Tag Archives: Tom Hiddleston

Movie Review: High-Rise

Image result for high-rise movie poster free useI hated High-Rise the first time I watched it and I hate it even more now.

The only benefit to finishing it is being able to never have to watch it again for this archive. It is a callous work based on a British dystopian novel. I may go back to read that piece of literature so I can do a segment for my Book Vs. Film series, but I can say with a pretty high level of confidence that J.G. Ballard would be hard-pressed to create parchment as agonizing as Ben Wheatley’s excuse for a project.

High-Rise is a society entirely encompassed in a skyscraper. There’s a supermarket, doctor, dentist, pool, gym, parties on seemingly every floor. Aside from leaving for work, there’s no reason to leave. This blueprint was crafted as a utopia, an image of a paradise revolving around a close-knit community. It is also a foreshadowing of the story of Icarus and the Tower of Babel.

Tom Hiddleston’s Robert applied for a residency to get a fresh start. He’s self-sufficient, reserved and socially inexperienced but you get the feeling something is going on in that head of his. He’s a planner, his eyes set on the next step in the ladder, whatever that ladder may be.

This outlook makes him a perfect match for Jeremy Irons’ Anthony Royal, the architect of this establishment. Royal’s vision is complex but passionate. It is an example of looking up before seeing where your feet are.

From there, most interest that the film gathers is left moot as it dives into obscurity and then total madness. The lack of firm footing sends the tower into a struggle for resources. The power grid isn’t sustainable. There’s not enough food. Despite creating a vertical mansion, social superiority is established.

That’s about it. It’s a grating drag on one’s sensibilities and was one of the longer hours I’ve had to experience this movie year. Netflix says the second half was only one hour but it felt like three.

A film centered on social constructs and the animalistic side of humanity becomes so apathetic I wondered a couple of times if Wheatley knew he left the camera rolling. When it comes to film making, you should be able to look at every shot and determine a visual, auditory or narrative basis for it. When you notice takes that don’t, that’s lazy storytelling. That’s becoming fixating on a distraction. That’s what the editor’s table is for.

Despite a few strong thematic opportunities, Wheatley leaves his audience intellectually starved and emotionally despondent. A few tadpoles of dialogue are present in a diluted pool of potential relevant conversations.

Dystopian literature is often a forum on economics, political liability and human psychology. The human brain is a complex vessel, a set of neurons and thought patterns and emotion. High-Rise is frustrating because Wheatley makes humanity seem so basic when it is in fact the opposite.

It is visually discombobulating at times, to the point it feels like an acid trip, and not in an artistic fashion. Spending time talking about a piece of art that lacks so much of that very thing is difficult.

Void of character arc and absent of literary devices, the film compares to the story in that both are empty of elements.

High-Rise is derelict, never establishing its own reality. It is a blank canvas with stuff thrown at it. The canvas looked better unused. It’s an insult to film.

Time to watch the World Cup and get this garbage out of my mind.

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. (The ConjuringSinisterOlympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the Woods)

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. (The RoadDoctor 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. (Wind RiverTommy BoyDeath NoteTrue Memoirs of an International AssassinThe Great Wall)

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. (The SnowmanAvalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe Visit)

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 High-Rise: 31.

An orgy of incompetence warrants no more of my time or mind. High-Rise is only high in its level of blatant mismanagement. A complete waste of a talented cast.

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Movie Review: Kong: Skull Island

Image result for kong skull island movie posterKing Kong will forever be a blot on Peter Jackson’s filmography. I will be watching that movie this week and I’m not looking forward to it. King Kong‘s pacing never falls into sync, nor does the movie ever become about King Kong, which is probably the most fatal of all the flaws that movie has.

Where King Kong dramatically fails at presenting King Kong as this monstrosity to be feared, Kong: Skull Island commits the opposite cardinal flaw: character writing.

If you want to see a good old-fashioned monster movie, Kong: Skull Island is for you. We have a monster tearing stuff apart and beating things senseless at will with no collateral damage to be concerned about. You can watch this film completely unabated. That also means there is no tension here, which is a rather monster-sized problem for a monster movie. A behemoth is certainly threatening on size alone, but the suspension of those killing strokes is the difference between a good and great movie, a distinction that director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, swinging the baton in only his third concerto, doesn’t have the experience to recognize.

Watching Kong smash things and find creative ways to shoot helicopters out of the sky is certainly interesting. Watching an ape punch other monsters in the face will certainly lead to giddy rounds of applause and shocked exclamations of “NO, HE DIDN’T” from the crowd, but watching Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, John Goodman, Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly get together for a character lineup as depressing as the Browns depth chart is ultimately a mortal wound.

Brie Larson won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2015, yet the script gives her nothing to work with. The intimidating presence that is John Goodman is given a few introductory scenes to rev up the engine that is the plot before falling into the shadows, never to peek out again. Tom Hiddleston is underused to an absurd proportion, leaving only Jackson and Reilly to instill some sort of human presence through their charisma alone.

Vogt-Roberts made his name via Kings of Summer, a coming-of-age tale predicated by human interaction. Kong: Skull Island is the exact opposite of that, and not in a positive way. It makes you wonder if the writer of Kings of Summer, Chris Galletta, deserved the credit.

I’ve held on to this review a while, longer than I had planned to, but it has allowed me to ponder what I’ve seen a while longer and the more I think about it, the more I realize there’s no human connection here. Jackson’s version had human connection to the point of overdramatization and eventually became a disorganized piano, with keys switched all over the board that no one could play a coherent tune on it, only select phrases via luck. Vogt-Roberts, with a finely tuned organ, has, essentially, slammed on the keys like a raging toddler, producing such a weak plot line that he then got up from the organ, went up to a chalkboard and wrote, in crayon (just because), “KONG SMASH THINGS.” Again, if you want a stereotypical monster movie, the theaters have one for you, but if you’re looking for a great Kong movie, this isn’t it. It’s quite a ways away from that.

If it wasn’t for the masterpiece that was Logan (I want to watch it a second time before writing a review, but if you haven’t seen it yet, strongly encouraged), it would appear 2017 is the year of the non-existent character. By that, I mean star-studded casts assembled with the visage of potential but are actually more of an obscene gesture to people who pay to see this content. It’s rude and, more importantly, at least to me, blatantly negligent.

This is why I’m grateful for Kong here, just as I’ve been thankful for Godzilla in plenty of movies and the rather large distraction he provides to the apparent anarchy around him. 2014’s Godzilla had a pull over its audience begotten by command and tease. It had the ominous wind, the pounding of the unseen drums and the horror that Bryan Cranston’s dialogue can provide. It had the pulse-pounding fear and the violin strings. Hell, it had a score that did something for the film. Watch the trailer and remember what this film offered audiences. Kong doesn’t have any of it.

The tone is more, “Action movie for seven-year-olds! Rawr, Slam, Clunk” than “This could be the end of life as we know it.” There’s not much drama here to bring us to the realization of this discovery. I mean, we just found a skyscraper-sized ape. There’s one character in the movie saying, “Wait. Are we really not gonna talk about what just happened?” The line is in there for comedic relief, but it’s a legitimate question for a moviegoer who wanted a true experience. Completely unintentionally, the writers poked a hole in the fabric.

And look, that fabric is pretty much shredded by the end. There aren’t any consequences. There’s no love lost for even one character, though at least Jackson and Reilly are given something to work with. They are by far the most worthwhile personalities here. It’s just a movie that you could get away with watching once and never seeing again. Besides, it’s not like there are any characters asking for you to come back.

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. (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 Kong: Skull Island: 79.

Kong: Skull Island is an improvement from Jackson’s version. The action sequences are entertaining, the visuals competent though not overreaching and the zoo of creatures we run into is enough to keep some fascination along for the ride, but once that adrenaline wears off when you leave the theater, you realize there wasn’t a character you could care about. You also realize that it doesn’t have a dramatic gut punch, something that just feels needed in a movie with a monster of that proportion.

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Movie Review: Crimson Peak

Guillermo del-Toro. I’m being perfectly honest when I say I have no idea who that is. When I say that, I don’t mean I don’t know who del-Toro is. I mean I don’t know who del-Toro is.

Guillermo has dabbled in so many genres in the realm of moving pictures that I’m unsure what significant impression he’s left on the industry, if any. I don’t consider myself an expert on del-Toro’s filmography, but I wonder if anyone truly is. He has played small behind-the-camera roles in some notable productions and has found himself accredited as a creative consultant more than a couple of times. He has seemingly fallen off the grid when it comes to the director’s chair, but when he decides to pursue a project, he does so full steam ahead. With Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim and now Crimson Peak, del-Toro directed and wrote the script. Coincidentally, that is the extent of knowledge I have regarding his filmography.

However, I have the luxury of having viewed the film that epitomizes del-Toro to the letter and that product is known as Pacific Rim. The hype for Pacific Rim during the summer of 2013 was mountainous. All of my friends were pumped. My brother and I were pumped and even Hollywood was on their heels. The Mexican director praised that Pacific Rim would blow our minds, we would be so in awe of what we were witnessing. Alas, that wasn’t the case. Pacific Rim was nothing more than a trend. It was hot and like a poor installment of a video game franchise, was forgotten and passed over in a matter of months.

Fast forward two years and del-Toro decides he wants to make another movie. Let me introduce you to Crimson Peak.

Crimson Peak provides the scenery that allows del-Toro to tinker and sketch a Gothic horror, a throwback to the traditions of the horror genre. In pre-production interviews, del-Toro said he wanted to make a modern installment in the fashion of horror classics such as The Omen, The Exorcist and The Shining. Before the 21st century, the artistry of film was limited in the visual department. What they couldn’t compose on the screen had to be conjured by the writer’s pen and director’s firm hand. I actually watched The Omen for the first time on Halloween a few weeks ago and while it wasn’t scary for me, it was clearly evident why the film has found itself a candidate for the Mount Rushmore of horror. Film in the glory days whipped up the idea of the film and spent hundreds of hours constructing the invisible.

What the horror industry has forgotten and why it struggles so heartily today is because the directors tasked with injecting new blood into the drying veins of this behemoth have forgotten about the invisible-the tension, the suspense, the genuine terror that our own imagination can manifest all its own with the right prodding. They’ve forgotten the difference between a momentary shrill cry, and paralyzing fear and shallow breathing. They’ve either forgotten or still do not understood what truly scares us.

At the very least, Guillermo del-Toro understands what does. Crimson Peak plays the fiddle of our fears, giving the urgency, despondency and dejection of being alone in the world, surrounded by those who wish us harm and a place that makes our bones shudder like the curtains on the attic window. Guillermo’s study of visual aesthetics and Gothic decorum administers an eerie glow to an ash-black setting. Something is astir and our curiosity is peaked, play on the title intended.

The pacing of Crimson Peak is like a slithering snake, slowly sizzling and storming across the floor. At times it’s appropriate and at others you want to see the snake put the rubber to the road and just go already. Tension and grit are built on the foundation of timing and tempo and while del-Toro understands the horror genre better than many of his counterparts of late, it’s still not where it needs to be.

Luckily for del-Toro, he has a cast that bails him out in some facets. It feels like fresh air, seeing Tom Hiddleston in a non-Loki role and Jessica Chastain chewing on a meaty character. Hiddleston, away from the one-liners and crowded cast lists of Marvel films, seems to revel in the luxury of additional screen time. Chastain plays alongside Hiddleston as his sister and is given more range as an actress. Chastain is the one to watch in Crimson Peak.

Yet with all these positives, Crimson Peak still has its negatives, keeping it at an average level overall. Mia Wasikowska’s leading lady doesn’t get the development anyone wants. Curiosity and independence drive her character forward, but audiences will be hard-pressed to find much more. Instead, the elements of a mystery-based plot control the steering wheel of this horror ride. As more clues are uncovered, more of the plot is revealed to the eyes of the audience but none of these discoveries are earth-shattering nor are they all that unpredictable. By the third act, Crimson Peak becomes an average horror entry at best, but still surpasses some of the laughable attempts at scares that peruse my recent memory. Looking at you, The Visit.

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. (The MartianBlack Mass,Enemy at the GatesAnchorman 2: The Legend ContinuesLeon: The Professional)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack SheepTwistedParker)

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 Lost BoysZombeaversCrankErasedI, Frankenstein)

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 Crimson Peak: 70.

Crimson Peak isn’t without its cringe-worthy moments, imposing set designs or haunting supporting cast, but without a developed protagonist, del-Toro’s work slowly mutates into a mystery crime novella rather than a perusing of the deepest depths of the human soul and the demons within.

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Movie Review: The Avengers

Joss Whedon’s comic book marvel flashed before our eyes in 2012 and few were disappointed. It was the first superhero bonanza to show up in theaters. It became the third-highest-grossing film of all-time. It became a legend.

The Avengers had the advantage of being the first of its kind. Never was such a big project undertaken, a money-hungry dog let loose by the leash of Marvel. This money-hungry dog was given a $220 million dollar bone and enjoyed the chainless existence of a freelancer, able to investigate what it wanted, say what it wanted and to create what it wanted.

I truly believe Whedon was given the golden goose. He directed it, he co-wrote the story and created the screenplay. The only metaphor applicable to the type of luxury and novelty that Whedon enjoyed during this production is a child on Christmas. A cast list that few can compete with, one of the largest “bones” to ever be handed out to a director and a partnership of Marvel and Disney? Joss Whedon was given the life that people can only dream of and perhaps in this case, a dream very few can dream of.

I give Whedon props for delivering a Hulk-sized trophy film, a film that made huge ripples in the world of cinema and reignited the comic book world. The Avengers served as a memento for the world and it still does today.

Robert Downey, Jr. proved to be the best of the bunch as Tony Stark. His utter disregard for others, Olympus-sized ego and flippant comedy sketches are some of the biggest highlights of the film, as well as how Stark evolves as a character. Comic book fanatics can argue who the best of the Avengers is all they want, but Downey, Jr. is evidently the most-talented, although Chris Evans isn’t too far behind.

I’m still amazed that Chris Evans is the same dweeb that acted in 2005’s Fantastic Four. He had no bravado, no genuine energy and no talent but somewhere deep, perhaps in the bowels of Mordor, Evans discovered his natural ability to draw the camera to that charming face of his. While Captain America: The First Avenger was nowhere close to where it should have been in terms of production and quality, Evans held the film together and then opened his jaws for The Winter Soldier and really showed us how far he could go. While The Avengers gets nowhere as complex as The Winter Soldier in its story, its got some seriousness to it but not so serious that the lighthearted fall out of touch with it. A lot of that seriousness is provided by Evans. Keep it up, Cap. Looking forward to Civil War.

I’ve got to give a small hand of applause to Mark Ruffalo for giving us a Hulk film that doesn’t make us want to barf all over. The Incredible Hulk has proved incredible in the past couple years, incredible at turning A-listers into actors comparable to Hayden Christensen. Edward Norton is a great actor. He did not look like a great actor in The Incredible Hulk and to my knowledge, Marvel is staying away from Hulk films for the time being. It’s a shame because there’s a great actor there now in Mark Ruffalo that finally calmed the beast down and got him to stop looking stupid and saying stupid stuff. Mostly known for rom-coms, Ruffalo showed another realm in The Avengers and also in Foxcatcher, which I read good reports on. That was my one main concern regarding The Avengers, was that the Hulk was going to destroy everything. Actually, I guess he does kinda destroy everything but I mean the film, not all the baddies that had it coming. Hulk Smash!

Finally, Chris Hemsworth. I know we’re all in love with those beautiful locks of his and are bedazzled by that bod, but to this point, the guy has demonstrated little acting ability and continues to pour me vinegar when I asked for a martini. The Thor movies are the worst of the newest Marvel films by far, especially Thor: The Dark World, my crowned champion of 2013 Worst Film of the Year. The stories are toothless and present no suspense, supporting cast, or logical story line. There might have been more plot holes in Thor: The Dark World than there are craters on the moon. All this said, the guy’s not terrible, he’s just not good. He’s satisfactory, average. He fills the role and I completely understand that it’s too late to recast, but I wish Marvel would have looked elsewhere when they decided to pick the Norse god. Brad Pitt or Ben Foster both would have worked for me. Do you guys agree with me? Who do you think would have made a great Thor? Let me know in the comments.

It’s also important to mention our lead villain, Loki. Tom Hiddleston’s performance was a few pegs higher than in Thor and provided that acidic twist a film like this needed. One of the main complaints about Guardians of the Galaxy was its underwhelming villain, a problem that The Avengers never had. Samuel L. Jackson makes everything so much better as does the beautiful Scarlett Johansson.

Jeremy Renner is probably the only outlier in this cast, but only because the development of the character is not there, mainly because of a plot point. It’s a minor thing but it’s still a thing. When a movie’s this great, you have to get picky.

My only other comment is the drag in the opening scenes. It takes a while for things to get going because we have to introduce each hero, have their little hurrah moment, and move on to the next one. It’s like going on a long vacation but before you get on the road, you have to stop at five different locations and pick all these people up. It’s a bit of a hassle. A necessary one but still a hassle.

Aside from those two things, The Avengers is all the hype. The action is state-of-the-art special effects with stunning visuals and an adrenaline booster. The characters are brought out with dashes of humor and the story is there. It’s the superhero tribute we waited for.

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. (The BabadookInterstellarChappieAmerican BeautyGone Girl)

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. (EquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands Tall)

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. (BlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All NightRage)

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 Avengers: 96

Three years removed from where it all began and not even a week after its sequel released, The Avengers remains in cinema trophy cases and on millions of bookshelves for its “first shot heard ’round the world” epic. With impressive visual effects, concrete scripting and big-name cast, The Avengers has lost no spark nor has it faded into the recesses of our minds. The Avengers is very much alive.

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Movie Review: Thor

After seeing the great atrocity that was Thor: The Dark World, I decided to view the first one, one that I believe I may have seen before but it’s been a very long time since I did so.

All the cast is the same, something I wasn’t looking that forward to aside from seeing Tom Hiddleston on-screen again. That guy really knows how to do the one-liners and I could see him taking on a couple of comedy roles in the future. Anyway, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is an arrogant, proud, war-addicted soldier, who decides to attack the Frost Giants on their home turf to impress his father and while he does kill a lot of them, he starts a war instead of impressing Odin. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) banishes Thor to Earth after stripping away his powers in the hopes that Thor will learn the virtues of humility, wisdom, or should I say WisTIM? Sorry, I just had to throw that in there. Anyway, he falls to Earth and is immediately hit by a car, driven by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and the rest of her gang.

The dialogue comes across as cheesy and the action scenes had lots of room to improve. Every time anyone is looking for Thor, he’s probably behind a car, because it seems like he’s hit by a car every half hour. Also, Jane Foster doesn’t know how to drive. I care about Thor, but not really anyone else. Everyone else comes across as insincere or stupid, neither of which I have an affinity or liking for. Thor’s character-change seems to be brought up too fast and he just doesn’t pull it off well enough for it to be convincing, not that the script gave him much room to do so in the first place.

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. (Iron Man 3World War Z42Just Go With ItReal Steel)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (White House DownJobsThe Truman ShowThe Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The Usual Suspects21 Jump StreetEscape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

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. (Dodgeball: A True Underdog StoryAlong Came PollyAliensAlien Resurrection, Full Metal Jacket)

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. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlien)

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. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: 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.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3)

My score for Thor: 59.

This movie’s plot is of little interest to me as are most of its characters. Jane Foster is still annoying and the romance doesn’t feel real for me. This movie was made so that everyone knew who Thor was when The Avengers came out and that is the only reason.

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

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

This movie has a few plot holes, but ones that I don’t care to waste my time talking about. However, there’s one in particular that is a must.

At the end of the movie, Thor breaks the rainbow bridge to stop the Frost Giants’ world from being destroyed and Odin awakes from his coma and is able to transport himself to the end of the bridge to catch Thor right as he and Loki are falling off. I’m sorry, perhaps I missed something, but how did Odin a) wake up at the precise moment that Thor and Loki fell off the rainbow bridge and b) manage to get all the way to the end of the bridge to catch Thor? He needed a horse to go through the portal to get to the Frost Giants’ planet, giving the illusion that he went across the rainbow bridge on horseback, meaning he cannot teleport or fly, or so it seems. Does he have that power and if he doesn’t then HOW THE HECK DID HE GET OVER THERE?!!!

 

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Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World

The sequel to Thor hit theaters this month and while I’m not a fan of Thor, I thought I’d go see it just for the heck of it and to let you guys know what I thought of it.

First, they give us some mandatory background information about the Aether,  a weapon that the dark elf Malekith intended to use to make the whole universe fall into darkness. However, Odin’s father, Bor, succeeded in capturing the Aether and storing it in a secret place where no one could find it. Unless you’re Natalie Portman of course, then you can happen to fall in every pitfall and dung heap on the planet, finding every not-of-this-earth thing, and nearly ending the world’s existence as well as billions of human lives, all for the sake of science.

In case you haven’t gotten the hint yet, I don’t like Jane Foster. She’s the most hopeless person yet Thor still cares for her and I’ll never know why, especially when he’s got Sif the warrior princess on his side, who has more smarts, virtues, and looks then Foster.

Foster manages to find the Aether after being sucked through a doorway by who knows what and this is after they find a floating tractor trailer in an abandoned warehouse and a portal that makes things disappear and reappear right above the portal only to disappear again and the cycle continues, except that sometimes it doesn’t work but no one knows why or will find out.

So starts a movie with some of the worst screenwriting in the history of cinema. If you want to talk about convenient circumstances in film, here’s a movie for you. You need more conflict? Here’s yet another useless subplot. There are so many conflicts that could have been avoided if our heroes would have just used their brains. You think it can’t get worse but it does.

The movie tries to give us some entertainment through Loki’s one-liners, but Tom Hiddleston can only do so much. Chris Hemsworth as well as Hiddleston are worthy of much better material then this and I have a hard time believing that they were happy with the final product. The supporting cast aside from Hiddleston is mediocre at best if not worse, although it’s not the actors. It’s the guys giving them their scripts.

I had no interest in finishing this movie it was so terrible. The action scenes aren’t even worth the wait. The third act is hard to follow and I’ll explain why in the spoiler’s edition. The filmmakers try to intertwine the story with earth’s fate except that it’s far too confusing to accomplish. The scientists try to explain the situation through complicated scientific jargon that no one who isn’t in that area of expertise can follow, which means that we miles be listening to babies trying to shout off the theory of relativity because that happening has the same chance of success as the audience understanding what the heck is going on.

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. (Iron Man 3World War Z42Just Go With ItReal Steel)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (White House DownJobsThe Truman ShowThe Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The Usual Suspects21 Jump StreetEscape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

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. (Total RecallDodgeball: A True Underdog StoryAlong Came PollyAliensAlien Resurrection)

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. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlien)

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. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The 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.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3)

My score for Thor: The Dark World: 29.

There’s no character connection to speak of and it is subplot and plot hole galore up in here. Natalie Portman makes me want to throw up she’s so bad. I haven’t done that many facepalms during one movie in a long time.

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

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

First, how the heck does Foster find that floating tractor trailer? How has no one besides those kids found that thing yet? What pulled her through that doorway and better still, how was it that the portal she happened to go through happened to put her right next to the Aether, the same place that Odin’s father, Bor, said no one would find it? Did a portal just happen to materialize right next to the thing and if so, how did that happen? Does the Aether have the power to create portals? How does she get transported back but have no recollection of what just happened? Did anyone else find that a little convenient?

The gatekeeper said that he could see 10 million souls and the instant that Foster is fused with the Aether, he says he can’t see her. This suggests that he has the eyes of a hawk, correct? Remember that, because I’m going to come back to that. I’m trying to do everything in chronological order. Thor picks her up and takes her back to Asgard and the nurses look her over and then Odin comes in, except that the nurses turn off the monitors that show there’s some red specimen in her right before he comes in. Don’t you think your king might want to take a look? Then someone touches her and gets shocked back. Why is it that Thor can touch her and nothing happens to him? Then Odin’s like, “What’s this?” You mean no one was told a bedtime story about this battle that happened hundreds of years ago that involved one of the most powerful forces known to man? No one wrote anything down? Malekith wakes up as soon as the Aether is moved. Does he have a physical connection to it? We have to assume that’s the case because he seems to know where it is at all times.

One of Malekith’s loyal companions volunteers to turn himself into a Kursed, an enhanced warrior, and joins the prisoners from the assault earlier in the movie without anyone noticing him so that he can cause havoc inside Asgard and destroy the shields which I’ll discuss soon. There’s like 20 prisoners maximum. You mean the Asgardian troops can’t remember the faces of 20 people and see that guy wasn’t one of them?

Malekith comes in an armada that has camouflage shields on and the guy with the eyes of a hawk doesn’t see them until they’re right in front of his face. I thought you could see 10 million souls, dude? You telling me if they have shields you can’t see diddly-squat? Then the artillery guys are already at their posts even though they weren’t warned about the army coming. Do those guys man their artillery guns every time there’s a prison break? Speaking of prison breaks, the loyal companion dude turns himself into a Kursed and breaks the prison shield in like three punches. How can their shields be that bad? If the cells are that easy to break out of, then why hasn’t Loki attempted an escape yet? Odin sends a couple guards to guard the shield generator even though Odin is the one with the power stick. Seconds after the shields are turned on, the Kursed knocks them out. If the shields are that important, why isn’t Odin there with the guards to protect it? What’s he doing during this whole invasion anyway? Better yet, why aren’t the shields on all the time?

After Thor’s attempt to destroy the Aether fails (by the way, was anyone surprised that it didn’t work? And Loki dying? Really? That’s never going to happen.), Thor and Foster happen to find the portal that goes back to the warehouse with the floating tractor trailer. Are you kidding me? That doesn’t happen!!! There’s a bunch of scenes with Kat Dennings, and while I love her, why is she in this movie? Better yet, why is any of Foster’s entourage in this? They’re not necessary to the story and it’s just distracting the audience from what we actually care about: Thor! Denning’s character is about to be killed by some of the dark elves, but the intern finds a floating car and slams it down on them. What?! He’s not Superman, what the heck? That’s so stupid! The whole fight scene between Thor and Malekith, they keep getting thrown into invisible portals and sent all over the universe. Thor keeps asking for his hammer, but the hammer keeps leaving earth to try to find Thor in an alternate dimension, then Thor’s back on earth so the hammer has to turn around and fly back and then Thor’s transported again and the cycle continues. The hammer doesn’t even know what the heck is going on! Why are there so many portals to alternate dimensions all over the place? I’m pretty sure this would never happen. Also, Thor manages to defeat Malekith, who has the power of the Aether, with MAN-MADE TECHNOLOGY!!! Are you kidding me?! One of the most powerful forces in the universe controlled by an elvin king and all you need is some scientific hardware to defeat him?! THAT’S SO STEWPID!!!!!!!!! Once they finally get the Aether, Thor’s friends are told to get it to a collector because “it’s dangerous to have two power stones together.” You just spent the whole movie getting this thing and now that you finally have it you’re going to give it to some collector guy instead of just putting it in a different place in your city or better yet, hiding it in a different place where random portals don’t appear out of thin air?! Then to end the movie, Loki actually didn’t die, although I think everyone knew this or should have known this because Loki shape shifted into the same soldier that he transformed into when he was joking with Thor on their way to encounter the elvin king that he shape shifts into when he goes to kill Odin. This movie is so stupid! These screenwriters should never be allowed to write again. And just for the sake of it, there were 34 question marks in the spoiler’s edition because this movie makes no sense.

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