Deadpool 2

Before any of you take my words too seriously, let it be known that I gave the original Deadpool a 2 out of 4. Why? Some people were quite angry with me back then! They called it a fresh sight for sore superhero eyes.

And I called it sort of boring. We start with a good intro, but then when we get the flashback, it takes forever to get to the point where we get Deadpool power again. A seriously long time, that is humerous, but less funny, and just….slow. The other main issue was the weak villains. It was a very ground film, but I watch superhero films so that superheroes can fight challenges, not just generic strong people.

Either way, with the sequel, I was more excited. It was going to have a wider cast of characters, it clearly didn’t have to get bogged down in backstory for our main character. It also was going to give us Cable for the first time in modern cinema, so Deadpool 2 had something unique going on for it. And honestly, just, it needed a second try for me. This time I was already given two amazing superhero films in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, so it had a bit of a hill to climb to get to their levels.

Ass
More ass is a nice touch though, I guess.

Deadpool 2 takes place after the events of Deadpool. I know that might sound shocking, but time is usually linear.

Unless a movie has a time travel device. Oh hey there is a time travel plot? Fuck. This movie has Cable (Josh Brolin) in it! Oh no! He is from the future, and he has a kid (Julian Dennison) to kill. If he kills the kid, his future is better for him at least. So why not?

Well, there are a lot of reasons why not. And Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) might have to protect them, although it doesn’t sound very Deadpool-y. Speaking of Deadpool-y, this plot outline is really vague, isn’t it? Yeah, because honestly, the less you know, the better.

Also starring Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Bill Skarsgård, T.J. Miller, Terry Crews, Lewis Tan, Eddie Marsan, Jack Kesy, Shioli Kutsuna, Leslie Uggams, Stefan Kapicic, and Karan Soni.

And Rob Delaney as Peter.

Peter
And Peter guys, come on.

If you only had to read one statement about the film to confirm your beastly desires, then let it be this one: I think Deadpool 2 is better than Deadpool. So if you loved Deadpool, this might an even more crazy experience.

There is more action, there is more gore, there are a lot, lot more surprises, and an infinite amount more Celine Dion. It will shock you early on, throughout, and through the end. Both in terms of just how far it goes and the themes it will explore. It has probably one of the best credit scenes of all time.

And yet, it actually put me to sleep early on. Getting plot heavy isn’t a problem, but when the plot is sort of going all over the place, and it is just filled with streams of meta or lame jokes, it is easy to lose disinterest. Sure, it picks up in the second half. And yet as a full film it is just lacking again.

I do find myself more willing to re-watch this one than the first film. And future films too, given that they probably won’t have any T.J. Miller after the incidents.

Also, Peter!

2 out of 4.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

I remember when the first poster for The Hitman’s Bodyguard came out, everyone just naturally assumed it was a joke. There wasn’t prior knowledge of some mysterious Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson movie, just a poster and a lot of laughs. It was a parody of the poster for The Bodyguard, but you know, dudes. Hilarious.

And then a trailer came out and confirmed everyone’s worst or best fears. This movie was real, and it was an action comedy, and it might be amazing. It could be the next The Nice Guys for all we know, with two talented comedic leads who also know their way around an action movie. A perfect pairing, if you will.

Little did I know, technical issues would get in the way of a good laughing.

Gun
Joke about dicks and guns.

Michael Bryce (Reynolds) used to be one of the best bodyguards in the world. Dignitaries, foreign leaders, high CEO level people would hire him in dangerous situations to make sure they made it through safely, especially if someone wanted them dead. He was incredibly thorough with his work, always detailed, meticulously planning every job to ensure the best for his clients.

But eventually, one of his clients got shot despite doing everything right. This put him on the straight spiral downward. A bodyguard is only as good as his rating, and letting a client die puts a hamper on your rating. So now he is a mess of a man, doing shittier jobs. He still does them well, but his heart isn’t into it anymore.

An ex lover, Amelia Roussel (Elodie Young), who works for Interpol one day shows up at his door needing help. It turns out they have in their custody Darius Kincaid (Jackson), one of the greatest hitmen known to man, with incredible aim and very ruthless. He isn’t being charged with a crime, but he is being brought in as a witness against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), a tyrant being charged with crimes against humanity. Apparently Kincaid did a few jobs for him, so he has the inside scoop and is the only person alive who can testify to the deeds.

So of course people want Kincaid dead. And it is going to take an expert to get him there safely, while also dealing with his reckless behavior. Unfortunately, these two gentlemen are also bitter enemies, with Kincaid being the one who killed Bryce’s man those years ago. Oh how will they put this rivalry behind them?

Also starring Salma Hayek, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Tine Joustra, and Joaquim de Almeida.

Explode
The more explosions the better, I guess.

I’d love to give a real review of this movie. I’d prefer if I saw it in perfect conditions to really judge or appreciate the film, but alas, I did not.

The screening I saw had very jacked sound quality. Early on it was terrible. Everything that made a sound was louder than the dialogue, so it started off hard to follow. Later on it got better, but it turns out it was just due to less explosions. By the end, it was again an inaudible mess of just sounds and hard to decipher words. It was fucking pointless.

And I have to judge the movie entirely by this fact. Because I am not going out of my way to see it a second time to see if it was fluke. The people working didn’t say it was a mistake and try to fix it. We just got wrecked and they didn’t care, so I didn’t care either. I didn’t know when I would ever publish this review, because it feels pointless. But hey, I published my review of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which had even worse issues in my theater, so why not just rail against this movie?

Hayek was fantastic in this film though. She stole the show. Good on her.

1 out of 4.

Life

This is part of Fantasy and Sci-Fi Week at Gorgon Reviews!

Look, I am a big fan of all of these classic board games being turned into movies. Clue is the golden standard, and that was over thirty years ago. So why not a movie about the board game Life?

The good news about Life is that it is so expansive of a game, you can basically make it about anything, as along as it involves growing up, getting a job and family, a career, and eventually retiring. Anything could happen to you in between that. You could win a Nobel Prize! You could play the stock market. You could just not at all do anything worth while.

As long as you don’t set it in a fantasy realm, or in outer space, or anything like that, it could count as a movie about the board game.

Calvin
What the fuck is this? Is this in Millionaire Estates?

Aboard the ISS, we got a lovely crew of people, crewing around, doing science, being astronauts. They grab a probe returning from Mars, hoping to analyze some soil and maybe see if they can find life. And guess what! They do! A tiny tiny microorganism, but it is life not from Earth. Hooray science!

Everyone is stoked, the world is stoked, some kid wins a contest and names it Calvin, big celebration, we are not alone! But maybe w should be alone?

Things start to go wrong on the space station. Calvin starts to grow, Calvin starts to show intelligence, and Calvin needs to eat to survive whatever he can on the ship. And you know who that means.

It means these people! Hiroyuki Sanada, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds.

Finaltwo
The poor ISS gets destroyed and fucked up in so many different movies.

Obviously this has nothing to do with the board game, that is just a joke, but this film still has a shitty title. Life is too vague, has certainly been a title before, and isn’t as ominous as they had hoped.

I first avoided this film because it came out on my birthday, and everyone knew that Power Rangers was the bigger story there. Also despite having actors I knew in it, I thought there was not way it would be a good film.

And guess what? I actually did enjoy it. Sure, on the surface, it is basically just the movie Alien, but with a different Alien and not in deep space. Actually, it is extremely similar to Alien, including having people ignoring quarantine rules in order to doom everyone. However, we don’t get a badass female protagonist, we just get people continually sacrificing themselves for the greater good of humanity.

Despite its lack of originality, I still enjoyed it. The ending had me very tense and on the edge of my seat. The acting from Gyllenhaal and Ferguson was decent enough, and Sanada’s character made me feel incredibly sad.

I would say objectively it is not a bad thriller/horror film at all. It does get a bit messy at points, a little bit confusing not being familiar with the layout or everything they are talking about. There are plenty of worse films out there that won’t scare you, so might as well give Life a shot.

3 out of 4.

Deadpool

People have been waiting years for a Deadpool movie. At least a little bit over one year.

Remember X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Of course you don’t, because any sane person has blocked it from their memory. But that is when we finally got a Deadpool on screen, played by Ryan Reynolds, and he was barely in it. Hell, he became a final fight, but his mouth was sewn shut, and he is known for his talking mouth.

So people went on the internet and bitched and complained, which is the number 2 thing people do on the internet. And no one listened. Until finally, in 2014 “test footage” of Deadpool visual effects made in 2012 was “leaked online.” Oh no! The internet went wild and shared it, showing there would be interest, and guess what, interest finally existed for them to go full on with the movie that had been in development hell for at least a decade.

Now that it is here, my only worry is that it is actually going to suck. Because the Wolverine solo films suck and the advertisements everywhere make the film look like it is trying too hard.

DP
Heh. Hard. Like a penis. Hey, is that a boner!?

Ryan Reynolds is DEADPOOL, aka Wade Wilson, aka not Deathstroke or Wolverine. A weird guy, excessively violent, speaks graphically and honestly, a go getter, can heal exceptionally fast, and breaks the fourth wall.

That is basically everything you knew if you were already on the internet, because that is what is he known for now.

Did you know before he had the hideous face he was just a fucked up mercenary with a twisted sense of honor? Did you know he loved a woman (Morena Baccarin) almost as fucked up as him? That he frequented a bar of tough guys where his friend Weasel (T.J. Miller, not Pauly Shore) worked? That he developed cancer in multiple parts of his body, and to try and cure it, he underwent secret scary surgery that promised to make him into a super hero?

But no, it was a bad place run by Ajax (Ed Skrein), who was turning these people into super soldier slaves! He is the main bad guy, super strong and fast, with no nerves so he doesn’t get a fuck about no pain.

Yeah! So Deadpool really wants him to kill him. Or get him to fix his ugly body that is gross now, then kill him!

Also featuring on his side, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic, just the voice), and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand)! Angel Dust (Gina Carano) is Ajax’s main lackey, and a guy named Warlord (Michael Benyaer) also exists. Other characters are played by Karan Soni, Randal Reeder, Jed Rees, and Leslie Uggams plays Blind Al.

Colossus
Colossus could make a good case for being blind as well.

I am afraid the internet will hate me. Deadpool has received gallons of support from other early reviewers, and if I don’t like it they will cut me down like the people who for some reason believe Sylvester Stallone deserves awards from Creed.

But let’s get straight to the point. Parts of Deadpool are hilarious. Parts of Deadpool have great action. Parts of Deadpool make me smile. But all of them just feel like small parts, and I want more. It isn’t funny enough and there isn’t enough action.

Starting with the action, our bad guy is played by Skrein, who most recently did a terrible job with The Transporter Refueled. His character is also strong and can take a huge beating, but he is incredibly boring and dry. He doesn’t feel sinister, just almost like a normal gang member with some powers. Similarly, Angel Dust is just Gina Carano. She is super strong I guess? Another boring power.

But they are just two people who like like humans, going against Deadpool and Colossus, a 100% CGI man, and Negasonic, who is barely used. In super hero battles you expect both sides to have some sort of pizzazz. Without it, it is just Deadpool slaughtering gang members and a couple slightly stronger humans.

Similarly, there didn’t seem to be enough action. The intro action sequence plastered over the trailers was broken up by extremely long back story sequences. It ruined the flow of that scene for me. Outside of the final climatic battle, it just didn’t feel like there was a lot between them.

ajax
This is about as epic as any encounter gets unfortunately.

Now for the comedy. Again, there were great and hilarious moments. I tended to laugh at the smaller jokes. The crude and vulgar humor felt about as funny as it does in a teen sex comedy, so sparingly. T.J. Miller was usually good, but even his lines felt forced at times, not a lot of natural moments.

Meta jokes were usually good, as they were part of the fourth wall breaking. I tend to like that in movies in general, and the moments in here were all used nicely. But again. The back story didn’t have enough humor in it. The lines were witty, but they were too far and in between. Fuck, when he was getting tortured in the secret facility? I thought that would never end. It didn’t make the film feel dark and gritty, just made me checking my mental clock wondering when it would get to the good stuff.

I am just a bit disappointed. I got a bit hyped up from the internet storm, and I thought Deadpool could have been a lot better. More wall to wall action and comedy. Better villains so that something cool could have happened in the fight scenes. Hell, Colossus was completely underused and just became generic Russian strong guy.

I have high hope that sequel will end up being much better. But for now, this ended up just being okay, exactly what I was afraid would happen.

2 out of 4.

Mississippi Grind

Originally, I was trying to avoid Mississippi Grind. I figured I could just wait a few months and get to it when I get lazy. But sure enough, this movie has earned some award nominations from the Spirit Awards, the awards for independent films. And for last years awards I did a pretty pathetic job of watching those movies. I started too late, when I was busying myself with the Oscar nominated movies, so I rarely was able to watch films from just Spirit. They needed to overlap!

Now, this film might be one that overlaps too. It might be nominated for Oscars, technically. I just don’t see it because it is such a small movie and no one seemed to care about it when it was released.

But here is a reason to care about it. Ryan Reynolds has been working really hard to release movies this year, and this is number four for him. Four films this year! All of them starring Reynolds. Not bull shit cameos, but lead man roles. I only enjoyed The Voices, because Self/Less and Woman In Gold were shit. But at least he is working hard before Deadpool comes out and disappoints us all.

Gamble
You shouldn’t be willing to bet it all on comedic and financial success. That’s a shit bet.

Mississippi Grind is about Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) and Curtis (Reynolds), two very old timey dude names. But only Gerry is old. He is a loner, divorced with a step kid, and he surprisingly likes to gamble. He lives in middle of nowhere Iowa, but he still plays small time poker games. Must have lost too many big steak hands in his past or something. Gerry and Curtis meet in one of these games, as Curtis was just driving through. He is charismatic, likes to tell stories, and likes to meet people. He doesn’t care about winning, but he is still addicted to gambling and the people. Gerry is addicted to gambling and money.

After night of friendship and drinking these two become the most unlikely of friends. And guess what, Gerry finally has someone who shares his love of gambling! Curtis invites Gerry to travel with him, towards a big poker tournament in New Orleans. Sure, they need a shit ton of money to enter it, but they will just stop at tournaments along the way, winning money and having a blast. They can do more than poker. They can bet on horses, on dogs, play craps, whatever the fuck they want.

Fuck responsibilities. Fuck jobs. Fuck old loved ones. Fuck cares. Let’s gamble and live life.

Also featuring a lot of people in smaller roles, so I will only mention Alfre Woodard, Analeigh Tipton, and Sienna Miller.

Deal or FUCK YOU
Some dudes too I guess. But who cares about those fucks.

I feel like I know Curtis and Gerry, I really do. These strangers met and talked and hung out, and I feel like I was maybe the third, silent stranger on their trip, laughing, yelling, and doing dumb shit. You could probably say that for most movies, as you are always watching them, but for some reason it feels a bit personal with these two shitheads.

I call them shitheads of course, because I am an asshole, and addictions are a real thing. But they just cannot stop gambling and they bet on everything. They bet on their last $100. They bet with other people’s money. They steal and lie and keep on going. They are despicable people, but despicably your friends.

I think Mendelsohn and Reynolds did some top notch acting. They were very believable, and Reynolds wasn’t stuck just playing some pretty boy.

The biggest downfall would have to be the story. It is one we have all heard before, in a way, and there are definitely better gambling films out there. But the simpleness ends up being one of its strengths, when you realize gambling is only part of the film, with the people being the main part.

Potential spoiler? I was worried this movie would turn out being like Fight Club but with gambling. It wasn’t. Everyone was real. That’s good. A Fight Club twist would have been terrible.

3 out of 4.

Woman In Gold

I felt a bit bad, reviewing Self/Less, talking about how it was Ryan Reynold‘s forth movie for the year, and realizing that I skipped two of them in the process, only reviewing The Voices.

I’m sorry Ryan. We’re still cool right? I am going to make it up to you by reviewing Woman In Gold right away (whenever this gets posted). For your non-Ryan Reynolds readers out there, yes, I am almost certain Ryan reads these reviews. Don’t be jelly.

Despite the lateness of this review, after watching two disappointing films about a Woman in Black, I am excited to see what one wearing Gold can pull off.

painting
Oh no, she has some black on her as well! Oh nooooo!

Tie your shoes, folks. There are Nazis in this movie.

This film takes place during World War II and during modern times! As you may have heard, the Nazis stole a lot of artwork during the wars. There was a very mediocre movie about protecting that artwork. And at least one Simpsons episode about having stolen artwork! This is about one woman’s true story to get a painting back.

You see, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) is from Austria, but when she was a young girl she was played by Tatiana Manslany. Her Aunt was beautiful and also the subject of the very real Woman In Gold painting! Well, to make a long story short, they had to flee the city thanks to the Nazis, some people were killed, and in a will from the Aunt, the painting was donated to an Austrian museum and is now considered a national treasure.

But the will shouldn’t be legal, as it wasn’t the Aunt’s painting to give! And since Maria is the only family left, she wants her dang painting back, because it belongs to her family and it is the right thing to do.

However, she needs help. So she gets some random inexperienced lawyer (Reynolds) to work on their case. And so they have to go back to Austria, then America, then a lot of American courts, then Austrian courts, and eventually hey they win and she gets the painting back the end. This is the only expected outcome, if you didn’t know that this true story would end happy, you are silly.

Also staring Daniel Brühl, Max Irons, and Katie Holmes in the role of “wife to important character that isn’t an important role” that is quite common in…so many damn movies.

law
In this movie, Reynolds acts as a man with imperfect vision.

Woman In Gold is not everything you’d expect it to be, but actually a bit less. If anything, the trailer makes it looks like it would be an exciting courtroom drama, about freedoms and the right thing happening. About taking down the big bad country lawyers with a small town boy, in a trial worth millions!

Unfortunately, the whole story seems to take a backstage to a few flashbacks in Austria, about love, war, and paintings. Very little characterization is given to the now. Instead it is all set in the past, with characters the viewer will care a lot less about. We already know what more or less happens in Austria at the start of the film. Our main character lands in America, her family has to die for the painting to be taken, and you know, World War II. But at least a third or more of the film takes place in the flashbacks, leaving me bored and ready for excitement.

And excitement I thought I was finally about to get with 40 minutes left! We had a real court scene coming up. Time for witnesses, deliberation, objections, and yelling! Maybe some bribes too. No, none of that. All of the court scenes are incredibly short, dealing with maybe one issue, and then they move on. The reason we get so many court scenes is just because of all the levels of court they have to go through: to the USA Supreme Court then back to Austria.

And it is the dullest of experiences. The real life story probably has some exciting moments, but they go an incredibly safe route with the entire film and instead we get a boring disaster. And the worst part is, Reynolds and Mirren do a fine job acting in this movie. Too bad no one would care by the end.

1 out of 4.

Self/Less

Oh hey, look at that! A movie title with two clear meanings so it probably means both!

Let’s see, Self/Less. Let’s look at it without the slash first, because that is easier. Selfless. So someone in this movie will do something very selfless for other people. Okay, cool, sounds like a hero.

Self/Less. Meaning maybe, that someone has less of a self. Maybe no self. Does someone lose their self in this film (and not just to the phat beats on the radio)? That’d be the easy guess.

In other news, this is like the fourth movie for Ryan Reynolds this year. Save some acting for the rest of us, jeez!

Thinks
Now go to your room and think about what you have done.

Before we get to Mr. Reynolds, let’s first talk about Damian (Ben Kingsley), a NYC real estate tycoon who amassed a huge fortune, and you know, built a lot of buildings. He is the head of a big company, kind of a shitty person, and has a bad relationship with his daughter, Claire (Michelle Dockery). He also has the cancers!

Thankfully, science is here and the rich can benefit! A group, led by Dr. Albright (Matthew Goode), wants to give those great thinkers a second chance and some extra years. They can grow bodies, transfer the mind of the great into the body of a young man, giving them more time to revolutionize the world! They would have to give up their past behind, of course, but they’d leave a small fortune for them to do whatever they want and become great again!

So now Damian is in a younger body (Reynolds), but it takes some time to get used to it. He has to go through rehab, to have his mind figure out how to use his body. He also gets strange flashes of hallucinations that are a side effect, but hey, they have pills to make those go away too! Yep. Life is awesome. Surely nothing is sinister about this operation.

Also featuring Brendan McCarthy, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Natalie Martinez, Victor Garber, and Derek Luke.

Nets
Hey man. You got something on your face.

Self/Less is one of those movies that likes to pretend it is smart and dealing with deep philosophical theories, when in reality, it is a dumb bad action movie. Yes, this psychological thriller drama is secretly just a bad action movie. After all, it didn’t have enough action to just be an action movie. Maybe 20-30% of the film is action movie, where the other percentage lies in the drama ethics focused feature. Unfortunately, the action was the worse part, because when it started, it seemingly came out of nowhere. Suddenly, new Damian is super strong, breaking toilets, busting down doors and patio decks just by running through them. He becomes a super hero, just because why not.

If the film eliminated most of the action and instead focused on the human elements, delving just a little bit into the consequences of their actions, this could have been a smart and through provoking film. Instead it is dumbed-down. The main character’s actions are seemingly completely random. He seems to give himself justification for going on an action-spree at the end, killing a lot of people, when ethically they aren’t even doing something that bad. This is a film where just some bad communication causes all of the problems, but at least half of that stems from the antagonist refusing to even listen.

Shit, even the whole sub plot involving figuring out what was inside the drug ended up being super pointless. The filmmakers must have had only a loose idea on what they wanted in a movie, then filled it with bad science and terrible motivations hoping it would bring in the summer blockbuster crowd.

I think what I am most disappointed in with this film is that the acting wasn’t even bad. Sure, I couldn’t understand everything Kingsley said early on, but he was an old cliche dying man. But Reynolds was actually pretty good in this film, but the acting is wasted on the terrible story. Self/Less is a movie that will end up being completely forgettable in a few months time, which I am looking forward to doing.

1 out of 4.

The Voices

The Voices is a movie that came out in early February that I really wanted to see as soon as I heard the plot. But I am not talking about the plot right now, I am talking about Ryan Reynolds.

He had a relatively quiet year in 2014, but that is because he was working so hard to make 2015 a full year for himself. First with this movie, we have at least three other movies where he is the star or a main star coming out this year, across all genres. Family drama, dark comedy, action, sci-fi-drama. How diverse, Ryan! You really want to get away from the stoner comedies! And let’s not forget that next year he gets to be a Superhero and an animated voice again. Jeez.

Maybe it is just that he got himself a better agent. Or maybe ScarJo was holding him back and Blake Lively is actually good at something?

…Yeah, you’re right. Probably the agent.

Dance
All he really wanted was to dance more in his movies. The Sam Rockwell clause, if you will.

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is just you average loner guy. He doesn’t have a lot of skills, working as a worker in a factory that makes toilets. Like, lifting and boxing. Very minimal skills. He lives alone with his two pets, a cat, Mr. Whiskers (Ryan Reynolds) and a dog, Bosco (Ryan Reynolds). No, don’t worry, he isn’t dressed up as his pets. He is just their voices, because they totally can talk!

Well, only to him. No one else can hear them. Did I mention Jerry had an abusive child hood, where some seriously fucked up shit went down? Yeah. He is taking pills for his head voices, from his therapist Dr. Warren (Jacki Weaver). But the pills make the world a much sadder place and make everyone seem mean. No, he is happier without the pills.

After all, there is a cutie at work Fiona (Gemma Arterton) who gave him notice and danced with him at the holiday party! So he likes her back. But maybe she didn’t like him too much and she was just friendly. Oh well, either way, they should date.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t have many people to ask advice too, because he doesn’t have any real friends. Guess his pets will have to do. And his cat his a straight up dick. Also featuring Anna Kendrick and Ella Smith as the rest of the accounting department at his work!

Pets
In retrospect, maybe he should have played has the animals in costumes as well. It worked for Wilfred!

Yeah, we get to see Ryan Reynolds play a serial killer and make some pet voices too. Hooray! The first thing I noticed while watching this movie is that it was carefully crafted visually. Someone knew exactly what they wanted to show and how to show it. And the visuals again, were great. The use of color, the difference between his life on and off pills, how other people perceive him, all great. The next thing I really enjoyed was…Ryan Reynolds!

Hey, that is pretty good, because he is the star/main character of this movie. But he actually acts. He isn’t the douche bag role, or a simpleton nice guy. He is a full character and it was kind of impressive. Not sure if because I don’t expect that much from Ryan or what, but I really enjoyed it. Sure, his voices were fun too.

If I had any issues with it, I would just say I didn’t like the ending as much. Things started to unravel, everything went crazy, Jerry was losing it, which all makes sense. But the actual ending just felt a bit of a let down. I was expecting something more, and it just didn’t keep up the momentum that was building. Now the credits were great though. Hell yes to those credits.

Overall, still, a very interesting an enjoyable film. After all, it is pretty weird, and I fucking love weird.

3 out of 4.

R.I.P.D.

Don’t worry readers, I am not about to spend a whole review explaining why R.I.P.D. (Trailer) just looks like a rehash of Men In Black. From the grumbles I heard in theaters during the trailer, I realized everyone had already figured it out on their own.

Technically R.I.P.D. is based off of a graphic novel of the same name, but it didn’t publish until after the first two MIB movies came out. Regardless, it seems like Universal itself doesn’t care about this movie with limited promotion and refusing early showings for critics. Generally when critics can’t get early showings things are going badly.

Gang
That facial hair from Bridges is not the something bad though.
Nick (Ryan Reynolds) is a member of the Boston PD, and finds himself dead unexpectedly during a raid. Man, dying sure does suck. He gets pulled up to what he thinks is heaven and runs into…a Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker). What? Were you expecting Jesus? She offers him a choice. He can either go straight to Judgement and find out his fate for eternity, or join the Rest In Peace Department, serve for 100 years, and get a recommendation before Judgement.

Given Nick’s somewhat corrupt cop nature, he chooses to join the force. The R.I.P.D. are sent down to Earth to round up those who have died and refuse to pass on, as they slowly corrupt everything around them. Roy (Jeff Bridges) is a lawman from the 1800s, and reluctantly takes Nick under his wing.

Too bad the deadoes are also working on building an artifact to bring all the dead entities back to earth, and end the world. Good thing Nick just died and can try and stop it!

Kevin Bacon plays Nick’s old partner, Stephanie Szostak is Nick’s wife, and James Hong and Marisa Miller play Nick and Roy’s avatars while they are on earth. A joke that most certainly gets old really fast.

Fake
This joke might have gotten pretty old real quick.
R.I.P.D. is not as bad as the trailers will have you believe. Sure, it has a lot to work on, and it could have been a lot better, but still, it isn’t complete trash. Critics just tend to give lower ratings to movies that they don’t get to see for free.

As for our leading man Ryan Reynolds, I thought he was really weak in this movie. Sure, his character just died, and he has a lot of angst, but I didn’t believe any of it in this movie. He was supposed to be pissed off the entire movie, but he just seemed passive aggressive and pouty.

Jeff Bridges was over the top in this movie, but it really did work. It was strange at first, having his era specific dialogue mixed in with the modern dialogue of everyone else. Once you got over that fact, basically everything he said was gold. I will give props to Mary-Louise Parker as well, who didn’t really have a lot to work with for her role yet still made it her own. She was in two different movies released this week (Red 2), and thankfully her characters were completely different.

The movie felt really short, and the ending was wrapped up pretty nicely with a bow, by ignoring pretty huge plot points. If you have monstrous beings running around Boston, blocking off whole intersections, with giant vacuum like holes appearing in the sky and taking out infrastructure, you are going to have hundreds of thousands of dead. After the initial appearance of bad guys, the streets became miraculously clear and no humans seemed to die. Great!

R.I.P.D. caused me to laugh on numerous occasions, but in general, the plot and acting from Reynolds felt really weak. It is at best a little bit entertaining, but not something I’d ever watch again.

2 out of 4.

Turbo

Turbo is the latest example of a kids movie following a very standard formula. Let’s take some sort of entity and either a) give them an impossible dream (and reach it!), or b) give them some ridiculous flaw (and overcome it!). Like a bird who doesn’t know how to fly. Or a plane that is afraid of heights (and wants to race). Or an overweight comedian who wants to box. Or a snail who wants to race in the Indy 500. Oh wait, that one is Turbo!

Race
Fuck. Let’s get this over with.
Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a snail! He has big dreams. He wants to go fast, and is the fastest snail he knows. In fact, he just did the yard in 17 minutes, a new personal record. He dreams of entering the Indy 500, thanks to words of advice from his hero Guy Gagne (Bill Hader), who claims that no dream is too big. His brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) thinks his dream is stupid, rightfully so.

Well, eventually Turbo falls into a car engine and gets coated with NOS, transforming his DNA and giving him incredible speed! This also somehow turns him partially into a car, with headlights, radio, rear review lights and stuff. Not sure how that second part happened. Even more eventually, Chet and Turbo find themself caught by Tito (Michael Pena), a down on his luck Taco maker. He works for his older brother (Luis Guzman) and their business is not doing well. Why did Turbo decide to not run away as soon as they were captured? No idea. But he could have.

Luckily, Tito is all into snail racing. Turns out Turbo is stupid fast and he wants to use Turbo to get more business. A very noble cause. So they set off to enter him into the Indy 500, for exposure. Nowadays kids would just make a YouTube video and become famous that way.

Oh yeah, Turbo has his own snail crew to back him up now. There is Whiplash (Samuel L. Jackson), Smoove Move (Snoop Dogg), Burn (Maya Rudolph), Skidmark (Ben Schwartz), and White Shadow (Mike Bell). Of course Ken Jeong voices a tiny Asian nail technician.

Junk
This movie is about to get fucked. Seriously. No mercy. Cover your eyes if you don’t like violent imagery.
Let’s start with some factual errors. Why? Because they matter to me. I am a Masters Geophysics Student, and the sloppiness bugged me. Basically I am going to be super critical.

Turbo made a big deal about getting a yard in 17 minutes. I know it was a yard, because they showed the measuring stick briefly. However, 36 inches in 17 minutes is really slow. Like, really really slow. That is why I went over to WolframAlpha to convert it. Seriously check the link.

WolframAlpha is so amazing it compared the velocity calculated to the the velocity of a garden snail automatically and it is about 33% the speed of the actual garden snail. Great, we have a snail that is statistically slower than most garden snails. Let’s say that factual error can be ignored, fine. Unfortunately, almost every other point in the movie (pre-genetic manipulation), Turbo and other snails are still shown with greater velocities than his trial. Unless it was important to the plot that is (see: the tomato/lawn mower scene).

Come on now, consistency.

[Editor’s note: Apparently IRL and F1 are different things, but similar vehicles. I just know them as “Not NASCAR”. Point still stands, basically.]
The ending bugged me a lot as well. As it is a car race, it involved a pile up of cars real close to the finish. At this point, Turbo and Guy go into a “foot race” type of situation for the finish like, similar to Talladega Nights.  But according to official Formula 1 racing rules (here and here specifically), none of it would count and the whole thing feels pointless.

Let’s get to the most important part of the movie. This plot is inherently stupid and bad. I didn’t read the full rules for the Formula 1 racing, so I can’t confirm if there is no rule that would disallow a snail. However, the concept behind it can only be described as cheating and a snail would never be allowed to race in such an event. They have very specific standards for the size of the vehicles, type of protection they need, everything you can possibly imagine. The snail’s dimensions do not match a car’s dimensions. For an extreme example, it’d be like using a Ferrari. Or like doping.

At one point during the race, the announcer screams that he can’t believe Turbo is passing a car from below. I am fine with his reaction, because Turbo is basically cheating. But the announcer is surprised instead that he could fit, even though Formula 1 cars have about 4.5 inches of room underneath them, while a garden snail is at most 1.5 inches tall.

If you hadn’t figured out by now, Guy is the villain of this movie, but only because he wants to win the race too. Just like the other 30ish humans in the race, all doing it without cheating.

I laughed I think a total of two times. The laziness of the plot, the laziness of the details, and the laziness of the character development ruined this movie for me. To quote Eleanor Roosevelt. “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed.” Turbo would not have lived up to the former First Lady’s opinions on America or Racing.

 

1 out of 4.

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