Sunday, April 21, 2013

REVIEW: Oblivion

I don't think anyone else can really put it in a better way.

I could leave this entire thing right there, because it felt like everybody was asleep when they were making this movie. But, since you asked nicely, I suppose...

Nobody cared, that's my best explanation for this movie. Oblivion is an overly long, boring two hours that doesn't even want to try to be anything. It doesn't take a full on dive into the completely stupid and dumb territory or even try to do anything interesting with its already dull premise. It's just there for people to take a pay check.

So, it's half past the apocalypse after an incredibly violent war with aliens that involved nuclear weapons, leaving the moon destroyed as well. Jack Reacher and his partner, Victoria, work together to scavenge remaining resources for whoever they are working for. But. the further they go into to this work, the more Jack Reacher realizes something isn't right and...he meets up with guys...stuff happens...plot twist...the end.

I appreciate that they are actually trying to go for more of a slow paced, methodical, science fiction film rather than an action packed, fantasy adventure in space, but the whole problem is that nothing interesting happens in the movie, even with all of the plot twists in this movie that you are already able to figure out from the trailer. Sure, fine, the movie does go into a couple of unexpected directions, but none of them really save this movie. The plot twists are mainly there just to be there to make this movie look smarter than it actually is.

While the surprises in Oblivion don't really work on any kind of level, it would have been saved if anything interesting was happening in this movie. But, as we've established, nobody is actually even trying, so, everything is made up of Tom Cruise playing a boring character with Andrea Riseborough playing another boring character where they all do boring things as the characters are only there to drive the plot along. But, don't worry, they also start meeting more characters who face the exact same problem of being walking card-board cut outs.

To top it all off, the movie is visually boring as well. Sure, there are a couple of scenes showing off the vast landscape of a destroyed Earth that looks sort of nice, but all of the visual aesthetics are just bland and uninteresting. The robot drones, the weapons, the workers' outfits, and the space ships, seemed like they all came from a design person who just wanted to come up with something that vaguely looked futuristic looking so he can call it a day slightly quicker.The costumes that other characters use are probably the only things that are actually interesting looking, but it's only because they took all of the cool bits from the Predator costume.

Could this movie have been any better? Thinking on what I just saw, I find it hard to really salvage anything to make this into a good movie. You could probably actually create decent characters, a visually interesting movie, but as nonsensical as this movie already is, you'll probably just end up making Prometheus...again. But, even then, Prometheus was way more worth watching than this movie if only because that movie takes a full on dive into something that you're not sure what you're watching, but at least it's interesting. And that's the whole problem with Oblivion; it doesn't even try to do anything with itself. The entire movie feels coldly calculated, being made in such a way where nobody really has to do anything to get this movie to go anywhere. It just stays in its safe little bubble never really going in the good direction or the bad direction. But, that in itself is what actually makes this movie bad and not really all that worth watching.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


No, it has nothing to do with Hitchhiker's Guide. Not that you thought that, but I've already seen people making the same jokes and I felt like at least one person out there was going to expect me to do the same.

It's really not funny though, all it's really saying is "Oh, look at me, I can make a reference to that one book everyone has read, I'm so cool!"

Actually, now that I think about it, if anybody, seriously, ANYBODY is going to reference to that book, can we find new jokes to reference on? I remember actually referencing to that book on Facebook, and none of you guys seemed to recognize it because it didn't include the number 42. It's that same state of limbo that Portal seems to be stuck in now; it seems like the only "joke" people take out of that game is "The cake is a lie!" Forget the fact that there are actual funny jokes besides that one that's even funny out of context, maybe like how GLaDOS advises you not to listen to the Companion Cube if it starts talking.

Well, Don't Panic! The Universe wasn't sneezed out of the nose of a being called the Great Green Arkleseizure for nothing. Sure, you may be one of those people where if you stop talking then your brains might actually start to work, or maybe you're just afraid that if you're not talking about random pointless things in an extremely obnoxious then you'll accidentally transmit your thoughts, but you might as well be funny while you're doing it. Quit with the obvious things like "My, what a beautiful day" or "You're very tall" or "My God! You just fell down a fifty foot well. Are you alright?" and with that one obvious reference that nobody can seem to get right in the first place (42 isn't the meaning of life even in the book) and maybe be clever for once. Does this require a lot of effort on your part? Actually, none at all. And, coincidentally enough, none at all is exactly how much of me suspecting one of my friends actually being an alien, but, boy, wouldn't that be cool. And, actually, it may take some effort, but it's for the sake of actually not driving the whole legacy of Douglas Adams into a wall.

Anyways, on to the review of 42!

Yeah, it's alright.

42 hasn't really left that much of an impression on me. I've only seen this movie a couple of days ago, and I'm not even sure if I actually remember anything from it, other than that it actually made me enjoy baseball just a little bit while watching.

The movie follows the story of a young Jackie Robinson who becomes the first African American to break the color barrier in major league baseball. Jackie has to put up with people not liking him and the rest of his team have to accept Jackie as being a legitimate member. There are some racist jerks who are designed for the movie goers to hate so this thing called drama can happen in the film.

It's a very paint by numbers movie with it's main two purposes of making black people feel good and white people feel a little less racist. It's not going to have a major impact on anyone's life, but it's hard to imagine anyone walking away from this movie actively hating it unless you're one of those people that the movie depicted as being the worst possible kind of human being. But, if that were the case, I'd suggest that you jump in front of a train!

If anything, though, Harrison Ford is really fun to watch in this movie!

Other than that...there's not too much to talk about with 42. It's fine, it's enjoyable. So, let's just call this our soft gate-way movie before we have to put up with Oblivion.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

REVIEW: Evil Dead

I've actually seen a couple of movies between the now and the then, but I've never really gotten around to writing about them. I'll probably talk about these movies later, probably after seeing the new movie where Tom Cruise runs, but, until then, I actually want to talk about one that I actually liked.

"What Sean? You actually liked that one movie where that one creepy chick took a razor blade to her tongue and starts making out with that other chick?"

SHUTUP! It's been a really weak year so far with only one movie that I felt has been great. So, it's refreshing that I actually get to see one that just decides to go all out with how crazy it can get even if it's not  functional.

Here, let me tell you short story that will take up half of this review. Before I was in High School, I was a bit prissy when it came to these kinds of movies. I couldn't stand excessive gore.  That was really about it for me though. But after a swift transition that happened during High School, I found myself laughing all the way through Piranha 3D with its gruesome, over the top death scenes where anyway you can think of someone getting brutally mutilated would actually happen.

But, what happened that turned me into this individual who craves this sort of Grindhouse violence? Well, I saw Peter Jackson's Dead Alive...or Brain Dead, which is a title that makes more sense. Being at a quaint Library party during Halloween, they had fun activities with even the original NES that had Super Mario Bros. 3! But, there was also a small theater that was free for this guy to show any movie he wanted. He showed my brother and me the DVD case of Dead Alive, telling us that it was one of Peter Jackson's first movies. "Oh, ok!" I thought "I like that guy, he directed The Lord of the Rings and King Kong, pretty much my favorite movies of all time." I didn't know what I was expecting though. It was obviously going to be part of the horror genre, but I'm not that into horror movies. Even today, I still don't really see horror movies unless it's a special exception. If I didn't hear Peter Jackson's name, I probably would have skipped out on Dead Alive entirely. The movie finally starts, and what followed was some of the cheeziest, awesomely violent things I have ever seen with scenes that was not shy on letting blood pour all over the screen. With scenes that involved knives, blenders, a lawn mower, an undead baby, and a priest that knows Kung Fu, it was unlike anything I've seen before. Me and my brothers stomachs were churned after the entire experience was finished. It was the first time I had ever felt this way after seeing a movie. It was AWESOME!

And, after seeing the remake of The Evil Dead, I'm kind of disappointed that's it's pretty much the only time too a movie made me feel that way. Not to say that Evil Dead isn't incredibly violent, because...well...if you've seen the Red Band Trailer, then you know.

But, that's also kind of the problem, because after watching that trailer a few times over and finally being able to watch the movie in its entirety, I realized that nearly every scene that was worth watching was shown in the Red Band Trailer. And when I saw that trailer for the first time, I actually had a hard time handling it. But I got a bit used to it, and by the time I saw the whole thing, I handled every scene that was bloated with gruesome and disturbing images that was mainly there to make the audience start vomiting without being fazed at all. Though, I do have to say, I was laughing throughout most of it. It probably would have been a lot more fun for me if I was watching this with a huge audience and getting to see their reactions to all of the extremely violent parts that happened, as the audience I saw this with was basically about 10 people at most.

But, even after knowing that the best parts have already been shown in the trailer, it's still a movie that is worth watching if you're into this kind of thing. Evil Dead never stops topping itself with each event that happens, and by the time it gets to the end...well, you're just going to have to see what happens. It's some extremely crazy stuff.

If it sounds like there isn't much to this movie besides just showing off how depraved it likes to get, it's because that's pretty much the case. The story is just there to bring all these characters into an evil cabin where terrible events happen. There's a plot that involves one of the characters trying to quit drugs, but they never go anywhere with that besides making the characters hesitant on believing her when there some seriously weird things happen. All of the characters are pretty flat with not a lot of a personality to speak of; they are just there to serve as vessels to see what power tool X does to human body part Y. That's really the only reason to see Evil Dead.

Being a remake, you're probably wondering where this stands with the original. Well, as the original was trying to play it a bit more seriously but was ultimately just goofy, even if being incredibly morbid, this new iteration accomplishes the same thing. Yeah, you could say it plays it straight better than the original does, but, when you get right down to it, the new Evil Dead is as goofy as hell. The character that gets possessed is laughable, the blood is so over the top that it's hard to take anything that happens seriously, and that I said, you'll see. Thankfully, they realize how silly it is, which is why the movie works in the first place. It's not silly in the sense that it's trying to be funny, just in how crazy it can get. It knows that when people get possessed, people want to see it happen in the most ludicrous way possible. It knows that when they go for violence, people want to see it in the grossest and phoniest way possible. And these parts are so well done, what more could you ask for?

Evil Dead isn't going to change anyone's life, but I had a lot of fun with it. The movie is lacking in things that could have gave it a little more substance, but it doesn't really care about that. As it stands, it's a film that understands what it has to do well in order to make it an enjoyable ride.Yeah, it's not for everyone, and, chances are, you've probably already decided if you're going to like this or not just from watching the trailers. But if you're a depraved individual who just wants see just about the most terrible things you can ever seen done to a human being...well, you should probably go seek mental aid!