Another light week in DVD. I was a little preoccupied with the Niner game, so I didn't rent as many movies as I normally do. Between that bitter defeat and my buddy Conan's birthday, I'm lagging a bit more than usual.
Ides of March
Strong cast and nice political drama. I remember this was getting early Oscar buzz when it first came out, but it didn't get anything come nomination time. I think a lot of people think Gosling got snubbed. Clooney, however, got his nominations for The Descendants, which is a much better movie anyway..
You can read my original here. It's good movie worth renting.
3.5 (out of 5) Death Stars.
Why is it that whenever I see "Based on a True Story" in the opening credits, I almost immediately call bullshit? The events in these types of movies are just so far fetched at times, that it's too difficult to believe any of it could have actually happened. It's based on a book called The Feather Men by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, which he claims are real, but has since come out and said it's up to the reader to decide whether or not it is fact or fiction. He's also received a lot of criticism from many sources saying it's all bullshit. So yeah, I'm going to call this a work of fiction.
Anyway, I didn't think the movie itself was that bad. There's some good action sequences and I liked the setup. It's a little too long though. I felt like there were a few scenes that really didn't add much to the story and could have been cut out to tighten the movie up more.
2.5 Death Stars. This is another example of a movie that if you rented when bored on a rainy day, you'd probably enjoy it enough.
I've been dreading this one for a while. Sometimes a bad movie can still be entertaining or fun. This movie was just plain bad.
The first fail is that they immediately establish the lead character as an irresponsible show off with douchebag friends. They are selling fake IDs, drinking underage, calling women 'bitches', etc. This is supposed to be the hero I'm rooting for? It's funny because I'm in Blockbuster and I hear the kid behind the counter say that this movie grabbed him from the beginning and was action packed. Well, I suppose that type of behavior would be interesting to a kid in high school, but for the rest of us? As for action packed? I guess he forgot how there were several 15-20 minute sections of the movie where nothing happens at all.
I've said this before, but Taylor Lautner cannot act. I don't hate the kid and he seems like a nice guy in interviews, but he just doesn't have the chops to carry a film. Maybe in a few years if he really works at it, gets a movie that's right for him and a director that pushes him, he might become a serviceable action actor. As of this moment though, he's awful.
Having said all that, even if they had cast a better actor as the lead, it wouldn't have helped all that much. This is just a plain terrible movie. It's odd because this does have a pretty good cast, but they are all wasted here. This is one of the worst stories I've seen in a while. Nearly every thing that's said or done makes you question it or go 'huh'? None of it makes sense as far as logic or consistency. Like at one point Lautner's girl mentions she can't go home and her parents can't protect her because they are in Italy. Wait, your parents left you alone at home during the school year? Aren't you a minor? You have shitty parents! Plus, there was no real reason for her character to continue to be dragged along in the story anyway, but they needed a love interest, I guess.
Even as an action film, it's not good. I thought the fight scenes were uninteresting and some of the special effects were terrible.
Oh, and the movie is called 'Abduction' yet no nobody, including the main character, was abducted in the film. It's even explained as the movie goes on that he wasn't abducted. Why is this called Abduction again?
Wait, this was directed by John Singleon? The same guy that directed Boyz n the Hood? Oh man. What a shame.
0 Death Stars. Easily one of the worst films of 2011.
Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Not to be outdone, Nick Swardson and the morons over at Happy Madison Productions threw together this atrocity. This is honestly a movie that should have never been made. It's basically a two joke movie stretched out for 97 minutes. Worse yet, neither of the jokes were funny in the first place. Oh, he has giant front teeth. Hilarious! He prematurely orgasms just at the sight of nudity. That's genius comedy!
This was actually written by Adam Sandler and Nick Swardson. Between this and Jack and Jill, I'm trying to decide if Adam Sandler just hates his audience and thinks everyone is stupid, or he's actually lost his mind and thinks this stuff is genuinely funny. Maybe he's surrounded himself with yes men.
I normally like Nick Swardson, but I thought he was better than this. And what did poor Christina Ricci do to deserve this? She's actually getting cuter as she's getting older, but getting stuck with worse films.
It's unfunny from the opening moments and it was a struggle to get through.
0 Death Stars. Honestly one of the worst films of the decade, if not of all time. I'd give this negative Death Stars if I could, but that might cause a singularity and kill us all.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
This was a pretty interesting concept. It's a Finnish fantasy (I guess I could be a horror) film about an excavation that unearths the original Santa Claus. The catch is that the original Santa Claus is more of a demon creature that only punishes the naughty.
I thought this was just okay. I might have had my expectations set too high with this one, as it came highly recommended. I give it credit for being a foreign film where I didn't really focus too much on the subtitles and I did find it interesting overall. Again, maybe I wasn't in the right mood for this, but I've heard people call this a horror/comedy, yet I found nothing funny about the movie.
3 Death Stars. I think it's worth a rental, but if foreign films aren't your thing then this might not be for you.