Tag: Elizabeth Olsen

Ingrid Goes West

Way back a long time ago, when I saw the movie Colossal, I had just learned about Neon Films, a distribution company run by Alamo Drafthouse. Colossal was amazing and everyone should see it. I believe Colossal was their first big release.

They had trailers for two other films specifically from them as well, Buster’s Mal Heart, and Ingrid Goes West. Both trailers were really well done, and I knew I wanted to see both of this films. I thought Neon was starting off really strong.

Well, Buster’s Mal Heart was indeed weird, but not something I could get behind. And Ingrid Goes West I decided to wait until it could be rented, because my wife was also really interested in it, especially since we were watching Parks and Rec at the time. Again, another delay, but that is okay, still hit it in 2017.

BFF
Did they both just conquer some natievs? Whats with the victory signs?

Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) just loves her friends, like, a lot. I mean, mostly she stays in her room, eating junk food, but thanks to social media she can keep up with their posts and going ons. She is one like away from joining in on the fun. But fun time is over, because Charlotte (Meredith Hagner) had the gall to get married, not invite Ingrid, and also imply all of her friends were with her on that special night. That bitch. So Ingrid heads over to the wedding to crash it and give her a piece of her name, putting her in a mental institution for awhile and giving her a restraining order.

Once Ingrid gets better, she heads home to an empty home, her mom now dead and gone. With Charlotte’s Instagram now set to private, Ingrid has to find a new BFF. And that is how she found Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). A social media pseudo celebrity, the type with a ton of followers so she can make money by posting images of products. She lived a perfect life, one that Ingrid would like to become.

And since she has all this inheritance money, she upends her life, flies to California and hopes to find Taylor to become real life BFFs with her, not just internet pals. She can become popular and awesome too. She rents a small apartment owned by the neighbor, Dan Pinto (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) and sets off to be friends with Taylor at any cost. At. Any. Cost.

Also featuring Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen, and Pom Klementieff.

bf
Ice Cube’s son gets real warm with Aubrey Plaza.

Films that are about mental illnesses have a lot of weight to them. For example, a few years ago I watched the movie Young Adult, when my reviews were still poorly written but frequent. I used words like crazy to describe her and eventually realized that what I was doing was not okay to do. I didn’t get that movie.

Now, old (and as an intellectual~~), I understand more the right way and wrong way to speak about certain things, and other times I still don’t fucking care (hooray swearing in reviews). I just also know that if you are going to make a film about someone with a mental illness and their illness shouldn’t be the brunt of the jokes. Jokes can happen, but if you are just making fun of illnesses, that is bad. And honestly, at this point, I really can’t tell if it goes too far in Ingrid Goes West.

Ingrid is a tragic character, who gets obsessed with what she feels is perfection, until things go to ruin. We get to see her in an institution, and who knows why she is like that, or when her mom died and if it is related. Characters getting pissed off at Ingrid over her actions? Totally justifiable in the movie. But the movie makers made a choice and chose to not make their movie in a way that seems to understand that they can’t just call a character mentally unstable and run with it. There needs to be justification, a reason, some sort of closure, and not just a gag.

And again, since it seems like it is hard to tell if they really treated it with the appropriate gloves, it probably means they didn’t. I can see elements there, just not enough.

The film on its own wasn’t really that funny though. It took awhile to really get going, maybe they were going for realism. Jackson Jr. was hilarious though, every time he was on screen I ended up laughing, which is maybe the only reason this made it to a 2.

2 out of 4.

Wind River

For awhile, I was up in Northern Minnesota. This is real life, true story. How north, you ask? Well, apparently a 45 minute drive would have taken me to Canada.

I bring this up for two reasons: One, it made me miss quite a few screenings, because they show movies up there months after everyone else saw them, certainly not before. And two, the movie Wind River is set in the wilderness.

Not almost Canada, but cold enough in the months of “barely Spring” Wyoming, in the mountains.

So basically, I am this story. If you squint really really hard.

Hunt
Oh hey. Avengers. I see you upgraded weapons.

Set in the titular Wind River, Wyoming, this takes us to a big reservation city where people want to just be left alone, raise their families, and not be fucked over by the white man. Basically like a lot of people in the world.

Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is a cool white guy though, as you can tell with his white name. He is okay, because he works to help the area. He lives alone and is a hunter, and he works for the government sort of, taking out wolves or lions or whatever that are messing with people’s farms. He has an ex wife (Julia Jones) and a son (Teo Briones) that he has visitation for sometimes. Definitely some backstory there. Would be awesome if a new character was brought in so that it could be addressed at some point.

But before that, DEATH. Because while out looking for a momma lion and her cubs, he stumbles upon a dead body. A girl, Natalie (Kelsey Asbille) that he knows, barefoot, and miles away from any house. His plans have changed, and now they have to wait for an FBI agent to get there to investigate the possible murder. Which is where we meet Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen), girl totally not used to the cold, here to check things out. Despite bad things that have clearly happened to the girl, specifically physical stuff, the death cannot be ruled a murder but natural causes. Weather is a goddamn bitch.

Banner doesn’t have a lot of time to investigate this before she will be called back to a new job, so she enlists Lambert’s help in order to get someone who knows the area and land to maybe make some leads quickly before she has to run off again. Can they figure out the mystery behind her death?

Featuring the awesome Graham Greene as the local cop, and Gil Birmingham as Natalie’s dad. Also all of these people: Apesanahkwat, Eric Lange, Tantoo Cardinal, Althea Sam, Tyler Laracca, Martin Sensmeier, Tokala Clifford, Jon Bernthal, James Jordan, Austin R. Grant, Blake Robbins, Hugh Dillon, Ian Bohen, and Matthew Del Negro.

Grief
And Birmingham’s face was played by William Wallace.

After watching, Wind River seems like one of those movies that I really love for basically every aspect, that other movie watchers will find to be boring or dumb. I hate it when that happens. I want those people to open their minds and realize they just witnessed something epic, so I write about it (while begrudgingly say that yeah, everyone can have an opinion), and make sure people get out there.

But honestly I can’t see that happening. I can’t imagine people going to watch this and not being impressed with it. It is just so damn good. There is no way this can have a disconnect between critic and the average movie goer. Anyone should be able to go in, see how much Renner, Olsen and Greene brought it the entire time they weer on the screen. They should be able to see how much Birmingham did with a lot less screen time. They should be appreciative of the cast that was very racially sensitive to the area.

And they should be able to see how well the plot unfolded. When the movie decided to reveal the secrets, they should feel how their stomach turned and their anger increased. The emotions would be on a ride if someone just let them.

Sure, Wind River started off a little bit slow, but once we get dead body, it should captivate the viewer, and you will see definitely one of the best films of 2017.

4 out of 4.

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: The Winter Soldier before 2016 was the best Marvel movie to date. It was solid all around, had the best action, the biggest stakes, and was nearly perfect. Before that, Captain America: The First Avenger was probably the second most solid solo film of Phase 1, behind Iron Man and also behind The Avengers.

Despite the resounding success of Captain America films and the Russo Brothers at directing, I was worried about Captain America: Civil War. Like, really really worried.

First of all, it is one of the only full plot lines I have actually read the comics for, so it holds a special place in my heart.

Second, I had seen a few trailers and I was worried about a lot of things. If the trailers gave too much away. That the plot felt forced (unnatural) and the big fight between the two groups would be cheesy. That the previous films didn’t set things up enough for the resentment to be believable.

A huge list of worries. I only need to state them out clear so I am not shown to be a fanboy. Especially after Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, I was ready for disappointment.

Shield
And no matter what happened, I would be Team Cap all the way.

This movie will make more sense if you saw Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. I assume you did, because come on, Marvel.

The film actually starts out, after some flashbacks, in Lagos, Nigeria! Some current avengers (Captain America (Chris Evans), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)) are staking out important buildings, looking for Crossbones (Frank Grillo). Needless to say, not everything goes perfectly and some civilians get hurt. Namely, a group of missionaries!

Based on those events, the events in NYC, in Sokovia, and more, the world has decided to stand up in unity and demand action. Over 100 countries have signed the Sokovia Accords, which states that the Avengers will now only act if they have permission from a UN Panel, and of course, have to act if they deem it necessary. A few of the Avengers agree with these accords. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is feeling guilty and War Machine (Don Cheadle) is on his side. Hell, even Vision (Paul Bettany) feels it is necessary to avoid problems in the future.

But not Captain. He has trust issues with these sorts of groups now, and doesn’t want to be forced to step aside if he sees wrong doing, or be forced to do something he sees as wrong. So he doesn’t sign the papers. The papers are led by the King of Wakanda, T’Chaka (John Kani), who is especially pissed that their primary export was used to make Ultron. And sure enough, more bad things happen. Apparently The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is at it again!

Fuck, so much shit. Captain believes Bucky is just brainwashed and wants to protect his old friend and not let the government kill him. So yeah, there is some conflict here. Captain and a few others agree to help him out, to get to the bottom of all of this, while the other guys have to stop them for negligently doing bad things to the UN and other officers. Fuck, who is right, I don’t know?!

Also featuring the return of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp). And of course, introducing Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, and Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo. William Hurt plays the Secretary of State and Martin Freeman as the head of the UN Avengers Council thing.

Shield2
Shit Spider-Man, why do you gotta go and steal my boy’s shield like that?

Captain America: Civil War is two and a half hours long, but I found myself wanting more. I needed more. More of everything! I could spend the next 500 words just comparing it to BvS, but that wouldn’t be a review of this film, it’d just be a shitty comparison. So I will keep it short: Civil War did a lot of things right that BvS did not.

Civil War turns out to be a fanboy’s wet dream. The action is incredible throughout most of the film. For each and every spout of athleticism, you can understand the fight. There aren’t a thousand quick cuts or shaky cameras. You will not only see well choreographed fighting skill sets before your eyes, but each character fights true to their persona and powers, so no one ends up fighting the same. Of course, a lot of heroes end up fighting and battling with other heroes. We also get tons of team ups you haven’t seen before. All of this creates for some intense scenes with a whole lot of fan service.

Now now, I know what you are thinking. If basically everyone is a good guy with future films, the tension can’t be real. Well, for the most part you shouldn’t expect people to die. Because it is a comic book movie and all that reason. I am not saying people don’t die, but I am saying for sure a lot of people do get hurt, both physically and emotionally. This is not a movie that wraps up everything with a nice big bow, it changes the future landscape of the films…much like The Winter Soldier did.

On another note, Civil War doesn’t go the obvious route throughout the plot. It didn’t go the typical Marvel movie route. It didn’t just keep escalating the odds to ridiculous levels. It had emotional backing behind it, on every side and even on the villain side. Some can complain that the villain is too calculating, but when I compare his plan to someone like Lex Luther’s (fuck I did it again), his makes a lot more sense without ridiculous stretches.

Shield3
Thank’s Black Panther. You are clearly just aggressively giving the shield back here.

Now here, allow me to hype things.

Black Panther HYPE! What a great introduction to this guy. He was shown to be strong, agile, moral with conflicting issues given his royal upbringing. His inclusion in this film was well written and explained, along with why he chose to fight. He is in this film a bunch, more than most of the other Avengers. I am so excited for this eventual film and future roles.

Spider-Man HYPE! Spider-Man was in this film a lot more than I expected as well. We got to see him as Peter Parker a bit as well for an introduction. His fighting was very spider like, along with his normal combat quips. They also showed his age really well, when compared to the old ass fuckers on the team, giving a clear and distinct gap in knowledge bases and general attitude.

Future films HYPE! I can’t wait for more. Like I said originally, I wasn’t looking forward to Civil War. After BvS, I certaintly wasn’t looking forward to Suicide Squad. All of my hopes were riding with X-Men: Apocalypse, which I don’t see as being good as the last two, and Doctor Strange, which I am pretty excited for. But now I have higher hopes for the future of Marvel films. Higher than I already anticipated.

On a final note, despite the large cast and significance of the plot, Civil War was worthy of being called a Captain America film. It wasn’t just Avengers 2.5. His characters was largely the focus of the film, but at the same time he wasn’t a simple protagonist. Chris Evans is GOAT, hooray movies.

4 out of 4.

I Saw The Light

If you don’t know who Hank Williams is, then you are probably not an American. Or at least not a Southern American. Which is okay in either regards, we will take all readers here at Gorgon Reviews.

He was a pretty big deal in the country music industry, and since Walk The Line got to be a big deal, it makes sense to see other country legends getting their own biopics. Hell, even the titles are similar with I Saw The Light. Verb the Noun and titled after real songs.

Here is really what I know about this film. It was supposed to be a big deal, was liked in festivals, and supposed to come out during awards season last year. But it was delayed until April the next year. Something happened along the way and the people in charge no longer thought the film was as good as they had hoped. Real shame. More British people should be playing Country superstars, after all.

Couple
There’s an Avengers joke around here somewhere.

Let’s talk about Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston), a young country singer from Alabama. The movie begins with him marrying Audrey (Elizabeth Olsen) at an auto shop. This is her second marriage and she already has a daughter, but this is real love. And besides, she is going to join him on some songs and on the radio show he gets to sing for.

Well, her singing ain’t as pretty as her face, and that causes some problems, including his own support for her dreams. But Hank has his own dreams. He wants to play at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville someday, his Carnegie Hall, basically. Yeah, sure, he is just 23 or so, but he thinks he can make it. He just has to get more publicity and hit songs. With Audrey as his manager, he gets some singles and CDs, but eventually gets the help of Fred Rose (Bradley Whitford), who helps get him to the Opry with his hit cover of Lovesick Blues.

And then everyone becomes a Hank Williams country fan! Everyone! Which means more alcohol problems for Hank. He also gets some back problems too, which leads to a bit of pain killer drug abuse. And all the constant traveling and depression puts strains on his relationships with his wife and children.

Uhh, yeah, and then the movie is about the problems Hank faced. Including his extra lady problems, including Billie (Maddie Hasson) and Bobbie (Wrenn Schmidt), his mother (Cherry Jones) and his favorite band mate friend guy (Wes Langlois).

Triple
Ladies loved Hank, but not as much as Hank loved the ladies.

Hank WIlliams is actually a tragic figure in the country scene. His life was short, but he did a whole lot in that life and helped shape country music forever. I Saw The Light could have been a pretty dark tale, with some great acting and hardships on the screen, with the occassional tune to keep us on our toes. But instead, I Saw The Light is just a mess of a film, dull and boring from the get go.

For sake of keeping things honest, there was a moment where I fell asleep during the film. It was early on when the film was going nowhere, at most I missed the amount a bathroom break would cause.

I really cannot comment on how much Hiddleston looks or sounds like the actual Hank Williams, but I will say Hiddleston had an impressive American Country voice that surprised me. The songs in the movie weren’t bad and probably the most enjoyable element. Hiddleston had a goofy grin most of the time and made everything look very fun.

I listened to the official soundtrack for the film however, and it is horrible. Half of the songs on it are not performed by Hiddleston, but background tracks in the movie. Because of that, not every song they actually sing in the film made it to the soundtrack. None of the songs that feature Audrey, not the beautiful Cold Cold Heart that opened the film, not even his version of Lovesick Blues. It is a travesty.

And one more thought on the music. This film is called I Saw The Light. It wasn’t made by Williams, but he did sing it and make it pretty famous. And you know what? Williams doesn’t sing the name sake song in the whole damn movie. Sure it shows up near the end. It is a good rendition too, but one that carries absolutely no emotional weight behind it thanks to the piss poor editing and story decisions the movie makers made.

Like I said. The music is mostly fine, but the story is choppy and the directing and editing decisions are bad. I don’t always know what is happening. It sometimes feels like a made for TV family bio film, then we get random boobs and Fuck to show that it is actually an R film. They can only imply an abortion and usually only imply infidelity. It is probably one of the worst examples of trying to show the bad sides of a celebrity while actively ignoring it at the same time.

This is not the film Hank Williams deserves.

1 out of 4.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Do I even have to write an intro? Yes? Well. Fuck. Okay.

The Avengers was stupidly successful. I knew it would be in 2008 or so. Everything Marvel has done has been covered in molten gold, but in a good way, not a Game of Thrones way. So of course everyone is excited about Avengers: Age of Ultron. Honestly, I am more excited about the next Captain America movie and some of the new heroes like Black Panther and Doctor Strange.

But hey. Ultron is cool too. I will take what I can get before we get 3 Marvel and 3 DC movies a year, plus random other franchises.

Ultron
Cool to the touch that is. HA HA HA HA HA.
Shits crazy. If you haven’t seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet, then I can’t really help you. Spoilers on that front.

S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone, unless you watch the TV show then who knows. Hydra is fucking shit up. The Avengers have gotten together to stop them.

Our friends are all back, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).

Remember the twins after the credits of the movie I just mentioned? Well, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) are also thrown into the fray. An evil fray.

Here’s the important facts though. The Avengers get Loki’s staff back pretty dang quick. And using its power, Tony Stark wants to return peace to the world. He would love to disband the Avengers because he doesn’t want there to be a need for them. So he uses the staff to help begin to build some AI to help protect the world from more outside threats. Shit goes badly. We got a robot that wants to take out all the Avengers now. The Avengers bring threats. They are dangerous. Without them the world would be better. Tony accidentally made an Ultron (James Spader).

What? Is that not enough characters for you? Well fine. We have some other appearances of course, and I won’t tell you how big or small their roles are. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Heimdall (Idris Elba), and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard). We also have newbie, Dr. Helen Cho (Claudia Kim), and of course Paul Bettany and ANDY SERKIS.

Thor
But Thor is my favorite so he gets his own picture, damn it.
For movies like this, there is no way I can get through these things without rambling and talking so much. So fuck it. Let’s go classic here. A simple pros and cons list of the movie. Well, a likes and dislikes. Yeah. And with fancy bullet technology!

Likes:

  • Hawkeye. They heard the complaints about him in previous films and they made sure he was an important character. A lot was added to him. He had probably two of the best lines, did cool things, and was fantastic. Everyone should love him.
  • Hulkbuster. Hulkbuster guys. Hulkbuster. Amazing fight.
  • The plot elements in the film are definitely related to the first Avengers. Characters decisions are constantly determined to make sure they don’t redo what was done in NYC.
  • Characters shared the screen. It wasn’t just a one man show and his friends. A lot of characters got a lot of screen time. Most of the new guys got their motivations and back stories. Everyone got to fight and everyone fought hard.
  • It wasn’t an exact repeat of the first movie. There are similar elements, but the threats feel different, the arguments are different, and the jokes are different.
  • They didn’t dick around in the beginning, it starts with action and goes quickly into Ultron time.

Dislikes:

  • Um. Ultron. I think. I mean. It is iffy. But from the many trailers, I expected him to be a bit scarier overall. He had creepy elements. Especially early on. But then he seemed to turn into a mostly joke cracking villain without the fear.
  • Vision. I liked him but I don’t think they did a good enough job explaining him or giving him more things to do. He felt a bit wasted.
  • Time. The movie is 140 minutes or so, but there are several times when the thing still feels rushed, especially in the 2nd and 3rd acts. There is a lot going on and a lot I liked, but some things made no real sense. Better explanation or more cutting would have helped a ton.
  • Love. There is a romance in this movie. It feels…forced and awkward the entire time. It helps lead to some of these moments where you’d like more explanation.

Also, under both categories I could say the Future. This movie does a lot to set up future movies. Future Thanos battle. Elements for the Black Panther movie. Elements for the next Thor and the Civil War (Although I thought they should have gone way stronger on that side). At the same time, this film kind of feels like a big stepping stone for the future instead of its own amazing event. Too much focus on the later movies, which we know the next many years for and not enough about Ultron.

Overall, AoU is really fucking entertaining. Make no mistake. It was a nice ride, and good action and all of that. The characters are the ones we love with new ones you will love as well. But I think it had enough disappointing aspects associated with it to make me not as excited as I had hoped. With all the set up, I think the Civil War movie will be the one that all this hype has been leading up to. Makes sense, because after it is when we start getting all the new characters outside of Ant-Man.

Go see it. Go see it multiple times. I will buy it as soon as I can for sure. But you know, not perfect.

 

3 out of 4.

Godzilla

Who doesn’t love an older franchise getting a reboot? Well, older Godzilla fans for one. They probably wouldn’t even consider this movie a reboot, just a continuum in the long storied history of the Godzilla franchise. But me? Sure, it is a reboot. We all remember the 1998 Godzilla. Even you in the corner probably remember it. I don’t care how many movies came out since then in Japan, if any. I only know there was a sixteen year gap between this one and the old one, and no characters are the same.

Well, one character is the same, I guess.

But fuck those older movies. This one is newer! With graphics!

Godzilla
State of the art Robot Graphics!

The year? 1999. Probably to mess with the other movie a bit. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is working at a nuclear reactor in Japan as a head Engineer, noticing some seismic waves, when holy crap, big disaster occurs! People die, questions are raised, and maybe, the whole thing is covered up.

Fast forward to now! Fifteen years later! Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Joe’s son is now a grown up, just a lad during the incident. He is in the armed forces, a bomb diffusion-er. I guess you can say he is good at calming high intensity situations. He is just arriving back home to see his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and kid when he has to go BACK to Japan to get his father out of jail.

He is now a conspiracy junkie and snuck back into the heavily radiated area they had to leave. Well, Ford joins his dad on a mission to go back to the plant, when holy crap, big disaster occurs! People die, questions are raised, and maybe, the whole thing is covered up. Just kidding, video footage gets out, at least one giant monster exists and it is about to fuck up a lot of shit!

But what do these creatures have to do with the mysterious Monarch group, lead by our only major Japanese character Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and his three lined assistant (Sally Hawkins).

Also, the role of Godzilla is played by Brian Posehn.

Destruction
It has often been prophesized that Posehn given enough radiation could cause this must destruction.

I think I have admitted to past to not really caring about the large raging lizard known as Godzilla. I can’t get into those movies, despite having multiple friends who have been raving about them and awaiting this movie for a few years.

However, I am a fan of really well done, exciting and entertaining movies. So, I guess I am a pretty huge damn fan of this movie. Godzilla is only right around two hours and never really has any pacing issues. Do you get to see giant creatures battling in the first thirty minutes? No, of course not, but the build up and the human drama early on really set the tone for what was going to go down. Shit, Bryan Cranston’s role isn’t that big in this movie, but he damn near made me cry with his own intensity.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson has had a pretty good movie career over the last few years, some good movies, some bad ones, but usually solid acting. In this one, he mostly displayed a calming silent attitude when faced with near death situations, but I think it worked out well.

But who cares about HUMANS when we have giant monsters FIGHTING? Were the fights great? Yes. There are fights rhgouhout the movie, although some of them are teased or kept intentionally dark to only give you snippets, but by the end it is definitely worth it. A lot of fan service here for Godzilla junkies along with chances for easily made sequels in the future.

Even more exciting is the science! Obviously it isn’t 100% correct, because we’d probably have Godzilla-esque things now. But for the movie, it seemed to work out pretty well in my mind. Yay reasonable science in a movie!

Looking at the summer schedule, Godzilla is likely to be the best “disaster film” of the next few months.

4 out of 4.

Oldboy

Wooo, Oldboy remake! I watched the original a few days before Oldboy came out to theaters, then…surprise! They changed their mind to make it limited release on Thanksgiving week, and of course, it didn’t come close to my area. Fuck those guys. Damn it, damn it.

So now it is March, and I can finally see it. I still saw the original, just like 4-5 months ago instead of right before hand. Oh well, whatever. Based on the trailers, it looks like they might have changed some of the main elements around, so it shouldn’t be a complete copy.

Hammer
This time, the hammer is actually his hammer, and not his penis. `

Basic jist, Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) is an asshole. He was married and had a child, but they got divorced, and now he is a scumbag ex who doesn’t pay child support and lives sale to sale. One night, after a sale, he goes to visit his friend Chucky (Michael Imperioli), he gets abducted! He thinks it is a hotel room for sex, next thing he knows, the scenery outside is fake, and he is stuck in this small room with a TV.

Twenty years go by with him in that room, getting fed 3 meals a day and occasionally getting gassed for random reasons. He finds out soon after he was captured that his wife was murdered and the blame fell directly on his life. Shit. Now his daughter, 3 years old, who barely knew him, is getting raised by another family.

So what happens after 20 years? He gets released. No questions asked. Huh. Okay. Why? I guess that is the question.

Also starring Elizabeth Olsen (A lot of her), Sharlto Copley, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Hairs
That’s right, after all that, I just want to show you a very hairy Brolin.

To answer the question that people care about, no, not really. The question they were asking of course was “If I saw the original Korean version, should I watch the American remake?”

That is a bit unfortunate. A lot of it was the same, not scene for scene, but basically every step of the way is the same. Remember that long fight scene from the side in the original? It is back in this one, but…shorter I think, and with more cuts. Remember the ending? Of course you fucking remember the ending. Well, it is very similar. Arguably there is one big plot point different, but in the grand schemes, it is the basic same story.

So, on its own? It is okay. Definitely not as powerful as the first, and really, knowing the entire story kind of tames this one for me. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t feel as good as the Korean counterpart. Sharlto Copley played a villain and uhh, he has been a better villain in other movies. It was pretty meh. In general, the end has a “too many coincidences” vibe to it, so the ending doesn’t even give as much pay off as the Korean version.

I think I also expected a bit more from Brolin here, who I guess is officially a hit or miss actor. Sometimes he is on, sometimes he isn’t. Tis a shame.

Oldboy remake? Could have not been done. I would have expected more different from this type of movie, not a basic copy.

2 out of 4.

Liberal Arts

The reason it took me so long to see Liberal Arts is because for whatever reason, I refused to watch it outside of a RedBox rental. Yet somehow it was rented out for months, and I just got slapped in the mouth over and over again.

That doesn’t make any sense. But if you saw my review for Happythankyoumoreplease, you would have seen my comparisons between Josh Radnor and Zach Braff, getting their indie movies on. But now Josh Radnor did a second one? Come on, Braff is way behind now. Stop it Radnor.

Sex
But please, continue being the old dude at college parties. That’s for cool people.

Jesse Fisher (Radnor) is a 40 something man living in NYC and just being kind of miserable. He has a job, has a life, but there is no fun. But when his professor, Peter Hoberg (Richard Jenkins), announces his retirement (in mother fucking Iowa) and wants one of his favorite students to show up. Sure. Why not. It is his favorite professor too.

Well, during the festivities, he meets Edie Parker (Elizabeth Olsen), a 20-year old college student who is all sorts of perky and happy. In fact, they go on a date. Not weird. Kind of weird. Nothing happens. But they agree to write each other and exchange music.

That gets them all excited. Then they see each other again. For sex? Maybe for sex. He also meets an old teacher he used to like (Allison Janney), a depressed individual who likes the same books he does (John Magaro) and a person who may not be real who is helping him achieve his desires (Zac Efron).

Aww yeah. Again, maybe sex will happen. Maybe.

Hugs
Is this sex? I don’t even know.

So what happens when Josh Radnor tries to out indie Zach Braff? Well, it actually works out really well.

First off, Elizabeth Olsen is the younger sister of the twins. She also seems to be totally sane. She won a lot of awards for her role in Martha Marcy May Marlene, but I haven’t seen it yet. Well, clearly I should, because Olsen rocked this movie as well.

Liberal Arts deals with a lot of tough subjects. There are multiple supplots outside of the “Go to college, maybe deflower someone who really likes you” subplot, yet they all also deal with Radnor’s character. One man, many subplots. I love the random ones with the depressed kid, and a dazed and confused Zac Efron. It also took me awhile to recognize him as Efron, not at all expecting him to have a role like that.

There are plenty of awkward scenes as well, dealing with a man who is trying to find his place in life, and going back to his roots to figure it out. Everyone acts well in it, and it doesn’t go the way you’d expect it. Shit, there is even a discussion about Twilight in it, without mentioning the book title.

I’d say check it out. You will realize that Radnor might be a better director/writer than a sitcom star.

3 out of 4.