Tag Archives: bad movies

Movie Review: The Snowman

Image result for the snowman movie poster free useThe Snowman should work on a fundamental level. Presented next to the stark contrast of a Norwegian winter, it has the atmosphere for an investigative mire through paranoia, a devoted episode in the coldness of murder. With a backdrop splayed with the natural chill of the season, that unnatural rise of the hair on your back can easily be confused for the environment, only to be verified that your life is in jeopardy, your human instinct to fear the cold was correct and all is not right in the snow. There is a predisposition, a seemingly unproven rationale, to view the cold as a negative. Many do not like it. Many connect the word “cold” with removed, isolated and unstable. Those connotations come into play here. You are alone. It is cold. Whether it’s in the field covered in snow or on the frozen lake, no one is going to hear you scream.

This is the conventional basis for a murder mystery and with talent like Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson at your disposal, you should, in theory, be able to convey these emotions whilst diving into the terror created by an unseen psychopath bent on torturing not just those around you but your identity as a person.

What you have read above is a far more intriguing set of lines than will ever be read in Tomas Alfredson’s film. Wildly panned by all forms of human beings, The Snowman went straight to limited showings after two weeks and by this point, it had become difficult for me to find a place to see it. It was such a displeasure that theaters seemed to be going out of their way to save their customers’ time. I appreciated that as a viewer but hated it as a critic. I just wanted to see how bad it truly was.

The Snowman comes as advertised, or rather, not. It comes as audiences have advertised it, not as the studios have. It is barren but not in the context that it’s meant to be. It’s an empty film, with scrawled-out pages of script reserved for only the most mundane of collegiate textbooks.

Based off a series of crime novels, Alfredson’s film is swallowed by the sinkhole that is doing too much and also too little, embedding too many plot points into his narrative and then failing to develop any of them, leaving the lot elementary and the tale as a whole as intriguing as a pot of three-day old porridge, lacking any consistency and being of so little substance that it holds no sustenance and contains no adjective other than the word “bland”.

It is a picture that misses out on the power of cinematography, forgoing the tool that would best demonstrate the serenity of the landscape contrasted with a murderer with a pathological obsession with death and snowmen. Mixing sociopathy into this character’s origin would likely make for a more complex menace, one not easily understood but with loads to say.

This is a concept I would love to brainstorm, a script I’d love to write. We have a lot of options here, a lot of nerve endings to tap into and memories to create. That might be why The Snowman is so bothersome for me. It is specifically this type of film that should be attempting to numb our primal feelings and agitate the receptors we would rather not embrace like paralysis, dread and the foresight of knowing that our characters’ actions, and possibly our own, might be meaningless and lead to the same result regardless of their/our efforts. It should have the steadfastness to remain after viewing for a time and cause us to examine the reactions we had from the material.

Yet despite the movie’s ability to speak, it does not speak. Despite its ability to write, it does not write. Despite its ability to shred us, it leaves us reserved and removed.

Michael Fassbender’s Harry Hole is a washed up detective and now full-time alcoholic. He was the real deal back in the day but now is fully off the tracks and the allure of a possible serial killer is the only thing that might have him on his last wheel. Only, we spend no time learning about how real of a deal he might have been, nor how important this case is to him. He seems reluctant to even peruse it let alone pursue it, giving me the inkling early on we have a less than interested protagonist, which isn’t exactly enticing to an audience.

We also have his ex-girlfriend and her son in the picture, for some reason, and we have Rebecca Ferguson’s Katrine Bratt, who still has the itch for crime-solving but also feels like yet another sediment to an already overloaded concoction. It is a spider web spread out too far and with strands that clearly hold little significance. Notwithstanding, the camera will continue to spend valued time on said threads that to any somewhat seeing person hold zero intrigue.

Ferguson and Fassbender’s characters never seem to be on the same page nor in the same book, telling two separate tales rather than one complete one, only halving a film that already feels halved. There is an absence of a meaningful music score or any semblance of flow because of the rampant character flips, bouncing back and forth like a disorganized ping-pong game at a frat house on a Friday night. There’s also no regular communication between Hole and the assailant. The trailer hints at messages engraved in the ice. That doesn’t happen and there’s only one letter sent to the investigator.

I haven’t yet mentioned how dull this film is. Suspenseful crime should be a piece of sharp-edged cutlery. It can be quick or drawn out and yet just as lethal, just as effective. This blade is rusted. It lacks grit, style, finesse and aggression. It is apathetic. I am not. I’m pissed off.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (SinisterOlympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the Sun)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ip Man 2Ip ManKong: Skull IslandThe InvitationHush)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Doctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman Forever)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Death NoteTrue Memoirs of an International AssassinThe Great WallRobin HoodUnderworld)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesPower RangersUnderworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsport)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Most Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the Apes)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for The Snowman: 26.

This 2017 entry fails in every category. Fassbender is collecting a paycheck, the direction is awful, the reveal at the end unveils a huge problem with the culprit’s motivations and worst of all, I haven’t even mention that the great J.K. Simmons is sitting in the damn corner waiting to be given something to do. Won’t miss this one.

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Movie Review: Power Rangers

Image result for power rangers movie poster free useI don’t want to write about this. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen it and I still don’t want to write about it.

Power Rangers was one of the most prevalent shows of the 90’s. It was hip in the same way a stereotypical surfer dude is. It paraded histrionics and embraced comedy. It was the Schwarzenegger of kid’s television. Cornier than corn-on-the-cob and as lighthearted as an action show can be, Power Rangers, if it knew anything, knew its tone. It understood, without any reservations, its identity.

Power Rangers starts off with a sex joke. Nothing like a brazen, out-of-left-field sex joke to welcome an audience of 8-year-olds.

It is a sledgehammer to the mirror of reality for fans. I actually turned to my friend and was like, “Wow. Really? This is where we’re going with this?”

It’s a slow and long way down from that point forward and that point wasn’t too far from the start.

It wipes the floor with the concept of the Power Rangers before it even began. It was never meant to be a character exploration nor did it ever dissolve into a puddle of cheap filth, but our screenwriters and director here, in their infinite wisdom, decided sex jokes were the proper introduction of a Power Rangers movie.

It is simply disrespectful to the material. 90’s television was innocent and genuine. The dialogue was the food equivalent of cotton candy. There was never much substance there but the humor always kept it sweet and worth watching. You certainly could never say the Power Rangers was jaded. If anything, it was unnaturally enthusiastic, to the point that it was near impossible to take the show seriously. Rather than try to change that perception, the original crew carried it along, feeding into an adventure that caused no serious consequences. The world was at the brink of destruction, but I as a viewer was never concerned. The Power Rangers would get it done.

Dean Israelite decides to add a fresh spin on the saga. Rather than collude with the previous makers and look to manifest an allusion of the past, of this time when things weren’t so serious, Israelite decides he wants a dire story and then, along with RJ Cyler’s “strategic” weirdness, try to package it together into this antique with a fresh polish job and, somehow, a new feel to it.

If anything, Power Rangers is a movie that clearly wants to be taken serious but also wants to stay loyal to its predecessors, and to do both takes a surgeon’s hand and scientist’s attention to detail, neither of which a director who just made his film debut in 2015 possesses.

I’m perplexed by producers handing blockbusters to inexperienced directors and have been for quite a few years now. If I ever figure out the rationale, I’ll let you know. Until then, I’ll keep mentioning it, like I did a few weeks ago when I wrote Kong: Skull Island.

Not only is this Power Rangers a different animal from its parent, it’s a whole different species altogether, and worse, clearly out of its league.

There never was enough character concrete in the originals to allow for adult discussions on anything. Yes, we would have the adolescent lessons of loyalty and staying true to your values, but these teachings do not require an anthology to understand, nor a lot of inner turmoil for the viewer. Israelite wants to say something more meaningful, but he never gets around to saying what that thing is. If he does, it skipped past me because the movie doesn’t do much to keep you looking if only to see when this train wreck is going to end. The acting is withdrawn and without characters to feel for, audience engagement is difficult. I at no point feel a part of this experience. I hesitate to even use the word. Seems like an injustice to utilize it in this context.

It’s a reboot that’s formulaic rather than artistic and scientific rather than illustrative. Compromised by the expositional hose, Power Rangers doesn’t feel like a movie so much as it is a traversing of the lifeless and dormant. I’ve been on this ride more than a few times and it lost its entertainment value long ago.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ip Man 2Ip ManKong: Skull IslandThe InvitationHush)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Doctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman Forever)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Great WallRobin HoodUnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: Apocalypse)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Most Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the Apes)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Power Rangers: 47.

This movie has Bryan Cranston in it, by the way, if you were looking for another reason to cry yourself to sleep. Israelite misses on the power of nostalgia with this one. Like, completely, and without that thread from the past and that alchemy those crews performed in the 90s, Power Rangers fails to be itself.

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Movie Review: The Great Wall

Image result for the great wall movie poster free useThe Great Wall isn’t great and I doubt anyone’s surprised. The trailer for this film looked awful, showcasing awkward line delivery and rather straightforward character arcs. While I am going to spend a fair amount of page bashing this film, I want to say up front this movie isn’t apocalyptically bad. I was expecting it to be, but it does offer some surprises.

Director Zhang Yimou, who’s been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film three times, has a solid resume, producing most of his work in China and Hong Kong. Known for his color palette and cinematography, Yimou demonstrates these attributes in The Great Wall, though neither to the quantity or splendor most of us would prefer. A drama would have been nice but Yimou can’t prevent himself from being a storyteller that wants to awe and shock people through vision rather than capable filmmaking or a conscious script.

Although, I will give him credit for avoiding what I felt would be this film’s biggest hurdle: taking itself too seriously. There are plenty of films I want to take themselves seriously and don’t. It’s unfortunate that’s how it turned out but sometimes it works itself out in the end. Concurrently, there are directors that want to turn everything they do into the most dire of affairs in every aspect, to the point their ambition hinders their product. This is often the case when I sit down for a foreign film. I am well aware that all foreign films are not like this. I just seem to find all of the ones that are, for some reason. All of this goes to say, I was thankful when Matt Damon and his compadre started cracking jokes. That moment of recognition, when you know your film doesn’t have the gravitas to pull off the compelling, is uber-important.

Yimou doesn’t give up on the seriousness, nor do I think he should have, instead trying to balance the seesaw of tension by himself between what may be too much humor and what needs a laugh dropped on top of it to simmer everything down a little. While I commend the effort he puts in to try to keep this ship straight, it’s as difficult as it sounds and he can’t pull it off, mostly because his script writers are sawing off half the contraption with some straight invalid characters (I still, after more than a week, can’t explain why Willem Dafoe is in this) and nauseating line delivery. Watch the trailer above and try to tell me Damon’s “We came to trade” line belongs in any movie. Try to make a semi-decent argument and put it in the comments. That line in the trailer might be the iceberg to the film, honestly. Don’t get me wrong, this ship takes plenty of hits along the way, but this behemoth is the one that puts her down for good.

Which means, most of the talking in this film isn’t relevant. Usually, when I review a foreign film, I have to talk about the already inherent disadvantage it’s at because of the need for subtitles. This film doesn’t have that wall, though it does have the wall of relevancy to face up against and doesn’t fare so well with that. Some narration is needed for the organization of the plot but otherwise, a majority of the dialogue could be removed and you’d still get as far with the story as you would with it in. The characters just don’t mean anything. Yes, we get a few chuckles early as I mentioned above, but there’s a substantial difference between a one-liner machine and a character and we don’t even have a machine here. More like a one-liner chicken having a seizure in the middle of a species war.

Some of the action sequences are attractive enough to hold one’s attention though nowhere near the command of focus a movie that essentially doesn’t have characters requires. Some are plain illogical but at least it warrants a laugh. There’s one scene in particular where Damon’s buddy throws an ax off target and Damon shoots it three separate times with three separate arrows to correct its trajectory. If you enjoy this type of content, you might find yourself halfway to the road of enjoyment. You just need to decide how large the chasm is between badass and stupid.

There are some nice shots from the cinematographer here, with Yimou no doubt having some influence given his past experience as one. There’s also some knowledge passed on about the Great Wall that peaked my interest and shows you some of the inner workings of one of the world’s greatest wonders, though a quick look on Wikipedia may disappoint you either a lot or a little, depending on how much of it you believed.

Despite how underwhelming this film is, I am glad to see it do well at the box office (thus far, $320 million on a $150 million budget) because it means more foreign films will get money thrown at them and, more importantly, it means a real shot at the world spotlight.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The InvitationHushGhostbusters (2016)BatmanFree State of Jones)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Doctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman Forever)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Robin HoodUnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: ApocalypseD-Tox/Eye See You)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Most Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the Apes)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for The Great Wall: 52.

Great legends have great characters: Achilles, Leonidas, Robin Hood, King Arthur. The Great Wall doesn’t have one and that’s what drags this film down more than anything. All we can hope for is a better movie in the next worldwide chapter of Chinese cinema.

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Movie Review: War

Two of the best action stars of recent memory, Jason Statham and Jet Li. One would think building a box office hit with these two superstars would be a walk through Central Park. Evidently not, or maybe Hollywood is just that incompetent.

If there’s anything I’ve missed this last month, it’s been my followers and reading my blogging compatriots latest works, which I will be getting back to pronto, but there’s something I’ve missed about this whole blogging thing that I’ve missed even more than that. You know what it is? I just have a craving to watch a bottomless film. I get some sort of cynical satisfaction out of kicking a film when it’s down and very rarely do I pity such productions. Many of these films are begging for derisive commentary, especially when their primary motivation for making this thing and wasting everyone’s time was to make a quick buck.

There are few things I hate more than half-hearted effort. If you’re going to do something, do it right or don’t bother. I’m a perfectionist and always will be. Nothing I do will ever be good enough for me and I don’t think that’ll ever change either, so when I watch a film like War, featuring two great action stars in Statham and Li, and then watch Philip Atwell get the honor of sitting in the director’s chair, well, let’s just say getting on E-Bay and looking for a noose to hang myself with isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

What’s wrong with Philip Atwell? I’m glad you asked. Would you like to know what Atwell has specialized in? Music videos. The only feature film he directed prior to War was a music tour video. He directs rap stars’ music videos and for reasons unknown, this guy was given the keys to a $25 million vehicle with Statham and Li in the back seat. Wow.

A slow clap doesn’t give this boundless fallacy the justice it deserves. That would be like if I was a Nascar owner and gave the keys to my car to my son because he’d had some experience driving a PT Cruiser. That would be like allowing my daughter to cook on the grill because she’d had some experience with an Easy-Bake Oven. The comparisons are endless and I would encourage you to make some of your own in the comments.

The tone of this film from the very beginning is off. Events occur too quickly and suddenly we’ve already had a time jump. As I just mentioned in my last review, time jumps early in films usually aren’t a good sign. That time jump was a precursor to this film’s failings.

There’s nothing wrong with the stereotypical revenge ploy in an action film, but when that becomes the film’s magnet, the primary component of the experience, there’s some evident problems with that.

For one, a revenge film is predicated on the notion that the audience will be rooting for the protagonist and want to see justice served. Very rarely are we going to root for someone because the film told us to. Instead, we want to be given reasons why we should root for him, reasons that aren’t plot-related. We want character background, what that person meant to our protagonist, what loss they felt and naturally an inside look at our hero. When a revenge film doesn’t give any character background, the person is killed off within eight minutes, we’re not privy to how that loss impacted our hero and the only time we ever see our hero is when he’s shouting orders regarding how important it is that we catch his nemesis, you get a movie like War, an artificial action installment that feels like a sad penguin looking up at the sky wondering why his parents didn’t give him wings.

What’s more embarrassing about this is that these are basic questions that should be answered in the drawing board stage. These are entry-level questions and concerns for any movie. A film company and director can’t claim ignorance here. They can claim negligence and unbridled stupidity, but not ignorance.

So you could say I was pretty disgusted with War at the halfway point, especially when I stopped the film and went through Atwell’s “experience” for the 20 seconds it took to go through it.

Statham and Li have few scenes together, which leaves their rivalry far too cool and collected for anyone watching to get emotionally enraged and want to start screaming internally for Li’s demise. With two actors as talented with stunt choreography as these two, you would expect some fight scenes between the two, but minus a four-minute segment, which occurs in the last ten minutes of the film, you won’t find any. Atwell is so out of his element that he doesn’t even know his actors or how to properly utilize them. This type of unpreparedness is unacceptable and I can only guess that’s why Atwell has never been allowed to direct anything since.

A quick sidenote: While I was scrolling through Atwell’s Wikipedia page and his “experience”, would you like to take a guess what the first thing his page had to say was? “Philip G. Atwell (often misspelled Phillip G. Atwell)…”

That’s right. His profile was calling out those who didn’t do their research. Atwell didn’t make his Wikipedia page, I understand that, but does anyone else find it ironic that a man who’s clearly incompetent and grossly negligent in his work has caused others to be negligent with the spelling of his name? I just thought that was funny.

You see, writing reviews about films this bad on occasion can be difficult to me and far more time-consuming then they should be. I’ve been writing this review for two hours now and that’s because I honestly hate talking about it. War is great at causing a war of inner turmoil inside of you and makes you wonder how anyone could possibly mess up an action film with Statham and Li but doesn’t create much of anything else. The stunt pieces are there on occasion but the story is so topsy-turvy and out of sync that it disorients the action sequences the film is able to throw together.

The editing of the film is so lazy that the when characters speak in different languages, there are misspellings in the translation subtitles. That’s how lethargic this crew gets in their work. It’s lackadaisical and I honestly can’t even.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (CreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack SheepTwisted)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrankErased)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next DoorThe Colony)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for War: 41.

I haven’t felt this disappointed at the end of a movie in a while. Just eternal sadness. Statham gets another loss in Winners And Losers (WAL).

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Movie Review: The Gunman

It’s been far too long.

I’m not going to lie, 2015 wasn’t a good year for me in a lot of ways, but here’s to 2016 and a fresh start. To get things going, since I’ve been gone for forever, I’m running a blogathon. I’ll be posting every day for at least the next week and will have a Movies in 2015 post up by the end of the month. That’s something else I want to talk about real quick. I saw a lot of films this year and I didn’t write reviews on them. I’m sorry about that and I intend to end that habit here and now. More reviews and more fun for us all. Here’s to 2016. Cheers and enjoy today’s post.

When the trailer for this came out early in 2015, I knew to avoid it, but when I’m scrolling through Netflix and see an opportunity to see a film from the current year, I usually take it, even if I know it’s not going to be an enjoyable one.

The Gunman is that opportunity and while, like me, you may be inclined to hit the play button on this one, I would strongly encourage you not to.

Plopping down the street like a haphazard drunkard, The Gunman bumps into nearly every obstacle possible on its way down the alley of degradation. It’s not hurting anyone so much as it’s being a nuisance to society and you just want to throw it in a cell for a few days until it gets itself back together. However, like the story of Humpty Dumpty, The Gunman never comes back together again. After shattering itself on the pavement in the opening stanzas, there’s no tug or general want to see where this story takes us, especially when “8 years later” appears on the screen before the film’s reached 15 minutes.

A general note: Any time jump of more than a year is a bad sign and any competent director should avoid such time jumps. Unless your story is a jump from childhood to adulthood a la J.J Abram’s Star Trek or due to a prison sentence a la Double Jeopardy, there’s rarely a need to do this. For the purpose of flow, I would advise all stories to avoid doing this. Most times I see the phrase “years later” impress itself upon the screen, I can feel my whole body sink a little and my brain begin to cringe inside my skull. More often than not, prepare yourself for some shoddy storytelling because it’s all downhill from here. Surprise, surprise: The Gunman‘s no different.

Director Pierre Morel, whose name you might recognize as the director of the hostage hit, Taken, doesn’t know what he’s doing here and his expertise as a cinematographer is never utilized here. You would think a film directed by someone who found his place in the industry through visuals would demonstrate said talent when he was at the top of the totem pole, but evidently not. The Gunman is an insipid piece and one of the more calmer action films you’ll see from 2015. Our star character, Jim Terrier (Penn), might be the most boring assassin a camera has ever followed. With no moral qualms to highlight and no reason to fear him or view him with awe, Terrier holds no cards in his hand of any value. Penn’s tenacity is an afterthought to a script that’s glancing up at the clock anxiously waiting for it to all be over. The plot wasn’t thought out well, the villain’s motive is illogical and the points the plot decides to emphasize don’t resonate at all.  There’s no grit or ear-splitting tension in the script’s action sets and no cold, collected dialogue that grips. With a clunky plot and a supporting cast that’s more of a nuisance than it is a help, poking holes in The Gunman isn’t all that difficult.

The Gunman is that Christmas present that you don’t want to open and you do your very best to slowly push it into a corner and hide it under a blanket or anything within reach. You know what it is, you don’t want that and you want it to go away. Problem is, the present is obnoxiously large and so out of place that there’s no way to hide it and so you’re called out on it, are forced to open it and do so begrudgingly with a look of disgust and frustration on your face as you unmask this abomination.

Out and open to see at this white elephant party, everyone looks at it with the same sense of distaste as you, only confirming the inherently-flawed product left before you.

It’s when you look at films with good writing and even great writing that you look at The Gunman and realize how truly awful this film is. Before 2015 was out, I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Hateful Eight and The Revenant, and they’re all galaxies ahead of this. I watched Insurgent recently and again, it’s so far ahead of this. The Gunman is just bad. It has plot holes, the action it does offer is segmented and Penn is left on an island trying to make his case as to why his character is relevant. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. Time to move on to the next film.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (CreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack SheepTwisted)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (The Ridiculous 6, The Lost BoysZombeaversCrankErased)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next DoorThe ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for The Gunman: 29.

It’s a short one to get this blogathon started but to summarize, The Gunman is one of the worst of 2015 and with failings in every department, it’ll probably make my worst of 2015.

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Movie Review: The Boy Next Door

It was time for a movie yesterday and Mom wanted to watch The Boy Next Door. She said she liked it and my brother, Chris, said he hated it. When I asked what he would have scored it out of 10, he said a 1 or a 2. Who would I side with?

As someone who follows upcoming films rather closely, I didn’t recall The Boy Next Door ever hitting theaters. It couldn’t have been there long. Did I really miss it?

I missed The Boy Next Door in theaters but I didn’t miss anything, let me assure you of that.

Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) is unsure where to go next. Her husband has had an affair with a secretary and she doesn’t know how to proceed.

This section of the plot is already unbelievable to me. We’re talking about Jennifer Lopez. No one in their right mind would cheat on Jennifer Lopez. She’s Jennifer Lopez!

Claire seems taken aback when she meets her wheelchair-bound neighbor’s grandson who has just moved in, Noah Sandborn (Ryan Guzman). He’s remarkably good-looking and takes her son, Kevin, under his wing, teaching him how to fix cars and other stuff around the house and becoming one of his true friends at school, where Claire teaches English literature.

Noah is attracted to Claire as well and Claire, unsure of her life’s trajectory, sleeps with him.

The sex scene goes much farther than it needed to go and it’s here that the sled’s speed down the cliff truly picks up.

The script writing is awful and I did more than a handful of face palms during this sullen strut. Predictability is one of a film’s major choke points. It can really take the air out of a story’s lungs and The Boy Next Door is a perfect example. The story went exactly how I thought it would and there weren’t any believable twists to hold my interest. Plot conveniences were given free reign, only sinking the ship faster and farther.

The dialogue is pubescent at best as if the film was targeting a teen audience. It’s immature and developmental. The confrontations between characters are destitute of strain and never emulate a tightrope struggle. There’s no aroma to this story to constitute any intrigue.

Claire’s unstable character digging for self-identity lingers without outlets to pursue. Character formation is abandoned for a hole in the ground, a hole that Claire jumped into and has to get out of. Pity can take an audience so far before it’s time for something else to shoulder the burden, a replacement that never arrived. Lopez has no embers to enforce the flame of this story and it slowly withers into dust. The writers paid Lopez to walk the plank.

Noah is a minor proponent of the film’s minute success, far more engaging a character than Claire’s buried self. With that said, don’t expect tremors of uneasiness. Guzman does not grasp the lens with a forceful grip and model malicious profiles. He doesn’t command attention. The character is copy-pasted from better films of the psycho lover genre and demonstrates an inability to make itself its own. If the role had been done right, it would command and control, but from end to end, the audience rules, allowing yet another mark on this film’s record.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Leon: The ProfessionalEnemySleeping with the EnemyEquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitzThe PunisherDrive Hard)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for The Boy Next Door: 28.

Cliche-ridden dialogue, cold cut-thin acting and plot conveniences out the wazoo, The Boy Next Door is a dull knife with no impressions made nor marks left behind. The constant throttling of the theme of “don’t cheat on your wife” could not be more abundantly clear albeit distracting from the film. A podium and microphone would have been a more appropriate course of action if that was all that writer Barbara Curry wanted to talk about.

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Movie Review: Black Sheep

A bonus roommate edition for this rotten treat.

At the beginning of the school year, Jon and I agreed to start Bad Movie Wednesdays. We were talking about how great a show Drake and Josh was and then I said, “Hey, do you remember Bad Movie Tuesday from the show? We should do that.”

Jon’s schedule wouldn’t allow it, so we changed it to Wednesdays and it’s been that way ever since. Bad Movie Wednesday has gifted us with some true classics, such as Dead Snow and Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead, and some films that required profuse apologizes from me to anyone who attended (In the Name of the King).

During one of our late night conversations, which we will both attest to being phenomenal, Jon said, “I have our next Bad Movie Wednesday. It’s a movie that goes back to what Bad Movie Wednesdays are supposed to be about.”

“Oh boy,” I said. “What is it?”

“It’s called Black Sheep.”

Now the next couple sentences that came from this man’s mouth were so bizarre and so below literacy that I’ve decided to transcribe it for you: a zombie sheep bites people and they turn into zombie sheep.

Just take a minute to let that sink in.

The man who wrote this script is named Jonathan King. He also was the director of this…thing.

Mr. King is one of the stupidest human beings I have yet to encounter and at the same time, a marketing genius.

Consider the concept of a zombie sheep. How does that even happen? Of all the animals you could choose to zombify, you chose a sheep?

How about elephants? I think a zombie elephant would be horrifying. They’d stomp you until you were paralyzed, tear your ribcage apart with their tusks and then peel your intestines out with their trunks. It’s a win-win!

What about zombie ostriches? Have you ever seen an ostrich? Ostriches are probably one of the funniest-looking creatures on this planet. Zombify them and you have comedy gold!

Finally, and I know I’m stealing this idea from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, zombie bunnies. That scene in the movie with the rabid bunny is one of the more funny scenes I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing. I don’t know why someone hasn’t picked up on that idea yet. Like I would watch that! Wouldn’t you guys?

Alas, we are stuck with sheep. Fat, wool-covered puff balls.

Jonathan King is a marketing guru for the simple fact that he has discovered one of the secret truths of America: to attract the masses, think of something preposterously stupid and they’ll swarm to it like bees to honey.

I am a guilty participant. We actually paid for this movie and when I say we, I mean Jon.

Jon: Willingly and wanted to.

Tim: We rented it on Google Play. Why? See above.

And so, our adventure began.

Black Sheep is a New Zealand film, the first I’ve seen. I’m proud to say my cinematic tastes are spreading. Dead Snow was Norwegian, now a New Zealander (Is that right?) one.

The plot synopsis is basic. Genetic experiments turn docile sheep deadly and turn humans into giant sheep people.

Do you really need to know more?

The characters are garbage.

Jon: That’s not true. We really wanted that one guy to die.

Tim:…and I don’t think anyone in the room cared about them. The story is truly irrelevant and what’s more is that King knew this. He wrote the story and he made it as bland and easily avoidable as possible in my opinion. It was so easy for me to detach myself from it.

Characters that don’t matter, some plugs about how important the environment is. Without the comedy, this film is pretty boring. I wouldn’t say bad because the acting isn’t intrusive and the scripting is applicable to the characters. At least it sounds believable, to an extent.

Some of the plot turns are way off track but despite the film being at a mediocre level, a few things rise it out of the sheep intestines.

The cinematography and visuals, overall, I was pleased with. They weren’t amazing, but considering the film’s budget and what they had to work with, I’ll give them a thumbs-up. The costumes were silly at the beginning but as the film progressed the quality improved.

As for things we learned…

Jon: If there is a sheep in a hallway staring at me after I just found blood, I’m probably going to walk away.

Shoots zombie sheep in the face and it comes back.

P.S. Don’t have sexual relations with sheep.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (InterstellarChappieAmerican BeautyGone GirlMulan)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Dead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk Down)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (TwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe RavenDead Snow)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Run All NightRageZoolanderThe Expendables 3Homefront)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (ErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly Madison)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmen)

My score for Black Sheep: 66.

This movie was awful but also great. Really don’t have much to say aside from that. It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen this which is why this review is so crappy. Sorry.

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Movie Review: The Colony

Another Netflix film that proved to be a waste but isn’t that the secret of Netflix? I watch a crapfest, I go back to Netflix anyway. I think it’s a love/hate relationship.

At some point in the future (the Wikipedia page says 2045, but the film never mentions that), climate control becomes a problem. The people of Earth make machines to control the climate until one day, Mother Nature responds with snow. Forever. The world freezes over and only a select few are able to survive in bunkers below the ice.

It’s almost the exact same thing as Snowpiercer except that Snowpiercer occurred on a train and we knew why the train was created, whereas The Colony says there are bunkers because there are.

Our main star is Kevin Zegers from Air Bud. There, I said. It bothered me the whole movie. I thought I might have seen him on an old Disney TV show or something but no, it was that kid that got outperformed by a golden retriever.

Laurence Fishburne decided to tag along for this film as well, which I wasn’t wild about either. The Colony had The Tragedy written all over it.

Watching films like this has actually been depressing recently so I’m going to start watching some “real” films over the course of the next two weeks. Films that make me smile are on the agenda now. I can only make so many sacrifices for you guys. I give, give, give and now I’m taking, haha.

The Colony is the one that pushed me over the edge because geez this movie is boring, uneventful and unintelligent.

Our welcoming party is a couple of guys running down the hallway screaming with a monotone score in the background. Whoop, don’t care about them. Have fun in hell, you two.

Then here comes Sam (Kevin Zegers) to see Mason (Bill Paxton) about to kill some guy for having the flu, saying he has a choice, that choice being to walk in the freezing temperature or take a bullet.

So Mason says he’s got to protect the colony and shoots the guy despite Sam’s protests. Sam goes to Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) and tattles on Mason and Briggs is like, “We must address this immediately.” The film then forgets all about that and never mentions it again.

That’s far more information then I normally include, but it’s a prime example of how unsatisfactory this opening scenario is. Narration to drop some context feels tacked on rather than required and the “perilous” conditions that Sam consistently comments on during his monologue don’t look that sickly. What’s the big deal? Flu is a problem because of a lack of medicine but aside from that, it looks like you’ve got your own farm and garden down there. Looks like a good enough setup to me.

Substandard scripting is a fatal flaw throughout this film’s 93-minute running time. I’m thankful it was only 93 minutes though. The script was begging for a sitcom-length film.

I say sitcom length because that’s what The Colony reminded me of: a sitcom. I’m a huge fan of Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen. Sorry, Ashton Kutcher, but the show isn’t the same without “Duh, Winning” Sheen.

If you haven’t watched this show, I guess you won’t get this reference but Charlie (the character Sheen plays, not Sheen himself) in my opinion, was one of the best comedic acts of the last decade. A dirty sense of humor and an unabashed personality, Charlie welcomed the spotlight like a greedy kid on Christmas and bloomed in it.

However, Charlie was not created in thirty minutes. I only watch the show on re-runs on TV so I have no way of knowing what the show was like at the very beginning but I think I can safely assume that it wasn’t amazing but was adequate enough to keep people around.

The reason I’ve always preferred movies to television shows is because it takes so long for shows to form characters. TV shows bring events over the course of a day or two in a 30-minute segment, including commercials, so really it’s like 22 minutes. It’s a long and tedious process. Which details about this person am I including in this episode or am I just delving into some good ole’ entertainment? How do the writers demonstrate this trait in under 22 minutes because it’s unlikely this character will have the screen to himself for all of the episode?

TV writing is a delicate process and also a tedious one for the audience. Television drags on into four or five seasons minimum, meaning people like myself are pouring hours upon hours of our time into the product. So, when our story turns to gunk, like Lost did in its latter seasons, it’s not just depressing. It’s offensive. If a bad movie is like slapping the audience in the face, a TV show that spirals to hell is like a stab in the jugular. “Not pleasant” does not accurately describe this experience.

I watch movies specifically because I actively avoid being stabbed in the jugular. I can sustain a slap. A stab in the jugular? Well…

When I watch a movie that forgets what form of media it’s in, I get disconcerted. Makes the crew look like they don’t have a clue what they’re doing and more often than not, that’s the case.

A movie is afforded the time to develop a character in a little over two hours, which in my opinion is far more difficult than producing a character over the course of multiple seasons. Imagine marrying someone after knowing them for two hours? Sounds rash, doesn’t it? You’d prefer marrying someone after knowing them for a few months, wouldn’t you?

That’s an accurate analogy to the movies vs. the sitcoms. If you prefer being rash, you pick the movie. If you’re more careful, you pick the TV.

It’s just an analogy and I would never recommend marriage after two hours, but that’s the task scriptwriters are gifted with. This isn’t peas and carrots. It’s more like doomsday clocks and ink pens.

I understand the tripwires and minefields involved in script writing but completing something this reprobate is disrespectful to my time and my intelligence. Don’t understand why everyone wants to slap me.

Ironic as it may be, it still sickens me that the characters in The Colony held the same interest over me as the snow blizzards, which involved some rushed sound editing. My ability to genuinely not give a worm-filled apple for this film proceeded unhampered throughout and once again I can add another loss to Laurence Fishburne’s record. If you don’ understand this reference, in the coming weeks, I’m going to write win-loss records for a bunch of actors/actresses/directors, with a win meaning their performance was great, memorable or didn’t brew angst in me and a loss meaning the exact opposite- eternal damnation. Fishburne’s been in eternal damnation quite a few times with me.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (American BeautyGone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the Apes)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(SnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012))

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (TwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe RavenDead Snow)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (RageZoolanderThe Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: Retaliation)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (ErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly Madison)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmen)

My score for The Colony: 26.

The film suffers from seemingly uninvolved director Jeff Renfroe, but the woes don’t stop there. The characters are like paper-thin napkins trying to conceal a clearly soiled table and no acting prowess is unfurled for something that is this much of a shenanigan. That, along with some blatant foul plot points, makes The Colony a “wow, just wow” burrito of unprocessed ingredients.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

Now let’s talk about these failing plot points!

The colony receives an S.O.S from another colony that they’ve been keeping in radio contact with since this all started. Sam, Briggs and another character of zero importance leave the colony and go on a one and half day journey to rescue those who may still be left and discover what all went wrong.

And the big reveal is: cannibals. Yep, that’s it. Just cannibals. No crazy monsters or aliens or a disease or arctic zombies or rabid animals. Just cannibals. Feeling the letdown already.

How the cannibals got there is sketchy too. A signal is sent over the airways that a heat spot has begun. This random dude on the camera shows that there’s soil and of course if there is soil, that means there’s a chance for new life. So this colony, colony 5, led an expedition to where the signal originated and the search party never returned. The cannibals found their tracks in the snow and followed them back to the colony where they proceeded to kill everyone.

Of course, one major flaw with that: IT IS POURING SNOW ALL DAMN DAY 24/7! Unless those cannibals were able to track miles in less than an hour, they would have lost the trail and frozen to death, which also makes you wonder where they were before this illogical convenience dropped itself into their lap but I guess that’s not important.

So the character of zero importance is killed by the cannibals and Sam and Griggs escape through a large windpipe the size of a coaling factory exhaust  cone and drop a bunch of dynamite down there so they can’t follow. They take shelter in the night inside a medical evacuation helicopter next to a bridge to get to the other side of a thousand foot drop canyon. Keep in mind it is pouring down snow hardcore and it’s freezing. Sam and Briggs have passed many people frozen to death in the snow.

The next morning they wake up, come outside and pull out their binoculars and look at that, here come all the cannibals.

IT HAS BEEN A SNOWSTORM ALL NIGHT LONG, IT’S BEEN PITCH BLACK AND YOU DON’T HAVE ANY DAMN FLASHLIGHTS!!! Does a lust for human flesh make you nocturnal?! Like, what?! It’s also important to mention that if you’re a cannibal, apparently you can’t speak because there’s no dialogue spewing out of any of these guys and the leader is bald and doesn’t wear a hat. I don’t care if you think that’s cool or not, producers, that guy’s freezing to death.

Briggs gets Sam to the other side of the bridge and then sacrifices himself, demolishing the bridge with a stick of dynamite.

Sam gets back to the colony and the cannibals somehow track him. I guess they just long jumped that 100+ foot gap but at this point, who really cares?

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Movie Review: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

Another Statham film. I know, guys, that it seems that all I review is Statham films, but I review other things, too…sometimes.

It’s hard to describe my dedication to Statham. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a bromance, but I’m definitely a big fan of the guy, which is why when he offers me a rotten apple of a film and I’m understandably disgusted with it afterwards, I’ll still go back to the guy. I know he’ll always give it his best shot even if the tools he’s given for filming are inadequate.

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is that and so much more and by so much more, I mean so much more trash to take to the curb. A decent cast list might be there, in Statham, John Rhys-Davies, Ron Perlman and Ray Liotta but the talent is so misused or not used at all that it’s a total waste.

Statham is Farmer. You might read that and think, “I don’t think that sentence is correct. I think there was supposed to be an ‘a’ between ‘is’ and ‘Farmer’. On the other hand, why would he capitalize Farmer?”

Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? Statham is Farmer is what I meant to type. His character’s name is Farmer. Really.

Calling a character by their occupation is stupid. The film will go on to say Farmer is adopted and was never given a real name so he just went by Farmer which leads me to ask, why would you name yourself after an occupation? That’s like naming yourself Burger Flipper or Garbage Man. Just imagine this dialogue for a few seconds:

“I love the way your hair flows. You’re beautiful.”

“Why thank you! My name’s Emily.”

“I’m Garbage Man.”

“Oh, you’re a garbage man? Ok, what’s your name?”

“Garbage Man.”

“Yeah, I heard that. It’s not a big deal, I can deal with that. What’s your name?”
“Garbage Man.”

“What’s your problem?”

“I don’t have a problem! My name is Garbage Man!”

Aside from completing ignoring their main protagonist, which is one of the more important aspects of character writing, In the Name of the King has no support structure to hold it up either. John Rhys-Davies is so bad in this film, it’s hard for me to fathom this is the same man who played Gimli in Lord of the Rings, easily some of the best films of all time. Ron Perlman holds no purpose in the equation and holds a winless record for me right now. He’s 0-4, starring in the two Killboy films, Pacific Rim and this butchered carcass. One of these days, perhaps a day soon, I’ll write posts discussing my winning and losing actors, actresses and directors in my little book here but for now, let’s at least try to stick with this film.

Trying is probably all that can be done with Uwe Boll’s medieval skirmish. A 4% on Rotten Tomatoes is certainly warranted and Boll has a losing record with me as well, even if it’s just 0-1 at this point.

The term “brainstorming” came to mind more than a few times during my viewing of this travesty. Was any brainstorming or pre-screening talked about with this film or did they just jump in and hope the ink pool would manifest itself onto the page? Unscrewing the pen and draining the stored ink onto the page would be just as productive. The story never divulges any deeper than the platform it was born on and shows no want to remain in our hearts and minds. It’s about having fun. If only there was fun to be had.

The acting is torturous by all parties involved, even my man Statham. He had no clue what to do with this material.

Ray Liotta looks high on acid during most of his screen time but resides as the film’s only memorable role.

The dialogue is chunkier than Chips Ahoy and is neglected by any editing from its crewman. This boat was sinking before it sailed and somehow no one, including “Captain” Boll, managed to notice.

Burt Reynolds is probably the worst of them all, starring as the king, and is pertinent ability to not give a rodent’s behind about his reputation is quite astonishing. I understand that he’s broke but maybe if he wasn’t so zealous with his earnings that wouldn’t have been a problem. Second, his problems are not my concern. There was a great tweet I read the other day from Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews. He tweeted, “90% of people don’t care about your problems…10% are glad you have them.”

It’s cynical but it holds a lot of truth. I’m sorry, Reynolds, but I don’t care. You’ve bathed in luxury your entire life and you somehow managed to waste millions of dollars. That does not deserve pity in my opinion. If you want to go do something meaningless and make some cash, go work a 9-5 minimum wage job. Learn what it’s like to be an everyday joe because the fact that Reynolds can still profit from cobweb performances like this disgusts me. If an everyday guy would give a substandard effort, he’d get fired. If Reynolds gives a substandard effort, he still gets paid. The privileges of the upper class!

As if the clichéd characters weren’t enough, the film plagiarizes consistently. Uwe Boll clearly wanted his own Lord of the Rings but to try to attempt to make a medieval film right now is just a major no-no. The genre is basically off-limits for the next ten years, five if you’re pushing it. Regardless of whether it’s fair or not, any film that tries to breach the void will be held to the Lord of the Rings standard instead of being viewed as its own experience. The visual effects and costumes are third-rate and it’s a film devoid of fantasy dreams. This is not the world cosplayers dream of.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (American BeautyGone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the Apes)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(SnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012))

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (TwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe RavenDead Snow)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (RageZoolanderThe Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: Retaliation)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (ErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly Madison)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmen)

My score for In the Name of the King: 21.

The action sequences are flacid, the acting turns stupendously stupid and the story arc expressionless, In the Name of the King is one of the worst films I’ve seen but somehow avoids a suckage label, if only because I love mocking this film’s attempt at seriousness.

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Movie Review: Gallowwalkers

Any respect I may have had for Wesley Snipes has been incinerated.

Gallowwalkers claims to be a horror western about Snipes killing people and then killing them again after they come back alive. The word “zombie” is used in the plot synopsis but this film does not have zombies in it at any point. Director and writer Andrew Goth can’t decide what he wants people to look like when they come back. Some have disfigured bodies, some don’t and some have normal brain function like before and others don’t. The conditions and requirements for things to return to life are never clearly cut and neither is this movie despite how many times you’ll see people getting their faces cut off.

Probably the other problem with this film is that it took forever for it to be completed. Due to Snipes failure to pay taxes, the film didn’t release on DVD until nearly eight years since the film first began filming. Eight years! Give up, people!

The script of Gallowwalkers is already so cursed and blase that nothing can liven it up. If Snipes would just pay Uncle Sam what he’s due when he collects his paychecks, maybe this film would have been a little better. By a little better, I mean there’s a freshly-made Big Mac in the middle of the dumpster if you’re really hungry. Hopefully, you’d figure out eating that would be unsanitary but apparently the makers of this film would be okay with that because that’s basically what Gallowwalkers is.

It’s no wonder Netflix got a hold of this for its subscribers. Gallowwalkers is probably fighting for whatever spare change it can get.

The acting is terrible and the pacing as ponderous as an aged mammoth. I don’t know what’s going on for the first ten minutes. Convenience is a common occurrence in this story and it’s so absurd and unwarranted that there’s little point in riding the tracks Goth sets out for us.

The gun-riddling is ironically like a duel: it lasts for ten seconds and ends with an anti-climatic sputter. Dialogue becomes an overblown commodity throughout the film as events that could lead to action are glossed over with incessant rambling. For claiming to be a horror western, this film doesn’t frighten nor does it exude the western wit and tension that you would expect from something of the genre.

Another folly might be that it tries to combine horror and western and centers on making a new genre instead of a new film. Goth is so set on instilling fear that any want to engage yourself in Gallowwalkers is eliminated within the first half hour if not sooner. There’s no hook, no appeal to our attention. It felt like this production team was more focused on a statement in film-making than a statement in the entertainment industry. If only they would have seen the quality of their work. Maybe then they would have seen the egregious product before them. On the other hand, they had eight years to review this and yet they still didn’t see anything rusted, or corroded or anything.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(Red Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los Angeles)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (RubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeed)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Tucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the TitansA Haunted House 2)

My score for Gallowwalkers: 13.

I know this review isn’t very good. I’m sorry, but I don’t have anything else to say here. Very rarely do I find myself lost for words. Guess that’s a testament to the mess this is.

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