Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Idiocracy


I watched this movie as recommended by a friend. The best way to describe this movie is to say, it was created by Mike Judge. For those of you who don’t know Mike Judge, you do. He created King of the Hill, Beavis and Butthead, the new movie Extract or one of the most famous, Office Space. I like Mike Judge. He creates things using the “What if” premise and then follows through with it, whether it is a pleasant or not. He doesn’t seem to do things just because they would be funny. He does things because he believes that’s what the character would actually do. I find most of his work frustrating to watch because of that reason, but ultimately more genius than annoying. For example I imagine his premise for Beavis and Butthead was something like: “What if there were two teenagers that were so incredibly stupid, that really believed that everything on MTV was as cool as MTV said it was.“ Like it or not, that was Beavis and Butthead. “What if someone who hated his job just stopped going to work, but didn’t quit.” BAM – Office Space. That brings us to Idiocracy.

The whole premise of the movie is explained in the 2.5 min intro. It is really funny, but there is some swearing, so be advised. I can't fault him all the swearing, because he's being as true to these characters ass possible. If you don’t want to watch the intro, basically smart people don’t have kids and dumb people do. Through natural selection humanity gets stupider and stupider. In a gimmicky way, Luke Wilson, whose name is Joe, gets frozen in a capsule and wakes up 500 years later to a point where humanity is basically mentally retarded. Everything is sponsored by Carls Jr. and a wannabe Gatorade. He was chosen because he was the most average guy in the army, but now he is the smartest man in the world.

The movie isn’t all that funny, it’s kind of dumb. Every time someone does something I think, “That’s stupid,” but that’s the point. He makes a dumb movie about dumb people. You can’t fault him for that really. He is just as true to his vision of how that world would be. I’d give it a C, but that’s the thing, in a month or two it’ll be a B. That’s how Mike Judge gets you. It’s kinda funny then, but it’s really funny later. I think Jared Hess is just another flavor of Mike Judge.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are


Where the Wild Things Are is a book written by Maurice Sendak. Everyone who went to grade school throughout the 70’s on has read this book. It is a beloved classic by many. The pictures are unique and it only has 338 words. It's incredibly short, yet has sold over 19 million copies to date worldwide since it was published in 1963. My theory as to why is that this book was written as an outlet for kids who want to act out. I remember reading it and thinking 'Yeah, I need a wolf suit." I may not have told my mom "I will eat you up!" but I definitely yelled at her and made her upset on several occasions as a kid.

The movie takes on this serious tone. Not an adult tone, but a serious one as far as kids go. I think it was fantastic child psychology. I, the heartless wonder who feel no pain, almost teared up twice during the film: right at the beginning, and right before the end. I can't speak for girls, and not really for all boys either, but this movie could have been about me and all the emotions I felt growing up. Max is a kid who is living in a hard situation. He has an older barely teenage sister who hangs out with her friends and ignores him because she's "outgrown" him. His mom loves him and he loves her, but she is a single mom. It’s the most unfair situation known to mankind (as far as a ten-year-old boy is concerned.) So Max decides to defy the situation, things get out of control, and he runs away. He finds himself in the land of the Wild Things.

He thinks he can take care of the situation himself by just wanting everything to be better. It doesn’t really work that way, because life’s problems occur everywhere, especially where there is bunch of monsters that have the emotional capacity of a 10-year old. There’s the frustrated one, the removed one, the bully, the nice guy, the logical one and so on. Each monster demonstrates a different coping method that kids use in dealing with difficult situations. They all want to be happy, but they just aren’t and can’t figure out why.

The style of the movie is one that many people will like, but more people will probably dislike. Spike Jonez opted to use muppets to bring to life the monsters, and even if you hate hated everything the movie represented, those monsters are fantastic representations of the drawings. I give it an A. Not because it’s the best movie I’ve ever seen, it is hardly that, but I think that they accomplished exactly what they were aiming for. It’s a great movie for when you miss your mom, or are so frustrated you want to scream. It’ll take you from that point to realizing that throwing dirt clods at people is fun, but ultimately unfulfilling. Even though life is unfair, someone still loves us and keeps our food warm.

Just a note:

If you are unsure if you'll like this movie, watch the featurette that I posted the link to where I wrote the title. There are trailers and a featurette featuring Spike Jonez and Maurice Sendak that explains the movie a bit from their point of view. I thought that it explained the tone of the movie very well as most people I've talked to expected a funny and goofy kids story.It's far from that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Free Willy


Hold me, like the River Jordan...when i think of Willy, I think of Michael Jackson. This is one of the best movie about a punk foster kid, with fantastic foster parents, who becomes best friends with a killer whale. The movie starts with some light begging then immediately escalates to cake stealing. Then without any provocation these kids cover Willy's aquarium with spray paint and cuss words like "piss."

It's a family movie from the early 90's. That's the review. I did enjoy the talking like the Native American guy Randalph every time he came on screen, but that was it really. I mean i could tell you more about it, but if you haven't seen it you won't care, and if you have seen it you won't care. I'm going to try and include a clip from the Simpson's soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I know what you watched this summer


I watched a ton of stuff this summer. Some Good, One Great, a few passable, too many were bad.

I'm going to start with my absolute favorite from this year's line up of new releases to date. Zombieland.

I know Zombies are a little trendy right now, but I have a theory that it is really just a splash over to all monsters brought on by the recent popularity of vampires due to the release of Interview with the Vampire. you thought I was going to say twilight didn't you? Let's face it all monsters are trendy and have been for a long time, but the recent catapult that put the blood-sucking, sparkle-clad albinos in the light was because a girl wrote the story. I mean can you imagine if someone the likes of Stephanie Meyer got a hold of the Terminator. Robots and androids everywhere would be making out with werewolves. .... sorry, that was unplanned soo..err where was I? ... Zombieland was great.

Is it the best movie ever? No. Is it the funniest movie ever? No. What it is is (the is squared is a joke) a great movie that wants to make show you Zombies in a way that doesn't make you feel creepy. It's got some good suspense and the ending was atypical for zombie flicks. There is a cameo from a great comedian, and I loved it. I don't want to ruin it, but it is a party flick. Watch it with a bunch of people or in the theater. It is worth every swear. A-

I plan on writing a bit more soon. 18 is a lot of credits to weigh on one's brain.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Half-Blood Prince


WARNING: This is a rant about the crappiness of this movie and includes spoilers. If you read this and have not seen the movie be grateful you won't waste your time on that rubbish. if you have read the book, please tell me if I am way off base.

This picture is far cooler than the movie. The sixth movie installment of the Harry Potter series.....If you have read any of my blog post you'll know how I generally feel about books to movies. I more or less hate them. I don't think it is because the movie itself is always bad, it is more of the fact that who ever writes and directs these films has either never read the book before reading the script or has a schizophrenic understanding of key plot points and characters. I even went back and watch movie # 5 which I didn't remember particularly liking and forced myself to look past the book and watch it for what it was. A story told through a movie, and I enjoyed it. I went to this movie with the same attitude. (How else could I justify spending $20 and braving opening weekend crowds when there is nothing else at the theater worth watching?) I hated it.

I can't understand why he would include so many wasted minutes with Ron and Lavender (a totally fruitless plot point) and never introduce Tom Riddle's family. I went to this movie to see three things. The pensieve memories about Tom's family, The horcrux in the cave, and the final battle/showdown between the DA vs the Death Eaters and Harry vs Snape. I was utterly disappointed on the 2 out of three of those things. If you have read the book and liked this movie, I would seriously like to ask why? I tried whole heartedly to understand the 'creative decisions' that were made, but I just don't get it. why would you make the emphasis of the movie about teenage hormones. There is way too much info to get out on the screen to waste 1/2 of it on comic relief...correction poor comic relief. The Quidditch match was longer than all of the memories combined. I just don't get it.

If you are someone who has never read the book and watched the movie, please tell me one thing this movie had that was worth watching. I know it is a story for adolescents, but I wanted to see the story, not watch a bunch of awkward teens make out and cry. If you I wanted to watch that i'd turn on Nickolodeon or the Disney channel or some other tripe that isn't fit for human consumption. I'm so frustrated. I wanted to like it. I really tried, but it just didn't make sense. C-, barely, barely doesn't fail miserably.

P.S. The title line was delievered like "BTW, I'm the Half-Blood prince." It's was an after thought. The director must have been thinking "Oh crap! We've got to include that part about that prince, since it is after all the title of the film....hmmm...throw it at the end." So stupid. UGGGH!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Transformer's 2: Revenge of the Fallen


These robots are amazing. They can transform into every single thing....except a good movie. (Thanks John.) Ok but really the movie is just an exxagerated version of the first one. I acutally liked the story line and the plot (it is a movie about alien robots from space after all.) I hated every single second the robots weren't in the movie, or when there was a human in a scene with a robot. Shia and John Turturo just can't pull it off as well as Michael Bay thinks they can. It is filled with vulgar testicle joking, innappropriate sexual innuendo, and swearing in an unuseful way.

Most people who thought I was crazy about not liking the first movie have come back from this movie almost offended by all that. I seriously had the exact same problem with the last movie, but becasue it was new, I guess no one else saw those problems. So to all those who liked the last Transformers and hate the new one, I told you so. Michael Bay stinks. To those who like both, congratulations on being able to look past flaws the size of the Grand Canyon. You will likely have a long and happy marriage if you can apply that into your dating life. If you tolerated both, but hated some major problems with the movies, then you are me. Good job, Joe. I'll be honest the special effect and fighting are improved, but still slightly claustrophobic at times, making it difficult to see what is happening. I give it a solid B-. (It would be a B if it weren't PG-13. Too much in there isn't good for grade school and middle school kids.)