other woman on this planet more bad ass than Milla Jovovich.  From the Resident Evil franchise to The Fifth Element she has been making her male co-stars look like sniveling little babies for years now.  Meanwhile, she looks like this:

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Any questions?

4.) Vin Diesel

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Let’s face it, Vin Diesel is pretty much our generation’s Sylvester Stallone; he can’t be in a movie unless it involves gratuitous explosions, countless deaths and things moving at fast and furious speeds.  Also he sounds like he is gargling marbles and silly putty every time he talks.  Can you imagine how hilarious a conversation between Stallone and Diesel would be in the next movie?

Stallone: “Eh!  Der ya derserble thur bem?”

Diesel: “burmlehurblestorfenezzer!”

And that, dear readers, is why we need him.

Disagree with my list?  Want to add a few names of your own?  Please comment!

Songs listened to while writing this:  “Bloom” by Radiohead, “Toxic” by Britney Spears, “#1 Crush” by Garbage, “Feel the Pain” by Dinosaur Jr., “Truck Drivin’ Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)” by Beck, “Apartment Story” by The National, “Attracted to Us” by The Lonely Island (feat. Beck), “Under Cover of Darkness” by The Strokes.