Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Movie Review: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on EVERY F@CKING @$$HOLE THAT PAYED TO SEE THIS SH%T!!!!! Here's my revenge, um review on the Transformers sequel.

Monday, June 29, 2009

How X-Men Origins: Wolverine should have ended...

Courtesy of: ScarletVulture on deviantART

Yes, I'm still pissed about the Wolverine movie. But revenge his good for the soul. If your soul is a twisted black void of despair like mine. Anyway, gaze upon the glorious retrubution wrought on Baraka-Pool by the true Deadpool, with a little help from a very talented fan.

Movie Review: Good

You may remember me calling this movie the "Best Movie Nobody Saw" last year, without actually having seen it. I finally had the opportunity a month ago, and I figured I owed to you guys to review it. Good is based on a stage play by C. P. Taylor, and it tells the story of John Halder (Viggo Mortensen), a German college professor during the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. He opposes the ideas of the Nazis, especially because his best friend Maurice (Jason Isaacs) is Jewish. He is convinced the the Nazis will never last, and it will all be over soon. However, and Hitler grows more powerful and pressure grows for Halder to join the Nazi Party. His job is in danger, his books are being burned, and his sick mother is near suicidal. Eventually he gives in and joins up, moving up in the ranks. However, when Hitler begins rounding the Jews, Halder must risked everything to save his friend, who already feels betrayed by him.

The Pros: After doing my research on this film, I'm not sure I fully understand it as well as I thought I did upon first viewing. The tagline "Anything that makes people happy can't be bad, can it?" led to to believe it was an anti-fascism statement, and seeing the film itself only served to reinforce that. As I said before "People see fascism as the stereotypical black clad stormtroopers policing the streets and herding helpless civilians like they were cattle, like we've seen in the movies. Fascism is an attractive thing. It promises us peace, and for some it delivers. That's why it's so dangerous. If it looked like Darth Vader, who would go for it?"

However, the people who were involved in the making of this film have lead me to consider that I may be misinterpreting the films intentions. Viggo Mortensen is an outspoken liberal, and C. P. Taylor was a known socialist who often drew from that when writing his plays. I find in hard to believe that he would right a story that condemns his own personal beliefs, as this film seems too.

But regardless of what it's message is, Good is still very, well good (sorry, I had to make that joke). Viggo Mortensen and Jason Isaacs are excellent as usual. You can truly feel the emotional conflict within Halder, and we understand him enough so that we don't completely hate him when he chickens out and joins the dark side. Jason Isaacs character by be rather unforgiving an dogmatic at times, but he's still admirable, and he truly want him to escape an survive. We simpathize with his plight and his determination not to be driven from him home. And the ending is truly haunting. However you chose to interpret this film, it will be forever burned in your memory.

The Cons: This film definitely has is pacing problems. Having Viggo in virtually every scene helps, but there's no denying that there are more than a few scenes a story elements that felt unnecessary to the main plot. This is especially clear in the final scene, where the film just sort of stutters and dies instead of simply ending. It feels like the movie is already over, and the characters are just wandering around waiting for the credits to role.

The End: Admittedly, this movie wasn't quite as good as I imagined but still a well made film, and certainly deserving of more attention than it got. To me, any film that gets you to think is a success, especially in the film industry today.

Overall, I give Good a Silver Anarchy Coin.

Click here to visit the official website for Good.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Lunatic Fringe: Blade Runner

You'd think a movie that's supposedly all about anti-corporate themes would have less product placement. The first episode of The Lunatic Fringe takes an unforgiving look at the cult classic Braid Runner...uh, I mean Blade Runner.

EDIT 11/8/11
This was my first attempt at deconstructing a popular film, one that in hindsight I'm not terribly proud of. The standard formula of making snarky comments whilst summarizing the plot just isn't the proper context for presenting my arguments.

The more recent review of "The Usual Suspects" was essentially a reboot of the Lunatic Fringe show concept, using a more analytical and less comedy-oriented format. I intend to eventually redo this review in that format.

So for anyone who has never seen this before, please take this review which a grain of salt, because frankly, it's not very good.

Watch the commentary for this episode here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Movie Review: Up

Geez, why do we even review these Pixar films anymore? There's really nothing more to say other than "Pixar's awesome". But I'll do my best. Up tells the story of Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner), a recently widowed senior citizen who's being forced into retirement so his house can be torn down to make way for new construction. Throughout their lives, Carl and his wife Ellie (Elie Docter) had dreamed of adventure hoping to someday make their home at Paradise Falls, a famous landmark in South America that was explored by their childhood hero, Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer). Determined to fulfill his late wife's dream before he dies, Carl, in an act of desperation, turns his house into a ramshackle airship using thousands of balloons, in order to fly to South America and land his house on Paradise Falls. He is joined on his quest by a stowaway boy scout named Russell (Jordan Nagai), a strange tropical bird dubbed Kevin, and a dog named Doug (Bob Peterson) who talks using a hi-tech collar.

The Pros: When Pixar first appeared in 1995 with its hit film Toy Story, I honestly didn't think that much of them. Sure, I was six, but still. Even today, I'm not as impressed as most by their earlier films. Sure they were all good, and just having a studio that makes consistently good films without fail is an accomplishment, but I just thought they were a bit overrated. Don't get me wrong, I love Toy Story, but 100% on Rotten Tomatoes? Seriously? A Bug's Life was good, but was still a step down after Toy Story, and Monsters Inc. didn't pick up the slack. I simply don't believe that being to first to showcase some new technology or special effect, or starting some new trend necessarily makes a movie great. It just means they were the first to do something, nothing more.

Then they released Finding Nemo, and it was all uphill from there. With the minor exception of Cars, Pixar films have been getting constantly better and better, to the point that we've all but forgotten animated children's classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Beauty and the Beast. In fact, the only animated feature film Pixar has yet to match, in my opinion, is Fantasia, which will forever hold the crown for best work of animation in my mind. The Incredibles remains my personal favorite of their movies, but Pixar's absolute best film is unquestionably WALL-E. And Up has not dethroned it. But it comes daaaaaammmmmn close.

Up's greatest appeal, to me at least, is the nostalgia factor. Just as WALL-E payed homage to and captured the feel of the very best 70s & 80s science fiction films, Up does the same for the classic Hollywood adventure films, such as The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dr. Doolittle, Around the World in 80 Days, The Time Machine, and just about any "Lost World" adventure film you can think of. The fact that they cast Christopher Plummer in the film and modeled Carl Fredricksen's appearance on Spencer Tracy in his later years only adds to the old Hollywood feel. (Pointless Trivia: The villain was actually based on Charles Mintz, a cartoon producer who stole the idea for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from Walt Disney, forcing him to create Mickey Mouse as a replacement. Walt has his vengeance from the grave!!)

Aside from this, Pixar continues to deliver heartfelt entertainment and adventure of the highest caliber. The story, the characters, the humor, the uncontrived action, emotions, and adventure, are all near-perfect.

The Cons: I do not believe there is such a thing as a perfect film. We as human beings are far from perfect, and thus are incapable of producing anything perfect. However, you know a film is great when, whatever its flaw may be, you cannot find it. I honestly cannot think of a single thing that bothered me about this film. It is a near-flawless work of art.

The End: When I was a kid, my favorite classic children's film was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (damn you Tim Burton for bastardizing it, by the way). Up has absolutely everything that made me fall in love with that film and more: genuine emotions, memorable characters, visual creativity, and never, ever a dull moment.

Overall, I give Up a Gold Anarchy Coin.

Click here to visit the official website for Up.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Movie Review: Terminator Salvation

Sorry for how criminally late this is (where have I heard that before?) This new format takes some getting used to. Anyway, here's my review for Terminator Salvation.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

RIP David Carradine

I know that sounds like a joke in extremely poor taste, but it's not meant to be. But I just can't help but think of Kill Bill at a time like this. It was probably the best film he ever did, as well as the best role he ever played. It was made for him. And considering the film's title and subject matter, I think most people are thinking along the same lines.

All references aside, David Carradine was truly one of my favorite actors. Sadly I never say his famous TV show Kung Fu (though I've been meaning to for some time). I mostly know him as the star or some of my favorite B-movies, including Death Race 2000 and Lone Wolf McQuade. So it kind of appropraite that the last film I say him in was Crank 2: High Voltage.

To me, and a lot of other people, Carradine was the definition of awesome. It wasn't just that he was a perfect fusion of Clint Eastwood and Bruce Lee. It wasn't just the fact that with is interest in Eastern philosophy, he was practically a karate cowboy in reallife. It was his voice. He had quite possibly the coolest, most recognizable voice in film history. Most people have Morgan Freeman as their favorite narrator. Not me. I had Carradine. I tuned into history channel just to see him host Wild West Tech ('course the fact that I love westerns didn't hurt). It's a great human tragedy that he didn't do more voice work. Danny Phantom became ten times the show it was just from those few episodes his guest starred in.

And with that, I leave you with, well, you all knew it was coming, right?

God bless you, David. We'll miss you.