Monday, May 28, 2012

Severance

Severance may be the best horror movie that you have never heard about. It is a British horror/comedy that features a good amount of gore, interesting characters and of course a healthy dose of tits. The characters are mainly stereotypes of the average office worker. Featuring a burn-out, uptight boss, a Dwight Schrute second-in-command, a beautiful blonde American, and then others along the way. I found this on Netflix one day and it instantly became a personal favorite of mine. This is a movie that I can watch a couple of times a month and my enjoyment never diminishes.

The story and characters is what really puts this movie over the top in terms of quality. The burnout, Steve, played by Danny Dyer and the blonde American, Maggie, played by Laura Harris are the two best characters in the movie. They act realistically to the situations that they are put in and that is the key to a good horror movie, realism. If you have people walking into obvious traps and doing other nonsensical things then it kills the experience. Dyer has been in some great productions such as Doghouse and Outlaw, which both happen to be underappreciated movies in their own right.  He brings most of the comedy in the movie to life because his character is high for 3/4 of the movie and his reactions are fucking priceless. The scene of him pissing in the woods is one of the funniest scenes I can remember in a horror movie. Laura Harris is just sexy as all hell in the movie and plays her character perfectly. She is a fish out of water because she is an American with all of her British associates in the Russian wilderness. She is the only character in the movie that keeps her wits about her in every scene that she is in and gives the movie its female protagonist.

The idea of having a group of people that work for a defense/munitions company get hunted down by crazed Russian war criminals was an amazing premise for a movie of this nature. The premise just takes the "cabin in the woods" formula and tweaks it ever so slightly to create a fresh take on the genre. Everything in the movie plays out as realistically as possible in order to keep the movie entertaining and flowing smoothly. The gore and kills in the movie are pretty brutal as well and is really the moneymaker for any horror movie. Watching a guy's leg get snapped off in a bear trap is both hilarious/brutal at the same time and the movie doesn't really shy away from violence at all. Also seeing a guy get stabbed to death with a combat knife in his ass is also pretty fucking brutal.

Final Verdict

A MUST SEE

This is an absolute must see for anyone that loves horror movies. The combo of horror and comedy makes the movie much better than your normal run of the mill slasher film. The characters and story are what really elevates this movie to being something special instead of ending up being mediocre like 9/10 movies in the horror genre. Watch this on Netflix, it is available to stream in HD and is well worth your time.


The Avengers

This is the mother of all summer movies. Shattering records and destroying all other movies in its path is what The Avengers is currently doing. This is being brought to us by the genius that is Joss Whedon, and starring all of the leading actors from the last 4 Marvel movies. The movie is really great for what it is supposed to be, the ultimate summer blockbuster. You get a little humor, some good character development and some awesome action. What more could you possibly ask for in a summer blockbuster?

This was a mesmerizing movie to watch in person. Clocking in at two and a half hours, it is a fairly long movie and it did not frag at all. That by itself is an amazing accomplishment when compared to other movies of that length that have come out recently. It does happen to follow a similar formula that all of the Marvel movies have been following lately. Something happens to make the heroes doubt themselves, they regain confidence, and then crush the villain. If the formula isn't broken then you don't need to fix it. I was pleasantly surprised at how much characterization they packed into this movie. Every character gets their own set up scenes and is given time over the course of the movie to grow. The standout characters in my opinion were Black Widow and Hulk/Bruce Banner. Just two awesome characters that have a few great scenes together and the Hulk pretty much dominated every scene that he was featured in because he is just a force of pure destruction.

The action in this movie was just spectacular and kicked it off right with the fight between Iron Man and Thor. They just beat the shit out of each other for five minutes and the fight just kept getting better the longer it went. They went over the top with the action and the inclusion of Joss' trademark humor in these scenes really took them to another level. Whether it be Hawkeye's no-look shots at aliens or Hulk sucker punching Thor after they took down an alien destroyer. Little things like this break up the more serious sections of the movie and pretty much everything in the movie was pitch perfect. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel in a few years and I am pretty pumped about the next Iron Man movie which comes out next spring.

Verdict

THIS IS A MUST SEE. This is the best of the comic book movies so far, beating out The Dark Knight in pretty convincing fashion. This movie is a good time from start to end and there aren't a lot of movies that come out these days that you can say that about. Joss Whedon has made his presence felt in Hollywood and hopefully more studios will realize his talent and give him the opportunity to make more and more movies. Between The Avengers and Cabin In The Woods, Joss is having an all time great year. This is the one movie of the summer season besides Prometheus that I would truly consider to be a must see movie. .

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The 5 Funniest Scenes of All Time

All of these selections are my opinion. Post your personal favorites as well.

5. Anchorman- Sex Panther





4. The Hangover- One Man Wolf Pack



3. Old School- Tranquilizer to the Jugular



2. Shaun of The Dead- Record Toss



1. Anchorman- Ovary Punch


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Battleship


 Creating movies based on toys has become somewhat of a trend over the past few years. A trend that has resulted in very mixed results with the original Transformers movie being the pinnacle and everything after that has pretty much been Razzie quality movies. Peter Berg and Universal Studios thought it would be a great idea to bring Battleship to the big screen which is an adaptation that no one was asking for. I must have also misunderstood the game because I don’t remember it being about an alien invasion of Earth.

The movie tells the story of a down on his luck loser, Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch), who is enlisted into the Navy by his brother (Alexander Skarsgard) after a night of drunkenness leads him to being arrested and tased. Fast forward several years and he now is involved with the daughter (Brooklyn Decker) of his Admiral (Liam Neeson) and he needs to muster up the courage to ask the Admiral for his daughter’s hand in marriage. At the same time a signal sent out by NASA to a far distant planet resembling ours has made contact with an alien civilization and they are on their way to Earth. The alien crafts land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and a battle between the Navy and the Aliens ensues with the fate of Earth hanging in the middle. The basic premise of this movie sounds a little convoluted and it really is when you see it on screen. Also, Rihanna shows up in the movie if you didn’t already know.

Goes to Brooklyn Decker simply being on screen throughout the course of the movie. She is amazing to look at and is not atrocious in the acting department, so I consider that a win. The special effects are good for the most part if a little overused. The standout actor in the movie is Tadanobu Asano, who plays Captain Nagata. He seems to be one of the only actors trying in the movie and you get some great moments from his character. Taylor Kitsch may be a “leading man” in the eyes of the Hollywood bigwigs, but they need to learn to start people off with smaller movies. He has great screen presence but unfortunately he talks like Christian Bale’s Batman 90% of the time that he is on screen. Give the kid a few leading roles in smaller movies then give him the chance to headline the summer blockbusters. There is no rush.

The whole idea of the aliens coming to Earth is pretty weak and you could tell that the writers had absolutely no idea how make a movie based on the original board game, Battleship. I don’t ever remember saying “B-10. Your alien cruiser sunk my battleship”. The whole idea was convoluted to begin with and didn’t get any better throughout the course of the movie. Liam Neeson, why did you have to do this movie? You were on such a good string of movies and then you get involved in this pile of poop. He probably just needed the money because that is exactly the way he acted in the movie. I’m willing to forgive him for being in this movie if Taken 2 is as badass as the first one. Casting Rihanna in a major role in a major Hollywood blockbuster, come on. Big music star does not mean great actress. She looked like she was reading out of the clich├ęs for tough chicks in movies. She makes January Jones look like Charlize Theron. I hate myself for comparing January Jones and Charlize Theron, never again.

Final Verdict
This is one of the dumbest summer blockbusters I have ever seen. It made the last two Transformers movie look magnificent in comparison. It also proved to me that no matter how many special effects you have in a movie, it cannot hide a turd of a plot. Also just wanted to take a second to wish Peter Berg the best of luck and hope he continues to make painfully mediocre movies.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method is a schizophrenic film that while great in many ways falls flat in others. David Cronenberg who is generally a visionary director doesn't have a whole lot to play with in the movie other than 3 of the best actors in the industry currently. There are no man/fly abominations, head explosions, gangsters, or scenes of evisceration. This is a drama through and through, and it really hinged on the performances that he could get from his actors. The pairing of Fassbender and Mortensen was fucking genius. The only other duo that I have seen on screen with more talent is Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel. Cronenberg should have gotten him a small role in the movie just for good measure.

Michael Fassbender is quickly becoming Hollywood's go-to actor if they need someone for a strong performance. His presence in movies never feels forced unlike the shit heap known as Sam Worthington, of Avatar fame. Fassbender has the ability to seamlessly fit into any role he is given whether it be playing a young version of Magneto, a sex addict, or a world famous psychiatrist. I really believe that his role in Prometheus is going to take him over the top and catapult him to stardom. Mortensen is the guy you call if you need a complete BOSS on screen at all times. He just commands every scene that he is in and it sometimes works against what a director is trying to do because the viewer is focused on him even if the scene is supposed to focus on someone else. That is what we call magnetism folks, and he's got it. It is kind of strange when someone is solid in every movie they are ever in but sometimes got a bum wrap because they were in shit movie, which is what happened to Mortensen at the beginning of his career.

The one thing that took me out of the movie at times was the performance of Keira Knightly. I'm sure that a lot of people thought it was a wonderful performance and at times it was but at others it was so weird and over the top that it was distracting. She is on screen most of the time either freaking out or acting in some cases like a vindictive twat. It might of had more to do with me not liking the actual character and which in turn made me not like the performance of the other way around, I don't really know. She is normally a great actress and she's in two of my favorite dramas, Atonement and Pride and Prejudice. She just destroyed the movie for me at times.

This is movie I would see if you are in the mood for something slower in pace. The performances for the most part are top notch and it is always good to see a David Cronenberg movie. His movies are always great but are really not for general audiences.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Haywire

This is another action film in the vein of Drive. It is mostly a slow burn of a movie with sporadic action sequences and features a very quiet protagonist. Steven Soderbergh's fingerprints are all over this movie and if you are a fan of his previous work then you will be able to tell this immediately. The inclusion of a very diverse and talented cast to surround Gina Carano in her first film was an awesome decision. Usually when people are making their feature film debut they are either in a smaller role or in a really crappy production. Carano got the best of both worlds by being the centerpiece of the film and had a great cast around her. Anytime you have Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Michael Douglas, and Bill Paxton in a movie , you know you are in for a great ride.

Carano definitely has the physical presence and ability to carry a movie on her own. She is just as beautiful as any leading lady in Hollywood but where as most leading women have a "soft" appearance, she looks like she could just demolish you in every way possible. She is the type of leading lady that Hollywood needs these days, a resurgence of the strong female protagonist. She just needs to get a better handle on her acting abilities and she will be fine. Sometimes her lines seem a little forced but for being her first leading role it is understandable. Now I just wish she could do this and the MMA thing because she was an awesome fighter and it is kind of disappointing that she hasn't fought in almost 2 years.

The supporting cast is pretty solid, even Channing Tatum gives a decent performance. Tatum seems to be Steven Soderbergh's new go to leading man and I'm not sure everyone is ready for that because so many people hate movies for his mere presence in them whether or not they are good. Tatum was awesome in 21 Jump Street and was solid in The Eagle, so there is some hope for him yet. Fassbender shows up in the movie because he seems to be popping up in everything lately and gives some credibility to this movie that would have been generally a January afterthought to most movie goers.

This was a very solid action movie but I really feel like Soderbergh's should stick to his bread and butter, dramas. I feel like this is the only type of action movie that he could make and there is not a huge market for this slow burn of an action movie in the market today. Overall it was a fantastic film and most people should see it just to witness Gina Carano on screen. She just obliterates people on-screen and there is never a moment where you don't believe that she could destroy anyone on-screen. She is going to be a big star, mark my words.