Sunday, 26 April 2009


Generally, this is exactly the type of film that I want to see when I am home sick or I can't sleep for some reason. Dumb, silly action flick that allows me to check my intelligence at the door.

But this one was soooo over-the-top that it came round again and wound up on the bottom. Huh? Yeah, I don't know what that means either.

A fraternity of assassins formed by a group of weavers over a thousand years ago receive orders from a mysterious loom and follow out those orders with semi-magical abilities that include super-strength, super-speed and the ability to curve bullets from a gun around corners.

OK. It's a comic-book. A bad comic-book, but basically it's a comic-book. I get it. Highly stylized, deep in it's own mythology and ridiculous as all hell. It's escapist fantasy on par with The Matrix or Harry Potter or any other film where the main protagonist escapes his mundane, boring existence to live the exciting life of a super-hero.


I mean it was seriously boring. They couldn't jam enough ridiculous action into this one to hold my attention. I stopped watching it halfway thru to take a nap and when I woke up to watch the rest of it, I had kinda forgotten what had happened previously in the film. The cold medicine I am taking might have had something to do with that. I dunno.

All I can say is that I Wanted to like this film. I Wanted it to be as funny and as good as Nightwatch or Daywatch (same director). I Wanted to like James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie in their respective roles. I Wanted something to take my mind off my freakin' cold.

After it was over, all I really Wanted was an hour and forty minutes back.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Poolhall Junkies

One of my strange movie fetishes (non-masturbatory) is with The Con. Anything to do with con-men. Loved The Sting, and Diggstown is a movie that I can watch over and over again. Just great.

So I bumped Poolhall Junkies into the top spot of my Netflix queue the other day and I watched it last night. I don't have a lot of tremendously negative things to say about it. It was extremely derivative of The Hustler and The Color of Money, but it would have to be given the subject matter. Of course. But it was even more derivative of Rounders, if you ask me.

Had all the same plot elements. The lawyer girlfriend who doesn't want him hustling and leaves him over it. The protagonist helping out one of his friends in trouble with a bad guy. The showdown at the end with his nemesis complete with smarmy "gotcha" dialogue. Now, I loved Rounders. Loved it. But if I wanted to see it again I would just see it again. Capisci?

So this one doesn't get a recommendation. I kinda liked it, but I can tell you that it wasn't good. It was what it was. The only reason I'm mentioning it here is because of one scene that cracked me up.

The main character had hair that can only be described as Christopher Walken hair. You've seen Christopher Walken, right? Well he had hair like that. Here is a picture of the great Walken:

That's the hair the main guy had. Anyway, I must not have been paying attention to the credits because Christopher Walken was actually in this movie. Seriously. And the first time he meets the guy, they have the following conversation:

Walken - "You know, I saw you when you first walked in. Nice hair!"
Other dude - "Thanks" (they both stroke their manes)
Walken - "Maybe we're related or something."

That right there? That alone made this film worth watching for me. My advice for you? Skip it. I already told you the best reason to watch it. Just go re-watch Rounders, okay?

Friday, 17 April 2009

You Don't Mess With the Zohan

You know, I should have known better.

Every single commercial I saw for this film last year made me chuckle a little bit. I think I knew deep down inside that it was gonna suck big time, but I still wanted to see it. Adam Sandler as an Israeli super-here smacking around rude New Yorkers with his feet? Even thinking about it makes me smile.

What I should have remembered is that Adam Sandler hasn't been funny since, well...wait a minute. Has Adam Sandler ever been funny? I really can't recall. Remote Control on MTV was a little funny. Does that count?

Whenever an American comedian dons an silly accent for a role as a quirky foreigner, the film rapidly descends into a one-trick pony joke. See Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson or Eddie Murphy in Coming to America. Except those were, ya know, good. Imagine those two films and then imagine never laughing again. Ever. THAT is what this film is like.

Even John Turtorro can't save it. And John Turturro can save your soul. If only you would let him.

Don't mess with the Zohan. Don't even consider it.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

I have to be honest here.

I had a lot of opportunities NOT to watch this film over the weekend. I could have watched something on my DVR recorded list. I could have watched something on my Netflix queue on our Roku player. I could have watched late night television infomercials. I could have read a book or a magazine. I could have surfed the Internets. I could have played with the cats. I could have played with Gia. I could have cut my toenails. I could have banged my head against the wall in a repeated manner until any thought of watching this film escaped my consciousness.

But I did none of those things. And I did it all for you, my dear readers and only friends.

Where to begin? How about with the obvious elephant in the room, Keanu Reeves. I have to admit that the idea of Keanu (Hawaiian for "He Who Cannot Emote") playing an emotionless alien life form is semi-amusing. Kind of like asking William Shatner to play a narcissist or Lindsay Lohan to play a slutty train wreck. Just so obvious that you would think a casting director wouldn't even consider it. But, according to IMDB, Keanu was the director's first and only choice to play Klaatu. And he didn't disappoint. Well, I mean of course he disappointed. The whole film did. But if want a guy to look like Keanu Reeves and sound like Keanu Reeves, then Keanu Reeves is definitely your go-to guy.

Jennifer Connelly continued to underwhelm as a microbiologist with a son (I think, I really don't care) played by Will Smiff's kid, Jaden. That kid annoyed the crap out of me in this film. I think I might actually hate him. Does that make me a bad person? Oh, and Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm and John Cleese rounded out the cast that was clearly sleepwalking through the production of this film in anticipation of a fat paycheck at the end of the shoot. Job well done!

If you hate spoilers then go away quickly, because I am going to spoil the mother-fucker out of this bad boy right now.

The human race survives.

I know. I was disappointed as well.

Ah...nevermind. You have all have some form of rudimentary intellect. You can figure out all on your own why you shouldn't watch this film. But I admit that I did love how this film ended. Well, not HOW it ended. Just that it actually ended. You know. The credits rolled and I was suddenly aware that the film was over.

That was awesome.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Contributors wanted - read on...

This isn't for the 'grenade, folks - it's for a UK-based web site reviewing movies. So if you think you've got the chops to push the envelope to the redline maxx, as Jerry Bruckheimer would have the rest of the world believe the US talks, drop Tim an email. His details, and the site's details, are below. He's a great guy, I used to work with him and this is something he's starting up all on his lonesome, after the DVD magazine we used to work on folded recently.
With a bit of luck and hard work from Tim, US contributors might get in to screenings etc which would be very useful for a UK-based web site, as the UK gets films kind of late sometimes... But Tim has a great reputation with UK-based distributors etc, and has edited a European DVD review magazine for the last five years or so. he knows what he's doing, and this is more than a flight of fancy or a hobby – it might just go somewhere.

Here's the spiel...

New Movie Website Looking For Reviewers  
Sent at: 9th Apr, 14:23

Launching in May, the new cinema, DVD and Blu-ray website,
Movie Muser, is looking for freelancers to create content
for the site, mainly providing reviews of cinema and
home entertainment, although if you have ideas for
other content, such as features, please get in touch.

This work will be unpaid, however those commissioned
will get access to early screenings of new films, as
well as preview copies of upcoming DVD and Blu-ray
releases. Plus your work will be featured on what is
sure to become a very popular website.

Anyone interested should forward their CV and
examples of their work (preferably film related,
although this isn't essential) to Tim Isaac

Many thanks and I do look forward to hearing from you.



Deadline: 30th Apr, 18:00

Contact Name: Tim Isaac

Title: Editor

Publication: Muser Media


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Never Back Down

The first rule of High School Fight Club is never talk about High School Fight Club.

The second rule of of High School Fight Club is....ah fuck it. Let's talk about High School Fight Club.

I was given a recommendation for this film by a dude I know who smells like a wet dog. He knows that I like "bad" films. Like we all know Road House is a shitty film, but it's an awesome way to spend an hour and a half. Same thing with cinematic pieces of crap like Best of the Best. It won't win any awards...well, maybe a Razzie. But it'll sure be a fun ride. I was told that this film was in that vein.

It's about a hot-headed kid who moves to that tough town called Orlando (seriously?) and winds up embroiled in an underground fight club with just about the douchiest kid you ever did see. It was like a sequel to Troy with a young Eric Bana fighting a young Brad Pitt. But, ya know...without even the lame charisma that those two stars brought to the screen in that flop-o-rama.

Seems that boring Eric Bana lookalike guy has a bit of a temper. He is like Marty McFly in the sequels to Back to the Future. Except instead of going nuts when someone calls him yellow (really?), his trigger is any knock against his drunk and dead father. I understand that last item was a bit vague. I guess he was drunk before he was dead, but you get the picture.

And he's got a crush against the crushiest girl in school. She looks way hotter than Brooke Hogan. I only mention Brooke Hogan because I think the Hogans are from Orlando. Or somewhere in Florida. I really don't know. Florida, besides the Keys, is a mystery to me. It looks like it is warm down there, but so is Hell. And I don't want to go to Hell. Well, not yet.

So this Brad Pitt dude kicks his ass in a backyard brawl. And young Eric Bana wants to pay him back in spades, so he starts taking lessons with a Mixed Martial Arts teacher. And he looks surprisingly like Djimon Hounsou. Hey is Djimon Hounsou! Guess he needed some money to buy Kimora Lee some new makeup. We are all whores, aren't we Djimon?

The rest of the film plays out like the classic kung fu flicks of yore. Which is why it is awesome, with a capital A! Douchey good guy gets his ass kicked by douchey bad guy then he picks up a spunky (and douchey) sidekick and trains with a martial arts GOD so that he can return the ass kicking to the douchey guy. It all has to lead up to that. But he has to learn a lesson in there somewhere, right?

Well, not from what I could see. Apparently if you train for a few weeks with an annoying ginger kid and roll around the floor with Djimon Hounsou for a while then you can beat the douchiest kid in school in a backyard brawl. There is even one silly scene when the race like Rocky and Apollo from Rocky III. That surely helped.

So do I recommend this film? Not really. I don't know. Was Karate Kid worth it? Was any of it's imitators? I mean, I enjoyed it. Much like I enjoy softcore porn or low-proof beer. It will get you where you are going, but it's gonna take you a long time getting there. Unless you are generally into that kinda thing. Which I am. Mostly*.

*Not the low-proof beer. That shit is a waste of time.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Seven Pounds... of Boring

This weekend, I watched Seven Pounds.

I thought I’d start with an impromptu review of the movie in real time.

Ready? Here we go:

They just started the movie by telling me what happens at the end. Hate that.

OK. Will Smith. Dripping wet. Shirt. Is. Off. This film has promise.

Annd he put his shirt back on. Crushing disappointment ensues.

Is that Woody Harrelson? I don’t remember him having bad teeth.

Hey! That’s the cute thug guy from Barbershop. I hope they show more of him.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? I'm officially interested in this movie.

The first and only time Will Smith smiles in this movie.

A jellyfish? WTF?

Quote, “You’re a good man even when you don’t know people are watching you.”

Dying or not, I would never call a guy first. Just saying.

OK. Now I know what he’s up to. But, why, man, why?!!

So bored. Where is that hottie from Barbershop?

Could have done without the last 30 minutes of this movie. I'm officially uninterested.

I will never, ever text message while driving. Ever. Ever. Again.

Too hormonal ... Oh my God, he hugged her. [Indistinct pregnant woman blubber].

TWO HOURS?! Bastards. I feel violated.


I know, right? It was like being there. Now, get your feet off of my coffee table.

By the way, did I mention that I’m a member of a small group of women known as the Society of Women Who Are Completely Annoyed By Sappy Love Story Movies (you may know us as SWWACABSLSM)?

While we’re not known for our talent for coming up with short names for societies, we are global.

Seven Pounds is about the internal struggle of a man attempting to fulfill a self imposed need for redemption. The tension, then, rests not on events that are happening in the film, but upon the emotional tension created within the film’s main character.

In other words, this movie could not have been any slower unless it had been a two hour shot of a Will Smith drinking a cup of decaf coffee at Starbucks.

Even the brilliant, talented and exceedingly hot Will Smith could not erase the feeling that the studio that made this movie has unfairly sucked two precious hours out of my life that I will never get back.

The Seven Pounds DVD has a ton of special features, including a director’s commentary, “Seven Views on Seven Pounds” (where everyone but the caterers discuss the making of the movie), “Creating the Perfect Ensemble” (narrated by the casting director) and some deleted scenes.

I didn’t bother to watch any of these because, frankly, I found the movie boring and slightly irritating.

And the last thing I want to do is watch a feature on the making of boring and slightly irritating.

And, finally, out of respect for those who hate spoilers, I'll be brief and cryptic.

With respect to the overall plot, I'm not a big fan of guilt or self flagellation. No matter how awful the consequences of your actions might be, a simple and sincere "sorry" on the part of the main character might have sufficed. There's no reason to go overboard.

:: Now waiting for Will Smith's apology... or, at the very least, a showing of guilt ::

So, I won't hold my breath.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

10,000 B.C.

Hi guys! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Have you all missed me?

Of course you have.

Why haven’t I posted? Well, the main reason is simply that I haven’t seen too many awful movies lately. Really. I was just on a really good run there for a bit. I even watched some movies that OTHER people said sucked eggs, and I ended up thinking they were ok. Maybe not masterpieces, but not “Grenade”-able either.

And then last night I watched 10,000 B.C.

Holy mother of all things Good! How can a major movie studio make a movie this bad?

I honestly don’t even know where to begin.

I CAN tell you that if you were hoping to learn ANY kind of history from this movie, you can just stop hoping right now. This movie is SO historically inaccurate that it’s laughable.

Where to start?

10,000 B.C. tells the story of a supposed prehistoric tribe, living in what looks to be the Ice Age. The earth must have evolved pretty damn fast for the ice age to have been only 12,000 years ago! And we’ve also apparently gotten a HELL of a lot uglier since our caveman days….. every single person in this tribe has perfect Bob-Marley dreadlocks and super-model good looks and physiques. It must be our diet.

Anyway, while the tribe is out hunting Wooly Mammoths (really), they get attacked by dinosaur birds (fucking really), while another tribe attacks them and enslaves most of their people.

So, the few free cavemen left band together to free their people. During their trek, they encounter a Sabertooth Tiger (really), cross a desert (really), where they find the people who attacked them are Egyptians building a pyramid (can I just stop with the “really”s now?). The Egyptians have sailboats, maps, astronomy tools, winches for building, and more wooly mammoths. That’s right… mammoths….in the desert.

It seemed like this movie was written by a 10 year old, who wanted to just throw everything he thought would look cool, into one movie. At any moment I was expecting to see a Sherman Tank roll by, or Will Smith in a black suit shooting down a spaceship. At that point, why the Hell not?

There’s nothing more I can say about this hot mess of a film.

Don’t make the same mistake I did and waste 2 hours of your life on it.