Country Wrong

January 7, 2011 by

I would like to paint you a pretty picture about Country Strong being a movie with good writing, and good acting, and especially songs I like…but I just can’t.  I feel like I have a responsibility to you, the reader, as a reviewer.  Nay!  I’m more like the king’s god damned food taster and I’m constantly being thrown POISON!

Remember back when I reviewed Crazy Heart?  I do.  I didn’t appreciate seeing Jeff Bridges drunk and singing country and making out with Maggie Gyllenhaal.  Well, maybe I was heard…maybe I made a difference.  Tobey Macguire read my blog and said “I will write a movie just like Crazy Heart but will cast more attractive people!” 

Well, let me just say to you Spiderman…DON’T DO ME ANY MORE FAVORS!

Country Strong is about Beau (Garrett Tronlund).  He is a country singer by night, and a rehab murse by day.  Guess who is in rehab when the film opens?  Six time Grammy-winning country superstar Kelly Canter (Gweneth Paltrow) and she does what I imagine most celebrities do while they’re in rehab…sit in their underpants.  She’s teaching Beau a thing or two when her husband (Tim Mcgraw) barges in and announces that the comeback tour begins now!  Uh Oh!  She still has a month a rehab left…who cares?  Apparently, she does have a lot of problems left.  Mainly, she can’t sing unless her husband loves her and that doesn’t happen unless she’s onstage singing!  All the rest of time is spent worrying about how well her openers are doing.  As it turns out, people love opening acts Beau (previously mentioned) and Chiles Stanton (played by Leighton Meester).  She’s the next Carrie Underwood!  It’s all very country soap opera from there.  Everyone is pretty much sleeping with everyone else and the people they aren’t sleeping with are busy looking glum.  They sing a lot?

To its credit, the songs aren’t half bad…some of them.  I’m of the opinion that country songs have the best lyrics, but they’re also the easiest to mess up.  So it’s a constant battle of hearing bad renditions of country karaoke or hearing country at all.  I’m a fan of old country.  This movie drops a lot of well-known names like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard and Wayland Jennings (those are the only names, besides the aforementioned Ms. Underwood) but it doesn’t behave like homage.  More like the names were thrown in because they’re well-known. 

Gweneth Paltrow masters the far-away look and the pleather pant look here (in fact, the budget had FAR  too much money set aside for pleather clothing).  She and fellow co-star Garrett Hedlund both do nothing but look next to tears.  Speaking of Tron Jr, he is looking weird!  From his veiny neck to his patchy wolverine beard to his….oh god….MOLE!  Weird-shaped-birth-mark-right-there-on-your-neck MOLE!  Just try to not look at it the entire film!  The movie’s main downfall is that you don’t rally for any of the characters.  You couldn’t feel sorry for Kelly because none of the other characters stayed with her to help her.  I didn’t care about the union between Beau and Chiles because it was tainted with Beau’s fickle decisions.  No one was a good person.  It was over two hours of wishing that this movie had different people in it altogether and it didn’t matter how these people ended up.

In summation…the only good thing about Country Strong was the ending, but then it went way beyond that!  There was a good ending (the only one that made sense) and then the movie lasted another 15 minutes.

Country Strong gets a long, blabbery review and 4 out of 10 x o x o -Gossip Girls

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Witch in 60 Seasons

January 7, 2011 by

I’ve been seeing trailers and posters for Dominic Sena’s latest movie since 2009. Fortunately, the time has come where I can stop being bombarded by ads for it. Originally, Season of the Witch was going to be released in March 2010, but was pushed back to avoid having to battle with other films at the box office that were expected to do well. They decided to dump it into theatres almost a year later, when the competition is relatively nonthreatening. Good move on their part, because Season is not a film that anyone should be watching if there are any alternatives.

Nickelback Cage stars as a medieval knight, fighting in the Crusades alongside his BFF Ron Perlman. Together, they do their best 300 impression, fighting in huge battles, complete with slow-motion close ups of them slashing and stabbing enemy soldiers.  Eventually, they realize that the Church is ordering women and children to be killed in towns they have been fighting through. Nic Cage decides to tell his commander he’s not down with that. When the killing continues, Nic and Ron walk out of the army, smugly asking “Who’s gonna stop us?” (Seriously, no one even tries to stop them, despite the next half-hour of the film emphasizing how they’re now fugitives who, if caught, will be hanged and/or burned.)

They walk around the countryside until they come across a town ravaged by disease. Someone notices that they are deserters and they get thrown in jail. Apparently, this small town has heard stories of these specific two guys getting all the high scores on the battlefield and offers them a bargain. They’ve captured a girl who they claim is the witch that brought the plague upon the world. If they take this witch and throw her into the fires of Mt Doom, the plague will be undone and the two deserters will have their freedom. They round up an expendable posse of boring dudes and set out on their quest.

At this point, Sena decides to throw in a bunch of scary things, like a bridge, zombie monks, wolves with faces that morph into…wrinkley wolf faces… and fog. (OH NOOOO) Meanwhile, the witch is trying to mess with Cage’s mind, resulting in him delivering his badly written lines in an even more monotone voice than before.

Nothing in this movie really makes any sense. My biggest gripe is that apparently this group of guys is immune to the bubonic plague. All of them are in constant contact with infected people and corpses but they couldn’t care less. They travel for a good week or so, and no one gets even so much as a runny nose.

Oh and there’s a twist at the end. It’s not a good twist. But it’s there. Ron Perlman gets hugged to death and some other stuff happens and then it’s over.

If you crave bad acting, lackluster scripts, and crappy CGI, this is the film for you. Also, if your local projectionist sucks, you might get to see some boom mics or timecode they missed in editing.

Season of the Witch gets 4/10 flasks of holy water.

Never FIGHTER Down

December 17, 2010 by

MY TRIUMPHANT RETURN!  I and return bearing gifts…of reviews!

Annnnnnnnnnd GO:

Movies LOVE telling “true” stories.  Unfortunately for those movies, my phone has a Wikipedia app and I already know how it ends before the first 20 minutes.  I know I probably shouldn’t ruin it for myself, but I do what I want, when I want, and how I want and no mummy is gonna tell ME WHAT TO DO!

So, suppose you were in Lowell, Massachusetts in the 80’s and you’re name is Micky Ward.  Now stop supposing because that’s weird and you look like a loon.  However, there was a Micky Ward in Lowell, which I know from a Death Cab for Cutie song absolutely nothing about (because that song makes no sense).  Back to Micky Ward (played by Mark Wahlberg who was born in Boston or something, and has the same initials….oooeeeeeooooo) who works on a road crew and trains to box with his older brother who apparently fought Sugar Ray Leonard and…lost…BUT HE KNOCKED HIM DOWN!  When the film opens, there is a camera crew following around Dickey Eklund, former mention older brother (Christian Bale), and they are filming his boxing comeback.  Everybody goes along with this which I can’t figure out because the Bale doesn’t box anymore.  He stopped because he’s addicted to that sweet cocaine, and he just keeps talking and talking and talking about fighting Sugar Ray.  While Eklund passes out in a crack house and forgets to train his brother, Ward’s mom is busy managing her son’s career as a boxer and being an attention whore.  She’s like the octo-mom of the 60’s because she has a literal posse of daughters who I’m sure were just as much of a waste of space in real life as they were onscreen.  All these supposed children she has are all like the same ages too.  It really hits home the message I learned in the movie Idiocracy.  Anyway, Micky Ward sucks at boxing until his brother gets arrested and he starts dating bar wench Cheyanne (Amy Adams).  Then, he wins a bunch and maybe punches dudes.  I’m not joking when I say maybe…sometimes he just doesn’t and stands there and gets punched instead!  Reminiscent of Homer Simpson when he had his bout in the wild world of boxing…

That’s the rundown.  I bet this movie had a ridiculously low makeup budget.  Not because anyone is that attractive, but because it isn’t a far stretch to make regular Christian Bale into crack addict Christian Bale.  Also, Amy Adams has sufficiently red rimmed eyes the ENTIRE time so it looks like she just got done with a sob-fest right when the camera started to roll.  I guess all these people weren’t well-to-do either so no big bucks were spent on wardrobe.  This is actually a plus, because I am sick of seeing people in movies in outfits that are worth thousands.  That money could be going to me…for my alcohol budget! 

I have no problems with the acting, eerily enough.  The directing was alright, though it may be that the director was the one depressing Amy Adams and then yelling “Action” right when she stopped crying.  Actually, Mark Wahlberg is a favorite of mine, though I’m really only waiting when I can see another Huckabees-like performance (best ever).   Though, I hate that Christian Bale.  I like movies he’s in (Machinist, 310 to Yuma, American Psycho), but never him in them.  Even Cate Blanchett was a better Bob Dylan in I’m Not There.  The main problem I had with The Fighter was that it starts out all Friday Night Lights.  He just kept losing and sucking!  I just had to hunker down and wait until he won so it could turn into Remember the Titans.  I’m sorry for that analogy to anyone who knows things about sports though I admit no wrong and stand by what I wrote.

I gave this movie 7 out of 10 “IT’S FUCKING DISTRACTING!!!”S

Apocalypse Low

August 16, 2010 by

Last night I went out of my way and drove 30 miles to Harkins Camelview.  I gave $9.50 of my hard earned dollars to a dumb bitchety lady.  I sat down in a theatre with OTHER PEOPLE!

It was worth it.

Set in the 1930’s, Get Low is a movie about an old man who (Robert Duvall) shuts himself off from the world.  He lives outside of town in the woods and, being that he has a legendary reputation for violence, is the prime target for kids to dare each other to throw rocks at his windows just to see if they can make it out alive.  Though, when Duvall hears about a friend’s death he starts to think about how much time he might have left.  He ends up at a funeral home, run by the one and only Bill Murray, where he requests to have a funeral before his actual death…so he can go.  Bill, awesome as ever, agrees because he’s broke and Mr. Duvall has a “greasy ball of money”.   Turns out, Duvall has been carrying some baggage.  There’s a reason why he’s a self-made hermit.  Though you spend just about the whole movie trying to figure that out, and when you do…it’s not all that satisfying.  When he actually gets to the part where he tells the story, he makes it look sort of easy…easier than I thought it would be to spend an entire movie avoiding the subject.  But in the end, THAT DOESN’T EVEN MATTER!  Sissy Spacek is there too. 

This movie was tailor made to showcase Robert Duvall as a complete and undeniable Badass.  Well, we all knew that to be a scientific fact.  That doesn’t make this movie any less awesome.  Duvall also produced, like he even needs to.  I guess when you get that good at life; you can just do extra things like that.  Though, when you’re a celebrity, I’m not convinced producing a movie is any work…it’s more like, having more assistants you can tell what to do.

Now that we’ve established that the mere fact of Robert Duvall’s presence makes anything awesome, we can get to how this movie would have been good anyway.  The writing is brilliant.  It’s so clean and direct.  It’s not often (understatement) that a movie feels like it’s a final draft.  To top it off, it’s hilarious and human and it’s everything I ask from a script.   

The best line: 
Duvall: “It’s about time for me to get low…”
Priest: “….what?”
Duvall: “GET DOWN TO BUSINESS!”

I gave Get Low 8 out of 10 napalm victories in the morning.

Scott Pilgrim VS. YOUR FACE!

August 13, 2010 by

My love affair with Scott Pilgrim began 4 years ago…when I started my job at the comic book shop. I always stopped by on Wednesdays and spent a meager amount, but when you work for a comic shop, you can read comics FOR FREE! You also get a discount. So, as I was hired on for my knowledge concerning Vertigo and DC comics, I also was introduced to indie comics on a more in-depth level.

Scott Pilgrim is the king of indie comics. You must have seen or heard of Watchmen last year? Did you also hear about how it’s the greatest graphic novel of all time and it changed the scope of comics? I’m not saying that’s my opinion (that’s a whole other discussion), but I guarantee if you bring up Watchmen in a comic shop…someone will say something to that effect. Anyway, Scott Pilgrim is the Watchmen of indie comics. Everyone loves it and it’s the first thing that gets recommended.

I was surprised to see that so many people who were excited about the movie had never heard of the comic. Not actually important.

Scott Pilgrim is about a charming (well…in theory) but irresponsible twenty-something. He’s kind of a jerk, kind of in a band, and is kind of dating a high schooler. That is, until he meets Ramona Flowers…in his dreams. Literally. Then, as it were, he finds out she’s real and they start dating. You’ve seen the hype. She’s got seven evil exes that Scott will need to defeat if he plans on continuing to date her.

This movie stays true to the source material more than anything, though the plot has its differences. The first 3 volumes (there are 6) of the comic were fantastic, then they went downhill. Still good, but really mopey and read more like drafts than finished work. Watching the beginning half of the movie is just like reading the book, and then gets rushed towards the last half hour. If you’re going to fight seven evil exes…shouldn’t the last 3 be more difficult than the first? Even though, I’m set to say that the movie ending was better than the book. In the end, all that mattered to me was that all the cool stuff was left in: Nega Scott and the Vegan Police…among others.

And as far as I concerned…Michael Cera can be a real person. He’s earned it, but he can very easily lose that status and go back to being a blob of baby fat. Uninteresting baby fat with a monotone voice.

I gave Scott Pilgrim 9 out of 10 Moldy Peaches songs.

Eat, Pray, DIE!

August 13, 2010 by

I haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love. But I was more excited to see that then sit through 90 minutes of explosions alone. I am, believe it or not, a girl. Plus, I don’t need to steal a movie dripping with machismo from the 80% of male staff (and Pearl) that work for me just to stick them with the new Julia Roberts film. As I like explosions just as much as the next gal, I also have an aversion to movies that attract bros…pass.

So…as I will be describing said Julia Roberts film entitled “Eat, Pray, Love” in this next paragraph, please feel free to let your mind wander. Or just fall asleep. I don’t care.

Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is a working writer living in New York with her husband. She’s all mope-face and freaks out for absolutely no reason. Then she gets a divorce. Then she freaks out some more. Then, she meets a way younger actor (James Franco) and they start dating, but it doesn’t really work out because she’s crazy. So, she decides to take a year off and go to Italy, India, and Bali. This is because she’s always been in a relationship and also because of the crazy. It sounds fun, right? Well, it would if you weren’t crazy. She kind of gets to act normal in Italy. Everyone there is either old or eccentric and she kind of fits in. Oh, but then she ruins all that by visiting India and living in some guru’s ashram. She goes apeshit nuts there because she got the idea from the boyfriend she left to go on this stupid trip. She just keeps looking at stuff and squinting her eyes (that means she’s sad). At least she meets Richard Jenkins! Find a way to make that go by faster so that the part where she gets to Bali comes up! Nothing any more special other than you’re that much closer to the end of this movie! She goes to apprentice-ish with a medicine man there and in her free time enjoys Bali. That means, getting it on with Javier Bardem. Then bada-bing-bada-boom you’re done watching the almost 3-hour-long Eat, Pray, Love!

I’ve got nothing really against Julia Roberts. I don’t necessarily think she’s a terrible actress. She’s not one of my favorites, but she’s not on my hate-list (which grows every week). I just feel that if I were to make a Pac-Man movie…she would have to play Mrs. Pac-Man. Seriously, I feel like her mouth is so big her whole head might fall backwards if she were to yell! I, also, have to admit that I watched the trailer…but apparently not very well because I thought Jeffery Dean Morgan was going to be in this movie-film. Yeah, that’s Javier Bardem instead. Not that it’s a bad surprise…I think he’s a good actor, but that’s the love interest!?!?! I STILL think he’s gonna shoot a hole through my head if I step out of line!

Fun Fact: Brad Pitt executive produced! How about that….

I gave Eat, Pray, Love 5 out of 10 Erin Brockovich’s motocycle-loving beaus.

Steppin On Up to the East Side!

August 7, 2010 by

Oh, what can I even say about the third installment of the Step Up…franchise?  I’ll tell you what…HILARIOUS!

They can’t possibly make these movies any funnier.  I say, if you want the laugh riot of the year…go see Step Up 3-D. 

This particular Step Up is about a kid named Moose who has just graduated from high school and is starting at NYU as an engineering major.  Poor Moose has given up dancing because it isn’t what will get him a job and it isn’t practical.  Not 5 minutes after telling his parents that he promises to give up dancing, does he follow some shoes (no joke) to a sort of “battle” going on and gets willingly pushed into it?!  Then some pretty boy tells him he was born to dance and enlists him to dance with his “crew”.  They have to win the next big dance competition or else pretty boy’s ex-dance buddy will buy his warehouse from the bank.  Oh right, and the writers have learned how to put a twist into the plot!  Hilarious!

I’ll make this a short review because, let’s face it…you don’t care, and I don’t either.  I have three things to say about Step Up 3-D.  One:  There are a whole bunch of people I recognize from So You Think You Can Dance.  Two: Why the hell did they even make this movie in 3 dimensions?  The 3-D sucked so bad that the Jackass movie looks better!  Three:  This movie has lost all credibility with me.  I’ll admit I’ve seen all three and the others at least had some semblance of dance in them.  This one seemed like fake hip hop.  It was a whole lot of seizures that were somehow mistook for dancing.  That is all.

I give Step Up 3-D 5 out of 10 Channing Tatums for being hilarious…

PS I totally forgot.  At one point, the girl character said that she was close with her older brother, and I was on pins and needles waiting for it to be Channing…but it wasn’t.

Step Others

August 7, 2010 by

The Rock + Sam Jackson + Marky Mark + Will Ferrell

This movie was bound for greatness!  Add in Adam McKay (a la Anchorman and Step Brothers) to write and direct and you should have something unbeatable!

Well, the movie isn’t “unbeatable” per se.  Though it is funny, I never got passed more than a chuckle.

The Other Guys is not a movie about your typical protagonists; it’s about the other guys!  The movie does start out focusing on the heroes.  Enter Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson.  They play the badass cops, but that proves to be short-lived as they are way dumber than I prepared myself for.  So, it’s up to Mark Wahlberg to convince Will Ferrell that they should be the next hero cops.  So goes the next 10 or so minutes of the movie. 

Once Marky gets Ferrell out of his desk and onto the field…that’s when the movie really starts to take a turn towards real movie.  It all has to do with accounting fraud and a sort of Ponzi scheme.  Needless to say, I was impressed with the plot.  I was also impressed with Will Ferrell.  Apparently, if you put some glasses on him he becomes a whole new guy.  I almost never got the feeling that he was just being silly for silly’s sake (I call that the Jack Black Syndrome).  Though, he did do a pimp bit that fell flat more than making me laugh.  To say that I was unimpressed with Michael Keaton would be an understatement.  Now, this is sort of excommunicating me from a certain someone’s movie-respect…but I don’t care.  I say, “Way to glide by in your career doing nothing but make movies that instill me with rage, Mr. Keaton”.  What has he done in the past 10 years?  White Noise, Herbie Fully Loaded, First Daughter, and Post Grad.  All movies I despise.  Now, he just sort of seems to do what he’s told and be unremarkable at it.  The same goes for Mark Wahlberg who came alive in I Heart Huckabees but hasn’t had that sort of performance since.  I want to see that Mark Wahlberg again.    

What I like about Adam McKay is that he seems to have a different sort of humor that still is well received.  There is a really funny whispering scene in the Other Guys that I hope doesn’t get lost in audience laughter.  I can imagine if I had seen this movie with an audience that I probably would have been the target of a whole mess of “shhh”s.    

Not being totally displeased with Other Guys, and actually pretty happy with it…I gave it 8 out of 10 Meatloaves.

LOLCats & Dogs: Revenge of Shitty Galore

July 30, 2010 by

I don’t actually believe anyone I know would want to see Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, but gosh darn if I’m the only around here with enough guts to do what’s right…and tell the world what a garbage movie it was.

Not that the world doesn’t know that already.

I remember watching the first Cats & Dogs in the theatre. I was in a mall in Colorado (where my family often vactioned to see the grandparents). I was the oldest, and a movie watched with your family can only be as good as the youngest sibling’s maturity level. Needless to say, all I remember was that it ended in a warehouse.

This is, indeed, a sequel. This time, Kitty Galore intends to build a satellite that broadcasts the “call of the wild” to all the dogs in the world making them all insane. Consequently, the secret agent dogs go to work stopping her. Cats have to throw their hat in the race too because…they love humans? Then, there’s a pidgeon…I’m not really sure what all happened cause I like to play a little game called Angry Birds on my phone. I do know that they have to catch a pidgeon…and then they do…

There was some cool stuff. The opening was Bond-esque and Dame Shirley Bassey sang the song. Though, the song she sang was a cover of Pink’s “Get This Party Started” so that was for the losing. I guess there were a lot of cool people doing the voices. People like Nick Nolte and Neil Patrick Harris and James Marsden. Though, the one person they decided to put in the live-action part of the movie was Chris O’Donnell….obviously because the producers/casters hate you.

I am also of the strong opinion that CG’ing animals to talk makes them 1000 times less cute. It actually makes me want to punch someone. I don’t know exactly what it is about making the mouths move that irritates me so, but I know it sucks and that’s all I need. In the end, I didn’t care what happened in this movie and I’m sure you don’t. If you did I would think you would have stopped reading this blog long ago…because you suck.

By the way, this isn’t a blog for people who suck!

I gave Cats and Dogs 2 out of 10 Suit Ups!

Breakfast of Champions

July 30, 2010 by

I was pretty excited to see Dinner For Schmuks. Not only has the world found room in its heart for Zack Galifianakis, but I am always excited to see Jermaine Clement in movie-films. It all started with a movie called Eagle VS Shark, followed by Flight of the Conchords, and then finishing with Gentlemen Broncos…until now.

Dinner for Schmuks is a tale of Tim Conrad, (Paul Rudd) who finds an unlikely friend when he meets Barry (Steve Carrell). Tim is trying to get a promotion so that he can…I don’t know…have a promotion. His life is pretty good but he wants to make it just that much better, though it comes at a price (Lord, am I cheesy). The people he would get promoted with are morally unsound and competitive. Hence, the Dinner for Winners held every month to award the most hilarious idiot and somehow relate all of it to job performance. The rest of the movie is a whirlwind of insanity. Barry seems desperate to please Tim, though he has absolutely no regard for personal belongings or…anything really.

I liked this movie. It’s not the next big belly laughs movie, but I found myself chuckling more than once. I loved every moment Jermaine Clement was on the screen. I also enjoyed the tiny part Ron Livingston showed up for. He plays the one-upper who gets competitive when Paul Rudd starts stealing his thunder.

If you saw the full length trailer, then you saw Barry’s “mousterpieces”. He’s a taxidermist who turns dead mice into…art? Well, they really milk all the humor out of that senario. By the end of the movie, I sort of wished that I never would have to see a mouse again. Also, there were moments when you just felt TOO bad for Tim. I hate when movies don’t know when to bring the mood up again. Of course, conflict has to exist and a character’s life is going to suck for a while, but that doesn’t mean I have to feel like shit for watching a downer of a movie.

Short reviews this week…cause lack of time and excess of movies.

I gave Dinner for Schmuks 7 out of 10 basses to slap, mon.