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.

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Dave’s one-line movie reviews XV

February 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Posted in movie reviews, Numbskull observations, Reviews | Leave a comment
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As far as trips to the cinema, it’s been a light month, so to prevent my loyal followers (both of you) from having to go another month without hearing from me, I hit Netflix and Cable TV to find some fodder for my frivolous comments.  Then it occurred to me, do I really have to watch a movie to review it?  So, I’ve decided to use the branding “a brian williams review” to identify reviews of films I haven’t seen.

Paddington – a brian williams review.”  In this amazingly original concept, a talking stuffed animal lives with a family and gets into trouble.  Sort of a PG rated version of “Ted” where they say “darn” instead of “f*ck off.”

Making the rounds on cable television is “The Legend of Hercules,”  which must be the worst Hercules movie ever made.  Herc is played by a surfer dude on steroids, there are no monsters, bad stutter motion fighting effects, and no sex.  I mean, come on, Hercules is running around in a diaper and all the women are wrapped up like they were going to a church social.  At the end, Hercules gets an electric sword and good triumphs over evil.  Yeah, like that was really a spoiler.

The Other Woman” is a snorefest about a sleezy husband cheating on his mistress with a younger woman.  Besides a couple of shots of Kate Upton spilling out of her bikini, there is nothing worth watching.  Now that I think about it, it’s not worth watching the movie when you can find the Kate Upton bikini scene on YouTube.

Two Guns” benefits from the presence of Denzel Washington, but they won’t be putting this film in the American FIlm Institute Hall of Fame anytime soon.  Mark Wahlberg plays the same character as he did in “Ted” in this harmless shoot-em-up action film.  The credits say no chickens were harmed in the making of this movie, but it certainly looked real.

It seems I can’t get through a weekend without being coerced into watching a chick flick.  Last weekend it was “Begin Again.”  There’s these two people, they fall in love, then it cools down.  And I’m subjected to two hours of Keira Knightly singing folk music.  Where’s that bottle of Absolute?

The Miracle Worker” was on TCM Classics the same time as “Housewives of Beverly Hills.”  Luckily I DVR’d Miracle Worker so I didn’t have to miss either.  Although lacking in explosions, nudity, chase scenes, zombies or gun battles, Miracle Worker is a great drama that should be on everyone’s “must see” list.  Mrs. Robinson stars as a partially blind teacher come to help a deaf, blind mute who grows up into Catherine Margaret Rowan Lane.

Changing the channel after catching a rerun of the Wrath of Khan reboot,  Star Trek Into Darkness, who did I find but Captain Kirk/Chris Pine, this time staring in “Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit.”  There’s this Russian bad guy who wants to take down the American economy and Keira Knightly is back on my TV and there’s a bunch of shooting and explosions and car chases and Kevin Costner in his 83rd movie this the year as a benign but crusty this that or the other thing.

The Bag Man” is a straight to Netflix movie with John Cusack as a lovable psychotic killer and Amber Heard as a lovable prostitute with a heart of gold.  She walks around in a whore costume, he kills all the other actors, then Robert DeNiro shows up as a lovable murder-mentor and everybody kills everybody.  It’s the kind of movie you can put on pause while you go to CVS for some Advil and not feel like you’re missing out on the cinematic experience.

The Judge” with Robert Downy Jr and Robert Duvall is by far the gem of this bunch.  I’m not going to make any snide remarks for this review, and I’m going to violate my prime directive by suggesting if you haven’t seen it, you should.

I’m really excited about my next one-line movie reviews column, which I am actually starting to work on advance.  It will be a review of Reality television shows.  If you are looking for inane comments about inane entertainment, follow this blog so you will know the moment I click on the “Publish” button.  Until then, thank you for reading, and please feel free to share my column with your friends, followers and the other patients in your support group.

Other related posts:

Dave’s one-line movie reviews XIV

Dave’s one-line movie reviews XIII

Dave’s on-line movie reviews XII

Dave’s one-line movie reviews Number 1

Dave’s one-line movie reviews XII

December 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Posted in movie reviews, Numbskull observations, Reviews | Leave a comment
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In my last post, I wrote that I had seen so many great movies that I didn’t know where to start.  No similar problems today.

“Interstellar” – Astronauts uncover a monolith buried on the moon by aliens, and when the first sunlight strikes it, it sends a powerful radio beam to Jupiter.  A mission to Jupiter discovers a wormhole there, and the one remaining astronaut goes through the wormhole to a different dimension where aliens and funny colors mesmerize the audience.  Oh sorry, I was describing “2001: A Space Odyssey.”  What’s the difference?  In 2001, the computer becomes neurotic and tries to kill the crew.  In Interstellar, an actor who emotes like a computer does the same.

Jersey Boys” – How can a collaboration between Clint Eastwood and Christopher Walken be anything but good?  Not a fan of Broadway musicals, I had no real desire to see this movie, but when the Mrs. and I couldn’t agree on a zombie movie, it was either this or a Julia Roberts chick flick.  Jersey Boys was a really fun movie.  Clint – I’m sorry I doubted you.

Oblivion” – Another post-apocalypse movie that answers the universal question, will Morgan Freeman wear a cape in the future?  Good special effects, if that’s what you’re looking for.

RIPD” – I’m not positive, but I think this was an attempt at a sequel to the Coen brothers version of “True Grit” but the filmmakers didn’t want to pay royalties for character rights.  The basic story line is that when a cop gets murdered, he has to join the police force in the “next world” where they fight the undead.  Lots of action, and Jeff Bridges always gives a performance worth watching.

The Family” – I’ve got to admit, as long as Ben Stiller isn’t in the cast, Robert DeNiro can make even the silliest movies worth watching.  There’s nothing amazingly original here: you’ve got the gangster in the witness protection program, the wise-ass kids, the tough as nails mom who will do anything to protect her kids and Tommy Lee Jones playing the benevolent but devoted cop.  Throw in some gun fights, a few explosions and you’ve got a movie.

Cold Light of Day” – Stock broker turned secret agent defeats the CIA and a bunch of bad guys after some incessant chase scenes, gunfights and intrigue.  I’m sorry, but if a movie starts out on a beach in France, I expect topless sun-worshipers, not Bruce Willis.

“Lord of War” –  Nicolas Cage is a Ukrainian immigrant who becomes an arms dealer, marries a super model, evades capture by the FBI and sells weapons to African war-lords.  Now, that’s a cool job title, “war-lord.”  Where do you go to college for that?  Cage keeps talking to the camera to try to give the film a “cinéma vérité” look,  but I know a movie that’s just an excuse to blow things up when I see it.  Lord of War is definitely worth a viewing, but don’t expect a lot of deep introspection on the human condition.

All is Lost” – Robert Redford lost at sea as his sailboat falls apart over the two hour length of the movie.  I actually loved the film, but a lot of viewers may be turned off by the lack of dialogue.  You could compare this to Tom Hanks in “Castaway,” only Redford doesn’t have a volleyball to talk to.   Too bad they couldn’t fit the  Sundance Kid’s line “I can’t swim” into this movie, it would have been a nice homage to a great actor’s career.

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