Archive for the Action Movie Review Category
by guest blogger Ray
Welcome to the inaugural Basic Science column, where I’ll be dissecting movies and TV shows with an eye toward how well they deal with basic scientific concepts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. When I say basic, I really do mean that. I’m all for suspension of disbelief when it comes to entertainment, and I love my vacuum-of-space ‘splosions as much as the next guy – not everything can be Firefly in that regard, nor would we want it to be. For the Fail Editions, I’ll mostly be calling out movies that wouldn’t get past your basic fifth-grade science class audit. And you’d be surprised how much of this there is out there . That isn’t to say that I won’t take the occasional cheap shot at a script that uses super-technical language without understanding what it means, but I’ll try to keep this as gentlemanly as possible. And, I hope, at least a little instructive in the process.
So, without further ado, we’ll get to our first offender: 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. After the hot mess of Transformers, and the racist fever dream that was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I was really hoping that the next live action, millennial adaptation of a favorite 80’s cartoon might get it right. And most of the reviews I read about G.I. Joe summed it up as “at least it’s better than Transformers,” so I went into the thing cautiously optimistic… and came out resoundingly “meh.” I enjoyed seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt chew scenery as the (spoiler alert) soon-to-be Cobra Commander, but other than that, the movie was woefully miscast (Figure 1) and over-the-top bombastic. But silly script and other flaws aside, the film’s science was laugh-out-loud bad.
You guys! I went to Fantastic Fest last weekend! True, I was only there for 2 days with a daytime badge, so I missed just about every single huge premiere. AND YET! I had an amazing time, saw incredible films, hung out and sang karaoke with celebrities, and I can’t wait to go back next year! Let this be a lesson to you, friends. You can totally do Fantastic Fest with no money and no time. It’s doable!
So I’m not going to get into the parties/celebrities aspect of it, even though that’s definitely a significant part of the festival, just because I know my bestie poshdeluxe will be doing a far more thorough job of that very shortly. I’ll be sure to link to her FF post as soon as it’s up, and in the meantime, I’m going to stick to the movies!
Machete Maidens Unleashed (2010)
Director: Mark Hartley (in attendance)
Writer: Mark Hartley Continue reading
You may think this grade is a wild overestimation. After all, in earning an A+ on this blog, Piranha 3D is in the company of such gruesome cinematic feats as Candyman and Hellraiser. But for what it is—an uproarious, 88 minute schlockfest drenched in gore and teeming with glorious, fully dimensional nudity—Piranha 3D is FLAWLESS!
Holy shit, you guys! I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO CRAZY MUCH! After reading several fantastic reviews and hearing some bordering-on-sacrilege praise from my friends, my expectations were outrageously high. Mr. Marla kept warning me: “Don’t build it up too much!” but I couldn’t help myself. I built that shit HIGH, my friends. ALL THE WAY UP. And I STILL wasn’t prepared for the utter transcendence that was this movie. Continue reading
by Reverend Jon
Each generation loves nothing more than to revel in the nostalgia of their collective childhood experiences. As time passes, the negative aspects fade and what remains is a mythologized patchwork of rosy memories and optimistic historical events. For the baby-boomers, this translates into the narrative of perfect, happy, family-centric post-war America where the men were men and the women were ornamental that fuels so much of the Andy-Rooney-ish kvetching about the current state of affairs.
For my generation, born into culturally-relativist-post-post-war TV Land, this nostalgia translates into the current trend of pro-unicorn, 8-bit-loving, three-wolves-howling, super-hero-horny, i-love-the-80s, pop-up-video memedom. And it is this fuel that propels the pitch-perfect Scott Pilgrim vs. the World through its hour and fifty-two minutes of awesomeness. Continue reading
When I was a child, I had lucid dreams about twice a year. I experienced around a dozen, and in my memory, each dream is still startling in its clarity. I remember manipulating the boundaries of my dream in order to make myself 2 inches tall, running through a field of skyscraping wildflowers. Once I dreamt myself into a space ship; another time I influenced the dream to make myself a detective like my hero, Hercule Poirot. I flew, I swam, I skated, I spun. I made my mother into a princess and my sister into a boy as the ultimate childhood revenge. My last lucid dream was in fifth grade, when I exploited the process to satisfy my growing boy-craziness by dreaming that all of the cute boys in my school were lined up to compliment and kiss me. I’ve always blamed myself for having used my imaginative powers for something so frivolous as, after that particularly gratifying reverie, I lost the ability to lucid dream. I have dearly missed those lucid dreams, yearning for the experience ever since.
Christopher Nolan recreated it for me.
This will not be a long review. I walked into Inception knowing as little as I possibly could about the film, especially given that I am a fiend for the Internet. I’m glad to have been able to enjoy the movie so virgin-brained, and I am loath to ruin that experience for you. So here’s what you get: Inception is a movie about a dream heist. And that is all you need to know. Continue reading
Dolan’s Cadillac is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the Stephen King short story of the same name, from his excellent compilation Nightmares and Dreamscapes. It’s a story I truly enjoyed, but it probably never should have been adapted into a film. Because yiiiikes! This baby is incoherent!