2012 Capsule Reviews!

May 30, 2012

Okay, so it’s been a little while since I checked in. Sorry about that. I’ve been on a vacation between assignments, and, well, lazy. I’ve found it’s actually much easier to just sleep in, eat frozen custard, and hang out with awesome chicks than it is to review lousy movies. Weird, since you’d think that would be sort of intuitive, but then no one accused me of being the sharpest knife in the dishwasher. Anyway, it’s as good a time as any for a recap of the stuff I watched on the flight home (and then some). So what do we have up first?

Shame: Okay, so this movie won a butt-load of awards, but I gotta admit I just don’t get it. Basically, Michael Fassbender plays a sex-addict in Manhattan. What does that mean? He gets a lot of action, but he feels really, really bad about it. One might even say he’s aSHAMEd of his behavior. Which is strange, since the chicks he nails are all pretty hot, so I don’t see what the problem is. Anyway, his life gets thrown into turmoil when his messed-up sister, played by Carey Mulligan comes to live with him. This puts a crimp in his lifestyle, as it makes it difficult for him to bone everything in sight or slap the ham to a webcam of another hot chick…his usual evening activities. Also, she’s kinda screwed up, too, but we’re not really sure how. So, this is a bad movie to watch on a plane. Seriously. That should be the big takeaway from this post. Not only does Fassbender bang everything in sight—and we’re treated to extended sex scenes that will invariably be playing when then flight attendants sneak up to ask you if you want more coffee—but there’s a healthy amount of full-frontal in this flick, for really no other reason than to show that Fassbender’s swinging some pipe. You’d think Fassbender wang would be fairly inoffensive—he was in X-Men: First Class after all—but, no, people really don’t want to see Magneto’s schlong. Go figure. So, don’t watch this on your iPad when you’re on a plane. Or at all. It’s directed by Steve McQueen (not the cool one), an Irish filmmaker, and it’s run through with enough Catholic guilt to choke one of Fassbender’s sexual conquests (quite a thing—refer back to the pipe he’s swinging). The movie makes clear that he and his sister are damaged people, and that damage has resulted in a pattern of SHAMEful behavior, but what that damage is is never explained. Basically all you’re left with is a portrait of dysfunction that is devoid of context, which…isn’t all that interesting. But if you want to see Fassbender and/or Carey Mulligan naked, have a go. Don’t watch it on a plane.

Area 407: Holy shit, this movie is incompetent. It looks like it was shot in somebody’s back yard, using a couple of refrigerator boxes as sets and starring the director’s drunk uncle. Another “found footage” movie (Jesus…) this one follows the obnoxious survivors of a plane crash as they are hunted through the night by (wait for it) dinosaurs. Bwahahahahahahahaha! Okay, that’s out of my system now.  Yeah, some totally annoying teenage girls are filming their flight from NYC to LA, and…wait, they’re filming onboard an airplane? I can barely watch my iPad without getting hogtied by Air Marshals—okay, I was watching Shame but still—and these girls are just filming away? All right, whatever. Anyway, plane goes down and the survivors of the crash must deal with rampaging (sigh) dinosaurs that hunt them throughout the night. Filming mostly at night was a pretty good idea, since the (sigh) dinosaurs, when revealed, are so effing fake they’d make Roger Corman laugh until he hyperventilates. The only redeeming quality about this movie comes at the end (which I am going to SPOIL BECAUSE THIS MOVIE SUX AND YOU SHOULD NOT SEE IT!) when the two girls are seemingly rescued by a Good Samaritan, who then promptly shoots both of them in the head. Isn’t that awesome? Man, I can think of so many other movies I wish would end this way.

The Avengers: Yeah, I saw this, like everyone else on the planet. There’s not a lot I can say about that hasn’t already been said in a avalanche of media coverage, except, uh, yay for Joss Whedon! I mean it. I think the dude is awesome, and with this movie he now has enough money to hire a cadre of people to stand in the driveway of whatever Fox executives pulled the plug on Firefly and moon them 24/7. As a matter of fact, I hope he’s doing that right now. Because, goddamn did he knock that one out of the park. My only complaint continues to be Black Widow, since Scarlett Johansson is a charisma-suck even when she’s mouthing Whedon’s Buffy-lite dialogue. And what was the deal with her mini-Glocks? Really? That’s her weapon of choice? Don’t even want to break out the full-size model for the alien invasion, there? Okay…

Men in Black III: I saw this a couple of days ago and…um…it was funny. Kind of a fun, summer movie. Fairly inoffensive. Will Smith shucks off most of the egotism that’s characterized his projects for the past five years or so and turns in a genuinely charming performance. Of course it’s Josh Brolin and his dead-accurate portrayal of a young Tommy Lee Jones that steals the show. As for the plot, well…ah…the Men in Black go through time, and…um…they have to put a thing on another thing, before the Daleks kill Idi Amin—no wait, that last bit doesn’t sound right…okay, I don’t remember much about this movie, but it was fun and no longer occupies space in my brain, so that’s no such a bad thing. You could do worse.

All right, that’s what I got so far. More to come. I promise.

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