Reviews Times Six

Okay, here we go with these reviews. Today, I’m going to cover the six I watched this week, so they’ll be shorter than those I make in the future. Plus, I have the long-term memory of a deer that just got hit by a truck, so if I don’t write things down that same day, I’ve pretty much forgotten everything about the film, except if there were jokes about poop or nudity. So, therefore, vis a vis, ergo, subsequently, I’m not capable of writing more than a paragraph of veiled vulgarities and shoddy plot synopses (synopsies…synopsisis…snoopys?) for each movie. Enjoy!

THE DEPARTED

I’ve taken some guff from fans of this movie for my immediate reactions and comments, so I’ll have to preface this with saying I LIKED THIS MOVIE! There, now keep that in mind, since most of the following words will sound negative. My main problem was thus: the story was decent, but it didn’t bring anything new to the table, to the genre. I mean, everything else was stellar; the acting, pacing, cinematography, even the stinking score was good, only the plot was subpar. I knew what was going to happen before it did, like it was connect the dots “gangster movie edition.” And, come on, what are the stinking odds that Leo would schtup the same broad as Damon? I mean, seriously. That subplot was lame and undercooked. That was just how it came across to me, but again, I still enjoyed the movie because of how it was put together. If Joel Schumacher had made the same film, it would have been worse than three dudes making out with four bassett hounds. That sums up my point perfectly. Maybe I should list things I liked to save some face here:

That guy falling off that building
Leo was killer. He was good in Blood Diamond also but one step up here
Matt Damon reliving his Good Will Hunting accent
Alec Baldwin punching that dude (and anything else he said or did)
Jack Nicholas having a wicked pisser accent in the opening monologue, and then losing it the rest of the film
The fact that Anthony Anderson still gets work…..in credible movies!!
All those shootings, killings, and such, because I’m a sadist

Also, does anyone honestly believe that this was the best movie of the year? Good movie, even great, but best? This makes like a kabillion years in a row that the Oscars made my head hurt, but this year’s migraine looked like a head rush after standing up too quickly after the Chicago and Crash debacles. Those were straight up blood bursting aneurysms that no one could survive. B+

HARD CANDY

This is a movie where a dude is going to have his testicles cut off by a fourteen-year old. I’m not incredibly sure what the tagline was, but if it wasn’t the previous sentence, then there is a marketer in the moving picture bidness that needs to be fired. And then castrated. I mean, I don’t know what else needs to be said about this. For a small movie with two characters comprising the the majority of the running time, it was still compelling and a bit nerveracking. Could any man disagree that seeing someone in the process of having his jollies lobbed off would make you sweat a little? It could have been hokey, the whole idea of a teenage girl kidnapping a potential online predator, but it was taut and well-acted, especially by Ellen Page, who is otherwise known as the “b**ch” from the line, “I’m the Juggernaut, b**ch” in X-Men 3. But now, to me, she is no longer Kitty Pryde. She’s the girl fresh out of her training bra that learned how to perform a ball-ectomy just from reading a medical dictionary. That gal’s going places! B

DISTRICT B13

You know those slippery little jokers that climb down buildings just be leaping from floor to floor? You know, those crazy freaks that should break their ankles in twelve places everytime they land on concrete after a 20 foot drop? Those guys are in this movie, and basically, they do a lot of cool stuff you’ve seen Jackie Chan do several times over. Only these guys are white. And french. Yes, french people can show a side of badassititude every now and again, when they’re not bottle feeding merlot to a toddler. If you’ve seen any of Chan’s older movies, then you know what to expect coming in to this one. They stitch together some semblence of a plot between big fights and stunts, and you get to waste 90 minutes watching people do things the human body never should attempt. Win/win for everyone involved. Although, I would still recommend catching one of Tony Jaa’s movies instead, because his level of insanity tops those of these frog chumps by a wide margin. Did you see Ong Bak? His legs were on fire. ON FIRE!! And he still managed to knee this guy in the head when he was riding a motorcycle. HE KNEED A GUY ON A MOVING BIKE WHEN HIS LEGS WERE ENGULFED IN FLAMES!! Get with the program, you filthy, Statue of Liberty giving, wannabes! C+

THE PRESTIGE

There are a lot of things I would like to say about this, but I’m afraid too much will be given away in the process. To be honest, though, most of the “twists” were fairly readable as the movie was going along. Still, it was an intruiging story that left me satisfied at the end, kind of like when I finish a chicken queso burrito from Qdoba. I enjoyed it when it was there, and I was sad yet fulfilled when it was done. There was the soft shell that held it together, i.e. Christopher Nolan, one of my top 5 directors; tons of meat, i.e. Christian Bale (eww?); tons of cheese, i.e. all the magic and twists; and tons of hot peppers, i.e. Scarlett Johansson’s you-know-whats. Everything combined to make a tasty treat that I couldn’t wait to eat/watch again. Wow, that wasn’t even close to what I really wanted to say about this movie. I have the attentiveness of a cockatoo. Whatever, my key points were thus: Nolan is incapable of making a bad movie; Bale is incapable of a bad performance, and my mancrush on him went up three pegs to a 19 on a scale of 10; anything with a David Bowie cameo is incapable of sucking; Scarlett is incapable of completely covering her goods; and Hugh Jackman still has the best name in Hollywood. HU-UGH JACK-MANNNNN!! A-

SAFE MEN

I never knew this movie existed until a little while ago. I found it randomly on Netflix, and was just plumb confused as to why I had never heard of it. It was released in ’98, just never on DVD until this year. It seemed strange to me that it went so under the rader, considering who was involved: Sam Rockwell, Paul Giamatti, Steve Zahn, Mark Ruffalo, and Michael Showalter. I mean, I flat out love all those guys. How could I not have known? I’ll tell you why, it’s not any good. It’s stinking terrible, actually. Looking back, I’m not surprised it was shelved. None of those guys were really famous in ’98, at least, not yet anyway. The only reason you can find it now is because of their higher status on the celebrity food chain. There were a few redeeming qualities here and there, like how Giamatti’s character was named Veal Chop, and how everyone would say “sweet ‘stache, bro” to Ruffalo after he grows a fu-manchu for his ex-girlfriend. I can’t say I didn’t laugh at all, but it wasn’t consistent. The mad rush to Quirkytown was redirected to Dullsville in a hurry. I will give kudos to this exchange, and just let you judge for yourself if you want to see it:

Big Fat Bernie: I know his daughter. I set Veal Chop on a date with her.
Veal Chop: I tried to put my tongue in her mouth and she punched me in the penis.

Comedic gold, right there. Maybe you should give it a shot. I might be totally wrong. D+

HALF NELSON

I want to make jokes in everything I review, but I don’t think that’s possible here. Maybe the fact that I almost cried, twice, when watching this movie can be the running gag. There’s really nothing else I can ridicule. Of the six movies I’ve watched, this was far and away my favorite. Nothing against Ghost Dog, I mean, Forest Whittaker, since I haven’t seen his movie yet, but if I had to name my best actor, then Ryan Gosling would get it, hands down. There are few times when a known actor can make me forget who they are in a performance, but Mickey Mousketeer Gosling achieved just that. He pwned this role, completely. Want a quick plot rundown? Okay, here goes: high school teacher smokes crack, tries to hide it, one of his students finds out, they develop a strange connection, bad things happen because he smokes crack, said student tries not to fall into the trap of the inner city, teacher tries to help, but doesn’t know how, since he’s part of the problem, the end. That doesn’t seem like much, but again, since Gosling turned his character into more than just the “high guy,” I was personally attached to these fictional people. It almost made me want to become a teacher, but not a teacher who smokes crack and hires prostitutes to listen to him talk about politics. I’d much rather shoot dope and talk philosophy with strippers. Okay, see? Maybe I can make jokes about anything. Consider me awesome all the time! A

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Filed under Half Nelson, Hard Candy, Safe Men, The Departed, The Prestige

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