Archive for the ‘Movies D-I’ Category

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Only two super powers could make something this gloriously stupid: “The Great Wall”

February 21, 2017

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Not since a giant robot used an oil tanker as a baseball bat to club a sea monster into submission in Pacific Rim has a movie embraced its own glorious dumbness with as much aplomb as The Great Wall. This is, after all, a joint venture between two titanic entertainment industries, whose viewership numbers the billions (with a B). And the movie they chose to collaborate on is this…in which the Great Wall of China is the last defense against hoards of rampaging alien dragons. Really, I don’t know why people are so exorcised about an ascendant China—they seem to know what they’re doing as far as movies go. Because if you’re not enjoying alien dragons battling ancient Chinese soldiers on the Great Wall of China, well…I don’t know, are you sure you’re alive?
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Invade me twice, shame on me: “Independence Day: Resurgence”

June 25, 2016

 

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1996’s Independence Day was a perfect summer movie. It had a big budget, eye-popping special effects, arresting visuals, and some charismatic actors. Also, it was dumber than a retarded opossum, which, really, is about the IQ you want attached to your summer movies. We don’t go to them to think—that shit’s for winter movies, yo. Now, some 20 years later we have the long-awaited sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. Is it as dumb as the original? A thousand times yes! Is it as good as the original? Alas, no (whomp whomp). Is it as fun as the original? Well, it gets close. Allow me to explain…
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RIP Anton Yelchin: “Fright Night”

June 20, 2016

You know Hollywood is deep in the Dead Horse Seas of creative bankruptcy when they remake a movie like 1985’s Fright Night. I mean, it’s not like the movie was any kind of a high water mark of ‘80s cinema. But it has a vampire in it, which you know tripped some producer’s cultural IFF, and, apparently while they were at it, someone said, “Hey why don’t we shoot this thing in 3D so we can squeeze a couple extra bucks out of the Twilight fans and goth kids who see this movie.” And yet, despite the eminently cynical calculations that borne it, the remake of Fright Night manages to be just as charming and understated as the original.
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Criminally Overlooked: “He Never Died”

January 30, 2016

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When you come across a movie with a title like He Never Died, which stars Henry Rollins, and features a poster with Rollins bellowing like a Trump supporter at a feminist poetry-slam, well, you gotta start sharpening the knives. I mean…you read that last sentence, right? Okay, so I don’t have to explain the tremendous potential for mockery. Except, holy shit, He Never Died—clunky title aside—is actually a really good little movie. And what makes it so enjoyable is a perfectly modulated action-comic performance by Rollins, who shows off some fairly sophisticated acting chops. Throw in some moody direction by first time-ish director Jason Krawczyk, and you got precisely the kind of under-the-radar gem that gives B-movies a good name.
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Feeling the January-movie blues: “The Forest”

January 9, 2016

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Well, it’s January. Know how I can tell (aside from, you know, being cognizant of the date)? It’s because the new releases in the cinema is stuff like The Forest. Yeah, January is when Hollywood basically says to us, “What? You don’t want to rewatch all the great movies we released for the last two months? You can see The Force Awakens for a fifth time, right? No? Well, fuck it. We shot our load, so here’s a ghost movie with a Game of Thrones actor.” And that’s how movies like The Forest get a theatrical release.
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She blows! “In the Heart of the Sea”

December 5, 2015

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Ron Howard’s new film In the Heart of the Sea is based on the non-fiction account of an actual incident that helped inform Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Now, as I’ve said before, I—like most human beings—have never read Moby Dick (is it even in print anymore?), but I have seen a lot of the movies that stole its’ themes, so I know the basic story: William Shatner kills the White Whale’s wife, so the White Whale spends the rest of the book trying to get his revenge before he’s killed by the Borg. And that’s pretty much what happens in this movie. With some starvation and cannibalism thrown in for good measure.
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From the Mists of Time: “Fire Birds”

September 14, 2015

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Believe it or not, there was a time when we, the movie going public, did not yet realize that Nicolas Cage was nuts. Nope, it’s true. Hindsight being 20/20, the signs were there—I give you Zandalee—but 25 years ago, most of us were perfectly willing to accept Nic Cage as a hotshot gunship pilot. Well, movie studios were willing to believe that we were willing to accept Nicolas Cage as a hotshot gunship pilot. Look, it was a different time. The Internet hadn’t been invented yet–we had to take our entertainment where it came. 
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