I know my blog has been suffering a dry spell as of late, so I thought I’d tide this period over with stuff from before that I’d written and shared with my friends. I will mention when I’m putting up an old post, so it wont be like cheating. It sure feels like it though. LOL. This was a mass movie review I did, including movies I thought were bad, average, and awesome. Enjoy!
Movies that you absolutely must not watch.
I’m including a list of movies that I regretted wasting my time on. Why? So that I can tell you how bad they were, and if that’s not enough to keep you from watching them, I’ll spoil the endings for you so you ABSOLUTELY don’t watch them. I want to squish any remaining curiosity, even, that you might have. Think of it as a favor.
1. Alpha and Omega.
Kiddie movie through and through. I was bored to death. Usually I enjoy kiddie movies, when they’re peppered with meta references to real life or pop culture that only the adults watching it understand (read: Shrek, Ice Age) but this movie had NOTHING going on. Nothing. Nada.
And may I say, where have the good ol’ days gone? When the animal kingdom was a real kingdom, with honor and nobility (read: The Lion King) Here, we see it reduced to a high school setting. How poetic. Not. I really hate movies that revolve around high school relationships; they are half brained, cheesy, and lack feeling. It’s like a rule.
This movie attempted to address the issue of responsibity (which I, personally, have issues with) but they do it such a haphazard way that I end up resenting the film for even addressing the issue in the first place. I found myself gagging whenever I heard the word ‘duty’.
All in all, nothing worked for this movie, not the characters (stereotypical and flat…and annoying, with the uni-eyebrow-ed French goose and Mommy Wolf who looked like John Travolta) not the moral (distasteful and unrealistically concluded), not the humor(howling dates? Puh-leeze. Don’t get me started on how un-funny I found the jokes) and not even the so-called action scenes. Movie that suck at least have the graphics and action going for it. Here, I was bored to death throughout all the on-the-run scenes.
2. The Kids Are All Right.
Right-o. I need to nip this one in the bud. DON’T WATCH THIS MOVIE. It’s family drama meets blue movie. Lesbian couple have two practically perfect kids from single sperm donor. (seemed creepy at first but then I thought it was a smart idea. So as to eradicate all possibly-incesty thoughts. Smart.) Children meet sperm donor daddy and want to get to know him better. Moms find out which leads to Meeting the Sperm Donor. (or Meeting the Parents for him) they get on OK. Blonde Mommy doesn’t like him so much. Red-head mommy is fine with him. She ends up working at his place, landscaping his garden, etc. They sleep together. Daddy likes the idea of having a family so much that he starts to think that he loves her. She just does it because she’s been having a hard time with Blonde Mommy, who we shall call Hard-ass Mommy from now on. So Hard-ass Mommy tries harder to befriend Daddy for the sake of everyone else. During a family dinner at his place, she discovers Red-head Mommy’s hair in drain, leading to Confrontation later that night, leading to Tears and Drama. Kids overhear. Red-head mommy and Daddy become universally hated. Red-head mommy sticks it out and apologizes. The Lesbian couple work it out and they deposit Eldest Daughter at college campus. (to somehow rhetorically show that they’re all right and moving on, I guess) PHEW. What a boring, stupid, stupid film. Now you have no reason to watch this movie. *pats self on back* oh, but the Indian guy was cute, yunno, in the 3 minutes or so of airtime he got.
Dick flick. Nuff said. Watch this movie if you’re high out of your mind. Or if you just like crappy action movies that have the AUDACITY to pretend that they’re more than that. If you’re going to be a crappy movie, just say so. Don’t go around pretending that you’re the touching tale of some poor soul who’s been Significantly Wronged out to get revenge, whom we’re supposed to feel any semblance of an emotional connection with. The problem with this film was (mostly) the characters. The Rock plays the scary brawny guy out to mete out justice to those who killed his brother. The Hot British Dude is just another assassin with a big house, hot girl, and slick ride. What I found ridiculous to the point of laughter was how she’s absolutely fine with him going around killing people, but when they get married (complete with a scene of them at a shooting range in the middle of the desert, WITH HER IN HER WEDDING GOWN…???)suddenly she has a problem with his choice of occupation. She’s all like, ‘Don’t go. You’re married now’ uh,…woman, I think YOU need to be the one with a shrink on speed-dial, not him.
The story was sinfully predictable. I found myself not caring whether he accomplished his mission or died in the process. I found myself rolling my eyes at the gradual thawing of his heart and especially at the crazy ending.
I don’t have a problem with action thrillers. It’s just that they chronically bore me most of the time. Rarely have I seen an action flick that was emotionally satisfying/made me laugh/not regret watching it.
4. The Invention of Lying:
World without lying. Apparently, humans haven’t evolved that particular faculty yet. The first 15 minutes firmly establish this fact. Oh, little fat man, how I feel for you. No such thing as lying to save face, no such thing as letting someone down easy, and most importantly, NO SUCH THING AS FICTION. Lecture films??? I’D RATHER DIE.
One day Mark, our hero, accidentally, and under great strain, discovers that he can lie. He’s fat, unattractive and at the bottom of the social food chain. I liked it up to the point where he uses his ‘skill’ to basically show us what human nature’s like. He first lies for money, then sex, then when he comes back to earth, he discovers lying to make others feel better and to give them hope. That was really sweet. He invents fiction, albeit in a way to make everyone believe that it’s real. I actually liked that too. Literally telling everyone a crazy alien/ninja story which actually happened but ‘the aliens pressed a button so that everyone would forget’, and having them believe it. That was funny. When he told his dying mother about heaven, I thought, ‘hmm, interesting. Are they really gonna take it there?’ THEY TOTALLY took it there, but by that time it got kinda much. There’s a limit, u know? It felt like a mishmash of every possible plot turn. Making him invent religion? Turning him into Jesus? Complete with pizza box tablets?
This movie is a classic case of over-kill. It would have been nice if they stuck to one solid idea, instead of going crazy with the creativity. By the end of the film, I was sick of it. I was sick of the people who seemed handicapped by their own stupidity. I was sick of the lead, and DEFINITELY sick of Jennifer Garner (his love interest). I gnashed my teeth every time she turned him down, truthfully saying to his face that she doesn’t want ‘fat kids with snub noses’. AAARGH, how could he, as a higher evolved species, STAND the rest of them? How could he want to mate with one of the stupid sheep? Gaaah, he gets the girl. End of story. Happily ever after. *huge sigh of relief it’s over*
Despite not being a Western fan, I actually liked a lot about this film. It’s the tale of an ex-pet chameleon, who finds himself in the middle of the desert and will supposedly go on to undertake a great quest, become a hero, and in the process, DIE. *cue ominous music from the omnipresent Mexican string quartet* Gripping stuff.
He needs water and is directed to a town called Dirt. *(in Mexican accent) To find water you must first find Dirt.* Loved the play on words, all throughout the film. He gets there and realizes he can be anyone he wants to be. He names himself Rango and pretends to be the roughest toughest gunslinger in the west. King of exaggeration, this guy. Everyone worships him. The town faces a terrible water-crisis and Rango, after accidentally killing the evil hawk, becomes the sheriff. The mayor is somehow tied up in the water-shortage, and seems corrupt. The remaining water in the bank goes missing and Rango vows to bring it back, going on a mission with a bunch of assorted amphibia/mammalia/reptiles. Oh, and a lady iguana named Beans. (no duh, she’s the love interest)
This movie is Western meets Ridiculously Outrageous. Its both that I had a problem with. Not being a fan of the Olde West, and not being a fan of all things random, I felt that the story lagged through a great part of the film. It just didn’t move fast enough at times and at others it shot forward, leaving us wondering where on earth they’re taking this. (I still don’t get the walking cacti. Weren’t they walking even after he was lucid?) This film is an experiment in exaggeration at all levels. From the plot itself to the characters’ appearances to the way they talked to all the major events in the film, everything. It got too overbearing and I found myself losing interest. But it redeemed itself in the end, with real conflict surrounding Rango lying about his identity and with his rhetoric crossing the road to fulfill his own prophecy. I don’t want to ruin it for you so I’ll stop here.
One last thing. I LOVED the vivid quality of the animation. Each year they make better and better animations, but this was just stunning. The scorching heat, merciless sunlight, the desert at night *swoon* It was art. Is it weird that my favorite part of the film had nothing to do with the story? The part when Rango gets kicked out of Dirt and makes his way back to where he got dumped out of his owner’s car, when he makes his way across the dream-like night desert, with the wind gently making ripples on the sand dunes. When he crosses the highway, with the surreal flashes of light surrounding him. Does that make me weird?
1. The Man From Nowhere (‘Ahjusshi’ in Korean):
Saved this for last. LOVED LOVED LOVED IT. I am filled with glowing praise for this film. How can an action thriller be so emotionally satisfying? How? Not just emotionally satisfying, but gut-wrenching on a cellular level? This movie is a MUST WATCH for EVERYONE reading this.
Ahjusshi is a general term used by people in Korea to call men who are out of their 20’s. It’s like the Pakistani/Indian way of calling all middle-aged men who are not relatives ‘Uncle’. Anyway, an ajhusshi runs a pawn shop in a seedy neighborhood of Seoul. Seems like he could possibly be hot but you can’t tell because of his overgrown hair and shabby appearance. He’s a loner, and talks to nobody. A cute little girl from the neighborhood, Somee, befriends him. She chatters away at him, even when he doesn’t respond. Her mother is a bar dancer/certified screw-up who gets involved in a drug bust gone awry and runs off with the cocaine. Needless to say, the bad guys are after her, but not just in the way you might think. That’s what I loved about the film. The plot isn’t singular in any way. There are multiple levels of deception involved and different levels of ‘bad guy’ too. At one point you’re looking at it from Tae-shik’s (our lead’s) point of view, then you’re observing the ramifications of his actions through the police’s view who are just trying to figure out what exactly happened and who the hell Tae-shik is. Turns out Tae-shik has a black-ops background but quit years ago and became a recluse for a particular reason(which you shall watch yourself and find out) Somee gets kidnapped along with her mom and Tae-shik ends up going after her and in the process coming alive (OH YEAH) and kicking ass. And being awesome, that too.
This film hits all the right spots. A great watch if you, like me, are finding the scripted-ness of western films unemotional and tedious. Compare this to the movie ‘Taken’ from a few years ago. Almost the same basic mission, but there is a WORLD of difference between these two films. I hated Taken. It was a torture to sit through. I watched till the very end, hoping there would be a catch and the film would retrieve itself from the hole of predictability it had dug itself into, but I was wrong even there. Horrible one-liners, perfectly predictable story, absolutely NO surprises. I was simply confused as to why everyone else seemed to love it so much.
On the other hand, here, the story flowed smoothly and the characters were enthralling; the bad guys were realistically frightening, the police did their job but didn’t hinder Tae-shik’s mission (which I would have found annoying), Tae-shik’s past and the reason he became how he was wasn’t just some half-assed explanation, it actually made me cry. SEE, this is how movies ARE SUPPOSED TO BE. You can’t just give a gun in a dude’s hand and expect us to root for him. Here, every moment of the way you will be leaning forward in your seats with anticipation. The action sequences managed to keep even me on the edge of my seat, which is a feat in and of itself. The lead’s acting is SO GOOD, you will cry multiple times throughout this movie. The direction was just icing on the cake. Flawless, flawless editing. The entire 119 minutes will just zip by and you will thank me for telling you about this gem of a movie.
Note: you can find the torrent for this film here: (http://isohunt.com/torrent_details/261695089/the+man+from+nowhere?tab=summary)