Me and My Nine Iron

November 20, 2010

Movie reviews


It’s been a slow month of watching movies and with this latest group, I’ve never disagreed more with the IMDb ratings. It’s usually very reliable and is my only source of referencing movies. Don’t even get me started on Rotten Tomatoes, I’ll make my case for that in another post.

Lately, I’ve thought about how much people would think differently about movies if it were for what I’ll call the “movie placebo effect.” Much like how it’s proven that people will swear that the wine they’ve been told is more expensive is better than the actual fine wine, such is the case with movies, in my opinion. A lot of people go into a movie with expectations, sometimes unrealistically high, and a lot of people will see how a good a movie is before or after watching it, subconsciously having this source make up their mind about it. So forgive me for thinking independently and liking movies that the whole world seems to hate.

Case 39

Easily one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen, and the scariest since Paranormal Activity. It was to the point where I wished I hadn’t come alone to the theater. Forget the 6.1 imdB rating, the 22% Rotten Tomatoes rating and the universal panning of this movie among critics, I disagree with everyone who calls the story unoriginal and the concept “really ridiculous and silly.” Clearly, these critics only like scary movies that can actually happen in real life and they’re right, this can’t happen but just like most all scary movies. They should probably not even be giving their opinion on the entire genre. Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper give fine performances in a well-made movie.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Devil

A surprisingly low 6.6 imdB rating and crappy trailer didn’t stop this movie from making almost five times its $10 million production budget. There was actually nothing to dislike about this movie and made you tense every time the lights went out in the elevator to the imminent horror, similar to when it was nighttime in Paranormal Activity. It was scarier than I expected throughout, with a chilling scene at the end that will make you shudder.

The only thing keeping this from the ‘excellent’ rating is that it was only 80 minutes long (including 5 minutes in end credits), which is the bare minimum for a feature length film, and the movie was frankly, quite simple, which is understandable that the short length probably didn’t allow for much substance to be built. It’s not a bad thing, but it wasn’t a standout hit. But it was fast-moving and unrelenting. A decent start to M. Night Shyamalan‘s project, The Night Chronicles.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Expendables

Essentially, your average impossibly-against-all-odds action thriller. To be better than average, you have to show the audience things they haven’t seen before (what comes to mind is Rambo, where I feel Sylvester Stallone popularized the graphic decapitations caused by heavy artillery bullets, which he shows again in this movie as well) and for the most part, this movie gets it done.

Add in a star-studded cast, and you’ve got yourself an enjoyable time. I really have to acknowledge Stallone’s attention to guns running out of bullets, which he maintained very well throughout the entire movie, something no other action movie seems to care for and is an annoying flaw.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Going the Distance

Another confusing 6.4 imdB rating for what I consider to be, wait for it, on the same level of R-rated romantic comedy humor as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, one of my favorite comedies of all time. It’s a lot funnier and raunchier than I expected with Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live) producing the laugh-out loud moments as Justin Long‘s buddies in what I consider to be one of the best non-Judd Apatow produced comedies.

I also loved how real and relatable the long-distance relationship is and played out, which I don’t think critics ever give enough credit for. And I know moviegoers don’t consider it when deciding on how good a movie is, sadly.

Surprisingly, while critics say Long and Drew Barrymore‘s on-screen chemistry was one of the few bright spots of the movie, I don’t even agree with that. Call me mean, but there’s a reason why most all actors are attractive. It’s the reason why I can already say Just Go With It will be good. You want something easy on the eyes, and I cringed at times when Long and Barrymore were together. Easily a sleeper comedy notwithstanding.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Machete

And the Oscar for Biggest Dupe of the Year goes to Robert Rodriguez. What is believed to be a revenge movie about Danny Trejo just being a badass is secondary to the political issue of Mexican illegal immigrants’ rights in the U.S. It was such Hollywood hippie liberal propaganda that was rather off-putting for someone who is not one.

But two things about this movie that I mentioned earlier: 1) An action movie showing something new. Check. You’ll notice almost every action scene is eye-opening, with none topping the use of a certain body part as a rope to leap out of a building with. 2) Attractive appeal. Check. There is an abundance of eye candy scattered throughout the movie, headlined by Jessica Alba. (I forgot how fine she is that 90 minutes of her doing nothing could border a ‘5’. She’s the reason why I have Honey on DVD and why I get paralyzed from changing the channel whenever Dark Angel, Fantastic Four or Into the Blue is on TV.

A few more things of note:

  • Michelle Rodriguez – She plays a tough guy role again and while I find that unattractive and the reason why I never dug her, she changed me in this movie. She has a banging body and charmed me with her sexual side.
  • Lindsay Lohan – As an overprivileged kid doing drugs and being nude, I have to wonder if she was hand-picked to just be herself. Here’s one of many scenes where she’s without clothes. She has a great rack.
  • Steven Seagal – He looks weird and near unrecognizable as an overweight giant.

The style in which it’s shot is also undesirable, as it’s made to look old and cheesy at times, which doesn’t fit for me. That and the propaganda are enough to make this good action movie barely watchable.

Rotten Tomatoes’ general consensus: “Machete is messy, violent, shallow, and tasteless — and that’s precisely the point of one of the summer’s most cartoonishly enjoyable films.” You see why I bitch? About moviegoers, bad movies and Rotten Tomatoes?

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Far East Movement – Free Wired

The studio album debut and follow-up to 2009’s Animal is good but not as good as its predecessor. I can’t hate on an artist for changing their sound as they mature, but I was disappointed to hear that the latter half of this album went from their electronica beats, which I’m familiar with, to pop/R&B. Individually, the tracks are all pretty catchy and I don’t skip a single track, but how there are only nine new tracks and how the sound switches mid-album keeps it from being better.

She Owns the Night sounds like it should be on a Ne-Yo album, Don’t Look Now should be on Keri Hilson‘s album, Fighting For Air is pure rap/R&B and White Flag is pure pop. That leaves just five new tracks of a sound I’m familiar with. Like how my math turns an album into an EP? It really is a compilation of many genres, and I thought FM was done with mixtapes.

Favorite (new) tracks: Like a G6, Rocketeer, 2gether

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

BJ

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3 Comments »

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    Comment by bet365 — November 29, 2010 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  2. Maybe, Devil was good because Night had very little to do with it. He just came up with the idea, which is what his project is about. I think it’s a quick, fun watch; it’s only 75 min. long.

    I heard good things about The Kids Are All Right; I’ll put it on the list. Do you get down with the arthouse genre? It’s so underrated and underappreciated.

    Comment by Bryan — November 22, 2010 @ 10:40 pm | Reply

  3. Given Night’s track record, I predetermined that “Devil” would be horrible and decided not to watch it. (Maybe I was unjustified, but Night has to earn back my trust.) I figured, at the least, I might as well read about the ending. Is it still worth watching if I know who the devil is?

    I’ve been on a downloading binge lately, and one of the standouts was “The Kids Are All Right.” You should check it out.

    Comment by Chris Le — November 22, 2010 @ 9:00 pm | Reply


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