That is, a review of the movie Non-Stop, not a chance for me to run at the mouth for hours on end. I did that for Star Trek Into Darkness.
I have to be careful with Liam Neeson. His bad movies are like wearing sand paper underwear, constantly chaffing and reminding me of the pain of Taken 2, Battleship, and the Phantom Menace. But then I see something like this or the Grey and am reminded that he is actually a dammed good actor. Would that his script discrimination matched his acting ability.
Yes, I enjoyed it. Exciting, intense, and with only a few easily ignored plot holes. A few days ago when talking about seeing this film I disparaged director Jaume Collet-Serra a little for not having done anything worth mentioning but I have to say the man has talent. This film is tight. Great buildup of tension, great connection to the main character, and a very exciting denouement with a couple of nice plot twists with no excess. I would now give any film he did serious consideration.
Of course like the worlds greatest seismologist I can find fault with anything (haw! Earthquake humor) and this film does not escape my scrutiny unscathed. In general it is quite well done and a great template for a good action/drama. Relative to most of the movies I have seen since the beginning of the year it was a nice break from the sewage grind.
Reviews where I like the film tend to be short and kind of boring so I will get this one over with so you can read about my opinion on Star Trek. The film starts off with Bill Marks (Liam Neeson-Wrath of the Titans, the Lego Movie, the Nut Job) drinking in his car prior to going through security at an airport. He has a minor run in with a preppy dude named Zack (Nate Parker-Red Tails, The Great Debaters, Arbitrage) on the line only to find himself seated next to the guy.
Jen Summers (Julianne Moore-Carrie, Crazy Stupid Love, the Big Lebowski) needs a window seat and so Zack trades with her. The plane takes off. It turns out that Bill is an air marshal and he starts getting a series of strange texts, telling him that a person on the plane will die every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred to an account.
At that point it’s a massive whodunit. Bill looks like he is being framed for the whole gig. He has is suspicions and conducts a fairly brutal investigation. The as this film is all about surprises and I think it worth seeing I am not going to go into the story too deep. A spoiler here would really be unfair.
Honestly very exciting, something of a rarity these days. Two stars. Liam Neeson plays a bitter burnout better than anyone else and this movie is the perfect vehicle to showcase his talent. One star. The rest of the cast delivered an admirable performance. One black hole. The plot twists were coherent and not just dredged up from bilges of the writers ass. You know. Twists that make sense, not just twists for twisty sake. One star. Pacing and tension development were actually quite masterful. No excess baggage (haw!). One black hole. In general a fun, exciting movie. Two stars. Total: eight stars.
The black holes:
While none of them were gaping there were a few black holes, mostly around the complexity of the bad guys plan and the fact that no one in TSA would look suspiciously at someone trying to get a parachute through security. One black hole. That’s pretty much it. One black hole total.
So seven stars, and one of the shortest reviews I have done in a long time. Sorry but movies that I like without being about something I really care about tend to be brief. I will take a moment to endorse the music making software package project by a friend of mine and ask that you check out her Kickstarter video. If you are into electronic music seriously consider donating a few bucks. I don’t ask for a lot of these (aside from checking out my nerd t-shirt site, of course) so at least give it some thought. Thanks, and thanks for reading. Like this on FB on the link above and follow me on Twitter if you think these reviews are decent (@Nerdkungfu). Comments on this film or my review can be left here and off topic questions or suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. I saw Stalingrad last night and will review it next. Talk to you soon. Have a great night.
Occasionally I will get someone asking me how I came up with the name of my nerd t-shirt selling website, NerdKungFu.com. The first part is painfully obvious to anyone who talks to me for more than 5 minutes (especially if they make the mistake of asking me how I feel about the new Star Trek reboot). But why kung fu? Have I studied martial arts? Am I a disciple of the kung fu philosophy? Once in a while I’ll get some wing nut who asks me if I sell martial arts supplies and uniforms.
The truth is much lamer than any of those. As a kid the thing I watched second only to Star Trek was Kung Fu Theater. My best friend and I had the schedule worked out where we could watch six hours back to back. I love them. Naturally I am a huge fan of the great Bruce Lee, but if you really want to get into the nitty gritty of of what kung fu films are about you have to get into the hard core Wu Tang stuff. Master of the Flying Guillotine will always be my favorite, but you can’t go wrong with the Five Deadly Venoms, Drunken Master, 36th Chamber of Shaolin, or Five Fingers of Death (by the way, if you want to watch any of these I found this great site WatchKungfu.com. Awesome. I think when I am done writing this I will watch 36th Chamber again).
Kung fu movies are fairly formulaic (the good ones at least). Typically an everyman hero is wronged by bandits or local officials. He travels to find a martial arts master (often ending up at the Shaolin temple) where he goes through a very cool series of training exercises in order to become a deadly martial arts master. He then travels home and kicks some ass. In some movies the martial arts hero dies to save other people (these film are all a product of Communist China and therefore have a very strong social and egalitarian slant. The hero is usually the one protecting people from Imperialist oppression).
Bruce Lee films take these to the next level, with all the above plus the fact that Bruce Lee is amazing. The point of this long intro was I went to this film hoping to see a kung fu movie and was a little disappointed. It was more of a documentary of the great Master Ip Man, the original trainer for Bruce Lee.
I don’t really want to do the full black holes/stars thing for this. When it comes to reviewing this I am up the cultural river without a paddle. I’m sure many of the issues I noticed would look totally cool to someone living in China. The film just didn’t have a lot of weight behind it. The martial arts sequences were abreviated, and I was kind of disappointed to see them using the quick cut action sequencing that has been plaguing Western movies for years now. In other words, instead of amazingly choreographed fight sequences (like in the Raid: Redemption) we get a lot of 1-5 second shots (still an improvement on most Hollywood films, where the cuts are 1-1.5 second) shots edited together. The film also didn’t have the amazing camera work I have come to expect from modern Chinese martial arts movies like in Hero. However, the story, while kind of flat, was interesting and there was actual martial arts action in it.
I think the best way to appreciate this film is as a cultural study with kung fu in it. There were some intriguing decisions made by the main characters that wouldn’t make a lot of sense here in America but when taken with the Chinese culture in mind are kind of cool. And don’t get me wrong. There are some great fight sequences (the first fight in the rain at the beginning and later between Gong Er and Ma San at the train station in particular).
I think my frustration with this film is it is really hard to nail down. It doesn’t have enough fighting or the fanciful story to be a true kung fu movie; the story is too flat and broken up into documentary style vignettes to be a great drama; and the camera work is not lavish enough to be an artistic piece. Ip Man is of course a great character but I the film glossed over the dramatic turns in his life (leaving his family, dealing with the invasion of the Japanese, etc.) leaving me with a hard time identifying with him. I had a better connection to his love interest Gong Er, but even her story arc was flat. I did enjoy this film a great deal, but there were parts I found myself wishing for a fast forward button for.
The story is of course about Master Ip Man of the Wing Chun school of Kung Fu. He is selected to match up against the Northern martial arts head. He wins the challenge (by literally breaking bread) but is challenged also by the Northern Masters daughter Gong Er. They fight and Gong Er wins on a technicality. During the fight the two both feel amazing chemistry for each other, but Ip Man has to go home to his wife and kids.
Ip Man and Gong Er plan to meet up and spar again but before they can the Japanese invade. Ip Man is forced to take up work as his family starves. Meanwhile Gong Er’s father Gong Yutian is betrayed and killed by his pupil Ma San, now a Japanese collaborator. Gong Er hunts him down and they fight at a train station. Eventually Ip Man travels to Hong Kong to find work, only to be cut off from his family when the Communist government closes the border. He meets up with Gong Er and thinks to rekindle their relationship but she has sworn an oath of celibacy. Eventually he opts to open a Wing Chun school in Hong Kong in order to make kung fu available to the general public and there trains young Bruce Lee. Thanks to him Wing Chun is the most widely used school of kung fu.
I’m not going to get into the stars and black holes on this one. Like I said, I don’t think I have the proper cultural basis to properly appreciate it. I’ve discovered that once I get any film onto my autopsy table I tend to find birth defects and cancers I didn’t even see while watching it, and I don’t want to do treat this film that way. Besides, the answer to the question should you see it or not is very simple. If you are a fan of Bruce Lee or kung fu movies then absolutely. If you are not then feel free to give it a pass. The quick cut action means you can probably get away with seeing it at home so wait for NetFlix.
Sorry about the lame review, but this film kind of defies my reviewing power. I will be seeing Blue Jasmine later tonight so look for that review tomorrow. I have a couple hours to kill before the movie so I am going to watch 36th Chamber of Shaolin (aka Shaolin Master Killer) and enjoy every second. Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. If you have comments on this movie or my review post them here, and off topic questions or suggestion can be emailed to email@example.com. Have a great night.
P.S. Riddick tomorrow night. Stop pestering me about it.
I treated myself to something special for this film. One of our local theaters was hosting the Cornetto Trilogy, which was Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and then the World’s End and I loved every minute of it (plus they game me a free t-shirt. Wish I knew were I could get more cool nerd t shirts. Oh, wait. I do). I wish to hell Hollywood would take a lesson from Simon Pegg and figure out that big stars and massive gun battles (well, except for Hot Fuzz) are not what’s needed in a good movie.
Yes, another film I rolled in to with a predisposition, thus making my unbiased reviewer qualifications suspect. I am a fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and love all their films (even Paul). I expected this one to be amazing, and am pleased to announce that my expectations were met. I am sure a less generous (cough cough fan boy cough cough) reviewer might find things to take issue with, but overall I enjoyed this film immensely.
What’s neat is once again Simon has taken a nerd trope and made it cool again while reinventing his and his friends characters into something completely different. Nick Frost is no longer an unemployed pot dealing loser or half assed cop but rather a high powered and very responsible lawyer (at least until he gets five shots of whiskey into him). Simon Pegg is the loser in this film, a barely adult who has never let go of how cool he was back in high school and yearns for those days all over again (like most of the idiots I spoke to at my reunion. As for me those four years are in my past and if I could call in a tactical air strike on the section of my brain that remembers high school I would (along with my alma mater. Burn in hell SCHS)).
And of course where would a Simon Pegg movie be without a campy action sci fi component. Paul was aliens, Hot Fuzz was cops, Shaun of the Dead was zombies, and the World’s End is all about robots (and sort of aliens). There was also a very cool Invasion of the Body Snatchers component that I enjoyed a great deal. I actually believe a robot uprising to be even more possible than a zombie apocalypse (and if you know how much I believe we are due for zombie apocalypse then you understand how likely I consider the robot uprising) and therefore makes for a great story premise.
It kind of makes me wonder why we don’t have more robot themed movies. Last one I can think of would have to be I, Robot and it really didn’t do very well (to be fair, it was kind of a crappy adaptation of a really good book). I think the issue is most people kind of understand that if there ever were a robot uprising we the human race would be royally boned. Just like it’s hard to have a superhero who is too powerful to compete against (Superman, for example) you can’t have a villain (or villainous force) that the heroes can’t really compete with. It is difficult to imagine fighting something you will break your hand punching in the face. In movie fantasy everyone likes to see themselves as a hero cutting down dozens of bad guys with their machine gun or ninja sword, not one of several thousand faceless BBS’s (Basic Bullet Stoppers) assigned to climb onto a robot tank in order to break it’s suspension with the combined weight of their corpses.
This film manages to get away from that by making the robots old school G.I. Joe style, where the heads and limbs come off easier than a Mr. Potato Head with an M-80 in it. I don’t want to start finding reasons to give black holes, but if I were going to use robots to take over the world I would probably make them at least tough enough to go mano a roboto with some out of shape middle aged drunkards.
So the World’s End. The film starts off with Gary King (Simon Pegg-not going to bother with film credits. If you don’t know who he is get off my blog) recounting the greatest night of his life when he and his four best friends from high school attempting the Miracle Mile-a route planned out to hit 12 pubs in one evening ending up at the World’s End in Newton Haven. He then goes around trying to convince his now grown up friends to recreate the trek and actually finish it this time. They are all grown up and have responsible lives and little interest in a night of alcoholic debauchery. For the record they are Any Knightly (Nick Frost-same as Simon), Peter Page (Eddie Marsan-Snow White and the Huntsman, War Horse, the Best of Men), Oliver Chamberlain (The Hobbit: and Unexpected Journey, Pirates! a Band of Misfits, Sherlock Holmes), and Steven Prince (Paddy Considine-Now is Good, Girl on a Bicycle, Submarine). (See what they did with the names?)
Anyway, Gary bullies, lies, and cajoles them all to join him and they all return to their home town of Newton Haven, a quaint old fashioned burb that I guess England is loaded with and reminds me of a lot of small towns in New Hampshire. Andy is now a teetotaler (what does teetotaler mean? It means you should have stayed awake more in school). They hit the first couple pubs and notice odd things, like no one seems to recognize them. They run into Olivers sister Sam (Rosamund Pike-you know she is really very attractive and an accomplished actress but her filmography reads like a skunk/steamroller mass murder crime scene-Johnny English Reborn, Jack Reacher, Wrath of the Titans. Those three films garnered a total of sixteen black holes from yours truly (granted, Wrath earned most of them but none of them were in the positive)) who Gary did back in the day but Steven has always had a thing for.
Gary gets into a fight with a kid in the mens room and accidentally knock his head off, discovering the awful secret of Newton Haven-most of the town has been taken over by robots. He and his chums mix it up with more and take them all down. They decide the best way to survive is to finish the pub crawl to avoid suspicion (this part didn’t sit great with me, and here is where I show you all what a hypocrite I really am as I have tossed films I cared less about down multiple flights of stairs for plot holes less weighty than this). Gary seems the most interested in finishing it as he appears to have nothing else in his life.
So the film progresses. Things get weirder at each stop as they discover the secret of what the robots are after. The story gets super cool at the end and then hokey again.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Two stars. Robots. One star. All the inside jokes that only a fan of the Cornetto series will get are in full force. One star. A surprise appearance by some very cool stars. One star. Seeing Nick Frost go on a berserk rampage. One star. A film that manages to use the story and action to show the development of relationships between characters rather than treating character development like the muck you pull out of your rain gutter. A true buddy film in the sense that friendship triumphs in the end. One black hole. Free t shirt (which I am wearing right now). One star. Some very cool camera work (as per one of these films) and excellent pacing. One star. No need to bring in huge Hollywood names based on the mistaken belief that people will go see it just because of the star (cough cough Ben Affleck Batman cough cough). One star. Overall an excellent movie experience. Two stars. Total: twelve stars.
The black holes.
I really don’t wanna, but I suppose my much abused credibility needs a bone thrown to it once in a while. The fact that the robot costume I made with a cardboard box, some silver spray paint, and duct tape in 3rd grade had more strength and durability than these robots. Also what was up with the hand thing they all kept on trying to do? When you see it you will understand. One black hole. The logical reason to keep on with the pub crawl was tenuous at best and was literally the turd in the punch bowl for a big chuck of the film for me. One black hole. Total: two black holes.
A very grand total of ten stars. Yes, you should go see this. Yes, you should watch Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz again before seeing it. I’ll say this film was on the level of Hot Fuzz but not quite as good as Shaun (but remember also I have a love of zombies, making that opinion suspect too). See it in a theater and pay full price as a means of telling Hollywood what we, the unwashed nerd masses, want from our films. Date movie? Of course. If the girl you are seeing isn’t turned by a good Pegg/Frost film drop her off at the bus stop and give her a buck for fare as you will never find true happiness with her. Bathroom break? Hell no. Hold it for 109 minutes. Either that or get one of these portable Pit Stops before heading in.
Thanks for reading. I’ll see something else tonight and write it up tomorrow. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu and like us on Facebook please. If you have a comment on this film or my review post it here, and any off topic questions or suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.
Rest in Peace Division? I certainly found the parts I dozed off in restful.
I consider this review a testament to how much I love you, my beloved readers, and writing these blogs. You see, I spent all last week at Comic Con (awesome, BTW. I’ll try to write up something on it later this week) and just arrived back home yesterday afternoon to unload the hundreds of nerd t shirts I brought down there for the show (if you are curious, this Havard Law shirt was pretty much the best seller we had down there) and pack up all the orders that piled up while we were in geek heaven. Then, rather than rest, eat, or take a much needed shower I opted to go see a crap movie in order to give you all something to read this night.
Of course, I had a sneaking suspicion that there would not be many people in the audience to be offended by my stench (I like to think of it as a manly musk) and as it turns out, I was right.
It looks like the make up, facial hair, clothing, and personality worn by Jeff Bridges in the movie True Grit have become permanently attached to his body and soul as that now appears to be the only role he can perform. This film is a clear rip(d. Haw!) off of Men in Black and Ghostbusters with a bad buddy cop overview involving Rooster Colburn and Martin Riggs. The thing with rip offs and fusion films is they can be quite good if you take the cool, functional parts and meld them into a decent story and good characters. Classics are classics for a reason.
Unfortunately this film did none of those things. I often talk about Frankenstein movies where the parts of other dead films are sewn together and animated with electricity into something that moves like a live movie and occasionally does something really amazing. If this film were the work of Dr. Frankenstein however it looks like he was getting over a long crystal meth bender and just stuck all the dead movie parts into a meat grinder in order to form them into a giant man shaped meatball that he stuffed into the nearest microwave and went to go pass out. The only thing this film is good for is decay and collecting maggots.
I should probably find something good to say before Universal sends a hit man after me. I guess the reason Jeff Bridges keeps playing Rooster Cogburn is he is a cool and interesting character, and this movie milks that for as much as it is worth. This film does nothing to alleviate the burning hatred I feel for Ryan Reynolds for his butchering the Green Lantern, at least it did nothing to bury the needle further. At least he wasn’t playing his odious Van Wilder character (again), and he and Bridges managed to generate a little chemistry together. I have always had a weird thing for Mary-Louise Parker, and her looking like an uptight school principal was kind of lighting my fuse the whole time (take that for what you will).
The story is of Nick (Ryan Reynolds-the Green Lantern, Safe House, the Change-Up), a Boston PD officer. He and his partner Hayes (Kevin Bacon-Sleepers, Mystic River, X-Men First Class) stole some gold in a drug bust. Nick feels guilty and is going to turn his share in. Hayes opts to shoot him in the face during a bust.
Nick flies up to some ill defined afterlife in the sky (Heaven? Why do parts of of look decidedly Hell-ish? Reminds me of the last trip I took to New Jersey) but at the last minute gets pulled into an office with Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker-Weeds, the West Wing, Red), one of the heads of the Rest In Peace Department. They go out and capture spirits who have skipped out of judgement (no clue how this is done) and are hiding among humans. She offers him a job and he takes it.
He then partners up with Roy (Jeff Bridges-True Grit, the Big Lebowski, Iron Man), a cantankerous old West guy who fell out of the stereotype tree and hit every branch. They go out looking for bad Deado’s using Indian food and assorted spices. Meanwhile Nick is obsessed with his living ex wife Julia (Dinner for Schmucks, We Bought a Zoo, the Devil Wears Prada) but to the living he appears as a creepy old Asian man (James Hong-Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China, Mulan).
Roy’s physical appearance is that of a super hot blond chick (Marisa Miller-Victoria Secret, Entourage, just generally looking hot I guess). Trust me when I say the incessant jokes that situation raises gets old so fast I think it bent time.
Anyway, the two come across some gold similar to what Nick stole and it leads them to a plan to conquer the world or something. Nick deals with his own death and the loss of his wife while Roy orneries things up.
I guess I like Jeff Bridges and his Rooster character. I just hope he doesn’t purposely typecast himself. One star. Umm. I guess I liked Mary-Louise Parker and her character. One star. Total: Two stars.
The black holes.
Bad rip off of several different movies. Two black holes. The rules of being dead were never really defined. They don’t have any sense of taste but they do feel? Do live humans see them as monsters when they get released? How does one avoid being sucked up into the sky? Can dead people kill live ones? The questions keep on coming. I suspect these questions don’t really occur to someone who has read the comic book, but to me they were like cinder blocks tied to my body for a swimming lesson. Two black holes. The whole structure of the RIPD is never defined, and nothing was done to establish it. One black hole. The story was lame, predictable, and meandered back and forth like watching back to back Scooby Doo episodes. One black hole. The whole thing felt really unfinished, especially the characters and their development. The entire film felt rushed. One black hole. Pacing was weak. It definitely dragged pointlessly at points. 96 minutes that felt like three hours. One black hole. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the main bad guy hoped to accomplish. One black hole. Once it was established that the main characters were effectively indestructible the action got painfully boring. I literally was struggling to stay awake. The curse of the PG-13 gremlin did not help. One black hole. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this, but the CGI was like 10 years ago. They tried to speed up the action in order to hide that fact that we were seeing cartoons on the screen, but there wasn’t much hiding it. One black hole. Total: eleven black holes.
A grand total of nine black holes. Not really worth spending money on IMO. If you are bored on a Tuesday night and have a box of wine to kill this will help fill up the time. Date movie? Hell no. Odds are you shouldn’t see it solo. Bathroom break? Given that Jeff Bridges was probably the most entertaining part of the film ironically you can easily miss any of the action scenes without hurting your viewing experience. However, since I expect most of you to see this at home just hit the pause button (or fast forward, if you know what I mean).
Thanks for reading. I am on a business trip right now but will try to see something else this week. I also will try to post something on Comic Con. Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Post any comments on this film or my review here. Off topic questions or suggestions can be emailed to email@example.com. Talk to you soon.
Pretty damned good.
This movie was something of a singular experience in that I left the theater with a definite opinion on the film but after a nights sleep and a few waking hours to think about it I have more or less reversed it. My massive ego does not leave me prone to second guessing myself but upon occasion I realize I was slightly less correct than I could have been. This is such an occasion.
I feel like my late night slightly negative opinion is based largely on the fact that I have been seeing the trailers for this movie for months and each time I did I got more excited about the film. 2013 has not been a generous year for fans of science fiction thus far (based on some of the trailers I saw last night that is about to change dramatically) and I have been feeling a little thirsty for something good. In the trailers this looked like it could fit the bill nicely (although when I saw the directory Joseph Kosinski had also done Tron: Legacy I did have a few doubts).
In truth it really does, but during the course of the film I kept spotting what I thought were massive plot holes that just seemed like stupid mistakes for a big budget film to make. That really tainted my viewing experience. However the story managed to wrap pretty much every hole in the last 15 minutes, a feat that is not seen often in Hollywood. It was like being pissed at a friend for making you late to a show only to find out at the last minute he had already bought VIP tickets and reserved a parking space six feet from the door. The plot holes were like a sour taste in my mouth that some reflection and mouthwash were able to get rid of.
Thus we are left with a shockingly original interesting story with some really good twists and great action. The concept was very cool and the final twist was almost Matrix-like in being unexpectedly and well executed. The special effects were seamless (this is one of the very rare occasions when I wonder how it would have looked int 3D) and all the acting at least good. In general a credible stab ad science fiction.
That’s not to say there weren’t still problem, which I will get into in excruciating detail shortly. There was one thing that bugged the hell me the whole time: is Tom Cruise (or his character) supposed to be right or left handed? He consistently uses his rifle in the left handed configuration (left hand on the pistol grip right hand on the fore grip) but his pistol is on his right hip and he uses his right hand to shoot it. Perhaps there was some science reason for it but nothing was ever offered up. Petty I know but it really was the tiny rock in the shoe of movie watching that drove me nuts.
This film is super twisty and complicated so am going to great pains to avoid spoilers. This will result in my story recap being somewhat abbreviated but this is the kind of film I expect all of you to see and I won’t ruin it for you. Three of my black holes will include a bit of a spoiler but I will warn you beforehand. Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Minority Report, Mission Impossible) is Jack Hardy, a drone technician left behind on Earth after a devastating war against aliens has left most of the planet a post apocalyptic wasteland. He lives in a high tech sky base so advanced it makes the Apple Store look like the booth at the swap meet where the guy sells rusty old tools and broken lawn mowers. His wife and fellow operative Victoria (Andrea Riseborough-W.E., Being Human, Happy-go-Lucky) lives with him. Jack flys around in a super cool hover gunship that looks like ti was made of giant ping pong balls blued together repairing damaged drones (that also look like giant ping pong balls). The drones are there to keep the alien remnants called Scavs (or Scavengers) from damaging giant energy converters that are turning water into power for the human colony orbiting Titan. Jack has a fascination with old Earth and keeps dreaming about it.
Again, I don’t want to go into it too much. Jack runs into some other humans and saves one of them (Olga Kurylenko-Quantum of Solace, Hitman, To a Wonder). Things aren’t what Jack believes them to be. Twists get twisted and somehow Morgan Freeman surfaces dressed suspiciously like a helmetless Darth Vader.
First and foremost this was an original story. I have seen elements of it in other books or movies but this particular set up I haven’t seen before. Given how often I beat my fists against the unimaginative brick wall that is Hollywood script writing I would be a cad to not award this at least three stars. Three stars. The story was complex, cool, and convoluted in the best ways. One star. It takes a lot for special effects and CGI to impress me these days, but that plus some really great camera work made this movie fun to watch. One star. While Tom Cruise may or may not be a weirdo in his personal life, the man can deliver a solid performance. One star. The ship Jack flew around in, the drones, and all the super cool technology made sense and didn’t strain any disbelief. Good science fiction is not about creating technology that couldn’t possibly exist for hundreds of years (or ever) but taking existing technology and moving it along the logical progression to something believable. One star. Action was very solid. One star. In spite of a 126 minute run time pacing was great. One star. The movie was a constant debate as to which of the two women turned me on more (I know who my best friend would pick). Plus you (almost) get to see some bare ass. One star. Science fiction movie that is not a huge insult to science (Except for maybe the moon part. I don’t know enough about lunar gravitational stresses so I can’t comment. Plus I was always a Thundarr the Barbarian fan so I’d let it slide. Science image courtesy of the Nerd T-Shirts.). One star. Overall a quality movie experience. Two stars. Total: thirteen stars.
The black holes:
In spite of having a complicated and intelligent story the director obviously thinks most of us are idiots as he spoon fed us plot elements in the form of either an annoying voice over monolog (every element of which he later revealed as an expository scene or three) or just over explained stuff. One black hole. Like I said when I reviewed him in Jack Reacher Tom Cruise must have a clause in his contract that says he can never be anything other than the most capable, macho, moral super human on the screen. There is nothing beyond his abilities (also what is the deal with him and characters named Jack? That’s two in a row). It tends to drain some of the tension from the scenes. One black hole. The action labors under the PG-13 yoke like a bull trying to pull a plow through solid concrete. Humans die in kid friendly evapo-explosions and most of it seemed to be Tom Cruise firing at something off camera. One black hole. This is where the spoilers come in so SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT! You can skip ahead to the next paragraph or not but you can’t say I didn’t warn you. I need Hollywood science fiction writers to let go of the idea that the most valuable resource on our planet is dihydrogen monoxide. It was a stupid idea in Battle L.A. and it is a stupid idea here. The universe is up to its ass in dihydrogen monoxide (Pluto is 90%) most of which does not have pesky natives shooting back at you. One black hole. The movie was solid all the way through up until the end when they decided the final scene needed to have Jack fumbling around with the win MacGuffin. Has no one ever heard of a device that can be activated with a single flip of a switch? One black hole. While all the humans motivations seemed pretty clear, the actual bad guy perplexed me by being so blatantly stupid. Also they did the Phantom Menace and Avengers thing of having all the bad guys fall apart as soon as the controlling brain died. One black hole. Total: six black holes.
A grand total of seven stars. A very good score, although I think with a few tweaks it could have been better. Should you see it? If you call yourself a nerd than absolutely. If you don’t you are not a true nerd but one of those people who just glom onto the latest cool thing (somehow being a nerd turned into something cool. When did that happen? I must have missed the memo) like most hipsters, emo kids, and Tea Party members. Turn in your nerd card on the way out. Date movie? I think so. The characters are cool enough and the story nicely complicated such that a non-sci fi girl will still enjoy it. However, be warned that whatever Tom Cruise is doing to stay young and good looking (cryo-sleep chamber? Full body Botox injections? The life blood of young aspiring starlets?) is working at full strength and you will probably suffer in comparison. Bathroom break? Like I said with Trance hold it. Any scene you miss could screw up your comprehension radically. If you really have to go any of the scenes with Jack at his lake house are probably the most expendable, but just don’t super size your drink if you can.
Thanks for reading. More to see this weekend. Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Comments on this film or my review can be left at the bottom here. Off topic questions or suggestions can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.
Over the past few years of doing these it has become apparent that the movie going audience craves stupid movies in the same way a 12 year old 300lb diabetic craves chocolate ice cream (if box office receipts are anything to base this on). And like a parent who feeds his obese child chocolate ice cream Hollywood could be accused of a certain amount of abuse by indulging in such base desires.
However, like the crack dealer who works down the street from my office everyone needs to get paid and Hollywood is no exception. I will say this movie is stupidly fun, but after a while for the thinking viewer the stupidity just keeps adding up until the weight of it compresses your brain into a diamond of perfect bitterness. For those of you who don’t bother to think I’m sure you will have a blast at this movie and the follow up Bachelor viewing party.
I was more than a little surprised at how stupid this film was. The director Antoine Fugua directed Training Day, one of my personal favorite films. As a fan of his previous work I am going to drop the blame for this on the two writers who have not a single movie (or TV, or YouTube video) credit to their names (production budget of $80,000,000 and they effectively hired two amateurs to write this thing. It is annoying).
I walked into this expecting a certain amount of flag porn (you know, so much u-rah! USA crap that uber right wing gun nuts like my cousin have to change their shorts after seeing it) and there was a certain amount of that, but what I really did not expect to see was the Secret Service portrayed as a bunch of moronic amateurs who barely know which end of the gun the bullets come out of. I have no real military training but even I know that charging forward in a group towards a machine gun was considered a bad plan even back in WWI. A lifetime of FPS video games has taught me the value of taking cover behind stuff in order to avoid turning into a bullet magnet, but somehow everyone except the main character seemed to feel either that taking cover was for wusses or that the Koreans were firing miniature nerd t shirt guns and they all wanted a Star Trek souvenir. Also it has been long established that we don’t negotiate with terrorists but in this film every person in the film was completely lacking in anything resembling a spine from the President down.
I was going to do an itemize list of the stupidity I saw in this film but that would be a big wast of time. Here are a few that really stick out, with a bonus science one. First off, it is laughable to believe that an unidentified cargo plane that refuses all hails would be allowed to come within sight of the White House. Also, fighter pilots are typically not dumb enough to both line up next to a potentially dangerous plane. I have to believe that Secret Service agents wear some kind of body armor, and that the front door of the White House is strong enough to withstand a single RPG. Those agents are well known for being extremely paranoid and highly trained, thus leaving it hard to believe that a bunch of strangers in the midst of an attempt on the Presidents life would be able to get the drop on them (not to mention know when to duck and take cover). I would like to think that anyone in line to become President would have the balls to not cave in to every demand that some terrorist made. I don’t know what kind of defenses the White House actually does have but I would be shocked to find out they didn’t have some kind of set of remote machine guns in case a group of commandos tries to take it out. In fact I would bet that a mere 40 commandos wouldn’t even make it across the front lawn. Finally the idea that there is a self destruct code for all our nuclear bombs that would allow for them to all blow up in the silos is laughable, and the idea that the North Koreans have the spies to figure it out is just dumb. Also, ordering a fleet out of an area and removing all the US troops in South Korea would take months, not done in an hour.
Let me take a moment and speak to my old friend science for a minute. Do you know what would happen if you threw a stick of dynamite into a nuclear bomb? OMG it would blow up! No, that’s not how they work. They aren’t just bigger piles of gun powder you can light with a fuse Wile E Coyote style. An A bomb is a precision instrument where the pieces of uranium have to come together with exact timing in order to reach critical mass. Any other way and all you get is a dirty bomb. You could pile all the nuclear bombs in the world in one place and line them with plastic explosive and all you would get would be a big radioactive mess. Also, what idiot designed a self destruct system that could be used to blow up the entire United States?
The bottom line is the implausibility of pretty much everything that happened in this film steadily bleeds the realism away leaving us to rely on our overworked suspension of disbelief. Essentially if we have a hard time believing all this could happen the enjoyment of the film really fades away. One of my favorite movie scenes in the last few years is the Nightcrawler attack on the White House in X2. I think the thing I like the most was seeing how cool and competent the Secret Service were. They were only foiled by mutant super powers beyond their ken. In this film they all look and act like mall rent-a-cops in suits. Also the villains plan goes out too far in scope, to the detriment of the tension.
Anyway, the story. Gerard Butler (Playing for Keeps, RocknRolla, 300. He’s Scottish for the record. Ironic that he plays the lead role in this super American film) is Mike Banning, Secret Service agent. He loses his position on the President’s (Aaron Eckhart-The Dark Knight, Battle Los Angeles, Thank You for Smoking) protection detail after dropping the First Lady (literally). He is now working in the Treasury. Meanwhile the President is meeting with the South Korean President when a cargo plane leisurely avoids all air defense in the most protected city in America and start shooting up the White House and Washington DC. The President is evacuated into an underground bunker where the Korean’s head of security (Rick Yune-the Fast and the Furious, Die Another Day, The Man with the Iron Fists) betrays them and captures him. He works for the North or something.
Anyway, it turns out that his team knows everything there is to know about the White House security and they take over all systems while his team of commandos tear through the Secret Service like Jason Vorhees going through a cheerleading camp. The Speaker of the House (Morgan Freeman-the Shawshank Redemption, the Dark Knight, Conan the Barbarian) is made temporary president (oh, yeah, the Vice President was hanging out with the Pres at the time of attack. No problems there I guess) and immediately caves in to every demand the North Koreans make including completely abandoning our allies the South Koreans to complete conquest by the North. Meanwhile Mike Banning has snuck into the White House and kicks seven kinds of hell out of every Korean he can find.
At that point it’s pretty much Die Hard in the White House. In fact the bad guys use exactly the same escape plan as they did in Die Hard. Banning sneaks around in the hidden wall passages and kills a bunch of guys one by one. I won’t completely spoil the movie but if you are of a patriotic bent expect to be pleasantly turned on.
The stars. It was fun, and if you are a Die Hard fan and don’t mind remakes than you will enjoy the action. Three stars. For the bad John McClane role he was handed Gerard Butler did decently with this role, and I liked the Korean bad guy. One star. This film won’t have you thinking you just wasted 120 minutes of your life even though on many levels you did. One star. Five stars total.
The black holes. The stupidity really ground on my enjoyment of the film like having a pebble in your 22 hole Doc’s and just not wanting to take the time to unlace them and get it out. One black hole. I was kind of offended at how incompetently the Secret Service was portrayed. One black hole. The fact that no one in this film had any spine and caved in at every opportunity made me lose respect for all the characters and therefore like them less. One black hole. The dialog was as schlocky as you could make it without actually cutting sound bites from the schlockiest films in movie history and pasting them together. One black hole. Some of the CGI and effects from the first half hour looked more than a little incomplete. One black hole. Total: five black holes.
A straight zero. I suppose if all you want is dumb action and consider a competent plot and dialog unnecessary options you will enjoy this. Otherwise a big “meh” from me. I suppose I am a little more disappointed than usual in that I thought going in this movie looked really cool and could have been exceptional. That will teach me to not get my hopes up. This could be seen on a big screen or small screen with no real loss of enjoyment. Big screen will mean the mediocre effects will be super visible. Date movie? Nah. There is a sort of love story (almost garnered another black hole for that one) but nothing in here is going to turn your date on. Bathroom break? Pretty much anywhere, really. There are a couple scenes towards the last half involving the nurse girlfriend working in a hospital that are pretty worthless. Go then if you need it.
Thanks for reading. I’m in LA on Sunday but will try to see something tonight. I’m kind of dying for some good sci fi so I’ll see what I can find. Follow me on Twitter @NerdKungFu. Post comments on this film or my review here, or send me off topic questions or suggestions to david@NerdKungFu.com. Thank again and have a great day.
Tom Cruise reaches out to show the audience how amazingly awesome he is.
Before I get into this review, I have to tell you why I am doing this particular movie. It came out as I was incredibly busy with work and I was prepared to let it slip through the cracks like so many other movies that just don’t really catch my eye for being what I perceive as blasé. However, I learned (thanks to a brow beating phone conversation) that my dear mother is a huge Lee Child fan and has read every Jack Reacher novel to date. She saw the movie (first movie I think she has seen in a theater since Gone With the Wind) and was outraged at what she thought was the ridiculous portrayal of her beloved character. She handed unto me a request (some other people might call it a directive) that I see the film at my earliest convenience and write a review for it (my mother, by the way, is my biggest fan and does sometimes read my blog, a fact that occasionally causes me to awaken in the middle of the night with night terrors).
So I saw the film. Was it any good? Sort of yes and sort of no. If all you want is some action and a slightly more complex story than the usual folderol than yes, it is good. It has action, (some) story, and more action. However, this script definitely stood too long in front of the cliche machine gun and has been riddle with them to the point that the cliches ooze from every pore and orifice. Every thing in this film is taken to such an extreme that is becomes almost laughable; Jack Reacher is SOOO amazingly awesome and the villain is SOOO ridiculously evil that the film disconnects from reality and transforms itself into a cartoon.
From what I know about the Lee Child Jack Reacher character it is indeed laughable to cast Tom Cruise in the role. Jack Reacher is supposed to be 6’5″, 250lbs with blond hair and blue eyes. Tom Cruise is (reportably) somewhere between 5’6″ and 5’9″ (based on the fact that he seems to be at eye level with costar Rosamund Pike I am inclined to go with the 5’6″ reports), dark hair, and if he weighs more that 150lbs I will eat one of the thousands of nerd t shirts I have in the room with me. As a guy who really is 6’5″ and 250lbs I find this almost insulting.
The other thing that is going on here is you can almost hear Tom Cruise pleasuring himself to this movie. His character is the most awesome thing since the invention of fire and the whole movie looks like a vehicle to show the universe that there is no one greater in the history of humanity. I don’t know. Maybe Jack Reacher is written in the books as a combination of James Bond, Bruce Lee, John McClane, and the Six Million Dollar Man, but if not this thing reeks of self gratification vanity project (If I am wrong and Jack Reacher can single handedly best five guys in a fight and is one of the top sniper marksmen in the world than I owe you an apology, Tom).
The weirdest thing for me is the director, Christopher McQuarrie, also did one of my all time favorite movies the Usual Suspects. It is a cool, complicated, and twisted story with perfect pacing and an awesome cast. I can sort of see an attempt at that level of complexity in the first half of this film but eventually what was a good, complex story devolved into a regular action shooter and that stuff at the beginning that seemed so cool early on devolved into a lot of unnecessary plot complication.
The movie starts off with a sniper in a parking garage randomly shooting five people in a clear attempt to shock the audience. He is caught in like 15 seconds of police work by Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo (the Help, Last King of Scottland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) of the local (now that I think of it, I have no idea what city this was supposed to be taking place it) police department. The shooter turns out to be a trained Army sniper named Barr (Joseph Sikora-Safe, Shutter Island, Boardwalk Empire). He tells them to find Jack Reacher, who has been out of touch for years. Jack shows up like a conjured fairy and gets hired by Barr’s attorney Helen (Rosamund Pike-Surrogates, Die Another Day, Pride and Prejudice) as investegator in spite of the fact that he thinks Barr is guilty.
At that point the story boils down to a by-the-numbers whodunnit. Jack uncovers a conspiracy somehow involving city construction contracts. A pretty girl (Alexia Fast-Helen, Repeaters, Fido (!!! AWESOME. If you haven’t seen this movie you suck. One of the great zombie films IMO) gets him into a fight with the local color and later gets him into more trouble. The most laughable evil yet at the same time non-threatening villain ever (in my opinion) shows up to do evil stuff. The villain (Werner Herzog-Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn, Encounters at the End of the World) starts off with some incredibly complex plan to execute his evil but at the end of the film has all the complexity of a boss monster in Resident Evil. Robert Duvall surfaces like a submarine to play an ex-Marine Corps sniper for some reason. The denouement was pretty much lifted from Tango and Cash (if you have seen how bad that film is you understand how that was not a compliment). Cars get chased, guys get shot, and at the end Jack Reacher is so amazing that he literally hurts your eyes to gaze upon his countenance.
The stars. If fun action is what you are going for this movie has what you need. One star. There were a couple of really good car chases that were quite enjoyable (although a 70 Chevelle SS should be able to shred an Audi on it’s front grill like a soggy cornflake. American muscle car >>>> any Euro lamo-mobile in all ways that matter). One star. A series stab at something more complex than normal. One star. Overall not a total waste of time and money. One star. Total: four stars.
The black holes. Jack Reacher is so ridiculously awesome at everything (I’m sure even his flatulence has deadly combat potential while still attracting the ladies) that you spend half the movie wondering if this is really some kind of Police Story style spoof. One black hole. If the main character shreds every obstacle with the strength of his mighty masculinity in the course of the movie every aspect of the action and story loses all gravitas and turns into a grind, which is what happened here. One black hole. Only through the magic of camera angles and highly selective supporting actor casting can Tom Cruise even be considered worthy of this role, not to mention capable of contesting with one other human (much less five) in a brawl. One black hole. The story had so much complex potential at the beginning but by the end ended with a stupid brawl in the mud. It also drank deeply from the cliche punch. I’d like to say “It’s no the Usual Suspects” but I think that would just have too much irony even for me. One black hole. The villain was given to us as the most evil man since they cloned Hitler, but very little of his back story was given to allow us to see what he was about. It essentially boiled down to “He’s evil because he has an evil eye and we tell you so. Also he ate his own fingers.” One black hole. Grand total: five black holes.
A grand total of one black hole. Meh. Worth watching if it comes on TV and your remote is out of reach. Nothing on here really needs a big screen so feel free to watch it from the comfort of your couch. Date movie? Probably not. Nothing in here for the ladies except for a bare chested Tom Cruise, and you will suffer greatly in comparison. Bathroom break? Nothing really stands out as being more worthless than the rest of the film. I’d say the scene with Reacher and Helen in the hotel room doesn’t add much, but if you are only here to see Tom Cruise shirtless don’t skip out on this.
Thanks again for reading. More this weekend, plus I have to do my 2012 recap. I think this year I am just going to do my top and bottom 10 in two different posts. Last year I went all complex and at the end of it felt like I might have just wasted a bunch of time. Feel free to comment on this film or my review here. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. Off topic questions or suggestions can be emailed to me at email@example.com. Talk to you soon.
You say your life lacks intensity? This movie is the cure.
In January when I do my end of the year retrospective I am going to remember this weekend as the most awesome weekend of movie releases ever. Dredd was freaking amazing, and now I have End of Watch to be the second in a run of tremendous movies.
Director David Ayer did Training Day, one of my previous all time favorite cop movies, and it is fair to say I went into this film with extremely high expectations. This is often a big mistake, as it sets the stage for massive disappointment when the director proves he only has one good effort in him and trips on his own private parts. However, this was not the case for End of Watch as it managed to actually exceed my high expectations.
There are some obvious comparisons to Training Day, but in truth I believe it has more in common with the 1988 Sean Penn movie Colors. It has a similar feel being shot over a period of several months without a true central plot or antagonist. It is a true buddy movie, showing the daily lives and traumas of two LAPD cops, Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal-Donnie Darko, Source Code, Brokeback Mountain) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña-30 Minutes or Less, Tower Heist, Shooter). The whole movie is shot found footage style, except for when the director didn’t feel like coming up with an excuse to have a camera involved and blew it off. This is actually my one real criticism of the film. If you are going to do found footage cool, but don’t go to the trouble of establishing a reason for cameras to always be around and then bailing on it to do a bunch of standard POV shots.
Fortunately the rest of the movie makes up for this problem. During the course of several months (or maybe even years) you see the two men laugh, joke, and bromance each other to the hilt. Brian starts off as the single ladies man while Mike has been married since high school. You see Brian develop a strong romance and eventually marry my other future wife Anna Kendrick (50/50, Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, Up in the Air) while Mike’s wife Gabby (Natalie Martinez-Death Race, Saints and Sinners, Magic City Memoirs) delivers a baby boy. Each scene is filmed around a particular event in their career; a pulled over vehicle resulting in a drug bust, the discovery of a bunch of corpses, etc. Some of them are loosely connected to a Mexican drug cartel that eventually puts a hit out on the two officers. Multiple shootings occur. Cars get chased, and the last 20 minutes of this film will most likely be the most intense movie scene you have experienced in years.
Before I get into the stars and black holes I would like to say that this movie draws you in like no other that I have seen in a long time. The combination of the found footage with the amazing performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena cause you to develop a real connection with them and honestly care about what happens. I am pretty much a robotic shell of a man, but by the end of this film this movie manage to reach deep inside and stimulate the frozen chunk of coal that passes for my heart to actually beat a couple times. All that excess blood ran to the decrepit emotional part of my brain and I was in series danger of exhibiting an emotional response. Fortunately I was able to quash it but you humans should be able to really get something from this. (Obey Robot image one of the many nerd t-shirts I have in my collection)
The stars. The acting was truly amazing. Oscar nomination worthy IMO. Three stars. All the support characters were great. One star. You actually care about what happens to the characters. One star. I got to experience the most alien of emotions a regular movie attendee can: excitement. Two stars. For a found footage film pacing was brilliant. One star. The women in this film were good eye candy without distracting from the film. One star. They managed to fit in a bunch of interesting minor sub plots without hurting the overall movie (one advantage to not really having an overall plot, I guess). One star. The action was well done in the confines of found footage. Somehow a 15 second gun battle seen through the dashboard camera of a police car is much more exciting than a full production running gun battle. One star. Truly a great cinema experience. Two stars. Total: thirteen stars.
The black holes. The sudden shift from found footage to POV camera is a little annoying. One black hole. There was something of a lack of overall story that I think might have helped, but honestly I am just picking at nits here. It is fine without it, but one black hole. Total: two black holes.
A grand total of eleven stars, and yet another recommendation to see this film. That’s two great movies to review in a row. I keep waiting for the Earth to stop spinning on its axis. See both this film and Dredd at your earliest convenience, although you might not want to see them back to back as you could die of an awesomeness overdose. Date movie? I’m going to say yes on this one. The emotional interaction between the characters could very well speak to a woman, and while Jake Gyllenhaal is kind of a pretty boy I think you might gain some kind of bounce back from him into your bed, if you know what I mean. Bathroom break? This is another film I am going to say you want to see in its entirety, but if you super sized and can’t hold it Brian’s wedding could be mostly missed I think, especially when everyone starts drinking. Just hurry back.
Thanks for reading. If I have the energy I might go see something else later tonight, but I am afraid of ruining my streak. It’s going to happen eventually, however, and bad movies tend to make for funnier review. There isn’t much entertainment to be had listening to me gush like a fan boy. Follow me on Twitter @Nerdkungfu. If you have any comments on this movie or review please post them here, and if you have any off topic questions or suggestions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.
Somehow Dave managed to avoid having an image from the Matrix in his huge collection of nerd t-shirts, but I figured since Hugo Weaving was filming both the Fellowship of the Ring and the Matrix at pretty much the same time I would roll with this one of Sauron. Very cool.
Anyway, here is my question. It is established early on that Agents can dodge bullets, as can Neo by the end of the film. I also get that if Trinity were to put a gun to the side of an Agents head the bullet would probably be too close to dodge even with Agent speed.
Why, then, on the roof of the building would Trinity, after performing a perfect flanking maneuver, get into position for a perfect execution and then take the time to say “Dodge this”? Saying that takes longer than a bullet travels. Given what has been established regarding Agent speed the Agent should have had enough time to move out of the gun barrels way, cave Trinity’s chest in, grabbed a quick cup of coffee and a smoke, and comb his hair back to perfect before getting back in Neo’s face. Seems like a case of continuity suffering for the want of more drama.
Wow I sound like Dave all of a sudden.
Dave was talking about how many people tell him his review are good and fun to read and I decided the time has come to either reinforce his ego or put him in his place. I normally just go to Rotton Tomatoes to see if a movie sucks or not and have decided to compare Dave’s score the the tomato-meter to see how close he really is. Here are the top 10 movies right now:
1. The Hunger Games. RT gives it 85%. Dave gave it 9 stars and 5 black holes. He did say it was fun but I think he might have missed what the audience was looking for.
2. Wrath of the Titans. RT 25%. Dave 2 stars and 12 black holes. Looks like he’s on target there.
3. Mirror Mirror. RT 49%. Dave 4 stars, three black holes. Dead even.
4. 21 Jump Street. RT 85%. Dave 11 stars, 4 black holes. I think I should probably go see this.
5. The Lorax. RT 58%. Dave didn’t rate it with black holes, but said it was pretty dumb but worth taking your kids to see. I don’t know if he matches here or not.
6. John Carter. RT 51%. Dave gave it 10 stars and 6 black holes. I think he was too much in love with the source material.
7. Salmon Fishing in Yemen. RT 68%. I don’t think Dave has seen it, the lazy git.
8. Act of Valor. RT 25%. Dave gave it 9 stars and 4 black holes. I think his patriotism got to him.
9. A Thousand Words. RT 0%. Dave 3 stars and 8 black holes. He must have been in a good mood that day.
10. Journey 2: the Mysterious Island. RT 42%. Dave gave it 7 stars and 4 black holes. To be honest I was surprised when I read that. Not sure what he was drinking that night.
So it is obvious that Dave is generally in the same direction as a lot of the other viewers, but odds are his nerd perspective give him a slant when it comes to certain movies, like John Carter. I guess he has to be true to what he is. This talk nerdy shirt I found in his huge pile of nerd t-shirts. I think it’s funny.