Friday, July 31, 2015

“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” – Hanging by his fingernails.

Four years ago, at age 49, Tom Cruise wanted to prove to everybody that he still had “it” by hanging off the side of the 2717 foot tall Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. We’re not really sure what “it” is, but Cruise will be damned if he’ll let anyone believe he lost “it.” Now, at age 53, he’s at “it” again, this time hanging off the side of a cargo plane while that plane is taking off and flying in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. When normal people go through mid-life crises, they buy sports cars or bang their yoga instructors. Apparently, Tom Cruise hangs off of stuff.

Rogue Nation is the fifth entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise and neither it nor Cruise show any signs of stopping. Much like the Fast and Furious franchise, MI seems to have figured out its formula in the fourth installment and built on that success in the fifth. For MI, the key to success isn’t its main character, Ethan Hunt (Cruise), but a sense of humor and good action. The first three movies featured exactly one bit of comedy – Emilio Estevez. Yeah, you forgot he was even in the first movie, didn’t you? Anyway, the franchise was taking itself way too seriously and who better to break the rut than Simon Pegg? Pegg (as well as much different writing) has made the series feel fresh and more fun – which isn’t a surprise because he was instrumental in doing the same thing for the Star Trek reboot (and sequel). I’m not saying I don’t like serious action flicks, but the ones that blend comedy and action almost always end up more entertaining. In a nutshell, that’s Rogue Nation.

As much as I enjoyed Rogue Nation, I left the theater with one question – what does the title even mean? Like Ghost Protocol, it’s pretty much a nonsense term that the movie has to literally say out loud in a sentence so the audience knows what it means. Rogue Nation is what the CIA and its director, Hunley (Alec Baldwin) refer to the bad guys’ organization as. Don’t ask; just go with it. The plot of the film is exactly what you think it is – the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) has to stop the bad guy from achieving his goal and must do something “impossible.” As fresh as the film feels, the impossible mission is the same as it always is – they have to break into an impenetrable facility in order to steal a data file and Tom Cruise is going to perform another crazy stunt in addition to hanging off of an airplane. I won’t spoil this part of the movie for you, but I will tell you that Tom Cruise holds his breath for six minutes.

Besides Cruise and Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames reprised their roles as IMF agents. Strangely, Renner was not given any action scenes; relegated to CIA duty (once again, the IMF is being disbanded – I guess this movie really isn’t that fresh) which entailed standing in operational control rooms and silently signaling his men with facial expressions. Considering how good he was at the action scenes in the last film (as well as The Bourne Legacy), it’s easy to understand why he seemed a little bored during much of the film (his apparent boredom led him to deliver his lines by over-enunciating every word). On the other hand, Baldwin was seemingly overjoyed to be back in an action movie and was anything but bored, delivering a performance that is best described as zealous.

In addition to Baldwin, the other two new actors are Rebecca Ferguson as ally and/or enemy, Ilsa Faust, and Sean Harris as the evil villain and/or…no…he’s definitely the villain. And, what a villain he is. Not only is he very creepy looking, his delivery and performance drips with villainy. As spy movie evil villains go, he’s easily as good (bad) as Javier Bardem in Skyfall and definitely the most memorable (sorry Jon Voight) of the MI flicks. I won’t say any more than that, but he is worth the price of admission. Ferguson is also a refreshing addition and is just as good at the fight/action scenes as anyone (including Renner - maybe she got his action scenes after beating him in a fight).

You may have noticed I didn’t say much about Cruise, but after hearing he hung off an airplane and held his breath for six minutes, is there anything I could tell you that’s even half as interesting? I know I poked fun at him for it, but I actually am quite impressed that he’s willing to do stuff like that. I may not agree with his personal opinions, but there’s no denying that the man almost always does good/great movies. But, as far as mid-life crises go, I do think he might want to consider just buying a Corvette next time.

Rating: Don’t ask for any money back and stay away from my Pilates instructor.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

“Vacation” – Not your grandfather’s Vacation.

If you like reading reviews, you’re going to read a lot of them saying how bad or depressing the new Vacation is. Don’t believe them for a moment. They are the stodgy old people who hate the designated hitter, think Matlock will never be topped, and don’t understand what all the fuss is about Twitter. These people will reminisce about “the good ol’ days” and tell you how nothing could possibly be as good as a movie written by John Hughes starring Chevy Chase. Well, they’re wrong. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the original Vacation, but the only thing I can remember about it is Clark Griswold (Chase) forcing John Candy at gun point to let his family into Walley World. And, I’ve seen it more than once so it couldn’t have been that great if I can barely remember it. And if you think that’s just me being forgetful, I remember everything from Caddyshack and it’s three years older than the first Vacation. In other words, this new Vacation is just as good as the original and stodgy critics hate fun.

(Note: The new Vacation is notably missing the National Lampoon moniker, so I will refer to the original as NLV for the rest of review, partly because the stodgers hate anything that looks like texting speech.)

The first argument that everyone has already had about Vacation is whether it’s a sequel or a remake. The answer is that it’s both – it’s a requel (thanks to a commenter for that one). Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) – Clark’s son – is all grown up, with a family of us his own and wants to take his family on a road trip to Walley World. See what they did there? If you want to know what gags they retread, well…I already told you I barely remember NLV, so unless Rusty takes a hostage in order to gain admission to Walley World, all of the jokes will be new to me (SPOILER – he doesn’t).

To be fair to those stodgers, I had my reservations going in. I believe my exact words were “(Sigh) I guess I’ll check it out (Sigh).” However, during the trailer, there’s a scene in which Rusty’s two sons are sitting at the kitchen table and the older son, James (Skyler Gisondo), says to a girl “are you enjoying school?” The younger son, Kevin (Steele Stebbins) repeats the line in a mocking voice, then says “that’s what you sound like. Shut up!” It made me laugh during the trailer and it gave me just enough hope that I stayed cautiously optimistic. Much to my delight, not only did I laugh just as much at the “shut up” joke during the film, but I found myself (and the audience) laughing throughout the entire movie.

It’s rare that a comedy can keep up the laughs for the duration of the film. Most of them fizzle out after the second act because they sacrifice the comedy to bring the plot to a semi-serious close. Think about every romantic comedy you’ve ever seen and try to think of any jokes during the last half hour of the film. Even some straight comedies think their stories need to have some gravity and end up delivering sappy, bullshit endings for stories that weren’t very good to begin with. Vacation toes the line – the entire vacation is Rusty’s attempt at bringing his family closer and rekindling the flame with his wife – but it never forgets that the reason people paid to see it is for the jokes. And jokes there are a plenty.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil any of the jokes (the trailer does that plenty enough). Like I said, that’s why you’re there. For me, the jokes all seemed fresh (a quick look at the wiki page for NLV revealed that they did indeed retread some) and only a couple of them made me cringe. There’s an especially awkward minute early on involving Rusty competing with his neighbor’s show of affection towards his child. It reminded me of the competing maid of honor speeches in Bridesmaids – the joke goes on for far too long and is never funny at any point. But aside from that, Helms was funny, Christina Applegate (Rusty’s wife) was funnier, and the two kids were downright hilarious. And if that’s not enough for you, Chris Hemsworth plays a small role and delivers the best gag (a sight gag you can’t unsee) of the entire film.

Yes, NLV was funny in its day and still makes us laugh, but thirty years have gone by and comedy evolves just like any other genre. Vacation is a great entry in the series and anyone who says otherwise has probably yelled at more than one person to get off their lawn.

Rating: Don’t ask for any money back and try not to hurt yourself laughing.

Friday, July 24, 2015

“Pixels” – Movies for me and other nerds.

As I write this review, the approval rating for Pixels on Rotten Tomatoes is dropping before my very eyes. It currently sits at 13% (down from 17% last night) and all I can do is feel sorry for the 87% of critics who are dead inside. Yes, it’s an Adam Sandler movie, and almost all Sandler movies are about as fun as rectal exams, but Pixels isn’t like other Sandler movies – it’s about classic arcade games brought to life. Don’t get me wrong, Pixels follows the same basic formula and includes many of the same (often dumb) elements as his other films, but in Pixels, Sandler isn’t the main focus like he is in all his other movies (despite writer Tim Herlihy’s best efforts), the video games are. Like I said, you really have to be dead inside not to have at least a little fun watching Pixels.

(There are SPOILERS coming, though really the only SPOILERS are which games show up when. Considering the trailers, it’s almost impossible for me to spoil it more.)

The film begins in 1982 with the child versions of the four gamers that are our main characters at an arcade game tournament. Sam (Sandler) faces off against Eddie (Peter Dinklage) for the championship, while Sam’s best friend, Will (Kevin James), and Sam’s new friend, Ludlow (Josh Gad), cheer him on. Sam loses and grows up to be an electronics installer (think Best Buy Geek Squad) because that’s what happens to video game losers in lazily written scripts featuring Sandler. Conversely, Will grows up to become the President of the United States, even though he is terrible at video games and can barely read (I wish I was making that up). Because making an illiterate tub of fat the King of the World would be absurd.

The writing gets worse with regards to Sam and Will’s difficult-to-swallow relationship, as President Will spends an inordinate amount of time with Sam while simultaneously telling Sam that his wife is complaining that Will doesn’t spend any time with her. Sam is even on a first-name basis with White House guards and Secret Service agents so as to set up a metaphorical dick measuring contest with the female Lt. Colonel Violet Van Patten (Michelle Moynihan). I could go on, but the point is that much of the lazy script is devoted to setting up cheap jokes that are a staple of Sandler comedies without said jokes being relevant to the plot (or even the premise).

Speaking of lazy writing, Van Patten may be one of the worst characters ever written and not just in movies. I’ve met a few Lt. Colonels in real life, and not one of them would ever be found drinking wine and crying in a closet (because her husband cheated on her) while a strange man installed a television in her living room. And that’s how we meet her. You have to give credit to Moynihan for even taking such a thankless role, especially knowing Violet would be the standard love interest of Sandler’s character and, therefore, being no more than a pair of talking breasts.

Anyway, the film gets to the point when aliens attack a military base. Will calls Sam to have him look at footage of the attack and Sam concludes that they were attacked by Galaga. Naturally, nobody believes him (including a ridiculously hammy Brian Cox playing a General). Soon, the aliens attack again (this time, the Taj Mahal) in the form of Space Invaders. Meanwhile, in one of the very few clever moments of the film, the aliens send them a video message in the form of Ronald Reagan telling them that they received the humans’ declaration of war (a video containing footage of the 1982 arcade tournament). Additionally, the aliens set out the rules of the game (clever moment number 2) – the first to win three battles wins the other race’s planet (or gets to destroy it). This sets up the rest of the film’s scenes – Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Centipede – and the extremely predictable ending.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s hard to overemphasize how truly lazy the writing was. To begin with, Sean Bean makes a cameo as a British military commander, but doesn’t die. How do you fuck that one up? (Screenwriting 101: Sean Bean Always Dies.) Then there’s the matter of some of the games literally just being projected into the sky (like Centipede) or in spaceships. Pacman was built into the streets of New York and its ghosts played by our gamers in different colored Mini Coopers; why weren’t the other games incorporated into the environment? Is Herlihy really so creatively bankrupt? Did it not occur to anyone to survey a group a fifth graders for ideas? Am I asking rhetorical questions?

The laziness gets worse in the form of 80’s homages we get throughout the movie that shouldn’t have been there. They tell us the video the aliens received was from 1982, so why did we see Max Headroom (1984), Where’s the Beef? (1984), and the Duck Hunt dog (1984) (among others)? We even see a kid donning Daniel Larusso’s headband and performing a crane kick at the ’82 tournament even though The Karate Kid came out in 1984. Apparently, Herlihy forgot what year he wrote for the tournament and Happy Madison Productions doesn’t employ fact checkers or researchers or editors. Or people older than 30.

But to top it all off, Herlihy literally invented a video game called Dojo Quest, featuring a scantily clad Ashley Bensen, solely so Gad can make out with her. Because if there’s anything we can rely on in Sandler movies (especially those written by Herlihy – seriously, check out his writing credits), it’s that dumb fat guys, or losers, or dumb fat losers always get to kiss hot women.

Despite everything I just said about this film, I actually did have fun watching it. Not because of Sandler or James, but because of Gad, Dinklage, and nostalgia. While Dinklage’s character was nearly as hammed up as Cox’s General, there are times at which his smarm made me laugh out loud, bad Cajun(?) accent notwithstanding. Gad was even funnier and was probably the reason most people were laughing in this movie. But the real reason I liked it is because the film brought to life games I loved as a kid without taking a total dump on them (excusing Q*Bert peeing himself, that is. That was awful). When it comes to an Adam Sandler flick, I think that’s all you can really hope for.

Rating: Ask for all but two dollars back. This movie is the very definition of what I call Movies for Me. *I* would pay for it, but you probably shouldn’t.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

“Ant-Man” – This is just getting ridiculous.

There’s a scene in Dogma where Selma Hayek is explaining that nineteen of the top twenty grossing movies were inspired by a muse (her) and the twentieth was because someone sold their soul to the devil. With the amount of success Marvel is having with their films, either they’ve got an army of stripper muses at their headquarters or Satan’s going to need to a new wing at Infernal Studios for all those newly acquired souls.

I remember going into Guardians of the Galaxy with very guarded expectations. I didn’t think there was any chance a movie with such a ridiculous ensemble cast and a trailer with no plot hints whatsoever could possibly be as entertaining as it turned out to be. You’d think I would have learned my lesson after that, but I found myself with the exact same mindset going into Ant-Man. Could you blame me though? They cast Paul Rudd (really) as the lead/superhero in a movie that was seeming dangerously close to being a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel. If you think I’m being hyperbolic, Ant-Man has a pet ant (actually lots of them) that the hero rides. You’re nodding now aren’t you?

As you may have guessed by now, I enjoyed the hell out of Ant-Man. I actually do like Paul Rudd, so I was looking forward to seeing if he could pull off being Ant-Man. The film begins, not with Rudd (Scott Lang), but with a scene from years past showing us a CGI’d Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym) storming out of a meeting with Howard Stark and Agent Carter because Pym didn’t want them abusing his shrinking particle and Marvel wanted to make sure we understood this movie fits into the same universe as the Avengers. Fast forward to present day and we meet Scott Lang (Rudd), a thief being released from prison. We quickly get his background story – divorced dad with a young daughter – then meet his friends (including Michael Pena, who almost steals the entire movie with his brilliance) who want him to pull another burglary with them. As it turns out, they are robbing Pym’s house, which Pym orchestrated in order to convince Lang to become Ant-Man.

Meanwhile, Pym’s old protégé, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), has nearly duplicated Pym’s work and Pym wants to stop him before he can sell it to the bad guys (no points if you guessed Hydra as the bad guys). Pym thinks Lang is the perfect person to steal Cross’ super-suit (the Yellowjacket) because of his burglary skills. That’s it; that’s the plot. Like Guardians of the Galaxy, the plot is simple and straight-forward, it presents a clear goal, and does a good job developing its main characters so that you care what happens to them. They even toss in a good confrontation and clichéd romance in the form of Pym’s daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lilly), who wants to don the ant-man suit herself (and makes a very convincing case as to why). The rest of the film is just Marvel doing what it does best – action mixed with comedy mixed with fun.

I wish I had more to say, but I’m not sure there is anything left to say when it comes to Marvel’s movies (the ones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that is). Ant-Man has erased the bland aftertaste from Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Terminator: Genisys and is easily as entertaining as The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The only real question left is if they can save some of their other properties from being destroyed. Spider-Man is on its third Spider-Man and the trailer for the reboot of The Fantastic Four made me think the 2005 Fantastic Four wasn’t all that bad (it really was). I’m sure there’s someone left over there with a soul to sell.

Rating: Worth as much as those three previous reboots I mentioned – combined.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

“Self/less” – There’s a twist coming.

When I saw the previews for Self/less, I was very intrigued by the concept – living forever. Admittedly, it’s not a new concept, but the execution of the idea always seems to be new. Vampirism. Mutant healing powers. Worm-excreted Spice. Growing clones and harvesting their organs. Space bathwater. The immortality sub-genre is bigger and more diverse than you think. We are drawn to these movies, because who doesn’t want to live forever?

In Self/less, immortality is achieved by connecting bodies through two interconnected MRI machines. Think of it as a bit of a cross between The Fly and The Island and you’ll be ready to watch this flick.

(Note: I promise I will not SPOIL anything from the movie or that you haven’t already seen in the previews.)

The film begins with our main character, Damian (Ben Kingsley), staring out of the window of his opulent, high-rise home, contemplating his imminent death from cancer. I’ll spare you the details, but we learn that Damian is a ruthless, manipulative, asshole businessman who will use his ridiculously large fortune (the man’s entire apartment is gilded in gold, including his furniture) to buy his way out of any problem, including dying. Which brings us to the previously described MRI-body-switching process called Shedding. Picture a snake molting and you have an apt metaphor for Damian’s situation, though the actual process depicted in the film looks a lot like the memory transplant machine in Total Recall.

After a successful transition into his new body, Ryan Reynolds takes over for Ben Kingsley as Damian and we all wonder why great actors like Kingsley and J.K. Simmons are being cast in smaller and smaller roles (what Terminator: Genisys did with Simmons was borderline criminal). We’re also told the rules of engagement for Damian:

• He can’t tell anyone who he really is (because his former body was very publicly dead and buried),
• And he has to take a little red pill every day to keep from hallucinating.

After relearning how to walk, run, and do various other physical activities (hilariously, he can talk right away though), Damian takes his new body out for a spin by playing basketball, jet-boating, and having sex with a parade of female twenty-somethings. Happy with his new body, Damian puts the rest of his devious, villainous, post-mortem plan into action… (Which, to the chagrin of the male portion of the audience, does not involve more naked women.)

…Damian’s devious plan was to step into an executive at his company, explaining to the board that this new, young guy had been secretly groomed for the role. The board is convinced to give this stranger a chance, and he proves his worth by securing a huge contract. A short time later, Damian is in St. Louis when he happens across Madeline (Natalie Martinez). Madeline recognizes Damian’s body as her husband, whom she thought had died, triggering memories in Damien’s head that do not belong to him. Damian insists she is mistaken and retreats to New York. The Magic MRI Machine doctor explains that they are not memories, but glitches as his consciousness adjust to the neural pathways of the new body. The doctor doubles the dose of pills for Damian and assures him that after enough time has passed the pills will no longer be necessary. A short while later, Madeline tracks down Damian and proves her claim by showing him pictures of her husband. This is the catalyst for the second half of the film which consists entirely of the doctor and his men trying to capture and kill Damian and Madeline to keep them from revealing the Magic MRI Machine secrets.

(Note: this is almost completely off-topic, but the movie contains a scene that made me want to beat a Mac enthusiast to death with their own MacBook Air. While explaining the promise of his invention, the doctor says “Imagine what the greatest minds could do with an extra fifty or sixty years. Einstein, Edison, Steve Jobs.” Hold on – Steve Jobs? Are you kidding me? The same Steve Jobs whose company changes the design of their device charger every 18 months? That Steve Jobs? It wouldn’t have been quite so egregious if there wasn’t a MacBook featured in almost every scene in the film.)

With the exception of the hilariously weak MRI machine body switcher, the story is pretty solid, though a bit predictable in Damian’s attempt at redemption. It’s logical, doesn’t contradict itself, and the motivations all work, based on the character development. There’s just one big problem that I need to mention…

…that’s not how the movie actually goes. I made up almost all of it.

Didn’t see that one coming, did you? I just M. Night Shyamalan’d you. The actual movie feels forced in just about everything that you see happening, and New Damian’s actions don’t match with Old Damian’s very brief character development. The way Damian figures out the truth is totally contrived and none of his actions after the body switch match with a man who just spent $250 million for a second life and has an elaborately-carved cherub fountain in his dining room. The sad thing is that it only took me a couple of hours to come up with a much more believable situation and transition for Damian than what two writers undoubtedly spent months on.

Rating: Ask for six dollars back. It’s actually an okay movie, but one that clearly could have been much better.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

“Terminator: Genisys” – I feel like we’ve been here before.

Apparently, I’m one of the eight people who liked Terminator: Salvation and is willing to say it out loud. So, when I say that Genisys is on par with Salvation, that’s not a knock against Genisys. Of course, I also enjoyed Terminator 3 and I’m pretty sure I’m going to Movie Jail for that. But, I want to be clear on this – while I enjoyed all three of those movies, the only one that was better than your average summer popcorn flick was Salvation because it was the only one that didn’t just retread the same worn-out plot of sending a terminator back in time to kill a Connor. Ridicule me all you want, but Salvation is the only one of the (now five) Terminator movies that was interested in filling in the story between Judgment Day and Time-Travel Day, and I really liked that.

(Note: Salvation was supposed to be the first in a trilogy, but the production company that owned the rights to the franchise went bankrupt and had to sell. That doesn’t really explain why the new owners didn’t continue Salvation’s story, but I’m guessing they weren’t fans.)

The reason I liked Genisys as much Salvation has less to do with the plot and more to do with Genisys just being a fun movie to watch. Of the three major retreads we’ve seen this summer (Jurassic World and Mad Max: Fury Road being the other two), Genisys is getting the worst reviews by far, even though it does exactly the same thing as the other two flicks – reboots a flailing franchise while providing a good thrill ride. The difference for me is that Genisys at least made an attempt at a plot while those other two movies consisted of a two-hour-long car chase and a dinosaur eating surprisingly few humans. What’s more is that many other critics lauded the feminism of Fury Road and Jurassic World, yet are completely ignoring it in Genisys, even though Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) is easily as strong a woman as from those other flicks. But enough of that, let’s talk about Genisys alone.

In a nutshell, Genisys is basically a mash-up of the first two Terminator movies. It begins in the future, with John Connor (Jason Clarke) and crew launching two assaults that will deal the final blows to Skynet and end the war. John is part of the assault that is going to capture the time machine from Skynet and send Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor. As Kyle is about to transport, he sees something grab John, but disappears before seeing anything more. As he is travelling, he sees new memories of a different timeline, including himself as a child reciting a warning, then drops into recreated scenes from the original Terminator. Seriously, the next five minutes of scenes are painstakingly detailed in order to create exact replicas of what we saw thirty-one years ago, including a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. It doesn’t last long however, as an old Arnold and Sarah Connor take out the young Arnold and a T-1000 (the liquid metal terminator) attacks Reese moments after he appears.

At this point, you should have lots of questions because there are too many terminators and everything we know just got erased with the death of the original terminator. We soon learn that old Arnold was sent back to 1973 to protect nine-year old Sarah and that they built a time machine to go to 1997 to stop Skynet from going online. Still with me? Good – you’re doing better than many critics who thought this movie was confusing but had no issues with the silliness happening on Isla Nublar.

Kyle informs them that 1997 is no longer Skynet’s birth year; that it’s now 2017 and calls itself Genisys (ta-da!!). So, Kyle and Sarah jump to 2017 where they meet up with the now-twenty-years older Arnold (complete with gray hair, which makes no sense because in T2, Arnold’s skin heals itself in sunlight so why would his skin and hair age at all?) to stop Skynet/Genisys from going online. Didn’t I tell you it was a mash-up? Also, how is any of that confusing? Some critics are really dumb.

There is one little surprise that I won’t ruin, but I will tell you that a T-3000 is the new adversary terminator in this flick. I’ll also tell you that the casting left a little to be desired. I understand why Arnold was in this movie (and he was exactly as good as he needed to be) and casting the Mother of Dragons as Sarah Connor is a no-brainer. I even get Jason Clarke considering the run he’s on (Zero Dark Thirty, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Great Gatsby), though I had a really tough time buying him as John Connor. But who the hell still thinks Jai Courtney can act? Did they not see It’s a Good Day to Die Hard? Or Divergent? Between him and Channing Tatum, I’m not sure who’s worse, but at least Tatum’s facial expressions change once in a while. And to top it off, why cast J.K. Simmons and only give him four minutes of screen time? Just, wow.

My biggest complaint about Genisys is that it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The franchise stopped being scary after T2, we don’t get any new characters, and the story ends at the same point as T2 except now it’s just twenty years later. What’s worse is that no time is spent on character development or relationships because the writers just rely on stuff that was done in past movies, even though an alternate timeline allows them to do whatever they want. So, when Sarah gets emotional over Arnold, you simply don’t care or don’t believe because the only thing differentiating that relationship from John and Arnold’s in T2 is that, in this one, Sarah calls Arnold “Pops”.

Bet you’re missing Christian Bale now, aren’t you?

Rating: Ask for four dollars back because you kind of already saw this one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

“Fifty Shades of Grey” – WARNING: The following review may contain as much sex as the movie.

Due to being on kid duty for the week (while the wife is travelling) and coupled with no decent movie to screen that isn’t animated, I decided last weekend to watch Fifty Shades of Grey. The condition was that I was allowed to comment during the movie while my wife took notes. Here is how watching Fifty Shades of Grey went for us.

[piracy warning] If this movie is as bad as we think it’s gonna be, piracy won’t be a problem.

(opening credits)

I feel like they shouldn’t be using a song from Hocus Pocus.

Is Marcia Gay Harden one of the best unintentional porn names every?

Me: I keep forgetting you didn’t read the book.
Kevin: um, no!

(Interview scene)

Nice sweater, Grandma.

What. Does she not know where she is that she dresses like that?

She’s already on her knees.

Can I hold your PEN?

“I enjoy various physical pursuits.”
Kevin: Like banging.

“which author inspired you”
Stephen King, say Stephen King!

“What do you want?”
I want to chew on your pencil some more.

I can see your horrible sweater and ugly blouse, yet I still want to see what’s underneath it.

Two metaphors already: chewing on his pencil, and now she’s getting all wet. This movie is NOT subtle.

(back in Anastasia’s apartment)

Staring at his pics
And now I’m going to write some fan fiction.

She still has his pencil. Roll it in your mouth! Roll it in your mouth!

Now THERE’s the gay friend.

(hardware store)

“Ana, could you give me a hand out back?”
Yeah. A hand. In the hardware store.

“Do you want anything else?”
Your vagina.

…That was the worst conversation I’ve ever heard.

Hey big guy. (laughs)

He had a driver take him to the hardware store?! What a douche. There is no way that any woman finds that attractive.

(coffee shop)

“Tell me about your family”
“My dad…” “is a vampire”
“My cousin…” “is a wolf”

[Christian abruptly leaves] Sorry, I don’t give a shit.

So, ten minutes in, and they’ve already had the Misunderstanding?

(at the club)

She’s drunk dialing him? Nice. Thanks for the boooooks….

Why the fuck would he come to get her?

Christian shows up.
Nice. You missed his shoes, though.

He has a very pointy nose.

Who faints when they’re drunk? I’ve never met that person.

(hotel room)

What the hell just happened? He goes from I took care of you and changed your vomit clothes to….biting her toast.

“I don’t do romance.”
Except when I send first edition books to people I just met.

You still smell like puke.

“I won’t touch you without your written consent.”
That’s hot. That’s so hot. I’m just gonna eye-fuck you all movie until you sign. Face Caress Fucker. Oh, just kidding about the not touching you thing. Shit, that lasted about eight seconds.

(Apartment)

NO one is that happy after being interrupted during sex. It was a pleasure to meet you. Does my hand smell like vagina? I’m sorry. Wait, this is your house.

(helicopter)

I don’t do romantic….but I fly women in helicopters to places.

Thanks, I don’t know how seatbelts works.

What is this awful song?

I don’t need to watch where I’m flying.

(his apartment)

Alright, it’s Contract Time.

Douchey thing #2: he has opera playing when he gets home.

My lawyer? His lawyer knows what he does?

That’s what every woman wants to hear, right? “I don’t make love. I fuck. Hard.”

Now it’s time for you to see my sex jungle.

“Just open the door…” of looooove.

Douchey thing #3: I keep my sex jungle locked. In my own house.

Did I mention, I like to fuck. Hard.

No seriously, honestly. Doesn’t a girl who wears a cardigan to an office building run screaming from this room?

It’s called a flogger.

I do this to women. Wait. Hold on, scratch that.

Did he just say he’s a Donut?

“what do I get out of this?”
My big boner.

I’m not a romantic, but I hold hands.

“I don’t sleep with anyone.”
Except when I do. Except with ones who are covered in vomit.
Okay, I just want to point out that this movie is 40 fucking minutes in already.

Please, I gotta know. How many bases?

You’re biting your lip.
I wanna bite it. (whispering)

Wait. But she hasn’t signed the agreement yet. This guy is the worst businessman EVER.

I’m curious how her underwear changes as the movie goes on.

First nipple at 43 minutes.

DOH. Male ass cheek at 43:48.

At least the music is better than other porns.

Are they seriously showing him opening a condom? I really want her to ask “are you gonna fuck me hard now?”

How did you get through this book?! It’s the least sexy 45 minutes I’ve ever seen. Including San Andreas.

For someone who is a virgin, apparently, and an English lit major – she sure was like “alright. Hit me. I just saw your sex dungeon. I’m good, let’s go.”

(next morning)

She dances worse than I do.

You know how this sounds? It’s like a really bad Dawson’s Creek episode.

I’m not a romantic….i just gently scrub women’s backs in the bathtub.

Nope, I don’t trust you. We’ve had sex at least three times already.

I can see why people who like the book didn’t like the movie. Two of the three sex scenes they’ve almost completely cut out.

Less then 24 hours after taking her virginity, he’s already tying her up.

(mother shows up)

That’s why he locks the sex dungeon.

Her name is Grace Grey??

Do you think in the screenplay that they told all the actors to deliver their lines breathy like Twilight?


(whispers) You can decorate it however you want. (giggles)

I liked your mom. I met her for 8 seconds.

“That room is much more about pleasure”
For meeeeeeeeeee.

Now, I don’t want to do anything YOU want to do. But keep an open mind.

(in car)
He has a permascowl on his face.

I’m not a romantic…..but let’s go for a walk.

The other 15 girls were just like “let’s do this dungeon thing.”

I want that car.

(in apartment)

He bought you a new computer?! Definitely sign!

I’m not a romantic….but I leave helicopter balloons and wine.

I’m gonna get you drunk a little bit, so that you’ll sign my fucking NDA. After I broke into your house.

(contract meeting)

If you don’t want to be analy fisted, you don’t want a butt plug. I thought you were an English major.

Heh heh. My staff.

“I’ll suggest it in Appendix 5”
This is so hot.

There must have been some hard up housewives to really want to read this.

Who’s the submissive now?

How the hell is this Twilight fan fiction?

(graduation)

Douche thing #4: all that badgering, and then he just leaves.

(playroom)
“you’re biting your lip. You know what that does to me.”
It makes me think of Kristen Stewart.

We’re gonna come in here and braid each other’s hair.

It also said in the contract, I’m not allowed to wear a shirt in half of this movie. Oh, wait, different contract.

…lowering the drawbridge.

Here comes the song. Crazy right noooooow!

[sniffs her underwear} ahhh NO!! He just smelled McRib’s underwear.

(dancing in apt)
This is also douchey. What is that, #6?
Me: no, it’s 5.
Kevin: it feels like 6.

(she dances)
You just ruined sex forever.

(Georgia)
Savannnah’s awesome this time of year.

(he calls her)
Remember that time I braided your hair? I miss you.

Wanna see my glider? ….best pick up line ever.

[INTERMISSION] my wife was bored, the movie was so fucking boring, that she was surfing Facebook, and we took an intermission and watched Chris Pratt talking about his toddler.

Is this the Pretty Woman ripoff part of the movie. “I’m not gonna sell off the company!”

Weird. We’re gonna have Church Music Sex?!

Really? You needed safe words for that? Green! Green! Ramp it UP.

Piano sex? Another Pretty Woman rip off?

Holy god, how long is this movie? I thought there was supposed to be a lot of sex in this movie. There’s more sex in an hour of Game of Thrones.

Wait. Is that the end of the fucking movie??!!

Ok. Knowing that this movie opened in theaters on Valentine’s Day, I now know there are lot of people that did not have sex on Valentine’s Day.

Rating: Not worth it even if you are paid to watch it. Every porn ever made is better than this movie.