Recent Movie Reviews

I’ve been on a new movie kick over the last several weeks having seen a total of six movies that came out within the last year or so.  Four of them I saw in the theater over the past month, and the rest were movies I had downloaded after they came out on DVD.  Let’s start with the nerdiest movie first.

Tron Legacy

I’m a pretty big nerd, but I never saw the original until just a couple months ago.  The only reason I downloaded the original was so that I could see the new sequel and not feel confused.  In truth, I don’t think it mattered.  The first movie didn’t have a killer plot, and most of the narrative of the movie was just used as window dressing to get from one innovative CGI scene to the next innovative CGI scene.  Tron Legacy seemed to have the same problem plot wise that the original did, but this time around the CGI wasn’t nearly as innovative in today’s CGI rich movie landscape.   This was kind of a big problem since the writers flirted with almost having a compelling story this time around, and the fact that they didn’t deliver made the plot all the more disappointing in comparison to what it could have been.

Honestly, this new Tron should not have been a sequel.  If they had started from scratch and done a reboot, they could have made this Tron universe seem almost possible or realistic, unlike the original which at the time was just bat shit crazy and unrealistic.  Granted, the idea of downloading an organic life form and putting it into a computer world is still wildly unrealistic, but not nearly as much as it was when the original was made.  See, in the first Tron movie, at the time it was made, a cyber space world was more magical than futuristic.  Since this new movie takes place 20 something years after the events of the original movie, the new movie has to set the story in a world whose technology has advanced in a logical progression from where it was in the original Tron movie, and all the cool new technologies in our world kind of had to be ignored and not incorporated into this story. So this movie doesn’t seem either magical or futuristic, but instead seems like a sci-fi movie about cyber space written by someone who knows virtually nothing about computers and technology in general.

Basically, there was too much working against this movie to make it work, and instead of it being a cheesy yet fun sci fi action movie, or maybe a dark and dramatic futuristic movie, it ended up being a movie that would only be thoroughly enjoyed by people who really liked the original.  For those people I’m sure it was everything they wanted.  For someone like me who gave the original and overwhelming “meh”, this movie was weirdly disappointing.  I mean if you really weren’t into the original why would you get disappointed when the sequel wasn’t that good either? I don’t know, but that is why it is weirdly disappointing.

Oh, here are some other quick issues I have with the movie:

  • The CGI young Flynn looked fake as hell. They really dropped the ball on this.
  • The 3D scenes had no business being in 3D.  So instead of making light bikes and disc throwing 3D, they made all the scenes with people standing around talking 3d. Awesome.
  • They made a big deal out of one of the bikes that Flynn created and the fact that it was the fastest in the Tron world….. and they never really use it.  Flynn’s son takes it on a drive into town but never needs to use it’s speed and then just gives it to a homeless man. Honest to God. That’s what happened.
  • Tron is the name of the other hero character (computer program) in the original movie and he is also in this movie, but they do such a shitty job of explaining who he was that his actions in the new movie seem haphazard. He’s a villian for a while, then he turns good, then maybe he’s dead, but who knows or cares.

So on a scale of one to 10 light bikes, I give this movie 4 light bikes.

True Grit

True Grit is a remake of an old John Wayne movie that I never saw.  It does have The Dude in it, which is why it is second on my list this week, and unlike the other Jeff Bridges winter release, this one was very enjoyable.  I should temper that enjoyment with the qualification that this movie is a pure western, which means it is subdued and has that classic almost but not quite happy ending.  Matt Damon seemed out of place when he first showed up in the movie, but once I got past the fact that it was Matt Damon, I was able to immerse myself in the movie experience and enjoy the banter between his character and The Dude’s character… whose name I don’t remember.

Here’s the thing about westerns, they usually have very VERY simple to follow plots.  A bad guy killed a little girls father.  The little girl hires a crotchety old Marshall to go and track the bad guy down.  A Texas Ranger approaches the girl cause he also wants the bad guy.  The three of them go after the bad guy.  They find the bad guy and a fight ensues.  The good guys win, but aren’t completely unharmed. the end.  A movie like this proves the axiom that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  Western’s are straight forward, and if done right, they still work.  They don’t need plot twists, or tons of heartfelt dialog, or even over the top action sequences.

I give this movie seven out of ten soiled rugs that really tie the room together.

Harry Potter and the deathly hallow pt 1

Ok, lets get back to disappointing nerd sequels. I never was that into Harry Potter and never read the books so I wasn’t really that excited to see the penultimate movie in the Harry Potter franchise.  Still, I went and saw it cause the last couple of installments had been more dark and action packed than the first several HP films that were more kid friendly.  I was hoping for things to continue getting more dark, scary, and most importantly, action packed.  Sadly it was more dark, but wasn’t really action packed.  In fact, it was boring as shit.  It was just a sad depressing teen angst version of all the walking scenes from the lord of the rings.

I’m really not going to go into great detail into why it was so disappointing since pretty much every fan review of the movie you can find online will do that for you.   I will say that over half of the movie is spent with harry, hermionie, and ron just camping in the woods, acting sad, and basically having some magical charm slowly turn them evil, just like the one ring did to Frodo and Samwise in LOTR.  I give this movie six out of 10 gay wizards.

Guliver’s Travels

I haven’t seen Jack Black do anything truly funny in a while, and that’s a shame since  I think he’s very funny and talented and most of his early stuff was god damn hilarious.  Lately however he’s been doing kids movies, going for obvious laughs, and cashing pay checks.  The most edgy thing he’s done in recent memory was his drug addict role in Tropic Thunder, which I kind of thought was the low point of the movie.  Not bad, but not as good as the rest of it. Anyways, I thought that this kind of movie would cater perfectly to Jack Blacks style and could let him cut loose and be more Tenacious D and less Nacho Libre.

All my hopes went right out the fucking window when I got to the theater and saw that the movie was rated PG.  I had no idea it was basically a family/kids movie, but yeah it totally was.  Not only were the jokes in the movie pretty obvious/chessy, but some portions of the plot were so painfully cliche that I just couldn’t wait for the movie to be over.  Here’s an example of how paper thin the plot was.  Jack black works as the mail guy at a magazine company and he’s in love with some chick he never really talks to cause he’s scared of her since she’s way out of his league.  A new guy is hired in the mail room with Jack Black and after the guy has worked with Jack for LESS THAN ONE GOD DAMN DAY, the new guy tells jack something along the lines of “Jack, the reason you are stuck in this mail room is the same reason you’ve never gone out with Amanda Peet, you never take any risks, you never apply your self.”

Seriously if I had a new guy working for me and on his first day he tries to talk to me like we have been best friends for years and that he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings but thinks I need to hear the truth and tells me what he thinks I need to hear, I’d probably tell him to fuck off and keep reading the employee manual.  This is what happens when you just heap a bunch of family friendly rom com cliches on top of each other.

The other thing that is bizzare about this movie is that all the humor is toned down cause it’s basically a kids movie, but then out of no where there are a few situations that are totally not suitable for kids in my opinion.

  • The princess acts the one guy why he likes here and he points to her tits
  • Gulliver/Jack puts out a fire at the mansion by pissing on it, and soaking everyone in the mansion in urine.
  • A random character talks about Skeet Skeet Skeet

I give this movie 4 out of 10 random out of place jack black musical numbers.

Piranha 3d

This movie knew exactly what is was, didn’t try to be anything else, and delivered on it’s promise. What was that promise?  Boobs, Horror, Cheesiness, and blood and gore.  The storyline wasn’t over thought, which is fine.  The random nude scenes were unnecessary, but just about perfect.  The suspenseful scenes were forced but par for the course in these types of movies.  The humor was obvious and sometimes unintentional but still kind of appropriate.  The blood and gore was over the top but in a good way.  In summation it was a “guilty pleasure” movie, which is a phrase I hate, but just like this movie, is totally appropriate.

I give this movie 7 out of 10 holy shit Kelly Brook has awesome titties.

Salt

I had forgotten this movie was made until I saw it on a download site a week or so ago.  When I saw the previews I thought “Oh cool it’s a chick version of the Borne Identity” and I was a little bit correct, but not really.  This movie had some good action scenes but nothing amazing.  The story was fairly inventive, and the few surprise twist were well done and not overly foreshadowed.  I’d write more about it, but i wouldn’t want to give anything away and I’m tired of typing.

I give this movie 8 out of 10 Angelina half naked in action movie scenes.

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