Archive for the ‘Movies T-V’ Category

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The (cough) conclusion of the trilogy: “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

July 1, 2014

[And that brings us to the first not-terrible installment in the franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.]

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I’m trying to think of some pithy intro here, but, hey, it’s the new Transformers movie. I mean, if you get trampled by an elephant and end up with a compound fracture of the femur, the doc who looks after you doesn’t drop a witty bon mot before he yanks on your foot until the bone slides back in through the flesh and then resets it, does he? I don’t really know. That’s never happened to me, but I bet he doesn’t. No, he just does it. If he’s smart he gives you a slug of whiskey first. The point I’m trying to make is,, we both know this is going to hurt. Might as well get on with it. So: Transformers: Dark of Moon. The good news is that it’s probably the best of the three movies. The bad news is, that’s a little like saying last night’s prison rape was the politest gang-sodomy you’ve ever had. The praise is indeed faint.

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Another look back: “Transformers: Rise of the Fallen”

July 1, 2014

[And here we look back at the low point in this franchise–and that’s saying something–with the execrable Transformers: Rise of the Fallen.]

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If you’ve read my review of the first Transformers movie, then you know that I didn’t love it. I thought it was loud, stupid, obnoxious, and not all that exciting. It was as if Michael Bay thought if he bludgeoned us with enough activity onscreen, he could convince us we were seeing a fun summer movie. A lot of people thought I was being too hard on what was meant to be a silly summer action movie about giant robots fighting. Kassandra the Work Wife brought up this point on several occasions, “Big robots whaling on each other. What more do you want? I don’t want to think too hard about a movie, Mr. I’m-All-Cool-Because-I-Use-My-Higher-Brain-Functions. Just eat your damn popcorn and enjoy Optimus Prime stomping Deceptacon ass, Mr. Thinkee.” The problem I have with this argument is that the classic summer movie’s that we’ve come to love were well-made­ pieces of disposable entertainment. We still recall and love them precisely because they were so well-made. Transformers was not. Quick, tell me your favorite line or scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator 2, Escape from New York, or Die Hard. Okay, now tell me your favorite line or scene from Transformers (and none of that “One will rise; one will fall” bullshit. That was on the poster). Right, I didn’t think so. Well, the bad news is that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is everything the original was and much, much  more. If the first one was a cinematic pummeling, this one is the Bataan Death March.

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A look back: “Transformers”

July 1, 2014

[Since the latest in the Transformers, ah, trilogy? Series? Purgatory? Whatever. The latest Transformers movie just came out, so I figured I’d repost my original reviews…]

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“Before time began there was The Cube…”

Uh-oh.

Yet this opening voiceover was but the latest evidence that Transformers the movie and anything associated with it is simply bad, wrong, and possibly evil. Others include the Transformers logo bumper stickers that grown men have begun affixing to their cars, the chat room arguments that the robots in the movie lack the depth of personality present in the cartoon series of the mid-‘80s, and the fact that GM—a once-mighty American corporation—is using this movie to hawk their cars the way McDonalds uses Shrek to sell green milkshakes.

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Guilty Pleasures: “Terminal Velocity”

February 13, 2014

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Friends, Romans, Cinephiles, lend me your ears (figuratively, of course; this is a blog). I watched Terminal Velocity with naught but the intention to roundly eviscerate it and score some cheap laughs at Charlie Sheen’s expense. This is, after all, an all-but-forgotten 1994 thriller that was all-but-forgotten by…well, a month later in 1994. It would be easy to say that this movie went splat like one of the hapless skydivers that the plot centers around, but that would imply the movie had some weight. In fact, this movie more blew away in the wind like one of those skydivers—if they were full of helium (shit, that started so good). Alas, gentle reader, I come here today not to bury Terminal Velocity, but to praise it, for this movie is utterly brainless, totally improbable, and a lot of fun.
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Lust in the jungle: “Tarzan the Ape Man”

February 11, 2014

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Lord, I miss the movies of the ‘80s. And when I say that, I mean the pre-blockbuster days of the early-‘80s. When the decade still had a contact high from the ‘70s—still batshit crazy, but less violent and despondent.  That moment when we, as a society, went from “We’re in the midst of a bad recession and gas shortage, so let’s smoke some pot and have an orgy,” to “Yay! Reagan said that it’s morning in America! Let’s all do coke and have an orgy!” Because, gentle reader only that era of innocence could bring us a big-budget Tarzan movie that basically serves as nudity-delivery vehicle for Bo Derek. And with that, let us dive into 1981’s Tarzan the Ape Man.
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If I had a hammer… “Thor: The Dark World”

November 11, 2013

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Oh swell, there’s a new Thor movie. I have to ask, did we need this? I mean, the first Thor was basically just a means to set him up for The Avengers. It was so when he appeared in that movie audiences wouldn’t wonder if they were suddenly watching a gay orgy. The story was pretty uninvolving with almost no stakes, per se, except for a tiny New Mexico town, or if you happened to care about Thor’s home town of pipe-organland. Alas, Marvell isn’t done taking our money and has to set up a separate film franchise, so we get Thor: Dark World.

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I’m choking on the whimsy: “Violet & Daisy”

October 6, 2013

Violet & Daisy

And sometimes you get a movie that’s like shooting fish in a barrel. In the case of Geoffrey Fletcher’s Violet & Daisy, those are some big fish in a small barrel. They might be mentally-retarded fish. Possibly even dead. Because with this film, Fletcher took all the cache he acquired from his Best Screenplay Oscar (for Precious) and spent it on a movie in which pretty much every decision in every part of the creative process was a terrible one. Violet & Daisy is one of those movies that desperately wants to be cute and quirky, but instead just makes you think that many of the characters—and possibly the filmmaker—need a serious round of antipsychotic meds.
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