Downsizing

Alexander Payne has probably had one of the more interesting director careers out of anyone. Or at least anyone who isn’t an A-list always nominated amazing director.

I first saw one of his films, Citizen Ruth, when I was about 8 years old or so. It was NOT made for an 10 year old to watch, especially not on his own with no context, but I did it. Eventually I also saw Election, which I loved, and Sideways, and The Descendants, and Nebraska. At any of these points I never watched them knowing it was the director of these previous films I liked, because they are all so different and out there.

But for Downsizing, this is the first time I have gone in knowing the director, knowing his history and ready for something just bizarre.

Big
And the trailers and plot surely delivered on that front.

The world is falling apart, due to pollution, global warming, and too many goddamn babies. And scientists have been trying to find cures that the public would believe and trust and they may have finally done it! You see, Dr. Jorgen Asbjørnsen (Rolf Lassgård), the mad Norweigian that he is, has successfully shrunk some rats in a way with no side effects and no premature deaths. So he did it on himself, his wife, and dozens of volunteers.

Yadda yadda yadda, many years later, there are many communities around the world of little folk, people are doing it not to save the planet, but to live like kings. Because their money in the real average sized world is worth a lot more when you are tiny, and you can live in giant mansions, never working again! It is the life for some, and a good choice.

Paul (Matt Damon) and Audrey Safranek (Kristen Wiig) have been living very uneventful lives up to that point, never really going anywhere, gaining anything, or just really existing beyond a blip on the radar. Going small can make them happy. So why not, why not change their lives, try it out and take hold of their destiny.

And of course, of course, they will find out that being small isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. Record scratch and everything. Also starring Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Ingjerd Egeberg, Udo Kier, Jason Sudeikis, and James Van Der Beek.

Flower
Flower Power becomes an actual usable form of energy!

The Downsizing trailer made me really excited for this film. A nice shrinking film from a different point of view, starring everyone’s favorite Damon!

And the film that actually exists is very different from the trailer. It is a little bit about global warming, but really it is just a film to talk about class imbalances in society. Not a bad topic for a film, and this type of story can be a good way to tell that story. Downsizing just told its story terribly.

Our main character is just a passive bitch who just really sucks. He doesn’t move much, he is boring, and it never really pays off. There are some exciting people around him, but they are side characters and don’t get the screen time. Chau gets a ton of screen time, but she seems like some perfect character that isn’t exciting for different reasons. And honestly, I cannot tell if it is offensive, or inspiring, or what.

The ending is a let down, although there is at least one twist I only sort of saw coming, so that was nice.

Downsizing is a little film with grand big ambitions. But the story just drags along and goes places that aren’t as interesting as they must have seemed on paper. And let’s just say, 2016/2017 were bad for Damon. Basically everything since The Martian, except one cameo role. Suburbicon, The Great Wall, and Jason Bourne have all failed to deliver, and maybe his career is just on the decline now.

1 out of 4.

The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan came out in the coveted July 4th weekend, because…well, I don’t know why.

I guess generic action movies might make bank then. Well, it hit better than expected levels, given that it opened against The Purge: Election Year and The BFG, so there wasn’t a lot of real competition. It still failed to reach a positive number to break even given its extremely large budget and shit reviews.

And I avoided it because it just seemed extremely unappealing. It had that mostly-CGI lens behind it all, attempting to give a new retelling of an old story. It just made a lot of people shrug at its existence and ignoring it, not giving any fucks.

It is the sort of film that gives the bad name to summer blockbuster.

Fight
If we make it modern, we have to make it darker and edgier.

This takes place in Africa, during British colonial rule, specifically the Congo. Apparently the Belgians are close to bankruptcy, trying to bring roads and trains to the Congo, to get that sweet natural resource money. He sends down Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz) to secure the diamonds down there, but they are ambushed by a tribe, and the chieftain (Djimon Hounsou) will let him have the diamonds if they can bring him one man. You know. Tarzan

Turns out this story takes place after the normal Tarzan stories. Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) is now living in London with his wife, Jane (Margot Robbie). He finds out they want to send him down to the Congo to check on how things are going, as a sort of diplomatic trip, but Tarzan doesn’t want to go. Too dangerous. He is convinced by an American, George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), to go because he believes that the Belgians are abusing the Congo people as slaves in order to build developments, and Williams wants to find out.

Then of course eventually a raid happens, a trap! Jane is captured! Tarzan escapes with Williams! And they have to get her back, put a stop to the bad guys, and have some good old fashioned monkey fights.

Also featuring Jim Broadbent as the Prime Minister.

Group
If I asked who represents Africa and who represents America here, would you know without context?

Reimagining a beloved character isn’t the worst thing ever. It can require creativity, but it always feels like a cheap story nonetheless. They are requiring the public to have certain thoughts and opinions on a subject so that they can be blown away. Reimagining so that a villain is a hero is usually shit. Reimagining in a modern context is usually lazy. But what about telling the story after the story? That can provide some interesting stories to discuss how things have changed and how the character continues their life in the world.

And theoretically, that is what this story is about. It could have led to amazing things! But you know what it led to? Tarzan, going back to the jungle, swinging on vines, fighting people, teaming up with apes, and standing shirtless rain or sun. What we got is a very standard Tarzan story, despit the premise of a different sort of Tarzan story.

And don’t worry. For those saying “Hey! It is different because we don’t see him growing up as a kid with the apes, learning to swing, meeting Jane for the first time!” Nope, we still get that. Because just in case you are unaware of Tarzan, they have flashbacks for us. Baby and young Tarzan. And meeting Jane. That makes this a regular Tarzan movie, plus some extra. You should definitely feel ripped off.

In addition to all of that, it looks terrible when they have to go full on CGI. The big fights with the apes. Swinging on the vines. Just background jungle scenes in general. It has a darker tone too.

I don’t want to compare this to The Legend of Hercules, because that film is definitely a far worse overall movie (and this one is at least coherent). But they are clearly going for the exact same market here, and that is probably the reason it has been so dumbed down and made so pointless.

The Legend of Tarzan is a waste of time, but not the worst thing in the world.

1 out of 4.

Spectre

Bond Bond Bond. In case you missed my other reviews on the subject, I have no craps about Bond growing up. My parents didn’t care, so I didn’t get him in my impressionable youth phase, so the only Bond films have had Daniel Craig at the helm.

Casino Royale was okay, Quantum of Solace was terrible, Skyfall was interesting, and now we have Spectre. The internet tells me that the wiki page has spoilers on the subject and the trailer gives too much away. Apparently Spectre is a reference to an older Bond villain from a past film and they are redoing it. I think?

The good news is, I won’t have to compare it to something decades ago. Like always, I will just look at this film and see if I like it as a stand alone action spy film. And for those who are counting, this is the FIFTH Spy movie of the year. After Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and of course, Spy. Strangely enough, the other 4 were all good movies. This might be the best year of Spy film ever recorded. Assuming the grand daddy of spy films can end the streak with a bang.

Chess
I’m sure this is just a metaphor.

Do you remember the last three films? Because you will need to. You especially need to know that M (Judi Dench) died in the last movie, and now there is a new M (Ralph Fiennes). The 00 program is potentially going to get shut down, what with half of their building destroyed in the last program and all. They have a new commander, who we will call C (Andrew Scott), who is going to bring all of the British agencies together and more transparent.

Bond (Daniel Craig) don’t give a damn. He opens the movie in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead, killing an assassin and a few other people who planned on blowing up a stadium! This doesn’t help his cause, and he gets house arrested in London for the time being, complete with GPS nanobot tracking in his blood. But like I just said, Bond don’t give a damn. He was told to kill the assassin, Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona), by M (dead one) herself! She sent him a video from beyond the grave to get it done, should she die. So of course he followed orders.

However, in killing Sciarra, he stumbles upon a large and secret organization calling itself Spectre. His only clues involve using Sciarra’s wife, now widow, Lucia (Monica Bellucci) to find the organization and find The Pale King who is also involved in their bad evil guy plans…somehow.

Spectre is led by the mysterious Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) who seems to know an awful lot about Bond. We also have returning favorites, Q (Ben Winshaw), Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), and Tanner (Rory Kinnear). Also returning is Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) from the first two films, and introducing his daughter, Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). And of course Dave Bautista as scary intimidating no talking killer, Hinx.

Church
This is…also a metaphor? Is Bond getting religious?

Spectre is not what it is hyped up to be. Heck, if you look at my reviews for the other spy movies that came out this year, you will see that they all earned higher marks, making Spectre, technically, the worst spy film of the year. The good news is that it is still at least okay or average and not complete shit.

Here is what is wrong with the film. Bellucci is used in like one scene, and never seen from again. Most of the actors don’t seem to be giving it their all. They really forced the love interest in this film, none of it felt believable and trying to make it a for sure thing is just lazy writing. A lot of lines I couldn’t even understand, due to mumbles or louder sound moments, allowing me to miss jokes and important plot points. There are plot twists, technically, but everyone you can see coming from miles away in the first 20-30 minutes.

But most of my complaints revolve around Waltz and his villain. First of all, Waltz is normally fantastic, but again, his character was always reserved and never felt scary or intimidating. His character also felt like he was barely in the film until the end. We needed a lot more of him for him to reach his true big bad scary levels. Most Bond fans know everything about the villain already, as there is only one notable Spectre leader. However when the reveal occurs, it is also mumbled quickly and then ignored. So for a non serious Bond fan, it does nothing, and for the serious ones, well, they knew it was coming all along.

They connected the villain from this film to the last three, but it all felt shoe horned, offering only a quick explanation and then moving on. More details would have helped understand the bad guys motivations, outside of the vague backstory they gave him. The villain also had a cool brain altering needle that would just take out important functions for whoever is getting tortured. Well. Bond had two pricks, and basically everything that was said would happen, did not. What the hell even was the point?

And the ending itself felt forced and dare I say, heavy handed.

Not saying there weren’t moments I didn’t like. I loved the intro, both in Mexico City (which opened with a very long shot), and the credits, with all the octopus imagery. Q and M were good. The Rome car chase, the train fight scene, and the plane ridiculousness were all very entertaining and well shot. Classic Bond moments from them all.

2 out of 4.

Big Eyes

I would like to think I have my finger on the pulse of the movie community, being pretty aware of when movies are coming out and what I need to see and when.

But I feel like Big Eyes was grossly under advertised. We have people who have been nominated for Academy Awards in the lead and winners as well! Our female, nominated five times, and our male, nominated, I dunno, two? But he won both of them. And it is directed by Tim Burton WITHOUT Johnny Depp. This seems like something people would talk wildly about.

I mean. Shit. It won a Golden Globe or two (I really just don’t remember).

But instead we get it as a sort of limited/secret/whatever Christmas release, all while my TV was filled with ads for Unbroken.

Cat Eyes
SHIT THAT CAT IS ON DRUGS!

Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) left her husband before it was cool. She just up and divorced and left with her daughter (Delaney Raye or Madeleine Arthur, you know, depends on when during the movie). She wasn’t Margaret Keane at this point, but I don’t remember her maiden/first marriage name.

She left to become an artist, and started doing quick sketches of kids or families at festivals for super cheap just to get by. She couldn’t sell her work for a lot because people didn’t care for women artists.

Well, there she met a man. A Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz) (psst, now you know they get married), who does mostly scenic landscape pictures from France. He is a skilled artist in his own right and really likes her work. Well, things get moving, and partially out of love of art and of each other (and a need to be secure financially or else she loses her daughter maybe), they get hitched!

They even sell work that they did. Well, Walter sells the work. He is a natural salesman, able to hype anything up. He accidentally claims that one of his wife’s paintings is his too! Because you know, he wanted to close the deal, and buyers always like to meet the artist. She isn’t a great seller herself. She hates this. Like. A lot. But goes along with it because it brings them money early on.

Oh and hey. Then he does it intentionally. And after they get to be super successful, he basically blackmails her into continuing along with it, taking no credit. Because hey, now they have committed fraud, and if she were to tell everyone, they’d lose everything. Sucks to be a sort of slave in your own home getting no credit.

Did I mention this is a true story?

And then, you know, also people like Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston, and Krysten Ritter as Margaret’s best friend!

Slanty Eyes
I think the main conflict in this picture is the war between big eyes and shifty eyes.

Big Eyes was such a quaint, nice feeling movie. I liked that it was set in the mid 1900s, but also, I wasn’t given some shitty filter over the whole thing so that I knew it was set in the past. No, it was just given nice regular camera work and the whole thing looked crisp. It wasn’t dark and broody, so it was something very un-Burton like, which was another nice surprise.

Another unexpected treat was Mr. Waltz. He didn’t have the same character as his Tarantino roles. And the only other role I can think of is Water for Elephants, which isn’t like this either. He was a villain, obviously, and a smooth talker, but a lot less stable than his past roles.

Amy Adams also did a solid job.

The thing is, this movie didn’t have enough plot for me. At one point it just felt like I was getting more of the same over and over again. She is still sad about her paintings and feels bad about lying. He still sucks and has schemes to keep her artwork being bought. On and on and on. The eventual court room scene was kind of fun. But still, I thought something was lacking throughout the whole film. Acting was fine, story wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped, but it was still a well shot and pretty movie.

I think Burton picked it accidentally. He saw the title Big Eyes and since he loves eyes so much, he assumed it would involve just giant floating eyeballs playing tricks on kids or something. Yeah, that makes sense in my head.

2 out of 4.

Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses 2 came to theaters in November, and I didn’t get to go to a screening because I went to see Rosewater instead.

I actually wanted to see this one more, but I opened it up to a vote, and it was something ridiculous, like 15-1 in favor of Rosewater. Too bad Rosewater wasn’t that special.

I really liked the first Horrible Bosses, despite its ridiculousness. But I also liked at least 2 of the 3 main actors, so it made a bit of sense. However, when I heard about this sequel, I definitely thought that it didn’t make a lot of sense. They had a potential of making it like The Hangover 2, where they told a very similar story and it just felt like a bad rehash. But at the same time, if it has nothing to do with with Bosses being Horrible, then why is there a sequel at all?

And can they make everything sexier this go around? I doubt it.

Nuts
Nothing sexier than showcasing your package in a business meeting. I’ve heard…

Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) are now in a business together! They made some sort of Shower Buddy item, that not only is a new nozzle for your water to come out of, but also automatically dispenses the shampoo and conditioning when with a timer or something. Yeah it sucks.

Either way, a big company has took notice. Rex Hanson (Chris Pine), CEO or something, wants to buy it all from them for a lump sum. But they don’t want to sell their company. He is a dick to them. Then his dad shows up, Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz), and offers instead to buy 100,000 units, they just have to get their company off the ground. Hire workers, make the product, and they have a deadline.

And guess what, they do it! But of course shenanigans occur, and they might lose their whole business for nothing instead and get screwed out of all their product. What dicks, these pseudo bosses have been! So they eventually get a plan. Kidnap the son, ransom him for a ton of cash to the rich as fuck dad, save the company, and get away with a new crime. Yay!

Oh hey, and of course, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx return as their old characters too. For various humor intended reasons. And Jonathan Banks as the FBI guy trying to solve the crime! Life has been decent to him post Breaking Bad.

Sex
I assume the telescope is innuendo.

I think Horrible Bosses 2 found a nice balance between keeping to the theme of the series, but also giving us something new. Last time they all had different people that they wanted to “kill”. This time, they are united against the same two guys and they don’t want them to die. Killing is scary business. So instead a very complicated plan with many moving parts is the real ideal.

I will admit I haven’t seen the first Terrible Supervisors film since it came out, but I think I enjoyed that one more than the sequel. This one wasn’t necessarily bad, as it definitely had quite a few hilarious moments, but I also think it didn’t as great of a plot behind it. There were scenes that produced no laughs at all.

But the most important aspect of a buddy comedy is the chemistry, and it is pretty darn good between these guys. I have talked before about Bateman fatigue, but even he wasn’t too terrible, although it was clearly Sudeikis/Day’s movie for the maximum lols. You might not trust my word on that, because I love almost everything Sudeikis does. I think he’s the best part of SNL the last few years.

Also, I practically died laughing every time they used their fake voices. Just it is probably more forgettable unlike the first movie where they did the…things. And stuff.

2 out of 4.

Epic

I was very excited when I first saw the trailer for Epic. The music is perfect, not a lot is spoiled, it looks beautiful, and looks like a great new franchise.

You know what I don’t like? The title. You know how hard it is to look up things about Epic? Don’t just search the title, you will get dumb internet images. “Epic Movie” is out, because of a bad movie having that exact same name. I had to resort to searching for “Epic <character/actor name” to get anything close to finding suitable images or posts. Come on people, think about the ease of finding your movie before you name it. Unfortunately, it was also made by Blue Sky Productions, who haven’t really made anything I really loved, their last effort being Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.

Birds
Just look at how sexy those birds are. Mmmmhmm.

This movie begins with death! Death before the film takes place (this is a PG movie). MK (Amanda Seyfried) is en route to her fathers house in the middle of the woods. She is almost 18, but her mother just died, and so she has to go live with her dad, who is basically a stranger to her. You see, Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) believes there is a hidden ecosystem in these woods, hidden from human eyes. They react on a faster plane, like flies, so humans can’t really see them because they are always moving so…fast. Yeah, he went crazy and his wife left him. Happens all the time.

But holy tiny men, Bomba is right! In fact, it is a special day, the Summer Solstice on the same night as the Full Moon! Time for the Queen (Beyonce Knowles) to pick a new heir for the next 100 years. After all, only the queen can restore life to the forest if the evil Mandrake (Christoph Waltz) of the Boggarts (swamp/decay creatures) come to mess things up.

The leaf men won’t let that happen! Ronin (Colin Farrell) has sworn to protect her, but young Nod (Josh Hutcherson) is making things difficult by quitting. After some bad things happen, MK finds herself in the woods and magically gets shrunk down to their size. Now she is in the middle of a forest civil war, with the threat of 100 years of swamps on the horizon.

Of course, this could all be some sort of PTSD after her mom’s death for all we know. Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari play a snail and slug, respectfully, Pitbull a frog, and Steven Tyler a glowworm.

Slug
“No shell over here baby, I’m a slug” – Aziz. Possibly my new favorite line ever, and I don’t know why.

Epic is loosely based on the children’s book (that no one has heard of), The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Basically, it took the character ideas, and made an original story. The plot itself isn’t the most exciting or original, and was filled with certain plot holes that made me shutter.

But it’s pretty, though.

One of my biggest complaints is inconsistencies in a movie. In this case, what is the real difference between a tiny human, a plant/animal human hybrid, and an actual plant or animal.

It’d be simple if all animals and plants could talk and be human-like in this movie, but we have frogs and snails that can talk perfectly, living out their lives and jobs, right next to birds who are just 100% animal, no voice. We have flowers that are just flowers, right next to some flowers that run around, gossip, and have arms and legs. Where is the balance? How does this work?

With the leaf men, they aren’t leaves at all. They are basically tiny humans, with just leaf armor as clothing. Nothing else in the forest outside of the queen appears to be a tiny human, so I found it all confusing.

But it’s pretty, though.

Epic ended up being just an average film, not living up to its (poor) title. If you ignore how confusing the world ends up being, it is a cute tale that is outrageously incredible to look at.

“Hey, it’s a kids movie, stop thinking so deeply about the world!”. No, that is a bad excuse, and leads to movies like Cars 2.

2 out of 4

Django Unchained

The last of the movies to come out on Christmas for me to review, Django Unchained is unlike really any other.

It isn’t random holiday fluff, and it isn’t based off of previous work/book/musical. Sure, there was the movie series Django. But those stories aren’t at all related, all it is is a name share.

But outside of that, you know its a Tarantino movie, so you know, there will be blood.

Walk
Along with stylish threads, and stylish walks.

Django (Jamie Foxx) is a slave. A slave walking through Texas. He had a history, hell, he had a wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Too bad she got sold to another plantation owner, who knows where.

But as luck would have it, a man has freed him from his bondage. Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a bounty hunter and former dentist. He is looking for a group of brothers who have gone on the run, changed their name, and he knows that Django knows what they look at.

So of course he will help him out! Killing white people for money, what could be better? Obviously. Not to mention if he helps him out, he can get cash, and find out where his wife is. Because we have all seen the preview, we know she is with Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and under the watchful eye of her owner and head slave Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson).

Hammer
And in this movie, the hammer is an actual hammer, and not his penis.

I think I can say, universally, that Django Unchained basically is firing on all cylinders. It was a classic Tarantino movie, despite being his first western. It had it all. Dramatic tension, thanks to a few scenes between DiCaprio/Waltz, comedy, action, and a lot of gunfights.

This is now the third movie I have seen Waltz in and I love his character so much. The high level charisma and witty dialogue will make the long movie length fly by in an instant. Foxx, despite the main character, does a lot less of the talking, which makes sense given his position and role he has to play.

Despite not showing up until the second half of the movie, once DiCaprio and Jackson hit the scene, they make their presence known and make it count. There is a specific scene in question where DiCaprio accidentally cuts himself by breaking a glass, but doesn’t break character making it all the more intense.

Really, this movie is just a great movie. The “controversy” over word choice isn’t a controversy at all, it is just Spike Lee being a jack ass.

In addition to that, you not only see breasteses, but also a penis. Pretty sure though that a stunt cock was needed.

Stone
I don’t wanna sound queer or nothin’, but…

4 out of 4.

The Three Musketeers

What story is more cherished than The Three Musketeers?

Apparently a lot of them. You know how hard it was for me to find someone who knew the actual plot of The Three Musketeers book? I had never read it, nor have I really seen another movie with them in it. Maybe a wishbone episode, but I don’t remember it. I know I am not comparing the book to this new movie, but while watching it, I knew pretty certainly that some of the events in the movie could not have possibly been in the book.

After all, if they had been, that book might be a lot cooler.

Airship battles
This scene was one of the few that made me question if this was the actual story or not.

The story begins with the Three Musketeers trying to unlock Leonardo da Vinci’s secret tomb, where his most awesome invention blueprints were stored. Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans) and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) are all introduced (even with frozen framed name cards!), as is Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich). Each are shown their general personality, and how they prefer to conduct business and fight.

But after acquiring the plans for the warship…betrayal! In the form of the Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). The Musketeer program is disbanded at that point. A year later, D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman, aka the Percy Jackson) is training with his father, a former musketeer. He dreams of going to Paris and becoming one himself, and so, you know, does that.

In Paris, he starts off on the wrong foot, pissing off Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen), captain of the Cardinal Richelieu’s (Christoph Waltz) guard. Despite barely escaping, while running through Paris, he also encounters each of the Musketeers, offends them too, and offers them each a duel an hour apart. Then he is like, oh shit, Musketeers.

They get arrested for illegal dueling, but because they took out 40 men in the process, the king (Freddie Fox) reinstates the Musketeers. Just in time. Because the Duke wants to go to war with France. So he arranges that love notes be found in the queen’s (Juno Temple) desk, that say she was having an affair with the duke, and had given him certain rare diamonds (which he has hence stolen). The king will be forced to execute his wife, and go to war, but because he is so young, the public wont like it, and reinstate someone else instead.

Unless the Musketeers can fix the day! Also there is a hot lady in waiting Constance (Gabriella Wilde) who totally wants D’Artagnan.

Awk group
Lerman (center) looks like his head is out of place each scene with that hair.

How’d you like that summary? If you actually read the book, you’d notice obvious differences. I think Milady plays a way more important role in this movie, than the books. I think also the affair is real in the books (maybe here too? Could be argued). Also, warships.

This movie is also VERY colorful. The colors pop out, at first kind of distracted me (in the first throne room scene), but I got used to it and overall liked it.

Also, this movie reminded me of TONS of other movies. The movie did had an overall epic feel, similar to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl, and not just because of Orlando Bloom. If anything this movie succeeds because of everyone else. There was also a scene that was a clear homage to Mission Impossible. But instead of lasers, I assume just had to see trip wires that would ring bells, or something.

Did I mention warships?

If I had a big complaint, I would say they didn’t flesh out the three musketeers personality wise enough. They do a bit at the beginning, and some other moments, but this is clearly an action driven movie. I will say that all the musketeers, in my eyes, did a fantastic job, and the kid. Seriously, they all kicked some ass. I liked the steampunk like warships involved, and found it odd that I was so captivated by a movie that did so bad in the box office.

GUYS. WARSHIPS. GUYS.

3 out of 4.

The Green Hornet

Ah-ha! When there is no movies to watch during a weekend (cause of screw ups) I have to resort to back up plans. Unfortunately, there is only enough movies in my backup plan to last this weekend, so instead of depleting that, I am going for back up back up plan. Movies I kept avoiding for no reason. And with that, The Green Hornet!

Hornet
Which I think would have been sexier as a CGI movie myself.

Seth Rogen is a spoiled playboy. His dad runs a large newspaper complex, so he never really has to work. He always wanted to do right by people, but got in trouble as a child. So he felt like his dad never cared! But then his dad dies. OH SHIT. He is in charge now of his shares? And in movies, if you control 51% of the shares or more, you can do what you want. He gets all mad and fires everyone in his house.

But finds out his coffee sucks, so he rehires the coffee guy, who also is good with cars, Kato (Jay Chou). Kato is also good at every other damn thing in the world. In case you didn’t know the Green Hornet is all Kato being a bad ass, and Green Hornet being not as cool as Kato, which the movie tries to show.

Blah blah, eventually they try to fight crime, and succeed, but are scene as criminals. Because he now runs the paper, he can have them publish stories on them and sell his image! Even if Edward James Olsmos says it is a bad idea, the oldest editor there. Also there is Cameron Diaz as criminologist secretary. David Harbour and Christoph Waltz are also in the movie, not necessarily as “bad guys” but big dicks.

Criminal Kingpin
Yep, just huge criminal kingpin dicks.

So this movie has everything you’d expect. Small humorous quips, badass car, Kato being a badass, eventually Green Hornet and Kato fighting and no longer being friends, Green Hornet wanting to tap Cameron Diaz, betrayal, the death of a hero, and everything. Seriously. Everything is pretty much expected.

It wasn’t the funniest movie, nor did it have the best action. Hell, even the plot was just okay. I think the reason I put off watching it is because of the drama that went into finally making it. Pretty much a decade of problems, with a lot of possibilities of much cooler movies based on the actors previously put into the project. But we got Seth Rogen, so I can’t help but be disappointed.

Overall, the movie was decent on its own, but kind of felt like it brought nothing new to the “hero genre”. Afterall, Hong Kong Phooey already brought us the “bad ass sidekick” concept in TV/Film before Green Hornet (which yes, existed way before Hong Kong Phooey. But still. That was radio and then comics). But was it bad? Not really. Just okay.

2 out of 4.

Water For Elephants

Water For Elephants is based off of a book of the same name. In fact, a year ago I almost read that book! But when I realized that the only people I knew who read it were women, I decided to investigate more. Last thing I wanted to do was read a romance novel, yeuch! But by doing research, I found out that a movie was happening, so like a real American, I decided to watch the movie instead of read the book.

Water For Elephants
I thought the movie would be two hours of this. A sequel to African Cats.

Instead, much to my delight, this movie stars an older and more rugged Robert Pattison (or Edward Cullen). Seriously, the look he has almost reminds me of how Leonardo DiCaprio looks now, post Titanic. Dude might be a star yet.

In the movie, Edward Cullen just wants to be a Vet. Almost graduated from Cornell, but left college once both of his parents died. No longer wealthy (turns out the dad was scammin’), he runs away, and gets picked up by a circus! Starting out as hard laborer, once they find out about his college schooling, he becomes a vet for the horses and elephant. He also falls in love with Reese Witherspoon, who is married to the head honcho, Christoph Waltz.

So. The whole movie deals with life as a Carnie in the early 1900s. You get to see animal abuse, shady tactics, and a lot of people getting beat up. An absurd amount almost. I think my favorite role was Waltz as the owner. Really good acting there. Cullen still was kind of just the pretty boy savior role. There was also a small role for Paul Schneider at the beginning and end of the movie. Who, if you watch Parks and Rec, know he is the coolest guy around.

Mark
Mark Brendanawicz! Well. Cool until season 3+. We don’t talk about that though.

Overall, the story was very simple and pretty guessable. Some good acting, but mostly just normal expected stuff. I am watching the credits now, they are doing a very classic take on it, weirding me out. It was kind of good, kind of alright.

2 out of 4.