Thursday, May 14, 2015

Avengers, Age of Ultron -2.0 MT

I am just back from Age of Ultron at the cinema. Honestly, I wouldn't have picked it to see, but my wife's friend recommended it, so she bought tickets this afternoon, saying she thought I'd prefer superheroes to Pitch Perfect 2.

Wrong, it turns out. I'd've preferred most films to this steaming pile of crap. In fact, it is one of the few films I've ever wanted to walk out of, along with Really Bad Things, the second Matrix movie (also here) and, of course, Inglourious Basterds (and here). If it wasn't so loud, I would've asked my wife if she also wanted to leave, and I would have heard the answer "yes please!" But it was too loud. She managed to fall asleep though, and I would have had I been able to get comfortable.

Let's break it down:

Age of Ultron has a very bare plot. Basically, man invents artificial intelligence, new sentient being (Ultron in this case) realises people suck and decides to destroy them, then the people, whose intelligence compared to Ultron is as a jelly fish compared to a man, go out to kill it so they can continue on their own path to doom. How many times have we heard it before? Terminator springs to mind. As does Eagle Eye, and many, many others.

There's a part-way interesting subplot about Natasha Badinov (?)... Romanov (?)... the hot chick... being keen on Bruce Banner, but that doesn't get a lot of air time with all the fighting. Check it out. Not a lot of room to discuss something interesting:

Opening: big fight with the bad guys from previous movies.
Party scene and creation of Ultron. Some flirting between Natasha and Bruce.
Fight with Ultron and minions
Short segue to another fight where the Avengers get mind-messed by an Olsen twin
Big fight between Iron Man and Hulk because... Joss Whedon wanted them to kill countless civilians between them, I guess.
Random farm holiday to chop wood. No jokes. Natasha puts the moves on Bruce.
Fight with Ultron and minions.
Possibly a segue scene? I might have been looking at the ceiling. It was pretty forgettable.
Big fight with Ulton and minions. Avengers win.
End scene to wave goodbye to the actors who realise that this franchise is played out.
Roll credits
Mystery scene from upcoming film or something.
Check wallet, discover that yes, you did pay a lot of money to Hollywood for zero gratification.

Apart from the plot, the acting was nothing special. Characters were wholly undeveloped. The fights were tedious and all done on a computer. It was just crap.

God this movie sucks balls.

I love a good superhero movie. Batman was great (a couple of times). The Fantastic Four were fun. The Flash on TV is alright, too. But when that's all there is, it's too much. (Especially when the series keep getting rebooted, like Spiderman. It's not like their aren't 53 years of stories to draw on. Better redo the origin story again, but with more fights!) Age of Ultron was a stupid step too stupid far. It sucks. It could even be the film where the superhero movie genre jump the shark. That would be a shame because there are some good stories out there in the comics which could make good films. The new Miss Marvel, for example. But this was total dross. As if Joss Whedon was channelling (recent career) George Lucas and Nicolas Cage at the same time.

I'm going to score it -2.0 Money Trains.

It wasn't as bad as Animal Kingdom, but it was worse than the Interpreter, both of which scored -2.0 MT. (I probably need to adjust the scale...) God, it sucked.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Godzilla +1.0 MT

Godzilla has Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranson heading the bill, so you think it'll be awesome on that alone.

Bzzzz. Sorry, wrong answer. One is a minor character and the other dies in the first reel, leaving you with nobodies. [Ha! Not quite a spoiler!] That's ok, I understand why studios minimise screen time for expensive actors, but it's a bit of a let down.

The other let down (and I'm sure I've written this before, but don't remember where), is the plot. Let's break it down. See if you can spot the plot holes.

1. Ancient radiation-eating cockroach is awakened in Japan. It needs to find a mate so heads out across the Pacific to the US, where the only other known example of this genus is housed in Yucca Mountain, along with a load of spent fuel rods.

2. Lady-cockroach (I'm unclear on the sex, so go with me on this) also wakes up and busts out of her food-filled home and heads west to meet up with her cockroach love.

3. Meanwhile, the only thing above the roaches in the foodchain, Godzilla, wakes up and tries to eat the first critter. This results in some damage to Honolulu, matched by the damage down by lady-roach in Las Vegas. They all converge on the west coast of the US.

So far, so good.

4. But then the army decides to lure everyone out to sea out of harm's way. This involves dangling a single nuclear warhead in front of lady-roach and leading her to the sea, through downtown San Francisco. The same roach who just left Yucca Mountain, a nuclear waste smorgasbord of Dubai brunch proportions, is meant to follow a few crumbs out to sea. Why wouldn't the stupid thing just sit tight in her food palace and wait for her beau?

5. Because it's a mega insect, of course. Ok, fine.

6. But why would the army go through the centre of the city? That's a court martial right there.

7. But the really dumb thing is the ending. With about five minutes on the warhead clock until detonation, our hero, Ford Brody, sails it out to sea and far from land in a tugboat. (I'm not exaggerating about that time or the mode of transport, by the way.)

8. In the final scene, Ford manages to somehow avoid the explosion. The only way to make sense of this is that it's actually his last wishful thought as he and the city of San Francisco are vaporised.

It's a pretty dumb film. My friends left the theatre actually angry about how bad it was and how much Bryan Cranston's character was killed off early on [remember that half-spoiler, above?]. But I enjoyed it more, and had a sold laugh at many of the logical inconsistencies, only some of which are mentioned here. Watch it on late night TV in a hotel room on a business trip, but don't pay for it, and not if you have a good book you could read instead.

+1.0 Money Trains

Superman - Man of Steel. 0.5MT

Superman is an idiot. There he is with Zod, who's telling him they can take over Earth and repopulate it with Kryptonians after a spot of terraforming. Now Superman has gone soft on mankind, having been raised on Earth, where the local conditions make him faster and stronger than regular folk. But he also has a love for is own people. What does he do? He says to Hell with this spaceship full of Kyptofetuses, I'm throwing my lot in with a race of beings so stupid they can't even look after their own planet properly. People so dumb they don't wear seat belts. People with scant regard for other lifeforms, and certainly not Superman's. Why would he do that?

If it were me, I'd say to Zod: "Zod, me old China, I like your plan, but may I suggest a slight improvement. Let's not terraform Earth into a barren wasteland. Let's repopulate anyway and, with the current conditions, we Kryptonians will all have super powers. We will be able to rule over these imbecilic Earthlings like gods. Where's the downside?" Cue the champagne, a quick montage, and roll credits.

Seriously, where is the downside? The Kryptonians survive, Earth survives, and mankind survives. True, as slaves, but aren't we already slaves to the 0.1% of the population with super wealth?

The other bugbear I have is Kal El's fight (calling him Superman at this point just doesn't feel right) with Zod. Zod is a professional soldier. A trained killer. Kal El is a hippy. And yet he wins in hand-to-hand combat. (While somehow stopping Zod moving his eyeballs a millimetre or so to fry a cowering family. Holding a guy's head won't stop his eyes from moving in their sockets!) So that's pretty dumb.

Superman as a concept is pretty dumb, if you ask me. Where's the challenge? He is this unstoppable being from outer space with godlike powers who imposes his will and his farm-grown morality on the people. But he's like Wolverine in that, no matter what, you know he'll be ok unless someone pulls out some kryptonite/magics away his regeneration power. Hence there is no suspense and the stories necessarily depend on minor characters, who are invariably stupid. So they can reboot it all they like, it'll always be the same.

Unless they cast Superman as the bad guy...

0.5 Money Trains. Not as good as Godzilla, no original thoughts in it.

Borgman -3.0 MT

There are three sorts of people who watch Borgman: those that don't get that Camiel Borgman and his pals are devils and are dumbfounded by the randomness and weirdness of the movie (they don't like it); those that do realise they're devils and are so proud of themselves for their insight that they ascribe all sorts of good qualities to the film (they like it, but like themselves more); and those who realise they're devils but still see the gaping plot holes and narrative inconsistencies and utter ridiculousness of the movie (they don't like it).

First up, just because you "get" something doesn't make it funny. Tarantino's use of French slang in Inglourious Basterds doesn't make it genius just because you're one of the few who picks it up. And his homage to Bruce Lee's unfinished Game of Death is an insult to the great man, not something to gaze at in wonder. Similarly, realising Borgman and co are satan-spawn doesn't make it a funny film. Here's one extract from a review I read: "If you don’t see the humor in a scene in which Borgman and his companions dispose of three bodies in a rural pond – and then go swimming in it – then this movie isn’t for you." Of course, if you do see the humour in that, you're most likely either an Arts undergraduate type who shuts your eyes when you talk because you're just so damned passionate about finding the hidden meanings in absolutely everything, or you are unbalanced mentally and untethered morally. (Which probably explains why your quoted statement was factually incorrect in the first place! I'll link that review here).

So anyway, this film is about a suburban family that takes in a drifter (spoiler alert: he's Satan spawn) and the idyllic family life falls apart for... no real reason. There's no backstory that suggests anyone was upset with their lot in life. I'm not even going to continue. This was a turgid piece of crap that unfortunately sticks in your mind for a little too long, making you hate yourself for wasting your life on it. Like Inglourious Basterds. But not as pretentious.

Overall, I'm scoring this at -3.0 Money Trains. It's in a similar vein to Man Bites Dog, but without the irony. I'll score it on par with Really Bad Things.

I really need to see a *fun* crap film...

The Rover -1.5 MT

So if I'd known David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) directed The Rover, I wouldn't have watched it. But the BBC website listed it in its monthly "Films to Watch This Month" piece a while ago and, being a bit disconnected from popular culture, I took the Beeb on its word.

The Rover, like Animal Kingdom, is about mentally challenged violent thugs wandering a landscape of plot holes. Like Mad Max it is post-apocalyptical and set in Australia. Like Mad Max 3 there are random Americans. Unlike Mad Max the infrastructure of the country still works: petrol is readily available and there is mains electricity. Which is in direct contradiction to the overall setting, but it's Michôd, after all.

Now I'm no movie director, nor am I an actor. Hell, I'm not even a good reviewer. But I have seen enough movies to have seen movies about movie making, and invariably an actor will ask the director something like "What's my character's motivation in this scene?"

Guy Pearce has been around, and I'm sure he would've asked that exact question at least once. Probably several times, in fact. Such as when his character rushes to fight three armed men who, with a firearm each, have three guns more than Guy does. "What's the motivation, David? Why would anyone do that? It doesn't make sense."

Similarly, Robert Pattison might ask "David, why is my character holding up his old gang? I mean, what the hell? At no point does the movie suggest I've changed sides, just that I get on with Guy's character."

My favourite would be the question from one of the baddies: "David, so my character's just knocked out Guy's character. We're in a post-apocalyptical world of no rules and zero consequences where everyone is willing to murder at the drop of hat. What possible motivation would my character, nay, the whole gang, have for a) knocking out Guy's character rather than killing him; b) driving him into the scrub in our old car; c) leaving the car there and the keys as well? Why wouldn't we just kill him and take both cars?"

The car thing is the central question to this movie. The entire plot revolves around Guy getting his car back as his dead dog is in the boot and he wants to bury it. (Oh yeah, spoiler alert. As if you care. Even if you watch it you won't.) And yet the bad guys, for want of a better term in a movie where everyone is a bad guy, hang onto this car throughout. They don't take the available Humvee, for example, nor do they take their own pickup back. Instead, they crowd into a small sedan in summer with a rotting canine in the boot.

I mean, seriously: WTF?

"WTF" pretty much sums up the entire film. Don't see it, it's horrible. It was slightly more bearable than Animal Kingdom because Michôd only pissed on the memory of the fictional Mad Max, not the very real Constables Tynan and Eyre, murdered at Walsh Street. (What kind of a cheap bottom-of-the-class-at-film-school trick is that?)

-1.5 Money Trains.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Day After Tomorrow 2.5 MT

So I saw this movie when it was released and thought it was kind of silly, but the other day I was in the gym and it was on the tele while I was on the treadmill. The sound was off, and I was only doing a warm up, so I didn't see the whole movie, and it's been slated elsewhere so I don't need to go into detail here, but I did see the scene where Dennis Quaid's character, Jack Hall, shows he's the luckiest guy alive.

Remember when he and his buddies are walking across the frozen tundra that turns out to be a glass atrium roof, and the sled falls through, and the guy at the back falls through, and Jack Hall pulls a (climbing) ice axe out of nowhere and arrests the falls by slamming it into the ground?

Well, he's damned lucky that on that vast glass roof he was on he didn't actually slam the axe into glass. He must have hit the one spot of actual ice as you then see him brush away about an inch of fresh powder from the glass so he can look through to see his mate cut the rope on himself for the greater good.

I really hope he got up from that and went straight to the newsagent to buy a lottery ticket. It's as if he'd just had a shot of the luck virus from Red Dwarf.

I haven't seen the film in 10 years. I think it was vaguely entertaining. 2.5 Money Trains.

Gravity - 0 MT

You know how movie titles normally relate to the movie in some way? For example, "Takers" is about people who take stuff. "Money Train" is about a train full of money. "Star Wars" is about terrorists fighting to overcome the established power because they want to live by their religion's strict and exclusionist doctrine without presenting any kind of alternative system of government or proposed law ever in the whole trilogy... but up in space.

Well, by that rationale, "Gravity" should really be called "Gumby astronaut on the point of hyperventilating panic for the entire damned movie". It should not be named after something that is conspicuously absent from the movie. It's like calling it "Rainbow Slushy" since slushies also fail to feature in this movie.

Sandra Bullock plays Ryan Stone, because heroes and heroines can't have girly names, like Daisy Lillie, they have to be tough sounding, like Brick Steele or Matt Kowalski (George Clooney's character), or Taylor Nails, even if they carry on like Precious Moonbeam Waters for 100% of the movie.

Anyway, Ryan (not-a-man) Stone is some computer geek fixing the Hubble Telescope with her pals when space junk happens by destroying everything. Thankfully, (from an accurate science point of view), there is no noise but everyone and most everything except her and her pal stone-cold Kowalski get destroyed. After stopping Stone hurtling into space, Kowalski helps her as they float their way to the International Space Station. And here's where I get worked up enough to write about this movie.

You see, the two astronauts are tethered together and they hurtle towards the ISS at a frightening speed but Stone manages to hold onto it before they shoot by, stopping dead, hence stopping Kowalski as well, who is in front of her in their crazy orbit (which can be thought of as being below her because being in orbit is about falling and missing the Earth). Now, they've stopped, meaning an equal and opposite force has been applied to their motion, and they should hence be safe, all falling towards Earth (and missing) at the same rate. Which means that relative to the ISS they're just floating. Which Stone is. And yet something is still pulling them harder than the ISS. Some mysterious, previously unknown gravity-like force, really, which inspires Kowalski to make like so many others dangling on ropes before him: he lets go and flies off into a non-Newtonian demise.

This leaves our heroine with no air left save what's in her suit, but the determination not to let Matt's death be for (astro)naught (boom boom!) So she finds a side door to the ISS, comes in, breathes the sweet, sweet air of salvation, and then sets the damned thing on fire. No joke.

So this means she has to jump over to some Chinese space station, or something improbable like that, which she does. She then flukes the right control sequence in the escape pod (the manual is in Chinese) and fires herself back to Earth where she lands in a lake. She then sinks the escape pod, before wandering aimlessly away from the only device with a homing beacon on it.

In short, Ryan Stone is a liability who cost a seasoned astronaut his life, burnt down the ISS, sank a Chinese pod, and then wandered off to die alone in the barren wastelands of Wherethefuckistan, where she landed. Quite why this film won so many awards is beyond me.

0 Money Trains, as this matches the score description to the right to a tee.

Takers -0.5 Money Trains

It's been a long time between reviews, partly due to other commitments (eg, baby), and party due to not seeing enough truly terrible films. And then when I do I let them fester awhile so the worst bits rise to the top, like some kind of cinematic cream. Only the kind of cream that's sour. And comes from rats. 

So without further ado, let me present the following review / plot summary.

TAKERS (2010) -0.5 Money Trains

Takers is a bit of strange film. It seemingly had a big, mainstream Hollywood budget, but they didn't choose to spend too much of that cash on actors. True, there was Matt Dillon, Annikin Skywalker, and that other Walker from Fast and Furious. But then there were some complete nobodies who had no place in front, behind, or within a half mile radius of a camera. (Subsequent research revealed many of these people to be R&B singers, like Chris Brown, famous more for beating seven shades of shit out of his ex girlfriend than for his music, I believe, plus an English DJ and some other no-hoper who you'd expect to have diamond teeth.)

But the plot, if you could call it that, is what sets this film apart. Firstly, it is, (apparently - thanks, IMDB), a rip off of Heat, Michael Mann's over-long snore-fest which I'd blocked from my memory. Secondly, it is one of those films where you want to yell at the screen: "For god's sake, do X, Y and Z and all the problems are solved." So a bit like a John Cleese movie with automatic weapons. 

OK, if you've also blocked Heat, and want an idea of the plot, Takers is like this: there's a gang of bank robbers, (they TAKE, hence the title), who are wildly successful because they follow some simple rules:
1. Plan everything meticulously;
2. Wait at least a year between jobs;
3. Only work with those you trust. 

The gang is (and I'm going to make up my own names here): 
Paul Walker (Fast and Furious) who is maybe some kind of leader, being white and not a total dropkick;
Hayden "Annikin Skywalker" Christiansen who tries to play a cool, pork-pie hat wearing, jazz piano playing hardman. Who's small and skinny. Face it, Annikin, only Gene Hackman (and real jazz pianists) look cool in pork-pie hats;
Black guy 1, who runs a jazz bar. Wait, that's not cool, let's call him Johnny;
Chris Brown, aka Black Guy 2, who is Johnny's younger brother. Let's call him Jimmy;
English Black Guy, let's call him Guv'nor, cause he's got that kind of accent.

So these guys pull off a really cool heist, and you think, wicked, awesome film ahead. Then an ex gang member (let's say Freddie) gets out of jail and comes to them with a proposition: rob an armoured car in 3 days time. 

Now, no-one in the gang, and I mean no-one, trusts Freddie. And three days is not very long, and it's only a few days since the last job, so the cops are on the look out. Take a second to look back at the above rules and then decide if they all deserve everything that's coming to them.

What comes, of course, is a mix of Russian mobsters (thank's to Freddie's inevitable double cross) and the cops. Or cop, played by Matt Dillon (we'll call him Matt), clearly struggling with two unnecessary subplots about the daughter he never sees and the partner who's on the take. 

Matt, thanks to a bit of a fluke involving Guv'nor's drug-addled sister, gets on the Guv'nor's tail, but not in time to prevent the heist. And this is where it gets mind blowingly stupid: Jimmy is nearly caught by the cops because he runs when he sees them coming for him, even though they have no idea who he is. They suspect, but nothing more. Stupid thing 1. 

So Jimmy hightails to the rendezvous, minus the bag of money, (which is never seen again, mind you), just in time for Freddie to arrange the double cross and escape through a window. All hell breaks loose as the Russian's move in, but on the whole, the gang gets out. More or less. Specifically, less.

Jimmy and Johnny head back to the bar, and the Guv'nor heads to his luxury apartment. Matt heads alone to the guv'nor's apartment, since he is, remember, the only one the cops actually know about. The only one. Yet Matt's alone. Stupid thing 2.

Meanwhile, the entire LA SWAT team rolls up at the jazz bar, despite not having a clue that these guys are in any way involved. (Stupid thing 3). So what do Johnny and Jimmy do? Well, in that situation, my options would probably look like this:
1. Invite the police in, as they can't feasibly be onto me;
2. Slip out the back as the police have only gone to the front door.
3-999,999,999. Anything else other than pick up some guns full of ammo and burst out the front door shooting at the police and getting killed. 

Jimmy and Johhny go for option 1 billion. (Stupid thing 4 and 5, since there are two of them.)

So now Paul and Guv'nor, being the only surivors, (but not actually knowing this) go to hop on their private plane which Freddie is about to steal, along with the loot. Not so fast, shouts Matt, emerging from the shadows. I'm a cop. He is, of course, facing three gun-toting criminals and is still alone. Stupid thing 6.

Mexican standoff? Hell no, everyone just shoots after a few seconds and everyone, except teflon-Paul, cops a bullet. 

So what you realise here is that the whole police side of the story is one big failure. Matt manages to identify a key gang member but rather than get help apprehending him, gets shot and lets him get away. (stupid thing 7, and Stupid thing 1 was only about 15 minutes ago.)

All up, this film is dreadful. Not Dolemite dreadful, but dreadful nonetheless. Avoid it. -0.5 Money Trains.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

War Horse. 0MT / 1.0MT

Here's a shout out to Matt and a special request to review War Horse.


Don't be fooled by the IMDB entry for this film. It is not about young Albert, going to war to find his horse, Joey, who was commandeered by the British Army. No, War Horse is about a magic horse who lurches from one ridiculous and cliché-ridden scenario to the next, all the while surviving bullets, barbed wire, explosions, more bullets, I think the blunt end of an axe nearly featured early on, and more explosions.

In other words, War Horse is an equine 007.

You see, as much as Steven Spielberg tries to dress this story up as one of heroic animal endurance, it is really one of murder and death. Just like with James Bond, anyone who gets close to Joey winds up dead. (With the exception of Albert, which makes him Moneypenny in this analogy.)

(At the same time, Joey is also a bit like Chewbacca: he can understand spoken English but can only go "neeeeiiighhhhh" in reply, which is ok, as everyone understands him back.)

To cut a long story short, every attempt is made to pull the heart strings, from the terminally ill French girl who comes to love the horse (after said horse cruelly runs into cannon fire to kill the British officer on his back, then connivingly tricks two German stablehands to desert their posts with him, resulting in their quick capture and execution); to the whinnying Joey in barbed wire in no-man's land (where he tricks to opposing soldiers to risk all to get at him); to the moment at the end where Albert is putting everything on the line to buy the horse back.

The climax of this bit is probably the happiest moment in the film. You see, the French girl's grandfather shows up out of the blue and outbids Albert because he wants something to help him to remember his granddaughter. Why's that? Because she died after falling in love with Joey The Evil Horse. But the granddad wakes up to Joey's plan in time and after some fake haggling, quickly hands the horse back to Albert for nothing, glad to be free of the obvious death sentence. And I liked the clichéd old fellow, so I'm happy he escaped a certain and painful mauling death by rabid dogs hiding around the next corner.

So, in summary, this film scores 0 Money Trains if viewed as a regular film about plucky courage; and 1.0 Money Trains if viewed with the horse as the evil protagonist.

The questions that remains with me after watching it are:
1. Is Joey more like 007, or the Sirens of Greek legend?
2. What the hell happened to Steven Spielberg? He used to do good films.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Alice in Wonderland

I was clearing out some emails and realised I had another guest review from my mate Stephen to publish. It is written in the style of the Jaberwoki which plays so big a part in the film.

`Twas brill, and the silly tale
was dire and bimbled in the Middle:

All whimsy were the other fails,
And the none as got the tale.

"Beware the Alicecrock, my son!
The bore t'fight, the point t'catch!

Beware the red head bird, and shun
The funnyless story snatch!"

We took the 3D warpin specs in hand:
Long time the maxim o'Burton sought

So rested we by the humdum be,
And sat awhile in thought.

And, as if in chocolate factory stood,
The Jonny Depp, with eyes of vacant fame,

And character though just as good,
Why must it always be the same!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The first half it went snicker-snack!

He knocked 'em dead, and with whit he said

but the second half umph did lack.

"And, as I've seen the Alicecrock
Come to my side, look for my joy!

O it lost its way! clever long the way!'
I chortled in less joy.

`Twas brill, and the silly tale
was dire and bimbled in the Middle:

All whimsy where the story sails,
but 'til for disc on sales.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sharks and More Sharks

Sharktopus -3.5 MT

It's called Sharktopus. What else do you need to know?

OK, mad scientists working for the Navy make a sharktopus which is controlled by a device superglued to its head, (like Dr Octopus in Spiderman 2).  Naturally, this is knocked off early on, and the sharktopus heads to Mexico for Spring Break with mad scientist, hot daughter, rugged hero and various others in pursuit. Most people die, most of them amusingly. The sharktopus can roar and get around on land for a bit. Who will win? The plucky heroes or the sharktopus? From the same cinematic stable as "Dinocroc vs Supergator" and "Piranhaconda".

Sand Sharks -3.0 MT

Sand sharks are sharks that swim in the sand. Hence the beach is not safe. What else do you need to know?

The great thing about this movie is the storyline involving the mayor's deadbeat son who wants to put the small seaside town on the map by throwing a party to rival "Burning Man". The last time he threw a party, apparently, several people died. The party, when staged against the advice of all sane people who point out that there are sand sharks swimming in the beach, has about 30 people. It's like the party scene in "Revenge of the Party Nerds".

Despite the presence of sand sharks and a high casualty rate, no one seems particularly disturbed by seeing death close up.

This scores slightly higher than Sharktopus because of the crusty old sailor who volunteers to catch the sharks, just like in Jaws.

Both movies unfortunately lack gratuitous nudity.

Perfect Sense 2.0 Money Trains

I just saw this last night. It was ok, and I'm only posting it because all I could think of was how best to paraphrase Kryton from Red Dwarf.

Perfect Sense (2012). It's the same old story: Boy meets girl, girl loses sense of smell, boy loses sense of smell, boy and girl then lose sense of taste, boy loses sense of hearing, boy loses girl, girl loses sense of hearing, boy gets girl back again, boy and girl lose sense of sight. How many times have we heard it before?

Seriously, though, this film is nihilistic like a South Korean movie. Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, anyone? And the writers obviously didn't really understand how closely smell and taste are related, or just what it would take to lose a sense of smell.

I give it 2.0MT because I preferred Cliff Hanger. 

Man on a Ledge 1.5 Money Trains

Anyone see Man on a Ledge? A bloke is convicted of stealing the world's largest diamond, implausibly gets out, then creates a massive diversion to prove his innocence? No? Good call.

Let's overlook the obvious physical pitfalls of this film, such as air conditioning ducts that are large enough to crawl through, because that does give the smoking hot girlfriend a chance to Catherine Zeta-Jones her way to the safe (which is then opened in about 30 seconds flat), or the likelihood of jumping off a 20 storey building into an inflated crash pad across the street and walking - nay, running - away, and focus on the crux of the movie:

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington with a horrible American accent) was nailed by corrupt cops in league with the massively-headed Ed Harris (seriously, check out the size of his noggin on his little body) for stealing a diamond. Convinced Ed the Head still has it, he organises its theft, winds up having to give it back, and then, in desperation, leaps of a building, chases The Head down and then, in a close-fought tussle, slips it out of The Head's jacket pocket and holds it up to the crowd and says "Aha! Told you so!" He is then let free while the baddie is arrested.

Or, as law enforcement would see it:

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington with a horrible American accent) stole a diamond from an upstanding member of the community - with a big head. He then makes a scene, makes outrageous accusations about Ed the Head, jumps off a building in order to engage in fisticuffs with The Head, and in the scuffle produces from who-knows where, a diamond he was accused of stealing in the first place, and so was likely to have had the whole time. He should be arrested again.

This movie kills some time. 1.5 MT

Animal Kingdom -2.0 Money Trains

I am back. I have seen a terrible, terrible Australian movie and had to warn the world.

Animal Kingdom is rotten. Let's call it a reimagining of the Pettingill story, which the ABC did so much better in the 1990s with "Janus". Anyway, it's about a seemingly autistic teenager, Josh, who falls in with his criminal relatives after his mother ODs while he's watching TV.

(I saw autistic, but maybe the director was trying for "brooding teenager" and gave the direction "pretend you just had a pick axe get imbedded in your frontal lobe after a farming accident." If so, the young bloke playing Josh did wonderfully.)

But the reason it's on the blog is the terrible logical inconsistency running through the film. (That and the crap acting and the countless slow motion sequences.) To wit:

1. The cops are crooked and are gunning down known criminals, hence the big brother of the crime family, Pope, is in hiding as the cops have enough dirt on him to warrant an execution.

2. The police are watching, and are presumed to have bugged the house of 2nd brother, Baz. Remember that: bugged.

3. Pope and Baz  go to the supermarket, a really low-key place for someone in hiding. The cops are waiting and gun down Baz, leaving Pope to wander off and later attend Baz's funeral with the cops watching. Why don't they arrest him? (In fact, in the previous scene, Baz told his wife he was going to the supermarket, so I guess he was bugged.)

4. In retaliation, Pope and the other brothers reinact the Walsh St killings and are almost immediately arrested.

5. They are then let go, presumably for lack of evidence, despite the cops knowing where they lived, having a good idea who did it, and having the ability to bug a house, which it seems they didn't do.

6. I mean come on. 3rd Brother, Craig, gets gunned down after the house of an associate was bugged and the cops roll in. But the one house where everyone seems to live and openly discusses their nefarious plans, and even kills people, ISN'T bugged.

7. Remember points 1 and 4: Pope, the guy facing a hit squad because of the evidence against him is arrested and then let go. COME ON!

8. While the Special Operations Group police, in full black-ops gear, arrest the entire family, (in the movie's 317th slow motion sequence), the crime matriarch, Jackie Weaver, is left alone to drink a cup of tea unmolested. She's a crime matriarch, the Soggies are going in, why is someone left alone to boil the kettle for herself. COME ON!

9. Let's get this straight: Baz's house is bugged. Craig's weirdo farm-owning associate's house is bugged. Crime central is not.

Yeah so anyway, if you can explain that, I'd love to hear it.  This is truly a film where you will not give two hoots about a single soul in it. Oh god, looking back, it's like Zach Braff tried to direct Wesley Snipes and Keanu Reeves in a period drama after watching too many John Woo movies. God it's bad.

-2.0 Money Trains

Friday, February 05, 2010

Inglourious Basterds. -5.0MT

I just wanted to say: I really hated Inglourious Basterds. I'm downgrading it to -5. At least if you watch Storm with Luke Perry, it's bad and you know it, but you can at least laugh about it. And Dolemite was just woeful, it really was, but it just didn't piss you off that you wasted your life watching it. It was one of those "so bad it's funny" films. IB was just fucking bad and I really don't understand what anyone sees in it. The film took itself too seriously, as does Tarrantino. I will never watch another of his movies again, (just like Guy Ritchie's movies). God it was awful.

Seriously, I've never downgraded a film before. I've never hated one so much to bother. Awful, awful film.

Just awful.

-5.0 Money Trains.

Awful, awful, awful film.