Archive for category Movie Reviews
Rumors are leaking all over the internet that World War Z, the highly anticipated post-apocalyptic zombie movie starring Brad Pitt and based off the novel of the same name by Max Brooks, will have nothing to do with the book’s storyline. In case you aren’t a zombie enthusiast, World War Z was an epic masterpiece of zombie literature, set years after a zombie apocalypse has ravaged the planet and humanity. It followed the travels of a U.N. worker who interviews various characters and records their harrowing accounts of the rise, spread, and defeat of a global zombie menace. When news of the movie broke out several years ago, zombie fanatics everywhere drooled at the thought of a hundred million dollar budget zombie flick based off this innovative novel.
But… Paramount Studios, the producers of the movie, just released a teaser, one-line synopsis of the movie, and it sounds nothing like the book.
“The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.”
What the fuck!!
This sounds like basically every zombie movie ever made. Instead of exploring the incredibly detailed and in-depth world created by Max Brooks, the producers have decided to just make another rehashed zombie movie. The most interesting parts of the novel were the individual accounts from everyday people and the metaphors strewn throughout referencing political, social, and even religious undertones. One of my favorite “journal entries” was an entry attributed to a South Korean observer, who described North Korea’s preparation for the zombie apocalypse and how their population was conditioned to survive it. Paramount has thrown this element out the door and has opted instead to make another, “action hero with guns shoots zombies, saves world,” movie. Lame.
I will undoubtedly still see the movie. But consider myself sorely disappointed. Paramount could have done something epic with this novel. It would have changed the zombie genre entirely, and breathed more life into it than George A. Romero ever could now (sorry Romero, but you suck now – Survival of the Dead was awful). Sadly, they weren’t up to the task.
What signals the beginning of summer better than the onslaught of sequels? Hangover II, the highly anticipated sequel to the wildly successful and hilarious original, is the latest rehash movie shoved down our throats. Americans have opened their mouths wide, latched onto Hangover II, and swallowed its load of bitter mediocrity. Already the #1 opening weekend box office comedy of all time, the public reaction from this movie really saddens me as a member of humanity. I overheard other movie patrons exiting this movie calling it “brilliant,” and “spectacular.” If Hangover II was brilliant, it was brilliant in its ability to dupe the public into buying tickets for a less funny rendition of the original. If it was spectacular, it was a spectacular failure of expectations.
Where to begin with this colossal train wreck?
Zach Galifianakis, creator of the moniker “wolf-pack” and lovable idiot from the first movie, is just flat-out annoying in this one. Surprise, surprise, he decides to drug everyone again on the eve of Ed Helms’ marriage, which leads to a boisterous, impromptu night in Bangkok. When Zach’s character isn’t dropping insanely racist comments (comparing a Buddhist monastery to a P.F. Chang’s), he’s generally a malevolent idiot we just want someone to slap around. There’s one instance where mobsters confront the wolf-pack on the streets of Thailand and demand their pet monkey back at gunpoint. I don’t care how stupid you are, if you’re going to put up an argument over a fucking monkey you found in the morning when a gun is pointed at you, it crosses the line from being funny to being straight-out infuriating. I found myself wishing that Zach’s character was just ass-stomped sometime in the movie. Sadly, this never happens.
Ken Jeong, or “Mr. Chow,” is the Asian gangster character from the first movie that has a greatly expanded role in the sequel. First off, that scene where he overdoses from cocaine and is disposed of in the icebox wasn’t funny. The entire theater was awkwardly silent during that entire scene. It was really morbid – I had to double-check my ticket stub to make sure I wasn’t watching Requiem for a Dream. Secondly, when later in the movie we find out that Mr. Chow is alive, we almost wish he was dead because of how annoying he is. When he isn’t reinforcing every negative Asian stereotype there is, he’s too busy imitating a black gangster and portraying every negative black stereotype. He’s slightly amusing, I suppose, if you get a chuckle out of overt racism.
Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper perform as expected…. Although there was another scene I found profoundly morbid, when Bradley Cooper’s character is shot in the shoulder and everyone is screaming in panic in an alley. I failed to see the humor in that situation, and most of the theater did too, as evinced by the crickets at the time. The plot formulation is almost an exact replica of the original. There is a lot of female nudity, so I can give it some bonus points for that, though.
The ending of the movie is flat-out awful. The wolf-pack manages to find Ed Helms’ lost brother-in-law, Teddy, but we find out that he’s lost a finger sometime during the night. Despite losing a finger, Teddy (Mason Lee) seems awfully pleased that he’s re-joined the guys and quite complacent with losing a digit. If I went out drinking with the guys and woke up minus a finger or toe that following morning, I would be freaking the fuck out and causing a scene. The fact that Teddy acts so cool about it pisses me off, and the fact that the overbearing dickhead father-in-law was totally accepting of his favorite son returning maimed infuriated me. Ed Helms’ speech at the end of the movie was asinine, and the fact that the father-in-law even accepted it as an excuse for their appearance is both nonsensical and fucking retarded.
Hangover II ends by making you think everyone had yet another crazy night, but came out ahead. When
1) One member of your party gets shot (Bradley Cooper).
2) One member of your party gets ass-fucked by a tranny (Ed Helms).
3) One member of your party loses his finger (Teddy).
4) One member of your party is a terminally retarded (Zach Galifianakis).
THAT IS NOT A GOOD FUCKING NIGHT. AT ALL. This should be a tragedy, not a comedy. If I were any one of these guys in the movie, I would be miserable and sever all relations with everyone else for the rest of my life. The day one of my friends allows me to get shot, lose a finger, or get ass-fucked by a tranny is the day I no longer want to associate with him.
Priest, the sci-fi action movie set in a post-apocalyptic, alternate universe in which humans and vampires have waged centuries of war against each other, is about a warrior priest (Paul Bettany) who defies the church and goes on a mission to find his abducted niece. Bettany plays a convincing role as an outcast, but there are serious plots holes in this movie. It feels like a rushed project that didn’t have the budget to cover the gaps in the storyline, as evinced by the animation-introduction of the preface and the short run time (87 minutes). Skip the next few paragraphs if you wish to avoid the spoilers. Otherwise, read on for the flaws of Priest.
The previously mentioned animation-introduction describes a reality in which humans and vampires have always existed and fought against each other. The Warrior Priests from which Paul Bettany’s character is drawn from, was the “Final Solution” the omnipotent Catholic Church developed to put down the vampire menace. These priests turned the tide of the war and allowed the humans to triumph, but were disbanded, forgotten, and disgraced afterwards. The remaining vampires were collected and put into concentration camps called “reservations” in the film. Glaring plot hole #1: why would you ever keep parasitic, highly dangerous, and incurable vampires alive? What purpose did these reservations serve? There is no possible benefit to keeping them alive, and only a multitude of downsides (such as the one which this movie builds its premise from – an escape by the vampires to form a menacing horde that threatens humanity once again). This isn’t a relocation of some displaced population. It’s akin to a termite infestation in a home. You don’t simply remove 90% of the termites and keep 10% of them in a controlled part of your home. Fucking retarded.
Furthermore, I have a hard time understanding how this is a post-apocalyptic world if vampires had always existed. Throughout the film, we see shots of bombed-out towns and the soil level supposedly contains radiation levels after nuclear fallout some time ago. If this war had been going on for centuries, how were these buildings ever built in the first place!? It makes no fucking sense. For there to be a POST-apocalyptic society requires a PRE-apocalyptic society, which this film makes no attempt to establish or explain. Fail.
Otherwise, the storyline was satisfactory in setting up a futuristic, but oddly Western-style alternate reality. The action was merely decent, but more of the martial arts-variety, with flying metal crosses/stars and kung-fu than futuristic weaponry. This was very disappointing, as one of the best parts about futuristic action movies is cool gadgetry/weaponry. The closest thing we saw was a motorcycle capable of going 200+ MPH. How… not exciting.
The villain, a former priest-turned-vampire, is a very one-dimensional character at best. There was little to no nudity, so that severely downgrades the film in my opinion (there is a little cleavage, however). There’s no lesbians at all, or even a hint of lesbian activity, so that’s another knock on the film. The female lead, a warrior priestess who aids Bettany, is completely unbelievable as a character (as all female leads who can kick other mens’ asses usually are). Additionally, I am getting sick and tired of these movies also coming out in 3D with little to no difference in viewing experience. It’s just an excuse for us to pay a few extra bucks for something that is no longer novel. I made sure to see this movie in 2D, and I highly recommend you do the same.
If you like character development, this movie is not for you. If you like serious, thoughtful dialogue, this movie is not for you. If you enjoy turning off your higher motor functions for an hour and a half, go buy a ticket for Priest. It’s not a total waste of your time. And it was much, much better than Legion.