Dave’s one-line movie reviews XVI

January 2, 2016 at 9:58 am | Posted in Daily blogs and thoughts, movie reviews | Leave a comment
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The summer of 2015 has been tough on me.  I promised you all a review of Reality Television, and it turned into the hardest writing assignment of my career.  “Reality” TV consists of entitled, spoiled upper middle class trashy people whining about their problems, or making up problems so we’ll watch their escapades.  However, one unexpected problem I encountered was my inability to watch any of the drivel for more than two minutes.  Since the Writer’s Regurgitant Code of Journalism Ethics demands that I watch a minimum of 5% of any movie before writing a review, I have been unable to complete my task.  I seriously contemplated not watching the shows and just giving a “brian williams” review, but felt that would be unfair to the three mental patients who read this column regularly and who depend upon me to tell them what’s worth watching.  The Writer’s Regurgitant Code of Journalism Ethics Committee has been exploring the problem and is trying to devise a new formula to reduce the viewing burden on me, but until the results of their work can be published, I will be unable to review any Bravo television programs.  But, dear follower, have faith, as we are diligently working on a compromise to appease my Writers Regurgitant fans and provide the intellectual guidance and discussion that my readers crave.  All three of you.

But the title of this post is “One Line Movie Reviews XVI” and movie reviews is what we’re all about.

“Joy” follows Jennifer Lawrence and a wonderful ensemble cast as she perfects the kitchen mop.   The advertising is billed as “from the team that brought you American Hustle,” but there is no nudity or sex in the film.  I don’t think any of the cast is even shown wearing anything that would be considered risque.   From a plot standpoint, it is a touching story of innovation and discovery, and shows the importance of American consumerism and shopping.  While not a “chick flick” for story or thematic elements, his movie gets a high “date-night” rating for all its behind the scenes footage of Home Shopping Network.

I caught up with an older film on cable this past week that was also a touching story of innovation and discovery.  “The Theory of Everything” only explores the creation of the universe and has no tie-in to any shopping networks, so you can’t give it the same high regard as the movie Joy.  It follows some science guy named Stephen Hawking, which would actually be a good name for a Home Shopping Network character.  (He’s hawking his jewelry – get it?)  Hawking catches Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is why I wanted to see the movie.  Imagine my disappointment when there was no baseball in it at all.

“Creed,” or “Rocky 6” as I prefer to call it, was one of my favorite movies of the holiday season.  It’s not so much a sequel to Rocky as it is a retelling.  It was a fun movie to watch, the story was kind of believable, in a Rocky kind of way with its whole Underdog versus Champ formula.   This is one of the first movies where Sylvester Stallone got to be an actor, which was refreshing.  Even Jodi liked the movie, which is quite a triumph for a boxing film.  The lead character, Adonis, is the son of a character from the first Rocky movie, Apollo.  With dozens of Greek Mythological characters to use as names, look for many more boxing movies from Hollywood to capitalize on the formula.

Speaking of formula’s and capitalizing, “Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens” has taken over half the movie screens and television commercials in the United States this holiday season.  I liked it, but I must admit there wasn’t a lot of originality in the story.  Okay, you could say it was original because in Star Wars 4 (which was really Star Wars 1), the bad guy’s name was Darth Vader, but in Star Wars 7 (which is really Star Wars 7) his name is Kylo Ren.  But that’s the kind of innovation you’ll see in this movie.  My recommendation:  don’t waste your money on 3D, just see it in the theater with the biggest screen you can find.  I thought the 3D looked very fake.  That whole numbering system that Lucasfilm’s came up with, where SW1 was SW4 and SW4 was SW1 was really confusing to most Americans, and I’m happy that Disney has once again returned to chronological numbering of all sequels.

“The Martian” is the story of an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars and is thought dead by his crew and the entire world.  Originally to be titled “MacGyver in Space,” they played around with names such as “Castaway 2,”  “Duct Tape Martians” and “I Eat my Feces” until stealing the 1949 Ray Bradbury short story title “The Martian.”  Actually, they stole the idea too.

Frankenstein’s Army” was on television a few weeks ago.  After seeing “The Walking Dead,” you thought that a story telling couldn’t get any gorier or sadistic, right?  After watching only 20 minutes of Frankenstein’s Army, I had to wash my eyeballs in saline for half an hour to clean away the revulsion.  The mad scientist in this movie is splicing pieces of industrial machinery to POW’s in a Nazi medical “experimentation” facility.  Although I’m not sure if the words “medical,” “experimentation” or “facility” really apply here.  Definitely a movie to be watched with a support group instead of alone.

This month’s review of a movie I haven’t seen is “Ant-Man, a brian williams review.”   After starring in “Dinner for Schmucks” and “Our Idiot Brother,” Paul Rudd dons the spandex suit to play Ant-Man.   He’s a guy with a magic suit that makes him smaller and stronger and he saves the world.  “Judge me by my size do you?  Hmm?  And well you should not!”  I can’t imagine what kind of Christmas toy this movie’s going to generate next year, but I’ll keep a can of Raid by the bedside, just in case.

“The Intern” pairs Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway in a story about a retired, widowed business executive joining a computer company as an intern to fight boredom.  Along the way, he helps the company grow, saves Anne Hathaway from a drunk driver, saves her marriage, mentors horny young geeks and keeps the audience awake for with funny “old people” jokes about twitter and email.  Not a bad movie, but if you watch this with your girlfriend, I think you deserve the right to choose the next film you see together.  My favorite DeNiro movie about marriage is “Raging Bull,” and “The Intern” is a few notches down on the mellow side.

I missed writing my reviews of “Jurassic World” and “Terminator Genisys” this past summer.  To save some time, I’ll review them together.  There’s a few plot twists, by the middle of the film you pretty much know which characters are going to be around at the end of the film, there’s a lot of loud noise, action and murder/death/kills.  In Jurassic World they ooze creativity by inventing a new dinosaur.  In Terminator Genisys they ooze creativity by inventing an operating system that runs on everything.  Wait a second, isn’t that Windows 10?  Anyhow, plot formula + silly plot twists = entertainment.  Go watch them and have a good time.

I didn’t follow the HBO series “Entourage,” although I did see a few episodes.  They made it into a movie this summer and it came and went with the same splash as an Organic Chemistry activity at a Kardashian summer camp.  I paid $5.99 to see it on pay-per-view and highly recommend that you wait until it’s on HBO so you can save that $5.99 for a six pack of Rolling Rock.  As far as the movie goes, it’s a bunch of zany rich kids putting on the big show.  Sort of like “The Little Rascals” with a little bootie thrown in.

It was great finally catching up with some one-line movie reviews, and I’ve got tickets to go see “The Big Short” tonight so I’ll be back here soon with more insightful observations.  I really appreciate when you, dear reader, share this column with your imaginary friends and family and welcome your comments.  Well, I don’t really welcome your comments, but please tell the other patients in the ward to read this column.

Dave’s one-line movie reviews IV

December 29, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Posted in Daily blogs and thoughts | Leave a comment
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In no particular order, here are the cinematic spectacles, near spectacles, and web-videos I’ve been watching:

American Hustle,”  proof that a big Hollywood movie can be good without being based on a comic book or starring talking animals.  Based on the FBI Abscam  entrapment activity of the 1970’s.  Well done recreation of the time, great music, costumes and cars.  Definitely the best movie I’ve seen in the past few months.

Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”   It used to be that we Jews had the movie theaters to ourselves on Christmas, but the Christians are moving in.  For our annual December 25 trek to the cinema, the lobby was full of blond hair and blue eyes and “Wolf of Wall Street” was sold out.  Had to come up with a Plan B quick.  Although the reviews we read were less than flattering, the Ben Stiller remake was well worth the viewing.  A little humor, a little action and a well done, if not believable script, made for a fun movie.  As if anything else in the movies is really believable, right?

Philomena.”  Not a big budget film, but great story and great characters.  The plot: “M” decides to seek out her son, stolen at the age of 3 by nuns.   Featuring a Beamer without ejection seats or rocket launchers.  Paying to see this flick in the theater sends a message to Hollywood that it’s okay to make movies with plots, even if not based on a video game or kids toy.

Lovelace.”  Although the title would suggest otherwise, this is neither an adult movie or a porn film, although there may be a bit more nudity and sexual language than you’d like your 8 year olds to see and hear.  A bio-pic about Linda Lovelace, although I have no idea how accurate it is, it reminded me of the 1980’s movie “Star 80,” also about a woman who is exploited by her hustler boyfriend.  This is what you watch on Netflix when you’re tired of old TV shows.

Margin Call” with Kevin Spacey, follows the meltdown of the sub-prime mortgage “investment” market in 2008.   Pretty good movie, but probably a little too intellectual if you’re a fan of the Superhero genre.  Reminded me a lot of the book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, which will give you a much better understanding of how Wall Street screwed the entire country in the name of greed.

Clear History.” A two hour episode of “Curb your Enthusiasm.”  Larry David fans will delight, and his self-effacing, nitpicking comedy still retains its luster.  Micheal Keaton steals the show with his “Night Shift” energy and charm.  This sat on my DVR for a whole month until I got around to watching it; I should have viewed it sooner.

Olympus Has Fallen.”  Without giving too much of the plot away, terrorists take over the White House, kidnap the president and his staff, and Secret Service agent Gerard Butler has to save the day.  Oh, I just gave the plot away.  Okay action pic, shoot-em-up, but nothing that will be put in the time-capsule at the next world’s fair.  Good for Netflix or cable.  If you buy it on Blu-Ray, all I can say is I hope you had a coupon.

Dead Man Down,” another Netflix movie I never would have heard of that I liked.  Colin Farrell is a mob enforcer who gets dragged into a crazy lady’s revenge plot.  Good movie with a few surprises.  I guess I was tired of watching “Forest Gump” on AMC again.

ZombieHunter”  A Direct-to-YouTube movie.  When I found this last month, it was free, now it’s $3.99.  Tomorrow, who knows?   Some really laughable CG monsters at the end, but the zombies were just as well done as – well – as any other zombies.  I mean, all you need is an actor with some torn clothing, 99 cent Billy Bob teeth and some oozy fake gore to cover them up.  If you do a little YouTube browsing, you can find quite a few free movies there.  Good choice if $7.99 a month for Netflix is too much.  I just find it so fascinating that “Direct to YouTube” is now a movie distribution method.

Thanks for reading my One-line movie reviews, and feel free to share them.

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