Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I am SO sick of seeing and/or hearing the following actors voices in movies.  Michael Cera, Jay  Baruchel, Jonah Hill, and Seth Rogan.  For the love of all that is holy America stop this.  All of them have had a moment in the sun and had performances that were notable. But overexposure can be a bad thing and you have to ask yourself “Is it better to burn out or to fade away?”

​With Michael Cera my tolerance is very low.  His act has always been the same.  Look sheepish, whipped and stammer out a line.  Well it might have won him fans on “Arrested Development,” A show I’ve seen maybe 2 episodes of and he really did well in “Juno” but I am not going to say his act changed much, if at all.   When “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” came out I saw it and, as usual, same act.  I knew of only a handful of people that didn’t like that movie and I was in that crowd.  In part due to the poor choice in casting Cera as Pilgrim.

​Now let’s take a look at the man so annoying he seems to have taken voice lessons from Screech from “Saved by the Bell” Jay Baruchel.  Why in the name of Satan’s chapped ass is he considered a romantic lead?  Is that believable in any realm other than “World of Warcraft”?  Now for this dazzling loser his best role was playing, Danger Barch in “Million Dollar Baby” in which he got his spazzy butt very roughly handed to him by thugs in a boxing ring.  I am sure it was a stretch to act like a victim of bullies for this geek.

​Regardless, Jay took roles as the hapless loser often.  His plucky spirit would often get him girls that were WAY out of his league. This would occur in movies like “Fanboys”, “She’s Out of My League” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Meanwhile his screechy voice would continue to sound through my mind like night terrors in “How to Train Your Dragon”.  I’d say it’s time to give this Peter Brady-sounding- smirking jackass a break.

​I seriously cannot think of a good role for Jonah Hill.  Not a thing comes to mind that he stuck out in that he wasn’t overshadowed by someone who was better.  I would say “Superbad” but I think anyone who has seen that movie knows that the best actor in that was Christopher Mintz-Plasse who played Fogell/McLovin.  He stole the show for me.  Back to the Jonah Hill, why is he even in movies? More than half the time he looks like he just got up from drinking to shoot the movie as it is.  He barely looks aware of where he is and he is getting paid millions of dollars.  What an awesome country we live in.
​Finally we have Seth Rogan.  Now he is one I have seen in some good and some bad films.  I loved “Pineapple Express” and “40 Year Old Virgin.” But still too much is not a good thing.  For example, why is he the new Green Hornet? That movie has the airs of an action movie and there is his fat stoner butt coming in to make it a big chuckle-fest.   For those of you not familiar with Green Hornet, Green Hornet was a hero that fought crime alongside his faithful sidekick Kato. The funny thing was Kato was originally played by Bruce Lee so he did the butt kicking leaving the sleuthing to Green Hornet.  Now it’s just going to be cheap stupid laughs since it’s not as if Seth can fight and he’s basically telling the audience the joke from the word go.

​I’ll give him this at least Rogan is the least annoying of these clowns.  The whole Apatow crowd is rapidly becoming the most overexposed crowd in show business and all of these jokers have appeared in his movies.  Maybe it’s a conspiracy.  Like how every scary Asian Horror movie needs a girl with hair covering her face but that is a rant for another day. Let me tell you if the world needs people to play geeks out there, there are plenty of decent actors that still can do it who haven’t been overexposed yet like Aaron Johnson, Jesse Eisenberg, and Anton Yelchin.  People need to just give it a rest when it comes to these awful movies.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Fun House Days of the Cinema

I've never been able to experience a drive in and I'm pretty sad about it. When you consider the experience of watching a B-movie like “The Return of the Creature” from your car, compared to watching it from your couch, the former is so much more appealing.  Although 3D movies are now the big expensive gimmick, I am still not a fan. This type of theater experience was attempted a bit in the 50s, with a smattering of movies here and there, but now it’s a fad like slap bracelets- and often just as useless.

Before the time when a moviegoer had to spend an arm and a leg for admission, a man developed an idea about how movies should be shown. His movies were not particularly good, but his gimmicks to get people into the theater and make the experience fun, were nothing short of genius.  This man was William Castle. Some of his best gimmicks included: A glow in the dark skeleton that would float over the audience; joy buzzers installed in the seats to give the audience a shock; and $1,000 life insurance policies given out in case you should die of fright. Novelty items like magic coins and cardboard axes were handed out during the movies in an attempt to make an effort to connect to the audience. Castle truly was a champion of promoting his movies.

​Castle wasn’t the only one to use these types of ploys.  Often, theaters would hire actors to portray characters, or even the monsters, in the films being shown.  They would then run up to the screen and create the illusion of someone being pulled from reality into the film, or vice versa.  The only time I ever saw anything similar was during the Star Wars Special Edition opening night when a guy came dressed like Darth Vader to give out door prizes.  Sadly, I don’t think you’ll be seeing much of that anytime soon.

The reality is that admission prices are rising; people continue to see movies in droves despite the high price.  It would be awesome if theaters took a look back at when going to a movie was a trip to a fun house. Where the audience came to experience a movie on a whole new level, and film venues put effort back into giving the crowd a more entertaining experience, instead of just making it a forgettable night that could’ve been spent at home.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oops they did it again.

When I was in High School I got the Star Wars Trilogy on VHS before it came out in special edition format.  I decided I wasn’t going to go out and buy the trilogy again for the special edition.  It was just not worth it to me.  Eventually I heard about the original trilogy coming out on DVD.  So I bought it.  Sadly it was not as I remembered it.  It was a SUPER special edition.  Where Boba Fett’s voice is changed with a kiwi and the Jedi Spirit of Anakin Skywalker is cast by a most unwelcome Hayden Christensen.
These, of course weren’t the only changes.  Adding Jar Jar to the end of Return of the Jedi yelling “Weesa Free” killed my joy the most.  Still, I guess that Lucas heard the cries of the fan boys. They said “Han shot first.”   Sure enough a few years later he released another set of the trilogy which was supposed to be the original original trilogy.  This time I fell for it AGAIN. This time there were only slight changes but still changes nonetheless.  Now I know I have paid twice for a trilogy that was not even what I wanted.  A fool and his money were parted.  
This wasn’t the only time I paid twice for a trilogy.  When “Lord of the Rings” came out I rushed out to get them all. I was irritated to find out they later had an extended version planned out.  Luckily I missed those and waited just enough time to get the set that mixed the two varieties together.  So now I have a theatrical and extended version of “Lord of the Rings.”  Does the sickness end there?
Well now I just found out that in early October that they plan on releasing "Grindhouse" as it was seen in theaters.  So “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof” including all the fake previews they screwed you out of when you bought the separate DVDs.  That is weak.  Is every movie now going to do a director’s cut version too?  Nothing like getting something you like and realizing that they were planning on making a sucker out of you within a month.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Twilight fails as a Romance movie.

Let it be known I have never read any of these books. There may have all sorts of subtle things that the movies have completely decided to do away with for the sake of time or whatever else the producers chose to ax.  That always happens in book to film translation.  However it amazes me how adamantly some people will fight me on how good these stories are and how amazing the romance between Bella and Edward is because they are destined to be together.
But I do I really have to ask you people. Does romance work that way?
Is that the allure? That this girl has her Mr. Right ready to protect her come hell or high water? I have heard some interesting questions that all Twilight fans should ask themselves when watching these movies and before they tell themselves about how awesome the characters are.
1) Other than the desire to be together do Bella and Edward have any interests in common?  So far as the movies have shown the answer to that is a glaring no.
2) Taking it a step further do they have any interests at all other than one another? For god sake Bella isn’t really that into music even.  All you know of her is she used to do ballet.  As for Edward he likes to play baseball with his family. That is it. That is the depth you get.
3) How long does Bella know she loves Edward yet strings Jacob along?
4) Why would someone who “loves Edward” say she loves Jacob unless it’s just to keep him around to cater to her ego?
5) When Jacob snaps and goes into his whole “If you can’t have her no one will” mentality does anyone else see him as a stalker type?
Healthy relationships do not work this way.  If someone tells me they enjoy these books because they like trashy romance that in no way works in the frame of reality then I tip my hat to your honesty.  Otherwise who are you kidding?

Thirty of some of the worst movies I’ve seen and why they haunt me.  

30. Hitman- This movie tried so hard to be something clever when it was anything but.  How is he so hard to find? He’s a spear bald assassin with a barcode on his head.
29. Bloodrayne- Uwe Boll can’t direct.  Once again he proves this by making a movie where costumes are jokes, the dialogue is out of an Ed Wood movie and nudity is gratuitous.
28. Date Movie- All of these types of movies are wretched. This one tops the list.  Why can’t they ever get the genre they are supposed to mock correct.  Napoleon Dynamite and Kill Bill are not romance movies. They are like Jackson Pollock just throwing crap onto the wall to see what sticks by naming relevant things and hoping it’s funny.
27. Drop Dead Fred- How is this funny?  Fred is a tool.  The girl is mental unbalanced and this movie isn’t charming in anyway.
26. Lost in Space- William Hurt is the world’s most monotone and boring man. So they give him the role as the father. Brilliant. Oh and Joey from friends is there. Did anyone care?  No.
25. Quest for Camelot- A cartoon from a company imitating Disney’s style but without any of its talent for story or basic narrative.
24. AVP- There is no way an Alien or Predator movie should ever be pg-13.  But when this stinker came out not only was it made with the kiddies in mind it cast a woman who shows no emotion through the whole movie.  Cheers to Sanaa Lathan! One of the few women I know who can hold the same expression if she makes a new friend or gets burned with acid on her cheek.
23. Clerks 2- This sequel is such garbage.  It makes me sad because it cheapens my liking of the original.  The script is lackluster, the characters are one dimensional and I am pretty sure Kevin Smith made the movie to make rent that year.
22. Piranha 3D- A “Jaws” rip-off with a star studded cast. But a paper thin plot that would be perfect for the Syfy channel.
21. Manos: The Hands of Fate- Horrifying camera work and sound quality for the dubbed voices.  Also did it really need to end on the note of pedophilia?
20. Hobgoblins- This was a rip-off of “Gremlins” with cheap puppets instead of animatronics.
19. Monster A-Go-Go- I’ve never seen a boom mic in a movie so many times.  Plus you can hear a guy impersonate a phone sound off screen.  Why?  Could they not afford a real phone call?  That is weak.
18. Dungeons and Dragons- Imagine a reverse Roger Rabbit where the entire world is crappy CGI and a handful of people are real.  Now imagine they are acting worse than most high school actors in productions of the “Our Town” and there you are.  You’ve got Dungeon’s and Dragons.
17. Super Mario Bros- Nothing like the game at all. A British man and a Latino go into another dimension to fight Dennis Hopper.  Yeah, that sounds like Super Mario Bros. to me.
15. Survival of the Dead- I’ve seen soap operas that avoid the “She’s my twin sister” ruse because it’s hackneyed.  This movie wallows in it.
14. Splice- What do you do when you create an unholy abomination of science? Have sex with it of course.
13. Armageddon- Inside the Michael Bay racial stereotypes and good old fashioned explosions this movie is just a gamut of effects porn with hollow characters.
12. Legion- A blatant Terminator rip-off with a terrible script and characters that give no reason to care if they live or die.
11. Transformers- The robots are cool. The human element is unwanted and unneeded and sadly they take up a ton of time mincing up the screen.
10. My Bloody Valentine (latest version) - Why the hell would you make the hero the unlikable cheating husband?  Screw you movie.
9. Godzilla (1998) - Godzilla should not be able to be killed by missiles.  This movie was a rip-off of “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” and “Jurassic Park” with the whole baby Godzilla/raptor chase.
8. GI Joe: Rise of Cobra- Wow, we are supposed to root for a guy who left his fiancĂ© at her brother’s funeral.  Nuts to that.
7. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen- Worse than the original with the human element.  The movie had countless comedy relief characters that were not funny.  Also it had a run time that was longer than most Kurosawa movies.  That is too damn long.
6. Fantastic Four- Two words “DO SOMETHING!” Also Jessica Alba is a terrible actress. I will never believe she is a scientist. I can hardly believe she is off script most of the time she is on screen. The sequel is trash too.
5. Batman and Robin- A Bat credit card? The script makes you long for Adam West and Burt Ward to just swing in and take over this campy garbage.
4. Highlander 2: the Quickening- They took an amazing movie and made it about aliens.  There are holes in the plot you can drive a truck through.  There should have really been only one.
3. House of the Dead- Best back and forth EVER! “You created it all so you could be immortal, why?”  “To live forever.”  Way to go, Uwe Boll.
2. Claws- This is a very low budget “Jaws” rip-off where instead of a shark it’s a bear.
1. Kazaam- Shaq as a rapping genie with attitude.  This movie is the worst. I hate the kid, I hate the genie and I hated anyone that had something to do with this wretched piece of celluloid.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My top thirty movies and what they mean to me.

30. Wall-E- I loved this little robot.  Not only was the animation some of the best I had ever seen but I was shocked that they really made me care so much for that little guy.
29. The Exorcist- A frightening movie where you can see a mother losing her mind trying to find out what is wrong with her daughter who is possessed by the devil.  There are some incredible performances and visuals.
28. Ed Wood- Not my favorite Tim Burton but it’s one that tells an amazing true life story of the “worst” director ever who just wants to live his dream and make movies.
27. Psycho- One of the best Alfred Hitchcock movies and possibly one of the earliest slasher movies.  It was very controversial.  Not only for the nudity in the shower scene; but killing off a main character halfway through the movie which untold of at that time.
26. Raising Arizona- For me this is one of the best Cohen brother’s movies out there. The Big Lebowski is wonderful but this one wins.
25. Rocky- The story of a good hearted loser that has a chance at the big time and takes on the champ.  It’s really a good movie and between this and “First Blood” showed that Stallone actually could act.
24. Dr. Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb- A hilarious and frightening look at the cold war. Peter Seller’s at some of his best.
23. Clerks- A wonderfully well written movie for anyone who has ever worked in the service industry.
22. Harold and Maude- The best romance movie I have ever seen. It shows love can’t be restricted by age.
21. The Seven Samurai- A story that has been remade countless times.  Still the kinetics and action work with the drama to make the samurai characters incredibly fleshed out.
20. Texas Chainsaw Massacre- Terror is brought to screen so well by Marilyn Burns. The deep south has never painted in such a positive way since “Deliverance” a few years earlier.
19. UP- A cartoon that is just as much for adults as for children.
18. Office Space- Really this was made for anyone that worked in an office.   
17. The Blair Witch Project- This was the movie that did so much with so little.  It made me scared out of the woods for a good long time after seeing it.
16. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade- Best of the Indiana Jones movies.  It featured all the great characters of the series and it worked well and played to the serial style clichĂ©s.
15. Highlander- A beautiful movie full of magic action, and romance.
14. Brazil- I love the main character in this movie.  I feel so much connection to him. A man who has an average life so he fantasizes about something exciting. One of Terry Gilliam’s best. 
13. Disney’s Alice in Wonderland- My favorite Disney animated movie.  I also like that it doesn’t involve a romantic subplot.
12. Paranormal Activity- This is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen. I think often with scary movies it’s what you don’t see that can be the most scary. Like “Blair Witch Project” this movie did so well with so little.
11. District 9- A really well put together movie.  It was an oddly believable style of filmmaking. I loved the how the aliens looked more like they were actually there.
10. Dark Knight- The best comic movie I’ve sever seen.
9. The Original Star Wars Trilogy- I couldn’t pick one so but all of them cover an overall story arc.  I love the puppets and effects of the original so much more than the prequel. It makes it more real when you realize everything was there in the studio in some way.
8. Let the Right One In- An eerily beautiful love story of a vampire and a young boy.
7. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy- The acting works so well with the amazing New Zealand backdrop.  They remake middle earth to a T and you feel their friendship towards one another during the some of the worst battles.
6. Ghostbusters-A hilarious movie with amazing effects for the time. It’s probably one of the most quotable movies out there.
5. Pan’s Labyrinth-A Spanish movie that is lovely and terrifying at the same time.
4. The Thing- A movie that was repulsive and creepy. All about an alien in an Antarctica research station and the paranoia and terror it causes.
3. Fight Club- A fun movie and gritty movie. Very nihilistic in mood, this movie pushes things to the edge.
2. Pulp Fiction- Some of the greatest dialogue in cinema is in this movie.
1. Back to the Future- An amazing trilogy but the best is still the first. Every time I watch it I feel good and see something new.     

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why I won’t be seeing “Let Me In”.- A rant

I know that it’s common practice to remake movies in Hollywood.  Especially nowadays when it seems like everything is trying to cash in on the originality of others. “Let the Right One In” was Swedish movie based on a book of the same name that came out four years prior.  It was critically loved worldwide. Now not even two years later the United States craps out “Let Me In”.

-Spoiler Alerts-

Now I know that the original novel is different from the original movie. That is to be expected.  But when I see the “Let Me In” preview I find myself confused.  The Swedish version had a cold haunting atmosphere that made it feel like you were alone. Unless this one was shot in the dark in the plains of the nothingness of Wyoming I don’t see how it will ever match that void.

Next we have a cast choice that leaves me flummoxed.  Why Chloe Moretz as the vampire character? Sure she was great in “Kick Ass” but they got it WILDLY wrong.  In the preview they say “She has the face of an angel.” As Lex Luthor would yell, “WRONG!”  One of the reasons the original was so fantastic was picking Lina Leandersson to play the vampire.  She was lovely and yet, androgynous, something was not quite right about her no matter how you looked at her she was still odd.

I am really confused why her older keeper has a sinister seeming bent toward the protagonist. In the original he played his part and met a tragic fate in caring for Eli.  It makes the love story a have a mix of tragedy because you know that our protagonist in the end has replaced him as Eli’s new protector for the rest of his life.  But instead they seem to want to make the protector out to be much more of a psycho.  At least that is what I gathered in the preview.  Maybe someone will tell me otherwise after seeing the new movie.

Last but not least is I wonder if they will have the big reveal. Can American audiences handle seeing Chloe Moretz as not as a girl.  In the novel, the vampire was born male and castrated at age 12 by the vampire that turned him. This is handled well in the original movie and it is not even an issue.  I wonder if it would even be touched upon in “Let Me In”.

            Really I was curious at first when I heard the US was making a remake.  Two years is WAY too soon to remake something this recent and critically loved internationally. The previews for the new version now just bring my piss to a boil.  See the original if you ever get the chance. It’s the best vampire movie I’ve ever seen.  It’s beautiful; it’s haunting and really in terms of mood its perfection of the genre. To remake it is really a crime.