Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I was recently discussing with some friends the atrocious track records and massive disappointments (not to mention wastes of potential) of Mike Myers and Nicolas Cage. The poor misguided fools (my friends, not these so-called actors) didn't see things from my perspective (ie, sanity) and got a little riled up. Let's see if I can find some common ground here, or if I'm just going to angry up the blood once again.

(click to enlarge)

I love movies, and right now there's a bunch out that I want to see. The one I'm getting the most flack for is The Happening. I can't help it, I think it looks pretty cool. The problem, of course, is that it's an M Night Shyamalan movie, meaning everyone is hyper-critical of "The Twist." Fine. I am much the same way when it comes to his movies. I loved the Sixth Sense. Not only was it a good movie, but it came out of nowhere, and nobody was expecting The Twist (except for pretentious tools who will claim they saw it coming a mile away). Plus, it was a really good story that could stand on its own merit, even without The Twist. The came Unbreakable, which I feel is underrated. Fantastic concept- a real-life superhero in the regular world. No Metropolis or Gotham, no collective of super-villains. In fact, the supervillain was The Twist in this one. Pretty cool. Some people think Unbreakable was as good as, if not better than, Sixth Sense (hence the shaded grey region in the graph below). Maybe it was the "superhero" content that drives its lack of cinematic respect.

Unfortunately, it was all down hill from there. Signs was horrible. So cliche and ham-handed in its message, and The Twist was downright absurd. What alien would ever invade a planet made of 80% material that is FATAL to it??? Careful, don't want to get up on my soap box. OK, next was The Village, equally absurd and patronizing. It was clear- very clear- at this point that M Night was a one-trick pony, and that trick was The Twist.

In an effort to either prove us wrong, or throw us off track, he made Lady in the Water. No Twist here. Unfortunately, it was even worse in his hugely egotistical decision to cast himself (an annoying trait, especially considering he gave himself larger roles as his career grew. Tarantino tried it and failed, dutifully sparing us the same mistake. Leave this gimmick to Kevin Smith) as nothing less than the savior of the world. So, Shyamalan, pretty impressed with yourself, are you?

For whatever reason, and in complete disregard for the warnings I've received from not only trusted friends but IMDb as well, I can't help but want to see this one. Will it prove the M Night Shayamalan graph correct? Or will this be an anomaly in an otherwise steady decline? I'm willing to gamble the $8 on it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Summertime Rolls

I guess this is a little overdue, seeing as Iron Man opened last week, but summer movie season is here and I am stoked. I actually haven't even seen Iron Man yet, but I can't wait. Everyone I know says it's awesome, and to be honest I've been looking forward to it since last summer. I was a bit skeptical of Favreau as director, but he seems to have done a good job. And Robert Downey Jr was the perfect choice to star.

Looking back at '07, one can see that the bar wasn't set very high. The much hyped 3-quels (Spiderman, Pirates, and Shrek, not to mention Ocean's 13, which was made for... some reason, and the equally forgettable Rush Hour 3) disappointed, though I am amazed at the amount of money they pulled in. Doesn't speak very highly for my fellow movie-goers.

Also, it was a bad year for comic book movies- Fantastic Four? Please. I'm still not convinced that movie wasn't a joke. Ghost Rider stunk (and, along with the unnecessary National Treasurers sequel, cemented Nicolas Cage's reputation as one of Hollywood's most vexingly overrated actors. Seriously, other than Raising Arizona and Adaptation, name one good movie he did. Go ahead, give it a try. Give up? Exactly).

Die Hard jumped the shark, then shot the shark whilst in mid-air, used a chain to lash it's tail to a helicopter rotor, stuffed some C4 into it's mouth as the rotor subsequently hurled the shark into the sky, only to shoot the C4 (while jumping to safety) so that the shark explodes, and (finally) delivering- in a sly, too-cool, ironic statement tailor-made for the preview reel- the line "I guess we jumped the shark."

Transformers... no need to revisit that travesty, just read my review of it from an earlier blog. How does Michael Bay keep getting work? He's like the millionaire version of Uwe Boll. If you think you don't know who Boll is, he is the reason nobody gets excited anymore for movie adaptations of video games. Wikipedia him if you need to, it's totally worth it.

For anyone thinking "Hey, what about I Am Legend and 300?" Sure '07 had it's bright spots- those 2 along with Bourne Ultimatum, Knocked Up, and Superbad. But as awesome as those were, they are not nearly enough to counter the dreck that is Wild Hogs, the funny but ultimately irrelevant Simpsons Movie (they're still on TV for free, right?), Evan Almighty, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Norbit. My God… Norbit??? Isn't that alone enough to call 07 a failure?

So if we pare this down to summer vs summer (which mercifully let's Ghost Rider off the hook), we have the horrors of 07 vs Iron Man, The Hulk, The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones, Wanted, and Hellboy 2.

No contest. See you at the show.