Sunday, 31 January 2010

Brokeback Mountain

Yes I watched it.

And oddly enough it hasn't made me gay.

It did make me bored however.

Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal play two wholly unlikeable characters who become ranch hands up a mountain and then decide to get their gay on. Probably out of boredom.

If it weren't for all the scenes of Jake Giuliani going up and down Heath Ledger's mountain then this would very much be a Made For TV movie, what with the paper thin plot, grating soundtrack, and uninteresting camera work.

Let me sum up the motivations of each character for you:

Heath Ledger plays a self obsessed prick who is broke, gets a job as a ranch hand, shags a bloke to give him something to do (seriously, they go from 'God I'm bored' to 'Hey want to try something?' without any real 'whats your sign?' getting to know one another moments), then Heath gets married, neglects his wife and kid, and keeps running out for man love.

Jake Jellybelly plays a guy who basically wants to have his cock and eat it. He signs on as a ranch hand, shows his bum to Heath Ledger and Heath falls or something, then he goes out gets married to a well-to-do lady because he likes the idea of having money, and keeps running out for man love.

Tensions run high because Jake TootiFrooty is secretly cheating on Heath, and Heath suspects that someone else has been dipping his sausage in the brown sauce. It's really dragged out yet the only things that happen are that Heath continues to neglect his wife and Jake Jamjar continues to be a douche.

At last finally Jake Juxtaposition gets beaten to death by intolerant cowboys who don't like them hoe-moe-sexuals gaying up their rodeos, or something along those lines. I was thrilled because with the death of one of the major characters this late on meant only one thing, this movie was nearly over.

And still it was dragged out.

And then it ended.

I'm told that Brokeback Mountain isn't a 'gay' movie, but a movie about gays for straight people. Frankly I wouldn't recommend it for either, it's just dull.

Rating: E

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Not completely retarded, plus Dexter was quite fun in it.

Also, Peter Petrelli playing a character called Rick Rape just seemed so right.

The 'game' world somehow has this indescribable feel of a game world, and the movement of the characters under gamer control is an accurate representation of in-game avatars.

Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges makes his second appearance in something involving a game, and not only does it make sense this time but you actually don't feel like he is just the token black guy. I mean he is, but it doesn't feel like it. Nah I'm kidding, one of the main antagonists is this really angry psycho dude who happens to be more black than Ludacris, and for the purposes of this movie, more badass.

I can't insult the acting... I would like to but at the end of the day I enjoyed the performances delivered.

Instead I'll insult the premise of the movie.

Once upon a time, roughly two years ago, it was leaked that James Cameron was working on a movie that involved humans taking control of the bodies of mindless drones breed for such a purpose. Somebody else in Hollywoodland said "Hey, that's a good idea, there are probably a few ways we can cash in on that. I wonder what it's like to have an original idea? Ah well, time for more cocaine."

So a quick fix action movie starring zero big names slips out just in time to beat Avatar to the box office.

Apart from that it's dead on. There's the usual Bill Gates bashing that you expect from every pseudo-real world computer movie because everyone on the planet wishes that they could make the kind of money Bill Gates made out of Microsoft (and anyone who claims otherwise is nothing but a liar) but probably never will because there are only a limited number of generation defining inventions that can exist at one time.

Did I say Dexter was fun? Because he really was.

Gerard Butler wasn't bad either... at least he didn't have a guitar this time.

One thing that did give it a hairline fracture compared to real world gaming, at no point did any of the main characters pause over a corpse and repeatedly crouch over them...

Rating: C

(Seriously, the guy controlling Gerard Butler is supposed to be 17, I don't believe for a second that he never tried to tea-bag any of his victims)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Taking of Pelham 123 (The)

Crappy camera work, lots of zooming and fast moving to really show how unoriginal the director is (I'm so uninspired by this POS that I couldn't be arsed to look him up), and lots of sudden pauses to show the time.

Denzel does his best but is let down by the fact that his character is the only person in the entire movie who gets any kind of character development.

And why did John Travolta say 'motherfucker' so often?

I'll write more later, coffee time.

Rating: E


I heard it said shortly after the world premier that the critics were calling this James Cameron's STAR WARS, and by fuck they were right. They've merchandised the shit out of this movie before the first reels even cooled.

"Get yourself a Casio Watch because the guy in Avatar doesn't wear one because it's all holograms and shit in the future but you can bet your ass if he wore a watch it would be this one."

Then there's the toys, comics, clothing, badges, posters, toilet roll, kitchen sink, vibrator, Na'vi blow-up doll and CD soundtrack. Not to mention a game that sounded so generic that I actually yawned reading the back of the box before setting it down and biding my time for the glorified text adventure that is Mass Effect 2.

The forums and blogs are alive with the mediocrity that is fanfiction, and Avatar has not been spared this blight.

Yep, just like Star Wars.

That being said the movie is actually good.

The world of Pandora is absolutely beautiful, even the things that want to kill and maim the hero have a bizarre beauty to them. It's not so beautiful that I want to kill myself because I can't go there unlike some net-nerds to have professed this (I wish I was fucking kidding).

It's your typical story of an advanced race walking in and stomping all over the tree-hugging locals and stealing their resources. If you are having trouble getting to grips with the story try swapping out the name "human" with "America" and "Na'vi" with "oil rich nation". Or "human" with "Western Europe" and "Na'vi" with "Africa circa 1800". You get the idea.

Humans are portrayed as the bad guys of the story, which is an easy sell because there is no one human beings hate more than other humans. Of course not all are bad and this gets us our main protagonists otherwise we'd lose interest 10 minutes in because no one could empathize with a big, blue, naked, CGI guy.

The opening scenes with the humans and the arrival on Pandora made me happy because it was very beautifully realized and I thought 'this is just how a Planetside movie would have looked'... which is slightly sad on my part.

James Cameron's style is very evident in the design of the craft and technologies and I had a chuckle to myself when I realized how close the design of the big green flying death platform resembled a UD-4L dropship (that's from his other Star Wars, Aliens). And I liked it.

I'm glad that after getting Sigourney Weaver for the movie James Cameron chose not to reuse any of his usual stalwarts for the cast for fear that people would think it was another Aliens. As much as I like Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton I do feel the essence of familiarity would have harmed Avatar somewhat, and Sam Worthington did pretty good in the end.

The score is beautiful and deep, and when the action happens the whole thing meshes together wonderfully. There are certain scenes that will really move the emotions, from one of 'wow, that is awesome', to another of 'oh wow, I hate my species right now'.

You get slapped in the face with how the movie is going to end about maybe 30 minutes before it does and I did not appreciate that because it really took the edge off some of the action.

Overall though I'm going to be very favorable to Avatar because 1) it is a good movie; and 2) I want James Cameron to direct a script I'm writing (it could happen). Mostly it's option 1 though.

It's easy to see how Avatar not only grossed over $1 Billion at the Box Office but did so in a world record of 17 days.

Rating: A

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


There, that's the good stuff out of the way.

I think that I'm going to write the script for the next Transformers movie in the hope that something can be salvaged from this dirge of mediocrity. I'm going to send that script to Michael Bay sealed with hearts and kisses, and then I am going to cry when I see Unicron appear as a billowing cloud of death who is preceded by some Decepticon herald, who probably rides a flying surf board and is voiced by Laurence Fishburne.

Lets pick apart the plot, shall we.

The Autobots have joined forces with a top secret human organization in order to- hang on, lets back up a minute so I can explain that...

This is a top secret organization ran at the highest levels of (US) government in conjunction with the Autobots who have to maintain their secrecy in order to avoid panicking the populace with the knowledge that alien robots are living amongst them. Of course this will inevitably lead to all the conspiracy theories about government cover-ups including the painfully annoying "l33t" hacker support character who is convinced that the government is hiding something....

Apparently no one in Los Angeles happened to notice the giant death machines brawling in the streets and generally ripping the city to shreds in the first movie (although this does follow on from the somewhat unbelievable 'cover-up' skit during the end credits of the first God-awful movie).

So, back to the Autobots and this secret organization. Basically they are traveling the world and destroying any Decepticons that they come across, note that I said 'destroying' and not 'capturing'. I find it odd that the good guys would be so actively involved in ethnic cleansing.

Spike (Sam) meanwhile has continued to act as one of the most grating characters ever conceived and has now decided that he doesn't want to hang out with Bumblebee anymore because... Bumblebee is retarded or something, it's wasn't made very clear but it didn't shine a favorable on everyone's favourite Volks Wagon... sorry, product placement, product placement, everyone's favourite Ford Mustang GT500 Buy Today.

The sole purpose for Megan Fox being in RotF is to give the nerds like me something to ogle because we're never liable to actually get close to a real woman and it's nice to see tits every once in a while, luscious, perfectly formed, sumptuous...

Sorry, lost my train of thought there.

Megan plays the role of the stereotypical female support character of any 80's action flick, she just wants to be loved by the hero, even if he is Shia LeBouf and his nose, and contributes nothing else to the movie other than her aforementioned cleavage. Which is a shame because she was one of the more interesting characters from the first movie.

I'd love to say something more about the Transformers themselves, but much like the first movie they are largely background scenery and most remain unnamed. And why not, it's not like it's supposed to be a movie about the Transformers or anything. Devastator (yes he was a tank and died in the first movie but shut up, he had a brother or something) had all the potential to be awesome, from the moment I saw the dump truck and the digger I knew something good was about to happen... how he became a walking mouth I'm not quite sure but I suspect that a more appropriate nomenclature would have been 'Dyson'.

John Turturro makes his contractual reappearance as the nutty secret agent who for some reason now runs an internet site giving out details of all the alien involvement on Earth from files stolen before he left Sector 7, and then he rejoins S7 when Spike turns up and everyone accepts him as an agent no questions asked. Glad that all worked out for him. Of course he teams up with the annoying "l33t" hacker guy who always knew that something was going on and now he wants to be a part of it but is going to act a total pussy any time that something happens because he is the other comic relief or something.

Basically you can tell that the action sequences with the robots where all shot before an actual script was drafted. That isn't a lie. They filmed the action then wrote the script around it, hence the lurching plot, hashed dialogue, and many, many fight sequences. Guess that they wanted to squeeze more money out of the Optimus Prime model after they realized that it cost $35,000 every second he was on screen in the first movie.

And Spike conveniently has a second and unknown surviving shard of 'THE CUBE' and it has allowed him to see ancient Cybertronian symbols... and why not.

I guess it's about time I got to the summary because the patience of the average internet user is usually somewhat shorter than the average gnat's willy. Transformers RotF is watchable but frankly there are better ways to waste 2 hours, like having your genitalia pummeled by a middle aged woman named Mistress Pain.

I actually preferred that other pile of nonsense Terminator Salvation, at least it's plot tried.

Rating: D

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Terminator Salvation

10 minutes into T4 I found myself pondering a very important question: exactly why do robots need a dirty and wet sewer under a computer core?

Methinks that perhaps the set designers felt that sewers were an underused cinematic feature lately monopolized by the video games industry.

Terminator Salvation is a dumb action movie that is crippled by the flaw of a ropey script and music by Danny Elfman, but I'll insult him later.

I can understand completely that in the post-apocalyptic future people are going to be a bit cynical, especially when there are wandering death machines everywhere, but some people act like complete douchebags for no reason whatsoever, including the mighty John Conner (praise be to him). Strangely, for all the cynicism portrayed it seems that the people of Earth are quite ready to accept John Conner as the next Jesus if the opening text scrawl is anything to be believed. Well, almost everyone. The military commanders of course don't like his foreknowledge, and since Michael Ironside says that John Conner needs to learn his place it must be so because he is Michael Fucking Ironside.

I was disappointed that we weren't treated to the original infiltrator units, the ones with the rubber skin, instead jumping from skeletal anthropomorphic personifications of death to Arnold Schwarzenegger's penis. Except depressingly T4 is a '12' rating and therefore contains no real gore, no real swearing, and no real penis.

For some unknown reason the robots never really leave the cities, and I can't for the life of me figure out why since they don't need supplies and they are powered by nuclear fuel cells. It's not like the harsh wilderness poses any kind of threat to a thing with no concept of death, and is in fact designed to kill until either there is nothing left to kill or it is killed itself. Indeed even the smaller Terminators have no fear about shooting off their own feet if it allows them to continue the murder.

Yes, there are plenty of desert fights, but "what are they doing out here? They never venture this far." Apparently Kyle Reese's big monologue in the first Terminator, "It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pain, it doesn't feel pity or fear, and it will not stop ever until you are dead." doesn't apply if you are outside the city limits.

One moment I did like was when Reese and Marcus pull up outside the same gas station/7 Eleven that Sarah had her picture taken outside away back in 1984, it was a nice touch. Then Christian Bale said "I'll be back," and I groaned, and then he played 'You Could Be Mine' on a stereo to attract one of the bike terminators, and I groaned. And both moments happened in quick succession. So, so cheesy and out of place.

I hate what Danny Elfman has done to the Terminator theme, but then the last time that he wrote an iconic theme was the opening intro to The Simpsons.

So, having said all that, Terminator Salvation is actually pretty decent as an action movie, most of what I have said can be forgiven so long as you don't read too much into the Terminator franchise. If you want to watch something get blown up then there is worse that you can do, but I wouldn't blame you if afterwards you took out the disk and used it to scrape up your dog's poo.

Rating: C

Monday, 23 November 2009

Far Cry

Hey look, it almost worked.

The above statement could be used to describe the gist of:-

A) Dr Krieger's twisted supersoldier experiments, or say it like it is, Übermensch (we know what you're at Uwe, you mad German). The soldiers almost worked except for being insane apart from the one guy who conveniently had love in his heart or some nonsense and so had a vague sense of being a plot device.

B) The tropical island... oh wait.

C) The mood. Far Cry almost has a sense of threat, except for the fact that at no point do any of the characters/victims have enough depth or development time for you to feel any kind of concern or sympathy whatsoever. There aren't even enough comical deaths to give any sense of morbid amusement.

D) The romance subplot. It almost worked, because Jack Carver is horny, and then he gets some. There might be a few lines of dialogue still lying on the cutting room floor that actually explain how Jack got from A to Vagina, but they mustn't have been very good to warrant exclusion from this masterpiece.

E) Michael Paré. He almost worked, well he got a wage for it anyway. It's been a long time since The Philadelphia Experiment.

F) The Script. The script almost worked, except that it was bad. But it was bad in that classic kind of way, as in if this shit had a lower budget the filmmakers would have been forced to use all kinds of fancy camera tricks and simple drum and cello music then it might have been really atmospheric and brooding. Too bad really.

So, Far Cry then.

It's shit.

Rating: U