Friday, June 26, 2009

Transformers 2: Sucks Ass

Hey Michael Bay you suck ass. That is the first thing you must think before stepping into the theater to see Transformers 2. If you thought the first Transformers movie was bad you will be longing for it after sitting through this “disaster movie”. I don’t know how you can make explosions and giant robot fights boring, but Michael Bay did it. To make things worse, Bay has introduced a pair of stereotypical African Americans as new transformers.
It is Bay’s version of Gar Gar Binks, the pair called the twins when in non car mode, have oversized ears, gold teeth, and both have one eye bigger than another. Not to mention the way that these transformers speak, they make you miss the craptastic Jazz of the first fill. The characterization is highly offensive, if they were actors playing those parts the same way they would be booed on the streets. Over all the action of this fill becomes tiresome by the end, the few highlights of Transformers 2 come in the beginning of the film with the battle in China. It looked great and feels like the reason you go and see Bay films, big explosions, circling camera shots and a lot of noise. Should you see it? For all of its faults it is still the only thing in the theaters this weekend worth the paying the admission for. You can literally see the dollar signs in each CGI scene. So, turn your brain off and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

2009 Movie Drought

There is a freaking movie drought this summer. Slowly but surely, movies have declined in quality, especially this year. Nobody seems to notice, but it happened. Summer 2009 has the least amount of blockbuster, quality, or even cult movies. There are always movies to look out for that are hyped in the summer. There is a lot of anticipation for these movies because the summer has always been reserved for the best movies. The best ones of the year are supposed to be here, but there haven’t been any real summer blockbusters or critically acclaimed movies. The only acceptation is the new Star Trek, which is the highest rated and highest grossing film of the year. The great movies of the summer were supposed to be Wolverine Origins, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, G.I Joe, and Transformers 2 (and I’m not counting comedies or family movies because their are not worth the movie theatre experience). That’s the entire list of anticipated movies, sure to be seen, sure to be good. But by June all but Transformers & G.I. Joe has been released and most of these movies have been somewhat disappointments. There it is: one good movie out of the very few movies this summer. If these are the best there is to offer, it’s going to be a bad year.

Ten Films You Should Of Heard Ablout

The Beast
A war movie about a Russian Tank crew in Afghanistan filmed with a very American cast. Set during the Russian Afghanistan conflict of the 70’s and 80’s we get to see a very poignant depiction of a war that is long over, yet bears a strong resemblance to one raging on right now, some of the players have changes but the war seems all to familiar. Filmed in the late 80’s The Beast is one of those hidden gems that has been passed over by most film buffs, mostly because no one has heard of it. The reasons surrounding this films poor reception are complicated to say the least but all that one really needs to know is that this movie will make you think about the current war in Afghanistan in a different light. The lack of any current films to be set in the war torn country, should be reason enough for you to give The Beast a shot. As for an idea of what you should expect to see in this movie let me sum it up briefly without spoiling anything. A Russian Tank crew is chased through the Afghani desert by local combatants; the crew begins to implode sparking a mutiny. This mutiny leads to a definite conflict between the remaining members of the tank crew, allegiances change and an exiting story of revenge is born.

Near Dark
It’s a Cowboy Vampire Movie... what’s not to like. An original take on a very old story, this vampire movie is filled great moments. Its cast if filled with familiar faces like Bill Paxton and other actors well known as supporting cast in James Cameron films. So much so, you could almost swear that Near Dark was ghost directed by the movie giant. This movie is just on of those great little movies that have been overlooked for to long. The main character is a young man who works on his family’s farm he is bitten by a beautiful vampire she looks like a transient or a crack addict. Before the young man knows it has been adopted by a family of sorts. A band of vampires clad in cowboy attire. It sounds terrible, but for the vampire movie lover it is truly a great movie, just for the reason that the vampires practically are never in the dark throughout the whole movie. As the title suggests the movies action takes place around the rising and setting of the sun. With special effects look dangerous for all involved because any time sunlight comes in contact with one of the vampires it looks as though the person has been hit by a laser beam and bursts into flames. As for the dialogue it is laughable and that is what makes it so endearing. Near Dark never made it in the box office but it is great and has aged well for a vampire and western movie.

The Magicians
A surprisingly funny and entertaining movie surrounding two magicians that used to work together in a live show until an accident pretty well ends their careers. During a part of the act a stage assistant and wife of one of the magicians is decapitated… by accident. Though, this is not what the people in the magic community think, because of certain extenuating circumstances, being it looks as though a husband simply murdered his cheating wife. With dry wit filing every line of dialogue accompanied by a simple straight forward story of underdog magicians attempting to rise to the top of an industry. This movie is excellent and unknown.

A Scanner Darkly
This is a concept movie to be sure, and as such it has a unique feel. The actors, digitally altered so as to make them look more the part, it creates a psychotropic view works with the movie’s content as it is a film about getting high. Reeves plays an undercover nark cop trying to bring down criminals attempting to sell a fictional drug by the name of Death, I guess the writers were trying to make a subtle point. Point taken. Reeves being undercover, he must take this drug which allows the format to really do its job; the animations allow one to see through the eyes of a Death induced freak-out. For originality this movie gets an A plus, there has never been a movie like it before or since. Most likely because no one liked or saw this one. Don’t let that deter you though, if you are in the mood for something very different and visually entertaining this movie will do that for you with ease. All that you have to do is get over the initial shock of the imagery or be high yourself and it is great. Robert Downy Jr. also has a great part in this film.

Tenacious D And the Pick of Destiny
This probably the most underrated movie of 2007. It made little money in the box office, and that’s just wrong, since it is something that should at least merit cult status. It chronicles Jack Black and his band mate K. G. as they attempt to raise their band Tenacious D to greatness by finding a magical guitar pick forged from the horn of Satan, the pick of destiny. The sound of that plot alone is enough to interest you. It’s not just a movie; it’s a rock opera featuring the music of the band.
Never really making it in the theaters this movie is this generations Spinal Tap. As a rock musical this movie gives you all that you could ever want from its star Jack Black. He Sings, Dances and delivers some comedic moments that need to be seen, his imaginary performance of Master Exploder is worth watching over and over as the music and the act is beyond funny. If you have ever wanted to be a famous musician and feel the gazing of an amphitheater filled with people worshiping your every sung note or guitar rip, then that scene will be a encapsulations of that feeling. The story itself is not very important, it’s the integration of the music with the movie that makes this one of the best Jack Black films of all time and one of the best musicals made in the last decade. If you want to have a good time and laugh your ass off watch this movie with your friends then sing Master Exploder on Rock Band, Repeat as necessary.

6. The Hitcher
a. Ah, what can I say about The Hitcher. It is the story of a college couple who are terrorized by hitcher they pick up on a road trip. When I first watched it, I wasn’t expecting anything but another horror/thriller that they dish out every day. I was pleasantly surprised by how great it turned out to be. That’s not to say that this movie is inspired, has great performances or an immersive plot, exactly the opposite. This movie is pure eye candy, popcorn entertainment, and completely unrealistic. This movie knows what it is, just like the others should but don’t, and it’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. Instead of stretching out the movie like most others of its genre, it has a run length of about 70min that allows for all of the fun without the lag. This is the type of horror/thriller that all others should be.

Bill Paxton as a seemingly insane serial killer who enlists his two young sons in his rampage. This has to be the most surprisingly entertaining film since Donnie Darko, and I mention Donnie Darko to emphasize the type of movie it is, unique. There has never been a movie like it, and it’s surreal to watch…in a good way. What’s great is the scenario in the movie; what if your father suddenly goes insane and tells you he has visions of God and must kill demons disguised as humans? The result is entertainment. The movie does more with the plot than you would expect. Bill Paxton plays his part perfectly as the insane dad as he spends the movie talking about kidnapping people and killing them to his children as if it’s not crazy, and Matthew McConaughey does pretty good job as his grown son.

Rise of the Foot Solder
Now this a little British film with pretty much unrecognizable actors, but it’s big on violence. It’s the story of the rise of one of the most feared members of the football terraces, from a football fan who beats up rival fans to the leader of a criminal gang set in the 80s and 90s. This movie is obscenely violent, so much so that you are in awe of it. The actors have such thick cockney accents that you cannot make out most of what they say…which becomes pretty funny. The main character and his life are the most interesting parts of the movie since his whole life is about beating people up, using steroid and of course football.

King of California

This is very fun movie that stars Michael Douglas as a father who recently leaves a mental institution to return to his life with a teenaged daughter and begins a search for buried treasure which he believes is under a local Costco. Michael Douglas is very funny as a somewhat crazy and eccentric father with a conquistador goatee. It is one of the few movies about daughters and fathers, that is not sappy and boring. The daughter, who had adjusted to life without her crazy father, must deal with his search for treasure that she is sure is a crazy notion. The whole idea that treasure is buried under Costco is interesting, their scheme to get it that allows them to bond, and the rest is funny and endearing.

10. Lesbian Vampire Killers

A guy gets dumped by his girlfriend, so he and his friend decide to go hiking in a secluded town where they happen to run into lesbian vampires. This movie is very reminiscent of Shawn of the Dead, another British comedy that parodies horror. It even has similar characters, a skinny guy and his over weight jerk of a friend (Mclarin and Fletch). Now this movie is very silly, but in the same way that Made Shawn of Dead great. You have two British guys dealing with vampires trying to kill them. The things that make it funny are the ways they kill vampires, which is gruesome and funny at the same time, and the Fletch character, who is a pretty horrible person is always saying something incredibly funny. There is also a surprise to the funniness that seems unique to this film. Something always slips into the seen to make you, a subtle phrase by the character or a quick camera shot. If you are looking for a funny horror satire, and are need of another fix of Shawn of the Dead type humor, this movie is definitely worth a look.