Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kingsman, Still Alice, Song of the Sea, Mr. Turner Reviews

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Dir. Matthew Vaughn

In the classic action movie Men in Black, an older, experienced white professional man takes on a younger, hotheaded protege with a streetwise attitude, bringing him through secret training in an underground facility to test his defensive skills and class-up his wardrobe. This is almost the same exact plot structure of Kingsman, only it deals with spies instead of aliens - and Men in Black was actually well-made and entertaining. Kingsman is unfunny, cringeworthy, misogynistic, boring, and cliched. It wears its influences on its sleeve (James Bond is the obvious example), but doesn't cleverly deconstruct the genre in any way, it simply references better movies to sound smart and "meta" while being more or less a masturbatory, "dumb" action exercise for Matthew Vaughn.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Predicting the 87th Academy Awards (EVERY CATEGORY) [UPDATED]

It's almost here, guys! The Oscars! The one time of year "regular people" go out and decide to watch something at least in the ballpark of 'quality films.' I also love the Oscars because, as frustrating as they are when it comes to the nominees, it's so much fun to predict. As a movie fan, this is my Super Bowl. And this year is definitely tougher to predict than last (surprising myself I got 20/24 last time), especially in the screenwriting categories.  But here it is, for the fourth year in a row - here are my official, set-in-stone, no-turning-back predictions for the 87th Academy Awards! Enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Jupiter Ascending, Sponge Out of Water, A Most Violent Year, Two Days One Night Reviews

Jupiter Ascending
Dir. Andy & Lana Wachowski

Since The Matrix was released over 15 years ago, it seems like the Wachowski Siblings' entire career has been saved by the prestige of that single iconic sci-fi movie. After the major big-budget failures of Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas, it's astonishing that Warner Brothers even dared to give them another chance, especially with something as bonkers as Jupiter Ascending. The movie stars Mila Kunis as "Jupiter Jones," a toilet-cleaner who has no idea she is, genetically speaking, the queen of Earth. Similarly to Sarah Connor in The Terminator, she finds herself surrounded by people from another world, either trying to save or kill her, telling little-old-her that she is important to the survival of the human race in the future. The "Kyle Reese" character here is Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) a half-man, half-wolf, Spock-eared badass on rocket skates, and the "Terminator" this time around is played by Eddie Redmayne, who wants to harvest Earth. The problem is that whereas James Cameron's film had a tight, well-written script, with developed characters, high-stakes action, and some kind of underlying logical structure, Jupiter Ascending has none of those things and may very well mark the end for big budget Wachowski features.

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